#WATWB September 2020 – Cathy Freeman Foundation

Welcome to the #WATWB blogfest for September 2020. Our fabulous co-hosts are:

Eric Lahti, Peter Nena Shilpa Garg, Roshan Radhakrishnan, and  Sylvia Stein.

Interview with Christine Anu on ABC News Australia.

Picture: ABC News Australia YouTube channel.

Being a 1970s child was quite an experience. But it just dawned on me that I shared being born in the early 70s with Cathy Freeman. For those of us in Australia Cathy Freeman is a household name. Cathy represented Australia in athletics and, during the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, she lit the Olympic Cauldron.

This year is 20 years since Cathy played such a significant role in those Olympic Games. But that is not the reason for the post this time around. What I would like to highlight, given it’s more particular focus on WATWB matters, is the work of the Cathy Freeman foundation. This foundation gives an opportunity for young indigenous people to access educational and vocational opportunities. This is especially significant for those geographically remote locations.

Some would be aware, some would not, that Cathy Freeman is an Australian indigenous woman. She represents the aboriginal and therefore First Nations people of Australia. Part of the work of her foundation is creating opportunities for young indigenous women and men to find their way in life. In an interview on Friday, 25 September 2020, Eastern Australian time, ABC News journalist, Christine Anu, interviews Cathy Freeman on her life during and after the Olympic Games and also her life with the Cathy Freeman foundation.

I have included the link and hope you enjoy the interview between Christine and Cathy. Although not an indigenous Australian myself, I was both deeply moved by Cathy‘s presence in the 2000 Olympic Games and also to hear of the great work in her foundation.

Perhaps some of you reading this may also be moved or even inspired.

Also, don’t forget to have a look at any other posts who are tagged with WATWB. Thank you for supporting our work to promote good news stories.

Why not follow #WATWB


#WATWB August Refreshing Relief in Drought


Above:  Sir George Hubert Wilkins (from Australian Dictionary of Biography, originally, Ohio State University).

It has been said of the explorer and adventurer, George Hubert Wilkins, that, as a child in rural South Australia, he was puzzled by the then drought.  He heard that, to understand climate, one needs to explore the polar extremities of the earth. So that is what he endeavoured to do.

Sadly, many nations of our world are afflicted by natural disasters.  In my own country of Australia we are in drought. It is not new for us. But it is always a challenge. What follows are a set of some news items about how people show support in time of drought.

A convoy of helpers travel from Sydney with supplies for rural NSW.  A drought relief concert lifts the spirits some some in NSW .  Then there is….

The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners

Previous generations of my Mother’s family lived on livestock and farming lands in the Walbundrie District of NSW. Near there is the town of Burrumbuttock. There, the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners do their good thing.  Here is a sample from their website


In 2014 Brendan ‘Bumpa’ Farrell heard about a farmer in Bourke (NSW) that was struggling in the drought. He contacted the farmer and offered to bring him a truck load of hay to help him out. From that the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners was born. Since that date in 2014 they have completed 11 successful hay runs to help drought affected farmers all over NSW & QLD.

You can also follow the Hay Runners on Facebook.


Image: from the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners website.

Our co-hosts for this month are:

Simon Falk, Andrea Michaels, Shilpa Garg, Sylvia Stein and Belinda Witzenhausen . Please go and visit their posts as well.

My poem this time is a Drought pingback from one I wrote when I was 11 years old.


#WATWB May – Edna the Pest Tester


Edna the Labrador and Tom the Quarantine Officer.  Picture: ABC News.

Peter Nena, Andrea Michaels, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Shilpa Garg 

and Damyanti Biswas

are our friendly co-hosts for We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB May.

Please visit these co-hosts and check out their stories.

A special welcome to new viewers and welcome back to some of our previous visitors.

The Cane Toad  2228696-3x2-340x227.jpg (Picture: ABC News) 

 is an introduced species to Australia. It was brought here from Hawaii to control the native grey-backed cane beetle and Frenchi beetle in sugar plantations. In some Northern States it has now become a pest and it is a toxic hazard to mammals. Preventing the spread of this atrocious amphibian is a constant task.

Amidst this task, ABC News has found a patch of silver lining.  Warning! It involves canine cuteness.

Enda the Labrador and Tom Lawton, a Quarantine and Biosecurity Officer with the Anindilyakwa Land and Sea Rangers based in Alyangula, are sniffing out the presence of Cane Toads in Groote Eylandt. It is part of a far flung archipelago near East Arnhem Land in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

As Wikipedia informs us:

Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and the fourth largest island in Australia. It is the homeland of, and is owned by, the Warnindhilyagwa who speak the isolated Anindilyakwa language.

Groote Eylandt lies about 50 km (31 mi) from the Northern Territory mainland and eastern coast of Arnhem Land, about 630 kilometres (390 mi) from Darwin, opposite Blue Mud Bay. The island measures about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from east to west and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from north to south; its area is 2,326.1 km2 (898.1 sq mi). It is generally quite low-lying, with an average height above sea level of 15 metres (49 ft), although Central Hill reaches an elevation of 219 metres (719 ft). It was named by the explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and is Dutch for “Large Island” in an archaic spelling.

images.jpg (Picture: ozoutback.com.au)

For more pictures of Groote Eylandt, follow this link.

Meanwhile, back to our story. So, Edna and Tom are ensuring that Cane Toads do not get a hold of Groote Eylandt, thanks to Edna’s ability to sniff out the presence of either live or dead toads. Currently, this duo has the problem by the nose.  You can check out the full ABC News report yourselves

* * * * * * * * *

With a sniff and a snuff, and a bit of a “Ruff”,

Edna goes about her way.

As the barge sets sail, she wags her tail,

To begin her working day.

When a Cane Toad’s found, she stands her ground,

As Tom helps her in the fray.

Groote Eylandt is free of a Cane Toad spree,

And man’s best friend is here to stay.

* * * * * * * *


Want to join the WATWB Blogfest? Check out some details here.

Democratic Rite – Australia Votes #auspol

Democratic Rite


We round the corner and

There they are!

Volunteers of friendly

And hawking type

Handing out glossy sheets that

Later, will line the paths

And roads and blow

Into people’s yards.

Arm’s length senate papers stare,

With a stunning list of names,

At the hapless voter.

Yes, shards of cynicism

Dot across our way:

“Will the winner lead?”

“Or is another spill going to topple

us again

s-l-o-w-i-n-g the country





But, we can vote and hold elections.

For this:

We give thanks.

Our polling booths

Are not guarded by

Uniformed militia.

For this:

We are grateful.

We can exercise a right

For free and reasonable speech.

For this:

We have a responsibility.


Simon C.J Falk 4 July 2016

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