Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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

Home Issue 15

Issue 15

Govt will clean up rubbish but public has to do legwork

By ERWIN CHLANDA The NT Government is accepting responsibility for cleaning up illegally dumped rubbish around Alice Springs, but the public has to do the...

Illegal dumpers despoil Alice hills

By ERWIN CHLANDA A nationally acclaimed painter and writer whose books and canvasses feature the hills east of Alice Springs is outraged about the...

Now it’s greener on their side of the footy fence

By OSCAR PERRI Santa Teresa was a ghost town on Thursday afternoon, with the whole community joining in the celebration down at the football ground...

Hit and run: two people charged

Brett and Narelle Dredge have been charged with "hit and run, cause serious harm, attempt to pervert the course of justice, make a false statement in declaration". ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

BREAKING NEWS: Heenan elected Deputy Mayor

MONDAY 7:30pm

Councillor Brendan Heenan has just been elected Deputy Mayor with the support of Mayor Damien Ryan, and Councillors Liz Martin (who nominated Cr Heenan), Chansey Paech (the seconder) and Jade Kudrenko.

Cr  Eli Melky  nominated Steve Brown for the position to be held for one year, seconded by Cr Geoff Booth and also supported by Cr Dave Douglas. The five to four vote was as predicted by the Alice Springs News Online.

Protecting our points of difference

As a gateway, doesn’t Alice Springs have more going for it than a Voyages resort village?

 

"It's so bright and colourful!" and this was just at Alice Springs airport! My mum couldn’t help but snap a few pictures on the drive into town and I soaked up her fresh gaze on this place and I too marveled at the light and colours and shapes of the ranges and country.  Then what more perfect introduction on her first night than the opening of Beyond Conversation, a joint show of paintings by Pamela Lofts and Jenny Taylor and poetry by Sue Fielding.

And the desert put on a fine show, climbing the mercury, enveloping us in its swelter during long evenings talking on the verandah. A couple of these were sound-tracked by people fighting and screaming and conversations quickly turned to the complexities and nuances of living in Alice.

Mum's ‘outback’ experience was almost completed by a stranding on the side of the road with an over heated land cruiser; luckily it did not come to that. We had an amazing time where even though it was hot, the weather accommodated our walks around Uluru and through Kata Tjuta with big rain clouds blocking out the intensity of the sun.

Out the window on the drive back the sky was full and bursting with lightning and rumbling cloud shows. We seemed to be chasing storms  that seemed to be showering on the road just up ahead. We were always just a second or two too late I’m sure.  The steamy smell of grasses and red dirt country. It was truly stunning and amazing stuff.

This was to be a holiday edition of Itchy Feet, detailing all the pleasure I got from scratching that itch to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta but on my return to Alice I couldn’t help but think about Yulara as a gateway to the World Heritage listed Uluru and surrounds. What has Yulara got that Alice does not? And as a town doesn’t Alice Springs have more going for it than a Voyages resort village? Sure there are pools and it has proximity and an easy resort atmosphere, but really what’s another 450 kms when you're already so far away from wherever you’ve come from?  Perhaps competition between the two airlines that service Yulara is a point of difference.

Fireworks expected over Deputy Mayor position

The new town council's first meeting on Monday is heading for the first factional fireworks.

New councillor Steve Brown (right), who scored the highest number of votes, is expecting to be appointed Deputy Mayor but he seems set to miss out.

Re-elected councillor Liz Martin, the Deputy Mayor for the last year of the 11th Council, says she will give her vote to Brendan Heenan (left).

Mayor Damien Ryan and new Councillors Jade Kudrenko and Chansey Paech are also tipped to be voting against Cr Brown, one of the Gang of Four conservative Councillors, three of whom also stood against the Mayor.

Cr Martin says Cr Brown is better suited to head up technical services: "He's the ideal choice for that position," she says.

"The Deputy Mayor needs to know procedure and it should be someone who's served on the council before.

"We need to give the new members a chance to learn."

The Deputy Mayor serves for one year of the four year term.

The position will be filled at the first meeting of the 12th Council to be held on Monday, as will be the other positions of heads of committees.

Monday's meeting will be preceded by the swearing-in of the new council. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Elders back in charge at Lhere Artepe: Re-confirmed chairman

The town's native title organisation has brought back "the decision making and administration to a focus on our elders, our language and our culture,” says Lhere Artepe's Ian McAdam (pictured).

A recent meeting re-confirmed him as the chairperson of the corporation made up of "three Native Title groups who are custodians of the lands in and around Alice Springs".

Putting an end to years of turmoil Mr McAdam says: "Many of our elders were present and we are confident that we can return the Corporation to a respectable arrangement for the future operation and planning of the Corporation.

"We also have a backlog of requests for discussions with the Board by Government and members of the public and I thank those who have been patient with us.

"I am making this statement to the media to convey that we will move forward steadily and with a commitment to be the Corporation which gives respect and priority to our elders and the native title members who are today standing proud now that they have regained control of an organisation that was hard won by many of our elders who are no longer with us.

"They taught us that we have responsibilities to all of our people including our youth."

The board members, from the three estate groups, are:-

Antulye: Ian McAdam, Willy Satour, Felicity Hayes and Janice Harris (who is also the new director).
Irlpme: Noel Kruger (Deputy Chair), Kathy Martin, Bonita  Kopp and Raymond Peters.
Mparntwe: Michael Liddle, Tessa Campbell, Carolyn Liddle and Ian Conway.

Two killed in fiery car crash

Two people died in Alice Springs when a car hit a light pole and burst into flames on Saturday.
At about 11pm a police patrol observed a vehicle entering the Gregory Terrace and Bath Street roundabout in the wrong direction.
Police activated their emergency lights to stop the vehicle, and believed the driver was about to comply. However, the driver chose not to, evading the direction of police and continued to drive on.
At the Stott Terrace and Leichhardt Terrace roundabout, the driver fled the police vehicle at a dangerous speed at which point the police ceased to follow the vehicle. This decision was made in accordance with police policy in order to minimise further risk to the fleeing driver, their vehicles occupants, other road users and the police themselves.
About four minutes later, the Triple Zero call centre received a call regarding a serious motor vehicle crash on South Terrace with the vehicle was reported to be in flames.

(Police release.)

Paintings and poems take you by the hand into this country

 Three friends – two visual artists, one poet – open themselves to the country around them and to one another. What happens there, like life, is partly elusive, but also partly traced in the work on show at Watch This Space, under the title Beyond Conversation.

Through the work, they take us into the country with them.

Here are Pamela Lofts’ small windows (in oil pastel) onto, mostly, great big spaces, evoking their grand rhythms, their many moods under changing skies, the multiplicity of form and colour that gives the lie to the un-nuanced branding of this place as the Red Centre or the Outback, or even those friendlier common namings – the desert, the bush.

Here are Jenny Taylor’s penetrating studies (in oil on board) that build an architecture between land and sky, where sky and cloud give shape to the land beneath, where hills lose their mass and hang like veils one in front of the other, receding into light-filled space, where smoke fills the air and makes us see another country – poignant in its dimness like a remembered place (or perhaps a remembered way of seeing a place).

And here are Sue Fielding’s affecting poems (as wall texts and in a beautifully produced chapbook). While Lofts and Taylor are well-known, for most this is a first encounter with Fielding as poet.  She finds with seeming ease the word-pictures that situate us on a quartz hill, on the edge of a chasm, in a car driving back in from the west to town.

 

Pictured, top: Undoolya, looking west by Jenny Taylor. • Above right, Oil pastel by Pamela Lofts.

 

This is a version of the talk by KIERAN FINNANE given at the show's opening on March 30.

Winds to stoke the fire of who you are

 

An inter-cultural festival grows deep in the desert. Something like it is mooted for Alice Springs. What can we learn from our northern neighbours?  

 

"Fire is the glow of life. The four winds – from north, south, east, west – control the fire, control us. Milpirri is the story that will ignite the fire of who they are."

'They' are the participants in the Milpirri Festival whose fourth manifestation will be staged at Lajamanu, in the northern reaches of the Tanami Desert, halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin, in October this year.

Speaking was the festival's artistic director, Steve Patrick Jampijinpa, a son of the community and a former school teacher there, now a research fellow at the Australian National University. Mr Patrick gave the keynote address at this week's forum on experimentation and innovation in desert arts.

The motto of the festival is "speak to the land, the land will speak back", he said. The next image he invoked (that I caught from his softly spoken speech delivered as a string of beautiful metaphors) was of "hot air rising, cold air falling" – a metaphor for coming together, possibly in a  thunderhead – a "voluminous cloud full of fury".

In coming together "there'll always be a bit of a rough time" but out of the clouds comes "life-giving rain".

That rain has grown the festival, a joint effort of the community and the Darwin-based Tracks Dance Company which has been working with the Warlpiri people of Lajamanu since 1988. So Milpirri is "an inter-cultural venture". KIERAN FINNANE reports.

 

Photo: Milpirri Festival, 2009 by Peter Eve.

'Good men, like the good eagles, bring the meat home'

 

What really got the weavers going was thinking about the nature of eagles, how they care for their families. They were camped not far from Amata, the home community for several of them, in the APY Lands of South Australia's far north and were working on a commission from Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide.

Nyurpaya Kaika-Burton's husband would come along to the camp every day and bring the women meat, including the favoured bush turkey. They ate the flesh and used the feathers in their weaving.  Nyurpaya would think her husband was just like an eagle that goes out hunting meat for his whole family.

Hunting is what the eagle does best, he is an expert hunter and great provider – that's what the women like about eagles, what they admire in them.

"Our good men are just like the good eagles, they bring the meat home."

Several of the Tjanpi weavers travelled into Alice Springs, to speak at a forum on Monday about experimentation and innovation in desert arts. The presence of a skilled translator, Linda Rive, and the stimulus of a slide show that documented their artists' camp and the development of the work, allowed them to relate in rich detail their experience of this commission, with the final work currently  showing at Tandanya.

What was particularly compelling was to hear about the thinking behind the work: their woven birds are much more than objects to delight the eye. They draw on the strength of their ancient culture and its lessons for everyday living, perhaps never so poignantly relevant as now.

KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

 

Pictured, top: Tjanpi weavers from Amata with their finished 'big birds', from left Nyurpaya Kaika, Yaritji Young, Paniny Mick (obscured), Ilawanti Ken and Naomi Kantjuriny. • At right: An eagle brings home the meat for its young. Painting by Ilawanti Ken. Photos courtesy Tjanpi Desert Weavers.

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