Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 27 November 2002



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 27 November 2002

Other title

Parliamentary Record 9


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Wednesday 27 November 2002 a lot of the work they do with many of the disabled artists in the community. They have set up an arts and crafts centre at Nguiu. Every time I visit the island, as well as visiting Tiwi Design and Bima Wear, because they are important too, I visit this arts and crafts centre which showcases the work of the disabled artists which is just as good as the work of the able bodied artists. I do not believe that it gets enough exposure. Nor is there sufficient recognition of these two people who spend a lot of time, not just during normal working hours, but certainly after hours, working with those disabled artists and their families, to give some sort of quality of life, in particular, to Tiwi people with disabilities who often get quite neglected amongst families. I mention the Tiwi Island Training Education Board, Norm Buchan and all the staff. The graduations in September this year saw another 100- odd graduates graduating. There are still some challenges that they are facing and they are working to overcome, and I wish them all the best. We will continue to work closely with them, in particular, my role, not just as the local member but more importantly, as parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Employment, Education and Training. Matthew Wonaeamirri, Walter Kerinauia, Charles Tipungwuti and Cyril Rioli: some time ago, the Tiwi Land Council did a major restructuring of the Tiwi Land Council, and rather than the secretary that they have had there for some time, they looked at giving the four managers, a representative from each of the four major skin groups on the Tiwi Islands, a greater role in the control of the Tiwi Land Council. Certainly, those four men have got to a point in their lives because they have been involved with the politics and the running of the Tiwi Land Council for many years. One of the biggest things that they have put into place, which we did not think would happen, is a succession plan, which all four managers have developed and now put in place, with younger Tiwi men. Also there have been a couple of women nominated, which is also very heartening. It is not just young men that are being singled out to take on the succession of these men on the land council; they are actually looking at women taking on these roles. That is a huge step for my mob on the Tiwi Islands. I stood up and told those men and congratulated them for looking beyond just seeing men as the successors, in having a say in issues about land and law. It is important that they see, now, that their women certainly should have a part in that. Jo Kane and Greta Kerinauia: Jo Kane runs a fantastic aged care program on Nguiu, the hostel. She has a Tiwi lady who works with her, Greta Kerinauia. If you go out to most communities, when we talk about quality of life with our old people, quality of life does not exist. It is heartening with the program that is happening on the Tiwi Islands and the hostel that has been built there, that at least the old people at Nguiu are getting some level or access to some quality of life. Recently, I saw an old lady whom I call cousin; she is about 86 years old. Old Ada, when she was put into that hostel about six months ago, everyone had sort of given up and thought, oh well, she is 86, and she is ready to look towards death. She was quite neglected and run down. Seeing her only recently in the last couple of weeks, she is looking about 10 years younger since she has been in that hostel and getting the care and the support that a lot of our old people certainly do not get. Something that we do not pay enough attention to when we talk about domestic violence and all the other violence that is happening, and one of the other issues that continually gets swept under the carpet in our communities is the elder abuse that is happening in our communities. People are reluctant to address that, but it is certainly something that needs to happen, because the level of disrespect that is happening amongst the young people towards our old people has to be stopped. Tiwi Health Board staff have strived all year to work towards the better health of Tiwi people despite the hardship and levels of trauma and grief. We have had a number of suicides on the Tiwi Islands this year. To date there have been about eight suicides since May. The coroners office has certainly weighed into some of the arguments with the suicides in terms of the impact that alcohol and that club has had on that community. That is something that certainly, through the Substance Abuse Committee, we are looking at addressing. Because whilst marijuana is certainly a big issue in these communities, I still say, and I know and I have heard a number of people in this parliament saying, and I agree totally, that alcohol, or grog, is still the biggest menace and demon that is causing problems amongst our mob. Lawrence Costa, Henry Dunn, Patrick Puruntatameri and Patricia Brogan who has just recently - and that is another thing on the Tiwi Islands, and it is really good to see the mood that has happened with the Tiwis where young Tiwi women are going into many of these positions - so Patricia Brogan, congratulations. She was recently appointed the Community Services Manager with Pirlangimpi Council. Gibson Farmer is the president of Milikapiti, and one person who I think has life after politics. I was listening to her talk with Daryl Manzie at the Territory Tidy Towns forum last week where he was giving a talk in between the breaks 3117