Showing posts from 2023

From the Heart

  From my heart & mind: a voice "to" Parliament is not a voice "in" Parliament. If my simple message amidst all the noise out there sways a couple of undecided friends on which way to vote, I will be more than happy. Consider how fortunate we are in this country to be able to have our say - and this is a conscience vote not a political vote - also please keep in mind that our First Nations People did not have this right at all until the 1967 referendum. Please consider this. Go well.

YES ... all that noise ...

There is a lot of talk amongst "the noise" about us all being equal. You all know that according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 1 states that: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood". Some say that here in Australia there is no need for an individual group to have a voice to Parliament, and that we are all equal according to the law. But, in reality, and if we are heartfelt & honest, this is not the case for many minority groups and most seriously for our First Nation's people. Hence our upcoming referendum. Observations follow from both my experience and readings of the Yes and the No cases as I believe that the mental health of our nation could be in peril. There are a number of very good ethical reasons for a Voice for our First Nations peoples to be enshrined in the Australian constitution. If

This Antipodean traveller ...

  International departures gate Sydney 9 August 2023 I must say there is both a sense of relief and trepidation as I leave the country. Relief, because I can stop all my micro-planning - my itinerary, my workshops, my lesson plans. Trepidation, because I am anxious about what is to come and how will I handle anything that doesn't go to plan. Even though I have ventured through this gate often enough I do know that everything beyond the gate is rather easy and straight forward ... even though I also know that what does go wrong is beyond my control. How does my family cope with me!? I have often been called an intrepid traveller , a label that doesn't quite sit right with me. I can tell you I am very fearful and often anxious though I appear calm most of the time! This tour will see me visit the United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium where I shall mix with likeminded people or as some of us say in the field my tribe ! I have already arrived at the University of Warwick in Coventry r

Uluru Statement from the Heart

... it's only 417 words read them and you will know in your heart what to do ... U L U R U  S T A T E M E N T  F R O M  T H E  H E A R T Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.  This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.  How could it be otherwise? That peoples posses

A life of learning and curiosity continues ...

1991 Photograph by Michael Thorne It was 1986 when I was approached by the Crafts Council of the ACT to teach calligraphy. I had only been learning calligraphy for a few years though I was already through my Showcard and Ticket Writing and Sign-writing Certificate and well into my Diploma of Calligraphy and Bookbinding through the Roehampton Institute UK. I felt I was neither ready to teach nor  prepared for it but the lass on the end of the phone said she had seen my work and would I be prepared to "give it a go"? So I did. Thirty-seven years later and after a lifetime of learning, sharing and guiding others, the time has come for me to farewell the classroom and the zoom room due to a rise in lecture & presentation requests and my ever increasing want to add to my artistic collection and calligraphic repertoire. All my current teaching commitments will be met until the close of 2023. How fortunate to have made so many friends here in Australia and around the world and t

A beaut way to start the year ...

  Twenty-twenty-three has come at last. Let's all hope it is better than the past few years have been and the world settles into a more pleasant place than what it has been. This year I am determined to find my creative gene again. I am fortunate in that my year has started beautifully. Getting back into the classroom with ten dedicated and delightful participants was pure balm for the soul.  The Sturt Summer School in the Southern Highlands of NSW saw two hundred participants and tutors come together for five days of creativity in multiple disciplines. It is always enjoyable meeting new people both tutors and students. The grounds alone, full of beauty, inspire creativity. The weather was gloriously cool. I first went to Frensham in 1988 and took a class with Sydney friend and calligrapher Helen Warren. Then a class with the beautiful & talented Elaine Witton. The summer schools were then run by the World Education Fellowship. I have enjoyed teaching at Frensham many times ove