Archive for the ‘People’ Category

There is no other place I would rather be on Australia Day.

Saltwater Freshwater Festival 2014

Uncle Martin and friends dancing to the music of Troy Cassar-Daley

For me personally Australia Day is about paying my respect to Australia’s first peoples, a people who have survived and contributed so much to society with little recognition.

I admire the bonds of family within Aboriginal communities, something that seems to be frequently disappearing from mainstream society. I love the welcome I receive for acknowledging Aboriginal people and culture.

For the past four years I have had the wonderful honour of photographing three of the Saltwater Freshwater Festivals. Port Macquarie, Taree and this year at Kempsey.

2014 was the year for the Dunghutti people of Kempsey  to showcase their local Aboriginal Culture and Heritage.


Rhys Waite


Dunghutti dancer Auntie Thelma Kelly

As a photographer it is a perfect location with colour, subject and entertainment  all together in one location.

Photographing the festival is exciting and entertaining but the greatest satisfaction comes from sharing and participating with Australia’s first peoples. The friendships, the conversation and the opportunity to engage and communicate with the local Aboriginal community is a wonderful experience for all Australians.



Troy Cassar-Daley

Troy Cassar-Daley, the headline act for the festival, had the audience up and dancing below the stage. He had already had a big week at the Tamworth Music Awards. I had great admiration for Troy as he signed autographs and had photos taken with his fans for an hour and a half following his performance.


From Kempsey band Sages Muse

As with previous years the team at Saltwater Freshwater Alliance had put together an amazing line-up of artists on stage. They included fresh new sounds from local band Sages Muse, a powerful bluesy performance by Amos Morris, haunting melodies from Jess Beck and great dance beats from hip hop duo Supafresh.


Wagana Dancers

The dance place had performances by the Dreamtime Sistas led by Auntie Thelma Kelly, the Gumleaf Band, the Wagana Dancers and Steve Donavon with the flash mob.

One of my fondest memories will be of the opening Kempsey Australia Day awards and a yarn that will make me smile for awhile:

While photographing the awards the odd big green grape would land with precision accuracy on the crown of my head. Despite several unsuccessful attempts to discover the source, the mischievous perpetrators had beaten me with their stealth and no doubt a well deserved giggle.

Loved it!


Uncle Martin Ballangarry


Amos Morris with an awesome bluesy performance

Steven Donavon leading the Flash Mob

Steven Donavon leading the Flash Mob

The Gumleaf Band

The Gumleaf Band

Wallaby Kempsey area

Wallaby Kempsey area

Possums, sugar gliders, wallabies and quolls are just some of the many native animals  injured in bushfire, car accidents and severe weather events. Many of these animals including native and migratory birds end up in the care of FAWNA Mid North Coast.

On Sunday the 17th October 2017 FAWNA volunteers gathered in the Theatrette Room at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre for the annual Bryce Laut Awards.

Bryce Laut was a NPWS Fire Management Officer tragically killed in 2008 when a tree fell on him during a cleanup operation following a bushfire. The fire was believed to have been deliberately lit. He worked closely with FAWNA and was responsible for training volunteers in wildlife rescue in the fire ground shortly after bushfire events. A donation was made to FAWNA in memory of Bryce Laut leading to the creation of the annual awards for wildlife volunteers .

Area manager Manning Hastings National Parks and Wildlife Service Steve Atkins with FAWNA President Meredith Ryan.

Area manager Manning Hastings National Parks and Wildlife Service Steve Atkins with FAWNA President Meredith Ryan.

FAWNA receives an average of seven calls a day related to injured wildlife. Some of these animals need veterinary and rehabilitation care.

Area manager for the Manning Hastings National Parks and Wildlife Service Steve Atkins presented the awards with FAWNA president Meredith Ryan. Mr Atkins thanked all volunteers on behalf of NPWS and described their commitment for rescue, rehabilitation and release as fantastic. He said ” without your assistance there is a lot of wildlife that would not be out there now”.

FAWNA President Meredith Ryan presenting local vet Sarah Bennett with a lifetime membership award

FAWNA President Meredith Ryan presenting local vet Sarah Bennett with a lifetime membership award

This year’s awards saw Sarah Bennett of Oxley Highway Veterinary Hospital receive an Honorary Life Membership. The award was presented to Sarah as recognition of skilled veterinary services and dedication to injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife in the Port Macquarie Hastings region. A willingness to advise and guide FAWNA volunteers in the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife was also acknowledged. FAWNA volunteer Wendy Pfeil expressed her gratitude for Sarah’s help during wildlife emergencies.

Meredith Ryan, Sarah Bennett, June Le Pla and Wendy Pfeil

Meredith Ryan, Sarah Bennett, June Le Pla and Wendy Pfeil

Dianne Waterhouse and Neville Elford were recognised for their 20 years of work with FAWNA at Kempsey including the rehabilitation and release of Red-neck wallabies on their property.

The runner up of the Bryce Laut award was Pat Davey a member since 2001 with six years duty on the 24/7 phone and rescue line. Pat has been been a carer and release member of macropods while training and mentoring FAWNA’s phone staff. Her recognition was for dedication to FAWNA and ensuring telephones were maintained.

Meredith Ryan, June Le Pla, Pat Davey and Steve Atkins.

Meredith Ryan, June Le Pla, Pat Davey and Steve Atkins.

First place award went to June Le Pla for rescue and rehabilitation work along with fund raising efforts.

Ist Place award winner June Le Pla

Ist Place award winner June Le Pla

Steve Atkins said June has rescued and rehabilitated more animals than most in her two decades of service to FAWNA. Undertaking regular patrols of Hastings coastal areas June has taken responsibility for rescuing seabirds. June is not selective in the animals she cares for and has added flying foxes and bats to her skill sets which also include possums, gliders and seabirds.

Also in attendance was FAWNA’s patron Dr Mary E White (AM).

Follow the link below to read and see more about Dr White.

Heading up the road to Red Hill, the Pteradactyls of the past may be replaced by the sight of a Wedgetail Eagle followed by the breathtaking views along the east coast of Australia.

Red Hill Road Telegraph Point NSW Australia

Red Hill Road Telegraph Point NSW Australia

Glenn’s artistic lifestyle and location can be seen as a refuge from a new era of development that he left behind in the distant view of Port Macquarie where he once lived.

Over the years Glenn has played a pioneering role in local history preservation including The Maritime Museum and Douglas Vale Vineyards, as well as expressing his voice on environmental issues.

Like many kids growing up on the coast Glenn was an accomplished surfer. However his lifestyle soon changed as his love of drawing and painting developed during his high school years, followed by further studies and world travel.

Glenn Dick - The Painter

Glenn Dick – The Painter

He would later paint his early years and friends in works like “Sharkmates and Jamtarts and Delinquents”.

A family history that dates back to the early settlement of Port Macquarie is reflected in a series of artwork titled “Dreams Nightmares and Reality” which can be seen as a collection of seldom heard local stories invaluable to Australian history.

The tone of Glenn’s voice takes on the seriousness of a university lecturer as he narrates the events behind these works.

Over the last twenty years, the surrounding Australian landscape has provided inspiration for many of the forms seen in his landscape works. Grass Trees and the unique textures and colours of Gum trees feature prominently on Red Hill. Wildlife is abundant on Red Hill and sinister birds will appear within his brush strokes.

Link to Gallery Slideshow of Glenn’s Works

Link to an Interview with the Artist

I have been acquainted with Glenn for around 30 years now but only in very recent years viewed and came to appreciate his work. It has been a memorable experience and one I would recommend it to art and history lovers.

The Birds

The Birds