The West Australian Government plans to close 100+ Aboriginal Communities.

On April 19th 2015, I met with aboriginal citizens whom have been camping in protest on traditional Nyoongar land (Heirisson Island) here in Perth, Western Australia.   The people who live at the Matagarup Aboriginal Refugee Camp are protesting the impending forced closure of over 100 remote aboriginal communities throughout Western Australia.  Currently there are 60 people from several tribes and organisations showing solidarity together, over the uncertainty that these remote communities face.Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 1.43.56 PM

Vivianne, 48 Manjidar – “We need our communities. If they are closed down, we will lose everything. Our connection to the land could be lost.”

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Ruthie, 52  Nyoongah “To be pushed off the land we’ve been living on for thousands of years, it’s very sad”

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Bella, 54 Nyoongah “We are making a stand for those who will be forced into homelessness. Everybody has to stand up and make noise. These closures have got to stop.”

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Herbert, 49 Nyoongah – “I am an activist and elder. Colin Barnett needs to stop closing down these communities.  He is creating more homelessness with this decision.”

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Trevor, 55 – “Western Australia is the most mineral rich state in Australia.  The Pilbara and Kimberly have the greatest deposits. In just one year (2012-2013), the government collected five billion dollars in royalties.  This is what people don’t see.  Mining in these areas could affect heritage and cultural sites.”

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Clinton, 25 Nyoongah – “I am a young teacher, keeping the language alive. Our culture is in peril, the land holds our stories.  Mother nature needs our protection.”

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Toogarr, 65 Bibbulmun Nation – “We are here because we want to be in contact again with the Mother Earth.  This is our mother.  The stars and moon are inside of us all.”

In November 2014, the State of Western Australia announced it has been forced to close between 100-150 regional aboriginal communities. This was a reactive response as the Federal Government declared it would no longer be funding these remote regions (it had been previously supporting 2/3rd of the funding).

Many of these small communities were established in the 1970’s when aboriginal people began to relocate from urban regions back to their traditional homeland.  This relocation was due to a lack of employment and a great need to reconnect with the land.  This migration was a supported by the Common Wealth in 1976 through the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the Federal government agreed to pay for utilities such as water and electricity.

On March 11th of this year, The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott revealed publicly that he thought these communities were “a lifestyle choice” and in stating this, he single handily undermined the necessity of aboriginal people to have their communities connected with the land.

In determining which communities will close, the state government of Western Australia (led by Premier Colin Barnett) has proposed that it will review and implement the closure of communities that are not financially self-sustainable.  This has the potential to displace approximately 1300 people whom live in 174 of WA’s smaller communities.

Across the nation many people, political leaders and community organisations (including Greens Senators: Scott Ludlam and Rachel Seiwert) have spoken out and questioned the decision made by both the State and Federal Government.  In Melbourne and Perth, thousands of people stood in protest in March when the media showed footage of the protesters at Heirisson Island being moved along by police.

Outside of Western Australia there has been progress for a number of other states who were in a similar position.  South Australia recently reached an agreement with the Federal Government worth $15 million dollars of support for their remote communities.  The Northern Territories had previously also been promised funding by the Federal Government, totalling $206 million over the next 10 years.

This video features the elders and community currently living on Heirrison Island

To show your support for the traditional owners and custodians of this land here in Western Australia, please share this video, blog or sign up for this petition.  Alternately, this hashtag is bringing awareness and is arranging a march here in Perth through Instagram & Twitter:  

Holly Martin

Copyright – Redterrain 2015

For all enquires please email: redterrain@hotmail.com

Also, if you’re interested in the song playing in the short video above – it is called Australia 2 by GuidoNegraszus from Busselton, Western Australia.

Win a limited edition print – Leave a comment to enter!

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 8.42.25 PMScreen Shot 2015-04-06 at 8.42.04 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 8.42.36 PMRecently I signed up to start showcasing my images on Instagram.  Now that I’ve entered this brave new world, I’ve decided to hold a draw at the end of April for those who are following along.  I didn’t want my blog friends to miss out either, so if you leave a comment here stating which image you’d love to have a copy of – you’ll be entered to win a print too.

To double your chances follow along on Instagram (and see what prints are available) Check it out here:  http://instagram.com/greenterrain/

I wish you all good luck, and am super curious to see what your choice would be…  The winners will be chosen at random on April 30th 8:00am Perth time.

Long Weekend – Eneabba & Greenhead

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 This weekend I traveled North to Eneabba to spend the long weekend with Brian and Tessa on the farm.  We headed to the coast our first few days to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere to beach always brings  During this time, we socialised for a few nights, enjoyed the local art scene and also got to witness the rare blood moon.  Tessie (our dog) warmly greeted us when we returned to the farm and I spent several hours taking her and the 3 other’s into the bush.  It was so nice to enjoy the quiet and company this weekend.

Mike will be headed to Coorow this Thursday to begin a seeding season, which will have him back on farm soil for about three months.  I’m happy that he’ll get a chance to get back onto the land, but also deeply sad that he’ll be away for 3 months (I’m trying not to think about it too much!).  I’m going to either pass my driving test in a few weeks time (fingers and toes crossed) or take a bus to visit him, depending on how I go.

Anyway, this Easter long weekend was really just great.  It would have been made even better if Mike were with us too.

Hoping you all enjoying your breaks too.  What did you get up to?  Did you eat buckets of chocolate?

Have you ever rescued a bird?

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My small hummingbird light catcher has been on the same place on our window for nearly 1.5 years.  It’s a reminder for me that my grandma is here with us.  It scatters rainbows across our room and into the kitchen when the light is just right.

Just now…

Mike and I are lying in bed, the fresh cool morning air is rolling through our open window and into our bedroom.

and WHAM.

We are both obviously startled when we look over to the source and see bird spit sprayed all over the window along with a huge smudge.  The fleeing bird appears to be a rather fat pigeon.

Mike starts to laugh and tells me this has happened a few times now.

I’m concerned about how much food that bird thought it could fit into it’s tiny beak.  The ratio in size difference is astounding, and I can’t believe we just witnessed this.

Luckily it was alright and flew off.

I’m curious, have you ever rescued a bird?  What was the experience like?  Did you manage to save it?

Found these in the leaves today…

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Macro Photography @ Kings Park, Perth


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This is a new jumping spider – it might be called a “Opisthoncus mordax” but I’m not 100%.  In this photo you can see the markings on his abdomen are unusual to the jumpers I normally photograph.  He has a distinctive white x pattern.Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 9.11.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 9.11.42 PM

Stunning Verticordia – Also currently unidentified
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Today after lunch with a friend I took a long walk to Kings Park.  There were some flowers (and plenty of bees!) despite the fact that we’re just beginning our autumn season here in Western Australia.  There is always some colour and activity when I head to the park, I’m always surprised by what I encounter.

I’m looking forward to this winter season (wildflower season!!) when we can get out and hunt for new flower species in the hills and other areas of the state.

It was very pleasing to spot the black and white jumping spider near the end of my day today…

Such a distinguished little spider.

ps:  I’ve had a lot of free this week because I’m starting a new role next Monday!  Incase you were wondering why I was able to walk about and have long lunches…  Things are changing here for me work wise, and I’m quite thrilled for this new opportunity.  Change is good!

Redterrain is now on Instagram

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I write loads of emails (I love this form of communication) but the one thing I miss (I stopped using FB about 1.5 years ago) is seeing instantaneous photos from my family.  24 hours ago a dear friend gave birth, and perhaps it was just intuition but I text her…and discovered that she had given birth and her baby girl was indeed on Instagram.  So it had me thinking I was kind of in the dark ages.

I’m hoping to connect with family and friends and some more creative types too.

Do you use the app?  What do you enjoy about using Instagram? Are you a photographer on Instagram?  

Follow me here:  @greenterrain (redterrain was sadly taken and inactive! ahaha)

Perth, you’re beautiful.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 6.56.54 PMSometimes I forget how easy going and pretty this little city is.

Today the weather is perfect for strolling the streets and enjoying the autumn temperatures (not roasting hot).

I’m feeling on top of the world at the moment, as there are some changes in my life that are currently underway.

I also got to spend a few hours on the phone with my sisters today, which was an awesome way to start the day.

Fresh Water Aquarium – Tragedy Strikes!

freshwaterfishtank

I’ve not written about our freshwater aquarium in some time.  Mostly due to the fact that the environment had stabilised after Frederick and Rayden died (Frederick was actually eaten by the fish…that he was consuming which was very ironic?).  Anyway, we’ve had a really good run of about 7 or 8 months with no incidents.

Our fish were (note the past tense here) a very good source of tranquility for me.  Often I’d just stare at them and enjoy observing their personalities.  We had a few greedy bottom feeders, some larger pretty types and of course our guppies were breeding constantly (and we actually made some money selling their fry to total strangers).  The tank has a large piece of driftwood and also some lovely fresh water plants.  It was beautiful.

  • 2x Rosy Barb – Large orange and always chasing each other or eating the baby fry
  • 4x Tetra – Red and Blue, these fish were timid and communal.
  • 2x Night Fury (Agae Eater/Sucker fish) – One was very large and loved to chase away other fish when food turned up
  • 1x Suckerfish – Silver and was growing very quickly.  He was also a little ocd and would be found cleaning everything non stop all day (my favourite).
  • 3x Guppies – 1 male and two females.  They had babies every 28 days and were orange, blue and black
  • 2x Clown Loaches – These two were tiny and very timid.  They ate the small snails in the tank.
  • 2x Bolivian Rams – The prettiest fish of the bunch.  These two were really lovely to look at, and they can swim backward and sort of suspend themselves.

When we were flying back from Japan on Saturday, I said “Mike I can’t wait to see our fish!”.  And when we opened the door to our room, I suddenly realised something was amiss.

All 17 of them were missing.  Mike later found two dried and dead on the carpet.

Our housemate turns out was a poor choice as an aquarium guardian.  He thought when a fish floated, that it was still hungry.  So he fed them loads, and when the bottom feeders weren’t eating their algae pellets, he put a few more in…and well they all died of toxic shock.

We’ve let the poor guy know it wasn’t his fault, and discussed the fact that his had happened to us on the farm, when we were looking after a rogue dog who’d killed a few harmless lamb.  We were crushed, and could sense he was feeling pretty low about it too.  It happens.  But man does it ever kick ya in the guts.

Today we’re going to buy some more fresh plants, and have our water tested.  When it’s safe we’ll add a few…but I can’t help and remember all the lovely fish whom we loved before this tragedy.

Do you have a fresh water tank?  What are your favourite fish to keep?  Have you ever had a tragedy while away on holiday when you returned home?

It could have been worse though… our balcony is still covered with our thriving plants so we’re really pleased with that!

I may have overdone it with the monkeys.

Cute Baby Japanese Snow Monkey - Copyright Redterrain 2015 Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.14.46 PM Mike took the camera from me at this stage by tricking me into a portrait.  I was taking too long documenting the beautiful forests.  There is a 1.6km hike to get to the entrance of the park.Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.14.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 2.14.14 PM
I feel like that kid, that’s had access to all the candy on halloween…and has eaten so much sugar that my body reacts in a lethargic, sickly way. Yesterday I was completely exhausted by 7:00pm.  I had a fever, and was glowing red in the face.  I decided to walk in a literal blizzard to the grocery store (which is 10 minutes from our hotel) to get some food.  The freezing temperature cooled me down, but I was feeling achey and tired even still when I returned home carrying dinner (fresh fruit and microwave pizza – which was actually a terrible choice!).

Mike joked with me the other day that I was on a “dizzy – high from the monkeys” and I actually think he might have been onto something. Over the evening I slept through the rest of the snow blizzard and woke with Mike to the discovery that quite a bit of snow had fallen while we were dreaming.

Today is the come down.  I’m resting in a collapsed heap.  I’ve eaten little, and moved even less.  I am a literal blob.

Tomorrow, is our last day in Hakuba before we travel back to Tokyo for one more night.  We’ll then rise early and fly back to the hot state of Western Australia, Saturday morning.

I feel oddly torn.   Japan is an amazing country, and yet there are familiar things in Australia that I am also looking forward to as well. Number one thing?  Without a doubt our amazing bed.

When you travel, what is it that you look forward to when you return home?  

It turns out, I’m the type that like’s to know there is a home to come home to.  To appreciate the unfamiliar, and bring those stories and memories back…that’s what I enjoy.  Mike and I will have many special memories to take home with us. Obviously also I love to photograph it all too.

Until next time… Sending Love, Holly & Mike

ps:  Mike may also be posting his set of photos… keep an eye out.  His images feature the monkeys in action, playing!