OK JB, let’s do it. (Re Janet Brown, Posted April …

Comment on Funding announcements flow for ‘Stronger Futures’ in Aboriginal communities by Bob Durnan.

OK JB, let’s do it. (Re Janet Brown, Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:59 am):
Nobody that I am aware of denies that many people from Central Australian bush communities, and many other parts of Australia, would shift to Alice Springs if they could afford accommodation here. In some cases, they would like to move just about anywhere to get away from the places where they feel themselves to be stuck without options.
But this applies also to many people growing up in small rural communities throughout the rest of Australia, and throughout much of the world. There are many such people overcrowding other peoples’ rented houses in Alice Springs, and this does produce many crises. Past and present governments are indeed culpable for failing to heed all the signs that this was happening and was bound to go on happening, and that people have a right to seek a better or more interesting or safer life by shifting their place of residence if they so choose.
Governments have been neglecting this clear reality in Central Australia ever since the town was founded, but more especially and unforgivably in the last 30 or so years. For the most part, they have deliberately and consistently put political expediency ahead of good planning, often against the clear advice of their professionally qualified planners and advisers.
I know this because I knew town planners and other public servants who were disgusted when the NT CLP government caved in to segregationist pressures in 1979 and truncated their own transitional housing program after a short but very strident and offensive campaign by the Citizens for Civilised Living (which was headed by long term residents such as the former magistrate Scrubby Hall and lawyer Ted Skuse). Far from being a segregationist, I organised campaigns to oppose segregationists in Alice Springs then and on several occasions since. These includes anti-segregationist campaigns such as the one in the early nineties to enable town camp residents who wished to do so to get assistance to shift off the camps and into suburban settings; a campaign in 2006 to support the Topsy Smith Renal Patients Hostel to expand and remain on Eastside (near where I live); campaigns over many years to support NT Health Dept, Carpentaria Services and other NGOs to locate Aboriginal clients in suburban Alice Springs (in a number of instances very close to where I owned property at the time); and ongoing efforts to persuade governments to invest big in affordable and integrated accommodation in Alice Springs so as to enable people from bush communities and workers from throughout Australia who wish to take up employment opportunities in Alice Springs or other parts of Central Australia to be able to do so.
This would all be news to Janet, because she and her husband continually abjure facts, fail to do their homework, and blithely proceed to make radically wrong conclusions based on incorrect information and simplistic analysis.
I haven’t noticed Janet or many of her Action for Alice sympathizers putting their hands up to help pursue these and other true anti-segregationist efforts over the years.
Maybe Janet could be gracious enough now to offer an apology to me.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Funding announcements flow for ‘Stronger Futures’ in Aboriginal communities
Re Janet Brown, Posted April 2, 2012 at 8:21 am:
Anybody care to attempt a translation? Is she saying that the Commonwealth and NT Governments shouldn’t be maintaining any basic essential services, policing, health services, rehabilitation, drug control and some level of land care to small communities in remote areas?
It seems that she wants some form of urban socialism, with government subsidies and preferred tenders for town-based private businesses, but no basic government services for people living in the bush.


Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Elferink and Gooda clash over underage marriage
Peter, Posted June 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm: some young girls may resist promised marriage more strongly these days, but I doubt whether some are in a position to do so.
It has been authoritatively reported by youth workers in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the last few years that rape of young women is rife in these towns.


I’m not kungka, I’m arelhe
Does anybody know if the hours when the Arrernte words teaching program is held at the Apmere angkentye-kenhe are available somewhere on the net, or anywhere else?
I thought I had seen it advertised for every Wednesday night at 6pm, but this doesn’t appear to be the case?
I have gone there at this time, found it closed, and no notice or info on the door.
Anybody wanna clarify here?


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Alex, of course one part-time worker with CAALAS is not able to, in your words, “work closely with EVERY SINGLE young person going throughout Central Australian court system, their family, community, lawyer, school and other service-providers to provide the young person with the support they need to get back on track and stay out of trouble”.
That is exactly my point, and why it is wrong for you to lay the blame on that worker, as you did when you wrote “if your PART-TIME advocacy programme co-ordinator did her job after this child’s court appearance in March, then he wouldn’t have appeared in court again in May.”
As I said earlier: That advocacy programme co-ordinator performed her job with great diligence and dedication, and cannot be held to blame for any alleged failure of duty of care, as the case load of such cases far exceeds the ability of one worker to cover even a small proportion of them. She was doing her job very well, covering as many of the cases as she could, but she wasn’t a magician. So your cheap jibe at her reputation is wrongly placed, and you should withdraw it.


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Evelyne Roullet, Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm: Ralph was not talking about where or how the kid should be housed. He was referring to the bigger issue of the huge trauma in his life, caused by the alleged killing of his mother by his father. Kids who experience this level of trauma need intensive help and support, and we need to make sure that they get it, from wherever it may be best available.


Judge Borchers’ position should be assessed: CAALAS
Alex, on June 22, 2017 at 11:44 am you said, and I quote: “If your PART-TIME advocacy programme co-ordinator did her job after this child’s court appearance in March, then he wouldn’t have appeared in court again in May.”
So you cast an aspersion on her. It is entirely unwarranted.
Don’t wriggle out, apologise.


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