Australian Aboriginal News & Current Affairs
The most up-to-date and relevant news stories regarding Aboriginal culture

Do you want to be the owner of this superb concert class Didj? Just answer our Questionnaire

Win a Concert Class Didj!

Visit The Didjshop - the largest and most extensive virtual didjeridu shop
Have a read of the comments left by vistors to the didjshop

Now to the story...

Indigenous leader cries while telling of petrol-sniffing horror

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on May 31st, 2002.

The coordinator of a women's council on traditional Aboriginal lands in South Australia's far north was in tears as she told a coroner's hearing of the problems associated with petrol sniffing.

An inquest is being held into the deaths of three young sniffers at Umuwa, on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands.

Maggie Cavanagh told the court it is very hard to be optimistic about the future on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands given the enormity of the petrol sniffing problem.

As coordinator of the MPY Women's Council, Ms Cavanagh told the coroner there was a very bleak outlook and most women on the land are very despondent about the problem.

She broke down and cried while telling the court that the fact young people die from petrol sniffing is one of Australia's greatest embarrassments and that incredibly, the general population has lost its horror at the deaths.

Ms Cavanagh angrily told the inquest there had been 30 years of neglect of the traditional lands in central Australia from all government departments, and many millions of dollars are needed immediately.

A senior police officer based in South Australia's far north has told the hearing that a recent operation on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands detected more than 300 cases of petrol sniffing in six weeks.

Senior Sergeant Peter Wilson said the program was designed to build a database of petrol sniffers on the traditional Aboriginal lands.

The inquest continues next week.



Return to The Didjshop's Aboriginal News Web Log

Links to other websites about Aboriginal Australia

Visit The Didjshop

Check out the world's coolest shop for didgeridoos

Click HERE to receive occasional email Newsletters from The Didjshop


The Didgeridoo Specialist - founder of