Podcast 20 features an extraordinary group of people who have just started meeting regularly to support each other through challenges and troubles that most would find impossible.
This group of a dozen or more grandparents are raising their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The parents of these kids have deserted them for a range of reasons and these grandparents – the parents of the parents are the safety net.
Karen Thomas and Vanessa Bragg from PlayAbility in Bega have bought these families together. PlayAbility provides early intervention services for families who have young children with a disability or developmental delay.
You are about to meet people that carry an interesting range of emotions – sadness and despair, mixed with joy, humour, and love.
What stood out to me as I listened to these stories is that these people walk among us, carrying the most heartbreaking experiences, stories that have gone unheard, told by people who haven’t been recognised or supported – until now.
I’ve beeped out the names of the kids to respect their privacy.
Local writers group Mnemosyne posed the question – ‘Is feminism still relevant?’
A lively discussion followed.
Your host will introduce you to the panel and the meaning of Mnemosyne.
The discussion doubled as the launch of a new local journal. The Kickstarter fundraising campaign runs until the end of September hoping to turn the journal into a reality.
You are about to find out more.
Your host is Ph.D. student, Jodie Stewart who has just been awarded the Deen De Bortoli Award for Applied History from the History Council of NSW for her work and research around the Bundian Way, and ancient Aboriginal pathway linking the Far South Coast and the Snowy Mountains of NSW.
‘Constance on the Edge’ follows a charismatic mother of six, as she confronts her painful past in war-torn Sudan, risking everything in Australia so her family can thrive. Filmed over 10 years in Wagga Wagga, the documentary is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in regional New South Wales.
And in the Eurobodalla, locals are invited to join a celebration in Moruya on Saturday morning (June 24) as the Welcome Scroll visits as part its national journey.
The Welcome Scroll is 5 metres long, features hand turned red gum handles and the signatures of representatives from over 140 Refugee Welcome Zones around the country – including the signature of Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes.
Head to Russ Martin Park between 10 and 12 this Saturday, they’ll be food and live music and you can check out the Moruya Markets at the same time.
Bill’s book “What is a Refugee?” is a guide to the complex issues that surface whenever refugees are discussed, while also telling the stories of families and individuals who have sought refuge.
Bill came to Merimbula keen to motivate and inform advocacy around the issue, hoping for a more humane approach to refugees from the Australian Government and sections of Australian society.
He spoke for almost an hour to around 200 people, I’ve boiled it down to about 17 minutes, I’ve cleaned the audio up as best I can but there is a little bit of background noise, which I hope you can forgive.
Today the story of a bunch of people with history and salt water in their veins, people making progress on ambitious plans to build a replica of an 1830’s luxury sailing ship.
Scottish-born entrepreneur, Ben Boyd sailed the 25 metre Wandererinto Sydney in July 1842, he soon set sail for Twofold Bay at Eden on the NSW Far South Coast following four steamers crammed with supplies down the coast.
Seeking his fortune, Boyd quickly established a network of pastoral properties spanning a landscape that took in the sea and the snow.
He also took charge of coastal steamship operations linking the region with Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmania, and was a player in Eden’s whaling industry.
Part of his enterprise remains – the impressive Seahorse Inn. Construction started in 1843 using sandstone imported from Sydney and oak fixtures from England.
Boyd’s Tower on the southern shores of Twofold Bay is his other legacy. Constructed in 1847 the 23-metre-high lighthouse was intended to guide his fleet of ships home.
Fundraising moves ahead, and so too does the ship building.
I caught up with one of the committee members selling raffle tickets. Jon Gaul says apart from the historical and tourist interest the completed Wanderer will also offer youth training and development programs.
My partners in this program can also help you explore much of this history, Light to Light Camps explore the coastline between Boyd’s Tower and Greencape Lighthouse in style – it’s kinda like Attenborough meets Kardashian.
The National Folk Festival in Canberra is underway and there is somewhat a South East take over happening with a bunch of artists from this side of the mountain performing.
People like Heath Cullen, Kate Burke, Mike Martin, Sam Martin, Stonewave Taiko and the Djaadjawan Dancers are all taking centre stage.
In the week’s leading up to the National, South East NSW provides a warm-up space to many of the performers booked to play in Canberra.
The Cobargo Folk Festival is one of those warm-up events and always makes the most of the international artists who fly in for the National – it’s often the case that Cobargo is the first gig in an Australian tour for musos from the UK, Europe and America.
Apart from music, folkies enjoy a chat and a lively speakers tents is part of every folk festival.
At Cobargo this year, festival goers heard of an ambitious idea to change the way forests in South East NSW are managed and used.
The push to establish The Great Southern Forest aims to turn State Forests in the region into carbon sinks – creating jobs and economic opportunities through land management, restoration, and tourism.
Those driving the campaign see the end of the current Regional Forest Agreements in 2019 and 2021 as the chance to end native logging and move to a new economic model.
Dr Bronte Somerset, comes from a career in higher education, she has five children and 12 grand-children and is one of the advocates for The Great Southern Forest, she detailed the idea in a crowded speakers tent at the Cobargo Folk Festival.
Thanks to my partners in this podcast –Light to Light Camps, rolling out the red carpet on the 31 km track between Boyd’s Tower and Greencape Lighthouse south of Eden.
Council felt the risk of falling limbs was too great, and to be fair some in the community backed them.
Littleton Gardens was leveled to make way for a new civic precinct.
New trees were planted but the site has been the victim of vandalism a number of times – on one night in May last year around 50 mature trees were snapped, hacked or pulled out of the ground – the communities love and connection with the space had been broken.
In the last 6 months Littleton Gardens has got its mojo back, a partnership between Bega Valley Shire Council and SCPA – South East Producers – who use the space for a weekly farmer’s market, has seen leafy greens and other vegetables planted in the park.
The community is invited to pick the crop free of charge.
With autumn plantings going in a local charity will soon start grazing in the park, taking ingredients for the weekly meals they cook and serve to people and families doing it tough.
I caught up with the two volunteer gardeners working this space, Geoffrey Grigg and Marshall Campbell, also joining the conversation Sharon Zweck Coordinator of Ricky’s Place.
Thanks for tuning in and to my partners for this week’s program, Light to Light Camps, who let you explore the track between Boyd’s Tower and Green Cape Lighthouse in style, check their website for more info.
About Regional – a new place for the stories of South East NSW, in episode 7…
* Local Government across NSW is in limbo again as Gladys Berejiklian takes over from Mike Baird as Premier.
A sense that they might be in trouble at the next election has the new look Government reviewing and reconsidering some its past decisions.
Council amalgamations are at the top of the list.
Here in South East NSW, the Snowy Monaro Regional Council has been operating since May 2016 – Bombala, Snowy River and Cooma-Monaro Shires weren’t forced to merge but not given much of choice either.
Until elections are held one man is in charge, former Cooma Mayor Dean Lynch. He says the recent talk from Macquarie Street has been destabilising and has complicated the process underway through the High Country.
*Catalina’s Neville Baker is a breast cancer survivor.
Recent numbers suggest there are about 120 men diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every year.
Neville’s diagnosis came at Christmas time in 2003. It was a rocky road from there, aside from the treatment many in Neville’s circle simply didn’t know how to handle a man with breast cancer.
I meet Neville over a coffee and cake at his home in Catalina, just south of Batemans Bay.
*The rich artistic community of South East NSW has inspired a discussion paper that calls for greater recognition and funding for regional artists.