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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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Meet the woman preserving Horn Island’s most significant Word War II sites – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Meet the woman preserving Horn Island’s most significant Word War II sites – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to the Torres Strait islands many times. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, and it’s full of good stories.

The Strait was Australia’s northern front-line during World War Two – and those difficult times are being wonderfully documented by Vanessa and Liberty Seekee at the Torres Strait Heritage Museum.

They’re online at http://www.torresstraitheritage.com/blog/?page_id=53 and here’s a current story from the hard-working crew at ABC Far North.

via Meet the woman preserving Horn Island’s most significant Word War II sites – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in rd on the road, Torres Strait

 

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SEARCHING FOR HELLS GATE – AN FNQ ART DETECTIVE STORY

HG COMIn 1969, a group of far north Queensland artists began a search for Hells Gate – a by then lost location at the heart of the Palmer River gold rush 100 years earlier. Percy Trezise, Dick Roughsey, Ray Crooke and anthropologist  Frank Woolsten went in to tough country in the Kennedy Creek region of Cape York Peninsula, at the start of a lengthy exploration of history, country and story. The story of that long journey is eloquently told in an exhibition about to open at the Cairns Regional Gallery – Searching for Hells Gate.

Hells Gate was a pass in the Great Dividing Range and a significant short cut on the journey from the Palmer goldfields back to Cooktown, the closest town and port. As the name implies, it was a hellish place, very difficult to traverse and the ideal place to ambush a prospector and relieve him of his gold. Hells Gate became part of the mythology of the gold rush, but its precise location was forgotten by the early 1900s.

In 1969, Percy, Dick and Raye set out to find Hells Gate – it was the start of a long creative friendship, an exploration of indigenous and European Cape York history, and the creation of some tremendous art.

LISTEN to Percy Trezise and curator Justin Bishop. :

[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/blog-hells-gate.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]

 

Searching For Hells Gate runs from 29 August – 9 November 2014 at the Cairns Regional Gallery.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland

 

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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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PICTURES FROM THE TOP OF AUSTRALIA – TORRES STRAIT AND NORTHERN CAPE YORK PENINSULA

THURSDAY ISLAND WHARF

THURSDAY ISLAND WHARF

My last blog post was all about the sea journey from Cairns, through the Coral Sea to the Torres Strait islands and northern Cape York Peninsula. The MV Trinity Bay is the only working cargo ship in Australia that also carries passengers, and it takes about 40 hours from Cairns to Horn Island. After almost two very gentle days at sea, it was time to find my land legs and go wandering on Horn and Thursday islands.

There’s plenty to see on both, and the ferry ride between the two takes you across water so blue you’ll need to come up with a new adjective to describe it. On Horn Island, my guides were Liberty and Vanessa See Kee – who run the Torres Strait Heritage Museum and some very enjoyable tours of the island

Horn Island was a very active military base during World War Two. Vanessa and Liberty will show you the aircraft wrecks and tell you the stories – they know their stuff and they’re lovely people. Highly recommended! I also enjoyed our tour of Thursday Island, including the improbable military fort that sits on one of its highest points. Green Hill Fort was built in the 1890s amid fears that Russia might invade Australia, a prospect now regarded as having been very remote.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Cape York Peninsula, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, Torres Strait

 

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CAIRNS TO THE CAPE AND TORRES STRAIT BY SEA – ABOARD THE MV TRINITY BAY

MV TRINITY BAY DOCKED AT HORN ISLAND

MV TRINITY BAY DOCKED AT HORN ISLAND

Everyone should see Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait islands at least once. I’ve been lucky – I’ve been to both several times. I’ve been by road and air, but last week I did the journey by sea. Wow! I’d run out of adjectives within a couple of hours of leaving Cairns. Far north Queensland is a stunning place, but looking at it from a ship doing a steady 11 knots on the Coral Sea gives you time to take it in, to marvel, to get inspired.

torres chartI travelled on the MV Trinity Bay, the only working cargo vessel in Australia that also carries passengers. Its main job is to be a lifeline for remote communities on Cape York, and in Torres Strait. It carries food supplies in refrigerated or freezer containers, general freight, cars – the vast bulk of freight going north from Cairns goes on the Trinity Bay. It stops offshore of Lockhart River, and at Horn Island & Thursday Island, and then at Seisia, near the tip of the Cape. A fleet of smaller vessels take freight on to island communities around Torres Strait.

Trinity Bay can take up to 48 passengers – we had 30 – in 15 cabins. It travels inside the Great Barrier Reef, so the sea is usually calm. It’s within sight of the coast for most of the 1000 kilometre journey, but you do get to see offshore islands, sand cays, and you get a real understanding of how big the reef is, and of its environmental importance.

It’s not the best way to get to the top of the Cape – nothing can compare to the sense of adventure and accomplishment that goes with the long, dusty road trip. But the sea journey is a very close second. And you could always have the best of both – drive one way, and send you & your car back by boat. The view from the passenger deck of the Trinity Bay is always special. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE

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AND …

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