My Monoprinting Experiment

French artist Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903) used monoprinting to created beautiful works of art.  Most were not acknowledged in his lifetime but I had the opportunity to try his technique.

The workshop I attended was run by Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha.  Everyone met at the BCC Library and then walked down to the activity room.  Our instructors were Frances and Lee-anne and their introduction covered the evolution of Australian native plants, the background to Gauguin’s work and monoprinting.   A monoprint is a one-of-a-kind print that forms part of a series.

It was a two-hour class with about twelve people and we were itching to get started.  We couldn’t wait to peruse the beautiful and aromatic array of Australian native plants ready to make our imprints.

Here is my quick overview

 

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Beginners Guide to Monoprinting

 

  • You may have read that monoprinting is an age-old printmaking method which produces a single image.  I’d have to say that is only partially correct – the image can be reversed or added to several times, each time producing a different image.  (See my coloured prints above).

 

  • I rolled out four paint blobs (yellow and red) on an acetate pad, added a leafy tree branch and a clean sheet of paper on top before smoothing it out flat.  Peel off.  Two for the price of one!  I placed ferns and leaves with the branch, added fresh paper on top, pressing down hard.  I reversed the procedure and did ‘mirror’ images.

 

  • You may have heard that you need lino or woodcarving tools.  I used a wooden chopstick to press and draw my B&W designs.  There were several which didn’t make the grade and I tried to choose the better ones.  (See my black and white prints below).

 

  • It is thought that you need to work on a glass plate or gel plate, but a sheet of tough plastic (clear heavy acetate) works well with monoprinting paints and is easy to clean.  Of course, you can upscale your equipment when your hobby turns into a money-making enterprise.

 

  • A special roller isn’t really necessary to spread the paints, you can use a small rubber roller with a plastic handle.  No flattening press needed.  Once the overlay paper is in place, you can use your hands to smooth the paper flat, or add background patterns through the paper with the tips of your fingers.  

 

  • Pigmented paints and printing inks produce colours which look great but the traditional black-and-white looks dramatic.  I didn’t achieve any depth to my work but the middle black-and-white print (below) is reversed and the hatching in the background was done with the backs of my finger nails.

 

  • We ran out of time and I would have loved to have dabbled more.  The free class I attended supplied the equipment – plus afternoon tea – and the paper used was office A4 size.  It was porous enough and strong enough to take my amateur efforts.

 

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My words of encouragement “You have to try it, muck around with it, get messy and see what happens”

The trick is to work fast, especially in Queensland temperatures, because the paint will dry quickly.  Drying caused one of my prints to have a ghostly quality.  That was part of the fun – the results were often a surprise.

Monoprinting is a forgiving and flexible technique, experimental yet satisfying, and several participants achieved a pleasing degree of botanical detail worth framing.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Botanical Gardens Fresh Air and Sunshine

Coming out of a hot dry summer, March weather is beginning to soften the sky and offer the cooler, more gentle mornings of autumn.  There is no definite change of season, just a calmness, almost a feeling of relief after the insistent tropical heat.

Apart from, whack, an insect, there’s something serene and relaxing about strolling through a garden, touching leaves, sniffing flowers, following a creek and hearing the splash of a small waterfall through the trees.

To quote Rudyard Kipling “The Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!” so…

Here’s what I experienced one lovely morning…

Arriving early at the Brisbane Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, I strolled through a cool, green gully and thought it was strange to be in a capital city yet hear no traffic sounds.  I floated along, enjoying the stillness, until my personal calm was shattered when the garden crew came on duty and the leaf- blowing brigade roared into action.  I had to wait until one fellow walked out of shot to photograph Xanthorrhoea australis, the Grass-trees (below; left).  The atmosphere shuffled its feathers and tranquility returned.

Wooden bridges and flowing streams…

Leisurely, I followed the meandering paths across bridges and green lawns, enjoying the mild sunshine.  Strolling down a slope, I came to a bracken-lined watercourse then walked up a gentle incline towards king ferns, piccabeen palms and towering hoop pines.  I’ve never fully traversed the 56 hectare (138 acre) area which displays mainly eastern Australian plants.

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You can spot Eastern Water Dragons (lizards) and geckos as they scurry out of sight or get a giggle watching the many varieties of water fowl, ducking and diving in the lake.  Feeding wildlife is not allowed and I couldn’t entice them into an appealing photograph.

Sculptural features are ‘casually’ placed throughout the gardens and I think the most alluring is a silver fern seat (below; left) with interesting support.

Beside the pond and beneath the trees…

The Japanese Garden (below; entrance and pond) offers soothing symmetry and a waterlily’s single bloom.  Nearby the concert bandstand has grass seating surrounded by trees with foliage of different patterns and colours.  Around me, there’s a multitude of subtropical shrubs, cycads and flowers with names I never remember.  You will notice that I do not attempted to be horticultural!  A bit further along, in the arid zone, resides a sci-fi concoction of exotic cacti.  The culinary, fragrant and medicinal herb gardens are pure indulgence.  But if herbs aren’t your thing, the pungent eucalypt is my favourite and walking the Aboriginal Plant Trail with its edible food plants.

Biodiversity and water reflections…

The stillness of the morning created pleasing reflections on the lagoon which is fed by rainwater captured from the hills.  You can choose between typical heathland or wetland regions made easily accessible for suburban folk.  The Conservation Collection includes rare and endangered species in their natural habitats and I entered the steamy, geodesic hothouse (below; left) where equatorial plants are nurtured.  My face beads in sweat, it’s not a place for humans to linger too long.  Time for an ice-cream!

Look outside the Botanic Gardens…

Outside the entry are several buildings of interest: Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium (below; saved from extinction by a vocal community uprising) large carpark, small art studio, specialist library and auditorium providing a variety of events.  I have booked a place in a workshop Monoprinting Australian Native Plants, so a blog post may be forthcoming.  The new Visitor Information centre offers guided walks and Gardens Café has the ice-cream.  The two white-coated fellows outside the café are entomologists, surviving statues from World Expo 88.

Pandas and children have a special treat…

The Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Children’s Trail is a hide-and-seek ramble through the shady rainforest garden with special works of art dotted along the way and I couldn’t resist following it myself.  Check out the wacky weathervane!  And a log for native stingless Sugarbag bees.  Mother and baby Panda bears enjoy the bamboo; they are a special fabrication of laser-cut aluminium by Australian sculptor Mark Andrews.

Parks and gardens change with horticultural trends.  The smaller City Botanic Gardens are older and more formal, in keeping with the style of previous centuries, but I prefer the softness of Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.  As the world becomes more populated and natural plant life decreases, Brisbane city dwellers like me need our botanical gardens to nourish and refresh our screen-dependant interior lives.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Note:  Please click or tap an image to enlarge.

You may also like to read about my visit higher up the road at Mt Coot-tha Lookout.

Wales Readathon 2019

If you’ve never read a Welsh writer’s work, now is your chance!  I’ve been to the library and collected my copy of Under Milk Wood, the radio/stage/film drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas to get me started.  Read all about Dewithon19 on Book Jotter’s blog….Mwynhewch ddarllen! (Enjoy reading!)
Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Book Jotter

1st-31st March

Wales DragonWelcome to the first ever Wales Readathon (aka Dewithon 19), a month-long event beginning on Saint David’s Day, during which book bloggers from all parts of the world are encouraged to read, discuss and review literature by and about writers from Wales.

For more in-depth information on this reading jolly, head over to DHQ (Dewithon Headquarters) – and should you wish to take part in the official readalong, please follow this link. You can also share your thoughts and posts on Twitter by using the hashtags #dewithon19 and/or walesreadathon19.

Here we display your Dewithon-related posts. Please leave your links in the comments below or drop me a line with the URL.

Mwynhewch ddarllen! (Enjoy reading!)

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DEWITHON POST PINBOARD

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Dewithon Logo Daffs

You may use the Reading Wales/Dewithon logos with a link…

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day 11Valentine's Day 01Valentine's Tree 03

Valentine's Day 12

Sonnet 116: Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand’ring bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov’d,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

By William Shakespeare

🎀

Love to all Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Beach Boys and West Coast Girls

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Guest post from Maud Fitch who looks at 20th century male chauvinism, surfer culture and skin cancer.

Okay, she looks at one particular song––California Girls by The Beach Boys––with the observation that it reeks of male teen spirit.

Thanks for filling in, Maud.  “No problemo,” she writes “My comments relate to the inequality of the sexes and when males sang about women with such defining features, dare I say ‘personalities’, that a song could transcend the decades.  Whereas women sang about males who are leaving/arriving or causing tears/heartache and are not physically described, leaving nothing etched in the memory.” 

Maud’s musical hypothesis…

If you don’t know the song lyrics (lucky you) here they are:

California Girls
The Beach Boys
https://www.thebeachboys.com/

Well, East Coast girls are hip
I really dig those styles they wear
And the Southern girls with the way they talk
They knock me out when I’m down there
The Mid-West farmer’s daughters really make you feel alright
And the Northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night

I wish they all could be California girls
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

The West coast has the sunshine
And the girls all get so tanned
I dig a French bikini on Hawaiian island dolls
By a palm tree in the sand
I been all around this great big world
And I seen all kinds of girls
Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the States
Back to the cutest girls in the world

I wish they all could be California girls
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

I wish they all could be California girls
I wish they all could be California girls
I wish they all could be California girls
I wish they all could be California girls
etc, etc…

Songwriters: Brian Douglas Wilson / Michael Edward Love
California Girls lyrics 1965 © Universal Music Publishing Group

Location is not an issue here, the girls in question are prominently mentioned and The Beach Boys diplomatically reference various US regions so as not to offend by omission.

A catchy tune, they sing of the visual pleasure of one woman pitted against another until the type named ‘California Girls’ moves to the top of the lust list.

The objectifying of women does not translate well to 21st century sensitivities.  Although in 2010 Katy Perry sang a similarly shallow song California Gurls.

It can be argued that The Beach Boys were young and represented their gender and the world-wide surfing movement with what appealed to them at the time.  Their songs certainly represented the superficiality of youth and what was uppermost on the manly mind.  In contrast, The Supremes song of 1965 Surfer Boy shows an entirely different slant on surfing and a more emotional approach.

The Beach Boys skimming appraisal of the external woman brings me to the French bikini on a Hawaiian island girl.  I don’t know skin cancer statistics in other countries but at one stage Australia had the highest skin cancer rate in the world.  Most beach babes of the mid-to-late twentieth century now have a crusty epidermal layer of melanoma sores and spots which are regularly checked by their skin cancer specialist.

Are these bikini babes still loved?  Nobody of that beach culture vintage is cute now, unless Botox is involved.  Heck, everyone of that generation has aged and, depending on decrepitude, may wish they had that body again.

Allowing for variants, The Beach Boys and The Supremes are now older, wiser people who made a lot of money from their hard-working vocal chords and have moved into Music Legend status.  I wonder if they sit in comfy chairs, musing about their past lyrics?  Do they laugh, cringe or couldn’t care less?

The world may have moved on but surfers still surf, boys still ogle girls, and sex discrimination still remains.  And no matter how irksome, old songs never die.

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Maud Fitch – Guest blogger and east coast Queensland girl

Kei Ishii and The Kontemporary Idea

Kei Ishii, founder of The Kollective Idea and its related dance module The Kontemporary Idea, will be holding more 3-day workshops this year, offering a creative boost to young and emerging dancers.

This is the first part of our two-part interview with Kei discussing his contemporary dance career.  Watch out for part two with Q&A insights!

kei ishii kollective ideas website 02Kei Ishii graduated from The Space Performing Arts, in Melbourne and went on to take a place at the world-renowned Ev & Bow Full-Time Contemporary Dance Course in Sydney where he trained with Sarah Boulter for two years.  During this time Kei assisted Sarah in choreographing many events including Dance Academy and the Arabian Games and was also offered a secondment with the Internationally famed ADT (Australian Dance Theatre) in Adelaide.

As a member of Legs on the Wall Contemporary Dance Troupe, Kei performed in their production of Puncture at the Sydney Festival in 2015.  He has choreographed many short works which have been performed at festivals such as Sydney Fringe Festival and Short Sweet Dance and was also awarded Best Choreographer at Fast + Fresh 2013.

 


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Since returning to Queensland, Kei shares his knowledge of various contemporary techniques with dance schools around Brisbane.  He started The Kollective Idea to give aspiring dancers the chance to perform in a company setting, to learn what working within the industry involves and to be guided through this exciting process.


 

Kei says “At The Kollective Idea we foster your talents and expand your experiences in an environment where you can gain the creative edge needed to succeed in dance.  You will dance alongside award-winning instructors and choreographers.  We are highly motivated to develop your performance technique, style and stage skills.”

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Kei Ishii, creator of The Kollective Idea

 

Kei goes on to say “The right philosophy drives success, it is where everything we do creatively and professionally starts.  A promising idea will define what you do and how you will do it.  Having the knowledge and skills to use this idea is why we study, practice and gain experience, growing to expand our ideas, our horizons and ultimately our dance futures.” 

“We can help you through the process of growing in the industry.  Our mentors are award-winning dancers with experience and the knowledge needed to help you grow that idea.”

A great learning opportunity from a man with vibrant and affirmative ideas!
Gretchen Bernet-Ward

The Kollective Idea starts their year with another The Kontemporary Idea 3-day workshop 19-21 January 2019 in two groups for ages 10-13 and 14+ covering techniques, improvisation and choreography.  Website bookings––

http://thekollectiveidea.com.au/
http://thekollectiveidea.com.au/events/
https://www.facebook.com/thekollectiveidea/

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The Kontemporary Idea

Brisbane Studio––

WORKSHOPS 19-21 JANUARY 2019
DAY 1 – Contemporary Techniques
DAY 2 – Improvisation Techniques
DAY 3 – Choreography Techniques
AGES
KONNECT – Ages 10-13
KOLLECT – Ages 14+

PERFORMANCE VIDEO
http://thekollectiveidea.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/CompressedIRISH-1.mp4?_=1

CLICK to read the second part of our two-part interview.

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Drought Ain’t Over Yet

Australian farmers, east and west, north and south are facing challenges on the land.  As we head into summer, the drought has reached drastic proportions right across the country.  Imagine no water, cattle dying, crops withering and red dust coating everything you touch.  We have to think about farmers livelihoods, they put the food on everyone’s table.

So far Rural Aid have…

•  Helped over 4500 farmers have registered for various types of assistance.

•  2000 farmers have received Buy-a-Bale hay, currently numbers growing at 30 a week.

•  1000’s of hampers, water trucks, fuel cards and vouchers.

Since 1 July 2018 Rural Aid have…

•  Employed 11 mental health counsellors with committed funding of $5.5m over 3 years.

•  More than $20m in total cash donations has been accepted by Rural Aid.

•  Over 2200 counselling telephone one-on-one calls or face to face visits to farmers in 4 months.

•  $3m paid for hay distributed to farmers in need.

•  $2.3m paid in freight to deliver the hay.

•  $6m for bill relief for farmers.

•  Forward commitment to purchase $11m of hay and transport for next 6 months.

•  More than $1.2m provided to farmers in the form of gift cards which can be spent locally.

•  Expanded their team by 7 people so they can respond to enquiries and provide help faster to those most in need.

Rural Aid have moved 76 and 88 trailers respective, almost 3500 tonnes of hay in the last two weeks alone, delivered to over 300 farmers.  This is amazing work by hay teams, truckies and hay producers who are all pulling together, a super support effort.  But the battle continues.

Read the blog of a drought-stricken cattle farmer Paula Stevenson
http://paulastevensonwriter.com.au/day-266/

My thoughts into words…

It’s a hard way to earn a living.  You can help dedicated farmers to keep growing our country’s food.  Consider Farm-sitting, Farm Army volunteering, Farm Rescue groups, buying hay bales or donating to—
Rural Aid www.ruralaid.org.au
Buy-a-Bale www.buyabale.com.au

As Rural Aid wraps up another year, their 2019 calendars are now selling.  Help out by placing an order for this great Christmas gift and have it mailed—
Calendar Grab a 2019 calendar

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Buy A Bale Calendar 2019

Why do we care so much about shortlists? And I am on one!

I am honoured to be on the Shortlist in such esteemed company.
Here’s Jen Storer telling us all about shortlists… Gretchen Bernet-Ward

WordPress Scribbles Girl and Duck Awards Shortlist 2018 02

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girl and duck

Someone recently asked, what’s the big deal about a shortlist?
 
What’s the big deal?
 
A shortlist groups together the best!
 
 It acknowledges the most accomplished of a long and always healthy collection of entries.
 
It’s also how we make competitions like the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards, manageable — both for the judges and for the competitors.
 
Imagine if we only gave out two prizes, two ‘nods’, per category. Judges would tear out their hair. Creators would feel jaded and demoralised. And rightly so!
 

shortlist pre-announcement

A shortlist gives more people a chance to shine. It spreads the love a little further.
 
Yes, indeedy. To be on a shortlist is a great honour. And a great thrill.
 
Not only can it boost us emotionally, psychologically and creatively, it can also boost our career.
 
Publishers and agents care about shortlists. Funding bodies care about…

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Remembering Those Who Fought

Today 11/11/2018 is the Centenary of Armistice and Remembrance Day in Australia.
We remember those who fought and those who died––

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My grandfather heading off to war.

At 11am on 11 November 1918 the armistice treaty, which Germany had signed earlier that morning, came into effect.  The Great War, the ‘war to end all wars’ which had begun on 28 July 1914 was finally over.

Like millions of other Australians, I’ll follow tradition and observe a two-minute silence at 11am (no matter where I am) to honour the 420,000 men who enlisted and the 62,000 who didn’t return.


Remembrance Day Poppies in Field

In Flanders Fields

Poem by Dr John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


ANZAC Day Poppy


Lest We Forget.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

2018.11.11 Lest We Forget

Camel Milk Coffee at Summer Land Camel Farm

A local newspaper notice attracted my attention.  Did I read that correctly?  A camel farm excursion?  Here is the true story of my expedition into camel territory.

I’d heard about camel milk and wanted to know more, so I contacted the organiser National Seniors secretary.  Of course, they had me at “camels” but when I see meals included, I’m there.  The itinerary read “East Coast Coach depart 9am and arrive Summer Land Camel Farm, Harrisville, morning tea and guided farm tour.  Lunch at Commercial Hotel (adjoining Thirsty Camel bottleshop) before travelling home via scenic route 4pm.”  Hooked and booked!

On boarding the coach, I was given a warm National Seniors welcome, and on disembarking the coach 45 minutes later, the first thing I noticed was the vast blue sky over Summer Land Camel Farm.  A rolling vista spread out around me.  In the distance the smudged outline of the Scenic Rim, part of the Great Dividing Range, and in the foreground hundreds of camels!  It was an odd sight, camels of different sizes grazing in the paddocks, until I realised they were at home in the landscape.

Now, first let’s clear up some camel falsehoods.  Camels do not spit but alpacas do.  Camel footpads are better suited to protect vegetation than cows and horses.  Of course, it’s common knowledge that a camel can walk over a hundred kilometres without water and carry heavier loads than a horse.  But did you know that they are excellent swimmers?  Who’d have thought but it’s true.

We strolled to the beautiful old Queenslander homestead where a spread of fresh scones, homemade jam and cream awaited.  Then we realised what we were eating.  The white fromage cream I dobbed on my scones and the milk in my coffee were not from a dairy cow but a camel.  Delicious!  And, as we subsequently found out, very good for our digestive tract.  Camel milk is like an immune boost, an anti-inflammatory which can benefit our gut, skin and hair.

I loved meeting the camels at the fence, talking to them as they blinked their long eyelashes, obviously assessing if I had anything edible in my hand.  When they saw the camera, I believe they actually posed, holding quite still while I took full advantage of this photo opportunity.  See the camel on the right smiling!  Everything was peaceful and the air smelt fresh. No camel aroma wafting on the breeze.  Then my models wheeled away to check out an inviting dust bath.

In Australia we have dromedary camels, one hump.  The dromedary is the smaller of the two species of camel and female gestation period is 13-14 months or around 410 days.  I saw a baby camel, 24-hours old, all spindly legs, wobbling and flopping yet determined to stand.  I asked if I could sponsor a camel, an adorable critter to watch grow up.  Not yet, but one day this may be possible.  In the meantime I joined the Summer Land Camels Club and harbour happy thoughts of riding a camel on my next visit.

Summer Land CEO Jeff Flood
Jeff Flood, CEO Summer Land Camel Farm, Business Strategist, Biochemist and Nutritional Immunotherapist.

Our group walked to a vast shed where the cheese, cream and milk are tested and processed.  We sat in the breezeway while Jeff Flood, biochemist and immunotherapist, delivered an intelligent, informative and heartfelt talk on all things camel.  Even biomes got a mention, and Jeff is very open about the farm operations.  I wished my school days had involved such an absorbing field trip.

A passionate cameleer from a farming background, Jeff Flood is CEO and co-founder of Summer Land Camel Farm, the largest of its kind in Australia.  Apart from playing rugby and completing several scientific degrees, he discovered that the immune protein and nutritional content of camel milk has healing benefits, showing positive results when used to treat his young son’s eczema.

Then onward to the open-air camel dairy, where we learned the long road to milking.  Camel milk and by-products are not high volume in Australia but its the largest commercial-scale camel dairy operation outside the Middle East and the third largest of its kind in the world.  Jeff and co-founder Paul Martin are training wild camels, breeding, researching, testing and pioneering the way.  Not only for Australia but the rest of the world.  Why can’t camel milk sit in the fridge next to other beverage flavourings?  Camellatté has a nice ring to it.

Jeff is concerned for the welfare of camels and told us some horrible yet true stories of the brutal decimation of the wild camel population in Australia.  The camel is a neglected animal among the policymakers.  Incorrect data is perpetuated to this day, mainly through ignorance and government propaganda.

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During the tour, it became obvious to me that camels have been given a raw deal.  They are well-suited to our Australian climate and in some ways more beneficial than imported European farm animals.  A bit of racism involved here?  Camels do not have top teeth yet they like rugged food; they can eat feral weed plants such as prickly pear and they don’t need lush green pastures to thrive.  During drought years, companion-herds of camels and cows survive better.  Camels can act as watchdogs, they have the intelligence of a six year-old child which is greater than a dog.  Plus they can take you on very, very long walks!

Back at the homestead, we enjoyed some taste-testing and Summer Land Camel Farm staff excelled with their hospitality.  Unlike almond milk or soy milk, I had an instant attraction to camel milk.  It suited my palate without the “I’ll get used to it” phase.  Being lactose-intolerant, that’s a blessing.  I perused items for sale; from camel milk and cheeses through to soap, hand-cream and artwork by Fiona.  If you forget the Esky, cold bags can be purchased for a nominal amount and my Camel Persian Feta and other goodies were safely tucked away.

Time to head off down the road and partake of a pub lunch at the Commercial Hotel in Harrisville.  After our meal, we strolled around the small township.  I looked left and right before crossing the road but it wasn’t really necessary.

The coach swayed gently as we headed homeward, and I was pondering this enjoyable day out when my thoughts reached a conclusion.  I had looked into the eyes of a camel and seen a friendly, interested gaze.  I think the world needs more friendly interest in camels.  And more camel milk in coffee!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

FARM & CAFE OPENING HOURS:
Mon-Sat: 9am – 3pm
Sun: 9am – 4.30pm
Closed Public Holidays

LOCATION:
8 Charles Chauvel Drive
Harrisville QLD 4307
AUSTRALIA

Website:       https://summerlandcamels.com.au/
Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/summerlandcamelfarm/
Contact:       admin@summerlandcamels.com.au
Instagram:  @summerlandcamels
Café menuhttps://summerlandcamels.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SLC-Homestead-Cafe-MENU-FEB-2018.pdf
Investor enquiriesinfo@wildcamelcorp.com.au
Further reading:      https://camel4all.blog/2018/05/15/the-camel-milk-story-theme-of-the-world-camel-day-2018/

Stop the Press – My camel post has been used online and print issue by Your Time 55+ Magazine – Read all about it.

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The Year of Living Duckishly

Did you know that?  In the spirit of The Duck Pond, here’s a heads up from author Jen Storer of Girl & Duck.

Exciting times!  Jen’s SCRIBBLES CREATIVE GROUP (writing and illustration) is having a FLASH SALE on 30th September 2018.  Join now!

Yay! That’s 30% off their signature online course – 30% off on the 30th.  Ink it in, okay?

 Then the SCRIBBLES CREATIVE WRITING AWARDS open on 1st October 2018.

Have you got an awesome picture book manuscript or a junior fiction story you think might fly in the competition?  Middle grade?  An exciting storyboard?  There are FOUR categories and I bet you’ve got something creative worth entering!

To read all about the inaugural SCRIBBLES CREATIVE AWARDS plus prizes and how you can win a manuscript assessment and one-hour Skype coaching call with published author Jen Storer of Girl & Duck CLICK HERE.

Clarrie's Pig Day OutJen, creator of Truly Tan series and other children’s books, says “I hope this post flips your lid.  But only in a good way!”

#keepscribbling  #stayinspired
To keep up with all the news (and all the pretty pictures) follow Jen on Instagram.

Visit the website Girl & Duck and ask to join Jen, Zoe, Dulcie, Geek Duck (and me, and the other Duckies from around the world, talking children’s literature and stuff) in The Duck Pond, the most unique and supportive online kidlit group around – then join SCRIBBLES for even more fun!  I will definitely be entering the Awards competition!

All the links you’ll ever need to write and illustrate brilliant kids books:

https://girlandduck.com/
https://girlandduck.com/online-courses/scribbles/
https://girlandduck.com/scribbles-creative-writing-awards/
https://girlandduck.com/online-courses/the-girl-duck-institute/

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Reading Hour – One Lousy Hour!

How pathetic!  We have 24 glorious hours in a day and only one is chosen!  And it’s not even held simultaneously around the country!  Have you read your one hour today?

Australian Reading Hour Bookshop Logo

This year Australian Reading Hour falls on Thursday 20 September 2018 and the nominal time in the evening is 6pm to 7pm.  But individual reading and group reads will be happening all day to avoid important sporting fixtures, special events and venue opening hours, and to accommodate the different time zones in Australia.

Fair enough, however, it’s still one lousy hour!  What is the Australian Reading Hour committee thinking?  There are 8760 hours in one year, so use some more of them.

If more hours aren’t forthcoming next year, why not (1) disrupt your sporting fixtures (2) put the special event on hold (3) pause during venue opening hours (4) delay that visit to the gym and (5) forget a few things to stop and READ for ONE lousy hour!

Meanwhile, find a really quiet, cosy place and settle down alone.  Betcha read for longer than an hour!

Or gather a group together at school, work, bookshops like Avid Reader, the library, the park or get the family together in your own home and read, read, read for one lousy hour.

One hour isn’t going to kill you, the world won’t crumble around you – but you and the adults and children of Australia will visit another place through the pages of a book.  For one lousy hour…

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Books Book Shelf 18

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Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linked to my other post https://thoughtsbecomewords.com/2018/09/16/your-reading-hour-countdown/

Indigenous Literacy Day


Indigenous Literacy Day 2018


You have the month of September to sign up to the new Indigenous Literacy Day fundraising campaign and fill your virtual shelf with books for children in remote communities.  Participate in the launch on Wednesday 5 September and discover how to fill a bookshelf for children in the remote Australian outback.

It’s something new, something a little different, something the Indigenous Literacy Foundation believes you’ll enjoy sharing with your friends and family, and something that gives you the opportunity of ensuring kids in remote communities have access to quality, new books.

Commencing on Indigenous Literacy Day (5 September 2018) the new ‘Fill a Bookshelf’ fundraising campaign aims to raise $300,000 to help ILF gift 30,000 new books to schools and service organisations in remote communities where books are scarce.

How does it work? The idea is simple…

  1. Sign up online to create a fundraising page and receive an empty virtual bookshelf.
  2. Ask family, friends, colleagues to donate a virtual book to your page (in the form of a donation)
  3. Fill your virtual bookshelf!
  4. Change the lives of Indigenous children.

Your donations will help buy new, carefully selected books for children who have none.  To put it quite simply – without your support, in a very real sense – bookshelves in remote Indigenous communities are empty.

All children in Australia deserve the same opportunities – in education, employment, health and wellbeing.  Evidence shows that literacy is the pathway to CHOICE for these opportunities, and BOOKS are the building blocks for literacy.  If you believe this too, sign up today!

I BELIEVE – SIGN ME UP  ‘Fill a Bookshelf’ and celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day!

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation
PO Box 663 Broadway NSW 2007
AustraliaIndigenous Literacy Foundation


Indigenous Literacy Day is a national celebration of Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy.  Indigenous Literacy Day aims to raise awareness of the need to support literacy in remote and isolated Indigenous communities of Australia.


Indigenous Childrens Book Moli Det BigiBigi
‘Moli det bigibigi’ (Molly the Pig) a new children’s picture book written by Karen Manbulloo, from the remote Binjari community near Katherine in the Northern Territory. Written in Kriol and English, ‘Moli det bigibigi’ is a story based on a real-life pet pig of the Binjari community, found in the bush by Karen’s brother.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

The Ekka: Agricultural Extravaganza

On arrival, I did the obligatory Ekka walk through the Cattle Pavilion, holding my nose but still loving those pretty Ayrshire dairy cows.  I recall turning a corner and stumbling upon a huge Brahman bull standing on a concrete slab while the farmer hosed shampoo off his shiny hide.  However fascinating, I bet it’s out-of-bounds now.  Other memories waft through, of sitting in the Woodchop Arena, the thunk of the axe and the smell of pine as I eat a Chiko roll with hot chips and drink cold lemonade.  Where are the jam doughnuts?  Afterwards, the lengthy queue for the toilets becomes a good opportunity to study the Ekka guide.

Ekka Strawberry IceCream ConeApart from retaining the obvious things like farm livestock, sideshow alley and wood-chopping events, the Ekka has changed greatly over the years.  It shrunk in size yet the slide expanded and just when the drought-stricken man on the land needs the most support he takes a back seat to fashion parades, Fine Art and strawberry sundae ice-cream cones.  Time to reflect…

A Brisbane institution since 1876, the Ekka (a slang term for Exhibition) is officially known as Royal Queensland Show run by RNA The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland.  It is held in Brisbane for ten days each year at the beginning of August.  Dates at the time of writing are 10-19 August 2018.  The permanent Brisbane Showgrounds venue is situated in Bowen Hills and the State Library of Queensland holds an extensive collection of materials from past exhibitions which show many changes around the old grandstand building.  Still, it does hold a special place in the hearts of Brisbanites.

  I make no apologies for the length of this retrospective, my stream-of-consciousness dictated the terms, I’m satisfied with what I have written and I hope you understand my sentiments.

A long-held tradition is a visit to the Showbag Pavilion which is always packed to capacity and resembles an apocalyptic movie set.  Staring eyes seeking Valhalla, the perfect showbag, the one packed with the most goodies at the lowest price.  Showbags are half-full of sample merchandise in small packets, mainly chocolate and unhealthy food, with a plastic kids game, latest movie trivia or blow-up hammer to whack your friend over the head with every two minutes until he agrees to go on a ride.  In Sideshow Alley, instead of dodgem cars you choose a huge twisty, jerky ride.  Ultimately it’s not a good idea because he vomits over the side of the ride, down onto a girl trying to score a prize with a wonky tennis ball.

Ekka Poultry Bird PavilionVarious outbuildings to explore; one overheated and smelling of sawdust accommodates Poultry, aisles of chickens and fancy birds in wire cages, biding their time until they are awarded a ribbon or packed off home to the henhouse.  Outside there are flocks of people from all walks of life, all ages and every nationality clutching the latest silly novelty.  Or wearing the latest silly hat, the ultimate in fast fashion, only ever worn once––thank goodness.

Babies in prams sleep through the pushing and shoving and manoeuvring to get into the Animal Nursery and, rudely awakened by a squealing piglet, find themselves eye to eye with a billy goat.  The pedigree dog and cat judging is amazing, especially the cats because they actually like being groomed within an inch of their lives and they fluff up like puffer fish.  I seem to remember sheep shearing rivalry, big blokes welding buzzing clippers, denuding a sheep in a couple of well-placed blows.  The sheep is pushed outside and its woolly coat is flung onto a pile of other woolly oily off-white fleece.

If you can’t wrangle a seat in the Fashion Pavilion or would prefer not to ride a swaying gondola on the Ferris Wheel, there’s usually adequate seating on wooden benches around the Main Arena.  Animals are good at ignoring schedules so this is where most of the unscripted action takes place.  There’s high-speed chariot races, tent pegging, beef cattle judging, showjumping, Clydesdale draught horses and children with Shetland ponies––a recipe for disaster every Ekka and always good for a shocked squeal or belly laugh.  A disgruntled animal can pull away, chariots have scraped walls and riders have fallen off their horses.  Alternatively, breakaway sheep from the sheep dog trials have been known to bolt for the exit.

Ekka JetPack ManYears ago, with the space race wasting trillions of dollars, another venture wasted trillions of dollars; the Jet Pack.  A man dressed like an astronaut strapped on a jet backpack with handles (not actual image) revved it and rose into the air.  He cruised from one side of the arena to the other and then slowly landed.  The noise was horrendous!  The sound decibels of a jet engine taking off.  Unfortunately the power was nothing like it.  The hype wasn’t worth the wait and I can understand why jet packs never became a form of transport for the daily commute.  It guzzled more fuel than V8 Utes and monster trucks arena race.

Ekka Fireworks

The nightly fireworks spectacular creates a photographer’s paradise and teenagers cuddle in the grandstands, saying ooh and aah at each burst of light but feeling queasy from all the Caramello Koalas they’ve consumed.  Behind them sits giggling siblings who always want to tag along.  The announcer’s comments jar, hardly necessary and often distorted, until the music takes over and tries to conquer the exploding light show.  I feel a pang for the beasties trying to get comfortable in a strange stall so far from home.

Ekka People's Day CrowdThe Wednesday in the middle of Ekka week is an official public holiday known as ‘People’s Day’.  It is best to avoid Wednesday if you hate crowds.  School children are granted alternate days off in the vain attempt to stop truancy although, more often than not, families take a long weekend.  The side pavilions are busy on Wednesday, 550 exhibitor stands, and they house agricultural equipment and all manner of things like the latest farmhouse gadgets, trucks, harvesters, even fish tanks.  Displays change with trends, one year healing crystals, next year heat packs and another organic drinks.  Face-painting is perennial yet the children cannot see the artwork on themselves.

Horticultural garden displays are magnificent, themed and fragrant, and it’s taken for granted everyone haggles over which one should have won the Grand Prize.  Actually, all blue ribbons throughout the Ekka are haggled over by crowd upon crowd of weary viewers with their own ideas of a prize-winner.  In search of a favourite, people used to trudge passed stalls, either declining a leaflet or, in the case of the beekeeping section, taking a free honey sample.  Then they would head to the Dairy Hall and the Butcher’s sausage-making display for a bit more sampling.  Is that still going?

One of my favourite displays, and possibly the most spectacular, was the Produce section of fruit and vegetable art.  Stacked high to the ceiling of a huge brick and corrugated iron shed sat row upon row of themed green-grocery: fruit ‘n’ veg in pictorial format.  From the front to the back, bleachers sloped up and away, loaded with colourful mosaics of farm produce, patterns featuring a banana grower, a town or shire, an historic area or rural landscape in Queensland where produce is grown.  Not all regions were represented and some were mixed goods, like pineapples and cotton and ubiquitous Bundaberg Rum sugar cane.

Throughout this kaleidoscope of colour, items of interest had been planted to explain a viewpoint, a nod to the growers or transporters of fresh food.  It wasn’t all that fresh by the end of ten days but it was auctioned off or given away.  I recollect struggling home on the train with a weighty pumpkin.  Silly really…however, I will mention my Pumpkin Fruit Cake

Last century, people ate things like plain fruit cake, a solid dried-fruit filled affair which makes a great base for wedding cake white icing.  Alternatively, fruit cake was popular baked loaf-style in a bread tin with glacé cherries and almonds on top.  A rich dark slice of home-made fruit cake was enough to sustain you throughout the afternoon or hiking for hours in the mountains.  Baking runs in my family, I tried my hand at a dense fruit cake moistened with mashed pumpkin.  It was a huge round thing, placed in a glass cabinet with an Entry Number plaque, surrounded by other Ekka cooking exhibits until heat and bright lighting eventually dried them out.  It earned me a ‘Commended’ and I was proud of its success.  Some cakes were sunken in the middle and I wondered why they were even entered.

Competition is fierce in the ‘domestic’ Craft exhibitions; patchwork quilting, floral arranging, cake decorating, painting and drawing.  There’s also a Children’s Section with displays of school-made arts, crafts and beautifully hand-penned documents.

The Photography section always captured my imagination, so much so that I entered a Kodak Ektachrome slide (a small cardboard-framed transparency) taken while on holiday in England.  It appeared in slideshow format on a huge screen in a darkened room and I was so pleased.  In any photography competition, it was always disappointing when a perfect photo won First Prize.  Deep down I knew it was taken by either a professional photographer or someone with heaps of money and expensive darkroom equipment.  Digital has certainly altered that scene.

When gawping at human endeavour grew tiring, or you had ten showbags in each hand and had to catch the train, there was an overhead chair lift which transported you from one side of the Ekka to the other.  This was scary fun, swinging way above the crowd; tempting too.  A good time to forage in showbags for Bertie Beetles, fairy floss and toffee apples, and I guess many a sticky glob was accidentally dropped.  Due to safety issues, or perhaps an uncool image, the chair lift was recently dismantled and removed.  I’ve got to admit I was disappointed but I never liked walking underneath it.

Umbrella The Adelaide Show BagsAugust is the end of winter in Brisbane and during the daytime the Ekka weather is warm and mainly dry, often with westerly winds, but at night the temperature drops considerably.  A hat, a jacket and a water bottle are necessary items.  If you’re so inclined, you can chill out at the Stockmen’s Bar and Grill, but parents and caregivers are usually seen overloaded with supplies to the point of distraction.  I found a ladies wallet left behind on a low wall and handed it over to the police Lost Property room.  It’s one of those things you later hope had been claimed.  At the time I didn’t give it a second thought––nearby was the Fire Brigade display with handsome fire fighters selling their latest hot-bod calendar.

A day at the Ekka is tiring yet it leaves you with an exuberant feeling and plenty to chat about next day.

A closing thought:  Is the 21st century bringing improvements as the older generation fades away?  On a new map, I notice a technology precinct, gourmet plaza, music stage and retail store; a bit like a shopping centre.  The Ekka land adjoins the central business district, a situation which makes it a very valuable piece of real estate.  The concept of ‘where the country meets the city’ shrinks each year, overtaken by commercialisation and globalisation, no longer a rare holiday for country families or a slice of wonderment for city children.  Will I be visiting the Ekka this year?  Perhaps the lure of an Ayrshire dairy cow or Caramello Koala showbag will tempt me.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward


Ekka RNA Show Logo
DEDICATION
:  To all my Ekka-loving friends past and present.  Special mention goes to blogging buddy Life After Sixty-Five who also has Ekka memories.


‘Curious Affection’ Hybrids of Patricia Piccinini’s Biotechnology Art

In her “Curious Affection” exhibition, world-renowned artist Patricia Piccinini and her DNA modified beings, credible and strangely familiar, invite us to find beauty in a transgenic social order not ruled by ideas of normality or perfection.  I was hesitant about visiting this curious collection but enjoyed the experience.

INTRODUCTION:  On a grand scale, the creations of Patricia Piccinini occupy the entire ground floor of Gallery Of Modern Art, Brisbane Australia, with a retrospective of her most recognisable works from the past 20 years.  It is Piccinini’s most ambitious solo exhibition to date, running from March to August 2018, with a collection of wall art and immersive multisensory installations – including new works like Heartwood (featured above) and a large-scale inflatable sculpture Pneutopia (not shown) exclusively conceived for the Gallery which rises effortlessly through an opening to the floor above.

* SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND THESE IMAGES DISTURBING *

TAP OR HOVER OVER IMAGES TO READ MY PICTORIAL COMMENTS.  Of course, this doesn’t convey lighting or sound effects!  My photographs are by no means exhaustive, there were many more art works and hybrid creations going about their daily lives.

Our guide explained most models are made of silicone, fibreglass, polyurethane and human hair – for a deeper understanding, Patricia Piccinini has recorded video stories and GOMA blog shows the exhibition conception to completion.

CLOSING:  Like most art, there is more to it than meets the eye.  Patricia Piccinini’s works are complex.  We are asked to think about our place in a world where advances in biotechnology, genetic engineering, organ harvesting and digital technologies are challenging the boundaries of humanity.

The more I learned about this exhibition, the more I understood the science, the pathos and the dangerous waters we may sail into one day, much the same as the internet was launched on a naïve world.  With intelligence and compassion we may learn to create something new without destroying the old.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Recipe for Successful Blogging: The Beginners Guide

This guide to successful blogging certainly offers sound advice–

Renee Irving Lee

Blogging has been dubbed the gamechanger of content marketing, and it’s no wonder when you look at statistics like this:

  • Websites that have a blog, get 434% more indexed pages.
  • 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog.
  • 70% of consumers learn about a company through blogs rather than paid ads.
  • Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.

(Source: TechClient)

I recently had the pleasure of presenting a ‘Blogging for Beginners’ workshop at the PowerHouse Collective, in Noosa to a room full of businesswomen wanting to know the recipe for successful blogging.  For those that couldn’t make it to the workshop, here is the basic rundown of what we covered:

The recipe of a successful blog = MEANINGFUL CONTENT + READABILITY

Successful Blog =

MEANINGFUL CONTENT

The first key ingredient to successful business blogging is that you need to produce meaningful content that will add value to the newsfeed…

View original post 453 more words

NAIDOC Week ‘Because of Her, We Can’

NAIDOC Week 2018 Poster

Artwork:  tarmunggie-woman
Artist:  Cheryl Moggs

The 2018 National NAIDOC Poster was designed by Cheryl Moggs, a Bigambul woman from Goondiwindi, Queensland.  Cheryl drew on the history, courage and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to educate others.  The artwork (tarmunggie – woman) has three overlaying images, connecting dreamtime, culture and knowledge.

BECAUSE OF HER, WE CAN!

Theme:  NAIDOC Week 2018 celebrates the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have made – and continue to make – to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation.

“This artwork portrays the courage and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.  From the ripples of fresh water and salt water, across the travel pathways and song lines of our traditional lands and skies”.

NAIDOC WEEK 8-15 JULY 2018

Background:  NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.  The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Origin:  NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’.  This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.  Find out more about the origins and timeline history of NAIDOC Week.  Find out the history of the Australian Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag under Australian Flags.

Awards:  Each year there is a different focus city for the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Person of the Year
  • Female Elder of the Year
  • Male Elder of the Year
  • Caring for Country Award
  • Youth of the Year
  • Artist of the Year
  • Scholar of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Sportsperson of the Year

This year the focus city of Sydney will start NAIDOC Week with the 2018 National NAIDOC Awards announced at a black tie ceremony and ball.  National NAIDOC Poster Competition and the NAIDOC Awards recipients are selected by the National NAIDOC Committee.

Websitenaidoc.org.au
Facebook:  facebook.com/@NAIDOC
Twitter:  #NAIDOC2018 #BecauseOfHerWeCan

To learn more about NAIDOC Week activities in your area, contact your nearest Regional Office.

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

NAIDOC Poster Facebook Banner 2018

NAIDOC Week Statement 01

Sisters in Crime 25th Scarlet Stiletto Awards

The 25th Scarlet Stiletto Awards have been launched – with a body or two in the library – and I have reblogged the exciting news:

Sisters in Crime Australia’s 25th Scarlet Stiletto Awards were launched by Dr Angela Savage at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Library on 27 April, 2018. Almost $10,000 is on offer in prize money.

The event included dramatic readings of three winning “body in the library” stories – “Jane” by Narrelle M Harris (read by Jane Clifton), “Caught on Camera” by Jenny Spence (read by Susanna Lobez) and “Brought to Book” by Kath Harper (read by Leigh Redhead).

Dr Savage (below), the 2011 shoe winner and now Director of Writers’ Victoria, declared the awards “a milestone for Australian crime – at least of the literary persuasion”.

The awards, she said, had “spring-boarded the careers of many writers, including myself. To date, 3084 stories have been entered with 23 Scarlet Stiletto Award winners –including category winners – going on to have novels published.

“Like many of Sisters in Crime’s best ideas, it sprang from a well-lubricated meeting in St Kilda when the convenors debated how they could unearth the female criminal talent they were convinced was lurking everywhere.

“Once a competition was settled on, it didn’t take long to settle on a name – the scarlet stiletto, a feminist play on the traditions of the genre. The stiletto is both a weapon and a shoe worn by women. And of course, the colour scarlet has a special association for us as women. And they were right – talent is lurking everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikely places!”

MASTER-175-LOGO

The success and longevity of the Awards have been hugely dependent on the generosity of Australian publishers, booksellers, the film and television industry, authors and other parties.

Sisters in Crime had been uncertain that the launch would go ahead because, at the eleventh hour, the First Prize Sponsor, Bonnier/Echo Publishing, was closed down by its overseas arm. Luckily, Swinburne University and the ever-resourceful Dr Carolyn Beasley, Acting Chair of the Department of Media and Communication, stepped into the breach.

Sisters in Crime spokesperson, Carmel Shute, said, “We were also lacking a Young Writer Award sponsor because Allen & Unwin pulled out last year after more than 20 years of sponsorship. We were chuffed to get support at the last minute from Fleurieu Consult run by South Australian member Jessie Byrne, who is researching her creative PhD exegesis on Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards for best books.”

There are two brand-new awards on offer this year: Writers Victoria Crime and Punishment Award ($660) for the story with the most satisfying retribution (the winner gets a three-month spell in prison in the guise of a studio residency at Old Melbourne Gaol) and the International Association of Forensic Linguistics (IALF) Award for Best Forensic Linguistics Story ($1000).

IALF President, Dr Georgina Heydon (left) from RMIT, told the crowd that the award was designed to foster understanding of forensic linguistics which uses a scientific approach to language analysis in legal and criminal investigations.

“Typically, a forensic linguist is engaged to analyse the authorship of an anonymous document, to determine what was said and by whom in a covert recording, to identify coercive or oppressive questioning by police, or to determine the need for an interpreter. It’s not to be confused with the analysis of hand-writing styles.”

The full list of awards is:

  • The Swinburne University Award: 1st Prize: $1500
  • The Simon & Schuster Award: 2nd prize: $1000
  • The Sun Bookshop Award: 3rd Prize: $500
  • The Fleurieu Consult Award for Best Young Writer (18 and under): $500
  • The Athenaeum Library ‘Body in the Library’ Award: $1000 ($500 runner-up)
  • International Association of Forensic Linguists Award: $1000 for Best Forensic Linguistics Story
  • The Every Cloud Award for Best Mystery with History Story: $750
  • Kerry Greenwood Award for Best Malice Domestic Story: $750
  • Writers Victoria Crime and Punishment Award: $660 (studio residency, Old Melbourne Gaol) for the Story with the Most Satisfying Retribution
  • HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Romantic Suspense Story: $500
  • Scarlet Stiletto Award for Best Financial Crime Story: $500
  • Clan Destine Press Award for Best Cross-genre Story: $500
  • Liz Navratil Award for Best Story with a Disabled Protagonist Award: $400
  • ScriptWorks Award for a Great Film Idea: $200

Nine collections of winning stories are available from Clan Destine Press.

Closing date for the awards is 31 August 2018. Entry fee is $20 (Sisters in Crime members) or $25 (others). Maximum length is 5000 words. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Melbourne in late November.

To download an entry form, pay the entry fee and read the FAQs, click here

Sisters in Crime Awards Judith Rossell 01
Recent winners of the affiliated Davitt Women’s Crime Book Awards https://www.sistersincrime.org.au/the-davitt-awards/

Media comment: Carmel Shute, Secretary and National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia:
0412 569 356 or
admin@sistersincrime.org.au

Visit the Sisters in Crime website and sign up for their newsletter.
It would be criminal to miss out on this great opportunity!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward

Ioan Gruffudd Stars in ‘Harrow’ Forensic Drama Series

ABCTV Harrow Ioan Gruffudd
Image courtesy of The Australian newspaper

Actor Ioan Gruffudd stars as the boat-dwelling Dr Daniel Harrow in the new TV forensic drama series ‘Harrow’ filmed in Brisbane, Australia.  The goal for this intellectual forensic drama, featuring an unorthodox and edgy forensic pathologist who lives aboard an untidy boat on the Brisbane River, was achieved by the combined talents of ABC Studios International and Hoodlum Entertainment.

Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd, whose recent screen credits include movie ‘Fantastic Four’, TV series ‘Liar’, ‘Forever’ and earlier ‘Hornblower’, is now 44 and says he has more life experience to get under the skin of somebody like the flawed, smart and sarcastic Dr Harrow.  Ioan, who also filmed ‘San Andreas’ in Queensland, fell in love with Brisbane, swimming with dolphins, attending theatre productions and an Ashes test cricket match at the Gabba stadium which unfortunately ended with treatment in hospital for heat stroke.

Leigh McGrath, executive producer of the 10-episode season of ‘Harrow’, says “Brisbane has got the tropical heat and humidity which I think adds a different feel to this forensic drama.  Normally they are cold, they are Scandi noir, whereas we went the opposite.”

To quote The Australian newspaper journalist Justin Burke “The pilot episode presents an exquisite personal test for Harrow: does he quit his career and sail to Bora Bora as promised with his troubled, thieving, drug-addicted daughter? Or does he heed the professional challenge of grieving father Bruce Reimers (Gary Sweet), who is begging Harrow to reopen the investigation into his daughter Olivia’s death?”
and
“In addition to the procedural, crime-of-the-week element of the show, there is an overarching mystery that we are presented with in the opening scenes. Someone is seen dusting a body with concrete and throwing it off a small boat into the Brisbane River in the middle of the night. Who and why will be revealed in good time.”

ABCTV Harrow Ioan Gruffudd 02

If you click Ioan’s name (further on) you will see video footage of ‘Harrow’ filmed around inner Brisbane.  Dr Harrow, a senior medical examiner, is based in the Queensland Institute of Forensic Medicine which in real life is the heritage-listed Brisbane Dental College near City Hall.  Postmortems are not as easy on the eye as handsome Ioan Gruffudd.

This series is like reading a crime book with my home town in the background, I love picking out familiar landmarks and wondering how the film crew recreated a gruesome scene.  The Brisbane River (Maiwar) stars but there are several familiar supporting actors to spice things up, e.g. Anna Lise Phillips, Remy Hii and Robyn Malcolm.

Keri Lee, boss of Disney’s ABC Studios Intl, is negotiating with global networks so hopefully this major drama series will be made internationally available.  Meanwhile Australian viewers can watch ‘Harrow’ on ABC1 on Fridays 8.30pm or all complete episodes on iView.

ABCTV iView LogoABCTV Logo

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/harrow/
https://iview.abc.net.au/collection/harrow

Well worth watching!

Gretchen Bernet-Ward