CRIME: Thirty minutes of mayhem - four men are shot dead at four separate spots on a mild Darwin evening. June 4, 2019, is forever marked as the date of the Northern Territory's worst mass shooting. The gunman starts at the Palms Motel where he shoots dead taxi driver and PhD student Hassan Baydoun, 33, who's just home for a meal break, and badly injures a young woman. Next are Nigel Hellings, 75, at his home, Michael Sisois, 57, in a pub car park, and Robert Courtney, 52, also at home. Darwin local Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann, 45, is before the courts and is expected to plead not guilty to four counts of murder.
ULURU: The last climbers on Uluru come down on October 25, to indigenous traditional owners celebrating their long-sought climbing ban. Politicians make speeches while rock stars Peter Garrett, Martin Rotsey and Shane Howard supply the music at the monolith held sacred by the Anangu people. The landmark decision to close the climb was made two years earlier, sparking a rush of tourists to Uluru and a rash of trespassing, illegal camping and littering. The guide chain, built in 1964, is permanently removed and hopes are high that tourists will continue to be awed by the red rock - without the need to climb it.
COURTS: The fatal police shooting of indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker in a remote Northern Territory community sparks protests around the country. The 19-year-old's death during police attempts to arrest him at his Yuendumu home, 300km from Alice Springs, on November 9 becomes a flashpoint for long-held anger over police treatment of Aboriginal people. Days later, Constable Zachary Rolfe, who was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting, is arrested and charged with murder. The move angers rank-and-file officers who work with Constable Rolfe, an army veteran and winner of a bravery medal for saving the lives of two tourists. No police officer has ever been convicted over the death of an Aboriginal person in custody.
Australian Associated Press