At 9.15, 50 years ago, perched high above the school at Aberfan in South Wales, after heavy rain a tip gave way and a 13 metre slurry sped downhill at 90 kilometres an hour, striking the school, just as they were preparing for the day’s lessons. 116 children and 28 adults were killed. In an […]

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As a kid, playing cricket, I always hoped I would score a century. My batting skills put paid to that. My grandfather started to clear a place on his mantelpiece on his 95th birthday for a telegram from the Queen. He made it to 97. I remember the excitement of getting paid in $100 notes […]

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Living to tell the tale

I spoke today at Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre and RMIT Forum for International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction  #IDDRR on personal stories of death and survival #LiveToTell I have been privileged, having been with many people, as they have taken their last breath, and passed from this world to the next. As a […]

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Fifteen Young Men

As we Melburnians  move through Grand Final week, there’s lots of talk about the tragedies of the Grand Final, of players not being selected because of injury or poor form. Or fans not getting tickets because of corporate greed. These things are sad, and heartbreaking when that’s what you have been working towards in your […]

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My favourite Australian band The Panics, have released a new song, Weatherman. The Panics, like The Triffids before them, hail from Perth. You can feel the big West Australian sky in all of their music. It seems simple, five guys, pretty standard line up, nasally vocals. But the more you listen, the more you realise […]

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Get your mind right

“I thought I was prepared, but when it came, I knew I wasn’t. I’m never staying with my house again, it is too fuckin’ scary”. So said a guy to me, after bushfires in Victoria. We have always focused, in preparedness, on the practical stuff. But  much of our advice is counter initutive. When faced […]

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It’s footy finals fever time. For those of us with our teams playing, excitement and obsession levels increase. For others, there’s still an interest, because you pick a team ie #2dayweareallbulldogs (The Western Bulldogs pulled off an unlikely victory last night). Of course some people have absolutely no interest in this parochial little game played […]

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