Why shouldn’t Elders be paid for their consultancy work? Any …

Comment on Conflicting stories for Parrtjima’s lights on the hill by Peter.

Why shouldn’t Elders be paid for their consultancy work? Any other person providing professional advice in any other profession would charge a consultancy fee – and a steep one at that! $$. These Elders are constantly humbugged by Government and Organisations in Alice Springs because of their status as key owners and caretakers. Government and Org’s do not see or live the stress these Elders have to deal with that exists in the Aboriginal landscape here. These leaders are torn down and heavily criticised within this community by their own people, and also by Government or non-Aboriginal people who want them to make immediate decisions about events, festivals, land developments etc. This is why even the simplest of decisions about land or development is a major issue.

We should be applauding Apmereke-artweye Benedict Stevens and Kwertengwerles Coco and Felicity for engaging with this highly contentious process.

Recent Comments by Peter

Chansey Paech to Jacinta Price: ‘Finger pointing must stop’
Thanks Chansey for a very considered point of view.
Utilising children as a political football for self-promotion or notoriety is abhorrent. It is not enough to haphazardly go on media and call for another Intervention or paternalistic approach.
Failed policy experiments like the aforementioned have been a major contributing factor to the complete social disengagement we are seeing.
The Intervention for example wasted billions of taxpayer dollars and had no outcomes in any key social indicators for remote Aboriginal people.
Where are Howard and Brough in all of this? Stronger Futures, Closing the Gap?
The failure of these experiments is not the fault of Aboriginal communities, but poorly implemented policies from Government, complete lack of an informed remote engagement policy and comes down to the simplest of things like devaluing the use of First Languages as a tool to properly engage.
The list is endless. We know that by the time these billions have been spent, only the small change actually makes it on ground in remote areas. Yet, Aboriginal people are blamed for the failure.
It has been argued for decades that while infrastructure, overcrowding, inept public housing, community wide ill-health, lack of employment and education opportunities etc. etc. etc., continue in remote areas we will continue to see the ever increasing trend towards substance abuse, disengagement, unemployment, movement to town and abject poverty.
These factors obviously lead to the endangering of our children, wives and families. All the while people like Tony Abbott talk “lifestyle choices” and call for the closure of remote communities.
There is a significant problem in our communities that we as men need to be accountable for a take action accordingly.
There are programs like Codes for Life (Desert Knowledge) and Akwerrene Mwerre Arnkentye (Good Spirit Men’s Place) that are recently established and that have the ability to do make a major shift in the health of men, our roles in this community and responsibility towards our families and ourselves.
They don’t sugar coat these issues.
There is a significant unaddressed issue with mental health and well-being of Aboriginal men that has multifaceted, inter-generational causes.
Many Aboriginal men were victims of violence in the home, without key role models and while not making excuses, it’s paramount these are addressed on an individual and community level to prevent some of the repulsive behavior we are seeing.
Behaviours that have nothing to do with traditional desert cultures. Such programs need the support of people who have a voice or speak for Central Australia and I encourage those who do to get behind them.
The notion that only one person in Alice Springs has the courage to talk up against issues like family violence is ridiculous.
Female leaders within the Arrernte (and other) desert communities have been advocating for change and speaking to Government for decades, this is nothing new. They have been ignored.
They have told Government that we need children and families to grow up strong with culture and language, because we know that a person with strong identity and grounding is likely to have a better sense of identity and well-being throughout their life. This requires investment.
They have argued for better housing on communities, jobs, restriction on the sales of alcohol and investment in land management and cultural programs that have proven physical, social and employment outcomes.
I agree wholeheartedly with Chansey that the finger pointing must stop.
I encourage those with a public profile, those appearing on national television and media outlets; come up with real solutions to these very real problems.
Don’t throw slang that supports the closeted ignorant ideologies within Alice Springs and Australia and that will lead to future punitive measures that serve to further compound these social problems.
Engage with local Arrernte men and women. Talk to our brilliant older women. Hear what they are saying and advocate for the change they have spoken of for decades.
Talk to men! That’s what’s really needed.
Joel Liddle Perrurle. Alice Springs.

Cr Satour wants answers on ‘verbal abuse & violence threat’
Catherine was verbally attacked and intimidated, as were the other Arrernte women. All this by the same people who claim they are against violence and have been in the media finger-pointing for years. This must be addressed.

The eternal chase: songlines of the Seven Sisters
Very interesting Nicole – obviously you think you are right and have the whole story.
What is absolutely correct is that informants to the researchers, (i.e. the bosses for the corroboree and country you are speaking about) gave those researchers the stories, site names, associated skin names and genealogies for those places.
Are you saying that you know more now in 2018, than the informants of the 1890s – 1920s and 1930s – 1960s did?
While it’s true they didn’t reveal entire stories in some instances, they entrusted the researchers because at the time and due to the pressures of European arrival, culture was under threat.
Those old people showed complete agency in revealing their culture for its survival, and future study and research by those Aboriginal people interested in learning.
I encourage you to keep reading before drawing absolute conclusions.

The eternal chase: songlines of the Seven Sisters
Dear Nicole,
A good post, but some corrections.
• “The caterpillars are not the ceremony holders of the Yeperenye Dreaming”.
You’re right. The local estate group for Tjoritja were the Utnerrengatye people.
All are of the Peltharre / Kngwarraye subsection. This (and the boundaries of the Tjoritjarenye people – who numbered about 40 at the start of the 20th century) is well documented in historical records from Spencer and Gillen and then supported by TGH Strehlow some 30 to 40 years later.
The Mparntwe estate is the Tjoritja estate. The researchers were given this information by the original TOs for Alice Springs at the earliest contact times.
• “The Yeperenye Dreaming is the ceremony that won title for the Arrernte people over Alice Springs”.
Alice Springs is Utnerrengatye. As is the main caterpillar dreaming for Anthwerrke (Emily Gap), and into Alice Springs via the caterpillar / dogs story.
Emily Gap nature park has recently been incorrectly renamed “Yeperenye”. Originally Alice Springs was Penangke / Peltharre (four sections of the kin groups) until the early 20th century when the local Arrernte adopted the current eight skin system. Again, this is heavily documented.
• “Mbantua is not a real clan group”.
Mparntwe is a clan group, and is a site name – however it is not near St Philip’s school. Originally however, you are correct in saying this land was Tjoritjarenye and belonged to those people. It is correct that there are three clan groups; Irplme; Ampetyane / Ngale, Tjoritja (Mparntwe); Peltharre Kngwarraye, and Ntulye; Penangke / Pengkarte.
The Ingkarte for Tjoritja was King Charley, aka Irrapmwe Peltharre, at the turn of the 19th century. His Aknganentye site was Ntyarlkele Tyaneme (old judge’s house) which is where he derived his other name, Ntyarlke. He had brothers and sisters are from whom the Tjoritja / Mparntwe people descend from today. His son now has a town camp named after him, Mpwetyerre, (Abbotts camp), which is also a site name near there.
You make some very good points in the rest of your argument regarding how disenfranchised Arrernte people are (TOs of this area, and neighboring).

Dreamtime stories in the palm of your hand
Anthwerrke, Emily Gap, is a major Utnerrengatye site. Not Yeperenye and not Ntyarlke.
The signage/name change is even wrong. The CLC anthro should be helping TOs with proper research as there has been a breakdown in knowledge.
This looks to be a great idea but CLC/TOs, do us a favour and get the story and placenames correct. Jessie Gap signage is wrong too.

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