Ali Curung has an inadequate medical clinic let alone any …

Comment on Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action by Jones.

Ali Curung has an inadequate medical clinic let alone any family support services.
The need is huge because alcohol abuse is rife.
Kieran has written a poignant account of the death of a woman near Ali Curung; well worth a read to get a sense of real life in the community.

Trouble at the turn-off


‘Paradise’ is the local name for the nearest alcohol takeaway on the Stuart Highway.
There is a missing generation in the community, victims of alcohol abuse and their kids are looked after by their grandparents.
They are old and most are sick so of course the kids are not supervised as well as the grandparents would like.
Down the road there is Nturiya (Station) and Wilora (Stirling), allegedly serviced from Ti Tree.
Nturiya has the worst housing and services I have seen anywhere in the Territory and remote Pilbara.
Camps are common, families living under corrugated iron.
The community has no store or clinic.
Wilora is another victim of Ti Tree under servicing.
There are visiting nurses but no one counts on them.
Family support services are a distant dream.
The entire region is a national disgrace.

Jones Also Commented

Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action
@ Another Local: It’s interesting that you say that Nturiya had a health centre built some years ago and it was burned to the ground.
In the white administrative enclave of Ti Tree that is exactly the reason given for the neglect of the community, it is also claimed that 15 years ago the store was burned down.
Nturiya is pariah community where a few incidents long ago are used to justify the horrific neglect.
Docker River store was burned down many years ago as was Kintore school etc etc but these communities have stores and schools and clinics.
I personally have found the people of Nturiya hospitable and peaceful.
Heard of any Willowra style riots or major family disputes?
People at Yuendumu were actually compensated by the NT Government when they torched houses and cars.
About time to stop making excuses and blaming the victims. Put services into these neglected communities.


Second Barkly child tragedy highlights need for urgent action
One of the issues that bedevils communities in the Barkly region and which negatively affects many residents is the gutlessness of the housing agency to management properties effectively.
There might be one occupant in a three bedroom house and a family with six kids in a one bedroom house or even with no house at all so crammed into a relatives house.
Eight people living in one room.
Housing will not intervene to remedy this.
That’s how the ownership of houses had been allowed to happen irrespective of needs.
Families will own a number of houses and if one is vacant they will put a single individual in that house to maintain their ownership.
Large families in overcrowded houses see this happen and complain about it but no action is taken.
There is certainly overcrowding in the Barkly but there would be a lot less if families were assigned houses according to their needs.


Recent Comments by Jones

Little progress with $64m management system for trouble kids
These management systems are outsourced to Indian IT companies.


Little progress with $64m management system for trouble kids
Information management systems with magical capabilities have an unfortunate history in the NT.
The need for them emerges when governments have run out of solutions to major problems.
This one is claimed to “get young people out of the cycle of crime”.
Similarly IMOS was designed to break the cycle of recidivism and reduce the numbers of prisoners in our jails.
IMOS took twice as long to make and cost more than twice its original budget.
It was a near useless system, mismatched to on the ground realities and the needs of Corrections staff.
For political reasons it was never used to research which programs actually worked in reducing recidivism.
This case management system will also blow out in cost and will not break the cycle of crime.
But with no answers it is timely, even if useless and yet more expenditure we can’t afford.


Dujuan’s moving story and its missing pieces
@ Meg: Thanks for your post. The need for Aboriginal children to have their histories, identities, languages and culture taught and valued in our education system inspires In My Blood It Runs. This is a timely message for our local schools.
I was shocked when I worked as a teacher at Yirara College to discover that Aboriginal histories, identity, languages and culture are ignored.
The students knew almost nothing of their own history but were familiar with the white history of Australia. What could be more important to identity than knowing your own history?
It was always my interest at Yirara to address the shortfall of Aboriginal history but it was not encouraged.
It struck me as unbalanced that Anzac Day, commemorating mainly white wars, is so important in the Yirara calendar that staff work on that public holiday in order to accompany students to watch the march.
By contrast there are Aboriginal heroes that could and should be celebrated.
I found the story of Jandamarra inspirational and taught it. Jandamarra was a Bunaba resistance fighter who fought against cattlemen trying to take over his people’s country.
His bravery is celebrated in the film Jandamarra’s War.
This was objected to at Yirara because Jandamarra killed white people and this was considered unacceptable.
Teaching and valuing Aboriginal histories, identities and culture also has the capacity to engage students and stimulate their learning. In place of the boring mainstream curriculum at Yirara that fails to engage students it could be an important breakthrough.


Anger with out-of-control kids: council needs to step up
Financial incentives and disincentives have been tried and both have failed.
All strategies aiming to throw the responsibility back on parents have not worked.
We must move on.
Of course schools can’t teach everything but it is reasonable to expect them to reinforce the values that are under threat, namely respect for western rules and property.
Teaching values has always been part of schooling and is not an additional burden.
There is evidence reported by the Alice Springs News that some schools are part of the problem rather than the solution.
In my opinion it is timely to examine the part that schools are playing or not playing in the Aboriginal youth crisis in our town.


Anger with out-of-control kids: council needs to step up
@Jack1 Of course parents should step up but that sentiment has been expressed dozens of times and it is clear that they won’t or can’t.
We have to go beyond wishful thinking.
It is logical to try to influence these kids on their first contact with our institutions and that’s school.
Yipirinya at the primary level and Yirara for secondary are the main ones.
Imagine the benefits of heading off these kids at an early age, before they become street criminals and in time prisoners at the local jail.
Michael Liddle says that Alice Springs has people who have no regard for western rules or property within the municipal area of Alice Springs.
Schools are not responsible for this or at fault but they should be addressing the issue as far as they can in my opinion.
Having regard for western rules and property should be part of schooling.


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