We were tricked into signing letter: Native title holders


p2141-Mathew-Palmer-1p2141-Benedict-Stevens-2By ERWIN CHLANDA
Two directors of Lhere Artepe (LA) say they were tricked into signing a letter by the native title organisation’s chairman, Noel Kruger.
LA is denying the allegation, has made a brief statement published here, and has foreshadowed that it will make a further comment.
Benedict Stevens (right)  and Matthew Palmer (left) signed the letter to Chief Minister Adam Giles, with copies to Senator Nigel Scullion and MHR Warren Snowdon, as directors of LA.
Mr Stevens says he was outside the LA office “having a smoke” when Mr Kruger showed him the letter, did not give him time to read it, and said: “Sign this here, that dump thing isn’t right … without the old people knowing.”
Mr Stevens says Mr Kruger did not tell him than there was reference to land north of the town given to the Bray family.
Mr Palmer says Mr Kruger obtained his signature under identical circumstances.
Mr Palmer and Mr Stevens work as interpreters and are literate.
Mr Stevens, a senior man, says contrary to what the letter asserts, the Brays are entitled to the land in question.
“They are in my family tree,” he says.
Mr Palmer says he agrees with him.
Meanwhile LA has issued this statement: “This article will be tabled at a LA  meeting because what they are saying contradicts minuted discussions that have taken place in this office.
“It also contradicts discussions that took place with these people and their families that came into the LA office while this letter was being discussed and written on Monday, August 18.”


  1. Please Explain…
    The first thing I would like to know is how does a Mparntwe Member / Director have the rights to give Irlpme land to people who think they have the right to be called Native Title Holder but failed to speak to relevant traditional families without intimidating them or using lateral voilence against other family members to get what they want? If Benedict Stevens is claiming both Russell Bray and Lesley Tickner as his brothers then maybe he should be giving them land on the Mparnte side instead.
    Also to mention that both Benedict Stevens and Matthew Palmer do have a very good understanding of their own language and English in their roles as interpreters.
    Good on the Lhere Artepe chairman for sending the letter to the NT Chief Minister – Adam Giles and Indigenous Affairs Minister – Nigel Scullion for addressing this mess that these people have created.

  2. To the Irlpme person’s comment’s to Benedict Stevens and Matthew Palmer and to myself, Lesley Tickner.
    First of all I have never used lateral voilence against anybody or intimidated anyone. I and my uncle have recived threats of voilence from people inside CLC and LAH. Just for all you mob out there, my grandmother is Elsie Bray, full sister to Charlie Perkins. OK, this in my grandmother and grandfather, they are Arrernte people born and lived here in this country.
    Who gives you mob the right to tell my family where they belong? Why dont you put your name on your comment?
    I have nothing to hide, you people are all to frightened to talk up. Not me. I will fight for what my family have missed out on for over 60 years, to have their voices heard and be a part of this country.
    Who do you mob think started yipi shopping centre? My grandfather did Charlie Perkins. Check it up, not you mob in Lhere Artepe.
    I want to see you mob rubbish my Grandfather Charlie Perkins, come on, rubbish my family, put your name on your comments.

  3. Sounds like the claims of telling others your flexicard pin numbers!
    Unfortunately stories of people signing their names remain far to common around Alice Springs and communities.
    Schooling, and “educational courses” from Centrelink need ensure all learn NOT to sign until sure they know, understand and agree with what they are signing for.
    BTW have observed some receive detailed explanations before signing, then claiming not understanding what signed.
    Short term interests at time of signing may no longer remain interests, however those signed liabilities continue until rejected by the courts.

  4. To Ilpma member: The Lhere Artepe so called chairman does not know where he comes from. He has got no say in this country. Go claim where his father’s from, Katherine. On all our family trees are Sheila Conway and Benedict Stevens. 180 years. I wonder if you could bring your tree to a meeting at Lhere Artepe and see who is right. The only people that are at fault and putting people in the wrong places are Central Land Council.
    Virginia Ross, the closest your family comes to Alice is Hermannsburg, belonging to the Mokerterinja family.
    I am a ex defacto of you and when you were given land for us to live and build near Hermannsburg you did not want anything to do with it – too far out of town. You should go back to Barrow Creek area where you belong. You do not know my family’s line or stories, Mt Riddock is part of our line but we are not like you people who come and claim where they do not belong. We would ask people first, not just take over.

  5. In reply to Russell:
    Well stated, I totally agree with you on this one. Irlpme need to check his comma, full stop and take a time to breath in order to make a pointless view.

  6. To Russell Bray,
    What has my father / Noel’s daddy Alex Kruger got to do with this, he knows he doesn’t belong here, but it’s not a Kruger matter, it’s a Lhere Artepe / Irlmpe issue.
    Yes, my father is proud of being born at Donkey Camp in Katherine – bred and grown up in Alice Springs by Arrernte Elders – FACT – and is a well respected man in this community. He knows a lot, more than you would ever know.
    You need to keep my father out of this because he happens to be a very very sick old man.
    For your information, my mother Nita Ronson Palmer Kruger was born at Bond Springs (Arrernte descendent).
    We do not have to justify where we belong but I thought I would inform you because of [all] this bullshit. We as a family have not got an identity problem and insecurities when it comes to family.
    PS: You and others need to be at this meeting on Friday.
    Anita Kruger (Daughter of Alex Kruger)

  7. In Reply to:
    Russell, posted August 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm
    Virginia Ross, the closest your family comes to Alice is Hermannsburg, belonging to the Mokerterinja family.
    I am a ex defacto of you and when you were given land for us to live and build near Hermannsburg you did not want anything to do with it – too far out of town. You should go back to Barrow Creek area where you belong.
    I totally agree with Russell, why would she claim someone else country when she already knows where she comes from?
    How many De Facto does she have?

  8. @ Factually: You back all other people up for support ’cause you do not have a genealogy to prove where your family is from.

  9. To Anita: I gave you my family tree at Palmer’s camp, you agreed with me. Besides that I used to go on trips with my great grand mother Mary Perkins Bray when I was little. We used to make camp at 16 mile creek, Nana used to tell us stories of when she was a girl walking around this country with her mother Nelly Araka. Nana Mary was born on Burt Plain in 1900. Nelly Araka was born on Burt Plain 1800s.
    She used to tell me this is your country my grandson, everybody knows we are from here yet we are putting up with people talking shit.
    Me, I got nothing against you or anyone else. I just want to sit on my country. I stuck up for you when Kathy Martin and her family wanted to dig up my Nana from her outstation.
    Me and my wife used to camp with Nana on her outstation and I wish she was here to tell everyone what she used to tell me, that we belong to that country.
    Nana R called my great grandmother Mary Bray aunty.
    I am sorry to hear your dad is sick, I wish him well.
    He knew my Nana Elsie Bray in the old days. I will be at the meeting on Friday and if you want I will show you letters concerning the Martin family. They were asked to leave in 2005 but nothing happened.
    Nana R used to tell me all about the Martins, they don’t belong. This mob has five houses on this land and she still wants Nana’s outstation. These are the people making trouble, not us.


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