A sad reality is that there are many people who …

Comment on On youth prisons: grandmothers, reformers, revolutionaries by Phil Walcott.

A sad reality is that there are many people who see incarceration as ‘respite’ from the inter-generational drudgery of welfare dependence.

For some, the opportunity to be accommodated and fed at no or little cost to themselves is an attractive option. They do not perceive that there is much opportunity for them to be gainfully employed, secure adequate housing or access education.

There is no poverty from a financial point. These people have a poverty of spirit; a ‘lost’ generation. They have lost connection to culture, country and lore. They don’t perceive that they have a duty or responsibility to contribute in positive ways to their communities.

If we, as a committed community, are to turn this miserable reality around, we have to attract attitudinal change over decades into the future. Empowering young people to raise their children well is a key component to success.

Recent Comments by Phil Walcott

Student boarding funding restored – for now
Great outcome … as it needed to be.


She lived where life is what you make it
Lovely tribute to a wonderful woman who led an amazing life. Legacies matter.


The turning point: Marshall Perron’s rise to power
That’s great, Alex.
I always enjoy your historical perspectives especially around NT political history.
Your contributions to the National Trust and Heritage Council are also very welcomed.
Looking forward to your next instalment.


Because of eight grandmothers we can
Great to see this proud group of grandmothers continuing to contribute to the conversations and actions with regard to this predicament. They ask some very pertinent questions and can offer some solid resolutions.
Issues around various organisations in government and NGO sectors as to how funds are distributed and spent continue to plague what should for all intents and purposes be a no-brainer solution.
Differing groups and organisations competing for fund allocation instead of working together in joint operations contributes to the on-going elephant in the room. Congress’s ($45 million most recent annual allocation as reported by ASN) focus on health needs to strategically combine with Tangentyere’s (most recent allocation of $22 million) focus on housing.
Both are inextricably linked. In collaboration with Land Council and Centrecorp contributions, combining resources could produce lasting positive outcomes and employment opportunities for the lives of so many people. Education continues as an all-pervasive factor that significantly contributes to this scenario.
Having now lived in Alice Springs for almost 25 years, it’s been a sorry social reality to observe the conditions of many Aboriginal and other people deteriorate intergenerationally over that period.
Questions posed by the grandmother’s group as to how and where money is invested need answers. Whilst the annual reports of various organisations reveal where money is expended and invested, why are we not seeing better outcomes delivered and strengthened? Agencies competing for funding buckets instead of working together more cohesively and comprehensively may be an answer we’re all looking for.
Congratulations to those who have the courage to call out what is so blatantly obvious. Wishing the grandmother group every continuing success as they work together to promote solutions and provide mentoring for their children and grandchildren in these significant areas. May it long continue.


Flag on the Hill: When No became Yes
Delighted to have been able to attend this very moving occasion for the people of Alice Springs and Central Australia. What binds us together, makes us stronger.
Congratulations to those enlightened elected members (former and current) of Alice Springs Town Council whose passion and vision finally became a reality today. I remember the first time I visited Anzac Hill (almost 25 years ago) and asked the question: “Where is the Aboriginal flag”?
Technical issues aside, it finally flew proudly against the backdrop of our great town and a crisp blue winter sky.
May it continue to fly proudly on ceremonial occasions long into the future. Who knows … the enlightened elected members may some day agree that it should fly permanently for us all to be proud of.
A vote of thanks to Tangentyere Council for the lift up “The Hill”. Much appreciated.


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