Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999

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Parliamentary Record 14


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 February 1999 worked on the wharf. In 1960 he joined the Department of Works at the 2'A Mile as it was known then. Smart built up a reputation as a reliable worker and he was employed maintaining roads and airstrips across the Top End. Stuart and Cecily shared a happy married life. They had four children, Richard, Mickey, Gerry and Billy and sadly, Billy was killed in an industrial accident in Gove. But they fed and clothed their family and made further progress when, in 1968, Col Brunker from Gemco recruited Smart to Groote Eylandt as a general hand with accommodation supplied. The next 14 years were a wonderful period of family life on the island. Stuart gained a wealth of experience as a crane driver unloading barges, and as a truck driver to mine sites. He also worked as a production foreman until he was placed in charge of rehabilitation. In 1982 the Buckles returned to Darwin and Stuart applied his skills and experience to the benefit of an Aboriginal company which employed and trained the traditional owners who were receiving royalties from Nabarlek. Stuarts background enabled him to assist many groups including the Bathurst Islanders and the Kunjunwinku Association. Stuart has been a quiet man who has looked after his wife and his family; sadly diabetes has affected his health and hes had a leg removed. I must say the Territory fighting song of Old Buffaloes Never Die typifies the will that Stuart has to keep battling on. He is a proud and independent and determined Territorian and I extend to him my sympathy and to his family on the loss of his wife. I wish him all the best in his retirement. Mr Speaker, on a happier note I wish to pay tribute to a quiet achiever in the Alice Springs community who has never really sought recognition for the wonderful job she has done. Esme Tyson, the coordinator of the Alice Springs Womens Shelter, has been awarded the member in the general division of the Order of Australia. She has by her personal approach, touched many peoples lives, often in the most difficult of situations, but in a constructive, understanding manner. Since Esme Tyson took over the Womens Shelter in 1985, she has transformed the reputation of the centre. The communitys acceptance and the recognition by many organisations in gaining their support. Womens Shelters have sometimes attracted criticism particularly in the early days of their establishment as they were seen as avenues for giving women support against men. But this perception has been adversed by Esmes effective management skills. When womens refuges were first opened in Australia in the 70s, there were a lot of hysterical campaigns against them, particularly suggesting that they were inciting women to leave their husbands. The Womens Refuge in Alice Springs had a turbulent history also from the late 1970s until Esmes arrival as coordinator in 1985. Now there is almost universal local support for the vital role played by the Alice Springs Womens Shelter and Esmes skills as coordinator has been pivotal in achieving their support. Interestingly she first worked in a wooden shelter in the suburbs of Sydney in the Mt Druitt area and she was also responsible for 40 Refugee Centres. She lobbied to get a service in the western suburbs of Sydney and finally managed to set up Lucys Out West Refuge in 1985. Esme Tyson was bom in Narandera, a country town in south west New South Wales, which sort of bordered on the outback. She loved the outback and that was the reason she had such a longing to move from the city and she came to Alice Springs. She visited an old work mate in September 1985, looked around Alice and said: I like this place and without any real plans, but to just see what was available, she set out to look for work. She applied through an advert in the local paper and she gained the job of a full time coordinator to set up the womens refuge. Now, Mr Deputy Speaker, Esme always says that when a new job really captured her imagination because she was working with a new culture, many of them Aboriginal women, it was an opportunity for her to put her skills to work, as there was nothing laid out clearly for the management of this refuge. She often says that the thing about Alice Springs is that anything can happen and everything usually does happen and she explains that her job has been of most satisfaction indeed. She believes that in the Territory its far easier to meet with people who are involved with the community and she is very successful at managing to lobby government, particularly in influencing government policy. Esme has been a member of a number of committees and her input is certainly valued. Shes been on the National Committee on Violence Against Women, the Northern Territory Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee, the Support and Accommodation Assistance Program and Community Assistance Program, Ministerial Advisory Committee, the Northern Territory Womens Emergency Services Network, and the Northern Territory Womens Services Group. So you can understand, Mr Deputy Speaker, that she is well recognised for her commonsense approach and the vast experience that she has in achieving the best results for her clients. The amount of support that she has gained from different groups is an indication of the esteem in which she is held. Certainly she has been sought after for her expertise by government 2835