Monday, 17 January 2011

coming up 2011 Teaching and Learning Forum in Perth

The 2011 Teaching and Learning Forum is coming up in Perth on 1-2 February, 2011.

This year it is being hosted at Edith Cowan University, at the Joondalup Campus.

This year's conference title and theme is: Developing student skills for the next decade

all about...

"English language proficiency, written English language proficiency, numeracy, oral communication, employability, diversity, internationalisation, information literacy, IT, interpersonal skills, critical thinking and students with disabilities."

You can register on the website:

The details of the campus location are:

Edith Cowan University
270 Joondalup Drive

Monday, 10 January 2011

Sharing biodiversity data on Atlas of Living Australia

Australia's biodiversity data is being shared on the wonderful new site, The Atlas of Living Australia ( which was launched in November 2010 . This is an example of shared data on a huge scale and presented in a visual way that people can relate to.

The Atlas of Living Australia is a "collaborative, national project focused on making biodiversity information more accessible and useable online". The site includes sections where you:

Get started including how-to tutorials
Explore information on species, maps, collections and regions
Share sightings, photos and information

The atlas is a result collaboration between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian museums, the Australian Government and other partners.

Media release
states that the site "already holds over 23 million records on the distribution of Australia’s fauna and flora, in addition to maps, images and literature. Members of the public can help to build the database by contributing local photographs and information."

Go and check it out.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Books I read in 2010

I’ve been inspired by Ruminations list of books read in 2010 to come up with my own list of what I read in 2010. I hadn’t actually kept track, apart from the bookgroup readings, but here’s an approximate list of those read in the year. New Year's Resolution read more in 2011...

B indicates the bookgroup ones and A the Australian ones.

1. A year of wonders : a novel of the plague by Geraldine Brooks
2. Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
3. War and peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. The spare room by Helen Garner (A)
5. Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey (A)
6. Lovesong by Alex Miller (A)
7. Purple hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
8. Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
9. Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd (B)
10. The Other Side of You by Sally Vickers (B)
11. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (B)
12. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (A) (B)
13. Wanting by Richard Flanagan (A) (B)
14. The Black Englishman by Carolyn Slaughter (B)
15. The Red Highway by Nicholas Rothwell (A) (B)
16. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
17. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
18. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson
19. A Journey Tony Blair


The Spare Room by Helen Garner would be my highlight. It's about a friend dying of cancer who comes to stay in the spare room. Don’t be put off by the subject matter as the clear writing and honesty make it shine. What a wonderful writer Helen Garner is, and she is not afraid of tackling difficult subjects. Joe Cinque's Consolation is another amazing book by HG.

Ordinary Thunderstorms is a rollicking good whodunit story about a guy who loses all his ID and survives on the streets of London while trying to get back his life and find the criminals. It would make a great movie. I’ve read another by William Boyd (Armadillo), also excellent and they did make a movie of that.

And I finally read War and Peace which, according to Elaine in Seinfeld was really meant to be called “War what is it good for” ;). Once you get your head around all the characters (hint: make a list) and the fact that they all have many different names you can get an entree into the story.

Two of these I read as ebooks on my Kindle: A Journey Tony Blair and Lovesong by Alex Miller

Six of those, the (A) ones are Australian literature. Geraldine Brooks is Australian too, but I don’t think of her as writing about Australia, especially.