Whitefellas are not at some pinnacle of evolution that all other cultures seek to attain. When we meet Aboriginal people, it becomes uncomfortably evident exactly what have we given up for what we have gained, writes BLAIR McFARLAND in the final part of his series.
Somehow more and more Aboriginal people are getting work despite not having a good education. The underlying trend is up. The Indigenous increases in employment exceeded the increases for the Australian population as whole. BLAIR McFARLAND continues his reflections on the policy conundrums in remote communities and suggests some different answers are needed.
I personally learned the paramount importance of the one thing that can change children’s lives, the one thing that can give them hope, give them a life through which they can choose their own path: Education!
Metal gig upstairs, poetry downstairs, crowds for both!
Last Friday’s poetry evening at Soma restaurant drew an unexpected crowd of over 70 people. At one point there seemed to be standing room only! The cold and blustery autumn night did not deter throngs of people seeking the pleasures of poetry in the warmth of Soma. As the new project officer for the NT Writers Centre in Alice Springs, Kelly-lee Hickey brings an enthusiasm and passion for the job that can only be found in a poet or writer. She was inspired to see so many people turn out for the first Off the Page event of the year. As Michael Watts said on the night, poetry has an important place in our society.
The experience also showed how even as adults we love to be read to. Perhaps the opportunities outside of the young child age bracket are limited. A new lover reads aloud from their favourite books as they reveal themselves to you, or you do as you read in your turn to them. It got me to thinking about how popular audio books are now. I’ve always loved listening and still being able to do something with my hands. I’ll bet the busier our lifestyles have become so too the popularity of audio books has risen.
I also wondered about the starts to our lives with wondrous tales and sleepy time stories told to us as vulnerable children ...
Pictured: Poet Penny Drysdale in action. Photo by KIM HOPPER.