GHAN TRIP – THE DINGO PROOF FENCE

GHAN TRIP - THE DINGO PROOF FENCE

You wouldn’t think that a scruffy looking fence in the Australian outback would capture the imagination of so many people, myself included. Stretching for 5,614km it’s the longest continuous fence in the world. It was constructed to keep marauding dingoes out of the relatively better pastoral lands

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CATCHING THE GHAN AT ALL COST!

CATCHING THE GHAN AT ALL COST!

In days gone by you could turn up a week late to catch The Ghan and still be in plenty of time. The Aussie outback train was often delayed by wash-outs, sand-drifts or mechanical failures. I love this poem from 1952 about a car speeding along the

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A DISAPPEARING HOUSE AND WALKING TREES

A DISAPPEARING HOUSE AND WALKING TREES

This is a guest post from Warren Bishop, a direct descendant of James Smith, who built Tasmania’s famous ‘disappearing house.’ The Disappearing House at “The Corners” Conara Standing at the turnoff to St Marys at Conara, the so-called “Disappearing House” earned its name by the illusion of

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THE REDOUBTABLE DR GARDE!

THE REDOUBTABLE DR GARDE!

Dr Henry Croker Garde  was a long term resident surgeon at the Maryborough General Hospital in Queensland. Born in 1855, he was a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and  a prize winning Fellow of  the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The doctor was well travelled, having

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ARNOTT’S MILK ARROWROOT BISCUITS- BEST FOR BABY?

ARNOTT'S MILK ARROWROOT BISCUITS- BEST FOR BABY?

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Arnotts sought testimonials from people feeding their little ones on milk arrowroot biscuits. The possibility that an image of their child might be chosen to illustrate an advertisement was irresistible. The company was soon swamped by photos and letters

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THE LOST PORTRAIT OF EDITH CAVELL

THE LOST PORTRAIT OF EDITH CAVELL

IN APPRECIATION….. In 1931, Dr Victor Ratten performed life-saving surgery on 14 year old Myra Garnett at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Some weeks later the girl’s grateful father presented Dr Ratten with a generous and most appropriate gift. George Garnett was a British born art connoisseur and

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A MIRACULOUS BONE GRAFT?

A MIRACULOUS BONE GRAFT?

Stephen W. O’Flaherty was a worker in a sawmill at Derby, a small community in the north-east of Tasmania. In the early 1900s he suffered a significant injury when a lever at the mill rebounded, breaking his arm in two places. It was said that he had

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THE GRACE HOTEL

THE GRACE HOTEL

Recently I paused and looked skyward at this wonderful Sydney building. At street level it’s hard to appreciate its full, 300ft glory, sheathed in glazed cream, terra-cotta tiling. Somehow it reminds me of the toy blocks I played with during my 1950s childhood. However, it was built

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BRIDGET AND PYLON – THE ‘COATHANGER’ CATS

BRIDGET AND PYLON - THE 'COATHANGER'  CATS

Around Christmas 1950, twin white cats were spotted atop the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There they remained. It seemed the pair had decided it was the best location in the city, with world class views. Well really, who could blame them? The snowy residents

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A PIE CART PRANK

A PIE CART PRANK

South Australian Victor Richardson was a talented all-round sportsman. He excelled at tennis, golf baseball and Australian Rules Football. He captained Australia in cricket and played in the infamous ‘Bodyline’ cricket series alongside Don Bradman. With this in mind, perhaps we can forgive him for a bit

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