The original Sapphires, photographed last year. From left, Naomi Mayers, Lois Peeler, Laurel Robinson and Beverly Briggs. Only Robinson and Peeler went to Vietnam in 1968. Mayers stayed in Australia as a protest against the war, and was replaced by Peeler. The Sapphires play (below) was written by Robinson's son, Tony Briggs, in 2004.
At their reunion for the Australian premier of the movie, Robinson and Peeler said the American troops they performed for "knew nothing about Aboriginal Australia". Below, the original group, Robinson, Mayers and Briggs. In Australia, they were sometimes introduced as American or Tahitian. ''As soon as the word Aboriginal came up, no one was interested,'' Robinson recalled.
The original Sapphires sung in the church of their uncle, Pastor Doug Nicholls (1906-1988), to help raise funds for the church. Doug Nicholls was the Jackie Robinson of Australian sport, overcoming extreme racism to be, in 1932, the first Aboriginal to play professional football in the Victorian Football League (now Australian Football League), the first to represent Victoria in football (1935), the first Aboriginal to be knighted (1972) and also the first appointed to vice-regal office, serving as Governor of South Australia in 1976-77.
The totally awesome Kakadu National Park,
The Northern Quoll - "trained" to survive by humans!
*Originally titled, I think, "Mechanical Marvels, Clockwork Dreams". It may be easier to find under this title.
Simon Schaffer, below, with the breathtaking mechanical swan in the BBC documentary.
*I mean, of course, in a harmful way.
Quokkas. Early Dutch explorers thought they were rats, and to this day the island off Fremantle in Western Australia is called Rottnest Island.
Typed on my Mercedes Super T, now up for sale:
Simon Schaffer with the mechanical Turk chess player.