John Bartlett

Surf Coast- Boxing Day 2015

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Surf Coast- Boxing Day 2015

Surf Coast- Boxing Day 2015 Sketched upon the Cartridge Of this morning’s beach Wavering charcoal lines Searching for a story Scribbled by retreating tides. Leaves, bark chips, small pieces of blackened timber Not quite destroyed Just baked in one explosive curse Of fire and angry flames. Charred too at the edges Are memories Of long summer afternoons Of tinkling glasses on shaded verandas Of laughter and of children’s voices Echoing in the dunes Of watching kookaburras, Voyeurs on tall branches. These private moments too Sucked into the...

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From the Room of Unexpected Words

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From the Room of Unexpected Words

U3A students in Torquay have been exploring the art of creative writing in a weekly class in the Torquay Old Police Station, which we came to label ‘the room of unexpected words’. Each week we used a variety of triggers to engage with the playful, non-rational, non-editing brain. In the last six months particularly we also looked at a number of fairy stories – Little Red Riding Hood / Cinderella etc and ‘demolished’ the original version and crafted our own more contemporary, more exciting responses. Here are some or our responses: LOSS OF A...

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Messing with the Church

Posted by on 3:43 pm in Blog | 1 comment

Messing with the Church

I’ve just finished reading Don’t mess with Marriage, the recent letter from the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference, warning of the dangers of same-sex-marriage and it made me angry. Firstly, I don’t understand how a group of celibate Caucasian men who presumably have no experience of relationships, let alone same-sex relationships set themselves up to advise on these relationships. Of course the bishops will quote traditions spanning hundreds of years of theology and papal infallibility developed by its...

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Violence against women – one man’s reflection

Posted by on 3:44 pm in Blog | 3 comments

Violence against women – one man’s reflection

Despite gale-force winds of almost 100 km/hr and temperatures of thirty plus degrees, a crowd of several hundred stood firm in Torquay earlier today, November 25th, to celebrate White Ribbon Day. White Ribbon day celebrates Australia’s only national, male-led campaign to end men’s violence against women. Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Torquay mayor Rose Hodge opened the event,  challenging us that we needed to ‘draw a line in the sand and say that violence against...

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Died Under Our Care

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Died Under Our Care

Earlier this evening (November 18th) a group of asylum seeker supporters gathered outside the Geelong City Hall to remember the deaths of all the asylum seekers who have died in Australia’s care.   Following on the terrorists attacks in France there was a sense that we were forgetting the thousands of non-Western citizens murdered by Islamic State. All those who have died as a result of terrorist acts should be equally remembered and honored.   How many more deaths will it take till we say ENOUGH! Every one of the men whose...

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Shaking things up – the Greens candidate for Higgins

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Shaking things up – the Greens candidate for Higgins

Jason Ball shot to prominence in Australia in 2012 when he ‘came out’ as the first openly gay Australian Rules footballer. In August this year he was chosen as the Greens candidate for the Melbourne seat of Higgins, currently held by the recently promoted Kelly O’Dwyer. But there is much more to Jason than merely these two identities as I discovered in a recent Q & A session with this science and mental health advocate, and secularist.   1. Kelly O’Dwyer won Higgins in a 3% swing in a by-election in 2009 in what...

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Writers Ride the Big Dipper: 2015 National Writers’ Congress

Posted by on 4:24 pm in Blog | 2 comments

Writers Ride the Big Dipper: 2015 National Writers’ Congress

Luna Park in Sydney might seem an odd venue for the recent Australian Society of Authors Congress, which I attended last week. Visions of whirling writers clutching laptops on the Big Dipper or pen and paper colliding madly on the Dodgem cars spring to mind but we were safely ensconced in the Convention Centre away from crowds sticky with Fairy Floss and from the delighted screams of teenagers on the frightening Hair Raiser ride.   However, the metaphor of writers poised dangerously on top of a Ferris Wheel or spinning wildly on a Whirly...

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