Home' Tennant and District Times : 2015-0821 TDT Contents 4 TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 2015
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TENNANT AND DISTRICT TIMES FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 2015 5
letter to the editor
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A MASS-EDUCATION drive about sca-
bies is reaping rewards, with communi-
ties across the Barkly right onto the crit-
ters that, literally, get under your skin.
Anyinginyi’s Grow Well Program has been
working to raise awareness about scabies and the
secondary infections they cause which can lead
to rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.
Families from Corella Creek and Elliott to
Epenarra and everyone in between have been
learning how to control the mites.
One of the projects has been a painting compe-
tition run in parallel with the scabies prevention
and education program.
Children, along with their families, were encour-
aged to participate by learning about scabies and
then transferring the information onto canvas.
The three winning designs will be created into
posters to be used as resources by the Grow Well
This week, Kenrin Beasley from Epenarra,
Anne Dickenson and co-artists Jasmin Brown
and Rachel Camphoo, and Angeline Bill were
announced as the winning artists.
So keep an eye out for the posters which will
soon appear around the Barkly.
The Grow Well Program, led by Meg Vidler, is
designed to address nutritional and developmental
issues of children up to five years old by providing
health education and support to their families.
Meg says the health of a pregnant woman and
the first five years of her child’s life is the most
critical period for mental and physical develop-
ment and dictates their future health long into
adulthood and old age.
CELEBRATED 19th Century Irish playwright
and poet, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde
famously wrote that “Youth is wasted on the
Nothing could be further from the truth in the case
of Senior Constable Rhys Studders, who was warmly
farewelled by 40 guests at the Tennant Creek Police
Club last Friday night.
At the tender age of 19 years, Rhys was one of the
youngest recruits to sign up for duty as a police officer
during the four years he spent on the beat in Tennant
“The minimum age for entry into the NT Police Force
is 18 years but I was the youngest to get in during my
time,” Rhys recalled.
“Darwin was my first choice of posting followed by
Alice Springs, but Tennant Creek was where I was
destined to begin my career and I am proud to say I
have loved every minute of it.
“The fact is, if I had’ve known what Tennant was re-
ally like back then, it would have been my first choice.”
Rhys has aspirations of being a Major Crash Investi-
gation Unit Member and he completed the entry level
course for that role in 2014.
In June this year, he also earned his stripes as a Senior
Constable and has been conducting crash investigations
for the Barkly region over the last 12 months.
“My move to Katherine is an opportunity to join the
Northern Traffic Division and gain more experience in
the area of policing that I am passionate about,” he said.
“Tennant Creek is a very welcoming and supportive
town and I have a long list of friends who will be sadly
“You actually get to see investigations through to the
end in places like Tennant Creek because you don’t have
as many specialist teams relieving you of significant
stages of a case, which is great for gaining experience
There were times during Rhys’s posting here that he
was called upon to do relieving duties in Elliott, Imanpa
and Ali Curung communities and that was when he
became a volunteer “firey”.
“The volunteer firefighting began back in 2013 and I
have since become an Auxilary Fire Fighter, which I
have transferred to the Katherine Fire Station,” he said.
“Being a firey has given me great insight from that
perspective because as a Police Officer, we are often
working hand in hand with other agencies on a job.
“Through the Fire Service I also competed in the Aus-
tralasian Rescue Challenge (ARC) in 2014 and 2015.”
Held in Alice Springs for the first time this year, the
ARC is aptly named ‘Outback Rescue’ and focuses on
community education and highlighting the challenges
of road crash rescue response in remote locations.
TIME SPENT: Acting Senior Sergeant Mick Fields presents Rhys Studders with a Service
Plaque in recognition of his time spent in Tennant Creek.
Police farewell young officer
AWARE: Mungkarta kids say “no” to scabies (above). Below, the
Jasmin Brown and
PAPULU APPARR-KARI (PAK) has released a survey highlight-
ing why parents in the Barkly region believe their children avoid
The findings, conducted by PAK last year, show that the main drivers of school
absenteeism include poverty, transiency, bullying, mental health issues, poor
hygiene, overcrowding and the language barrier.
PAK set up the Parent and Community Engagement Program (PACE) in July
2014 to understand the underlying problems and enhance children’s school at-
tendance and learning experience within the remote communities of Tennant
Creek, Ali Curung and Epenarra.
Over the next four months they consulted with 28 agencies involved with
children in the region including five negotiations and agreements reached with
152 Traditional Owners, plus talks with some 399 people and interviews with
492 individual parents.
Data collected by the PACE team was then passed on to the University of NSW,
Canberra, who co-produced the research and development project resulting in
the discussion paper, Let’s Make it Better for the Future.
Karan Hayward, PAK’s Chief Executive Officer, said that while the data chal-
lenged the stereotype of Aboriginal parents as uncaring and lacking interest in
their children’s education, there was a significant minority in each locality that
did not support their child in attending school.
“In each individual case there were multi-causal factors associated with ne-
glect, poverty, transiency, poor hygiene, health and mental health issues and
the language barrier. There were also reports of bullying at school,” she said.
Ms Hayward said in the last nine years attempts by Australian and Northern
Territory governments to address the educational issues in the Barkly region had
proved less than effective.
“This is not about blaming anyone but the data collected and subsequent dis-
cussion paper show that the high proportion of school enrolled children who are
absent, transient, disengaged and neglected presents a major socio-economic
constraint on the overall development of the Barkly region,” she said.
“A key to reducing the level of poverty is to increase the educational outcomes
in schools in the Barkly region and it is in this area that the experience of the
PACE project can provide some insight and potential hope.”
Barkly schools’ survey
links truancy to
transiency and poverty
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AFTER all the hype of the Desert Harmony
Festival has wound down for another year, I
would like to pass on this message to Barkly
You have had a dedicated and motivated person in
your community who has made contact with you on
several occasions to offer free dance tuition to the
The only thing this person has asked from Barkly
Arts was assistance to publicise free dance classes in
the community and the opportunity to have you help
promote, and to provide this teacher with networking
contacts who might be interested in participating or
learning dance - schools, community groups etc.
That person has also phoned you to ask if you received
their emails - the answer to this phone call (in mid 2015
after the first email was sent in October 2014) was - “we
are busy but we’ll respond to you today.” That was
back in April. It is now August.
Total funding by division/board from the Australian
Council of the Arts shows that the NT received $0 in
funding for dance in the financial year of 2012-2013.
When a community member has asked for your help,
they have been ignored and the Barkly has gone with-
out something that would have been beneficial to the
Dance improves health, fitness, brain function and
reduces isolation and depression - all issues that we
know affect many members of the Barkly region.
With the excitement and support from community
Djuki Mala received during this year’s festival, I felt
now was a timely opportunity to remind you that there
is a great opportunity you have chosen to ignore and
I’ve been very disappointed by your lack of response.
It has meant our community has missed out. A great
– Name withheld, Tennant Creek.
By KAREN HARLAN
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A message for local arts organisation
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