Butterfly Cave supported

WOMEN’S BUSINESS: Some of the supporters of The Awakabal Butterfly Cave who attended Monday night’s extraordinary council meeting. AN extraordinary meeting of Lake Macquarie City Council saw a full-house in the gallery as supporters of the Awabakal Women’s Butterfly Cave converged to make their presence felt on Monday night.
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The meeting was called to deal with a rescission motion lodged by Cr Kevin Baker. The motion, if passed, would have seen the council withdraw its support for an application lodged by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) to further protect the Butterfly Cave, located at West Wallsend.

At the June meeting of council it was resolved that Mayor Kay Fraser would write to the Department of Environment and Energy to express support for the NSWALCapplication.

NSWALC lodged the application on behalf of the Awabakal Local Land Council asking the Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, to protect the Butterfly Cave, under Section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.

In 2013, The Butterfly Cave was declared an Aboriginal Placein recognition of the site’s cultural, social and historical significance. It is located on land owned by the Roche Group, which is currently under staged residential development.

NSWALC argued“potential injury or desecration is associated with the proposed subdivision and residential development of Appletree Grove Estate – Stage 7 and Stage 9”.

NSWALC isrequesting the Appletree Grove Estate development be set back a significantly further distance from the cave than the currently approved 20m.

In speaking in favour of his motion, Cr Baker said the council needed to demonstrate it was “unbiased.”

The development was not approved by the council, but by the Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). However, council will be required to approve the construction management plan for stages 7 and 9.

“I believe as a consent authority for the construction certificate, I think it is entirely inappropriate for us as a council to be taking a position for or against,” Cr Baker said.

Speaking against the motion, Acting Mayor Wendy Harrison said council had no power to revoke a development consent once it hadbeen approved by a JRPP. However,there were occasions when elected representatives should “explore other options.”

“I believe this is one of those occasions,” she said.

Councillors Barney Langford and Brian Adamthwaite also spoke against the motion.

When put to the vote the rescission motion failed to fly, with only three councillors voting in favour of it.

The decision was met with a round of applause from the gallery.

Catholic insurer applies harsh judgment

IT would be hard to imagine a more damning statement from an insurance company to a church –we refuse to cover you because you allowed a paedophile teacher into your schools.
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But that’s what Maitland-Newcastle diocese did in 1974 when it employed a teacher who can only be referred to as GKI. And when parents complained about him in the 1980s the principal and the Catholic Education Office failed to act.

And when one of the teacher’s victims tried to sue the diocese in 2005 he was “fiercely resisted” in court, despite the diocese 15 years earlier conceding –to itself –that victims would have a “pretty good case” against it.

Once again the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has exposed the ugly reality behindthe Catholic Church’s global tragedy of abuse. In a series of documents released on Monday, communities around Australia can see how much the church knew.

It makes dismal reading. The commission released more than 400 documents, including howCatholic Church Insurance responded when victims made claims.

In many cases, like that of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese teacher, the insurer walked away because the church knew of risks and either failed to act, or failed to let the insurance company know.

The Hunter documents include letters from parents to the diocese, and the affidavits of parents to the 2005 case about how the teacher was finally reported to police. The report did not come from the church. It was children who toldmothers what their teacher did with boys in the classroom, and it was a parent who ultimately phoned police.

The teacher was arrested, his criminal history was checked, he pleaded guilty and was convicted in short order.

The facts of this teacher’s case make ugly reading. He was a serial, serious child sex offender with strong ties to senior people within the Catholic Church. Two monsignors employed him, knowing that he was a convicted child sex offender. A Catholic priest wrote a sickening letter of reference in which he conceded problems in the teacher’s past.

And while we can be confident children are much safer in schools today, that confidence does not extend to how the church continues to treat survivors seeking support and compensation.

Issue: 38,541.

Ray of bright sunshine

HAPPY RETURN: Mark Olson and his wife Ingunn Ringvold are preparing for their first Australian tour since their 2011 honeymoon.
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WALKING around theCalifornian desert without an instrument writing songs might sound like a scene out of Oliver Stone’s biopic The Doors when Jim Morrison and the boys take an LSD exploration.

With the exception of the mind-altering substances, this was Mark Olson’s experience while writing his new album Spokeswoman Of The Bright Sun with his Norwegianwife and musical partner Ingunn Ringvold.

The former Jayhawks songwriter and Ringvold live on an isolated property near Joshua Tree National Park. It was at home or on the porch wherethe pair recorded the album of Americana material live with eclectic equipment that included a ‘60s microphone rented from a music store and an Armenian kanun amplified through a delay box.

“When I write I go into a trance,” Olson said from his home in southern California.“I try to do my music and lyrics in a way that I’m working in my subconscious. I always go outside and write. I don’t write inside and I write a lot of the timewithout an instrument. I write in my mind and then I’ll sit down with something that’s in my mind and I’ll work with Ingunn or an instrument.”

In the mid-80s Olson formed one of the great musical partnerships of American alt-country when he teamed with Gary Louris to front The Jayhawks. The band’s mix of ‘60s harmonies and alt-country instrumentationand songs like Blue and Save It For A Rainy Day gave The Jayhawks critical acclaim.

Olson left the band for a second timein 2012, ayear after marrying Ringvold.Spokeswoman Of The Bright Sun, due for releaseon August 25,is the second albumthe couple have recorded together. Itfollows2014’sGood-bye Lizelle. Olson, 55, said Ringvold has brought a new motivation to his songwriting.

“She brings the sense inme that I want to do itin a unique and satisfying way again,” he said.“I want this to be the time that I achieve my best music with her.”

LEGEND: Mark Olson has carved a legacy in alt-country through the bands The Jayhawks and The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers.

Despite Olson’s pride in his wife’s musical prowess, the album title does not refer to Ringvold. It’s an ode to California, a state which rescued him fromhis traumatic teenage years in Minnesota, following the death of his father at 13.

“California is a land where you can live your dreams and I’ve always to tried to do that and my life always went so much better in California,” he said.

“Moving to the desert there’s an incredible amount of sunshine and I just started to feel like there’s some spokeswoman of the sun talking and helping me with things that are important in life. Your destiny and things like that.”

Mark Olson and Ingunn Ringvold play Dashville Skyline on September 29 to October 1 andperform at the Northern Star Hotel and Grand Junction Hotel on September 23 and 24.

Rae’s on Wategos: A revamped Rae of sunshine

When redoing the interiors of a much loved, classic boutique hotel such as Rae’s on Wategos​, there’s a delicate balance.”Many of the Rae’sclientele have incredible memories of the place so it was important not to change the overall feeltoo much,” says the designer charged with task, Tamsin Johnson (in collaboration with Lucy Folk).
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“With only seven rooms, I wanted them all to be verydifferent, much like that of a private residence. I wanted to enhance the patina of the hotel whilefreshening the place up.”

The 1960s buildingwith distinctive white curved walls and old Hollywood glamour comprises a villa, two penthouses and four suites. Ithas been the repeat go-to for a devoted, often celebrity, clientele.

The natural elements speak for themselves.

Established by Brisbane-born, now Paris-based Vincent Rae more than 20 years ago, the Byron Bay property hadn’t been renovated since, despite a couple of changes of ownership.

“It wasincredibly important to let thenaturalelements speak for themselves. After all, the landoverlooks the most magical beach in Australia,” says Johnson. “Whileevery piece was hand selected, imported or custom made, they weremeticulouslyconsidered to ensure they were asbeautiful as they were functional, from thecustom lighting to the ceramic Italian vases. The design and art bookshave been selected to encourage reading and reclining in a space that feels like home.”

Soon to come: The Rae’s Collection includes the private jet Air Rae’s and 26.6-metre super yacht Sea Rae’s, both up for charter. The restaurant will also be refurbished in August this year and an underground car park is slated for early 2018.

Picture perfect Wategos

Rae’s Restaurant and spa are open to non-guests.


Rae’s at Wategos is owned by Antony Catalano, CEO of Fairfax Media’s Domain Group.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Tribute to ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray explains link to Bayphotos, video

HISTORY: ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray with son John, then aged 10, and navigator Bill Murray (no relation) atop Grey Ghost, a 1948 Canadian Ford V8, in which he won the 1954 RedEx Round Australia Car Trial. Picture: Phil MurrayStroll along the Shoal Bay foreshore and you will find a rocknext to a benchthat is dedicated to the memory of‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray.
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Jack, a famous sporting figure of the 1950s and 60s whowon the 1954 RedEx Round Australia Car Trial without losing a single point, was no stranger to Port Stephens.

For decades the “larrikinlegend” holidayed withfriends in Shoal Bay, pursuing just about every water sport imaginable.

Jack Murray, in an interview with Modern Motor in 1981This is Your Life in March 1978.

Tribute to ‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray explains link to Bay | photos, video Jack Murray with Keith Wilson, taken during the 1954 RedEx trials.

Jack Murray in January 1969. Picture: Fairfax Media

A photo of Jack Murray, with sticks of gelignite, in April 1975 for a film called A Big Country: Trials By Gelignite. Picture: Australian Broadcasting Commission

The memorial plaque on the rock at Shoal Bay.

The memorial dedicated to Jack Murray at Shoal Bay.

Phil Murray with Irene Wolczak of the Port Stephens Writers Circle in 2012 after their work was published in Animal Encounters.

TweetFacebookGelignite’ Jack Murray, Mr Murray reveals the man behind the wheel.

“Duality is a theme that runs through Jack’s life,” Mr Murray wrote in his preface to the biography.

“Jack really did burn the candle –or the gelignite –at both ends…In many ways Jack lived two parallel lives and I recall that for some reason that was never explained to me when I was growing up, he seemed to have two birth dates.

“My father crammed the experiences of travel, sports and sheer zest for life of at least two men into his 76 years.”

The parallel life Mr Murray refers to is also about Jack’s time spent in Shoal Bay.

Jack had two great loves in his life: Ena Murray, whom he was married to between 1942 and 1983, the year he died, and Dorothy Rosewell, whom he has a relationship with for 25 years.

It was with Ms Rosewell that Jack holidayed with in Shoal Bay. They even owned an apartment in Shoal Towers.

The womenboth shared a life with Jack.

They were standing either side of his hospital bed when he died.

THE AUTHOR: Phil Murray, pictured in 2012, at Nelson Bay golf course. My Murray is often referred to as “Kangaroo Phil” after he founded the kangaroo encounter tours at Nelson Bay Golf Club, which aids University of Sydney research. Picture: Michael McGowan

Mr Murray, whoalong with his wife of 30 years, Rhonda, is friends with Ms Rosewell, explores this relationship in his book.

He also explores the legend of Gelignite Jack,how he got his nickname, the RedEx trials and his father’s other athletic pursuits.

The 1954 RedEx trial was one of the longest of its kind in the world.

Far longer than the year before, the 1954 route saw competitors visit every state and capital city in mainland Australia –a round trip of about 15,400 kilometres.

Some 246 cars took part in the race that year.

Jack drove a 1948 Canadian Ford V8 called Grey Ghost. He was accompanied by navigator Bill Murray –no relation.

It was in Townsvilleduring the rally that Jack earned himself the moniker ‘gelignite’.

He would detonate sticks of gelignite, also known as “jelly”, to clear debris from the rugged outback roads, and to mark his arrival and sometimes departure from country towns.

This was said to delightsome and infuriate others, such as police.

Jack’s ties with Shoal Bay are largely outlined in chapter 13, titled Wrestling and Waterskiing, of Mr Murray’s book.

In it,the story behind the rock along Shoal Bay’s foreshore dedicated to Jack is explained.

‘Gelignite’ Jack Murray reading The Sun newspaper in December 1968. Picture: Fairfax Media

Mr Murray said writing his father’s biography had proven to be a unexpected personal journey.

“The biographical task that I naively thought was simple to research, verify and document became so much more –a journey of understanding and discovery,” he said.

‘Gelignite’Jack Murray is available online fromNew Holland Publishers and Booktopia.

It is availablein some book stores.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.