Oswald Brett: Tribute to a World Renowned Marine Artist

Os aboard Endeavour

by Stan Stefaniak FASMA, President, The Australian Society of Marine Artists

Oswald (Os) Longfield Brett, 1921–2017

Born 3 April 1921 in Cheltenham, New South Wales, Oswald Longfield Brett spent much time sketching ships in Sydney Harbour and imagining the day when he could go to sea. He also drew inspiration for painting from his mother Estelle Brett (née Mutton), a talented amateur portrait and landscape artist. Both Estelle and Oswald’s sister Judith encouraged him with his painting even later in his life. Os, as he was affectionately called by his friends, knew at an early age that he would be a professional artist concentrating entirely on ships and the sea.

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Paved with Good Intentions


Over a century before the Mabo case recognised Native Title and rejected the doctrine of Terra Nullius, Aboriginal land rights were briefly acknowledged in two Australian colonies. Paved with Good Intentions, reveals the many strong declarations in favour of Aboriginal land rights in early Colonial times, and shows how this language was twisted and remodelled to support dispossession of Aborigines. South Australia and Port Phillip were settled in the mid-1830s, under very different circumstances to earlier colonies. A new wave of colonists comprising entrepreneurs and humanitarians jostled for ascendancy, with Aboriginals caught between good intentions and voracious demands.

As settlers seized nearly 20 million acres of Aboriginal country, the original owners of the land were pushed to the margins—offered “protection” and assimilation instead of recognition of their legal rights.

The Author

Hannah Robert is a lecturer at La Trobe University Law School whose writing has appeared in The Conversation, the Good Weekend, the Journal of Law and Medicine, and the Australian Feminist Law Journal.

Author in conversation with Dr Anna Clark

Paperback, RRP $34.95

Canberra – the making of a city

Canberra: City in the Landscape
Ken Taylor


It is 100 years since Walter Burley Griffin won the 1911 international design competition to create a city in the landscape for Australia’s national city.

At a time when Burley Griffin’s vision is under siege in some quarters, highly regarded author, academic and landscape planning consultant, Professor Ken Taylor, brings his sharp eye and considerable understanding to the unique features of Canberra’s landscape design.

His book is also an account of the far-sighted people who brought the vision to life. In 1912 Walter Burley Griffin wrote of his plan for  ‘a city like no other’. Yet many Australians would be unaware that it was Prime Minister Menzies who, many years later, played a part in ensuring Australia had a fitting capital.

Canberra: City in the Landscape helps us understand this grand design and how it came about.