Tag Archives: ABC

The Mighty Sandow: How the world’s strongest man wowed Australian audiences in 1902

Infographic: A fold-out of Eugen Sandow’s arm from his 1902 book The Gospel of Truth

ABC reported this fascinating story about one of the earlier body builders of our time. I was particularly interested in the long strong arm because my own is not working very well at the moment, especially with ‘writers’ elbow’.

The most interesting thing about this story is the first paragraph…

His first Sydney appearance promised he would exhibit his “400 phenomenally developed” muscles, tear packs of playing cards in half, and lift – at arm’s length – a grand piano on which a musician was performing, and support on his chest “a platform (weighing 800lbs/363kg) on which three horses play at see-saw”.

With his golden curls, waxed moustache and bulging muscles, Eugen Sandow cut quite a figure when he performed in Australia in 1902.

Born Friedrich Wilhelm Mueller in Prussia in 1867, Sandow was billed as the strongest man on earth and has come to be regarded as the father of body building.

The National Library of Australia (NLA) has a collection of material related to his Australian tour, including handbills, newspaper reports and a local edition of his book The Gospel of Strength, which included exercises that outlined Sandow’s theories on physical culture.


The Australian Government and the ABC – A Christmas Special

I am sharing this post for friends and writers in Australia and others who follow the work of the ABC. The article was posted by the Australian Society of Authors today.

The Government and the ABC – A Christmas Special

In the ricochet of the Abbott government’s $254 million, 5% cut to the ABC over five years, it has been announced that more than 300 ABC staff would lose their jobs over the next period.

Impacts on Australian writers.

This will have a serious impact on writers. Among the departures will be people who create scripts, intros, narrative, jokes, segues, back-announces and such other incidentals that radio and television production need. Producers, program makers, presenters, commissioning editors – many of whom wield precious word skills to produce ‘content’ – will also be eliminated.

We express sympathy and solidarity with salaried or contract staff who will find themselves terminated – but equal sympathy must go to the freelance writers who have relied on the meagre copyright or broadcast fees payable for use of their work.

The proposed closure of Poetica, Mike Ladd and Krystyna Kubiak’s long-standing program celebrating and supporting poetry in Australian life, is a further betrayal of the national broadcaster’s Charter, which includes: “… programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community …”


Poetica has run every week since February 1997 bringing poetry to a mainstream audience on ABC Radio National. From this program alone it appears that 9 out of 18 producers – i.e. writers – are to be sacked. At its peak Poetica reached 90,000 listeners per week, with many more via the internet.

Poetica made 900 programs, 60% of which featured contemporary Australian poets. It brought their work to a wide audience and provided the poets with some much-needed income through the fees paid for broadcast. Their publishers benefitted through some exposure. And booksellers reported a rise in enquiries and sales of the poetry titles featured.

In the absence of a dedicated poetry program with its own timeslot and separate website, assurances that poetry will continue to be featured on Radio National are merely a sop.

Poetica is one of many culturally valuable writing-centred programs to have been axed in recent years; others include The Book Reading and Short Story. It appears that this latest is a ‘specialist’ program of a kind that no longer lies within the brief of the broadcaster – or if it does, is not worth paying for.

Despite the ABC Charter, ABC programmers more and more ignore the need to respond to and facilitate ‘special interests’. If the ABC does not actively and vigorously support such an interest as literary creativity – something that is central to education and the nation’s intellectual life and arts – what exactly does it support?

The ABC’s efforts to ape the styles and motives of commercial media and internet organisations are meanwhile risible. 100 people are to go from News and Current Affairs to fund a $20 million digital investment program and 70 new digital jobs, suggesting it will now seek new space in a highly competitive online environment, with no guarantee of further reach or loyal audiences.

The ASA accuses the ABC of ill-informed, uncaring behaviour and helping to send writers broke. Shame on ABC management and shame on its political masters.

Copyright © 2014 Australian Society of Authors, All rights reserved.

G20 Brisbane, Australia

“I’m calling for the Indonesian president to look into the genocide in West Papua and stop only looking at the economic profits – and address the impact mining companies are having.” West Papuan independence advocate Ronny Kareni “I think the most important thing is education and then health care, and then infrastructure. If we can deliver the education program and health program, I’m sure the political tension will drop.” Indonesian president Joko Widodo speaking about the province of West Papua.

World leaders have been arriving in Brisbane, our city, today. Others have already arrived, ahead of the G20 meeting. We have a public holiday today. My son made me some melon and Vodka cocktails, just to ease the heat of the day and tension. Ok, that’s an excuse, but I have not had vodka cocktails since my Uni days. It was such a refreshing drink, I had to have one more.

Some of the hottest conditions on record are expected in parts of Queensland over the next few days with many Brisbane residents heading to the beach to take advantage of today’s G20 public holiday.

Heavy traffic has been reported along the M1, the main highway from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, as people flock to the beach for the long weekend – an exodus that began on Thursday afternoon.

Three women went head to toe in green body paint to send a message to world leaders at the G20 on behalf of PETA. ABC News: Patrick Williams

World leaders arriving in Brisbane for the G20 leaders’ summit will have to contend with very hot weather conditions, with the city predicted to hit 32 degrees Celsius today, 35 on Saturday and 39 degrees on Sunday.

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said all of the city’s hotels in our city were fully booked, and those as far west as Toowoomba.

Meanwhile Gold Coast Tourism spokesman Ben Pole said occupancy rates were high across the city, as thousands of Brisbane residents flock to the region.

Two days earlier, helicopters and planes crowded our airspace, in deafening security exercises to protect our visitors. Brisbane is a great city and I hope that everything will go well with the G20 meeting.

I have yet find any Climate Action protesting groups, but I will keep looking.

Here are other G20 pictures from ABC.


Pacific Climate Warriors to blockade Australia coal export



By Jemima Garrett and staff

ABC reported that the Pacific Climate Warriors have arrived in Australia today to mount a protest against the Australian coal industry and call for action on climate change. The group made up of young Pacific Islanders represent 13 countries.  They brought five specially made traditional canoes, which will lead a fleet of boats to blockade the coal port of Newcastle. In the group is the daughter of Marshall Islands president Christopher Loeak.

“The coal port is the largest in the world and there are plans for it to expand and we want to bring the message that the expansion is definitely going to have an effect on the islands, not just in the Marshalls but all over the Pacific,” said Milan Loeak.

“We just want to share our stories and make sure that people are aware that the decisions that are being made over here are directly affecting our islands back home.”

The Warriors are in Australia as part of 350.org’s protest of the port, which will culminate in a flotilla of the Warriors and Australian volunteers blocking coal exports for a day on Friday.

Fiji Climate Warrior George Nacewa said he had already seen villagers displaced by rising sea levels. He said the expansion of the port would have wide-ranging effects.

“These expansions will affect us and I live in a generation that has inherited a perfect environment but I am not too sure if I can pass this on to my kids and future generations to come,” he said.

Getting their send-off in Vanuatu, Iasoa Chief Kawea Sausiara told the Warriors the canoes carry a vital message.

“If climate change is not stopped we will lose our cultural activities. This is the message that we must remember. If not, Vanuatu will be nothing more than a wasteland,” he said.


ABC Cuts Off South Pacific

01 September 2014