Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Life & Arts

Winter Festival

Maldon in Winter is coming!

This year's winter festival is going to be bigger and better than ever. The 17-day event will begin on Friday 24 June, with a bonfire and story-telling at the Maldon Golf Club, followed by an intimate performance by the award-winning classical guitarist Clancy McLeod.

Earth Festival

Celebrities coming for first Narrungdera Earth Festival

Narrandera’s first ever three day Narrungdera Earth Festival will start Friday 20 May with a welcome event at the Narrandera Fisheries Centre ... Saturday’s activities include a Cultural Day at the Narrandera Showground featuring animal encounters by Taronga Zoo, a rock climbing wall by Base Zero and weaving with Nioka Dupond. Aboriginal Elder Uncle Michael Lyons will deliver a Cultural Talk and celebrity chef The Black Olive will talk on bush foods.

History & Heritage

Newspaper digitisation project, a glimpse into Soldier Settlement era

People anywhere in the world can now take a step back in time to what was making the news during our region’s Soldier Settlement years thanks to Mildura Rural City Council Libraries’ newspaper digitisation project.


Bush poet keen to rekindle John O’Brien centre

A push is on to rekindle interest in establishing a centre to honour one of Narrandera's most prominent figures from the past - Monsignor Patrick Hartigan ...better known under the pen name of John O'Brien, the legendary, internationally recognised pioneer poet ... Australian champion bush poet Noel Stallard took on the role of John O'Brien for 22 years in the annual John O'Brien Festival.

History & Heritage

Blast from the past: The Chinese concert

On Monday, 22 April 1901, Maldon’s Chinese community gave a concert at the Temperance Hall (now the Community Centre) to help raise funds for the Maldon Hospital ... A highlight of the evening was the Chinese dragon, worked by Tow Yin, Ah Chong and George Ah Mi. The dragon performed an elaborate dance before miming the actions of eating a meal and bathing and then settling down and going to sleep. The performance was greeted with loud applause.


Festival a chance to get to know the Nullaki

Serena Kirby. This month’s ‘Knowing Nullaki Festival’ is an opportunity to learn and explore, create and celebrate what makes the Wilson Inlet special. The month-long festival, organised in partnership with Denmark’s Greenskills and artist and biodiversity educator, Angela Rossen, will feature 26 free community events.


For the Love of Art an inspiring exhibition

A stunning possum skin cloak will be a centrepiece of Yorta Yorta artist Treahna Hamm’s new exhibition “For the Love of Art” ... Treahna has developed this exhibition after receiving the Joyce Spencer Textiles Fellowship in 2020, established ... to remember the life of Narrandera artist Joyce Spencer (1928-2019).

History & Heritage

A walk in the park

Friends of Maldon Historic Reserve (in conjunction with Parks Victoria and Maldon Neighbourhood Centre) is excited to introduce a series of three walks to encourage people to explore Maldon’s Gold Mining History and begin to discover the unique Maldon Historic Reserve.


Vogue cover for Narrandera designer

Narrandera Aboriginal fashion designer Lillardia Briggs-Houston has made the cover of the illustrious fashion magazine Vogue Australia due out in early May. The front cover of the May issue featuring Aboriginal models and fashion designs shows model Magnolia in a dress created by Narrandera’s well known local designer.


Coming up

History & Heritage

Centenarian returns to Sydney for ANZAC march

Coleambally resident John ‘Wilko’ Wilkinson made his annual pilgrimage to Sydney for the city’s annual Anzac Day march. The New Guinea veteran is now 101 years old and the last one left of his unit, Australia’s PNG Battalions during World War 2 ... There were 567 Australians spread over the three battalions and Wilko is the last survivor.

“We felt we had a responsibility”

We could all learn a thing or two from humble war hero Les Cook. The top-shelf gardener, proud dad and gym regular is still living his best life in a quiet suburb near the Canberra Hospital. Earlier this year I found myself in the nation’s capital at the historic Australian War Memorial and had a lightbulb moment – for Anzac Day this year I should write a piece on a World War II veteran.

History & Heritage

The Wilmansrust Affair: Warwick O’Neill

Warwick O'Neill. During World War 1, military court proceedings against Australian troops were kept out of British hands. Only Australian officers could court martial Australian soldiers, much to the disgust of senior British soldiers, particularly Old Douggie Haig. It’s widely believed that the reason behind this was the trial and execution by an English Court Martial of Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and Peter Hancock. And while this may be at least partially correct, there was another scandal in 1901 involving British military justice against Australian troops. It was known as the Wilmansrust Affair ...


117th Maclean Highland Gathering

Lynne Mowbray. The last couple of years have proved to be a trying time for anyone attempting to hold an event and organisers of the 117th Maclean Highland Gathering, were keen to make this year’s event, a great one. Maclean Highland Gathering Chief Peter Smith said that they were expecting a particularly good gathering this year and it did not disappoint.


Rain, hail or shine

Despite the constant drizzle of rain, the Maldon Easter Parade was a smashing hit. Large crowds huddled under historic awnings watching the colourful entrants as they braved the wet weather to cheers from onlookers.

History & Heritage

Narrandera celebrates history of rodding

Australian Street Rodding can be traced back to 1956 when the first Street Rod Club was formed in Victoria. It was the forerunner to many others including the Earlies Rod Run Club coming to Narrandera in Easter 1973.

Flood relief

Conservatorium supports local musicians to replace musical instruments lost in the floods

It is clear from the extent of the NSW floods that many of the Con’s students, teachers and other musicians have lost their instruments, with most uninsured, and the Con has worked to quickly explore immediate support options for staff, students and the wider musical community impacted by this crisis. The Con itself has also lost much of its musical equipment and not all is fully covered by insurance.



Congratulations to David Berkman and the team of Rockfest for putting on a great show for the Island this year.


The word from Bluesfest was “thanks”

Ryan Enns. There is a collective trauma being lived by Bluesfesters and the result is that nobody believed it was going to happen this year because to believe would be to make yourself vulnerable to another disappointment. Well, it did happen and every minute felt like a miracle and every artist erupted with music and love like they’d been holding it in for three years.


Contemporary chinoiserie exhibition

Local artists Sally Anderson and Kerry Punton are displaying their beautiful works of art at Harcourt General Store. The theme, contemporary chinoiserie, examines the 17th and 18th-century western style of interior design that represents fanciful European Interpretations of Chinese styles.


Artist hand delivers Tennant Creek RSL stubby coolers

Pam Dillon. The Tennant Creek RSL had the pleasure of meeting Darwin artist, Kerry Sandhu, when she delivered 250 stubby coolers to the RSL this week. The stubby coolers come in five unique ANZAC inspired designs and are named after the songs that are embedded in each design. 


25 years of vintage engines

There was a great turnout to Muckleford’s Annual Vintage Engine Rally last weekend. Engine enthusiasts were treated to displays of vintage engines, model engines and other memorabilia.


Bringing COUNTRYMAN back home

After sold-out previews at the Croatian Film Festival in Sydney, a locally filmed documentary – Countryman – will make its cinema release with screenings that bring the film back home to where the Australian story began. Tennant Creek’s Joseph Williams is the co-producer and artist of the doco and he is excited to screen it in town next Wednesday at Nyinkka Nyunyu  from 5.30pm.

Stories to tell of ways with water

Alison Bennett Taylor. Waterways producer/director Nari Lees says everyone has a story to tell about their connection to Denmark’s waterways – the river, the inlet and the sea. She hopes to capture as many of them on film as she can during the still days of autumn. Waterways, Love Stories of Place, will share stories of connection to place through an interactive walk featuring QR codes that link directly to the recordings.

Air show

Wings and wheels

Joan de Bondt. The inaugural Kerang Air Show held last weekend was the brainchild of Barry Wood, president of the Murray Valley Flying Club. His vision was to involve the public in celebrating a weekend of aviation, with the addition of motorcycles, military vehicles, the SES, tractors and vintage cars.

Public art

War mural

Kirstin Nicholson. The memorial park in King Edward Street has another memorial in the form of a colourful yet poignant mural ... With the theme of compassion to your fellow man, the mural features four Australians who have served over our country’s wartime history, standing in front of a field of poppies.

History & heritage

Emu Trek journey near end

The Emu Plume Trek which started in Narrandera last weekend is now in the latter stages of its journey to Wagga Wagga after visiting Grong Grong, Ganmain, Coolamon and other villages along the route to Wagga Wagga.


Sara Storer a hit

A perfect autumn evening and the setting sun’s golden haze set the scene for the Sara Storer concert in Wakool, presented by the Australian Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Agency ... 21-time Golden Guitar winner ... Backstage, Sara said it was great to be back on the road after a quiet two years.

Winanjjikari promotes local music scene

Winanjjikari Music Centre held a networking event on Monday evening at the Centre to give those people interested in local music a chance to have a chat and find out all the latest on the local music scene. With people from Music NT, APRA AMCOS and 8CCC Community Radio in attendance as well as local musos, there was plenty of interesting talk going on regarding the future of performing in the Barkly. 

Music – the food of life for aged care + : Peter Howard AM

Music is the food of life someone famous once said and that is for sure -  for people of all ages. Music has been proved to be powerful in the management of dementia and related issues ... With over 40 years of broadcasting experience, Gary Thorpe OAM developed Silver Memories in 2007 to address social isolation in the aged in the community. And now it is going stronger than ever.


Arts About – Photography is the flavour of the month

Nancy Whittaker. The Maldon Photography Competition (MPC) for 2021 was opened by Maree Edwards Bendigo West MP, who made the very salient point that photography is more important than ever for documenting history as it is happening in Ukraine. She emphasised the important work EDGE is doing in promoting photography as an art form, as it ensures that history is concrete and not lost.

History & Heritage

Is this Australia’s oldest bakery?

When the Maldon Historic Bakery business went up for sale last month, landlords Mark and Valentina Tansley decided to do some research into the bakery’s history. “We know that the bakery was established on this site in 1854 and that the wood-fired brick scotch oven is one of the oldest brick buildings in town,” said Valentina.

Street art

Kingston houses Australia’s best mural

Gabrielle Duykers. A unique piece of artwork showcasing the natural features of Kingston has been crowned the best mural in the nation. Commissioned by Kingston District Council in the wake of the Keilira Bushfire, ‘Wind Dance’ received the Gold Award for the Best External Mural at the 2021 Australian Street Art Awards announced last week. In a collective statement, the judges said the mural was vibrant, creative and would entice visitors to explore more of the region.


Top accolades for NHS design students

Narranders High School 2021 HSC Industrial Technology and Design and Technology students Amelia Gillespie and Lauren Wickes have won accolades for their work in the Student Category Maker of the Year awards presented by Carbatec.


Fountain flows anew

Gabrielle Duykers. After being out of order for almost a decade, the distinctive fountain afront the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery is flowing once again thanks to community efforts. The Ibis Rising fountain was installed in 2005 and is the work of Melbourne based sculptor and potter Heather Ellis, who also produced the William Mackintosh bust in Jones Street.


Rockin’ on East returns

This year’s Rockin' on East Festival is set to be bigger and better to make amends for the last two events being cancelled due to COVID. It will be like a scene from yesteryear when rock and roll bands and dancers, dressed in 1950s attire, descend on Narrandera to create a fun, family event scheduled for the October long weekend.


Solo locals

Kirstin Nicholson. Jan Heap and Faye Donaldson are members of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia’s Solo Network which held its biannual rally in Cohuna ... The rally attracted over 200 solo motorhome owners from across Australia, giving them a chance to catch up with old friends, form new friendships, try new activities, and experience new adventures and locations.

Sea change for Farm 253

Alesha Millard. Nicole and Laurie Ryan and their two teenage daughters, Elly and Molly, are now enjoying freedom on the road in a fully restored bus ... Maybe the Ryans will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and make some new adventures this year ... As someone recently said, “It’s like a whole community of travelling families out there!”


Tuning in to see our local talent

Emma Pritchard. Close to 300 attendees filled the Maclean Bowling Club on February 26 as the venue hosted the highly anticipated local music festival Clarence Tunes ... “Everyone who was there on the night was really happy and said it was crazy good" : Organiser, Nash Crofton.


Liesl has a dream to sing on The Voice. Her first single brings her closer to that dream.

Kyogle’s Liesl Pederson spends her day at the front of the classroom teaching students at Casino Public School. But she has a dream that goes way beyond the classroom — she wants to sing.

New release

UBX releases new single

Former Tennant Creek rockers – Unbroken Expanse (UBX) – have released what they call a “killer” new single and music video. Bootstrap Billy tells the tale of this mythical character who knows how to spin a yarn, keen for a good time and loves a drink and a laugh.

History & heritage

Founding firey on duty for 60 years

Patricia Gill. Ollie Wakka, 81, joined the newly-established Denmark Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service in 1962, ‘because I couldn’t say no’ ... Ollie recalls how everyone turned up to a fire as they were dressed, there was no equipment except what brigade members brought along and members’ vehicles were used.