Back on Palm Island

I’ve been in Townsville and Cairns this week, helping to publicise the local services featured in the Success Stories in Indigenous Health put out by ANTaR, which I wrote about in this post, as well as held some meetings with a range of people about housing and Indigenous issues.

I also visited Palm Island for the first time since the rally for justice was held there late last year. There were a lot of NAIDOC celebrations happening around the place, which added some vibrancy to the day. I caught up with a range of different people and groups, just trying to get a snapshot of where various things were at.

Almost everyone I met with at some stage mentioned the federal government’s intervention in the Aboriginal communities across the Northern Territory, and whether it might be a harbinger of some sort of a new wave of intervention in communities like theirs.

There is also a lot of uncertainty about whether the Queensland governments own latest bout of authoritarianism, the imminent forced amalgamations of a range of local councils, might also sweep up places like Palm Island and other discreet Aboriginal councils which exist around Queensland. This would mean Palm Island being swallowed up into Townsville on the mainland, which may also be about to become larger by amalgamating with its ‘twin city’ of Thuringowa.

There may well be a lot of sense in amalgamating Townsville and Thuringowa, but I find it hard to believe there would be a forced amalgamation with Palm Island, especially given the existing complexities with land title which exist on Palm. However, in this era of well entrenched, long-serving governments with no checks and controls on their actions, who knows how far they’ll go.

One of the places on Palm I dropped into was the Bwgcolman Community School, which is the State School on the Island. I got to meet Josephine, who is the young girl whose picture is on the postcard I’ve used for over a year to help promote one of my core messages – to put the First Australians first in our political priorities. I’ve had a wide range of postcard printed up over the years for various issues and campaigns, but this one has always been by far the most popular with the public, so I thought the least I could do was thank her for letting me use her photo (with parental permission too)

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6 Comments

  1. Perhaps if Brough’s conscience finally pricks him, he will rescind the money he rorted from aboriginal fnds to Palm Island, so it can contribute to the alleviating some real indigenous problems instead of vulgar selfish self- glorification.

  2. the key point about brough is that he has good strategy going forward – i really do NOT care about crucifying people from the past action [in-action]. else, abc people will lose.

    if mal gets the glory, GOOD. at least he is having a go. mal’s key problem is that he does NOT have people he can TRUST going forward – finding people he can trust to be fair AND competent in the relevant area is what is of import.

    i assume that NONE of his public servants, advisors, academics etc are worth a pinch of sh*t when it comes to solving a pain stain in oz-soul.

    being ‘cool’ under extreme pressure does wonders for the people whom u support.do i feel pressure – VERY extreme due to the fact that i think of ALL people as ‘family’: some people might say it, i feel it [but hide it i.e., i control my rage].

    rage can be a source of extreme violence AND a source of great mental/physical strength – i try to use my rage as a source of creative POS ideas and actions [in-action].

    i posted a note a this web-page yesterday – andrew cut it. am i angry? no. in his view, it was not fair – FAIR enough [i once said this to andrew]. NO person is fair, esp’ if they lose mental control [this can be a POS & neg]. emotion is a FUEL for pos and neg extreme acts & ideas [sadly, we see the neg too often].

    i do NOT see abc people as ‘indigenous’ people, i see them as oz people who are living with a rascist and violent social systems from the past. raging about the past is of NO value to the present & the future [this is my focus].

    i asked one of the fat-cats for a position as a volunteer with the abc task force – i am as good as it gets any where [globally] when it comes to system design.

  3. Well Andrew or the Senator can censor me anytime he likes,and I will get angry,and pissed off,and it could be at him,but that doesnt change my mind… as a Senator he is doing a good job,and Andrew the man, may have the same problem as I have when he censors me.Fair enough I say,we all get a bit boring and tedious at times.I could make claims about design here,but, I think the problem of Palm Island is to discover design rather than to be a recipient of it,and design should be easy for people such as Palm Islanders,as they travel from that place and back and see differences in lifestyle in all its manifest forms.Being able to access worthy design is however another problem,and mold shape build and craft human worthiness in those tooling processes requires thought, patience skill and dedication.And Money.A palm in a bottle,as art form could be a message the days of grog are diminishing to be replaced by more artful intentions that resonate a new message from citizens…if rightful intentions got waylaid somewhere ,a bottle a day with art and message in it could act like a artist whose residence in Broken Hill provided art comment everyday on Public Affairs,that approach needs to be taken up amongst Aboriginal communities. A Pro Hart approach. And thus stamp a long term commentary on matters Australian,which are plenty in making. Most dialogue concerning Aboriginals is made with them in mind,the other direction is sorely needed..and smart.I cannot really add to the Senator s work on this matter, as posted.

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