Australia - The Land Down Under

David Crosby was not Australian....and yet he holds a place in so many Australia hearts....he deserves his place here

David Crosby was a fearless musical maverick – these 5 songs show him at his best​


Read & Listen on....

How 'Lady' Williams founded a great Australian apple​




Apple innovator Maud Williams, with a pet kangaroo, at Boronia Farm, Donnybrook, WA.(Supplied: State Library of Western Australia)

Australian of the Year 2023 finalist and musician William Barton reflects on outback roots​



William Barton played for the British royal family on the 2019 Commonwealth Day.
I own a didgeridoo. Those things cost more than one might expect and getting it shipped back to the US was stupidly expensive due to it being a non-standard size. Mine is longer, which means it has a lower pitch.

I was in Australia?!? How could it NOT be a standard size?!?

Note: I do not actually play my didgeridoo. I understand the basics and can make noise with it.
How 'Lady' Williams founded a great Australian apple

Now there I have learned something about my own country, thanks Brian :)

My sister-in-law Cynthia gave me a tip in recent times, that the Pink Lady made for a great addition to a roast pork, and I knew from my own learning that it was related to my favourite Granny Smith, but I did not know that it came to us via the Lady Williams.

Note: I do not actually play my didgeridoo. I understand the basics and can make noise with it.

It's all about the breathing David. You can both breathe in and out with a didgeridoo, and so not get so breathless, or perhaps you have learned that.

Aussie Towns

Multiculturalism and My Home Town
I have been an Australia Day Ambassador for over 25 years and, this year, I decided it was time to call it quits. I head off to the Snowy Valley Council (recently amalgamated) today to perform my duties at my home town of Tumut and also, as a bonus, at Batlow, Adelong and Talbingo. This will be my swansong.
It will be a deeply sentimental journey. I still love the whole area and, over the years, I have written about it as a very special place … often sighting it as my favourite region in Australia.
I will write about the complex problem that is Australia Day tomorrow. For now let me wallow in fond memories of my home town. And, yes, some of this will inevitably end up in the speeches I make.
When Phillip Knightley, that great investigative journalist who exposed the thalidomide scandal for the Sunday Times long before it was owned (and debauched) by Uncle Rupert, wrote a book about Australia he, very flatteringly, included a short section I had written about growing up in Australia in the 1950s.
It is worth revisiting because, at the moment, we are going through a messy and confused time (will we ever be free from our fear of “new Australians”?) where we have become scared of new arrivals and paranoid, without justification, about people who will enrich our society.
"As a child growing up in Tumut in the 1940s and 1950s, I was surrounded by an unremitting monoculture. Beer, strongly brewed tea, lots of fatty mutton with peas and burnt potatoes and pumpkins, loaves of white bread with butter and jam.
The town was divided aggressively between the descendants of English and Scottish Protestants who went to the State school and the descendants of Irish Catholics who went to the convent.
The only non-Anglo Saxons in the town were the Greeks who ran the milk bar, a few Chinese of whom the most notable was Teddy Shai Hee, a photographer who rode around town on a bicycle, and an entrepreneurial Lebanese family named Moses who, given the prevailing Anglo-Saxon orthodoxy, quietly changed their name to Manning.
It is only in retrospect that I can recognise that Tumut in the 1950s (because we were to be transformed by the Snowy Mountains Scheme), was to be at the cutting edge of Australia's profound postwar changes.
By the time I was five or six, there were strange foreign men in the lounge and saloon at Yarrangobilly Caves House where we went most weekends.
By the time I was in fifth class a strange, and particularly good-looking, German, Horst Neumann, had arrived at Tumut Public School and was grappling with the idiosyncrasies of English.
And, perhaps most significantly, by the time I was a teenager I was working at weekends in a milk bar/delicatessen where, catering for the changing needs of the population, the owner was selling strange-smelling sausages with names like liverwurst and bratwurst and peculiar cheeses with holes in them. The days of brawn, devon and cheddar were disappearing.
It was around this time, shock, horror, that one of the local primary school teachers married one of these foreigners. Suddenly Miss Witherby became Mrs Markevics.
But the idea of Australia as an Anglo-Saxon society made up almost exclusively of the English, Scottish and Irish is deeply rooted.
My generation still tend to think of non-Anglo-Saxons as outsiders, visitors, itinerant aliens. Even though we love to go out and eat Italian, Vietnamese and Thai, and our preferences in liquids now tend more and more towards "real" coffee and a good wine, when we see large numbers of Asians, or are served by Asians in restaurants, we assume they are students rather than locals.
Now when I ask myself "Who is an Australian?" I think back to the Kells and the Webbs and the other Anglos in the Tumut valley in the 1950s and I also think of Horst, Johnny Markevics and all the immigrants who have been absorbed over the past 60 years.
We live in a largely successful and life-enforcing multicultural society, enriched by those who, for a million and one reasons, had the courage to travel halfway around the world and settle here. We need to escape from the old, narrow mindsets and embrace the positive forces unleashed by multiculturalism.
Countries like Australia are the new world. We are a huge experiment in how cultures can mix and blend. Our uniqueness, and our future, lies in our diversity.”
Tumut, NSW - Aussie Towns

Tumut, NSW - Aussie Towns
Regardless of the season, Tumut is an exceptionally pretty country town. Nestled in a valley
I'm watching a new series on the Smithsonian Channel. It's called 'Deadly Australians' and is about your deadly flora and fauna. The first is 'The Daintree Strangler' (I hope I spelled it right, 'cause I sure as heck can't spell its scientific name).
Tangentially related, look up 'fig wasps' for some fascinating speciation, evolution, and specialization.
Australia Day, Janiary 26 2023. Anyone coming here hoping to see some politically motivated statement about the many titles that today has earned in our history, will be disappointed.

Australia, and being Australian, is more about the likes of this guy.....and there are many just like him...some born here and some sure to read the story below the pics here....this man had a colossal impact on other people....quite a few of them black. Changing the date is not the point.....the point is about changing the country and embracing each other.....This guy and Barbara Clarke have more than done their part to achieve this.




Dajarra matriarch Barbara Clarke reflects on fostering 40 kids and 'brilliant' RFDS doctor that inspired her​


Dajarra is a remote Aboriginal community surrounded by bright red earth and desert grasses

Ms Clarke's passion for looking after people extends to her wider community as she regularly encourages them to visit the clinic for regular check-ups and attend visiting services provided by the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

She said her inspiration came from an RFDS doctor who looked after her family for years.

Don Bowley OAM, or "Dr Don", has been serving remote Queensland communities for more than 25 years.

Man wearing wide-brimmed hat and red polo shirt with stethoscope around his neck in bush setting.

Ms Clarke says Dr Bowley is the best doctor.(Supplied: RFDS)
"My dad would go to Dr Don — he was a top doctor for all of us, you know. He used to spend more time with my dad and have a little talk with him," she said.

"And that's why I care.

"To me, he is the best doctor. He is brilliant. That's why the RFDS has been important in my life."

Looking for political crap....go away. Nothing to see here
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27 JAN 2023, 4:25 PM AEDT

Unusual location for nation's hottest spot​


Lots of red (hot) and yellow (still hot)....but its the couple of patches of purple at the bottom of the centre of the map....located in SOuth AUstralia that score the prize for the hottest spots


Aussie Towns

4h ·
Gundagai and a very special Greek Café – the Niagara
On my way to Tumut I stopped over in Gundagai. Wow! If you want to see what a clever makeover can do to a quiet country town, then Gundagai is the place to go. The street is lined with glorious Cape Myrtle trees. There are lots of handsome, detailed signs telling the history of the town and, most remarkably, the old Niagara Café has had a makeover and, while it still has a wonderful 1930s art deco ambience, it is proudly competing with the more recent cafes on the main street.
The Niagara Café in Gundagai has a special place in my heart. It is a reminder of what characterised the simple decency of people in country towns.
Tourists all over the world are invited to "eat as the locals eat" but, still, it is strange to go into the Niagara Café in Gundagai (as I did many years ago) and see a small group of Japanese carving away at huge T-bone steaks – which, like Dali watches, seem to melt and fold over the sides of the plates – accompanied by the mandatory two veg and a cup of tea.
Has some tour operator really advertised "Meal tonight in a traditional Australian café"?
Judging from the enthusiastic responses all the tourists were hugely impressed and felt as though they were eating something so unique it deserved to be an exciting part of their travellers tales when they returned to Tokyo or Nagoya.
What they didn't realize was that the Niagara Café, as a sign on café wall indicates, is a unique footnote in Australian history.
Around midnight on a Saturday night in 1942, in the middle of World War II, the owner of the café, Jack Castrission was locking up and preparing to go to bed when he heard someone banging on the front door.
He shouted to the anonymous knocker that, as it was midnight, he was closed for the night. The knocking persisted and when Castrission went to tell the person that it was far too late he noticed that, standing on the footpath, was the wartime prime minister, John Curtin.
As Castrission was later to recall he politely said "Good night, Mr Curtin" and the prime minister pleaded "I'm hungry and I'm freezing. Can you do anything to help?"
Castrission said he could cook up something at which point the PM said "I've got some mates with me in the car". The "mates" were Arthur Fadden (former Prime Minister and member of the United Country Party), Curtin's wartime treasurer, Ben Chifley (later to become the famous "Light on the hill" Prime Minister), and a senior government minister, Senator O'Sullivan.
Given Curtin's complaint that he was freezing, Castrission invited the politicians into the café kitchen which was still warm and it was there that he cooked up steak and eggs for four men, three of whom were to become Australian prime ministers.
Apparently the men had been on a wartime fund raising mission in the Riverina and were heading back to Canberra.
An amusing footnote to the story is that as the men talked about the war, Castrission explained that with wartime rationing he was only allocated 28 lbs (12.7 kg) of tea a month and that was not enough to keep the café properly supplied. Curtin turned to O'Sullivan (who was involved in wartime supplies) who duly made a note and for the rest of the war Castrission's ration was raised to 100 lbs (45 kg) of tea a month.
It is said that Curtin, whenever he was going through Gundagai after that night, always called into the café. Castrission also used to claim that R.G. Menzies had eaten at the café and in 2001 the then owner-chef Nick Loukissas was able to show both Gough and Margaret Whitlam the bench were Chifley and his colleagues had eaten his steak and chips in 1942.
At the time the Whitlams were passing through Gundagai on their way back from the Federation celebrations in Melbourne.
Not surprisingly the walls of the café are full of information about Curtin's historic and unusual night and, with the visit of the Whitlams in 2001, it has become a veritable shrine to visiting ALP prime ministers.
There is so much to see in Gundagai. It is a definite stopover for anyone travelling between Sydney and Melbourne. Check out
Gundagai, NSW - Aussie Towns

Gundagai, NSW - Aussie Towns
Gundagai is a charming, historic medium-sized country town set at the foot of Mount Parnassus above the Murrumbidgee floodplains. It is hard to explain why it has become such an iconic Australian country town but, over the years, its association with the famous folklore image of the Dog on the Tucke...

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New England Times


This story is Wow !!!....just wow !

Transplanted hearts kept viable longer between donor and recipient, thanks to new technology​

ABC Health & Wellbeing


This time last year, Alex Moroianu's heart was failing. Today, she's the recipient of a transplant that travelled thousands of kilometres.


Not all heart recipients are crusty old people......


As time passed, Alex's condition, called dilated cardiomyopathy, got worse


The ex vivo perfusion machine used for heart transplants pumps a liquid called perfusate through the heart.(Supplied: Alfred Hospital)


After receiving her new heart, which had been transported using the HEVP rig, Alex (here with her dad) felt better straight away.


Alex Moroianu (centre) with Robert Larbalestier (left) and David McGiffin (right)
Australia is an incredible place to visit. From its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities and friendly people, it has something to offer everyone. From the crystal-clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef, to the charming cafes in Melbourne, the Land Down Under has something for everyone. It's truly a one-of-a-kind destination that deserves to be experienced by all.

Students rush back to Australia after China bans online learning with foreign universities​

Key points:​

  • More than 40,000 Chinese students will need to quickly return to Australia to resume face-to-face classes
  • The university sector says the snap decision will be challenging for students who do not yet have a visa or accommodation
  • Australia's education and home affairs ministers are working with universities to address "short-term logistical issues"

Australian news outlets have chock a block with ongoing dramas re the rental market.......the fact that the vacancy rate is hovering close to just 2%,...and dropping.

According to recent data from PropTrack, only 1.58 per cent of rental stock is available for rent, down 32 per cent compared to December 2021.

At the same time the $ amounts demanded for rentals is going through the roof. Many, many people have become homeless, or returned to living with other famil or living in their cars because they are unable to afford the skyrocketing rentals demanded.

With approx 40,000 students to return to Sydney, the outcome is sure to be bordering on catastrophic.

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Gold Coast shark sightings explained by Bond University researcher Daryl McPhee​

ABC Gold Coast
/ By Heidi Sheehan, Nicholas McElroy, and Nicole Dyer
Posted Yesterday at 1:09pm, updated Yesterday at 1:22pm


Gold Coast, Australia​

The sunny and sandy shores of the Gold Coast in Queensland offer the best of both worlds, serving up a beachy backdrop with its busy nightlife.
The locals' laid-back surfer lifestyle means everyone is friendly and welcoming to all kinds of people.
The Gold Coast is also Australia's theme park capital, making it an ideal holiday spot for families or adults wanting to re-live childhood bliss.
The Gold Coast was voted the 10th most welcoming city in the world. !!

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