Occasional papers

The Occasional Papers Series has been published by the Northern Territory Library since 1986.

The series gives writers and researchers the opportunity to publish works which highlight significant or the more unknown aspects of Northern Territory history and social life.

Included in the series are papers presented by speakers chosen to deliver the Northern Territory Library's annual Eric Johnston Lecture.

Hard copies of Occasional Papers are available free of charge from the Northern Territory Library while stocks last.

Issue numberAuthorTitle and PDF link
66Bob BeadmanPoor fellow my country: Indigenous policy - 50 years of progress? (234.1 kb)
The twenty-seventh Eric Johnston Lecture, November 2013
65Mikey DewarWhat exactly is that great Territory lifestyle?
Lecture for the Northern Territory Library, August 2011
64Gary JohnsStatehood stalemate: a modest proposal
May 2011
63Diane GieseOne fabulous night only: entertaining the Territory
Leisure and pleasure - how Top End people from the 1950s and 60s pioneered today's thriving arts and entertainment scene, December 2009
62Clare MartinReflections on being in government 2001 to 2007 (164.4 kb)
The twenty-third Eric Johnston Lecture, 2009
61Tom CalmaA human rights agenda for the Northern Territory (60.8 kb)
The twenty-second Eric Johnston Lecture, 2008
60Austin AscheWhen we were South Australia (334.5 kb)
The twenty-first Eric Johnston Lecture, October 2007
59Judy NunnTerritory (81.3 kb)
The twentieth Eric Johnston Lecture, 2006
58Marilynne PaspaleyFinding the spirit of Darwin (54.7 kb)
The nineteenth Eric Johnston Lecture 2005
57Bill BunburyCyclone Tracy - an ill wind? (122.6 kb)
Listen to this lecture 
56Martin JarvisUnder the stars in tropical Vienna (347.3 kb)
The seventeenth Eric Johnston Lecture, 2003
55Terry UnderwoodNowhere to somewhere (86.3 kb)
The sixteenth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 2001
54John AnictomatisA home away from home - the Aegean to Australia (52.2 kb)
The fifteenth Eric Johnston Lecture, December 2000
53Bob CollinsLearning lessons - Indigenous education in the Northern Territory (26.9 kb)
The fourteenth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1999
52Ted EganMakarrta - Caledon Bay and Woodah Island Killings of 1932 to 1933
The thirteenth Eric Johnston Lecture, December 1998
51Goff LettsThe great banteng muster: the Cobourg Expeditions 1960 to 1963 (98.2 kb)
The twelfth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1997
50Mandawuy YunupinguNew love song for an old land:
Audio of Lecture Introduction 
Audio of Lecture part 1 
Audio of Lecture part 2
Audio of Lecture part 3 
Audio of Lecture part 4 
The eleventh Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1996
49Roslyn PoignantLost conversations, recovered archives (244.1 kb)
The tenth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1995
47Lyn RiddettWe had good meals, plenty of nice vegetables, plenty of fish, plenty of ducks and geese...: food and eating in outback Territory, 1900 to 1950 (137.1 kb)
46Miriam-Rose BaumannAboriginal Education 1994 (61.3 kb)
The ninth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1994
45Diana GieseAll the flavour of the times returns: using oral history to explore the Top End's heritage (2.2 mb)
44DJ MulvaneyThe search for Captain Collet Barker of Raffles Bay (1.1 mb)
A brief biographical look at Collet Barker, the Commandant of Fort Wellington, 1828 to 1829
The eighth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1993
43LFS BrowneJohn McKinlay and the Mary River mud (758.9 kb), 1993
Retraces the McKinlay Expedition of 1866
42Mickey DewarFrom the Little Black Princess to Biggles: representations of the Northern Territory in children's literature (1.1 mb), 1993
A look at the way the Northern Territory has been depicted in children's books.
41David Carment with Helen J Wilson and Barbara JamesThe father, brother, uncle, aunt and numerous other watchful relatives of the place: John George Knight and the Northern Territory (1.1 mb), 1993
The story of JG Knight and his unequalled contribution to the development of Palmerston (Darwin) in the 1890s
40A WellsBugs and bug collectors of the Northern Territory: entomology and entomologists in the Northern Territory (637.9 kb), 1993
The first history of Northern Territory entomology
39George BrownA planning history: Darwin Botanic Garden past, present and future - and planning, a new approach (739.5 kb), 1993
Two papers by the former head of the Darwin Botanic Garden and Lord Mayor of Darwin
38RW BraithwaiteGardening as environmentalism: a Top End perspective (1.6 mb), 1993
Gardening in Darwin and how you can do your bit towards saving the planet
37Vai StantonTalking for country: the land and its song, and The ties that bind Indigenous people around the world (781.0 kb), 1993
A member of the Kungarrakunj tribe in the Northern Territory's Top End, and a former Regional
Councillor of ATSIC, Vai Stanton speaks with quiet fervour and conviction of her ties to the land, and explains what her 'country' means to her. In the second paper she describes the similarities that exist between indigenous people in all parts of the world.
36John C HargraveThe best of both worlds: Aboriginal health then and now (1.5 mb)
The history of Aboriginal health, including general social and economic conditions, by a distinguished doctor who has served almost 40 years in the Territory.
The seventh Eric Johnson Lecture, November 1992
35Anne GardinerMelding of two spirits: from the 'Yiminga' of the Tiwi to the 'Yiminga' of Christianity (879.9 kb), 1993
A look at the way Christianity has been absorbed into the life and culture of the Tiwi islanders (Bathurst and Melville Islands).
34Peter DermoudyThe I123: a Japanese submarine wreck in Clarence Strait (499.2 kb), 1992
The sinking of the Japanese submarine I124 in Clarence Strait in 1942, and the futile attempts to salvage it.
33R EadieOffice of Ombudsman (418.9 kb), 1992
The Office of Ombudsman in the Northern Territory, by a former incumbent.
32Mickey Dewar'Snorters, fools and little'uns': sexual politics and Territory writing in the South Australian period (684.4 kb), 1992
The way history and current events, particularly those relating to women, are depicted in early Territory writing.
31Jeremy LongThe Go-Betweens: the Patrol Officer service in the Northern Territory (511.5 kb), 1992
A brief look at the early years of the Patrol Office service in the Northern Territory, up to 1946.
30JM ThomsonNorthern Territory fisheries (465.9 kb), 1992
A realistic look at the potential of the NT fisheries, in the perspective of the world's greatest fisheries.
29John KnightThe Northern Territory coast (808.4 kb), 1992
Outlines the history of exploration along the NT coast, and speaks of the problems and dangers of navigation in these waters.
28Paul HasluckPioneers of post-war recovery (928.7 kb)
Deals with the NT Administrators and senior public servants in the 1950s, the time when so many new policies were introduced, and the NT finally seemed to be moving out of its ninety year economic slumber.
The sixth Eric Johnston Lecture, November, 1991
27Frank FlynnRebuilding the beacon: Point Smith, Port Essington (1.2 mb), 1992
While describing the building of the 100-year-old beacon at Port Essington (or Victor settlement), Father Flynn looks at the historic settlement and its short history. 
26Dennis BarrittSome community problems from a court's perspective (574.3 kb), 1991
A former Alice Springs Stipendiary Magistrate speaks out on the cases which come before him. He speaks of the conditions which lead to such breaches of the law, and proposes some unconventional but thought-provoking remedies.
25RG KimberThe end of the bad old days: European settlement in Central Australia, 1871-1894 (1.7 mb). 1991.
How white 'civilisation' came to Central Australia, and what it meant to the Aboriginal inhabitants.
The fifth Eric Johnston Lecture, November 1991.
24HC CoombesAborigines and development in Northern Australia (43.8 kb) 1991.
The 'grand old man of Aboriginal Affairs', Dr Nugget Coombs, speaks of the effects economic and industrial / agricultural development has had on the country, and on the Aboriginal population.
23Lyn RiddettGrowing up in the pastoral frontier: conception, birth and childhood on cattle stations in the NT, 1920-1950 (112.8 kb)
Recreation and entertainment on Northern Territory pastoral stations, 1910-1950 (132.0 kb) 1991.
See also Paper 47 "We had good meals, plenty of nice vegetables, plenty of fish, plenty of ducks and geese..." : food and eating in outback Territory, 1900 - 1950 (137.1 kb)
22CM AthertonThe Northern Territory - South Australian white elephant / Commonwealth prize: perception and reality in the federation era (1.5 mb).
A fascinating study of the machinations and manoeuvring during the 20 years preceding the take-over of the Northern Territory by the Commonwealth in 1911.
21Graham NicholsonTen years of self-government: a constitutional perspective (686.9 kb). 1990
A history of constitutional development in the NT, with the emphasis on post 1978 events.
20Nan GieseThe Darwin Institute of Technology: a historical perspective. (215.5 kb) 1990.
A history of the Darwin Institute of Technology (now the Northern Territory University), which is also a history of higher education in the NT. By a former Chairperson of the Institute's Council, and the current Northern Territory University Chancellor.
19Alec Fong LimMemories of pre-war Northern Territory towns (1.8 mb). 1990.
Personal experiences of life in "frontier" towns in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. By a former Lord Mayor of Darwin.
18Peter ForrestThey of the Never Never (745.9 kb). 1990
A history of Elsey Station (the setting for 'We of the never never') and a look at the main characters associated with the station.
17AE WoodwardThree wigs and five hats (1.8 mb). 1990
An account of his many visits to the Territory, as Supreme Court Judge and as Chairman of numerous Royal Commissions, including the Land Rights Commission on which the NT Land Rights Act is based. The Fourth Eric Johnston Lecture, November, 1989.
16Harry GiesePlanning a program for Aborigines in the 1950s (616.9 kb). 1990
Planning and putting into effect the new policies in Aboriginal affairs in the NT during the Hasluck years.
14Eric RollsThe erratic communication between Australia and China (1.0 mb). 1990
13Elsie Bohning and Barbara James (comp)Elsie Bohning, the little bush maid (3.5 mb). 1990
A collection of letters written to the NT Times from 1921 to 1932. They describe life on an isolated cattle station in the NT.
12Ted EvansArnhem Land: a personal history (446.4 kb). 1990
A brief account by a former patrol officer of Arnhem Land and the Aborigines, concentrating on events after World War II. 
11Graeme BucknallPioneers of the old track: Oodnadatta - Alice Springs, 1870-1929 (1.3 mb). 1990. 
History of the old Oodnadatta - Alice Springs road, and of the settlements and pastoral stations along it.
10Ella StackAboriginal pharmacopoeia (1.5 mb). 1989
The story behind the last authentic native pharmacopoeia in the world, the Northern Territory government's bi-centennial project.
The third Eric Johnston Lecture, May 1988.
9Pearl OgdenKatherine's earlier days (718.7 kb). 1989
The history of Katherine told through the sale/lease of town allotments.
8CMH ClarkWriting a history of Australia (805.4 kb). 1989
The pitfalls of attempting to write an unbiased history of Australia, and a plea for racial harmony.
The second Eric Johnston Lecture, July 1987.
7Jack DoolanThe founding of Maningrida. 1989
The story of the original founding of the Arnhem Land Aboriginal settlement at Maningrida in 1949.
6D Sansome (comp)Xavier Herbert: a bibliography (6.1 mb). 1988
5Eric JohnstonOperation navy help: disaster operations by the Royal Australian Navy post Cyclone Tracy (1.5 mb). 1987.
The first Eric Johnston Lecture, July 1986.
4Mike FoleyPoint Charles lighthouse; and, The military occupation of Cox Peninsula (1.2 mb). 1987.
The building and the subsequent history of Point Charles Lighthouse on Cox Peninsula, and the history of the region during World War 2.
3Charles See-KeeChinese contribution to early Darwin. 1987. 
Looks at the Chinese influence in the Northern Territory.
2JP O'LoughlinThe history of the Catholic Church in the Northern Territory. 1986. 
By the late Bishop of the Northern Territory.
1Alan PowellJohn Stokes and the men of the Beagle - discoverers of Port Darwin. 1986
A brief look at the major figures on board the Beagle during her 1839 North Australian survey voyage, when Port Darwin was discovered and named.

Last updated: 19 January 2018