If you’ve been in a car with Aboriginal hunters, you’ll know the way they can see a snake or lizard, or something else good for cooking, on a stony gibber plain, perhaps two hundred metres from the road.Read More
I have to admit that I didn’t like the idea of mentoring in the 80’s and 90’s. It seemed to me that if you needed some guidance on a path of greed and corruption, a mentor was the one to help you. You can see my ideas about business were a little narrow.Read More
We needed to be needed. For some, there was a lingering appreciation for high status, a medical degree being final proof that you were good at school work. Some did want to relieve suffering, usually poor souls who’d seen a loved one through a long sickness as a child.Read More
They were sea creatures with never-before-seen limbs, fins and strange appendages, resulting in names such as Anomalocaris, Wiwaxia and Hallucigenia. They hinted at the explosion of possibility during the early days of life on the planet.Read More
I’m not on call except for unusual emergencies. I sleep through the everyday emergencies — the heart attacks, obstructed gall bladders and car roll-overs — that my colleagues, the Remote Area Nurses (RANs) deal with at night. This week there are two RANs here with me — for a town at its peak population of around five or six thousand.Read More
Far away from Lil’s fragrant and colourful sewing table, sewing classes were a fifth grade thing, along with budding breasts and fun with the boys in the playground. Our teacher, Miss Brawn, was narrow and aged. We were a rowdy bunch of impatient, smart girls.Read More
In ancient — but still human — times, animals lived at Mungo that challenge the imagination. Called Megafauna, they were giant animals of many kinds. There were kangaroo-like beasts that weighed over 200kg (440lb) and could reach three metres (10 feet) to eat leaves off the tree tops, called now Procoptodon goliah. There was the Diprotodon, the biggest marsupial known to have lived on this island.Read More
The non-verbal skills of many Anangu people are born of hunting. If you’re looking for someone, you can make a sign for that person across a street or car park. The person you are signalling might use their lips or eyes to point in the appropriate direction.Read More
I help my father-in-law gather buckets of apples. They’re crisp and sweet, the first crop of decent apples from a tree he planted twenty years ago. The tree has survived years of hatred and resentment and being dismissed as useless, to bring a bounty of exceptional fruit.Read More
The Key Feature Problem exam frustrated me. If the answer was ‘cancer’ and you wrote ‘malignancy,’ you were incorrect.
For those of us working across cultures, translating medical language into plain English, this was irritating. I failed the KFP twice, by four points and then by one point six points.
Doctors working with me, excellent judges of my abilities, wrote letters of appeal to the College on my behalf, to no avail. The exams cost thousands of dollars in fees, study materials and lost work time.Read More
“If Europeans could build a pressurised metal tube that carries us through the air, why wouldn’t Aboriginal people make similar advances in knowledge?
Aboriginal people were talking and travelling and lying under bright stars. Is it impossible that they created a body of knowledge that encompassed astral travel as an aspect of healing?”
“You’re going to have to burn them all!” Selva said. Her boss disapproved. Selva was credited in the film and her boss wasn’t. I felt like I’d been knifed. “Please Aunty, there must be another way.” “No, they’ll all have to be called back and destroyed.”Read More