The Council comprised Dr H C (‘Nugget’) Coombs as chairman, who would retire as the first Governor of the Reserve Bank to take up the appointment; Professor W E H (Bill) Stanner, a renowned anthropologist who had worked in the Daly/Wadeye region; and Barrie Dexter, an officer of the Department of External (now Foreign) Affairs.
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.