Arnhem Land

Leaders’ pace on reform ‘too slow’

Senior indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has admonished Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten for the slow pace of indigenous constitutional recognition, almost a year after he believed both men were going to make the issue a ­priority in the parliament.

Penning a heartfelt chairman’s essay for his Yothu Yindi Foundation’s annual Garma Festival in August, Mr Yunupingu, a leader of Northeast Arnhem Land’s Yolngu people, expresses disappointment that the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have not translated their forceful words at last year’s event into adequate ­action.

Arnhem Land beaches reaching crisis point as Indonesian waste floats ashore

It was a video seen by millions of people worldwide: a diver swimming through Indonesian waters thick with plastic pollution on a scale he said he’d never seen before.

But one of the frontlines of this global problem is much further out of the spotlight, on remote Australian beaches so pristine and well protected that some require a permit before you can set foot on them.

“That is the vision you’d imagine when you go to these beaches — they’re so remote and totally untouched,” said Luke Playford, sea country facilitator with the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation.

Culture being used as ‘political football’ when it comes to protecting neglected children

“This is something that’s emotional for many Territorians and I don’t like that argument about culture in some respects because we do want strong culture but I think it gets used as part of a blame game or a political football.”

During a visit to Katherine earlier this month Mr Shorten said too many Aboriginal children were being removed from their families and stressed the need for them to remain connected to culture.

Ripple Effect is the all-female Arnhem Land rock band making waves for women in music

Ripple Effect is a group of seven Maningrida women led by manager Jodie Kell, who is based in Sydney but has lived in the West Arnhem community.

Its songs switch between a handful of Indigenous languages and members swap instruments between songs.

And while an eight-person Indigenous girl group is something of a rarity, the formula seems to be working; it’s grabbing the attention of tastemakers, getting some airtime on triple j, and will release an EP in coming months.

Curses, black magic and witchdoctors: Ancient beliefs at large in remote NT communities

Halfway through a shift and Kara Burgoyne would turn and leave, as if it were a fire drill.

The entire building would empty out, deserting any confused newcomer who happened to be shopping in the Angurugu community store.

On Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Indigenous residents widely believe in curses, which can be placed on any person, place or object.

Groote Eylandt man jailed over rape of stepdaughter

An aboriginal man who twice raped his young stepdaughter, telling her his sweat will “protect her from the black magic”, will serve at least four years and nine months in jail.

The 30-year-old Groote Eylandt man, who had syphilis and an “atrocious” criminal record, committed the abhorrent offences against the girl, aged 10 or 11, between May and August last year.

Groote school reopens after smoking ceremony removes ‘curse’

On Groote Eylandt, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Indigenous residents readily acknowledge the existence of curses.

So when one was placed on Angurugu School, supposedly by a man after a fight with his wife, it closed for the next 13 days.

But the 159 students returned today, after the Anindilyakwa Land Council conducted a smoking ceremony to rid the building of the curse.

Top End community reels after petrol sniffing death of 12-year-old-boy

A TIGHT-KNIT Top End community has been left reeling after the petrol sniffing death of a 12-year-old-boy.

The young boy was reportedly found by family members unresponsive in the back of a car in the East Arnhem Land community of Gapuwiyak earlier this week.

Senior Sergeant Dan Whitfield-Jones told Gove FM on Thursday that after discovering the boy, his family took him inside and started CPR, called the clinic and police.

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Historic: Six Aboriginal Rangers Tasked to Protect our Fisheries

In a historic moment for Aboriginal employment and opportunity, the first Aboriginal rangers to become Fisheries Inspectors have been appointed.

The six rangers are in Darwin to take part in a workshop to strengthen their skills. One is from Groote Eylandt, one from the Tiwi Islands, one from Nhulunbuy, one from Borroloola and two from Daly River.

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Tom E. Lewis, a man of many parts and arts, dies at 59

Leading literary, acting and music figures have lauded indigenous actor Tom E. Lewis — the star of Australian movies such as The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and A Town Like Alice — who died at the age of 59 at his home in Katherine.

Lewis, who reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack, was praised as a “hugely generous’’, “warm and vivacious’’ man after a career that spanned movie acting, the theatre and music.