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BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : " PURE RACISM " : BLACK AUSTRALIAN CHUCKED OUT AFTER CHECKING IN : WHEN WILL IT EVER CHANGE DOWN UNDER - TO BE TREATED AS A HUMAN BEING :

           BLACK     SOCIAL  HISTORY                                                                                             'Pure racism': Aborigines chucked out after checking in



































Bethany Langdon ... says she was told to leave the hostel because her party were frightening the tourists.
Bethany Langdon ... says she was told to leave the hostel because her party were frightening the tourists.
Photo: Liam Campbell
I felt like I wanted to cry because it made me feel like I wasn't an Australian, like I wasn't wanted there.



Dylan Welch
March 11, 2008 - 4:02PM
Page 1 of 2 | Single page


The Alice Springs backpacker hostel at the centre of racial discrimination claims is owned by one of the largest Northern Territory touring companies in Australia, which purports to educate its tour clients about local Aboriginal culture.
Adventure Tours Australia, which last year sold tours to more than 90,000 people according to its website, owns the Haven Backpacker Resort in Alice Springs.
The resort has been bitterly criticised for ejecting a group of indigenous guests because it said it catered only "for international backpacking tourists, which the group was not".
Yet, in a blurb on its website, the company states its tours place an emphasis on "the unique scenery, wildlife and Aboriginal culture of each area".
"Don't blame us if you finish your tour and start telling strangers about all the weird and wonderful facts you've learnt about rocks, plants, animals, aboriginal [sic] culture, all the great people you've met and how wonderful it is to be alive!" the website states.
The Aborigines, mostly women, had travelled to Alice Springs to take life-saving classes in preparation for the opening of a swimming pool in their community of Yuendumu, located about 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.
They were allegedly asked to leave the Haven Hostel after checking in, because of complaints by other guests.
"They said that it was because of the colour of our skin and they didn't like us," group member Bethany Langdon said of the hostel management.
The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia said the ejection was "purely racist" in intention.
"It was a very feeble excuse about a complaint having been made but, looking into that, there was no complaint, there was no reason, it was just pure racism," the society's chief executive, Rob Bradley told ABC Television last night.
In ownership documents the hostel is listed as the property of Ken Hart and Greg Zammit, who also own Adventure Tours Australia, formerly called Northern Territory Adventure Tours.
Adventure Tours Australia, established in 1993, has won numerous tourism awards, including the Northern Territory's tourism awards, the Brolgas.
Another member of the life-saving class, Sharelle Young, said: "They should apologise to us face-to-face and just say sorry."
Ms Langdon and other members of her remote community are reportedly considering legal action against the Alice Springs hostel's management following their ejection.


"When we booked in, the manager, she gave us the keys to the rooms and we went and put our stuff in the rooms.
"We all went outside and the manager came out and told me that we weren't suitable to stay there,'' Ms Langdon told ABC Radio today.
"They said [it was] because we were Aboriginal. Other customers were making complaints that they were scared of us.
"I felt like I wanted to cry because it made me feel like I wasn't an Australian, like I wasn't wanted there."
Mr Bradley said the incident soured the occasion for the Yuendumu community.
"We have worked over a long period of time to build the partnerships, to build the trust with 11 indigenous communities around the NT," he told ABC Radio.
"This is a big stumbling block. I hope it doesn't put people off."
The territory's anti-discrimination commissioner, Tony Fitzgerald, said the women could have a strong case.
"If the story is true, it's disgraceful but it is not the only story exactly like this that we have heard anecdotally at the commission," he said.
"The challenge for us is to convince people who do suffer this sort of unfair treatment to make a complaint so that we can investigate it and follow it through."
The Haven Hostel released a statement saying: "Haven Hostel is a backpackers' hostel catering for international backpacking tourists, which the group was not.
"So [alternative] accommodation was sought and arranged with their consultation, on their behalf. We also offered to pay for that night's accommodation."
The group found another place to stay in Alice Springs to complete the training, the report said.