August 7 - 13, 2022: Issue 549

Our Youth page is for young people aged 13+ - if you are younger than this we have news for you in the Children's pageNews items and articles run at the top of this page. Information, local resources, events and local organisations, sports groups etc. are at the base of this page. All Previous pages for you are listed in Past Features

Written in stone: a 240 million year old mass breeding event

Published by Pittwater Pathways, August 4, 2022

Paul Cronk’s discovery of fossil trackways at Turimetta indicates a mass breeding event took place there about 240 million years ago. In this video scientists from the Australian Museum and Macquarie University are examining the fossils. Their discussion and reasoning makes a fascinating record of the scientific process in action.

Lachlan Hart is a vertebrate palaeontologist currently undertaking his PhD at the University of New South Wales and the Australian Museum. His research focuses on the evolution, systematics and palaeobiology of Mesozoic tetrapods, including temnospondyl amphibians, crocodyliformes and dinosaurs. Lachlan is particularly interested in exploring what can be learnt about extinct animals from studying their living descendants

Dr Patrick Smith is a taxonomist and biostratigrapher researching the Cambrian and Ordovician of Australia and New Zealand. He primarily has worked on fossil arthropods (trilobites and their close relatives). However, he's also occasionally worked on other fossil groups, including brachiopods, gastropods and echinoderms. Patrick is particularly interested in using fossils as key time markers to correlate sequences of rocks on a regional, national, and global scale.

Prof Glenn Brock, palaeobiologist, Macquarie University.

My research activities focus on elucidating the evolution, phylogeny, biodiversity, ecology and biostratigraphy of the earliest (stem group) bilaterian animals that arose during the Cambrian Explosion. My work focuses on studying exceptionally preserved macro- and microfossils from a variety of localities in Australasia and Antarctica. I am particularly interested in the phylogenetic, ecological and biostratigraphic significance of early Cambrian "Small Shelly Fossils" (SSF). 

Dr Peter Mitchell OAM is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced geomorphologists.


Be The Boss: I Want To Be A gardener

Those who have taken on a simple lawn-mowing run will know this is in-demand work that pays well and allows you autonomy.  Once you undertake further studies you can also expand your self-employment to gardening and choose to do something more in the vast field that is suited to your interest - Horticulturalists and Landscape Gardeners or Greenkeeping are just a few of the associated career fields. 

Gardeners plant, care for and maintain lawns, shrubs, trees and flowers. They look after the landscaping and structural elements of the garden and often design gardens or outdoor spaces.

Work is in private gardens at people's homes, at commercial locations or in public parks and gardens.

This career is suitable for people with an affinity for nature and working the land. Knowledge of plant species and the conditions required for each to thrive is important.

Day-to-day tasks:

  • prepare and maintain seed and garden beds
  • propagate and plant trees, bushes, hedges, flowers and bulbs
  • plant grass and lay turf
  • maintain grassed areas through weeding, trimming, fertilising, watering and mowing
  • prune trees and hedges
  • attend to landscaped and paved areas such walls, fences, gravel, pergolas, ponds, barbecues and garden furniture
  • examine trees to assess their condition and determine treatment
  • shape branches using chain or handsaws
  • spray plants and trees to control insects and disease.

Considerations: Physically demanding, Requires driving, Working outdoors.

Formal qualifications are not required, however vocational education and training (VET) courses in horticulture can improve employment prospects. Find a Diploma or Certificate in Horticulture

Architect and Landscape Architect

Architects and Landscape Architects design commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and recreational buildings and landscapes.

Day-to-day tasks:

  • obtaining advice from clients and management to determine type, style and size of planned buildings and alterations to existing buildings
  • providing information regarding designs, materials and estimated building times
  • preparing project documentation, including sketches and scale drawings, and integrating structural, mechanical and aesthetic elements in final designs
  • writing specifications and contract documents for use by builders and calling tenders on behalf of clients
  • consulting with Professionals and clients about external area designs, costs and construction
  • compiling and analysing site and community data about geographical and ecological features, landforms, soils, vegetation, site hydrology, visual characteristics and human-made structures, to formulate land use and development recommendations, and for preparing environmental impact statements
  • preparing reports, site plans, working drawings, specifications and cost estimates for land development, showing location and details of proposals, including ground modelling, structures, vegetation and access
  • inspecting construction work in progress to ensure compliance with plans, specifications and quality standards.

You usually need a bachelor degree in architectural design or landscape architecture to work as an Architect or Landscape Architect. It is also common to complete postgraduate studies. Find a Bachelor of Landscape Architectural Design


Greenkeepers establish and maintain fine turf, grassed areas and synthetic surfaces used for sporting events.

Day-to-day tasks;

  • preparing seedbeds for new turf
  • establishing and maintaining turf by watering, over sowing or over seeding, and repairing green damage
  • mowing, rolling and levelling turf
  • pegging and marking out lines and logos, installing nets, posts and stumps, and placing other sports equipment on playing areas
  • operating and maintaining hand and power driven equipment such as mowers, aerators, cultivators, corers and line marking equipment
  • constructing cricket wickets, tennis courts, and bowling, croquet and golf greens
  • replanting, repairing, aerating, fertilising and top dressing lawns
  • installing and maintaining synthetic surfaces
  • may maintain buildings, fences and surrounding gardens.

You can work as a Greenkeeper without formal qualifications, however, a certificate II, III or IV in sports turf management, horticulture or another related field may be usefulTake a Diploma of Golf ManagementTake a Diploma of Sports Turf Management


Nurserypersons propagate and cultivate trees, shrubs, and ornamental and flowering plants in plant nurseries.

Day-to-day tasks;

  • preparing potting media and containers before planting
  • selecting seeds, bulbs and cuttings, and planting them in beds, lawn areas and tubs
  • budding and grafting vegetative material onto root stock
  • watering plants manually and controlling automatic watering operations
  • applying pesticides to control pests, diseases, weeds and nutritional and environmental plant disorders
  • keeping records of soil mixtures, plantings, treatments, losses and yields
  • selecting plants and packaging them for presentation and delivery
  • advising customers on plant care and appropriate plants for local conditions
  • may plan sales area layouts and visual merchandise presentation.

You can work as a Nurseryperson without formal qualifications, however, a certificate III or IV in retail nursery, production nursery, horticulture or agriculture may be useful.

Find a Certificate in Nursery Production or Retail

Gardener as a job information courtesy Australian Government Apprenticeships Guide (Your Career), Australian Open Colleges and  The Good Universities Guide, Australia.

Also Available

Art competition to remember our ANZACS

June 24, 2022
Students across NSW are encouraged to get creative as the NSW Government together with RSL NSW launches an art competition to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the RSL and Schools Remember ANZAC Commemoration next year.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell is encouraging students to speak to their school and submit a design that will feature on the 2023 program and at an exhibition at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

“The NSW Government and the Department of Education has co-hosted this service with RSL NSW for 70 years, and we want to acknowledge this anniversary with a commemorative program to which the students in New South Wales can contribute,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I invite any student across all three education sectors to participate and have the opportunity to be selected to have their artwork featured on the 2023 service program.”

Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott said the annual commemoration at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park aims to educate and encourage younger Australians to learn about Australia’s military history, whilst paying respect to the service and sacrifice of servicemen and servicewomen. 

“This art competition is a great way for students in New South Wales to learn about our military history and design an artwork that reflects what it means to them. It could be about a family member who served in World War One, or a symbol of their service to our nation,” Mr Elliott said.

“The annual RSL and Schools Remember ANZAC proceedings are incomparable, as they’re delivered entirely by school students including the Master of Ceremonies, keynote address, readings, and musical accompaniment.”

RSL NSW President Ray James said it was critical for the RSL to work with the Department of Education to ensure school students understood why Australians commemorated the service and sacrifice of those who have served in the Australian Defence Force.

“Commemorating significant moments in our military history is vital to Australia, as a people, a community, and a nation. RSL NSW takes this responsibility incredibly seriously as the custodians of the Anzac spirit. Future generations should never forget that the freedom they enjoy in Australia has been protected by the men and women who served in our armed and allied forces.” Mr James said.

The RSL and Schools Remember ANZAC Commemoration was first held in 1953, co-hosted by RSL NSW and the Department of Education. Over the years the service has expanded to Catholic Schools NSW and the Association of Independent Schools NSW.

16 September 2022: Submissions close

Word Of The Week: virtue

Word of the Week returns in 2022 simply to throw some disruption in amongst the 'yeah-nah' mix.


1. behaviour showing high moral standards. conformity to a standard of right: morality. :a particular moral excellence. 2. beneficial quality or power of a thing. 3. manly strength or courage: valor. 4. a commendable quality or trait: merit. 4. (in traditional Christian angelology) the seventh-highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.. 5. Archaic: virginity or chastity, especially of a woman.

From Middle English: from Old French vertu, from Latin virtus ‘valour, merit, moral perfection’, from vir ‘man’. The ancient Romans used the Latin word virtus (derived from vir, their word for man) to refer to all of the "excellent qualities of men, including physical strength, valorous conduct, and moral rectitude." The French words vertu and virtu came from this Latin root. In the 13th century, the word virtue was "borrowed into English".

virtue signalling:  the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue. "Virtue signalling", according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is "an attempt to show other people that you are a good person, for example by expressing opinions that will be acceptable to them, especially on social media". 

B. D. McClay wrote in The Hedgehog Review that signalling particularly flourished in online communities; It was unavoidable in digital interactions because they lacked the qualities of offline life, such as spontaneity. When one filled out a list of one's favourite books for Facebook(or other lists/or anything on other platforms), one was usually aware of what that list said about oneself.

The expression is often used to imply that the virtue being signalled is exaggerated or insincere in other forms; one example often cited as virtue signalling is "greenwashing" (a compound word modelled on "whitewash"), when a company deceptively claims that its products or policies are more environmentally friendly than, in fact, they actually are. 

Platonic virtue - The four classic cardinal virtues are:

  1. Prudence (φρόνησις, phrónēsis; Latin: prudentia; also Wisdom, Sophia, sapientia), the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time.
  2. Fortitude (ἀνδρεία, andreía; Latin: fortitudo): also termed courage, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.
  3. Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosýnē; Latin: temperantia): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition. Plato considered Sōphrosynē, which may also be translated as sound-mindedness, to be the most important virtue.
  4. Justice (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosýnē; Latin: iustitia): also considered as fairness; the Greek word also having the meaning righteousness.

This enumeration is traced to Greek philosophy and was listed by Plato in addition to piety: ὁσιότης (hosiotēs), with the exception that wisdom replaced prudence as virtue. Some scholars consider either of the above four virtue combinations as mutually reducible and therefore not cardinal.

Other examples of this include the concept of merit in Asian traditions as well as De (Chinese), Buddhism's four brahmavihara ("Divine States") can be regarded as virtues in the European sense, as well as other examples across the globe in all societies and religions. For example, in Jainism, attainment of enlightenment is possible only if the seeker possesses certain virtues. All Jains are supposed to take up the five vows of ahimsa (non violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non stealing), aparigraha (non attachment) and brahmacharya (celibacy) before becoming a monk. Other virtues which are to be followed by both monks as well as laypersons include forgiveness, humility, self-restraint and straightforwardness. 

Compare Virtual: The adjective virtual is used to describe something that exists in essence but not in actuality. 1. almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition. 2. Computing; not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.

The first records of the word virtual come from around 1400. It comes from the Medieval Latin virtuālis, meaning “effective” (in the sense of having the effect of something without the form or appearance of it).

Jesse McCartney - Beautiful Soul (September 14, 2014)

The Master's Apprentices - It's Because I Love You (March 1971)

Richard Clapton - Capricorn Dancer (1977)

Connecting with harmony: Emma Baylin - TEDxWarrington

Published July 30, 2022

NOTE FROM TED: This talk only represents the speaker's personal views and understanding of music and physiology. TEDx events are independently organized by volunteers. The guidelines we give TEDx organizers are described in more detail here: 

How can music help us create connection? How can finding your voice help you find yourself? In this talk, Emma explores the impact of creative practices to help you reach your full potential and a harmony you never imagined possible.

Video production by Prism Studios, Warrington In 2013, Emma founded Shared Harmonies CIC, a not-for-profit organisation specialising in creative development services for companies and communities, with the aim of improving connection, confidence and wellbeing through inspirational singing.

Shared Harmonies helps organisations explore leadership, team work and wellbeing, guiding participants through an experiential journey, applying learning to their own practice and developing clear actions. All profits are reinvested to support health and wellbeing community programmes, including COPD, mental health, cancer, Parkinson’s and dementia.

During the pandemic, Emma expanded Shared Harmonies by developing creative ways to reach more people that needed support, connecting hundreds through co-producing songs. They won awards and came runner-up in the Song for Yorkshire competition. Emma was awarded a Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award for services to communities and was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Archie Roach: the great songman, tender and humble, who gave our people a voice

Bhiamie Williamson, Australian National University

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains names and images of deceased people. Archie Roach’s family have given permission for his name and image to be shared.

I am not sure of the first time I heard Archie Roach’s music.

Like most Aboriginal people born during or after the 1980s, we grew up listening to the person we affectionately called Uncle Archie. But there was one song that spoke to me from the first moment I heard it: From Paradise.

The song tells the story of a young girl who was taken away from her Country, the river lands, part of the stolen generations.

While his songs will play loud and long into the future, beneath his music Uncle Archie gave us something else, something deeply profound but mostly invisible.

He gave us – and all of Australia – an image of an Aboriginal man, tender and humble. An image long denied us.

Our greatest storyteller

The passing of Archie Roach has hit us – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – like the first crack of thunder after dark clouds descend.

You know it’s coming, but it shocks you still.

Uncle Archie gave voice, a story, to the experiences of so many of our people. His song Took the Children Away gave shape to a suffering so deep and profound. “This story’s right, this story’s true,” he sang.

These cathartic melodies continue to offer us healing.

His catalogue of music spans distances and experiences difficult to grasp. Uncle Archie’s gift was to write and bring to life through the strum of his guitar, the stories so familiar to us all.

His success took our stories to the nation, and the world.

To describe him simply as a musician fails to recognise him as a messenger. His music reaches through darkness like the beam of a lighthouse, offering guidance and safe harbour in times of despair.

Through his life and love of music, Uncle Archie became our greatest storyteller.

The father and mentor

The music of Uncle Archie came from a place of suffering. Taken away as a child, being homeless, a drunk, locked up, learning of the death of family through whispers and letters, grief was his constant companion.

Through this time, he found Ruby Hunter. They would have two sons, Amos and Eban. Uncle Archie and Aunty Ruby, with their kids, shared a life of love, laughter and song. My personal favourite song, Down City Streets, was written by Aunty Ruby.

Uncle Archie has supported hundreds of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and inspired countless more through his foundation.

For decades Uncle Archie worked in youth detention centres, talking with young people who found themselves in hardship. He offered guidance and mentorship to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, illuminating a road through the difficulties of life, often the result of colonisation and racism.

He carefully navigated these spaces, acknowledging that while many young Aboriginal people, and especially boys, are born into a world that has been built to suppress them, they possess an inner strength stemming from culture and community.

Emu Man

Through his life, his dedication to Aunty Ruby, his devotion to his sons, his work with disengaged youth and his profound love for his people, Uncle Archie gave the nation an image of an Aboriginal man seldom found in the national psyche.

Images of the violent abuser, the drunk, the criminal, the absent father, or a combination of these, saturate our print media and television news bulletins. Even positive representations of Aboriginal men – the warrior, the sports star – exudes a sense of toughness and candour.

Rare, almost unheard of, are the stories of Aboriginal men as sensitive, soft, loving and vulnerable people.

Yet it is these qualities my research has revealed are most valued by our people.

The notion of “Emu Men” has emerged throughout my PhD.

Male emus are the primary carer for their chicks. The male partner will sit on the nest and the father rears the babies.

This notion of manhood and fatherhood – someone dedicated to his family, who has a primary responsibility to ensure the safety of his children and their passage through the world – appears to be deeply entwined in many of our peoples’ customs and cultures.

In Uncle Archie, we find the most profound sense of this alternate masculinity.

His songs will live on forever. But he also gifted us this alternate image of an Aboriginal man: someone soft, tender, loving, vulnerable, generous, resilient. Someone profoundly strong and with an inner wisdom, who sat on his nest and looked after his family and young people experiencing hardship.

It will take time to come to terms with this loss.

To his family we offer our hearts and hold you in our spirit.

This great songman gave our people a voice and a way to understand what has happened to us. He gave so much to a nation that treated him so badly.

As for me, like many others, Uncle Archie’s music and concerts has offered companionship through major life events. My wife and I danced to Love in the Morning on our wedding day.

And as for From Paradise, from the first moment I heard this song I thought he wrote it about my grandmother who was taken away and sent to Palm Island.

It is difficult to put words to this loss – Uncle Archie was always the one with the words.

Thank you for everything Uncle. May you soar with the eagles.

Aunty Ruby be happy to see you. The Conversation

Bhiamie Williamson, Research Associate & PhD Candidate, Australian National University

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

Meteors seem to be raining down on New Zealand, but why are some bright green?

Greg Price, Author provided
Jack Baggaley, University of Canterbury

New Zealand may seem to be under meteor bombardment at the moment. After a huge meteor exploded above the sea near Wellington on July 7, creating a sonic boom that could be heard across the bottom of the South Island, a smaller fireball was captured two weeks later above Canterbury.

Fireballs Aotearoa, a collaboration between astronomers and citizen scientists which aims to recover freshly fallen meteorites, has received a lot of questions about these events. One of the most frequent is about the bright green colour, and whether it is the same green produced by auroras.

An image of an aurora australis
An aurora australis observed from the international space station. Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-ND

Green fireballs have been reported and filmed in New Zealand regularly. Bright meteors often signal the arrival of a chunk of asteroid, which can be anywhere between a few centimetres to a metre in diameter when it comes crashing through the atmosphere.

Some of these asteroids contain nickel and iron and they hit the atmosphere at speeds of up to 60km per second. This releases an enormous amount of heat very quickly, and the vapourised iron and nickel radiate green light.

But is this the same as the bright green of an aurora? For the most recent meteor, the answer is mainly no, but it’s actually not that simple.

The colours of a meteor trail

The green glow of the aurora is caused by oxygen ions in the upper atmosphere, created by collisions between atmospheric oxygen molecules and particles ejected by the sun.

These oxygen ions recombine with electrons to produce oxygen atoms, but the electrons can persist in an excited state for several seconds. In an energy transition known as “forbidden” because it does not obey the usual quantum rules, they then radiate the auroral green light at 557nm wavelength.

A meteor can also shine by this route, but only if it’s extremely fast. Very fast meteors heat up in the thin atmosphere above 100km where auroras form.

If you want to see a green auroral wake from a meteor, watch out for the Perseid meteor shower, which has now started and will peak on August 13 in the southern hemisphere.

Also arriving at about 60km per second, the Perseids are extremely fast bits of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Some Perseids trail a beautiful, glowing and distinctly green wake behind them, particularly at the start of their path.

Once the Canterbury meteor hit on July 22, the capricious winds of the upper atmosphere twisted the gently glowing trail, resulting in a pale yellow glow towards the end (as seen in the GIF below, also recorded by Greg Price for an earlier meteor). This is caused by sodium atoms being continually excited in a catalytic reaction involving ozone.

Are we being bombarded by meteors?

Yes and no. The arrival of big, booming green meteors and the dropping of meteorites isn’t rare in New Zealand, but it is rare to recover the rock. Fireballs Aotearoa is working to improve the recovery rate.

In an average year, perhaps four meteorites hit New Zealand. We’re encouraging citizen scientists to build their own meteor camera systems so they can catch these events.

By comparing the meteor against the starry background and triangulating images caught by multiple cameras, we can pin down the meteor’s position in the atmosphere to within tens of metres.

The July 22 meteor as seen by a specialised meteor camera near Ashburton.
The July 22 meteor as seen by a specialised meteor camera near Ashburton. Campbell Duncan/NASA/CAMS NZ, Author provided

Not only does that help us find the rock, but it tells us what the pre-impact orbit of the meteoroid was, which in turn tells us which part of the solar system it came from. This is a rather efficient way of sampling the solar system without ever having to launch a space mission.

Map of witness reports and cameras.
Witness reports and high-resolution meteor cameras help to calculate a meteor’s trajectory. This map shows the approximate trajectory of the July 22 meteor at the top of the red shape in the centre. Fireballs Aotearoa and International Meteor Association, Author provided

Fireballs Aotearoa is rapidly populating Otago with meteor cameras and there are half a dozen more in other parts of the South Island. The North Island isn’t well covered yet, and we’re keen for more people (in either island) to build or buy a meteor camera and keep it pointed at the sky.

Then next time a bright meteor explodes with a boom above New Zealand, we may be able to pick up the meteorite and do some good science with it.

Many thanks for the input from Jim Rowe of the UK Fireball Alliance, and Greg Price who photographed the July 22 meteor and the persistent train.The Conversation

Jack Baggaley, Professor Emeritus Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury

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

It’s Beyoncé’s world. We’re just living in it

Phoebe Macrossan, University of the Sunshine Coast

As Rolling Stone wrote last month, “for at least the past decade, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has been the world’s greatest living entertainer.”

The African-American pop star has reached single-name fame status like other mega pop stars Madonna, Cher, Britney and Adele.

Her long-standing and extremely successful career within girl group Destiny’s Child (1990-2006) and as a solo artist (2003-present) has been filled with pop cultural “moments” and record-breaking releases.

As I have written elsewhere, Beyoncé’s stardom is an interesting form of world-building. World-building, or “worlding”, is the ongoing construction and maintenance of stardom by creating an intimate, identifiable, holistic world around the star – not just a singular star image.

The audience is in on Beyoncé’s world-building the same way we watch a film. We know it is “made-up” but we want to believe it’s real – or at least go along with it for the ride.

Beyoncé World

Our obsession with celebrity is centred around the “search” for the “authentic” person behind the manufactured persona in pop videos.

The Beyoncé (2013) visual album was a sign of the increasing personal intimacy of Beyoncé’s stardom, and her transition to the active creation and ownership of an intimate, identifiable and holistic world.

“Beyoncé World” is created and maintained primarily through Beyoncé’s music videos and visual albums, but also across her concerts, performances and public appearances, and her social media accounts and website.

Other contemporary pop stars construct an “authentic” star image through sharing intimate details of their lives via social media or semi-autobiographical albums and music videos.

But Beyonce’s social media posts are notoriously curated and tight-lipped about her private life.

She rarely posts captions and favours fashion photoshoot images of herself rather than “authentic” makeup free selfies (although she wrote a long caption to launch the Renaissance album – a rarity).

Lemonade (2016) was Beyoncé’s most personal album. It addressed the infidelities of her husband, rapper and music mogul Jay-Z, as well as her own personal outrage at racial injustices in the United States.

Beyoncé World is not the messy, no-makeup selfies or confession videos of other stars. It is a more curated, high fashion, high art, high concept world for fans to participate in.

Taking care of the Beyhive

Beyoncé’s work always makes a splash but her seventh solo album, Renaissance, leaked online 36 hours before its scheduled release. Fans in France were able to buy CD versions two days before its scheduled release.

But Beyoncé has such a loyal fanbase some of her die-hard fans (called the “Beyhive”) thought it was blasphemous to listen earlier than Queen B had intended, posting instructions on social media to wait it out.

If it’s Beyoncé’s world, you need to play by Beyoncé’s rules, and the Beyhive are a key cornerstone of maintaining these rules.

Being “in the know” about specific visual and musical references the star makes (in every single output) helps fans enter into the world-building process - and they certainly want to interpret her art the way she intended it.

Her past two solo albums were both surprises: the internet-breaking digital drop Beyoncé, and the politically charged celebration of Black women in Lemonade. (She also directed, wrote and produced the film/visual album and celebration of Black Excellence, Black is King in 2020, to accompany The Lion King remake.)

Renaissance has received more of a traditional marketing buildup.

The lead single, Break My Soul, was released on June 21, and the full tracklist and album cover were posted on her Instagram before the album’s release.

While she has been teasing the album’s imagery for months, some were hoping for a visual album – or a music video for every song on the album – like her two previous solo releases.

Beyoncé has yet to release any music videos for Renaissance, other than lyric-only videos. This either means the star is about to release a Renaissance visual album or has bigger plans for a longer music film project.

Renaissance woman

Renaissance is Beyoncé’s first solo album in more than five years, and her first fully dance album.

A large part of her success is due to her ability to constantly reinvent herself and her music, borrowing from all genres and collaborating with a range of hit-makers and unusual musical artists.

Renaissance covers numerous genres, referencing many musical touchstones and pays an important homage to African-American dance music creators and LGBTQI+ dancehall culture.

The album includes nods to 1970s disco queen Donna Summer and New Orleans bounce-music icon Big Freedia, as well as a collaboration with Grace Jones on the track Move.

Renaissance traverses disco, funk, techno, hip-hop, house, dancehall, Afrobeats and ballroom. Aside from Jones, Beyoncé has worked with a wide range of collaborators including Drake, The-Dream, Honey Dijon, Skrillex, Syd, Hit-Boy, Mike Dean and A.G. Cook, among others.

While Renaissance celebrates diversity in dance music, the star has been called out for using an ableist slur in the song Heated, and has now announced she will remove the lyric. It might be Beyonce’s world, but that doesn’t mean she won’t listen to her fans.

Lemonade came out during a time of great political upheaval in America and directly addressed the Black Lives Matter movement. Renaissance is less overtly political and more a celebration of a post-pandemic opportunity to hit the dance floor. She hopes it inspires fans to “release the wiggle”.

Beyoncé World is not just created by the star and her team, but also by fans connecting the dots between her social media, her website, Renaissance and their own real world.

They’ll know not to take this album too seriously, and to imagine themselves on the dancefloor with Queen B.The Conversation

Phoebe Macrossan, Lecturer in Screen Media, University of the Sunshine Coast

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

What is an Acknowledgement of Country and how is it different to a Welcome to Country?

Cally Jetta, University of Southern Queensland

Pauline Hanson’s recent dramatic outburst and walkout from parliament as an Acknowledgement of Country was delivered has been condemned as racist and ignorant.

Social media sites reporting this incident have attracted a barrage of negative comments perpetuating misconceptions around Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country. Many clearly do not understand what they are and see them as “special treatment”. Unfortunately, Hanson has been a source of this line of thinking around so-called “special treatment”, as seen in her 1996 maiden speech to parliament.

Such comments reveal an Australian society still burdened with an unfounded resentment and fear of Aboriginal rights and connection to Country.

So, what is an Acknowledgement of Country? How is it different to a Welcome to Country?

What is an Acknowledgement of Country?

An Acknowledgement of Country is often made at the start of an event to pay respect to First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners and ongoing custodians of the land.

An Acknowledgement often highlights the unique position of First Nations people in the context of culture and history, and their intimate relationship with the land.

An Acknowledgement does not exclude anyone. Anyone can deliver one. It costs nothing to give or listen to. You lose nothing from a ten second acknowledgement of the Country, language, and people that existed in a place for tens of thousands of years.

An Acknowledgement does not impact on the rights and status of other Australian people.

What is a Welcome to Country?

Acknowledgement of Country is different to a Welcome to Country. Crucially, only Traditional Owners can deliver a Welcome to Country.

Traditionally, First Nations people travelling to different Country had to seek permission to enter from the Traditional Owners. If granted, permission was given by way of a Welcome to Country.

Today, inviting an Elder to perform a Welcome is a way to recognise unceded Aboriginal sovereignty of ancestral lands. It’s also a way to honour ancient and continuing First Nations customs.

Wurundjeri Elder Joy Murphy Wandin has described Welcome to Country as practised by her people:

When there was a request to visit Country, the Werrigerri (a young man selected by the Elders of the community) would go on behalf of the community under the voice of the Elder, the Nurungeeta. There would be this negotiation and that could take a long time, it could take months. So that is the background of Welcome to Country. It is not a new thing. It is not because our land was dispossessed; it has nothing to do with that. It is all about respect for our culture and who we are. It is paying respect, especially to our ancestors.

Acknowledgements and Welcomes to Country weren’t invented to divide First Nations and non-Indigenous people.

Although both have been widely revived in recent years, they are traditional protocols. When Aboriginal peoples travel from their own home Country to that of another Aboriginal group, they too acknowledge the traditional custodians.

Similarly, it’s standard practice for a hosting First Nations group to perform a welcome to all visitors – Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike – as a way of being inclusive and welcoming.

In doing this, Aboriginal people are sharing their culture and social protocols and offering the opportunity to feel a deeper connection to the lands you walk upon and visit.

By learning traditional place names, you unlock important information about the character or features of that place.

Restoring and maintaining connection to Country

Many Aboriginal people have been removed from Country, or can no longer access it through development, private ownership, farming and mining.

The Stolen Generations and mission era systematically worked to eradicate Aboriginal languages and cultural traditions. For many First Nations peoples, Acknowledgement of Country can help to restore some of this severed connection to Country and identity.

As Professor Mick Dodson explains:

For us, Country is a word for all the values, places, resources, stories, and cultural obligations associated with that area and its features. It describes the entirety of our ancestral domains. While they may all no longer necessarily be the titleholders to land, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are still connected to the Country of their ancestors and most consider themselves the custodians or caretakers of their land.

For some Aboriginal people, Acknowledgement of Country is a constant reminder of the responsibilities of custodians to advocate for the protection of a fragile environment and its cultural heritage.

It reminds us all Aboriginal languages were the first languages spoken in this country. Many are are still spoken. Acknowledgement of Country brings us together and recognises the shared cultural history and landscape we have all inherited.

Joy Murphy Wandin, describes it as:

a very important way of giving Aboriginal people back their place in society, and an opportunity for us to say, “We are real, we are here, and today we welcome you to our land”. It’s paying respect, in a formal sense, and following the traditional custom in a symbolic way.

Understanding what Acknowledgement of Country and Welcome to Country are, and their history and origins can help us recognise the importance and power of continuing these practices.

It’s not about being divisive. It’s about continuing ancient connections to Country, history, and ancestors. It’s a reminder of the responsibility of custodians to the land and its creatures; to protect and look after them.

It’s about honouring and being respectful towards a custom and way of thought much older than the name or concept of “Australia” as a nation state, or any sitting of parliament.The Conversation

Cally Jetta, Course examiner and lecturer; College for First Nations, University of Southern Queensland

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

Hidden women of history: Kudnarto, the Kaurna woman who made South Australian legal history

William Leigh/Mitchell Library New South Wales
Peggy Brock, Edith Cowan University

Kudnarto, a Kaurna woman, married shepherd Thomas Adams on 27 January 1848. Theirs was the first legal marriage between an Aboriginal woman and a colonist under colonial law in South Australia.

The occasion was recorded by The South Australian. The bride, who took the name Mary Ann Adams, wore

a neat gown and low boots. She wore no bonnet, but her hair was carefully dressed; and her whole appearance denoted cleanliness and comfort.

She was deemed “remarkedly good looking”, hardworking and well-tempered. Her English as she repeated her vows was clear.

Kudnarto was able to apply for Aboriginal reserve land for farming purposes under colonial law, so after their marriage Thomas put in an application for land on Skylogolee (Skillogalee) Creek, near Auburn in the Clare Valley.

In May 1848, Kudnarto (now Mary Ann Adams) acquired a license to occupy this land during her lifetime. This marriage set a precedent for other colonists to apply for Aboriginal reserve land on marrying an Aboriginal woman.

Kudnarto was given a license to occupy and farm land near Auburn in the Clare Valley (pictured, as it is today). Mark Smith/Flickr, CC BY

Who was Kudnarto?

Who was Kudnarto, this woman who made legal history? Unfortunately we know very little about her, other than a couple of newspaper reports and her husband’s attempts to secure the land he occupied in her name.

Her life is also remembered in a memoir, And the Clock Struck Thirteen, by her great-great grandson, Lewis Yerloburka O'Brien.

She was a Kaurna woman from the area around Crystal Brook, the northernmost region of Kaurna land, which extended across the Adelaide Plains to Fleurieu Peninsula in the south.

All that we know of Kudnarto’s Aboriginal family is that her name indicates she was the third-born child. Her father was probably a Ngadjuri man: the one written record of this is in the journal of anthropologist Norman Tindale. Lewis O'Brien says, “I’ve always known, however, that we’ve got Ngadjuri connections because everyone in the family used to talk about them.”

Kudnarto’s descendants include many prominent Kaurna community members, including Gladys Elphick, best known as the founding president of the Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia, the first Aboriginal women’s body to be formed in Australia – as well as Josie Agius, one of South Australia’s first Aboriginal health workers, and AFL footballer Michael O'Loughlin.

A historic marriage

Kudnarto had spent her childhood on a settler’s property, where she gained some European education. As a young teenager she met Adams, 20 years her senior, and began living with him.

After they had lived together for about 18 months, Adams gave notice to the Deputy Registrar’s Office that he wished to marry Kudnarto. But first they needed the approval of the Protector of Aborigines, Matthew Moorhouse.

He visited Kudnarto several times to find out if she was fond of Adams and wanted to marry him. Moorhouse also instructed her on her marital obligations under British law.

He reported to the Colonial Secretary that “she likes him better than the black men” and gave his approval for the marriage, subject to the authorisation of the Lieutenant Governor for the marriage of an underage girl, which was immediately forthcoming.

The local newspaper reported on the upcoming nuptials in an ironically disparaging tone, giving us one of the few descriptions of Kudnarto, a personable woman: her “fidelity, amiability of disposition, and aptitude to learn, are very remarkable, if not unprecedented.”

There was one last hurdle to overcome: it was a condition of the marriage that Kudnarto go to the Aboriginal school in Adelaide, to be trained in domestic duties and build on the education she had already received.

Kudnarto’s great-great grandson, Kaurna elder and educator Lewis Yerloburka O'Brien, devotes a chapter to her in his memoir. Provided by Wakefield Press

Kudnarto’s land

Since the inception of the colony, sections of land in South Australia had been set aside as Aboriginal reserves, where it was anticipated Aboriginal people would farm the land. But there were continual pressures on the government to make the land available for colonists and many were leased out to them.

After the wedding, Adams wrote to the Protector of Aborigines, Moorhouse, requesting access to some of this land. His application was approved and sent on to Governor Robe. Moorhouse emphasised that he was representing Adams’ wife’s interests:

I would therefore respectfully ask on her behalf, that she may be allowed to settle on the Section in the Skylogolee Creek and have His Excellency promise that she be allowed to remain there so long as she lives upon the Section.

The Adams struggled to establish a farming enterprise. Thomas seems to have been a heavy drinker, with little training or experience managing property and he feared local people would shun him. Was he shunned because of his drinking, poverty or his Aboriginal wife?

After the birth of his first son Thomas (junior) in 1849, Adams wanted to find out whether Kudnarto’s children would inherit the land when she died. He was told that the original conditions for access to the land were to protect Kudnarto from desertion by her husband “with the understanding that there might be a renewal in favour of her children in case of her death”.

A second son, Tim, was born in 1852. Kudnarto, taught her sons “as much as she could” before she died.

We have very little subsequent information about Kudnarto. Her husband did illegally lease out the land while he sought work on other properties, but we do not know if Kudnarto and the children went with him, or where they lived.

Lewis O'Brien suggests

Kudnarto was still getting used to living in new circumstances without her family around and no game to hunt nearby. She had to live in the confines of a house with all these strangers passing across her land - it would have been difficult for her.

Kudnarto is still remembered today. South Australian History Festival

Witnesses to murder

In August 1850, Kudnarto and Thomas Adams were called as witnesses in a murder trial. As in the reports of her marriage, Kudnarto was treated as a test case for “civilising the natives”. Her appearance and demeanour were of note. Describing her clothes and hair, it’s reported that “she certainly appeared to considerable advantage”. She spoke clearly, although “in the idiom of her tribe” and her emotional responses to the crime were noted.

Kudnarto died on 11 February 1855, in her early 20s. Adams and his sons lost the right to occupy the land at Skylogolee Creek. Adams could not look after his children and took them to Poonindie mission on southern Eyre Peninsula, where they lived for the next few decades.

Both Thomas Adams senior and junior continued to make claim to the land on Skillogalee Creek. But their many applications were unsuccessful, despite those early promises that Kudnarto’s children might have rights to the land.

Lewis O'Brien reflects:

how many times do we have to own this country before we can say it’s ours? We’re the original owners. My great, great grandmother was given back a piece of her land, only for it to be taken away again from her family when she died.The Conversation

Peggy Brock, Emeritus Professor of History, School of Arts and Humanities, Edith Cowan University

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

Space debris is coming down more frequently. What are the chances it could hit someone or damage property?

Brad Tucker, Author provided
Fabian Zander, University of Southern Queensland

In the past week alone, we’ve seen two separate incidents of space debris hurtling back to Earth in unexpected places.

On Saturday there was the uncontrolled re-entry of a Chinese Long March 5B rocket over Malaysia. Yesterday outlets reported on some spacecraft parts that turned up in regional New South Wales – now confirmed to be from a SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

As the space industry grows, it’s safe to say such incidents will only become more frequent – and they could pose a risk. But how much of a risk, exactly?

A Long March 5B rocket is staioned, ready for takeoff.
The Long March 5B Y3 carrier rocket was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in China’s Hainan province on July 24. Some of its debris fell into the Indian Ocean on Saturday. Li Gang/AP

Chunks of metal hurtling towards us

Space debris refers to the leftover components of a space system that are no longer required. It might be a satellite that has reached the end of its life (such as the International Space Station), or parts of a rocket system that have fulfilled their purpose and are discarded.

To date, China has launched three Long March 5B rockets, and each has been deliberately left in an uncontrolled orbit. This means there was no way of knowing where they would land.

As for the SpaceX debris found in the Snowy Mountains, SpaceX de-orbits its rocket parts in a controlled fashion, and designs other components to burn up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. But as you can see from the latest news, these things don’t always go to plan.

So how dangerous is space debris, really?

Well, as far as we know only one person has ever been hit by it. Lottie Williams, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was struck by a piece in 1997. It was about the size of her hand and thought to have come from a Delta II rocket. She picked it up, took it home and reported it to authorities the next day.

However, with more and more objects going into space, and coming back down, the chances of someone or something being struck are increasing. This is especially true of large, uncontrolled objects such as the Long March 5B.

Of the three times this model of rocket has been launched:

So should I be worried?

There are many different estimates of the chances of space debris hitting someone, but most are in the one-in-10,000 range. This is the chance of any person being hit, anywhere in the world. However, the chances of a particular person being hit (such as you or me) is in the order of one in a trillion.

There are several factors behind these estimates, but let’s just focus on one key one for now. The image below shows the orbital path the recent Long March 5B-Y3 rocket followed for its final 24 hours (different objects take different orbital paths), as well as its re-entry location marked in red.

As you can see, the rocket orbits above land for a substantial amount of time.

Orbits of the last 24 hours of the Long March 3B-Y3 stage. The red star indicates the approximate re-entry location.

Specifically, in these orbits the vehicle spends about 20% of its time over land. A broad estimate tells us 20% of land is inhabited, which means there is a 4% chance of the Long March 5B re-entry occurring over an inhabited area.

This may seem pretty high. But when you consider how much “inhabited land” is actually covered by people, the likelihood of injury or death becomes significantly less.

The chance of damage to property, on the other hand, is higher. It could be as high as 1% for any given re-entry of the Long March 5B.

Also, the overall risk posed by space debris will increase with the sheer number of objects being launched and re-entering the atmosphere. Current plans of companies and space agencies around the world involve many, many more launches.

China’s Tiangong Space Station is due to be finished by the end of the year. And South Korea recently became the seventh country to launch a satellite payload heavier than one tonne – with plans to expand its space sector (along with Japan, Russia, India and United Arab Emirates).

It’s highly likely the chances of being hit are only going to go up (but will hopefully remain very small).

How can we be prepared?

Two questions come to mind:

  1. can we predict debris re-entries?
  2. what can we do to reduce risk?

Let’s start with predictions. It can be extremely challenging to predict where an object in an uncontrolled orbit will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. The general rule of thumb says uncertainty of the estimated re-entry time will be between 10% and 20% of the remaining orbital time.

This means an object with a predicted re-entry time in ten hours will have an uncertainty margin of about one hour. So if an object is orbiting Earth every 60-90 minutes, it could enter pretty much anywhere.

Improving on this uncertainty margin is a big challenge and will require significant amounts of research. Even then, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to predict an object’s re-entry location more accurately than within a 1,000km range.

Ways to reduce risk

Reducing risk is a challenge, but there are a couple of options.

First, all objects launched into an Earth orbit should have a plan for safe de-orbiting into an unpopulated area. This is usually the SPOUA (South Pacific Ocean Uninhabited Area) – also known as the “spacecraft cemetery”.

There’s also the option to carefully design components so they completely disintegrate upon re-entry. If everything burns up when it hits the upper atmosphere, there will no longer be a significant risk.

There are already some guidelines requiring space debris risk minimisation, such as the United Nations guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities – but the mechanisms for these aren’t specified.

Moreover, how do these guidelines apply internationally, and who can enforce them? Such questions remain unanswered.

In summary, should you be concerned about being hit by space debris? For now, no. Is further research on space debris important for the future? Absolutely.The Conversation

Fabian Zander, Senior Research Fellow in Aerospace Engineering, University of Southern Queensland

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

It’s hard to challenge someone’s false beliefs because their ideas come from social networks, not facts

Most of us acquire our beliefs using a combination of research and social networks. Those social networks can provide false information. (Shutterstock)
Lara Millman, Dalhousie University

Most people think they acquire their beliefs using a high standard of objectivity.

But recent arguments between people about issues like trans rights, vaccinations or Roe v. Wade point to a different reality.

Consider the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. There is plenty of evidence to show that widely accessible abortions lead to safer outcomes for children and people who can become pregnant. Moreover, data suggests abortion bans are ineffective, harmful and dangerous. A commitment to life, then, should favour comprehensive health care for those who can become pregnant — including abortions. It seems like there is a disconnect: People are not having fact-informed arguments.

The world is hyperspecialized

There is a reason facts are quickly lost in contentious arguments: individual people do not have the resources to deeply understand complex social issues. This is, in part, because the world in which we live is hyperspecialized. This means all reliable information is produced thanks to vast, interconnected fields of study. Humans have divided cognitive labour so we can know much more collectively than we can individually.

For example, the structural integrity of a bridge or the inner-workings of a cell phone are things the collective “we” understands better together.

But this feature of human knowledge is our downfall when it comes to the persistence of socially erroneous beliefs.

During arguments about social issues between those with differing opinions, one person often ends up insisting that if the other were only rational and could see the evidence, they would change their mind.

A woman is chatting with a workmate. Her face looks perplexed.
Conversations with people who hold misinformed beliefs can be challenging and stagnant. (Mimi Thian/Unsplash)

Socially problematic or false beliefs include things like racist, homophobic, transphobic and misogynstic ideas. These ideas can lead to significant, negative social consequences, especially for those belonging to marginalized communities.

False beliefs are pervasive in part because of the collective nature of human knowledge. As individuals, we can’t assess every issue since they require specialized knowledge. And while some may argue “do your own research,” individuals don’t necessarily have access to the best avenues to conduct fair research. Not only that, many would rather stick to their own set of beliefs.

Finding someone trustworthy

Due to the sheer volume of information that is relevant to any given social issue, people have developed psychological shortcuts — or heuristics — to point them in the right direction. These shortcuts have little to do with evidence and much more to do with evaluating who we can trust.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the extent to which we find a person trustworthy is calibrated according to our social communities. We naturally associate with people who share our values: psychological processes encourage us to acquire values from our communities, and we tend to seek out like-minded individuals.

Our social communities radically determine who we see as trustworthy. Our social groups determine our political attitudes, obscure which evidence will count as meaningful and moderate the extent to which most people evaluate how their beliefs correspond to what experts say.

people sitting and talking together
We tend to get our knowledge from our community. (Shutterstock)

The people already in our communities will appear to be the most knowledgeable — even if they have no expertise or understanding and even when they are perpetuating false beliefs.

While it might seem like accurate beliefs are easily acquired, people are not quite so adept when it comes to determining what is true, nor are they equipped to determine who the appropriate experts are.

Problematic beliefs persist because our psychological and social circumstances don’t situate us appropriately to evaluate issues. This is partly why reasoning alone won’t change people’s minds.

Problematic beliefs are so appealing, then, because they’re easy.

From the perspective of a person living in a community committed to socially problematic beliefs, there is almost always more “trustworthy evidence” from someone they know.

Instead of complacent acceptance of misinformed beliefs, we need institutional moves to cultivate trust between experts and the public.

Perhaps more importantly, we need to cultivate a shared commitment to recognizing the humanity in others. Arriving at a problematic belief is easy, but building a better world requires authentic relationships and coalitions across community lines.The Conversation

Lara Millman, PhD Student, Philosophy, Dalhousie University

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

book of the month: august 2022 - Kamilaroi, and other Australian languages by William Ridley(1819-1878)

Publication date: 1875, Publisher: Sydney, N.S.W., T. Richards, government printer

1. a member of a group of Australian Aboriginal peoples of north-eastern New South Wales.
2. the language of the Kamilaroi.
adjective; relating to the Kamilaroi or their language.

The Gamilaraay or Kamilaroi language is a Pama–Nyungan language of the Wiradhuric subgroup found mostly in south-eastern Australia. It is the traditional language of the Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi), an Indigenous Australian people. It has been noted as endangered, but the number of speakers grew from 87 in the 2011 Australian Census to 105 in the 2016 Australian Census. Thousands of Australians identify as Gamilaraay, and the language is taught in some schools.

Wirray Wirray, Guyinbaraay, Yuwaalayaay, Waalaraay and Gawambaraay are dialects; Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi is a closely related language.
The name Gamilaraay means 'gamil-having', with gamil being the word for 'no'. Other dialects and languages are similarly named after their respective words for 'no'. (Compare the division between langues d'oïl and langues d'oc in France, distinguished by their respective words for 'yes'.)
Spellings of the name, in the language itself, include Goomeroi; Kamilaroi; Gamilaraay and Gamilaroi.

According to Robert Fuller of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University and his colleagues, the Gamilaraay and Euahlayi peoples are a cultural grouping of north and northwest New South Wales (NSW), and the Gamilaraay dialect groups are known as Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay, while the Euahlayi (Euayelai) have a similar but distinct language.

Southern Aboriginal guides led the surveyor John Howe to the upper Hunter River above present-day Singleton in 1819. They told him that the country there was "Coomery Roy [=Gamilaraay] and more further a great way", meaning to the north-west, over the Liverpool Ranges (see O'Rourke 1997: 29). This is probably the first record of the name.

A basic wordlist collected by Thomas Mitchell in February, 1832, is the earliest written record of Gamilaraay. Presbyterian missionary William Ridley studied the language from 1852 to 1856.

A map of the tribes of New South Wales, published in 1892. Gamilaraay is marked I.

The world at your finger tips: Online

With current advice to stay at home and self-isolate, when you come in out of the garden, have had your fill of watching movies and want to explore something new, there's a whole world of books you can download, films you can watch and art galleries you can stroll through - all from at home and via the internet. This week a few suggestions of some of the resources available for you to explore and enjoy. For those who have a passion for Art - this month's Artist of the Month is the Online Australian Art Galleries and State Libraries where you can see great works of art from all over the world  and here - both older works and contemporary works.

Also remember the Project Gutenberg Australia - link here- has heaps of great books, not just focused on Australian subjects but fiction works by popular authors as well. Well worth a look at.

Short Stories for Teenagers you can read for free online

StoryStar is an online resource where you can access and read short stories for teenagers


Storystar is a totally FREE short stories site featuring some of the best short stories online, written by/for kids, teens, and adults of all ages around the world, where short story writers are the stars, and everyone is free to shine! Storystar is dedicated to providing a free place where everyone can share their stories. Stories can entertain us, enlighten us, and change us. Our lives are full of stories; stories of joy and sorrow, triumph and tragedy, success and failure. The stories of our lives matter. Share them. Sharing stories with each other can bring us closer together and help us get to know one another better. Please invite your friends and family to visit Storystar to read, rate and share all the short stories that have been published here, and to tell their stories too.

StoryStar headquarters are located on the central Oregon coast.

NFSA - National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

The doors may be temporarily closed but when it comes to the NFSA, we are always open online. We have content for Kids, Animal Lovers, Music fans, Film buffs & lots more.

You can explore what’s available online at the NFSA, see more in the link below.

NLA Ebooks - Free To Download

The National Library of Australia provides access to thousands of ebooks through its website, catalogue and eResources service. These include our own publications and digitised historical books from our collections as well as subscriptions to collections such as Chinese eResources, Early English Books Online and Ebsco ebooks.

What are ebooks?
Ebooks are books published in an electronic format. They can be read by using a personal computer or an ebook reader.

This guide will help you find and view different types of ebooks in the National Library collections.

Peruse the NLA's online ebooks, ready to download - HERE

The Internet Archive and Digital Library

The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge." It provides free public access to collections of digitised materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies, videos, moving images, and millions of public-domain books. There's lots of Australian materials amongst the millions of works on offer.


Avalon Youth Hub: More Meditation Spots

Due to popular demand our meditation evenings have EXPANDED. Two sessions will now be run every Wednesday evening at the Hub. Both sessions will be facilitated by Merryn at Soul Safaris.

6-7pm - 12 - 15 year olds welcome
7-8pm - 16 - 25 year olds welcome

No experience needed. Learn and develop your mindfulness and practice meditation in a group setting.

For all enquires, message us via facebook or email

BIG THANKS The Burdekin Association for funding these sessions!

Green Team Beach Cleans 

Hosted by The Green Team
It has been estimated that we will have more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050...These beach cleans are aimed at reducing the vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans before they harm marine life. 

Anyone and everyone is welcome! If you would like to come along, please bring a bucket, gloves and hat. Kids of all ages are also welcome! 

We will meet in front of the surf club. 
Hope to see you there!

The Green Team is a Youth-run, volunteer-based environment initiative from Avalon, Sydney. Keeping our area green and clean.

 The Project Gutenberg Library of Australiana

Australian writers, works about Australia and works which may be of interest to Australians.This Australiana page boasts many ebooks by Australian writers, or books about Australia. There is a diverse range; from the journals of the land and sea explorers; to the early accounts of white settlement in Australia; to the fiction of 'Banjo' Paterson, Henry Lawson and many other Australian writers.

The list of titles form part of the huge collection of ebooks freely downloadable from Project Gutenberg Australia. Follow the links to read more about the authors and titles and to read and/or download the ebooks. 

Profile: Ingleside Riders Group

Ingleside Riders Group Inc. (IRG) is a not for profit incorporated association and is run solely by volunteers. It was formed in 2003 and provides a facility known as “Ingleside Equestrian Park” which is approximately 9 acres of land between Wattle St and McLean St, Ingleside. IRG has a licence agreement with the Minister of Education to use this land. This facility is very valuable as it is the only designated area solely for equestrian use in the Pittwater District.  IRG promotes equal rights and the respect of one another and our list of rules that all members must sign reflect this.


Research shows that one in five Australian children aged 8 to 17 has been the target of cyberbullying in the past year. The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner can help you make a complaint, find someone to talk to and provide advice and strategies for dealing with these issues.

Make a Complaint 

The Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act 2015 gives the power to provide assistance in relation to serious cyberbullying material. That is, material that is directed at a particular child with the intention to seriously embarrass, harass, threaten or humiliate.


Before you make a complaint you need to have:

  • copies of the cyberbullying material to upload (eg screenshots or photos)
  • reported the material to the social media service (if possible) at least 48 hours ago
  • at hand as much information as possible about where the material is located
  • 15-20 minutes to complete the form


Our mission

The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner is Australia's leader in online safety. The Office is committed to helping young people have safe, positive experiences online and encouraging behavioural change, where a generation of Australian children act responsibly online—just as they would offline.

We provide online safety education for Australian children and young people, a complaints service for young Australians who experience serious cyberbullying, and address illegal online content through the Online Content Scheme.

Our goal is to empower all Australians to explore the online world—safely.


The Green Team

This Youth-run, volunteer-based environment initiative has been attracting high praise from the founders of Living Ocean as much as other local environment groups recently. 
Creating Beach Cleans events, starting their own, sustainability days - ‘action speaks louder than words’ ethos is at the core of this group. 

National Training Complaints Hotline – 13 38 73

The National Training Complaints Hotline is accessible on 13 38 73 (Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm nationally) or via email at

Sync Your Breathing with this - to help you Relax

Send In Your Stuff

Pittwater Online News is not only For and About you, it is also BY you.  
We will not publish swearing or the gossip about others. BUT: If you have a poem, story or something you want to see addressed, let us know or send to:

All Are Welcome, All Belong!

Youth Source: Northern Sydney Region

A directory of services and resources relevant to young people and those who work, play and live alongside them.

The YouthSource directory has listings from the following types of service providers: Aboriginal, Accommodation, Alcohol & Other Drugs, Community Service, Counselling, Disability, Education & Training, Emergency Information, Employment, Financial, Gambling,  General Health & Wellbeing, Government Agency, Hospital & GP, Legal & Justice, Library, Mental Health, Multicultural, Nutrition & Eating Disorders, Parenting, Relationships, Sexual Health, University, Youth Centre

Fined Out: Practical guide for people having problems with fines

Legal Aid NSW has just published an updated version of its 'Fined Out' booklet, produced in collaboration with Inner City Legal Centre and Redfern Legal Centre.

Fined Out is a practical guide to the NSW fines system. It provides information about how to deal with fines and contact information for services that can help people with their fines.

A fine is a financial penalty for breaking the law. The Fines Act 1996 (NSW) and Regulations sets out the rules about fines.

The 5th edition of 'Fined Out' includes information on the different types of fines and chapters on the various options to deal with fines at different stages of the fine lifecycle, including court options and pathways to seek a review, a 50% reduction, a write-off, plan, or a Work and Development Order (WDO).

The resource features links to self-help legal tools for people with NSW fines, traffic offence fines and court attendance notices (CANs) and also explains the role of Revenue NSW in administering and enforcing fines.

Other sections of the booklet include information specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people and driving offences, as well as a series of template letters to assist people to self-advocate.

Hard copies will soon be available to be ordered online through the Publications tab on the Legal Aid NSW website.

Hard copies will also be made available in all public and prison libraries throughout NSW.

Read the resource online, or download the PDF.

Apprenticeships and traineeships info

Are you going to leave school this year?
Looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship to get you started?
This website, Training Services NSW, has stacks of info for you;

It lists the group training organisations (GTOs) that are currently registered in NSW under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001. These GTOs have been audited by independent auditors and are compliant with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations.

If you are interested in using the services of a registered GTO, please contact any of the organisations listed here:

There are also some great websites, like 1300apprentice, which list what kind of apprenticeships and traineeships they can guide you to securing as well as listing work available right now.

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)
1842 Pittwater Rd, Bayview

BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!

 headspace Brookvale

headspace Brookvale provides services to young people aged 12-25. If you are a young person looking for health advice, support and/or information,headspace Brookvale can help you with:

• Mental health • Physical/sexual health • Alcohol and other drug services • Education and employment services

If you ever feel that you are:

• Alone and confused • Down, depressed or anxious • Worried about your use of alcohol and/or other drugs • Not coping at home, school or work • Being bullied, hurt or harassed • Wanting to hurt yourself • Concerned about your sexual health • Struggling with housing or accommodation • Having relationship problems • Finding it hard to get a job

Or if you just need someone to talk to… headspace Brookvale can help! The best part is our service is free, confidential and youth friendly.

headspace Brookvale is open from Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:30pm so if you want to talk or make an appointment give us a call on (02) 9937 6500. If you're not feeling up to contacting us yourself, feel free to ask your family, friend, teacher, doctor or someone close to you to make a referral on your behalf.

When you first come to headspace Brookvale you will be greeted by one of our friendly staff. You will then talk with a member of our headspace Brookvale Youth Access Team. The headspace Brookvale Youth Access Team consists of three workers, who will work with you around whatever problems you are facing. Depending on what's happening for you, you may meet with your Youth Access Worker a number of times or you may be referred on to a more appropriate service provider.

A number of service providers are operating out of headspace Brookvale including Psychologists, Drug & Alcohol Workers, Sexual Health Workers, Employment Services and more! If we can't find a service operating withinheadspace Brookvale that best suits you, the Youth Access Team can also refer you to other services in the Sydney area.

eheadspace provides online and telephone support for young people aged 12-25. It is a confidential, free, secure space where you can chat, email or talk on the phone to qualified youth mental health professionals.

Click here to go to eheadspace

For urgent mental health assistance or if you are in a crisis please call the Northern Sydney 24 hour Mental Health Access Line on 1800 011 511

Need Help Right NOW??

kids help line: 1800 55 1800 -

lifeline australia - 13 11 14 -

headspace Brookvale is located at Level 2 Brookvale House, 1A Cross Street Brookvale NSW 2100 (Old Medical Centre at Warringah Mall). We are nearby Brookvale Westfield's bus stop on Pittwater road, and have plenty of parking under the building opposite Bunnings. More at:

Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5 to 70 who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 
Profile: Pittwater Baseball Club

Their Mission: Share a community spirit through the joy of our children engaging in baseball.

Year 13

Year13 is an online resource for post school options that specialises in providing information and services on Apprenticeships, Gap Year Programs, Job Vacancies, Studying, Money Advice, Internships and the fun of life after school. Partnering with leading companies across Australia Year13 helps facilitate positive choices for young Australians when finishing school.

Driver Knowledge Test (DKT) Practice run Online

Did you know you can do a practice run of the DKT online on the RMS site? - check out the base of this page, and the rest on the webpage, it's loaded with information for you!

The DKT Practice test is designed to help you become familiar with the test, and decide if you’re ready to attempt the test for real.  Experienced drivers can also take the practice test to check their knowledge of the road rules. Unlike the real test, the practice DKT allows you to finish all 45 questions, regardless of how many you get wrong. At the end of the practice test, you’ll be advised whether you passed or failed.

NCYLC is a community legal centre dedicated to providing advice to children and young people. NCYLC has developed a Cyber Project called Lawmail, which allows young people to easily access free legal advice from anywhere in Australia, at any time.

NCYLC was set up to ensure children’s rights are not marginalised or ignored. NCYLC helps children across Australia with their problems, including abuse and neglect. The AGD, UNSW, KWM, Telstra and ASIC collaborate by providing financial, in-kind and/or pro bono volunteer resources to NCYLC to operate Lawmail and/or Lawstuff.

Kids Helpline

If you’re aged 5-25 the Kids Helpline provides free and confidential online and phone counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 55 1800. You can chat with us about anything… What’s going on at home, stuff with friends. Something at school or feeling sad, angry or worried. You don’t have to tell us your name if you don’t want to.

You can Webchat, email or phone. Always remember - Everyone deserves to be safe and happy. You’re important and we are here to help you. Visit: