A group of men have formed the Blokes on Track Aboriginal Corporation to create a Men's Shed – “a grass roots development of men teaching men how to behave and learn to hunt and gather in this modern world through creating employment opportunity.” KIERAN FINNANE reports.
The day-long symposium in Melbourne on 25 March, featuring Senator Patrick Dodson and a contingent from The Centre, will provide a forum for contributions to the national conversation around “breakthrough recognition”.
When a mob beat Kumunjayi Pollard to death, when Ed Hargrave was fatally stabbed, when Kwementyaye Ryder died at the hands of five men, and Liam Jurrah attacked women, two "dark and dangerous fluids" were running through our town: one was blood, the other grog. They also run through Kieran Finnane's book.
A plan commissioned by the group wants a slice of town council rates, control the proposed Indigenous cultural centre, charge the Power Water Corporation 5% of the value for works in Alice Springs and have ownership of public housing transferred to its tenants. EXCLUSIVE report by ERWIN CHLANDA. Photo: Ken Lechleitner, the author of the plan.
"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.
Ken Lechleitner on polling day, campaigning for Warren H. Williams (back to the camera) in Hermannsburg.
The Darwin-focussed politics of successive Territory governments has finally got the challenge it deserved and it came from the black vote in the bush. Credit has to go to the Country Liberals' significant work in communicating with bush electorates and fielding credible candidates with strong local roots – this transformation of the Country Liberals is one of the major changes wrought by Labor's 11 years in power. But the performance of the First Nations Political Party, particularly in the electorate of Stuart, suggests a broader politicisation of Aboriginal people, no longer happy to have other voices speaking for them.
The challenge for the Country Liberals government will now be to respond to their new support base, honouring their campaign promises. The challenge for the First Nations Political Party is to remain active, develop its thinking beyond the broad brush, and identify future credible candidates. On polling day at Hermannsburg KIERAN FINNANE spoke to Ken Lechleitner about the party's future.