Marriage equality acceptance rings arrived

We finally received our “Until we all belong” marriage equality acceptance rings from Airbnb.

Until we all belong marriage equality acceptance ring

Until we all belong marriage equality acceptance rings

“This incomplete ring symbolises the gap
in marriage equality that we need to close.

“Until the day comes when two people who love each other can celebrate that love through commitment, will you wear this ring and show your acceptance of marriage equality?”

Airbnb on eBay have been overwhelmed with orders so there was a big delay (two months for us), and somehow we ended up with sizes too small (that’s why they’re on our little fingers). But they’ll do.

Absolutely anyone can wear these rings in support of the LGBTIQ community’s case for marriage equality in Australia. They’re free apart from $3.50 postage each.

Jenny and I will get married whether the law changes or not. Wearing the acceptance rings is our way of showing support for all the many other lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) folk who don’t have our advantage.

Marriage equality open letter

Jenny & Mix Margaret

My letter to my local Federal Member of Parliament, Mr Ken Wyatt AM, MP, a member of the Liberal Party.

For readers outside of Australia: despite its name the ‘Big L’ Liberal Party is actually the right wing or conservative party, currently ruling Australia under Prime Minister Turnbull.

The letter was sent on 10 July 2017 via this website:
which said “Write your message … and it will be sent to your local MP.” You can do the same!

Dear Ken Wyatt MP

I grew up in Parkerville/Hovea in the 60s and 70s and now live in Sawyers Valley. I’m a well-known and highly respected local classical musician and teacher.

Please ensure any new marriage law covers any two consenting adults, not just opposite sex couples and same sex couples. This way non-binary and intersex people will be able to marry.

At the moment some of us can’t marry, while others can but they will be misgendered. When I marry my fiancé I want to do it right, I don’t want to have completely wrong words in it.

Ken, as a straight non-transgender man, can you imagine getting married as a ‘wife?’ Or getting married to a ‘husband?’ How wrong is that? This is the sort of misgendering which happens under the current law.

Marriage predates Christianity by a long way. For non-believers it is a contract and a powerful emotional commitment, but not a religious rite. Churches should not have power of veto over the Marriage Act; it doesn’t belong to them.

Of course, many same-sex couples and couples where one or both partners are non-binary or intersex are indeed religious. My fiancé is a Christian, while I am an atheist. There is no valid reason why we should be denied equality in the social contract of marriage.

We already know the vast majority of Australians are in favour of marriage equality and would vote in favour of it if a plebiscite were held. Despite this, some MPs have already said a ‘Yes’ vote in a plebiscite won’t make them vote for it in parliament, thus making a mockery of the case for a plebiscite.

Please do not appease the tiny vocal minority who want to delay justice by using a non-binding and expensive plebiscite. They are pushing a religious agenda and playing politics with people’s lives. A plebiscite would cause taxpayer-funded hate and misinformation to invade the Australian media, resulting in great harm to a large number of Australian families.


Mx Margaret D. Jones, androgyne (enby)
Sawyers Valley, Western Australia
Email via

Hills Choir 30th anniversary concert & party

The Hills Choir Inc. celebrated their 30th anniversary with a lovely concert on 11 December 2016 and a private party a week later.

Jean Bourgault conducted the choir for her final performance (again). Next year the conductor’s role will be taken by the very talented local singer, Storme Reeves.

Sitting in the audience I was privileged to hear a string of wonderful performances by the choir and the long list of guest performers including the student percussion ensemble of Eastern Hills Senior High School in Mount Helena, Western Australia, where the concert was held.

There’s always a bit of nostalgia for me when I listen, play or sing in this wonderful and fairly new auditorium at EHSHS. In the 1970s I was a student there, doing years 8, 9 and 10 before heading ‘down the hill’ to Governor Stirling SHS to do my final two years before university. For years 11 and 12 I needed to change to Govo because Eastern Hills didn’t have a classroom music programme in those days, though in year 8 I did get six months of trumpet lessons in a demountable classroom with Sam Maher (a classmate for that, much better at trumpet than myself, was Phil Bourgault, one of Jean’s sons). Now the school has an amazing specialist music programme (largely developed I suspect by Maurice Bourgault, another son), with the student performers often participating in the choir’s concerts.

Jean Bourgault was the music teacher at the primary school next door. Her husband, Henri, taught me French in Year 8. Jean and Henri were classmates of my late father in teachers’ college (Dad was a mature age student) but I didn’t know this until a few years ago. Small town, Perth, eh?

Jean was never my teacher but I distinctly remember standing by the side of the road outside the schools showing her a small music theory book in which I’d written answers. She had a quick look at it and very politely and tactfully said “You ought to have a theory teacher.” This must have had quite an impact because I subsequently had a lot of theory teachers.

There’s no great review of the concert here from me, really just a few pics for posterity including the printed programme (zoom in to read it). More pics have been put up on a Facebook page.

At the party a week after the concert I had the opportunity to play a couple of original piano compositions which I completed earlier this year. Puck at Parkerville is a playful neo-baroque solo inspired by the mischievous character Puck from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was produced in my childhood home, the Parkerville Amphitheatre, in the 1970s.

Rainbows Over Hovea is a moody but ultimately uplifting work inspired by the Jane Brook valley, particularly the lovely areas around the amphitheatre (which, despite its name, is in Hovea) and the John Forrest National Park. Both piano solos will be published soon.


Jean Bourgault conducting the Hills Choir. Eastern Hills Senior High School Auditorium, Mount Helena, Western Australia.


Bassoonist Melissa Mikucki accompanied by Brandon Scherrer.

Hayley Ferris playing Schubert's Impromptu Op. 90, No. 4 (piano solo).

Hayley Ferris playing Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90, No. 4 in A flat (piano solo).

Storme Reeves singing Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, with Alan Banks

Storme Reeves singing Have Yourself a Merry Christmas, with Alan Banks

Hills Choir concert programme for 11 December 2016.

Hills Choir concert programme for 11 December 2016.

Hills Choir concert programme for 11 December 2016, inside pages.

Hills Choir concert programme for 11 December 2016, inside pages.

Below are pics from the large end-of-year Christmas Party at a private residence in Glen Forrest, 17 December 2016. Many former choir members were able to attend.

Choir history display board One.

Choir history Display Board One.

Chloe Mauger and Display board Two, which she had a big hand in making.

Chloe Mauger and Display Board Two, which she had a big hand in making. I saw myself in some of the pics on this board.

The piano on which I played Puck at Parkerville and Rainbows Over Hovea, plus another Schubert Impromptu (No. 3 in G flat).

Me at the party, sitting at the piano on which I played Puck at Parkerville and Rainbows Over Hovea, plus another Schubert Impromptu (Op. 90 No. 3 in G flat).

For these pics and more see

See the choir’s own website at

Please feel free to make a comment here and/or on Facebook.

Trans talk at Wheatbelt Mental Health

It was a sign of the times that I was invited to give a talk about transgender issues to a group affiliated with WA Country Health Service.

For 80 minutes yesterday I presented an interactive talk to the Consumer Advocacy Group (CAG) within Wheatbelt Mental Health, in Northam.

Mx Margaret Jones & audience

Mx Margaret and the Consumer Advocacy Group at Bridgeley Community Centre, Northam

It is certainly appropriate for mental health workers, consumers and affiliated groups to have educational talks about transgender issues even though being transgender is not in itself a diagnosis of any mental health condition. It’s still important because trans people do suffer a greatly increased risk of mental illness including suicide attempts, depression, anxiety and other conditions mostly likely caused by social isolation, family rejection, employment & housing discrimination, bullying, frequent innuendo about not being genuine, and of course, gender dysphoria.

We covered many topics including changes in terminology over recent decades especially in relation to the terms transgender, transsexual (rarely used nowadays), intersex, and non-binary. We looked a little at pronouns including the singular they, and of course I told them all about Mx (or Mix), a non-binary transgender title.

Several people contributed very interesting and insightful questions, comments and anecdotes. Two were staff psychologists with WMH and I was really impressed at their already well-developed and fine-tuned understanding of many of the issues. I was picked-up for a slip of the tongue when I said ‘intersex condition’ instead of ‘intersex variation’ because most intersex people don’t have any sort of physical or mental illness directly related to being intersex and need no treatment (unless they have suffered from some unnecessary medical procedure). What a pleasant surprise that was.

Whenever I talk about trans issues I always bring up intersex stories because we can all learn so much from the intersex experience. For one thing this really puts the lie to the notion there are only men and women walking the earth, and their often shocking interaction with the medical establishment is instructive. Most in this group had not previously heard the word ‘intersex.’

I had handouts for them briefly covering many topics and I believe six pages of that will be scanned and put in their minutes. Yay!

It was so good to interact like this with these good folk and educate them further. We all agreed that the general public has been getting more and more on the same page with the transgender community despite the misinformed rantings of a vocal few.

Mx Margaret D. Jones

Mx Margaret D. Jones

Non-binary in Census 2016

The 2016 Australian Census was an obvious and very public debacle in several respects, but there was a positive side: it allowed non-binary and intersex people to be counted in a distinct way from male and female people.

2016 Australian census Q. 2

Q. 2: Non-binary transgender (Androgyne)

For the first time I was able to click a radio button for ‘Other’ in question two, instead of ‘Male’ or ‘Female.’ In the ‘please specify’ box I wrote: “Non-binary transgender (Androgyne).”

2016 Australian cenus feedback

Census feedback: Glad I didn’t have to lie.

This ‘Other’ option was only available in the online version if you requested a special login code for non-binary people.

2016 Australian census Q. 18

Q. 18: No religion

Another innovation was to put ‘No religion’ at the top of the options for religion in question 18. Apparently, the powers that be thought this would elicit a more accurate figure, and they may be right.

The improvement in the recording of non-binary status in the census is no doubt due to the advocacy and legal achievements of several gender pioneers in Australia over a long period of time, notably Alex MacFarlane, Norrie, and Tony Briffa. More recently Jamie Shupe has been succeeding in legal action in the USA.

Alex MacFarlane
In 2001 Alex, born many decades earlier in Victoria (Australia), was given a new birth certificate showing “Sex: Indeterminate also known as Intersex.

From :

MacFarlane is believed to be the first person in Australia to obtain a birth certificate recording sex as indeterminate, and the first Australian passport with an ‘X’ sex marker in 2003.

Also from :

[Norrie] became the first transsexual person in Australia to pursue a legal status of neither a man nor a woman, in 2010. That status was subjected to an appeal by the State of New South Wales. In April 2014 the Australian High Court ruled “that New South Wales laws do permit the registration of a category of sex other than male or female.” See also

Tony Briffa
Also from :

Tony Briffa JP previously acknowledged as the world’s first openly intersex public official and mayor, states on Briffa’s website that “my birth certificate is silent as to my sex.” See also

Jamie Shupe (USA) (June 2016):

…an Oregon circuit court rules that resident Jamie Shupe could legally change their gender to nonbinary—the first U.S. court to do so.” See also

Like me Shupe uses Mx as a title, instead of Miss or Mr etc. Thus ‘Mx Jamie Shupe,’ and ‘Mx Shupe.’ I’ve been using Mx (pronounced ‘mix’), a non-binary transgender title, since 2002. See

2016 Australian census Q. 36

Q. 36: Occupation: music teacher

If anyone in Australia has not yet done the census be aware it is compulsory and you can be fined. The deadline is 23 September, 2016. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) sent me this:

If you are using the online form and the responses of male and female do not apply to you, please take the following steps:
1. Call the Census Inquiry Service on 1300 214 531.
2. Ask for a Census Login for the special online form. You can receive your Login by SMS or email.
3. Use your new Census Login to complete your Census form at

You could also ask the ABS if there is a special hardcopy form.

HSO concert at Midland Town Hall 20160703

OK, so they’re not the WASO or the Berlin Phil, but there is nothing like a real, live orchestra. A full house enjoyed the Hills Symphony Orchestra’s concert today, and so did I.

HSO at Midland Town Hall on 20160703

HSO at Midland Town Hall on 20160703

According to Facebook I must be in the 10% who’ve never seen Game of Thrones, but now I know some of the music, which was memorable enough as concert music.

Several items from Tchaikovsky ballets reminded me of why I like his music. From melodic elements which seem too simple, too basic, Tchaikovsky fashioned great music which never disappoints. Often made of simple scale fragments and sequences, his music still engages your attention and your emotions, which is similarly a quality of Beethoven’s music. Perhaps there is also magic in the chord progressions and modulations? (These relate to some of my own preoccupations as a composer.)

The King Kong film music seemed well-fashioned but I’m not sure I’ll remember it.

Hills Symphony Orchestra

Midland Town Hall

The amateur HSO is a precious jewel in the local scene. I hope they keep getting such big and appreciative audiences because they deserve it, they put on great concerts. See below for their links.

Mx Margaret Dylan Jones

Mx Margaret Dylan Jones

All-Smalley concert at State Theatre

Since Roger passed away in August I’ve been to two concerts featuring his music (see near the end for the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra’s concert).

It was great to be in the audience last night (20160607) for a Tura concert consisting entirely of music by my mentor, Roger Smalley (1943-2015). The Perth group Decibel performed five works in the first of their first Scale Variable concerts in the Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre (in Western Australia). Most of the music was  composed in the UK before 1976 when Roger moved to Australia to teach composition at the University of Western Australia.

What a delight this was! Though I recognised some of the material I had the feeling I was hearing it for the first time, or with new ears. After reading the great programme notes (by Cat Hope) I realised that some things had found their way into later works, so mystery solved.

These are pieces rarely heard with some probably not performed for decades. The members of Decibel and their friends went to a lot of trouble to assemble or recreate the materials needed, beginning with tracking down some lost items.

The first work was Didjeridu, for four channel tape, composed when Roger was Composer-in-Residence at UWA during his first visit here in 1974. From the programme: “[the work] uses source materials extracted from an LP that is still housed in the UWA library, featuring traditional music from the Mornington Peninsula.” I happened to sit next to Jenny Wildy, who was the music librarian at the Wigmore Music Library for nearly forty years. She said “I know that LP!”

Transformation (1968 rev. 1971) is for piano and live electronic “ring-modulation.” I thought I’d heard Roger using ring-modulation in another work, but I don’t recall it sounding like this. Adam Pinto’s masterful rendition of this virtuosic work was exciting, and the ring modulation was a revelation.

Impulses (1986) for ensemble treats ideas from an earlier work, Pulses. Full of pulsating, of course.

Another piano solo with ring modulation is Monody (1971-72), “the first of Smalley’s pieces to feature ring-modulation as structural, rather than colouristic and decorative role.” This was quite a mesmerising performance by Stuart James.

Decibel gave us the Australian premiere of Zeitebenen (‘time levels,’ 1973-75) for live electronic ensemble and tape, a major 45 minute work which made up the entire second ‘half’ of the evening. A large and varied work. I feel so privileged to have heard it, and I was impressed with how the composer managed the long time frame.

Before coming to Perth Roger was part of Intermodulation, an important electro-acoustic group of four composer/performers, for which he wrote this music. “Decibel is not unlike Intermodulation in its make up and intent… thus the program is dedicated to compositions for acoustic and electronic instruments… Decibel is a world leader in the integration of acoustic instruments and electronics, the interpretation of graphic notations and pioneer digital score formats…”

On 6 December 2015 I went to another really wonderful concert by the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra in the Fremantle Town Hall but I didn’t get around to blogging about it at the time. They gave a great rendition of Roger’s Footwork (2006, also known as Birthday tango) in a programme of mainstream works, and it was very well received. I’ve misplaced the printed programme and there’s nothing about it on their own website. Unlike last night’s concert there was no restriction on photos.

FCO Town Hall concert

Fremantle Chamber Orchestra on 6th December 2015, playing Roger Smalley’s Footwork

So that’s my five cents worth; I don’t write full-on music reviews. There is a little more about the Decibel concert at Perhaps the whole written programme will be put online, too? It has a lot more detail. (Hint, hint to Cat Hope.)

There was also a review of the Decibel concert the next day in The West Australian newspaper by :

For more about Roger see my first blog about him from August 2015 and the many comments on it at At the end of that blog I’m adding more and more links to performances and articles about Roger, including the Decibel concert and any reviews I find.

Chidlow Recital, May 2016

With a couple of friends I held a classical music recital last week. We were  SO  STOKED  at the big attendance and all the great comments we got. Everyone had a great time and it seems it was a tremendous success. Yay us!

We three had a lot of fun preparing for the event, and we really enjoyed playing and singing our favourite music. It is such a joy to share music you love with a really appreciative audience. We held it at the Chidlow Hall, built in 1905 in the Shire of Mundaring, way out east past the hills of Perth, Western Australia. In recent years the Shire wanted to do away with the hall but now the local residents have taken it over and are refurbishing it.

Audience at Chidlow Hall

Audience at Chidlow Hall

Many people told us they loved the way we all spoke about the music before playing it. They said they found the music easier to follow and it made it all the more enjoyable. I can well understand that as I got used to hearing quite a bit of spoken introduction in countless wonderful performances I attended when I was a university student. It just seems like common sense to me and I don’t understand why anyone would do otherwise. In many situations it would be disrespectful, and unnatural, to simply walk up to the instrument and play without saying anything.

For my part, I talked about how I used to find Mozart’s music rather boring until I realised I was listening for something that is not in it. When I figured out how his style worked about ten years ago it was a revelation to me, and I think that resonated a lot with the big audience.

I illustrated the Bulgarian rhythm of a Bartók piece before playing it, and showed how it is identical to one of the most common and most loved rock or pop rhythms, sometimes known as the frug. Later someone asked me if that was from Bach, and I realised he thought I’d said ‘fugue.’

Naomi and Tony also gave very useful spoken insights into their guitar solos and songs, respectively (see the full programme below).

I took the opportunity to play a couple of original piano solos. I wrote Androgyne Prophecy in 1977 around my 16th birthday. Puck at Parkerville was completed just a month ago, and depicts the mischievous elf or sprite Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play was produced in my family’s Parkerville Amphitheatre ca. 1974.

Naomi Millett, classical guitar

Naomi Millett, classical guitar

Our programme:

Mix Margaret & Friends
Classical Music, Old and New

Naomi Millett, guitar
Toni Arndt, soprano
Margaret D. Jones, piano

Courante and Galliard by Silvus Leopold Weiss
The Maids in Constrite from the Jane Pickering Lute Book
Go From My Window from the Jane Pickering Lute Book
Allegretto in A major Op. 10 No. 4 by Matteo Carcassi
Alla Polacca (Polonaise) by Ferdinando Carulli

Lieder by Franz Schubert (b. 1797, d.1828) (accomp. by MDJ)
Romanze (from Rosamunde)
Liebhaber in Allen Gestalten
An Die Musik

Piano Sonata in C, K309 (first movement) (1777) by W.A. Mozart
Androgyne Prophecy (1977) by MDJ (sheet music available)
No. 6 of Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm (from Mikrokosmos, 1926 – 1939) by Béla Bartók

INTERVAL   Free refreshments

Sarabande by Francis Poulenc
Llanura by Reginald Smith Brindle
Estudio Sencillos No. V ‘Allegretto Montuno’ by Leo Brouwer
Allegro No. 26 by Brouwer
Movido/Rapido No. 20 by Brouwer

Two arias from Mozart’s opera, The Marriage of Figaro (1786) (accomp. by MDJ):
Porgi Amor
Non So Più

Song Without Words, Op. 19 No. 3 in A (1829-30) by Felix Mendelssohn
Sonatine (second movement) (1905) by Maurice Ravel
Puck at Parkerville by MDJ (2016)

About Naomi
For many years Naomi was the presenter of The Guitar Show on RTR 92.1 FM community radio. (The show is now called Plucked Strings.)

As a fine soloist and performer she has played guitar or mandola in many duos and other ensembles. She was an Arts journalist with The West Australian newspaper for fourteen years, where she interviewed many leading classical guitarists, and has been a leader in the classical guitar (and mandolin) community of Perth behind the scenes. For many years Naomi has been an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB).

Since having two children and moving to the Wheatbelt in 2007 Naomi has continued to teach, write, perform, record CDs and adjudicate at eisteddfodau, most recently the successful Pilbara Music Festival held in Port Hedland. She works part time in consumer advocate/peer support areas with the WA Health Department.

About Toni
Well-known to Hills audiences for her many solo appearances at concerts with the Hills Choir, Toni has a great love of soprano arias and art song. Her extensive repertoire includes Lieder and other music by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Fauré.

About Margaret
Margaret grew up inside the Parkerville Amphitheatre, which her family founded and ran from 1966 to 2001. See

For five years Margaret studied composition at UWA with Roger Smalley AM. Margaret’s piano compositions have been in the AMEB exam syllabus for many years. See her extensive website at for sheet music, free recordings and videos, and information about her many musical qualifications and accomplishments. Margaret is available to play her wide repertoire of classical music for private functions, cafes, exhibitions and book launches.

Margaret is an androgyne (a type of non-binary transgender) and is referred to as she or they. Instead of Miss or Mr, her title is Mx (Mix). Margaret has continuously used Mx since 2002 and is one of its earliest adopters. This honorific title was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in its online form in 2015 (see Margaret’s major online article on Mx/Mix, with a little about the singular they).

Many thanks to Kim Graham (Chidlow Progress Association), young Clive (Fuzzy) Millett, and to all those who helped spread the word.

More info (including how to buy scores online):

7.30pm Friday May 20, 2016 at Chidlow Hall, Chidlow, Western Australia.


Soul Tree is on the market, with no piano

This amazing organic café in Glen Forrest in the Perth Hills is now up for sale. In the few years Marilyn and Charl have owned and run it they have completely transformed it in almost every way.

In December I gave my last performance there. I’ve discontinued my piano playing residency at the café partly because of the uncertainty over the ownership, but also because I’ve been playing there two to five times a month for fourteen months and it feels like it’s time for a little break.

All the staff and patrons have been delightful. It’s been wonderful playing three hours each time from a repertoire of maybe 10 or 12 hours’ worth of scores, but there are other works I couldn’t play there because they aren’t suitable for creating a relaxing, laid-back atmosphere.

A few originals were sneaked in and were always very well-received. Recently my creative music-composing side has been taking off (well, slightly), so I will soon have more original works to perform, somewhere.

But if you’re looking for very delicious and very healthy food and drink in daylight hours, check them out


Sunday Dec 20, 2015 is next screening of Amphitheatre doco

The next public screening of the documentary “Parkerville Amphitheatre: Sets, Bugs and Rock n Roll,” just a one-off, is Sunday night, 20th December 2015 at Outdoor Kookaburra Cinema, Allen Road, Mundaring Weir (in the Perth hills).

Info Line: 9295 6190
Screening Times
Gates open – 6:30pm
Show starts – 8:00pm
Adults: $15
Children: $10

See two trailers at

See a very brief history of the amphitheatre at

This feature length (87 minute) independent documentary on the amphitheatre was completed by Tempest Productions in early 2015. The world premiere on 4th July 2015 at the Revelation film festival was SOLD OUT.

Jenny Crabb & Susie Conte, film’s directors, will provide a short commentary prior to the screening at the Kookaburra. And I’ll be there, too.