Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

Erwin Chlanda


Long moment in the sun for artists from The Lands

Photo: Painting by Telstra Award winner for 2011, Dickie Minyintiri.

All year Alice Springs has had its window onto the Aboriginal art of
the moment, that outpouring of cultural affirmation and expressive
brilliance coming from 'The Lands' – home to the Pitjantjatjara and
Yankunytjatjara peoples. Apart from his stockroom shows, the astute
Dallas Gold of Raft Artspace has had his eyes fixed firmly on the
south-west. The timing for his current show from Ernabella Arts couldn't
have been better. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

Tjukula (Waterholes) by Dickie Minyintiri • the artist with his Telstra
winning work, Kanyalakutjina (Euro tracks), photo courtesy MAGNT •
ceramic workshop at Ernabella, from left Gordon Ingkatji (his piece is
not in the Raft show), Andy Tjilari, Dickie Minyintiri in his favoured
policeman's cap •  Tali – sand dune, ceramic by Pepai Jangala
Carroll • Kapi Tjukula at Ilpili, ceramic by Pepai Jangala Carroll •
Kapi Tjukula, ceramic by Dickie Minyintiri • Walungurru by Pepai Jangala
Carroll. All photos courtesy Ernabella Arts and Raft Artspace, unless
otherwise indicated.

What leads to people thinking about suicide?

Patterns of behaviour emerge from the
sad stories of suicide. In the wake of the recent tragic deaths by
suicide of five young Aboriginal people in our region, the Alice Springs
News spoke to Craig San Roque, a psychotherapist and member of the
steering committee of Life Promotion, Central Australia's suicide
prevention program. He has had experience over many years of
collaboration with Aboriginal people, in particular with traditional
healers. He speaks of the problems using the image of the hand.

"For some people suicide is structural, like the back of their hand,
with them all the time as a meditated, premeditated action, though it
may be disguised, covered over with a skin." KIERAN FINNANE reports.

Desert shrinks get global gong


If the term psychotherapy conjures for many the image of a bearded
Sigmund Freud in early 20th century Vienna putting his patients on the
couch, the Sixth World Congress for Psychotherapy has a mind-expanding
surprise in store. Aptly titled World Dreaming, the event in Sydney on
August 26 will honour with its Sigmund Freud Award the contribution to
the field of psychotherapy by Aboriginal ngangkari (traditional healers)
from the Pit Lands in Central Australia. Pictured are
ngangkari Iluwanti Ken, Naomi Kantjurin and Maringka Burton (photo
by RHETT HAMMERTON) and Toby Ginger, Rupert Peter and Andy Tjilari
(photo by ANGELA LYNCH). Both courtesy NPY Women's Council.

Amnesty replies

Amnesty International Australia,
through their Campaigns Director, Andrew Beswick, has made the following
brief statement in response to KIERAN FINNANE's analysis of their report,
The Lands Hold Us. The report criticises changes in government policy,
particularly since the NT Intervention, that have affected Aboriginal
homelands and outstations, especially in the Utopia area.

Says Mr Beswick:-

As a human rights organisation, our role is to point out where
government policies fall short of the international human rights
standards they have committed to uphold.  Unsurprisingly then,
we are looking at the future of the more than 500 homeland and other
smaller Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, through that

Governments are the ones that are predominantly responsible for
making sure our human rights are fulfilled.  And it is this
notion of accountability, along with these international standards, that
inform our recommendations for government action in our report ‘The land holds us’: Aboriginal peoples’ right to traditional homelands in the Northern Territory.

Rather than the “victim status” we have been accused of assigning to
Aboriginal peoples, we advocate strongly for the right to free, prior
and informed consent to be respected and provide a platform for the
powerful voices of those directly affected by these government policies
in our campaign.

Suicide: a new and growing problem among NT Aborigines


Suicide is a new and growing problem for Aboriginal people in the
Northern Territory. The only detailed published study, looking at data
from 1981 to 2002, shows that there was only one suicide by an
Indigenous man in the NT in 1981, in contrast to seven that year by
non-Indigenous men. In the 22 year period the first suicide by an
Indigenous woman was not until 1991, while between one and three by
non-Indigenous women had been recorded in every year since 1984 and four
were recorded that year.

The study by Mary-Anne Measey, Shu Qin Li and Robert Parker was
published in 2005 by the NT Department of Health and Community Services.
It reports that the rate of suicide amongst men in the NT, both
Indigenous and non-Indigenous, increased during the 1990s and early
2000s, while the Australian rate remained stable. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Drawing by Sue McLeod for Suicide Stories: Feeling unloved and surrounded by grog abuse and violence.

Lifeline - 13 11 14

Beyond Blue - www.beyondblue.org.au

Reach Out - www.reachout.com.au

Letter: The more things change the more they stay the same

Alex Nelson comments in a Letter to the Editor
on a public meeting about anti-social behavior in Alice Springs, about
grog abuse, family neglect, social dysfunction and breakdown of
traditional values arising from the 'urban drift' of Aboriginal people
leaving their home areas in favour of accessibility of liquor in Alice
Springs. When was that meeting? 30 years ago.

Arts ambush



Curious tourists, mothers with prams and workers on their lunch break
walking down the Todd Mall yesterday were unexpectedly joined by three
silent, bright eyed, pale clothed, ‘other-old-worldly’ strangers.

This was the Post Family performance, the third of the ‘Happenings’
in this year’s Alice Desert Festival. As we all know, the Festival
features a vibrant program celebrating artists, dancers, actors and
musicians from Central Australia – besides a selection of what I’m told
are Australia’s hottest acts. Pictured are The Post Family trying to figure out Todd Mall. Photo by OLIVER ECLIPSE.

Fire fighting: red tape comes first

Photo: Fire fighting crew burning a firebreak
along a drain at the eastern edge of town on Sunday – their outstanding
efforts should not be undermined by red tape in other quarters.
Government red tape continues merrily as bushfires are encircling the town.
A grader operator from Central Plant Hire was making his way up the
Stuart Highway last week to cut fire breaks near the Holcim quarry,
about 10 km north of town.
The massive blaze was moving towards buildings and machinery there.
It was a volunteer job.
"You don't scam on something like this," says the firm's Wayne Cullenane.
On the way the driver passed the government weighbridge and he was made to stop.
As it turned out the grader was parked on its trailer a little too
far back, putting 1075 kilos (four to five wheelbarrow loads of sand)
more weight than allowed on one axle.
The other axle was eight tonnes light.
Given this was an emergency, and the driver was trying to save
property and maybe lives, the weighbridge staff could have said: "Just
take her forward a bit, mate. And good on ya!"
Moving the machine just half a meter on the trailer would have put both axles about four tonnes each under weight.
But what the weighbridge staff did instead was to hold up the transport for about two hours.
They booked the driver.
He may have to go to court.
There may be a fine of several hundred dollars.
When the machine finally got to the quarry the fire was nearly upon it.
The grader operator could feel the heat of the flames, says Mr Cullenane.
The Alice Springs News Online is seeking comment from Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Police arrest alleged firebugs

Police say a 32-year-old man
will face court after allegedly deliberately lighting fires at the base
of Anzac Hill overnight.

The man was arrested after a member of the public alerted police to
his actions just after 6pm on Wednesday. He allegedly lit several fires
near Schwarz Crescent and the Alice Springs Youth Hub which
required two fire units to extinguish.

The man was arrested a short time later and he has been charged with
setting fire to land or property and causing a bushfire. The latter
charge attracts a maximum penalty of 15 years jail under the Criminal

Veteran designers triumph

Click here for







Mother, father and three daughters came together to win the Fantasia
category and were chosen for acquisition at the annual Wearable Arts
Awards on Saturday. Mother is Colleen Byrnes, a veteran of the
awards and multiple prize-winner over the years. Husband Tony joined her
as creator and together they fashioned from metal pieces, test tubes,
wires and crystals exquisitely detailed bird-like forms to adorn Shae,
Bec and Nikki in their Fluoro Swan Trilogy (pictured).
The trio's appearance on stage was greeted with gasps of awe and
appreciation from the audience, the only time this happened en
masse  during this year's presentation, no doubt helping to assure
them of a win. KIERAN FINNANE reports.

Slideshow photos in order of appearance: Fluoro
Swan Trilogy by Colleen and Tony Byrnes (two shots); Wings in Flight by
Colleen Byrnes; Aurora Solaris by Liza Balmer, Julia Burke and Jo
Boniface; Lady (ooh) Lala by Carmel Ryan; From Rags to Glad Rags by
Philomena Hali;  Tie the Knot by Carmel Ryan; Nomadic Goddess by
Tamara Burlando; Down the Rabbit Hole (Alice) by Mikael Bennion; The
Future is Fantastic by Alecia Mc Nuff; Paradise Lost / Ulysses is Dying
by Marge Coogan and Laurel Clegg; ensemble shot, showing Duprada Ballet
Company dancers and Master Class entries. PHOTOS by KIERAN FINNANE. 


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