May 22, 2002.


Native title holders want to form a powerful alliance with the Alice Springs Town Council to curb anti-social behaviour, and want to open up hundreds of building blocks in areas such as the Mt Johns Valley, according to Bob Liddle.
He says he is speaking for his family, as its senior member.
Deborah Maidment, a niece, and Barbara Satour, a full sister of Mr Liddle, are on the 30 member Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation.
Mrs Satour says both she and Mrs Maidment are happy for Mr Liddle to speak on their behalf.
Lhere Artepe was determined by Justice Olney last week to be the body corporate for local Arrernte native title holders during a brief but emotional Federal Court hearing in Alice Springs.
Mr Liddle, who initiated the native title claim nine years ago, says native title holders have a strong moral right to play a role in public life, and may well provide the leadership Ð now sorely missing Ð in fixing the town's social ills.
He says the message is going out to troublemakers that "you've got to behave yourself in this place from now on.
"We won't allow you to destroy the fabric of this town.
"These major social problems need to be cleaned up," says Mr Liddle.The traditional owners of the town area can now "take a more active part in the administration of law and social services, including the issue of liquor licences.
"We can give advice to authorities, including the police," says Mr Liddle.
"We have never been involved in these processes.
"There has never been open respect for us.
"We've been stampeded and trampled on."
Mr Liddle says Lhere Artepe will be a "forum for traditional owners who have never been consulted on development issues". He says native title holders will play a role in such issues as Tangentyere's expansion of town leases, encouraging urban drift from bush communities, which is one of the root causes of the alcohol related mayhem in town.
He says Lhere Artepe has already started talks with the NT Government about opening up land for residential and commercial development on some of the118 parcels over which, in May 2000, Justice Olney found native title to be coexisting.
Mr Liddle says the talks are about 60 blocks in Larapinta for first home-buyers.
He says "an offer is on the table" from the Government and a decision may be "four or five months away Ð or even less".
It is expected that Mt Johns Valley will be discussed in the near future, presently Crown Land between the golf course and the MacDonnell Range, potentially the site for several hundred housing blocks, an initiative which seems set to relieve the serious shortage of residential land.
Native title holders are negotiating with the NT Government to be given ownership of some of the land.
Mr Liddle says this would "open up new scope for economic and social development" of Aboriginal people, providing independence from welfare through "stable, economic projects".
He says the Labor government is "willing to cooperate".
"The CLP wouldn't do anything. All they wanted to do is fight the claims.
"But this is not just about making money out of land deals.
"This is much bigger. It's about tourism, welcoming people."
Mr Liddle says Lhere Artepe is an independent body. It may seek advice and assistance from the Central Land Council (CLC), which set up the body corporate, and was previously the organisation charged with local native title issues.
However, Mr Liddle says Lhere Artepe may well hire its own legal and administrative staff.
Lhere Artepe is required to inform the CLC about any indigenous land use agreements, but the CLC has no power of veto.
Mr Liddle says "we have now gained independence rather than [having to] depend on continued advice from the CLC".
Minister for Central Australia Peter Toyne said earlier this year that the Government would be talking to Lhere Artepe direct on the crucial issues of freeing up land in the town.
Mr Liddle says the structure of Lhere Artepe is much simpler than that of the CLC and "getting consent is going to be far less complicated than under the Landrights Act".
Lhere Artepe has 30 members, with three groups of 10 representing three regions within the wider town area Ð Undoolya, Bond Springs and the town itself.
The Liddle, Kunoth, Stevens, Stuart, Golder and Stirling families (Brian Stirling is the chairman of Lhere Artepe) hold rights in the town.
Mr Liddle, son of the legendary Milton Liddle, one of Australia's first Aboriginal rights campaigners, was a well-known boxer in his youth.
He worked for a string of Aboriginal organisations in The Centre before setting up a mining consultancy business.
He has connections in the United States and once had lunch at the White House and met then US President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy.
Mr Liddle was an alderman for two terms, 1984 and 1989.
He says the native title triumph is overshadowed by sadness over the death of many Arrernte people who had fought for recognition in Alice Springs.
They did not see last week's landmark decision, which created the first native title body corporate in Australia.
Mr Liddle says many sacred places in the town had been damaged or destroyed. Burial sites had been bulldozed Ð including two of his own ancestors' Ð one of them a great-great-grandmother of his.
She had been laid to rest at the foot of the small hill opposite the hospital.


Concerns raised by Araluen MLA Jodeen Carney about gaps in health services in Alice Springs have been firmly rebutted by Health Minister Jane Aagaard.
Ms Carney said women of Central Australia had been "denied breast screening services for 14 out of the past 17 weeks", while Alice Springs Hospital renal patients had been left without a specialist.
Ms Carney sheeted these gaps home to "the failure of Health Minister Jane Aagaard to do her job", adding to last week's sustained attack on Ms Aagaard by Shadow Minister for Health, Stephen Dunham.
Ms Carney told the Alice News she had written about her concerns to the Minister but had not had a reply.
Ms Aagaard, in a written response to the News, has confirmed that the hospital's renal specialist is on long service leave.
She says a number of strategies have been put in place while he is away, including:-
¥ employment of a locum registrar to oversee patients in the dialysis unit;
¥ appointment of a registrar on a full-time basis, commencing in early July;
¥ having a specialist from Darwin working in the renal unit;
¥ having the head of the Department of Medicine at the hospital, who has extensive experience in renal medicine, assist the registrars.
The Minister says specialists in renal medicine are difficult to recruit, particularly to remote locations. However, the department has received an expression of interest from a renal specialist, which will be pursued.
The staff member who provides the Breast Screen service in Central Australia is currently on sick leave.
This person acts as a half-time coordinator and half-time radiographer.
To cover her absence, an experienced breast screening mammogra-pher was engaged as a locum to undertake screenings in March. In a three-week period 212 women were screened.
Meanwhile, assessment services were provided by the Alice Springs Hospital's radiographer service.
The next round of screening is planned for around July using the locum service. The locum will be engaged to undertake three weeks' full-time screening in Alice Springs, followed by one week's screening in Tennant Creek.
"This level of service is consistent with the service normally provided by the Department," says the Minister. "There have been no reductions."
Mr Dunham suggested, among other things, that there had been a "refusal to recruit and employ senior level staff for remote areas due to Ôbudgetary constraints' placing an unrealistic burden on staff already in place".
Ms Aagard rejects this: "There are no restrictions placed on recruitment of staff involved in service delivery, nor is the Department of Health and Community Services facing difficulties in regard to staffing and management issues. Health professionals working in remote areas receive special conditions of service to support them."


Yipirinya School is receiving about $2m this financial year in public funding despite serious internal strife, and average attendance dropping to 78 students.
At that attendance rate the cost per student is more than three times greater when compared to government run primary schools.
Their total cost per student is $8201 a year, according to an NT Government spokesperson, which in turn is substantially higher than costs in other states.
The Yipirinya School has not responded to repeated requests for comment from the Alice News (see also News, May 15).
Meanwhile a spokesman for Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson, who contributes the lion's share of the school's budget, says Dr Nelson "is aware of the issues relating to the school and is concerned about the school".
"Dr Nelson is committed to facilitating the school's ongoing operations for the continued benefit of the indigenous children of the area.
"The department has recently been working with the school council to address the administrative and educational issues that now confront the school, and part of this approach has been the commissioning the preliminary review by the Anangu Accounting Agency (AAA).
The report of that review is currently under analysis by the department.
"At this stage there is no indication that any Commonwealth funds have been misappropriated or are unaccounted for."
This appears to be in conflict with a statement in AAA's draft report, leaked to the Alice News, which says $231,713 is "unacquitted".
Dr Nelson's spokesman says he does not comment on leaked reports.
The school is receiving $164,000 from the NT Government.
The Federal Department of Education, Science and Training paid to the school in General Recurrent Grants funding of $480,150 in 2001, based on per capita enrolments of 150 primary students.
The school also received grants under the Commonwealth Capital Grants program of $257,481 as a contribution towards a multi purpose hall.
Yipirinya further received funding through the Indigenous EducationStrategic Initiatives Program (IESIP) in 2001, totalling $ 961,000.
IESIP funds are provided through a combination of:- recurrent funding based on a per capita funding model; project funding under the National Indigenous English Literacy Strategy; and special assistance through the English as a Second Language Ð Indigenous Language Speaking Students part of IESIP.

COLUMN by GLENN MARSHALL: Water waste no dry topic.
Can Alice Springs become a showcase for arid zone urban water management, rather than an example of what not to do, as we are now?Last week's column outlined our poor performance to date, as well as strategies that are trying to turn it around, the subject of a recent workshop.With respect to the Town Basin (a sandy aquifer under the Todd River that is recharged by river flows), the worskhop agreed that, pending further studies and consultation with the community, it should be treated and incorporated into the town's drinking water supply, rather than just being used for irrigating sports facilities.
Benefits include a reduction in non-renewable water use (by about 10 per cent), availability as an "emergency supply" if Roe Creek water cannot be delivered, better management of Town Basin water levels to prevent salinity problems and the development of a comprehensive pollution management plan for the town to stop contamination of the Town Basin by fuel leaks and other pollutants.
Government agencies predicted that it could take as little as two years to have a working system in place. Meanwhile, investigations will also examine the upgrading of the Town Basin irrigation system if drinking it is not feasible.Effluent reuse options are to be pursued on three fronts: agricultural reuse, reuse in town and indirect potable reuse via injection into underground aquifers.
In the short-term, agricultural irrigation reuse is already being pursued by PAWA.
They are seeking expressions of interest for operations on the airport land, one of the main drivers being to remove effluent overflows from Ilparpa swamp and from the recently constructed drain down St Mary's Creek.
It was agreed that it is too risky to rely on agricultural operations alone to reuse all effluent, due to the real risk that a commercial operation could fold at short notice.Reuse in town is possible on several fronts, particularly as a substitute for Town Basin irrigation water that is currently used by Traeger Park, the golf club, a few schools and other ovals. This would use approximately one third of current effluent volumes.
Technologies are well proven for this type of reuse, although PAWA is concerned that liability risks may make effluent reuse more difficult over time.
As discussed in this column three weeks ago, new subdivisions at Larapinta and Stephens Road are also potential sites for dual reticulation schemes, where one pipe delivers potable water for indoor use and another pipe delivers treated effluent for toilet flushing and garden irrigation.
Retrofitting of a treated effluent pipe into existing suburbs seems too costly to justify its installation at present.The most interesting reuse option is to treat effluent to a very high quality and inject it underground into an aquifer south of the Gap. After several years, it would be extracted, treated again and mixed into Alice Springs' potable (drinking) water supply.
The technical feasibility of this needs to be further investigated (although work elsewhere indicates it is possible) and public acceptance needs to be gauged.
The big plus for Alice Springs is that such a scheme can take all of the town's effluent indefinitely and would reduce our dependence on Roe Creek borefield water by a whopping one third.
PAWA has concluded that this indirect potable reuse would be their least-cost option to manage effluent due to the high price they can command for it as potable water compared to a low price as an irrigation water supply.
It would also give us a global focus from other towns seeking similar schemes as water becomes more valuable over time (get ready for future Water Wars).
People may think it unsavory to drink treated effluent, but it happens every day on the Murray River where an upstream town extracts water, treats it, drinks it, partially treats the effluent, discharges it back into the river where it flows downstream before being extracted by the next town who treats it, drinks it, and so on.
This happens eight or nine times in its journey to the sea.
The plan for Ilparpa Swamp is to continue its rehabilitation back towards an ephemeral claypan.
This may not be fully achievable due to the highly altered environment and presence of couch grass, but an attempt will be made.
Critical to this is adequate resourcing by PAWA (with no commercial return on their investment) who have an obvious community obligation to fix the problem they have caused by 30 years of effluent overflows.
ALEC suggest that PAWA should become a corporate sponsor of Ilparpa Valley (one of the biodiversity hotspots of Central Australia) and that they contribute to an Ilparpa Valley Protection Fund via a base payment and a 10 cents per kilolitre levy for all future overflows to the swamp.Overall, if the Urban Water Management Strategy can progress these issues to reality over the next few years, everyone in town will notice a real difference and we'll all be winners.
Have your say when the opportunity arises, otherwise we'll remain just another high water using desert town for years to come.

COLUMN by ANN CLOKE: Life's short but never predictable.

The wonderful thing about Alice Springs is that even though David and I hadn't been for some time to "Thank God It's Friday" drinks at one of our favourite watering holes (changing hands soon, congrats to Lynne and Ernie), we didn't feel "out of the loop". We walked in and saw so many friendly faces.
We joined Homer, Dave and Mike. Like us, they're avid readers and enjoy perusing many periodicals, magazines and both local papers. We found ourselves talking about the lead story on the front page of the Advocate, May 16, which revealed that Alice Springs has been sited in the wrong place!A bit late to worry about that, we agreed. We've known for years that Alice is sitting on a flood plain.
This prompted discussion about rising insurance premiums; the feasibility studies of the late 1980's regarding recreation lakes versus flood mitigation and dams; the model which was constructed by Homer, and put on display for public comment, and showed proposals for construction in the Junction Waterhole area; the then Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Robert Tickner, who blocked the whole project and the ensuing ten year moratorium; and the 20 million dollars which was to be set aside by government for the project which was to be revisited, re-investigated and approved in principle before the millennium by which time most outstanding issues would have been resolved.
What happened?
In 1994 a master plan was released which dealt with matters such as flood mitigation and our (normally dry) waterways, the Charles and Todd Rivers. A committee headed by John Baskerville (as reported in the Alice News, Feb 1998) discussed proposals put forward to ensure our town and its people wouldn't go under if there was ever a really big rain in our region.
Suggestions included a series of small dams in the catchment area, levee banks in flood prone areas, examination of the zoning systems and stricter enforcement of provisions of the Lands and Planning Act.
The Council at the time was keen to see extra retardation basins around the Alice but it was recognised that whilst Native Title claims and Sacred Site protection issues remained unresolved, there was no likelihood of compromise.
And we're still in a stalemate situation: it takes a long time to get things done, doesn't it?
Which is one of the (many) comforting things about living here: it's all quite predictable, we simply roll along, days into weeks, months into years. Ideas are proposed, blocked, shelved, revisited and later, forgotten É
Some time after the last tribute has been received and the grieving period is over, there'll be much fanfare as Dame Ruth Cracknell makes her debut on the big stage in the sky. She'll be in great company with others we know, love and remember, like Spike Milligan, who died earlier this year.
One of the many things that these two talented actors/comedians had in common, apart from obvious qualities including a touch of genius, the ability to entertain and bring joy to so many, the sharing of personal lives, the humorous and the serious, is that they each played to audiences at the Araluen Theatre.
David and I were fortunate enough to attend both shows: Ruth in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days (which was promoted as one of his more cheerful plays!) in August 1991, and sometime later in the 1990s, Spike, doing his one man show, a mix of life, the comical and the not so.
As Shakespeare wrote, All the world's a stage É
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.
We must never take ourselves so seriously that we lose the essential threads of laughter and spontaneity in our lives: nor should we become so full of self-importance and predictability that assumptions alleging "nothing ever happens" are always correct.
Because it could all become a bit mundane!

Murray Neck, the head of the oldest company in Alice Springs, says the $5m superstore opened this month is the family firm's biggest and most courageous move, requiring it to put on the line just about everything it possesses.
"It's a pretty bold step for us.
"We really had no alternative if we were to be counted in the future."
Breathing down the Necks' necks was the national giant Harvey Norman, preparing to move into town.
Murray is confident that threat has now been averted by opening the new store, adding furniture to the traditional range of white goods and electronics in one massive building.
"We're here first and we'll be firmly established before Harvey Norman consider it again and I don't think they will," says Murray.
"They're not going too well in a lot of regional centres where established local traders have successfully challenged their competition."The fact that we made this expansion would be sufficient notice to them that there wasn't room for two such businesses."
The previous major expansion move of the Neck dynasty was the Westpoint Store near Billygoat Hill just 12 years ago, opened by then CLP front bencher and funny man Barry Coulter.
"It's greed that makes businesses prosper.
"The Necks obviously have greed in their make-up," Barry said.
Apparently fresh out of the movies, Barry was paraphrasing fictional Wall Street trader Gordon Gecko claiming that "greed is good, greed works".
The quip from the usually quick-witted pollie went down like a lead balloon, remembers Murray, with him, his family and the opening crowd.
"I put it down to survival," says the energetic 73-year-old.
"That's what kept us moving since my father started our business in the early Ôthirties.
"We've grown a bit at a time.
"We've had 70 years to do it.
"The market is out there to be had.
"The market is the total spending in Alice Springs.
"The market isn't just what your direct opposition are selling.
"He who presents himself best and makes his product desired, whether it's a new TV or vehicle, a house extension or a holiday abroad, will get his share of the market."
Murray's best guess is the Necks have a major share of the total local trade in their lines.
"We naturally hope to get more with this expansion because the businesses will help each other.
"You may come in and buy a lounge chair and finance your new fridge and a bed at the same time, get it all on the same contract."
Family business in the Necks' context refers to a very extended family.
Ray Bail and Dean Hurrell from Alice Precasters, who helped put the 5500 square metre building together like a giant Lego set, used to play Aussie Rules for Feds, Murray's favourite side.
And so did the contractor, Paul Gracie who put the roof on in just two weeks.
Tough times, such as some local business people consider the town is braving at the moment, are clearly not keeping Murray awake at night.
OWN DESTINYHe very much gives the impression that with hard work, great care giving the best service possible and the kind of public support the firm has been enjoying for decades, the Necks can make their own destiny.
In fact, they're not bad at turning adversity into advantage.
Shortly before the pilots' dispute hit the town like a sledge hammer in the late Ôeighties, Murray had moved one business Ð the music shop Ð into the new Ford (now Alice) Plaza.
The shopping centre went very badly. Around half the shops were empty.
The owner, Bill Ford, had failed to deliver on a promise to find an "anchor tenant" Ð a big supermarket.
Key tenants including Murray organised a tenants' revolt, but the Plaza owners were already in financial trouble.
In the ensuing fire sale the Necks picked up a 20 per cent ownership of the shopping centre, at a "pretty good price", and are now its single largest shareholder.
Bi-Lo moved in, and today the occupancy is 100 per cent.
NEXT WEEK: Hard-nosed deals are coupled with extraordinarily good staff relationships.


The Pat Gallagher Courts at Ross Park will be out of action from June 3 for six weeks to allow for resurfacing.
This interruption to netball competition mid season presented the executive of the Netball Association with an organisational headache.
Throughout the winter many hundreds of players converge at Ross Park of a Saturday. There are some other courts in town, like at ASHS, but to conduct a full day's competition at such alternative venues would become a logistical nightmare. But the problem's been solved.
Early in the season night netball matches were held. In lieu of the traditional two week round of grading days, it was accepted that A Grade knew their status and could begin their season from day one. Hence on the evening of the sole grading day for 2002, the A Grade championship began.
It worked well under lights, with matches attracting a healthy following and players benefiting from games in the cooler part of the day. Night matches were scheduled for the first Thursday in April, May and June, and to date the innovation has been popular.
It was also recognised that travel for elite commitments, like NT representation, affected the performance potential of clubs in the local competition. A change in the by-laws of the competition allowed for clubs to apply for the rescheduling of matches, to mid-week at night, when more than three players in the team were committed to travel.
In last year's competition the elite commitment by players meant that Sundowners had to forfeit a round, whereas under the new rule this year Sundowners played a "catch up" match against Memo Rovers mid-week.The success of games in the cooler conditions of the evening may lead to playing some late season and finals games under lights.
Catering at the courts has been extended with a licence now being procured and the BBQ more frequently lit up.
On the competition front the game remains at the forefront in the Territory, with, after 18 years, Alice Springs being given the home ground advantage for the NT Titles in August. By then the resurfaced courts will provide Centralians with the opportunity to press home their level of excellence in the sport, as both players and administrators.
Preparation for the titles has been ongoing, with seven A Grade players venturing to Adelaide in a NT side to participate in the SA Smart Play Pre-Season Cup. Captained by Rachel Curtain the team came up against the traditional powerhouses of South Australian club netball, including Contacts, Garville, and the Newton Jaguars.
While the team didn't come home with silverware, they were not handed out the merciless floggings that can occur in national title competition. They also took up the chance to have a worthwhile training game with the SA Under 17 side on the Sunday after the cup matches.
The 17s and 19s also ventured to Adelaide last month for the Nationals, with a win over Tasmania being a confidence boost to the Territory game.
A fortnight ago the schoolgirls competed in Darwin and after a sequence of nine games won seven, drew in one and lost one game to amazingly finish seventh on the ladder!
This aside, on home soil, the Director of Coaching and development officer of the sport, Dale Neilson has been in town working with players, and promoting to potential players in local schools and communities. Simultaneously the selectors have been at work last week and this, choosing sides for the NT Championships at the 13,15,17,19 and Open levels.
Once the courts are resurfaced the business end of the season will begin.
The championships will see five Darwin sides travel south. Palmerston will bring two or three; Katherine and Kununarra are expected, as is the Blackwood club from the Adelaide Hills who have been guests at the championships in recent years. Teams from Tennant Creek and Yulara may also participate.
After the feast of the Territory titles, the local competition will enter its finals series. West, Sundowners, Federal, Rovers and Giants have again provided a strong A Grade presence. Then down through A Reserve, B , C , D ,E and the juniors, hundreds of players have reaped the rewards of participation.
Come October, Ross Park will re ignite for the Masters Games. Coordinated by Michelle Hartung, the Masters Netball is set to be, yet again, a drawcard sport in the week when seniors gather for the "Friendly Games".


The Rover footballers were without their coach John "Moose" Glasson for the weekend challenge against the yardstick of CAFL competition, Pioneer, and suffered.
The Eagles swooped on a rudderless Blues outfit to take a percentage boosting 109-point win. At the final siren Pioneer had scored 21.16 (142) to Rovers' 4.9 (33).In the early game of the day West inflicted a similar hiding to the lack lustre South outfit. The Bloods kicked 20.19 (139) to 6.9 (45).South ran onto the field with some nine regular players missing including trump card Adrian McAdam who had elected to fulfil soccer duties. In the coach's box it was good to see Joey Hayes on board, assisting Shaun Cusack who has been doing it almost on his lonesome as playing coach.In the first term Sean Cantwell got Westies off to a start with a telling goal, followed by contributions from Daryl Lowe and Jarrod Slater. South kept in touch through the agency of Shane Hayes. At the first break only eight points separated the rivals.In the second term however the wheels fell off the Roos somewhat and West took command. They scored 6.4 for the quarter while Souths languished, adding only 1.3 to their score. Westies had goal scores in Rory Hood (2); Steven Squires; Michael Gurney and Jarrod Barrington.
Unlike many a game, the third quarter was played on even terms with West outscoring South, 3.7 to 2.3. A highlight was the three goal contribution from Steven Squires, but many other major scoring opportunities were wasted. The Bloods could well have stitched the game up had they kicked straight.Indeed they lifted the rating in the last session, with Karl Gundersen and Berrington directing play from the centre. Eight goals were registered by West, while South struggled to put one on the board. In the onslaught Sheldon Liddle again caught the eye as a player with potential, and Henry Labastida capped off a good game with some clever work. Throughout the day Joel Flattum again proved his worth, as did Sean Cantwell.For South Donny Scharber did his level best, and Shane Hayes made the most of the opportunities presented. Big man Shaun Cusack was tireless in his efforts, and Gilbert Fishook did enough to rate in the best players.But the 94-point win was a tribute to the Bloods' endeavour, and they now sit on top of the premiership ladder with four consecutive wins.Rovers took to the match with Pioneer, struggling to put any game plan into operation, and more often than not simply booting the ball into the unknown. The game proved the worth of John "Moose' Glasson. Besides being the nurse maid before the game and the dog's body when every body has departed after the game, Glasson's influence on this side as its nerve centre became obvious.The young Pioneers created opportunities at will against a Blues side that offered little resistance. In the first term the Eagles cantered to a 6.5 to 1.0 lead. Trevor Dhu plonked three through the middle and missed a couple as he was delivered the ball with consummate ease. Only a goal from Mark Nash late in the term kept Rovers' hopes alive.
In the second term Pioneer romped through their paces to add another 5.4 as the Blues battled to survive. They scored only one behind and went to the big break needing more than a few pieces of orange.The third term was literally a time when both players and supporters seemed to have a nap. In the process Rovers somehow kept with the Eagles, scoring 2.6 to 3.2. At the break Roy Arbon, in his cool but calculating manner, called for more intensity from the Eagles and they responded accordingly. In the run home they took control and added 7.5 to 1.2.
Trevor Dhu took his match tally to nine goals, giving him 31 goals in three games. Down field however it had been the efforts of Graeme Smith, Lachlan Ross, Aaron Kopp and Geoff Taylor that had stitched up the win.In the Rover camp Edric Coulthard will be able to hold his head high, as will Kima Campbell, Brendan Smith and fill-in coach Jamie Tidy.


The act of painting for Dorothy Napangardi is in good part a family affair.
She paints her father's country, Mina Mina Ð where she too walked as a little girl although she can't remember doing so Ð and she usually works in the company of one or more of her daughters.When her present exhibition at Gallery Gondwana was conceived, it was thought that three of the young women might show with their illustrious mother, winner of last year's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.Hence the title "One Mother". As it turns out, only one of the daughters, the second of five, Sabrina Nangala Robinson, is showing, and what an impressive debut.Her early efforts, some of which are on display, used readily recognisable Warlpiri iconography, but she has quickly moved to a more personalised style in rendering her father's country, Pirlinyanu, near Nyirrpi.
Nangala has never actually been to this country, although her little boy has, on a "country visit" with his school.
Not having been there does not appear to affect her quietly confident knowledge of the Ngapa (Water) Dreaming and the rockhole country she depicts."My father used to walk around in this country when he was a young fella. Before he came to Mount Doreen to work."When asked if it is acceptable to reproduce a photo of a rockhole at Pirlinyanu, she doesn't hesitate: "It's my father's country. Nobody can say anything."
Gondwana staff are planning a country visit for Nangala this winter. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on her development as an artist. A country visit to Mina Mina in April 1999 for Napangardi led to the Salt paintings that have earnt her such wide acclaim.Mina Mina is very remote: two days drive beyond Nyrrpi, the latter stages off-road. Although the visit was brief it was highly significant. Napangardi's aunties went with her and taught her the dance for the major women's ceremonial site.
The jukurrpa story of the site concerns ancestral women collecting ceremonial digging sticks Ð karlangu Ð that had emerged from the ground. A belt of Casuarina decaisneana trees now stands on the spot. Napangardi has painted this story on a large vertical format canvas, Karlangu [1], which hangs on the wall facing the gallery's entrance.It is an austere example of her hallmark style: black ground overlaid with, in this case, an airy grid of white dots, the verticality of the design reflecting the digging stick theme.
Sandhills at Mina Mina [8] by contrast is a lyrical outpouring, incorporating strands of ochres in the flows of dotted white on black.
As you move from canvas to canvas, Napangardi's traceries of dots have a mesmerising effect. You wonder what power ordains the way they separate, converge, intersect. That it is a power, part sheer artistry, part spiritual, is in no doubt.
Little wonder that the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is organising a mid-career survey show of this major artist, as part of next summer's Sydney Festival. (Kathleen Petyarre is the only other Indigenous artist to have had a survey show at the MCA.) It will include Napangardi's major award-winning pieces and her early work.

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