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.