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Ace Daily News

FEATURED AUSTRALIA: Macquarie Point selected as Tasmania’s AFL stadium location, ABC understands

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#AceNewsDesk – Hobart’s Macquarie Point is set to be declared the Tasmanian government’s preferred site for a new AFL stadium, the ABC understands.

An aerial graphic view of a stadium on the waters edge, city behind and sky
The vision of the AFL stadium the state government says will cost $750 million.(Supplied:Philp Lighton Architects)none

In February, the ABC revealed the government had chosen nearby Regatta Point on Hobart’s waterfront as its ideal location for a 27,000-seat stadium that would house an AFL team if the state was granted a license.

But a shift in position will see Macquarie Point become the preferred location, with an official announcement expected within the next 24 hours. 

The change of heart follows discussions with the AFL, whose powerbrokers were impressed with the Macquarie Point site following visits earlier this year. 

In June, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan toured the site alongside the league’s general manager of property development Matthew Chun. 

It’s understood the AFL powerbrokers preferred the 9.3 hectare Macquarie Point site ahead of nearby Regatta Point, a view that was reinforced following a second visit to the state by Chun and AFL Chief Financial Officer Travis Auld in July.

Macquarie Point will become the government’s preferred location for a stadium despite a February site selection report that stated: “Macquarie Point has been touted for other uses and throughout our project, we have gained an understanding that the chances of using this site are more or less non-existent.”

The government commissioned report, compiled by MCS Management and Consulting, ranked six sites around the Hobart CBD as potential stadium locations, ranking each based on environmental, cultural, buildability, governance and location scores. 

Macquarie Point scored highest, but Regatta Point earnt the report’s recommendation. 

Among the ventures touted for the Macquarie Point site are retail and housing projects, an Antarctic and Science precinct, as well as a truth and reconciliation art park. 

There’s also some concern about the potential impact the height of a new stadium would have on the neighbouring Hobart Cenotaph. 

‘It’s a huge opportunity’, premier says

The government now plans to build a new stadium at the Macquarie Point site as part of a wider sport, arts and entertainment precinct, with the stadium contingent on Tasmania receiving an AFL license. 

It’s understood that federal funding for a stadium is yet to be secured, but the state government has committed to funding up to half the cost of a new build, which it has previously estimated to cost in the ballpark of $750m.

The potential construction cost has attracted heavy criticism from both Labor and the Greens, as well as federal Independent MP Andrew Wilkie. 

On Friday, Premier Jeremy Rockliff told ABC Radio Hobart: “It’s a huge opportunity. I know people aren’t sold on the idea as yet, but I know people in 2022 who aren’t sold on the stadium, I know in 2032, they will say that was the right call.”Jeremy Rockliff says he knows some people aren’t sold on the idea, but it’s a huge opportunity for the state. (ABC News: Luke Bowden)none

The government is also yet to secure federal funding for a major refurb of Launceston’s York Park, which it intends to use as a second base for a prospective Tasmanian team, but has committed $65m to the project on the proviso those funds are matched by the federal government. 

In May, the government awarded a $7.5m contract to architecture firm Populous to design the redevelopment of the Launceston stadium. 

A stadium announcement is set to come the day before the 18 AFL club presidents are formally presented with Tasmania’s finalised team bid, and while not part of the official bid, the stadium move to Macquarie Point will be deemed a win for the AFL, which is working to sell the presidents on Tasmania. 

It’s expected to take approximately two weeks for the 18-club boards to consider Tasmania’s proposal, before deciding whether or not the AFL should grant the state entry into the league.

ABC NEWS

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Sept.18: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Ace Daily News

FEATURED TASMANIA ABUSE INQUIRY: Victim-survivor tells of being groomed at 5, and living with ‘a black cloud’ ever since

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Sept, 13, 2022 @acenewsservices

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 13/09/2022

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#AceNewsDesk – Robert Boost has spent his life running away — but around every corner for years was a “black cloud”………….Mr Boost is happily married and enjoys his work, but the black cloud is the impact child sexual abuse has had, and continues to have, on his life.

He gave evidence on Monday to the Tasmanian Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings.

Mr Boost told the commission he was five years old when his family migrated to Australia with little English, and that his parents regularly travelled overseas for business commitments, leaving their children at home in Tasmania.

Mr Boost’s family made friends with another family. He told the commission the father in that family groomed him and then sexually abused him regularly while he was aged between 9 to 11 or 12 years old.

The commission heard Mr Boost’s alleged abuser convinced Mr Boost’s parents that it would be better for their son academically if he changed to a school where the alleged abuser worked.

Mr Boost said he had been “running away from” the abuse his whole life.

“Initially I thought if I get a girlfriend I will not feel this way anymore … and then for a moment everything’s good and then [it’s like] the tortoise and the hare; I run away and then … the tortoise catches up,” he said.

He said he got a job, did an apprenticeship and later took a teaching position at TAFE.

“Every time the tortoise comes around and it’s like a black cloud around me,” he said.

When he was aged in his 30s, on a recruit course for a job with the Tasmania Fire Service — something he said he had wanted to do for some time — he realised the black cloud “wasn’t going to go away”.

He told his wife and sought help from the Sexual Assault Support Service.

In 2020, Mr Boost went to the police, which he told the commission was a positive experience for him. 

The commission heard a brief of evidence was given to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office, but a decision was made not to take the matter further. 

Mr Boost told the commission he was still not certain why that decision was made.

Power imbalance ‘my entire life’

Mr Boost said the system appeared to protect perpetrators where it should protect children.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)none

He told the commission the power imbalance between him and his alleged abuse had remained.

“That power imbalance carried through my entire life, and now here again we have the power imbalance with the DPP [not prosecuting] where the perpetrator is, how I see it, protected by the system because he did what he did when I was a little kid and all that’s worked in his advantage and favour,” Mr Boost told the commission.

“If he’d done the same thing to me as he did when I was 18 as when I was 8 it would be a whole different story — that’s how I feel about it.”

Mr Boost told the commission that what happened to him “didn’t feel like abuse at the time”.

“At the time I was lacking in parental care, I suppose,” he said.

“For me, I was in a relationship and had someone who cared, [who] I thought loved me and I loved them back so at the time it certainly didn’t feel like abuse, that sort of came after.

“It wasn’t until the abuse was over and I sort of hit that age 13, 14, 15, where it really started to sink in what had happened … my own sexual maturity started making me think that what had happened wasn’t necessarily right, and I guess that’s where the damage to me personally started.

“I really split into two different people and since then I’ve basically been living two separate lives: one where I try to put on a facade and work through my life and become a firefighter, and the other one where I’m basically damaged and trying to keep it together enough to survive.”

Mr Boost said when he was a teenager, the “shame, guilt and fear of the perpetrator” stopped him from reporting the abuse.

He said he also did not know who at the school he could report it to.

Call for transparency

Mr Boost told the commission there needed to be a greater focus in society on protecting children.

“We spend so much time worrying about adults’ feelings rather than the impact on kids,” he said.

“A lot gets said about protecting anonymity and making sure that people’s reputations aren’t hurt … when incidents happen at a school, or anywhere, and an organisation knows about it, they need to be more transparent, which will in turn educate parents and help the kids.”

Mr Boost told the commission about a guest teacher who allegedly made inappropriate comments to some girls in the class.

He said a complaint was made to the principal by a group of parents, including his wife.

“The person who made the inappropriate comments just didn’t turn up the next day and there was nothing said or done, so how do we instil trust in an institution like the Department of Education,” he said.

“It didn’t need to have any detail, just that there was an incident and if any kids needed counselling or if parents had queries, to contact the principal.”

Mr Boost also said children needed to be educated about grooming.Commission of Inquiry president Marcia Neave told Mr Boost she hoped his evidence would help inform change.(ABC News: Luke Bowden )none

At the end of his evidence, commission president Marcia Neave thanked Mr Boost and said:

“We hope that the government is listening and that changes will come as a result of your evidence and that of all the other survivors of sexual abuse who have given evidence to the commission.”

“I also hope that hearing your evidence will help to educate the community about grooming issues, about how abuse occurs and about the powerlessness of children compared to adults.”

Department head’s personal apology

Mr Bullard offered Mr Boost an apology both inside and outside the hearing.(ABC News: Maren Preuss)none

Education Department secretary Tim Bullard, who also appeared before the commission on Monday, said he was “incredibly sorry for what [Mr Boost] suffered at the hands of the perpetrator”.

“I recognise that we need to learn from that experience, and I was very grateful that [Mr Boost] gave me some time outside the room to provide a personal apology.”

Mr Bullard said legislation prevented the department from giving information about investigations, giving an example of a “difficult” matter, not related to child sexual abuse, where all he could tell the involved parties was that the investigation into it had been completed.

He said “some thought” should be given to what information was given to various parties.

“It’s trauma-informed [that] if you raise something… you have an opportunity to know what happened to that information.”

The commission’s hearings continue in Hobart.

ABC (TASMANIA) NEWS REPORT:

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Sept.13: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Australian History

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: #OTD Fifty years ago today weather changed overnight when the (BOM) switched from Fahrenheit to Celsius just part of Metric Conversation Change

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#AceHistoryDesk – Bureau of Meteorology’s 50th anniversary of ‘sudden death’ switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius:

Play Video. Duration: 2 minutes 6 seconds
50 years since Fahrenheit

The change was part of Australia’s conversion to the metric system, overseen by the Metric Conversion Board.

And while the overall shift was a mammoth task, the transition was considered fairly seamless.

Retired meteorologist Mike Bergin, who was training with BOM at the time, said one of the biggest discussion points was whether or not to phase out Fahrenheit.

“And in the end, the decision was made that on the first day of September, we’re going cold turkey, and it’s the end of Fahrenheit, and we’re starting with Celsius.

“So for many people, I’m sure that was a pretty dramatic sort of a decision.”

black and white image of a woman with a thermometer in her mouth
Standard body temperature changed from 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to 37 degrees Celsius.(ABC News)none

Converting from Fahrenheit to Celsius was no small feat.

To do so, the BOM replaced 6,000 Fahrenheit thermometers and recovered the mercury from them.

They also had to convert 15 million historical temperature records from Fahrenheit to Celsius.  

Catchy jingles replace the magic

And then there was the task of changing the language in everyday life.

“The one thing I can remember is that 100 degrees Fahrenheit was [thought as] some sort of magical, that’s super hot, number,” he said.

“Of course, it converts to a very awkward 37.78 degrees Celsius, so it loses its magic.

“But I think maybe 40C has become the ‘oh, my goodness, it’s really hot’ point.” To help people adjust, the BOM released a series of pamphlets and jingles to describe the feeling of each temperature(Supplied: BOM)none

To help, the weather bureau coined a series of jingles to describe the feeling of a temperature in degrees Celsius.

These included the “frosty fives”, “tingling tens”, “temperate twenties”, “thirsty thirties” and “flaming forties”.

Miles to metric measurements

The switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius was the first phase of the BOM’s change to metric.

At the same time, they abandoned the use of inches in air pressure.Changing from Fahrenheit to Celsius was just one of many steps to moving to the metric system.(ABC News)none

Stage 2 of the conversion, in April 1973, changed wind speeds to kilometres per hour instead of miles per hour.

And the final stage, completed in 1974, saw rain heights, wave heights and snow depths changed to metres. 

Mr Bergin said this change was more memorable.

“I know rainfall wasn’t quite as smooth and nor was wind,” he said.

“It’s still the case today, if you travel rural and regional areas and speak to particularly older people, the language is still very much about inches.

“They’ll tell you they’re 50 kilometres from a certain town, but we had half an inch of rain last night.”Retired meteorologist Mike Bergin was training with the BOM the year they made the switch from Fahrenheit.(ABC News: Hugh Sando)none

Weather forecasts were not the only aspect of Australian life that changed to metric during that period.

Between 1970 and 1980 road speeds, dress sizes, scales, recipes and medical prescriptions were also converted, among others.

Despite the potential for disruption to normal life, the change was surprisingly trouble-free in both private and commercial spheres, according to a 1982 report by the federal government.

The report described the process of metrication as a “most significant event in Australia’s integration with the modernising world”, set in motion following the change to decimal currency in 1966.

A Senate committee determined the move to metric to be both desirable and practical — simpler, more efficient and more widely used around the world. 

In 2022, just a handful of countries still use the Fahrenheit scale.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Sept.01:  2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Australian History

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: #OTD Happy Wattle Day

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#AceHistoryDesk – On Wattle Day

Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species (commonly called wattles in Australia), are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.

Woman buying wattle for Wattle Day, Sydney, 1935

Although the national floral emblem of Australia is a particular species, named the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha), any acacia can be worn to celebrate the day.

The day was originally intended to promote patriotism for the new nation of Australia:

“Wattle Days emerged to prominence in Australia in the early years of the federated nation. They took on some of the national and civic responsibilities for children that [the more formal] Australia Day could not.” – Libby Robin[2]

Tasmanian origin, 1838

Black wattle Acacia mearnsii

On 1 December 1838, the first Hobart Town Anniversary Regatta was held in HobartTasmania to celebrate the Anniversary of the 17th-century European discovery of the island by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642.[3] It was estimated between 5000 – 6000 people attended. On 10 August 1853 in Launceston, during ‘Cessation of Transportation Celebrations’ the procession marched under a triumphal arch decorated with wattle blossom.[4]

It was suggested that for future regattas, the event should be celebrated by the wearing of a sprig of silver wattle blossom (Acacia dealbata) tied with British Navy blue ribbon.[5] The proposal attracted some ridicule as the silver wattle blooms in August and September and would be unobtainable in November .[6] As a result, the November-flowering black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) was substituted for the regatta. The custom of wearing a sprig of wattle at the regatta persisted until at least 1883.[7]

The theme of wattle in literature, poetry and song took off from the 1860s to the early 1900s. When Adam Lindsay Gordon died in 1870 he was buried ‘here the wattle blossoms wave’ – a quotation from his poem ‘The sick Stockrider’. There were wattle waltzes and you could drink Foster’s Wattle beer.[4]

A “Wattle Blossom League” was inaugurated by W. J. Sowden and the South Australian chapter of the Australian Natives’ Association in 1890 as a women’s branch of the Association.[8] The aim of the ‘Wattle Blossom League’ was to ‘encourage Australian literature and music’. Members should ‘at all suitable public assemblies wear a spray of wattle blossom either real or artificial, as a distinctive badge’. Another aim of the league was ‘to promote a national patriotic sentiment among the women of Australia’.[4] The last monthly meeting of the Wattle Blossom League was held at Beach’s Rooms on 1 June 1893.[9]

The Wattle Club, 1899

The push for the recognition of the nation-wide use of wattle as a symbol of the first day of spring was given momentum by the formation in 1899 of the “Wattle Club” in Victoria. It was initiated by Archibald James Campbell, a leading ornithologist and field naturalist with a particular passion for Australian wattles, of which there are more than 1,000 species.[10] For several years the club organised bush outings on the first day in September specifically for the appreciation of wattles in their natural setting. Campbell was an active member of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria. Their 1904 outing went to the You Yangs and in 1906 they went to the Werribee Gorge.[4]

Wattle Day League, 1909

Golden wattle Acacia pycnantha

The first suggestion of a dedicated Wattle Day was made by Campbell during a speech in September 1908.

The Wattle Day League was formed on 13 September 1909 at the Elizabeth Street, Sydney headquarters of the Royal Society, with J. H. Maiden, director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens as president. Its purpose was to present to the various State governments a unified proposal for a national day on which to celebrate the wattle blossom.

In 1910 the League settled on “Wattle Day” as 1 September, and approached Sowden to form a branch of the League in South Australia.[11]Campbell and A. K. Warner founded a branch in Melbourne.[12]

It was taken up, and there were celebrations in 1910 in three state capital cities: Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide,[13] although the Melbourne event was a muted affair due to heavy rain. The day was significant in being the first organised demonstration on a definite day across a number of States ever witnessed in Australia. On 1 September 1911 Adelaide was described as a city ‘decked with gold’.[4] In 1913, the national Wattle Day League (or Federation) was established to formalise the organisation of events for the celebration of Wattle Day[14]

Queensland followed in 1913. Sydney celebrated that year by planting 200 wattle trees in centennial Park.

Australian Coat of Arms with the Golden Wattle design, 1921

The Golden Wattle was incorporated as an accessory in the design of the Coat of Arms of Australia in 1912.[16]

Following the outbreak of World War 1 all attempts to gazette the emblem or Wattle Day were put aside.

There was some confusion in NSW over the date. In 1916, New South Wales changed its date for Wattle Day to 1 August, so that the indigenous, early-flowering Cootamundra wattle (Acacia baileyana) could be used.[1]The Cootamundra Wattle was planted all over Sydney and when the Red Cross called for sprigs of wattle to sell in Martin Place for the war effort, this species had mostly finished flowering. The League was granted a temporary change. Schools in NSW continued to use 1 August as the date for Wattle Day and there was some resistance to 1 September despite the association with Spring. That resistance now appears to have almost disappeared.[17]

Among other poetry, Scottish-Australian poet and bush balladeer Will H. Ogilvie (1869–1963) wrote ‘Sunny country’ which was often recited on past Wattle Days:[18][19]I dreamed of a sunny country last night, a golden dreamOf wattles down, the gully, and of gum, trees by the stream;Of dancing haze and sides of blue, no other land can showSave this, our sunny country, where the golden wattles grow.

Australian Bicentennial Celebration, 1988

On 19 August 1988, as part of events to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of First Fleet in Sydney in 1788, the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was officially proclaimed as Australia’s national floral emblem by the Governor-General of Australia, the Rt Hon. Sir Ninian Stephen AK GCMG GCVO KBE. A formal ceremony was held in the National Botanic Gardens on 1 September, at which Ms Hitchcock was a guest of the government. Specimens of Acacia pycnantha were planted near the entry.[17]

National Wattle Day, 1992

In 1986 Maria Hitchcock of Armidale NSW began a campaign to have both gazetted. With the aid of ABC’s Ian McNamara (“Macca”), whose Sunday morning national program Australia All Over focuses on all things Australian, the message went out resulting in hundreds of letters of support being sent to the Prime Minister. The campaign was not progressing until Maria Hitchcock met with Senator Graham Richardson at a Labor Party event in Armidale. Soon after the decision was made to gazette the Emblem at a special ceremony in Canberra at the ANBG on 1 September. At that ceremony Ms Hitchcock was told by Senator Ray that she would have to personally gain letters of approval for the gazettal of National Wattle Day from each Premier and Chief Minister. Once again enlisting the aid of Ian McNamara and his loyal listeners, a new campaign of letter writing began. It took three years but the goal was finally achieved. Ms Hitchcock bundled all the letters together and sent them to Canberra requesting gazettal of National Wattle Day for 1 September each year.[17]

On 23 June 1992, Bill Hayden, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, declared that “1 September in each year shall be observed as ‘National Wattle Day’ throughout Australia and in the external Territories of Australia”.[20]

2010 marked the centenary of the celebration of Wattle Day on 1 September 1910 in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, and Australian Geographic magazine was amongst those who urged the public not to miss the chance to celebrate it again.[21]

Recent Developments

With the controversy over 26 January as Australia Day, in light of the historic treatment of Indigenous people, some Australians have been proposing Wattle Day as an alternative for national celebrations.[22]

Some popular wattles

Australian state floral emblems

The Golden Wattle is Australia’s national floral emblem; but in addition each Australian state has its own floral emblem.

References

  1. a b Panter, R. (1995). “Australia’s Wattle Day”Parliament of Australia, Canberra, ACT. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  2.  Robin, L 2002, ‘Nationalising nature: wattle days in Australia’, Journal of Australian Studies, 26, 73, pp. 13-26.
  3.  “About Wattle Day”. Wattle Day Association, Canberra, ACT. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  4. a b c d e Hitchcock, Maria (1991). Wattle. Australian Govt. Pub. Service. ISBN 978-0-644-12678-6.none
  5.  “Classified Advertising”The Hobart Town Courier. Vol. XI, no. 640. Tasmania, Australia. 23 November 1838. p. 4. Retrieved 14 August2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  6.  “Domestic Intelligence”Colonial Times. Vol. 24, no. 1174. Tasmania, Australia. 27 November 1838. p. 7. Retrieved 14 August 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  7.  “National Emblem”The Mercury. Vol. CXLIII, no. 20, 225. Tasmania, Australia. 21 August 1935. p. 3. Retrieved 14 August 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  8.  “History of the Wattle Day Movement”The Journal (Adelaide). Vol. XLVIII, no. 13199. South Australia. 30 August 1913. p. 12. Retrieved 10 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  9.  “Wattle Blossom League”South Australian Register. Vol. LVIII, no. 14, 527. South Australia. 5 June 1893. p. 6. Retrieved 27 April2019 – via National Library of Australia.none
  10.  Walsh, N. (2015). “Acacia”VicFlora: Flora of Victoria. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria: Foundation Victoria, Melbourne. Archived from the original on 14 August 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  11.  “Wattle Day League”The Advertiser (Adelaide). Vol. LIII, no. 16, 174. South Australia. 18 August 1910. p. 5. Retrieved 10 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  12.  “The Wattle Sentiment”The Argus (Melbourne). No. 20, 010. Victoria, Australia. 8 September 1910. p. 6. Retrieved 10 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  13.  “Wattle Day history”. Wattle Day Association, Canberra, ACT. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  14.  “The Wattle Federation”The Examiner (Tasmania). Vol. LXXII, no. 15. Tasmania, Australia. 17 January 1913. p. 7. Retrieved 14 August 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  15.  “Wattle Day League”The Brisbane Courier. No. 17, 246. Queensland, Australia. 23 April 1913. p. 4. Retrieved 10 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.none
  16.  “Australian coat of arms”WorldWideWattle. Western Australian Herbarium and Department of Parks and Wildlife, Dalwallinu, Western Australia, Australia. 2016. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  17. a b c Hitchcock, Maria (2012). A celebration of wattle : Australia’s national floral emblem (2nd ed.). Rosenberg Publishing. ISBN 978-1-921719-56-1.none
  18.  “The Golden Wattle: Australia’s National Flower”Robertson Mail. Vol. 38, no. 56. New South Wales, Australia. 31 July 1925. p. 3. Retrieved 27 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.none
  19.  “Wattle magic everywhere”The Register News-pictorial. Vol. XCIV, no. 27, 476. South Australia. 6 September 1929. p. 5. Retrieved 27 September 2020 – via National Library of Australia.none
  20.  “Floral emblems of Australia”. Australian National Herbarium, Canberra. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  21.  Rule, C. (2010). “On this day: Wattle Day”Australian Geographic, Sydney, NSW. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2017.none
  22.  Wright, Tony (31 August 2017). “Wattle Day: Could a new, golden Australia Day bloom in the springtime?”Sydney Morning HeraldArchived from the original on 14 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August2018.none
#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Sept.01:  2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

Categories
Australian History

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: Wurundjeri elder Aunty Margaret Gardiner’s quiet legacy for Victoria’s Aboriginal community

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#AceHistoryDesk Good luck to anyone trying to pull the wool over Aunty Margaret Gardiner’s eyes…………..” She wasn’t backward in coming forward, she’d ask a question, even if it was a bit prickly,” her brother, Uncle Andrew Gardiner, recalled with a smile.

Aunty Margaret Gardiner smiles, wearing a possum-skin cloak as she stands in front of a field in a black-and-white photo.
Wurundjeri elder Aunty Margaret Gardiner remained highly active in Aboriginal affairs throughout her later life.(Supplied)none

The family of the respected Wurundjeri elder, who passed away aged 63 this month, has given permission for her name and image to be used.

Uncle Andrew said his sister could be fairly blunt as she pursued bureaucrats, agencies and individuals for information on the issues affecting her community.

But there was a purpose to her tenacious investigations.

“To make sure that they were doing the right thing by the community that should have been dealt with,” Uncle Andrew said.

With a careful eye for detail, Aunty Margaret was constantly building up a “helicopter view” of Victorian Aboriginal affairs.

Aunty Margaret Gardiner holds a microphone as she stands, appearing serious, wrapped in a possum-skin cloak.
Aunty Margaret often spoke up to ensure concerns around cultural protocols and Aboriginal sovereignty were heard.(Supplied)none

“Her priority was cultural heritage, because that grounds everybody and that maintained her grounding as an Aboriginal woman,” Uncle Andrew said.

“She felt the need to do the right thing and not take handout grants from the government necessarily because she didn’t want to feel a cultural cringe that we were owning to the government rather than making decisions for ourselves about our cultural heritage.”

‘A fierce fighter for her people’

Born in Birchip in Victoria’s north-west in 1958, Aunty Margaret spent her early childhood years in nearby Charlton, before the family later moved to Melbourne.

There, she and her brother became more tightly connected with their mother’s family, including Aunty Winnie Quagliotti, a key elder in the Wurundjeri community who established the Wurundjeri corporation.

Andrew and Margaret Gardiner smile as they pose for a photograph together, as teenagers or young adults.
Margaret Gardiner and her brother Andrew grew up with a strong connection to their mother’s Wurundjeri culture.(Supplied)none

As a young woman, Aunty Margaret was quick to get to work for her community, starting off with a job at the Dandenong Aboriginal co-operative.

Through the 1970s and decades that followed, there were big changes in Victorian Aboriginal affairs as a surge in the number of community-run bodies delivered greater self-determination to Indigenous communities.

Aunty Margaret was in the thick of it, working at the former Mirimbiak Nations Aboriginal Corporation with Victorian native title groups to help traditional owners assert their rights over country.

She was also involved in significant projects capturing the oral histories of Victorian traditional owners, accumulating a deep knowledge of Aboriginal history across the state.

“She had that teaching and grounding about how to talk with elders and had that information and who was allowed to see it,” Uncle Andrew said.

Most recently, she sat on the board of the Birrarung Council, helping give a voice to the interests of the Birrarung (Yarra River) through a set of legislation she helped her Wurundjeri community push forward.

Uncle Andrew Gardiner appears thoughtful, dressed in a hat and rainjacket under grey skies in a green field.
Uncle Andrew Gardiner says his sister was passionate about safeguarding Aboriginal cultural heritage and values.(ABC News: Joseph Dunstan)none

After years of involvement in different community organisations, Uncle Andrew said his sister’s contributions would live on in simple but profound changes, such as improved access to housing and health services for Aboriginal people in Dandenong and Melbourne’s south-east.

“A lot of people say she was a fierce fighter for her people and she had this strength and she was staunch … yeah, because she kind of had to, she had to be able to do that representation for people,” he said.

In a letter of condolence to her family, a senior lawyer who had worked with Aunty Margaret gave their own insight into the elder’s formidable reputation.

“[The lawyer] mentioned that she was somewhat challenged at times to be able to respond to Marg’s questions, because they were very particular legal questions, and she’d go ‘ok I’ll have to go and research that’,” Uncle Andrew said.

‘She just led the way’

If you dropped in to see her, odds were her phone would be ringing hot, as Aboriginal community members from across the state sought her frank advice on matters of cultural protocol.

Gary Murray, a multi-clan human rights advocate who is a descendant of several nations including Wamba Wamba, Dhudhuroa, Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, said Aunty Margaret was a “leader at the highest level” when it came to cultural matters.

“In terms of the knowledge that she had from her ancestors and from her own connection to country, as well as where she worked,” he said.

As a multi-clan elder, she fought to protect the cultural interests of her other nations too, heading to court to raise her concerns about the right people speaking for country.

“I think she was outstanding in those matters,” Mr Murray said.

“She was always very articulate, very strong, exerted her rights … she just led the way.”

She was never one to embrace the spotlight but her family and others who worked alongside her say Aunty Margaret’s legacy shouldn’t be understated.

“Marg was one of those ones who did it quietly but very strongly and didn’t like to be acknowledged or recognised in a sense,” Mr Murray said.

“More recently, a particular university was offering her an honorary doctorate and she was very strong on saying no, she didn’t want it.”

Uncle Andrew, who is part of the First Peoples’ Assembly working to prepare Victoria for state-based treaties, said his sister was wary but interested in where that path could take her community.

“She was reserving her opinion about treaty, to see how it would work,” he said.

“But she wasn’t going back on what Wurundjeri’s opportunities and aspirations needed to be, either.”

Aunty Margaret is survived by her children Jemima Gardiner, Luke Gardiner, Mathew Gardiner and Jesse Rotumah-Gardiner.

A private funeral is planned for September 5, when she will be laid to rest at Coranderrk Aboriginal Cemetery in Healesville.

ABC (HISTORY) NEWS REPORT:

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.27:  2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Australian History

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: PS Rodney shipwreck reveals one of the earliest and most violent industrial disputes

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Ace News Room Cutting Floor 27/08/2022

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#AceHistoryDesk – Shipwrecks are synonymous with tumultuous tempests, fierce battles, mutinies and piracy, but the sinking of the Paddle-Steamer (PS) Rodney would go down in history as the first to be sunk in a fiery conflict by striking shearers.

1880's photo of the paddle steamer Rodney
The PS Rodney played an important role transporting goods and wool on the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee Rivers.(Supplied: Echuca Historical Society)none

It was the early hours of August 27, 1894. Under the cover of darkness, the PS Rodney was boarded by a group of 150 masked striking shearers hell-bent on the vessel’s demise.

Today marks the 128th anniversary of the PS Rodney’s sinking in a quiet lagoon on the Darling River near Pooncarie in NSW.

It marks a significant moment in our country’s history, bringing an end to one of Australia’s most violent and destructive union conflicts.

Paddle steamer barges fully loaded with wool packs.
Echuca Wharf was the main trade port for the PS Rodney that used barges to transport tonnes of wool.(Supplied: Echuca Historical Society)none

The shearers’ strike began in the early 1890s on the eve of a crippling depression and amid a scorching drought, when the country’s wool growers attempted to introduce anti-union contracts to reduce shearers’ pay rates and lessen the impact of plummeting wool prices.

Unionised shearers and wool workers already enduring poor working conditions retaliated at this breach of trust, triggering the start of the massive 1891 shearers’ strike.

The events over the three years that followed resulted in camps of striking shearers burning woolsheds that employed strikebreakers or scab workers.

The bloody clashes that started in Queensland and spread to NSW and Victoria are remembered as the earliest and most violent industrial disputes in Australia’s history.

Lady in  red shirt smiling at camera
Dot Hammond, retired president of the Echuca Historical Society, grew up on a wool property herself.(Supplied: Echuca Historical Society)none

Dot Hammond, retired president of the Echuca Historical Society, grew up on a sheep station and remembers some tough times, including droughts, and understands the difficulties the wool growers would have faced at the time.

Her research uncovering how the shearers’ strike affected the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee River trade shows that many graziers were also struggling due to the low wool prices and were forced to employ non-union shearers.

Massive timber wharf with paddle boat
Echuca Wharf was the third-largest port in Australia with 240 paddleboat river traders.(Supplied: Echuca Historical Society)none

“Tolarno Station was one of several sheep stations that chose to hire strikebreakers, or non-union shearers, in an attempt to get their sheep shorn,” Ms Hammond says.

Due to the looming depression and high unemployment, pastoralists had no difficulty finding men desperate for work and willing to take up work as scab labourers.

sepia photo of shearers at work in a shearing shed
Shearers at work on Blandensburg Station in Queensland circa 1890s.(Supplied: Queensland State Library)none

“Strikebreakers were transported to Echuca by rail under police protection, before boarding several paddle-steamers, with 45 boarding the PS Rodney destined for Tolarno Station,” Ms Hammond says.

“Unionist shearers were in hot pursuit with the aim of stopping the scab workers from getting to Tolarno.

“The PS Rodney departed Echuca Wharf with only minutes to spare, before over 100 unionist shearers raided the wharf and resorted to throwing stones at the paddle-steamer.”

The unionist shearers didn’t give up the fight and went in pursuit, gaining support along the hunt for the vessel, their large camps becoming a force to be reckoned with along the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee rivers.

1891 photo of shearers strike camp
Striking shearer camps soon ran low on food and supplies and were disbanded, but their fight continued.(Supplied: Queensland State Library)none

Shearers take control of Murray-Darling trade

By 1894, the unionist strike camps were far more organised with more than 300 armed shearers taking control of the movement of riverboats and trade along the Murray and Darling Rivers.

Rod Taylor is a 30-year shearing veteran who is passionate about the shearing history of the stations along the Murray and Darling River regions.  

Man in checked shirt and cap holding a scale model of the PS Rodney
Retired shearer Rodney Taylor is passionate about the history of the 1894 shearers’ strike and the PS Rodney.(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Jennifer Douglas)none

He understands the fury that sparked the burning of the PS Rodney and the shearers’ plight, having experienced harsh working conditions himself over his three decades as a shearer.

“Sheep stations were very much owned by the privileged — the ‘Squattocracy’ I called it. They considered the workers second-class citizens, and it was virtually a class war that became very bitter,” Mr Taylor says.

By the winter of 1894, the striking shearers were gaining support and numbers along the Murray and Darling Rivers preventing the transport of essential goods and scab-shorn wool, sometimes by the use of extreme measures that seriously threatened the $5 million river trade.

The PS Rodney’s final hours

Low river with party submerged wreck of the PS Rodney
The wreck of the PS Rodney, now heritage-listed, can be seen during times of low Darling River flow.(Supplied: Rod Taylor)none

After failing to stop the strikebreakers at Echuca, the shearers pursuing the vessel attempted to block its path on the Darling River with barges and fencing wire strung across the river. This unsuccessful attempt made them more ferocious in their violent endeavour to stop the vessel.

The PS Rodney’s Captain, Jimmy Dickson, moored the boat in a remote lagoon 37 kilometres from Pooncarie, where he thought they would be protected by the surrounding swamp.

“Under the cover of darkness, with all on board asleep, the PS Rodney was boarded by around 150 masked shearers. They threw the scabs overboard, set the barges of goods adrift, and set the vessel alight as the horrified Captain Jimmy Dickson looked helplessly on,” Mr Taylor says.

The resulting fire burnt the 32-metre-long timber paddle-steamer to the water line. Its skeletal remains are still visible more than 100 years later, during low river flows and drought as a reminder of that tumultuous moment in Australia’s history.

What’s left of the Rodney is now heritage-protected and, despite a reward offered at the time, no-one was ever convicted over the fire.

ABC (HISTORY) NEWS REPORT

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.27:  2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Australian History

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: NT Aboriginal queen’, Nellie Camfoo, on race, love and the children that were taken

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#AceHistoryDesk – Nellie Camfoo’s days of riding horses may be over, but in her mind, she still calls herself “a cattle girl”……………..Swinging her arm in the air to the rhythm of the rope she once held, she takes her mind back to a time when she mustered for cattle in the bush.

A black and white photograph of a woman holding an Aboriginal string figure with her fingers.
Nellie Camfoo’s story offers an insight into life as an Aboriginal woman in the 20th century.(Supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory)none

“Yeah!” she said, bouncing her now slender frame in the chair where she sits.

“Riding those horses, jumping off, chasing them cattle and pull them up, take them in the yard and brand him.”

a woman with grey hair sits in front of green palm tree and is looking to the distance.
Nellie Camfoo says she misses living out on country.(ABC News: Pete Garnish)none

A life spent in the bush, navigating two worlds 

At 90 years, Ms Camfoo offers an insight into life as an Aboriginal woman in the 20th century, from being displaced from her land and helping with the war effort without pay, to being unable to marry without a permit. 

She has also danced for Australian prime ministers, advised on Indigenous issues and spent much of her life advocating for Aboriginal women.

Her mind remains full of memories growing up her way and “the Mununga [whitefella] way” on Mainoru Station, in remote Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

A row of women stand side by side at a cattle station. They are all wearing cotton dresses and are happy.
Nellie Camfoo (back) with a group of young women and girls at Mainoru Station in the Northern Territory.(Supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory.)none

Born Nellie Martin in 1932, her early years were spent living a traditional life, traversing the land between the station and the coast on foot with her family, looking for bush tucker.

She credits her family for teaching her about Aboriginal law and how to navigate two worlds.

Ms Camfoo’s father was an Aboriginal stockman at Mainoru station and, unlike other hostile stories in the area, the family had a positive experience living and working alongside its white owners. 

She worked long days as a ringer — roping bullocks and branding them — and when she wasn’t outside, she was inside cooking or cleaning.

A clan of Indigenous people gather around livestock killed on a cattle farm.
Nellie Camfoo was born and raised in Mainoru in Arnhem Land.(Supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory )none

It was here she met the love of her life, Tex Camfoo, a dashing head stockman she fondly remembers as her “old man”.

He taught a young Nellie how to break a horse and chase cattle.

“I’m thinking about my old man, my husband [and] how good he was.

“We had good fun in the bush, probably the best fun as stockmen on the cattle station,” she said.

A woman with grey hair sits under a tree and uses her hands to tell a story
Nellie Camfoo said she still grieves for the children that were taken away from Mainoru.(ABC News: Pete Garnish)none

‘That’s wrong’ — remembering the stolen children

But living close to white people in Mainoru came with its hardships.

When government officials came to the station looking for “half caste” children to take during the era of the Stolen Generations, Ms Camfoo was protected by the colour of her skin.

She witnessed children with fairer skin to hers taken and, decades on, finds it hard to talk about.

 “White man take them and the kid was crying for aunty and uncle and everybody, well that’s wrong,” she said.

“We don’t go along and take the white kid from Adelaide or Sydney or Canberra or wherever, we’ll get shot from white people.

“Make me cry … I’m old now but I’ve still got the [pain] inside me.”

Ms Camfoo said she’d seen a lot during her long life, including when war came to Australia.

a monochrome image of smoke billowing out of oil tanks near the harbour
Nellie Camfoo spent years working in Darwin after it was bombed by the Japanese.(Supplied: Library & Archives NT )none

After Darwin was bombed by the Japanese, she was sent there to help with the rebuilding effort.

Fluent in five Indigenous languages, she was tasked with communicating messages to Aboriginal tribes across the far north.

“Helping talk to the people and get all the language from other tribes and put them in English like we’re talking now,” Ms Camfoo said.

A group of Indigenous women and children sit on the ground. They are all smiling to the camera and are happy.
Nellie Camfoo (centre) photographed with her sisters and family in Bulman.(Supplied: Gillian Cowlishaw )none

Her domestic skills were also sought after Ms Camfoo stayed on in Darwin to support the army with cooking, washing and ironing.

It was hard work, done for no pay.

“Even though I was in Darwin working [with] the army, World War II, no money, just for tucker. Well, that’s wrong,” she said.

‘Love is love’ — navigating the law as a mixed-race couple

After working in Darwin, Ms Camfoo missed home and made her way back to Mainoru where her romance with Tex started to blossom.

Son of a Rembarrnga woman and a Chinese saddler, Tex was removed from his family as a child and taken to a school for “half caste” children on Groote Eylandt.

A man wearing a cowboy shirt stands in the bush with a cigarette in his mouth.  With a quiff hairstyle, he gazes into the camera
Texas Camfoo was the head stockman at Mainoru Station.(supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory)none

Before his death, he told anthropologist, Gillian Cowlishaw, his name growing up was Harry, but there were too many kids with the same name on the mission, so he was baptised Jimmy instead, after his father.

As an adult he was nicknamed Texas to match his cowboy life and would later be deemed by the government to be a European by default, because of his Chinese ancestry.

It meant he could go into a pub and freely drink alcohol with other white stockmen.

But he couldn’t marry Nellie without a permit.

A black and white photograph of a stockman backjumping on a horse at a cattle station.
Tex Camfoo back jumping at Mainoru Station in the Northern Territory.(Supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory)none

Under the Aboriginal Ordinance Act that governed Indigenous lives at the time, non-Aboriginal men faced a fine or jail time for being intimate with Aboriginal women. 

Marriage was also banned without permission from Native Affairs.

Ms Camfoo said she was confused by the rules that dictated her early life.

“White man not allowed to marry Aboriginal girl like me … what reason? You tell me?” she said.

A young woman tends to a wound on a man's leg. She is smiling to the camera.
Under the Aboriginal Ordinance Act, Tex and Nellie needed a permit to get married.(Supplied: Gillian Cowlishaw)none
a monochrome image of an old homestead on a cattle station
Authorities would come to Mainoru Station to question Nellie and Tex about their relationship.(Supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory)none

After waiting years for their marriage permit to come through, they were finally married in a church in Katherine.

The nonagenarian still wears her wedding ring and said she hadn’t forgotten the fight it took to be with her husband.

“Love is love … you can’t stop the love, white, black, Chinese or Indian or whatever,” Ms Camfoo said.

Displaced and exiled from Mainoru 

After getting married, Nellie and Tex Camfoo stayed and worked at Mainoru, but when the station sold in 1968 their lives were uprooted again.

The station was sold to new American owners the same year that Aboriginal stockmen were granted equal pay in Australia.

When the law changed, Rembarrnga stockman and their families were moved on from Mainoru, and forced to set up camp further north in Bulman.

Ms Camfoo found herself a refugee on her own land and said the ordeal took its toll.

“It’s too hard to tell you the story about this Mainoru when white man selfish for that country and then Aboriginal we are selfish for our country because our ground is our ground,” she said.

A black and white photograph of a woman standing at a doorway and posing. She places her hands on her hips and is smiling
Nellie Camfoo photographed in 1976.(Supplied: Gillian Cowlishaw)none

Ms Camfoo with her husband continued to defy the odds in Bulman, securing government backing to set up a cattle station in the 1970’s, however the venture folded within a decade.

The couple share a large extended family that still live in Bulman, but they never went on to have any biological children.

Ms Camfoo said she fell pregnant after getting married, but miscarried when she fell off a horse during a buck jumping accident.

Young at heart with culture and dance

Ms Camfoo said some people on Jawoyn country regard her as an “Aboriginal queen” for her knowledge and authority, and wants the younger children to know their roots.

“When they are around me, the boys and girls, I just say ‘number one, don’t lose your culture’,” she said. 

“I want young people to learn. I want our way in the front, our law.”

A caucasian woman and indigenous stand side by side and are smiling at each other.
Nellie Camfoo photographed with Australian anthropologist Gillian Cowlishaw (left) in Beswick.(Supplied: Gillian Cowlishaw)none

Ms Camfoo said her spirit lives in the bush, and likes to get out on country whenever she can.

Moving her body in the chair, as though she’s ready to break out into a dance, the elder invites me out on country to dance with her.

She tells me she wants the learning to work both ways. 

“That’s my law. I don’t dance your rock and roll, I don’t learn it,” she said. 

“You don’t know my dancing as well because you have to get used to it, like how to move your foot and knee.

“I’ve done all the jobs that I am proud of and learning, but white man not much learning my language, my law, but I still tell them.”

Two women stand side by side on a field. They are wearing sun dresses and are smiling.
Nellie Camfoo (right) with her friend Glen Stuart at Mainoru Station in the late 1940’s.(Supplied: Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory)none

Ms Camfoo turned 90 in July. A party was planned to celebrate the milestone but was cancelled at the eleventh hour because of sorry business.

The Rembarrnga woman doesn’t talk about the loss that postponed her party, but the passing of another elder has hit a nerve and she understands the significance of reaching 90.

“I’m happy I’m that old … my body is strong,” she said.

a woman with long grey hair and missing teeth is smiling to the camera.
Nellie Camfoo photographed outside her home in Katherine.(ABC News: Pete Garnish)none

With her days out bush behind her, Ms Camfoo now lives independently in a unit in the remote town of Katherine, where we meet to talk about her life’s experiences and struggles. 

Smoking a tobacco pipe that she made herself using bamboo taken from the river, she tells me we are one, despite our differences in colour.

“Black and white they are one, we are one, you and me,” Ms Camfoo said. 

“We’re brothers and sisters … we’ve got different skin, but we’ve got the same blood.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.22: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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Australian History

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: Chinese Immigrants Who Came During Gold Rush of 1860

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#AceHistoryDesk – Louey and Kate O’Hoy were part of the early Chinese immigrants who came to Australia during the gold rushes………………The O’Hoys — their name was Anglicised on arrival — came to Bendigo from Canton, China, in 1860.….Watch this story on ABC TV’s Landline at 12:30pm on Sunday, or on ABC iview.

A Chinese man and woman wearing traditional robes in the 1800s in portraits side-by-side
The entrepreneurial Louey O’Hoy and his wife, Kate O’Hoy, in 1889. (Supplied: Dennis O’Hoy )none

By then, Victoria’s population had swollen to one million, a tenfold increase since the discovery of gold at Bendigo, Ballarat and elsewhere in 1851.

It utterly transformed the growing colony.

“Bendigo became one of the richest goldfields in the world,” said Dennis O’Hoy, Louey and Kate’s grandson.

A black and white family portrait of the O'Hoy family comprising two young girls and three boys with their parents
A young Dennis O’Hoy (front, centre) with his family. (Supplied: Dennis O’Hoy)none

Canton to Australia’s Big Gold Mountain 

Dennis, 84, is a retired university art teacher, cultural custodian of the goldfields’ Chinese and an authority on the lives they led.

“They had their own name for Bendigo — ‘Dai Gum San’, translated it means Big Gold Mountain,” he said.

Australia — to the Chinese — was called “Sun Gim San”, “New Gold Mountain”, Mr O’Hoy said.

The Chinese name for “Old Gold Mountain” was applied to the Californian gold rush of 1849.

However, the Chinese presence, and their influence, on Australian goldfields is often forgotten or overlooked.

“A quarter of the population in Bendigo was Chinese-born during that gold rush period,” Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum’s Leigh McKinnon said.

“And, in a lot of goldfields, sometimes that proportion was much higher.”

Play Video. Duration: 2 minutes 15 seconds
This Day Tonight: Meet Loong, Bendigo’s Chinese dragon (1970).

Chinese entrepreneurship 

The museum showcases relics of world significance and stories of the Chinese on the goldfields and in the decades that followed.

Today, the most impressive exhibit is Loong, thought to be the oldest, five-clawed imperial dragon in the world.

It dates from the 1890s and, for many years, was the centrepiece of Bendigo’s Easter procession.

The annual Easter Fair began in 1871, to raise money for charities, including two hospitals and an aged persons’ home. It is still a major tourist attraction today.

“My grandfather, Louey O’Hoy, was one of the originators of the Chinese Association and Chinese procession,” Mr O’Hoy said.

The entrepreneurial Louey O’Hoy prospered in Bendigo.

“Grandfather became quite successful, he started many, many shops in Sandhurst, as Bendigo was then known,” he added.

“Gradually, he had butchers’ shops, grocers’ shops, pig farms and market gardens.”

A man with short grey hair sits in a warm lit room during an interview
Louey and Kate O’Hoy’s grandson, Dennis, is a cultural custodian of the goldfields’ Chinese. ( ABC News: Tim Lee)none

After the gold rush ended, the Chinese took on important roles in all walks of life: everything from merchants, rural labourers and traditional Chinese herbalists.

“Many of them were from farming backgrounds and they transferred those skills and adapted them to the local environment and were often very skilled producers of fresh fruit and vegetables, often in very trying conditions,” Mr McKinnon said.

Louey O’Hoy’s enormous civic contribution was recognised by the imperial government in China.

In 1889, he was conferred with the rank of a mandarin, roughly equivalent to a knighthood.

Racism and injustice 

By then, Australian society was changing. The aftermath of the 1854 Eureka Rebellion at Ballarat — where disgruntled miners fought government troops — had won the diggers reforms such as the right to vote.

However, by the 1890s, the push to Federation and Australian nationhood saw those egalitarian and democratic ideals fade.

Ultimately, it led to the White Australia policy that discriminated against anyone not deemed a “British-born citizen”.

The O’Hoy family felt its injustice.

An older man with walking stick walks down a dusty path in a cemetery on a bright winter's day
Dennis O’Hoy visits the White Hills Cemetery daily and three times a year lays food and drinks there as gifts to his ancestors. (ABC News: Tim Lee)none

Dennis O’Hoy’s father, Que Lan O’Hoy, came to Bendigo in 1894, aged 19, to carry on the family’s work.

He married in China in 1910, but Australia’s stringent immigration laws prohibited his wife from joining him in Australia.

“In 1901, with the Federation of Australia, the Immigration Restriction Act was brought in,” Dennis O’Hoy said.

“My mother, Que Lan’s wife, was only allowed to stay in Australia for two years, so living in Bendigo and every couple of years she’d have to go back to China.”

The Immigration Restriction Act was finally abolished in 1958. By then, the number of Chinese in Bendigo and elsewhere in Australia had dwindled.

Preserving the rich history of the Chinese in Bendigo fell to a few families, descendants of the gold rush days.

A grey tombstone with chinese inscription.
Stone tablets mark 950 Chinese graves at Bendigo’s White Hills Cemetery. (ABC News: Tim Lee)none

In the early 1960s, Que Lan O’Hoy’s family donated the land — a large city block — on which the Golden Dragon Museum stands.

In 2016, Dennis O’Hoy was awarded the Order of Australia for his contribution to preserving heritage and civic service.

He’s an almost daily visitor to Bendigo’s White Hills Cemetery, the city’s largest.

At the entrance, he pays homage to his ancestors by burning joss sticks and candles in a brick burning tower.

In the cemetery grounds, distinctive stone tablets mark 950 Chinese graves.

Three times a year, Mr O’Hoy continues the family tradition of observing important religious rituals.

He brings wine, chicken, pork, drinks and biscuits to the cemetery and lays them there as gifts.

Australia has been good to him and his family, he muses.

Even if, they and other Chinese were not always treated equally.

“It’s my way, of Chinese people, to venerate their ancestors.”

Watch this story on ABC TV’s Landline at 12:30pm on Sunday, or on ABC iview.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.22: 2022:

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Albanese shouldn’t kid himself. For Australia, Boris Johnson’s ouster changes many things. (Michael Pascoe )

“It doesn’t change our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Deputy PM Richard Marles of Boris Johnson’s inevitable and belated political demise.

He’s wrong.

Of course Johnson’s ousting will change our relationship, just as Australia changing prime ministers either subtly or unsubtly change our relationships with other nations.

Cue the change in relationship with Donald Trump as we moved from Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison, a kindred spirit. Or with France from Scott Morrison to Anthony Albanese – no explanation required.

Most obviously, what are the odds of the Conservative Party selecting another leader with such delusions of Churchillian grandeur, as keen to quixotically tilt at Chinese windmills on the other side of the earth when the party is domestically in dire straits and Russia has reignited a focus on Europe seldom seen since the end of World War Two.

Boris Johnson was a keen promoter of the AUKUS oddity – a desperate salesman hoping to flog nuclear submarines (and any other kit) as his ballyhooed post-Brexit trade agreements fail to deliver and the greater folly of Brexit unfolds for a declining power of decreasing international relevance.

In these circumstances, the chances must be slim that the next British PM will be as willing as Johnson (and Australia) to serve American policy in attempting to hobble the rise of China.
Brexit’s toxic legacy

The hydra-headed monster that is Brexit – the Brexit that Boris Johnson delivered – has multiple jaws tearing at Britain’s wellbeing. The next occupant of Downing Street will have years of trying to clean up the mess that Boris leaves. Yes, there is a pattern here in breaking up the old band – Albanese cleaning up Morrison’s mess, Biden attempting to repair the damage of the Trump years, and now whoever takes over from Johnson.

Seeking a return to gunboat diplomacy in the South China Sea, parading as part of an Anglophone white man gang of three in their old colonial stamping grand, won’t do Britain any favors as it fumbles for economic ties beyond Europe.

The irrelevant and indiscrete but still dangerous Peter Dutton – the former Defence Minister happy to blab about claimed negotiations for the early effective absorption of the RAN into the US navy – has given the impression the source of Australia’s future nuclear-powered subs was a done deal. All the way with the USA!

Treating the UK as a non-starter wouldn’t win any friends there, a blunder not as bad as deceiving the French government, but still plain dumb if for no other reason than forsaking a negotiating position.

If AUKUS is to be anything more than an awkward acronym, it needs personal drive from the top. Johnson and Morrison were gung-ho, mustard-keen deputy sheriffs.

The next British PM may well not be and it will be interesting to see where Albanese settles after his initial foray into feather-ruffling China to prove there was nothing of the Manchurian candidate about him.

(Brian Toohey has nailed the discordance of Albanese’s proclamation that China was trying to “build up alliances to undermine what has historically been the Western alliance in places like the Indo-Pacific”.)
Whatever America says?

Those who live in hope of Australia developing a more sophisticated and genuinely independent foreign policy – instead of the “whatever America says plus some” we’ve suffered under the Morrison government – have been buoyed by Penny Wong’s opening performances as Foreign Minister, but disappointed by Albanese banging the China drum in Europe, of all places.

If Britain achieves a decent Prime Minister, there would be one less voice on the sideline prioritizing American policy in Asia.

The fundamental relations and cultural understanding between Australia and the UK doesn’t change much with the comings and goings of politicians, Britain’s decision to prefer the Common Market over the Commonwealth back in the day notwithstanding.

But Boris Johnson having to find new lodgings does change Australia’s political and diplomatic connections with Britain – hopefully for the better.

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