I was recently in a community in turmoil over how …

Comment on MLA Bess Price on ‘the killing of our women, abuse of our kids’ by Ralph.

I was recently in a community in turmoil over how kids would be fed during school holidays, the school having long established its duty to feed them. The plight of the hungry kids was levelled squarely at the school.
Responsibilities are easy to take but well neigh impossible to hand back. So I hope this story also attracts a wide Aboriginal audience because our readiness to take on responsibilities in Aboriginal society far exceeds our capacity to successfully do so.
The most beneficial role for non Aboriginal society is to support changes that people are making for themselves. So what are the Aboriginal responses to domestic violence? The old tradition of a man moving to his wife’s country (and her family rather than his) is making a welcome comeback. There is a burgeoning growth of resilient young women who have left their husbands and returned to the safety of their own families. They are part of a flourishing single mothers group, not the traditional single older Aboriginal woman whose husband has passed away. These are young women, content to remain single and draw on extended family support to grow their children up.
The use of social media such as Face book is taking off, and with it support networks beyond the community and family are expanding. The independence of women and their readiness to use DVOs and report violence against them is growing apace. It cannot be said that governments don’t care or ignore violence when their involvement, expenditure and level of support for women who report violence is the highest it has ever been.
Among Indigenous men, domestic violence is now openly acknowledged as a problem and the term ‘woman basher’ has become an insult. That’s a recent and positive development.
Aboriginal society is responding, albeit not fast enough for many, and to support the process it is important to not be distracted by the idea that outsiders can do the job for them. We can assist by supporting change but not by over reacting to tragic circumstances by taking away responsibility.

Ralph Also Commented

MLA Bess Price on ‘the killing of our women, abuse of our kids’
Dave, I just finished reading Kieran’s poignant and wonderfully well written story “trouble at the turn off” and was struck by the need for positive action to address the ills that Bess and Kieran describe.
I recall that once before you were asked what you think of the BDR but you didn’t respond to the question, so would you please do so now and also tell us about the steps you think we need to take.

Recent Comments by Ralph

Mating odour to catch feral cats
Cats roam and I wonder how many much-loved pet cats have ended up on this rural property.
Cats should always be trapped and taken to the local shelter.
Shelter staff and volunteers will then check for a microchip to see if there is a registered owner and advertise online to try to re-home. They are dealt with humanely at all times.

Back to the future with Warren Snowdon
@ Frank Baarda: The helium is a byproduct of Central Petroleum’s (ASX CTP) Mt Kitty petroleum system to the far west of Alice Springs near the Kintore community.
The Suprise 1 well at Mt Kitty pumped oil for more than a year that was transported in tankers. Little has been reported by the company on the commercial possibilities of the helium.

End of search for Monika Billen
My drone flying friends say that not finding Monika is a disgrace.
Forget the old tech ground searches.
Fly the latest high tech drones equipped with high-resolution cameras or video and analyse the results.
She would have been found on day two after being reported missing.
After an initial cost of perhaps $100,000 the drone system would pay for itself within a year and the tourist industry would be better off.

The financial crisis in the Northern Territory
James, I suspect that remote community infrastructure does add to the NT’s revenue stream, as it always has. Case in point (admittedly dated):
Federal grant of $500,000 for remote preschool.
NT admin tax $250,000.
Old asbestos clad science block sent to the community (instead of dumping it}.
Over the next three months, Alice Springs tradies renovate the building.
There is no money left for painting so that becomes a school expense.
Darwin designed building has no security so is broken into and trashed, then closed for six months as the school tries to get it repaired.
So the NT Government gets a windfall profit, Alice Springs businesses do well and the community gets a high maintenance asbestos building.

At last, public will get a say on Anzac Oval: Town Council
Gunner has made the right call on the location of the proposed gallery and offered substantial funding.
No other sensible and economically viable location has been proposed.
The gallery will probably operate at a loss as does the Desert Park.
To be sustainable the loss must be minimised and it must add value to our tourist businesses.
South of the Gap / at the Desert Part are not suitable locations.
The Greens are engaged in misguided economically damaging democracy.
They are doing the same by using their position on the Water Board to slow down mining development at Mt Pearce.
This action threatens the offer of generous funding.

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