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Botanical gardens - Redcliffe

[Traditional song and dance]

For this one hey the cabbage palm and that, common throughout the rainforest country, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay, but uh what - binkin I heard it being called eh? Yeah binkin and then it's sort of related because the other word for binkin is land tortoise. Yeah yeah. Which is an extinct animal and so there's a relationship between this particular plant and and the land tortoise. Yeah yeah, so they're saying you can, you can eat the middle part of it and that cabbage palm, it come comes out like a tumer but still then follows doing it and then you cut it and the inside is the same pattern as the cabbage, that's how they call it the cabbage, cabbage palm. Yeah yeah but I've never eaten it but vegetable. Yeah. Vegetable. Yeah it's same for lomandra, they've got the same thing, you know, you need that white bit yeah the white bit in the middle, the pith of it but you wouldn't kill it but it'd be a feed.

You wouldn't take all of it you just let it. You can imagine mother plant they would throw out a lot of that. Yeah yeah of course, so if you've got a big cabbage palm, these ones would be like vegetables. Another one there, another one you know what I mean? Yeah I know yeah. And if mum trees, she can throw them out again. Yeah that's true you know so I reckon it's a good little system they had.

I'll just point out the muru burang yeah. Talking about the big nose, and big beak, the ibis.

So when we talk about anything that's got a big nose yeah, and our word for like platypus is [traditional word]. [word] from the mouth and and [word] is is a fat lip so that means an animal that has got a big fat lip around its mouth mm-hmm.

Lyndon, this one here, you know this one? Yeah yeah that one there that's um at that Moreton Bay black bean is it? Put the language in that hey with that language? Yeah this one they call them mai, mai tree oh here's some on the ground here look. That's a pod they come in and here that's the now they got a slight toxin at this mai mai nut and you've got to roast them properly to get that that toxin out, and they call it - the common name is chestnut but they call it that because it looked like a chestnut but a bigger version of it. Yeah true. A beauty eh. Nice big healthy fella yes and she's he's reaching for the for that light eh. So what's it now? August August you got these fellas coming out now in August. Yeah yeah so this is uh more of a winter, winter one so this one will come out this time, this time of years but you don't pick them until they hit the ground and that's when you know they're ripe. Um so don't go picking them from the tree because they still green. Green yeah. So that's um, so when we're kids we used to use these little things as boats eh, I used we used to sail them down the nice figurines. I used to hit them with my shanghai.

But all these other little small trees, they can, the straight ones like this one here, they can make the spears out of them you know, and um so it's all these noisy flying fox here and the rookery up there. In what in the Kabi up our way there's that town named after garrimundi. Curramundi yeah Curramundi but you know they say guirama sometimes some say guirama but garumandi guru mundi, talking about that flying fox.

So Lyndon this tree is um well the common word is cottonwood but the string, you can make string from that one, so you get and you roll the inner bark on his leg and he'd make this string, and he used to make this thing called toro nets. Yeah which is sort of like a shaped like eye, yeah, and they and they get it like that and the women get in the water and they hunt all the fish and the men scoop the together and they throw it out on the bank, and the women then get the fish. That's right and you always, if you ever go like around the coastal areas where the red mangrove is and you'll always hear the cottonwood, they're together with, you know, red mangrove you were saying. What was your lingo for it? The  [traditional word] tree. Yeah well in Kabi Kabi and that up north Mooloolaba and Maroochy we call it birri because it reminds us of the fingers. So they even call it after the name of the fingers. There you go but you know, when you're saying talwalpin in our language well talwalpin that's what we call it up that way too, the cotton tree.

You'll find a lot of a lot of the words from here, they're over on Straddie, they're over on Logan way um even as far as Mununjali country you know, down at Beaudesert, so those words are shared.

Elder Aunty Barb

Language isn't just words, it tells you more than words. It includes your culture sort of with within that, and it's also important for a sense of our identity.

When that was taken away from us - our language I'm talking about - we grieve, and it makes us despondent, and we lose lots of our culture because it's not - we aren't getting it to us and it's very very important even in these days.

Look I'm going to tell you something. When I was young, I'd often wake up and my mum was just sitting on a chair beside my bed and I've seen her do it with one of my younger brothers too, Ronnie. She would sit there, you wake up half awake, what are you doing mum? Oh just listening, just listening, and trying to work that out. And apparently my my younger brother Ronnie and I we spoke in language, while we were asleep. I know that sounds very peculiar but we did, and mum used to sit there. That was her connection and what are you doing mum? Oh just listening to your language, listening to your gibberish. That's what she'd say, listening to your gibberish. Yes so, see how important was her, her mum was gone. She no longer had that connection and she was retaining that connection and even me, when I was talking to my children, you know I've got ten. But when I was changing them and you talk to them and stuff like that, there was different words that I'd be using that I didn't know what they were and I just thought like mum - gibberish.

Yeah so it is very important to us, as a people, you know and to have that taken away from us, yes is very difficult for you, and you become despondent like I said. And it also gives you a sense of idea identity, having your language and you can feel proud about you and about your people, and as I said before, part of culture gets handed through that language. And so it's it is, it's very very very important for our people to know their language.

Some of us are very lucky - like my language is published - Yuwaalaraay people, Yuwaalaraay language, and it's taught down around um you know, Dubbo and places like that because my my Nan was a Yuwaalaraay person. I'm a Yuwaalaraay person. And she was born on Ourimbah Station, she was taken and brought up to Queensland and so all her connections were lost. It's very important to have those connections, to have that language, to hear it. Very very important. It makes you a proud person, proud of your people, and I don't mean pride in a bad way. I mean a good pride, a sense of identity, by them taking our language away, they took away sort of bits of our culture that we should have had, and they also took away our self-identity. And for a lot of us it hasn't, it hasn't come back, they haven't.

Because you think of of uh English. Hey imagine being plonked in the middle of a um a place where everybody's speaking another language other than yours, where would you be? And if you stop and think about and uh relate English, say the spoken word here, mostly special word in Australia to our Aboriginal languages, that were very important to us, then imagine you being plonked in us but we were plonked in you and then we weren't allowed to talk our language. Our heads were shaved, our we were punished if you did that.

Of course I'm going to mention Cherbourg, mainly because they found their way around it didn't they. They made their own language, because they were all different languages all together so they were, yes they made up, they had a language that they still could speak together. They still weren't allowed to, but they did and that in itself shows just how important it is, and do you know that little children might know eight different languages because they're they're their group of people, they might have had eight different languages within them because of the law that went with it like, this person could make this this language could marry that language, this language could marry that language but they couldn't marry this language, and it's so important. And we did have law, we did have law. It was very important to us, our law, and it's sort of that's why a lot of our kids even now don't get it hey. Because, just like you're you've been raised with the law, your law, we've been raised with our lore and like, I was very fortunate because my mum was there hey. And she may not have said a lot of things, but she showed me a lot of things which is what they do and that's how you learn. Because we went for bush walks and she told me the names of different things and things you can eat and things you can't eat and, because it was all bush when yeah when we were around here, around in Redcliffe, it was all like I say bush.

Language is very very important to you and to our people, and we need to have that language so we get back part of our culture, we get our culture not that it's all gone, don't get me wrong we're very resilient people, but we get that back and we get back our strength, our knowledge and our culture.

And I'm so happy that this First Nations people's language and culture is coming forth and going through all of our Moreton Bay area. It is so important and so welcomed, we are so yeah and I'm very happy to be on Barujugan Park as we call it because it's very relevant in a lots of ways going back. We brought renewed life to it and and I'm very proud too that we're here doing this, because there's that memory there for all of us as well you know.

And I want to thank you, very very much for giving me the opportunity to speak to you about the importance of language. In in 2019 they had a language yeah correct am I right? Yeah and that was um that was really amazing and really phenomenal and and this is going to do the same thing to our Moreton Bay Region yeah, and I thank you very much.

Hoop pine - Redcliffe

[Traditional song and dance]

So this is um a native hoop pine, it's a native pine that's from the district uh very endemic to the district, doesn't really grow all over Australia, only sort of grows in our districts here, the Sunshine Coast-Moreton Bay districts. They call it the hoop pine, in our language we call it kunum. Kunum.

And um interestingly they named, people were named after the resin of this tree. Nalbo was the name of the resin, nalbo was the name of the people, nalbo was the trade item. It was this resin that comes out of, it was this really really good for fastening axe heads to your handles, spears - heads to spear shafts, sticky uh glue. This is the best.

And there is an ancient story that talks about its connection with the bunya - gugoo, thank you gugoo up there, the kookaburra - gugoo yeah, he's backing me up here. Uh but, and so's that bird. Hoop pine, kunum, is related to bunya pine, and bunya pine, them two are related to the uh cypress pine, the Bribie Island pine. Which as I said, grow in the same area. Brother to bunya, father to uh Bribie. So you'll find them growing in the same area and when you do find the hoop, always you'll find bunya right close to it, and Bribie's not too far from them too.

And so the story talks about them two being brothers back in the day, um having an argument over who was going to wed a woman. They were fighting over a woman basically, and so their father saw their fighting and it lasted, was going on for too long, and the father said right, I'm going to sort this out yous fellas, right yous are going to fight it out. Yous been arguing, yous are going to fight it out you know, that's how you're going to settle the fight. And whoever wins the fight is going to get the wife. And so um they decided they would fight in a spear fight. There are many different styles of fighting, but this one they said, nuh we're going to do a spear fight. And so um Bunya stood back 20 metres from Kunum, they both stood there, the father was the referee. He said right, start to throw so Bunya started throwing them at Kunum, his brother. And he was great at the start, he was dodging a lot of them. It was great, a good dodger. But he started getting hit. And where did he get hit? He got hit in the bottom, his legs. He got hit in the legs. All the big spears still, stuck in his legs today. But then he had his turn, and he started throwing them back, and he hit Bunya, his brother. His Bunya didn't get hit in the legs, Bunya got hit in the shoulders.

And so you know, the story talks about how these trees really got their appearance, where they got their appearance from. Kunum has still got the spears in his legs, Bunya has still got the spears in his shoulder. You'll see the bunya tree at the top has the biggest branches and on the hoop pines, the biggest branches are on the bottom. If you turn them upside down, then they'd be identical. But they are brothers and their story talks about them being brothers. They had the fight and nobody won the fight, too, just quietly back to the fight, nobody won the fight. So the father said right, none of yous won, I'm taking the woman.

And you know, that's the story of how Bunya got his shape, how Kunum got his shape, from the spear fight they had fighting over a woman. But we all know, Cooloola - Bribie pine - was the one that took the wife. Kunum. Hoop pine.

Shell middens - Bribie Island

[Traditional song and dance]

Wunya. Hello, we're back uh we're here at uh same places where we were the other day at uh Sandstone Point, Godwin Beach area, and as we're walking through here to come to the Dolphin Point area I mentioned the shell middens. And a lot of people are sort of unawares of the shell middens, the significance of the shell middens and it's a great opportunity for us to tell us that that background history about what we know, what we've been taught.

Uh shell middens, as you can see behind me, are a dumping grounds for um for particular uh shellfish that is uh commonly found in the in the district in which we're hunting and gathering. Now this area here, Sandstone Point, it's sort of like on the um on the bay area side going in towards the mainland sort of thing, so it's uh it's not really a sandy beach sort of an area, it's a muddy flats, mangrove sort of country, and so you're going to get different types of shell. Shell that loves this area is your um is your cockle shells, your cockle shells in the area. Also you'll find some oyster shell here as well, and also um you're going to find this one. You're going to find this one, these ones are your mud whelks and your club whelks, and when you have a look at the shell midden, the shell midden talks about how families would eat the shellfish and then they would say all right we've got to take it to the dumping grounds. Go dump it you know, and so where do we dump the shells? Well we dump them where we actually got them from. We got them from this sort of uh muddy flat sort of a bay area here, so we're going to dump them just up in the in the bank of the of the bay, and uh and then over the years, you will find that the the the mound just grows in size and height and is in width.

Uh they talk about this area here, Godwin Beach, Deception Bay was one of the the biggest shell middens uh recorded uh by the early settlers. It went from this side of Godwin Beach all the way around to Redcliffe, Deception Bay all the way around the bay, all the way around to Redcliffe so all along this um this landscape here was uh discarded shell in the form of cockle, mud whelk and and your oyster. So yeah the uh some of the shells that we will find here is you know, this oyster shell, this discarded shell there, oyster shell whose nose very sharp, been cut on it many times over the years and so you know, you cannot be leaving your sharp oyster shell around the campfire after you've eaten it all. You'll collect it up in your dillies and you'll take them back and dump them at the dumping grounds here, the shell midden. A lot of the shells that you'll find uh in the in the shell midden, is your oyster shell. Now in the language for for oyster we say deebeer, deebeer for for oyster in the Kabi Kabi language, but the general term for oysters I've also heard of mibera, mibera for the general term for oysters, for shellfish. Now with the term for midden uh that is basically a term that was given by European settlers I think. I'm not sure but I think it's a Dutch word, Netherlands word that talks about uh kitchen or dumping grounds and so you know, when they first documented this stuff, uh there was no language available at the time to document it down at the time when they were talking about these shell middens.

But uh the shell middens definitely give you a good sort of uh insight into you know seasonal seasons from you know, you might be the season of that oyster. I know oyster is related to the hops bush. When the hops bush has a green flower people know that the oysters can be uh eaten because the the colour of the flower is green, it's clustered and the oysters when they're on the rocks, they're all clustered on the rocks and you open them up and they've got the green muscle. So the the you know, the Stradbroke Island fellas I remember them talking about it long time ago you know, and and uh you know we have that same sort of history uh about our um seasonal indicators. At the moment too, just to tell you um there's a blue tiger butterfly getting around and oh this is just me, but I've sort of been watching the land for a while now and my uh you know, and and trying to connect with it and learn from it and I've sort of been getting on the pathway where these blue tiger butterflies when they come here and migration abundance of them I feel like they're connected to the pipi shells.

When I was talking about it on the weekend about it um I said oh these blue tigers are here, I reckon that's something to do with pipies and then my niece, she goes oh well we're just over on Stradbroke Island, we're all going pipi hunting on the weekend. And so I'm thinking, well there you go, that's you know, everything that I thought about that connection, indicators, you know a butterfly connected to a shell? A lot of people wouldn't even think that but when you open up the pipi, after you open it it resembles the wings of a of a butterfly, in the form of a blue tiger butterfly. The blue tiger's blue, the pipi shell's blue you know, so these these sort of things that um uh character you know, particular characteristics that are pretty much the same if not you know similar if not the same. You know we have that connection where you know, you know that those things are in season, and so you can imagine that the hops bush is telling you the oysters are there and then our hops bush has died down, the oysters come out of the season, then those fellas are getting the cockle shell and cockle shells you know be obviously a seasonal indicator, it would tell you about that and then you go into your mud whelks. But you know a lot of times when you have a look at the shell, it has those patterns on it, and those patterns sort of relate and have seen it elsewhere in this landscape. So if you can match up those patterns of that cockle shell and that mud whelk spiral you know, you're definitely on the right track then to to connect up the the twin that sort of tells you its season, you know.

But uh yeah a pretty good example, not the best example, as we said they're through our three metres in height and they were six metres wide and some of them were like even six metres in height, you know what I mean. So uh depending on your landscape will depend on how big your um your shell middens are.

But yeah the dumping grounds for a lot of our discarded shell still here today, um but then you know you might find some places where they say oh what didn't you say there were shell middens all over this place, all in the banks and the sand dunes, uh of riverbanks and stuff, and I said yeah, there is some remnants of it like here at Godwin Beach but a lot of them have been destroyed when they first settled in these areas. There was shortages in concrete and they found that when they crushed up the shell there's um lime in it, and the lime is the same stuff in concrete that hardens, hardens it and so when they crushed up the shell and they added water to it, they could then make a road base for a lot of the earliest settlers' roads in this district. And and so that's why you will not find shell middens uh they were the way they were hundreds of thousands of years ago. So um a shame that but uh still you can come to Godwin Beach and sort of get a good uh you know a look at one that uh is sort of in situ that's showing you the different levels and different types of shellfish found in the district.

So yeah the uh the shell middens we talked about not only uh shells being uh discarded here, but you definitely will have animal remains, bones, you'll have fire you know places, charcoal will be dumped here as well, from you will also have stone artifacts dumped here, left here, even just stored here. You might have stone axes stored here as well, um and just the just the axe itself not the actual handle. You know the language for stone axe in our language, for just the stone by itself, the handheld axe it would be called more like a a daki, a daki, stone, also you know people call it mudlow as well for stone uh but daki is just the stone, the hand held stone, but if you were to put a handle on it - and depending what handle you got - might be uh from a loya cane, you'd have to call it a moiyum, that's the name for it after you put the loya cane handle on it. Loya cane name is yuroll but once you make it a yuroll vine into a handle on the axe it's called moiyum. But if you're making it out of a black myrtle, the handle for the black myrtle, they will call it a woombye.

Up at the Sunshine Coast where I live there's a township there called Woombye and that's the black myrtle tree in our language, and so if you're using the handle from woombye, the axe is called woombye as well. And so you will find those ones here as well sometimes with handles, sometimes without handles, just storing it here but also you'll also find um bodies, um actual remains of human bodies here.

Some people are buried in shell midden and it's just um you know, when families got um passed away, the body would let decompose and the in the humpybong. Humpybong is like the dead house. There's a township at Redcliffe called Humpybong and they would um leave it in the body in the dead house until six months to a year later. Family members would come and get pieces of the bone and the and then the mother would take her the ones that are special to her, no one argued because that's the mum, and so she took all one she wanted and other family members grabbed pieces. And then they said where where did that fellow he used to hunt? Oh he hunted at Deception Bay. Okay go pack a piece him at Deception Bay, at Godwin Beach in that midden over there. Where did he hunt? Oh Caboolture too, yeah take a piece of him at Caboolture. Was he up at Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba? Yeah take a piece up there too. So your body will be scattered all over the place and sometimes found in the shell middens here.

Other things that could be found here as I said your your flints, your little flints, your little spearheads, your knives, your cutters, your scrapers. The word for um for stone as we talked about you know, you would always use a stone, uh word for stone like mudlow or or daki. Um a good example of mudlow is kuchi mudlo out there. Kuchi kuchi is is talking about this, kuchi is talking about this the red stone. Kuchi mudlow is red rock. Kuchi is the word for red and mudlow is rock, and so rock or stone um you know, mudlow is a term that families have used. Something hard but I've also heard daki as well and daki is sort of related you know, to toki toki dokkai doki you know they they talk about those rocks at Torquay there, daki, and then the word Torquay came to describe the area by the settlers. But I think Torquay is an actual coastal village over in England as well and so I suppose it does remind them of that English village on the coastline and so they they named it Torquay, which is very much the same as daki which is talking about those stones.

So uh yeah yeah the shell middens, still here today come down and visit it and uh you know but as I said in the last uh talk, the more we know about our landscape the better the places like this can be careful for future generations. [Traditional word]

Storyteller Gene Blow

Language. Well I suppose it's it's one component of Aboriginal culture per se, so you've got language, then with language you've got song, and then with song you've got stories.

When we have stories, it's it's very much an interpretation of of anything that we uh that we do, 'cause within the stories - and if the stories are told in language - there's a theme.

Like, like an example would be uh how the koala lost his tail. He lost his tail because he wouldn't share his resources with the other animals which was water. And see and today the koala, and when he swung out of the tree they set, all the other animals set fire to the tree and he lost his tail. So today you don't see the koala drinking water, he gets his moisture from uh the branches and from the um gum leaves so the theme is to share your resources, to be sharing 'cause we're a sharing, caring culture.

So language, and grammatically when you speak language, it's very similar to Spanish and Italian, the sentence structure. So you have, with English you have subject, verb, object. With Aboriginal languages you have subject, object, verb, the doing parts always at the end. Describe an animal for example, the um the word for kookaburra is [traditional word] 'cause it's the thing it makes, you know. The word for platypus is [traditional word]; [word] is fat lip and [word] is of the mouth. It means an animal that's got a big fat lip around its mouth.

So it's usually descriptive and I think that's why it's so easy to pick up. We were talking about the ibis and the ibis, the word for ibis is big nose because it looks like he's got a big nose, and [traditional word] is the word for nose, and the word for listen - it means good ear - it's [word].

You'll find the language here is very similar to a lot of languages, like to Yugambeh nation people, like the Turrbal and the Jagera and the Yagarra people. All our words are very similar, even Straddie words and [traditional word] words over at Moreton Island over here.

So to understand the words here, you need to break the word down 'cause the suffix usually is part of the description. So if we were talking about Stradbroke Island, we'd be, we would say minjerribah, that's its traditional name. But when you break the word down, bah means place of, and minjerri is the mosquito. It just means the place of the mosquito. And the word for the eagle, the sea eagle, the white breasted sea eagle is [traditional word] ... an animal that comes from the place of the stars.

If you ever need to think of, remember two things, like um if you've got a berry, a poisonous berry and an edible berry and they look the same, you only remember one. Because the other one's got to be the other thing. You try to remember two, you'll get confused.

So all these little legacies that my grandfather left behind for me, just all the little tricks of the trade that he used to do, and so as I could understand language a lot better. And and that's why you can say things with one word, if you give the right facial expression to give it that emphasis, to give it that meaning. And that's what sort of things that we'd like to use as a legacy, you need to leave a legacy behind. And if it's language, then I'm hoping that my children will continue uh with my languages because we've got the two languages - we've got Noonuccal and Taribelang which is Bundaberg. So that's my grandfather-grandmother language, and that's the language I grew up with.

 So now I'm working with my children and that's the legacy that I want to leave behind. So it's a legacy more than anything and that's what's important to me, so when I'm gone, I know my children will continue with that legacy of language.

Waterways - Redcliffe

[Traditional song and dance]

Oh yeah just the importance of water there in Kabi Kabi culture, very very important your waterways.

Um language for um water in Kabi Kabi language, in general terms we say goong. Goong is the word for water. And when you say goongal, goongal means good clean waters. And so when you talk about good clean waters, that's your springs. Your springs that are coming straight up out of the ground, cool waters and they're giving us that beautiful um you know sustenance there that we need. Hot days, you need that water, you need to be camping around water, you need to know exactly where it is.

And the waters were protected by all the people. The goongal, the springs, everybody used it as a drinking source. You know my grandmother grew up at Buderim, and she reckons she'd get up in the morning and her job was to collect the water for drinking uh from the top spring. And then she'd go down the bottom spring and she'd wash her clothes and wash the dishes and things that needed to be washed. But never ever would she reverse the roles, and be doing a clean in the top spring. She would get in trouble by her onlooker. And it doesn't matter if they're Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, they know the importance of springs and especially living there and they know if it's a water source, they're not going to contaminate it.

Our family has regarded water, very high regard because uh you know, that's what gave us our energy and kept our waters up so we wouldn't get dehydrated on those hot summer days.

And um you know, there's a place up there called Kondalilla and when you look at the word Kondalilla - it's up at Mapleton, Maleny districts, Montville, uh Sunshine Coast. Goongdalilla, you can add, you can say goonga but they, English changed it to gong to kon - but the language is still there. And Kondalilla is referring to a waterfall. And in our language goongdalilla is water smashing on rocks. So it's a waterfall. And uh so the language is still being used today.

Um my uncle's name was Goonga (laughs) and we said that's got something to do with water, and then one of our uncles said yeah he was in trouble a  lot, and so he was always in deep waters, and so goonga meant deep waters. For my uncle Uncle Goonga. Uncle Goonga Goonga. You know that was his nickname.

So we've known uh that connection from very very young and the importance of water and waterfalls and springs, river systems. Doongi, you know when they say doongi and the Doongidau people? The Doongidau people are the people of this Caboolture districts, Woodford districts, Doongidau are related to Kabi Kabi, Turrbul, Jagera. You know they're in that sort of area where they can access all these other landscapes and language groups. Doongi, in the language is talking about a river. And Doongidau is the river gum tree. And so you know,  doongi is the word for creek, doongi is the word for river, water course.

Bird life - Deception Bay

Another interesting fact about this area at uh Deception Bay here, Barunjah Park, is the fact that there's um a lot of wildlife. In particular you know, your birds. Heap of birds.  

But there's one that's very significant to our family that's here and that I've seen when we first came here, uh was the white cockatoo. The white cockatoo - in the Gubbi Gubbi language we call them giggam - and they're a totem animal to uh some family members.  

I know that they're on the copiathan line, they're on the barung balcoyn so part of the emu family, which is also uh comes under the same category as the Moreton Bay ash. So Moreton Bay ash and white cockatoo are connected, and you know, there's the proof.

You've got the Moreton Bay ash growing here in this park right there, right beside it is the white cockatoo. Those two connected in the skin names, and so you know, to see them together or close to each other out in the bush definitely, you know, reconfirms that that connection that those animals and plants share - the same [Aboriginal word] or skin class. They live up to 80 to 100 years old, that white cockatoo, and you know as I said, families regarded them as a totem animal.

And there's even reports of them talking, conversing with people, whether it be Gubbi Gubbi, Jagera, Wakka Wakka Aboriginal languages even even into English. There was a story about the the Petrie family, and how they owned a white cockatoo, and this white cockatoo could speak English quite well, and he would yell out to the guys coming past in the river and they'd be selling their products - vegetables or fish - and usually you know, as a person living on the river, you'd call out to them that they'd dock in and you'd be able to trade with them and buy something with them.

Well on this one particular occasion, this white cockatoo would was calling - no-one was home - the Petrie family wasn't home - but the white cockatoo uh copied off their voice and the call out to the guy that for some of his product. And so he pulls in and he's walking up and yelling out for a while then realizing that it was the white cockatoo. And so you know, you've got stories of uh many many stories, but that's just one of those earlier ones in the, by the Petrie family you know.

So Petrie was named after the township, Petrie Creek up at Nambour where I was born was named after this particular family, living over there at Murrumba Downs.

There's also the rainbow lorikeet here, and our families would call him beer and uh when you, when you look at the word beer - burrum. Beerburrum is a mountain over there, is a township. It's part of the Glasshouse Mountains and that's used in the same language. Beerburrum. But when you say Beerburrum, it's burrum is the word for wind, and the rainbow lorikeet on the wind.  

You know, even aunties, they talk about beerburrum - wind is coming - and burrumbeer - wind is gone.  

And burrumbeer is Barambah which is out at Cherbourg. But with those cockatoos and parrots, there's one thing that you know, some of the elders talk about, is that those guys like to eat a lot of nuts, grasses and seeds, and so they always get thirsty real quick.  

Wherever they are, those parrots are, cockatoos, wherever they congregate you know, there's going to be water not far from where they are. So just example, if you are out in an area like a aridy sort of area, and you did come across a flock of rainbow lorikeets, white cockatoos, black cockatoos congregated there, you know that they're not going to be far from water; because of what they eat they have to wet the whistle. 

They're also associated with water, with the rain. I know the black cockatoo, weeyal we call him in our language, he is related to the rain and so you know, when we see him flying low calling out, and a call out will be a distressful sort of a call, we'll know that there's rain coming just from him flying low and giving a particular call in that distressful sort of voice call that he does make.

The blue mountain parrot's name is yuen, and there's a Glasshouse Mountains - one of the mountains that is called Yuen, and people go "what that talking about?" It's talking about that blue mountain parrot, well known in this district and it was associated with the mullet season.

We can tell if there's a lot of fish coming. Before they come we can tell if there's going to be a lot or not many, by the amounts of flocks of blue mountain parrot. If there's a whole heap of them on the coastline and the forest red gums, well then everyone would be like "oh yeah, we need more nets, we need more spears. We need more people and boats because ..." 

And they're going "well why are you saying that?". Well look at the blue mountain parrot, yuen, big flocks, there's a big lot of fish coming. So they were really good indicators. They told us and taught us a lot of things and you know, once you sort of get in tune with that and you start to listen to nature, it definitely can sort of uh make you aware of things that you never thought existed.

So I'm just privileged that I know some of that information, and get a chance to share it here at you know, beautiful place - Deception Bay - right on the coastline where all these stories originate from.

Bunya nut pine - Caboolture

Once again in the Caboolture district - Caboolture township - the place of the carpet snake and just at the back here, Caboolture, near the river, we've got it in the background here, one of our most iconic trees of the area. It's endemic to the area, it's from there, it's a symbol of the area. It's uh the bunya tree or the bunya pine.

People will say baranji, bonji, but today you know everyone's saying bunya, bunya. And and bunya's really I suppose, it's the name of … they called the bunya the nut, the bunya, the tree, bunya you know, everything is bunya with this. But then you know, you might make a meal out of it you know, depending it'll be cooked in the fire or the meal that they usually do is they make it into a paste, and they usually give it to the children or the elders.

So you know, there's language sort of centered around the bunya. Well you know, they used to have the bunya gathering. You know, a word for for gathering in Gubbi Gubbi language - some people say wandani, wandani. So a bonji wandani would be like a like a bunya gathering where people would come from far and wide and they would travel 300, 400 kilometres to get to this area to uh to be a part of the whole ceremony.

You know, you might be going out on on tour groups and and showing and showcasing the land and and going for long walks, you know, down particularly walking pathways. The word for pathway in our language - some people say djinanja you know, you your walking path, footprints. Djinang is the word for your foot and ja is like the earth, so the earth's imprint, footprints into the earth, which which sort of resembles and talks about a walking path, where people would travel to access particular areas.

So you know, those things will be going on. Plus you know, they're they're definitely, they're definitely going to trade their goods. Like some guys will be really good at making boomerangs. Boomerangs in their language, we say barran. Barran is the name of the wind so the boomerang takes on the wind so they name the boomerang after the wind.

Your spears, your bilas, your gonis. Bilas like a fishing spear, goni is more of a heavier spear. Heavy spears are like you know, would be used for inland for kangaroo, and then the lightest spear you might use it out there in the ocean because it has that weightlessness that arrives to the surface if missed the target. And so you know, you'd be able to trade some of your goods and items, whether it be your spears in boomerangs, whether it be your songs and dances.

The word for song in our language, we say yowa and yowa worri, worri is the song and dance. Worri is to jump and yowa is to sing, so singing and dancing you know, that was a common thing that was seen at these festivals.

And most importantly, the feasting. The binja, the food binja, you know. That's a word for food. Jorgin - jorgin means “oh that's yummy food”, oh he's really liking his food. Jorgin - loving it, you know what I mean. And so you can imagine those big feasts, those big … lots of food there … all that binja everywhere,  from your seafood to your your mountain food, your rainforest food, your fruits and your berries and your nuts.

There's a number of fruits out there that is available for us to eat and we've got such a resourceful landscape, and then that resource for landscape that means you can cater and have the biggest party because your whole food's got all the resources, your whole landscape's got all the resources.

So there's not really too much of a shortage of supply and resources in places like this. You could still come here today and if you really wanted to live off the land, and hunt and gather, you could still do it because all of those plants and trees … look at it … bunya. Still comes into season from December through to March, still eat the fruit off it. I do, every year, from December through to March and you know, it's really related to family members as we're talking about totem systems and and stuff.

Well remember Gubbi Gubbi, you're … there's one side bunya eaters, the other side the family is the bunya climbers. Well you know, there is there is names for them and you know, you go under that depending on your skin name and your [Aboriginal word] and so you know, if you're uh if you're a barang balcony, barang balcoyn, then you're, you've got copiathan people. And copiathan is emu people and emu people are the people that climbed this tree, and they were the bunya climbers.

And then the other side of the family is your djawayne obunda, djawayne obunda and djawayne obunda can't ever marry, but djawayne obunda - they have to marry barang balcoyn and barang balcoyn have to marry djawayne obunda that's just the way the skin is. That's just the way the system works.

So djawayne obunda people are kangaroo people and they're dilbi, and so that's me, and so you know, I am a bunya eater because that tree is not on uh on my side of the family as the responsibility that you know, we have to look after. It's on the other, the other other skin family's name so copiathan people are really related to the emu and really have their responsibility for the baranji baranj. But us fellows dilbi, we love the copiathan people, they're the ones climbing that tree for us and giving it to us on pretty much on a platter. And you know, we just have to wait for them.

But you know, everybody as I said has their role and responsibility. Copiathan - bunya climbers, dilbi -  bunya eaters.

Caboolture River - Caboolture

All right. So yes we're down here at the Caboolture River. Caboolture in the Aboriginal language - we would say carpet snake. Cabool is the word for carpet snake and then when you add the cha on the end, it just means the earthly place of.

You know as I've grown up here knowing that, but you know there is there is a name, another name for it. Some people would say wongai for the carpet snake. So some people actually called the township not Caboolture, they would call it wongaidam, wongaidam, which is the same thing - place of the carpet snake. Carpet snakes were totems ... the families regarded very highly. A lot of families, especially my family, and carpet snakes were eaten by people as well. I've never tasted carpet snake myself, maybe because of that connection that I have with that carpet snake.

And so you know, people would know when to eat that. There was a, there was a seasonal indicator. There was a tree that would tell us exactly when the carpet snake would be full and fat and ready to eat, and that was the wild passionfruit. Wild passionfruit vine. It grows here very commonly, you see it all over the place and when it comes into flower and fruit, we know that that is the time for the carpet snake. The best time to hunt it, catch it, cook it up. It'll be fat, ready to to eat, the best time to eat.

And it's interesting you know, when we look at the carpet snake and then you look at the passionfruit vine, the vine resembles the body of the snake. The leaf resembles the head of the snake - exactly the same shape - and then the the fruit resembles the actual eggs that the the carpet snakes lay, when time to you know, give birth to the next generation. And so you know, connected into dreaming, they talk about that tree, that vine and that carpet snake were born at the same time, and they're twins.

But then you know, then there's a person that is connected to the two of them and so there's this relationship that you know, spawned, that people have to then be responsible for that particular snake and look after it and not hunt it. If it's your totem, well then you know, you're not allowed to hunt it; only you'd be allowed to hunt it only in very very scarce sort of times.

And the Caboolture River ... a very resourceful river. It goes all the way at the coastline so you know, you imagine you're going that way, you're coming into sort of salty brackish water and as the further you get away from the coastline, you get a totally different sort of setting there with the fresh water. So you know, a few different types of fish; fresh water to the brackish to the saltwater. Very very resourceful river.

They'll be travelling up and down here, obviously on their canoes. The canoes and then, speaking of canoes, canoes is it's time to get it now ... around springtime is the best time to get your canoes and make your canoes up for your watercraft, for your hunting seasons, to access particular parts of the river that you know, couldn't be accessed if you didn't have a watercraft.

And you know, watercraft. The tree for the watercraft usually grows right here. I can't see one right here right now, but I can tell you if we went up for a little bit of a look around, up and down the Caboolture River, there's a big big chance you would be able to find a canoe tree.  

A descendant of the old canoe trees, and sometimes you might even find on river places like this, landscapes, you might even find an old tree with a piece of the bark missing, and people sort of go "oh that tree was here before they even settled in this area", so they're talking about there was an old canoe tree and fully marked. Doesn't kill the tree but just leaves a little bit of a scar there, and so it sort of gives you the identity of the place when you see scars like that, when you see trees like that, those trees were used for the water courses, you know. Plus you know, there's many other different types of vegetation through here, many different types of bush tucker.

The canoe in their language, well you know there's a few different types of canoes because of three different types of trees. But if you're making it out of a a swamp mahogany which would be found around here, you would call it a gombah; if you were to make it out of a stringy bark, they would call it a gundo, and so you know, depending on what tree you're using, will determine the name that is given to it.  

The word for river, in our language we would call the river a dungi. There are family members out here, they are known as the dungi dow; dungi dow people are the people that are related to the river gum. The river gum. Dow was talking about a gum tree and dungi is obviously the river, so yeah, that tree obviously likes the water, like our canoe trees and easily accessible to make our bark canoes to travel up and down our dungi.

But yeah still today, very very nice. I was looking from the bridge there, very clear waters. You've got the giant egret over there, the giant stork. You know in our language for the giant egret or the giant crane, well you know, there's a couple of different variations of the crane. But in our language we call a crane or a brolga type animal - we call them like a crayfish eater so we would say jilabowgeman. Jilabowgeman is the word for the crayfish eater, which is like a crane. And you know, you'd find them all along these parts here. You'd also get the freshwater turtles. Freshwater turtles are related to that tree there, the water chestnut, and we call the water chestnut - remember we said it - mai - and the name of the freshwater turtle would be maiba and that's a freshwater turtle, as also a sea turtle as well.

But you're going to find your maibas along here as well, or your freshwater turtles. Your fish ... there's a general term for your fish. We say goiyo for fish, but then you know, you get into specifics and you're talking about whiting, and then you're talking about tailor, you talk about mullet you know. I mean you talk about bream. In our language for a bream people say bingirra. People might say tollara for whiting and some people will say duhra for mullet, and other people will also use tailor as in the word tailor, but actually tailor is an Aboriginal word that comes from the word tajalitajali. And so that's what we call tailor in our language, tajali, and then the language I suppose - I don't know - it changed a little bit, corrupted and they changed tajali into tailor.

I love coming and visiting this place and talking about it, reminiscing about the place because you know, part of family and heritage and just glad I could be here to you know, yarn about it - Caboolture River.

Carpet snake - Caboolture

The Caboolture River, you know, where we are at the moment, but you know, Caboolture, talking about the old dreamtime stories centred around Caboolture.

Cabool as we know, is talking about that carpet snake. So there's stories about the carpet snake that I know of. There is, there is one story that is not sort of right in this immediate district here but it's sort of connected to the Noosa sort of area - Noosa headlands.

And it talks about the, you know, how the Noosa headlands came to be, how the Cooloola sand patch came to be, but there's also a part in the story that talks about thugun - which is our sea serpent.

He's a rainbow serpent, and he lives out there in the ocean. And the story talks about two boys wanting to see the sunrise, and their father told them that they can't go and see the sunrise because there's something dangerous out in the gungwilli, gungwilli, it means smoke on the water.

And when you've got a lot of sea spray, it's that smoky sort of thing coming up there from the oceans when they're nice and rough, and so people will call it gungwilli, which is smoke on the water.

And some people say you know, for big lakes - like they're talking about Lake Cootharaba - and Lake Cootharaba was one of our big lakes.

So they actually called the lake big waters, which they would say gungwinwa. And so this story is sort of centred around gungwinwa and wuntama which is the headlands, those Noosa headlands. Some people will even say wandaman, wandaman or wundan, wundan meaning rising up high - headlands.

And the father who told his boys whatsoever that they couldn't go to the big water, those two boys ended up going. They got swallowed up by the serpent and spat out.

Well one of them was spat out near the headland, and so you know, the father, he went there seeking revenge for his son because he knew that big rainbow serpent took his son.

So, this is where the carpet snake makes a cameo [laughs]. The father comes. he's angry at serpent because he took his son. He said "right, I'm going to get you back,

I don't know how I'm going to get you back but I'm going to get you back". And so he started thinking about his son, he started thinking about "hey I wonder of that thugun,

I wonder if that rainbow serpent's got a son". And then he started thinking "wait a minute yes he does have a son, I seen him the other day - the carpet snake".

And so he, he thought to get back at thugun the sea serpent is that "if he took my son, well then how about if I take your son. And so you know how I feel the loss of a son".

And so, in the story it talks about him killing a carpet snake, holding it up to thugun saying "yeah I got you back, yeah, you know, you killed my son, now you know what it feels like to hurt". And so the story goes on, it talks about we're vegetarian, we didn't eat meat, but when he killed thugun's son, he threw that carpet snake on the fire.

And the carpet snake smell, being cooked, was very enticing, and they started eating meat for the first time, which was the carpet snake meat. So it's very significant in that story. A lot of our stories will mention cabool, wongii, in the story because - when you're walking up in this area you've got to mention animals that pertain to the area.

So when you're looking at the story, they're talking about the carpet snake, that's got to be around Caboolture, you know what I mean. So you know, very strong stories about carpet snake in this area because that is where that snake originally comes from. Caboolture.

Fish traps - Bribie Island

Welcome back. Wunya. We're here not far up the road from where we're just at the dolphin calling point, same area as Sandstone Point. It's actually just behind the Sandstone Point Tavern is where we're situated here overlooking Bribie Island across the passage, and behind me if you can sort of, folks there, we're at the fish traps.

The fish traps; it's a special place for a lot of our families to come regularly in fishing season, usually throughout most of the season but you know, those fish traps were set up for one you know, a style of hunting technique.  

A lot of people you know, we were just at the other place - dolphin point - where it talks about you calling out the dolphins to help you catch the fish. Well in this case we're using the tides. And so we basically use the materials that is available on this landscape, which is many forms of little rocks and boulders and we make a rock pool in the low tide and we make you know, in the shape where it's sort of contouring the water, so you don't have a flat bit where the water sort of recedes out - you're going to have sort of a funnel and a bit of a point - so that the water's pressure's not too bad and it doesn't sort of destroy your wall that you've already created.  

And so there'll be a number of people involved in creating the fish trap, stacking the wall, building it up to a certain depth. On the ends as well. They would make sure that there's a place where a net could be fitted so when it's time to catch the fish, some of the fish uh overflow out in the corners and so nets can be sort of used. 

So basically what we're doing is we're using the tide. So we've made our fish trap now and the low tide out of all the rocks and materials on this landscape, and then basically we wait for the tides and then the tides come in and cover over the top of the fish trap. And when that water comes in it also brings in a whole heap of fish.  

And so those fish are sort of swimming over the top of this fish trap. Little do they know it is an actual trap and then as they're swimming around feeding off the rocks and oysters and shellfish, the water starts to recede and it goes back out. 

Well the fish trap actually traps the water, which in turn traps the fish that are in that water, and it will slowly sort of leak out through the gaps in the rock wall. But it does contain it for a certain time which gives us enough time to get there on that low tide to see what is in that fish trap, to use our spears, use our hands, use our nets to extract whatever we want out of that fish trap.

To attract the fish into the fish trap you know, a lot of people saying how do they get in there, how did the fish get into that sort of area, and how do you how get a lot of fish in there to trap them? Well we would use burley you know, when you would crush up shellfish, crush shellfish up and throw it in the water which it's giving a bit of food and a bit of scent in the water which is attracting the fish towards your fish trap. And so you know, that would be regularly done on all parts of it and there'd be a whole heap of bait in the water, basically to attract the fish into that particular fish trap.  

And as the water recedes back out, those fish get caught in the water, we come along and spear and net it, let some of them go you know. We mightn't like to eat that species or that species is not the one to eat at that particular season, and so we'll only pick what we need and then just let the water do the rest. And you know, and even if there are some fish in there that you know, might get a little bit trapped in there and the water recedes out and they're stuck, we'll make sure that we'll get them back out into that deeper water.

So a very very smart way of catching your fish on these coastal parts - intertidal - perfect habitat here at Pumicestone Passage. The tide comes right up, it's right up past the ... and it fully covers this, fully because you can't even see it on the high tide, but now as you see, the water receding back on the low tide. You can see the fish trap appear, which you could imagine - the men, the women, children - foraging through the fish trap and collecting anything out of it that they would like to eat that particular day or night.

But this is universal. This fish trap is universal. There's a lot of cultures across the world. I've done a lot of research on fish traps and yeah, you're talking everywhere - England to Spain to Indonesia to Malaysia, New Zealand you know, the Vanuatu South Sea Islanders, Papua New Guineans, native Americans. I mean, I mean everybody, everybody was using this type of technique, so it's an ancient one and I'm just glad that what it's still intact, it's still here.  

And another interesting thing about this fish trap is that in the early days of settlement, Aboriginal people stopped using the fish traps. They were taken away from their areas as we know.  

Some settlers that were here might have been using it, but we know from early reports that South Sea Islander groups that were brought over in the blackbirding days and the slavery days with the cane cutting, and a lot of those South Sea Island people were here, stuck here as you know, indentured workers to cut the cane. And when they had a look at the landscape they saw a fish trap down here, and they thought "that reminds us of home, we used the same sort of technique at home" and so there was early reports by settlers that South Sea Island men and women, or mainly your men, were using these fish traps to catch their fish.

And yeah, could it still be used today? Yes it could be. It just needs to be a little bit of repairs. The walls need to be repaired and the people sort of need to get involved in that to reshape it. But for as now, it's great as it is, and it's a cultural site and I bring a lot of people here to come along and to talk about this.  

The Aboriginal word for your fish trap? There wasn't really a term that was given to me when I was a young fella, but for fish - there's many terms for fish. The general word for fish is guyou. You know they say guyou all the way up north Queensland. Tjapukai say guyou. I think it's one of those words that I think is used down south as well, down towards kamilaroi. Guyou for fish. But then you know, you have particular fish that they really like to eat - like your mullet and your tailor. Tailor, we would call it tailor, that's a traditional word for that fish. For the mullet we say durra, for the bream we would say bingera and for the whiting we would say talara.

And so you know, there's many other different types of fish but they were the main ones that you would probably find in these types of estuaries here.

But there it, is in perfect view, with the tide - perfect tide - so we picked at the right times to come here today to view the ancient fish traps - Sandstone Point.

Fishing - Bribie Island

Hello and welcome. My name is Lyndon Davis, descendant of the traditional custodians of the Mooloola plains people, Maroochydore people, and I'm very privileged to be here to share the stories about our beautiful landscape.

At the moment we're down here at Sandstone Point, at the dolphin calling point at Godwin Beach.

So it's on the mainland and right on the edge there of Deception Bay.

So yeah we're just going to be really talking about the significance of the site that we're at. Many people may not have been here but they call it Sandstone Point today, but a lot of families called back in the day - the dolphin calling point.

And this is where you know, back in the day a lot of family members, tribal groups from this area, custodians that lived in this particular area of Godwin Beach, Sandstone Point, would regularly come down to this spot here at the time of fishing seasons.

You've got mullet season at the moment, that's happening, you've got tailor season happening at the moment. So you know, that winter fishing festivals would be starting up along these coastlines, stretching all the way up to the Sunshine Coast-Fraser districts and all the way down to the Moreton Bay districts.

But right here Deception Bay is part of that sort of Moreton Bay sort of area.

The outlet to a lot of the rivers there – Caboolture River and North Pine Rivers and so you know, this is a really resourceful area for habitats for fish.

And when they migrate up from the southern waters, they migrate and they come from the cold waters and they migrate up into these northern waters which is a little bit warmer temperature.

When the high tides come up into these areas and the fish here, they get right up in those mangrove areas and the king tides and they spawn in those areas. They'll be up the river systems, our bay areas, all through our warm temperature waters spawning.

And so it's a perfect opportunity for us to be here and to use a particular fishing – hunting - technique where we would call out to a particular family of dolphins.

Now this is, this is an ancient sort of style of fishing and all along this coastline from Moreton Bay, all the way up to Fraser, they used this technique where they would call out to their family of dolphins to help them catch the fish. For the dolphins to scare the fish from the deeper waters into those shallow waters up towards the, to where the men would be with their spears and their nets and canoes and try and trap the fish in a particular pocket along the coastline.

And in this particular area where we're at, well this is Sandstone Point, and so this rock is you know, it's fairly hard but you can you can sort of dig into it if you've got something pretty hard and sharp.

And basically there was these natural holes that were here and on a high tide you know, the families would put a green piece of wattle, nice like spear and nice and thin and flexible and they would place it in the holes that were here and they would swish the stick back and forth on the high tide.

This vibration from swishing the stick back in these holes on the sandstone point would get the attention of our family of dolphins.

Now only our family of dolphins would pick up on that signal. You've got other ways of calling out the dolphins whether it be the tapping of the stick – spears - on the top of the shallow water and song and stomping the feet.

It's just basically our families would send out a vibration to our family of dolphins, those families of dolphins would pick up on our vibrational sound and would immediately come to help us scare the fish from those deeper waters ... push them and scare them back towards where the men were holding the spears and the nets.

But you know, it was a great technique that I suppose is not really talked about as much.

These sites today you know, just sort of used as a walking path to sort of access one part of the coastline to the other and it's a great walk, but a lot of people aren't aware is that this is an old site that Aboriginal people would be here, usually on the winter time, and they would be calling out to their family of dolphins to aid them in their fishing for that particular season.

Now one thing is very important that we know about this story, but also the fact that they would give a portion of the catch back to the dolphins. There was you know, so many fish caught from the help from the dolphins and the nets that you know, there was so much to eat that definitely a portion of the catch is given back to the dolphins to show that connection, keep that connection strong.

Well then this type of hunting technique could be done for generations way into the future.

The general term that a lot of families on the coastline say for the dolphin, we call the dolphin yulu and you know, as I said each family had their own family of dolphins but that's the general word that we called the dolphin.

The fish that come here, the tailor and the mullet, it's interesting story about them as well that the fact that we have that connection with the sea eagles, sea eagles in this story as well.

But we know that the mullet and the tailor is coming up here because there's particular trees that sort of indicate it to us, and those trees have the same name as the fish. So you know, there was one in Gubbi Gubbi language we called the mullet fish, the sea mullet that migrate up here to spawn, we call that durra and the name of the red stringybark tree is durra.

So the red stringybark tree is almost your indicator to tell you when the mullet's going to be arriving - it will almost give you a heads up and so you don't you know, you can predict a lot easier and get prepared for the season to follow you know.

You've got to get your spears, your nets prepared, you'll have to get your canoes ready, holes plugged up and just be ready for the big migration of fishing as we said.

You know there's so much fish it coloured the water black.

You know there's even uncles they talk about it you know, they say "oh yeah those fellas they were spearing fish and they'd spear a fish and they think they got one now they got two, they got two on the end of that spearhead".

Uncles and that, they talk about that you would leave some cooked fish for the ancestors.

So you catch - yeah you're gonna give some to the sea eagle, the sea eagle, the dolphin.

The story of the sea eagle you know, I was mentioning that before. The sea eagle is the first one to sort of tell us when we're allowed to enter the water. We won't do it until he start or she starts to hunt.

The reason being is because they are the ones that have the perfect view of the fish over the top and they can see the leaders, the lead fish, and then they can see the ones that are following the leaders. Well the leaders have immunity of being hunted. They're not allowed to be hunted.

The eagles don't hunt them and so our families follow suit. If you hunt the leaders then the followers will become distressed and they'll go in every different direction and probably get lost and die and not live to their full potential.

And so, they know the rules. The ancient law is let the leaders pass.

When the sea eagle lets the leaders pass, he'll tell us when the followers are in the water because he'll start to hunt, and so when he hits the water straight away the signals, the whistles, the calls ... everyone's out busy time. Fishing season has officially begun with the sea eagle striking the water first.

Our sea eagle's name - we call him gunga - that's Gubbi Gubbi language. The reason why we call it gunga, it's an onomatopoeia or onomatopoeia, is where you call something after the sound that it creates and so when he flies over us, he makes the sound gunga. He goes gunga, gunga, gunga, gunga you know, like that and so our families have then adopted that and you know, that's where we get our language from.

We get it from our landscapes, our animals and plants, and the sounds that we hear will definitely dictate the way that we speak.

And so yeah, that's a really good example of you know, showing where does this Aboriginal language come from you know, who started it?

Well you know, basically nature has had a big influence on us and so you know, we still represent that today and our connection to it and that we're very you know, proud of the fact that they're still here.

We know that our families looked after that bird for generations before us and now that we're here, we have to tell the story, continue on the story and then you know, we'll do a really good job of looking after for the next generations.

But it's a great story.

I'm glad that I know it and we're right here at the spot where they used to call out to the dolphins, the families from the Godwin Beach area and you can actually still see the holes there, there's holes and we'll you know, we will always discuss as we come down here - were these holes naturally here and then the families used those holes?

I would have to say that. I would have to say that yes, some of the holes that are there, they would have definitely made a lot bigger and wider with the use of calling out to the dolphins.

Also what's interesting here is too is a lot of people walk past it every day, there's an actual cross on the ground, and one of the early settlers - the explorer Matthew Flinders - came through here and he marked a cross on the ground which is the compass.

And it's - if you actually looked at it and compared it with your phone compass - you'd see that it'd be spot on if not a half a degree out so, it's pretty interesting, a lot of people don't know that at a dolphin calling point or Sandstone Point there is a mark from an early explorer that came through here and yeah, a lot of people know Matthew Flinders was the one that did it.

So yeah it's a great site, it's still here today and the more we know about it, the better we can look after it.

Some of the things that we were talking about you know, what the the families use to catch the fish, that the fishing nets you know, there's ... we use the the cotton tree to make it, we steep the rope into the mangrove sap, the mangrove sap - the red mangroves just at the back here is birri.

The reason we call it birri is birri is the name of your fingers and when you have a look at the actual red mangrove tree, the tree comes up and the trunk it looks like the trunk is like fingers, and so our families will call it fingers, the red mangrove.

But inside the red mangrove trunks is actually where you find the mangrove worm as well, but we use the bark off the red mangrove, we put it in some water then we drop our net after we've made our net, and we drop it in there for like about a week and then when you pull it out it's gone all red dye, just exactly the same color as the sap.

It looks like you know, transmission sort of radiated yeah real red like that, and real thick and gluggy, and it really stains in your net but it makes it stronger, like ten times stronger. Waterproof like you wouldn't believe, but just will help it live for a lot – really long time.

So that red mangrove all through this landscape here - birri.

We got the word for the cotton tree - we call it talwalpin - and it's along here and that's what they make the nets out of, but when they make the net they call the net the moola, you know. The big net to you know, to draw the where the fish should be sort of coming into when they'll sort of like wrap it around them, you know set their nets like that – those big moolas.

Also they had nets with handles and they were like butterfly nets but they called them toe roe, toe roes and they would have been used here as well. The fishing spear, the fishing spear with the barb spearhead - sometimes you might use a stingray barb as your spearhead, but you might just use wood and you know shape it with a couple of barbs on it or stick one barb out the side.

And those spears - fishing spears - we call them bilars, bilars. They're lightweight, usually made out of cotton tree or grass tree and so if you missed the target, there's a part of it sort of can be found because it floats on the surface and you can retrieve it again.

The name of the tailor, well tailor is an actual Aboriginal word as well, and it's sort of like a Gubbi Gubbi word that talks about that particular fish.

So if the name of the fish is tailor, then there's a big chance that the actual name of the coastal wattle which represents the tailor which is fully in bloom at the moment and - interesting to know, my cousin pointed it out one time, that the flower of the coastal wattle - if you look at it - it has the actual same shape of the egg roe when inside the tailor fish when you know, you open it up to eat it and you see the roe there.

And you might eat the roe, I like to eat the roe.

But you know, that's sort of connected in the dreaming as our families would say. Especially I remember Josh Walker talking like that, he said "oh it's connected in the dreaming yous fellows, it's connected back into the times of creation" and so you know, we follow suit because we know that's the way it is and we're just glad that we do know that.

So yeah when we're using the people here, they used to call out the dolphins using that stick and they placed it in that hole. Basically the hole's name is nala, the stick that they used is a green wattle and they'd always get it when it's you know, fresh and green because it has more flexibility so it'll be able to make that vibration a lot more defined.

And we called the green wattle - we called that burpengary. You might know Burpengary, a lot of people say Burpengary because it's the name of the township just over there Caboolture there.

And Caboolture, well Caboolture you know, we will be part of doing stuff in the Caboolture districts and you know, this sort of area is sort of like that - Caboolture people, coastal sort of area you know, really strong connection there.

But Caboolture's an Aboriginal word too that talks about the carpet snake.

But some people also called it wongii and they didn't actually call the place caboolture they called it wongii dum, wongii dum, yeah so they called that the place of the carpet snake.

All right yous mob, we'll you know, thanks for letting us have a yarn about this significance of this beautiful site here, Sandstone Point, and now we're gonna go another destination there on Gubbi Gubbis speaking country, so I'll see you then.

Connections - Deception Bay

So with the language um a lot of people sort of ask us "oh the Aboriginal language, where does it actually come from?" And basically it comes from the landscape. So the landscape has a song, has a voice. Um, you know we name our animals after the sound they are called, what they call out.

The best example is the white bellied sea eagle. Gunga is what we call it. And as it flies over the top of us, it's yelling out gunga gunga gunga gunga gunga. You know, um the crow. The crow is known as wowa. Wowa. Up at um Noosa, there's the wawa corroboree grounds. So wowa, wawa, they're sort of dialects that - some people call it wowa, some people call it wawa. But that's the sound that it creates and so, it's like onomatopoeia. Whatever it sounds like, that's the name that it's sort of given.

Ningi ningi, is the name of the mosquito. Aunty Eve told me that many years ago. She said ningi ningi. Then people think it's the oyster. I said it doesn't mean oyster. You could look at oysters and the mosquitoes will pick you up and carry you away. There's so many mosquitoes down there. And it's pretty easy when you listen to it, you know ningi ningi ningi ningi ningi. Mindurra. That's another word for the mosquito.

Mindurra is more of a Stradbroke Island-Brisbane language, because Mindurrabah is the name of North Stradbroke Island - the place of mosquitoes. But once again, mindurra mindurra mini mini.

The language really comes from the landscape and you know, when we're living in the landscape, we start to come out with these particular dialects, with this particular language, that the animals may be speaking to us.

But not all animals are named after their particular sound, but I can tell you there is a lot of them are.

And even that English languages does it. You know when you look at the word splash, crash, smash, bang, boom, you know all of those. Slice, jump, you know run. They're all sort of onomatopoeia, trying to capture the moment, you know what I mean. And describing it through the sound. And so you know, language, very very important.

And you will get different languages and you go "Well isn't it magpies? Don't they have the same song? Doesn't kookaburra have the same song?" No they don't, as we've noticed.

You listen to a magpie at Caloundra to, listen to one at Deception Bay. They'll have a similar song but there'll be a difference - part to the song. Just a little bit different to the tone, but same same but different.

And so you might find that in the Aboriginal language. Same same but just a little but different, and the birds, the animals sort of can give you the heads up on that.

You know, I live at Yandina. The Yandina birds, magpie song, to the one at Caloundra is way different. Way different, but the same. And so that'll sort of tell you, okay, there's a dialect of speaker at Yandina, different dialect speaks over at Caloundra. But they're all under the same flag because they use the same word for no, which was gubbi.

So very interesting our language. Gubbi Gubbi language is spoken all around the Deception Bay district. So it went down to the North Pine River. It went all the way out to the Conondale Ranges, right out to Kilkivan, right up to Burrum Heads. Burrum Heads. But you know you're cutting along there, you've got the Butchella people at Fraser island and Hervey Bay districts. Gurang Gurang people up at Bundy, the Wakka Wakka people on the other side of the Conondales, and Jagera-Turrbal speaking people down towards the south of us, going towards Brisbane.

So the Brisbane River tribes, you know, really closely associated with us, and we would have known each others language fluently, because of our interaction with our seasons - mullet, to bunya, to macadamia nut, you know.

So when you have those large gatherings you're going to be learning each other's culture, and especially their language.

Retaining the language is very important, it is sort of like, part of the identity of the people. The identity of the land, and it connects us with the land, the language, so it's part and parcel.

You know, like people say "we've got to learn the accent". The accent, the tone, the pronunciation of the words. Yes you can do that, because the birds are doing it. They're already doing it. We've just got to listen to what's already, what's there, what the people before us listened to, and then we'll be able to pick up on some of that language.

Look at kookaburra. Some people call him gugoo. You know, gagagagagoo. You know, he's got many different words. Kookaburra is actually a Kamilaroi word, that's referring to the sound that he's kookakakookaburra, kookaburra, you know.

So the language is very very strong in the land. It's just the people have forgotten the connection with the land, and the language. When you don't have the language, you lose that connection with the land. You know, if you know your tribal grounds, where your ancestors came from, you know you want to connect up with your language, go back to the land, because the land has all the information. It's got all the stories, the accent for the sounds you know. All of the identity that you're connected to is there, you just have to reconnect with it and listen to it.

You know, I'm lucky I live right in the bush, and so you know, I feel like all this information that I'm picking up, um, I have to share it. It has to be given out and shared with other people so that they can have that same sort of relationship with the place, and realise that the culture is not, not gone at all. Not at all.

If you're looking at Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal culture is your flora and your fauna, and all of the living things that we have. And our families, we just knew all about them and we looked after them, and then we passed that information on to the next generations. So that we know that things will be looked after, for the future generations to come after us.

So very very important that language connects us with our landscape and gives us our true identity.

Moreton Bay Ash - Deception Bay

Hello and uh welcome. My name is Lyndon Davis, uh descendant of the Mooloola Plains people of uh Sunshine Coast districts. We're down here today at Baranjah Park down here at Deception Bay and having a look at one of our significant, uh very special trees that are in our environment, that our families have looked after countless generations. 

This one is known as the Moreton Bay ash. In our language we will call it goranja, goranja, and this is significant tree for the fact that it is a totem tree.  

It is - people sort of regarded this tree as like a family member, and was um you know, had responsibility for it and tell everyone about it, and to look after it for generations and generations as it has been looked after the generations before them. 

I know that it is part of copiathan, copiathan is your skin name, your [Aboriginal word] and you're either copiathan or dilbi. Copiatha is usually associated with the emu, emu people, and dilbi is usually associated with the kangaroo people. But on the emu line, if you're the emu line, part of the trees that you look after is bunya tree and also Moreton Bay ash.

And so you know, this is a very significant tree to those people on that line that have the bloodline of the emu, uh copiathan in our language, which talks about um the dark sort of skinned people, the darker skinned. Opposed to dilbi, which are the the lighter skinned people which I sort of do come underneath, as I find out through the animals that are associated with dilbi, and kangaroo is dilbi, and associated with the Moreton Bay ash. In our language we call him gorunja.

You know I always thought the word was durunda. I thought, I thought it was durunda. No it's gorunja, gorunja so with the "g" and um when you look at that word goranja - goran goran up i Kabi Kabi language, it's talking about something very very tall and big.  

And actually this is the biggest Moreton Bay ash that I have actually come across. So you know, when they sort of look at the ages of some of our trees, you know, you go back and the settler will say "Oh how long have we been here? For about 200 years. Oh they'd probably be about 200, 250".  

Gauging on how long they've been here for, you know. And so they will get a 400-year-old tree, they'll say that. But in actual fact you know, it's times three. Some of them up to 1200 years old gum trees. And with this girth and size of it, when you sort of you know, that's a pretty old tree. And this is a slow growing tree. He'll sort of grow slow at the start and then he'll sort of come up faster, so that's why he got this bark at the start and then all of a sudden, he just gets his growth burst and then it goes up into the real smooth bark and very picturesque tree.

I'm not being biased but it is probably one of my favourite gum trees, favourite of the gum trees. Looked after by the people and custodian for it and you know, they probably would have got um branches and used for firewood or, or shelter. They might have tapped the roots for water, but you know, you're not really going to harm the tree too much or hurt it, because it has such a high sort of important significance dating back to you know, our family's believe since the beginning of time.

And so you know, we have a big stake in in this tree and um you know, we really have a lot of connection to it. 

One time just walking through the bush there with some of the uncles, and uh he told us to look at some of the trees. He said look at that tree over there, and so we're looking at the trees again. I said "yeah what" you know, and he goes "do you notice all the branches on one side and it's got a twist up it" and I'm going "yeah, how come that", and he goes "well sometimes those important trees to us like a Moreton Bay ash, like a particular gum tree uh that will be a marker tree". They will twist it when they're young.

So he said they just twist it up when they're young, and they tie it up, tie it up with a bit of rope, and then this thing will start to grow in this sort of twisted formation and that some of the branches might be on one side of the tree.  

And then you notice that when you look at it, oh yeah, they are, they're all on one side. So yeah, they meant to do that from when it was growing when it was young. So it was sort of like, to even mark a particular place that you're walking in, to a place that has significance and because they've twisted the trees just to signify that. 

So yeah, sometimes you will find that in some of our gum trees, especially Moreton Bay ash.

Ochre cliffs - Redcliffe

 [Aboriginal song and dance]

We're down here um at Redcliffe, right down here on the foreshore at Redcliffe, ah Margate is the actual name of the suburb but in this landscape - Redcliffe sort of landscape - you've got a lot of these sort of cliffs, these cliffs and you know, they say the red cliffs. Redcliffe. There's a lot of red rock in the red cliffs.

Yeah definitely. You know, but you know where we are seated right here at Margate, you've got a cliff here which is a mixture of your red and mainly of your white.

Now the white clay, white ochre, in our language you know we call it dillan, or dillung, and it was used to obviously decorate the body. Decorate the artefacts and tools, and then you know, some of the deposits of white clay we used for ingesting. They may have an upset stomach, too much acid - acidy stomach - so they need something more alkaline. They would you know, just mix up your your white clay which would help cut out the acid reflux and whatnot. And so it was almost like a medicinal drink, coats the stomach, from the acid. It's the same sort of concept using the dillung.

But as I said, you have different grades of dillung, whether it be dillung that would be used communally for corroboree and song and dance and decoration of artefacts and tools. You would come to a place like this and collect that white ochre - dillung - for painting. And then as I said, sick person, oh they might be, similar not far from here, might be a little sort of an outcrop of this other whiter stuff that was mainly only used for a, for medicine.

But you know, you see in a lot of the cave paintings you have the hand stencils, and then the white ochre sprayed around it. Basically the white ochre is mixed up, crushed up, so you get the white ochre, crush it up and you would take some in your mouth, and then you put your hand up and then you would spit all the white ochre out and that would give you that sort of a spray paint type of effect over the top of the hand stencil. And the hand stencils was uh you know, was your identity. That was your identity. And a lot of people before you put their hand stencils up, so the next generation, each generation will also give their identity uh in the timeline.

You know, and then as it goes, the whole place would just be full of those hand stencils with the white ochre in the background. So you can find it down here in its natural form. Here are big cliffs of it, but some of the bits break off from erosion and, or if there's none there you can just use a rock and break some of them off there and then uh take this back now and you just crush it up on the - get another rock and crush it up on the rocky surface there, your bowl, and you add your water and then it turns into a paint, and then the paint can be used to paint artefacts and the body. So, very very special, the white ochre.

The red ochre, uh we didn't call it dillung, we called it koochi or koochin. Now there's a place out here called Coochiemudlo, it's an island off Moreton Island, Moreton Bay, and they say Coochiemudlo and people go ah that place, used to go there and just get covered in red dirt, and red dust. Every car that comes back from Coochiemudlo is red tinge all over the car from the red dirt and the red dust. So in our language koochin means red, mudlow was stone, so this is a Coochiemudlo right here, this stone. So this one once again, collected up and used in corroboree, decoration of the bodies, uh rubbed onto a rock, water added, turns into a red, very red paint here.

That's it that I've painted on myself just experimenting here on the rocks.

There will be different grades of this red just as there's different grades of the white. Some are much more redder. There's an interesting thing that talks about that. You will have red ochre that was used communally, everyone, general and then there was this red ochre that was like a trade tool. People would bring this red ochre even from their country to us. We also had a patch of red ochre that would uh be the same sort of grade as that really good ochre, and as I said you have patches of red that's general and then there's patches of real sacred stuff that we use for different purposes and not a just general, every day life purposes.

So yeah you can come down and you can find it still today, in its natural form. Rub it on the rocks, experiment with it, you'll find that it'll turn into a paint straight away and then used straight onto the body and uh I'm part of an Aboriginal dance troop, so we do a lot of collecting of ochre over the years. We'd go to particular places, landscapes and collect ochre, and uh as you can see, the most common sort of colours that I've got here, that we could just find lying on the ground, was red, was white.

Now interesting when you look at the old sort of photos of Aboriginal people in the district, and you you took an old diaries and how people witnessed the Aboriginal people and what they saw. One of, two of the colours that were written down, documented, were red and your white. A lot of the families up at the Sunshine Coast similar, red and white because I suppose it's the most common sort of the colours uh in landscapes like this with your red rock and your white rock. But you also have yellow rock here as well, you know different grades of yellow rock, different grades of white rock, different of your red rock. If you're looking for some of it, uh the best place that I always come and dig is all along this coastline, Redcliffe districts all the way down towards Deception Bay. Even at Coolum Beach. Coolum Beach there you find a lot of this red stuff and yellow stuff, but um the white stuff I would have to say - the best, this is one of the best sort of outcrops of white ochre that you will find in this whole district.

So very significant site for your dillung, the word for the white ochre.

Braided bookmarks

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries kids craft time, using items from around the home.

Today we're going to make some bright and beautiful braided bookmarks. Please make sure we have a parent or guardian ready to help you with any of the steps.

You will need a piece of paper, a ruler, a pair of scissors, a glue stick, a pencil and any colours you like for your bookmark.

First take your ruler and pencil and mark four one centimetre apart dots and then on the opposite side mark another four dots one centimetre apart.

Using your ruler draw for faint guidelines using your dots to make you strips.

Take your pair of scissors and carefully cut along the fourth line.

And then you can use crayons, pencils or pens to decorate your four strips.

Then flip over your piece of paper and mark another four, one centimetre guidelines.

And then you can colour in the reverse side. You can use different colours if you want to.

And then using your scissors, cut very carefully along your guidelines to make four strips.

Using two of your strips glue the right side strip on the top of the left to make an apex.

Take your third strip of paper and glue it on the left side of the apex strip.

And then using your fourth strip glue it onto the right side of the apex strip.

Fold the left outside strip over the fourth middle strip.

And then press it down firmly in the same direction of the three strips.

Now fold the right outside strip over the two middle strips.

Then press down firmly so you have two strips on each side.

Continue this pattern alternating sides as you go.

Look how colourful your bookmark is already.

Keep going you're almost there and you're doing great.

Then once you get to the end you can trim the bottom towel pieces to make a point.

Glue your last two strips together to hold all of your hard work in place.

And congratulations you're done.

Your bookmark looks amazing and you can use it inside all of your library books to keep your place.

Thank you for joining us today please tune in again next time for another special craft.

Feathered flowers

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries kids crafts.

I'm using materials from around the home. Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you because we have lots of cutting out to do today, to make these fantastic feathered flowers.

You will need a piece of paper, a pair of scissors, a ruler, a pencil, some glue and any colours you like for your flowers.

To begin measure 16 centimetres along the edge of your paper using your ruler and pencil.

Then measure 16 centimetres horizontally from the mark you just made.

Using your pencil draw a faint guideline marking the two 16 centimetre points.

This should make a square.

Then take your scissors and carefully cut along the line.

Now your square is ready you can use any colours you like to decorate it and these will be the colours of your first flower.

Your square looks beautiful.

And now we can get ready to fold.

Firstly take your square and fold it in half, to form a triangle.

Fold your triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.

Press along the edges of your triangle and make sure they are all smooth and flat.

Now fold your triangle in half one more time, to make an even smaller triangle.

And don't forget to press down the edges. Well done!

Now take the long folded-over edge up to meet the opposite edge.

And press it down.

Now this part might be a bit tricky.

From the bottom point cut a 90 degree angle to the left.

This will make another triangle shape. You will have two pieces now, but we only need to keep the long triangle part.

Get your scissors ready because we'll be cutting out this smaller triangle and we're almost done.

Turn your triangle to where the two folded pieces meet at the long edge.

Leaving a small space cut carefully along the folded edge almost to the end.

Repeat four more times, getting smaller and smaller but remember don't go all the way to the edge.

Then carefully unfold and unfold, unfold and unfold.

Wow, keep on unfolding until you have a beautiful flower.

You can now measure some different size squares and repeat the steps to add more layers to your flower.

Once you've finished making all the layers you like for your flower you can make the centre.

Cut out a small strip of paper.

Fold it in half.

In half again.

Using your scissors cut some small lines almost to the edge.

And then using your glue stick your layers together.

Congratulations you've made your fantastic flower.

You can decorate your room with them.

You can turn them into hair clips.

You could even make a bunch and give them to someone special.

Thank you so much for joining us today.

Tune in again next time for another special craft.

Friendship bracelets

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries’ kids crafts.

I'm using materials from around the home. Please make sure you have a parent or a guardian there to help you because some of these steps might get confusing.

Today we are making fantastic and brightly coloured friendship bracelets. You will need a pair of scissors, some sticky tape, a ruler and some yarn, string or twine.

For my example today I've selected three different coloured yarns and I'll be working with those.

To begin, you will need your scissors and your ruler and the first color you picked feel string. I've chosen to use white. Cut two strands at 30 centimetres each.

Next just like in the previous step cut two 30 centimetre strands of your second colour of string. I've chosen grey. Then repeating that step one more time, cut two 30 centimetre strands of your third colour of string. I've chosen green.

You should now have six pieces of string in total. For the next part, you will need your sticky tape.

Take all six strings together and tie them in one big knot near the top. Take one piece of sticky tape and tape down the tops of your strings - just above the knot - to any flat surface. This will help your string stay steady while you work.

Now separate your strings into half with three on each side in matching color order, so mine is green on the outside, white in the middle and grey at the bottom. You can see it's the same on the left side.

Now pick up the left top string, mine is green. Lift up that piece of string and move it over to the right-hand side below the three pieces of string that are already there. Now you should see four pieces of string and the very last colour will be the one you just moved, so mine is still the green piece.

Now pick up the top right string which will be the same colour as your previous string, so again mine is still green. Now move that piece of string over to the left-hand side and place it below the two pieces of string that are already there, and now you can see that our strings have all returned to match each other with three on each side and the colours the same.

Now let's repeat those steps together. Pick up the left top string, move it over to the opposite side placing it below the three right side strings, pick up the top right string and move it over to place it below the two strings on the left. So you can see that it matches again, and now all we need to do is repeat and repeat and repeat until your bracelet gets longer and longer and longer.

Your bracelet looks amazing! Keep going until you reach the end of your string and tie another knot and that's it, you're done. You've made your first friendship bracelets. Once you have finished you can then place it around your wrist and tie one more knot wherever it feels most comfortable.

Now you know the technique to making friendship bracelets, you can make some for your friends, for your family or more for you to wear. You could even make an extra extra long one as a necklace.

Thank you for joining us today. Please tune in again next time for another special craft.

Grow Rainbows

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries' kids' craft time, using materials from

around the home. We have a very exciting and different activity for you today

that is half art project and half science experiment. We are going to grow

rainbows! Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you when

using water today. You will need one piece of paper towel, one pair of

scissors, two cups of water and five felt pens in rainbow colours. To begin, take

your pair of scissors and your paper towel and cut one strip. It can be as

wide as you like as long as it's not wider then your cup of water. Once you

have your strip of paper towel, take out your five rainbow colours and choose what

order you'd like the colours to be in.


I'm going to begin my rainbow with bright yellow. Colour in one strip at the

beginning of your piece of paper towel and one strip on the opposite side of

your paper towel, just like the picture. For my next colour I'm going to pick

beautiful pink. I'm going to colour in right above both of the yellow strips. My

next colour is fire-engine red. Colour in above your previous strip colours to

continue the rainbow pattern. I've chosen forest green for my next colour. So

continue on the same pattern, colouring in above your previous strips, making sure

you leave enough space for your very last colour. My last colour will be a

beautiful ocean blue. If you've missed any spots on your rainbow you can go

back and colour them in.


Now take your two half-filled cups of water and line them up so they are

approximately at the same distance as your coloured in strips and then very

carefully dip both coloured ends into the cups of water. You will see your

beautiful rainbow start to grow and the colours will get closer and closer

and even closer until they meet in the middle. And all of the colours will

continue to swirl and change. When you're happy with how the colours look on your

rainbow, you can carefully remove it from your two cups of water then you can lay

out your rainbow where it can dry. Once it's all dried you can turn your

rainbows into streamers or ribbons or bookmarks or do drawings on them,

whatever you like. Thank you for joining us today.

Please tune in again next time for another special craft.

Jumping frogs

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries kids crafts time, using materials from around the home.

Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you because we have lots of folding today, to make our very funny jumping frogs.

You will need a piece of paper, a pair of scissors, a ruler and any colours you like to decorate your frogs.

To begin measure 15 centimetres down the page and then measure 7.5 centimetres across the page.

Draw a faint guideline to follow.

Take your pair of scissors and carefully cut along your lines.

And now your piece of paper will be ready to fold.

Hold the top right corner and fold to the left making a small triangle and then unfold.

Then hold the top left corner and fold to the right making another triangle.

And then unfold.

Now your triangles are unfolded you will see a cross at the top of the paper.

Now flip over the paper so the cross is at the bottom. And then fold the bottom of the paper up so the cross is in half.

Flip over your paper again so the fold is at the top.

Great job.

Now this part might be a bit tricky pinch the horizontal fold on each side so they meet.

You will see that a triangle starts to form, press it down.

Place your finger in the middle of the triangle to hold it steady.

Then using only the top layer of the triangle fold the bottom left corner halfway to the top this, is your frogs first leg.

And then again using the top layer of the triangle hold the bottom right corner halfway to the top, this is your frog second leg.

And then fold the left bottom layer edge to the middle of the paper.

Now fold the right bottom layer to the middle.

You're almost done.

And then fold the bottom edge of the paper up to the middle this will make a square.

Fold the edge of the paper back down to the bottom.

Now take your pair of scissors and carefully cut a small line in the middle of the last fold.

Fold right side middle corner to the right making a small triangle, this is your frogs third leg.

And lastly fold the left side middle corner to the left making another small triangle, this is your flex fourth leg.

And then flip your Frog over and stretch out all four legs.

Turn your frog the right way up. Press your finger down on the edge of your frogs back and then let go to see him jump.

Oops. Mine jumped and then fell over.

Now you are finished you can colour in your frog any colours you like.

Thank you for joining us today. Please tune in again next time for another special craft.

Paper Bag Puppets

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries’ kids’ craft time. I'm using materials from around the home.

Today we have something special for you: A craft that's inspired by a book! It's called Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas and it's written by Lucinda Gifford.

It's a very funny book about two chickens that go on an adventure and they get to do dress-ups along way, so we're going to make puppets of Whitney and Britney.

Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you because we have a little bit of gluing and cutting out today, and at the end of this video we'll have examples of other types of puppets you can make, like monsters and animals.

For this craft you will need a paper bag to make the body of your puppet, some tissue paper in any colours, glue, a pair of scissors, pens, pencils or crayons.

The first thing you will need is your paper bag. Make sure the open part of your bag is at the bottom. Now take the top right hand corner and fold it so it makes a triangle about a quarter of the way down your paper bag. And then take the top left hand corner and fold it to meet your other triangle so it makes a point. It's okay if it's not a perfect point.

And then taking out your glue stick, we'll need to put a dot of glue just where the two pieces meet, right in the middle. And then taking the top point, fold your big triangle in half, pushing down firmly so it sticks to the glue. This is the face of your puppet.

The puppet I'm making today is Whitney the chicken, and I'm going to use a blue pen to colour in her eyes, but you can use any colour you like. Using the fold as a guideline, draw two half circles in the middle of the left and the right triangles, and then colour them in. I'm going to add some lovely lashes to Whitney's eyes and you can too if you like.

And then using a yellow pen, I'm going to colour in the tip of the triangle right in the middle below the eyes. This will make a beak for my chicken.

During the story about chicken divas, Whitney and Britney like to dress up and they put on some jewelry partway through the story, so I'm going to add Whitney's earrings and a beautiful necklace, and then using a darker colour of pen I'm going to go around her jewelry to make it really stand out. And then using a lighter coloured pen, I'm going to draw some squiggly lines in lots of different places that look like a little feathers, and then we've finished colouring in the puppet art.

And now we're going to add some more decorations. For the next part we'll need some tissue paper and a pair of scissors.

Firstly cut a square out of your tissue paper. Now fold your tissue paper in half and then using your scissors trim your tissue paper that's folded over into a shape like half of a leaf, and then very carefully cut a few strips into your half a leaf shape, but not reaching the fold that's down the middle. So leave about one centimetre of space so that you don't cut all the way through it.

Unfold and you'll see that it now resembles a feather that we're going to use to decorate a chicken puppet of Whitney. Repeat the tissue paper steps to make about five or six feathers.

Now taking your paper bag puppet and your glue stick, pop some glue onto either side of your chicken and get ready stick your feathers on. Glue some at the bottom of your bag and then a few more a little bit higher, and then the rest right underneath her necklace.

Now that all your feathers are glued on, your puppet is finished. Well done! You can now slide your hand very carefully inside the paper bag and Whitney is all dressed up and ready to go on an adventure.

Now that you know how to make a puppet, you can follow the instructions again and make her best friend Britney. You can also look through all your spare craft supplies at home, like ribbon or paint, or yarn or stickers, and make a different type of puppet … like beautiful birds or really scary monsters or cute little kittens with ribbons. Anything you can imagine!

Thank you for joining us today. Please tune in again next time for another special craft.


Paper stars

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Region kids craft time, using materials from around the home.

Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you especially with the tricky parts.

Today we will be making beautiful 3D paper stars.

You will need a pair of scissors, one ruler and any colours you would like crayons, pencils or pens.

Mark a 1.5 cm wide strip.

Cut very carefully along the line.

Colour in your strips, any colours you would like for your stars.

Get your first strip ready.

And then fold a loop

with a 6cm tail.

Then hold onto your loop, nice and tight.

And then pull your tail through the loop.

Press it down firmly in place.

Hold the base very still with your finger.

Fold over your tail.

And then tuck it in nice and tight.

Well Done.

Flip your star over.

And then fold the long tail up to the point.

Turn and then fold it back down to the base.

Keep folding and flipping.

Following the natural curve of the paper.

All most done!

And when you have a tiny tail left.

Tuck it in nice and tight. Good job.

Now carefully taking the opposite sides, pinch, pinch, pinch.

Keep pinching all of the corners, very gently.

And your star will start to puff out, more and more as you go.

Keep tightening those corners.

Almost done.

And your star is ready.

What a cute star you have made.

You can make as many stars as you like.

You can turn them into a necklace, into a garland, into bunting to hang in your bedroom.

Whatever you can think of.

Thank you for joining us today.

Tune in again next time for another special craft.

Fork Pom Poms

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries’ kids crafts.

I'm using materials from around the home. Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you because we'll be using the scissors a little bit today to make these really cool mini pom poms.

You will need a fork, a pair of scissors and some yarn. You can also use string or twine.

To begin, have your yarn and fork ready. Pick up your fork and hold it comfortably in your hand with the points of the prongs facing away from you, then wrap the first part of your yarn around the middle of the fork prongs.

While continuing to hold your fork, firmly wrap the yarn around the prongs 50 times. Yes 50 seems like a lot but it will go very quickly.

Now it's very important that we don't forget to keep wrapping the yarn around the middle of the prongs because we need space at the bottom and at the top for the next part.

Well done, you've wrapped it 50 times and if you lost count and it's a little bit more than 50 or a little bit less, that's okay. And now using your scissors trim yarn where it reaches the end of the fork, like this.

Take your yarn and cut one strand approximately the length of your fork. Perfect. Using a single strand of yarn, poke it through the middle of the prongs at the bottom and over the middle prong at the top.

Pull the ends of the strand together and then tie a nice tight knot. And then carefully slide all of the yarn off of your fork.

Now take your pair of scissors. Now very carefully slide the bottom of the scissor blade through the loops on the right hand side. You might need a parent or guardian to help you with your step.

Close your scissors so it cuts through all of the loops on that side. Now let's repeat that step carefully. Slide the bottom blade of your scissors through the loops on the opposite side. Close your scissors and cut through all of the loops.

Now you can see your pom-pom is starting to take shape. So you can arrange it so it looks more and more round and trim any of the stray strands until pom-pom is complete.

It looks fantastic.

You can now make lots of pom-poms and use them for many different things. You can make jewelry, hair clips, decorations, anything you can think of.

Thank you for joining us today. Please tune in again next time for another special craft.

String feathers

Hi and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries kids crafts time, using materials from around the home.

Please make sure a parent or guardian is available to help you especially with lots of steps today to make these amazing string feathers.

You can also use string, twine or yarn. You will need your string, a pair of scissors and a ruler.

First cut 130 centimetre piece of string. 

Fold your string in half.

And then tie a knot two centimetres from the top. This is going to be the spine of your feather.

Then measure 22 small string pieces at 20 centimetres each.

These will make up the body of your feather.

Get your long spine string ready, fold one small string in half and place it under the spine.

Fold a second small string in half and place it next to the first loop.

And then pull the right-side loop under the first loop.

And pull the right-side loop over to the left side above the spine.

Then pinch the legs of the first loop and pull them through the second loop.

Hold both small strings and pull them to opposite sides and make sure they're nice and tight.

And then repeat from the opposite side. Loop under the spine, and then loop to loop.

And then a loop under the loop, that's it you're doing it.

And don't forget the loop over the spine.

Pinched the legs through the loop and pull like a bow. Nice and tight.

And then make sure you move your knots up to the top and change sides each time.

Keep going, you're doing so well! Until all pieces are done.

And then uncurl each strand of string. 

And that way your feather will be so fuzzy and soft.

And keep on curling until they're all done.

Carefully brush them with your fingers.

And then have your scissors ready because it's time to trim.

Trim all of your edges until it looks like a feather.

And congratulations, you're done! Your feather looks amazing.

Thank you for joining us today, please tune in again next time for another special craft.

Rhyme Time with Liz

Hi guys, welcome to Baby Rhyme Time at Moreton Bay Region Libraries. My name is Liz and we'll be going through Baby Rhyme Time together which is super exciting.

We're going to be singing lots of fun songs and lots of cool rhymes but before we start we have to do our Acknowledgement to Country. So can I see everyone putting their hands up like this and showing me your twinkling fingers. They look kind of like stars don't they? All right, so we'll go:

"Here is the land, and here is the sky, here are my friends (that's you guys) and here am I.
We respect the traditional custodians and country on which we learn and play.
Hands up! Really high, touch the sky, and hands down on the ground. We're on Gubbi Gubbi and Undabi people ground."

Good job! Give yourselves a round of applause.

We're going to have so much fun today and I'm very excited to share these rhymes with you. And as you can see I've brought my special friend with me. His name's Smithers, he's a snake but he's very friendly and likes to be pet like this.

Okay, let's have lot's of fun. I'm going to start off with my favourite rhyme of all time. It's called "Open, shut them".

Can I see you do this? And then can I see you do this? And then this? You've got it! That's pretty much all we have to do. But we'll sing along together okay. Have our hands up and ready like this.

We'll go "Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Give a little clap! Good job.
Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Lay them in your lap. (Down on your lap).
Creep them, creep them, creep them creep them, right up to your chin. Like this.
Open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Hide them behind your head like this!
And then we'll go "Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, just like this. 
Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Mwaaa."

Good job everyone! Give yourselves another clap.

Now that's one of my favourite rhymes because it's got lots of really fun hand actions to do and the repetitiveness of it makes it really fun for you and your kids to do together so you can sing that rhyme while your doing cooking or just when you're all hanging out together.

It's a really fun one to just do whenever and wherever you can. Shall we move onto the next rhyme? Okay.

Now this is another good one. What this one is - we're going to have our little fingers like this because these are going to be our baby crocodiles.

Then, we've got our hands like this because we have our the mummy crocodiles.

Then we gonna have our hands like this for our big big daddy crocodile. Do you think that you can do that? All right, great.

So show me your little fingers like this. These are our baby crocodiles.

So we'll go "Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite! Don't you bite!
I can run away from you, I can run away from you! 
Out of sight. Boo! Out of sight. Boo!"

All right. Now we've got our mummy crocodiles like this. You ready?

We'll go "Mummy crocodile, mummy crocodile, don't you bite. Don't you bite.
I can run away from you, I can run away from you.
Out of sight. Boo! Out of sight. Boo!"

Okay. Now we've got one more kind of crocodile, do you remember what it is? It's the daddy crocodile with big snappy hands like this. Can you show me? All right, ready?

We'll go "Daddy crocodile, daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite.
I can run away from you, I can run away from you.
Out of sight. Boo! Out of sight. Boo!"

Oh good job! (claps) You guys are doing a great job! Thank you for singing these rhymes with me today.

That one's one of my favourite rhymes too because I like crocodiles, I think that they're pretty cool. I like that they're really green and super long and they look super grumpy like this.

All right, let's sing another rhyme. Hmmm okay I think that we're gonna do a nice one with our twinkling fingers from the beginning. Do you remember?

We're going to do "Twinkle twinkle little star". So show me your twinkling hands like this.

We'll go "Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are."

That's a nice one. That's a nice one to sing at night time. Maybe when you are going to bed tonight, you can sing that one to your mum or your dad before you go to sleep. That would be a nice one to sing together.

Okay, we're going to do one more song. Now this one is a nice cheeky little rhyme. If you're a cheeky monkey you might know about this one.

So we've got our five cheeky monkeys and they're being a bit naughty and jumping on the bed. Let's see what happens when we get down to none.

We go:
"Five cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head. 
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed."

Now we've got four:
"Four little monkeys jumping on the bed. 
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said, 
No more monkeys jumping on the bed."

Now we've got three cheeky monkeys:
"Three cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed."

We've got two monkeys now:
"Two cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped her head.
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed."

All right, so we've had five then four then three then two which means we've only got one left:

"One cheeky monkey jumping on the bed.
She fell off and bumped her head.
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said
Put those monkeys straight to bed."

Oh good job, give yourselves one more round of applause. Those monkeys were a bit cheeky jumping on the bed weren't they? I think so.

Thank you so much for joining us today at Baby Rhyme Time. Just remember that singing rhymes with your children is such an important part of their development especially in the first five years of their life.

Have a great day everyone, thanks for joining us.

Bye (waves)

Rhyme Time with Liz

Hi everyone and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time with Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

My name's Liz and I’m very excited to do Baby Rhyme Time with you today. Let's start with our acknowledgement to Country. Can you show me one twinkling hand like this? And another twinkling hand like this? Smithers my snake would but he doesn't have any hands so he's just going to sit here like this. Ready? We'll go here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends, that's you guys, and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up and hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Let's start with our Hello song. Wave hello. Hi everyone how are we going today? We'll go hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. I'm very good and so is Smithers and we're so excited to have you here today.

All right let's do another little welcome song. We'll go like this, get your tickling fingers ready. We'll go a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high and arms go low, and a great big hug to say hello.

We're going to have lots of fun at Baby Rhyme Time today and I think we'll start with my most favourite rhyme. Can you go one and two and we will open them and shut them? Open them and shut them. Do you have any idea what we could be singing? That's right, we're going to do Open shut them. Ready? Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Oh good job. Give yourselves a clap. That's my favourite rhyme because I love all the hand actions that we get to do.

Let's do another one. This one has hand actions too but it's a little bit more quiet. We're going to get one twinkling star finger up like this and then two and we're singing Twinkle twinkle little star. Ready? Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are up, above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Thank you so much for singing that one with me. I love to go outside in night time and look up at the stars don't you? They're very beautiful.

Let's move on to our next rhyme. Now this one is about a dolly who gets a little bit sick, oh no, and her name is Miss Polly. So we'll get our dollies like this. Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick, so she called for the doctor to come quick quick quick, the doctor came with his bag and his hat and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat, he looked at the dolly and he shook his head, he said put Miss Polly straight to bed, he wrote on the paper for a pill pill pill, I'll be back in the morning yes I will will will. I hope Miss Polly feels better soon but I'm sure with the doctor there she'll be better in no time.

Okay we're going to do one more rhyme. Can you show me your fingers like this and then what about like this? We're going to do Baby crocodile. This is a really fun one so we've got our babies and then our mummies and then our daddy crocodile like this. Ready? Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo. Mummy crocodile, mummy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo. Daddy crocodile, daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo. Give yourselves a big clap and thank you so much for singing all these rhymes with me today.

We're going to sing our Goodbye song now but I will see you again soon. Ready? A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low and arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

And parents don't forget that singing rhymes with your children is great for building their memory. Don't be surprised if soon your children start singing your rhymes back at you. Have a great day. We'll see you later. Bye everyone.

Rhyme Time with Kathy

Hello everyone and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries. I'm Kathy, this is George and we're here to do Baby Rhyme Time.

Let's do our acknowledgment to Country. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and land and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Let's sing our Welcome song. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello.

Hello everyone. Now let's sing this song with real big voices. This one you might know is called Open shut them. You ready? Let's go. Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss.

Well done! I heard you all singing loud. Very good. Oh this one, this song here. We would have had to do a lot of these things to get ready for the day. This is the way we wash our face. So let's go. This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face, this is the way we wash our face, so early in the morning. Let's comb our hair. This is the way we comb my hair, comb my hair, comb my hair, this is the way we comb our hair, so early in the morning. Now let's brush our teeth. This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, this is the way we brush our teeth, so early in the morning. And let's kiss hello. This is the way we kiss hello, kiss hello, kiss hello, this is the way we kiss hello, so early in the morning.

Did you like that one George? I did too. Oh this is good, George likes this one. So I'm going to put him here because he likes to blast off. This is called Zoom Zoom and you blast off. Let's go. Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, five four three two one, blast off!

Should we do that again? I bet you like blasting off. George does. Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, five four three two one blast off. Well done.

Now I have to put George down for this one because this one we've got a bit of hand movement. Can you sit there George? Now this is baby crocodile, mummy crocodile and daddy crocodile. You ready? Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo. Mummy crocodile, mummy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo. Daddy crocodile, daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo.

All right, oh George wants to come back up. Oh sorry George. Here he is. I have to do the actions. All right. Are you ready? We're going to do our Goodbye song now. You're ready to say goodbye? You're not? Well this song will be good. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Now parents, just remember when you sing with your children, the sounds that come out of your mouth, even the shape of your mouth, it's all learning for them, and it really helps their vocabulary. Thanks for joining me today and we'll see you soon. Say bye George. Bye.

Rhyme Time with Cassie

Good morning everyone and welcome to Rhyme Time here at Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

My name is Cassie and are you all ready to get started today? Perfect. Okay and just a few quick messages - just one actually - um any rhyme that we do today you can do at home anytime during your normal routine. I like to sing Shake your sillies out during bath time and it's a lot of fun.

Okay we'll start off with our acknowledgement to Country. Ready? Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down and we are on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground. Good job everyone.

Okay now we're going to say good morning. Can I see your waving hands? Good job. They're very very happy this morning aren't we? Okay. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today? Good job, fantastic.

Okay our first song will be a very short one but we're going to be doing Incy Wincy spider. Do you know how to do your little Incy Wincys up your trunk? There we go, or you can do your little hand actions like this. Are you all ready? Good. Incy Wincy spider went climbing up the spout, down came the rain and washed poor Wincy out, out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again. Good job.

Now should we do one about a tree and when it's snowing because it's really really cold at the moment? Incy Wincy spider went climbing up a tree, down came the snow when made poor Wincy freeze, out came the sunshine and dried up all the snow, so Incy Wincy spider had another go. Good job everyone, fantastic!

Should we do a little long one? This one is about a friendly frog. Anyone recognize this guy? Oh yes he comes from our First Five Forever packs which if you're very new you can come to the library and get one, and they're very very good and very very friendly. This one's name is Fred. Say hello Fred. Hello. Good job.

Okay we're going to sing a song about frogs now and this one is a really good one with our counting fingers. Five little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log eating some most delicious bugs, yum yum. One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool now there are four speckled frogs glob glug. There we go. Now we've got our four frogs. Four little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log eating some most delicious bugs, glug glug. One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool now there are three speckled frogs, glob glug. Three frogs Fred. Oh okay let's keep going. Three little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log eating some most delicious bugs, yum yum. One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool now there are two speckled frogs, glug glug. Two little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log eating some most delicious bugs, yum yum. One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool now there is one speckled frog, glug glug. Are you the only one left Fred? Okay well, we’d better sing the last part so you can jump into the pool. Okay ready? One little speckled frog sat on a speckled log eating some most delicious bugs, yum yum. He jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool now there are no speckled frogs, glob glug. Good job and I think Fred's doing very very nicely in his nice cool pool.

Okay are we all ready for another song? I think we should do another special one. Now you might have heard this one a lot but we're going to open shut them. I'm going to do it once very normally and I think the next one we should do as fast as possible okay? We're all ready? Good. Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, good clapping, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap, good job. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Good job. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Good job.

Are you ready to super, super fast? Good job. Are we all ready? Okay open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap, creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but don't let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Good job everyone.

Okay I think that was very very tiring for our arms. Why don't we do a bouncing one and if your parents are sitting there with you, they can bounce you along. We're going to do our Bounce you here. Is everyone ready to bounce? Good job. So we start with this one. I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you bounce you everywhere. I tickle you here, I tickle you there, I tickle you tickle you everywhere. I hug you here, I hug you there, I hug you hug you everywhere. Fantastic. Should we do that once more? I think so. Ready everyone? I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you bounce you everywhere. I tickle you here, I tickle you there, I tickle you tickle you everywhere. I hug you here, I hug you there, I hug you hug you everywhere. Good job.

Okay so for our next song I think we should do another special rhyme. I think we should do hmm maybe one about some fish and another counting one. Are we all ready to count our hands? One two three four five once I caught a fish alive. Six seven eight nine ten then I let him go again. Why did I let him go? Because it bit my finger so. Which finger did it bite? This little finger on my right. Do you have your right pinky up and wiggling it? Oh good job good job.

Okay now our last song, we're going to do X marks the spot but I'm going do it on my hand and back at home you can be doing it on your back or on your belly, it's up to you. Are we all ready? X marks the spot with a circle and a dot, up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot, feel the breeze, let's all blow and feel the squeeze, give a bit of a hug and have a cuddle if you please. Good job. I think we should do that once more. X marks the spot with the circle and a dot, up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot, feel the breeze, feel the squeeze and have a cuddle if you please. Good job everyone.

Okay now I'm afraid it's time to go, so we're going to have slightly sadder hands to say goodbye. You ready? Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day. Goodbye everyone.

Rhyme Time with Miss Jenny

Hello and welcome Baby Rhyme Time. I'm Miss Jenny and this is Ted and we're here to sing some fun rhymes with you this morning. Before we get started how about we do our acknowledgement to country?

Here is the land and here is the sky. Here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and country in which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down. We're on Kabi Kabi Undambi people grounds.

Good work everybody! How about we start with a big hello wave? Hello, hello! Then sing out hello song. Hi, hello and how are you? How are you? How are you? Hi, hello and how are you?

How are you today? Hi, I hope you're all very well today. I'm very excited to be here for rhyme time, so i've picked some of my favourite rhymes to do with you today. And Ted's going to help me aren't you Ted? How about we start with row row your boat? This is a fun one to do with your mummy and daddies or siblings. I'm going to turn Ted around and we're goingto do it together. You ready? Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream. Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile don't forget to scream. Do we try that one again? One more time, ready? Row, row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream. Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. If you see a crocodile don't forget to scream.

Good work everybody. Whilst we're swimming and talking about the sea, how about fish? This is a fun one we can do with counting on our hands, so I might pop you down for a moment Ted. How about you sit there? And I can use two hands. Ready?

One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and then I let him go again. Why did you let him go? Because he bit my finger so. Which finger did he bite? This little finger on my right. Oh poor little finger. Should we try that one again? One more time, ready? Get your hands ready, one, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and then I let him go again. Why did you let him go? Because he bit my finger so. Which finger did he bite? This little finger on my right.

Oh poor little finger. That's a fun one isn't it, practicing our counting? How about we do a sailor went to sea? This one can get a bit tricky how about I get Ted to help? So we're going to have a sailor goes to sea and we go see, see, see. He's going to go to knee we point to our knee. Knee, knee, knee. He's going to go to toe; toe, toe, toe. And then we're going to put it all together.

You ready? A sailor went to sea, sea, sea, to see what he could see, see, see. But all that he could see, see, see was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea. Ready? This time knee. A sailor went to knee, knee, knee to see what he could knee, knee, knee. But all that he could Knee, knee, knee was the bottom of the deep blue knee knee knee. Ready? Toes this time. A sailor went to toe, toe, toe to see what he could toe, toe, toe. But all that he could toe, toe, toe was the bottom of the great blue toe, toe, toe. Ready? Now we're going to go see, knee, toe. A sailor went to see, knee, toe to see what he could see, knee, toe. But all that he could see, knee, toe was the bottom of the deep blue sea, knee, toe.

That one's a good one. The more you do it, the faster and faster you can get. Okay, how about we do one more? How about we do our rabbit rhyme? Do you like that, be Peter Rabbit? Okay let's go. Ready?

So I'm putting my little bunny ears on teddy here. Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose. Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose. Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose, so he flipped it and he flopped it and it flew away. Now we'll have a prickle in our paw. Little Peter Rabbit had a prickle in his paw. Little Peter Rabbit had a prickle in his paw. Little Peter Rabbit had a prickle in his paw so he pulled it and he pulled it and it came right out. Let's do Peter Rabbit again, ready?

Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose, little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose, little Peter Rabbit had a fly up on his nose so he flipped it and he flopped it and it flew away.

Good work everybody. I think that's all the time we've got today for rhymes, but how about we do a very big goodbye wave? Bye, bye. We can sing our goodbye song.

You ready? Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon. See you soon, see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thank you so much for joining me today at Rhyme Time. Can't wait until I can see you all again.

In the meantime, remember you're never too young to read books to your children. You don't have to make it all the way through a book for them to get the benefit of reading. Just read as many pages as you can and talk to your child about it as you read the book.

Thank you so much, we'll see you next time. Bye!

Rhyme Time with William

Hi guys, how's it going? My name's Will and I work at the Caboolture library and today we are going to do some songs and rhymes together. Are you ready?

First of all we're going to do our acknowledgement of Country, so let's get started. Here is the land and here is the sky. Here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and the land on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down. We're on Kabi Kabi Undambi ground.

Alright, so our first song is our hello song so are you ready to give me some waves?

Hi, hello and how are you? How are you? How are you? Hi, hello and how are you? How are you today?

Alright our first song we're going to need some hands of this one, so if you hold up your hand or mums and dads, parents, carers. If you're at home, you can use toes as well for this one. My little girl loves this one. Are you ready? This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had ice cream, and this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee, wee, wee, wee all the way home.

Alright we're going to do the other hand this time because repetition is really important when it comes to songs and rhymes. This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef and this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee-wee-wee all the way home.

Great job you guys.

Alright the next one we're going to do requires some actions. First we have our baby crocodile, we have a mummy crocodile, and a great big daddy crocodile. Are you all ready to get started? Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite. I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo! Out of sight, boo! Ready for mummy? Mummy crocodile, mummy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite. I can run away from you, I can run away from you. Out of sight, boo! Out of sight, boo! Are you ready for a big daddy crocodile? Daddy crocodile, daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite. I can run away from you, I can run away from you. Out of sight, boo! Out of sight, boo! Awesome, good work everybody.

Now I'm going to sing a song with my friend over here. We are going to sing Miss Polly all righty? So if you've got either your child or if your kid’s got a dolly you want to use then we'll get ready to get started. Are you all ready to go? Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick, so she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick. The doctor came with his bag and his hat and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat. He looked at the dolly and he shook his head. He said "Miss Polly put her straight to bed." He wrote on a paper for a pill, pill, pill. "I'll be back in the morning, yes I will, will, will." Good job you guys. I hope your dolly is feeling better soon. Maybe a nice snooze and a good meal will help him feel better.

All right we're going to sing another one about a bit of a creepy crawly insect, all right? I really like this one and it's about a spider. All righty. So if you can get your climbing fingers ready we are going to sing Incy Wincy. Are you ready? Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again. Good job you guys.

Should we do that one again? I really like it. Are you ready? Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again.

Ahh, well done you guys that was fantastic!

Now we've got another action song to do and this is one of my favourites. So we're going to do it the normal way first and then we're going to do a silly way next.

Okay, so we're going to do open shut them. So we have open, and shut them. Do you reckon you can follow along? Open, shut them, open, shut them, give a little clap. Open, shut them, open, shut them, lay them in your lap. You ready? Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin. Open wide your little mouth, but do not let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this. Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss, mwah! Good job you guys, that was excellent. Now we're going to do it again and we're going to do it a silly way. So this time when I say open I want you to close them, and when I say shut them I want you to open them. And then the other actions we'll do backwards things for them as well. Are you all ready to go? Let's see if I can get this right, it's a bit tricky. Here we go. Open, shut them, open, shut them, give a little clap. Open, shut them, open, shut them, lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your maybe your toes even. Open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Ready? Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this. Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Oh you guys are good.

All right now we are going to sing our goodbye song now. I hope you've all had lots of fun at Rhyme Time with me. Come and see us sometime soon; the libraries are back open now and we'd love to see you in here borrowing some books again.

All right are you ready? Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day. Thanks guys, have a good day!

Rhyme Time with Cassie

Good morning everyone and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time here at Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

My name's Cassie and I'm so excited to be doing this with you today.

Okay so before we begin I'm just going to show you my little friend Fred the frog. Does anybody recognize him from anywhere?

Yes! So you can get Fred or other friends just like him from our First 5 Forever packs. And if you haven't joined up, you can get one! Just come to the library and we'll be able to help you out.

Okay is everyone excited for a rhyme time this morning?

Perfect. Okay let's do our acknowledgement to country.

Here is the land, here is the sky. Here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down and we are on Kabi Kabi Undambi people ground.

Good job everyone. Okay we all ready to say good morning? Good job.

Hi, hello and how are you? How are you? How are you? Hi, hello and how are you? How are you today?

Good job everyone, I love your waving that was so good.

Perfect. Are we all ready to begin? Now who's feeling a little bit energetic? Because I think we should do shake our sillies out. And I like to do this one just after bath, after dinner.

It's a good way to air out. It's really fun. Ready?

Gonna shake, shake, shake your sillies out shake, shake, shake your sillies out shake, shake, shake your sillies out. Wibble our wobbles away.

Now we're going to clap! Gonna clap, clap, clap your sillies out. Clap, clap clap your sillies out. Clap, clap, clap your sillies out. Wibble our wobbles away. Okay now we're going to jump. You ready to jump your sillies out?

Okay you're all standing up? Perfect. We're going to jump, jump, jump our sillies out. Jump, jump, jump your sillies out. Jump, jump, jump your sillies out. Wibble our wobbles away.

That was great fun, oh. That was lots of fun. Okay I think we should do a counting one. Okay ready? I think we should do a counting one that's about five little ducks. Yes good job. You got five hands out? Good job.

Five little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack, quack, quack quack. But only four little ducks came back. Oh no. Four little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack, quack, quack, quack. But only three little ducks came back. Ready? Three little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack, quack, quack, quack. But only two little ducks came back. Just two? Okay. Two little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack, quack, quack, quack. But only one little duck came back. Okay, last duck. One little duck went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack, quack, quack, quack. But none of those five little ducks came back.

Okay mother duck I think we should go out and get your friend, get your children. She said yes. Okay let's go get them. One mother duck went out one day, over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack, quack, quack, quack. And all of those five little ducks came back. Oh there we go, they're all back again! Quack quack quack quack quack quack.

Good quacking, I love that. Okay we all ready for our next rhyme? I think we should do round and round the garden. We're going to start with our left hand, it will go to our right hand. You all have your hands out?

Perfect. Round and round the garden like a teddy bear. One step, two step tickly under there. That was funny wasn't it? Let's do our other hand. Round and round the hay stack like a little mouse.

One step, two step into his little house. Are you all laughing? Perfect. I like to see you laughing, that's good.

Okay our next rhyme I think we should do a very classic rhyme that everyone might know. Hmm. I think we should do Miss Polly had a dolly. Does everyone have a dolly with them? Or you can use a stuffed animal. Okay we all have them ready? Okay. Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick So she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick. The doctor came with his bag and his hat and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat. Okay let's open the door. Okay. He looked at the dolly and he shook his head. He said Miss Polly put her straight to bed. He wrote on the paper for a pill, pill, pill. I'll be back in the morning, yes I will, will will. That's a lot of rhyming isn't there?

Okay, our next one we shall do a really, really fun one. Maybe a dingle dangle scarecrow. Are we all ready? Perfect. When all the cows were sleeping and the sun has gone to bed, up jump the scarecrow and this is what he said: I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat. I can shake my hands like this, and shake my feet like that. You're shaking your feet? Good job.

Okay let's go back sleeping again. When all the hens were roosting and the  moon behind the cloud, up jumped the scarecrow and shouted very loud: I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat. I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that.

Good job everyone oh that was fantastic. Now I think we should do one more rhyme. Are we all ready to go? Yes, perfect. We'll do a little quiet rhyme, maybe twinkle twinkle little star. We all  ready? Perfect. Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle little star how I wonder what you are.

Okay I think we should do that once more. You all ready to go with your twinkly fingers? Good job. Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.

Good singing everyone, that was very nice. Okay now I'm afraid we're gonna have to go but we'll do our goodbye song first. Are we all ready? There we go. Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Goodbye everyone, see you next time.

Rhyme Time with Fiona

Hi! I'm Fiona. Welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' Rhyme Time.

Let's start with acknowledgment of Country.

Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Now let's start our welcome songs. We are going to start with hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today.

And we like to do this one as well. It is a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello.

Hi everyone, let's get into some fantastic rhymes today. We are going to start with one, hmmm, it's green and it hops and it makes a noise like der glumph. Do you know what this one is? That's right it's Der glumph went the little green frog. Okay this one has some actions. You ready?

Der glumph went the little green frog one day, der glumph went the little green frog, der glumph went the little green frog one day, and the frog went glumph glumph glumph. But we all know frogs go la dee da dee da, la dee da dee da, la dee da dee da, we all know frogs go la dee da dee da, they don't go glumph glumph glumph.

Excellent work. Do you know what's really good? If you have your child sitting so they can see your facial expressions and that's fantastic for them to learn as well.

Okay the next song we are going to sing X marks the spot. So this is one you can do with your little one. We go x marks a spot with a circle and a dot and up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot. Feel the feel the breeze, feel the squeeze, and have a cuddle if you please.

That's a nice one. I like it so much let's do it again. Ready to do the x marks the spot? X marks a spot, with a circle and a dot, up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot, feel the breeze, feel the squeeze, and have a cuddle if you please.

Did you enjoy that cuddle? I know I did. Okay now the next song I think we might zoom up into the moon. Okay so you can put your two hands together and make a rocket ship. That's right, just like that. We're going to go zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, five four three two one blast-off! You want to do that again? I think that's a nod for a yes. Ready? Hands together for your rocket ship. Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, five four three two one blast off!

Oh that was fun. I wonder what we'd see if we were in space? Lots of stars I would think.

Okay, the last song I've got for you today ... um do you know what animal this is? Is it a cat? No not a cat. Is it a giraffe? No giraffes have long necks don't they. This is a monkey. Do you know the song about one two three four five monkeys and they're swinging in a tree?

You know what they do next? They tease Mr Crocodile. You know this song don't you? You ready to sing it with me? Five cheeky monkeys swinging in a tree, teasing Mr Crocodile, you can't catch me, along comes Mr Crocodile as quiet as can be and snap! Four cheeky monkeys swinging in a tree, teasing Mr Crocodile, you can't catch me, you can't catch me, along comes Mr Crocodile as quiet as can be and snap! How many monkeys are left now? There's only three three cheeky monkeys swinging in a tree, teasing Mr Crocodile, you can't catch me, you can't catch me, along comes Mr Crocodile as quiet as can be and snap! How many we've got left? Two two cheeky monkeys swinging in a tree, teasing Mr Crocodile you can't catch me, you can't catch me, along comes Mr Crocodile as quiet as can be and snap! One one left. Is this you? Oh let's have a look. One cheeky monkey swinging in a tree, teasing Mr Crocodile, you can't catch me, you can't catch me, along comes Mr Crocodile as quiet as can be and ... missed me! We still have our one monkey left.

Oh that's good news. Well I hope you enjoyed those few rhymes and we'll do our goodbye songs now, and we start with our tickle song. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, don't get tricked with this bit, arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye.

Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thank you, we'll see you next time. Bye!

Rhyme Time with Fiona

Hi! I'm Fiona and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Library's Rhyme Time.

So let's start off with the acknowledgement of Country. Are you ready? Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Okay now we've got our welcoming rhymes. Are you ready? Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today.

Well I hope you're all doing well and our next welcoming rhyme is the tickle one. Are you ready for the tickle one? Are you ready? We go a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello.

Hi everyone, now I've got some really great rhymes to do today. Okay our first rhyme is about a turtle. Can you put one hand on top of the other and then wiggle your thumbs? I had a little turtle, his name was Tiny Tim, I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim. He drank up all the water and ate up all the soap, now he's home sick in bed with a bubble in his throat. Bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bop. Let's do that one again! One hand on top of the other, wiggle your thumbs. I had a little turtle, his name was Tiny Tim. I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim. He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap. Now he's home sick in bed with a bubble in his throat. Bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bop. That was a funny one wasn't it?

Now did you notice that we did that one two times? That's because repetition is so important for babies' early language. That's why we keep doing the same rhymes over and over again. Now the next rhyme is about Australian animals and it has actions too, so I'll do the first song and then I'll get you to help me with a second.

Are you ready? We're going to start with a fish and it's a Barramundi. Barramundi Barramundi cockatoo cockatoo platypus and emu platypus and emu kangaroo kangaroo. Okay can you do all those actions with me, all those Australian animals? We're going to start with a Barramundi which is a fish. Barramundi Barramundi cockatoo cockatoo platypus and emu platypus and emu kangaroo kangaroo. Well done!

We've got some really interesting animals in Australia and there's another one and it has three people in the family. It's got a baby, do you know what that is? That's my baby crocodile. It's a baby crocodile and then we have a mummy crocodile and you know what's next don't you? It's a daddy crocodile. Okay so let's sing this one together. You ready?

Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo! Out of sight, boo! Remember what was next? It's mommy. Mommy crocodile, mommy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo! Out of sight, boo! And open your arms wide, wide as wide as you can go, you ready? Daddy crocodile, daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite, I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, out of sight.

Well those are some of my favourite rhymes. I hope you enjoyed them too and what was the other tip I had? Repetition, oh okay. Another thing that's good to do with singing rhymes with your children is to slow it down and then they get a chance to respond to what's happening.

Okay we're going to do our goodbye songs now and we're going to start with a tickle one. Are you ready? We go a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes. This is going to trick you. Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye.

Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day. I hope you had fun because I did. We'll see you next time. Bye!

Rhyme Time with Cassie

Good morning and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' Baby Rhyme Time. My name is Cassie and I'm here to sing some amazing songs with you.

Is everyone excited to get started? Perfect. Now before we begin we just need to start with our acknowledgement to Country, and all you have to do is follow me. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We like to respectfully acknowledge the traditional Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we are on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground. Perfect.

Okay now we can't start off our Rhyme Time without saying Good morning, so we're going to get some good happy waving hands. Here we go, that's perfect.

Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi, hello and how are you, how are you today?

Perfect. Okay let's start off with one of our favourite rhymes, the bouncing one where we zoom zoom zoom to the moon in our favourite rocket ship. Are we all ready to go and do some bouncing from knee to knee? Perfect. Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon in five four three two one and blast off and oh, there we go. I think we've flown to the moon. I think we should fly to the moon one more time? Yes. Ready? Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon in five four three two one, blast off! Good job everyone, perfect.

Okay now that we've done some counting and bouncing, let's sing one of our favourite little nursery rhymes, Twinkle twinkle. We all ready to go? Perfect. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Good job. I think we should do that one again, because repetition is really really really good for at home. Twinkly fingers out again! Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Good fantastic job with your little twinkly fingers. That's perfect.

Okay, we should do another amazing song. I think we should do Five little ducks. We all ready to go? Five little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only four little ducks came back. Four little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only three little ducks came back. Three little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only two little ducks came back. Let's go with two. Two little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only one little duck came back. One little duck went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but none of those five little ducks came back. I guess we'll have to send mother duck out to find all the other little ducks. We all ready to go? Sad mother duck went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, and all of the five little ducks came back.

Good counting and good job bringing all those ducks back.

Now, now that we've had a real long one, I think we should do another rhyme, one that's got a little bit more action. So because we've been using our fingers all day, we'll do our finger song Where is Thumbkin. Let's start off with our thumbs. Where is Thumbkin, where is Thumbkin, here I am, here I am, how are you today sir, very well I thank you, run away, run away. Where is Pointer, where is Pointer, here I am, here I am, how are you today sir, very well I thank you, run away, run away. Here comes Tall Man, where is Tall Man, where is Tall Man, here I am, here I am, how are you today sir, very well I thank you, run away, run away. Where is Ring Man, where is Ring Man, here I am, here I am, how are you today sir, very well I thank you, run away, run away. Last one. Where is Pinky, where is Pinky, here I am, here I am, how are you today sir, very well I thank you, run away, run away. Good job. Now we know what all the names of our fingers are - Thumbkin, Pointer, Tall Man, Ring Man and Pinky.

Good job everyone. Now for our last rhyme we'll do a quiet one X marks the spot. Now you can either do it on bubby's back or you can do it on their belly. I'm going to do it on my arm. X marks the spot with a circle and a dot, up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot, feel the breeze, blow on the back, feel the squeeze, give them a little squeeze and have a cuddle if you please.

I think we should do that one more time. X marks the spot with a circle and a dot, up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot, feel the breeze, feel the squeeze, and have a cuddle if you please. Good job.

Now that's all the rhymes we have time for today. I'm just going to sing the Goodbye song. Let's give our waving hands one last go. Goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day. Good job and we'll see you next week for Baby Rhyme Time. Goodbye.

Rhyme Time with Madi

Hello everyone, my name is Madi and I'm here for Baby Rhyme Time.

So first we're going to start off with our acknowledgement to Country.

Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We acknowledge the traditional custodians on the land in which we work and play, arms up arms down, we're on Kabi Kabi Undambi ground.

Okay we're going to start off with our Hi hello song greeting.

Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today.

So first we're going to start off with Row row row your boat.

Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream. Row row row your boat gently down the stream, ha ha fooled you, I'm a submarine. Row row row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile don't forget to scream.

The next one we're going to do is The wheels on the bus.

Everyone knows the wheels on the bus?

First they go round and round. So we'll start off with that verse.

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long.

And then next he goes beep beep. The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, beep beep beep, beep beep beep, the horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, all day long.

And then next we're going to do the children wiggle. The children on the bus go wiggle wiggle wiggle, wiggle wiggle wiggle, wiggle wiggle wiggle, the children on the bus go wiggle wiggle wiggle, all day long.

This one's called A sailor went to sea.

So first we'll start with see then we go to the knee and then the toes. A sailor went to see see see, to see what he could see see see, and all that he could see see see, was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea.

Next we'll go with the knees. A sailor went to knee knee knee to see what he could knee knee knee and all that he could knee knee knee was the bottom of the deep blue knee knee knee.

Now down to our toes. A sailor went to toe toe toe, to see what he could toe toe toe, and all that he could toe toe toe, was the bottom of the deep blue toe toe toe.

So now we put them all together - see knee toe. A sailor went to see knee toe to see what he could see knee toe and all that he could see knee toe was the bottom of the deep blue see knee toe.

So our last song will be Miss Polly had a dolly.

Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick, and she called for the doctor to come quick quick quick. The doctor came with his bag and his hat, and he knocked on the door with a rat a tat tat. He looked at dolly and he shook his head. He said Miss Polly put her straight to bed. He wrote on his paper for a pill pill pill. I'll be back in the morning, yes I will will will.

Okay now let's do our Goodbye song and that's it for today. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

That's it for Baby Rhyme Time. Bye.

Rhyme Time with Liz

Welcome to 'Baby Rhyme Time' with Moreton Bay Region Libraries. My name is Liz and I'll be doing 'Baby Rhyme Time' for you today and I'm super excited.

We're gonna have such a good time. Today I have with me, my little friend her name's Buttercream and she's gonna sit down at my feet and she's gonna listen to us sing of our songs.

So I hope that you sing really loud so that she can hear us. All right, she can go down there. Now before we begin we have to start with our 'Welcome to country'. So can everyone show me your twinkle fingers like this? Good job.

And we will go:

"Here is the land and here is the sky. Here are my friends and here am I.
We respect the traditional custodians and country on which we learn and play.
Hands up and hands down. We are on Gubbi Gubbi and Undabi people ground."

Good job everyone! So to begin I think that we're gonna sing a welcome song.

So let's say hello, say hi hi everyone. How are you going today? Say hi to whoever's sitting in the room with you. We can sing our hello song.

We'll go, hi, hello and how are you?
How are you? How are you? 
Hi, hello and how are you?
How are you today?

Good job!

We're gonna get ready to do some tickling as part of our welcome song. So show me your tickle fingers.

And we will tickle the clouds up in the sky and right down low to tickle your toes. We're gonna turn our hands around like this and stop.

Then tickle your nose.

Reach down low and reach up high.

Story Time's here let's say hi. Hi everyone.

So excited to see you today.

So I'm feeling very hmm cheerful today. Are you feeling happy today too? Oh I'm so glad to hear that you're feeling good because we're going to start with 'If you're happy and you know it'.

So if you're happy and you know it we're gonna start off with clapping your hands like this, stomping our feet. Say stomp stomp stomp, shouting hooray and blowing a kiss. Are you ready to sing along with me?

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it.
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.

If you're happy and you know it stomp your feet stomp, stomp.
If you're happy and you know it stomp your feet stomp, stomp.
If you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it.
If you're happy and you know it stomp your feet stomp, stomp.  

If you're happy and you know it shout hooray, hooray!
If you're happy and you know it shout hooray, hooray!
If you're happy and you know it then your really ought to show it.
If you're happy and you know it shout hooray, hooray!

One more. If you're happy and you know it blow a kiss.
If you're happy and you know it blow a kiss.
If you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it.
If you're happy and you know it blow a kiss.

Good job everyone, you're doing an awesome job. Okay, I think that we're gonna do another rhyme, does that sound good? All right.

So this one we're gonna have our hands like this and these are gonna symbolise our little froggies because we're going to sing 'Der Glumph went the little green frog'. How does that sound? Sound good? 

I can hear Buttercream down at my feet saying, 'yes that sounds amazing'. All right let's get ready. We're gonna have our hands like this. Can you show me your froggy hands like this?

All right we'll go der glumph went the little green frog one day.
Der glumph went the little green frog.
Der glumph went the little green frog one day
And the frog went glumph, glumph, glumph.

But we all know frogs go la-de-da-de-da,
la-de- da-de-da, la-de-da-de-da.
We all know frogs go la-de-da-de-da,
they don't go glumph, glumph, glumph.

Good job. Give yourselves a round of applause. You guys are doing a great job. Thank you so much for singing with me.

Let me tell you something, frogs are my favourite animal because they are do cute! They're beautiful green colour or sometimes they can be brown or yellow. Wow! Frogs are amazing! I love all animals. Speaking of animals were somewhere that we can see lots and lots of animals.

Hmm hmm. I know Old MacDonald's farm. Wow, Old MacDonald he has a pig, he has a cow, he has a horse, he has a chicken and he has a dog. So we're going to go down to Old MacDonald's farm and see what we can see.

Ready to sing along with me? All right, let's go.

Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o
And on that farm he had a pig e-i-e-i-o.
With an oink, oink here and an oink oink there.
Here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink oink.

Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o.
And on that farm he had a cow e-i-e-i-o.
With a moo moo here and a moo moo there.
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.

Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o.
And on that farm he had a horse e-i-e-i-o.
With a neigh neigh here and a neigh neigh there.
Here a neigh, there a neigh, everywhere a neigh, neigh.

Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o.
And on that farm he had a chicken.e-i-e-i-o.
With a bok bok here and a bok bok there.
Here a bok there a bok, everywhere a bok bok.

Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o.
And on that farm he had a dog e-i-e-i-o.
With a woof, woof here and a woof, woof there.
Here a woof, there a woof, everywhere a woof, woof.
Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o.

Oh good job everyone! That's a long rhyme to sing, but you're all doing a great job. What was your favourite animal in that rhyme? My favourite animal was the dog, I love dogs.

I think that they're super cute when they go woof, woof, woof, woof around everywhere like that. Hmm now so we've had a song that had dogs in it, that had cows and a horse and a chicken and a pig.

But what's another animal that has eight legs and is really small sometimes? That's right it's a spider. So I think that we're going to sing a song about our favuorite spider called Incy Wincy.

Now I like to have my Incy Wincy go up my arm like this, but you don't have to. You can have your Incy Wincy go how ever you want. Ready to sing? We'll go:

Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain, washed poor Incy out.
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain.
So Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again.

I think that we can do that one more time. What do you think? Let's get our spiders ready.

We'll go, Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed poor Incy out.
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain.
So Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again.

Good job. You guys are doing a great job. Thank you so much.

We're up to our very last rhyme. So we'll sing our goodbye rhyme. How does that sound? So first we're gonna get our tickling fingers ready again.

And we will tickle the clouds and tickle your toes.
Wave your hands around, stop and tickle your nose.
Reach down low and reach up high.
Story times over wave goodbye.

Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon.
See you soon. See you soon.
Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon.
See you another day.

Thank you so much for joining us for a rhyme time today. My little teddy Buttercream and I would like to say thank you so much.

We hope that you enjoyed it. And just remember singing songs and telling your children's stories is really really really important to their language development in later of life.

So just keep singing with them keep telling them stories whenever you can. Build that attachment with your child and help them develop for years to come.

Thank you so much have a great day you.

Rhyme Time with Cassie

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' Baby Rhyme Time. I'm Cassie and I'm here to sing some songs with you today. Are you all excited? Perfect.

So we'll start off with our acknowledgement to Country. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I.  We respectively acknowledge the traditional custodians on which we learn and play, hands up hands down, and we are on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground. Perfect. I'm going to say hello. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today.  

Perfect. Okay are we all ready to get started? We're going to do another bouncing one, this one's called I bounce you here so we're going to do some bouncing and then we're going to do some tickling and then we're going to do some cuddling. Are we ready to go? Perfect. I bounce you here, I bounce you there. I bounce you bounce you everywhere. I tickle you here, I tickle you there, I tickle you tickle you everywhere. I cuddle you here, I cuddle you there, I cuddle you cuddle you everywhere.  

Perfect. We'll do that once more. Back to our bouncing. I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you bounce you everywhere. I tickle you here, I tickle you there, I tickle you tickle you everywhere. I cuddle you here, I cuddle you there, I cuddle you cuddle you everywhere.  

Good job. Okay. Now we're going to sing a very famous nursery rhyme called I'm a little teapot. Are you ready with your handle and your spout? Perfect. I'm a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up hear me shout, tip me over, pour me out. Okay we'll do it the other way around this time. Are you ready to get started? I'm a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up hear me shout, tip me over, pour me out. Perfect. Good job.

Okay now  we're going to sing another one that people might not be familiar with, that's Six little ducks. Six little ducks that I once knew, small ones, fair ones, big ones too, but the one little duck with a feather on his back, he led the others with a quack quack quack quack. Quack quack quack, quack quack quack, he led the others with a quack quack quack. Down to the river they would come, wibble wibble wobble ho hum hum, but the one little duck with the feather on his back, he led the others with the quack quack quack. Quack quack quack, quack quack quack, he led the others with the quack quack quack. Good job.

Now, our next one's another popular one. Open shut them. Are we all ready to get started? Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them blow a little kiss.

Good job. Now you can do that one faster at home. You can do it slower, you can do it backwards if you really want where you do the opposite instead of open shut them.

Perfect. Okay so now our very next and very last rhyme is Round and round the garden. Ready? Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step, tickly under there. Okay next hand. Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step, tickly under there.

Good job. I think we'll do one about a mouse. Ready? Round and round the haystack like a little mouse, one step, two step into his little house. On the other hand? Round and round the haystack like a little mouse, one step, two step into his little house. I'm going to see all the laughing from over there.

Perfect. Okay now we're going to say goodbye. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Oh good job everyone. We'll see you next week for Rhyme Time.

Rhyme Time with Susana

Hello everyone, how are you today? Are you sitting comfortably, yes? Okay good, now I'm Susana and this is Mickey and we welcome you to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' Baby Rhyme Time. Yay! Now mums, your babies can't sing yet so you'll be the one to sing with me, yes okay, now if you have a baby, you can hold your little one like this, like that or however comfortable for you, and if you have a mat or a rug you can lay her down or him down on the floor like this, facing towards you so that you have a good rapport.

Okay all right, now remember that children learn most around important people around them and so the more you talk, the more you sing, read and interact with them, the more they learn about words, language and the world around them. Okay, all right, now first we're going to do our acknowledgement to Country. All right and here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down and we are on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground. Yay!

Okay right and okay so we always have our welcome song as well to begin our uh session, all right, let's go, and wave your hand like this and hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. Yay how are you today? Good? And a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low and a great big hug to say hello. Yes okay that's a good welcome song.

Yes all right, now babies, mums, time to bounce your little one okay, hold your  little one like this and I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you, bounce you everywhere, I tickle you here, I tickle you there and I tickle tickle tickle everywhere, I hug you here and hug you there and hug you, and hug you everywhere. Yes okay, well done. That's a good idea. Okay now Humpty Dumpty, oh it's a traditional uh rhyme and song but I'll introduce to you a little um the version of it. Okay it goes like this and Humpty Dumpty to the right, Humpty Dumpty to the left, Humpty Dumpty up in the air, Humpty Dumpty sat on a chair, and time to bounce, Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. Not a bit yeah but yeah okay, give us a big clap, okay enjoying so far? You're getting warm?

Okay let's go even warmer, let's go riding on the road, have you heard about the smooth road? Yes okay, now put your babies again on your knee and let's go in. A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, oh a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, oh it's getting rougher, wait for it and a rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road, watch out a hole oh dear, and down in the ditch or maybe not quite down at it. All right, enjoying that? Okay give yourself a big clap, yay all right it's even getting warmer, do you want to go to the moon? Yes?

Okay get ready with your babies again, let's go to the moon, and zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon, if you want to take a trip, climb aboard the rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon and let's go, five four three two one and blast off. Oh yay, okay give us a big clap, yay all right, time to settle down okay.

Time to cool down and let's have a tickle tickle, all right but not too much tickle, we'll do our Round and round the garden. Okay mums, do it on the palm of your little one okay, and feel the connection okay, and round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step, two step and tickle under there. Okay other hand, other hand, just last one, okay and round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step, two step and tickle under there.

Yes, okay, make sure your little one have the reaction of you know, uh laughing and tickling and all that because that way you uh, that's the only way that you'll know that your little one is having fun, and mums make sure you're having fun too okay. All right okay, even further cool down, last one okay, the more tickle and more spot. Have you heard about X marks the spot? Yes okay, so it goes like this and x marks the spot with a circle and a dot, up the ladder, down the ladder, spot spot spot, feel the breeze, feel the squeeze, squish and may I have a cuddle if you please. Oh okay and did you give your little one a big clap after that x marks the spot?

Yes okay now now that you have cooled down it's time to say uh to sing the goodbye song okay. Let's go and a tickle for your toes, oops a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low, arms go high and a great big hug oh googoo to say goodbye and goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day. Bye.

Rhyme Time with Susana

Hello everyone, how are you today? Are you sitting comfortably? Yes good, because Ducky and Mickey and me Susana are sitting comfortably and together we welcome you to Moreton Bay Libraries' Baby Rhyme Time. Yay!

All right now mums, your babies and toddlers cannot sing yet so you'll be the one singing with me, yes. Now for your toddlers, let them sit next to you, in front or the side, and your little one, your baby, you can hold like this, like that or just how you want it. Okay and you can also lay them down on the mat like this, facing towards you and have an eye contact.

Okay now remember that um it's never too late to sing songs, play and talk to your child, and sharing Baby Rhyme Time, sharing songs and taking time to sing and play with your little one is very important, and the more that you establish that one with your little one every day, and remember also to at least spend 10 minutes of your time every day, whether you are cleaning or changing nappies, washing dishes to sing a little bit to your little one.

Okay all right, now before anything else we're going to do acknowledgement of Country and here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I, and we respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, and we are on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Yes okay good one, all right now, let's see, let's start with something different. Uh who is watching here, or who is with us around? How about we'll pick a name, let's say Reuben and let's do a welcome song and Reuben's here today, Reuben's here today, let's clap our hands, let's clap our hands, cause Reuben's here today.

One more name. Who is here today? How about Julie? Julie's here today, Julie's here today, let's clap our hands, let's clap our hands, cause Reuben's here today. Now mums, you insert the name of your toddler, your baby so that they will feel really special okay.

And a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low and a great big hug to say hello.

All right, now do you have ducks around the house or have you seen the duck cross the road? Okay let's count them, okay, one duck, two ducks, three duck duckling I mean, four duckling oh this is tricky and five ducks. Okay you must be familiar with the song Five little ducks and here is mummy duck. Right okay oopsie okay, let's do again, make sure you stay hey duckling. All right in five little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only four little ducks came back, four little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only three little ducks came back, three little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only two little ducks came back.

Okay can we make it a teeny weeny faster? Let's have fun a little bit. Okay and two little ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but only one little duck came back, one little duck went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, but none of the five little ducks came back.

Oh dear mummy so mother duck went out one day, over the hills and far away, mother duck said quack quack quack quack, and and all of the five little ducks came back. It's a bit difficult to put all the ducklings in one hand hey.

Okay all right, thank you. Is that fun? All right okay. I'll put mother, the ducklings there and mother duck. Okay right let's go open shut them. All right and open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap, creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but do not pop them in, and shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. They're good yay!

Okay now I think Nanna is thirsty and so we're going to boil a kettle for Nanna. Yes okay. Heard about I'm a little teapot? Okay let's go and I'm a little teapot, short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout, when I get all steamed up hear me shout, tip me over, pour me out. Yes Nanna is happy now. We're going to, she's going to have coffee now for her morning tea or anything.

Yes okay oh time for daddy's turn this time, okay daddy, Johnny okay, helping working around the shed. Let's go and Johnny works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer, Johnny works with one hammer then he works with two, Johnny works with two hammers, two hammers, Johnny works with two hammers then he works with three, Johnny works with three hammers, three hammers, three hammers, Johnny works with three hammers then he works with four. Okay four - head. Johnny works with four hammers, four hammers, Johnny works with four hammers, then he works with five. Where is the fifth one, last one? Let's do our head okay, and Johnny works with five hammers, five hammers, five hammers, Johnny works with five hammers then he goes to bed.

Well that was hard work, so we're going to cool down now, yes okay, the water will feel us cool, and so let's sing about the sea. Okay ready and here is the sea, the wavy sea, here is the boat and here is me. All the fishes, way down below, wiggle their tails and away they go.

Yes okay good good okay, I'm afraid it's time to say our goodbye song. I hope you're having fun. Okay let's do our tickle and Mickey, where are you? Okay here we go and a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low, arms go high and a great big hug, oh hug hug, last last hug, to say goodbye, and goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye bye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thank you everyone.

Rhyme Time with Narelle

Hello, my name is Narelle and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time at Moreton Bay Libraries.

As we do at all of our sessions, let's begin with our acknowledgement to Country, so here we go. Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we're on Turrbal ground.

Let's say hello to all of our friends now. Are you ready? Can you do waving with me? Here we go. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. Are you all good today? I'm very well today.

Now we've got a tickle song. Are you ready? Here we go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low and a great big hug to say hello.

Oh I like hugs, do you like hugs? Here we go, do you know I'm so happy today that I feel like clapping my hands. Would you like to clap with me? If you're happy and you know it clap your hands, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands, if you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands. Now what about stomping our feet? Can you stomp with me? If you're happy and you know it stomp your feet, if you're happy and you know it stomp your feet, if you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it stomp your feet. What about blow a kiss? If you're happy and you know it blow a kiss, if you're happy and you know it blow a kiss, if you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it blow a kiss. Oh well done. I can hear your lovely voices.

Now we're going to do a little bouncing one. Here we go. Did you know that tapping and clapping and rocking your children helps develop their language skills? So this one is a little bouncy one, so here we go. I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you, bounce you, everywhere. Now we're going to do some tickling. Here we go. I tickle you here, I tickle you there, I kill you tickle you everywhere. What about a hug? Here we go. I hug you here, I hug you there, I hug you, hug you everywhere. Oh well done.

Do you know, the other day I saw a spider in my garden and do you know what that spider was doing? He was climbing up the water spout. Can you do that one with me? Here we go. Incy Wincy spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain and washed poor Incy out, out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again. I like that one, shall we do it again? Here we go, are you ready? Incy Wincy spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain and washed poor Incy out, out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again. Oh give yourselves a little clap, that was beautiful.

I have just been on holidays and I went to visit a farm. Have you been to visit a farm? I know a rhyme about a farm. Do you know Old MacDonald had a farm? Here we go. Let's try that one. Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o and on that farm he had a cow e-i-e-i-o. What sound does a cow make? Do you know? That's right! With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo, Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o. Well done. What about a pig? Do we know the sound of a pig? Yes that's it, oink oink, let's go. Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o and on that farm he had a pig e-i-e-i-o with an oink oink here and an oink oink there, here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink oink, Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o. Oh a duck. What about a duck? Do you know the sound that a duck makes? Quack quack, yes you're right, it is quack quack. Here we go. Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o and on that farm he had a duck e-i-e-i-o with a quack quack here and a quack quack there, here a quack, there a quack, everywhere a quack quack, Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o. Oh well done, have a clap, beautiful singing today.

Sometimes, parents, your child will get you to sing their favorite rhyme over and over again and that is really good practice for their language development. Now I always like tickling songs. Do you know Round and round the garden? Here we go. Sometimes you can do it on their hands or their feet or even their tummy. Here we go. Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step two step tickle me under there. What about the next verse? Do you know that one? Round and round the garden, like a little mouse, one step two step into his little house. Shall we do that one again? It's one of my favourites. Here we go. Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step two step tickly under there, and the next verse, round and round the garden, like a little mouse, one step two step into his little house. Oh well done.

Parents, children love to hear your voice and you are their most important teacher at the moment. Don't ever be afraid of singing with them, even if you think you can't sing, they love to hear you. It's time for us to say goodbye, so here we go, a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low, arms go high and a great big hug to say goodbye. Now can we do some waving, goodbye everyone? Here we go. Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thanks for coming. I had a really good time and we'll see you soon.

Rhyme Time with Narelle

Hello, my name's Narelle and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time at Moreton Bay Libraries. Before we start singing, let's do our acknowledgement to Country. Here we go. Can you do it with me? Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, are you ready? Hands up, hands down, we're on Turrbal ground.

Let's say hello to all of our friends. Here we go. Can you do some waving with me? Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. I can see you waving, you're doing a great job there.

Are you ready for our tickle rhyme? Here we go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low and a great big hug to say hello. Oh beautiful.

Now every morning when you get out of bed, do you get up and wash your hands and get ready for your day? Here we go, can you wash your hands with me? So wash your dirty hands, wash your dirty hands, rub and scrub and rub and scrub and wash your dirty hands. If you have a little one with you, you can rub their hands with for them so they get to know that's their hands. Now the next one, our dirty faces, are you ready? Wash your dirty face, wash your dirty face, rub and scrub and rub and scrub and wash your dirty face. Well done. What else can we wash? What about our tummies? Are you ready? Wash your dirty tummy, wash your dirty tummy, rub and scrub and rub and scrub and wash your dirty tummy. Oh well done, are we all nice and clean?

Now shall we go do another song? What about this one? We're going up, we're going up, as high as we can go, we're going down, we're going down, we're going way down low, up up up up up up up, down down down down down down down. We might do that one again. Parents, it's always good to have your babies looking at you. They want to see your face and your smile, so have them looking at you, your little ones and remember to support their neck if they're really little. Here we go. We're going up, we're going up, as high as we can go, we're going down, we're going down, we're going way down low, up up up up up up, down down down down down down down, and remember you can always give them a cuddle at the end. Singing songs slowly slows language down and it helps your little ones to understand the link between language and the sounds they're making.

Here we go, one of my favourites, Humpty Dumpty. Do you know that one? With this one I like to sit on the floor and I put my knees up as the wall, and your little one can sit on it. Here we go. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. Now what I sometimes do is I put my knees up nice and high, and when the wall falls the little one slips down your legs, so I'll turn my baby around and show you what we do. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. A great one for those toddler years, and another one.

What about Little Miss Muffet? Here we go, sing along with me. Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey, along came a spider who sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away. Let's sing that one again nice and loud, here we go. Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey, along came a spider who sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away.


Singing rhymes introduces words that may not always be used in every day language, like tuffet or whey, so it gives that opportunity for your child to ask what those words are and increase their vocabulary. The next one is a clapping song. We all like to clap, it shows when we're really happy. Here we go. My hands are clapping clapping clapping, my hands are clapping just like this. What about our feet, can they do tapping? My feet are tapping tapping tapping, my feet are tapping just like this. What about my head? My head is nodding nodding nodding, my head is nodding just like this, and my next one - waving. My arms are waving waving waving, my arms are waving just like this. You're doing such a great job today.

The next one is a beehive one. Put out your hand and your other hand on top like a fist and here is our beehive, are you ready? Do you know this one? Here is the beehive but where are the bees, hidden away where nobody sees, watch and you'll see them come out of the hive, one two three four five, they're alive! Let's do that one again, here we go. Oh careful baby don't fall. Here is the beehive but where are all the bees, hidden away where nobody sees, watch and you'll see them come out of the hive, one two three four five, they're alive! Nobody gets stung.

Songs are a great way to help your child transition from one activity to another. Maybe they don't want to hop into their car seat but you can start singing a song about going for a drive, or maybe nappy time or bath time you could do one about having a bath, washing their face, or when we're going to say goodbye. Are you ready? A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low, arms go high, and a great big hug to say goodbye. Are you ready to do some waving? Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thanks for coming. I had a great time singing with you and I hope to sing with you again. Bye-bye.

Rhyme Time with Ula

Hi everybody and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time. I'm Ula from Bribie Island Library and I'll be running this session today, so let's start off today with our acknowledgment of Country. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground.

We'll start off with our hello song and we'll wave to each other while we sing. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. I hope everybody's well today, I'm feeling pretty good. Ithink we'll have a fun session.

So let's see what our next song is today.

We've got round and round the garden, so you can do this a couple of different ways, you can do it on the palm of your hand or you can do it on your tummy. Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step, tickly under there. Let's do it again, let's do it the other way on our palm. Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step, tickly under there.

Up next we've got tick tock so we're going to be clocks and we're going to rock from side to side. Tick tock, tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock, tick tock, tick tock, stop, what time is it? It's one o'clock. Shall we sing it again for two o'clock? Yeah, tick tock, tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock, tick tock, tick tock, stop, what time is it? It's two o'clock.

Goodness now that we've checked the time - two o'clock - it's ready for us to go for a drive. Hmmm let's start off with a smooth road, then we'll have a bumpy road, and a rough road. A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road, whoa there's a hole in the road, oh oh goodness we fell in the hole.

From our adventure in our car I think I'll change my mind and take the bus, so let's start off with the wheels of the bus going round and round all day long.

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long. What have we got up next? We've got the wipers going swish, the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish, swish swish swish, swish swish swish, the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish, all day long. Next up we've got the horn and you can beep the horn like this, or you can beep your nose. The horn - no that's the wheels - the horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, beep beep beep, beep beep beep, the horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, all day long. And people know this song a little bit differently so you can also sing it the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all the way to the library. So you can always play a little bit with the songs that you have, so here we've got the people on the bus going up and down, and the babies going, you could even sing a verse with the grannies knitting, whatever you like.

Our third mode of travel today is by boat and we're going to be rowing our boat. Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream, row row row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile don't forget to scream, and this is the only time you can ever scream in the library! Shhh don't tell anyone!

Now we've got one of my favorites Incy Wincy and you can do Incy Wincy a couple of different ways too. You can climb up an arm or you can climb up a body, whatever you like. Incy Wincy spider went up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out, out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again.

And I think that brings us to the end of this session with our goodbye song and we'll wave to each other as well to say goodbye. Goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, on another day. Goodbye everybody and I'll see you next time.

Rhyme Time Christmas special

Hello I'm Lyn and I'm Jessica from the Strathpine Library. Welcome to our Rhyme Time and guess what?! It's a special one today.

I'm very excited Lyn. Why Jess? Christmas is my favourite time.

Christmas! Hence the hats and the cool shirts. So we start off with our Rhyme Time saying. We at the library we'd like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the traditional custodians and thank them for sharing this land. So here's the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I.

Now it won't be the usual Rhyme Time today. We will do a couple of things over twice because children and babies learn best by repetition. As do we. As do we. And we have practised this many many times so it's all good.

Okay so we're going to sing our welcome song. You got your happy hands ready? We have. Let's go, one two three. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. That was good hey, we're in fine form. Who can't be happy at this time? Jess loves Christmas.

So we're going to do some tickling just for fun. Are you ready? We'll start with the toes, then the nose, then the tummy where the watermelon goes. Arms go high to start with. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello.

Hello everybody, thank you very much for joining us. Okay we're going to have a fun one now. This is about poor old Santa, yes, poor old Santa. Do you think he's a poor old Santa? Sometimes. This time he is! Are you ready? Yes but remember the folks at home may not have heard this one. We'll go through it fairly slowly to start with and then we'll do it a second time and you can join in. Are you ready? Let's go, one two three. Poor old Santa, poor old Santa, he got stuck, he got stuck, coming down the chimney, coming down the chimney, what bad luck, what bad luck.

Are you ready to go and do it with us this time? Let's go, one two three. Poor old Santa, poor old Santa, he got stuck, he got stuck, coming down the chimney, coming down the chimney, what bad luck, what bad luck.

So poor old Santa. Ready for a reindeer song? Oh yeah speaking of reindeer and what do reindeers like to do? They love to fly Jess. This one's about a flying reindeer. Are you ready to sing this song? I'm ready. Okay we'll sing it through slowly and you can join us on the second one. Are you ready? Let's go, one two three. I'm a little reindeer, I love to fly, I pull Santa's sleigh way up high, Christmas is here, I can't be late, all of the children just can't wait.

Okay are you ready to do it with us? Let's go, one two three. I'm a little reindeer, I love to fly, I pull Santa's sleigh way up high, Christmas is here I can't be late, all of the children just can't wait. That's a nice easy one and it's fun.

Oh can we count. Can we count? How many can we count to? Count to eight? Oh gosh let's try, one two three four five six seven eight. Can you do it that fast? No. Okay let's try again, one two three four five six seven eight. You got it now? Yes. Okay. So what's what do you have for eight? Four and four. Yeah what else is an eighth? Reindeer! Eight reindeer pull Santa's sleigh. They're pulling the sled. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's go, one two three. Eight little reindeer pulling Santa's sled, two fell down and bumped their heads, the elves called Santa and Santa said, can six little reindeer pull my sled? Six reindeer that's a heavy sled, do you think they can do it? Hopefully. Oh let's try. How many we've got left this time? Six. Let's go. Six little reindeer pulling Santa's sled. Two fell down and bumped their head, the elves called Santa and Santa said, can four little reindeer pull my sled? I don't know, that's half of them, half gone half there. Let's try four this time. Let's go. Four little reindeer pulling Santa's sled, two fell down and bumped their head, the elves called Santa and Santa said, can two little reindeer pull my sled? Oh my goodness only two left. Oh what'll they do? I don't know, did they eat all their oats? I hope so. Let's go. Two little reindeer pulling Santa's sled, they fell down and bumped their heads, the elves called Santa and Santa said, call Rudolph!

Did you see that twist? That was a twist in the reindeer's tale.

Okay this is one that everybody knows and we've got ... if you have anything jingly dangly at home this is the time to break it out. No prizes for guessing what the song is. So let's go. We'll start shall we, one two three. Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, o'r the fields we go, laughing all the way, ha ha ha, bells on bobtails ring, making serious fright, what fun it is to laugh and sing a sleighing song tonight, oh jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, hey jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. Yay.

That's a good one. Everybody knows that one, yep. Who's coming to town? Santa is coming to town. Santa's coming to town. Should we sing about it? I think we should think about it and I think everybody at home knows the words for this one too. Are you ready? Let's go, one two three. You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town. He's making a list, checking it twice, going to find out who's naughty and nice, Santa Claus is coming to town. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so if you'd be good for goodness sake, so you better not shout, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town. Yay!

I hope the elves can sing better than us. Don't worry mums and dads, the best voice your baby can ever hear is yours. No they don't complain, they love it, so sing to them every day, read to them every day. Make up your own words if you forget as we often do.

Okay the next one is someone has a red nose. Is it me? No. Is it a reindeer? It might be a reindeer. We seem to have a reindeer theme at the moment. A famous reindeer, let's go for a very famous reindeer. Are you ready? You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it you would even say it glows, all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names, they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games. Then one foggy Christmas eve Santa came to say, Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight? Then all the reindeer loved him, and they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, you'll go down in history. And he did. They wrote books about it. Sorry library in joke.

Oh dear, we've got one more song, but it's a good one, it's a good fun song. And it's another one about Santa and reindeer, but I don't know if anyone else has heard this one before. It's one we like. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's go. Santa and the reindeer love dancing dancing, Santa and the reindeer love turning round, Santa and the reindeer love dancing dancing, Santa and the reindeer love to boogie down. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that reindeer nice and tight, lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that reindeer nice and tight. Santa and the reindeer love dancing dancing, Santa and the reindeer love turning round, Santa and the reindeer love dancing dancing, Santa and the reindeer love to boogie down. Yay.

I think we deserve a round of applause for that one people, thank you very much.

We ready? Yes. We're going to wish you a merry Christmas. We're going to sing it first. There you go. We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

We would like to wish you and your families a very very merry Christmas and a happy new year from everyone at Moreton Bay Region Libraries. We hope you have a wonderful time, safe and happy holiday and we hope to see you again soon. Yes and may Santa find you on Christmas morning. And be happy!

Rhyme Time with Ula

Hi everybody and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time. I'm Ula from Moreton Bay Library and I'll be running this session today.

So let's start off with our acknowledgement of Country and this is how it goes. Here is the land, here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground.

First off we've got the Hello song and we're going to sing and wave at the same time. Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today? I hope you're well today. I'm pretty good, and I'm looking forward to some of our rhymes today!

Our first few rhymes I'm going to have a little friend to help me. I've got bunny here to stand in for my baby, and when you're doing songs like this it's always a good idea to turn the little one towards you so that you can see their little cheeky smiles and they can interact with you as you sing. This one goes like this... cheek, chin, cheek, chin, nose... cheek, chin, cheek, chin, toes... cheek, chin, cheek, chin, up baby goes! Let's try that one again. Cheek, chin, cheek, chin, nose... cheek, chin, cheek, chin, toes... cheek, chin, cheek, chin, up baby goes!

Next one, we've got Baa Baa Black Sheep and we'll sing it twice. Once for the little girl down the lane, once for the little boy down the lane. Baa baa black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for the master and one for the dame, one for the little girl who lives down the lane. Baa black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for the master and one for the dame, one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

I think we've got a pretty cool song up next from sheep... we're going to fly to the moon! And bunny can help us with this one too. I'm going to add in a little bit down the bottom... it'll be three, two, one, blast off! And then we can raise our baby into the air as if they were a rocket taking off to the moon. Zoom, zoom, zoom, I'm going to the moon! Zoom, zoom, zoom, I'll get there very soon! If you want to take a trip, jump on board my rocket ship! Zoom zoom zoom, I'm going to the moon! Three... two... one... blast off! Bouncing back to earth.

One more bouncing song that we've got that bunny can help me with is I'm Toast in the Toaster. I'm toast in the toaster I'm getting very hot. Tick, tock, tick, tock, up I pop! One more time, flipped around so I can see your little smile! I'm toast in the toaster, I'm getting very hot. Tick, tock, tick, tock, up I pop!

Next we're going to visit a farm. Bunny you can go down here for this one I think. So we're going to visit a farm, and see what animals we saw along the way. I went to visit a farm one day, I saw a dog along the way, and what do you think I heard it say? Woof woof woof! Next up I think we're gonna see a chicken. I went to visit a farm one day, I saw a chicken along the way, and what do you think I heard it say? Cluck cluck cluck! We've got a horse coming up next. I went to visit a farm one day, I saw a horse along the way, and what do you think I heard it say? Neigh neigh neigh! And this song can go on indefinitely, so you can add in other farm animals, you can even add in that you saw a tractor or a truck or a bus that goes beep on your way to the farm.  

So there's lots that you can do with that song. Maybe when we arrived at the farm, we saw some frogs and one of them made some funny noises? 

I think one of them did and it went Der-Galumph. Der-galumph went the little green frog one day, der-galumph went the little green frog. Der-galumph went the little green frog one day and the frog went glump glump glump but we all know frogs go *clap* la-di-da-di-da, *clap* la-di-da-di-da, *

We all know frogs go *clap* la-di-da-di-da, they don't go glump, glump, glump.

Must have been a pretty strange frog!

And from froggies, we go to piggies! So we'll sing this one twice through too. You can sing this one with little piggies on your feet, your toes, or you can sing it on your hands. This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, and this little piggy had none. And this little piggy cried *cry* all the way home. And now for the other side. This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef, and this little piggy had none and this little piggy cried *cry* all the way home.

And I think it's time that we left our farm and we can sing goodbye to the animals as we're leaving.

We'll wave to them as we sing too. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon on another day.

Thanks for joining me for Rhyme Time and I hope to see you in the library soon.

Rhyme Time with Jess and Lyn

Hello, my name's Lyn and I'm Jessica and we're from the Strathpine library. Welcome to Rhyme Time today! We're very excited for this so we're hoping that you enjoy it as much as we do. So, we start off by saying we at the library would like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the traditional custodians, and thank them for sharing this land! Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. Yay! Thank you very much.

Okay we start off with a welcome song, so we start off with Happy Hands. Has everybody got their happy hands happening? So, we sing one, two, three, we go hi, hello and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello and how are you, how are you today? That's as hard as it gets. That was good fun, wasn’t it? Yeah. Okay. Do you like tickling? I like tickling. I think I like tickling too, so we might do some tickling. Bubs love tickling too so mums and dads let's do some tickling with you! We do a tickle for the toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes!  Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! We all make mistakes...Now we'll be doing some of these rooms through twice because young ones learn best by repetition (and so do we). Yes, we do! We practice all the time.

Okay we're going to do some bouncing, so if you’ve got bubs on knees that'll be fun! We're going to do Boing Boing Squeak. Are you ready? Count to three and start. We go one, two, three! Boing, boing, squeak!  Boing, boing, squeak! A bouncy mouse was in the house she's been there for a week! She bounces in the kitchen, she bounces in the den, she bounces in the living room, whoa! There she goes again!  Okay we'll slow that down a little bit for you, so you can catch the words. We have a lot of fun and we get a little bit too excited sometimes! So, we'll do that again let's go. One, two, three! Boing, boing, squeak! Boing, boing, squeak! A bouncy mouse is in the house she's been there for a week! She bounces in the kitchen, she bounces in the den, she bounces in the living room, whoa! There she goes again! Oh, they're cheeky those mice, aren't they? And we have another cheeky mouse up next! (We've got another cheeky mouse) but this one's going up the clock.  

We're doing hickory dickory dock! This is an old one, but our favourite and we've got some cool hand action going so we're hoping you'll join us. Okay, are you ready? One, two, three...  Hickory, dickory, dock! The mouse ran up the clock. The clock struck one, the mouse ran down, hickory, dickory, dock. Tick-tock! Now we're going to two o'clock! Are you ready? One, two, three...  Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the clock! The clock struck two, the mouse went 'boo!', hickory, dickory, dock. Tick-tock! You ready for three o'clock? We're ready for three o’clock! Let's go! Hickory, dickory, dock, the mouse ran up the clock! The clock struck three and the mouse went 'whee!', Hickory, dickory, dock. Tick-tock!

I think I struck about 15 that time... okay so we're going out looking for crocodiles now. What size crocodiles? We're going to do baby crocodiles, we're going to look for mummy crocodiles, we're going to look for big daddy crocodiles, and last of all we're going to look for poor old grandpa, and he's got no teeth. Are you ready? Let's go! One, two, three! Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite! Don't you bite! I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, BOO! Out of sight, BOO! Where's mummy? Mummy crocodile, mummy crocodile, don't you bite! Don't you bite! I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, BOO! Out of the site, BOO! Looking for big daddy! Daddy crocodile, daddy crocodile, don't you bite! Don't you bite! I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, BOO! Out of sight, BOO! Where's poor old grandpa? And he can't bite! Ready? Grandpa crocodile, grandpa crocodile, you can't bite! You can't bite! But I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, BOO! Out of sight, BOO! Did you catch any? No. You ran too fast they didn't catch you! Right that's good. 

Okay, we're looking for fun stuff again... we're out in nature... this time we're looking for frogs! Think we'll find some? Maybe. What sound does your frog make? Fa la la la la? (Fa la la la la?!) Well I think we'll start looking for a Der-Galumph one! Are you ready? Let's go. One, two, three. Der-galumph went the little green frog one day, der-galumph went the little green frog! Der-galumph went the little green frog one day and the frog went galumph, galumph, galumph. But we all know frogs go... *clap* la de da de da, *clap* la de da de da, *clap* la de da de da. We all know frogs go *clap* la de da de da, they don't go galumph, galumph, galumph. We're going to do that again... are you ready? Der-galumph went the little green frog one day, der-galumph went the little green frog! Der-galumph went the little green frog one day and the frog went galumph, galumph, galumph. But we all know frogs go... *clap* la de da de da, *clap* la de da de da, *clap* la de da de da. We all know frogs go *clap* la de da de da, they don't go galumph, galumph, galumph. Okay, now we're looking at little piggies! And where does this little piggy go? He's going to the library! Good taste! Little piggies like books too and stories and Rhyme Time. Okay, so mums and dads, you know this one but this one's got a bit of a twist. Are you ready? Let's go. One, two, three! This little piggy went to the library, this little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had ice cream, and this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went *cry* all the way home! Let's do that one again. Are you ready? We'll do the other hand. Keep it nice and even. Let's go. This little piggy went to market, this little piggy went home. This little piggy had ice cream, this little piggy had none. This little piggy went *cry* all the way home! Mine went to market on the second trip. Oh dear. Oh, this is one of my personal favourites.

Okay! Do we like dancing? I love dancing! I think babies like dancing too, and this one's called Mama's little baby loves dancing! They like doing a lot of things. Yeah. So, let's have a bit of fun with this! Okay, we're counting to three... one, two, three...  mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby likes turning 'round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight! Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight! Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves turning 'round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Oh, I'm exhausted! That's my exercise.

Okay, we're going to slow it down a little bit now because we're all pooped out. Jazz hands! (Jazz hands!) We got some twinkling happening now. Are you ready for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? I think we are. You ready? One, two, three. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. That was lovely, Jess. Give yourself a clap. I think everybody there should give them self a round of applause! Give yourself a pat on the back! Okay, we're going to do a bit more tickling. Arms go low to start with this time. Are you ready? A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! and we sing our goodbye song. I know, hasn't it come so soon? I know way too fast. Got your happy hands ready? Let's go. We go one, two, three! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day! Hope to see you soon at the library!

Rhyme Time with Jess and Lyn

Hello! My name's Lyn, and I'm Jessica, and we're from the Strathpine library! Welcome to Rhyme Time today. To start with, we say... We're the library, we'd like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the traditional custodians, and thank them for sharing this land. You say... here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. And you're all our friends, aren't you? Of course you are. Okay you ready to sing? I'm ready to sing!

Okay we're going to do our welcome song so we're going to have our happy hands ready. You got your happy hands ready? Let's go. One, two, three. Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today? Well done, good job. Okay, they're all happy, I'm happy, now we're going to do some tickling. So, bubs love tickling, kids love tickling, mums and dads love tickling, let's all tickle! We start with our toes, we go to the nose, and the tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high to start with. Are you ready? Let's go! One, two, three. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! See, anything that ends in a hug, it's got to be good! Oh, definitely.

Now we're going to be doing a lot of these rhymes twice. Because little ones learn best by repetition! (I learn best by repetition) I do too! Practice and practice and you get it right. So this is what we're doing, and why we're doing it. Okay, so we're going to zoom to the moon now. Are you up for that? I think so. Five, four, three, two, one, can you count backwards? Maybe. Okay, let's go. We're going to zoom to the moon, let's go. One, two, three. Zoom, zoom, zoom! We're going to the moon! If you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship! Zoom, zoom, zoom! We're going to the moon! Let's count five, four, three, two, one, blast off! Now you got to remember not to throw the baby through the roof! So, let's do that again, are you ready? One, two, three. Zoom, zoom, zoom! We're going to the moon! If you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship! Zoom, zoom, zoom, we're going to the moon! Let's go five, four, three, two, one, blast off! Whoa! Did we make it? That's good. Okay now we're moving and grooving.

My dad has one of these clocks. You've got a cuckoo clock? My dad does. Ah. So, we're going to tick-tock like a cuckoo clock, which means a little bit of rocking action. So, you up for that? Yep. How many times are we going to cuckoo? Hmm, we might cuckoo three times and you're not going to get seasick, are you? Hmm, no. Okay let's go. One, two, three. Tick, tock, tick, tock. I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick, tock, tick, tock, stop! What time is it? It's one o'clock! Cuckoo! Bub's in the air, let's do it again! Let's go for two o'clock. Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick, tock, tick, tock, stop! What time is it? It's two o'clock! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Yeah! You're doing pretty well there! One to go, let's go for three o'clock. Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock. Tick, tock, tick, tock, stop! What time is it? It's three o'clock! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Yay! Everyone there now thinks we're cuckoo.

It's all good. Now we've got our hands happening, bit of a... open and shut them. Sounds good. Are you up for that? So, we're going to give a little clap, we'll lay them in our lap. We'll creep them up to our chin, we'll open their mouth - but we're not going to let them in! Okay we'll shake them, and roll them (and roll them), and blow a kiss. Are you ready? Let's go. One, two, three. Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Give a little clap. *clap*. Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Lay them in your lap.  Creep them, creep them. Creep them, creep them. Right up to your chin. Open wide your little mouth... but... do not let them in! Oh, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this! Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss! I think we should do it again (Again?). Yeah. I think we should too. You ready? Open, shut them.  Open, shut them. Give a little clap. *clap*. Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them. Creep them, creep them. Right up to your chin. Open wide your, little mouth... but... do not let them in! Oh, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this! Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss! Yay! Blowing kisses!

Now I think everyone is very happy today. I'm very happy, how about you? Well I hope they're happy because I'm pretty happy too! We should sing about it. We're going to sing about how we're happy? Okay! So how are we going to do that? We might clap our hands... stomp our feet, nod our heads, shout hooray! And then blow a kiss, because everyone likes kisses. Okay! You ready to go? Yes. Let's go! One, two, three! If you're happy and you know it clap your hands *clap clap*, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands *clap clap*, if you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands *clap clap*. If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet *stomp stomp*, if you're happy and you know it stomp your feet *stomp stomp*. If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know, it stomp your feet *stomp stomp*! If you're happy and you know it nod your head. If you're happy and you know it, nod your head. If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it, nod your head! If you're happy and you know it, shout hooray! Hooray! If you're happy and you know it, shout hooray! Hooray! If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it, shout hooray! Hooray! If you're happy and you know it, blow a kiss! Mwah! If you're happy and you know it, blow a kiss! Mwah! If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it, if you're happy and you know it, blow a kiss! Mwah! Yay! Now that's a round of applause if ever I saw one.

Speaking 'around', how about around the garden? Here's a belly on a hand, a back, how about an ear? Maybe even a bum! Ooh. (If it's close enough!). Okay, we're going around that garden! Let's go! One, two, three! Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear! One step, two step, tickle me under there! Now like a little mouse on the other side! Round and round the garden, like a little mouse. One step, two step, into his little house! Very good! How about we do it on some other spots? Oh okay. Okay. I'm going to do it on my ears. (Okay). If you had a baby on your knee where would you do it on them? On their tummy? Maybe the back. It depends where they're facing. Babies do like to see you, so if you're facing them, could do it on the belly. That's a good idea, so let's try that! One, two, three. Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear! One step, two step, tickle me under there! And the other side. Round and round the garden, like a little mouse! One step, two step, into his little house! I think everybody would love having that done.

That's my favourite song! Oh, Jess's got a favourite song and she loves to dance! Mama's little baby loves dancing, and grooving! So, let's move and groove! Sounds good. Let's go - one, two, three! Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves turning round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight! Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight! Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves turning round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing! Mama's little baby loves to boogie down.

Good job, Jess! Oh yeah! I'm just a bit pooped out now. Well, good thing we're going to slow it down with some jazz hands (jazz hands!). What are we going to do with them? Twinkle twinkle. Twinkle twinkle? That's my favorite! Now let's go. One, two, three. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

Oh, that was lovely. I really enjoyed that. I've got my breath back now and it's that time of day again! Oh goodness me, is it time to go? Oh, that went way too fast! We have way too much fun! Well we'll do some more tickling. We'll start with the toes, the nose, then the tummy where the watermelon goes. Arms go low to start with. Are you ready? Yes. One, two, three. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! And then we have our happy hands on, but we're a little bit sad because we're singing goodbye! Yeah. But that's okay. We'll see you again next time! Are you ready? Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day! Yay! Thank you for joining us! Bye!

Rhyme Time with Liz

Hi everyone. Welcome to Baby Rhyme Time with Moreton Bay Region Libraries. My name is Liz and we'll be doing Baby Rhyme Time together today and I'm so excited to have you all here.

Before we begin, we have to start with our Acknowledgement to Country, so please show me your twinkling fingers like this. They look kind of like stars, aren't they beautiful?

All right when we're ready, we're all going to say:

“Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends, that's you guys, and here am I.
We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play.
Hands up, and hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people grounds.”

All right who's ready to start singing some rhymes? So first up we're going to start with one of my favourite rhymes and it's called This is the way we wash our face. So we're going to show everyone how we wash our face, how we comb our hair, how we brush our teeth and how we say hello.

Are we ready to begin? Okay let's go. We’ll go:

"This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face,
this is the way we wash our face, early in the morning.

This is the way we brush our hair, brush our hair, brush our hair,
this is the way we brush our hair, early in the morning.

This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth,
this is the way we brush our teeth, early in the morning,

And this is the way we wave hello, wave hello, wave hello,
this is the way we wave hello, early in the morning."

Good job! Give yourselves a clap. What else do you do early in the morning? You might take a shower. You might eat some breakfast. You might get out of your pyjamas. You might go to school or you might go down to your kindergarten. Whatever you do in the morning, it's so great to see that you can sing along with me. Good job guys.

All right, so next up we've got another one now that anyone who knows me knows that this is my most favourite rhyme of all time. So first can you show me your hands like this okay, and how about like this, and then like this again, and then this and this and this and this and this and this and ha oh okay there's lots of steps. Oh that's okay because if I can do it, you guys can do it too.

This one's called Open shut them. Are we ready to do it together? Put your hands up like this so we can start.

"Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap. Good job.
Open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap.
Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin.
Open wide your little mouth, but do not let them in.
Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this. 
Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Mwah."

Wow. Well done everyone that's my favourite rhyme ever. I think that that one's so fun because it's such a fun song to sing and it has lots of cool hand movements, doesn't it? Did you like that one too?

All right, we're going to do another one and for this I got my shaker because they are very very fun to use. The little noise maker, see if you've got any shaker or anything like that around the house you can use that when you're singing along.

All right so we're going to do Miss Polly had a Dolly. We’ll sing that one together are you ready?

"Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick,
so she called for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick.
The doctor came with his bag and his hat
and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.

He looked at Miss Polly and he shook his head.
He said put that dolly straight to bed.
He wrote on his paper for a pill pill pill.
I'll be back in the morning, yes I will will will."

Oh good job. And if you’ve got something to shake with you, give it a little shake okay. I like that one. Doctors are really great about coming in to help wherever they can and so it's nice to sing a nice little rhyme about doctor coming to help someone, isn't it? I think so too.

All right, let's do another rhyme. Does that sound good? I've got a really special one picked out for you today. Now this one's lots of fun because it's another hand one. So we can have our hands up like this to start off with and then we're going to make them into some very pretty little glasses and a pretty little hat. Then we're going to fold them and have them like this but then grandpa comes along with his big glasses like this and his big hat like this and this is the way he folds his hands and has a little nap, so this rhyme’s called Grandma's glasses. Ready to sing along with me? All right ready let's go.

"Here are grandma’s glasses and here is grandma's hat.
This is the way she folds her hands and lays them in her lap.

"Here are grandpa's glasses and here is grandpa's hat.
This is the way he folds his hands and has a little nap. Oh good job guys."

That means we've done four rhymes together already, so we've done This is the way we wash our faceMiss Polly had a dolly, Open shut them and Grandma's glasses.

I've got one more rhyme to go and this is our goodbye rhyme. So first let's say goodbye goodbye everyone bye and we'll get our tickling fingers ready. Are you ready? So we will go:

"A tickle for your toes, tickle your toes and a tickle for your nose, tickle your nose
And a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon grows.
Arms go low and arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye."

Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thank you so much for joining us for Baby Rhyme Time today. Remember that singing these rhymes over and over again is a really fun way of bonding with your baby. Have a great day. Thank you for joining us.

Rhyme Time with Ula

Hi everybody. Welcome to Baby Rhyme Time. I'm Ula from Moreton Bay Libraries, and we're welcoming you back to libraries for Rhyme Time and Storytime.

And now, let's get into this Rhyme Time by saying our acknowledgement of Country. Here is the land, here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground.

Let's start off the session by saying hello and waving to each other. Hi, hello and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello and how are you, how are you today?  

I hope everybody's well. I've had quite a good day! And let's see what our next song is. We've got the song Two Little Eyes and I'm gonna bring out my little friend, the bunny, to help me with this one. So when you're doing it with your baby, it's always a good idea to have them facing towards you so that you can see their smiles and their giggles and they can interact with you during the day, when you're at home, and even when you come to a session in the library.  

Alright! Here we go! Two little eyes, to look around. Two little ears, to hear each sound. One little nose, to smell what's sweet and one little mouth that likes to eat!

Bunny you just sit there. I don't want to drop you! And now we're going to be bouncing our little ones on on our knees. It's the same with this, you can turn your little one towards you so you can see their little smiling, bouncing faces. Boing, boing, squeak! Boing, boing, squeak! A bouncy mouse was in the house he's been here for a week! He bounces in the kitchen, he bounces in the den! He bounces in the living room - whoops! There he goes again!  

Let's do that one one more time with a girl mouse. And I'll flip bunny around. Boing, boing, squeak! Boing, boing, squeak! A bouncy mouse was in the house she's been here for a week! She bounces in the den! She bounces in the living room - whoops! There she goes again!

You've been doing a lot of bouncing, haven't you? Let's see if the next one is an action one for you as well. It is! So now, we're going to go on a bit of a ride. It's another one that you can bounce your baby on your knee, have them facing you or facing away, and it goes like this. Giddy up, giddy up, ride to town! Giddy up, giddy up, up and down, giddy up fast, giddy up slow, giddy up, giddy up, whoa! Oh, goodness! I had to slow down pretty quick there. Let's try that one again.

Giddy up, giddy up, ride to town! Giddy up, giddy up, up and down! Giddy up fast, giddy up slow, giddy up, giddy up, whoa! Hmm... what have we got up next? We have Old MacDonaldI'll pop you away for this one bunny. Thanks for your help! You can sit down here. Alright so Old MacDonald is a favourite with a lot of children and you can definitely mix it up and put in some unusual animals on Old Macdonald's farm. We'll start off with a chook today, and then we'll see where we go.  

Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o. And on that farm he had a chook, e-i-e-i-o. With a cluck-cluck here and a cluck-cluck' there... here a cluck, there a cluck, everywhere a cluck-cluck, Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o. And on that farm he had a crocodile, e-i-e-i-o with a snap snap here and a snap snap there, here a snap there a snap everywhere a snap snap, Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o. And on that farm he had a... let's see what else could he have on his unusual farm. Hmm... how about some kittens? That meow a lot. Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o and on that farm he had some kittens, e-i-e-i-o. With a meow meow here and a meow meow there, here a meow, there a meow, everywhere a meow meow, Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o.

I think his variety of animals would kept him pretty busy on that farm!

Oh! Here's another song we've got about animals. It's Hey Diddle Diddle. Some unusual animals in this one too... a cow that jumps over the moon! Hey diddle diddle, the captain, the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such fun and the dish ran away with the spoon. We've got our cow. We've got our cat but it looks like the dish and the spoon have run away off the page! Oh goodness!

And here's another one I like - Twinkle TwinkleIt's a nice one to sing in the evenings... Maybe when you're changing baby or when you want to calm things down and everybody likes to twinkle because it's really really easy to do. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.

And when you sing this one you can get softer and softer and softer until baby falls asleep. And that brings us to our goodbye song. And we'll wave goodbye for this one. Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon on another day!

Thanks everybody for coming to Baby Rhyme Time!

Rhyme Time with Jess and Lyn

Hello! I'm Lyn - I'm Jessica - and we're from the Strathpine library, and welcome to this Rhyme Time session! We'd like to start off with "We at the library like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the Traditional Custodians, and thank them for sharing this land." And we say "Here is the land, here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I!" Okay. We start off with the welcome song. So, we like to do that with happy hands. So, is everybody ready with happy hands?  We go one... two... three... and we sing "Hi, hello and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today? Welcome!  We hope you really enjoy this rhyme time session. We love doing them, don't we? Oh, very much.

Okay, we’re going to start off with some tickling. Ooh I like tickling. Yeah, I think little people like tickling too. Yeah! So, we'll start off with some tickling on the toes, then the nose, then the tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high to start with. Okay, we'll go through nice and slow, and then you can join in with us. If you know the words, you can joinin the first time. Are you ready? We'll go one... two... three... A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose... a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low... a great big hug to say hello! Well done! Shall we do that one again? We'll go through a little bit faster this time, because you know the words now. Are you ready? One... two... three... a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! Good job, well done everybody! You're better at this than we are. Yes sometimes!

Okay we're going to do some bouncing now. Oh, I like dancing too. So, bubs on knees, or just do some clapping it’s up to you. Or the older ones, if there's any older siblings there, they can jump! Jumping? Yeah! Okay. Are we ready for a bouncy mouse? Yes. So, we're going to do "boing boing squeak" and if you'd like to join in, if you know the words that's great, but we will be doing it twice. Children learn best by repetition, so that's the way we go. I learn best by repetition [laughs]. Yes, me too. Okay, we're ready to go? Yes, let's go! One... two... three... boing, boing, squeak! Boing, boing, squeak! A bouncy mouse is in the house she's been here for a week! She bounces in the kitchen, she bounces in the den, she dances in the living room... whoooo! There she goes again! She's very bouncy. Shall we do that again? I think so. Should we speed that one up a little bit, or can we- Just a little. Are you ready? Let's go... one... two... three... boing, boing, squeak! Boing, boing, squeak! A bouncy mouse is in the house she's been there for a week! She bounces in the kitchen, she bounces in the den, she bounces in the living room... whoooo! There she goes again! She's pretty fast. I know. And they did so well keeping up! They did very well. I didn't think I'd be able to keep up for a while.

Okay, what do you feel like doing now? Oh, I reckon I could go for a nice leisurely row down the river. A leisurely row? How about we do one where we get some exercise? Oh, do we have to? Oh, of course we have to! So, we're going to roll our boats gently down the stream, we'll go merrily, life is but a dream. You want to join in with us? Because I'm sure you know this one. Arms inside the boat. Let's go...  one... two... three... row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream... merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream. Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.  If you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream! Aaah! Good screaming. Let's go! Row, row, row your boat, gently down the river! If you see a polar bear, don't forget to shiver! Last one! Row, row, row your boat gently to the shore, if you see a lion don't forget to roar! [Roar]. Oh, I think there's some ferocious lions out there. You gotta finish with a roar.

We'll do a little bit more exercise now. Some body parts maybe? Yeah. Heads and shoulders, knees and toes. Eyes and ears and mouth and neck. That's good, we're starting with the head. I think that's a good plan. Start at the top. We ready? Yes. One... two... three... heads and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes. Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, we all crack hands together. Eyes and ears and mouth and nose, mouth and nose, mouth and nose. Eyes and ears and mouth and nose, we all clap hands together. Wow, that was pretty good. I stuffed that one up. That's alright, mistakes happen, they don't care! If we do that again faster, maybe I'll remember better. We can try. Are you ready? One... two... three... heads and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes. Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, we all clap hands together. Eyes and knees and mouth and nose, mouth and nose mouth and nose. Eyes and knees and mouth and nose, we all clap hands together! Good work!

Okay! Now we're going out to the garden. Oh, what are we going to see in the garden? We might look for spiders, but they're not scary. They're nice spiders! We've got incy wincy spider! How does incy wincy go? Well he can do traditional, yeah, but maybe he likes to go up an arm? Or a leg? Oh, I don't think I'd like that. Or a back or a belly? Whatever your little people like. Yes. Okay, so we're going to start with one-two-three. One... two... three... incy wincy spider climbed up the waterspout. Down came the rain and washed poor incy out. Out came the sunshineand dried up all the rain, so incy wincy spider climbed up the spout again. Wow! Determined spider. Yeah. Try, try again! Yeah so we'll repeat that one, because everybody learns best that way, remember? Yes. Are we ready? We go... incy wincy spider climbed up the waterspout. Down came the rain and washed pour incy out. Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so incy wincy spider climbed up the spout again. Wow that's one determined spider. I think I have determined spiders.

Okay we're going to slow down a little bit now, we're just going to have a tea break. Yeah well, I'm short, I'm kind of stout. I get a bit steamed up, so let's be a little teapot. Are we ready? One... two... three... I'm a little teapot short and stout! Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up then I shout! Tip me over and pour me out. Well lucky we were in the same direction! I know, we could have bonked heads! That wouldn't have been fun. Timed it well. Shall we do the other side as well? Let's go. I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. When I get it all steamed up, then I shout! Tip me over and pour me out.

Where are we going now? Oh, why don't we take a ride on the train? Ride on the train? Just like the one we have here at Strathpine. Oh, anybody who's been to Strathpine Library would love the train! Let's go, we're going the wheels on the train. What does our train do? Oh, the wheels go round and round, the wipers go swish, swish, swish. The horn goes toot, toot, toot. The doors go open and shut, and our babies don't go wah, wah, wah - they're happy babies! They go ha, ha, ha! And the driver on the train says move on back. So, are you ready to go on the train? We are. Okay, one... two... three... the wheels on the train go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the train go round and round, all the way to town. The wipers on the train go swish, swish, swish... swish, swish, swish... swish, swish, swish. The wipers on the train go swish, swish, swish, all the way to town. The horn on the train goes to toot, toot, toot... toot, toot, toot... toot, toot, toot! The horn on the train goes toot, toot, toot, all the way to town! The doors on the train go open and shut, open and shut, open and shut. The doors on the train go open and shut, all the way to town. The babies on the train go ha, ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha. The babies on the train go ha, ha, ha! All the way to town. The driver on the train says move on back, move on back, move on back. The driver on the train says move on back, all the way to town. Yay! We've made it to town! We did! That was a long trip, wasn't it? It was.

But I think it's time for dancing. Yes!! This is Jess's favourite song! This is mama's little baby loves dancing! We all love dancing, and we can dance sitting down! Yeah, but feel free to stretch your legs at home if you 

want. Have some fun with this, that's what it's all about. Are you ready? Yes. Let's go, one... two... three... mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves turning round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight! Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves turning round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Good job! I'm all tuckered out.

I think it's time for some jazz hands. Jazz hands? Some twinkling jazz hands? Yeah, some twinkling. We're gonna do my favourite song now. Your favourite song? Twinkle twinkle little star. What a lovely way to finish. Let's go! One... two... three. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Oh, well done Jess! It's so pretty. Yes, that's a lovely song, isn't it?

Well, I tell you what, we're pretty close to being finished for today. Already?! I know, time goes so fast when you're having fun. I reckon. So we might finish off with a tickle. Oh yes. Okay, we'll do the toes, the nose, and the tummy where the watermelon goes. Arms go low to start with this time. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let’s go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! Oh, I'm sad to leave. Oh well, you'll have to come back and see us again, because we love doing this! We're going to sing our goodbye song. We are, and we'll use our happy hands. Happy hands, well, sad hands. Always happy hands. Are you ready? Let's go. Goodbye, goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day. Bye bye everybody, thank you for joining us!


Rhyme Time with Jess and Lyn

Hello, my name's Lyn, and I'm Jessica, and we're from the Strathpine Library. Thank you for joining us today for Rhyme Time. We've got some very cool ones for you today. Some new ones. Some new ones! We thought we've had a bit of weather lately, so we've thrown in a couple of weather rhymes. I don't know whether you'll know these ones (see what I did there?) but we can share them with you, and you can join in as you go along.

So, we start off by saying "We at the library, we'd like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the Traditional Custodians, and thank them for sharing this land." We say "Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I."  Well done!

Okay, we're going to sing a welcome song. So, have you got your happy hands ready? Because we love these songs, and we are always happy, and we hope you are too! Are you ready? We count to three. We go one... two... three... hi, hello and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today? Well, that was easy, wasn't it? It was! Everyone looks fabulous today, too! Oh goodness! Jess said you look good.  

So, we're going to do some tickling now. Tickling! Where do you want to start?  The toes! Start at the toes, then the nose, then the tummy, and arms go high to start with. Are you ready? Let's go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! Hello everybody! Thanks again for joining us. Yes, okay. Rhyme time is very important for young people, isn't it? It is, yeah. The first five years, all the brain connections!  Yeah! Singing, reading, rhymes every day. Yeah, even a newspaper clipping! It's all really great for the early literacy skills. So, we're not just here for fun... well, we are really, we enjoy it.

So, we're going to sing some weather songs now, and we're going to start with 'Rain, Rain, Go Away.’ We'll do it through nice and slowly and then we'll do it again with you, and you should know the words by then. Are you ready? We go one... two... three... and we sing... rain, rain, go away, come again another day. All their children want to play! Rain, rain, go away. Yay! Okay, are you ready? Let's jump in puddles! One... two... three... rain, rain, go away, come again another day. All the children want to play. Rain, rain, go away! Yay! I like that! Well, it was a bit rainy today. Do you like thunder? Oh, sometimes it's a bit scary. It can be, yeah. Sometimes it's a bit exciting, though. Yes, it makes nice lights and stars in the sky. Yeah!

So, we're gonna sing "I Hear Thunder." We'll do it through nice and slowly, as we do the first time, and then you can join in again the second time with us. Are you ready? One... two... three... I hear thunder, I hear thunder, oh, don't you? Oh, don't you? Pitter, patter, rain drops. Pitter, patter, rain drops. I'm wet through, so are you! [Haha!] Is that too mean, to laugh at somebody else being wet? Not if you're wet too. Oh, it's a bit of fun, isn't it? Let's do that again. One... two... three... I hear thunder, I hear thunder, oh, don't you? Oh, don't you? Pitter, patter, rain drops. Pitter, patter, rain drops. I'm wet through, so are you! [Haha!] It means we're having lots of fun in the rain. Yes, we forgot our umbrellas! It's all good.

So, who else is out in the rain? Oh, Incy Wincy spiders that are outside. Oh, goodness me. They travel through lots of weather, though. They do. Rain, snow... but Incy Wincy particularly gets caught in the rain. He does. Okay, so we sing about that? I think so. Let's go, one... two... three... Incy Wincy spider climbed up the waterspout. Down came the rain and washed poor Incy out! Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again. What about in the tree? Oh yes. Let's go. Incy Wincy spider was climbing up a tree, down came the snow and made poor Incy freeze. Out came the sunshine and melted all the snow, so Incy Wincy spider had another go. Good on you Incy! Try, try, try again! Luckily our spiders don't have to worry about snow. I don't know, stranger things have happened.

Thinking about snow, what else is in the cold? Oh, I like the little penguins. Penguins? Yes. Fluffy penguins? Yes. What other type of penguins are there other than fluffy penguins? Okay, so this is to the tune of "Der Glumph Said the Little Green Frog". Instead of that, we're doing "snug, hug, went the fluffy penguin one day." But do they really go 'snug hug'? We'll find out. So, we'll go through nice and slowly, and then you can join in the second one. You ready? One... two... three... snug, hug went the fluffy penguin one day, snug, hug went the fluffy penguin! Snug, hug went the fluffy penguin one day, and they all went snug, hug, hug. But we all know penguins go flippy flappy flap, flippy flappy flap, flippy flappy flap. We all know penguins go flippy flappy flap, they don't go snuggy, hug, hug! Are you ready for this one? Let's go, one... two... three... snug, hug went the fluffy penguin one day, snug, hug went the fluffy penguin! Snug, hug went the fluffy penguin one day, and they all went snug, hug, hug. But we all know penguins go flippy flappy flap, flippy flappy flap, flippy flappy flap. We all know penguins go flippy flappy flap, they don't go snuggy, hug, hug! I'm in a bit of a flap after that one!

So, we're gonna go ‘round and ‘round the garden, but we’re doing it differently this time. We're playing in the rain. Oh, who doesn't like going in the rain and jumping in puddles? Jumping in puddles is so much fun! Yeah, so let's go ‘round and round the garden. Are you ready? Round and round the garden, playing in the rain. One jump, two jumps, into the puddle again! Shall we do it on the other side? I think so. Round and round the garden, playing in the rain. One jump, two jump, into the puddle again! Okay, that was a nice quick one for you.

Oh, it's my favourite time of day. Jess is ready to dance! I'm ready. Are you ready to dance? Are you gonna join in with us? Let's do it. One... two... three... mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves turning 'round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing. Mama's little baby loves turning 'round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, Mama's little baby loves to boogie down.Yay! Time for a bit of twinkling? Yes, your favourite song. My favourite song this time! Nice and slow. We're having our twinkling jazz hands ready. Are you ready? Let's go. One... two... three... twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Well, they're so lovely I think we have to do it again! Again? Again. Again again? Yes, one more time. One more time, okay. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

Well, Jess I think we've run out of time again. Yeah, it went really fast, didn't it? It does. We have a lot of fun, so you know... We do have a lot of fun. We hope you've enjoyed yourself as much as we have! Definitely. Okay, we're going to do a bit more tickling to finish off with. Yes please! We're going to start with the toes, then the nose, then the tummy where that watermelon goes. Which way does the arm go? Arms go low to start with. Are you ready? Yes. Let's go. One... two... three... a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! Oh, my goodness, we'd be able to sing our goodbye song. Can you join in with us? We've got our happy hands. Are you ready? Let's go. One... two... three... goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day. Thanks for joining us! Thank you! See you very soon!

Rhyme Time with Jess and Lyn

Hello, my name's Lyn, and I'm Jessica, and we're from the Strathpine Library. Welcome to our Rhyme Time session today. We hope you have as much fun as we do! We really enjoy this. We do rhyme time for a reason - not just because it's fun. Because it's really, really great for your little people! They get all their early literacy skills from their best teachers, which is mum, dad, grandma, carers, grandpa, all of those people! And singing songs, rhymes, reading every day is the best thing that you can do for them. Just 10 minutes, that's all it is, that's all it takes. And we might try and fit in a lot of stuff in 10 minutes, so let's see how much you can fit in when you do it.

So we start off with "We at the Library would like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the Traditional Custodians, and thank them for sharing this land. "So, "Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. “That’s lovely. Okay, we're gonna sing a welcome song now. Some happy hands! Happy hands? Because we're all happy, and we hope you are too! Are you ready? Let's go. We go... hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today That's fun.

Well, you know what it's even funner? Tickles? Tickles! Are you ready for the toes, and then the nose, then the tummy? Let's go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! Well done! We're going to sing a hello song. Another one? With more happy hands! Yeah! Ready? Let's go. We go... hello there, hello there, it's great to be with you! Hello there, hello there to you. Hello there, hello there, songs, rhymes, and dancing too! Hello there, hello there to you! That was just a little one we threw in for fun. Yes, as you can tell.

Okay, we're going to try jumping out of the bed in the morning. What are we going to do when we jump out of the bed in the morning and get ready? We're going to get ready for the day. Okay, let's go. One... two... three...I jump out of bed in the morning, I jump out of bed in the morning, I jump out of bed in the morning, I hope it's a very nice day! And then we go... this is the way I wash my face, wash my face, wash my face. This is the way I wash my face, early in the morning! You ready? Wash my face doo-do-do-do-do-do, wash my face doo-do-do-do-do-do, wash my face doo-do-do-do-do-do, wash my face! This is the way I brush my teeth, brush my teeth, brush my teeth. This is the way I brush my teeth, early in the morning! Brush my teeth doo-do-do-do-do-do, brush my teeth doo-do-do-do-do-do, brush my teeth doo-do-do-do-do-do, brush my teeth! Now let's comb our hair. Let's go. This is the way I comb my hair, comb my hair, comb my hair. This is the way I comb my hair, early in the morning. I'm ready to start the day! We hope you forgive us for that one, parents, just a little annoying. Yeah, it's fun.

Okay, we're gonna go marching now. Yes, with the grand old Duke of York. How many men did he have? He had ten thousand! That's a lot, maybe too many for us to do. Okay, we'll try as hard as we can. Are we ready? Let's go. One... two... three. Oh, the grand old Duke of York, he had ten thousand men, he marched them off to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again. And when they were up they were up, and when they were down they were down, and when they're only halfway up, they were neither up nor down! Okay, that one's fun, let's do that one again! Yes, I think so. Are you ready to join in? Let's go. Oh, the grand old Duke of York, he had ten thousand men, he marched them off to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again. And when they were up they were up, and when they were down they were down, and when they're only halfway up, they were neither up nor down! And remember, you can always make up your own actions at home. Yes, whatever they like. Whatever you like! Whatever you like to do. Exactly.

Thinking of that, how about we do a bit of wibble wobble, a bit of jelly on the plate? Oh yes. You're ready for that? I like jelly. I don't know they're ready for that. And now this one's good too, you can use shakers, you can interact a lot with this one. What sort of shaker would you use? Well I used to put rice into an empty bottle, yeah, and tape it up, and my son used to love shaking that one about, so have a baby rattle or some bells, or a saucepan and a wooden spoon! Hey, there's lots of things you can do with this one. Are you ready? We'll do it through slowly to start with and then we'll speed it up second time around when you know the words. Are you ready? Let's go. Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate, wibble wobble, wibble wobble, jelly on a plate! Lollies in a jar, lollies in a jar, shake them up, shake them up, lollies in a jar! Sausage in a pan, sausage in a pan, turn around, turn around, sausage in a pan! Candles on a cake, candles on a cake, blow them out, blow them out, wow! How many candles on your cake? Not as many as mine and probably more than at home. So, we'll do that again. Let's go. Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate, wibble wobble, wibble wobble, jelly on a plate! Lollies in a jar, lollies in a jar, shake them up, shake them up, lollies in a jar! Sausage in a pan, sausage in a pan, turn around, turn around, sausage in a pan! Candles on a cake, candles on a cake, blow them out, blow them out, wow! Oh did you get them all? I think so. Oh, yeah, okay.

We're going to sing about a kangaroo! Oh! A little a little red roo. Are you ready for this one? Maybe. Okay, we'll go through. See if you remember the tune when you hear it. One... two... three... hop, hop, went the little red roo one day, hop, hop went the little red roo! Hop, hop went the little red roo one day, and they all went hop, hop, hop! But, we all know roos go boingy, boingy, boing...boingy, boingy, boing... boingy, boingy, boing! We all know roos go boingy, boingy, boing, they don't go hop-hop-hop! Shall we do that one again? Let's have fun with that. One... two... three... hop, hop went for little red roo one day, hop, hop went the little red roo! Hop, hop went the little red roo one day and they all went hop-hop-hop. But, we all know roos go boingy, boingy, boing...  boingy, boingy, boing... boingy, boingy, boing! We all know roos go boingy, boingy, boing, they don't go hop-hop-hop!

We've got to do some dancing! Oh, we're going to dance! We are! Okay, let's have fun with that. Are you ready? One... two... three… mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves turning round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves to boogie down. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight. Lean to the left, lean to the right, hug that baby nice and tight! Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves turning round. Mama's little baby loves dancing, dancing, mama's little baby loves to boogie down, hey!

Now I'm really pooped out. Well, that's good. Good good. Good that it's up to your favorite song! Time for a nice slow one. Yes. Yes, I hope you like this one, because this is my favorite song. We'll have our twinkling hands for this one, and we're not talking about clouds, no we're talking about stars, nice stars. Are you ready? Let's go. One... two... three... twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. It is a nice way to finish. It's a shame that time's gone very quickly!

Okay, we just said 10 minutes a day, we've probably run a little bit over that, but that's okay. Yep, they don't mind! No, we're going to dance and finish off with some tickling. Not like we started, we're going to start with the toes, then the nose, and the tummy. A tickle for your nose, a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say good-bye! It's okay to make mistakes. A tickle for your nose, a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! It's been a long day. It's been good. We're going to see how good I sound now, I think Jess needs a little rest. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's go. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll seey ou soon, see you soon, see you soon! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day! Don't forget, 10 minutes a day! Thank you for joining us, we enjoyed it as always and hope you did too! See you soon! See you next time!

Rhyme Time with Jackie

Hi my name's Jackie, and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time at Moreton Bay Libraries.

Today, we'll be singing some Baby Rhyme Time songs with my little friend Polly. First, let's begin with our Acknowledgement of Country. Here we go. Here is the land, and here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground.

Okay, we're going to do a hello tickle now. Sorry, here we go Polly! Are you ready? A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes? Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! Okay, and we're going to say hello again with our song. Well, hello everybody! We're going to begin by touching our noses, then we're going to touch our toes, we're going to pat our heads, and we're going to rub our tummies. Here we go! Well hello everybody, can you touch your nose, touch your nose, touch your nose? Well hello everybody, can you touch your nose, touch your nose? Well hello everybody, can you touch your toes, touch your toes, touch your toes? Well hello everybody, can you touch your toes, touch your toes? Well hello everybody, can you patch your head, pat your head, pat your head? Well hello everybody, can you patch your head, pat your head? Last one! Well hello everybody, can you rub your tummy, rub your tummy, rub your tummy? Well hello everybody, can you rub your tummy, rub your tummy? Thanks for that, Polly! You did a great job!

Okay, we're going to sing one of my favourite songs now. Galumph went the little green frog! Here we go. Galumph went the little green frog one day, galumph went the little green frog! Galumph went the little green frog one day, and the frog went galumph, galumph, galumph. But we all know frogs go la-di-da-di-da, la-di-da-di-da, la-di-da-di-da! We all know frogs go la-di-da-di-da, la-di-da-di-da, la-di-da-di-da, they don't go galumph, galumph, galumph! Great job!

Okay we're gonna sing one of our scarf songs now, and this one is called The Fish in the Sea. So, our fish are first going to swish around, then our dolphins are going to swim round and round. The sand is going to drift down, and the waves are gonna go up and down! Here we go. The fish in the sea go swish, swish, swish...swish, swish, swish... swish, swish, swish. The fish in the sea go swish, swish, swish, all day long! The dolphins in the sea swim round and round, round and round, round and round. The dolphins in the sea swim round and round, all day long. The sand in the sea drifts down, down, down...down, down, down... down, down, down. The sand in the sea drifts down, down, down...all day long. The waves in the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down. The waves in the sea go up and down, all day long.

Okay, I'm going to get Polly back to help me with this one. We're going to sing Round and round the garden! So, everyone, have your palms out, and we're going to get our fingers, and here we go! Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear. One step, two step, tickle you under there! Here we go again. Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear. One step, two step, tickle you under there! Very good! Did you like those tickles? Very good.

Okay, we're coming to the end of our Baby Rhyme Time now, so we're gonna go with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. If you've got a young bub feel free to turn them around to face you so they can focus on you. Here we go. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

And to finish off our Baby Rhyme Time we're gonna have our goodbye tickle. Here we go. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! Thanks for coming everyone, we'll see you next time at Baby Rhyme Time!


Rhyme Time with Ula

Hello everybody and welcome to Rhyme Time. I've got Polly to help me today to sing a few songs and do a few rhymes. We're going to start off with our Acknowledgement of Country.  Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we’re on Kabi Kabi ground. To start the session, we'll do our hello tickle! Starting with our toes.  A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes!  Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello!

Our next song today is the Wheels on the Bus. We'll start off with the wheels going round and round, and then we'll do the wipers - swish, swish, swish. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round! The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long. Now we're going to swish. The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish... swish, swish, swish... swish, swish, swish! The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish, all day long!  Now the horn! The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep... beep, beep, beep... beep, beep, beep!  The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep, all day long! And we'll do our last one, we'll do the people on the bus go up and down. The people on the bus go up and down, up and down, up and down! The people on the bus go up and down, all day long!

For our next song, we're going to be a cuckoo clock, and we're going to check the time as we sing. Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick, tock, tick, tock, stop! What time is it? It's one o'clock! Cuckoo! Let's do it again for two o'clock.  Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick, tock, tick, tock, stop! What time is it?  It's two o'clock! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! One more time for three o'clock.  Tick, tock, tick, tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick, tock, tick, tock, stop! What time is it?  It's three o'clock! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! That's a lot of cuckooing.

Let's see what our next song is today. We're going to be toast in the toaster and get quite hot! I'm toast in the toaster, I'm getting very hot! Tick, tock, tick, tock, up I pop! One more time.  Yeah. I'm toast in the toaster, I'm getting very hot! Tick, tock, tick, tock, up I pop!  Thanks for that, Polly, I'm going to put you aside for these songs. There we go, don't fall over!

Our next song that we're going to sing is Heads and Shoulders. Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes!  Heads and shoulders, knees and toes, we all clap hands together! Eyes and ears and mouth and nose, mouth and nose, mouth and nose! Eyes and ears and mouth and nose, we all clap hands together!

Alright, now we're going to do a song with our hands, with a little bit more clapping. Open, shut them, open, shut them, give a little clap!  Open, shut them, open, shut them, lay them in your lap! Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them right up to your chin! Open wide your little mouth, but do not let them in!  Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this!  Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss!

We've nearly come to the end of our session, so we're going to do Twinkle Twinkle and then our tickle song. Get your twinkling fingers ready! Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. And we'll finish up with our goodbye tickle, starting with our toes. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high - let me grab Polly - a great big hug to say goodbye! Thank you for joining me for Baby Rhyme Time and thank you Polly for helping me out! We'll see you next time! Goodbye!


Rhyme Time with Cassie

Hello everyone, my name is Cassie from Moreton Bay Region Libraries, and I'd like to welcome you all to Baby Rhyme Time today. First of all, we've got to start with the Acknowledgement to Country. So all you have to do is follow along. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, really high hands! Down low, and we are on Kabi Kabi ground. Good job everyone!

Okay now, we can't start the morning without saying hello, so I want everyone to get all their waving hands up and ready to roll. Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello and how are you, how are you today? Good job everyone! Now get all your tickly little fingers out and they're gonna tickle our toes. So, a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms going low, and a great big hug to say hello! Fantastic.

Okay so now our first rhyme today will be a very familiar rhyme, we're going to do incy wincy. So you can do it really really tickly like this, or you can do it like this, or for any mums outthere with babies, you can do it up their belly or down their back, it's up to you. Okay. Incy wincy spider climbed up the waterspout. Down came the rain and washed pour incy out! Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so incy wincy spider climbed up the spout again! Good job! And now I think we're going to get incy wincy to climb up a tree. Here's my tree. Incy wincy spider went climbing up a tree. Down came the snow and it made poor incy freeze. Out came the sunshine and dried up all the snow, so incy wincy spider had another go! Good job everyone!

Okay, who's ready to move your arms and legs? We're going to do Johnny Works with One Hammer, but he doesn't work with one hammer, he doesn't work with two hammers, doesn't work with three, he works with four! So it's really good counting one! Johnny works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer, Johnny works with one hammer, then he works with two. Johnny works with two hammers, two hammers, two hammers, Johnny works with two hammers then he works with three. I'll get your leg yeah. Johnny works with three hammers, three hammers, three hammers, Johnny works with three hammers then he works with four. Johnny works with four hammers, four hammers, four hammers, Johnny works with four hammers, then he falls to sleep. Good job and I'm sure that got everyone really up and excited!

Okay here's our next song, we're gonna do Here is the Beehive, so follow me. Here is the beehive but where are the bees? Hidden away when nobody sees. Watch out and you'll see them come out of their hive. Ready? One, two, three, four, five they're alive!Okay let's do that one all over again. Ready? Here is the beehive but where are the bees? Hidden away when nobody sees. Watch and you'll see them come out of their hive. One, two, three, four, five they're alive!Good job doing these everyone.

Okay time for another counting one, we're going to do a really good classic one called Five Little Monkeys and they're going to be jumping on a bed. So, don't jump on beds kids! Five little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said no more monkeys jumping on the bed! Now we've got four. Four little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head! Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said no more monkeys jumping on the bed! Here we go three. Three little monkeys jumping on a bed, one fell off and bumped her head. Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said no more monkeys jumping on the bed! We're up to two now. Two little monkeys jumping on a bed, one fell off and bumped his head. Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said, no more monkeys jumping on the bed! And how many are we up to now? I think we're up to one. One cheeky monkey jumping on the bed she fell off and bumped her head. Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said put those monkeys straight to bed! Good job!

Okay now we're going to do our last rhyme. It's twinkle, twinkle. Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Good job I think we'll do that one again. Ready? Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Good job everyone!

Okay now we're going to do our tickly fingers all over again, but to say goodbye. So a tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, and a tickle for your tummy - oh I don't think that's my tummy! Hang on, this is my tummy. Yes. Tickle for my tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, and a great big hug to say goodbye! Now we'll do our goodbye song. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day! Goodbye everyone!

Rhyme Time with Cassie and Tia

Hey, good morning everyone and welcome to Rhyme Time, so my name is Tia, and I've got my friend Cassie. Are you excited for Rhyme Time Cassie? So excited. I'm glad you're doing this. All right what are we gonna start with? I think we need to start with the Acknowledgement to Country first so I think we just follow the actions along and then we should be all good. Okay, okay. So, here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground. Good job! Cool, okay, all right. Well let's do our welcome song. Ready? Okay, hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today? I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited! I'm pretty pumped! All right let's go. Let's find our toes, tickling fingers ready? A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! What could we start with? I don't know.

I think we might need a little bit of help just to get it started. I just found a rabbit. Peter! What are you doing back there? Morning Cassie! He's ready, he said that he would like to do little peter rabbit. Ready? Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose so he flipped it and he flopped it and it flew away! Little Peter Rabbit had a prickle in his paws. Little Peter Rabbit had a prickle in his paws. Little Peter Rabbit had a prickle in his paws so we pulled it and he pulled it and it came right out! Ah thanks Peter Rabbit, good job Peter. All right off we go!

Okay okay so do you know grandma's glasses? Oh how does it go again? All right these are grandma's glasses okay and we're going to have grandpa's glasses as well okay ready? Let's go. Here are grandma's glasses, here is grandma's hat, this is the way she folds her hands and lays them in her lap. Here are grandpa's glasses, and here is grandpa's hat, this is the way he folds his hands and has a little nap. I wake up oh my god oh sorry! Okay all right okay I'm gonna go to my rocket ship up! You ready okay okay, so, we're going up, we're going up, as high as we can go! We're going down, we're going down we're going down low ready!

All right what would you like to do next? Oh Der Glumph? All right! It's my favourite one! Okay okay let's go ready everyone's got their froggies. Der-glumph went the little green frog one day der-glumph went the little green frog Der Glumph went the little green frog one day and the frog went glumph, glumph, glumph. But, we all know frogs go la-di-da-di-da, la-di-da-di-da, la-di-da-di-da! We all know frogs go la-di-da-di-da, they don't go glumph, glumph, glumph. Oh I think that might be an echidna now! An echidna! What do they do? Scritch-scratch went the spiky echidna one day, scritch-scratch went the spiky echidna. Scritch-scratch went the spiky echidna one day, and they all went scritchy-scratch-scratch. But we all know echnidas go roly-poly-roll, roly-poly-roll, roly-poly-roll. We all know echidnas go roly-poly-roll, they don't go scritchy-scratch-scratch. What would you like to do next? I like penguins they're really cuddly and fluffy like hugs. Oh okay let's go okay. Snug-hug went the fluffy penguin one day, snug hug went the fluffy penguin! Snug-hug went the fluffy penguin one day, and they all went snuggy-hug-hug. But we all know penguins go flippy flappy flap, flippy flappy flap, flippy flappy flap. We all know penguins go flippy flappy flap, they don't go snugy-hug-hug. Can we have a kangaroo? I don't see why not, we are in Australia, right? I think it's going to hop! How are we going to hop? Oh i think this hop this. Okay. Hop hop when the little red roo one day, hop hop went the little red roo. Hop hop went the little red roo one day and they all went hop hop hop. But we all know roo's go boingy boingy boing, boingy boingy boing, boingy boingy boing, we all know roo's go boingy boingy boing they don't go hop hop hop! Wow that was great fun with all those animals, I think they're all mostly Australian except for the penguins. I know I know and you know

we've got froggy puppets that you can do go der-glumph at home with as well! Errol the Frog! Should try that one.

Yes all right we're going to do another one of my favourites called tick tock. Okay if you've got a baby you can hold them up it's a great exercise workout as well. Tick-tock tick-tock I'm a little cuckoo clock. Tick tock, tick tock, stop! What time is it? It's one o'clock! Cuckoo! Ready? Tick tock, tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick tock, tick tock, stop. What time is it? It's two o'clock. Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Tick tock, tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock. Tick tock, tick tock, stop. What time is it? It's three o'clock! Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo! Tick tock, tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock! Tick tock, tick tock, stop. What time is it? It's four o'clock! Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!

Okay I think we should do a nice relaxing one that moms can do with the babies on their back. X marks the spot, you ready for that one Peter Rabbit? Okay, x marks the spot with a circle and a dot. Up the ladder, down the ladder, spot, spot, spot! Feel the breeze, feel the squeeze, and have a cuddle if you please! X marks the spot with a circle and a dot. Up the ladder, down the ladder, spot, spot, spot! Feel the breeze, feel the squeeze, and have a cuddle if you please! Thank you!

All right what should we do now? We go to our tickle song next. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! All right, okay thank you so much for doing Baby Rhyme Time and thanks for helping me Cassie! All good. It's been a pleasure, all right ready? Okay. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon! Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day! See you Peter Rabbit! See you Peter! Thanks!

Rhyme Time with Margaret

Hello. I'm Margaret and it's time for Baby Rhyme Time. I have my little friend Teddy here to help me. He might not be here all the time though. So before we start, let's do our Acknowledgement to Country.

"Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I.
We respect the traditional custodians and land on which we work and play.
Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground."

Now we always start Rhyme Time here with our clapping practice, so let's clap to the front and let's clap to the left, and let's clap to the right and we'll do a quiet clap. We might need it. That is so hard to do.

Okay now we'll do our Hello song. Hi hello and how are you? How are you? How are you? Hi hello and how are you? How are you today?

"A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose,
A tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes.
Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello."

Okay Teddy what else have we got? Okay can you do this? Open, shut, open, shut, and one of our favourites.

"Open, shut them, open, shut them, give a little clap.
Open, shut them, open, shut them, lay them in your lap.
Shhh. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin.
Open wide your little mouth, but do not let them in.
Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this.
Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss, yeah. Mwah! And another kiss. Mwah!"

Now Teddy's going to help us with this next one.

"Boing boing squeak! Boing Boing squeak!
A bouncy mouse is in the house. He's been there for a week.
She bounces in the kitchen, she bounces in the deck,
she bounces in the living room, there she goes again."

Again Teddy?

"Boing boing squeak! Boing boing squeak!
A bouncy mouse is in the house, she's been there for a week.
She bounces in the kitchen, she bounces in the den,
she bounces in the living room, oh there she goes again!

Oh that was a good one. Now we will do Miss Polly.

"Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick,
So she called for the doctor to come quick quick quick,
The doctor came with his bag and his hat
And he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat."

Knock knock. Is that the doctor? Will we let him in?

"He looked at the dolly and he shook his head.
He said Miss Polly put her straight to bed.
He wrote on the paper for a pill pill pill.
I'll be back in the morning, yes I will will will.

Thank goodness the doctor came! And now one of our favourites and we will do a bit of stretching. Are we ready?

"Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.

And what about our little friend the spider? Incy Wincy.

"Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout,
Down came the rain and washed poor Incy out,
Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain,
So Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again."

Again?  Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain and washed poor Incy out, out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain, so Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again.

Well that's all we've got time for today, so we'll say goodbye now. Goodbye.

Rhyme Time with Nigel

Hello. It’s Nigel. We're going to do Baby Rhyme Time together today and before we do, I'd like to do an Acknowledgement to Country.

"Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I.
We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play.
Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi ground."

It's all right, so you're ready to do our little welcome song? Ready? One two.

"Hi hello and how are you? How are you? How are you?
Hi hello and how are you? How are you today?"

Very good. Okay,

"A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose,
A tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes.
Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello."

All right, now I know a song Humpty Dumpty and Teddy's going to help me with this one.

Okay. One two.

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again."

Very good if you sang along with that one. Okay this one here I will use my hands. W're going to do the song Open shut them. All ready? One two.

"Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap.
Open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap.
Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin.
Open wide your little mouth but do not let them in."

Very good. Ok now this one here is I'm a little teapot. Ok you try and do this one so if you've got room you can stand. Ok. One two.

"I'm a little teapot short and stout,
Here is my handle, here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up then I shout,
Tip me over pour me out."

Very good, good job. All right now this one is about a bus. The wheels on the bus. Okay, let's try to do some actions with me. One two.

"The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round, all the way to town.
The wipers on the bus go swish-swish-swish swish-swish-swish swish-swish-swish,
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish, all the way to town.
The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep,
The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, all the way to town.
The babies on the bus go wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah,
The babies on the bus go wah wah wah all the way to town.
The driver on the bus goes shh shh shh
The driver on the bus goes shh shh shh, all the way to town.

Good job everybody. Well I've had so much fun again doing this rhymes these rhymes with you. We’ll do the little tickle song and and we'll have to farewell. Here we go.

"A tickle for your toes again, a tickle for your nose,
A tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes.
Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye."

Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day. Bye!

Rhyme Time with Liz

Hi everyone and welcome to Baby Rhyme Time with Moreton Bay Region Libraries. My name is Liz and I'm very excited to do Baby Rhyme Time with you today. Before we start we have to do our Acknowledgement to Country. Can everyone put your hands up like this and twinkle them like they're little stars? Well done. Let's go.

"Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I.
We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play.
Hands up, really high and hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground."

Well done. Now before we start I have a very special friend with me here today. Her name's Buttercream and later on in the Rhyme Time she's going to help me sing some rhymes but for now she's just going to sit right on my lap here. Okay? Great.

So to start off with we're going to do a favourite rhyme of very many people. Let's see if you can guess what it is? First we'll get our fingers like this for our little babies and then we'll get our fingers like this, that's for our mummies and then like this for our daddies.

Have you figured out what we're singing yet? We're going to be singing Baby crocodile so everyone, can you please show me your hands like this? Good job. We'll go:

"Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don’t you bite, don't you bite.
I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo." 

Look at mummies like it is. Can you show me your mummy crocodiles?

"Mummy crocodile, mummy crocodile, don’t you bite, don’t you bite,
I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo."

Okay that means we've done our babies like this, we've done our mummies like this, which must mean we have our daddy crocodiles left. Get ready.

"Daddy crocodile daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite.
I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, boo, out of sight, boo."

Give yourselves a big clap. Good job everyone. Now I like crocodiles, I think they're very cool but where do you think we might not find a crocodile. I think that we might not find a crocodile on a farm. That would be a bit silly wouldn't it? What might we find on a farm instead? We might have a cow or we might have a pig or a horse or maybe a sheep or a meow - a cat - or a woof woof woof - a dog. We might have those things on a farm mightn’t we? I think so.

So I think next we're going to sing a rhyme I went down to the farm one day. Do you think that you could sing that with me? All right great. So we'll start off with … how about we start with a cow?

"I went down to the farm one day,
I saw a cow along the way,
What do you think I heard him say? Moo moo moo."

Okay what else might we find on a farm? A pig. Let's do a pig next. Ready?

"I went down to a farm one day,
I saw a pig along the way,
What do you think I heard him say? Oink oink oink."

Let's try a sheep.

"I went down to a farm one day,
I saw a sheep along the way,
What do you think I heard him say? Baa baa baa."

Good job. How about we try a horse? 

"I went down to a farm one day,
I saw a horse along the way,
what do you think I heard her say? Neigh neigh neigh."

Okay so we've done a cow, we've done a pig, we've done a sheep and we've done a horse. Let's try doing a cat.

"I went down to a farm one day,
I saw a cat along the way,
What do you think I heard him say? Meow meow meow."

So if we've done a cat, we've done a cow, we've done a pig, we've done a sheep and we've done a horse, means we've got one left and that's the dog.So...

"I went down to a farm one day,
I saw a dog along the way,
What do you think I heard him say? Woof woof woof."

Good job. Give yourselves a big round of applause everyone. You're all doing so great. What else do you think you might see at a farm? Maybe we could see a rooster who goes cock-a-doodle-do or a chicken who goes book book or a duck that goes quack quack quack. There's so many animals that we could see it a farm isn't there? But we're going to sing another rhyme now and this is going to be about one animal we just sung about, one that goes oink oink oink oink oink.

You're right, it's a pig! So can you show me your five piggies? Good job. So we've got one two three four and five. Are you ready to sing with me? We'll go:

"This little piggy went to market and
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had ice cream and
This little piggy had none, oh and
"his little piggy went wee wee wee wee wee wee all the way home."

Oh good job everyone. That's a nice little one to sing isn't it? I like this little piggies. All right let's do another rhyme and just in time, Buttercream is here ready to help us sing. So this one is called Zoom zoom zoom.

Now, we're going to pretend that we’re rocket ships. Doesn't that sound exciting? So I've got Buttercream but you might want to use your dolly or you can just use yourself if you want. So we're going to go:

"Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon,
If you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship,
Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon,
Five four three two one blast off!"

Wasn't that fun? Good job everyone. Give yourself a round of applause. Wow you guys are doing such a great job. So we've done four rhymes already. Do you remember what they were?

We've done Baby crocodile with our babies like this, I went to visit a farm one day where we saw lots of farm animals, Five little pigs and Zoom Zoom Zoom when we got to pretend we were rocket ships which means I'm going to sing one more rhyme with you. How does that sound? Good. All right great, so this one is a bouncing rhyme so we can bounce in our seats. We ready? Okay so I'm going to go:

"I bounce you here, I bounce you there,
I bounce you bounce you everywhere.
I tickle you here, I tickle you there,
I tickle you tickle you everywhere.
I hug you here, I hug you there,
I hug you hug you everywhere."

Oh good job everyone. Thank you so much for joining myself and also Buttercream here at Baby Rhyme Time with Moreton Bay Region Libraries today. Remember to tell as many stories and sing as many rhymes with your children as you can. It's a really really great bonding opportunity for you and your child to have. Thank you so much for joining us.

Rhyme Time with Jenny

Hello. I'm Miss Jenny and I'm going to be joining you for Rhyme Time today.

Before we get started with all our rhymes, how about we do our Acknowledgement to Country? Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we’re on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Good work everybody! Let's start with our welcome hello hands. Can you wave your hands like this?

Hello, hello, hello. Good work. Hi hello and how are you? How are you? How are you? Hi hello and how are you? How are you today? Hello everybody.

Let's do Baby Crocodile. Can you show me your baby crocodile? This is my little baby crocodile. Who comes next?

Mummy crocodile. And then what does Daddy crocodile look like? Daddy crocodile. Snap snap. Get ready! Baby crocodile, baby crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite. I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight. Boo! Out of sight. Boo!

Here comes Mummy. Mummy crocodile, Mummy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite. I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight. Boo! Out of sight. Boo!

Here comes Daddy. Daddy crocodile, Daddy crocodile, don't you bite, don't you bite. I can run away from you, I can run away from you, out of sight, out of sight.

Good work everybody. How about while we're moving our hands, we do Open shut them. Can you go open shut them, open shut them, open shut them? This rhyme you can do really, really fast but we’re going to start off nice and slow. You ready? Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap. Open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin. Open wide your little mouth, but do not let them in.

Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this. Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Mwah! Big kisses to everybody.

How about we try that one again but just a little bit faster? Do you think you can do that?

Get ready, get your hands all warmed up.

Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap. Open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap. Creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them, right up to your chin. Open wide your little mouth, but do not let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this. Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Mwah, mwah mwah!

Good work everybody.

What about Wheels on the bus? Can you get your wheels to go around like this? Around and around and our wipers go swish swish swish swish swish swish. What about the horn on the bus? Does it go honk honk? What about the babies on the bus? They go waah waah wa, don't they? I think we're ready.

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long. The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish swish swish swish swish swish swish, the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish, all day long. The horn on the bus goes honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk, the horn on the bus goes honk honk honk, all day long. What about the babies? The babies on the bus go waah waah wa, waah waah wa, the babies on the bus go waah waah wa, all day long. One last time for tThe wheels. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long.

Good work everybody. That was wonderful.

How about we make it a little bit more quieter and we do Twinkle twinkle little star? Can you show me your twinkle fingers? These are my beautiful little twinkle fingers. Here we go. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. That was beautiful.

I think we're just about ready to say our goodbyes, but how about last we sing our goodbye song? So can you show me your waving goodbye hands?

Goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon see you soon, see you soon. Goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

And just remember parents, that sharing rhymes for your children can be done anywhere, while you're at home, while you're driving in your car, or even waiting at the doctor's surgery. You can never share too many songs and rhymes with your child. It’s one of the best ways to help with their language and early learning skills.

Thank you very much. I hope we see you next time. Goodbye.


Rhyme Time with Jenny

Hello and welcome to Rhyme Time. I'm Miss Jenny and this is Batman. We're going to be joining you for Rhyme Time today.

Before we get started with our rhymes, how about we start with our acknowledgement to Country? Here is the land and here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians in Country in which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we’re on Kabi kabi and Undambi people ground. Good work everybody!

How about we start our Rhyme Time with our welcome Hello song. Can I see you're waving hello hands? Well hello! Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today.

Hi everybody, I'm really happy to be here today and I hope you are too. Let's start with one of my favourite rhymes Boing Boing squeak. So I'm going to use Batman to help me with this one. Ready? Boing-boing squeak, boing boing squeak, a bouncing mouse is in the house, she's been here for a week, she's bouncing in the kitchen, she's bouncing in the den, she's bouncing in the living room, wooo she goes again. Shall we try that one again, just one more time.

Boing Boing squeak, boing boing squeak, a bouncy mouse is in the house, she's been here for a week, she's bouncing in the kitchen, she's bouncing in the den, she's bouncing in the living room, wooo she goes again, and while we're doing a lot of bouncing, how about we try Tick-tock? Ready?

Tick-tock tick-tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock, tick tock tick tock, stop! What time is it? It's 1 o'clock. Cuckoo! Let's try again but let's go two cuckoos this time. Tick tock tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock, tick tock tick tock, stop! What time is it? It's 2 o'clock. Cuckoo, cuckoo! Let's go to three cuckoos. Ready? Tick tock tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock, tick tock tick tock, stop! What time is it? It's three o'clock. Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo! How are we try four this time? Do you think you can do it? Let's give it a go. Tick tock tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock, tick tock tick tock, stop! What time is it? It's 4 o'clock. Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo! Good work everybody! Oh that one gets your arms going doesn't it?

Whilst I have Batman with me he can pretend to be my dolly. Miss Polly had a dolly. How about you lay down right there Batman. Good boy. Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick, so she called for the doctor to come quick quick quick, the doctor came with his bag and his hat and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat. He looked at the dolly and he shook his head, he said Miss Polly put her straight to bed, he wrote on a paper for a pill pill pill, I'll be back in the morning, yes I will will will.

Do that one more time? Ready? Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick, so she called for the doctor to come quick quick quick, the doctor came with his bag and his hat and he knocked on the door with a rat-a-tat-tat. He looked at the dolly and he shook his head, he said Miss Polly put her straight to bed, he wrote on a paper for a pill pill pill, I'll be back in the morning yes I will will will will. That was lovely!

Thank you so much for your help Batman. How about you just sit back over here, good boy, and we're going to do one more rhyme. Do you know You're happy and you know it? How about you showing me your clapping hands? Can you stomp your feet? Stomp stomp . Can you shout hooray? Can you wave goodbye? Good work, I think you're ready. If you're happy and you know it clap your hands, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands, if you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it, if you're happy and you know it clap your hands. If you're happy and you know it stomp your feet, stomp, if you're happy and you know it stomp your feet, stomp stomp, if you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it, if you're happy and you know it stomp your feet, stomp stomp. If you're happy and you know it shout hooray, if you're happy and you know it shout hooray, if you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it, if you're happy and you know it shout hooray, hooray. If you're happy and you know wave goodbye, goodbye, if you're happy and you know wave goodbye, goodbye, if you're happy and you know it then you really ought to show it, if you're happy and you know it wave goodbye, goodbye.

That's the end of story time today. Thank you so much for joining me. How about we sing our Goodbye song. Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Remember parents that while singing some rhymes can feel repetitive for us, it's so important that we keep on singing to our children because each time we share our rhyme with them, they'll learn something new, and that's how we really grow and develop their little brains. Thank you so much, we'll see you next time. Bye!


Rhyme Time with Kathy

Hello everyone and welcome to Moreton Bay Libraries. I'm Cathy, this is George and we're here to be bringing you baby Rhyme Time.

Let's start with our acknowledgement to Country. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and Country on which we learn and play, hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground.

Let's start with our Welcome song. Hi hello and how are you, how are you, how are you, hi hello and how are you, how are you today. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon grows, arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello. Hello everyone!

Now let's do, oh, this is one of my favourites, I think George loves this one. Open shut them. Have your hands like this and we go open shut them. You ready George? Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap, open shut them, open shut them, lay them in your lap, creep them, creep them, creep them, creep them right up to your chin, open wide your little mouth but do not let them in. Shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them, shake them just like this, roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them, blow a little kiss. Good job everyone, good job.

Oh this is Row row row your boat next. I like this one too George, you're right. You ready cause you get to make lots of big sounds in this one. Ready? Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream, row row row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile don't forget to scream. Row row row your boat slowly down the river, if you see a polar bear don't forget to shiver. Row row row your boat by the ocean shore, if you see a lion there don't forget to roar. Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream. Oh well done everybody, that was very good. Did you like that one? That's good.

Now I'm going to put you on my lap George for this one, is that okay? Now this one's cool. I bounce you. So you just have your little one on your lap and we give them a little bounce, they’ll really like this one. Ready? I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you bounce you everywhere, I tickle you here, I'll tickle you there, I tickle you tickle you everywhere, I hug you here, I hug you there, I hug you hug you everywhere. Should we do it again? Cause you like to get hugged don't you George? Let's try again. I bounce you here, I bounce you there, I bounce you bounce you everywhere.

I tickle you here, I tickle you there, I tickle you tickle you everywhere. Oh I hug you here, oh I hug you there, I hug you hug you everywhere. Well done.

Now I'm going to do a rhyme with you now some people sing this rhyme I actually just speak it. Let’s go. It's called I had a little turtle. This is my turtle. You ready? I had a little turtle, his name was Tiny Tim, I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim, he ate up all he drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap, and now it's time sick in bed with bubbles in his throat, bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble pop. Well done, that was a big bubble to pop wasn't it?

Now thank you George come on back up. Let's do our Goodbye song. Are you ready? I know you don't want to say goodbye yet but we do have to. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes, arms go low, arms go high, oh a great big hug to say goodbye. Goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon, goodbye goodbye we'll see you soon, see you another day.

Now doing these rhymes has great bonding experience with your children. Just the repetition of it just really helps them with their language skills. Thank you for joining me and we'll see you again soon, bye. Say bye George. Bye!

One Remarkable Reef

Good morning! My name is Chrissy. Thank you for joining me for a very special story. Today I'm going to be reading one of the beautiful books from our 'Stories for Little Queenslanders' collection, called One Remarkable Reef. But first, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we play and learn today. Are you ready? Here is the land, here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undanbi ground.

So, One Remarkable Reef. Isn't it a beautiful cover? So colourful just like our reef. Has been written by Kelly Burns and illustrated by Rachel Tribout. Illustrated means ... all the beautiful pictures that we're about to see in this book.

And so, the story goes … Off the coast of Queensland lies a very special place. A reef, packed full of sea life we cannot soon replace. Among the clear blue waters live creatures great and small. Many are at risk, though, and we must protect them all. Can you spot these animals that call the reef their home? Let's count them as we explore and check out this busy zone. What are we going to find?

One squawking sea bird swoops down from the clouds sky high. I wonder where it's off? To two wandering whales sing and breach as they pass by. Don't they look friendly? Three sturdy sharks swim along in search of lunch! Hmm... maybe they don't look so friendly. Four shiny sea cows. Hmm! Cows that live in the sea? They find some seagrass they can munch. They're cute! Five dashing dolphin calves leap and splash with speed! Six moving manta rays form a chain to feed. We call these 'stingrays' as well. Seven tough turtles pick sponges out from the cracks. Must be hungry, too! Eight colossal clams! Aren't they giant! Slurp drifting plankton snacks. Do you know what plankton is? I think it might be algae, do we think? Something we really don't see a lot of out of the water. Nine rare fish make quite a stunning sight. Look at all those beautiful colours... aren't they gorgeous? Really is a stunning sight, especially in amongst all that colourful coral. Ten coral colonies give haven for the night. So, all the fish have a safe place to return to, so they don't get eaten.

Now, my young explorer, rest your weary head, and dream tonight of sea life, from your comfy bed. What a beautiful story. Did you enjoy One Remarkable Reef? There are just so many creatures underneath our water, we wouldn't even know they were there! It is truly a remarkable world that we live in. I hope you enjoyed our story. Until next time, bye-bye!

Hotel for Bees

Hello, my name is Chrissy. Thank you for joining me for a very special story. Today I'm going to be reading one of the beautiful books from our 'Stories for Little Queenslanders' collection called Hotel for Bees. But first, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we play and learn today. Are you ready? Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the traditional custodians and country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down. We're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi ground. So, Hotel for Bees. It's been written by Alison McLennan and illustrated by Erin Dunne.

So, the story goes... Charlotte and her little brother played in the garden. The garden was alive with small things that crawled, buzzed, and flew. But small, fuzzy flying things made Benji very nervous. Make me a bit nervous too. So, he ran away! One day, Benji found a bee in the kitchen. He was scared.

"Do not squish it!" Charlotte squealed, just in time, "Bees are the magicians of the sky!" What a beautiful thing to say about bees.

"They collect pollen," she said. "Pollen makes flowers grow." The bees fly to one place, buzz, buzz, buzz... and then, to another! Buzz, buzz, buzz. And the flowers come to life, like magic!

"Hmm... this bee looks tired." Dad said.

"I will find out what kind of bee it is." Charlotte said, so she dashed off to find her library book. Charlotte flipped through her book, "Oh! I found it!" she said, "It is a Teddy Bear bee!"Have you ever heard of a Teddy Bear bee?

"Hello, Teddy," Benji said.

"It has a cute name, but it cannot live in our house."  Dad said. Charlotte had an idea.

"Benji and I could build a hotel in the backyard!"

"Oh, marvellous!" Dad said. What a great idea for bees. Charlotte drew plans for the bee hotel and Benji helped. They made a list of everything they would need. What do you think they would need to build a hotel? Hmm... small logs, bamboo, paint, a wooden box, sticks and twigs, and rope. Wow, that's a lot of stuff! They've put a lot of thought into their hotel.

First, they searched dad's shed. It was just like a treasure hunt! They found a box, a roof, and some rope. They went to the hardware store, where they bought some bamboo, small logs, and some paint. Wow, this is going to look amazing! Then they put it all together. Dad hammered, Charlotte painted, and Benji gathered sticks and twigs. In no time at all, the hotel was ready, and it looked amazing! They even called it 'The Marvellous Hotel for Bees'! How special.

"Welcome to your new home, Teddy!" said Charlotte. And you know what happened? More bees came. More bees came to the hotel! Benji gave them all names. Charlotte recorded them in a guest book. Teddy, Mr Fuzzy Feet, Mrs Bumbles, and Trevor. What wonderful names for bees. Charlotte thought of another idea.

"We need to build more hotels!" she said, "A bee hotel in every backyard!"

How amazing, what a wonderful idea for bees. Charlotte and Benji drew up their plans. They gave the first hotel to their neighbour. How kind. What do you think the neighbor was going to do with her hotel? Do you think the bees would come and visit her too?

One day, their grandma popped in for a visit. She got a fright when she found a bee on her biscuit!

"Do not squish it!" Benji squealed, just in time. "Bees are the magicians of the sky!" he told her.

How beautiful. What a beautiful story. I hope that you enjoyed Hotel for Bees. Such a lovely way to look after bees in our backyard, isn't it? The tiniest of miracles. I hope you enjoyed our story, and don't forget to keep an eye out for bees in your backyard! Bye for now.


Hi and welcome to Storytime. My name's Jessica and I work here at the Strathpine Library, and I'm here to read a great story to you today.

But first, we at the library would like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the Traditional Custodians, and thank them for sharing this land. And we say "Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I."

All right, so we normally start our stories with our welcome song and we normally use our happy hands, but I thought today we might try something a bit different. We might start with some clapping. Can you clap your hands in front and then clap them down on your legs in time with the music? You think you can do that? I think you can. You want to give it a go? Ready? "Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you? How are you today?" Very good! See, I knew you could do it.

Okay so our book today is called Parmesan the Reluctant Racehorse, and it's written by Jacqui Halpin and the lovely pictures you're going to see throughout the book are drawn by the illustrator John Phillips. Are you ready to get started? And look at our inside cover here. That's some nice pictures of all the racehorses lining up getting ready to race. Very nice.

All right... Parmesan the Reluctant Racehorse. Parmesan was a horse, but from the moment he was born, he thought he was a dog! There he is, proud as punch, sitting in with all the litter of puppies, and his mum looks... she just looks a bit confused, doesn't she? He stretched like a dog, he begged like a dog, and he even fetched like a dog! And look, if you look very closely at Parmesan's mouth you can see that he has a little yellow ball that he must have fetched.

But Parmesan was definitely not a dog. His mother and father were champion racehorses! Parmesan refused to train with the other horses. He thought he was a dog! He scratched like a dog... he dug like a dog... he even fetched like a dog!

Thomas, Parmesan's owner, came to watch him train, expecting to see a champion. He was not happy. He had paid a lot of money for Parmesan to win races, but Parmesan would not race! He thought he was a dog! And look, there he is eating the dog's food.  He licked like a dog... he sniffed like a dog... he even fetched like a dog! And look, there goes his yellow ball again, and there's Parmesan bringing it back

"This horse is useless!" Cried the owner, "If he's not ready to race around in the Spring Carnival next week, I'm getting rid of him!"

Joe the trainer was worried. Parmesan was never going to be ready for the Spring Carnival. He thought he was a dog! He played like a dog... he slept like a dog... he even fetched like a dog! Joe tried everything, but no matter what he did, Parmesan would not run like a horse. What do we think Joe tried? He's popped a stick out and he's dangling a carrot in front of Parmesan's face hoping that he'd go after him. He just wasn't interested.

Joe was sad on the way to the Spring Carnival. He knew that after today, he would not be playing fetch with Parmesan anymore.

Then he had a brilliant idea that made him smile! Oh, what do we think Joe's idea might be? Do you think you know? Parmesan was not happy, though. He did not like the races...  he did not like the jockey... he did not like the starting gate.

But when the gates opened, Parmesan saw something he did like! What do we think he saw? Yeah, look, there's Joe in his truck! He's got this really long stick and what is at the end? It's Parmesan's yellow ball! What do we think Parmesan's gonna do? For the first time in his life, Parmesan felt like a racehorse. He ran like a horse... he won like a horse... he even fetched like a - hey! Fetched like a dog!  And look, there he is, still galloping after the ball. The poor jockey is hanging on for dear life. And there he is trotting happily behind Joe. I think he lost the jockey along the way. 

The end. And what did you think of that? I thought that was quite a funny book myself. What about you? Do you have any pets or maybe know of an animal that's a bit like Parmesan and thinks he might be a different type of animal? I think my dog thinks that he's human a lot of the time.

Unfortunately, that brings us to the end, so we're going to go out the same way we started. We're going to do some clapping. So, are you ready to clap to the goodbye song? You ready? Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon. Goodbye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day. Well I had an absolutely great time reading you this story and I really hope you enjoyed listening to it. Until next time! Bye bye!


Johnny's Beard

Hello, my name's Lyn. I'm from Moreton Bay Libraries and I'm going to be reading your story today and to start with I say with "We at the Library, we'd like to acknowledge the Turrbal people, the Traditional Custodians, and thank them for sharing this land."

I say "Here is the land, here is the sky, here my friends, and here am I." Lovely. Now, we always sing a welcome song when we start Storytime, so I have happy hands, and I'm going to sing! Let's go! Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you, how are you today?  

Wow! I hope you enjoyed that one! I hope you joined in. Okay, the story I'm going to read today is Johnny's Beard. It's written by Michelle Worthington and Katrin Dreiling and it's got beautiful illustrations. I hope you enjoy it! It looks like it's going to be fun.

Here's Johnny! Johnny's beard was glorious. It took dedication to have a beard so splendiferous. Look at that beard! But Johnny didn't mind. It was his pride and joy.  

When the sun shined, Johnny washed his beard in soapy suds in the bathtub, and then leaned back in the grass to let it dry. Under the light of the moon, Johnny combed his beard from chin to tip, with long, strong, strokes of his boars-hair brush.

And on misty days, his beard hung like a fog around his face, keeping him warm.

Every day, Johnny walked over the hill and back again. He loved the feeling of cool breeze blowing through his beard.

One Winter morning, he met a twitchy little mouse. "What is the matter?" Johnny asked. "Oh, my house is too cold! And I'm sure I shall freeze when the snow comes!" said the mouse. Goodness me, he looks worried, doesn't he? Johnny rubbed his wondrous beard.

"Don't worry, little mouse, there's plenty of room in my home! Come and stay with me for the Winter!" The little mouse climbed up and was soon fast asleep, safe in the swaying beard as Johnny continued up the hill.

Halfway up, Johnny met a jittery little rabbit. "What's the matter?" Johnny asked. "My house is too cold and I'm sure I shall freeze when the snow comes!" said the rabbit. He looks very sad, doesn't he?

Johnny rubbed his wavy beard,  "Don't worry little rabbit, there's plenty of room in my home! Come and stay with me and mouse for the Winter." The little rabbit climbed up and was soon fast asleep, safe in the swaying beard as Johnny continued up the hill.

At the very top of the hill, Johnny met a shivering little raven. "What is the matter?" He asked. "My house is too cold and I'm sure I shall freeze when the snow comes!" Goodness gracious! 

Johnny rubbed his tremendous beard, "Don't worry little raven, there's plenty of room in my home! Come and stay with me and mouse and rabbit for the Winter." The little raven joined the others, and was soon fast asleep, safe in the swaying bed as Johnny turned to travel back down the hill to his home.

But before he could take another step, Johnny saw a large family of spiky hedgehogs trudging up towards him! Spiky hedgehogs?! Oh dear ... With the family of hedgehogs, the raven, the rabbit, and the mouse holding on tight, Johnny headed back down the hill.

The spikes stabbed, the beak pecked, the fur tickled, and the nose poked! By the time they arrived home, they were all tangled up in Johnny's beard!  

Oh no, what are they to do? Have you got any ideas? Let's see what Johnny does!  

"This isn't going to work..." said Johnny, "My beard is a mess! You're welcome to stay in my home, but my beautiful beard isn't built for sheltering animals!" Oh my goodness, what will they do?

One by one, the animals who had been so comfortable, safe, and warm in the glorious beard he treasured, went to huddle together by the fire. What could he possibly do? Oh my goodness.  

The wind howled outside the cabin door and rattled the shutters. "Hmm... maybe, just maybe ..." mumbled Johnny as he looked at his reflection in the mirror. He is looking in the mirror ... what's he going to do? And that Winter, the hedgehogs, the raven, the rabbit, and the mouse stayed warm, cozy, and snug! Look at them all there on the couch, all in Johnny's beard!

And in the Spring, everyone agreed that Johnny's new moustache was breathtakingly beautiful!  

Johnny cut off his beard so the animals could could all stay safe and warm, wasn't he kind?  

What a great thing to do! I love his moustache, very curly and very regal. Well, did you enjoy that book? I certainly did! That was a bit of a surprise ending! I didn't realize that Johnny was going to cut off his beard! Did you?  

Okay, thank you so much for joining me today, I hope you enjoyed Johnny's Beard! Keep in mind, you can always borrow these from the Library. 

Lovely to see you! I'll see you next time, bye!


Hello everybody and welcome to Storytime. Today we're going to be reading a story about Bea the bird. But first of all, let's do our Acknowledgment of Country. Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground. And now let's say hello to each other with a hello tickle, starting off with our toes. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, and a great big hug to say hello!

So, we'll do a quick bird rhyme and then we'll get into our story! Two little dickey birds sitting on a wall, one named Peter, one named Paul. Fly away Peter, fly away Paul come back Peter, come back Paul!

So, our story today is Bea by Christine Sharp. Let's have a look at what kind of adventures Bea gets up to! Here she is, she's a very unusual looking bird.

Bea is a bird of unusual tastes, for a bird, that is. She likes to bake biscuits, buns, and berry pudding, while the other birds peck at ants and watch worms wiggle.  Bea likes to dress up and dance to disco beats while the other birds flock together and fluff their feathers. Bea likes to bathe in bubbles on rainy afternoons. Look at her lovely bubble bath there!  She dreams of traveling the world in a hot air balloon, while the other birds build nests of sticks and twigs, straw and sprigs. Lots of nests on the page! How many do we have? One, two, three, four, five, six!

When the weather is calm, Bea flies with bats across the darkening sky. She likes to watch day turn into night. Look at the lovely stars. While the other birds chatter and cheep, chirp and peep. But the thing that really makes Bea bounce is bussing through the country. There she is on her very own bus! To visit her best friend Bernie. Yak yak yakking and talking to each other. Together they zoom, zip and sink on their bikes through the tall trees while the other birds hippity-hop high in the branches.

When the wild wind blows, Bea and Bernie loop a kite through the sky while the other birds whirl and wheel and wonder why. When the sun has disappeared and the other birds  are sleeping - I think one of the birds is actually peaking -Bee and Bernie fly to the top of the hill, where together they sing a sweet song to the moon. There they are at night singing to the moon and the stars.

That's a lovely way to end our story, maybe we'll sing twinkle twinkle! Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

And on that note, it might be time to say goodbye, so let's do a little goodbye tickle before we go to bed. Starting again with our toes. A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, and a great big hug to say goodbye! Goodbye everybody and see you next time for Storytime!

The World’s Worst Pirate

Hi everybody and welcome to Storytime! Today you might be able to guess... we're going to do a pirate story! But before we get to our story, let's sing our Acknowledgement of Country.  Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground.  

Let's do a little welcome tickle to start off our session. We'll start off with our toes.  A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go high, arms go low, a great big hug to say hello! So, we might do one more song, and it's in keeping with our pirate story. One thing that most pirates have is a boat, so let's see if we can row our boat before we get onto our story. We're going to start by merrily rowing down the street. Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream! Row, row, row your boat, underneath the sea. Ha - ha! Fooled you, I'm a submarine! And our last one has a crocodile in it.  Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. If you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream! Ah! I wonder if we'll meet a crocodile in our pirate story today.  

It's called the "World's Worst Pirate." Let's see who the world's worst pirate is. There he is, up the top of the mast. Will was the world's worst pirate. He doesn't look like a pirate.  When he wasn't spilling fish guts on the freshly swabbed deck, tying himself in knots in the rigging, and dozing in the crow's nest, he was being seasick. Will hated being a pirate. He was happiest in the galley, cooking and trying exciting new recipes.  He made seven seas soup, marooned macaroons, and pirate pizzas! Yum! But his favourite was cupcakes. Will's mother was the captain of the ship. She loved being a pirate on the high seas, and she didn't understand why Will didn't feel the same. Every morning she said, "you cook the best bacon and eggs, but you're born to be captain of a pirate crew, not a scallywag in the galley!"  Will slinked away and made a batch of vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles to make himself feel better. I would too. He didn't want to be captain. He didn't want to live on the ocean for the rest of his life.  He wanted to be a chef and have his own restaurant!

Suddenly, the ship pitched to one side! An almighty thud echoed beneath the hull. Will's mother yelled "all hand on deck!" Look at those tentacles! Tentacles thick as tree trunks came through the portholes.  Fat suckers scaled the side of the ship, searching for sailors. An enormous mouth appeared, making Will's knees shake. Look at those big teeth! "It's the Kraken!"  his mother yelled, "Run for your lives!" Will has to help, but what could he do?! Without thinking, he threw the only thing in his hand - a cupcake. There he goes, throwing the cupcake at the Kraken! It landed with a SPLAT on the Kraken's tongue. Its eyes bulged, it bellowed and roared, then all was still. Will ran to the deck. The Kraken rose out of the water and stared at him. "More?"  Will asked. The Kraken nodded. Will edged into the galley and returned with the fresh batch of cupcakes. One by one, he fed them to the Kraken. Delicious! When they were gone, the Kraken rolled over and let Will scratch his belly.  He had a nice feed was really relaxed. From that day on, the Kraken followed the ship, eating cupcakes and helping with the chores.  "I can't believe it!" Will's mother said, "You tamed the most fearsome beast in the seven seas!"  The other pirates were most impressed. "Hurrah for Will - the best pirate chef in the world!"  They shouted. Will decided that being the world's worst pirate, who made who made the world's best cupcakes, wasn't such a bad thing after all. There he is giving the Kraken a hug.  Especially now that he had the world's best pet!

I think having a kraken as a pet would be very nice.  He would be able to help you wash the outside of the ship. Let's sing a quick song about our ten little pirates. Ten little pirates stand in a row, they all bow to the captain, just so. They march to the left, they march to the right, they shout "yo-ho" and give the captain a fright! Goodness, Will's mother might have been a little scared by that song, but it's coming to the end of our Storytime session, and we can finish it off with a goodbye tickle. Maybe you can pretend you're tickling the Kraken! A tickle for your toes, a tickle for your nose, a tickle for your tummy where the watermelon goes! Arms go low, arms go high, a great big hug to say goodbye! Thanks for joining me for pirate Storytime, and I hope to see you for another Storytime again soon. See you!

Lucy's Book

Hello everybody, my name's Sarah. I'm reading stories at Burpengary Library today. But before we start, let's do our Acknowledgement to Country. Are you ready? Here is the land, and here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and the Country on which we learn and play. Are you ready? Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground.  Well done everyone! Our book today that we're going to read is called 'Lucy's Book'. It's got a book in the title, must be a good one! Let's have a look. Every Saturday morning, Lucy and her mum visited the library. Look at that library! It's very fancy, isn't it? It's even got its own clock at the top! One day, Mrs Bruce, the librarian, showed Lucy a book that had just come in. "I think you'll enjoy this one." She said. Lucy started reading her book in the car going home.  She read it at lunch, all through the afternoon, she read her book in the bathtub. In the bathtub?  And at bedtime. At church on Sunday, she shared it with Ethan and Tilly, and on Monday, Lucy started reading it all over again. That must have been a really good book! Next Saturday, Lucy's book had to go back to the library. Ethan and Tilly raced to get it from the returns trolley. Tilly won.

The following Saturday after Tilly returned it, Lucy had to shake the crumbs out of the pages. "Mmm, arrowroot!" She said. Amelia from ballet wanted to read the book, so Lucy extended it for her. Amelia loaned it to her brother James, who shared it with his friend Ben, who returned it to the school library by mistake. That happens a lot! The school librarian sent Lucy's book back to Mrs Brown. Five minutes before closing, it was borrowed by Lucy's neighbours, the wild McGarrigles. All the McGarrigles read Lucy's book. Meg was excited, Addie was scared, and Tom McGarrigle couldn't put it down. Even the baby had a turn! The McGarrigles always returned their books late. Lucy watched the library anxiously.  She wanted to take her book on holiday. Have you ever taken a book on holiday?  At Honeycomb Bay, Lucy made sandcastles, rode the surf, and watched dolphins and whales. On the last day, she and her book went to sea in a rubber boat and came home in a helicopter! After that, Aiden and Zoe borrowed Lucy's book and took it to the zoo. They're not even looking at the penguins! And Lucy's cousin Maddie made it into a banana sandwich. Oh no! Squish! Lee, Lucy's friend from the park, flew with it to China, and Lucy took it with her when Aunt Sophie married the dentist.

By now, Lucy had shared her book with all her friends and learned it off by heart but the next time she went to the library her book was gone. "I'm sorry Lucy," said Mrs Brown, "I know that book's your favourite, but it's been borrowed so many times, it's worn out!" Oh no! Lucy ran to the bookshop with her mum. "I'd love to help." Said the bookshop man, "But that book's just not around anymore!" Lucy's dad searched on the internet. Aunt Sophie and Uncle Dentist tried to buy a copy on their honeymoon, without success. Where are they going to find it?  Now that Lucy's book was gone, she felt sad. Whenever she went to the library, the other books were just not the same. They look very grey and unhappy. So does Lucy. On the day before her birthday, Lucy and her friends went to play in the square. Suddenly, Amelia clutched Lucy's arm and pointed among the market stalls selling vegetables and old clothes.  The friends of the library were holding a book sale! Lucy felt a prickle go up her spine - could it be? "Go Lucy!" Shouted her friends. Lucy began to run. She pushed past people with dogs, and children on bicycles, and dived into the box on the table. "Look!" She waved excitedly, "It's my book!" Lucy's friends put all their pocket money together. It was just enough to buy the book for Lucy's birthday. "We can share it!" Lucy promised them.  The book belonged to everyone who has ever read it, but Lucy was the one who got to take it home.  And that is the end of the story. Thank you for reading it with me. Goodbye.

A House of Mud

Hi guys, how are you? My name's Zoe and I'm from the Moreton Bay Regional Libraries and today I'm going to be reading you a book, A House of Mud.

But first, we're going to do the Acknowledgment of Land. Here is the land, here is the sky ... here are my friends, and here am I! We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground. Okay, now you guys might have been to sessions before and heard a Welcome Song, so join along if you know it! Hi, hello and how are you how are you, how are you? Hi, hello, and how are you? How are you today? Did you see that I incorporated some sign language into that? That's how we ask 'how are you' in sign language!

So, as I said, the story I'm reading you today is A House of Mud by Sophie Manson and Katrina Fisher. Shall we get started? Oh I like that puppy! It looks like we're building our new home today! We've decided to build a mud brick house. It'll be a good house, a comfy house, a house that'll be just right. On the weekend, we go to the block. Mum and Dad have laid out the space where the house is going to be. It's funny to look at it and think one day my room will be there. But right now, it's still just air and grass and mud.

We shovel the mud into wooden moulds and smooth it all off, like making a cake! Do you guys like cake? Then we pull the moulds off and there are bricks, fat and glistening in the sun. By the end of the day, we have had a long row of them. They look like giant bars of chocolate. We prod them, and Tess tries a lick! Yuck! She jumps and lands on a brick. It has her paw print forever! It's fun the first day, and the next one too, but Mum and Dad say we have to come back and back for weeks and weeks to make more and more, and that's boring! And then I have a great idea. There's the big house, our house, but there can be a little house too, a house for Tess! Mum and Dad make lots and lots of bricks. We make lots and lots of small bricks. Tess runs around barking proudly. I wonder if she guesses it's for her. Do you think Tess knows the little house is for her?

Then we have to wait for the bricks to dry all Winter! Weeks and weeks and weeks, but one sunny spring day, at last it's time to lay the walls! We make a foundation with small cement bricks. We slosh mud. On a mud brick goes, more mud, another mud brick, more mud... I love the way mud squelches at the corners and the soft fudgy brownness is on top. It's like icing on a cake. I take a photo of my middle brother laying the first brick, and he takes a picture of our little brother laying the second brick, and then Mum and Dad take a photo of the three of us laying the third brick, and Tess pokes her nose into every picture. Can you spot Tess in all those pictures? Brick by brick, row by row, up go to the walls. And you can stand in there! And there's the house getting taller and taller.

Then it's the turn of the door and window frames. At first, they are pieces cut out of the sky, doors and windows made of air, and Tess can jump through them like a circus dog. They are all filled in, and then go on the brilliant the bright metal roof, just as if the house had put on a hat. The floor is laid and there's no more grass. We open the door and go into the big house and jump around on our new floor under our new roof. Tess goes into her little house and sniffs all around, she's excited just like us because it's time now! Time to move in! I think it's magic. Our very own magic. Once there was just air and grass and mud, and now it's turned into a real house with warm mud brick walls and bright windows and a metal roof winking under the blue sky! A good house, a comfy house, a house that's just right. A house that we love. And I know Tess loves her house, too. I think she does, look at her cuddled up in the doorway!

I hope you guys enjoyed our story today, and now I'm going to do the farewell song, which I totally remember. Bye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you soon, see you soon! Bye, goodbye, we'll see you soon, see you another day!

Where's Lucky

Good morning everybody, my name's Sarah and today we're reading stories at Burpengary Library! But before we start, let's say our Acknowledgement to Country. Are you ready to say it with me? Here it goes. Here is the land, and here is the sky. Here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and the Country on which we learn and play. Are you ready? Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi ground. Well done everyone! Our story today is called 'Where's Lucky?'

There's a little animal on the front of this book, what do you think he is? He's got three long toes, two big pointy ears, let's have a look and see! Lucky didn't always live in a kitchen. Have you guessed what Lucky is yet? He's a joey! He lived in his mother's pouch while she hopped about the bush. When she was hit by a car, Lucky stayed hidden until Theresa and Tony rescued him. He was a joey when Theresa and Tony first brought Lucky home. He trembled in his blankets. He had a heating pad to keep him warm and lots of tender cuddles. Lucky soon found his feet and made himself at home. Where's Lucky? Can you see him? There he is! His big feet are behind the pillows. You can see his ears up above. Theresa sowed Lucky a cosy pouch to keep him safe and snug. "Here you go, Lucky. “Where’s Lucky? Can you see him there in the big washing line full of joeys hanging up there? Lucky loved milk. All the joeys did. They huddled around Tony as he mixed their bottles, and Bluey like to help. There he is there helping. "Here's your bottle, Lucky." Look at Theresa, she's feeding six joeys’ at once! Where's Lucky? Oh, looks like he's been bouncing on the table and knocked all the breakfast things off!

Lucky welcomed a new arrival. It was a tiny kangaroo joey. He did not have fur yet. Theresa rubbed oil into its delicate pink skin to keep it moist, and Bluey liked to help. While the world outside slept, Theresa crept out of bed, fed the new joey, and checked on all the other joeys. They were all tucked up in their pouches, sound asleep, except for one. Can you guess who that is? Let's have a look. Where's Lucky? Oh no, there he is, in the kitchen. Looks like he's been eating some fruit, he's gone for a bit of a swim in the tub. Lucky and his friends created chaos in the kitchen and havoc in the yard. Theresa swept up piles of poo and mopped up oceans of puddles every day. Tony hung out a mountain of washing. Bluey liked to help while the washing flapped in the breeze. Joey's basked in the sun or bounced around the yard testing their legs. Theresa and Tony counted their mob - one was missing! Who do you think it is? Where's Lucky? Can you see him? Looks like he's hiding in the basket of washing. With Theresa and Tony's loving care, Lucky and his friends grew up healthy and strong. They did not need their bottles anymore, they needed lots of fresh green grass and much more space. Sadly, it was time for all the older joeys to leave, Lucky too. Where's Lucky? Can you see him? There he is there, curled up in the chook shed.

Theresa and Tony drove the joeys to a friend's property. There was bush and grassland as far as the eye could see. They knew it was for the best, but it was still hard to say goodbye. "Goodbye joeys! We'll miss you! Goodbye Bluey, thanks for helping! Goodbye Lucky!" Where's Lucky? Exactly where he should be. And that's the end of the story. Goodbye and thanks for watching!

Reece, Give me some Peace

Welcome to Moreton Bay Region Library's Storytime! My name is Fiona and I'm going to be reading a great story, Reece, Give Me Some Peace! But to start off with, we need Acknowledgement of Country. Can you do this with me? Here is the land, here is the sky, here are my friends, and here am I. We respect the Traditional Custodians and Country on which we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we're on Kabi Kabi people ground. And our welcome song! With our welcome song, we need to stand up, so you stand up with me, okay? And we need one, two teddy bears. Are you ready? You know this one, don't you? Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around! Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground! Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high! Teddy bear, teddy bear, wink one eye! Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your knees! Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit down please!

Okay, you're gonna get nice and comfy, and we'll read the story Reece Give Me Some Peace! Written by Sonia Bestulic, that's a funny thing to say, isn't it? Let's see what this story might be about, I think it's got a lot of instruments, and giving some peace! Let's have a look, the sun is up, stretch, yawn and sigh! Ah, did you hear a soft sound nearby? Tiptoe, tiptoe to Reece's room... ding, dong, ding, ding, ding, daloom! What is that noise? We have to see what could it be! It's a xylophone! Can you pretend to play a xylophone? This here is a xylophone, okay... Reece, give me some peace!

Breakfast! Time to fill your tum! Toodle-dee, toodle-dum! Hmm, what is that noise? We have to see! What could it be? It's a flute! Have you seen a flute before? This here is a flute. Can you pretend to play a flute? Reece, give me some peace! It's very noisy in this house isn't it?

Morning tea! Mum does sing... zang zing zang, zang zing zing! What is that noise? We have to see what could it be! It's a violin! Can you pretend to play the violin? I can pretend to play the violin! This here is a violin. Turn down the bow, we're going to pretend to play it. It's pretty good, isn't it? Put the violin down, and what does Mum say? Mum says "Reece, give me some peace!"

Lunch! Come quick now time to scoot! Woot hoot hoot! Woot hoot hoot! What is that noise? We have to see what could it be! Do you know what it could be? It's a trumpet! Can you pretend to play the trumpet? Are you ready? Reece, give me some peace! Poor mum look at mum there. But Reece is having a good time, isn't he?

Afternoon tea! Mum then sang. Ving-ving-ving, ving-vang-vang! Oh, what is that noise? We have to see what could it be! It's a cello! That's a like a big violin. Gonna pretend to play a cello with me, ready? Reece, give me some peace!

Dinner time! For something yum. Perum pum tum... I think we can guess what this one might be. What is that noise? We have to see what could it be! Do you know what this one is? It's the drums! Can you pretend to play the drums? I've got a drum here, you ready? That's pretty good, isn't it? Very loud and noisy! And mum says, "Reece, give me some peace!" And poor mum, she's pulling out her hair!

The moon is here, stretch, yawn and sigh! Oh, did you hear a loud noise nearby? Stomp, stomp stomp, clash clash clash! What is that noise? We have to see what could it be! It's the cymbals! I don't have big big symbols like Reece has. I do have some little symbols, see? They're ready and they go clash clash clash! Reece, give me some peace! It is quiet all around, you cannot hear another sound. Tiptoe, tiptoe to Reece's room.Ah, now Reece, I finally have some peace! Reece has fallen asleep after a day of playing all his instruments. What was your favourite instrument? I think all of them are pretty good. Thank you for watching Reece, give me some peace! Bye for now!

Challenge 1: Building or landmark

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club. Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this first activity all you'll need is your LEGO or DUPLO and your imagination.

Challenge number one - create a famous building or landscape from around the world. What famous buildings and landscapes can you think of? Have you visited any like the Colosseum and the Great Wall in China? How about the pyramids in Egypt? Well my LEGO version anyway.

How about this Empire State Building made out of LEGO blocks or this amazing Eiffel Tower?

Don't forget when you're finished making your wonderful creation, upload it to the library's Facebook page.

If you'd like to learn more about buildings from around the world please check out the library's electronic resource - Britannica Library - which has all the information you'll need.

I can't wait to see your amazing creations! See you next week.

Challenge 10: Gravity roller

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club.

Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge, you'll need your LEGO collection and of course your imagination.

Challenge number 10 is to build a LEGO gravity roller. This is what a LEGO gravity roller will look like It has two wheels and bar through the middle and when shoved it will roll across the table.

To start, you'll need to join two blocks together, making sure the base block has a hole for a bar to run through. Then put a large bar through the middle.

Get two large circular LEGO pieces. These will make our wheels for our gravity roller. Attach the wheels to the large bar threading through your two blocks. Add a series of blocks or platform blocks to the original two centre blocks. This will affect the gravity of your roller and you may need to play with it a little bit to get it working just right.

Then it's time to have a play with your roller and see how it works.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations. See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 11: Boat

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries LEGO Engineer Club.

Our club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection, a tub or bucket of water and of course your imagination.

Challenge number 11 is to build a LEGO boat.

Here's my LEGO boat complete with a flag and some life-saving paddles.

Will your boat have some water jets? Or maybe it's a pirate ship?

The difficult challenge at the end is to see if your boat will float or sink. Thankfully mine does!

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 12: Burrow

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' LEGO Engineers Club.

Our club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge, you'll need your LEGO collection and of course your imagination.

Challenge number 12 is to create a burrow. This burrow will be inspired by Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox. Here's my creation with a nice tree and underneath a livable space with an elevator.

Maybe you can create a different animal habitat?

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for another LEGO challenge!

Challenge 13: Bridge

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' LEGO Engineers Club.  

Our club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection and of course your imagination.  

Challenge number 13 is to build a bridge. 

Here is my bridge, with gates and a nice road in the middle. The real challenge will be to add some weight on top of your bridge and see how long it will take to break. Mine took 14 thick library books til it broke just a little.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations. 

See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 14: Airplane

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region Libraries' LEGO Engineers Club.  

This club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.  

For this month's challenge, you'll need your LEGO collection and of course your imagination.

Challenge number 14 is to build an airplane.  

Here is my airplane without a roof, but it can move around on wheels. You can see the detail on the plane, including characters and a storage area at the back. What would your airplane look like?  

Don't forget to post a photo of your wonderful collection on the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next month for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 2: Rocket

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club. Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge all you'll need is your LEGO collection and your imagination.

Challenge two - let's blast off to the stars! Create your own spaceship. Can you build this amazing NASA rocket? Look at it shoot up into space. There are a lot of other things you can find in space like this satellite.

What do you think of my spaceship? This spaceship will fly extra fast with big wings and big jets.

Don't forget when you're finished making your wonderful creation, upload it to the library's Facebook page.

To create a real out of world experience, how about creating these beautiful paper stars? The directions are found on the library's YouTube channel.

I can't wait to see your amazing creations. See you next week for the LEGO challenge.

Challenge 3: Balloon race car

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club. Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection, at least one balloon and of course your imagination.

This week's challenge is to build a balloon LEGO race car. When building a balloon car there are a couple of things you'll need to keep in mind. You'll need to keep space at the front of the car for your inflated balloon and an arch at the rear to hold the balloon in place. You'll also have to consider how you're going to stop your balloon from flying off this uniquely designed LEGO car.

Use a LEGO wheel to hold the balloon in place, however sticky tape and blue tack could do a pretty good job too.

Now let's watch some balloon cars go. Don't forget, when you're finished making your wonderful creation, upload it to the library's Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for the LEGO challenge.

Challenge 4: Zip line

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club. Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For today's activity you'll need your LEGO collection, some rope or string and of course your imagination.

Challenge number four - build a LEGO zipline. Step one in making your LEGO zipline is to design the trolley that your cargo or person will ride on down the zipline. Ensure there is an arch at the rear of your trolley for your zipline to thread through.

The next step is to hang your zipline. Today I've used clothesline.

You may need to ask the parent or guardian for help with this step.

Attach your LEGO trolley to the zipline and watch it go.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 5: Catapult

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club. Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For today's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection and of course your imagination.

Challenge number five is to make a LEGO catapult. There are lots of different designs you can use for your LEGO catapult and you're really only limited by your imagination.

Today I have used a rotating LEGO pin for my catapult but as you'll see, some designs work better than others.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 6: Playground

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s Lego Engineer Club.

Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own Lego collection.

For today's challenge, you will need your Lego collection and, of course, your imagination.

Challenge number six is to build your own Lego playground. What type of rides and games will you have in your playground? A seesaw? A merry-go-round or even the classic swing?

Using an old cardboard box and blu-tack, we've even be able to make this cool Lego slide.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for another Lego challenge.

Challenge 7: Robot

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club. Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For today's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection and of course your imagination.

Challenge number seven is to build a LEGO robot. What makes your robot special? What can it do? Like this amazing house cleaning robot or his racy friend who even has a hook on the back.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations.

See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 8: Slingshot car

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club.

Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection. For this week's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection, elastic band and of course your imagination.

Challenge number eight is to build a LEGO slingshot car. To make your Lego slingshot car begin by creating two towers equal height and strength. A couple of blocks up from the base add a hook or a mount piece. Turn both your towers so they are facing each other and use a LEGO piece at the top to secure them together.

For this next step you'll need to grab a parent or a guardian. Cut a rubber band in half and tie each end to the hook or mount piece on your towers. This will create your slingshot.

Now it's time to create your own car. Make sure it's not too big as you'll need it to pass between the space between your two towers.

Now let's put our slingshot cars into action and as you'll see some designs work better than others!

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations. See you next week for another LEGO challenge.

Challenge 9: Marble maze

Hello and welcome to Moreton Bay Region’s LEGO Engineer Club.

Our engineer club will inspire and challenge you to create masterpieces using your own LEGO collection.

For this week's challenge you'll need your LEGO collection, a marble and of course your imagination.

Challenge number nine is to build a LEGO marble maze. I have started this week's challenge with a large flat LEGO piece and lots of long narrow LEGO pieces to attach to it.

To begin your maze, lay out a border around the flat LEGO piece, then you can begin the tricky part of laying out all the other pieces to make the maze shape. Make sure you're testing with your marble as you go that it can pass through your maze.

Create a treasure or surprise at the end of your maze or for your family and friends to get to. You can also add lots of arches and ramps to add difficulty to your maze then test all your family and friends to see if they can complete your maze.

Don't forget to upload a photo of your wonderful creation to the library Facebook page. I can't wait to see your amazing creations! See you next week for another LEGO challenge.


3 Things with Ben Law

James Nicholson: Hi everyone thanks for tuning in. My name's James Nicholson and I work for Moreton Bay Public Libraries.

I'm really excited today to bring you the first in our new mini-series and today's episode is Three Things with Ben Law but first I'd like to begin with an acknowledgement to Country.

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Kabi Kabi and Undambi people and the traditional Country on which this event is taking place, and the elders both past and present. I also recognize those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future elders and leaders.

So today I welcome Australian author, journalist, podcaster, playwright maybe and all round - and this, I like this little phrase - witty raconteur maybe, Benjamin Law.

We're really grateful to you Ben for taking the time to chat to us and instead of a normal interview I wanted to do something slightly different, and that was to ask you to bring along three objects. And the idea being that those objects were kind of, I guess represent, a little bit of who you are, maybe give us a little insight into, you know, the shaping of where where you got to today and and why they mean something to you. And so I guess it's kind of a getting to know you in three objects, you know, a bit bit like a “show and tell”, and we only just avoided they're calling it “show and tell” but I quite like that that name you know it's quite innocent I guess.

But before we get started, I just wanted to actually like whether or not it was really tricky picking out just three things? I mean it's quite hard. If I think about someone asked me, you know, what things define you? What three things? That would be pretty pretty tricky, so yeah.

Ben Law: Well you know James, I'm a professional storyteller so you could throw anything at me and I could just probably make something up about it. But for me look I had these three things close by in my office. It's nice to be talking to you on Kabi Kabi land by the way because that's where I was raised, but I'm having this conversation with you and on Gadigal land - part of the Eora Nation. But right now I can't really engage with much of the landscape outside because we're locked in indoors, so I just really had to look around in my office to see what there was and I realized, you know, because the office is my space from from which I work, I like having little mementos around me.

I try not to hoard because I come from a bit of a family of hoarders. I try to be sparse, I try to be minimal, but when I landed on the three things that I thought would be good to talk to you about they were actually all in this room.

I try not to let my stuff bleed out into the other areas, you know in case my partner goes completely insane, but when I looked around I realized actually I’m now at an age where I've accumulated some items not just for the sake of having stuff but because they actually mean something. So yeah look happy to go into this” show and tell” for adults which sounds almost a little bit suss. I'm glad you didn’t go with that title.

James Nicholson : Yeah that's quite why we, you know, avoided slightly that angle I would say. But yeah it's really interesting …

Ben Law: A different kind of Zoom meeting …

James Nicholson : I think so, I think so, well I guess we'll get to, you know, there's some clues we'll just say, because I was fortunate you let me into some clues of what you were going to be talking about, so I'll just say that there are some clues in there in the the image that everyone can see why now around what you might be talking about. But before we get to that, well I'll let you get started with the first object, so yeah whatever you what have you brought to “show and tell” I guess!

Okay so I forget the the order in which I was going to present them, but maybe I'll just start with my friend here who's closest by. This guy. It's very almost culturally cliched of me to have a ceramic Buddha, but I actually didn't have a ceramic Buddha in my house up until last year.

Last year, at the start of 2019, I filmed a documentary for the ABC called Waltzing the Dragon. It was two-part documentary and it was all about the now over 200 years of Chinese Australian history. A lot of people still always think, you know, Chinese migration, it's quite a recent thing. You might have heard a little bit about the gold rush, but in some ways you know the Asian and specifically Chinese Australian experience does start 200 years. In some ways the trade with Australia starts before white people even arrive on this continent.

So the documentary was as much an examination and interrogation of Australian history as it was my history with my family. But obviously it was kind of a fact-finding mission as well, because I only know that much about my parents and where they grew up. I've never been to where my dad grew up, so for the second episode with my dad I go to this tiny silent Chinese village where he grew up. Which is still standing. He's trying to get like a village family members to renovate it so he can sell it one day. But it was this incredibly eye-opening thing to see the house in which my father was born, like he was literally born on the floor of this house, as well as the house in which he spent his his childhood.

You know, he could show me the mountains where he used to race up as a kid, show me the bedroom where him and his mother slept - my grandmother, my mama - slept for many many years. And to see how rice was unhulled and how, you know, this was a pre-electricity era so how the kitchens worked, it's remarkable.

And in amongst all this rubble, which was like almost this archaeological dig, the builders and these extended family members had found artefacts - objects - that would have belonged to not just my grandmother but my great-grandparents, her in-laws, who who lived in that house. And in amongst them was this guy you know. I guess he's kind of like non-assuming but for me to even have it in Australia in my house, all the way from China from, you know, three generations ago, it feels like things have come full-circle by having this this guy in my house.

You know this everyday kind of object, this who would have granted a lot of luck to the people who lived in the home then. But just to have it now in 2020, I don't think they could have conceived of what this present-day moment would have looked like, the family that my ancestors would have grown. The the whole migratory aspect of our family I think is, is kind of encapsulated in one object. How far we've come.

James Nicholson: Yeah and I guess actually like you say that they wouldn't be able to kind of envision where we are now, but equally you know we can't envision where they were then, you know. That's quite a you know, quite an odd kind of connection I guess. And and and it would seem you know when I, when I watch that documentary, seemed that your journey could have really created more personal questions maybe then and conflicts and actually initially and so them all, you know. So has it ignited, is that the case, is it is going on that journey ignited more questions or did it, did it you know kind of you know solve some of those questions you might have had?

I mean …

Ben Law: I think was more of, it was more of the latter James. It's a really well observed thing because you know like if you're going to open a Pandora's box on your family history what are you going to find? Are you going to find, you know, in some cases slave owners, or are you going to find like horrible, horrible stories of inter family abuse or anything like that but in my case I think, when you're the child of migrants … you know every generation above us may as well be the kind of a foreign alien kind of community or experience, right.

But when you're the child of migrants, that sense they you can't quite understand the generation above you, let alone the generation above them really becomes amplified and compounded. And so for me, for me understanding that my mother was also the daughter of migrants, it's the fact that I always took for granted because she grew up in Malaysia being southern Chinese but grew up in Malaysia, it's not like she ever went back to China to find her roots either.

So us finding them together answered as many questions for her as I did for me, you know. She literally found a seat at the family table, you know, at the shrines where her family - her ancestors -had gathered. That's a remarkable thing. I think from dad was less of a discovery, because he knows where he was born. He knows where his family comes from, goes back generations, but for me to be able to see that meant that I could understand and connect with my dad a bit better. And when I've brought, you know, spent my life in this country for a significant proportion of it, we're really not quite understanding my heritage nor my place in the world and the people around me also really struggling with this idea of Asian Australian. Like how can you be both of those things simultaneously.

Now that I know my heritage and my story so precisely that I can even pin it on Google map, you know it's actually made me feel much more confident about who I am, who my family is, um and our journey, our story of how we came to be here.

James Nicholson: Yeah that's interesting and it's interesting is, I mean I could talk all day, I won’t go all day, I'll just say a few more few more things. But what I found interesting as well is that you talk about ancestral rural homes and and that I guess is only a couple of generations, so you know, do you think with your family and you know an extended family that in a couple of generations people will look back at Nambour, and come travelling from wherever they are? The other thing that maybe they'll travel back to the Sunshine Coast, their kind of homeland of where you grew up.

Ben Law: James with the pandemic and with climate change it's nice to think that there will even be generations to look back on who we are. But I don't want to say that too despondently because my nephew, the first of the next generation, has just been born and I like that his mother, my sister and his aunties and uncles now have a clearer picture not just of who we are, but of who our parents and our grandparents and our great-grandparents were.

You know my nephew is now in a room in our sister's house that has, I mean I've kept the Buddha, but my sister who's a professional photographer, she's kept the portrait of our great-grandmother that I found perfectly preserved while filming this documentary. That has lasted you know, decades and decades through ruin and rubble and through a revolution essentially, to be able to survive for us to take it back to Brisbane and to be framed and preserved. So hopefully little Cohen, our little nephew, will have a very strong sense. So don't think you'll need to make a pilgrimage because we've now got it on video, yeah, and we've got it in the artefacts that we surround ourselves with.

James Nicholson: I know that's awesome. It's fantastic. Well like I say I mean you could talk all day about just that documentary alone but we we will, we will move on. I’d just like to say though that if anyone wants to watch that you know Waltzing the Dragon documentary, you can access it on the internet through the ABC. I forget actually which site I was …

Ben Law: Yeah, it's through ABC iView that's right.

James Nicholson: Yeah yeah so you can listen to two parts, the first part is when you go back with your your mother back to her ancestral homes and and place, and then the second one is based on around your father and actually going up and I found this second one really interesting from an Australian perspective when we when you go to Arnhem Land and you're looking and you're kind of engaging in that, you know, kind of first connection between those that Chinese heritage and the Australian First Nations, you know. That's really powerful.

Ben Law: It's a really good history lesson.

James Nicholson: It is, it is, and so and so I'm sorry we will have to move on. We'll move on to our next object, so what else have you got to talk about?

Ben Law: Well the next object has actually been hiding in plain sight the entire time we've been talking, James. And the only reason I bring it up is because it's such a political thing lately, but it's it's my bookshelf.

So this is one of probably three bookshelves in our home. So one bookshelf is underneath the television, it's just got like graphic novels and cookbooks bla bla bla bla, so your bog-standard IKEA bookshelf but when my boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment we were able to get furniture like custom-made for the place to like, to fit. Which sounds very ostentatious and I guess it kind of is but because it's a relatively small apartment as well, we wanted things to fit just right, and make full use of the height of the apartment because there's not much width!

And so for me this is all of my non-fiction books and I've arranged it by color which is very very controversial in many circles. I mean we were talking before we started recording James about the politics of how we shelve. When people see that I've colour-coded it, I think like a third are really impressed and go “oh maybe I should organize my books by colour too” and then the rest are just completely appalled and absolutely disgusted. But the thing is I really love my bookshelves because not only can books live there but there are these tiny nooks and that, it's been made like that by the designer Kate Campbell who's a mate of ours and the builder Alex Clapham who is also a mate of ours. All those tiny nooks are there to be filled by other things, whether it's this little Buddha or the other item about to show you but all that sort of stuff, so I'm really pleased because it feels like a piece of grown-up beautiful furniture that I've never had before.

This side is the nonfiction, the other side in the other room is the fiction. Yeah I'm just very smugly happy with it.

James Nicholson: Well I guess the question comes is so so we you know, we know that back in 2018 you made an ambassador of the National Library of Australia. So when they made that, made you an ambassador and they, had they have known that that's how you categorize your books, do you think maybe retrospectively they might strip you of your ambassadorship?

Ben Law: Yeah I think I think the diplomatic language is persona non-grata. I would have been given become persona non grata to the National Library of Australia. Look I'm a big fan of the Dewey Decimal System right, I'm gonna back that up always always always. I love that form of categorization but I have to say, for me, I've also been a bookseller for a very long time. And maybe this is how librarians, booksellers, we're kind of of the same species, and when I was a bookseller I spent years, years, James, dealing with customers who said “I want this book, I think it's about, no I don't know what it's about, but it's blue” and then I have to go find this bloody book. And so like I think my brain has actually been trained think of books by their spine, by their cover, and that's why immediately it's really funny because when some people discovered that I categorized my book this way, that ABC journalist Virginia Trioli started paying me out, Annabel Crabb started paying me out. Then they started getting into it like their own fight, like good human fight, about how Annabel still can't find Janet Malcolm's book The journalist and a murderer and within 30 seconds I had tweeted back a photograph of The journalist and the murderer because I found it on my bookshelf with the caption of the tweet “I knew it was red. Neither of them could find it but I think got the last word with that exchange.

James Nicholson: Well I think with your story about finding books you know, like tha,t you know you are absolutely speaking the language of well I would say, public librarians, but any any librarian that's but dealt with someone that they want to find something with, you know, it's always and often it's not actually red, it was probably maroon or even yellow, do you know what I mean? It could have been a completely different thing …

Ben Law: It turned out that the font was red but not the cover.

James Nicholson: Exactly, something along those lines and actually I might change the view and you see that I'm a little bit more boring in that sense you see, so but I do have …

Ben Law: Not boring, orderly.

James Nicholson: I do have your, there you go, your Law school book there, it’s strategically placed just to make sure people, oh and actually Growing up queer just here. There you go.

Ben Law: Growing up queer in Australia, that is very good product placement. You have a good career in TV production and styling ahead of you.

James Nicholson: Yeah that's it well and I guess just really quickly though, as we're talking about books, what are, maybe we could talk all day about your “to read” pile, because if we talked about mine …

Ben Law: Oh yeah.

James Nicholson: Fifteen books big, do you know what I mean? It's just ridiculous. I keep, in fact I read one and allow that as an excuse to buy two more, so it's just impossible to ever get through them, but what are you reading at the moment? Maybe a couple of cool books?

Ben Law: Yeah yeah, you know when the pandemic started James, I think I was like so many people where I'm like “wow this is going to be cave time, I'm going to get prison fish and I'm going to read a lot and I'm not prison fit and I haven't. I've read decently but my life kind of got derailed by the Nintendo Switch that I that I found myself possessing all of a sudden. But the thing is I am still making my way through that COVID pile, the Coronavirus reading stack that I posted on Instagram when all of this started, and from that pile I'm still reading Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl woman other which won the Booker Prize, well the most recent Booker Prize, which is fantastic. I mean I've been looking forward to reading this book for so long but now that I've nearly finished it I'm like, I almost want to go back to the start, because of all of these different characters within their discrete stories do interrelate and interlink and I almost want to draw a map of them. And the stories are so brilliantly told, so humane and so full of compassion and wonder.

I'm about to read, actually I've got another book here though about to start. Going to read my girl Miranda Tapsell’s Top end girl. So Miranda Tapsell, who’s a fantastic Australian actor, bit of an icon and a personal mate of mine, but she like so many Australian authors just recently released a book but hasn't been able to launch it properly as you usually would. But I know this story has been a long time coming and you know as much as I'm a friend of Miranda's there's still so much about her upbringing as a Larrakia Tiwi Islands girl that I still don't know about. I know a bit of her family. I know a bit of her remarkable family story as wel,l but I'm really looking forward to knowing more.

The other thing that I'm looking forward to is reading Ted Chiang, the American science fiction author’s book Exhalation because his first book of short stories broke my brain. No-one else is writing like Ted Chiang at the moment. He was responsible for writing the short story collection that included the story that we've become the Hollywood film Arrival, just one of the best most beautiful alien films. So I'm looking forward to him breaking my brain open the second time too.

James Nicholson: Thank you so much. I know that, you know, a lot of our patrons who always appreciate a bit of a kind of recommended reads pile, and we'll also link out to if we can go back and find that that tweet, you know, because because you do get through the odd tweet or two a day. So we'll go back and find that tweet and put links to that in all these books and all that information we'll put in there the the video description below and so on. So you'll get all those all that stuff. So don't frantically miss the rest of this kind of little chat by writing down all those names so, because we're moving on to our final object - the third and final I know to talk about. So what else have you brought with you today?

Ben Law: Okay so this is this little ordinary looking wooden box. I mean it's quite cute actually, it's not ordinary but it's been inscribed with the name Joff Bush. Now Joff Bush might not be a household name but his music certainly is renowned throughout Australia. Joff Bush has written music for so many screen and stage projects but he's probably most famous for writing the theme song to the ABC Kids cartoon Bluey. I think anyone with young kids, especially, knows that song very very well and probably have a Pavlovian response to it for better or for worse, but if I know I'm around kids of a certain age and I start singing do-do-do-do-do to do that you know. Joff wrote that. Joff also composes a lot of the music to Australian survivor if you've watched Network Ten’s Australian survivor. But he also composed the theme song to the show that I created and co-wrote that was based on my memoir The family law. And if anyone watched that they might recognise this theme song so inside that box is a music box, and what Joff does is he scores the song on this parchment that you then feed in to the music box like so. I haven't done this this many times but whenever I do it in front of kids they're just fascinated. And then when you play it, it plays the theme song to The family law, the SBS TV show that we wrote. So let me just play it for you. So the music I, I mean the music for any TV show is often the additional character right, and you know Joff, Joff scored so many of the most beautiful and heartbreaking moments of our show. You know when when the mum Jenny in the show kicks out the dad in this brutal scene, when Ben the this little teenage character comes out as gay to his mum which is just his heart tearing moment that we have in the show. And that music is always behind all of that stuff you know.

Joff has in some way scored my life for which I'll always be grateful. And even though, you know, we've had three seasons of that show and we always intended it as a trilogy and I've really closed that door quite happily, proud of what we've done, this was a period of my life that was over five years that was dedicated almost full time just to turning this book into a TV show. It was one of the most gruelling yet satisfying periods of work in my life that I've ever had, like we formed a community around making this show. And so this very very lovely artefact that's come out of it is a lovely reminder that that actually happened.

Yeah we did end up making the first-ever Australian TV show with an Asian Australian family at its core and it makes me a little bit sentimental as well, as music can do sometimes.

James Nicholson: Yeah for sure and  don't know what I've done in my life to get to this point where I get to, you know, kind of have a chat with Ben Law as you play a little music box across a Zoom meeting and we're going to broadcast, it’s kind of a unique scenario.

I think that's kind of fun. I guess this is really interesting actually that you, you mentioned that he scored the theme tune to Bluey. I've got a three year old daughter so - whilst I say that that as though we watch it because she wants to watch it - the reality is that my wife and I start work six minutes late because I normally start at 8:00 but I start at 7 minutes past 8:00 because we watch Bluey at 8 o'clock.

Well I think, I think a lot of parents that like that show because they can, they can relate you know, it's kind of very relatable. It's very, you know, it's now one of that, you know, you're The family law was so popular and one of the critic critics I saw, and excuse me I can't quite them verbatim, but it was along the lines of that you've done a really great job of a very difficult task which is to take a normal and I say normal cause no one really knows what that means, but take a normal family and and you know portray that in it in a TV series, you know, that people I guess could, could really relate to.

And that seemed to me like a real win because, like you say like that, you know, there I guess Australian public are viewing that that family as normal. And I say normal I understand that normal means a lot to different people, but but just in it for the sake of this kind of you know articulating this conversation you know, that yeah that's really interesting that they see that as normal, and you managed to do that.

Ben Law: Yeah I think, I think one of the most gratifying things for us, you know, because TV shows don't exist just by one person's skills or work, one of the great things for us was hearing so many Australians say thank you for telling my story.

And of course there are many Asian Australians who said that, because they saw a representation of their families on screen, especially if they came from a Chinese Australian background. But there are plenty of people who came from families where the parents split up and hadn't seen a family like that, or hadn't seen a moment like that on screens, representing a family that they were familiar with. There were plenty of people who even just from Queensland who said “oh my gosh, like a Queensland family, thank you for showing that on screen” and even for some of the minor characters, you know, the the opposite, the opposite the road neighbours in The family law are a Eurasian family with a white dad and a Japanese mum and mixed-race kids. And I didn't realize we were doing anything pioneering.

I knew that we were having the first Asian Australian family on TV because it was just drilled into us, we spoke about it so often. But I had so much feedback from, you know, mixed-race Asian family saying “oh my gosh like this is actually one of the few mixed-race families that we've seen on television ever”, didn't even realize we were breaking ground in that way.

And I don't think that's necessarily reflection on how, you know, ground-breaking our show was necessarily. In some ways it was the very sweet family comedy. There are a lot of sweet family comedies out there but what I think it does reflect is how monocultural, and a little bit calcified Australian TV can be. Happily, you know, if people see us as the exception and I think we are, I'll embrace that. I think Bluey is also an exception you know, so I think Joff Bush as the composer for both of those shows has chosen his projects well.

James Nicholson: Yeah he definitely has and you know, and and look I really appreciate you giving us that kind of insight into actually so many different angles, you know from your ancestry and that kind of Waltzing the Dragon. We've talked about that a little bit. A bit about your personal kind of life when you talk about how you, you kind of categorize your books and a little bit of a conversation around that, that's kind of cool, and now we've finished with, with The family law and and and Joff Bush. Sorry. And the music book, music box.

You know, I know that you're, like I've said before, you know we're so appreciative that you take time to speak to us, because you know everyone's got their story and certainly yours is varied and one that, you know is really interesting to hear about. And we appreciate that.

But I'm afraid that's the end of our event, and so I just want to take the opportunity to thank you and hopefully we'll get the chance to maybe do this in person at one of our libraries, and you can take a travel back up towards the the Sunshine Coast and we can go and, you know, you can maybe even take me on as you say in one, in your but in The family law I think it is, or you can take someone on tour of your father's …

Ben Law: My father's successful and failed business.

James Nicholson: Yeah yeah maybe we could  take that tour, take some of our patrons with you.

Ben Law: That would be great! Well look I would love to come back to Queensland because it's where so much of my family is but in the mean time this has been really fun.

James Nicholson: Cool. Take care, thanks. Bye!



Clare Connelly

We sat down with Clare to ask her a few questions.

Question one: You write contemporary romances; what kind of research do you do for your books?

One of the things I love most about contemporary romance is the escapist element of it. You're reading about quite far out characters and themes; you know, mega billionaires and sheiks and royals and all sorts of things that are well outside the rigors of day-to-day life. So in terms of research, it's not really something that you can, you know, necessarily do in a hands-on way. There's - I think that reading contemporary romance is one of the best ways to research the genre and feel really comfortable with the conventions of it.

When it comes to setting a book in an existing place like an island in Greece or a city in Europe or America, I will do a lot of online research. I tend to borrow from places that I've been before; so when about 10 years ago I lived overseas for four years in the UK and we did a lot of travel through Europe, so that's quite a convenient launching pad for ideas.

But I also do a lot of just letting my imagination go. You know, it's one of those things where if it's plausible then you can put it in a contemporary romance book. You know I tend to base things away from real events so that there's not that fact checking required.

And the biggest thing in contemporary romance that it's important to get right is the emotion. So if I'm giving my characters emotional issues or backstories that require research, that's where I will really put a lot of time and energy into making sure that I do their story justice. So someone who's come through a traumatic breakdown of a marriage or who's had an unpleasant childhood experience; someone who has overcome alcohol or drug addiction; these are things that I really don't want to be flippant with when I'm if I'm utilizing those for a story.

So I do a lot of reading of firsthand experience, you know, blogs on the internet or borrow memoirs from the library so that I can really make sure that the experience of the character do justice to that situation.

Question two: What inspires you to write?

I'm someone who can't read a book, watch a movie, hear a friend's story, really be a participant in any kind of life without feeling inspired to write. It's one of the questions I get asked a lot is "where do your ideas come from?" And the problem is actually either switching the ideas off or just finding the time to write them. I really do think that inspiration as a writer comes from being good question asker.

So it's, you might get an idea for a character, but then it's thinking well, how does that affect the character's life? And what happens to them then? And what obstacle do they have to overcome? What in their past leads them to overcome that or makes it difficult for them to overcome that? You know do they have trust issues that make it impossible for them to rely on the one person that they need to progress to this next level of the quest or whatever sort of story it is that you're writing?

I think that - particularly with the sorts of books I write that are essentially about human connection and emotional resonance - inspiration is everywhere. You know, it's watching the news at night and hearing a story uh about something remarkable that's happened to someone and you think "how does that affect them?" What will they take from that going forward? Will it make it easier or harder for them to have those connections?"

So in terms of inspiration I guess it's everywhere; it's just about turning yourself on to see it and and not just to see it but to think that every story starts with a tiny flicker of an idea, that then you as a writer expand. You as a writer know that you are in control of finding the conflict and what is the story there? You know it's not very interesting if it's just a boy meets a girl and they have everything in common and then they get married. Far more interesting if boy meets girl, discovers that she's a member of a family who destroyed his one chance at a political career, or something in their history that means that it's really difficult for them to actually connect and overcome that and the strength of their love and the way that the reader believes in that love has to be done so well that you have no doubt that their connection is lasting. So inspiration is everywhere and it's just a matter of, the more books you write, the more you learn to trust it and the more you learn to know if it is actually has legs to carry a story from beginning to end.

Question three: What's your favourite thing about romance?

My favourite thing about romance is actually really hard to choose because there's just so much to love. I've always been drawn to reading romance and to romance movies; any kind of uh happily ever after love story I just love. As a child I read The Babysitters Club because I loved the romance between Mary-Anne and oh gosh now what was his name? It started with a "d" I seem to think. Oh I spent years and years of my teenage life falling in love with those books and characters and it was the romance that propelled me through it; like a lot of stories a sort of not-quite love story is what's used to keep viewers or readers coming back. Like Ross and Rachel in Friends is another great example, or Lois and Clark uh in Superman. I think that we all are drawn to the hope of romance and the will they, won't they nature of it.

As a devoted reader of romance, I know that my hero and heroine, when I pick up a book are going to end up together at the end of the story. But it's how that will happen, how will these two characters fall in love, how will they overcome their obstacles. Conflict is very important to a good romance because if it's all smooth sailing it's kind of boring.

That might be what you wish for in real life of course; in a book you want something that's a little more dramatic. I think that, particularly for the sorts of romances that I read, escapism is a great element as well. You know, there's this level of fantasy that comes from an angsty contemporary romance where one of the characters might be a billionaire with private helicopters and mansions all over the world. They own hotels or you know, they're a politician or a bodyguard or it's something well and truly outside the realm of normal life, which is a lot of fun to lose yourself in for a few hours.

The other great thing about romances is-- and within romance there are so many sub genres and different types of romance-- but certainly in the books that I'm drawn to-- which is contemporary category romance-- they're short. You know they're 50-55 thousand words, which means you get an incredibly fulfilling emotional story within a few hours. You know, I can usually read say a Mills and Boon in the time that it would take me to watch a movie, so I would always choose to read the book rather than watch a film. I love the emotional payoff.

It's quite unfortunate that romance is often derided uh as being silly or frivolous. And I think that there's a whole area of exploration there about um that being sort of a form of patriarchal expression because romance is usually female written, and the heroines are the characters who are pivotal to the plot and who tend to get their "happily ever after".

It is a real shame because what we can look at quite clearly when we see sales figures is that romance is in fact the biggest selling genre in the world. And Mills and Boon sells somewhere in the world every four seconds, and that's not including digital copies or op shop copies or library borrows. That's that's just sales of, you know, you go into a double smith or a uh a bookshop and pick up a copy off the shelves. So it is enduringly popular and I think that that's because we all love love, we love "happily ever after", and particularly when times are tough and things are hard, romance is a genre that you can turn to and know that it's a safe place to read.

Question four: Have you ever written books in other genres?

I love to read really widely in lots of genres, but romance is what I've always written. I write I guess that romance is such a broad church; there's not just one type. There are so many different sub genres of romance in terms of characterization and historical settings or contemporary settings.

I have, within that broad church of romance, experimented with writing historical romance-- so a Jane Austen style romance-- and writing a bit of a um a thriller with, you know, heavy romantic overtones. So I like the idea of playing around within romance, but for me it always has to have two characters who are sort of fated to be together and work their way through their issues alongside anything else that's taking place at the same time.

Question five: How did you come to write your first novel?

I actually wrote my first romance novel when I was 15 years old. I'd grown up with a mum who was an antique dealer and we used to get dragged around to lots of op shops and antique shops on weekends and I would always come home with stacks of Mills and Boons from when I was about 12 years old.

I loved them. I really loved those, they're sort of 1980s Mills and Boon of Emma Darcy, Penny Jordan. And I really did grow up reading them, as well as Babysitters Clubs and other sorts of things. So when I came to write-- and writing is a very seductive passion especially if you're a bit of a control freak like I am-- I love the idea of creating dynamic characters and setting them in this uber fantasy landscape, but having complete control over what happened to them.

So I worked really hard and I wrote a full Mills and Boon, which I printed off and wrapped up in pink ribbon and sent across the world to London. And I waited and I waited and it was very wisely rejected about two months later. I mean it was, I still have the printed out manuscript so I can verify that it was very poor. But it continued to be what I thought about whenever I wanted to write; the ideas that would come flooding to me were always contemporary romance.

 So I lived my life and I think that as a writer you always write, even if you're not writing a book. I think that the pull and the lure of the written word is so strong that you can't ignore it. So I would write incredibly long emails to friends or I wrote fan fiction-- hand wrote when I was in school with a girlfriend of mine, back and forth. We, you know, I would I had a website that I wrote about lots of different things because-- just the medium of expressing yourself through writing was what I love doing. It was when I was about 22 and we'd moved to London that I really started to write again, in earnest, and to think that this was something I might like to do.

I was working full-time back then in a different job and so when I came home from work I was often an hour ahead of my now husband, and so I would take that time to sit out on the balcony with a glass of wine and some raspberries, and I would sit there under all the plane trails going into Heathrow and I would write.

And back in those days, I was still learning my craft and my skills, and it would take me a very long time; it was like pulling hen's teeth. I didn't quite feel an intuitive understanding of the narrative structure despite having read and read and read-- which I think is the best preparation you can do to be a writer.

I still felt like I was full of self-doubt about-- I guess I had the intuitive understanding, but I wasn't trusting it. So it would take me about an hour to write 800 words and so it was slow going with that first book. But I made myself finish it, even after the self-doubt had sort of made me lose the passion for the project and made me doubt if it was any good.

We came back to Australia and I don't think I submitted that book or did anything with it, I think I just saw it as a learning project and then I started my next book, and my next book. Eventually I started submitting to Mills and Boon, and they receive an incredible amount of manuscripts each year. They do read them all-- they're an incredible publisher for that; you don't need an agent to approach them and they will quite often give feedback-- but I was rejected a few times on the hop. And once you've submitted it's a long wait, you know it can be three to six months before you hear back. So the timing of it was quite wonderful in a way, in that it was right at the build-up of the self-publishing availability.

So it's 2014, in May, when I had a book that I thought was really great, and Mills and Boon didn't want it, but I didn't want to let it go. And I self-published it with no expectation that it would ever sell, or sell well and to my surprise it did, from the first day that it was loaded up onto Amazon.

And from then on it all sort of snowballed; I had fallen in love with writing and I'd grown in confidence as a writer, and having people reading my books was very validating. And from that moment on I continued to self-publish for about a year before Mills and Boon offered me a publishing contract; and now I'm fortunate enough to be able to write for Mills and Boon as well as continue to self-publish contemporary romance titles online.

Question six: Have you ever read anything that made you feel differently about fiction?

One of the things that I tell people when they're starting out in writing and they doubt their own ability to tell a story, is how innate it is to us as humans to tell stories. You know, it's something that all cultures around the world, through all periods of time share.

We tell stories. It's a way that yes, we derive entertainment, but it's also a way that we learn and we grow and we feel and we emote. And when I read a story I want to feel what I feel when I write a story; I want to be moved. I want to really come to care for the characters; I want to care about their journeys and I want to feel at the end that it's been satisfactorily concluded.

I don't always need a happy ending-- though if there's not a happy ending I like to know that going in so that I can brace myself for impact-- but I think the most important thing fiction can do is resonate with us on a human level. It can be humour, you know. It doesn't have to be that it's depressing or scary or sad. It's just making you feel more alive and in connection with your own feelings and yes, entertaining you.

I think that entertainment is a hugely important part of why we read. So one of the books that I think changed me forever-- and I've only read it once because it was so beautiful and so harrowing and connected with me so deeply that I'm scared to go back and read it again in case it affects me in the same way and I'm scared to go back in case it doesn't affect me in the same way and I'm disappointed; it was the most perfect experience that I don't want to tamper with-- was "The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.

It's also the only time I've ever written to an author to tell them how much I loved their book. I read it very quickly; I found it completely compelling. I loved the characters and when I finished it - it was when I lived in the UK and I remember I was on the tube and I read it on the tube and then I got off and I read it while I walked and then I got to where I was going and I was visiting friends and I walked into their lounge room and said I can't talk, I just have to finish this, and I had about five pages left and I sat there and I read it and afterwards I cried and I cried. I couldn't, I couldn't believe how much it affected me and how beautiful and perfect and sombre and incredibly powerful the ending was. It was just an immense book. I really loved it.

If you haven't seen it, sorry if you haven't read it and  you've only seen the film, or you haven't seen the film, please read the book first because it is just such a powerful story. With that being said I raved about it like that to my mum and she didn't like it at all. She actually didn't even finish it. So I think that's another thing to keep in mind with fiction; it affects all of us differently and it affects us differently depending on where we're at, but the most important thing in my opinion that fiction can do, irrespective of the genre, is to connect with you, and move you.

Question seven: Why do you think romance is such a universally popular genre?

So it's really interesting that prior to World War II, Mills and Boon were actually a general publisher. They published lots of different uh genres of books, but during the war paper became so expensive they could only print what they knew would sell, and that was romance.

So we we have this thing where romance has been popular for millennia really. I mean look at look at the enduring success of Jane Austen. She's one of the most read icons of literature in history, and she writes stories about people falling in love and the minutia of daily life. There's nothing of overwhelming merit in that necessarily. It's not a super academic topic, it's the comings and goings of families and their interactions with one another and watching people fall in love. People who shouldn't love each other who have very little in common. So there's there's something about that mystery and that drama that draws us in and I wonder if it's because we like to see ourselves and our capacity for love reflected on the page.

Or is it that on the first page a question is asked, you know, it's a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a fortune must be in want of a wonderful wife. Well we have the scene set and the question asked. Is he in want of a wonderful wife and if so how does he procure one and who? So these questions then are answered throughout the book, but they're compelling, watching them be answered.

Um I think that that that same sense of mystery and the fact that we recognize ourselves in the books we read, even the ones that are far flung and as I've said a few times, romance is such a broad church. I have friends who write intergalactic cyber cyborg romances and werewolf romances and so it's when I say we want to see ourselves reflected in the books, I don't mean our literal selves, I mean our capacity for love and the gauntlet of emotions that we feel - envy, uh sadness, loss, love, hope, optimism, uh reflected in these stories, and I just don't know if there's anything more compelling than romance.

I think that one of my favourite things to say is that "Die Hard" is a romance. At its core, you know yes you have all this violence and the adrenaline high of John McCain in a high rise chasing out the bad guys, but what they finish with, what's the most compelling aspect of that, is whether or not he and Holly will reconnect at the end of the movie. Whether or not she'll welcome him back into her life. They set that up at the beginning of the

book. We know that he's coming to her to uh having off the back of their divorce or their breakup, and we have that question percolating in the back of our mind through the whole movie and it's that which they give us as a resolution at the end.

So I can't say definitively why romance is in enduringly popular but anecdotally it is, and and I love that it is, and I'm not someone who would ever denigrate the romance reading industry because how can you do that without saying that basically everybody is wrong?

Question eight: What would romance novels be like in a matriarchal society?

Okay so this is a great question. It's important to know that when we talk about romance novels, we're not simply talking about heterosexual romance. Romance has always been a really strong yardstick of the times and of social identity and social expression, and as ... I think that the rise of self-publishing has really made it possible for expressions that might have been seen as too tricky for traditional publishers to support necessarily at the time have really found their feet and have gained enormous support and a really important place online. And we're seeing that carry through to traditional publishing as well.

So that includes male male, female female, menage romance, um lots of different as I've said sub genres within the romance category um, so in terms of how being in a matriarchal society would affect romance novels, it's really difficult to see that it would necessarily change. I think that power dynamics are something that have always been played with in romance novels and certainly the books that we might have read in the '70s or that were written in the '70s and '80s um saw a far more dominant uh male hero if we're talking about a heterosexual romance, and perhaps a more - on the face of it -  submissive heroine however I do question that interpretation a little, in that it's always been my takeaway and as someone who grew up reading books that were largely written in those eras, that it was still the heroine who had the power. She might have seemed as though she were in a less significant bargaining position for much of the book, but what I really like about romance is seeing the character who comes into the story in what is seen to be more of a position of power and has more confidence and arrogance and authority really brought to their knees by the fact that they're vulnerable to love, that they've opened their heart to love and that they're powerless to control that, and so that giving up of control is incredibly important in romance because, let's face it when you love someone you you are sort of at the whim of whether or not they love you and how those feelings will play out and whether or not you can actually make one another happy.

So I think that those power dynamics might on the face of it change a little bit in a matriarchal society but it's whatever the gender, whatever it is, you're talking about people finding their dynamic and someone having to let down their boundaries to allow themselves the full experience of loving and being loved.

Question 9: Has the #MeToo movement changed the romance publishing industry?

The #MeToo movement is something that I'm actually asked about quite often if I'm speaking at events, and how it has affected romance writing, and as someone who's relatively new to romance writing but not romance reading, my feeling is that yes it creates a clear set of guidelines for people perhaps coming into the industry or from the outside of the industry.

Maybe it creates a set of rules for publishers to follow but I think for die hard readers of romance and writers of romance, the main issues that are grappled with a movement by a movement like #MeToo are things like consent and power and respect, and these are things that I've always seen handled well in the books that I've read.

Consent is something that we as a reader need to know is there. I don't necessarily think that it needs to be heavy-handed in how it's written on the page in terms of dialogue, but as a reader I'm looking to be in both viewpoints or potentially in the - if you're writing a heterosexual romance - in the heroine's viewpoint so that we know that there is that consent that uh that there's no doubt that this is two people who really want to be together.

I've said that playing with power is something that is fun to do in romance but it is something that you have to be careful; you don't ever have a character abusing their position of power to get what they want from a character who who isn't interested. So even if I were writing a book where a character was using their more dominant position to uh achieve something that they really wanted and that meant another character who was in less of a dominant position had to give something up, I would immediately switch to that character who was seen to be in the less dominant position's point of view, so that we could see them rationalizing it in their brain and coming to the realization that actually this is what they would get out of it or this is why they wanted to go along with it, this is how they could get out of going along with it.

So it's very important that these books be empowering uh and while still keeping their sense of fun and the things that readers look for when they turn to these books, you know they're not ... I think that they are a good yardstick for where society's at and in recent times uh women have never been more able to speak for themselves and to hold uh positions comfortable to men. That's not to say there's not a long way to go because there is, but it's important that the books reflect that, and that we feel the strength and the confidence that comes from our female characters. I guess I feel that power comes in lots of different modes and you it's important to write a character who you know that, even when their back is against the wall, would have the strength to only do what they wanted.

So I guess the #MeToo movement has made everybody very consciously aware of things that we have instinctively been doing for, or instinctively been looking for, for a really long time.

Question 10: Why is it so important for romance novels to finish with a "happily ever after"?

"Happily ever afters" are a hugely important part of a romance.

It's, there is also a "happily for now" but that's never been good enough for me. I like to know the characters are going to be together forever without a shadow of a doubt.

I am a huge believer in epilogues for this reason, as I think a lot of romance readers are. I like to see the sweeping end and the the beautiful coming together of my characters, but then I like to see them in five years time with, you know, two kids and a home in the country and all the things that we know that they've wanted throughout the course of the book. It's one of my biggest things wit,h even something like, to turn to movies, "Dirty Dancing" which I loved loved loved of course, like most of the world. But I would have loved an epilogue over the credits of seeing Johnny and Baby getting married, you know, in five years time after she's graduated and saved the world, joined the peace corps, whatever it is that she does.

Um but the the happy ending is what keeps us going through the angst of the book and romance novels are at their heart quite conflict-driven, so if you have the right setup you spend a lot of the book wondering if the couple is going to find their way back together, and it's only by giving them this great "happily ever after" that you you can be confident that they've done that. So I think the expectation of romance readers is definitely that they will get that "happily ever after" at the end of the book and it provides us with that safe place that we're craving, particularly when times are tough, to know that everything is going to turn out okay.

Deborah Rodriguez

Frances Whiting: Good evening and welcome to the Lord Mayor's Brisbane City Council Writers in Residence Series. My name is Frances Whiting. I'm a journalist and author, and it's my great pleasure to welcome tonight's guest, Deborah Rodriguez. Many of you will know and love Deborah's books. Bestselling books like The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, memoirs like The House on Carnival Street, and now her new book, The Moroccan Daughter. Now, this one is a treat for all the senses, sight, taste, smell, sound, touch. You'll see what I mean when you read it. And in it, we also welcome back some old favourite characters from Deborah's last book, The Island on the Edge of the World, Bea and Charlie. And we also welcome today, Deborah. Welcome, Deborah. Thank you so much for being a part of the series.

Deborah Rodriguez: This is so exciting. I'm so happy to be here. Thank you.

Frances Whiting: Well, we're happy to have you. All right, we're going to dive straight in. Deborah, reading this book, it really occurred to me all the way through, the real star of it, apart from your lovely characters, Bea and Charlie, et cetera, is Morocco itself. How did you come to know Morocco so well and clearly to love it as much as you obviously do?

Deborah Rodriguez: I started visiting Morocco in the '90s and then in 2008 I went back and I thought ... I fell in love with it. I had just come back from Afghanistan and I had been in the United States for about a year and I was a little out of sorts when I was in the United States. I had missed Afghanistan so much. And when I went to Morocco, it was this... I felt alive for the first time in about a year. The sounds, the smells, the adrenaline. Everything about it. It had flavour. It had so much energy. And I knew then that I needed to write a book that took place in Morocco. But it's all about finding that perfect story that goes with this amazing, amazing country. And so once I found the story I was in, and so then the research began in Morocco.

Frances Whiting: How long did you spend in Morocco, researching it?

Deborah Rodriguez: This last time I was in Morocco about three weeks and ... Yeah. Yeah, it was amazing-

Frances Whiting: [crosstalk 00:02:40]... a lot longer because it seems to me like you must've lived there for a couple of years. So well done.

Deborah Rodriguez: Well, but this was just this last research trip. And so I'd just been back and forth. But it's such a stunning country. Morocco is so complicated in so many different ways. In this book, the main focus is on Fez and in the mountains in Imilchil. Otherwise there's just... You could go there constantly and never know everything there is to know about Morocco.

Frances Whiting: And I just wanted to touch on something briefly before we deep dive into the book itself. I was quite ignorant of the concept of a medina. And I found that fascinating, this idea of this walled city which is apparently are very iconic in Morocco, there's several. For those readers who are like me, who are a bit unfamiliar with that concept, can you maybe paint for us a picture of the medina and what it is?

Deborah Rodriguez: Well, the medina in Fez is probably the most unusual, most interesting medina, I think, in the world, probably. It's over 9000 small alleyways and little pathways. And some of them, literally, you had to go sideways to get down the road. It's a maze. It's just a maze of so many different little roads. And you see all the stores are in these little alleyways. It's door after door after door. And behind the doors would be a huge riad. You would never know. You would be in an alleyway that could be three feet across. And they had little things built on top of, I guess, some of the walkways just to keep the sun off you. It's hard to even imagine what it would be like. You get lost every time you're in there no matter how hard you try not to.

Frances Whiting: I think this book is going to have a lot of people like myself very intrigued and wanting to visit and experience this particular medina. Now the riad you mentioned, that's a family home, isn't it? Or compound as such.

Deborah Rodriguez: A riad is like a house, yes. A family home.

Frances Whiting: Yeah. The book is where we follow our central character, Amina, as she is returning to her family riad to attend his sister's wedding.

Deborah Rodriguez: Correct

Frances Whiting: In tow are our old friends, Charlie and Bea from the previous books. I love that idea of recurring characters. Was it nice for you to revisit them, and why did you decide to bring them along in this new book?

Deborah Rodriguez: Well, originally that was the whole idea when I wrote Island on the Edge of the World, was to have reoccurring characters. I'm a hairdresser. Hairdressers, we know what's going on everywhere and we can get information out of anybody. And so that was... I thought, write what I know. I want to be Bea. Bea is just so amazing. And the fact that she can't see, that she's basically blind, makes... As a writer, you have to go in deeper to be able to see the characters, see things that explain things and describe things that a blind person is experiencing. And I thought it just gave a really nice layer. And Bea is so funny. Wouldn't you want to go on a trip with her and Charlie? It would be a riot.

Frances Whiting: It would be a hoot. I want to be Bea when I grow up, too.

Deborah Rodriguez: Oh, I know.

Frances Whiting: And you just touched on something. When I introduced you and this book I said, it's a feast for the senses. And it really is, particularly in those market scenes. You really write so beautifully. Often through Bea experiencing it you can smell the smells, you can taste, you can feel the ripe fruit, the sense of the perfumes. Was Bea a writing device as such to do that, Deborah, or did that just come naturally through her eyes?

Deborah Rodriguez: No. Originally when there was a character of Bea ... I love having older people in my books. I find that older people ... Or younger, but older especially can say things and do things that other people can't get away with. I love that. And I met a blind woman who ... I was in a class with her and she sensed and knew things that was happening around her environment. And I was so intrigued by that. It's like she could sense things that were going to happen. And she actually was a psychic, but I didn't know any of this. And it was so interesting to be in this class with this woman who was also blind. And so I thought, you know what? It would be so interesting, I think, to have a character, because I think it's intriguing because there is something so much deeper and that is ... It brings out something different than other characters.

Frances Whiting: I agree. And actually I was going to ask you about that. Bea has this psychic ability. She's very much in touch with the spirit world. She's very comfortable with that. And people aren't always. And you touched on it a little, but I was going to ask you, do you have that belief? And have you had any of those experiences? For example, Bea believes and indeed does, in the book, that she can talk to people who have passed.

Deborah Rodriguez: Yes, she does. I do not discount anything.

Frances Whiting: Same.

Deborah Rodriguez: Yeah. Who am I to discount anything? I have experienced things in research for other books that I'm like, "Okay, I have no idea what just happened." But yeah, I do believe. I don't discount. Do I talk to dead people? No, but I wouldn't mind speaking with my mum.

Frances Whiting: Yeah. Yeah. I hear you. I think a lot of us yearn for that connection. And like you, I don't discount anything.

Deborah Rodriguez: Right, right.

Frances Whiting: I think the world is full of magic. And all these places you go often have this other level to them anyway. And I wanted to ask you, you tend to, or I think you do, you tend to embed yourself in these amazing places, whether it be Afghanistan or Haiti or Morocco. What's it like returning to real life for you? And what does your life look like when you're not travelling to these places and researching?

Deborah Rodriguez: Well, I live in Mexico. I live in central, in Mazatlan, Mexico. It's chaos and magic and movement and sounds. I live that all the time. And I think that that's what I find my comfort level. That's what I like. I like a little bit of madness, a little bit of chaos. And if it's too quiet, then I'm like, "Okay, this feels awkward." And so I feel really comfortable in places that are a little topsy-turvy. I like figuring things out. After Afghanistan, you can almost go anywhere.

Frances Whiting: Should imagine.

Deborah Rodriguez: Yeah. And I felt very comfortable in Afghanistan. It was dicey many, many times, but I never felt ... I always felt comfortable. That was my home. And so when I go to these places that are a lot different than, say, the United States, I land there and I'm home. And I think that's why I can embed so easy, because it's just part of my nature.

Frances Whiting: After reading your books, I can't see you living in like a cookie cutter suburb.

Deborah Rodriguez: No.

Frances Whiting: No. Another thing, of your books, and certainly of this one also, Deborah ... Again, I don't want to give too much of the plot away. But we do go to Morocco. We do go to Amina's childhood home. Charlie is with her and Bea. They're there for the sister's wedding. And beneath that, many, many layers. Family secrets are uncovered, old resentments surface as they tend to do in families. But there's some central themes. And one of the things that I really enjoyed in this book and indeed your others is this very intimate relationship that women have with each other. You see it, of course, in your hairdressing salon. We see it with the girls travelling together, supporting each other. That idea of female intimacy and friendship, Deborah, where does that come from? Because you write about it very warmly and it rings very true in their interactions.

Deborah Rodriguez: I’m an only child. So I didn't have the siblings that lot of people have in my family unit. I was raised in the beauty shop, so it was my mum and it was all the women around me. So I think as a real young child I was in that environment. And I seek that. I seek that with my friendships. And even this last research trip was two of my girlfriends. And oh my goodness, talk about insanity. But it was the best. I love it. And it was, "Okay, so today you play Bea." "No." So it was really... And I think female friends, there's something at the core of it where women are so strong and we often really need each other. And there's nothing better than girlfriends. We can talk and we can tell each other anything. And that honesty, and being able to have each other's back and lift each other up. I think that's so crucial.

Frances Whiting: And as a very modern woman, the themes in this book also are about some of those more traditional aspects of, say, Moroccan family life in some families. The idea of say, for example, Deborah, arranged marriage.

Deborah Rodriguez: Right.

Frances Whiting: The idea of women not being able to do what they want to do. That's also a central theme, particularly through Amina struggling to be who she wants to be, to get out of the shadow of her very traditional family. When you witness that, and I'm sure you do, is that hard for you as a modern woman? And also to write about it with a sensitivity and an understanding of the cultural bounds it exists in.

Deborah Rodriguez: Right. I think that it comes down to the fact that I lived in Afghanistan for five years, so I was a part of that. It is just what it is. Often your daughter was safer if they married somebody you knew. And so it was about keeping within the tribe, within family's protection, that whole thing. So I don't pass judgement on any of that because there's a reason they do it. There's that teetering between wanting to be modern and love who you want to love and then your parents, "This is what we've done at all this..." Morocco is part of Africa, and it's so close to Europe that sometimes there's these great contradictions because of that. And no, it doesn't. It's not hard for me to see, because I think that I've been around it so much that I understand it. And I appreciate cultures. And looking at something like, "Oh, I can't believe they cover their head." Well, why? It has nothing to do with the covering of the head. It's just, that's where they're comfortable. You know what I mean?

Frances Whiting: Absolutely.

Deborah Rodriguez: I'm not so comfortable wearing a bikini, so I don't want anybody to tell me I have to wear a bikini.

Frances Whiting: Yes. But you do write about it with sensitivity. And that whole struggle, that inner struggle that women, as they're trying to navigate, straddle two worlds.

Deborah Rodriguez: It is tricky.

Frances Whiting: Very tricky. Now the other character, speaking of teetering between  two worlds, that I really like in this book is Samira. She's the long-term family housekeeper, which, many families, not just in Moroccan society, but many families do retain these long-term I guess servants or people in servitude the family. But they too are straddling a world because they're part of the family, but they're not.

Deborah Rodriguez: Exactly. I wanted to have a character like Samira because Samira knows where all the bodies are buried. And I think that's the case with anybody who works in anybody else's house. And so she has. She's had to cross lines that she isn't often comfortable crossing. And you're right. She's a part of a family but yet sometimes seen as the servant or seen as a family member. Yeah. I can't imagine being in that situation. That would be very difficult, I think.

Frances Whiting: Absolutely. She was probably ... I really liked Samira. And of course I just love Bea, but I think everyone will love Bea.

Deborah Rodriguez: Right.

Frances Whiting: So I want to talk a little bit about process now, because I know a lot of the people who tune into this series are people who'd like to write themselves or are indeed writing. So I always like to ask authors a little bit about their process. So Deborah, can you just tell us a little about where you write, when you write, and how you write?

Deborah Rodriguez: Okay. It's really funny because it kind of depends on what I'm writing. Am I just trying to figure things out and I'm trying to sort through the plot or trying to figure out a character? But I love the fact ... I live in Mexico, as I said before. I live, literally ... The street is right out my door. And often to get inspiration for writing these kind of novels I literally will open my door and I literally let the sounds of the street come to me. And you can hear the roosters crowing or you can hear the dogs barking, the vendors calling out what they're selling.

Deborah Rodriguez: And so I do that. I just let that be background noise for me for when I'm writing. And I like to, depending on what I'm writing, I'll either hunker down in the morning after my coffee, or sometimes I'm a late night writer so I will write and work until the wee hours of the night. And then I'll go up on my patio and sit outside in the dark upstairs, outside my bedroom, and be outside and just listen to ... I love the sounds. The sounds are just inspirational for me.

Frances Whiting: Isn’t it fascinating how we all write so differently?

Deborah Rodriguez: Yeah.

Frances Whiting: I have written a couple of books. I require complete silence.

Deborah Rodriguez: Well, you know what? And if I'm really struggling with something, there is that complete silence thing. Or I just have to ... When nothing comes out. When you look at your keyboard like it is the enemy. It's like, "I hate you, keyboard." I get so frustrated. Sometimes I'll call a girlfriend, actually. I always keep one or two girlfriends going with me all through the story. And I'll call them up. I'm like, "Okay. I am stuck." And then I'll just ... I'm an external processor, so I talk about it. I have to talk it out. If I can talk it out and hear myself tell the story, then I can go further.

Frances Whiting: And it's sort of like being on a quiz show, when you've got your lifeline friends. You're allowed to phone a friend.

Deborah Rodriguez: Yes, yes.

Frances Whiting: So being that travel is such a part of who you are both as a writer and just as a person, how has COVID affected you as a writer in terms of, I guess you can't just pack up now and go wherever? It's not quite the same. And-

Deborah Rodriguez: Well-

Frances Whiting: Sorry. Go on.

Deborah Rodriguez: No. No. I did take ... I told you I live in Mexico. And so the restrictions have been on and off and limited. And so I did take one small trip to Pátzcuaro, Mexico. I turned 60 at the end of October and I wanted to go to the celebration up in the mountains where I knew that COVID was really, really limited. And it was for the Day of the Dead celebration.

Frances Whiting: Of course. Right. And so I was in the cemetery, so everybody was dead anyway. So I was good.

Frances Whiting: I sense another book coming on, Deborah.

Deborah Rodriguez: And so I did feel that angst to do something, and it was my safest way to do something. And I loved it. And I'm really itching to travel again because I've got a new book in the back of my head that I need to get to the location to see if it'll work. I'm chomping at the bit.

Frances Whiting: And I'm sure your readers are chomping at the bit as well to read where your next book takes you. Look, I loved this one. Everyone, if you're looking for beautiful, escapist, armchair travel of a book, and gosh knows this is the time for it. A story about family, love, complicated relationships that we all have. This is just a lovely read. Thank you so much, Deborah, for being my guest today.

Deborah Rodriguez: This was wonderful. Thank you so much.

Frances Whiting: Absolute delight talking to you, and we hope to see you in Australia one day in person.

Deborah Rodriguez: Oh, definitely. Definitely.

Frances Whiting: All right. And good evening, everybody. Thanks for joining us.

Graeme Base

DS: Good morning, my name is Dayna Smith and I'm the Children and Young People's programs leader for Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

It's my very great pleasure to welcome you to this virtual author talk with Graeme Base brought to you by Digitales and the Base Factory. We have eight schools joining us this morning but we're also recording this talk for our YouTube channel so more students will be able to watch later.

Before we begin our interview with Graeme Base, I'd like to respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners and the land that we're meeting on. For us here in Moreton Bay, we're on Kabi Kabi and Undambi people ground, but Graeme is in Victoria and he's on Boon Wurrung Country which is the land of the Yaluk-ut Weelam people.

So I pay respects to both lands and people, especially to the elders past, present and emerging. Graeme Base is one of Australia's most famous authors. If you go home and tell your grown-ups that you attended a virtual author talk with Graeme Base today, I think most of them will know who he is because he's written over 20 books and they've sold millions of copies worldwide.

So not only is this Australia's, you know one of Australia's most famous children's book authors but just famous authors will um full stop. So his second book Animalia was published in 1986 and I was five when that book came out, so for those of you who can do maths in your head you'll know how old I am! But I remember spending hours pouring over the pictures in that book and it's a really really good book because even if you can't read by yourself - or some of the words are a bit too tricky for you to read by yourself - you can look at the pictures and at the start of this book, I have a picture one here, a giant book, you can see that there is (if I can get it lined up) there's a picture of a little boy in here and one of my favourite things about this book is that that little boy is hidden throughout the pages, and you can spend a lot of time looking through finding that little boy, who is Graeme Base himself. So all of his picture books have these layers and layers of images on them which is a really fantastic way to also read stories, um to look at the pictures. So this is why I'm super excited to be to be asking Graeme a few questions today, but one of the special things about these questions is not only do we have a few questions from me but we have questions that are from the students from years 3a and 3b from Southern Cross Catholic College at Scarborough.

So thank you very much to them and to Mrs Hynes and Mrs McFerran for sending those questions in. So I'll get started now and ask the very first question of Graeme, which is why did you become an author?

GB: Wow that's going right back. Well ever since I was a little kid I always wanted to draw. It's the only thing that I, you know, really sort of felt that I wanted to do when I grew up, was was be an artist. Um and I did a after I was all drawing through school, through high school, I even began to sell a couple of pictures to my teachers which was fantastic. Uh gave me a real sort of leg up there, and then I went to college and I did a course called graphic design, um and that was that was basically uh getting me ready for a career in the world of advertising.

So when I finished the course I went out and I got a job in advertising and I hated it. And what's more it hated me. I went through about three jobs in about a year and a half and when I got fired from the third job, I realized this isn't working out.

So I took all the pictures that I had been doing just for my own sake at night, you know, to keep myself sane, and I took them around to publishers uh trying to get work doing book covers. Because every book has to have you know a jacket, a cover, and I did one or two of those, and then I got some jobs doing illustrations for other people's texts, other people's stories, um and that was pretty good.

But it wasn't perfect. So then I thought I'll have a go at this, because one of the other things I liked in school as well as that, was English. I quite enjoyed, you know, writing and you know, the idea of words and the musicality of words.

So I wrote a poem called My grandma lived in Gooligulch and I took it to the guy who'd been giving me work doing you know, a little bit of covers and other illustrations, and uh he said, oh well I'll have a read of it and I'll get back to you, let you know. I thought oh yeah.

Um and he rang back in a couple of days and said this is good, we'll publish it. I couldn't believe it! So that that's that's how I sort of fell into the world of doing, doing books. Um as Dayna was saying that the second book I did was that was Animalia and that was the one that kind of turned a hobby into a, into a career, because it, people in Australia kind of got it, understood you know what the book was about. And then that happened overseas as well. Um so I mean in a potted sort of history, that's why I, that's where I am now.

DS: Fantastic. Thanks Graeme, and the other question that the year three had for you is, is it hard being an author?

GB: Uh not really, you know. I reckon there's a lot of harder jobs with a lot more pressure.

But you've also, but you do have to be disciplined. One of the things is that I don't, I don't have anybody saying to me, uh you know, okay you've got it, you've got to get to work now, and now you know, you've got to sort of hand in this assignment, or you know, do this job of work by the end of the day. My deadlines tend to be like the year after the next, you know, a long time. Because it takes you quite a while to do the books. And sometimes you can forget that it's really important to keep, you know, working all the way through, otherwise at the very end where everyone has this experience - you leave it to the last minute and aaah you know, you you've got to sort of go crazy trying to do the work.

Also I work from home. Now these days a lot of people work from home, but I've been doing that all my life, and you do have to be disciplined, because, in both directions. One it's easy just to say ah whatever I'll do it tomorrow, but also, you can get obsessed with your work and not stop, and that's a bad balance. So there's there's a ... I used to say one of the problems with working from home is that you never get home from work. It's it's always sort of stuck together, and when my kids were little, uh actually I remember my my oldest uh son James.

He was, he was annoyed about something because I couldn't get to something at school, I don't know what it was - a concert or something - and I and I and I said hey you know James, give me a break, I'm at home all the time. And he just said to me - he's only about five - he said no Dad, you're at work all the time. And I thought yeah, you're right, so you do have to you know, your balance. But you when you're your own boss, you just gotta show a bit of discipline.

DS: Wow that certainly puts into perspective having to get homework done and projects done, and things like that for school, because obviously not having um imagine having a year-long deadline for a project you have to do, that's a really really long time to have to work on it and to have to put off doing some fun things to be able to get it done. Thank you.

So the next question is what inspires your work?

GB: The the I've never been short of ideas. Um I find that what I want or short of is time to make the ideas real. And one of the, one of the really great things about my job is that it's, it's involved a lot of travel over the years, because I you know because I've been you know in Australia travelling around talking to people, and also overseas. Um whenever I go off on on a book tour. I'd also try and find a few weeks to go and do something else, go and see something exciting or different, um and it's kind of dangerous because every time II go overseas and go somewhere new, I know that I'm going to come back with another idea which I will have to try and make into into a book.

And sometimes the uh the ideas it's really clear to see, you know, where they come from, where they happen. I mean I went to Cambodia some years ago and saw the incredible ancient ruins of Angkor Wat which are these temples where the jungle has begun to, over the hundreds of years, you know you sort of tear them apart and it's just fantastic to look at. Um and I wanted to somehow capture that. So I I created a book idea called The last king of Angkor Wat.

Many years before that I was in in the Caribbean and had my first experience of scuba diving. I I've done a lot of snorkelling uh when I was young but I've never been allowed to scuba dive because when I was young I used to get asthma, and if you get asthma you're not allowed to go scuba diving in Australia. I discovered in other parts of the world they don't care! It's up to you. So I had this first experience of being able to go under water and stay under water, and just really concentrate on looking at a coral reef. And the the it was just incredible, just the life upon life upon life, the detail and the colour and all this you know, swarming myriad of fish. And I and I was with my mask on and yes and and tanks on my back.

My wife Robyn was snorkelling there too. And I just I I looked I looked around at her and sort of pointed and said - and this is what I said - I said (mumble) and she knew exactly what I said. I said this is the next book and she knew that I was getting inspired. So that's where the sign of the seahorse came from.

This is a long answer but I'm going to tell you there was another weird one though. I was I was actually travelling with with the family and we were somewhere in in Europe and in a hotel, and then in the hotel there was this lamp on the wall and it was a brass lamp, that was the fitting, the bit that sticks onto the wall, and it was kind of in a spiral shape like a, like a snail, and then the other bit the curvy bit - what's that called? Shade. The shade was was was curved like a sail.

I thought oh. So I said to the kids, I said hey hey kids look, a snailing ship. And they just sort of went yeah whatever. Weren't terribly interested, but I thought he was a really cute little character so I drew this little snail with sails, but I do this all the time when I'm travelling. I always I just draw stuff or I write things down and I just popped it away in my bag and forgot about it.

When we got back to Australia, I was unpacking and I found this little character again, the little snail with sails, and I drew him a few more times, and he became a sort of a galleon with, you know, like an old-fashioned ship. And I thought yeah I think there could be a story here, and eventually after some years that came out as The legend of the golden snail. So it's very weird where ideas come from.

DS: Wow that's fascinating, and what a fantastic job to be able to travel around the world and then use what you see to make your books. That's fantastic. So one of the other questions that year three had was how do you think up the characters, and I suppose from what you've just said, I'm also wondering is it that the characters - the character - come first or is it more the setting that comes from looking at these under water worlds or which comes first?

GB: I mean usually it's it it's the setting, and then I'll sort of you know, figure out you know, who lives there. But not always. Um there was another trap a trip that we did. Travelled up to um uh Alice Springs and then drove right up to Darwin and back, and along the way they have these road trains which is massive great big trucks with like three or four huge trailers, and they come hammering down the highway towards you. It's terrifying. You know to be driving along with these huge things going past only a meter away, and as one of them flashed past at one point I noticed that strapped to the big bull bar at the front was this big soft toy of a dog. It was just like hanging there as like a mascot and the the the the idea of, and also the trucks themselves, they're really aggressive. I mean they've got these big headlights and these great big chrome grills that feel like teeth, they're like monsters, and I suddenly thought "truck dogs". Something you know, like some hybrid between you know, a truck and a dog, and I started drawing pictures.

And originally I was going to do it as a picture book, and did a lot of work on that and, it was funny, my American publishers thought that it was a bit scary, too scary for little kids, this sort of hybrid of a truck and a dog mashed together. So they asked me to rethink it and instead, I I produced the book in the end as a novel. Um although I'd still love to do the picture book one day and I've still got plans to do it.

So that was where Truck dogs came from, this this concept of this hybrid animal and I've done that quite a lot. Um in a book called Uno's garden um which has a lot of fantastical animals um and there's there's characters like um, well the first ones are moopaloops, ten magnificent moopaloops. Have you got the book there?

DS: I do have the book here, sitting beside me, yes.

GB: Well and the moopaloops are kind of a cross between eagles and baby snow leopards, uh you know, and and so you know I often sort of mash different characters together. It's been done over the years as you know, classic you know, um mythology of things like um you know the griffin and things like that, which is half eagle, half lion and so forth, um but I just love inventing things and giving them sort of nutty names like, you know, lumpy bums and snaggle bites and things like that.

DS: Fantastic and this is the book Uno's garden or if I can get the camera lined up. That's, that's the one that Graeme was just talking about which does have lots of different animals in here that are all weird and wonderful characters. I think that's the the page of the lumpy bums, which are sort of monkeys but they do have purple bottoms with lumps on them.

GB: They've got duck bills as well, so they're a hybrid.

DS: Yes, yes it's fantastic and Graeme, when I was looking at Uno's garden it did remind me of Animalia in that there's so many different layers to the story with the the central plot which is um, I guess on one surface there it's a story about um a city that keeps on growing, and then there's also things to look for on each page, over here, I'm not sure if you can see that?

But each page has some things to look for. And that reminded me a little bit of of Animalia but with so many layers to each page, and there's often little puzzles or word play in the illustrations, what comes first? Is that the the main storyline or are the puzzles something that that sort of sparks your imagination first, and and then you come up with a story afterwards?

GB: Well it certainly, it has to be the story first. Um I I think it would be possible to just sort of you know, create a you know, a series of puzzles and then try and make a book around them. But I I have always loved the idea of detail ever since I was a kid. I like trying to you know, find the hidden you know, creature in the tree branches and stuff like that in old sort of books that I used to read.

Um there's one, one one exception to that though was the the third book I did was called The 11th hour which is a sort of a mystery story and the whole concept of the book was that I was going to hide clues in the artwork you know, to solve the mystery. Um and uh and if I even even the the title itself was just one of those you know, sort of things that just sort of fell out of the sky and said you know, that's a great name for a mystery book.

Um but the problem is at that point I had no idea what the story was, I just knew that it was going to have lots of clues and puzzles in it and it was going to be called The 11th hour.

So I had to write the story to match the title which is why there's 11 animals that go to an 11th birthday party on the 11th of November and play 11 games and at 11 o'clock you know, the mystery occurs. So I'm sure that's the wrong way to go about things but in that case, it seemed to work.

DS: It certainly did, that is one of the favourite ones of mine because this - each picture is so intricate and trying to find all the little, the little um in the borders and things like that the little animals, I think there's mice in that one. Yes true. So how do you make the pictures then in the books? Do you use paper and pens and paints and things like that or do you do it on computers?

GB: Well it's a little bit of a hybrid now. Um when I went through college, I mean they they hadn't invented a computer that could do anything useful like you know, do pictures you know. They were just sort of black and white or black and green in those days. So you know, computers just weren't part of the the toolkit as it were, and so yes my all my early work I developed a technique, pretty well self-taught really, because at college they weren't interested in teaching me how to paint, they were just interested in sort of ideas to be you know, to sell products.

So I developed a a technique uh with watercolour and coloured pencils and stuff like that um and about maybe 10-15 years ago I I was in real trouble, because I was getting terrible um uh RSI I think it's called yeah in my wrist, uh and it was hurting like anything, and also my eyes were beginning to go because of all of the detail.

And I thought I'm going to have to retire, and I had all these ideas that I wanted to make into books. Um so I began to explore whether there was another way for me to work which was was less um uh, sort of stressful and where where I could see better you know, because you know the glasses were just making me feel ill uh because I happen to have, because of the focal length, it's all blah de blah.

Um anyway and I discovered that things had come along in the in the digital world, and I was now to to take the technique which I had developed over many many years and apply that to a new stick, rather than it being a brush or a pen, it was now suddenly a stylus and a mouse. Um so more recent books they're a, they're a hybrid of the two. I still draw and work out my my pictures, but then I can introduce the computer into it as well to help me with lighting effects and and and color and so forth.

So yeah a mixture of the two, and and there's also that has now flowed into into a continuing interest um in the, into the in the digital world. Um over the years I've been working with with a mob um who do all the work to prepare my books ready for for press, to be printed, to make all the all the copies. Um and they said hey, we you know, we should do some some some digital versions of the books.

I was going uh yeah kind of, I don't know, I don't know much about that, but they did, and they showed me that for instance - and this is what really sold me - that you know the little boy you mentioned at the beginning of "Animalia". That was me. When I was little I used to have blonde hair. Um he said in the book, he's there, hiding behind the cow on the c page or whatever, or riding on the hog on the age page, but in the digital world, every time you look at the page he can be somewhere different.

Like oh yeah yeah that's good. So we create, that's why we created this the Animalia digital - the educational suite - um to to explore the sort of the world beneath Animalia and have fun you know, just helping kids. I suppose, with language, it's all a language-based program, but it's still it's supposed to be fun and there's lots and lots of games where you're playing the games and you don't even realize that you're actually learning stuff about you know, adverbs and verbs and you know sentence construction and stuff.

DS: Fantastic and if you do want to find the Animalia e-resource, you can actually find it on the Moreton Bay libraries' website if you look in our e-resources and for kids, you'll find it in there and there's certainly a lot, you can spend hours poring over it and as Graeme says, not even realize that you're also hopefully learning a few things that will please your teachers about adverbs and sentence construction and, and things like that, but will also help you if you do want to practice your writing skills.

And I know there's probably some very budding authors listening to us at the moment and um yeah, certainly being knowing how to to write a really good sentence is also a big part of the job with writing books. So that was the other question I had for Graeme - it was about writing the story and do the pictures come first, or do the words come first?

GB: Yeah it's a good question. Almost always I'm inspired visually because first and foremost I I think of myself as an artist. I didn't, I didn't grow up wanting to be an author, I wanted to be an artist and I started writing books so that I could have fun of doing illustrations. Um but over the years that the the writing, the text had become more and more important to me and even though still the the the inspiration is first of all visual, I then put that aside and work on the story because I don't think it's possible to do, like I couldn't do a whole lot of puzzles and make a book out of it, I couldn't just do a whole lot of pictures and make a good book out of it. It has to be story first, so I put all the artwork aside and I work on the story, and I get that right and I work out what's going to happen on each page of the book, each double page spread, and then, then it comes - this is the most critical part of it all - is editing.

Um there was, there was somebody who who once said, I think he's been paraphrased a few times, but somebody was writing to somebody and they said I'm sorry for writing such a long letter but I didn't have time to write a short one. You think what's that about? Of course it's to do with the thing is - if you just sort of say oh I want to say something so you just keep writing and writing and writing until you've kind of said everything that you wanted to say and you know, you probably repeated yourself and you know stuff like that. But to to say it in just one page or just one paragraph or in just one sentence, you have to be really really thoughtful about exactly which words that you use, and picture books are a bit like that because usually they have a pretty short text. Uh you know not too many words.

So I would write a story and and it might take you know, maybe three pages, and then I'd try and reduce it down to one page, then reduce it down to one paragraph, and then reduce it down to one sentence. What is this book about? And get rid of all the adverbs and adjectives and make, make very simple sentences, and that's kind of like a skeleton text. That is sort of like the bare bones that, that tells the story. Not terribly interesting, maybe a bit dry and lifeless, but it's great to do that because then you can just start adding a bit of colour to the, to the words and finding a better word for this, or a better word for that, and and introducing life to it again. But it keeps it short and sharp, and also with picture books, you've got to remember remember that it's called a picture book for a good reason. It's got pictures. That pictures are a big part of it, and you don't have to say you know, the girl was wearing a red dress because you can see it in the pictures, so that goes from the text. So it's it's it's sort of like a blend of of of text and pictures and they lock in sometimes, you know they they overlap, but mostly the text does one thing and the picture does another. The text brings the story then the pictures begin to work again.

And that's the way I think of creating a successful picture book uh, and that just takes time. So you know you, I I I can't sort of just write, even though there's only like three or four hundred words, and people have said oh gee you could write one of those before breakfast. Uh sure the idea before breakfast but it's going to be breakfast you know, a year later when you actually say that is the right text.

DS: Wow so a year later. That's amazing and certainly inspiring for me to think that something like this takes about a year to write, um and illustrate and ... and together ... that's the thing because it doesn't really take a year, but it takes a year of of working on the text then doing the artwork and coming back and tweaking the text, and doing more artwork, and then thinking of the other layers that go in and then going back to the text again. That's the thing that takes the time.

GB: Of course it doesn't take you a year to write 300 words um, you know you could carve it in stone in less time, but it takes that long for the entirety of the book to become as good as you think you can make it. All things take time.

The longer that you spend on something generally speaking, the happier you're going to be with the result I think.

DS: So true. So what I'm also hearing is that lots and lots of drafts take place, that you create lots of drafts and refine it and refine the pictures and things like that. Do you have any other tips for um young people wanting to write books?

GB: Well I think probably the writing is as I've said, but the illustrations ... I was just thinking when when you just surmised what I said there or summarized what I said, that this exactly the same thing applies to the artwork.

That you can't just just start at one corner and go da da da da da da da da across to the other side of the page and go but um finished picture, perfect. You've got to do your rough drafts of that as well, and the editing and so forth. The way I work is to just do something which looks terrible, it's a, it's an awful scribbly cartoon but it just shows basically what's going to be in the foreground you know, how close we're going to get to the main subject, what sort of angle? Am I going to be flying like a bird or looking up at it like a worm or is it you know, whatever, all those sort of ideas of design.

And then slowly I just draw characters separately and get them just about right and then I'll you know, paste them into the into sort of a mock-up of the page, and all of this takes a lot of extra time but you finish up with a nicely designed picture that uh, that sort of flows and makes sure your eye goes to the place that you, that you know it's supposed to.

And you know when you first look at the picture you know what to look at. And the more  complicated the picture is, like my my my pictures, the more important it is that there is a definite point that you know that you look at when you open a picture. That you see something like one of the big green gorillas in Animalia or or something like that, that's the first thing, and then you slowly begin to you know, look at all the other things around it. So that same process of of of editing and revision and rough drafts applies to to artwork as well. So yeah, don't just draw something and say that that's it, that's it, that's good enough. It's not good enough. You know, keep working on it and you'll be happier.

DS: Thank you Graeme. So that's what I'm getting the takeaway from this, is keep on working, keep on practising, whether it's practising your drawing, practising your writing, practising both of them, so that you can put them together in a picture book which is really inspiring I think. That that idea that you can start somewhere small, drawing your own pictures yourself, but who knows, one day if you work hard enough, you might end up with your own book or your own 20 books um as as Graeme has got.

So Graeme, one of the other questions I had was often in your books there's animals, um there's often people, are there particular themes that you really like to explore in your work?

GB: Yeah actually you know what, there's a lot less people than there are animals. And one of the reasons for that is that they're much harder to draw. It's funny you know, in um in The 11th hour for instance I've got a zebra sitting cross-legged in a chair playing chess with a rhinoceros and I know for a fact that zebras can't actually sort of sit cross-legged in chairs, but if I just you know, give it stripes and a spiky mane and you know, and stuff like that and make it look furry, then people go oh yeah they believe it's it's a zebra. And the reason is that we don't know the subject all that well. We just know that it's got stripes and you know it looks like a bit like a horse.

But if I drew a person and made the arms too long or the the eyes too far around on the side of their head you go, that's not very good. We know the subject, so then it's it's a real skill to draw people well.

So when I do draw people, I tend to make them caricatures, cartoons like Uno in Uno's garden. I didn't even try to make it look like a real person because I just, I haven't got that skill. As as for theme and subject though, the thing that just you know, interests me is the natural world, and and so I'm not that interested in in drawing you know, other other stuff, and you tend to do better when you're doing what you love. Isn't that true, you know, in life, so I concentrate on on those lovely sort of you know, forest and organic forms and made up animals and dragons and monsters and things where I can exercise my imagination and not have somebody say oh that doesn't look very good because it's not very realistic.

So there it is and I also I think it's important that you know, I've been lucky with my books and I know that now there's a lot of kids that read them, I like the idea of being able to say something which might be considered you know, important or worthwhile so a lot of the books talk about the the need for balance.

Uno's garden is a classic example of that balance between nature and human you know, needs, um and The waterhole does the same thing. I did a book years ago called The worst band in the universe which was about you know the need for for a blend of tradition and innovation, and that's what leads to progress. Little sort of themes like that, but always having fun you know.

There's another one called Jungle drums which is about you know, difference and tolerance you know. There's always going to be people who are you know, sort of smaller or better at this, or more beautiful, or whatever, um and to to to learn to be happy with oneself and to be, and also to to accept other people for who they are.

And those are themes which are serious but along the way um it's important.

The only, the only way to teach anyone anyone anything is for them, is to entertain them, for them to have fun and as we were saying with the Animalia program, uh it's all to do with with words and learning language and and some skills there, but you know it's not going to work if if you don't actually have fun doing it, so that that's fundamental to it.

DS: Thanks Graeme. I love that message so, exploring serious things but always having fun at the same time.

It's a great a great message. I have my last question here now and that is which is your favourite Book and why?

GB: Okay, it's hard not to like a book like Animalia you know. This this, I did it when I was very young, I think I was 28 when Animalia came out and it changed my life because it sort of worked as a mate turned me into a proper author.

Um but I I mentioned just briefly before Dragons. Uh ever since I was a little kid I've been drawing dragons, um and I eventually, I did a book called The discovery of dragons which which is a very precious one for me.

Um also when I was young I used to draw a lot of monsters. The very first book I ever did um was was called A field guide to monsters of the world. I was eight years old and it was done on lined paper and coloured pencil and stapled together. Um and the only reason I remember is that my mum used to keep the things that I did when I, when I was young. And one day she gave me a big box of all of my ideas and said there you go, that's that's that's all the stuff you've been doing for the last 10 or 15 years.

And in it was this little field guide to monsters of the world. And eventually uh I was able to realize that in a in a you know, a published book, uh called The amazing monster detectorscope so that's a favourite because these things relate to when I was, when I was a kid um.

This, each book uh The waterhole uh is another one which is, it was it was a a beautiful project to work on. It was you know, just taking animals from all over the world and it has so many levels in it uh The waterhole from a simple story to number games to an ecological message, uh searching finding hidden animals and stuff so, that's a bit of a sweet one as well. They were all, they were all things that meant something to me. This is actually important.

I think one of the, one of the uh tricks to to writing and and illustrating is I think, to to do it for yourself first. To make sure it's something that interests you or something that brings you sort of you know, amusement or joy, or it's a message that means something to you. Because that will show in the work. If it's something that you don't really care about, you're only doing it because you know, you were told by the teacher or or your publisher said it'd be good to do a book about rockets or something, well fine, but I think that the work will possibly lack heart, and that's the main thing.

If there's any reason why Animalia all those years ago worked as a book, it wasn't because it was a new idea. Lots of people have done alphabet books before. It was because this was a book that I had spent three years on um and it was totally for me. I was just a young you know, kid artist, wanting to draw everything in the world and I decided to arrange it alphabetically and that's what kind of showed I'm sure, in the artwork. Uh I really didn't know that there was a market out there for it at all, but it was something that I desperately wanted to do.

So if you can in life, doesn't matter whether it's books or or kicking a footy or or adding up numbers or writing poetry or anything, whatever it is, if if it's something that means something to you uh, I think you'll do better, it'll be better work, and also you know, well gee whiz, it's almost like you know the secret to happiness if your work is also your joy, then it's easy to get up in the morning and do it.

DS: Thank you Graeme, that's a fantastic note to end on.

Thank you so much for your time today. Thank you everyone for joining us and thank you to the Digitales and the Base Factory for enabling us to have this talk today with Graeme.

Um we hope we see you in a Moreton Bay Region library soon.

Bye everyone. Bye Bye.

Isobelle Carmody

Thank you for tuning in to “Yes, you can ask that” with Isobelle Carmody, brought to you by Moreton Bay Region Libraries. We sat down with Isobelle to ask a few questions.

Question 1: Do you consider yourself a young adult or fantasy author?

Hi, I'm Isobelle Carmody and welcome to my lockdown. She says, not a terribly difficult lockdown. I have a swimming pool to swim in, thanks to some friends who I'm staying with, and I'm going to answer some questions now myself as a writer and about writing.

The first question was whether I see myself as a fantasy writer or a children's author, and I would say that the answer to this is that I don't see myself as either.

I don't define myself in this way. Because, well a couple of reasons. First of all, fantasy author. I don't think you put the form of a writing on top of the writer. I don't think you claim that form. I think the piece of writing or the ideas that you're exploring dictate the form, and I think it's like if you want to make a white sauce or you make a beautiful sauce for some dish you're making, and you always make it in a I'll beaten up battered pot that does a beautiful job and you get some newfangled thing given to you for a birthday or Christmas and, you don't use that when you want to make a great sauce. You actually reach out and get your old pot because you know that that's going to work for you, and the things that make writing - allow writing - to be called fantastic or science fiction are things that work for me. My battered old pot is fantasy and science fiction and probably because I read it, it spoke to me very deeply, it was a perfect vessel for some of the ideas that I wanted to write about.

I mean fantasy and science fiction have a scope you can write with which, I find I don't write like that when I write realistic materia. When I write realistic material, it's much closer and smaller; it's a microcosm. The more realistic I get the more - the smaller - the surrounds in a way, so that's why I wouldn't say that I would call myself a fantasy writer because I'll switch genre depending on what it is that I want to write.

The writing dictates the form for me. And the other thing is that I don't see myself a children's, as a children's author, because (a) I was one when I first started to write. I was like 14 when I first started to write my first novel, and you know at 14 I was a kid and I was writing about someone my own age just struggling with issues that were like mine, and as I said a second ago fantasy was the way  -science fiction, science fantasy was the way - in The Obernewtyn Chronicles - I was trying to explore about being, what it felt like to be an outsider, to be a misfit, to be in a world that seemed ethically not to operate very in the ways that I thought a world should operate. Human beings behaved in ways I didn't think they should behave. There seemed a lot of injustice, and fantasy and science fiction allowed me to write it. I was a kid when I was writing it.

People ask me now did I write that book for children. Well there there's your idea of a children's author. It's just that people tend to think that if you write for children, you must do it on purpose, that you must have some kind of agenda or or idea or omission about something. And I think some writers do but I don't personally believe the best way to write for children is to write for children actually. I think you channel the child in yourself when you, when you write. You draw on your own memories and you write for an imagined child that's you, really, I think. What I wanted to read, what I read, what I loved is what I'm writing for, also in a way. And the other thing about, you know, designating an age group is that how do you know what adults read, what children read? A 14 year old boy can be an incredibly sophisticated reader whereas a 40 year old man can be barely functional as a reader, not have read a book since he was a schoolboy and even then didn't read through a full one. So to say and to designate an age group? No, I find that, I just don't see the point in it. I don't think it works and I don't see the point in it. What I tend to do is, when I'm writing for a certain or appear to be writing for an age group, I suppose is the best way to put it, or and market it as writing for a certain age group … That's a marketing decision and they have figured that out. That's a category they can aim the writing at, and there's a lot of readers there that are likely to enjoy it, so it's a marketing decision.

When I, you know when I write, I find that people of all ages will read the things that I write, and the thing that's that I like I find most complimentary is that they're inclined to say to me that I reached them. And that can be a 90 year old man or a 12 year old girl, and if you write and it reaches that span, I think it just tells you that a writer is not writing outward but writing inwardly, reaching very deeply for truths they understand and writing those. So again the age thing is really problematic to me.

I write around a character. If a character is 12 I draw out on my own memories of childhood. I try to think what it would be like. I imagine what it would be like to put that self into that situation and what is the most truthful way, that I can write that character. What are the genuine feelings I might have had at that age so it's the age of the character that I'm really focused on, not the age of the reader.

Question 2: Which writers have inspired you the most and why?

The writers I’ve admire most have been, well there's a lot of them. You know I was very influenced when I was young by The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the Susan Cooper Dark is Rising series, Lord of the Rings. A lot of books. One that really was very important to me was Enid Blyton’s little - lesser read lesser known I'd say - re-telling of Paul Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. She titled it The Land of Far Beyond and I think all of these books looking back were influential to me because they, they were connected to me becoming a writer, although I didn't know at the time. I was learning from them.

What I learned from The Land of Far Beyond was that you could write a story about what went on inside a person spiritually or emotionally, as if it were a journey that were happening outwardly. So that was the most, perhaps the most important book that I read because it was re-reading that year after year after year, not understanding why I was almost addicted to having it even accessible, even if I didn't re-read it. I had it constantly borrowed from the library. It was because it was doing what I wanted to do, and the other writer that's been a huge influence on me was Ursula Le Guin and for the same reasons.

You know she was mastering what it was that I really wanted passionately to be able to do, and that was to write stories about what happened to people ethically and morally when things were happen when they were negotiating situations, or events in their own lives.

So those writers were doing what I wanted to do and I was hungry. I suppose now that I look back, I was hungry for some sort of understanding, although I didn't know it then. I just really loved those books and re-read and re-read them. I learned to be a writer re-reading those writers and I still read Ursula Le Guin to this day because of the fineness and also the the honed quality of her writing … which I’m much wordier.

You know I was very attracted to Margaret Atwood - not Margaret Atwood - Angela Carter. Angela Carter, because of her ornate writing. You know if you look at A Company of Wolves or one of those stories that, they’re so rich. She has dozens of adjectives which you're not supposed to ever use because you know we're all about not using adjectives anymore. I love them!

I adored you know, the use of adjectives and there's a lush kind of unfolding of a story. I loved fairy tales and myths for this lush kind of language and even though I knew you weren't supposed to do that, somehow as a writer, or that it was not what people wanted from you, I could do the other kind of writing. I could do that sparse writing, but I was drawn to the other kind. Ursula Le Guin seemed to, for me, was the perfect sparse writer. She teaches me again and again what it is to be a beautiful sparse writer, but it doesn't stop me from accessing that lushness and that love, love of lush language as well.

So it seems to me if I could put the two together - Angela Carter's lushness and Ursula Le Guin's sparseness and her integrity - I would be the writer I want be. So yeah, people have influenced me but for those reasons mostly.

Question 3: What inspired you to write the Kingdom of the Lost series?

The Land of the Lost series, that is The Red WindThe Cloud RoadThe Ice Maze and the final one, which will come out in a couple of months, The Velvet City.

Well the beginning was these two little guys, these two little cute guys. See the different tails? There's, just a little bit different.

I found these secondhand, in a giveaway bin,, in an op shop in Eastern Europe. And I called this little guy Bily, Bily means “white” in Czech, and this little guy’s Zluty. Zluty means “yellow” in Czech.

And I was going give them to my little daughter. She was 3 then, and I was nowhere near writing a book for a 3 year old, a 5 year old or any age group at all. I wasn't writing the Little Fur books, which were the first books I wrote which were marketed for younger children.

But I did get these little guys and I was going give them to Adelaide and Babushka was with me, and she said let's give this one to Clara her 6 year old sophisticated cousin and my 3 year old Adelaide. And I hated the thought of separating them. I just thought they managed to get to the rubbish bin together, we shouldn't separate them, so we separated them because I was an adult and you can't make that kind of argument about toys. And poor little Bily went off to a house where there was a dog and eventually had his little paw chewed off. And when then happened, I couldn't bear it any longer. I traded to Selena Gomez tapes to Clara and I put the two little brothers back together.

In those days it was kind of hard to get English books in the Czech Republic, so like any mother does I wrote some stories for my little girl about Bily and Zluty. And they were not stories I ever - I was writing books - I'd written 50 books or something, and I wasn't writing books to be published for little kids.

I was writing for Adelaide, and they were no more publishable than any adult’s book written for a little - specific little child. Adelaide was in the stories as a character, but these two little guys were affected by their history. Bily was always timid and gentle and quiet, when Zluty was intrepid and, and brave and bold and the only little funny thing that used to happen was that Bily was the brave one, Bily was always the adventurer but somehow he was always asleep or doing something when Bily had adventures, much to his amazement. And he was always very timid. So that was how the characters were when we played with them.

After I'd written all four of the Little Fur books and illustrated them all, I was looking to draw it again, to do to draw again and to do another book, and because I've written about these two little guys and drawn them many times for Adelaide, they were natural for me to come to. But I didn't actually want to draw them as - I didn't want to tell the story that I told Adelaide. I just started to come up with another story and the ideas in my mind really were how we as human beings throw away so many things - things, people, relationships, toys - once we've finished with them and yet things have a life of their own. Everything has a life of its own and these little guys had a whole complex life after they were bought for some child when they were new and maybe passed on from brother to sister.

So I was thinking about this way we human beings throw away things, and so The Land of the Lost is, starts off being, you would imagine The Land of the Lost refers to the land in which these two little brothers live. This fairly empty land where stuff falls from the sky through a crack in the sky to the ground and no one knows where it comes from, or what it's for, and there's a stone storm where these little guys’ house gets destroyed, and they have to go looking for a new home.

That's basically the overarching story. Where does the stuff in the sky come from? What does it all mean? Who are they? Where did they come from? Why is there no one else like them? And finally, will they ever find a home?

Question 4: Elspeth and the others in The Obernewtyn Chronicles have special abilities, which are most significant, and which do you wish you had?

Elspeth and other characters that are in The Obernewtyn Chronicles have special abilities. They far seek, they coerce, they have empathy and various other abilities.

If I could have any ability I wanted, I think I would have one that I haven't got in that series, and that would be projective empathy. And that, that would be the power to project from one person into another the, the feelings they were experiencing. So let's say you had a government minister who was making very draconian laws about school children or something, and these children were being kind of locked up or whatever, and I would be able to send the feelings of that child into the mind of that politician, and they would have to deal with what they were causing.

I mean it's probably just a, you know, a version of the old “do unto others” thing but it would give me the, I would have the power to be able to make that happen. So projective empathy.

In The Obernewtyn Chronicles, the, the power of empathy is really important. I's the one power that Elspeth feels that she doesn't have, and because she feels she doesn't have it, she, she's cut off her herself, from her emotions. She feels that she can't feel things, that she doesn't necessarily, you know, experience things strongly enough emotionally. She feels she lacks emotions and she to some extent frightened of them.

There are reasons, like in anybody's life, trauma tends to shut you off and you, you produce the layers of protection and Elspeth has that in her past which he's also putting between herself in the world. But in part, but of course she does have empathy. She has great empathy. The whole reason she's protecting herself is that, is that empathy she has. All of those powers though are not only just powers which you know, who doesn't as a kid wish to be able to fly or to be invisible or something, so it's wishful thinking to a certain extent of course. Of playing with a memory of what you wished for …

Question 5: As a writer who illustrates, what advice do you have for putting writers and illustrators of graphic novels and books?

Illustrate my books? Well I don't think of myself really as an illustrator. I certainly am not trained. I've always drawn. I drew for my brothers and sisters all through childhood - comic books and whatnot - and lots of little cartoons - and when my daughter was growing up, I used to tell her this story about this little character called Little Fur and I used to get back home after me walking with her and telling her whatever bit of the story I'd get made up for that day, and she would say “Draw her, draw Little Fur for me Mama” so I did.

I used to draw her over and over and over again with the various animals in various configurations, and you know, I didn't think of that book being, that story being something I would get published, but one day it came to me that my daughter wouldn't want that story forever and I would therefore not be able to tell it anymore. And that just seemed really such a shame, and because I wanted to go on telling it.

So I thought well you know, you're a writer, you can write it as a book. So I started, but then I realized very quickly that if it was published, if anyone took it on, they would want illustrations for it, and I didn't want anyone else's version of Little Fur but mine and Adelaide's. So it meant a great deal to us.

So I wrote to the publishers. I did these four little pictures my daughter's $2 paint box or $3 paint box whatever, from the supermarket, of Little Fur Fox, and I think a couple of other pictures. I can't remember what they were now. And I sent them to the publisher with my story and said “This is what I'd like to write about but here's the catch, I want to do the illustrations” and they said yes!

So I was ecstatic for about four seconds and then I was completely horrified because, I suddenly realized that I actually had to do it and I'd sold them for books not yet written - one was written - and I had to do 120 illustrations for the first book. And that's a whole different thing than drawing the odd little drawing for your daughter. So I really was quite frightened for a while, but then I thought, well I can't have made this big fuss and be given this incredible opportunity and squander it. I have to try, so I started to you know draw.

I drew the same drawings I'd always done but I did them over and over again and gradually realized that the drawings themselves could be very simple if the background was complex, and by complex I mean patterned. So that was kind of my style right from the start.

I I really loved, well I was very influenced by the Moomin Troll, Tove Jansson’s gorgeous black-and-white illustrations. Illustrations - black and white ink - and also I love Edward Gorey’s illustrations and he's someone who really, really knows how to put a pattern together. And there was something, there must be some you know bit of me that loves this completely detailed kind of tiny cross hatching or a million leaves or a million grains of sand each drawn as a tiny circle. Some bit of me found that very Zen process, so I would have my simple drawings and then around it I would do this other stuff and I didn't, I would say make the mistake of trying to be a professional illustrator because if I had, I would have had to have gone back and learned about perspective and the golden mean and all those things I know only as words and vaguely. But a real illustrator knows those things and they've trained for years, so I thought I'm just going to go with what I know and if it isn't good enough, somebody will tell me.

So I did 170 drawings because I thought they'll choose the best of them, or was it I think I might have been 120 drawings I did, and I thought and they wanted 90 or something and I thought they'll give them a lot more, and then I can't do anything again because I'm not that good a drawer.

I couldn't repeat anything and make it better, it would be a completely different drawing the next time (so I discovered) so I sent it off and they really liked the illustrations. And so that's that's how the illustration came about.

I guess the advice I would take from that to give to anybody is that if you love drawing and you have a passion for it then do it, and just keep doing it, because you can't help but getting better, and if you do want to do something, you know, something more, you know, if you do want to take it into your own writing, well you've got to be prepared to invest a bit of time in it, And by that I don't mean going and taking classes although that may be the thing you want to do and need to do and that's good for you, but to put some time into it in the thinking about it. Like when I was, when I'm looking at pictures now or drawings or even the world, like have a look over here - this pattern of leaves. The other day I was lying there after a swim and I noticed how the, you can see maybe even a little bit of it, how the reflection is on the leaves, and I just thought how you know it would be nice to sort of try and capture that. How would you capture that?

So I found myself and still find myself often dissecting the world in terms of what visually things look like, like patterns and what kind of shapes and what I'd like to draw, and some things I'm always loving the idea of drawing like snow and sand and water and, and clouds are things I - difficult to draw - almost impossible to draw. It's sort of textures in the world in a way, but I never let not being able to draw I stand in the way of wanting to draw something. I have an idea and I just pour it into the drawing and just do the best that I can, and I would say that's what you have to do if you love drawing enough eventually you'll get there, and if your drawings are not good enough, okay then you've got a great idea you can give to to an illustrator or you, you know how to describe it to an illustrator.

So that's another way of thinking about it. I mean there are projects I would take on that I would have no idea at all how to do myself, but I know what to say. I know how to describe it. I can even block it out in a way and then hand it on to somebody else, although I don't know now. Would I be able to hand it on?

I have a graphic novel idea and I'm not sure anymore. I want to have a go at it, I know that much. Again I will bite off more than I can chew and one of these days it'll be too much and I'll have to spit it out again. This may be the project. In which case I will boneless Lee let it go and recognize I've reached my limitation, if there is a limit to be reached.

I don't think, I guess the thing I could say about writing, and illustrating, is one of the one of the gifts - if I could say that - put it in this way - the gifts I have is that I don't put huge obstacles in front of myself by imagining ambitions. I'm not ambitious. I don't have huge ambitions. I try something but right in the middle of trying at all, knowing I've taken it on, I acknowledge that I might fail. I know it might be too much for me and I, I'm fine with that, and what worries me sometimes is young artists and writers and illustrators just have such huge ambitions immediately, and their ambition gets in the way of what they really might have in themselves to to to explore, so with illustration and with writing I think that's the rule of thumb. That would be the main advice I would give.

Don't put your ambitions, don't put your ideas of how your work might be received in the world out there as an ambition looming over you and overshadowing you, because it's really hard to work in the shadow of that thing. It's much easier if your, your, your desires are humble and you just are prepared to work really hard and try things. Ttrying things is wonderful. Putting some huge ambition in front of yourself, that's just a huge, that's just a putting an hurdle in front of yourself that you have to get over before you can even begin to write.

Question 6: You once said that you would make a poetic choice ahead of a grammatical choice every time, why is poetry so important to you?

I know once in an interview I said something about, you know, making a poetic choice always over a grammatical choice, a choice, and the question I was asked or I'm being asked now is, you know, why why poetry is important to me.

I would say when I write, poetry is important in the sense that language itself can be poetic, and you know you can be the kind of writer who just, you know, writes what's happening and that has a sort of poetry too, a blank stark kind of meter, and I guess meter is what I'm talking about.

Rhythm and poetics for me is all about probably rhythm some of the time, and when I talk about poetical language, that's really what I'm talking about. Not the writing of poetry but that poetic meter of language like sometimes when I'm writing, you know I'll write a sentence and that's that has a certain feel for me. Names, you know when I invent names they have a certain rhythm for me and that rhythm corresponds somehow in some you know amorphous you know impossible to explain way with either the character or the place that I’m naming or whatever it is.

And you know the sound of language, the meter of language is how I define that.

If an editor makes a change, I can often find it even if they have forgotten to to mark it, because the meter doesn't feel right. The sentence doesn't have the right rhythm, so I'm always conscious that there needs to be some kind of rhythm and I do have it when I write.

I mean I think if you a writer like me who uses a lot of descriptive words where, you know, it's sometimes seem that it's better to write you know it was this sparse language. The better you are, the more sparsely you write, but you know then you look at someone like Angela Carter and you can see this is a writer who nobody ever told her too many adjectives and, she doesn't beautifully, and she can do it because she uses the rhythm of language to allow herself the scope in which to build up this beautiful tapestry of embroidered writing.

And I, you know, that's the sort of writing on I love to do. I'm very attracted to, you know, layer upon layer upon layer of writing and, and if a grammatical choice requires that I, you know, it would seem to be better grammar if I don't do this thing but the language of a character speaking or my description of something requires me to mess around with the grammar, I'll do that because it works better.

I do it a lot with dialogue and characters. I think that's one of the best ways you can show character ahead of dialogue and that's by using the sound and the meter of language and the way language is spoken by a character to tell you something about them. Showing rather than telling in the most powerful way.

I also love poetry.

I have this online poetry club where I send people - a number of lucky people - a poem a day and those people are send me back up on from time to time too. So it's not an everyday thing these days but it is an exchange, and it's not my poetry although every now and again I'll post one of mine.

I don't see myself as again, like being an illustrator, I don't see myself as a published poet. I'm not seeking publication. It's just something I like to do, and every now and again can I get on a roll, have a bit poetry binge, and then I stop and go back to, you know, writing or whatever else it is that I'm doing …

Question 7: How do you know when a book is finished?

Oh that's a good question. How do I know when something's finished? It’s the best question maybe in some ways because it requires a certain pragmatism, and you know a lot of people when they write get all caught up in this kind of poet - this poetic ideal of this bohemian writer strolling around uttering poetry in the middle of the night while drinking whisky or something.

I mean first of all, I couldn't write and drink whisky at the same time, second I don't like whisky.

I think finishing and that pragmatic streak go together. It means that when you start something you know that you've got to finish it, and there is no ending to a piece of writing in the sense of his and ending to life or an ending to some episode in life or a journey comes to an end. Writing isn't like that. You may, you do journey towards an end and hopefully you have some notion of what the end might be, or at least I need to know somehow some sense of what the end will be like, but you do have to choose it.

I mean there are many places you could end a story and usually what you're trying to say or what the story is beginning to say for you dictates where the end will be, and sometimes that's a little bit left or right of where you thought you were going to write, or the story can take you very far away from where you thought you were going to go, but you do have to end. You do have to come to an end at some point.

For me, it's it's when I start to feel fretful about about where I'm going to end. I start feeling there's an ending. And I can see it could go this way or it could go that way which tells me I'm getting to an ending. And then it's just simply a matter of making a decision because there's no wrong decision.

If you write to that end and it doesn't work you can go back and redo it, so deciding and decisively moving forward is better than trying to figure out the perfect ending in your head. This is one of those things where I think you've got to let your hands and your writing take you to the end.

For me also it's important to come to an end because I think has an emotional arc for me, a very strong emotional arc to whatever it is that I've imagined at the end, and it's usually for me something very visual at the end. A character walking somewhere, doing something, and I might only have that in the vaguest sense …

Question 8: What are you reading?

What am I reading now? A couple of things. I'm re-reading Miss Smella’s Feeling for Snow. I'm reading an Edward Gorey called the Gashlycrumb Tinies, looking at the patterns again. I'm reading a book called Cavalier and Clay which is, I've only just begun. I'm reading a Murakami book about what I think about when I run, a series of essays and one of them is what I think about when I run. I love his writing. I think of what else but I'm always reading several books at the same time.

Question 9: What moment defined you as an author?

The defining moment of being a writer? I think it was in fact when I was typing one of the Little Fur books, the first Little Fur book, and Adelaide came through the kitchen when she was about 6 or 7 or 8 something, to get I told them to her when she was 6 so she would be about 8 when I was writing it, and she was going to get a snack and when I type up a handwritten manuscript I mutter to myself.

And I muttered something about Little Fur and Adelaide came over and said “Mama are you writing about Little Fur?” and I said yes and she said “Well read me a page”.

And she often did this reading a page and so whatever horrible thing I was writing, whatever it was, even if it was a report or something, I read it out loud and she was always very polite. She would say Mama that's really interesting but I have something I need to do in my room now” if it was boring, but on this particular occasion she listened to the end of the page and I got to the end of it and she had such a strange expression on her face, and I said to her then don't you like it and she said “But Mama, Little Fur is real, isn't she?” and that was the moment. I really realized that, that in writing a story I told her I I'd raised the question of whether it was real or not, and I just suddenly struck me in that moment about what it was to be a writer. It was to pin down stories in some way. That's the only significant moment I can think of.

Falling over on the Opera House stage, that was another moment that I'd rather forget …

Thank you for listening to “Yes, you can ask that” with Isobelle Carmody, brought to you by Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

3 things with Kate Kruimink

KW: Welcome everyone to the latest instalment in Moreton Bay Region Libraries’ newest author talk series Three Things.

In this series of videocasts we asked some of our favourite authors to tell us about three items or objects which have a particular resonance for them. But before we begin I'd like to respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians and the traditional Country on which our interview is taking place, and the elders both past and present. In my case I'm on Turrbal ground here in Brisbane.

I also recognize those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future elders and leaders.

Today I'm lucky enough to be talking to this year's Vogel winner Kate Kruimink. Welcome Kate.

KK: Thanks so much Kerryn, thanks for having me.

KW: For those of you who are unfamiliar with the award, The Australian Newspaper/Vogel's Literary Award is one of Australia's most prestigious literary prizes for an unpublished manuscript from an author under the age of 35, and as such it's launched the career of over a hundred Australian authors including Tim Winton, Rohan Wilson, Kate Grenville, Andrew McGahan and Gillian Mears, and it's provided an important contribution to Australia's cultural landscape.

Now K. M. Kruimink’s manuscript for A Treacherous Country was unanimously voted as this year's winner and that book has just been published by the sponsoring publisher Allen & Unwin. Congratulations Kate.

KK: Thank you so much Kerryn, it's so exciting.

KW: Now a little bit about Kate. Kate was born in Tasmania and spent most of her childhood in the Huon Valley, apart from an interlude on the west coast. After completing a largely ornamental arts degree (her wording not mine) at the University of Tasmania, she lived and worked interstate and overseas for several years. Today she lives once again in the Huon Valley, now with her husband and daughter.

A Treacherous Country is her first novel welcome again Kate, thank you for joining us. Before we start talking about your three things, I wanted to check in with you as to how lockdown’s been treating you. What have you been missing and have there been any silver linings for you?

KK: Thanks Kerryn, um yeah it's an interesting time for so many of us and, I mean my overwhelming feeling is just of gratitude, you know that I have health, my family and friends are all healthy and you know we've got somewhere to live. We've got some stability. So I am very grateful.

There are definitely things I miss. I find I don't have much free time now. So I work part-time as an English language teacher and I used to drive into the city which is about an hour away and I would, you know, have a bit of free time around my work and and I'd, you know, have to dress professionally and put a professional face forward, and none of that happens now. Um so I miss having time to myself. The silver linings - I think more time with my daughter of course, but also I think it's sort of showing that a slower pace of life is possible, and I think also hopefully it might open up more possibilities for people post lockdown when we start to go back to normality as we are now, I guess. That, you know, those of us who have been fortunate enough to to be able to work from home have kind of shown that it's possible, you know, even in in workplaces where that wasn't part of the culture before, and so I think that that's going to make work a lot more accessible to a lot more people.

In particular, because that's my context, I'm particularly thinking of of women with children. In my experience there's always been something I can't go to, you know, even in the most accommodating with workplaces, there's always a meeting I have to skip or something, and so I think if some of those things could go online more as a matter of course, then it's going to be a benefit for people.

KW: That's fantastic, thanks for sharing that Kate. Now I wondered if you could tell us a bit about your novel? I've just finished reading it by the way, and I really did enjoy it and I can see why the judges loved it. It's got a very particular flavour and texture to it, so if you could tell us a little bit about your character and his adventures I think everybody would enjoy that.

KK: Thank you so much for your kind words Kerryn. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

So my book is called A Treacherous Country and it's set in Van Diemen's Land in 1842 with flashbacks to Norfolk, to the family life of the main character. He's a young man, he's called Gabriel Fox, 25, and he arrives in Van Diemen's land with a very specific goal, very specific mission, um but this strange sense of almost unreality or disassociation.

Things sort of unfold for him and he's pulled along but he's not really pursuing his goal. He finds himself more and more reflecting on on what happened at home and sort of grows within himself during his adventures in Van Diemen's Land, which include doing some whaling. But he comes to realize that his true motivations are pointing him back home and that he needs to face up to a situation back there where he has been quite weak, and he needs to go home and and do better.

KW: So how did you come to actually write the book Kate? Did you choose a story or did it choose you? It's a very unusual story to my mind.

KK: That's a great question. It chose me definitely, it chose me. Um so I've always written, you know, all my life and I've had a few small publications before this novel, short stories and so on. Um so when my daughter was a few months old, actually like now, then too she was a very poor sleeper, um and with that and hormones and so on I I was in a bit of a stage. I was really exhausted and I found I was sort of losing myself a bit, so I Googled the Vogel award - I knew about it already - and I thought, you know, if I can I can work on something and enter it then that could give my days some structure. It could give me something to think about.

So I Googled it and I had about eight months um and I I started looking at an older manuscript that I'd started writing years before, and it was too difficult, it was kind of too personal and it just wasn't right for the headspace I was in at the time. So I found this little side character in there who was called Mr Whitely who was coming to this whaling station to buy it and he can see it's not going to be a very good deal, and I kind of pulled him out and and he he changed as I started thinking about him and writing about him.

He became younger, he became more confused, more vulnerable and his story unfolded kind of as I went. So it really showed itself to me.

KW: That is very fascinating. I would not have expected that he really did speak to you but you know, I should really, you know, take that on board because so many people say to me when they’ve written something that the characters have come alive as they've been writing and they've developed their own lives, you know, irregardless of what you were trying to achieve as an author in the first instance.

KK: So yeah and as you go, sort of the story develops its own logic, you know, you can think about it beforehand but I think it's in the writing that that things develop a rightness or a resonance or or not as the case may be.

KW: Thanks for sharing that Kate, and it's a really interesting insight into how the book came to be. I could talk for a lot longer about the book because there's so many interesting things about the other characters in the book aside from Gabriel, and Gabriel is so very interesting, but we are here to talk about your three things. So I'm going to ask you Kate if you would share with us the first of your three things, and I believe it was something that it belonged to your mother.

KK: That's right yes, it's a book. Here it is. It's called - I assume it's it's backwards on the screen - but it's called Jill and Judy by Caroline Brown. This was a very much loved childhood book of my mother's. I don't actually know where she got it from but there are a few clues. So it was secondhand. This name here is Rebecca Horswell which was not my mother's name. So if anyone knows Rebecca Horswell, I have her book. And there's an inscription here that's being crossed out which is Xmas 1950 and my mum was actually born in ‘55 so the book predates her slightly and so I think maybe my grandmother gave it to her.

And I actually dedicated my book to my mum and my grandmother because they were both really literary and both incredibly supportive as well. As a family member said, they would both have been doing triple somersaults if they'd been around to to hear about my award. Um so they were very much with me for that. So there are actually better books that I could have chosen to kind of show a readerly family, you know, a literary childhood. There were really good books that we enjoyed together like The Secret Garden or Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia and this one is very simple. It's a book of stories, everyone looks the same, everyone looks like this and everyone is very jolly and everything is fine in the end, you know, the the conflicts are very very gentle and very easily resolved. But the reason I chose this book in particular is that it's actually given me a bit of an insight into my mother, coming to it now with some maturity. My mum actually died three years ago and this book kind of presents this sort of story tape, you know, obviously it's literally this storybook reality where everything is quite perfect and I think that mum felt like this is what she should have been, um and she wasn't of course because no one is. I mean this looks actually incredibly boring. It looks like nothing real ever happens in it, but I think she felt it as a bit of a failing that she wasn't this. Um which I mean obviously I have a lot of empathy for my mother but this is sort of a renewed empathy that I have for some of the ideas that she had to struggle against in her life.

Um so I've been grateful to find this again for that reason.

KW: Thanks so much for sharing that Kate. I as you were talking I was thinking there were some resonances there with Gabriel's mother in your novel, where Gabriel's mother is caught up very much in a society that has norms that she has to conform to that really impact on her mental health. And yeah I don't want to say any more because we probably give too much away of what happens in the book as things are revealed to Gabriel as he muses about them.

So I'm going to ask you about your second choice, which I found quite intriguing because I'm from a very small place as well, from a small place in southwestern Victoria and the object that you're going to talk about was quite an important one for me as well.

So over to you Kate.

KK: Yes solidarity in that Kerryn! I think being from a small place, it sounds like you've probably had this experience too. For a lot of people, it's quite important if you can to leave and Tasmania is certainly like that because Tasmania is a wonderful place and I'm really happy to live here again but it was important for my own growth to get out.

So that's why this is my second object. It's my passport. So I got this one when I was about 24 so it's going to expire soon, and though I used one before this as well, you know, I went on a gap year. I had a bit of a troubled teenagehood and a gap year was kind of my way of asserting independence I think, and challenging myself and showing that I could be independent.

And actually your observation that there are connections there with my mother and with that with the book are very true. As I wrote the book more and more I came to realize that there was a lot of myself in there, which I I don't know speaks terribly well of me but that that's the truth. Um but this this passport is the important one and so when I graduated university I did an English language teaching qualification and again I left.

I went to Spain first for a couple of months to live with the family and you know, share language, and while I was there I got a job in Jakarta, so I had to wait for my visa to be sorted so I spent a lot of time travelling around Europe waiting for this. And I went to Rome on a bit of a whim. I didn't really have enough money but I just passionately wanted to go. I was in the Netherlands which is, you know, reasonably far um seeing some family there and so I just hopped on a plane and I went to Rome and in the hostel there I I met someone. I met this this young English guy called Matthew and we spent a lovely day together in Rome. We went to dinner together. I had to go to Barcelona next for a medical test related to my visa and he said, you know, can I come? Okay you can come, and then in Barcelona he said, you know, you you're spending a lot of money um travelling around Europe waiting for your visa, why don't you come back to England with me and wait there? And then in England we thought, well maybe maybe you can come to Jakarta with me, um so six years on we're now married. We have little Edie and the travelling was a really formative part but it was almost the whole part of our relationship for a long time. We lived in Jakarta, we lived in Sydney, Auckland for a couple of years, in Melbourne and it was from Melbourne that we came back to Tasssie. I'm lucky that he likes it here actually. I'm lucky he doesn't mind the climate or the cold.

KW: Yes it would be - you know, maybe for an English person it's not too bad!

KK: That's true, I think it's a less cold here than when he where he grew up actually.

KW: So now we move on to object three. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your overseas experience and what that meant to you, and your third object which I think is something more about your life now back in Tasmania, so if you would share with us your third object please Kate.

KK: Yeah that's right, um so we came back to Tasmania in 20 the end of 2017, I think, because I had discovered that I was pregnant. I mentioned we were living in Melbourne. It was actually only a couple of months after my mum had died so it was a really really emotional time for me as you can imagine, you know, with the pregnancy and grief - and so it was an easy choice to come back to Tasmania.

Um I don't know if I'd ever really left. I would bring Matthew back every Christmas and you know, I'd come for for mental health visit sometimes. Especially when we were in Auckland. Um so it always felt like home and I always knew I'd come back.

So this is my third object here. I don't know if you can see that. That's my um it's my daughter's patient ID. It says Kruimink baby of Katherine because she was unnamed for a couple of days. Um I tried to put this around her little wrist - she's two now - and it wouldn't go. This is very small. I don't know if you can see.

Um so the birth experience itself was a bit of a shock to me. I was very very confused afterwards and they put this little doll in my arms and I didn't know what was happening really.

I think I sort of knew it was my baby but I didn't really connect on an intellectual level. Um but the really the surprising thing for me um sort of happened afterwards. So I was very aware of postnatal depression and I knew that I would have to address it if I if I saw signs within myself, that it would be important to be on top of it and to be honest about it, but but what happened was actually the opposite with me.

So I mentioned when talking about my passport that I had a bit of a troubled teenagehood. I actually dropped out of school. I had to have special permission to be able to go to uni for that reason. Um but it was almost like my daughter reached out a little newborn hand and slapped me in the face and said get a grip woman, I need you. I’ve sort of been fine ever since.

Um I don't want to seem like I'm saying that, you know, motherhood is the saviour of all women or anything because I don't believe that at all. It's it's not for everyone and and those people it is for, it can be so difficult and of course it it does have its challenges for me too. But in a way Edie has has been a bit of a saviour to me, so so that is why I chose this as my third object.

Um I feel like it was another stage in in my own development, in my own maturity, was having him.

KW: Well thanks so much Kate, that's it's wonderful to hear that he's made such a wonderful addition to your life. I'm unfortunately I'm not a parent myself but I do have many many nieces and nephews and I know that there's a tremendous joy in being a parent. So thank you for sharing with us Kate. It was a wonderful, has been a wonderful wonderful chance to say hello and share with you about how much I enjoyed your book and I thoroughly recommend people to read it.

It's it's not, it's not a depressing book or anything like that, you might think you know there's some challenging things that happen to go bill but in the end it's it's it's quite an uplifting little book and his experiences are quite entertaining as well.

So um I would like just to, before we finish, say that you can borrow Kate's book from our library. Kate's book is called A Treacherous Country and we have regular copies and eight copies available, and you can also buy from any good bookstore. And to thank you Kate and the wonderful Laura and Allen and Unwin for sharing you with us, and goodbye everyone and thanks for listening.

KK: Thanks so much Kerryn and Moreton Bay libraries for having me. I've really really appreciated this opportunity to think about my treasures and and what they mean to me, and what I could choose when limited to just three to represent myself, so thank you for that opportunity and also thank you to to everybody who's listening.

Monica McInerney

Start of Transcript


Photograph of the author, Monica McInerney, in a garden with roses and sweet peas. She is smiling, wearing a dress covered in roses.

Text on Screen:

Monica McInerney

In-conversation with

Mary-Lou Stephens


The cover of her latest book, The Godmothers, is on display beside her photograph. The first words at the very top of the book cover is ‘AUSTRALIA’S NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR’. The illustration is stylised outlines of three women seated closely together, with different designs of a red dress, on a white background. The women are seated very close together.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Welcome everyone, we're here for a very happy occasion - a new Monica McInerney book. It's been a long time, we've been waiting for this one, so it's more auspicious than ever!


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in a video call. Monica is surrounded by The Godmothers book covers and wears a vibrant red top. Mary-Lou has frames on the wall behind her and is wearing a pink top. Both appear very engaged in their conversation.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Now, Monica's early life sounds like something out of her story itself. She grew up one of seven children in the Clare Valley in South Australia, and her dad was a stationmaster. Her mom worked at the local library, but from then on life got rather real. Monica had to work for a living, and she's done everything from working in the music industry to hospitality work, including waitressing and hotel cleaning. But these days when she visits the hotel, it’s there to either stay or to write about it, as she does. There’s the gorgeous boutique hotel in The Godmothers. But let's start off by welcoming Monica and finding just a little bit more about her first.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Hello Monica.

Monica McInerney:

Hello Mary-Lou, it's great to talk to you again.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Good to have you here. Now we have a very limited time. I'm just going to start the timer so that we're all on the same page!

Monica McInerney:

We’ll talk quickly.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

So many questions and some great questions from our audience as well, so it's great.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

So first up, Monica. Congratulations, not only on your new novel, your 13th novel, but on 20 years in the publishing industry. Can you take us back 20 years ago, to when you were first dabbling your toes in this world? How was it for you back then?

Monica McInerney:

I suppose in a funny way, I've actually been in the publishing industry for 30 years. Because for 10 years before I became a writer, I worked behind the scenes in publishing as a book publicist in Australia and Ireland. So, I promoted and toured with authors like Roald Dahl and Tim Winton and Margaret Mahy, and all sorts of amazing writers.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

And then it was only after I left publishing, and my husband and I had moved to Tasmania, that I missed being around stories and talking about books and words all day. And I started writing short stories. And so, I wrote probably dozens of short stories in about two years I think, sent them out hoping they get published. Back they all came, rejected. But I was just loving the process of writing so much, I didn't mind the rejections. And then a beautiful thing happened in the space of about two weeks: three of my short stories got accepted, and that gave me the confidence to start working on my first novel. And that, after two years of writing, that became my first novel, A Taste for It, a comedy, so and that was published in 2000. So, my lead-in was short stories!


The video is now only focused on Mary-Lou as she speaks.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

It's very interesting. We do have a couple of questions from our audience. So, how did you get started writing your first book? That's there, but another question in a similar vein is, did you attend many writers’ workshops, or belong to any writers’ groups, before you wrote your first book?


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

Mary I didn't, and thanks to everybody for the great questions you all sent in. Thank you. No, I didn't actually, and I was supposed to have gone to university to do an arts degree when I finished secondary school. And I actually deferred for a year. And in that year, I got a job as wardrobe girl on Here's Humphrey, the children's TV show. So, I never did go back and do that arts degree either!

I think I've learned how to write by being a reader and to this day I still read two, sometimes three, books a week, when I'm on a really good run. I think you can learn everything you need to know about being a writer, if that's the way you want to go, it’s through reading. Because you can work out: ‘Why am I interested in these characters?’ and ‘Why am I still turning the pages?’.  So, a library and bookshops have been my university in writing courses, really.


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in the video call.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Let's talk about the inspiration for The Godmothers. So, here we are all these years later, your 13th book. So please give us a little snippet of what it's about.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

This story of The Godmothers. It is all of my books are family/comedy dramas is how I describe them because I love to invent a fictional family. I think every family is full of drama and every family is full of comedy!

But this in fact is a family mystery, in lots of ways. I'm really intrigued personally, by the secrets that one generation keeps from the next. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad reasons. And I had two family stories that sowed the seeds for The Godmothers. One of them is from my childhood, and one of my father's half-sisters, so an aunt of mine, died in mysterious circumstances in 1957.

And I grew up, this is before I was born, but I grew up hearing “talk” about that, that aunt and, her (her) drowning death. And I always thought there was more to it, but no, none of the adults would ever talk to me about it. You know, if it had been an accident, or had it been something else. And that stayed with me all my life, that idea of who knew the real story of that?

More recently, my older sister Marie turned 50 and her oldest friend gave her a collection of the emails and letters that the two of them had been exchanging. A really action-packed view of their lives in their 30s. They talk about their friends, their families, their relationships, apparently in forensic detail. And my sister has made her husband promise if anything ever happens to her, the first thing he has to do is destroy that book. Because there's no way she wants her kids reading anything that are, that is, in that. And of course, her siblings. So, I'm so intrigued and I want to get my hands on that as well.

But it's that idea of, what do, what one generation got up to, or know, that the next one doesn't, and for what reasons. And that was the starting point for The Godmothers. And I wanted to write - I love writing about the different relationships within a family. I've written about husbands and wives, and aunts and nieces, and brothers and sisters.

And I was very interested in the godmother relationship because it's a chosen one. And in this book, Eliza the main character has two godmothers, who were her mother Jeannie's two best friends. And they know all the family secrets. Olivia and Maxie are the two godmothers. And the book is really the mystery of Eliza trying to find out more about her mother's life. Find out about the father she's never met, and is she being helped or hindered by her two godmothers? So that's the path that leads you through the story.


The video is now only focused on Mary-Lou as she speaks.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

And a question from our audience is, ‘Did you have a favourite godmother?’


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

Of the novel? In the novel, or in real life?


The video is now only focused on Mary-Lou as she speaks.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

No, no in your real life.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

In real life. I have a godmother my, in fact, I never had a godfather. I mean, most people have godparents growing up. And in my (my) six brothers and sisters, all had a godmother and a godfather. And my godmother was another of my dad's sisters, who was very religious. And mum and dad both felt, excuse me being slightly flippant, but it was like two for the price of one. Because she was you know, she, she could fulfill both roles, really. And I think that's also why the idea of a godmother has really stayed with me, because that's what I had. I didn't have that. The book’s not called The Godparents. And she was a very interesting character.

She had grown up through the Depression and she was diagnosed with polio as a 14-year-old. And that had enormous shaping influence on her life, that she had to spend a year in a hospital for infectious diseases as a 14-year-old. And her mum, my grandmother, would come down from the family farm to stand, and it would take a whole day to get down to the hospital, to just stand outside the hospital and wave at her little daughter in the hospital.

And so, scenes through the pandemic have really reminded me, you know, of how difficult that was. But I think, as I said, I think my own godmother was shaped by that kind of difficult upbringing. And she, you could never get any real insights into what she thought about. And she was very good at evasive answers. And I think that's led to this as well. You know, the whole idea of a secretive godmother. So sadly, she died in 2008. But, but I'm enjoying talking about her a lot and remembering through the process of this book.


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in the video call.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Let's talk about Eliza. She's in a very organised... well she's a very, very highly organised woman. She's (she's) the godchild. And she sets off - she's called by her godmother and she sets off to the U.K. and she ends up living in this amazing hotel. Now I'm wondering, is this hotel inspired, of which one of her godmothers, Olivia, is running - It’s filled with art, it's absolutely gorgeous. Is this hotel inspired by a real hotel?


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

It's little elements of lots of hotels that I've visited, going to go in and have a drink in or stayed in or just explored, when I've been on a research trip, to be honest. But I did, it's set in Edinburgh. Eliza lives in Melbourne at the beginning the book. And exactly as you said, because of this tragic event which happened when she was a younger woman, she's turned her life into the smallest, safest, very lonely life that she, you know, that she needed. And then she’s suddenly catapulted and finds herself in Edinburgh, where Olivia runs this boutique hotel. And I went to Edinburgh a few times for research trips and found an area called Haymarket. And there are quite a few hotels which have been established in the rows of beautiful terrace hotels, terrace houses there. And Edinburgh is such a beautiful city for long, winding, curving streets with these gorgeous sandstone buildings. So, I walked around Edinburgh until I found the street that I thought, “That's where my, that's where my hotel is going to be”. And stayed in one quite similar to it, in terms of it takes, that it took up three terrace houses. But the decor, everything else came out of my imagination, which was lovely. So every day when I was going up to my attic to write, I thought, I'm going to be in this gorgeous hotel and Eliza gets given the best room in the hotel. So, I was living vicariously Mary-Lou, for a few months! I have a research photo, I can show you if you like?


The video is now only focused on Mary-Lou as she speaks.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Oh yes please!


Monica’s video is focused on as she speaks. Monica is holding up a photograph of her standing in Edinburgh, with rows of terrace houses behind her. She is dressed in winter clothes.

Monica McInerney:

Yes, so this is me in Edinburgh, in January, and that's on one of the rows of terrace houses. Here's me peeking through there, sorry.

And that's the sort of setting for the Montgomery Hotel in The Godmothers. So that was in January. I had been there in April, the year before in 2019. My husband and I went over to do the initial research and then I had this gorgeous trip in January with my 18-year-old Australian niece who was visiting. And she came with me for three days and we double-checked every single location in Edinburgh together, carrying the manuscript with us. And I'd stand there and read out the scenes and the settings to make sure I had everything exactly right. So that's, so if anybody is reading the book, that's what the Montgomery Street looks like.


The video is focused on Monica as she speaks. This changes to show both Monica’s and Mary-Lou’s video side by side.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Wow. That's fabulous. Thank you. And now the other thing is, it is a boutique hotel with a lot of art, and art plays an important role in this. Not just, not as decoration, but there are a few plot points around it as well. So how did the art insinuate itself into The Godmothers?


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

Well, for me, I think I mean, art plays a very important part in my life, and in everybody's lives. I think we've all realised that through the through the pandemic and lockdowns, that how much when life is tricky, you know, we, we all find solace in beautiful art or beautiful music or be it literature, films, you know. Things that involve our imagination, that take us out of reality.

And everybody in The Godmothers has, has had loss of some sort, or has an ache for something that they had and is gone. Or something that they've never had and they'd long to have. And each of them have found solace in, in different forms of art. Olivia is Eliza's godmother in the Edinburgh Hotel. She had trained as an art historian and then met her Scottish husband. And so, she has been put in charge of the collection that the boutique hotel is quite famous for. Eliza herself, is an amateur artist and through very difficult times in her life, she has turned to, to painting and to the solace and the absorption of painting as a, as a way to, to distract her mind. And other people use, without any spoilers, photography is used by another character, and children's puzzles by another. So, there's ways that, that art can take us out of ourselves and, and also join us with other people too, I think, and that happens throughout the story, too.


The video is focused on Monica as she speaks, before quickly flashing to show both video screens side by side.  

Mary-Lou Stephens:

There's a particular painting that you write about in this book? So, what's the significance of this one?


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

Two of the characters, I probably won't go into too much detail again because the book has only been out a week, and I'm not sure if people have had a chance to read it yet while they're watching.

But there's a painting that means a great deal to two characters. And it's, it's a painting that matters during their younger years and more recent, too. So, I had a gorgeous day in London. I went into the Tate Gallery in London.

I hope everyone can hear the plane that is flying over, or not hear it!

Mary-Lou Stephens:

No, you are alright.

Monica McInerney:

I went into the Tate Gallery in London while I was researching the London scenes in The Godmothers, and I walked in as one of the characters does, and not knowing which painting I was looking for. But I was going to go into every gallery until I found one that felt like it emotionally leapt off the wall at me. And this was going to be the painting that would matter to two of the characters.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks. Monica is holding up a photograph of her standing in the Tate Gallery in front of a very large painting, with a gold frame. The painting depicts two small children dressed in white who are lighting paper lanterns as day turns to evening. They are in a garden strewn with pink roses, yellow carnations and tall white lilies behind them.

Monica McInerney:

So, to show and tell again, this is me at the, in the Tate Gallery, beside the painting. That as soon as I walked into this room in the Tate, I thought, “There is my painting!”

It's called Carnation Lily, Lily Rose, and it's by an American artist called John Singer Sergeant. And as you can see, it's enormous. Like you know, I'm five foot seven and that's, that's how it's towering over me. And it is the most glorious painting to look up at, look at in great detail. It's in a spring garden and it's two little girls lighting lanterns in preparation for, for a family party of some sort.

And this is a recurring image through the book. So, if anybody is reading the book and wonders what that painting (looks like), you can Google it if you like, but that, there's a sneak preview of it in the gallery.


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in the video call.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

I got to admit, I did Google it. I had no idea it was that big!

Monica McInerney:

It's huge! It's absolutely huge.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Now, you mentioned grief before, and it's something you and I have talked about during your tour for The Trip of a Lifetime. There was an element of grief in there. And certainly, in The House of Memories, you explore the death of a child and the grief there. So grief seems to be a recurring theme in your books. I'm wondering, is there something in the water in Dublin or is it just that, that heart connecting, sometimes heart wrenching, bittersweet melancholy that you're attracted to in some way?

Monica McInerney:

I think - It's a great question, Mary-Lou.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

I think I am shaped by grief; I'm shaped by grief and love as a human being, I think. As we spoke earlier, I was very lucky to grow up as the middle child of a big, loving, noisy family of nine, and seven, seven kids. And I started writing in 1999, when I was writing my first novel, and my father died in March 2000. He'd been diagnosed with cancer and we knew he had a year to live. So, I was writing my first book through that last year of his life. And when he died, I could not believe, one: how much it hurt, and two: how much the whole world tilted for me. How our whole family changed shape. How everything that I had always felt sure of, the security of knowing Dad was there and, and that the ground was solid under my feet. It, it tipped.

And that was a quite an extraordinary time in my life to realize what, and I've read since, that grief is the price we pay for love. And that's what I learned.

And I think because I've gone on to write family stories. And I think they are the, there's a lot of love and warmth and comedy in my novels, but they all have a shadow side. And it is often grief because the more I talked about people after my own experiences, and very many subsequent griefs that I've been through because I'm 55 years old. And no human gets through life without feeling, you know, lots of different sorts of pains and sorrows and losses of friends, personal losses, things I would love to have happen that didn't happen. And you have to come to terms with that. And the more I talk to other people about being a human being and we all go through it, we all go through that in different ways. 

And this book is very much a book about being shaped by grief, but not being wholly shaped by it, by being affected by grief. You can move through. Grief is an extraordinary emotion. It's a very strong, complicated emotion to, for a novelist to write about, I think. And as is love, because love can come in so many guises, too. But you can move through the different stages of grief. And for me as a writer and as an observer of people, I find that very interesting. That it can have a very long lead time and some people will never recover from a loss. Some people find themselves a different sort of person because of it. And as I said, everybody in this novel is, is mourning something or longing for something that they don't have. And that's, that's grief, too, in a way, I think.


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in the video call.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Yeah, absolutely. Olivia's relationship with her husband, who's in a nursing home, there's all kinds of layers going on in this book. It's beautiful. And it's so wonderfully well written and heartfelt.

Monica McInerney:

Thankyou! Thanks, very much.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

There is a lot of humour in this book as well. Olivia's mother-in-law, living in this gorgeous hotel, comes to mind. She is a piece of work and the scenes with her, are just so over the top, it's just gorgeous! And then there's young Sullivan who Eliza meets on the plane, Eliza has a fear of flying and she's seated next to this... How old is he?

Monica McInerney:

He's, as the book begins, he's seven weeks from turning 12, he's very specific about that. So, he's eleven, but about to turn twelve.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

He is very specific about everything. And he loves to play Scrabble online. So, I loved him even more. But I was wondering about him. I know that you've been very close to your nephews and nieces as they've grown up. Was he perhaps based on someone that you know?


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

He's a little element of all sorts of things. I have a very good friend in Dublin who's the son of one of my best friends. And, and she has a son who I have day trips out with sometimes. He and I will just go, like we've been to the, the zoo together. Or we will have a day trip out in Dublin, and he has a fantastic vocabulary like Sullivan does in the novel. I mean, Sullivan is not my friend, but I've greatly enjoyed the, the friendship of a 12-year-old, well he's 10. And so, you know, that kind of age group. And I've got lots of nephews and, and I just find them so funny at that age because they're on that cusp of, of being very earnest. But they, you know, they're, they're very particular too.

And so, Sullivan was just a dream character to write. And I loved it every time he stepped in, like he was only supposed to be on the plane. As you mentioned that Eliza is very scared of flying and he calms her down on the flight. And, but I just had so much fun and he and Eliza were getting on so well, that he becomes a major character through the whole book! And that's one of the fun things about when you're writing, because I don't plot beforehand.

I know, I know my group of people. I know what I describe it as an emotional explosion of what’s going to happen to them and it's going to set the plot up and running. But beyond that, I make it up literally as I'm going along, through with the first draft. Because it goes through many, many drafts, and edits. But that very initial when the whole story is down for the first time. And so, Sullivan was a surprise character for me, but I just couldn't let him go. And Celine the evil mother-in-law was another one, too. I had to cut out, I reckon, probably forty thousand words of scenes with both of them because I was just having so much fun watching! But I didn't need them, they actually weren't part of the plot. So, I've got like a whole, like I could do novellas with each of them if I wanted.


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in the video call.

Mary-Lou Stephens:  

Oh, I'd love a Sullivan novella! Actually, I'd love Celine novella. They are both fabulous characters. 

Monica McInerney:

It might happen!

Mary-Lou Stephens: 

Now, I think you might have had fun writing Maxie too. She's, she's the other godmother, we haven't talked about yet. So, she's... She's an actress and she's... She's lots of fun. She has that sense of drama and charisma that you expect in an actress. And she's also kind of childlike as well. So, I'm wondering with, how did, how did you go about choosing there’s Olivia and then there's Maxie? I mean, they're not related, but I'm just wondering how you. You said you, you have a cast of characters to begin with. But those two particular personalities. How do they evolve, evolve while you're writing?


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

With the two of them, because I knew from the start that it was going to be about the godmother relationship. And Eliza's mother Jeannie is, is quite a troubled woman. And there’s scenes going back where you discover Jeannie as a younger woman. And, and the friendship between Olivia and Maxie and Jeannie. They all went to quite a religious boarding school together. And they were kind of the bold girls, really. They're always a bit separate, up to no good and that kind of thing. So, they have a friendship that was very, very strongly forged at school. And I was also, that's another layer that runs through the book. It's about Eliza and her, and her pilgrimage, if you like, too. About her father and her mother. But it's also the story of a friendship between three women, over their lives. And, and I wanted to write, like Olivia, who's the one in the boutique hotel is, if quite, she's very, I'm sort of sitting differently talking about her now, I'm talking about her.


The video is now only focused on Mary-Lou as she speaks.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Me too.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

But she's very kind of controlled. And she, she needs to be, you know, because she's, she's become a stepmother as a young woman. She's now famous of running a hotel. Her much-loved husband has dementia and she's having to, to, to mourn his loss, even though he hasn't passed away. And Maxie was always the kind of… You know here I'm doing it, I'm sitting differently now too! Maxie was, was always the dramatic type and, and an actor. And she's a successful actor. She's on a, on a drama series in the U.K. that's very, very popular. And she's very well known. And, and I'm interested in the way that within a friendship, you make allowances for each other over the years. But also, how you find yourself falling back into those patterns. Like Maxie, as a young woman, oh Maxie's just being flighty or, you know, that's just her being dramatic. You can get away with a lot for the rest of your life. There are a few scenes where somebody needs to be the adult in the situation. And Maxie's goes, “Oh no, I can't. I'll just get too upset”. And she might not. She's a 50 year-old woman. She should be able to cope with those situations. But I'm really interested in, when I'm writing my characters, why they are like they are now and, and, and, and how much you can get away with sometimes. Because of what people believe you to be. So, it's a story about that as well, about your own self-image, I suppose.


Monica and Mary-Lou are shown on the screen, beside each other in the video call.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Now, Maxie does take us to Gretna Green for a wedding. Now, you've mentioned your research. It sounds as though it's totally meticulous, if you're standing there with a, your manuscript and ticking everything off to be right.

Monica McInerney:

I am, yes.


The video focuses on Mary-Lou and then promptly flashes to focus on Monica.

Mary-Lou Stephens:  

So, I'm guessing you went to Gretna Green.

Monica McInerney:

I did. And I've got photographic proof.


Monica holds up a photograph of her smiling behind a sign saying ‘Gretna Green’.

Monica McInerney:

Here I am with the sign in Gretna Green. For people that don't know, Gretna Green is on the border of Scotland and England. And it's historically famous for centuries, I think centuries, for being, yeah, since 1754 that people went there to elope. So, lots of people, in lots of books, over the years have run off to Gretna Green to, to get married. And, and I wanted these characters, my characters to get to go there for a wedding. And so, John, my husband and I went there for a couple of nights. And spent, and it's the most extraordinary thing.



The video focuses on Mary-Lou and then promptly flashes to focus on Monica.

Monica McInerney:

It's a wedding theme park, basically! I have no idea such a thing existed. And there's a big hotel by it, which I haven't got the photo of here. But you sit in the hotel and, and there's just brides and grooms sitting at the next table. Because people go there for either big weddings or they want to just literally run away and have a really little quiet wedding. But there's a cottage there, a blacksmith cottage, and you organise to get, to have your ceremony.


Monica holds up a photograph of a blacksmith’s anvil.

Monica McInerney:

And then there's this Anvil, this famous Anvil, at Gretna Green in this, in this blacksmith's cottage. And the moment you announce that you're married, the, the person conducting the wedding hits the Anvil.

 So, the sound revolves around the room and that marks that you're officially married. So, there's all these traditions and rituals there. So, it was a fascinating place to visit.

And I was poking my nose into this door and that door and got asked to leave because I thought it was just a tour group, being shown around one of the weddings. And in fact, it was a real wedding. And then there's me, like, looking around, so I had to kind of get out quickly! But as I said, it's such a theme park.


Monica holds up a board with a tea towel pinned to it. The tea towel has the words ‘Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop’ and has drawings of significant local buildings and the anvil.

Monica McInerney:

For example, you can get Gretna Green tea towels, which have every, you know, like all the different buildings involved and these sculptures here and there. And little arbours that you can stand under to have your wedding photos taken.

Fascinating place! I'm sure there’s documentaries been made about it, but no, I loved having a look at that.


The video focuses on Mary-Lou and then promptly changes to show Monica and Mary-Lou’s video side by side.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Oh, that's fantastic. Another fantastic location in this book is a castle. Now, we can't talk too much about it because there's a plot twist and another plot twist. There are lots of twists in this book that will just keep you transfixed until right to the very end. So, this castle involves one of those. So, we're not going to talk about why we’re going to look at a castle. But the writing of it was so evocative. I'd love to see it in real life because I'm sure you've got a photo there of it.


Monica holds up a photo of her in front of a tall castle.

Monica McInerney:

I do. This is it's one of my favourite castles in Ireland, and that's me standing in front of it on a very, very cold January day. And again, I would love to sort of talk a little bit more about it because it's got a fascinating history. But I can't. But if you read The Godmothers, it's all in there. But that again, it's one of the... I take my location research really seriously. I try to, because I have lots of international settings in all of my books. And, and people visit so many places now that I know from emails that I get from readers, which I always love to get. They say, “Oh, you reminded me, I went there two years ago”. And I want to make sure that I get it right, so for me to actually spend physical time in everywhere that I describe. So that's again, if you're reading The Godmothers and when I do start talking about that, so that's it from one angle.


Monica holds up a photo where the same castle can be seen in the background, with green bushes and bright yellow and red flowers in front.

Monica McInerney:

And then in summertime, this is it. There's a beautiful river and a bridge nearby in the summertime, they grow these beautiful flower boxes.

Mary-Lou Stephens:


Monica McInerney:

So, this is the castle towers over this Irish town, so.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

That is beautiful.

Monica McInerney:



The video focuses on Mary-Lou and then promptly changes to show Monica and Mary-Lou’s video side by side.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Absolutely lovely. I'm just having a look. We are running out of time. I knew I'd have too many questions, I have pages of questions, but let's have one from one of our audience members. And this one is, it has been a few years between books. So, the question is, how long did it take you to write this book, The Godmothers?

Monica McInerney:

I'll give you the quick answer here. It took about 18 months. I had worked on another book for two years before The Godmothers. And when I finished writing 200,000 words of that book, I realised that that was one I'd needed to write, but it didn't need to be published.

Mary-Lou Stephens:


Monica McInerney:

So that's why it's taken me this long for this book. That’s why it's been three years between books for me. I had written another whole book! But for lots of different reasons, sometimes books you write and they're for lots of readers. Sometimes you need to write, this is what I'm talking about creativity before, sometimes you need to write purely to write. So, I have a book on my laptop, at home in Dublin that I'm the only person that's ever read it, and that will always be the case. So, it took three years in terms of time for my last book, The Trip of a Lifetime, for The Godmothers, but the actual writing of this one, about 18 months. And I loved the experience, it was, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters. There's a lot of, as I said, there's a lot of shadow and sorrow. But I also laughed a lot while I was writing it, which is always kind of a funny thing to say. Because I'm at home in my attic in Dublin, writing and my husband can hear me laughing away upstairs in the attic!

Mary-Lou Stephens:

The mad woman in the attic!

Monica McInerney:

I know, I'm giving it away, aren't I? So ...

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Well actually, while we’re on theme of the madwoman in the attic. There have been...

Monica McInerney:

You said it, not me.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

There have been a lot of questions about your writing process from our audience. And you're a very, by your own admission, Monica, you are very superstitious writer. So, I'm curious about your superstitions around your writing and what your workspace looks like...

Monica McInerney:

And I can show you if you want to know.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

As is our audience because everyone wants to know.

Monica McInerney:

I'm sorry, Mary Lou say that last one again?

Mary-Lou Stephens:

As is our audience, because everyone wants to know.


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks.

Monica McInerney:

Know that? I'm very disciplined. That's the first thing to say. So, I turn up every day at my desk. I know that that's it's a lot about imagination, but it's also just absolutely discipline. You've got to, writing is a muscle. You have to turn up every day and work at it. So, I do that. But because your writing is in your head, I develop with each of my books, various rituals, and I collect things with each book which become a real part of the writing process for me. For example, The House of Memories, with the family in that are called the Foxes. And so, I collected dozens of fox figures the whole way I was writing that. The Hello from the Gillespies, a robin, there’s a little robin bird is in that. So, I collected all these robins, so they were all on my desk. With The Godmothers, and this isn't a spoiler, I can say this. Sullivan, the little fellow that we were talking about, the 12-year-old, er, 11-year-old, he has a bit of a fixation with ring-tailed lemurs, the gorgeous animal. And I developed one, as the book. And, and these were great. When I was writing the House of Memories, as it turned out, you can get fox things everywhere. Ring-tail lemurs, a little harder to find! But I went to Dublin Zoo and Edinburgh Zoo. They had a great, so, there was a visit to Edinburgh zoo. But this is my desk while I was writing The Godmothers.


Monica’s begins to hold up a photo and the video flashes to Mary-Lou.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Oh! Wow!


The video is now only focused on Monica as she speaks. She is holding up a photo of her desk. A large fox can be seen with a black cat in the background. In front of the fox ornament, there is nine ring-tailed lemur toys in front.

Monica McInerney:                                                

So, the fox still survives from when I wrote The House of Memories, and then I have nine little ring-tailed lemur toys there. I'm also working on a children's book, which is being published next year called Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat, my first book for younger readers, for 10 and under and I've started collecting black cats too! But I also got this habit. I have a thing about the number nine, that I can only finish writing at the end of the day if my word count ends in nine. And, and so that became important. And there are nine of these little lemurs. And I couldn't send off the manuscript, I save it into a Cloud each day. Like I email it to myself, unless I had touched each of the nine lemurs on the head, and then the fox, and then the cat, and then this little golden goose that my sister gave me. So I develop all these rituals and, and I understand, like, I'm not obsessive in my own personal life, but when I'm writing, I've realised that they're the kind of the little ways that I finish work for the day, like as a writer. And, you know this, Mary Lou, absolutely, through your writing career too. That, that it's not like you can clock off because it's still going on in your head, even though you finished at the end of the day. And for me, I think my rituals of tapping everybody on, on the head, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!


Monica and Mary-Lou’s videos are shown side by side.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

It's a great story and one of the many, many reasons we love you, Monica. Absolutely. So, congratulations once again, 20 years in publishing and your 13th novel, The Godmothers. And we look forward to your children's book as well! You're most intelligent!

Monica McInerney:

Thank you. That'll be next year. And that's just been such a beautiful experience because it's a family story, set in a caravan park. As I said, for 10 and under. So, it's got comedy and drama, but it's also got magic in it and the joy of being able to make things happen with magic. And also, I'm working with this terrific illustrator from South Australia called Danny Snell, and that's been such an amazing experience to watch him turn my characters into these gorgeous illustrations. Because obviously with one of these, I don't, you know, they don't have illustrations. But my, my children book, children's book will have so, yeah, it's a lovely experience. It's been a lovely writing experience. And that will be the first in a series. So, I'm working on the second and third books of those, too.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Oh wow! Fantastic, you are busy!

Monica McInerney:

Yeah. A busy, busy time.

Mary-Lou Stephens:

Well, Monica, on behalf of everybody, thank you so much for joining us. This has been a wonderful chat and a wonderful opportunity to find out more about your latest book, The Godmothers. So, if you've read it already, you know how wonderful it is. If you haven't, well make sure you do, it's well worth it. It's just another gorgeous book from a fabulous, fabulous storyteller. Monica, thank you so much.

Monica McInerney:

Thanks so much, Mary-Lou, and thanks so much for everybody at Queensland Libraries for hosting me, too. And all of you for, for tuning in tonight. Thank you.


The screen is showing the logos of Public Libraries and Councils who have partnered in this author event. The list is going from left to right is: City of Gold Coast, Ipswich Libraries, Brisbane City, Redland City Council, Logan City Council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Noosa Library Service, Sunshine Coast Council/Libraries, Moreton Bay Region Libraries and Gympie Regional Libraries/Gympie Regional Council. At the bottom right hand corner of the screen is the Penguin Random House Australia logo.

End of transcript


Natasha Lester

Moreton Bay Region Libraries presents “Yes you can ask that” with Natasha Lester.

We sat down with Natasha to ask a few questions.

Question 1: Dior couture, Ravensbrück concentration camp and women pilots in World War II, each of the story lines in “The Paris Secret” could have been a novel on its own. Can you tell us how you came to put them all together?

I do like to combine a few different things in my books and if you've read any of my previous books like The French Photographer or The Paris Seamstress, you'll see that they're never just about one thing. They’re always about a few different things thrown in, and I think what attracts me as a writer is two or three seemingly unconnected ideas suddenly coming together and forming this connection and this possible story line.

And so with The Paris Secret, the three or four things that kind of connected in this book were Catherine Dior, the female pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary and a collection of Christian Dior gowns.

I first came across Catherine Dior in a book when I was researching The French Photographer and I had never heard of Catherine Dior. I knew a lot about Christian but I had no idea his sister worked with the French Resistance during the Second World War, was deported by the Nazis to Ravensbrück concentration camp, escaped from the camp at the end of the war and was awarded a Légion d'honneur and a King's Medal for Courage in the Course of Freedom by the English because of her work with the resistance which was so very important, and I wanted to bring Catherine to people's notice because she was an amazingly courageous woman and so I knew straight away, as soon as I read about her, that she had to be in my next book The Paris Secret.

At the same time I came across the story of the Air Transport Auxiliary. Of the amazingly brave female pilots who flew RAF planes during the Second World War around England. They ferried them from maintenance units and factories to the RAF bases. They threw them in dreadful conditions, appalling conditions. They were forced to put up with most horrendous discrimination, and they just kept flying those planes, day in day out, despite all the obstacles that were put in their way. And again, here was this incredible group of women who very few people knew about but who more people should know about, so I knew I wanted to write about them as well.

And then, this is kind of a dream storyline of mine I guess. The book opens with the main character from the contemporary story line, a woman called Kat discovering a collection of 65 or all couture Christian Dior gowns in a wardrobe in her grandmother's abandoned cottage in Cornwall. There's one dress for every year dating back to Dior’s very first collection in 1947, and the book kind of unfolds through these dresses and it's all about the mystery of why Kat’s grandmother has those dresses, and how she came by them.

And that mystery links back to Catherine Dior and the female pilots and many other things.

So it was a bit of a challenge to intermingle all those different themes but I like being challenged as a writer. I like trying to do something that maybe is a bit too difficult or a bit too ambitious or perhaps shouldn't work, and trying to somehow make it work. And I really feel like in The Paris Secret I was able to pull all those things together into what I hope is a really readable book.

Question 2: How much fact and how much fiction is in your books? Why do you like to base your novels so heavily on historical fact?

I want to make sure that I have quite a lot of fact in my books, even though they are technically historical novels. And that's important to me for a number of reasons.

One of my passions is to find women from history who have been overlooked or forgotten and to bring them back to people's notice. And I like to think that I've done that in The Paris Secret with the women of the Air Transport Auxiliary and with Catherine Dior. And in my previous book The French Photographer, I like to think that I've done that with the female war correspondents who worked during the Second World War out of Europe.

And so it's really important to me not just to make everything up, but to, particularly when you're talking about the experiences of women in the past where they have fought bravely and struggled against discrimination, to make sure that I'm as accurate as possible about those kinds of experiences because otherwise, if readers are reading about for instance the way in which the female pilots at the Air Transport Auxiliary were treated, and how difficult the men of the RAF made it for them to be able to ferry planes around England during the Second World War. And if I make that kind of thing up then it minimizes the battles of those women actually did have to fight to be able to fly those planes. You know, there's enough drama inherent in the actual facts of reality that I don't need to make things up, and I think readers appreciate it all the more when they're able to go “wow those things actually happened. Women were really treated like that. That's outrageous.”

So because of that, I like to make sure that I've very extensive author’s notes in the back of my books when people can see what parts of the story are based on fact. And also to direct people to further reading, and one of the things I love is when readers message me and say “oh I read and researched Lee Miller after I read The French Photographer or I went and did more research on Catherine Dior after in The Paris Secret.”

Question 3: Which writers have inspired you the most, and why?

I find Margaret Atwood hugely inspirational. She's been inspiration of mine for years. Back when I first looked at becoming a writer, I enrolled in a Master of Creative Arts at university and this was back in 2005, and my thesis was - I actually wrote my very first book as part of my Master's thesis  - and I had to write a theoretical component to go with that which wasn't really my strength but because I love Margaret Atwood so much, I thought well I can probably dissect and analyse a Margaret Atwood book in this thesis and get away with it. So I loved her so much I kind of incorporated her into a Master's thesis.

I've also always loved the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, so that's always been an inspiration for me. In fact I always joke that my fondness for dark hair heroes comes from reading about Rochester when I was like an eleven-year-old and didn't really know what passion meant but kind of felt it for the first time when I was reading Jane Eyre.

In terms of Australian writers who inspire me, I think we've got lots of wonderful historical novelists. People like Kate Morton are hugely inspirational. She's done amazingly well as a writer worldwide and I really look up to her and admire her career and her writing.

Question 4: Does having a worldwide audience now change the way you approach your books?

Having The French Photographer hit the New York Times’ bestseller list last year was very surprising.

It was not something I ever expected would happen, and in fact to the point where um when my publisher from the US emailed me to tell me that the book had made the New York Times’ bestseller list, she said in that same email well you can cross that off your bucket list now. And I had to confess to her that it was never even on my bucket list, because it was unimaginable to me that a writer from Perth in Australia I would ever make it onto the New York Times’ bestseller list.

But what that means is of course now I know that I have this kind of worldwide audience of literally hundreds of thousands of people, who are all kind of waiting for the next book which is lovely, but it also meant that I do have to kind of bear in mind the fact that my books aren't just going out to saw the Australian audience anymore. And so when I was writing The Paris Secret, I was writing that a couple of years before my book hit the New York Times’ bestseller list so, I didn't - when I was writing the book - I had no idea what would happen in terms of my writing career a couple of years down the track when this book might come out.

So as I became aware of the fact that I was gathering more of a worldwide audience, I did actually change one of the characters in the book - Nicolas Crawford, who was originally English and I made him an American character in the book - just to make sure that the Americans would feel like, you know, there's a character from their country in the book that they can feel connected to. Didn't change anything about the story on the plotline of the book, so it was a very easy change to make but I'm certainly more aware of the fact that I do have radios from all over the world and I want to make the all feel welcomed in my books.

Question 5: A character from one of your previous novels has a cameo in “The Paris Secret”. Can you tell us about D’arcy Hallworth and how you came to include her in your new novel?

In each of my books, I have actually resurrected a character from a previous book who makes a bit of a cameo appearance in the next book, and it doesn't matter if a reader hasn't read the previous books, it doesn't affect their enjoyment of the book anyway, but for those readers who have read the previous books and recognize the character, they love that.

They’re always sending messages saying I loved seeing Estella from The Paris Seamstress in The French Photographer for example. And so in The Paris Secret I have used two characters from The French Photographer D’arcy Hallworth and Josh Born and they make more than a cameo appearance. In fact in The Paris Secret they kind of appear for almost a whole chapter I'm in a scene the set in a fabulous party in London one night, and I had so much fun resurrecting those two characters because I loved writing them. They were two of the main characters in The French Photographer. They're really fun people to write about and I know readers really liked them as well, and when you're creating characters you become very fond of them because you're building them from scratch and you are imagining them and seeing them and then spending so much time with them every day and then to kind of, close the covers and put them aside and never see them again, it's a bit sad, which maybe sounds a little bit weird but I think most writers will be familiar with that feeling.

So when I was writing this scene set at this party in London I thought D’arcy and Josh would be the exact kind of people who would go to this party, and so rather than invent and create two other characters I thought, how fun would it be to have them come to the party and to have readers see them a few years down the track from The French Photographer and see where their lives have taken them.

Question 6: Which do you feel is the more important theme in your work; motherhood or women’s empowerment?

Definitely women’s empowerment is probably the most important theme of my books.

All of my books largely are about women fighting to do something that is very unusual for a woman to do at that time in history, so for my very first historical novel A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald which is about a woman called Evie trying to become one of the first female obstetricians working in New York City during the 1920s, and the struggles she had to face against the male establishment to be able to do that, right through to those female war correspondents in The French Photographer struggling again against the male establishment to be able to do their jobs, to female pilots in The Paris Secret who have all kinds of obstacles thrown in their way you know from people writing in letters to the editor saying that female pilots are disgusting and that women don't have the intelligence to scrub the floor properly so how dare they become pilots, and women being tasked with flying open cockpit aeroplanes to Scotland in the middle of winter for three hours and minus 30 degrees wind chill but all these horrendous things that women have had to face, but they have faced them day in day out.

Those female pilots during the Second World War faced up to a conditions that we couldn't even imagine today but if they hadn't have done that, if it hadn't have been for women like that, I wouldn't have the opportunities that I have today as a woman, so I guess my books are kind of you know a way of paying homage to those women who do those incredible things and who enable me to have the opportunities that I do today.

Question 7: What are you working on for your next book? Are travel bans affecting your ability to research?

My next book has a working title of The Riviera House and that's scheduled for release in 2021.

Luckily i have done all the overseas travel-based research for that book. I did that about a year ago actually. I always do my research quite early because I always like to work on my books quite far in advance and make sure I have plenty of time, and that's really worked out quite well this time because travel obviously internationally or even domestically at the moment is impossible.

I was actually scheduled to go to, booked to go to Paris in June to research a book for 2022, and obviously that troopers now been cancelled and that research has been put on the back burner for as long as it needs to be put on the back burner for.

Certainly for me traveling to the places that my books are setting is incredibly important and I always discover so much when I'm on the ground doing that research and I feel like my books will be much too poor up and not being able to travel, but I'm hopeful that perhaps next year I'm travel might have opened up again.

Obviously nobody knows what's going to happen with Coronavirus and the most important thing is that everybody stays safe and well, so luckily we do have the Internet these days and I can certainly visit many archival collections online and I'm really grateful for the museums and the archives that have digitized documents which make it so much easier for researchers like myself. And I'll just you know to see what happens in terms of future research plans, but yes luckily next year's book The Riviera House is all researched, all written. In fact I'm working on the structural edit for that right now so we don't have too much more work to go on that book.

Question 8: What are you currently reading? Any recommendations?

One of the perks of being an author is that we get to read books a little way ahead of when they're actually released to the general public and at the moment I'm reading a book by an Australian historical fiction writer called Kayte Nunn. The book is called The Silk House and it's due to be published in a couple of months’ time and it's kind of a a bit of a gothic mystery set around this old house that, in contemporary times, has been turned into a school, and it's very atmospheric and it has a story line of silk and fabric running through it and you've read my books, you know how much I love anything to do with fashions of course I'm absolutely addicted to that part of the story line and to the rest of the book as well, so can definitely recommend in a couple of months’ time looking out for The Silk House by Kate Nunn.

Question 9: As a writing teacher as well as an author, are writers born or made?

There are a couple of different parts to begin author. I think that some people are born with a natural ability to join words and sentences together in unique unexpected and surprising and beautiful ways, and that ability to write incredible sentences I think it's probably something that people are perhaps born with.

However there are many elements of writing that I think you can teach people. You can teach people how to create complex characters. You can teach people about writing about setting, you can teach people how plot should perhaps be shaped, so when you get someone who has that natural ability with words and sentences, and you combine that with someone who has learnt about characters and plots and setting etc, and you put those two things together, you get a writer who's really quite extraordinary.

So I would always recommend to anyone wanting to write a book to go and do some kind of writing course because I think you can learn a lot. I still learn a lot from listening to other writers talk about their own writing processes too so learning never stops and writing, you're always learning how to write as you write books, so don't despair you ever hear people talking about writers being born. There are certainly plenty of elements of writing that you can learn. But I do think you know I love language is probably innate and it comes from perhaps reading widely as a child, which I certainly always did.

Thank you for joining us for “Yes, you can ask that” with Natasha Lester, brought to you by Moreton Bay Region Libraries.


Nick Earls

What inspired you to write the Wisdom Tree collection?

In 2013 I sent a manuscript to Random House for my novel Analogue Man which was the third book in a three-book contract and since that contract was completed I then got to think what am I going to write next, and when I looked at the ideas that I had there I realized that the five ideas that actually really excited me were probably each destined to be about 20,000 words long if I wrote them the way they needed to be written, and I thought if I cut them down cut any one of them into a short story I wouldn't be doing it justice.

If I tricked any one of them up into an 80,000 word novel I'd be faking it and there would be padding, so really it was either write them at 20,000 words each or not write them at all and write my sixth best idea instead, and I don't think a writer I should ever be writing their sixth best idea.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that not only was I excited about those particular ideas but I actually really liked the novella form and what it had to offer … the way it kind of goes deep without going long, the way you focus on a small group of people and a contained story and try to use detail to tell it as effectively as possible.

And I recalled that my previous book had been a collection of short fiction called Welcome to Normal that had been five short stories and three pieces that happened to have become novella length of their own accord, and I realized that in writing those pieces, it’s pieces about 20,000 words long that are about the biggest that my brain can stretch to in one go … so anytime I'm writing a novel, once I get past about the 20,000-word mark, I can no longer look back and see the beginning and the end is too far away for me to see it until I get to about 60,000 words, so the middle half of a novel - 20,000 or 60,000 words - I can't see the beginning or the end and I just have to hope that I'm doing the right thing following the outline that I've prepared and it'll get me to a point where the end is within sight and then I can head towards it.

But with a novella, it's got the complexity that I find interesting but at the same time wherever I am in the novella I can see the beginning and I can see the end, and that is a kind of satisfying position to be in, so I really wanted to write them.

I was excited about the individual ideas and I wanted to write novella size pieces and then it was a question of working out how to publish them.

And research led me to do that as a series model and early on in the process of working on them, I spoke to a publisher who got excited about the idea and she suggested some links between the novellas, and first I rejected that or resisted that thinking it could be cheesy, but then I thought maybe if I can make it non-cheesy it could be interesting, and I realized that sometimes a novella might be a chance to glimpse a character you've seen before from a different perspective and therefore kind of question what they told you, and I realized I could write it so that each novella would be its own thing and hopefully its own satisfying story, but if you read the whole series you'd see those little connections and get other insights, and that to me seemed like a project that I was really keen to pursue.

Please can you expand on the "powers" available to us for comfort, especially now as "connection is being redefined?

What a great question - clearly this is one that I can’t possibly phone in and this really needs some contemplation, so I've gone, I found the review and I'll just read it an expanded version of that quote because I wanted to, to situate it in the review so we would really know what to say, so it says “The five works gathered under Wisdom Tree are distinguished by a sad sweetness rather than tragedy. Several explore the plight of children semi-abandoned because of their parents’ obsessions, others involve retrenched men, among them team in Juneau, in Gotham and Noho there are unexpected intercessionary figures who bring grace and aid. For all their variety of incident and location, the novellas share an emotional weather alert to wounds, but aware that there are powers to comfort.”

So I wanted win the Wisdom Tree novellas to have complex, vulnerable people in them, and to show what people can mean to each other, and what connections with people can mean, to get us through some challenging times and, I think now this of course the question is really timely.

We need to connect with each other in different ways if we're shut up in our own homes.

Fortunately technology allows us to do that it lets me talk here now but it also lets us Zoom and Skype and things like that with our friends if we're, if we've got access to those technologies.

Otherwise I hope it lets us talk from one verandah to the next, a safe distance away, because the “powers to comfort” I think - sure ice cream might work for a short period of time - but ultimately the powers to comfort are human.

I think this is a thing that fiction can provide by proxy. A work of fiction that is character-based and really connects demonstrates empathy, and I think it's that empathy that we can get from fiction, the empathy that we can bring to our reading of fiction, the connection of character - with the characters - that can transport us but that can also make us feel more human and make us value the humanity that we get from them.

Certainly humanity is really central in my work and I wanted that to come across in these novellas, and we know from studies that have been done that reading character-based fiction actually seems to improve people's empathy.

So I think there's comfort to be had from human connections whenever we can get it at this challenging time, but perhaps there's also scope for comfort to come from books and the people in them.

Please can you comment on "writing" is one of those "powers" that comfort?

This follows on very nicely from the previous question and but it's interesting the way you've put it -the idea of writing as one of the “powers that comfort” because it enables us to reflect openly and eventually move to some form of resolution.

So there are kind of two parts to that - the reflecting openly and moving to the resolution - and in the great tradition of the Canberra Press Club, I'll do the second part first and then the first part second.

So I think there's something immersive about reading a book.

Watching a great TV series, streaming a great TV series, can be that way too but there's something neurologically different about reading a book.

When you read a book you take in the words and you process the words and you create the pictures and sounds and everything else in your head.

It's a neurologically very active process. You're not just receiving images and sounds. That's what helps it to become immersive, and that's what helps us to separate from our daily lives if we choose to while reading the book and perhaps that's why resolution at the end of a story is very satisfying, because we've been immersed in the story and committed to the story, and it allows something to finish at a time when there might be things in the world that aren't finishing.

There are difficult ongoing issues that we have to deal with. So it's a satisfying encapsulated piece of something that you can appreciate away from all the less satisfying unresolved things that are around.

It certainly allows us to reflect as well because as we engage in that deep way we've worked that we're reading it's natural to contemplate the characters, the story, the language, a range of things in the book that we're reading because it's a very interactive process.

So all of that I think adds to the comfort aspect that it provides. It provides mental stimulation. It provides separation from anything we want to take a break from but it can provide a satisfying whole story that we can immerse ourselves deeply into, and I've already mentioned in my previous answer, what it, how it works with empathy and how we can connect with the characters and we can spend the time in someone else's shoes and see how the world works for them and I think that's a really valuable experience to have.

Books can be a great reminder of our shared humanity.

Is there a place in writing for novellas and short story collections?

As someone who's written three collections of short stories and a series of novellas, I think I’ve nailed my colours to the mast there, and yes I do think there's a place in writing for novellas and short story collections.

The other thing we’ve got to look at though is, is there a place in publishing and is there a replace in reading?

So from the point of view of the place in writing, I think some ideas … just need to end up the length they need to end up. Sometimes you can bring two ideas together and create something bigger but, there are some ideas that are great for a short story and some ideas that are perfect over novella length, and some ideas that need to be explored over the length of the novel.

So I think in terms of the writing I think we've got to have the freedom to, it's great to have the freedom to allow something to be the length that it needs to be.

Built into the question is an awareness that the publishing industry is, has some kind of reticence towards forms - fictional forms that aren't as convenient as the novel - and that was one of the things I wanted to explore with my Wisdom Tree series by putting out novellas, because what I thought was, in our regular lives, this is a pre-pandemic lives, when we were leading the 21st century lives that we that we often are, where we might have work, maybe we have some study, maybe we have children or elderly parents to care for, but we've got lots of things in our lives and we've also got lots of things in our leisure time.

We have social media, we have Facebook, we have Instagram, we have young people have Tik Tok, we have streaming services, so lots of things are taking up the leisure space in a way that they weren't before.

And that means that a lot of us are reading less or allocating less time to reading. So my feeling was that the novella could fit in very well there and so can the short story. A short story might be 10 or 20 minutes of reading, a novella might be two or three hours of reading, so you give yourself that movie-length period of time and allow yourself to be absorbed by a story.

So I think these short forms fit very well with the lives a lot of us lead now, and there are certainly publishers with an interest in them. University of Queensland Press is particularly good at publishing short story collections, and I hope that we'll actually see more novellas and more short stories and short story collections in the future as people who want to keep up a whole lot of other things in their life also want to make sure that fiction fits in there too. And don't want to try, I don't want to always be spreading a novel over weeks and weeks of reading. So if you're the kind of person who is finding books building up on their bedside table waiting for the holidays, then maybe there's a place for novellas and short stories in your life right now.

Do you feel you have ever eclipsed Zigzag Street?

Well in the eyes of some people who are particularly attached to Zigzag Street, almost certainly not, but that's something I have to accept, and I'm glad they're very attached to Zigzag Street.

I think probably 20 years from now Trent Dalton will be getting this question about Boy Swallows Universe. Graeme Simsion already gets this question about The Rosie Project, and I think if you write a book early on that actually catches people's attention and means something to them; it becomes the benchmark by which things like that, by which future books are measured, and you can either let that get to you, or you can be really glad that you had that book that people got attached to.

For me, Zigzag Street was a book that came in a run of books that actually sold in healthy numbers and different people got attached to different ones of those books.

In Brisbane it was particularly Zigzag Street and I think that was because at the time it was published in 1996, we really hadn't seen seen many books dealing with Brisbane in a a contemporary way. The Brisbane of the ‘90s there and seeing it as a normal place, as a place that wasn't something to be contemptuous about, so it's been a great thing that that turned out to be a book that mattered a lot to quite a few people, particularly people in Brisbane but but also elsewhere.

And it's not so much an eclipse, it more feels like kind of shadow and one of those big books can feel like it casts a long shadow and you could either feel that you're in that shadow or step outside that shadow and try to pursue other things and I think if I tried to write Zigzag Street now I'd write it in a different way. It wouldn't be the book that it was, it wouldn't strike the chord that it did, so I'm glad that it is the book that it is. I'm glad that people connected with it in the way that they did, but the closest I've come to trying to write rewrite that book effectively in the past few years whereas when I published Analogue Man in 2014 and that was the same tone of book and the same kind of central character, but approaching the age of 50, and it just didn't connect in the same way that Zigzag Street did.

I mean some people read it and loved it but some people, far fewer people, read it than read Zigzag Street. But what I think a writer has to do when they have a book that, that establishes them like that, is either you find yourself following the diminished returns of trying to do more and more versions of that book and doing it less and less well or having less and less new to say, or you actually just set out to be the best writer that you can be.

Write the stories that are in you to write and hope that they connect with people to whom they mean something, and I think technically as a writer I've learned most of what I've learned after I publish the exact straight I think I'm technically a much better writer now. I think the WisdomTree novellas are the best of, show me at my best as a writer in terms of my technical capacity so far. They certainly didn't outsell Zigzag Street but they're a different kind of book and I'm really glad that Zigzag Street stuck and struck the chord that it did even if I'm trying to write different things now because it would be crazy for me to try to keep chasing that tale. It's better for me to keep trying to develop as a writer and see who I can catch with anything new that I write now.

Which of your books has your favourite cover art and why?

Cover art and the design of covers of books is such an interesting issue and had a fraught issue behind the scenes as authors, designers and publishers negotiate about the best way to represent a book.

But which one is my favourite cover? Ah well, how about that one there? It's not that one, no, but I had to show you that one because you might understand it because that's not the Australian edition. I'm loathe to handle it actually. This is the UK edition of Bachelor Kisses which came out in 1999 and the cover did cause some kind of stir when it came out, and not just because of the impressive prowess of the cover model and his very obviously fake Encyclopedia of Medicine. I mean really, look at that Encyclopedia of Medicine! So when that came out the Evening Standard in London ran a two-page article headed: “Would you read this book on the tube?” and apparently people were tearing the cover off and reading it on the tube, so I did say to my publisher I didn't really want a book that would compel people to tear the cover off! They thought it was Lad Lit. This was in the big Lad Lit wave and they thought lads read loudly. Turns out two thirds of the readers at least are women, so they got that wrong. So they're kind of trying to pitch it at people who might buy it with a 6-pack of beer. That's not really how books work so I don't think it really helped but it was an adventurous cover. It got people talking and and I happen to have been in contact now with the guy who designed it, who's now the head of design had a major publishing company and he contacted me in social media reminiscing about this book cover from long ago.

To look at another Bachelor Kisses cover, here's the cover that may laugh the most. That one! That's the German edition of Bachelor Kisses and in Germany it's called Assistenten küsse which means “kisses of the assistant” which is really nice because he's the the central character - a junior doctor, and in German he's an assistant, an assistant doctor, but as the editor said he's also kind of an assistant in life. He's developmental in life so he is kind of this guy. He really doesn't look like this guy at all. He doesn't wear glasses, but anyway I thought as book covers go that one stands out a mile away doesn't it, in a bookstore or in fact across the street. So I thought that one was very funny and I won't just go for it. See how that goes … I don't think it went very well but I just did see how it goes.

I'm gonna pick once that I actually really like. My WisdomTree novella covers I really like for a number of reasons. I like the cover art - it's simple but because they're not big books it needs to be simple. They can't carry too many concepts on the cover. So the artwork is by Virginia Kraljevic who's a New Yorker - it’s series of works. The book design is by Sandy Cole. I like the way each of the pieces of artwork kind of connect with the material in the book in a, in a understated way and the covers all sort of line up very nicely next to each other so that they actually fit as a series. So, I like the individual bit to that work but I love the design and I love the way the series works there.

How do you know when a book is finished?

it's an interesting question, isn’t it. How do you know when your book’s finished?

I've had this conversation with quite a few writers and particularly emerging writers who find themselves unable to stop tinkering with what they've got, and probably the key piece of advice I give to them is that there's a difference between continuing to make your book better and just making changes that make you a book different.

And if there are lots of little differences but they're not improving the book, you've probably reached the point where you've done all you can and the book probably needs a new set of eyes.

For me in practice I go through a lot of planning beforehand. I write my first draft into a detailed outline that's typically a quarter of the length of the whole thing and so I've got it all mapped out so I know how my first draft is going to go. I can diverge from that if I need to and if new ideas come up, but I don't need to find them as I'm going. So I stick with that plan and I get to the end of the first draft then I put it away for a while, then I go back to it and when I go back to it to write another draft, my objective isn't just how am I going to make this better. It's … I read through it thinking what do I need to attend to in the next draft and I look at the journey of the central character, the way I've told the story, how I've revealed things.

I ask some specific questions like that and through that, that kind of sets up the business for the next edit, and then I'll look through the manuscript that I've got and I'll work out where I'm going to do that in the draft and I'll go back in and do it. So I try to make it a kind of finite process and then maybe I'll put it aside again and have another look at it a few weeks later and think “is there still more business to do”? Are there things that I've overdone or underdone? Are there things that aren't quite hitting the mark? And then I'll go in again with the specific purpose of trying to hit those marks, and seeing what I can do, but I try to avoid the temptation to just keep going back in and moving the commas around.

And I reach a point where I think this needs eyes on other than mine, this needs expert objective input from an editor, from an agent, from someone like that, and then I'll send it off to them.

And then they'll send me back in and there'll be another draft and then they'll send me back in after that to fiddle with lots of little bits. So as far as I'm concerned when I get to that point, I'm not tinkering endlessly with the manuscript. I just need to finish it. I need to get it done and I need them to have enough mercy to let me stop, because we've tinkered with enough commas enough.

So, so for me I try to have a process that lets me take some kind of control over the editing, but then an editor comes in and sends me back in as much as I can possibly bear, and then at some point we both agree that the journey is done and we need to set it off to be typeset.

Have you ever self-published any of your work?

The official answer to this question is “no” but that answer is a lie because in the mid-1980s I might have self-published some very developmental poetry that mostly reflected the crushes I had on people round about that time.

But let's pretend that never happened and let's erase the last 30 seconds from our memories and go with me not having done that with that book, and it's not that I've got anything against self-publishing. I think the self publisher takes on a significant workload by taking on several different parts of the book production and distribution process, but there's a high return there for you if you do that.

So I've met people who've self-published very successfully but they mostly self-published very successfully because they've been targeting particular niche markets they can actually target better than publishers can target. So if your market is thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people that you've got better access to that a publisher, then self-publishing can be a really good way to go.

I prefer to - so I tend to work with publishers who will let me focus on the thing that I am most excited about doing which is the writing - and the other bit that I'm slightly excited about doing which is traveling around talking about myself when the book comes out at their expense - which is not bad at all - but I find I'm not a designer. I think I need design left to experts. I'm not a distributor and I'm happy to leave the retail part of it to other people who I think bring more to that than I do and for that I of course get a smaller percentage of the sales that I would if I was self-publishing.

So I think self publishing works very well for people who have got great access to the markets for their books. Self-publishing also is of course a different game now that we've got create space and other ways of developing printed - quality printed works - at economical rates. I think that's very exciting, and of course eBooks.

It costs very little to self publish an eBook. The challenge with that, with eBooks, is that the Kindle Store has well over five million titles and how do people discover you there? That's one of the things - is it's a very easy place to get lost. So it's never been easier to publish, never been easier to self publish, but possibly also never been easier to get lost in the massive infinite Bazaar that is the Kindle Store in the world of digital publishing.

So, but I think it's a very rewarding thing for some people and you can create very attractive books self-publishing and if you've got access to your books’ primary market, then I think it can be a great way to go.

But as I’ve said, my official answer is that I haven't done it, but just between you and me maybe I tried it once and maybe I ended up with a lot of boxes of bad poetry under my house.

As a self-published author of two volumes of flash fiction, do you have any suggestions for me on how to market yourself?

Well flash fiction is very interesting area to work in and I've got a book here Captives by Angela Meier, that's a small book of flash fiction and very nicely done on the inside as well and the occasional illustration. Nice and comfortable to read but the book that fits in a pocket.

so when it comes to marketing something like that, one of the things to consider - I don't know how big your volumes of flash fiction are - just thinking of the person who asked the question, but doing something this size can fit on a bookstore counter top and can, if you can manage to sell it for $10 or less, maybe you've got opportunities to move your product in a way that novels don't move.

As a kind of interesting small compact edition with a lot of interesting experiences in it. There's about a hundred pieces in there.

Flash fiction also gives you opportunities. You are likely to be able to turn out more individual pieces over the course of a year than someone who's writing something novel sized, so therefore you get to, you get more entries in competitions, more chances to approach publishers who work in this particular area. So I think there are those advantages there as you get to build up your CV faster potentially, because you're entering more things and then you want to connect with communities online.

I think you take an interest in that kind of work and, and see if they can take an interest in your work. Also if you're writing flash fiction, it's a thing you can give away. You can sometimes post - if you're promoting a book of yours - you can actually post an entire story as a Facebook post to get people's attention. Also, you can record it as a kind of audio sound bite. Some flash fiction might take 30 seconds, might take a minute, and that is really transportable. So I think use the strengths of the genre that's the area that you work in, to promote the work that way.

As far as how I market my work, if I'm working with a major publisher, I kind of have to fit with their machine and the way that machine works, though I will of course make suggestions.

I had more room to move when I was promoting my WisdomTree series because I was working with a micro publisher on the print books and the eBooks in Australia, a different micro publisher on the eBooks internationally and with Audible on the audiobooks. And they all agreed to work together so what we tried to do is make a virtue of the product we have and I think that's what you're always got to do, is look at the products you’ve got and think what opportunities does this give me?

And in the case of those novellas, I said to Audible let's cast it like an Australian TV drama series so we had Rhys Muldoon doing one guide and Grant Lee, William McInnes, people like that, and then I said could we have a about 30-45 second sound bite that I will select that each time one of them comes out, when a new novella comes out, as a paper book, eBook and audiobook, I want to release this soundbite with this actor reading from it as something people can listen to and can share on social media.

So I think things like that, looking at innovative ways of doing it, and there are probably far more innovative ways than that, but looking at what your particular product offers and in terms of particular ways of getting the word out there, and getting the word spread around, because the thing is we are all competing not just with thousands and thousands of other authors and millions of other books in the world, we're competing with a whole lot of other entertainment options these days.

So anything you can do that, that, you can where you can take something from your product and have people spread it around for you put you in a much better position.

What moment defined you as an author?

It's a really interesting question and I should perhaps have reflected more on my own trajectory and have a clear answer to that in my own head.

I guess I think there are different things that felt sort of defining for me. Maybe the first one was the Sunday Mail limerick competition in 1975 when I won $5 for a limerick and $5 for five lines? That was just, that said to me “what kind of a job is this if you get that sort of awesome money” so that stuck with me.

I think the first time I heard something from a reader who was not someone I knew, someone had any connection with. That made me realise that my books - this was a long time after the Sunday Mail limerick - this was probably around the time of After January and Zigzag Street in 1996. My books were out in the world but this actually told me my books were out in the world. I started getting letters from people because this was in the days of letters and those letters I've still got those letters. I don't get letters in on paper anymore so they're they're very special to me, but to see books connecting with readers here and in other countries told me that I'd got something right for someone at least and that made me start to feel like a writer.

But I still had an element of imposter syndrome as writers often do. You’re there thinking is this thing I'm writing amazing or is it just awful and what's going to happen if it ever gets published, and then it gets published and people like it and at some level you're thinking I've got away with it rather than “yes, I can do this”. And I think it wasn't until round about my seventh book was published I was Perfect Skin in the year 2000 - that I actually came to accept that I've been through the cycle enough times now, and enough people had read my books, that maybe this was a thing that I could do to satisfy at least some people and that I could do as some kind of job.

And I had to accept that maybe I wasn't an impostor and maybe this was going to work for me, and I think the moment that I had that realization was just before my novel Perfect Skin came out and it's got a bright yellow cover.

And I went to the Somerset Celebration of Literature on the Gold Coast and this was just before it came out and they got advance copies of it and as I went into the quadrangle there with the bookstore on the other side, I looked across to the bookstore and what I saw is this huge phalanx of yellow books, this huge array of books of mine with my cover there and I thought “look at that, they really don't have that unless they think they're going to sell it.”

I thought maybe this is what I'm getting to do now, maybe this is my job, and that was a very exciting moment and, and I've loved the fact that this has got to be my job ever since.

Whether the books are selling or selling significant numbers or more moderate numbers, it's a real privilege to get to do this as a job, and to keep exploring each new story and keep trying to solve the puzzle that each new story presents as.

So I'm hoping I'm going to get to keep doing it and thank you for for your questions. They've been great questions. They've really made me think and it's been exciting to get to include this and include this interaction with you as part of my COVID-19 time at home, and I hope your time at home is going well.

Stay well, look after the people around you and thank you for listening, and thank you very much to James and the team at the Moreton Bay Regional Council Libraries for coming up with this great idea.


Tony Park

Welcome to Yes, you can ask that with Tony Park from Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

We sat down with Tony to ask a few questions.

Question one: How did a boy from western Sydney end up writing novels about Africa?  

So how did a boy from western Sydney end up writing novels set in Africa? Well I don't know. There was no grand plan. Um I grew up in a place called Campbelltown and there was nothing in my background that would indicate I would ever be able to get to Africa and let alone writing books there. But one thing I knew, from the time I was a very small boy,  my mum got me reading very early on, was that the only thing in life I wanted to do was write a book. Specifically to write a novel. As I got older, I worked out I couldn't do mathematics or science, English was about the only thing I was anything good at school and when I left school, I later went on to work as a journalist in public relations. But I always had this burning desire to write a novel. But if you're interested in writing, what I discovered pretty early on was there were two big obstacles: Time - having enough time to write a book and a place - somewhere to write about, whether it's a place in time or history, just subject matter. All I knew was I wanted to write fiction. Eventually - as I got closer to the age of 40 - I left my job. With the support of my wife I gave up work in a PR firm to try and write a book and I did write a book.  

But I wrote a book set in the outback, somewhere I'd never been. I made a mistake of writing a book that I thought other people overseas might want to read. It wasn't a book that I was passionate about, and it wasn't about a place that I was really interested in. Around about that time, my wife and I had our first trip to Africa. It was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime safari tour to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Well it turned out to be anything but a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We got hooked on the continent - on the diverse cultures and the different countries we visited. The wildlife was a big factor. We were blown away by that but also the people we met on that first trip seemed to have such amazing stories. The landscape was incredibly inspiring. We decided before the end of that first trip that we would go back to Africa, we were so addicted to it. We did! It was on my third trip to Africa in 1998 that I had another go at writing a book.  

This one I was more passionate about because I decided to set it in Africa, a continent I was   getting to know. I set it on a fictitious tour around Africa and I found that what worked for me was not um plotting the story out as I had done with the first book. And I'd actually found that process quite boring. When I wrote the second book, this one said in Africa, I just made it up as we went along and each day as we moved along in our tour around Africa, my wife and I, so too did the action in my fictitious novel. 

I really enjoyed that trip and I really enjoyed the process of writing that book. To cut a long story short, that was published as my first novel Far horizon back in 2004. I got a publishing deal with Pan Macmillan Australia and they said, you can write the Africa books and here I am, 18 books later with Last survivor.

Question 2: Many of your books were inspired by chance encounters with real people in interesting circumstances. What can you tell us about the latest book and your encounters with gardeners with guns?

Yeah my books have been inspired by chance encounters with people, people I've met around a campfire or on my travels through Africa. Um and and people in interesting circumstances, yeah. Uh Last survivor like those others, just came from a from a conversation, from a for from a chance sort of discussion that I had with a friend of mine. It's a lady I've known for many many years and she's a very keen gardener. She was showing me around her house in somewhere in southern Africa - I won't say exactly where - and she had these amazing plants with these long spiky leaves and and strange looking cones like pine cones. 

These are cycads and I'd probably seen them around but I didn't know what they were. They look like palms but they're actually more closely related to conifers and these cones are like pine cones but they tend to be much bigger and garishly coloured. And it's perhaps this unusual nature of these plants - cycads that date back to the Jurassic period - that make them so interesting to collectors, and my friend as she was showing me around I said like why have you got all these plants? And she'd moved from one place to another and relocated her plants. I said what did you, why did you like move all of these plants? She said because they're worth a fortune. And she started to explain to me that uh as well as people who legally collect the plants like she does, because these the trade in cycads is regulated, you need permits to buy and sell and to export them. What she told me was there is a lucrative flourishing underground illegal market in cycads around the world. Consequently, the most endangered living organisms in the world today, I learned to my surprise, are not rhinos or elephants or lions, other things I've written about in my previous African novels, but their plants. A family of the encephalartos family of cyclads from South Africa. These living organisms are all but extinct in the wild, and that's because of greed, because these illegal collectors will pay a fortune to have these plants sometimes removed from the wild just so they can go into their gardens.

I haven't had any personal encounters with gardeners with guns but I've met quite a few gardeners now and a few experts on cycads and I've met a few people that know a thing or two about guns. Now in my book Last survivor the rarest cycad of all - in fact it's one that's already extinct but I've pretended that a specimen has been found - comes onto the market. It's worth so much money that some criminals steal it and actually decide to use it to fund a terror attack because, in parts of Africa, poaching - the illegal trade in wildlife - is used to fund acts of terror. So that's where the flicker of the idea came from and I thought there's got to be a book in this somewhere.

Question three: Speaking of Sonja Kurtz, what made you decide on a female ex-mercenary as a central character for your first book with her, The delta?  

So what made me decide to bring back one of my recurring characters Sonja Kurtz in this book Last survivor? Well to tell you the truth, I didn't decide to do that, she decided it for me. This book has a bunch of gardeners with guns that I was mentioning before, members of the Pretoria Cycad and Firearms Appreciation Society, a fictitious group of elderly ladies and gents who also like guns. But leading them into battle in this book to reclaim the missing cycad is Sonja Kurtz.

Sonja first appeared in one of my earlier books The delta and she is a now retired female mercenary. She is a force of nature. She's a fantastic character for me to write because I love writing. She tends to, she tends to write herself. She can be as out there and as crazy as she wants to be. She's a real tough cookie. She's a uh a single mum with relationship issues and an AK-47. I love writing her and I literally started writing this book thinking it would not be a Sonja Kurtz book. She's been in three before. She is - my readers do tend to like her I think - but as I was writing, all of a sudden she popped in, and this is the way I write it, just make it up as I go along. And I got to the point very very early on in the story where I wanted to have a bit of action happening, because this is otherwise a book about plants, and who better to kick down a door and get the action happening than my favourite leading lady Sonja Kurtz. Back again.

Question four: Another character you keep returning to is Sannie van Rensberg. Why do you find her such an interesting character, and will she come back for a leading role in the future?  

I do have another recurring leading lady who has appeared in a few of my books and that is, I think she's well she's about to be promoted to colonel Sannie van Rensburg, who is my Afrikaans speaking lady detective who first appeared in my fourth novel Silent predator as a police bodyguard in South Africa. I like Sannie van Rensburg. You know, will she appear? Yes she is coming back in another book. She's not in Last survivor but I think what attracts me to her is uh generally when before I started writing, I always liked reading books for some reason that had strong female protagonists. Um you know it just seemed that they could bring so much more depth to their characters as well too, and whereas Sonja is this kind of you know tough, you know, uh relentless ruthless uh soldier of fortune, uh Sannie van Rensburg - not that Sannie doesn't have a soft side - but Sannie is more prey to the some of the day-to-day struggles that many more of us can um can identify with. She lost her first husband who passed away, she married again, an English detective named Tom Fury, she's, she was right in the process of raising two children of her own Christo and Alana and she had another child with her new husband Tom. She's trying to balance this blended family. She has a husband who used to be a policeman and is now restless and he's been working overseas in places like Iraq as a bodyguard. He was a bodyguard as well. And she's trying to raise a family by herself and trying to put food on the table and she lives in modern day South Africa in the police force. Crime is an issue in southern Africa and Sannie is very much on the front line. She's a woman in in a man's world, but she also comes uh you know from a different cultural background to the majority of people in the police service today. So she has to contend with some of those sort of cultural issues. She has to fit in. Um she she has a lot of demands placed on her but I like her because I wouldn't say she's any um weaker than Sonja, she's probably a little less direct than Sonja, but I think she's a very relatable person and that's why I like writing her and following her path through life. As it happens, uh now Colonel Sannie van Rensburg, back in the police force full time, is returning in a book that I'm writing at the moment for hopefully release in 2021. So we can look forward to seeing a bit more of Colonel van Rensburg.

Question five: Can you describe how you approach a novel once you have an inspiration/idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

So what's my approach to writing once I come up with that first idea? When I wrote my first manuscript which which wasn't ever published, I had followed the rules as laid down in a couple of books that I'd read about how to write, and they both said you have to have a plot, you have to start, you have to know the beginning, the middle and the end, the structure of your book, the breakdown of the chapters, who all the characters are, even before you start writing. And look it sounds like good advice and it does work for many authors. But I found the process of writing that way well, not enjoyable, and I think if you're going to write and you want to write, you have to enjoy it. It's just not worth doing otherwise unless you enjoy it. And after finishing the process of writing a novel where I had mapped everything out from start to finish and I had, I knew who all the characters were before I started writing, I found it was it was not enjoyable, the whole process.  

Um it wasn't until I had another go at writing a novel set in Africa where I thought well I'll just  do my own thing and I'll make it up as I go along and I worked out that that worked for me - writing by the seat of your pants that is without a plot. So that is the way I write and I did that because I worked on the premise that I would no sooner want to write a novel whose ending I knew than I would want to 

pick up a book if I knew what the ending was. I thought where's the fun in that and I'm writing a thriller, which is also a bit of a mystery, a bit of action adventure but there is there is a mystery element and I thought, well if I don't know the ending then hopefully the reader won't know the ending. And I never know the endings of my books before I start. I don't even know who the characters are. I don't know who the goodie is and I don't know who the bad - well I might know who the goodie is but I don't know who the baddie is until pretty well near the end of the book, and that keeps me entertained along the way. So that's why I write that way, by the seat of my pants.

Question six: Can you tell us about how you screwed up breaking your three golden rules of research?

Can I tell you how I broke my three golden rules of research? Well I'll tell you how I made them in the, in the first place. A lot of it was by by trial of error. Number one: You shouldn't do  too much research up front and and you know, the risk of doing that is even greater if you're researching something that you're really interested in. I mean research, it can be half the fun of writing, but it can also be an incredible distraction and I've allowed that distraction to overtake me. I wrote one of my earlier novels African sky which is set in the second world war in Africa on a pilot training base. I'm kind of into military history and aircraft. I did so much research. I learned, I almost learned in fact I pretty well did learn how to fly a second world war aircraft even though I'm not a pilot. I did that much research and I jammed all of this, these facts and figures and information into into this book and you know what? 90 per cent of it was cut out of the draft that I sent to the publishers by my editors who very sensibly said there's too much detail in here, you've done too much research and it's detracting from the story. If you write thrillers, it's all about the story, it's all about the plot not the plot, it's all about the pace of the story, keeping that pace going. So that was a big mistake I made - don't do too much.

Another mistake I made was to to do the wrong sort of research. That is, I you know, I relied on the internet. Now the internet is all pervasive and again it can be a very very distracting as well, too. You can spend so much time online looking for stuff, and that way you know you, it can seem as though you're getting somewhere but you're actually wasting your time. The other, the other risk of using the internet - so I say don't use the internet is the third thing that I I do say to people - is is that you can find anything on the internet. Anything you're looking for, like a false positive. If you, if you think you know something, someone and you're wrong, somewhere someone on the internet will have said the same thing that you did. They would have agreed with you. So in a book of mine set in Namibia in An empty coast, I made the assumption, which is a mistake, that a certain rifle fired a certain calibre of ammunition. The other mistake I have made was that having been in the army, I have a little bit of knowledge about firearms and as we all know a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. So I thought that this particular weapon would use this particular bullet and I found a reference on the internet that said yes that was true, but that was not the case and many of my readers who knew far more about firearms than me, were very very quick to point that out. So the the first thing is don't do too much research.  

The second thing is don't use the internet to do your research but, here's my third golden rule, the best way to do research is to find people who are experts and you can use the internet to find those people. So I use the internet to do my research by finding people, by stalking people, so find experts but here's the thing - this is what I find - is I do my research after I've finished writing the first draft of the novel. Because if you don't, you're wasting too much time and what you don't want to do, if you've got an expert to help you in a particular area, is to waste their time. So that's another mistake you can make.

So don't do too much research, don't use the internet, do use people who you can find through the internet but do that research afterwards. They're my three rules of how to research and that's just simply what works for me. You know in all the years I've been writing and contacting people asking them to help me, I think in 18 years I've had one person who didn't return an email. People are very generous when it comes to sharing their knowledge. When I wrote Last survivor I relied very heavily on the number of experts in cycads and in the trade and endangered plants who are very giving and very helpful to me.

Question seven: How do you deal with criticism and negative reviews?

So how do I deal with criticism and negative reviews? Part of being a writer, if you're lucky enough to get published, is this giant leap of faith of putting yourself out there. You've written something that means a lot to you, that you're probably proud of, and then you put it out into the big wide world and if you commercially publish, you also become fair game. So critics can can have a go at you. You know they can have their particular opinion on what you what you're writing. Um look I think if criticism is constructive you you deal with it by accepting it, that's the most important thing. So if you, if you say send your book into a publisher and they give you some feedback or you have a publishing deal and you've got an editor, you have to listen to their feedback. If it's constructive criticism, people aren't criticizing you because they're on an ego trip. This is people within the industry - editors and publishers. They're criticizing you or giving you constructive criticism to make your writing better because no one gets it right first time. So you've got to have a thick skin. That's one way of dealing.

When it comes to reviews and criticism say, on online book review sites, and online booksellers where people post reviews. Some of these can be quite nasty and people people hide behind the internet and they can become you know, borderline abusive and insulting in their reviews. So I deal with that by ignoring it by and large. However I do have a favourite little trick that I used to that I like. If I, if I've been reviewed by a publication and they've given me a negative scathing review, I find the one positive thing in that review - it could just be a word "thrilling" or "gripping" or something like that and I take it and I put it on the front cover of my book and pretend as though it was a good review. Take that.

I had a review of Last survivor where someone said I don't think it's feasible that you can have a bunch of gardeners who are heavily armed. Well it probably isn't feasible. This is entertainment. This, probably more than any of my books, is a book for today, for the COVID era. This is a bit of escapism. Let's keep it in perspective. Don't let negative reviews get them down. Don't worry about them.

Question eight: You don't just write fiction do you? Can you tell us about War Dogs and why that book was so important to you?  

Yeah I don't just write fiction. I do write some non-fiction as well. I've written um half a dozen biographies - other people's real life stories - and one of the early ones I wrote was a book called War dogs with a good friend of mine Shane Bryant. Shane's an Aussie, an ex-Australian defence and New South Wales police explosive detection dog handler, who served 10 years in Afghanistan on the front lines as an explosive detection dog handler. When I wrote Shane's book and it came out the first edition back in 2010. It was a great story. I thought it was fantastic because here was a guy who had been in the in uniform in Australia but went to Afghanistan as a civilian. So he was a contractor who was assigned to the United States Army special forces and he and the dogs that he worked with - Ricky and Benny, characters in their own right, had a number of adventures in that war zone. And that was kind of the tone of the book. It was all about Shane's exploits on the front lines.

We've just re-released War dogs just now, um a new expanded edition of that book because it tells what happened to Shane after 2010 when that book came out. He had been in Afghanistan about four or five years by then but he wouldn't serve another five years. Now I served in the Australian Army in Afghanistan and like a lot of people that served in Afghanistan from our Defence Force, I served for six months. Some served longer, some did two or three tours of duty. Shane's 10 years as a civilian contractor effectively saw him do the equivalent of 18 regular tours of duty because he was like a fly in fly out warrior. He was a civilian contractor. His his term of engagement in the war was open-ended and perhaps inevitably it took a toll on him and since we first wrote War dogs, Shane has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. It's something that a few people I know and have served with in the military have served with. It's a very important issue and one that needs to be addressed. The effect of trauma whether it's in war or in other forms of service or or even tragedies that before people. PTSD is a very real condition and I thought and Shane thought that what we should try and do is re-release War dogs in order to make the focus of the book the effect that operations such as this have on people.

Now the interesting fact is that civilian contractors played an ever increasing role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a fact that at the peak of both of those wars, there were more civilians working for the coalition than there were uniformed American servicemen and service women in those theatres of war. It's a little known fact and and also what our research showed in writing War dogs the second edition was that contractors are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than uniform serving personnel, and that's perhaps because they don't have the same levels of support that uniform personnel have. So it was a book that we thought was worth re-releasing. It's now out now and available online and you can get details of that on my website at www.tonypark.net There's a separate page on War dogs there.

Question nine: Are you nervous about returning to Africa given the current pandemic?  

Am I nervous about returning to Africa given the current pandemic? Oh no, I can't wait to go back to Africa. Africa to me is my second home since Far horizon came out in 2004 my wife Nicola and I have literally lived half of our lives in Africa. For a number of years we we kept a vehicle, an old Land Rover, there which we used as our kind of mobile home, but about seven or eight years ago we bought a house in South Africa on the edge of the iconic Kruger National Park, South Africa's largest game reserve.  

We have we have well-established routes there, we have friends and family there just as we do here in Australia. So if you can imagine yourself having a having a whole a whole another life somewhere else in the world and I think you know that you can probably get a glimpse of how we feel now, we're missing our other home, we're missing our friends and our family.  

Travel in the time of pandemic you know, when we are allowed to travel probably still won't be without risk um, but you can say there's a risk to anything in life. I'm certainly not downplaying COVID-19 or it's seriousness, but people in Africa have to deal with a whole different set of risks in their lives than than we do in Australia and I think we're we're prepared for that.  

I can't wait to get back there because Africa is where I get the inspiration for my writing. It's  where I do my job but we're we're certainly going to be careful about the way that we do things in the future as I think all of us are no one's going to come through this unchanged.


Question 10: Many of your books touch on conservation themes. Why is this important to you  and what do you see as the biggest threats to the environment both here in Australia and in Africa?  

Yeah many of my books are - pretty well all my books do deal with conservation in one form or another - and the protection of endangered species, the threats to endangered species, and I have written about you know, big animals like rhinos and elephants and lions and even endangered birds, vultures, in previous books. And this one looks at plants. Um why is it important to me? Yeah I think before I first travelled to Africa in 1995 I hadn't really thought much about the environment or endangered species, or man's footprint on the on the planet. I think coming with an appreciation of the majesty and the wonder of Africa's wildlife and the natural environment, pretty soon after that you start to learn of the the threat to the natural environment and to wildlife and endangered species and I, like a lot of people, wanted to do something about that. I don't use my books as a as a kind of soapbox to push my views on conservation, but I do like to increase awareness wherever I possibly can.

Um what I think the biggest threats to the environment here in Australia and Africa? Look it's, in one respect it's it's it's the same. It's it's getting the balance right between humans and the natural environment whether you're talking about climate change or talk about protecting an endangered animal or even protecting an endangered plant that we're talking about. It comes down to to a question of balance and also a question of priorities. What is most important to us? Is making money the most important to us? Is having our piece of land carved out or or used for our purpose is more important than say ensuring that a species - whether it's a the rhino or whether it's a koala - is still here in 50 years’ time.  What what is our priority? What's what's important to us. For me the natural environment is important because without it we can't breathe, we can't live, and do we want to live in a world where we have a bit more money um and fewer species of wildlife? I don't want to live in that world.  

I think what I have learned in my time in Africa, and perhaps there's lessons for Australia there, is that humans and wildlife and wild places can actually coexist side by side if there's a little bit of give and take. And if we perhaps change the way we do things and change our priorities and work out what is most important to us. So I live on the edge of a national park with wild animals, dangerous animals some of them, leopards and occasionally lions and elephants coming around my house. I have to change my behaviour to accommodate them. I don't walk around so much, I don't walk very much at all at night because I know that's dangerous. So I change my behaviour to accommodate that. I live in a house in South Africa that's completely solar powered. That happens to be because we don't have mains electricity where I live, but it is possible. A lot of people in Australia would think that's not possible to live totally off the grid. It is if you change your lifestyle a little bit, if there's a bit of give and take.  

The number one threat to to wildlife, wild places and wild species in Africa is pretty much the same as it is in Australia - it's habitat destruction. I think we need to think twice in the future about how much land we need and what we need that land for, and if we can all live peacefully side by side whether it's with our neighbours or our wildlife and wild places side by side, I think the world is going to be a better place.  

Thank you for joining Moreton Bay Region Libraries for Yes, you can ask that with Tony Park.

Tony Park - Blood Trail

Welcome Tony, and welcome everybody. By now you will have worked out that we've had some glitches and we weren't able to do this event live, but I am fortunate today myself to be talking to Tony, and we thank you all for joining when you're watching this.

Now my name's Kerryn Whiteside and I'm the library programs officer for Moreton Bay Region Libraries and I'm very happy to be hosting this interview with Tony Park as part of our Meet the Author events here at Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

Now before we get to the interview, I'd like to first pay my respects to the Traditional Country we're all joining together on in Moreton Bay. It's variously Kabi  Kabi, Turrbal Jinibara people ground, and I'd like to pay respects to the Traditional Custodians and  Elders both past, present and emerging. Moreton Bay has had a long history of storytelling. So many have gone before us and we're very fortunate to be part of that tradition today.

Now due to us not having a live audience I am not going to be able to throw to audience questions which is a bit of a shame, but we will be happy to take your responses after we post the event on YouTube. Now I will introduce Tony. So Tony is the author of 18 novels set in Africa, and six non-fiction biographies. Tony has worked as a reporter, a press secretary, a PR consultant, and a freelance writer, and he has also served 34 years as an army reservist including a stint in Afghanistan in 2002. Tony and his wife divide their time between Sydney and southern Africa, where they own a home on the border of Kruger National Park.

Welcome again Tony, it's great to be speaking to you, although sadly it's not in person. How is lockdown treating you?

Kerryn, thanks, I think the definition of an optimist is an author who plans a book promotional tour two years in a row in the middle of a pandemic, so I would have loved to have been there in person, and it would have been one of my first events for the launch of Blood Trail. So like everybody, I've had to adapt and hopefully overcome,  but you know as I've explored in the books I mean I am a bit I am still a bit of an optimist, because I think in in some funny strange ways, not being able to connect people has feel like forced  us to find other ways to connect and maybe even reach out to people that we might not have seen or  spoken to that often.

Yeah um and that is true, and so you know, as you say you're an optimist that's great. Now, let's go to the questions. 

So perhaps we should start with your new novel, strategically displayed behind you there. I myself am really looking forward to the return of Sonny van Rensburg as a central character you've written quite a few novels where Sonny turns up as a peripheral character. So what about this story made you want to bring her back?

Yeah well it was funny, I didn't have any grand plan to bring her back in this one because, like with my previous books, I just think of a premise or an idea and I start writing. This was going to be a book in which the other lead character, a safari guide tracker by the name of Mia Greenaway, was going to be the lead. She was going to encounter a crime which took place during a live lockdown webcast of a of a game drive in the Kruger National Park, where these things were really happening for a lot of Africa addicts like myself. There was a very good streaming service called Safari Live, which was broadcasting live game drives from a few different reserves in South Africa where people could log on at dawn and then log on in the evening or the appropriate times and watch through a camera driving through the African bush on a game drive.

It was fantastic and so I had one of these 'what if' moments. What if they were doing one of these web carts and they came across a poaching incident with someone trying to kill a rhino? And I thought, well, Mia will be quite capable, and she'll be able to like a true amateur sleuth be able to solve this mystery and work out what's going on. But I worked out very quickly it was going to be quite a complex story and so I needed the police to get involved, because there was going to be a subplot about some children that go missing. What happens, what I what I like particularly when I was writing my earlier novels, is I like the idea of a blank canvas. I do like starting a book with fresh characters with a whole new story And that is that is really rewarding, because as you mentioned I've written 18, this is the 19th book in this kind of fictitious world that I have created. I have a kind of a crew, you know, I have a cast of characters, so if I need a cop, I've got one, you know. And so, Sonny van Rensburg did first appear in a book called Silent Predator which was my fourth book I think, and she was kind of the leading lady in in that book. Then, as you say, she's popped up every now, and then over the years when I've needed a capable detective to be on hand. But I always had a soft spot from it, for I think it's fair to say that she was quite possibly forcibly elbowed or kicked out of the picture by another female character of mine called Sonia Kurtz, who's a very forceful person. A recently retired mercenary, and she has stolen the limelight in a few books because she proved to be quite popular with a few readers.

So I think Sonny van Rensburg has been waiting in the wings and I do like her, I think she's, you know, she's an independent character. She was a single mum when we first met her, she's gone through some very trying times recently, and she brings a lot of key qualities strength and resilience, intelligence, and a real kind of sense of a sense of right, you know? And a sense of moral justice to herself. So I thought she would be the right person to come back in this book, and I think it's probably not before time that's fantastic.

Another thing that's interesting about Blood Trail is that it deals with magic, and how belief in magic can govern behaviour. Can you tell us a bit more about the part belief in magic and superstition plays in the novel and how did you come to select this as a theme?

Yeah well, it was interesting because I wrote this one all during lockdown last year, and  my gig my story is that I am the Australian who lives in Africa half a year and writes books in Africa, and I go on and wax lyrical about how I draw my inspiration from the African bush and I'm sitting on my stoop in my house in the game reserve and I watch the elephants and the giraffes walk like well you know that's not possible when you're in the spare bedroom of a two-bedroom flat on a six-lane highway in Sydney.

So I had to come up with something else, and I had a conversation over a cup of coffee a few years ago with a lady I know, she's an academic who was engaged by the South African National Park. She started as a botanist and through her time in botany she became involved in researching the efficacy or otherwise of various plants in African traditional medicine, and traditional medicine is provided by traditional healers known as izangorma or sangomas, and they have a role as healers. They do use a lot of plant-based remedies which have certain properties and efficacy. They're also involved in the business of belief. I shouldn't say the belief. In people's belief systems, because part of traditional healing is very much tied up with the intangible with people's beliefs.

And so my friend was telling me that she had been involved in research with looking at the use of traditional medicine, if you want to call it 'witchcraft' just for the sake of simplicity, it's probably not the best term, but the use of spells or talismans certain preparations that could help people in their day-to-day life. And as I had already learned, poachers involved in the illegal hunting of rhinos, killing rhinos for their horns, which are marketed in other parts of the world ostensibly for traditional medicine and traditional beliefs in parts of Asia rhino horn is more of a commodity, it's a valuable substance so it fuels a highly organized very lucrative illegal trade. But what I had learned was that poachers would go to their traditional healers, and they would buy spells or tabula talismans or amulets that would help them in their hunting, based on ancient traditional beliefs. But also protect them and that you could buy mooty, which is magic which would make you disappear, so if you're being chased by an anti-poaching ranger from National Parks or a policeman or a soldier through the African bush. Because this is a war that's being fought, you could use your potion to make yourself disappear or turn into water or perhaps morph into an animal or your magic would confuse the people following you.

Now when you say that a lot of people, particularly me if you're a middle-aged white male living in Australia, a lot of people's initial reaction is "this is rubbish, superstition." Now as this academic explained to me, and she introduced me to another person, a guy who was studying this field as well, I learned a couple of very interesting things. One is that it's not just confined to the poachers...  the people on the other side, the rangers and the military people and other people hunting poachers, will go to the same healers looking for counter potions to improve their chances of not just survival, but catching people so there's what one academic calls an invisible arms race going on in Africa, with both sides using magic to try and improve their cases again. You might think this sounds silly or superstitious, but as a military person, I know and it was pointed out to me by these two researchers, that it is not uncommon, in fact it's very common for say soldiers or airmen or sailors involved in war to have certain rituals that they believe in. Good luck, chance, the rabbit's foot, um... rituals that they will do before going into battle. It drifts close to religion, but we're not necessarily talking about religion, because the poachers and the rangers that ascribe to traditional beliefs of medicine in Africa are in the main, certainly where I live also, devout Christians.

So if you take religion and religious policy thing the key is that people in what is known as high risk high reward activities are very likely to follow certain rigid beliefs. Now uh the interesting thing is that it's when you hear about this, the more you start thinking about it, the more you start realizing it's true, and there's something to it. I'm writing a non-fiction book now with a 97-year-old guy who served in the Second World War. He was a gunner on a Royal Australian Air Force liberator flying out of Darwin and going on bombing raids over the Japanese held islands in the Pacific.  He and his crew had a ritual, he contracted a very bad head cold during the war and should not have flown, because these were unpressurized aircraft and he knew that he could do some serious damage to his sinuses and his hearing if he flew. But he had to fly, and he discussed with his pilot and his crewmates whether he would fly or not and they expected him to fly. He said 'there's no way he wouldn't'. Now the reason he did that, knowing full well that he was going to suffer, was that they had observed that on bombing missions the crew that flew with a replacement member was more likely to be shot down or involved in a crash or to lose a man or to be lost at sea, so these are rational, intelligent, educated, professional military people to make the decision that he would fly. He ended up half dead, literally half death, fortunately after that mission when his sinuses exploded and expanded, they went on leave and so he was able to spend his leave time getting medical procedures to try and fix his hearing, which didn't work, but he kept on flying throughout the war now that is how strongly people will hold beliefs.

Just one other quick funny one the academic told me about is that uh cosmonauts, Russian cosmonauts, going to the space station will always have a wee on the vehicles, on the tyres of the vehicle that drives them to the launch pad. This is documented apparently and any foreign astronaut from America or the UK or Europe that wants to go to the space station must wee on the wheels of the truck that drives them to the rocket, otherwise something terrible will happen. And it sounds funny, and on one hand we can say it's superstition or whatever,  but the key that was explained to me is: if you're in a business that's high risk like a soldier or a space man or even a sporting personality who wears the same underpants every time, he or she plays you stick to these rituals because the reward is high and to do so might jinx you or curse you. So that's a very long explanation, but these belief systems, as I said, the temptation is maybe to dismiss them but the more you think about it the kind of the more validity is to this.

It's just fascinating, isn't it? Now leading on to something that you were talking a little bit about with the magic and the poaching so conservation and the impacts of poaching are very important story elements for you here too in Blood Trail, and they're things that you've covered quite a few times in your novels, and also in non-fiction. So, this is obviously something that you are quite passionate about. What do you think can be done to improve the situation in Africa with regards to poaching?

Yeah, it's interesting, because I wasn't really someone who was particularly interested in the environment or wildlife or anything until I went to Africa in 1995 when my wife and I went on what was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime safari holiday and turned out to be anything but, because we got hooked and we wanted to keep going back to Africa. And we did, and now we live half our lives there usually, and of course along that way I started writing, and I started learning a lot more about the plight of animals such as rhinos and elephants and pangolins. Also in my last book, Last Survivor, plants, you know, because the illegal trade in in wildlife and environmental products is certainly not restricted to animals, it's birds and reptiles and plants and everything.

So, it comes down to greed at the end of the day, it comes down to money. And if you look at the biggest problems, it seems to me that the problem in Africa is not just about Africa, it's not just about the countries that I write about, it's everywhere, and in particular it relates to Australia, pretty well everywhere in the world, it seems to me that while money is the root of all evil, the bigger problem has to do with harmony. Being able to live in harmony with the natural environment. Now as humans, we have an enormous footprint on the on the world. We need to eat, we need to go about our business and build our cities, but I'm not the only one who believes that the number one threat to wildlife and the environment today is habitat loss. Now whatever causes that habitat loss, it's habitat loss. And the inability of humans to live alongside nature and to live in harmony with their natural environment.

So that's certainly manifested in itself in Australia, where if you look at koalas, for example, they're not hunted, they're not poached. Well they used to be shot for their fur, but the remaining koalas we have... the number one threat to them is a loss of trees. A loss of habitat. Now I'm not saying I'm anti-farming or anti-development or something like that, but we have to find a way to live with our natural environment and our wildlife if we still want it to be around in 5 or 10 or 100 years. It's exactly the same in Africa as well too. Poaching is a problem. The commercialization of wildlife is a is a problem, but at the end of the day there would be an awful lot more rhinos and lions and elephants around if there was room for them.

So as an optimist, I do see signs of progress in my time of living in South Africa and traveling in Africa. There have been a number of new national parks proclaimed, particularly in South Africa. These are old farming areas that have been rewilded. If you like if you look at countries like Namibia across the border from South Africa, there's been great progress made with encouraging what are known as conservation areas rather than strict national parks. So rather than putting a fence or a boundary around an area of land and saying animals here people there, they've moved to more of a model that says how can we make it easier and fairer and safer for people and animals to live together. It requires give and take. In Namibia, it requires farmers accepting that they may lose some cattle to lines, but those lines are going to provide income and jobs and employment by bringing in tourists. It's a very fine balancing act as well too, a lot of it's about education as well so, and fundamentally it requires a change in everybody's mindset from the way we look at the bush, the way we look at property, the way we look at wildlife, and the value of wildlife. And I've tried to get across some of that in the in the book as well in the books in general.

Another one of the things that I've enjoyed about your books is the strong female characters, so is this something of a strong like a conscious decision on your part, or unconscious, and have there been some real-life women who've inspired you in this regard? Are the characters modelled on women that you know?

I guess I don't think they they're not modelled on any particular people but um it's just a fact of life uh these days, that in the course of my business of writing I have some very strong women in my life. My wife and my - the first people that read my books are my mum, my mother-in-law, and my wife and my publisher who's a woman and my editor who's a woman and the copy editor who's a woman. So trust me, the first guy that reads this book other than me is probably the first one that buys it in the shop. I get plenty of uh frank and sometimes fierce feedback as well too, but one of the things I like to tell people who are interested in writing... is write what you know. But write what you're interested in, what you like to read.

I kind of for some reason have been drawn to books with strong female characters. A big fan of people like Ken Follett who also made a point of having very strong independent female characters. A fact which I didn't know when I started reading, I started writing, but it is a fact I'm told by my publishers, that the majority of my readers are women. Now some people would look at the covers of the book or hear the description and think oh this is a boys book you know... action, shoot em up, well that's pigeonholing and stereotyping. So I'm not writing for an audience, but I am drawn to it I think the interesting thing about um Blood Trail is... quite often I will have the male lead and the female lead and surprise, surprise, they may end up together at the end of the story! This one is probably a little bit different in that the buddies that team up to solve the crime win the day are both women, and they come from different backgrounds, they come from different points of view to this problem. So I don't certainly don't see a problem with it, so I think that's the sort of books that I I'm kind of drawn to as well in the field of conservation.

I do come across many women in key roles particularly in the research side of things. Mia is a female safari guide in what has been a traditionally male dominated industry, and to put it in perspective, the safari industry, I think it's fair to say I'm not insulting anybody because I'll probably take it as a compliment, but and probably within my time in Africa earlier on, it was not a male dominated. It was the place where the alphas of all alphas would go for jobs and they were in the main uh handsome strapping young fellows all trying to outdo each other with how clever and handsome they could be. So that industry has changed, like a lot of industries, for the better.

A friend of mine recently attained the position of field guide of the year in South Africa a couple of years ago. Big feather in her cap as well too, not just because she's a woman, because she's a very good safari guide, and a very good tracker. So I was helped by people like that. There's a woman by the name of Taylor McCurdy who is one of the drivers on the Wild Earth Safari Live game drives who read the manuscript for me, shared with me some very incisive and quite funny experiences she's had as a woman in this male dominated industry. So I think it's good, I think it's good to turn a few stereotypes on their head every now, and then um and so yeah that's the sort of you know it's all I but again Kerryn, I don't really know this when I start writing it kind of just takes on a life of its own. Detective van Rensburg comes back into it and before you know it, instead of a hero and a heroine we've got two heroines in this story.

That's great. Now I'd love to hear about how you came to write your first novel so and whether you'd always plan to be a writer, did you see yourself as a novelist, or was it something that just kind of evolved?

Without a doubt the only thing I wanted to do from as early as I could remember from the time I was a little kid was to write a book. My mother was and is a voracious reader and she introduced us to reading at a very early age and we would spend a after school time when my parents were both working. We would hang out in the local library in Campbelltown where I grew up and so I was always surrounded by books and I thought to myself 'someone must write these books' and I wanted to write a book. I used to read the biggles books, terribly unpolitically correct these days, but that's why that's what I started reading and they were about this British fighter pilot, Slash Sleuth, who would go around saving the world, and written by a former fighter pilot captain W.E John. So not only did I want to write books, I wanted to be captain W.E John. So I thought I would like to be a pilot/author, preferably in the air force, unfortunately as soon as I was old enough to read and write, I worked out that I couldn't add up, so I was never going to be any good at maths or science, which therefore pretty well knocked any hopes I had of being a pilot out pretty early on. So I pinned all my hopes on being a writer.

It's not so easy to wake up one day and say 'I'm going to write books',  and there will be plenty of people out there who will tell you, as with anyone following a dream, a lot of the time there's always a lot of people who tell you why you shouldn't do something, but this is something I always wanted to do, and I stumbled into a job in journalism which I loved, that turned into a job in public relations which I also liked, but I had always harboured this dream of writing. So to cut a very long story short, in my 30s I quit my job, tried to write a novel, wrote a novel, failed because it was no good, and then started traveling to Africa where I had another go and I wrote a novel that got published. And then my publisher said to me 'you can write the book set in Africa', and here I am 19 years later, still writing the books in Africa, so it seems to have worked.

So was there anything that's really surprised you about the publication of your first novel?

Yeah I was surprised it got published. It was really interesting process because, we can talk about a little bit later on, but I started writing in a particular way following certain rules and regulations about how you were supposed to work, and I found that while I had taken the time with the support of my wife Nicola to leave my job and go and try and write a book with her supporting me for six months, I felt incredibly privileged, but I didn't actually enjoy the process. So there was something wrong, and I think looking back on it, there were a couple of things wrong. I was writing a book set in the outback, and I had not been to the outback, but I was writing a book set in there because I thought people overseas would want to read it. Well, that's another mistake, I was writing for an audience I didn't even know, and I was following certain procedures that didn't really fit with me. So it wasn't a particularly enjoyable process when I started writing the book that got published.

Far Horizon was my first novel, I was doing it in a location that I was I was growing to love, I was falling in love with it. I was writing about things I was passionate, like elephants and conservation and poaching, and I was enjoying the actual process. So I can honestly say that I enjoyed that process so much, that after having taken a knock first time and not getting published, I would have been happy just to keep writing you know I thought to be published was a dream, but I think my dreams have become a bit more grounded. And the fact that I was published really changed my life. The book was was delayed in publication but published the year I turned 40, and it's fair to say that my life began at 40. I think it certainly changed my life and I consider myself incredibly grateful to I write full time. It's my full-time job. To have a job doing the one thing in life that I love other than my wife.

So that what you just mentioned before about the process that leads in beautifully to my next question which as I said, we asked you last year, are you a plotter or a pantser? So yeah was it discovering that you could be a pantser was that really what helped you?

Yeah and look I'd had no training other than having worked as a journalist which doesn't particularly equip you for writing fiction. I didn't know what to do, so I bought a couple of books to read about how to write a novel and they both said you have to plot the two books. I happened to pick up both said this is how you do it. You have a plot you have your list of characters, you know who they are, what their names are, what their history is. They have little files on them and you have a chapter breakdown and then you fill in all the gaps, and there you go you got a novel. Well it just it was a mechanical process and one of the things I didn't like about it was that from, because I had plotted this first novel was I knew how it was going to end, right from the start so there was no intrigue or mystery or entertainment for me, it was like a process it was a process, a very process-driven kind of thing.

I still say today I mean if people read if anyone reads that book they'll know how it's going to finish after the first page but I um I think about it it's just incredibly predictable,  but when I wrote the second book, I started with a blank slate, and I thought I don't know who the  characters are going to be, how can I know who characters are you know you meet people in life you don't know what their backstory is or what motivates them, so I just started making it up  as I went along, and I subsequently learned you're allowed to do that. and it has a name called pantsing right by the seat of your pants there's a very good book that I follow a book called on writing by Stephen King if anybody out there is interested in writing, it is 'For My 10  Cents Worth' the best book ever written on how to write and in it Stephen King says you can plot um or you can just write by the seat of your pants, it's whatever works best for you, and I would say of my author friends, because I know a few authors now, I would say probably about 70 to 75 percent of them plot, than the other 25 and I'd say 20 make it up as they go along like me. And there's probably five to 10 in the middle who do a bit of both there's no shortcut  and there's no silver bullet because the time that I would spend on plotting I subsequently have to spend fixing up after I've written my first draft because it is a very wonky all over the place stream of consciousness exercise, so it requires a lot of work, but I find now that one of the great joys for me is to start a book and not know whether detective Sonny van Rensburg will  appear or if she'll be the main character, and I don't know who the baddie is and I don't know  who is going to get the girl or the boy at the end of the book and that's part of the  fun for me. So when people say I never saw that coming, that is the best thing someone can say to me, because they'll tell you what newsflash neither did I.

That's so good I really love hearing people talk about that process, and yeah recently I was at a workshop and somebody was 'oh I have to plot it I have to plot it' and several of the writers said 'no you don't'.

Well it is a funny thing to take it back to Blood Trail I mean the premise  of the book at the start is that a poacher has taken some magic and he disappears off the face  of the earth in front of a worldwide TV I know like a web a live webcast and Mia and Sani have to deal with the fact that this chap pops up every now and then and commits a crime and then he vanishes into thin air and I thought this is really cool so I started writing this story and then about two-thirds of the way through the book I thought how is this happening. Is it really magic well? I'm not going to tell you must buy the book to work out because then then you think I don't know there but I have to know because I'm the writer.

Yep very good um yeah talking a bit more about your writing process do you have particular days of the week or times of the day that you like to write and yeah is it to do with you know finding it energizing or exhausting and yeah just a bit more about your process.

Yeah all of the above um covert I'm afraid to say has been a very good time I know a lot of people have suffered and done it really tough because the book industry went gangbusters last year fiction sales were increased by something like 22 percent in Australia. I benefited from that with Last Survivor, it was great to see people returning to reading during the lockdowns as unfortunate as they were so I've been really busy so by the end of this year I will have written six books so I finished Blood Trail during lockdown, I'm nearly done on the first draft of a new novel, I finished a biography last year courage Under Fire with the  Queenslander Daniel Kieran who was awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan, so I did that. I have written another military biography non-fiction book which comes out in October, I am working on the story of the 97-year-old ex-air force digger at the moment, I'm also writing another military biography at the moment and later this year at the end of the year I'll be doing a South African non-fiction book

So at the moment, Kerryn, my writing routine is get up at seven o'clock in the morning and write until seven o'clock at night, so I am literally working 12 hours a day to get my three books on the go finished that I'm working at the moment. But that's unusual, so normally when I'm writing a novel or even a non-fiction book the trick for me is to have a daily word limit a quota and, and I mean a limit, because what I do is I work out how long I have, I write a novel a year. Now I'm doing a couple of biographies so I have a certain amount of time in which to write a certain amount of words then I break that down into weeks. I write for five days a week, I give myself two days off, but I usually end up having to use those extra two days to catch up a little bit and then on the days that I write I have a word limit so for a novel, it is four pages, which depending on where I'm at in the book generally equates to about 1600 words.

Now I must do that but importantly what I find works for me is I don't go over because some days you know some days are better than others some days I feel like I'm on a roll and I can't stop but I know from past experience that I have to, because the next day might be harder, I might have less time, I might not be feeling as inspired, so I always leave something in the tank. I reward myself as soon as I finish my quota, I'll go and do something else, I'll read or I'll do some other work or have a meal go for a swim if it's summer. Or if I'm in Africa, I'll go for a game drive I try to work in the mornings I try to write the first page before I do anything else that's something I've cottoned onto in the last year or two, and I've been super busy you. If you start the day I'll go through the emails and I'll check Facebook and I'll see what's on Instagram very easily you can find it sort of 10 o'clock or so and you haven't done anything, so I try and knock that first page out as quick as I can then maybe have a break and do something else and then get back into it. So that allows me to fall into into a routine I hate to say it but I think a routine is actually quite him quite important, but again I don't go over I do what I have to do and the other thing I find that that really helps me is that I never finish my quota at the end of a chapter. If I do, if it happens to happen, I will write the heading chapter 11 next and I'll write the first sentence of the first paragraph of chapter 11, because there is nothing worse than waking up to a blank page it is one of the most confronting things. So further when I stop I will quite often stop mid-sentence so that when I wake up the next morning the first thing I have to do is finish that sentence, and that's quite easy you say this and then that gets you into the back into the rhythm very quickly so I hope that helps someone out there.

So what's your most favourite thing and your least favourite thing about being a writer?

I think my most favourite thing is it's probably just well my most favourite thing is, I'm doing the one thing in life that I love you know it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do, and I get paid for it, that's pretty good start. Yeah the thing I like most about it is not knowing what's going to happen and this is why I can't  plot it's just not knowing what's going to happen to these people that I have invented people,  I've invested with and where they're going to take me next it's the flight of the imagination,  and I become very wrapped up in their worlds and very wrapped up in in what they're doing and it's  like getting paid to daydream.

It's a great thing, writing I love it and and I have said that if I wasn't published I would keep writing uh or if I hadn't been published I would still be writing something because I'm not a particularly sporty person I like to run I swim  badly, I don't think a lot of us you know swim because we're going to get a gold medal at the Olympics, I don't think a lot of us play tennis because we think we're going to win Wimbledon, I don't think a lot of us play footy because we think we're going to be a grand final, I reckon a lot of us do it because we like it you know.

If writing is something you like enough to think 'I'm going to do it because it's fun' you're probably on a pretty good start, you know, you're on a pretty good base. I think the thing that I don't like about it, and my wife would tell you this, is that I like to talk, Kerryn, and I like to I like public speaking, and I love talking about my work and Africa. But if there is one thing that I have found that all writers have in common is that we are a pretty insecure bunch and you are creating I guess artists might feel the same or musicians, and there's a certain amount of risk in putting out your innermost feelings and your daydreams and your thoughts for the world to have a look at, and initially that's getting it past a gatekeeper past a publisher. So I have I for everything I love about this job there tends to be a counterbalance, there's a point at which I become terribly insecure I get to around about I can set it it's like phases of the moon you know or time I can time it with a stopwatch. I get to  a certain point in the middle of the book and I think this is rubbish I'm never going to have enough to finish why didn't I start something else why didn't I do that other idea and I have to tell myself you've been doing this for 20 years now, you know you've written 19 novels and seven biographies, odds are you're going to be able to finish this one. But it doesn't stop it happening, and then when I then get to the end of the book because then I get to then, I find I've got too many words all of a sudden. So it's incredible the way it always unfolds, then I have to send it to my publisher and that is probably the most agonizing time of my life, and it's happened to me 19 times. The non-fiction books tend to be contracted so don't feel too bad about those, but every time I submit a novel I go through this terrible feeling of thinking it's not good enough and I still myself for the fact that one day it might not be good enough, but the other side of the mirror or the darker side, is that this is a creative and I think emotional endeavour that we embark on, and anybody who's written will know that as thick-skinned  as you can be, at some point somebody else has to have a look into your secret world, and it can be quite scary.

Yeah I have interviewed a few authors and that's the that's very common, that fear of exposing yourself, but do it anyway please do it anyway. So you gave us some hints about how much you're working uh at the moment and it sounds like you've got a few novels on the go, but with the next one coming out who can we expect to meet are we gonna meet some old friends or?

I have been open about it on social media but uh my other leading lady Sonia Kurtz is coming out of retirement yes again she's had more comebacks than Nelly Melba old Sonia. She's getting a bit creaky, she's starting to I think time is catching up with her a bit so her daughter is coming back to help her as well who has appeared in a couple of  previous books so Sonia is coming back next year, as long as my publisher,  if my publisher is watching hopefully you heard my heartfelt plea before and will accept this book, but geez, she's tackling yet another bizarre twist on the world of wildlife crime in endangered species. He's on the on the trail of abalone poachers in South Africa um, because as happens in Australia, abalone is highly prized in both a lucrative legal and illegal market, and is being denuded. She shores of South Africa are being denuded by illegal abalone poaching which takes her on a securities route through South Africa, up to Zimbabwe where she happens to spend a bit of time at Nantwich Lodge which is a safari lodge that my wife and I may happen to have a financial interest in. So yeah she's going on safari, and so am I very soon.

Fantastic that's great. You've spoken a little bit about um what you think aspiring writers could learn from and one was Stephen King's wonderful book which a lot of people recommend and also you know that sort of getting momentum by putting some ideas down for the next day. Have you have you got any other advice that you'd like to give aspiring writers?

People I think the best advice is just do it, you know I think it can be very... you can find a lot of excuses not to write, there are a never-ending list of things, and some of them seem quite valid research is one you know um even I'm not saying people shouldn't go to writing groups or shouldn't undertake study... but anything that stops you from writing is not is not helping. So I research after I finish I write a first draft and stuff I don't know I then go away and try and find out about

I think it's good to have to know if you meet some other writers and have them around you, and maybe to talk to each other and critique each other's work, but at the end of the day the only thing that's going to get your book written is if you sit down at a desk and you write a certain amount of words per day. That's my two cents worth. Even if it's 50 words or 100 words a day you'll get there quicker than getting online and researching something or discussing friends than the merits of plotting or not plotting, the best thing is to just get out there and do it because that then I think it's um the more you do it, the better you get at it. Certainly read a lot, I do think you know there's that good old nugget: read a lot, write a lot. I think that is a truism that I think it's overlooked a lot, and I'm guilty of it because like I'm working on a novel and as I said um two different non-fiction books at the moment I can easily say look no I'm sorry, Kerryn, I've got a 300 page manuscript I have to read and edit here, so I won't read. But I have to I have to make time to read, and I'm a full-time full-time writer, I have lots of excuses not to read. I think the more you read in the genres that you like and in the genres you want to write about the the better the better off you'll be.

So I would say just get to work and when you've finished working read something every day Stephen King does that he's a voracious reader. I'm amazed when I re-read on writing as I do every year just how many books he reads so yeah that would be two of the most important things. I think you know it is a funny old business um but at the end of the day if you want to write a book you've got to get down and you've got to write 80 to 120 000 words, there's no other way no nice way to say that. Oh sorry the other thing I would the other I would say which I have started doing some mentorships through the Australian Society of Authors and what I come across is a very common thing is that once someone has written something and maybe gotten to the end of a first or a second or even a third draft, it's a very natural emotion to be worried about letting it go. Sort of what we spoke about before you know although I want to spend so much time revising and editing and rewriting and I say to people 'you just got to let it go sometime' you've got to send it to that publisher or if you're not 100 happy with it, start something else, you know, just be able to be able and ready to to embark on a new project because you might have learned. I learned a lot from my first failed manuscript and the best thing I did was start the best thing I did was start writing another one, that that is honestly the best thing I did was just starting all over again.  

That's fantastic Tony. Sell I think we've used up just about all of the time that we had you had booked you, for so we probably should let you go. Again I apologize to people who were wanting to watch the event live, but you know, lockdowns and technology have got the better of us, so I just would say thank you to everybody who would listen to this. You can pick up Tony's books from libraries and bookshops. Blood Trail will be out next week and you can contact Dymocks or the library to reserve your copy today. Thank you very much Tony I really enjoyed talking to you.

Kerryn, thank you very much and I know from my previous visits to Redcliffe what a fantastic  library it is, and what an important place part it plays in the local community, so thank you to all you do, thanks for your support for Australian authors, and thanks to the local community of Redcliffe for their support, I would have loved to have been there in person and hopefully  I'll see you all next year. Hopefully you'll be back.

Thanks so much Tony, bye! Thank you.

Tony Wilson

Welcome to Yes, you can ask that with Tony Wilson, brought to you by Moreton Bay Region Libraries.

We sat down with Tony to ask a few questions.

Question one: You have written books for adults and children, which are harder to write for?

Hi, it's Tony. First question! Is it easier to write for children or adults? Well it's different in some respects. The most notable is that the length of the work for children is usually different than the length of the work for adults. So for example my first novel for adults was Players and it's 102,000 words long and my second novel Making News was 102,000 and uh this one here uh 1989 the great grand final I think is 65,000 words long, so there's just a length to an adult book that is sometimes daunting.

But the principles behind storytelling actually don't differ that much between the two forms, so even though my children's books Hickory dickory dash that'd be 450 words and I think The Emperor's New Clothes Horse is probably about 600 words, and so there's maybe a perception that it's easier to write for children because you can just kind of get the words down quicker, and in fact if I'm trying to write a book for adults, I'll sometimes aim to write about a thousand words per day so that's effectively the length of a children's book times two per day.

And yet there are difficulties associated with the kids’ art form that I think are underestimated. In fact it's a common joke for us kids’ book authors that everyone thinks they can write a kid's book, so in fact we have a drinks group - a Facebook group - where um where kids’ authors catch up and the name of the group is “Because writing children's books is easy”. So you could say there's a little chip on the shoulder that goes with being a kid's author because we're forever being swamped by friends and colleagues and even just members of the general public who say “Oh I'll send you my brilliant work of art. It's coming your way shortly.”

Because because the children's book is so easy and and I guess everyone thinks they've got a talking fox or a um or a hilarious camel that's going to take the word world by storm. And so we're forever fending off manuscripts from people who think that they're going to be the next Dr Seuss or or the next um great giant of of children's literature.

Um and and yet the principles of writing, the story principles of, you know, an initiating incident um uh tension, uh something a problem for the character to solve, uh trajectory story trajectory, um a climax, a conclusion, all those things that are important in adult literature. They're actually just as important in in children's literature and sometimes when you're trying to pack it down to 500 or 600 words it actually almost becomes more important to have those essential ingredients delivered really economically and really effectively, and so even though they're short they have to pack a real punch.

And so whilst I'd say that for me writing adults books is more difficult and more challenging because just of the sheer discipline required of of producing so many words over such a long period of time, um I found that to be more difficult and in some respects I've been blessed with kids’ writing in the sense that I feel rhyme and rhythm comes easily to me, so I don't have to sweat in the same to the same extent that maybe some people do when it comes to finding rhyming words and rhythms.

Um maybe it's to do with my obsession with various books as a kid, especially Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes which I read over and over and learned to recite. I was also really into memorizing songs and I think there's a there's a correlation between the beats and the rhymes in in songs as uh as there is in in pieces of um rhyming picture books.

So to some extent I don't feel like I have to sweat too hard writing a kid's book rhyme. I have to sweat harder on the idea so the most daunting and most difficult part of writing a picture book or a kid's book is to find an idea that will resonate with the audience.

And so, you know, if I could if if I can write a thousand words a day for adults, effectively I should be able to write two kids books a day right, if I'm doing the the picture books of 500 word length and yet it's kind of like a bolt when you get hit with the idea that's going to work, so you know Emo the Emu, I remember where I was when I thought you know a grumpy emu going on a tour around Australia with with with Katie the kangaroo, that'll work you know. And I write it down and and so the ideas are rare, so you can't just punch out a picture book or a kid's book every week um and so they're really precious when you when you find one.

The same way as when you get an idea for a long form adult book as well. It's a really precious thing and you know that's really the hardest part of being an author on both sides. How do we get that good idea? So to sum up I'd say the discipline and length of an adult book I find the most challenging part of writing, but there is an underrated element to how difficult writing a picture book is.

Question two: What was the process and how did it feel to have two books selected for National Simultaneous Storytime?

I think the biggest thrill of my picture book writing life has been being picked as the National Simultaneous Storytime title, and that happened in 2016.

I got the call that this one The cow tripped over the moon was going to be the title for that year and that one's illustrated by Laura Wood and and it's just an immediate boon for your title.

So the fact that I mean that year it was 686,000 kids sit down at the same time and read my book or our book - Laura and my book. It's just amazing and and there's a real um sense of occasion about it, you know, I was getting videos where the chief scientist in Canberra is reading the book and Lee Lin Chin's got a full room of kids in front of her - the SBS news reader - and I probably got 50 or 100 photos from around Australia of people just reading my book and acting out my book.

There were little plays put on by teachers and craft projects. I received these pictures of how people had decked out their library with just full of cows and moons and moon jumps and dishes and spoons and and laughing dogs. It was just a great time to be an author, you know, because a lot of being an author is being locked away or at least shut away in a room uh trying to produce something and trying to do your words, and and so the fun parts I guess, for someone like me who does actually like being around people, um to get out there and and read to kids and see kids enjoying the stories.

And so The cow tripped over the moon was the first thrill and actually one of the really great parts of it was um the the reader of The cow tripped over the moon on Storybox Library for National Simultaneous Storytime was Eddie Perfect, the Broadway writer and and actor and star, and you know he just did a fantastic job with it.

And so you know and actually The cow tripped over the moon then got turned into a show itself. It became a show called “Yo diddle diddle” at the um put on by a company called the Patch Theatre Company in in Adelaide.

So all these good things happened to The cow tripped over the moon and I think a lot of them started with it being picked as the National Simultaneous Storytime book for 2017 which is when when the event occurred.

And a few months later I mean I was speaking to um the woman - Sharon - who was the liaison at Scholastic, who'd been very much the organizer of things at our end, about how great it had been and, you know, we had sales of “Cow” and um and I said “I don't suppose you want my next one? You can have that too you know” and and she said, “Well it just worked really well, and you boosted the numbers. We went up from 300,000 um participants in 2016 to over 600,000 in 2017”, and she said “Look ALIA are really happy with you, why don't you submit your next title?” and so I did! I sent in Hickory dickory dash and even before it was um picked as uh even before it had been published, Hickory dickory dash, I got the call from Sharon saying they're going to do it. ALIA are going to do it, and um you're the 2018 title as well, and that was this one, and I think what had happened was that ALIA had decided to make National Simultaneous Storytime uh a trans-Tasman event in 2018, so for the first time New Zealand were involved. And so uh in order to in order to try to make it as successful and as big as possible um, they'd seen that the numbers had doubled in 2017, and that this sort of rhyming familiarity of my nursery story, backstories, kind of worked, my nursery rhyme backstories. And so they set me to they gave me the gig again! Which is ridiculous. I sometimes think a little unfair because it is such a boost to an author and I can understand if there were there's a bit of professional jealousy out there and a sense that maybe I was being favored for a good performance in 2017.

But what they said to me was that they were after a one million target. They wanted to get the readership over one million, one million registered participants in National Simultaneous Storytime, and and in 2018 they did that.

They got to 1.0, we got to 1.08 million for Hickory dickory dash and and so I had, I had um yeah I just had an extraordinary amount of luck with that, um and it's been the biggest boost to my writing career.

I did, I was cheeky enough to say that there's a third one Baa baa blue sheep, how about it? But I think even I'm pleased to say that they moved on to other authors. You know we've got, they had the alpacas a couple of years ago, and the chicken divas this year, and they've been terrific choices, so um absolutely thrilled that I had my go and, you know, it is just a fantastic day on the, on the children's book calendar.

Question three: What is your favourite children's book?

What's my favourite children's book? Well that's a daunting question. A difficult question for any author to answer, and probably for any reader to answer, because there are so many great ones. But the one that immediately came to mind and the one that Ioften answer is one from the late’ 80s called The 27th annual African hippopotamus race and I think it's written by an Australian author. And it's a fantastic story of hippos racing down the Zambulla river, a fictional river in Africa, and, because I was a sport fan as a kid, I remember being just consumed by the idea of this hippo swimming race with all the training and the rivalries and the cheating and the family supporting the hero hippo, um, Edward in his battles against the dastardly Sebastian hippo. And so The 27th annual African hippopotamus race is one that I think I'd name.

But there've also been probably more influential books for me. I was a prolific reader as a kid and my and my parents were very good at reading to me. The ones that immediately come to mind that I feel have to be mentioned even if they don't get first place … uh When the wind changed by Ruth Park is a story about a boy who can pull faces and when he pulls the face the wind changes, and there's an old saying that if you pull a face and the wind changed um your face will stay in the in, in the position. And so the boy pulls that face and it's gets stuck like that, and he and he's terrifying everybody. I love that story. I often say that stories begin with a” what if” and that's just a fantastic “what if “really. A really funny and original story.

Um other ones a bit older than that one, for older kids, by that I mean and also older in ages, this one called Mrs Frisby and the rats of Nimh by Robert C O'Brien. That world of and it's a very um mysterious and interesting world where where rats and mice have been, have been experimented upon by humans and it changes their intelligence and their abilities. And I just I just really loved this story. It was read to me by my parents when I was about 12 and I remember thinking it was just an outstanding and captivating world.

This one I often answer. We all love Roald Dahl and of the Roald Dahl's i love this one Danny the champion of the world the most. Because even though Roald Dahl is incredibly good at his kind of fantasy concepts, Charlie and the chocolate factory, which you know has something of a real world delivery but it's still a there's there's a fantasy element in the sense that you know that the oompa loompas aren't real and that and that the possibilities of the of the chocolate factory aren't real.

But what I love about this one Danny the champion of the world is that you are immersed in a story where it actually feels real, it's a father-son relationship set at a petrol station and um and yes, they go on an adventure that is just weird like, how do you even come up with this concept of pheasant poaching at the heart of a novel.

And pheasant poaching, for those who haven't read it, I mean that's really stealing pheasants. and so almost no one would come up with stealing as the central premise for a children's book. And yet Roald Dahl has the courage to come up with a you know, I guess you at the very best you can say it's cheeky and um and uh and tricky and late night and adventurous, but you know, there is an element that the the birds aren't the Dad’s to take, and yet we come out of this book absolutely barracking for Danny and his Dad on their pheasant poaching expedition.

And so just for the sheer skill of that, of making an anti-hero into a hero, I just always thought this was um my favorite Roald Dahl, and I one day want to try to write a book that has the same sort of warmth and heart that exists in the father-son relationship in Danny the champion of the world.

And to finish with, I just wanted to read you my favorite ever page from a rhyming picture book, and there is no better rhymer in world literature than than Lynley Dodd or maybe I'm being a little bit hard on Julia Donaldson. She is a superb rhymer, but uh this this page from Slinky Malinki is the greatest ever rhyming page in children's literature.

So here we go.

Crash went the bottles, beep beep went the clock, raw raw raw raw went the dogs on the block, on went the lights, bang went the door, and out came the family one two three four.

That's the page. That's the one I love. And they're the books I love. You can see there's more than one, so many authors end up cheating that question and I'm just like everyone else.

Question four: Many of your picture books have been based on nursery rhymes. Have you decided on a rhyme on which to base your next book?

Have I decided on another nursery rhyme because it's true. Quite a few of my books have been nursery rhyme backstories and indeed, um some of the earlier ones before I started doing the kind of Mother Goose nursery rhymes like um Hickory dickory dash and The cow tripped over the moon and Baa baa blue sheep which was the third one in that series, I did a couple of um alternative versions - modern retakes - on Hans Christian Andersen. So I did The princess and the packet of frozen peas and I did The emperor's new clothes horse. So you can sort of see I have, do have fun with the traditional stories when it comes to making picture books.

But the next one in that series of nursery rhyme backstories um to follow up Baa baa blue sheep is called Humpty Dumpty sat on the slide and it's coming out in July, so it's only a month away now.

And uh it's a backstory obviously to Humpty Dumpty and uh it's illustrated again by Laura Woods so it'll have a similar look to the other ones, except a lovely kind of reddish ochre-ish cover. And the idea of this one is that Humpty is not - it started off as a bullying story. It started off where Humpty was um you know Humpty Dumpty sat on the slide, Humpty Dumpty was rather wide, all the king's horses and all the king's men, all the king’s llamas and half of their friends, everyone laughed at the egg on the slide and lumped and Humpty laughed too whilst crying inside. Or something like that is how it started.

It's now different to that, um but the idea was in each scenario that um Humpty Dumpty … Humpty Dumpty ready to race, Humpty Dumpty fell on his face. You know so then he's starting in a running race. So in each occasion Humpty, something kind of goes wrong with um for Humpty, and then people laugh at him and point and make fun of Humpty. And it's difficult. He feels like he's being teased. And so it had a reasonably, quite a dark and serious heart I guess because bullying was the theme of Humpty Dumpty sat on the slide and one of the jobs the editors and I have gone through is to try to pull that back so it's not so dark and not so serious, because the um under fives. If it was being aimed at a sort of a six, seven, eight, nine, ten age group, then you can go quite um you know melancholic almost, or you know, really make the point serious. Because those kids are appreciating and being talked to about bullying a lot, whereas you just didn't want to make it too hard on or too sad on on Humpty even if it was if he was going to be redeemed at the end.

And in fact the last line of the book is um, you know, Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and you might think oh hang on that sounds like suicide, um but actually what it is is uh he's jumping off the wall of a of a jumping castle. Uh then all of the king’s, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't tear Humpty away from his friend. Because he's found a friend and they jump off the wall of the jumping castle together. So it's a, it's a positive resolution um and and it's quite a happy book now, um.

The negative experiences for Humpty have been watered down um and the, and the assistance and the and the redemption from the friend works as a real positive blast. So I think it's a good part, it belongs in the series, it's beautifully illustrated again by Laura and now I can't wait to see it. I haven't got my, haven't got my copy yet but uh Humpty Dumpty sat on the slide uh me and Laura Wood, in July.

Question five: What do you like most about speaking to school groups?

I do speak at a lot of schools, not so much in the COVID era and in fact, one reason life is pretty tricky for authors at the moment is that we've lost that alternative source of income. So I visit schools a lot and do it through a speaking agency called Booked Out. Um and especially around Book Week I go every day, sometimes to two schools a day, for for the two weeks or three weeks around Book Week.

So uh school visits are fun and interesting and social and different part of being an author.

One of the activities - I always try to make the stories interactive - so I talk a little bit about how they come to be and, and then you know like if I read a story, we try and do a dramatic element to it. So for example The cow tripped over the moon. I always get the kids to look up at the moon and say “moo” like a cow would if they saw a moon and then, you know, target it and make an attempt to jump. We all get up on our feet and especially with the little kids you know, the preps and grade ones, have an attempt at jumping over the moon which can be a lot of fun um, and you know for Hickory dickory dash I've got mouse ears and the little ones dress up as mice and cats and run around a fictional house.

And and so school visits are that sort of opportunity to get out and explore the performance art side of things, um. And you know I think it's been a it's been a yeah I've got a lot of sympathy for teachers with their ability to control large numbers of people um and and certainly, after this home-school period I do as well, but school visits are you know just a great part of being an author. To be able to connect with kids, for them to come up and say “I've read and enjoyed your book” um and you know, you sometimes just get treated like a bit of a rock star too.

Kids have got no sense of proportion when it comes to celebrity, so you know, I might have uh might have released a book that sold 12,000 copies or whatever and and uh not exactly a household name when I stride down the streets of my home suburb, but when I enter Clifton Hill Primary School it's almost like you're being shared through the places the emperor uh you know, pieces of paper being thrust in your direction and they always call you by your full name as well. They don't call me Tony or Mr Wilson.

Tony Wilson Tony Wilson Tony Wilson have you written this book? Tony Wilson I read your book The Sellwood boys.

So and I, Tony Wilson really uh gets a bit of an ego boost from that and so um, let's just say that um I'm going to continue to visit schools for the foreseeable future.

Question six: When did you feel like you had made it as an author?

When did I feel as though I'd made it as an author? Well it's a tricky one. I mean there are, in your darker moments you kind of feel like you've never made it, um because uh it's that sort of thing of, you know, you could always do more or something could go better and, a lot of artistic personalities are slightly depressive and, maybe I'm in that basket as well.

But certainly I had a lot of wins quite early, really if i reflect on things in a, in a in a positive light. I could not have been more fortunate really with how my early writing career went. Um I had this book Players which was a sporting satire. It was set in the worlds of commercial media and the footy show. Um it was actually, I’d played footy, I’d been a reserves grade footballer at Hawthorne, and so I kind of knew that world and they often say, write your first novel about the thing you know about.

And so, so I knew about footy and this was really well received, so you know I remember in the weeks and months after it being released in 2005, I went to the Sydney Writers Festival. We sort of had three or four hundred people at the session, um and four of us sitting across it and one of the people in my session was Marcus Zuzak, and he would, he’d just released his book as well. And that was The book thief which some of the adult listeners to this video will know. The book thief was on Oprah's Book Club and I think it's now sold 20 million copies worldwide or something, um. I just read Marcus's latest book, actually um the - is it called The book of, The bridge of … size, no not the bridge of size, the bridge of somethings, um which I've very much enjoyed. I should be able to remember the title better. Sorry Marcus.

Um but uh it was so but just that idea of sitting at the Sydney Writers Festival and having all those hundreds of people there and book signings and interviews on television and interviews on radio and going on the conversation hour. I would say that that that kind of, was the wow I'm an author, I really did it, I got a book out and you get that little um, bit of a thrill every time.

Well I think I've had 20 books now. Every time the book comes for the first time and the publishers know this, and and Scholastic actually wrap up the book for me in a colourful paper and things, and make it into a little bit of a present.

But when you open a book for the first time you're always reinvigorated by that feeling of “oh I created something, I did something that's beyond myself that will sit in libraries and schools and, and hopefully be enjoyed by readers” and you know, and you kind of get that that that uh well that's really the almost the biggest thrill of being an author.

And feeling like you're an author is when you hold the book and then holding the book for the first time is, is the most special time. So I would say uh every time I receive a new book and those early days with Players when I was at the Sydney Writers Festival and other such exciting events, uh with a special mention.

I will mention that um I when i got a book translated, that also made me feel like a real author. Felt like “oh I'm really outside of myself here, it's not just me and my family”. So that was my first picture book was Grannysaurus rex and this one Bedstosaurus rex, that must be how you say Grannysaurus rex in Danish. So let me put that on the list of when I felt like a real author as well, when I got translated. I think that was 2005 or 2006.

Question seven: What was your least favourite thing on Race around the World?

So I did this show called Race around the world in 1998 which is so long ago, 22 years ago.

And the idea of the show was that 10 - and I say kids because we really were kids - kids between 20 and 30, were sent off around the world with a camera. A little mini handycam. And we had to make a four-minute documentary in 10 countries around the world, so you'd get 10 days in each country.

It was a 100-day trip and at the end of the 10 days we'd send back our videotapes because it was pre fast internet. The internet was in its early years and we'd send these tapes back in a DHL bag with an edit script, often a 40 or 50 page script that documented every shot we'd taken, every word of every interview and we'd send it back with time codes saying, you know, cut tape one from here to here and then you add in some montage from these overlay parts of the tape and, and editors at the ABC would construct the story.

And so in in that kind of detailed explanation I would say that the hardest part of Race around the world was the sheer god-awful hard work of it. So um even though it looked fun and it was fun, so it was absolutely spectacular and I'll never do anything like it, that kind of pressure and a million people watching on a Monday night and, and being propelled from a reasonably unhappy lawyer into being a really happy writer and creator and media person.

So life became just so much better because of that show, but the actual act of finding the story, you know, and Iended up approaching it with a real discipline you know.

I've got to find a story in three days. I've got to shoot the story in the next three or four days and then I've got to edit the story in three days. And keep in mind sometimes you'd be getting all your interviews in Chinese and you couldn't speak the word of Chinese, and so you know I'd have to find a backpacker that was bilingual to sit there listening to my audio tapes in the, in my videotapes in the, hotel room telling me what they said at each second of the time code.

And so, you know, just that level of discipline um, of grind, of commitment to getting a good story and product at the end, you know, that was that's what I would say was the most difficult part of Race around the world.

If I had to say what was um it's almost like I'd prefer to say, what was the best. I still remember walking at night with 40 cows into the Golan Heights on the border between Israel and Lebanon, and hearing sort of the faint rattle of machine guns, um which was terrifying, but it was that sort of like “wow, I'm in the world, I'm in the Middle East, I'm walking with a shepherd, with a cow herder with 40 cows through a war zone”.

I kind of think that I'll never forget that night, you know. And so so that yeah, there were extremes of emotion out there. I think I cried every 10 days.

Question 10: What was the thing you love most about playing footy?

I loved footy. I played it for 20 odd years, from the age of about 10 to the age of 32. And the thing I loved best about it was that there was a winning and losing element in the moment, which is hard to explain unless you've played it.

But it wasn't just that there was a a game that you're involved in that had a result at the end of it. One thing I really loved and I found exhilarating about footy was that when the ball's in the air and it's coming your way, that there's a kind of immediacy and a pressure that um that goes with the contest and and that you will very obviously be able to say, usually, who won the contest and who didn't win the contest. Um and so i used to find that um thrilling and, and quite addictive, and, and um it kind of even came from playing kick to kick in the yard, you know, where you just really wanted to win the ball each time.

Um so that feeling is one that i've never really gotten in other aspects of life because life really isn't about micro moments where you win and lose. Even though they may exist, um if you're out there seeking them out, you know, I think you'd be a reasonably unpleasant person to be around. So uh the the contest, the thrill of the contest I would say was the the best, and the, the most addictive part of footy.

Um the things that I also enjoyed were the team elements, and as I went further and further through footy, you know I got to Hawthorne for four years and i felt there was a real democratic element to footy.

So I'd come from a private school and I'd gone and done law at Melbourne Uni and a lot of things had fallen my way I guess in a socio-economic sense, and then I got to Hawthorne and a lot of people, a lot of things had fallen that my teammate's way there in the sense that they were at Hawthorne. They were talented footballers. But I suddenly saw that um that there were people from much different walks of life and different backgrounds and but, but that when we were all teammates, and we were all together then, then we were kind of bound together. It didn't really matter about those differences in terms of education and background and, and that you weren't really judged on anything much else other than your ability to belong in a group and, and uh to be the sort of person that people got along with and also to play really good footy.

So um that part of footy, again, was a part that I really enjoyed. Um and then there was the physical fitness. I was fit then. I was strong then. I miss that now, um and there was the, you know, the setting of goals and the, you know, at the end of the year not just the winning in the contest, there was the sense of how you went over a season. Um and and you live outside of yourself a little because it's a team. So all those elements combined to make footy one of the real passions in my life and I still really enjoy watching it, and my daughter plays football, soccer, and I love going to watch her play as well. My son's not so keen on sport and my other son has cerebral palsy, he's very keen on footy, but we mainly enjoy that as spectators and as home commentators um, which Jack and I indulge in a fair bit. And then my little girl, I'm not really sure, she's five at the moment, she's not showing a desperate love of sport but I think she'll, we’ll try her out with soccer probably. I think she wants, she told me this year that she wants to try soccer, and I'd really encourage that.

Um in terms of the, I've written a lot about sport and a lot about footy and a lot of the things, you know, the I think there's a real romance in sport and I also think there's a, that it has a such a significant role in society. Um and, and sometimes I think frustrates the artsy people that sport gets such a run, you know because people are obsessed with it. And sometimes they're not the artsy people that they're, it's divided. I think that's really unfortunate because you know, I'm interested in the art of sport um but you know, I think that, that if you, just as it's incumbent upon fans of sport to try to learn about arts and you know, you should listen to music and you should read books and you should um absorb theatre, and and try to understand you know, dance and opera and all sorts of art forms that you know, that we all should be learning about and enjoying.

Um and yeah, yeah I sometimes feel as though the arts people are so put off by the mainstream popularity of footy that they um, that they really get their backs up about it. That's certainly the case with my wife. I wouldn't tell it. This is a secret video, she'll never watch this.

Um yeah so give sport a go, give footy a go, uh the I'm not … on the downside of footy, there's the blokiness I reckon, although it's good to see that women's footy has taken huge strides and it's made a massive difference at a community level, because I reckon um the clubs are now males and females in the same environment, it'll, it'll really um dampen the excesses of blokey footy culture as they come through.

So we're hopefully learning a better way with footy, but in the on the other downside I would say is the physical, the body, you know I can't run. I can't really walk without pain. I'm getting my ankle fused because it's arthritic at 47 and so they can't get rid of the pain in it. So you know it does take a toll. It did take a toll, so um but footy.

What did I love about it? I loved most things about it, was great. One of the best things, um well yeah, one of the best things that's happened in my life.

That's actually it. That's my 10 questions. So you could ask me that. I've actually enjoyed sitting here in a corner of peace at my house, where the other five people are presumably at the door screaming, ready to make me do something in about five seconds time. But this, um but this little rest has been uh fantastic, and I've really enjoyed talking to you.

So thank you Moreton Bay Libraries and um all the best, and uh yeah I've watched the other uh, other people in this series and you know, some of my favourite authors, so yeah I'm really, it's a thrill to be included and I hope you've liked my answers.

Thank you for joining us for Yes, you can ask that with Tony Wilson, brought to you by Moreton Bay Region Libraries.


Rethinking video games - Dr Jacqueline Burgess

My name is Dr Jacqueline Burgess and I'm based in the Business School at USC where I teach marketing and research the marketing of narratives and stories, including video game narratives and today I want to explore video games, video game players and the business of video game stories.

Now, if I say video game players, then the image you probably bought to mind is one of teenage boys. Maybe you even imagined darkened rooms and glazed zombie-like faces bathed in blue light from screens. And it wouldn't be an entirely unfair image to conjure up, because the video game industry itself believes its target market are male players.

But what if I said that 47 per cent of video game players are female? That's the case in Australia, according to research conducted by Queensland's own Bond University and the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association which represents the Australian and New Zealand video game industry.

The figures for the gender of video game players are pretty similar in America as well, and the average age of video game players in Australia and America? Mid 30s and actually most video game players - the average video game player in Australia - they've been playing video games for 12 years.

Many video game players now have their own children playing games. Two-thirds of Australians play video games and actually 42 per cent of people aged 65 and over play video games. Even the Queen was taught to play a Nintendo console game by William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in her 80s, during a Christmas at Sandringham. By accounts she was a natural and wouldn't that be something to see! Be great to be a fly on the wall there.

Video game audiences, they've been changing and developing over time, for a long time, and those changes have helped make video games an immensely immeasurably almost profitable industry but when we do measure it? Well in 2019 the global video game industry generated $US152.1 billion and this made it larger than any one of the global film, music or television industries.

And Australia? We contributed just over $AUD4 billion to that total.

Video games, they're big business, but that means that creating a video game can also cost tens of millions of dollars. So video game companies, they need basically a lot of the same skills that any other business or company needs to be successful.

Video game companies, they need accountants to count those dollars coming in, they need marketers, advertisers, social media and public relations professionals to communicate with the public and their target market.

They need programmers, bug fixers and asset designers in the same way that other companies need them to build apps, sophisticated websites and enhanced training modules. And then of course video game businesses need those specific skills - people who understand video game mechanics, script writers and voice actors and all of those skills can actually be learnt in degrees offered by USC.

So video games, they're big business, and the reason why they are - the reason, why they make the money that they do - is because they appeal to a wide range of consumers and offer them a lot of different benefits.

The top five reasons why Australian video game players play? That's to have fun, de-stress, pass the time, keep their mind active and be challenged and isn't that a lot of things that we all really want to do?

Video games also build critical thinking and problem solving skills because players have to figure out how to solve problems and defeat enemies to keep progressing in a game. They need to evaluate the outcomes of actions and then build strategies based on those outcomes: What worked, what didn't, what should have worked but just wasn't executed properly.

Video games can also build general knowledge of topics ranging from geography to history even and they also bring people together because many games include social interactions, either within the game through chat options or online as people discuss their favourite games and how and why they did what they did within the game.

All video game consoles have functions built in that help players connect and share their game play. Players post screen capture or videos online showing the really cool things they found or did in the game.

And of course, video games offer engaging moving and profound stories that connect with their audience and stay with them long after play finishes, the same way a really engaging moving movie stays with us long after we've left the cinema, or a novel stays with us long after we've shut the book.

In fact stories are one of the biggest reasons a video game player will select a video game. And video games are only able to offer these incredible stories because technology - that is the hardware and the software used to make the games - has rapidly advanced and improved over the last few decades.

For example, video games, they really started with Pong and Space Invaders in the 1970s and these were fairly simple games based on players’ reflexes. They didn't really feature much story at all, but if you scratch the surface and go a little deeper, Pong still has a lot of the hallmarks of video games today because it encouraged social connections.

It needed two players to play and that made it a lot of fun. People met husbands and wives playing Pong and a lot of happy childhood memories were created that centre around that game.

But jumping ahead then to the 1980s and the 1990s, that was when video games really started breaking technological barriers. Mario and all of the other Nintendo characters such as Link, Zelda, Peach, Kirby, Yoshi and Luigi appeared on the scene and video games started telling stories that involved these characters, characters that people became attached to and wanted to play with and learn more about. And that's the secret behind how Nintendo went from just selling trading cards to a video game juggernaut - telling stories with likable characters that people became attached to.

The graphics also took a huge leap forward and kept doing so until we reached the modern day. Now the graphics of advanced video game consoles are able to display hyper realism images meaning they're close to photo quality and they can tell sprawling and emotionally engaging and immersive stories.

Video games, they also require player input and it's this interactivity that's their defining feature.

When players have to take part in the story to hear and understand it, the story becomes much more powerful. For example in the Assassin's Creed series - and this consists of 12 main games - it introduces players to various historical time periods and the people and places within them and from them. Players have been able to explore Renaissance Italy and Renaissance Turkey, Victorian London, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, just to name a few locations and time periods.

The games recreate towns and landmarks with astonishing detail and players have booked real-life trips to see these landmarks with their own eyes as a result of playing the game.

Players have even been able to navigate around those towns as a result of the knowledge from playing the game. Players also get to meet famous historical figures before and even during their great achievements.

For example, in Assassin's Creed Unity, players made a young Napoleon Bonaparte during the French Revolution among other famous French figures at the time, and they get a sense of the man before he became an emperor.

The Assassin's Creed games include rounded fictional characters who serve as a gateway to the past and capture players’ attention.

Assassin’s Creed origins the game set in ancient Egypt features a man grieving over the murder of his son and trying to find the culprits as he traverses Egypt looking for answers and clues. And playing as this character as he travels Egypt, players get to explore the daily life and religion in ancient Egypt visiting everywhere from farmland to tombs, pyramids and temples. They also get to explore burial practices, see the rituals being performed and even read excerpts taken straight from ancient texts.

The Assassin's Creed games make history almost literally come alive and teach players in probably a much more engaging way than most textbooks can manage.

You can read about ancient Egyptian burials in games or you can explore pyramids and tombs and temples and see them in action and after burial and the Assassin's Creed games do this while telling interesting stories.

Another example is Assassin's Creed Black Flag. Black Flag features - you guessed it - a pirate trying to make his fortune during the golden age of piracy.

Our fictional pirate, Edward Kenway, captures a ship, gets a crew, becomes friends with famous pirates such as Blackbeard and Bonnie and Mary Reed, and takes part in the founding of the historical pirate republic of Nassau.

He helps the pirates to acquire a cannon to defend the republic, and the game gets a lot of little details correct such as pirate leader Benjamin Hornigold not wanting to attack English ships due to his patriotic streak, and Blackbeard preferring to frighten people with his theatricality rather than commit violence.

And the historical Blackbeard may have only actually killed one person, which is a bit at odds with his fearsome historical reputation.

The pirates in the game are not presented as bloodthirsty but as desperate men and women trying to find fortune and freedom from their lower class origins and poor working conditions. But, the game also examines the innate selfishness of many of these pirates and also the danger that feuding factions pose to any government. Because pirates, they just can't agree a lot of the time, and when a plague - as happened in real life - sweeps through the pirate republic, it quickly collapses.

The pirates turn on each other, Blackbeard attempts retirement and Benjamin Hornigold the leader becomes so disillusioned with the greed and lack of discipline in the other pirates that he goes from pirate to pirate hunter, all in keeping with the historical record.

And by the time that the player has reached the end of the game, Edward Kenway is the last survivor of the pirate republic. He's made himself rich but he's lost everyone he cared about along the way.

The Assassin's Creed games, they contain yes some fictional characters, some historical inaccuracies, but they also communicate an authenticity of history wrapped up in memorable stories and characters. And players have shown their appreciation by buying over 140 million copies as of 2019.

Now another game with a memorable story is Horizon Zero Dawn. Wordy name aside, the video game tells a really moving story. Players explore a post-apocalyptic earth where society has regressed to a tribal grouping and tribal level of technology, but advanced robots roam the earth, so players need to understand what caused this regression and earth, despite suffering an apocalypse, has never looked so beautiful.

Players explore snowy mountains and lush jungles dotted by ancient ruins, ruins that are the remains of our world, and even while players try to understand what happened, playing as a young woman named Aloy who grew up in this strange new world, they also meet well-rounded characters with distinct personalities and problems that we can all relate to.

They meet a young woman grieving the death of her lover and wondering how to go on, a poor man trying to find or steal enough food to survive, a woman mourning the death of her father and brother while trying to continue the family business, two siblings fighting over their father's inheritance and a man trying to follow his older sibling’s example and grow up and take responsibility in his life.

And that man Arend, he grows over the course of the game from a hot head with an ego to a humble person wanting to live up to his big sister's example, do his duty take on responsibility and be dependable while also still enjoying a bit of time at the pub with his friends.

Arend is an example of one of the many realistic characters that Horizon Zero Dawn features. The game's overarching story though explores what happens when technology creates more problems than it solves, and what happens when human intellect is not enough to avert human mistakes. And this is all very pertinent for our world as we move towards a robotic and artificial intelligence future.

And even though players meet a lot of characters’ memorable problems as they progress through the game, it's their main player character Aloy who embodies this most of all, as her search for answers is initially motivated not by a desire to understand what happened to her world, our world, but to understand who her parents are.

She uncovers the secrets of our world but underneath it all she's a young woman who's an orphan searching for where she belongs.

Horizon Zero Dawn is also significant because it features a female player character - the character the player controls in the game. Very few big blockbuster games feature female player characters, due to concerns men might not want to play as them, but Aloy one prays for being a well-rounded and deep character, and attracted men and women alike to the game.

Released in February 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn has sold over 10 million copies as of December 2019, meaning a lot of players found Aloy and the game's story and the problems it explores enjoyable and memorable.

And now for something completely different, the video game series Animal Crossing tells a story that is whatever the player wants it to be.

The games involve players moving to a new island or village and developing it. They plant trees and flowers, expand their house, collect wood and materials, craft or buy furniture and clothes from the local shops, fish, catch insects, help donate items to the local museum to establish its collection, and get to know and befriend their neighbours who are all animals, but the sweetest and most brightly coloured animals you've ever seen, hence the name of the game.

Will players befriend the mature and slightly cranky eagle or the adorable and slightly clutzy dog? Will they build a modern masterpiece home or something a bit more country? It's all up to the player.

Animal Crossing features fun simple and peaceful gameplay which has been described as the perfect balm for the busy rushed world we live in, and this gameplay was also a great way to explore the great outdoors during the COVID-19 lockdowns. If players can't go for a walk outside in real life, they can do so in Animal Crossing. People were even inviting other players into their game and having date nights and catch-ups with friends, all of which are pretty impossible if you can't leave your home.

Some couples even hosted their cancelled-in-real-life weddings in the game. That's innovative.

Assassin's Creed, Horizon Zero Dawn and Animal Crossing are just a few examples of the moving, memorable and engaging stories that video games can tell, and the enjoyment players derive from experiencing them.

The video game industry, it's come a long way from its Pong and Space Invader days. Advances in technology have meant that the stories video games can now tell are boundless and only limited by the imaginations of their developers. And with a diverse player base, there's a video game for everyone, with stories to engage us all and stimulate our imagination.


Technology in Art - Dr Uwe Terton

Hello and welcome to my presentation in Technology in Art. My name is Uwe Terton, I'm a lecturer in design.

I would like to open my presentation with a painting created by Addie Wagenknecht, and she has created this painting with the help of a drone.

So what are drones, you might wonder? We will discuss this later throughout my presentation.

The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. A quote by John Lasseter. It's very true. Since we are creating art, we are using technology be it a simple humble paint brush all the way to a stylus pen drawing on a computer surface. or drones. Or 3D printing.

The boon in 3D printed art has been building for several years. In fact there is no corner of the world remains untouched by 3D printing. From architecture to dance to painting to music, the emergence and proliferation of drone technology - and other technology using drones - such as Addie Wagenknecht's painting that we just saw, has inspired a vibrant response from the art world.

Drone art includes both works that are created using a drone or depicting a drone.

Then another way where technology is heavily used is projection mapping. Projection mapping, also known as video mapping, and spatial augmented reality, is a projection technology used to turn objects often irregularly shaped into a displaced surface for video projection.

You all might have seen projection mapping art on the Sydney Opera recently or in the past. It was only a matter of time before the art world went virtual too. Indeed, the ubiquity of smartphones and the public's increasing familiarity with augmented reality, short AR, apps in other spheres is beginning to have a tangible impact on how art is both created and displayed.

And this is the purpose of my presentation.

And I will now take you through a few art samples that demonstrate how this all could work.

The following artwork depicts a very tiny sculpture, a sculpture of a woman. And this sculpture is, as you can see, on this ear of the needle, there is the little tiny sculpture inside. And underneath, we have focussed in picture of it. And it's created by Jonty Hurwitz and it received the Guinness World Record for the smallest human sculpture in the world using nano 3D printing. So this person here, the sculpture, has been printed using carbon fibre. Amazing.

I would like to play a video on 3D printing and 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file.

A digital file is a computer file that you can create to use in computer drawing software and then obviously it is created in two dimensions on a screen and then printed using additive methods to have a three-dimensional object. So here is the video.

3D printing technology is already changing the way we produce objects, from tools and toys to clothing and even body parts.

3D printing is part of a process known as additive manufacturing, where an object is created by adding material layer by layer. Additive manufacturing allows designers to create complex parts for machines, aeroplanes and cars at a fraction of the cost and time of standard means like forging, moulding and sculpting.

Now smaller consumer friendly 3D printers are bringing additive manufacturing to homes and businesses.

The first step in 3D printing is to create a blueprint of the object you want to print. You can use modelling software like Blender to create your own designs, or you can visit websites like Thingiverse or Shapeways to find objects other users have 3D modelled.

Once you have a finished design, it's time to send it to the printer. Some printers like the Makerbot Replicator 2 have renewable bio-plastic spooled in the back of the device, almost like a string.

When the printer receives the data, it pulls the material through a tube, melts it and deposits it to the plate where it instantly cools. As you can see, the 3D object is created through layering, where the printer will add one layer of the object at a time until you have a fully formed structure.

The most common material used in 3D printing is plastic but the use of some other materials allow for the creation of some pretty amazing products beyond simple tools and toys. 3D printing food is becoming very popular, and additive manufacturing has allowed for the creation of some pretty intricate treats.

In the medical world, doctors are testing bio-materials for regenerative medicine. By using a patient's cells, doctors can 3D print small body parts like ears and noses. Some surgeons have even tested 3D printed organs for transplant.

Recently, giant 3D printers in China printed 10 houses in just one day and at a cost of less than $5000 per house, proving just how cost and time efficient 3D printing can be.

This is artwork using several objects that have been 3D printed and all of those objects are inspired by nature, mainly from the world of the ocean. This artwork is by Marjan Coletti and it's called "Algae" from 2013.

From the same artist, Marjan Coletti, "Algae" it's a series but this time it's not put on a canvas that hangs off a wall, so those objects are placed on the ground and she's using different materials; one is more translucent than the other and we can see how nicely the light plays through the sculpture.

That sculpture here, which is called "Fragile" and is egg-shaped is by Richard Beckett, and it is also printed in 3D using a plastic which is called PLA. And PLA is recyclable and biodegradable. You put it into a pressurised container and heat it up to 80 degrees and it will dissolve. So it's quite environmental friendly.

So this larger sculpture by Michael van der Kley is called "Egg" from 2014. It's made by several 3D printed objects that have been assembled to the shape of an egg.

This piece of art is using a little bit more colour and it is called "Nano Objects" from 2014 by Shane Hope. And it also reminds me of some corals, but it could be anything. And all of those objects are 3D printed and quite filligreed.

William F. Duffy has created a sculpture, also 3D printed, if you have a close look you'll see all the different layers of the additive process because 3D printing means that one layer of plastic is printed on top of the other. So we can see those different layers around here. And it is called "Sometimes" from 2014.

So we already mentioned that we can print plastics but we can print all sorts of materials.

We can print in timber, and we also can print in metal, like this piece here, which is a shell that was 3D printed in metal and then shaped around a car by Joan Florea, and it's called "Gran Torino" 1971, which is the car underneath. But the piece of art is from 2014 because in 1971 3D printing did not exist.

Here we have another sculpture, by Nick Ervinck. It's called "Agrieborz 3D Printed Facial Nerves". The advantage of 3D printing is that we can create shapes that would be very very difficult to create otherwise, would take a lot of time and would cost a lot of money like creating a wax sculpture first and then cast it in bronze or other metals.

3D printed is a cheaper method in creating very complex shapes and objects.

So for Nick Ervinck technology or technological innovation is something that should be embraced by the art world.

Each generation of artists has at its disposal a different set of possibilities enabled by technology. Paint in tubes allowed the Impressionists to paint in plain air rather than the studio, catching the changing quality of light and shadow. The development of screen printing spurred Andy Warhol to create some of his most iconic works.

Another example on how technology is used by artists to their advantage and obviously this will continue.

So here we have 3D printed sculpture on the left hand side, clearly inspired by Reubens' painting on the right hand side, also by Nick Ervinck and it's called "Yaronulk, sculpture" and it is from 2009-2010. So he obviously took some time or maybe he even took a break from making this art.

This is another sculpture. It is called "Airforce 3D" from 2014 by Damilola Odusote. And  it clearly represents some of the iconographies that are connected with how the artist sees the United States of America. So it's kind of a larger Nike shoe then we have the Empire State Building in the background and someone that is balancing from one to the other building and we have the famous airplane Airforce 2 which he uses as the name to go with "Airforce 3D" because it is 3D printed.

Another piece of whoops sorry for that, another piece of 3D printed art by Robert Geshlider and this one is using wood. It looks like plastic but this one is actually 3D printed wood. How does 3D printed wood work? It is milled timber and it is very fine grain which is just put in the filament that goes into the 3D printer and is then printed to create those objects.

This is the largest artwork that I could find so far. It is by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger, and it's an entire room. If you travelled to Amsterdam you would be able to visit. And the way it is produced is they have created smaller objects but they have assembled it. And also this one is inspired not by nature, but by Fibonacci numbers. It is a 11-tonne installation and printed with millions of incredibly detailed surfaces. It stands almost 3.35 metres tall by 16 metres wide. So next time you are travelling to the Netherlands, you might have a chance to actually see the artwork.

I would like to move on to drone technology in art.

Drones are more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Essentially a drone is a flying robot. The aircraft may be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in the embedded systems working in conjunction with GPS.

So what is GPS? GPS stands for global positioning systems. It uses satellites and with the help

of our satellites you can control the position of an object on our planet. And drones work this way. You can control a drone using a controller or you can program a drone and it finds its way automatically by the use of GPS satellites.

The emergence and proliferation of drone technology has inspired a vibrant response from the art world. Drone art includes both works that are created using drone technology, works that in some way address or depict a drone as mentioned earlier. Examining drone art provides an opportunity to consider how society is responding to this technology and incorporating it into its cultural vocabulary.

Drone art is also a case study in how new transformative technologies are adopted by artists, sometimes as a means of protesting against the technology. They are using technology to protest against the exact technology itself, and other times to champion it, to embrace it, and make something incredible out of it by using that technology.

In 1995 the Bureau of Inverse Technology flew a rudimentary camera-equipped remote-controlled airplane over a number of technology company campuses in Silicon Valley. And this is what we see in this picture here. So this is kind of a drone art installation early on from 1995.

And that picture here by the artist James Bridle "Drone Shadows" is a 1:1 scale outline of various military drones painted in public spaces in various cities. So when you get to a crime scene you see that the investigators often draw a white line around the victim.

And this is exactly what this piece of art is doing, so in this case it's a play. Is the drone the victim or is the shadow of the drone creating victims? Because we use also drones in warfare and they come out of the blue. And the interesting thing is that the people who drive those drones, they obviously are very not-connected with their victims, so this is kind of a game.

So here we go, we are going back to Abbie Wagenknecht, the artist I started my presentation with. And she really likes the idea of technology in art. She is using here some surveillance cameras and the cameras are surveying the public, the visitors of her art space while we are observing and surveying her art, which is often used, created using different technologies.

So we also saw Katsu's work "Seasonal Depression" and here it is in its full glorious very nice.

And this is how it's created. On the left hand side we have the drone flying and hovering in front of the blank canvas. And a spray can attached to it and I did do some research. The drone itself is programmed to create this artwork, so it's not that the artist is remotely controlling the drone, and the purpose for the spraying art on the canvas, it is a program that does it for us.

So in a way the artist thinks about that technology and uses programming and artificial intelligence to create the art.

In this picture, we don't see the drone, but the drone has taken the picture. And this is a village in Afghanistan where we see on the fields, a huge picture, an image of a girl, a young girl, that has been killed by a drone. Very clever.

In this picture we see three drones accompanying three dancers of a contemporary dance by Daito Manabe in 2014. It's called "Eleven Play". The drones they move according to the movement of the dancers. My understanding is that there are pilots in the audience piloting the drones but a clever programmer also could use programming and motion detection to follow a person in a space.

You might have seen drones using as a means to creating a kind of light displays, like fireworks. But just with LED lighting. And this is a picture depicting exactly that. It's called "Drone 100, a magical experience" 2016. And it's called "Drone 100" because 100 small drones are creating that beautiful artwork. The photographer has used a long exposure and this is why we see all the light streaks coming from above and down. It could be the take-off of the drone or the descent of the drone.

Let's move on to augmented reality. Another new technology that is making its way into the art world. Augmented reality, short AR, is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented or supplemented by computer-generated sensory inputs such as sound, video, graphics or global positioning system (GPS)data.

Okay. So in this picture we see a person holding an iPad and we see a sculpture, but what we do not see is how this sculpture, in this case it's a piece of architecture - a house - will look once it's built.

Using that technology enables us to project anything into a landscape and foresee the future in this way.

This is another sample where an artist, what's his name? It doesn't say. "Heavy" Biermann - a leading augmented reality artist, transmedia scholar. That's his name, "Heavy" Biermann, has stepped up efforts to reimage public space through AR. So what he's done. He went into public spaces and there is already art, and he augmented the existing art with his own style. So here we see art from the past and he had augmented the art. So if you would have a mobile phone just like mine, and you would walk through a public space, you could download an app from this artist "Heavy" Biermann, and you could see all of his augmentations that he made to existing art. Kind of clever.

There is another example by "Heavy" Biermann and it is called - what does it say? It doesn't say. So it's also from the series, that's his interpretation.

Leesar Architecture, a part of "Augmented Reality" at the Omi International Arts Centre in 2013. So this is a environmental art, it's a park space and the architectural bureau, they have projected sculptures into that park. They do not exist as such, you cannot touch them but you can visually enjoy them using a kind of technology.

Another interesting example by Brian Cox from Magic Leap. It's called "Yellow Submarine". And it is the yellow submarine from the Beatles movie, "Yellow Submarine" but this one here is from 2015 and not from the '70s. And using specific goggles or a tablet that you can walk through the city of London and you see the yellow submarine hovering through and over the cityscape.

Same artist, Brian Cox, from Magic Leap, made "Whale leap". So here we see a huge humpback whale leaping out of the ocean onto the beach. The whale seems to beach itself onto the beachgoers but they are not aware of what is happening because only we can see it because we have the augmented reality app.

Let's move on to the last piece of technology that I would like to introduce in my presentation.

It's called projection mapping. Projection mapping, also known as video mapping and spatial augmented reality, is a projection technology used to turn objects, often irregularly shaped, into display surface for video projection. In this picture on the right, it's called "Seeper, wings of desire" from 2012 in Birmingham, where the artist has used huge light projectors to project the art which is often moving, accompanied by sound, onto this building here.

The next example depicts a performance within a space where the artist has created 3D objects that seem to be in the space but they are actually not, because they are all projected into the space.

Similar to what we have seen previously, here we see an industrial robot seemingly picking up an object where a dancer is interacting with the object, but the object does not exist. It is all just projected into the space.

Oskar and Gaspar, "Life Face Projection Mapping" from 2012 shows us a person sitting in front of a monitor and as she stares onto the screen, her face is changing, is morphing into different faces. And this is also, has been achieved through projection mapping.

Antoni Gaudi "Casa Batllo" in Barcelona. So every evening the city puts on those beautiful beautiful projections onto one of his buildings, and it depicts the history of his art. So if you ever have a chance to go there, that is quite amazing.

Well that concludes my presentation of some of the latest technologies in art and I hope you enjoyed it and it was kind of inspirational.

And if you have questions please feel free to ask me the questions via discussion boards or you can send me an email. Thank you so much.


Wearables - Dr Erica Mealy

Hi. I'm Dr Erica Mealy from USC and I am Moreton Bay's Head of Computer Science and so part of my role here is to be able to help everybody understand a bit more about computer science and how it can help benefit their lives and their businesses.

And so I'm happy to be able to come to you virtually today and talk about something that I've used a bit in my research and I think is a very interesting and possible future direction.

But there's some really important things that we need to think about to make sure that we look after our own safety and security, so today I'd like to talk to you about wearable technology.

And so the thing with wearable technology is that it's something that everyone has a different opinion about. Ultimately wearable technology is something that is worn in or on the body generally, within our clothes, maybe even our hair. Some smart rings exist but most people, when you say wearable technology, they think smart watch.

And so the big ones - the Apple watches, the Garmins, the Fitbits, the Samsung Galaxy watches - these are what most people think about. But there's so much more that you can find out about yourself with this wearable technology.

But the thing is that technology itself is something that we've been looking at long before computers came to be. Originally a pencil was considered a piece of technology because it was a tool that helped us do our job or what we wanted to do in a better more efficient way.

So you could think my glasses are wearable technology. They helped me to see better which means that I don't get headaches and I can sit in front of the computer just a little bit longer, not that we need to do that in these times. But some people actually will extend wearable technology to include things that sometimes we wear, perhaps in our pockets, so a lot of people will consider their smart phone to be a piece of wearable technology.

And that's an important thing, because the difference between a smart phone and Fitbit is enormous. The great thing about Fitbits and the thing that really made it absolutely take off is the fact that it took a really complex piece of recording and information and turned it into something that was really easy for a user to understand.

We didn't know how active we are and half the time we definitely weren't active enough, but we didn't know that we knew that we weren’t active enough, but when it's flashing in lights on your wrist, it's hard to get away from.

Suddenly it went from” hmm I feel like I haven't moved for a while” to “oh my goodness I've done less than 2000 steps today, perhaps I need to get up and go for a walk” but you'll notice that not all steps count the same.

So you might go for a walk with your friend, you might have a Fitbit and they might have a Garmin, and while there's going to be differences between how many steps you take compared to them - depending on your stride length, how tall you are - it's not going to be a grand difference overall, but your smart technology might actually consider the move really different like out by a couple of thousand.

And that's to do with how we process the data that's coming in from these sensors and how we actually analyse it and come to decide on the results.

So one of the things to think about when we're thinking about our wearable technologies, and these readings they're giving us from the senses, is understanding what does it mean?

So one of the things that I've personally really enjoyed knowing more about myself is know more about my heart rate, which is something that I get from my smart watch. But my heart rate as it takes it on my wrist isn't actually recorded the same, isn't even comparable necessarily, with if I were to actually use a medical grade heart rate monitor or a chest strap heart rate monitor.

Now these devices are specifically calibrated and have to be scientifically accurate and you can bet that your cheap smart watch probably doesn't have to follow those same standards, but the thing is, if you're always comparing the device to itself you've got a baseline. So if suddenly your heart rate goes from, you know, 70 beats per minute resting to 80 beats per minute resting, you know perhaps you've been a little bit too inactive, a little bit too much Netflix, while we've been away.

And so the idea is that it can give us measures about what we need to look at and what we can think about, so if you're talking wearable technology we also have, as I said our phones, so in these we have all kinds of things from GPS trackers that can tell us, on the good side, where we need to turn when we're going in Google Maps, but it can also track citizens.

So a really interesting case has been during the COVID-19 pandemic where some governments have actually elected to ask the phone companies to give them that data so they can make sure that people who should be quarantined.

Ah so we have to be really careful. It's a very slippery slope. We have to decide where is the line between protecting society as a whole and taking away the rights of the individual, and that's part of the ethical dilemmas around technology and wearable technology that I think society as a whole needs to take more advantage of these devices. Our Fitbits, our phones, are taking so much information, more information than we can fathom, and they're storing it and then making money off our data. They aggregate it, they sell it and there's no real benefit to us outside of how we want to use that data.

So we have to take care in making sure that we are actually scrutinising these people. Who has my data? Why do they have it? What are they going to do and are they going to be evil or good with my data?

So on the whole it can be very interesting to collect societal and population statistics so to be able to say the average age of a country, the average respiratory health of a country for instance, if we look at how active the country is, how much pollution is in the country, what percentage of people are smokers, it gives you an idea at the susceptibility to that population of people to, for instance, a respiratory illness.

But you also can consider well how has done, how has data shown us that life has changed? Are people actually being more active now because they've been put into isolation and there are some data to show that people have actually increased their activity levels, the awareness of being in one small space has shown them that they need to get out and do more. They plan it into their day for what they want to do, but we're talking a lot about wearable technology and smart trackers and that's the main information right, that's what most people think of when they think of wearable technology.

But the latest and greatest things are some really exciting ones. Even from 2016 there was compression fabric. So for workouts, for instance, they could tell what muscles were activated and when you were activating and they can actually give you a load or a figure that told you how well you're activating and these have incredible, incredible applications you can consider in rehabilitation.

So if there's someone who needs to be able to reuse a muscle that they haven't used, perhaps they had a cast and couldn't use it or were immobile, now people and particularly the researchers and medical professionals can drill down to your activating the correct muscle, actually your posture’s off because this sensor says you're not doing it. And this used to be restricted to the realm of professional sports players.

So for those that like their footy in Australia, there's a lot of us. If you know in AFL you may have noticed on the back of their shoulders there's normally this big hard part, and if you look closely you'll see it in our netballers as well. And so this is actually a high-tech sensor pack that each player wears that means that they can actually determine the activity load of that player and tailor their post match and their training to be able to hit that key load, to be able to repair the muscles and rehabilitate after the lesson or after the activity to make sure that they're actually getting met optimum performance out of their people.

But we can go even further than that. By augmenting our wearable technology we can actually look at what is the technique when you get tired, you drop your wrist which is why you miss the baskets in the third quarter. These kinds of things are some of the stuff that we will actually be looking at through our computer science research program here at USC with our partners, but being able to look at, well, how does the wearable technology improve your life.

So the latest round of technology trade shows that were in January 2020 are a really great instance. So if you go on to CES which is the Consumer Electronics Show, you can search on wearable technology and you'll see some absolutely fascinating ideas - from glasses that actually have speakers built into the frames to portable diabetes tracking systems to shoes that have sensors built into them and lab on skin which is a health monitoring embeddable chip. So this time we're not talking wearable technology, we're talking implantable technology, so putting it underneath our skin.

So these days we can assume that people have devices on a lot of the time. If you see a certain type of watch you know it's an Apple watch or you know it's a Samsung watch, and as part of that you know how to act around those particular people because you know what's capable.

But an interesting one that's come to light for me is one of my family members has recently just gotten hearing aids, and so when they go for their walk they don't have to wear ear pods or ear buds, ear buds anymore and it's bluetooth connected to their hearing aid. So the podcast from their phone in their pocket that we can't see is beaming straight into their head, so they can look quite peculiar when they're walking down the street having a good laugh and everyone thinks that they're not actually listening to anything because we can't see it.

But implantable technology isn't new for us. We've had pacemakers for a long time and we can have now diabetes pumps that automatically regulate people's blood sugar.

We've got all kinds of technologies that we've used to be able to improve quality of life for people but we have to take really great care when we're doing that.

The first lot of network enabled pacemakers were hackable and that's terrifying. Somebody outside your body can choose when to start and stop your heart, and again we come down to the ethics of it.

Who can access and do we trust their ethics? Is the thing being designed fit for purpose? Are the proper security protocols in place? What happens if your heart rate data is observed by someone else? Probably doesn't make a lot of difference but what if that person observing is your private health fund and they can see how active you are or aren't, and therefore what kinds of diseases you might be more prone for.

Would you be happy if suddenly your premiums went up by 20% because it found that you spent lots of March sitting down? Probably not. And so as consumers it's upon us to be able to start to think about, well, not just how do we get useful knowledge from it for us, how active or inactive, how many flights of stairs, know sorts of things. But how do I get the valuable payback on that data that other people are getting from my data? If my health fund got it, I would want to know that I was getting some sort of discount for them having all that information about me.

There's bluetooth enabled toothbrushes which I always shock my first years with. It's like, show of hands, how many people would like to have their dentists knowing how often and how well they are brushing their teeth? Nobody has ever put their hands up, except I think one student who is the son of a dentist, but no one wants to know that or to share that information.

But it's useful information for me. I'd love to know how well my children are cleaning their teeth and if they're cleaning their teeth when they're not with me, and various other things like that that would be useful information but where does that ethically sit?

An interesting one is in the realm of aged care and the elderly, because we want to consider how to best look after our parents and our grandparents as they move on to those later stages of life.

We transition from being cared for by our parents to caring for our parents and our older Australians, and so one of the things is there's a real dichotomy in the society of the technologists around how do we set up these smart homes for these people? So they've got a lot of people who will put bed sensors or floor sensors so that when your feet hit the floor it can tell, but these people grew up and lasted through different types of wars. They don't want to feel like they're being under surveillance 24/7. They're pretty wiley and clever sorts too, so we've got all kinds of user stories where they will do everything in their power to make sure they don't trip that sensor, because they don't want you knowing that they're getting up five times a night to go to the bathroom.

But from our perspective, we want to know how healthy they are and what they're doing. We want to know, oh it looks like they've had a fall, someone needs to be there immediately. So we're looking at different ways.

So there's a group at QUT who look at a messaging kettle and I love this analogy, because the idea that you share a cup of tea with a loved one and the generation that are reaching these aged care facilities now are quite often ones that enjoy a cup of tea in the morning or a cup of coffee.

And so we can actually see oh they've turned the kettle on but more than they've turned the kettle on, they can see when we've turned our kettle on as well, and we can write small messages or send a voice clip or something that actually adds the social back into it.

The danger of technology is that we just set up this smart house and we put people in it and we don't pay attention. We don't make that extra phone call.

I love that my grandmother used to have a “I'm not yet dead yet” email. So she gets up in the morning and because my parents are one of a number and they'd all basically assume that everyone else was looking after my grandma, but the truth was there was at least one time where everyone else thought someone else had checked in, and she was actually unwell, she had a flu or a cold.

And so we a couple of my aunts instituted a morning email, so she gets up and she writes an email and it's a fantastic way to stay connected with people who are able to participate in a technology enabled world, but it's a bit like ER “hi guys I woke up today, not dead yet” kind of technology and it's almost a little bit absurd to be able to think about, you know, our loved ones and our older Australians are literally being reduced to “oh the email hasn't come”.

So what do we do about these technologies? How can we use our wearable technology? What are we going to use it for? How could it work in your business? Does foot traffic making help you? Could you be able to use different ways of advertising or different ways of measuring your effectiveness in your business?

I really look forward to being able to chat with you and answer some questions. So I really hope to see you online in the near future.

You'll see a link provided for a time and date that we can have a bit more of a chat, so until then look after yourselves, look after your loved ones and count all those steps. Bye!

Anuksa Naidu

Hi I'm Anuksha and this is my poem Racially Indifferent.

I heard it on television that Black
Lives Matter, that it became a crime to
say that all lives matter.
Truth is, don't we all want to be treated
the same, all wanting a fair go at life's
Was it the indigenous Australians with
their land stolen,
the people of the Congo, Belgium's jewel
royal, South Africa torn by apartheid,
India colonial rule by Britain? These are
just stories of history done wrong.
It's true the past cannot be unwritten,
but the future can tell of a world that
can be forgiving.
Forgiveness that can start with
understanding that pain isn't the
be end and end all but just the
beginning. The beginning of a conversation the
making of a hashtag, the realization of
truth universal,
that human life has no price tag. So
whether you march or stay at home or
treat your waiter with compassion,
maybe making a bold statement with your
choice of fashion, remember to be kind
and love thy neighbour,
then the good Lord will look down on us
with favour. He'll bless our efforts and
we can build a whole new world. Hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, affections and passions,
fed with the same food, hurt with the
same weapons? Shakespeare's words could not ring more true.
If I prick you would you not bleed too?
So whether it's a matter of divine
intervention or natural selection, the
colour of my skin should offer me this
one simple protection:
I'm human just like you, this much is
true, and if I can be racially indifferent
so can you.

Gordon Clarke

Hello, my name's Gordon and here's a poem that is true to the core.

Beat heart, beat heart, feel the flow. 
I'm calm in control, keep the rate low.
Now strutting in, manning up - oh don't
turn away -
show them my steel, no wimp DNA.
The beat, the beat, heart's calm still.
Hell! The drill! That piercing shrill.
Someone's in the chair, there again, like
chalkboard clawing, viscerally gnawing at
my inner self.
That's not health. It's torture while frozen stiff with fear.
You'll cover my eyes but not my ears. No
it's not a procedure, it's an operation.
No amount of meditation prevents this
from feeling thought pain. My mouth is
but my brain isn't dumb. It knows you're
hurting me,
punishing me subconsciously, dominating
physically, fiscally and I'm submitting
but I'm not quitting. I'll see it through.
Show you and those who think I'm a wuss. I'll beat this affliction.
These welcoming smiling assassins
trivializing the trauma they inflict.
Mustn't see I'm sick with fear
I'm walking through the gates of hell to
meet my fate with a nightmare
incarnate, in this being's outstretched
But, aren't I a man? Aren't
all men supposed to be like Atlas
suspending this planet from falling into
space's empty abyss?
This is my moment,
so beat, beat, I'll beat this.

Thank you.


Kilcoy was 'ere' (in retrospect)

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Kabi Kabi Undambi people and the traditional country in which this event is taking place and the elders both past and present. I also recognise those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, will leave a lasting legacy for future elders and leaders.

Welcome everyone to this Moreton Bay Region Libraries online event and I'm Helen Cossins the local studies leader and it's wonderful to have you all with joining us today to hear Greg from the QueenslandRail talk to us about the railway connection to Kilcoy. Welcome Greg.

Thank you very much Helen and hello everybody down there in Brisbane and beyond, uh just a little bit of a quick background, I'm talking to you today from Toowoomba, from the uh from the railway cottage up here at Toowoomba station that we call the loft. The part I'm in was built in 1908 and the modern part that joins me here in the other part was built in 1915.  

Uh so it's 112 year old building I've been operating out of here for the past nine months during the pandemic and things like that, and being a Toowoomba person these days myself it's been wonderful. Um when I was talking with Helen about this we decided to have a bit of fun, and uh Helen and I we only met face to face when was it, about at the day of railway centenary day wasn't it when I got drenched by the um by the marquee that kept dropping water on me from the storm the night before and that and I wanted to take all the water back home here to Toowoomba to water our flowers and that but that failed.

But um I was telling Helen the story is that the cottage that I'm in here apparently has a ghost. Now I have been here on weekends and in the evening and things like that for various works over time and I must admit I haven't encountered a ghost yet so that's why we sit on a Friday the 13th to 1300 hours anyway so uh to try and keep the elements there, and Helen sorry, it hasn't turned up yet anyway despite my best efforts anyway for the interview. [Helen: disappointing]  

So it's good. But all right yeah, but thank you very much the opportunity to talk to you um I'm, when this pandemic began back in you know earlier this year, much earlier this year, well  quite a few of us were well aware of things and everything like that, um I must admit that I didn't think hey to nine months later I'd be sitting up here broadcasting live from an early 20th century cottage you know on 21st century technology in that, which is quite remarkable, and I've been doing quite a number of these things, I've become quite the fan of Zoom, Skypes, and things like that I must admit, and it's quite good and the best part about it of course you can all go and enjoy a morning tea hopefully afterwards those are in, afternoon tea in the library and things like that.  

And uh oh well that's a great pity anyway basically anyway because I just get to have a cup of tea here for myself so yeah. Well start talking today about the railway to Kilcoy and it's a very interesting story, just the story of Kilcoy the railways um that were built in the early part of the 20th century, so many of the railway lines were built in Queensland were built solely at the uh basically to develop the land to open the land to provide settlement and those sorts of things for people, and it was really really interesting was that uh Kilcoy was a bit of a light camera in the fight and uh when it closed actually in 1964 it's um it's still um you know well over half a century in that one there is still so much of that line that's left out there and uh I mean parts of it have been uh you know parts have been turned into a rail trail and that out at Caboolture of course. But um there's other parts that wherever you go you still see quite the evidence of the railway line being there. 

But I'd like to talk to you today basically about how the line came to be what it was like during those years and everything like that and uh it was very much it's um it was one of the wonderful lines that used to dot so much of country Queensland about, especially down there in the southeast part of the state and everything. Very picturesque lines that used to go out and they basically done for the benefit of the farmer and it was actually government policy for many decades pre-1930 and even into the latter part of the 19th century and the idea was that no farmer should actually be more than half a day's horse and cart right away from a railway sighting or a station or something like that so it was really part of getting people onto the land to develop the land and everything like that and it was very much, well it was really like an economic engine in a lot of ways, to use a very bad pun on the occasion, so yeah.

So Helen let's advance to our next slide as we go, thank you very much.  

And it goes with it, ah very good, excellent stuff, anyway so thank you for that. So I'm getting Helen just to advance today because I'm a little bit uh, I think I've got a laptop here that's about the way to go the way of the dodo in the next couple of days, a new one is on the way apparently so I thought I'd trust Helen to, Helen I'll put you as acting engine driver today I guess up on the footplate, so I'm quite happy for you to continue as we go.

So it's actually in 1899 that a group of parliamentarians, that included the then treasurer and minister for agriculture, they visited Woodford in the Durundur areas and what it was was basically to talk with the local population, and it was entirely about to building a railway connection for the north coastline.  

Now these, um delegations have gone on for many decades in the beginnings of the Queensland railways and in Queensland itself. The way to get a railway, in probably from about say the 1880s onwards until about 1930 thereabouts, was very simple. It was basically to agitate agitate agitate, get your local parliamentarian or parliamentarians on side, uh present petitions to parliament and then basically have deputations come out and visit you, they could have been with oh, Helen we've disappeared for a minute, anyway, by the looks of things so, uh we'll have to see if we can bring the, can you bring the thing back Helen? [Helen: Oh let me see] That's good. [Helen: We're back]  

Okay here we are, we're back again. Thank you Helen anyways. [Helen: I'm sorry, I don't know what happened there] Sorry, you failed your first bit of the engine driving test. [Helen: I did, I did]

But yeah I didn't realise I was so ugly either, well anyhow I'll have to do something about that, so yeah. But um yeah the idea was you know used to agitate very much for um, um you know, to to have their own railway, and with all those cases of deputations coming out, parliamentarians, ministers for transports, people of influence coming actually to tour the area.  

A lot of times you know it was done you know it was very much adventures done in horse and buggies and things like that to tour the area and basically see what would benefit, would there be a benefit in the construction and eventual operation of a railway through those areas. Well the good thing was that Woodford to Kilcoy was described back then as consisting of very good agricultural land, and the possibility of more agriculture as well, and it was very much to be seen as developing the land to um get people onto the land and go from there. Helen our next slide please.  

Great, well there were two suggestions that were considered and with any railway that was built in Queensland there were a lot of numbers of uh surveys that were, uh the surveys that were run would quite literally run through the countryside to see which is the um easiest way to build a railway direct route, not always direct route because again it depended on the number of people that had to be served a lot for the number of people that they wanted to actually, uh when it came to putting people on the land, possible towns and things like that, there's always a lot of agitation, there was always a lot of politicking that went on with a railway.  

Because actually one of our commissioners for railways in uh uh, Charles Evans, he actually memorably said to parliament one time that everybody wants a railway for their own parochial interest, and that was very much, you know, the feeling of the day that um you know parliamentarians and actually, um people wanted the railway literally you know to develop themselves.  

There's many towns in Queensland that were came about because of a railway, um places like Longreach, Barcaldine, Emerald and Central Queensland, Hughenden and Richmond and those areas, and Julia Creek, in the north. There's a lot of places in Queensland that disappeared when they didn't get the railway and it was always seen that the railway would basically guarantee economic prosperity for the area, and also would basically mean that, you know, there would be an ongoing uh, well literally, the town would survive and it would thrive at the same time.

So in relation to um surveys for the railway from Caboolture initially out to Woodford and eventually on to Kilcoy there was two suggestions, one was actually via Beerburrum, and that's probably uh, that was actually a far more direct route than one coming out from Caboolture. It was actually about 10 miles shorter in the survey, about 20 kilometres shorter, and they were actually pushed for that, uh but the two routes were always, you know, there was always comparisons done, they'd be presented to parliament eventually, costings would be done on how much it cost and everything like that.

Now there are always a number of petitions that were presented and into the parliamentarians, the call for the rail connection, and generally they were done when the parliamentarians came to visit us somewhere, that the petitions would be handed over by the local people, the agitators and things like that. Quite often there was like a railway committee or a railway progress committee or someone like that had to take it on. Now interestingly enough, in an effort to build more economically, the survey was also taken on an option to try and basically lessen the cost of construction of the railway to make it more economical, and one of those suggestions was actually to um look at um constructing the railway line on a narrower gauge than the Queensland gauge and our gauge here in Queensland and looking out the front here from the lot, where I see a ballast train sitting out in Toowoomba yard at the moment, it's just come up off the southern line, that gauge is, uh between the rails, is 3 feet 6 inches, which in the modern currency is 1067 millimetres.  

To the early part of the 20th century there was a lot of um economies that were being practiced, um - construction of railways, they're actually looking at building it with narrower gauge railways, to again, lesson- basically as a lesson in economy and things like that.  

The thing that would have been interesting, one of the things that they suggest, was building on a much narrower gauge and that was on 2 feet 6 inches which is 6, 792 millimetres, and uh that was to lessen costs in relation to engineering, to embankments, to cuttings, and things like that. Now those of you who are actually familiar with the Puffing Billy Rail in the Dandenongs  in Victoria, that's a 2 foot 6 gauge railway, and had it been built, it's entirely possible you would have had almost like a little uh Puffing Billy Railway you know, running out to Woodford and you know then onwards sort of things. Um there's the uh Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Society, is at Woodford and they've got a uh, they've built a small museum there for 2 foot gauge, which is the sugar gauge, sugar tramway gauge and that, so you've got a little bit there. They also suggested you're building that gauge railway out here at uh from Dalby up to um Bell, and up towards the Bunya Mountains so, the idea was not done in isolation but it was seen as, you know, as a possibility.

And uh there was one that was actually built, Buderim, and that was Buderim to Palmwoods, on on the Maroochy Shire I think it was, they built themselves a line there anyway, and that's what they did, so that's 2 foot 6 gauge.  

And that photograph there, that's Caboolture taken around 1910, uh with the bullock teams there and the yard very full of timber and stuff like that, and that's taken about fairly, about 1910, that was just before they started a lot of heavy works on the um, North Coast Line, a lot of relaying in that, um at the stage, there was a huge amount of money injected into Queensland, especially into the construction of the Queensland railways to um basically, it was probably the largest and only ever grand railway plan that was ever presented to Queensland. Next one please Helen.

Great. So I mentioned before about that uh narrower gauge than normal, the um 2 foot 6 gauge. Um again as I mentioned about locomotives, that's um a Baldwin locomotive, 2 foot 6 gauge for those who are interested. Yes that's a Puffing Billy locomotive. Um yeah, I must admit, uh part of me does like the idea, wouldn't have been great you know you, could have a Puffing Billy running from Caboolture out, but anyway, they never eventuated or anything like that.

There was one slight problem, the Queensland gauge is 3 foot 6 as we said before, this gauge is going to be 2 foot 6. The locomotives and carry rolling stock cannot go from one gauge to the other or anything like that, so if you're running your own locomotive it might have to have their own servicing points or workshops or anything like that, and basically the costs of trying to reduce gauge there was sort of like the infrastructure, as they call it now, and everything that went with it, that'd add more money to it. So it actually made more sense just can construct with the Queensland gauge which is 3 foot 6,1067 millimetres, and so that was approved anyway.  

And uh I actually mentioned before that there's a large amount of railway construction that was going in that period from about um um beginning the late part of the early part of the 20th century around 1907, 1908, really picked up in 1910 in those years onwards, and um there's also talk, even though it's about, not only constructing a railway out to Woodford and beyond, they were talking about continuing a railway through from Caboolture to, through to Nanango as well.

Nanango of course had a railway that opened about 1911, and it came down actually through Kingaroy in those areas, it came down through and also went to Tarong. So you had narong, uh Tarong you had the Nanango, that one goes up through Kingaroy, just go back to Murgon uh back to Wondai and eventually back to Theebine on the north coastline coming around from Gympie.

So the idea was that, you know, it could be a railway that could go you know it's a bit of an inland way it, could link up with other mines and things like that. But ultimately it was decided the railway, you know, actually made sense, economically, it did go through the parliamentary approval process, um the line was approved by parliament and tenders were ultimately called for it and they started work like um, they started work in April of 1909 to construct that railway line through from uh Caboolture through to Woodford anyhow, and that's when it began.

Okay next one please Helen. Okay now there's a lovely question there about my taking years to approve railways and things like that, I say look to your own backyard. The first railway that was um mooted for Redcliffe was in the 1880s, the railway line opened to Redcliffe in 2016. So as I said it does, it did take a while, you know, to get a railways, um and there are other parts of Queensland, I think it was, if memory serves me correct, uh where was the other one that waited about 30 or 40 years to get its own railway as well, uh it would come to me shortly as well. Other railways got that, got there is a much more quick and dependent on the political pressure that was there as well anyway.  

So the railway line that opened to Woodford there was uh just on 20, just under shade under 29 kilometres in length. In the old currency that was 17 miles and 64 chains, as it was, and uh it actually opened in 6th of December of 1909, so it only took about 18 months to construct that initial section. Um in common with many of these railways that was opened, it took uh, well it was very much an incomplete railway that was open. Lots of people always say to me, oh this was the opening date and the first train arrived in town or this is the opening day that the first train arrived on such and such a date and I say don't get worried about that an official opening date for a railway is a bureaucratic exercise, because basically it means that's the day that line's taken over, the line's approved, and it's actually um lot of times that the timetable's implemented becomes really like a departmental concern.  

In the construction period before that, um one case is Yarraman. There's some wonderful photographs of the first train into Yarraman, the station's there, the yards have completed, there's lines leading off that haven't been built or anything like that, but there's trains are coming in, it's a construction train. So whichever way you look, first train, opening train, there there's always a little bit of rubberiness and stuff, that sort of thing as well. But an official opening was an official opening, and that was um on the 6th of December 1909 through um through to Woodford. It was incomplete, uh there were no signals on the line, um they, they'd had um wash-aways on embankments on the line as well, and they're actually working still doing track work and things like that for the opening the line, but um it was very much a case, get the line open, get it, get it open quickly, get traffic running on it and that was the idea.

And that's actually a lovely postcard that we see there taken there at Woodford, and uh yeah it's uh it's a lovely photograph there, and the colour of Woodford Station, that's right, early part of the 20th century they used to um paint uh station buildings with chocolate colour or they used to oil the timber and things like that, so they were a dark colour back then as well. Next one please Helen.  

Great, so the purpose of the day, as I mentioned, you know they're always very, if there's a lot of agitation that went on, the papers, if you go to Trove and you want to have a wonderful afternoon, it's always great to read the letters to the editor from the railway leagues and everything like that, copious amounts of columns and inches of print spaces taken to, take into parliament, taken into papers, the advantages of building a railway, who would be advantaged by them the most, and the need for it. And the railway at that period was very much seen as a um, oh it was it was really literally a link to the world for so many communities, the road system tend to be pretty dreadful in those days and uh you know just regular occurrences of drays, wagons, bullock teams, getting bogged in soil and things like that it was a regular occurrence, wet weather and that.  

The benefit of the railway was, it was a permanent way, as they called it, and you could run the train, it would run to a timetable, you could fairly reliant on when you could get your goods to market, when you could get your produce out, and things like that as well. And that's what the line was built for, it was primarily built for the benefit, as I always say, not necessarily for passengers, it was built as much for potatoes as it was built for timber, it was built basically for the development of the, um you know, the development of farming communities and that.  

So many papers you still always see things like railways wanted to Kilcoy, the burning question at present time is the, is the line going to be extended from Woodford? The present line is of some benefit, not, nothing will satisfy the residents higher up, that being uh Kilcoy, except a railway that goes right up to their township. So the members of the Kilcoy railway league, or the local trading group, wanting the extension the railway from Woodford through to Kilcoy, um they actually go, as I said in the papers today came out replete good arguments to the extension, why do we need the railway, why do we want that railway, and basically they fought very hard to secure its construction, to make sure the government of the day would undertake it. Next one please Helen.  

So as I mentioned before there are rival routes, there's always rival routes, you have a look at the surveys, they've got they run, many lines have many different surveys for announcement, um one line um I've noticed there before a comment about the Gold Coast, there are many different ones that run over time down to places like Tweed Heads and everything like that, and uh surveys that were run were always done basically paid for surveyors that go out then report back to parliament which is the best way to go, again you know, which is the easiest route or which is the one of the most benefit, and surveyors would actually present a report to parliament which would then be laid before a committee you know for discussion about, you know, from the railway approval process and that.  

And uh, I heard their papers of the day, as you say by the Queenslander, they said only one idea when speaking of the railway and that's the extension for Woodford to Kilcoy, so with Kilcoy in the region was pushing very hard to get their railway. Um Woodford on the other hand, there's a feeling of content that they have got their line and have no desire to have extended further is very apparent. That was the other thing, if you got your railway, it was a great economic benefit to you and your town, you didn't want it extended because that meant basically a lot of the um the economic activity go with it, because the rail head is to their produce and that, they'll be transferred by to train and of course the last thing if you're a town you don't want others basically getting the benefit further up a potential railway line of all that economic activity in benefit.

One of the classic places in Central Queensland is Bogantungan, and Bogantungan, which is at the base of the Drummond Range on the central line, it fought strenuously for many many years, for a long time to rotate the rail head even though the line was going to be built over the Drummond Range and over to places like Alpha, Beta, and eventually over to um Barcaldine and Emerald, uh Barcaldine in those areas, and they did not want to get it because they knew basically once things started, trains shipping further up the line, things'd drop off in your town.

One other thing of interest is that when the railway lines are constructed, not so much here with Kilcoy, when places like in Central Queensland, there are temporary townships that went with the railway line and it was here on the western line now to places, out to Mitchell in those areas, as the rail had advanced in different contracts and the construction camps went with it and townships in many cases used to like leapfrog ahead. It wasn't so much the uh the the lines in the Southeast, um but as I said a lot of the other lines in Queensland there was always a railway, it was basically construction went forward.

The good news it was nothing like in the United States, nothing like hell on wheels or anything like that, um there was a much more civilised form of railway construction that went on here and I think that's one thing we can always think the fact that we followed British patents on that, because the American system tend to be, yes as I said, shoot them dead and build a railroad. Ours tend to be much more a railway, which I always said, a railroad which you open to all sorts of uh interesting contentious exercises, a railway was something was much more enshrined by law and actually was constructed by the government itself, um hence length in some cases, but constructed by the railway as well. The other thing too is um there was always talk, well you know, if the railway line's gonna be extended what other areas could it go to, where would the benefit come? Um some suggest going up through the Conondale Ranges, um there's even one suggestion to actually follow the Mary River Valley up then to Gympie, provide an inland line way. And there was always a hard fight there as you can see about the rival routes for the various railways that will be built. Next one please Helen, that's good.

The public meeting, public meeting, public meeting, they gathered so much um print space and everything like this, and as I said it was always the theme of the construction, how long would it take, um who would, who would be the great benefits and everything like that.  

And uh, they actually, as you can see there, there was always urging of the government, basically build the railway, build the railway, build a railway, make a decision please, and as I said it always just fills up so much print space and took up so much correspondence and everything like that as well.  

Next one please Helen. Okay, well, speaking of world records, track laying and things like that, um it was actually the railway line finally opened through from Woodford to Kilcoy after approval and actually go from there in 1913, just before the great outbreak of the Great War of course. Now construct, construction actually begun two years um earlier in 1911, the first stop was turned in a special ceremony to inaugurate, inaugurate the railway works and progress was actually fairly slow because they only had a small number of men employed. The Kilcoy railway wasn't built in isolation in that period, there are a lot of other lines have been built in Queensland at that stage, the ones that would've been constructed um out to, I mentioned, to Nanango and places like that, there were places out here on the Darling Downs that were being, lines were being built out to our various um uh settlements, there was lines in far Northern Queensland, and also in 1910 the um government of the day under William Kidston, um they actually passed, you know, which two great big pieces of railway legislation.

One was called the North Coastline, and it would eventually mean that a railway line would run up the east coast of Queensland, connect the entire patchwork of railways up the east coast, so that'll be from Cairns, Cairns down to eventually Townsville, down to the Mackay railway, heading down further and get down to Bowen, well to places like Bowen, eventually get down to Rockhampton and that, and there was going to be this thousand mile long railway in the old currency eventually, reaching up to Cairns. The same time they're building out on these um isolated railways so the railway line's been now to uh Ravenshoe, Tumoulin up in the um Tablelands behind Cairns and that, um I mentioned before, these lines got being built out here on the Darling Downs, out to places like Haden and things like that as well, uh lines going out to Cecil Plains and all that, so there's enormous amount of railway construction going on, there were literally, at that stage, hundreds of miles of railway line being built through Queensland. The trouble was there was a labour shortage, and they're actually actively recruiting over in Britain to encourage um uh people, labour, well actually to encourage young men to come out, immigrate to Queensland, a lot of cases they pay for them, if if they were willing to come out and been shipped out here, to help uh build these railway lines as navvies, as construction fellas.

I think it would have been a bit of a shock for you if you um left England, say about 1910, bit earlier in 1911, you're coming out on board a ship and then you're offloaded Pinkenba, in many cases you're then put on a train and then travel to some place, um basically you probably never knew existed, and even there mightn't have existed, and you're heading to places like um, on the Mary Valley Branch, you're heading out to places like Amamoor, Dagun, Kandanga and these places. You're going out to on the Central Burnett, um you might be going out to uh places around Gayndah, and the other places made Proston and Byee so you're basically coming out to build a railway line, and uh as I said, you know, that they, they're bringing uh they had to bring in, you know, there were literally hundreds, if not thousands, you know, of being bought in from Britain, basically to go to construct these railway lines, so it's an enormous undertaking that was going on at the time.

So construction began the 7th of October of 1911, it was in the high for that time of great railway construction just before the outbreak of the Great War. It was slightly, as I mentioned, because the number of men who were actively employed, there was also a lot of wet weather around at that time in the early 20th century especially around that period, and I guess we call them this day and age I guess La Nina periods and things like that and hopefully we'll get more rain this year as well, and that didn't help, but the section was finally opened through to Kilcoy on the 22nd of November of 1913 after the extension out from Woodford.  

So it was just on about uh, just a shade over 27 kilometres for that extension. Next one please Helen.

So again, the paper of the day, The Brisbane Courier said the Deputy Commissioner for railways Mr Pagan, I love that name, Mr Pagan, it was always wonderful, he made an inspection to Woodford to Kilcoy line on Wednesday, the earth works have been a dance for about 5 miles out of the 17 miles that covered this section, none of the permanent way had been laid down except a few lengths of uh stacking material. There resident engineer Mr Carlton, he was employed by the Queensland railways, he was collecting sleepers and bridge timbers at the time but was finding great difficulty was experienced in getting the latter class of timber, which had to be carted, about carted from 12 to 20 miles away from the line.

So a lot of timber was needed to build these lines, you think for um sleepers of course, fencing posts, for bridge timbers and things like that. A lot of the state forests that we see still in existence in Queensland, you can in a way thank the Queensland railways for them because that's timber reserves, a lot of cases were resolved for the use of the Queensland railways, for their construction work. Large amounts of timbers that were still locked up in state forest and they need to access all the estate forests for the timber to build the line, so as you can imagine carting it in from about 12 to 20 miles away, you know, well for the timber for the sleepers and things like that, it was pretty, it was an enormous exercise to get all those resources to build the railway line.

The irony of course with the construction the railway line, ultimately a lot of the timber would be cut out, you know, when transported by the railway line itself, and that'd open up the land and eventually for dairying and things like that as well. So it was a fairly slow line as they noted at that stage when they were having the construction work in about 1912, and again, small number of men that were employed. 

Um a lot like construction gangs at that period, you know, fettlers and that, as we call the navvies, you might have about 150, maybe 200 at a pinch, working on sections with the lines. The other interesting thing is this stage, I know we've got that image probably of the hard drinking, you know, navvies as they call them back then, the track layers and things like that. In the United States of course you've got the things, you know, they're all basically drinking themselves insensible and saloons and shooting each other and things like that and uh doing dreadful things to themselves. That was the Americans thank you, that's their hell on wheels.

In this period it was distinctly done and it was done by the Queensland railways. The camps are run by the YMCA, and as you know the YMCA is teetotal, and it was out, and as I said, um basically it didn't held or hold with um alcohol and things like that, they ran the camps, they actually had employed the cooks and everything like that so the camps were very well ordered, they have their own cooks in their kitchens and involved, but there was no grog there.

So a lot of the rail, so if they wanted to get drinking of that they had to go elsewhere or sometimes of course they tried to make their own um their own home brand uh their home varieties and that, but generally they run a fairly long of, what they called um, abstentious lines, I think it was anyway. So the image of uh, you know the, the, image of you know the hard drinking um uh track layer from the American west again, that wasn't quite the case at this period but they're somewhat more civilised than. Uh next one please Helen.

Great. So the official opening, well this was the report that was in December 22nd, and uh with all of these openings, I mean they were grand events, there was actually um the uh, at the time I think it was Paget, I think it was Paget, was the minister for railways around that time, and Paget was a reasonably and remarkable fella. I think I've got the comment later on, but Paget was very proud of the fact, he said he had opened more railway lines in Queensland than any other previous minister for railways,and by all accounts he had this enormous collection of trinkets and everything associated with railway construction and railway building. Apparently had um uh he had little silver spades and ceremonial shovels, he had uh testimonials, apparently had little model engines and carriages and things like that, and this enormous collection of trinkets and uh uh baubles and things like that. Um he used to go out to a lot of these things, but um there was a wonderful comment that was made about him, and I've always remembered this, and I don't know if I quote it later on, but Paget was described as basically, prior to him as minister for railways, I said,  the opening of a railway to a town was like a great saturnalia. Um at work sometimes they asked me, you know what's a what was a saturnalia? and I said for those of you familiar basically with uh schoolies week, think of that for the opening of a railway. That's the sort of thing, I mean there was a very large boisterous celebration that went on, and are described the saturnalias.

With the advent of Paget it was something different, and one newspaper of the day said basically that he took on turning a joyous occasion and turning it into something like a for a Sunday School picnic or something like that, or worse, and he'd get up there and say well I'm opening this railway but really the railway perhaps shouldn't have been opened, and they said he was always a great thing of putting a great dampener onto a joyous occasion for the town. But it was always an enormous thing for the railway, special excursion trains would come out, in this case um, there was the governor came out, um there was also premiers of Queensland and uh the um, a lot of the time the railway hierarchy. So special excursion trains are coming up for um the opening of the line, you know, the ribbon and everything like that, and so they'd come out to the opening, and it was always a pretty grand occasion for them, for them as well.

Um there's also the question of actually to drive um open the line, one of the favourite things of course is putting a ribbon across in front of the locomotive, and they'd actually drive the locomotive through the tape, you know, to uh to have the occasion. There's many occasions and you know quite a notable local and that'll be actually up on the engine, given a very quick uh lesson in how to drive a locomotive, which is you know pull a regulator open and things like that, um I thought fairly sure the driver there on the day is made sure he had his hand ready to go on the brake handle and everything like that, and um that's, that's how they did it.

So the governor actually in this case he said, when he was going to get up on, they actually asked Mr Paget to drive the engine through the tape. I always liked the fact, you know, the governor went, actually, look is it safe to let him do so, basically, anyhow. And then they actually drove the locomotive through the ribbon and there was always hearty cheers and a lot of champagne toasts and that afterwards. So next one please Helen.

Um now I mentioned uh the the governor of the day being Sir William MacGregor. I'm terribly sorry, this isn't actually uh Woodford or anything like that, but that's actually Sir William MacGregor when he went to um uh, when he actually went out to visit uh uh Emerald Railway Station, if memory serves me correct anyway.

And uh that was the turnout. The governor of the day turned out, and then, quite often he'd be driven around the town, in this case in the horse and carriage that you see there, and he'd be taken for a canter around the town, the governor having with the great arrival to show, you know, how well the town was, and how spruce it was, and they're always big things, you know school kids greeting them.  

William MacGregor actually is quite interesting, um apparently he loved the Queensland railways, and when he finished up his govern in about 1915, he actually is very proud of the fact, he said he travelled a lot of Queensland by train, he loved the Queensland railways, he loved travelling by train.  

Um I actually returned it in kind and they named um that we had three big gun steam engines of the day, special service out from Brisbane up here to Toowoomba, down to the border at Warwick and down to Wallangarra, on the um mail trains as we call them. Three big engines were built in that period 1914, 1915 and two of them were named, it was a rare occurrence in Queensland to name a locomotive, so one was named Sir William MacGregor, the other was named Lady MacGregor after his wife, number 693 and 694, I know those numbers well.

Where I sit here in the loft, a hundred years ago, 105 years ago, those locomotives would have come through here hauling the mail trains to down to the border and down to Wallangarra and back to Brisbane as well, and probably some of the guards who used to uh put their stuff here in the loft, would have walked out and gone for their trips behind the William MacGregor and Lady MacGregor, so um. So yeah, so William MacGregor he certainly loved the rail, Queensland railways and did a lot of travelling, it was always, it's actually really, he had a real affection for us as well too which is great to see. Okay next one please there Helen.

I do mention about Vice-Regals and things like that before William MacGregors, uh this is actually, I thought I'd slip this in, this was taken just over a hundred years ago, July of 1920, uh the locomotives, William MacGregor, and that was on the royal train, and Vice-Regal Carriage was one of those carriages that the Prince of Wales travelled in back in July of 1920, when he came out here, he opened a railway line down to Amiens down uh out from Cottonvale Stanthorpe way. He travelled um uh he travelled up to Cooroy in those areas in Gympie, royal train came through Toowoomba and that here, and that's the engine I mentioned before, Sir William MacGregor, and that was it done up for a royal train. They used to do the engines up beautifully for the opening of uh lines as well too but not quite to that extent I'm sorry to say for what Kilcoy anyway, so yeah. Okay Helen, on to the next one.

That's great. Well this is the opening, now that's to give you more an idea of what an opening train did look like, as you can see there, and uh but the stations that were built there were lovely, they have this lovely federation pagoda design but they actually call them pagodas because the pitch in the roof, they had um ventilators in the roof, you know, to draw the warm area and cool it as well, natural ventilation, um and you can actually see that well, you know, the locomotive there, how 

much had been done up for the special occasion.  

They were carried, you know, the British and Australian flags and that, lots of flower garlands and that over it, and uh I always loved the fact that they had the flags, you know, up there from the cab of the locomotive through to what we call the steam dome and the sand domes and things like that on the locomotive as well.

Um I always have a bit of a chuckling back because in this day of occupational workplace health and safety, I saw like their eyeballs tend to open a lot and their eyebrows go up and they see photographs like that and I said oh well, I said it was a different era, they did exercise a bit more common sense, and I said they did lavish a lot of attention, you know, on the official trains and that to make them look for the best occasions as well too, because there's a statement of pride and it's a celebration for the local community as well. Okay Helen.  

So the openings. The openings were always so well reported in the press. Just about every word that was said at the opening ceremony was duly reported verbatim, there was always in brackets, applause, here here, hearty cheers, you know, aye ayes and things like that to get the audience reaction.  

And the speeches they gave were generally tend to be about, you know, the railway being constructed, the original settlers in the area, what the railway would mean to people and everything like that, and uh basically about, you know, why they're always constructed, and as you can see there it was basically that the best steps were being both taken to basically get people onto the land to allow people who are on the land to get their produce to market and everything like that.  

And basically it was also that it was to tap the infinite natural resources of the state, it was a scene back then. And it was entirely that lines were developmental, they were basically there to provide a permanent way to provide a way for people to get their produce to market to ensure that they weren't left isolated or anything like that, and more importantly it also allowed people reliability to bring things to their lives and to take things away as well. So yeah, so the official openings uh especially when the governor was there, uh having the governor there was basically, it was uh it was, yeah it was a headline occasion for the community, and so it was also an opportunity to show off, you know, the you know, the progress of the district, the possibilities of the district, and mostly by having the railway there now, you know, the benefits that we come to, um you know, basically they've come to it.

And also of course it also meant votes for the local representatives as well in the parliament of course as you'd appreciate. So yeah. Next one please Helen. There you go so yeah. There you go.

Well so what was it like, well as I said, unfortunately the line closed back in '64. That was long before I was born so please don't blame me for the closure of the railway line or anything like that. Um that was that was long before I appeared on this earth.

But um, if you travelled on the line back then, well what would've it been like? So let's go back 110 years ago now. So what would have happened, you would've travelled down the line uh, or what was called a mixed train, and a mixed train was um very common in the Queensland railways from the 1860s up until the 1990s, and the mixed train was that that carried everything. It carried passengers, generally and a guardsman with accommodation, maybe an extra carriage or something like that for people travelling on it, but it carried everything. 

It carried pigs, it would have carried potatoes, it would have carried um, carried everything basically, sheep, cattle car, horses, anything local produce went by a mixed train. So Queensland actually, we ran lots of these mixed trains throughout Queensland.

Uh in other parts of the state you might see three trains a week on the timetable, a mixed train, because they just take all the produce and people as well too.  

So your journey, you left Brisbane about 7.05am in the morning. you got out to Caboolture about two hours and five minutes later, 9.10, and then you got into Woodford at 10.45 in the morning, and to get back to Brisbane you would have caught the 1.30 train that arrived back at um, at Brisbane at 5.23pm. So it was a, it was a bit of a day of travel and everything like that, of course the people, it didn't matter about how long it took, the fact was they could actually buy a ticket, get on a train, and then travel down to Brisbane and they'd generally get down to back in the day which is important especially if you're doing any business or anything like that.  

So, I found this wonderful quote, this was actually from a, a fella from the Railway Historical Society who documented it, and actually in 1943 he was in the Australian Army and he actually travelled down from Caboolture in 1943 out to um Kilcoy, so he was on leave at that stage. I always loved what he wrote about that line back in 1943, the journey, he said look, it seems incredible that such a prehistoric place, with its Rip Van Winkle locals is only 30 miles from Brisbane. And that's basically talking about Caboolture. He said the little engine 535 seemed to get a little impatient and tore into it. The trip involved stopping for um a passenger near a pineapple plantation. One of the more memorable moments was the four passengers who had tickets for D'Aguilar who were warned of the proximity of their stop by the guard looking in from the window on the outside.  

So literally the guard got out from the guards - and walked along the um footboard on the side of the carriage, walked along, stuck his head in and just let the passengers know, you know, that basically that they're getting close to D'Aguilar station, and the passengers in this see the guard looking at them, that's a common Queensland practice, they used to walk along the footboards and things like that, the guard and that, looking in the carriages, checking tickets as they went.

One old-time guard told me, Greg, I can assure you, you would not have worried about dying and dropping off the train travelling at high speed in those days I can assure you of that anyway.  

So yeah. Anyway, so next one please Helen.

So, there are older residents however, remember not only the mixed train, or the steam trains as they call them, in many Queensland country communities there was always a big difference between the steam train and the railmotor. And uh for many years these two, the steam train, there was the mixed train, took many, yeah it took a good number of hours to do the run.  

If you travel from Bundaberg to Mount Perry when that line was open, you went on the steam train, the steam train took eight hours to do the 64 miles, basically, from Bundaberg out to Mount Perry. If you went on the railmotor, it was a much quicker, quicker journey. The railmotor that you can see  there, there are many of these, the red fences they call them, running around Queensland on all the branch lines and things like that, they provided a daily service, um they used to carry mail, carry passengers, school kids, everything like that. 

They rented, um they ran much faster, the rate of um speeds and timetables, than the mixed trains, solely because of the fact it was for passengers only, they didn't have to worry about shunting 

at various locations and things like that.  

But these were the famous railmotors or the 'tin hares' or the 'red Freds' and that. And the first of these were actually introduced in 1927, those self-propelled rail cars, and they actually, they provided fairly fast but a very bumpy ride on the branch lines. Um in earlier years they didn't, actually didn't have pull up windows or that, they were just canvas blinds dropped down, and as I said, spoken to people who travelled on those in times past up here and some of the engine drivers, and they said there's nothing more, basically, reminding you of, so as one put it at one time, there was nothing more that reminded you exactly of what purgatory could be like than travelling across the Downs in a very cold June or July morning in one of these rail motors with the wind whipping along and the canvas blinds blowing and everyone rugged up basically, and he said when they bought him some windows, it was almost seen as some wonderful comfort and things like that.  

But these railmotors were everywhere in Queensland, Dayboro had its own railmotor, um as I said, places like Cooyar, Crow's Nest, um so many places have the railmotor that was actually based at the end of the line, in this case in Kilcoy. They also had their own driver. And so in the early days the railmotor used to go down from, ran from Caboolture to Kilcoy, it used to take 2 hours and 20 minutes and then the service used to connect it at Caboolture with other trains on the north coastline, could be a mail train, other passenger trains and things like that. So it acted as a feeder.  

The other wonderful thing about these railmotors and the drivers and that, and the thing I always loved about them, was basically the fact that they provided such a local service to the community.  

Uh here in Toowoomba when the Cooyar motors used to go out, as they said, and come back from locations and that, the driver would actually come in from, he'd actually have shopping lists for people, and they come off, people give them money, stopped along the way, they'd give the driver a shopping list of stuff they wanted in town, be it Toowoomba, even Brisbane and places like that. They go out because they'd have so many hours off you know, wherever it was, in this case Central or wherever, so they actually they go off and the wonderful thing was, basically, they go off and do the shopping for people and then they bring it back, they'd stop off on the way and bring the shopping back, and guess what, all the money that they gave, the change was always given, that was always correct and everything like that.

So the railmotor driver, he used to live in town as well, he was actually the, you know, he sort of had a bit of an exalted position in that. The other thing was the railmotor drivers, they held themselves apart from the ordinary steam train drivers as well too, those like they consider themselves a little bit of an elite and things like that as well.  

So, yeah so it was pretty much a local community service and uh as I said it spent, I think it speaks volumes the fact, you give your money, give the shopping list, and everything be correct when you got back here at the end of the day and everything like that. Okay next one please Helen.

Well in the 1950s if you decide to travel on the railmotor you used to leave at 7.40 in the morning, and you'll be down in Brisbane in three hours later. Um it does seem like a bit of a time, but I guess, you know, sometimes when you think about traffic problems down in Brisbane, that area these days, three hours sometimes mightn't seem too obscene or something like that, but it was actually a three hour journey down. That's a bit similar to the railmotor used come in from Dayboro down to Central as well.

And they, there was a bit of, a little bit of an indignity however, because in certain occasions uh they also substitute the steam train, so I put two or three carriages on in the steam locomotive. And they substitute that at times when the railmotor might have broken down, or was out of service, or also sometimes some passenger numbers would increase. Um school holidays, you know, those sorts.  

That would also mean that they have to put on a steam train uh with carriages and things like that to replace the railmotor. And actually, uh when the line closed to Kilcoy in June 1964 it was actually a railmotor in 1948 that actually worked the last railroad passenger service as well.  

Now that line it continues, um you know, with the rail, with the railmotor and the other services and that provided there, there are special trains to be run out there, you know, for um for livestock and cattle and things like that. The mixed trains and goods trains used to run out on the line, and it continued that service for about 50 years, and for about half a century.  

The trouble with a lot of these lines that were built from that period from about say 1910 through especially to 1930, they're very susceptible to the arrival of the internal combustion engine, especially as uh cars were introduced, as farmers got their own trucks and that.  

After the first World War, there were more vehicles available, but especially after the second World War because a lot of farmers and that, they couldn't trust the Queensland railway employees because quite often things had disappeared on the way down on the train or when they got down to the markets in Roma Street. The railway archives and other archives are full of lots of stories about that of things disappearing on the trains, you know, and, you know, disappearing as well, so for a lot of farmers and things like that, but you know a couple of hours to get your stuff to market and that.  

Especially after second World War, for relatively cheaply, you can pick up a secondhand blitz wagon, you pick up a secondhand vehicle, or you know ex-army vehicle or something like that, it was a lot easier for you to run on your own roads and do your transport rather, than waiting for timetable trains and things like that. So the second World War especially, it was the rise of the private motor car, the ability of people to have their own transport and that really ate into the um, and ate into the railway service, into the economies of the railway as well.

Now the thing that actually really brought about the end of the line was actually the raising of the, was when they built um um, was supposedly when they raised Somerset Dam. And um it was the rising of the waters, it actually was the thing that eventually led to the decision to close close the line. And as the water backed up from the Stanley River and that from the Somerset Dam, it was actually around bridge no. 21.  

And there's quite a few photographs, I might have, uh I'm fairly sure I've got some here, as we go, but actually shows in around 1964, it does show the waters coming up, progressively, and you can actually see when the train operated out to Kilcoy in those areas. Bridge no. 21, the Stanley River, you could see the water coming up. And that was actually the decision that actually was, that was used to justify the closure of the line when it was going to happen.

So the cost of the branch line above the rising waters, the relocation and basically deviation building new bridges, it was deemed under economic, and so that was linked to the decision to close the line beyond Wamuran in June of 1964. So next one please Helen. There you go.

Well as I said, we're talking about Kilcoy and the railway lines, well this is what Kilcoy Station looked like in around the early 1960s. The large thing that you can see there is the water tower, or the locomotive water tank. Um old currency that've been 30,000 gallons of water in there. Steam locomotive, they're waiting to take a drink of water. Um stationed there as well too, you've got the rolling stock there, and uh that was actually the Kilcoy's station in the early 1960s so. Not exactly a great hive of activity. Would have been a hive of activity when the train came in and of course when the train left of course, but it was very much like so many other country lines in Queensland that had their own railway, had their own station, the station master, the porters and everyone that went with them. And further down the line the smaller stations, be they um, you know, between Woodford and Kilcoy. Those smaller stations always had a station mistress in charge, and uh quite often she might be married to a ganger or something like that, on that section as well, so there's a fair amount of employment, and station mistresses looked after a lot of the smaller stations as well. 

So again, small stations, you would've had someone there to look after it, and uh, to take all the uh, you know, basically, to do all the loadings, and things like that, sell to uh tickets to the passengers and uh, basically to provide that service. The next one please Helen.

This is a bit more modern. Uh those who might remember the um, those who like your cars, I'm sure you would like to take that car for your own collection as well. To your right is one of the famous silver bullets at the Queensland railways, the 2000 class railmotors. Uh they were introduced initially in the mid 1950s to stainless steel ones and more came into service in 1960s, and a lot of those actually replaced a lot of the old rattlers and red freds over times on various um uh, runs here on the Queensland railways.

So they were the diesel, that's uh one of them there. The original ones I think were Rolls-Royce engine powered, and they were what they call the silver bullets. We've still got a few of those running around today, Savannahlander in North Queensland, Mary Valley operates some 2000 class motors as well, and they were very good things. 

Um used to get up to about 100 kilometers now, quite happily get up to 60 miles an hour as well, so um they were um, are actually very popular on the country runs, and places like Kilcoy that benefited a lot from being close to Brisbane, because they got the benefit of what was then a  fairly modern railmotor service as you can see. Uh next one please Helen.

And again, Kilcoy Station. Uh steam locomotive there doing some shunning as well, and as you can see, yeah, see that fellow they're walking along with the satchel and dressed in his motorcycle leathers, the fellow who took the photograph was a gentleman by name of Eric Marggraf, and sadly Eric passed away. He was close to 90 earlier this year. He literally travelled thousands of miles in Southern Queensland in the 1960s photographing a lot of these railways and, you know, before they disappeared, the rolling stock, the locomotors, the buildings, the landscape, the lines.

And it was enthusiasts like Eric Marcraft and the Railway Historical Society, if I hadn't been out documenting this, we wouldn't have this now. Um the railways themselves were a bit loath you know to document this because you know that's in there's a modernisation phase and that, a lot of the enthusiasts did thankfully, and you've got these wonderful photographs that show, you know, this wonderful slice of country life in the 1960s and you know mid-20th century Queensland, with the railway being part of the landscape.

Um Terry Marggraf's brother actually, um they told me dressed in his leathers, they used to ride around on their motorcycles and they'd dress like that, they're basically doing photographing of steam trains and things like that. Sometimes riding their motorcycles and occasionally driving the locomotives as they told me.  

It was a different era back then, and generally talking to the railway employee who, as you can see at the typical railway employee, there with the vest and the wool trousers with the hat on, and it could have been a guard shunter or someone like that, obviously going out to um after a train got into the terminus welcome to the station there to do a shunting and everything like that. Next one please Helen.

Kilcoy, there's the station down the end of the street. The Kilcoy Station with that lovely pagoda design, um steam train, that as I said, the train that just arrived there. Um Kilcoy was interesting because it was built to a heavier standard than a normal, than the other branch lines in Queensland, so they could actually take, what we in the railway called uh mainline locomotives, and mainline locomotives for exactly that, they could operate um on lines, some say Brisbane to Toowoomba. So they could take heavier engines, bigger engines. So they could take bigger engines in the railways and steam days that could take things like a B18 and a quarter or something like that, a BB-8 and a quarter, they were big engines about 90 to 100 tons and that. Had heavier axle loads, so they could actually take engines off the main line to do these runs as well.

So um there are a number of lines that could do that but Kilcoywas um, you know, regularly saw these locomotives, and that's just down the end of the street there as you can see where the railway yards were.  Okay the next one please. There you go so.

One of the things that Kilcoy had quite a few others, that there. Someone asked me about it one time, is it a bridge that wasn't quite completed? I said not at all, no, it's a timber stage. That was used basically for transferring uh a lot of timber logs onto um onto wagons to be taken down to Brisbane or transferring a timber and that, and that was what you call the timber stage that was there. It's quite a remarkable structure but if you look at it closely you can see it's very close to being like a trestle railway bridge that was built as well, similar designs and you can actually see just off to the side there with the chains in that which they used to be able to pick up and uh with the log or timber, and move it across. It would 've been like a little um electric powered motor or something like that above that as well, basically, to so they could ship from um the back of the truck or something like that onto a rail wagon there beside the timber stage. Okay and, anymore there Helen? How's it go? [Helen: that's it]

Ah that's it we almost got to the end of the line there so yeah. So yeah so that was the story of the Kilcoy branch, it was funny it was the rising the waters in a lot of ways that saw the end of it. Um there are many lines in Queensland like that. It kept the line open as far as Wamuran for two reasons. There was the um quarry, that was back at Moodlu, it was also pineapples. It was the pineapples actually from that area that um kept the line open in Wamuran, I think it closed back in about '91 to '93 if memory serves me correct, and of course you know it's a walking track, you know it's a walking trail in this day and age.  

But it was pineapples that kept that line open. And a lot of these lines said as they developed you know they helped develop the dairy industry in Queensland and um there was a famous old saying in the railways there was pigs, potatoes, cream, cows, uh what was it calves, um bananas, pineapples, and that's what kept a lot of these uh railway lines going, you know, in the in the um you know after they were built 1920s through the 1960s and things like that.  

The traces are still there today and it's remarkable you know I think uh things like rail trails and things like that coming. One classico interesting case is the railway line that ran out to um um from uh up to Dayboro, TerrorsCreek. It opened back in 1920 back in September, and the line closed beyond Ferny Grove in 1955, it was an early casualty, because of the growth of motorised transport out competing the railways and basically making railway uneconomic, and when people talk about oh they should have kept the railway you know you saw like an agreement, but as I said you've got to put your mind, we're talking about half a century ago, 60 years ago, and people saw the railways as being a dead thing, basically, you don't want freeways, cars and that were the way to go.

But the other thing too is about the number of people that travelled on the trains and quite often, as I say a number of people cycle along from where Wamuran in those areas now on the bike trails and things like that. Probably on the weekend you get more people travelling then that might have been travelled an entire month, coming down from Kilcoy and those areas, you know, on the railmotors and things like that. But uh what's remarkable I think is the fact that, you know, you see the survivors of the railway around places and name boards and you know mango trees and locations, and that's always a good railway land post as I say to say, where the stations were and everything like that.

Anyway so that's it, so Helen I did say we'd do about an hour today and I think we're fairly close, so hopefully the timetable keeping has been going good and everything like that. It's been quite exciting actually you know here in this part of the 21st century talking about something that was built you know just over 100 years ago that closed you know 50, 60 years ago now, well 60 years ago now, uh talking about that. 

And yeah I think it's been quite a pleasure today actually to be able to share it with you. [Helen: lovely, thank you so much Greg, that was that was really fascinating and I'm, yeah so glad you could join us today and thank you to the audience for tuning in, both in person and online.]

I'll work on the theory now just to find a cup of tea for myself up here anyway. [Helen: exactly, exactly you definitely have.] Okay thank you. [Helen: all right, thanks everybody]

Lawnton cemetery tour

Welcome to Lawnton cemetery. I would like to  respectfully acknowledge the Turrbal People and  the traditional country in which this event is taking place and the elders both past and present. I also recognise those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future elders and leaders.

My name is Helen and this is Kelly and we're from Moreton Bay Region library's local history team and we're here today to talk to you about Lawnton cemetery.

Today we invite you to tour the burial grounds of the people and the pioneers that helped shape this area. The first grave site we're going to visit today is the Leis family. Now Carl Leis and Caroline, they came from Germany, in 1861. They had to travel over here by ship which took them 98 days. Can you imagine being on a ship for that long? Not only would you be leaving your family and friends behind, you wouldn't know what you were coming into, you would just heard of this place called Australia. It would have been so scary, and to make matters worse poor Caroline was pregnant with her first child. Carl was 24 and Caroline was 26. I can't even imagine how hard it would have been on the ship for them.

Now they arrived here with over 370 other German passengers. They went to German station which was at Nundah.  They could spend months there or even up to a year, and while Caroline had the baby, Carl went looking for land and he chose this beautiful area against the Pine River here. About a year later they moved in here and onto the land and Carl continued to buy property and by the late 1880s he had over 60 acres here. He was very instrumental in getting the first cemetery here and he sold a portion of the land for this cemetery that you see here today.

He was also considered a jack of all trades; he was a farmer and he owned a ferry, and he used to ferry people across the North Pine River. And that was school children as well. There was a school on either side of the river, a provisional school, and sometimes when it flooded the kids couldn't get across there and so Carl would come along with his ferry and transport them over there. And if not the children the teachers as well.  

Caroline was a midwife, now she would have been very liked in the area because she would help people deliver babies and they called on her, so they were quite an outstanding family, they put a lot into the community and helped when they could. Together they had nine children which, can you imagine having nine children? No hot water, no washing machines, had to do things, you know heat by fire. I'm sure the older kids would have looked after, helped look after the young kids as well.  

Carl was a foundation member of the opening of the first provisional school, and as I mentioned he used to take them across the river. And he was also one of the trustees of this cemetery.  

Caroline Leis, Carl's first wife, died at the age of 43 in 1880. Carl went on to marry and he married Grace Leis and she was to bear him another 10 children. So that's 19 children. She would have had to look after the nine children that Carl had previously, and then she had 10 children. So it was big families back then. After raising her family, with all the hardships, just 20 years later Grace was heating up to wash her clothes, and all the clothes of all the kids, and her dress caught fire. They rushed to North Pine to call an ambulance and Grace was taken to hospital in at the Brisbane hospital.  

It's interesting though because in a report the next day, Brisbane Courier which was the paper at the time, put a little piece about this woman from North Pine getting burnt and flames going up her dress. And they said that they expected her to make a full recovery, and she would survive. Unfortunately she died later that afternoon.  

So here she is buried here in the cemetery that they both loved, on the land that they owned.  

The next time you see an old or historic cemetery, look for fencing surrounding the cemetery plots. Is it stone? Is it made of wood? Or does it have iron around it? Now this brings us to Stephen Lawn.  

Lawnton is actually named after Stephen. He was an early pioneer here, and he came from England. He was 26 years old when he travelled here. Now there are two reasons for fencing. They were to define the cemetery boundaries or they were to surround the family plots. You might wonder why they needed fences, now that was to keep the animals out. 

There was a lot of wild animals here at the time, and also livestock. A lot of cows and things like that because there were dairy farms all around this area. And so they used to put little fences which I think looks quite nice, the little fences had little gates in them and when you are looking for them you could think of Stephen Lawn because he was a blacksmith here. There weren't too many blacksmiths here at that time, and he quite possibly could have made quite a few of these. Now Stephen first directed his smithy, as he was called, on the other side of the river. And he would help the families with any um things like making pots so that they could wash their clothes, any old iron work that you can think of. So he would have been quite popular. So he was a farmer as well, so he also worked the land as well as being a blacksmith for the community. He eventually moved his business to this side of the river and if you know the area at all, where Lawton Tavern is, that would have been about where his house was.

He married Hannah McCrone in 1873, and she's actually buried here with him as well. At the beginning of 1877, when the government was putting in a bridge to go over the North Pine River, Stephen was actually contracted to make all the nuts and bolts, and all the guard rails out of steel. And so that would have been a really big job at the time, and then when the railcame through he also was contracted to make the bolts for the railway line. Stephen gave up part of his land for the railways so that we can have the train line through here, which came through in 1888, and that is why they decided to name Lawnton after him.

So expect to see some sad things in the cemetery, but there's some things, some graves that hit a bit more close to home than others and then for example this tiny, two tiny graves. You'd think these belong to two little twins, they look like children's graves, they're very small, and sadly there's no names on them. But actually there's three people buried here, and they're buried nine years apart. So the first person buried here was Donald Watson. Now he's only young, probably three or four, we're not sure exactly because due to privacy issues his death certificate isn't available. But then his brother Frederick grew up, got married. Frederick's wife, they were quite young at the time, unfortunately died in childbirth. Now her name was Emma, and Emma and her stillborn child are buried here next to little Donald. So it's a cross-generational grave, it's very sad.

Um now if you see graves like this, that don't have names you can actually discover who is buried here, on the gates over there. The North Pines Historical Society has gone to a lot of trouble to identify most of the graves here. But you can also have a look on the cemetery database, which is available from the council website, and you can look up by plot and once you have a name you can investigate further, look on Trove, look on our catalogue and see if you can find out more about some families. 

So now I'll show you the O'Loan family plot, here at Lawnton cemetery. So here we have the burial place of Hugh O'Loan and his wife Janet O'Loan. Now Hugh O'Loan was a constable in Northern Ireland, and he and his wife Mary at the time, had eight children. They came to Australia and unfortunately Mary died in childbirth. As there weren't any dentists or doctors around he became a jack of all trade. He extracted teeth, he fixed set limbs, and all sorts of things. And we like to think after Mary passed and he met his next wife Janet, that they met through her father, who unfortunately accidentally drank some carbolic acid instead of whiskey and wasn't feeling the best. So Janet had been previously married to Donald McNevin, and together they had three children. Hugh and Janet had another four children together, so between the two of them they had 15 kids.

He built a house at North Pine next to where the police station was. That house is still here today and it's named Lorne Ville and Janet stayed there until her death in 1940. Hugh was well known in the community and became a chairman of the Redcliffe Shire Council at one stage.

So the last grave I want to show you today is this lovely one here that belongs to William Piggott. Richard William Piggott, better known as Billy Piggott in the area, and his wife Ellen ran the bakery at Strathpine and later a store. Both businesses were carried on by later generations until finally the bakery was taken over by Tip Top in 1961. Billy Piggott delivered bread to the surrounding areas, so South Pine, Albany Creek.  

He also loaded bread on the train to go to further regions. Billy Piggott was well known and well loved in the area. He's known as a neighbour to everyone. He'd deliver his bread and he'd stand on the step, maybe have a coffee, a cup of tea and some bickies and cake. And he nearly, according to one oral history we have in the collection, he um nearly had a mishap that way, he felt this top step gave way he was standing there having a chat and a cuppa and he nearly fell through. The mother of the um, of the girl telling the story was quite embarrassed because she'd been at her husband to fix that step for quite some time. So Billy Piggott is well known as one of the district's greatest treasures, and the Piggott Reserve at Brendale is named after the family.  

Cemeteries are important part of Australia's past. The monuments give us an insight into the people's lives, the very pioneers that actually lived here. Up at the local history room up at Strathpine we've actually got diaries, and you can read what they did day by day. It's so fascinating, you're welcome to come up and have a look anytime.

I'd like to thank you for coming along, I hope you've enjoyed this virtual tour. You can find the information on our website, it's just the Moreton Bay libraries catalogue. The History and Heritage section. We have lots of photos, we have lots of manuscripts, so pop in and say hi, go online have a look. If you've got a query about any of the cemeteries or about any history in this Moreton Bay Region give us a call or email us, we can be contacted through the libraries.

And thank you very much for coming I hope you've enjoyed it. Thank you.

Moreton Bay @ War

Good afternoon. I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Kabi Kabi and Undambi people, and the traditional country in which this event is taking place and the elders both past and present.  

I also recognize those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future elders and leaders.

Hello everyone and welcome to our special remembrance day event at Moreton Bay, Moreton Bay @ War with Peter Dunn, OAM. Peter is the webmaster of the very popular and comprehensive Australia @ War site and an expert of military activities in Australia during World War II. And I'm very lucky to have him here with us today online to talk about World War II in Moreton Bay. Thank you so much for joining us Peter, I'll hand over.

Thank you very much, thanks Helen I'll start the share. So you should be able to see my powerpoint and i'll now run it and you can see your full screen hopefully. Okay so title today uh is Moreton Bay @ War um military locations in the Moreton Bay Region during World War II and I'll talk about that photo a little bit later that's a photo that was found in the by a friend of mine.

A little bit of background on myself, I'm a retired electrical engineer. I used to work for Powerlink Queensland, retired back in September 2012. I've got a very large website called Australia @ War with well over 6,000 web pages uh about Australia during the during World War II. Typically I get about 500 to 800 visitors a day to the website. I haven't checked today but a remembrance day it would be up a fair bit. Anzac Day I usually get close to 4,000 visitors.  

You'll see listed below there some of the topics that I cover on the website, I'm not going to read through those but I'll let you have a read while I have a quick sip of water.

Okay I've also got a USB which I sell online which has got a copy of my website, plus a self-help research file that I've put together I think it's about 23 pages of links to various online resources that you can access by sitting at home at your desk, that's where I do all my research at home, I don't go to libraries and whatever, sorry Helen and also on that USB is a copy of the seven e-books that I've published. I've also got a number of other research products that help support the running costs of my my website. So there's the seven e-books, the latest one was this one over here, There Never was a ‘Brisbane Line’. The most popular one is this one here The Battle of the Coral Sea. You can get them independent, buy them independently or on the USB. There's some of the other things that I've got available on the website as well. This is the talk I'm gonna do again shortly.

Okay let's get into it, looks like everyone can hear me um okay and see everything. So start with Camp Strathpine, so over here on the left I've got a um a fairly detailed map uh I'm not sure how clearly you can see it on your screen but there are, you'll also see that there are three airfields, one two and three, this is spitfire avenue here.  

Um and I'll talk about the units that were based here on the next couple of slides but you can see here third infantry regiment area, the second infantry regiment area, first infantry, medical battalion, uh division headquarters area, and engineer battalion and then up here there's an artillery live firing artillery area, and there's a few buildings there that you can see.  

So in July 1943 15,000 men of the American US army first cavalry division um arrived in the Pine Rivers Shire and overwhelmed the shire which at that time only had a population of 4,800 persons, people. Those men completed their uh amphibious training you know beach landings etc at Toorbul, Toorbul Point, at the Combined Training Center, which I'll talk about a little bit later.  

They were involved in live artillery firing range using that the one they had at Clear Mountain, in the area, and people who live now in that area many years later often find unexploded ordnance (UXO) in their backyard or on their property.

There were also two live practice hand grenade ranges, uh one east of Four Mile Creek and another north of Wind Road and two live firing mortar ranges at Cashmere, one near One Mile Creek just south of Ira Buckby Road West, and the other on both sides of Wind Road. I hope you don't live in that area. The first cavalry division only stayed there for about five months, and they left Camp Strathpine, headed for New Guinea in December 1943.

There's a photo with General MacArthur on the right here in the leather jacket visiting Camp Strathpine and looks like he arrived in the General's two-star car, staff car and he's got his four-star flag flying from that uh staff car.

This is pretty typical for American camps around Australia when they were evacuated by the Americans, the Australian army would take over. Sometimes the British Navy towards the end of the war, occasionally the RAAF, but mostly the Australian Army. So here's a photo of Camp Strathpine after the yanks had moved out and here's all the unit signs for all the different Australian army units that were in camp at that particular point in time. I know my dad um camped there for a while he was in the 42nd battalion so the other two battalions of the 29th infantry brigade would have been there as well I assume.  

Um and I have information on 200, at least 283 units, Australian army units, uh that um camped at Camp Strathpine over the fullness of time during World War II. 

Um right oh so that's Camp Strathpine the, I did mention the Combined Training School, uh I'll now talk about that in detail. Initially it started as an Australian Army um sort of training camp uh training school for beach landings, later became an American one and then swapped back to the Australian Army again.

So the site for the Australian Army's Combined Training Center, or CTC, near Sandstone Point at Toorbul, was selected on the 16th in June. It was initially known as the first Australian Army Combined Training School and it was set up to train the 7th division troops in Amphibious Warfare. That's Australian Army 7th division. The Royal Australian Navy had a naval wing that operated there and so they operated all the landing craft etc and that was known as RAN Station 5, Combined Operations Training Center Naval Wing, was part of that training school. The RAAF also provided two squadrons, No. 5 squadron and No. 32 squadron, to provide training to add realism to the beach landing exercises, that took part uh in on Bribie Island.

This is a national archives plan of the Australian Army camp at Toorbul. I believe the bridge to Bribie probably goes from this little jot of land here over to Bribie Island. This camp actually goes a fair bit further down the east coast here so there are more buildings and tented areas etc down to the bottom right of the of the screen here. So this was when it was an Australian, Royal Australian engineers camp. Quite a busy place as you can see.  

The initial Commanding Officer and Chief Instructor there was Major Alfred Lionel Rose, not the boxer, uh there's a picture of him there um his Adjutant was Captain John Smith, he was also the Quartermaster and initially they had five instructors Captain Miller and MacKenzie, Lieutenants Kendall, Crombie, Jefferson. 

Um possibly the first two guys were replaced uh later, a little bit later by Captain Austin and Captain Watson. The training initially there for the 7th Australian division involved the second 25th, second 31st, and second 33rd Australian infantry battalions and they commenced that training there on the 8th of August 1942, so this was reasonably early in the war.

They made the beach landings as realistic as they possibly could, they had smoke screens floating across the beach. They had real machine gun fire real explosions in safe locations, obviously, but but reasonably close to the men as they were landing, and there were aircraft uh doing dive bombing attacks um RAAF aircraft.  

Approximately 25,000 Australian troops actually got trained there at Toorbul Point from August 1942 to March 1943, so as you can see by those numbers quite a very busy place and they even became busier as time went on. The Americans started to arrive at Toorbul Point in early 1943 and the Australian presence uh started to become minimal, um was reasonably minimal by mid-1943.  

When the yanks did, they moved in and but later on when they moved out um the barges and men of the Australian Army Water Transport units moved into this training school at Toorbul Point.

So I've got access to information that lets me work out where Australian Army units are at a certain location during the war. So I've got three pages here of units that were based at that location at Toorbul Point during World War II.

I'm not going to read all these so some of these would have been units that were being trained there, in beach landings some of them would have been there supporting the camp and training the men who were doing the beach landings.  

So that's the first page, I can see there's a tank battalion there as well so they had tanks involved.

That's the second page of units.

And that's the third page of um Australian Army units that were located at Toorbul Point in that early period up to um early to mid um 1943, just before the yanks arrived.  

Okay so the yanks on the 8th of February 1943 uh the 7th amphibious force of the US Navy under Rear Admiral Barbey, located three officers and 60 enlisted men at Toorbul Point in readiness um for taking over the site and they also had with them ten 36 foot landing craft personnel. 

In May 43 the Australian Army Training School was turned over to the Commander of the 7th amphibious force um Admiral, Rear Admiral Barbey. The site then became known as the 7th amphibious Training Center under Captain Cornelius Flynn.

Flynn lived in Coungeau House, I'm not sure if i'm pronouncing that correctly, um at 36 Banya Street Bongaree on Bribie Island, it's about 500 metres southeast of the Bribie Island library where I gave a similar talk to this a year or two ago.

Coungeau House was later occupied by Lieutenant Colonel 'Gus' Gehrmann when the Australian Army Water Transport group moved in. So when the yank officer moved out, the senior Australian Army officer moved in. So there's an early photo of the house and it looks like it may have been raised at some stage and that house is still there and it's used by um I've forgotten forgotten um yeah I can't remember, by a comfort fund type organization.  

Um okay the U.S Navy Amphibious Training Center um at the first February 44 the size of that training school there had increased significantly to 28 officers and 495 enlisted men and they had the following ships that you can see listed there um LCPs, LCVs, LCMs etc etc. Um LCM is landing craft mechanized as you can see in the photo, LCV is landing craft vehicle. The P means personnel, I think the L means large and the R means ramp.

Okay these are the U.S Army units, or the major ones at least, that trained at Toorbul Point after the Australians moved out. So there were three main divisions the 24th division in October 1943, the 32nd division in August 1943, and the 41st infantry division in January 1944 with all those sub-units in those divisions. 

That's a photo of a Higgins Boat which is another name for an LCVP uh about to land on the beach at Woorim in about October 1943.

So I did some research on some of the war diaries of uh some of the American units, so I found um the war diary for USS landing ship tank 459, so that's a fairly large landing ship so it can take tanks. Um so on a typical day uh this is the 16th of May 1943, they left uh Redcliffe Point headed for Bribie Island at 06 30 hours in the morning, they arrived up there and completed their first beach exercise at 10:46 just after quarter to 11 in the morning, they completed their second beach landing at just before midday, they then anchored off Bribie, probably to have lunch I guess, and then they completed their third beach landing at 2:20PM and their fourth one at three minutes past three in the afternoon. They then returned to Redcliffe Point at um 15 30 hours and completed a further nine beachings the following day, and three night beachings on the 31st of May, so they were pretty busy lads and they would have, would not have been the only landing ship tank, there would have been quite a lot of them there, plus other sorts of landing vehicles, landing ships should I say as well.

There's a plaque stone type thing to do with the Amphibious Training Center located at Oxley Place on Sandstone Point, I haven't seen that myself but someone sent me that lovely photo of it and looks like that was unveiled in September 1995. So the nay, the US Navy Training Center closed by the 5th of February 1944 when the 41st division completed their training and the site was then handed over to the Australian Army Water Transport group which I intimated earlier. It became known as the Water Transport Training Center in April 1944 and later changed its name to the Land Headquarters School of Water Transport in June 1945.  

Okay so that's Toorbul Point um I'm going to talk now about the guns that were located around Moreton Bay, the coastal guns. So I'll start at the top, hopefully you can see my pointer, so the red star at the top is Bribie Battery where there were two large six-inch guns, the other two six-inch guns were at Cowan battery on the west side of Moreton Island at Cowan Cowan.

The other guns were one American 155mm guns, there's a battery that not many people know about called Emu Battery it was a mobile battery, uh just near Welsby's Lagoon, on Bribie Island, there were two 155mm guns. 

Skirmish Battery which is that one that was on my first slide, um which is not a mobile battery, but um completely um concreted in if you like, in a large bunker type system. There were two 155mm guns another bunkered concrete battery was uh two 155mm batteries at Rous Battery on the east south east coast of Moreton Island, and Bandicoot Battery was a mobile site with two 155mm guns up the top left I think that's Comboyuro Point from memory. 

I guess the other gun of significance was a 4.7in Mark II gun here at Lytton Battery.  

There were other smaller guns I think as well. So they're the guns I'll talk a little bit more about some of those on the coming slides.  

So Fort Cowan was built in the late 90s so this on the west coast of Moreton Island. The two six-inch guns covered the narrow entrances to Moreton Bay and the examination anchorage, so ships had to come in, anchor be examined by another vessel to make sure they were they were friends and not foe and then they'd be led on their way, they would have to fly a signal in the uh initially before they anchor at the anchor, examination anchorage. So the gun there was called an examination gun site.  

Pre-war, the guns were manned by the 8th heavy, heavy battery uh assisted by militiamen of the 122nd Heavy Battery Royal Australian Artillery. In October 1940 the coast artillery was reorganized and regular army and militia merged to form what was known as Cowan Battery at Cowan on Moreton Island. From December 1941 Cowan Battery was defended by infantry of the 13th Garrison Battalion, the 7th Garrison Battalion and the 2nd/2nd Headquarters Guard Battalion.

So these are like VDC units, Cowan Battery, so these are the men who protected the gun with rifles and machine, light machine guns etc or medium machine guns in some cases. Cowan Battery ceased keeping watches, as the war progressed, by August 1944 and by January '45 the guns were placed on care and maintenance basis.

So there's a um early photo of Cowan Battery being constructed. This is before they are totally enclosed by a large concrete structure. So there it is inside the concrete structure, one of the guns, it's on the 13th of November 1943 at Cowan Battery. You can see it's quite a crew there's 2, 5, 7, 9, 10 I can see in the photo. There's a heavily camouflaged one of the two guns at Cowan Battery with camouflage netting and trees and whatever. That's a camouflaged command tower. It's a concrete structure but I believe it's sitting on timber poles raised up in the air to get better view, a better view. That's, I believe that's a Cowan Battery I'm not 100% sure but I believe it is, and I believe it's the battery plotting room.

I've got those photos from David Nielsen. That's not concrete, by the looks of it, that's um sheeted, sheeted building.  

There's a searchlight tower which is raised, it's concrete and it looks like it's sitting on timber poles, so that's a searchlight tower if you look very closely you can sort of just see the searchlight sitting in there. I don't know what that tower is and I believe that's at Cowan Cowan and that's the lighthouse according to David Jones um taken on the 26th of September 1976.

That was also taken by David and I find it hard to believe that the gun's still there in September 1976 but there's something there that looks like a gun, poking out of one of the gun stations. Um someone else sent me some photos taken in 2005, of some of the structures as they slowly fell under the sea.  

There was an incident at Cowan Battery on the 4th of March, the HMAS Tambar and auxiliary minesweeper didn't display the right signal codes to be recognized as the, as a friendly ship, and the battery uh attempted to fire a practice round which was filled with plaster of paris across the bow, they fired the round but unfortunately it didn't go across the bow it actually struck the ship, below the gun station, and Able Seaman Archibald Batch was hit and killed instantly,  a Steward, Mr Harrison, was severely injured, the shell also severed both legs of Warrant Officer Theeman, and Stoker Forwood had severe cuts to his face, so severe in fact that by the time they got into Pinkenba on the way to hospital he actually died on the way to, before he got to Pinkenba.

So quite a tragic mix-up and tragic accident associated with Cowan Battery.

Behind the battery there were four ammunition magazines. This is one of the magazines, it's a photo taken by Richard Walding whose website I can highly recommend, he goes into a lot more detail on some of these stations, particularly the Royal Australian Navy stations. He does cover the guns as well but has some really good information on there. 

So that's a former ammunition magazine about 50 meters behind gun number two and that's now a holiday shack and there are three others that I don't have photos of that that are also now, or they were, um may still be holiday shacks.  

Um on Cowan there was a Australian Army surface radar uh located on the higher ground.  

Um if you look here I've turned the plane around so this writing here is upside down but I've written rewritten it here so the radar which is there, is about five, four thousand five hundred feet from the lighthouse at Cowan Cowan on a bearing of 252 degrees. It was um manned by the 9th Australian Radar Detachment, initially, and then later the 14th Australian Radar Detachment.  

So they had a mess, orderly room, sleeping quarters, and a powerhouse type arrangement here, and showers and a toilet to the left there. Now the, unfortunately uh Sergeant Patrick Lawrence Lennox who was in charge of the unit when he was there, I don't know which unit he was with, one of those two there, um went for a swim in the water there in front of their radar site and uh unfortunately he drowned on the 30th of September 1944.

Okay Bribie Battery. It's probably the most well known of the batteries I guess, uh two six inch guns were installed on temporary mounts in late 1939, so this is before the war in the pacific, at what, at what was called at that point in time Fort Bribie. New mounts were built and became operational in early 1942 and the site became known as Bribie Battery, although a lot of people, and so do I sometimes call it Fort, Fort Bribie. On in, from December 1941 the guns were defended uh so these are the ground personnel with rifles and machine guns defending the guns by the Brisbane, sorry, the Bribie covering force which became part of 14 Garrison Battalion in March 1942. Later on the 13 Garrison Battalions and 7th Garrison Battalion and 2nd/2nd Headquarters Guard Battalion provided close defenses for the two guns at Bribie Battery.

In mid '43 two platoons from 'E' company of six volunteer defense corps battalion from Caloundra started to do some training at Bribie Battery and in January '44 they became known as Coast Artillery Brisbane volunteer defence corps.

By August '44 Bribie Battery maintained watches on only one of the two guns and one of the searchlights, which was used as the examination battery, which remember I talked about that earlier on, and with VDC the Dad's Army type people remaining on part-time duty on the gun and the searchlight.  

Headquarters Brisbane Coast Artillery uh moved to Fort Bribie by August '44 but then moved back to Brisbane in January '45. You'll find army units moved around quite a lot. In August '45 Bribie Battery closed down and the guns were dismantled. That's the battery observation post at Bribie Battery that appears to be on steel, sitting on steel frame.

That's some of the shots taken quite a while ago of um one of the batteries at Bribie Island taken by Daniel Holtgren. A friend of mine was flying back from Caloundra, uh July last year, and without me asking, knew that I was interested and took these photos out of his light aircraft of the two gun emplacements that are about to go missing into the ocean unfortunately, um because our government or council aren't doing the right thing. It's probably the government I'd say.

Um here's a plan that I found on the national archives website uh showing the layout of Bribie Battery. You can see, where are we, there's the two guns, there's number one gun just there, there's number two, two gun, and you can see light machine gun, medium machine gun, searchlight batteries, medium machine gun etc, and there's stockades, there's a stockade there, a stockade there, a stockade there, and there's a mortar position here as well so searchlights etc. So that's the layout for Bribie Battery which is fast disappearing.  

Skirmish Battery has totally disappeared um as you can see it was quite a large concrete structure.  

Um and as I said these photos were provided by a friend of mine who found them in the rubbish tip.  

Uh so this battery and had two 155mm guns, that was located at the southern end of Woorim, covering the entrance to Brisbane. It was established in September '42 and initially used as a training location for the newly formed Letter Batteries which were each equipped with two mobile 155mm guns. So why they were called Letter Batteries, so there was 'A' Battery, 'B' Battery, 'C' Battery, 'D' Battery, 'E' Battery etc, so that's why they were called the Letter Batteries.

So D Heavy Battery uh was formed on site at Skirmish and they developed and maintained the site until May 1943. Another photo 'E', 'F' and 'L' Letter Batteries were formed at Skirmish Battery and after some training they headed up to Townsville in north Queensland.  

'P' Heavy Battery arrived in February '43 and trained nearby and took over the gun stations uh in May 1943. From July '43 to November, 'P' Heavy Battery also looked after Rous Battery on Moreton Island.  

During 1944, Skirmish Battery duties reduced until it was dismantled in September 1944.

So here's a bit of a layout that I've drawn up using an aerial from Google Earth.  

So the um that's, where are we, there's number one gun position in between Fourth Avenue and Third Avenue. Number two gun position just slightly north of Fourth Avenue. A Battery Command Post, Coast Artillery search light down the bottom here, another one up there, um a Battery Post, I've forgotten its name, water tank and up further here to the north at Woorim, on the beach, which we'll talk about shortly, was a totally separate Royal Australian Navy station RAN 4, which I'll explain in a little bit of time. 

So again, um I've got some um pages here I think it's three pages of Australian Army units that were based on Bribie Island during World War II, not all necessarily at that those, that gun, those two gun stations, some of them would have been at the gun stations, but they were also at other locations. So that's the first page of units.

There's the second page of Australian Army units.

So field hygiene section.

And there's the last page, some transport companies, so there must have been some sort of a transport depot somewhere on Bribie there is, on, yeah Bribie Island as well during the war, which is interesting.  

Um okay Rous Battery, so this is that one on that map that I showed you at the southeast side of Moreton Island that was established in March 1943. There were two 155mm guns, which were operated by 'O' Heavy Battery as a coast, a coastal training location.  

When 'O' Heavy Battery moved out in July '43, a skeleton crew from 'P' Heavy Battery manned the guns until 'S' Heavy Battery arrived in November '43. Uh 'S' Heavy Battery handed over the guns to a caretaker party from Cowan Battery in January 1944, and the part-time soldiers of 'A' Company 6 Volunteer Defence Corps Battalion uh in April 1944 joined up with Coast Artillery Brisbane VDC and train, trains should I say, to man the guns on a call out basis, so they weren't man 24 hours a day, they were on, a on a call out basis. They didn't have pages in those days. Um they trained at Rous Battery until September '44 when the site was eventually closed down. So there's uh one of the guns the 155mm mobile gun being positioned onto the um the pad where they uh sort of bolted it onto the center here and then it could rotate around its arc of fire. Um when it was in service, and you see the tractor there pushing into place.

For those who've been to the forts at Townsville on uh just off magnet, on Magnetic Island just off Townsville, same, same sort of setup as what you see here, uh circular plinth with these sort of guns, two 155mm guns.

There's some old um photos, sorry, photos of old, the gun stations sent to me by Mark Watts. Some more photos from Mark.

Okay there was also an incident with Rous Battery, ships going through the south passage, uh you know between Moreton and north Stradbroke. Uh were required to give a coded signal, after a  challenge from Rous Battery, one day the motor vessel Tangalooma did not respond with the  appropriate uh response from the challenge and it passed within 200 metres of Rous Battery's protective infantry. The guys with the small, small arms weapons and machine guns, and because they thought it might not have been a friend but a foe they opened fire on uh MB Tangalooma.

Fortunately Dr Ure, uh Noel Ure who was um part of the Rous Battery recognized the boat and the troops were ordered to cease fire and luckily nobody, nobody was injured in that particular incident, unlike the other one with HMAS Tambar. 

So Bandicoot Battery was that mobile battery that I talked about at the northeast, northwest sorry, tip of Moreton Island at Comboyuro Point. It was established as a training location on the 17th of April 1943, and the guns were operated uh initially by 'M' Heavy Battery. They arrived there on the 19th of April 1943. It didn't stay in service very long, obviously just a short-term training location, and it was closed down in July 1943 when 'M' Heavy Battery moved to New Guinea.

So not as many Australian Army units um were located on Moreton Island during World War II, probably not quite as accessible but for whatever reason, strategic reasons, there weren't quite as many.

Um I guess I should have put this on two pages, but there's certainly not three pages, there's two columns of Australian Army units that were based on Moreton Island during World War II, and if anyone wants to contact me any, later on about any of those units that I've shown I can provide you with a lot more information on those units as well if you're interested. 

So the other not that well known battery was Emu Battery, again a mobile battery, similar to Bandicoot. It was also a training location just just north of Welsby Lagoon, for the locals on Bribie Island. Sort of not quite halfway between Bribie Battery and uh Skirmish Battery. It had two mobile 155mm guns uh operated by 'N' Heavy Battery and it closed down also in July 1943 when 'N' Heavy Battery moved to New Guinea, so both of those temporary sites were obviously training locations.

So now I'm going to talk about um Royal Australian Navy sites that were located around Moreton Bay during World War II, so this is a little bit more complicated, hopefully you'll see uh where I am because I've got yellow circles. So we'll start up the top here um this was the port war signaling station at Caloundra, it actually initially was located down here at Cowan Cowan on on Moreton Island but relocated very early in the piece to Caloundra, so it was RAN station 1.  

RAN station 2 was a controlled Mining and Guard Loop Station initially here at Bribie Island but then moved to Tangalooma on Moreton Island, on the west coast of Moreton Island.

So they had mines that they could operate and and loops in the ocean bed to detect submerged vessels. RAN station 3 was just a bit north of that RAN 2 and that was a controlled Mining and Guard Loop Station at Cowan Cowan, which I'll talk about a bit more shortly.  

RAN station 4, which will probably be very familiar with the people on Bribie Island, um was the Indicator Loop and harder, Harbour Defence Asdic, so they had listening devices so these circular things and there was one from the station as well. Um and a big bunker on the beach and two smaller generator-type bunkers behind it. Um so that's at Woorim.

RAN station 5 we talked about was the Amphibious Training School or Combined Training Center um that was the naval wing which was known as RAN station 5 at Sandstone Point. 

RAN station 6 was more or less I, as I understand it um located in front of the Bribie Island library. So that was the Advanced Fairmile Base or AFMB at Bongaree, during World War II, and I'll show you one of the female ships a bit later RAN station 7 at um Comboyuro Point on Moreton Island was the other end of the loops, the four loop sections that went across um the ma, the main entrance into Moreton Bay.  

If you look there's a, if you you know have been on holidays up the Sunshine Coast you'll see the ships come in very close and then they pass down this because there's a channel, the main channel and they pass down here then there's three options here, I believe this is the normal one but there are, or maybe it's this one, but there are three channels; Pearl Channel, Main Channel and East Channel, and each of those channels were on we had mines on, on buttons or control mines, on those channels and there were control mines up here.

RAN station 8 was a Boom Defence Facility at Lytton um between Lytton, sorry, and Bulwer Island. I'm not going to talk about that much later, but that was effectively a ship which was called HMAS Kinchela, which was anchored in line, parallel to the shore, sort of in the middle of the river more or less, with a fixed net on one side and a net that could open or close on the other side. So they would challenge vessels coming up the river and if they believe they were friendly vessels they would open the, open the uh the you know the moving net and let them through.  

RAN station 9 uh was in a little park uh nearby um where there was an Indicator Loop Station and an infrared beam that flashed across to um to Fisherman's Island, so that was also more, two methods of detecting uh vessels coming up the river so that they could be challenged.  

Um Indicator Loops which are loops in the bed of the river, which would detect a submerged submarine going across them, due to the magnetic, change in magnetic field, and in simple terms they had a magnetometer connected at the end of the loop that was sat in the bed of the river and if something submerged went over that loop the magnetometer would flicker, and if it was at night time the infrared beam would get broken and they would know there was a vessel coming up the river in darkness.

The other Royal Australian Navy station, sort of more or less in Moreton Bay if you like, was RAN 10 which was sort of home base for the Controlled Mining Establishment, and it was located at Pinkenba, that was their depot.

So a little bit about RAN station 2, it was initially at Bribie, so it was a Controlled Mining and Guard Loop station. They had two mind control huts there, at Bribie near just north of number two gun. Then they relocated to Tangalooma on the 13th of September 1943, where they also had two underground concrete rooms, a controlled mining hut and a generator room. And they had the following facilities there officers quarters and mess, ratings rec room etc etc and water tank. 

RAN station 3 uh was at Cowan Cowan and they that was the second Controlled Mining in Guard Loop Station on Moreton Island, it was located at the southern end of Cowan Battery and was responsible for two controlled minefields, remember I showed you the two channels, Pearl Channel and the Main Channel?  

So they controlled M11 minefield and M5 minefield. 

Overall in the Bay I've only shown you a simplified view of what happened. Richard Walding's website will give you very much more detail.  

Overall there were 16 mine loops in the Bay and six Guard Channels, Guard Loops should I say, between Moreton Island and Bribie Island, and they were laid by the Royal Navy, a ship called HMS Atreus from starting on the 27th of June 1942.

Here's a plan I found on the national archives website of RAN station 3 and Cowan Battery. It must be an early plan, because it actually doesn't show the guns. But I've spun it around a bit and, because you can see Moreton Bay is upside down, and you can see four magazines here, some northern quarters, an engine room, searchlight there, another searchlight here, and that's where the initial signal station was for the Port War Signaling Station which I mentioned relocated early in the piece, to Caloundra. That's um a 1958 aerial view of Cowan and you can make out the magazines here and some of the other buildings etc, there's something happening here, and something here, and there's a shadow of something there. A bit hard to see.

So RAN station 4, so we're now at Woorim on Bribie Island, and many of you would probably know this particular building. These are photos that I took, uh quite a long time ago, and if you look to the right here you can see the loop cables sitting on top of the sand, uh to the right um of the, of the, of this bunker for RAN station 4. So this is the Indicator Loop up, loot, Loop Hut. Those are the two other bunkers. One you can see quite readily in the park behind that larger bunker, and that other bunker, when I took these photos I had to climb through some reasonably rugged bush to take that photo of that generator bunker. And these are those Indicator Loops that I photographed next to that bunker, so they're you know like yay round, if you can see that, and with multi-core cables, so as i said they form a loop and come back into the hut and connect to a, more or less a galvanometer.

Which they use to detect submerged vessels entering Moreton Bay. So right oh, let's move on, so RAN station 5 is now that Naval Wing which was located at the Combined um Training Center um at Toorbul on Bribie Island. Um that they commenced the Naval Wing itself, commenced to operate at um, at Sandstone Point on the 5th of August '42 when two officers and eleven naval ratings arrived, and also they were assisted by some members of the Naval Auxiliary Patrol, which are volunteer type people assisting the navy. Prior to arrival of the of their landing, their regular landing craft, they were provided with 30 folding boats, as you can see down the bottom here, for training purposes that increased that number of boats, later increased to 100 boats. So you can see it folded down the bottom here and then unfolded fully erected if you like. The navy also provided whatever boats they could source and commandeer locally, from the local fishermen etc, and um these folding boats you can see here carried a maximum of 24 fully equipped men and they were told, towed sorry, by the Naval Auxiliary Patrol vessels, as I said many of them were commandeered.  

Uh Tonga, Summit, Marion, Omaha, Lil John, Ru'ell and Neta were some of them. Lil John was owned by Sir John Chandler, who later became mayor of Brisbane. He was also, I think, my dad's commanding officer during the war I believe. Um and here's a photo that I was sent of Lil John about two or three months ago, just after the fellow had bought Lil John, and about two or three days before it sank in, in Breakfast Creek and I believe it's still sitting in Breakfast Creek in the mud. Unfortunately uh all the tents have been unsuccessful in raising that ship. 

Um right oh, so I told you I'd show you a photo of a Fairmile vessel, so there's one there down the bottom. So they operated in front of the Bribie Island library at Bongaree. So that was known as RAN station 6 Advanced Fairmile base. So they were very small but very fast wooden hulled vessels, about 112 foot long with a top speed of 20 knots. RAN station 7 at Comboyuro Point was the Indicator Loop and Harbour Defence Asdic station, so that was that other end of that four loops that went across to, to Woorim, and there's a couple of photos taken by Richard Walding, again highly recommend his website.

People sometimes ask me did the Japanese actually mine off Brisbane and the answer is yes. To most people's shock. On the 13th of March uh Japanese submarine I-6, in 1943, laid nine acoustic German mines within six miles of Point Cartwright Headland at the Sunshine Coast, near Mooloolaba, um slightly south and north east of Caloundra.  

They would have been near the channel, near or in the channel. The mines were by accident by HMAS Swan on the 24th of March, so not too long later, eleven days later, when two mines self-detonated when HMAS Swan and some other ships were doing live firing, with their large guns in in the area and the percussion and noise set off these acoustic mines accidentally. So that, all hell broke loose and a minesweeper, HMAS Gympie, was dispatched to the area and it went on to find one other mine, which it also, which it destroyed to clear the entrance to Port of Brisbane. So that was the main entrance to the Port of Brisbane.  

The other interesting information is that Australia was a very large storage area for chemical weapons during World War II. There were many, uh many thousand, many tons stored at Inala during World War II, um north of Townsville, Charters Towers, west out Chinchilla way, Sydney, and various other locations in Australia. That was all stored just in case the Japanese used chemical weapons, so that was mustard gas, Lewis site etc. When the war ended uh all the stuff at um Inala was all stuck on ships and it was all in two locations off Moreton Bay. Um so there was eight thousand tons of chemical weapons agents and all sorts of other stuff uh dumped uh in those locations and other, and other guns and ammunition dumped into the, like other locations. If anyone wants the GPS coordinates I can send you a spreadsheet, do you know good, they're miles too deep.  

Um okay let's swap to the RAAF for a while. Um this is an actual photo of one of the two radar towers located at Toorbul, so this photo was taken from the top of the other tower at Toorbul. Now a lot of the locals don't even know this was there and that actually some of the bunkers are still there. I'm not going to tell you the exact location because they're fairly well looked after but they are near Pumicestone Road. There's the two bunkers, I'll call them bunkers, igloo shaped bunkers, where the radar equipment was housed. 

And you can see just to the right here, one of the four legs for one of those two large towers and the other large tower was up here behind the, beside that other, other um igloo bunker which is, and you can see its legs in this photo, down here, you can see three of the legs, the other one is probably hidden by a tree, small tree. I took this photo a number of years ago, so these two bunkers are in reasonably good condition and there are two smaller bunkers, um sort of behind as I took the photo behind me, across the other side of a small road in the bush. 

And this is um, so those two bunkers were over here, to the east, this is the road, Pumicestone Road is up the top here, running left to right, and this is the camp for that radar camp and there are two small bunkers left behind, one here, which was a generator bunker and another generator bunker just here, they're sort of much smaller versions of those two larger bunkers that you saw.

Okay RAAF airfields, um they're also used by the Americans as well. So I showed you um this picture, part of this picture earlier on. So there was A1 at Petrie, A2 at Lawton, and A3 at Strathpine. So you can clearly see A2 Lawnton because it was a paved strip during World War II and later became the street called Spitfire Avenue. Can you see A1 Petrie? You don't have to answer, but can you see it, can you see it? There it is. Now that you know where, it is if i take it off you probably know where, you can probably recognize where it was. Um, so that was um A1. So that's a 1949 aerial photo. So it was, A1 was a grass strip.  

Can you see A3 Strathpine? It's down towards the bottom. Once you know where it is you can sort of make out where it is. So that was A3 strip, near South Pine Road, uh to the right of South Pine Road and below Gympie Road. So this is, this is all Strathpine just up here, shopping center.

So the Americans also use um some of these strips, the 80th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group United States Army Air Force used A1 Petrie airfield from the 10th of May '42 to the 20th of July '42 for training before they moved north. Unfortunately they had a number of fatal air crashes, um I'm not going to read the details there, but four gentlemen lost their lives uh in those four different air crashes.  

At the time they were, they had P-400 Airacobras, not the P-39 Airacobra but the P-400 version of the Airacobras. So one of them hit a tree at Petrie airfield, another one collided with another one near Redcliffe and went into the bay, uh another one was too close to the water and hit the water in Moreton Bay - whoops go back - and the last one crashed into the sea in front of RAAF station.  

Um that's my phone ringing, I'll just ignore it. Um in front of Sandgate, I think that might have been the guy who committed suicide. Um the RAAF also used these airfields, um 83 Squadron um formed at A3 Strathpine on the 26th of February 1943. Uh they were initially equipped with six uh P-39 Airacobras, um they stayed at A3 and most of their missions uh however were flown out of A1 Petrie airfield. So they were flying anti-submarine missions because there were Japanese submarines operating off the coast, all the way down the east coast of Australia in fact.

The 83 Squadron received their boomerang aircraft in June '43, and they were, their P-39 Airacobras were withdrawn in September 1943. Um they moved to uh the Northern Territory in late December 1943. early January '44. 12 Squadron RAAF arrived at Strathpine in July '44 with Vultee Vengeance dive bomber aircraft, uh they've got a sort of gull shaped wing, where they prepared to convert to a Heavy Bomber Squadron to Liberators. They eventually moved to Cecil Plains Airfield in December '44, where they were re-equipped with their B-24 Liberators.

The Royal Air Force, so the British Air Force, also operated from these three airfields, so they were well used during World War II. So 548 Squadron RAAF was formed, actually established at Lawton Airfield on the 15th of December '43. Initially they trained in Wirraways and Tiger Moths, they relocated to Petrie on the 19th of January '44, and their Spitfires arrived at Petrie in April 1944. Two of their pilots unfortunately had a collision in that area and there's a ceremony held every year in their memory, roughly near where one of them crash-landed, and they collided not far from Petrie Airfield.

So that Squadron relocated to Amberley Airfield on the 25th of May 1944. So as a photo of the whole Squadron at A1 Petrie Airfield. I don't have a date for that but nice big tree, very big tree.

Another Squadron, 549 Squadron RAAF, also formed at Lawnton Airfield on the 15th of December, they moved to Petrie on the 1st of January and their new Spitfires arrived in the same month, April '44, and they also relocated to Amberley on the 24th of May 1944.

Righto let's go back to some spy activity in the, in the area. So a unit called Secret Intelligence Australia had their training headquarters at Caboolture, at a place known then as Newman House. So there's the house, very large salubrious sort of property. That house is gone now and that is now Fernhill Residential Aged Care, for those who know the area. But that was a bit of spies during World War II. SIA was actually Section 'B' of MacArthur's Allied Intelligence Bureau, and its commanding officer was Captain, he was a Royal Navy Captain, Roy Kendall. He actually, even though he was part of MacArthur's network, he actually reported directly to MI6, to the head of MI6 in London, and he had direct access to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  

So we had MI6 guys, there were other MI6 guys as well by the way, they had a spy in MacArthur's headquarters and there were, there were other units as well. Um MacArthur sort of knew about this SIA because it was one of his units but he also knew that it had a connection to MI6. He was reasonably happy for it to operate as long as their spying missions to enemy territory happened outside of MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area which, which, in which they did. So SIA headquarters itself were actually located in New Farm in an old house called Craigroyston, at Bowen Terrace. Kendall lived nearby in a house called Amity on the Brisbane River, and in front of Amity it was this little, what he, what his son told me they called a Cabana. 

Now that's not Amity, Amity's off, off the screen to the right here and this is in front of Amity, but they had two spy boats that would leave from there to pick up the spies and take them up to uh Borneo and the, and the other islands up that way where they where they operated. And Amity was also, and his house obviously, was also located just slightly upstream of the US Submarine Base at New Farm and they would use the U.S Submarines quite a lot to deploy their spies into enemy territory. 

So their Training Center and their radio wireless transmitters and receivers were located at Caboolture in Moreton Bay Shire. And they had large rhombic antennas in the paddocks behind the house.

Their commanding officer was Major Gustavus Sears, a British army officer, and as I said they led intelligence operations behind enemy lines.  

Okay nearly finished and it is running a little bit late. You may have heard of the SS Rufus King. It was um a ship that ran aground, tried to um enter Brisbane Port by coming south of Moreton Island and north of Stradbroke Island in the south passage. Which he really wasn't supposed to do. And he ran aground on the 7th of July 1942 and as you can see in this photo the ship broke in half.  

It had a hospital on it that was coming to Australia and a lot of supplies, including nine fully created B-25 Mitchell Bombers.  

And there's a photo of one of the bombers being recovered from the Rufus King. That half, I think it's that half, of the Rufus King were, remained afloat and they sealed it off and turned it into a floating workshop which they towed up to New Guinea.  

It became known as the Half Rufus, um because it was only half the ship.  

Okay a couple more slides. Um Boom Defence-South Passage Bar. I was originally told by some experts that there never was a Submarine Boom Defence between Moreton and uh the northern tip of north Stradbroke, however, I did some research, being undaunted, and I found in an Admiralty War Diary dated the 10th of June '42, a fixed obstruction is also to be placed in the Southern Channel between Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island.  

And then I found in Trove a newspaper article indicating uh dated 20th of May '53 that the ship Miner, um a mine layer, was laying a midget submarine net across South Passage.

And then I found a Naval Survey sketch dated September '43, showing that a Boom Defence was under construction between the two islands. So there's the Miner, and there's the um that um Naval Survey, um a little bit hard to make out what's what, but that's the outline of the southern tip of um Moreton Island, and that's the outline of the northern tip of Stradbroke, and there's the Boom Defence going across, then a tip goes to there, so it starts at a jetty at Sandy Point, and ends at a jetty that probably both don't exist anymore, at Stradbroke Island.

And over here you can see the wreck of the Rufus King. And if I blow that up a little bit closer you can see, you know the jetty, the two jetties that I talked about, and the Boom Defence under construction. They didn't finish it. They drove 290 piles, they may have used some floats and concrete anchors, similar to these floats that were used in Darwin. The piles were driven to form Dolphins, the Dolphin is like three or four piles coming up to a point, which they would suspend the nets between.  

But the project was called off on the 30th of June 1944.

That's the end of my talk. Thank god for that because I'm losing my voice. So I'll hand back to Helen.

Redcliffe Cemetery virtual tour

Welcome to the Redcliffe Cemetery. I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Kabi Kabi and Undambi people and the traditional country on which this event is taking place, and the elders both past and present. I also recognise those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future elders and leaders.

Cemeteries are an important part of our past. The monuments of our ancestors are here in this cemetery. Cemetery tells you a lot about how Redcliffe came to be and today you're going to hear a few stories of just some of the pioneers that helped shape Redcliffe the way it was.

Okay, the need for a cemetery at Redcliffe was established in the middle of the 1860s and the petition was done by the people of Redcliffe and it was sent to the home secretary office in town.

This area here of the whole cemetery that you can see was gazetted in 1874. Now these tall pencil pines you can see behind me here, they were actually planted in 1894. The gates there was a gate up there you can see up there there was a gate and there were also posts they were painted at the same time the gate was put there to stop animals from coming in.

Undertakers at the time would have been locals. The cemetery register actually shows Thomas Copson and Mr McGregor. Now Thomas was a trustee of the cemetery and Mr McGregor was a local builder who lived around here and he would have been very good and helpful to Thomas because he could actually build the coffins for the graves.

When it was a child the father would usually make the child's coffin for him and there is a few in here, a few babies because back then the children did die of diseases and common things like that and also getting a tooth pulled or some infection because there weren't any antibiotics around at that time.

Now the register of burials for the Redcliffe General Cemetery shows the first person buried was a boy and his name was Edward Henry, Edward Henry Pollard. He is buried in an unmarked grave and back then there were a lot of unmarked graves and the first two people actually buried here in unsurveyed ground which would be maybe over there where there's just some grass we don't really know whereabouts they are buried but they are registered in our burial book.

Alexander and Catherine Campbell now this was the first registered burial. It was actually registered because they had laid out the plots where they were going to be and so this was the first one. Now Catherine she died first and Alex Cameron who was a blacksmith, he could have built these it's possible that he built this fence around his wife's grave we don't know for sure but as he was a local and he was blacksmith he could have.

As you can see it's an upright headstone and it's got sandstone footing which was common in those days and there's lots of intricate carving you can see the flowers and it says sacred memory of Catherine the beloved wife of Alexander Cameron. Now she departed this life in 1884. Now Alexander purchased 54 acres on the peninsula and he came from Scotland, they both came from Scotland, now their land would have been over there if you know the peninsula it will be around Duffield Road, and he went on to purchase a further 18 acres.

Catherine, his wife, was actually a sister of John Grant Dean. Now he's another pioneer settler in Redcliffe when Catherine died in 1884. Like they mostly did back then, Alexander married again and he actuallymarried another pioneering family, the Tubbs family, Alice Tubbs and she's buried here as well.

Now the Tubbs family, if you know the area there's Tubbs Streetnamed after them. Here in Redcliffe you've got Cameron and Alexander Street are named after the family and Alex when he retired he was into - he had a really big apiary and he loved his bees and there's all these stories about him in the paper and how he made all this honey and he actually called it Cameron's honey and it was very well known throughout this area.

When Alexander passed away he was buried here with his two wives which is quite unusual in itself, imagine being buried and having your first wife and your second wife with you but it's rather sweet and it's quite big. The fence as you can see has been rusted shut. This is one of the oldest graves in the cemetery.

Okay so I just told you about Alexander Cameron and how he married Alex - Alice Tubbs, just this one here is Robert - Robert Frederick Tubbs. So he would have been related as well to the Tubbs family.

So we're just coming this way to the Copsons. Thomas and Annie Copson are one of the really pioneers of this cemetery. When they arrived here from - Thomas arrived here and Annie, his wife. Annie came from England originally and she came over here to be a ladies maid and she just worked over at Sandgate and then what's interesting to note is that Catherine Cameron who we just heard about her - Annie came and actually looked after Catherine on her death bed, so there's a connection in every - every grave you look at there's always the connection to someone else.

Now Thomas and Annie actually bought land along McDonnell Road which is that road over there and they owned quite a few acres, it was over 251 acres they owned and they were the keepers of this cemetery. So Thomas would have helped lay the land, help erect the fences and things like that and Annie, she was only a little lady, she was married when she was 38 which is quite elderly. The following year they had a son, named Ebenezer, he unfortunately died when he was very young. Annie had to earn some money so she became a grave digger. She would have been in her 40s and can you imagine digging graves here, a 40 year old woman, there's no such thing as bulldozers or any machinery that could have helped her she would have had to do it the hard way just with the shovel, a pick, an axe, whatever she could to dig the graves so it's befitting I think that the two people who looked after this area for so long are actually buried here in the place that they loved and worked.

Okay we're going to move over to one of the sadder ones of this cemetery.

It's actually a Peter Boardman. Boardman Road is named after their family. Now Peter was only 16 when he was accidentally killed and as you can see from the - his headstone this is a broken column and a broken column is for a life cut short. It's the only one of this kind in this cemetery and it's for Peter Williamson Boardman.

Now he loved his horse, he loved riding his horse, he would- they'd have rodeos here and he was well known in the community for riding his horse and he was very almost - not reckless but he would go over jumps and he was very well known, they also called him Snowy. Now in 1934 when he was only 16 years old he was helping to corral horses on his father's property and there was this one wild horse and it was running towards a tree so Peter galloped after it on his horse. Now he didn't get to the other horse in time because he ran into the tree but Peter actually stopped and the horse that he was sitting on threw him.

Okay I'm going to take you over to the Korsch family grave now, on our way you can see this here this was another form of fence that was very popular at the time as well.

Okay so we're going to take you to the Korsch family grave it's just about there's not many that had the tiled seat there but the tiles put on the cemetery plot that was about the 1950s it became quite common to do that rather than just have the concrete or the dirt.

If you're looking at the headstone you can see it's an open book headstone there are spirals on either side and these indicate eternal life, the clasped hands in the centre are framed on either side by a cluster of leaves, often when two hands are clasped together as you can see here, it can be a symbol for a last farewell or for the living it can be a hello to the heavens.

Now Korsch street is named after the Korsch family and here you can see Dorothea, the wife. You've got William who's the husband. You've got Headley William Korsch, he was the son and you've got Dorothea Korsch. Now Dorothea Lillian Korsch, she actually died in 1936. She was -  they were all living at Redcliffe - she was working at the Redcliffe Hotel and she fell sick, ended up with septicaemia and she passed away, that's when they would have bought this plot. You've got Dorothea the wife and she was born in 1888 and she died when she was 85.

Now they were married in 1915 and they came to Redcliffe in the 1920sWilliam went into the butchering business and their son Hedley worked as a sawmiller. He also became a fisherman and had his own trawler. Now when Hedley Korsch was 10 years old he was on his way to school, walking along and he saw a hole in the ground and being a young 10 year old boy of course he put his hand down the hole and he got bitten by a snake. He survived he was very lucky to survive but he was rushed to Dr Roberts’ Surgery which there was lucky there was a surgery at the time and he was treated and conveyed to Nyleam hospital which was up at the Redcliffe Parade along the seafront. Now Hedley went on and he married a Jean Offer in 1943. Together they had three children and the three children; William, Elaine and Merle all married in a triple wedding ceremony in 1964.

And here we are at William Sparkes's grave William Sparkes was one of the first settlers at Deception Bay. He was born in England and married Sarah Bishop about 1870. Now William was a farmer over in Devon but because of the economic depression they like a lot of other people decided to immigrate to Australia. They came to Australia with their two children: Can you imagine hopping on a boat in England in 1874 with two little kids and you're coming to a place, a land of unknown, you wouldn't know what to expect - what was going to be here. Just the journey over here would have been horrifying enough but when you landed there was just nothing here but they were a strong family, they lived out at Deception Bay. The two kids would have had to walk to school and the nearest school was at Humpybong so that's up at Margate where Humpybong school is. Now William was instrumental in getting a school for Deception Bay. He was only 57 when he was tragically killed, although reading his headstone, it sounds like he was - just went peacefully - it actually says on here: “short was the call he had from above not a word to his loved ones could say his eyes were closed in death like a babe in sleep as he peacefully passed away”, now that makes it sound like he went to sleep one night and didn't wake up but he was actually lowering a house at Humpybong and several of the stumps of the house had already been removed - a strong gust of wind came along and blew the house over on top of William and he died.

Why does this cemetery mean something to you?

It's just so important we can learn about the things all about the history of Redcliffe and just imagine coming here and a lot of them came from overseas from England and we go on a trip today and we just think it's you know jump in a plane and off we go whereas back then they had to say goodbye to all their family their friends the life that they had, quite often the women were pregnant when they came over here and they would be put on this block of land that they had bought and they would have had to do everything they wouldn't have known anyone. Imagine all the snakes and the kangaroos, they wouldn't have seen the kangaroos, it just would have been such a hard life for them and to keep their memory alive and how hard they worked and they built up this beautiful place called Redcliffe now so without the pioneers and listening to their stories and what they did with the land - you know there used to be a sugar cane farm, sugar cane, they grow sugar cane down at Clontarf and you've got to think the only way over here was by boat because there was no road to Redcliffe then, Anzac Avenue only came along after the war. There was a very bumpy dirt road but it would take days to get here from Brisbane, so if you got sick in the early days there weren't any doctors here, you had to go on a boat to go over to Sandgate and maybe get the train from Sandgate so they had a hard life and we need to remember the things they did, it's such fascinating stories.

This one here is an Office of the Australian War Graves, now during the commemoration of World War One you could actually write to them and you could say - there would have been nothing here at all at the time - and they would have contacted them they would have come out done the grave for them and done the headstone you can see it's Crittenden and he was in World War II but you can tell them by the sign there so that was one of the really big projects that the Office of the Australian War Graves did. There's quite a number of them here.

Just as we walk past this grave you can see these tiles here now they were salt tiles and they were very popular around the time in 1902.So there's a few graves you can see with some of these not many are left now but there are.

Okay we're looking at Charles Cutts and William Williams and Martha and Susanna's gravestone. As you can see the headstone is marble set in a sandstone footing and you can see quite often the stonemasons who made the headstones you can see their names down the bottom, this one actually says A.L. Petrie, so they normally put them at the front or at the back and Petrie you might have guessed was from the Petrie family, Thomas Petrie is everyone knows him in Pine Rivers and you've got Andrew Petrie he was actually a stonemason, and if you go around the graves next time you're at a cemetery have a look to see if you can see the names because that actually gives you an insight into the more parts of the history of that family. Now Charles was born in England and he migrated to Queensland when he was 23. He married Martha Williams in 1866 and they moved to the peninsula with her parents he was very active in the community and he was instrumental as well as the Copsons of requesting this land as part of the cemetery. He was also instrumental in getting a church for this cemetery. So probably no one knows exactly where - there are some old maps up in the local history room, but the church would have been over there so a lot of the times you can still see in old country towns the little church with the cemetery there's a lovely one up at Caboolture on Caboolture River Road, that's your classic old example with the church and the cemetery but the church is long gone now.

Now Charles tried his hand just about everything they owned a grocery store and a mixed business on Redcliffe Parade. It also had a post office there.

Martha was almost 90 years old when she passed away and she died in 1938, so that's a very good age because most people didn't live very long in those times. She had lived to see about half of the thinly populated farming district to which she had come, develop into a popular resort. Redcliffe became a popular resort it became known as a seaside place to go on the north side of Brisbane. And you've got also William Williams and Susanna as well Susanna died in 1896 and William in 1891.

Thank you for coming along this morning I hope I've given you an insight to some of our pioneering families.

There is as you can see a lot more here and when all these restrictions leave look out for our cemetery tours we hold them here, at Lawnton, and Caboolture. There's also a book called The Redcliffe Cemetery that you can borrow from the library and we also have our local history team. You can call on us for any information that you like. You can actually look up to see who is buried at the Redcliffe cemetery from our library catalogue on the history and heritage section.

I could talk all day about some of these people they're just amazing to me, I can't tell you how much and how passionately I am enthralled in their lives.

So thank you for listening and be sure to give us a call if you need us at the Moreton Bay Libraries.

Research South African ancestors

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Tur-bal people and the traditional country in which this event is taking place and the Elders both past and present I also recognise those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future Elders and leaders.  

Hello everyone and welcome to the first Moreton Bay Region Libraries family history month event. I'm Helen Cossins the local studies leader and it's wonderful to have you all joining us online today to hear Bob McAllister from the Strathpine Family History group talk to us about researching your South African ancestors.  

Just a reminder the libraries and local history rooms are now open again. If you aren't already a library member please see a staff member and join today. It's completely free and will give you access to a lot of online resources including family history magazines, and (for now) Ancestry and Find My Past online. We have more history talks coming up so please check out the library website for further information.  

Many of you will know Bob from the Strathpine family history group. Welcome Bob.  

Okay thank you Helen. So always a fraught moment when you have to move from one section of the talk to the other to find out whether things are actually going to happen so if you bear with me for one moment we'll just start the presentation and I'll keep talking while we fill the dead air.  

Here we go I was almost going to do this before we started and I thought no what happens if I start it and then it stops? So I'm now going to have a shot at uploading and sharing that presentation there and with a little bit of luck we're underway.  

Okay so first let me give the disclaimer that I'm by no means an expert on researching South African origins or ancestry in South Africa. I got this job by default based upon the fact that I've got quite a bit of experience working with the two genealogical societies QFHS and GSQ and dealing with people coming in off the street and saying I want to research in such and such a country something that I know nothing about so I built up some strategies that I hope I can apply to pretty much any country about which I don't know much and that's what I'm going to show you today.  

South African origins of course we tend to think of South Africa as a European country, rather ignoring the fact that it was the place where the earliest humans came, that in fact when the Europeans arrived in South Africa there were societies present there and that those people are still around today but for our focus we're going to be looking at post-European South Africa and we can pretty much sum up in the 20th century the history of South Africa in its flags. The union of South Africa in the bottom left then it became a republic and finally in the late 20th century the rainbow nation but of course that was only the end of a fairly long and torturous trail. The first flag that Europeans flew over South Africa wasn't that of a nation at all. This is the flag of the VOC the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie the United East India Company which we tend to label the Dutch East India Company to distinguish it from the British East India Company, and here we can see some ships of the VOC lying at anchor under Table Mountain, interestingly Cape Colony and Southern Africa wasn't seen as a destination in its own right it was simply the best stopping off place on a voyage between Amsterdam and Batavia.  

So it was a safe harbor a good place to swap crews and merely a station rather than a destination. Now the fact that the Cape was midway between Amsterdam and Batavia also meant that it was midway between Rio de Janeiro and Madras and that was why in the 1790s the British Navy sailed into the Cape Colony and said sorry VOC we're in a war with Napoleon at the moment and this is a highly desirable spot. We'll take it over thank you, which was a curious thing to do because at that stage Holland and England were supposed to be allies in the war against Napoleon but needs must when the Royal Navy comes to town.  

This is a lovely map showing the Cape Colony around the 1790s, the early 1790s when it was still rather than a country, a big business. The VOC had spread out over quite a large area, Cape Town itself Stellenbosch and a number of smaller villages. There were in fact four law courts in the area and the other side, on the left side of the map in the index it also tells us there were two, four, six, about eight churches and interestingly six of them were Dutch Reformed, one Lutheran and one was Moravian, hinting at some of the future that was to come when good Church of England sailors suddenly landed.  

Within a very few years the VOC flag no longer flew over Cape Town the flag on the top right is the governor of the Cape Colony and the first governor was Earl Caledon. Technically I guess he was an Irishman. His father had an Irish title but since before he succeeded to the earldom he was known as Du Pre Viscount Alexander he doesn't sound very Irish to me but he was the quintessential British civil servant. He'd been the Governor of Grenada the Governor of Madras, had reputedly turned down the role of Governor General of India which was probably not a great career move and finished up looking after the Cape Colony at a crucial time in the wars against Napoleon.  

Of course Cape Colony was only a tiny part of what was to become British South Africa and here we see the flags that eventually flew over the Cape on the top left, Natal bottom left, Transvaal top right and the Orange River Province on the bottom right, but of course the control by the British was not uncontested and here we see a number of other flags which flew over South Africa and significantly the top left is Natalia the Boer state which existed. Bottom left was called the South African Republic long before there was a republic of South Africa it was in fact what we would now call Transvaal. Swap the blue and the green on the top right and we've got something called Neue Republic or New Republic also thrived in Transvaal. Bottom right the Orange Free State this most spectacular flag that one and in the middle something which if I didn't know better I would say was an Islamic emblem is in fact the state of Stellar Land.  

So if we take these flags as an indication of dominance and control there were a lot of them, in the space of hundred years states came and went and so it was a highly contested area. This particular flag very famous one was only in official use for a very short time in Transvaal but it is in fact the Voortrekker flag, the flag flown by the Dutch Afrikaans people who said right we've had enough of being British subjects we're going to head up country and effectively split what we now call South Africa into two parts and things were, seemed to be going pretty well until someone discovered that unfortunately the diamonds were in the orange bit and that didn't seem like a good idea for the British and although it was far more complicated than that this led us to this wonderful image it looks like something straight out of boy's own adventure doesn't it? The great Anglo-Boer War.  

We tend to forget that this striking image could be people out camping until you see heading off into the distance the rows and rows of tents. It was at this time that the British Army invented what came to be called in the not too distant future concentration camps. Places where you could concentrate the combatants or the non-combatants of the other side in one place and it was around this time of course that South Africa became of interest to Australians because it was a place where we could go and shoot people.  

This is the South, the South Australian Mounted Infantry shortly before they headed off in 1898-99 interestingly no emu plumes on their hats because they were from South Australia and it was the Queensland Mounted Infantry who brought in the tradition of emu plumes for light horsemen.  

Now we could talk for several hours about those factors but what's all this got to do with family history? We like to imagine that our families are unitary things, all of the factors which shape their decisions are internal but in fact all those political factors, economic factors impinged upon the decisions that our ancestors made to migrate or not to migrate, to leave the family farm and go and work in the gold mine or not to marry, to have children, to having migrated to South Africa to leave.  

All of these issues arise out of those factors and they shaped our ancestors lives. Now most of us are not interested in writing a comprehensive history of Southern Africa under colonial influence but we do need to think about if we're researching births in Transvaal in 1860, who was in control of Transvaal in 1860? Who were the dominant churches? How safe did our families feel? So consequently a key part of understanding our South African ancestors is to look at the factors which shape their lives. Now as I say we don't want to spend the whole talk on that so I'll leave it at that but on the way through the rest of the talk I'll mention a number of places where you can obtain information.  

Now we all know that we're supposed to conduct family history research in an organized way with a plan and a log of everything we do and we all positively subscribe to that view but we also know that the most amazing moments are when you're wandering through a repository you look over someone's shoulder and you see a fabulous record, and say how on earth did you get that? and so I couldn't resist the opportunity of showing you this which I found. It's some sort of an account book from the 1790s, it relates to a ship and in fact it's part of the salaries paid to crew members by the VOC, the United East India Company.  

The site on which I found it very conveniently offers a transcription however as you can probably guess, the transcription the transcription up in the top left is in Dutch. I spent a moment running that through some translation software which I'll mention later to find out that what we have here is the record of one Hendrick Blom of Rotterdam who joined the VOC in November of 1792 his job function was boy and as the transcript explains - explanation of function under 17 years of age did all kinds of jobs. He sailed on the ship and I suspect that that is a transcription error but I haven't yet tracked down whether that IJ probably should be a Y. It then tells us that in March of 1794 Hendrick Blom left the company, the last line there in the Dutch simply says last record - whether he died decided being at sea wasn't for him, I don't know.  

A fascinating thing but how did I get it? Well I grabbed that from the National Archive of the Netherlands which has the archives of the VOC, thousands of crew records. Well what on earth led me there? Well a link here, from the eGGSA, the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa and how did I find that? I got to that from here which is the most amazing collection, categorized, of records relevant to South African Genealogy online and h