Tourism increase

22/07/2018 // by admin

COULD Singleton become the main gateway to the Hunter Valley vineyards?
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Broke Fordwich could be one of the big benefactors from an increase in visitors to the region.

That’s the thoughts and hopes of Singleton Council and local tourism operators after the Visitor Information and Enterprise Centre recorded a five per cent increase in visitors compared to this time last year.

The past two months were compared with last year and it showed a correlation between the opening of the Hunter Expressway and an increase in visitors.

With Singleton being the final stop on the highway and the vineyards only a short drive away, instead of just passing through the town, people are making a day out of seeing all there is to offer in the area.

“We’ve experienced an uptake of visitors to our region and we think it has a lot to do with the opening of the new Hunter Expressway,” Broke Fordwich Tourism Association president Eden Anthony said.

“Hopefully this leads to more employment and an increase in midweek traffic to the vineyards.”

Council is working to create more interest in Singleton and it’s surrounds through the revamp of its visitsingleton南京夜网 website.

“We have a unique opportunity to capitalise on the growing domestic market. With award-winning wineries, restaurants, events and accommodation just minutes from our town centre, the future for Singleton’s visitor economy looks bright,” Singleton Council general manager Lindy Hyam said.

Studies by Roy Morgan show that Australians are increasingly planning on holidaying with almost 58 per cent of intended holidays expected to be in Australia in the next 12 months.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

OPINION: Amateur hunting hopelessly ineffective

22/07/2018 // by admin

By David Shoebridge, Greens Member of the Legislative Council
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In reply to Gary Mallard’s opinion piece regarding”Greens deception over anti-killing stance”

In his defence of the blood-sport of amateur hunting Mr Mallard claims campaigns against amateur hunting fail to address effective control measures for introduced species.

Unfortunately for the pro-hunting lobby, the evidence is clear that amateur hunting is in fact hopelessly ineffective at controlling introduced species.

The government-funded “Game Council” received more than $15million of government funding to lobby for amateur hunting and license more than 20,000 amateur hunters to hunt in the twomillion hectares of state forests the government approved for hunting.

The data produced by the Game Council to show its “success” was an annual tally of animals that its licensed amateur hunters had killed.

The figures from 2009 to 2013 are as follows:

These figures show that, on average, a licensed amateur hunter in NSW killed just one introduced animal a year, and most often that was a rabbit.

None of the hunting carried out by amateur hunters in NSW is coordinated or incorporated into a pest management plan, but is instead determined by the ad hoc preferences of amateur hunters.

Amateur hunters kill hundreds, or in some cases a few thousand, introduced animals from populations that are in the millions.

The evidence is that Australia has about sevenmillion foxes, 18 million cats, threemillion goats, millions of rabbits and between fourand 24 million introduced pigs.

Introduced animals have such large populations primarily because they have extremely high reproduction rates with a large “doomed surplus” each year.

This means most young do not survive to adulthood, but those that dobreed at such high rates they fully replace last season’s population.

Killing small numbers of a given population will therefore have no effect, as other animals, whichwould otherwise have died from the range of natural causes, then fill this niche.

The proportion of a population that needs to be removed to achieve an overall reduction in population from one year to the next is as follows:

When you look at just one species, such as cats, the inevitable failure of amateur hunting is easily demonstrated.

To effectively control the population, 57 per cent would need to be removed to have fewer cats in an area the next year.

The Game Council’s own figures show that the combined effort of amateur hunters in 2013 removed a total of 290 wild cats from millions of hectares of public forest, from a population estimated in the millions.

Amateur hunting took only a tiny fraction of feral cats from the already “doomed surplus”.

Their removal has made not one jot of difference to the wild cat population anywhere in NSW.

The same analysis can be applied to every species of animal killed by Game Council-licensed hunters.

Apart from small areas of land thatare subject to intensive, scientific and professional animal control programs, over the rest of the country introduced animals are controlled by their environment.

Competition for food, for habitat and natural predation keeps their numbers in check, not hunters.

Putting to one side the almost inevitable cruelty of amateur hunting practices such as pig-dogging and bow hunting, the evidence backs up our call for an immediate end to state-sanctioned and taxpayer-subsidised amateur hunting in our public forests.

* Tables fromInvasive Species Fact Sheet, “Recreational Hunting NSW: claims vs facts”

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Signs of ringworm in animals

22/07/2018 // by admin

RINGWORM: An example of the fungal infection STORY: Ringworm cases on rise in cats, dogs
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RINGWORM is a fungal disease which creates scaly skin with a red outer rim.

The infection spreads through contact, and can be transferred from cats and dogs to humans.

Typical areas of infection in animals are the face, paws, ears and tail, and the infection often results in hair loss.

Scabs and crusts are often formed.

Common treatments include tablets and antibiotic antifungal creams.

Bendigo vet Max Tori said it was important pet owners sought treatment for their pets.

Some cases of ringworm will naturally cease, while others require multiple treatments. Environmental management is also important.

Vets recommend pets are well-groomed and regular brushing will help remove fungal spores.

Vacuuming also helps to remove contagious hair from flooring, and it’s recommended the bedding of infected animals is thrown away.

Pets should also be kept isolated from other animals.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

MALEFICENT: Angelina Jolie takes a wicked turn

14/10/2018 // by admin

CREEPY: Angelina Jolie is the mistress of all evil in Maleficent. SHE’S on the verge of turning 40, revered by many as one of the most stunningly beautiful women in the world, daughter of Hollywood royalty, hands-on humanitarian and an Academy Award winner.
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Yes, it’s tough being Angelina Jolie. But she’s trying.

Jolie’s new film, Maleficent, is a family-friendly reworking of the classic Disney tale of Sleeping Beauty through the main viewpoint of Maleficent, the mistress of all evil.

As one of Disney’s most sinister villains, Angelina has the perfect look straight from the 1959 classic, although this time it is suggested she may have a bit of compassion for young Princess Aurora, who is under her nasty spell.

Having only watched again the original animated Sleeping Beauty recently, I was amazed how similar she is in features and voice, so it’s seems to be a perfect casting fit. Wings are an addition as well as other tweaks – young star Elle Fanning is captivating as Aurora within the dark labyrinth.

Enlightening, chilling, not too frightening, but dark enough for a Jolie scowl, the trailers have cinema-goers buzzing. It’s great to see actually as a reminder how versatile this great talent is.

Jolie has never been far from the spotlight. She married very young to Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) – a co-star from one of her early films, Hackers. She stood out as further roles followed. Two early highlights were Playing God, as an undercover agent infiltrating a mobster but falling in love with David Duchovny’s disgraced doctor character during the sting. And, Gia, a made-for-television chronicle on a former fashion model affected with AIDS.

Jolie’s first Oscar, for best supporting actress, came for the 1999 drama Girl Interrupted. She was truly endearingly tragic as a psych patient opposite a grand cast including Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy, Elizabeth Moss and Whoopie Goldberg.

It was a role which projected her into stardom and unfortunately led to Tomb Raider.

1999 was a big year for her, with a brilliant dark turn opposite Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector then a smaller film which flopped at the box office but just happened to star her next husband, Billy Bob Thornton. Pushing Tin was an oddball, mediocre comedy about drinking, quarrelling and swinging air traffic controllers that also featured John Cusack and Australia’s own Cate Blanchett.

Thornton was 10 years her senior and they married, reportedly swapping vials of each other’s blood. The spotlight was well and truly on them both when they amicably divorced with both their careers still flourishing.

Having made more movies than you may indeed think, Jolie continues to raise eyebrows in various projects of all kinds and of variable success.

❏Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow was an experimental box office failure, a high flying film with 90per cent special effects supposed to dazzle. Jolie rocked an eyepatch as a pilot glimmering across the screen more than any million dollar green-screen illusion.

❏Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, was a crushingly emotional story of a mother in the 1920s trying to locate her missing son without the help of a corrupt police department. It earned her a second Oscar nomination and reminded people of how incredibly intense her acting can be.

❏Life Or Something Like It was an under-appreciated gem. Sporting a blonde Marilyn Monroe-type bouffant, her news reporter character is told the end of her life is nigh. Triggering some unusual activities of dread incorporating romance, it’s a really good movie worth seeking out.

The awful Tomb Raider and Beowulf atrocities aside, action roles are a forte. She starred in Wanted, Salt (Salt 2 is in the works) and, of course, Mr & Mrs Smith, where she proved her skills in agile movements brandishing high-calibre weaponry.

Controversy surrounded her yet again on the Smith set. An affair with co-star Brad Pitt was reported and denied. Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston, while Jolie reassured she was not going to be part of any adultery situation. Exact details are unknown unless you believe the gossip magazines of the time but the rest is history. Brangelina was born.

The creepy, highly anticipated Maleficent is full of special effects and atmospheric sweeping emotions.

During the shooting of Maleficent, Jolie admitted to scaring little children on set in costume. It was only her daughter Vivienne who wasn’t quivering. Vivienne herself features as a young Princess Aurora.

From second billing to a robot in Cyborg 2, to cursing the spindle as Maleficent, the unique Angelina Jolie is only scratching the surface of her potential.

Breaking up is hard to do for Hoodoo Gurus

14/10/2018 // by admin

STILL ROCKING: Dave Faulkner says the Hoodoo Gurus’ performance at Splendour In The Grass will not just be chronological, but archaeological. He says the band have moved past the bad blood between them.DAVE Faulkner makes no qualms about it: the highly anticipated Splendour In The Grass performance by both past and present members of the Hoodoo Gurus is unlikely to ever happen again.
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Frontman Faulkner and the band’s current members will perform a selection of their classics in chronological order and will be joined by former drummer James Baker and former bass guitarist Clyde Bramley – who left the band after the 1984 release of first album Stoneage Romeos and after touring for the third album Blow Your Cool respectively – to perform numbers from the lauded debut breakthrough and for an epic finale.

‘‘It won’t just be chronological, but archaeological!’’ Faulkner jokes.

‘‘There was a lot of bad blood, to be honest – it really hasn’t been possible until pretty much this year because we never really saw eye to eye about what went down.

‘‘We still haven’t talked about it, but it was a very long time ago – 30 years ago this year – that James left the band, so we finally moved past it and luckily we can go out and enjoy it once again.

‘‘It’s difficult to talk about it, it’s not like talking about ex-girlfriends or something, it’s different to that – you share a certain sort of unified bond that creates a certain music and obviously when you change that mix that changes the music you make as well, so it will be nice to see how those sounds sound with that dynamic again.’’

The performance will mark the latest chapter in the life of one of the country’s most enduring and inventive bands, who have created a legacy across three decades based on Faulkner’s distinctive voice and whippet smart sardonic lyrics over a progression of garage punk, rockabilly, power pop, psychedelic kitsch and hard-driving rock, earning them a spot in the ARIA Hall of Fame and continuing to garner invitations to headlining gigs.

But the fable could have had an early ending, when the band announced in 1997 it was breaking up.

‘‘We’re still going and so it was a necessary thing,’’ says Faulkner, who went on to release an album with his shortlived side project Antenna, which also featured Kim Salmon, Justin Frew and Stuart McCarthy.

‘‘When I started working with other musicians there was a lack of unity and binding and vision – the bond wasn’t there. But halfway through the recording and writing process with Antenna there was a strong chemical reaction where it wasn’t just the four of us as individuals in the room, it was like there was an overarching band identity that we were part of but at the same time was controlling us, we all seemed to know instinctively what was right, what was wrong without having to really discuss it.

‘‘I’d never seen that displayed so concretely because I’d been in the Hoodoo Gurus all those years and never realised it had happened in that band and it wasn’t until we played Homebake nearly four years after we broke up when I saw the Gurus through those eyes.’’

The festival will also host the Persian Rugs – comprising all four members of the Gurus – that also contributed the song Be My Guru to the Hoodoo Gurus’ tribute album Stoneage Cameos.

The jig was up.

‘‘I promised myself and everyone else that the band wouldn’t reform and I was trying to hold true to that, but I still had this feeling that there were these songs that I was writing that belonged to the Hoodoo Gurus, but I didn’t have the Hoodoo Gurus to play [the songs],’’ Faulkner says.

‘‘I finally had to get off my horse – the band was still alive, I just wasn’t letting it out of the house.’’

The band would go on to release two new albums, Mach Schau in 2004 and Purity of Essence in 2010, and continue to write and record for what Faulkner said was more likely to be an EP than an album in the near future.

They organised a series of concerts called Dig it Up! in April 2012 to celebrate 30 years since the release of their debut single.

They held a second and final round of Dig It Up! invitational concerts last year.

‘‘We’re just doing things that amuse us, it’s the same with gigs,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got some strange options at the table that are things we’ve never done before that are little wrinkles in the fabric of our existence – just things that excite us and reward us.’’

One such venture is Faulkner’s upcoming one-off performances at Lizotte’s, where he will be joined by Gurus guitarist Brad Shepherd not only to perform, but to share stories behind the songs spanning his career, talk about the music that has shaped his life and ‘‘pull a few rabbits out of the hat’’.

‘‘They’re all part of me, they’re splinters of my personality and my thoughts at the time that reflect me and how I approach things,’’ he says when asked about a love-hate relationship with songs including the best known What’s My Scene.

Others take on lives of their own, including 1000 Miles Away that has been touted as one of the great travelling songs but that Faulkner said is more about emotional distance.

It was adopted by the crew of Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Canberra II – and since then, the navy as a whole – after Faulkner mentioned in an interview that his father, Martin Faulkner, was a World War II veteran who had survived the sinking of HMAS Canberra I during the Battle of Savo Island.

The Gurus played the song in front of Faulkner’s father and on board the Canberra II during its last voyage out of Fremantle, prior to its decommissioning in 2005.

‘‘To see all these people who he understood from his experiences as a sailor himself relating to the music his son wrote was quite moving for him and for me, in converse, seeing my father’s world coming into my world was amazing too.’’

But for all his work with different bands – The Victims, The Manikins, The Gurus, Antenna and The Moops who later became Persian Rugs – the modest Faulkner says he is much less prolific a songwriter than widely assumed and often turns his sketches, riffs and ‘‘embryos’’ into songs only when there is an impending deadline.

‘‘Number one with any song you write is you want it to connect to people emotionally and also to have some sort of juice in it, to have flavour that people can enjoy and savour, not just take up space in their brain,’’ he says.

Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd perform at Lizotte’s on May 31.

Robert Henderson quits as Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation president

14/10/2018 // by admin

Robert Henderson Art gallery can do better: Jeff McCloy
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HIS departure wasn’t without a few barbs aimed squarely at his nemesis. Nor was he happy about having to go.

But Robert Henderson, who resigned on Wednesday night as chairman of Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation, was never going to go quietly.

The man pushed to the front line of the battle between the art gallery and Newcastle council said his outspoken ways during the Brett Whiteley sculpture fiasco had made him an enemy of the council’s hierarchy.

‘‘Clearly, my criticism … of the current council needed to be silenced,’’ he told 1233 ABC from Turkey on Thursday.

‘‘This is the way they found to do it,’’ he added, suggesting the council would not work with the foundation in future while ever he was chairman.

Mr Henderson was constantly at odds with council general manager Ken Gouldthorp and lord mayor Jeff McCloy throughout the Whiteley affair, and earlier when they stood down and later sacked gallery director Ron Ramsey along with his departmental manager Judy Jaeger over the mishandling of the art gallery expansion project.

Mr Henderson stood by them again on Thursday, but two independent reports don’t paint Mr Ramsey or Ms Jaeger in a good light. The second, released earlier this month, showed the pair had wrongfully authorised payments for massive cost blowouts in the expansion project and failed to notify bosses or the elected council.

In a statement issued late on Thursdaythe foundation confirmed Mr Henderson’s departure.

‘‘The directors of Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation accepted, with great regret, the resignation of its chairman Dr Robert Henderson,’’ the statement read.

‘‘They acknowledged his outstanding contribution to the foundation and the many achievements the foundation was able to realise during the time of his chairmanship.

‘‘Mrs Judy Hart has been appointed as acting chairman and Mr Bob Bishop acting vice chairman.

Mr Gouldthorp was not commenting on the matter. In a statement issued by the council, a spokesperson said ‘‘the position of chair of the foundation is a matter for the foundation board’’.

‘‘Council looks forward to working with all stakeholders including the Art Gallery Society, Art Gallery Foundation, local artists and education institutions to continue to grow our art and cultural offering,’’ it said.

Lord mayor Jeff McCloy said he had nothing to add, other than ‘‘I wish Robert Henderson the best, but we have to move the gallery forward’’.

Newcastle Art Gallery Pictured controversial Brett Whiteley sculpture. Picture by DEAN OSLAND


NEWCASTLE Art Gallery Foundation president Robert Henderson has resigned, accusing Newcastle council of forcing his hand over the well-publicised Brett Whiteley sculpture fiasco.

The move follows almost 12 months of tensions between the foundation and council which came to a head in March when the council suspended and later sacked the gallery’s director Ron Ramsey and his departmental manager Judy Jaeger.

Earlier in February, the council suspended all transactions with the foundation – a fund-raising body attached to the gallery – after council general manager Ken Gouldthorp said the council had concerns about the Whiteley deal and its ‘‘compliance with Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013, taxation legislation, the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gift Program and the Foundation’s trust deed’’.

The foundation has confirmed that Mr Henderson is no longer its president.

Mr Henderson is currently holidaying in Turkey, but told ABC 1233 this morning that a gun had effectively been held at his head by the council.

He said the council had made it clear that it could not work with the foundation in the future while he was chairman, so he was forced to reluctantly resign.

‘‘If my position was being used as a reason (for the stand-off), then clearly I had to resign,’’ he said.

Mr Gouldthorp is not commenting on the matter. In a statement issued to the Herald, a council spokesperson said ‘‘the position of chair of the foundation is a matter for the foundation board’’.

‘‘A new exhibition will be opened at Newcastle Art Gallery on Friday evening focusing on pieces from the local collection and incorporating local artists,’’ the statement continued.

‘‘Council looks forward to working with all stakeholders including the Art Gallery Society, Art Gallery Foundation, local artists and education institutions to continue to grow our Art and Cultural offering.’’

WINE:The secret of life

14/10/2018 // by admin

CHEERS: Is red wine good for you or not? The people of Tuscany think so.THE secret of a long and healthy life is somewhere in these hills. Maria Pio Fusi looks out over the olive groves and vines owned by her son in the Chianti region of Tuscany and smiles.
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‘‘Our doctors tell us to drink a little wine every day, one or two glasses for our health,’’ she says, as a pensioner in a place where life expectancy is among the highest in Europe. ‘‘Wine is the secret of life.’’

Scientists have agreed with this notion for the past 20 years, and even identified a miracle ingredient in red wine that makes people healthier. But now a paper has been published insisting that resveratrol – as it is called – actually has no effect at all.

‘‘Red wine will not make you live longer,’’ screamed one headline, only months after different scientists said it could help us live to 150. This is confusing enough to make anyone reach for the bottle. So which is true? Is red wine good for you or not?

Frankly, this is a matter close to my heart. As a lover of the stuff, I need to know as much as you probably do. I want to hear what the scientist who wrote that paper has to say for himself. I’m also prepared to pursue this story fearlessly and selflessly all the way to the source – even if it means travelling through a landscape of staggering beauty, among the rolling hills of Tuscany, to reach the little medieval market town of Greve in Chianti, south of Florence.

This is where Signora Fusi’s son owns a vineyard, with views down over the tumbling terracotta roofs of the town. They produce Chianti Classico, the deep and rich wine that makes your soul sing. The local olive oil is famously pure. The meat is wonderful. There are black and white truffles to be found and savoured. Small wonder that discerning researchers chose to come here to study the drinking habits and health of the older folk.

In 1998, they took urine samples from 783 men and women over the age of 65 in this town and a nearby village and examined them for levels of resveratrol. This is one of the natural chemicals found in the skin of the red grape and it is an antioxidant, which neutralises the oxygen molecules that damage human cells. The claims made for resveratrol have become increasingly bold in recent years – including that it can boost memory, arrest the failure of eyesight and hearing, lower cholesterol, restore muscle strength, reduce the signs of ageing and even prolong life. All of which makes it sound like the modern equivalent of Doctor Snakeoil’s Miraculous Cure-All Tonic.

But these claims are based on tests with mice. The team led by Professor Richard Semba of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore wanted to see the effects on humans, so they compared the urine samples with the results of a detailed health survey that the same pensioners took three times in nine years. They expected those with more resveratrol to live longer, suffer less inflammation and be less likely to suffer from cancer or heart disease.

‘‘We were expecting a connection because that is what you hear, that’s a lot of the hype,’’ says Semba. ‘‘But in retrospect it was a leap of faith to go from tests on mice and cellular models to expect an effect like this in humans. It was a complete wash, actually. There was no association.’’

Robert Corder, professor of experimental therapeutics at Queen Mary, University of London, is not at all surprised.

‘‘The levels of resveratrol in many red wines are often undetectable and negligible. ’’

Corder is the author of The Red Wine Diet, which sounds perfect to me, but the title is misleading.

‘‘I am a big fan of wine but I strongly advocate that you should drink less, of better quality.’’

He insists that the pips and not the skins of the grapes are the source of good health. Unfortunately, to get any benefit you need to be drinking wines fermented longer using traditional techniques and that are rich in tannins – and therefore a little too harsh for normal tastes: ‘‘Your average wine does not have enough flavonols in it to confer any kind of health benefit.’’

The other problem is that consumers have become so convinced that red wine is somehow medicinal that we are glugging back too much of it.

But what about the Italians? They drink far more wine than us per person and they also live longer. The answer is that they drink a little every day, rather than saving it all up for the weekend and going on a binge, says Corder. The London Sunday Telegraph

MIKE SCANLON: Real thirst for knowledge

14/10/2018 // by admin

MIKE SCANLON: Real thirst for knowledge HISTORIAN: Ed Tonks, at the Newcastle Museum’s Our Pubs exhibition, is delving into our affinity with pubs. Picture: Marina Neil
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Pub history story Pictured historic photo of George Hotel in Newcastle just after the earthquake on the day of its demolition as a result of earthquake damage. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

ub history story Pictured historic photo of George Hotel in Newcastle. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Newcastle Pub History story – shows the site where the George Hotel in Newcastle once was on the corner of Scott and Watt streets Picture: Peter Stoop

Historic photo of George Hotel in Newcastle just after the earthquake on the day of its demolition as a result of earthquake damage. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Historic photo of George Hotel in Newcastle just after the earthquake on the day of its demolition as a result of earthquake damage. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Historic photo of George Hotel in Newcastle just after the earthquake on the day of its demolition as a result of earthquake damage. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Pub history story Pictured historic photo of the Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle 13th May 2014 NCH NEWS COPY Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Great Northern Hotel

Pictured historic photo of the Beach Hotel on the corner of King and Watt streets Newcastle. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

shows the site where the Beach Hotel in Newcastle once was on the corner of King and Watt streets. Picture by Peter Stoop

shows the site where the Beach Hotel in Newcastle once was on the corner of King and Watt streets. Picture by Peter Stoop

Historic photo of the Exchange Hotel Hamilton. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Exchange Hotel Hamilton. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Historic photo of Premier Hotel at Broadmeadow. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Premier Hotel at Broadmeadow. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Pictured historic photo of Hotel Belmont. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Hotel Belmont located at Belmont. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Historic photo of the Travellers Rest Hexham 13th May 2014 NCH NEWS COPY Picture by DEAN OSLAND

McDonalds Restaurant at Hexham formerly the Travellers Rest Hotel. Photo by PHIL HEARNE

Historic photo of Hotel Bennett at Hamilton. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Pub history story Pictured John McCoy Licensee of the Hotel Bennett at Hamilton. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Pictured historic photo of George Hotel in Newcastle just after the earthquake on the day of its demolition as a result of earthquake damage. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Hotel Bennett at Hamilton. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Pictured Hotel Bennett at Hamilton in pictured back in 1885 as the Tudor Hotel. Picture by DEAN OSLAND

Speers Point Hotel. Lake Macquarie Lake Macquarie life & times Commemorating 100 years of local government

TORONTO HOTEL 1924 Lake Macquarie Lake Macquarie life & times Commemorating 100 years of local government

Sea Breeze Hotel. Picture: Stephen Wark

Criterion Hotel, Wickham. Picture: Supplied

Miners Arms Hotel, Wallsend

Metropolitan Hotel , Wallsend, 1886

Kent Hotel Hamilton, 1924.

Imperial Hotel Cooks Hill, 1880’s

Figtrees Hotel Wallsend

Centenial Hotel

Aberdare Hotel Cessnock

Hotel toronto 1924

Criterion Hotel, Islington. 1983

Cricketers Arms Hotel, 1986

The Duke of Kent, Wolfe and Hunter street, 1976

Family Hotel, Newcastle

Grand Central Tavern , Maitland 1986

Kurri Kurri Hotel, 1973

Nobby’s Lighthouse, former Castle, 1984

Orient Hotel Watt street, damaged by fire, 1978

Royal Oak Hotel, Maitland

Shakey’s Hotel Wickham. 1983

Sportsmans Arms Hotel, Lambton, 1986

Town Hall Hotel, 1972

Blue Peter Hotel, Hunter street

Sulphide Hotel, Boolaroo

Broadway Hotel, Broadmeadow 1984

Caledonian Hotel, Singleton

Carlton Hotel, 1989, Zaara street

Carrington Club Hotel, 1970’s

Morisset Hotel,1908

Museum Hotel, West Wallsend, 1900.

Northern Star , Hamilton

Commercial Hotel , Morisset.

Eatons Hotel, Muswellbrook.

The Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle at the turn of last century.

Terminus Hotel Scott Street, Newcastle

The Yacht Club Hotel, Hunter Street

The Criterion Hotel was a landmark on the corner of Hunter street and Bolton street until 1956

The Crown and Anchor Hotel, Hunter & Perkins Sts

Beach Hotel in Watt Street Newcastle How quickly things change in inner Newcastle is graphically illustrated in the picture above.

Original Oriental Hotel in Carrington – built on site adjacent to present day hotel.

Hotel Rawson on the corner of Hunter and Newcomen streets.

Great Northern Hotel

Largs Hotel in 1936. Picture: SIMONE DE PEAK

Grand Hotel Newcastle

The Star Hotel in Newcastle

Fowler’s West End, in Hunter Street circa 1920s.

Hotel Pacific Newcastle

Killingworth Hotel October 1903

Criterion Hotel, Weston.

Great Northern Hotel

Hotels – Sunnyside Hotel Broadmeadow 1903

Stag and Hunter Hotel, Mayfield,1969.

The Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, The Junction, in 1901

The Terminus Hotel, Merewether

Largs Hotel in 1936

Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, 1900-1910

Hotel Rawson on the corner of Hunter and Newcomen streets, it was demolished after its licence expired in 1964 and is now the site of the Commonwealth Bank.

Terminus Hotel, Scott Street, Newcastle.

The Yacht Club Hotel, Hunter Street, late 1800s

Criterion Hotel was a landmark on the corner of Hunter street and Bolton street until 1956.

Oriental Hotel in Carrington, 1898, on site adjacent to present day hotel.

The Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle circa 1900.

Eatons Hotel, Muswellbrook

The Black Diamond Hotel

TweetFacebookPubs where women ruled, gallery

LET’S front the bar today and toast the health of our favourite drinking haunts. Old Hunter hotels are everywhere around us, or at least they used to be. In fact, back in the 19th century, there seemed to be a public (drinking) house, or pub, on every street corner and often there was.

Today it’s a lot different. Most Newcastle/Lake Macquarie suburbs now seem to only have a couple of rubbidy-dubs.

But once, around 1900, there were a reported 149 pubs in Newcastle and colliery townships, like Hamilton and Wallsend. Inner-city Newcastle/Cooks Hill alone had 55 hotels. Many were real icons.

Then back about 1910, with hard-drinking miners following the opening of new mines up the Hunter, pub patronage began dropping. So, in May 1921 the Licences Reduction Board abruptly closed 23 city hotels. Later, in the early 1960s, more marginally profitable premises were suddenly de-licensed.

No one knows this better that Hunter historian Ed Tonks, of Charlestown.

He’s followed the changing fortunes of Hunter hotels for years and his ‘‘Pits and Pubs’’ tours around the Northern Coalfields are well known.

That’s why he’s taken such a great interest in one of the Newcastle Museum’s newest attractions at Honeysuckle. It’s a collection of 30 historic photographs entitled Our Pubs, showcasing familiar hotels from Newcastle to Boolaroo, Maitland, Kurri Kurri, Dungog and Vacy.

To highlight the display, Tonks was asked to host free ‘‘Ye Olde Pub Crawl’’ tours around the inner-city heart, inspecting some colourful, now often long-gone hotel sites.

‘‘My tour visits around 30 different city hotels sites,’’ Tonks said this week.

‘‘Looking closely at some sites, you learn there might have been up to three different pubs there over the years.

‘‘So what you really have, instead of 30 pubs, is really the history of 40 to 45 hotels.

‘‘My talks are much broader though than the museum pictures on show. Curator Julie Baird only selected some of about 60 pictures I was asked to caption. There’s enough for a second display.’’

The present exhibit is actually part of a 1959 collection of 178 pictures donated by brewers Tooth & Co to the museum. But more of that later.

Historian Tonks said the old, long vanished pubs still had relevance today because of their sometimes surprising past. ‘‘That’s why I love it. Take Merewether’s old Terminus Hotel as an example. Its licence was transferred to the Kent Hotel, in Beaumont Street, Hamilton, in 1924,’’ Tonks said.

‘‘Now, what’s interesting here is that this former hotel building still exists on [140] City Road, on the left going up the hill, but moved back about 10metres. It was physically relocated there decades ago for future road widening.

‘‘It looks completely unrecognisable now. The only old photo I’ve ever seen of it shows it with a wooden verandah, wrought iron panels with ads for ‘Woods’s New Beer’ to the left and right of the front doorway, behind the verandah posts.’’

The hotel started out as the Miners Rest in 1874. It was then listed as being in Railway Street close to the terminus of the steam tramway service from Newcastle.

Tonks said another interesting city pub was the former Golden Sands (now parkland directly opposite Newcastle Beach).

‘‘It opened as The Esplanade in 1937. Brewers Tooheys bought its licence from the old Newmarket Hotel, near the later Strand Theatre Street [now Market Square on Hunter Street Mall].

‘‘Then there’s Broadway’s Lambton Park Hotel, at Broadmeadow. The hotel was demolished after the 1989 earthquake, but its licence originally came in 1924 from the 1904 Glebe Colliery Hotel in Wilton Street, Merewether.

‘‘The Glebe Colliery Hotel though appears to have started life as the Newcastle Colliery Hotel in 1874. That name last appears in 1903.’’

Tonks said much of his hotel information came from Tooth & Co records held at the Noel Butlin Archives at the Australian National University in Canberra.

‘‘What’s there is a staggering resource; a ‘wow’ factor. Tooth’s new boss Carlton United Breweries didn’t want its collection and donated it. Tooths hotels and its competitors are on a comprehensive checklist system of yellow cards.

‘‘Photographs usually accompany each hotel listing as a record of its appearance. Taken by Tooth & Co reps, they cover each NSW town. It’s an invaluable record historically not only of old Hunter hotels, but for the state. And it’s bloody fascinating. But sometimes when a hotel closed, its licence just went into a general pool. Newcastle’s Rawson Hotel [the corner of Hunter and Newcomen streets] was one of about 20 licences we don’t know what happened to.’’

Asked, though, about his own favourite pub, Ed Tonks hesitates, ‘‘That’s a real big call. Like asking what’s your favourite beer. It’s not necessarily that easy,’’ he said.

‘‘For example, when people discuss World War I, it’s often about Gallipoli. Early aviation is usually talking about Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

‘‘When Newcastle pubs are mentioned it’s the Great Northern. It obviously deserves a guernsey, but not at the expense of all others.’’

‘‘Take the underrated former Duke of Kent Hotel on the corner of Hunter and Wolfe streets in the Hunter Mall. It’s of art deco design and just screams of having class.

‘‘And when people think of old, famous Newcastle architects, the name of Frederick Menkens comes up. But he was not the only architect ever working in Newcastle. Take the firm of Pitt and Merewether. Theirs was one of the most prolific architectural practices here and their range of designs equally as staggering.

‘‘They designed hotels like Stockton’s Boatrowers and Gladstone hotels, the Hamilton Hotel and the old Travellers Rest Hotel [now recycled as Hexham McDonalds] with its recessed verandah etc. Another interesting style is seen at the Crown & Anchor pub [complete with turret] in the inner city.’’

Tonks said people today forgot that popular 19th century pubs weren’t just watering holes, but ‘‘a community focus and a place for public meetings’’.

‘‘Coronial inquests were also once held at pubs, so many should have quite a lot of ghosts,’’ he joked.

‘‘And a meeting held at the [notorious] miners and sailor’s pub, the Black Diamond, once at Civic, help establish the Cooks Hill School in 1883. It was a real community thrust.

‘‘Oh yes, people have always had quite an affinity with pubs,’’ Tonks said.

[email protected]南京夜网

Newcastle Museum’s Our Pubs exhibit runs until June 29.

Ten’s replacement shows for Wake Up, news hardly threatening

14/09/2018 // by admin

On repeat … Ten returns to soapie stronghold with The Bold and the Beautiful. Brooke (played by Katherine Kelly Lang) from Bold and the Beautiful, which will get an extra run on Channel Ten.
Nanjing Night Net

Bold and the Beautiful

Senior executives at the Seven and Nine networks will breathe a sigh of relief at Channel Ten’s new schedule.

Having axed the low-rating Wake Up and its early, morning and late news bulletins – as well as 150 staff – the struggling broadcaster had some big holes to fill.

But rather than compete head-on with its commercial rivals or try to grow its audience, Ten appears more focused on getting its costs down.

All its axed programs were expensive to produce – especially Wake Up, which required a purpose-built studio on Sydney’s Manly beach. The replacement programs are generally cheap overseas imports and local repeats; hardly a threat to Sunrise and Today.

The new schedule begins with an hour of Ready Steady Cook at 6am, American showbiz program Entertainment Tonight at 7am, then a Bold and The Beautiful repeat at 7.30am.

British cooking show Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals airs at 8am, followed by local program Studio 10 (which escaped the axe) at 8.30am.

Tellingly, Ten will screen “Australian content repeats, e.g. MasterChef” between 11am and noon.

Our main free-to-air channels are compelled to air at least 55 per cent Australian content between 6am and midnight. But as long as they meet the sub-quotas for first-run drama, documentaries and children’s programs, they can show repeats to reach the main target.

Ten’s now-defunct breakfast show and three daily news bulletins went a fair way to meeting the 55 per cent quota. All of it fresh, topical and home-grown.

Now, Ten has replaced this with a mish-mash of low-budget foreign shows and local repeats. This is not to say they won’t find an appreciative audience. (It’s safe to assume they won’t set the ratings on fire, either.)

But it’s always a shame to see Australian programs get the chop, not to mention talented news staff lose their jobs.

The long-term concern about this new schedule is that it reveals a lack of vision for Ten. Last month, CEO Hamish McLennan emphasised news as a “priority”. A few weeks later, he took an axe to what remains one of the best-performing programs for his network.

Conspicuously absent from Ten’s current line-up is a “tent pole” series such as The Voice or My Kitchen Rules. These are the kind of programs that viewers watch live, a few nights a week, attracting premium advertising rates. They also provide a great platform to promote new series and huge lead-in audiences for other shows. Indeed, they’re called tent pole shows because they prop up a network’s entire schedule.

Unfortunately, Ten misfired with its recent attempts: So You Think You Can Dance (too niche) and The Biggest Loser (too mean). MasterChef, a former ratings powerhouse, was diluted by too many spin-offs but still does comparatively well.

The absence of a tent pole show, however, can precipitate a downward spiral that’s hard to correct.

There are fewer viewers to promote programs to and eventually, even good shows go unnoticed. Your prime time programs have smaller lead-in audiences, so they suffer as well. And the effect is self-reinforcing, making it harder to break the cycle the longer it continues.

It’s often said that if only Channel Ten “would put some good shows on”, their woes would be fixed.

This is rubbish.

Ten already has plenty of great shows. It has the best dramas of any commercial network (Offspring, Puberty Blues, Secrets and Lies), some marvellous imported series (The Good Wife) and some great new local series (Have You Been Paying Attention?). There are many other examples.

But without some more bold attempts at tent pole programming, nothing will change.

McLennan has already indicated the network must focus on this kind of “event” television, but there’s not much to suggest he has anything up his sleeve right now. It must become a (well-funded) priority.

It would be shame for Ten to effectively throw in the towel by going further down the path of endless cost-cutting and cheap programming. This is not an inevitability. Only a few years ago, Nine’s sinking ratings and revenue problems seemed intractable – problems since solved by skilled management.

Ten already has many excellent programs that deserve a bigger audience. It also has passionate, talented and loyal staff. With the right leadership, it could again become a great network.Ten’s news chief questions [email protected]南京夜网.au

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David Jones’ board backs $4 offer despite expert view

14/09/2018 // by admin

David Jones’s board is standing by its endorsement of South African retailer Woolworths’s $4.00 a share takeover offer, even though an ­independent expert has found that David Jones shares are worth as much as $4.14.
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Independent expert Grant Samuel & Associates has valued David Jones shares at between $3.73 and $4.14 a share and says Woolworths takeover offer is fair and reasonable and ­therefore in the best interests of shareholders.

In valuing David Jones shares as high as $4.14, the independent expert is believed to have taken into account the value of David Jones’s property port­folio if development opportunities were exploited.

The four CBD stores are in the books at $612 million, but analysts believe they may be worth as much as $1 billion if air rights above the stores are developed. Grant Samuel is also believed to have applied a higher multiple to David Jones’s earnings than analysts have applied used the past and also took into account a premium for control.

David Jones shares were trading around $2.75 and were considered fully valued by most brokers before Myer approached the company last October with an all-scrip merger of equals proposal that valued the shares at around $3.11. The stock was trading around $3.21 before Woolworths, South Africa’s largest retailer, approached the board offering $4 a share cash in April.

The board quickly accepted the Woolworths offer, subject to no ­superior offers, and is standing by its decision. David Jones said on Thursday the offer price was within the expert’s range and represented a substantial premium over the David Jones share price before the offer was made.

Furthermore, in the absence of the Woolworths offer or any alternative offer it was likely that under current market conditions the shares would be trading at prices well below $4.

“The David Jones board continues to unanimously recommend that David Jones shareholders vote in favour of the scheme at the upcoming scheme meeting, in the absence of a superior ­proposal,” the company said.

Grant Samuel said the $4 a share offer represented a substantial 25 per cent premium over the share price prior to the offer.

This premium was “reasonable” but towards the lower end of the standard range, the expert said.

However, in Grant Samuel’s opinion, the premium based on prices up to January 30, when the Myer offer was revealed, was more relevant.

“These are undisturbed prices and are a better reflection of where David Jones shares would trade in the absence of a takeover offer or any speculation as to one,” the expert said.

“On this basis, the Woolworths offer represents very substantial premiums for control (circa 35 to 40 per cent).”

David Jones chairman Gordon Cairns has previously said that the board weighed up the Woolworths proposal against the value that could be created through David Jones’s five-year plan. It came to the conclusion that the offer was worth significantly more than David Jones’s intrinsic value and ­brokers’ valuation.

Woolworths is believed to have initially offered less than $4 a share but was convinced to lift its offer to $4 a share to win board approval.

Mr Cairns has also said that the board would be willing to consider other offers if one of the global retailers eyeing Australian expansion came along.

No counter-bidders have emerged, although analysts believe that other potential suitors would likely wait until after the Woolworths’s shareholder meeting next month before they made a ­move.

David Jones shareholders are due to meet to approve the Woolworths offer on June 30 after the Federal Court cleared the way for the scheme of arrangement to proceed.

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board cleared the way for the merger two weeks ago and Woolworths gained South African Reserve Bank approval last Friday.

The deal will create the second-largest department store chain in the ­southern hemisphere and one of the top 10 such retailers in the world, with combined sales of $5.7 billion from more than 1151 stores in 16 countries.

Woolworths has identified synergies worth $130 million a year within five years – mainly by increasing the level of private label merchandise in David Jones stores from 3.5 per cent to at least 20 per cent.

Woolworths has also opened the door to selling off David Jones’s four CBD stores – a move that would reduce the cost of the $2.15 billion acquisition.

In a circular to Woolworths shareholders last week, the food and clothing retailer said it intended to “review alternatives” with respect to David Jones’s freehold property assets once further information became available.

This represented a subtle change in Woolworths’s position since it unveiled the offer.

Woolworths chief executive Ian Moir has previously said that ­Woolworths has no plans for the property assets and has denied that Woolworths was considering a sale and leaseback of the stores to help pay for the acquisition.

Woolworths’s wording in the official circular gives the company “wriggle room” to sell or redevelop the properties at some point in the future.

David Jones shares closed down 1¢ at $3.94 on Thursday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Australian shares make biggest gain in three months

14/09/2018 // by admin

Shares posted their best day since February boosted by a strong lead from Wall Street, a bounce in the iron ore price, and a better than expected reading of Chinese manufacturing activity, which is a positive for Australia’s major exports.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index both lifted 1 per cent, on Thursday to 5479.9 and 5458.1 respectively with the gains broadly based and all major sectors advancing.

Mining stocks rebounded as the spot price for iron ore, landed in China, recovered 1 per cent at $US98.50 a tonne. However, fears remain that the commodity price of Australia’s biggest export could continue to slide as increased global production collides with slowing demand growth and credit tightening in China.

Australia’s biggest producer of iron ore, Rio Tinto, rallied 2.6 per cent to $60.96, while iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group bounced 3.6 per cent to $4.59. Resources giant BHP Billiton gained 1.3 per cent to $37.65.

Zurich Financial Services took profits and sold out of its stake in FMG earlier this year but retains a confident outlook for the two biggest miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

“We got out of FMG after a good run in anticipation of the iron ore price falling below $US100 while the local dollar remains strong, but even on a very bearish outlook for iron ore prices where the metal price falls below $US90 per tonne and stays there for months BHP and Rio will still do well,” Zurich Financial Services senior investment strategist Patrick Noblesaid.

The market, and miners in particular, got an extra boost after a monthly measure of Chinese factory activity unexpectedly jumped to a five-month high. The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing purchasing managers index lifted 1.6 points in May to 49.7 beating the consensus forecast for 48.4. Alumina added 7.1 per cent to $1.43.

Australia’s biggest oil producer Woodside Petroleum rose 1.2 per cent to $41.72 following an investor briefing on the heels of Wednesday’s announcement it has abandoned an Israeli joint venture. Shareholders now expect a special dividend if the company can not identify a new investment opportunity.

Rumoured Woodside takeover target Oil Search added 1.2 per cent to $9.25. Brent crude oil, the benchmark most closely associated with the contract prices Australian producers fetch, was 0.1 per cent weaker at $US110.42 a barrel.

Gains in the big four banks also helped propel the market higher. Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 0.6 per cent to $80.65, while Westpac Banking Corporation added 0.6 per cent to $33.86. ANZ Banking Group lifted 1.2 per cent to $33.41, and National Australia Bank gained 1.5 per cent to $33.54.

“The big four banks all look expensive but still have good fundamentals. It is not a good time to buy banks but they are still worth holding,” Mr Noble said.

Among other bluechip favourites, Telstra Corporation was unchanged at $5.36, Woolworths added 0.7 per cent to $37.50, and Wesfarmers, owner of Coles, rose 1.1 per cent to $43.22.

Building materials supplier James Hardie lifted 5.7 per cent to $14.47 after showing full year profit rose 118.7 per cent . The result was in the upper range of the company’s guidance and investors welcomed a move to up the final dividend from 13¢ to 20¢ and pay out another special dividend of 20¢.

Logistics group Qube Holdings jumped 6.4 per cent to $2.33 as its joint bid with industrial rail provider Aurizon won a government to develop an intermodal terminal at Moorebank in western Sydney. The freight hub, which is estimated to be a $1 billion development, will facilitate the transfer of goods between trucks and trains.

Bradken was the worst-performing stock in the ASX 200, down 4 per cent at $3.40, as investors digest the mining services group’s down-sizing plans.

Rare earths miner Lynas Corporation, which owns a processing plant in Malaysia, was the best-performing stock in the ASX 200 climbing 9.1 per cent to 12¢ amid reports China, the world’s biggest producer, is considering raising the taxes on rare earths. A $30 million shareholder share purchase plan offer from Lynas closes on Friday.

Healthcare was the best-performing sector, up 1.8 per cent, led by CSL. The vaccine and plasma product exporter lifted 1.3 per cent to $69.77 with investors please to see the Australian dollar trading back under $US93¢ for the second day in a row.

The latest listed investment company to hit the boards, PM Capital Asian Opportunities Fund, dropped 3.5 per cent on its initial public offer to 96.5¢. New Zealand’s Intueri Education Group will float its $200 million IPO on Friday.

“It is great for the market to see a few big IPOs coming through,” Mr Noble said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Carol Wall – Books that Changed Me

14/09/2018 // by admin

Author Carol WallCarol Wall is an American writer and former English teacher whose storytelling skills won over reluctant students. Her memoir about an unlikely friendship that transformed her life, Mr Owita’s Guide to Gardening, is published by Random House Australia.
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Our Town Thornton Wilder Our Town is actually a three-act play that my students read almost every year I taught high school English, and it gets a special mention in Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening. The students especially enjoyed the assignment of creating booklets in which they noted small things that brought joy to their daily lives. On the cover they wrote the words of Emily Webb, “O Earth, you are too wonderful for anyone to realise you”.

Washington Square Henry James What a great story—a masterpiece of storytelling. Not a single step is placed awry. I also found it amazing how much my students were drawn to the 1949 film adaptation, The Heiress, starring Olivia de Havilland. They would start off making snide remarks over being forced to watch an “old movie” in class. Invariably, they were racing to my classroom so that they could watch as much as possible during that day’s class time.

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Every high school teacher in the South teaches To Kill a Mockingbird, and I was no exception. I loved that book, having read it for the first time as I was growing up in the South in the 1960s. I was Scout, the curious and (sometimes) bold seeker. More importantly, my dad, though not a lawyer, was the Atticus Finch of our small town. You can tell from my description of him in Mister Owita that he was my hero. I miss him very much.

Einstein Walter Isaacson I love biographies and one of my favourites is Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe. I love to read about people and their approaches to their problems, which everyone has of course. I admired the creative and unconventional aspect of Einstein’s life—his penchant for questioning conventional wisdom and his respect for free thinking. Often, my friend Giles Owita and I had discussed Einstein and his theories, and I was therefore especially interested in this book.

Spoken From the Heart Laura Bush Laura Bush’s autobiography is one of my more recent favourites. She writes with grace, candour and humour about her fascinating life, both before her eight years in the White House and during her husband George W’s presidency. What a classy, elegant woman. I’m not sure she was in love with the political scene, and I have often thought I would love to talk with her—not about her time in the spotlight, but about other things.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Festival of Australia and NZ arts launches in London

14/09/2018 // by admin

Author Tim Winton argues there is a common streak through all Australian art. Photo: Marco Del GrandeFrom time to time, Australia launches little cultural assault fleets back to the mother country.
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One year it might be a Leo McKern, who ruled the Old Bailey in his television portrayal of Rumpole, tying a neat bow around the whole convict saga.

Another year it might be a John Pilger or a Julian Assange, doing the journalistic equivalent of selling ice to the Eskimos: a bolder, freer, cooler brand of ice, more sharp and uncomfortable than the usual Fleet Steet sleet.

And of course there are Clive James, Barry Humphries and Germaine Greer  – whose mega-talents took swinging London by storm.

Some of these Aussie Vikings settled down, hung up their helmets and became part of the landscape. Others came back home, Patrick White-style, Tim Winton-style, with new perspective or homesick hearts.

Though … it seems a little unfair. Do we really have to come cap in hand to Europe or North America seeking success and recognition, or some kind of  validation stamp in the career passport?

This month Australia launches a new, full-frontal literary invasion of London.

But the aim is not a reverse colonisation. Instead, according to Jon Slack, it is to demonstrate that no matter how far or how wide our writers roam … etc etc.

“Over here people have a very narrow view of what happens in Australia – the top-level, stereotypical view,” he says.

“There’s some truth to stereotypes but there’s so much more – writing talent, acting talent, film – there’s so much to show off.”

Slack – ex-Adelaide, now a UK resident for just over a decade – is the director of a new, ambitious summer festival in the UK.

This Way Up, the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts, boasts some of the two nations’ biggest talents, supported by some familiar international names, in 60 events over four days.

Tim Winton will discuss his new novel, Helen Garner talks about memory and imagination, Fay Weldon chats to New Zealand writer Paula Morris, other events feature Anna Funder, Greta Scacchi, Kathy Lette and Anita Heiss.

Clive James is doing a new one-hour show about his life in writing, and the festival closes with a new composition by composer Mark Bradshaw set to the biblical poem Song of Solomon, read by actor Ben Whishaw.

I meet Slack on a sunny day in Brighton. He says the idea grew out of a touch of homesickness. “I wanted to work out a way of connecting what I was doing here [in the UK] with back home [in Australia and New Zealand]. I was getting really out of the loop on everything that was happening back in Oz.

“There are so many festivals over here but having a country-specific focus was quite unique … There’s rivalry, affection, understanding [between Australia and the UK]. The more I looked into it the more sense it made.”

There is a risk of backfire in attempting this kind of showcase. Last year London’s Royal Academy, to great fanfare, opened an exhibition of some of Australia’s best and most iconic works of art, from pre-colonisation to the present day.

Reviews were mixed. While few were as scathing as those of the Sunday Times, whose critic ended up musing that in Australia the wrong people became artists, some found the whole idea old fashioned. The Guardian said an exhibition whose “aim is the broad sweep of a country, let alone a continent” risked ending up as “potted history and pop-up content”.

“I am not interested in what might constitute some sort of Australian artistic identity, because I doubt there is one,” the reviewer wrote.

Another critic wrote in the Independent that “more than most countries, [Australia] has carried a baggage of hyper-sensitivity about its place in the world”.

Slack says the reaction to the exhibition showed there was a lot of passion about Australia’s representation in the UK. He hopes the multi-event format of his festival will immunise against such criticism.

He does believe there is a character to Australian writing that will emergeduring the festival.

“If you watch a film from Australia or read a book or even just go back home, there’s something very intangible but you can sense it,” he says. “There is such diversity … [but] the person who described it the best was Tim Winton.”

In a speech in London last year, Winton said he found new perspective on what his home country meant to him when he lived in Paris in his late 20s – his first trip abroad.

He thought the difference would just be language and history, but “the moment that I stepped off a plane at Charles de Gaulle [airport] I knew I was not a European,” he said. “[Australia’s] geography, distance and weather have moulded my sensory palette, my imagination and my expectations.”

Winton found Europe’s land and the sky less beautiful, even saccharine and closed. From afar he recognised Australia as the Neverland of Peter Pan – more wild, a place “more landscape than culture” where the night sky would threaten to suck you up into the stars.

“I was calibrated differently to a European,” he said. “Everything we do in our country is still overshadowed and underwritten by the seething tumult of nature.”

Slack says the Australian voice can vary widely – contrast Winton with Christos Tsiolkas – but at the same time sound alike.

“It’s very direct, it’s bold, it’s just in the character. Even though there’s a lot of bullshit, there’s no bullshit. That’s what people respond to over here.”

Slack says Winton is still a little “under the radar” in the UK, despite the many highlights of his long career.

There is an ongoing question as to whether Australian writers do better if they make a more permanent move to the northern hemisphere, he says. It is even being addressed during the festival, in a “big debate” on whether the cultural cringe is over.

“It’s hard to deny that if you’re based here you’ve got that ongoing presence, it’s easier to have those meetings, do those events, have those conversations you need to have,” Slack says. “The tyranny of distance is still a thing.

“There are some people who still make jokes about ‘cultured Australians, oxymoron’ …People love and respect individual Australians, in films or writers, but I think there is still quite a long way to go. There’s definitely an ignorance of what’s going on … Unless someone has been to Australia you just don’t get past the beach and the sport. It’s really hard for people to do that.”

The festival has a “shoestring budget” in proportion to its scale, but Slack says in planning it became a “controlled explosion” as more people agreed to take part. The event has been part-funded by the Australia Council – which at one stage doubled its support when the project’s ambition grew. One of the council’s aims is to establish a reputation for Australia as an “artistically ambitious nation”, says Jill Eddington, director of literature funding at the council.

But the festival is there, in a nutshell, to help the authors find their market, and the market to find the authors.

“The big challenge for all writers worldwide is discoverability in a huge global online market,” says Eddington. “No, [writers] don’t need to move to the northern hemisphere. The old boundaries and borders are less and less relevant. The work of great Australian writers is relevant to readers anywhere in the world.”

This Way Up is at Kings College, London, from May 29 to June 1.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.