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2 December 2020 at 9:49 am
1970 – The numbat is officially listed as endangered.
The numbat was officially listed as endangered on 2 December 1970. Since that time, the Department of Environment and Conservation of Western Australia has established a number of programmes to try and ensure the continued survival of this delicate and defenceless marsupial. In the 1980s, Perth Zoo also commenced a captive breeding programme for the purpose of releasing numbats back into protected wildlife reserves.
Richter’s Myrmecobius fasciatus, 1845.
The numbat first became known to Europeans in 1831. The first classification of specimens was published by George Robert Waterhouse, describing the species in 1836 and the family in 1841. Myrmecobius fasciatus was included in the first part of John Gould’s The Mammals of Australia, issued in 1845, with a plate by H. C. Richter illustrating the species.
The Numbat is an insectivorous marsupial native to Western Australia and recently re-introduced to South Australia. The species is also known as noombat or walpurti. Its diet consists almost exclusively of termites. Once widespread across southern Australia, its range is now restricted to several small colonies and it is considered an endangered species. The numbat is an emblem of Western Australia and protected by conservation programs.
Despite the encouraging degree of success so far, the numbat remains at considerable risk of extinction and is classified as an endangered species
Like many ant or termite eating animals, the numbat has a long and narrow tongue coated with sticky saliva.
An adult numbat requires up to 20,000 termites each day. The only marsupial fully active by day, the numbat spends most of its time searching for termites.
2 December 2020 at 1:20 pm
What an adorable little creature.
2 December 2020 at 9:50 am
1986 – Justice Mary Gaudron is the first woman appointed to the High Court of Australia.
Mary Genevieve Gaudron QC (born 5 January 1943), is an Australian lawyer and judge, who was the first female Justice of the High Court of Australia. She was the Solicitor-General of New South Wales from 1981 until 1987 before her appointment to the High Court. After her retirement in 2002, she joined the International Labour Organization, serving as the President of its Administrative Tribunal from 2011 until 2014.
Gaudron was born in Moree, in northern rural New South Wales in 1943, the daughter of working class parents Edward and Grace. Gaudron would later speak about the intense racism towards Indigenous Australians which was part of everyday life in Moree and how it influenced her strong opposition to all forms of discrimination.
Swearing in of Governor-General Quentin Bryce L to R: Chief Justice of the High Court, The Hon. Mary Gaudron AC QC, Prime Minister Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Attorney-General Hon. Nicola Roxon MP.
The death of Justice Lionel Murphy in October 1986 and the retirement of Chief Justice Harry Gibbs in February 1987 created two vacancies on the High Court. On 6 February 1987, John Toohey and Gaudron were appointed to the court. At just 44 years of age, Gaudron was the fourth youngest Justice, after Evatt, McTiernan and Dixon, as well as the first female Justice.
As a High Court Justice, Gaudron contributed to every area of Australian law, most notably to Australian criminal law, in judgments that “combine technical mastery with a general tendency to insist on strict compliance by trial judges with their obligations in directing juries”.
Gaudron was part of the progressive Mason and Brennan courts, which decided such influential cases as Cole v Whitfield, Dietrich v The Queen and the Mabo case.
2 December 2020 at 9:53 am
1994 – Australian government agrees to pay reparations to aborigines that were displaced during the nuclear tests in 1950s and 1960s.
Compensation to traditional owners for British nuclear testing
Traditional owners will finally get full access to their homelands at Maralinga with Defence giving up its weapons testing range. The site in the South Australian outback was the site of British atomic bomb testing during the 1950s and 1960s. Most of the Maralinga-Tjarutja land was handed back to indigenous people in 2009 after rehabilitation work was completed. Defence held on to the weapons testing range in the Woomera Prohibited Area. But the 1782 square kilometre site has been officially handed back to the Aboriginal community on Wednesday, November 5 2014. Maralinga is 516 kilometres from Ceduna. Source: 2014 SBS story
The Maralinga area in South Australia was used by the British government for nuclear weapons development tests between 1952 and 1963. The nuclear testings lead to widespread dispersion of radioactive material in the local environment. About 1,200 Aboriginal people were exposed to radiation during the testing.
The radioactive fallout, called “puyu” (black mist) by Aboriginal people, caused sore eyes, skin rashes, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever and the early death of entire families. The explosion caused blindness. Long term illnesses such as cancer and lung disease were found in the 1980s. UK servicemen, Australian soldiers and civilians, including Indigenous people, were all exposed to radiation and the subsequent health problems.
As traditional owners of the land, in 1994, the Maralinga-Tjarutja people were paid $13.5 million dollars in compensation by the Commonwealth in a deal struck between Australia and Britain in response to the 1985 Royal Commission into the tests.
2 December 2020 at 1:25 pm
Why was this site chosen?
During The Cold War, the British were keen to develop nuclear weapons of its own.
“If we are unable to make the bomb ourselves, and have to rely entirely on the United States for this vital weapon, we shall sink to the rank of a second-class nation,” said Lord Cherwell, scientific advisor to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
2 December 2020 at 9:54 am
1998 – The Linton bushfire claims the lives of five volunteer firefighters from Geelong.
The Linton Bushfire was a wildfire that burned through private land and state forests near the township of Linton, Victoria on 2 December 1998. Firefighters from the Victorian state government’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Country Fire Authority (CFA) were deployed to put out the fire.
The crew of one of those appliances, five men from Geelong, that were all volunteers from the Geelong West CFA Station were killed.
At approximately 8.45pm, two firefighting appliances and their crews were entrapped and engulfed in fire following an unexpected wind change. The Linton bushfire covered a maximum land of 660 hectares of private and public land.
Linton Firefighters Memorial. The five Geelong West volunteer firefighters that died in the Linton fire were Christopher Evans, Garry Vredeveldt, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas and Matthew Armstrong.
The coronial inquest examining the fire and the deaths, were one of the longest-running inquests in the history of the state. The Coroner held that the two fire authorities involved (Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Country Fire Authority), and the lack of CFA training to volunteers contributed to the deaths.
It was this inquest, that led to changes in safety operating procedures in the SA Country Fire Service and Victorian Country Fire Authority, relating to the Dead Man Zone.
2 December 2020 at 1:27 pm
The dead man zone is the area directly around a bushfire that is likely to burn within five minutes given the current wind conditions or an anticipated change in wind direction. The distance this zone extends from the firefront is highly dependent on terrain, windspeed, fuel type and composition, relative humidity and ambient temperature, and can range from under 100 m to well over 1 km.
2 December 2020 at 8:46 pm
Have to say I’m struggling a bit to find my way around the Meeting Place right now…Why the changed format I wonder?
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6 January 2021 at 5:44 pm
2 December 2020 at 12:57 pm
Not a Frenchman by birth, Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio on Corsica – only just sold to France by the Italian state of Genoa – on 15 August 1769 and learnt French at the school of Autun and later the military academy at Brienne. He never fully mastered French and his spelling left a lot to be desired.
2 December 2020 at 1:05 pm
History has remembered Marsden as the “Flogging Parson”.
St Matthew’s is an important Georgian church, designed by the colonial architect Francis Greenway (formerly a convict who had been transported for forgery) and built in the years 1817-20 by convicts using sandstock bricks and sandstone on the site of an earlier church. Some indication of the importance attached to the church may be drawn from the gifts of a Bible and clock for the tower, presented by King George IV. In 1840 a gallery was built to house the pipe organ and a porch was added to the southern side. The dominant feature of this fine building is the square tower with an octagonal cupola. Internally, the fine joinery and coffered ceiling are notable.