Evelyne, please read my comments again. You may have missed …

Comment on Indigenous art gallery centrepiece of Gunner’s plans for Alice by Ray.

Evelyne, please read my comments again. You may have missed my entire point.
Yes, I understand what song lines are and what they mean, but was commenting that we cannot talk about a national Aboriginal centre in the light it is being presented in the story, as the Aboriginal nations are as different as the European nations are.
Despite the fact they live on the same continent, each country is vastly different, although they do share similarities, and have interacted over the centuries.
Song lines occasionally do cross “cultural country boundaries” and protocols exist for members of one tribe crossing into the country of others, and that is where there are indeed some similarities.
All nations and cultures share myths, legends and lore.
My point was, that we need to concentrate on the Central Desert Aboriginal people, as they are the ones that are here, and have the most influence, and are the ones we can consult with.
Saying it is a national Aboriginal centre demonstrates we still don’t get it.
The entrance to this centre should be the first point to explain to visitors that although Aboriginal people inhabit the entire continent, it is made up of hundreds of “countries” and this particular centre celebrates and explains to visitors the uniqueness of the TOs, their descendants and visitors that make up this “region”.
Steve makes a great point to.
I would love top see an indigenous café, staffed by original staff, featuring food using bush tucker, a forecourt with two or three ceremonial dance displays and culture talks, art galleries, basket weaving workshops and maybe tour guides that can on-sell tours to regions that the visitors want to see more of.
Then again, that’s just my vision, and really means nothing until the views and visions of the TOs are invited.

Ray Also Commented

Indigenous art gallery centrepiece of Gunner’s plans for Alice
Good concept, but get the popcorn ready. This seems to be suggesting that Aboriginal people are all united, and all see Alice Springs as their cultural home. All the teachings I have had and my understanding is that Australia is made up of 200 to 300 skin or language groups.
I would have thought Mr Paech would be all over this.
Maybe a centre that celebrates Central Australian Aboriginal people, but one that tries to incorporate all skin groups all over the country seems to completely ignore everything cultural awareness lessons have ever taught whitefellas here.
How do you give the same level of representation to the Arrernte and those from the Torres Strait in the one limited building? Surely all the schoolkids from Hobart would be best studying the land, culture, songlines and traditions of Tasmanian Aboriginies, and those from Broome would be better placed to learn about their saltwater people instead.
Take a leaf from places that are successful. In New Zealand, cultural centres concentrate on the Maori, not every inhabitant of the Pacific Islands.
We had a fantastic cultural centre here in the Panorama Guth, until it burnt down, and that concentrated on the desert peoples of Central Australia.
Look at the Desert Park, they concentrate on our part of Australia, and do a fantastic job.
We are a meeting place for Arrernte, Warlpiri, Pit land tribes, Alyawarre and others. Why not keep it at that?
Sections dedicated to these language groups would surely provide plenty of information for tourists who have come all this way to learn about Central Australian Aborigines.
If they want to learn about Yolngu, they will go up north. This current plan seems a bit like designing a centre for European culture, featuring French, Russian, English, Spanish, Greek and Italian cultures. But hey, these Europeans are all white, so they must be they same, Eh?
Maybe the design could be the “Big Caterpillar”.


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I cannot offer a solution but know from genuine experience that you are 100% correct.
The young teachers come here every year to change the world.
Some stay, but many return almost in tears after seeing what it is really like.
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Welcome back, Janine.
I have seen you and read your words many times over the last 20 years.
Although when I read them this time I was unsure if I should be content to just roll my eyes or get angry or simply scroll on past.
You have come here many times before and told all the locals where they have gone wrong, how everything we have tried is wrong, and we have simply failed to ask the right questions.
You personally, are obviously fairly new to town but once again have the answers by using terms like First Nations, the vulnerable, and any other paternalistic term you can think of.
You will discover that the people you are talking about really don’t care about the sympathy or empathy you express here.
You have been here so many times before in many different guises, telling the locals who live here how they should have been more empathetic in the first place, and how kindness will win the day, generational trauma etc etc.
My people were killed by Germans, Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese, but I don’t teach my kids to hate them, nor to I get reminded that I should be traumatised when I see them.
I don’t use it as an excuse to be an ass**$e when told I need to modify my behaviour.
Before you run back to where you came from blaming everybody else for stopping your ideas from changing this part of the world, you need to understand we have heard it all before, and until we grow the balls to start dealing with these people with every power the law can provide, it will not stay the same, it will continue the downward spiral.
Your approach has been tried and has made things worse.
These are some bad people, empowered by the veil you put on them of vulnerability, knowing this gives them protection by the lawyers who are funded to defend their abhorrent behaviour time and time again, combined with the judges who are more interested in reducing incarceration rates than making the punishment fit the crime.
They can choose to live their lives in a traditional manner as over 51% of the NT is Aboriginal owned.
Instead they come into town at these town camps, and get on the grog, creating havoc for the residents who call the police.
Unfortunately the police know that doing what needs to be done could land them in all sorts of strife due to the overly cautious approach they are forced to work under.
They have become powerless punching bags because you and your previous incarnations have convinced the power brokers that they are just naughty kids that are too stupid to take responsibility for themselves.
Triggered by the sight of a uniform? What a load of PC rubbish.
Most criminals would be triggered, and so they should be, because it used to be that they would be taken to task and be made to think about their actions.
Strange how the moms and kids at these town camps are happy to call the police, and they are not triggered by them.
Do you realise we have some amazing Aboriginal officers?
Nowadays they are treated as fragile clients, who have no issue bashing the crap out of their own women and kids, undoing all the good work the real TOs and long term Aboriginal families of this area have put In.
Open your eyes and get down from your PC horse and understand that empowering these people does not mean they will bloom into a beautiful flower.
Some many turn into weeds that need to be dealt with to save the whole garden from ruin.


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