Monday, September 30, 2013

Should we have a festival of New England writing?

What do the following have in common: Thomas Keneally, Geof Page, Les Murray, Judith Wright, Alex Buzo, Patrice Newell, Bob Ellis, Donald Horne, Patrick White, Michael Sharkey, Julian Croft, Bob Herbert, Sophie Masson, Anthony Lawrence, Maslyn Williams, Yve Louis, Eric Rolls, Gwen Kelly, Bronwyn Parry, Sharyn Munro, Ruby Langford Ginibi. Patricia Wrightson and D'Arcy Niland?

They are a small sample of writers who have had some connection with the broader New England. Some were born there and left, some came to visit and wrote about aspects of the place, some came to stay, some were born there and stayed. Disconnected in place and time, there are yet common threads in their writing.

On Saturday, I went to see The Turning, something I wrote about in Sunday Essay - the Turning. Tim Winton is very much a West Australian writer whose stories draw from aspects of life in the West. Watching the seventeen short cameo productions that make up the film, each by a different director, I started thinking again about the New England experience.

One of the difficulties in not having our own state or at least some form of defined structure that people recognise, lies in the ways it affects thinking about the North. New England doesn't exist; consequently, how can you talk about New England writers? And yet, New England writing does exist if largely unrecognised as a body of work.

From time to time I have tried to address this, focusing on particular writers and the links between them and aspects of New England life. While I have made some progress, I find the lack of a focal point, some bigger thing external to my own writing, difficult. There is nothing to draw things together, to present to a broader audience, to encourage interaction between those interested in New England writing as writing.

This got me thinking. Would it be possible to organise an event next year focused on the theme of New England writers and writing, not just Tableland writers but writers from the broader New England. If successful, this might become an annual event.

Thinking this over, I messaged Sophie Masson, Chair of the New England Writers' Centre, with the suggestion. It would need lot's of lead time, some sponsorship and a strong organising committee, but it might be doable. What do you think?     

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Resuming posting

I accept that this has been a sadly neglected blog. I have been collecting material, but my main writing focus has been elsewhere. This includes, among other things, two chapters in the book to be published to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the New England University College.

I am now focusing on this blog. As part of this, I am going to start bringing up material that I have been collecting, but at the right date. That is, the date at which it should have been published. This may make for a somewhat crazy publishing pattern, but the blog is partly a blog of record. I need the record for later use.

The blog is also coming up on 100,000 visitors. Who would have thought it? That will be a celebration!!

So browse back from time to time over the next week, and see what I should have published! The majority of the posts will be short but, I hope, varied. They will come up in no particular order, driven simply by my notes!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gas Wars enter end game?

On Friday in Maules Creek - Jonathon Moylan to go to trial in November. I referred to the environmental wars that have raged across New England in recent years. Now the associated coal gas wars appear to be entering their end game phase.

Just to summarise the history. The attractions of coal seam gas led to extensive exploration and to consequent opposition from environmental, farm and local community groups concerned about the impact on the immediate environment and especially the practice of fracking. In turn, this led the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments to introduce controls and new assessment procedures. The immediate practical effect was to effectively remove NSW from the emerging gas sector, at least for the short term

Coal seam gas is big business. Removal of NSW from the equation altered the dynamics of the industry elsewhere. Further, a potential gas shortage emerged in NSW. This created the risk of action at Commonwealth level and left the Sydney Government scrabbling a little to try to find a path that might allow development while meeting or at least muting environment concerns.

My judgement is that development will proceed. The environment and local concerns are just not  important enough in the evolving political landscape to stop the process, although they will have an effect at the margin. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Abbott overrules Pyne on student fees

75 year logo

I see that the Prime Minister has pulled Minister Pyne into line over the abolition of compulsory student fees. While the imbroglio was going on, it was causing a real fluttering in the university dovecots since the previous abolition actually hit very hard in terms of campus services.

By way of background, these are the areas that UNE spends the money on. 

Maules Creek - Jonathon Moylan to go to trial in November

The court case against environmental activist Jonathon Moylan is expected to be heard in November in the NSW Supreme Court in November.  The charges relates to allegations that Mr Moylan created a fake press release announcing that the ANZ Bank had withdrawn a $1.2 billion loan facility for the Whitehaven  Coal's Maules Creek coal project on the Liverpool Plains near Boggabri. The grounds given were volatility in the coal market and the bank's "corporate responsibility policy."

The release appeared quite professional, was briefly accepted as genuine and caused a dip in the price of Whitehaven shares. According to the story by Hannah Low in the Financial Review (it's behind the paper's paywall, so no link), there are three elements to the charge: that the information was false; that it was likely to induce people to buy or sell; and that the person who disseminated the information knew or did not care if the information was false. The maximum penalty for the offence is ten years in prison and a $765,000 fine. 

The case is part of the on-going environmental wars across New England that I have written about from time to time. Mr Moylan's problem is that the alleged actions are different from many of those involved in previous environmental protests, for they breach a key principle underlying securities' market legislation, the need for accurate market information.

Mr Moylan is being supported by Greenpiece, the Greens and local farmers. His supporters' web site can be found here

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Turning the page on a new chapter with newspapers

This History revisited column tell a story from New England's newspaper past.

Coffs Harbour hosts FFA National Boys Championship

The FFA National Youth Championships for Boys will get underway on Monday 30 September at Coffs Harbour International Stadium 

The tournament has been hosted by Northern NSW Football at the Coffs Harbour facility since 2006. It is one of many major tournaments hosted by NNSWF to be conducted at Coffs Harbour International stadium in 2013.

NNSWF held the Westfield National Youth Championships for Girls in July, as well as tournaments including the NNSWF State Championships for Boys (June), State Cup Finals Series (July) and most recently the NNSWF State Championships for Girls contested last weekend.

“Northern NSW Football is privileged to host the FFA National Youth Championships for Boys which sees Australia’s best young male talent come together to gauge their abilities against their counterparts from fellow States,” said NNSWF Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Eland.

“With a Technical Panel consisting of FFA Coaching Staff in attendance throughout the week, the Championships provide young players with the opportunity for identification for future Australian team camps,” Mr Eland concluded.

Over 400 of Australia’s best young male footballers in the Under 13s and Under 14s divisions will participate in the tournament, with 26 teams from around Australia contesting the two age divisions.

Each age division has two groups, seven teams in Group A and six teams in Group B.

Northern NSW Football will be represented by two sides in each age division – Country and Metropolitan. Northern NSW Country sides are made up of players from Northern NSW Football’s four Northern zones; Mid North Coast, North Coast, Far North Coast and Northern Inland, with Metropolitan players originating from the three Southern zones; Hunter Valley, Macquarie and Newcastle.

The Northern NSW Country Under 13 Boys will contest the Championships in Group B against Northern Territory, NSW Country, Queensland Country, Tasmania and Victoria Country.

The Northern NSW Country Under 14 Boys will compete in Group B against Football West Northern Territory, Queensland Country, Tasmania and Victoria Country.

The Northern NSW Metropolitan Under 13 Boys will contest the Championships in Group A against Capital Football, Football West, NSW Metropolitan, Queensland Metropolitan, South Australia and Victoria Metropolitan.

The Northern NSW Metropolitan Under 14 Boys will also compete in Group A against Capital Football, NSW Country, NSW Metropolitan, Queensland Metropolitan, South Australia and Victoria Metropolitan.

The Championships conclude on Friday 4th October. 

Full squad lists follow;

Under 13s Country
Coach: Vic Stokes
Assistant: Larry Budgen

First  
Ethan 
Jack 
Ty 
Ben 
Macabe 
Jarrah 
Will 
Tom 
Sam 
Hayden 
Riley 
Xavier 
Oscar
Noah 
Harrison 
Angus

    Surname
    Archer
    Diebold
    Dwyer
    Gamlin
    Grass
    Hall-Hart
    Menz
    Pitman
    Preston
    Purkiss
    Smith
    Sproule
    Stahl
    Stokes
    Taylor
    Thurgate

    Suburb  
    Suffolk Park
    Tamworth
    Lismore
    Tamworth
    Taree
    Tyagarah
    Werris Creek
    Goonellabah
    Mullumbimby
    Boambee East
    Port Macquarie
    Toormina
    Lismore
    Corndale
    Calala
    Port Macquarie

    Zone
    Football Far North Coast
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Far North Coast
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Mid North Coast
    Football Far North Coast
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Far North Coast
    Football Far North Coast
    North Coast Football
    Football Mid North Coast
    North Coast Football
    Football Far North Coast
    Football Far North Coast
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Mid North Coast


Under 14s Country 
Coach: Andy Lennon 
Assistant: Brian Linsley

First 
Kossi
Mitchell 
Eli 
Sam
Patrick
Harry
Ryan
Jesse
Michael 
Cody 
Lucas
Brodie 
Kane
Declan 
Dominic
Nick

    Surname
    Adjikou
    Brewster
    Cosic
    Fulwood
    Hamilton
    James
    Johnson
    Kerfoot
    Kita
    McCann
    Mepham
    Patterson
    Pollard
    Salmon
    Weaver
    Wright

    Suburb   
    Coffs Harbour
    Bellingen
    Stuarts Point
    Tamworth
    Wauchope
    Kempsey
    Port Macquarie
    Kempsey
    Coffs Harbour
    Armidale
    Taree
    Tamworth
    Port Macquarie
    Glenreagh
    East Ballina
    Aldavilla

    Zone
    North Coast Football
    North Coast Football
    North Coast Football
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Mid North Coast
    Football Mid North Coast
    Football Mid North Coast
    Football Mid North Coast
    North Coast Football
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Mid North Coast
    Northern Inland Football
    Football Mid North Coast
    North Coast Football
    Football Far North Coast
    Football Mid North Coast

Under 13s Metro 
Head Coach: Ryan Campbell

First 
Zac  
Thomas
Thomas
Joshua 
Rex
Zaell
Kent 
Lachlan
Luke
Jackson
Joseph
James
Isaac
Jay
Kane
Jeremy

 

    Surname
    Bailey
    Beecham
    Curran
    Davis
    Fernance
    Ford
    Harrison
    Hill
    McLachlan
    McLeod
    O'Connor
    Patrick
    Sefo
    Sneddon
    Treble
    Wilson

 

    Suburb
    New Lambton
    Kahibah
    Eleebana
    New Lambton
    Bolton Point
    Redhead
    New Lambton
    Eleebana
    Eleebana 
    New Lambton  
    Tenambit
    Highfields
    Rankin Park
    Edgeworth
    Corlette
    Cardiff

 

    Zone
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets
    Newcastle Football
    Newcastle Football
    Emerging Jets
    Hunter Valley Football
    Emerging Jets
    Emerging Jets

Under 14s Metro
Head Coach: Wayne O'Sullivan

First
Tom 
Harrison 
Joseph
Adam 
Joshua
Jackson
Emerson 
Tyson 
Pat 
Samuel
Matteo
Finn 
Campbell
Jordan
Jarryd
Zac

 

  Surname
  Campbell
  Crook 
  Delbridge
  Duggan
  Dwyer
  Frendo
  Gosling
  Jackson 
  Langlois
  Maxwell
  Mazzantini
  Parris
  Ross
  Salt
  Sutherland
  Thomas

 

  Suburb
  Armidale
  Hamilton South
  Lakelands
  Rutherford
  Cessnock
  Eleebana
  Rankin Park
  Barnsley
  The Junction
  Balmoral
  Cardiff South
  Merewether
  Marmong Point
  Warners Bay
  Rankin Park
  Kilaben Bay

 

  Zone
  Emerging Jets
  Emerging Jets
  Macquarie Football
  Emerging Jets
  Hunter Valley Football
  Emerging Jets
  Newcastle Football
  Emerging Jets
  Newcastle Football
  Emerging Jets
  Macquarie Football
  Emerging Jets
  Emerging Jets
  Emerging Jets
  Emerging Jets
  Macquarie Footb

Saturday, September 21, 2013

“When the wisteria starts to bloom it is time to make your run; when the roses bloom it is too late”

This photo from Paul Barratt took me back. It was taken by his father in the 1950s. Further brief comments follow the photo.  1957 In Booloominbah Forecourt

The photo is taken on Booloominbah's northern forecourt. The caption - “When the wisteria starts to bloom it is time to make your run; when the roses bloom it is too late” - captures the old exam message. The students with their books and gowns, the colour, captures a world now past.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday, September 06, 2013

Northern Queensland beats Northern NSW in the National Indigenous Under 16s national title

Northern Queensland has successfully defended its National Indigenous Under 16s national title after beating Northern South Wales on the Gold Coast.

An initiative of the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMRDT), the two day Championship, held at Bond University, exposes athletes from across the country to Rugby and life skills.

Executive Officer of LMRDT, Tom Evans, said the two day Championship provided young Indigenous athletes with more than just a weekend of Rugby.

“Ultimately the Rugby objective is selection, but the off-field objective is to encourage these young men to stay in school and continue to become better individuals and community leaders.

“At all of the tournaments the Lloyd McDermott Team run, we try to ensure the Rugby is complemented by education.”

Northern Territory, Northern QLD, Southern QLD, Northern NSW, Southern NSW/ACT and Combined States were represented in the competition, with Northern Queensland defeating Northern New South Wales 38-19 to retain the title and Southern Queensland taking third place with a 38-24 win over Southern NSW/ ACT.

This tournament provided the platform for selection of players to represent the National Indigenous squad at the Australian Rugby Union National Under 16s Championships.

The ARU National Under 16s Championships is a National residential tournament for Under 16 players for National, State or Territory representative teams, conducted annually by the Australian Rugby Union and is another important element of the Player Pathway at National, Provincial, Regional and Affiliate level.

The 2013 ARU National Under 16s Championships will be held at St Ignatius College Riverview from Sunday 29 September until Friday 4 October. Nine of the 23 strong squad come from New England. They are:

  • Cody Walker, Maclean High
  • Kurtis Langdon, Hunter River High
  • Liam Kelly-Wynn, Jetty High, Coffs harbour
  • Dylan Chown, Farrer memorial High School
  • Jakobi Robinson, St Mary's College
  • Ngangarra Barker, Hunter River High
  • Buddy Mumbulla, The Armidale School
  • Jayden Harradine, The Armidale School
  • Keiren Ford, Brewarrina Central School
  • Luke Roberts, Maclean High