Return to Country

Andrew Starkie shares a series of memories and moments, at once relatable and unique, that make him who he is – a country boy at heart.

Almanac Horseracing: A May Carnival that’ll be like no other

The May Carnival of horseracing will go ahead in Warrnambool starting on Tuesday May 5, albeit in completely new circumstances. Mark McNamara takes a look back through the history of this event that has endured war, depression and pandemics.

Almanac Memories – Bringing me back

Family memories remind Andrew Starkie that he is grateful for his upbringing making him the person he is today.

Almanac Horseracing – “The ‘Bool: The History of Racing in Warrnambool – from 1848” a book by by Mark McNamara

The Warrnambool carnival has just concluded. It’s long and rich history of horseracing has inspired a book from Mark McNamara, with content spanning from the origins of racing in the region in 1848 up until the present day. (published in May, 2018)

Almanac Odd Friday Lunch – with Mark McNamara (August 17)

Join us at the North Fitzroy Arms for The Odd Friday Lunch, this time with Mark McNamara (Aug 17) author of The ‘Bool.

We are Green and Gold (2014)

Andrew Starkie lost a dear footy friend, Matt McNeil, at the age of 43. He reflects on their time together in the Old Collegians team in the WDFL and their adventures in Warrnambool. [Superb tribute – JTH]

Almanac Music: The River

Andrew Starkie has a look back to his childhood spent with his best mate, Patrick McGinness. The connection has stayed strong with the help of a mutual love for Bruce Springsteen.

Take me out to the ball game

A touching tribute by Chris Daley to his mate’s dad, Peter Wood, a genuine legend of sport in the south-west of Victoria. A timely reminder of the simplicity and importance of enjoying time with friends and family at a game of sport.


Evocative, moving writing from Andrew Starkie on memory, on place and on gratitude.

Almanac Travel: A Warrnambool Winter

Andrew Starkie travels back to Warrnambool to share old and new memories with his daughter.

RIP Brendan Keilar: Selfless Courage

Andrew Starkie hears the name of a childhood friend on the 7th anniversary of his senseless death. “May their selfless courage in going to the aid of a stranger inspire in us all a greater sense of community and concern for others.” Amen.

AFL Round 5- Collingwood v North Melbourne: Easter Back at the ‘Bool

An Easter trip back to his hometown of Warrnambool sees Andrew Starkie reminiscing about past Old Collegian glory whilst watching North Melbourne go down to the Pies at Mac’s Hotel. He still loves home and the smell of the hot cross buns.

Father’s Day at the Hampden Football League Grand Final

Glen Potter was given a hand-made gift voucher for father’s day, offering the bearer a day out to any country footy league grand final. He and his 10-year-old son chose the Hampden league. All aboard!

Calling all Knackers to the ‘Bool

“Going to the ‘Bool?” That’s been the question most asked on Melbourne’s racecourses this week.

AFL Round 2 – St.Kilda v Richmond: When holidays go wrong

John Green is re-assessing the timing of his annual leave. He is a Tigers fan.

‘Big Red’ Bows Out

Popular Warrnambool figure Chris “Big Red” Jennings has passed away, aged just 47. The Warrnambool Standard reports: