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    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 says 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, he said, "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."

    Simon Mossman / AAP

    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 ... 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."

    The Aboriginal Provisional Government (APG) issues the passports. It was launched in 1990 to campaign for Aboriginal sovereignty. Clayton-Dixon is currently the chairperson.


    The APG has issued 230 passports since the early '90s. The passports are not officially recognised by the Australian government, though some countries have accepted the Aboriginal passport upon arrival, including Libya in 1988 and Switzerland and Norway in 1990.

    One of the more famous holders of an Aboriginal passport is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

    Wpa Pool / Getty Images

    Right: Mr Assange's father delivers the passport to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

    "Why should we as an Aboriginal people be forced to use a colonial document that we never agreed to?" –Callum Clayton-Dixon

    Mr Dixon says he'll continue to use the passport and that the APG are currently working with a US company to produce a travel document that meets United Nations security requirements.

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