Category Archives: bathurst: my home town

let me show you round

Quiet reflections on a netball court

Over the years we have spent many hours on the cold, wintry sidelines of the netball courts in Bathurst. More recently I’ve been walking Polly across them of a morning.

We’ve finally got some winter and there’s been rain – too too much of it on the coast but out our way it’s been much much needed. And with the rain has come the colour. Deep and autumnal, the hidden textures that are washed out in summer have been quietly revealing themselves.

Beautiful little landscapes so easily overlooked.


Mini aerials from central Australia.




Soft, shadowy coastal hues.


Who knew there were paintings waiting to be painted in them their netball courts.

turquoise 2

A quiet exercise in abstraction. In simplification. In looking.


That’s my current here and now.

Stay warm lovelies.



An open letter to Rod Smith, Regis Resources

river painting 2

Dear Rod,

It was a pity that you ducked away early from last night’s Council meeting.

Had you stayed after your presentation, you would have been able to put faces to the names of those who have voiced their various opinions – for and against – about your proposal to buy Bathurst’s recycled water which translates to denying 8-10 million litres of water a day from the Macquarie (Wambool) River.

Had you stayed, as the full chamber of residents did, listening with interest to a record breaking, vibrant, feisty, public question time and waiting for the Council vote, you would have heard a wide range of concerns, issues and experiences. And yes, you would have felt our passion, our emotion.

In your submission you caution Council to be wary of emotive opposition, but we, as residents, as ratepayers, tree changers, fisherman, business owners, and proud Bathurstians all, we are the ones who choose to stay rather than blow through, and we have every right to be passionate about this issue.

This is our home.

The river is our lifeblood.


So let me caution you Rod.


Bathurst is a region with smarts. It’s a region with talents. A region of creatives. Of academics. Of people who know and understand the land. It’s a region with history and heritage and a seductive landscape that creeps into your soul and the Macquarie (Wambool) lies at the centre of it all. So when you visit our home I would ask that you treat it, and us, with respect.

People have told me during the week that it’s standard practice for mining companies to offer sweeteners to local businesses and organisations. It might be standard practice but that does not make it honourable.

I assume now, Regis’s energies will be focused on delivering up an Environmental Impact Study to support your DA. An Environmental Impact Study that your company will commission and pay for.

Well, when that’s ready, we will still be here.

Ironically your proposal has brought us all together. And we are stronger for it. This campaign has reminded us what an eclectic, brilliant, egalitarian and resilient community Bathurst is. And when new people, and businesses, come to this region we want them to come – as Cr Jess Jennings said last night – as family.

The foundations are laid. Bathurst is drawing a line in the sand Rod. We’re suggesting it’s time the mining juggernaut in this country learnt where the brakes are. And in the years to come we hope Bathurst will be known as the region that stopped the runaway mining freight train.


We all learnt something last night.

Had you stayed you would have learnt it too.

It’s the Wiradyuri word for respect and go slowly.



Yindyamarra Rod.

Have a good day.




To anyone interested, please join the Don’t Mine The Macquarie Facebook group.


The gold miner and the dragonfly … a modern day parable

macquarie river sketch M.Hogan

Macquarie River. From the sketchbook. M.Hogan


“Will you sell me your river?” the gold miner asked the dragonfly.
“Where would I live?” asked the dragonfly.
“On another river,” said the gold miner.
“I don’t have another river,” said the dragonfly, “This is the only river I have.”

“Will you sell me your river?” the gold miner asked the frogs.
“Where would we live?” asked the frogs.
“On another river,” said the gold miner.
“We don’t have another river,” said the frogs, “This is the only river we have.”

The gold miner went to the kangaroos, the platypus, the trout cod (who were particularly hard to find), the wild ducks, the tiny crustaceans, the river birds … he spoke to all the animals and asked them all the same question…

“Will you sell me your river?”
“Where would we live?” all the animals replied.
“On another river,” said the gold miner.
“We don’t have another river,” said the animals, “This is the only river we have.”

The gold miner was getting frustrated so he went to speak to the elders.

“Will you sell me your river?” the gold miner asked the Wiradyuri elders.
“Where would we live?” asked the elders.
“On another river,” said the gold miner.
“Another Wambool?” asked the elders. “There isn’t another Wambool. This is the only Wambool we have.”

“Hmmm,” thought the gold miner. “I know what I’ll do. I’ll go to the Council.”

“Will you sell me your river?” the gold miner asked the councillors.

And all of a sudden the river went quiet and every living creature that lived along the river listened intently to what they would say…


Two conversations from the week.

An acquaintance …

“I’m thinking of leaving Bathurst.”
“Where would you go?” I asked, a little stunned.
“To somewhere where they have no environment.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“To somewhere where they’ve completely screwed up their environment, where there is no environment left, where they’ve realised the error of their ways, and where they want to rebuild the environment. That’s where I’d go.”


Dinawan Dyirribang, Wiradyuri elder…

“It’s our life blood because the rivers and creeks are like the veins in your body … they carry blood so you survive … the water that comes down our rivers and creeks does the same thing.”

Please don’t defer the vote on Wednesday councillors.
Please protect the Macquarie (Wambool) River and everything that lives along it.
For now and future generations.

Please vote no.


I’d be grateful if you’d share this one. Two days and counting …

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    Hi I’m Margaret Hogan, an Australian based designer, writer and artist.
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