Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2015 Shortlist Announced


What a great way to welcome you all back to term 2, with the announcement of the CBCA’s shortlist for 2015 Children’s Books of the Year.

Each year the The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) hosts a competition to find the best published books for children of all ages. The Winners and Honour Books are announced and posted on the web site at 12 noon EST on the third Friday in August every year.View this year’s shortlist below:

cbcs15 small

Checking out literary prize shortlists is a great way of introducing yourself to new, quality writing that you may not otherwise hear about. For more fantastic shortlists from worldwide literary prizes, click here

View a list of Australian literary prizes here.

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St. Patrick’s Day Today, March 17


Today, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. So, just who was St. Patrick I hear you ask?

Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”

Many folk ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ The reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin.

People with Irish heritage the world over celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, March 17. Some calculations place the total population of people with predominantly Irish ancestry at over 100 million people. That’s over 15 times the current population of Ireland which stood at 6.4 million in 2011. At last count (2011 Australian Census) there were over 2 million Australians reporting Irish Ancestry; that’s just over 10% of the total population and of this number a little over 12% were first generation Irish immigrants to Australia.

Cabra Dominican College is of course intricately linked with Ireland through the founding Dominican Sisters. In 1868, at the invitation of the Bishop of Adelaide, seven Dominican sisters came to South Australia and opened a school for both boarders and day students in Franklin Street, Adelaide.

In 1886, the boarders moved to a new school, the present Cabra Dominican College.  The new site, now a busy suburban area, was then regarded as country, being a large area of bare, unoccupied land, somewhere to the south. Because the Sisters had come from Cabra, one of the leading educational establishments in Ireland, it was decided to call the new convent and school, Cabra.

Read more of the Founding Sisters’ story here.

Read St. Patrick in his own words here.

The Irish Diaspora: Global Irish Site and Wikipedia Article

Australian Author Richard Flanagan Wins 2014 Man Booker Prize.


Book Review

Author Bio

Richard Flanagan accepts the award

The 2014 winner of The Man Booker Prize for Fiction  was announced yesterday. Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan was awarded the prize for his book, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Named after a famous book by the Japanese poet Basho, this is the sixth novel from Richard Flanagan, who is considered by many to be one of Australia’s finest novelists. It centres upon the experiences of surgeon Dorrigo Evans in a Japanese POW camp on the now infamous Thailand-Burma railway. –

Flanagan joins compatriots Thomas Keneally and Peter Carey as the third Australian winner of arguably the world’s most prestigious literary award. Peter Carey, South African born Adelaide resident J.M. Coetzee and Hilary Mantel share the distinction of being the only novelists to have won the award twice. Mantel stands alone as the only author to have won Bookers with consecutive novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.

For more information on the history of The Booker prize click here.

For information on other book awards and literary prizes go here.

Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2014 Winners Revealed


CBCA winners 2014

Each year the The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) hosts a competition to find the best published books for children of all ages. The Winners and Honour Books are announced and posted on the web site at 12 noon EST on the third Friday in August every year.View this year’s winners below:

CBCA winners 2014 pics

For the full list of the winners in all categories go here. For a complete listing of the shortlisted books go here, and to view the Judges Report visit this link.

Checking out literary prize shortlists is a great way of introducing yourself to new, quality writing that you may not otherwise hear about. For more fantastic shortlists from worldwide literary prizes, click here

View a list of Australian literary prizes here.

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Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2014


CBCA shortlist 2014

Each year the The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) hosts a competition to find the best published books for children of all ages. The Winners and Honour Books are announced and posted on the web site at 12 noon EST on the third Friday in August every year.View this year’s short list below:

2104 CBCA shortlist

Checking out literary prize shortlists is a great way of introducing yourself to new, quality writing that you may not otherwise hear about. For more fantastic shortlists from worldwide literary prizes, click here

View a list of Australian literary prizes here.

.

St. Patrick’s Day Today, March 17


March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. So, just who was St. Patrick anyway?

The stained glass image of St Patrick hails from Cabinteely church, Dublin

The stained glass image of St Patrick hails from Cabinteely church, Dublin

Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”

Many folk ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ The reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin.

People with Irish heritage the world over celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, March 17. Some calculations place the total population of people with predominantly Irish ancestry at over 100 million people. That’s over 15 times the current population of Ireland which stood at 6.4 million in 2011. At last count (2011 Australian Census) there were over 2 million Australians reporting Irish Ancestry; that’s just over 10% of the total population and of this number a little over 12% were first generation Irish immigrants to Australia.

Cabra Dominican College is of course intricately linked with Ireland through the founding Dominican Sisters. In 1868, at the invitation of the Bishop of Adelaide, seven Dominican sisters came to South Australia and opened a school for both boarders and day students in Franklin Street, Adelaide.

In 1886, the boarders moved to a new school, the present Cabra Dominican College.  The new site, now a busy suburban area, was then regarded as country, being a large area of bare, unoccupied land, somewhere to the south. Because the Sisters had come from Cabra, one of the leading educational establishments in Ireland, it was decided to call the new convent and school, Cabra.

Read more of the Founding Sisters’ story here.

Read St. Patrick in his own words here.

The Irish Diaspora: Global Irish Site and Wikipedia Article

Is It Getting Hotter or Is It Just Me? Australia’s Hottest Year on Record.


Annual Climate Statement 20132013 was the hottest year in Australia since records began. The Australian Bureau of Meterology has confirmed:

  • Summer 2012–13 was the warmest on record nationally, spring was also the warmest on record and winter the third warmest
  • Overall, 2013 was Australia’s warmest year on record: annual national mean temperature was +1.20 °C above average
  • All States and the Northern Territory ranked in the four warmest years on record
  • Nationally-averaged rainfall was slightly below average for the year, with 428 mm (1961–1990 average 465 mm)
  • Rainfall was mostly below average for the inland east and centre, and above average for the east coast, northern Tasmania and parts of Western Australia

For a detailed analysis of the weather in 2013 read the full Annual climate statement 2013.

For a host of other great weather and climate sites check out the list below.

realclimate Real climate science by real climate scientists.

NASA climate Global Climate Change site from NASA.

New Film Adaptation of Tim Winton’s Book The Turning Released



It seems inevitable that if you write books as well as Tim Winton, sooner or later someone will make a movie of it. Thankfully, the film adaptations tend to be pretty good overall. Directors are wise not to stray too far from the deft plotting and lyrical sophistication of our acclaimed writer’s stories. In the Winter Dark, That Eye, The Sky and now The Turning have all been translated for the screen. Whilst The former two are quite faithful representations of Winton’s originals, The Turning stands out as a unique and ambitious cinematic experiment.

In order to imaginatively transpose the 17 distinct but linked short stories from this volume, producer/director Robert Connolly has invited 17 individual directors and their crews to each interpret a single story. The result is impressive and at over three hours long immersive, in the way every Tim Winton book seems to be.

Packing some stellar Australian acting talent with amongst others, Rose ByrneCate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving, Miranda OttoRichard RoxburghThe Turning absorbs the viewer just as the original set of stories did.

Showing in most capital cities for a limited time.

Website of the Week: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


English: ABS House which is the headquarters f...

English: ABS House which is the headquarters for the Australian Bureau of Statistics located at Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Australian Bureau of StatisticsThis week’s Website of the Week is the Australian Bureau of Statistics.With over 1 million webpages constantly updated, this is Australia’s largest internet site. Apart from featuring amazing amounts of demographic information relating to Australia, this site has some pretty nifty little gadgets that allow us to drag Census information from their databases and display it in interesting visual ways. Check it out.

Spotlight on CensusUse this cool animation tool to find out loads of information about yourself from the latest Census data.

Use real statistical information to run your own town in this exciting simulation, ‘Run That Town’.

pop clockAustralian Population Clock. Click to find out what the future holds for our population and how births, deaths and immigration will affect the population into the future.

Census at School  Census At School offers the most comprehensive selection of statistical information on Australian students.

 

Young Adult What To Read Next InfoGraphic


Feel like doing some independent reading but you just can’t decide what to read next? Check out this excellent ‘Young Adult What To Read Next Flowchart’ for some great suggestions. As we are in Australia you can just ignore the “Summer Reading” bit. Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring, Term time, holidays; all great times to do a bit of reading.

The Young Adult Summer Reading Flowchart

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Read what you like, like what you read!