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Topic: Roper River
The trouble with shit-hawks – the firespreading raptors of northern Australia

The trouble with shit-hawks – the firespreading raptors of northern Australia

A post that looks at our research into firespreading raptors in the Top End of Australia ... and beyond.

No more “Nigger Creek,” “Black Gin Road” and “Lubra Springs” in the NT? A good start but …

No more “Nigger Creek,” “Black Gin Road” and “Lubra Springs” in the NT? A good start but …

Toponymy - the study of place names* - is for many of us an arcane corner of linguistic and anthropological study. Notwithstanding the complexities of the issues it throws up, it is a key to understanding our connections to land and place.

Locum nullius: what’s in a name?

Locum nullius: what’s in a name?

This is a guest post by Chips Mackinolty, an artist and journalist based in Palermo and Darwin.  On 9 August 1974, eight years almost to the day after the famous Wave Hill Walk Off, a group of largely Mangarrayi speaking families walked off Elsey Station. Yes, the place of the colonialist pastoral fantasy of We […]

Broken English: Best Heavy Metal Band in the Country

Broken English: Best Heavy Metal Band in the Country

This is a guest post by author Greg Barron that was first published at his website in October 2015.  This is the store at Ngukurr (pronounced Nooker) Community on the banks of the Roper River in the NT. This settlement, home to around 900 people, was the origin of a rock band that Andrew McMillan […]

“From time immemorial.” The Mangarrayi law for water and their struggle for land.

“From time immemorial.” The Mangarrayi law for water and their struggle for land.

"Territory Parliament was in an uproar. The government said the new owners would ruin Elsey as a cattle station and cause untold damage to the Territory economy. Aborigines were taking over the land at a terrifying rate, a sure sign of the imminent death of the cattle industry." Background Briefing, 1999.

Do these raptors spread fire in the Australian savanna?

Do these raptors spread fire in the Australian savanna?

Use of fire as a tool is normally considered to be restricted to humans, and hence to have played an extremely important role not only in human societal change but also in the large-scale modification of landscapes across the world. But what if animals other than humans exhibit pyrophilic behavior?

Water rights in never-never land: Tina Macfarlane denies report Stylo Station sold for $4m

Water rights in never-never land: Tina Macfarlane denies report Stylo Station sold for $4m

A report of the sale of a large freehold cattle station in the NT to the country's largest grower of sandalwood is denied by the station owners but questions remain over the future of the station's controversial water allocation.

Native title recognition for the Najig and Guyanggan Ngannawirdbird peoples

Native title recognition for the Najig and Guyanggan Ngannawirdbird peoples

Before and since European contact the Najig and Guyanggan Nganawirdbird groups have remained in Mataranka and surrounding communities on Elsey station, at Jilkminggan and throughout the Roper Valley. Their attachment to country through residence, spiritual life, ceremony, site protection and use of resources remains strong. Processes of change are recognised but are not seen by them to contradict their view of the constancy of the totemic landscape and their connection to it.

The best fun you’ll have out bush all year…the NT’s Barunga Festival

The best fun you’ll have out bush all year…the NT’s Barunga Festival

The Barunga Statement painting combined several clan designs from Yolngu country in northeastern Arnhem Land on the left with a large design featuring traditional Central Desert iconography on the right. As such it visually affirmed the unified demands of the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory and the Land Councils that represented the interests of those who had already attained the first measure of self-management promised by the Land Rights Act (NT) 1976.