What are your favorite emojis?


As an old-fashioned person it was brought up with pencil pen and paper and his formative years happened well and truly before the age of computer and back in the days of the typewriter, correctional fluid, carbon paper for duplicate copies, and so on, I really do not have time for emojis. I don’t like them. I don’t like the way they have substituted for pros that expresses mood, feeling, environment, and general context,. I like to be able to write about things – Albeit enhanced these days by computer technology – but I do not like the substituting of emojis for descriptive text.

My only memorable experience was not with emojis but rather with Pokémon “characters” who can be found in different places at different times sending different messages.

I don’t play Pokémon but one day I was with a relation in the fish and chip shop. The shop was quite full of people at the time who were waiting for orders and the staff were flat out.

My relation played Pokémon while we were waiting and discovered a great big rat on the screen.

To all and sundry I then declared, probably not in whispering tones, “There’s a great big rat in the fish shop”! I will leave you to imagine the reaction.



What topics do you like to discuss?


There are a multitude of topics that I like to discuss, both within myself and with others.

Why is it that any superannuation scheme touted as being one should replace existing schemes, is generally worse than the system it is designed to replace?

Why did the government which is always on about superannuation savings, allow people to tap into these funds during Covid, with billions and billions of dollars released being quite trivially expended?

Why are Indigenous Australian parents not held accountable for bringing up their children in the NT?

Why are Indigenous children deemed to be attending school in a satusfactory manner, if they attend on average 3 days of every 5 (60%)?

The list goes on? It always does.

One topic that is constant in my mind is this: why is it that lessons from the past and never adhered to and never learned in any sense of permanents. The past is always discounted, why?


When is the last time you took a risk? How did it work out?


With the way people drive, especially on Darwin, the last risk I took today was driving to the shopping centre to get some goods from Coles and lunch from Subway. Fortunately, the risk of driving paid off and I arrived home safe and sound.

I have to drive out again from home to a different shopping centre in a little while, so that will be the next risk I take and when it’s been taken it will be the last risk. I think driving is a terrible risk these days because you have to drive for others as well as yourself. That’s especially the case these days because Darwin roads are so busy all the time.

driving is a risk and we have more than our fair share of accidents. We live very close to a thoroughfare which would have at least 15 to 20 ambulance movements every day and we hear the sirens constantly. While not all of them connect with road accidents quite a few do. I always wonder when going out with the risk is one with which I feel comfortable. I do try to be a vigilant driver.


Describe a risk you took that you do not regret.


One day in June 1975 while working in Perth I noticed an advertisement about working in the Northern Territory. I rang up and talk to somebody at the van open “Commonwealth Teaching Service“, the organisation looking after Education in the Northern Territory.

My inquiry was in respect of the possibility of coming to the Territory in 1976.

18 hours later after my initial inquiry we were rung up and offered appointments in the Northern Territory to start immediately. We made up our minds to go! We had to give notice in Western Australia but this was facilitated by a terrific Principal of the school in which we were working.

So it was that we finished working at Glendale Primary School in Perth on Friday and start it in the Northern Territory the following Tuesday.

That was an impulse decision and one we never regretted.

48 years later we are still in the Northern Territory both retired and both very proud of our children and their families. Coming to the Territory turned out to be the right decision – albeit based on impulse– That we ever made.

How I wish I had acted!

Write about a time when you didn’t take action but wish you had. What would you do differently?


It was a case of doing laundry. Will I turn the tap off because the machine is not quite full it has a fair way to go and I only have to go up the back and I’ll soon be returning.

No, I left the tap on in the washing machine will fill but I’ll soon be back so I won’t run over so there’s no need to take a precaution.

I was distracted when I went up the back first by a neighbour from over the fence. Then, I spider very right Pulp or the tree and I just had to get it down before the birds got into it.

It was a beautiful pawpaw and I took it back and put it on the bench near the laundry door.

That’s funny – that water coming out the door?

Oh no! The machine was well and truly full and the floor was well and truly wet and water was everywhere what a cleanup was facing me.


What makes you nervous?


I awake each day, fearful of the fact that we are edging ever closer to the inevitable invasion of Taiwan by China. A column in the NT News ‘US red alert on China … war machine gearing up’ (21/4) added to my foreboding. The start of this war cannot be far over the horizon and because of alliances, will quickly engulf the whole of SE Asia and the Pacific.

With Darwin being where Darwin is, and with the ever-upgrading of defence training and facilities, I stand in the yard, look at our home, look at the surrounding neighbourhood, and wonder when (not ‘if’) it will be reduced to smouldering rubble by a missile or barrages of missiles directed at our city.

We are reasonably well prepared and ‘aware’ of cyclones. However, Darwin, Palmerston, Nhulunbuy (where fuel storage is anticipated) and Alice Springs (with Pine Gap being front and centre of Chinese interest) and other towns and communities will need bomb shelters and missile refuges. Our state of readiness for protection from environmental desecration and shattered infrastructure occasioned. by war, is zero out of ten. I fear war that will envelop our region is imminent, and we are far from ready.

The Bombing of Darwin in 1942 will be minuscule compared to the damage that will be wreaked on Darwin in the 2020s. I contemplate the years ahead with apprehension and worry for my family and indeed for the whole of our Territory and Australian community.


How do you unwind after a demanding day?


As a retiree, I am not in the need of having to develop “winding down strategies“ for how I handle the end of each working day. I do remember when working, how much I looked forward to weekends, especially long weekends.

I have now been retired for 12 years and the weekends/weekdays merge into one and there’s no clear differentiation between the two any more.

In terms of “winding down”, The closest I come in retirement is remembering some of my winding down activities when still at work. One thing I always tried to do and as a school principal encourage the others to undertake, was to list at the end of each day things that had been accomplished as well as tasks that might still be outstanding. I also encourage people to keep a diary, particularly one noting down incidents and interviews together with any other salient points. Now that is something that I continue to do – I’ve kept my diaries back over time and on occasion have needed to refer to them.

In terms of winding down, it is important to include c

celebration with any notations about the ongoing challenges.




How do you use social media?


My commitment to the use of social media is zilch! I have never had a Facebook account, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or any other social account and I never will.

I prefer to use professionally oriented applications like LinkedIn, The Conversation, The New Daily and so on. I also have a blog.

Far too much harm has been caused and is hurting people who use social media because of trolling, disparaging and hurtful comments, and indeed using these mediums to hunt down, sabotage people and hurt them.

When those platforms were first coming into vogue, I made up my mind that I would never open accounts with social orientations.

That decision was made well over a decade ago and the abstinence pledge is one to which I have stuck. Social media is not for me.



Education’s worth

The curriculum has been diminished and diluted over time, to become meaningless in many respects. Mind you, it has been great for researchers and ‘theorists’ who like trying new angles and new approaches. To them, students are not people but Guinea pigs on whom to experiment. Basic and key learning has gone down the gurgler and mediocrity has become the cornerstone of Australian education.

The burden of non-teaching tasks being lumped onto schools and teachers is not new. However, in recent times, they have been magnified, almost marginalising many teachers from their students.