The Australian War Memorial- the short of it

June 10, 2014  •  1 Comment

Our Humans of the Brochure visit to the Australian War Memorial tonight began with us attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Pool of Reflection.  The Ceremony is held here every day (except for Christmas) at 4:55 pm. 

Each day, one of the men or women whose name appears on the Roll of Honor is commemorated.  Their stories are meticulously researched and told by War Memorial historians.

The ceremony ends with the poignant Last Post.
Tonight’s ceremony was for Signaller Sean McCarthy who lost his life in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2008.


After the ceremony, our group was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour with Peter Burness, senior historian and  the War Memorial’s longest serving employee.  He was well informed and humorous with many personal anecdotes about the areas he was showing us .

Some random facts we learned:
The sticking of the poppies into the Roll of Honour only started in 1993, after the body of an unknown soldier was brought back from France and buried in the chapel to represent all Australian soldiers killed in war. 

Servicemen in bomber planes were the most likely to die very young.
Many men flying huge aircraft still didn’t have car license
The tail gunner was the worst job.  The poor man was bundled into the belly of the bomber with his knees in his face.  He was secluded from the others and absolutely freezing.  There was zero hope of escape if there was attack or damage.

The Australian War Memorial was the brainchild of Charles Bean, an official World War 1 historian.  It was completed in 1941.

The War Memorial has 3 parts:

The Commemorative Area, the Museum (with the galleries) and the Research Centre (for records)

The Hall of Memory is a beautiful peaceful chapel.  Each of its 4 walls have mosaics representing  a Sailor, a Servicewoman, a Soldier and an Airman; 3 of its walls have stained glass windows  detailing images of these also.  Both the mosaics and glass windows were created by Napier Waller who lost his arm in World War 1.

The roll of Honour which is featured on bronze plaques around the Memorial Pool, commemorates the Australian servicemen and women who lost their lives in conflict.  Only their names and not their rank appear on the list.

The museum is laid out with care and intent.  There are interactive, engaging sections in every room.

The remains of the first Australian aircraft shot down in the war against Japan.

Lots of sections have video interviews or commentary.

I was moved by this graphic image of a fellow Gunnedah boy, Len Siffleet, the moment before he was beheaded in 1943.

As always, I found the photographs the most moving.

Ask about the interactive kids area where everything is hands-on.  They can climb into this helicopter…..

….and experience life on a submarine!

 

We finished our brilliant evening with some lovely cheese and fruit platters.

The Australian War Memorial is open daily 10-5 (except on Christmas Day.) http://www.awm.gov.au/


Dickson Tradies/ Canberra Raiders- the postage stamp version

June 08, 2014  •  2 Comments


It was a brisk but fun evening that  we Humans of the Brochure had at the Dickson Tradies/Raiders game event this evening.
We started with yummy canapés at Dickson Tradies before heading out via a bus together to the game.
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It isn’t important who won the game between the Raiders and the Broncos.  Let me instead detail the important facts:

There was a ball. 

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There were lots of men trying to pull each other off the ball.

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There was kicking from both teams as well as from the cheerleaders (yay, Clare!) who were thrilled to benefit from some personal tips from our very own dancer Jamie Winbank .

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There was a mascot race.  I have no idea who actually won as I became engrossed watching our own Raider mascot try to take down the Club Lime mascot.  Below is the moment where our Viking spotted the opportunity to take out the poor lime-suited mascot.  Boy, oh boy, it was all happening tonight!

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There were hot chips from our amazing hosts from Visit Canberra.  How did they know that our tummies are bottomless pits?

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There was Raider’s spirit oozing from Kim-Marie’s dancing.

There were fandannas from Housh who had about a dozen spare.  :)  We wore them well.

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There was a photo opportunity with the Raiders most vocal fan- Stu who, when asked explained: ‘I live here in Canberra, I support the Raiders.’
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And most importantly there was NO rain! 

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Photographing things beginning with 'B'

June 07, 2014  •  3 Comments

This morning I was up before the crack of dawn to photograph the launch of the hot air balloons.  Unfortunately this did not eventuate due to the wind factor.
My fellow earlybirds and I decided that we could still take the initiative to photograph something- something else beginning with ‘B’: BREAKFAST!!!  At Lonsdale St Roasters.  Woot!  My happy place!

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Lonsdale is all about the coffee:
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I wanted to have a macchiato as well as my cap.  Wait- why didn’t I?
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My smoked ham and aged cheddar-mornay toasted croissant was yummy. 

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The eggs Benedict looked good too.

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Lonsdale doesn’t take itself too seriously:

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Thanks for a great start to the day, Lonsdale!  If you can’t guess what street this place actually is, you need help.  :)  Go to the site to find where else they are.  http://lonsdalestreetroasters.com/

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Frugii at the Handmade Markets

June 07, 2014  •  2 Comments

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The 9 yr old and I had a lovely drop-in at the Handmade Markets today in at the National Convention Centre today.  The budget is low at present so I really went along to say ‘hi’ my crafty friends from Human Brochure.
I will have to do a little post specifically about the bag Theresa from A Little Bird Made Me is going to design and create for me soon!  I am excited!

Anyhow, we were short on time so we headed straight for the ice-cream trolley (as you do in winter!)
Frugii!!!
(The photos suck…. sorry, I was working with a smudged smartphone)

John from Frugii spotted us looking at his selection of ice-cream and assured us that we could have as many samples as we like without having to buy.  Boo-ya!!
When the 9 yr old chose to sample the Dark Chocolate Gelato, John came out to explain how he actually makes the gelato from cocoa beans that he roasts and grinds to perfection himself.  It is a complex process! 

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We sampled the Dark Chocolate Gelato and enjoyed its delicate flavour even more after knowing the work that goes into making it.

The Salted Butter Caramel is my favourite.  I could taste the salt, the butter and the caramel!

The Pavlova ice-cream had the crunch of meringue in it.  What could be more Australian than that? Well, perhaps the Musk Stick flavour!  Musk sticks were my favourite Australian lolly growing up and the taste made me all nostalgic.

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After all our sampling, the 9 yr old chose to go with a cup of the Dark Chocolate Gelato.

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Taste some Frugii ice-cream or gelato yourself.  John’ wide range of flavours are made entirely from organic products, with no artificial colours or  flavours.  At the weekends you will find him at either Capital Regional Farmers Markets, Old Bus Depot Markets or Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets.

http://www.frugii.com/

 


National Archives of Australia - the short of it

June 04, 2014  •  5 Comments

My expectation of our tour of the National Archives was that the canapes would be yummy, that I would be able to catch up with a group of HUMANS that I really enjoy hanging out with and that we would be taken around to view lots of signed bills and treaties of this, that and the other.

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I was right about the food.  Kitchen Witchery ( http://kitchenwitchery.com.au/) catered the event.  The canapés were  varied and the taste sensation were exquisite.

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We  feasted on:

Chinese BBQ duck wrapped in petit shallot crepes

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Tiger prawns on forks topped with avocado salsa

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Smoked lamb fillet served on garlic croustade with aioli & smoked tomato

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Smoked eggplant pinwheel crepes with hommus & paprika

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and Soy glazed chicken, watercress & cucumber rice paper wraps

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OK- lets talk about the Archives.  :)
There are actually thousands of documents and photos from our nation’s history stored at the National Archives of Australia.  The way in which they are so accessible to us is a testament to our democracy and nation’s desire to learn from its history by being transparent.

The displays are honest and evoke strong emotions at times.

Most of my post about the night will be through pictures.  You must come and see it for yourself.  You will leave with a richer understanding of the story of our amazing country.  Be sure and talk to the staff that work here as they are passionate about the stories behind the displays and will bring them to living colour for you. 

Before we get to parts I took photos of; we were given access to an area where no photography was allowed.  Here we got to see up-close, the
Royal Proclamation of Inauguration Day, written out on vellum and signed by Queen Victoria.
We also discovered some of the alternate names that got kicked around for our nation’s Capital.
Try Wattleton, Austral or Eden out and see how it rolls off the tongue.  :)


Some things that fascinated me:

A 50 word dictation test was enforced on for all non-Europeans entering Australia between 1901 and 1958 under the Immigration Restriction Act. This test could be read aloud in any European language of the tester’s choosing.  In this way failure could be guaranteed, if the tester felt the applicant was undesirable due to racial background or character . Failure of the dictation test meant deportation.  Below is an example of the 50 word dictation:

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After World War 2, Australia embarked on a massive seductive campaign to attract European migrants to its shores to further establish the nations’ development and prosperity. 
These migrants were initially housed in large hostels hastily set up in former army and air force barracks until they found permanent work and homes.
After the glossy advertising of a new start, many migrants found the reality of the stark life in the hostels overwhelming.


Here is our group being taken through the A Place to Call Home? exhibit that explores what life was like for those migrant families.

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We learned about the bland food served up at the hostels.  There are even recipes to look at and cook at home. 

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The old books are seriously impressive.

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Tut tut!  These cards were seized by customs officials.

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This next photo I found confronting and poignant and heartbreaking.  The National Archives houses the 1972 Larrakia petition where 1000 Aboriginal people signed a document calling for land rights and political representation. They tried to have this document given to Princess Margaret during her official tour of Darwin, but in the effort to hand it over, it was ripped in a scuffle by over-zealous police and the attempt failed. The petition eventually made it to Buckingham place along with a polite letter of apology about the petition’s condition. 

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Below are the ballot balls used for conscription for Vietnam war 1965-1972.

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We all wanted a photo display like this one.  Maybe you or a loved one are featured here.  Come and take a look:

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Images speak so much:

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It is so interactive:

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The images and personal quotes are captivating.

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Here are the contents of Prime Minister Harold Holt’s briefcase directly following his disappearance from a Victorian beach.

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This display shows how preservation of documents has changed over time:

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I am coming back soon to have a nice slow thorough browse.  Learn more here about planning your own visit: http://www.naa.gov.au/

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