Beyond the Valley

LOOK TO THE HEAVENS

“When beggars die there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”  Shakespeare’s Calpurnia, the wife of Julius Caesar, knew something was afoot on the Ides of March.  Events in the heavens are woven through the story of human kind. The Egyptian year was divided into the three seasons. The […]

Beyond the ValleyPeoplePolitics

PRIME MINISTER, WHAT DOES THE NEW YEAR HOLD FOR THOSE

John Hewson The federal government is exaggerating its Covid success, but for many people great uncertainty remains. The federal government has made much of achieving “Covid normal” by Christmas  but what of the New Year? The aim has been high level, to contain the virus within our shores, open the domestic borders and establish the […]

Beyond the ValleyHistoryPeople

MOUNTAIN MAGIC

Gaby Klika In late 1893 a young, emerging Australian artist without formal artistic training set off from an artists’ camp at Sydney’s Little Sirius Cove, to go bush.   After taking the train to Taree he explored the challenging terrain of the Manning region on horseback in search of subjects to paint. After two weeks […]

Beyond the ValleyMedia

NO STARS FOR GOVERNMENT CHANGES TO THE FILM & TELEVISION

Recent government changes to film and television support and regulation are not good news for the Australian feature film industry, and are more bad than good for the television production industry. Right now there is an unexpected burst of production across the country, much of it from Hollywood, driven here by the pandemic. There are […]

Beyond the ValleyHealth

CORONA VIRUSES AND THE DEMISE OF CITIES

In 2007, the United Nations declared that over 50% of the world’s population now lived in cities.  This followed many centuries of rural to urban migration driven mainly by displaced agricultural workers seeking employment in industrial and other urban sectors.  In the past decade or so a reversal of this trend has started in wealthy […]

Beyond the ValleyPolitics

SCOTT MORRISON’S 21ST CENTURY BOOK BURNING

Judith White Prime Minister Morrison’s Coalition Government has committed $270 billion to militarisation, while universities, public broadcasters and the arts face devastation.  The implications for Australian society are grim. In the digital age, it doesn’t take the physical burning of books for anti-intellectualism to flourish. It just takes the systematic undermining of the public institutions […]

Beyond the ValleyPeople

IRENE HAS THE BLUES AND LOVES IT!

Former TwoBob radio presenter, Irene Barret who lived in Tinonee at the time, sends us an update from Cairns. As Buddy Guy’s latest album title says ‘The Blues Is Alive and Well’.  I can tell you that it is so. Unless you’re a blues tragic like myself, you’re probably still thinking along the lines of  […]

Beyond the Valley

OFF THE BEACH

Robert Milliken sees parallels between the 2020 pandemic and another Australian story 60 years earlier. We’ve been here before. The empty city streets, the anxiety and fear, the wondering how and when it will all end. The first time, it was a fantasy that seemed all too real. This time, it’s just real. In late […]

Beyond the ValleyHealth

TWO PANICS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.

“Corona virus caused the economic downturn”. Did it? No. What caused the downturn was the reaction of governments around the globe, or at least those of First World economies and countries. Quite what Laos, Liberia, Chad, and Mali are doing about the virus doesn’t make it into the media, so no-one knows.  They have hardly […]

Beyond the Valley

AUSTRALIA’S MEDIA MAELSTROM

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” so wrote Charles Dickens; the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens might have said the same about the Australian media today, as forces large than itself batter it.  Key among those forces is three viruses: Google, Facebook

Beyond the Valley

THE MAGIC OF CARPETS

Afghanistan is many things to many people but to me two things define it. Islam and the horse. As a young merchant, among my first purchases were a print of the Islamic mystical horse Buraq, and a Turkoman saddle cover. The energetic equestrian sport of Buzkashi is played in sight of mountains that proclaim loudly, […]

Beyond the ValleyLocalPeople

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

These are difficult times. It brings out the best, and the worst, in many of us. It is a time of confusion, scare-mongering, panic buying, false information, but also helping neighbours, keeping family close, showing supportive friendships online, long distance family nurturing.  The only way through this is to use our common sense, do what […]