John Bartlett

Writers for Refugees – can a ‘eureka moment’ be far away?

Posted by on 12:39 pm in Blog, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Writers for Refugees – can a ‘eureka moment’ be far away?

With just two days before Christmas we can’t ignore the stain on our national character which is our treatment of asylum seekers. While a pessimistic feeling infiltrates any public discussions, there are indications that growing general dissatisfaction will explode soon in a ‘eureka’ moment, that may lead us in a totally new direction. The recent formation of ‘Writers for Refugees’ is another sign of a growing and unavoidable groundswell against the current cruel policies. Here is their statement: We are opposed to government policies of...

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The Lure of Place (published in the December 2013 issue of ‘The Victorian Writer’)

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The Lure of Place (published in the December 2013 issue of ‘The Victorian Writer’)

I spent my childhood along the river Murray but left that area while still in my teens. I later discovered that no matter how far life and love entices us from the places familiar to childhood, some deep force, embedded in the psyche, seems to drag us back to those landscapes, if only in our imaginations. It was only after I had lived abroad for ten years and returned home that I became aware of those landscapes and wondered how I fit into them. I began to realise that my connection was based on a long shadow stretching back further than my...

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Demonstration against cuts to Higher Education

Posted by on 5:57 pm in Blog, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Demonstration against cuts to Higher Education

August 20th 2013: Today at midday, at the time I would normally be introducing my students to the mysteries of the apostrophe and how to write a clear, simple sentence, I was standing in a bitterly cold Bourke street in Melbourne with some university colleagues.We were on strike and protesting the lack of progress on our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.After almost a year of bargaining with senior management we still have not achieved a new collective agreement. Any sense of enthusiasm I should have been feeling was missing. I felt guilty...

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Dressing Informally

Posted by on 12:33 pm in Blog | 7 comments

Dressing Informally

In the 1970s in the Philippines President Marcos imposed several referenda to justify his continuation of Martial Law, first introduced in September 1972. There was enormous intimidation, particularly from the military, to support a ‘yes’ vote for the 1973 referendum, despite Marcos’ track record as a cruel and avaricious dictator. Some may say I may be drawing a long bow to compare the Marcos dictatorship with the current Australian political system but there are similarities. I recall the days in 1973 in a small town called Catarman in the...

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Bleeding Hearts

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Bleeding Hearts

When I was a secondary student at a Christian (!) Brothers’ College in the 1960s, I witnessed much verbal brutality and bullying from some of the brothers. There was one student in particular in our class who was the target of constant, almost daily hounding and belittling from one brother. I could never understand why he was singled out above all but then was grateful that attention on one student meant less attention on the rest of us. More recently I discovered to my shock that this same ‘boy’ was now in prison, serving a long sentence for...

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Open The Door Wider…Please

Posted by on 3:22 pm in Blog | 1 comment

Open The Door Wider…Please

It seems we have a new Immigration Minister, Tony Burke, oh and a new Prime Minister too. Although the PM’s more recycled than brand new, but that’s another story for another blog when the dust settles. If Minister Burke is interested I’d like to offer him some free advice about the issue of asylum seekers coming to Australia. It’s time to face up to the fact that we’ve made a major stuff-up with recent policies. Very embarrassing Australia, girt by sea! Number 1. Tear up the old policies and start all over again. There’s nothing like having...

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My first guest blog

Posted by on 1:16 pm in Blog | 0 comments

My first guest blog

On this Mother’s Day, I’m delighted to present on HeartSongCreative my first guest blog from a friend and former fellow student, Suvi Mahonen. Suvi is a Whitsundays-based former journalist now turned freelance writer. Her non-fiction has appeared in various newspapers and magazines in both Australia and Canada including Mariner Life, The Weekend Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. Her fiction has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. ‘The fig tree’ was recently published...

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