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Make Sydney Late Again BY CHARLOTTE G RI EVE On Sunday October 9, Sydneysiders of all ages gathered in Belmore Park with signs such as “Not My Baird Time” and “Make Sydney Late Again.” The protest was the second of its kind attracting more than 10,000 people who marched along Oxford Street protesting the CB D lock out laws and associated effects. Keep Sydney Open campaign manager, Tyson Koh, described the lead up to the protest as “a little more urgent and angry” in the wake of the Callinan Review and in the context of current government policy formation, scheduled to be released by the end of the year. Both ends of the protest were met with a showcase of Sydney DJs and bands who have thrown their support behind the movement. One protester told City Hub of her Kings Cross experience over the recent long weekend. “We went to the Cross and everything was empty. We caught a cab from the Rocks and couldn’t get in anywhere because everything was shut. Nothing was open, it was so disappointing,” said Alice Trott, a Sydney resident. The Keep Sydney Open campaign has gained significant traction both locally and internationally. “We’ve had coverage on the B BC, CNN, Huffington Post. I went to a conference in Amsterdam earlier this year and everyone was congratulating our work,” Mr Koh told City Hub . The movement has an online following of over 50,000; something Mr Koh believes could pose a substantial threat to a secure voting base. “If the government is seen to be giving us the cold shoulder, it’s something that won’t serve them well,” Mr Koh told City Hub .
Make Sydney Late Again. Photo Charlotte Grieve
While the Keep Sydney Open campaign continues to grow, they have also been busy conducting an independent review of the effects resulting from the laws. The report, “A Sobering Assessment of the Data,” found that alcohol-fuelled violence has intensified in the very areas the laws were designed to stem. The report states that those who do visit Kings Cross during the evening are 20 per cent more likely to be victims of an alcoholfuelled assault. This figure is based on a balancing effect between reported incidents and patronage levels. “An estimated fall of 28 per cent in alcohol-fuelled assaults was smaller than the
40 per cent fall in patronage.” And it’s not just Kings Cross that is experiencing heightened violence. Nondomestic assaults are higher across all of Sydney’s entertainment precincts outside the lock out zones, increasing by up to 30 per cent in Newtown, Bondi, Coogee and Double Bay, according to the report. In Pyrmont, alcohol-fuelled violence is over 120 per cent higher than before the lock outs were in place, that is allegedly driven by assaults in and around the Star Casino. While the Callinan review recognises the reduction of venue choice, the “greatly reduced” pedestrian traffic, loss of employment, a decrease in measured
vibrancy and reduction of night time economy, the report suggests a relaxation of the lock out laws by a mere half an hour and bottle shop laws by an hour. Premier Mike Baird’s most recent decision to revoke his ban on greyhound racing has given hope to those seeking reform of the lock out laws. KSO has made formal submissions of alternate solutions to the laws such as a 24 hour public transport system, anti-violence educational campaigns as well as the appointment of a Night Mayor. “We are about implementing innovative solutions to keep Sydney safe and vibrant,” said Mr Koh.
Lockout save lives - last drinks for Kings Cross? Published weekly and freely available Sydney-wide. Copies are also distributed to serviced apartments, hotels, convenience stores and newsagents throughout the city. Distribution enquiries call 9212 5677. Published by Altmedia Pty Ltd. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of content, takes no responsibility for inadvertent errors or omissions. ABN 52 600 903 348 Group Manager: Chris Peken Group Editor: Jordan Fermanis, Kristen Tsiamis Contributors: Lucas Baird, Jordan Fermanis, Kristen Tsiamis, Charlotte Grieve. Arts Editors: Jamie Apps, Alannah Maher Advertising Managers: Mark Barnes, David Sullivan Cover Photo: Chris Peken – Troy Long Designer: Nadia Kalinitcheva Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: PO Box 843 Broadway 2007 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 9212 5677 Fax: 9212 5633 Website: altmedia.net.au
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By Andrew Woodhouse We’re not crinklies. And no, Mr Tyson Koh, human megaphone for Keep Sydney Open, we are not “boring old rich people that don’t know how to have a good time”. Empty barrels make the most noise. Claims of 10,000 of all age groups in last week’s faux-demonstration in Belmore Park are fancification. I attended and counted 1,547, all between 15-35, which is overwhelmed by 15,000 lockout supporters living in our area. Claims Kings Cross is dead are also an urban myth. I was in the Cross last weekend and all pubs and clubs were open until at least 1:00am. Likewise, the unpblished, unsubstantiated survey by anti-lockout durmbeaters reckons violence has now increased in CBD and Kings Cross, a shibboleth shattered by NSW Crime Bureau data. No, we’re not boring. Our idea of a fun night is not sitting at home darning socks or reading the Bible. We go to Jangling Jacks and Monopole to enjoy a French Martini (with pineapple). No, we’re not old. We’re older than some but relish a night out. No, we’re not rich. We have major mortgages and work hard to pay big bills. The difference is we know how to have a good time but not at other people’s’ expense. We don’t end up on life support or remand pending assault/drugs/murder charges. Unsurprisingly, a recent Fairfax media survey of young revellers supports lockouts. But living within 500 metres of Kings Cross is to live in a “war zone”. This society fought over 15 court cases to
Lockouts Save lives. Supplied by Andrew Woodhouse
get the NSW Land and Environment Court to accept a workable definition of “saturation point” and eventually we won. Sydney Council planners have never used it. No local group has done so much with such few resources to get some justice for locals. Then it happened. 18-year-old Thomas Kelly was randomly punched. He died after life support was switched off. Such attacks claimed 91 lives since 2000 in Australia. NSW had the highest toll with 28 victims. The government imposed mandatory sentencing laws for alcohol-fuelled violence, doubling prison sentences to 20 years. Then it happened - again. Daniel Christie, 18 years’ old, was murdered after being hit on the streets of the Cross in
December 2013. Kings Cross was becoming a bloodbath and a vortex of vice. Broken glass, vomit, blood, urinating, drunks, police and ambulance sirens, crime with noise from doof-doof music easily penetrating residents’ triple-glazing. Locals’ Sunday morning vomit metre was off the scale and our GBL Index (General Bedlam Level) required re-calibrating weekly. The Independent Liquor Gaming Authority (ILGA) found in 2013, Kings Cross had 225 on-premises licensed venues; 195 with extended trading hours - all approved by Sydney Council and the Office of Liquor and Gaming - who have blood on their hands. The government introduced lockout laws. Alcohol-related crime fell by 45.1% overnight: “off the cliff” said Bureau of Crime Statistics. Lockout laws save lives. Clover Moore called for even more “small” bars, adding: “I know that it’s absolutely unacceptable for people in Potts Point and Kings Cross to return to what they were experiencing [before lockouts].” The Callinan Review independently, forensically examined 1,800 public submissions, 50 personal interviews and provides 229 pages of analysis. He recommends are two-year trial of “live music” venues, carefully defined as those which are not DJ-driven, to 3:30am. Keep Sydney Open rejects all this. They are a pseudonym for Keeping Sydney Open to Violence and Less Vibrancy. It’s not last drinks for Kings Cross: it’s regeneration at work. Andrew Woodhouse is President, Potts Point & Kings Cross Heritage & Residents’ Society city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
Inner West Council to webcast BY KRISTEN TSIAMIS The five-month-old Inner West Council has announced that as of December, they will be live webcasting their Council meetings. Richard Pearson, Administrator at the Inner West Council said that the decision to webcast was made to ”get more people involved with council decisions and increase transparency within council”. Having been in existence since May this year, Mr Pearson said that local engagement was critical, and that it had “become obvious that we needed more people involved and engaged with what council is doing.” “There are more than 185,000 people living in our local government area, it’s a modern form of engagement that both state and federal government use to broadcast, so why shouldn’t local government be webcast as well?” This announcement from Council comes as a shock to many, including City of Sydney Councillor Angela Vithoulkas, who said that given the age of the newly-formed InnerWest Council, the City of Sydney is lagging behind. Cr Vithoulkas said that some councils, including Victoria’s Dandenong Council, who have been doing live webcasting for 13 years, have managed to make the process work. She said “like anything, webcasting can be as high-cost as you make it. If we are considering the Rolls-Royce of solutions, that can be quite expensive. For trial purposes, there are low-cost options where Council could roll webcasting out.” The introduction of something that Cr Vithoulkas said is a “very basic concept now” and needs to happen as soon as possible. Cr Vithoulkas also said that unlike launching WiFi across the city, which
The Inner West Council to start webcasting from December. Image: Wendy Bacon
combats with other levels of government, webcasting is within the domain of Council: “it’s now a matter of just getting on with it” she said. Rhea Liebmann, a spokesperson for WestConnex Action group said that the reasons for the Inner West Council deciding to start webcasting meetings is an “attempt to try and appear more transparent, particularly since the amalgamations and opposition to WestConnex.” Despite this, Ms Liebmann told City Hub that although this move towards transparency is a good thing, more needs to be done to listen to the community. “I do think it’s a good thing, the more transparency, the less behind the scenes deals that will be done. It’s better than nothing, but not enough at this point. A lot more needs to be done to listen to the community. Transparency is critical but means nothing with no democratic process underlying it.”
The price of webcasting has long been something that Council’s have hidden behind in an attempt to avoid upgrading to webcasting. Mr Pearson said the webcasting is going to be conducted via YouTube, and “it’s not expensive – a few thousand dollars at the most.” “We deliberately tried to find a budget cost, and one that would ensure we could find something that would not drop out, but the advice I got was that YouTube can livestream Council meetings, and that’s our first option. We can start looking at other options if it doesn’t work, but I have every confidence that it will.” The impact of the live webcasting of Council meetings remains to be seen, however Mr Pearson said that he believes the “meetings won’t change at all, it will just open local government process up to a broader spectrum of people.” The Lord Mayor’s Office was unavailable for comment in time for publication.
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Waterloo’s housing future BY KRISTEN TSIAMIS Communities Plus is the new mechanism the state government has put in place to develop a large number of public housing estates, one of which is in Waterloo. It will involve the building of high-rise integrated public housing blocks in Waterloo, Ivanhoe, Riverwood and Telopea. But what does Communities Plus mean for the public-housing residents of Waterloo? Geoff Turnbull, member of the RedWatch Co-Ordination group explains. Mr Turnbull outlined the Communities Plus program as “ the new mechanism the government has put in place to redo a large number of public housing estates around Sydney and the state. It sets out the processes the government proposes to use. Waterloo will come under that policy direction.” Mr Turnbull thinks that the future of public housing will be most successful with a mix-housing model, with high and low-rise blocks being mixed. “I think we will end up with a mixture of public housing around the state, in some places its feasible to do high rise estates, in some places it’s not. It’s certainly a model; the question is going to be whether the model being looked at is going to work and how they’re going to put that together.” Before this happens however, Mr Turnbull said that the underlying issues with public housing need to be addressed, or the same problems will continue to plague the government. “In other places like Minto taking a social mix approach, mix of different families and tenure types on the same street. How do you do this in Waterloo? Public building/private building? Mix within the same building the public and private? How do you deal with government putting higher needs people into public housing and ensuring tenants aren’t creating a nuisance – these issues have to be worked through.” A spokesperson from the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) said that there was a social housing reform needed to keep public housing sustainable. “To achieve the scale of social housing reform needed in NSW
Waterloo public housing is in for a change. Photo: Jordan Fermanis
and to make it a sustainable change requires the involvement of the private sector and not-for-profit Community Housing Providers (CHPs).” “FACS will work with private sector developers and CHPs to deliver more social housing, integrated with private and affordable housing to create a better social housing experience for the whole community.” The key to providing the best public housing possible for citizens, is to increase the financial amount allocated to public housing. Without this, Mr Turnbull said the problem of maintenance issues and overcrowding will continue. “One of the things that gets complained about a lot is maintenance, and a new estate might cut down that problem for a while, but ultimately the only way his can be solved.”
“Sell off land to redevelop public housing but doesn’t change financial amount. That might decrease footprint, but it is not a model that works in perpetuity.” Mr Turnbull said that whilst there are several positive points to the program, there are also some areas that need to be bolstered in order for this new way of order to work. “They have to look at models that will be much more resilient over time – the model at the moment is one where you transfer public housing out of government and to community housing providers – they’re not for profits set up to run a community in affordable housing. CityWest is an example, it’s owned by the government, runs a mix of tenures in most of it places so there are people with very little income and benefits, and people with mixed income (up to $95,000) which can cover costs.” “Having rationed public housing means that most people are unemployed or on benefits which then means that you end up with very little rent income to be able to cover incoming costs. Department of Housing has been selling off 3.5 units of housing per day for 10 years to be able to keep system going. Clearly not sustainable, and it’s the reason why we have long waiting lists that we do.” The future of Waterloo public housing residents will become part of a plan put to community consultation, said the FACS spokesperson. Residents will have the final say as to whether highrise public housing will be the way of the future for public housing in Sydney, with the planning process. “Before any changes are made to social housing in Waterloo FACS will develop more detailed plans in consultation with the community. The first group of tenants will not need to move until at the earliest mid-2017.” “Given the size of the redevelopment many social housing residents will be able to relocate into new housing on the site. Residents who relocate off the estate will retain the right to return. FACS will work with tenants to ensure that they are supported through the redevelopment process.
“Hypocritical” University calls the police as protesters removed BY LUCAS BAI RD The University of Sydney has been called “hypocritical” and was accused of lying by A Let SCA Stay spokesperson after police were called to a protest last week. Police arrived at the university’s Camperdown Campus around six last Friday morning. When they showed up security began to eject students who had set up camp on the Quadrangle as part of a two-day demonstration against the closure of the Rozelle Campus. “Some protesters defaced the University’s Quadrangle, and even more distressingly, there are reports that physical force was used against a student who objected to the
City Hub : “I don’t know of [objectors] that were in anyway physically impacted. I think that is just straight up a lie.” Ms Bethune, who is also a first year Bachelor of Visual Arts student, said that while the police only watched on while university security put an end to the demonstration, it was “a bit scary”. “[University security] came and told us that we had three minutes to pack up. We kinda said that we can’t pack up tents and things in three minutes and then they just started taking our things and putting them in a truck, kind of just telling us to leave.” “I think [the police] were mostly there for show. Kind of putting up the tough front,
Students were removed from the Camperdown campus early Friday morning by security as police watched on. Picture: Supplied.
Students dropped the banner on Thursday to protest the University’s plans for the SCA. Picture: Supplied
demonstration,” University of Sydney ViceChancellor, Michael Spence, said to justify the ejection. However, protester and spokesperson for the demonstration, Thandiwe Bethune told 6
city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
there to intimidate us; they didn’t talk to us or anything.” She also said that the university was “a bit hypocritical to say the least”, referring to a previous statement from the administration
that student’s have the right to express their views and protest peacefully. But Dr Spence said: “we cannot continue to support that right if it extends to damaging property, or threatening or physically interfering with the rights of other members of the University community.” Before they were removed, the students dropped a 14 x 7 metre banner from the Quad’s roof that read “U$YD IS KILLING ITS ART
SCHOOL” and had begun work on a protest sculpture, but both have now been removed. The removal of the students from the Camperdown campus put an end to the planned second day of the protest. However, Ms Bethune said that their ejection was predicted and didn’t disrupt their plans in any major way. She said that the students returned to the Rozelle campus to join the ongoing occupation of the Dean’s office, which started on the 22nd of August.
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Humpty Dumpty development BY JORDAN FERMANIS IPM Holdings, the group looking to develop the Calidad building in Woolloomooloo for $8.6 million has modified its submission which dismantles the building to put it back together again. The Calidad building was constructed in 1974 and was heritage listed in 2014 by the City of Sydney. It stands on 153165 Brougham St in Woolloomooloo which includes two other heritage listed buildings; Telford Lodge and an old Victorian cottage. IPM Holdings has submitted a modification to the DA from the original plans in 2014 which includes the dismantling and re-assembling of the building to make way for 30 residential apartments across six levels. “Modification of consent for demolition of the two storey federation building fronting Brougham Street and construction of a new residential apartment building, demolition of extensions to Telford Lodge and adaptive reuse of the ‘Calidad’ building for residential apartments.Proposed changes include dismantling and re-assembling the ‘Calidad’ building,” the modification proposal said. Caron Brown, who owns an apartment next door to the Calidad building, says that the proposed modifications show that IPM Holdings are not concerned with preserving the heritage of the site.
The Site of the Calidad building and the proposed development in Woolloomooloo. Image supplied
“The whole purpose of the Sydney Architecture School getting heritage listed in the first place was so that it wouldn’t get dismantled.” “The whole building will come off piece by piece and put in a factory somewhere. Retreated and re-specialised so they can dig into the mountain there,” Ms Brown said. A City of Sydney spokesperson told City Hub that the proposed modification would not damage the building. “The City has received a Section 96 Modification Application which seeks to modify the existing development consent for the site. The proposed modifications include dismantling the Calidad building so it is not damaged during the excavation phase, and reassembling the building on site after the excavation phase is complete,” the spokesperson said. However Ms Brown has concerns that the two other heritage listed sites will be dismantled and reassembled as well with the risk that they may be damaged beyond repair. “There are already two other heritage listed buildings within the site. Are they going to take them apart as well?” “They want to encroach more on the historical courtyard off Telford Place.” “I was disappointed because it’s developers again that get change after change,” Ms Brown said. Andrew Woodhouse, President of Potts Point & Kings Cross Heritage & Residents’ Society told City Hub that were the proposed modifications to be approved it would reveal a tremendous backflip by the City of Sydney. “This DA has now called for the Calidad building to be dismantled and put into storage.” “This is as big a backflip in local council terms as Mike Baird’s backflip on greyhound racing.” “How can you conserve something by removing it from its site? Then putting it in a box somewhere,” Mr Woodhouse said. Mr Woodhouse said that the modification proposal shows how little heritage is valued by developers and if approved, local councils. “It threatens all other heritage listed buildings and creates a bad precedent for our future.” “This proposal is heritage heresy and we say they are turning heritage into history.” “If you can’t see a heritage building it ceases to be one,” Mr Woodhouse said. 8
city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
New Bondi business creative waves
BY CHARLOTTE GRIEVE Adam Schwartz is an artist, volunteer, winner of the 2014 Young Achievers Award and now, a small business owner. Like many other 27 year olds, he has just moved out of his family home and is balancing all the new responsibilities that come with young adulthood and newfound independence. Adam was diagnosed with Autism when he was two years old. Once considered a rare disorder, new figures have shown that up to one in 63 Australian school children have been formally diagnosed with the condition. The effects of Autism on daily life vary from one person to the next. While Adam has restricted conversational skills, it has not stopped him from launching a new creative business, Adam’s Apple Creations. “Adam’s getting a full 360 view of running his own business and there’s a lot of self-satisfaction that comes with that,” said Ivan. He has been screen printing for over two years. Earlier this year, Adam and his father, Ivan, began commissioning local artists to create designs that Adam could screen print onto post cards and sell online. “We’ve always been looking for new opportunities and ways for Adam to be not dependent on community, but part of it. If there’s not something there, we create it,” said Ivan Schwartz, Adam’s father. “I saw this opportunity on the grape vine and jumped on it immediately,” artist James McCallum told City Hub. “In Adam’s case and people with disabilities, it’s about removing the
Behind the scenes of Adam Schwartz’s new business. Photo credit to Celine Massa
barriers and helping them to step into new roles or parts of society that they might not otherwise have been able to.” “Art is a brilliant way to explore new ideas that exist within people already. Adam’s potential as an artist is no less than anyone else,” he said. Adam’s Apple Creations has big plans to approach retail outlets making the cards available individually as well as a pack. The proceeds from sales will go
towards Adam’s rent that is currently being subsidised by his parents, which Ivan considers to be one of the final steps towards his son’s independence. “When you start plotting your own course in life you feel good about the world,” he said.
You can purchase an original Adam’s Apple Creation card today from www.adamsapplecreations.com/shop
Bird is the word BY JORDAN FERMANIS The annual Australian White Ibis Community Survey and Aussie Backyard Bird Count is about to commence as the Inner West Council urges residents to participate. The two programs form part of National Bird Week 2016 which runs from October 17 to 23 lead by Birdlife Australia in partnership with NSW office of Environment and Heritage. The White Ibis Community Survey has been running since 2003 with the aim to increase community awareness of the species and to increase knowledge to provide better habitats for the ibis. Speaking to City Hub, Dr John Martin a Wildlife Ecologist from Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands said that the ibis community survey was important because ibis’ behaviour has changed dramatically in recent decades.
The Rainbow Lorikeet, Australia’s most sighted bird from Aussie Backyard Bird Count 2015. Image: Andrew Silcocks
“We didn’t see large numbers of ibis a few decades ago in urban Sydney.” “The ibis is a bit of a flagship species because they have come to the city and they have well and truly adapted to the urban environment.” “By getting people to contribute to the survey we get to learn about the distribution of ibis in the urban environment,” Dr Martin said. Dr Martin said that the ibis community survey provides more scope to champion the cause for habitat improvement. It also promotes the construction of wildlife habitat in urban areas like the constructed wetlands in Sydney Park and the Cooks River. Elizabeth Heath from the Inner West Council said that although the ibis is often not well-liked by residents, its conservation as a native species is significant, especially after its migration from inland to coastal environments. “While often seen as a nuisance, ibis are in fact an integral part of our cultural heritage. Their long-term presence in the landscape is reflected in Indigenous culture and stories across Australia.” “A key question for the species and for population management in NSW is whether the ibis will eventually return inland.” “Developed in 2010, the Sydney Basin Australian White Ibis Regional Management Plan looks to conserve a sustainable target population of 6,500-8,800 individuals,” Ms Heath said. The Aussie Backyard Bird Count allows participants to record bird sightings using a mobile phone app. There are 800 recorded bird species in Australia with 237 of those recognised as being at risk of extinction or endangered. Dr Martin said that the national-wide program looks to map and protect bird species. “The aim is to engage everyone in Australia with birds. And to increase people’s awareness of wildlife in their environment and their surrounding environment. We are asking people to use the app.” “In the Inner West Council there are a number of migratory waiting species that use places like the Cooks River and some of the salt marsh areas around the airport and those species are flying from Asia or North America and Russia.” Last year over one million birds were sighted during bird week with over 40 000 submissions.
Story Fest 2016
Seventy artists, seventeen events – Sydney’s festival of spoken word BY RITA BRATOVICH The ancient Greeks and Romans did it. Medieval troubadours did it. Psychedelic ’60’s beatniks did it. And thanks to a modern surge in interest, more people are doing it now than ever. Reciting poetry is one of our most instinctive and enduring forms of entertainment. It is an art that is accessible to almost anyone – as listener or performer – the increasing popularity of slam poetry is testament to that. Miles Merrill, Creative Director and Founder of Word Travels introduced slam poetry to Australia in 1996 when he migrated to Sydney from slam poetry capital, Chicago, USA. Merrill noticed the steadily increasing interest and participation in spoken word and in 2004, he created the Australian Poetry Slam – the first event of its kind in this country. The competition has since gone global, with entrants coming from China, Indonesia and New Zealand. Word Travels was set up to help facilitate the competition. The Slam kept growing and four years ago, Merrill decided to incorporate the finals into a three day spoken word festival, hence Story Fest was born. This year’s event will feature 70 artists in 17 events held at locations across Sydney, including the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks and Walsh Bay. Apart from the competition there are also film screenings, workshops, a poetry accompanied walk through the Botanical Gardens, and “Pin the tail on the station”, where three slam poets each takes a random train journey with a group of participants, performing poetry on the way and collecting artefacts at the destination to be used in a performance piece later. “It’s gone into mainstream overdrive, which is a good thing”, says Merrill. However, having said that, he insists he doesn’t want the event to grow much more: “We’re pretty keen on remaining a small, boutique festival with 15 or 20 events over a weekend.” Despite the name, the competition is not restricted to poetry. As long as it’s the writer’s own work it can be a poem, story, monologue or lyric. There is no set topic either, but themes do emerge organically. “Every year it’s like a snapshot of the Australian psyche,” notes Merrill. “Last year there was a lot of focus on gender politics, a lot of focus on refugees.” This year he sees indigenous language and Islamic poetry as key concepts, though there is still quite an assortment of styles and subject matter. According to Merrill, “the range and diversity of the artists is what’s really amazing”. One entrant is a man from Coffs Harbour who was born in 1934; he may end up performing beside a 14-year-old Pakistani student from Wagga Wagga. Then there’s Tanya Evanson, a guest artist from Montreal who will be conducting workshops on whirling dervish and poetry. Among the competitors is NSW Poetry Slam finalist Samantha Turnbull. She has made the finals in each of her three years competing. Although she is a successful children’s author, the poetry
Yarrie. Photo: Chris Peken
Ali Omar. Photo: Chris Peken
Mati Idate. Photo: Chris Peken
APS Final Winner Phillip Wilcox. Photo: Chris Peken
she performs is not appropriate for young ears. “That’s probably why I got into slam poetry… I wrote these children’s books for children… but I had more to say that wasn’t for children,” said Turnbull. Her poetry and children’s books do share the common theme of gender politics and in particular, “princess culture”. Turnbull believes performance poetry gives her an audible public voice: “I’m a five-foot-nothing, average looking, working class mother from regional NSW who often doesn’t feel seen or heard… poetry slams were a way – albeit for two minutes – to command people’s attention and be seen and heard.” A journalist and author already, she
was lured to try spoken word after seeing a video online. She credits the Internet with the rapid uptake of spoken word performance: “I think social media has had a big role in taking slam poetry to the masses.” By providing a glimpse into the slam poetry world, the internet has helped break down some myths and misconceptions about performance poetry. The diversity amongst artists and spectators represents the full demographic gamut. There’s no pretension or snobbery. “It’s more about the experience and the feeling you get,” explained Turnbull. Eunice Andrada came to performance poetry at age 16 via The Rumble, a poetry slam and Young Performing Writers’ Program conducted by Word Travels and now part of Story Fest.
She then won an online competition, which allowed her and a team of poets from the Pacific Islands to perform at the UN Summit on Climate Change. “We were brought there to use poetry in a way that made a global topic such as climate change relatable to the public,” said Andrada. For Andrada, poetry is a way of processing thoughts and feelings and then finding a way to express the results: “What happens when I write is that I respond to anything that I feel is bursting out of me, something that needs to be written for myself.” She sees a distinction between written and spoken poetry: “What makes performance poetry so vital to me is the urgency that it communicates… you’re opening yourself up to vulnerability – that’s a connection that
you don’t get with page poetry.” Coming from an immigrant Philippino family, and still feeling displaced here, Andrada uses poetry as a personal and public tool for working through thoughts and feelings. She acknowledges Story Fest for the opportunities it affords spoken word: “The best thing about Story Fest is its inclusivity. This event…is unique in that it makes poetry so visible in unexpected ways.” So dust off your black skivvy and beret, and come be inspired by the modern day bard.
Oct 14–16, varied program. Tickets & info: www.wordtravels.info/story-fest city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT classic tale of Peter Pan in the most interesting of ways. Set in modern times, we meet grown-up Wendy (Emma Palmer) whose life has become considerably more problematic since her days in Neverland. Wendy juggles her troubled brother John (Simon London) as he continues to mourn their other brother’s childhood disappearance, her aged father (Robert Alexander) who can’t remember who Wendy is, and her egocentric husband (Stephen Multari) who can’t stand Wendy’s family. Strongly acted, and fast at 55-minutes, the play is consistent. However, its changing pace between moments of quick intensity followed by lengthier (slightly dragged-out) discussions between characters becomes jarring at times, and a challenge to watch easily. But perhaps that was what director Iain Sinclair wanted. It’s much darker than anything J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan eluded to, but there are certainly moments for interesting reflection. Wendy’s father (played brilliantly by Alexander) whose life within an agedcare home beautifully contrasts Pan’s plight to remain forever young, a powerful example. For any Pan fans, or anyone looking for one very interesting take on a classic, go and check it out. (CW) Until Oct 16, evenings and matinees. Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst. $30-$45. Tickets & info: www. darlinghursttheatre.com
Remembering Pirates If you haven’t yet been to a play at Eternity Playhouse, now is a great time. Firstly because the restored heritage building is one of the most magnificent small theatres in Sydney, and secondly because Christopher Harley’s new production Remembering Pirates is now showing. Played out on a minimalistic stage, the Darlinghurst Theatre Company revisits the
William Le and Sophie To. Photo: William Yang
Do Something Else
You never know what you’re going to get with independent theatre. It can be inventive and stimulating or infuriatingly obscure. In the case of Do Something Else, now playing at The Old 505 Theatre, it is happily the former. The 75-minutes of short, overlapping scenes takes the audience on a narrative tour through emotional, psychological and physical incidents, where recurring motifs help give a sense of a complete story. The three performers devised the play during a series of workshops. Cloe Fournier is a French-Australian artist whose background in dance and movement is evident in the physicality she brings to her scenes. Similarly, Ryuichi Fujimura, a dance artist, moves in a controlled, meaningful way that enhances his performance beyond dialogue. As a sculptor and puppet-maker, Brigid Vidler may
seem an anomaly on stage, but she is truly engaging and no doubt has adapted the humour, fantasy and clever use of props from puppetry to this work. The production elements of the play are impressive. Katja Handt’s set is minimalist and versatile using only desks, chairs, a bed and a few lamps. Michael Pigott, light and sound director, makes clever use of the lamps for stage lighting and props. His soundscape incorporating electronic and ambient music, sound effects and recorded conversations provides aural texture. The dialogue is sharp, intelligent, witty and delivered with impeccable timing. Don’t do anything else – see this. (RB) Until Oct 22,Tue-Sat 8pm. Old 505 Theatre, Lvl 1, 5 Eliza St, Newtown. $25-$35. Tickets & info: www.old505theatre.com
Who Speaks for Me? Imagine moving to a foreign country where you know no one, can’t speak the language and their way of living is completely different to what you know. This is the story for so many people residing in Australia, and Annette Shun Wah has decided to tell their story with Who Speaks for Me? This production displays the struggles of arriving in a new country and not being able to speak the language. Three families from Bhutanese,Vietnamese and Cambodian backgrounds living in Western Sydney relate their experiences using personal stories and photographs. As writer and producer Shun Wah wanted to challenge the notion that just because someone doesn’t speak the language, they can’t contribute to society.
11 STAGE 12 Sounds 13 SCENE 14 SCREEN
Arts Editors: Jamie Apps - Alannah Maher For more A&E stories go to www.altmedia.net.au and don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter at @AltMediaSydney
“Our storytellers are living proof of how wrong and simplistic that notion is,” she explained. “I also believe stories like these give us a fuller and more accurate picture of contemporary Australian life, which is vital if we are to truly understand who we are.” Shun Wah has experienced this herself and recalls her stepmother’s preparation for her citizenship ceremony. “She was so nervous about not being able to repeat the oath.As a very young child – around 7 or 8 – I tried to help her pronounce words such as ‘allegiance’ even though I wasn’t sure what the oath meant!” (AMal) Until Oct 15 (Wed-Fri 7.30, Sat 2pm + 7.30pm). Riverside Theatre Parramatta, cnr Church & Market Streets, Parramatta. $27-$37. Tickets & info: www.riversideparamatta.com.au
Contributors: Carmen Cita, Craig Coventry, Greg Webster, Alicia Sim, Peter Urquhart, James Harkness, Leann Richards, Lisa Seltzer, Mark Morellini, Mel Somerville, Rocio Belinda Mendez, Sarah Pritchard, Athina Mallis, Leigh Livingstone, Joseph Rana, Shon Ho, Jacqui Rothwell, Emily Shen, Andrew Hodgson, Irina Dunn, Caitlin Burns, Zeiya Speede, Rita Bratovich, Chantal Walsh, Raffaele Piccolo, Barbara Karpinski, Taylah Felice, Georgia Fullerton, Bobby Stephenson, Olga Azar. city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
Gentlemen of Deceit: Three Times The Magic Magic enthusiasts won’t be disappointed as master illusionists Luke Hocking, Alex de la Rambelje and Vyom Sharma bring their new show to Sydney. Since meeting at a magic society six years ago the three gentlemen; a teacher, a doctor and an insurance salesman – joined forces and have had
sell-out seasons at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Vyom Sharma, the doctor of the trio, said that as a youth his interest in magic came first.“I remember recalling magic tricks I’d seen. I wanted to work them out – my interest in medicine followed soon after,” he said. Since having earned three standing ovations as 2016 Grand Finalists on Australia’s Got Talent their popularity has soared.Their new show combines mind-blowing illusions with quirky humour and magical geekery. “Audiences are intelligent – we perform magic that’s strong, the most impossible illusions. Performing magic can be stressful [and] as anything can go wrong, but we have a great time on stage. We take magic seriously but comedy is also a large part of the act – we even play pranks on one another,” joked Sharma. “When I perform I look at the audience. There are cool twentysomethings, children and old people. There’s something appealing about magic – it brings everybody back to being a child. There’s a sense of nostalgia and mystery”. So how is the illusion performed where a mobile is sledgehammered on stage and later discovered intact sealed inside a tin of beans? “Trust me, you don’t want to know!” laughed Sharma. (MMo) Oct 15–16. Playhouse Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point. $59-$65. Tickets & info: www.gentlemenofdeceit.com
Live Music Guide LIVE WIRE Sydney By Jamie Apps
Kylie Auldist & Aarandha: Two jewels of the international soul scene, Australia’s own Kylie Auldist and New Zealand’s Aaradhna, come together with a mission to pack out dance floors across Australia. Both ladies are renowned for their souring vocal work, meaning this is bound to set dance floors ablaze. Thu, Oct 13,The Beresford Hotel The Panics: With the release of their fifth studio album late last week, the ARIA-winning alt-rockers are traversing the country to celebrate with fans. Kicking off tomorrow night in Sydney, The Panics plan to play all of the new tracks as well as a selection of their much loved and revered back catalogue. Fri, Oct 14, Oxford Art Factory Jenna Cave’s Divergence Jazz Orchestra: The Divergence Jazz Orchestra is made up of nineteen of Sydney’s most accomplished young musicians led by Jenna Cave (conductor/composer) and Paul Weber (trombone). Their sound brings the spirit and tradition of improvised jazz music to the 21st Century big band; where captivating grooves, memorable melodies and expressive orchestrations are executed with outstanding musicianship and soul, with rhythm as its cornerstone. The upcoming show serves as a launch celebration for their new record Fake It Until You Make It. Fri, Oct 14, Foundry616 Misguided: The lads have had a killer year so far, releasing their debut single and film clip ‘Know The Enemy’ 12
city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
to an extremely warm welcome. With the buzz the group from Brisbane have been able to generate in their own state and over the airwaves, they are now preparing to conquer the east coast and Sydney. Fri, Oct 14, Bald Faced Stag Kingfisha: Following up their recent tours of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, Kingfisha are now heading out on the road at home again. Commemorating the release of their second album Offered It Up. Sat, Oct 15, Newtown Social Club Lime Cordiale: With their live show overtaking countless local and international stages over the last two years.The five-piece from Sydney’s northern beaches have sold-out each of their hometown headline shows since 2014 across a sizeable list of Sydney venues, help keep the streak alive this weekend. Sat, Oct 15,The Lair Clowns: Melbourne punk-rock hedonists Clowns invade Sydney this weekend to showcase their sweaty skate-punk stylings, which have seen them touring throughout Europe recently. Sun, Oct 16, Blackwire Records Archie Roach: A man of few words, but when he speaks or sings, those words lift you up, transport you, and humble you. Playing tracks from his tenth studio album for the first time, as well as selections from an extraordinary career, this show will be a celebration of Let Love Rule’s main theme: love. Wed, Oct 19, City Recital Hall
Photo: Annaliese Nappa
Matt Okine As part of a whirlwind national tour, multi-awardwinning comedian Matt Okine comes to Sydney with his selftitled, fifth-straight live show. “The tour has been my opportunity to visit some places that I haven’t been to this year, except for Sydney. Sydney is my home ground now so I always like it,” said Okine. The host of Triple J Breakfast, Okine has won an array of accolades, including Best Comedy Performer at the 2015 Helpmann Awards and the 2015 Aria for Best Comedy Release. His secret to comedy gold? “Just say yes to things,” he said. “It’d be so much easier to just stay at home and watch TV, but it’s very difficult to write a one hour comic show about the latest season of Selling Houses Australia. When somebody calls you up and says, ‘hey, I’m doing this, do you wanna come along?’ you think to yourself, ‘I’ve never wanted to go to a Trampoline World, but sure, let’s do it!’ It’s about making sure you’re always up for what’s going on, it’s about meeting people.” Okine has also supported international acts Dave Chappelle and Chelsea Handler. He said:
“Most of my material comes from me being the dumbest person in the world half of the time. I wish I could say I draw heavily from pointing a microscope at the political state of the world, but I’m more likely to talk about why it’s not a good idea to do a Ja Rule impersonation in the bedroom.” (GF) Oct 14–15, 7pm/7.15pm.The Comedy Store, Bldg 207/122 Lang Road, Moore Park. $37.Tickets & info: www.comedystore.com.au or (02) 9357 1419
Alesa Lajana By Jamie Apps Every so often an artist comes along with a novel idea for a record, which at the outset may seem insurmountably too grand, but with the benefit of hindsight is a masterstroke in creativity. One such artist is Alesa Lajana, who channeled her inner “humanitarian streak” to create an album which tackles the issues of “social justice and race in Australia” with her new record Frontier Lullaby. In order to fully grasp the extent of the issues she wanted to explore, Lajana set out on an eight year journey throughout the country, researching and getting to know many of the colourful characters our nation has to offer. “I did a lot of research into
Australian history, which involved reading old books that I found in various places, [speaking with] some pre-existing contacts, as well as chasing up new contacts in the community. It was pretty fascinating and involved a lot of travelling and meeting new people,” explained Lajana. For Lajana, the passion to explore alternative perspectives was sparked in the latter part of her high school years. “I met a couple of people who, because of the colour of their skin, had a very different upbringing to me,” she reflected. “They had really different experiences, for instance interacting with the Queensland Police, and I was amazed that people who had grown up so close to each other could have such different
experiences and perspectives on our country.” Obviously with a project that was so ambitious, doubts crept in along the way: “It can be really challenging, wondering whether it’s worth it or whether you’re good enough. Plus [when] dealing with this thematic material, the people you meet aren’t always the easiest to interact with.” In the end the experience was
one which Lajana said was “really positive, life affirming and really inspired me to keep going”. Before heading out on the road again Lajana has spent a few weeks at home with her husband recharging and working on their “horsemanship, cattlemanship and agricultural skills”, so she is certainly “ready to go again.” In terms of what the audience can expect from the show at Django Bar, she says “it’s a fairly simple format with storytelling of adventures from the road and behind the scenes, but hopefully it’s one that helps people engage emotionally with our history.” Oct 16, 6pm. Django Bar, 19 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville. $22.90-$27.90.Tickets & info: www.camelotlounge.com/ django-bar
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Trophy Eyes – Chemical Miracle
Beth Hart’s Fire on The Floor takes you on a delectable voyage – first stop a jazzy, fiery feast – Heart’s voice delivering strength and sass in spades. Next, smooth silky ballads invite you to sway in agreement, sadness, and intimacy. Heart and soul shine through the verses. Nuances in tone, delivery, breath and timing married seamlessly with the instruments in an exciting, vibrant way. As the album progresses, as do the layers in the story. ‘Baby Shot Me Down’ and ’Good Day to Cry’ have a familiar feel and movement, allowing the listener to ride a reminiscent wave as the last few songs spark the entire 12-tracks into a (beautifully controlled) Fire on The Floor. (RBM)
With every album release a band puts out into the world it is a chance for them to hit that much revered grand slam which shoots them into the upper echelon of music. On the flip side however, it can just as easily ruin a legacy. Fortunately for Trophy Eyes, their latest offering Chemical Miracle slants slightly more towards the former rather than the latter. While the record has some hits, particularly with opener ‘Chlorine’ and later ‘Breathe You In’, it also has a number of swing and misses. Overall this is another solid outing for the group, which at least keeps them safe. (JA)
THE NAKED CITY
THINKING OUTSIDE THE SQUARE
With Coffin Ed There is something about those idolised visions of future development initiated by civic architects and Council planners that is highly seductive – an almost utopian visualisation of what life in this big crazy metropolis could really be like. Check out this recent impression of what the planned CBD Square, long promised by the City Of Sydney Council, might eventually look like. There are buskers entertaining the crowd (gee, I hope they have their licences), two women walking five dogs (I assume they are professional dog walkers) and even a young couple, captured in a passionate embrace beneath a newly transplanted tree. The only thing really missing is the beloved Woolies Building on the corner of Park and George, and the thousands of shoppers who throng there everyday. Of course it’s no secret that the City Council has been buying up property in the block for decades, with the eventual aim of demolishing it all to make way for an expansive town square facing the Sydney Town Hall. It’s apparently at least two years down the track before the wrecking ball smashes mercilessly into urban icons like the Woolies emporium and the Coronation Hotel, making way for the massive expanse of concrete and inevitable water features that will become Sydney’s brand new city square – a facility to rival St Mark’s in Venice, Federation Square in Melbourne and Red Square in Moscow. Like the current light rail construction, which has turned much of George Street into a construction zone, there will be no gain
without pain and expect years of disruption, noise, dust and ugly hoardings as buildings are flattened and concrete poured. What is now very much a bustling hub in the centre of Sydney will effectively be comatose for at least a year or two.
Simone Rosenbauer – Like Ice In The Sunshine II
Simone Rosenbauer’s latest unconventional photography collection is a tribute to the vibrancy and colour of summer – with further existential themes to be read into it, if you wish. The German-born, Bondi-based artist’s deceptively simple pop portraits of ice blocks and ice creams melting onto stark, day-glo backgrounds are immediately striking and playful. Like Ice In The Sunshine II (LA) is the sequel to Simone’s 2015 series, which focussed on Australian iced goods.
“I think they’re [ice creams] a beautiful cultural object…they make people happy,” she added. The decision to pursue another popsicle collection in LA was inspired by the similarities and contrasts of the cities’ beach cultures, and geographical positions (LA is located on almost the same latitude as Sydney) – and sealed by a residency at the iconic Venice Beach. Natural summer sunlight is an essential component in Rosenbauer’s experimental practice. Due to the uncertainty of the process, many of the images took up to seven attempts to capture. The artist’s final cut are the ice creams in their “best moment” – a moment in between future (melted) and past (frozen). In showcasing the differences with popular American treats, opposed to the Golden Gaytimes and Paddle Pops of Australia’s freezers, part II throws a new light on exploring the “popsicle” as a cultural artefact. The end result is a sweet collection filled with immediacy and fondness, with an aftertaste of the transience of time. (AM) Until Oct 29. .M Contempoary, 37 Ocean Street, Woollahra. Info: www.mcontemp.com or www.simonerosenbauer.com
When the new square is finally unveiled, at the cost of hundreds of millions, there will obviously be many who readily embrace the big open space, especially when it’s employed for civic functions and to welcome home our all conquering world champion underwater hockey team.
Skateboarders and professional dog walkers will have a ball. Others, like myself, will question whether vast windswept forums, synonymous with the monumentalism of history, contribute anything to the vitality of the modern, so-called ‘living’ city. Whether we end up with something like Melbourne’s much criticised Federation Square, often likened to a “bombed-out war-time bunker due to its camouflage colours”, remains to be seen. When the weather is hospitable and the sun is shining, squares like this are sociable and welcoming, but when night time falls they often take on another dimension – dark, gloomy and the preferred precinct of the anti-social. No doubt Sydney’s new city square will be well illuminated at night and graced by alluring water features, but will it draw anything like the current bustle of punters that Woolies and its surrounds attract? A few years ago and the City Council was all about duplicating Melbourne’s laneway culture and nurturing small cosmopolitan pockets of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and bookshops throughout the CBD – all trading into the late night hours. Now it seems they have embraced the North Korean philosophy that bigger is always better, especially when it comes to pouring tonnes of concrete, all in the so-called public good. As the tumbling tumbleweeds blow through Sydney City Square (or whatever it’s called) on a cold winter’s night in 2020, there will still be that occasional pedestrian, bemused and disorientated, longing for that late-night purchase of a Woolies barbequed chicken or bag of Allen’s snakes. Bad luck there – it’s called progress!
Harold Hunt – Along My Way
Along My Way (Glasshouse Books, 2016) is the autobiography of 91-year-old Harold Hunt, an Indigenous man whose extraordinary life has spanned some of the most significant developments in Aboriginal social history in this country. Harold’s story begins in far western NSW during the Great Depression. Born in 1925 to a half-caste mother and a white father, Harold was one of ten children. Armed with just a primary school education and much ambition, he grabbed whatever work he was offered to support his family, picking up assorted trade skills along the way, all manual labour. By his forties, Harold had established himself as a “gun” shearer – with a wife and four children dependent on his wage. He also became a chronic alcoholic, and an abusive husband and father. Harold’s eventual recovery from addiction not only saved his life; it forged his ambition to help others. He worked his way into the NSW Health Commission in the early 1970s, then moved to the Justice Department, gaining respect among his colleagues as his programs proved effective in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. Harold’s remarkable memory, acute observations and gentle sense of humour make his story a delight to read. Readers are invited to join this natural-born storyteller in celebrating his life at the launch of his memoir. (ID)
Oct 15, 1pm–3pm. Drug and Alcohol Building, Nepean Hospital, Kingswood (enter Hospital via Somerset Street). Light refreshments will be served so please RSVP to Kellie Ellis by Oct 7: firstname.lastname@example.org city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016
The Girl On The Train Based on the bestselling book by Paula Hawkins,The Girl On The Train is true to the original novel with one glaring difference – the film is set in the US, whereas the book was set in the UK.Aficionados of the story will be disappointed, as so much of the atmosphere in the novel came from the location. Emily Blunt is very much the star of this film, and her portrayal of Rachel – a drunken, out of control divorcee who is obsessed with her ex-husband and their new family – is entirely believable. In fact, those who doubted Emily Blunt could carry off such an unlikeable car-crash of a character will be proved very, very wrong. Rachel is
so unreliable that the audience is left thinking she did it, it’s all her fault, and why on earth doesn’t she just pull herself together? But, as with all good stories, there is a twist, and a huge one at that. Rachel’s dual obsessions with her ex-husband and her ex-neighbour Megan, whose houses she passes on the train every day, result in unexpected actions and consequences. A thrilling film, but one which ultimately lacked lustre for this committed fan of the original novel. (LS) WWW
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His life is turned upside down however, when the government grandly announces a scheme to streamline the system. Rather than accept redundancy like most others, he consults a politician, who advises him to never give up such a job. He accepts more and more ludicrous and remote posts and embraces them with passion, much to the annoyance of his increasingly desperate superiors, who are embarrassed by his continuing success. This cheeky poke at Italian politics, views and way of life has been a smash hit in Italy and features in the Italian Film Festival in Sydney. (CCov) WWW1/2
Checco Zalone (Luca Pasquale Medici) holds his dream job – a ‘permanent position’ in the notorious Italian public service; a lifetime of guaranteed income, allowances, perks and kickbacks.
13 november 2016
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city hub 13 OCTOBER 2016