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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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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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GHOSTLY APPARITIONS AT THE OLD HERRIES HOSPITAL – IS CAIRNS OLDEST BUILDING HAUNTED?

MARTIN 122In the late 1800s, Cooktown was a relatively prosperous town, thanks to its proximity to the goldfields of the Palmer River area. A gold rush was in full swing, and Cooktown was the nearest port, the nearest big town. A fair slice of the money made on the goldfields found its way to Cooktown, to the great benefit of the shopkeepers, publicans and merchants who had set up in this remote corner of far north Queensland.

Margaret Timony had her millinery shop on the corner of Charlotte and Walker Streets, in a building with a wedge-shaped front, affording entry from both streets. Business was good, with a steady passing trade and plenty of mail order customers out bush, whom she promised to treat equally well as her town clientele.

That building still stands, but not in Cooktown. It was shipped to Cairns in the 1920s, erected in McLeod Street, opposite the cemetery, and went on to be Herries Hospital. It’s been empty and virtually derelict for many years, clad in black plastic to keep the elements out. The heritage listed building is now being restored by John Westwood, who owns a motel next door. He’s restored a few old buildings in his time, and intends to make his home in this one.

His future home may already have at least one occupant. A ghost.

Bev Hewson, who manages the motel, has seen an apparition in the old house. So too has at least one motel guest. And builders working on the restoration have had some odd experiences they can’t explain. The apparition is said to be the figure of a woman, wearing old fashioned clothes, with an indistinct face. She’s given at least one observer a fright, but doesn’t appear to be threatening. She’s just a quiet presence who seems to be keeping an eye on the place.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Bev describe the ghostly apparition

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear John Westwood talk about the restoration

Cairns artist Julie McEnerny has long been fascinated by the old Herries Hospital building, and has portrayed it in her artwork. And she’s had a look at the story of the place, and the people who lived and worked in it. So who is the ghost? Margaret Timony, or the matron who ran Herries Hospital? LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Julie tell the story

More about Julie McEnerny at http://www.juliemcenerny.com.au/

More on the Herries Hospital story at  https://heritage-register.ehp.qld.gov.au/placeDetail.html?siteId=16873

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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland

 

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CHECK OUT OUR CAPE YORK PENINSULA PICTURE GALLERY – THEN COME VISIT US HERE IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND!

We did our annual Cape York Peninsula road trip early this year, in June instead of October. It was early in the dry season, the roads were in great shape and we travelled to Lakeland, Laura, Lama Lama National Park, Coen, Wenlock River, Aurukun and Cooktown. All our interviews are up on this blog – and here’s an assortment of pictures from this wonderful part of the world.

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Pictures by ABC Open’s Suzie Cray, ABC Far North legend Phil Staley, Lyndal Scobell from Cape York NRM, and me.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2013 in Aboriginal, arts & culture, Cape York Peninsula, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, indigenous

 

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THE JAMES COOK LANDING RE-ENACTMENT 2013 – COOKTOWN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

RE-ENACTMENT CAST TAKE A BOW

RE-ENACTMENT CAST TAKE A BOW

n June of 1770, the British vessel HMS Endeavour was sailing along the far north Queensland coast. Captain James Cook and his crew had travelled far since leaving England in August 1768. Their luck was not with them this day and the Endeavour struck a reef north of Cape Tribulation. Many place names in the area derive from this story: Mount Sorrow, Endeavour Reef, and Cape Tribulation.

Cook and his crew nursed the Endeavour up the coast to an inviting river mouth and beached the ship at what is now Cooktown. Repairs were made, and then they waited for favourable weather in which to set sail for England. In all, the Englishmen stayed almost seven weeks at Cooktown. The local indigenous people, the Guugu Yimithirr, had seen them coming and kept their distance, but they eventually made contact with these strange, pale visitors. There was curiosity on both sides of the encounter, conflict, and the first act of reconciliation between indigenous Australians and Europeans. And it’s the first time the word “kangaroo” entered the English language.Botanist Joseph Banks recorded it in his diary, having asked the name of a local creature that baffled the Englishmen. Gangurru is the Guugu Yimithirr word for “grey kangaroo”.

Every June since 1960, on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, the people of Cooktown re-enact the events of 1770. The Queen saw it herself in 1970, during the Cook bicentennial. The event is the centre-piece of the annual Cooktown Discovery Festival http://www.cooktowndiscoveryfestival.com.au/

The Cook landing re-enactment has changed considerably in its 54 years. It’s a faithful telling of Cook’s own account, recorded in his journals, and has more recently included an indigenous perspective, drawn from Guugu Yimithirr oral history. The result is an engaging and informative spectacle, complete with costumes, musket fire and an enormous kangaroo. And it takes place right where the events depicted really occured, 243 years ago.

More about Cooktown http://www.tourismcapeyork.com/

Read about the James Cook Museum in Cooktown http://www.nationaltrust.org.au/qld/james-cook-museum

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear highlights of the 54th re-enactment of the Cook landing

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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, Radio Feed, rd on the road

 

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IF THE DEAD COULD SPEAK – FNQ HISTORY AS HEARD IN THE COOKTOWN CEMETERY

COOKTOWN CEMETERY 005

Cooktown is one of my favourite far north Queensland towns. It sits on the banks of the Endeavour River, about a four hour drive from Cairns on the now sealed all the way Mulligan Highway. The town began as a port for the Palmer River gold rush in the 1870s. But it was first seen by Europeans a century earlier, when James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour sought refuge here after damaging their ship on a reef.

There’s plenty to see and do in Cooktown, and the rich history of the region is very accessible to visitors. The local historical society is a treasure-house of information, and each year the town re-enacts the Cook landing and the first interactions between Europeans and the local indigenous people.

When you visit Cooktown, make sure you take a wander through the local cemetery. Local tour companies will show you through and tell you stories of the people buried there. You’ll learn about the mysterious disappearance of a French naval vessel, the story of pioneer Mary Watson, and the still baffling tale of the Normanby woman – a fair-skinned and probably Scandinavian woman who lived with Aborigines at Normanby River in the 1880s.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Wayne Brennan from Cooktown Tours guide us through the Cooktown Cemetery.

More about Cooktown Tours at http://www.cooktowntours.com.au/Cooktown_Tours.html

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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Cape York Peninsula, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, Radio Feed

 

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