The ‘Heart of the Gulf’ needs your help

Simon Normand along with the Friends of Ngukurr Committee invite you to an illustrated talk and short film about the Ceremony and Songlines of the Roper, to raise funds for the Marra people of Arnhem Land to assist them in circulating a petition to stop plans to mine the Limmen National Park and the creation of a slurry line to Maria Island which will cause devastating ecological damage to these deeply sacred places.

We invite you to support this fundraising event to hear about the Marra peoples campaign to protect their country. For more information see below.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m.

Krome Dining Room, Centenary Building,

Methodist Ladies’ College

RSVP Friday, 28 October 2011


Maria Island Maps will be available to purchase either prior to the evening or on the night.

You may know about the battle that is currently taking place between the NT Government and the Northern Land Council against the Marra people of Arnhem Land.  Western Desert Resources Limited plans to build a slurry line to Maria Island, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, from a huge iron ore deposit that has been found in the Roper Bar region of the Northern Territory. The island they plan to ‘develop’ is a deeply sacred place for the Indigenous people of the region and the mining plan includes the mining of land in the proposed 1.2 million square kilometre Limmen National Park.  Currently, the Marra people are trying to fight against the imminent mining development.   It’s a David vs Goliath battle as so much money is at stake for the State, Fed Government who are all onside with Western Desert Resources Limited.  In true Avatar style, the traditional land owners feel that they have not been consulted throughout the process, nor that they have been asked for permission to mine their traditional land and they do not have legal representation.  A petition has been created and funds are needed to circulate the petition to ALL the Marra people throughout the Gulf country before Christmas. The petition will then be presented by the Marra Elders to Parliament House NT and ACT while the ABC film the event.

The Marra Elders in collaboration with Simon Normand, have created a map that details the songlines of Maria Island and the region.  Limited addition prints of this map are currently being sold so that the proceeds from map sales can go to the campaign, for fuel, food, transport etc. to ensure that the petition can be transported throughout Arnhem land.

Simon Normand will be giving a talk about the Roper River songlines mapping project and the proposed mine with new unseen photos of this pristine country accompanied by a short film. The images are part of a Touring show around Australia in 2012.  You can follow the campaign by subscribing to the Environment Centre NT.  They have an excellent magazine ‘Pandanus’ which has interviews with the Marra Elders.

The Maria Island maps are 1x 1.25 metres long, high quality uv inkjet prints on canvas.  They are $600 each or stretched at cost for another $100.  All proceeds from the map sales will go directly to the campaign.  Maps can be ordered prior to the event and collected on the night via Simon or purchases can be made during the information night.

Many of you have asked how we can find out more about the campaign and how you can show your support.  The evening will not only be informative but will also advise you as to how you can become involved in the campaign.

Please feel free to forward this email to friends and family as it is important that all Australians are aware of what is happening to our friends in Indigenous communities.

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