If people who breach certain public places by-laws don't pay their fines, the Town Council should seek the imposition of community work orders. So says Councillor Geoff Booth who wants stiffer penalties to back up enforcement of the by-laws. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Councillor Geoff Booth at his swearing-in earlier this year.
"Yuendumu has seen its troubles / We don't need no more fighting / how about we, Warlpiri, start uniting?"
Three young hip-hop artists from Yuendumu went to the heart of the matter when they took to the stage on Saturday, as part of the line-up at The Hub, the "heart" of the Alice Desert Festival's program.
The music was mostly of a different flavour but the Desert Divas, who followed Red Sand in the program, were equally proud and hopeful: "We know where we come from / we know where we stand ... we're making our future / creating a change" went the lyrics of their group song. – KIERAN FINNANE
The old men from Amata stole the show. It wasn't just their charisma but their focus – the young people of their community – and their enquiring and imaginative outlook. Frank Young, Hector Burton and Ray Ken spoke to their ideas and work at the Desert Mob symposium on Friday. Willy Kaika and Barney Wangin were present in the auditorium and the men were joined on stage by a collaborator, the much younger installation artist Jonathan Jones, a Wiradjuri man from NSW.
The men are still painting – all of them except Young have work in the Desert Mob exhibition – but they have also turned their attention to teaching their young men to make their traditional weapons, kulata (spears) and spear-throwers. As they worked they saw "how strong and powerful" the weapons would look in their art work, said Young, director of Tjala Arts and chairman of the community, who translated for the other men. They began to imagine a room in a gallery "full of spears, thousands of spears".
KIERAN FINNANE reports from Desert Mob, the symposium and the exhibition.
Pictured, from left: Jonathan Jones, Ray Ken, Hector Burton and Frank Young. In the photograph behind them, Willy Kaika (left) with Burton.
A councillor has described the new government's plans of spending $2.5m on refurbishing the youth centre, announced in the dying days of the election campaign, as "another short term token gesture," suggesting the project should be deferred pending a closer look.
Cr Steve Brown renewed his call to spend up to $40m for a new centre, possibly on the Memo Club or the Melanka sites, and featuring a string of facilities and services for young people and the general public.
In a discussion paper he will present at tonight's town council meeting, he is also making a call for regular questioning by the town council of local departmental heads about the activities of their instrumentalities, such as it is carried out at Port Augusta. Cr Brown also wants, for young people who are neglected, homeless or in trouble with the law, a bush camp with cattle and horses, modeled on initiatives by long-time youth worker Graham Ross, possibly at the government owned Owen Springs reserve. Photo: Mr Ross (left) and Cr Brown inspecting a possible site for a youth camp west of Alice Springs, five years ago.
UPDATE on Saturday's report: Interview with tourism supremo.
Both new tourism supremos announced so far by Minister Matt Conlan are Darwin-based although portions of Tourism NT, including new CEO Tony Mayell, will be moved to Alice Springs – where the organisation was located for many years.
Tourism Central Australia (TCA) chairman Jeff Huyben has not returned calls from the Alice Springs News Online but a local tourism figure, Deborah Rock, a former member of the TCA board and an unsuccessful Labor candidate in the August 25 NT elections, says it is still premature to criticise key people.
It will be interesting to see who else is appointed to the Tourism Commission to be set up, she says.
Mr Conlan yesterday nominated Michael Bridge (pictured) as its chairman. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
New Chief Minister Terry Mills spoke about big changes in the government's tourism promotion arm and gave details of the legislative foundation for obligatory alcohol rehabilitation during a rushed doorstop news conference in Alice Springs this morning.
Photo: Mr Mills (right) at the Desert Mob exhibition with Desart CEO Philip Watkins this morning.
Updates: Why did someone from the Top End, not Central Australia, get the top tourism advisory position? And Terry's slip of the tongue.
The Australian Government will introduce income management in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the Top End of South Australia to help families ensure their welfare payments are spent in the best interests of children, according to a media release from Jenny Macklin, Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
A similar system operates in the Northern Territory under the Federal Intervention.
"Income management ensures that money is available for life essentials, and provides a tool to stabilise people’s circumstances and ease immediate financial stress," says the release.
"Consultations in May this year with APY Lands communities clearly showed strong support for income management on the Lands."
Picture: Minister Macklin in Alice Springs in 2008.
Charles Darwin University has markedly improved its standing in the Good Universities Guide, an annual rating system that compares Australia’s universities.
For the first time, CDU has gained three stars in the key categories of teaching quality and graduate satisfaction. This positions CDU in the middle of Australia’s 39 universities; an impressive achievement for the country’s youngest university, writes Martin Carroll (pictured), Academic Associate Professor and CDU Pro Vice-Chancellor.
The Teenager and the Shark, installation by Drew Moynihan, partial view. In the background, a partial view of Kelly-Lee Hickey's Detritus Theory. Photo by Leonardo Ortega.
Two ways of drawing you in, as if from different worlds: with one you can imagine yourself on a windswept shore, seeking protection within the flimsy shelter you find there; with the other, there's the seduction of the curtained space you are invited to enter. Once inside, both engage you by the moving image. In one, it is you, the viewer, who moves as you take in the unfolding story, frame by frame. In the other, you remain still while video image and sound sweep you away.
Art is always experiential but very often viewers do not give themselves over to it. At Watch This Space in an exhibition called Shift two works excitingly create their own commanding space in which to be received. No question of a glance and moving on – come inside! KIERAN FINNANE reviews.
It's about the size of Central Europe. Less than 48,000 people live there, half of them in the major centre. Six governments look after it. They do not usefully coordinate their services. Yet each year, measured per-capita, they spend an obscene fortune. They rule from capitals thousands of kilometers away. The two main racial groups are at loggerheads. More than a third of the people are on welfare. Public service is the biggest employer. Of the 1800-odd businesses, 79% are micro or small, and of these, 83% rely on government spending and a transient population. There is no coherent plan for that country's future. What is its name? You guessed it – Central Australia.
But wait, there is hope and no better time than now to develop a vision for how this might be different. Dr Bruce Walker(pictured) heads up Desert Knowledge Australia remoteFOCUS in Alice Springs which will release a major report on these issues next week. Here is a snapshot. PHOTO AT TOP: Aborigines were a key to the change of government. This is mobile polling station in the Karnte town camp in Alice Springs.
"They will take your vote, and take away your freedom! Lock you up, and give your children away! Make you pay for living on your land! Make you pay rent forever! Kick you out of town after taking your money! Control your Governance and say they now what's best for you!"
That was the fine print on the back of the First Nations Political Party how-to-vote cards, a lot more dramatic and threatening than the spoken statements of Ken Lechleitner, co-founder of the party with Maurie Ryan, whom we have quoted in recent articles.
The Alice Springs News Online asked Mr Lechleitner if these messages to voters could be substantiated. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Ken Lechleitner, left, at the August 7 meet-the-candidates forum in Alice Springs. First Nations candidate Edan Baxter has the microphone. He has since resigned from the party.
Instead of skating or biking dare-devils on the edge of the half-pipe, it's a crowd of parents and friends. They've come down to the Alice Springs Skate Park to watch Sprung, a new youth dance group. As the sun goes down, there's a familiar rattling sound. The first dancers emerge, shaking out a rhythm: the rattle is from the all but empty spraycans in their hands. They brandish them almost like a weapon, they inscribe bold flourishes in the air. The image is clear: this is about making your mark, as is spelled out in the overall title for the piece, Graffiti. KIERAN FINNANE went to last Friday's performance. Click on FULL STORY for video.