Features – locally published

The arts project tackling Armidale’s alcohol issues

Coming soon to a public space near you, some dark evening in early July – an extravaganza of light and sound designed to make you stop and think, projected onto a tree, or a bridge, or the side of a building.


Behind the scenes at NERAM

NERAM Streeton-VeniceThe New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale has an enviable problem – its permanent collection is so large that only two per cent of it can be hung on the walls at once.


Not relaxed in Vietnam

08f0b-p1010957_800x600HOME to 90 million people and more than 20 million motorbikes, Vietnam is a lively, noisy country that packs extraordinary geographical features and a fascinating heritage into a long, skinny strip of land bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia and the South China Sea.


Crushing lives, with compassion

Australia’s immigration policy never seems to be out of the headlines, but until now we haven’t heard much from the people charged with implementing it.  That’s about to change with the publication of Compassionate Bastard, a colourful insider’s account written by an ex-manager of the Villawood Detention Centre.


Step back in time at Saumarez

saumarez-homesteadOne of the delights of visiting Saumarez Homestead in Armidale is the way the former inhabitants spring to life as a volunteer guide leads you through the rooms telling stories about the White family.                READ MORE

Armidale’s Japanese community

8b0ca-shikoku2b2bjapan_800x312PROWLING the Armidale Mall in search of lunch, I spot a Japanese food place, Ten Koo, and go inside. As I dab soy sauce, wasabi and ginger on my salmon sushi, I fall into conversation with Ken Scott, a wiry-looking horseman from Uralla sitting at the next table.                                                                          READ MORE

Artistry in Wool and Words

Knitting, stitching and sculpting the human form in three dimensions has been Fiona McDonald’s passion for twenty years, and her elaborately costumed, gangly-limbed, wide-eyed creations have colonised every surface of the downstairs workroom in her north Armidale home.


Ordinary life, remarkable prose


When I arrive to interview Armidale novelist Wendy James at her home overlooking Curtis Park, I am greeted at the gate by an overly friendly white poodle named Fred, who follows me through the front door and down the hallway to the sunny, north-facing kitchen where Wendy does most of her writing.    READ MORE

Termite Alert

When we bought our dream home eight years ago, we assumed we didn’t need a pest inspection. Cold climate, concrete slab, steel frame, brick veneer – no problem, right? Wrong.


Volunteers abroad

In 1987, I spent a month in Nicaragua helping to bring in the coffee harvest – one of hundreds of international brigadistas who went there to pick beans and build schools in support of the Sandinista revolution.


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