Weekly Scorecard

It’s been a busy week for both of us.

Gadget went to Katherine for a leadership course. In preparation for the course, he did a Myers-Briggs personality test and then the consultants running the course added their own additional test questions and personality categories to expand on Myers-Briggs. The result: Gary is a Thruster-Organiser. When he told me, I laughed. And so did everyone else.

A ThrusterOrganiser of sounds like someone you’d either findworking in a brothel or for NASA. You can just imagine what fun a bunch of male rangers would have had with the term Thruster-Organiser. Surely there was a better word than ‘thruster’ that could have been used! Gary, I suspect, quite likes being able to refer to himself as as thruster. I guess it’s a bloke thing.

At any rate, he drove to and from Katherine (1100km each way with 3 other rangers = lots of sick jokes and farting, I believe) between Monday and Thursday this week. Then on Friday he had to go out to Ormiston to move some of his belongings in to town – another 260 km. So he is a tired boy. On Monday he takes up residence in the Tom Hare Building (the place I have just vacated) to begin his new position as Chief District Ranger of Watarrka National Park. I guess there will be a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing to Watarrka for us over the next few months. I will have to see if I can do some work down there once we come back from Bali in April. But I hope the West Macs mob are still going to invite us to their wonderful social gatherings. Hint. Hint.

For myself, I found the first week back at AAPA strangely comfortable and empowering. It is a buzz walking into a place and knowing deep in your core that you can do the job, do it well and instantly connect with your creativity to do it even better. I feel a lot better and happier this week than I have felt in ages. I suspect it won’t last, so I guess I’ll enjoy this while it’s here. I know I’m probably harping, but it’s been like coming home. I wasn’t expecting it to be so renewing.

I spent a couple of days organising my new (old) office, trying to get the computer applications going, remembering how to use the database and Mapinfo, and then went out and organised some consultations at Harts Range. There’s so much work to do – so many interesting places to go and loads of mining exploration applications. Next week, I’ll be going up to Harts Range overnight for a site clearance.

This morning I’ve downloaded Cybertracker software for the PDA. Cybertracker is a database/GPS program that allows you to swiftly collect georeferenced data in the field on your PDA. The scientists at PWS use it for fauna & flora surveys and veg mapping. I am going to adapt it to use for applied anthropological fieldwork. I guess I will have to sit down and design a database over the next week or so from the list of landscape items that comprise sacred sites in the NT, and trial it in the field. Anyway, I have some work coming up in the West Macs, Papunya and Kintore (never been up there before), and possibly Nyirrpe in which I can test it out on. I am hoping I get the Nyirrpe certificate so I can visit Newhaven, a private conservation area co-managed by Birds Australia and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. In using Cybertracker, my plan is to design a trial birding database using Central Australian species lists that I already have along with silhouette icons and other graphics. Once I’ve done my learning on the birding database, I’ll do the sites version.

I know, I know … what a geek I can hear people saying.

But it’s fun.

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