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“And still my family die.” Marie Munkara on the commodification of life and death on the Tiwi islands

“And still my family die.” Marie Munkara on the commodification of life and death on the Tiwi islands

Bob Gosford November 22, 2017

The mission arrived one hundred and six years ago. Despite having a perfectly functioning society for thousands of years, they came to “Save” us, but since their arrival we have the highest incidence of suicide on the planet and domestic violence is rife. So what does that tell you? They were too busy coveting our souls to really Love Thy Neighbour weren’t they? We are not people to them, we are objects of religious zeal.

The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

Bob Gosford November 21, 2017

During on-country hearings, Federal Court judge Tony North affects a curious titfer. For mine it looks part random collection of dead sticks that some aspirant bushie might have collected as kindling for the evening’s fire, part bizarre fascinator. When I asked about this curious millinery the judge tells me that the feathers are a souvenir […]

Realising Mungarrawuy’s legacy – Galarrwuy Yunupingu and the Gumatj clan forge a new future in north-east Arnhem Land

Realising Mungarrawuy’s legacy – Galarrwuy Yunupingu and the Gumatj clan forge a new future in north-east Arnhem Land

Bob Gosford November 20, 2017

And Galarrwuy Yunupingu? He's about to turn 70, but still keeps a sharp eye on development and is guiding every step taken. He has straddled the whole of the Northern Territory's history of self-government, been public enemy number one, and respected elder number one, sometimes at the same time. He has hosted every prime minister since Whitlam and none claim to have bettered him.

Death of a Hyundai, south of Tennant Creek, NT

Death of a Hyundai, south of Tennant Creek, NT

Bob Gosford November 15, 2017

Earlier today, Scott McConnell— the very well-travelled member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly for the seat of Stuart—sent through this photo of a burnt-out Hyundai from about 150 kilometres or so south of Tennant Creek in the NT. He took this shot while travelling up to the Tennant to attend a meeting of the […]

Law, disorder and CAALAS – the view from Yuendumu

Law, disorder and CAALAS – the view from Yuendumu

Bob Gosford November 14, 2017

The law is like a spider’s web, In all humility I explain: the rich man fears it not neither he that is in command. The large beetles break free and only the small insects are ensnared

He was a tough old bastard that Ronny Ball.

He was a tough old bastard that Ronny Ball.

Bob Gosford November 8, 2017 1 Comment

Vale Ron Ball: He was the Wild Man from Wildboar, a crack shot buffalo hunter and meat producer; defined by his cut off Toyota, dusty old Akubra, trusted 308 rifle and busted arse swag.

Punks, junkies, bikies and an iconic poster – From Uluru to Wollongong and back

Bob Gosford November 1, 2017 1 Comment

Wollongong, and in no small way the junkies, punks, bikies—and barmaids—of that town, had made an unsung contribution to the success of the Uluru handback. They had proved to one Anangu man that Australians of good will can be found in the most unexpected places.

A short tribute to Sir Ninian Stephen

A short tribute to Sir Ninian Stephen

Bob Gosford October 31, 2017 1 Comment

When Sir Ninian Stephen found that lands around Uluru-Kata Tjuta [Ayers Rock] were to be returned to their traditional owners he put his hand up to be the official representative of the Crown in handing over the title deeds.

Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

Bob Gosford October 29, 2017

The workshop allowed for clarification of the rather confusing overlap of three bird names,  karrkkanj, ngalmirlangmirlang and wunwunbu. Karrkkanj, it turns out, is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon.

Vale The Voice – you never had a chance

Vale The Voice – you never had a chance

Bob Gosford October 27, 2017 1 Comment

Turnbull was right to reject The Voice but he has made an absolute hash of the rest of the recognition issue and has left the field open for Shorten to make merry havoc. It is an old saw but true that there are no votes in Aboriginal policy but Shorten can now pick up and run with the many "other issues" that are still on the table.