Search Results: Henry Lawson

  • ENVIRONMENT

    A crash course in climate literacy

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 October 2018
    2 Comments

    Drought creeps, infiltrates, sometimes seems little changed day after day, then tightens its grip on this or that paddock, unveils the slowly splitting bottom of a never-before-empty dam ... Even still, according to many of the experienced, crisis-hardened men and women on the land to whom I've spoken, this drought is different.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dawn of Australian domestic violence

    • Brian Matthews
    • 11 December 2015
    3 Comments

    Interviewed before the screening of Hitting Home, her program on domestic violence, Sarah Ferguson pointed out that the statistics had scarcely altered in a couple of decades. How far back into our history does this dismal phenomenon reach? 'We could quickly fill the largest building in Sydney with women and children who now, for the sake of food and shelter, but more for the sake of what is called their "good name", are bearing blows, insults, servitude and degradation,' wrote Louisa Lawson in 1889.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The snob who snubbed Australia's Indigenous imagination

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 May 2015
    14 Comments

    Mrs Cowling was formidable. Her significant physical presence was accentuated by a commanding mien, impeccable English enunciation, and an impressive depth and breadth of literary reference supporting rock-firm opinions. All these years later, I wonder just how burdened she was in teaching literature to Australian students, which she continued to do into her 80th year, by her husband's notoriety.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Homeless wonder on Victoria's plains

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 14 March 2014
    2 Comments

    Moira, her kids Zara and Rory, her partner Shane and his brother Midge are the kind of people you wouldn't think to look twice at. Living on welfare and on the constant lookout for abandoned houses to either live in or raid, they're known colloquially as 'trants' (short for itinerants). These otherwise overlooked and forgotten people might be parochial, but they're never parodied. They might be uneducated, but they have a voice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    History repeats for powerful Australian women

    • Brian Matthews
    • 21 June 2013
    14 Comments

    On the face of it, life for a strong, talented and ambitious woman in 19th century Australia was much tougher than it is now. Yet even Louisa Lawson, a pioneer of women's rights who was grievously discriminated against and derided because she dared to excel, was never demeaned or personally debased to the extent Julia Gillard has been.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My theatrical encounter with Don Dunstan

    • Brian Matthews
    • 24 May 2013
    2 Comments

    One of the great monuments to the 'Dunstan Decade', the Adelaide Festival Centre marks its 40th birthday next weekend. It was the first capital city complex devoted to the performing arts, before even the Sydney Opera House. For me the anniversary triggers a flood of memories, including a theatrical encounter with Dunstan himself.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teaching literature to rock stars

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 February 2013
    2 Comments

    He appeared in the doorway of my study one day in 1971 and asked if I was the one who was starting a course in Australian literature. His voice was soft and melodic, his accent beautifully Irish. Born in Belfast in 1947, he had grown up amid the horrors of 'The Troubles' and would in later years refer to himself as 'a recovering Catholic'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Wattle Day should be our national day

    • Paul W. Newbury
    • 23 January 2011
    37 Comments

    Indigenous antipathy to Australia Day is deeply entrenched. Wattle as a symbol offers an alternative because it is native to this place, and it is not a memorial of our ties with Great Britain. 

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  • RELIGION

    Frank Tenison Brennan on Julian Tenison Woods

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 May 2010

    Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address at the Commemoration of Julian Tenison Woods Park, Penola SA, 23 Mary 2010

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rudd and the art of talking in circles

    • Bill Collopy
    • 05 May 2010
    7 Comments

    Kevin Rudd has raised circumlocution to an art since coming to office. But recently his polysyllabic heart rate seems to have slowed. What's changed? Could it be the patter of Tony feet? Time to restart that 'working families' mantra: plain prose beats purple.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Larrikin poet's Sentimental 'slanguage'

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 September 2009
    3 Comments

    C. J. Dennis once wrote that, as a boy, he had 'a devout and urgent desire to become a larrikin'. The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke provides a window on part of Australian culture and the traditions, speech and images that forged it.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Economists and other prophets

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 August 2009
    3 Comments

    Economists are often, sometimes spectacularly, wrong. But like all prophets, they are unabashed by and unpunished for abject failures. They pop up from each new set of ruins, surprised yet unrepentant, princes of a plethora of evanescent predictions.

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