Kookaburra feeding

Kookaburra feeding

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – With Photographs by Reginald Dunkley.

Shelly Beach is buzzing with action as surf school is now in full flow, and young budding surfers take to the ocean. 98% of first time students are standing up and surfing by the end of their first lesson. The N.S.W. coastline is a remarkable 1,590km with 990km of beautiful sandy beaches. The bonus for surfers is that the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea work together to deliver some of the most consistent swells in the country.  The Big Yellow Bus is also stationed at Shelly; this provides children with fun fitness programs that are designed to improve children’s gross motor skills as well as their overall health and wellbeing.  It is proving very popular both for the little ones and their parents. The dolphins are still popping their heads up now and again, so altogether it is a busy time on the coast.

Christmas seem to be a favourite time for visiting one of the many Islands around Australia.  Castaway Island is situated off the Mamanuca group in Fiji. Set on a private white sand beach within the vicinity of North Beach and Muscet Cove Marina, it is an ideal place to recharge your batteries.  This group of small Islands offshore from Nadi are ringed by sandy beaches, turquoise to pastel green-waters and coral reefs. Accommodation options range from budget to luxury and Bures (traditional thatch-roof huts) through to exclusive beach front villas. Scuba diving and snorkelling are favourites and highly recommended. Other resorts are Malolo, Mana Island, Treasure Island, Plantation Island Resort, you can easily Island hop as all are accessible by boat or plane, and the best part is they are only a four hour flight from Australia.

Shelly Beach surfer

Shelly Beach surfer

The Oscar winning Actor Russell Crowe is in Sydney celebrating his directorial debut of his feature film “The Water Diviner”. The love story was inspired by one line in a letter written by Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Hughes from the Imperial War Graves Unit immediately after the end of World War 1.   “One old chap managed to get here from Australia looking for his son’s grave.”  Crowe plays the lead role of Joshua Connor.

Australian families caught up in the MH17 disaster are preparing to sue Russia, The Ukraine and Malaysia over the loss of their loved ones, as well as Malaysian Airlines.  Aviation lawyer Jerry Skinner is representing eight Australian families bereaved by the tragedy. A total of 38 Australian residents and citizens were among the 298 passengers and crew on board the Malayasian Airlines Flight, when it was shot down over Eastern Ukraine on July 17. Mr. Skinner negotiated a $2.7 billion settlement for the 270 victims with Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie disaster.

Four rare white lion cubs are the pride of Altina Wildlife Park near Griffith N.S.W.  With only 300 white lions in the world these four are very special. You can visit this outstanding Safari Park by appointment and have a personalised tour with comfortable seats. The park is cradled amongst majestic river red gums with native birds, and animal species, featuring Kangaroos and Goannas and exotic animals that roam in large styled enclosures.  There is play time with the cubs four times a day, and all funds go directly back to the white lion breeding programme.

Taylor Swift has just announced her Australian Tour for 2015.  While it is a long wait for the concert next November and December, tickets are already on sale and moving fast.  With four million copies of her 1989 album flying out of the records shops, Swift became the first woman in the 56 year history of America’s Billboard charts to replace herself at No 1 when ‘Blank Space’ took over from ‘Shake It Off’.  She will tour Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne.

The Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation’s aim is to financially assist, nurture and support our next generation of young Opera Singers and to perpetuate the Sutherland/Bonynge legacy of excellence in the field of Opera. The Foundation was established in 2010 having grown from the work of Joan Sutherland Society of 1978.  Since that time over $300.000 has been awarded in scholarships and grants for young singers. Marlena Devoe from New Zealand and Anna Patrys from Poland took out First Prize in this year’s  2014 Bel Canto award and Elizabeth Connell Prize.  The Foundation is supported by the community and corporate sector.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House was conceived and built by Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, it is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney. The Opera House opened in 1973, after a long gestation which begun with Utzon’s competition winning design in 1957. The Sydney Opera House is a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete “shells”, each composed of sections of a sphere forming the roofs of the structure and set on a monumental podium. It is located on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Contrary to its name, the building houses multiple performance venues and is among the busiest performing arts centres in the world.  The four key resident companies are the Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, The Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It is also one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting the site each year.

lorikeet close up

lorikeet close up

Here at Shelly Beach it has been very hot and the bird’s water bowls are constantly being refilled. Today we had a visit from a beautiful Kookaburra who sat on the gate happily watching me water the garden. The Lorikeets are flocking in and my Red Wattle Bird is still being hand fed at his request. May I take this opportunity to wish you a safe and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.   www.patriciasartworld.com   “Letters of a Travelling Lady, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love.”

Cheers,  Patricia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Patricia Newell-Dunkley

I am an artist writer, born in Sussex, Shoreham-on-Sea and educated at Ealing Modern School in London. I studied amongst other subjects English Literature and Art which sowed the seeds for what would become a lifelong passion. It was not until 1970, after moving to Australia, that I began to satisfy my artistic desire when I first started Porcelain on-glaze painting using mineral oxides paint, a style which would become my forte. Within six months I had bought a kiln, and I embarked on an extensive series of courses over the following years in Grounding, Gold and Silver Gilding, Lustres, Raised Paste and Pen work. In 1980 I began to offer my art through a number of major Sydney outlets. Initially the Fine Art Department of the Myers City Store, followed by David Jones, Grace Brothers, The International Airport, Micawbers Antiques, Bourke’s Hilton Hotel, Roseville Gallery and Toowoon Bay Gallery. Over the years my painting styles have expanded to include Oil, Pastel, and Watercolours. I am a member of the Society of Authors and also a member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists UK. My writing includes articles and poems published in This England, Evergreen, and The Radio ABC Pot Pourri of Poems, as well as short stories. “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” “Wallis the Woman I Love,” a narrative poem, “Letters of a Travelling Lady,” and six romantic novels.