Flight from fireworks into the Blue Mountains and downhill all the way

My research is over and it’s time to have some fun. I take a ferry from Sydney Harbour to Jamestown, walk along the cliffs and eat fish and chips by the shore. I swim in enclosed pools tucked into the rock face at Coogee beach.  In Manly I swim in calmer, warmer waters and return on … Continue reading Flight from fireworks into the Blue Mountains and downhill all the way

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‘The hurt can linger’ – uncovering child migrant stories

The pressed flowers and leaves, picked by Bob and his mother when she came to visit him in a Hampshire orphanage, are numbered and named.  ‘ The most precious thing I had were my scrapbooks,’ reads the caption in the Children’s Journeys  gallery in Sydney’s Maritime Museum. ‘ It was the only link with my mother.’ … Continue reading ‘The hurt can linger’ – uncovering child migrant stories

Māori myths or Māori reality? Quakes and Christmas in Hawkes Bay

Tess picks me up at Napier airport. I have been invited to spend Christmas in Hawkes Bay with her sister and Brazilian husband and various other members of this extended family. Tess takes me on a tour of Napier, rebuilt in Art Deco style within 3 years of the 1931 earthquake. This, and the subsequent … Continue reading Māori myths or Māori reality? Quakes and Christmas in Hawkes Bay

Mourning mists of Māori gods in Milford Sound

As I gaze at the rain disturbing the smooth surface of Lake Wakatipu, I recall Tess’s farewell statement. “There is a Māori legend for everything. Take note. It will deepen your experience.” I am in Queenstown, South Island in New Zealand, surrounded by mountains. It has been raining for hours. Perhaps the raindrops are the … Continue reading Mourning mists of Māori gods in Milford Sound

‘AND STILL I RISE’: Young refugees rap at Te Papa

Patrick from Sudan invites me to ‘Come and see what we’ve been doing.’  Young refugees, from over 20 ethnic backgrounds, have explored their experiences of coming to, and settling in, New Zealand through, ‘writing, film, photography and all kinds of artwork.’ I accept Patrick’s invitation and enter the Mixing Room on the fourth floor of … Continue reading ‘AND STILL I RISE’: Young refugees rap at Te Papa

Wearable Art, Waitangi Treaty and a Wellington Welcome

The rain persists so, instead of going west down the coastline, we head for Auckland Museum. “You can compare the displays of Māori culture with Te Papa, “ Tess suggests. “They have a more traditional approach here than in Wellington.” But we get sidetracked. There is a touring exhibition from the Museum of Wearable Art. … Continue reading Wearable Art, Waitangi Treaty and a Wellington Welcome