Sunday, January 06, 2008


This will be my last post until Wednesday. I am running a new training course Friday and I need to complete all the content. I am, by the way, a good trainer. So if you ever need a course designed or run, let me know - a shameless plug!

I have spent some time this week catching up on posting on other blogs.

The New England, Australia blog received visitor 10,000 today.

For some reason, 10,000 has a mystic significance in my mind. I suppose that, growing up, 10,000 marked the divide in my mind between a town and a city. The number has particular significance in my mind for this blog because it deals with an area that I love. I feel in some way that getting to 10,000 establishes the blog as a serious vehicle.

As she got older, my Mum used to say "It's getting draughty, dear." By this she simply meant that so many of the people she knew had started to die. I know how she feels.

In a story on New England, Australia I recorded the deaths of David Evans and Rob Gerber. They both encapsulated for me the continuing spirit and heart of the University of New England.

I failed to get either of my daughters to consider UNE, even though it would have given us four generations with UNE connections. Both wanted to stay near home. I cannot complain. They are part of my essence and I love having them around. Yet I was still sad.

Start with David Evans. Outside his academic work, he taught himself Indonesian so that he could support UNE's Indonesian students. He did so over two decades.

He was also such a classic academic, moving from his formal teaching in English to more introspective domains. Over four years in the 1980s he worked on what is perhaps his artistic masterpiece – a hand-written and illustrated text of the Old English epic Beowulf.

Rob Gerber was different, more your modern international academic with more than 200 publications (including books, journal articles and reports) to his credit. Yet he was also an inspirational leader who helped students and staff to achieve.

In all this, he found time to do other things including managing the Aboriginal support centre at the University.

UNE and its people have a proud tradition of support for indigenous development from the 1950's Aboriginal Assimilation Society focused on better education for Armidale's indigenous people through the first ever Australian pre-history honours course to Rob and today.

It should not come as a surprise that in the Good Universities Guide 2008 UNE yet ranked again in the top group for indigenous access, nor that I write so much on indigenous issues. I am not indigenous and do not pretend to understand the varied indigenous perspectives across Australia. yet I do try to bring those skills I have to bear upon the issue.

In this context, following an interesting post on Will Owen's blog I put up a story on Management Perspectives about basic blogging. Then on Regional Living Australia I put up a post on Aboriginal Art with links to various blogs.

At the end of December I put up a post about gardening. Today a friend dropped round a second hand Victa lawn-mower. I soon hope to massacre the weeds!

There have been some rather good posts in our little blogging world. Next week, I will try to provide an introduction to some of these.

A little later

Massacre commenced. It's a little like tacking a jungle. The lawn is very overgrown. I did just one strip because of all the raking.

Over January On-line opinion is running a series of the best blog posts of 2007 selected in conjunction with Club Troppo. They are had to spot. Look for the word feature. I am not sure what I think at this point.

Great Post One

I really enjoyed Neil's post on Literary Cricket. I don't think that you have to be a cricket fan or even understand the game to enjoy some of the past cricket reporting. Just one modern example quoted by Neil:

… It is passing strange that Laxman reserves his best performances for his team’s most feared opponent. Against lesser sides he can look awkward, like a bear trying to perform a jig. At such times he seems inferior to tap-dancing colleagues. Then his mind becomes bogged down with thoughts of his own fallibility and his boots might as well be cased in mud. He has known serenity at the crease but it teases him like a butterfly.

Did you know that the first ever cricket international was played between the US and Canada?

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