Saturday October 27, 2007 (Day 11)
Alice Springs is located in the geographical center or close to it of the center
of the country/continent. We walked to the center of town which was five minutes
away and ate at some place which had pretty good food and then found and in-doors
shopping center and walked around and then had ice-cream.
The bus tour of Alice Springs included the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Anzac Hill,
Royal Flying doctors service base, the school of the air, and the historic Alice
Springs telegraph station and a tour of local art at the Mbatua (Aboriginal Culture
Center), once back at the hotel at 5:30 PM we decided to just eat in the room and
have a glass of wine and crash.
Established in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide, it is the
best preserved of the 12 stations along the Overland Telegraph Line.
The site was first recorded by surveyor William Mills in March 1871, while in
search of a suitable route for the Overland Telegraph Line through the MacDonnell
Ranges. Construction of the Telegraph Station began in November 1871.
The Telegraph Station operated for 60 years, after which time the buildings served
as a school, known as the Bungalow, with mixed results. Although many mixed-race
Aboriginal children got an education here, it was in reality a fenced-off prison
which their mothers and relatives were often forbidden to enter. Many of the stolen
generations of Aboriginal people started their lives here. During WWII the army
used parts of the station.
Royal Flying Doctors
This is the story of how medicine, aviation and radio were combined to bring health
care to the people who live, work and travel in the more remote areas of Australia.
Established in 1928 and developed on a national basis in the 1930s, the Service
soon provided not only emergency medical aid to the people of the Inland, but also
a comprehensive health care and community service.
The development of the Inland was in many ways made easier by the presence of
the Flying Doctor. Previously, serious illness or accident often meant death and
the Inland holds many graves of people who might have lived had they been able to
receive medical aid quickly enough.
The aborigines in and around Alice Springs seem to not have a purpose.
We saw them in the parks and near the river bed area just walking and/or sitting around
talking. They seem to be lost in their own world. I did not speak to them personally but
just my gut feeling.
Our tour guide was telling us a story about one aborigines person who he meet and talked
with. She had just purchased a TV with monies that are received on a monthly bases as
part of an agreement with the Australian government. They get this money and don't know
what to do with it so she bought a fancy TV. The problems is these people live in places
where there is no electrical power and in fact they don't live in houses just in a community.