February 29 – a most ingenious paradox

Every four years we get to wish our friend (let’s call her Hannah), a very real birthday, as she was born on February 29. Hannah was born in a Leap Year, so officially celebrates her birthday every four years. Leaplings, as they are known, are a rare breed. There have been only 2,470 Australians born on February 29 over the past 10 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. There are, however, 4.8 million…

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A Festive Feast of Christmas Movies

Has it ever occurred to you how few Australian Christmas movies there are and why our lives are so permeated by American culture (such as it is)? This week’s theme came to mind whilst seated in a front row pew at St Mark’s Anglican church in Warwick. We were participating in a Christmas service with our new choir, the East Street Singers. It’s a magnificent 151-year-old sandstone kirk with a landmark tower, stained glass windows…

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Camel Racing And The World’s Longest Damper

Queensland’s outback towns may still be struggling with the impact of drought, but they are now more than ever engaging communities and outsiders in unique events.  Tourist attractions like Winton’s Vision Splendid film festival, Birdsville’s Big Red Bash, Boulia’s camel races, an outback golf tournament and the national silo art trail are just a few of the initiatives. Attractions and events are primarily organised by locals (and sponsors) as a way of attracting cash-spending visitors…

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Longreach to Winton via Mystery Road

From Hughenden: No 3 in an outback adventure series So we’re driving into Longreach from Barcaldine, a journey rarely punctuated by a bend in the road, when snippets of a song jump into my head. “I dunno why they call it Longreach, it doesn’t seem that far to me,” goes the line from one of Mick O’Halloran’s songs.   . Unlike much of the outback, at least you know when you’re coming into Longreach, 1,175 kms…

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