Reluctantly, I need to find a home for my cat, Portia



Dear friends, blog followers and readers,

My sojourn in Albury is almost over. I’ve found tenants for the house, but am still to relocate my little cat, Portia, who was able to stay with my former tenant. Unfortunately my Sydney accommodation isn’t suitable for her, so I can’t take her with me.

Portia is 12 years old, in good health and very affectionate. I’m confident that given enough cuddles, and cat food, she would, despite her age, easily adapt to a new home alone or with other cats. I am happy to supply her food and take care of any other expenses and deliver her to her new home which could be Sydney, Melbourne or places in between.

If you think you can help and are a friend of mine on Facebook please send a Private Message. If we follow each other on Twitter send me a DM. If you don’t fall into either of these categories you can email me at

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Posts on writing, reading, life the universe and everything will resume soon.


PS I have made enquiries about finding a new owner through Cat Rescue, but the people there aren’t confident of finding her a home.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sydney surprises at the launch of fourW tweny-four

I love a surprise: surprise gifts that are given when it’s not your birthday or Christmas; surprise random acts of kindness and surprise meetings with people from your past who you may have forgotten about, but when you meet them again you remember how they influenced your life. Yesterday, I had one of those lovely surprise meetings.

David Gilbey, resplendent with sequinned tie, starts proceedings at the launch of fourW twenty four.

David Gilbey, resplendent with sequinned tie, starts proceedings at the launch of fourW twenty four.

At Gleebooks, Glebe, for the launch of the Wagga Wagga Writers Writers anthology, fourW twenty four, the always dapper four W, editor David Gilbey , introduced me to fellow contributor, Joan Phillip.  Although it turned out it had been more than 35 years since we had first met, we instantly recognised each other. Joan was my lecturer for the Women in Literature Unit of the English major I did for my BA Communications in the late 1970’s. It was so wonderful to see her and to be able to thank her for introducing me to the writing of the late Doris Lessing, Carson McCullers, Margaret Drabble, Margaret Atwood, Edna O’Brien and others. It turned out that she also taught my friend Helen who I met last year in another of those serendipitous moments.

Reading an excerpt from my story, Suffer the Little Children.

Reading an excerpt from ‘Suffer the Little Children.’

My story ‘Suffer the Little Children’ is my fourth successful submission to fourW.  I’m always delighted to have my work included in such fine company  that this year includes Fiona Wright, Josephine Rowe, Sulari Gentill, Keri Glastonbury, Les Wicks, Nathan Curnow and Albury Wodonga area writers Jane Downing, Louise D’Arcy and Beverly Lello as well as fellow Booranga members Jo Wilson-Ridley, Joan Cahill, Michel Digand and David Gilbey.

Mark O'Flynn launches fourW twenty four

Mark O’Flynn launches fourW twenty four

Launching the anthology, poet and novelist, Mark O’Flynn (who also has work in the publication) said selection of the pieces had demanded of the editors a ‘versatility and flexibility: an editorial bendiness.’

‘There’s the personal versus the political; the comic and the poignant and the international next to the local.’

Copies of fourW twenty four are available by emailing Booranga. Cost $25

David Crane’s collection of poetry, Postcards from the End of the World: a Michael Crane sampler of Poetry and Prose was launched by Southerly editor, David Brooks, and is available at Gleebooks.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing My Writing Life

I came to Sydney earlier this year for personal reasons, but also to grow my writing life. In what was already quite fertile ground, more seeds have been planted via the MA in Cultural and Creative Practice offered through the Writing and Society Research Centre at the Bankstown Campus of UWS. I remember going along to the information session almost a year ago to find out more about this program and after hearing from Anthony Uhlmann and two of  the students about the course, (and also that award winning Australian author, Gail Jones and Giramondo’s Ivor Indyk were teaching in it), I was there.

Having the opportunity to respond to the unit assignments either with a critical essay or a creative piece and short exegesis has been an ideal combination for me. Confident in my creative writing when I came into the course, it has enabled me to also improve my critical writing, and more importantly my critical reading. When I came into the course I had a project in mind – a creative project inspired by my great-grandfather’s experience of coming to Australia in 1876 as an eight year old after a measles epidemic wiped out about a third of the Fijian population. With the limitations of the word count of about 9,000 words a decision was made to write a short story that would cover the main character’s early life in Fiji and his first experiences in Australia.

Being able to experiment with aspects of the story and voice has strengthened the work. I submitted one of the creative pieces I developed for the unit on Translation for the Wagga Wagga Writers Writers (Booranga Writers) anthology, fourW. I am delighted, Suffer the Little Children was selected for publication. The submission process is anonymous and this year 500 submissions were received from 127 contributors. The anthology will have its Sydney launch at Gleebooks, Glebe on Saturday 30 November at 3.30pm by Mark O’Flynn.


My poem, my prize certificate but not my hands.

The MA also seems to have unlocked the poet in me, and my poem, Parramatta Morning was given third place by award winning poet and Writing and Society Research Centre alumnus, Fiona Wright. ZineWest13 is a publication of the New Writers’ Group that meets every second Saturday from 3pm-5pm at the very arty and funky Mars Hill Cafe. It’s a very welcoming group, and for those who live out in the west provides a place and space to test out new work and hang out with writerly folk. You’ll find my report of the launch over at the New Writers’ Group blog.

You can read my poem below or open the VOPP Parramatta Morning

Parramatta Morning

Parrot screeches vie for space
with morning traffic sounds.

The day’s news drifts in and
pushes deep the scraps of dreams
that join the growing mound
of remnant thoughts
from which no sense is made.

A click unlids the tin of coffee beans.
They clatter, are ground
then softly tamped.
The stream of black flows into a favourite cup.
Inhale deep –
then sip and let the medicine hit
and dilute
the babble of the morning.

You can also find my review of Chris Womerlsey’s new novel, Cairo, over at Newtown Review of Books.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Write around the Murray Festival last day – Poh at the Wood Fired Oven; Dickens & Crumpets …

The final day of Write around the Murray is always a mixed bag – a lucky dip where really everybody wins. Something for everyone isn’t a cliché. Up early were the ‘Pitching and Publishing’ workshop participants with Irina Dunn where there was an opportunity for them to pitch their manuscripts. Afterwards more writers spoke about or read from their work at The Writer’s Journey.

Poh prepares to make a Nonya curry at the Community Wood Fired Oven

Poh prepares to make a Nonya curry at the Community Wood Fired Oven

One of the events that sets Write around the Murray apart from many other festivals is the event at the Community Wood Fired Oven, where a guest chef, who has also had a cookbook published demonstrates their skills at this great community facility. This year Poh Ling Yeow, who was also guest speaker at the festival dinner the previous night, cooked a Nonya curry. During her dinner speech Poh entertained with tales from her Masterchef experience, including a story about her and winner Julie Goodwin having a few drinks and then not being able to give a taxi driver their address. Not because they were intoxicated, but because they didn’t know it!

“We’d been chauffeured each morning from the Masterchef house to the kitchens and honestly did not know our address. We had an idea of the suburb, so I asked the taxi driver to take us to the suburb and we managed to find our way home!”

What many people may not know about her is that she’s also had success as a visual artist and as an actor. She plans to exhibit again next year – after the release of her new cookbook.

Important to Poh in any endeavour is the integrity of the process and the final product.

“When my first cookbook, Poh’s Kitchen, was being produced I had to fight to have it look the way I wanted it to – to be a reflection of me and not to be driven by a marketing deadline.”

The Big Book Club – Rising from a Dickensian Childhood
Jason Steger in conversation with Tony Birch about his writing and novel, Blood.

Blood cover imageTony Birch’s books include Shadowboxing (2006), Father’s Day (2009) and Blood (2011), shortlisted for the 2012 Melbourne Literature Prize and the Miles Franklin award.  He also publishes essays. Tony teaches in the writing program in the School of Culture and Communication at Melbourne University.

Jason Steger and Tony Birch in conversation about Tony's novel, Blood.

Jason Steger and Tony Birch in conversation about Tony’s novel, Blood.

The Age literary editor and regular on the ABC’s The Book Club, Jason Steger has become a familiar name on the Write around the Murray Festival program.  His first ‘in conversation’ with short story aficionado and NE Victorian, Cate Kennedy about her debut novel, The World Beneath, in 2010 was a very popular event and Jason indicated he was happy to return to the festival. In 2011 he chatted to Arnold Zable about Violin Lessons and last year there was a double treat with him speaking to Charlotte Wood about her novel, Animal People and with Elliot Perlman about The Street Sweeper in two separate sessions.  Jason always does his homework bringing informative background and context to each author’s work.

This year’s guest, Tony Birch like many other authors on the festival program had a busy lead up to his session. Tony judged the shortlisted entries in the AlburyCity short story competition and presented prizes, ran a workshop for Years 10-12 Extension English students, and facilitated the Blokes on Belonging panel.

Jason:  In your work you write a lot of about families and relationships and in particular relationships with parents and siblings.

Tony:  Shadowboxing is very autobiographical. I live now about 100 yards from where I was born, so I haven’t gone very far. My Dad was Aboriginal/West Indian and I was the third child born to him and my mum who was only 18 when I was born. We lived in a one bedroom house. There were seven people all living in the same house. It was 1966 but we had no running hot water for a bath or shower. It was a bit Dickensian . My father was violent, but we need to understand the circumstances. There was great happiness at times and a great sense of adventure.

The house was pulled down when it and the other houses around it were compulsorily acquired. One at a time we watched the houses come down. We moved to a new estate at Richmond, but the sense of community had disappeared. I’d  lived with extended family and saw my grandmother every day.  When we moved she was moved to Preston, so that stopped.  Amongst women there was a household economy. They’d mind each other’s kids, borrow money from each other and had ingenious methods of getting by. Sometimes we could be hungry for days, but we lived next door to the crumpet factory. Whatever crumpets weren’t sold went into a big bin – they were still edible – so we’d go and get them out of the bin. I think my mum had 52 crumpet recipes. I don’t eat crumpets now.

Jason: So you were a bit of a scallywag?

Tony: That’s a genteel way to put it. (smiles) But I read a lot.

Jason: Was reading your way out?

Tony: I borrowed lots of books from the Fitzroy library. There were no books in the house. Dad read sporting magazines, Truth – that was a bit salacious. Books were a literal escape.

I was expelled from two schools in one term. When I was 28 I returned to study. I was working with the Fire Brigade and there was a lot of down time so I would read. I completed my Year 12 at TAFE and found I was well equipped to study.

Jason: How did you get from  reading to the writing?

Tony: I teach a lot of students who say they don’t read, but you have to read. I love story. I love character. At uni I was drawn to history and wrote a lot of history essays. I found the academic writing very exhausting so I started writing stories. I was influenced by Junot Diaz and his collection of short fiction, Drown, that partly documents his life as a child in the Dominican Republic, but is viewed from his perspective as an adult in New Jersey.  The MA in Creative Writing provided a discipline for me to work within. I wrote a list of my most lucid memories of the things that happened and went from there.

Jason: Why mot write memoir then?

Tony: The fiction gave me freedom.

Jason: Is fiction an empowering way of understanding the past?

Tony: Writing is therapy, but not therapy with a capital ‘T’. Fiction forced me to engage with those memories. But through the writing, I gained a sense of forgiveness and was able to have a more open relationship with my father.

As part of my PhD in Urban History looking post WWII intervention I asked my dad if he saw his home bulldozed and he broke down and cried. All he salvaged was a brass tea strainer from among the rubble. Sometimes we can judge hastily but we need to consider what they’ve gone through. In some ways that tea strainer was like the Genie’s Lamp offering the ability to go back in time. The house was gone. The mantelpiece, that family altar was gone.

Blood is a story about siblings and had its beginnings in a long short story I wrote for an anthology edited by Charlotte Wood …

Jason: She wrote the novel Animal People

Tony:  … It looked at the invisibility of kids, but that kids exist and conveyed the enormous courage they can have and how much damage it takes before a child will give up on a parent. It tests what would happen to children.  It’s dedicated to brothers and sisters.

Jason:  I noticed you were very careful  (in Blood) in having the grandfather tell the children about their mother.

Tony: Yes, because the mother is one of the marginal people and it’s important that we look at them in a multidimensional way. To look at the fractures and think about how we would act. We need to look at them in a more complex way.

Jason: Most of the characters are formed at the start of the book, but we see in Rachel real character development.

Tony:  That develops in the traumatic road journey they take. And in some ways Rachel is like my daughter Nina who wouldn’t walk down to the milk bar. Siobhan is more adventurous.

Jason: Was there a challenge in changing form from short fiction to the novel?

Tony: I tried three or four times – it starts out smooth, but then runs out of fuel. Once I worked out the structure of the novel and how it would work, I was right. I thought about an ending which might not turn out to be ‘the’ ending. You have to have the backbone tight and strong and plan. I like to work out the physical dimension of a scene. It makes it more real.

Jason:  You’re a runner.

Tony:  When the writing dries up I run. The aerobic rhythm helps me solve a problem. It refines and sharpens the writing.

Jason: Do ideas come to you when you’re running?

Tony:  Subconsciously sometimes, but it helps me to think about the process. If I can get the first 6,000 words right then I know it’s going to be alright.

Jason: I’d like to ask you now about the difference between your creative and academic writing.

Tony: I’d like to be writing more long form essays, or narrative essays. I really like the form. I think about the essays of Robert Macfarlane and Iain Sinclair. I’m an urban Aborigine. I’d like to write about my connectivity to land and nature.

And that as they say in the movies is a wrap!
You can find all of the guest biographies here.

Posted in Write around the Murray | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Write around the Murray Festival panels – Into the Light and Blokes on Belonging

Imagine being 12 years old, living your life in Australia when an event on the other side of the world reverberates to the point that it not only touches you, but throws you and changes the way people see and treat you.   The event was the terrorist attack on New York City and Washington on September 11, 2001 and the girl in Australia is the main character in Libby Gleeson’s Mahtab’s Story.

Speaking on the panel Into the Light – Women’s Stories, Women’s Identities with authors, Jesse Blackadder and Sydney Smith and facilitator, Irina Dunn,  Libby said she was in Canada when the attack happened.  When she returned to Australia she heard Australian Muslims were being blamed for the attack. She organised to interview a number of Muslim girls and wrote Mahtab’s Story. ( Listening to the excerpt describing Mahtab’s journey across the sea, I thought of the current discussion on asylum seekers and wondered how we can turn them away.)

Libby spoke of the sense of not wanting to appropriate someone else’s story, but of staying true to the psychological and emotional journey Mahtab had made.  Irina referred to the double burden women in Afghanistan had been under with the return of the Taliban.
“I knew of women who had been doctors. There were now two generations of women who had been rendered into the position of staying inside and being covered.”

In her novel,  Chasing the Light, Jesse Blackadder also chose to write about women crossing the seas and to bring into the light the story of Ingrid Christensen’s four journeys to Antarctica in the 1930’s as part of the Norwegian Whaling Fleet: the little-known true story of the first woman to set foot on Antarctica. (Her research also brought to light the connection between Marie Stopes, best known for her contribution to contraception for women, to Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic.)

“I was indignant about the way these women had been left out of history. These women had been unknown in Norway and I wanted to pay tribute to them and to tell the story of their emotional and inner journey.”

Jesse travelled to Norway where she saw Christensen’s grave and ‘asked permission’ to tell her story. “Not a single word of Ingrid’s is recorded, but she was heroic in her emotional journey.”

Sydney Smith, author of the memoir, The Lost Woman, endured a life of physical and psychological abuse, but said her memoir, far from being a defiance and an assertion of herself, had become a “love letter” to her mother.

In response to Irina’s question of where Sydney had found that sense of self that had preserved her throughout her life, Sydney  responded: “ I have no idea. It is a part of me that is invisible but it was always there.”

“As a mentor for writers I try to teach them to tap into that subconscious. I respect the subconscious. It helps me to see signs. I believe very much in the power of fairytales and dreams and they are how I understand my experiences.”

On the question of whether female courage differs to male courage, Sydney replied: “I am driven. I don’t know whether you would call that courage.”

Blokes on Belonging – Australian Identity and Culture (including lives spent with hairspray and bobby pins.)

Phillip Gwynne, John Danalis, Tony Birch (facilitator) and Bruce Pascoe contemplate the world of blokes

Phillip Gwynne, John Danalis, Tony Birch (facilitator) and Bruce Pascoe contemplate the world of blokes

While the women’s panel explored emotional and physical bravery, the scene for the Blokes on Belonging – Australian Identity and Culture panel was set by Albury lawyer and Rugby enthusiast, Don Cameron in his introduction, but much of what the panel discussed was the influence of the women in their lives on them.

Don recalled reading an essay by journalist, Bob Ellis about an old man who lived in a one-bedroom bed sit and had died in squalor, but Ellis had written that there was a sense that the man had done his duty.  “He had attended school; after school he had served as a soldier; when he returned from the war he had been a husband, a father and a mate and he’d done his duty.  “There was a sense his life was not wasted because he had done his duty.”

Don went on to speak about the influence of his grandfather on his own life. “I learnt from him. Hunting, fishing, playing cricket. He would think it an abomination that if you nicked the ball and stayed, even if the umpire didn’t put his finger up.”

Tony Birch, author of Blood, spoke of his relationship with his four daughters and asked about the relationship each of them has with their children.

Bruce Pascoe (author of The Chainsaw File and Fog a Dox) said he had a much more open relationship with his children than he had had with his father and that had been very liberating.

“My dad was very traditional. He parted his hair down the middle and wore a checked shirt and a car coat. Dad was a very soft man, but he played lots of good footy. I have a very open relationship with my son. I’ve done a lot of coaching and even coached my own son, which is not a good thing. My son was liberated out of company for a number of years, but now he’s my best mate. There’ve been some sensational times in my life and he’s been there.”

In contrast, John Danali, (Riding the Black Cockatoo)  is not a football fan. “I don’t like footy. For a start I’m cross-eyed so I could never see the ball to catch it! My mission when I was younger was to spend time in the library, or with a paintbrush.  It’s important to acknowledge that you are what you are.  With daughters, I now live in a world of bobby pins and hairspray. I gave up the pretext of trying to fit in to those bloke ‘boxes’.  I’ve been through a journey of belonging. My father liked to go hunting and fishing and I tried to be like him, but I worked out a couple of years ago that I wasn’t. It only took forty-five years.”

Phil Gwynne said his father got some things right and one of those was that he spent time at the pub with his mates – not every night, but some and it gave him a chance to talk. “He wasn’t a talker at home.”

Tony then introduced the topic of writing about women, asking the panel what dynamic it provided them with.

Bruce Pascoe said all of his best friends were mostly women and there had been strong women in his family.

“A parent, grandparent, great aunts. It didn’t surprise me at all that women could run the world. I love talking to women. If I am somewhere and the men start to bag women I will go out of the room. I won’t bag my best friend.” Bruce later spoke about the ability of sex to interfere with a friendship.

“There was fifteen years of friendship I misses out on because of that.”

John said he liked the way women cut to the chase. “You can have a profound conversation with women in just two minutes. There’s no mask to peel off. But I do like male company. I’m a cyclist and go on bike rides with other men. There’s a language in the silence.”

Tony said his ‘terrible’ relationship with his father meant that he sought out men who could be mentors, and asked the panel about mentors in their lives. (Tony spoke more on this in his conversation with Age literary critic – Jason Steger. This will appear in an upcoming post.)

Bruce Pascoe said as an Aboriginal man he liked talking to other Aboriginal men, and that role models for young men needed to be male.

“But I looked to literature for mentors: Steinbeck and Dickens, and I am a mentor to my son and have made him aware of the limitations that can be placed on your life if you make certain choices. But the message I want to give is that you can be this creative and something else as well. You can be in touch with your feminine side and be a big boofy bloke.”

Picking up on this, Tony spoke about the ability of writing to break through and its potential to solve problems.

Bruce: “Yesterday I had kids from a B stream class (What does it say about our education system when we have a B stream) They’d been in the room just three and a half minutes and I knew they shouldn’t have come. There was a ratbag kid in the group. Hormonally they’re all over the joint. But I got them to talk about themselves and this kid started to talk about things that were very sensitive to him. The group could have laughed at him or gathered around him. It could have gone either way. We need to respect the background these kids come from.”

John spoke about the power of healing and storytelling and the ability of stories to fix things up.

“I didn’t realise until I had finished a poem that it had been a way of working through my first experience of shooting something. My father expected me to step up, but I made a mess of the whole thing and all I saw on his face was disappointment.  You write from the heart and don’t intellectualise.”

For Phillip Gwynne, stories can make order of a messy life. “It helps to reset our moral compass. The bad guys get their come-uppance. The good guys get rewarded. “

In the final minutes of the session, the blokes talked about the lessening of the gender divide and all agreed that there had been benefits from this.

And the final takeaway from Tony: Don’t give up on the potential of a good relationship from others.

“There are gems among the bullshit.”

Still to come … Poh at the Festival, and The Big Book Club: Jason Steger in conversation with Tony Birch.





Posted in Write around the Murray | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The festival is not quite over …

So … I’m back in Sydney after 10 lovely days in Albury catching up with family and then attending the Write around the Murray Festival for five wonderful days of presentations, workshops, and the schools program.

Jason Steger and Tony Birch in conversation about Tony's novel, Blood.

Jason Steger and Tony Birch in conversation about Tony’s novel, Blood.

The festival concluded yesterday with the now traditional Big Book Club with the ABC’s The Book Club and The Age literary editor, Jason Steger in conversation with Tony Birch about his longlisted Miles Franklin Award novel, Blood as well as his other works including short fiction and essays.

Over the coming days I’ll be adding a post about this event , as well as Poh Ling Yeow’s guest appearance at the festival dinner on Saturday night and cooking at the community wood fired oven;  Blokes on Belonging – Australian Identity and Culture panel facilitated by Tony Birch and featuring Bruce Pascoe, John Danalis and Phillip Gwynne; the panel presentation, Into the Light – Women’s Stories and Women’s Identities with Jesse Blackadder, Libby Gleeson  and Sydney Smith facilitated by Irina Dunn, and The Poets’ Loft hosted by the  poet slam queen – Emilie Zoey Baker.

In the meantime, check out earlier posts covering book launches, a play reading of Emma Gibson’s, The Pyjama Girl – the play will premiere at HotHouse Theatre next month, the story of Tommy Woodcock and Phar Lap and other highlights from regional Australia’s BEST writers’ festival.


Posted in Write around the Murray | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book launches – The daughter of a literary icon, a bushranger and a hungry butterfly

The Write around the Murray festival has become a favoured event for local writers to launch their newest works.

Elyne Mitchell: A Daughter Remembers

Honor Auchinleck's childhood memoir, Elyne Mitchell: A Daughter Remembers

Honor Auchinleck’s childhood memoir, Elyne Mitchell: A Daughter Remembers

It’s not easy growing up in the shadow of high achieving parents, but Honor Auchinleck, daughter of the creator of The Silver Brumby, Elyne Mitchell, says she is grateful for the challenges it presented.

Honor’s memoir, Elyne Mitchell: A Daughter Remembers was launched along with Paul Terry’s biography of bank robber, bushranger and minister, Andrew George Scott, In Search of Captain Moonlite on Friday night.

Launching Honor’s book, her lifelong friend, Mary Greenshields said the narrative’s descriptive language allowed the reader to travel with Honor on the journey that Honor knew she had to travel to know where she had come from.

She said Honor had shown extraordinary attention to detail when going through her mother’s papers.

‘The poem, The Old House, was found on the back of a shopping list.  Just think that could have been lost to the world.’

Mary also congratulated her friend on not shying away from being truthful about her parents who came from distinguished and demanding families.

Honor said the the book was in essence a childhood memoir.

‘By today’s standards it was an extraordinary childhood of the 50’s and 60’s. It is a record of the memories and sense of identity and value of the life we lead.’

Honor encouraged others to write.

‘All you need is an iPad or a laptop or a pen and paper to enter the Write around the Murray story competition or the Elyne Mitchell award.’

An exhibition on Elyne Mitchell’s life is on display at the LibraryMuseum.

In Search of Captain Moonlite

In Search of Captain Moonlite

In Search of Captain Moonlite

Paul Terry continues his fascination with Australian bushrangers in this record of the man Paul labels ‘a real man of the hour’ but also the accidental bushranger.

After discovering a rare cache of documents Paul, news director at Prime News in Albury when he is not writing about bushrangers, set out to tell the tale of Andrew George Scott who taught Sunday school on Sundays and robbed banks at other times.

‘He was loved by men and women and was a man of many contrasts. He was passionately in love with a man, but should never have been a criminal.’

Paul said each time Scott appeared in court he mounted a spectacular defense, but he also had a spectacular gift for misadventure.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Scott’s life was his relationship with James Nesbitt who Scott described as his soulmate.

Paul said there is not much doubt that their’s was a homosexual relationship.

When Scott died he was denied his dying wish to be buried at Gundagai next to Nesbitt, but many years later his body was exhumed and his remains placed next to Nesbitt.




Hungry?  is a beautiful publication developed by artist, Melanie Ruth with the community of Albury Wodonga, by Penguin’s Children’s Marketing and Publicity Manager, Tye Cattanach.

Over seven months Melanie met and worked with five young families from the local community to create the multicultural cookbook. The families included refugee families from South Sudan and Bhutan, migrant families from Mexico and Russia and the oldest culture in the world. Wiradjuri.

In the book a butterfly travels across the continents an stops whenever she feels hungry.

Melanie Ruth with the Pokhurzi-Bhandari family at the launch of Hungry?

Melanie Ruth with the Pokhurzi-Bhandari family at the launch of Hungry?


Funded through a cultural and community grant, the project was auspiced by the Volunteer Resource Bureau.  A feature of the publication is the beautiful children’s artwork.

Download the Write around the Murray festival program here.

Posted in Write around the Murray | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment