The end of year twelve

The end of year twelve

Tallebudgera 1977Brisbane Airport 1978

To my dear son Jonathan, who completes his final year of school this month.

Twenty-nine years ago this month I finished year twelve at Oxley State High School.

The photos above are like book-ends for that year. The one on the left is at senior camp, end of year eleven, just before we embarked on our final year. The photo on the right is after the last day of school when one of our mates, William, was very sad to be leaving town to fly to Adelaide, so we all went to the airport to say goodbye.

The last few weeks of that year are a blur – exams, parties, excitement, thinking about uni, and planning to always keep in touch with my school mates. Collectively we thought we were the best bunch that had ever come through Oxley State High, and we were going to make sure we didn’t forget each other.

I had a calendar on the wall where I used to cross off the days until it was over. To my surprise, the last day came much quicker than I anticipated, and now, almost thirty years later I realize that the time has flown and now my own kids are doing what I did.

If my Dad had given me advice then, I wouldn’t have listened to it. So I’m not going to offer you any advice now. But I do hope you remember how brutally fast our life can fly by. We get caught up in so many things, and before we know it, the magical times of our late teens and early twenties are gone. And I also hope you remember good friends.

There are two good friends from 1978 that mean a lot to me. Greg, who is with me in both these photos. is still my friend. He still has the love for life and the easy laid-back attitude that he did in his late teens. He’s a great guy to spend time with.

And then there’s my best friend from 1978, who I’m married to now. In year twelve I couldn’t beleive how lucky I was to be with Liz. And today, I still can’t beleive how lucky I am.

Enjoy this special time, Jonathan.

I hope the time passes slowly enough for you to savour it.

History in a Wardrobe

In the back of her wardrobe, my mum found some old documents covering a period of almost a hundred years. It’s a bit like taking a visit to Narnia digging around in the back of old wardrobes. Perhaps that’s why C.S.Lewis wrote about them.

Rather than spoonfeed it all to you here, why don’t you take your own trip to Narnia and dig around by clicking on the slideshow and having a look at some of these amazing things.

There’s a picture of my Dad pretending to be a rich oil-sheik, a heart warming anniversary card from my Grandad to Grandma a couple of years before he died, a seaside postcard written by my Aunts shortly after the war, some concert programs from during the second world war, and much more.

I love this stuff. It tells me about life before I was born, before my parents were born, and gives me a sense of being part of an unfolding, fascinating history!

Birdsville 1993

Birdsville 1993

MooSA / QLD BorderI love police womenBurke and Wills Survey Tree
Birdsville 1993The First AIM Hospital 1923-1937Birdsville 1993A coldie at noon
The Birdsville Pub
The Moo Mobile outside the Birdsville PubBrian and MeBrian at the Burke and Wills Survey Tree
Lock me up, please, Miss Police Woman
Aeroplanes at BirdsvilleFred Brophy's Boxing TentA Beer, A Hat and a Warning Sign

I visited Birdsville in August 1993 for the Birdsville Races.
I got arrested by an amazonian policewoman, drank lots of beer that cost an arm and a leg per can, sat on a toilet that got flushed by boiling bore water, slept in a tent city and had a fantastic time.
If you ever want to do something unusual when you visit Queensland in mid “winter” (I use the term loosely), then check out the Birdsville Races. It’s something you just have to do 🙂



One my earliest childhood memories was sitting on the loungeroom floor of my Mum and Dad’s old house in the UK playing with their 45rpm records.

I used to call them “Reckles”.

We’d play them on an old portable white record player with a blue fabric front, and brass buckles, so you could do it up like a suitecase and carry it.

In an attempt to chase down old memories, I re-enacted the scene of the crime, playing in my own loungeroom with the same “reckles”.

(I mamaned to convince mum to give them to me).

No stunning results yet.

But as the Beatles say in one of their “reckles” that I played today. “It’s not like me to pretend, but I’ll get you! I’ll get you in the end!”.

Here’s a video I did of it – mainly to help jog my memory, but also to have a bit of fun!

The First Step

The First Step

The First Step
The First Step
Originally uploaded by MagicTyger

The greatest journey starts with a step.

This is the form that Mum and Dad completed in order to apply to come to Australia in February 1963. They were 22 years old at the time. I wasn’t even a year old, and Mum was pregnant with my sister, Karen.

Click on the thumbnails below to see any of the 32 pages in the application.

If you were a Ten Pound Pom, you can order your own set of documents. Just go to the Australian National Archives ( and follow "record search" links.