This page is a work in progress. To start there will be a few stories you may choose to browse and an audio of about 20 minutes. I am grateful to the talented Tanya Vessey for technical assistance. See what can grow from a small beginning. It is like a shared digital scrapbook rather than a facebook.

Archives of Audio Recordings and Photos – click here

Goodness and Grit in Melbourne’s West

This is a part of Victoria that I know well and love. The postcodes here are not postcodes of wealth. It is better than that. They are postcodes of pride, sanding-up-for each -other for each other, doing-it-tough, fierce loyalty, enduring friendships, resilience, dignity. If you set out from the city by train you will sense…

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Courage, Conflict and Whistle Blowing

Witness K and Bernard Collaery are in trouble.  They are being prosecuted as whistleblowers but the support for their cause gathers strength. The Australian Government spied on the East Timorese Government during oil and gas negotiations in 2004; this was of a breach of trust between Australia and East Timor. Witness K was one of…

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The Albino Buffalo

Picture me. I am a newly arrived volunteer in a camp of Cambodian refugees: awkward, gawky, bamboozled. I wobble on a bike through squelchy red laterite mud and cross a makeshift plank bridge narrowly avoiding slithering into the water. I hear full throated laughter and turn my head for a second to glimpse the man:…

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Abbotsford

I am writing this from Abbotsford. This is without doubt a place of beauty. It is also where I had my first close encounter with the exploitation and injustice which so many women suffered and still do. In these months I have cultivated my tiny garden, forged friendships with my neighbours, and harvested good memories…

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They Came on Boats

My ancestors all came to this country on boats. Remarkable! Before the colony of Port Philip was 25 years from first white settlement the forebears of my father and the forbears of my mother had arrived, one by one or a family together, to start a new life. Their sailing ships docked at Williamstown in…

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Nana Kelly and Mungo Man

It was early in 1998, in the glare and heat of a summer afternoon that I was summoned into the living room of Nana Kelly’s small cottage in Balranald. Nana Kelly was a much respected elder of the Mutthi Mutthi people; I crossed the dusty road and entered the darkened interior of this small house…

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