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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 592632 times)
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Monkey All Star Jr.
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« Reply #780 on: January 18, 2008, 07:53:22 PM »

Australian jazz - mainstream

Australia has had a strong and vibrant jazz scene since the 1920s, commencing with visiting performers and reciprocated by Australian jazz performers touring regularly in America and Europe.

Mainstream jazz centres on 'swing', although most jazz styles combine elements of improvisation and the 'jazz swing feeling'. A swing feeling is a rhythm with a constant tempo. In jazz terms this requires a lot of syncopation (accenting notes before or after the beat) and a continuous rise and fall of tension.

Swing dominated the popular dance styles of the 1930s after the swing feel became more popular in the late 1920s. The dominant movement of the 1950s was 'mainstream' which centred on 'Swing', although it overlapped with 'Be-bop' and 'Latin', new modern styles which had emerged in the 1940s.

Australians have contributed to this modern and mainstream sound, as well as creating original sounds by mixing jazz styles and helping to define 'Nu' jazz. Innovative Australian jazz is contributing a defining edge to Australian music.

Jazz - a brief history

Jazz emerged around the late 1900s, in the post-slavery period, in New Orleans, a city which was intensely musically orientated. Brass bands were present at almost every social activity. Ragtime bands, singers, and pianists proliferated. Small town and settlement bands created music which combined ragtime and brass with other influences such as slave songs, African rhythms, spirituals, folk songs, the blues, church music, and dance music.

All of these elements contributed to a new style of music that was unique to the African-American population of southern USA. Jazz is often called 'the American classical music' and is seen as one of the most important contributions to music to emerge in the 20th century. Jazz groups typically include a rhythm, bass and percussion section. Groups can range in size from trios (usually piano, double bass and drums) through to big bands of up to 16 instruments (including trumpet, saxophone and other brass instruments) and everything in between.

Early jazz recordings and modern jazz styles

The earliest jazz was not recorded. In 1917, the white Original Dixieland Jazz Band made the first jazz recording. This led to an explosion in the popularity of jazz throughout America. Chicago was the jazz centre of the world in the 1920s with the move there of New Orleans bands. By 1920, New York had well and truly caught the jazz bug. From New York, jazz then spread throughout the world.

As it spread, it evolved into different forms. Jazz began to swing more in the late 1920s and into the 1940s. Much of it was played by big bands, and it is often called the big band era. Swing was the most popular style in jazz history and it attracted millions of dancers.

Be-bop is the name for the first modern jazz style and it is regarded as the most technically challenging. 'Cool' jazz developed as a reaction to bop. Latin jazz was a term used to describe the Cuban and Brazilian rhythms which started to be heard by audiences in the 1950s.

Bernie McGann, one of Australia's foremost jazz saxophonists, has been playing in Sydney since the 1950s and his forty year career parallels the important developments in modern jazz. Bernie McGann reflects the Cool Jazz style in his album Bundeena.

Jazz is considered a type of popular music to the extent that it is used as party, film or dance music. However, it is not popular in terms of its audience or its roots - rather it is often considered art music.

Jazz in Australia - popular and unconventional

When jazz first reached Australia in the 1920s it became popular as dance music, although it was not until the end of World War II that jazz became truly popular in Australia. In December 1946, the first Australian Jazz Convention was held in Melbourne and became an important gathering place for mainstream Australian jazz musicians. The convention has been held annually ever since. During this post-war period, jazz appeared in clubs, concert halls and hotels. Soon jazz societies, festivals and dances were springing up all over the country.

In Australia, jazz was also viewed as a radical, unconventional form of music and has often been associated with politics and radical ideas. Harry Stein, one of the founders of the Australian Jazz Convention, was also the founder of a left-wing political movement in Melbourne. Many people, particularly younger people, were attracted to jazz as an alternative to the popular music of the time. Jazz also gained a reputation for being the music of artists, painters and poets – the radicals of the time – and as such, found fans attracted to this bohemian element.

In the 1960s and 1970s there was a decline in the popularity of jazz in Australia due to the new pop and rock music styles that emerged. Since the 1980s however, jazz has experienced a revival in popularity.

Today, musicians like Vince Jones use lyrics to express political beliefs. Vince also has the ability to move his audiences in an emotional way, that they describe as insightful, subtle and discreet. This trait, more often associated with classical musicians, demonstrates the maturity of jazz in being able to reach audiences on many levels.

Australian jazz legends

Frank Coughlan

Frank Coughlan is recognised as the 'Father of Australian Jazz'. Frank played with the first jazz group to come to Australia in 1924 - the Californians. From 1928-30, Frank Coughlan played in England with the leading dance bands of the day - playing at the Savoy Hotel, Claridges, the Kit Kat Club and many others. He recorded with Jack Hilton's Band, Fred Elizalde, Arthur Rosebery and the New Mayfair Orchestra. When the Sydney Trocadero Club opened in 1936, Frank Coughlan and his Dance Band became world famous over night. He successfully combined a career as dance band leader in the commercial world of dance, with that of a dedicated jazzman.

Graeme Bell

One of the pinnacles of success in Australian jazz is to win a Bell Award, named after the acknowledged leader in the development of Australian jazz, Graeme Bell. Bell first played for Harry Stein, a jazz drummer, one of the founders of the Australian Jazz Convention.

Graeme Bell was born in Melbourne to a professional singer mother and comedian father. Graeme started learning the piano at eleven. In his early twenties, he heard jazz for the first time and started playing jazz with his younger brother, Roger, with whom he formed his first band in the late 1930s.

In 1947, Graeme and his Australian Jazz Band sailed to Europe to take part in an international youth festival in Prague. By the time they reached London, everyone was talking about the Bells, as the band came to be known, and their unique Australian style. A chance meeting between their manager and the manager of comedian Tommy Trinder in a London pub led to the band to be broadcast on the BBC, followed by sell-out performances throughout Europe.

By the time the band returned to Australia, jazz had flourished and they were offered a concert tour for the ABC. Since then, Graeme's name has become familiar to jazz fans throughout the world and he has rarely stopped performing.

Don Burrows

Don Burrows began playing in clubs as a professional musician in his mid-teens. By the time he was 16 in 1944, he was the clarinet soloist with Jim Gussey's ABC Dance Band. In 1950, he made the first of many overseas trips and was even offered a job with Count Basie (a legendary American band leader of the 1930s).

In 1973, Burrows was awarded an MBE – the first such honour for an Australian jazz musician. He continues to play flute, clarinet and saxophone with jazz ensembles, both in Australia and around the world, and has even performed with such diverse groups as the Sydney String Quartet and Galapagos Duck.

Kerrie Biddell

Music has always been in Kerrie Biddell's genes – both her parents are pianists and her grandmother used to play piano for silent movies. Kerrie started playing the piano at age five but took up singing after a bout of arthritis. She auditioned for a rock band called the Affair and introduced the band to jazz elements. Eighteen months later, they played with Don Burrows and soon won a trip to London in a battle of the bands competition.

These days, Kerrie is a dedicated jazz singer who is exploring the boundaries of using her voice as an instrument, rather than just singing the words to a song. She has also won numerous awards, including a Mo award. She is widely regarded as the diva of Australian jazz.

James Morrison

James Morrison was given his first instrument at the age of seven, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. James Morrison debuted in the USA at age 16 with a concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Following this were performances at the big festivals in Europe, playing with many of the legends of jazz such as Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King and Ray Brown.

James has performed for royalty and presidents and in 1997, he was recognised for his service to the arts in Australia and awarded a medal of The Order of Australia. While most know him as a trumpeter, he also plays trombone, euphonium, flugel horn, tuba, saxophones and piano. James is also a patron of several youth orchestras and a celebrated composer.

The strength of mainstream music in Australia is reflected in the wide range of Australian jazz festivals and the fact that the Australian Jazz Convention is still going after more than sixty years. Almost every week, a jazz event is held somewhere in Australia - there are hundreds of jazz festivals held around the country every year.


....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #781 on: January 18, 2008, 08:19:22 PM »

Some YouTube videos:

Johnny O'Keefe


Little Pattie


John Farnham


James Morrison


killing heidi



....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
Monkey All Star Jr.
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« Reply #782 on: January 18, 2008, 08:26:06 PM »

Australian folk music

Folk music is music which originates in and is handed down by oral tradition amongst common people. In the early days of the Australian colonies, convict ballads and songs became the foundation of Australia's later day folk music and its first original compositions.

Many early Australian singers recycled tunes from England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland and adapted these to lyrics and verse about their experience in the colonies. Songs such as Girls of the Shamrock Shore, Bound for South Australia, Botany Bay, Van Diemen's Land, Maggie May and Convict Maid all tell (often sad) tales of long sea journeys to our distant colonies.

Convicts were not systematically segregated, by religion or nationality and learned songs from one another which were then passed on, to survive later, for example, in Irish enclaves. The fiddle, concertina, banjo, mouth organ, penny whistle and tea chest were popular instruments.

A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson and Henry Lawson argued in 1892, in verse, that the main influence on the Australian folk song tradition has been Irish - based on the wide spread singing of Willie Reilly, an Irish ballad among bush workers.

Bush songs, ballads and music influenced and defined the folk music of the 1950s. They recorded contemporary events, the lives and loves of bushrangers, bolters, swagmen, drovers and shearers.

Indigenous folk music and folk music about Indigenous peoples have been part of the oral tradition within Australian folk music. The Sydney 2000 Olympics reinforced the popularity of songs such as Neil Murray's My Island Home, made famous by Christine Anu, and widely adopted by younger Australians as an anthem for national reconciliation with Australia's Indigenous peoples.

Convict folk songs

Many convicts were unable to read or write very well, like a large percentage of the British population at the time. The use of songs was particularly important as it provided a means to record popular feelings as well as events and individual's stories.

Convict songs like Jim Jones, Van Diemen's Land, Moreton Bay and hymns to bushrangers were often sad or critical. Convicts, such as Francis MacNamara, known as 'Frankie the Poet', were flogged for composing original ballads with lines critical of their captors. Despite this, 'the convicts could not be stopped from singing' (Edgar Waters).

The lines from the song Moreton Bay (c. 1920s), attributed to Francis MacNamara, tells of the hardship a convict has experienced at different penal settlements around Australia:

    I've been a prisoner at Port Macquarie
    At Norfolk Island and Emu Plains
    At Castle Hill and at cursed Toongabbie
    At all these settlements I've been in chains
    But of all places of condemnation
    And penal stations in New South Wales
    To Moreton Bay I have found no equal
    Excessive tyranny each day prevails

Moreton Bay was known to the bushranger Ned Kelly who seems to quote it in part of his rambling 'Jerilderie letter' (1879).

Railway, war and union songs 1890s - 1950s

Henry Lawson was a Sydney railway worker for a time, and his verse from 1899 records the divisions between first and second class on the railways:

    Yes, the second class were waiting in the days of serf and prince
    And the second class are waiting - they've been waiting ever since
    There are gardens in the background, and the line is bare and drear,
    Yet they wait beneath the signboard, sneering 'Second Class wait here'

The experience of wartime, especially World War I, was immortalised in ceremony, story and song, as seen in the 1917 song The Sleeper Cutter's Camp by Dan Sheahan:

    My sole address at present is a battlefield in France
    If it's ever going to alter there is only just a chance
    To dodge the "Jerry" rifles and the shrapnel flying around
    I've burrowed like a bunny to a funkhole in the ground
    The floor is just a puddle and the roof lets in the damp
    I wish I was in Aussie where the Sleeper Cutters' camp.

The folk movement and the union movement have consistently worked together in sharing resources to compile songbooks, as well as unions sponsoring tours and recordings by folk singers. The 'Union Singers' are a group of unionists who specialise in union songs. The Union is Strength (1976) shows the diverse range of singers and styles which contribute to union songs, including The Fagans, Judy Pinder and The Solidarity Choir.

New Australian folk styles

Since the 1970s, Australian folk songs have been influenced by migrants from diverse backgrounds which dominated Australia's working life after World War II. New Australian folk styles, generated by the children of these migrants, are influenced by the ancient folk traditions of Europe, Egypt and Africa.

Western Australia has been the source of significant influence on modern and new Australian folk music styles. ARIA Award winning folk musician, Kavisha Mazzella creates folk music based on her unique multi-cultural heritage, endowed via an Irish-Scottish-Burmese mother and an Italian father, who migrated to Perth in 1960. Kavisha acknowledges her inspiration in drawing upon the Italian folk revival of the late 1970s to form various ensembles: the trio 'I Papaveri' (The Poppies), 1981; the Italian women's choir, 'Le Gioie Delle Donne' (The Joys of Women), 1990; and the Italian women's choir in Melbourne called 'La Voce Della Luna' (The Voice of the Moon), 2006.

The new Australian folk sound is well illustrated when, instead of an organ, Kavisha chooses a harmonium, which is 'a softer, warmer kind of sound, earthier', for the song All God's Beggars. This song is from the album Silver Hook Tango, released through Black Market Music Australia in 2003.

The Waifs, Donna and Vikki, learnt their music from their father, a fisherman from Albany Western Australia, and a classic campfire style guitarist who can play any song with 4 chords. Their first album, as a trio with Josh, whom they met in Broome, in 1996 was released independently and their 4th album in 2002 was recorded in Los Angeles and Melbourne. The Waifs celebrated #3 spot on Triple J's Hottest 100 in 2002, and have played to the crowds of the Tamworth Country Music Festival. After years of non-stop touring both here and overseas they have finally cracked mainstream popularity

Indigenous folk music

In the late 1980s, Kev Carmody was seen as an Aboriginal folk and protest singer, a kind of black Australian Bob Dylan - using a combination of folk and country music and hard-hitting lyrics about land rights, Aboriginal pride and dignity.

One of the themes in Indigenous folk music in the 1990s was the suffering experienced from children lost, in songs such as Archie Roach's, Took the children away, (1990) produced by Paul Kelly (which won 2 ARIA awards) and award winning Leah Purcell's, Run, Daisy Run (1998). In this song, an Aboriginal mother tells her 4 year old daughter 'Run Daisy run ... the white Troopers are coming, go and hide wherever you can hide'

Folk festivals

The folk festivals circuit trodden by folklorists and performers mirrors the itinerant travels of the bush workers of the last century and continues to preserve the folk traditions of Australia. Today, folk music can be as much a dominant economic influence for regional economies as was the work done by the convict and bush worker balladeers. Tens of thousands of visitors attend individual festivals worth millions of dollars to the Australian economy. For example, WOMADelaide, 2005 attracted over 65,000 visitors and was estimated to be worth over $5.7 million to the local economy.

The new Australian folk music draws upon from folk styles from around the world, including Gaelic, Celtic, Ceilidh, Sevdah, Romany, African, Cajun, Breton, American country, Bluegrass and Klezmer which are heard at a range of Australian folk festivals. For example, the enduring song lines and traditions of Jewish, Eastern European and Greek cultures were presented at the 2004 National Folk Festival.

Collections and recordings of Australian folk songs

Until the 1950s, there were no published collections or recordings of folk music. In the 1950s, John Meredith started recording old-timer singers born in the late 1800s. In addition to the bush songs recorded, a number of early folk tunes were recorded from around Sydney town. A key singer was Ina Popplewell, born c. 1870, Darlington, Sydney; who recorded folk songs such as Take Me Down the Harbour. This song was described as being very popular around Sydney in the 1900s.

Some folklorists believe that the wide spread use of electronic media has almost killed the oral traditions of the folk song tradition. In contrast, other writers believe the 'digital tradition' is contributing to saving the folk traditions.


....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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« Reply #783 on: January 18, 2008, 08:32:14 PM »

Australian country music

Country music, a derivative of folk music, originated in southern and western USA and consisted mainly of rural songs accompanied by a string instrument, usually a guitar or fiddle.

Country music in Australia has its origins in the folk songs sung from the 1780s to the 1920s, based around themes of Australian folklore, especially bush ranging, loneliness and isolation, endurance, drought, floods, droving and shearing. These themes still endure.

Country music can be defined by 'simple chords, strong storyline, memorable chorus and country instruments' (Max Ellis). Simple harmonies allow the music to be easily played and remembered. Strong storylines tell a tale, whether of a pub with no beer, or a broken heart. A memorable chorus supports the storyline and also assists with easy recall. Country instruments, such as the guitar, banjo, fiddle and harmonica create the distinctive country music sound.

By the 1930s country music was an established part of rural life in Australia. This was due in part to the widespread popularity of radio, which was introduced in 1923. Country music from the USA, especially the Carter Family, a musical family from Virginia, and Jimmie Rodgers (1897 - 1933), a railroad worker from Mississippi who sang complex yodels with a distinctive voice, became well known

An Australian style emerges - Tex Morton (1916 - 1983)

In the 1930s a recording artist had a great influence on the development of an Australian country music style. A New Zealand born singer and songwriter, Morton spent half of his lifetime in Australia and later sang his own songs about his experiences in Australia. His distinctive style influenced future country musicians and earned him the title of Father of Australian Country Music.

Early stars - Buddy Williams, Shirley Thoms and Smoky Dawson

Buddy Williams (1918 - 1986), an orphan who was raised on a dairy farm near Dorrigo, was inspired by Tex Morton. From the age of 15, Williams busked with his guitar around the New South Wales (NSW) North Coast, Newcastle and Sydney. At the age of 21, Williams landed a recording contract with EMI in Sydney.

Australia 's first female solo country music recorded artist, Shirley Thoms (1925 - 1999), was only 16 when she recorded for the label Regal Zonophone. One of Thoms' most famous songs, Faithful Old Dog, emerged from her early recording sessions.

In 1952 a singer and performer called Smoky Dawson (1914-) began a radio show, called The Adventures of Smoky Dawson. This show stayed on air for ten years, and at its peak was broadcast on 69 stations across the country. Through this radio program and other TV appearances Smoky Dawson gained a reputation:

    Smoky became a yodelling, whip cracking, knife throwing, film acting, song writing, singing, matinee idol, radio & TV super star…
    History of Country Music in Australia - A Tribute to Smoky

Growth in popularity - chart hits, travelling shows and Hoedown, 1940s - 1970s

In the 1940s and 50s country music continued to grow in popularity, with performances in town halls, show grounds and talent quests.

One of Australia 's greatest country music stars, Slim Dusty (1946 - 2003), began to write the first of the 1000 songs he would complete during his lifetime. Slim Dusty was born David Kirkpatrick, in Kempsey, NSW. By the age of 10 he was already composing country music songs and identifying himself as a country music artist. Dusty is Australia 's most successful and prolific performer, with more Gold and Platinum albums than any other Australian artist on record.

In 1957 Dusty recorded and released a song that would become Australia 's first international number one hit - The Pub with No Beer. This song used verse written by the outback poet Dan Sheahan in 1943, set to music by Gordon Parsons:

    Then the swaggie comes in smothered in dust and flies
    He throws down his roll and rubs the sweat from his eyes
    But when he is told, he says what's this I hear
    I've trudged fifty flamin' miles to a pub with no beer

Other successful songs from this period included I've Been Everywhere (1959), by Geoff Mack and Little Boy Lost (1960) by Johnny Ashcroft, based on the true account of a 4 year old that went (temporarily) missing in Guyra, NSW.

The Slim Dusty Show joined the Buddy Williams Show, the Rick and Thel Show and others on the outback circuit. By 1964 Dusty had established an annual round Australia Slim Dusty tour - a 30,000-mile, ten-month journey.

In the 1960s and 70s, new country music performers appeared, including The Singing Kettles, John McSweeney, Jean Stafford and Johnny Heap. In Tamworth, 1965, the local radio station 2TM began to broadcast an Australian country music segment called Hoedown with great success. Hoedown was presented by the country music personality John Minson and it attracted such national interest that further country music events were initiated: the Bi-Centenary Show (1970), the Australasian Country Music Awards (1973) and the Tamworth Country Music Festival (1973). Tamworth became the country music capital of Australia

Festivals, awards and competitions 1980s

In 1979 a new competition was established in association with the Australasian Country Music Awards. This competition was called Star Maker and it assisted promising new country music stars by providing 12 months of intense promotion. The inaugural winner was Grand Junction, later winners included Lee Kernaghan (1982), Keith Urban (1990), Gina Jeffreys (1991) and Cat Southern (2006).

Across Australia there was enough interest for other country music festivals to become established. The Boyup Brook Country Music Festival, in Western Australia (WA) in 1979 and the National Country Music Muster in Queensland (QLD) in 1982.

The Boyup Brook Country Music Festival incorporates activities such as the Boyup Ute and Truck Muster, WA's largest Bush Poets Breakfast and a street carnival. This four-day festival still attracts large crowds today.

The National Country Music Muster is an annual event staged in the Amamoor Creek State Forest Park, QLD. The Muster, a non-profit community-based festival, also raises funds to assist charities Australia-wide. Since 1982 over AUS $10 million has been raised from the large crowds that visit each year.

The Tamworth festival has grown from strength to strength and is now recognised internationally as one of the 10 best music festivals in the world. In 2007, it was estimated that approximately 100,000 visitors came to Tamworth for the festival.

Country music today

From the 1990s, Australian country music entered mainstream popularity, with artists such as James Blundell topping the pop charts. Blundell's duet with James Reyne Way Out West was one of the biggest selling singles of 1992. In 2003 Kasey Chambers was awarded an ARIA for the Best Female Artist, over competition such as the Australian pop star Kylie Minogue.

Other stars won recognition for their achievements with Golden Guitars, including Gina Jeffreys, Beccy Cole, Adam Brand, Troy Cassar-Daley and Colin Buchanan. Several Australians also achieved success overseas, such as Keith Urban whose 2004 Album Be Here reached four times platinum in the United States.

Another Australian who has achieved success with country music overseas is Sherrie Austin. At the age of 14 Austin was invited to open for Johnny Cash's 1985 Australian tour, two years later she moved to the States to pursue songwriting and performing.

Despite having its origins in the USA, country music in Australia has given a modern form of expression to experiences of life in the bush, which might have previously been recited in verse or sung as bush songs. In recent decades, country music has also consolidated its position as a popular and populist tradition, with the attendance of hundreds of thousands of fans at festivals throughout Australia and a large number of top-selling albums and songs.



....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
Monkey All Star Jr.
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« Reply #784 on: January 18, 2008, 08:50:29 PM »

More YouTube links :

Botany Bay


Moreton Bay


Archie Roach


The Waifs


Jean Stafford (line dance -wait for the music)


Tex Morton



....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
« Reply #785 on: January 25, 2008, 09:16:38 AM »

Happy Australia Day, Tib! sunny
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« Reply #786 on: January 25, 2008, 12:45:52 PM »

Happy Australia Day....wish I was there...will be in spirit

Monkey All Star Jr.
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« Reply #787 on: January 26, 2008, 01:26:08 AM »

Thank you for the Australia Day wishes CJ and Mum.

Some of our history for you this time :

European discovery and the colonisation of Australia

European mariners

The first records of European mariners sailing into 'Australian' waters occurs around 1606, and includes their observations of the land known as Terra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land). The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutchman, Willem Janszoon.

Between 1606 and 1770, an estimated 54 European ships from a range of nations made contact. Many of these were merchant ships from the Dutch East Indies Company and included the ships of Abel Tasman. Tasman charted parts of the north, west and south coasts of Australia which was then known as New Holland.

In 1770, Englishman Lieutenant James Cook charted the Australian east coast in his ship HM Barque Endeavour. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of England on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming eastern Australia 'New South Wales'. The coast of Australia, featuring Tasmania as a separate island, was mapped in detail by the English mariners and navigators Bass and Flinders, and the French mariner, Baudin. A nearly completed map of the coastline was published by Flinders in 1814.

This period of European exploration is reflected in the names of landmarks such as the Torres Strait, Arnhem Land, Dampier Sound, Tasmania, the Furneaux Islands, Cape Frecinyet and La Perouse. French expeditions between 1790 and the 1830s, led by D'Entrecasteaux, Baudin, and Furneaux, were recorded by the naturalists Labillardière and Péron.

The First Fleet and a British colony

Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet, comprising 11 ships and around 1,350 people, arrived at Botany Bay between 18 and 20 January 1788. However, this area was deemed to be unsuitable for settlement and they moved north to Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, landing at Camp Cove, known as 'cadi' to the Cadigal people.

Governor Phillip carried instructions to establish the first British Colony in Australia. The First Fleet was under prepared for the task, and the soil around Sydney Cove was poor. The young colony relied upon both the development of farms around Parramatta, 25 kilometres upstream to the west, and also trading food with local Aboriginal clans.

The Second Fleet's arrival in 1790 provided badly needed food and supplies; however the newly arrived convicts were too ill, with many near to death, to be useful to the colony. The Second Fleet became known as the 'Death Fleet' - 278 of the convicts and crew died on the voyage to Australia, compared to only 48 on the First Fleet.

The colony experienced many other difficulties, including the fact that there were many more men than women - around four men for every woman - which caused problems in the settlement for many years.

Contacts and colonisation

In the winter of 1791, the process of British colonisation of Western Australia began when George Vancouver claimed the Albany region in the name of King George III. In the summer of 1801, Matthew Flinders was welcomed by Nyungar upon his arrival aboard the Investigator and various items were exchanged. On the 1802 voyage from Sydney, Flinders recruited two Aboriginal people, Bungaree, who had sailed with him on the Norfolk, and Nanbaree. The visit of Flinders and other mariners to the coast of Arnhem Land is recorded in the paintings of 'praus' and European ships at rock art sites.

Initially, relations between the explorers and the Aboriginal inhabitants were generally hospitable and based on understanding the terms of trading for food, water, axes, cloth and artefacts, a relationship encouraged by Governor Phillip. These relations became hostile as Aborigines realised that the land and resources upon which they depended and the order of their life were seriously disrupted by the on-going presence of the colonisers. Between 1790 and 1810, clans people of the Eora group in the Sydney area, led by Pemulwuy of the Bidjigal clan, undertook a campaign of resistance against the English colonisers in a series of attacks.

Law and land in New South Wales

From 1788 until 1823, the Colony of New South Wales was a penal colony. This meant that there were mainly convicts, marines and the wives of the marines although free settlers started to arrive in 1793. In 1823, the British government established a New South Wales parliament by setting up a Legislative Council as well as a Supreme Court under the New South Wales Act 1823 (UK). This Act is now seen as a first step towards a 'responsible' Parliament in Australia.

It was also intended to establish English law in the colony with the establishment of NSW criminal and civil courts. However, there were significant departures from English law when the first cases were heard in the courts. The first civil case heard in Australia, in July 1788, was brought by a convict couple. The convicts successfully sued the captain of the ship in which they had been transported for the loss of a parcel. In Britain, as convicts, they would have had no rights to bring this case forward.

The question of land ownership by Indigenous people was not dealt with by the colonisers until the mid-1830s. In 1835, John Batman signed two 'treaties' with Kulin people to 'purchase' 600,000 acres of land between what is now Melbourne and the Bellarine Peninsula. In response to these treaties and other arrangements between free settlers and Indigenous inhabitants, such as around Camden, the NSW Governor, Sir Richard Bourke issued a proclamation. Bourke's proclamation established the notion that the land belonged to no-one prior to the British crown taking possession.

To effectively over-ride the legitimacy of the 'Batman treaty' the British Colonial Office felt the need to issue another Proclamation. The Colonial Office proclamation stated that people found in possession of land without the authority of the government would be considered trespassers. This was despite and because many other people, including a report to the House of Commons in 1837, recognised that Aboriginal occupants had rights in land. Never-the-less, the law in New South Wales variously applied the principles expressed in Bourke's proclamation. This would not change until the Australian High Court's decision in the Mabo Case in 1992.

In 1861, the NSW government opened up the free selection of Crown land. The Crown Lands Acts 1861 permitted any person to select up to 320 acres on the condition of paying a deposit and living on the land for three years. The Acts also limited the use of Crown lands by Aboriginal people as until this time, pastoral lands were still able to be legitimately used by them.

As a result of Crown Land being available for selection, great conflicts between squatters and the selectors ensued. Scheming in selecting and acquiring land became widespread. The Acts had a powerful impact on the ownership of land. The Acts also affected the use of bush land across vast regions of the colony. In the view of some observers, these disputes over access to land also encouraged bushranging.

Despite its problems, the colony of New South Wales grew, and the Port Jackson settlement is now the site of Australia's largest city - Sydney.

Establishment of other British colonies

Van Diemen's Land

The first British settlement on the island was made at Risdon in 1803 when Lieutenant John Bowen landed with about 50 settlers, crew, soldiers and convicts. The site was abandoned and in 1804 Lieutenant David Collins established a settlement at Hobart in February 1804. The colony of Van Diemen's Land was established in its own right in 1825 and officially became known as Tasmania in 1856.

Western Australia

Western Australia was established in 1827. Major Edmund Lockyer established a small British settlement at King Georges Sound (Albany) and in 1829 the new Swan River Colony was officially proclaimed. Captain James Stirling was its first Governor. The colony was proclaimed a British penal settlement in 1849 and the first convicts arrived in 1850.

South Australia

The British province of South Australia was established in 1836, and in 1842 it became a crown colony. South Australia was never a British convict colony, although a number of ex-convicts settled there from other colonies. Around 38,000 immigrants had arrived and settled in the area by 1850.


In 1851 Victoria (Port Phillip District) separated from New South Wales. The first attempt at settlement was made in 1803 by Lieutenant David Collins but the harsh conditions forced him to move on to Tasmania where he eventually settled Hobart in February 1804. It was not until the Henty brothers landed in Portland Bay in 1834, and John Batman settled on the site of Melbourne, that the Port Phillip District was officially sanctioned (1837). The first immigrant ships arrived at Port Phillip in 1839.


In 1859 Queensland separated from New South Wales. In 1824, the penal colony at Redcliffe was established by Lieutenant John Oxley. Known as the Moreton Bay Settlement, it later moved to the site now called Brisbane. Around 2,280 convicts were sent to the settlement between 1824 and 1839. The first free European settlers moved to the district in 1838 and others followed in 1840.

Northern Territory

In 1825 the area occupied today by the Northern Territory was part of the colony of New South Wales. It was first settled by Europeans in 1824 at Fort Dundas, Port Essington. In 1863 control of the area was given to South Australia. Its capital city, Darwin, was established in 1869, and was originally known as Palmerston. On January 1 1912, the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and became part of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Recognition of Australia

The name 'Australia' was first suggested by Matthew Flinders and supported by Governor Macquarie (1810-1821). At a meeting in 1899, the Premiers of the other Colonies agreed to locate the new federal capital of Australia in New South Wales, and added this section to the Australian Constitution. In 1909, the State of New South Wales surrendered a portion of this territory to the Commonwealth of Australia, the site of present day Canberra.

Australia Day Anniversary

While formal dinners and informal celebrations to mark the landing of the First Fleet at Camp Cove were held on the 26 January each year, the first official celebration of English colonisation was held in 1818. During the colonial period, 26 January was called Foundation Day in New South Wales. Other colonies celebrated with their own dates of significance relating to the founding of their colonies. Western Australia, for example, celebrated Proclamation Day on 21 October each year.

Since 1901, when Australia became a federation of the six colonies, the landing of the First Fleet at Camp Cove has evolved from a small commemorative New South Wales holiday into a major national celebration, recognised as Australia Day. From 1994 all states and territories agreed to celebrate Australia Day on the actual day.

For many Indigenous Australians however, 26 January is not a day of celebration but one of mourning and protest. On the morning of the 26 January for the 1938 sesquicentennial (150th) celebrations, Aboriginal activists met to hold a 'Day of Mourning' conference aimed at securing national citizenship and equal status for Aborigines. Citizenship rights for all Aborigines were recognised following a referendum on the issue in 1967. In an attempt to heal some of the pain of Australia's past, there is now an advanced Reconciliation movement.


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« Reply #788 on: January 26, 2008, 01:31:17 AM »


Following Federation as a new nation (the Commonwealth of Australia) on 1st January, 1901 the Commonwealth Government announced a Federal Flag design competition on 29th April, 1901. The review of Review for Australasia, a Melbourne journal, had initiated an Australian flag competition in 1900, a unique event at the time. It was agreed that the entries received by this journal would be accepted in the Government’s competition. The contest attracted 32,823 entries from men, women and children. An expert panel of judges assessed the entries using guidelines which included history, heraldry, distinctiveness, utility and cost of manufacture, On 3rd September, 1901, a public ceremony was held at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, where Lady Hopetoun, wife of the Governor-General, opened a display of the entries in the competition. The Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Edmund Barton, announced that five entrants, who had submitted similar designs, were to share the honour of being declared the designers of Australia’s own flag. They were: Ivor Evans, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy from Melbourne; Leslie John Hawkins, a teenager apprenticed to a Sydney optician; Egbert John Nuttall, a Melbourne architect; Annie Dorrington, an artist from Perth; and William Stevens, a ship’s officer from Auckland, New Zealand. The Commonwealth Government and the Review of Reviews for Australasia provided ₤75 each and the Havelock Tobacco Company added ₤50 to this making a total of ₤200 prize money, a considerable amount at the time. The five winners received ₤40 each.

The Australian National Flag features the five stars of the constellation of the Southern Cross and the Commonwealth Star, and the combined crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick. The union of crosses represents Australia’s early settlers. The Commonwealth Star with its seven points represents the unity of the six Australian states and the seventh point stands for all Australian Territories. Under the Flags Act of 1953, passed unanimously by parliament, it was confirmed that our "Stars and Crosses" design be the chief national symbol by law, custom and tradition and that it be honoured with the title "Australian National Flag". The new status of the national flag was emphasized when the act of parliament received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II, on Her Majesty’s visit to Australia in 1954. The Australian rules of flag etiquette are designed to ensure that the national flag is displayed with the dignity befitting its status.

The Australian National Flag identifies a free and democratic people in a nation united in purpose. Our national flag belongs equally to all Australians whatever their origins. Each of the symbols on the flag has a special meaning for Australians. The stars of the Southern Cross represent our geographic position in the Southern Hemisphere; the Commonwealth star stands for our federation of States and Territories; the Crosses represent the principles on which our nation is based, namely, parliamentary democracy, rule of law and freedom of speech.

In 1996 the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, proclaimed 3rd September as Australian National Flag Day, to commemorate the day in 1901 on which our national flag of "Stars and Crosses" was first flown. It is the right and privilege of every Australian to fly the Australian National Flag.


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« Reply #789 on: January 26, 2008, 01:34:10 AM »


The Australian Aborigines who have a greater knowledge of the night sky than most white men, have surrounded the heavenly bodies with countless myths explaining their origin. One myth says that the stars of the Southern Cross are the man Mululu and his daughters.

Mululu, the leader of the Kandra tribe, had four daughters of whom he was very fond, but to his sorrow he had no son. When he grew old, he called his daughters together to discuss their future. He said that he expected to die soon, so, since they had no brother to protect them from the spite and jealousies of the women or from being forced into marriage with a man whom they disliked, he wanted them to leave the earth when he died and to meet him in the sky. The father then explained that, with the aid of spirits of the night, he had recently visited a clever medicine-man, Conduk, who was willing and able to help the girls reach their new home.

When their father died, the daughters set out to find Conduk, whose camp was far away to the north. They had to travel many days before they reached it, and they recognised Conduk by the long thick beard by which their father had described him. Resting beside his camp was a huge pile of silver-grey rope, which the medicine-man had plaited form the long hairs of his own beard. One end of the rope reached up into the sky.

The girls were terrified to learn that the rope was their only means of reaching their father again. But with the guidance and encouragement of Conduk they climbed to the top of the rope, where they were delighted to find their father waiting for them.

Now, the daughters are the four bright stars of the Southern Cross. Nearby and caring for them as is their father; the bright star Centaurus.


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« Reply #790 on: January 26, 2008, 01:36:55 AM »


The Australian National Flag was chosen by the Australian people in the year of national federation, 1901 from 32,823 entries received in a public design competition. The popular contest was initiated by a publication, The Review of Reviews and made official by the Commonwealth Government. The Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton was the master of ceremonies for the first raising of the large, blue national flag, measuring 11 x 5.5 metres. The event was held on 3  September 1901 when the flag was hoisted above the then Commonwealth Parliament, Melbourne.  Today, 3 September has been officially proclaimed and is celebrated annually as our Australian National Flag Day.


The Australian National Flag is a design of striking stars and crosses. This unique combination of devices has created an attractive and meaningful flag which, by law, custom and tradition is Australia’s chief national symbol. Our flag should be treated with dignity and respect as it represents all Australian citizens, equally of whatever, background, race,  colour, religion or age.  Our flag is a reminder of the contributions of past and current generations to the nation and of the inheritance that will be passed to future generations.


The three crosses, St George, St Andrew and St Patrick serve to represent the principles and ideals on which our nation was founded and is based on today; including parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.


The constellation of the Southern Cross indicates our geographical location in the southern hemisphere. This constellation of  stars relate to the various indigenous legends and remind us of our rich and precious Aboriginal and Torres Strait heritage.


The large seven pointed star is the emblem of Australian Federation. Six points represent the states and the seventh all the federal territories which together constitute the nation, the Commonwealth of Australia.


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« Reply #791 on: January 26, 2008, 01:45:54 AM »

Some websites for you to enjoy :




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« Reply #792 on: August 06, 2009, 02:25:47 AM »

Some sad news today :

Sam the Koala loses battle for life

Article from: Herald Sun....Patrick Horan, Matthew Schulz...August 06, 2009 02:51pm

SAM the koala, who became a worldwide symbol of hope and recovery in the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria earlier this year, has died.

She was expected to undergo surgery today to treat cysts as a result of urogenital chlamydiosis, a life-threatening disease that can cause infertility, urinary tract infections and blindness.

Vet John Butler told waiting media outside Morwell Veterinary Clinic this afternoon that due to complications with the disease, the best course of action was to put Sam down.
Mr Butler said that due to "extensive changes" in the condition of bladder and uterus this morning, the decision was taken to put Sam down before surgery to prevent her suffering too much pain.

Sam captured hearts across the world in photos and video that helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the CFA after the Black Saturday bushfires.

Koalas have low survival rates for abdominal surgery.

Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter spokesman Nic Pullen said yesterday the turn of events was extremely distressing.

"Sam was making good progress with her recovery, her burns had healed and she had even developed a strong maternal instinct taking care of some of the orphaned joey's admitted to the shelter over the past several months,” Mr Pullen said today.

“The discovery of cyst's due to chlamydia is very upsetting for everyone involved in Sam's recovery."
Up to 50 per cent of the koala population is affected by the disease, with past vaccines proving unsuccessful.

Sam’s image was flashed around the world, while a video of David Tree crouching down to offer the furry marsupial a gulp from his water bottle is among the most watched videos on couriermail.com.au.

The pair became accidental symbols of the devastating bushfires when Mr Tree found an exhausted Sam in the middle of burnt-out bush in Mirboo North.


A website set up for Sam :


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« Reply #793 on: August 08, 2009, 04:45:49 AM »

Sam the Koala lives on in Melbourne museum

Article from: The Courier-Mail....Kathleen Cuthbertson....August 08, 2009 12:00am

VICTORIAN bushfire icon Sam the koala will be displayed in the Melbourne Museum as a symbol of February's devastating fires.

Victorian Premier John Brumby last night confirmed that Sam's carers had accepted an offer from the museum to display the koala, who died during surgery on Thursday.

The museum also houses the preserved body of the racehorse Phar Lap, however it was not yet known if Sam would be displayed in his vicinity.

Mr Brumby said having Sam in the Melbourne Museum would ensure her story and the story of the bushfires was told to the millions of museum visitors.

"We will never forget the people and communities affected by those fires and we will never forget the courage and kindness of the firefighters and volunteers who helped them," Mr Brumby said.

"The story of Sam will help us to understand and remember the devastation that the events of February 2009 had on the people of this state and their extraordinary determination to recover and move forward with their lives."

Sam became a symbol of hope among the ashes after an image was transmitted around the world of her drinking water offered by CFA volunteer firefighter David Tree.


Short video also on the above link :

Koala Sam’s saviours devastated
Carer Colleen Woods and rescuer David Tree were shocked and sad to hear of her passing.


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« Reply #794 on: October 01, 2009, 09:55:41 PM »

Some news from our part of the world about the tragic earthquakes in Indonesia and the Tsunami in the Pacific islands.  There are related links on the page linked below, but the videos may not play out of this country :

100 Aussies 'missing' in quake zone

Natasha Robinson | October 02, 2009
Article from:  The Australian

UP TO 100 Australians who may have been in Sumatra when twin earthquakes struck the Indonesian island have not yet been accounted for.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said the Government had no information to suggest that any Australians have been killed in the earthquakes that struck the city of Padang and the Jambi region 200km to the east.

He said of 13 Australians who had registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs' Travel Smart program, four people had been accounted for.

But the Government believed that as many as 250 Australians may have been in the area of the earthquakes, which struck within four hours of one another on Wednesday evening.

“We've been able to make contact with nearly 140 of those, so potentially we've got more than 100 Australians in the area who we cannot account for,” Mr Smith said on ABC radio this morning.

“I don't want to be alarmist. Our experience in the past is that very many of these people are either elsewhere or are not in harm's way, they just haven't made contact with friends or family.

“But we're working very hard now to try and track these people down just to eliminate the possibility of Australians being involved.”

Mr Smith said the Government had no grave concerns for any Australian at this stage. “At this stage we've got no evidence or information that any Australian has either been injured or killed as a result of this terrible tragedy,” he said.

“But there is potentially a number of Australians out there and we do need to and want to track them down.”

Relatives of those who were known to be in Sumatra are being urged to make direct contact with their family member, and then advise DFAT that the individual is safe.

Mr Smith asked those who are unable to make contact with relatives to call the Government's earthquake hotline on 1300 555 135.

The number of Indonesians killed in the quakes has now risen above 1000, according to United Nations' estimates.

Urban search and rescue teams and engineering assessment teams are headed to Jarkarta today, and will be expected to arrive on the ground in Sumatra tomorrow.

An Ausaid team is also travelling to the affected area to begin medium-term humanitarian assessments.


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« Reply #795 on: October 01, 2009, 09:58:44 PM »

Tassie woman swept away

October 01, 2009 07:00am

A TASMANIAN woman was torn from her husband's arms as he tried to save her from the killer Pacific tsunami.

Their grief-stricken family revealed the desperate fight for life by John and Maree Blacker as they were swept up in a huge wall of water in Samoa early yesterday.

The well-known horse racing couple from Longford were spending an idyllic holiday on the tropical island to celebrate Maree's 50th birthday.

But tragedy struck in the early hours of yesterday morning when the tsunami -- generated by a huge undersea earthquake -- smashed into their resort without warning, destroying anything in its path and sweeping Mrs Blacker to her death.

Mrs Blacker and a six-year-old girl were last night confirmed as the Australians who died when the 8.3 magnitude quake and resulting tsunami struck Samoa and American Samoa early yesterday.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said there were grave fears for another three Australians who are missing.

Mr Rudd confirmed the death of the child, describing it as an "absolute tragedy".

There are fears the death toll of 113 could go much higher.

Mr Blacker's heartbroken sister, Gold Coast horse trainer Kelly Doughty, said her brother had described to her from his hospital bed how the tsunami hit.

"He's just pretty badly banged up and in shock in the moment," she said.

"He told us they were in their room and everything started to shake -- the bricks started to come down in the room.

"They ran to the carpark and held on to each other as the first wave came.

"He said they were swept apart by a second wave but managed to grab a tree. That's how he survived but he just couldn't hold on to her."

Mr Blacker was briefly escorted from hospital in Samoa for the heartbreaking task of identifying the body of his wife whom he fought desperately to save.

Mrs Doughty said her brother and Maree had been together about 25 years after she moved from the Gold Coast to Melbourne and then Tasmania.

They had a teenage daughter, Laura, 16, who yesterday remained in Tasmania with her grandparents.

The couple had stables in Longford and worked closely together in the successful racehorse training operation.

Mrs Doughty said both sides of the family were stunned and devastated that their relatives' celebratory holiday had turned to tragedy so suddenly.

The couple arrived in the Pacific Island nation on Friday for a 10-day holiday in celebration of Mrs Blacker's 50th birthday and a belated honeymoon.

"It was her birthday on the 22nd [of September] so this was a celebration of her 50th and a bit of a honeymoon which they never had because they were always so busy," Mrs Doughty said.

"They had only been there since Friday.

"It's just completely unbelievable. We're all just so stunned.

"I guess we just have to try to take some comfort from the fact John survived."

Mrs Doughty said the family's main concern was making sure Mr Blacker could return to Australia to mourn with his family.

"We're really not sure where to go from here," she said.

"We can't get in and he can't get out at the moment.

"We're not sure if the army is going to go in and evacuate or if the Government will step in."

Maree's brother-in-law Troy Blacker said the couple had lived, worked and played together for 20 years, united by their love of horses.

Troy Blacker, who was last night welcoming grieving family members and friends arriving at the family home at Longford, said the family received the terrible news from his brother early yesterday afternoon.

He said John had first called about 10.30am, after receiving medical aid in Samoa, to inform the family that he was OK, but had been separated from Maree.

"He said he couldn't believe he had survived," Mr Blacker said.

He said John had told them that they had fled the building they had been staying in and they would have been "lucky to get 20 steps" before the wall of water reached them.

Troy Blacker said they had horses to thank for the meeting of John and "this fabulous, outgoing, intelligent and down-to-earth lady from Queensland called Maree".

Baden Tuson, a friend for 20 years and a racehorse owner client for 15 years, said the Blackers were a loving couple.

He said he believed the Blackers could claim equal credit for the success of their racehorse training business.

"She was the organiser; she organised John," Mr Tuson said.

"She knew what she was doing. She was very capable."

Mr Tuson said Maree was very down to earth.

"She called a spade a spade. You always knew where you stood with Maree," he said.

-- with agencies


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« Reply #796 on: October 02, 2009, 05:27:07 AM »

New earthquake hits off Tonga; no tsunami alert

Article from: The Courier-Mail

October 02, 2009 12:07pm

A STRONG earthquake has struck near Tonga and Samoa, two days after a giant tremor caused a devastating tsunami which killed almost 150.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake, at a shallow depth of just 10km, struck 242km off Tonga's northwest island of Neiafu.

The quake occured at 11:57am AEST.

No immediate tsunami alert was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii.

    * Gallery: Tsunami hits Samoa
    * Survival: Surfer 'rode tsunami'
    * Aussie survivor: Get up, walk, another wave coming
    * Tsunami news: 21 dead from one family
    * Multimedia: Pacific quake and tsunami
    * Video: Pacific quake and tsunami kill 113

The quake was followed by two strong aftershocks, measuring 4.9 and 5.1, located off Samoa.

The epicentre was 377km from American Samoa capital Pago Pago, which was hard-hit by this week's 8.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Dozens of aftershocks have rocked the region since giant waves smashed the South Pacific islands on Wednesday, obliterating villages and tourist resorts in Samoa and American Samoa.

At least seven Tongans were killed when the tsunami swamped its outlying island of Niuatoputapu, causing widespread devastation.


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« Reply #797 on: October 02, 2009, 05:30:47 AM »

Tsunami victims' horror injuries

Article from: The Courier-Mail

By Greg Stolz......October 02, 2009 11:58am

AUSTRALIAN survivors of the Samoan tsunami have injuries shocking injuries caused by the force of the killer tidal wave.
Six Australians injured in the tsunami were admitted to Ipswich Hospital west of Brisbane early today after being airlifted to Amberley Air Force base on an RAAF mercy flight.

They included Tasmanian horse trainer John Blacker, who lost his wife Maree in the disaster, as well as two Queenslanders.

Ipswich Hospital emergency medicine specialist Dr Daniel Bitmead said some of the victims were suffering severe blunt force trauma, injuries consistent with inhaling seawater and infected wounds.

"There have been injuries that I've never seen before and that's certainly reflected of the massive force involved", he said.

He said the patients were obviously distressed and were being offered counselling as well as treatment for their injuries.

Two of the victims were in a serious condition, with one being admitted to intensive care.

"I'm confident they'll recover at this stage but obviously they've got a long way to go", he said.

Dr Bitmead said all the patients had urged Australians to support the relief effort in Samoa.


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« Reply #798 on: October 02, 2009, 08:56:46 PM »

Indonesia earthquake: Hunt for 60 missing Australians

Article from: The Courier-Mail

Stefanie Balogh and Steven Wardill

October 03, 2009 12:00am

AUSTRALIAN officials are working around the clock to locate about 60 Australians who might have been in the area of this week's powerful earthquakes that rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

So far no Australians are reported to be among the 1100 people killed in the disaster, or among the hundreds who have been injured.

Indonesia has appealed for foreign aid as the health risks from decomposing bodies rises.

And in the villages outside the capital of West Sumatra, survivors who have spent two nights sleeping out in the open said they were hungry and frightened, and still waiting for the first signs of government help.

        * Pictures: Earthquake disaster in Sumatra
        * Relief effort: Plea for Aussie help
        * Audio: Stephen Fitzpatrick reports from Padang
        * Multimedia: Indonesia earthquake special
        * More: Indonesian earthquake in-depth

"Our main problem is that there are a lot of victims still trapped in the rubble. We are struggling to pull them out," Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said.

Many countries have already pledged aid, but efforts to organise a widespread rescue operation are hampered by blocked roads, broken powerlines, and patchy communications.

"Looking at the situation, the chance of pulling people alive from the rubble is very slim. Their chance of survival is about 20 per cent," Indonesian Red Crescent secretary general Djazuli Ambari said.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said his Government's priority was to identify any Australians affected and get them "all the help and support they need".

"There remain about 60 Australians still unaccounted for, but I caution these numbers may change as further information comes to hand," he said.

A team of 40 Queensland experts yesterday flew to Sumatra. It was put together by the State Government and includes medical experts and people with engineering, mechanical and hazardous material skills.

Premier Anna Bligh said the Government expected to be involved in the Sumatra relief effort and the Samoan tsunami tragedy for some time.

"The people of Sumatra are going through a terrible incident and we stand ready to help them," she said.

"We know from our own experience here in Queensland of natural disasters that the relief and recovery effort is likely to take many, many months.

"Obviously we will need to roster on those teams and have people coming and going but we are sending as much as we can by way of expertise."

The Australian Defence Force yesterday launched its Sumatra earthquake relief effort after the Indonesian Government accepted an offer of emergency aid from Australia.

Defence Force head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said this latest operation was being managed alongside the help to Samoa.

"We are well placed to support both operations," he said.


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« Reply #799 on: October 02, 2009, 08:58:37 PM »

Samoa tsunami: villagers bury the dead

Article from: The Courier-Mail

John Ferguson and Amy Coopes

October 03, 2009 12:00am

FAALIGA Fauena is both chief mourner and foreman. He is bent over his family's freshly dug grave in Samoa, guiding labourers as they pour into it a cement lining.

When the tsunami struck Upolu's south coast this week he lost three children and three grandchildren.

All around him in the village of Saleapaga police wearing masks and plastic gloves are looking for bodies among the debris.

The first of the victims had been taken to the island's de facto capital, Apia, but now the police want to bury the dead. "It's been a few days now," explains Constable Tapelu Tapelu, concerned about the potential for the spread of disease.

        * Gallery: Tsunami hits Samoa
        * Aid effort: Plea to help victims
        * Tsunami news: 21 dead from one family
        * Multimedia: Pacific quake and tsunami
        * Video: Pacific quake and tsunami kill 113

In many south villages, there is little visible damage, the tsunami taking with it the destruction it wrought. Elsewhere heaps of rubble are bound to remain as grim monuments to the devastating event.

Reconstruction officials have already begun the repair work in many parts. And aid workers have arrived in key areas between Lalomanu in the southeast and Lepa in the south.

However, some small villages continue to miss out, relying on just canned spaghetti and rice.

Poutasi, a tiny marine park on the coast road, was wiped out. Eight died.

The tsunami smashed the village, ruined the school and took with it houses, and livelihoods. The medical clinic is still standing but barely usable, filled with rocks and silt.

Dogs rummage for food in what little remains.

The area stinks of death.

Suavai Laki, his wife Sui, and their children survived. The rushing water only made it just past their house.

But it was still destroyed, along with several boats.

What little they have left is sitting under the cover of their fale.

Mr Laki looked on as the first wave hit. "We need help," he said.

The same message comes from tsunami victims further down the road, worried that the further they are from civilisation, the less attention they will receive. "Don't forget us," says Satele Faamu in the village of Satalo.

Carol and Jack Batchelor moved to the island from the US five months ago. Jack spent the minutes of the tsunami desperately clinging to two toddlers, children of his best friend Kenny. One child was saved.

Jack sheds tears for what might have been.

"We will rebuild," says Carol, as if trying to convince herself.

Most of the staff in their foreshore resort were killed. Already enterprising locals are offering disaster tours for tourists, a run down the coast roads where the worst of the damage took place.

"It's sick," a German backpacker tells me.

The same man explains how his father in Bavaria had text messaged him on the morning of the tsunami, warning him that the killer waves were on their way.

The news of the earthquake and likely tsunami reached Europe almost instantly. Many there knew more, and earlier than those in Samoa.

But complaints are rarely heard among those trying to salvage their lives.

EMERGENCY workers have given up hope of finding more survivors from the Samoan tsunami.

While thousands of homeless huddled in makeshift hillside camps, and the official death toll reached 190, officials said the massive international aid effort had switched from rescuing people to recovering corpses.

"It's no longer a rescue effort, it's more like recovery and finding out what's happened in some remote villages," a Samoan disaster management official said.

"There are a lot of homeless people, thousands probably. Eighteen per cent of the entire population is affected in some way."

The bodies of the four dead Australians are expected to be released as early as next week.

Samoan authorities appear set to hold coronial inquiries into how they died although police understandably expect death by drowning to be the overwhelming finding.

Six-year-old Clea Salavert Wykes was named yesterday as the fourth Australian to die.

She is listed on Samoan coronial records as victim number 89 of the disaster.

In a brief statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, her parents Jorge Salavert and Trudie Wykes lamented all the deaths.

"We are torn by the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Clea," they said.

"She was the happiest of miracles for us and a wonderful big sister to her brothers. She was a very special person and we miss her terribly.

"Her death is deeply felt by her family in Australia and Spain."

As distraught residents worked to salvage possessions and use bits of their destroyed homes for shelter, officials pegged the infrastructure damage bill at $40 million.

In the once-idyllic tourism hotspot of Lalomanu, there were heart-rending scenes as five dead children were found – including one up in a tree – and the body of a Western woman was pulled from the rubble of a resort.

In American Samoa and Tonga the death toll is expected to eventually reach about 50.

Aid workers carried out a door-to-door survey of the missing, as anxious relatives feared the worst.

But in a rare lighter moment, a baby boy who survived the waves was named Tsunami in honour of his feat.


....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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