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

Park, lights: ideas for a brighter town centre  
James, the idea of the riverside area is to make it unattractive to drunks, but making it attractive to shoppers, families and so on.
The grassed area outside the Todd Tavern would just be a starting point [followed by] the other side, where the bistro, bottle shop, coffee shop and cinema are located.
If that area all the way up to the Parsons Street area is developed, featuring a massive, landscaped skate park complete with undercover indoor cafe, gift shop, picnic area and outdoor sports area, it would be a terrific expansion of the Mall, as long as it was policed properly to keep it that way.
Build it high enough to incorporate flood mitigation and planning for flood events (eg proper planning), it could be fantastic.
If Matt Paterson and his fellow councillors, through consultation with the Chamber of Commerce, residents and relevant Aboriginal groups, it will be a terrific legacy.
Some of the skate parks in major regional areas are not hidden away, they are celebrated and woven into the fabric of the community, and are virtually public parklands that have the infastructure that attracts young people and families.
All the best Matt, love to have a chat to you about it.


Park, lights: ideas for a brighter town centre  
Hmm, using the riverbank for a community open space, that seems familiar, thought that appeared in the readers’ comments section last year some time. Glad somebody has picked it up.


More government handouts for alcohol traders
Can we get a program called HomeSecure, as once they discover it’s harder to steal from the shops, our backyard beer fridges are next.
Close down all the IGAs and smaller licences, in exchange for them running an off site seperate Dan Murphy’s.
Only one store to patrol, pricing in line with national prices, and secure to prevent break-ins.
We get lower prices all the time, a lot less police needed for the only solution that ever really worked, and less humbug at shops. Problem solved.


How much of our relationship with Aborigines is hypocrisy?
The battle to fall over ones feet in the race to show how much Australia respects it’s Aboriginal people is nauseating to me, and obviously also to Mr Baranski.
The Welcome to Country ceremonies that are no more than tokenistic gestures for tourists are everywhere and are unfortunately portrayed as a long held traditional cultural ceremony, when in fact they were invented in 1984 in part by Ernie Dingo.
The Aboriginal people in suits nod along when our so called leaders play this game and the fee of sometimes thousands of dollars is paid.
Sadly it makes no difference at all to the lives of the traditional Aboriginal people who struggle to successfully integrate with our modern society.
Same with the divisive acknowledgment of country where we humble pay respect to Aboriginal elders or leaders past, present and in a crystal ball moment, those of the future as well.
They fail to mention anything about the hard work, determination, resourcefulness and hardships endured by the pioneers and explorers that made the country what it is today, failing to mention them is blatant hypocricy and once again there seems to be no real advantage for the bush Aboriginie who should somehow appear greatful they live in the town that boasts one of the biggest renal dialysis facilities in the southern hemisphere.
So much rhetoric and time is spent on issues of the past so the politicians and handwringers feel good they have paid respects, but how many of them, or these tour guides have sat down with real traditional people and understood that they really don’t care to much for tokenistic gestures, because they do nothing for them.
On the surface in the big cities with all the billboards about Aboriginal history, place names, tribal groups makes it seem that all is well, then people see what is really like for the traditional Aboriginal, as opposed to those of mixed heritage.
I quite often attend sporting events and occasionally officiate at them, and to look out at the crowd to see black and white sitting together shoulder to shoulder demonstrates that this is probably one of the least racist towns I have lived in.
Many social outings in this town have a lot of blacks and whites just mixing as workmates, team mates of simply as friends.
Unfortunately the current political PC rubbish is causing more of a divide than anything.
I just wish they would forget their apologist ideals and self flagellation, and accept that we all make up this country, and we should give understanding and respect to everyone that lives here, not hold up one as more important, or more deserving of acknowlegement than the other.


If you can climb Mt Everest and in Yosemite, why not Uluru?
Former NT Surveyor Marc Hendrickx has been speaking nationally against the absurdity to closing the climb.
As he points out there was never any cultural taboos about climbing it until the rangers bean telling the TOs that climbing it disrespecting their culture.
Quite a lot of misinformation is clarified as well.


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