Five years ago*–a 2008 recycle from my archives

Note that external links within posts may not work after five years and do not open in new windows.

1 Australian poetry on Floating Life

29 DEC 2008

Over the past couple of years I have offered, sometimes weekly, quite a few Australian poems. You can find them via the WordPress tag “Friday poem”, but I thought I would set them out in order here. I began in 2007 onmy first WordPress blog, and continued with a new series in 2008. There were a few other relevant entries which I include in this list.


  1. Two Australian poems of World War II – Judith Wright “The Company of Lovers” and Kenneth Slessor “Beach Burial”
  2. Oh, they’re so young… Judith Wright “The Company of Lovers” again
  3. Reading the Bible – Judith Wright “Bullocky”
  4. New: the Friday Australian Poem: #1 — Henry Kendall 1841-1882 — “On a Baby Buried by the Hawkesbury”
  5. Friday Australian poem # 2: “The Poor, Poor Country” by John Shaw Neilson
  6. Friday Australian poem #3: A D Hope, “The Death of a Bird”
  7. Friday Australian poem #4: Judith Wright “South of my Days” and “Woman to Child”
  8. Friday Australian Poem #5: Judith Wright “For a Pastoral Family”
  9. Friday Australian poem # 6: Mary Gilmore, “Nationality” and “Old Botany Bay”
  10. Friday Australian poem #7: Henry Lawson “Faces in the Street”
  11. Friday Australian poem #8: Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971) “Five Bells”
  12. Friday Australian poem #9: Charles Harpur (1813 – 1868) “A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest”
  13. Friday Australian poem #10: John O’Brien “The Old Bush School”
  14. Friday Australian poem #11: “Because” by James McAuley
  15. Friday Australian poem #12: David Campbell “Men in Green”
  16. Friday Australian poem #12a: not a poem! Follows up on #12.
  17. Friday Australian poem # 14: “The Australaise” by C J Dennis
  18. Friday Australian poem #15: Les Murray, “An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow”
  19. Friday Australian poem #16: Banjo Paterson “Fur and Feathers”
  20. Friday Australian poem #17: Bruce Dawe, “Homecoming”
  21. Friday Australian poem #18: A B Paterson “The Geebung Polo Club”
  22. Friday Australian poem #19: Vance Palmer (1885-1959) “The Farmer Remembers the Somme”


  1. Australian poem: 2008 series: #1 — Marian Spires “War on Language” (2003)
  2. Australian poem: 2008 series: #2 — Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971) “Snowdrops”
  3. Australian poem: 2008 series #3 — anon. “Botany Bay”
  4. Australian Poem: 2008 series #4 and #5 — two for the price of one: Paul Buttigieg “Black Bastards” and Eric Bogle “Now I’m Easy”
  5. Australian Poem: 2008 series #6 — Henry Kendall “The Last of his Tribe”
  6. Australian poem: 2008 series #7 — Melinda Kendall “Lost in the Bush” and “Fairy Meadow”
  7. Australian poem: 2008 series #8 — Indigenous poetry
  8. Australian poem: 2008 series #9 — A B Paterson “The Angel’s Kiss”
  9. Australian poem 2008 series #10: Peter Skrzynecki “Summer in the Country” (2005)
  10. Australian poem 2008 series #11 — George Essex Evans “To a Bigot”
  11. Australian poem 2008 series #12 — Judith Wright recycled for Anzac Day
  12. Australian poem 2008 series #13 — Roland Robinson (1912-1992) “The Drovers”
  13. Australian poem 2008 series #14 — Rosemary Dobson (1920 – ) “A Fine Thing”
  14. Australian poem 2008 series #15 — John Shaw Neilson “The Orange Tree”
  15. Australian poem 2008 series # 16: cheating slightly… Bai Ju Yi “On West Lake” – Translated 1994 by N J Whitfield and M Q Xu
  16. Australian poem 2008 series #17: “Australia” — A D Hope
  17. Australian poem 2008 series #18: YouTube – Poetry Clip: Robert Gray “A Bowl of Pears”
  18. Australian poem 2008 series #19: You Don’t Get Me — Lachlan Irvine “The Thousand Yard Stare”
  19. Australian poem 2008 series #20: “Middleton’s Rouseabout” — Henry Lawson (1896)
  20. Australian poem 2008 series #21: Adam Aitken “Louis De Carne’s Diary”
  21. Australian poem 2008 series #22: Kenneth Mackay OBE “The Song that Men Should Sing” (1899)
  22. Australian poem 2008 series #23: George Essex Evans “The Women of the West”

See also

Neos; 02 — a poem.

2 Sunday lunch was at the Porter House

14 DEC 2008

How long have we been coming here, I asked Sirdan. We couldn’t remember for sure, but suspect it may go back to last century… It certainly goes back to 2000 or 2001, as I recall The Rabbit coming here… This is a real Irish Pub with real Irish people, and a great $12 Sunday roast.

dec14 012

dec14 013

Good, eh! Being there is better!

On the way to and from I collected material for the photoblog which you can see at Loving Surry Hills.

Original photos by Neil 14 December 2008

3 Fantastic, but another reason to feel old!

11 DEC 2008

cover_dec08I was skimming the Sydney Morning Herald’s glossy free mag just now, checking out whether I was on the list of Sydney’s Top 100 Influential People… ;) Many of the usual suspects were there, and quite a few I hadn’t thought of. It is one of those that really attracted my attention.

thumb_jackThere under Community was Jack Manning Bancroft.

Now there was a familiar name: Class of 2002 at SBHS!

So how at the age of 23 did Jack get into the Top 100?

Through this:

Jack is the founder of the AIME Program. He graduated from Media and Communication in 2006, and attended St Pauls College in his time at university. He was awarded the inaugural ANZ Indigenous Scholarship for his degree, and received the Sydney University Union Leadership and Excellence award in 2005. He is a member of the Bundjalung nation in the North Coast of NSW. Jack hopes to lead AIME to every university in the country in the next 5 years.


Click on the screen grab to explore AIME. It is well worth it!


I found some blog references to Jack and his work.

Indigenous Literacy Day by Judith Ridge (September 2008) says:

Tonight I went to the launch of Bronwyn Bancroft‘s beautiful new picture book, Possum and Wattle: My Big Book of Australian Words at Gleebooks. The book is, as you would expect if you know Bronwyn’s work, quite stunning. The images are striking and vibrant, and the colour reproduction remarkable. And a great celebration of indigenous Australian language.

Possum and Wattle was launched by Linda Burney, who spoke of of the terrible loss of Aboriginal languages (which she rightly said are, of course, Australian languages) while reminding us that all Australians are in fact speakers of Aboriginal Language. Each time we speak certain place names, or of native flora and fauna, even certain idioms, we are speaking Aboriginal Language.

Bronwyn spoke of the importance of education and literacy, especially for Aboriginal Australians. Her own father was excluded from formal education because of his Aboriginality. Now her children are school and university students and graduates, and she is about to embark on her PhD—just one generation away from that exclusion. And there is no education without literacy…

I also have to mention Bronwyn’s son, Jack Manning Bancroft, who spoke at the launch about the organisation he heads up, AIME Mentoring (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience). AIME pairs Aboriginal university student volunteers with Aboriginal high school students in a one-to-one mentoring project that aims to support young Aboriginal students in education. It was the first I’d heard of the program, and it’s something I want to learn more about. Jack was strong and heartfelt as he spoke about the value of the program, which hinges on the dedication of the current generation of young Aboriginal people to get out there and do something practical to support each other. As it says in the “About” section of their website, AIME is action. Fantastic. (And I am really curious—must ask Bronwyn about this—my grandfather’s middle name was also Manning, after the river/region where he was born. I guess that means Bronwyn’s people come from there, as mine do, although so much more recently.)

A blog called Event Mechanics promotes 2007’s Indigenous Carnivale, and quotes another blog to this effect:

A very cool, and damn motivated and inspiring bloke, called Jack Manning-Bancroft is helping organise the above day. He writes: “We welcome you all to this years Indigenous Carnivale. On Saturday the 26th of May it will be National Sorry Day. We will pay our respects to those who have suffered in the past, we will pay our respects to those who continue to suffer, and we will offer nothing but respect to each other. This is our arena. This is our community. This is our time.”

Running alongside Carnivale is it’s big brother AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) – where Jack’s helping me to do some mentoring work. It’s a mentoring program that works with High school Indigenous students. All of the profits from Carnivale will go to its big brother AIME.

* Or is that six? That zero year 2010 fools me every time…