We're embarking on yet another year as one of Central Australia's most closely guarded secrets remains, well, closely guarded and secret: What in fact is Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) actually DOING? Finally a breakthrough: A leak lays bare what that taxpayer-funded organisation is doing – and not doing. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo: 11 of the 13 participants in the 2013 DKA leadership course, as published in the organsation's newsletter and Christmas message. Names were not given. One thing we know this group did was a worthwhile public art exhibition on the changing face of Alice Springs, which we recently reviewed.
Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA) is in "in discussion" with the NT Government about its funding. Both the chairman, Fred Chaney, a former Coalition Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, and CEO John Huigen are confirming this. Pictured: The Desert Knowledge precinct in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
UPDATE Dec 5:
Mr Huigen announced today that the NT Government is undertaking its first review of DKA since it began operating under the Desert Knowledge Australia Act in 2003, saying: “This is a timely opportunity to actively demonstrate our practical achievements since we began 10 years ago as part of the Alice in 10 project."
The farce of presenting a Finance Committee report with nothing in it was called into question by Councillor Eli Melky at last night’s end of month council meeting. He asked Director of Finance Paul Della if there wasn’t at least something that could be regularly itemised, to avoid the “flick through”. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Other issues:Jargon doomed to fail. • Pedestrian crossing to stay? • Bikes and skateboards in the new mall. •Asbestos 'all clear'.
Pictured: Councillors distributing balloons during the recent opening of northern Todd Mall, from left, Chansey Paech, Liz Martin, Jade Kudrenko, Steve Brown. Cr Dave Douglas in the background, taking a break.
If they were mayor for a day, they'd introduce an adult curfew – no, just kidding. In fact this group of young locals didn't raise strong objections to a youth curfew. Asked to think about the pros and cons, they came up mostly with cons but certainly not howls of protest.
They were a dozen students from the town's high schools – Centralian College, St Philip's, OLSH and Yirara – involved in the Youth Desert Leadership Program.
In a workshop hosted by Desert Knowledge Australia and the Alice Springs Town Council, the students also discussed how to make the centre of town more attractive to young people. One proposal is that the government buy the vacant Melanka block and turn it into a park where young people could hang out at night. Pictured: Mayor Damien Ryan talks to youth leaders at yesterday's workshop. From left they are Tyrell Swan, Russell Modlin (Yirara teacher), Naomi Ingamells and Rachel Dash. KIERAN FINNANE reports.