Friday, 3 July 2009

Journey #1 - Brisbane visit

The Director's small and lovely garden in Paddington, Brisbane.
Click to enlarge.
The Director is Miss Eagle's sister.

I flew out of Melbourne for Brisbane on 13 June and arrived back yesterday, 2 July. It hasn't exactly been I've Been Everywhere, Man but it seems to have come close. There have been lunches and dinners and coffees with old friends. There has been a continuing return to old haunts down the eastern seaboard. Many, many memories. Then there are the new places, the new friends, the new experiences. Quite a smorgasbord!

I flew to Brisbane. I rarely enjoy flying...so boring. However, the homeward journey took me a week from Brisbane to Melbourne and it was a delight.



Participants at the GreenFaith Australian Panel Presentation
working in Open Space.
The purpose of the Brisbane visit - aside from catching up with immediate and extended family - was to take part in a Panel Presentation by GreenFaith Australia at the Oceania Conference of the International Association for Community Development. The GreenFaith Australia presentation by Elyse Rider, Mikael Smith, Carol McDonough and Miss Eagle was under the title of Taking Down the Fences: re-thinking 'The Commons' for diverse Australian communities. The theme of the conference was Building community centred economies: dialogue for action. A declaration was drawn up to be put forward at the conclusion of the Conference. You can find it here.

My uncle, Jack Gallaway.
Jack's books:
A family get together over at The Broncos was the most important event of the whole trip. As one's elders grow older one feels each moment is precious that is spent with them. That's how I felt with Uncle Jack and Aunty May.

Lilla Watson and Richard Buchhorn

Highlights of the trip were catching up with Richard Buchhorn and Lilla Watson. Richard has been a significant influence in my life since I first met him in 1971 and was drawn into the campaign against the Springbok tour.

There were two country matches on that tour - Orange, and Toowoomba where I then lived. Together with friends, I organised the local protest which included a visit by Richard - then a Catholic priest and chaplain of the National YCW. Battling racism has been a constant in Richard's life: campaigning with and for Aboriginal Australians, battling apartheid in South Africa, and struggling against the inequities of the Palestinian situation.

Richard's partner is the distinguished Aboriginal academic, Lilla Watson. The Watsons are a distinguished Aboriginal family in Queensland whose members traverse a wide range of public interests. Lunch with Richard and Lilla was wonderful and I came home with a bottle of Lilla's


Jacqui and the ever so cute Sapphi

It was a long time between drinks - but there are no friends like old friends. I first met Jacqui when she came to work with me at the Mount Isa Public Library. We had lots of fun working on community stuff together...trade unions, feminism, the Union for Western Women. So catching up was really great. I had never met Sapphi before - so it was great to meet the cute personage I had heard so much about.

MissEagle
racism-free

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