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Monthly Archives: July 2013

BEC HASTIE – TREKKING TOWARDS THE SUN

trek-booklet-becs_cover_1In October 2011, a young man whose life seemed so full of promise committed suicide. No-one saw it coming, and it’s still not clear why he did it. For his family and friends, it’s been a long and hard road back from that tragedy. But music has been a key part of that journey.

Bec Hastie lives at Kuranda, in far north Queensland, with her family. Her son Harry was almost 21 when he took his own life. Since then, Bec has done all the things a parent does after such an awful event. And one more thing that most don’t do – she’s recorded an album of original songs that reach out to Harry, and to anyone else who might be suffering, even contemplating suicide.

The album is called Trek Towards The Sun, an independent release, recorded here in FNQ. Some of the proceeds of the CD will go to support The R U OK? Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly, meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life. https://www.ruokday.com/

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Bec talk about the album and to hear some songs from Trek Towards The Sun.

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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, music

 

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A CELEBRATION OF PAUL KELLY – TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC

PKPaul Kelly is on tour in Queensland this week and next, part of his 23 stop national Spring and Fall tour. Long one of Australia’s best singer/songwriters, this tour sees Paul in great form, with a new and astonishingly talented band, performing his recent Spring & Fall album in its entirety – as the song cycle he envisioned when he made the album last year. That opens the show, and then comes a really thoughtfully chosen selection of songs from the Paul Kelly back-catalogue, delightfully arranged and performed.

We counted 33 songs in all, and several encores, at the Cairns show – the opening night of his national tour. Today a celebration of Paul’s music on Tony Hillier’s World of Music. LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear this week’s World of Music

Play list

Careless by Angie Hart from the 2002 compilation The Women At The Well

If I Could Start Today Again by Catherine Britt from the 2003 compilation Stories of Me – A Songwriters Tribute to Paul Kelly

Before Too Long by Chrissy Amphlett from The Women At The Well

TONY HILLIER CASTTony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/

Tony Hillier’s World of Music is also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php

You can hear Tony on ABC Far North each Friday at 445pm.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, music, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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THE NRL QUEENSLAND DERBY, THE ASHES & THE DREAD DRS – PHIL STALEY’S THOUGHTS ON SPORT

_MG_7611Australians love their sport – but I reckon no-one loves their sport quite like our Phil Staley. Indoor, outdoor, winter summer or somewhere in between – Phil loves it all. Stand at his desk here at ABC Far North and you get the feeling you’ve just run on to Lang Park or the MCG. Phil has a gift for talking about sport in a way that even people who can’t stand sport will enjoy.

He gets past the hype and the stats to the magic ingredient that makes sport so compelling – the people who play it and the people who love it. Phil talks about sport each Friday on ABC Far North at 5:15pm – now you can tune in online as well.

This week:new Wallabies coach Ewan McKenzie on the line up to play New Zealand in August, the North Queensland Cowboys play Brisbane Broncos in Townsville tonight, has David Warner played himself back into the Ashes line-up, an umpire’s view of the DRS, and Jonathan Thurston on that early wake-up from ASADA on Wednesday.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in EFFINCUE, Phil Staley Thoughts on Sports, Sport

 

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ARE THERE MORE CROCODILES NOW IN FNQ – OR JUST MORE OF US PEOPLE?

CROCODILES ARE NOT ALWAYS CAMERA SHY

CROCODILES ARE NOT ALWAYS CAMERA SHY

There’s been a pretty lively debate around far north Queensland in recent times about crocodiles. Well, it’s been going for decades, but has been re-ignited in recent times by croc sightings in close proximity to our large population centres, and especially around popular tourist destinations.

The estuarine or saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile and the most aggressive of all crocodiles.It loves brackish water, coastal environments and the lower stretches of rivers, so FNQ is the perfect place for the big salty. In the not too distant past, they were hunted and shot, leading to fears a species that has been with us since the time of the dinosaurs was on the brink of extinction. The law changed, crocodiles were afforded some environmental protection, and their numbers increased again.

Just how much they’ve increased is a much debated question. There’s a view among older folk here that when they were kids, you could swim safely in creeks and rivers that are now known crocodile habitats. Perhaps there’s a touch of nostalgia creeping in, maybe that was really the case. But many people believe there are a lot more crocodiles around these days and they want something done about it. When the new Queensland Government took office last year, it promised to address the issue, setting up a local advisory group to help manage crocodile populations and deal with so-called “problem” crocs.

Professor Craig Franklin is a member of that committee. He’s with the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, where he’s extensively studied crocodiles and other reptiles. http://www.biology.uq.edu.au/staff/craig-franklin

Craig says crocodile numbers have not increased significantly, and if we are seeing more of them it’s probably because there are more of us, living closer to crocodile habitats than we used to when our towns and populations were smaller. LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Craig talk about how we should handle living alongside crocodiles, and whether culling or re-locating them would be effective.

Are you getting my best side?

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, wildlife and animals

 

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THREATENED, VULNERABLE, ENDANGERED. A USER FRIENDLY GUIDE TO THE STATE OF OUR WILDLIFE

2 martWe hear lots of debate about our environment and the impact of human activity on our wildlife. In those discussions you’ll hear terms like “endangered“, “threatened“, “vulnerable“, and many other words and phrases. Their exact meaning is not always clear, and given the heat and the politics that accompany environmental debate, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what the experts, the campaigners and our elected representatives are actually saying.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear ABC Far North wildlife correspondent Dr Martin Cohen talk about threatened, endangered and vulnerable species here in far north Queensland and around our planet.

You can hear Martin regularly on Wednesdays at 445pm on ABC Far North.

 

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THE FUTURE OF NATIONAL FOOTY IN CAIRNS – A TALE OF TWO CODES

PLANES 043Major sport is the domain of television these days. But nothing beats being at the ground, watching your team, enjoying the atmosphere.If you live in the big smoke, it’s a routine thing to have a day at the cricket, and you can probably fit more than one AFL or NRL game into your weekend. In regional Australia, we have great local sport to see, but a chance to see top level cricket or footy is a rare treat not to be missed.

Here in Cairns, far north Queensland, we’ve just had our annual dose of AFL and NRL. South Sydney beat the Gold Coast Titans at Barlow Park a few weeks back, and on Saturday night, Richmond broke its Cazaly’s hoodoo and beat the Gold Coast Suns.

It’s fair to say neither was a particularly attractive fixture, but both attracted near capacity crowds – 16,000 plus to the NRL and just over 11,000 to the AFL. We FNQ folk love our sport, and we have one of the nation’s highest rates of active participation in sport. But opportunities to watch top level sport live in Cairns are few and far between. That’s why we turn out for these games, and that’s why we hope there will be more.

A few years back, Cricket Australia saw the potential of mid-winter cricket, putting international cricket on in Cairns and Darwin. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh played Tests and one day matches here, in what was billed as the Top End Tours. Cricket lovers came from all over, making the long drive from the top of Cape York or the Gulf country. Many who came had never been to a Test match before – it was a big deal for us. I don’t think Cricket Australia made any money on the two series and the idea quietly faded away.

Apart from giving a treat to local sports fans, these big fixtures attract visitors from down south & bring significant money into the local economy. Given the state of that economy, people believe the sport dollar is worth pursuing, even if it means we have to spend a bit on upgrading our venues.

Saturday night’s AFL match was the last of three games played here under a deal signed with Richmond in 2010. Back then, the club was in debt and membership was down – they’re in much better shape now and the trip to Cairns is thus a less attractive financial proposition. The AFL is known to be keen on Cairns as a venue and hopes to get one of the Melbourne-based clubs to come up here in future, probably playing one of the Queensland sides.

For the rugby league, South Sydney will be back in Cairns next year, and on their current form, they may well return as defending NRL champions. I know many Rabbitohs fans (I am one myself) who have already booked their tickets for next year’s Rumble On The Reef.

I hope the AFL finds a way to put a game on here next year, and Cricket Australia – we’re still here. Come back any time. Now what about the Socceroos, the Wallabies? Not being greedy, you understand. Just keen.

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, Sport

 

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CREATING AN INDIGENOUS FUTURE IN COEN CAPE YORK PENINSULA

coen signBack in 2008, the Queensland and Federal Governments, and the Cape York Institute for Policy & Leadership,  introduced the Cape York Welfare Reform program in four communities –  Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge.

The idea was to find locally informed ways to address social dysfunction, alcohol abuse and behavioural problems – and the central agency in this program is the Family Responsibilities Commission.

Its job is to support the restoration of socially responsible standards of behaviour and to assist community members to resume and maintain primary responsibility for their well-being. It’s generally agreed the program has made a difference for the better, but it’s unclear how much longer the two governments will fund it.

In Coen, local people want to see the reform program continue, not just because it’s made a difference – they say it has also created new opportunities.

Billy Pratt has a role with the FRC – and as you’ll hear, he has a lot of other roles in Coen as well: with the indigenous cultural centre, the indigenous ranger group, the local school – as well as a full time job with the Shire Council, for which he won a Mayoral Achievement award in 2006.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Billy Pratt talk about life in Coen and his hopes for the future of his community

Raising kids is no easy thing – they don’t come with an instruction manual – so parents, especially first time parents, need advice, help, support. In the big cities, there’s plenty of that to be found – but in small remote communities, not so much.

Tahnee Creek is a young indigenous woman helping parents in Coen support and care for their young children. She’s passionate about helping families, and about education. Tahnee is the local child and family support services co-ordinator.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Tahnee talk about her work and the importance of education in remote indigenous communities

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Posted by on July 14, 2013 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, community, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous

 

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