Monthly Archives: January 2013



Each week, we offer new music from around the world with Tony Hillier, one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. Tony’s informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine .

And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at

sam_leeThis week Tony previews three new albums from British musicians, First up, Sam Lee’s new release GROUND OF ITS OWN. Sam is a burlesque dancer turned singer, inspired by folk traditions but uses some unconventional instruments on this song – THE BALLAD OF GEORGE COLLINS.

Richard ThompsonNext we hear a new song from venerable British folkie Richard Thompson. 40 years ago, Richard released his debut album, Henry the Human Fly, which has the dubious distinction of being Warner Brothers worst selling US release ever. Richard laughs heartily when reminded of that – and his whimsical sense of humour is to the fore on the song SALFORD SUNDAY from the new album ELECTRIC. Richard hopes to tour Australia this year.

Sean_Taylor_03-by-Kim_Ayres_webFinally, a new release from Sean Taylor – one of the hottest new names on the Eurpoean blues/acoustic scene.  Sean was a crowd favourite at recent Glastonbury and Cambridge festivals. There’s a touch of the JJ Cale sound in his guitar sound and some great song-writing and performance skills evident on Sean’s new album LOVE AGAINST DEATH and the song LES FLEUR DE MAL. Sean tours Australia next month.

Click on the audio player to listen to Tony and samples from these songs.

And you can hear Tony on podcast. Search for Tony Hillier in your podcast app or in the iTunes store.


Posted by on January 31, 2013 in arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, music, PODCASTS, Tony Hillier's World of Music


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Back around 2006, I had the great good fortune to meet Julia Cooper. Author, wildlife advocate, business woman, with a rare gift for radio. Julia and her partner, Martin Cohen, began regular appearances on ABC Far North, talking about our local wildlife. Our listeners loved their expertise and passion for tropical creatures & I always looked forward to their next visit, usually accompanied by some wildlife.

Together, Martin and Julia set up Wild About Australia, and a related publishing business, Wild About The Tropics. Martin continues to appear on ABC Far North, but sadly, Julia died in December 2011 of the rare adult onset auto-immune disease hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis,or HLH. She was 34.

Now a research bursary has been set up in Julia’s memory to help honours and masters students at James Cook University in Cairns. It’s hoped that people who share Julia’s passion for wildlife will be helped towards tertiary qualifications and a career.

Martin Cohen says he and business partner Tim Parker are contributing $1000 a year from their publishing business for the next five years so students with limited access to funding could apply for some extra assistance.

“We are hoping that other people who loved Julia and were influenced by Julia’s passion for wildlife will also donate to her bursary so we can make it ongoing for many years into the future. It’s something I know she would have been very pleased about” Dr Cohen said.
You can read about the bursary and make a tax-deductible donation at

As Julia was passionate about gathering and interpreting new information about wildlife of North Queensland, this bursary has been offered to assist honours or master students in the fields of terrestrial or marine ecology. It can be awarded for travel, accommodation or equipment.

JC BOOKJulia packed a lot into her 34 years. She worked for the BBC Natural History Unit, the Wet Tropics Management Authority and in wildlife education and research businesses with Martin Cohen. Julia co-authored several books about the plants and animals of the Wet Tropics. She was a journalist, photographer, and a devoted wildlife carer.  Julia stood up for the much-maligned flying foxes. She often cared for orphaned baby flying foxes, nursing them back to health and rehabilitating them back into the wild.

Martin Cohen & Julia Cooper

Martin Cohen & Julia Cooper

And Julia had a rare and priceless gift for radio. She could conjure the beauty and the science of our tropical environment in the same moment. She informed, inspired, entertained, and she encouraged understanding. It was an honour to have worked with her.


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