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    On the Buses

    ERG’s Melbourne Project was Automated Fare Collection system for the Ministry of Transport. It was reported to be the world’s first multi modal system enabling patrons to utilise the same ticket for bus, rail and tram travel. ERG employed over 100 staff on the project. The architecture was a large distributed computing environment ranging from vehicle based fare devices through Unix depot computers to central mainframes.

    When I commenced, construction had just begun at the individual device level and overall architectural issues were a major concern. An intensive period of backfilling industry standard processes, strategically planning the development of the three main sub systems in parallel, resolving critical system integration issues and enabling full end to end testing resulted in all three sub-systems being delivered on schedule. From August 95 through to February 96 some 24 Formal Deliverables were all delivered on schedule.

    AES constructed all vehicle and platform device software. It was written in embedded C, running on OS/9 and utilized bisynchronous Communications. AES also developed the Unix based Depot Computers which acted as data concentrators in collection, and gateways for distribution of fare, route and table data throughout the network. Ticket Vending Machines were developed with EFTPOS, Contactless Smart Cards and Magnetic Striped Tickets.

    The Software Group comprised 70 people with 8 Team Leaders reporting to Lawrie at peak development.

    Overall the system we were constructing was structured in a hierarchy of “levels” which meshed in with each other to capture a fare from a commuter, pass it up to the clearing house and distribute funds to the service providers. The Card Issuer and the Central Body would at the same time, be transmitting their data downward and imposing Issuer rules on the governance of all fare collection, validation and transmittal processes.

     

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    Red Dust Dreams

    This is a book about the largest part of Australia. It provides written testimony to the way the people out there live, focussing on the domestic front.
    Much of the content of most other books, documentaries, TV programmes and movies dealing with outback Australia focusses more on the outdoor side of life, only touching on the domestic side.

    There is also a lot of history that is in danger of being lost forever. Some of this has been captured in this book.
    The world needs this book.

    UNIQUE ANGLES

    In my book I have tried to:

    •    Focus on the domestic side of life;
    •    Show that despite huge distances, the people out there can still socialise;
    •    Explain the way many different aspects are coped with in such isolation;
    •    Also describe the feelings of those people who have made the mammoth move from life in urban Australia out to the outback;

    READER BENEFITS

    •    The reader will learn about how those people live;
    •    Through the images in each chapter, the reader will also see how spectacular the outback really is;
    •    Children will learn the reality of where meat, milk, vegetables and fruit come from;
    •    Readers will learn how people can survive without the convenience of shops;
    •    Readers will gain a bit of an idea of just how mammoth some of these stations are;

    COMPETING WORKS

    Many of the books currently on the market appear to focus on only one or two stations or only one state. None seems to have focussed on the domestic side of life.
    Women of the Outback by Sue Williams (Penguin Group, 2008). Looks at the lives of 14 different women of the land, but from what I can ascertain none of the ‘nitty gritty’ has been covered;
    Women of the Land by Liz Harfull (Allen & Unwin, 2012). Looks at the lives of a further eight different women, but again not a lot of that ‘nitty gritty’ is included;
    Outback Stations by Evan McHugh (Penguin, 2012). This book appears to cover much of the history leading up to and including detail about life on the stations. While it does delve into some of the positives and negatives facing the women particularly, there is not a lot of detail and again it does not go into a lot of domestic detail.

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    So Big the Land

    As a tender young townie in the revolutionary sixties, Sue steps away from all that is familiar to spend her life with a man she has known for three weeks, and with little prelude is thrown into the deep-end of a gritty farming life in a man’s world.

    A life of hard work on untamed lands, a two year odyssey through the Outback, and months spent in a remote Aboriginal community reveal to Sue the very character of the Australian landscape.

    This is the story of one woman’s metamorphosis from timid, imaginative child to resilient worldly woman – a profound journey of self-discovery through tragedy, life-threatening adventure, and overwhelming joy.

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    Walkabout to Wisdom

    Finalist 2019 International Book Awards – Best New Non-fiction; Spirituality General; Travel: Guides and Essays

    Finalist 2019 Book Excellent Awards – Travel category

    Honourable mention Readers Favourites 2019 International Books Awards – Non-fiction Environment category

    Walkabout to Wisdom, an inspiring, beguiling and evocative story from the Australian Outback, will leave you enthralled and enchanted so universal are its themes and so important is its message today.

    “Liberated” from his investment banking career in New York, after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Lachlan returned to his beloved Outback for a two year walkabout – a journey in which he came to intimately connect with Nature’s teaching and the life wisdom it makes available to all.

    From the majestic vastness of its deserts to the rugged beauty of the Kimberley, Lachlan’s soulful tale will take you to the most captivating places on the Australian continent. His love for the land, and respect for its capacity to heal and reawaken, will mesmerise you with its insight, honesty and humanity.

    Walkabout to Wisdom, quite simply, gives Nature the articulate voice we now need to hear more than ever.

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