Arnhem Land

Indigenous fisherman in remote Arnhem Land aims to expand

A Top End Indigenous fisherman hopes to expand his business with the purchase of a boat, establishing a processing facility and catching crayfish.

Don Wilton and his crew of 13 fishermen use a large shore-based net to work the waters near the Arnhem Land community of Maningrida.

He is one of only a handful of people in the Northern Territory with an Aboriginal Coastal Fishing Licence.

NT students denied rightful funding: MP

Millions of dollars intended for remote Indigenous students is not making it to schools, Independent Northern Territory MP Yingiya Mark Guyula said this week.

Mr Guyula said although the Federal Government had said it was paying the NT Government on the basis of enrolment, the NT Government was only paying schools on the basis of attendance.

“The Federal Government states it will provide $10,222 per enrolled student on Elcho Island in 2018,” Mr Guyula said.

 

Prince Charles to Visit Arnhem Land

Prince Charles is expected to visit the Northern Territory in early April about the time he is due to open the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The NT News reported the news today in a “world exclusive”, citing only “a source close to Clarence House” in London.

The Australian has since confirmed that protocol officers and security personnel have visited Darwin and parts of Arnhem Land ahead of an expected royal visit.

EARC Receive New Portable LED Screens

East Arnhem Regional Council has recently acquired three new portable LED display screens thanks to valuable funding from the NT Government and Australian Governments through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.

The $100 000 funding has enabled Council to purchase the portable screens for Gapuwiyak, Ramingining and Angurugu and will be used to support community readiness measures, disaster warning and emergency response information for all natural hazards, in particular, cyclonic events.

Staff training has been undertaken ensuring the most is made from these fantastic screens and the community has benefited already at sporting events, movie nights and back to school messaging!

MAF takes over operations to Laynha Air

The Chairperson of the Laynhapuy Aviation Aboriginal Corporation, Mr Barayuwa Mununggurr, announced today that Laynha Air, based at the Gove Airport, has ceased operations, after 31 years of continuous sterling service to the Yolngu People of northeast Arnhem Land.

The announcement coincides with the signing of a Service Level Agreement between Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation and Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) for the provision of the Corporation’s future air transport requirements in support of the Laynhapuy homelands.

Mr Mununggurr said the decision to cease the operation of Laynha Air was made by the Laynhapuy Aviation Aboriginal Corporation Board, following careful consideration of options for continuing the service.

The decision reflects an understanding of the changes to the circumstances that lead to the establishment of Laynha Air in 1986.

Mr Mununggurr said, ‘Laynha Air celebrates the strong support provided by MAF over many years and the Board of Laynhapuy Homelands is delighted that, through the Service Level Agreement signed with MAF today, the Laynhapuy relationship with MAF will continue well into the future’.

On behalf of the Laynhapuy Aviation and Laynhapuy Homelands Boards, and the staff of Laynha Air Mr Mununggurr thanked Laynha Air’s numerous loyal customers of over its 31 years of operation.

The phone number for booking flights to Laynhapuy homelands with MAF is 08 8987 2777.

 

Owned by the Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, and managed by the late Adrian Wagg, Laynha Air commenced operation from Yirrkala in 1986, with a single helicopter.

The purchase of two fixed wing aircraft in 1990 necessitated Laynha Air moving to a newly constructed hanger and office at the Gove Airport.

Shortly before the tragic death of Adrian Wagg in 2002, discussions had commenced with MAF that lead in 2003 to a formal agreement that saw the engagement of MAF pilots for the Laynha Air aircraft and MAF providing Laynha Air’s engineering service requirements.

The agreement also provided Laynha Air with its Chief Pilot and Operating Manuals requirements.

In recent years the relationship extended to Laynha Air leasing several aircraft from MAF.
At the time Laynha Air ceased operating helicopters in 2004 the fixed wing fleet had grown to six.

Throughout its 31-year history Laynha Air provided people and freight transport services to Homeland residents, for their general transport needs and for access to medical services, including for medical staff flying in and patients flying out (to specialist appointments and for emergency evacuations).

Laynha Air also operated as a general charter operator, transported Yirralka Ranger and building maintenance staff, participated in search and rescue operations, supported education through transporting teachers and students, and returned deceased persons to their Country.

Current Laynha Air General Manager, Dan Wagg, son of the late Adrian Wagg, joined Laynha Air as an apprentice aircraft engineer in 1991. Dan notes that Laynha Air has transported over 16,000 people annually for the past 25 years, including many of the Yolngu teams competing in Barunga’s annual sports festivals, and recalls the use of the Laynha Air aircraft for filming Yothu Yindi film clips and for the filming of the Yolngu Boy movie.

Dan recollects the most unusual task of Laynha Air was in the 1990s, utilising the whole of the aircraft fleet to fly Kentucky Fried Chicken into Nhulunbuy from Darwin for the annual Nhulunbuy Unions Picnic Day.

Another notable flight was transporting a number of Nhulunbuy residents to the annual Birdsville Races, requiring three refuelling stops there and back.

For further media information contact: Chris Francis Chief Executive Officer Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation 0417 481 610

Memorial for historic ship Pat Cam sunk by Japanese sea plane

On January 22, 1943, the Pat Cam set off for Elcho Island with 19 crew, a Methodist pastor and five aboriginal passengers on board.

About noon a Japanese sea plane cut its engine and dived to about 30m, dropping a bomb which tore through the ship’s hold.

The sea plane returned several times, strafing the survivors who clung to debris and a life raft, before landing nearby and capturing the pastor Reverend Leonard Kentish, who was later beheaded.

More

Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of the vessel’s bombing and the loss of nine lives.

Around 100 people including Navy members based at HMAS Coonawarra Naval Base attended the service in Darwin. HMAS Patricia Cam was travelling from Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land to Yirrkala via Cape Wessel on a mission to drop four Yolngu men back to Yirrkala with code books.

Has badly needed cash for the Territory bush been hijacked?

Chief executive Denise Bowden’s nine-page report is filled with inconvenient accusations and has had everyone from northern politicians to east-coast PC activists running for cover ever since…..

…..Even worse, consider the decision to build a new hospital at Palmerston, just a 20-minute drive from Royal Darwin Hospital. Both sides of politics at a Territory and Federal level are responsible for this calamitous move, one that was driven by bullshit arguments about the Berrimah Line and allowed to proceed because Solomon is a marginal seat. God only knows how the NT Government plans to staff this new facility when it can’t even fill the roster at RDH. Perhaps that $150 million would have been better spent on renal services in remote communities, so patients don’t have to fly to Darwin every time they need dialysis. They would have saved a fortune on patient travel and might have even helped address the itinerant problem…..

$500m meant for Indigenous services was spent elsewhere by NT government

Yothu Yindi Foundation studies GST revenue figures for 2015-16 and finds disadvantaged communities were shortchanged

The Northern Territory underspent about $500m in GST payments meant for disadvantaged Indigenous communities in 2015-16, the Yothu Yindi Foundation has told the Productivity Commission’s GST review.

It accused governments of running policies that prevented Indigenous people in the NT from contributing to the economy and participating in the wealth of the nation.

“The full potential of the Territory will never be realised until Aboriginal people living in remote and regional parts of the Territory are able to assume a rightful place in its economic and social life,” the foundation’s chief executive, Denise Bowden, said.

Cutting-edge furniture design meets Aboriginal creativity on Milingimbi Island

It is stifling hot and the humidity is 100 per cent. Ceiling fans take the edge off the heat. However, for the Indigenous cabinetmakers, working from a shed on remote Milingimbi Island, in Arnhem Land, a new high-end furniture enterprise called Manapan, has given its Yolngu community a new lease of life. “It’s a magical moment,” says Keith Lapulung, the chair of the Indigenous-owned Manapan Furniture. “It has reshaped and re-energised our community. It’s taken us into the 21st century.”

However, not everything is state of the art. Furniture produced on the island needs to be barged out and machinery in. Every tool that needs sharpening has to be transported to Darwin, 500 kilometres away. Originally a workshop making wooden coffins, the craftspeople are now collaborating with some leading Melbourne furniture designers to produce complex and labour intensive handcrafted furniture aimed at the top of the domestic and commercial markets.

Baker Boy rising: from Arnhem Land to sharing a stage with Dizzee Rascal

On stage, Baker Boy is the kind of rapper who can get a crowd airborne within seconds. He’s all ego, gold chains and boundless energy, flitting between his native Yolngu Matha and English, imploring the audience to “step back, feel the power of my blackness”. He commands the mic and didgeridoo as if they’re extensions of his tall, agile frame, and inverts himself mid-flow with audacious breakdancing moves.

He is the first Indigenous artist to have mainstream success rapping in the Yolngu Matha language, his singles Cloud 9 and Marryuna receiving solid Triple J airplay. In the past few months he has swept the National Indigenous Music awards, inked a record deal with Select Music (home to the Preatures and Amy Shark), been rostered on the summer music festival circuit, was handpicked by Dizzee Rascal to be his Australian support act, and recorded a remix of Treaty with Yothu Yindi.