Friday, July 31, 2015

Plea to the King to allow Aboriginal kids go to school

One of the most powerful historical documents I've found originated from the aunty of a mate of mine. Written in 1926 it is an impassioned plea to the King of England to allow Aboriginal and half-caste children permission to attend the Batemans Bay Public School.

Interestingly the letter was officially unacknowledged. Best left for your own interpretation.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Frying Pan's Theology

Frying Pan's Theology

Scene: On Monaro.
Dramatis Personae:
Shock headed blackfellow,
Boy (on a pony).
Snowflakes are falling
So gentle and slow,
Youngster says, 'Frying Pan,
What makes it snow?'
Frying Pan confident
Makes the reply--
'Skake 'im big flourbag
Up in the sky!'
'What if there's miles of it!
Surely that's brag.
Who is there strong enough
Shake such a bag?'
'What parson tellin' you,
Ole Mister Dodd,
Tell you in Sunday-school?
Big feller God!
He drive 'im bullock dray,
Then thunder go,
He shake 'im flour bag--
Tumble down snow!'

Banjo Patterson

Think about that... I had decided to finish with this blog because I had exhausted the historical research the blog was started to accomplish. A recent reading of a 19th century Australian poem has reignited a desire to publish a few thoughts on,  amongst other things, some indigenous themes in relation to the truthful but largely ignored history of European Invasion.

I have a few themes that seem to haunt me and deserve airing I think. This blog regardless of me stopping posting, after 5 years, still recieves thousands of visitors a month and is a platform for some expression I shouldn't ignore.

So Dave's back just there wont be much ACT. Hopefully I'll help, at least, start a conversation.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Honest History piece

I was asked to write something for the excellent website Honest History.

It's my thoughts on the forgotten wars of colonial expansion between European settlers and the First People's of Australia.

Reconciliation please but don't mention the war.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Housing development west of the Murrumbidgee

Moves to begin housing development west of the Murrumbidgee River seem to be travelling quite quickly.

I've always thought eventually the properties there would be resumed when the population warranted and the North and South filled.

NCA to report on urban development west of Tuggeranong.

Commonwealth agrees to relinquish planning control from National Capital Authority in Canberra.

Housing west of Tuggeranong likely in the long term, says ACT boss Andrew Bar.

Interestingly my family moved into the brand new Woden Valley suburb of Pearce in 1966. I watched the expanse of Tuggeranong develop and now suspect in a decade to watch the development across the Bidgee. However gauging from my Twitter friends not all are happy with these developments.

The population isn't getting smaller. The debate will be interesting.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Restoring an Eco-system

An ambitious project has been launched at Scottsdale Reserve which is about 4 kms from Bredbo South of Canberra. Established by an organisation Bush Heritage Australia it's one of the most worthwhile projects I've heard of in a long time.

Ten-year plan to combat Australia's extinction crisis launched south of Canberra.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Defining the Nation

Something that's been irking me. I'm afraid I'm getting a bit ANZACed out. The notion that the failed Galipoli Campaign defined the Nation, that 8 months, 2 weeks & 1 day trumps every other Australian historical experience is almost jingoistic.

I'm going to be blunt. What defined us before Gallipoli and indeed before federation was the 112 year frontier war enforcing Terra nullius with muskets, poison and massacres. You can add the historical timeline of colonial expansion that grew to make Australia a pastoral powerhouse, add convict labour and the gold rushes but what brought us to federation was riding on the sheep's back & the White Australia policy.

Federation defined us as a nation. Gallipoli was an Australian action of war 15 years later which, although deserving observation, by venerating it as Nation Defining denies a tapestry of history, both glorious and brutal, that produced the men that stormed the peninsula beaches.

It's almost as if Gallipoli washed away exploration, expansion and the war against the original People's. I've heard squeaks for the Australian War Memorial to acknowledge the frontier wars but I don't actually agree with this.

I see as far more appropriate a dedicated place be created. A place of learning and history forming a memorial, museum and cultural repository for the Nation.

One of the documented corroboree grounds in Canberra by chance still exists despite the filling of Lake Burley Griffin. Today it is a peninsula of Black Mountain (originally Black's Mountain) and is adopted today as a recreational park.

I've long thought a memorial was necessary but when I heard of the dire state of saving old indigenous films and recordings through lack of funding and facilities in a race against time I understood the need for a national institution.

So when we have finished commemorating every centennial battle anniversary of World War One till 2018 perhaps people could throw the equivalent of the centennial celebrations costs toward something just as representative of defining the nation. Perhaps the politically incorrect gargoyles at the War Memorial, seemingly unwanted amongst the flora and fauna, could be an exhibit in my proposed Indigenous memorial/museum/repository. 'On your left.. aboriginal representation circa 1940's Australia."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Simply Doves 2015

It's been pretty quiet apart from Federal politics so A blatant plug for my Daughter's Dove Release business.

The Doves annual moult is finishing up so I have been informed that bookings will be available post 15/3/15. This is a growing Canberra business that becomes more popular the more it gets known.

I like birds but what the girls do with their birds at functions and celebrations is pretty stunning.

Simply Doves Website

Or their Facebook Page

Simply Doves Canberra