Australians 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. Phil’s Thoughts on Sports are podcast too – search Phil Staley in your podcast app.
This week: Australia off to a great start at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the AFL Q-Clash Lions v Suns, Brisbane Broncos sack their coach, Anthony Griffin, and Darius Boyd gets help.
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Fire as an environmental remedy for bushland? At first look, it seems a counter-intuitive notion, especially in a land so determined, for good reasons, to prevent fire in its cities and countryside. But the idea that the right kind of fire at the right time might help rehabilitate “sick” country, get rid of weed pests and promote healthy growth of vegetation – well, it’s catching on. Traditional indigenous use of fire as a land management tool – looking after country – is increasingly informing land management practices by governments, farmers and environmentalists.
But it hasn’t been an easy journey. A decade or so ago, suggestions that indigenous Australians might be on to something were met with indifference, even open hostility. But indigenous fire practitioners were making a persuasive, some say, a compelling case. Fire, they say, is an essential ingredient in the health of the Australian bush – but that’s not a one size fits all prescription. If you’re going to burn a bit of country, you have to use the right kind of fire at the right time, and have a very clear goal in mind.
Today, the sixthIndigenous Fire Workshop gets underway on Cape York Peninsula. People have come from all over Australia to walk the country- it’s Taepithiggi country – and learn from traditional owners and fire practitioners. How to read the land, the animals, trees, the seasons, and talk about the cultural responsibility of looking after country for future generations.
Victor Steffensen is an indigenous fire practitioner based in Cairns, and a director of Mulong, the company supporting the fire workshop. Victor talks about the many ways indigenous people use fire, and how their traditional knowledge increasingly informs non-indigenous land management.
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We’ve had a few cold nights in far north Queensland recently. That’s what happens when we get these lovely fine dry season days – created by cooler dry air from the south. That sends the night time minimums down to the low teens in Cairns, and single figures on the high country west of us, on the lovely Atherton Tablelands.
Those cool nights won’t be worrying Lara Hudson – if anything, it’s probably helping her prepare for sub zero temperatures she will experience in northern Scandinavia later this year. Lara worked in the fashion industy for 13 years. but found herself wondering about things she had not yet experienced. That led her to a dog sledding trip in Sweden – and now Lara is heading to Norway to work as a sledding guide. Lara will live in a remote wilderness camp a couple of hours from Tromso, with no electricity or running water – but there will be plenty of huskies.
This week on Tony Hillier’s World of Music, we sample four new folk albums featuring English artists of diverse ages, but they share a connection – they all have a relationship of one form or another with the great British folk-rock pioneer Ashley Hutchings.
The Queen Of Hearts – Martin & Eliza Carthy – The Moral Of The Elephant
Ghost Changes – Iain Matthews – The Art Of Obscurity
I Want To See The Bright LightsTonight – Richard Thompson – Acoustic Classics
Something’s Gonna Give Way – Blair Dunlop – House Of Jacks
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Cairns is the centre of the ukulele universe this weekend – with the 5th Cairns Ukulele Festival well underway. Players of the four-stringed instrument have come to far north Queensland from around Australia and from faraway shores to celebrate an instrument that evokes the tropics more eloquently than any other. Tony Hillier takes a forward and backward look at the Cairns Ukefest.
Seisia by Cairns band Kamerunga, as featured on the Putumayo album Australian Playground
Living In Paradise by Hawaiian star Daniel Ho, as recorded at a previous Cairns Ukefest
Take The A Train by Paul Hemmings from the album Introducing Paul Hemmings Uketet
My Girl From The South Sea Isles by the Sweet Hollywaiians, as recorded at a previous Cairns Ukefest
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