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BOB GOSFORD | October 30, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

Senator Nova Peris. “I stand here today proud of who I am”

This is the full text of a speech given by Senator Peris OAM to the Senate earlier today.

SENATOR PERIS OAM, SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

Personal Explanation

Senate, Parliament House

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Mr President, I seek leave to make a personal explanation under Standing Order 190.

I rise to give a personal explanation in response to recent media reports relating to a number of private matters. The first thing that I want to say is I am completely overwhelmed by the support I have received from so many Australians.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 26, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 9 |

The NT’s “Daniel’s Law” – Alarmed But Not Alert

This is a guest post by Russell Goldflam, President of the Criminal Lawyers Association of the NT.

The Northern Territory Sex Offender Public Website (Daniel’s Law) Act (“the NTSOPW Act”), as it will apparently be formally designated, sends so many wrong messages it is hard to know where to start. Of course, at the time of writing, no details have yet been provided.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 22, 2014 | UNCATEGORIZED | |

The Gurindji people farewell that “jangkarni marlaka”

This is a media release from the Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation at Kalkarindji.

The Gurindji people gathered yesterday to express their sorrow at the passing of that “jangkarni marlaka” (big important man), Gough Whitlam. Men, women and children sat together through the day sharing stories in his honour. At sunset the women and young girls performed a farewell wajarra ceremony at Handover Park in Daguragu.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 21, 2014 | ABORIGINAL & ISLANDER ART | |

“That old maluka” – Warren Snowdon on the passing of a great man

This is the speech given by Warren Snowdon, Member for Lingiari in the Northern Territory on the passing of the Hon. Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC

MOTION OF CONDOLENCE – HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

TUESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2014

It is indeed a great honour and privilege to be at the despatch box today to contribute to this fine discussion. I commend all who have spoken for their eloquence and their reverence for the occasion but most importantly for recognising the greatness of Gough Whitlam.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 12, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | |

Marion Scrymgour on Stronger Futures and Constitutional reform

This is the final of four extracts from the speech given by Marion Scrymgour on 8 October 2014 at the 2014 H.C. “Nugget” Coombs Memorial Lecture at Charles Darwin University, Darwin.

 You can read the first here, the second here and the third here.

Stronger Futures

Under Labor, the Commonwealth government let the Intervention run its full 5 year term, ignoring advice received from an independent review team lead by Peter Yu. My hope had been that at the end of the 5 years the Commonwealth would simply butt out and leave us alone, and I conveyed that view to Minister Macklin. It wasn’t to be. Instead we got ‘Stronger Futures’.

It is probably not fair to describe ‘Stronger Futures’ as the Intervention mark 2. Most of the 5 year measures in the NTNER were discontinued. The original stronger penalty for bringing alcohol into a restricted area was reinstated, but the whole alcohol restrictions situation was by then a mess, and so it has remained. The damage had already been done.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 12, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | |

Scrymgour on the NT Intervention – rivers of grog and acres of leases

This is the third of four extracts from the speech given by Marion Scrymgour on 8 October 2014 at the 2014 H.C. “Nugget” Coombs Memorial Lecture at Charles Darwin University, Darwin.

You can read the first here and the second here.

The NT Intervention consisted of those measures which impacted in that way on a whole population. The term does not apply to the good stuff which everyone wanted to happen.

I’m only going to touch on two of the Intervention measures tonight.

Alcohol.

Firstly, alcohol restrictions.

Pat Anderson coined the term ‘rivers of grog’, and it was seized upon by the media and Mr Brough. Unfortunately, the impression that seems to have taken hold down south was that the place where the rivers of grog were flowing was in remote Aboriginal communities.
The vast majority of those communities were alcohol-free areas under existing Territory law. While interdicting the illegal transportation of alcohol into such communities was an ongoing challenge for Police, to suggest that the alcohol problem in communities was in any way comparable to the carnage which was taking place in the main population centres was ludicrous.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 12, 2014 | ANIMALS | |

Strange Fruit. The Dingo trees of Western Queensland

Southern trees bear strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,

The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,

Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,

For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,

For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,

Here is a strange and bitter crop.*

These few chilling words by Abel Meeropol, made her own by Billie Holiday, came immediately to mind when I first saw these pictures posted on a Facebook page run by a mob called “Ringers From The Top End.”

This picture* from the Narbethong Road outside Blackall appeared first at the top of a May 2013 ABC Background Briefing program with the emotive title ”The dogs that ate a sheep industry by Ian Townsend.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 09, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | |

Marion Scrymgour: The NT Intervention disinformation campaign – from allegations of child sexual abuse to moral panic

Child sex abuse is only one aspect of child protection. General child neglect and associated social dysfunction was the underlying problem which could have, and should have been focussed on by Mr Howard and Mr Brough. By using paedophilia as the emotive hook for their PR campaign, they indiscriminately and irresponsibly labelled the male population in remote Territory communities as predators of the worst kind. That was the second, again almost immediate, negative impact of the Intervention declaration.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 09, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | |

Marion Scrymgour. From Elliott, Robinson River, the Tiwi Islands and beyond: “Recognise” that blackfellas have survived.

This is the first of four extracts from the speech given on 8 October 2014 at the 2014 H.C. “Nugget” Coombs Memorial Lecture at Charles Darwin University, Darwin.

‘LESSONS LEARNED – LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD AFTER THE INTERVENTION’

Until its recent relegation by events in the middle east and the war on terror, constitutional reform, involving some kind of specific acknowledgement of Indigenous Australians, was hanging in there as a top order topic in the national media. The ‘Recognise’ movement has had some success in recruiting celebrities to its cause, and Noel Pearson has published a Quarterly Essay, bringing his not inconsiderable powers of persuasion to bear on the issue. The usual suspects have expressed concern about bills of rights and making blackfellas a specially favoured and privileged class of citizen. As if.

Going back 10 years or so, my support and enthusiasm for ‘Recognise’ would have been almost automatic. Even now there are probably some arguments from the no-change camp that will fire me up and make me bite back hard. Like the one which equates us with immigrant minorities, and characterises  Aboriginal identity and culture as just one feature panel in the national multicultural patchwork quilt.

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BOB GOSFORD | October 05, 2014 | ART | 1 |

Tri-state bickering: The politics of dialysis resource allocation

 

Here I can eat proper Yolngu food.

Here I can be with all my relatives.

Here I can take part in ceremonies.

Here I can talk my own Yolngu language.

And here I can look after my own country.

Here I am feeling much better than I ever did in Darwin.

Dr M Yunupingu speaking of his own experience with ESKD shortly before he passed away in 2013. 

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