Kate Shelton and her Benedict house

A short walk from the Queanbeyan River is a beautiful cafe, art studio and private residence which was once a former girl’s boarding school and convent. Large in size, Benedict house is nestled on the top of a small hill, overlooking the small New South Wales town of Queanbeyan. This historic two storey house is currently owned by a lady named Kate Shelton and her husband Paul Maloney who have transformed this once convent into a sanctuary.

Benedict house was previously known as St Benedict’s Convent which in the 1800’s educated young girls. Australia’s 16th Prime Minister Ben chiefly was named after the convent (previously known as Joseph Benedict). In the 1980’s the convent closed and was sold to a Canberra developer. In the early 1990’s former Prime Minister Paul Keating brought Benedict house with intentions of transforming it into a conservatorium of music. Kate and her husband Paul went onto buy the house in an auction in 2002.

Benedict house offers their customers a homily dining experience with a rustic antique set up. Most of the house has been maintained to its original build. Tall ceilings, heavy doors, long windows and wooden floor boards set the atmosphere.

“Every Sunday I make the drive out to Benedict house for brunch to unwind from a busy week. The food reminds me of how my mother use to cook for us, it brings me home.”

                                                           – Debbie Draper, regular customer.

Kate Shelton grew up on a farm between Moree and Boggabilla inNorthern New South Wales. Living the farm life provide Kate with an appreciation for locally, home grown produce. On the farm Kate collected chicken eggs as soon as she could walk and as she grew her daily chores increased also. Kate then learnt tasks such as rearing animals, slaughtering cattle, mustering and separating milk for cream and butter.

When Kate reached high school age she was sent to a boarding school in Sydney.  After finishing school Kate travelled to Europe where her love for Mediterranean food began, which has influenced the menu offered at the cafe in Benedict house today. Not only is Kate a wonderful cook, she is also an outstanding artist. For ten years Kate was head of the art faculty at St Edmunds College, Canberra and has also displayed her own art exhibition.

In the front garden there are shady trees, a couple of small tables and a remarkable rose garden. Gates must be closed at all times to keep the small King Charles Cavalier puppies in the house, which roam freely and greet guests upon their arrival.

If you’re looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday then Benedict house is the perfect place for you. Not recommended for men, unless they are soft at heart. High tea is also worth a try, held the first Sunday of every month.


Internet vs. Newspapers

Clearly the internet is killing the newspaper.

Firstly, you are reading this article where? Not in a newspaper. You are online… on the internet! Everybody knows that the newspaper is almost nonexistent and it is a common fact that only old people buy the newspaper as none of them have a clue what the internet even is, let alone how to use it.  If people where still reading the newspaper we would be living in the Stone Age.

A minority of the people who regularly read the news believe that the newspaper is not dying and they swear they would never search the web for local news. Clearly they don’t go onto the internet, watch TV or simply they live under rock because everyone knows the newspaper is dead.

More and more people are going to the internet to read their daily news. Why? Majority of the online newspapers are free. So people are saving themselves between $1 – $2.50 a day!

Another plus side to the internet is that when news happens the news company can simply ‘click a button’ and its available for the whole world to read. Whereas newspapers have to wait for their next printing, which is usually the next day.

Internet users can choose which stories they read, they read them and then they move onto another website. They also have a variety of articles to choose from, meaning users can find the journalism style that suits them. This is the main reason why internet news stories are dominating in comparison to newspapers.

Mike Doyle said the newspaper is dead, so therefore my point is proven.

Finally the internet is convenient! Anyone who has a mobile phone knows that they can access the internet even if they are lying on the beach, walking the dogs or making breakfast. It’s really that simple. So why waste time locking the house up, finding loose change and having to walk 500km to your local news agency?

If you support newspapers your name must be Hitler.

I chose to form my opinion based on the fact that to do this assignment I had to use the internet myself and I wasn’t looking through hard copies of local newspapers to help form my opinion. Other factors that helped form my opinion were that my generation are all about technology. It is common these days to see kids and teenagers with an iPod in their ears, a phone in their hand and a laptop on their lap. I tried to make it seem like anyone who reads the newspaper is living back in the days and implied that the internet is ‘cooler’ then the newspaper. This blog post was aimed at anyone who is smart enough to be on the internet, but was written in a casual language for younger people, preferably teens.

Logical fallacies I used were:

– Appeal to authority

-Band wagon

-Slippery slope





Care for a scare? Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum

Nestled in far north Victoria is a small historical town known as Beechworth. Population: 2645 people. Beechworth is famous for their honey, their relation to Ned Kelly and their to die for bakery, but there are also many dark secrets the small town of Beechworth possesses.Image

Overshadowing Beechworth is a small hill, clearly seen from whatever street you stand in. The Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum was built on this hill in 1867 and homed the ‘insane’ for over 125 years. During this time there have been an estimated 9,000 deaths, most common cause of death… murder.

Surrounding the asylum is what appears to be a small stone wall but on the inside side of this wall is a large trench, designed to keep the patients from escaping. These walls are called HA-HA walls and where designed to give the public the impression that there was no imprisonment, as if to imply that people had the choice to be there. That was far from the truth.  The building itself is three stories high but only had two doors, one for admitting patients and the other for letting them free. In most cases the only way a patient was to get out was in a coffin. Things that today’s society would consider normal, such as depression was enough for you to get sent to the asylum. To be admitted a person needed only two signatures. To be let out a person needed a total of eight.Image

Little boy Author was admitted to the hospital at the age of nine for stealing a farmers horse. He was sent to the mental asylum, although not insane, just a naughty nine year old. Author was not let out until the age of 92 year old, and left in a coffin.

Women who were seen wearing red or standing under the same light pole for more than two nights in a row were considered to be a prostitute, which therefore meant they were insane and were admitted to Mayday Hills.Image

If someone in the local hospital needed a new leg, arm, kidney etc. the warden at Mayday Hills would simply choose one of his patients and take to them with a saw. Anesthetic? Of course not. They would lay the victim on the operation table and tie their head to a salt box. The salt box worked like this. Whilst the victims leg was being sawed off, the nurse would poor salt in their eyes to ‘take away the pain’ from their leg. The staff may have been a lot more insane in comparison to the actual patients.Image

One of the many patients who tried to escape drowned in the asylums large water pipes. He wasn’t found for over six months. During this time the water pipe would run through the asylum down to the town below it, Beechworth. As the man’s body decayed in the water pipe, the local residents of Beechworth continued to drink, bathe and wash their clothes in the same water.

The Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum closed in 1995. It currently is owned by La Trobe University where small kindergartens go to school. Ghost Tours are available daily.






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