Category Archives: Canberra

Dear Canberra Writers Festival: Barnaby Joyce is NOT a writer, and you bloody well know it.


To begin: for those of you who don’t know, Barnaby Joyce was, until recently, Australia’s deputy prime minister (think vice president). It was then discovered that he – a married man with four daughters – had been having an affair with a younger staffer, that she was pregnant, and that he was leaving his wife.

When he got into trouble professionally because of his actions, more than once he threw his pregnant girlfriend under the bus to try and save himself.

Since then, both his wife and his daughters have heavily campaigned against the man, which tells you all you need to know about his character.

Additionally, Joyce is a Bogan with a capital B. He screwed Canberra over by stealing many, many government jobs and moving them out to his country Australia electorate. His greatest career “achievement” (unless you count his infamous, international fight with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard over pet dogs) is doing terrible things to Canberrans.


Now? Joyce is a headline act at the Canberra Writers Festival.

Hey, guys: you know Joyce isn’t a writer. You KNOW this. I doubt he could have got a single sentence down on the page without the help of a ghost writer. His “tell-all” book, haphazardly slapped together in recent months to cash in on his infamously appalling treatment of women, does not make him a writer any more than his trashy “current affairs” show appearances he’s making big money off do.

The only reason he’s been invited alongside REAL writers is because you know it’ll bring the people in. It’s like putting someone from the Kindergym program on the Olympic gymnastics team. It’s nominating the Relief Wrap infomercial cast for Oscars.


What are you trying to achieve by inviting a rabid misogynist to a writers’ festival in Australia’s most progressive city? (Those aren’t empty words; we, for example, legalised same-sex marriage four years before anybody else, and had by FAR the highest “yes” vote at a federal level last year.)

Your belligerent defence of yourself on social media – arguing semantics to try and get out of hot water – only makes you look like arses.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. And I wouldn’t touch your festival with a ten-foot pole.


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Filed under Australia, Books, Canberra

Four Years

Canberra MH17 Service 26th July 2014

298 MH17 Candles

Today marks four years since the Russian military shot down passenger plane MH17 over the warzone in Ukraine.

Above is the service we held for ambassadors and politicians at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canberra in 2014 (twenty-seven Australians were killed in the disaster). In the first picture ambassadors and other embassy representatives from countries including the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the United States can be seen on the left.

The second is a cross surrounded by 298 candles – one for each victim of the attack.

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Filed under Australia, Canberra, Ukraine

Where’s Dinner?

The two half-grown magpies form the family here – still with grey baby feathers – waiting for us when we got home from drinks this afternoon.


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Skate in Canberra

The ice skating rink that’s up in Canberra’s city centre for the winter. (Another session was about to begin, hence no people on the ice!)

Skate in the City Winter Canberra Australia Sonya Natalia Heaney July 2018

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Filed under Australia, Canberra, Photography, Travel

Scruffy the Australian Magpie

Scruffy the Magpie Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 11th July 2018 Australian Animals Australians Birds Winter Nature

I’m so enormously angry with FIFA, the world’s media, and Russia at the moment, so instead, let me introduce you to Scruffy.

Scruffy was a giant, dominant magpie when he still had his grey baby feathers. Now he’s grown he’s utterly enormous – and has excellent balance, resting on one of his legs while he waits for lunch!  (This was yesterday afternoon. He’s staring at other birds – patrolling!)

These birds are wild, but about ten are sort of also my pets. They hang out on the back deck with me every day (and a few occasionally sneak into the house and cause huge, dirty problems – ugh!). Some have names they respond to.

Mr Scruff is the dominant bird in the area, even though he’s not the biggest (but he’s by far the biggest Australian magpie I’ve ever seen). If you don’t know: some male Australian magpies are extremely aggressive in the spring, and put people in the hospital (those strong beaks…). The secret is to befriend them – with food! I now personally know three generations of the local magpies, and it’s changed everything.

It’ll be spring soon, and he’ll bring his next generation of babies to us.

See? Socialising with birds. This is anger management!

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Filed under Australia, Canberra, Photography

Blue Sky in Canberra #2

It’s a gorgeous winter afternoon in Canberra for the start of the week.

Winter Sunshine Blue Sky Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th July 2018 Garden Nature Eucalyptus Tree Gum Tree

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Filed under Australia, Canberra, Garden, Photography

Blue Sky in Canberra #1

It’s a gorgeous winter afternoon in Canberra for the start of the week.

Winter Sunshine Blue Sky Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 9th July 2018 Garden Nature Eucalyptus Tree Gum TreeIMG_6781

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Filed under Australia, Canberra, Garden, Photography