Despite recent efforts to cleanse the troubled and lost souls previously incarcerated at Darwin’s decrepit Berrimah Jail–no longer used to house adult inmates but re-purposed as a juvenile detention facility–juvenile detention in the Northern Territory remains in crisis.
This report, originally published in the April 2015 edition of Land Rights News, shows how deep that crisis really is.
The judgment is in: the Northern Territory’s juvenile detention system is in crisis, its management is incompetent, staff are undertrained, operational practices are haphazard and overly-punitive, and there’s been covering-up when things go wrong. And the system is doing nothing to rehabilitate the young people whom it locks up.
It is possible that former NT Labor Opposition leader Delia Lawrie could be charged with making a false statement in a document required to be made under oath contrary to section 118 of the NT Criminal Code, a crime carrying a potential 7 years imprisonment.
This is a guest post by Djambawa Marawili AM, Chairman of the Association of Northern Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA) It was originally published in the ANKAA quarterly magazine, Backbone.
As an Indigenous artist and cultural leader living in my homeland on ancestral country in North Australia, I speak for my own and other homeland communities to remind people we are the knowledge holders and caretakers of this Country.
Lawrie appears determined to hang onto leadership despite the numbers running against her. If the caucus remains split at 5-3 she will need at least 60 per cent of the rank and file to vote her way. If, as is widely expected, she loses even one of those supporters then the odds and the numbers will be firmly stacked against her.
This is a letter sent to NT Opposition leader Delia Lawrie by former Labor minister and MLA for Casuarina, Kon Vatskalis.*
We just came back from Perth and I found out that tomorrow there will be a caucus meeting to decide the leadership issue.
As you are aware I have stayed away from the media and I have not made any public statements to the media (unlike others) or the social media. As I always told you if I have something to say I will say to you not via a third party.
In a disaster entirely of her own making, NT Labor leader Delia Lawrie’s ill-judged case against the commissioner of an NT government inquiry (with a status equivalent to a Royal Commission) into the grant of a rent-free lease to Unions NT land has failed in the worst possible way. Lawrie will be dumped as leader after the Easter break by a party that has long been disillusioned by the style and substance of her leadership.
Lawrie’s Supreme Court case deserves a nomination for a political Darwin Award, commemorating those who improve the local very shallow political gene pool by removing themselves from it.
This is a transcript of a discussion between Deakin University legal academic Martin Hardie and ABC journalist Mandy Presland broadcast yesterday on the ABC’s NewsRadio.
Martin Hardie: I really had no idea, given the history of this thing, what was going to happen, but I’ve always been of the belief since I first started looking at the evidence back in early 2013 that Essendon had not used any banned substances. So [I’m feeling] relief and I think vindication. We’ve had over two years now–someone said seven hundred and eighty-four days or something like that–of investigation and claim and counter-claim in the media and we now know that Essendon did not take any banned substances. Which raises a whole lot of questions of course.
Mandy Presland: So now that this finding has been handed down, where to from here?
This is a letter sent earlier this week from Darwin barrister and art curator Koulla Roussos to the management of the Vipassana Meditation Centre at Woori Yallock in Victoria after her attendance at a course there from the 11th to 22 March 2015.
I want to thank you for the opportunity this recent course provided to me to become more familiar with the theory and practice of meditation. The comfortable environment produced a quiet and contemplative state which was conducive in part to restful enlightenment. The meals were superb and I want to thank the kitchen staff for doing such a terrific job.
I also want to raise some concerns I have about the way the course was structured and delivered. I have given this much thought since leaving the centre in the hope of resolving these issues for myself, however they continue to bother me.
Mary Ann Butler’s Broken, which just finished a two week run at Darwin’s Brown Mart theatre, is a brutal and bare-knuckled play that kicks you in the head–and the guts–from the first minute and keeps kicking and screaming for the next hour.
A car rolls in the desert night, a half-broken-hearted man tends the wounded woman in the wreck. He lies about her dog. At home his missus has a bloody screaming miscarriage.
A couple of weeks ago, the Australian Prime Minister made some comments about the lifestyle choices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians living in remote communities. I don’t know Mr Abbott and I am not really into politics and neither are my mates yet the day after those comments were made, that was the topic of conversation amongst us.
The comments from my circle of mates ranged from ignorance, misinformed and that old Australian way of using humour to get away with some pretty offensive statements. I thought to myself at the time, if that is coming from the mouths of my mates – many who are educated and have some understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues – imagine the conversations going on at smoko all over the country!