Tag Archives: family

War?

How do you prepare for War?

During the recess of WW1 and WW2, could the German Jewish war veterans that fought for the German Army, have imagined that a new war was coming, that would destroy them, if it could. In those day’s Europe folded, now they follow the piper. These are new days.

In the second war, some unlikely alliances rose to survive; England, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the Old Commonwealth; then the Americans came to fight. As these quarters rested, new wars brewed and we often wonder, who lit the match. The Asian wars, the African wars and the Middle East. Nation against nation. Weapons, Hired Guns and Slaves are a thriving enterprise and someone is making a profit.

Refugees; homeless, all full of anxiety, rock in the ocean and await angry shores for a smile, a wave and a welcome new home. Could it be you, will it be you?

How do you prepare for war? Who are our friends, who is a spy? If the bully fails, are we safer or worse off? Do our blind guides know where they are going?

Will the garden idols save us? Who are the hired hands fighting for? Don’t lose your head, stay calm; why should we care?

How do you prepare for war? Will your house survive? Where will you hide? What will you wear? Can you make a fire, or plant a garden when the fuel and food are gone. Who will you pray too, when the bombs fall? Ask a refugee and ask how they survived a war.

 

Escher X Nendo

Between two worlds

With the St Kilda Festival scheduled on a Sunny Sunday, I set off in the opposite direction of the beach and into town to the Art Gallery, hoping that the festival would draw crowds away from the Escher exhibition. What I wasn’t expecting was a Metro meltdown.

No buses, no trains and no trams! The 246 bus decided to by-pass my area, in an effort to avoid picking up or dropping people off to the bayside shuffle. The trains were off, due to track work and the trams had a ‘disruption’. The lone carrier was the notorious ‘Replacement Bus’ that answers to no schedule.

Boarding the bus required tactful manoeuvring as the commuters jostled for a seat and standing room, the less skilful were left behind. Just as the ‘Replacement Bus’ has no timetable it also has no set route and maundered it’s way through the inner suburban neighbourhood, like a scenic tour.

I passed places where I used to live and Cafes I once frequented and what began as a commute had become a journey, instead of taking 45 minutes to reach my destination, I arrived at the Gallery, after 2 hours. The girl at the ticket desk, attempted to talk me out of buying a ticket, as only an hour of viewing remained. My restraint was thinning.

Despite being rushed through the exhibition by enthusiastic guards saying;

“30 minutes to go and 6 more rooms!”

“20 minutes to go and 4 more rooms!”

“10 minutes to go and 2 more rooms!!”

The one prediction in my favour was that it was not crowded.

The exhibition soothed my fatigue and quickened the light of inspiration that thrives beneath the surface of mediocacy. Escher is a Master printmaker, designer, artist and architect; it is of no surprise that his father was an engineer. The exhibition weaves through the development of his style and skill, which is illustrated within landscapes and town streets, that journal his travels through Europe

The exhibition combines the Art Star with the works Nendo that compliment the show, with ambient structures and light shows. Like an Escher’s design; the art patron is led through props and floor space that dupes the eye and challenges those that are prone to vertigo. The layout of the show combines the physical and visual journey, it incorporates the optical illusion within the simple building blocks of drama. Beautiful work and a brilliantly curated.

by A. Forward

Until April 7 2019

 

Spring Snow

The Victorian Snow Fields experienced a long season with full coverage to delight skiers that could enjoy skiing in fine weather.

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The lure of fun on the slopes draws Melbournians out of the urban web and into the quiet melancholy of a country morn. Off to Buller for three glorious days.

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‘Another crystal clear and sparkling day here on the mountain.  It will climb to 9 degrees today so will feel delicious in the sunshine.  SPF your nose, get out early for the crunchy snow and enjoy a mild Spring day’

Snow borders spend more times on their behinds than those that prefer the dual drive, however the competent make it look easy and provide entertainment for those moments between chair-lifts.

Mount Buller is Melbourne’s closest mountain and locals claim that this is the best season they have had since 1986. The easy access encourages families but I would not recommend it as a learners destination due to its steep drops, the green runs turn into blue runs and spill into black runs. No matter how green you are, you will find yourself on an advanced run to make your way to a lift, back up the mountain. The ‘Family Run’ is a blue run with sharp black drops. If you suffer from vertigo head off to the Burnt Hut or the Mercedes Run but for those that love a black run with speed and tight turns this is your mountain.

Most Ski parents have no comprehension of danger and some take their kids to the Summit. The offspring of snow mums learn to ski when they can walk, or as one mum explained, “when they are out of nappies”. Toddlers and children follow their Ski teachers like ducklings.

The major flaw of this field is the disconnect between sections of the mountain that involve a trek that makes it more difficult for the snowboarders. There are sections where a T-Bar would be a convenient link. For time-out the Mercedes Hut offers a lounge, fresh water, chill out music and phone charges and there are also cafes and bars for a break, or a glass of wine on the home run.

 

The Buller advantage is the 300 hectares of coverage and 22 lifts to take you there.


	

Bombing the Environment causes Climate Change

Since 1945 there have been 2056 known nuclear test explosions around the Earth, including Australia. Most of the tests have taken place on Aboriginal peoples land and small islands in the pacific. Whist it appears that “Climate Change’ is a central topic of motivation for a range of strategic outcomes, no plan can be complete without assessing extreme damage of nuclear blasts. Responsible steps toward disarmament, regardless of being unlikely, is the only rational option.

Dropping bombs has caused devastating havoc on our people, our land, the oceans and fault lines. We can’t take back time but we can consider that the impact is greater than anyone is willing to predict.  Every bomb that hits the ocean kills marine life and pollutes our shores.

As early as ‘ March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed “Castle Bravo,” the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area‘      Ocean.Si.edu

Ceduna, known as the Cancer Capital of Australia had nuclear dust blown in from the Emu Fields where 600 bombs were dropped in the 1950’s.

“It was in the morning, around seven. I was just playing with the other kids. That’s when the bomb went off. I remember the noise, it was a strange noise, not loud, not like anything I’d ever heard before. The earth shook at the same time; we could feel the whole place move. We didn’t see anything, though. Us kids had no idea what it was. I just kept playing. It wasn’t long after that a black smoke came through. A strange black smoke, it was shiny and oily. A few hours later we all got crook, every one of us. We were all vomiting; we had diarrhoea, skin rashes and sore eyes. I had really sore eyes. They were so sore I couldn’t open them for two or three weeks. Some of the older people, they died. They were too weak to survive all of the sickness. The closest clinic was 400 miles away.”       Sami Lester iCAN website

Soil contamination and biological effects creates a legacy of devastation for the generations that follow the original victims. Space has also been a nuclear bomb playground. Every time a missile is fired on our Earth, a criminal act has taken place.

 

Type into Google, the reasons for Global Warming and these are some of the answers offered.

‘Burning Fossil Fuel, De-Forrestation & Farming’ WWF

‘The Sun is to blame’ NASA

Humans’ Union of concerned Scientists

 

Plundered & Broken

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The tale of Aboriginal plunder is a never-ending ballad that sings in the winds of this great country, a land that Elea (Albert) Namatjira painted so lovingly in watercolour. Namatjira’s world-renowned artistic status may have provided him with a thin shield against racism but it was easily shattered, even his greatness, wealth and innocence could not protect him from incarceration.

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Namatjira surrounded by family as he painted

The legend begins when Artist , Rex Battarbee took a painting trip into the Outback, after returning from the devastation of War in the 1930’s. He met Namatjira and it was through their collaboration that the 30-year-old Aranda man learnt to paint and exhibit. They went onto become lifetime friends, able to see pass the bigotry of the day.

International success took this humble man to great worldly heights, he was awarded the Coronation Medal and was the toast of the town. His exhibitions sold out shortly after they opened and most kitchens had one of his reproductions on a calendar or tea towel.

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Before the 1967 Referendum, Australian Aboriginals where denied Human Constitutional Rights and were categorised as part of the wildlife or wards of the state. They were denied most basic human rights and in an insipid twist of irony could not own their land as it had been acquired by the Commonwealth.

Namatjira’s unprecedented rise on the world stage would require him to have a passport and his growing wealth attracted taxes, thus him and his wife Robina were given Australian citizenship  in 1957, enabling him to buy a house in Morris Soak .

Unfortunately his children were not granted citizenship and were regarded as ‘Wards of the State’ as all Aboriginal people were. They did not have the right to choose their marriage partner, be legally responsible for their own children,to change location or socialise with non-aboriginals. It also meant that when the Great Artist and his wife died the Legal Will that aimed to financially protect their children was made void as his children belonged to the state. Their financial copyright royalties were ‘acquired’ by the state and sold on.

The Namatjira Project  began as an objective to buy back the royalties (which will expire shortly) but has become a legal investigation.

The most moving part of the film is when Namatjira’s  homeless grandson gives his artwork to the Queen in her palace and walks away empty-handed. The documentary is a thoughtful journey, full of beautiful archives and an artistic vision, they tip toe over a mine field but I think they have let off a bomb.

*Due to the humane efforts of The Namatjira Project, the Royalties have been returned.

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Another victory in justice for the family

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The Namatjira Family continue the water-colour tradition as their cultural inheritance.

A Message from the Family

It is a with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that our dear friend and watercolour artist of true talent, Kumantjai K Namatjira has passed away. On Saturday afternoon 3rd November in Alice Springs Hospital, he bid farewell, surrounded by family. One year after his cousin, Kumantjai L Namatjira, and 5 years after meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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by April Forward

THE NAMATJIRA PROJECT

DIRECTOR & CINEMATOGRAPHER Sera Davies

PRODUCER

Sophia Marinos

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Julia Overton

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS (CULTURAL)
Lenie Namatjira
Gloria Pannka

Annie Goldson, ‘Everywhere and Anywhere’

Acclaimed New Zealand Documentary Director, Annie Goldson was in Melbourne to launch her new (secret project) film. Goldson has a strong formidable countenance and she needs it, many of her subjects are capable of murder or the victims of the culpable hand. She needs to know when to back off.

ACMI hosted the Australian International Documentary Conference, which brought in talent from all over the globe. Goldson was doing a spot of shopping when we caught up.

“Its nice to have some time off and be wandering around Melbourne” Goldson

Goldson began her career as a Journalist and has ‘inched her way’ into filmmaking. She tackles the hard facts behind the news stream and goes into the bog, looking for the truth. As a political observer she finds her stories ‘everywhere’, she is curious and like Alice in a complex Wonderland, has to adapt quickly. We may wonder why the terrorists are so irate, she takes her team and her camera and asks them. She is a historians torch into the unknown.

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He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghanistan war that lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined. ‘Did we stay to long?’ the film asks. Can lessons be learned to prevent such long-term engagements for the sake of alliance.

Brother Number One was a challenging work as it was necessary to create a present from the past events of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot. New Zealander Ron Hamill, the films source, explains how his carefree adventurous brother Kerry ,sailed into a nightmare.

“An innocent man brought to his knees and killed in the prime of his life” Ron Hamill

Goldson records Hamill’s emotional pain as he addresses the torture and death of his sibling at the War Crimes Tribunal.

The mass Genocide that murdered 2,000,000  ( a 1/4 of the population) was led by a ‘charismatic and smiling’ leader Pol Pot who was indifferent to the torture of babies. In 1975. He led the Kamor Rouge into Nu Pen and in 72 hours he had cleared the city of its inhabitants and sent them to work in labour camps, to grow rice that he would export as the population died of hunger, overwork or beating.

“Documentaries are always a challenge.” Goldson

Her films are intense political dramas that set the stage and cast its light into the ‘heart of darkness.’ Her other well-known films that she Directed are; Punitive Damage and An Island Calling 

by April Forward

All photo’s courtesy of Annie Goldson film extracts.

The play that created a storm

‘It’s foul weather in us all, good soul’

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Melbourne Sky

Ironically, it is a storm that opens the tale of The Tempest, but here on the banks of the Maribyrnong River it is a brewing storm that ends it. Melbourne’s fickle weather has once again cast its cold spell on an outdoor event. It has ‘undid’, subverted and prevented the ambition of this ‘goodly’ play. The stunning performance that was on Friday and Saturday was ‘naught’ on Sunday.

What could have been is; Prospero, performed by Brendon Ewing, dark with revenge and drawing his past into the currents of his macabre island home, seeking familiar company with unkindly aims, that give way to kindness sway. This tale untold, due to weather, it had to fold, so the cast did the next best thing, they sang.

 

Sly Rat Theatre Co.’s artistic directors Alan Chambers and Andy Harmsen have created a unique vision for The Tempest, inspired by science-fiction classics. The Pipework’s Natural Museum is a beautiful outdoor space, rich in atmosphere and a perfect setting for a summer picnic, weather permitting.

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“It’s a Rock and Roll version of Shakespeare, it’s very loud and very big” Director Andy Harmsen

Within the warm hub of the group, a buzz with laughter, singing and the smell of burnt sausage, it is easy to forget that the cancellation of a show could be disappointing, they are taking it so well. It’s a chance to catch up with some of the actors and chat about their role’s, the few that aren’t belting out a tune.

First up is Todd Levi

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“We like to push the boundaries but still tell a great story.. it’s Shakespeare, how he would like it done today…Its bawdy, its real and it is entertainment first and foremost. Prospero has been marooned on a magical island, betrayed by his sister and he’s been there for 12 years. He spies the evildoers sailing by and raises a tempest, a storm that shipwrecks them on the island where he prepares to take his revenge. It’s the search for redemption the final words of the play are; ‘As you from crimes would pardon’d be, let you indulgence set me free’

What made you choose this venue? MP

 “It’s a magical place, it’s a place where the community comes and we played here last year to over 2000 people … most of them had not seen live theatre before, let alone Shakespeare, and playing to an audience like that and seeing them fall in love with it”

Did you factor in the weather? MP

“You don’t expect to have nine shows of good weather every-time, hopefully this is our one and only cancellation.”

Next up is Tara Hauton 

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“Steph and I play the clowns, technically it’s the Court Jester but Andy and Alan have re-invented it to be two women who have been to the races all day long and have arrived at the play. We exist outside the world of the play and that’s where the comedy of the role happens…we are very drunk.

and Ty Holdsworth

 

It’s a play about weather, most Melbournians can relate to that.

 

 

Pipework’s Natural Museum Park on the banks of the Maribrynong River

 

 

by April Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tamworth Star

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Australia is a large country and each year Tamworth becomes the heartbeat of the Country Music scene. 2016 ARIA winner, Sara Storer took the Female Artist of the Year award and her composistion ‘Amazing Night’ won the ‘Best Bush Ballad’ honor at the festival.

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“Sara has a unique way of seeing and expressing her observations of love and life in the bush. So she is a songwriter that will be remembered beyond her lifetime.”

John Williamson

This is quite an acclaim, coming from one of Australia’s Country Music Giants.

Storer’s craft is spun from her personal experiences and local insights. She has a 4am routine to keep ahead of the busy demands of her large family. Her local accent, the unique twang of our region is apparent in her work as she sings about the Australian life.

‘I could sit here all night, fall asleep in this chair.The fire beside me keeps the Dingos away.And its sure nice to be with you around this burning red gum, that’s what a campfire does, it takes my worries away’ (Lyrics from Amazing Night)

At the heart of every urban dweller is the distinct belief that ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is the countries informal National Anthem and this is a paradox of the Nations identity. There is a little bit of ‘country’ in all of us.

Storer is currently on tour promoting her new album Silos.

 

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The contemporary Australian family

Demographic information allows us to predict future trends so that town development, infrastructure and social needs are available for the next generation. It is also a fascinating peep behind the closed doors of our neighbourhood. Some of the results are surprising, for instance, if both of your parents are from an Anglo Australian background you are 80% more likely to marry into a different ethnic group.

imageAuthors of the text, Family Formation in 21st Century Australia, discuss changes that are taking place within the family format. They a Demographers and Sociologists attempting to interpret this complicated data through statistics. Ten Social Scientists explore separate themes and patterns that emerge from their research. The Editor Dr. Genevieve Heard and three of the authors Dr. Lindon Walker, Dr. Deb Demsey and Dr Kim Johnson talk to a small gathering of colleagues.

“This book tells the story of both continuity and change, it shows that Australians exercise considerable freedom of choice when it comes to forging pathways into creating families, but also that the tradition remains popular” Dr Heard claimed.

The traditional family has remained resilient in the first decade of the 21 Century, divorce rates have declined and many of these families are showing increased stability. Couples are more willing to marry than those of the previous Decade, however there are also the proliferations of new family styles. There is a rise in couples living together without formalising it through marriage. Latch relationships are also becoming more visible in the community; these are couples that live in separate households. These new types of families are co-existing with the traditional style however they are not replacing them. This mix within the community can offer a greater diversity.

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Dr Walkers field of study is inter-ethnic partnering, a study that continues to interest him as it crosses over multiple aspects that include religion, race and educational levels. The study required customised data and narrowing the field of research, as there are many difficulties, such as when are you considered Australian? Despite these complications some of the results are insightful and show that the longer an ethnic group resides in Australia the more likely they are to marry out of their community, as is the case with Italians and Greeks.

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Indians and Iranians tend to marry within their own community but future generations may change this trend. Some cross partnering is one sided, such as Asian women and Australian men, the reverse is less popular. The majority of children that are born from two Australian parents will marry into another ethnic group.

Dr Demsey changes the theme as she discusses same-sex families; this group has been forced to win family rights and recognition through activism, firstly for marriage rights and then for children. Demanding access to fertility clinics has been marred by political intervention such as when former Prime Minister Mr Howard defined the family as being made up of a male and a female parent.

“Every Australian child has the right to a mother and a father” former Prime Minister John Howard claimed.

Dr Demsey explains that a lot has changed since 2001 as lesbians have won the right to use sperm banks (male couples often choose surrogacy). Amendments to laws have also enabled single sex couples to live together with legal protection over property issues.

Many same sex couples have to endure aggressive attitudes within the community that puts them under pressure and destabilises the couple. They might be less likely to endure. Friendships often provide the care and support often found in family life. Nuclear family’s are not the norm and couples often live in separate households that they share with housemates. Marriage type relationships that provide monogamy appeal more to younger Gays and less so, to mature couples.

Dr Demsey draws information from studies and surveys conducted by universities. Same sex couple numbers have been increasing however it is uncertain if it is becoming more popular or that people are more comfortable in declaring it. Children that live with male couples are 5%, whereas 20% of women couples have residential children. Ironically most homosexual couples have heterosexual children.

Dr Kim Johnson’s interest was in the family studies of our Aboriginal community. Couple relationships are more common with younger adults. Within these unions, more urban Aboriginals and those with higher educations will partner outside of their community whereas rural couples and those with less education will choose an Aboriginal partner.

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Aboriginal Australians have a higher fertility rate than non-Aboriginals, however it is comparable with other world communities such as what was common during the 1950’s baby boom. The most definitive distinction is that the women are more likely to start their families at a younger age, 40% are under 25. Younger parenting means that the parent is likely to be more energetic and have the support of younger grandparents that will also pass on cultural knowledge. The negative aspect of young parenting is that they might have less access to further education, employment and wealth.

The family network ideally provides a place for people to feel safe and loved, this is even more important when young children are brought into these relationships. The new family is born from a society that is re-inventing itself and exploring alternative options. It is interesting to look at the changes within ones own family, such as having children at a later age, as this is a modern invention.