In 1960 running late for class in Form IV, I …

Comment on Kids from The Alice: When Malcolm met Menzies by John Bell.

In 1960 running late for class in Form IV, I jumped off the tram and ran around the corner in Victoria Parade and bumped into a bloke, went flying, books and schoolbag stuff everywhere.
The bloke bent down and helped me up, asked if I was OK, picked up my books.
We used to catch the same tram. I got to know him on the tram to school each day. He got me interested in going to Alice to work in the Aboriginal community.
[It was] Pastor Doug Nichols. He used to go to the building across the road from Parade College, the Australian Natives Association, in the grounds of the Methodist Ladies College.
Then in I ’67 went to The Alice. My first job was paying Aboriginal Training Alowances.
The scheme started in Feb 1968, introduced by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs William Wentworth.
Brian Chin did Top End. I did from Hooker Creek (Lajamanu) south.
Pastor Doug often said that young people from the city should go bush and meet the Aboriginal community “in the bush”.

Recent Comments by John Bell

Youth crime: compassion alone is no solution
Erwin’s article is straight-shooting and a fair comment.
Basically he is saying that this lawyer, in failing to address the serious offences that landed teenagers in detention in the first place, is misrepresenting the balance between compassion and responsibility for ones own actions.
The word “compassion” is a political currency fast being devalued by its loudest advocates.
Our politicians latched onto it in the late 1960s – early 1970s at a time when the public social conscience was being made aware of Aboriginal and TI disadvantage.
A wonderful and positive thing in the beginning.
But the Toyota Dreaming days that accompanied it also brought an overbearing virtue signalling class of intolerant Humanistas, mainly from Down South.
So many young people became imbued with a sense of self-righteous entitlement that now far outstrips their sense of responsibility.
To even speak about this imbalance risks being labelled with the “R” word (racist) or the “C” word (coconut).
The balance must be restored in public debate. By advocate lawyers especially.


Cold morning, warm hearts at the Old Timers Fete
To Mary and Sue and staff and all the wonderful people who make the Old Timers a beautiful place.
You have a great big loving heart and a good soul.
The world is a better place for your caring.


Is it time for a First Nations university?
The idea of a First Nation University begs the question – why?
What is it about indigenous academic study that demands that it be taught in a specialised (read: insular) learning and teaching environment?
And is the concept of First Nation heritage up for debate, or is it a closed shop that does not allow the special privilege of First Nation lineage to be debated?
I would have no particular objection to it as a non-First Nation human who would not be eligible to enrol anyway. But what exactly would be its purpose? Just a thought.


Council may take up slack of the NT government
Advocating council to step in to take a role in the NT government’s debt problem is a double-edged sword.
The danger is that the role of “small government” by local council increasingly blurs the demarcation of powers between elected Parliamentarians whose role is to legislate, and elected councillors whose role is delivery of essential services eg roads maintenance, collection of rates and rubbish collection.
Local councils everywhere are stepping stones for wannabe State and Territory pollies. Local council charter is not meant to be political.


Looks like Wazza’s back
I have been asking Wazza questions of accountability for significant expenditure of Commonwealth grant funds in a charity for the Indigenous Marathon Project for six and a half years now.
As the keeper of public trust for the Aboriginal people of remote tribal communities in Lingiari, Wazza should be transparent.
He should come clean now that he remains the keeper for the next three years.
I would be very happy to get to his electoral office in Alice somehow for a cup of coffee and a couple of simple answers in the public interest.


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