ABC's 'The Spirit of Things' in Missionary Position


Jajirdi Consultants Alice Springs
Jacinta Castle (nee Price),
Bess and Dave Price
(NT News - pic: Chloe Erlich)

ABC's Rachael Khon interviewed Bess Price and her husband on this weeks program, 'The Spirit of Things'. It was a one sided affair with Bess's husband Dave having plenty of input regarding his contempt towards Indigenous activists and what he believes is needed for Indigenous people in the Northern Territory. His approach reminds us of christian missionary visions from the past - or perhaps our current government and its opposition.

Khon's interview mentioned that the couple currently work together as cross cultural awareness trainers in the Northern Territory, but there was no mention of their possible conflict of interest regarding their personal business enterprise.

Dave and Bess Price, together with their daughter Jacinta Castle operate 'Jajirdi Consultants' based in Alice Springs. According to their website, clients past and present include Commonwealth, Territory and local government agencies, the Pine Gap joint defence facility and several mining, energy and engineering companies, including, Newmont Australia, Santos, ERA/Riotinto and Solar Systems. Why are we not surprised?

I wish the Price family well and it is always great to see Indigenous people doing well in life and happy with their lot and Bess has every right to say what she thinks, however, I am disappointed with the way ABC TV and Radio present Bess as a spokesperson for the Indigenous people in the Northern Territory doing it rough through the Intervention, without mentioning her conflict of interest regarding many associated matters.

With the Intervention disempowering Indigenous people one could write reams on the racism, ignorance and contempt by the government and the media - and there is always going to be some people who somehow can justify making money out of their family and neighbours deprivation and impoverishment.

Bruce Skewes
Treaty Republic (Opinion)

THE PROGRAM
Couples: In the Light of Love - Dave and Bess Nungarrayi Price
The Spirit of Things - ABC RADIO NATIONAL 3rd July 2011

From ABC 'The Spirit of Things' website
For over thirty years, Dave, an Irish Catholic from Newcastle and Bess, a Walpiri woman from Yuendumu, have been married, raising a family, and working for the betterment of Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory. Bess is the Chair of the Northern Territory Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council. Their bi-cultural marriage has been a learning curve from both sides, but one they both feel proud and grateful to have taken. Their home in Alice Springs is their sanctuary, and their faith has moved on from their traditional origins to encompassing Buddhism. From 'The Spirit of Things' website

Hopefully their interest in Buddhism will help them understand that others have right to think differently to themselves, especially Dave Price. His animosity towards Indigenous activists who support anti-racist regulations appears to have fairly deep roots - a quick scan through Google finds these two letters.

... back in 2009

From: Letters to the Editor: Alice Springs News August 20, 2009

Sir, Today there are consultation meetings being held in our town with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Affairs.

The meetings are being organised by the Intervention Rollback Action Group.

This is a group that has carefully excluded anybody with views different from their own, white or black, from the events they have organised in the past.

They have abused those with differing views, publicly burned our national flag and marched through our streets shouting obscenities.

They are in no way representative yet they are convening the 'invitation only' meeting with the UN representative. There is a one hour open meeting later that day for community members and organisations ...

Dave Price
Alice Springs

... and in 2008

From: Letters to the Editor: Alice Springs News September 18, 2008

Sir, There is an underlying nastiness in David Price’s letter (Sept 12 - Not found online) regarding the Intervention and the rally proposed for September 30.

Perhaps he is sensing the groundswell of opposition that is now happening amongst the people affected by the racist legislation.

For his information, the call-out for a convergence on Central Australia came from Aboriginal leaders in Central Australia. Support groups from around the country have been invited to come here to show their support. Students have also been invited to come and meet people from prescribed areas and hear their stories firsthand.

The voice of people on the ground is not being heard, either here or around the country.
Mainstream media continue the mantra of the so-called 'leaders' such as Pearson, Langton and Mundine who are all making major amounts of money from Aboriginal business.

We'll ignore the nasty undertones in Mr Price’s letter (his inference that people who speak up against wrongs and support the disempowered in our community to speak out and voice their concerns are not “good” citizens, the inference also that activists don’t work, and his sanctimonious attitude).

Most members of our Action Group are in paid employment and give their spare time voluntarily to continue the work in helping people who are struggling to understand the Intervention and deal with it as best they can considering the Racial Discrimination Act has been set aside and the implementation process was and is appalling.

The Intervention is not sustainable, either economically or socially, and is not having the intended outcomes. The 97 recommendations of the Little Children Are Sacred report need to be put in place immediately.

I wonder what's really bugging Mr Price? Perhaps it's the fact that he and his wife are actually making money from the Intervention and don't want to see it stop?

Marlene Hodder
Member
Intervention Rollback Action Group