On the one hand Dr Walker says: “There also needs …

Comment on Define gallery purpose before picking a site: Bruce Walker by Alex Hope.

On the one hand Dr Walker says: “There also needs to be an engagement … that will reset relationships necessary. This requires community leadership. If we can achieve this the site will become obvious.”
On the other hand he is touting two sites in the CBD.
On the one hand he speaks of having authority and legitimacy of Aboriginal people locally and nationally, and on the other he appears to be denying them the authority to speak on the appropriate site.
How does he resolve these contradictions?
Dr Walker is known to be keen on redeveloping the Uniting Church block in the CBD, a proposal which so far has been stymied. Is this paper a ploy to propose the site for a gallery?
Yes, we need to go back to the starting. Where is the national endorsement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of the proposal for a national Indigenous art gallery, let alone that it should be in Alice Springs? Without this endorsement how does it have any credibility?
Oh but I forgot, Victoria has the “National Gallery of Victoria”.
Perhaps our gallery will be styled the National Aboriginal Gallery of the NT!

Recent Comments by Alex Hope

Anzac Oval grab Minister rejects Coles Mural listing
One of the greatest heritage ironies was surely the decision by then minister Marion Scrymgour not to list the Rieff building, about where the credit union is now, a fine example of a tin shed dressed up as a shop in the best tradition of Alice in the 50s, with its attractive pressed metal verandah ceiling on the corner of Gregory Terrace and Hartley St.
The irony?
An Abooriginal minister allowing the destruction of a bit of whitefella heritage to allow the expansion of an Aboriginal-owned shopping centre.

Coles Mural: Government, Heritage Council fall silent
Who owns the wall anyway?
Presumably Coles only leases it.
Perhaps the owner would care to comment on the imposition that heritage listing might bring.
One could perhaps argue that the building would be more valuable with a historical mural than without?

A job program that actually works
Congratulations to all, and it will be great to see some local faces as I do my shopping.
About six or seven years ago Woolies ran a similar program and employed some local Aborigianl people, but none of them lasted very long once they completed the training.
It would be interesting to follow up this story in six months or a year to see how these new keen employees go, and whether they get the ongoing support needed to stay in the job, or even better, to go beyond entry-level positions.

Planning an Aboriginal art centre without Aboriginal people
I have been waiting all year to hear what Doris Stuart had to say on the matter, as the senior member of the family that speaks for the site.
Thank you to her and the Alice Springs News Online for the report.
How shameful that it seems that neither the NT Government nor the advisory committee with an Aboriginal majority took the fundamental step of consulting with Ms Stuart.
And if anyone doubts her goodwill towards the town, let us remember that as an act of practical reconciliation she facilitated the sacrifice of an Arrernte stone from a local sacred site, so that the one stolen from Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) and placed on Flynn’s memorial could be returned where it belonged.

Council shoots Anzac precinct gallery down in flames
Absurdity piled on absurdity.
First we have a government, proposing to build an Indigenous art gallery without reference to the Aboriginal custodians of the land they propose to use, and furthermore with apparently no consideration of how they might gain a consensus from the hundreds of groups of Indigenous people across the nation so as to give the “national” tag some credibility.
Secondly we have the absurdity of trying to force the local council to come on board and accept a site which is not only unacceptable to the traditional owners, but also to a large but as yet unknown properly ascertained proportion of ratepayers; which has also been chosen on the basis of dubious reasoning.
How long can this schemozzle keep running?

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