Tag Archives: Rosie Batty


Life has become very exciting. My beloved had an article written about himself and his work by Andrea Louise Thomas for a Mornington Peninsula paper called ‘Mint.’ This young woman, a poet, came into our lives like a hurricane. After much talk, we were encouraged to see the play, ‘Hamlet’, directed by Damien Ryan for the Bell Shakespeare Company. A really fresh approach was taken as a modern day thriller, with modern dress and a simple but magnificent set. This brought back memories of my student days.

Thursday I joined a Writing Skills workshop from 9.15-2.30 in Sandringham, an hour from where we live. The tutor, Claire Gaskin, is also a poet. Her class is inspirational. The group is full of keen writers of different genres, all willing to help one another. I had taken the first couple of chapters of my book, and with their input, I’m totally rewriting it! Besides rewriting, there is homework. Five questions, and then a 500-word short story. So this ten-week course is certainly helping me to refresh my ideas.

Thursday night we went to hear Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year, talk with Jon Faine, an ABC radio personality, in Mornington. Rosie was launching her book, ‘A Mother’s Story’, which I have read. It is inspiring to read and hear how she overcame so much and is continuing to work bringing family violence to the fore. Laws need to be changed and much has begun to change already.

Friday night Christopher had his painting in the Salon des Refuse´s, opening in Mornington. It was a big crowd and Rosie Batty opened the exhibition.

Mornington Gallery Photo: Susan Gordon-Brown

Mornington Gallery
Photo: Susan Gordon-Brown

This is the piece that I wrote for my writing class that had to start with, ‘And we’d been so clever,’ that links into the story above.

And we’d been so clever sitting in the second row, out of the limelight. The woman in the front row turned around and denounced my husband’s painting. ‘It’s a terrible painting. I ‘m familiar with Rosie Batty and that’s not her, she is such a strong woman. It’s a complete dirge, just look at it!’

My husband said, ‘That’s an old word.’

‘Yes, I’ve an understanding of words and I’m prepared to use them.’

My husband eggs her on some more,

‘Yes, she wears black glasses and here she’s wearing really light ones.’

The woman finding a ready audience really steamed ahead.

The speeches started and very soon Christopher is pointed out as the artist of the Rosie painting. The redness rose from her neck to her hairline in total embarrassment. She turned around to apologise at the end of the speeches, and Chris dismissed her, saying,

‘Don’t bother, I’m used to it,’ and walked off. It made our night seeing this haughty woman squirm.

Barbara, Christopher Pyett and Rosie Batty Mornington Gallery photo: Susan Gordon- Brown

Barbara, Christopher Pyett and Rosie Batty at Mornington Gallery with Rosie’s portrait
photo: Susan Gordon- Brown

The painting looks very light and doesn’t photograph well, but it has some amazing detail if closely examined. Chris found it a deeply spiritual experience painting Rosie.

This shall be my last post for some time. I have been having computer problems, and continue to have them. So I’m going to have to learn to use a new laptop. I am not sure if the number of e-mails has been choking my computer, so I am cutting off for the present. I shall miss you all, but am sure one day I’ll get this computer business sorted out.

Thank you all for being my friends from afar and I wish you all well with your writing and blogging. Adieu for the present!


Christopher Pyett’s portrait of Rosie:

Portrait of Rosie Batty by Christopher Pyett Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

Portrait of Rosie Batty, (Australian of the Year, and Domestic Violence Advocate), by Christopher Pyett. Medium: Water colour.
Photo: Susan Gordon Brown


Chris and Rosie 21-5-15

Chris and Rosie 21-5-15

Viewing the portrait before getting it framed.

Viewing the portrait before getting it framed.

It was wonderful to see Rosie today and to see her reaction to her reflective self. As you can see the portrait looks very different, colour-wise, in my photos to Susan Gordon Brown’s photo. Because it is very delicate and subtle it is difficult to photograph. The yellow is symbolic and was Rosie’s son’s favourite colour, and so is very meaningful to Rosie. Now we won’t know until July whether the portrait will be hung, but Chris is back to working on another couple of portraits.

Australia Day:

The 26th January has many conflicting feelings throughout the community. Since reconciliation there has been an improvement, but it is good to be aware that our background has been one of, often, boat people and integration. Too many bad things have been done under the banner of patriotism, so I am inclined to play down pride in that way. Though it is rewarding to know that four women won major Australian Awards:

Local Hero Award was won by Juliette Wright, a young mother and entrepreneur who is on a mission to alleviate poverty by networking on the Internet.

Young Australian of the Year is Drisana Levitzke-Gray, a 21-year-old Western Australian deaf girl. Drisana is the fifth generation in her family to be born deaf. With her first language Auslan, she promotes her language helping many others to see the value of life as a deaf person by recognizing their culture, traditions and history.

Senior Australian of the Year, you will be thrilled to know, is a Children’s Book author. Jackie French, 61, from New South Wales is a well- loved author. Having suffered from dyslexia herself, she’s very keen to support children with learning difficulties. She now has published 140 books in 32 languages and won many awards.

Finally, excitedly, Rosie Batty won Australian of the Year. Having suffered the loss of her mother at the age of six, and then less than a year ago, the death of her son, Luke, by his father, she has gone from strength to strength. Rosie has dedicated her life to change. Domestic violence must be spoken about. Working towards changing legislation that will benefit others is one of her aims. We are very proud to know this extraordinary woman and wish her every success.




Painting: Rosie Batty

Christopher began Rosie’s portrait in November. Since then we’ve had family staying, Christmas activities and some hot days. Since the studio is not lined, it heats up and Chris paints with a wet towel around his neck with a fan on. Does that paint a quaint picture?

Rosie will come back again soon for another sitting. Chris has actually started two paintings of her, but shall just post one today. I know some of you will ask what happened to the last couple of portraits. They are still in progress too, so shall show them another time.


Rosie Batty painted by Christopher Pyett, watercolour in progress


Rosie Batty: Victorian of the Year

Such a wide prompt allows me to share a visit from a most remarkable lady. Yesterday afternoon Rosie Batty came to visit. She has generously allowed Christopher to paint her, hopefully to be accepted for the Archibald Prize for portraiture. This prize has always been designed to paint significant members of the Australian public and has a reputation for excellence.

Many Australians will have heard of Rosie, as she has received wide coverage in the press; first of all for her bravery when her son was killed by his father at cricket practice, she spoke to the press next day, calmly and non-judgmentally. Blame, she feels is not helping anyone. Secondly for her setting up the Luke Batty Foundation, in combatting domestic violence. Rosie has been deservedly awarded Victorian of the Year.

Such an intelligent, positive person, Rosie is outspoken on the necessary changes to prevent abuse in relationships. Her own negative experience has changed her life with a finality that could have broken many, but Rosie has chosen to turn her life around to work for others and has created a whole new life for herself as a consequence.

Losing her only child, Rosie willing talks of Luke and things she has discovered after his death. For instance, she didn’t know his favourite colour was yellow, until after his death.  I was able to share with her that Luke had inspired me to write a children’s story about him. I shall keep that for another day. Rosie has her four dogs, most rescue dogs, for companionship, along with her two donkeys and four chooks. We feel privileged to have met this wonderful, warm person, living nearby. The flowers in yesterday’s post were for Rosie.


A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song…. Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

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