[lg policy] Australian Government now backtracking from its English language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 26 16:04:08 UTC 2011

NT honours on Australia Day

By Anna Henderson and Jane Bardon

Updated Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:46am AEDT

Professor Michael Christie has been named NT Australian of the Year. (ABC TV)

A paediatrician specialising in remote community medicine, a country
music singer and an archivist have received Order of Australia medals
in the Territory's Australia Day Honour's List. Singer Auriel Andrew
has been recognised for her performances and services to the
Indigenous community. She's the first Indigenous woman in Australia to
perform on television, taking to the stage across the country.

The musical career of the Arrente woman from Central Australia has
many highlights, but she said it was hard to beat performing for the
"Ah the Pope. In Alice Springs at Blatherskite park when he came
there," Ms Andrew said "As he was coming around I sang Amazing Grace
in English and Pitjantjatjara."

Ms Andrew also worked as an actor on several shows including
Playschool and she wants her OAM to inspire young Aboriginal

"I don't like this expression "shame job", don't be shame be game," she said.

Former Country Liberal Senator Grant Tambling has been noted for his
work on Norfolk Island and his services to Australian politics.

"I think much of the credit must go to the people that worked with
me," Mr Tambling said.

Territory Historical Society Vice President Yvonne Forrest has been
honoured for her archiving, education and arts service.

Central Australian Paeditrician Dr Paul Bauert says he's honoured to
recieve an OAM.

Detective Sergeant Mark Stringer was awarded a police medal after
serving just over 25 years with NT police, working in the drug, crime
and special operations units.

He's also volunteered with the United Nations peace keeping mission in
East Timor mentoring local police.

He said technology had changed dramatically over his career.

"The advances in forensic science have changed the way we do
business," Detective Stringer said.

Fellow award recipient Detective Senior Constable Alan Hodge has been
a key member of the crime, fraud and homocide squads over his three
decade career.

"When you get a case that you work hard on and you get a result, you
get a great buzz out of that," Detective Hodge said.

One of the firemen who has been instrumental in setting up volunteer
brigades in the Top End has been honoured.

Patrick Skewes from the Territory's Fire and Rescue Service has
received the Fire Services Medal for his with rural landholders to
streamline the processes for dealing with wildfire.

He also pioneered backburning programs and said he was proud to know
fire breaks have now become a significant hazard management tool in
the Top End.

"It's always good to be able to take the bush away from the town and
put that little black patch in between and then we don't get
surprises," Mr Skewes said.

The Northern Territory's Australian of the Year Michael Christie
raised concerns over the Territory Government's policy of forcing
bilingual schools to teach the first four hours of every day in

Professor Christie established an Indigenous language teaching program
at Charles Darwin University, and has worked in remote communities
promoting the study and teaching of local languages.

Professor Christie said it was a relief that the Government was now
backtracking from its English language policy.

"As recently as last Friday, the Department of Education has put out a
new draft policy which ameliorates some of the harshness of the
previous policy," Professor Christie said.

"I think that especially in the younger years it's very important that
kids have a chance to learn in their own language."

Stockman Barry Abbott rehabilitates young petrol sniffers on his
Central Australian cattle property and has been named Territory Senior
Australian of the year.

Menzies School of Health Research Indigenous health researcher Kalinda
Griffiths has been chosen as the Territory's Young Australian of the

Yirrkala community leader Djapirri Mununggirritj was named the
Territory's Local Hero for her work combatting drug abuse and domestic

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