There were 17 contributors to "Desert Channels. The Impulse to Conserve" at the very successful launch at the Hugh Sawrey gallery, Stockmans Hall of Fame in Longreach, swelling the large crowd to 95-100 people. We sold 30 or so books on the night and did quite a few media releases for radio and newspaper. http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/09/27/3023188.htm
Tropical storms are still rolling around the Desert Channels and Simon and Christine Campbell were cut off by the raging Barcoo River! Nella and Mark Lithgow did make it through from Cravens Peak Reserve, as fortunately did Bruce and Maureen Scott from Windorah and Angus and Karen Emmott from Stonehenge, everyone's vehicles were well plastered with mud though! 10 of us went on and stayed at Noonbah, near Stonehenge with Karen and Angus Emmott on Saturday, to watch the grandfinal of course with pies and beer provided by Faye Alexander. Due to the road being closed, we changed plans and didn't stay with Simon and Christine at Blackall so 8 of us then descended on Maureen and Bruce Scott for the night at Moothadella, Windorah and were able to celebrate with Bob Morrish who joined us for the night also.
Dave Thompson's welcome to country at the SHOF was excellent and people thought the powerpoint he presented, including early, hauntingly damning Hansard records of politicians views of Aboriginal people and counter-visual evidence of long occupation of Country, was powerfully informative. Bruce Scott's opening speech was moving and very much to the point revealing his great love of the Channel Country. He bestowed great honour on the contributors by comparing our quest to write about and make images of the Channel Country with the aims of the celebrated writings of Alice Duncan Kemp. I hope to send you all his text in due course. It was great to see the intercanges in the crowd during the night and a good mob of about 35 went onto dinner after. where the discussions continued.
The launch at the Rain on the Rangelands conference in Bourke on Monday night was also a big event, 230 participants were seated right on the banks of the old wharf on Bourke and we were given a 20 minute time slot for our launch which put is in full spot light. Geoff Wise was enthusiastic and generous in his speech, I was able to introduce Chris Dickman as the NSW Scientist of the year and once Chris and I had recovered from the shock of talking to such a big crowd, were kept busy signing books for some time after the speeches and when I saw Melinda Chandler from CSIRO last,the following day, shortly after Guy Fitzhardinge's challenging keynote address, she was still selling. Half of the print run has been sold already, it seems, so don't delay your contributor discounted purchases too long into the future!
I'm sorry you couldn't all be there to celebrate this significant achievement but we hope to catch up with more of you at "The Big Wet" National Museum Forum on 22 October 12-2 pm, which will launch the book in another context.