Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 21 March 2017



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 21 March 2017

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Parliamentary Record 4


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




pp 1193 to 1279


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 Tuesday 21 March 2017 1278 The last visit in Umbakumba that daystill on the Monday after the 6 am flight acrosswas to the government engagement coordinator, Pandora Noronha, who works in Umbakumba and covers Bickerton, and the Indigenous engagement officer, Mildred, who works there as well. It was great hearing about the Remote School Attendance Strategy and its implementation, some of the challenges they are facing and some of the successes as well. It is good to hear some positive stories. We raced across to the other end of the island that same evening. Senator Malarndirri McCarthy arrived at Groote Eylandt and we had a meet and greet with residents in Alyangula at the golf club. If you are ever looking for a good feed, I recommend Alyangula Golf Club. It catered for about 50 people and we ate a lot of food that night. It was great to meet with some of the residents of Alyangula township and some of the fly-in fly-out workers, hearing the different perspectives of people who are living and working at Groote and Alyangula. It was nice to share that evening with Senator Malarndirri McCarthy. The next day was Tuesday and we had a day in Angurugu visiting the government engagement coordinator, Don Fry, and his offsider, Elaine, who is the Indigenous engagement officer. Next we visited Angurugu School. The principal, Stephanie Blitner, showed us around, and we also visited FaFT at Angurugu, which is being run by Stephanies sister, Camelina Blitner. My cousin, Karina, is the family liaison officer. It is great to see local people working in the school on the island they are from. We visited the Angurugu aged care, which is a beautiful facility at the back of the Angurugu township. It backs onto a beautiful garden with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables they plant and give out to locals. They have a lovely spot and are doing a great job. Thanks to Loretta for showing us around. They gave us morning tea, which was a nice and unexpected bonus. Our next meeting was visiting the Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust building. One of the new corporations working hard over there is the Anindilyakwa Services Aboriginal Corporation. We had a chat with a couple of people there. We visited the art centre they run, heard about the bush medicine business and visited the linguistics centre, which is wonderful. We walked in at the right time; the ladies were translating from English into Anindilyakwa and to Wubuy. It was fun because I could contribute to the Wubuy, but not so well with my Anindilyakwa. We also heard about the Mens Shed they run at the back of the aged care. They are doing some great stuff there. We had a quick lunch break at the takeaway shop then we headed over to Bickerton. We visited Milyakburra School on Bickerton. The principal, Sarah Rowe, was wonderful and welcoming. She remembers Minister Manison from Wanguri and had some good things to say about visits from Minister Manison. We visited the Milyakburra store and saw Saum, the manager. We saw some family members working there, which was great. The council office was closed because they were at Groote, so we did not visit but we did walk past some of the facilities. Then we headed back to Groote Eylandt. It is a 10-minute charter flight. Leanne did a good job. She does not like small planes so I was proud of her jumping on a five-seater plane to go across the water. Hopefully she was distracted by the beautiful view. That afternoon we visited the Angurugu CDEP office with Fiona, who has been wonderful every time I have visitedhearing in depth about some of the good programs they have there. They now have a full-time RTO trainer based on Groote rather than a fly-in fly-out, which is having some positive outcomes. At the end of the day we visited the Angurugu council office and I met the new service manager based at Groote, Allan Hawke. He was wonderful and has some good ideas about building local talent and capacity for people within the East Arnhem Regional Council. It was nice to meet Alan and I look forward to working with him when I visit. Senator McCarthy, Leanne and Jo Nicol left that afternoon, then we had a Wednesday visit to Alyangula Area School; the Alyangula township office, with South32; the Anindilyakwa Land Council, which is very important in deciding on the future of Groote Eylandt; the township office at Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island Enterprises, where Coralie was wonderful in letting us know of some of the projects thereI am only halfway through my trip.

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