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

History Snippet – Burwood, NSW. 1858-59

Life around the suburb of Burwood in Sydney's Inner West has definitely changed in the last one hundred and fifty years or so. Burwood is only 10 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, however in 1858-59, when this picture was thought to have been taken it was a farming area. It would have [...]

History snippet – pocket globes, keeping track of new lands.

While Columbus didn't quite take to the idea of the earth being a sphere, Greek astronomers of the third century were onto it early. By the second century they'd constructed the first terrestrial globe known to man, and the fad of having your own world to spin gained momentum from that point on. Terrestrial globes, [...]

By | August 12th, 2019|Australian History|0 Comments

In the middle of a dust storm – Eric Minchin, Brushmen of the Bush

‘From the very first time I came to Broken Hill … in the middle of a dust storm accompanied by 100 degree heat, I loved the fierceness and the challenge of this area.’ Eric Minchin 1975. The founder of the Brushmen of the Bush, Eric Minchin was a man with an eye for opportunity. Minchin [...]

By | July 29th, 2019|Art & Art history, Australian History|0 Comments

Weevil infested johnny cakes to sourdough bread.

In a normal season many farmers would be close to finishing their winter crop plantings. Not this year. While there are some who received the benefit of good rain or were prepared to take a punt on limited moisture profiles, there are many who would be staring at yet another year of dry, unplanted cultivations. [...]

Creek swims & cornmeat brine.

Well before the arrival of designer boutiques sporting stylish outback fashion, the basic needs of the bush man and woman were met through trail and error. Necessity has always been a hallmark of invention and no more so in Australia where distance and the rugged outdoor life of our intrepid pioneers fed the need for [...]

Insanity & the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum

Social alienation. That’s the best definition of an insane asylum. A place where people are shut away from society. In the 1800s, a person had to be declared insane before they could be admitted to a facility. However a doctor was usually only contacted after someone had been labelled insane due to their social behaviour [...]

By | May 14th, 2019|Australian History|0 Comments

South Australia & Goyder’s Line

Imagine having settled in a new country over one hundred and fifty years ago. You’ve been there for scarcely 30 years trying to carve out a business and home for your family. As a farmer you would need a good understanding about climate and growing conditions and if things turned pear-shaped due to flood, drought [...]

Why we should remember them. Anzac Day

If you close your eyes you can see them resting during a break in the fighting on one of the Somme battlefields. The trench is cold and clammy, the men, quiet. Some sit on upturned wooden crates, others crouch low, their backs chilled yet sweating against the earthen wall. Filthy fingers hold hand-rolled cigarettes, lungs [...]

By | April 11th, 2019|Australian History|2 Comments

‘Robbery under arms’: The romance of the bushrangers

There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name He was born and raised in Ireland, in a place called Castlemaine He was his father's only son, his mother's pride and joy And dearly did his parents love the wild colonial boy Loved, admired, loathed. Songs sung about them and poems written. To [...]

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