@ Hal, If you care to read in context, you might …

Comment on Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred? by Russell Guy.

@ Hal,
If you care to read in context, you might note that I was careful to distinguish doctrinal matters in the examples given, but if you want to go on to comparisons between the Dreaming and Catholicism that’s your business.
The only point I attempted to make about faith is that it can belie logical reasoning to a non-subscriber.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
@ Hal: You may well know the old historical truth which still applies in terms of not acknowledging a sacred site for fear of it being destroyed.
This complicates what is far from a straight-forward Western approach to land management, even appearing to be non-logical in reasoning, either through faith and/or politics.
In the Hindmarsh Island affair, which Chris Kenny addressed in a book-length account at the time, the situation begged the question of whether a TO can be judged in bad faith according to non-subscriber standards, given the historical persecution.
That was along the lines of what I am trying to say in my initial comment about bad faith.
Since my last comment, my attention has been drawn to a recently published book by Stephen Bennetts, “The Right to Protect Sites: Indigenous Heritage Management in the Era of Native Title” (pub. 2016, AIATSIS).
It offers an insight into how complicated preserving the Melanka site could become under existing legislation.
Constitutional Recognition is a step towards preserving Dreaming heritage, whereby some of the intense social pressure may be taken off TOs and indigenous communities, more especially if we can find some way of interpreting Keating’s Redfern Speech in the spirit of which it was made.


Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
This has gone beyond what I intended to say about a complex situation, but to clarify the point about bad faith.
The only incident involving a fabrication of a Sacred Site that I can recall was the Hindmarsh Island affair in 1994, which had repercussions for the South Australian community involved and led to a Royal Commission.
It had political repercussions for the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the Keating Government, before Keating went on to make his famed Redfern Speech.
The point about bad faith in any spiritual complex is that it has consequences regardless of whether the person(s) involved are aware of it or not.
In the 1980s, the tail of the Ntyarke ancestral caterpillar, where they crossed Barrett Drive was cut by roadworks.
Around the same time, whilst working at CAAMA, we reported on how subdivision in the Gap was threatening trees sacred to Yeperenye where they emerged as butterflies, like children from school, as it was explained by the TOs at the time.
There are many such stories in recent times of TOs advice failing to be heeded, including of late, the issue I drew Hal Duell’s attention to with Doris Stuart and my comment about pressure to partake of an economy. Informed people can read between the lines without having to have it spelled out in great detail.
I do not personally know of any examples of bad faith in the Alice, which is why I challenged “Ray” and “R. Henry” to put up, but the point is that pressure has been applied since whitefellers arrived for compromise on sacred sites.
The affect of this suppression has taken its toll on many indigenous people of course, including many of my friends who have tried their best to remain true to their Dreamning inheritance.
They have not acted in bad faith, nor they are infallible in conscience, but the trees at the Melanka site are one of the remaining places where something can be done to restore faith in the Dreaming in this town.
As I said at the beginning, this is a complex area, as is the current challenge to absolution within the framework of the Catholic Church’s involvement in the Sexual Abuse Royal Commission, but it seems to me that some people don’t want to understand as Lindsay Ross has commented.
The consequences of bad faith are not just applicable to Dreaming subscribers.


Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
To attempt to answer your question, Hal, the nature of Traditional Owners (TOs), as anyone following Doris Stuart’s input to the new installation on the riverbank might understand, is to speak for sacred sites within their authority.
That authority is vested in the Dreaming as a spiritual belief system, much like, but different in doctrine to others, e.g., Buddhism, Islam, Christian, Hindu, etc.
Persons who do not ascribe to that belief system, either by birth or faith, would be expected to speak from a lesser authority.
A TO, I believe, cannot speak in bad faith.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
I remember when Nyinkka Nyunyu, the Warrumungu-owned art gallery / cafe / dancing space opened in Tennant Creek some years ago, just after I’d been living there, on and off, from the mid-80s to the mid-90s.
It was a cool place to hang out and buy art / artifacts / coffee / lunch, etc, but the non-rhetorical question I have is, how come Alice Springs doesn’t have its equivalent?
“Eugene’s Mate”, here’s an invitation to beguile us again.
And another thing, if the Gunner Government wants economic modelling, why can’t it commission figures from Nyinkka Nyunyu?
The TC building and space are adequate for the town and climate and it attracts tourist blog compliments.
There are a number of integrated community, climate-sensitive buildings in Outback small towns and centres, e.g. Muttaburra, without having an “iconic, once-in-a-lifetime” art mausoleum erected in Alice.
My third question is, how is it that Aboriginal organisations in Alice invest in supermarkets and car dealerships, yet they, to the best of my limited knowledge, haven’t said more than where they want the proposed art gallery / culture centre project(s)?
For some time, Territorians up and down the track have considered Alice to be a dysfunctional basket-case of a town.
“Once-in-a-lifetime” has just about passed its use-by-date.
Where is the vision?


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
@ Hal Duell. Posted 20th August. 2:51am
If politics really is the art of the compromise, then you might expect some attention be paid to my post of August 17, below.
Not just because it’s mine – others have said much the same – but because it suggests that the government has the economy in mind by investing in Alice Springs’ commercial heart.
Such a Keynesian gesture must ultimately survive on market forces and this is not the Museum of Modern Art.
A compromise such as I have alluded to aims to limit considerable taxpayer exposure while creating employment opportunity. Add in Trevor Shiell’s Yirara-style hospitality / cafe arm and it’s cooking.
However, as you comment, there’s more at stake than the economy.
All I can see is another court house on Anzac Oval and not from the government that gave us the first one.
All hail confusion!


Gallery business case far from ‘well underway’
The government assessed the original proposal, but didn’t act on its recommendations, so now we have another in the making.
Long-term viability, based on artworks is a risky business. Art cannot be made to serve a purpose, especially one designed by a government committee.
A compromise by blending art with a culture centre at the old Melanka site would give an architect and curatorial staff a brief that just might result in something out of the box – interesting, informative, entertaining and meeting the economic criteria.
It could involve music and theatrical performance in a multi-level, living space.
The way this predictable project is going, it will end in expensive tears.


Lambley gets hype not dollars on gallery
The Gunner Government recently stumped up for a full-page advertisement (with the ACT) demanding “rights” to legislate euthanasia, but that Bill was defeated yesterday by Senators changing their minds after consultation with the medical profession.
One wonders if the Gunner Government consulted similarly, before spending the dollars.
Maybe, like the Greens who also supported the Bill, they expected doctors to fall in line or be outed according to conscience.
Meanwhile, we read the same political pork-barrelling dished out in accusations to Jacinta Price.
At least, we have equality.


Beer and the tax man’s triple tipple
@ Alex Nelson. Posted 13th August, 2018 at 10:18pm: There is a considerable difference between Mr Gorbachev and Mr Putin which suggests that reform is whimsical.
I could go on about Mr Giles and Mr Gunner, but perhaps, Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” should be the tune at the next Cavenagh Street May Day march?


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