Blogs by Bahais

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Today I Remember 2#

Following the Crow Song

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Where were you born?
I am often asked that.
What country please?

And if I say Papua New Guinea
the next question is Where?

And I have the village name ready,
‘Maipa Vilage’
and a story about the yellow face paint of the bush mekeo
but no real picture of where it is?
See I left there when I was two.

Sometimes people then want to insist
but you want to go back
don’t you
to understand who you really are
and the next question
is why haven’t you done it yet?

So I try to explain my Papua New Guinea is
my mother’s Papua New Guinea
in snatches of motu
and village language
never deciphered.

My Papua New Guinea walks
around dressed in my mother’s life
which is itself dressed
in experiences of a new land.

She is sometimes Papua New Guinea
missionary raised girl
and other times she…

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Coming out of hibernation, and hello Alice Springs!

Nourish Me Simply

The last month or two have been pretty full on for me. We’ve moved house, gone to Alice Springs (outback central Australia) on holiday, and I’ve increased my workload. Phew! Now that we’re beginning to settle back in to a new routine, I’m finally starting to feel sane enough to re-friend my blog. I’ve been missing it!

I have a relative who lives in Alice Springs, and I’ve been feeling like it was time that I went up there and paid her a visit. At the same time as spending a lovely week together, the trip turned out to be a great opportunity to experience the incredible landscape of central Australia.

Alice Springs from Anzac Hill. The town is surrounded by large rock forms, which are part of the Dreaming (creation story) to local Arrernte people

Here’s a snap of me at Ormiston Gorge, a permanent waterhole located west of Alice Springs. Look how much water there is!…

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Review: A History of Australian Schooling

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of A History of Australian SchoolingA History of Australian Schooling by Craig Campbell and Helen Proctor (Crows Nest, NSW:Allen & Unwin, 2014).

For over a century Australian schools have acted as future-shapers. Since the era of compulsory schooling emerged in the Australian colonies during the late nineteenth-century, every Australian child has spent a number of years in school. Children take at least some of the ideas and behaviours that are developed in the classroom and in the playground with them for the rest of their lives. As such it surprises me that education history is seen as a ‘special interest’ and not a field that is part of the core of Australian history.

A History of Australian Schooling by Craig Campbell and Helen Proctor is a chance for people to catch up on the latest research in Australia’s schooling history in one readable volume. It is long overdue. When I started exploring the history of…

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The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman

Yvonne certainly reads some interesting books.

Stumbling Through the Past

Book cover of The Power of Bones The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman, (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2014).

“I chose survival” says Keelen Mailman in her memoir, The Power of Bones. Powerful, painful and memorable, The Power of Bones lays bare the struggles and achievements of Aboriginal life in  Australia during the late twentieth century and more recently.

Mailman is an Aboriginal woman from south-west Queensland near Charleville. She had a hard childhood and a poor education but she has risen from this to be the first Aboriginal woman to run a commercial cattle station. This book is a lesson in never writing a person off, no matter how bleak their background appears to be.

Mailman is proud of her Bidjara culture. Her knowledge and commitment to the Bidjara people was recognised by one of the community elders who asked her to manage the Mount Tabor cattle station for the Bidjara. The work at…

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