Dear Mr. Avery and class,

With such quality designs from Avery Architects, will it be long before Avery and Company Construction starts the projects?

Your questions... 

Have you ever tried to design your own house before?

Many years ago I did design an ideal house using a graphics program but it didn't have the features of Homestyler. It was only 2D so imagination was needed.
Have any of you used the program Sims? If you have, then you have been able to design homes and even add people to live in them.

What would your dream home have in it?

Kitchen - large to allow room for cooking and informal meals

Dining Room - for special meals

Lounge room - to relax, talk, play games

Rumpus room - indoor play area with maybe a Wii set up for interactive play

Bedrooms – Including ensuite bathrooms. Perhaps three or four to allow for guests

Movie Room - with large screen for watching DVDs/Blurays

Music Room – Soundproofed with baby grand piano and sound recording studio

Video Editing Room – Where I can edit, burn and print the CDs/DVDs I make

Computer Office/Room – printers and computers for the photo editing, blogging, and other things I do.

Outdoor Entertainment Area – for guests

Indoor Heated Swimming Pool – All year exercise and fun

Arboretum – Special room for plants with plenty of natural sunlight

Double Garage – For the car and a guest

Attached Unit – For longer stays by relatives

Big or small, many rooms or few it makes me wonder...

What really makes a home?

It doesn't matter if you're a queen in a palace...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

...a knight in a castle...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

...a president in the White House...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

... or you and your family.

What really makes a house into a home is the people in it.


P.S. I took the Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama photos in Madame Tassaud's in London and the knight was on display in Paris's Musée de l'Armée.

Dear 4KM and 4KJ,

Here are the designs I used for Mother's Day cards. Some of the children wanted something cheaper than these even though the cards were the cheapest items. Next year I will be designing Mother's Day bookmarks to add to the collection. They'll cost half the amount of a card.

Schools and students have permission to use these graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. They may be used as fundraiser designs for sale at schools in Mother's Day stall.

Click on an image to separate it from the album. A new tab will open. Click again and the full size image will appear. It can then be copied.


Hello Global Grade 3,

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to comment on your post sooner but time has been busy for me.

Seeing you fill out the borrower’s card in the old fashioned way brought back fond of when I was your age at school. We didn’t have computers in school back then so borrowing books involved the same process you are showing. It may not be high tech but it works.

Being able to share old, no longer needed resources with others is both kind and waste saving. While your school now uses bar codes, for Q’enqo, the books pockets will be a wonderful addition to their resources. Passing on the pockets is a great recycling activity.

I think everyone’s comments are wonderful. Where there is a trend for people to watch a movie rather than read a story, it’s worth remembering there are very many more stories in print than there are in films. The gift of learning to read can open up your eyes to a world of adventure. Imagine the changes ahead for the children of Q’encho as they discover the world through books.

It may be too late for these answers to your questions but I’ll share them anyway…


Do you know of an ACCURATE English to Spanish translator that will help us to write captions on the photos we have taken in Spanish?

Accuracy is important when using translation software. I use a translator to read and write in other languages but we must take care with them. Even with good software, there can be errors of context (the wrong words in the right place).

What do I use? I use Google translate. There is a technique to improve accuracy when using Google Translate. The first part is to keep your comments simple because they are easier to translate correctly. The second part involves the following steps…

Recently, I was given the task to write a short story in five sentences each with five words based on a theme of good things come in fives. Here is what I wrote...

“Good things come in fives?”

My daughter just now five.

“Five fingers and five toes.”

“Is that all?” she asks.

“Three children, two parent’s love.”

Now let's see how I would go about translating it using Google Translate....


This is what greets you when you open Google Translate. The left hand box is where you type your words or where you paste what has been written. Above the typing box you can see two tabs. One is marked "From: detect language" and the is marked "To: ***". Click and hold on the "To:" box and your choices of language will appear. Select Spanish. Now click "Translate" and the translated text should appear.


This shows what has happened when I copied and pasted my story into the left hand box, selected Spanish and clicked on translate. No, the job hasn't finished as the text may not make sense.

Copy the Spanish text on the right hand side.

Now erase the text on the English left hand and paste in the Spanish. The English version should now appear on the right. You will see some things have translated incorrectly. For example,

Line 1: "fives"  is now "five years".

Line 2: may be a little different but makes sense so it is okay

Line 3: "Five toes" has become "Feet five"

Line 4: "She asks" has become "Question"

Libe 5: "Two parent's love" has become "two of parental live"



Now I copy the English text on the right so I can make some changes.


You can see the changes I've made to the English version. The Spanish has now been changed on the right.


This is the hard part if you don't have a simple text to translate. You have to keep copying, pasting and changing until you have happy both the English and Spanish versions make sense. This is why it's important to keep what you write in English simple. For posters, short and simple text is easier for people to remember and much easier to translate into another language.


Look at the much simpler text....

English: Have you read a good book?

Spanish: ¿Has leído un buen libro?

With such simple text, Google Translate made the translation correctly on the first attempt. When I copied and pasted the Spanish, the English matched the original so it should be correct.

Google Translate link:


Can you think of any OTHER ideas to help us build Capacity for this project?

Your modelling of reading through photos is a wonderful method of showing how much enjoyment there can be in reading. When the Q’encho children see you read and enjoy books they would be more likely to want to join in the fun.


Have YOU learned something incredible with a book that helped to change YOUR world?  (Maybe it inspired you to do a special project, or maybe it even inspired you to pursue a CAREER in the field!)

“A” book that helped to change my world? My life has been one of many books, each adding more or less to my life. Even though I am very much online these days and can access information from around the world, I still have my book library and some favourite reference books near at hand. “A” book that changed my life… It’s whatever book I have at the time as each adds a little each time it’s used.


Teacher, NSW, Australia


Link to original post...

Hello 2/3 Class,

What does ANZAC Day mean to me?

When I was growing up, it was a tradition. My mother would take my two brothers and I by train into Sydney so we could watch my father march in the ANZAC Day march. He had been a soldier during World War II. After enlisting in the army and receiving his training, he was posted to Singapore with the 8th Division, 2/18 Battalion of the AIF (Australian Infantry Force).

The Japanese attacked the city of Singapore and, despite the defence by Allied troops including my father, General Percival, the British officer in charge of the Allies, surrendered to save the people of Singapore from further suffering. My father became a Prisoner of War from 1942 until the war ended in 1945.

My brothers and I would wait somewhere along the annual march route and try to be the first to see him coming. While I can’t remember them, veterans of the Boer War (1899-1902) were in the lead but eventually the last was gone and a riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups represented them.

Next would come the veterans of World Way I. I had a Great Uncle (the uncle of my father) in that war but he never returned from France. I remember the WWI as proud and strong but in time, the last of them had passed as they grew older.

After them, the World War II veterans, including my father, would appear. When we finally saw him, my brothers and I would cheer for him and he’d smile and wave. Slowly now the number of veterans of World War II are dwindling. May father has now passed and few from his battalion are left. Had my father still been alive, he would have been 93.

Next would come veterans from Korea, Malaya, Vietnam (my brother had a friend in the Vietnam war) and other conflicts up to some veterans from the most recent conflict in Afghanistan.

For me, ANZAC Day, the Dawn Service and the march is a chance to remember my father, Great Uncle and others who served during wars. It's not a time to celebrate war. It’s a time to remember the tragedy of Gallipoli back in 1915. Imagine, the founding of the ANZAC legend will be 100 years old in 2015.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The ANZAC ceremony in my town.

Did you know the last Australian veteran of Gallipoli was Edward (Ted) Matthews? He was born on 11 November, 1896 and passed on December 9, 1997. I remember seeing him interviewed on television once. People were interested in the last Australian survivor. He was told he was a real hero by the reporter.

I still remember his response, "Why? I just lived longer than the others."

What an incredible Australian.

Ted Matthews


Here is a link to their original post from Mr. Handley...

Hello Mr. Handley and class,

I’m sorry it has taken me a week to comment on this post. It has been a little busy for me at the moment.




Which piece of art do you like the best?  Why?

Both pieces of art have interesting features. In a time before cameras, artists would often capture scenes through painting and drawings. The over 200 year old painting looks like others I have seen from the era, including early paintings of Australia.

The second looks a more modern piece of art using a blend of traditional and modern designs.

Depending on why I wanted them, each would be my favourite. If I were to decide on vibrant colour and design, the giraffe painting would be the one. For value and historical interest, I would choose the older painting.


How do you think each piece of art was made?  How can you tell?

The older painting looks as though it might  have been a finely detailed watercolour.

The giraffe painting looks more like modern acrylic paint but it’s hard to tell without seeing the original.


Is there anything that is the same about the two pieces of art?

Both paintings show animals in their natural habitat.


What do you feel when you look at each of the images?

The older makes me feel in touch with a much earlier Africa where animals weren’t restrained by parks and the spread of people was restricted more the village shown in the painting. Its style is closer to photographic so a viewer can have a sense of the land and animals.

The newer make me feel brighter because of its more vivid colour and design.


What can you see in each image? Look closely (you can click on them to make them bigger)- can you see anything that you think others might not have spotted?

The older painting shows a village or settlement where their cattle roam and people go about their daily routine.

The more modern painting not only includes the giraffes and trees, the design of birds makes up part of the trees.


Do you think the pieces of art are based on what the artists have seen, or are just from their imagination?

In bother cases, I feel there is a mix of what was seen and what their imagination has shown them. The degree varies. The older relies much more on what was seen than the newer.


Can you name any of the animals in either piece of art?

The older painting includes people, cattle and dogs whereas the newer includes giraffe and birds.


Can you find any other examples of African art that you like?

Africa is a very large continent with many cultures both past and present. Their art included carvings as well metal casting, painting, jewellery design and even body art.

Here is a link to a site selling African art both modern and traditional. It has many images…




Which piece of music do you like the best?  Why?

“Mbube” It sounds much more traditional than the others and sounds as though it includes the unusual licking in speech of the Kalahari bushmen.


How is each piece of music similar/different?

“Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” – Much includes traditional rhythm yet it blends more modern song.

“Rain, Rain Beautiful Rain” – Sung in English yet it still has the feel of traditional African choral music.

“Mbube” – This seems the most traditional piece and therefore my favourite.

“World in Union 95” – The sounds the most modern yet still carries a traditional feel.


What do you like about this music?  Is there anything you don’t like?

There is no doubt the “A cappella” nature of the music and its rhythm is very appealing. Liking many music styles, I must say I hear nothing I dislike.


How is it the same/different from the music you normally listen too?

It’s not different. My iTunes includes examples from African, Aboriginal, North American Native and other traditions as well as many other music forms.


What do the pieces of music make you think of when you listen to them?

I am more lost in the rhythm and sounds than thinking of other things. With each, I do picture my imagination’s images of Africa.


What do you think each piece of music is about?

The titles give us a hint except “Mbube”. From what I have found, it means “lion” in the Zulu language so may be a song of lions hunting or patrolling their territory.


Can you find any other music by this group which you like?

By chance, one of my African albums is by the group. The album is called Liph' Iqiniso. My favourite on the album is the same as the album title. Below is a scan of the album cover...



Thanks for sharing an interesting post. It gave me an excuse to listen to Ladysmith Black Mambazo again.


Teacher, NSW, Australia

Hello Mrs. Yollis and class,

The meaning of "fad", according to one of my dictionaries, is a temporary, usually irrational, pursuit, fashions, etc.   (The Little Macquarie Dictionary, 1983). It made me think back to what might have been a fad when I went to school.

Did we play chasings with dinosaurs? No, I'm not quite that old.

Did we play computer games? No, they weren't available yet.

This means somewhere between the dinosaurs and computer games, I must have seen or been part of fads.


One of the first fads I can remember at school was marbles. Each recess and lunch break mostly boys would set up their marble games on the large dirt playground.

Game 1: They might call, "Four and your tor back!"

What this meant is if you could flick your marble along the ground and hit their marble at the end of maybe a three feet run, you were given your marble and four extras back. If you missed the marble was theirs.

Game 2: Another game was where each player would place some marbles in a large circles they had drawn in the dirt. They would take turns flicking their marbles into the circle. If they hit any marbles out of the circle, they could keep them. If their marble stayed in the circle, it was lost until someone could hit it out.

Game 3: This was played one on one. One player would challenge another. The challenger would flick his marble along the ground. The challenged would then flick his marble and try and hit the other. If he hit it, it was his. If he missed, the challenger would have a turn. This would go on until one of the players won.

Many years later I returned to my old school as a teacher. The dirt playground was covered with asphalt and marbles were no longer played. Some fads can go on for a long time while others fade away.


Cards with chewing gum first appeared when I was about your age. The idea had come from America and it caught on quickly. We would buy and trade cards to try and have the complete set. My favourites were...

Addams Family - This old US television shows was a big hit here. I once had all of the cards. If I still had them, they might now be worth quite a bit more than when I got them.

Combat - This was a TV show set during World War II. It followed a US Infantry Squad in Europe.

The Samurai - This show was made in Japan. It was a series of adventures with Shintaro, the samurai, and Tombe, his ninja friend. The would battle the evil dark ninja.

In those early TV days, there were Australian TV shows but I don't remember ever seeing cards for Australian shows.


This is a fad still working today as it has into the long past history. Hair has been worn in many different styles throughout the centuries.

While I was at school, The Beatles from England started to gain favour. Boys, often to the horror of the parents, started to grow their hair longer.  The hippy era started. Long hair, peace and flowers became popular as was the 'new' music. Many of my friends grew their hair longer, dressed in jeans and old shirts and considered themselves trend setting and different. I kept my hair short so, in a way, I was the different one.

Here is a WIkipedia link on hairstyles...


Model Railways - When I was your age, model railways were the rage. Many boys had train sets. They had been made in England by a company called Triang. They all looked British. At that time steam trains still pulled passenger and freight trains on the real railways and many boys dreamed of being engine drivers.

Railways is an interest I have kept since that time and have ridden behind steam train hauled trains when they were on the real railways and now on historical railways in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Below is a photo of the first model train I owned. It's now around 50 years old but has had some upgrades so it can still run.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Barbie Dolls -No, I didn't collect these but I had to include them as many girls had them when they arrived in Australia.Other toy fads over the years include - Rubik's Cube, Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids, Matchbox Cars, Yo-yos and Virtual Pets


I was in high school when I saw my first computer in 1969. We had a science fair and a teacher had organised to have a computer on show. It was very large and could only play tic-tac-toe. I'm not certain but I think I was able to beat it.

In 1971 I visited Australia's only nuclear reactor at a place called Lucas Heights. It's still our only reactor site today and is used to make nuclear medicines. It had a large computer room. In the middle was a large computer. It accepted punch cards. A programmer had to push out little punched pieces on perhaps hundreds of cards then feed them into the computer. If one card had an error, they started again.

Elecronics became a hobby.

It was 1975 when I really caught the computer bug. I was at university and started a new course called, "The Computer Simulation of Behaviour". We didn't have cassette drives, floppy discs, hard drives, CDs, DVDs and Bluray discs back then. I would carry my programs around on a long piece of ticker tape. When I placed it in a reader, the machine would "read" the punched holes and my program would start.

I could see a growing fad here.

In 1981 I was part of a program to introduce computers in the classroom and have never looked back. Computing is no longer a fad for studious science types, it's a part of our normal world. However, more portable, powerful and capable computers have led to fads...

The First Computer Games I remember -

Space Invaders (I was hooked on this one for a time)



My First Emails - We had a FrEdMail (Free Educational Mail) account at my school around 1990. Not long after I first started paying for an internet account. I have had the same email address from this supplier since the mid 1990's.

Social Networking - We now have Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, You Tube, and many others ways of sharing on line. Some are very big for a while then disappear as a new fad hits

Emailing a fad? Seems to be a part of normal life now.


It could be you - When I was at high school, I had some leather. I cut out strips and made them so they could be put on a watch. I would sell them to others for $1 and had a good little business going. Soon others started to make them and sell them. Within a year, the fad had faded and my leather had run out.

It could be someone famous - Have you ever wanted to wear the same clothes as a singer or have your hair the same way?

It could be an inventor - Think of items like iPods, iPads, Bluray players. Do you like these?

Do you know about 78rpm, 45rpm, 33rpm vinyl records? They were once very big but now are only owned by collectors and hoarders like me.

I know you know about music CDs and probably music cassettes but do you know about 8 track stereo? It was a fad in the 1970s and was a great sound system but has gone.

I know you have used DVDs and Bluray disks to watch movies but do you remember BETA and VHS video tapes? Yes? What about 8mm movies? Before I had video tapes, DVDs and Bluray, I used to carry an 8mm movie projector to school (I still have it). I would load a roll of film onto it and show the class cartoons, science films and even small parts of movies. Spools of film are still in many cinemas but now many cinemas, including my local, also have movies arrive on computer hard drives.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

With so many fads, I wonder what the next will be? If we knew this, it might be a way of becoming rich. 🙂

By the way, my current fad is commenting on blogs. With the use of Skype growing in classes, I wonder if we will soon be able to virtually appear in a classroom in 3D and share lessons. Imagine being able to see someone appear in front of you when you connect.


Teacher, NSW, Australia


Hello Year 2/3,

Your questions are very interesting. If I were closer rather than all the way down here in Australia, I would share a book I have entitled, "The Olympic Factbook". It has information about the modern Olympic Games from the first in 1896 to 2000. I have done a little research into your questions. Let’s see if I can help with them…


How many people compete?

The 2008 summer games were held in Beijing, China. 10,500 people competed in 302 events in 28 sports. Did you know there are also Winter Olympic Games?


Where do people come from?

I think there were 208 countries entering in the 2008 games. You can find a list of all of the countries involved in the 2008 games using this link…

When is it happening?

The London Olympics will run from July 27 to August 12, 2012.


When was the first Olympics?

Did you know the first Olympic Games were thought to have started in Ancient Greece over 2750 years ago? There was a very big break before the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The 1896 games were held in Athens, Greece.


What do athletes wear?

During the opening, athletes wear clothes designed by their country. In the events, it depends on the sport. Swimmers need swimsuits. Runners need light clothing and good running shoes. Can you imagine how it would look if the clothes were mixed up and a swimmer were to try to swim in the light clothing and running shoes of runners or a horse rider were to wear a swim suit?


Where in the world has the Olympics happened?

1896 Athens, Greece

1900 Paris, France

1904 St Louis, USA

1906 Athens, Greece

1908 London, Great Britain

1912 Stockholm, Sweden

1916 Berlin, Germany (not held)

1920 Antwerp, Belgium

1924 Paris, France

1928 Amsterdam, Holland

1932 Los Angeles, USA

1936 Berlin, Germany

1940 Tokyo, Japan / Helsinki, Finland (not held)

1944 London, Great Britain (not held)

1948 London, Great Britain

1952 Helsinki, Finland

1956 Melbourne, Australia

1960 Rome, Italy

1964 Tokyo, Japan

1968 Mexico City, Mexico

1972 Munich, Germany

1976 Montreal, Canada

1980 Moscow, USSR

1984 Los Angeles, USA

1988 Seoul, South Korea

1992 Barcelona, Spain

1996 Atlanta, USA

2000 Sydney, Australia

2004 Athens, Greece

2008 Beijing, China

2012 London, England

2016 Rio, Brazil

Notice some of the games weren’t held. The 1916, 1940 and 1944 games weren’t held because of World War I and II.


Where haven’t the Games been held?

There are 300 countries in our world yet only Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, USA, and USSR have held the summer games. The Olympics are very expensive to run so they are only held in wealthier countries. No modern Olympics have yet been held on the continent of Africa.


What games and sports are held?

This has changed over the years as sports are added and taken away. Here is a link showing the events for the 2012 London Olympics…


What day do the Olympics start?

The Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics is on July 27 but football actually starts on July 25  so all matches can be fitted in.

Have fun at the Olympics. 🙂



Teacher, NSW, Australia


Dear ♥Ell♥e♥ and ಢAcacia✄,

We also have daisies, lupins and sunflowers here. Many plants were introduced here over the years. For trees, the only place we would see an oak tree or sequoia would probably be in botanical gardens. They are not native to Australia. We do have pines, both introduced and native. There are pine plantations around for their timber but I do have a favourite native pine…

Fossils existed of my favourite ancient pines. They were some 90 million years old. That means they were around during the time of dinosaurs and may have even been by some dinosaurs. They were thought to be extinct.

In 1994, a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Officer was walking in a remote part of Wolemi National Park about 200 kilometres west of Sydney. He came across unusual trees in a rainforest gorge. Being interested in botany, he realised the importance of what he had found. The tree was named the Wollemi pine and is the same plant as the 90 million year old fossil. Isn’t that amazing?

So rare were these trees, their location was kept secret until enough of them could be cultured to save their species. Now they can be bought for gardens in Australia and other countries.

Here’s a link to some information…


Have you ever seen any pictures of Half Dome?

While I have never been to Yosemite, I have seen documentaries on its beauty.  I have seen photos of Half Dome and recognised it as a granite mass. It makes you wonder how spectacular a landslide it would have been when the other half fell away.

We don’t have anything as spectacular as that in our area but we do have granite here. Like Yosemite, many natural features around here are due to volcanic activity. Volcanoes are long gone from my area. They were active perhaps 400 million years ago.

Are there any special kinds of flowers or trees in NSW( New South Wales)?

There are many trees and plants native to Australia around here. Many of the photos I sent were very Australia and are native only to this country. Some are related to plants in other places like South Africa and New Zealand but there are some that might be interesting to you.

Go back to the flower photos…

The first five photos in the yellow section are examples of wattle. Their scientific name is acacia. Does that name sound familiar?


Australia’s floral emblem is the Golden Wattle, (Acacia pycnantha). It appears on the Australian Coat of Arms.


Wattle does cause trouble for some people. If you have hay fever, you might find yourself sneezing.

Another very Australian flower is my state (New South Wales) floral emblem. It is the waratah in the photo below...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

How many flowers do you have in your backyard?

We have orchids, Geraldton wax, waratah, grevillia (a number of types of these as the parrots like their nectar m- Photos 2 and 3 in red), bottlebrush (for honeyeater birds - Picture 1 in the red section of flower phots), wattle (the first five yellow flowers), lavender, dahlia, anemone, lilli pilli, hibiscus as well as apple trees and an orange tree. One or two of the flower photos I sent were taken in this yard.

How many trees do you have in your backyard?

We have two trees  (pine and Japanese maple) as well as many bushes

What national parks do you go to the most?

Around my town there are three national parks and a nature reserve. I walk in each of them but my favourite is the nature reserve. They are…

Ben Boyd National Park

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Ben Boyd National Park covers a large area along our coast. You can see its northern most strip of trees running along the beach in the distance. Looking further back, the trees in the distance are mostly part of the South East Forest National Park.

South East Forests National Park

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

South East Forest National Park covers a huge area of bushland. I've seen a large number of birds, mammals and reptiles in my walks. This guy is an eastern greay kangaroo. He stood to about my shoulder height. I took a few photos before he disappeared back in to the trees.

Bournda National Park

Bournda National Park runs along the coast for about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) to the north of my town. It has an amazing 10 km (6.25m mile) coastal walk. The picture shows just one of the many wonderful coastal scenes along the track.

Bournda Nature Reserve (my favourite walking park near town)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The track I follow is really a fire trail. It is about 10 km (6.25 miles) long. After a sometimes steep climb to a ridge, I walk along the track in the photo. At this point I no longer hear the sounds of traffic and in 10 years have rarely met anyone else on the track.

About 20 miles from us is another national park well know for is beaches and beautiful coastline scenes. It is…

Mimosa National Park

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I have to drive to get to this park as it would take me most of a day to walk to it. Once there, you have access to some wonderful bays and beaches. I also walk a less used track to a tidal creek the gives me access to more coastline.

What is your favorite kind of flower?

I think the grevillia are a favourite of mine as they attract many birds to our yard and in the national parks. I also have a soft spot for eucalypt flowers on often tall trees.

What is your favorite tree in the U.S you have seen in a picture?

Australia doesn’t have as many plants that change leaf colour in autumn (Fall) so I like plants trees like maples and others having colour change (as long as I don’t have to rake the leaves). I also like the sequoia because they can be so tall.

1 Comment

Dear Madi,

This is a wonderfully prepared project. There were times when men argued against women voting because they didn't feel women had the mental and emotional capacity to vote. It seems to me those men didn't have the mental capacity to understand both men and women should have equal rights to vote.

In the 1800s and early 1900s, the suffrage movement gained strength. There were women in those days who were considered very radical. It was a time when society told women their place was in the home raising children not being involved with men's politics. The suffragettes slowly gained support by clearly showing they were capable and were determined to have equal rights to vote. They were amazing women.

With such strong movements in England and the United States you might have thought those countries would be the first to allow women to vote but history tells us it was New Zealand. They allowed women to vote in 1893.

As you pointed out, South Australia was our first state to allow women to vote. At that time, Australia didn’t exist as a nation. It was up to the states to decide if women should vote. When Australia became a nation in 1901, the first election recognised the right of women to vote if their state had already allowed it. In 1902, women were given the right to stand for Federal Parliament.

Did you know the notion of democracy (where power of government rests with the people) started in Ancient Greece (Athens)? Citizens were given the right to vote on what the government did but not on the politicians. This sounds great, the right to vote over 2000 years ago but who could vote?

In those days, you had to be a citizen to vote. That meant being able to show your family had a long history in Athens. Slaves and non-citizens (even if they had been born in Athens), didn’t have the right to vote. Women weren’t even considered no matter how long a history their family might have had. I wonder if women were pushing for the right to vote back then?

Women in charge…

In 2010, Sydney had a first in government with women in every major political position. Look at this…

Sydney Lord Mayor – Clover Moore

Premier of N.S.W. – Kristina Keneally

Governor of N.S.W. – Marie Bashir

Prime Minster – Julia Gillard

Governor General of Australia – Quentin Bryce

Queen of Australia – Elizabeth II

Thank you for sharing your excellent project.

Project link...

One student was interested in my scouting background. In order to be able to share photos and extra comments, this post has been set up for Leila.

This was my old Senior Scout uniform I wore in my later teens. It is now over 40 years old. It is a little bit of a cheat as it has Scout and Senior Scout badges attached. Rather than lose badges I added both to the uniform when I left Scouts. The round brown badges are Scout badges whereas the square badges and round white badge belong to Seniors. Here's a little explanation of what you see...

The Scout Green Cord from the Senior Scout shoulder epaulet to the pocket was the highest award for Scouts but not in scouting.

The three stripes on the left pocket shows my rank was Troop Leader. As we often didn't have an adult leader, I would find myself running meetings as though I was leader. I had two Patrol Leaders (two stripes), two Seconds (one stripe) and about 8 seniors scouts in my troop.

Above the left pocket is an "Air Scouts" badge. My troop was officially an Air Scout senior group. In early years, we had pilot leaders who would instruct scouts in aeronautics as a lead up to flying but by my time, we kept the title but no longer had pilots as leaders.

One badge on the left shoulder bears a crown ( a closeup photo is below). This was the highest Senior Scout award and still exists for Venture Scouts (the newer title for Senior Scouts). It's title depends on the current sovereign of Britain. As Queen Elizabeth II is the current ruler of the United Kingdom (and officially the ruler of Australia), it is know as the Queen's Scout Award. When a king takes the throne, it will be known as the King's Scout Award. The badge was personally presented to me and other Seniors in a special ceremony held at our state's Government House. The then Governor of New South Wales presented it to me. It is equivalent to the American Eagle Scout and is the only badge a scout can earn and still wear if they become a scout leader.


Hello Mia,

This is a wonderful post about your visit to King Gillette Ranch. I’m glad you were able to return your permission slip quickly. I’m also glad Mrs. Yollis took her camera so we could see as well as read what happened.

The Chumash people seem to have a wonderful culture. I’m very impressed by the quality of the woven basket.

The maraca-like instrument has appeared in many cultures. Can you imagine people long ago picking up something, shaking it and hearing a sound? They then must have thought they could use it to make music.

Like the Chumash, many Aboriginal people used sticks they banged together to keep the rhythm in music. This is a very basic instrument but it sounds wonderful. Here is a recording...

Sticks and Didjeridoo

The “bull horn” is like the “bullroarer” used by Aboriginal people. The speed you swing changes the sound. Isn’t it amazing native people so far apart devised the same sorts of instruments?

The nature walk looks interesting. I was surprised you saw a eucalpytus tree. They are native to Australia. Most people here call them gum trees. If you crush a eucalyptus tree leaf, you can smell the eucalyptus oil in them. Here is a close-up photo of one of the many species of eucalypt in Australia...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Many trees have been hit by lightning here in Australia. Many years ago, as well as being a teacher through the week, I was a childcare worker in a hospital on weekends. One day when I was in the hospital, I had a phone call from my mother. A tree in our yard had been hit by lightning. The top third had been blown to pieces, the middle third had been split down the middle and the bottom had been scarred. It was lucky no one was in the yard at the time.

You seem interested in the bird life. They are interesting creatures. Australia also has herons, egrets, swans and owls.

In 2010, there was a wonderful PG animated film released called “Legend of the Guardians – The Owls of Ga’hoole”. The heroes and villains were all, I think, Australian owls.

Keep up the interesting posts.

Teacher, NSW, Australia