King Brown Country: The Betrayal of Papunya

By Russell Skelton | Go to book overview

Chapter 14
‘HURRICANE KATRINA’

In June 2007, John Howard launched the Northern Territory Emergency Response, a blitz of measures that constituted the most radical rewriting of indigenous policy since the Whitlam years. The NTER, as it came to be termed, was prompted by a Territory government–commissioned report on child sexual abuse in seventy-three remote indigenous communities. The ‘Little Children Are Sacred’ report, authored by Rex Wild, QC, a former director of public prosecutions, and Pat Anderson, chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health, noted that assaults on children were not only commonplace but went largely unreported. It called for urgent action by the Federal and Territory governments, including better policing and oversight and a greater commitment to improving health, housing, employment and education. In all, the report suggested ninetyseven measures for breaking the cycle of violence, dramatically identified by Nanette Rogers in her Lateline interview.1

The report was a wake-up call for the Howard government, which had been in a long slumber of denial about the plight

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King Brown Country: The Betrayal of Papunya
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chapter 1 - First Encounters 1
  • Chapter 2 - Luritja Lady 13
  • Chapter 3 - The Whitefellas’ Fault 19
  • Chapter 4 - Mercenaries, Missionaries and Misfits 33
  • Chapter 5 - Motorcar Dreaming 55
  • Chapter 6 - Winter of Discontent 69
  • Chapter 7 - We Decide Who Comes 81
  • Chapter 8 - The Petrol-Sniffing Capital of Australia 91
  • Chapter 9 - The Consul’s Horse 103
  • Chapter 10 - Anderson Rolls the Dice 123
  • Chapter 11 - Love Hurts 135
  • Chapter 12 - The Loss of Acumen 143
  • Chapter 13 - Back to the Future 161
  • Chapter 14 - ‘Hurricane Katrina’ 177
  • Chapter 15 - Papunya after the Intervention 187
  • Epilogue - The Biggest Day in Nt History 203
  • Author’s Note 217
  • Timeline 219
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 241
  • Acknowledgements 245
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