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‘Voice of West Papua’ radio show

3CR CRAM guide 2012: It’s 3.30am in Washington DC when Voice of West Papua hits the air in Melbourne, but the show’s founder, Herman Wainggai, rarely misses it. “I’m so excited about this program!’ he says. Herman, one of 43 West Papuan asylum seekers whose arrival in Australia, by outrigger canoe, in 2006 caused a … Continue reading

Victoria’s red gum national parks

Sunday Age, 27 June 2010: On Tuesday, after a long and divisive battle, 150,000 hectares of new national park and reserve will be declared along the Murray in northern Victoria. The Barmah State Forest, the southern section of Australia’s biggest red gum forest- described by some as the ”Kakadu of the south” – will become … Continue reading

Detention dividends – Australia’s immigration detention contract

July 2009: “I took my clothes off because they treat us like animals,” said Mercy Guobatia, a detainee at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, where a group of women last year staged a naked protest over inadequate health care and the detention of children. Yarl’s Wood, 90 minutes north of London, is run by Serco, … Continue reading

The tomatina – world’s biggest food fight

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August 2006: I was scared of drowning in tomato soup. “People will pull you out,” Mike said. “Anyway, you’ll be with me.” A tall New Zealander with tattoos and a background in adventure sports, Mike was the person to be around if there was any chance of drowning. It had been … Continue reading

Rod Quantock’s comedy of collapse

‘The Insane Asylum (You’re Standing in It)’ Melbourne Comedy Festival 2011 Bananas, according to Rod Quantock, are good for your sense of humour. It’s the lecithin in them, he says. With Queensland flood damage pushing prices up to $4 a piece, the comedian worries for his audience, who won’t be able to claim the fruit … Continue reading

Blair visit

26/7/11 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is on an Australian speaking tour, was in Melbourne today and met for talks with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Mr Blair expressed support for the government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions, but declined to comment on details of the policy. The former leader spoke about a worldwide … Continue reading

Loretta O’Brien – making connections at 3CR

3CR CRAM guide 2011 Radio’s always been big in new station manager Loretta O’Brien’s life. She remembers the present that started it all when she was seven. ‘It was a green apple-shaped radio. It was plastic. It probably lasted about three months, but it was like this amazing thing to get a radio. I remember … Continue reading

A big, green backyard – Lucy Landon-Lane, pulp mill opponent

Every morning at dawn Lucy Landon-Lane walks her beagle cross, Truffi, through bushland on her organic walnut farm up a hill overlooking Tasmania’s Tamar River just 2km from the site of Australia’s biggest proposed pulp mill, at Bell Bay. “It’s a stunningly beautiful place,” Ms Landon-Lane says. “It’s very beautiful and very peaceful and there’s … Continue reading

Northern mayors meet on public land

Former state schools and surplus government land should be used for community benefit, not sold for commercial development, according to mayors from Melbourne’s north. Seven mayors met in Darebin last month to discuss “a lack of transparency and accountability” in the State Government’s public land dealings, which they said were “biased towards short-term commercial gain”. … Continue reading

After the Walk-Off – Wave Hill 40 years on

New Matilda, 23 August 2006 ‘Come on, people, give Mick some space!’ an organiser shouts. Mick Rangiari Lumbulla, a frail old man wearing sunglasses, is in danger of suffocating in the crowd of whitefellas who surround his wheelchair in a photo-taking frenzy. It’s Freedom Day, 2006, the 40th anniversary of the Wave Hill Walk-off, and … Continue reading