Shall not weary them

As I sort out papers with a view to submitting a tax return various items that had been stowed away earlier in the year are surfacing, among them an order for a dawn service on Anzac Day. While the observance of Australia Day in January falters, partly because Indigenous Australians understandably see it as Invasion Day, Anzac Day goes from strength to strength […]

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Times a’Changin’

A group of friends, on the verge of leaving school, has come together for a barbeque at a campsite on the edge of town. It’s a significant time, for they are poised on the brink of independent adult life, ready to create their own identities and shape the world around them. Someone has brought a tape recorder, and as they […]

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The World Some of us Live In

The American writer Jacob Weisberg informs us: In one recent survey, female students at Baylor University reported using their cell phones an average of ten hours a day. Three quarters of eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds say that they reach for their phones immediately upon waking up in the morning. Once out of bed, we check our phones an average of 221 times a day […]

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What’s the Point of History?

Things are changing so quickly in our world. Perhaps the beginning of the tendency should be placed in the scientific revolution, which remains a fertile area for historical research (the recent works of Steven Weinberg and David Wooton suggest the excitement in the field, and its move beyond the mere listing of ‘discoveries’.) Not merely was this the beginning of a […]

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Movements of Peoples

The partition of India which saw Pakistan, including East Bengal, depart from the remnant mother country in 1947 unleashed an astonishing movement of people from one side of the borders to the other. Estimates of the number involved vary widely, but are generally upwards of ten million; some authorities go as high as 18 million, the number of Muslims moving into Pakistan being approximately the same […]

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Visiting the Koala Sanctuary

In addition to keeping me me from regular blog postings, as often happens a very welcome visit by friends from overseas has prompted me to do things I would not otherwise do in my own city, such as visiting a koala sanctuary. We had a wonderful outing, admiring some of the fauna for which this continent is known, such as cockatoos of […]

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Bob Katter’s ‘An Incredible Race of People A Passionate History of Australia’ (2012)

What better souvenir of a trip to northern Australia could there be than this book, a present from a kind friend? Bob Katter is the MP for a remote electorate in the outback where people look at things in a different way from city folk and preserve values that were once more widespread in Australian society than they are now. It needs […]

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Pussy Riot in Trouble

Early in the year the members of a feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, entered the sanctuary of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow where they ‘prayed’ to the Virgin for the end of the government of Vladimir Putin and uttered a number of profanities.  They have been detained in harsh conditions and charged with hooliganism. Their behaviour was […]

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From Mount Isa to Darwin

A car trip with some old mates has introduced me to a part of Australia I’d never visited but which people who grew up in this country instinctively feel at home in. We passed through a largely uninhabited landscape where nothing much happens. At one stage to the east of Tennant Creek the road ran perfectly straight for half an hour, and this in […]

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