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PODCAST SERIES MY CAPE YORK LIFE AVAILABLE NOW – GREAT STORIES FROM FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

mcylWe’ve reached the half-way point of series one in the wonderful Cape York NRM podcast My Cape York Life – with plenty of good stories told and many more to come.

The stories are entertaining, inspiring, and often hilarious. You’ll hear about epic wet season adventures, close encounters with crocodiles, the Cape’s first attempt at helicopter cattle mustering, and the joys and challenges of living in remote and isolated places.

Last year, my friends at Cape York Natural Resource Management and South Cape York Catchments decided to give the region’s land managers a place to tell and share their own remarkable stories. And My Cape York Life was born. Lyndal Scobell travelled the Cape, recording the stories. I was invited to do the editing and audio production – and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Episode 4 came out yesterday – we meet Louise Stone at the height of turtle nesting season near Mapoon on western Cape York. Louise was co-ordinator of the Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers, who work to protect vulnerable and endangered turtles and their nesting sites along the beautiful Gulf of Carpentaria coast.

In episode 3, we met Mikayla Down and Wilfred Peter, traditional owners of Lama Lama Country, on the northern coast of Princess Charlotte Bay. Mikayla and Wilfred work with Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation’s Lama Lama Rangers, caring for and managing traditional land and sea country from Silver Plains in the north to Marina Plains in the south.

In our first two episodes, we sat by the Wenlock River, on the north-west Cape, listening to Shelley Lyon tell stories of her 40 adventurous years on Cape York. Shelley has extensive conservation experience from decades working in the Cape’s national parks and private conservation properties with husband Barry. You can click to hear episode 1 and episode 2.

Still to come in this series of My Cape York Life, the ups and downs of raising cattle on the Cape, the joys and challenges of leading a small Cape York indigenous community, how an ecologist from London made her home on a farm near Cooktown, and we meet a cattle farmer and entirely self-taught award-winning plant and wildlife expert at Shipton’s Flat.

My Cape York Life is brought to you by Cape York NRM, with support from South Cape York Catchments, and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Hann River roadhouse

Hann River roadhouse

 

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, community, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, indigenous, People

 

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MY CAPE YORK LIFE – A PODCAST OF GREAT STORIES FROM CAPE YORK PENINSULA

mcylI love good stories. This podcast series is full of them. It’s called My Cape York Life, made by Cape York NRM, launched on February 10. You can find My Cape York Life in your podcast app or stream/download here

And here’s a 60 second sample

Cape York Peninsula is my favourite place.I love its wide-open spaces, its earthy colours, its bone-jarring dirt roads. I admire the tenacious spirit of the people who call it home, and I love their stories.

cy-2012-547It’s not easy living and travelling on the Cape. It’s rugged, and beautiful, all at once. Distance and remoteness challenge notions of community and connection. My Cape York Life takes you to the Cape’s tropical savannas, lush rainforests, abundant wetlands, its magnificent coastline and pristine rivers. You’ll meet the fascinating people who live and work here and take care of this surprisingly fragile place. My Cape York Life will take you to the Wenlock River, Mapoon, Lakeland, Port Stewart, Wujal Wujal and more.

The stories are entertaining, inspiring, and often hilarious. You’ll hear about epic wet season adventures, close encounters with crocodiles, the Cape’s first attempt at helicopter cattle mustering, and the joys and challenges of living in remote and isolated places.

Late last year, my friends at Cape York Natural Resource Management and South Cape York Catchments decided to give the region’s land managers a place to tell and share their own remarkable stories. And My Cape York Life was born. Lyndal Scobell travelled the Cape, recording the stories. I was invited to do the editing and audio production – and I’ve loved every minute of it.

If you live on the Cape, have a connection to the place, you’ve travelled there or dream of doing the great red dirt adventure one day, My Cape York Life is for you. Search My Cape York Life in your podcast app, and you can stream & download from http://landmanager.capeyorknrm.com.au/content/my-cape-york-life

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THE 6th INDIGENOUS FIRE WORKSHOP GETS UNDERWAY ON CAPE YORK PENINSULA

FISAAC

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.

dd wshopToday, the sixth Indigenous 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.

LISTEN

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, indigenous, rd on the road

 

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JIGURRU – STORM SEASON: NEW BOOK SHOWS THE WONDERLAND OF FNQ RAINFORESTS

jigurruI’ve just seen an advance copy of a beautiful new book about one of our far north Queensland rainforests. It’s called Jigurru – Storm Season. It takes you inside the rainforest during November and December, the build-up to the tropical wet season, when the temperature starts to climb, storms rumble across the region, and we all start to look forward to the relief and renewal the monsoon will bring.

At first glance, it’s a book for kids. But turn the pages, follow the two youngsters as they wander through a Cassowary Coast rainforest, and you’ll find yourself drawn into their journey, their story, no matter how old you are. You’ll learn about rainforest plants and creatures, pick up some indigenous language, and experience what it’s like to be in such a spectaular place in such a dramatic season – what they call the “nose of the wet season”.

Jigurru is a collaboration between local authors and artists and the Mandubarra rainforest Aboriginal people who were nurtured by these forests. One of the authors is Yvonne Cunningham, who has lived at the mouth of the Johnstone River in Innisfail for 45 years, where she runs a plant nursery

LISTEN to my interview with Yvonne

More about Yvonne and Jigurru at her website

Jigurru will be launched at a NAIDOC week function at the Johnstone Shire hall at Innisfail from 10am on July 8th

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, indigenous, tropical weather & climate

 

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TORRES STRAIT MUSICIAN DANNY BANI LAUNCHES FIRST ALBUM AT CAIRNS RECOGNITION DAY CONCERT

recogIt’s a fact of Australian political life that most questions put to voters by way of a referendum will be rejected. But in May 1967, voters overwhelmingly responded “yes” when asked the question “DO YOU APPROVE the proposed law for the alteration of the Constitution entitled— ‘An Act to alter the Constitution so as to omit certain words relating to the People of the Aboriginal Race in any State and so that Aboriginals are to be counted in reckoning the Population”

Just over 90% of voters supported the proposal, which became law in August of that year. There’s still some misunderstanding about what the result meant – but in essence, indigenous Australians were from then on to be counted in the census, and the Federal Government had acquired power to legislate for indigenous people. It was a significant step forward, and is commemorated every year with Recognition Day.

Danny Bani

Danny Bani

In Cairns, the local Tropical North QLD Institute of TAFE has a long tradition of putting on a concert featuring indigenous performers – this year that’s on tomorrow, Tuesday 27th May from 4-11pm. The program features up-and-coming local talent such as Ingrid Piper, Greta & Micki, Folkcentric, Kalen – Ja, Tamarind Rose, Indigenous Young Boyz, Elements and much more. And one of the rising stars of the far north Queensland music scene is on the bill – Danny Bani. He hails from Thursday Island, in the Torres Strait, a man blessed with musical talent who has just released his first album – called db.

LISTEN to my interview with Danny and concert organiser Mark Fuccilli

 

The Recognition Day Concert is held at ‘R’ Block Theatre, entry via Newton Street, Manunda.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in arts & culture, EFFINCUE, indigenous, music, rd on the road

 

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MEET INDIGENOUS ARTIST PAUL BONG – COMING TO THE CAIRNS INDIGENOUS ART FAIR THIS JULY

I’m a keen student of the human condition in all its manifestations, and one of the most fascinating is the way we navigate our way through life, charting a course between safety and danger. We take risks, all the time. Without risk, there would be no adventure, no invention, and, quite possibly, no fun. But we all have a deep need to feel safe, and we devise all manner of ways to keep ourselves from harm, from danger.

SHIELD CROPFor generations, the Yidinji indigenous people of far north Queensland used beautifully made wooden shields to add an element of safety to their lives. The Yidinji belong to the country in and around Cairns. When Europeans came to this part of the world, they brought with them a weapon those shields could not block or deflect – guns. Bullets went right through them and felled their bearers in a way that, at least initially, defied their understanding.

It is those often deadly encounters that shape a story being explored by indigenous artist Paul Bong, in etchings now being produced in Cairns. Paul is a Yidinji man, who is exploring the story of those shields, depicting them in breath-taking detail in prints from etchings he’s making at Theo Tremblay’s print workshop. The shields depicted in this series of prints have all the rich texture and colour of the wooden shields that inspired the works, but they’re fractured and damaged, perhaps by conflict, or the passage of time. By depicting them in this way, Paul says he’s finding ways to heal the damage to his people, his culture, and to take that culture into the future. You’ll get the chance to see his current work at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in late July.

Paul is clearly an artist of great talent, and a really engaging story teller. I encourage you to listen to my interview with Paul here.

HAVING A YARN WITH PAUL BONG AT THE PRINT WORKSHOP

HAVING A YARN WITH PAUL BONG AT THE PRINT WORKSHOP

 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Aboriginal, arts & culture, EFFINCUE, indigenous

 

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THE RICH AND ENDURING INTERNATIONAL MUSICAL FRIENDSHIP OF DAVID BRIDIE AND GEORGE TELEK

tabaranIn 1990, I got hold of a new album by the always hard to categorise Australian band Not Drowning Waving. That album was Tabaran – it changed my life, because it was the starting point of my relationship with Papua New Guinea. Like most Australians, I knew something of PNG – our nearest neighbour, our former colony, the heroic efforts to defeat Japanese forces on the Kokoda Trail. By 1990, I’d even written about PNG – and the then developing conflict on Bougainville – for the now defunct regional news magazine Pacific Islands Monthly.

But the music of Tabaran opened a door for me – that door remains wide open to this day. One of the PNG musicians who appeared on the album is George Telek, He’s been making music with PNG string bands since the 70s, and by 1990, had become a very big name on the local music scene. David Bridie and his fellow members of Not Drowning Waving were in PNG to work with local musicians around George’s home town near Rabaul, in East New Britain province. George recorded his song Abebe for the Tabaran album, where it appeared preceded by a spoken word introduction in Tok Pisin – the lingua franca of PNG – and an essential thing in a country that’s home to over 800 languages.

Hullo tru long yu olgeta man meri na pikinini bilong Australia.” It was familiar and intriguing all at once, and I was mesmerised by the rich fluency of its cadences, the music inherent in the words and the delivery. I played that bit over and over, learned the words, deciphered their meaning, found books on Tok Pisin, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Pacific music. I spent the next few years immersing myself in the music and cultures of our Pacific neighbours. By 1996, I was the ABC Pacific correspondent, and in 1999, its resident correspondent in Papua New Guinea. My relationship with our northern neighbour continues to this day, and in a few minutes I’m out the door to see George Telek and David Bridie perform in Cairns.

David and George have been making music together ever since Tabaran, George went on to become one of the early and enduring international successes of the world music scene, and their continuing musical friendship is one of the loveliest manifestations of the long, deep, complex relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea. And if those two men had not hooked up all those years ago in Pacific Gold Studios in Rabaul, I may never have found my way to PNG and would have been much the poorer as a result. Whatever I paid for Tabaran in 1990, it was the best investment I’ve ever made. David went on to form My Friend The Chocolate Cake, and has just released his latest solo album – Wake.

Listen to David and George talk about how they met, the ins and outs of the PNG-Australia relationship, the Wantok Musik Foundation, and more.

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Posted by on May 17, 2014 in EFFINCUE, indigenous, music, rd on the road

 

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