Friday, 8 November 2013

They're Killing Blinky Bill

Who (among Aussie readers) didn't count Blinky Bill and his bush land friends among their best friends during childhood?

(Readers outside Australia, google 'Blinky Bill, by Dorothy Wall')

The koala is an Australian icon. It attracts tourism. It drives campaigns for eucalyptus reforestation and preservation of wildlife habitats. Our furry friend is loved, it seems, the world over.

But the koala is in grave danger of becoming extinct.

Greedy developers and irresponsible regulators have converted thousands of hectares of the bush land it calls home to forests of brick and mortar.

Greedy timber merchants have cut down hundreds of thousands of the trees that provide the animals with food and shelter.

Our wildlife has been chased further and further into the remotest parts of the country where it struggles to survive.

On the Tweed Coast - an area where once the koala bred prolifically - there are just 144 of the species left. About 31 of these live in the Black Rocks area. Many of those live in the area immediately adjacent to Black Rocks Sports Ground. It's a key breeding area for koala, osprey, curlew, and other iconic wildlife. Echidnas amble across the roads and into nearby gardens regularly.

There are expensive programs in operation, partly funded by the local council, to re-establish eucalypt forest and preserve the bush land in the area.

Local residents aggressively support those programs, having bought into the area at premium prices specifically because they love living in proximity to beautiful bush land and the wonderful native fauna that inhabit it.

So you would think it logical that Tweed Shire Council would be quick to reject a proposal to convert a small, lightly used sports ground to a high use night sports ground with football towers and 48,000 watt lighting.

You would think the mere suggestion of a liquor license would horrify, and any hint of an expanded 25 ha recreation facility with potential to host motor cross events, go karts, shooting, paint ball, golf, etc. would horrify. Particularly after locals complained bitterly about wild partying at the sports ground with accompanying drag races, vandalism, littering and excessive noise, and council locked the gates on the road entering the sports ground in response, you would think there could be no way any councilor would endorse a proposal that involved opening the road to hoons, and allowing bright lights to blaze well into the night.

You would think... but you would be wrong!

Greed prevails. The almighty dollar speaks all languages, and pursuit of it - not concern for the local ratepayers who elect them - takes precedence over any concern for the environment or our native animal friends. Rich developers  influence councilors decisions, it seems.

Tweed Shire Council is said to be looking favourably at a proposal that threatens to kill off Blinky Bill and his mates forever - to deprive future generations of the pleasure of his company and the right of quiet enjoyment of the beautiful habitat that he made his home.

It appears Council approval of the proposal might actually be illegal. Law and policy states that development in and around koala habitats must be ''appropriate''. This isn't.  Policy states that sporting facilities should be centrally located and close to schools. This one is many miles away.

There are already adequate sporting facilities in Pottsville, servicing a very small community. Existing facilities are underused. We don't need more. Residents don't want more.

But Blinky Bill and his mates don't generate revenue for councils. Protecting wildlife doesn't win favours from rich land developers whose activities grow council coffers.

So Blinky Bill may soon be nothing but a fond memory - or a mythical literary character that readers think was a figment of Dorothy Wall's imagination.

The cuddly koala might exist exclusively in zoos - or, all too soon, not at all.

I am among the privileged Black Rocks residents who watch them mate in trees just beyond my living room window. My husband often uses a telescopic lens to photograph them chomping happily on the leaves of trees that grow just beyond our fence. We see them in the trees right beside that currently closed road into the sports ground, and we say a quiet thank you that cars can't enter, because we know that they wander across that road often.

But the car tracks are clearly visible where the hoons did wheelies a few months back, and in a few weeks Council is likely to clear the way for that activity to resume and increase.

Our furry friends will have to find new homes, or perish.

I have started a petition at I'm seeking support for demands that council stop this irresponsible development and observe it's own policy of working to protect koala habitat. You don't need to be a local to influence council's decision. This is a tourist destination - thanks partly to the beautiful bush land that surrounds it and the native animals that breed here.
Council has to listen to all voices - from anywhere in the world.

You can help save Blinky Bill and his mates.

You can help ensure that the lovely furry koala we all love so dearly continues to thrive on the Tweed Coast, and in other areas of Australia where councils, mindful of the precedents being set in Tweed, will feel compelled to respect the wishes of the people and do what is right for the environment and our native flora and fauna.

Please visit to lend your support.

Blinky Bill will be deeply grateful - and so will I.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Pencil Case is published

Published at last!  After three years of editing and revision, it's finally live on Smashwords ( and Amazon Kindle ( and coming soon as a paperback available in US, UK and Australia.

It's controversial. It's provocative. It counters popular belief and media and political lies. But it happened. "The Pencil Case'' exposes ugly truths of Australian history that too many would prefer to hide. It's as story that had to be told. 

Read it.... Weep at man's inhumanity to man, at the hideous cruelty and hurt suffered by poor families at the hands of heartless bureaucrats and cruel ''Brides of Christ'', then cheer at the strength and resilience of the human spirit and the enormous healing power of family love.  


Neither wrongful incarceration nor childhood abuse and deprivation could break Paul Wilson’s indomitable spirit, but survival means an endless battle against the system that stole him from his family and denied him his identity. 


Paul Wilson survived being stolen from a loving Aussie bush family as a child, but that was only the beginning of his lifelong war against a cruel system and the arrogant pencil pushers who persecuted his family.

Paul's dad knew there was only way to survive against injustice. It took Paul sixty years to learn.

Join Paul as he takes his lawyer on a journey through time, from the post-war home of a poverty-stricken Australian family, to a cold, harsh Catholic Orphanage, into foster homes and an Anglican Boys’ Home, to an army training school for boys, and through an eventful adult life desperately searching for identity, acceptance, love and peace.

His story is one you will read between tears and fits of rage, but also one that will reassure you of the beauty and strength of the human spirit and the power of family love.

Until around the mid-1970s, government policy across Australia was to remove children they considered to be “at risk” in their home environment. The story of ‘’The Stolen Generation’’ is now well known internationally, but the whole truth hasn’t been told. Children weren’t taken solely because of their race. They stole white kids too.

Welfare legislation authorizing the removal of children from poverty-stricken homes was enacted by people who were untrained, and unable or unwilling to acknowledge that lack of money did not mean a bad home life. Children were removed to institutions where they suffered deprivation, abuse, separation from family, and withholding of affection that scarred them for life.

Financial benefits accrued to welfare workers and churches through increasing the number of wards of the state. Increased government funding of welfare departments meant more jobs, and churches profited by keeping children on subsistence diets and dressed in rags, spending far less than the Government allowances provided for the children committed to their care.

A minimally fictionalized biography, "The Pencil Case" is a confronting account of the life of one of the victims of this policy.

‘’Gritty and mesmerizing” (Kenneth Edward Lim)

“The author’s brilliance with imagery and words involve the reader to the point of being an observer in the time and place.” (Diana Hockley)

“Read even half a chapter of this and you'll know straight away you're dealing with a phenomenal writer and a fascinating story. This book is as important as it is riveting.” (Richard Walsh)

“…a story that I think should be mandatory reading in schools and colleges, and for most everyone else too” (Fran Macilvey)

A beautifully-written, utterly moving piece of art. (Faith Rose)

“…a story that should be heard” (M.A.McRae)