Inbox and Environment News: Issue 428

November 10 - 16, 2019: Issue 428

Frog ID Time

It's Frog ID time November 8-17. Get the Frog ID app on your phone (Appstore) and record what you hear - it's the best way to identify frogs. An email response identifying your call comes to you a couple of weeks later, with lots of information about the frog you've recorded. Give it a go. More information:

Extra Funding To Help Wildlife Rehabilitators

November 4th, 2019: NSW Government
Up to $1 million will be allocated to help volunteer wildlife rehabilitators rescue and recover injured native animals affected by the current NSW bush fires and drought conditions.

This funding is in addition to the $4.05 million for wildlife rehabilitation under the NSW Government’s Koala Strategy.

Community rehabilitation groups and the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife can access the funds.

Around 100,000 animals are rescued annually in NSW and that number is quickly increasing due to environmental challenges such as bush fires and drought.

With more than 40 bush fires currently burning across NSW and the ongoing drought seeing an influx of injured animals, Environment Minister Matt Kean said the delivery of more funding is a priority.

“The wildlife rehabilitator sector contributes more than $27 million per annum in unpaid time and resources,” Mr Kean said.

“Our wildlife heroes need more support so they can keep doing what they do best – rehabilitating our sick and injured native animals.”

11,000 Scientists Warn: Climate Change Isn’t Just About Temperature

November 6, 2019
by Thomas Newsome, Lecturer, University of Sydney and William Ripple, Distinguished Professor and Director, Trophic Cascades Program, Oregon State University

Exactly 40 years ago, a small group of scientists met at the world’s first climate conference in Geneva. They raised the alarm about unnerving climate trends.

Today, more than 11,000 scientists have co-signed a letter in the journal BioScience, calling for urgently necessary action on climate.

This is the largest number of scientists to explicitly support a publication calling for climate action. They come from many different fields, reflecting the harm our changing climate is doing to every part of the natural world.

Why no change?
If you’re thinking not much has changed in the past 40 years, you might be right. Globally, greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, with increasingly damaging effects.

Much of the focus to date has been on tracking global surface temperatures. This makes sense, as goals like “prevent 2℃ of warming” create a relatively simple and easy-to-communicate message.

However, there’s more to climate change than global temperature.

In our paper, we track a broader set of indicators to convey the effects of human activities on greenhouse gas emissions, and the consequent impacts on climate, our environment, and society.

The indicators include human population growth, tree cover loss, fertility rates, fossil fuel subsidies, glacier thickness, and frequency of extreme weather events. All are linked to climate change.

Troubling signs over the past 40 years
Profoundly troubling signs linked to human activities include sustained increases in human and ruminant populations, global tree cover loss, fossil fuel consumption, number of plane passengers, and carbon dioxide emissions.

The concurrent trends on the actual impacts of climate change are equally troubling. Sea ice is rapidly disappearing, and ocean heat, ocean acidity, sea level, and extreme weather events are all trending upwards.

These trends need to be closely monitored to assess how we are responding to the climate emergency. Any one of them could hit a point of no return, creating a catastrophic feedback loop that could make more regions of Earth uninhabitable.

The need for better reporting
We urge national governments to report on how their own results are trending. Our indicators will allow policymakers and the public to better understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities to alleviate climate change.

Some of the indicators could even be presented monthly to the public during news broadcasts, as they are arguably more important than the trends in the stock exchange.

It’s not too late to act
In our paper we suggest six critical and interrelated steps that governments, and the rest of humanity, can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change:

  1. prioritise energy efficiency, and replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewable energy sources,
  2. reduce emissions of short-lived pollutants like methane and soot,
  3. protect and restore the Earth’s ecosystems by curbing land clearing,
  4. reduce our meat consumption,
  5. move away from unsustainable ideas of ever-increasing economic and resource consumption, and
  6. stabilise and ideally, gradually reduce human populations while improving human well-being.
We recognise that many of these recommendations are not new. But mitigating and adapting to climate change will entail major transformations across all six areas.

How can you help?
Individuals can make a difference by reducing meat consumption, voting for political parties and members of government bodies who have clear climate change policies, rejecting fossil fuels where possible, using renewable and clean sources of energy, reducing car and air travel, and joining citizen movements.

Lots of small changes will help inspire larger scale shifts in policy and economic frameworks.

We are encouraged by a recent global surge of concern. Some governments are declaring climate emergencies. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change.

As scientists, we urge widespread use of our indicators to track how changes across the six areas above will start to change our ecosystem trajectories.

This Article was published first in The Conversation, republished under a Creative Commons licence.

Local Flowers: For Local Christmas Cards 2019

The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA) will be at Avalon Market Day on Sunday November 17, in Dunbar Park Avalon. 

Find out what we've been up to. Our display of weeds and weed information is unique to PNHA - we're there to help you! 

Our range of $2.00 cards with flora, fauna and local scenery is bigger than ever, great for Christmas. Photos from last year below - weed chat, and cards.

Avalon Boomerang Bags November Update

Beryl, one of the original volunteers and pictured here with Laurel,  popped in on Tuesday with about 20 bags she'd made at home.

If you're keen to make bags at home, we have plenty of fabric available. If coming to collect it on a Tuesday is difficult please contact us and we'd be DELIGHTED to make alternative arrangements so you can help with our bag production. 

SUNDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2019     9am to 4pm

It's on again and we're delighted to have a stall in Dunbar Park. As the largest local market in Sydney, the streets of Avalon come alive with music, stalls, food and more. We'd love to see you and if you can spare some time, come and join us on the stall.

All enquiries to Laurel please or reply to this email:

Thanks to the Market Day committee for supporting our initiative and giving us a community space.

How The Mountain Pygmy-Possum Can Be Saved From Climate Change

November 4th, 2019: Lachlan Gilbert, UNSW 
Palaeontologists look to the fossil record to come up with a new strategy to save the endangered mountain pygmy-possum from becoming a climate change casualty.

Mountain pygmy-possums are being acclimatised to lowland area conditions at Secret Creek Sanctuary, Lithgow. Picture: Lee Henderson/UNSW

Scientists have come up with a radical plan to save the critically endangered mountain pygmy-possum: take some from their alpine habitat and introduce them to a warmer, lowland rainforest environment.

In a study published today in Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions B, researchers from UNSW Sydney use fossil evidence going back 25 million years to argue that the mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) is a species living on the fringes of what its biological ancestors would have enjoyed as a more temperate, less extreme environment.

And with the clock ticking on Burramys’ future, the authors, including scientists from UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), have wasted no time in starting a breeding program in Lithgow, NSW, in a bid to get the diminutive possums acclimatised to what they believe will be more hospitable, lowland surroundings.

Possum under pressure
UNSW Professor Mike Archer, a palaeontologist who has led research into the Riversleigh fossil deposits since 1976, says the mountain pygmy-possum is one of the species most vulnerable to climate change in Australia, and faces extinction if alpine snowfalls continue to decline as climate modelling predicts.

“These possums are one of the few mammals in Australia that hibernate during the winter,” he says.

“When temperatures drop and food resources become scarce, they hibernate deep within humid rock piles. Snow cover on these rock piles provides critically important insulation from the subzero air above. The rockpiles also provide shelter in summer when temperatures outside can rise to lethal levels.”

Field research into how these possums have survived the extreme alpine conditions were long carried out by Dr Linda Broome and more recently, Dr Hayley Bates, both co-authors on the published paper. Their findings provide clarity about the possums’ essential requirements, including the need for wet-to-humid conditions in the rockpiles while they are hibernating.

“To hibernate successfully, they need temperatures to hover between 1.5 and 2.5oC,” says Dr Bates, Associate Lecturer at UNSW’s School of BEES.

“But if there isn’t enough snowfall, or snow melts early because of a warming or drying event, the outside cold air will penetrate the rocks. Anything less than 0.6oC will wake them from their hibernation and they can shiver and starve to death.

“You just need two bad winters like this and the species could collapse.”

Burramys numbers are at a critical level, with estimates of no more than 2500 living in alpine regions of NSW and Victoria. Making the situation even more dire for the miniature marsupial is that the bogong moth – the main food source it relies on when it comes out of hibernation – is also dwindling in numbers. It too is believed to be another casualty of drought and ultimately, climate change.

The living versions of the mountain pygmy-possums were only discovered in Australia in 1966. Picture: UNSW

Secrets to survival
It’s an all too familiar story where climate change and loss of habitat combine to inflict a double whammy of destruction upon a native species. But rather than be gloomy about the future for the Burramys, Professor Archer has been inspired by the fossil record to suggest a way to avoid extinction.

“The fossil record for all other species in the genus Burramys indicates that their current habitat is a far cry from their comfort zone for the last 25 million years,” he says. “All previous populations thrived in cool temperate lowland rainforest communities—not the alpine one.”

Professor Archer thinks that the mountain pygmy-possum, which was only first discovered as a living animal in 1966, has been marooned in a less-than-ideal alpine environment where it has been forced to use strategies such as hibernation to survive.

“What probably happened is that the modern species followed cool rainforest which invaded the alpine areas during a period of relatively warmer, lush conditions. After these conditions deteriorated with further climate change, they were stranded in an environment that was at the extreme end of their adaptability.”

Without knowledge of the fossil record, it would be reasonable to conclude that the mountain-pygmy possums required the extreme conditions of the alpine zone in NSW and Victoria, Professor Archer says. But he believes the rapidly growing fossil record demonstrates that this is not the case.

“Closely-related ancestral species have been found in 25 million-year-old fossil deposits in the Tirari Desert, South Australia when this area supported scrubby lowland rainforest,” he says, adding that they were also in the lowland rainforests of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in northwestern Queensland from 25 to 15 million years ago and the Hamilton area of northwestern Victoria 4.5 million years ago, when this area was covered in cool temperate lowland rainforests.

Between a rock and a hot place
“But now the only place they survive is in the alpine zone, and they can’t get out of there, because they need the rock piles in the highlands to survive extremes of temperature,” Professor Archer says.

“Migration downslope might have been possible when forested slopes provided vast corridors to lowland forests, but these have now been cleared for agricultural land.”

In response, Professor Archer and his colleagues from UNSW, University of Sydney, University of New England and various local and international environmental organisations have hatched a plan to save the mountain pygmy-possum by establishing a new colony of these animals in lowland areas of dense forest. There are now two breeding pairs in Secret Creek Sanctuary at Lithgow which are being maintained in temperatures that would have suited the ancestral species of Burramys.

“We’ve raised $150,000 so far to construct a breeding facility. We anticipate using closed circuit TV to monitor these possums in their individual enclosures,” Professor Archer says.

Dr Bates adds that the sanctuary at Lithgow will also provide more opportunity to study the animal, as there is “still so much more to learn about them than we currently understand”.

“This will also provide an opportunity to introduce the Secret Creek colony to potential food species they will encounter when they are eventually released and monitored in suitable protected areas of lowland forest,” she says.

When the mountain pygmy-possum is in a warmer environment, it stops hibernating. Picture: UNSW

Burramys just the beginning
The group is aiming to start with a colony of about 25 individuals. If the project is a success and it can be shown that the mountain pygmy-possum can establish a foothold in a more temperate environment, Professor Archer anticipates that other threatened animals could be rescued in this same way.

“An animal facing a very similar gloomy outlook in the alpine zone is the Corroboree frog, which is critically endangered.

“We don’t yet have the same kind of fossil record of it in places like Riversleigh but because it occurs today in the same alpine habitats as the mountain pygmy-possum, it is at least probable that these frogs followed a similar prehistoric path up into the alpine zone. Given that climate-change-driven factors are likely to lead to its extinction, we are suggesting that before it disappears, it would be sensible to at least consider the option of translocating a population down into the same original lowland wet forest environments that have kept species of Burramys comfortable for the last 25 million years.

“Another critically endangered species in Australia that does have a long fossil record is the swamp tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) from Western Australia. It’s critically endangered in part because the swamps it needs are drying up. But we found in a 15-million-year-old deposit at Riversleigh a turtle in the same genus and quite possibly the same species, in what would have been a pool in cool, temperate lowland rainforest.”

Key to the future is in the past
Professor Archer and colleagues say that more attention needs to be paid to fossil evidence when developing conservation strategies.

“While it’s been traditional to assume that ecologists have the best understanding about the needs of endangered creatures to survive, in reality many animals and plants have a wider adaptive resilience than their current situations might suggest,” he says.

“This is where the fossil record comes in. It’s not unusual for endangered species to be occupying the ‘extreme’ edges of a once much wider habitat. Giant pandas, for example, were once widespread over lowland areas but, because of agriculture, have long since been confined to mountainous areas.

“Understanding former distributions, even way back in time, can provide new insights into translocation strategies that might work for species otherwise threatened in the extreme edges of their once much wider distribution.

“I hope that this will be the beginning of greater collaboration between ecologists and palaeontologists. When ecologists are challenged to develop strategies to save species, they could invite palaeontologists to the table to tap their knowledge about the past to find potential conservation strategies not evident in the modern world.”

The researchers are hoping to raise more funding for the project and expect to have a proper breeding facility built by early next year.
If this translocation project is successful, other animals threatened by climate change may be rescued in the same way. Picture: UNSW

Australian Pollinator Week 10-17 November

By: Fiona Chambers, CEO, Wheen Bee Foundation

Calling all Citizen Scientists. We need your help!

The anecdotal ‘Windscreen Test’, how often you need to clear bugs from your car’s windscreen when travelling, suggests we are experiencing declines in insect numbers in Australia.  But we simply don’t have data to quantify changing insect numbers, and that is why we need your help!

Two recently published long term studies over 3-4 decades from Germany and Puerto Rico recorded drastic reductions in insect biomass within protected areas over 75%. These results featured in a January 2019 Foresight Brief by UN Environment- 011 Early Warning, Emerging Issues and Futures. The German study was also featured an Australian edition of ABC Foreign Correspondent – Insectaggedon, on 15 October 2019.

Insects are one of the pillars of our ecosystems, providing essential ecosystem services through pollination, nutrient cycling and in the food chains of birds and other insectivores.

Australia has around 2,000 native bee species that are important pollinators. There are also a couple of thousand species of butterfly, wasp, fly moth, beetle, thrip and ant species, some of which are documented pollinators. With so little information available about many insects in Australia, citizen science project ‘Wild Pollinator Count’ was established by researchers. The project helps gather information on the ecology of insects by recording what flowers are visited by potential pollinators and where they are found.  

‘Pollinator insects are great for inquiry-based learning’ says Karen Retra, native bee naturalist and co-founder of the Wild Pollinator Count. ‘It encourages participants to become familiar with the diversity of insects and their roles. By comparing results on different plants and in different locations, we’re seeking to better understand which flowers are visited by which insects, which flowers host particular types of insects and which plants have the broadest range of insect types’.  

The information collected helps inform how we can improve our environment by planting to support a greater abundance and diversity of wild pollinators.

The next Wild Pollinator Count coincides with Australian Pollinator Week 10-17 November. Click here for more information about the Wild Pollinator Count. For additional activities and event ideas to celebrate Australian Pollinator Week click here.

Credit: Wild Pollinator Count

Bushcare In Pittwater 

For further information or to confirm the meeting details for below groups, please contact Council's Bushcare Officer on 9970 1367

Where we work                      Which day                              What time 

Angophora Reserve             3rd Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Dunes                        1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Golf Course              2nd Wednesday                 3 - 5:30pm 
Careel Creek                         4th Saturday                      8:30 - 11:30am 
Toongari Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer) 
Bangalley Headland            2nd Sunday                         9 to 12noon 

Winnererremy Bay                 4th Sunday                        9 to 12noon 

North Bilgola Beach              3rd Monday                        9 - 12noon 
Algona Reserve                     1st Saturday                       9 - 12noon 
Plateau Park                          1st Friday                            8:30 - 11:30am 

Church Point     
Browns Bay Reserve             1st Tuesday                        9 - 12noon 
McCarrs Creek Reserve       Contact Bushcare Officer     To be confirmed 

Old Wharf Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      8 - 11am 

Kundibah Reserve                   4th Sunday                       8:30 - 11:30am 

Mona Vale     
Mona Vale Beach Basin          1st Saturday                    8 - 11am 
Mona Vale Dunes                     2nd Saturday+3rd Thursday     8:30 - 11:30am 

Bungan Beach                          4th Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
Crescent Reserve                    3rd Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
North Newport Beach              4th Saturday                    8:30 - 11:30am 
Porter Reserve                          2nd Saturday                  8 - 11am 

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     2nd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

Palm Beach     
North Palm Beach Dunes      3rd Saturday                    9 - 12noon 

Scotland Island     
Catherine Park                          2nd Sunday                     10 - 12:30pm 
Elizabeth Park                           1st Saturday                      9 - 12noon 
Pathilda Reserve                      3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon 

Warriewood Wetlands             1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

Western Foreshores     
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay      2nd Sunday                        10 - 1pm 
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay           1st Monday                          9 - 12noon

Grants Available To Reduce Climate Change Impacts

NSW Government
NSW communities are invited to apply for grants that will assist them reduce climate change impacts such as heatwaves, bush fires or floods.

The Increasing Resilience to Climate Change (IRCC) community grants program is providing $600,000 in the first round of grants. Grants between $10,000 and $30,000 are available for individual projects.

Community groups can partner with local councils in their applications for funding under the IRCC.

The grants are funded through the Climate Change Fund, which allows the NSW Government to better support the community in its response to the effects of climate change.

Environment Minister Matt Kean said these grants will help local communities plan, coordinate and take action to increase their resilience and adapt.

“IRCC grant funding has already benefited Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils for a cool suburbs rating tool and Bega Valley Shire Council to upgrade community halls to be more climate-resilient during extreme heat events,” Mr Kean said.

Apply for round one funding by 31 January 2020 HERE

Aussie Bread Tags Collection Points

Collecting bread tags enables us to provide wheelchairs that change the life of disabled people in need, as well as keeping the tags out of landfill to help to preserve the environment. 

Bread Tags for Wheelchairs was started in South Africa in 2006 by Mary Honeybun. It is a community program where individuals and organisations collect bread tags, which are sold to recyclers. The money raised pays for wheelchairs for the less fortunate which are purchased through a local pharmacy. Currently about 500kg of bread tags are collected a month in South Africa, funding 2-3 wheelchairs.

We have been collecting bread tags nationally in Australia since September 2018 and now have more than 100 collection points across the country. In February 2019 we started local recycling through Transmutation - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in Robe, SA, where our tags are recycled into products such as door knobs and bowls. Tags from some states are still sent to South Africa where a plastics company called Zibo recycles them into seedling trays.

These humble bits of polystyrene can make a real difference so get your friends, family, school, workplace and church involved. Ask school tuck shops and boarding school kitchens, child care centres, aged care facilities, hospitals, cafes and fast food outlets to collect for you - they get through a lot of bread!

All the information and signage for collecting or setting up a public collection point is on our website.

Local Collectors
Lesley Flood
Please email for address -
Jodie Streckeisen
Please email for the address -

Jacky Winters In Spring – Stunning Scenes From The Nest

Published November 6, 2019 by BIBYTV
This Jacky Winter family (Microeca fascinans) was filmed in early October 2019 in the Capertee Valley, NSW. The nest tree is located within a private property that has undergone extensive habitat restoration over 25 years. Given the tree’s proximity to natural woodland and open forest, as well as planted sections, it’s not clear whether this specimen arose from the tree-planting program or self-seeded. Nonetheless, it contributes to the lightly wooded habitat in which Jacky Winters can thrive. (The opening photo and closing scene include the Jacky Winters’ territory. Their song/call can be heard during the third photo and habitat footage, and elsewhere.) Although the Jacky Winter is listed as “secure” in NSW, the species has declined in number and range mostly due to habitat loss and habitat degradation and/or fragmentation. Trees for nesting are only part of the equation. They also need diverse habitat that supports their prey (i.e. insects and other invertebrates), as well as fallen timber and stumps for perching. All of these factors are in abundance at the filming site. 

Nesting for any bird is a fraught process. Habitat restoration also means more natural predators (e.g. other birds and reptiles). Sometimes the threat is simply an otherwise benign bird (e.g. small honeyeater) stealing nesting material. Of course, the nesting behaviour of the Jacky Winter has evolved in response to nest predation and other challenges. The most obvious strategies of the species are nest concealment (i.e. very small saucer-shaped nest subtly located in a branch fork or similar and often decorated with lichen or bark to match its surroundings) and cryptic chick plumage. (The 7.38 mark of this video has the best example of this camouflage technique.) Indeed, this nest could have been easily missed if not for our filming habitat of stand/sitting for a lengthy period in one promising location. It was then the regular feeding of the sole chick became apparent. As this is our first and only encounter with this nest, the exact age of the chick isn’t clear (with best guess as no more than 13 days old; they fledge around 19 days). Nor do we know what happened with the other likely egg. (Clutch size is almost always two.) Note that the adults are indistinguishable by appearance alone, however it is likely that the female is mostly on screen. Only the female incubates eggs and broods the nestlings (i.e. sitting on them). Both sexes feed the young and remove faecal sacs. 

To reduce the chance of nest disturbance, visits to the nesting area were less than an hour per day, with the last visit on the third day just a brief progress check (whereupon the last nest scene of the chick lying low was collected). Moreover, this limited time mostly consisted of camera presence only as we have learnt from filming Willie Wagtail nests that the camera is more tolerated than a human close-by. (That said, some birds deliberately nest in proximity to human habitation to reduce predation. Another Jacky Winter nest was sighted last year in the house zone of the 140 acre property, but positioned much higher in a eucalypt.) Throughout filming the Jacky Winters seemed unconcerned and feeding of the chick was frequent. Note the relaxed demeanour of the preening adult during a break from nesting duties. But any unusual activities around the nest would create some wariness and should be as temporary as possible. After all, nest success (i.e. fledged young) can be as little as one in four or five nesting attempts, with many failing before hatching.

Blankets: An Investment For Life

Although you're probably not ready yet to buy your own blankets, when you do, it's worth saving up and getting a 100% wool version, which will set you back about $500-$1000 or more, than something synthetic that won't be warm enough in cold seasons. You can also buy bamboo now, a lighter blanket alternative if you have a good quilt to go over it in snow seasons.

Thought to have been first coined by Flemish weaver Thomas Blanquette (Blanket) who lived in Bristol, England, in the 14th century, the early blankets were made from wool, well known for its warmth and fire-resistant properties.

The etymology:
blanket (n.)
c. 1300, "coarse white woollen stuff," also "a large oblong piece of woollen cloth used for warmth as a bed-covering" (also as a cover for horses), from Old French blanchet "light wool or flannel cloth; an article made of this material," diminutive of blanc "white" (see blank (adj.)), which had a secondary sense of "a white cloth." - because blankets were originally made from undyed woollen cloth and would have been completely white.

As an adjective, "providing for a number of contingencies," 1886 (blanket-clause in a contract). Wet blanket (1830) is from the notion of a person who throws a damper on social situations in the way a wet blanket smothers a fire. In U.S. history, a blanket Indian (1859) was one using the traditional garment instead of wearing Western dress.

For a lot of cultures, the blanket doesn’t just rest on the bed though; think of the poncho, the bright and colourful serapes worn by Mexican men, the multi-functional Japanese patch-worked boro, and even the stories behind the handira, a Moroccan wedding blanket made by the Berber women. Beautifully decorated with sequins and tassels, these blankets take weeks to create leading up to the bride’s wedding. The handira is worn as a kind of cape on the wedding day, having been weaved with blessings and protection from the bride’s family to equip her for her marriage.

The poncho was one of the typical clothes of the Paracas, Pre-Inca Peruvian Culture around 500 B.C., from which originate the earliest to have been discovered so far. Nowadays the poncho is commonly associated with the Americas. As traditional clothing, the local names and variants are:
  • Ruana, in cold regions of Colombia.
  • Poncho, most of Spanish-speaking countries and worldwide.
  • Pala or Poncho, in Portuguese-speaking Brazil (mainly in the South).
  • Chamanto, only in Central Chile, poncho in the north and south.
  • Jorongo, usually larger or full-length, and often used for special occasions or horse-back riding.
  • Gabán, typical in Michoacán, Mexico.
  • Poncho chilote, a heavy woolen poncho of Chiloé Archipelago.
These are not only wearable art, they can function as a blanket too.

Araucanos and gauchos in Chile, 1888, by A. Racinet (1825-1893)

These too can be acquired still and once again, choosing quality will ensure you have something that lasts for life. Those that seem a bargain when buying often don't compare with those that can cost more - why buy something over and over when an investment in something of great quality will last you for decades and, in the long run, prove not only to be the best right then but also a lot cheaper than that 'cheap' version when you cost it out over all the time it will be keeping you warm?

When investing in something for yourself, the better you buy the better you will do - invest in the best - invest in yourself!

How we tracked down the only known sculpture of a WWI Indigenous soldier

Rupert O’Flynn with Rudolf Marcuse’s bronze bust of Douglas Grant, December 2016. Photograph courtesy Tom Murray.
Tom MurrayMacquarie University and Hilary HowesAustralian National University

Germany, 1918. Wünsdorf prisoner-of-war camp, not far from Berlin. An Australian Indigenous POW, Douglas Grant, sits as a model for a portrait bust by a German Jewish sculptor, Rudolf Marcuse.

The completed work is remarkable and of national significance. As Aaron Pegram, senior historian at the Australian War Memorial, recently explained:

It is the only known sculpture of an Indigenous member of the Australian Imperial Force made during the First World War.

But the whereabouts of the bust has remained a mystery for decades - until now.

Photograph of Douglas Grant. Courtesy of the National Archives of Australia

A few tantalising details of the sculpture were on the public record. An entry in The Australian Dictionary of Biography, for instance, states that Grant “became an object of curiosity to German doctors, scientists and anthropologists” and that Marcuse, who was sent to the camp to sculpt portraits of inmates, modelled Grant’s bust “in ebony”. Other biographies have mentioned a bronze or marble bust. But no-one seemed to know where it was - indeed, some questioned whether it existed at all.

After years spent searching European archives and contacting museums and art dealers, we have now found the bust in a small village in rural Wiltshire, England.

It belongs to a retired accountant, Rupert O'Flynn, who keeps it on a plinth in his sitting room and was delighted to hear of its extraordinary history and significance. Cast in bronze (not carved in ebony or marble as conjectured), it is a good likeness of Grant.

The sculpture photographed in 2016. Tom Murray

A Story Of Art, War, Propaganda And Race

The creation of this sculpture is a story of art, war, propaganda, race, and two individuals forced to flee state violence and oppression. Grant’s life is itself remarkable. Born around 1885 in the Australian Indigenous Nations of the tropical Queensland rainforest, he was “rescued” and adopted in 1887 by a Scottish-born couple, Robert and Elizabeth Grant. They later claimed his parents had been killed in a “tribal disturbance”, a commonly used euphemism for massacre at the time.

Douglas Grant with his adoptive family, c. 1896. National Archives of Australia, Canberra, SP1011/1, 2176. Reproduction courtesy NAA.

Raised by his adoptive parents in Sydney, Grant trained and worked as a draughtsman before joining the Australian Imperial Force in 1916. He embarked for Europe the same year as a private with the 13th Battalion. In early 1917, he fought alongside around 6000 Australians in the disastrous First Battle of Bullecourt. Half of them were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

Grant was among the 1,170 Australians captured. As Pegram puts it, they were

the largest loss of Australians as prisoners of war in a single action until the Fall of Singapore in 1942.

Master of sculpture, Rudolf Marcuse. Reproduction courtesy SMB-ZA.

Marcuse, meanwhile, was born in 1878 in Berlin. He studied at the city’s Royal Academy of the Arts and his life-size bronzes and decorative statuettes of public figures were well regarded, with Kaiser Wilhelm II and the King of Siam (now Thailand) among his customers.

When war broke out, the director of Berlin’s National Gallery tasked Marcuse with creating busts and statuettes of the “colourful mixture of peoples amongst our enemies”. The plan was to display them in an Imperial War Museum commemorating Germany’s anticipated victory. Marcuse’s search for “racially genuine types” led him to Wünsdorf, where the Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission, an organisation created to record the languages and folk songs of “exotic” POWs, was conducting a scientific experiment.

Only a handful of Indigenous Australians were interned in German POW camps. This made Grant “the prize capture”, according to Roy Kinghorn, an AIF colleague and friend from the Australian Museum. Brought up by white foster parents and with only a bookish knowledge of Aboriginal culture, he was, in fact, a disappointment to the cultural anthropologists. But evidently not to Marcuse.

Sadly, neither man wrote in detail about their meeting, but Marcuse’s lively descriptions of other POWs he sculpted show that he was interested in his models as individuals with unique life stories.

Tracking Down The Bust

The whereabouts of Marcuse’s bust of Grant had been unknown for decades, until we found a published photograph of it on the website of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

‘Aboriginal Australian.’ Photogravure on paperboard. Marcuse (1919a, n.p.). Reproduction courtesy Jüdisches Museum Berlin.

The museum has digitised large parts of its collections in recent years, including a portfolio of photographs of Marcuse’s busts and statuettes, published in 1919 under the title “Ethnic Types from the World War”. In this context, the bust of Grant was anonymously described as “Australian Aborigine” and sandwiched between a “Siberian” and a “Somali”.

We then tracked the bust from one art and antiques dealer to the next. Finally, we found a British dealer who remembered a “Negro” sculpture similar to the one in our photograph, and the name of the man who had bought it.

O'Flynn had bought the sculpture from the London Olympia Art & Antiques Fair a few years before we met him in 2016. He was thrilled to hear its story. “It has got a presence to it and it is big and bold,” he told us. “It’s just the sort of thing I like and it has a reality to it – it’s fantastic!”

He also mused on the strange journey this sculpture - a German bronze of an Aboriginal man - had taken. “It’s just bizarre for it to end up with me.”

Of National Significance

Douglas Grant with the ornamental pond and replica Sydney Harbour Bridge that he designed and built with colleagues at Callan Park in 1931. State Library of NSW.

Both Grant and Marcuse struggled to find a niche in later life. Grant returned to Sydney, was a confidant to Henry Lawson, and campaigned for the rights of Indigenous Australians. But it was a prejudiced era and he had difficulty finding permanent work. He spent most of the 1930s in a “hospital for the insane” and died in 1951, aged about 66.

Marcuse fled Nazi Germany for England in 1936. He had applied to join the British war effort as a freelance artist when he died in Middlesex Hospital in 1940, aged 62.

This sculpture is a unique record of their meeting. Given its national importance, we hope that one day it will find its way back to an Australian institution.The Conversation

Tom Murray, Senior Lecturer and former ARC DECRA Fellow in Screen Media, Macquarie University and Hilary Howes, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Archaeology & Anthropology, Australian National University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Curious Kids: Why Were There Separate Jobs For Men And Women In Victorian Times?

November 6, 2019
Answered by Alannah Tomkins, Professor of History, Keele University, U.K.

Why were there separate jobs for men and women in Victorian times? – Malala Yousafzai class, Globe Primary School, London, UK.

Many Victorians thought that women and men had very different bodies and skills, meaning they were suited to different types of work.

They assumed that men had strong muscles and could think more rationally than women. So they thought that men were better suited to hard physical labour (such as coal mining) or to professional work needing lots of learning (being a doctor, for example).

They also thought that women were physically weaker, with less brain-power, but that they were good at emotional things such as showing sympathy and kindness.

This meant that women were mostly given simpler jobs (such as being an assistant to a man), or ones that required caring (like nursing). Women were also expected to do a lot of work around the house – but they didn’t get any money for this.

Victorian values
Now we understand that both men and women can be either muscly or weak, clever or not so clever, kind or cruel. But for most of the Victorian era, people thought it was normal for men and women to be treated differently, and judged by different standards.

This made life difficult for both men and women. Men were expected to be the “breadwinner”, which means earning enough money to pay the rent and buy enough food to eat, without asking their partner and children to work as well. This could be stressful, if their jobs did not pay very well. Unskilled men working as farm labourers, for example, might have been paid less than one pound per week.
Women were expected to be mothers and housekeepers – to cook meals, keep the house clean and tidy and look after everyone. This could also be tough, as women might get bored, or struggle to run their homes using just their husband’s wages. Some women would have needed to do some paid work as well, if their husbands weren’t earning enough.

Most adults were expected to get married and have children – so it was quite difficult to escape this pattern, where the man is the breadwinner and the woman is the housekeeper.

A satirical photograph from 1901, where men’s and women’s dress and jobs are switched. Underwood & Underwood/Wikimedia Commons.

Hardworking women
Throughout the Victorian period, there were women who – by doing things that needed strength or intelligence – showed that they could be just as clever, strong or rational as men.

For example, Ada Lovelace was a mathematician – a pioneer who helped to make some of the first designs and programmes for computers. But she did this work for fun, rather than as a job, and was never given much credit for it during her lifetime.

Portrait of Ada Lovelace by Alfred Edward Chalon, 1838.

Lots of poorer women were paid to do work at home, which meant they had to keep working for long periods of time, often more than 12 hours a day, as well as trying to look after their children.

But they earned so little that they often had to focus on doing the job, rather than being a mum. Women who made clothes at home often worked so hard they were actually called “sweated” labourers.

Being human
Being emotional is a human trait, not a male or female one, so of course there were men who found it difficult to cope with the expectation that they should be strong and rational all the time. Men who did not think they could show their feelings could become quite ill.

It is difficult to find examples of men who confessed to emotional struggles, but the famous scientist Charles Darwin was poorly throughout his life, and historians have suggested this was partly caused by stress.

By the end of the Victorian era, there was a growing sense that women should be able to do more of the things reserved for men – which included getting jobs, voting, holding elected office and being celebrated for their achievements.

For example, Josephine Butler, campaigned for women’s rights and, after her death in 1906, her name was added to a public memorial celebrating reformers.

The range of jobs that men and women could choose to do grew throughout the 20th century. Now, it’s pretty normal for a man to be a nurse, or a woman to be a soldier. And though some old-fashioned ideas about the roles of men and women still exist, there’s much more freedom for everyone to choose whatever job suits them best.

This article originally appeared in The Conversation.


ROUND the wildest part of the Narrabeen coast, far below the sea, are the ruins of a vast sea-palace that once belonged to the King of the Sea-Gnomes. And this is the story attached to it. 

Red Gnarl was the wildest of all the Sea Gnomes, and he was the last king of all his race. He was hundreds of years old, and his beautiful palace was one of the great wonders of the deep. One of his cleverest Gnomes one day had found in a sunken ship a book describing a palace on the earth, and, filled with emulation, he had forthwith set to work to design and build one for his King, as exactly like it as their sea materials would allow. It is very beautiful below the sea, and this wonderful palace, rising amidst these fairylike scenes, was a dream of delight, with its gardens, terraces, and towers. Corals, red, pink, and white, seaweeds, and sea-flowers, all kinds of shells, and lovely pearls had all been utilised for its perfection, and it had taken one hundred years to build.

Then the delighted King desired to have a Queen to reign there with him, and he seized upon the lovely little daughter of one of the Merman Kings; but she loved a prince of her own race, and refused to marry the Gnome-King.' So he imprisoned her in a tower of red coral, and swore that if she did hot marry, him before the next great s;ea-storm came round he would cut off her fish's tail and keep her there for ever. 

Now, the poor Princess sat mournfully in her tower of red coral, softly singing a sad little song in her sweet voice, as she combed her golden hair with a pearl comb before her mirror, for she knew that none of her friends knew where she was, and she was afraid. And this was her little song: — 

'Blow, storm-winds, blow ! 
Across the rolling sea; 
Oh, let my true love know 
My plight thro' thee! 
Heave, billows, heave, 
And bring his help to me 
Ere 'tis too late — too late To set me free!'

 And a murmuring ripple of the water which flowed around the palace like our atmosphere carried her song away with it and whispered it into a wandering mermaid's ear, and she hastened to the Prince and told him all. Then the Prince wished to attack the palace with his mermen and carry the Princess away with him; but one of his Ministers, a grave and stately porpoise, begged him to refrain, lest the poor Princess might suffer at the cruel Gnome's hands, and advised stratagem. Then a band of his porpoises came to the Prince and offered to save the Princess if he would let them try. 

So they went to the Gnome's palace in a deputation and said to the Gnome King: — 
'You keep the Princess here, immured in her red coral tower. No wonder she is sad and is afraid to marry you. We are jugglers and tumblers; allow us to her presence, and we will so amuse and please her that she will be willing to be your Queen.' 

The King thought this advice so good that he brought the Princess down himself, and ordered the porpoises to exhibit before her. So they began to tumble and play wondrous tricks and gambols. 

Suddenly a number of them tumbled all over the Gnome King and hustled him about, so that he could see nothing of what went on, whilst others, surrounding the Princess, carried her safely outside the palace to where the Prince was waiting for her. He received his betrothed with great joy, and took her safely home, where he married her at once. 

And the Gnome King in his anger when he found her gone had his beautiful palace demolished, and then swam away to the ends of the sea and was never heard of after. FOR THE CHILDREN. (1913, March 19). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 27. Retrieved from

NB: Agnes Littlejohn wrote many poems and stories for youngsters and once lived at Manly.

Curious Kids: How Do Fish Sleep?

November 4, 2019
Answered by Culum Brown, Professor, Macquarie University

How do fish sleep? Do they keep swimming or do they sleep somewhere? – Anna, age 5, Thornleigh, NSW

Nearly all animals sleep. Sleep is very important for refreshing the mind and body. When people sleep we close our eyes and lie motionless for a long time. We may be less aware of what is going on around us and our breathing slows down. Some people are very heavy sleepers and it takes a LOT to wake them up!

Fish don’t have eyelids — they don’t need them underwater because dust can’t get in their eyes. But fish still sleep. Some sleep during the day and only wake up at night, while others sleep at night and are awake through the day (just like you and I).

A happy puffer fish. Flickr

How do fish know when it’s bedtime?
It’s pretty easy to tell when fish are sleeping: they lie motionless, often at the bottom or near the surface of the water. They are slow to respond to things going on around them, or may not respond at all (see some sleeping catfish here). If you watch their gills, you’ll notice they’re breathing very slowly.

People with fish tanks at home will know that when the lights go off at night, the fish become far less active. If you turn a light on in the middle of the night you’ll see how still they are.

Like people, fish have an internal clock that tells them when to do things like sleep and eat. So even if you accidentally leave the lights on at night, the fish may settle down and go to sleep anyway.

Some scientists have studied sleep in fish that live in caves where it is always dark. Even in some of these species there are times of low activity that look just like sleep. Of course there is no sunrise or sunset in caves so their rhythm is often different to fish that live at the surface in bright sunshine.

Some fish, like tuna and some sharks, have to swim all the time so that they can breathe. Its likely that these fish sleep with half their brain at a time, just like dolphins.

Parrot fish make a mucus cocoon around themselves at night — a gross, sticky sleeping bag which might protect them from parasites attacking them while they sleep.

Fish may dream like people do!
One wonders if fish dream while they are sleeping. So far we don’t have the answer to that question but recent video footage of a sleeping octopus showed it changing colours, which suggests it may have been dreaming about hiding from a predator or sneaking up on its own prey (which is why octopuses change colour when they’re awake).

Believe it or not, fish sleep is being studied to help us better understand sleep in people. Most of these studies use zebrafish and try to understand things like the effects of sleep deprivation (lack of sleep), insomnia (trouble getting to sleep) and circadian rhythm (sleep cycles).

Here is a cool video about sleep in animals, including fish.

Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to

River Buzzing After Premier’s Spelling Bee Win

8 November 2019
Words such as chihuahua and proscenium weren’t enough to trip up River Robinson in the senior final of 2019 Premier’s Spelling Bee. It took every spelling trick and tool that River Robinson knows, but this afternoon he proved practice makes perfect at the Premier’s Spelling Bee.

The Year 6 student from Yamba Public School won with the word proscenium, which means ‘the front part of the stage, especially the area in front of the curtain,’ according to the Macquarie Dictionary.

“My strategy for the unseen words was to go through all the combinations of how to spell the sounds, and I just thought in my head what looked right,” River said.

This year was his fourth attempt at the state final, and he said he was “so grateful” for the support of his parents, teachers and school in the lead up to the event.

Fourth time's the charm: Yamba Public School student River Robinson is the 2019 Premier’s Spelling Bee senior champion.

Earlier in the day Premier Gladys Berejiklian stopped by to watch the competition. She wished the competitors well, highlighting the role of the Premier’s Spelling Bee.

“The Spelling Bee is a fantastic way to not only support children to become better spellers and extend their vocabulary, but also to encourage them out of their comfort zones and introduce them to other keen spellers from across the State,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, who also attended the event, said she was proud of scale of the Premier’s Spelling Bee.

“This year we have seen an unprecedented participation of almost 170,000 students from 1,006 public schools across the State, which is just fantastic,” Ms Mitchell said.

Local representation “big boon” for small school
While every school represented in the final had cause to be proud of their students, the community at Warren Central School had more reason than any.

“The majority of our community is feeling the impacts of the drought,” said Warren Central School Principal Duncan Lovelock.

“A lot of local people have lost their jobs either directly or indirectly – even if they’re not in agriculture, when the money isn’t flowing they feel it.”

“In times like this every good news story matters to us,” he said.

Warren is a small town in central-west NSW, 120 kilometres north-west of Dubbo, with competitor Hayley Hall travelling 500 kilometres to compete at the junior state final.

Before the final, Mr Lovelock predicted that Year 4 student Hayley would put in a strong effort in what he saw as a “David and Goliath battle”.

“To have a student from our isolated, small, rural school, going up against bigger schools from the city, it’s been a tremendous boon for our community to get behind Hayley.”

2020 NSW Australian Of The Year Award Recipients Announced

November 4, 2019
2020 NSW Australian of the Year – Professor Munjed Al Muderis (North Sydney)
2020 NSW Senior Australian of the Year – Sue Lennox (Bellingen)
2020 NSW Young Australian of the Year – Corey Tutt (Gordon)
2020 NSW Local Hero – Bernie Shakeshaft (Armidale)

The 2020 NSW Australian of the Year Awards have been announced this evening in a ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

The four NSW recipients will join those from the other states and territories for the national awards ceremony at the National Arboretum in Canberra on 25 January 2020 – the 60th anniversary of the awards.

The 2020 NSW Australian of the Year is Orthopaedic surgeon and human-rights advocate Professor Munjed Al Muderis.
 After fleeing the tyranny of Saddam Hussein's regime in a leaking boat, Professor Munjed Al Muderis was detained in Christmas Island's Curtin Detention Centre and several Western Australian jails. He overcame these extraordinary obstacles to become an orthopaedic surgeon, specialising in hip, knee and reconstructive surgery, and now advocates for the human rights of others. 

A compassionate ambassador for multiple organisations, including the Red Cross, Munjed is a powerful advocate for humanitarian work supporting people seeking asylum and refugees. Funded out of his own pocket, 47-year-old Munjed has taken a team to his former homeland of Iraq seven times, to help the victims of the conflict he fled, and has educated other orthopaedic surgeons in the osseointegration technique and in complex limb reconstruction. His surgical innovations and breakthroughs are helping Australians and people throughout the world. Munjed exemplifies the valuable and positive contribution that refugees can make – leading by example what it means to be Australian.

Environmental educator and social enterprise founder Sue Lennox is the 2020 NSW Senior Australian of the Year. 

As a teacher, Sue Lennox was concerned about young people's anxiety and despair about the future of the planet. So, with her late husband Colin, she founded the award-winning social enterprise OzGREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network Australia Inc). It teaches young people how to take positive environmental action through education, participatory leadership and community development. 

Sue's initiatives with OzGREEN include the Youth Leading the World program, a learning and leadership course that creates sustainable communities. She teaches people to become 'citizen scientists' and to take action to improve the health of their waterways. 

Under Sue's leadership, OzGREEN has developed sustainability programs in 1,600 locations across Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Pakistan. After stepping down as CEO this year, 67-year-old Sue is now focused on sharing OzGREEN's multi-award-winning approach by training others as facilitators and citizen scientists. She remains on the board of OzGREEN. Her extraordinary work continues to empower individuals and communities by replacing despair with hope.

The 2020 NSW Young Australian of the Year is Indigenous mentor and fundraiser Corey Tutt.
Through his organisation, Deadly Science, proud Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt gathers donations of science resources and sends them to remote schools around Australia. As well as receiving book donations from high-profile scientists such as Professor Brian Cox and Doctor Karl Kruszelnicki, 27-year-old Corey has raised more than $33,000 to purchase books and equipment, and distributed more than 4,300 books and 70 telescopes. He is engaged with more than 90 schools around Australia. 

In a recent survey, these schools showed a 25% increase in engagement in STEM-related subjects. Deadly Science has given 28 Deadly Junior Scientist Awards, encouraging young Indigenous kids to follow their dreams. Corey particularly wants to ensure that every remote Australian school has a copy of Bruce Pascoe's book Dark Emu – a history of Indigenous science and agriculture – to help educate them about the real story of Australia's past. Corey's actions inspire Indigenous children to believe in themselves and understand their environment – for the benefit of Australia and all its people.

Bernie Shakeshaft, the founder of BackTrack Youth Works Program, is the 2020 NSW Local Hero. 
After seeing the plight of disadvantaged youth in his community, Bernie Shakeshaft decided to take action. Starting in 2006 with a shed and an idea, Bernie founded the BackTrack Youth Works Program, turning around the lives of some of Australia's most vulnerable kids. Using the skills he developed growing up and as a jackaroo in the Northern Territory, learning from the Aboriginal trackers, 52-year-old Bernie has developed an award-winning program that uses animal-assisted learning, agricultural skills and a residential facility. He and his extraordinary team have helped more than 1,000 children reconnect with their education, training, families and community, offering them love and support to live out their hopes and dreams. 

The BackTrack program, now the subject of a documentary, Backtrack Boys, has the support of magistrates, police and mayors. It has helped decrease Armidale's youth crime rate by more than 38 per cent, saving millions of dollars and keeping children out of correctional systems. Bernie's kind, effective approach is life changing and inspiring.

National Australia Day Council CEO Karlie Brand congratulated the award recipients from NSW, noting their amazing contributions to our country.

“The 2020 NSW Australians of the Year are truly inspirational – they are making a huge difference to the lives of others and to the world in which we live,” said Ms Brand.

For more information on the Australian of the Year Awards visit

Worth Noting:  The Manly Country Women’s Association Sub Branch Was Inaugurated In 1923

From the pages of the past:

A Strong Sub-Branch at Manly
Manly has the credit of establishing the first sub-branch of the Country Women's Association. It is a subbranch of Cumberland, and already the group of workers is one of which we shall, one feels sure, be proud. A splendid meeting assembled at the Dungowan Cafe on Tuesday afternoon, when the Mayoress (Mrs. Keirle) presided, and the speakers included the Hon. R. H, D. Weaver, Mrs. Jas. Ashton, O.B.E. (President of the Cumberland Branch), and the Org. Sec. of the Association. 

Mr. Myers, proprietor of the Cafe, which is one of the most beautiful anywhere round Sydney, had generously placed the room at the disposal of the meeting, and here gathered a large number of country women, and women who have indirect interests in the country, together with many generous city friends. (I sometimes wonder whether the average country woman realises how many good friends she has in the city, ready to help our Association to 'help her). 

The proposal to form a sub-branch being carried unanimously, the election of officers followed, and resulted in the election of the Mayoress herself as Patroness, Mrs. Cecil Tindale, as President, Mesdames Weaver and Osborne England, as Vice-Presidents, Mrs. Nest as Hon. Treasurer, and Miss Martin as Hon. Sec. The work already accomplished by the Association was told by the Org. Sec., who stated that in 18 months the Association would have not only accumulated 34 active branches, with a membership of about 1600, arranged, and taken part in innumerable deputations to try and improve the travelling conditions of mothers and their children, and to obtain medical benefits for them, but has established a central office, which was already proving of inestimable value to country women visiting town. Individual women had been helped in many ways ; sent to hospitals and convalescent homes, of whose existence they were previously unaware, while others were provided with domestic help, and suitable addresses in town, when looking for accommodation, while innumerable business inquiries have been made on behalf of country women from all parts of the State. 

Next month there would be in hand a substantial sum to assist in getting more Bush Nurses away to the help of country dwellers far from hospital and medical men, and, as well, the Association would be in a position to carry on an active campaign to organise for maternity wards in every country hospital. In several branches a move is being made for motor ambulances, and the first seaside home would be opened close to Manly, probably at Narrabeen, in October next. Mr. Weaver congratulated the Association upon the breadth of its platform. They knew neither politics nor sectarianism, but issued a call to all women to come forward and help their less fortunately situated sisters. He felt that they were organised upon quite the right lines, and would serve to break down those unfortunate 'barbed wire entanglements', that so many country associations built round themselves, and draw city as well as country women together. Cities could not live without the country, nor could the country live without the cities, and there must always be closer co-operation if each is to succeed. He was delighted to be present to voice his approval of the movement, which he would unreservedly commend to the Manly people. 

Mrs. Jas. Ashton recalled, with heartfelt gratitude, the fine work of Manly throughout the dark days of the war. They recruited over their strength, and were at the head of every movement for help. She specially wanted a strong branch of the Association in Manly, for the first Seaside Holiday Home would be very near them, and she asked them to make that their special care. The reputation of Manly for doing well anything that they undertook was such that she felt every confidence in the future, and she heartily congratulated all present upon the fine roll-up, and the happy augury for the future.

Votes of thanks to the speakers were moved by Mrs. Osborne England, to the proprietor of the Cafe, by Mrs. Jas. Ashton, and to' the Mayoress for presiding, by Mr. Weaver. Later, a great number of those present joined the branch; and a delightful programme of music was contributed to by the Misses Bell and Grainger. And an informal afternoon tea party concluded the successful afternoon. Messages of congratulation and good wishes were received from the Association President, Mrs. Hugh Munro, the Vice-President, Mrs. Stephen Laver, ' and Mrs. Earle Page, who was to have been a speaker, hut who was called to Melbourne. ' ~ Splendid work was done by Mrs. H. C. McIntyre, Hon. Sec.' of the Cumberland branch, in the organisation of this meeting. A Strong Sub—Branch at Manly (1923, June 19). The Sydney Stock and Station Journal (NSW : 1896 - 1924), p. 2. Retrieved from 

$500,000 For Men’s Sheds Across Australia

November 8, 2019: The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
The Australian Government is continuing to support the Men’s Shed movement with today’s announcement of successful grant recipients under the National Shed Development Programme.

In the latest round, 135 Men’s Sheds across Australia will share in $500,000 in grants that will help buy tools and equipment, maintain infrastructure, coordinate training and host community activities about men’s health issues.

Grant rounds are held twice a year, and eligible men’s sheds are eligible to apply for grants of up to $10,000 with priority given to sheds in disadvantaged areas.

Since 2013, the Government has provided $4.92 million to support Men’s Sheds through this programme.

Men’s Sheds are places where men can find social support and camaraderie while engaged in meaningful projects. 

On average, one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. The number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll.

In this year’s budget the Government announced continued and expanded funding to support the Men’s Shed movement ($11.1 million over 4 years).

The funding consists of the following:

Funding to men’s sheds through the National Shed Development Programme will be continued, and increased to $1 million per year for years ($4 million over 4 years);
  • $1.5 million to fund regional coordinators at the grassroots level in each state and territory which aims to provide direct assistance in men’s shed;
  • $3.6 million to the Australian Men’s Shed Association in supporting to support Sheds at a national level;
  • $2 million to equip every Men’s Shed in Australia with a portable defibrillator.

Unique Case Of Disease Resistance Reveals Possible Alzheimer's Treatment

November 4, 2019
Defying the odds, an individual at high risk for early-onset Alzheimer's disease remained dementia-free for many years beyond what was anticipated. A study funded in part by the American  National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, led researchers to suggest that a gene variant may be the key, perhaps providing a new direction toward developing a treatment.

The research focused on the case of a woman who carried a gene mutation known to cause early-onset Alzheimer's. However, she did not develop signs of the disease until her seventies, nearly three decades after her expected age of onset. The researchers suspect that she may have been protected because in addition to the gene mutation causing early-onset Alzheimer's in her family, she also had two copies of the APOE3 Christchurch (APOE3ch) gene variant. Findings of this case study as published in Nature Medicine suggest that two copies of the APOE3ch variant, named after Christchurch, New Zealand where it was first identified, may protect against Alzheimer's.

"Sometimes close analysis of a single case can lead to discovery that could have broad implications for the field," said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. "We are encouraged that as part of our wide array of studies, this research in the unique genetic makeup of an exceptional individual can reveal helpful information."

Early-onset Alzheimer's disease is rare, representing less than 10% of all people who have Alzheimer's. It typically occurs between a person's 30s to mid-60s. Risk for both early- and late-onset Alzheimer's disease is affected by genetic factors.

For the study, researchers led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, in collaboration with the University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston, and Banner Alzheimer's Institute, Phoenix, looked at genetic data from a Colombian family with more than 6,000 living members. Family members who carry a rare gene mutation called Presenilin 1 (PSEN1) E280A, have a 99.9% risk of developing early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers confirmed that the woman in this case carried the PSEN1 E280A mutation, which caused early-onset Alzheimer's in her other family members. However, she also had two copies of the APOE3ch gene variant, while no other affected family member carried two copies of this variant. Affected family members develop Alzheimer's in their 40s, but she remained disease free until her 70s. Imaging tests showed that the woman had only minor neurodegeneration. She did have large amounts of amyloid protein deposits, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, in her brain. But the amount of tau tangles, another hallmark of the disease, and the one more correlated with how thinking and memory are affected, was relatively low.

Experiments as part of the study showed that the APOE3ch variant may reduce the ability of APOE to bind to certain sugars called heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPG). APOE binding to HSPG has been implicated as one mechanism that may contribute to the amyloid and tau protein deposits that destroy the brain. The research suggests that a drug or gene therapy that could reduce APOE and HSPG binding has the potential to be a new way to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Joseph F. Arboleda-Velasquez, Francisco Lopera, Michael O’Hare, Santiago Delgado-Tirado, Claudia Marino, Natalia Chmielewska, Kahira L. Saez-Torres, Dhanesh Amarnani, Aaron P. Schultz, Reisa A. Sperling, David Leyton-Cifuentes, Kewei Chen, Ana Baena, David Aguillon, Silvia Rios-Romenets, Margarita Giraldo, Edmarie Guzmán-Vélez, Daniel J. Norton, Enmanuelle Pardilla-Delgado, Arabiye Artola, Justin S. Sanchez, Juliana Acosta-Uribe, Matthew Lalli, Kenneth S. Kosik, Matthew J. Huentelman, Henrik Zetterberg, Kaj Blennow, Rebecca A. Reiman, Ji Luo, Yinghua Chen, Pradeep Thiyyagura, Yi Su, Gyungah R. Jun, Marcus Naymik, Xiaowu Gai, Moiz Bootwalla, Jianling Ji, Lishuang Shen, John B. Miller, Leo A. Kim, Pierre N. Tariot, Keith A. Johnson, Eric M. Reiman, Yakeel T. Quiroz. Resistance to autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease in an APOE3 Christchurch homozygote: a case report. Nature Medicine, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0611-3

Is Physical Activity Always Good For The Heart?

November 4, 2019: INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Physical activity is thought to be our greatest ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease. But there may be significant variations in its protective effects across a range of different situations, such as regularly playing a sport, carrying heavy loads at work, or going for a walk with friends. These are the findings of a new study led by Inserm researcher Jean-Philippe Empana (U970 PARCC, Inserm/Université de Paris) in collaboration with Australian researchers. The results have been published in Hypertension.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality around the world, and there is no sign that this trend is declining. However, a large number of premature deaths could be prevented by taking appropriate preventive measures. Among these measures, physical activity is often presented as having multiple benefits, and international guidelines emphasize the need to be active in order to avoid cardiovascular mortality.

But physical activity is a broad concept, and few scientific studies have looked into the differences between various types of exercise may have. This was the focus of the new study published in Hypertension, which was conducted by the research teams led by Jean-Philippe Empana, Xavier Jouven, and Pierre Boutouyrie (Inserm/Université de Paris), in collaboration with Rachel Climie at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

"Our idea was to look at whether all types of physical activity are beneficial, or whether under some circumstances physical activity can be harmful. We wanted in particular to explore the consequences of physical activity at work, especially strenuous physical activity such as routinely carrying heavy loads, which could have a negative impact," explains Empana.

Sport, work, or leisure
The research by Empana and his colleagues was based on data from participants in the Paris Prospective Study III. For ten years, this extensive French study has been monitoring the health status of over 10,000 volunteers, aged 50 to 75 years old and recruited during a health check-up at the Paris Health Clinic (Paris Preclinical Investigations, IPC).

Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about the frequency, duration, and intensity of their physical activity in three different contexts: physical activity through sport, physical activity at work (for example carrying heavy loads), and physical activity in their leisure time (such as gardening).

The cardiovascular health of participants was then assessed based on the health of their arteries using cutting-edge ultrasound imaging of the carotid artery (a superficial artery in the neck). This method, known as "echo tracking," can be used to measure baroreflex sensitivity, a mechanism of automatic adaptation to sudden changes in blood pressure. When this system is impaired, this can lead to major health problems, and a higher risk of cardiac arrest.

Studying the arduous nature of work
In their analyses, the researchers distinguished between two components of the baroreflex: mechanical baroreflex, assessed through the measurement of arterial stiffness, and neural baroreflex, assessed through the measurement of nerve impulses sent by the receptors on the walls of the artery, in response to a distension of the vessel. Abnormalities in the mechanical component tend to be associated with aging-related cardiovascular diseases, while abnormalities in the neural component tend to be linked to heart rhythm disorders that can lead to a cardiac arrest.

The study shows that high-intensity sporting physical activity is associated with a better neural baroreflex. Conversely, physical activity at work (such as routinely carrying heavy loads) appears to be more strongly associated with an abnormal neural baroreflex and greater arterial stiffness. Such activity could therefore be harmful for cardiovascular health, and in particular may be associated with heart rhythm disorders. "Our findings represent a valuable avenue of research for improving our understanding of the associations between physical activity and cardiovascular disease. They do not suggest that movement at work is harmful for health, instead they suggest that chronic, strenuous activity (such as lifting heavy loads) at work may be," highlights Empana.

The researchers will attempt to replicate these results in other populations, and explore in greater detail the interactions between physical activity and health. "This study has major public health implications for physical activity at work. We now want to expand our analysis to further explore the interactions between physical activity and the health status of people in the workplace," concludes Empana.

Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Provides Pain Relief 

November 4, 2019: New York University
An international team of researchers has used nanoparticles to deliver a drug -- one that previously failed in clinical trials for pain -- into specific compartments of nerve cells, dramatically increasing its ability to treat pain in mice and rats. The findings are published Nov. 4 in Nature Nanotechnology.

"We have taken a drug -- an FDA-approved anti-vomiting medication -- and using a novel delivery method, improved its efficacy and duration of action in animal models of inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain," said Nigel Bunnett, PhD, chair of the Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology at New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry and the study's senior author. "The discovery that nanoparticle encapsulation enhances and prolongs pain relief in laboratory animals provides opportunities for developing much-needed non-opioid therapies for pain."

Opioids, a class of drugs used to treat pain, carry a high risk for addiction and overdose. Moreover, their effectiveness diminishes over time, requiring growing doses to manage pain. Side effects of opioids, including constipation and suppressing breathing, only worsen as doses are increased.

"There are many reasons that opioids are not ideal for treating pain. Given the ongoing opioid crisis, which has taken hundreds of thousands of lives, we need safer, more effective alternatives," said Bunnett.

Bunnett and his colleagues study a family of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors, which are the target of one third of clinically used drugs. While it was thought that receptors function at the surface of nerve cells, they discovered that activated receptors move within the cell to a compartment called the endosome. In an endosome, receptors continue to function for prolonged periods. "The sustained activity of receptors in endosomes drives pain," said Bunnett.

In their study in Nature Nanotechnology, researchers at NYU College of Dentistry, Monash University, Columbia University, and the University of Santiago in Chile focused on a G protein-coupled receptor called the neurokinin 1 receptor.

"Major pharmaceutical companies had programs to develop neurokinin receptor antagonists for chronic diseases, including pain and depression. However, in human trials, things fell apart," said Bunnett. "The neurokinin receptor is the poster child for failures in drug discovery to treat pain."

The researchers suspected that these drugs failed to work because they were designed to block receptors at the surface of cells rather than in endosomes.

To deliver drugs to endosomes, the researchers turned to nanoparticles -- microscopic vehicles used for delivering drugs. Bunnett and his colleagues encapsulated into nanoparticles a neurokinin receptor blocker called aprepitant, an FDA-approved drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting that failed clinical trials as a pain medication.

The nanoparticles were designed to enter nerves that transmit pain signals and release their aprepitant cargo in endosomes containing the neurokinin receptor. Nanoparticle-delivered aprepitant treated pain in mice and rats more completely and for longer periods than did conventional therapies, including opioids. Moreover, nanoparticle delivery minimised the dose of medication needed to treat the pain, which could be useful in avoiding side effects.

"The process we've developed is essentially like giving a drug infusion into the endosome of the cell," said Bunnett. "By delivering a previously ineffective pain drug to the right compartment within the cell, it became highly effective as a pain treatment."

The researchers are continuing to study the use of nanoparticles in delivering non-opioid pain medication, including developing ways to target them only to nerve cells that sense pain, which would allow for even smaller doses of the drug. They are also exploring encapsulating multiple drugs that block pain receptors, which could further improve the efficacy of treatment. The researchers note that additional studies are needed before nanoparticle-delivered pain medication can be tested in humans.

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NS102722, DE026806, DK118971), the Department of Defense (PR170507), the National Health and Medical Research Council (63303, 1049682, 1031886), the Australian Research Council, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Paulina D. Ramírez-García, Jeffri S. Retamal, Priyank Shenoy, Wendy Imlach, Matthew Sykes, Nghia Truong, Luis Constandil, Teresa Pelissier, Cameron J. Nowell, Song Y. Khor, Louis M. Layani, Chris Lumb, Daniel P. Poole, TinaMarie Lieu, Gregory D. Stewart, Quynh N. Mai, Dane D. Jensen, Rocco Latorre, Nicole N. Scheff, Brian L. Schmidt, John F. Quinn, Michael R. Whittaker, Nicholas A. Veldhuis, Thomas P. Davis, Nigel W. Bunnett. A pH-responsive nanoparticle targets the neurokinin 1 receptor in endosomes to prevent chronic pain. Nature Nanotechnology, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41565-019-0568-x

Red Deer Are Evolving To Give Birth Earlier In A Warming Climate

November 5, 2019: PLOS
Red deer living on the Isle of Rum, on the west coast of Scotland, have been giving birth earlier and earlier since the 1980s, at a rate of about three days per decade. This change is known to be in part due to the immediate effect of warmer temperatures on the deer's behaviour or physiology. However new results publishing on November 5 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology now show that genetic change due to natural selection is also contributing to the change: red deer are evolving.

The conclusion comes from a long-term study of the Rum red deer by researchers at the UK Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Cambridge, and at the Australian National University, which now has field records and genetic data spanning 45 years. Female red deer (hinds) give birth to a single calf each year, and hinds that give birth earlier have more offspring over their entire lifetime. The research shows that this is in part because the genes that make hinds give birth earlier each year also increase the reproductive success of the animals that bear them, and as a result, genes for breeding earlier become more common over time.

As the climate changes worldwide, advances in the timing of reproduction have been documented in many wild animals and plants. However, this article is among the first to demonstrate the role of Darwinian evolution (that is, genetic change by natural selection) in advancing the timing of reproduction. Genetic evolution in wild animal populations is often thought to be slow and irrelevant on the time scale of human lives, but this result shows that genetic change can be sufficiently fast to be observed over a few decades.

The article also shows that genetic change is not everything. The rapid change in birth dates in Rum's deer is due to the combined effects of direct changes in physiology or behaviour in response to climate change, changes in the population demographics, and evolution. However not all of the advance in dates can be explained by these multiple mechanisms and the long-term outcome of these processes for the deer population is unclear.

Timothée Bonnet, Michael B. Morrissey, Alison Morris, Sean Morris, Tim H. Clutton-Brock, Josephine M. Pemberton, Loeske E. B. Kruuk. The role of selection and evolution in changing parturition date in a red deer population. PLOS Biology, 2019; 17 (11): e3000493 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000493

Jaw-Some Wombats May Be Great Survivors

November 5, 2019: University of Queensland
Flexible jaws may help wombats better survive in a changing world by adapting to climate change's effect on vegetation and new diets in conservation sanctuaries.

An international study, co-led by The University of Queensland's Dr Vera Weisbecker, has revealed that wombat jaws appear to change in relation to their diets.

"The survival of wombats depends on their ability to chew large amounts of tough plants such as grasses, roots and even bark," Dr Weisbecker said.

"Climate change and drought are thought to make these plants even tougher, which might require further short-term adaptations of the skull.

"Scientists had long suspected that native Australian marsupial mammals were limited in being able to adapt their skull in this way.

"But in good news, our research has contradicted this idea."

The team used a technique known as geometric morphometrics -- the study of how shapes vary -- to characterise skull shape variation within three different species of wombat, with each species having a slightly different diet.

The data were collected with computed tomography -- known to most as CT scanning -- and analysed with new computation techniques developed by UQ's Dr Thomas Guillerme.

Dr Olga Panagiotopoulou, who co-led the research project from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, said the study suggested that short-term jaw and skull adaptation was occurring.

"It seems that individuals within each wombat species differ most where their chewing muscles attach, or where biting is hardest," Dr Panagiotopoulou said.

"This means that individual shapes are related to an individual's diet and feeding preferences.

"Their skulls seem to be changing to match their diets.

"There are a number of factors that can influence skull shape, but it seems that wombats are able to remodel their jaws as the animals grow to become stronger and protect themselves from harm."

Dr Weisbecker said the team was particularly excited that the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat, with around 250 individuals left, seemed to be able to adapt to new diets.

"In order to protect endangered animals, it's sometimes necessary to translocate them to new sanctuary locations where threats are less, but diets may be quite different," she said.

"Our findings suggest that future generations of these northern hairy-nosed wombats will adapt well to a different diet in a new home.

The researchers are planning to use a similar analysis on koala skull shapes.

Vera Weisbecker, Thomas Guillerme, Cruise Speck, Emma Sherratt, Hyab Mehari Abraha, Alana C. Sharp, Claire E. Terhune, Simon Collins, Stephen Johnston, Olga Panagiotopoulou. Individual variation of the masticatory system dominates 3D skull shape in the herbivory-adapted marsupial wombats. Frontiers in Zoology, 2019; 16 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12983-019-0338-5

Low Blood Oxygen Strongly Increases Sick Children's Risk Of Death

November 1, 2019: Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Low blood oxygen is more common in sick children than previously thought, and strongly increases children's risk of death, Australian-led research has found.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute paediatrician Dr Hamish Graham led the international research project, published in the Lancet's EClinicalMedicine.

Dr Graham said he hoped the findings would encourage policy makers and health care workers in other low and middle income countries, especially in Africa, to increase the use of oxygen measuring tools and oxygen therapy.

Dr Graham worked with colleagues in Nigeria to record the blood oxygen levels of more than 23,000 children admitted to 12 medium-sized hospitals.

"Your blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen carried by red blood cells from the lungs to rest of the body -- low blood oxygen damages cells and can lead to death," Dr Graham said.

"Our study found that one in four newborns and one in 10 children in hospital had low blood oxygen, and these children were eight times more likely to die than those with normal blood oxygen."

Dr Graham's study is the largest report of low blood oxygen levels in children and shows that it is common not only in pneumonia, but also in many other conditions.

"Low blood oxygen is particularly common in newborn infants, especially those who are premature or have very difficult births," he said.

Dr Graham said pulse oximeters, which accurately measure blood oxygen levels, are widely used in Australia. But hospitals in low- and middle-income countries are not often equipped with good quality devices, which cost about USD250.

"Our modellings suggest that better use of oxygen monitoring and therapy in the 12 highest mortality countries in the world could prevent up to 148,000 child pneumonia deaths annually," he said. "Our study also suggests there are thousands more children and neonates with illnesses besides pneumonia that could also benefit."

University of Melbourne's Centre for International Child Health is leading the implementation of solar powered oxygen delivery systems in district hospitals in Papua New Guinea and Nigeria.

Dr Graham said that training nurses to measure and supply oxygen were simple technologies that could save hundreds of thousands of children's lives.

"In sub-Sahara Nigeria, one in 10 children dies before their fifth birthday and the biggest killer of Nigerian children is pneumonia. Nigerian children make up one sixth of under-five pneumonia deaths globally. The first step to preventing these deaths is detecting low blood oxygen," Dr Graham said.

Hamish Graham, Ayobami A. Bakare, Adejumoke I. Ayede, Oladapo B. Oyewole, Amy Gray, David Peel, Barbara McPake, Eleanor Neal, Shamim A. Qazi, Rasa Izadnegahdar, Trevor Duke, Adegoke G. Falade. Hypoxaemia in hospitalised children and neonates: A prospective cohort study in Nigerian secondary-level hospitals. EClinicalMedicine, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.10.009

What We Can Learn From Indigenous Land Management

November 5th, 2019: Flinders University
As large-scale agriculture, drought, bushfire and introduced species reduce entire countries' biodiversity and long-term prosperity, Indigenous academics are calling for a fresh look at the governance and practices of mainstream environmental management institutions.

Aboriginal Australians' world view and connection to Country provide a rich source of knowledge and innovations for better land and water management policies when Indigenous decision-making is enacted, the researchers say.

Incorporating more of the spirit and principles of Aboriginal and other First Nations people's appreciation and deep understanding of the landscape and its features has been overlooked or sidelined in the past -- to the detriment of the environment, a new report says.

"When Indigenous nations become sovereign partners in environmental management, the power structures and worldviews that underlie decision-making can be productively challenged ... creating new solutions to pressing environmental issues," says Flinders University researcher Dr Samantha Muller, lead author on the paper.

"Indigenous agency and governance is driving innovations in land management worldwide that provide more equitable solutions and strategic approaches to looking after the lands, waters and all living things, particularly in the face of climate change."

in sacred, ethical and reciprocal relationships with nature can enhance and develop more sustainable approaches to living in what many call the age of the Anthropocene (the current period when human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment)."

Ngarrindjeri Nation citizen and director Indigenous Nation Building, Professor Daryle Rigney, with Associate Professor Steven Hemming, previously at Flinders and now the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, have worked with Dr Muller to compare examples of conservation and land management among First Nations groups in Aorearoa/New Zealand and North America with a Ngarrindjeri case study in South Australia.

"One of the most significant acts of colonialism is to impose an understanding of Country as something separate from humans, with decisions based on science and Western institutions," the authors say.

"Indigenous nations worldwide have been asserting their sovereignties which is reshaping practices of environmental management."
  • For example, the Ngarrindjeri Nation at the mouth of the Murray in South Australia have developed Kungun Ngarrindjeri Yunan (KNY) agreements with the State Government that recognise Ngarrindjeri as sovereign partners in environmental management. This foundation enabled Ngarrindjeri to drive innovative environmental solutions during the millennium drought, leading to being awarded the 2015 Australian Riverprize.
  • In Aoetaroa / New Zealand, Maori have asserted their sovereign rights to forge agreements which grant the Whanganui River and the Te Urewera National Park legal personhood. These legal shifts give a voice to 'nature' in accordance with Maori worldviews and recognise Maori sovereignty.
  • The Menominee forest management in the USA is recognised as best practice. It is based on Menominee vision and worldviews for forest management enabled by recognition of Menominee sovereignty and decision-making.
"Indigenous ways of being in sacred, ethical and reciprocal relationships with "nature" can enhance and develop more sustainable approaches to living in what many call the age of the Anthropocene (the current period when human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment)."

Samantha Muller, Steve Hemming, Daryle Rigney. Indigenous sovereignties: relational ontologies and environmental management. Geographical Research, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/1745-5871.12362 

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.