This is a guest post by author Greg Barron that was first published at his website in October 2015. This is the store at Ngukurr (pronounced Nooker) Community on the banks of the Roper River in the NT. This settlement, home to around 900 people, was the origin of a rock band that Andrew McMillan […]
"Lateline and Tony Jones are up for a Walkley Award. Nothing could be more disgraceful in Australian journalism. The fact that this program has been nominated undermines the Walkley Awards … I think it is an absolute disgrace that he is invited here for the media awards on Saturday night." Syd Stirling, Deputy Chief Minister, NT Legislative Assembly, 19 October 2006.
The takeaway message from this Territory Testamentary Tale is a simple one. Making a valid will isn’t as straightforward as it might look. You certainly shouldn’t draw it up yourself nor should you get a non-lawyer friend to do so. Using one of those DIY wills kits that you can buy at a newsagent is probably okay in a straightforward situation, as long as you are capable of reading and carefully following the instructions.
"The best advice that I ever got was given by members of Status Quo “Whatever you do, don’t puncture your skin.” Snort it, drink it, smoke it, swallow it … but don't ever stick a needle in."
I was freelancing for rock'n'roll magazines and having the lazy time of my life. A visit from half a dozen traditional Aboriginal men from Australia's Top End was well into the realms of the unpredictable, but they were rock'n'roll and so was I and that seemed enough to seal the occasion. Nonetheless I began battening down the hatches and warned all my friends that I had some pretty unusual visitors coming to stay. This is how it happened according to my diary at the time.
Andrew may be gone but won't be forgotten - there are plans for an annual writers' retreat in the town and those of us lucky enough to pass through Larrimah from time to time will be be stopping in to share a drink or ten with Andrew - again. And the NT Writers' Centre is accepting donations for the Writers' Retreat ...
Andrew was one of the Territory’s great eccentrics—but also one of its best contemporary writers,” said Mr Mackinolty. “He came to the Territory chasing music as a journalist, which led to the influential book Strict rules which covered the Warumpi Band/Midnight Oil tour of the Territory and never looked back as a writer. “He followed this with Death in Dili, Catalina Dreaming and An Intruders Guide to East Arnhemland—the latter led to his being awarded NT Writer of the Year in 2009.
Well he’s up late at night with the work light on, He’s gonna write a book but first he’s getting out his bong, He’s drinking red cask wine, smoking home grown reefer, Got the stereo on, he’s listening to Aretha, They call him Jesus of Westralia Street. Lyrics for "Jesus of Westralia Street", Tracey Bunn/Colin Holt
Andrew -- a proud sort of bloke -- has always refused to go on the dole, so has scant resources to fall back on. That's why his friends and colleagues are staging a "Living Wake" to raise funds for his needs until he is back on his feet again. The idea of a Living Wake has some appeal to Andrew – he will be around, in the words of Big Bill Neidjie – the Kakadu Man – “to hear the nice things said about me”.
The Andrew McMillan Living Wake will kick off at 7pm on 3rd December at the Darwin Railway Club in Parap. I reckon a lobster will get you through the door for what looks like a great night. Hopefully no-one will be writing an obituary for Andrew any time soon...who knows, he might hang around for us to do another one next year...and the year after that!