ALICE SPRINGS NEWS
March 17, 2011. Our first edition exclusively
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major reports and comment pieces in the current edition.
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Hargrave murder trial: Reports by
trial verdict: Williams not guilty, Woods gets manslaughter
First posted Friday, March 25, 1620 CST
Updated Saturday, March 26, 1440 CST
Raw grief made itself felt in the Supreme Court in Alice Springs
yesterday as the victim impact statements of the family of the late
Edward Hargrave (pictured) were heard.
The statements were addressed to the two accused although only one man,
Graham Woods, convicted of Mr Hargrave's manslaughter, remained in
court to hear them. His co-accused, Julian Williams, had been found not
guilty and had left the court, a free man after spending two years in
gaol. Pale and strained, with a lowered head, he walked past the
Hargrave family, seated in the front row of the public gallery, soon
followed by his mother, weeping tears of relief, and the rest of his
Prosecutor Ron Noble read six statements on behalf of Mr Hargrave's
mother, father, two brothers and two sisters. Partner of the dead man
and mother of his four children, Sarah Woodberry, asked to read her
statement herself. Ms Woodberry had lived with Mr Hargrave for 10
years. At the time of his death their daughters were 10, eight and four
Through flowing tears, she spoke of seeing Ed lifeless on the hospital
gurney, covered in blood, his gaze blank, and of begging him to come
home. She spoke of the heart-wrenching task of having to tell their
daughters that their father would not be coming home and trying to
explain why. She said their innocence had been destroyed, along with
their belief in their father as invincible. She spoke of all the
experiences ahead of the children that now would not be shared with
Four weeks after his funeral she discovered she was pregnant. She spoke
of how scared she was to find herself, at 29 years old, a widowed
single mother of soon to be four children. She said she struggled to
see this new pregnancy as a blessing and spoke of the pain of hearing
the baby's heartbeat and feeling his first kick without being able to
share that joy with his father. For it was a son that was born, "Ed's
first and only namesake", but there would be no father/son bonding for
them, no opportunity for Ed to teach the boy life's lessons – of
working hard, being honest, respecting women.
She said both she and her brother Luke, who had held Ed in his arms as
he died, have been treated for depression since the death. She spoke of
Luke's promise to help her raise her children; at just 20 years old,
this pressure has taken its toll of him, she said. She and Luke have
both left Alice Springs, the crime of Ed's death having robbed them of
their security, their freedom and lifestyle. Now their parents and
sister, still in high school, will follow, to be closer to them and
because they no longer feel safe in this town, she said.
Ms Woodberry said she and her family had been delivered "a life
sentence"; what they will have to endure is greater than any punishment
the court could possibly hand out.
In her statement the dead man's mother, Patricia Hargrave, spoke of how
impossible it is for anyone to understand what it is like to go on
living after a loss such as theirs; their lives as they had known them
had been turned upside down and destroyed, but she and her husband
remain "proud" that Ed "is our son".
As his statement was read, Mr Hargrave's father Richard broke down. He
was comforted by the police officer who had been in charge of the
investigation, who was also in tears. Mr Hargrave said the pain of the
loss of their son will stop only when they die, and until that day he
will think of those responsible as "shit".
Several of the family members evoked the dead man's willingness to help
others. Family and mates were paramount for him, said his sister,
Natalie Malat. They also spoke of his humility about his sporting
accomplishments. His brother George Hargrave spoke of Ed's pride in the
young Aboriginal apprentice welders he was training at Ingkerreke and
thanked these men and their families for the support shown at Ed's
funeral. He also said those responsible for Ed's death were "the
fucking scum of the earth".
Since the death, Richard Hargrave has been treated for cancer; he
and his wife and daughter Natalie all linked this to the stress caused
by the death and the protracted legal proceedings. Richard Hargrave
spoke of the "distortion" of the truth and the "legal tactics to delay
the outcome"; bother Stewart Hargrave spoke of being "sickened" by the
way the defence had tried "to get around the truth and the
facts". Sister Sharon Nicholas said there would be "no closure" –
nothing could make better what had happened.
Throughout all this, Graham Woods Jnr listened. He turned to Ms
Woodberry as she spoke from the witness box, turned back to Mr Noble as
he read the statements on behalf of the family. His own saddened family
members, including his parents who had been in court every day of the
three week trial, were all still there, also listening.
His counsel, Jon Tippett QC, then read a letter of apology to Ed
Hargrave's family and friends. Mr Tippett said the letter had been
given to him by Mr Woods at the start of proceedings and had not been
written at the suggestion of lawyers.
In the letter Mr Woods' expressed his "deepest sorrow" and, "as a
family man with young children", an understanding of their grief; he
said it had never been his intention to do what he did and that not a
day goes by when he does not wish that he could turn back the clock,
but now he and his family must live with what he has done for the rest
of their lives. He hoped that the family's memory of Mr Hargrave would
remain strong, but the pain associated with his loss would reduce.
Mr Woods was remanded in custody. Sentencing will take place on May 31.
of 'racial overtones' causes offence
Posted March 23
member of the jury in the trial of Graham Woods and Julian
for the murder of Edward Hargrave apparently took offence at comments
made yesterday by defence counsel John Dickinson QC about the "racial
overtones" of the case. In summing up, Mr Dickinson said the case was
"ripe for sympathy and prejudice", that it had "racial overtones" and
referred to "a debate going on" in this town "that we all know about".
He did not specify what that debate might be but went on to say that
jurors may have sympathy for Mr Hargrave and his family.
"So you should," he said, "but it shouldn't colour your analysis of the
Justice John Reeves told the jury that he had received a note from one
of them, whose sentiments appeared to be supported by others. He said
he could understand, having been a member of the Alice Springs
community in the past, that they may take offence.
However he reiterated that the case has to be tried on the evidence and
that its central issue is what happened between the accused and the
deceased in Musgrave Street, and not what happened outside the 24 Hour
Store and Memo Club (earlier the same night).
He urged them to put aside any peripheral issues, political, racial or
any other type of consideration, and make their deliberations
"rationally" based on the evidence.
Mr Dickinson was not in court today and will not return due to other
commitments. Mr Williams was represented by junior barrister Ted Sinoch.
Justice Reeves will conclude his summing up and directions to the jury
tomorrow morning (having begun on Tuesday before lunch). The jury will
then retire to consider their verdict.
trial: Crown has 'abandoned' case against
co-accused Williams, defence argues
Posted 2020 CST March 22
The Crown case in the trial of Graham Woods and Julian Williams for the
murder of Edward Hargrave (pictured)
is that Mr Woods struck the fatal blow – a stab wound to the back of
the right shoulder, near the neck. The jury will have to find Mr Woods
guilty of that offence beyond reasonable doubt in order to consider
whether Mr Williams is guilty of aiding and abetting him in that
offence, and thus also guilty of murder.
In summing up the Crown case against Mr Williams, prosecutor Ron Noble
said the Crown cannot prove that Mr Williams knew that Mr Woods had a
knife. But, he argued, as other people had seen Mr Woods with a hockey
stick, Mr Williams must have also seen and known that Mr Woods had the
hockey stick. He said Mr Williams ran along with Mr Woods, knowing that
he had a hockey stick as a weapon. He urged the jury to not discount
the hockey stick as a weapon – it could seriously harm.
He said if the jury accepted the evidence of Coralie Neil (Mr Woods'
partner) that Mr Williams had urged Mr Woods to fight, then he was not
a bystander: he ran along to do as much damage as he could to Mr
In reply, John Dickinson QC for Mr Williams, said that the Crown
seemed to have "abandoned" the case against Mr Williams. The Crown
might say that Mr Williams saw that Mr Woods had the hockey stick
because other people saw it, but the Crown also accepted that two eye
witnesses – Faron Peckham (a member of Mr Hargrave's party) and Bevan
Wilson (a security guard at the Keith Lawrie Flats) – did not clearly
identify a second person at the scene. The Crown explained this away by
the speed with which events occurred, a perfectly logical explanation
that could also apply to Mr Williams, said Mr Dickinson. The jury could
not thus be satisfied that Mr Williams knew that Mr Woods had the
Mr Dickinson argued that aiding and abetting had to occur at the
critical time – the moment of the attack on Mr Hargrave. He said the
Crown was relying on the evidence of Ms Neil that
Mr Williams was saying he wanted to go and fight. Mr Dickinson said
this was "utterly wrong": even if the words were said, they were not an
invitation to Mr Woods.
He said Mr Williams' behaviour outside the 24 Hour Store and the Memo Club
had been "very, very average": "He didn't cover himself in any glory
whatsoever" and the jury might
think that what happened to him across the road at the carpark was what
But he said, it all could have finished there. Instead it continued for
some 1.5 kilometers to the Keith Lawrie Flats and went tragically
wrong. He said the intent of Mr Hargrave's group had been made known:
they – at least Ed Hargrave, Greg Smith and Scott McConnell – were
willing to fight, with strong backup from Luke Woodberry. Like Jon
Tippett QC for Mr Woods, he argued, pointing to various pieces of
evidence, that the experience of the chase showed that the pursuing
group were "wild, aggressive, hostile and intoxicated".
Mr Dickinson continued to maintain that the fatal blow to Mr Hargrave
had nothing to do with his client, supported by a lack of forensic
evidence on the body of Mr Hargrave of the kind of blow – a strike by a
pole or iron bar – that his client had been alleged to have delivered.
However, if the jury were to accept the Crown case that Mr Williams had
aided and abetted, then they had to consider whether the Crown had
proved beyond reasonable doubt that he had not done so in self-defence.
would be a reasonable view, he said, that Mr Williams had seen his
cousin Mr Woods fighting with a much larger man, surrounded by a group
of angry men, and heard threats being made to kill and harm women and
children, and if he'd acted at all, he had done so in self-defence.
Justice John Reeves is expected to conclude his directions to the jury
tomorrow, and the jury to then retire to consider its verdict.
trial: Woods entitled to a verdict
of 'not guilty': summing up by the defence
Posted 2020 CST March 21
"main issue" in the trial of Graham Woods and Julian Williams for
the murder of Edward Hargrave is "the running out from the unit" in
Musgrave Street by the accused and their attack on Mr Hargrave, said
prosecutor Ron Noble in his summing up to the jury today. He described
the pursuit of the two men by Mr Hargrave and his four companions as
"foolhardy", but no licence for assault.
Anticipating the defence argument that Mr Woods' actions were
"unwilled" and in self-defence, Mr Noble told the jury that you can't
have a "mixture" of an unwilled act and self-defence: "It's got to be
one or the other," he said.
He said Mr Woods was the aggressor, he was the one who ran out to Mr
Hargrave, who "stood his ground" and was entitled to defend himself. He
challenged the idea that Mr Woods was protecting his family, suggesting
that he did not act to get his pregnant wife and sister inside, he did
not stop to call police. He acknowledged the aggressive attitudes of Mr
Hargrave's companions but said, "you judge people by their actions" and
that the five men "did nothing to show that they were attacking" Mr
Woods or his family.
He dismissed the idea of Mr Woods not knowing he had a knife in his
"As someone draws a knife across someone's head, wouldn't you become
aware?" he asked. And with two blows (there were two knife wounds, one
to the scalp and one fatal stab wound to the shoulder) the actions are
even more "deliberate". He acknowledged that forensic pathologist Dr
Terence Sinton had said he could not exclude the possibility that the
two wounds were made by a single action, but "of course, everything is
possible", he said. The prosecution would maintain that the wounds were
caused by two movements of the knife, the scenario that Dr Sinton
Mr Noble had said Mr Woods had "no credibility" in his record of
interview with police, which he said was full of "half answers" and
claims that he didn't really remember. When Mr Woods said he didn't
remember having a knife in his hand, he was "clearly not being honest,
not telling the truth", said Mr Noble.
In defence of Mr Woods, Jon Tippett QC, argued that the pursuit of Mr
Woods and Mr Williams by Mr Hargrave and his companions was crucial to
understanding what happened. The evidence from the people in the
pursuing party showed that their intention was to "run down" and "beat
senseless" the accused, he said.
He said there were three "compelling" reasons why a verdict of not
guilty of murder should be returned.
The first was that there was no intention on the part of Mr Woods to
cause death or serious harm; his sole intention was to frighten or
drive away. It was a "five on one" situation, he said, and the five
were at his home, a place where he was entitled to stay and defend
himself and others.
The second was that the blow that
caused death was not the product of
Mr Woods' will. It was an "unthinking, instinctive reaction"; he wanted
to push Mr Hargrave away and did not know he had a knife in his hand,
his only concern being to
avoid the "mother of a beating" that he
feared he was about to get from Mr Hargrave.
The third was that he struck Mr Hargrave in self-defence. He said it
was up to the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there
was no possibility of self-defence.
Mr Tippett reminded the jury that Mr Hargrave was a "big, powerful
man", supported by four other men, and his sole objective, in following
Mr Woods from the Memo Club carpark across town for some 1.5 kms, was
to "beat him up". And when people get beaten up "they can and do
die", said Mr Tippett.
He argued that the presence of the five men in Musgrave Street that
night was "extremely frightening" to everyone. He took the jury through
the evidence of several witnesses, painting a picture of "all hell
breaking loose". He reminded them of the call Lindy Woods, Mr Woods'
sister, made to police: "You could hear the fear in her voice – it was
real and genuine". He later reminded them of "her diminutive person"
(she is a petite woman): "How dare these men, how dare they!" He asked,
"in this environment is it any wonder" that Graham Woods armed himself
and went out to frighten the men away.
Mr Tippett argued that Mr Woods' record of interview with police showed
"an unfolding of the truth"; Mr Woods, not an "articulate" or
"assertive" man, was "groping to recover" and "describe" his
experience, he said, and importantly by the end of the interview, he
was telling the truth.
He stressed the "striking similarity" between Mr Woods' evidence about
the encounter with Mr Hargrave and the evidence given by Faron Peckham,
one of Mr Hargrave's party, evidence that Mr Woods could not possibly
have known of at the time of the interview. He said that Mr Woods'
description of the encounter with Mr Hargrave was consistent throughout
the three hour "grilling"; several times he described Mr Hargrave
coming towards him and grabbing his right arm. Mr Tippett reminded the
jury of Mr Peckham's evidence that "Ed run into him [Mr Woods]".
He said the evidence in the case "shows that a tragedy took place" but
it also shows that Mr Woods is "entitled to a verdict of not guilty".
He said Mr Woods did not need the jury's "sympathy"; he needed their
"capacity to assess the evidence".
Defence cousel for co-accused Julian Williams will sum up tomorrow
Jury sent home for the day
2000 CST March 17, 2011
The jury sitting on
the trial of Graham Woods and Julian Williams for the murder of
Edward Hargrave was sent home today as Justice John Reeves heard
submissions from counsel on what should and should not go into his
directions for the jury.
Justice Reeves will give them an aide memoire – like a checklist of the
legal issues to be taken into account in their deliberations – and will
also give spoken directions.
The families of both the accused and of the victim sat through today's
long hours of legal argument which will no doubt better prepare them
for what is to come tomorrow when the court will hear summing up
addresses by the prosecution and the defence.
Directions for the jury are likely to be delivered on Monday next week
after which the jury will withdraw to consider its verdict.
hears accused man's police interview
Posted 2020 CST March 16, 2011
The Crown case against Graham Woods and Julian Williams for the murder
of Edward Hargrave concluded today. Both men are pleading not guilty.
Mr Hargrave died on the night of April 3, 2009 and Graham Woods was
arrested the next day at Bond Springs outstation or "16 Mile" as he
calls it. For his police interview he asked for his grandmother, Agnes
Woods, to sit with him as his "prisoner's friend". Today the
electronic record of that interview was played in the court. He told
police that he was currently unemployed but had been working until
recently. He'd been to Catholic High (OLSH) until Year 9, but said he
could not read or write very well. He said he speaks only English. He
spoke mostly in a very low voice and towards the end of the three hour
interview became quite emotional, choking back sobs and wiping away
He described being chased from the Memo Club to the Keith Lawrie Flats,
and being "exhausted" from running. In speaking of his altercation with
Mr Hargrave he said "he actually came towards me". He showed how Mr
Hargrave held him on his right arm, just above his wrist. He said he
was trying to push Mr Hargrave away. Everything "just happened so
quick", he said. This was the early brief outline he gave of the
events. Police then took him through the day, step by step, returning
to the critical events several times.
Mr Woods told them he and co-accused Julian Williams together with his
brother Corey Woods and two friends began drinking at his place
in the afternoon. By sundown they were finishing their last cans
out of two cartons on Anzac Hill. He said he, Corey and Julian were all
"pretty charged" and he was still "charged" when the critical events
occurred later that night in Musgrave Street.
Once they'd reached the Keith Kawrie Flats, he said Julian was the one
who wanted to keep fighting. He again told police "the bloke" came
towards him: "He came towards me to grab me, my arms." Mr Woods said he
had a stick in his hands that he'd found outside the units; he said
Julian had a bottle and little pole.
It was put to him that he raised the stick: "Yeah, 'fuck off', you
know, and he grabbed me by the arm, tackling me." He was asked if he
had taken anything from the unit (his sister Lindy's place). He said he
was "not sure".
Police got him to describe the layout of the unit and to again retrace
his steps. He said he went into the kitchen to get a drink of
water. Did he take anything out of the kitchen? "I don't think so," he
said, adding that "everything happened so fast" and also, "I reckon I
did bring a stick from inside, from the ground near the stairs". He
described pushing against "the fella" who had grabbed him, raising his
arms, saying: "I don't even know what happened."
At that point the interview had lasted some two hours and the parties
took a break. In the courtroom there was also a break and when the jury
re-entered, Justice John Reeves told them that what Mr Woods was saying
about Mr Williams could not be used in any way, for or against Mr
Williams, while they could make their own assessment of Mr Woods'
evidence about his own actions.
As the interview resumed, the police again took Mr Woods over the
critical events. He was asked why he was saying that his actions were
in self-defence. He said the "fella" had grabbed him and punched him in
the stomach, that he had grabbed the fella on his shoulder, then
thought that he himself was bleeding: "That's when I let go." He said,
"I don't know if I had an object in my hand or not." He said it "could
have been a knife or something sharp".
As he ran, he looked back and saw Mr Hargrave walk, and then "he sat
down". He said he was panicking and thought he was bleeding. He lifted
his t-shirt to show the place where he had felt something sharp on his
abdomen. It was put to him that it might have been a knife that was in
He said it "might have been". If it was, where did he think he would
have got it from? Probably inside the flat, he said, "when I was
getting a drink of water".
He was asked why he went out from the unit, with a stick and maybe a
knife. He said, referring to Julian whom he continued to say was the
one "who wanted to keep going": "Because he's my cousin." He also said
he thought "they [the men outside] were going to come inside my
sister's flat". He was asked if he was in danger, to which he replied
"no", adding "but I was in danger when they were chasing me".
He was shown a photograph of a knife found in the vicinity of the crime
scene. In a very low voice he spoke of getting the knife from the sink
in his sister's kitchen.
He described panicking and taking two showers in quick succession, one
at his sister's flat, the second at his brother Corey's flat in the
same complex, in an attempt to calm himself down. Asked why he was
panicking, he said: "It was the first time I seen someone else's
blood." He was asked how he thought the blood got on him. He referred
to a knife.
The police returned to questions about why he did what he did in
self-defence. He said he was frightened that the men outside might come
closer to where "the kids" were (among the three was his own young
son). He said they were singing out, "We're going to kill you
cunts." Did he think his life was in danger? He said: 'If they
would have caught me they would have beat the shit out of me."
He was asked how he felt when it was "all going on and ended with the
knife to the shoulder" of Mr Hargrave. He said he was "scared",
"frightened" and "upset" because "they chased us": "They kept on
coming, they chased us all the way."
He said he "forgot all about" having a knife in his hand, only
realising it at the "last minute".
The court was told that Mr Williams had exercised his right to silence
on legal advice and had not answered police questions.
The trial continues, with summing up beginning tomorrow.
Ed Hargrave could have survived: forensic pathologist
Posted 2000 CST March 15, 2011
Edward Hargrave died as a result of a stab
wound, received on the night of April 3, 2009; the wound, penetrating
to a depth of 10 cm, cut arteries from which he would have bled
profusely but it was not "inevitably fatal". "Theoretically" he could
have survived if "appropriate treatment" had been available at the
time. However, the potential blood loss from his wound meant that he
could have died within minutes.
So said Dr Terence Sinton, director of the Forensic Pathology Unit at
the Royal Darwin Hospital, who performed the autopsy on Mr Hargrave at
the Alice Springs Hospital on April 5, 2009.
Two men, Graham Woods and Julian Williams, stand accused of the murder
of Mr Hargrave. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Dr Sinton told the Supreme Court in Alice Springs today that he had
found three wounds on Mr Hargrave's body: a three centimetre stab wound
entry on the back of his right shoulder towards the base of the neck;
an incisional wound in the scalp, about 15 cm in length; and some faint
bruising on the knuckle of the left hand. The stab wound had penetrated
through muscles, downwards and forwards, fracturing one rib and cutting
another and injuring two relatively large arteries present in the
shoulder. The scalp wound had cut the membrane over the skull but the
skull was intact. The scalp wound had been caused by a sharp edge
consistent with a knife.
Dr Sinton was asked whether the sharp edge of a bottle could have
caused the wound; he said it was possible. He said the scalp wound was
serious but in his opinion did not materially contribute to Mr
The stab wound had damaged the first and second ribs on the right side,
had cut (nicked) one major artery and completely severed a smaller but
important artery taking blood to the brain. Dr Sinton described the
force used as "severe", out of a standard rating force as mild,
moderate, severe or extreme.
He was shown a kitchen knife recovered in the vicinity of the crime
scene and said it was possible that such a knife caused the stab wound
and may also have caused the incisional wound to the scalp.
In cross-examination, Jon Tippett QC, appearing for Mr Woods, put to Dr
Sinton that the "severe force" of the stabbing would have resulted from
the "sum total" of the movement of the body towards the implement as
well as the movement of the implement towards the body. Dr Sinton
agreed: "Very much so, yes."
Mr Tippett also put to him that both the stab wound and incisional
wound could have been caused by a single movement of a knife across the
scalp and into the shoulder. Dr Sinton said he was "unhappy" about such
an explanation. However, he could not exclude it.
John Dickinson QC, appearing for Mr Williams, asked Dr Sinton if he
could rule out the incisional wound having been caused by an iron bar
or something similar. Dr Sinton agreed that he could. Mr Dickinson put
to him that there was no evidence of a bottle being broken over Mr
Hargrave's head. Dr Sinton again agreed.
In re-examination, prosecutor Michael McColm revisted the question of
the stab wound and wound to the scalp possibly having been caused by a
single movement. Dr Sinton said "to my mind" different movements were
involved. He would think "more likely" that the two wounds were caused
by two separate actions.
The court also heard via video link from Coralie Neil, partner of
Graham Woods or "Junior" as she and his family call him. In April 2009
the couple had a three year old son together and Ms Neil was expecting
their second child. She gave birth just 12 days after the death of Mr
Hargrave. She is currently living in Darwin.
She gave evidence that after police had arrived on the scene and
everyone was scared, that Junior said to her that he must have done
"something bad". She also gave evidence that she had seen and heard
Julian Williams, Junior's cousin, at Musgrave Street on the night of Mr
Hargrave's death. She said she had taken off him an iron pole (the
broken metal leg of a chair) and a bottle and hidden them in her
sister-in-law's unit. However, she also said she saw him running with
the pole and bottle (that she had earlier taken away) towards where
Junior and Kwementyaye (the name she used to refer to Mr Hargave) were
fighting. She did not see anything further of these events, she
said, as she turned towards another man (of the Hargrave party) who was
Under cross-examination from Mr Dickinson, she agreed that her first
two statements to police, made on April 4 and 5 , had made no mention
of Mr Williams. She said she didn't get her "story straight" as
detectives were "pushing" her and she was "nervous".
Mr Dickinson suggested to her that she had "put a pole and bottle into
the hands of Julian" and decided to have him "running out across
Musgrave Street" in her statement of the 7th. Ms Neil said yes. He
suggested that she had "made up" that Julian was armed with a pole and
bottle. She said she had not.
He put to her that she had never seen Mr Williams go inside. She said:
"Nuh, he never went inside." As she concluded her evidence, Ms
Neil had her head in her hands and appeared to be crying.
The trial continues.
NATIONWIDE NEWS CONTEMPT CHARGE WITHDRAWN
Meanwhile, Justice John Reeves has withdrawn contempt of court charges
against the publisher of the Centralian Advocate, thought to be News
Limted but in fact Nationwide News Pty Ltd, for which News Ltd is a
holding company, according to the company's legal representative
present in the court.
Justice Reeves said he accepted that the content and prominence of the
correction on March 11 to the Advocate's misreporting on March 8 had
"significantly ameliorated" the adverse effects of the offending report.
dead man's brother in law tells of the
Posted 2000 CST March 14, 2011
The young brother-in-law of the late Edward Hargrave broke
down in court today as he gave evidence of the moments leading to Mr
Hargrave's death. Luke Woodberry was called as a witness in the trial
of Graham Woods and Julian Williams for murder. Both men are pleading
Mr Woodberry also told the court that he had not seen before the men
whom he said he saw attack Mr Hargrave.
Mr Woodberry said when he and Mr Hargrave were not even half way down
Musgrave Street they went to turn around as they could not see anyone.
At that moment two men rushed out of a unit on the other side of the
street. Mr Woodberry said Mr Hargrave was about two metres in front of
As he was being questioned by prosecutor Ron Noble about the
whereabouts of other people in the street, Mr Woodberry became
increasingly upset. There was a short break while he left the court in
the company of his parents.
On his return Mr Noble asked him whether he had noticed anything
particular about the two men who came out of the unit. He said they
were of Aboriginal appearance and they were both carrying "bats". Had
he seen either man before? He said no.
Asked about their clothing, he said one was not wearing a shirt. This
man was carrying a silver-grey bat, holding it up in the air, said Mr
Woodberry, and he did not see him carrying anything else. The other man
was carrying a longer bat, like a hockey stick, and he did not see him
carrying anything else either.
He said the two men came running straight up to Mr Hargrave and
himself. He had turned around and run back towards Bloomfield Street,
and so did not see the first contact between Mr Hargrave and the two.
Turning back to see where Mr Hargrave was, he saw him holding onto the
"bloke with no shirt", a hold "more like a hug". The man with the shirt
ran around the back, "out of Ed's vision" and struck him once across
the back of the head with a bat. Then the man with no shirt ran back
towards the unit.
Asked whether he saw the man with no shirt holding a bat at the time of
contact with Mr Hargrave, he said not at that time. The man with the
shirt ran around "like a U-shape" and back to the unit.
He said Mr Hargrave turned around and started to walk towards him. He
seemed to be OK, but he was trying to say something to him and
"couldn't get the words out". He said he knew at that moment that
something was wrong and after five to six steps Mr Hargrave fell to the
ground. Mr Woodberry said he then jumped on top of him "to make sure
they didn't come back for him".
He said he got hit in the left eye at this time, but he did not see by
whom, he was focussed on Mr Hargrave who was losing a lot of blood from
the back of his head. Mr Woodberry had his hand on the back of his
brother-in-law's head, trying to stop the blood, kneeling down, "just
trying to keep him alive really".
Connections of the Hargrave and Woodberry families in court were in
tears as Mr Woodberry struggled with his own emotions during this part
of his evidence.
The accused sat as they always do, without moving, listening, serious.
Mr Woodberry was asked if either of the men who came out had said
anything, or if he or Mr Hargrave had said anything. He said no. He
said a lady near the unit was yelling for them to come back, "Junior,
Junior, come back". Asked to describe the two men, he said the man with
no shirt was part-Aboriginal, young. The man with a shirt on was also
Aboriginal, "a little darker".
In cross-examination Jon Tippett QC, appearing for Mr Woods, asked
several questions suggesting that there was a planned pursuit of two
men and an intention to fight on the part of Mr Woodberry and his
companions. Mr Woodberry did not agree with much of this but when
statements he had made during the committal were put to him, he agreed
that they were the truth. He had been asked what he expected to happen
when he followed the two men and had said "a fight, I suppose".
He was asked if he had "chased" the two men and had said yes.
Mr Tippett put to him he had chased one into the nurses quarters (on
the corner of Telegraph Tce and Stuart Tce) and that he had wanted to
"give him a beating". Mr Woodberry said no, but when Mr Tippett said
that he had wanted to "fight", he said yes.
Earlier, under questioning from Mr Noble, he had given evidence of a
man with a shaved head who had been involved in an altercation with his
companion, Scott McConnell, in the carpark opposite the Memo Club. In
cross-examination, John Dickinson QC, appearing for Mr Williams, asked
if Mr Woodberry had seen the Aboriginal man with the shaved head in
Musgrave Street. Mr Woodberry said: "Not that I recall."
frightened as fighting men arrive in their street
1845 CST March 11, 2011
In the murder trial of Graham Woods and Julian Williams,
the court heard from two women who were in the Keith Lawrie Flats on
Musgrave Street on the night that Edward Hargrave died.
Joanie Wilson was living there in April 2009 with Gary Woods, brother
of accused man Graham Woods or "Junior" as he is known to his family.
She told the court that when Junior arrived in the flat where she and
Gary were that night, he had no shirt on and was bleeding from a
"little wound" just above his belly button where "someone had poked
him". The scratch went from there to his chest. She said he told them
that he had had a fight and that "someone was hurt". Asked if he spoke
about who the person was or how he had been hurt, she said he said, "I
think someone is hurt or dead".
She said she and Gary did not want to know what had happened – " we
were worried about Junior". He was "panicking" and "scared, frightened".
She said when Julian arrived not long after, he told them they had just
had a fight, got chased from the Memo Club back to the flats by a
"bunch of white people". He told them his cousin Jermain had got
knocked over and they didn't know where he was. She went to look for
Junior's partner, Coralie, but was stopped by a policeman and told that
someone had been killed and that it was a crime scene.
In cross-examination by Jon Tippett QC, she nodded when he said Junior
had broken down and cried when he heard from her that a man had died.
Mr Tippett put to her that Junior had cried most of the night. She
nodded. For most of her evidence, Ms Wilson kept her face turned away
from the bar. She said: "You could talk to him but he was upset." Mr
Tippett suggested he was "not making much sense", he was "crying and
shaking". She said yes.
The court also heard from Lindy Woods, sister of Graham Woods, who also
lived at Keith Lawrie Flats, in a different unit from Gary Woods,
Joanie Wilson and Corey Woods.
On the night Mr Hargrave died she was in her unit with her
sister-in-law Coralie, partner of Graham (or Junior), and her sister
Samantha and their three children, aged seven and under. They were
watching TV when they heard, from a distance, banging on bins and
yelling. She turned the TV down to listen. The yelling was getting
louder. She could hear swearing. When she heard a knock at the door she
told Coralie not to open it. Then she heard: "It's me, Junior", and
Coralie opened the door.
When Ms Woods saw her brother, his shirt was torn around the collar and
she "knew something was wrong". She could see Julian at the fence,
vomiting, and looking towards Bloomfield Street, she could see "two
fellas" coming up the street towards her unit and "one fella" on the
other side of the street. She could hear swearing, including the word
Of the two on her side, she said both were big, one was white, another
"dark", agreeing that he was an Aboriginal man. A "tall, skinny
fella", near the carpark area, was wearing cargo pants but no shirt.
She said he had a shirt or something wrapped around his hand. He was
running around, back and forth, swearing.
She said the two nearer her were swearing, saying "You black cunts" and
"Get them pricks out". She said they were throwing rocks and dirt at
her and her sister-in-law. She told them to "fuck off, women and only
children are here".
She told the court she saw her brother go past her, towards the man
"that's passed away". She described that man as "big, tall, solid
built" and "white". She saw that Junior was carrying a hockey stick,
wrapped in grey
duct tape, but did not see that he was carrying anything else (she
later said that a hockey stick, photoraphed at the crime scene,
belonged to her
son; and she agreed that she had had in her kitchen a similar knife
to one photographed at or near the crime scene, which she noticed a
couple of days later was no longer there).
When Junior ran past her, she said she was screaming out, telling him
to stop, she was frightened, she could see what was going to happen.
She said he and the man took a punch at one another, then the man in
cargo pants and Julian came in. She said Julian was carrying a short
pole. She then ran inside to call the police.
During cross-examination the court heard, in far less than perfect
auditory conditions, a recording of that 000 call.
Ms Woods identified the voice as hers. She sounded very frightened.
There was some confusion about her address; the operator was in Darwin
and Ms Woods had to tell her that she was in Alice Springs and had to
spell out the name of Musgrave Street.
She told the operator there were eight to 10 men outside, fighting with
her family member, that she and her sister-in-law were both pregnant,
that she had her "little one" (seven year-old son) with her. She also
said she thought she saw a fella with "a knife, a big knife". Then she
told the operator that a fella had been hurt now, she didn't know who
he was. She sounded very distressed. The operator told her not to go
Regarding the man she thought had a knife, she told Mr Tippett that she
was not sure about what she'd seen, she was "that frightened", having
seen "the body languages of everybody".
She said after the call she told Junior and Julian to leave
her flat, agreeing that was for their safety. She later saw the
security guard for the flats who told her that a person had passed away
and she went to the flat (in the same complex) where Junior and Julian
had gone and told them. She said Junior was "upset, crying, frightened".
The trial continues.
discharged, brother of accused gives evidence
1400 CST March 11, 2011
A juror was discharged from the jury
sitting on the murder trial of Graham Woods and Julian Williams this
Justice John Reeves told the jury that the juror had some convictions
within the last seven years involving periods of imprisonment. He told
them that the person had said they thought the convictions occurred
outside of the seven year period, but in fact they were within it by
some months. He said that was a possible explanation but in any case
the person was not qualified to serve.
One of the two reserve jurors was chosen by lot to replace the person.
Justice Reeves reminded the jury that, even if discussion had been had
with the person regarding the evidence, to put those discussions out of
their minds. The discharge does not affect their deliberations, he
said, which must be based only on the evidence heard in the court.
The court then heard evidence from witness Corey Woods, brother of the
accused Graham Woods, and cousin of the accused Julian Williams.
He said when the four friends of the "big feller" arrived at the
carpark across the road from the Memo Club that they were not angry at
first, but spoke to him and Graham about what was going on. During this
time he said Julian was fighting with the "big feller". All of a sudden
he saw a fist and his cousin Jermain Woods was knocked out cold on the
ground. He said he and Graham tried to drag Jermain away onto the grass
and the "other fellers" were fighting.
"They all started double-banking Julian," he said.
When Jermain woke up and Julian and the "big feller" stopped fighting
he said his group all tried to walk away. He heard the words: "Let's
He said he jumped the hedge at the RFDS and hid until everyone had
He took an indirect route to return to his flat on Musgrave street.
When he got there Graham and Julian were there, Graham awake and Julian
asleep. He said Graham was "panicking" and "sweaty". He said Graham
told him there had been a "tussle" out the front of the flats; the word
"tussle" was his word. He could not remember Graham's exact words.
He said he first became aware that someone had died the next day.
During cross-examination, Russell Goldflam appearing for Graham Woods,
reminded Corey Woods of statements he had made to police on April 6,
According to the statement, he told police that Graham, the morning
after the night when Mr Hargrave died, had whispered to him: "I didn't
mean to do it."
He was also reminded that he had told police that Graham had whispered:
"I don't know, I might have hurt someone."
Corey said he could not remember what he said, but on reading the
statement, agreed he had said those words to police.
Mr Goldflam asked him if what he told the police was true.
Corey Woods said: "Yeah."
admits to threatening women and children
1800 CST March 10, 2011
A witness in the trial for murder of
Graham Woods and Julian Williams has admitted that he may have
threatened to punch and kill women at the scene of the altercation that
ended in the death of Edward Hargrave .
Greg Smith, asked if he had threatened to punch and kill women, said,
"I might have." Asked if he had threatened to harm children, he said
"No, who knows, yeah". Mr Smith was one of four friends of Mr Hargrave
who, the defence argues, chased the two accused across town from the
Memo Club to Musgrave Street where Mr Hargrave died. The defence has
described the chase as "a hunt". In cross-examination today Mr Smith
gave some fuel to this argument.
While he said it was not the intention from the start to fight, but
rather to "have a chat" and "work it out", he also admitted to "seeing
red" and wanting to "have a go".
He admitted to sprinting after the pair from the RFDS lawns; he agreed
that the object of the exercise was to "catch them".
When defence counsel Jon Tippett QC then put to him that the object was
also to give them "another hiding" (after an initial fight in the
carpark opposite the Memo), Mr Smith said it was not – that was what
they had wanted to do "the first time". Mr Tippett persisted: "You ran
after them to give them a hiding."
Mr Smith replied: "They were egging us on, yeah."
Mr Tippett put to him that he, Mr Hargrave and Luke Woodberry hid
amongst the saltbush at the railway line with the intention to "ambush"
the two men.
"I haven't heard that before," said Mr Smith, seeming surprised.
"You hid in the bush in an effort to hunt them down," said Mr Tippett.
"We hid in the bush for our own safety," said Mr Smith.
Mr Tippett quoted Mr Smith's words – that they would be "smart about
this" and "hunt them down" – from the transcript of the committal
hearing held in October 2009.
That was "a while ago", said Mr Smith, and he did not recall having
said that. He preferred to say now that the intention was "to catch
When he and his friends left the saltbush and followed the pair down
Bloomfield Street, Mr Smith was initially in the lead, but Mr Hargrave
overtook him. Mr Tippett put it to Mr Smith that Mr Hargrave was "going for it", that
"come hell or high water he was going to get them".
"Yeah," said Mr Smith.
YELLING AND SCREAMING
Mr Tippett then asked Mr Smith about his arrival in Musgrave Street.
There was little that the witness admitted to recalling, but then Mr
Tippett described in dramatic terms Mr Smith's confrontation with three
Aboriginal women in the street. He said the women were "yelling and
screaming", they were "banging sticks on the ground", they were
"telling you to fuck off". He said Mr Smith "challenged them", "you got
stuck into them, you wanted to know where the fucking pricks were".
Mr Smith again said: "Yeah".
Mr Tippett suggested that Mr Smith thought the men had gone into the
place where the women had come out from.
"Exactly," said Mr Smith.
Mr Tippett went over the scenario again, concluding that the women
"were standing together, they were defending their home".
"I don't think so, mate," said Mr Smith.
"You didn't leave," said Mr Tippett.
"We couldn't leave, could we?"
Mr Tippett put it to him that he was working up "for a really big
fight" and he had taken his shirt off. Mr Smith said, "Yeah", adding
that the pair were "baiting us all the way", had challenged them to
come back and fight at their place.
"We was invited back there," he said.
Under cross-examination by John Dickinson QC, appearing for Mr
Williams, Mr Smith said the original intention was to show a "bit of
support" to Scott McConnell, who had been assaulted in Gap Road,
between the Memo Club and the 24 Hour Store, and again in the carpark
opposite the Memo.
From his position in the saltbush at the railway line, he saw the
people he and his friends were following "throw rocks at the boss (Mr
McConnell)" and "hunt him down like a dog".
Mr Dickinson questioned him in detail about what he saw of the
assault on Mr Hargrave immediately prior to his death. He put it to him
that he was not sure that he had seen a second person involved in the
assault on Mr Hargrave. Mr Smith agreed he was not sure, but said he
keeps "thinking about it all the time" and he can see a second person
in his mind. Mr Dickinson put it to him that he "may be wrong" and Mr
Smith concurred. Mr Dickinson said he had said nothing of the second
person in his statement to the police, nor during committal. He put it
to Mr Smith that he was "making it up".
"What do you reckon, mate? I don't think so, I wouldn't be saying it
otherwise," Mr Smith replied, appearing angry.
The trial continues.
Court told of fight near Memo Club,
Hargrave's last moments
1900 CST March 9, 2011
In the trial of
Graham Woods and Julian Williams for the
murder of Edward Hargrave, the court heard evidence today from Scott
McConnell about what happened in the vicinity of the Memo Club and the
24 Hour Store on Gap Road and then later as he and others moved towards
the Keith Lawrie Flats on the corner of Bloomfield Street and Musgrave
Mr McConnell told the court that just past the Tea Shrine he was
harassed by two people, men in their early twenties of Aboriginal
appearance, and was called, (he apologised for the language) "a fat
white cunt" among other things. His path was impeded, he was pushed
and further taunted about his
weight. He said he tried to dissuade the men, saying they should leave
walk away. When there was further physical contact he pushed back.
A little later he was sprayed in the eyes and face, quite concerned
about the substance at first but realised later it was OK (the court
heard later on a recording of his call to the police emergency number
that he said he had been sprayed by acid). He was again called "a fat
white cunt". He could see people in the shadows on both sides of Gap
road. He said he was punched in the jaw – "a proper good punch".
The two young men were joined by a third. Mr McConnell tried to land a
couple of punches, but said he could not recall
making contact, though he did recall tearing the shirt of one man. He
said at least one of the three crossed the road. He was starting to
feel quite concerned, not knowing what would happen
He called Mr Hargrave who was inside the Memo Club, asking for his
help. He was in the carpark opposite the club, feeling "extremely
annoyed". There he was punched more than once and was attempting to
was not effective, unable to move quickly. People were moving around
him, jumping out of the way.
He fell to the ground and when he got up, Mr Hargrave and Faron Peckham
had arrived. There
was more scuffling, with four people in one party, five people,
including himself, in the other. He said he saw Mr Hargrave hit one who
as a result lay on the ground
for some time. Mr McConnell was also involved in a scuffle and could
the person to the ground, again saying that they should "leave this"
He said people from the other group ran away towards the RFDS building.
He said three of his party, including Mr Hargrave, pursued them quite
quickly, while he and Mr Peckham walked behind.
When he and Mr Peckham arrived in Musgrave Street he could see a group
of some 10 males fighting, some dancing around a group of four to five
in the middle. Among them he recognsied Mr Hargrave.
He saw people run towards Mr Hargrave, saw him get hit – "some sort of
contact". He said Mr Hargrave walked "a few steps towards us" and fell
did not see what other people then did, his "focus was on Ed". He
encouraged Luke Woodberry to stop Mr Hargave's bleeding.
Becoming upset as he gave this evidence, he said almost immediately Mr
Hargrave's upper body was covered in blood and Mr Woodberry's hands
were covered in blood. Mr Peckham called the ambulance which arrived in
a matter of minutes.
The police arrived some time after.
When the prosecutor showed CCTV footage of the scene outside the 24
Hour Store, Mr McConnell could not remember some of his movements and
actions that were recorded there – leaving the scene in the direction
of the mall, and talking to someone who stopped in a vehicle.
In cross-examination he admitted to referring to his assailants as
"softcocks". He rejected the expression that he "cracked the shits" to
emotional state although he agreed that he had used the expression in
the past. He said he was "extremely annoyed".
Jon Tippett QC, appearing for Mr Woods, suggested that he was "quite
wild". "Extremely wild or proper wild" would be a very good description
he was feeling, Mr McConnell said.
Mr Tippet suggested that when he crossed the road he went to "have a
fight". Mr McConnell preferred to say "I went to respond".
Mr Tippett suggested that he grabbed a man "in a headlock and drove him
to the ground". Mr McConnell said that was "unlikely", that he held on
to the man as
they both went to the ground and then positioned himself on top of the
man. He denied having "won" the fight.
Mr Tippett suggested that when his friends arrived they were "fired up"
and "ready for a fight". Mr McConnell said they were "responding".
Mr Tippett put it to him that he intended "to break some fucking
skulls". Mr McConnell said he was aware that he said that in a call to
police. He wanted to contextualise and resisted answering Mr Tippett's
questions until Justice John Reeves explained that re-examination by
the prosecution would clarify.
Mr McConnell denied ever having chased the two young men. He said after
they ran away he never saw any of the other party again. He said
he could not recall why he had an idea about where his friends
had gone. He said he had reason to suspect that they were chasing
members of the
other party. He and Mr Peckham followed at a slower pace. He made one
phone call to Mr Hargrave.
He resented the term "pursuit" used by Mr Tippett. He recalled that Mr
Hargarve told him that rocks were being thrown at
He recalled at some stage seeing women who appeared to be Aboriginal in
Musgrave Street. Mr Tippet said the women were being very loud. Mr
McConnell said everyone was. Told to answer the question, he said he
could not recall if they were
He was asked whether the women told Mr Hargrave to "fuck
off, we've got
kids here" and "I'm pregnant, fuck off". Mr McConnell said he wouldn't
know – "it was pandemonium". The only language he recalled was someone
saying, "Look out, he's got
an iron bar" or words to the effect.
He said he saw children on bicycles but he did not hear children
screaming and crying. He did not see anyone strike Mr Hargrave. He did
not see anyone holding a weapon.
CALLS TO 000
The court heard recordings of several phone calls to police made by Mr
McConnell on the night.
He told the operator he was going to follow the men who had attacked
him, using the
threatening language referred to above about what he was going to do to
In the third call he was advised by police to stay in a safe place. If
he was not going to go back to the Memo Club, he should go to the
police station. Mr Tippet asked him if he did that. Mr McConnell
In a fourth call he was again told to head towards the Memo Club, and
his phone number was taken for police to call if they could not find
In a fifth phone call he told the operator he was chasing the people
who had assaulted him down Bloomfield Street. The operator asked
several questions, including where was he attacked. Mr McConnell
struggled to remember. He agreed with Mr Tippett that he told the
operator at the end of the
call, "All right, we'll deal with it, thank you."
In a sixth call, he was in Musgrave Street. He sounded quite stressed,
even distressed, saying he needed help as soon as possible.
The trial continues.
No juror to be discharged
1400 CST March 9, 2011
No juror will be discharged from the jury in the trial of
Graham Woods and Julian Wiliams for the murder of Edward Hargrave in
Justice John Reeves, who had indicated yesterday
that he would discharge a juror, changed his
mind after reflection overnight. He told the full jury this morning of
the circumstances which led to
his preliminary decision and to the course of action he is now taking.
The issue arose from the misreporting in the Centralian Advocate of
March 8, 2011 that a member of the jury was related to the accused,
which is not the case.
Justice Reeves said discharging the juror could reinforce the
inaccuracy of the report by implying that the juror could not discharge
their oath to try the accused faithfully based on the evidence.
He said such action could also set an "unfortunate precedent" for
targeting a juror or jury by publishing inaccurate information.
He said the juror in question, whose identity he does not know (the
communication having been made via a note) had done nothing wrong; on
the contrary, the person had acted with complete propriety. He said the
incident did not give rise to any concern that the juror
could not discharge their oath, not for him, nor counsel for the
accused, nor the prosecutor.
He reassured the jury that their anonymity is protected by law.
A correction of the Advocate article appeared in today's Northern
Territory News, and Justice Reeves said Advocate editor Gary Wasserman
had told the court that a further correction will be published in the
Advocate of March 11. (The Advocate is a bi-weekly paper, appearing
Tuesdays and Fridays, and the NT News is a sister paper, both owned by
The trial continues.
Hargrave murder trial: Accused
March 8, 2011
Motorsport identity Edward Hargrave was killed in
self-defence, will argue counsel for Graham Woods who is accused of Mr
The fatal stabbing was an instinctive or reflex action by Mr Woods who
believed he was about to have “the shit beaten out of him” and could
possibly die, said his counsel.
The trial of Mr Woods, together with co-accused Julian Williams, began
Both men are pleading “not guilty” to the charge of murder.
Counsel for Mr Williams, John Dickinson QC, joined with his colleague
in describing the
chase of the pair by the deceased and four friends as “a hunt”. It
ended in a “wild, angry, violent and shambolic scene”, he said,
alleging that there were threats made towards the women and children
present. He said self-defence will be “a live issue” in the trial
evidence of it does not have to be proved by the accused; on the
contrary, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the
killing was not in self-defence. He also said that at the end of
the day his client, Mr Williams, is not
liable for the actions of Mr Woods, whom the prosecution alleges
inflicted the fatal wound.
On day two of the trial,
counsel for Mr Woods, Jon Tippett QC, spoke to
the jury of "two events" that occurred on the night of April 3, 2009
Mr Hargave died.
The first was “pretty unpleasant, juvenile, insulting and downright
stupid”, taking place in the vicinity of the Memo Club on Gap Road,
quickly rolling into an assault on Scott McConnell by three young men
and then a scuffle between the various parties. Then “the tables
turned”, said Mr Tippett, and the “three on one
scuffle” became a “hunt” of two of the three by five “very angry” men,
over a distance of 1.4 kms, ending at the Keith Lawrie Flats in
Musgrave Street. The various members of “the hunting party”
behaved differently, some in
front, some behind. There was “mobile phone organisation”; there were
people “lying in
wait” at particular points. The five men were fit and Mr Hargave was “a
very big man”, 188 cms
tall, weighing 110 kgs.
Various witnesses will give evidence that there were women and children
present at the scene in Musgrave Street, he said. Mr Woods was
“exhausted” and thought that he was going to be “severely
injured”. He was “outnumbered” by the group of “angry, determined men
on the unit” into which he had run and armed himself.
He ran out to frighten them away, said Mr
The other men were departing but Mr Hargrave turned to face him.
When Mr Hargrave “dropped and went into him” Mr Woods tried to push Mr
Hargrave away and the knife was in his hand. Mr Tippett did not
describe how the knife allegedly penetrated the victim’s body.
At this point he spoke to the jury about self-defence: a person is
entitled to defend him- or herself and to defend others.
The onus on the prosecution will be to prove to the “highest standard
of proof” that Mr Woods' action was not in self-defence.
He said persons act in self-defence in circumstances of great pressure;
they are “not able to weigh” the nature of their actions.
He asked the jury to keep in mind that Mr Woods’ action was sudden and
in fear, that the environment was unfolding, lots of things were
happening, that he was acting out of an instinct for self-preservation
and the preservation of others.
He asked the jury to look carefully at the account Mr Woods gives of
his actions in his electronic record of interview with police, bearing
in mind the stress of the situation for his client in the alien
environment of the interview room, the use of language, the use of
gestures to describe actions.
The prosecution will have to prove that Mr Woods intended to kill Mr
and that there was no possibility of “reflex action” by his client,
said Mr Tippett.
In the interview, which will be played in court next week, Mr Woods
tells police that he forgot he had the knife in his hand.
Such forgetting while focussed on something else is part of human
experience and part of this tragedy, said Mr Tippett.
MAXIMUM CHALLENGES TO POTENTIAL JURORS
The jury had been empanelled before lunch, with 29 potential jurors
from duty, and a further 24 potential jurors challenged by the defence.
Another potential juror was told to “stand aside” by the Crown.
No reasons need to be provided for challenges (a maximum of 12 for each
of the accused) nor for orders to stand aside.
The jury that eventuated after this process is made up equally of six
men, six women, of varying ages and backgrounds, with two female
Justice Reeves spent considerable time explaining their role and court
procedures and giving them advice – which they could take or leave – on
how to listen to the evidence: they must comply with his directions in
matters of law, but they are “the sole arbiters of the facts”, he said.
Their responsibility is a heavy one, but, he assured them, “Your
combined experience of the world and knowledge of everyday affairs is
It was late afternoon when the prosecutor. Ron Noble, finally began his
He said that there were effectively two trials underway, as the case
against each of the accused is “significantly different”.
He took them back to the fateful night, when Mr Hargrave had been
drinking with friends at the Memo Club on Gap Road. One of those
friends was Scott McConnell, who left the Memo to go to an ATM. Between
the Memo and the 24 Hour Store to
get some cash he was approached by three young men, including Mr Woods
They decided to “taunt” Mr McConnell, “dance around a bit”, and
squirted water at him.
He used his mobile phone to call Mr Hargrave, who came outside together
with Luke Woodberry.
An altercation began across the road from the Memo Club.
The group of three young men were joined by a fourth.
There was a tussle between Mr McConnell and Mr Williams which can be
inferred from a DNA match to Mr Williams from material on Mr
McConnell’s shirt as well as from Mr McConnell’s description.
The fourth man was knocked to the ground, probably by Mr Hargrave and
may have been briefly unconscious. Two more friends joined Mr Hargrave,
taking that group to five.
The four men scattered, with Mr Woods and Mr Williams taking a route
past the Flying Doctor, across the railway line and up Bloomfield
Street to Musgrave Street, to the Keith Lawrie Flats where relatives of
Mr Woods lived and where he stayed from time to time. Mr Hargrave and
his four friends followed.
This was not a “running race”, said the prosecutor, they were following
but not closely and Mr McConnell was on his phone trying to get the
police to come and getting “cross” when they didn’t arrive. The two
young men were aware that they were being followed: they
stopped at the railway to throw stones but that did not deter the five.
When they got to Musgrave Street, Mr Woods went into his family’s unit
while Mr Williams remained outside. The five men did not go up to
the unit or to the courtyard, they were
in the street outside. A security guard at the flats in the meantime
was also attempting to
contact the police.
The jury will hear evidence from witnesses Lindy Woods and Coralie
Neil, Mr Woods’ partner, heavily pregnant at the time with their second
child, about them trying to get the five to leave. In this “highly
charged situation”, the Crown alleges, Mr Woods
followed by Mr Williams ran out of the unit and inflicted the fatal
blow, which he admitted in an electronic record of interview with
VIOLENCE NOT BASED ON RACE
There are some allegations that there were “racial taunts” from both
sides. But the Crown says this case is not about violence based on
the prosecutor. Mr Woods and Mr Williams may be part-Indigenous
and Mr Hargrave not,
but some of Mr Hargrave’s friends, present on the night, are
part-Indigenous, and Mr McConnell will give evidence that he was trying
to explain to the accused that he works for an Aboriginal corporation.
The “bottom line” of the case is simply violence: Mr Woods is alleged
to have run out of the unit with a hockey stick wrapped in silvery tape
in one hand and a knife in the other. He was not reacting to a threat
but to the volatile situation that he and Mr Williams had started
outside the Memo Club and brought back to Musgrave Street. The five
weren’t going away, they were “fired up”, then “what happened,
Mr Williams allegedly shouted, “Let’s go bash them” – that’s what
initiated the whole situation, said the prosecutor. Mr Hargrave was
stabbed in his upper back, though this was not in “the
usual way” of a stabbing to the back. He had turned to face Mr Woods
when he ran out of the unit. It was in the course of the scuffle that
Mr Woods’ hand with the knife
had allegedly gone over the victim’s shoulder, inflicting not a large
wound, but “enough to penetrate” and consistent with a kitchen knife
found in Musgrave Street. Mr Hargrave walked some steps and then fell:
“Death would have followed
quickly," said the prosecutor.
He told the jury they would have to consider whether the actions of the
accused were voluntary or accidental. Mr Woods has said that he did not
realise he had a knife in his hand.
All that the Crown has to prove, whatever the conflicting thoughts that
may have been in Mr Woods’ mind at the time, was that his intention in
the “split second” of striking out was to cause serious harm – the
offence of murder includes the intention to cause serious harm, not
only the intention to kill, he said.
Mr Williams, who had shouted “Let’s go bash them” and picked up a pole,
may not have seen that Mr Woods had a knife, but saw the hockey stick,
said the prosecutor. He ran together with Mr Woods and delivered his
blow with the pole. Mr
Woods immediately ran away, before Mr Hargrave staggered and fell –
it’s obvious that Mr Woods knew what had happened, he said, and Mr
Williams delivered his blow before Mr Woods ran away.
The trial continues.
After cold shoulder
from Territory government, Gap Youth Centre gets $1.35m from Canberra.
A big shot in the arm from Canberra will allow the Gap Youth Centre to
become a community centre, catering for adults during school hours and
expanding its after-hours activities for young people.
CEO Jennifer Standish-White says the new funding is for three years,
allowing the centre to plan ahead rather than operate from year to
year, and have a chance to "build up evidence for further funding".
The centre's pleas
for funding of its vital after-school program for young people had been
ignored by four Territory Government ministers since December.
The centre has now received $1.35m from Minister for Families Jenny
Macklin, $450,000 a year, under the Federally funded Alice Springs
Transformation Plan, administered by the NT Government. Ms
Standish-White says the centre will be the town's first community
centre outside the town camps.
In daytime there are likely to be courses for young mums with their
babies, nutrition programs and art. A caseworker may be employed who
can assist people to get in touch with other government services. The
after-hours activities, the kind of initiative seen as highly necessary
by locals fed up with the current crime wave, will be enhanced, says Ms
While details of the initiatives are are yet to be finalized, they may
include employing a sports mentor to help young people get involved in
mainstream sports, as well as paying joining fees and buying sports
clothes and gear for kids who would otherwise not have these
Ms Standish-White says sport is "a great diversionary activity for
"They are less likely to get bored and they develop teamwork skills."
Ms Standish-White, who is due to leave her position with the centre
soon, says she is delighted about the new money. She started in the job
in 2009 after the organisation was in administration.
"Our concerns were listened to," she says. "It's a good legacy to
The $4.1m Alice Springs Transformation Plan package will also include
$340,000 for the town council for additional lighting, which will be
installed in a number of problem areas in the town, including the
laneways behind the Melanka’s site and Bojangles nightclub and behind
the toilets at Flynn Park.
Extra temporary lighting, suggested by Central Land Council chairman
Lindsay Bookie at the recent Action for Alice meeting, has been
installed in other identified hotspots, such as the lawns opposite the
Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Other initiatives announced include:-
• $1.28 million for a Housing Support program to help people in the
town camps to make the transition into public housing.
• $1.2 million for an additional 100 CDEP places in Alice Springs to be
offered to two distinct groups – disengaged young people, and those who
have been unsuccessful in obtaining employment.
These jobs will offer training, as well as the opportunity to take part
in community works, including landscaping, painting over graffiti and
preparing the town camps for postal services by installing letterboxes.
Conlan, Cameco email
leaked. By ERWIN CHLANDA.
exchange between him and the uranium miner Cameco is being
misinterpreted, says Country Liberal Member for Greatorex, Matt Conlan.
In the email he
suggested to the firm that a "sustained radio campaign" of 15 second
'Cameco Fast Facts' commercials would get the "positive uranium
message" (underlined) "out to the mums and dads of Alice and those that
simply don't understand the issue but are prepared to be convinced".
He said he would introduce Stephan Stander, the company's Alice manager
at the time, to the "sales guys" at 8HA and SUN FM – his former
employers – who are "more than capable of handling and developing any
campaign you might decide to do". (Mr Conlan says in the email he is
not on the station's payroll.) He says it would be great to "outmuscle
... the Greens and ALEC [who] can marshal any number of comrades for
letterbox drops and protests".
Rejecting any suggestion of bias towards Cameco and against local
environmentalists, Mr Conlan, speaking to the Alice Springs News, says
he was motivated by his perception that the company "had not been doing
enough to inform the community of the safety, environmental and
economic concerns and the impact on tourism of a mine". He was acting
in his role as the local member, fielding these concerns: The public
"needed to be informed", he says.
In his email exchange with Mr Stander in December 2009, Mr Conlan says
he was trying hard to facilitate a flow of information between the
company and the public. He said after the emails were leaked this week
to NT media, including the Alice Springs News, that Cameco was on the
back foot in the debate. As a believer in the nuclear power cycle, he
says he was keen to enhance public understanding of the Angela Pamela
mine planned for 20 kms south of Alice Springs.
In the email he refers to a "great" article in a national newspaper: "I
have photocopied 50 of them and am about to head off and letterbox drop
them into those with "NO U-MINE" signs."
Subsequently, during the by-election campaign for Araluen in October
2010, Mr Conlan turned against Angela Pamela, as did his party and the
NT Government. Had he changed his mind? No way!
"I came to a decision. I had not taken a position with regard to the
Is there not a big difference between "facilitating dialogue" and
orchestrating a campaign for Cameco?
No. The company had not convinced the people of Alice Springs about the
mine; the community was being "left behind, they didn't bring the
community with them".
Did he tell his constituents about his efforts on behalf of Cameco?
"Did I actually inform the electorate? The answer is no, I did not show
them, the electorate, this email."
Mr Conlan says: "I am happy to help where I can. This of course could
be seen as me colluding with Cameco so it could be fraught with
What did that suggest?
"I wanted to make sure they were aware that I am not in any way in
their camp. I will not take part in a collusion. I'm dong my job as a
local member, not taking sides. I made it abundantly clear that I am
impartial and simply facilitating dialoge."
Did he organize a public meeting, for example?
"At the time I had not facilitated any meeting. I had spoken to
numerous groups, and a number of meetings had already taken place."
Meanwhile, the campaign by the green movement, "the left wing of the
Labor Party, their campaign was relentless and sustained ... a well
organised campaign: "The wheels were in motion and were for ever and a
Says Mr Conlan: "I know some people might like to see it and twist this
email. There is no cloak and dagger."
He says he has nothing to apologize for.
The response by Mr Stander in the email leaked is brief and
non-committal: "We will be putting together a new strategy for 2010 and
will certainly give consideration to your idea," he says.
The 'secret sauce' for
sharing our story. By KIERAN FINNANE.
the "flat world" of the globalised future our children will have to
compete not only with their peers in Alice and the rest of Australia,
but with young people in India and China.
Following a "tsunami" of new technology improvements that occurred in
2010, that future has arrived – it's just not evenly distributed yet
and in the NT we are behind the eight ball.
So says David Nixon,
formerly a freelance media producer, recently
contracted by the NT public service and now Desert Knowledge Australia
to provide advice on trends in the "digital space".
He says the "advancing digital divide is threatening social equality in
the NT" and now is the time to play catch up, urgently.
Luckily, the NT Government has already identified one way that can be
In their Territory 2030 Strategic Plan, under the heading "Knowledge,
Creativity and Innovation", Objective 5 sets a target to raise
engagement in the creative industries to the highest per capita level
in the nation and to "by 2012, establish five digital playrooms in
libraries or cultural hubs across the Territory".
Alice Springs must make sure it gets one, urges Mr Nixon.
He was speaking at a recent Central Australian Creative Industries
workshop and asked participants to use "the right side of their brains"
to come up with ideas around how such a "playroom" could operate – a
The term "playroom" was rejected in favour of "production room"; it
would need to have a physical space making hardware and know-how
available to users; this could include a mobile facility, along the
lines of the MALUs (Mobile Adult Learning Units, as used for a long
time by TAFE in the NT).
The digital production room could offer residents a place to deposit
their "digital stories" – stories of their lives, their places,
culture, the rich fabric of the Territory – while mobile units could
move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, community to community,
engaging people in the creation of stories.
There should be the possibility of sharing these stories on a big
screen in a public place, but they would also provide the content of a
virtual network connecting up the region.
Mr Nixon says the format – "audio, photos, video, music, all mashed
together" – is more and more prevalent around the world and can
contribute to changing cultures.
"To change the culture, change the stories," he said, commenting that
the stories out of Alice that get the greatest exposure at present
Nonetheless they have "ignited a lot of conversation" and that's a
Digital stories could contribute to that process by presenting multiple
viewpoints and experiences.
"Every person has the capacity to tell stories," says Mr Nixon, "it is
the secret sauce to delivering on Territory 2030 objectives."
Sell meat of camels or shoot them and let them rot in the desert?
I’m no longer a resident of the Alice but still on the case for
developing a camel industry rather than a drop and rot programme which
is all the Government is concentrating its efforts on.
After all, out of $19m and the matching sum of money by the states
involved, $20,000 of that total sum being offered to the camel industry
is nothing but a pure insult.
It is rumoured that this latest cull in the Simpson Desert was such a
disaster that the overall effect was each camel shot cost close to if
not more than $1000 per head.
These very bright scientists knew it was raining in the desert but went
ahead with the camel cull anyway.
If they truly knew anything about camels they would have known that the
rains would have spread the camels out and to even contemplate a cull
would have been a sheer waste of taxpayers dollars and resources. But
On On March the Slaughter Army towards what can now only be described
as Central Australia’s Killing Fields.
Just recently, I have tried to discover any type of financial report
from Ninti One on the spending so far of the $19m and future plans for
the cash left over and the matching amounts from the States and
Territory Government on the Feral Camel Management Project. I’ve had no
success and yet I am sure the taxpayer would be keen to see where and
how their money is spent and what sustainable benefit has this grant
and programme had to the Aboriginal population, employment and industry
opportunities, environmental sustainable impact of the project and just
how it has assisted the overall GNP.
I get the feeling that the entire project is already recognised amongst
those within the ranks of the Feral Camel Management Project as an
absolute failure and that the figures just don’t add up towards any
possibility of being able to reach their objectives.
Whichever way you look at the figures (not that there are any for
transparency purposes. In fact, where is the transparency?) and the
camel numbers being culled, the cost of the wages of the scientists and
office workers, the chopper costs, shooters costs, fuel costs, etc.,
there is no way this project is on target.
Just to clarify some facts about the Australian Feral Camel Management
Action is being taken through a national, coordinated and responsible
approach to reduce the impact of feral camels. If we don’t reduce feral
camel numbers now they are likely to double in the next 10 years.
As previously advised removal techniques vary however removal
operations are being conducted at an average cost of around $50 per
head. As the project is involved in a variety of removal techniques we
can say that in the current season conditions commercial use activities
under the project have been more impacted than aerial shooting
Camels are found across an area of more than three million square
kilometers over parts of WA, SA, the NT and parts of western Qld.
The challenge for commercial use activities is not just the
geographic spread of camels but also the remoteness of most camel
populations in terms of access to roads and
processors. Establishing a viable commercial industry will not
provide a quick-fix solution to the feral camel problem.
Given the serious nature of feral camel damage we need to respect
landholder preferences and many landholders just want camel numbers
reduced now. Where commercial use can't achieve this objective in
a timely manner, landholder preference is usually to engage with
coordinated aerial shooting operations.
While it is not a key objective of the Australian Feral Camel
Management Project, we support short-term industry development based on
feral camels where commercial use approaches are viable, reduce feral
camel impacts and provide much-needed employment and economic activity
in arid Australia.
In addition to allocating almost $1m in support for
commercial use activities to date, we are working with the
Australian Camel Industry Association and have provided $20,000 to
assist them in the development of an industry development plan. This
funding came from our corporate budget, not from Australian Feral Camel
Management Project funding.
Over the four-year life of this project we will continue to focus on
the most cost-effective and humane ways to reduce the feral
camel densities in areas where they are causing damage
to our environment, industry and desert communities.
Operations to reduce feral camels are being planned in several states
and territories and will consider the most effective areas and timing.
We are well aware of the implications of seasonal conditions for
camel removal and will continue to take these into account in planning
ongoing commercial use and culling operations.
Ninti One Limited
How one person can give a town a
[Report in the Sydney Morning Herald
on March 18:
Best-selling gay author Armistead Maupin says he could not believe what
he heard when he and his husband Chris Turner walked into Bojangles
Saloon in Alice Springs for lunch last Friday.
Turner asked a staff member if he could use the rest room.
"The guy said, 'Sorry, we don't have one in here but you can go across
the street and use the public facility,'" Maupin said.
Maupin, who had used the toilet in Bojangles the day before, said he
had pointed in the direction of the toilet and asked, "What's that over
"The barman gave me a very pointed look and said, 'That's reserved for
real men,'" said Maupin, the San Francisco-based author of nine novels,
including the Tales of the City series.]
LETTER to the Alice Springs News from
David Perrin, New York City, NY, USA:
I lived in San Francisco (1975-1984) when Army Maupin wrote Tales
of the City in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Even when the Mayor and Harvey Milk were assassinated in 1978 by Dan
White we marched peacefully in the “Candlelight March” believing that
the judicial system would work.
But when the jury came back with only a “voluntary manslaughter” (the
lightest possible sentence) we had enough and rioted.
The point is, 30+ years later, you’re still making fun and demeaning
Even feeling empowered enough to do it directly to our faces as this
I know from personal experience while traveling in your beautiful
country, the Australian people, in toto, are not bigoted but we must
call out those that are.
Here’s the message I left on the Bojangles website (music request):-
You submitted ... P R I D E SILLA (QUEEN OF)
Location ... THE DESERT
Song ... DANCING QUEEN
Artist ... ABBA
Message ... Oddly, tomorrow night I'm going to the Broadway opening
night of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I'll be sure to loudly boo
when the bus enters your bigoted little town. Enjoy all the bad
publicity your staff has created and feel free to fire someone. That's
what a REAL man would do.
[Bojnagles did not respond to an offer
of right of reply.]
REPLY to these letters.
A message to
Action for Alice
Sir – It’s Saturday night, 1.30am.
We step out of the last pub on the main strip of town and are
immediately fronted by a girl who runs up and tells us that a woman is
being bashed by her boyfriend down an alleyway.
We run over to see if she’s okay, see if we can help.
A cop car passes us and we wave him down. He heads over to check it
out. We start walking back up the street towards the mall.
Ten meters on a man runs out of nowhere and punches another guy in the
Blood splatters down onto the pavement.
A couple of girls, drunk on the seats next to him, start giggling.
I recoil in horror from a man sitting behind a line of projectile
vomit, and in the same second hear the sound of car tyres screeching to
a halt, followed by a sickening thump.
We look around and see a man sent flying.
Wandered drunk onto the road.
Hit by a taxi.
People crowd around him and we call an ambulance. All this has happened
within 20 meters of leaving the pub.
As we continue our journey towards the mall, the street is filled with
more carnage, the kind of which I have never encountered before.
Perhaps I’m just never out this late?
It seems like everyone is on the verge of a drunken fight.
I can see some people almost itching for an excuse.
Angry, unhappy people fuelled by alcohol wander the streets.
We walk behind a fella with blood stains on his t-shirt, get hassled
for money by a man with a possessed look in his eyes and carefully
watch our step for fear of broken glass, vomit, piss and blood.
I cling tightly to my lover's arm and put my hand protectively across
Please let us get to the end of the street without dying.
Or seeing someone die. It feels like the end of the world.
Maybe it is.
All this happened 1500 kilometres away from Alice Springs on the main
street in Adelaide and according to statistics, similar scenes are
being played out across all of Australia.
This is not an Alice Springs problem.
This is not an Aboriginal problem.
This is a society problem.
Seen it all before
Sir – The Government’s announcement of eight new truancy officers bears
a striking similarity to a 2004 Budget commitment of $680,000 for eight
school attendance officers "to deal with truancy and re-enrolling
students back into school".
Whatever happened to that money? Was it ever used to employ the eight
truancy officers that were promised and what was the outcome of that
commitment in getting children into school?
Why has it taken this Government until mid March to announce the
appointment of eight new truancy officers?
How long will take until these officers are operational?
Despite the significant investment of taxpayers’ money in 2004, seven
years later school attendance remains one of the most significant
problems in the Northern Territory.
There’s no point pumping money into truancy officers if their effort
isn’t supported by the law and the will to follow-up.
School is compulsory. Parents should be prosecuted if their children
don’t have a good reason to not attend.
The Government has to bite the bullet and begin fining parents if their
children are not at school.
Figures released recently by the Opposition show that approximately
11,600 school age children in the Territory – approximately one-third –
will miss two or more years of schooling between the ages of 5 and 15.
Of those, 2700 school age children aren’t even enrolled at school.
The 2004 budget promise was hollow and lacked substance. I hope today’s
announcement doesn’t suffer a similar fate.
Peter Chandler MLA
to these letters.
ARROW: Magnifique! Having a fat time in France.
I have had enough of writing about all the dramas on our doorstep and
I’m pretty sure you are sick of hearing about it too. So today I’m
going to share a few thoughts on a wonderful place that I visited not
Part of our recent (sadly now finished) holiday included some time in
France. I had never been before and I must say that I think, after some
retrospection, that it was my favourite part of the holiday. And
that is saying something as there were so many highlights in so many
places. But for sheer consistency and delivery on expectations, Paris,
Nice and Avignon were amazing for all the right reasons.
In Montmarte (Paris) I had the best meal I had eaten in a long time, at
a bar chosen by the flip of a coin, a steak so magnificent that even
now I wish I could have shaken the hoof of the noble beast that grew
it. The chef must have been taking a break from the three Michelin star
place he (or she of course) usually graces. It was a pleasure, for the
sheer joy of eating no less and washed down with a local no name wine
loved for itself and not a label. When was the last time you could
truly say that?
This wonder dish was supplemented by daily shops for fresh bread,
coffee and other goodies at little establishments that would not exist
if MacShite Ubermarts had taken over every grocery purchase option.
I have come to indulge in the cooking of food in the last few years.
Sadly absent wife enthuses for the tricky and the fiddly dishes, while
I have adopted the role of rustic chef. In other words dishes that can
be cooked in one pot and not end up with a lot of pans to be washed up
after the cooking buzz is gone. It’s tasty and gets a thumbs up but it
is not cuisine in our post MasterChef era.
The French are known for their desire to protect their cultural
identity and I, being the benefactor of such passion, wholeheartedly
agree. Have I mentioned the Louvre? Not just a back ground for a Dan
Brown novel, it is a massive sprawl of several palaces stitched
together to make a space for human aspiration I could not have believed
existed. The Eiffel Tower is a giant Meccano toy built on a mind
I cycled through Nice (which did have a few pretentious “look at me”
gits, but not many) and ate horse in Avignon. The horse was not as
expected, it came in as sausage and was greasy and chewy. And green. We
did have fun trying to explain what we wanted, the lady who ran the
shop was going “mooo” and we were snorting and making whinnying noises.
And the best bit, the absolute icing on the cake? The people, the
everyday folks that we encountered in all sorts of capacities all over
the country. Who ever said the French were arrogant? A stuck up Pom or
an irritable Yank perhaps. Maybe at the end of a long summer when
everyone has had enough of the Hooray Henrys or the Chucky Boys
stomping around the place, people can get the strop, but hello, who
People were accommodating, friendly and helpful. I remember the amazing
things I saw but mostly I remembered the people who were kind, tolerant
and lovely. That is what stuck after the experience and that is what we
can do here. I have said it before and I stand by it, the best thing we
can do as a tourist destination is be friendly and helpful to the
visitors that come and stay with us, even if only for a short while.
They make the effort to come thousands of miles just to be here, the
least we can do is add a human component that will blow their minds.
Marketing is good, but there is an element of trust involved in travel
that marketing can’t guarantee. That part is up to us.
MOZZIE BITES with RONJA
MOSS: Alice zine scene.
“It’s about freedom of speech. It’s important cause we need to
communicate through stories. We all learn through stories and have a
unique, but corresponding tale to tell.”
So said Matty Day, founder of Eat Dust Zines, when I asked him, “Why
zines? Why now? And why do we care?!”
At this point you might be saying to yourself, yeah, ok, great, but
what are zines anyway?
The term refers to self-published magazine, usually created for a small
circulation and with a photocopier. In other words, homemade!
The zine scene in Alice has been steadily growing for the past few
years with producers like Eat Dust in the frontline.
The idea is that local artists and writers who may not have the
opportunity to get their work published and ‘out there’ are provided
with a voice. Or, more accurately, can give themselves a tool of
expression! Zines can be about music, poetry, photography, fashion,
art, sports and… well, the list could go on infinitely.
One community-made zine I stumbled upon at Cam’s Coffee shop – Cam's an
advocate of the scene – simply contained printed line drawings of
gastronomic goods brought to life by having female faces immersed in
them. A lack of text was made up for by quirky looks and sumptuous
designs. Very effective!
As the zines of Alice have so far been created intermittently and with
a limited number, it can be hard to access them regularly. However,
there are organizations around town that support the craft. The Alice
Springs Town Library, Watch This Space and Red Hot Arts have all helped
support the creators and contributed towards distribution, as will the
new The Youth Hub .
In fact, this Friday Watch This Space will be holding The Scissors,
Paper, Rock Zine Fair. Starting at 5pm, the night is all about
exhibiting locally made works. It will be open for creators to share,
sell, or swap their products. So if you have a zine you’ve been working
on in secret, or you’d like to have a bit of a sticky beak, go down …
I’ve also been told there will be cake!
Eat Dust Zines will be presenting four assorted special printed
editions for sale at the event on Friday. They include Rad Iku Loose, a
quirky self discovery story of how to become rad and, of course, loose.
It seems Alice Springs is the perfect place for an art form like this
at the moment. Full of stories and happenings, we need as many mediums
as possible to express and communicate with each other.