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

Traditional owners unite to dump Anzac as gallery site
@ Janet: yes, we have heard you over and over again, however this is the issue. In siting the gallery in the Anzac oval “precinct” the Oval will need to be redesigned, and as such we will lose the ability to use it as it has been used for many, many years.
The gallery will not be on the fields as they are now, we get that, but those fields will be respurposed as a green space with trees, making it unsuitable for football, or events such as the opening and closing ceremonies of the biggest sporting event this town has.
So, in answer to your question, the government provided plans, as well as the offer to spend even more money it does not have on new playing fields, is irrefutable evidence the oval will no longer be able to be used as it is currently, and the only reason for that is the proposed gallery.
This is the argument the people are putting forward. You are splitting hairs with semantics.
It is not difficult to understand. It seems that the point is now moot anyway, as the TOs have now refused permission.


National Indigenous Art Gallery future in doubt: Gunner
Shame the TOs seem to follow the wants of the people more so than the government. I bet Gunner is relieved about this.


GST slice-up rooted in historic wrongs
Great example Evelyne, unfortunatly many people scoff at you when you use an example like this, as those from outside the Territory simply don’t believe it.
A good article by Bob, however his statement in relation to the concept of Terra Nullius intrigues me. Is that what he is referring to as a lie?
The concept goes back to the Roman legal principle of Res Nullius, and the concept can also be attributed to the Papal Decree of the Doctrine of Discovery.
It is also referred to in the Mabo decision so although it may be an uncomfortable doctrine, it certainly can’t be referred to as a lie. Apart from that, a very good read.


Police seek information after attacks on two women
Would be good to know if the second offender was of Aboriginal appearance as well as the first offender. Seems odd they would mention one offenders race and not the other. It is either relevant or not.
[ED – We’re seeking a response from the police.]


The forgotten lesson: Take tough decisions now or borrow against tomorrow into unmanageable debt
I have been here for more that twenty years and always thought I had a decent understanding of NT Politics. This article is so well written I reckon it should be taught in any NT school that does Civics in year 9 or 10. What an in depth review of our Parliment since self government, showing how so many aspects are behind the scenes that we, as normal citizens, could not hope to know. This, combined with the letter to the the editor of today’s NT news by John Elferink, paints a stark picture of the future of the NT.

Thank you Alex for your analysis, how about a book? a Brief History of the NT?


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