It's a Territory of variety


p2252-Territory-King-MarongBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Yesterday’s Territory Day festivities reflected the rich fabric of the Alice Springs community.
The event took place in the heart of the business district. The stage was provided by CAAMA, an Aboriginal organisation.
Some 300 people munched barbecued food prepared by the Mayor, Damien Ryan, and town councillors.
A white woman, Bec Matthews, on a West African string instrument called a Kora, played music with a black African man, King Marong, on drums, as Aboriginal and white kids and danced together.
p2252-Territory-Day-MulgaA band, Desert Mulga (at left), from one of Australia’s most remote communities, Nyirripi, played professional-standard rock music. The lead guitarist is Matthew Gibson.
A Warlpiri woman, Bess Price, the Territory’s Minister for Housing and Parks, acknowledged that she was on Arrernte land.
She said Alice Springs is a much desired place, including by the dozens of people who became Australian citizens in a ceremony she had attended earlier in the day.
Ms Price said it’s the 37th anniversary of the Territory achieving self-government, giving the region’s people the power to make decisions for themselves, rather than having them made for them in Canberra.
Then four members of the Dusty Feet Dance Collective burst into the crowd with a gutsy number.
p2252-Territory-kids-danceThe show was put together by the NT Government, Festivals NT, Araluen Arts Centre, Red Hot Arts and the Town Council.
The only glitch was that the fireworks, on Anzac Oval, started before the performances at The Sails (as most locals still call the spot) had finished, but most party goers made it to the northern end of the Mall for the spectacular finale in the sky.


  1. I agree totally. A great community event with a terrific community vibe both in the Todd Mall and on Anzac Oval.
    You forgot to mention the awesome skydiver who floated above town carrying a huge territory flag.
    Thank you to everyone who contributed to this happy event. Much appreciated.

  2. In the true spirit of Territory day, “white” people are playing music with “black” people and Aboriginal children are playing with “white” children. I’m not sure why skin colour is relevant to this article or anywhere for that matter.

  3. Little insensitive with the descriptions there. You’re reporting on a community event not making a police statement.

  4. What is with the racial references? This article is not only politically incorrect it also highlights very draconian thinking. Very divisive language. Not acceptable.

  5. I cannot see anything wrong (politically incorrect) in saying that black and white mixed well in the celebrations, in a community event reflecting the rich fabric of the Alice Springs community.
    It is a fact that Ms Bec Matthews is a white woman, and King Marong is a black African, and Mrs Bess Price is a Walrpiri woman and there might have been many others, all proudly Territorians together on Arrrernte land.
    This makes the rich fabric of our town, which for once was singing, dancing and eating together. Simple, no?


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