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Monday, 24 July


The oldest continuous culture in the world just became est. 18,000 years older North Coast Voices

Jabiru, Northern Territory: Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for a minimum of 65,000 years, a team of archaeologists has established - 18,000 years longer than had been proved previously and at least 5000 years longer than had been speculated by the most optimistic researchers.

The world-first finding, which follows years of archaeological digging in an ancient camp-site beneath a sandstone rock shelter within the Jabiru mining lease in Kakadu, Northern Territory, drastically alters the known history of the trek out of Africa by modern humans, according to the leader of the international team of archaeologists, associate professor Chris Clarkson of the University of Queensland.

The findings, which are already causing intense interest in archaeological circles across the world, have been peer reviewed by internationally recognised scientists and are published this week in the world's most prestigious science journal, Nature.

Among the trove of discoveries are the world's oldest stone axes with polished and sharpened edges, proving that the earliest Australians were among the most sophisticated tool-makers of their time: no other culture had such axes for another 20,000 years.

"The axes were perfectly preserved, tucked up against the back wall of the shelter as we dug further and further," Professor Clarkson told Fairfax Media.

"There was one on the surface, another further down that we dated at 10,000 years. Then there were quite a few furt...


Australia in 2017 - Violence Against Women North Coast Voices

Australia in 2017  - known deaths due to violence against women  -  23 dead by July 12 [Destroy the Joint, 12 July 2017]

A rarely spoken about aspect of domestic violence

"It is widely accepted by abuse experts (and validated by numerous studies) ..that evangelical men who sporadically attend church are more likely than men of any other religious group (and more likely than secular men) to assault their wives." [Professor of Theology Steven R, Tracy, 2007,Patriarchy and Domestic Violence: Challenging Common Misconceptions inWHAT DOES SUBMIT IN EVERYTHING REALLY MEAN? THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF MARITAL SUBMISSION

Research shows that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Church leaders in Australia say they abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it

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Sunday, 23 July


Sunday, 23 July 2017 - 6:54pm

This week, I have been mostly reading:


Byron Writers Festival Robert Drewe new novel Whipbird Common Ground North Coast

ImageBangalow local Robert Drewe is an Australian literary legend whose more than 20 highly acclaimed books, including novels, short stories and memoirs have won state, national and international prizes, been widely translated, and been adapted for film, television, theatre and radio.

His new novel Whipbird is a sharply observed, vividly imagined, satirical portrait of contemporary Australia and a modern comedy of manners.

Kungadgee, Victoria, Australia. A weekend in late November, 2014. At Hugh and Christine Clearys new vineyard, Whipbird, six generations of the Cleary family are coming together from far and wide to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the arrival of their ancestor Conor Cleary from Ireland. Hugh has been meticulously planning the event for months a chance to proudly showcase Whipbird to the extended clan.

Among the more than 2,000 relatives gathered at the vineyard walks the ghost of Conor Cleary narrating events past and present through the eyes of his great-great-grandson Simon Sly Cleary, former keyboard player for the rock band Spider Flower, now suffering a delusionary mental belief that he no longer exists.

As the weekend unfolds, the wine flows, family tensions rise and then Hughs recently acquired painting, Miner with Pan and Shovel from Sidney Nolans Eureka Stockade series goes missing. Right on cue, a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur arrives with a view to investing in a new Australian winery.

In Whipbird, Robert Drewe pulls no punches. Nothing is sacred as he takes on the mining boom and conservationists; everyone from investment bankers and real-estate agents to sea-changers and tree-changers, vegans and Paleo practitioners, First World smugness, global-warming, retirement, divorce, death, sudoko and artisan brewers. And the nonchalant disrespect and disillusionment of the young.

Robert Drewe will feature at Byron Writers Festival in conversation with Geordie Williamson (Friday 4 August) and in the session Just Like Us: Creating Fictional Families with Sophie Hamley, Ash...


SAE Byron Bay Open Day | SAT 05 AUG | 11AM 3PM Byron Bay Blog

Get a taste of the skills that will kickstart your creative career at SAE Byron Bay Open Day.

Were opening the doors to our purpose-built campus on Saturday, 5th August, 2017 from 11am-3pm.

If youre considering studying creative media next year, now is the time to speak to our experienced team, and pursue your passion in this dynamic and expanding industry. SAE has the knowledge and tools to turn your dreams into a reality.

Our state-of-the-art studios will be in action, equipment ready to try, live entertainment and student exhibitions on display and your future mentors ready to inspire!

Join a tour and chat with our friendly staff about our Degree and Diploma courses in Animation, Audio, Design, Film and Games. Come and see how our students are gaining the competitive edge at Australias leading creative media institute.

PLUS Register and attend Open Day for your chance to WIN a pair of Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones!

Register NOW:

The post SAE Byron Bay Open Day | SAT 05 AUG | 11AM 3PM appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.


What a real charmer! North Coast Voices

Photograph from The Australian
Lower house speaker, Michael Sutherland at the Yokine Primary School polling booth in WA.
One of the candidates vying to be the next West Australian senator for the Liberal Party has described supporters of refugee-friendly policies as "a bunch of cockroaches" swarming all over his former electorate.
Michael Sutherland, the former Speaker in the WA parliament who lost his inner city seat in March, made the comments at a Liberal Party event in Sydney last month.
He is one of the five men ...


Aboriginal Australia seeks more than the symbolic recognition of first peoples status on offer from the Liberal-Nationals Federal Government North Coast Voices

The Australian story began long before the arrival of the First Fleet on 26 January 1788. We Australians all know this. We have always known this.


The Council recommends:
  1. That a referendum be held to provide in the Australian Constitution for a representative body that gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nations a Voice to the Commonwealth Parliament. One of the specific functions of such a body, to be set out in legislation outside the Constitution, should include the function of monitoring the use of the heads of power in section 51 (xxvi) and section 122. The body will recognise the status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of Australia.
It will be for the Parliament to consider what further definition is required before the proposal is in a form appropriate to be put to a referendum. In that respect, the Council draws attention to t...

Saturday, 22 July


WHY WE SHOULD NOT FEED WILD BIRDS Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

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Two weeks to go and tickets are selling fast! Byron Bay Blog

The countdown is on! In two weeks we will open the gates to the 21st Byron Writers Festival. This week we highlight our stellar line up of musos and memoirists, whose stories will make the heart sing.

On Friday 4 August, join rock icon Jimmy Barnes, in conversation with comedian and columnist Mandy Nolan, about his bestselling 2016 memoir Working Class Boy. Next up, prolific muso and front man of The Cruel Sea, Tex Perkins joins Bec Mac to talk about a life in music, coinciding with the release of his biography.

From rock songs to those of the war boys, Deng Adut discusses another kind of refrain. In a session called Overcoming Adversity, Adut will talk about his journey from Sudanese child soldier to refugee and human rights lawyer, along with other extraordinary characters, Cosentino, Graham Innes and Ben Mckelvey. Later, Tracey Spicer, in conversation with Lisa Wilkinson, invites us into the real world of television, revealing with wit and humour, the darker truths of an industry she loves dearly.

On Saturday morning, get into the swing of it with the music memoirists, when Andrew Ford, Mark Holden and Barry Jones discuss making stories out of lives spent making music. Then Nikki Gemmell joins Chris Hanley to talk about her brave and honest memoir, After, in which Gemmell attempts to understand her mothers death of choice. Also catch Sarah Blasko in conversation with The Saturday Papers Erik Jensen, or eavesdrop on Jimmy Barnes and Tex Perkins as they discuss their RocknRoll Lives.

Later in the evening, Jimmy Barnes will appear in conversation with Matthew Condon, at a feature event in Lennox Head, and Sarah Blasko will perform live at Bedtime Stories, at Byron Theatre.

On Sunday, acclaimed musician and debut novelist Holly Throsby will take us behind the page in the session Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Writing Process, while the masters of criticism and broadcasting, Andrew Ford, Sebastian Smee and Peter Thompson join forces to discuss their favourite topics: Art, Music, Film and Books. And finally, two of Australias finest singer-songwriters, Sarah Blasko and Holly Throsby, appear together in The Music Makers.

Dont miss this opportunity to meet the writers who fearlessly shed light on real-life experiences. From rock legends, to skillful lyricists, survivors of hardship and bastions of hope, their stories will surely move, entertain and enthral.

Buy tickets now at



Quotes of the Week North Coast Voices

Abdel-Magied's savaging has been so grotesque in its meanness, ugly in its intolerance and alarming in its violence, that it's obvious something else is going on, too something has been legitimised and unleashed. And it seems to be hostility to Islam, as well as women. [Julia Baird writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 July 2017]

A few years ago I talked to [Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull] for two hours about climate change, and he had a great grasp of it. Then he turns around and does nothing. To me, that is truly criminal. [Marine scientist J.E.N. Charlie Vernon quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 July 2017]

It has put Australia in a position it's only been in three times before: Minor parties securing more than a quarter of all votes. Every time we have been in this situation, one of the major parties has been reshaped or disappeared. [Economist Andrew Charlton quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 2017]

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