Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Email from David:  As you'll see from the pix we had a memorable and productive 2nd visit to Kandos on and around the weekend of 23/24 June. A couple of shots will give you an idea of my window. Juliet's and Noelene's were still having finishing touches applied when we left @ 2pm on the Sunday. 'Shoo Cockatoo' (an image I shot at the Andrews' property 'Tarwyn Park' in the Bylong Valley) echoes the name of an activist group in the Southern Highlands also intent on shooing away the Korean-based mining company Cockatoo. There is an eerie brown line of coal trucks running through the left of the frame. 'Welcome Mat' re-purposes the mining industry's own slogan 'There's More to Mining Than Mining' upon a piece of carpet shot upstairs at Ann's. The fringing was purchased across the road.

above: David Watson Shoo Cockatoo!
and Welcome Mat

Juliet Fowler Smith undermined 2012

Noelene Lucas

For those who couldn't make it, a short re-cap of the weekend may assist...

On the Saturday we met with Suzy Flowers - activist, musician, yoga teacher, painter, lover of lyrebirds, wombats and wild horses - and subsequently drove south the 30km or so to see her place/property at Running Stream (near Ilford), which she's owned since the mid-1980s (and lived full-time on for the past few years). We'd met Suzy by the dam at Fiona (MacDonald) and Buzz's place in Ilford on our previous visit.

Along with Jolieske Lips (whom we must talk to) and other vocal locals Suzy has battled, with the Running Stream Water Users' Group, to keep mining at bay there for 20 years. The topography around Suzy's spot is extraordinary... she took us on a wonderful hour-and-a-half rock-hopping circuit of her land. The distant views north to Kandos (and the Charbon open cut mine), overlooking a rugged mini Burragorang-like valley were spectacular and poignant. The area is/was understandably sacred for aboriginal people. Two of the three places we looked down upon from Suzy's escarpment belonged to vociferous public figures with whom many of us may be familiar with... Brett Solomon (ex-GetUp!, now Avaaz), and Nell Schofield.

Ann F and a locally-based artist, Christine McMillan came with us on the visit. Denise and I know Christine from a Wollemi National Park camping trip a few years' back with C's then-partner Hadyn Washington (ecologist/activist who has a self-built stone 'castle' house on Nullo Mountain). Haydn (who's often in Sydney) would be another good person to discuss local environmental issues with. He's just published a book, 'Climate Change Denial: Heads In the Sand'. Toni - Christine says she taught with you decades ago, in Sydney.

At Suzy's place we spoke about a visit to 'The Drip' (a resonant local aboriginal/geological site on the Goulburn River recently sold [I think] to Korean mining interests, 50km north of Kandos). Christine subsequently sent Denise and me info, which I'll forward, re Julia Imrie, a friend who owns property/cottages there, where she thought we all might like to spend some time. Maybe a weekend in spring? Ann F, I know, has already visited 'The Drip', is keen to do so go again, and has pix.

Ann Finegan, director Kandos Projects

Christine McMillan with Ann Finegan

Suzy Flower’s lyrebirds

Suzy Flowers