In response to recent developments relating to arts funding in this country, back in June 2016 I decided to temporarily take my entire website down in protest.

The current Australian Government seems to have little or no interest in meaningfully or realistically supporting or sustaining the arts in Australia. While they continue to subsidise mining and fossil fuels, they refuse to understand or acknowledge the importance of arts funding or even the arts themselves. All they seem interested in is making cuts to arts funding budgets.

Art won’t disappear from Australia if the declining trajectory of arts funding continues, but it will become a smaller, less diverse, less widely available aspect of our national culture.

None of the writing on this website would have been possible without the support of the Australian government, both direct and indirect. It is because this country has a history of financially supporting culture and the arts that I was able to even contemplate devoting my time and energy to becoming a writer.

My first poem ever published appeared in a Federally sponsored youth poetry anthology. My first gig as an editor of creative writing was with a youth arts organisation funded by the Australia Council. Without these federally funded opportunities I would probably not have considered pursuing a career as a writer.

Market forces are not enough to sustain a diverse and inclusive artistic culture. Arts funding is crucial to the continued existence of the amazing arts scene that exists in this country. I urge everyone reading this to look closely at the arts funding policies put forward by each of the parties contesting the Federal Election on July 2, and to vote for the party dedicated to supporting and sustaining the vibrant and diverse Australian arts scene.

For more about arts funding in Australia and how you can support it, check out this info on Arts Almanac and please consider signing the petition on #istandwiththearts or this petition on change.org. Or both.



Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

Posted in writing

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Quelle Grammage!
only a fan of 2/3s of the folk in this pic but mesmerised by the story @angustrumble relates below it. . . . I watched last evening’s general election coverage (ABC, natch) in the company of a high Commonwealth official, among others in an undisclosed location, whose name, it soon emerged, may not appear on the electoral roll for reasons of national security. I confess that gave me a bit of a thrill. Canberra: Bless! However, it was also fascinating, extraordinary, in due course to witness that person’s several mobile phones evidently going bonkers, and the measured plans, contingencies, forecasts, blue books of an entire federal bureaucracy duly (one presumed) shredded, turned upside down, just like that. Nothing at all was said, I should emphasise. One simply observed the body language, which was moderately graphic. Whichever way you look at it, this has been an astounding personal victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He believes in miracles, the sexy thing. Pre-polling methodologies in this country, meanwhile, have quite obviously met with serial unforced error on a colossal, epic scale. Who would ever pay them good money again? On my way home, I collided with the (ex-)campaign manager of one of the independent ACT Senate candidates who was alone, drunk and in despair. The campaign manager, that is, not the candidate. This was at about half past eleven on the corner of Jardine and Eyre Streets in Kingston, right next to the rubbish tin, you know, the rectangular green one. He told me he wanted to burn everything down, which was worrying enough, but then he suddenly hurled his mobile phone into the gutter—smashed it to bits—and staggered off into the night. I found myself wondering: Who would touch politics with a barge pole? I should add that this frightening encounter left me, literally, picking up his bits and bobs, then dutifully popping them in the bin. Responsible, me. Back home, I had a cuppa and played patience. I’m not kidding. . . . #Repost @angustrumble with @make_repost
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Thursday morning tableau
They come up after rain. I often wonder how they feel lying under the ground at right angles to their purpose. #chewton #railspike
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