The First Christmas

Posted: December 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

Today’s Inspire Newscast is a very special one, coming out a week before Christmas. It’s the whole story of Christmas from beginning to end in chronological order.

We’ve probably all heard bits of the story each year, as well as a whole lot of other stories about elves and Santa, and all sorts of other magical creatures. But I suspect that most of us haven’t head the whole story that’s recorded in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels in the Bible.

My friend Dr Richard Moore, a Greek and New Testament scholar who taught me Greek 40 years ago, has translated the New Testament into Australian English and has produced a unique translation of The First Christmas. Members of the congregation of Perth Baptist Church have brought the story to life in their own reading of Dr Moore’s translation.

While the entire reading goes for 24 minutes, I would like to encourage you to grab a coffee and take the time to listen to the story right through to the end. It’s a wonderful story that needs to be heard in a year when most of us need a message of hope.

Having said that, it’s not always an easy story to hear. There’s references to genocide, refugees, political treachery and homelessness, so be warned, this isn’t a nice story about a cute baby and cuddly lambs.

Please share this video on your socials so that as many people as possible get to hear it.

A day (or night) at the Museum

Posted: December 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

The new Western Australian Museum is the talk of the town in Perth at the moment, but this week I visited a much smaller museum in Guildford.

The Museum of Natural History and the Academy of Taxidermy is a fascinating experience. Michael Buzza has been doing taxidermy for more than 40 years, but it is his passion to protect our planet that really brings the place to life.

Michael and his wife Lara, are fascinated by the natural world, so Michael takes every opportunity he can to restore dead animals to a condition where they appear to be alive. This process enables the public to see wildlife, and even endangered creatures, and learn about how they died and what they can do to protect them in the future.

It was a privilege to meet Michael and Lara and visit their museum. Check out this week’s video and share it with your friends. It’s a great place to take the children and grandchildren during the upcoming holidays.

To see earlier Inspire Newscasts check out my YouTube channel.

The Mandolin Maker

Posted: December 3, 2020 in Uncategorized

It was a real privilege to meet the guest of this week’s Inspire Newscast, Paul Duff. Paul’s been around Bluegrass music for a lot of years and Bluegrass Parkway is apparently the longest,continually active bluegrass band in Australia.

But Paul is not just a musician (is there such a thing as “just a musician”?). Paul builds mandolins and has developed an international reputation for producing replicas of the F5 mandolin produced by Gibson in the 1920’s.

One of the things I loved about meeting Paul was his humble approach to producing the very best quality product, and it came out of a love for both the instrument and the music that it produces. He’s been building mandolins since 1982 and clearly his passion hasn’t dwindled in that time.

Please watch this five minute video and enjoy Paul’s story – and listen to a bit of bluegrass in the process.

On the Road

Posted: November 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

I have a long-time interest in not for profit organisations and enjoy seeing how various organisations operate. As I spent time researching my latest video, I couldn’t help but sense that the Veteran Car Club of WA set a great example of a successful not for profit organisation.

Members would join the club because of a shared interest in old vehicles, but the extent of that interest varies dramatically. The process of restoring old vehicles can extend to a wide variety of skills and expertise, but there are roles in the club for people who don’t have those practical hands-on skills required for restoration.

While this video is about the Veteran Car Club and I enjoyed seeing the range of vehicles that are owned and restored by members, I felt I learned a lot more. It was about how a club works well. Clubs and associations are a critical part of any civil society and it’s good to see them working well.

Had great fun with this video – go and have a look.

Friends of the Black Cockatoo

Posted: November 19, 2020 in Uncategorized

This week in my search for good news stories, I spent time at the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre. What a great experience it was to see how this organisation is working so hard to protect the black cockatoo and to care for the environment in which this magnificent bird lives.

Kaarakin provides clinic facilities to care for injured birds that are brought in, and a careful rehabilitation programme is undertaken. This work is done in conjunction with other organisations including the Perth Zoo to ensure that when they are released the best opportunity is provided for their survival.

But more than that Kaarakin is working hard at protecting the environment and helping people to think through the issues that will affect the long-term sustainability of the black cockatoo and other native birds and animals,

Kaarakin isn’t open to the public, but paid tours can be arranged, that also assist in the overall running of the organisation and the sustainability of its operations.

It was an absolute delight to visit Kaarakin, so I hope you’ll enjoy the video.

From Techno to Rock

Posted: November 12, 2020 in Uncategorized
Johnny Young

Well, last week my Inspire Newscast got me into techno music, the music that accompanied the giant nests that have been appearing around Kalamunda. (check out last week’s Inspire Newscast if you haven’t seen it.)

This week I’ve gone back to old fashioned rock and roll. I went to a Remembrance Day concert organised by the Kalamunda branch of the RSL and caught up with veteran entertainer, Johnny Young, who appeared along with another veteran of the industry, Peter Anderson and the Troupadores.

Johnny’s inspiration for being involved in Remembrance Day concerts and other RSL events is his long time friendship with Normie Rowe, another legend of Australian rock and roll who was deeply affected by his time in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970.

I talked to Johnny about mentoring in the light of his time as producer and presenter of Young Talent Time from 1971-1988. More than 40 young people were mentored by Young and many went on to develop successful music careers. He is clearly very proud of his achievements in this area.

Hope you enjoy this video, including the old time rock and roll.

The Great Nest Mystery

Posted: November 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

Back in August some large nests began appearing around the City of Kalamunda. It was clearly an art installation, as each nest had a label numbering the nests and giving details of a techno-music track.

Recently two more nests have appeared. The location of the nests was a mystery except that the numbering gave those who were interested the opportunity to begin searching, sharing stories and joining in the hunt.

“Kalamundanests” on Instagram gave some hints, including the possibility that the first nest was on the beach at Yallingup, but all the others were in the City of Kalamunda.

There were some unique aspects to the mystery. Each of the nests were different and the music tracks were different (all techno). However, there was something well planned and executed in their secretive arrival and placement. There have been no complaints because there was nothing offensive or illegal about them.

In fact, the Mayor of the City of Kalamunda, Margaret Thomas has been a big supporter of the nests, as well as a keen “nest hunter”.

My latest #inspirenewscast puts me on the trail of the nests. Go and check it out. The link is at the top of the page, but if you’ve missed any of my earlier weekly newscasts, check them out at my YouTube channel:

Sculpture with Soul

Posted: October 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

I’d often heard that there was a sculpture park in the Swan Valley area, but had never gone out of my way to find it.

So it was quite a surprise when I made the effort and discovered that Ron Gomboc and his wife Terrie had been running the Gomboc Sculpture Park in Middle Swan for about 40 years.

It was even more surprising to discover that Ron had designed and produced the iconic statuette that is used to honour the winners of the annual AAFTA awards.

In producing this video I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ron’s story and his desire to use sculpture to tell a story. Check out the video, and go and visit the Gomboc Sculpture Park.

Amanda’s Garden

Posted: October 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

What a delight it was to have a look at Amanda’s Garden and to try and capture some of the beauty on the garden on video. Even more significant than that was to meet Barry and Lorraine Young and hear the story behind the garden and the Amanda Young Foundation.

When Amanda Young died of meningococcal disease in 1997 there was hardly any awareness of the disease, even among the medical profession. Since then Barry and Lorraine, though the vehicle of the Amanda Young Foundation, have not only brought awareness, but significant steps have been made in overcoming the meningococcal disease.

One of the privileges of developing these weekly “Inspire Newscasts” is the ability to meet people like Lorraine and Barry, to hear their stories, and to share them with you. There are so many great people doing great things in our community and we need to hear these stories in order to lift our spirits and see the good in our world.

Amanda’s Garden Fete

October 24 @ 10:00 am – October 25 @ 4:30 pm

24 & 25 October. Amanda’s Garden Fete. There is something for everyone at this garden. Massed rose displays, water features, large variety of trees, shrubs and plants in rural setting. Devonshire teas, sausage sizzle, plant sales, art display, Paddy’s market and music. Located at the junction of Margaret and Matison Streets, Southern River. 10am to 4.30pm daily. All proceeds go towards Meningococcal Awareness.  Entry $5. Enquiries 9398 7275.

Translation from the heart

Posted: October 15, 2020 in Uncategorized

I found it inspiring to hear Noongar man, Tom Little talking about his work in translating the book of Ruth in the Bible into the Noongar language of the south west of Western Australia.

Tom first got involved in Bible translation when his mum and his aunty began translating Luke’s Gospel a decade ago. As a matter of interest my dad was also involved in that ground-breaking work that saw a major piece of literature translated from English to Noongar.

Tom has done this work largely on his own, with the support of the Bible Society in Australia and it is clearly a work from the heart. Watch this short video from my “Inspire Newscast” series to hear Tom’s story.

An accomplished musician, Tom provides backing to this video from his own didjeridoo music and takes us into the studio where the words from an ancient piece of literature, translated into a language that nearly went missing, are brought alive through the medium of 21st century technology.

By the way, if you missed any of my earlier Inspire Newscasts, check them out on my YouTube channel, and FOLLOW this site.