There are no winners in any of this—a group of women are (rightfully it seems) aggrieved by Walker's (admitted) failures in research and diligence, a respected author has suffered a terrible fall from grace and none of us (well, most of us) will get to read what is/was without doubt a valuable contribution to our shared musical history.
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.
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles may be looking for a new career in stand-up comedy with his latest "Statehood" routine. Joe Hockey was laughing like a drain and I nearly drove into one. Here is why ...
At one of the COAG working party negotiations that I attended one state representative remarked that there was no point giving any funds to the NT because they wouldn’t deliver the goods and that the close-the-gap target could be achieved by focusing on the Indigenous population in the eastern states alone. Let’s not make this chilling black humour a reality.
The Territory has very few friends “down south”, where we have come to be seen as over-indulged redneck mendicant whingers, sucking endlessly on the public nipple of taxpayer generosity. Suspending NT self-government would be a popular decision in most parts of Australia.
I find Nicolas Rothwell's bald assertion that the APY women are “ritually subservient to the men” - and therefore should bow to their will in such matters as the Ngintaka Tjukurpa – so powerfully denied by the Story itself.
Nicolas Rothwell shows extreme disrespect of Anangu governance by referring to the traditional owners of the Ngintaka songline who have led the project as ‘plausible-seeming desert leaders’. Who is he to judge their traditional knowledge or status?
Being here this evening, surrounded by her work, is not all of what Sarah is about. At her opening last year I described her in the best of possible ways as a “mongrel dog”. With that description, I was describing her as central Australia’s leading advocate and activist for Aboriginal people with end stage renal disease. I described her as that because, quite simply, she is completely unafraid in her dealings with bureaucrats and politicians in her battles with them. call her that as a token of real affection. The real puzzle is that she is both mongrel dog activist, mother, carer of people within the Western Desert Renal Dialysis family—yet still finds the time to create objects of beauty and wonder.
What Rothwell is of course talking about here is localised Aboriginal self-determination, an aspiration that he has frequently condemned to the dustbin of Australian political history: “For some time it has been clear Aboriginal self-determination has had its day.”