Manning Clark House 2016

Manning Clark House is back in running for 2016. All MCH work is now being done by Committee members.

We do have lots of great events planned or in the pipeline. Dr Libby Çonnors spoke wonderfully well on the Aboriginal Frontier Wars on 22 April, at MCH.

Please help us promote the Dympha Clark Lecture to be held on 28 April. There will also be poetry readings in May as well through the course of the rest of the year. Details of these events will be progressively released and promoted. See Below

We have a fantastic new Treasurer in Marisa Gonzalez who is getting our financial systems back into shape. Committee members are working hard on fixing up our financial base and so many other aspects of MCH.

We have two rooms for rent on a subsidised Fellowship basis. We are currently examining what rates we’ll charge but they will be in the vicinity of $150 to $190 p.wk.

For short term stays they will be $500 p.wk. Both rooms have two beds. For guests exhibiting their art work there will be no charge.

As your are possibly aware we have progressively lost many of our financial sponsers over recent years. Your membership financial support is appreciated more than ever. All members contributions will be receipted.

Communication with MCH can be a bit difficult at times. If you have any difficulties ring Bas Clark on 03 9329 1696 or, myself  Geoff Lazarus 0419 369 206.

On financial matters contact Marisa Gonzalez,

2016 DYMPHNA CLARK LECTURE  by Drusilla Modjeska, 28 April, 6pm at MCH

In ‘Telling Stories’, Drusilla Modjeska will reflect on stories- colonial and post colonial, oral and written- that she has encountered during more than a decade of visiting Cape Nelson on the north east coast of PNG. From an early colonial photo e stories children tell today, she’ll discuss conflicting histories and memories, resonances and priorities.

Drusilla first travelled to PNG in 1968 and has frequently been there since 2004. Her books include Poppy, The Orchard and Stravinsky’s Lunch, and the Mountain.

Refreshments afterwards. Cost $15/10


We have a new Poetry Co-ordinator, Al Hope who will work with Paul Hetherington and Kathy Kituai to facilitate a wonderful program over the year. A number of events have already been pencilled in. Contact


Jen Crawford, Poetry Book launch, 7.30pm, 20 May, at MCH

Dawn Casey, Whitlam and indigenous peoples, 6pm at MCH

Linda Weste, Poetry Reading, 7.30pm at MCH

Dr Bidda Jones, Chief Scientist RSPCA, 6pm, 23 June, free entry, bookings essential, MCH

Poetry Readings, 7.30pm, 30 June, MCH

Manning Clark Lecture, George Megalogenis, Wither Australia, 6pm, 20 July, National Library

Musical Afternoon of Opera, Fleur Millar, 3pm, 25 July, MCH

Toby Fitch, Poetry Launch, 7.30pm, , 28 July, at MCH

Poetry Readings all at 7.30 at MCH, 25 August, 22 September, 14 October, 24 November

MCH CHRISTMAS PARTY all are welcome, 5pm, 15 December



President                Bas Clark

Deputy President Paul Hetherington

Treasurer                Marisa Gonzalez

Acting Sec               Alana Mahon

Public Officer         Frank Bongiorno


Geoff Lazarus, Jen Webb, Ernst Willheim, Andrew Clark, Greer Versteeg, Vicken Babkenian, David Headon, Dionie Mcalary.


Ron Fraser, Brett Odgers, Gareth Knapman, Kerrie Nelson, Al Hope.

House Infrastructure- Roland Clark, mb 0400 889 853

Website  Information- Geoff Lazarus, 0419 369 206



Axel Clark Literary Oration with Robert Adamson

Influence, Imagination & Reality, A Life in Poetry
If poetry can change a life, it can change a world. What influences converge in the composition of a poem?  Wallace Stevens suggested ‘The imagination (was) the one reality  in this imagined world’.   When Robert Lowell wanted to create ‘something imagined, not recalled’  he discovered ‘Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme’ were of no help to him. In this lecture I will outline my development as a poet, how I came to write my first poem, and the first book that led to another twenty volumes.  The inspiration came from many people, places books and works of art, not least the pain and joy contained in these lines from Hart Crane’s The Broken Tower: ‘And so it was I entered the broken world/ To trace the visionary company of love, its voice an instant in the wind’.

Robert Adamson lives with his partner, photographer Juno Gemes, on the Hawkesbury River to the north of Sydney in Australia. Born in 1943, he grew up in Neutral Bay, a harbourside suburb of Sydney. During a tumultuous youth, he found his way to poetry, and over the past five decades he has produced twenty books of poetry and three books of prose. From 1970 to 1985 he was the driving force behind New Poetry, Australia’s cutting-edge poetry magazine, and in 1987, with Gemes, he established Paper Bark Press. He has won the major Australian poetry awards, including the Christopher Brennan Prize for lifetime achievement, the Patrick White Award, and The Age Book of the Year Award for The Goldfinches of Baghdad (Flood Editions, 2006). The Victorian Premeir’s Poetry Award for The Golden Bird ( Black Inc 2009) He currently holds the Chair in Poetry at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Monday 17 August 2015, 6:00pm at National Library of Australia.  Entry $15/$10 (concession), MCH members free. All payments at the door.   For enquires please contact us at or 02-6295 1808


JUNO GEMES – Spirit Maps


Visual advocacy has been the hallmark of Juno Gemes’ artistic practice for more than four decades. Her use of creative media to agitate for shared knowledge and cultural understanding has resulted in a body of photographs, film and ephemera that, although superficially disparate, are bound through the common threads of critique and compassion.
Gemes is an observer and a listener. Her images arise from careful conversation, from intuitive felt connections with her subjects and their stories.
This exhibition will bring together interweaving threads of Juno Gemes artistic journey, with two photographic series, a film, and a selection of artists notebooks. A series of photogravure meditations reveal fresh nuances through repeated impressions of two of Gemes’ most effecting and memorable photographs. Countrymen is a timeless, iconic and lyrical image capturing a moment of pure connection, respect, and affection between three Lawmen. One with the land is a quiet family portrait, a celebration of the patience and poetry of traditional hunting and fishing, connection to country. Both of these images are the product of a privileged intimacy, Gemes and her camera silently witnessing the profoundly personal continuation of ancient culture in contemporary life. Gemes recently collaborated with master photogravure printer Lothar Osterling at his 3rd St Studio in Brooklyn, NY, producing this group of images that reinterrogate the surfaces and resonances of the photographs.’ Charleyene Olgivie
Juno Gemes was born in Budapest, Hungary and arrived in Australia in 1949. She studied at Sydney University, worked in theatre and wrote for the International Times in London until 1971. She became involved in the Yellow House at Potts Point, Sydney and worked in Central Australia on the film Uluru (1978). Her first solo exhibition, We Wait No More was in 1982. Gemes has spent 40 years documenting the social change of Australia, in particular the lives of Aboriginal Australians.
The exhibition runs until 30th August, 2015.


MCH Poetry

Wednesday, 29th July at 7:30pm

poetryThis month Paul Hetherington, John Foulcher, Margie Cronin and Jen Webb read new and published poems.  Nibbles and wine provided.

Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle Forrest
Entry $10/$7 (concession and MCH members). Enquiries to or
02 62951808

Ken Stone’s ‘Aurora Borealis to Botany Bay’

G635P2P2_FrtPc_Parry_largeInvitation to Book Launch by Dr Jonathan King Excerpts read and performed by the author.
D r Ken stone was born in Taree in 1944 and spent his early childhood in central New South Wales where his father’s family produced wheat and wool. He spent the later part of his childhood on his grandparents’ dairy farm at Stroud in the Karuah Valley.
After completing teacher training at Bathurst, Stone taught in schools in western New South Wales and in Sydney for twelve years, before moving across to tertiary education and lecturing in Creative Arts for twenty five years. He still pursues his interest in drama, poetry and the visual arts and is an experienced performer of his work.
Aurora Borealis to Botany Bay draws upon Ken Stone’s interest in colonial history and knowledge of Georgian and Victorian society and design. This is his fifth book of poetry.
Copies currently available at The National Trust Online Bookshop. For postal orders email: For further information about the book visit the websites of Maitland Mercury and Gloucester Advocate.
Wednesday, 10th June, 2015 5:30 p.m. for 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Manning Clark House,
11 Tasmania Circle Forrest.  RSVP to or (02) 6295 1808
Light refreshments and drinks will be served.
Aurora Borealis to Botany Bay can be purchased for $30 at the launch.

Ken Stone’s epic, Aurora Borealis to Botany Bay, takes us to the icy Arctic with Sir Edward Parry on his heroic search for a northwest passage; then to Australia’s recently mapped hinterland where he consolidates an Australian Agricultural Company settlement, which comes close to failure.  In colonial Sydney, my ancestor, Anna Josepha King, and her contemporaries, including John Macarthur, Archdeacon Broughton and Governor Bourke, live again in a few crisp lines”. Dr Jonathan King, historian and author. 
“Fabulous research and living characters.” Les Murray, Poet.
“A large cast of characters, each appearing in a dazzling spotlight. I would love to hear some of this read” Paul Brunton, historian and senior curator, Mitchell Library. 

Flood, Fire and Drought, a new Anthology of poetry by Australian poets

May 28, 6:00pm to 7:00pm at Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle Forrest.

Poetry readings and launch of Flood, Fire and Drought, edited by Suzanne Edgar, Kathleen Kituai, Sandra Renew and Hazel Hall.  An anthology exploring the effect of weather events on the Australian landscape, showcasing the works of twenty-nine Australian poets with a foreword by Richard Denniss, Director of The Australia  Institute.  To be launched by award winning poet, writer and environmentalists Mark O’Çonnor.

The Poets' Stairwell Invite jpeg

Booklaunch of “The Poets’ Stairwell” by Alan Gould

Taking his cue from his travels is 1977 with his colleague-poet Kevin Hart, Alan Gould has fashioned a playful and imaginative traveller’s tale.  It has humour, a roll-call of intriguing characters, a sustained meditation on the nature of poetic inspiration and growth, and is a comic-elegiac record of a friendship.

Alan hopes you can come to the Booklaunch of his ninth novel. The Poets’ Stairwell, by Dr Bronwen Levy of University of Queensland at Manning Clark House.

Thursday April 23rd at 5:30pm, Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest. There will be wine and eatables, and copies of the book for sale.

RSVP: 02 62959433 or email Alan Gould