Title: The Uglymen’s Association

Artist Sue Cotton adopted the Coolgardie safe from the Pensioner Guard Cottage in Bassendean to create her homage to a band of ordinary men who did extraordinary things for their community. The Uglymen’s Association was formed in 1917 in Perth and Fremantle, working on houses for war widows and raising funds for hospitals, X-¬ray machines, children’s clinics and orphanages throughout Western Australia. 

Sue explains ” I found their faces in old photographs, giving them another life as I sketched. Putting them safely inside I hope to honour in a small way. If people look at their portraits and read of the work they did, this group of men will be remembered for a moment.”

San Francisco taxi drivers last week voted to form the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance (SFTWA) and affiliate with the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA). They are the second group of taxi workers in recent weeks to join with NTWA following the Montgomery County (Md.) Professional Drivers Union’s affiliation.

Beth Powder, a driver for DeSoto Cab. Co., told the San Francisco Examiner:

Cabdrivers are very independent people, and that’s one of the beauties of this industry—that you have a diverse group of people who bring all these different elements to the table. Unfortunately, what it translates to for everybody else is that we can’t get together and find consensus. But we’ve done just that.

NTWA President Bhairavi Desai said:

San Francisco used to have progressive working conditions, in that every driver could earn a medallion and it was a very progressive model. But in the last 10 years, San Francisco has been faced with very bitter attacks, with [rideshares] being the latest of the attacks.

“San Francisco drivers’ vote Wednesday signifies their readiness to defeat attacks on labor.” – Bhairavi Desai http://t.co/10Aqu6nRnE #taxi— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) August 15, 2014

The 150 drivers who voted unanimously to form the SFTWA also pledged to mobilize to bring more drivers into the union.

San Francisco taxi workers were unionized before World War II, but by the late 1970s unions had faded. Mark Gruberg, 72, a taxi driver for 30 years who is still driving, told the Examiner:

There’s a new breath of life in unionism. And we in San Francisco are going to be part and parcel of that.

In a post on NTWA’s Facebook page about the San Francisco action, Javaid Tariq comments, “Taxi drivers are united all over the USA.”

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

Title: Fragments of Memory

Geraldton printmaker Helen Clarke has created a exquisite suite of works on paper that have been beautifully installed in a Coolgardie safe from the Chapman Valley Historical Society.

Helen’s work explores the fragility and durability of memory shown by the collected fragments left behind by former generations. She has carefully gathered bits and pieces, fragments on the ground, sometimes organic, sometimes created by humans - all imbued with memories. Helen’s use of etching as a medium allows her to sensitively render the ageing of the objects she has depicted.

San Francisco Taxi Workers Vote to Unionize 


San Francisco taxi drivers last week voted to form the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance (SFTWA) and affiliate with the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA). They are the second group of taxi workers in recent weeks to join with NTWA following the Montgomery County (Md.) Professional Drivers Union’s affiliation.

Beth Powder, a driver for DeSoto Cab. Co., told the San Francisco Examiner…

Akuafoɔ Mpaebɔ

Afe biara, ansa na akuafoɔ bɛpam na wadua wɔn nnuban no, wɔbɔ mpaeɛ ma Asaase Yaa ne wɔ nana nom a ɔdii wɔn anim kan dɔɔ asaase no sɛ wɔbɛhyira wɔn nfuo ama aso. Wɔgu nsa na wabɔ saa mpaeɛ yi:

Nana Asomasi, wo na wobɛdɔɔ ha na wode gyaa me.
Asaase Yaa, wo na merebɛdɔ wo so.
Afe ano ahyia na merebɛdɔ.
Sɛ mereyɛ adwuma a, ma afrihyia pa nto me.
Mma sikan ntwa me,
Mma dua mmu mmɔ me,
Mma ɔwɔ nka me.

17 Ɔsanaa 2014

The Piccadilly Cinemas, the last of Perth’s ‘Picture Palaces’ operating in the city, has closed. Run continuously as a cinema from the time of it’s construction in 1938 (Classified by the Trust in 1988), the cinema was one of Perth’s more notable Art Deco cinemas, still retaining a number of its original features. The Arcade was a ‘gift’ to the people of Western Australia from the mining entrepreneur Claude de Bernales who was also responsible for nearby London Court. We hope a new lease holder can be found, or that the cinema is adapted sympathetically for re-use. 

Title: A Patchwork of Memories
Artist: Caroline Telfer

Darkan artist Caroline Telfer uses her camera to document abandoned dwellingsin the Westv Arthur Shire. For Safe Keeping, she has selected some of these images to create a work that pieces together parts of this history in a patchwork.

Caro is not one hundred percent sure of the provenance of her Coolgardie safe. It may have come from her great aunt’s farm at Pingrup. (She was Clare Solly, a renowned singer in the 1920s and 30s and later lived alone on her farm until her just before her death in  1983.) If not, then it is one that her parents bought to replace it when they were increasing their collection of kitchen antiques when they owned the Imperial Inn at York (WA) in the 1990s. The manufacturer’s stencil on the top of the safe says “GEO. W. PRESTAGE & CO, MANUFACTURERS, MID JUNCTION”


Museum and Arts Centre (former Lunatic Asylum) at 1 Finnerty Street (cnr. Ord Street), Fremantle, was built in 1861-65, and has later additions. The Trust Classified the place in 1973. Architecturally it is an outstanding example of the Colonial Gothic style. Originally built as a lunatic asylum it was later used successfully as an Old Women’s Home, a headquarters of the U.S. Forces in WWII and an annexe of Fremantle Technical School. It now houses the Fremantle Arts Complex and Museum.

We need to create more content in Australian Indigenous languages. Encourage more language centres and active language speakers. Support the right people with administrative and technological help. By doing these things, we will be helping tourism, young rangers, health workers, teachers and students.

Put simply, culture, language and heritage matter. The fact is schools in the Northern Territory where I live have, for the last ten years, overlooked the importance of Australian Indigenous languages and cross-generational learning.

I have witnessed first hand how little importance we have placed on Australian Indigenous languages even though bilingualism is a gift for us as a nation. The same could probably be said for the United States or Canada.

I wonder how many Indigenous language groups are known or could be named by the majority of Australians? I look forward to the day a prime minister of this country can speak one of the many Australian Indigenous languages. Now that would be something.

We need to celebrate the multilingual diversity of Australia, especially amongst its first people. Instead of devaluing the fact that this nation’s first people can speak several languages, can we respect two-way learning? Let’s cherish the wealth and wonder of people who still know these old, rare languages and stories that we have tried so hard to eradicate.

—  Chris Raja, ABC Indigenous