In Alice Springs, the Northern Territory Supreme Court has begun hearing evidence in a defamation case against a Country Liberal Party representative and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Source:
NITV News
7 Oct 2013 - 4:43 PM  UPDATED 11 Oct 2013 - 1:24 PM

Aboriginal advocate Rosalie Kunoth-Monks says she was attacked and her integrity questioned as a result of an ABC radio story on the 2012 Australia Day Protests.

The angry protestors were part of a 40th commemoration of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on Australia Day 2012.

The crowd had heard just minutes before that the then opposition leader, Tony Abbott had commented that he wanted the tent embassy torn down.

What exactly sparked the movement of the protestors across the grounds to the Canberra's Lobby Restaurant is still a matter of contention.

But, it was an ABC radio program attributing the movement to two Northern Territory women that is now being considered by the supreme court.

As evidence began today, Counsel for Mrs Kunoth-Monks, Tom Mollomby QC said that the core of their case would revolve around the ABC's representation of a speech given by the Aboriginal Rights Advocate shortly before the crowd converged on the restaurant.

In the ABC Radios AM program the Country Liberal Party representative Rebecca Healy spoke of being embarrassed that the President of the Barkly Shire Council Rosalie Kunoth-Monks had stirred up the crowd with comments about her racist community.

Today the court heard both the original AM story and Mrs Kunoth-Monks speech.

The speech did not contain the words racist nor did it speak directly about racism within the Barkly community.

It did however criticise the structure of the third tier of government, represented by the shire.

Mrs Kunoth-Months ended her speech with words that said she did not advocate for hype and excitement but rather fought for equality and justice .

Counsel for the defendant Andrew Harris QC began his cross examination of Mrs Kunoth-Monks testimony by asking whether her original intent was to seek a public apology from the ABC and Ms Healy or compensation.

Mrs Kunoth-Monks told the court that her decision to sue was not only because she felt attacked by the story but because it had resulted in her integrity being questioned.

The case continues.