Blog

Humility in translation.

After a year teaching in China, one of my colleagues gave me two beautiful scrolls. One was a calligraphy alphabet she had drawn herself on gold-coloured paper and the other was a scroll of a famous poem, hand made by her calligraphy teacher at art school. At more than a meter and a half in length, it is a gorgeous work. At the top are the two characters for dragon, underneath which the poem is written in fast flowing swirls... read more


Tasmania's Stolen Generation

I wrote this essay quite a few years ago but it still seems relevant today. Few people know that Tasmanian Aboriginal people were part of the “Stolen Generations”, forcibly removed from the Bass Strait islands and placed with white families in the cities. I first met Gus ages ago and his story emerged over time. We’re still friends despite his choice of AFL team to support.

 

Family Matters.

Garry Maynard and his wife are parents to two fine young boys, growing up... read more


On Euthanasia: a family guide.

Just before Christmas in 2008, my brother Edzer Onsman, known as Eddie, chose to be euthanased because his body was so racked with pain that he had to drink liquid morphine just to get through the day. He was no longer in any condition to live and there was no hope that the tumours growing in his brain could be removed. When he died, there were no angels crowding around the sterile bed on the third floor of the hospice... read more