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Articles Archive for December 2012

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[29 Dec 2012 | Comments Off on Austen Tayshus sends a postcard from the edge | 900 views ]

NEXT year marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of Australia’s best-selling single ever, ‘Australiana’.
Performed by Sandy Gutman (aka Austen Tayshus), this subversive spoken-word piece is filled with an array of Australian puns, including ‘How much can a Koala bear?’, ‘Do you want to go Anna?’ and ‘Tryin’ to Platypus!’
Born in New York on March 17, 1954, Austen Tayshus – a combination of “ostentatious” and “Austin, Texas” – first gained widespread public recognition when Australiana was released. Indeed this comic masterpiece is still in huge demand whenever and wherever Australia’s …

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[22 Dec 2012 | Comments Off on The Lost Diggers | 1,309 views ]

A TREASURE trove of recently discovered images bears silent witness to the tragedy of World War I.
Almost a century ago hundreds of Australian soldiers took their rest and recreation leave in the small Somme Valley town of Vignacourt, just north of the city of Amiens. During three years of bitter fighting, our Diggers gained relief from the horrors of the trenches – a mere day’s march away – flirting with girls from the village, playing with the children, drinking local wine and having their photographs taken by the talented local …

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[15 Dec 2012 | 4 Comments | 16,906 views ]

HOW lucky am I that I was born at a time when Alcoholics Anonymous was well and truly functioning in Australia.
AA began in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, when alcoholic New York stockbroker Bill Wilson, fearful that he would resume drinking, sought out another alcoholic with whom to talk, namely a doctor, Bob Smith, who previous to their meeting could not stop drinking.
Soon the loosely knit fellowship of AA spread to Cleveland (where in the late 1960s I was hospitalised many times for alcoholism) and then throughout the US.

Australia was the …

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[2 Dec 2012 | 4 Comments | 7,461 views ]

The recent announcement of a royal commission on child sex abuse caught many people by surprise. Although the weight of allegations and prosecutions, especially against Australia’s clergy, had been rising alarmingly, until recently the issue of child sex abuse was still being ignored at a policy level by all of Australia’s political parties, except one.
When Fiona Patten launched the Australian Sex Party in 2009, she was the only political leader calling for a royal commission into child sex abuse. In 2000 (the same year that the Irish government announced …

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[1 Dec 2012 | Comments Off on First Labor premier’s Anderson Dawson’s short, inglorious reign | 1,397 views ]

TODAY it is timely to recall that, on December 1, 1899, Anderson Dawson led the world’s first Labor government into office in Queensland.
Dawson, member of the Legislative Assembly for Charters Towers, fleetingly ran the colony of Queensland. His minority government lasted only a week, but it gave the Labor Party an opportunity to get the dirt on the conservatives by examining previous governments’ files.
It also paved the way for future ALP governments in Queensland and throughout Australia. Then, as now, politics was a tough and dirty game.
Dawson was born in …