By Jennifer Ann Davies, NCWQ Arts and Letters Adviser
HISTORY, STORIES AND IMAGES CONNECT AND PROTECT: Something indelible gently nudges; alarmingly confronts; echoes, whispers or deeply touches us and enters our world, with every story, with every image, with every note…
In the portfolios of the National Councils of Women, stories from past and present, and from varied cultures and places, don’t just settle, indelibly, on soul and psyche, but connect us, with information and understanding; and intertwine, like a glorious grape-vine, with the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations, assisting and shaping our direction in working to voice every Woman’s story. Doing so can influence and change myriad elements in humanitarian and educational contexts, and inform and encourage rightful, responsible, safe participation in all aspects of community life.
2019 NCWQ Annual Dinner: Introducing Brigadier Susan COYLE,Patron and Governor, His Excellency, the Honourable Paul DE JERSEY thanked NCWQ for outstanding contributions in encouraging the participation of women in all aspects of Queensland life and relayed a brief history of contributions made by women in World War 11.
Participation during WW11 moved beyond basic nursing roles and 24,000 women joined the Australian Women’s Army Service when founded in 1941. My other was one of these. Members served in artillery, intelligence and signal corps; clerical and manual work; maintained transport and equipment and drove everything from cars to amphibious vehicles. Members did indeed “…find inspiration in the stories of Australian Women in service.”
1937 Elsie BYTH: Two women, representing 37,000, told the Industrial Court that a 5-day shopping week, with shops closed on Saturday mornings, was NOT wanted by women. The Australian president of the National Council of Women, Mrs. G.L. BYTH, told the court that “our work is waiting for us when we get home.” Mrs. Byth said she had come on behalf of housewives and mothers to ask theprotectionof the Court against the imposition of any further burdens upon them. Elsie Byth’s grand-daughter, Dr Susan BYTH, sponsors an NCWQ bursary each year in honour of her grand-mother. Susan is also an Artist.
1990 Dorothy HARTNETT: President Queensland Sculpture Society. “Perhaps I find satisfaction working in glass because it is strong, durable and transparent, but has a fragility as it lets in and redirects light, which ensures growth. It is in a semi-fluid state at all times with flashes of transient, vibrant colour, which has helped me find that stability and joy are within oneself, not external.
As a person whose labours go beyond ‘ideas’, I am discovering the future is in the past or in your own imagination and in so doing you win back the consciousness of your inner being. You know then that the Universe is a coherent whole and you are indivisible from it.” NCWQ
1999 Adeline YEN MAH: Author of “CHINESE CINDERELLA” The secret story of an unwanted Daughter. An unforgettable story of overcoming the odds to prove one’s worth. This is very specifically Chinese. Dedicated to all unwanted children: “I have always cherished this dream of cr3eating something unique and imperishable, so that the past should not fade away forever. I know one day I shall die and vanish into the void, but hope to preserve my memories through my writing. Perhaps others who were also unwanted may see them a hundred years from now, and be encouraged. I imagine them opening the pages of my book and meeting me (as a ten-year-old) in Shanghai, without actually having left their homes in Sydney, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong or Los Angles. I shall welcome each and every one of them with a smile and say, ‘How splendid of you to visit me! Come in and let me share with you my story…because I understand only too well the rankling in your heart and what you are going through.” Chinese Cinderella. Adeline Yen Mah. Puffin Books/Penguin Random House Australia 1999.
Addendum: “For all of us to get along during the next millennium, we must understand each other’s history, language and culture. Towards that end I am donating all royalties from my books to a foundation modelled after the Rhodes Scholarship program, to enable students to study at universities in Beijing and Shanghai.” Adeline Yen Mah 1999
DISCONNECT TO PROTECT? International best-selling Author with over 25 million sales worldwide, weaves a compelling and suspenseful tale of human ingenuity and endurance against the worst pandemic known to history. For most, the Black Death is the end; for a rare few, it was a new beginning.
1348: The Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire in June 1348; no one knows what manner of sickness t is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church proclaims it is a punishment from God, but Lady Anne of Develish has different ideas. In Lady Anne of Develish – leader, savour, heretic – author, Minette WALTERS has created a memorable heroine.
“In Dorseteshire the plague made the country quite void of inhabitants so that there were almost none left alive. From there it passed into Devonshire and Somersetshire, even unto Bristol, and raged in such sort that the Gloucestershire men would not suffer the Bristol men to have access to them, by any means. But at length it came to Gloucester, yea even to Oxford and to London, and finally it spread all over England and so wasted the people that scarce the tenth person of any sort, was left alive.” Geoffrey the Baker, Chronicon Angliae temporibus Edwardi 11 et Edward 111.
Lady Anne, in 1348, protected her people in many ways that we, in 2019, still work to promote! Parallels may surprise readers. Allen & Unwin Sydney Australia 2017.
‘THE LAST HOURS’ – Minette WALTERS
Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use. Ruth Gordo
CONVERSATION CAFÉ events in Queensland libraries include Biggest Morning Tea Bake-Off! In many of our regional libraries, community members are asked to bring their baked wares and to bring their best morning tea recipe to share. Booklets will be made with these recipes!
MEET THE AUTHOR! Barbara MILLER launches her new book: ‘IF I SURVIVE’ Nazi Germany and the Jews – the brave and captivating story of 100-year-old Lena GOLDSTEIN – cited as Lena’s ‘miracle story’. This launch is at Smithfield Library, in the Cairns region. More news on the book advised when available.
SONGWRITER Harriette PILBEAM from BABAGANOUJ, responds to comments about your hometown. “Everybody always whinges about how small Brisbane is, but what’s wrong with knowing ‘everybody’? You’re guaranteed to bump into people you know on any given night out and I love that.” Frankie, Issue 60, p.015
‘BREAD & BUTTER’…delightful, quirky clothing and accessories with a high level of cuteness – Sora Kim’s vintage collection, sourced in Korea, will have you a little smitten. breadandbutter.kr
TRAVELLING? Clever Spanish ‘flowers on your back’ offer tough back-packs made of natural canvas and cotton with leather insides. modernaked.com
ABOUT ICELAND’S MUSIC COMMUNITY…Asgeir says “If you’re in the music scene you know most of the people and it’s easy to work with whoever you want to work with. Everybody’s really open to collaborating on things and helping each other out…..that’s the best thing about it….” Frankie, Issue 60, p018
CATTANA WETLANDS in CAIRNS have local, national and international importance for birds, resident and migratory. Woman Artist, Pete Marshall currently has an exhibition of her works of the birds from these extraordinary wetlands on show at the Tanks Art Centre. Additionally, BIRDLIFE DRAWING WORKSHOPS are on offer. firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTS LAW offers both workshop and one on one clinics to provide specialised advice, education and resources to artists and arts organisations. These are facilitated by lawyer Suzanne Derry. email@example.com
SONGWRITERS STAGES are gradually becoming popular as a feature, at festivals and markets. Here, musicians, performers and songwriters can both trial and promote their music, to the public.
QUEENSLAND’S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL has furnished Justices of the Peace with fresh and information about protection orders. This is Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Month. As a JP since 1985, I like this inclusion.
The 2019 PORT DOUGLAS CARNIVALE is an iconic family-friendly festival with roots and connections deep in the community, celebrating the region’s climate, arts, food and lifestyle. Fun!
THE IDEAL PALACE: L’Incroyable Histoire du Facteur Cheval is a beautiful film which is travelling as part of the 2019 French Film Festival. Directed by Nils Tavernierand starring Jacques GamblinandLaetitia Casta. Based on the remarkable, true story of Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, set in the south of France in 1879, film-maker Tavernier delivers this stunning and engrossing account of love and dedication. Spectacular photography and noteworthy performances give credence to this absorbing parable of persistence and vision; the larger than life undertaking of one very reserved man and the huge legacy he bestowed on France. No-one could believe how far this postman had walked in his life as a postman, then on retirement, after collecting stones of interest, beauty and unusual symmetry, Cheval spent 34 years building his beautifully bizarre palace, in Hauterives, in the Drome region, 30 miles south of Lyon.
During his 27 year period of walking to deliver mail and collecting stones, Ferdinand Cheval informed himself by reading and looking at the pictures in ‘Le Magazin Pittoresque’and also studying curious post-cards to be delivered, with resonances of some from Cambodia evident in his final art work! Hauterives once lay beneath the sea, so the landscape was rich in fossils and porous limestone.
“Whatever your age, whatever you wish to achieve, if you are
courageous, persistent and hard-working, you are sure to succeed!”
The palace is reminiscent of ancient times, with sculpted figures of cedar trees, bears, elephants, sheep-dogs and cascades. At one end are seven figures of classical antiquity, beneath ostriches, flamingos, eagles and geese!
The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, a mix, played by Bande Originale, has been compiled by Baptiste Colleu and Pierre Colleu, and enhances, indelibly, beautifully, the experience of this immensely interesting film. Piano notes reverberate through one’s being – Musique superbe pour un film magique! Numerous websites online ref: The Ideal Palace/Cheval/Soundtrack