READING

Letter from Luke – June

Letter from Luke – June

The mercury has dipped below twenty degrees for the first time this year. Darwin and Palmerston’s outdoor markets are back in full swing and another fabulous Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival has come and gone. The dragonflies have arrived and the dry season has begun.
Dry season is festival season. As always there is a jam-packed calendar of events over the next couple of months, leading up to the fantastic Darwin Festival in early August, when Civic Square comes alive with food, music and performance from all around the world.
We had our entrée to the main festival season during May, with the Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival. I really enjoyed getting along to this event which seems to get bigger and better every year.
I love the way that people in Darwin and Palmerston support these great community events and are willing to get up and have a go themselves. The kids from the primary schools who participated in the dance groups and the choirs were terrific – as were the mums and dads who organised the kids’ costumes and drove them around.
Speaking of community participation, last month folk didn’t have to be hounded to participate in Million Paws Walk. The event is organised by everyone’s pet charity – the RSPCA. My dad’s been a guide dog trainer for 47 years and counting, so I think being a dog lover runs in the Gosling genes!
The weekend of 9-10 June will see the 30th anniversary of Greek Glenti. The Greek community in this town knows how to have a party – and they are kind enough to invite everyone else along. Glenti is all about culture, food and fun. The Esplanade truly becomes a foodie’s delight, with barbequed octopus, yiros and honey puffs just a few of the treats on offer.
On the topic of good tucker, Malak Marketplace is back in full swing every Saturday this Dry from 4pm onwards. The open air markets are a one stop shop for locally grown organic produce, quality street food and live entertainment.
June is also the month the V8’s roll into town to do battle at Hidden Valley raceway. The 15 – 17th of June will see three days of highpowered motor racing, along with performances from Jet, The Rubens, Bliss N Eso and more.
On the political front, the NT still has to battle hard to get a fair go from Canberra. Once again, the Northern Territory was completely overlooked in the Federal Budget. There was not one red cent for the Darwin City Deal that we’ve heard so much about. Royal Darwin Hospital and Charles Darwin University were both savaged and the NT schools budget was cut.
There are 226 representatives in the federal parliament and only four of them are from the Northern Territory. On the other hand, Tassie – with just over twice our population – has four times as many representatives in Canberra. I’m not sure that’s entirely fair, but its not going to stop me from getting in there and fighting the good fight on behalf of Territorians. In my role as a Men’s Health Ambassador I want to remind people that National Men’s Health Week begins on 11 June. The theme this year is ”Men and Families, Making Healthy Connections” – and it’s a great chance to become more aware of some important men’s health issues.
As I write, the Donghai Airlines direct flights from Darwin to China are just about to commence, which is incredibly exciting development for our tourist industry. Our very welcome Chinese visitors will be able to experience the incredible natural wonders of the Territory and enjoy some tropical hospitality. Top-Enders – for once – will be able to take advantage of some bargain-priced air tickets, and the amazing opportunity to visit Shenzhen as a gateway to China.
See you next month.
Cheers, Luke


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