Making your way around the big cities of the world can be a daunting prospect for most. In Aus’ however it is somewhat easier… after all we don’t have so many of these ‘bigger cities’ despite having one of the biggest cities in the world, in terms of area, when it comes to Brisbane.
Australia really only has a handful of places that can truly be termed as a ‘big city’ to contend with. We have one capital city per State or Territory, which is the ‘major’ city. Then there is Canberra, which is also recognized as the territory of the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). It is where we planted the politicians firmly in the middle of nowhere, half way between Sydney and Melbourne, and we had a lot of trouble even agreeing on that believe me.
Have you ever been making your way through the bush and suddenly had the sense that you are being watched? There is something out there… something unknown… the break of a twig underfoot… someone else’s foot? Yet there is no one there. Do all your instincts scream that you are not alone? Well in Aus’ you usually aren’t.
No… it’s not always the drop-bears, nor the other forest animals. What it is likely to be watching you as you walk through the bush is the little forest spirits known as the Jongorrie. Well known by the tribal people who lived in our bush and forests for tens of thousands of years, the Jongorrie is a rapacious little bugger of indiscriminate appetites. Known to steal food most commonly, he is also not above a few other less desirable habits.
We have been spending time in and around what is said to be one of the most haunted towns in Australia, Picton. I’m not sure about the town’s reputation, one that dwells in murder, mishap and mystery as I can think of a few other contenders for the ‘haunted’ category but I do love to delve into these things. Continue reading →
We’re in Sydney once more, on our annual (or bi-) migration, having just completed the fun loop from Sydney through to Canberra, on to Melbourne and back and in comparing the big three there can be found a lot of entertainment.
Australian Aboriginal Lore is the most ancient continuous Lore known in the world of man. It has been practiced and has evolved in one continuous evolutionary stream over some 50,000 – 60,000 years of the known history of man. This was on one vast secluded continent of the earth, the largest island on our globe. These clans and tribes of ancient Aus’ moved around within their ‘Country’ following their marriage and trade Lore, this, which governed their lives and practices. This Lore had evolved within boundaries and continuous practices, found in ceremonies developed over countless eons of time.
In a landscape that sits quiet and still within the vastness of a singular horizon, when you come across such a striking natural feature as the Devils Marbles it is no wonder that the old Aboriginal tribal people as well as Aussies today, found much to be amazed with. In the Central desert and vast savannah country of the Northern Territory in the red heart of Australia, you find a truly wonderful landscape. The photo is deceptive… there a hundreds if not thousands of these clusters of marbles scattered within the bowl of their creation.
The ancient Lore of the Kadaitcha, or Featherfoot is a Lore lost in time. I first began writing fictional tales about this ancient Australian Aboriginal Lore some years ago now, mostly for the young adults seeking something of their own in Australia. Yet still, after four novels and the framework the new series, I find not only is historical reality a rich resource for a fiction entwined in the facts, but that there is so much more yet to be told of this ancient world.
That these tales went on to become a series dealing with the growth of the Kadaitcha man within his culture and within the mainstream Australian culture, was as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers.
History is a wonderful thing, it provides us with a frame of reference, a background and tales of the past, ours. It is our greatest shame that our children are not taught Australian history in our schools and are instead taught mostly English maritime history.
Australian history or the deeds and challenges of the past are epic, from the trials of the native Australians to the building of our nation, including both the good, the bad and the downright distasteful.
The history of freecamping in Australia begins back to the very first days of the young colony. When Governor Phillip chose a spot to set up camp on what was Aboriginal land, he gave birth to the nations first Freecamp. The Legality of his Freecamp is still being debated in some quarters but the argument has been lost in time and the nations history. However his right to freecamp was never revoked… until most recently by some municipal Councils.
One of the few institutions of the colonial era that did address a social problem prevalent of the day was Point Puer, at Port Arthur Penal Prison. Young boys and men were seen to be in an insidious position when they arrived into the colony as convicts. Some as young as 9yrs old were exposed to the worst of social constructs, abuse and ill-use as convicts, this particularly in the penal settlement of Hobart Town where the majority of convicts were first sent. This problem of unassigned boys and how to deal with them was considerable .
Unlike the young girls who were quickly assigned for reasons addressed previously, as well as being placed into service as domestic servants, the boys were unwelcome and viewed as a drain on the penal system and so Point Puer was developed. It was no holiday for the young boys and young men but it was a improved arrangement which often gave them skills and training they badly needed. Some of these skills were of course questionable as can be seen in the wake of the bushranging era of the mid-late colonial era… many of these bushrangers were early inmates of Point Puer.