Leigh Bruce “Tracker” Tilmouth, 62, passed away in Darwin this weekend. There will be no shortage of  comments by others about Tracker in the coming days and weeks, but I reckon that his own words will ring louder and longer than those of others. Tracker had that rare ability to have you roaring with laughter with him -- or in anger at him -- in equal measure within the same conversation. I saw Tracker last week and, as always, we shared a laugh and a joke. An absolutely fearless man taken too soon. Here are some select Tracker quotes for the memories.


On then-prime minister Julia Gillard ... “Probably the last time she saw a real Aborigine was when she was licking a postage stamp.” On his struggles with preselection for the Senate in the NT ... “Labor likes pet niggers, and I’m counted as a pet nigger. I’m allowed to mow the lawns, but I’m not allowed up on the veranda.” On working as a FIFO haul-truck driver in a mine ... “You can jump in a truck, do a three kilometre trip 30 times a day for 12 hours, two weeks on and two weeks off. I don’t care how many Slim Dusty or Charlie Pride tapes you have listened to, if you aren’t an axe murderer or social misfit you will go home with your soul destroyed.” On Aboriginal housing in central Australia ... “Take a look. That’s not only a disgrace. It symbolises what I believe amounts to a form of cultural and social genocide ... This is as bad as anywhere on Earth, right here on Australian soil.” On how Labor took the Aboriginal vote for granted ... “For the last 20 years we’ve all voted Labor, they just expected us to vote Labor. It’s a plantation mentality.” On Labor and the party's former national president Warren Mundine ... “The poor old Labor Party, Warren Mundine fell for the same thing I did when they nominated me for the Senate, if I remember. And my statement was that you’re an Aboriginal person, you’re allowed on the wood heap and you’re allowed to mow the lawns and you’re allowed on the veranda, but under no circumstances are you allowed in the kitchen or at the dining table.” On relationships between state and territory governments ... “We can’t trust the NT government, we can’t trust any other state governments because they have not delivered in the past, we don’t expect them to deliver in the future.” On the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission ... “ATSIC was murdered the day it was born, let’s face it. It was stillborn.” To Clare Martin, then-Labor chief minister of the Northern Territory ... “Clare, the question is: where’s the money, show us the money, show us what you spent, show us what your record is.” On the success of a COAG service delivery trial at Wadeye, a large Aboriginal community in the NT ... “If this is a model of success, give me Soweto in its heyday, give me Soweto any time prior Nelson Mandela’s release or after his release, give me Soweto as a comparison and I’d rather go to Soweto.” On the NT ALP policies for the 2005 general election ... “The Labor Party had imported a lot of political advisers from down south who had no understanding of the culture or political situation in the Northern Territory and they came up with the brilliant idea to go and run the race card.” On his relationships with professional non-Aboriginal staff at the Northern and Central Land Councils, where he worked for many years ... “I’ve got no problem with white lawyers and anthropologists. You’re working your arse off for me, remember.” On Aboriginal joint management of Kings Canyon National Park, when serving as Central Land Council chairman ... “What do they want us to do? Spoon-feed the lizards?”