tip off

BOB GOSFORD | January 13, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 8 |

When bad cases make bad law. Jeremy Geia, the Yidindji and tilts at the windmill of indigenous sovereignty

And the occifer said
Better get a lawyer son
Better get a real good one
Better get a lawyer son
Better get a real good one*

Yesterday morning Jeremy Geia appeared in the Canberra Magistrates Court after three days in custody following his arrest last Friday morning.

Geia—aka Murrumu Walubara Yidindji—had allegedly failed to comply with orders for him to quit his occupation of an ACT government house that he claimed to have established as an embassy for the Yidinji people, an Aboriginal group from the Cairns area in north Queensland.


WARU!! Fire in Australian Aboriginal art

Earlier this week I posted this piece by Stephen J. Pyne* on the tradition of fire in (mainstream) Australian art. Here I want to look at fire as it appears in (some at least) Aboriginal artforms.

Many years ago I had the pleasure of doing the live audio mix for the Warumpi Band for a few months. One of my favourite songs was “Waru” that opened with “Gurtha meinmak … ” (Yolngu Matha for “fire is good/great“) and ended with a exultant chorus of “WARU, WARU, WARU, WARU …” (the Pintupi/Luritja word for fire) that followed you out of the gig into the night with the roar and rush of a grassfire running before a hot westerly.


BOB GOSFORD | January 06, 2015 | ART | 2 |

Australia’s bushfire tradition in art

This is an extract from Fire: Nature and Culture* a recently published book by Stephen “Smokechaser” Pyne of the University of Arizona.

You can read about Stephen’s work on fire—and there is a lot—at his personal website here.

For present purposes this quote from his biography says enough.

It all began when, a few days after high school, 18 years old, I joined the forest fire crew at the North Rim of Grand Canyon. I returned for 15 seasons.

Everything I’ve written, even the fact I write at all, dates from those years on the Rim.


BOB GOSFORD | January 04, 2015 | UNCATEGORIZED | 1 |

Jurlak lintarrwaji ngujkaji ngarrungkap tankuwaji – Gurindji bird knowledge

A few years ago I was delighted to write a post on a wonderful series of posters prepared by my friend Myf Turpin (and many others) as part of the Charles Darwin University “Cultural Signs of Central Australia” project (that now sadly seems to have gone offline).


BOB GOSFORD | January 04, 2015 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 5 |

Lies, death threats and personality theft – the NT Education Department and the “Trained Tattoo Monkey”

Two days after Christmas 2014 the NT News ran this extraordinary apology from Philip Brennan, previously a senior Northern Territory Department of Education bureaucrat.

That apology was directed to Stephen Ferguson, who had been a teacher at several remote NT government bush schools and has more than a few tales to tell of his time in the NT. Ferguson is now based at a remote school in South Australia and last week sat down with the Northern Myth over a coffee or two to tell his tale.

BOB GOSFORD | December 23, 2014 | ART | |

What to do with that leftover bottle of cheap champagne …

First, you will drink all your good champagne. And any other alcohol worth drinking. You know that over the next two weeks not only is this highly possible but really is quite likely.

Then, after a few days and nights of a surfeit of food and drink, you will wake on Boxing Day (so called because, at least in these parts, that’s when the boxing happens) or New Year’s Day and be in sore need of a drink.

BOB GOSFORD | December 22, 2014 | NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT | 1 |

A waterspout for Christmas …

I was up early this morning to see if I could catch some interesting light among the rainstorms and clouds prowling around Darwin. I came across a very nice little rain cell offshore from the Darwin Ski Club but just as I arrived I looked at the edge of the cell and noticed this lovely waterspout.

BOB GOSFORD | November 15, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 1 |

A Territory Testamentary Tale

This is a guest post from Darwin-based lawyer and legal academic Ken Parish, originally published at the website of Parish McCulloch.

A Northern Territory Supreme Court decision handed down on Wednesday provides a wistful postscript to the life of a great eccentric territory character as well as a salutary warning to aspiring DIY will drafters.

Andrew McMillan was the self-styled Hunter S Thompson of the Northern Territory. A well-known author, journalist and erstwhile musician, his books included Strict Rules (which dealt with the 1986 Warumpi Band/Midnight Oil tour), Death in Dili, Catalina Dreaming and the award-winning An Intruder’s Guide to East Arnhem Land.

BOB GOSFORD | November 07, 2014 | ABORIGINAL & ISLANDER ART | 1 |

“Kabindi-kebdjirrkkan kurebeh kondabeh” – understanding Township Leasing in the NT

This is a guest post from Murray Garde. You can see his thoughts about local hand-sign language here.

This piece was originally posted in the October edition of Land Rights News, published by the Northern Land Council. 

BOB GOSFORD | November 05, 2014 | ANIMALS | |

Getting the names right. Adventures with sand goanna nomenclature in central Australia

This is a guest post by  linguist and ethnobiologist Dr. Myfany Turpin that was originally published at the Endangered Languages and Cultures website.

The names for ‘sand goanna’ (Varanus gouldii) in the languages of areas where they are found often correspond to two ethnospecies.

Photographed here are the small arlewatyerre and the large aremaye, both from near Barrow Creek, NT, as they are called in Arandic languages (Arrernte, Kaytetye, Anmatyerr and Alyawarr).

On this day my companions successfully hunted both in close proximity, so I thought I’d see if there were differences in the scientific taxonomy that could improve my translations of ‘small sand goanna’ and ‘large sand goanna’ respectively.


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