It is unsurprising that Windschuttle—as most of us do—struggles with the complexity of the Native Title Act but the least we can expect is that if he is going to throw up ideas based on the application of that Act it is not unreasonable that he exhibit at least a working comprehension of the operation of the Act and its basic concepts.
The loss of the 'Selamat Dua' is one of the great nautical regrets of my life, because two years later I was living and working in East Timor following the crisis and the 'Selamat Dua' would have been perfect over there - Tony Haritos.
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.
Despite poverty and marginalisation, there was a spirit of defiance and pride amongst the Elliott mob. The slogan from the previous year’s anti-bicentennial – ‘we have survived’ – had continuing resonance. There was respect for the endurance and fortitude of the many former stockmen who lived in the town. Through their skill and discipline they had earned a limited degree of autonomy, despite working for white bosses, and they had managed to maintain culture and ceremony under difficult conditions.
When we see dangerously naïve or misguided non-Aboriginal crusaders running around hurling emotional Molotov cocktails willy nilly into the flammable undergrowth of community perceptions and politics, I believe it is sometimes necessary to turn the fire prevention hoses onto them.