Oct 29, 2008

‘My name was used telling lies’: the media come to Yuendumu

Minister Macklin made no connection between the Yuendumu Pool and the Intervention. But then, she didn’t have to. Others did that job for her, writes Bob Gosford.

Peggy Napaljarri Brown, Jenny Macklin’s best new friend and Valerie Napaljarri Martin sit in the shade outside the ramshackle office of the Yuendumu Mining Company. Next to her sits Harry Jakamarra Nelson.

They all have better things to be doing, like mourning the too-young passing-on of a brave young man, rather than sitting around under a cloud of barely restrained fury, drafting a statement about journalists who have misrepresented them, their words, their good work and their community.

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15 thoughts on “‘My name was used telling lies’: the media come to Yuendumu

  1. Kevin Charles Herbert#2

    Jungarrayi: so you’re saying that it did function well before the intervention.

    Do you have any facts in support of your view OR are you only interested is starting a slanging match with someone who’s asked a reasonable question.

    Blind Freddy: grow up will you……if you can’t say anything constructive, save your bile for someone else.
    I also note that you’re not prepared to associate yourself with your own comments…says a lot really

  2. Tom McLoughlin

    I love this kind of grassroots deconstruction of bullsh*t choreography. Just love it. Thanks for a prime expose’. This story is why community media is so so so very important and real. I would love to know the income disparity between all the players in this particular episode from the the pollies, the journos, the editors who signed off on the story. Do they deserve to be so well paid when they tell lies?

    On a completely different tangent I am still shaking my head over the lead story about a bunch of Sydney bushwalkers on Mt Sealy Range in ‘Mt Cook National Park’ who got caught in a blizzard. About 5 to 10 km south of Mt Cook, different glacier and mountain range. All the quality press, ABC etc said they were half way up Mt Cook highest mountain in NZ. Wrong, wrong, wrong geography. Never lets facts get in the way of the hyperbole.

    It’s a completely different context but somehow the same problem. Where did these folks get their stupid pills?

  3. Blind Freddy

    Kevin Herbert,

    remember, blue ones in the morning, red ones at night. Otherwise you do say some rather silly things in public, don’t you?

    Now go and have a good lie down.

  4. Kevin Herbert

    Cathy: you’ve got to stop injecting/drinking before you comment.

    Comments should at least make sense…check out this proposition with your counsellor.

  5. Japaljarri

    lt has been my significant honour to have known, worked, laughed and learnt with Peggy Nampijinpa Brown OAM for almost 5 years at the Mt Theo Program. Regardless of anybody elses views or the issues themselves, l/we know that the representation of Peggy views was false. l/we can absolutely confirm that she has been resolutely against the intervention since its inception and most especially Income management. l/we have heard her say so on hundreds of occasions.

    She is certainly extremely proud of the new swimming pool and her decades of endless service to the youth of Yuendumu through the Mt Theo Program for which she received an Order of Australia Medal (along with 2 others). Perhaps she was reflecting on these events, and she was misunderstood by the reporters. l don’t know. However l do know that this misrepresentation of her views has upset her a great deal.

    The onus is on the reporters to ensure their information is correct. If it was a sad misunderstanding on their part then that is their failure to cross this cultural divide. This is highlighted by the fact that PAW Media (formerly Warlpiri Media) located in Yuendumu offers cultural liaison officers to assist external media. Not to prevent access as media often suppose but to prevent outcomes such as this. These local people (local employment….) can assist to ensure locals opinions can be accurately expressed whatever they may be and thus enable media to write stories that are accurate, respectful and truthful.

    For future media can l suggest you make employ the use of the local media resources at PAW Media. It will be good for the community and good for your reporting (http://www.warlpiri.com.au/)

  6. Bob Gosford

    Thanks to you all for your comments and long may you keep them coming!
    I’m glad to see that what went awfully close to a series of swingeing ad hominem attacks veered back to the realms of forthright discussion and consideration of the issues.
    And for what it is worth – I’ve lived in many places down south and here in the north and centre and I think the only place where I’ve seen “well functioning social system(s)” in place is here in the north and centre – comparing the roughly equivalent poor enclaves in the outer reaches of Sydney or Melbourne or the small rural hamlets of far southern NSW to the poverty-stricken communities up here is a no-brainer – it is by no means perfect and people here might be dirt poor but at least many of them have their land, law and culture…

  7. Kevin Charles Herbert#3

    Blind Freddy: you’re over reacting. And yes, I can provide meaningful data in support of other Oz communities including: 1. education rates 2. employment rates by age 3. income trends 4. crime rates by age 5. health & welfare services..etc etc.

    I asked the question ‘cos I don’t know what kind of data is available for your region…no hidden agenda on my part….I’ve been an active supporter of Koori rights ever since Stan Davey spoke to our matriculation class in Geelong in 1967, about the ridiculous, two faced treatment of the first Australians. I’m simply trying to bring myself up to speed on the intervention’s success or otherwise.

    So I’ll now visit the reference you’ve provided…..that’s all I wanted.

    Finally, why exactly is it that you won’t identify yourself with your comments?

  8. Jungarrayi

    “Has the community’s claim to have a well functioning social system in place, been independent 3rd party verified” Hey? Has Melbourne’s claim been thus verified? Here’s an idea for the NTER Task Force: send a couple of highly paid consultants (preferably from interstate) to spend a few weeks doing a report on our social system. First they’ll need for some highly paid contractors to install a couple of costly demountables to house them. They’ll be unable to use the highly paid GBM (no not the Ginger Bread Man, but the Government Business Manager)’s compound (Oh forgot to mention: the GBM is also from interstate)
    The compound is full of highly paid Centrelink people from interstate that are Income Managing all our pensioners etc.I believe the highly paid CEB (Community Employment Broker- probably from interstate) also stays at the compond….. The Intervention! A billion bucks well spent!… the children are really safe now.
    Ngula Juku

  9. Kevin Herbert

    Cathy: you’ve got to stop injecting/drinking before you comment.

    Comments should at least make sense…check out this proposition with your counsellor.

  10. Kevin Charles Herbert#4

    Blind Freddy: now I’m starting to understand the propositions at hand…thanks for the briefing & for the excellent reference material. The diagramatic references are great.

    To paraphrase Bruce Pascoe in the current SBS series the The First Australians, it is intellectually preposterous to think that a 60 thousand year old culture would have nothing to teach modern man.

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