Swans ready to take the flag

SwanDistrictsFCLogo.jpgNext Sunday afternoon I intend to be at Subiaco Oval.

For the first time in 18 years, Swan Districts will be playing in a Grand Final.

I’m sure that most people would be picking Subiaco to grab their third Premiership in a row, but win, lose or draw, Swans have had a remarkable year and taking the flag for 2008 is certainly not out of the question.

With a mid-season form slump that saw them lose several games in a row, no one would have predicted that the mighty black and whites could have lifted so well to place themselves in this year’s Grand Final, but after beating West Perth yesterday by ten points, they’re ready to fight for the ultimate prize in the WAFL competition.

The Swans led at the first change by six points, but trailed by 27 points at half-time as Adam Campbell fired up at full forward to try and put the game out of the Swans’ reach.

However, the ‘comeback kings’ of season 2008 controlled the majority of the second half to claim a 15.14 (104) to 14.10 (94) victory in front of 5556 fans at the Arena in the first preliminary final played away from Subiaco Oval since 1934.

Swans, the only team to have beaten the mighty Subiaco this season, will take on the Lions in the WAFL grand final next Sunday, September 21 at Subiaco Oval. – WAFL Website

I’ve only ever been to one other WAFL Grand Final. That was back in the early eighties when WAFL footy was still huge in Western Australia. I slept on the concrete outside the gate to ensure a good seat. When the gates opened thousands of people flooded in to stake their claim. I got a seat one row back from the fence which is where I sat all day to watch Swans win a Premiership.

There won’t be a full house at the game next Sunday but I certainly intend being there. It’ll be a lot more civilised as I wander up to the gate with my numbered ticket and then make my way to my seat, but I can assure you, victory will be just as sweet.

Swans will certainly go into the game as the underdogs but I’ll be hoping for a massive upset and big celebrations after the game.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Swans ready to take the flag? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Access 31 Closed Down

access31.jpgWhile their website is still trumpetting the secure digital future of Perth’s Access 31, the TV screen last night told a different story. I’m sure that the website will soon catch up with the news that Perth’s community television station has officially closed.

The difficult decision to shut down Access 31 was apparently made at a board meeting yesterday. At five o’clock yesterday afternoon normal programming made way for a “thank you and goodbye” message.

18th JUNE 1999 – 6th AUG 2008


The station had secured half a million dollars in a rescue package from Perth businessman, Garry Baverstock, only a month ago but it is believed that after reports of Lotterywest withdrawing a $250 000 grant, Baverstock also decided to withdraw his offer.

It’s been reported that a number of Access 31 staff have recently resigned as the writing on the wall became clearer. CEO Andrew Brine revealed last week that he had also resigned for personal reasons after leading the station for 11 years.

I must admit that I wasn’t a big viewer of Access 31 but I did switch on every now and then and it’s a shame to see the station disappear. It’ll be interesting to see if any other community groups are able to resurrect the station.

Unfortunately television, even community television, is an extremely expensive business and it isn’t an easy task to fund such a costly venture.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Access 31 Closed Down? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Giant Boab Tree Heads South

boab.jpgHave you heard that the plan to move an ancient boab tree to Perth has run into a few problems?

The tree apparently weighs almost three times as much as first thought. The bottle-shaped boab tree is being removed and transplanted 3 200 km from Warmun, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, to Kings Park in the heart of Western Australia’s capital.

The 750 year old tree was estimated to weigh 14 tonnes. Instead, it was found to weigh a massive 37.2 tonnes. The project team has now found a bigger truck – a much bigger truck. The tree should arrive in Perth this weekend.

The tree is being moved due to roadworks in the area and it’s the first time that such a mature tree has been transported over such a distance.

Digging up the tree proved much harder than predicted too as it was embedded in granite rock, making removal extremely difficult.

They say that the boab is expected to live at least another 750 years after its journey and transplant. That’s not a bad innings for a tree. If I can get something to live for more than a couple of months in my garden I reckon I’m doing OK.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Giant Boab Tree Heads South? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Battling Youth Suicide

RideForYouth.jpgYouth suicide, depression and self harm are very real problems in our society but often we don’t hear the shocking statistics. Thankfully, Youth Focus is committed to helping young people and their families

Youth Focus is a Western Australian, non profit organisation with expertise in providing practical and effective support for young people, 12-18 years of age who are showing early signs associated with suicide, depression and deliberate self harm as well as providing support for their families.

Youth Focus has been established for 12 years and operates within both metropolitan and regional areas, servicing more than 600 young people each year and supporting some 160 families. In the last two years there has been a significant increase in demand for these services. As a consequence Youth Focus has been unable to offer assistance to an additional 240 young people each year who seek their help. It is believed that this number will continue to grow.

On the 1st of April, 40 men and women will set out on a five day bike ride from Albany to Perth to raise funds for Youth Focus in the prevention of youth suicide, depression and deliberate self harm. One of those cyclists, James Sutherland, joined me in the studio on Monday to talk about what the ride will achieve.

You can see James and me in the photo above. James is holding a tin to collect donations and I’m holding an award that was given to me on Wednesday night of last week by the Governor of Western Australia, Dr Ken Michael, AC. The award recognises the part that 98.5 Sonshine FM has played in promoting the Ride for Youth and Youth Focus over several years.

You can hear what James had to say about Youth Focus and the Ride for Youth by clicking the play button on the Audio Player at the bottom of this post.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Battling Youth Suicide? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.

Lonesome for a Place I Know

ebtg.jpgI was listening to an old CD by English duo Everything But The Girl a few days ago and one of their songs got me thinking again.

Lonesome for a Place I Know talks about the connection we have to our home lands. We can often see the faults in our own countries or cities and see the benefits of other places but there’s still something that calls us back to the place we know.

I love the second verse of the song that talks about being born outside of place and time. If that were the case would we still choose to live where we do? Do we live where we do because it’s our choice or because we’re tied by birth or something else? If those ties didn’t exist, where would we choose to do life?

Lonesome for a Place I Know 

So here we are in Italy
With a sun hat and a dictionary.
The air is warm, the sky is bright,
Your arms are brown you’re sleeping well at night.
So why does England call?
The hedgerows and the townhalls.
After all, there’ll soon be nothing left at all.

If we were born outside of place and time,
To make our choice, well this would be mine.
To live and die under a sun that shines.
But something pulls, something I can’t define
Tells me England calls, whatever she’s done wrong.
Always calls, “This is where you belong.”
And I’m lonesome for a place I know.

Oh but Florence you tempt me (here) to stay,
Amidst your hills to while my years away.
But your roots in soil lie, mine in paving stone.
And I hate what it’s become, but in my bones
I’m lonesome for a place I know.
Why does England call?

I must say that Australia, and in particular Perth, is a fairly good choice all round. I haven’t travelled as much as I’d like but I have been overseas and through much of Australia and I would still choose Perth over anything I’ve seen.

Having said that, I need to question if that’s the ties of being born here or if I’d still choose Perth if I was born somewhere else. I guess I’ll never really know.

What about you? Have you chosen to live somewhere other than your homeland? Does your homeland still call? Can you feel truly at home in either place?

Have you lived in the same place for most of your life? Would you move if you had the opportunity?

What does ‘home’ really mean for you?

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Lonesome for a Place I Know? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.