June 12, 2002.


"We had a sniffer here who's in a wheelchair.
"He went away to Injartnama [a petrol sniffers' rehabilitation facility near Hermanns-burg] for four or five months.
"He started looking very well. He started to put on weight.
"Everything was in his favour.
"When he completed the program and came back here the parents gave him a jerrycan full of petrol.
"That was his reward.
"That's why the parents really have to be educated and told of the dangers of petrol because they're the ones actually giving it to the kids.
"We can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"People are more or less protecting the sniffers, covering up for them. At the end of the day it's really got to come from the people themselves."
This account comes from Graeme Calma, chairman of the Mutitjulu Community, owners of the nation's premier tourist attraction, Uluru.
About 400,000 people from all over the world visit Uluru each year and spend millions of dollars at the Ayers Rock Resort, 27 km from Mutitjulu.
About 1000 people work at the resort, most of them from interstate and overseas.
Although the multinational company which owns the resort is "very keen" to employ Aboriginal people, according to Mr Calma, not a single one of the resort staff is from Mutitjulu, which he says has an unemployment rate of some 75 per cent.
Mutitjulu has a population of about 250 and nearly 10 per cent are petrol sniffers, terrorising locals, breaking into homes and vandalising cars to get to their poisonous substance of addiction.
When Prime Minister Bob Hawke "handed back" Uluru to the Aboriginal people in the 1988 Ð the Bicentennial Year Ð the act was meant not only to be symbolic, but also to lay the foundation for their economic advancement.
But 14 years later Mutitjulu has reached a dramatic low point.
Says Mr Calma: "People complain about the amount of noise these young sniffers make, they're going around assaulting people, breaking into places, they're just out of control.
"It's very hard to pull them up.
"Sometimes when you're going to pull them up you feel very threatened and intimidated at times, you don't know what these young fellows are going to do."
Mr Calma says police intervention is not always timely: "We more or less have to fend for ourselves, in a way.
"The police won't really come out unless someone's running amuck.
"If someone's causing trouble they will come out but not really at night time.
"They have been working with us with a lot of the break-ins, we've been reporting them straight away."
Mr Calma says police usually come the next morning because "night time if you ring through [the call is] diverted to Alice Springs.
"A lot of the stuff is dealt with the following morning.
"It's far too late then because the people who've done the damage have moved somewhere else for some time, out of Mutitjulu.
"You can't track them down.
"Sometimes they hide. As soon as the police turn up you see a lot of the young fellows running."
Alice Springs police superintendent Tom Svikart says the phone of the Ayers Rock Resort police is at times switched through to Alice Springs but there are always officers at The Rock on call who can be deployed at short notice.
Mr Calma says not even a start has been made placing Mutitjulu residents in The Rock's burgeoning tourist industry: "It's never been tried and tested before.
"I think it's up to the people.
"They have to say, I want to do that, try and go for it.
"And then we could support them, encourage them. But a lot of them, when they see other people doing their work and other people being here, straight away they let everyone else do the work, and sit down and watch.
"They'll shy off.
"A lot of them do speak good English.
"We're encouraging them to work around here, in the community.
"We've got a lot of contracts.
"It's really hard Ð you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it.
"We need the young people to be more creative.
"A lot of young fellows have done a lot of courses.
"A lot have completed their certificate in horticulture, things like that.
"We'd like them to go back on the lands, [set up] community gardens, where everyone can get involved.
"The biggest problem is the sniffers coming along, undoing all our good work.
"The young fellows get very frustrated when fences have all been smashed by sniffers."Mr Calma says the resort is "very keen to take a lot of the young fellows on.
"It just takes time to put things into place.
"The people are very shy, very sensitive towards certain things."
Mutitjulu is now trying out a system where elders are acting as mentors for young people seeking employment.
But Mr Calma says the mayhem created by sniffers needs to be stopped first, and the solution must "come from the people themselves, it can't come from people outside. The problem is within the community. It's everyone's problem."
Park Australia staff, who run the national park under a lease agreement with the traditional owners, have offered to help, including taking "these sniffers back to where they came from", says Mr Calma, and $200,000 from store profits has been set aside to adapt an outstation 110 km away.
He says the plan is to "set something up for these young people, get them out there".
"We need the parents.
"We find the biggest problem to discipline these kids are the parents.
"When you start knocking the cans out of their faces, the parents will usually turn on you.
"That's why it's a very hard thing to handle."


Trevor Hyman is scratching his head about the renewable energy hype in Alice Springs.The $24m federally funded Bushlight program is rolling out across the Top End of Australia, managed in part by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) in Alice Springs.
The Outback Expo and the Desert Knowledge Symposium here in August are billed as "Australia's First Ever International Showcase".
But Trevor doesn't know of anyone locally he can ask for practical advice about a solar plant that is actually up and running Ð the one on his two hectare block in Petrick Road.
He says the two small solar energy firms in The Alice are helpful, but only to a point, because their focus Ð not surprisingly Ð is on selling their products and services.
His main advice comes from a mate in Mooloolah, Queensland.
If there's a wealth of desert knowledge in The Alice, Trevor doesn't know how to get hold of it.
The local Outback 2002 says the Expo will "provide a vivid picture of the Outback's strengths, successful problem-solving capacity and plans for the future".
But if Trevor wants to find out about a fuse in his inverter he needs to ring interstate.
Trevor has cobbled together a sun and wind-driven plant that has reduced his PAWA bill from $270 a quarter to $30.
It runs not only his household but also a well-equipped workshop with a range of power tools and a welder.
The bank of 20 batteries are fed by two wind turbines mounted on tall masts, made by Trevor and his son, Russell, and a bank of fixed roof-mounted solar panels.
A recent addition is an upright solar panel that Trevor swivels manually to keep it pointed at the sun.
Trevor, whose day job is as a motor mechanic, is now working on an automatic sun tracking system for that panel.
His aim is not only electricity self-sufficiency in three years' time, when he plans to retire, but also to sell electricity back into the PAWA grid.
However, the PAWA buy-back scheme has a hitch: it is conditional upon leasing of switching equipment at a cost Trevor doesn't consider feasible.
With his trial and error approach and the use of largely second hand materials Trevor operates in a different world from politicians, bureaucrats and publicly funded organisations in the renewable energy field.
A blurb from Outback 2002 says about the August talkfest in the new Convention Centre: "With close to one billion people world-wide living in desert environments, this first ever Symposium will draw together experts from around the world to discuss and debate the unique role of Australia in solving problems in remote regions similar to our own.
"Establishing the foundations for development and export of our world-class knowledge will feature strongly in the conference agenda."
Trevor's plant Ð not counting his labour Ð cost $7,500 so far, and he knows every nut and bolt in it.
Ironically, that's exactly the amount of the Federal Photovoltaic Rebate, administered in the NT by the Department of Mines, as a one-off grant for domestic units.
Trouble is, Trevor can't get that money because his unit hasn't been "installed by technicians accredited by the Sustainable Energy Industry Association".
Trevor's investment is a lot less than the $24m Ð one third from ATSIC Ð that Canberra will spend over the next four years on Bushlight, although some of its nuts and bolts issues still seem very much up in the air.
Already four years in the planning Bushlight will put solar power plants into 200 small communities across WA, NT and Queensland, replacing diesel generators.
The populations of these Aboriginal communities, most of them exceedingly remote, will be around 50.
A survey by CAT and the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Perth, a partner in Bushlight, has found that just 64 per cent of currently installed solar plants on Aboriginal communities are working, compared to "between 83 and 92 per cent" on pastoral properties, with batteries the main cause of malfunctions.
The survey report says: "A large difference was obvious in attitudes to energy conservation with only two per cent of indigenous communities thinking that energy conservation was important compared to around two thirds of the respondents from the pastoral and tourist sector."
In view of this, it is surprising that no reliable arrangements had been put in place with the 200 selected communities for the servicing and competent use of the gear before Ð with great fanfare Ð the spending of $6m a year was committed.
Clive Scollay, local head of Outback 2002, says Trevor's story raises "very real issues about ordinary citizens' access to simple information and everyday solutions.
"But I guess there's an opportunity for [a body] like ALEC or a commercial outfit or even an NT Government shopfront to provide simple information. "Part of the purpose behind the Desert Knowledge Australia push as I understand it, is to create opportunities that just might plug these holes." Desert Knowledge Australia project officer Mike Crowe says the story "indicates the very need for Desert Knowledge Australia.
"I think that the expertise that Trevor seeks is present in various locationsaround desert Australia.
"Desert Knowledge Australia aims to bring those individuals and organisations together to provide a more coordinated service.
"Trevor's experience and knowledge will also be valuable to the network.
"The Desert Knowledge Symposium has presented us with an excellent opportunity to further progress these networking opportunities in the renewable energy field amongst the many others that we are exploring."


Strife at the Aboriginal owned Yipirinya School seems far from resolution despite a return to work by staff following marathon meetings last week with mediator former Territory Senator, Bob Collins.
The agreements resulting from conciliation have not been put in writing, say well-informed sources, and some of what staff understood as conditions for their return to work, have since been reneged upon.
Barrister John Stirk, acting for the school council, confirms that the agreements have not been "reduced to writing".
Mr Stirk says that the Independent Education Union had agreed to do this and that the document has been promised for early this week.
This situation appears to be giving rise to confusion.
It was a bottom line for staff, the sources say, that principal Diane de Vere be reinstated, whereas Ms de Vere is in fact being paid out.
Mr Stirk says, while staff demanded the principal's reinstatement when they first walked off the job, it was no longer a condition when they returned to work.
"We have been told that the union's legal representatives, Maurice Blackburn, will be writing to us about Ms de Vere's separation entitlements under the Industrial Relations Act," says Mr Stirk.
The sources say staff did not want to return to work under the same management and understood that a short-term acting principal would be appointed; they expected that Debra Maidment, former assistant director at IAD, would be in this position.
Mr Stirk says Ms Maidment has been appointed as "staff liaison officer" and will assist in developing the governance and financial review processes agreed upon in the mediation.
The sources say that another person, a council member, has occupied the principal's office and is wielding authority.
Mr Stirk says that there was no agreement that Rhonda Inkamala, the deputy principal, be removed from her position and that, as "the only one left", she is acting as principal.
On the first day back at work, the sources say, all staff were locked out of the administration building where the staff tearoom and toilets are located and the building was surrounded by people close to the council.
"This is denied and has been disputed in correspondence," says Mr Stirk.
The sources say one staff member resigned after staff walked off the job three weeks ago and that three more staff are about to resign.
Mr Stirk says council has received a letter of resignation from one staff member.
This conflicting understanding of what has been agreed upon and what is happening does not bode well for the "return to normalcy" sought by mediator Bob Collins, also co-chair of the Territory Government's Learning Lessons Implementation Committee.
With staff and some children now back in classrooms, two major reviews of the operations of Yipirinya School will begin immediately.
The Commonwealth's Department of Education, Science and Training, the school's major funding agency, will commission an audit of the school's financial affairs, while the school council has agreed to a review of governance by an independent consultant.
Mr Collins says the governance review will be comprehensive and will include the constitution.
The constitution was drafted in 1978. The necessity of its reform was put to DEST by former principal Fiona McLoughlin, following her resignation towards the end of 2000. The constitution allows only parents of students enrolled at the school to be council members.
According to Mrs McLoughlin, this had enabled certain members "to take great control of the school operation" and students' education and well-being "were not always at the forefront of decision-making by the council".
As reported in last week's Alice News, Mrs McLoughlin's advice was not even acknowledged, let alone acted upon.
However, now that things have been allowed to go from bad to worse Ð with a yet to be measured detrimental impact on the students' education Ð the issue is finally being addressed.
Mr Collins would not comment on DEST's failure to intervene before the eruption of the present crisis.
Says Mr Collins: "There is no question about how serious and deep-seated the problems at Yipirinya are.
"It has been a flagship of Indigenous education, the only Aboriginal-controlled school in the Territory.
"My aim as mediator was to get an agreement with the council to address its long-term problems immediately and comprehensively, and to get an agreement from staff to go back to work.
"A significant degree of good will need to be exercised by all parties over the next two weeks.
"If some degree of normalcy can't be returned by the end of term, it will not bode well.
"Meanwhile, the process is underway and has been agreed to by the council."

The annual NAIDOC march and rally, scheduled for mid-July, is unlikely to go ahead this year because of the escalating cost of public liability insurance.
Moves by the Territory Government, in cooperation with other states and territories, to reduce public liability premiums will come too late to save, this year at least, the annual celebration of Indigenous achievement.
ATSIC had invited the Gap Youth Centre to organise this year's march and rally but GYC had to refuse after their insurance broker was unable to provide cover.
"It was outside the normal scope of our activities. We could not get coverregardless of cost, it was an uninsurable risk," says GYC manager, Joanne Miller.
ATSIC then appealed to CAAMA, producers of last year's huge Yeperenye Federation Festival.
However, chairman Paul Ah Chee says it is too late for CAAMA both to explore the public liability issue and to organise the kind of event that they would want to.
"We set a high standard for ourselves with the Yeperenye Festival and it's fortunate that event occurred before the HIH collapse," says Mr Ah Chee.
ATSIC spokesperson David Liddle is appealing to other Aboriginal community organisations to take over the reins.Mr Liddle says there will probably still be a way to hold the NAIDOC awards presentations, even if there is no march or rally.
The Yeperenye Festival just made it over the line as far as insurance is concerned. The festival's Executive Director, Clive Scollay, now ED of Outback Central, says the insurance industry was warning a year ago that it would be increasingly difficult to find cover for big events, if not impossible when they occurred out of doors.
Most of the Outback Central celebrations are taking place indoors, although elements of the Alice Springs Festival program have been planned as street events. The several types of insurance required were being negotiated as the Alice News went to press.
What about other fixtures in the Alice Springs calendar?
The premium for the Alice Springs Show went up nearly 100 per cent.
"We've just had to pay it in order for the show to go ahead," said Show Society secretary, Lyn Oliver.
The Henley-on-Todd, organised by the local Rotary Clubs, will not be greatly affected, says board member Bill van Dijk who ran the event for 10 years..
All Rotary activities are covered by policies taken out by Rotary International or Rotary Australia.
The membership have been notified that there is likely to be a small increase in their dues to cover increased costs, says Mr van Dijk.
And what about the extreme sports our youth have a passion for?
The Alice Springs Youth Centre would like to add abseiling to its offerings, but manager Allan Jacks says they are "holding their breath" to see what their premiums are at the end of the financial year.
Public liability is also an issue for the Youth Centre's major fund-raiser, the May Day Sports Carnival, which is held off premises and so requires expensive additional risk insurance.
The new skate park, however, will carry no more risk for the Alice Town Council than any other open space park.
It will not be enclosed or supervised in any way, and signs will advise that the onus of responsibility will be on the user.
Council CEO Nick Scarvelis says the cost of public liability is an issue in a general sense but it is not putting in jeopardy any council infrastructure or programs.
The Territory Government, following a Ministerial Meeting of Treasurers in Melbourne on May 30, is looking at a range of actions to be taken to reduce public liability premiums.
These include introducing thresholds and caps on insurance claims.There will also be a national review of negligence and its definition and scope within the legal system, and a review of parts of the Trade Practices Act to ensure the continuation of business activities like adventure tourism.
Deputy Chief Minister Syd Stirling, who represented the Territory in Melbourne, said that the Territory Government's measures will be determined within the month.
"The Northern Territory will progressively introduce measures that will complement the moves occurring in other jurisdictions.
"But it must be remembered that with less than one per cent of the public liability insurance market, the NT cannot influence premiums in the way larger jurisdictions can.
"The issues are very complex. NT Treasury and the Department of Justice will be allocating considerable resources to develop the legislative package needed to underpin these reforms," said Mr Stirling.


The proposed amendments to Australia's security legislation will not take away our rights as citizens, nor will they impact upon our rights of freedom of association and the right to protest.
For example, the planned protest at Pine Gap being organised for later in the year will not be affected in any way by these amendments.The Federal Government has set a high priority on the amendments.Like all Australians, I am deeply shocked and concerned at the level to which some terrorists and terrorist organisations will now go in order to bring attention to their cause.There can be no doubt that individuals and organisations involved in carrying out insidious acts of terrorism are becoming better resourced and organised.
They also appear willing to involve greater acts of violence intending to kill or maim larger numbers of innocent people.The changes to the Terrorism and related Bills will give our security and anti-espionage agencies an improved legislative and legal base to assist in keeping Australia and Australians safer from terrorists and their activities.We live in a democratic country and enjoy the right to express our views on any issue. We also enjoy the right to conduct and participate in protests and gatherings to convey our position to governments and companies.
This right is enshrined in our constitution and laws and should not be removed.What should not be permitted is any wilful act that puts Australians in danger and our national security at risk.It is also important that the Government institute mechanisms to prevent people from providing support and assistance to terrorists.
The changes to the legislation proposed in these Bills will target terrorists, terrorist organisations and their supporters while still allowing for lawful political protests and gatherings.The government also respects the outstanding work carried out by humanitarian aid organisations in world trouble spots and has made provisions to ensure that such work is not considered aiding and abetting terrorist organisations.Protesters Ð for example, those who gather at Pine Gap Ð must accept though that there are consequences for illegal acts. If their actions or protests involve harm or damage to personnel or equipment, then that action is much more serious than a protest.
When the operation or the effectiveness of our security and defence organisations are intentionally or wilfully compromised then there should rightly be consequences for those acts.
The security and safety of Australians is a priority of the Howard Government. These proposed amendments to our security and anti-terrorism legislation are a further example of this commitment.Leadership is about identifying problems and implementing solutions. As your Senator I am working with the Government to implement new anti-terrorism laws that will help keep all Australians and our country safe from acts of terrorism.
[Comment from Warren Snowdon MHR next week.]

The honours of the 2002 Finke Desert race went the way of the cars when the newly built 2200cc MBR Jimco buggy of Victorian Mark Burrows, and navigator Michael Shannon, led from start to finish.
In second place was Alice's favourite son in the motor industry, Peter Kittle. For Kittle the completion of the race was a thrill in itself, and the second placing, icing on the cake.
The weekend was sweet for Honda when Rick Hall claimed victory on his trusted CR500, over Stephen Greenfield on the highly promoted XR650.
The race down on Sunday proved to be one of pure speed in dust. The pole starter off the grid, Burrows with Shannon set the standard by charging their new 2200 cc MBR Jimco through to Finke in the impressive time of 1.55.23. Burrows had experience to burn on this track, having won his class three times previously and taken out the outright first place, the only buggy till 2002 to have done so. But with the memory of a DNF in 2001 no doubt still indelibly in his mind, he made every post a winner.
Kurt Johannsen, a local lad who has raced for years either in Alice Springs or Yulara colours, was accompanied by Paul Gower in a Scorpion Nissan which followed Burrows to the half way mark. In third place at Apatula was Kittle with navigator Adam Ryan in their "investment", a 3000cc Jimco.
Others to position themselves well into Finke were Tony Byrnes and Chris Smith in ninth place and Bruce Garland in the Holden Rally team entry placed twenty-second.
Despite being heavily punted at the Calcutta, David Fellows came in twenty-third; Bruce Muir and Peter Treis were reasonably placed for their class at thirty-fourth; and paperman Stewy Prichard with John Trezona pulled into Finke in thirty-sixth place. The final vehicle in to Finke was that of Wayne Sanderson and Terry Hird, who were probably still digesting the carbohydrate loading of the night before!
Bad luck came the way of many starters however. Fred Grey and Ronny Kennett were all set to make it this year but with adrenaline raging, Grey could not resist the urge to plant the foot. He burned out his clutch, so the Lions had to limp back to the start line.
Out of Deep Well, Peter Taylor and Troy Annesley lost their forward gears and were forced to reverse back down the track for assistance.
Then, at the first fuel stop Jim Nielson and Shane Ride met their Waterloo when they collided with fellow competitor David McGill from Julia Creek. Further south, at Bundooma, the Mowbrays, Bob and Jeanette, regulars at Finke, took the wrong route and so ruled themselves out of contention.The race home on Sunday morning proved a boom to Burrows and a bust to Johannsen. Only 10 kilometres into the race home, Johannsen was forced to retire, leaving Burrows with the run of the track. The front runner was relentless, his vision dust free for the two hour race to the finish line.
Kittle led the rest of the pack through Deep Well some 12 minutes behind Burrows and duly came home in second place.
Third place across the line went to the winner's brother, Stephen Burrows, in Mark's old 1600cc MBR Cougar.
From Deep Well to the finish the strain of racing took its toll on the field. Wayne Attard, who finished Finke 2001 on three wheels, was this year able to climb over several competitors who were limping to the line and take fourth place. The popular David Fellows followed Attard's big Chevy to the line, with Buddy Crowe from NSW staggering home sixth, with a flat tyre.For the bikes, Finke 2002 proved a real test. With Burrows setting a target of under two hours, the bikes were under pressure from the drop of the flag.The speculation about the performance of the four-stroke Honda XR 650s as against the CR500s was seemingly settled on the downward journey. Rick Hall made full use of the proven CR500, which had been dubbed the "dinosaur", to lead into Finke after starting behind the front runners on the grid. This effort was made more commendable since Hall had to overcome the dust clouds from the pace-makers as he vied for the lead.
His competition came from Brad Williscroft of the Race team who had his KTM 540 in with a real show in second place. Pole starter Mark Sladek, who set the pace, reached the half way mark in third place almost a minute behind Williscroft.
The Race stable and KTM also had Andy Haydn placed well in fifth, while Stephen Greenfield arrived sixth on the flagship Honda 650.
Soon after the start Greenfield's team mate and the reigning champion, Michael Vroom withdrew, with his injured hand not standing up to the rigours of the race. With the passing of time, a further 25 riders registered DNF on the downward trip.By the time the riders faced the return run on Monday, the track had been severely chopped up.
Hall took full advantage of the lead position and created space on Williscroft. Hadyn and Greenfield soon went neck and neck at third and fourth, while Sladeck did his best to stay in contention.
By Ewaninga, Hall prevailed, but coming home like a rocket was Greenfield on his power machine. The Honda 650 moved into second position and must have had Greenfield sensing the outside chance of victory. KTM took the third and fourth money through the agency of the consistent Williscroft and Hadyn. Sladeck gave Kawasaki a look in at fifth and Andy Caldecott, competing in the Masters' Class 7, rode his KTM into sixth place.


Aussie Rules players in the Centre will have the chance in the coming weeks to perform at elite level and display their superior skills.
The Desert Warriors, a representative side drawn from the Country football competition, will field a side this Saturday against the Katherine District Football League, at Traeger Park. As a forerunner the Desert Storm, an Under 17 Country football side, will play an Under 18 side from the Tennant Creek based Barkly Football League.
The Desert Warriors established themselves last year at Traeger Park when they took on and beat the highly regarded Tiwi team from the Top End. The squad for this year's side seems on paper to be even stronger, and with the intensity of the local competition increasing, the task for the selectors has become more demanding.
Conrad Ratara from Western Aranda will coach the Warriors, with able assistance from Sid Anderson of Papunya and Joseph Tapaya from the Pitjantatjara lands.
The game should attract the attention of talent scouts from both south and north, in particular from the AFLNT. In recent times the Thunder have been on the look out for tall mobile players who can match it in the air and on the ground with interstate opponents.
In the Warriors' side are two such players, who despite living in remote communities should be given consideration.
Darren Young is from Santa Teresa and besides playing Saturdays' for Ltyente Apurte, butters up in the CAFL of a Sunday with Federal.
He is a standout recruit for Federal, showing the aerial and ball skills of a future champion.
Also appearing regularly in the best players at CAFL level is Malcolm Ross. South have put him through his paces of a Sunday and he has responded, showing the ability to perform in a variety of positions across the ground. Of a Saturday he dons the Harts Range colours, and it is from this community to the north east that Gilbert and Jason Fishook have gained Warrior selection. These lads and the "veteran" Harts Range stalwart, Donny Scharber, are dynamic contributors in the CAFL competition.
From the Ti Tree Roosters are Anthony and Curtis Haines. Curtis was best player for West last week against Pioneer, going close to best on ground, and his ability in defence will be valued by the Warriors.
The Western Aranda region has in recent years been the backbone for the Rover side of a Sunday and at representative level the likes of Oliver Wheeler, Max Fejo and Geoffrey Inkamala will have their chance to shine.
From the nearby McDonnell Districts Kasman Spencer will be a standout contributor across the half forward line. Weighing up the opposition Katherine have just completed their season and so will be match fit.
They will have strong representation from Ngukurr, who in the past have travelled to Alice Springs for the Lightning Carnival. These Roper River players are a professional team and should give the representative Katherine side the strength to be in the hunt against the Warriors.
For the colts' division, the Desert Storm should also have a good work out against the Barkly Under 18 side. The BAFL are mid way through their season with three games being played on the Sporties Oval every Saturday. Reports are that the Tennant team has taken this game seriously and will have a competitive side run onto Traeger Park Saturday.
On Sunday the CAFL competition continues with the Rovers playing Federal in the late game and a local derby between South and Pioneer being played as a curtain raiser. Form to date suggestes that Pioneer and Rover will take the premiership points, but both games should be keenly contested as it is the last CAFL round before the naming of the Town side to play the Territory Thunder in 10 days' time. Thunder have had a tough but rewarding week on the road in Victoria, which will culminate in their final game this Saturday at the Coburg Oval against the fancied Oakley Chargers.
Returning to the Territory they will be hot to trot, but should face some real opposition in the Alice side under the guidance of Roy Arbon.

LETTERS: Huge NT presence at global showcase.

Sir,- More than 660 of the world's top tourism buyers have been in Brisbane for the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE).
Annually ATE showcases the thousands of products that are available to international visitors. The event is split into two modules: Eastern Ð Asia, Japan Ð and Western Ð Europe, UK and the Americas.
The Northern Territory was represented by 35 tour operators with a large proportion of the contingent from Central Australia.
A real taste of the Territory was enjoyed by buyers and sellers at an informal NT "Alley" function where barramundi fish and kangaroo kebabs were cooked Aussie style on the barbecue. The tempting BBQ smells filled the large Brisbane convention centre and drew big crowds on three nights.
Supported by the Northern Territory Tourist Commission staff, all NT sellers reported a high level of interest and good sales prospects for developing growth of international visitors to Central Australia for the coming year.
Minister for Tourism Paul Henderson, the new CEO of the NTTC, Marie Tetlow, and the NTTC international managers worked beside the NT sellers at ATE. ATE is considered by many international buyers to be the best-organised trade show in the world. As an indication of the size of the show buyers will walk over 44 kilometres (30 miles) to meet with sellers.
Many of the buyers have experienced Northern Territory tour products in pre and post familiarisation programs arranged by operators.
The nine day showcase with over 100,000 appointments between buyers and product representatives allowed Central Australia to promote and expand business opportunities highlighting the Year of the Outback and Aboriginal culture.
Renton P. Kelly
VIP Travel Australia Pty Ltd

Sir,- After perusing a column titled "My Town" (Alice News, June 5), I have just three words for your correspondent as she leaves our shores: don't come back.
Addendum: this is so obviously not your town.
D.R. Chewings
Alice Springs

Sir,- I came across these comments of yours (Ann Cloke's in her column, Alice News, March 20) when I was looking for info about Alice Springs Ð we will be there in August:
"Songlines from Alice will endeavour to show urban Australia that the Outback is a part of Oz, and showcase the Centre, and the Outback's unlimited potential and future challenges (Desert Knowledge and Remote Solutions)."When I went to the NT tourist /holiday shop here in Sydney, they assured me there was no such thing as "Songlines from Alice". It was a commercial tour operator.So I am glad I can find out information directly from you.
Kathleen Phillips
Sydney, NSW
[ED Ð Songlines from Alice is the sub-title for Outback Central 2002, the centrepiece of the national Year of the Outback celebrations, scheduled for August 23 to September 1.]

Sir,- I read with interest the article "Centre for Remote Health: A house of ideas" , a part of the advertising supplement to mark the official opening of the Centre (Alice News, April 24).
The article gives a good description of the project with one glaring omission, the architects and principal consultant for the Centre for Remote Health are Woodhead International / Brendan Meney in association.
Woodhead International where engaged by Flinders University and then engaged Brendan Meney to work in association on the project, as we have done on previous projects.
Woodhead International were intimately involved in every aspect of the project from inception, briefing, design and construction.
The article and associated advertising make no mention of our involvement and the record needs to corrected.
Had we been advised of the supplement we would have contributed and placed an ad.You may be interested to know that Woodhead International, whichpractised as Hunt King-Jones in Alice Springs (1979 - 1993), has now grown to one of Australia's largest international practices. We still have our office in Darwin, under the control of Hans Vos, and operate throughout Australia, Asia, China and The Middle East with associated offices in the UK and the USA. I retain links with Alice and Gary Hunt and I look back on time in Alice as a wonderful part of our lives.
David King-Jones
(ED Ð Mr King-Jones refers to an advertising supplement for which copy was provided by the clients. The News was not made aware of Woodhead's part.)

Sir,- Please convey to Dorothy Grimm my keen appreciation for her articles and reviews in your newspaper.
Even in Centreville, Virginia, I enjoy reading them. My wife Alice and I look forward to visiting your community in the summer of 2003. Thank you.
Jerry Foltz
Centreville, VA, USA

Sir,- I found the latest internet edition especially enjoyable (love the photos and content).
I'm living in New Jersey, about 20 miles from Ground Zero, and having business in many of the older cities in the "Rust Belt" I had to smile at the discussions of the problems of, and with, the "Indigenous".
Over here we have different labels, but the problems, the complaints, the proposed solutions, and the objections thereto, are all hauntingly similar. Keep up the high levels of journalism, while still having fun... would love to share a few pints with you some time, in the Alice.Could you suggest an e-mail "pen pal" in the Alice who would be interested in exchanging their views and comings and goings?? I'm an almost 58 year old male, married, two adult sons by a first marriage, starting over in a new career, with diverse interests.

Sir,- I am most pleased to be able to read about the assorted "problems" in Alice Springs.
The water situation can be related, not only to Australia in general, but also to the world over.
Thanks for letting me eavesdrop on your lives.
Ginnie Sanik
Upstate New York,

Sir,- I read with interest the article by one Glenn Marshall on energy saving in the home.
Here in the UK, the latest thing is to have solar lamps in ones garden or house.
When left in the "on" position, these lamps store energy during the daylight hours and switch on at dusk, and switch off again come the dawn.
A great idea for saving power in one or more rooms.
The lamps have varied prices, though the most popular are the lamp standard for the garden, and coaching, standard, or reading lamps for indoors.
At £50 to £60 each, they pay for themselves during the winter months.
Perhaps some people in Alice Springs would like to invest in such a project.
Herbie Shaw


In a corner of the Bindi workshop for people with a disability, where he's worked since the 1980s, Alyawarre/ Eastern Arrente man Billy Benn began to paint his father's country.He used his fingers, cloth, glue and paint and whatever flat surface appealed.He knew Albert Namatjira's work but had never had any artistic training.What emerged are wonderfully lyrical landscapes, usually in a long low format, reflecting the sweeping spaces of north-eastern Central Australia.
First shown publicly at Watch This Space in an exhibition of work by people with a disability, they were immediately snapped up.
In the few years since, Benn has achieved a national profile, with a recent show at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne and acquisitions by the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Growing out of his practice, Bindi has developed an artists'collective, Centa Arts, which opens a show at Araluen this Saturday together with artists from the NPY Women's Council Disability Employment Program.
Benn will be a key drawcard but his is not the only highly original talent of this group.
The work of Seth Namatjira and young Randal Dixon, to name but another two, underlines the worth of supporting the continued practice and development of these artists.


Alice Springs Choral Society's director Ron Klumpes believes in giving his singers a challenge and Sunday's Mozart's Requiem is their latest.Mozart wrote most of the Requiem in the months leading up to his death from rheumatic fever in December 1791 as a commission from a music-loving nobleman who desired to have it performed in memory of the death of his young wife."The piece is not an easy work to learn," Ron said."There are lots of harmonies, but I believe in giving singers a chance to stretch a little, to get out of their comfort zone."I also believe in giving people in the choir a repertoire as well as people in town a chance to see a work like this performed live and by locals."And the people in the choir are so enthusiastic; it is fun to work with people who want to be here and singing."And members of the Alice Springs Choral Society agree."The Requiem is a real challenge but oh so beautiful," said Julie Permezel (alto)."The music is so full of life, so vibrant."I love singing and I love Mozart.
"I conduct the Sadadeen Primary School Choir so I thought being part of a choir myself would help my work."And I am so happy to be part of this group; they are such a nice bunch of people, so friendly."I want to do my best so I even practise at home and I listen to the music and think about the work even when I'm cooking."The Requiem is a work of art and I'm looking forward to Sunday's presentation."Mary Beth Eggen (alto) joined the Choral Society at the beginning of the year."."I was singing with the OLSH 11am choir and someone said, ÔCome along to the Choral Society and have fun,' so I did."I used to sing Bob Dylan and the Beatles, not Mozart. This is a big difference."And then we started singing all this Latin stuff, dona this and dona that."And I thought who's this dona we are singing about but then Ron passed out translations so we understood."Initially I thought, ÔThey're never going to pull this off' but the Requiem is really a beautiful piece."I've become very fond of it.
"And Ron is so good, and has so much patience.
"He makes people think about doing something which they never thought they could.
"And it is all volunteer."That's the beauty of Alice Springs; you volunteer for one thing and other offers just come along," Mary Beth said.Other newcomers to the Choral Society agree."I've been singing most of my life," Vicki Adair (alto) said, "but I had forgotten how much fun it was to be part of a group. I saw the group do The Messiah last year and decided this year to get involved."Tenor Dan Ewald has a similar story."I've sung in choirs for a good 10 years so when I heard about the Choral Society, I decided to join," Dan said."Besides it is good to have a bellow, to stretch one's diaphragm and give one's voice a workout.
"And the Requiem will give Mozart a stir in his grave."Soprano Pebli Ranzijn says her work with the Choral Society is an opportunity to meditate."The level of concentration required; the total focus of one's mind combined with breathe control and singing with the group is similar to a form of active meditation," Pebli said.
"And the result is an uplifting sound which in turn uplifts one's spirits."Singing with the Choral Society helps keep me sane and contributes to the mental health of Alice Springs."Alice Springs is extremely lucky to have Ron in town.""And the diversity is wonderful," Liz Ellis (alto) added."In the 1980s I sang at weddings, at garden parties and with a variety of vocal groups at a variety of venues."But this is the first time I've sung with a Choral Society."All are enjoyable and all are good learning experiences."And the more one puts into something, the more one gets out of it."Bob Wharton (bass) said as a newcomer to town he mentioned he was interested in singing and someone suggested he "check out" the Choral Society and he did."I was very impressed with the high standard and professionalism of the group," Bob said."And the dedication and hard work of those organising it was equally impressive."This is the first time I've done Mozart; previously I sang Gilbert and Sullivan.
"This is more disciplined and is an excellent outlet for singing."
Mozart's Requiem will be performed on Sunday at the Catholic Church, Hartley Street, at 2.30pm.
To further enhance Sunday's presentation of Mozart's Requiem, the Choral Society will be joined by an orchestra of 16 including violinist Dian Booth and members of the O'Brien family, Clare (violin), Therese (cello) and Vincent (trombone).

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