Supreme Court and Owl Spirits

The Supreme Court building in Darwin is situated near Parliament House and has a similar level of “presence” even though it’s not as ostentatious. From my point of view it’s not really somewhere to “hang out” for any reason unless your job takes you there, which luckily for me isn’t the case. At the moment it’s the scene of another revisiting of the enquiry into the death of Azaria Chamberlain all those years ago.

This nearby artwork by Koolpinyah Richard Barnes represents Chinute Chinute, “a Larrakiyah spirit ancestor who exists within the sacred site known as Stokes Hill adjacent to this walkway. This ancestor manifests itself from time to time as the Tawny Frogmouth (owl) and stands as sentinel to the Waterfront area“. Stokes Hill overlooks the harbour and waterfront, location of the Bombing of Darwin which was commemorated last week. However what struck me from a whitefella perspective about this artwork is that owls are a symbol for us of wisdom, and in my mind, with the law, so it’s doubly relevant that it stands near the Supreme Court car park and Stokes Hill.

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