Mike Last’s connection with Anangu stretches back more than 40 years to his arrival in Pukatja in June 1968.
In this extended interview, Mike explains how he came to take up a role with the Ernabella Mission’s sheep industry and how the design of that industry suited Anangu workers.
He also recalls the way he went about learning to speak Pitjantjatjara and the steps he took to deepen his understanding of ‘Anangu way’.
Mike goes on to explains how – in the wake of the 1967 referendum – the management and funding of remote Aboriginal communities dramatically changed. In time, this led to the formation of Anangu community councils and the emergence of appropriate, authentic community governance.
This interview covers the period up to the formation of the Pitjantjatjara Council in July 1976. The Paper Tracker is planning to record a second interview with Mike in early 2014 focused on the period 1976 to 1991.