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Tomahawks, Trump and a Townsville Mayor

Tomahawks, Trump and a Townsville Mayor
Congratulations to artist Laura Jones. Her self-portrait, Sliding Doors (pictured), was shortlisted for the Sir John Sulman Prize while her portrait of author Tim Winton was awarded the Archibald.
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Anna Rogan
Anna Rogan Tallarook, Victoria
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Plus artists take a bow. Welcome to our newsy newsletter keeping you up to date with regional headlines that matter, plus other delightful things from life beyond the city.

Regional news round-up

Counting Dead Women in rural and regional Australia

Rural and regional women across Australia are disproportionately represented in data showing rates of gender-based violence. Across Australia, 35 women have been killed by violence this year; 24 of which occurred outside major cities, and almost half of which were in regional or rural areas, according to data from Counting Dead Women. Nine women have been killed by violence in WA this year, double the rate in NSW (full story). Meanwhile, in Victoria, 19 of the 20 local government areas with the highest rates of family violence are in regional or rural areas (full story).

So, what’s being done about it? This week the Victorian government announced the launch of a four-year, $10 million “saturation” campaign to end gendered violence in Ballarat. The trial will include widespread advertising and education and, if successful, will be extended across the state (full story). Also this week, WA Premier Roger Cook announced plans to change the state’s gun laws to require police to immediately remove guns from firearm owners when a complaint of family or domestic violence is made against them (full story). 

The Country Women’s Association has also thrown its weight behind the issue. The NSW CWA branch unanimously supported measures to address gendered violence, and the Victorian CWA branch discussed regional women’s safety at its recent state conference (full story).

Newsletter partner

In partnership with not-for-profit organisation Sustainable Table, Stone & Wood has launched GOOD GRAIN, an industry development initiative raising funds for four regenerative ag, grain-centric projects. The fundraising culminates in an industry-wide conference on Saturday 17 August at Stone & Wood’s Brisbane brewery. Stone & Wood invites you to rally for a good cause and empower Australia’s regenerative grain economy. Find out more at goodgrain.au.

Permanent protection for the Great Artesian Basin

Queensland is set to introduce landmark laws that will permanently ban carbon capture and storage throughout the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). Premier Steven Miles made the announcement, saying “the GAB’s unique environmental, agricultural, economic and cultural significance is worth protecting". The move comes after the state government recently blocked a plan by Glencore subsidiary CTSCo to pump more than 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the basin (full story).

Online climate change tool

A new online tool developed by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology allows farmers to see long-range climate projections and better understand the risks of global heating. Farmers can log their farm’s location and commodity into the My Climate View tool to view climate projections out to 2070 (full story).

Australian beef heads overseas

China has lifted export bans on five Australian beef abattoirs this week as the superpower continues to remove trade barriers on Australian exports. Sanctions now remain on just two Australian abattoirs and the rock lobster industry (full story)

Meanwhile, a recent research project into the American wagyu market co-funded by the Australian Wagyu Association and Meat and Livestock Australia has predicted major growth in the market. Australian wagyu is a big hit in the US, where a high-quality marbled steak can sell for as much as $450 a kilogram. Or, for a cool $US1000, you can buy a 1.5kg Australian wagyu tomahawk steak from Papi’s in Miami Beach. It will be presented in a rhinestone-studded briefcase with a laser light show and your choice of music (full story).

Trump and a Townsville mayor

In the same week that former US president Donald Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records during the 2016 election campaign (full story), it was revealed that Townsville mayor Troy Thompson also falsified records during an election campaign.

Thompson was referred to the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission last week over allegations he had falsified his military record. In an interview with A Current Affair, Thompson blamed “100-plus” concussions and epilepsy on the oversight, adding “I probably didn’t say it right pre-election”. 

Thompson had also claimed he had completed two degrees and was a business graduate, and his LinkedIn account listed a bachelor of science, occupational safety and health technology from Curtin University and a bachelor of commerce, accounting and marketing from Griffith University. The degrees were removed from his profile after he was sworn into office and he admitted he never completed university. “I started them off. And then life changed. It was that simple,” he said.

All 10 Townsville councillors have called on Thompson to resign but the mayor announced on his Facebook page that he had “no intention to step aside as some of the naysayers would like” (full story).

Artists take a bow

This week, the Art Gallery of NSW announced the winners of some of Australia’s most prestigious art competitions: the Archibald, Sir John Sulman and Wynne prizes (full story). Finalist works in the Archibald and Wynne prizes will tour regional Australia from September this year (see our What’s On for dates and venues). Congratulations to the winners: 

Archibald Prize: Laura Jones, for her portrait of author Tim Winton.

Archibald Packing Room Prize (awarded by the AGNSW's packing room staff): Matt Adnate, for his portrait of Yolŋu rap artist Baker Boy.

Sir John Sulman Prize: Naomi Kantjuriny, for her work Minyma mamu tjuta, depicting mamu (good and bad spirits).

Wynne Prize: Djakaŋu Yunupiŋu, for her landscape Nyalala gurmilili, depicting miwatj, or "sunrise side" in Yolŋu Matha in the north-easternmost part of Arnhem Land, NT.

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Stone & Wood

Galah goss

The Galah editorial meeting this week was largely spent pouring over upcoming Issue 10 of Galah magazine and pondering how on earth Issue 11 will top it. For the record, the team felt the same way about Issue 9.

Issue 10 is devoted to invention, in all its clever and ingenious forms. Stories include Australia’s mad inventions and eureka moments, why the Franklin Frosties freeze every morning, the reinvention of Hill End, how millions of breadtags ended up in Cowra, Jenny Kee’s lifelong obsession with waratahs, the quest to distil the scents of a garden, and what zero-waste activist Joost Bakker did next. 

You can pre-order Issue 10 here or subscribe here—and if you do either of those very smart and excellent things before midnight on Tuesday 18 June, you’ll also get free shipping and a cool $10 back in your pocket. It won’t get you a wagyu laser light show, but it will get you a very long way on Qld public transport (IYKYK).

Galah Issue 10. Invention

What's on

Noel McKenna, Cape Pillar, Tasman Sea, Wynne Prize finalist.

Archibald Prize 2024 regional touring exhibition

Judged by the Art Gallery of NSW, the Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, “preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia”. Finalist works in the 2024 prize will tour regional galleries from 20 September 2024. Read more

Orange Regional Gallery, NSW, 20 September-17 November 2024.

Ngununggula, Southern Highlands Regional Gallery, NSW, 30 November 2024-26 January 2025.

Casula Powerhouse, NSW, 7 February-6 April 2025.

Araluen Arts Centre, NT, 24 April-15 June 2025.

Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW, 4 July-31 August 2025.

Wynne Prize 2024 regional touring exhibition

Also judged by the Art Gallery of NSW, the Wynne Prize is awarded annually to the best landscape painting or sculpture by an Australian artist. Finalists in the Wynne Prize 2024 will tour regional galleries in NSW from 28 September 2024. Read more.

Western Plains Cultural Centre, NSW, 28 September-24 November 2024.

Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre, NSW, 6 December 2024-2 February 2025.

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW, 14 February-6 April 2025.

Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, NSW, 22 April-15 June 2025.

Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) presents "one of the rarest and most valuable pieces of music ever created", the Wu-Tang Clan’s fabled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, as part of its upcoming exhibition, Namedropping. Visitors can see the album on display, with limited access to public listening events held in Mona’s Frying Pan Studios, 15-24 June. Read more.

Journey on Wadawurrung Country

This sensory cultural learning experience shares images, life stories and sounds of Wadawurrung people and Country. While moving through the exhibition of portraits, hear the voices of Wadawurrung senior and future elders and parrwang (the magpie), and the sounds of Wadawurrung Country from the Barwong (Barwon) River and dawn rising over Wurdi Youang (the You Yangs). At the Grant Pavilion, Torquay, Vic, until 16 June. Read more.

In the flock

Jane Crowley in her happy place, surrounded by vintage and antique items.

Jane Crowley, co-founder of Dirty Janes vintage emporium

It’s usually the kind of hobby a person might take up in later life, but the antique bug bit Jane Crowley at a much younger age. With the help of her father, renowned rummager and antique dealer Athol Salter, an eight-year-old Crowley restored her first vintage piece and sold it for a tidy profit. Through school, university and her early career, Crowley’s side hustle in antiques endured. Finally, in 2008, Crowley opened the Dirty Janes vintage emporium in Bowral with her father along for the ride. The Dirty Janes empire (just don’t let Crowley catch you calling it that) has since expanded to a second shop in Canberra and a third in Orange, NSW, opened in April.

How’s the new shop in Orange going?

The community response has been incredible. We have a fantastic team running the store, stallholders selling fabulous vintage finds and Salters Pantry supplies beautiful food and drinks to visitors. So, after 18 months of working to restore the old PCYC building right in the centre of town and bring Dirty Janes to life, I’m finally able to step back just a little bit. 

What’s next for you?

If you asked my husband, Bob, he’d definitely say a holiday and a bit of a rest. But I live in Bowral so I’m still heading up to Orange every couple of weeks and visiting our Canberra store too, and we’ve begun working on our October in-store Wine Meets Design events. Maybe another Dirty Janes store? Maybe another book? I’d love to spend more time on my writing. I’ve got so many more stories to tell about Athol’s buying adventures in the 1970s and 1980s and my own adventures with my husband in the UK.

Editor’s note: Crowley has published three books: Dirty Janes Vintage Style and Beeswax and Tall Tales: Memoirs of an Aussie Antique Dealer about her father’s life and adventures in the 1960s, and the Jane Loves Vintage children’s book.

What lessons have you learnt from creating the Dirty Janes empire? 

I’m not sure “empire” is an apt word—I prefer “community”, as that’s what we are. It is probably one of the most beautiful lessons I’ve learned over the past 15 years: that if you give people from all walks of life common ground, beautiful friendships and great synergies can be born. 

Why did you choose Orange for your latest shop location?

We love supporting regional areas and bringing together creative people from far and wide to showcase their wares. There is a proud history to Orange; it’s a fabulous regional city with wineries, hatted restaurants, beautiful parks and gardens, and wonderful visitor experiences such as Orange FOOD Week. Who wouldn’t be charmed?

Righto, we’re coming to visit. Where should we go (besides Dirty Janes, of course)?

I hope it’s a long weekend. See what’s on at the Orange Regional Gallery and the Orange Civic Arts Centre and plan your weekend around an exhibit or live performance. If your budget allows, stay at the Byng Street Boutique Hotel. Just wow. Or for a 1970s revival, stay in the Oriana - the customer service is fabulous. Have dinner at the Oriana’s Peacock Room or at the Old Union Bank Café, and breakfast at the Byng St Local Store.

Shopping is full of colourful fun at Jumbled in the Sonic or The White Place, our beautiful neighbours on Byng St. Just around the corner is Hawkes General Store, an institution that’s been serving locals for more than 40 years.

One last thing

Fights in the backyard

Despite the persistent story that regional communities are holding up the development of new energy projects, Australia’s renewable energy sector continues to grow. So, are regional landowners part of the problem or part of the solution? 

While it’s true that a significant portion of regional Australians don’t want energy projects built nearby - whether they’re renewable (full story) or nuclear (full story) - not everyone is opposed. A CSIRO poll of 6700 people found most Australians were willing to live near renewable energy developments, with support for solar farms the highest among respondents at 88% (full story). 

Part of what’s driving support for these projects is attractive, long-term compensation for landowners facing an uncertain future as climate changes. The NSW government pays landowners $200,000 in annual instalments over 20 years to allow transmission lines on their land, and the Victorian government pays the same over 25 years (full story). 

Private companies offer even more substantial compensation. Qld-based MacIntyre wind farm, the largest onshore wind farm in the southern hemisphere, pays farmers an estimated $40,000 a turbine a year (full story). Meanwhile, in SA, Riverland farmer Cathy Kruger has leased most of her seven-hectare property to house a solar farm for 40 years to generate passive income that covers her mortgage repayments and then some (full story).

What’s new(s)?

We’d love to hear about the news, events and people that should be making the headlines in the Galah Weekly newsy. Share what’s new(s) in your neck of the woods with us at newsie@galahpress.com