An ANZAC Day Puzzle: Should the Monarch of Oz Be Australian-Born?

    (L) no introduction needed   (R) book cover of “Australians All”

by Mary W Maxwell

This article is mainly about the role of the monarch in Australia. Although I have long been a monarchist, I now say it is absurd for the monarch of Australia to be simultaneously the monarch of a foreign country. If Oz is to have a monarchical government, the person in the role should be Australian. The whole royal family ought to look like a bunch of Aussies.

Many societies have a king; some do not. There were no kings in early human society and in the last few centuries some republics got formed by specifically eschewing monarchy. [Read more…]

Gotcha Back, Martin!


by Mary W Maxwell

On March 15, 2017, I was aware that a West Australian had made the trip to Adelaide for my Fringe show “Moot Court for Martin Bryant.”  And three days later a New South Welshman emailed Gumshoe to report that he and his whole family had hopped over to Adelaide.  Wow.

Today I got quite a surprise when a friend of mine who was in the audience told me that, while eavesdropping during the Interval, he learned that at least one woman from Tassie attended.

Nobody came up to greet me after the show, so I was unable to gauge the response!  On the other hand, no one made any trouble during the show, which is supposedly a miracle!

[Read more…]

Act I, Scene 1 of the Moot Court Trial. Martin Bryant Introduces Himself to the Fringe Audience.


by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

It’s me. It’s me Martin. You never met me. The only time the public heard my voice was when I was 12 years old. I lit some firecrackers and ended up on television, in my pajamas.  But since April 28, 1996 I’m an Australian icon. Not like Arnott’s biscuit sort of icon, you know, more like the bad kind. Like a monster. The worst possible human being.

Today is December 10, 1996. Last month, November, I was sentenced to a thousand years in prison for killing 35 people. I most certainly did not kill anyone. Actually there is an exception. I may have killed one man by mistake, but it wasn’t at Port Arthur. I’ll tell you about that later. [Read more…]

What Courts Vouchsafe To Do in Tasmania

Melanie BartlettRetired magistrate Melanie Bartlett of Burnie

by Mary W Maxwell, LLB

Last year at the Melbourne Fringe, Dee McLachlan read aloud some of Martin Bryant’s July 4, 1996 chat with the police. It was the first time I noticed a certain remark that Bryant made:

You’re in a little bit of trouble Martin aren’t you? Would you say?

I dunno, I spose I am. I’d like to get, get hold of some bail money. He said, are you Mr Martin Bryant? I said, yes. He said, you’re remanded in custody till this … inaudible … I didn’t even come to the hearing, okay ‘cos I wasn’t well … inaudible… I should see me solicitor about bail.

[Read more…]

Phone Call to National Security Hotline


by Mary W Maxwell

Grass does not grow under the feet of Gumshoe’s editor, Dee McLachlan. If she sees a problem, she jumps at it, often in real time, as with her recent radio call to Jon Faine’s morning program, or her email yesterday to Front Bencher, Kate Ellis, which Brae Antcliffe then expanded on brilliantly. And you may recall that Mal Hughes has a stack of letters he sent to everybody-and-his-dog regarding the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. This is great! But now there’s a Mexican connection…    [Read more…]

The Goat on Parliament House — Is it Munching Our Politicians?

goat-and-baphometA goat, and Eliphas Levi’s drawing of Baphomet, the alleged god of the Knights Templar

The goat has allegedly been a powerful symbol for the occult.

Well again, Kevin Woodman’s “google-eye” spotted a goat on the top of the parliament buildings in Canberra.  [Read more…]

The Three Silver Cars, The “Blue Man” and Peekay

gargasoulisThe three silver unmarked cars following Gargasoulas down Swanston Street. This is a screengrab of the footage shown on Channel 7 — taken by the media attending the Mayor’s press conference at the Town Hall

by Dee McLachlan

For starters, look at the picture above. I screen-grabbed it from the footage shown in Channel 7. The video was shot from the balcony of the Town Hall. The red car — driven by the accused killer Dimitrious “Jimmy” Gargasoulas. Following and to his side are three silvery cars (one behind the flag). A further white car was following, but is not in view here.

This has not been mentioned by mainstream media! [Read more…]

Great Australians: Andrew Barton Paterson

banjoAB Paterson, circa 1910

 by Malcolm R Hughes

Andrew Barton Paterson was born in 1864 property near Orange, New South Wales. His father was a Scot and his mother was Australian born.  To appreciate the following story, the reader needs to undergo time warp back to the era of Paterson’s life span. During his life the country of Australia took on a new look in growth of towns, development of new towns, technology and population increases. (Albeit that progress was slow compared to changes made in today’s world!) [Read more…]

More Magical Thinking By The Australian Government

tpp-trumpPresident Trump signs an executive order to withdraw from the TPP

by James O’Neill*

The policy bankruptcy of the present Australian government has been exposed again with its reaction to the signing of an executive order by US President Donald Trump to withdraw the US from participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

They could not argue that they were not warned.  In the course of the election campaign, all three of the major contenders, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, had expressed their opposition to the treaty. [Read more…]

Australia Day Poems, Part 5: The Horse from Snowy River


by Mary W Maxwell

I found this on the website of Project Gutenberg which archives, for you pleasure, the Australian Dictionary of Biography. It’s a quote from Lord Houghton in Monographs (1873):

“When Plutarch placed in noble array for the contemplation of ages to come his images of heroes and sages, or when Dr Johnson drew that gallery of poets, so many of whom only survive in his portraiture, the writers must have been conscious how little of the real men lay behind those strong or graceful representations, how much that was even faithfully recorded may convey a false impression, how much was inevitably omitted which might contradict every deduction and alter every estimate. [Read more…]

Australia Day Poems, Part 4: The Cruelty of Us Today

aboriginal-artWater dreaming, artist unknown

by Mary W Maxwell

If you take the official tour of the Port Arthur Historic Site, the guide will mention that the 19th century prisoners there “dropped like flies” as much from exposure to extreme temperatures as anything else.

The poem that Judith Wright wrote about the old prison may or not refer to Port Arthur, but she sure caught the idea of the cold wind. (I guess they hadn’t yet invented “solitary confinement” – the men were at least in groaning earshot of one another.) [Read more…]

Australia Day Poems, Part 2: These Knew Their Hour

poetsPoet C.J. Dennis (1876-1938),  Activist  Judith Wright (1915-2000)

by Mary W Maxwell

We all know our hour, I suppose. But in Wright’s poem Black Cockatoos, printed below, we see that birds know their hour too. And poets know how to identify these great mysteries in just a few words.

CJ Dennis, on the other hand, was a fiction writer in verse. How could he so perfectly capture a type of person? When I hear people talk about Australian culture, I think of the men described by Banjo Patterson and CJ Dennis. The characters they created were not beholden to anyone outside of Oz. [Read more…]

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