Frontier Australia

It was pretty tough being a settler in Australia in the 1830s and tougher still for the First Australians. Imagine you're a white settler and have just arrived in the colony of New South Wales after five months on-board a sailing ship en route from the Mother Country - England. On arrival you discover that [...]

Dogs, stock whips and horses.

Working dogs, stock whips and horses - the tools of trade for the traditional stockman in Australia. It is difficult to adequately define the characteristics required of a good stockman or woman however they are keen observers of livestock with the natural ability to handle them with patient knowledge. The role of the stockman came [...]

By | February 20th, 2020|Australian History, Australian pastoral history|0 Comments

A man on a cross, a woman in Maine and something about a horse. February reads.

'They kill us, they crucify us, they throw us to beasts in the arena, they sew our lips together and watch us starve. They bugger children in front of their mothers and violate men in front of their wives. The temple priests flay us openly in the streets. We are hunted everywhere and we are [...]

By | February 17th, 2020|Book review|0 Comments

The history in family

Over the last few days I’ve been compiling some of my family history to be included in a book on pioneers in the greater Moree district. Anyone who has done a speck of research into their ancestors knows what a time-consuming job it is. Tracing your family history is very much like falling down Alice [...]

By | February 10th, 2020|A WRITERS LIFE, Blog, Family history|0 Comments

Real food for dogs

We all know that dogs are man’s best friend. That’s a given. In the main, the majority of them are fiercely loyal, supremely friendly, therapeutic and for some of us, invaluable members of the work team on many a rural holding. If you come across a canine that isn’t at least one of the above, [...]

By | February 3rd, 2020|Blog|0 Comments

An Australian ram, famous for being famously superb.

Famous for being famously superb, the shilling ram was the name given to Uardry 0.1. A merino ram of such style and class that on the 29th June 1932, the Sydney Mail announced that Uardry was, ‘generally acknowledged to be one of the most magnificent Merinos ever seen in Sydney.’ Uardry had for competition 366 [...]

Coppers, crooks, cobbers & tall poppies.

We have some interesting slang in Australia. You’re standing on the side of the road feeling like a drongo, next to your choc-a-block car which is cactus hoping that the first vehicle to stop isn’t one with a load of no-hoping bogans. You’re probably dividing your time between doing the Aussie salute and telling the [...]

By | January 16th, 2020|Australian History, Blog, Opinion|0 Comments

Captain Thunderbolt strikes again.

You flick the reins, ensuring the horses keep up a steady pace. The Cobb & Co coach rattles across the pitted track. It’s a quiet country road. The trees stand tall. The bush thick and impenetrable on both sides. You’re half-way to Inverell with a coach-load of passengers and bulging mail bags. You glance at [...]

By | January 13th, 2020|Australian pastoral history|0 Comments

Mud balls, freedom & Remembrance Day

When I was little, my older brother, John and I had a treehouse opposite the jackeroo’s quarters on the property. Actually, treehouse is probably too flash a name for what was basically four long timber boards nailed into the higher branches of a bottle tree. From our point of view, what that tree lacked in [...]

By | November 7th, 2019|Family history, Patriotism|1 Comment

Inaugural Colleen McCullough Writer’s Residency close to home.

Over the weekend I was honoured to present the inaugural Colleen McCullough Writer’s Residency. The award formed a part of the Historical Novel Society of Australasia conference which was held at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta. The residency is named for Ms McCullough - who died in 2015. Her most well-known novel, The Thorn [...]

By | October 29th, 2019|A WRITERS LIFE, Industry Info, Literacy, Travel|0 Comments
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