The mission arrived one hundred and six years ago. Despite having a perfectly functioning society for thousands of years, they came to “Save” us, but since their arrival we have the highest incidence of suicide on the planet and domestic violence is rife. So what does that tell you? They were too busy coveting our souls to really Love Thy Neighbour weren’t they? We are not people to them, we are objects of religious zeal.
Nyinawanga needed a passport. And for this Australian born artist, that was a problem. We got the passport photos done, and filled out and witnessed all the forms, but there being no records of birth was the killer. The guy at Immigration was pretty firm about it. “What about mission records?” he asked. There was no mission, the reply. “What about the stud book?” He isn’t in there, the response, along with “Just look at the photo, he’s obviously Australian!”
I'd love to see the English cricket team playing a game at Larrimah - and perhaps the Barmy Army could adopt the Larrimah Social Cricket Club as an affiliate - at least the Poms might get to win a game ...
The Sunrize Band played extensively throughout the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland and toured with Carlos Santana, Jimmy Barnes, Hunters & Collectors, Painters and Dockers, Paul Kelly, Spy v Spy, Bob Geldof and many more. One highlight was a tour to New Guinea, where, in Ngarritj's words "Those crazy blackfellas in the audience threw coconuts and bananas at us as a sign of their appreciation."
On Saturday new NT Chief Minister Mills flew to Gove on the far north-east of the NT. This was a very different trip to last week's fly-in, fly-out trips to Nguiu, Ramingining and Wadeye. No triumph, no candidates, media or minders in tow. At the 2012 NT election the CLP didn't put a dent in the firm 32-year Labor hold on the local seat of Nhulunbuy.
The flying foxes flew away and circled over the Arafura Swamp, finally settling hanging upside down from trees growing along the banks. They were the first creatures to cut the penises of their young males and the circumcision ceremonies performed on young boys today is accompanied by a repetition of the songs sung by the flying foxes as they initiated the original ceremony.
Every Secret Thing is one of the best books written about life in the Northern Territory since Xavier Herbert's Capricornia - that's a pretty big call but I reckon this book is just as funny, brave and deadly serious as that grumpy old curmudgeon's masterpiece.