1 January 1901 was the day the new Australian Federation …

Comment on Make Oz Day a celebration of the future, not the past by Ted Egan.

1 January 1901 was the day the new Australian Federation legislated that “Aboriginal natives of Australia shall not be counted” in the Census: They were deemed to be a sub-species. An inauspicious start?

Recent Comments by Ted Egan

Blackout: Managers must go, says union source
The most annoying factor was that it is not possible to speak to a real person.
At 9 pm Sunday night, having been told earlier by the plastic 1800 voice that the power would be on at 8 pm, I rang the number again.
The plastic voice advised me that the power had come on in our region at 6.30 pm!
And where was the ABC? In the bushfire season the ABC, through heroes like Derek Guille and Trevor Chappell, stays at the post, advising residents of the graphic detail of what’s happening.
Not a mention of the whys and wherefores of our power outage.
Busy creating the latest “Thingy”?
Clue One: I happen regularly in Alice Springs. Clue Two: Nobody knows how, why, or when. TBC.


Arrernte Mary and Jesus watch over Alice’s Catholics
Magnificent. Congratulations to Kathleen Wallace and all those involved in the establishment of this beautiful, sensitive, appropriate work.
It joins with the combined talents of Cedar Prest and Wenten Rubuntja at Araluen.
Cities start to achieve real maturity when they commission stained glass windows and respectful statues.
When do we start on statues of Albert Namatjira and Michelle Castagna?


What would John Clarke have said?
Beautiful work Mark. Keep it coming. Satire rules.


Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime?
To Larry Pinta: Congratulations! I had never heard the word, but yes! Allodial title. I wonder why the term has never been applied in Australia before?
To John Bell: John, thanks for the kind remarks. As I am not a First Australian I have no authority to seek to speak on their behalf. But I have seen cases where local elders reminded visitors of their obligations when on somebody else’s country. They were very promptly obeyed, believe you me.
If we are to recognise and respect traditional authority, perhaps the Town Council, as a body, could seek out Arranta elders and ask them to provide a behavioural standard for all Alice Springs residents. Councillor Satour is of Arranta descent.
I would even suggest that a couple of places on the council should at all times be reserved for Arranta nominees. New Zealand does this sort of thing and it may even be the thin edge of the wedge to establish the “voice” that the Uluru Statement sought.


Politicking or community: What to do about youth crime?
TO PAUL PARKER: With respect Paul, you are way off the mark. The land rights struggles of the 1960s sought to enable traditional First Australian groups to define and have recognised their occupancy of their specific tracts of land.
Further, we sought to enable them to be empowered to stay on that land with recognised title and, if necessary, to rehabilitate and develop that land themselves, with necessary assistance, on their terms precisely.
Alice Springs was recognised as Arranta land and we respect their ongoing presence and wisdom.
Today’s situation in Alice Springs has Warlpiri, Pitantjara, Pintubi and many other First Australians living on the fringes of town through no fault of their own.
They have no traditional rights in this area, hence they should respect the Arranta: indeed, 100 years ago they would have been subject to strict rules of behaviour.
Sadly, most of the visitors are in the grip of Centrelink or have health issues, or both.
That is not good enough: they deserve better. They deserve what all other Australians insist is their right: a town with normal facilities – in their country.
Alice Springs additionally has thousands of people other than First Australians, people like me.
I wasn’t born here, I am not a First Australian. But I recognise this as Arranta country and am happy to live in respect of Arranta guidelines, which are well-known to me. The same requirement is there for all “newcomers”.
The Arranta Elders must be invited to call the shots. We are not talking apartheid. We did once, but not any more: a tragedy is that South Africa learned from Australia how to implement the abhorrent policy of apartheid.
In Australia today we are talking proper land rights and normal behaviour. Bring it on!


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