Communication involves much more than words; it involves the entire body. The stance of the body, body language, gestures, tone, pitch, volume, eye contact and content are all elements of communication. Words are merely the tools one employs to do the work, however they are very powerful tools. I liken them to a power tool such as a power saw or drill. These tools need to be handled with care and are not to be flung around carelessly because we know they are dangerous and can cause much harm if not used with caution. Words too, flung around carelessly, can cause irreparable damage.
Imagine how irritating a power tool would be if it continued on and on long after its job had been done. It’s the same with words; unnecessary repetition, sometimes called nagging, is unproductive.
Five levels of communication have been identified.
Level #1: The Cliche Level. At this level we say something like, “How are you?” This level of communication does not wait for a response, nor does it expect one. If there is a response it’s usually something like, ” Yeah, good.” Even if you are feeling anything but good. Both parties realise that at this level there is no real invitation to communicate.
Level #2: We report facts. At this level we report facts to one another. We talk about the weather, sport, the news, the government, other people, although not always with the facts; this is known as gossip! As long as we don’t get close to exposing ourselves, or how we might feel about anything we can talk for quite a while at this level.
Level #3: We report the facts and mention how we feel about them. At this level we are starting to get warm! We can help facilitate the move from level 2 to level 3 by asking the speaker, “How do you feel about……..?” This question indicates that we are listening and have an interest in the person. Often people are led into understanding themselves better or finding a solution to a problem when they are encouraged to articulate their feelings.
Level #4: We begin to reveal ourselves. We talk about ideas rather than other people. We discuss our likes and dislikes, our plans, our goals and dreams.
Level #5: We are transparent to the other person; our mask is off! We reveal our true selves, we admit our deepest fears and confess our faults. We ask to be accepted and loved for nothing more and nothing less than who we truly are. We connect heart and soul.
It is a sad fact that many people, even those in close relationships, never get past the third level of communication. Communication demands much than words. It requires time, the mouth, eyes, body, mind, soul and heart. But mostly it requires the courage to say, “This is who I am and when I speak with you I will be honest enough to reveal some of my precious self to you.”
There are a lot of places named Emu something in Australia. For example, Emu Bay, Emu Creek, Emu Downs, Emu Flat, Emu Heights, Emu Park, Emu Plains, Emu Point, Emu Swamp, Emu Vale and a town called just plain Emu all have postcodes in Australia. The emu is Australia’s flightless bird, native only to us; it forms part of our Coat of Arms with the kangaroo and is an Australian icon.
We are going to Emu Park on the Capricorn Coast; population around 2500, except in holiday times. Emu Park makes the cut for this blog because it holds happy childhood memories. It is just a over the headland from Zilzie where we spent our summer holidays, and I can tell you, there is no place better than Zilzie! But we will get to that when we get to Z!
Each year our mother would walk with my brother, closest to me in age, and myself over that headland and into Emu Park; it was one of our summer adventures. We would buy hot pies with peas from the bakery and sit in Bell Park to eat them. We would walk along Fisherman’s Beach, over the rocks and swim at Main Beach which was lifesaver patrolled and in the late afternoon set off again over the headland and back to Zilzie.
This was an annual event for us but I am reminded of a man, now long since departed who did that walk, over the headland and back, twice a a day. A Mr Freddie Thwaite who traversed the headland on each low tide to fish his traps at Zilzie.
Emu Park is probably best known now for its Singing Ship, perched on the headland between Fisherman and Main Beaches, whose pipes are designed to sing when played upon by the wind. I was a teenager when the Singing Ship was built. We went to its opening; a family affair! The ship’s designer was the mother of a girl in my high school and actually it was a pretty big deal.
The link below is definitely worth a read to understand the story behind its design, its designer and construction.
#D is for Derwent Bridge and Dove Lake situated in picturesque Tasmania, Australia’s island state. Tasmania cannot really be described as a sunburnt country; it is a heart shaped island sitting between 40 and 43 degrees south latitude, the most southern of the Australian states where the climate is cooler and can be wet and windy. This little island is so beautiful that driving around it is a WOW! experience at the turn of every corner.
The word Derwent frequently features in Tasmanian geography. There is the Derwent River, its source rising in Lake St Clair and flowing southeast through Tasmania’s capital city of Hobart and the Derwent Valley with its rich farmlands and hop fields.
But we are going to Derwent Bridge, a tiny little town in the Tasmanian Central Highlands named for its crossing at the source of the Derwent River and an access point to some of Tasmania’s most stunning wilderness. In the 2016 census Derwent Bridge had a population of 23(Wikipedia). Derwent Bridge sits just 5 kilometres from Lake St Clair which is at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair wilderness and wildlife National Park.
The Overland Track is an 80 kilometre, 6 day bush walk through the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness area, between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park. In pre covid times it was trekked by over nine thousand people each year. And this brings us to Dove Lake.
Dove Lake literally sits in the cradle of Cradle Mountain. It is a glacially carved lake filled with pristine snow fed waters. There is a 6 kilometre walking track around the lake from which the lake, the mountain, the changing vegetation and unique Australian wildlife can be experienced. The Dove Lake walk is a most iconic Australian bushwalk and one can barely say they have been to Tasmania without a trip to Cradle Mountain and a walk around Dove Lake.
Tassie, the apple isle, the holiday isle, the isle of beauty, history, wilderness; what ever you want to call it, Tasmania is one of Australia’s gems. Absolutely worth a visit.
Corryong is situated at the top of the Mighty River Murray, just where the clear snow fed mountain streams from Mt Kosciuszko begin the border between New South Wales and Victoria. Corryong makes the cut for this blog because for a few years which spanned the late 70s and early 80s it was my home. My eldest daughter was born in the Corryong District Hospital.
For a sunny Queenslander the Corryong winter was a real culture shock. Not only was it bracingly cold, but due to the township’s location, right up the end of a valley, it was also very foggy. The winter fogs would not lift until about mid morning and by mid afternoon the evening fogs would be rolling in. Corryong often had the coldest Victorian temperatures in the winter and conversely the hottest in the summer. And as opposed to Queensland where we have summer rains, in Corryong, the rains came during the winter.
We lived in Pioneer Avenue. At that stage, the last house in the street before the Corryong cemetery. We took all our interstate visitors for a walk to the cemetery to see the grave of Jack Riley! Now Jack Riley was head stockman at Tom Groggin Station when the Australian poet A. B. “Banjo” Paterson visited there. Riley was the inspiration for Paterson to pen his Man from Snowy River poem. The poem is a piece of iconic Australian literature which I cannot read with out experiencing goosebumps. Later the poem inspired the blockbuster films of The Man from Snowy River
Corryong hosts The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival in April annually and the next festival is to be held from 7 Apr 2022 to 10 Apr 2022.
Although just a small Aussie township of about 1200 people, Corryong has a big story to tell. Definitely worth a visit.
This is the poem, The Man from Snowy River by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson.
It is in the public domain. Read it and see if you don’t get goosebumps.
There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around That the colt from Old Regret had got away, And had joined the wild bush horses – he was worth a thousand pound, So all the cracks had gathered to the fray. All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far Had mustered at the homestead overnight, For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are, And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.
There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup, The old man with his hair as white as snow; But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up — He would go wherever horse and man could go. And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand, No better horseman ever held the reins; For never horse could throw him while the saddle girths would stand, He learnt to ride while droving on the plains.
And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast; He was something like a racehorse undersized, With a touch of Timor pony — three parts thoroughbred at least — And such as are by mountain horsemen prized. He was hard and tough and wiry — just the sort that won’t say die — There was courage in his quick impatient tread; And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye, And the proud and lofty carriage of his head.
But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay, And the old man said, “That horse will never do For a long and tiring gallop – lad, you’d better stop away, Those hills are far too rough for such as you.” So he waited sad and wistful — only Clancy stood his friend — “I think we ought to let him come,” he said; “I warrant he’ll be with us when he’s wanted at the end, For both his horse and he are mountain bred.”
“He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side, Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough, Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride, The man that holds his own is good enough. And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home, Where the river runs those giant hills between; I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam, But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen.”
So he went; they found the horses by the big mimosa clump, They raced away towards the mountain’s brow, And the old man gave his orders, “Boys, go at them from the jump, No use to try for fancy riding now. And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the right. Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills, For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight, If once they gain the shelter of those hills.”
So Clancy rode to wheel them — he was racing on the wing Where the best and boldest riders take their place, And he raced his stockhorse past them, and he made the ranges ring With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face. Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash, But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view, And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash, And off into the mountain scrub they flew.
Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black Resounded to the thunder of their tread, And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead. And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way, Where Mountain Ash and Kurrajong grew wide; And the old man muttered fiercely, “We may bid the mob good day, No man can hold them down the other side.”
When they reached the mountain’s summit, even Clancy took a pull – It well might make the boldest hold their breath; The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full Of wombat holes, and any slip was death. But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head, And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer, And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed, While the others stood and watched in very fear.
He sent the flint-stones flying, but the pony kept his feet, He cleared the fallen timbers in his stride, And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat — It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride. Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground, Down the hillside at a racing pace he went; And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound, At the bottom of that terrible descent.
He was right among the horses as they climbed the farther hill And the watchers on the mountain standing mute, Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely; he was right among them still, As he raced across the clearing in pursuit. Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met In the ranges – but a final glimpse reveals On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet, With the man from Snowy River at their heels.
And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with foam. He followed like a bloodhound on their track, Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home, And alone and unassisted brought them back. But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot, He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur; But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot, For never yet was mountain horse a cur.
And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise Their torn and rugged battlements on high, Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze At midnight in the cold and frosty sky, And where around the Overflow the reed -beds sweep and sway To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide, The man from Snowy River is a household word today, And the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
Canberra, Australia’s purpose built National Capital was founded and named in 1913. After the federation of Australia on January 1st 1901 the cities of Melbourne, in Victoria and Sydney, in New South Wales both considered themselves suitable to be the national capital. The dispute over which city should be the capital was resolved by the decision to build a brand new city on Commonwealth land somewhere in New South Wales but over 100 miles away from Sydney.
In 1911, the then Australian Prime Minister launched an international competition to find a design for the new city. Out of 137 entries, a newly wed American architect from Chicago and his wife, Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin were the winners. The couple had never been to Australia but based their design on the geographical and climatical information available to them. The man made lake around which Canberra is situated bears their name.
Only in Australia! Out in the sticks, in an area populated by sheep and cattle rises our national capital built on a area of reclaimed Commonwealth land; The Australian Capital Territory.
The new name, Canberra, is said to come from the Aboriginal word Kambera or Canberry, which means “meeting place”. I do not know if this claim is exactly true but if it is, it is very appropriate since Canberra is the meeting place of government.
Aside from our Australian Parliament House, Canberra is home to The Australian War Memorial, the National Science Museum, the Museum of Australian Democracy, The National Library, The Australian Mint, The Australian Army College of Duntroon, The Australian Defence Academy, The Government House at Yarralumla, The Australian Police Memorial and the International Ambassadorial Residences.
I have visited Canberra several times but for hubby it has been home on two occasions; firstly in the military and then as a security guard at many of the locations listed above.
Canberra has no humidity but can experience a very dry heat in the middle of summer; the winters are cold and the city is located only a few hours drive from the Kosciusko National Park, The Snowy Mountains and Australia’s Alpine regions.
Canberra has four distinct seasons and in Spring hosts Floriade which rivals our beautiful Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which has been our Spring event for over 70 years.
Floriade is back! Australia’s biggest celebration of Spring, Floriade, will celebrate its 34th year with a spectacular display of over 1,000,000 blooms in Commonwealth Park from 11 September – 10 October 2021. Floriadehttps://floriadeaustralia.com
Again only in Australia will one find kangaroos feeding on the lawns of Government House or the lawns of our Houses of Parliament. Hubby tells the story of driving home from a security shift in the early hours of a foggy morning and hearing an unusual sound ahead, which was all a bit curious until out of the fog he was able to discern a couple of kangaroos hoping down the suburban street.
Canberra is a wonderful place to visit and play tourist. The city, its lake and surrounds is a popular location for hot air balloon rides and Canberra hosts the hot air balloon festival annually. Quite apt really as a lot of hot air comes out of Canberra!
May God bless our leaders as we pray for their wisdom.
For the second B there were many places to choose from; Bundaberg, world famous for its Bundy Rum or Bundaberg Ginger Beer, or Bagara, the beautiful seaside location just down the road from Bundaberg, or the historic cities of Ballarat and Bendigo on the Victorian golfdields or Bright at the foot of the Victorian high country; there is nowhere more beautiful than Bright in Autumn. And there is Byron Bay, with its iconic lighthouse, the most eastern point in Australia. Byron has become a haven for the rich, famous and cool, an Aussie retreat for Hollywood celebs. https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-03-26/hollywood-stars-hunker-down-in-australias-byron-bay- And many other B’s in our beautiful Australia but for our second B we are going to the Bunya Mountians .
The Bunya’s make this cut because over Easter we took a little road trip to Kingaroy and Wondai and came home through the Bunya Mountains. So the Bunyas are fresh in my mind but also they are on my list of amazing places to visit.
The Bunya Mountains, which form a stand alone section of the Great Dividing Range are situated between the plains of the Darling Downs and the South Burnett Region. They can be approached from Kingaroy, Dalby, Oakey or Cooyar and this spectacular forest wilderness just pops up out of the surrounding fertile rural landscape. The Bunyas are about a 3 hour drive from Brisbane, 99 kilometers from Toowoomba and about 60 kms from Kingaroy but as you climb into the Bunyas you are literally transported into another world.
At approximately 1000 metres above sea level, the air is always clean, crisp and often a little misty. Walking through the forest is literally the experience of forest bathing. The forest is a symphony of bird call and wallabies and pademelons graze on the grassy picnic areas. As wonderful as this all is, the most majestic and mystical part of a visit to the Bunyas is the spiritual vibe the mountains emit.
Long before white settlement Aboriginal people used the Bunya Mountains as a meeting place for tribes from all over Queensland and New South Wales. Here they would feast on the roasted nuts from the Bunya pine and discuss important business; one can feel the ancient wisdom in the air.
For me a visit to the Bunyas is a beautiful, cleansing, spiritual experience. I quote from the Queensland Tourism page on the Bunya Mountains; Visitors find the mystical Bunya Mountains a deep spiritual experience. Some call it God’s country, some say it’s where peace abides; all feel the magic in their own way. About the Bunya Mountains | Bunya Mountains.
Oh, so true!
I encourage you to Google the Bunyas. Even looking at the images can induce a sense of peace.
I enjoy watching Harrow on the ABC. Harrow, played by Ioan Gruffudd, is a forensic medical examiner at the QIFM the Queensland Institute of Forensic Medicine. Harrow is cool, incredibly smart, he flies close to the edge, has enormous empathy for his dead clients and their living relatives and is always in some sort of personal crisis.
But the thing I love about Harrow most is that it is shot in the beautiful river city of Brisbane. Harrow lives on a boat on the Brisbane River, moored just below the city Botanic Gardens. The episodes always include stunning day and night time shots of the cityscape, the wonderful Story Bridge, stately Queenslanders, parks, familiar buildings; to put it simply, beautiful Brisbane!
Brisbane is a city with a population of about 2.5 million. It enjoys a sub tropical climate and manages about 280 sunny days each year. It is the third largest city in Australia by population and geographically the largest of any Australian capital city. By area Brisbane is the third largest in the world and is known for its living space. The area of Brisbane is a legacy from the old days when house blocks were quarter acre and large back yards were the accepted normal. This is changing as more people find out just how glorious Brisbane is and high density urban development is increasing.
While none of us live in Brisbane now, my adult children would consider Brisbane their childhood home. One of my very dear Brisbane memories is the weekend my youngest daughter and I spent being tourists in Brissie just before she flew out to live overseas. Brisbane has come of age and is a world class city. As cities go it has a laid back vibe, a reputation of being relatively safe and a great mix of that quintessential Queensland spirit.
Thank you to the producers of Harrow for showcasing our Beautiful Brisbane while telling a great story.
♫ Johnny Chester ♥ Glory, Glory ♫ – YouTube To Conclude, here is the link to Johnny Chester’s 1971 hit. Glory, Glory, I’ll be back to see the Story Bridge. And to my beautiful scattered family, I surely do hope that we will all get back to see the Story Bridge.
Because there is only 26 letters in the alphabet and because Australia is a vast country each letter will include two locations starting with that letter. The second A is Armidale on the New England Tableland in New South Wales.
Armidale makes the cut because it is the home of The University of New England- UNE – and it is from this uni that I gained my double degree; plugging away as a part time, external student. UNE was ahead of its time catering to hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of external students, long before on-line delivery of course material became the norm. During my time as a student trips to Armidale were made to attend various residential schools and ultimately for Graduation.
Situated midway between the capital cities of Sydney in NSW and Brisbane in Qld, Armidale is located on the New England Highway. It is about 150kms inland from the coastal city of Coffs Harbour and has a population of approximately 25.000, making it the central and major city of the NSW Northern Tablelands. It is 980 metres above sea level and is home to the highest commercial airport in Australia.
The countryside surrounding Armidale is stunningly beautiful. As well as being prime grazing country for sheep and cattle, the natural beauty extends to national parks, forests, mountain gorges, majestic waterfalls and rolling hills. The area experiences four distinct seasons with autumn bringing a blaze of red and gold as leaves fall and winter is jolly cold. Most of the res schools were in June/July and one surely needed to pack warm clothes!
The city’s beautiful heritage listed buildings, cathedrals and schools are an indication of the historic agricultural wealth of the district. European settlement commenced when squatters moved into the area around 1832.
Let me make it clear that the enneagram is not Holy Scripture, neither is it Holy Spirit inspired. It is a tool, often used in pastoral groups and workshops to help people understand themselves, to be honest and transparent about themselves to themselves, to address the ways we hide from ourselves, to help us understand others better and be able to work together more harmoniously in church, family, work and social aspects of life. I quote from the back cover of The Enneagram- A Christian Perspective; authors Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.
“The Enneagram has emerged as a tool that is forcing many of us to a brutal and converting honesty about good and evil and the ways which we hide from ourselves and therefore God. It tries to address the ‘compromise with life’ and this ‘evasion of reality’ that the ego is so heavily invested in and that religion often promotes…”
Truthfully, I have found this to be the case and I will explain why and how as this blog unfolds but for today some general comments about the enneagram.
The www has loads of enneagram information; there are tests and questionnaires one can answer and at the end you are given a number for your type. I did this a couple years ago and it was interesting, however the better way I now believe is to read widely about all the types. As I did this I found that I could identify with parts of each type. I would think yes, that’s me! And to be honest it was all a bit confusing! Apparently some people can quickly identify themselves and for others it can take a lot longer. And it is not a bad thing to be able to see parts of yourself in all the types -Jesus embodied in perfect maturity all aspects of the human experience- but there will be one which resonates more strongly with your unmasked self.
For a while I thought I was a 9 The Peacemaker and this sounded OK; I do hate arguments and tensions and try to pour oil on troubled waters. On further reading I thought no, I’m a 2 The Helper because I do like to help and the positions I most enjoyed during my working life were those where I was an assistant an aide in a much bigger picture. As I have mentioned before no type is better or worse than any other, all have their strengths and weaknesses and and we all sit on a continuum between immature and mature. The goal is to move toward maturity.
To conclude today I will simply list the nine types and their basic need found on the Contents page of The Enneagram- A Christian Perspective; authors Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.
#1: The need to be perfect
#2: The need to be needed
#3: The need to succeed
#4:The need to be special
#5: The need to perceive
#6: The need for security
#7: The need to avoid pain
#8: The need to be against
#9: The need to avoid
There is plenty of material available both in book form and on the internet if you are interested in learning more about this ancient tool for self discovery and growing in grace and maturity. Just be prepared to be a bit unraveled in the process. I also recommend that you don’t get stuck in The Enneagram but use it as a tool and then get on and do the maturing.
Just by coincidence, we begin our A-Z trip across Australia on the day our Federal Government has announced the good news of half price airline tickets to 13 places across our beautiful land. This is a stimulus to rebuild our tourism industry which has been highly impacted by Covid. So to begin: A.
Adelaide is the capital of South Australia. I first visited Adelaide in the summer of 1977. It was a long road trip across Queensland, NSW, ACT, along the mighty Murry, down through the Riverlands and into Adelaide. We arrived on a late Wednesday afternoon and I will never forget the dry, baking hot Adelaide heat which greeted us on alighting from the air conditioned car. The heat from the bitumen was like a blast furnace and the incredibly dry heat was a complete contrast to Queensland’s humidity. It was 40deg C+ in the shade and the air was just HOT. Overnight the direction of wind changed from a Northerly, coming off the desert, to a Southerly, coming off the Great Southern Ocean and Antarctica, to 19 deg C. I had to go and buy some warm clothes!
Little did I know then that Adelaide would become a regularly visited location. As at the beginning 2001 my eldest daughter moved to Adelaide and has lived there since. Over the past 20 years I have traveled there once a year, if lucky twice, to be a part of the many celebrations of life. So many wonderful memories!
Adelaide is a beautiful city. It is nicknamed The City of Churches due to the many beautifully structured church buildings, sadly many of them now repurposed as night clubs and restaurants. It is our fifth largest Australian capital city. The state of South Australia has population of over 1.7 million and over 75%, about 1.3 million, live within metropolitan Adelaide.Adelaide Population 2021.net.au The city is surrounded by over 760 hectares of beautiful park lands which create a green ring around the city.
There is over 70 kilometers of coastline and some lovely beaches close to Adelaide city. A tram ride from the city to Glenelg is a must! Other attractions close to the city are the beautiful Adelaide Hills; the lovely little German village of Hahndorf, and the many wine regions which surround Adelaide, particularly the Barossa Valley.
Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Adelaide has loads of sunshine during the long hot summers and cool to cold winters; but it does not snow. The climate has little to no humidity but boy, it can get hot! But usually not for too long before a cool Southerly change comes through. My daughter says there is nothing nicer than a clear, blue sky, 20 deg C Adelaide day; and she is quite correct!
In the last 20 years of visiting Adelaide I have driven there from Queensland again only once, it is a long road trip and one travels across the guts of Australia, but flown countless times. In 2014 Lonely Planet listed Adelaide as one of its 10 top cities to visit.I think that is a good enough recommendation for anyone to take an Adelaide trip!