In 2016, I wrote an essay and entered it in a competition. I second-guessed it for weeks: it was too personal, too revealing. I would make myself vulnerable, I would be exposed. But I entered it anyway and, to my profound surprise, it won. I wrote the essay in 2016, but I wrote it at other times, too. I wrote it when I tried to explain a panic attack to my Grade 2 teacher. I wrote it when I visited my grandfather’s grave for the first and only time. I wrote it when I understood the fear my dad felt […]
Michelle Guthrie will not be much mourned within the ABC. Hopeless at the communications and political parts of her job, she never managed to convince the staff that she understood and cared about public broadcasting. But we would be very wrong to think that her departure is a good move for Australia’s most important cultural institution. Instead, it leaves the ABC vulnerable and destabilised and highlights longer-term issues that seriously weaken the organisation. For this, Guthrie and the board share responsibility and are both culpable. The Government also carries its share of blame. As a result, at a peak in […]
This isn’t a president who arrived at the Resolute Desk unsoiled. Trump’s path to the post was one littered with infidelities and sexual shenanigating. For leisure, for lucre, this is a man who long crept around the world of pageants and who regularly appeared on Howard Stern to rank his daughter as a solid 10 and list all the women he’d most like to fornicate with. (Apparently he could easily have bedded Princess Di.) This is a man who has always presented as oily, as crude, and as though he’d be far better placed on a Scorsese set. By the […]
Not only can I tell you what I’m reading, but I can tell you every book I’ve read in the last three years—plus the date I finished reading it. I have a spreadsheet, you see. When I was twelve I read a novel about three sisters, and I remember exactly two details from it. That one of the sisters lost a finger in a cave but managed to get it re-attached, and that the youngest sister kept a diary. Instead of recounting what happened during the day, however, she simply listed the meals she ate. From there, memories of everything […]
It is the winter of 2017. I am in Wyndham and I take up the harbour master’s offer to accompany him on the pilot boat that will usher in a live cattle export ship waiting in the Cambridge Gulf.
Somehow we get away with the baby. We can’t believe our luck when we land on the train, baby in her stroller cheeky as a monkey and the whole day ahead of us.
Trauma is a strange bedfellow. In its company you binge on adrenaline and will anyone to have a go. Don’t push in front of me. Don’t mess with me. Go on, mess with me.
Eight wild wood ducks
greet me at the gate,
follow me down to the feed-room, wait
while I get them a handful of seed