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A+ Magazine Autumn/Winter 2019





We caught up with the Museum of Australian Democracy's effervescent Director, Daryl Karp.

We talk to three local chefs at the top of their game about cooking with the season's most enigmatic ingredient.

24 A FEAST FOR THE SENSES Art, Not Apart's producer Dave Caffrey gives us the head's up for this year's event.

26 WHAT'S ON You'd be forgiven for thinking that a chilly Canberra winter means a quiet social calendar, but we're here to tell you that's just not the case.

46 LET IT SNOW Looking for an alpine adventure this winter? Read our ultimate guide to the snow season ahead.





Shining a very well-designed light on some of Canberra's very best in design.

Wurker Studio's Sara Wurcker talks authenticity and sustainability in fashion, and how to cultivate the 'art of slow'.

Editor Jasmine De Martin

A+ Magazine is published biannually by:

Art Direction + Design Samantha Crowe Words Jasmine De Martin, Samantha Crowe, Laura Marsh, Lydia Stevens and Rosie Stevens of Twofold Content. Advertising Enquiries Gemma Moorfield, Sales Executive Cover Image RenĂŠ Linssen's 'Pearla' Oyster Knife. Photograph by Anisa Sabet. /


While we take every care to ensure details are correct, the publisher will take no responsibility for errors or omissions, including operators who may have closed. Where prices or dates are quoted, they are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change. Thanks to all who have contributed to this issue. All Rights Reserved.

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Welcome to A+ Magazine, a Canberra-centric showcase and guide to what’s happening around Australia’s capital city. Produced biannually by Iconic Hotels, A+ Magazine offers our valued Abode Hotels guests a snapshot of what’s on offer during their stay, and our airport lounge readers a myriad of reasons to visit or return to Canberra. Much like our city’s developing landscape, the past six months has been a period of growth for Iconic Hotels. We welcomed a new Abode Hotel to the family, Abode Kingston. Located in Canberra’s inner-south, close to national cultural attractions and minutes from highly acclaimed bars and restaurants, it’s the perfect base for corporate or leisure guests. Canberra is evolving as a city, and we are proud to be part of the change. New transport, infrastructure, events and activities are constantly providing more and more for locals and visitors. I invite you to explore A+ Magazine, take it home with you, and be inspired by what’s on offer in Canberra, Australia's capital city.

RIEN DONKIN, General Manager Iconic Hotels


Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Harry Burk


Director of MoAD, Daryl Karp. Photo: Supplied



Celebrating Australia’s past, present and future in the heart of Canberra Affording a premium position in the heart of Canberra, sits Old Parliament House. Home of the Australian Parliament between 1927 and 1988, this iconic building is now home to one of Australia's most remarkable living museums; MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy).


his year, the museum celebrates a decade of making the extraordinary building and the stories that have lived in it relevant to today’s Australia, and also a decade of sparking a conversation about the democracy that we have and the democracy we want to have in the future. At the helm of this contemporary and dynamic institution, is director of MoAD, Daryl Karp, who is passionate about world-class democracy, the relevance of political history and the abundance of activities our capital city has to offer. MoAD today MoAD in 2019 retains its same mission as a decade ago. Daryl says “Australia has a truly world class democracy and MoAD is as much a space to celebrate it today as it was when it was born ten years ago.”

MoAD in 2019 takes its role in gathering insight and information about current thought and sentiment seriously; “we capture the mood and we capture our visitors’ ideas. From the contribution the people who come through our doors make, we are able to see specific trends in popular feeling. We can get a snapshot of a mood and tone,” Daryl says. As well as analysing current trends, MoAD remembers. Daryl notes that “we must remember political history, because our democracy is not fixed. It’s not carved in stone. Societies change, expectations change, we need to look at what’s worked and what hasn’t. History has some wonderful lessons in it.”


“We must remember political history, because our democracy is not fixed. It’s not carved in stone. Societies change, expectations change, we need to look at what’s worked and what hasn’t. History has some wonderful lessons in it.” - DARYL KARP, Director of MoAD

The city in which MoAD lives Daryl, hailing originally from Sydney, says she continues to be surprised by how little she knew about Canberra before arriving in the city. “The thing that struck me and continues to strike me is just how much there is to do and how many interesting, creative and exciting people live here.” “Content of the museum aside, from MoAD you can capture a view that you could not find anywhere else in Canberra. In 360 degrees, you have the majestic Australian War Memorial in front of an imposing Mount Ainslie; turn around and you will take in a truly unique snapshot of our current political home; Parliament House.” So what’s on at MoAD? Daryl says that MoAD is proud to cater to everyone; “there is truly something for everyone whether you’re a year old or 95 years old. We have art, protest, political humour, conventional history and nostalgia.” For the littlies, there’s PlayUP; a chance to explore the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child in a playful way. From listening pods and a roleplay Kindness Café to a fuzzy felt wall and craft activities, PlayUP has a range of exciting and immersive experiences that flip the traditional idea of museums completely on its head.


MoAD'S PlayUp. Photo: Mark Nolan

Daryl's five favourite things to do at MoAD

Matt Golding 'Curiouser and Curiouser', 2018.

1. I love sitting in Senate Chamber in Dame Dorothy Tangney’s seat—the first female member of the Australian Senate. The accompanying audio is so beautiful and calm.

MoAD Entrance. Photo: Andrew Merry

For the older among us, Behind The Lines is a fan favourite at MoAD; a series of some of the best political cartoons that capture the zeitgeist of the previous year. Daryl says Behind The Lines serves as an excellent reminder of Australian democracy and how free political cartoonists are to ply their trade. 2019 also marks MoAD’s 10th birthday, and plans are in the works for an unforgettable birthday party. Without wanting to give too much away, Daryl explains “we’re celebrating by reinterpreting some of our best-loved spaces as well as bringing in the new,” Daryl explains. The Federal election this year will provide another opportunity for people from across Australia to cast their vote in truly historic surrounds. Keep an eye out for the MoAD Election Festival around polling day, and rest assured a sausage sizzle is as important a part of election day at Old Parliament House as it is at polling stations around Australia. Daryl’s final tip for those planning a trip to MoAD? “Don’t underspend on the parking meter! There is so much to do and explore here that it’s easy to lose track of time. Prepare to be surprised at MoAD.” Museum of Australian Democracy 18 King George Terrace, Parkes ACT

2. I adore the political cartoons of Behind The Lines and am continually amazed by the creativity and wit of political cartoonists; they constantly give a new perspective to the year that has just passed. 3. The interpretation of the Prime Minister’s suite is a real favourite. It’s set up as when Bob Hawke was Prime Minister—complete with a peephole between his office and principal private secretary’s office. 4. I love sitting and having a salad at Hoi Polloi—the new reincarnation of the NonMembers Bar. It draws inspiration from its historic art deco design and is complete with original furnishings and a modern touch. Such a beautiful space (and delicious food!) 5. If you have young people, the sheer beauty of DressUP is unmissable. Dressing up as icons like Frida Kahlo, Adam Goodes and Beyoncé really facilitates a connection between children and contemporary figures.


Gallery of Small Things. Photo: Mel Hill Photography

From Small Things, Big Things Grow Very few people see beauty in their laundry, let alone view it as a potential space to house pieces of art and grand (or should we say ‘tiny, yet impressive’) design. Meet Anne Masters, owner and director of the Gallery of Small Things. Creating one of Canberra’s most unique and treasured art spaces, Anne converted her 1960’s outdoor laundry into a gallery, sparking the birth of a community that brings together makers, designers and artists in celebration of all things small.


"One of my youngest supporters is only 10 years old and she has visited three times, saving her pocket money to buy little artworks." - ANNE MASTERS, Gallery of Small Things

Since launching in 2017, how has the response to Gallery of Small Things been so far? It’s been an overwhelmingly positive response. We had more than 1100 visitors walk through the doors in the first 13 months. I think visitors are curious about the name and location, and they are taken by surprise when they discover it’s less than 6 meters’ square and looks like a real gallery with professional lighting and hanging systems! All artworks must be less than A3 which provides a sense of intimacy for the visitor, encouraging them to feel close to the works, touch the works and simply enjoy the tactility that the materials—including silk, copper, glass and ceramics—can offer. Is there a supportive environment for artists here in Canberra?

little artworks in an environment that sparks a joyful experience for her. It’s the little things that matter and she is the essence of what GOST is all about. Do you get many tourists visiting GOST? Yes, I would say just under half have been tourists. They have come from as far as the United Kingdom, Sweden and closer to home from Western Australia, Adelaide and Brisbane. What does the future look like for GOST? It’s looking fabulous! So far, I’ve made some special connections with a joint exhibition From small things, big things grow with Megalo Print Studio +

Gallery where we had one exhibition in two locations with small and big print media artworks. We recently went online which now means visitors can shop via the internet as well as in-person. And in 2019, I have workshops planned to educate and mentor artists with lifelong skills in becoming confident professional, practicing artists. This ranges from improving their CV to approaching galleries and much more. Watch this tiny space grow!

Gallery of Small Things 27 Wade Street, Watson ACT

Owner and Director Anne Masters. Photo: Amanda Thorsen Photographer

Canberra is incredibly supportive of the arts. GOST’s philosophy is to showcase emerging through to established artists; and the gallery has become a beautiful representation of the supportive art community, offering a platform for artists and makers from Canberra and beyond. What do you aim to make people feel when they enter the unique environment of GOST? The idea is to keep the background subtle so that the eye is drawn to the objects and artworks. It’s all about intimacy and the fun part is when suddenly the gallery is full and visitors get to know each other that little bit more! One of my youngest supporters is only 10 years old and she has visited three times, saving her pocket money to buy




For the love of tea (pots) It might sound simple, yet teapot making is serious business. More than just a pot and a spout, the teapot is a work of fine art which acclaimed ceramicist Chris Harford of Spinning Gum Pottery appreciates. He’s actually won awards for his teapots – all of them! Chris has an eye for design and a love of pottery which has seen him place more than just teapots on the tables of some of Canberra’s finest restaurants.


t seems like a dream, yet working from home, throwing clay onto a pottery wheel and creating beautiful vessels to eat and drink from is noted ceramicist, Chris Harford’s reality. With chickens roaming freely close by, fruit and vegetables ready for harvest year-round in the garden and a yurt built together with his wife, inspiration to create is everywhere.

most noted restaurants, which Chris credits to Canberra’s food scene experiencing a boom a few years ago.

The former head of the Canberra Potters’ Society, Chris has been a professional potter for over 30 years. His work, predominantly tableware, is represented in public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Self-taught and always learning, Chris loves nothing more than to create meaningful pieces that enter peoples’ lives, start conversations and become part of the fabric of their home.

“It was always my dream to make pottery for a restaurant, so this was a game-changer.”

“I love bringing pleasure to peoples’ lives,” says Chris “every potter is different, so every piece is different. They tell different stories. They resonate with people differently and there’s a unique dialogue between each individual pottery piece and its owner.” This notion is particularly evident when Chris speaks about his favourite object to make – teapots. “You can make beautiful things, yet making something personally functional is the trick. From the weight of the piece, to the feel, to the texture and to the creator’s intent. It’s all very important.” As well as a form and function approach to teapots, Chris applies this theory and practice when creating bespoke tableware. His pieces are stocked across some of Canberra’s

“Canberra’s food scene really exploded. At a time when noone was really doing it, local restaurant, Sage Dining Rooms, approached and commissioned me to make a full range of tableware for them.”

“With the local food scene gaining more traction, restaurants started to redefine how they curated experiences for their guests – this included everything from showcasing more local produce to placing that local produce on a locally produced plate.” There’s a definite art to Chris’ work. Every step (roughly twelve) is considered. From throwing and beating the clay, to spinning on the wheel, to trimming, glazing and carving, and all the firing and drying in between. A lot of time goes into each individual piece, and time is ultimately what makes each piece sing. As well as producing pieces regularly, Chris also teaches classes twice a week at Watson Arts Centre in Canberra. He loves teaching and laments that he has had to cut back a bit due to the high demand for his work commercially. It seems the creation cycle never stops. When asked if he ever takes a break he notes, “yes, for tea, of course! Oh, and every so often I take a day off to go fishing.” Discover more of Chris' work on Instagram: @chris_harford_tableware



Ahead of the Curve Blending his two interests, art and engineering, emerging Canberra industrial designer, René Linssen, is making waves across the nation’s capital. Winner of the 2017 Belle Alessi design award, and co-founder of Furnished Forever - a local furniture brand focused on Australian ingenuity and craftsmanship - René shows us that simplicity in form and function can be both beautiful and impactful.

Tell us about your background? What path led you to what you’re doing today? I've always wanted to pursue a career that would make a difference and an impact. I studied Industrial Design and truly believe it has the ability to shape and change the world we live in. Can you describe your creative process? The creative process for me involves everything from research, sketching, prototyping, 3D modelling and 3D visualization. It is a very back and forth process between all these things. No two projects are ever the same. What kind of themes do you like to explore through your work? Do you find yourself drawn to certain materials or forms to express this?

Industrial designer René Linssen. Photo: Lightbulb Studio

At the start of every project I am always looking for a source of inspiration. I'm very interested in the story behind a product, what does it symbolise beyond its function. I think story is so important because it gives the product meaning, which helps people connect with it on a deeper level. You have collected several notable accolades in the few short years of your career. Do you have a highlight? One of the highlights for me so far would be designing a bike rack, inspired by Parliament House, for an ACT Government design competition, which I was one of the winners. Since the competition the ACT Government has ordered an additional 70 units of the bike rack to use and distribute around Canberra. To have one of my designs featured in my home town is very special and humbling to me.

What are some of the challenges you face as a young designer? Being in any creative field has its challenges, work can be crazy busy one moment and then quiet the next. I think one of the biggest challenges you face as an emerging designer is trying to create opportunities for yourself. Often you are juggling more than one job with multiple side hustles. It's all about putting yourself out there, trying lots of different things and seeing what sticks. You were recently involved in the delivery of the new West Basin Waterfront Park on Commonwealth Avenue. Tell us about this. Formswell, the industrial design studio I also work for, were approached to design the sculptural bollards, shelters, bike racks and boardwalk lighting


Furnished Forever Stance Stools. Photo: Charlie White

"To have one of my designs featured in my home town is very special and humbling to me." - RENÉ LINSSEN

strip featured in the park. This process involved everything from presenting initial concept sketches through to 3D CAD / 3D visualization to overseeing production of the final designs. It was very important the design elements in the park reflected Canberra. The sculptural barriers and shelters take their design cues from the local Brindabella mountains and the water from Lake Burley Griffin. The ‘Griffin Marker’ light which cuts perpendicular through the Griffin Marker Boardwalk signifies the Water Axis, which is one of two major lines that denotes Walter Burley Griffin’s Parliamentary Triangle. What is it like seeing your design in its final physical form? It's very cool and definitely the highlight of the whole design process.

Before you see the physical form, the design is still just an idea. When you see it in the flesh, it's real and can finally be experienced. It's very satisfying. What issues are you most passionate about in design? I'm very passionate about authentic design. By that I mean design that is honest in the materials it is made from and the manufacturing process. I'm a big believer in 'buy well, buy once'. When you buy something that is made with quality, it stays with you longer which ultimately means it doesn't end up in land fill and damage our environment.


Formswell street furniture at Henry Rolland Park. Photo: Adam McGrath


From Form and Function to Fun Surrounded by native trees and open grasslands, the bush capital is home to a variety of nature reserves, parks and playgrounds that provide endless outdoor activity opportunities for both locals and visitors. Take a look at Canberra’s best spots to play this season.


Henry Rolland Park A well-worn Canberran icon, reborn. Bringing a breath of fresh air to the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, Henry Rolland Park is the highlight of last year’s 13 million-dollar West Basin development. Located in the heart of Canberra, the park is surrounded by some of Canberra’s most iconic structures including the National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia and Old Parliament House, the building Henry Rolland himself oversaw as Chief Architect from 1925. Offering a new boardwalk, barbeque facilities, an outdoor gym and plenty of open space, this new and improved park is the ideal recreation destination to work up a sweat or sit back and soak up some sunshine. Henry Rolland Park. Photo: Adam McGrath

Barrine Drive, Acton ACT

Pod Playground Play in plants at the National Arboretum. Canberra is known for its unique architecture, so why would our city’s playgrounds be any different? Designed to reflect the scenic surrounds of the National Arboretum, Pod Playground challenges kids with its giant wooden acorn and banksia cubbies, rope tunnels, ladders, instruments and the usual swings and slides. Ideal for children of all ages, this playground is one of the many drawcards at the Arboretum. With 94 nearby forests of rare and endangered trees, the National Bonsai Collection and two delicious dining options to choose from, it’s easy to see why this is one of Canberra’s top tourist attractions. Pod Playground. Photo: VisitCanberra

Forest Drive, Molonglo Valley ACT

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Reconnect with nature south of the capital. Explore the best nature has to offer and strap in for a short scenic drive to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Located on the fringe of Namadgi National Park, 40 minutes’ drive south of Canberra’s CBD. Get up close and personal with our nation’s wonderful wildlife including wallabies, echidnas, koalas, emus, possums, kangaroos, platypus and a range of reptiles. Or if animals aren’t your forte, take the time to embrace Tidbinbilla’s picturesque landscape on a guided tour or one of the many walking tracks through the valley. Even the kids will enjoy discovering Australia’s native flora and fauna at the Nature Discovery Playground, making this the perfect picnic spot for the whole family. Nature Discovery Playground. Photo: Penny Bradfield for VisitCanberra

Paddy's River Road, Tidbinbilla ACT


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'Australian Dance Party' at Shine Dome, 2018. Photo: Maria Koulouris


A Contemporary Arts Festival For Everyone Offering a curated explosion of contemporary arts in all shapes and sizes, Art, Not Apart is a Canberra arts festival that celebrates the region’s exceptional artists alongside interstate and overseas talent. The festival isn’t just about art, but uses art as a metaphor to diminish boundaries, shining a light on the lesser heard and lesser seen.


ebuted in 2012 in honour of the creative, artistic talent that thrums throughout the nation’s capital. Art, Not Apart is now on the precipice of its ninth iteration; expected to attract over 15,000 attendees in 2019. Dave Caffery produces the festival. We caught up with Dave to get his thoughts on Canberra’s eclectic arts scene and the importance of the festival itself.


Photo: Martin Ollman

The Festival Art, Not Apart is a curated arts festival with a public application process. Since 2017, the festival has employed a cast of local curators to program the festival. Each curator manages one arts medium: Music, Visual Art, Street Art, Performance Art (including Dance), Film and Moving Image, and Interactive Installations. The task at hand is tough—the curatorial panel undertakes sorting through hundreds of applications and then selecting and programming exceptional projects which fit that year’s curatorial theme. In 2019, the brief is Soul and Mortar; prompting entrants to consider works that “build soul or artistically attack its assailants.” Art, Not Apart commits at least 50% of program funding to Canberra artists “as a show of support and a celebration of the region’s exceptional contemporary artists,” Dave explains. Visiting artists from interstate and overseas are also welcome to apply and regularly feature at the festival, creating a diverse and eclectic line-up that Dave animatedly describes as “a feast for the senses.”

Photos this page: Cristina Held

“As the festival’s reputation grows, it’s garnering greater exposure abroad which in turn attracts visitors. This is fantastic for the local artists we celebrate, and great for the Canberra arts scene as a whole.” - DAVE CAFFREY, Producer of Art, Not Apart

The Experience

The Response

Exhibitions, performance art, multiple music stages, interactive installations, film and moving image, spontaneous interventions, delicious food and drink and a party atmosphere are just some of the experiences attendees can expect from Art, Not Apart.

On the response of locals to Art, Not Apart, Dave notes that “the Canberra public have been so supportive since the festival began and it’s great to see the number of interstate attendees increasing year on year, too.”

The works seek to inspire. They are thoughtfully displayed throughout the central areas of Canberra; bringing to life many of the city’s cultural icons. Dave explains that “it can be impossible to catch everything because there is so much going on at once. It’s a celebration of contemporary arts in all shapes and sizes, and because of this, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

“As the festival’s reputation grows, it’s garnering greater exposure abroad which in turn attracts visitors. This is fantastic for the local artists we celebrate, and great for the Canberra arts scene as a whole.” Happily, 99% of the festival is free to enjoy, so there are no barriers stopping locals and visitors dipping their toes in (or jumping in at the deep end!)

Art, Not Apart 16 March 2019 Various locations around New Acton


What's on in the Capital It’s that time of year when Canberra bids farewell to hot summer days, balmy evenings and weekends filled with lake walks and hours at local swimming pools, cooling off. With the change of season, we welcome crisp, clear mornings, crunchy leaves turning on deciduous trees and a feeling of a cool change in the air. It’s like breathing out. Autumn and winter are beautiful in Canberra. While some cities hibernate, our city and surrounds hum, offering a full list of events and activities for locals and visitors to experience.



Enlighten Festival Arguably the most Instagrammable event on the Canberra social calendar, Enlighten Festival transforms the city into a hive of early morning and evening activity. An event line up not to be missed, Enlighten champions iconic Canberra locations, placing art, culture and music centre stage in the nation’s capital. Incorporating several major free and ticketed events including Illuminations (1-11 March), Canberra Balloon Spectacular (9-17 March), Lights! Camera! Action! (8 March), Symphony in the Park (10 March), Canberra Day (11 March) and Hit 104.7 Skyfire (16 March), the Enlighten festival shines a light on our creative capital. Witness iconic precincts come alive after dark with vibrant projections, interactive installations, workshops, street food, roving entertainers, live music and enchanting performances.

1-17 March 2019 Various locations around Canberra city

Projections on National Library of Australia. Photo: Adam McGrath


Claude Monet Impression, Soleil levant 1872 Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris, France Gift of Victorine and Eugene Donope de Monchy, 1940


Monet: Impression, Sunrise This exhibition from the impressionist master features world-famous paintings from the Musée Marmottan Monet, including the 1872 work Impression, Sunrise (Impression, Soleil levant) from which the Impressionism art movement takes its name. This exhibition will bring some forty impressionist and related paintings from the Marmottan, the Tate and Australian and New Zealand collections. The works reveal the formative characteristics of Impressionism – depiction of light, purer colour and capturing the momentary view - by a new generation of artists who abandoned their studios for the world outside. The Musée Marmottan Monet features over three hundred Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet - the largest collection of his works worldwide. The exhibition’s namesake painting rarely travels, which presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australian’s to see a masterful painting that became emblematic of a cultural movement.

7 June–18 August 2019 National Gallery of Australia, Parkes ACT



Anzac Day On the anniversary of the World War One landing on Gallipoli, Australians gather around the world to commemorate the sacrifice, courage and mateship that is the spirit of Anzac. At the Australian War Memorial, April 25th has become more than an anniversary. It is a day to reflect and pay tribute to all Australians who have served, continue to serve or have died for our country. Canberra’s Dawn Service, National Ceremony, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commemorative Ceremony and Last Post attract thousands of people to Anzac Parade and its surrounds each year. These public ceremonies include a veteran’s march, laying of the wreaths, one minutes’ silence and the sounding of the Last Post – the military bugle call – that signifies the end of the days’ activities. ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.’

25 April 2019 Australian War Memorial, Campbell ACT

Australian War Memorial. Photo: Chris Holly for VisitCanberra



Canberra Comedy Festival Prepare to laugh until you cry at the annual crowdfavourite Canberra Comedy Festival. Presenting 60 outrageous shows over one jam-packed week, this year’s festival features a line-up of talent bound to tickle anyone’s funny bone. Highlights include Jimeoin, Charlie Pickering, Dave Hughes, Anne Edmonds, Nazeem Hussain, Joel Creasey among many more local and international talent. Shows are dotted around the city and include a gala event at the Canberra Theatre Centre. Tickets are sold via the festival’s website.

18–24 March 2019 Various venues around Canberra city

Canberra Comedy Festival Gala . Photo: Supplied



Canberra District Wine Week: Expect The Unexpected Canberra District Wine Week is a series of exciting events hosted in and around the Canberra District to celebrate all things wine. Whether you think you know all there is to know about Canberra Wines, or you’ve never ventured out into the region, this year’s Canberra District Wine Week will bring you some surprising and delightful experiences. Kicking off on 30 March with a Canberra District wine tasting event hosted in the beautiful courtyard of New Acton, discover the finest drops from over 14 wineries within the region. Or attend Canberra's only two-hatted restaurant, Aubergine, for a 'liquid geography' dinner. Grab your friends and blend your own red wine; enjoy a gallery launch and exhibition; meet wine makers and tour their vineyards; experience vertical wine tastings; listen to live music in the vines; go on a secret wine tour and more! Book your Canberra District Wine Week adventure and lock the dates in your diary.

5–14 April 2019 Various venues around Canberra and Region

Canberra District Wine Week . Photo: Supplied


13 February-25 August / 7 March-21 July 2019 National Library of Australia, Parkes ACT

GIO Stadium Battye Street, Bruce ACT


Photo: VisitCanberra

Explore Canberra's inner-south in style with the Abode Kingston Explorer Package Enjoy pedalling your way to some of the area’s best attractions in the Parliamentary Triangle, around Lake Burley Griffin and the Kingston Foreshore. Package includes two bikes for two hours*, a cycling map of the area, a picnic blanket and a $10 Abode Pantry Voucher to start your picnic.



Truffle Talk Ain't Cheap Truffles. They look funny, they smell funny, they cost a bomb, but each year when truffle season rolls around in Canberra, the city teems with truffle-fanatics. From truffle hunts with special truffle sniffer dogs, to truffle-inspired menus across restaurants and cafes, Canberra embraces truffle season with gusto. Essentially a delicious fungus, these little black gems are revered by chefs across the globe as the ‘diamond of the kitchen’. We spoke with three prominent local chefs who share their personal stories and advice on truffles.


Alaine Chanter Alaine thinks she is the luckiest person in the world. She started Foodish Cooking School in 2013 after completing her chef apprenticeship, and followed her dream of creating a cooking school in Canberra.

The dirt on truffles 1. Truffles grow underground when the roots of particular trees, such as oaks and hazelnuts, have been infected with a mycorrhiza (root fungus). 2. Originally confined to the wild, research during the past 100 years, particularly in France, has led to truffles being cultivated as a domestic crop. 3. The Canberra region produces the Black Winter Truffle or Perigord Truffle which forms in summer and slowly matures during autumn. 4. When the truffles are ready to harvest in the winter, truffle farmers find the fungus using dogs that have been specially trained to detect truffle aroma.

Alaine Chanter. Photo: Supplied

This was the beginning of no less than her third career. In her twenties she worked as a journalist in radio and TV and then went on to further study, which was followed by a big career as an academic teaching in politics and international studies. She embraced the opportunities of a redundancy and went to chef school to pursue her love of cooking. From there, Foodish was born. Alaine had been a keen cook since her teens, driving her family crazy with all sorts of schemes to cook gourmet meals, not all of which turned out. In her early twenties she married a Frenchman and went to live in rural France and was captivated by its food culture. Her parents-in-law grew and raised just about everything they ate, from vegetables to ducks, rabbits and snails. Her love for her mother-in-law grew in abundance as they cooked together in abundance. It taught her the joy of cooking with others and cooking with love.

And on the love of truffles, Alaine notes truffles add earthiness and a depth of flavour to compatible foods. The home cook really wants to make the most of their truffle purchase because they are expensive. “I think the most successful way to use truffles is to make truffle butter. Butter absorbs the truffle flavour brilliantly and the flavour stays there. You don’t need much truffle, although the more you use, the bigger the bang!” says Alaine.

5. The Canberra Truffle Festival celebrates the truffle in all its glory, with events and activities scheduled across the winter months.

The Truffle Festival 1 June–31 August 2019 Various venues around the city and region

“Just get a nice salty block of butter and grate in 20 grams of truffle. It might sound indulgent but you can portion the truffle butter and freeze the portions. That way you have truffle all year round. Spread the butter on some delicious sourdough invite some friends around, and share the love. I guarantee it will work. Buy local truffle. It is the best!” Foodish Cooking School 14 Ibbott Lane, Belconnen ACT


Ben Willis From a humble start deep frying chips and preparing salads for a bistro salad bar, restaurant owner and chef Ben Willis, knows a thing or two about working your way up. Completing his apprenticeship 24 years ago, Ben has been running his own restaurants for over 10 years and currently heads up Aubergine, one of Australia’s most acclaimed restaurants. He loves local produce and trusts his nose when it comes to selecting the best truffles.

Tell us a bit about your background. When did you commence with Aubergine?

earthy flavour to them similar to what certain mushrooms do but a little more pungent and the addition of a petroleum or turpentine characteristic that, whilst it doesn’t sound great, balances well when added to the food.

My wife and I took over the existing Aubergine in 2008, however prior to that I have worked extensively in Australia and overseas. I worked at Bennelong at the Opera House, spent time with a catering company through the Sydney Olympics and then spent five years overseas. I worked in London, Dublin and Whistler and got to experience a variety of different roles, working in hotels, an elite private members club, and small boutique restaurants, all of which were very valuable in shaping my career. When I returned to Canberra, I worked at a few restaurants around town before the opportunity to buy Aubergine arose. By this stage, I knew the Canberra market pretty well and was excited to take on my own place and be part of a growing and exciting restaurant scene here. Where do you get your inspiration for your menus? Mostly the ingredients provide the inspiration for each dish, it sounds cliché but they really do and we’ve been working this way since the beginning, it’s not a trend but a sensible approach to food. The best thing about using local and seasonal produce, is that you're at the whim of what is available and the challenge is to get it on the menu and create a dish that people will really enjoy. Tell us your thoughts about Canberra’s fresh produce and the region offering in general?


How do you like to use them?

Plating up. Photo: VisitCanberra

We have an ever-increasing list of local growers, farmers and producers from Canberra and the local region that we have relationships with. What I think is really great is that some of our producers just grow one thing really well, and focus on just that one thing and know everything about it. Every year we meet someone that has something new to offer that gets us excited, we love finding new things grown in the area. Talk to us about truffles – are they easy to cook with? What do they add to a meal? We use Terra Preta truffles from near Braidwood. We really look forward to using them every year as they come to us at a time when the ground is too cold to grow most things so we’re left a little short. They bring a multi-sensory experience to the dish, the smell and the flavour both combining. They have a musky,

Grating them over food with a Microplane grater rather than slicing or chopping them opens them right up and brings out all their aroma and flavour. You can grate them over lots of things but they go really well at home with simple things like a plainly dressed salad or vegetables or also with the creaminess and cheese of dishes like pasta or risotto. Keep it simple but use enough to ensure you get the right level of flavour. It's best to not think too much about the cost and try to think more of generosity. Are there any features of the truffle people should look for when selecting and buying them? It's best to buy them from someone that has plenty to choose from to get the right size and aroma for what you need. They are expensive so you don't want more than you need. If you get to hold them and smell them you get an idea of what they'll taste like when you grate them. They should have a strong aroma that you notice. If there is no aroma on the outside there will be little chance of them being great. They should also be firm, not soft or show any signs of being wet.

Aubergine 18 Barker Street, Griffith ACT

Ben Willis. Photo: Jason Loucas Photography


Louis Couttoupes. Photo: Lean Timms


Louis Couttoupes With a back story you could write a book about, chef Louis Couttoupes is one to watch. Nominated as a Best New Talent finalist in the 2019 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards, Louis’ new notoriety is a far cry from his time spent pushing paper in the public service. Falling into cooking by accident has defined and strengthened his passion for food, which definitely extends to truffles.

Tell us a bit about your background. Have you always been a chef? I grew up in Sydney’s Inner West. We were surrounded by the variety of food on offer in that part of the city. Haberfield and Leichhardt for Italian, Marrickville for Greek and Vietnamese, further west for Lebanese and Indian. It was awesome, but I don’t think I ever properly appreciated it until I was older. I was actually a public servant before I started cooking. I moved to Canberra in 2007 for a graduate job. It took me nine years to realise it wasn’t for me. I quit and ran off to Paris with a friend. She had this whole perspective on food that opened my eyes to things I never knew existed. She refocussed my approach to food and gave me this sense of belief that maybe I could try cooking. Tell us more about running away to Paris. What did you learn? The trip to Paris was the beginning of the end for me. I found this new food movement going on, young chefs with access to amazing produce and not limited by any particular type of cuisine. They were laid back, insanely creative and passionate about what they were doing. It was something I hadn’t yet seen in Australia and made me see what cooking could be. One night I found out my favourite restaurant needed someone in the kitchen, so my friend volunteered me. It was the most terrifying and exhilarating feeling stepping into a busy commercial kitchen. But I loved it. I went in every day for the next three months and learnt everything I could from those guys.

When I came home to Canberra, I started washing dishes and taking whatever shifts on the pans at Bar Rochford. Eventually more cooking shifts opened up and I took them. Halfway through 2017, the owner offered me the head chef position.

a waste. They are such an incredible ingredient that I always try to make sure they are the star of a dish. Too many flavours and the flavour is lost. For me, it’s hard to go past scrambled eggs with a mountain of truffles shaved on top.

What are your thoughts on Canberra’s fresh produce?

Do you have any tips for cooking with truffles at home?

At first glance, Canberra seems like a tough market for produce. We have long cold winters and hot dry summers, so if you want to cook locally and seasonally, you really are at the mercy of some pretty extreme growing conditions. But with that comes some really amazing opportunities. There is a great new generation of growers and producers really close to us. If you are able and willing to work with what the seasons and conditions throw at you then you have access to some of the best.

Don’t over think it and don’t be anxious about dropping coin on truffles. Yes, they are expensive, and yes they are a luxury item. I’m not saying your life wouldn’t be complete without truffles on your scrambled eggs, but for 10 minutes it might be a whole lot better. The only other thing is don’t skimp when you are shaving them. Even though it feels like you can watch the dollars fly away with every grate, it is worth it. Make sure you can really taste them, because otherwise you might as well not bother. Oh, and make sure they are stored correctly. In a jar with fresh paper towel every day in the fridge.

Talk to us about truffles – are they easy to cook with? I think a lot of people are intimidated by truffles, and fair enough. They are not cheap and they can be unpredictable at times, which begs the question are they worth it? In a word, yes they are. A good truffle is intoxicating, and can lift a good dish to a fantastic one. They have incredible versatility as well from savoury dishes like beef or pasta, to incredibly sweet and rich ingredients like chocolate.

Are there any features of the truffle people should look for when selecting and buying them?

How do you like to use them?

From my experience the most important indicator is smell. A good truffle will fill up a room with its scent. Some people say sex and socks! For me, a good truffle has a really strong earthy and petroleum scent. None of which sound appetising, but when you taste them for the first time, you’ll know what I mean.

As simply as possible. They are incredibly sensitive to heat so doing much more than a generous shaving on top of your favourite meal to me is

Louis Couttoupes Instagram: @boyandspoon



A Man Walks Into A Bar M

y father was a more adventurous cook than my mother. Dad loved seafood and Christmas lunch always featured his own version of a seafood buffet. I remember peeling prawns and cracking crab claws on Christmas day from a young age. Fast forward to one of my most memorable food and wine moments as an adult; I dined in Luke Mangan’s restaurant ‘Salt’ in 1998. I tried a Chapel Hill Chardonnay matched with a celery salt crusted poached quail egg. It blew my mind. That was when I realised food and wine matching was a beautiful thing, and I wanted to be a part of it. From food, wine, spirits to service, there’s an almost science to it all, and I had to be involved.

floor staff all sitting together enjoying an amazing feast that was often authentic, traditional Chinese cooking. I remember eating what I thought was an odd coloured tofu. After getting the chef’s comments translated, I learnt it was blood tofu. Simply, congealed pigs blood cut into squares served with garlic and shallot. It was amazing. You’d be hard pressed to find a dish like that on any menu. As with food, the beverage scene is dynamic and ever-changing. Its exciting to be part of such an evolving space. There’s a real culture shift in the way people consume beverages at the moment. Cocktails have never been so well made, millennials are

"I dined in Luke Mangan’s restaurant ‘Salt’ in 1998. I tried a Chapel Hill Chardonnay matched with a celery salt crusted poached quail egg. It blew my mind. That was when I realised food and wine matching was a beautiful thing, and I wanted to be a part of it." I’ve had some pretty formative experiences that have shaped my views and practice of food and beverage service; and they have all been linked to good people and good produce. My best experience was learning the value of good service. Realising that service is not about being subservient, but it involves letting go of your ego a little, was a great moment. Great service is something to be proud of and must be continuously worked on to get right. Lots and lots of little things matter. The devil is in the detail. I also value trying new things. Tasting everything and understanding its origin. Years ago, I worked in a hatted modern Chinese restaurant in Canberra. Every evening the kitchen would serve a team meal at the end of the night. It was some of the best food I’ve ever tried. It had a home cooked, made with genuine love, kind of feeling. We would have about nine chefs and kitchen hands and 15


drinking and making wines with minimal intervention and big brand commercial beer companies have had to re-define themselves in a market demanding craft and bespoke beers. The push towards local or artisan

Gin producers has really taken hold – which is great news for lovers of a beautifully crafted Negroni. When creating memorable drinks, there’re a few fundamentals. Understanding what flavours complement each other, or using sophisticated techniques to create a great drink, can take years to learn. In science we experiment and learn. In bartending, it’s the same. Another fundamental is a good sugar syrup. Most cocktails need sweetness to balance the acid/alcohol. Making a sugar syrup is easy and can it be stored in your fridge for up to 3 months. Joe Wagland is the Group Food and Beverage Manager for Iconic Hotels. No.10 Restaurant + Bar Foundry Coffee Co.

For the calendar: Negroni Week Seven days. Three ingredients. One great cause. Negroni Week (June 24-30, 2019) is a celebration of one of the world's greatest cocktails and an effort to raise funds for charitable causes around the world. This annual event encourages bartenders to get creative with the classic proportions (1:1:1) of gin, vermouth and Campari that give this aperitivo complexity and universal appeal. Head to the event website to find out which Canberra bars are participating in this year's event.



ONA Coffee's Award-Winning Barista

Any Canberra local will know that homegrown brand ONA means unique, trend-bucking coffee. The beans and brand have come to represent pioneering quality, unfaltering consistency and above all, unwavering dedication to the quest for the perfect cup of coffee. Inevitably, behind such a reputation are the scores of people that pour their hearts and souls into creating and upholding it. Enter Danny Wilson.


seasoned coffee professional and born-and-bred Canberran, Danny thought he knew a thing or two about his trade before he met the ONA team. Once there, he quickly realised just how much more there was to learn. Now ONA’s Senior Roaster and an accomplished competitor at international coffee championships, Danny’s coffee career is marked by award-winning highlights, and there’s plenty more brewing in the pipeline. We caught up with him to hear about the highs and lows of the competition stage, why his passion for coffee is so enduring and his best tips for preparing coffee cocktails.


ability to choose and design roast profiles to make the best coffees possible and put these coffees head to head with some of Australia’s best roasters. Secondly, was placing 3rd in the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship. It was an amazing experience and I was able to pour all my knowledge and skills I'd learnt working with coffee into some really delicious coffee cocktails. Tell us about the highs and lows of the competition stage— what you love most and what you struggle with. Competition is one of the most difficult but rewarding challenges you can take on as a coffee professional. You have to look at every aspect of how you prepare drinks to and ask if this “Is the best way of doing things?”. Once you have all of your techniques perfected you need to push your hospitality skills and serve drinks in a creative, professional manner. Staying motivated for the months leading up to competition can be difficult but when everything lines up on the day and you get to showcase everything you’ve been working on, it's all worthwhile. What are your top tips for preparing coffee cocktails? Let us know your secrets! The key to a good coffee cocktail is understanding the coffee that you are working with. Just like how using light or dark rum, or bourbon and scotch will make a cocktail taste different there are many aspects of a coffee that will affect the flavours of your drink. When I build a coffee cocktail I’m considering where the coffee is grown, how it’s processed and roasted and how I’m going to brew the coffee. The most important thing, however, is knowing how the coffee tastes and how that flavour will affect my cocktail.

How did you find your passion for coffee? I had been working as a barista for a couple of years when I first met some of the guys from ONA. At the time I thought I was pretty good at making coffee but the more time I spent with ONA the more I realised I didn’t know. I eventually joined the team and have been working as a coffee roaster ever since.

For example, a light citrusy filter coffee from Central America will probably work well with white spirits like gin or vodka and a more intense and fruity coffee from Ethiopia could stand up better with a dark rum. Once you start exploring these different combinations, the possibilities for different drinks are endless!

You’ve participated in a few coffee competitions. What are the highlights to date? If I had to pick two, the first would have to be winning Overall Championship at Golden Bean Roasting Championship with the ONA team. It's a great test of our

ONA Coffee House 1/68 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick ACT

Tools of the trade

Honduras Single Origin Filter Coffee 200g from $16.00

Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 Rum 700mL from $105.00

FreshForce™ Citrus Juicer $42.00

Behind The Bar® Glass Soda Siphon 1L from $124.00

Winston Old Fashioned Glasses Set of 4, $29.95



Let It Snow Only a short two-and-a-half-hour drive from the nation’s capital, the scenic Snowy Mountains of NSW are the perfect spot for your next snowcation.


Where to stay and play With the snow season open from June to early October there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy everything the Aussie alps have to offer. With a range of family-friendly resorts, warm pubs, ski runs and vibrant villages available to explore there is something to suit every snow fan.


Selwyn Snowfields

The largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere, Perisher Ski Resort offers a wide variety of ski runs and lessons for the whole family. Visitors are spoilt for choice with fortyseven lifts, four villages and over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain to discover. It’s no surprise you’ll meet devoted skiers from around the globe during your stay.

With beautiful bunny slopes, these snowfields are the perfect spot for young kids and new starters to learn the basics. With fantastic programs such as the Mini Mites, Mighty Mites and Mega Mighty Mites on offer. The snow park is a guaranteed family favourite for tobogganing and tubing too.


Charlotte Pass

One of Australia’s most well-known ski and snowboard destinations is not only somewhere to cool off but the heated pool and water slide are a warm favourite after a day on the slopes. Home to Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, Thredbo provides unbeatable mountain views year-round making it a popular hiking and biking destination.

Small but mighty. One of the region’s smaller ski resorts, Charlotte Pass is also Australia’s highest resort sitting at 1,765 metres, giving it the most consistent snowfall and quality snow in the area.


Practice Makes Perfect

The place you go, if you’re not keen on actual snow, Canberra’s newest alpine experience, Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports offers locals and tourists a chance to have fun, keep fit and improve their snow skills in a controlled environment.

Top 10 Tips A family trip to the snow fields does not need to cost a fortune. Here are 10 savvy snow tips to stick to this season.

1. The early bird gets the worm. Book your accommodation early in advance to receive the best room rates at your chosen resort. 2. Save money by looking for ‘kidsski-free’ deals at the beginning of the snow season. 3. Get organised - hire ski gear in Canberra, Cooma or Jindabyne rather than at the resorts. You will end up with more sizes and more spare change. 4. Pack a lunch for the long drive or visit the Cooma community while remembering to stop, revive and survive. 5. Maximise your time on the mountains by pre-purchasing a multiday lift pass. Online rates are usually cheaper and allow you to skip the crazy queues. 6. Set-up camp away from the slopes. Booking a resort a short drive down the road can save precious pennies.


7. Check the calendar to see what free family-friendly events are on during your stay. Thredbo’s family fun night features a range of free activities and experiences every Thursday evening in winter, including fireworks! 8. Budget conscious snow bunnies should avoid the crowds and book their stay outside of ACT and NSW school holidays. 9. Bundle, bundle, bundle! Booking your lift pass, ski lessons and gear hire through one supplier is a great way to save. 10. Buy a bus pass. Coach services have daily departures to Perisher and Thredbo throughout the snow season. Save on petrol, sit back and take in the scenery.

Bringing the slopes to the city, this faux snow centre invites ski and snowboard enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to strap on some skis and shoot down the treadmill-like hill. The giant mat of soft white nylon fibres sits on a tilted moving platform, which is remotely controlled and can be height adjusted to suit all abilities. For those snow bunnies who prefer to snuggle up by the fire, Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports features a cosy café. Apres-ski the Nordic tradition of relaxing after a big day on the mountains - is made easy with a make-yourown milkshake bar, alpine pints and hot coffee on offer. Open daily from 8am-8pm. Classes available from $64. Vertikal Indoor Snow Sports 1 Dairy Road, Unit 11, Building 3, Fyshwick

Planning a snow trip this season? Book your Ski Stop-over with Abode Hotels. The perfect place to stay, when travelling to or from the snow. Offering spacious accommodation, late check out, complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi and two Abode Hotels thermal mugs and hot chocolate sachets, all with a discounted room rate.



One Hot Lap with Australian Rally Driver, Adrian Coppin

His Year Five teacher may have doubted him when he said he wanted to be a rally car driver, however, with rally sport in his blood, there was never a question around local talent Adrian Coppin following his dream. With international racing experience and a swag of podiums under his belt, Adrian looks forward to representing Abode Hotels and burning some dust at this year’s Netier National Capital Rally, held in Canberra this May.

When did you start rally driving, and have you always liked the sport? I started rallying in 2006 as a co-driver, before my first event driving in 2008. I have been obsessed with the sport since I could walk. My parents’ house always looked like it was for sale, as every weekend I would set up my own course with bunting and flags and ride around on my push bike. Mum and Dad both worked on rally events as volunteers when I was growing up, and my Dad was a co-driver. So, I guess I kind of followed in his footsteps. How did you nab your first race? Through determination, persistence and hard work I was able to turn my love for rallying into a job. When Ford Australia decided to enter the Australian Rally Championship in 2013, I was approached to drive, and manage the team’s logistics for the season. When I am not racing, my wife and I run our own company, Innate Motorsport + Events.


For the calendar: Netier National Capital Rally 11 May 2019 Kowen Forest

Where have you raced? I’ve raced all over Australia from Perth to Queensland and Tassie. I have been lucky enough to compete in Europe a few times. Competing in the World Championship event in Germany is definitely a career highlight. You have a co-driver/navigator with you when you race. How important is this relationship? The relationship you have with your co-driver is very important, you have to have so much trust in them. If you don’t have that confidence and comfort with a navigator, it is difficult to push the limits. I’ve been lucky enough to have the same co-driver for 5 years and we have built a really strong working relationship. What speed do you get up to when racing? Have you ever crashed?

trees on either side of the road to avoid! I have crashed a few times, however, our cars are designed well and are built with safety in mind. What can we expect at this year’s Netier National Capital Rally in May? The Netier National Capital Rally is always evolving and trying new things and this year is no exception. The event has opted for a more compact format than ever before, in anticipation it will bring more competitors and spectators to Canberra. There is no question, it will be flat out from the word go. Rally HQ and Service Park Public Carpark opposite Abode Woden 10 Bowes Street, Phillip ACT

Each car is different, but most of the cars are limited to around 180kph, which is fast enough when you have big



Shine Bright Like A Diamond Creating uniquely personalised jewellery pieces is a labour of love, dedication, passion and distinct craftmanship for the expert team at Arnold & Co.


or more than a decade, the team at Arnold & Co. have been crafting beautiful, timeless jewellery for their clients. More than just a jewellery store, Arnold & Co. create bespoke pieces that tell a story and uniquely connect with a client. Based on an understanding that no two gems are the same, Arnold & Co. work on the philosophy that no two clients are the same, therefore each piece created is unlike any other. It has its own presence, personality and meaning.

conflict-free, certified diamonds and precious metals.

The founders of Arnold & Co. have always had a passion for precious metals and gems. With a focus on Australian gems in particular, their stone collection includes beautiful local diamonds, sapphires, opals and Broome pearls. Qualified geologists head up the team, who are trained to source and select stones, and also maintain them. Years of experience operating jewellery stores across the globe and unparalleled industry

Securing their position as Canberra’s premium jewellery specialist, Arnold & Co. also offer their clients the opportunity to design their own pieces in the Arnold and Co. Design Studio. From hand-selecting a diamond, to working with a designer to create a truly personalised item that speaks to the individual. Arnold & Co. brings each piece to life with their 360 virtual design program; turning jewellery dreams into reality.

Known for their unwavering commitment to producing only the highest quality of jewellery, Arnold & Co. specialise in working closely with their clients to create the perfect piece. With a master jeweller, two gemmologists and an in-house designer in their team, they offer complete personalised service from start to finish.

knowledge makes Arnold & Co. shine in their professional and personal delivery of quality jewellery. Today, Arnold & Co. and its sister store, Diamond Design, offer some of the most beautifully designed jewellery pieces across Canberra and Sydney. Both stores ensure all of their diamonds are ethically sourced both locally and internationally, and are

Arnold & Co. Jewellers Canberra Shop DF-12 Canberra Centre Canberra ACT 2601 Phone: 02 6174 4473 Email:


Arnold & Co. Jewellers Sydney Shop 2244 Macquarie Centre North Ryde NSW 2113 Phone: 02 9029 4968 Email:

Diamond Design Shop 42 Westfield Woden Phillip ACT 2606 Phone: 02 6282 0687 Email:

Left: 0.5ct set in 18ct white gold, full bezel set round brilliant cut diamond, colour D, clarity VVS1. Surrounded by 24 brilliant cut diamonds in outer bezel, and further 14 diamonds on shoulders. Total weight 1ct. This page: 18ct two tone cluster set diamonds, colour D, clarity VVS1. Total weight 1ct.



Wurker Studio Gifted a sewing machine on her 16th birthday, local fashion designer Sara Wurcker has woven a successful and meaningful clothing brand into the fabric of Canberra’s society. With European ancestors in the fashion and clothing industry across retail and design, Sara has fashion in her blood and a passion for form, fit and authenticity.

Photos: Wurker Studio


Has Canberra always been home to you? Where did your design journey begin? Canberra has been home for much of my life. I spent a few years in Melbourne, then moved back to Canberra in 2013 and opened a combined retail studio space, initially hand making all the garments myself. From there the online business grew. Canberra is a lovely environment to run a business. Tell us a bit about your design process – from the initial garment idea through to production and promotion. How does a Wurker piece come to be? The design process starts with sourcing fabrics and collecting inspiration. For me the inspiration can’t be forced. I have a sketchbook with me constantly to collect and record ideas in the moment. From there I sketch designs and make patterns. We have a small team who help with patternmaking, toiling and sampling to perfect the fit and shape. The finished garment is either made to order here in Canberra by our machinists or produced in small runs in Sydney or Melbourne. There’s a real strength to your brand, from fabric selection to look books. How do you remain authentic? Authenticity is crucial to me and what is so often missing in our industry. Authenticity in purpose, service, environmental impact, our culture and values. Our hope is that in whatever we do, our customers experience authenticity – and it is something they value. This was not workshopped in some branding exercise – it’s just naturally how we want to be.

How would you define slow fashion, or ethical fashion, and how did you first become aware of the concept and the underlying factors? It started to concern me years ago when I was working for another Australian designer. Their hands-on design process and local production really resonated with me. When I compared this to the cost and quality of clothing I thought was ‘good value’ at the time it just didn’t add up. Since then I have steered clear of fast fashion in favour of vintage and independent designers. How important is it to build a community that supports sustainable fashion? How do you utilise and build upon this community? Large scale change only happens when enough people demand it. We do our bit by being part of and promoting sustainable fashion. In time, a sufficient community that supports sustainable fashion will emerge and really change the way the industry works. The more consumers who choose to shop sustainably will encourage brands to manufacture more responsibly. There’s been a bit of an industry shift towards the idea of a ‘wardrobe’, rather than adhering to trends and the traditional seasonal structure. Do you think this concept is here to stay? I hope so. Wurker being a staple of your wardrobe is basically our goal. Having a personal uniform or capsule wardrobe is a much more sustainable way of consuming. Wurker Studio



Bedtime Stories with Shelly Unwin Sparking memories of bedtime stories, nursery rhymes and learning to love reading, noted children’s author and Canberra local, Shelly Unwin shares with us just what it takes to get a sleepy child to sleep, and the art of being an author.

Have you always been an author? I have always had a passion for children’s books, which was enhanced when I studied my teaching degree and again when I had my own children. Becoming an author had always felt a little unreachable to me, but when I had the opportunity to pursue my writing dream I did it with complete gusto. There is a huge amount that goes into writing a picture book, there may only be 200 words, but every single word must earn its place, engage the audience, and drive the story forward. Writing has morphed over the years from pipe dream, to obsession to addiction, there is nothing more thrilling for me than the spark of a new story idea, chasing it down onto the page and then editing and refining until it reaches its perfect form. Why children’s books?

Did you read widely as a child, or enjoy reading with your parents? As a young child I was read to every single night. My Dad’s funny voices as he took on Roald Dahl’s farmers in Fantastic Mr Fox, and Moon Face from Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree live with me still. It was always a wonderful part of the day. What were your favourite books growing up as a child? I grew up in England and I loved the stories of woodland creatures, such as The Brambly Hedge books by Jill Barklem, and all of the Tales by Beatrix Potter. As I grew older it became the classics like Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

What do you enjoy reading now? I love reading new release picture books to see what is happening in the market, and I am always inspired when I read Julia Donaldson and Dr Seuss books. For leisure I read widely, and I love to support home grown Australian authors. We have so much wonderful talent in this country. Most recently I have enjoyed Chris Hammer’s Scrublands, Karen Viggers The Lightkeeper’s Wife and Christian White’s The Nowhere Child.

Shelly’s books are available in all good bookstores. They can also be found online at

For the bookshelf

I love the innocence and open mindedness of children. They are so excited to follow the adventure of a story and fall in love with each character. These characters they generally carry in their hearts for a lifetime How do you come up with a storyline – is there a formula you stick to? Most often stories come to me, something one of my children says that sparks an idea, or a dream I have, or a catchy title that pops into my head. Each time it is different. As for a formula, I always keep my text very short and concise. I always use lyrical language – all of my books thus far have been in rhyme, and I always leave lots of scope for the illustrator to have fun.


Intergalatic adventure for preschoolers and early primary Blast Off! $19.99 (Hardcover)

Shortlisted: 2018 Speech Pathology Book of the Year You're One! (Part one of 5) $12.99 (Hardcover)


A fast-paced story about a baddie on the run Out now where all good books are sold 59

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Profile for Abode Hotels

Abode Hotels - A+ Magazine Autumn/Winter 2019  

Welcome to A+ Magazine, a Canberra-centric showcase and guide to what's happening around Australia's capital city. Produced biannually by Ic...

Abode Hotels - A+ Magazine Autumn/Winter 2019  

Welcome to A+ Magazine, a Canberra-centric showcase and guide to what's happening around Australia's capital city. Produced biannually by Ic...