When an elder is an elder


Sir – The term “elder” is generally linked to the person having knowledge and how to be wise to speak on or share the knowledge.
On Facebook a boy calls himself an Arrente elder. Well, old yes but in reference to status and knowledge he is still a boy.
The boy has no knowledge about how language operates, has no knowledge about how skin names exist and is unable to participate in Aboriginal cultural protocols that revolve around country.
The fact that he uses the term “jukurrpa”and loves to be called “tjilpi”  makes the world giggle as both words are not in the Arrente landscape.
The fact that he carries around paper work (family trees, letters references, etc) to attempt to convince all who he is and where he is from is a giggle.
In short the boy is out of line.
Michael Liddle
Alice Springs


  1. This boy CHILPY is respected through Pitintitjara Law. You talk about respect. You are walking in on Pit men’s business trying to take over and forcing to take O’Ryan 1.
    You are claiming to be an Arunta elder all these years. Your people do not come from here.
    No respect, so it shows you have no knowledge, Micky.

  2. Hahahaha. Coming from a thing that went through men’s law five minutes ago.
    Nothing but five minute black Fellu.

  3. People changing skin. Forgetting who their grandfathers are. Putting hand out for 30 pieces of silver to sell their sites and heritage. Claiming other people’s land. Dragging down people standing strong for their sites etc etc.
    All part of the invasion and colonisation process. Where do you stand?

  4. Russel, for the last few years you have said over and over again to anyone with sense of hearing “your family don’t come from here”, in reference to “Micky’s” family.
    Well, tell us, where do they come from? What estate? What skin?
    Don’t mention a white cattle station name or town or just say “the north”. If they (or any other family who you choose to throw jabs at) don’t come from here, well come on, tell us where?
    Every family of Aboriginal descent belongs to a traditional estate and seeing you are the expert we would love to see what you come up with.
    Don’t be afraid to throw in some real tangible evidence while you are at it, seeing as you are so good at collecting papers.
    Genealogies, site names perhaps, ancestors and conception sites? Paint the picture for us.
    Throughout your constant slanging and fighting with other families – what have you actually achieved?
    Do you expect that any family who is is in your firing line is just going to say “oh gee, Russel, you’re right. After all the generations we have existed here we’re just gonna move out of town because you said so…”
    On another note – why aren’t your primary land interests in Bill Bray’s line?
    Your recent crusade has seen you do nothing but besmirch the Perkins family name. Many of the people who belong to the Perkins family now can’t walk with the same skip in their step because of the ugliness you have created up at Athenge Lhere.
    You have a male line through Billy Bray and this has more strength. If you want to follow your mother’s mother’s mother, that’s OK too, but you need to remember there are Apmereke-artweye through their fathers, fathers for that land who are the bosses.
    You’ve repeated (again to whomever will listen) that you have been fighting for land for 40 years. Five years ago you didnt know what estate you belonged to, nor what your skin name was. But that’s OK, it’s OK to relearn, but it might be time to rethink how you are going about what you’re doing.
    Instead of fighting with families and bullying people, do something to look after country, or learn to speak Arrernte perhaps? It’s never too late.
    What you have been doing these last few years has been very negative and at the end of the day, there hasn’t been a lot achieved.
    No doubt it’s cost you a lot of good nights sleep too. Imagine if you put all that time, energy and stress into something positive that benefits Arrernte people?
    Ps.: “Ararka” is an incorrect phonetic spelling. You should change your sign to “Aherrke”, the correct spelling that then allows for correct pronounciation.

  5. @ Willy: Great to hear that the world through your eyes is still sharp and alert.
    I’ve been out bush working at Alparra assisting my mob in improving the delivery of basic municipal services, something that’s not happening at all out in this area.
    Anyway, my knowledge of the cultural environment, the whole five minutes of it, comes in so handy.
    It is important to engage and communicate the correct story … arretye angke, irrepele rnem nt gov ilkwa-rnem pweyt-irreyel nga akultye apek?
    When you FIFO again (because you’ve been living elsewhere for 30 years) we should catch up for a coffee and you can ask me about my five minutes of knowledge of being black.
    Not sure whether I can share all of the five minutes because of reasons that you are aware of – but my shout, friend.

  6. Micky (The Elder).
    Friends? Last time I checked you didn’t have any.
    I fed my old people when I was 12.
    I heard you were very quiet at Wave Hill. And you didn’t hang around long?
    What happened down the Rock? HAHAHAHA.

  7. Micky (THE GREAT ELDER): I was talking Arrernte with my people when you were running around
    Traeger Park with you little tight green and gold shorts.
    Where did you get your Arrernte Dictionary from? CLC?

  8. Micky (the great elder):
    It’s 4am and I’m off to work to pay my taxes, to help all the freeloaders.
    So you got two dictionaries. Hmm.
    The CLC must have lots of money. That’s good, learning to be Arrernte / Alyawerre.
    Going back to Hatches Creek where you are really from to be a great clown.
    To your people, Hahahaha. They won’t take long to wake up to the great clown.
    Before you go shooting off your great elder mouth, have good think about Mr Bray and his family
    trying to get justice.

    Interesting that you’ve been seen at Strehlow Research C.entre
    Still trying to find out information about your family?
    Your are a GREAT ELDer – you should know YOUR HISTORY?
    You still haven’t answered my question what happened down the ROCK.HAHAHAHA.

  10. Travis, where were you when your two uncles went through business in 1998 from Mutitjulu to Tjukula, were you somewhere more important? Well I for one can say that myself with my Pitjanjatjara family for three months fed and looked after them. [Respect.]
    Travis, when you went through law with Vincent Forrester’s brother and his son at Utju, who fed you lot? Myself and my Pit. family. WHERE was your Mick Liddle and his family and for that matter the so called lawman Vincent? [Where is the RESPECT for me?]
    Imanpa, you as a lawman should be at all this traditional business every year to teach the young men going through. Guess what, myself and my Pit. family were there feeding these men. [RESPECT.]
    At Angus Downs a few months ago you surprised me when I saw you there. You talk about respect, well where was your respect towards the old men and the Pitjantjatjara people who were there when you were driving into Alice to buy grog?
    I wonder what your nephew thought of you, where was Mick and his family to look after their own? You had the cheek to ask me for grog.
    Mick Liddle, you say you respect law and culture. You, a Yawatta bloke claiming to be a Arunta elder these last 10 years and walking in on the same business at Angus Downs demanding the old men to release your nephew. SHAME.
    The name Tjilpi [chilpy] so Mick can read was given to me by the Pitjantjatjara tribe out of respect for what I did all these years, feeding the likes of you Travis. Arunta elder Mick, for the last two years the old men have recognised me.
    To ANGKENTYE AKURNE ANTHURRRE: Five years ago I did not have a skin name for I believe you have to go through law to be recognised, not like some people, one side of their family comes from Pit Land and the other from Arabunna Tribe claiming Arunta skin name.
    So why are you knowing all the Arunta knowledge and so called lawmen having a go at these people for breaking the Arunga Law? The word AKURNE should be directed at Mick Liddle for he did MORALLY WRONG.
    Put your name to your so called story. The only true thing was what you said about my grandfather Billy Bray and my great-grandmother.
    Next time CLC calls another unauthorised meeting should I know your name I would like to invite you with the knowledge you have on my family.
    I for one as a half-caste do not want to be classed as white like some families and wanting to shoot people over land.
    ARARKA and ARUNTA. I learnt from the old people when I was young and the great man Strehlow how they spelt it, not some French speech person who you people take after to rrrroll your tongue.
    Russell Pengarte.

  11. Uncle Russell, I’m a bit shocked at you saying I asked you for beer. It was hot and dusty out there and being an old drinker yourself I thought that you would have a coldie on you! And all these feeds you gave us – I thought you would give us roast duck or something not lamb chops and noodles!

  12. What a bunch of losers. How are the young men supposed to learn when this [expletive deleted – ED] is being written and viewed by all, everyone of you should be bloody shame of yourselves for writing the garbage that has nothing to do with the contents of the story. It’s no wonder that the Arrente governance is up [expletive deleted – ED] creek when this behaviour is openly spoken about like it is a game, and the poor women who have to view this [expletive deleted – ED] and are waiting for the men of this country to pull their fingers out in order to make change, and the oldest is the silliest!

  13. You know nothing, girl, for the fighting and slanging has come from the other side, from people who do not belong, and the white anthropologist.
    It seems to me you do not know our family name and the ugliness that was created by [name deleted – ED] and her family, putting up trespass notices everywhere and kicking [name deleted – ED] out of his house so her brother [name deleted – ED] could move in.
    The only truthful thing you have said in your letter is about my grandfather Billy Bray and my great-great-grandmother.
    The next time CLC call an illegal meeting like they have for the last four years with their regular three people, can I call you in to give evidence?
    I am looking after country and living on the land, not like you and other so called traditionals who have land and housing living in town.
    With reference to learning Arunta, my grandmother taught me when I was young, in the Gap Cottages.
    I had left school at the age of 13 and was mainly out bush amongst white people all my life to help my mother with my three sisters. You people would not know what hard work is.
    You are probably on the dole like the rest. At least Les and I have been fighting for all the people up north, not sitting around like you rubbishing people, and do not know what you are talking about.
    In about four weeks you and the rest of the layabouts will see results.
    The word AKURNE: You should have aimed it at [name deleted – ED] who did morally wrong.

  14. This is truly very entertaining; it actually made me laugh this morning reading this last bit.
    Michael Liddle you are the joke of most of it honestly … Like who in their “right mind frame” runs to the local rag to voice his opinion. Any normal person would confront that other person and say face to face what the problem is.
    And to run to the local rag to preach about Aboriginal Culture and air out men’s business that you have no idea about is a absolute joke on you!
    As for the last “No Comment” comment: Yes it’s true that we are disappointed with the way our so called men acted here and had their say.
    But really and in all honesty did you expect people not to come back and defend themselves?
    You certainly can’t go around town and put a “write up” in the local rag and with the expectation that somebody or anybody isn’t going to comment or retaliate to it.

  15. To all who have been viewing this issue. It highlights the sad state that the town of Alice Springs has become.
    I have stated an issue about the term Elder (no, I am not one) and the meaning of being one in an Aboriginal deep memory world and the distorted use that someone uses it.
    It wasn’t liked, and I am sorry but there are some of us who live in the real world and that means that the earth is round.
    I have the luxury of talking, feeling, listening to my elders, and those that know me and work with me know the elders that I am speaking about, the term is quite a distinguished title one which incorporates knowledge and wisdom that has been passed down and they are truly concerned about the issues around cultural maintenance.
    These senior men teach me about governance … true urrepele governance that wraps itself around the land to manage and look after country through songs, paintings, objects and skin names that have the tedious tasks of owning and managing country.
    It costs me and how I pay is through getting bush meat, chopping wood making boomerangs, collecting spinifex resin to make wax and a whole lot of hard work in order so I can get information about country!
    If people read the original post I mentioned nothing about atwa-kenhe.
    Those people who did, then I am not responsible for the way they responded.
    Yes I am an Alywarre man and I do have Arrente ties and live in Alice Springs.
    It’s okay to do this, the world will not stop, I commented as “no comment” in a post and was agreed by “Yours Truly” which highlights me.
    Let’s play the man and not the ball, a common behaviour in the forums around Aboriginal issues in Alice Springs. A prominent deceased senior elder arrente lawman stated once “Alice Springs the town that grew up dancing” but the town doesn’t dance no more and can’t because of all the broken glass!
    There is a problem, we have stated the concern, now let’s move together to fix it.

  16. @ Ian Sharp: “Going downhill”?
    As you are a keen observer of Alice Springs issues may I encourage you to take a more enlightened view.
    The person, Michael Liddle, who has raised these issues under his own name, considers them to be important. We gave him the freedom of speech without hesitation, but within the framework of our moderation policies, lifting it out of the Facebook sewer.
    The conflicts which dog local clans and publicly funded organisations, including the native title body corporate, Lhere Artepe, are made apparent in this thread.
    These issues seriously impact our community.
    Kind regards, Erwin Chlanda, Editor.


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