Tuesday, June 30, 2015

University of New England to open Natural History Museum

Armidale is to get another museum. The region’s first Natural History Museum will be the showcase of a $27 million development at the University of New England. The museum will feature the skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur along with a diverse collection of animals, plants and meteorites.

Construction has commenced at the facility which is part of the multi-million dollar Integrated Agriculture Education Project precinct and is expected to open next year.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan, said the Museum will be a significant community asset. “The museum will be an important education resource for students and will become a central repository for natural history collections across the region,” Professor Duncan continued.

“The new Museum will feature a five-metre Australovenator dinosaur, UNE’s meteorite collection, animal and hominid skeletons, and fossils.”

As well as the new exhibits, the Museum will house UNE’s existing museum collections. Presumably, this includes the Classics Museum, the University's best know museum, presently housed in the Arts Building. I must find out what is happening here.

The Head of UNE’s School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, Professor Iain Young, said the museum will enhance teaching at UNE specifically in the areas of zoology, biology, botany and geology.

“It is envisaged that the Museum will also be used by schools as a learning resource and be accessible to the community and special interest groups.

“The long term vision for the museum is to have regular tours and displays, including loan exhibitions, an interactive museum website, and to use our knowledge of natural history to increase the awareness, understanding, technologies and tools needed to create an environmentally sustainable future.”

Community members interested in becoming a hands-on part of the exciting Natural History Museum project can contact Dr Romina Rader, Community Ecologist and museum coordinator, on museum@une.edu.au for more information.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Need for a Northern NSW White Paper

My main post today is on the Australian Government's Northern Australia White Paper.

It would be nice to have our own white paper, something for another neglected North. But you see, we don't exist in the public or political conscience.

Just a note.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Resenting Tasmania's Dark Mofo

I really resent Tasmania's Dark Mofo. It's getting extensive news coverage.

Because we don't exist, there is no equivalent in New England. Some of our Festivals such as Byron Bay have achieved national coverage, but we have no specifically New England festivals or celebrations. We have no platform.

Tasmania may be smaller than New England on every measure, but it has a defined entity. That gives it a base. Each area in New England has to struggle at a local level to gain recognition. Some do manage it, but it's an unbalanced competition.

Often I meet people who deny our fight for self-government. I can understand that. But they do more. They either deny our independent history and culture or downgrade its importance. Then I get upset, for they deny the validity and distinctiveness of my own life experience. I resent that.       .


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mullumbimby: a case study in the unexpected outcomes of protest

The photo shows a demonstration in Mullumbimby against  the building of a Woolworth's store in the town. The photo comes from an interesting story in the Sydney Morning Herald by Malcolm Knox: How Woolworths overcame local opposition and set up a supermarket near Mullumbimby.

In very simple terms, a local family wanted to build a supermarket in the town, part of Byron Shire, but faced fierce opposition. Finally, they sold the project out to Woolworths who with time, money and connections were able to go around the protestors. The end result was a bigger store owned outside the town.

This is hardly the result the protestors wanted. I suspect if asked to make a choice between a locally owned store and a bigger store owned by Woolworths, they would have opted for the first very quickly. But then, that's a retrospective view. Having won on the first count, they expected to win on the second as well.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Apparent demise of North Coast Voices

It is remiss of me not to have mentioned this before, but on 17 May North Coast Voices ceased publication. I quote from the final post:

Due to events beyond our control North Coast Voices will not be posting until further notice. 
For this we apologize to all our regular readers and to those that just drop by from time to time on a whim.
The first NCV post was on 9 October 2007. Since then, they have kept a stream of posts going, generally from a Green left perspective.

Sometimes NCV used to annoy the hell out of me, but I will still miss them.

The end was very abrupt. There were two earlier posts on 17 May and then, suddenly, came the final post. All three were posted in the early hours of the morning within a short time of each other. It was like a snap, something that I can understand.

I have no idea what the problem was/is. I can only offer my thoughts and a deep felt wish that things sort themselves out.  

Monday, June 08, 2015

Newcastle wins both age groups in the 2015 Northern NSW State Football championships

The Telstra Northern NSW State Championships for Boys kicked off at 8:30am on Saturday 6 June at Coffs Habour.

Over 250 of Northern NSW’s best young male footballers converged on Coffs Harbour to participate in the Championships in both the 11 Years and 12 Years age divisions.

Each of the Northern News South Wales Football Federations Member Zones -  Football Far North Coast, Football Mid North Coast, Hunter Valley Football, Macquarie Football, Newcastle Football, North Coast Football and Northern Inland Football, as well as Emerging Jets 10 Years and 11 Years squads - contested the Championships.

In the end Newcastle Football claimed the title of State Champions in both the 11 and 12 Years divisions following the final day of the State Championships. The photo shows the boys celebrating.

The 11 Years side cemented their place on top of the table following a 7-0 victory over Northern Inland in the second last match of the day.

It was a different story for the 12 Years squad however, as a 0-0 draw with North Coast left the side relying on other fixtures to finish the weekend in 1st place.  Macquarie Football came second in both age groups. 

Full results can be found here.