Indigenous Man “Harassed” After Presenting Aboriginal Passport
Callum Clayton-Dixon claims Customs staff “tried to intimidate” him.
“I’m an Aboriginal man returning to my country with an Aboriginal passport” – Callum Clayton-Dixon
Twenty-year-old Callum Clayton-Dixon claims he was harassed and intimidated by Customs officers at Brisbane International Airport on Friday after presenting an Aboriginal passport to officials.
“They sent the biggest guy who aggressively asked me repeatedly to show my Australian Passport over half an hour,” said Mr Clayton-Dixon, who was returning from New Zealand and refused to show his Australian passport at customs.
It's not the first time Mr Clayton-Dixon has used his Aboriginal passport to re-enter the country, but this time the reaction was more heavy handed, “It definitely felt like they were trying to intimidate me, they sent an excessive amount of officers.”
Customs “does not consider an Aboriginal passport to be a valid travel document.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Customs and Border Protection said, “The Australian government does not consider an Aboriginal passport to be a valid travel document,” and that, ” 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.”
Simon Mossman / AAP
The passports are issued by the Aboriginal Provisional Government (APG). It was launched in 1990 to campaign for Aboriginal sovereignty. Mr Clayton-Dixon is currently the chairperson.
The APG have issued 230 passports since the early nineties. The passports are not officially recognised by the Australian Government, however some countries have accepted the Aboriginal Passport upon arrival, including Libya in 1988 and Switzerland and Norway in 1990.