tip off

BOB GOSFORD | October 04, 2014 | ART | 1 |

“Our organs are sacred”: how we fail Aboriginal Australians with Chronic Kidney Disease

This post is an extract from the catalogue for the exhibition “Get Well Soon: A Diagnosis” by Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty currently showing at David Hancock’s Gallery Two Six in Darwin through 11 October 2014.

The statistics around chronic kidney disease[CKD] among Aboriginal people are not pretty.

Chronic diseases and associated risk factors are responsible for approximately two-thirds of the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal non-Aboriginal people. For males in the Northern Territory, this stands at around 17 years, with a national average of 11.

BOB GOSFORD | October 04, 2014 | ANIMALS | |

Bird of the Week: Yilingkirrkkirr – the White Throated Grasswren

This is a guest post from Peter Cooke that was originally posted at his wonderful Tumblr page, “Life is a Carnivore

You won’t find Yilingkirrkkirr anywhere other than in the rugged sandstone massif of Kakadu and Western Arnhem Land.

Yilingkirrkirr is the name for this handsome and elusive bird in the languages of Kundedjnjenghmi and Gundjeihmi. The scientific name is Amytornis woodwardi and the common name is the White Throated Grasswren.

BOB GOSFORD | October 02, 2014 | UNCATEGORIZED | |

Get Well Soon – wealth and fame gets a turn “on the machine”

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles looks mightily pissed off. Never the readiest man with a smile he sits alone, glaring at you with a quiet fury.

From his arm run the bloody tubes that give him at least a chance at a normal life and filter the toxins from his blood. Three times a week he sits swaddled in a cold room for five hours, hooked up to a whirring, blinking machine.

Behind him the icecream-cake-parliament-house that was once his palace looms large through the window, curtained with the puckered-arsehole of the desert rose and southern cross that adorn the Northern Territory flag.

On the wall a campaign poster shows a younger happier man with his favourite campaign slogan.

“No more sit down money.”


Vale Jangala Robertson

I’m saddened by the news overnight of the passing of Mr Jangala Robertson, a wonderful artist from Yuendumu and one of the diminishing core of senior artists based at Warlukurlangu Artists at Yuendumu, a small township 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.

BOB GOSFORD | September 30, 2014 | ABORIGINAL & ISLANDER ART | 2 |

“Speaking with one voice” – WA’s changes to Aboriginal Heritage law rejected at bush meetings

This is a guest post from anthropologist Dr Stephen Bennetts.

Aboriginal leaders in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Perth have rejected WA Government plans to amend the state’s Aboriginal Heritage Act to further streamline provisions under section 18 of the AHA which allow for the destruction of Aboriginal sites by developers.

At a bush meeting last Friday at Yule River, south of Port Hedland, representatives of all major Pilbara Aboriginal language groups voted to reject the AHA amendments, calling on WA’s Legislative Assembly to form a Select Committee to develop a new framework for reform of the AHA with meaningful participation by Aboriginal people. A Pilbara Aboriginal delegation will also be sent to Perth for talks with Premier Colin Barnett — and also — if necessary, to Canberra, to discuss their concerns with the (de facto) Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Tony Abbott.

BOB GOSFORD | September 26, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

Why Essendon and Hird must appeal

I’ve been in plenty of courtrooms in my time but few — if any — where there was such a stunned post-judgement silence as between the stark walls of court one in the Federal Court in Melbourne last Friday afternoon following Justice John Middleton’s decision in the case bought by the Essendon Football Club and coach James Hird against the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

For those who’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Middleton swatted Essendon and Hird from his court with his 122-page judgement like a couple of  stray blue-arsed flies.

Many in the public and the ‘popular’ press reckon that should be the end of the story. Hird and Essendon made a flawed attempt at rocking the ASADA boat and failed miserably.

For the baying crowds and their boosters in the media Middleton J’s judgement represents a vindication for ASADA and its former CEO Aurora Andruska and is such a comprehensive analysis of the facts and law that it would withstand any challenge. Hird and Essendon have been comprehensively defeated and should leave the field, pelted with rocks and rotten fruit with their heads hung in eternal shame.

BOB GOSFORD | September 20, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

Desperately seeking Steven

I’m sitting in the marble and concrete foyer of the Federal courthouse in Melbourne. Across from me Steven Dank, the most reviled — and perhaps most misunderstood — man in Australian sport is sitting on a couch near the court registry.

With him is Martin Hardie, Deakin Law School academic and doping researcher. They are talking in hushed tones about the book Hardie is working on that will explore the recent Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and Australian Football League investigation that is the subject of a fraught legal battle between ASADA, the Essendon Football Club and it’s golden son, James Hird. Snippets of their conversation bounce off the floors and walls at me – who did and didn’t do what when. What this meant. What that didn’t.


BOB GOSFORD | September 02, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 2 |

Adam Giles appoints “Deputy Dawg.” “Tired” Tollner to “have a rest” but tipped to return

Don’t blame me that Peter Glen Chandler who on Monday night was promoted — as I predicted here earlier that day — from relative backbench obscurity to newly-minted Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory by his Country Liberal party and Chief Minister Adam Giles — is henceforth known as “Deputy Dawg.”

Back to Chandler in a bit. For mine the most revealing parts of the Giles presser following Chandler’s appointment didn’t concern his new Deputy but his former Deputy Dave Tollner, who resigned his commission in ignominious circumstances a week ago.


BOB GOSFORD | September 01, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

All change (again) in the NT?

Just a week ago Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Ken Vowles — speaking in the context of the looming seventh Ministerial reshuffle on the two year anniversary of the Country Liberal Party’s return to government after eleven years in the wilderness that is opposition — described the CLP Government as “the most dysfunctional administration anywhere in Australia.”

“Two years into Government the scorecard tells a story of rank incompetence, arrogance and chaos,” Mr Vowles said.

BOB GOSFORD | August 31, 2014 | ART | |

Phonebooths of the remote Northern Territory

When I came back to the Northern Territory in 2006 after living down south for five years or so I moved to Yuendumu, a small town 300 or so kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.

At first I was surprised to see people walking around with phones — thinking firstly they were using landline remotes — and then I was pleasantly surprised to see that Telstra had chosen Yuendumu as a trial site for the roll out of mobile phone and internet services into dozens of small townships across the NT.

BMP (Before Mobile Phones) there were few options if you wanted to contact someone out bush to arrange a meeting or visit. You could call the local Council office and leave a hopeful message, call one of the intermittently functional public phones scattered across town (“Nah, call that top camp phone, he might be up there“); try one of the few domestic landlines or you could drive for hours on spec to pass on a message or hold a meeting.


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