Tea Tree Passage

The following is a synopsis of the novel Tea Tree Passage by Robyn Lee Burrows from

As his arms wrapped her in a tight embrace she swayed against him, savouring the moment. There had been times during the past years when she had wondered if she would ever see him again, would ever be enclosed in those same arms. So many men hadn't come home.

After four years facing the horrors of the trenches in France , Frank Carmody returns to make a life for himself and his wife, Nina. But it's now 1919 and everything has changed.

As Frank and Nina deal with the post-war boom and the bitter blows of the Great Depression, their children seem destined to grow up in a world where nothing is certain. But even as the legacies of war echo down the generations, there remains the possibility of solace in a place called Tea-tree Passage. And perhaps there could still be love ...

Robyn Lee Burrows new novel is a compelling and powerful story of the resilience of families and the complexities of the human heart.

Tea Tree Passage

Jack Heath

Below are some videos from 19 year old (at the time of writing) Australian author Jack Heath on himself and his writing:

The Lab (Six of Hearts)

Max Quigley: Technically Not a Bully

Here is a video trailer for the young adult novel Max Quigley: Technically Not a Bully (the US version of his novel Problem Child - the name change may have been due to the US movie Problem Child):

Matthew Flinders' Cat, by Bryce Courtenay

The novel Matthew Flinders' Cat by Bryce Courtenay is described as follows on

The story of a drunk, a boy and a cat

Billy O'Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat, Trim. Ryan is a ten-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two form an unlikely bond.

Through telling Ryan the story of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia as seen through Trim's eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan's life and into the Sydney underworld.

A modern-day story of friendship and redemption by an internationally bestselling author.

Pioneer, by J.B. O'hara

Here is an Australian poem from the 1890s by J.B O'Hara:


Wild wastes of wildest seas by winds upcurled,
The Cape of Storms to bar their dauntless way,
Strange perils at the portals of our bay
When first the flag of England was unfurled;
And now the strength of Britons boldly hurled
Against dark battlements of wilds that lay
In dim magnifence from Time's first day,
And lo! the cosmic thrill of a new world!

What words august for those brave hearts of old,
What song supreme to shrine their deathless deeds,
What monumental memory to rear?-
Sufficeth they will live in sons as bold
That still shall scatter o'er the world the seeds
Whose harvest swells from ripening year to year.

Australian actors overseas

Australia has a lot of high profile actors working internationally, yet few Australian movies can attract many viewers in Australia and even less so internationally.

This has a lot to do with the proliferation of a university trained, government funded 'cultural politics' approach to filmmaking in Australia. There is also the issue of a small domestic market due to the Australian population, but that is no excuse for not appealing to an international audience. Until many more Australian filmmakers turn their back on the cashed up politically powerful 'filmic politics' crowd and the financial enticements to conform to their agenda, many of the best Australians involved in all aspects of filmmaking are likely to continue leaving Australia.

Below is an interview with Russel Crowe about Robin Hood. In 1938, Tasmanian Errol Flynn also starred in a version of Robin Hood.

Beneath Hill 60

Here is a trailer for Beneath Hill 60, a movie which follows a group of miners working as part of the Australian Army in on the western front in Europe during World War 1.

An interview with writer/co-producer David Roach on the At the Movies webpage

A review of Beneath Hill 60 can be found on

The film is set largely in tunnels and trenches. Below is a behind the scenes video featuring the tunnels which were built indoors:

The following video is a walk throuh of the trenches:

Rowan of Rin

The novel Rowan of Rin by Australian author Emily Rodda is an accessible fantasy adventure story aimed at preteen-teenage readers.

The following synopsis serves as the blurb on the back cover:

Rowan doesn't believe he has a brave heart. But when the river that supports his village of Rin runs dry, he must join a dangerous journey to its source in the forbidden Mountain. To save Rin, Rowan and his companions must conquer not only the Mountain's many tricks, but also the fierce dragon that lives at its peak.

The poetry of Les Murray

Here is a link to an article/interview with Australian poet Les murray, on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Below is one of Les Murray's poems:

The Shining Slopes and Planes

Having tacked loose tin panels
of the car shed together
Peter the carpenter walks straight up
the ladder, no hands,
and buttons down lapels of the roof.

Now his light weight is on the house
overhead, and then he's back down
bearing long straps of a wiry green
Alpine grass, root-woven, fine as fur
that has grown in our metal rain gutters.

Bird-seeded, or fetched by the wind
it has had twenty years up there
being nourished on cloud-dust, on washings
of radiant iron, on nesting debris
in which pinch-sized trees had also sprouted.

Now it tangles on the ground. And the laundry
drips jowls of coloured weight
below one walking stucco stucco
up and down overlaps, to fix
the biplane houses of Australia.

Video trailers for books

Here is link to a post on Melbourne's Scotch College Library's blog featuring a collection of trailer videos for books.

Th following is for Australian author Matthew Reilly's The Five Great Warriors:

To Australian authors and writing groups

Many of Australia's writers are affiliated with government funding agencies and large writer's collectives who provide political advocacy and marketing.

If you are an independent author or participate in an independent writer's group who does not have this kind of backing, give a shout out as a comment below or a comment on Cinema and Fiction's Facebook group.

Frank Coates

Here is a link to the website of Frank Coates. Frank is an Australian author who, like Tony Park from a previous post, writes novels set in Africa. While Tony spends time in southern Africa, Frank is in eastern Africa.

The following is a synopsis of his novel Beyond Mombasa from his website:

In 1897, Ronald Preston, a young civil engineer, takes his new bride, Florence, to Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast of Africa to begin construction of a railway line through an unchartered wilderness.

But Preston realises the Uganda Railway, later branded the ‘Lunatic Line’, is no place for a woman. Ahead lie hostile tribes, dense jungles and brutal thorn-bush deserts where his wife would be the only white woman among ten thousand men.

In the four years building the railway he must overcome political intrigues in far-away London, his taciturn caravan master who is haunted by memories of his hot-blooded woman, and a fellow engineer whose obsession with the man-eaters of Tsavo leads him into dangerous ground.

When his crewmembers are brutally killed, Preston stalks a predator more treacherous than the lions.

Based on a true story, Beyond Mombasa explores Florence Preston’s journey of discovery across Kenya as well as in her marriage, and her husband’s seduction by the power of Africa.

History of Australian cinema

Here are links to an extensive history of Australian cinema by Roderick Heath, posted on in three parts:

Part 1: 1896-1968
Part 2: 1968-1989
Part 3: 1990-2010

Pursuit of a compelling desire

Australia-based blog The Story Department has a guest post from Michael Hauge on character desire and making an emotional impact with characters in pursuit of a compelling desire. Hauge writes:

For my entire career as a screenwriting instructor, author and consultant, I have held a single guiding principle: the essential component of all successful movies is the hero’s pursuit of a compelling desire.

This sounds simple but is more difficult to do well in practice, especially for writers who approach the task with overall plot structure in mind.

The craft of comedy

Here is an episode of ABC Radio National's The Book Show, featuring a discussion with the host and three Australian comedians about how they learned the craft of comedy and what kind of vocational reading they did.

Australian cinema study podcasts

Interested in what cinema study is like at an Australian university? Here are some podcasts from Monash University on cinema.

They all (unfortunately) take a collective-imagined-identity-on-a-moral-trajectory version of a Kantian constructivist conceptual method. This means they procede as if a group mentally constructs an imagined entity which controls the group and should (contrary to the previous claim) be guided toward generating the moral endpoint of an egalitarian paradise in which the constructed abstract collective entity regulates order within the group.

This is such an entrenched line of reasoning in Australian universities that there are many versions and many ways of people adopting the same basic line of argument without knowing why they are advocating it nor acknowledging that there are alternatives to interpreting everything through sets of assumptions which result in adopting and advocating this line of argument.

Tony Martin interviews Robert McKee

Below is a video of Australian comedian Tony Martin (originally from New Zealand) interviewing Robert McKee about screeenwriting:

A Nest of Occasionals


Malcolm is, in my opinion, one of the better movies that has been made in Australia. It features a character named Malcolm who is mechanically skilled but naive in many and inexperienced in many other areas of life. When Malcolm gets fired from his job, he takes in two lodgers who turn out to be cons willing to take advantage of his mechanical ability.

The trailer for Malcolm is below:

Thriller movies

The Australia-based blog The Story Department features a post on thriller movies and what degree of plausibility a filmmaker should go for or a viewer should expect. The gist of the post can be broadly summed up in the following quote:

Most film students know that almost every thriller under the sun has plot holes and flaws in logic in them but they are still accepted and beloved by many because of so many other elements of quality craftsmanship.

Setting - Great Ocean Road

The following videos feature the Great Ocean Road, situated along a section of Australia's southern coastline. Researching settings can be useful for coming up with new story ideas and avoiding cliched treatments of setting.

Australian book reviews

If you're looking for good Australian cinema and fiction sites, there are limited options. One site with reviews of Australian books is It has an emphasis on childrens and young adult books.

It could be worth a look if you want to browse what Australian books are around and read some down-to-earth reviews, with an emphasis on a young age-group.

Sam Worthington

Before Sam Worthington was in Terminator: Salvation, Avatar or Clash of the Titans he was in a remake of Macbeth set in contemporary Melbourne and directed by Geoffrey Wright (Romper Stomper).

Here is the movie trailer:

Below is an interview with Sam Worthington about his life and getting the acting role in Avatar, on Australian TV show Rove Live:

Australian Screen Online

The Australian Screen Online website has a range videos from Australian films, but the written commentary that accompanies the videos on the site is largely bureacratically sanctioned 'cultural politics' judgments about 'dominant social practices.'

I do not recommend the written content but there are a lot of videos available to watch free on the site and the written content can be disregarded.


Crackerjack is stars Mick Molloy as Jack Simpson, a scamming telemarketer who holds a membership of his local lawn bowls club because it provides him with a convenient car park in the city.

His membership has worked well for him until the bowls club, facing financial troubles and dwindling memebership, calls on Jack to play for them in a cash-prize tournament.

Stop-motion short film Zero

Here is a trailer for Australian stop-motion short film Zero:

Below is a behind the scenes video for Zero:

For more on Zero, visit

Australian blogs on cinema and/or fiction

The following blogs are some of the better Australian ones I have come across on cinema and/or fiction:

The Story Department

Screenwriting 101 or Misadventures in WA Film

Fiction Etal

They each have interesting posts. One day I might find a post on the craft of screenwriting with reference to the work of Akira Kurosawa or Robert McKee, the next I might find a post on what is being taught in an Australian University about storytelling, the next I might find a review of a book by Australian/Canadian author Catherine Jinks or of a book by Stephen King.

For anyone interested in writing, I recommend having a browse of the above blogs.


I finally watched the movie Australia, directed by Baz Luhrman(Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge), and found it riddled with cultural politics cliches. Here is a trailer:

If your idea of a good movie is one that is designed to symbolically challenge supposed stereotypes of 'race, gender and economic class' then this is another offering of the usual stuff.

If not, you'll probably get the impression that you're being talked down to with cultural politics messages and stereotypes that don't quite work.

Tony Park

Here are podcasts by Tony Park, an Australian author who splits his time between Australia and Africa, and writes adventure novels set in Africa.

His personal blog is at

The synopsis for his novel Silent Predator on is as follows:

In a luxury private safari lodge in Kruger National Park, Detective Sergeant Tom Furey has just woken to a protection officer's worst nightmare. The VIP in his charge, British Assistant Minister for Defence, Robert Greeves, has vanished.

Knowing his career is on the line, Furey vows not to stop until Greeves is found - dead or alive. He and his South African counterpart, Inspector Sannie Van Rensburg, go against official orders and start the hunt for the suspected band of terrorists through the outer limits of the National Park to the coastal waters of Mozambique. Increasingly drawn to Tom, Sannie can't resist becoming more and more involved in his dangerous mission, even risking her job to help him.

By the time Tom and Sannie discover that their foes are as elusive and deadly as the stealthy predators of the African bush, it is their lives, and those of their loved ones, that are at risk. This is a fight to the death, and involves a crime beyond anyone's worst imaginings.

Silent Predator

Australian Literary Festivals

This episode of ABC Radio National's The Book Show features a discussion about Australian Literary Festivals.

Here is a link to a post on about the top ten selling books at the Sydney Writer's Festival in 2009.

There are annual Literary Festivals in a range of locations around Australia but many of them depend on substantial government funding and struggle to attract the general public.

For the Term of His Natural Life

Here is a the 1927 Australian silent film adaptation of For the Term of His Natural Life, based on the novel by Marcus Clarke, about a man wrongly convicted of a crime and transported to the British penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (now known as Tasmania).

A Country Practice

A Country Practice was a long running series on Australian TV, based around the fictional Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital. It originally began airing as two-part episodes shown on two consecutive nights each week. The first double episode is summarised on fansite as:

1/2 -- Pilot "In General Practice"
A woman passing through the Valley has to divert to the hospital when she goes into labour early. A teenage girl tries to convince her father and Dr. Bowen to let her go on the pill.

The same double episode has been summarised on This site begins with a pop-up ad, and I would normally avoid linking to a site that starts with a pop-up, but it has coverage of Australian TV shows that can be useful and is not readily available elsewhere:

A mysterious woman arrives at the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital in the final stages of labour. Simon's perception of Terence is changed when he witnesses Terence's skilled performance in the operating theatre, but the mystery surrounding Dr. Elliott only depends when Simon later finds him passed out drunk in his flat. Simon borrows a dog so as to have a reason to see Vicky at her surgery, but his advances are once again parried. Mrs. Myers rejects her new-born daughter.
Dr. Bowen refuses to prescribe the contraceptive pill to a fifteen-year-old girl without her father's permission. The girl is torn between her father and her insistent boyfriend. Shirley consents to go on a date with Frank but vows that it will be their last. Simon struggles to determine the cause of a young boy's Monday morning migraine headaches.

 Best of Country Practice The

Tomorrow, When the War Began

Here is a trailer for Tomorrow, When the War Began. It is based on the novel of the same name by John Marsden. It has the potential to be among the better Australian movies. I'm interested to see how it will turn out. It could also be the first in a series of films based on Marsden's book series.

Here is a section from an episode of Australian panel discussion TV show Q&A in which I think some panel members unfairly try to attribute political messages to the story and trying to draw John Marsden into using a form of words that can be construed as acknowledging supposed political messages.

John Marsden has written about his thoughts on writing in his book Everything I Know about Writing.

Tomorrow, When the War Began

TV for remote Australia

Due to the practical issues of affordably transmitting and receiving television signals across large sparsely populated areas, many Australians living in remote areas have not had access to the level of television programming that most of the Australian population receive.

Recently, a new deal between Macquarie Southern Cross Media and Imparja to provide a digital free-to-air satellite TV service to remote areas in the central and eastern states. The Federal Government is reportedly offering $400 grants for eligible people to purchase digital set-top receivers and roof-top satellite dishes.

Further details can be found in this article on

 Mad Max Special Edition

Charlie and Boots

Charlie and Boots is a comedy about a guy nicknamed Boots (Shane Jacobson) and his father Charlie (Paul Hogan). Boots's mother/Charlie's wife dies and the two of them decide to set off on a trip the northern tip of mainland Australia to go fishing.

Here is a link to the official website for the movie.

If you've seen Shane Jacobson in Kenny and found his character likable and enjoyable to watch, you'll probably also enjoy Charlie and Boots.

You may have read in screenwriting books about outer and inner journeys and this film is an apt example of how that principle works, as are road movies in general. Their outer goal is to make their way to the northern coastline and go fishing together but their inner journey is to work out their relationship with one another. Along the way they encounter complications and obstacles to both the inner and outer journeys, and find ways to overcome them, as they make their way from Victoria at the southern end of Australia to Cape York in the north.

Here is the trailer:

Here is an interview with Shane Jacobson and Paul Hogan:

Here is a tour of the traveling production base conducted by Morgan Griffin who played Jess, a hitchhiker who travels with Charlie and Boots for part of their trip:

Here is a behind the scenes featurette on how the car was filmed on the road:

Reviews can be found at and on the ABC's page for At the Movies

 Charlie And Boots

The Adventures of Lano and Woodley

The Adventures of Lano and Woodley is a one-season comedy TV series starring Australian comedians Colin Lane and Frank Woodley. It is based around two guys who share a Melbourne apartment and have regular 'adventures' in their everyday life. Each episode starts with them losing a job and something triggering a problem which they attempt to solve throughout the episode. In my opinion, this is one of the funniest TV shows made in Australia.

Plot summaries for each episode can be found on The first two episodes have been summarised on as follows:

The Girlfriend
Frank admits to Col that he is a virgin, thus Col sees this as a chance to show up Frank, so he invents Jennifer his imaginary girlfriend. But what starts off a trick becomes a bit more serious when Frank starts feeling left out and decides to move back home.
One Simple Task
Frank and Col decide to go on a holiday, and whilst Col takes care of the main organisation, Frank has one simple task which he forgets to do, resulting in him making up a number of very original and outrageous excuses not to go on the holiday.

Here is an interview with Colin and Frank on the TV show Enough Rope:

Here is an interview with Frank Woodley on about a short animated film he wrote and directed.

 Adventures of Lano and Woodley The