Indigenous issues

Filthy...unwashed...alcoholics... A couple from Melbourne being confronted with Aborigines for the first time. Camped at Kununarra I can't really disagree other than to say I have come across some who aren't like that. They are shocked and obviously haven't been out of their suburban comfort zone before now. They aren't racists either, just describing what they have seen. They tell me their friends are totally unaware of the real circumstances that exist in the North and I could only suggest they go back and tell their friends the truth. If you go to South Headland don't expect to sit down in the shopping centre. The seats are full all day with aborigines waiting...talking ...yelling out at each other. You can get a seat for the days after "Payday" however, as they have money for grog and are in the pubs or long grass. They really do call it Payday as if they have done something to earn the money the government gives them. Its the seamy side but it is what the foreign and southern tourists are witnessing. We all know there are success stories but you have to root them out. If you camp at the Crossing Inn at Fitzroy Crossing don't go to the bar if you are white and civilized as you will be very lonely. The bar is full of aborigines all day and into the night. Fights, spitting and yelling very loudly is all the go on the banks of the Fitzroy River. I traveled along the road from Windjana Gorge to Fitzroy River and experience two tyres slashed by the rough road, all in about 20 minutes. I was looking at the tyre after the second flat trying to get on top mentally when a vehicle stopped. Malcom, big, black and friendly took one look at the situation and me and said "I'll fix it" He wielded the tyre plug kit like the pro he was - "done hundreds mate!" He comments further "Funny really - you white guys invented cars and us black fellow fix 'em" We all laughed -I let him have his moment and thanked him profusely. He was the deputy manager at Leopold Downs and a very likable man with his two year old daughter in tow who he obviously loved and looked after. Any amount of aborigines have helped or joined in conversations but they are in a minority and their less able brothers and sisters tar them all with the same brush. Sad really.

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