2020 NCWQ Christmas Party (event)

The National Council of Women of Queensland Inc (NCWQ) invites you to our 2020 Christmas party! We are delighted to welcome members and guests to join us as we farewell 2020 and bring in the New Year.

Continue reading

NCWQ Habitat Report: November 2020

By Dr Donnell Davis, NCWQ Habitat Adviser

Urban design for disability, dementia and resilience

This report encompasses design for disability (D4D), dementia (D4De) and durability. It highlights human wellbeing (SDG 3), 7 senses, David Attenborough’s witness statement, climate impacts on human in cities (SDG 11 and SDG13) with policy assessment tools from the World Economic Forum, and the difference between bio-philia, biomimicry and regenerative cities.

Habitat means home – it is about humans living in social groups in community and cities

UN Habitat Day is celebrated on the first Monday of October each year to acknowledge the right to shelter, and advance of sharing of practices towards more sustainable cities.  On 31 October, ‘World Cities Day’ provides the opportunity for Local Governments to showcase innovation. (‘Shark Tank’ for Cities).  In 2020, the priority was to address Covid management, respond to growing complexity of climate impacts, and advance humans quality of life through wellbeing.  Measures for wellbeing include economic, social, Cultural, environmental, and institutional stewardship.   Dashboards from UN Habitat, Global Urban Observatory and Local government benchmarking help us measure, manage and evaluate trends in urban stewardship performance (good governance SDG16). But the whole scope for common benchmarking across cities and countries is SDG 11- Sustainable cities and communities with 11 set targets for 2030. Australia’s report card has gone from world leader to a caution status since 2016. This could be because of our slow response to housing vulnerable peoples.

My previous reports to NCW benchmarked international cities responses to COVID, so this report seeks to tackle Wellbeing SDG 3 in a more systematic way to consider our vulnerable urban peoples My June report showcased my methodology for Covid vulnerability of women proposing Fairer Feminist Futuresfor the Status of Women Network. This focussed on: (A) homeless migrant students, (B) health/ aged care workers, (C) casual workers (D) family violence survivors. The method included: (1) Status of Women Assessment with 4 sets of indices, (2) Fragility addressed 4 aspects of harm, (3)a positive path – never waste a crisis and (4) interactive priority setting process for cultural and local appropriateness.

In Queensland Parliament, the Economic and Governance Committee convened public hearings on the economic impacts of Coronavirus, and a joint paper from eight advisors was submitted, but few NCWQ recommendations were discussed.

Vulnerable peoples in these circumstances were generally unspoken in the Australian Federal Budget. Please refer to the Gender Lens Budget Statement undertaken by the National Foundation for Australian Women NFAW. www.nfaw.org.au  Even the Inquiries into Aged Care, modern slavery, youth mental health were not properly considered in the budget. Our voices are not heard, despite our efforts.

Quote: Diversity is having a seat at the table; inclusion is having a voice; belonging is having that voice heard. (@LizAndmollie)

Design for Disability

Design for Disability (D4D) was advanced by non-government organisations, charities and professional bodies with the Office of the Public Advocate (Qld) for past decades, but only recently 3 of the 57 aspects for good design were introduced to the Australian Building Code. However, state governments and local authorities have guidelines and some planning scheme regulations that articulate basic necessities.

When we design homes, facilities, public places, communities, infrastructure and cities, we often stop at physical disabilities: Accessibility. This month we celebrate 7 years of the ‘7 senses design’ that caters for inclusive communities, with a focus on intellectual disability. Autistic children and adults can finally enjoy public places and playgrounds that incorporate seven senses: five commonly understood – vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch and two others – vestibular for gravity, balance and movement; and proprioception for deep-sense coordination and muscle interaction).

7-Senses also address wellbeing through exercise and ‘nature deficit disorder’, where we don’t experience the outdoors in balance with indoors, causing disconnection. (references: Volbert 7S, last child in the woods, Brisbane City C NDD, Karawatha Forest community design discovery centre)

“Debunking Disability” Image: unsure of original source – used by NGO groups internationally.

Let us debunk disability.  This matrix shows terms that we hear about but don’t necessarily interrogate. As a result we can better appreciate how we can cater for these temporary or permanent conditions in our everyday lives. Our ageing population may be most vulnerable to this array.

In 2008, I designed and built Selsey House for disability – principally physical- as well as minimal footprint for carbon, water and waste during both construction and post-occupancy phases. Results are variable.  Design for dementia is very different, but each room can be retrofitted.


D4De Design for Dementia

The elephant in the room for Australia and Queensland may be dementia, and how we cope , intervene and arrest further development. Although prevention is admirable, we need an ethical
framework to manage the current and progressing numbers. Adequate and appropriate housing and living is part of that framework, whether is it retrofitting the family home, designing a granny
flat, considering co-housing upgrades, assessing a purpose built community, or preparing an aged care room in a formal facility. There are 10 principles we teach in design classes (Swinburne Centre for Design Innovation), which morph into many possibilities because we are dealing with individuals who live in different settings.

The optimal outcome is person-centres, high impact, ethical, functional, labour-minimising, and economical. Psychological wellbeing is paramount, so that people like to stay without wandering (or preventing wandering with hidden doors), feel comfortable with old familiar surroundings (have music and garden that feels like home – which might be 50 years ago), and this is reinforced with physical systems to prevent harming themselves inadvertently. In communities, it is important that older folk relate to younger generations for vitality (and they don’t call themselves inmates). So the personal touch is so important to arrest degeneration of a working mind and hands. The success depends of careful, co-operative collaboration and constant vigil to ensure highest outcomes prevail.

Attenborough’s challenge for resilient cities

In David Attenborough’s new movie is his witness statement comprises the first half, while the second half is a set of observations and recommendations for resilience of the planet with humans as the integral part of making that happen. Some of my interpretations and desire to implement:

The ingenuity of humans is evident but the ethics and long term accountability is not evident for the past 200 years. The indigenous peoples for over 65,000 years and natures systems for 3.8 billion years have learned from Mother Nature (aka Pachamama, Otukan, Gaia, Terra, or other spiritual name)   (The race between education and catastrophe: 2018) What happened that we got so out of step and so dumb so quickly?  Was it that we built big cities that ignored natural systems and all that might collapse?  (CSIRO: 2020)

Image: SBS news. August 2020.

My response to David Attenborough’s recommendations is through ‘resilient city’ governance. Climate change is contributing to pandemics, accelerating biodiversity loss, widening inequity, and hastening loss of livelihoods, cultures, island countries and lives.  Global re-insurance companies chartered its impact in dollars but metrics for other impacts – even Genuine Progress Indicators – don’t measure ongoing physical and mental health and hardship.  The elephant in the big room is climate change sparked by flawed stewardship and narrow short-term governance systems.  But the evidence is recognised around us in Australia. (Bureau of Meteorology: 2020)  The World Econcomic Forum has interactive policy assessment tools underpinned by copious academic studies that articulate components in the interconnected policy playground.

Australia has both state and local governments with toolkits for how cities can be regenerative. This goes far beyond mere energy, to social resilience, park and urban forests for carbon sequestration, urban backyard food production, net positive development seen in new buildings and community co-design.  Brisbane’s new regenerative high-rise approved for development in October 2020 is an example of generating more than its takes: energy, oxygen, ?water with healthy human factors. Given that Hammerby in Sweden was operational in 2000, Singapore precincts from 2005, Thailand hospital precinct from 2010, this Brisbane design even looks different like a tree and comprises of live greenery for temperature moderation and air cleaning (sequestering pollution).

In Queensland, other tropical cities mitigate climate through restricting use of high biodiversity parks, urban re-foresting naturally, backyard farming, neighbour systems for pandemic community healthy crawl, and civility outbreaks. Hugh MacKay commented on ‘reinventing the neighbourhood’ as a positive impact of Covid, while re-engaging with the life’s natural assets. (Radio National:2020)

Circular bio economy of wellbeing.

The World Economic Forum published its findings in November 2020, linking my topics this month.

In interpreting David Attenborough further, I recognise bio-philia (human healthy founded on healthy ecosystem and natural statins), biomimicry (the ways humans behave with nature
innovating together – not dominating), and regenerative cities (where humans settlements give back more than they take from nature) as the way I can work towards better outcomes.

References: UN Habitat: 2020 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day, World Econcomic Forum – various, Urban Development Journal, NFAW Gender Budget 2020, Hugh McKay on Radio National.



NCWQ Environment Report: November 2020

By Pat Pepper, NCWQ Environmental Adviser

This report covers recommendations from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements which aimed at increasing national co-ordination to prepare better for natural disasters, responding more rapidly, and ensuring the recovery endeavours make communities more resilient.  The status of the flora and fauna and their habitat in the aftermath of the fires is also considered

Follow up on 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires:

Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements:  The devastating effect of the 2019-2020 bushfires with the possible causes and potential remedies were reported in my NCWQ Environment Report April 2020. While the catalyst for the Commission was the 2019-2020 Black Summer fires, the inquiry investigated Australia’s readiness for and response to all natural disasters. Recommendations include

  1. New federal powers to enact a national state of emergency to allow the Federal Government to deploy troops and its full resources in exceptional circumstances without a request from the States or Territories. State and Territory Governments would continue to be responsible for disaster management with the creation of a new authoritative disaster advisory body to improve the co-ordination between governments.
  2. A ­nationally consistent guide on air quality to monitor smoke pollution and be updated in real-time since more than 450 people have died as a result of the toxic smoke during the Black Summer fires.
  3. A national data system where information, analysis and knowledge on climate change can be shared easily.
  4. Downscaled climate projections (i.e. projections on very coarse resolution made locally relevant down to a local scale by adding resolutions spatially and temporally) be produced by the Australian, State and Territory Governments to help  assess future natural disaster risk and plan responses. These projections to be underpinned by an agreed common core set of climate trajectories and timelines, and subject to regular review.
  5. A new national fire danger rating system and once released, a ­nationwide education program to improve fire warning literacy.
  6. Review of vegetation management and of the assessment and approval processes for hazard reductions, whether prescribed burns, or mechanical slashing to clear land, by all levels of government. Fuel load management strategies to be more transparent.
  7. Development of a national aerial fire fighting capability which includes a very large or large air tanker, helicopter capability, and extra pilots and support staff.
  8. A national app for all natural disasters so information on the warning system could be readily available. Inconsistencies and ­differences between state and ­territory apps caused ­issues for border communities and tourists.
  9. Update of the current strategies of states and territories or development of a new strategy with technology that allows communication across jurisdictions. And a national register showing the number of emergency services personnel, equipment and aerial assets that can be drawn on or moved around if needed.
  10. A single national scheme for the regulation of charitable fundraising
  11. Development of a national mechanism to communicate risk of hazard prone areas to households and prospective buyers and clear guidance on the risk mitigation  by insurance companies and actions that will be recognised when insurance premiums are set.
  12. Greater consistency and collaboration between governments on the collation of data related to Australian flora and fauna.

Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements – Report 






Loss to Australia’s biodiversity and Responses:

 Threatened ecological communities (TECs): Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) has listed 37 TECs as having some of their estimated distribution in areas affected by bushfires in southern and eastern Australia between 1 July 2019 and 11 February 2020 and identified 25 of the 37 as a priority for management intervention in at least one fire-affected Natural Resource Management region.  The Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel (the Expert Panel) identified 19 of the 37 TECs as priority matters for funding in Tranche 1 of the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program. At the request of the  Expert Panel and DAWE,  Professor David Keith, the Centre for Ecosystem Science, University of NSW, in collaboration with other ecological community experts, assessed the  threats, impacts and priorities for responses to the bushfires and compiled a  table of fire-related threats and recommended candidate management actions for fire-affected Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) listed ecological communities and a table of the state/territory recognised ecological communities that are likely to have been most affected. Candidate management actions for the latter table are to be released when available.


Keith DA, Auld TD, Barrett S, English V, Gallagher R, Gray R, van Leeuwen S, McIlwee A, Mitchell D, Tozer MG, Williams RJ, Yates CJ, Neldner J, Buchan A, White MD, Rogers D, West A, Seddon J, Simpson CC (in prep) Terrestrial Ecological Communities in Australia: initial assessment and management after the 2019-20 bushfires. Report to the Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Expert Panel and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Centre for Ecosystem Science, University of NSW, Sydney.

Plant Species: Many plant species were at risk from the cumulative impact of the 2019-2020 fires and other stressors like high fire frequency or severity, drought, herbivory, or disease.  Of the 26,062 species impacted, 486 were prioritised as requiring immediate action to assess impacts and support recovery. Species with more than 80% of their range burnt, or were already listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered under the EPBC 1999 Act  or state/territory listings, or were identified as at high risk under two or more prioritisation criteria requiring unique management actions were listed as priority species. The list included rainforest trees and shrubs like Monga Waratah (Telopea mongaensis) and plants from subalpine vegetation like critically endangered Bredbo Gentiana (Gentiana bredboensis). Some species considered threatened before the fires, like the Forrester’s Bottlebrush (Callistemon forresterae), Betka Bottlebrush (Callistemon kenmorrisonii), and Grey Deua Pomaderris (Pomaderris gilmourii var. cana) have increased risk of extinction.


Gallagher RV. 2020. National prioritisation of Australian plants affected by the 2019-2020 bushfire season – Report to the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.

Betka Bottlebrush



Animal Species: A provisional list of 119 animal species [92 vertebrates (17 bird, 20 mammal, 23 reptile, 16 frog, 16 fish species) 22 crayfish, 5 other invertebrate] have been identified as requiring urgent management intervention, based on the extent to which their range has potentially been burnt, how imperilled they were before the fires (e.g. already listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered), and the physical, behavioural and ecological traits which influence their vulnerability to fire. At imminent risk of extinction because most of their range was burnt or they were already highly threatened are the Kangaroo Island Dunnart, Pugh’s Frog and the Blue Mountains Water Skink.  Having potentially lost a substantial portion of their range, other species like the Smoky Mouse, Koala and Giant Burrowing Frog require emergency intervention and strategic response to support their recovery. https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery/priority-animals


Pugh’s Frog  Photo: Stephen Mahony



Many of approximately 320,000 invertebrate species in Australia have very localised ranges. Assessing the impacts of fires is challenging because of limited information on distribution and susceptibility to fire, and few monitoring programs. But 191 invertebrate species were known or presumed to have been severely impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires with a further 147 species prioritised for further assessment. Forty-nine species considered threatened on the list before the fires included freshwater mussels, shrimps, burrowing crayfish, land snails, spiders, millipedes, bees, dragonflies, bugs and butterflies.


Purple Copper Butterfly Photo: Simon Nally/OEH




Two broad management actions to assist in recovery were recommended (1) rapid on-ground surveys to establish the extent of population loss and provide a baseline for ongoing monitoring; and (2) protecting unburnt areas (within or adjacent to recently burnt ground, or in suitable habitat away from the burnt areas) that provide refuge.



The Australian Government is providing up to $10 million funding through competitive grant programs as part of its $200 million investment for the recovery of wildlife and habitat affected by the 2019–20 bushfires. Projects could include:

  • provision of supplementary shelter, nest boxes and artificial hollows
  • controlling pest animals
  • controlling of invasive weeds (including through Indigenous fire management practices)
  • seed collection and propagation of native plants for use in revegetation
  • revegetation of burnt areas using native plants
  • regenerating or protecting sensitive areas, including waterways

NCWQ Education Report: November 2020

By Deslyn Taylor, NCWQ Education Advisor

(photo credit: https://qed.qld.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media/students-in-space)

In September the ‘Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch and Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, Di Farmer announced the winners of the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Awards, acknowledging the contributions of leading women in the field.

“It’s wonderful to recognise the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM prize winners Samantha Nixon, Toni Hay and Denuja Karunakaran, who are each doing pioneering work in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields,” Minister Enoch said.

“By supporting career pathways for women in STEM we are contributing to jobs in science and research, and improving health outcomes, which are crucial parts of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery,” Minister Enoch said.

Six Queensland  scientists were nominated for these STEM awards across a wide-ranging field of scientific research, including creating antiparasitic drugs from spider venom to using genetic markers to combat obesity, and applying traditional knowledge to inform climate change adaptation plans. Other research nominations covered increasing energy yield from natural gas, understanding the biological mechanisms of mental health and rebuilding coral reefs.’

This is a wonderful glimpse into the future where increasingly women are being encouraged to study STEM subjects. This is a marked change from our past experiences. 6 students were chosen to talk to astronauts live. There were two girls selected.


New Senior Assessment in Queensland

2020 marks the first year that Year 12 students in Queensland will be required to be assessed under the new education assessment system.


“In the new QCE system, students’ results for General subjects are based on their achievement in three internal assessments and one external assessment.

Internal assessments contribute 75% towards a student’s final subject result, in most subjects. In Mathematics and Science subjects, internal assessment generally contributes 50%. Internal assessment results are not scaled by external assessment results when calculating a student’s final subject result.”

Due to school closures during COVID 2020 Senior students will have 1 less piece of assessment in each of their subjects. It has been a difficult year. We wish them well.

NCWQ Arts and Letters Report: Oct-Nov 2020

By Jennifer Ann Davies, NCWQ Arts and Letters Adviser (gramunicorn75@gmail.com)

Wise words from Professor JOLANDA JETTEN, School of Psychology: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences: University of Queensland, reviewing closures and restrictions throughout our COVID crisis…

“We have to be mindful not to introduce a false dichotomy: do we want freedom or health? There is no freedom without health, and it is only by staying healthy that people can have freedoms,” UQ CONTACT Alumni & Community News Aug/Sept 2020 SDGs 3/4/17

THEATRE – TROPICAL ARTS have September selections for actors, crew members and volunteers for an October performance of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Action is at The Tanks Centre, in Cairns. The performances are always lots of work and lots of fun for the audience and performers alike! – Contact: secretary.tropicalarts@gmail.com SDGs 8/10/12

QAGOMA brings us an exclusive once-in-a-lifetime exhibition ‘European Masterpieces’ from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June-Oct 2020). This fine collection rarely leaves the permanent display in New York and includes treasured masterpieces by Fra Angelico, Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh and Monet. SDGs 3/4/17

Clay/Ceramics/Cloth/Canvas/Creativity – New and Old

As the calamities, cruelties, changes and curbing of activities continue, to cope with the cursed COVID, a cascade of creativity creeps in to our communities! Like a beautiful waterfall, this cascade of creativity and activity calms, clears and retrieves some of yesteryear’s simplicity, creating newness, reviving the core, the soul, the quintessence of humanity! I am assured this is occurring all over our big, big state of Queensland! Salut!

CLAY PLAY WITH ASTRID ELIKA is great to “…come together and create useful art for your home or personalised gifts…” I watched the kids learn the skills of wheel throwing and hand building in a relaxed environment, in the old, old Cairns Potters Club. ASTRID offers a range of courses for all, with great skill, enthusiasm, support, clay, colourful underglazes, tools and firing all provided. Enjoy! 0406566227 Astrid www.cairnspottersclub.com

CAIRNS MUSEUM presented a wonderful school holiday programme which included:

  • Sea-Riffic Science Workshop
  • Museum Super Sleuth Challenge
  • Guided Tours for Kids
  • Let’s Go Surf Life Saving
  • Surf Slime & Sand Dough Workshop www.cairnsmuseum.org.au. Traditionally, major cities with large museums have such programmes but regional Queensland has not always had them*

CREATIVITY AT THE BEACH is a shoppe where one must leap around the ‘gnome spotty-dot mushrooms’ to view the unique gifts, local Artists, Queensland suppliers’ goods and see what is offering in forthcoming Arts & Crafts workshops. www.thegiftinggnome.com Peta Smerdon who greeted me in this fascinating little hub, is also the facilitator of Yorkey’s Knob Workshop Hub offering workshops in: Resin Art, Macrame, Mosaics, Terrarium building, Painting and much more….www.ykwh.com.au …then one can pop across to CAFÉ YORKEYS to be greeted by Tim or Riki for a cuppa, coffee, chai and/or delicious snacks, breakfast or lunch! Whilst enjoying the beach aura, one can also swap a book or two in either shop. cafeyorkeys@gmail.com SDGs for all of the segment above: 3/4/8/17


LETTERS! Literature – New and Old

This was on the wall of Cairns State High School when I presented Sophia Baines with her Certificate for her Bursary!

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and Life to everything.” Plato

Our own wonderful JANE SMITH has invited members of NCWQ to a Facebook launch of her new book. Members will be aware of this prior to publication of this report I believe. The Carly Mills’ books are short and simple with historically interesting characters and action! The October launch of Carly’s second book “Emergency” will stream live on Facebook so women can enjoy both a celebration of women’s achievements and a celebration of letters/literature! This book is about Queensland’s first female Doctor, the remarkable Dr Lilian COOPER. A small group of guests will gather at Jeremy’s Book Exchange in Toowoomba Queensland, on 16 October 2020. The group will include people Jane sees as “modern-day Caroline Chisholms” – for example, invitee Genevieve Allpass is founder of Peaceful Humans and Rojin Rash is a young immigrant, interpreter and promoter of education for all! www.facebook.com/janesmithwriter  CONGRATULATIONS to Jane  on her continued success as an author and historian! Salut! SDGs 3/4/5/10/11/17

KATE GRENVILLE returns to the territory of The Secret River with an unforgettable story about courage, truth and the mystery of human desire; a novel that brilliantly turns historical fiction inside out!  A Room Made of Leaves is out now. www.textpublishing.com.au

“If there were a Nobel prize for storytelling, Archer would win.” Daily Telegraph Jeffrey ARCHER’S ‘The Eleventh Commandment’ is not only full of twists and turns, but makes visible and audible truths that many fiction writers are able to make glaringly obvious. Chilling. www.jeffreyarcher.com

“…An almost Shakespearean study in the nature of evil – horror in its purest form.” Spectator. Explosive tension and palpable menace, yet again infuses the well-known David BALDACCI’s ‘Absolute Power’. This is another riveting thriller that dares to explore an unthinkable abuse of power and criminal conspiracy. www.david-baldacci.com

Patricia CORNWELL has now brought us ‘dust’ A Scarpetta novel newly in paperback. With unparalleled high-tension suspense and the latest in forensic technology, Cornwell once again proves her exceptional ability to surprise, and to thrill, in this electrifying Scarpetta novel. An intense book.  www.penguin.com  SDGs 3/4/11/16 for all of the above*

Harriet EVANS’ compelling and heartbreaking, “Love Always’ is a powerful tale of lost love, family secrets and those little moments that change your life forever. “ ….effortlessly readable…” Marie Claire Wonderful settings along the wild Cornish coast and then back in London continue to engage the reader, as the main character’s life reaches a turning point. www.harriet-evans.com SDGs 3/4/17

“WHERE does history begin?” asks critically acclaimed author Richard North PATTERSON. From this compelling novelist comes the mesmerizing story of a trial lawyer who must defend the woman he loves against a charge of conspiring to assassinate the Prime Minister of Israel. “EXILE” is a grand read, continuing the trend of exposing truths, within fiction. Mark Lawson wrote: “Balance of Power and Protect and Defend stand as a remarkable project in popular fiction: an extension of the genre of the legal thriller to explore the morality and strategies of the “US’s greatest civic controversies.” Guardian. Our ethics, defence counselling, legal systemics and politics differ little from those of our American contemporaries. SDGs 3/4/8/10/11/12/16

“Ashley Bell” may well be Dean KOONTZ’s finest and most personal novel to date. Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman – whose doctor says she has one year to live.

She replies: “We’ll see.”

This is an astonishing, super-interesting novel.

 Michelle RICHMOND, author of “Golden State” wrote: “Readers will fall hard for Bibi Blair, the fierce and dangerously smart heroine of (this) mind-bending thrill ride. Koontz delivers a sharp, unsettling, philosophically stimulating examination of consciousness, memory, and the intense power of story. He doesn’t just ask the big questions, he turns them inside out.” www.randomhousebooks.com SDGs 3/4/17

Inspirational Australian, Turia Pitt, explores the idea of happiness, interviewing myriad people, to view how everything from money to our relationships has an impact on how happy we can be. “Happy (and other ridiculous aspirations)”

“Bush School” is from Peter O’Brien who started work in 1960 as the only teacher at a bush school in Weabonga. Interesting charm and struggles!

“Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong” Sam’s captivating true story, written by her close friend, and featuring extraordinary photographs taken by Sam’s husband. Humbling, heartbreaking and uplifting are the elements that will capture the reader. Samantha Bloom, Cameron Bloom, Bradley Trevor Greive.

“One Last Lunch” is a heart-warming collection edited by Joseph Heller’s daughter, in which dozens of contributors imagine one last lunch with someone they cherished. Erica Heller.Pattie Lees and Adam C. Lees have produced “A Question of Colour”, which provides a first-hand account of Pattie’s experiences during Australia’s assimilationist policy era. It is a deeply moving and powerful testimony to the resilience of a young girl, her identity and her journey to belong.

“All Our Shimmering Skies” is to be released at the end of September 2020. Trent Dalton is an interesting Aussie writer to watch and has already won awards in journalism and for his debut novel, “Boy Swallows Universe”. His new novel is about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. This is an odyssey of true love and great danger, of darkness and light, of bones and blue skies. This author has returned with an amazing new novel! (all of the above new publications are available at www.collins.com.au or stores near you)

Minette Walters has written yet another “…tour de force…” writes the Observer, of “The Shape of Snakes”. Wonderfully interesting and intriguing from a psychological and historical vantage point, this novel will engage instantly.  “November 1978. Britain is on strike. The dead lie unburied, rubbish piles in the streets – and somewhere in west London a black woman dies in as rain-soaked gutter.”

“Probably the most unsettling and complex in the whole, extraordinary Walters canon…The drama stays taut until the last page, which may, by the way, make you weep.” Frances Fyfield, Daily Mail. www.minettewalters.co.uk www.panmacmillan.com SDGs 1/2/3/4/5/10/11/16

Never to be diminished – always celebrated – sadly missed – greatly mourned

Champion of the Sex Discrimination Act and more – a colleague in the 1990s

She would NOT have “…gone gentle into that good night…” Dylan Thomas

Bless – Senator SUSAN RYAN…. Au revoir…