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Fishing with Greenwoods Fishing Adventures

This week on Norfolk Island the fishing has been reasonable with catches of sweetlip and chinaman cod from the reefs. In closer and the boys have been finding a few silver trevally and kingfish off the rocks with the odd yellowfin still hanging around. 

In the deep water bar cod have been thick, these fish are delicious and greatly underrated on the Island. The sea birds are now here in huge numbers so we can expect an influx of baitfish in the coming weeks with the warmer currents. Whales are still being seen regularly but they should be all past us soon on their journey North. The week ahead should see some better catches coming up to the new moon.

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Fishing with Greenwoods Fishing Adventures

It’s now mid August and the water temperature has only just in the past week dropped to 19 degrees. 

With the rich colder water we are seeing a range of different species that aren’t always that common here. 

This week alone we’ve seen Amberjack, Samson Fish, Diamond Trevally, Rainbow Runner and a large Yellow Tail Fusilier caught in our waters. We’ve also seen a big increase in whales this week, humpbacks and false killer whales. 

Rock fishing has been good with a few quality Trevally being landed and some better Kings. Out wide the Bar Cod and Kingfish are loving the cooler water and feeding hard. One fish that’s worth a mention was the 21kg Samson Fish caught spearfishing by Jamie Ryves. Great fish and very unusual for Norfolk. 

The week ahead looks windier than we’d like but there’s still a couple of fishing days for us to wet a line. 

Catch you all next week.

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Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service – Update

Health and Wellbeing Expo

Planning for the FREE community focussed Health and Wellbeing Expo to be held on 14 July from 10am – 2pm in Rawson Hall ,is well underway. The Expo will showcase the diverse range of health and wellbeing services available on Norfolk Island and will provide lots of information about new programs and initiatives such as My Health Record.

We are also planning on having a range of demonstrations and talks on many health-related topics as well as lots of tasty and healthy food options available to purchase.

For more information or if you wish to participate in the Expo please contact Karen Innes-Walker, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator on 22687 or 52592 or by email on

Capital Works

Upgrading of our infrastructure continues with work currently underway to restore the water bore and fence off the gas cylinders.  New signage at the main entrance and other key locations around NIHRACS will soon be erected.

Renovations continue in the GP Clinic area.  The GP consult rooms are nearing completion and the emergency/treatment room will undergo renovations from the 18 June.  While this work is underway the old ‘maternity area’ will used. We thank you for your patience and apologise for any inconvenience to the community.

GP Clinic

Hours of Operation

The GP Clinic is open from 8.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm Monday to Friday.  Please note the clinic is closed for lunch from 12.30 – 1.30pm.  Please call for appointments only during opening hours.

How long should you book your appointment for?

Most appointments with your GP only require 15 minutes.  If you have multiple issues or you think they are complex and will require extensive discussion, please let our receptionist know that you would like a long appointment. This will ensure you have the time needed with your GP and will assist us in managing the GPs time and patient flow.

Locum GP - Dr Kate Haynes

Dr Kate Haynes will join us as a locum GP from Tuesday 11 June.  Dr Kate will be with us for three weeks and will return at the end of August for a month.  For an appointment with Dr Kate please call the clinic on 24134.

Diabetes Clinic

These will now be held monthly.  Please call 24134 to book an appointment.

Women’s Wellness Clinic

The Women’s Wellness program continues. Interested women of all ages are encouraged to book an appointment (lasting forty minutes) with Dr Jenny Sexton on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.  Please mention ‘Women’s Wellness’ when making the appointment – phone 24134.

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Fishing with Greenwoods Fishing Adventures

It’s Country Music week on Norfolk Island and usually it’s pouring with rain but this year it’s been mostly fine sunny days. 

he ocean on the other hand has been wild with huge south westerly swells smashing into the coast. Just before it picked up though there was a couple of magic days on the water and from what I’ve heard everyone had a good catch. 

Sweetlip were the main target and were an easy target. Kingfish were also biting well on baits and hitting metal jigs making for some great sport. With all the scraps getting thrown back into the ocean at the Piers from Saturday’s catches by Sunday there were some big Tiger Sharks right up in the shallows getting a feed.

Apparently there were 3 at Cascade Pier doing there thing but the one at Kingston Pier was huge! 

Around 5 meters long and very fat. The week ahead isn’t that inviting for Fishing but I’m sure we will get out at least once. 

See you then

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Life on the West Island Our tradition of torture

Do the West Island community and government support the use of torture? I do not just mean that we turn a blind eye to the use of torture by our allies and great and powerful friends – but are we active participants in perpetrating torture?

These worrying questions were brought to mind by an incisive article this month on the Harvard University Press website concerning a recent book written by award-winning historian W Fitzhugh Brundage: Civilizing Torture: An American Tradition.

Brundage demonstrates that alongside the long American lineage of denouncing torture there’s an equally enduring culture of both embracing and excusing barbarism. He revisits a series of moments and practices - from the initial contact of Europeans with North America, to the early American republic, to slavery, to the American imperial project, to local law enforcement’s embrace of “the third degree,” through the Cold War, and up to the present - to demonstrate that behaviour considered to have been torturous in its own time has been far more prevalent in U.S. history than Americans acknowledge. 

This extract from the book encapsulates Brundage’s argument:

In April 1858 Harper’s Weekly, one of the most popular American magazines of the day, published a gruesome article entitled “Torture and Homicide in an American State Prison.” Accompanied by graphic illustrations, the article dwelled on the so-called “water cure,” a punishment during which an inmate was stripped and seated in a stall with his feet and arms fastened in stocks and his head extended up into a tank that fit snugly around his neck. The prisoner’s head was drenched with freezing cold water that cascaded down from a height of a foot or more for several minutes at a time. The tank that encircled the prisoner’s neck emptied slowly, inducing a sensation of drowning while the prisoner struggled to keep his mouth and nose above the pool of draining water.

Thirty years later an investigation of practices at Elmira Reformatory, the most acclaimed American penal institution of the day, revealed that staff there continued to douse prisoners with cold water, in addition to confining them in darkened cells for weeks on end, shackling and hoisting them until their toes barely touched the floor, and “paddling” them with specially made boards.

Much later, the outlines of the “enhanced interrogation” methods adopted by the Central Intelligence Agency and military interrogators during the “War on Terror” became public. Americans learned that between 2003 and 2006 at least eighty-nine Middle Eastern detainees in CIA custody had been slapped, slammed against walls, deprived of sleep, stuffed into coffins, and threatened with violent death. The most severe method was “waterboarding,” a modern-day variant of the technique applied a century and a half earlier in American prisons. Waterboarding entailed pouring water over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized detainee, which produced an acute sensation of drowning. One detainee endured more than 180 waterboarding sessions.

Torture in the United States has been in plain sight, at least for those who have looked for it.

This caused me to consider whether Brundage’s searing analysis could apply to the West Island. The answer is clear – as nation we have systematically and callously closed our eyes to the torture on which our “civilised” nation was built and which continues to be perpetrated today.

While the West Island may not have had the odious slavery upon which much American wealth was (and is) based, European settlement was largely built on the unpaid labour of unwilling convict emigrants, who suffered horrific punishments for real or assumed minor misdemeanours. You need look no further than the records of 1,000 lashes administered to convict labourers in Norfolk Island, spread out over many weeks to ensure maximum suffering. Then there were the 60,000 or more Aboriginals murdered in the Frontier Wars, often suffering horrific deaths from poisoned food or water or driven over cliffs by pack of dogs.

But the West Island’s use of torture did not end in the nineteenth century. Recent Royal Commission findings about the treatment of youths in detention include behaviour which can only be described as torture, while our indefinite imprisonment without trial of asylum seekers on island hellholes has been condemned by the United Nations as both illegal and a form of torture.

Like Americans, we like to hold ourselves out to the world out as paragons of democratic liberty and to sneer at and condemn other countries for their applications of inhumane torture against their citizens. Perhaps, instead, we should bear in mind the words of Jesus Christ: …let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone (John 8:7).

West Island economic wealth has been built on torture and dispossession since European settlement in 1788. Regrettably, we continue to turn a blind eye to the use of torture and inhumane policies by our government and our powerful allies. It’s long since time to own up to our inexcusable practices and to take action to become a genuinely civilised society.

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Life on the West Island - Apocalypse soon?

Sadly, the Sydney Writers’ Festival is over, so we can now drop back into our normal West Island torpor for another year! We managed to attend a good number of interesting and thought-provoking events at the 2018 Festival, most of which were held at the historic Eveleigh Carriageworks (between Newtown and Redfern in Sydney). This year, there were no trams there, but instead dozens of interesting interviews and discussions involving established and emerging authors from our nation and overseas.

The presentation which we most enjoyed was by the creator of First Dog on the Moon's Guide to Living Through the Impending Apocalypse. You may have encountered the cartoons and witty prose of First Dog on the Moon for eight years on the news website Crikey, or more recently in the pages of The Guardian. He is also the self-proclaimed “official cartoonist” of the Western Bulldogs AFL team. For those who still do not recognise this undoubted National Treasure, his self- portrait is above.  

The cartoonist refers to himself as Mr Onthemoon (his real name is Andrew Marlton) and says that his work can be classified as “anarcho-marsupialist”. He certainly has a fascination with West Island marsupials, which appear in almost all of his cartoons. Such characters as Fiona the Unemployed Bettong and the ABC Interpretative Dance Bandicoot are regulars, although Ian the Climate Denialist Potato could hardly be described as a marsupial!

Anyway, Mr Onthemoon’s interactive Powerpoint presentation and talk was extremely entertaining – and provocative. He detailed how we might prepare for a vast range of world-ending events – which he called “apocali.” These included the death of all bees (and 80% of food crops requiring their pollination); global pandemics (he calls them “influenzageddon”); nuclear war; and invasions by aliens. The probability of each of these can be measured by Mr Onthemoon’s remarkable electronic device the Prognostotron 5000. This incredible machine assesses the chances of each apocalypse occurring on a scale ranging from No Chance through Oh My Trousers to It’s Happening!

Fortunately, in his talk and the book Mr Onthemoon also gives helpful hints on how to prepare for each possible catastrophe by compiling eccentric collections of essential materials including huge quantities of liquid bleach; chihuahua-themed vacuum flasks; tactical sporks; and plenty of changes of underwear. The author gives a disclaimer that not all information in the book is factually correct – but he does not identify which bits might be true or false!. 

But Mr Onthemoon’s book is not all cynical and humorous, as it also reveals his heartfelt political views, such as searing criticism of the West Island’s offshore detention of asylum seekers. The book includes a serious and passionate chapter about his ongoing relationship with an Iranian cartoonist, who is an asylum seeker in detention in Manus Island. There are several cartoons by Ali in the book, together with some harrowing SMS conversations between the two. First Dog's conclusion:

Lots of people face death and brutality every day - and I am writing this in a painting studio in an artisanal warehouse in Brunswick - I have a lot of feelings. And I am sitting here talking (ie by SMS) to this talented lively young man who is probably going to die soon. (He was on a hunger strike at the time.) I would have been dead for two years if they locked me in Manus.

On the West Island, as elsewhere, life may imitate art, so we have begun our collection of essential survival supplies and are thinking of digging up the garden to create an underground shelter. But it would be a pity not to be able to smell the roses…

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