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Open Your Eyes to Australia Podcast


Here’s my entry into the world of podcasting. I’ve called it Open Your Eyes to Australia.

It is a series of short programs (around 10-15 minutes each) focusing on Australian themes which highlight history, people and places. Each program is illustrated with original songs based on the episode’s theme.

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EPISODE 6: In Mulga Land With King Tommy and Polly Flood

This episode looks at the lives of two Aboriginal people, King Tommy and Polly Flood. They lived in the northern New South Wales town of Angledool . Their lives were uniquely documented by local poet and writer Jim Harper. Harper, a friend of both, knew only too well how the spread of European settlement impacted on their lives.

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EPISODE 5: Two Women Travellers

The image of the swaggie, that itinerant soul who walked the roads and tracks of the land in search of work, features prominently in Australia’s stories, songs and poetry. But the swaggies we mainly read and sing about are men. In this episode I introduce you to Charcoal Annie and Syrian Mary, two women who experienced the life of the swaggie. Although very little is known about them, I share the information I have gathered over the years. I have also written a song about each of these extraordinary ladies and these are included in the podcast.
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EPISODE 4: Sydney Harbour Bridge – Happy Birthday

This year marks the seventy fifth anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In this episode I reminisce on some 50th anniversary celebrations and discuss Dr Frank Cash, who took thousands of photographs during the Bridge’s construction. I consider the changes to North Sydney resulting from the building of the Bridge and later the Warringah Expressway. North Sydney was the suburb where I lived as a child. Two songs, one a birthday song, are included in this episode.
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EPISODE 3: In Search of Mr Murphy

This podcast pieces together some of the life of William Murphy who, early last century, lived in an isolated part of the Blue Mountains of Australia. Information is gathered from a variety of sources including an oral history recording, a newspaper cutting, photographs and a death certificate. The podcast also features an original song, Old Mr Murphy, about this fascinating man. You can see more images here.
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EPISODE 2: What a Story – Aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

This episode looks at the 1928 Pacific Ocean Crossing led by Charles Kingsford Smith in the Southern Cross aeroplane. I look at some of the difficulties faced, some personal memories of my late father. The featured song is From Oakland to Brisbane, about the successful trans-Pacific flight. You can see more images here.
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EPISODE 1: Boyd’s Tower at Twofold Bay

The first podcast is about Boyd’s Tower at Twofold Bay on the far south coast of New South Wales. Listen to the tower’s story through the lives of two people associated with it – Ben Boyd, its builder, and Peter Lia, a young whaler who lost his life chasing a whale. You will hear me testing the acoustics inside the tower with my minidisc. The featured song is Boyd’s Tower. You can see more images here.
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