I walk along City Road, across the river and towards the restored Old Customs House, now the Museum of Immigration. It’s easy to find. Large banners advertising Identity, Yours, Mine, Ours, with portraits of men and women representing multiracial Australia, hang over the elegant façade. Identity, Yours, Mine, Ours is the title of the much-praised … Continue reading Multiculturalism under the microscope in Melbourne Museums (2) – the Immigration Museum or If I was white
I walk up the hill, away from the graffiti and loathsome cakes on Acland street in St Kilda, to the Jewish Museum of Australia. Most people are here on a rainy Sunday afternoon for the exhibition of Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses. I head, instead, to the back of the building, ignoring the Judaica too. I want … Continue reading Multiculturalism under the microscope in Melbourne Museums – Mark 1
I arrive at 598 City Road. I should have guessed, by the high number, that my accommodation wouldn’t be that close to the city. I ring the bell. No answer. I look around. An empty petrol station. Low rise warehouses with few signs of life. Tower blocks in the distance. A car pulls up. … Continue reading From Melbourne to the Moon
The origin of the name ‘Canberra’, the capital of Australia, is disputed. Is it from the Indigenous name for the hollow between a woman's breasts, the hollow being likened to the floodplain between Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain. Or is it, according to a more European version, from the Australian 'cranberry'? Two competing versions, two … Continue reading Canberra – heritage hole or cultural oasis?
At the door of the Migration Museum in Adelaide there is a dedication to the Kaurna people, ‘the original occupants of the site, who were disposed of their homelands by British settlers.’ Inside are a series of paintings by an artist of Aboriginal descent, Darryl Pfitzner Milika. A painting of a sole Aboriginal person about … Continue reading Settler or migrant, colonisation or invasion?
“A friend from Sydney told me 2 days in Adelaide would be enough,” I tell my airbnb host as we sip coffee in her semi-detached 1880s bungalow. “Your friend’s a snob,” says Melanie, a New Zealander, who’s made the capital of South Australia her home “It may have been true ten years ago, “ she … Continue reading Up for Adelaide
Thirteen flights booked to Australasia and back, thirteen novels downloaded on my Kindle about all the places I'm about to visit - Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Christchurch, Hawkes Bay for Christmas and Sydney to see New Year fireworks. They say 13 is unlucky but rest assured I didn't book Air Malaysia. … Continue reading Chirps from around the world