Good to see the coverage that these issues are getting …

Comment on Pine Gap: Important talks but who was listening? by Jonathan Pilbrow.

Good to see the coverage that these issues are getting in the Alice Springs News Online.
Regarding the Alice Springs Town Council Policy No 111 on Pine Gap: Up until about three weeks ago, the policy No 111 contained the following words at the bottom of the policy “Refer to attached document ‘Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap’ that supports this policy via important background information”.
There was, however, no document attached to the policy three weeks ago; and the reference to the attachment is no longer contained in the policy.
A web search for the attachment has proved elusive.
I think that it is vital that the Alice Springs public have access to the background information that has informed the current Alice Springs Town Council policy in relation to Pine Gap.

Recent Comments by Jonathan Pilbrow

Aboriginal soldier from Charlotte Waters killed in WWI
Thanks for your comments John and your mention of Alex’s two service medals is worth a detailed look. The story about how Alexander’s two service medals were consigned to his step-mother, Mary McKinnon in 1922, is a very interesting and sad one. There is an account of this given by Arianna Baldieri as part of the 2018 Northern Territory Chief Minister’s Anzac Spirit Study Tour.
Baldieri explains that “in his Will, McKinnon declares that “‘Cobb’ of Mount Dare via Charlotte Waters Northern Territory Aboriginal my mother all my goods and Chattels real and personal to and for her own use and benefit absolutely.”
“After hearing the news of his death in 1921, Mary wrote a letter to the Officer in Charge of Base Records asking for more information about his death and also mentioning that Alexander’s mother and father is dead. The thing that is strange about this letter is that Mary signs off with “A. McKinnon.”
“From then on, an investigation deciding which mother would rightfully claim the late McKinnon’s items, began. Why did Mary say that “Cobb” was dead when she applied for Gratuity? On the 24th of April 1922, a letter was written saying that if the gratuity was awarded to “Cobb” the amount would more likely be paid to the Protector of Aborigines, leaving “Cobb” with nothing. The letter also mentions that “the WAR MEDALS would not be valued by ‘Cobb,’ and would suggest that they be awarded [to the stepmother].”
“On the 17th of May 1922, it was decided that the medals would go to Mary and the gratuity to “Cobb.” Of course, though the gratuity went to the state. The only thing that Alice “Cobb” McKinnon received from her son was 2 books, pipe, 2 bag handles, 2 handkerchiefs, inkwell, purse, 2 straps, letters, cards, photos, testament and a wallet.”


Picnic Day is Hiroshima Day too
Tickets are quickly running out. Only a small handful left.
If you wish to hear Karina Lester speak at the Hiroshima Nagasaki Remembrance Dinner please book with Maya 0450474043 or mcifali@bigpond.com and pay cash on the night.


Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
Thanks Rainer for your most insightful and helpful article.
Re: “All professions who engage with youth should receive basic training so that they are trauma informed.”
Do all police receive training in trauma informed practice?
If not – this would seem to be one immediate priority that could be actioned.


Who put Anzac Oval on the agenda as site for art gallery?
Thanks Maya. Good comments. I cannot believe that Anzac Oval is under consideration as an option. Why would we rob Peter to pay Paul?
Putting the Indigenous Art Gallery at the Desert Park will add to and enhance that space, without getting rid of an existing asset.
But to take away Anzac from the rugby and rugby league communities makes no sense; and even if some green space is retained it will never be the same.
If the NT Government is determined to house the Indigenous Art Gallery within or near to the CBD, surely there are some other options to explore – even if it costs more to gain access to land. What about the old Melanka site? Or the vacant land next to the Ghan, on the Stuart Highway (corner of Whittaker St).
And how about some real consultation with the community. Start out with a blank slate, not predetermined options – and consult the community, especially Arrernte people, about what might be the best place to house the gallery.


Town council’s unanimous ‘no’ to fracking
Fantastic that Alice Springs Town Council is unanimously supporting the moratorium. Congratulations to all involved.


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