As a former player with the Sydney University Aussie rules footy club I was fascinated recently to read a look-back through history of my old outfit.
The club was formed in 1887 to play in the local Australian footy competition in a code variously known as Australian Rules, Australasian Rules or more pertinently Victorian Rules back in the day. Continue reading
“I’m still tingling,” I said in numerous conversations after the event. Maybe it betrayed my meagre vocabulary. But it was accurate. I was tingling and it came from an unexpected source. The 2010 WAFL grand final was played between Claremont and Swan Districts. I barrack for East Perth who had been beaten by Swans in the preliminary final a week earlier. I had no emotional attachment to this game. Continue reading
Geelong in Sydney 1882. Photo from The Road to Kardinia by Russell HT Stephens.
Football has long been a key part of the way-of-life for huge numbers of Australians and its impact goes right back to the mid and late-19th century. Continue reading
The wonderful poet Bruce Dawe died on 1 April 2020, aged 90. The poem below was one of my first pieces of published work. 1981. It has quite a few internal references – phrases adapted from titles of Bruce Dawe poems.
I’m devastated. John Prine’s death has hit me hard. It’s funny how we relate to musical artists, follow their lives vicariously through their songs, concerts and in this time, our connection to them through social media. So, when a favourite passes it feels like a family member has died. Prince hit me hard. Maybe it was his age. David Bowie too. Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash (huge sigh as I type) and Slim Dusty. Continue reading
Dance lessons weren’t too bad. I wasn’t much good but others were worse. The girls from Prendiville College would come over to CBC after school for an hour or so under the eye of a lady who knew all the steps. Continue reading
• John Nicholls: the captain.
To say that legendary AFL coach Kevin Sheedy had multiple player selection worries during his coaching stints with Essendon and the GWS Giants would be putting it mildly.
Over the past few weeks he has released – line by line – his best 24 footballers to have hailed from the Bendigo district and in particular from the Bendigo Football League post-World War 2. He was to have named the complete team at a special function at the end-of-March’s Bendigo Jockey Club’s $1 million Golden Mile raceday, but with the coronavirus restrictions in place spectators, punters and BJC committee guests were banned from turning up to the track. Continue reading
You could call it an illusion, a trick of the stage lighting. Or maybe it was just tiredness that created the moment.
Hamer Hall. October 2001. Paul Kelly is onstage. His grey hair, what little there seems to be of it, is close-cropped. His face appears gaunt, his eyes in shadow. He has looked like this for some years now but it is only at this moment, late in the concert, that for some reason, perhaps merely a blink of my eyes, I think the songwriter bears a passing resemblance to one of Australia’s most popular writers. Continue reading