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Worst road in the world?…Australia? The Tanami Road

Worst road in the world?…Australia? The Tanami Road

WARNING – this road eats cars…and trucks…and road trains…and caravans…and just about everything else that travels across it!! The Tanami Road/Track/Highway (take your pick) runs for just over 1,000 kilometres from just north of Alice Springs in the NT through to Halls Creek in WA. The first 200 kilometres to the crossing at the dry-as-a-bone-at-this-time-of-year […]

Yuendumu: the pool, the press, protocols and permits…and the Code of Conduct for Ministerial Staff

As Crikey and The Northern Myth have reported and discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday this week there are real concerns at Yuendumu and across central Australia about the way that some journalists went about their business reporting on what should have been, and largely was, a good news story. The opening this past Monday of […]

Peggy Napaljarri Brown’s fury

Peggy Napaljarri Brown’s fury

As I walked up the road yesterday morning to get some milk, I spotted Peggy Napaljarri Brown, Jenny Macklin’s best new friend and Valerie Napaljarri Martin sitting in the shade of a tree outside the ramshackle office of the Yuendumu Mining Company. Next to her sat Harry Jakamarra Nelson. They all have better things to […]

‘Ngurrju School, Ngurrju Pool’ (Yes School – Yes Pool) – Jenny Macklin finds a few friends at Yuendumu

‘Ngurrju School, Ngurrju Pool’ (Yes School – Yes Pool) – Jenny Macklin finds a few friends at Yuendumu

“I’ve found a friend!” Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin tells Crikey as she walks arm-in-arm across the dusty main street of Yuendumu with Peggy Nampijinpa Brown. Jenny and Nampijinpa have just been to visit the several hundred people who have come down from their sorry business at West Camp where they are mourning the […]

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A look at all things northern... and some of the myths behind them.

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Dog(s) of the week – Dion Beasley and his Cheeky Dogs

Dog(s) of the week – Dion Beasley and his Cheeky Dogs

We were in Alice Springs for a few days last week and went along to a great exhibition by the young Aboriginal artist, Dion Beasley at the Olive Pink Botanical Gardens. Dogs Life is a small collection of Dion’s hand-coloured drawings of what he calls his Cheeky Dogs.  As anyone who has spent time in […]

Court day in Yuendumu Part 2 – The Community Court caravan rolls into town

When Stipendiary Magistrate John Birch’s Court caravan rolled into Yuendumu late last week he bought a new model of the law into town with him. Community Courts, as distinct from the regular Magistrates Court being held in a community, have been around in the Territory since 2005 but until last week had only been active […]

Court day in Yuendumu – Part 1

The NT Magistrates Court rolled into Yuendumu for its bi-monthly visit late last week. Leading the 4 wheel-driven caravan was Stipendiary Magistrate John Birch, with an assortment of defence lawyers, police prosecutors and staff from the Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal service in tow. Add the eight members of the Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Group, […]

NT medical clinic wins over the ACC’s coercive powers

There is a scene near the end if the Coen Brothers’ latest film, Burn After Reading where J. K. Simmons & David Rasche, playing hapless CIA supervisors, wring hands and tear hair at the mounting body-count and sheer confusion that characters played by George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Brad Pitt have wreaked about […]

How did Paul Toohey’s “Last Drinks” get it so wrong?

I really wanted to like Paul Toohey’s Quarterly Essay 30, Last Drinks – The Impact of the Northern Territory Intervention, and I did like it – on the first read, and at a sitting. It read like a punchy crime novel set in the NT and, while I had a number of moments for pause […]

Dog of the week – Skanky

Dog of the week – Skanky

Skanky was one of the many dogs that we’ve had the pleasure of rehabilitating over the past couple of years. She came to us covered head-to-tail in oozing sores – the result of serious mange and secondary infections. She may have looked a mess but, with a little love and medical attention she came good […]