Francesca Beddie

Don’t forget the plight of Afghans in Australia

Further to Stuart Rees’ eloquent exposure in Pearls and Irritations of the Prime Minister’s cruelty toward those Afghans already in Australia on temporary visas, below is my letter to the Prime Minister arguing for a more humane and pragmatic asylum seeker policy. Pragmatic because times have changed – the boats are no longer coming – and because among those temporary protection visa holders are talented, resilient and determined young people.

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July issue of Australian Garden History

In this issue of Australian Garden History, the array of images expands many fold the word limits necessarily imposed on contributors. Photographs of NSW’s sweeping high country and its tell-tale flora reinforce the point made by Warren Foster, a proud Yuin man, that evidence Aboriginal gardens have been around for millennia is right before our eyes.Read More »July issue of Australian Garden History

Bundanoon History Group bushfire archive project

Amid the restrictions of COVID-19, the Bundanoon History Group managed to complete phase one of its bushfire project in time for what turned out to be a cool and wet summer. Its messages have been distilled in a poster hanging on the History Shed in the main street and in a short video made for the National Museum of Australia’s Momentous online project.Read More »Bundanoon History Group bushfire archive project

Will we ever be satisfied with less?

I can’t imagine the old normal returning unaltered after COVID-19 but worry that the rush towards a new normal will entail too much focus on growth and profits and not enough on caring for the vulnerable and the environment. If that happens, we will have squandered an opportunity to reset how we value health, work and leisure.

Anthropologist James Suzman has written a history of work that gives us plenty to consider as we navigate our way out of the pandemic towards that new normal. Here’s my review (which first appeared in The Weekend Australian 19-20 September) of Work: A History of How We Spend Our Time, published by Bloomsbury.Read More »Will we ever be satisfied with less?

Cicada time

People are talking about cicadas, again. That reminded me I’d written  a post about how to pronounce ‘cicada’ in spring 2017:

By the turn of the 21st century, most British references gave “kah” as the primary variant, with “kay” still holding sway across the Atlantic.

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