Parrtjima curator Rhoda Roberts and lighting director Giles Westley share excitement about this years’ festival

“Parrtjima means shedding both light and understanding, but it’s much more. It’s the generosity and spirit of a peoples who have and always will care for country and for the many travellers who visit this timeless land.” Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO

A Widjabul Wiyebal woman from the Bundjalung territories, Rhoda Roberts AO is Curator for Parrtjima – A Festival in Light. As an experienced, motivated and versatile arts executive, Rhoda has a diverse range of international and national experience with commercial, community and non-profit organisations. A practicing weaver, actor, independent producer and director, she continues to work as a consultant across diverse disciplines and is a sought-after speaker and performer in theatre, film, television and radio. The first Aboriginal Australian to host a prime-time current affairs program (Vox Populi on SBS), Rhoda’s Deadly Voices podcasts continue her work in broadcast, including two decades on radio show Deadly Sounds (1992-2012).


Giles Westley is Australia’s leading large scale lighting projection artist.

With over 21 years experience in creative story telling, lighting, imagery and graphic design, Giles has a unique set of skills that combine the artistic, technical and human side of telling stories that connect to large audiences on the global stage.

Using visual symbolism, metaphor, and sound, Giles specialises in telling stories that cross cultural and language divides, bringing unity of understanding to each of his projects.

Selena Uibo “Everything is being done to ensure kinship care”

The Northern Territory Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Selena Uibo says everything is being done to ensure kinship care is available for Aboriginal children

The Everyone Together Aboriginal Affairs progress report released last month said the government was falling behind in several targets, including the proportion of Aboriginal children in kinship care.

The progress report said 35 per cent of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care are placed with a kinship carer or an Aboriginal carer.

Minister Selena Uibo said the NT Government were working to improve rates of kinship care.

She spoke with CAAMA’s Philippe Perez about this and many other issues when she dropped into the studios on Wednesday.

Remote communities warned of increase in phone and web scams

Savvy online shoppers looking to snag a bargain for big ticket items are being duped by scam websites using genuine business credentials.

NT Consumer Affairs is finding an increasing number of scam websites from proactive investigations and reports from experienced online shoppers who are being scammed by fraudulent websites.

Personal monetary losses totaling almost $907,000 have already been reported to NT Consumer Affairs since November 2019.

Acting Commissioner Ms Sandy Otto said, “methods of deception are becoming much more sophisticated and scammers are stealing genuine ABNs to register domain names and set up websites.”

Since November 2019:

  • NT Consumer Affairs has detected 77 scam websites.
  • Despite the website domain being hosted off-shore and outside of Australian jurisdiction, 73 have been shut down.
  • The remaining four sites are subject to shut down requests awaiting action.
  • Consumers who have contacted NT Consumer Affairs have reported actual monetary loss totalling almost $907 000.
  • This figure rises to $1.88m when it includes consumers that did not complete their transaction after seeing the NT Consumer Affairs Facebook warnings, and reported the site to NT Consumer Affairs.
  • Losses are likely to be higher as many victims do not report their loss due to anxiety or shame.

CAAMA Radio News 13th April, 2021

Get in contact with the CAAMA Newsroom: news@caama.com.au

In today’s bulletin (6pm 13-4-2021):

  • The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Selena Uibo has said everything is being done to ensure kinship care is available for Aboriginal children.
  • The Federal Government have confirmed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not be purchased and administered in the country.
  • A lack of phone coverage and power is hampering clean up efforts from ex tropical Seroja, which ravaged the town of Kalbarri and other communities in the mid west.
  • The Ampilatwatja Health Centre Aboriginal Corporation has been placed under special administration. The community run health clinic services around 500 people in the Utopia region 320 kilometres north east of Mbantwe Alice Springs.
  • More than $220,000 in funding has been provided to Aboriginal owned tourism businesses around the Territory.
  • First Nations groups are calling on the Federal Government to keep to their promise of allowing Aboriginal people to own more water.
  • and in sport, AFLW player for the Adelaide Crows Chelsea Randall will not play in the ompetitions grand final against the Brisbane Lions due to a concussion injury.

30 years since the Royal Commission: what has changed? Alice Springs residents gather to voice their concerns.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, NATSILS, has called on the Prime Minister to meet with the families of people who have died in custody.

Around 150 people turned up at the town’s court lawns to hear from protestors, who also lit a smoke ceremony.

Similar Protests were also held in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Lismore on Saturday. Perth and Adelaide rallies have been organised for Thursday, the exact date of the final report’s 30th anniversary.

CAAMA Radio News 12th April, 2021

Get in contact with the CAAMA Newsroom: news@caama.com.au

In today’s bulletin (6pm 12-4-2021):

  • The NT Opposition is calling on the Territory Government to recall parliament this week to specifically deal with youth crime in the Territory.
  • A study from Charles Darwin University has revealed that a westernised education model in the NT is not setting up remote Aboriginal students for success but instead is keeping them marginalised.
  • A protest in Mbantwe Alice Springs on Saturday has called for Federal and State Governments to implement the recommendations into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down nearly 30 years ago.
  • The Dark Mofo Festival has confirmed that it will go ahead as planned in June, despite the cancellation of a controversial artwork where a Union Jack flag would be submerged in First Nations people’s donated blood.
  • Bone tools found in a cave site with the help of the local Mimbi community in the Kimberley region are believed to be more than 35,000 years old.
  • Medical supplies are being sent from Darwin to Timor-Leste as the country continues to tackle health issues in communities after landslides and flash flooding which has killed around 200 people so far.
  • Stable power has been promised to remote communities in the NT, with the Gunner Government announcing new funding to deliver clean electricity.
  • Almost 8000 visits were recorded at the opening weekend of the Parrtjima Festival in Mbantwe Alice Springs, with reports of low vacancy rates at hotels across the town.
  • The Australian Defence Force will be mobilised to support communities in southeast Western Australia that have been hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
  • and in sport Gunggandji, Birrbay and Wiradjuri man and Melbourne Storm NRL player Josh Addo Carr said the growing interest in playing rugby league in the NT is exciting for the game.

CAAMA Radio News 9th April, 2021

Got news? Get in contact with the CAAMA Newsroom: news@caama.com.au

In today’s bulletin (6pm 9-4-2021):

  • The primary health care service for Aboriginal people in Central Australia has also reassured clients that AstraZenica vaccines is safe to be administered despite an extremely small number of cases of blood clotting linked to the vaccine.
  • Meanwhile Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia has secured a further 20 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine adding to the 20 million already ordered.
  • A group of Australian Medical Assistance Team doctors and two pallets of medical supplies left Darwin and are travelling to Papua New Guinea to help with the country’s COVID-19 crisis.
  • An inquest being held in North Queensland into the death in custody of a First Nations man has found that he received sub optimal treatment from paramedics.
  • A recently established group from Tennant Creek aiming to tackle anti-social behavior in the town are looking for more volunteers.
  • The Territory government has granted the largest-ever groundwater extraction licence in the NT to an agribusiness that plans to use 40,000 megalitres a year to irrigate farming operations.
  • A design tender has been released for the planned National Aboriginal Art Gallery by the Territory Government set to be built at Mbantwe Alice Springs’ ANZAC Hill Precinct.
  • This years Parrtjima festival kicks off tonight in Mbantwe Alice Springs, hosted at the Alice Springs Desert Park and the Todd Mall.
  • And in sport, the 2021 seasons of the NRL NT, Central Australian Football League (CAFL) and community AFL competitions have been announced.

Congress assures AstraZeneca vaccine safe for people over 50

1178747478 Image credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images.

The primary health care service for Aboriginal people in Central Australia has reassured clients that AstraZeneca vaccines are still safe for people over the age of 50.

The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress is continuing to encourage clients to come into their clinic at 25 Gap Rd in Alice Springs or their other clinics in town.

Congress have also confirmed that supplies are also now in Mutitjulu, Utju, Santa Teresa and Amoonguna.

Dr Colin Marchant from Congress told CAAMA they were looking to get alternative supplies of vaccines, but he encouraged those who are 50 years of age or older to make an appointment as soon as possible at one of their clinics for the vaccine.

Calling for an end to black deaths in custody

Preparations for a national day of action to highlight the 30th anniversary of the royal commission’s findings into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody are underway, with gatherings set to be held around the country – including a day of action at 11am on the Mbantwe Alice Springs Court Lawns on April 10.

The day of action comes as a new campaign by the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) calls for urgent action from federal and state governments to end First Nations deaths in custody.

Philippe Perez spoke with NATSILS campaigner Anuypa Butcher about the protest action and the newly launched campaign.

Centralian artist Chantelle Mulladad transforms world famous Ghan passenger train into a moving piece of art

A central Australian Aboriginal artist who has transformed the world famous Ghan passenger train into a moving piece of art…. says she was so excited to see her painting on the train when it arrived in Mparntwe Alice Springs on Thursday morning.

Eastern Arrentre woman, Chantelle Mulladad, from Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) Aboriginal community 80km south-east of Alice Springs says she was inspired to paint after watching her aunty and mum create their own paintings.

Three carriages of the world-famous train have been wrapped in Mulladad’s stunning design Crossroads and to complement the external artwork a spectacular immersive light installation displays a taste of things to come at Parrtjima “ A Festival in Light 2021” as the Ghan travels from Darwin to the Red Centre.

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