(A) Convict's Tour of Hell song text by Francis MacNamara, (nickname Frankie the Poet) composed and written October the 23rd 1839 at Stroud AA Co. Establishment Station in New South Wales.
MacNamara was an Irish convict, deported to Australia after breaking a shop window and stealing wool cloth. He wrote witty vicious verse. His attitude to the colonial authorities, embodied in A Convict's Tour of Hell, can also be gauged from the punishments he received. Lashed 590 times, he was sent to solitary confinement, to the treadmill, and worked on chain gangs. All through his incarceration, Frank continued to entertain his fellow convicts with his rebellious verse. Now a new generation of musicians is producing fresh work inspired by Frank the Poet (Australia's Dante, a bard of the blues), whom they regard as giving Australia a tradition akin to the Mississippi blues.
Read: A Working Forest (1997) by Less A. Murray, Duffy and Snellgrove, Sydney
Ancestor Spirits Aboriginal spiritual beliefs are invariably about the land Aboriginal people live on. It is ‘geosophical’ (earth-centred) and not ‘theosophical’ (god-centred). The earth is ‘impregnated with the power of the Ancestor Spirits’ which Aboriginal people draw upon. They experience a connection to their land that is unknown to white people. A key feature of Aboriginal spirituality is to look after the land, an obligation which has been passed down as law for thousands of years. In most stories of the Dreaming, the Ancestor Spirits came to the earth in human form and as they moved through the land, they created the animals, plants, rocks and other forms of the land that we know today. They also created the relationships between groups and individuals to the land, the animals and other people. Once the Ancestor Spirits had created the world, they changed into trees, the stars, rocks, watering holes or other objects. These are the sacred places of Aboriginal culture and have special properties. Because the ancestors did not disappear at the end of the Dreaming, but remained in these sacred sites, the Dreaming is never-ending, linking the past and the present, the people and the land.
Windy night by Fiona Omeenyon (2003) Family by Fiona Omeenyon (2005)
Another You the Seekers first hit single, recorded at Abbey Road studios in London in1964. It reached No. 1 in the UK in February 1965
Arboretum now Breen Park, where they grew different trees and plants for the residents to see what would survive in the desert. It also used to have peacocks. Now it is a park to bring your dog.
Ben Chifley (1885-1951); prime minister of Australia from 1945 to 1949. After World War II the Labor party of Ben Chifley had to fight the Liberal Party of Robert Menzies. Chifley left Menzies far behind and as prime minister he introduced a number of social changes. His government took care of better working conditions, unemployment benefits, widows' pensions and allowances for students. Medicines were cheaper and 200,000 homes and several universities were thrown up. In 1948 Chifley launched the first Holden car. Thus the foundation was laid for the strong economic growth in the 1950’s an 1960s. In 1949 Chifley had to make room for his rival Robert Menzies. Endless strikes in the coal mines, communist influence in the trade unions, the rationing of gasoline and Chifley's personal crusade to nationalize the banks had diminished the public support for Labor. On June 13th 1951 Chifley died on the way to hospital after a heart attack in his hotel room in Canberra, while a ball celebrating the jubilee or Commonwealth parliament was in progress at Parliament House.
Bob en Flo Crombie in the 1950s and later the managers of Mount Eba Station, a sheep station, about 150 km from Woomera. The property is named after the solitary hill that rises 400 feet (122 m) from the surrounding plains. The plains are mostly vegetated with mulga and saltbush with salt pans interspersed throughout. The property was stocked more intensively from 1878 to 1880 with numerous improvements including the construction of buildings and a new woolshed.
Read: The Dog Fence (2004), by James Woodford, Text Publishing Co
Brumby Creek stream near Coober Pedy.
Bush accordions the first diatonic accordion models in Australia that were imported came from Great Britain, and were soon followed by German models. These often arrived in Australia with distinctive logos showing Australian animals. They were called 'bush accordions', because they could withstand the very hot climate.
Charles Duguid (1884-1986); doctor who moved from xx to after World War I. From the 1930s, when he first contacted the aborigines of Australia, Duguid fought tirelessly for Aboriginal case. He was the founder of mErna Bella Mission, where people could live by their own culture and were taught in their own language. This was unusually progressive for the time. In 1947 Duguid and Donald Thomson led a campaign against the arrival of a Woomera Rocket Range. Both men wanted to warn the general public that you can not test nuclear bombs and missiles without destroying the traditional lifestyle of the original inhabitants.
Coffee Lounge meeting point in Woomera, where in the sixties you could eat so called Sloppy Joes.
Coober Pedy derived from the Aboriginal term ‘kupa piti’, meaning ‘whitefella in a hole’. The mining town of Coober Pedy is the opal capital of the world, by far the largest in Australia and produces more opaque than any other place on earth. You will find underground houses and hotels, which - contrary to what you might expect- are not dark, damp and cramped, but cool and comfortable and with their rose coloured sandstone walls they can compete with the coolest boutique hotels in major cities .