My Blog

The Skull in the Mountain Stream

It was William Hand who found a skull back in 1891 in a stream not far from his Silvan property: a European skull with a hole battered in it. Identification was impossible,. A local assumption was that it belonged to a man who had mysteriously disappeared...

The Research Journey: The Problem of Proof

In 1990 I joined the Australian Rare Fauna Research Association (ARFRA),founded in 1984 by Peter Chapple (1958-2002) following an encounter with a big cat in the Dandenong Ranges, after viewing some of the evidence gathered by the association. I...

The Dandenongs Goldfields: Early Signs

From the earliest days of settlement, rumours of gold abounded. Throughout the 1840s, as squatters and their shepherds spread over the colony, followed by explorers, splitters, surveyors and stock assessors, scattered finds were made all over Victoria. But...

Sunset in Silver and Black

Windwires and fibrillating larksong
over John’s Hill –
Veiled orb silvers leaves, draws colour
from charcoal bands striping pale fields,
dazzles on distant sea spread low
far down beneath the hazy wrinkled plain.


Shakespeare writes of mercy falling as the “gentle rain from heaven”. Rain doesn’t always fall; in a Scotch mist it drifts, almost suspended.
A medieval poet yearned in the warm rain:
Westron wind, when wilt thou blow?
The warm rain down doth rain.
Oh, that my love were by my side
And I in her arms again.

Monbulk Aborigines

from Monbulk: Living in the DandenongsCHAPTER 1 – MONBULK: Living in the DandenongsBilloo’s PeopleBilloo was only twelve years old, they said, when he saw the smoke signal, and set off down the Monbulk Creek for his first amazing view of the sea....