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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 […]

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

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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 […]

Bird of the Week – Lucy the piebald, leucistic Crow

Bird of the Week – Lucy the piebald, leucistic Crow

This bird – I’m sorry but I can’t even identify it to species level – it is either a Torresian Crow (Corvus orru) or a Little Crow (Corvus bennetti) which are the only two Crows found in this part of central Australia, was hanging around the house here at Yuendumu for a few weeks in […]

Real jobs at Yuendumu – blown away with the Yunparlarla

Real jobs at Yuendumu – blown away with the Yunparlarla

There are few enough success stories here in the desert, but surely the Kurdu-Kurdu Kurlangu Childcare Centre at Yuendumu must qualify as one of the best. It provides real jobs, and real, accredited national-standard, training, to 14 local women. But maybe not for much longer – it appears that those jobs are at real risk […]

A birder in the gilded cage of politics

A birder in the gilded cage of politics

Greg Combet, member for Charlton in the Federal Parliament, the hard man of the Patrick’s wharf dispute…and of course much more, is apparently a big softy at heart – he breeds, and has special places in his heart for, birds. I had a vague memory of Greg’s name being mentioned in relation to birds a […]

Birdwatching as a death hazard…

Birdwatching as a death hazard…

The drive that gripped Alan that stormy night in the Himalayas can carry us into all sorts of situations. Most of the time the stories engendered add to the great canon of harmless eccentricities. But in some instances the birder's drive can lead to dreadful tragedy.