When will welfare bureaucracy learn to listen to the Grandmas??

This is a news report that has deeply shocked South Australians. She was a gorgeous four year old, living in absolute squalor, neglected by her drug addicted mother, often locked in her room to scream her heart out, and forced to repeatedly ride a motor-cycle she could not control until she crashed, for the amusement of others.

The most outrageous aspect of her death three years ago from head injuries is that it was entirely preventable, if only the government agency responsible for her welfare, Families SA, had taken notice of requests for intervention on more than 20 occasions by her concerned grandmother.

Unfortunately such incidents of family wishes being ignored are all too common. Not just by family welfare departments, but often also by those responsible for the difficult management of mental illness.

This story is presented in these pages in the hope that the officious, we know best, culture of bureaucracy will become more consultative.


Entertainment plus croquet too!! The Royal Croquet Club, Adelaide.


It was all the fun of the fair at the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Festival’s most popular event, the Royal Croquet Club for a second year. True It featured croquet, but the crowds came for the many premier late night entertainments rather than to play family sport. If like me you did not know what it was all about, just click on the link to the Facebook website above.

The event was so popular that considerable damage was done to the turf in the northern end of Victoria Square prompting the Adelaide Council to question the wisdom of committing to the event at the next Festival in 2016.

Post Festival Devastation!

Post Festival Devastation in Victoria Square!!

• The Advertiser
• June 23, 2015 11:01PM

NEGOTIATIONS between the Royal Croquet Club and Adelaide City Council will begin to ensure the popular Fringe venue returns next year but its hours of operation will be reduced and lockout brought forward.
Other restrictions on the Royal Croquet Club (RCC) include reducing its trading hours to 1am on weekends, banning loud music past 12am, introducing a midnight lockout, mandating public access to part of Victoria Square during the day and making aesthetic improvements to the fencing.
The new restrictions on the Club’s operations were passed by the Economic and Community Development Committee on Tuesday, after the event had attracted criticism about its impact on bricks-and-mortar venues and damaging the Square.
Councillor Alex Antic, who proposed the changes, said they were designed to get the balance right between supporting the event and addressing community concerns.
“I think this is a pretty sensible compromise position that addresses a number of the issues and concerns in the community (about the Royal Croquet Club),” Mr Antic said.


The Organisers

The Organisers: Tom Skipper, Stuart Duckworth, and Sam Weickert show how its done!!

Photos to bring back memories – Mount Barker Croquet Club celebrates 100 years of croquet.

History matters. Its stories from the past substitute for the brevity of our lives. 

On the back wall of the Mount Barker Club-House, among other club memorabilia, is  a framed photographic copy of the first Treasurer Reta M Chapman’s “Short History of the Mount Barker Croquet Club”. It was written in 1986, the sesqui-centenary year of the settlement of South Australia in 1836. The print is so small, and the photographs of such poor quality, it is scarcely readable.

Thanks to her we at least know a little of the club origins. Croquet was played in South Australia as early as 1867, in the Barossa Valley. The first Adelaide Club was at North Adelaide. A photograph supplied by Reta Chapman shows croquet being played on a private lawn on her grandparents property Brookbank near Mount Barker. Reta is a babe in her mother’s arms, and her sister Kathleen is held by her father. There were fifteen regular croquet players before the outbreak of World War I, but withdrawal receipts of amounts of about one pound dated 1916- 1919 in a money-box that passed into her possession, confirmed the existence of the fledgling croquet club during the gloom of the war years. The first lawns at the Mount Barker Club were seeded first in 1915, but failed to germinate.

A short history of Mount Barker Croquet Club by Reta Chapman 1986.

A short history of Mount Barker Croquet Club by Reta Chapman 1986.

Croquet at Brookbank in 1911

Brookbank lawn

037 dinner presentation 037

036 dinner presentation    036

Everybody Loves Croquet

Bough of a giant English Elm tree frames the equipment shed and shelter of the Mount Barker croquet club.

Bough of a giant English Elm tree frames the equipment shed and shelter of the Mount Barker croquet club.

Croquet is one of the oldest most traditional games in the world. But did you know that it is also one of the most social games in the world? A century ago, it was a highly social and fashionable pastime and was one of only a handful of games enjoyed by both men and women together. It was not uncommon for male players to deliberately hit their female opponent’s ball off into the bushes where time spent searching for it was an opportunity for some flirting. (Does your club need more bushes?)

Today croquet is enjoying a resurgence in popularity because of its social aspect and its flexibility as a tactical game that challenges the mind yet is not as physically demanding as some other sports. There are a variety of types of croquet to try that can take as little as 40 minutes (golf croquet) or some hours for the more traditional game of association croquet, where it has been compared to snooker on grass.

In South Australia there are 38 croquet clubs with a membership of over 1000 active players who, as well as enjoying the social aspect of the sport, may compete in local, state, national and even international championships. Australia is the largest croquet playing nation in the world with over 8000 players.

Croquet is one of those games that many people haven’t tried, so are drawn to it out of curiosity. They soon discover how enjoyable it is and how it accommodates men and women equally, and can be as competitive or as social as they like.

Members at clubs enjoy passing on their knowledge with budding new players young and old and welcome any interested member of the community to come and try croquet at their club.

Younger players are being drawn to the game by Croquet SA initiatives such as the new Hammer Time program, where the experienced members take great delight in helping them play. This interaction between generations in the community really brings people together and is a fabulous example of the State Government’s strategy for an all age friendly community.

Clubs work hard to present their facility as an inviting and modern venue where the whole community can enjoy croquet. Clubs are often located in lovely ambient surroundings, when coupled with the lush croquet lawns are a delight for anyone to enjoy. Hyde Park club, located in the Unley Council area is one such club. In an effort to make their facilities more attractive for their members and guests they recently purchased some new chairs – chairs that were safer and more comfortable that the 40+ year old ones they replaced. The Club is very appreciative of the Grants for Seniors funding it received for the chairs through Office for the Ageing.

So, step up to croquet, click here for more information or phone 8271 6586 to find your nearest club.


This is an article is from the magazine “The Weekend Plus”, a South Australian Government Publication devoted to South Australian Seniors. It is well worth a read, even if you are not from South Australia. I trust they will not object to my reproducing it in this blog.