A post that looks at our research into firespreading raptors in the Top End of Australia ... and beyond.
Karrkkanj is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon, Professor Evans explains. The Peregrine Falcon can also be known more specifically as ngalmirlangmirlang and the Brown Falcon as wunwunbu; these are said to be husband and wife. Karrkkanj is also ritually significant as the one who founded the Lorrkkon mortuary cycle.
Dickson and others are right to claim that our parliaments are killing Aboriginal languages, but they aren’t doing it by denying their occasional use by parliamentarians. The linguistic killing fields are not in the NT parliamentary precinct but in the dozens of small Territory townships where on every school-day kids walk out of their houses where English is spoken as a third, fourth or fifth language and up the road to spend the day in a mono-lingual classroom.
Whoever wins the next NT election will face daunting political and economic challenges. Arrogance, hubris, venality and rank political stupidity have proven a fatal combination for the CLP, a party that could once claim pride of place in Territory politics. Right now it is little more than a shambling, punchdrunk rabble.
Child sex abuse is only one aspect of child protection. General child neglect and associated social dysfunction was the underlying problem which could have, and should have been focussed on by Mr Howard and Mr Brough. By using paedophilia as the emotive hook for their PR campaign, they indiscriminately and irresponsibly labelled the male population in remote Territory communities as predators of the worst kind. That was the second, again almost immediate, negative impact of the Intervention declaration.
The Territory has challenged all who have come to its shores except for the first Australians who managed to live in harmony with all of its natural elements for many many thousands of years – probably somewhere within that lies the key for the rest of us.
Mills and the CLP got smart - and got some smart advice and advisors - and realised that government in the NT was theirs for the taking - not by the usual head-butting over seats in the northern suburbs of Darwin but by concentrating on what had long been accepted as Labor's heartland, the bush seats. And they didn't forget that they only needed one seat to get them over the line. By close of the count Saturday night the CLP had taken government.
Bess Price, CLP candidate for the massive seat of Stuart (think Victoria plus Tasmania), kicked off her election campaign with an attack on local Amnesty International workers and a senior Aboriginal activist that smacked more of Pauline Hanson’s politics than the sedate election campaign conduct we are used to in Territory politics. Price went on national TV to join a debate that for most in the NT had long faded into history — intra-racial envy.
I am honoured to have been given this 2010 NAIDOC award. I remember like it was yesterday being in the audience at this event in 2007 when my former colleague Jack Ah Kit spoke after receiving the same award. It was only weeks after John Howard and Mal Brough had made their shock-and-awe Intervention announcement in 2007.