Our Stories

I watched an amazing film today at the CinefestOz Festival in Busselton. Please check out the link to learn more about the Festival that finished today.

The movie, The Song Keepers, was recently shown at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

From the website:


I found it very moving and had lots of laughs as well. I have lived and worked in Aboriginal communities in remote parts of Australia and these women in the movie reminded me of those I knew. Just as the Hermannsburg Mission is part of their story I realised that my  time spent in these communities are part of MY story and I feel much enriched by the experience.

The Trailer for the movie is below.





I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

Weekly photo challenge: Family

In Melbourne, 17 January in 1980 a baby boy was born! Here are some snippets from his 34 years 🙂 thus far. We just enjoyed a lovely lunch with Andrew and Rachelle.

I wonder how my lads feel about being in my blogs and on my Facebook page. I do hope they don’t mind … it is just that I am very proud of all three of them and their partners 🙂



Weekly photo challenge: Horizon

I have selected a diverse range of ‘horizons’ that I have witnessed over many years. Enjoy 🙂



A move to the Pilbara

In 1988 I was living as a sole parent caring for my three young sons. Life was tough at times.

I met a man who worked for Mount Newman Mining and he convinced me to marry him and move to the Pilbara with my three lads. He worked as a driller for the mining company on Mount Whaleback iron-ore mine. I have included some information from Wikipedia about the mine.

‘The Mount Whaleback Mine is an iron-ore mine located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, six kilometres west of Newman. The mine is majority-owned (85 per cent) and operated by BHP Billiton, and is one of seven iron-ore mines the company operates in the Pilbara. The company also operates 2 port facilities at Port Hedland, Nelson Point, and Finucane Island and over 1,000 kilometres of rail in the Pilbara. BHP Billiton is the second-largest iron ore mining company in the Pilbara, behind Rio Tinto and ahead of the Fortescue Metals Group. As of 2010, BHP employs 8,000 people in its Pilbara operations.’ 

We gave it our best shot as a family but unfortunately it wasn’t to last. In 1994 I moved back to Perth with my lads for a fresh start and my ex-husband moved to Queensland.

Such is life 🙂





Asbestos country – industrial disaster

Wittenoom was once home to many….the following information is quoted from Wikipedia.

“Wittenoom is a ghost town 1,106 kilometres (687 mi) north-north-east of Perth in the Hamersley Range in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is the site of Australia’s greatest industrial disaster.


The area around Wittenoom was mainly pastoral until the 1930s when mining began in the area. By 1939, major mining had begun in Yampire Gorge, which was subsequently closed in 1943 when mining began in Wittenoom Gorge. In 1947 a company town was built, and by the 1950s it was the Pilbara’s largest town. During the 1950s and early 1960s Wittenoom was Australia’s only supplier of blue asbestos. The town was shut down in 1966 due to unprofitability and growing health concerns from asbestos mining in the area.


Today, eight residents still live in the town, which receives no government services. In December 2006, the Government of Western Australia announced that the town’s official status would be removed, and in June 2007, Jon Ford, the Minister for Regional Development, announced that the townsite had officially been degazetted. The town’s name was removed from official maps and road signs and the Shire of Ashburton is able to close roads that lead to contaminated areas.”

I took these photos in the 1990’s when we lived in the region. It was still a popular spot for tourists at the time. One of my neighbours lived there in the 1950’s and she told me about many people who have since died as a result of asbestos related diseases. A great tragedy!




Flights of fancy

7 posts to go until I reach 500 posts!IMG_0029From 1988 to 1993 I lived in Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I was successful in winning a position on the East Pilbara Shire Council. It was a great training ground for my future employment plus I had a great time.


Newman is the biggest community in the East Pilbara Shire but it didn’t have a dedicated Council Chamber for meetings. We often met at meeting rooms in the Recreational Centre. In fairness to the distant parts of the region we often had meetings at the smaller communities, one of which is Marble Bar. The township was gazetted in 1893. Surprisingly, Marble Bar had full Council facilities including a Chamber for Council meetings. It was good to sit around a “proper” table!


I was the first ever female to sit on the Council. The population of the Shire included local pastoral stations, mining employees and local Indigenous Communities.


The picture above is of the Marble Bar airport. Just as well I love flying in small planes. We also had meetings at Nullagine, Telfer (a closed mining town) and Shay Gap (before the town-site was demolished). It was a great experience and taught me a lot about regional development and the complexities of trying to address the differing needs of groups within our communities.







Weekly photo challenge: Home

This week’s photo challenge has taken me on quite a journey! Just recently I asked my son what does he say when someone asks him “Where did you grow up?” In reality we moved about quite a bit. It has always been an adventure and I hope the positives have out weighed the negatives for my lads. Here is a sample of some of the places I have called HOME over the years!

The first house I remember in my home town is looking very sad these days, however I believe it is currently being renovated! I lived here until I was about 12 years old.

15 Channel St Cohuna

We all spent hours and hours playing on that front “lawn”.

Channel St (2)

Around the time I started High School we moved to a different house at the other end of town. I lived here until I left home at 17.

King George St

My son is enjoying himself at Nan’s house. That home was really the central focus for all the family when Mum and Dad were alive.

At Nan's

The Weir is a focal point in Cohuna – so many memories there. It was always fun to be on the bridge and watching the water rushing through.

Weir at Cohuna

This is an aerial view of Cohuna. You can see the football oval/show grounds in the centre.


The Murray River is the border between Victoria and New South Wales. I have a strong affinity with the River as it played a big part in my growing up.

Murray River

When I left Cohuna I went to live in Melbourne. Here is a shopping Mall in Melbourne. The old “shot tower” was kept as a feature in the new building.

Melbourne shopping mall

Flinders Street Railway Station in central Melbourne. I worked quite close to the Station however I used to catch a tram to and from work.

Flinders St Melbourne

A few years later we lived in Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges. Puffing Billy is a tourist train – very popular with the kids 🙂

Puffing Billy Belgrave

We lived in Numbulwar in the Northern Territory from 1980 – 81.IMG_0004

My view over the back fence at Fitzroy Crossing – “wild” horses in around 1983

Fitzroy Crossing (2)

Our house at Fitzroy Crossing

Fitzroy Crossing

Pilbara – Viewing Mt Whaleback Mine in 1988

Mt Whaleback Mine

Tourist Centre in Newman we helped to build (sort of…)

Newman Tourist Centre

We lived in this house in Geraldton house in 1993


After my marriage broke up in 1993 I moved to this house in a Perth suburb with my three lads.


Bedford Kitchen – my most attractive house! We enjoyed a good six years there. It had an amazing kitchen!

Bedford 3

We had lots of barbeques with friends and family on the patio outside the Bedford house.


Busselton is where I live now. Here is a view over the back fence 🙂


Politics in Australia

Can anyone tell me who these men are? A clue – one of them is retiring from West Australian State Government in the near future?

If you can tell me who they ALL are, I will reblog one of your posts (your choice which one) on my blog!

Let the competition begin. Good luck!