Good concept, but get the popcorn ready. This seems to …

Comment on Indigenous art gallery centrepiece of Gunner’s plans for Alice by Ray.

Good concept, but get the popcorn ready. This seems to be suggesting that Aboriginal people are all united, and all see Alice Springs as their cultural home. All the teachings I have had and my understanding is that Australia is made up of 200 to 300 skin or language groups.
I would have thought Mr Paech would be all over this.
Maybe a centre that celebrates Central Australian Aboriginal people, but one that tries to incorporate all skin groups all over the country seems to completely ignore everything cultural awareness lessons have ever taught whitefellas here.
How do you give the same level of representation to the Arrernte and those from the Torres Strait in the one limited building? Surely all the schoolkids from Hobart would be best studying the land, culture, songlines and traditions of Tasmanian Aboriginies, and those from Broome would be better placed to learn about their saltwater people instead.
Take a leaf from places that are successful. In New Zealand, cultural centres concentrate on the Maori, not every inhabitant of the Pacific Islands.
We had a fantastic cultural centre here in the Panorama Guth, until it burnt down, and that concentrated on the desert peoples of Central Australia.
Look at the Desert Park, they concentrate on our part of Australia, and do a fantastic job.
We are a meeting place for Arrernte, Warlpiri, Pit land tribes, Alyawarre and others. Why not keep it at that?
Sections dedicated to these language groups would surely provide plenty of information for tourists who have come all this way to learn about Central Australian Aborigines.
If they want to learn about Yolngu, they will go up north. This current plan seems a bit like designing a centre for European culture, featuring French, Russian, English, Spanish, Greek and Italian cultures. But hey, these Europeans are all white, so they must be they same, Eh?
Maybe the design could be the “Big Caterpillar”.

Ray Also Commented

Indigenous art gallery centrepiece of Gunner’s plans for Alice
Evelyne, please read my comments again. You may have missed my entire point.
Yes, I understand what song lines are and what they mean, but was commenting that we cannot talk about a national Aboriginal centre in the light it is being presented in the story, as the Aboriginal nations are as different as the European nations are.
Despite the fact they live on the same continent, each country is vastly different, although they do share similarities, and have interacted over the centuries.
Song lines occasionally do cross “cultural country boundaries” and protocols exist for members of one tribe crossing into the country of others, and that is where there are indeed some similarities.
All nations and cultures share myths, legends and lore.
My point was, that we need to concentrate on the Central Desert Aboriginal people, as they are the ones that are here, and have the most influence, and are the ones we can consult with.
Saying it is a national Aboriginal centre demonstrates we still don’t get it.
The entrance to this centre should be the first point to explain to visitors that although Aboriginal people inhabit the entire continent, it is made up of hundreds of “countries” and this particular centre celebrates and explains to visitors the uniqueness of the TOs, their descendants and visitors that make up this “region”.
Steve makes a great point to.
I would love top see an indigenous café, staffed by original staff, featuring food using bush tucker, a forecourt with two or three ceremonial dance displays and culture talks, art galleries, basket weaving workshops and maybe tour guides that can on-sell tours to regions that the visitors want to see more of.
Then again, that’s just my vision, and really means nothing until the views and visions of the TOs are invited.


Recent Comments by Ray

Booze report: What the government is likely to do.
One of the issues I saw Mr Gunner speaking about was community clubs, whereby they can decide upon their alcohol policy dependent on what that community wants.
However, I do not remember exactly what was said. At first I thought he was talking about local clubs like the golf club, Gillen, Club eastside etc.
I gave it more thought and realized he was probably alluding to “wet canteens” on communities.
This would be worthwhile looking into Erwin, as it seems to one of the recommendations that have slipped under the radar.
If there is an opportunity for remote communities to sell alcohol, there could well be a reduction in road deaths, but also a massive increase in domestic violence.
How would that effect finding staff such as nurses, teachers, police etc for these communities?
I may have simply misheard what the CM said, but if I am correct, this could be a massive can of worms.


When NT was officially ‘a country for the White Man’
Ted is a marvellous ambassador for the NT, and a compelling author, and in the context of this article, it is explained well how the White Australia Policy influenced the selection and appointment of the ruling class, elected leaders or members of the establishment.
At first glance however, it is easy to see how people are confusing the White Australia Policy with policy applying to Aboriginal people.
There was never an actual white Australia Policy, rather it was an ideal, and a way of thinking that was common in that era, however it was primarily directed towards immigration, in that we should only accept immigration from Anglo-Saxon countries, not Asians, or other non-white backgrounds.
This is easy to see in the article above, however looking at posts in facebook and general conversation, it seems many, particularly the younger generation seem to believe in some myths in the history of our country are built on misinformation, or partial truths.
An example of this is the ongoing myth that Aborigines were treated as flora or fauna up until 1967, or that was the first time they were given the vote at that time.
In an era when we should be looking at accepting a few home truths on our way to reconciliation, we need to ensure that these untruths are corrected as well. Looking forward to Ted’s book.


On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries
@ Jameel: I really hope you are being sarcastic when you say “who are they?”
Do I really need to explain that “they” are the grandmothers that are calling for these young ones to go out bush, learn their ways and culture and be removed from town instead of being locked up. This used to be done in the 70s, when the young ones were going off the rails, they were sent to family on out stations, where they learnt their “cultural responsibilities”.
Unfortunately all these solutions are suggested when it is too late.
Only after the kids have robbed, stolen, destroyed, harassed, broken etc, and they have been to court, and sent to detention as a last resort to these so called concerned grandmothers shake their heads about what would be best for the kids.
Surely if they had these concerns, they would have sent the kids out bush when they first started getting into trouble.
With such a strong and close family bond, these grandmothers know what the kids are up to, and they certainly have family who live out bush who could take these kids for a while, like used to happen.
Unfortunately these family structures have broken down, and it is now easier to blame everybody else for their woes, because they can no longer control their own kids appalling behavior, lack of respect and willingness to use violence.


On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries
With 51% of the NT being Aboriginal land, why are they not doing this?


Helping offenders on probation and parole stay out of gaol
Wow, can anything be done these days without a fancy sounding acronym? It seems other programs have Frustrated All Involved Leading to Extended Discussions (FAILED), so let’s hope this is not just a load of Creative Repeating of yet Another Program (CRAP).


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