I want the government and mining companies to know that we are still here. We aren’t going anywhere. We aren’t dead yet. We are still here, feeling the country. Jacky Green, Darwin, August 2017
The contamination of land, water, air and wildlife can be seen across the region. The Redbank Copper Mine was abandoned in the mid-1990s, with an estimated 54,000 tonnes of partially treated acid-forming material left exposed to the monsoonal rains for 17 years. Poor management has resulted in highly toxic waste bleeding into nearby waterways.
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.