Vale, Michele, one of our community’s shiniest, gutsiest, loveliest lights. …

Comment on Michele Castagna, 1944 – 2016 by Russell Goldflam.

Vale, Michele, one of our community’s shiniest, gutsiest, loveliest lights.

Recent Comments by Russell Goldflam

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
For the record, when Hitler was elected in 1933, my grandfather, a Jew who had migrated from his native Poland to Germany in the 1920s to make a better life for himself and his young family, immediately saw the writing on the wall.
He packed up, leaving behind the good little business he had built up, and moved to Palestine.
Life in Palestine was exceptionally hard. My Yiddishe grandmother had a job breaking rocks in a road gang. When a chance came to go to a land where there really was milk and honey, they grabbed it. They arrived in Fremantle in 1937.
I’m glad my article has stirred so much discussion, but I’d prefer, for all our readers, that it was conducted, as Alex Nelson asks, without any nastiness or name-calling.


The spin on crime statistics
The NT should follow the lead of NSW, where the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), led by respected criminologist Dr Don Weatherburn, provides a credible and impressive service to the community: http://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/
Both BOCSAR and the NT Criminal Justice Research and Statistics Unit are based in their respective Departments of Justice, but unlike BOCSAR, it appears that the NT Unit has never been provided with the resources, or the independence, to establish the credibility that its NSW counterpart has.
The latest figures (thanks for the link, Physics Bill!) are disturbing for at least two reasons.
Firstly, they are in stark and unexplained contrast to the repeated media statements in 2015 that there has been a dramatic reduction in violent crime in Alice Springs.
Secondly (thanks again, Physics Bill!), they remind us of the appalling levels of violence in our community.
Our rates of property offending per capita are broadly on a par with those in the USA, but our violent offending rates are many times higher.
It’s good that the Alice Springs News is blowing the whistle on the lack of transparency in crime statistics, but your article gives the impression that property offending is the main game in the fight against crime.
Whether or not that dominates local Facebook pages, it’s certainly not the main game, which is violence, and in particular of course, domestic and family violence.
Russell Goldflam
President, Criminal Lawyers Association of the Northern Territory
White Ribbon Ambassador


What the Rock handback bash wasn’t told
Thank you David for your pointed analysis and fascinating first-hand account of pre-Yulara Uluru.
And thank you, Alice Springs News Online, for publishing David’s story.


The fertile space between us
I too was away and unable to attend this presentation, but grateful to have the opportunity to read it here online, and to reflect on your lucid, poignant and uplifting observations, Kieran. What a fitting way to cap off your year as the LOFTY recipient!


New action on pregnant women who drink
Hal Duell is right: FASD education aimed at young women is important, and it is already happening in our region, as the short animated film “Barkly Fights FASD” and the rap song “Alcohol it effects your babies” both well demonstrate.

However, I don’t agree that education should be ‘first and foremost’. My reading of the research on education programs is that they are among the most popular of alcohol measures – and among the least successful in actually reducing harm.

That said, FASD education is in a special category: if a program like the Anyinginyi fetal alcohol spectrum disorder project persuades just one young woman not to drink during her pregnancy, it will be worth its weight in gold: they don’t call infants born with FASD “million dollar babies” for nothing: the lifetime cost to our community to care for each of them can be prodigious.

To minimise the scourge of FASD, we need to both turn down the tap AND pump out the message.


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