Raising the BARR – Week ending 19/04/2024

Raising the Barr


In a few weeks’ time we will mark 12 months since the tragic bus crash at Greta. We will reflect on the devastation of that night, the impact it still has everyday on directly affected families and friends, and the senselessness of it all. I, like many in our community, was deeply affected by that event, despite not knowing any of the victims.

Last week, although different in its nature, an equally tragic and senseless loss of life was experience in Bondi Junction. People were simply going about their day and expecting to get home safely.

While these two events are not the same in a practical sense, the feelings of community wide despair are no doubt remarkably similar. On hearing the news, my mind immediately cast back to our tragic bus crash and my heart immediately felt for the Bondi Junction community.

I have noted the placement of flowers near the scene, with heartfelt messages attached – just like our community had done. I note the candlelit service that was organised as a coming together of community – just like the one organised by community for us here. And yet again, the heroic acts of common people are recognised and appreciated – just as we had done. The human spirit has some clear needs and markers as we process grief.

Instinctively we look to “how” this happened and what can be done to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the future. In the case of our bus crash last year, much attention turned to seat-belts on buses, primarily because it was difficult to blame the road conditions, as had happened after some horrific bus crashes on the North Coast of NSW some decades earlier.

As for the act of stabbing a person with a knife, it is hard to imagine what recommendations for change might be made on this front. Obviously, knives play a significant role in our day-to-day lives. Only time will tell.

As the days and months ahead play out, I am sure that each of us will have our own time to reflect on this fleetingly short thing called “life”.


A massive congratulations to the Hunter Valley Thoroughbreds U/13 Boys cricket team that recently won the State Championship. This team has a selection of boys from each of our local towns and villages.

Having won the right to go off to the final 32 teams in the State Finals during this past week, by proving to be the best team across the wider Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast areas in late 2023, the young Thoroughbreds team continued to bowl and bat incredibly well to run over the top of all others.

Historically, this central coalfields region of the Hunter has produced some outstanding cricketers. It seems that tradition continues.