First Peoples’ illustrations

by John

posted July 12, 2013

category Art / Design, Culture, Illustration, Koorie, Theatre, Work

True to form it’s been a while since my last update, and there’s a lot I’ve been working on, or having fun with in the meantime. I’ve just finished some illustration work, which is supplemental to my role as an educator and senior programs officer at Melbourne Museum. The work is to be part of […]

Taking a knapp

by John

posted February 26, 2013

category Culture, Traditional Arts

For a while now I’ve been dabbling with stone knapping, which is the art of making stone tools (knives, blades, scrapers and other cutting edges) from stone. It’s been an easy introduction because my mate J.D, who is my teacher is also one of the most accomplished knappers in Australia. I’ve assisted J.D in the […]


by John

posted February 5, 2013

category Culture, Family, History, Koorie, Politics, Uncategorized

Jarahyn Patten, born on January 26, 2013. Besides being known for a number of other things, January 26 this year represents the 75th Anniversary of the first Aboriginal “Day of Mourning” which was held on this day in 1938 at Australia Hall, in Sydney. The Day of Mourning was held to mark the sesquicentennial of […]


by John

posted January 18, 2013

category Culture, Family, Koorie

I’ve been on leave from work for 4 days, waiting on the arrival of the newest member of my family. Baby’s due date is (depending on which view you go with) either tomorrow (Jan 18) or Monday (Jan 21). So basically I’m not thinking about this as my annual leave; I’m just sitting on my […]

Waa & the Seven Sisters

by John

posted January 11, 2013

category Art / Design, Koorie, Theatre, Writing

So it’s early January and I’m in the middle of our new theatre show, Waa & the Seven Sisters. The show is the follow-up to last year’s Tiddalik the Giant Frog, and much like Tiddalik the show is based on a traditional Koorie creation story. This time around the story comes from the Kulin people […]

What I’ve been up to recently..

by John

posted October 17, 2012

category Culture, Illustration, Wood Carving, Work

It’s been a busy few months since my last post, with the first cultural workshop (stone knapping) having successfully come and gone, on the back of a number of other projects and engagements. Planning is now underway for the next (Wood carving – Boondies and Digging sticks). You can read more about the preparations that […]

Meeting with a living legend

by John

posted August 20, 2012

category Work

Last week I had the absolutely mind-blowing pleasure of meeting Sir. David Attenborough. Such a lovely bloke, I met both Sir David and his daughter and gave them a personal tour through parts of our collections for the better part of an hour. Not only is he amazingly knowledgeable about the natural world, but his […]

What’s doin’

by John

posted August 12, 2012

category Active, Culture, Family, Film Making, Illustration, Photography, Wood Carving, Writing

Where to start? There are so many things that have changed since my last post. Let’s just cycle through everything that comes to mind in the order that trips off the synapses and across the keyboard via the fingers. Work I’m currently writing a follow-up stage play for children and families, based on another Victorian […]

Let’s go clubbing!

by John

posted May 24, 2012

category Culture, Koorie, Wood Carving

Over the past couple of months I’ve been rekindling an interest in parts of my culture that I haven’t thought about since I was a very small boy. Many years ago, my father taught me how to carve boomerangs. Like most boys at that age, I was taken with something different. I was enthralled momentarily, […]

The past year

by John

posted May 23, 2012

category Culture, Graphic Design

I’ve done very little blogging over the past 12 months. There are a number of reasons for this, including server troubles and a lack of available time. However, hopefully I have now been able to organize myself to allow for the time required to keep my blogs up-to-date. So, first things first, an update on […]

A return

by John

posted May 19, 2012

category Writing

It’s been quite a while since my last post, and for that there are numerous reasons. Chief among those are the responsibilities and opportunities provided by my work, the daily duties and joys of family, and myriad other hobbies and interests. Not to mention that my previous ‘Pattenproject’ blog was hosted on a server which […]