I visited the Men’s Museum in 89-90 or thereabouts. Old …

Comment on Yuendumu writes new chapter on the beginnings of contemporary Western Desert art by Brett Galt-Smith.

I visited the Men’s Museum in 89-90 or thereabouts. Old Pat Forster and I did a bush trip. It was an eye-opener for Pat. Dinny Nolan was our host at the Museum and very proud to take us into the room with the ground painting. I’d forgotten about this special trip that Pat and I did until I read Kieran’s article. For those who knew Pat Forster but had no idea how he ended up living in Alice Springs, his wife had passed away and I suggested he come up to Alice for a break. We went out bush, including to Yuendumu and Papunya, and Pat fell in love with the colour and landscape. I got a call from Pat as soon as he’d landed back at Melbourne Airport (hadn’t even collected his bags) and he said he’d decided to sell up and move to the Alice. Now, as we know, his ashes rest under a tree at Olive Pink Reserve. Thanks for a great story Kieran and let’s try not to deconstruct the story or the intent behind the establishment of the Museum but just enjoy its revitalisation and the stories it evokes.

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Yaye’s Café at Araluen to close tomorrow
The Strehlow Research Centre used to bring some 40,000 tourists a year to the Araluen Precinct and received multiple NT and Australian tourism awards in the early to mid 90s.
Coach companies AAT-Kings and Australia Pacific Tours regularly brought coachloads of tourists.
Unfortunately the commitment to marketing, and ultimately the compromised product of the Strehlow exhibition being swamped by the natural history of the Museum of Central Australia killed the numbers.
It’s not the reason Yaye’s has closed of course, but it serves to show that if the right product is developed and supported with good marketing on the precinct, the visitors will come.


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