This Dispatch is from 11 June 2013
Tomorrow (12 June 2013) it will be exactly a quarter of a century ago that in 1988 Prime Minister Bob Hawke was entreated with a petition that became known as the Barunga Statement.
His response: He promised Aboriginal Australia that there would be a Treaty by 1990
Words are easy, words are cheap
Much cheaper than our priceless land
But promises can disappear
Just like writing in the sand
Nhima djat’pangarri nhima walangwalang
Nhe djat’payatpa nhima gaya nhe
Matjini … Yakarray
Nhe djat’pa nhe walang gumurrt jararrk gutjuk
The lead singer of Yothu Yindi passed on the 2nd of June 2013 from renal disease. He was 54.
The promised Treaty has retreated into the mists of time.
Never seen the Northern Lights,
Never seen a hawk on the wing….
They will most certainly not treat Aboriginal Australia to a Treaty.
They won’t even treat Aboriginal Australia with respect…
If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think anybody’s s’posed to respect you
I have a confession to make. I had no intention to write about Hawks. It is just that Houses, Health and Kites doesn’t quite have the same ring as Houses, Health and Hawks.
A flock of soaring birds of prey has been gracing Yuendumu skies for over a month. Never in four decades have I seen so many.
I asked my Warlpiri friends what they were and was told they are pula-pula. I was told much about their habits, but mainly that they turn up whenever there are bush fires. They are warlu-prinji. They hunt the critters that crawl out of their burrows to escape the heat.
Eventually I consulted Simpson & Day’s ‘Field Guide to the Birds of Australia’: “Black Kite Milvus Migrans- Attends bushfires. Flocks soar effortlessly with frequently twisting forked tails….”
A friend tells me that when the craziness and meanness in the world gets him down, he finds solace in sorting through piles of nuts and bolts.
These days when despair and despondency try to grip me, I gaze up at Yuendumu skies and imagine I’m up there with the pula-pula.
You may say I am a dreamer…
Que les vaya bien
(Use Google Translate for foreign languages)