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Beyond the ‘gold standard’ cliches, inside the Howard Springs quarantine facility I find shelter | Chips Mackinolty

The traditional owners of Darwin named the quarantine facility Manigurr-ma, or ‘stringybark’. In times past and now, Manigurr-ma provides refuge

When Japanese oil and gas giant Inpex built workers’ accommodation back in 2012 at Howard Springs, just south of Darwin, it housed up to 3,500 mostly fly-in, fly-out workers during the major construction stage of the Inpex plant, and cost around $600m to build. After that, it was handed off to the Northern Territory government in 2019.

The Larrakia traditional owners of Darwin named the workers’ village Manigurr-ma – the word for stringybark, or eucalyptus tetrodonta. An appropriate word for its purpose. Harvested during and shortly after the wet seasons, Manigurr-ma is cut and split down as a single piece, the bark is stripped, and the sheet flattened over a low fire. These days those sheets can be used for bark paintings for sale. In times past, large sheets would be used to build protective shades: refuges from sun, wind and rain.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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