Birding Aussers might like to join me in congratulating the NT¹s new
Administrator, Justice Sally Thomas AM who is to be sworn in at the end of
Sally, though not strictly a birder, was instrumental in helping me finish
my book Birds of Australia¹s Top End. I had become very ill, but with her
encouragement manage to soldier on until it was finished. Although she does
not like getting up early Sally would pick me up at 6.30 am every day so
that I could go birding.
Sally also featured with me in a couple of documentaries. On one occasion
we had to canoe through the mangroves, Sally asking me questions about
crocodiles. As she stepped into my vessel she noticed a tomahawk lying on
the floor. Asking what it was for I told her that if we were attacked she
had to pick up the axe and hit the croc on the head. She asked why I
couldn¹t do it. Obviously it was because crocodile is one of my dreamings
and the most I could do, I told her was ³ask it politely to leave us alone².
She informed me that she wouldn¹t be giving up her ³day job² to work on
films with me fulltime!
Then there was the time I talked Sally and a friend, Graham, into venturing
into the mangroves at midnight. I wanted to see if Chestnut Rails fed by
the full moon. Sally, wearing my gumboots, got stuck in the mud and we had
to pull her out. Graham wisely had left his nice Mercedes at my place.
Sally¹s equally nice judge car was a bit muddy after our adventure.
Sally has a sense of perspective, depth and humour, somewhat lacking in many
of our pollies, and I think we¹ll all be the better for it. Go Sally!
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow B.A. Grad.Dip.Arts
1/7 Songlark Street, Bakewell NT 0832, AUSTRALIA
Ph. 61 08 89 328306
Mobile: 04 386 50 835
Birdwatching and Indigenous tourism consultant
PhD Candidate (Southern Cross University, NSW)
Interpreter/transcriber, Lonely Planet Guide to Aboriginal Australia
Vice-chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia
For copies of Birds of Australia¹s Top End or Quiet Snake Dreaming, visit
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him
to hold in higher regard those who think alike
than those who think differently."
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