Frack off: Trouble in the High Country and the Kimberley

January 11, 2015 in Adult LGBTi, Lower Secondary, Science

Frack off: trouble in the high country and the Kimberley

This is a story about fracking and it is also an LGBT story with some nuns thrown in. Together they are united in their opposition to fracking and the danger to the water table. In both blockades, friends band together and “Lock the gate”. The main character is teenager Willow who lives with her mother, Julie, in the high country of Victoria. They solve the case of the missing bulldozer and driver with the help of their dog, Rusty. He comes with them to Broome but not to the blockade. Suitable for teens.


Dedicated to the Yulleroo camp 70 km north of Broome, who are united in their opposition to a fracking consortium. In particular, Mick and Dan who have spent months at the camp, to save the Kimberley water table.


Review #1

Enjoyed reading this book.

ByAnne N.on March 27, 2015           4 stars

Format: Kindle Edition

If you are the kind of person who enjoys just about any kind of story, this is a good book to read! It’s a very unique story filled with characters from different walks of life. Gives a good moral to readers too. A good book to make us realize that cooperation, unity and humanity is not about sexual orientation.

Review #2

Frack off by Andy Chamberlain – 4 stars

Something for everyone!

This is an astonishing short story in that it touches on such a range of subjects. Any one of them can generate passionate opinions, but taken together – phew! The writer manages to combine LGBT issues with the contentious subject of fracking. Throw in some of the characters striking gold in the back yard, some tales from the Nunnery, a bit of home schooling, and the mysterious disappearing bulldozer – and you get some way towards the many parts that make up the whole.

What’s so interesting is that the writer presents this eclectic mix with a kind of homely gentleness, the flavour of this story is indeed cosy and humorous as the book description says. All of the characters seem to maintain a cheerful determination as they work out their gender identity and sexuality, whilst making sure that there’s breakfast and dinner for everyone in the anti-fracking group, and Rusty the dog still gets his walk. Indeed, there’s a kind of practical directness about this story which seems to reflect the Australian psyche.

A busy, slightly chaotic, homely and rather lovely tale of every day green campaigners and LGBT folk from the Kimberley, working it out, Aussie style.

Review #3

This is a young adult book, so as an older male adult, I cannot necessarily relate the way a young person might be able to. The title indicates that the story may provide some incite into the controversial practice of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for oil and natural gas.  However other than highlighting a few groups in Australia that formally protest the practice, there is no real insight into the practice discussing its benefits or its harm to the environment.  Fracking is almost incidental to the story.

There is more said about the normalcy of lesbian and transgender issues than fracking.  The book does an admirable job of portraying lesbians and transgender people as just everyday folk living, working and loving.

The storyline itself is rather light with no real beginning, or ending.  It is more like an “art film” that picks a random period someone’s life and does a good job of relaying events during that time.

… Much of the vernacular and setting would be appreciated by those living in or familiar with Australia so others with less understanding of the country may get confused by those specifics.

Brian Borgford

Review #4

Nov 05, 2015 Constance McKee rated it 4 of 5 stars

This is an interesting, apparently semi-autobiographical, novella. I particularly enjoyed it because it describes a great deal about life in Australia—fascinating to an American who has never had the pleasure of visiting the continent. The primary focus is on protests against fracking, but the story also touches on LGBT issues, Aboriginal issues, a missing bulldozer, gold digging, Girl Guides, homeschooling, nuns, and NaNoWriMo/self-publishing—all told through the perspective of a 14-year-old girl. It’s quite a ride! 

Review #5 – Larak

I believe that with a little change here and there this short story could be transformed into a powerful mouthpiece for ‘save the water’ campaign in OZ. Anyway, jokes apart, I like the story because it is humorous. The prose style is excellent. The formatting was just too plain for me but it doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, content is all that matters. The setting is quite simplistic, although it does change at times because the two lesbian women in the novel hop from one place to another.

One of the women is a writer and I could connect with her even more after the mention of the Nanowrimo contest, in which I take part now and then. I am a struggling writer too and the story helped me get my lost inspiration back. Overall if you want a nice, cozy and humorous country story then this is for you. Suggestion for the author: some extra page breaks in-between the chapters and a different formatting for the chapter headings would help; additionally, this has the potential to be converted into a full blown novel (frankly the story left me wanting for more).


Alternative beginning:

We had a ceremony with an aunt and her girlfriend when my periods started. We danced under a full moon around a big bonfire. It was awesome. I pretended I was Hiawatha and stomped and pranced to my heart’s content. If this was womanhood, it can’t be all bad. Little did I know that pain would strike two months later.

Pastor Landon


Growing your own (year 6)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Primary School, Science, Sustainability

Sustainability in the 21st century part 2: Growing your own

For year 6:  second edition c2011 updated 2014.

A do-it-yourself kit for  students to research, choose and grow their own food at home or at school or in their communities.

less Internet use, more of a workbook.

Do you want a resource that covers the Australian curriculum of science?

Do you want a do-it-yourself practical manual where students do their own research?

Do you want your students to learn about Permaculture and no-dig gardens?

Do you want ten reproducible lessons?

Then Growing your Own could be your answer.

Year 6 Achievement Science Standard
By the end of Year 6 students plan investigations to answer questions relating to simple cause-and-effect relationships. When carrying out investigations, they collect relevant data and apply the concept of a fair test. They reflect on the processes that they have used and demonstrate an awareness of science inquiry methods in their work. They represent data and knowledge using introductory scientific language and graphical representations.

Students suggest explanations for observable changes and they predict the effect of environmental changes on living things. They compare different types of change in materials. They identify requirements for the transfer of electricity and describe one way that electricity can be generated. They describe how developments in science have affected peoples’ lives and identify examples where scientific knowledge is used in decision making.




ByDebra Brandon December 4, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

It’s sad that the basic gardening skills of our parents and grandparents have been lost to the increased availability of grocery stores of convenience. But what ill you do in a time of economic collapse? Where would you get your food to feed your family? Who can you go to for advice if the internet is gone?

This book will help you to maintain and grow produce during uncertain and chaotic times or even for the novice who wants to start being self-sufficient to provide fruits, vegetables, and more.

There is advice for the proper soil conditions to grow the greatest crops of foods, recipes for making your own bread and so much more. It’s very hard to produce a harvest without knowing how to prepare the ground, use the correct fertilizer, the proper amount of light needed for each type of food, but this book will help you through all of that and more.

A great study guide, for not only a hobby but a lifestyle.


An example: Lesson 3

A word search on vegetables.


Companion planting is the planting of different crops close together (in

gardening and agriculture), on the theory that they assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increasing crop productivity.

Companion planting is used by farmers and gardeners in both industrialised and developing countries for many reasons. ..

For gardeners, the combinations of plants also make for a more varied, attractive vegetable garden, as well as allowing more productive use of space.


3. Answer these questions:

i. What is companion planting?


ii. Where is companion planting used?



In China, the mosquito fern has been used for at least one thousand years, as a companion plant for rice crops. It hosts a special cyanobacteria that fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere, and also blocks out light from getting to any competing plants, aside from the rice, which is planted when tall enough to stick out of the water above the azolla layer.

Companion planting was practiced in various forms by Native Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans. One common system was the planting of corn (maize) and pole beans together. The cornstalk would serve as a trellis for the beans to climb while the beans would fix nitrogen for the corn. The inclusion of squash with these two plants completes the Three Sisters technique, pioneered by Native American peoples.


i. Question: Where was the technique first used?


ii. Look up the meanings of these new words e.g. cyanobacteria and azolla.



LOG ON to the Internet

5.        Go to this site:

6. Highlight the vegetables and save to your floppy disk or folder:

name it Vegetable companions.

7. Scroll down to Flowers.

8. Answer these questions:

i. Which flower beginning with M helps tomatoes grow?


ii. How do geraniums help?


iii. What are nasturtiums good for?


9. Scroll down to Trees.

Which herbs and flowers help apple trees?


10. i. search for Benefits of growing your own food.

ii. click on a site of the same name………

11. Write the reference in your Garden journal.

12. Scroll  down and answer these questions in your Journal:

i. What are four (4) benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables?

ii. How does growing your own food help with greenhouse gases (#3)?



13.      Using your list of Vegetable companions (see #6),

choose three (3) vegetables that would grow together e.g. tomatoes go            with carrots but not with beans.

14.     Make a table of your chosen vegies on a poster using the

headings on the site, omitting Scientific name and Attracts.

You need six (6) columns and four (4) rows so do it sideways (landscape).

Here is an example (in portrait):

Commonname Helps Helped by Repels Avoid Comments
Beans Corn,spinach, eggplant Tomatoes,onions Nitrogen fixing

[NB. California Beetle is omitted under REPELS because this is an American site.]

15. Give your poster the heading Companion vegetables.

[Don’t forget to add where you found your information.]

16. Display your poster.


17. Check your answers with the Answer book for Lesson 3 Vegetables and make any changes in your Garden Journal.

18. Keep collecting empty 2 litre clear plastic drink bottles for your seeds.

* * *

Almost at the end of Lesson 3.

On the next page is a recipe for bread to make at home.

Sustainability in the 21st century pt 1 (year 7)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Lower Secondary, Science, Sustainability

Sustainability in the 21st century pt 1 (year 7)

[Revised edition 2017]

Updates on Cancun and Cap and trade and Bottled water videos incorporated into book – 52 pages long.

Science teachers:

  • Do you want a manual that covers the Australian curriculum on science?
  • Do you want your students in years 7 to study sustainability?
  • Do you want them to look at food, water, transport, peak oil, and Cap and Trade?
  • Do you want them to communicate their findings?

Sustainability in the 21st century part 1 could be your answer.

Suitable for year 7.

Australian curriculum: ACARA: Year 7 Science

Science and understanding:

#1 Sustainability (organisms)

#2 Sustainability (food chains)

Earth and space sciences:

#2 Sustainability (non-renewables)

#3 Sustainability (water)

Science as a human endeavour:

Nature and development of science:

#2 Sustainability (connecting ideas)

Use and influence of science:

#1 Sustainability (human activity)

#2 Sustainability (human activity)

#3 Sustainability (occupations)

An example: Lesson 9 yr 7-8 Global warming

word search,.



The inaugural meeting of the Asian Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate was held in Sydney in January 2006.

The APP had agreed to co-operate on the reduction of greenhouse gas



The main sources of greenhouse gases due to human activity are:
burning of fossil fuels and deforestation leading to higher carbon dioxide
Land use change (mainly deforestation in the tropics) account for up to one third of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
livestock enteric fermentation and manure management, paddy rice farming, land use and wetland changes, pipeline losses, and covered vented landfill emissions leading to higher methane atmospheric concentrations. Many of the newer style fully vented septic systems that enhance and target the
fermentation process also are sources of atmospheric methane.
use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigeration systems, and use of CFCs and halons in fire suppression systems and manufacturing processes.
agricultural activities, including the use of fertilizers, that lead to higher nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations.

[ from]

In your Sustainable journal, name three (3) human activities which raise the levels of carbon dioxide.


The quantity of CFCs (in tonnes) reduced from 14,000 in 1989 to 2,800 in 1995.

[Australian Academy of Science. (1997). Activity 4—earth’s sunscreen—the ozone layer. Retrieved 10 May 2006 from]


The Cancun summit

The outcome of the (Cancun) summit was an agreement, not a binding treaty, which aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels and calls on rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as pledged in the Copenhagen Accord, and for developing countries to plan to reduce their emissions. The agreement includes a “Green Climate” fund, proposed to be worth $100 billion a year by 2020, to assist poorer countries finance emission reductions and adaptation. There was no agreement on how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, or how the $100 billion a year for the Green Climate Fund will be raised, or whether developing countries should have binding emissions reductions or whether rich countries would have to reduce emissions first.

5. Do you think this agreement will limit global warming to less than 2 degrees celcius?



LOG ON to the Internet


6. i. search for ‘The story of cap and trade Annie Leonard’.

.ii. click on The story of Cap and Trade – story of stuff to learn about

emissions trading and what you could do under Take action

e.g. recycling. Take  notes.


7. iii. Go to:

and read about the melting Himalayas.

iv. Which country is most at risk? ________________________

v. record the reference in your Sustainable journal .


.          What does this mean for us?

What can we do to minimise global warming?

Make notes in your Sustainable journal about what you are doing or could  be doing,    e.g. you may tell your parents what you’ve learned in this lesson.

You could ride your bike instead of being driven everywhere.

Sometimes we need to be driven if sport or friends live a long way away and there’s no public transport nearby.

9. Make a poster on Cap and Trade OR the Himalayas.

10. Add your own comments about reducing global warming.


11. i. check your word search and other Global Warming answers for

Lesson 9.

ii. display your poster.