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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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FLYING LONDON TO SYDNEY THE SLOW WAY – THE CHEROKEE CHALLENGE FLIGHT VISITS FNQ TO EXPLORE FAMILY HISTORY

G-ATYS at Atherton

G-ATYS at Atherton

Last Friday, an aircraft touched down on the grass airstrip at Atherton, here in far north Queensland. Keen eyed observers might have noticed the 1966 Piper Cherokee carried a British registration – G-ATYS. It has been flown all the way from London by two private pilots who have managed to combine a grand aviation adventure with raising money for charity.

Andy Hardy and Sam Kidd left London in September on a 10,500 nautical mile journey called the Cherokee Challenge Flight, that will end in Sydney this coming weekend. Now they could have chosen to travel in more comfortable and much faster fashion, aboard the Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s that operate regular passenger flights from the UK. But Andy says he prefers to travel this way, despite the limited room and lack of a dunny aboard the single engine Cherokee. It flies closer to the ground, and you stop every few hours, affording a stronger sense of connection with the nations and communities along the route.

Andy left Australia 24 years ago, and he’s long dreamed of flying himself home in this way. And he’s raising money for charity along the way. He started out with a goal of raising at least one pound for each nautical mile flown, giving the proceeds to Oxfam. He’s already well ahead of that target.

The stop-over at Atherton has given Andy time to explore some very old connections. He’s never been to FNQ before, but his family has a long history here, going back about 150 years. So he’s spent the past few days immersing himself in the family story, including a visit to a local museum where he was able to see his great grandmother’s tea set.

LISTEN to Andy talk about his family history in FNQ and the Cherokee Challenge flight here

If you’d like to support Oxfam through the Cherokee Challenge flight go here

Follow the flight on Facebook

Or Twitter @andyhardy or #cherokeeflightchallenge

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LOCAL WILDLIFE INSPIRES KIDS BOOKS BY MISSION BEACH AUTHOR EVA MARIE WELSH

BSu2LhECYAIlgVTWhen you live away from the big cities, it’s rare to see your part of the world on TV, in books, movies – anything. We’re a long way from where most of these things are made. So it’s always a thrill to see far north Queensland getting a mention, or being the setting for stories in any medium.

FNQ author Eva Marie Welsh writes and illustrates books for children that are inspired by the wonderful wildlife of our region. Over the past few years, she’s given us Cassie the Cassowary, Croaky the green frog and Bobby the tree kangaroo. And Eva has some new books out, featuring a family of crocodiles and some platypus.

Eva was born in Germany, and had a career in the hospitality industry. She moved to Australia and eventually found her way to Mission Beach. She says her early attempts at painting were pretty ordinary, which is hard to believe when you look at the beautiful illustrations that feature in her books.

LISTEN to my interview with Eva Marie Welsh here

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, People, rd on the road, wildlife and animals

 

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REMEMBERING FNQ ARTIST AND FOLK MUSIC CHAMPION RON EDWARDS – TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC FRIDAY MAY 24

reI never got to meet the late Ron Edwards, a great far north Queensland artist, collector of folklore, and gifted story-teller. But I did hear many stories of him from the late Bill Scott, who shared many of Ron’s talents and passions. Bill lived at The Coconuts, near Innisfail in the 1950s. Ron arrived in the far north in the late 50s. The two were great friends who shared many adventures here in FNQ and elsewhere.

Ron Edwards is the subject of a retrospective exhibition opening tomorrow night at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns. It’s appropriately called The Passionate Observer. Ron was an artist, a publisher, musician, story-teller, singer and craftsman, with a particular passion for Australian folk music. In 1976, he published the Big Book of Australian Folk Song – a work that inspired and encouraged many performers and lovers of the genre, including our own Tony Hillier.

So today we offer a selection of Australian folk songs Ron Edwards would have enjoyed. We hear The Bushwackers from 1974, when they were known as The Bushwackers & Bullockies Bush Band, a Peter Kenyon composition performed by Jan Wositzky http://www.storytellersguide.com.au/ and two takes on an Australian folk classic, from The Bushwackers http://thebushwackers.com.au/ and Tony Hillier’s band, Kamerunga. http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/kamerunga

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear this week’s Tony Hillier’s World of Music

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PLAY LIST

The Woolloomooloo Lair  (Trad) by Bushwackers & Bullockies Bush Band from the 1974 LP The Shearer’s Dream

Fool’s Gold (written by Peter Kenyon) performed by Jan Wositzky & Danny Spooner from Jan Wositzky’s 2013 CD The Monster Meeting

Lime Juice Tub (Trad) by the Bushwackers from their 1984 album Lively

Lime Juice Tub (Trad)  by Kamerunga from their 2012 album Worlds Kaleid

More about the Ron Edwards exhibition at www.ronedwardsretrospective.wordpress.com

and http://www.tanksartscentre.com/home/event.asp?eid=618

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

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, music, People, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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GORDONVALE’S TRISH RICHARDS – QUEENSLAND’S MOST POPULAR LIBRARIAN

Queensland's most popular librarian Trish Richards (R) with regular library user Wendy Maddocks

Queensland’s most popular librarian Trish Richards (R) with regular library user Wendy Maddocks

I’m happy to report that far north Queensland is home to this state’s favourite librarian – Gordonvale Library‘s Trish Richards.

Every year, the Australian Library and Information Association invites library users to nominate their favourite staff members, with an online public vote determining the top contenders. And Trish was voted Queensland’s favourite librarian.

Trish Richards has been with the Cairns Regional Council libraries for six years now and she says she loves the Gordonvale library – which plays an important role in this rural community on the southern outskirts of Cairns. Like libraries everywhere, this place is much more than a building full of books.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear ABC Far North reporter Phil Staley visit the Gordonvale Library and meet Trish Richards

More about Gordonvale Library at http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/library/my-library/locations/gordonvale

More about the Australian Library and Information Association and their 2013 awards at http://www.alia.org.au/

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in arts & culture, Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, People

 

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FRIDAY’S SOLAR ECLIPSE SEEN FROM SWEERS ISLAND – GULF OF CARPENTARIA

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Last Friday far north Queensland was under a solar eclipse for the second time in six months. This was an annular eclipse where the moon moves directly in front of the sun, but doesn’t obscure it completely. What remains visible is a thin, fiery ring – the annulus. This eclipse was only visible inside an approximately 100 mile wide track from Western Australia, across the Northern Territory, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands & Kiribati.

This eclipse didn’t attract the international attention the last one did – back in November 2012, when thousands of people came to FNQ to see the total eclipse. And not as many people were able to see this one due to some wet weather along the east coast. But viewing conditions were perfect on Sweers Island, in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria. Lyn and Tex Battle run a fishing resort on the island. Tex took the eclipse pictures you see here and Lyn was kind enough to interrupt a conversation with a friend in Alaska on ham radio to take our call and describe the eclipse. LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Lyn describe last Friday’s solar eclipse.

Read more about Sweers Island at http://www.sweers.com.au/

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, People, tropical weather & climate

 

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DR GERRY BULGER’S ANTARCTIC SUMMER

Dr Gerard Bulger (right) in Antarctica

Dr Gerard Bulger (right) in Antarctica

I’ve been fortunate to have travelled all over the world – but there’s one place I’ve wanted to visit ever since I was a kid. The Antarctic. I used to read everything I could find about the southern polar region – accounts of the early explorers, memoirs by people who’d been there, anything. Antarctica captured my imagination and it still hasn’t let go. But so far, my only direct connection to the icy region has been as a supplier of news. In the 80s, long before the Internet, I was an editor at Australian Associated Press. One of my tasks was to compile the daily Antarctic bulletin, a digest of news that was sent by telex to Australia’s Antarctic bases. To date, that’s the closest I’ve got to the Antarctic.

This week, I got to meet someone who has been there – Cairns-based doctor Gerry Bulger. He hails from England, and has travelled the world practising medicine. Along the way, he’s developed a specialty in providing medical care in remote and isolated settings. Gerry has just returned from a summer posting to Casey Station, one of the bases maintained by the Australian Antarctic Division. http://www.antarctica.gov.au/

MAP OF ANTARCTIC TERRITORY CLAIMS & BOUNDARIES

MAP OF ANTARCTIC TERRITORY CLAIMS & BOUNDARIES

Australia has been involved in the Antarctic since Douglas Mawson took an expedition south from Hobart in 1911. Australia’s pioneering role and long association with the region is the basis of the Australian Antarctic Territory – the  largest territorial claim over the continent – more than 5 million square kilometres. The other nations with Antarctic territory are Argentina, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Casey Station http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/casey was built to replace the U-S Wilkes station, which Australia took over in 1959. Wilkes was being slowly buried by snow drifts, so work began to build a new station nearby in 1964. It opened in 1969 and was named Casey after the Australian Governor General, a keen supporter of Australia’s Antarctic presence. Casey station is located in the Windmill Islands, just outside the Antarctic Circle. And that’s where Dr Gerry Bulger spent the summer, providing medical care for the station team.He went there by sea, and returned on an Airbus jet that can operate from the nearby Wilkins ice runway during the short Antarctic summer. That jet flight puts Australian hospitals within reach for a couple of months each year, but Gerry says the Casey medical facility still has to be completely self-sufficient – even stocking malaria remedies, just in case. He says the Antarctic hadn’t been on his bucket list, but it was a great experience – especially the Australia Day swim, and the cricket match complete with a streaker.

LISTEN  Click on the red arrow to hear Dr Gerry Bulger talk about his Antarctic summer.

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ANTARCTIC PICTURES BY Dr GERRY BULGER

 

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