Thursday, October 30, 2008


Tonight at 9:30 the ABC is showing a documentary that looks into the Emergency Federal Intervention into NT Indigenous Communities. The documentary discusses the impact of the Intervention with members of communities over a 12 month period.

The intervention was the Howard Government's response to a Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse, known as the Ampe Akelyernemane Meke Mekarle “Little Children are Sacred” Report. The report identified child sexual abuse as a very serious problem in Indigenous communities, but made a point of identifying the apparent increase in sexual abuse in the broader non indigenous society also.
As the inquiry was focussed on Indigenous communities it's recommendations focussed on what needs to happen in Indigenous communities in order to eradicate the root causes of child sexual abuse. The Government's response appeared to take rather a different form to the approach recommended by the Board of Inquiry.
Having read some of the report and compared it to statements by the previous and current ministers responsible for Indigenous affairs my feeling is that the intervention directly contradicts the forms of assistance recommended by the report. In fact some of the underlying causes of dysfunction identified by the report would very likely be intensified by the previous Government's approach to this very sensitive issue. Since then there has been a change of Government and an opportunity to alter the course of this discriminatory process... Unfortunately it seems the current Labor Government is also committed to imposing their "Intervention" onto people living in Indigenous communities without engaging in the consultative and cooperative approach recommended in the Report.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Body Art Ride - Sydney - 2009

It looks like the die (or is that dye?)has been cast for a human rainbow on wheels!
The Sydney Body Art project is up and running. The event is planned for 15th February 2009.

Hundreds maybe thousands of people will join together for a group ride through Sydney. Their skin coloured and all painted up for the special ride.

This ride is a celebration of life, care for each other and concern for the planet. It is an expression of the individual's freedom to be but is also an act of a community united. This is a way for people to come together in an exuberant and uninhibited display of colour, joy and compassion.

Funds raised from the ride are donated toward Child Cancer Research
Check out The Sydney Body Art Ride

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Aleoca folding bike

Well my bicycle fetish has landed me with another bike... This one is incredibly practical. It's a folding bike made by a (NOT Italian) company called Aleoca. You can fold it up and stash it away when getting on a buss or when you get to work. It fits easily into the boot of our small ford festiva and best of all it's a dream to ride!

folding bike
Aleoca folding bike

I happened across the bike while riding past a certain chain store that specializes in selling second hand stuff. I wouldn't normally shop there but this bike really caught my eye! (Probably the metallic paint)

It went together quite easily and was incredibly comfortable and easy to ride when I test rode it. Having bought it I had to subject it to the standard test I give all my bikes. The 10 or so km commute to work and back.

folding bike
Folding bike on the commute (with full pannier)

folding bike
Taking in the view of traffic from the shady median strip

Well she passed with flying colours! The gearing is great. It's incredibly comfortable and it cruises along like a dream. I don't care what I look like riding it this bike is really nice to ride! The rack on the back fits my panniers so I can carry as much load as I would on my other road bikes (Except the Xtracycle... It is in a league of it's own!)

To top it all off I actually managed to get my wife to ride it to the pool yesterday (Only a couple of km) and she fell in love with it instantly! The folding bike is a winner! And I have some ideas of how it can be used in conjunction with the Xtracycle... Stay tuned for the new Airport Transfers vehicle!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rapid Creek Revival

Rapid Creek revival
Err the picture tells the story

It was on today... There was heaps of stuff for kids to do. I didn't have time to post about if beforehand so if you didn't already know you've missed out coz it's just finished! Sorry bout that but I tell you I'm really busy!

There was a great band, a Tang Soo Do demonstration, heaps of activities for the kids to do, a fancy dress bike parade and stuff like that. We got fresh fruit and just about everything was free for kids!

I took a few pix mostly of bikes...

The coordinator Leigh & her townie
Catwalk for bikes in fancy dress

kids bike comp
Bike show was pretty popular with the kids

Check out the little climber top left... WOW

Bike Friday 2
This cool tandem can be adjusted so that it's suitable for a child or an adult to ride

Bike Friday
BIKE FRIDAY - with tinsel

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ride to work day

Xtracycle rides to work
Xtracycle does Ride to Work

Yesterday was National Ride to Work Day and it came complete with free breakfast and coffee for those who wanted to cycle into one of the officially listed Ride to Work Day free breakfasts. **Yay**
October is a pretty tough month to be trying to convince people to ride to work in Darwin! The humidity is generally quite a bit higher than it was just a month or so earlier. Regardless of the heat there was quite a good turnout in the City. Unfortunately I heard later that the breakfast at the Uni went a bit pear shaped.

Rain the night before made the morning ride wet and hot! To compound my discomfort I had only 10 pounds pressure in my tires! I tried to get some air at a couple of servos but some little creeps had cut the hoses so I had to drag my slow, lazy butt all the way into town!
Having chosen to go the long way around Nightcliff foreshore I arrived at the Roma Bar feeling totally exhausted! I was in such a state that people actually thought there had been another downpour somewhere along the way!
"No rain actually guys just me sweating!" ... "Eeww!"

Annie and Hector
Hey there's Annie with Hector the road safety cat

Cyclists arrive
Isn't that Charles from the Environment center arriving at the party?

Blocked access
Wheel chair access?

Ride to work
Roma Bar... Good coffee but the cue was sooooo long

Monday, October 13, 2008

Equality for Arnhem Landers?

Since I have been too busy living to write about what I like to do with my life there have been very few posts here at the Balanda Eyes blog...
Plenty has been happening but I don't have much time to tell the story of it all. My job has been pretty busy over the past couple of weeks, I've had a shocker of a cold for a week or so, the family has also been unwell, I started guitar lessons tonight (I think my teacher agrees that I have no rhythm). Haven't ridden to work in over a week and I've already had to let the belt out a notch!

If you're interested in the state of justice in this country (Australia) and wonder about what is happening on indigenous communities in Arnhem Land you might like to watch this video

Ceremony - Yirritja Ngarra 'Riyawarray: Common Ground

There is law in Arnhem Land and a culture that has withstood many assaults from the domineering culture that has imposed this current Federal intervention. Despite the offenses committed against these people they are still prepared to share their culture and their knowledge. When will we take up the offer of friendship and understanding?

Another sad story to add to the list. (Warning: this story refers to a recently deceased person)

If you think these issues have nothing to do with your life... you may be right. But one day you may wake to find that oppression and domination are the codes that govern this country.