God Only Knows – Brian Wilson

God Only Knows – Brian Wilson

  I’m a firm believer in the adage that experiences are more important than things and that investment in meaningful experiences that enrich your life in some way are a greater source of happiness than the latest gadget or iThing. Don’t get me wrong, gadgets and iThings are very nice, …

Newcastle Shoreline Walk

Newcastle Shoreline Walk

Free printed maps are available at the Newcastle Museum or the Visitor Information Centre located at the Maritime Centre both located in the Honeysuckle precinct.   Heavy Walk – 3hr / 3.2km Explore Newcastle’s maritime and surf culture through a self-guided walking tour of the city. With its spectacular harbour …

Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser

Damn you, Malcolm Fraser. You’ve gone and died on us just when we needed you most, but I’m fairly certain you’d be pretty pissed off with your timing. During my many years with the ABC I strived to ensure that whilst my humanity was always on show, my voting preferences …

Vale Tom Uren – the ‘conscience of Parliament’

Vale Tom Uren – the ‘conscience of Parliament’

Tom Uren lived an incredible life and I had the privilege of speaking with him in 2007 prior to his trip to Maitland to deliver the annual Harry Boyle Memorial Lecture for the National Trust. Tom served during WWII and witnessed the bombing of Hiroshima. He was a prisoner-of-war on …

Breaking the poverty cycle with education

Breaking the poverty cycle with education

Nearly 640,000 Australian children live in a ‘jobless’ family. These children are, on average, up to three years behind their peers in reading and maths by the time they’re 15 years of age. But this doesn’t have to be the case. HSC completion rates in lower socio-economic backgrounds are still …

Jerome Rugaruza – Australian

Jerome Rugaruza – Australian

I’ve been fortunate enough to interview Jerome Rugaruza on several occasions. Jerome arrived in Newcastle in 2009 after spending years in refugee camps after fleeing his home in a rural Congolese village. In 2011, he was reunited with his wife, Imaculee, and their children. To be greeted by Jerome is …

Iva Davies – March 2014

Iva Davies – March 2014

The number one song on the Australian pop music charts in 1980 was The Buggles ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’, accompanied through the year by such gems as Michael Jackson ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’, The Village People ‘You Can’t Stop The Music’, Split Enz ‘I Got You’, The …

National Gallery of Australia director visits Newcastle's colonial treasures exhibition

National Gallery of Australia director visits Newcastle's colonial treasures exhibition

Ron Radford, the director of the National Gallery of Australia, has come to Newcastle to see the Colonial Treasures of the Macquarie Era exhibition, including one very special artwork that is heading to London’s Royal Academy. “I really wanted to see the works borrowed from the Mitchell (NSW State) Library …

Denise Kelly – Wiradjuri Woman

Denise Kelly – Wiradjuri Woman

Denise Kelly is a Wiradjuri woman who has been working with Liz Mullinar’s Heal For Life Foundation since 2005. Denise is now translating her experience in culturally appropriate education to helping support Aboriginal people who are survivors of child trauma and abuse. “I work with children in schools and I …

Nigel Westlake – Smugglers of Light

Nigel Westlake – Smugglers of Light

In 2008, Australian composer Nigel Westlake’s son, Eli, was killed in a tragic road rage incident. With the support of his family, and his son’s friends, Nigel used his love for his son to establish a music and film program to support young indigenous Australians. In an interview in 2011, …

Liz Mullinar – survivor of child abuse

Liz Mullinar – survivor of child abuse

Re-post: First published 23 May 2010. It means a great deal to me that I still receive correspondence from people about this story. With the NSW Special Commission and Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse I thought it might be timely to share again. I don’t really …

Malcolm Turnbull. Or, too much fun.

Malcolm Turnbull. Or, too much fun.

On the eve of Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Newcastle, the New Zealand parliament voted to redefine marriage as a union between two people, becoming the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. It’s one of the great privileges of my job that I get to run around inside …

John Schumann on writing an icon

John Schumann on writing an icon

When it comes to Anzac Day, Australian singer/songwriter JohnSchumann says, “There could be a hundred of me and there still wouldn’t be enough to go around!” referring to the huge success of his 1983 song, ‘I Was Only 19’. I first met John when I started working for his then-record …