In Kathmandu

The ABC recently aired a story about “paper orphans” in Nepal.  These are children who are orphans only on paper, their status “invented” by orphanages to attract money, or sponsors, from wealthy countries like Australia.  According to the ABC, Australians are “still funding and volunteering at orphanages, unwittingly perpetuating a multi-billion-dollar global industry that exploits … Continue reading In Kathmandu

Dear Albury

Albury city, that regional border-hub on Wiradjuri land and site of the first migrant centre in Australia in 1947, has featured more prominently than usual in the metropolitan news of late.  When greater Melbourne went into hard lockdown due to Covid-19 and the border between Victoria and NSW was closed, Albury became the unlikely scene … Continue reading Dear Albury

Review of Journey to Horseshoe Bend, by TGH Strehlow

This was first published in Sydney Review of Books, July 2016, under the name of Paul Galimond. By the late 1960s, when T. G. H. Strehlow was writing what would become Journey to Horseshoe Bend (first published in 1969 and reissued in 2015 by Giramondo), he had already produced key works of Australian ethnology, such … Continue reading Review of Journey to Horseshoe Bend, by TGH Strehlow

Talmalmo and ‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’

Thomas Keneally’s The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1972) is a novel based on the life of Jimmy Governor, an Aboriginal man who in 1900 was on the run after committing murder. A similar tragedy predates this, however, and has received far less attention than the story Keneally put into his novel. This earlier event happened … Continue reading Talmalmo and ‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’