SHELLY BEACH SNIPPETS No.77 October, 2016
Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley
Greetings from down under where Australia’s richest woman has reached an agreement to purchase one of the country’s largest cattle stations for $365. million. Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has signed a deal to take over two thirds of the vast Kidman Pastoral empire. The Kidman’s portfolio covers 19 individual properties from The Kimberley in Western Australia across South Australia and the Northern Territory to Queensland’s Channel Country. S Kidman and Co. is one of Australia’s largest beef producers, with an average herd carrying capacity of 185,000 cattle.
Sir Sidney Kidman was born in Adelaide and educated in private schools in Norwood but left home at 13 and joined a drover, working as a roustabout and bullock driver. He finally became known as “The Cattle King” and the largest private landholder in Australia, leaving behind a fascinating history.
Michelle Payne has become the first female jockey to win the historic “Don Award” at the annual sport of Australian Hall of Fame. The award is given to the athlete or team judged to have most inspired Australians in the previous twelve months. Thirty-year old Payne who won the prestigious Melbourne Cup last year is hoping for a horse in this year’s line-up in November. She is the first female jockey to win the event.
Australian super star Mel Gibson was in Sydney for the red carpet Premiere of Hacksaw Ridge, with his current girlfriend Rosalind Ross. The sixty year old Oscar-winner, sporting a colourful beard discussed the price of fame and his long battle with alcoholism in a revealing interview on Seven’s “Sunday Night”. The movie was filmed in N.S.W. and Sydney under the direction of Gibson and tells the story of American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss who served during the battle of Okinawa and refuses to kill people. He became the first conscientious objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honour for saving 75 lives of his comrades while under constant enemy fire.
Cyndi Lauper takes a detour to Australia to launch her musical hit “Kinky Boots” opening in Melbourne during October, based on the movie of the same name the musical tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits a shoe factory from his father. Lauper won 6 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score making her the first woman to win alone in that category. The flamboyant 60 year-old star enjoys coming to Oz and has a knack for reinventing herself, with platinum blonde and fairy-floss pink hair, chiffon scarf, fingerless leather gloves, black nails, torn fishnets and combat-style boots. She is a fun, feminine, and fascinating lady.
Will Davison and Jonathan Webb of Tekno Auto Sports are the confirmed winners of this year’s Bathurst 1000. Widely regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia the Bathurst 1000 is known as the “Great Race” among motorsport fans and media. Held annually on the Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst N.S.W. it is currently run as the championship event for supercars. Holden’s newest hero took a massive sacrifice to join the team that delivered him Mount Panorama immortality. In a bold gamble that could have ended his career, Davison walked out on a $1 million a year deal with Erebus Motorsports V8 to sign a cut-price contract with the Minnow team that slayed the V8 Giants and took the famous Peter Brock Trophy.
Mudgee is the second oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains, following Bathurst nestled in beautiful hillsides on the Western slopes of The Great Dividing Range, and known as the Central Tablelands of N.S.W. Mudgee Valley was discovered in 1821 and was recognised for its fertile valleys diverse oil types and climate. The first grapevines were planted in 1858 by a German family, The Roths. Roths wine bar is the oldest operating wine bar in N.S.W. and you can still sample local wines there today. The township was established in 1938 and grew in population as a result of two historic gold rushes at Gulgong and Hill End. There is still spot gold to be found fossicking amongst the rivers and creeks surrounded by magnificent national parks, nature reserves and World Heritage listed bushland, Wollemi National Park, Dunn’s Swamp, Munghorn Gap Reserve and Goulburn River National Park.
Mudgee is also well known for its world class wool production, thoroughbred horses, honey, olives, hazelnuts and local produce. Gallery displays of ceramics, textiles, felt work, fine glass, paintings, silver and gemstone jewellery all regularly on show. It is an ideal destination for tourists.
Here at Shelly Beach all is fine with lovely weather, sunshine and cool sea breezes. The birds are flying in with their new families and Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is still on the lookout for the garden lizard.
My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Letters of a Travelling Lady, and Wallis the Woman I Love are available on Amazon, Xlibris, and my website.