When depression is not just a dip in the road

English is a curious language. Often there are two or more words that sound the same but are spelt differently and mean different things. Sometimes a word can have two or more meanings, even with the same spelling. At Purnululu National Park in Western Australia (previously The Bungle Bungles), we woke at 6am after what used to be called a three dog night (the dogs get on the bed to keep you warm). We rugged…

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Suicide and the media

Not so long ago suicide was something you rarely read about in the press, due to an informal agreement between the media and the “helping professions” not to overly publicise the how and where aspects of suicide, as it is believed to spark copycat suicides. The advent of online journalism, social media and the 24 hour news cycle has more or less consigned that gentlemen’s agreement to the too-hard basket. The Australian mentioned the word…

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The Pilbara – a Google-free zone

When I started this weekly essay three months ago, I was aware that from late June it would tend to have the flavour of a travelogue, given that we were about to set off on a three-month expedition across remote parts of this magnificent land. Now at the half-way point, coming to the end of a three-day stop at a bush camp in Karajini National Park, I’m doing it the old-fashioned way: who, what, where,…

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Other People’s Dunnies

So I’m standing in front of a smeary mirror in an outback caravan park washroom having a shave when this old bloke walks in. “Owya goin? “Great thanks,” (continue shaving while Old Bloke goes into a cubicle nearby). “Whereyaheadin?” says the voice from behind the door (rustling of clothing and clang of belt buckle as pants hit floor). “Goin’ to Katherine then headin’ west to Broome,” I say, going with the flow of outback caravan…

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