ICT and media news

RUOK? survey reveals Aussies spend more time with screens than quality time with family and friends

We spend an average of 46 hours of our weekly downtime looking at TVs and devices, compared to 6 hours engaging with family and friends. About half of all Australians spend 2 hours or less weekly connecting with those who matter to them. Obstacles include distance, being too tired, being busy, housework and long work hours. Finding time in busy schedules is crucial. Strong and caring connections provide a safety net to help people cope with challenging times.



Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2016

Their 5th edition- more than 2000 Australians aged 14 to 69 were surveyed. The survey provides a snapshot of how consumers are interacting with media, entertainment and technologies. Results include:


* Huge influence of social media – the #1 digital destination; 84% are on a social network

*61% use social media every day; 84% of younger millennials use it every day

*Most used social media sites: 1.  Facebook (92%) 2. Instagram (28%) 3. Twitter (24%) 4. (All equal) Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ (18%)

*18% use social media sites as their most frequently used source of news (14% online papers; 6% print newspapers); many younger people use social media as their primary source of news

*Word of mouth is still the main influence on purchase decisions, followed by recommendations on social media (which has surpassed the influence of TV advertising)

*TV viewing, on any device, is the most preferred entertainment activity (62% rate it in top 3)

*Using the internet for social or personal interests is almost as popular as TV (60% rate it in top 3)

*Millennials prefer using the internet as their top source of entertainment; watching TV is the most popular with other generations

*Live programming is the most used method for consuming TV (42% of viewing time)

*Watching streamed programming is increasing (22% pay for a subscription)

*Millennials lead the uptake of streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto

*Almost everyone likes to binge-watch (74% millennials; 50% others)

* 88% multitask while watching TV

*66% own tablet devices

*86% of households own a smartphone and a laptop; 85% own a TV

*67% rank smartphones in their top 3 devices

*Social media apps are the most popular with millennials; banking apps are also popular with younger people; older people like weather apps!

*10% intend to buy a Virtual Reality headset next year

*21% own a fitness band and 11% own a smartwatch

*Millennials (age 14 to 32) lead the way in engaging with the digital media universe


Preferred entertainment activities of all respondents – including books!

  1. Watching TV (any device) 2. Using the internet 3. Listening to music (any device) 4. Going to the movies 5. Reading books 6. Playing video games 7. Attending live performances 8. Reading newspapers (print or online) 9. Listening to the radio (any device/format) 10. Reading magazines (print or online)

*Reading books (in any format) is rated by 25% of people as a top 3 entertainment activity

*Reading books (in any format) decreased in popularity by 8% compared to 2015, despite gains for the past 4 years.

*Reading books and playing video games are almost equal in popularity as a top 3 entertainment activity (25% for books; 24% for video games)

*Movie-going increased in popularity by 5% over the past year

*Aside from using the internet and watching TV, millennials also favour listening to music, going to the movies and playing video games

*Aside from watching TV and using the internet, boomers and matures also like reading newspapers and books


Good short video and infographic: http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/media-consumer-survey-2016.html

The report: http://bit.ly/2cV9Ml2

Summary: http://which-50.com/social-dominates-digital-reshapes-media-habits/

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Great to see Canberra born and raised author Anna Snoekstra  release her debut novel – a psychological thriller set in Canberra! The film rights were sold to Universal Pictures and the script has been completed by Erin Wilson (who wrote the scripts for The girl on the train and Secretary). The book follows the disappearance of 16 year old Rebecca Winter and the impostor who claims to be the missing teen 11 years later. The story is told in alternating chapters by both characters. Snoekstra said Canberra was the “perfect fit” for the setting, but the film sets the story in Arizona. Her next novel – Dolls – is due out next year.


“Only Daughter is a true psychological thriller. It is not just a little bit scary, or a little bit creepy – it’s an exploration into the psychology of young women; it’s a murder mystery; and on top of that, it’s completely riveting. This novel plays with the stereotypes of crime fiction by giving a voice to both the young woman Rebecca who disappears, and the woman who willingly takes her place…..It’s safe to say you won’t see the end coming.” (Melanie Joosten)

Review: http://www.annasnoekstra.com/?page_id=79


Review: “One woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future”: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book/only-daughter/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BOW%2021th%20of%20September%20-%20Only%20Daughter&utm_content=BOW%2021th%20of%20September%20-%20Only%20Daughter+CID_f90fb0950a15e8e3a69f343e10b28939&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=READ%20MORE


From Bluebeard to Gone girl: why I’m proud to be part of the ‘domestic noir’ comeback by Anna Snoekstra. All those books about ‘burnt-out, middle-aged male detectives’ have been replaced by numerous titles with female protagonists.



Interview in Canberra City News: http://issuu.com/citynews/docs/160818_citynews/7?e=1141122/37942558




Good TV and films

Good things from the ABC and some good upcoming films…..


iView Arts channel

Art, fashion, books, film, photography, music….



iView Arts programs include:



“A short-form digital complement to The Book Club – where books, reading culture and storytelling collide online”. Videos are 3 to 7 minutes.



The Word

Poetry from writers and performers from diverse backgrounds. Videos are 3 to 10 minutes.



Meet the mavericks

Featuring iconic artists, performers, thinkers, cultural leaders and all round troublemakers. It pairs guests from different generations and fields who have aspects of their work in common eg. Tim Minchin and Phillip Adams; Ben Quilty and Warwick Thornton.



The critics

Examines screen culture from feature films to web series and video art. Videos are 10 minutes.



Anh’s brush with fame

8 part series from Wed 24 Aug on ABC. Comedian and artist Anh Do paints a portrait of a well-known person whilst getting to know them and learning about their life and formative years. The celebrities also share personal photos and videos. First up is Magda Szubanski, followed by Jimmy Barnes, Amanda Keller, Dr Charlie Teo, Kyle Sandilands, Craig McLachlan, Kate Ceberano and Anthony Mundine. Anh was a finalist in the 2014 Archibald Prize.



ABC3 becomes ABC ME on 19 Sept

“The complete digital and broadcast service designed to reflect and celebrate the lives, interests and diversity of young Australians”. The channel is aimed at school-aged children and will have quality short and long form Australian and international content, with a new app that can be personalised. New programs include News to me (weekly pop culture review show); Prisoner zero (sci-fi action animation) and This is me (short documentary series). Returning programs include the acclaimed Nowhere boys, Little lunch and Behind the news. There will also be new strands that will allow children to share their ideas and opinions. ABC ME will be on Channel 23 free to air.



Good shows on the ABC for the remainder of the year…..

Man up – Looks at the disconnectedness of Australian men, mental health problems and suicide.

Jane Caro’s Compass series explores family relationships.

When TV was awesome – Short ABC archival gems get a comedy-mash-up makeover. Satirical, irreverent and shareable.

You can’t ask that – excellent insights into the lives of marginalised Australians who answer anonymous questions.

Looking forward to Upper middle bogan (series 3)….such a good show!



Some good films….


Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children

Directed by Tim Burton. Based on the  bestselling dark fantasy/horror young adult novel by Ransom Riggs, which was illustrated with unusual vintage photos of children. Following  a family tragedy, 16 year old Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, leading him to an abandoned orphanage on an island, inhabited by a variety of children with unusual traits and powers. Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson. Rated PG. Opens Sept 2016.


Book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9460487-miss-peregrine-s-home-for-peculiar-children


Pete’s dragon

The adventures of an orphaned boy who is rescued after an accident by a giant green dragon who lives in a forest. Remake of the 1977 film musical. Stars Bryce Dallas Howard , Oakes Fegley and Robert Redford. “The elemental friendship between boy and beast and a lovely affirmation of family, community, and the preciousness of the natural world” (Tobias). Out now.




Fantastic beasts and where to find them

Prequel to the Harry Potter series, set in New York in 1926; the first in a film trilogy. Based on the book by J.K.Rowling/Newt Scamander (an approved textbook at Hogwarts). Follows the adventures of writer and introverted wizard Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. When Newt visits New York for a conference, a misplaced magical case leads to the escape of some fantastic beasts and an increase in violence, fear and tension between magical and non magical peoples. Directed by David Yates (who directed Harry Potter 5,6,7,and 8). Stars Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell. Opens 18 November.






A monster calls

Based on the acclaimed book by Patrick Ness (a very moving, sad but wonderful story). An ancient yew tree helps a boy cope with his mother’s terminal illness and face the truth about an incident in his past. Stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson as the voice of the monster. The trailer looks excellent. Opens Jan 2017.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMgm20Di9Wg


RUOK? Day Thursday 8 Sept

RUOK? Day is tomorrow Thursday 8 September and World Suicide Prevention Day is on Sat 10 Sept. We have a display of mental health resources in the library. It’s a great day to check in with someone you care about – students, family, friends and colleagues. And it’s ok to say “No, I’m not ok”.


Inspiring conversations and stories: https://www.ruok.org.au/stories

World Suicide Prevention Day: http://wspd.org.au/


Getting help

 Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 24hr crisis support on 13 11 14. Suicide prevention, crisis support and mental health services.

beyondblue  https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ Information about depression to consumers, carers and health professionals.

Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/  Information, self-tests and resources about mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Headspace http://headspace.org.au/ Support, information and assistance for young people aged 12 to 25 years who are experiencing emotional or mental health issues and/or a substance use issue.

eheadspace  https://www.eheadspace.org.au/ A confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 – 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.

Reachout http://au.reachout.com/ Support for tough times, wellbeing, toolbox.

e-couch https://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome  Self-help modules for depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, relationships, bereavement.

MoodGym https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome Learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression.

Kids Helpline https://kidshelpline.com.au/  24 hour telephone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Ph. 1800 55 1800.

Living is for Everyone (LIFE) http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/ Suicide and self-harm prevention resource, dedicated to providing the best available evidence and resources to guide activities aimed at reducing the rate at which people take their lives in Australia.

Mens Line Australia  https://www.mensline.org.au/  A telephone support, information and referral service for men. Ph. 1300 78 99 78.

Suicide Prevention Australia https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/   A public health advocate in suicide prevention.

Supportlink StandBy Response Service  https://www.supportlink.com.au/standby.aspxs  A community crisis response service for families, friends and associates who have been bereaved through suicide.


Living Is For Everyone (LIFE)

This Australian Government project is a suicide and self-harm prevention resource.

Excellent links, fact sheets and information: http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/

24 fact sheets:  http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/resources/individual-fact-sheets/

Brochure: Suicide – worried about someone?  http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/resources/suicide-worried-about-someone-brochure/

Excellent links to services for helplines, mental health, drugs and alcohol, youth, gender diversity, bereavement:  http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/links/


Happy Book Week!

Literature quizzes

25 fun bookish quizzes: http://bookriot.com/2013/04/10/25-fun-bookish-quizzes/



Great opening lines: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/30-great-opening-lines-in-literature/

53 best opening sentences: https://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahgalo/it-was-a-queer-sultry-summer?utm_term=.drxY61B0Y#.ldmRaDLjR

100 best closing lines: http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/the-best-100-closing-lines-from-books


Better Reading

Australia’s largest annual celebration  of books and reading, encouraging everyone to pick up a book and read.

The first Top 100 list was launched in 2015:


Vote for your favourite book in 2016  and go in the draw to win Australia’s top 100 books. Entries close 31 Aug; top 100 announced 9 Sept. Titles can be fiction or non fiction from around the world.

Top 50 kids’ books: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/better-reading-presents-australias-top-50-kids-books/


Dymocks Top 101 2016

  1. The book thief 2. To kill a mockingbird 3. Pride and prejudice



Miles Franklin Award announced 26 Aug

Australia’s most prestigious literary prize is awarded to “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases”.


Book lists and awards

Literary awards around the world – there are lots!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_awards

Reading suggestions and awards: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/



The world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations (owned by Amazon). Lists, quizzes, trivia, quotes…


Goodreads Choice Awards: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2015


New York Times Bestsellers

Truly madly deeply by Liane Moriarty at #4.



After something new to read? Try these…


All these perfect strangers by Aoife Clifford

Psychological thriller (Aust. author) with an unreliable narrator. Within 6 months of Pen starting university, three of her friends are dead and only Pen knows the reason why. “A novel of disquieting intimacy and controlled suspense” – Gary Disher.



Ancillary justice by Ann Leckie

Award-winning sci-fi novel, the first in a space opera trilogy. The only novel to win the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Breq is the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery. As the artificial consciousness of the starship, she seeks revenge on the ruler of her civilisation.



The trap by Melanie Raabe

Psychological thriller. “I know who killed my sister. I wrote this book for him”. Twelve years after the murder, Linda sees her sister’s killer on TV as a well-known journalist. She sets a trap for him by writing a thriller about an unsolved murder of a young woman.


Go books and reading!



Robots and Education Today magazine

Education Today: the school principals’ magazine

You may have seen this interesting magazine in staffrooms. It comes out each term and is also available online and searchable back to 2007. The articles cover a broad range of current educational topics, are written in an engaging style and PDFs of articles are available for downloading and sharing. Education Today is owned and published by Minnis Journals (publisher: Bill Minnis) and is not aligned with any group. www.educationtoday.com.au


Interesting articles from Education Today (term 2 2016):


Digital technologies: beyond the panic – Damian Perry

The new AC Digital Technologies Curriculum will be in place in 2017, but will probably take 10 years to implement. It promotes the creation of solutions using technology, with students experimenting with algorithms and programming, exploring hardware, software, data and networks. Computational thinking is an essential component. It differs from the ICT General Capability, where students use software, access and evaluate information, consider issues of copyright and privacy, and collaborate and share. Money and time will be needed to train teachers in the new Digital Technologies Curriculum and students will be at vastly different skill levels.

There are some f=good links at the end of the article.




NAO robots enhance learning in South Australia

These humanoid robots have been used in 7 independent schools since early 2015, in the first major Australian study of how humanoid robots affect  learning and teaching in schools. They have been used with preschoolers to Yr 10 for Maths, Digital technologies, English and German. Using the robots has enhanced collaboration between students and teachers, unlocked innovative approaches to education, led to a rapid uptake of high level cognitive processes and quick adoption of coding language Python. The robots have proved to be a powerful way for teachers to embrace the new Digital Technologies Curriculum. Teachers and students love the robots because of the endearing way they behave. Deepest learning occurs when students play with the robots and discover things themselves. ANO robots have been used to diagnose autism and treat brin-injured patients – subjects often respond better to the robots than humans. NAOs are expensive though – $8000.



Aust. distributor of NAO robots: http://www.brainaryinteractive.com/nao-robot/


Pretty sure you want a robot?

Here are 13 advanced humanoid robots for sale: Darwin Mini ($499), Hovis Eco Lite ($700), Robotis Op 2 ($9600)…..or maybe you’d prefer the Robothespian ($78 000) or perhaps the Asimo ($2.5 million)?


Fearful of robots? Don’t worry…they have to follow the Three Laws:



I’d love to be using my robotic vacuum cleaner this weekend (if I had one)…..


ICT news

Coding world record

On 20 July, more than 10,000 Australian kids set a new world record for the number of children coding simultaneously at the nationwide Moonhack event. Run by Code Club Australia, participants completed a series of online computer programming exercises related to science and astronomy. Founded in 2014, Code Club Australia has over 900 clubs.



Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app

At WWDC in June, Apple introduced the free Swift Playgrounds app that makes learning to code fun and easy for all. Designed for the iPad, the app encourages beginners to explore using Swift, the easy-to-learn programming language used by professional developers. Through lessons, students learn how to write code to guide onscreen characters through worlds, solving puzzles as they learn core coding concepts. Templates are included to help students create real programs that can be shared. Swift Playgrounds allows students to create an unlimited variety of interactive programs. Extra challenges will be released so students can further develop their abilities.  Swift Playgrounds is “not about learning apps for platforms. It’s about learning good coding practices” (Hodges, Apple). iOS 10 beta version available in July; final version available Sept/Oct.


“Swift Playgrounds is the only app of its kind that is both easy enough for students and beginners, yet powerful enough to write real code” (Federighi, Apple VP). “The new Swift Playgrounds app from Apple is one of the most powerful, yet approachable, educational coding apps we’ve ever seen.…it’s a fun and intuitive way for our students to learn the basic principles of coding using the iPad, and also become skilled in Swift” (MacDonald).



Swift Playgrounds is built for kids, but adults might like it too:



Facebook’s internet drone test  flight

Facebook hopes to connect the world’s 7 billion people to the internet. Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, solar-powered, high-altitude drone, recently flew successfully for 96 minutes above Yuma, Arizona. Aquila will fly over areas of the world not yet connected to the internet, and beam down lasers to provide connectivity. It has a massive wingspan, flies as slowly as possible and only uses the equivalent power of 3 hairdryers. Using drones is more feasible than covering the world with signal towers.




Chromebooks and Chromeboxes

At our Year 11-12 school, we have installed 30 Asus wifi Chromeboxes to replace ageing PCs in the library. The Chromeboxes use an existing monitor and run Chrome OS ($280). The device is a desktop variant of the Chromebook laptop (HP $550), which our students use frequently.  In May this year, Chromebooks outsold Macs in the US education market for the first time. That was before Google announced that apps on the Android mobile platform – all 2.2 million – would be coming to Chromebooks too. Any app on your Android phone will sync to your Chromebook (or ChromeBox, the desktop unit). Chromebooks are less expensive and require far less IT support than PCs.



The benefits and otherwise of Pokemon Go

More daily users than Twitter; more time spent playing it than on Facebook. Some benefits: getting gamers to exercise; socialising with others; positive impacts on mental health; cooperation between players; increasing use of museums, coffee shops, cafes etc






Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.3 billion

The purchase includes Yahoo Search, Mail and Flickr.  Verizon will merge Yahoo with AOL, providing an advertising alternative to juggernauts Google and Facebook, which have 43% of digital ad sales worldwide. Yahoo was launched in 1995 by Stanford grad students Jerry Yang and David Filo as ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’.



ICT news

Internet Trends Report 2016 by Mary Meeker

Her 21st annual report is over 200 slides and reveals:

Internet growth is slowing (3 billion users = 42% of world’s population); massive increase in voice commands – voice is the next big interface; in 5 years at least 50% of searches are going to be images or speech; messaging apps are rivalling the home screen as the main place for interaction; messaging is evolving with rich interactions – emoji, GIFs, videos, stickers; many online ads are ineffective; use of ad blockers is rising fast; privacy and security are ticking time bombs; user-generated videos and photos are redefining marketing; millennials don’t want to talk on the phone; smartphone growth is plateauing.

Global internet market leaders: 1. Apple 2. Google 3. Amazon 4. Facebook 5. Tencent (China)



The 50 most influential gadgets of all time

A great list with interesting info including Apple Macintosh, Walkman, Victrola record player, Kodak Brownie camera, iPod, Philips VCR, Game Boy, TomTom, iPad, Kindle, Polaroid camera, Raspberry Pi, Segway, Fitbit, Wii, PlayStation….and the number 1? Apple iPhone – Apple dominates the list.




Google’s Magenta project

Magenta just wrote its first piece of music. This research project uses machine intelligence and algorithms for music and art generation. Machine learning has already been used extensively to understand content (eg. for speech recognition and for translation). Robots with rhythm?



Want to test-drive for Google?

In Phoenix, you can apply to test-drive Google’s self-driving car and earn $20 per hour for six to eight hours a day, 5 dpw on a 12-24 month contract. Drivers must have a bachelor’s degree, a typing speed of over 40 words per minute and a clean driving and criminal record. Testers will work in teams of 2, with one submitting detailed reports.



Your Google Account will help you find your phone

“Ok Google, show me my Google account”. Voice searches on Google have tripled in the past 2 years. Google is now adding a Find your phone feature – in a few steps, you can locate your phone, lock and call it, secure your account and leave a callback number on the screen. For Android and iOS.


National Reconciliation Week

Some resources for all ages to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority (ACARA) and also for National Reconciliation Week.


National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June

Reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. This year’s theme is Our History, Our Story, Our Future.  


Reconciliation Australia also links to:

Share Our Pride –  an insight into the history, lives and cultures of Australia’s First People.

Recognise – the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution and to ensure that it is free from racial discrimination.




Some useful videos for National Reconciliation Week:


What is National Reconciliation Week – NITV (4 min.): http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/explainer/what-national-reconciliation-week

2016 National Reconciliation Week (1 min.): http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/resources/nrw-60-second-video/

Who we are (8 min.) – follows the lives of 6 exceptional young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who share their stories about their families and communities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxPWd_0z3Ng

Journalist Stan Grant’s powerful speech about indigenous history in Australia (8 min.):




National Indigenous Television informs, educates and entertains its indigenous and non-indigenous audiences about the issues that matter the most to indigenous Australians. Great documentaries, news, personal accounts and perspectives.  Includes Songlines on Screen (stories of indigenous peoples’ connection to land); The point with Stan Grant (current affairs through the lens of indigenous people); Jarjums (children’s shows). http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/

20 inspiring black women who have changed Australia: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2015/03/06/20-inspiring-black-women-who-have-changed-australia

Colour theory season 3 – hosted by artist Tony Albert, starts 12 June. Explores the work of 5 indigenous contemporary artists. http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/05/24/tony-albert-new-host-colour-theory-season-3

Some indigenous works from Google Art Project: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/05/31/googles-art-project-brings-indigenous-talent-digital-world


SBS On Demand

A changing selection of films, documentaries and newsclips. Films with indigenous themes and issues include: Milpirri, The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Jedda, Clouded history, The fringe dwellers, Yolngu boy, Manganinnie, When the natives got restless, Toomelah, North of Capricorn. You can also search for “indigenous” and “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” programs.



Creative Spirits

“Learn about contemporary Aboriginal culture without agenda”. Many resources in many areas including history, arts, people, economy, law and justice, politics and media, spirituality. “Creative Spirits is an amazing collection of history and an inspiring representation of Aboriginal culture”—Michele Hetherington, Aboriginal woman from NSW.


Teacher and student resources: books, movies, music, TV and radio, infographics…



There are some excellent resources listed on the Reconciliation Australia site, including these below: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/resources/




State of Reconciliation in Australia Report (2016) – Highlights what has been achieved under the 5 dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance and makes recommendations for the progress of reconciliation.


Talking to my country (2016) – Stan Grant. “An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity…. what it means to be Australian; the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an Aboriginal man and what racism really means in this country”.


Paddy’s road: life stories of Patrick Dodson (2003) – Kevin Keeffe. Explores “the life and political, cultural and spiritual beliefs of Australia’s first Aboriginal Catholic priest, land rights activist, Royal Commissioner and founder of Australia’s reconciliation movement. From the moment of colonisation in the Kimberley to the era of native title, from pearling to pastoralism, through missions and institutions, this Aboriginal family has survived an uncaring and intrusive state system”. Dodson is now a senator in WA.


Jandamarra (2013) – Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton. The epic and tragic story of Jandamarra, indigenous hero of the Kimberley. “To the settlers, he was an outlaw to be hunted. To the Bunuba, he was a courageous defender of his country. A unique insight into an extraordinary man and a dark but important part of Australia’s frontier history. Jandamarra is story for all Australians”.


Boomerang and bat: the story of the real First Eleven (2016) – Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton. The first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868 was a group of Aboriginal stockmen. Led by Johnny Mullagh, they wore caps embroidered with a boomerang and a bat and impressed crowds with their exceptional skill.


Stories for Simon (2015) – Lisa Miranda Sarzin. “When Simon unwraps a beautiful boomerang wrapped in an old newspaper, he learns of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. Who were the Stolen Generations and how can saying ‘sorry’ help? Through a new friendship and a magnificent collection of stories, Simon gains a deep appreciation of the past and a positive vision for the future”.


Books: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Recommended-reading_2016-NRW-update_FINAL.pdf


Films and TV


Cleverman – ABC 6 part series begins 2 June.  Directed by Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell with an 80 % indigenous cast. In the near future, society fears a minority group living among them, as one young man struggles with his own power and the responsibility to unite this divided world. The series fuses an Orwellian/sci-fi/ superhero world with Dreaming stories. Can’t wait to see this!


Ready for this (2016) – ABC3 teen drama  12 episodes. Follows 6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenagers, all elite in their own field, who have come to Sydney to pursue their dreams, living at performance school Arcadia House and dealing with the challenges of growing up. From the producers of Dance Academy and Redfern Now.


Mugu kids – NITV. Hosted by indigenous actor, writer and director Jub Clerc. The program highlights a number of indigenous languages, including the Arrente language of Alice Springs and Hermannsburg, the Gumbaynggirr language of Nambucca on the coast of New South Wales, and the Gubbi Gubbi language from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Each episode covers a different topic, such as feelings, animals, dreaming and school.


Films and TV: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Recommended-viewing_2016-NRW-update_FINAL.pdf


Black Screen

Part of the National Film and Sound Archive – lends DVDs of contemporary indigenous films to individuals and organisations for use at screening events.



Good books

More good reads…..


Australian Book Industry Awards 

These awards are decided by industry experts who select the best titles published in Australia each year. Last year the top award for Book of the Year went to the childrens’ book The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. This year’s winners include:

Book of the Year and Biography: Reckoning – Magda Szubanski.

General Non Fiction: Island home – Tim Winton.

Literary Fiction: The other side of the world – Stephanie Bishop.

Book of the Year for Younger Children: The 65-storey treehouse – Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

Book of the Year for Older Children: Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Publisher of the Year: Allen & Unwin.

Independent Bookseller of the Year: Readings.




Australian Book Industry Innovation Award

Winner: The Best of Friends Social and Emotional Learning Program. The program is aimed at primary school students, with stories and illustrations by Connah Brecon, Barbara Gonzalez and Lisa Diebold. Topics include making friends, social expectations, compromise, empathy, peacemaking, conflict resolution.


The program is part of Quirky Kid Psychology Clinic http://childpsychologist.com.au/

Lots of good fact sheets and info re child psychology and wellbeing: http://childpsychologist.com.au/resources/

Books and resources: https://therapeuticresources.com.au/


7 books to read before they hit the screens

The girl on the train – Paula Hawkins. Last year’s bestselling mystery – a woman watches a couple on the train each morning and one day sees something shocking. Emily Blunt to star. Opens September.

Me before you – Jojo Moyes. A young woman becomes a carer for a young man and their lives are changed forever. Emilia Clarke to star. Opens June.

The light between oceans – M. L. Stedman. The award-winning tale of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue a baby adrift in a boat and raise her as their own, with unforeseen consequences. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander to star. Opens September.

Inferno – Dan Brown. Symbologist Robert Langdon must decipher codes within Renaissance artworks in order to save the world. Tom Hanks to star. Opens October.

Fantastic beasts and where to find them – J.K.Rowling. Set 70 years before Harry Potter; the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. Eddie Redmayne to star. Opens December.

The BFG – Roald Dahl. The adventures of Sophie and the giant will be released as a film in June, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Mark Rylance. Opens July.

Big little lies – Liane Moriarty. The lives of a group of middle class women and their partners start to unravel and many secrets are revealed. The HBO series comes out in 2017, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.