Paul Parker (Posted December 22, 2015 at 8:03 am): I …

Comment on Cultural museum for Alice: That’s how it could be done by Bob Durnan.

Paul Parker (Posted December 22, 2015 at 8:03 am): I am not so pessimistic. People need to remember that the Alice Springs situation is pretty unusual compared to most other places that have contemplated the complicated project of planning to build a contemporary cultural centre.
There are moves afoot towards mediating disputes, repairing damaged relationships, and building cultural bridges; and there is leadership adequate to the task.
It is just long, difficult work, by its very nature.
Alice combines the presence of a large mass of “immigrant” Aboriginal individuals, numbering several thousand, mostly from the central Australian hinterland, with a much smaller local network of traditional owner and custodian families, many of whom were displaced during the colonial period, and some of whom have intermarried with members of the immigrant groups.
Alice Springs also boasts an unbroken line of detailed knowledge about traditional culture and social practices in the area, carried by some of the TOs and their associated custodian families who have re-occupied the town following the demise of the old systems of displacement and control.
Many of these TOs and custodians had been shipped away, in the early to mid-twentieth century, to missions, assimilation settlements, welfare homes, pastoral leases, mines and foster homes.
When you add to this volatile mix the fact that most of the local traditional owner families were subjected to the full brunt of colonial occupation, gun-enforced pastoral settlement, missionary interventions, lawless mining rushes and feral prospectors, all accompanied by succeeding waves of deadly new diseases, rogue cops and the misguided fracturing of their families by often over-enthusiastic child welfare practitioners, it is a wonder that so many of these families have survived in some form. Many have not.
Therefore it is little wonder that there is still more healing time needed for some of these families, for mediating, and mending some of the fractures that have arisen between them.
Other players in the town would do well to keep this in mind, and provide non-partisan support and solidarity, rather than pick away at the exposed wounds.
If it is going to happen, it needs to be done properly. Great patience is required.
Still, it is good to see Steve Brown and other local leaders here willing to offer unconditional support for the general project, and to see a number of others, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, willing to put their heads up and provide leadership in the effort to explore ways forward on these complex issues.

Recent Comments by Bob Durnan

Architect of Katherine’s masterplan to be Alice council CEO
James (Posted June 6, 2019 at 8:14 am): How many parks in Alice Springs commemorate Aboriginal leaders or dignitaries?
Nothing against Father Smith, but couldn’t we consider looking collectively at setting some priorities before rushing in to barrack for our favourite project?


Price family were sole complainants against Cocking & Satour 
Conservative (posted May 1, 2019 at 9:19 am): what do you mean by ‘props to Erwin’? Stage ‘props’? It doesn’t make sense.


Road toll drops by half
Like InterestedDarwinObserver, I think Assistant Commissioner Beer’s claim is a somewhat questionable one.
Given that the majority of NT road deaths are normally the result of single vehicle roll-overs on remote roads, it is questionable whether more intensive traffic policing in Alice would necessarily produce this good result as claimed.
We would need a much bigger sample and more details of the individual accidents to really get an idea about what is actually going on here.


Massive horse deaths now a risk to humans
Hal, (Posted April 14, 2019 at 1:29 am): Don’t be so disingenuous. It is obvious from the article that CLC staff have been trying very hard to get permission to act.
They have now made their frustrations known to the relevant authorities, who are able to step in.
My point is that your criticism should have been aimed at those responsible (the traditional owners in question), not at the CLC as an organisation, as the staff are trying to do their job and get something done about the situation.
I was at both Mulga Bore and Angula a little over a week ago, and found very few people at Mulga, and none at Angula.
There were no dead horses that I saw, or smell of dead horses, around the houses then at either place, but there may have been some elsewhere. Of course the carcasses should be disposed of, wherever they are; that is what the writer and the CLC are trying to achieve.


Massive horse deaths now a risk to humans
Hal: How would the Land Council stand legally if it were to destroy the property of a set of traditional owners without their permission? The CLC does not own the horses.
They are either the property of individual traditional owners and traditional owner family groups, or of persons who have contracts with the TOs to allow their horses to be on the TOs’ land.
Or else they are the responsibility of the particular Land Trust trustees on whose land they are located.
Legally the CLC as a statutory body can only consult and advise the traditional owners, and act on their instructions. It cannot make decisions for them without their permission.


Be Sociable, Share!

A new way to support our journalism

We do not have a paywall. If you support our independent journalism you can make a financial contribution by clicking the red button below. This will help us cover expenses and sustain the news service we’ve been providing since 1994, in a locally owned and operated medium.

Erwin Chlanda, Editor