Aboriginal children in Alice Springs who are impacted by family violence will get more support with the launch of a specialist Tangentyere Council program today.

The Domestic Violence Specialist Children’s Service, launched by Minister for Women’s Policy Bess Price, will provide support to young people aged 12 to 17 who are living with family and domestic violence.

Tangentyere Council CEO Walter Shaw said the specialist children’s service will complement the successful work of the Family Violence Prevention Program.

“Tangentyere is proactive in developing and implementing programs that increase safety on town camps and in the wider community,” Mr Shaw said.

“Our Family Violence Program has developed successful strategies to make our communities safer places.

“Town Camp women and men have been trained in identifying family violence and the impacts of violence on women, children, men and their wider community.

“The Family Violence Program has created resources such as help cards, safety plan guides, signs and posters that support anti violence messages and is developing an engagement strategy that has the long term aim of changing attitudes to violence.

 “The new Domestic Violence Specialist Children’s service is an extension of these activities and will give identified young people the skills they need to act safe, be safe and develop healthy relationships.

“Empowering young people and developing self esteem will help break the cycle of violence that faces some of these children.

“Alice Springs Town Campers say No to Family and Domestic Violence and programs such as these give us the tools to live in safety and help our family, friends and neighbours to be safe too.”

Mr Shaw thanked the NT and Federal Governments for their ongoing support for the Tangentyere Family Violence Program.

July 11, 2016

Kitana and Connie Shaw say Tangentyere's Domestic Violence Children's Specialist program is giving them the tools and self confidence to say not to violence.

Kitana and Connie Shaw say Tangentyere's Domestic Violence Children's Specialist program is giving them the tools and self confidence to say not to violence.


The primary provider of community-controlled health services in the Barkly says the Territory Budget delivers a mixed prognosis for future delivery of health services in the region.

Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Mr Ross Jakamarra Williams said it was disappointing to see an overall reduction in funding for the provision of primary health services in the Barkly.

“There is a reduction of about $400,000 in the Budget allocation for primary health care in the Barkly,” Mr Williams said.

“This is very disappointing given some of the country’s sickest and poorest people live in some very remote communities here and this cut in funding will hit them the hardest.”

Mr Williams said the NT Government had failed to seriously invest in tackling the unacceptably high rates of renal disease in the Barkly region.

“Budget 2016-17 allocates just $240,000 to renal services in the Barkly under the National Partnership Agreement with the Commonwealth.

“This $240,000 is supposed to deliver accommodation, infrastructure and dialysis services across the Barkly. This is barely enough to cover the provision of dialysis services to two patients.

“Anyinginyi is also concerned to note a large reduction in aged care funding in Central Australia.

“The funding to support aged care in the community and other services has been cut by nearly 70 per cent according to the Budget papers.

“We will be wanting more information about how these cuts will impact on aged care services in the Barkly.”

Mr Williams said while Anyinginyi had concerns about the impact of funding cuts to health services, the organisation was pleased to see the NTGovernmentinvesting in improved electronic patient records.

“Aboriginal people from the Barkly often have to go to Alice Springs or Darwin for treatment, and of course people from all over the Barkly come to access services in Tennant Creek, so having a system where patient records can immediately be accessed in any clinic will make a big difference to health outcomes.

“But Anyinginyi is very concerned there appears to be no extra money allocated for the provision of new or refurbished public housing dwellings in Tennant Creeks, especially in Community Living Areas.

“We have a critical issue with inadequate housing and overcrowding in Tennant Creek and this directly impacts on health outcomes.

“People cannot get well and live healthy lives if they have poor housing and Anyinginyi will be strongly advocating for the provision of better services in public housing.”

June 2, 2016

Anyinginyi Chair Mr Ross Williams

Anyinginyi Chair Mr Ross Williams



Tangentyere Council CEO Walter Shaw has welcomed the release of the NT Public Accounts Committee Report into Town Camps, which was tabled in Parliament last night.

“The report supports what we have been saying for years – the current system of housing management in Town Camps just isn’t working,” Mr Shaw said.

“The PAC findings outline the unfair, ineffective and failing system of managing housing on Alice Springs Town Camps and we call on the Government to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency.

“The NT Government is moving towards another review of town camps right now, which is all well and good but Town Campers need action now.

“This latest review hasn’t even started yet and is not due to be completed until the end of this year.

“We cannot afford to wait until next year for the NT Government to actually do something to directly address the critical housing shortage on Town Camps.

“As the PAC reports says, there are issues associated with Town Camp housing that are in desperate need of attention and cannot continue to be overlooked.

“Town Camps cannot go on sitting in Housing Minister Bess Price’s too hard basket.

“Setting up more bureaucracies and reviews isn’t going to build one more house or make sure one more family has a functioning home.

“The NT Government-controlled housing system has failed Aboriginal people, in Town Camps, in urban housing and out bush.

“It’s time for all levels of Government to give control over something as fundamentally important as housing back to the community and the people who live there.

“Town Campers need and deserve real commitments and real funding to improve our living conditions.

“We urge the NT Housing Minister to implement the recommendations of this report immediately so we don’t have to continue to live under a broken system.”

May 25, 2016

For more information contact Mandy Taylor 0414 634159


The Central Australian Affordable Housing Company (CAAHC) welcomed the Public Accounts Committee Report into Town Camp Housing as a blueprint to improve living conditions and housing.

CAAHC CEO Sally Langton said it was heartening to have an NT Government report recognise the failures in the current system and make solid recommendations for improvement.

“This report puts the concerns CAAHC and other organisations have had for more than five years on the public record at last,” Ms Langton said.

“As the report states, many of these issues have been neglected by Government for years, resulting in poor housing, overcrowding and the ongoing problems this creates in the community.

“CAAHC trusts that the NT government will take immediate note of the findings and address the issues raised as a matter of urgency.

“Some of them can be dealt with now as systemic and internal issues.

“We should not be waiting until the results of a Review that hasn’t even begun, or for the new strategies that may flow on from this Review to be implemented.

“We are running out of time to correct these mistakes. Any further time spent dwelling on the past and passing blame will be time wasted. We need to move now.

“CAAHC is pleased to note the PAC has also supported our position that a community housing model should be considered as the most effective way of managing housing on Town Camps.

“CAAHC stands ready for discussion and co-operation with the NT Government to develop new models and ways forward that will improve housing and the lives of Alice Springs Town Campers.”

For further information please contact Sally Langton on 0412 321 260

May 25, 2016


Rules won't stop Vietnam Veteran from toasting mates on Anzac Day

NT News  April 25, 2016

GEOFF Shaw served two tours of Vietnam, he has an Order of Australia Medal and he even features on the cover of a Federal Government Veteran’s Affairs pamphlet.

But Mr Shaw, 71, is probably the only Digger who would be breaking the law to have his mates around for a beer this Anzac Day.

Mr Shaw has lived at Mt Nancy town camp in Alice Springs all his life. As part of the 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response all Territory town camps, populated exclusively by Aborigines, became dry zones under Commonwealth law.

Mr Shaw admits he sometimes flouts the restrictions – he feels he has earned the right.

“I feel a bit of PTSD coming on and I want a beer to relax, to get over that hurdle,” he said.

“I did Malaya and Borneo, two tours of Vietnam, I got all these medals and I can’t have a drink here.”

Mr Shaw was sent to Vietnam in 1966.

He would spend nearly two years there, rising to the rank of corporal with 10 men under his command.

The small group was a “United Nations” of backgrounds,” Mr Shaw said.

“There was no issues of race.

“We were all dressed in green.”

Three of his men would be killed just metres from him in three separate incident in 1968 and 1969. He has battled with post-traumatic stress disorder ever since.

“The wife and kids they see me sitting out there with a tear in my eye and they leave me alone,” he said. “It just comes up now and again.”

Mr Shaw recalled an occasion he had just been to the RSL and brought home a sixpack of beer. On hearing a domestic violence incident in the nearby riverbed he called police who arrived only to tip out his open can and take the other five.

“I said ‘I just came back from the RSL’ and they said ‘You can go back to the f***ing RSL, you can’t drink here.”



A delegation of Alice Springs Town Campers has travelled to Darwin to present their case for an independent and transparent investigation into the failure of leasing arrangements on Town Camps.

The Tangentyere Council representatives  are calling for a review of:

·         The Alice Springs Town Camp tenancy management procurement process

·         The performance of the Housing Management Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Territory Government.

Tangentyere CEO Walter Shaw was accompanied by his board of directors who will continue to be the people most affected by the poor decisions made by the Giles Government.

Mr Shaw said the Territory Department of Housing had failed in its obligations under the subleases since it took on the role in December 2009.

“The Town Camp Housing Associations signed these Tripartite subleases between themselves, the Executive Director of Township Leasing on behalf of the Commonwealth and the CEO of Housing on behalf of the NT in good faith,” Mr Shaw said.

“Our elders fought hard to have Town Camps established and we’ve been fighting for decent living conditions and proper resourcing and recognition since, so we didn’t sign these leases lightly.

“But the fact is conditions on Alice Springs Town Camps haven’t improved, despite the expenditure of millions of dollars by the NT and Federal Governments, and in recent years things have gone from bad to worse.

“There’s no Closing the Gap with Alice Springs Town Camps. In reality the living conditions between suburban Alice and the Camps is an ever-widening chasm.

“The latest decision by the NT Government to award a cut price tenancy management contract to a non-Indigenous private business has seen Town Campers say enough is enough.

“Not only does taking this contract away from an Aboriginal-controlled community housing organisation mean residents have even less involvement and voice in decisions and actions affecting their homes and families, it effectively means a real cut in service delivery to people already living in conditions of overcrowding and disrepair.’

Mr Shaw said the Tenancy Management contract awarded to Zodiac Business Services was $702,000 over 16 months, a significant reduction compared to previous years.

“The Minister and the Department of Housing have repeatedly said this was a decision based on price. This contravenes their own procurement policies which state factors such as past performance, capacity and local development were much more important considerations.

“The NT receives Commonwealth funding under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) for Town Camps, as well as rental income from the 270 houses covered by the Tenancy Management contract.

“We would like to know why the NT needs to reduce service delivery to Town Camps and how this reduced expenditure will be invested for the benefit of residents.

“Both the Chief Minister and the Minister for Housing have stated that the Territory was required to align the tender process to requirements outlined in the Tripartite Alice Springs Living Area Subleases. If so, the procurement process requires further investigation as it deviates substantially from the process outlined by the sublease.

“We have briefed the Territory Opposition and Independents about the issues with the contract and wider leases this week and are grateful for their support in asking for an independent review.

“The Public Housing Management of Town Camps needs to end in favour of the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company operating a regulated and accredited Community Housing Model that both empowers and cares for the welfare of residents.

“We are hopeful the Chief Minister Adam Giles will also support this proposal, given his statements saying he supports housing being given back to communities.

“If he is serious about supporting the capability and capacity of Aboriginal Territorians to build economic sustainability housing is a logical place to start giving control back to Aboriginal entities at a local level.

“Give tenancy management back to CAAHC, review the leasing arrangements on Town Camps and prove that price isn’t more important than the welfare of residents.”