In the interests of keeping the record straight, I would …

Comment on Home at last? by Russell Guy.

In the interests of keeping the record straight, I would like to clarify my comment below where I noted that “historically, the gun wasn’t an issue.” This was intended to directly refer to Stuart, lest his reputation be besmirched by those who used the gun to slaughter Aboriginal people in the multiple instances of massacre recorded in history and folklore, e.g, the Kalkadoons of Mt Isa.
I have given another example in the case of Ludwig Leichhardt where I believe there was goodwill existing between the inevitable incursion by Europeans into Indigenous lands, something which Native Title has, belatedly, but importantly, sought to redress with established freehold remaining inalienable.
In his recently published book about Leichhardt, John Bailey wrote “Leichhardt believed that a hundred miles beyond white settlement the Aboriginals were more likely to be curious or frightened than aggressive. It was only through contact with settlers who took their land, abused the women and ran drays through their sacred sites that hostilities arose” (2011: 152).
[ED – It’s land rights, not native title, which created inalienable Aboriginal freehold.]

Russell Guy Also Commented

Home at last?
There have been some interesting comments posted over this statue of Stuart, including the use of land, which at the time of British Settlement became Crown Land.
Since then, Government Reserves have become Christian Missions and they in turn have become Aboriginal communities and various forms of Land Rights have ceded title to what were once, and are today, Traditional Owners, according to Dreaming apportioned parcels of land, contributing to a cultural schema which enriches our country beyond measure.
Stuart’s journey of exploration brought pastoralists, miners and others into central Australia, including the Overland Telegraph Line, linking to the rest of the world, the railway and transport.
It has been so in the history of colonisation of Indigenous peoples and the post-colonial process is on-going, but in the postmodern deconstruction, we need to understand how the past has contributed to the present intergenerational inheritance of Indigenous people. Stuart’s story, as told by John Bailey, gives some insight into the man and his, sometimes dubious supporters who set the modern period in train.
There is a debate about further division of land titles, well-reported by the AS News Online, allowing Aboriginal interests to trade in lease and freehold title and this will require a change of legislation, but if it helps us to achieve productivity, hopefully, learning by the example of other states where the mining industry is monolithic in its take-over of land that is and can be used for other purposes, e.g., tourism, agriculture and living without mining, then bring it on.
The Freemasons did not anticipate the public art scuffle when they commissioned Mark Egan, nor did the sculptor imagine that his statue of Stuart would incur such debate and I wonder what went through Stuart’s mind as he lay dying, penniless, in England.
I hope that all heads will cooperate and, even in losing face if that be the case, that Stuart will be given the respect he deserves. It seems to me that an historical reserve would be best, given the controversy over a public place and that in the future, those who view this statue can be reminded of Stuart’s towering place in the history of central Australia and how the present owes his trail-blazing, notwithstanding those Indigenous cultures who observed the movement through their lands, including the events at Attack Creek, where he recoiled.
I find historicity to be a fascinating thing and one of the reasons why Australian history is more than just a personal hobby. Wisdom in hindsight owes its existence to it.


Home at last?
Bob@August 25. Thanks for clarifying your position on the Stuart statue in terms of the appropriateness of its public display in contemporary Alice Springs.
Recent, illegal gun culture activity in Western Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin is certainly of major concern. Lawlessness is increasing in the USA and Australia in relation to guns. Howard’s move against automatic weapons was notable. I commented that at the time of the Port Arthur tragedy which, from memory, occurred after Howard’s move, one person with a weapon may have shortened that rampage and that’s the essence of the American defence. It helps explains the level of violence coming out of Hollywood, which seems to enthrall our own film industry at times.
In reply to your concern about the Stuart statue’s presence in Alice Springs, I haven’t taken a position on where or if it should be displayed. I noted that historically, the gun wasn’t an issue, but since your clarification, I agree that it sets a militarist example as opposed to a pacifist.
At a time in our society when I believe we should be sending better messages to youth in alcohol supply and promotion, gun control is right up there with pornography and other drugs.
It’s the height of hypocrisy for society to sanction alcohol and allow it to be sold seven days a week, while trying to uphold a value structure that holds water.
I’m sure there are a lot of people who would disagree on manhood and guns, but the detail is in the State empowerment of weaponry for armed enforcement and appropriate licensing.
What defines a man is a debate which is sorely needed as are role models willing to stand up and engage with it. Thanks for expressing your truly noble sentiments.


Home at last?
Thank you, David THE Lone Dingo. The “We of the Never Never” statues opposite the Mataranka pub are also worthy and life-like with appropriate inscription. Yvonne (?) did those and Mark Egan told me that she traveled the NT for many years in a Coaster. I hope to check out Penola one day.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

New abattoir for Alice? Some cattle men pushing for it.
@ Trevor Shiell: I’ve been following your posts for some time and they are so on the money that I almost feel depressed after reading your sustained critique of government apathy when it comes to your table of viable industry and opportunities missed.
What is it?
Are you so far ahead of your time that you are dismissed for being a prophet (we don’t do prophets much anymore) or is it that nobody, including MLAs can be bothered to debate you?
The almost total silence that greets your researched posts is a wonder in itself.
I wonder how you can keep posting in the face of such indifference, but, as has been noted in the Broken Window of Tolerance story on these pages, hope springs eternal.
It’s another wonder than nobody has bottled it and sold it in the Mall.


Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
This is a clear distillation of much of what has been said in these pages for a number of years by many people trying to rationalise the progressive liberalism which has left a legacy of seven days per week takeaway alcohol.
Social engineering is a term used to describe social movements and their effect, but present alcohol reform is deconstructing modern social policy by trying to rationalise liberal supply and its pathology.
The Cultural Revolution that brought sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to the post-war generation, many of whom became politicians, is as much implicated as anything else when it comes to determining the kind of values societies need to follow in a postmodern world.


Collective memoir of Tracker wins top prize
Great to see that memoir, too long stuck in a rut of selected facts, is forging ahead as a genre that can be worked into a prize-winning consideration and that Australian literature is recognised as being capable of speaking to a present-day cultural reality. Congratulations to the author.


In a flap over flags – a possible compromise?
I think your idea has merit, Alex and I hope it gets up. I made a similar point a month ago concerning other strategic vantage points for the Aboriginal flag, posted 20th February, 2018 at 2:03pm: http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2018/02/13/aboriginal-flag-on-anzac-hill-the-nays-have-it/


Feel free to try this at home
The last Sunday in March is apparently ‘Neighbourhood Day’ around Australia. This morning, I was given a free cup of tea at a market stall, announcing the event.
A gent next to me said, “G’day, neighbour.”
I was momentarily affronted that he would break into my morning to tell me this after having had my home broken into during the weak.
I told him so and said that I would get over it, but it’s not the first time I’ve been robbed and I’m bruised.
The flyer that came with the free cuppa said: “The principal aim of Neighbour Day is to build better relationships with the people who live around us. Neighbours are important because good relationships with others can and do change communities, connections help prevent loneliness, isolation and depression. Reach out to families with children and teenagers in your community to help them connect and belong.”
I haven’t exactly been shy about doing this for most of my adult life, but I’m tired, burnt-out, lonely and depressed enough to be affronted by a simple act of goodwill from an anonymous man, posing as a neighbour at a market stall on Saturday morning.
Does anyone else feel like this?


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