Editor’s Picks

A selection of articles of enduring interest from the archives of Alice Online, collected since the site began in February 2009.

Bushies team up with freaks and mongrels

Sep 27, 2012 | Discuss

Bushies team up with freaks and mongrels

The humble cabbage took a bollocking from botanist Peter Latz at the launch of a bush medicines section at Alice Springs’ community garden earlier this month. The Hermannsburg-born author of Bushfires And Bushtucker threw diplomacy to the wind as he compared the traditional plants wild-harvested by the Arrernte with the “freaks and mongrels” they will be growing alongside in Burke Street. His point, perhaps a little overstated for dramatic effect, was that we have bred much of the nutritio...Read more

Thoughts on civilisation in a site of dire conjunction

Jun 19, 2012 | Discuss

Thoughts on civilisation in a site of dire conjunction

Alice On Line is pleased to present an excerpt from an essay by Craig San Roque, taken from a new book which Craig has co-edited. Placing Psyche is the first in a new series published in the USA by Spring Journal Books and will be launched in Alice Springs this week. Its 11 contributors include Alexis Wright, David Tacey and Ute Eicklekamp. Advance publicity  tells us us that the book develops pychologist Carl Jung’s insights on civilisations in transition: “Jung’s observation of pat...Read more

Buckley’s chance

Dec 24, 2011 | Discuss

Buckley's chance

As you stock up on your holiday feast supplies this year, imagine a Christmas of such abundance that wherever you walked you were surrounded by fresh fruits from all over the planet, and all in season. The dream is not happening in the crowded aisles of your local supermarket, courtesy of big oil and diesel. It’s right in your own back yard, where ripe or ripening cherries, peaches, apricots, two kinds of apples, grapes, mangoes, bananas, avocadoes and figs are hanging from trees and vines, ju...Read more

Better lives for kids: start earlier?

Nov 05, 2011 | Discuss

Better lives for kids: start earlier?

Argument continues over Jenny Macklin’s plan to withhold welfare benefits from parents who don’t send their kids to school – but could the debate be missing the point as far as the most vulnerable children are concerned? There’s strong evidence that for many Territory children, especially those in remote communities, school age – or even preschool age – is already too late to give them the best help to avoid entering a short life of poverty, bad health, crime and violence...Read more

D.I.Y. utopias

Sep 12, 2011 | 2 Comments

D.I.Y. utopias

Residents of some cash-strapped communities in remote Central Australia are investigating a space-age solution to their housing dilemmas –  but mum’s the word. The concept of Earthbag building is as practical and “down-to-earth”as it sounds, but was refined by an Iranian engineer brainstorming a prospective way of building colonies on the moon (using moon-dust). Although the colony is yet to eventuate (as far as we know), this literally dirt-cheap  construction technique ha...Read more

Little Well

Aug 24, 2011 | Discuss

Little Well

By Rod Moss   Again the Healing Centre has scheduled a trip into the heart of the country. Again there have been difficulties in securing men to join the group. There’s twenty-two of us in three vehicles. And though three senior men had indicated their enthusiasm for the event, they all withdraw, for various reasons. But we’re still packing the troupies to the seams. We’re not looking for ochres or herbal plants this time. The focus is on sitting at Little Well, and for the older folk...Read more

Fairy Wren

Aug 20, 2011 | Discuss

Fairy Wren

More magnificent bird photos from Dave Price. Dave found these splendid wrens –male and female – a few kilometres from his doorstep. But perhaps they found him; it could be his reputation for portraiture is spreading in the bird world Bird writer Chris Watson had this to say: This first picture of the male Splendid Fairy-wren is a rare (and difficult to get) shot of the flaring of the contour plumes around the cheek and throat. This is textbook breeding season territoriality from a fiercely ...Read more

Kutja Australia!

Jul 18, 2011 | 1 Comment

Kutja Australia!

A project to translate Advance Australia Fair into Aboriginal languages,  kick-started by Ted Egan and Alison Anderson, has been sadly under-reported, despite funding by the Federal government to distribute a DVD promoting the anthem in Luritja to 10,000 schools. I had a chat with Ted about the project last month and agree that it has the potential to not only rejuvenate ailing Aboriginal languages but make the anthem itself a lot more exciting. It could help to close the cultural divide betwee...Read more

Quantum Bureaudynamics Part One

Jul 12, 2011 | 8 Comments

Quantum Bureaudynamics Part One

By Blair and Jenny McFarland...Read more

Couture In Motion

Jul 05, 2011 | 1 Comment

Couture In Motion

Fashion came to life in Alice Springs when designers from the Sustainable Couture group showcased garments made from recycled and repurposed materials. Pre-loved clothing, blankets, and any other versatile textile was transformed into standout couture at a unique catwalk show. Locals and visitors alike were treated to the Sustainable Couture style, featuring works by seven designers including Philomena Hali, Kathryn Frank, Nicky Schonkala, Sarah Hill, Julie Millerick, Carmel Ryan and Franca Fred...Read more

Biodynamics: stirring stuff

Jun 29, 2011 | Discuss

Biodynamics: stirring stuff

The first time I heard about biodynamic farming was from a TV program set on a dairy farm in Victoria and broadcast on the ABC’s now defunct Countrywide series. Amazed, I watched a farmer bury two cowhorns filled with manure – the first step in the creation of a substance called “500”. This month, nearly three decades later,  I stood among biodynamic gardeners as they did the same thing, this time in the arid, infertile  heart of Australia. In the years between these two ev...Read more

Rolling back reality

Jun 08, 2011 | 5 Comments

Rolling back reality

Rebuilding the Chaos, from the Ground Up: anti-Intervention groups call for a return to year zero in remote Aboriginal communities. (A version of this article also appears on The Drum.) By Bob Durnan Winter is icumen in, here in central Australia; the car windows are filling with frost. The solstice is nigh. With the winter solstice, as in the three years just past, comes the anniversary  (1 ) of the announcement of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (2), and thus also the ritual gatheri...Read more