Aboriginal Environments Research Centre

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Tangentyere Council - Alice Springs Town Camps

Whilst working for Tangentyere Council in the late 1980s, evaluating housing design in the nineteen Alice Springs Town Camps, Paul Memmott came to the realisation that in a heavy drinking environment experiencing widespread violence, architectural design could only make a fairly limited contribution toward housing stock protection. He identified a need for Indigenous leaders to adopt new problem solving strategies to address these social problems and for sensitive consultants to provide support as required.

In 1989, Memmott was commissioned by Tangentyere Council to carry out a study of Aboriginal social problems in four Alice Springs Town Camps (Athelk-Ewlpaya or Charles Ck, Alengwertrarre or Morris Soak, Anhelke, and Lhenpe Artnwe) and produce Social Planning Reports on each of them.

Having prepared these Reports, Memmott encouraged Tangentyere Council to establish a long-term, multi-program, holistic strategy that would address not only alcohol-related violence but also other types occurring in the Camps. This project became known as 'The Social Behaviour Project or Mwerre Anetyeke Mparntwele (Sitting Down Good in Alice Springs)'. At this time, 1990, the Aboriginal population of Alice Springs were experiencing statistically high rates of violence, like assault and homocide, whether compared to national or international standards.

The reaction of Aboriginal leaders led to the self-motivated formation of an Aboriginal male Elders group in early 1991, which became known as the Four Corners Council and evolved into the controlling authority over the Social Behaviour Project. Between 1991 and early 1993, Memmott was commissioned by Tangentyere Council to plan and coordinate the project, in order to assist in eradicating general violence, alcohol-realted violence and other anti-social behaviour.

  • Complete
  • 1988 to 1993
Project Contacts
Partners & Funding Details
  • Tangentyere Council
    Funding Body: 
  • Tangentyere Council
  • Memmott, P. 1989 The Tangentyere Housing Stock Assessment: A Report for Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs, Part 1.
  • Memmott, P. 1989 The Tangentyere Housing Stock Assessment: Assessing Tangentyere's House Designs, Part 2.
  • "Social Planning Report for Akngwertnarra (Morris Soak) Town Camp, Alice Springs (with further notes on Anhelke [Namatjira's] Camp)." [Prepared for Tangentyere Council.] 1989
  • "Social Planning Report for Anthelke Ewlpaye (Charles Creek) Town Camp, Alice Springs (with reference to Lhenpe Artwne Camp)." [Prepared for Tangentyere Council.] 1990
  • "Report on Social Conditions of Aboriginal Campers in the Todd River and other Public Places in Alice Springs." [Prepared for Tangentyere Council.] 1990
  • "Mwere Anetyeke Mparntwele (Sitting Down Good in Alice Springs)." [Annual Report for Tangentyere Council's 1992 Social Behaviour Project.] 1993
  • "The Social Organisation of the Alice Springs Aboriginal Town Camps." ['Proof of Evidence' prepared for the Tangentyere Rate Case.] 1993