Again we have looked around and ignored what we don’t …

Comment on Ted Egan: Forget splitting hairs, counting drops of blood. by Trevor Shiell.

Again we have looked around and ignored what we don’t want to see.
Having lived in a rural part of Fiji for many years, the efforts of the British there go largely unnoticed, and often criticised, as they do here.
The Brits stepped in in Fiji as requested by the chiefs and the first thing they did was to sit the chiefs who were at war down around a bowl of Kava and determined who owned which pieces of land traditionally.
This land ownership was then assigned to a common ancestor, (a “matangali”) and carefully recorded so everyone knew which family group they belonged to, and which piece of traditional land was theirs.
Now every child born with a common Fijian ancestor is recorded in a register as belonging to that piece of land and is recorded as “kai viti”.
My children were all born in that lovely country to my wife and I and are all “Kai loma” I am “Kai valangi” meaning to have come from another country and my wife is “Kai viti” having come from Fiji.
Kai loma (loma means inside) means between, or inside both and is a lovely way to describe people who are between as so many of us are.
Is that all too simple?
As a footnote my children are all eligible to claim ownership of their traditional land in Fiji but have chosen not to do so as land is scarce.
However, whenever we return their Fijian heritage makes them very comfortable.
There is a middle path, but for some reason it is sometimes ignored.

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Wakefield ready for fight: affirms intention to acquire oval
Did the Dinasaur museum do anything to enliven that end of the mall? Figures on entry? (Todd Tavern does better.) It too should have been at the Geological museum at AZRI in conjunction with the cultural centre across the road at Yirara, involving the students, and a new contemporary visitors’ centre at the Transport Hall of Fame, as in Katherine and as apart of a brand new tourism precinct between the gap and the airport, leaving the current CBD as a historical display site – what’s left of it!.
Pitchi Richi site? Shameful in spite of the best interests of some locals.
Townsville has a mining centre of excellence,like we should have at at the Minerals display at ASRI. It’s almost like we are ashamed of our unique geology.
Qld has a solar highway Brisbane to Cairns. What have we got on our approaches? City type metropolitan houses so Southern tourists can feel at home.
How long will it be before Governments realise that the economic future of the town lies South of the gap in spite of the vested interests protecting their backsides North of the gap. The number of vehicles moving in that direction daily should surely tell them something.


Lucky the Town Council isn’t in the forestry business
Forget the ombudsman. He has moved to Darwin just like the Jacana lady and the PAWA person.
If you want to contact them breed some messenger pigeons and wait to be contacted within the next few working days. Or weeks. We really don’t matter to them and what was once the Berrimah line had morphed into the great wall of Katherine.


A touch of light: termite alates
I have never understood why the active ingredient in native pine has not been isolated and used to protect our timber houses.
Much better than CCA treatment from all points of view and why CCA vineyard training fences are now strictly controlled.
Most people don’t take the trouble to find out what the “A” in CCA stands for arsenic. This is of course, also why the original telegraph line used native pine poles.
What is it in native pine that repels termites? No one ever bothered to ask and this could have been a significant project economically for this town where termites are a real problem.
The significance of this has never been seen by the science or political community.
One would have thought that in the common good of he community the task of using this common observation to our advantage would have been instantly assigned to DKA or CSIRO to investigate and applied for the common good.
This is just another example of political thought, common sense observation, scientific training, and political ignorance are often mutually exclusive, and why I built my deck with Cyprus pine.


COVID-19 testing in Alice: It’s a secret
Is the detention centre at Ross River still unfit for purpose?


Work on six storey accommodation complex to start in May
I’m sure that visitors will flock here to gaze in admiration on a six story residential building just as they flock to Anzac Hill to gaze in awe on the monstrosity that serves as a Supreme Court building.
What a great reminder of our unique history!
Perhaps long term planning people should spend some time on Anzac Hill and listen to some of the comments when I point out the few remaining buildings in town that represent our history and cultural heritage.
You won’t need a calculator to count them. Yet in other centres they are the driving force behind tourism.
In the meantime the Red Hot arts centre with so much value to the community and informing visitors of what they can get involved in here, languishes in the back blocks.
It should be where the visitors centre currently is and the visitors centre should be at the Transport Hall of Fame with a feeder road from the Welcome Rock.
Where is our icon? Perhaps we have an iconic drain. Perhaps a giant figure of our early people who started the ball rolling up here-an Afghan cameleer or the Aileron style proud indigenous man or both.
We certainly can do better than a six story residential complex.
There is no provision here for people who want to build individually styled eco villages or communal eco villages as has happened in Adelaide at Christies Close in the heart of Adelaide.
For those who base their decisions on yield per square metre, as so often happens here, land values around Christies Close in the heart of Adelaide actually rose post the development.
It should have happened here.


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