@ Colin Saunders (Posted January 28, 2019 at 10:02 am): …

Comment on Australia Day: Alice’s role in it by Alex Nelson.

@ Colin Saunders (Posted January 28, 2019 at 10:02 am): That would be correct, Colin, as Terry McCumiskey was the chairman of the Apex Club of Central Australia for 1979-80.
He would have played a significant role. It would be really useful for former members of the Apex clubs during that period to fill in the gaps of information.
If one goes to the Facebook page of this club, we are informed that it was founded in 1979 which clearly is incorrect.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Australia Day: Alice’s role in it
@ Evelyne Roullet (Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:28 pm): The link you provide from the National Museum of Australia states exactly what I’ve said. Under the heading “Cook claims Australia” at the top of the page it states “1770: Lieutenant James Cook claims EAST COAST of Australia for Britain.” (My emphasis).
Scroll down to the section headed “Claiming New South Wales for the Crown” it reiterates: “Five days later, finally clear of the labyrinth of reefs and having proved the existence of the Torres Strait, Cook climbed the summit of Possession Island and claimed the EAST COAST of the Australian continent for Britain.”
It’s pertinent to note that Cook’s assessment of the land was bleak and saw no reason for any European settlement to be established; however, Joseph Banks, the botanist on board the Endeavour, was hugely enthusiastic about “New South Wales” and it was he who eventually succeeded in convincing Britain to send the First Fleet.
The reason there is so much confusion about this period of history is due to the sustained movement in the mid to late 19th century to end convict transportation to Australia.
This became one of the most successful media propaganda campaigns in history; so much so, that Australians universally became terribly ashamed of their convict origins and suppressed all reference to it.
Australia Day (January 26) had its origins in the early 19th century – references to this date commence as early as 1804 – and was originally known as “Foundation Day” or “First Landing Day.”
This occasion was especially significant for emancipists – former convicts who had served their sentences or been pardoned by the governor – but this history was forgotten because of its strong association with the convict era.
Another major consequence was the downplaying of the First Fleet and misleading transfer of focus on the voyage of the Endeavour as the beginning of British occupation of Australia.
If it wasn’t for Joseph Banks and the loss of the British colonies in the American Revolutionary War, the voyage of the Endeavour would have been only a footnote in history.

Australia Day: Alice’s role in it
@ Evelyne Roullet (Posted January 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm): No, Captain James Cook claimed Australia’s east COASTLINE of that portion from Point Hicks (east Victoria) which was first sighted by the Endeavour’s Second-In-Command, Zachary Hicks, on April 19, 1770, north to Possession Island at the tip of Cape York Peninsula, where Cook formally took possession on August 22, 1770.
This is what Cook wrote: “Having satisfied myself of the great probability of a passage, through which I intend going with the ship, and therefore may land no more upon the eastern coast of New Holland, and on the western side I can make no new discovery, the honor of which belongs to the Dutch navigators; but the eastern coast from the latitude of 38 degrees south down to this place, I am confident, was never seen or visited by any European before us, and notwithstanding I had in the name of His Majesty taken possession of several places upon this coast, I now once more hoisted English colors and, in the name of His Majesty, King George the Third, took possession of the whole eastern coast from the above latitude down to this place by the name of New South Wales together with all the bays, harbors, rivers and islands situated upon the said coast …”
The claim for the eastern half of the continent as New South Wales was declared in August 1786 when Captain Arthur Phillip was commissioned to command the First Fleet.
The British avoided the western half of “New Holland” to avoid upsetting the Dutch; however, it’s a little known fact that the French took possession of the west coast some time later but never followed through on it.
The British in turn simply gazumped the French when the Swan River Colony was established, later called Perth.
For better or worse, January 26, 1788, was the pivotal moment in Australian history when Captain Arthur Phillip hoisted the British flag at Sydney Cove, officially marking the commencement of the new colony.
As mentioned in another comment, Arthur Phillip was well aware of the consequences of this new settlement when he later wrote: “Yultide is almost upon us and my hope is by no means exhausted despite the difficulties met with; given time, and additional force, together with proper people for cultivating the land … I know now that I can make a nation.”

Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

‘Voter apathy greatest threat to Territory democracy’
@ Domenico Pecorari (Posted August 23, 2019 at 8:44 pm): Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this but occasionally it’s been my practice to spoil my ballots by adding an extra box labelled Informal or None of the above, and voting for it.
These days I think “Informal” would end up being the most popular candidate in every election campaign, which is possibly a reason why politicians would be reluctant to include it on the ballot slips!
An update to my previous reply to Ted Egan, I noticed a reference that enrolment and voting was made compulsory for all Aboriginal people in the NT (at least for Territory elections) in the early years of self-government so this situation has existed much longer than I realised.

‘Voter apathy greatest threat to Territory democracy’
@ Ted Egan (Posted August 23, 2019 at 10:54 am): My understanding is that Aboriginal people (ie. “full bloods” as opposed to people of mixed race descent who could vote from 1953) gained the right to vote in the NT in 1962, however it was non-compulsory. This remained the case until comparatively recent times, as I recall.
The first elections that all Aboriginal people could vote in was for the NT Legislative Council in December 1962. The Labor candidate for Stuart, DD Smith, was the first person in Australia to advertise his campaign over radio in an Aboriginal language (Arrernte) – he got Milton Liddle to speak in language for him.
Smith won the seat from long-serving member Bill Petrick, who unsuccessfully objected to the result on the basis that only English could be used in an election campaign.

Opposition leader will not be questioned on looming NT poll
I have made the point a number of times for well over a decade, principally through Alice Springs News, in making two key observations about patterns in Territory politics.
One is that governments that win massive majorities in elections suffer serious electoral backlashes in subsequent polls.
This trend is strengthening over time; for example, in August 1997 the CLP won 18 seats and its greatest ever total vote across the Territory but it lost office for the first time in August 2001.
Similarly, Labor won 19 seats in June 2005 but was reduced to a minority government in August 2008.
There’s no reason to believe the Gunner Government, with its initial 18 seats (now 16) will not suffer a similar fate in a year’s time.
The second pattern is that political parties whose leaders represent electorates outside of Darwin always lose elections.
This pattern began as long ago as 1965 when the Member for Alice Springs, Colonel Lionel Rose, became the leader of the North Australia Party – he lost his seat by a narrow margin to Labor candidate Charlie “Chas” Orr, and the NAP was obliterated to a single winning member (Tony Greatorex, Member for Stuart).
History went full circle when Chief Minister Adam Giles, the Member for Braitling, narrowly lost his seat in 2016 to Labor’s Dale Wakefield, and the CLP was reduced to its worst ever result of just two seats.
The current leader, Gary Higgins, represents a rural seat and – consistent with the existing pattern – it’s highly unlikely in my view that he will succeed in leading the CLP to victory next year.
As noted in another report, there’s a high level of disengagement of electors in the political process, and with democracy itself, in the Northern Territory.
We live in interesting times.

Another great river tree goes up in flames
@ Karen (Posted August 21, 2019 at 2:04 pm): Hi Karen, I presume you mean the wildfire on the Ross Highway side of Todd River in 2002, as I recall?
That was a very damaging conflagration fuelled by buffel grass that had grown rampant during the wet years of 2000-01.
It came very close to rural properties next to the river.
As it happened, I took photos of that area several times prior to the wildfire so was able to get contrasting before and after shots that demonstrated the severity of that particular blaze.
There were a number of other deliberately lit fires at the time such as along Colonel Rose Drive, and the damage remains clearly visible to this day.

Gunner goofs: No council ‘decisions’ on gallery site
@ Some Guy (Posted August 19, 2019 at 10:43 am): No, I don’t “feel like this golden opportunity of a project to secure the future of Central Australia both in an economic and cultural sense on the world stage is slowly slipping through the fingers” because it was an illusion in the first place.
This isn’t the first occasion that a big project has been held out for us in The Centre offering some kind of economic Nirvana; we were told exactly the same kind of thing with the casino 40 years ago, and again with the development of the Alice Springs Desert Park in the mid 1990s.
Both of these facilities may be attractions but have never come close to fulfilling the visions originally held out to us as major game changers for the Centre’s economy.
With all due respect, I cannot see how a “National Aboriginal Art Gallery” will prove to be any different in the long run.

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