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April/May 2018


The new Aussie business mag

WOMEN POWER Giving back in Timor Leste

MAKING MEMORIES At the Ord Valley Muster


Immerse yourself in the magic of Kakadu


TC Winter Scarf (Dark Red) $29.95, Tom Canvas Jacket $209.95, Bass Stretch Jean Mid-Relaxed-Straight $99.95, Trentham Boots (Light Tan) $299.95 PRICES ARE RRP













Men’s Half & Full Placket - $36.95 (Light) $39.95 (Heavy), Women’s Half Placket $36.95 (Light) $39.95 (Heavy), Kids Half Placket $29.95 PRICES ARE RRP

Shirts available in men’s, women’s & kid’s in a wide range of COLOURS* *Not *Not all all colours colours are are available available in in all all styles styles



Photo courtesy Cole Bennetts

dance with us 2018 Ord Valley Muster Join our Miriwoong dancers, tour guides and artists in a sharing of our country and culture through art, music and story telling during the Ord Valley Muster!

Corroboree Under the Stars

On Country Tours

Includes ground cooked supper, exhibition and screening

Includes traditional welcome (Mantha), music and bush tucker tasting

$35 Adults / $15 Children (5-15 years) $80 Families (2 adults & 2 kids)

Adults - $85 / Children (5-15 years) - $45

5:30-8pm Thurs, 17 May 2018

Gates open at 5pm at Waringarri Arts


Online / PhOne Waringarri Arts (08) 9168 2212 / Kununurra Visitor Centre (08) 9168 1177

16 Speargrass Rd (Opp. Kelly’s Knob), Kununurra, WA, AUSTRALIA

3-5pm 11, 14, 15 & 16 May 2018

Pick up at 2.45pm from Kununurra Visitor Centre: 75 Coolibah Drive or meet at 3pm at Waringarri Arts


Welcome aboard If you’re a regular flyer with us, you may notice the magazine you’re reading today looks a little different. We hope you enjoy Together We Fly, the first edition of our new inflight magazine. And if you’re travelling around Northern Australia today, you’ll find that the region is vibrant and the landscape is lush green, compliments of another spectacular monsoonal wet season. The end of the wet season brings with it a sense of excitement and freedom for the locals, who know all too well that the dry season means a jampacked social calendar, loads of events, balmy nights and clear blue skies. Read on further to get a full breakdown of exciting events coming up over the next few months, including the return of the popular Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin in April, the luxurious and world-renowned 2018 Airnorth Cable Beach Polo held in Broome in May, and the V8 CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown weekend in June. The dry season also brings back several popular seasonal services for Airnorth. For those wanting to head West, Perth flights departing Darwin and Kununurra start from May 11th, and non-stop Darwin to Broome services commence on May 17th. For now, sit back, relax and enjoy your journey with Airnorth. Daniel Bowden Chief Executive Officer Airnorth APRIL/MAY 2018



Top Destination with Top Souvenirs

93 Konkerberry Drive PO Box 20 Kununurra, Western Australia 6743 Phone: +61 (08) 9169 1133 Fax: +61 (08) 9168 1188 Freecall: 1800 852 144 (within Australia)




Road Trip We hit the road and head into the magical, ancient world of Kakadu, to check out some


Ubirr rock art and go on an

adrenaline-pumping adventure with The Outback Wrangler.

Features 20 Entertainment The latest films, programs, books, music and apps to inspire you.

22 Destination Highlight

Eco-friendly products

AB08 MINING JOBS A renewed sense of optimism has returned to the mining sector.


AB12 MINING With the advent of off-the-shelf virtual reality headsets, mining simulators are set to take off.

03 CEO Welcome

AB22 CYBERSECURITY With the Internet of Things, it is important to pre-empt future attacks.

09 Airnorth Route Map

AB26 INFRASTRUCTURE We look at five of the country’s buildings that demonstrate long-term sustainability goals and commitments.

Airnorth’s CEO offers a warm welcome to passengers, and is celebrating the dry season with us all!

A quick glimpse into where we fly. Visit www.airnorth. for more details.

11 Airnorth Safety Your safety is always paramount at Airnorth, alongside getting you to your destination on time and in comfort.

We round up some of the most awesome sustainably made, ethically produced green goodies on the market.

13 Airnorth News

What’s new for Airnorth, and some stories about the important collaborations that Airnorth takes great pride in.

15 Community Spotlight

Worthy causes that Airnorth has been proud to support in the community.

17 Events Calendar

Don’t miss out on the best happenings from around our glorious country throughout April and May.

Townsville has it all. Its beaches, rainforests, and the smorgasbord of activities ensure any visitor to this balmy city is up for a true adventure.

30 Event Highlight

The Ord Valley Muster in Kununurra is a melting pot of national and international talent. There’s also plenty of other things to do while visiting this oasis.

34 Culture Vulture Angela Saurine travels to the Tiwi Islands to check out artwork created by the island's talented artists.

38 Philanthropy

Sheila Boston, a Britishborn Australian living in Dili, has created non-profit group the Alola Foundation, which inspires and employs Timorese women. APRIL/MAY 2018



Publisher: Michelle Hespe Editor: Riley Palmer Art Director: Jon Wolfgang Miller AusBiz Sales Manager: Robert Desgouttes Lifestyle & Travel Sales Manager: Sonja Halstead WA/NT Sales Manager: John Byrne Sub Editors: Sally Macmillan, Jessica Multari Editorial Assistant: Sarah Hinder


publisher's letter In partnership with the team at Airnorth, all of us at Publishing ByChelle are extremely pleased to release the first issue of Together We Fly, the new magazine for Airnorth. We hope you all enjoy reading these pages, and in every issue, we’ll aim to bring you a range of journalistic features, informative news and inspiring travel yarns that will hopefully see you getting out there to explore more of this beautiful country that we are so lucky to call home. I recently had the privilege of visiting Kakadu and Sweets Lagoon, and headed up into those big blue skies with Darwin’s famous Outback Wrangler, and let me tell you — when you travel to outback NT, it is always more incredible than you can ever possibly imagine. It’s hard to capture those wide, open plains and endless skies in a photograph, although we did our very best and hope that we’ve managed to share the beauty of our adventure. When it comes to the sacred land that is an integral part of the lives of Indigenous Australians who still call it home (and those no longer with us) it’s our aim to find the right words to bring the magical nature of their land to life. And that’s what we are trying to achieve with Together We Fly. Our passionate team of writers, designers, editors and photographers will continue to bring you stories to brighten up your day, and perhaps even sometimes change the course of your year or life. Because we believe in creating stories that matter. Have an awesome trip and enjoy wherever you are going today. Remember to open your eyes and ears, and to look beyond the surface, as you never know what you’ll find.


Darren Baguley Natasha Dragun Patrick Haddock Ian Lloyd Neubauer Angela Saurine Reilly Smart Ben Smithurst Ryan Watson

PRINTING SOS Print + Media 65 Burrows Road, Alexandria, NSW, 2015 April/May 2018


The new Aussie business mag

WOMEN POWER Giving back in Timor Leste

MAKING MEMORIES At the Ord Valley Muster


Immerse yourself in the magic of Kakadu


Photo by Shaana McNaught/Tourism NT

Together We Fly is published by Publishing ByChelle, (ABN: 78 621 375 853 ACN: 621 375 853) Suite 2, Level 8, 100 Walker Street North Sydney, NSW, 2060 (02) 9954 0349 The reproduction of any content, in whole or part without prior written permission by the publisher, Michelle Hespe, is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in the content are those of the contributors, and not necessarily those of the publisher. All information in this magazine was believed to be correct at the time of publication, and all reasonable efforts have been made to contact copyright holders. Publishing ByChelle cannot accept unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. If such items are sent to the magazine, they will not be returned. We apologise if we don’t get back to your email, as we do receive a large volume of communication via various online channels. Some images used in Together We Fly are from istock and Getty images, and we make every effort to credit all contributors.



Together WE fly Airnorth carries more than 330,000 passengers annually, to 20 ports across Australia and Timor-Leste.

Airnorth is Australia’s second-longest running airline, celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2018. Today, Airnorth operates over 300 scheduled regular passenger transport and charter departures weekly. Airnorth flies to over 20 different destinations across three countries,

carrying in excess of 330,000 passengers annually. Whether it’s helping people to experience the true beauty and diversity of our land for leisure, or transporting hard-working locals of the region for business, Airnorth is proud to play a part in strengthening communities.




Port Keats

R Bootu Creek


Port Keats




airnorth news Airnorth Cable Beach Polo MAY 26TH – MAY 27TH 2018 Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia


Airnorth Cable Beach Polo returns to Broome’s pristine white shores over the weekend of May 25th. A staple event on the WA social and sporting calendar, and the only Australian multi-day beach polo tournament, it showcases world-class professional talent set against the beautiful natural landscape of Cable Beach. The glamorous weekend attracts people from around Australia and the world, including highprofile celebrities, business identities and polo enthusiasts. The extravaganza celebrates sport, high-end fashion and live entertainment on a picture-perfect playing field. The extraordinary event is free to watch picnicstyle on the beach, or patrons can buy tickets to the Airnorth Cable Beach Polo VIP Marquee or Polo Beach Bar. It’s shoes off and shades on in the cool sand marquee, as people mingle in their smart whites and summer-in-the-Hamptons-style outfits, sipping on flowing Perrier-Jouët champagne. After the polo finishes on the first day, the action continues long into the balmy Broome night, with the highly lauded Dinner Under the Stars taking place on the transformed Cable Beach Polo Arena. A meticulously prepared gourmet feast is served on a long table under twinkling fairy lights and the vast starry sky. This year, chef Jack Stein (son of renowned chef Rick Stein) takes on the grand task of hosting the special dining experience for some 200 lucky guests. The second day of polo guarantees that the international competitors step it up a notch as they battle it out against the backdrop of the setting sun on the azure sea. Only one team will be crowned the winners of the 2018 Airnorth Cable Beach Polo competition. This incredible event promises to bring the glitz and glamour of the polo to Broome, in a luxurious yet relaxed setting. It needs to be seen to be believed. Take advantage of Airnorth’s new non-stop, daily jet service from Darwin to Broome, commencing May 17th. To book now, call reservations on 1800 627 474, see your local travel agent or visit



Community Spotlight Airnorth is proud to support a number of organisations. Whether it’s sponsoring health initiatives, schools, charities, minority group organisations or the arts, here are some of the worthy causes we’ve been proud to support this year.

IT’S A BLOKE THING, DARWIN Airnorth was deeply passionate about supporting the eighth annual It’s a Bloke Thing Prostate Cancer Luncheon, held at Darwin International Airport (DIA). The event aims to raise crucial funds for research, and also prompt conversation between men about health issues. Each year, more than 3,000 Australian men lose their battle with prostate cancer. That’s 3,000 dads, sons, brothers, uncles and friends.


Airnorth was a proud gold sponsor for the event, donating more than $15,000 in flights. The Toowoomba-born foundation hosted its first event outside the Southern Queensland region, held in the departures lounge at DIA. It was supported by 350 guests. Guests were treated to the wisdom of keynote speaker, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce AC, and other dignitaries, and were entertained by speed-painter Brad Blaze, and the sweet country musical genius of both James Blundell and Airnorth Ambassador, Chelsea Basham. With a magnificent array of premium merchandise up for grabs in an auction, this year’s luncheon raised $336,000, which NT Health Minister Natasha

Fyles announced would fund a full-time specialist prostate cancer nurse for Royal Darwin Hospital.

HUMPTY DUMPTY FOUNDATION, DARWIN AND GOVE Airnorth is delighted to continue working closely with the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, which aims to provide hospitals and health services with vital equipment for sick children. For more than 27 years, the Foundation has been purchasing essential lifesaving medical equipment for sick and injured children in paediatric wards, neonatal units, maternity and emergency departments in hospitals across Australia. Last year, Airnorth was proud to be a sponsor of the

airnorth news


group, and flew Foundation Patron Ray Martin AM and colleagues to Gove to enable them to visit the sick children in Gove Hospital whom they support, and to drive awareness for their worthy cause. We felt it was important to carry this support over into 2018, standing behind this year’s main fundraising event to be held on March 24th in Darwin.

HELPING PEOPLE ACHIEVE (HPA), DARWIN When the Airnorth head office in Darwin needed new outdoor furniture, we looked no further than local organisation HPA. Since 1963, the organisation has created employment opportunities for people

with disabilities, while providing career development and support accommodation. Airnorth worked with Kokoda Industries to manufacture three Australian timber table and chair ensembles. Personal delivery of the product with friendly smiles from the people who made them was all a part of the parcel. HPA’s Tony Burns thanked Airnorth for supporting the organisation. “Thank you so much for this opportunity. Collaboration with companies like Airnorth inspire the community, show our quality product and bring smiles to us all,” he said. Airnorth CEO Daniel Bowden echoed the sentiment, adding: “What a great table, and what a great job. We’re very appreciative.”

PEAK 2 PARK, TOOWOOMBA The annual Peak2Park fun run/walk is organised by HALT (Healthy Active Lifestyles Toowoomba Incorporated) which encourages Toowoomba residents to participate in exercises to raise funds for local charities. Since its inception in 2006, it has attracted 25,000 participants and raised more than $250,000. This year, Airnorth was delighted to donate two return flights from Toowoomba to Melbourne. As a truly Australian business, Airnorth remains committed to supporting local businesses, charities and organisations within the communities we service. If you have an important cause you think we should support, please reach us at APRIL/MAY 2018


Boutique Collection Of Luxury Escapes




The Convent Hunter Valley


What's on & what's hot Our pick of the very best gigs, festivals, cultural and sporting events from around the country. Compiled by: Sarah hinder

April 4–15 2018 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Gold Coast, Qld Our sunny Gold Coast plays host to the much anticipated 2018 Commonwealth Games in April. Accompanying the Games will be a city-wide cultural festival featuring international theatre, musicians, dance, visual and Indigenous arts.,

March 28– April 22 2018

April 13–15 2018 Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival

Julia Creek, Qld Famous for hosting Australia’s toughest triathlon, a line-up of the best homegrown Aussie music talent and quirky events from bog snorkelling to Australia’s Best Butt dancing challenge, this rough-hewn festival brings the best of the outback to travellers from far and wide.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne, Vic One of the top three comedy events on the world stage, MICF is filled with an outstanding program of standup comedy, theatre, cabaret, film, radio and visual arts.

April 26–29 2018 Tjungu Festival

Yulara, NT Tjungu Festival celebrates the best of Indigenous culture, from bush tucker and art to traditional and contemporary

musicians. There’s also the Tjungu Short Film Fest, uplifting AFL Tjungu Cup, and a dining experience with renowned chef Mark Olive.

May 19 2018 Bass in the Grass

Darwin, NT This music festival held at Darwin’s George Brown Botanic Gardens features a stellar line-up of artists who will entertain crowds for more than 12 hours on the day. Expect the likes of Client Liaison, Dean Lewis, Illy, Paul Kelly and Vera Blue. APRIL/MAY 2018


Events calendar

May 6 First National Kimberley Lake Argyle Swim

Lake Argyle, WA Clean, fresh water awaits all solo, duo or quad teams, swimming 10 or 20 kilometres across Lake Argyle’s 980-square-kilometre expanse. The best bit? There are no sharks, bluebottles or ocean rips to contend with.

May 11–20 Good Beer Week

May 6 2018

Melbourne, Vic Australia’s largest platform for local brewers brings together more than 300 events across 180 venues. When you’re not at beer and food matching dinners, meet brewers, be inspired to make your own beer and listen to live music.

Groovin' the Moo

Townsville, Qld A community-minded and much-loved Australian musical festival, Groovin’ the Moo’s 2018 line-up is set to include The Amity Affliction, Flight Facilities, Duke Dumont, Grinspoon, Royal Blood and Tkay Maidza.

May 25–26 2018 Uluru Camel Cup

May 18–27 2018 A Taste of Kakadu

Kakadu National Park, NT From pop-up dining events to foraging excursions with traditional landowners, fishing trips and ancestral stories by the campfire, this culinary event is the country’s premier Indigenous food festival. Guest chefs include Ben Tyler and Kylie-Lee Bradford (Kakadu Kitchen) and Paul Iskova (Fervor).


Uluru, NT This family-friendly carnival hosts quirky camel racing, outback games, a Fashions on the Field parade and a true-blue Frock Up & Rock Up Gala Ball where guests hit the red desert dance floor.

May 26–28 2018 Perth International Jazz Festival

Perth, WA Presenting an eclectic mix of ticketed and free community jazz performances, this three-day festival showcases celebrated local and international artists, with an aim of promoting jazz music to the wider community in an accessible, vibrant way.

Happy stays, happy days! With 21 parks perfectly positioned in a touring route across coastal and inland NSW and QLD, Ingenia Holidays offers the perfect place to stay for a night, a few days or your whole holiday!

There’s something for every style of traveller with plenty of accommodation options including cabins and camping with a selection of powered, unpowered and ensuite sites – we’ll even welcome your four legged friends.*

p 1300 790 758 *Subject to participation – sites only (conditions apply).


Compiled by: Sarah hinder

series Back Roads

(2016–2018) Documentary Series, PG, Netflix & ABC iview Back Roads is a collection of documentary stories, produced by political journalist Heather Ewart, about her journey through Australia’s most remote towns and regions to discover the resilient communities and inspiring people who live in them. The first two seasons of the series are available on Australian Netflix, while all seasons are available on ABC iview.

film Sweet Country

In cinemas now, MA15+ Set in the NT in the late 1920s, this film tells the impassioned tale, loosely inspired by true events, of Aboriginal stockman Sam and his wife Lizzie, who are pursued after killing an abusive white station owner in selfdefence. Director Warwick Thornton's film has received critical acclaim.



In cinemas 3 May 2018, M Based on Tim Winton’s award-winning novel, Breath is a story about youthful recklessness and what we’ll do to avoid feeling ordinary. In mid’70s coastal Australia, two teenage boys form an unlikely friendship with an ageing surfer who has a profound and lasting impact on their lives.



Daryl Braithwaite, Days Go By: The Definitive Greatest Hits Collection

The Shepherd’s Hut, Tim Winton

Release: 12 March 2018, RRP$39.99/EBook$15.99, Hamish Hamilton, Fiction. Tim Winton’s latest thrilling novel is an urgent masterpiece about solitude, friendship and the raw business of survival. In an unforgiving landscape bordering the salt lakes of the Western Australian desert, protagonist Jaxie Clackton’s raw and resonant voice tells an incredibly authentic Australian story.

Victory at VillersBretonneux, Peter FitzSimons

Released: 16 October 2017, RRP$34.99/EBook$19.99, William Heinemann Australia, History. In 1918, the Allied lines are under attack by German soldiers with the intention of splitting the British and French forces by driving through Villers-Bretonneux. Australian soldiers are called upon and, on Anzac Day 1918, arrive just in time to save the French town.

Child of Mine, Janita Cunnington

Released: 29 January 2018, RRP$32.99/EBook$12.99, Bantam Australia, Fiction. Spanning three decades, Child of Mine is a resonant novel that begins in circa-1974 Brisbane. Cunnington’s book is an evocative and deeply Australian story about a devastating flood that changes the lives of four women, a maternal tug-oflove, and one little girl who was caught in between.

Out now Top Aussie musician Daryl Braithwaite has released his definitive greatest hits album, including four brandnew recordings: ’When We Were Kings’, ’If You Leave Me Now’, ’In Your Eyes’ and ’Motor’s Too Fast’, are exclusive to this album. Featuring all the hits of Braithwaite’s 45-year-plus career as one of Australia’s most successful pop singers, it includes classics 'The Horses' and 'As the Days Go By', among others.

apps TripIt

Free on iOS & Android This problemsolving app creates a master organised itinerary of all your travel documents and details — from flight tickets and hotel bookings to car rentals and restaurant reservations. Simply forward all your confirmation emails and travel plans to TripIt’s linked email service, and the app will automatically consolidate everything into a comprehensive itinerary.


Free on iOS & Android Skyscanner is an efficient service that allows you to find the best and most economical deals on flights, hotels and car hire, both within Australia and worldwide. When you select a date, the app displays colour-coded prices for all days in that month, as well as conveniently offering price alerts to notify you when anything changes for the flight or hotel you're booking.

PackPoint Premium

$2.99 on iOS & $4.09 on Android Using simple information such as where you’re going, the weather at your destination, activities you plan on doing, the essentials for your family and your ideal type of holiday, PackPoint Premium efficiently and thoroughly creates your travel packing list. You’ll never forget an essential item again.



THE TOWNSVILLE TRIFECTA Reef, rainforest or Outback? It’s a question 2.7 million people ask themselves every year while planning a trip to Far North Queensland. Here, we help you with the life-changing quandary. Words: Ian Lloyd Neubauer

FAST FACTS Townsville is home to Australia’s largest army base, Lavarack Barracks.


Townsville is the largest city in FNQ with a population of 190,000.

Destination Highlight

Townsville began as a port in the 1860s to service nearby goldfields including Charters Towers


ou can combine reef and rainforest at Port Douglas, reef and Outback at Seisia on the tip of Cape York, or see all three by driving along the 1,000 kilometres of corrugated roads connecting the two. But there’s an often-overlooked place in the north that offers easy access to all three and it happens to be the sunniest place in the state with an average of 320 rain-free days each year. Welcome to Townsville, a former mining town turned army town turned university town, and unofficial capital of Far North Queensland (FNQ).

City lights Townsville began as a port in the 1860s to service nearby goldfields including Charters Towers, then the richest mine on the continent. It only became a city during WWII when the Allies built an air force base in Townsville, then the biggest in the world, with 22 buzzing airstrips. The commotion didn’t escape the attention of the Imperial Japanese Air Service, which bombed the city three times during the war. A great way to see Townsville’s sights and learn about its colourful past is on a military and scenic tour with ex-army man Toby Dean of Tour Townsville. Dean’s trips take in sights such as the Brandon Heritage Precinct, Strand Waterfront Precinct, the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Old Brandon Church and maritime, army and air force museums. They culminate on top of Castle Hill, a 268-metre-high rock with 360-degree views of the city, across the Coral Sea to Magnetic Island. “Most people who come to Townsville have already been to Cairns and end up here by accident,” Dean says. “But the first thing they notice is that it’s bigger than Cairns with lots of art

galleries, museums and restaurants. The other thing visitors talk about is how pretty the coastline is. All the other cities in Far North Queensland have extensive mudflats, but Magnetic Island shelters the harbour and keeps sand on beaches.”

Country stars Beyond the city limits, adventure awaits. Take a step back in time and into the Outback at Charters Towers, one and a half hours drive south of Townsville. Today, the former gold town is one of the largest cattle producing areas in Australia. Rowdy live auctions are held every Wednesday at the Dalrymple Sales Yard and visitors are welcome. There are good pubs in town and they’re serious about their steaks, though it’s hard to beat the T-bone at the Cattleman’s Rest Steakhouse. Two and a half hours drive north of Townsville is Wallaman Falls, also known as Queensland’s Niagara Falls. At 268 metres high, this is the largest single-drop waterfall in the country. There are several hiking trails that offer spectacular views of plunging gorges and prehistoric rainforests of the surrounding Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. But nothing beats seeing it from the air with helicopter pilot Josh Liddle of Hinchinbrook Adventures. Liddle also offers heli-fishing tours in the remote wilderness of the Herbert River Gorge. No trip to Townsville is complete without a stopover at Magnetic Island. Only a 20-minute ferry ride from the CBD, the island has 23 bays and beaches, 25 kilometres of walking trails, northern Australia’s largest population of koalas, plenty of places to eat and drink, plus a series of old hilltop forts that were built to protect Townsville during WWII. “Magnetic Island is almost like a movie — that’s how beautiful it is,” says Melia Hinks, whose parents, Steph and Adam of Aquascene Charters, run snorkelling trips from the island to coral cays crowded with turtles and tropical fish. “I don’t think any photograph can truly capture its beauty.” AN Airnorth flies to Townsville from Darwin and Toowoomba. For more details go to APRIL/MAY 2018


Cover Feature

Ka ka du Calling

In the ancient land of Kakadu, the sense of adventure is as intoxicating as the mystery and history embedded in its plains, waterways, mountains and gorges. WORDS: reilly smart PHOTOGRAPHY: Ant Ong APRIL/MAY 2018



tiny red-crested bird with stick-like legs completely out of proportion to its body is walking confidently across a lily pad in Kakadu National Park. It looks as if it’s wearing a little red cap and a brown suit jacket — but that’s not the most fascinating part of the lily hopper’s body: it has five twig-like toes that fan out wider than its body so it can evenly disperse its weight. This means it can walk on water and, as it dashes around, there’s barely a ripple. But things change quickly in the wild, and suddenly the scaly snout of a saltwater crocodile breaks through the water and it lunges at the bird, teeth visible to everyone aboard our boat. There’s a thundering clap as the crocodile’s jaws meet, sans bird snack. Everyone is staring in open-mouthed silence as the lagoon fills with a crescendo of bird sounds — wings in rapid motion, webbed feet scrabbling, squawks, cries and whistles. “Whoah,” says our guide as the boat glides further into the wetlands of Yellow Water Billabong. “I didn’t think they’d bother going for something that small.” As the unsuccessful croc disappears into the murky water, a buffalo ambles down to the edge, its eyes a flash of yellow-green before it submerges. Buffalos, a creature that many locals don’t like, are common in the national park. In the 1800s, English settlers introduced the Kakadu buffalo just north east of Darwin, bringing it over the sea from Timor. But when their settlement was abandoned, the lumbering beasts were set free, their numbers rapidly multiplying until they became a pest. Today, due to culling, buffalo numbers have gone down, but many locals have requested that they are not all killed as they make good hunting fodder. But the animals do a lot of damage to the environment, trampling native species and causing erosion, so the buffalo debate continues. I wonder why a croc would go for a tiny bird when it could have a go at a buffalo. The guide reads my mind. “You’d have to be a big croc to take on a buffalo,” she says.

Never smile at a crocodile Yellow Water Billabong is the region’s most famous wetland, located at the end of Jim Jim Creek. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise — its wetlands, river channels, floodplains and


Top left then clockwise: A saltwater crocodile emerges next to the boat on a Yellow Water Cruises expedition; Indigenous guide at Ubirr Rock, Kakadu; a Giant Egret takes flight; hitting the road in Kakadu National Park; a crocodile cruises down Yellow Water Billabong.

Cover Feature

"Suddenly the scaly snout of a saltwater crocodile breaks through the water." swamps are home to more than 60 bird species. Even more exciting for twitchers — there are some 280 species of birds in Kakadu, making up a third of all Australian birds. As the boat ploughs deeper into the wetlands, we’re surrounded by a flotilla of pink lotus flowers, their thick green leaves forming a tarp over the water, which teems with barramundi. We round another bend in the river, and before us is a wetland hosting a festival of birds. In a space of less than one square kilometre there are sea eagles, wandering and whistling ducks, magpie geese, pied herons, white Australian ibis and an eye-catching azure kingfisher. “Here’s a tip that the Indigenous people have long been savvy to,” says our guide. “Catch the dirty magpie geese, as they are the ones that have been digging around in the mud eating water chestnuts. That means they have a belly full of them. They’re already stuffed!” Alongside us on the riverbank is a female crocodile. Her scales are a blonde-brown, golden even, as she slips into the water. From behind us, a large four-metre male appears. His movements are swift and determined as he glides up to her. She makes a snorting sound which, our guide says, is a sound of submission — but the male swims right on by. “We might’ve had a scene there as we’re moving into mating season, but it seems the big croc wasn’t interested,” adds our guide. In 1971, saltwater crocodiles were protected as there were only about 10,000 left in the wild. Today, however, there are some 100,000 crocodiles in the Territory, and usually one human life is lost to them every two years. “The deaths are almost always because someone is being silly,” says our guide. “Swimming in their territory or fishing right on the bank. People think because numbers aren’t high, it’s safe to swim.” From Yellow Water I hit the dead-straight highway that epitomises driving in the Australian Outback — a clean slice through a searing red backdrop. When you’re on those roads looking out at the endless landscape covered in spinifex, swathes of spear grass and clumps of pandanus, it’s hard to comprehend that not far away the land drops dramatically  APRIL/MAY 2018


Cover Feature

From left, then clockwise: Onboard the airboat with Outback Floatplane Adventures; Mystical aboriginal rock paintings in Kakadu; Matt Wright lures a croc out of the water for stunned onlookers; sunset at Ubirr lookout, Kakadu.

"Its hard not to be swept up in the ancient magic." into gorges and climbs up into jagged toastedorange escarpments above wetlands where hilltops shimmer in the heat. That’s the kind of landscape that makes up Ubirr, a special place in Kakadu where hundreds of pieces of rock art tell stories of creation, life and the traditional foods in the area. Climbing up the rocky outcrops of Ubirr for sunset is a rite of passage. Sitting on the ledge above a landscape so untouched and spectacular, it’s hard not to be swept up by the ancient magic in this part of the world. I imagine Indigenous Australians — the Gagudju people in this area — sitting on the same ledge, spears in hand, talking and resting as dusk falls.

Australia's ancient heart At the base of Ubirr lookout are remarkably intact cave drawings depicting the animals hunted by traditional landowners. The area had an abundance of resources — drawings of fish, waterfowl, mussels, wallabies, goannas, echidnas and yams cover the cave walls. Up in one of the rocky outcrops, at the height of a three-storey building, is a painting of a spirit in the immense ceiling overhang. How the work of art could have been painted in that inaccessible place is perplexing. The traditional landowners


Details Yellow Water Cruises Ubirr Lookout & walk Outback Floatplane Adventures outbackfloatplanes. More information:

say it is a painting by Mimi spirits. Stories tell that the spirits came out of the cracks in the rocks, pulled the ceiling rock down, painted the image, then put the rock back into place. A few hours up the road is Darwin, home to most of the Northern Territory’s residents. Surrounded by outback, ocean and waterfall-rich Litchfield National Park, it's not hard to imagine why. One local, who is the best ambassador the territory could hope for, is Matt Wright, known for Outback Wrangler on Nat Geo WILD. Wright grew up in Papua New Guinea, Cairns and South Australia, before making his home in the NT. He was playing with things that crawl and slither while other kids were into toy cars. He’s a chopper pilot, crocodile-egg collector, wildanimal relocator and all-round great Aussie guy. To share the wild world that is his playground, Wright has launched Outback Floatplane Adventures. His tour has been voted the numberone experience in the Top End for good reason. A typical day with Wright includes a small plane ride from Darwin and a barbecue on a boat, on the roof of which he lands his chopper to take guests on joy rides. Add to that an exhilarating ride on an airboat down Sweets River (where the notorious five-metre saltie called Sweetheart was removed after killing people at will), through swamps and rainforest. The chopper ride is a highlight, as up there where the eagles fly, you can really get a grasp on the wild, untamed landscape surrounding you. It’s like having a portal into the ancient spirit of Australia. AN Airnorth operate daily services to Kununurra from Darwin and Broome and seasonal services from Perth between May and October. For more details go to





things to Get into while at the Ord Valley Muster


Set on the Ord River in Western Australia, Kununurra is like an oasis in the vast lands that make up the eastern extremities of the Kimberley. Here are our tips on what to do when you're in town in May for one of the most famous musters in the world.


CULTURE & CONNECTION Experience the power of traditional performance and the excitement of contemporary short films and digital art projections at Corroboree Under the Stars. A favourite of the Ord Valley Muster, the Corroboree spectacular is an evening of culture and connection. 

Ord Valley Muster


kimberley calling

A breathtaking, untouched destination, the Kimberley itself is a star attraction at the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster. It is Western Australia’s most remote, yet most captivating, region, and has such a connecting force that all who experience it become mesmerised by its magic. 

3 laugh out loud Laugh the night away at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow  (May 14–15) at the Muster Festival Hub, Jim Hughes Amphitheatre at Lake Kununurra Golf Course. Acts to be announced soon.




Dress to impress and dine under the stars at the Kimberley Fine Diamonds Dinner, which forms part of the Aviair HeliSpirit Kimberley Moon Experience on May 19. The black-tie event sees more than 600 guests treated to a multicourse dinner. New this year is the Kimberley Fine Diamonds Celebrity Moment, which offers the chance to try on exquisite handcrafted jewellery.


Unwind with an unusual yoga experience at the The Chia Co Yoga Boats. Take your practice to the next level on board a Kununurra Cruise boat as it drifts along the Ord River, then follow it up with a deliciously healthy breakfast. Four early morning yoga classes are available on May 12, 13, 16 and 18. Book in now!


A culinary highlight on the 2018 calendar is the Degustation Dinner by Fervor. The pop-up event will use fresh, locally sourced and native produce in an unforgettable 12-course meal. The intimate dining experience under the Kimberley’s starry sky will be held on the banks of Lake Argyle on May 17 and at a secret location on May 20.  APRIL/MAY 2018


Learn about the history of the Huon Valley apple industry

Enjoy a Willie Smith’s cider paddle

Take a tour of the Charles Oates Distillery

Visit the Saturday Artisan & Produce market

Visit the home of Willie Smith’s cider where you can enjoy a great meal and a cider paddle, visit the Huon Valley apple museum, get up close and personal with a working distillery, peruse the Saturday Artisan & Produce Market.

Hobart Hobart Huonville



Huonville (03) 6266 4345 2064 Huon Hwy, Grove, TAS, 7109 25 minutes from Hobart

Ord Valley Muster

COUNTRY NOTES Dance the night away at the Aviair HeliSpirit Kimberley Moon Experience, held on May 19 on the banks of the Ord River. Bring your picnic rug, hamper, esky and dancing shoes, and soak up the landscape as you party under the Kimberley moon. This year’s headline acts include country music legend Lee Kernaghan and The Cat Empire. 

9 find your idol

8 10


Enjoy a good old-fashioned country rodeo at the Ord Valley Muster Rodeo. Cowboys, cowgirls and clowns will entertain a capacity crowd on  May 11, kicking off the 10-day festival.

Cheer on local talent at the annual Muster Idol. This talent competition includes two clowed by a final at Hotel Kununurra. Between May 14-18, see Hotel Kununurra's Facebook page  

ON YOUR BIKE Enjoy the thrill of the The Gibb Challenge, a 660-kilometre relay bike event that raises awareness and funds for charity. The ride traverses the Kimberley, from the small town of Derby to the world-acclaimed El Questro Wilderness Park. The relay runs from May 11–18, with overnight camping at Imintji Campground, Mount Elizabeth Station, Ellenbrae Station, Home Valley Station and finishing at El Questro. AN APRIL/MAY 2018




efore Catholic missionaries arrived on the Tiwi Islands in the early 1900s, their Indigenous inhabitants painted the bodies of their loved ones before they were buried, and decorated the carved wooden Pukumani poles that stood beside their graves. The earthy colours they used were derived from natural materials, including yellow and white ochre and black charcoal. These days you’re more likely to see the abstract designs the islands are known for on the colourful costumes worn by the islands’ gregarious Sistagirls in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. The group of Indigenous transgender, homosexual and bisexual people from Bathurst and Melville islands in the Northern Territory marched in the event for the first time last year, making headlines around the world. They are currently working with Tiwi Design art centre to produce their own fashion label, which they aim to model on the runway at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair in August.


Cultural adaptation It’s just one of the many ways Tiwi Islanders have modified their culture to fit contemporary life, Tiwi Design’s manager Steve Anderson says. “When Darwin was bombed they adapted that into a dance that has become very famous,” he says. “It’s performed by eight people and there are guns and aeroplanes.” A stone’s throw from the beach in the Wurrumiyanga community — population 1,500 — on Bathurst Island, Tiwi Design consists of a carver’s shelter, pottery studio, screen printing studio, painting studio and gallery. A core group of about 18 artists work there regularly, greeting visiting tour groups, who arrive via ferry from Darwin, with a traditional smoking


ceremony. Women wave toxic leaves from ironwood trees to chase away evil spirits tourists may have brought with them, while men tap clap sticks and perform songs and dances associated with their family group’s animal totems, including crocodiles and turtles, which have been passed down from generation to generation. Every day the centre has a different focus. On Monday, you will find artists painting on canvas, while Tuesday is wood-carving day and Wednesday is when the potters gather. Elderly ladies also weave baskets at home and wander down to the gallery to sell them.

Location, location The islands’ location, about 80 kilometres from the mainland, allowed the group’s art to develop in relative isolation. “Tiwi art is quite different,” Steve says. “When you see the dance, song and painting it all goes together. The demand for these products exceeds the ability to supply it and we like it like that. We don’t want it to be a factory. We have people ranging from emerging artists to established artists.” Some of the islands’ biggest success stories include the late Jean Baptiste Apuatimi, whose work is showcased in galleries throughout the world, and her daughter Maria Josette Orsto. Olivia Newton-John worked with the centre to create products for her Koala Blue stores in the 1980s, and American comedian Whoopi Goldberg once popped in to have a frock made. Flamboyant English singer Boy George is also said to be a fan. Alan Kerinaiua is one of the regular faces quietly beavering away at the centre. The 54-year-old remembers watching his uncles painting on bark as a youngster, so to him painting on canvas is a luxury. 

Images Left: Sistagirls from the Tiwi Islands before the 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (courtesy Jeffrey Feng). Bottom left: A Tiwi Island local painted for a football grand final (courtesy Shaana McNaught/ Tourism NT). Bottom right: Back to Culture by Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association artist, Johnathon Bush (courtesy Angela Saurine).



“I come here every day,” he says. “It’s good to come and work; it’s like a second home to me. We are like a big family here. We have a lot of tourists come in and buy my paintings. To me it’s good, but it’s also sad that it’s gone away to another place. Where is the new home? Is it in Australia or overseas? It goes a long way from home.” In the small village of Milikapiti, on the edge of the Tjipripu River on neighbouring Melville Island, the gallery at Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association displays the works of some 30 artists, inspired by the sun and stars, animals such as dugongs and crocodile scales, spines and markings. The Tiwi word jilamara, which roughly translates as ‘design’, refers to the intricate ochre patterning traditionally applied to the bodies of dancers and on the surface of carved poles during the Pukumani funeral ceremony. “It’s a graphic design element,” the art centre’s manager Jackie Hocking says. “It’s a little bit different from the dot paintings you would see from the Central Desert, and even the works from Arnhem Land. The Tiwi people are on islands and they speak their own language, so that brings them all together.” When it was originally established as an adult education centre in 1980 there was a strong focus on screen printing, but over the years that has been lost in favour of ironwood carving and painting on canvas, linen and paper. That is soon set to change. “Everyone wants to bring screen printing back into the fold,” Jackie says. AN


Images Top: At the Tiwi Islands Grand Final and Art Sale (courtesy Peter Eve). Middle: Artist Alan Kerinauia showing a printed tea towel to visitors at Tiwi Design on Bathurst Island. Bottom: Works inspired by the earth from Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association (courtesy Angela Saurine).

The Aboriginal Artists Project combines the fashion accessory designs of Catherine Manuell with the artworks of many wonderful women artists from remote Australian communities. Shown here is the Bush Yams artwork by Evelyn Pultara from the Utopia region of Central Australia. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of these products goes directly to the artists.

Call us on 03 9486 4066 for help or a little personal service, or email:


The Job Whisperer Meet British-born Australian Sheila Boston. She has lived in Dili since 2005 and over the years has established creative enterprises that are making a real difference within the local community. words: Ian Lloyd Neubauer

he unemployment rate is four per cent in East Timor, according to the World Bank. But take a walk around the capital Dili and speak to any of the hundreds of loitering young men and you’ll quickly realise the real unemployment rate is probably 10 times as high. That’s because the World Bank only takes active jobseekers into account, whereas most of East Timor’s unemployed have long given up looking for work because there are so few unskilled vacancies around. For Sheila Boston, a British-born Australian who went to Dili as a volunteer in 2005, the hopelessness of the situation was too much to bear. “My dad was a hard worker ... and he passed that work ethic onto us,” she says. “So when he died three months after I moved here, I decided to make employment creation my mission.” Boston’s first attempt at making a difference in East Timor was with the Alola Foundation, a local NGO. Her task: to assemble maternity packs containing things like soap,


"I thought I’d volunteer for an employment project to honour him." 38


Images From far left: Afina, an Arte Jeitu trainee; woven Arte Jeitu keyrings; Sheila Boston (centre) at a Dili refugee camp in 2006; Arte Jeitu staff party; Alu, a local artisan, at work.

underwear, nappies, dresses and baby outfits, and distribute them to expectant mothers in hospitals. “One day I asked myself, ‘Why are we buying all this stuff from Indonesia?’ I know how to sew and I thought if I could teach a few local girls, we could pay them to make it instead.” The Alola sewing room opened and is still around today, operating as Alola Esperansa. Bags and other products are made from the local weave, tais, which are then sold through the Alola shop. As well as employing many women over the years, they also provide a market for weavers. In 2006, when a faction within the military attempted a coup d’etat, nearly all foreigners fled East Timor. Boston stayed. “A few people told me they thought I was brave but I didn't see it that way,” she says. “I just couldn’t leave. I had to stay to offer moral support.” In 2008, Boston launched Kor Timor, a paper-recycling initiative that, in time, would also turn into a viable business. “For the first two years, it was solely a training workshop,” she says. “We had about 20 staff, most of whom didn’t even know how to use scissors or measuring tape. “There was this one beautiful lady, she was illiterate and bringing up four children on her own because her husband had died, and she couldn’t cut paper or measure. But she could clean and she was the best cleaner in the world. She’s still there today.”

By 2010, Boston had handed over the reins of Kor Timor and started looking for something new to work on. The answer was Arte Jeitu, a jewellery workshop she set up on the verandah of her home studio in Dili. “At first it was just me but then one day there was a young man who’d worked for me at Kor Timor. I’d actually sacked him because he wasn’t coming in to work regularly but he said he wanted a second chance. I told him, ‘I can't pay you’. He said he didn’t care, that he just wanted to learn. “So I taught him how to make earrings and bracelets. We sold some at Christmas, so I paid him a little and hired another girl as well as a boy who could cut coconuts, and we’d stick clips on them and make coconut earrings. The business just grew organically from there. Kirsty [Sword Gusmão, the former First Lady of East Timor] placed a big order for an event, then a cruise ship came and passengers bought loads of stuff. We also started making cards, boxes and journals, and things just kept on getting bigger.” Arte Jeitu is now East Timor’s leading producer of highquality gift items and souvenirs. It generates a small profit as well as paying the wages of 10 full-time staff, with five casuals on call for busy times. Boston still works for free but is rewarded in other ways. “Seeing the change in someone when they get their first job is a buzz,” she says. “Work ethics are established, health improves, siblings are sent to school and they become more aware and interested in things. Some of the men develop a bit of a swagger, but most of their pay packet goes straight to their families. It’s a beautiful thing to see.” AN Airnorth operates seven services a week between Darwin and Dili. For more details, go to APRIL/MAY 2018


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Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra offers 3 very different accommodation facilities and is amongst the most unique animal lodges in the world. You can stay in uShaka Lodge with its own shark tank, in a Jungle Bungalow virtually built into the habitat of a bear, lion, tiger or cheetah, or in a Giraffe Treehouse where you hand feed your tall neighbour. Included are afternoon and morning tours, 5 star accommodation, gourmet meals and fine wines. Dining is in the uShaka Lodge tropical rainforest cave where you may be joined by magnificent white lions and hyenas. Ph: 02 6287 8444 | Fax: 02 6287 8403 Email: Web: Address: 999 Lady Denman Drive, Canberra ACT 2611 * 2017 Australian Hotels Association Awards for Excellence

Sustainability Special Events

Portable fridge Little Sun Diamond Solar Light Pocket-sized and lightweight, this solar lamp is incredibly useful for travellers while supporting an organisation that has passionate sustainable development goals. For every Little Sun product sold, one goes to its partners in rural Africa, where the company trains local sales agents and brings solar energy to those who need it most. $49;

The Dometic Waeco CFX portable fridge/freezer models are extremely energy efficient and have excellent cooling performance, even in high ambient temperatures. The CFX comes in various sizes, is robust and ready for action whatever the conditions. You can live off the grid and run the CFX off the Dometic PS180A portable solar panel and Dometic RAPS44 battery pack. From $999;

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Frank Green VisapayWave SmartCup Through their honest approach to sustainability, Frank Green products are stylish, functional and great for the environment. Choose from the Original SmartCup and innovative Next Generation VisapayWave design, which allows you to pay for anything under $50 from the base of your cup. $32.95;

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink An ultra-lightweight kitchen sink that's small enough to fit in your pocket and light enough to barely leave a trace on a set of scales. Perfect for collecting water for purification, cooking, washing dishes or personal bathing. The PVC-free sink can hold up to 10L. $44.95;

BioLite SunLight This portable solar-powered device is an effective travel light. Providing up to 50 hours of run time per seven hours of solar charge, the device combines the ultimate portability with maximum functionality. $24.95; APRIL/MAY 2018

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Photographer: Julian Lallo

George & King

Sustainability Special Events

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp

Wacaco Nanopresso One of the most innovative portable espresso machines on the market, the Nanopresso brews a high-quality espresso, wherever you are in the world. All that’s required is ground coffee and boiling water; the rest is taken care of by the Nanopresso’s manual (and newly patented) pumping system. It’s light, ergonomic and exceptionally eco-friendly. US$79.90;

A revolutionary waterproof and USBrechargeable headlamp, which also runs on standard AAA batteries, the ReVolt is a fully featured, hybrid-power headlamp that produces a whopping 200 lumens of light. $59.95;

Klean Kanteen Insulated Classic Water Bottle This forward-thinking design uses double-wall vacuum insulation to keep liquids hot for 20 hours and iced for 50 hours. Made from environmentally responsible materials, available in a variety of sizes and exceptionally durable, Klean Kanteen water bottles are perfect for people and the planet. $30.95;

Eva Solo SunLight Bell

Rig Tig BOX-IT Bread Box Made of bamboo melamine with a solid bamboo lid, this stylish box keeps your bread fresh for longer. The useful appliance fits smartly into any kitchen, with its lid conveniently doubling as a chopping board. $125;

Designed in Denmark, this highly energy-efficient, solarpowered lamp will provide atmospheric lighting anywhere around your garden or patio. Its dawn-todusk sensor means charging for eight hours will seamlessly provide 20 hours of illumination. The lamp also has a rechargeable battery, which can be charged up to 500 times. $199; APRIL/MAY 2018

Sustainability Special

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014) Cowspiracy is a groundbreaking documentary that looks at the environmental impact of animal agriculture, a leading cause of carbon emissions, global warming, deforestation and species extinction. The film also addresses why the world’s environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about this. Available on Netflix or for download at ($4.95).

Sea to Summit Trash Dry Sack Specifically designed to prevent leakage, the design of this lightweight sack allows any disposable garbage bag to be placed inside it. The Dry Sack works well as a garbage container in the car, boat or attached to the outside of a pack. $34.95;

A5 Memobottle Aiming to educate and initiate conversation about the ways we can reduce our overall global consumption, Memobottle’s intelligent slimline design fits smartly into your briefcase, bag or pack without adding any bulk. With more than 50 billion single-use water bottles sold globally last year, Memobottle is striving to change the tune for our planet. $49.95;

Sea to Summit Liquid Soaps & Wilderness Wash These concentrated formulas are both airline and environmentally friendly. Choose from shampoo, body wash, sanitiser and shaving cream. Or, opt for the multipurpose Wilderness Wash, safe for use on fabrics, skin and dishes. All are biodegradable, phosphate-free and comply with carry-on airline regulations. $6.95 each; APRIL/MAY 2018


Non-wicking roll-top closure for waterproof security and convenient adjustable shoulder strap

DRY STORAGE BAGS LIGHT, STRONG AND WATERPROOF From our featherlight Ultra-Sil® Nano Dry Sacks to our super burly Hydraulic™ Dry Bags, our dry storage solutions keep your gear dry, organised and sand-free on land and sea based adventures.


Technical treatments and PVC-free fabrics purpose built for most outdoor activities


Reinforced stitching at all stress points for greater seam strength

Sustainability Special

Hemp It Up Australia’s first Hemp Kombucha Starter Kits are now available following the end of Prohibition and hemp being allowed back on the menu. Be among the first in Australia to brew your own low-sugar drink, Hemp Kombucha. Everything you need is in the kit. Those who join the club at will receive a free ‘Chill It's Legal’ t-shirt. $99;

Light My Fire MealKit 2.0 & Pack-up-Cup This convenient kit is ideal for your backpack, boat, bike or picnic basket, helping you reduce waste while saving space. The MealKit 2.0 comes with a collapsible Packup-Cup, also sold separately. $39.95 ($9.95 for Pack-up-Cup);

Compact Cooling Dometic, the world leaders in RV upright refrigeration, introduces RUC8408X upright refrigerators; a range that combines compact design and excellent refrigeration performance. The T-rated cooling systems ensure excellent performance in both high and low ambient temperatures, making these refrigerators an excellent choice for the demanding Australian climate. $310;

Copperhead Water Heaters Copperhead Water Heaters are designed and manufactured by PV Water Heating, and are the world’s only portable solar-powered water heaters. The shower head turns the Copperhead Water Heater into a hot shower. It features a two-metres hose, waterproof on/off switch, adjustable water speed, carry bag, hanging clip and suction cup. $649; APRIL/MAY 2018


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P.2 Agribusiness: growth of organic foods P.8 Mining: renewed optimism in mining sector P.12 Mining simulators P.22 Cybersecurity: The internet of things P.26 Infrastructure: sustainability



The organic rush WHILE THE JURY IS OUT AS TO THE MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF ORGANIC FOOD, CONSUMERS ARE INCREASINGLY PREPARED TO PAY A PREMIUM FOR THIS PRODUCE. On a lush subtropical ridge overlooking Currumbin Valley in the Gold Coast hinterland, fourth-generation farmer David Freeman sells organic bananas, mangos, avocados and other fruits to motorists at prices up to 50 per cent more than the cost of regular supermarket fruit. Freeman says the markup is justified by his fruits’ superior flavour, texture, high nutrient value and healing properties. “In 2014 when I was in the army, doctors discovered a malignant tumour. I was supposed to have 12 months of chemotherapy but the oncologist told me to go back to my farm and eat some healthy vegetables before I started the treatment,” he says. “When I got back 12 months later, I was in the clear. That’s why I believe in growing this nutrient-dense produce on this beautiful soil to help the community eat healthily.” There is no scientific evidence of the medicinal value of organic food, while evidence about its allegedly superior nutrient value also remains slim. After compiling the results of 250 different studies that compared the nutrients in organic versus regular foods, researchers at Stanford University in the US found very little difference between the two. Organic produce was found to have 30 per cent lower pesticide residues, but pesticide levels in regular foods tested also fell within allowable safety limits. Nevertheless, a significant minority of consumers in the developed world are willing to pay extra for organic food that addresses not 

Ian Lloyd Neubauer With nearly 20 years’ journalism experience, Ian is abreast of global news as it happens.




only health but ethical and environmental concerns. Australia’s organic farming sector grew 17 per cent over the past five years, according to market research firm IBISWorld, with 2,300 certified organic businesses generating $742 million in farmgate value in 2017. And with hundreds of new organic producers now graduating from the lengthy certification process, IBISWorld believes the sector’s farmgate value could leapfrog to $1.2 billion in less than five years. But how difficult is it for producers to become organically certified in Australia? What kinds of organic foods will see stronger demand? And what challenges or threats will organic farmers face in the future?

A tale of two farmers

We spoke with two organic farmers on different sides of the country who have seen very different results. The first, grazier Rob Lennon, is a soil-health fanatic and owner of Gundooee, a 1,000-hectare cattle station in Leadville in Central West NSW. “I like the passive approach to organics,” he says. “It’s about trying to understand natural processes rather than controlling them and creating more problems.” As Australia’s only certified organic grass-fed Wagyu farm, Gundooee cannot meet demand. Its mince retails for $30 a kilo while T-bones sell for $60 a kilo — about twice the price of regular Wagyu — and is sold via high-end butchers in Sydney and on, the online store of a small collective of non-competing organic farmers in the region. “The reason organic beef is more expensive is because we don’t feed animals a high-energy diet so we have to graze them for longer,” Lennon says. “It’s a more sustainable method of production and the result is meat with a higher amount of unsaturated fats and Omega 3s, which is where all the flavours and nutrients are.” Ian James is a farmer from Western Australia’s Wheatbelt who has been preaching the benefits of organics for 30 years. Five years ago, he ran as a political candidate for the Greens on a no-GM (genetically modified) seed platform in the seat of Durack. James didn’t win the election, while his experience with organic wheat farming has been hit and miss. 



Are GM foods bad for you? Genetically modified (GM) foods are those with ingredients made by inserting foreign genetic material into the genetic material of an existing organism to give them a new characteristic, such as insect resistance. Currently, there’s only one genetically modified-approved food crop in Australia: GM canola. However, a wide array of GM foods, ranging from potatoes and rice to soybeans and corn, are certified for consumption. The GM Free Australia Alliance estimates genetically modified organisms are found in 60 per cent of processed foods. So one way or another, the majority of us are consuming GM foods daily. Are they safe? The truth is we really won’t know until long-term studies are published in coming decades.

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“We are a fairly large grower; we grow about 300 tonnes of grain per harvest,” he says. “But organic wheat processors in our area can only handle 25 tonnes at a time, so we have to bear the cost of storing it in our silos. Processors say they need more organic growers to justify more infrastructure for larger volumes of grain. But it’s a case of which comes first, the chicken or the egg?”

Getting certified

When Lennon bought Gundooee 20 years ago, it was a conventional cattle farm with straight Angus cattle. The idea of raising Wagyu evolved after a barbecue at a Wagyu ranch next door. “I thought, ’These steaks are good! They have a superior flavour,’” he says. “I wondered if could make them even better by raising the cattle organically.” Lennon ran Gundooee as an organic farm since day one but only became certified in 2006, two years after he sold his first organic Wagyu carcass to Sydney’s TJ’s Quality Meats. He used his resume to sell Wagyu to TJ, who used his resume to on-sell to customers. But when Lennon’s business grew, he needed a way to share his organic credentials with the mass market. It took Lennon the usual three years to gain certification with Australian Certified Organics (ACO) — one of seven groups accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to dispense organic trademarks. These trademarks assure consumers products are free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics, that livestock is pasture-fed, seeds are non-GM and farming processes are water efficient and biodiversity friendly. “The process is pretty straightforward so long as your soil samples come back OK,” Lennon says. James agrees: “There’s a lot of misunderstanding among farmers about the accreditation process. But it’s not that difficult to get your head around it. The real problem is that organic food is not being marketed well in Australia. We can grow it well, but reliable demand doesn’t exist.”

Premium price-point

ACO chairman Andrew Monk says organic farming has strengths and weaknesses. “There’s great demand for anything organic in dairy, especially with China in



our backyard,” he says. “There’s also been significant movement with dried fruits; thousands of hectares are about to be harvested. And the price for red meat, well, that goes through its own cycles, though I believe it’s doing rather well right now. “But grain is a real challenging one because of the high cost of production and problems meeting consumer price points.” It’s not only the price of organic bread that leaves most Australian consumers baffled. “We estimate total organic food retail sales in Australia will reach $2 billion this year,” says Monk. “But that’s just 1 or 1.5 per cent of total food sales in the country. In Europe and the US, market share for organic food varies from 2.5 per cent to 5 per cent.” Organic food prices in Australia may drop marginally this year as next-generation producers come online. But organic farmers like James say consumers shouldn’t hold their breath. “There are big advantages using chemicals and fertilisers for farmers. They get a bigger yield,” he explains. “And we cop a yield penalty for not using them. So the cost differential is here to stay.” Lennon agrees, saying the solution lies not in charging consumers less but educating them more. “If I had time I’d write a blog about why food quality has gone downhill and why it costs more to produce organically so consumers can understand why they should pay more,” he says. “Right now, I don’t think they know.”

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Green shoots of a mining recovery Darren Baguley An agriculture, tech, mining, energy and business specialist.




Mining The Australian mining and energy construction boom that peaked in 2012–13 was a once-in-a-generation event. But as with all booms, it was followed by a bust. As the mines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects were completed, the mining and energy industry transitioned abruptly from the construction phase to the production phase. At the same time, coal and iron ore prices tanked due to a perfect storm of oversupply coupled with reduced demand out of China. For more than five years, mining in particular and the resources sector in general were in survival mode, with gold and lithium being the only bright stars in an otherwise dark firmament. The green shoots of a recovery, however, are finally apparent. According to BIS Oxford Economics’ report ‘Mining in Australia 2017 to 2032’, Australia's mining industry is expected to more than double this financial year. The report predicts that mining production growth will more than double from 2.5 per cent in the 2016–17 financial year to 5.5 per cent in 2017–18­­. This growth is expected to continue for the rest of the decade; even without Adani’s controversial Carmichael mine in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin, which, the report suggests, is unlikely to proceed. Nevertheless, Deloitte Access Economics is circumspect about any marked lifts in mining investment. In its December quarter ‘Investment Monitor’, Deloitte Access Economics lead partner Stephen Smith says that despite more than 18 months of broadly better news on commodity prices and a lift in exploration expenditure, mining investment isn’t expected to increase substantially. “Miners appear focused on controlling costs, so recent strong profit results are more likely to be returned as dividends than laid out on new investments,” Smith said. In contrast, recruiting experts Hays’ January 2018 ’Jobs in Demand’ report has flagged a decided uptick in several key areas of employment within the mining industry. Hays Australian Director for Resources & Mining, Chris Kent, says that renewed optimism is driving increased demand across Australia’s mining industry to the point where skills shortages are starting to emerge again. “But it is a very different workforce now to then,” said Kent. "When a mine is in the construction phase, we’re talking construction trades, construction engineering and

construction know-how, which draws on a very multicultural, international workforce. Many of the people who [built the mines during the boom] work on a project-specific basis all over the world and move to where those new projects are.” According to Kent, once a mine transitions into the production phase, the workforce is more like the construction or manufacturing industries, whereby there are permanent positions that are there for the life of the mine. “Once a mine is in production there are different sorts of rosters, because it’s not all about how fast you can get something done, it’s actually how efficient and productive something can be. So just as we struggled to find construction engineers in 2012, now we’re struggling to [fill roles] such as mechanical fitters that can keep trucks on the road to carry the ore from pit to port.” Not only are different jobs and workers more in demand than at the height of the boom, but the dynamic between employee and employer has changed. During the dizzy heights of 2011–12 there was a real war for talent, and talent won. Today, says Kent, “A fair bit more power and influence is in the hands of employers than in the heady days of the mining boom. In the past three to six months, skills shortages have started to emerge again, but it’s no longer ’hire at all costs’ because mining companies are still running tight. Commodity prices have returned to solid levels but are not at all-time highs or anything like we saw back then.” One of the notable trends, says Kent, is the push for more diverse workforces. “Mining companies are trying to get more female workers into the mining sector and more indigenous participation. They’re also trying to add more value to communities where the mines are operating to improve the mining companies’ social licence to operate.” Kent named underground engineers and maintenance planners as areas of high demand and quipped that exploration geologists — one of the hardest-hit areas during the downturn — “are finally getting out of their Ubers and getting a job in exploration again”. He attributes that trend to miners having a renewed appetite for exploration. “Exploration is the first stage of the life cycle for a mine, which bodes well for sustainable job creation over the next few years. If a company is exploring and it finds something, obviously it will take it to market. Gold and lithium are the 

Fast Facts


The predicted mining production growth in Australia for 2017–2018, up from 2.5% in 2016.


The 2017 value of Australian coal exports, in billions of dollars. It's a new peak, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. APRIL/MAY 2018



main areas of demand but increasingly for copper and even nickel and zinc as well. That is exciting because we’re not completely reliant on iron ore and coal, which are obviously two of our bigger exports.” Demand for blue-collar jobs such as dump truck drivers, mechanical fitters and excavator operators is starting to ramp up again. “These are pretty straightforward roles,” says Kent, “but during the downturn, wages got cut and working underground especially is still a pretty difficult job, what with the rosters and being away from family.” With the reduction in wages, mining has had to compete with other industries to retain those people. “Take, for example, someone working in an underground coal mine in regional Queensland. There is the threat of black lung and all sorts of health risks but they’re only earning a few bucks an hour more than in a factory just outside Brisbane, where they go home to their family every night.” As a result, Kent says wages for low-level blue-collar roles are starting to go up as mining companies realise they can’t attract people to the sector. For that reason, he expects the first stage of wage inflation will be in the blue-collar space in the coming year. Even with wages destined to go up, Kent believes it will be difficult to entice people back into the sector. “Workers

weren’t treated brilliantly when there was that quick reduction in commodity prices, there was a bit of panic, rosters were cut, wages were cut, conditions were cut and there were years of negative press about the mining sector. The challenge for the industry is to bring some of those workers back and bring new workers into the industry. “There is a marketing piece to be done about the career opportunities in the mining sector. Mining companies need to reassure people who doubt that there are opportunities that it’s possible to make some competitive money but there are also opportunities for career advancement, that mining is a cutting-edge industry that embraces a diverse culture.”

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Mining Simulators

Virtual mine management and training SIMULATORS HAVE BEEN USED IN MINING FOR A COUPLE OF DECADES, BUT WITH THE ADVENT OF OFF-THE-SHELF VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSETS, THE TECHNOLOGY IS SET TO SOAR. In recent years, the mining industry has figured out what those in aviation have known since World War II: using simulators saves time, money and lives. Whether it’s for the passage of trucks on a haul road, driving a haul truck itself, or for drilling and blasting, simulation technology is becoming more widely used. In one of its more unusual applications, it’s wound up being a valuable training tool for crane drivers. While we don’t normally associate cranes with mining equipment, the reality is that many mine sites use them for construction, and for relocating equipment and overhead cranes in processing areas. According to Keith Bishop, General Manager – Marketing at crane hardware specialist Nobles, the advent of relatively inexpensive virtual reality (VR) headsets — such as the Oculus Rift — has made the technology even more appealing. “The first generation of crane simulators were like flight simulators, with lots of screens and

Darren Baguley An agriculture, tech, mining, energy and business specialist.

controls mocked up like a crane cabin,” explains Bishop. “But they weren’t very well received since they were large, immobile and expensive because they had all that gear associated with them. And they still didn’t provide a very realistic experience of operating a crane. “This VR technology takes simulation to a whole new level: you put a headset on and you’re immersed in a crane cockpit, with a 360-degree view of everything that’s going on, as if you were sitting in a crane,” says Bishop. “And the controls you operate are OEM specified crane controls, which are exactly the same as the major levers you’d use in that crane model, in real life. This combination makes for a very realistic simulation, and training experience.” Not surprisingly, registered training organisations (RTOs) make up one of Nobles’ main consumers of their simulation product. Since cranes cost millions of dollars and often only one vehicle is 



Mining Simulators


Mining Simulators

allocated per 10 or more students, training to a baseline of skill on a simulator means RTOs can maximise crane time for their students. Elsewhere in training, simulators can be used to improve the competency of existing operators. Just as air forces, airlines and navies do, companies with large fleets of cranes can use simulators to expose their drivers to hazards they wouldn’t normally encounter in an operational environment. By practising in the simulator, operators are better equipped to know what to do if something should go wrong, and at the same time valuable machinery is not being tied up or put at risk of damage. In addition to RTOs, Bishop says large construction, mining, oil and gas companies with strong site safety compliance and control policies are interested in the VR system as a competency tool. “They need to be able to verify that all employees or subcontractors are compliant and capable of using heavy machinery like a crane, before letting them onto their sites,” explains Bishop. By using off-the-shelf technology, such as the Oculus Rift VR headset and a high-end gaming laptop, Bishop believes companies such as ITI are democratising VR technology. “One of the benefits of this type of system is that it uses existing off-the-shelf technology that can then be applied [to meet a variety of needs, whatever they may be]. As the technology improves and the price decreases, the cost of providing it as a service will also decrease, and the benefit of higher resolution, et cetera, will be passed on to users,” says Bishop. “The system is incredibly simple and easy to operate — as simple as pressing a button to turn on a PlayStation, and it loads up straight away. There’s no complex set-up routine; the most complex part is plugging in all the cables.” A similar trend is evident in mine management simulation programs such as RPMGlobal’s HAULSIM, says Adam Price, the company’s Simulation Product Manager. “In the past, any simulation undertaken at a mine site has been done by a simulation expert — not a haulage expert — and the simulation model was not for a specific project,” he explains. “This is an expensive way to run simulations, and you’re left with a static model that isn’t kept up to date.” HAULSIM uses a gaming-inspired 3D model based on the user’s unique mine site, providing an accurate visual representation of their scenarios. According to Price, this approach gives users a more holistic view compared to traditional models. In addition, HAULSIM’s Discrete Event Simulation (DES) software models mine haulage systems by simulating equipment interactions and infrastructure, allowing users to navigate current operations and future mine plans. “Using HAULSIM and its powerful DES, a gold mine in Canada was able to reduce the time taken to create scenarios from over a month to under a week,” says Price. “This allows mining engineers to move away from

programming and instead focus on adding real operational improvements that will have an impact on the bottom line.” While safety is the highest priority on a mine site and products such as HAULSIM help to identify high-risk situations, simulation technology — such as Nobles’ crane simulator — also saves mining companies big bucks. However, RPMGlobal’s Price contends that many mining operations are making decisions worth several thousand dollars without a model to support the decision — and simulation can provide that data. “Often decisions are based on a gut feeling rather than data,” says Price. “We’ve found the answer after running a simulation is obvious after we’ve done the analysis, but the simulation often produces a different result to what we were expecting. Customers who use simulation have a much deeper understanding of their haulage systems, as they are able to test all possible scenarios, such as widening a road, decreasing the maximum queue lengths or adding a stop sign to a particularly congested route. They save money since they’ve investigated all other viable alternatives, and have only spent when their return on investment is proven.” With new technology comes fresh challenges, and VR and 3D simulation are no exception. “There’s been a bit of suspicion from some of the more experienced crane operators, who question whether the technology will actually be able to simulate a real crane operating environment,” says Bishop. “But as soon as they get on the gear, they quickly realise it’s very close to the real-world experience of driving a crane. So, one of the main ways to get over some of the challenges is to just get people to drive it and see for themselves that it’s not a toy, but a sophisticated education and training tool.” For RPMGlobal, Price says it’s the mine sites themselves that provide the greatest challenge, since they are all so dynamic. “If you’re simulating haulage, the road network is constantly changing, and the movement of equipment around that network depends on the demands of the day,” explains Price. “That’s why RPMGlobal has developed the largest public equipment library available in HAULSIM, to provide accurate load and travel calculations that keep up with the demands of an ever-changing environment. The network can be updated so that the model is always current and precise.” Despite fluctuations in commodity prices, the use of simulation technology by mining companies appears to be on the up and up. Price attributes this to the fact that simulations such as HAULSIM play a significant role in identifying areas for improvement and opportunities for increases in production. “Although commodity prices have risen, the same cost-cutting mentality exists and will continue even as the commodity prices rise further,” he says. “This means the use of simulation will continue to grow as mining companies search to lower their costs.” APRIL/MAY 2018


Parkes - Centre of Australia's Transport Future The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail line will transform freight movement in Australia – and Parkes will be central to this opportunity In one of the biggest investments ever seen in regional Australia, the Federal Government will fund the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project with $8.4 billion in equity to be provided to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). Inland Rail will complete the spine of the national freight network, delivering freight from Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours with competitive pricing and extremely high reliability. Parkes is central to Inland Rail and to Australia’s transport future. Parkes is the only place in Australia where the north-south Newell Highway, the eastwest rail-line and the Inland Rail line ALL INTERSECT. Parkes is capitalising on its potential to become a major national transport node. Already, more than 80 per cent of Australia’s population can be reached in less than 12 hours from Parkes, creating a valuable competitive advantage for companies looking to develop logistics, distribution and manufacturing operations. "The Parkes National Logistics Hub has been designed to operate 24/7 as a multi-modal transport facility with buffer zones and has been in the planning

for decades. Parkes is geographically located in the centre of NSW and at the epicentre of the national's transport and logistics network. Inland Rail will be a catalyst to change freight movement in Australia,” says Parkes Shire Council Mayor Ken Keith, OAM. The announcement by the Federal Government to start construction on Inland Rail has led directly to investment in Parkes, with Pacific National in October 2017 committing an initial $35 million to commence development of the company’s Parkes Logistics Terminal, which is set to be one of the largest private sector investments in freight infrastructure in regional Australia. Once fully operational, Pacific National’s Parkes Logistics Terminal will have the capacity to process approximately 450,000 cargo containers each year, including the ability to haul

double-stacked containers from Parkes to Perth. SCT Logistics has been operating in Parkes for over 10 years and they are now in the process of planning for the development of a ‘Logistics City’. SCT Logistics CEO Glenn Smith says “When the Inland Rail is completed one of the great aspects of Parkes will be the ability to receive trains from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne Ports and even Adelaide ports - they are all overnight by rail (to Parkes). SCT sees great opportunities for importers, exporters and manufacturers, who have a requirement to move freight efficiently." The Parkes National Logistic Hub consists of nearly 600 hectares of land, and can offer a diverse range of investment opportunities for companies looking to leverage from Parkes’ key strategic advantages. APRIL/MAY 2018



How can financial wellbeing help us ‘live the dream’? Historically, the Great Australian Dream was the belief that home ownership led to a better life and was seen a symbol of both prosperity and success. Over time, our understanding of happiness and ‘living the dream’ has changed. A report by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Australia (‘Live the Dream’, 2017) found that only 41 per cent of Australians see home ownership as living the dream. To most of us, this now means having the lifestyle of our choice (57 per cent) and having financial freedom and independence (54 per cent). Rather than objects such as a house, we are now placing more value on experiences and the freedom to forge our own path. However, even with these changes, only one in four Australians describe themselves as ‘mostly’ or ‘definitely’ living the dream. About 48 per cent of us admit that having a low bank balance is holding us back from living the dream. Many of us also admit to having regrets about not saving enough and making poor decisions (37 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively). Some 73 per cent of Australians find it hard to plan their lives, with 36 per cent attributing this to not knowing what we want. It’s clear both money and the self-awareness to see we want from life play a huge role in living the dream.



With so many of us confused about our goals, how do we realise what we want out of life? The answer lies in financial wellbeing. The best part about improving financial wellbeing is that it’s unique to everyone and attainable to all — regardless of your bank balance. There are two key aspects to financial wellbeing that come into play: selfawareness and planning. Becoming self-aware by recognising your relationship with money is crucial to financial wellbeing. This way you begin to understand your life goals and what truly motivates you. The next step is to create a plan to help you reach your good life. With 29 per cent of Australians too time poor to map out a plan for their future, many have turned to financial advisers. In fact, those who report they are living the dream are three times less stressed about money and three times more likely to see a financial adviser, compared to those who do not see themselves as living the dream. Of those who received financial advice, 79 per cent claimed their financial wellbeing had improved since seeing an adviser. The ability to plan for and reach our goals is undeniably linked to our happiness, making financial wellbeing a major determinant in whether we’ll ever see ourselves living the dream.

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Financial Wellbeing in Australia


Would invest in building a better future for their families if they had the money.


Are scared that they won’t have enough money to retire.

1 in 4

Have not mapped out a plan for their financial future at all.

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Securing the Internet of Things Darren Baguley An agriculture, tech, mining, energy and business specialist.


It’s lunchtime on a bright, sunny day at a primary school in the Australian wheat belt. Right on the edge of town, the school’s playground overlooks crop fields and many of the children watch a harvester at work as they eat their lunch. Twenty minutes into lunch, the sound of the harvester changes. Instead of working up and down the field as it has all morning, it is moving towards the school fence at top speed. A quick-thinking student realises it's heading straight for the playground and notifies the duty teacher before calling a warning to his schoolmates. The teacher dashes into the school building to sound the alarm minutes before the harvester crashes through the fence, across the playing fields and into a toilet block before coming to a stop. Three young children are injured, one of whom later dies in hospital. The subsequent police investigation discovers the automated harvester had been hacked into by a terrorist organisation that turned it against the school to cause mass casualties. In 2018, this scenario may seem unlikely, fanciful even. But high-end harvesters and

tractors built in the past few years by major manufacturers such as Case New Holland, John Deere, Deutz-Fahr and Fendt are capable of autonomous operation, straight off the showroom floor. So while this equipment, currently in use on many large Australian crop farms, is capable of autonomous operation, every piece always has a human ‘machine minder’ in the cabin. According to David Lamb, University of New England’s McClymont Distinguished Professor (Research) Precision Agriculture Research Group, the legal framework to allow this to happen — put simply, who would be liable if something went wrong? — is not yet in place. Nevertheless, with the capability being widespread, it’s only a matter of time 


“In the security space we've known security comes at a cost, and that's just the way things go.” —

James Turner, IBRS security advisor and founder of CISO Lens.



Cybersecurity before tractors and combines are working their way up and down Australian broadacre crop fields without a human in sight. In the case of the transport industry, much of the publicity has been generated by Google’s driverless car experiments. However, driverless trucks are likely to start appearing on our roads long before we all have our own robotic chauffeur. A convoy of automated trucks has already platooned across Europe and reports by organisations as diverse as consultancy PWC and merchant bank Morgan Stanley suggest that at least the long-haul part of long-distance truck and train drivers’ jobs may be a thing of the past within two decades.

Future present

Science fiction writer William Gibson once said, “The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed,” and there is no truer example of this than in the mining industry. Because a mine is a closed, contained environment compared to a farm or a highway, automation has been an easier task for engineers and the technology is well developed. As a result, the mining sites of the big three miners in Western Australia’s Pilbara — BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals — have all deployed automated



trucks and drill and blast rigs with trains due to be rolled out later this year. Mining companies are not just looking to automate vehicles; crushing plants, conveyor belts, coal and ore loaders have all been automated and all mines, both open cast and underground, are increasingly being covered with internet connected sensors. This tendency toward automation is being collectively known as the Internet of Things (IoT), and it represents both an opportunity to make our lives better by eliminating dangerous, mundane, repetitive tasks and a threat to human life.

Economic fallout

While some people may consider the threat to human life an exaggeration, others believe it’s only a matter of time before there’s some sort of catastrophic event involving the IoT. While attacking a school with a harvester or crashing a truck into a school bus could involve heavy loss of human life, there is also the possibility of economic loss. In 2002/3, Venezuelan oil workers used a virus to shut down the country’s oil terminals for eight hours as part of a bitter and protracted strike. In 2010, the Stuxnet virus — widely believed to have been developed by US and Israeli intelligence — was used to attack key supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems in Iran’s nuclear program. It’s quite possible to conceive that an unscrupulous company may seek to gain commercial advantage over a competitor by unleashing a stream of cyber attacks that disrupts its supply chain and causes it to default on a high value contract. Industry analyst, cyber security advisor with IBRS and founder of CISO Lens, James Turner, doesn’t discount the possibility of any of these sorts of things happening. “A few years back … Australian banks were being attacked by a botnet made of webcams and the Mirai botnet attack was made up of millions of devices, including personal digital recorders. Given that it’s absolutely predictable that anything electronic or mechanical will get connected to the internet, we have to plan for what happens when these devices are either targeted themselves or become collateral in an attack against something else.” If we accept the risk that automated

devices could be compromised, then this begs the question whether it is possible to secure the IoT? Turner believes that it is, but he doesn’t downplay the difficulty of doing so. “[When] we come to the Internet of Things, there are several challenges. There is the sheer scale of the problem and the cost that comes with that. Whose job is it to ensure that instead of the 20-cent microprocessor, the 40-cent one with inbuilt security is used? “When it comes to an organisation deploying 20 million sensors, the ones with inbuilt security double the cost. That can be a tough pill to swallow for people who don’t appreciate what’s at stake. In the security space, we’ve known that security comes at a cost, and that’s just the way things go.” A further issue is the sheer number of devices already out there. Turner explains that when looking at people’s home computers, the security industry recommends keeping operating systems up to date, using current security software and using two-factor authentication and a password that is unique for any website that matters — such as your bank. For most people who regularly use computers, these measures are common sense. The issue with the IoT, however, is that “these IoT devices are being deployed with a basic level of capability,” says Turner. “That means often a default username and password, which also means when you know the default password for one device, you know it for them all. And unless someone changes them all away from the default, then a hacker can write a script and take control of all of them.”

Risk versus cost

Whether it’s a mine site that may have thousands of devices ranging from trucks to sensors on the haul road or individual harvesters, tractors or prime movers, Turner poses the question, “When making any decision we balance risk versus reward versus cost. Security is a moving target because the risk may be worth it to one person, but not to another. [Nevertheless], whose job is it to make sure that each of these devices is running the latest software, and that the password is changed from the default?” Turner believes that organisations know securing the IoT space is important,

but he questions whether “we’ve yet to experience sufficient pain to drive a change in behaviour. We still want all the reward with low cost and to ignore the risk.” While that may be true in some industries, it is perhaps not the case in the mining industry. According to Hays Regional Director for Resources & Mining, Chris Kent, mining companies definitely recognise the risks inherent in the IoT. “If you look at all the big miners — Rio, BHP, FMG — they’ve got their control centres in Perth. [But the result of this automation is that] cybersecurity is obviously an issue. A lot of the new SCADA equipment is essentially at risk of hack if the appropriate security is not in place and as a result, the heads of technology of these big companies now have cybersecurity teams.” There’s an old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times!” While the IoT offers a myriad of benefits to industries, there are also risks and only time will tell whether these are outweighed by the benefits. APRIL/MAY 2018




Riley Palmer A writer and editor, Riley loves sinking her teeth into juicy news and sharing tales of the land.

images: the Green Building Council of Australia With population growth and climate change on the top of people’s minds the world over, sustainable living and infrastructure are becoming both an expectation and a necessity. In a nation like Australia, which is prone to extreme weather conditions, conserving energy, water and resources is a must. As a result, the adoption of green building practices has skyrocketed, especially since 2002 when the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) was established to assess the design, construction and performance of buildings, and subsequently grant them a one- to six-star rating — six demonstrating global leadership. Since then, sustainable buildings have become far more commonplace, with the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark consistently ranking the Australian real estate market as the world’s greenest. While the environmental benefits of creating sustainable buildings are clear, as many individuals and organisations advocate for best practice, the social and financial advantages are becoming increasingly obvious, too. Green buildings routinely improve the health and productivity of occupants, increase building values and reduce operating costs. We speak with Romilly Madew, CEO of the GBCA, who shares insights into five of the nation’s greenest buildings, and the features that set them apart.



Ingkarni Wardli

Location: Adelaide, South Australia Year: 2010 Architect: DesignInc Rating: 6 Star Green Star, Education Design & As Built v1 The University of Adelaide’s Ingkarni Wardli was the first education building in Australia to attain a 6 Star Green Star rating. The eight-storey building provides contemporary teaching facilities and honours the Indigenous land it stands on — its Kaurna name means ’ place of learning or enquiry’. What differentiates it from other teaching facilities are the environmental strategies incorporated into design. “This was undoubtedly a test case for a range of sustainability innovations,” says Madew, “from the geothermal energy storage system to the underfloor air distribution system, which provides 100 per cent fresh air.” There are also sun-shading louvres, thermal chimneys, hydronic cooling loops, a rooftop tri-generation plant that powers the building and rainwater-harvesting into underground tanks. Madew believes that the most interesting legacy is Wardli's status as a ‘living laboratory’ for engineering students, giving them real-world experience without impacting operations.



Council House 2

Location: Melbourne, Victoria Year: 2006 Architect: DesignInc Rating: 6 Star Green Star, Office Design & As Built v1 When Council House 2 (CH2) was built, it was at the cutting edge of sustainable infrastructure. “The most important thing to emphasise about CH2 is its significant role as a beacon of sustainability,” says Madew. “The building’s energy efficiency and energy-production features, including solar photovoltaic cells and integrated wind-turbines ... were revolutionary, and delivered an 87 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to buildings of similar size. This alone helped to establish the business case for green building. When coupled with the productivity improvement, which saves Council an estimated $2 million a year, it’s easy to see why this building remains a green icon.” A CSIRO report a year after CH2 had been built showed staff productivity had increased by 10.9 per cent. “Indoor Environmental Quality matters,” says Madew. “Our thermal environment and air quality, our visual environment and acoustics ... affect our health and ability to perform daily tasks.”

One Central Park

Location: Sydney, New South Wales Year: 2013 Architect: Foster and Partners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel and PTW Architects Rating: 5 Star Green Star, Multi-Unit Residential Design & As Built v1 One Central Park has been recognised on an international level, winning the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s award for the best tall building in the world in 2014. This accolade was largely due to its vertical garden, which, at 150 metres, is the world’s tallest. “External green walls have a lot of benefits,” explains Madew. “Aside from being attractive, they clean the air of pollutants, can reduce the surface temperature of walls, limit solar gains and with it, the need for artificial cooling. Green walls have also been found to boost health and wellbeing, and biodiversity.” One Central Park’s commitment to sustainability is further evident in its tri-generation power plant, a water recycling and blackwater treatment plant. Each apartment is also fitted with smart metering screens, which provide real-time monitoring of electricity, gas and water consumption. APRIL/MAY 2018


I M A G E : F I L I P P O D A L L' O S S O


“The Sydney Opera House dispels the myth that it’s ‘too hard’ to improve the sustainability of older buildings.” — Romilly Madew, GBCA

Sydney Opera House

Location: Sydney, New South Wales Year: 1973 Architect: Jørn Utzon Rating: 4 Star Green Star, Performance V1 When reflecting on how green a building is, it’s important to consider not just what the building takes, in terms of resources such as water and energy, but also what and for how long it gives — which is why the Opera House is one of Australia’s most sustainable buildings. Pioneering features implemented include a seawater cooling system, which powers the heating and air conditioning. “An early interpretation of the ‘chilled ceiling’ remains in the Drama Theatre, to help control air temperature,” says Madew. “The building was designed with durable materials to meet a 250-year lifespan. Over the past decade, it has welcomed more visitors than ever, but has reduced energy usage by 10 per cent through a lighting retrofit. For example, LED lighting in the Concert Hall has cut electricity consumption by 75 per cent.” Furthermore, the building maintains its heritage while also meeting sustainability benchmarks through its ecofriendly cleaning methods. “Baking soda is used for concrete cleaning and olive oil for bronze restoration,” says Madew. “The Opera House dispels the myth that it’s ‘too hard’ to improve the sustainability of older buildings.”



Fast Facts


There are 23 green walls on One Central Park, spanning 1,200 square metres. There are 350 species of plants used in the green walls alone.

$1.85b The New Royal Adelaide Hospital is 258,000 square metres, and is valued at $1.85 billion.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital

Location: Adelaide, South Australia Year: 2017 Architect: DesignInc and Silver Thomas Hanley Rating: 4 Star Green Star, Healthcare Design v1 The New Royal Adelaide Hospital has 800 beds and 40 operating theatres, designed for the needs of the 80,000 patients it sees annually. Some of the building’s environmental innovations include water and power metering to track consumption, lowVOC paints, flooring and acoustic insulation, and a co-generation system that turns waste heat into energy. “It generates far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than standardpractice healthcare facilities,” says Romilly. The design of the hospital, with more than 70 courtyards, terraces and sky gardens, is optimised for daylight, which has been proven to aid patient recovery and decrease the length of stay. “It offers the best possible healing environment with greater levels of privacy, comfort and infection control,” says Madew. The hospital is also one of the most technologically advanced facilities of its kind: it uses robots to deliver food and equipment, has a wireless patient–nurse call system, and — able to operate self-sufficiently for up to 48 hours and designed to prevent a structural collapse — it is earthquake proof. “It’s one of the most cutting-edge and technically complex Green Star buildings in Australia,” says Madew.

Ben Smithurst A lifestyle, motoring and travel writer with a penchant for the humorous.


This year, Audi will reveal its new fourth generation, rootand-branch overhaul of the A8 sedan, a giant luxo-barge of an executive (non-stretch) limo. This would normally be news only to motoring enthusiasts and businessmen who expect never to drive their car, as more than half of all day-to-day A8 drivers are ‘the help’. They work either for hire car companies or are private chauffeurs. The owners sit in the back, barking orders like any respectable corporate titan. The Audi A8’s main rivals are similarly lavish, $200,000-plus German luxo-barges: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the BMW 7 Series, or an English Jaguar XJ or Lexus LS. This is the ultra-refined, ultra-high-tech end of the market, where companies’ shiniest, most impressive new gadgetry debuts. At this level, choices aren’t made on price but on whether you’ll fit in at the car park of the Australian Club. That halo technology eventually filters down to more utilitarian everyman vehicles. Otherwise, though, the release of an all-new Audi A8 would be less than news to most of the motoring public, except for one thing — it drives itself. Or



rather it can, up to a point. The new Audi A8 is the world’s first production car capable of Level 3 autonomous driving. Which, to paraphrase Ron Burgundy, is kind if a big deal. There are six ‘levels’ of autonomous driving. Established by SAE International in 2014, the stages were defined to be used as common reference points to assist legislators, engineers and the public in understanding just how capable a particular vehicle is (see Level Up! box). In the new A8, and its more stylish but mechanically identical A7 sibling, the driver needn’t pay much attention to the road — in some (very well defined) circumstances. In traffic, for example, on well-marked roads or on the autobahn, the driver can read a book, use a laptop or eat cereal. Audi’s slick limo will steer itself, accelerate and brake, turn and cruise, and avoid other traffic, whether or not you’re paying attention. If it needs you to take over, it will give you 10 seconds warning before you need to take control. It scans the road ahead, negotiating the world with a combination of GPS, cameras and sensors, including Lidar, a

Man & Machine

sort of radar-by-laser. One day the machines will rise up and destroy us all, and this will be considered a significant step. But for now, we’re still in charge! The self-driving car has long been a holy grail of automotive manufacturers. While public perception has recently caught up, Audi and its rivals have been building development cars that perform incredible feats sans driver for decades. In 2010, an autonomous Audi TT used precision GPS to complete Colorado’s Pikes Peak hill climb in just 27 minutes — about 10 minutes slower than a professional racing driver would have managed in the same car. But still, not bad. This was considered a curiosity by most of the car-buying public, if they’d heard of it at all, and even by the automotive press. However, as US tech bible Wired noted in January, “in the past five years, autonomous driving has gone from ‘maybe possible’ to ‘definitely possible’ to ‘inevitable’ to ‘how did anyone ever think this wasn’t inevitable?’” Every significant motoring marque is pursuing the tech,

keen to rebrand as a ‘mobility provider’ before the concept of car ownership goes kaput and 90 per cent of us Uber to work in driverless mobility boxes. Google’s self-driving car project launched in 2009, but Intel and Apple, among others, are working on their own tech. Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Tesla; basically everyone, really, has debuted concept cars that show where they’re going, mapping out a rough timeline to get there. Last year, Elon Musk announced every Tesla would feature eight cameras, radar, a dozen ultrasonic sensors and a powerful super-computer, declaring (in trademark fashion, well ahead of his tech teams’ progress) that self-driving Teslas were soon to arrive. In January, Toyota demonstrated a Lexus LS 600L, an Audi A8 rival, that used Lidar to ‘see’ 200 metres in every direction. Things are happening in Australia, too, regardless of, or sometimes as a challenge to, infrastructure and laws. Last year, the Mercedes-Benz autonomous driving program team took a development test S-Class from Sydney to Melbourne. It showed similar abilities to the new A8: steering indefinitely on freeways, changing lanes when prompted, slowing for bends on winding roads. It passed with close to flying colours — although, like anyone not familiar with Melbourne, was eventually baffled by hook turns. It was also not strictly street legal; Mercedes received special permission to conduct the test, within strict boundaries (someone was always in the driver’s seat). Which points to the main roadblock to the progress of self-driving vehicles. Worldwide, tech is moving much faster than legislation. Road laws are even less in sync in Australia. While autonomous test cars are already cruising roadways from California to London, there are issues. Foremost is infrastructure: cars must be able to read road signs and understand non-uniform road markings. In Australia, the A8’s full suite of capabilities will be disabled until legislators are convinced it is safe. Second involves moral and ethical issues. Namely: if a car crashes, who is at fault? Audi got around that simply last year: by owning it. The brand’s boss of pre-development of automated driving, Dr Thorsten Leonhardt, told Australian journos that his company was confident in its technology and would accept the insurance liability risk. Leonhardt didn’t explain what a car’s AI would do when faced with a choice of, for example, either ploughing into a crowd to save the driver or driving off a cliff to save the crowd. Level 3 capability is already here. Levels 4 and 5 are anywhere from a few years to a decade away. Audi, and the rest, have time to figure it out. For now, it’s the boss barking orders from the back seat. Eventually, it’ll be all of us. APRIL/MAY 2018































Find all the words listed hidden in the grid of letters. They can be found in straight lines up, down, forwards, backwards or even diagonally. Theme: ANT WORDS







DOWN 1. Monotony 2. Become tattered 3. Unknown writer 4. Refreshments booth 5. Widening 6. Light-bulb inventor 9. Niggling worry 11. Documents fastener 13. ... sleeping dogs lie 15. NE US state 16. Personal money order 18. Dally 19. Director, Woody ... 21. Assignment 22. Prison


ACROSS 1. Lovers’ squabbles 7. Undid (skirt) 8. Fear 10. Children 12. Rissole 14. Yemen port 16. Burlesque actress 17. Exerted (oneself) 20. Intensifying (of war) 23. Relieved 24. All of space, the ... 25. Situate


• Barry • Carcoar • Hobbys Yards • Kings Plains • Lyndhurst • Mandurama • Millthorpe • Neville • Newbridge

Indulge in the region’s vibrant local festivals, beautiful gardens, sporting pursuits, fresh produce, rich culture, arts community and heritage. Spring




Spring Flower Show Lyndhurst Market Day Carcoar Show Carcoar Cup Running Festival Millthorpe Garden Ramble Neville Show

Millthorpe Markets Blayney Carols by Candlelight Millfest Carcoar Australia Day Parade and Street Fair Newbridge Swap Meet & Market Day

B2B Cycling Festival Blayney Hay Bale Art Challenge Blayney Show Textures of One Art Exhibition & Arts Festival Blayney Book Fair Millthorpe Markets Millamolong Polo Carnival Lyndhurst Team Penning

Newbridge Winter Solstice Festival Winter Wonderland activities Community Movie Night Carcoar Bright Lights and Whimsical Nights

Monthly Pym Street Markets, Millthorpe Acoustic Sundays, Millthorpe Blayney Farmers’ Markets

Orange Forest Reefs


Lyndhurst Neville


97 Adelaide Street, Blayney • Ph 02 6368 3534 • Fx 02 6368 4360


Carcoar Mandurama

See the ‘What’s On’ events listing at

Blayney Shire Visitor Information Centre


Newbridge Barry Hobbys Yards Trunkey Creek

#warmwelcome #historicvillages

Airnorth Magazine - April/May 2018  

Airnorth is the major aviation operator in Northern Australia, carrying in excess of 330,000 passengers annually. The company operates over...

Airnorth Magazine - April/May 2018  

Airnorth is the major aviation operator in Northern Australia, carrying in excess of 330,000 passengers annually. The company operates over...