Musician and dancer Baker Boy had a clear goal in mind: he wanted to be Australia’s first Aboriginal artist to rap in an Indigenous language.
And with the release of his track Cloud 9, which features the 20-year-old rapping in Yolngu Matha, he’s on his way.
Baker Boy, also known as Danzel Baker, is from Milingimbi community in north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
He has a distinguished cultural pedigree — the Djuki Mala dancer is related to up-and-coming musicians Garruwa and Yirrmal, and hails from a part of the country that has produced major Australian acts such as Yothu Yindi and Gurrumul.
Yinimala Maymuru is a poster boy for the new $20-million boarding complex that has been built beside the public high school of the remote mining town at Nhulunbuy.
“Nhulunbuy High School and boarding school has given me the opportunity to attend a major school and still be close to my family and my land,” the 17-year-old told the crowd that had gathered for the official opening.
The 40-bed facility – funded by the Federal and Territory governments and opened this year – risked being a terrible flop.
Parents were unhappy when the site was revealed by the former Country Liberals party (CLP) government.
The Gove District Hospital paediatrics ward receive their first ever Radical-5 Pulse Oximeters thanks to the generosity of Darwin’s Good Sparks Electrical.
YOLNGU children are being removed from their families and their homes in North East Arnhem Land, according to independent Member for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Mark Guyula.
Mr Guyula said he was aware of eight children who had been “stolen away to Darwin by the NT Government”.
“Without a treaty and without our consent, what makes the NT Government think they can take our citizens from our lands, especially the most vulnerable of our society – our children?” Mr Guyula said in a statement.
THE Top End is looking forward to a bumper Wet Season. with tourist numbers expected to be higher than in previous years.
Cruise ships alone will bring in almost 37,000 throughout the Wet, more than half of the total passengers during the 2015/2016 financial year in five months.
Last financial year, almost 62,500 people travelled to the Top End on cruises.
“2015-16 was the busiest ever cruise season for the NT with 45 ship visits to Darwin plus five visits to remote Aboriginal communities at Yirrkala, and on Elcho and the Tiwi Islands,” Tourism NT’s annual report stated.
Fewer than half of Northern Territorians eligible for funded support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme have had payments made against their plan, prompting renewed questions about the scheme’s workings in remote areas.
The NDIS is now fully operational in the Territory’s Barkly region and will roll out in east Arnhem Land, as well as for people in supported accommodation in Darwin, from January 1.
Under the scheme, eligible participants are given a plan that entitles them to funding to spend on their choice of “reasonable and necessary supports” to help them lead a more ordinary life.
Out of the Territory’s 155 participants who have approved plans, only 42 per cent have had payments made against them.
Rio Tinto will close its Gove smelting plant, which is not necessarily a bad outcome for the Yolngu people. ANU professor Jon Altman says employment opportunities are better sought elsewhere.
On November 29 (2013), Rio Tinto announced that it would suspend production of alumina at its Gove refinery. It was hardly a surprise; the smelting plant was reputed to be losing Rio Tinto $20 million to $30 million per month and closure was based on the company’s commercial accountability to its shareholders. It had become increasingly clear that even with access to cheap gas to offset the burden of dependence on heavy fuel oil the Gove operation was commercially unsustainable.
It is ironic that suspension was announced soon after the 50th anniversary of the Yirrkala bark petitions made to the Australian Parliament in 1963. The anniversary was a timely reminder of iconic Yolngu opposition to mining on their traditional lands, an opposition unjustly dismissed by Justice Richard Blackburn in the NT Supreme Court in 1971. The legal principle of terra nullius on which Blackburn relied was later judged wrong in the High Court Mabo judgment of 1992.
The special Mining (Gove Peninsula Nabalco Agreement) Ordinance of 1968 that issued special mineral leases for a period of 42 years, renewable for a further 42 years, was set in legal concrete. This special ordinance was a special deal. The Commonwealth, keen to see the development of the north as part of a nationalist project, would only issue mining leases if a major bauxite treatment plant were constructed. This required a significant area on the Gove Peninsula to be revoked from the Arnhem Land Reserve. And it meant a sweetheart deal on royalties, with a rate struck well below the usual standard.
The Yolngu suffered a double injustice: not only did they see their traditional lands alienated for a minimum 84 years, they were also required to effectively subsidise the national economy and a multinational corporation by receiving less compensation. I first discovered this double jeopardy when researching for a book Aborigines and Mining Royalties in the Northern Territory in 1983.
Two awesome local businesses have combined to spread some culinary festive cheer; this from Leigh and Blue:
We will be at the corner of WHITEWOOD & SINCLAIR from around 5ish on Christmas Day.
Roaming Flames and Arafura Meats have made a present 🎁 for everyone in Gove, we’ve joined forces to bring you the ultimate Christmas dinner! Slow cooked rotisserie Christmas meats infused with woodfired pizza love. So make sure you save some room, because dinner is on us!
That’s right FREE PIZZA !!
It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting our local business . So thank you Gove your (sic) a beautiful town and we will see you for dinner on Christmas night.