news

Australian man attempted to use 'Aboriginal passport' and was denied entry.

Australian Customs doesn’t recognise Aboriginal passports, but Indigenous activist Callum Clayton-Dixon wants to change that.

On Monday, Australian man Callum Clayton-Dixon attempted to re-enter his country of birth using an Aboriginal passport. The Australian Department of Customs and Border Protection don’t recognise the document and would not permit Clayton-Dixon entry into the country.

Clayton-Dixon, 20, claims that he was harassed and intimidated by customs officials as he was informed his document is not valid, he told ABC radio.

“They sent the biggest guy who aggressively asked me repeatedly to show my Australian passport over half an hour,” he said.

He claims he was “hassled for 40 minutes”, after which he was allowed to exit the airport when his Australian citizenship had been confirmed independently.

aboriginal passports
Clayton-Dixon with his passport. Source: Twitter
ADVERTISEMENT

The Aboriginal Provisional Government (APG), creators of the Indigenous Passport, state that the document was created with a vision to empower “Aboriginal people to take our place among the nations and peoples of the world, not beneath them.”

Related content: “No, Prime Minister, being Indigenous is NOT a ‘lifestyle choice’.”

Clayton-Dixon, who is the chairman of the APG, told The Guardian that Aboriginal people had the right to use their own passport over “a foreign and colonial travel document” in “an act of Aboriginal sovereignty”.

Over 200 people hold the document, including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. And there are some countries that allow people to enter using it. including Libya, Switzerland and Norway.

The Indigenous Passport.

However, in a statement to BuzzFeed, Customs and Border Protection said, “The Australian government does not consider an Aboriginal passport to be a valid travel document … In certain circumstances where a traveller presents at the border and is seeking to enter Australia without a bona-fide travel document, authorities will take action as appropriate to determine the identity of the traveller.”

Clayton-Dixon says that he will continue to use his Indigenous Passport.

Should the Australian Government recognise the Aboriginal Passport?

00:00 / ???