Saturday, June 30, 2012

Seems we have a new Minister for Education in WA.  Having had no success with the previous one I will be sending a letter to the new one ('keeping at them' on recommendation from various people - including some politicians) and pushing our cause further.  Our strategies have changed - I understand one was recently put forward to be included in a review of school anti-bullying policies in Tasmania.  I am waiting to hear the results.  

The Stations Book is going brilliantly.  Am in the middle of contacting heaps of retired pastoralists and all are being absolutely wonderful.  Such lovely, unique people.  I have been requested to kick the stations visits off with one of the participating properties in WA in February - to experience the heat along with witnessing the new school year being started by the School of the Air and other distance learning facilities.  Also trying to gain support from some of the larger national groups that are affiliated with the outback - offering reciprocations.

Was recently approached to write a new book, which will follow the stations one.  This one will be about a maritime disaster which occurred about the same time as the Titanic but was completely overlooked due to the latter.  How very tragic.  We are trying to do something about it.

And one other new project is in the wind.  This idea has come from foreign shores and might already be underway in Australia but I have not heard of anything.  More on that later.....

Stay tuned.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm BAAAACK (think Garfield - I think - one of those cartoon characters anyway).  What a first half of the year it has been.  I am just hoping life will now settle down to a dull roar and the second half might be a little bit quieter.  I live in hope.  We have moved house, taken the most wonderful cruise (badly needed), had two deaths in the family and several others among friends and acquaintances, I have undergone eye surgery and face more later this year (so maybe life won't quieten down) and things are going very well with both my book on stations and the fight against bullying.  Re the latter, one of our list of strategies was recommended recently, by one of the Ministers for Education - a start, nowhere near enough, but at least it is a start.  More ideas are constantly being suggested and some of these are being considered.  As for my book - I am still receiving requests/inquiries from stations wanting to participate which is fantastic.  I have been requested to kick off the station visits themselves in February 2013 - in the hot weather and also the start of the new school year, so I will be able to experience that heat, also see how the School of the Air works these days.  To say I am meeting some of the most wonderful, funny, salt-of-the-earth people through this book, from every aspect, would be an understatement.  I continue interviewing retired pastoralists - what fantastic people.  Remind me so much of my own parents - Mum of course having her own origins in the city, before and moving out to spend so many years in pure isolation, then retirement seeing Dad and her moving back to the city.  Many of the women I am interviewing are from similar background and what interesting people they are.  Some of the men too, which is equally interesting.  I am so enjoying this.  Shortly before the cruise and our move I was approached by someone asking me to write a book about another subject - yes, all a big secret for the moment but I have agreed to do it.  Should be fascinating too and more wonderful people to meet. 

Stay tuned.....