Western Australia

The big shift – towns that have moved in Australia

As we travelled around Australia, I was amazed at how many towns we came across that had shifted for whatever reason. While I already knew about a few, I had no idea many towns were forced to move.

Probably one of the best-known is Eucla on the Nullarbor Plain. The Eucla Telegraph Station opened in 1877 and helped link Western Australia with the rest of Australia and the world.… Read more

The 1939 fires – a blame game

And of course there were ignitions by the fistful. Lightning kindled some fires, but most emanated from a register of casual incendiarists that reads like a roster of rural Australia: settlers, graziers, prospectors, splitters, mineworkers, arsonists, loggers and mill bushmen, hunters looking to drive game, fishermen hoping to open up the scrub around the streams, foresters unable to contain controlled burns, bush residents seeking to ward off wildfire by protective fire, travellers and transients of all kinds.

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Z Special Unit Part 3 – the fate of the Jaywick and Rimau men

What happened to Bill Reynolds?

In Part 1, I provided details about Bill Reynolds’ heroic work rescuing civilians affected by the fall of Singapore aboard the Kofuku Maru, which was renamed as the Krait and played a pivotal role in the success of Operation Jaywick.

While Reynolds wasn’t part of Jaywick, he delivered the Krait to Australia and was going to captain the vessel on the daring raid to Singapore Harbour.… Read more

Z Special Unit Part 2 – Operation Rimau: the tragic sequel to Jaywick

While Operation Jaywick in its simplicity was a resounding success; Operation Rimau in its sophistication was an abysmal failure.

Brian Smith

Introduction

In just a few months, the Japanese managed to dismantle an empire in South East Asia the Europeans took centuries to build. The attack on Pearl Harbour in early December 1941 was preceded by the Japanese invasion of the Malay Peninsula, an hour before.… Read more

Celebrating Wattle Day

Today is the first day of spring in Australia, a day we celebrate nationally as Wattle Day. It is the time of the year when some wattles flower producing an abundance of yellow inflorescence. One of the 1,070 wattle species is our floral emblem – the golden wattle (Acacia pycantha).… Read more

More memories of growing up in Guildford

Almost all the kids that grew up in Guildford Junction recall there was something magical about their experience. Whether it’s the memories of their one-room school and teachers, the adventures in their big surrounding playground called the bush, the snakes, the cold and the snow, the isolation, the waratahs in flower or just the scented lupin paddocks dotted around the town.… Read more

Connecting Western Australia to the rest of the world

Introduction

The first telegraph message in the world was sent on 24 May 1844, using Morse code, a system of dots and dashes representing letters of the alphabet. The system was invented by Samuel Morse, inspired by the fact that when his wife died in 1825, he did not hear of the event until days after her funeral due to the slowness of communications at the time.… Read more

Why on earth do we continue to celebrate Earth Day?

The reason why humans prioritise bad news, according to Nobel Prize-winning behavioural psychologist Daniel Kahneman, is because “organisms that treat threats as more urgent than opportunities have a better chance to survive and reproduce”.


In the lead-up to this year’s Earth Day celebrations later this month, I thought it was timely to look closely at whether they are still relevant, given the dire predictions that have emanated from this day each year have never come to pass. … Read more

The pitfalls of having a border follow a celestial line 

Introduction

The South Australian portion of the Nullarbor Plain was part of New South Wales. The reason can be explained by examining the stories behind the development of each of the state borders since colonisation. This blog will initially focus on the creation of the Western Australian, South Australian and Northern Territory border, which is now on the 129 Degrees East longitude (1290E) but was initially further east.… Read more