How visual data and mobile technology can improve Indigenous decision-making and accountability

Following on from my last post, I started to write about how better access to meaningful, accessible information for Aboriginal leaders can improve decision-making, but I realised the issue was bigger than that. This post discusses how graphical data collection and display, app proliferation and mobile technology can improve decision making and accountability, both for…

Rethinking Aboriginal Governance II – the NT’s Regional Councils

This article is the second in a series which discusses how current our current institutional landscape hinders Aboriginal community development. The usual explanation for dysfunctional institutions is that unskilled or unsavoury directors are not carrying out their function properly, yet what if the problem is the current institutional set-up itself? In 2008, the Labor government instituted reform of…

The Maasai Warrior and the Holy Mountain

Tanzania is home of some of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles but it also feels, well, just that - a spectacle - its roads lined with German tourists in safari vehicles and its traditional African hospitality coming with a (large) price tag. You have to search harder for the magic here than elsewhere in Africa, but…

Madagascar, the Nothing and the Neverending Story

Madagascar feels like a fairy tale. In its varied landscape, around 90% of its 200,000 known species are unique to the island; lemurs, fossas, tenrecs, pygmy chameleons and giant geckos are just some of the wonders. Originally settled by Indonesians, its culture is a strange mix of Indonesia, Africa and France, where people grow rice,…

Bali Ha’i: The Other Tropical Archetype

I’ve banged on about Heart of Darkness (HoD) in this blog a fair bit. It’s not just me; it’s a story that gets referenced over and over in writing on the Tropics. Paul Theroux bangs on and on about it in Dark Star Safari (my recommendation – read Kapuscinski instead, he writes with more style)…

Rethinking Aboriginal Governance I: Why the Aboriginal Land Rights Act doesn’t really deliver sovereignty or development and how to fix it

The Aboriginal Land Rights Act (ALRA) was enacted by the Commonwealth in 1976, preceded by the famous image of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring sand into Vincent Lingiari’s hand, as a way of Aboriginal people in the NT claiming and owning their traditional lands. Administered by a number of statutory Aboriginal Land Councils, the majority…