Lorraine has left for a fortnight in the UK so I am left
to admire my surroundings.
Fannie Bay …easily entered ….a firm bottom….good
holding….easy going. What more could a sailor want! Last night they put on some good
fireworks…so there was a good bang too.
Actually like all good things there are drawbacks. It is
a long wet dinghy ride to the beach which is difficult to land on without
getting wet and then a tiresome bus ride or a long dusty walk into town. This
afternoon the return journey was made worse by a recalcitrant out board and a
choppy sea. I would prefer to be back In the marina but nothing comes cheap in
Australia so I will sit out here for a fortnight and get the boat ready for the
arrival of Peter (son) who is joining us for a while and Lorraine’s return prior
to our departure for Indonesia.
The fireworks are to celebrate the 100 years of
independent government by the Northern Territory or the The NT, as I am learning
to call it. The NT likes to assert its independence …mostly by some fairly
draconian laws that seem to try to
stop fun. Fireworks were on sale today ….and today only.
today a new law was introduced that requires everyone including us foreigners to
show ID before buying booze. Details are scanned and checked against a central
database that has a list of people who are banned from buying alcohol. The jury
is out on whether it will really work and one suspects it is partly aimed at the
problem drinkers amongst the Aboriginal population.
There are really serious problems here of an urban
underclass which we have witnessed ourselves and in the rural areas we are told
problems of rural isolation with dysfunctional families, and high truancy rates
where no value is put on education. The issue came to a head a few years ago
when it was discovered that child abuse was rife in the remote communities and
the NT government (or possibly the Federal government) introduced an
“Intervention” policy that lead to alcohol being totally banned in certain
communities and a package of education and social work put in place. Needless to
say it was not welcomed by all and there seems to be debate about whether it has
proved successful. Of course one of the main problems one suspects is that so
few Aborigines make it into government or for that matter into the professionals
who are doing their best to implement the policies.
interesting just how different things are here to The Maori in New Zealand who
although not totally integrated seem to have coped with the changes imposed upon
them much more successfully. Of course the Maori were and still are a very
different people, with a history of travel and expansion and a very war like
disposition, forming into large groups when necessary and adapting to the new
environments that they colonised. The Aborigine in contrast seem to have
remained in small hunter gatherer groups with little change over literally
thousands of years. Wonderfully in tune with their environment they had never
needed to change and clearly have found it difficult to adapt to a European
occupation and all the terrible things that have been done to “educate” them and
On a lighter note things can’t be all bad when you have
place names like this bus destination.
…. or where birds like these wander around the