The question posed for the “Dog Rock”: “How can the …

Comment on NAIDOC celebrates the Wild Dog Story of Alice Springs by Alex Nelson.

The question posed for the “Dog Rock”: “How can the disrespectful situation at Akngwelye Thirrewe be tolerated?” could be turned around as “how has it managed to continue to exist there”.
It’s in the vicinity of where the Central Australian Railway passenger terminal once used to be, which for decades was the principal transport hub servicing Alice Springs.
When you take into account the war materiel and tens of thousands of Allied troops that passed through this site during World War Two (up to 56 trains per week at one stage) and that the Alice railhead was actually one of Australia’s busiest in the 1950s, handling the bulk of the NT’s cattle exports transported to South Australia – all at a time when Aboriginal sacred sites simply didn’t register in the public consciousness, it’s astonishing to me that this little outcrop of rock avoided being demolished through all of this time.
Inconspicuous as it is now, Akngwelye Thirrewe for the last 30 years is safe as it’s ever been since the railway arrived here in the late 1920s.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

NAIDOC celebrates the Wild Dog Story of Alice Springs
Here’s another thought to gnaw upon – the Wild Dog story on face value cannot be ancient, given that it’s known from fossil records and other sources that wild dogs or dingos were introduced to Australia about 5,000 years ago.
That’s comparatively recent; and Aboriginal people would have been living here in the Centre many thousands of years prior to dingos turning up on the scene.
There’s at least one very old rock art site in the Top End which illustrates this point nicely, as it clearly depicts not dingos but thylacines (Tasmanian tigers). These animals, along with Tasmanian devils, were displaced across the Australian mainland by dingos (which in turn never made it to Tasmania).
So it begs the question, what was the original Dreamtime creation story for the Alice Springs area? Is today’s Wild Dog story an adaptation of a Thylacine story?
Recent research into Aboriginal stories along Australia’s east coast relating to changes in sea-level rises has proven to be remarkably accurate, giving an account of events that occurred at the end of the last Ice Age some 11,000 years ago.
In light of this, it seems to me there is a potentially rich field of inquiry into a similar aspect to the Creation stories pertaining to Mparntwe, which to my knowledge, hasn’t been given any consideration.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Centre of attention: Glory days of Anzac Oval in the 1950s
@ Peter Bassett (Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:33 pm): Appreciate your comment, especially about the old high school, Peter.
Contrary to what has been reported in the some media, the old school building is a very well constructed building with enormous inherent heritage value.
There has been – and is – a deliberately false and misleading campaign initiated by the NT Government, amplified by vested interests through a complicit and compliant print media, to denigrate the worth and value of that old education complex.


From mud, dust to grass: The beginning of Anzac Oval
@ Dr Ongo (Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:08 pm): You raise an interesting point; however, your observation applies equally well to other listed heritage sites, eg. such places as the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, Alice Springs Heritage Precinct (including Stuart Park, old hospital, old Alice Springs Gaol, and several houses in Hartley and Bath streets), and the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct.
There are histories, stories or law applicable to all of these places since time immemorial but other than to acknowledge previous Aboriginal occupation or use of such sites, I’m not qualified or knowledgeable enough to comment about them.
In regard to “untyeye that once grew there” at the Anzac Oval site (referring to corkwood trees – Hakea divaricata), only one still survives just inside the boundary near the Senior Citizens Club. It’s the same tree on the right of the photo, framing the new school, taken by Prue Crouch’s father in the early 1950s.
The heritage statement for the nomination of Anzac Oval does state: “The Anzac Oval Precinct contains several sacred sites.”
Thanks for your comment.

 

Corkwood


Home owner bonus: New build sector bleak, says CLP
The situation generally in the Northern Territory is giving every indication that it’s rapidly spiralling out of control.
I suspect the NT Government’s reactions are too little, too late; and this latest scheme will likely end up being home owner bogus rather than bonus.


West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
Such a shame, Steve, that we’re unable to harness your sprays to put the wildfires out.


Government fails to protect major tourism asset
My recollection is that the major wildfire years in the earliest period of this century were 2002-03, and again in 2011. Both of those periods closely followed years of exceptionally high rainfall (2000-01 and 2010 respectively).
This isn’t unusual in itself – there were significant wildfire years in 1968 (following the breaking of the drought in 1966) and in 1975 (following 1973-4, the wettest period on record in Alice Springs).
What’s different now is that this major wildfire event has occurred after a very dry year, with a record set at Alice Springs in 2018 for the longest period without rain being recorded, although (as I recall) this wasn’t the case further west of town.
In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel west and east of Alice Springs a number of times and also to fly frequently to Darwin and back with clear views of the area around town.
The clear impression I’ve gained on every trip is the extent and dominance of the spread of buffel grass in the ranges.
It’s like a blanket hugging the ground as far as the eye can see. It’s spread is overwhelming, and the ecology of this region is forever changed.
There are often comments about the need for protecting Alice Springs from major floods but that’s the least of our worries.
It is major wildfire that poses the most serious risk to our town, and the recent disaster in the West Macs demonstrates this risk can occur at any time.


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