Newsletter Jan 2022 no 1

Hi all you wonderful readers – No doubt some of you are still on holidays and some are back to the grind. No! Not the grind – an exciting new year full of lots of opportunities and adventures

Review of White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon by author Barbara Miller

This is a highly engaging and inspiring memoir. At its centre is the story of Mapoon which has all the elements of a great drama with the violent expulsion of the community in 1963 and their triumphant return eleven years later. As the author explains she came almost by chance to be at the very centre of the drama which in turn dramatically changed her life. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in political and social change over the last 50 years.
Professor Henry Reynolds,FAHA FASSA University of Tasmania, eminent historian and award-winning author
Check it out as it is only $2.99 US for the ebook

Wansee 80th Anniversary

We have two very important anniversaries coming up which we should remember because of the gravity of the inhumanity to man shown at each. On 20 January, we have the 80th anniversary of the Wansee conference when Nazi leaders developed the Final Solution to expedite the genocide of European Jews. This horrific story is told in both the above books, If I Surviveabout a Polish Shoah (Holocaust) survivor and Shattered Lives Broken Dreamsabout Aboriginal William Cooper who led the Australian Aborigines’ League on the protest re Kristallnacht to the German consulate in Melbourne in 1938. Both books can be found on my website with amazon links for ebooks. 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The other anniversary is on  27 January, the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In November 2005, it was declared International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Excerpt of horrific story from If I Survive

P 55 “Using bullets to kill Jews was not quick enough, used too much manpower and rattled some who had to do it. A conference was held to plan Hitler’s Final Solution on 20 January 1942, at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin. Head of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), SS General Reinhard Heydrich, ran the meeting. Adolf Eichmann wrote the protocols, which included the words “transportation to the East”, a euphemism for the genocide of Europe’s Jews, who numbered about eleven million at the time. Josef Bühler, State Secretary of the General Government of occupied Poland, asked for the Final Solution to occur in Poland because transportation was not a problem. About 1,700,000 Jews were killed in Operation Reinhard.

Aktion (Action) Reinhard was the name given to the plan to send Jews to their deaths at Treblinka, and the other extermination camps built in Poland – Belzec and Sobibor. According to the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, a fourth death camp had already opened at Chelmno, today’s Poland. The Nazis gassed the first Jews there in mobile vans on 8 December 1941. ( 1998)



Anne Sarzin and Lisa Miranda Sarzin wrote Hand in Hand: Jewish and Indigenous People Working Together as a project for the Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) NSW who published it in 2010. While more stories could be added to it now, it is the most comprehensive, valuable, and inspiring book available on this important topic. The book has a focus on working together for reconciliation and justice.

For NAIDOC Week 2021, the JBD began a digital portal to build on the book. As their website says:

“The portal will provide a comprehensive overview of the Jewish-First Nations relationship in NSW and an inspiration to local Jews and others to continue and take part in the journey. This digital portal will expand on the Sarzins’ work and document the history; highlight key personalities and personal stories; catalogue collaborative work being done today and offer opportunities to get involved in it; present the work of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and give access to important resources from other organisations.

“Here are just a few of the collaborations which will be featured on the portal:


European Quest to Find Terra Australis Incognita

I published  European Quest in 2014 and it is only available for sale through my website but I will soon upload it on Amazon. It is the fascinating story of Pedro Ferdinand de Quiros, a Portuguese explorer under the command of the King of Spain who had a great desire to find the large unknown land that he and others believed filled the gap between South America and South Africa and balanced the norther and southern hemispheres. He travelled through the south pacific and encountered Indigenous people along the way, landing on Vanuatu in 1606 and then was forced back. His second in command, Torres continued on and alerted Europeans to a strait between New Guinea and the land to the south. However, he was beaten by 6 months by Dutchman Janszoon who was the first European to set foot on Australia. 

I am also writing a new book that will focus on this story from a Christian point of view as there is a huge interest in Australia and the Pacific that de Quiros, a devout Catholic, prophecied “the south land of the Holy Spirit over the Pacific from Vanuatu to the South Pole. The island in Vanuatu where he made his declaration from is called Espiritu Santo or Holy Spirit in Spanish and they believe they are the custodians of this prophecy. 

Norman and I were asked to speak at the Vanuatu Prayer Assembly in 2012 and 2013 and we went to the very place where de Quiros made this declaration and met with villagers there. Quiros made it on May 14 1606 which was Pentecost or Shavuot and so the villagers celebrate it each year and also celebrate the birth of the modern state of Israel on May 14. How amazing! So much more to tell.

Question –What is on your reading list for the new year?
Let me know via email

Audiobook “If I Survive” is out and other newz ??

Hi there, my audiobook “If I Survive” is finally out. It is a fitting tribute to the courageous and inspiring life of Holocaust survivor Lena Goldstein.
I have 10 free copies for the first 10 people who contact me for a giveaway in exchange for an honest review. 
It is not on Amazon yet but is at the following stores: 

Reenactment of Australian Light horse charge at the Centenary of the Battle of Be’er-Sheva 31 Oct 2017. I was privileged to be there leading an international tour group of 50 with my husband Norman Miller.



Success Code

This book is a bestseller in 3 categories – Philosophy Reference, Religious Studies – Sociology and Education Workbooks. 
“Success Code” is an anthology and I am a co-author. Do you ever wonder why some people always seem to succeed, and others fail?  Most “overnight” successes have been developed with small changes in daily habits and mindset tweaks, one day at a time.

My chapter is entitled “The Power of Vision”  The link which is
We asked over 20 experts to describe these habits for us, and the result was “The Success Code.” The book is a life lesson of habits, mindsets and stories of how they have been used to overcome obstacles and achieve success.


Shattered Lives Broken Dreams
Anniversary of Kristallnacht 9-10 Nov coming up
10th Anniversary in Dec 2020 of Yad Vashem inaugurating a Chair of Resistance to the Holocaust after William Cooper

The Nazis shatter glass and shatter the lives of European Jews at Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust. An Australian Aboriginal, William Cooper, leads the campaign for civil rights for his people who are dying of poverty and mistreatment around him. 1938; two worlds, far apart. Cut to the core after Kristallnacht, can he do anything to stop it?
Described as Australia’s Martin Luther King, Cooper leads the Australian Aborigines’ League on a protest to the German Consulate in Melbourne. Would the Third Reich pour out its wrath on them? Would they make a difference?
A Chair of Resistance to the Holocaust was named in honour of Cooper at Yad Vashem. His grandson, Alf Turner, becomes passionate about fulfilling his grandfather’s unfinished business and taking the protest to Berlin itself. How will he be received? Launched in Feb 2020, the ebook now has a new cover.

Many blessings and happy reading!!!

In The Steps Of The Lighthorse/Anzacs

By Barbara Miller

We timed our visit to Israel so that we would be in Be’er-Sheva for the 93rd anniversary of the famous charge of the Australian Light horse on October 31, 1917 and the ceremonies being held that day. We travelled to most of the other battle sites where the ANZACS fought as well.

For those who haven’t heard the story before, I’ll briefly say that the taking of the wells of Be’er-Sheva (Beersheba) was critical for Allied victory in Palestine. The British had fought all day, the NZ Mounted Rifles and an Australian regiment took the high place of Tel es Sabe after heavy fighting. Still, all would have been lost had it not been for a daring charge by the Australian Light horsemen (about 800 of them) charging straight into the Turkish guns.

They were regarded as the crazy Australians to charge over an open area to the Turks who were in trenches in fortified positions. German planes were firing on them. The horses had not had water for days and if the Allied forces did not take the wells of Be’er-Sheva by nightfall, all would be lost. The horses smelled the water and galloped ahead at a furious pace. The men were not cavalry but mounted infantry and the daring charge just before nightfall took the Turks by surprise. They didn’t adjust the sights on their guns quickly enough. Some Australians fought hand to hand in the trenches and others jumped the trenches and rode into the city to stop the Germans blowing up the wells. While the charge brought the breakthrough, the charge could not have happened without the British fighting all day and the New Zealanders taking the high ground, preventing them from being mowed down.

This happened on Oct 31, 1917. On the same day, the British Parliament passed the Balfour Declaration in favour of the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The political will and the military victory went hand in hand. After fighting in other towns, Gen Allenby was able to walk into Jerusalem with his forces and accept the surrender of the Turks, thus ending 400 years of the Ottoman Empire, and nearly 1200 years of almost uninterrupted Islamic rule of Jerusalem. There had always been a Jewish presence in Jerusalem and Palestine however and Jewish forces fought alongside the British to free their land.

This was a precursor to the formation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 and again, ANZACS played a critical role in the defence of Israel, then Palestine.

So, as we prepared to go to Be’er-Sheva for the Oct 31 service, we approached a number of organisations in Australia to let them know we were going and the Cairns RSL donated us 4 red poppy wreaths, one of which we laid at the Park of the Australian Soldier, Be’er-Sheva and one at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. We laid one at the Commonwealth Cemetery at Mt Scopus in Jerusalem and one at the NZ monument in Ness Ziona. We also laid wreaths of fresh flowers at all three ceremonies in Be’er-Sheva, including the one at the Turkish memorial. We approached the Turkish embassy before leaving Australia for permission to do this. We did it in a spirit of reconciliation.

The New Zealand team brought with them pillows with poppies sewn into them to lay as wreaths at each place noted above because the NZ soldiers didn’t have pillows according to Lila Diprose who made the pillows. They also brought loose poppies to strew.

Norman is wearing a Torres Strait Islander flag at the ceremony as he gave the Aboriginal flag to Richard Evans to wear and he wanted the other Indigenous group in Australia to be represented. Kris Schlyder, an ex-army man with our team laid the wreath at the Park of the Australian Soldier with Liz Wright and Joanna Moss.

We went to three commemoration ceremonies – the Park of the Australian Soldier, the British Cemetery and the Turkish ceremony where we laid wreaths at all three – Australia, New Zealand and Britain together. It was a moving time for all of us and there was time for the team to pray at the cemetery the next day when Norman and I met with the Municipality of Be’er- Sheva.

On Oct 31, we had organised for the Vice Chairman of the Society of the Heritage of World War I, Mr Ezra Pimentel to be our guide and he was very informative. As well as going to the ceremonies, we went to Tel es Saba where the NZ Mounted Rifles and some Australians took the high place, Abraham’s well and Chauvel’s Hill from where he watched the 800 Australian Light horsemen ride into history with their famous charge. We also saw the Warriors Club where a local ex IDF serviceman has built a museum in his backyard with much war memorabilia.

While in Be’er-Sheva, we visited HaMaKom or Bible House where local Messianic congregations have a library, meeting place and coffee shop. Ps Howard and Randi Bass are very involved there and Randi had prepared a wonderful display re the Australian Light horse and NZ Mounted Rifles. It is becoming an ANZAC Museum and deserves support from Australians and New Zealanders. They also gave us refreshments.

Norman and I and our team hosted Howard and Randi Bass from Be’er-Sheva in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra) and, with Sue Rowe, in New Zealand (Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga) in July 2010 in preparation for our ANZAC tour of Israel.

We followed the steps of the Australian Light horsemen and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles as they fought in Gaza, Be’er-Sheva, Ashkelon, Armageddon, Semakh, Ayun Kara near Rishon Le Zion, Yafo near Tel Aviv, Jericho, Hebron and Jerusalem.

We arrived in the dark at Semakh which was amazing as the battle was fought in the dark although early morning and we were there in the evening. It is near the Sea of Galilee and was captured 25 Sept 1918 by the 11th and 12th Australian Light horse who charged a heavily fortified Turkish railway station. Indigenous light horsemen were involved too. The charge was not as big as the charge at Beersheba but just as dangerous and daring. They were mostly Queenslanders and some from South Australia. This ended Turkish and German opposition around the Sea of Galilee. Recently, a statue has been erected to the Australian Indigenous Light horseman and his horse, a worthy commemoration.

We went to Mt Carmel and Megiddo, the Allied forces capturing it on 19 Sept 1918, with Australian General Chauvel calling it the Battle of Armageddon. British General Allenby was made Vicount of Megiddo or Lord of Armageddon.

On Friday, Nov 5, we visited Rishon Le Zion which is built on top of Ayun Kara where, outnumbered 8 to 1, the NZ Mounted Rifles won a hard-fought victory. We visited the graves of the 50 Kiwis who died in that battle buried at Ramleh. We laid wreaths at the statue to the NZ Mounted Rifles at Ben Gurion School in Ness Ziona. This statue was only built in 2010 with the opening on March 1.

This account is only a quick summary of one aspect, though an important one of our tour i.e. our journey in the steps of the ANZACS and Light horse.

The light horsemen riding past the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery 100th anniversary

PM Benjamin Netanyahu speech 31 Oct 2017 at centenary