Oct 28, 2008

Macklin gets out the scissors as Yuendumu pool opens

While the mainstream media are trumpeting the Yuendumu pool opening as a triumph for the Macklin/Brough/Howard NT Intervention, in reality it has nothing to do with it, writes Bob Gosford.

"I’ve found a friend!" Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin tells Crikey as she walks across the dusty main street of Yuendumu with Peggy Nampijinpa Brown.

Jenny and Nampijinpa have just been to visit the several hundred people who have come down from their sorry business at West Camp where they are mourning the recent loss of a young man who had lost his long and brave battle with serious illness this past Saturday night. On hearing of his passing the first reaction for the planners of the Yuendumu Pool project was to cancel the grand opening scheduled for the following Monday.

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3 thoughts on “Macklin gets out the scissors as Yuendumu pool opens

  1. Japaljarri

    Good story but by far the biggest heroes and contributors were the Yuendumu Pool Swimming Committee who did the vast bulk of the work over the last 4 years in conjunction with the excellent additional support of the other local organisations and the wonderful contribution of the Kantor family, Potter foundation (and NT and Federal Government – special mention to Andre Burgess at the ICC for her tireless efforts.

    This group was primarily comprised of Mt Theo Program committee members who have instigated, coordinated and are now running the pool. Committee members who traveled all over Australia, petitioned government, went to countless meetings and designed the pool its coordination were : Enid Gallagher, Riley Oldfield, Cecil Johnson, Robbie Wallit, Nellie Wayne, Coral Gallagher, Gracie Johnson. Most of all there is no doubt that there would be no pool without the Manager of the Mt Theo Program Susie Low who has been coordinating the entire project day in and day out, for thousands of hours, for over 4 years.

  2. Bob Gosford

    Thanks to Japaljarri for filling in the gaps in people that I didn’t get to name in my piece – I have a (nominal) word limit of 800 words for each piece and to my editor’s constant frustration usually run well over that!
    Further to Jenny Mac’s comment about local government administrators and the pool,over on The Northern Myth I have a comment reported to my from another council officer who apparently said that the Yuendumu Pool would be built “over my dead body”! Needless to say that ex-staffer didn’t get an invite to the opening.

  3. Jenny Mac

    Bob Gosford and Japaljarri are both right, and it’s great to see the names of the people who did not let up on their much desired pool in print on Crikey. One of the less than supportive (white) Council administrators had vowed a couple of years ago that there would not ever be a pool in Yuendumu on her watch, – she’s long gone, and the pool is a reality. No thanks to the Intervention. This is down to the locals. Go Yuendumu!

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