Patricia Newell- Dunkley Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley.pat

Great excitement when a white whale was spotted off the Gold Coast, was it Migaloo or “Son of Migaloo”? World famous Migaloo is the ambassador for the whales and a National treasure. Once in Queensland waters he is protected by special interest provisions which allow people to approach him about 500 metres. Migaloo is a 26-year-old humpback whale and a fixture off the Queensland and New South Wales Coast during the annual northern migration season.   The beautiful white whale was running late being in New Zealand just two weeks before. Migaloo is the original, besides Moby Dick, who was a sperm whale. The colour is caused by a lack of melanin, the same condition that gives rise to albinism in humans. The legendary white whale whose name Migaloo is derived from an indigenous word for “white fella”. Whale watching is extremely popular here on the Central Coast of New South Wales, we have “Lookouts” dotted along the beaches. The closest to Shelly Beach is ‘Crackneck Point’ at Bateau Bay, from here you can see the whales heading north, and also panoramic views over The Entrance and Shelly Beach, plus Tuggerah Lakes. The view takes you right along the Central Coast, past Norah Head and the Lighthouse. There is also a picnic area and walking tracks to Bateau Bay or south to Forresters Beach. Hang gliding is very popular at Crackneck as is the Wyrrabalong National Park, where native plants thrive including the famous flannel flower and wild orchids. Here you will also find Brush-Turkeys who frequent densely forested areas, where they incubate their eggs on mounds of vegetable matter about twelve feet high. The Park is a haven for marine, bird, native wildlife, including Goannas, Bandicoots, Fantails, and the Tawny Frogmouth who are often confused with owls, and are nocturnal birds. What started as a whale watching adventure could end up a picnic, and nature walk in this beautiful region. The highest recording of whales seen has been sixty five, but not the white whale.

The Opera House with Captain Cook Ferry in the foreground Reginald J. Dunkley

The Opera House with Captain Cook Ferry in the foreground Reginald J. Dunkley

David Jones and Myers Emporium launched their Spring/Summer collection with Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Hawkins, international designers Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto and Australian labels Alex Perry and AJE all heralding a multitude of new trends. From the fashionable tailoring of the 70s to the freedom of bohemian dressing with fringing to the floor, flowing Maxi dresses, and bold exaggerated flares it was all there.   Predominantly white, pink and pastel colours with fabrics ranging from cotton, Broderie Anglaise, and Charmeuse silk all extremely popular. While swimwear has become more structured with moulded cups, zip fronts and cut outs. Sexiness stole the show.

The Australian Diamonds netball team took out their third trophy beating New Zealand Silver Ferns in a red hot final, and the Australian Women’s Cricket team annihilated England in Canterbury test by 161 runs and now have an 8-2 lead in the series. The sporting ladies are leading the way but get very little mention. Meanwhile the men’s cricket team were in complete disarray and the male tennis stars behaving like two year olds. Fortunately for the guys Aussie Golfer Jason Day came to the men’s rescue by winning the U.S. P.G.A. without any histrionics. Mick Fanning returned to the surf in the first event since being attacked by a shark in South Africa. Unfortunately he missed his big chance and was eliminated by Spaniard Aritz Aranburu.

Some of Bollywood’s biggest stars are in Australia for the 40th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, on the eve of India’s Independence Day. Indian cinema is known for songs, dance, and bright colours, but changes are being made to the iconic brand of cinema and they are on display at this year’s Festival. Bollywood Dance Competition will do battle on stage in Federation Square across a range of solo and group categories and different age groups. As usual they will be judged by a star-studded panel which this year includes Kangana Ranaut, Imran Khan, and Nikhil Advani along with special guest actor and comedian Kiku hosting his very own dance.   A colourful time will be had by all.

Sydney Harbour Bridge taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Sydney Harbour Bridge taken by Reginald J. Dunkley

Barangaroo Reserve has been officially opened, unlocking a part of Sydney Harbour’s foreshore that has been closed for 100 years. A former dockyard the area has now been restored to a naturalistic park as it would have been for the first inhabitants. The headland and nearby Goat Island were important sites for Sydney’s indigenous community. Named after the influential Cammeraygal Tribeswoman Barangaroo,the park is part of a $6 billion redevelopment. It opens up a view of the harbour and the bridge not seen for a century. The area has a fascinating history, at the time of early settlement, Barangaroo- a powerful Cammeraygal woman was a key figure in local Aboriginal culture and community. She was the wife of Bennelong, after whom Bennelong Point the site of the Sydney Opera House was named. The Barangaroo site was part of the territory of the Cadigal people, the traditional owners of the Sydney City Region, and was used for fishing and hunting. Large shell middens and rock engravings indicate occupation dating back 6,000 years, while other parts of Sydney indicate it was occupied for 14,500 years prior to European settlement.   The Aboriginal people moved about the landscape, within their territories to access resources they needed. Fish, Shellfish, Cockles, and Oysters were the staple diet. Aboriginal people continued to live around the harbour following European occupation. An idyllic lithograph from 1823 shows two windmills, a few small buildings, sailing vessels and people continuing their traditional lifestyle as cattle and sheep graze around. Much consideration has been given to


the naming of roads within the precinct of Barangaroo, reflecting the sites rich history by using 40% Aboriginal Sydney words making the past a lasting place in the future. Nawi Cove is the word for bark canoes, Marrinawi Cove – “Big Canoe” Girra Girra steps – Seagulls, Baludarri steps – leatherjacket fish, Burrawong – seeds of a cycad, Wulugul Walk – Kingfish to name a few. Now Sydneysiders can enjoy the public space, as can the rest of the world.

Shelly Beach is having a facelift with landscape gardening being carried out after extensive loss of sand from a recent storm, once finished it will look very grand. In the garden the birds are feasting well and highly scented jasmine is in full bloom. Pixie is enjoying her daily walks and has requested two a day. My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love,” are available on my website or Amazon.

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.