Australia Today Magazine

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issue 7 oct / no v 2 0 1 0 | $ 3 . 5 0


 i n s i g h t s  i n s p i r at i o n

COMPUTER know-how your guide to technoLOgical triumph


it's time to start smiling

get set for christmas

I like to give “things a go, you know. It’s a philosophy that can lead to a

little bit of magic.”

afforDable gifts to buy today

Pet projects

making a profit out of Pet pampering





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to get back to you, when we say we will.

issue 7 australia to day

on the cover

M20710_p1_cover4.indd 1

26/08/2010 2:32:50 PM

“Mum and Dad taught us two things as soon as we got here,” remembers funnyman Anh Do. “Do as much as you can to give back to this beautiful country that gave us a chance; the other thing is throw caution to the wind.” Photo: Tim Bauer

contents october catch up 05 It’s showtime Roll up for the local country show. 06 Good news Kids teaching kids, live music for free, boredom busters for the holidays … and more. 10 Get up to speed on ... computer clean-ups Why buy a new computer when you can revive the one you own? 12 Round and round the garden Visit pretty plots around Australia.

share stories 19 A work in progress Meet the wise guys working on into their 70s and 80s. 24 How the westie won Comedian Anh Do relives his rocky days as a Bankstown boy. 28 Where the wild things are Scratches, squawks and sleepless nights are nothing new to our wildlife rescue volunteers.

november 2010

make plans  33 Can you dig it? Friendships and fresh produce flourish in a community garden. 38 Paws for thought How cats and canines are proving profitable for business.

38 44


44 Get your head in the cloud Break free of your deskbound computer and get productive in cyberspace. 50 How to be happy Smart ideas to lift your mood and start you feeling better today.


kick back  55 Friends for tea Tasty treats to whip up for a special afternoon tea. 60 Broaden your horizons Have a holiday ... and learn something new! 62 Your chance to win! A $5,000 Travelex ATM Cash Passport up for grabs.

28 33


69 Puzzle time Quiz questions, puzzles and a giant crossword. 74 Letters of a nation Lebanon looks a lot like Dubbo to WWII soldier.



Try out a new batch of party food recipes

Head to the surf as LAYNE BEACHLEY remembers her childhood days in Manly

 Browse through some

gifts that really matter with 50 presents you don’t have to wrap

Find out how to get a book club started

Cook up some tasty

x atM travele sport sh s a p h cas tm ca

a passport

AC P C O R P O R AT E PBL Media chief executive officer I an L aw Publishing director P h i l S c o t t

A DV E RT I S I N G E N Q U I R I E S AT M e d i a Ti m I rv i n g, A n d r e w Tay lo r 0 2 9 9 7 9 7 3 2 2 AU S T R A L I A P O S T Magazine project director A n n e B ru n Magazine project manager Jac k i e O t t e r Published for Th e Au st ra l i an Po sta l C o r p o rat i o n ABN 28 864 970 579 111 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Produced by AC P M agaz i n e s Lt d ACN 053 273 546 54 Park Street Sydney NSW 2000 Printed by We b star 83 Derby Street Silverwater NSW 2128

Turn to page 62 for your chance to win.

© 2010 All rights reserved

Enter our Holiday Money competition!

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What have you always wanted to learn – and where would you travel to take your lessons? Would it be dancing the tango in Rio de Janeiro? Diving on the Great Barrier Reef? Noodle-making in Beijing? Share your dream with us and you could win a Travelex ATM Cash Passport carrying AUD$5,000 value. *Conditions apply, see page 72.

in store 15 Nov 4

Photography by Ti m Baue r , Jam e s B rau n d, N i c k C ub b i n, Rob e rt F ri th , E amo n G a l lag h e r , Paul H arri s , R an dy L arco m b e

 Do your chores and

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Stories by M i c ha e l B lay n e y, L ac h lan B r ow n, C la i r e H a l l i day, H e l e n H aw ke s , B rad H owart h , K r i st i e Ke l lahan, F ran L aw r e n c e , Jo M c K i n n o n, K at i e S u t h e r lan d, B e r nar d Z u e l

HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS GIFTS for family and friends

And get the lowdown on selling your gear on ebay, running a business in the bush, switching off for the holidays ... and more!

* * 0 $,00 00

Production services manager P e t e r Wo o dwar d Production controller R ac h e l Wa l s h Digital reproduction specialist K lau s M u l l e r

AC P C U S T O M M E D I A Deputy group publishing director G e r ry R e y n o l d s General manager, Custom Media S a l ly W r i g h t Publishing manager N i c o la O ’ H an lo n Researcher Jam e s Ye e Enquiries K r i st i n e You n g 02 9282 8521

improve your fitness at the same time with the GREAT HOUSEWORK WORKOUT


EDITORIAL Editor J u l i a R i c har d s o n Art director B ruc e Da ly Chief subeditor Jo M c K i n n o n

australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

Everything we do has an impact on the environment – and that includes the impact of producing this publication. To minimise this impact we have selected Uno Web White paper stock for the internal pages of the magazine and Alpine Gloss for the cover. We choose to use paper certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). This means that material used to make this magazine comes from sustainably managed forests.

st o ck up o n g o o d news , smart tips and fresh advice Checking out the biggest bull at the Royal Adelaide Show: 1,250 kilos of prime Red Angus.

catch up.


There are sponge cakes, piglets and people to watch at one of the great celebrations of rural Australia – the agricultural show.

PHOTO: schmaal tait / newspix WORDS: K atie Sutherland

The smell of hay and horse manure; pink fairy floss that sticks to your nose; children in their muddy “best” and the giant pumpkin competition ... agricultural shows are where lasting memories are made. Many of Australia’s 618 shows have been running for more than 100 years and, if anything, their popularity is growing. “Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a real surge in young people under 30 being involved in shows,” says Geoff Bush, president of Ag Shows NSW, “so we really see the future of shows looking pretty rosy.” If you have somehow managed to miss out on the country show experience, this is your chance to catch up. The weather is getting warmer, farmers have readied their livestock, local gardeners and home-cooks have been working hard to prepare the perfect rose bloom or fruitiest fruit cake … and the spring round of country shows is about to begin. In New South Wales alone, there will be more than 30 shows throughout October and November. To find out what’s on near you, go to (NSW), (Victoria), (Queensland), (South Australia), (Tasmania), (Northern Territory) or (Western Australia).


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good news

smart people, great ideas, big hearts

bookmark blog In 2008, after spending most of her adult years in Sydney’s inner city, writer Allison Tait (an Australia Today regular) moved “back home” to the New South Wales south coast with her young family. She’s at pains to make it clear that she didn’t retire to a picturesque farm cottage or beach house. Oh no. The place she now calls home is a humble pink fibro “slap-bang in the middle of a not-city town”. In her blog Allison makes (impressively regular) journal entries about slow learnings, grand lessons and small comforts.


THANK YOU … to the kids who teach kids Eleven years ago Arron Wood, then working for the Victorian government, and his dad Richard Wood, then principal of Mildura West Primary School, came up with a plan to tackle a few social problems in the school community. The idea was to get the students engaged in local environmental issues and, in so doing, “learn respect for each other, respect for their teachers, and respect for the school environment”. It was a success, and today hundreds of schools are taking part in the Kids Teaching Kids programs nationwide. “One of the reasons that it’s been so successful is that it operates on engaging the heart and introducing passion back into education,” says Arron. Children work on issues that directly affect their lives, be it the idea of drinking recycled water in Toowoomba, monitoring the river at Kingston-on-Murray or reducing rubbish in the Adelaide Hills. “It started off as kids teaching kids, but the big value-add has been kids teaching adults. They really do become mini-experts and their ability to break down areas of controversy and move forward in a positive way is really inspiring,” Arron says. To find out how you can get involved go to .

Email us and WIN! What do you like about Australia Today?

What don’t you like? Do you have a story idea? A piece of news? Whatever you have to say, we want to hear it. Send us an email at the address above. The first 100 readers to get in touch will receive a copy of The Stamp of Australia (valued at $26.95). Start talking! Conditions apply, see page 72.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

Switch to natural cleaners (and save money) today!

USE VINEGAR White vinegar is slightly acidic, which means that it will cut through grease and grime. It has no colouring agents, so it won’t stain. And it’s also a deodoriser and a mild disinfectant. Mix up a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water and keep it in a spray bottle to use as a surface cleaner for benchtops and walls in kitchens and bathrooms. A solution of ¼ cup of vinegar in 4 cups of warm water also makes a good floor cleaner. If you’re faced with some really tough grease, use a splash of undiluted vinegar. USE BICARB Bicarbonate of soda, also known as bicarb, is an abrasive powder that’s also a deodoriser. If a surface needs to be scrubbed, sprinkle some bicarb over it and rub it clean with a damp cloth. If the grime is very thick, make up a paste of bicarb with a little water, smooth it over the surface and leave for 10 to 20 minutes, then wipe away with a cloth and plenty of warm water.

USE LEMON Lemon is a natural deodoriser and a mild bleach, which makes it a great natural cleaning product. If you need to whiten and brighten clothes, soak them overnight in a bucket containing a couple of litres of water and a cup of lemon juice. To clean a chopping board or benchtop, rub a cut lemon across the surface and then wipe with a damp cloth. And to keep your toilet fresh and sparkling clean, scrub it with a paste made from lemon juice and borax. USE BORAX Borax is a naturally occurring mineral salt that deodorises, disinfects, bleaches and even deters some pests. Use it as an abrasive cleaner as you would bicarb. A light dusting of borax in spots favoured by cockroaches (under stoves and behind fridges, for example) is said to deter the creepy crawlies. Borax can be harmful when swallowed, so be careful using it in households where there are children or pets.

boredom busters

School holidays are upon us, and just in time to save parents’ sanity comes Let’s Play by Shelalagh McGovern (Rockpool Publishing, $19.99). The book has 100 clever game ideas for the under 12s. Get a copy online at or head to your local bookstore. In the meantime, perhaps one of these game ideas will be the boredom buster you need today … silly stuff for kids 6 and under Ha ha ha The children lie on their backs with their heads on another

person’s stomach in a loose ring. On the word “go” the first person shouts “Ha!” and this is repeated one by one around the group. When you do this everyone’s heads bounce up on the person’s stomach and it might make some of the children giggle. Once you get back to the beginning, the first person shouts “Ha ha!” and the game goes around again. Continue doing this through “Ha ha ha!”, “Ha ha ha ha!” and so on. See if you can get to 10 (“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”) without everyone cracking up with laughter. a physical challenge for kids 7 to 9 The hand game Ask the children to lie on their stomachs, resting

on their elbows with palms flat on the ground. Everyone places their hands directly in front of them so there is a circle of hands. Players then create an alternating hand pattern by placing their hand between the hands of the person either side of them. The leader decides on the tapping direction and slaps their hand on the ground once. The hand next to theirs slaps the surface, then the next hand and so on. Each person slaps his or her hand once only and the next hand must follow. A double slap changes direction. Anyone can do a double slap of the hand at any stage in the game. This game can also be played around a table. creative escapades FOR kids 7 to 12

PhotoS: Gett y Images, Supplied

What are you doing? The leader begins by miming an action in

the centre of the circle. For example, they may start by miming the action of hanging washing on the line. After a few moments any player can step forward and ask “What are you doing?” The leader who is miming must then freeze. They answer with a description of another action based on the physical position they are in. For example, if they are standing with their arms in the air they may reply “I’m escaping through the window”. The player who asked the question swaps positions and starts miming an escape through the window. At any time another player may ask “What are you doing?” and the game continues.


Remember when “playing” meant muddy faces and kick-arounds? For your chance to win one of three copies of Let’s Play (valued at $19.99 each), write to us about the things you used to do when you were a kid. Send your story to LET’S PLAY, PO Box 443, Eastern Suburbs MC, NSW 2004, or visit us online at au/australiatoday. Conditions apply, see page 72.


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get your MUSIC for free Free concerts, live broadcasts, downloadable concerts and student shows ... the world of music is yours to enjoy without spending a cent.

Hear concerts by Crowded House (below), Norah Jones (right) and The Kinks (far right) on downloads from National Public Radio. Get out and move to the rhythm of the samba (opposite right) at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

GET OUT AND ABOUT If you’re in Sydney you can take in all the splendour of Fiesta, the festival of all things Latino. It’s being held at venues around Darling Harbour on the October long weekend (Friday 1 October to Monday 4 October), with free performances by more than 70 Latin bands and dance groups, as well as a number of DJs. If you love moving your feet to samba, you’ll want to be there! Go to and search for “Fiesta” for details. If you’re in Brisbane , head to the Turbine Platform at Brisbane Powerhouse on Fridays at 6pm for a showcase series called The Residents. Each featured local band gets a month of Fridays to strut their stuff on the free stage (so if you like them one week, you can always try to catch them again later in the month). The Turbine Platform also hosts free concerts every Saturday afternoon from 5pm to 7pm (world music on the first Saturday of the month, singer-songwriters on the second Saturday, jazz on the third and a sweet dose of pop on the fourth Saturday). And on Sundays at 3.30pm there’s more new music in the free Live Spark series. For who’s playing when, go to > Event Search and search “Music”. Look for the events with the blue “Free Event” tag and put them in your diary. If you’re in Adelaide or Perth you can take in an afternoon

of free classical music. ABC Classic FM hosts a free concert from a different capital city or regional centre each month as part of the Sunday Live series. October’s performance will be held at Perth Town Hall; November’s is at the ABC studios in Adelaide. Go to > Sunday Live for details. If you’re in Melbourne you can make the most of the free

performances at the Fringe Club, part of the wonderful Melbourne Fringe Festival that runs from Wednesday 22 September to Sunday 10 October. The Fringe Club makes its home in the Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Events are many and varied; see for details.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010


g ood to know Head to > Radio > Find frequency to check on the frequencies of ABC stations in your local area.

TUNE IN TO STUDENTS The staff and students of the University of Western Australia School of Music hold free concerts at campus venues once a week: go to > Concerts > Free Lunchtime Concerts for details. The Faculty of the VCA and Music from the University of Melbourne holds free lunchtime concerts on Mondays. The venue is Melba Hall inside the School of Music: go to www.vcam.unimelb. > News and Events for information on upcoming concerts. Every Wednesday the students of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music present a free 50-minute lunchtime concert inside the Con’s Verbrugghen Hall. Okay, this isn’t strictly free; guests are asked to make a gold coin donation. Go to > Concert Program 2010 > Lunchbreak Concerts .

PhotoS: Gett y Images, Supplied All dates on these pages refer to the year 2010

BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE Even if you live far away from the nearest theatre or auditorium, you can still take in the live concert experience, thanks to old-fashioned radio and new-fashioned podcast technology. On the radio waves, ABC Radio National broadcasts live-recorded concerts during Music Deli (Friday 7pm, replayed Saturday 4am and Sunday 4pm) and The Weekend Plane t (Saturday 10pm and Sunday 10pm). The youth network triple J has the long-running Live at the Wireless series (Mondays at 8pm, replayed Sunday 5pm). ABC Classic FM broadcasts In Performance at 8pm–10.30pm on weeknights. The public broadcaster in the US, National Public Radio , is working with more than 50 local public radio stations from across America to offer a storehouse of free, downloadable live music concerts. To access them go to the National Public Radio website ( > Music > Concerts > Full Concert Archive ). There you’ll find a fulsome list of concerts by everyone from The Kinks to Norah Jones and even Australian contenders like Kasey Chambers and Crowded House. The concerts can run from hours to mere minutes (many of the classical and operatic offerings are excerpts from longer performances). Click on the name of the concert you want to hear, then click on “Hear the complete show” and the

concert will start playing through your computer speakers. You can also use iTunes to sign up for a free subscription.

SONG OF THE DAY PODCASTS Right now, music makers around the globe are enthusiastically marketing their work through giveaways (the idea being that if you download a free song and like it, you’ll go back and buy a whole album). In Australia, radio stations and even newspapers offer special giveaways from time to time, but in America the practice is more common. Every weekday The Current, a new music program on Minnesota Public Radio, offers The Current Song of The Day, available direct from their website ( > The Current ) or on a free subscription basis through iTunes. Today’s Top Tune is a similar service from California’s KCRW ( > Music > Today’s Top Tune ). The eclectic nature of these offerings is part of their appeal.

LISTEN TO AUNTY If you have a clear idea of your musical tastes, you can just tune in to one of the ABC’s specialist music stations – ABC Dig Music (focusing on new music), ABC Country (with an emphasis on local country artists) and ABC Jazz (with jazz, old and brand new, from around the world). Those stations are available on digital radio or can be listened to online at , www.abccountry. and w w . ABC Classic FM broadcasts in the traditional way, as well as digitally and online. Or if you’re happy to explore what’s out there across all sorts of genres, go to > Radio National > Podcasts and feeds > By subject > Music > Download audio. There you’ll find an assortment of interviews,

live recordings and tunes from across all ABC stations. Simply click on the podcast link that takes your interest.


catch up



Get up to speed on … computer clean-ups Does surfing the internet feel more like you’re wading through mud? Does launching Word give you enough time to make a cup of tea? Computers often slow down as they get older, but there’s plenty you can do to ensure your machine doesn’t age prematurely. Here’s how to remove your junk files, clean up your hard drive and get your machine operating like new. Delete unused applications Digital cameras, scanners and other gear often come with a bunch of software to load onto your computer. Some of it is essential to the functioning of the device, but some of it isn’t. Locate the software on your computer, find out what it does and delete what you don’t intend to use. Don’t launch everything at once Some applications will automatically launch every time you boot your machine. Windows users should take a look in their Startup folder to see which applications are being launched; Mac users should look in the Accounts folder. If you see any applications you don’t need to use every time your machine boots up, remove them. Watch out for big resource users Some applications are resource hungry and really slow down your computer. Web browsers are a major culprit. To find out which applications use the most resources, Windows users can start Task Manager and click on Processes; Mac users can click on Activity Monitor. Once you’ve identified the main offenders, use them sparingly. Consolidate the free space on your hard drive As you use your computer, your system will split or “fragment” files to make the most of the available disk space. “Defragmenting” your hard drive will bring files back together where possible. Once it’s done you’ll find applications will launch themselves much faster. Windows users should look in the Systems Tools folder or in the Tools tab (the same place you went for Error Checking). Mac users are advised by Apple that defragmenting isn’t generally required; if you do want to run an efficiency-enhancing process, check out


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

software listed in the Macintosh Products Guide at uscategories/productivity.lasso/ Clean up your hard drive One of the best ways to improve your machine’s performance is to free up space on its hard drive. Windows users should open the Windows Explorer application, then right-click the C drive icon and bring up the Properties window. Make sure you’re on the General tab, then click the Disk Clean-Up button to safely remove temporary internet files and other junk files. You should also try Error Checking (under the Tools tab) to make sure your drive is in good shape. Mac users should use the Disk Utility function. Clean out your own files Videos, photos and music files take up a lot of space. Get rid of the clutter by deleting duplicates and moving all the old files you want to keep onto an external hard drive, just as you might shift your video cassettes into the garage. Windows users can go hunting for duplicate files using a tool such as Duplicate Cleaner (www. Mac users can use a free disk-mapping tool such as Disk Inventory X for Mac ( to see what is sitting on the hard drive. You’ve got too much mail Keeping old emails eats disk space, especially if they have large attachments. Start moving or deleting those big emails. Clean your Registry The Registry on a Windows machine contains information and settings relating to the machine’s hardware, software and even its users. Every time you make a change to the machine, the change is recorded in the Registry. Not surprisingly,

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! You will find a wide range of desktop and portable external hard drives at your local Australia Post retail outlet. Use them to back up your important files. Prices vary according to the style and size of the device. For availability see page 73.

it can get clogged with data. To clean up your Registry, try something like CCleaner ( But make sure you back up your hard drive first; a clumsy error when editing your Registry can cause big problems. Get your MAINTENANCE SOFTWARE There are lots of software tools to help keep your computer trim, taut and terrific. Both Mac and Windows users can head to Go to the Utilities category, then Maintenance and Optimization to access hundreds of programs. Windows users should also check out and

australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

garden not so big




big ENJOY THE SIGHTS and scents of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha, with its 52 hectares of gardens, tropical dome and so much more! Entry free. Mt Coot-tha Road, Toowong, Qld, 07 3403 2535. Go to and search for “Mt Coot-tha”.

IF CAMELLIAS AND AZALEAS put you in the pink, head to the EG Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens in Sydney’s south. Begun 40 years ago, the gardens are a delight in spring. There are rare species to excite the connoisseurs and ponds, running water and bridges for the rest of us. Entry free. Corner President Avenue and Kareena Road, Caringbah, NSW, 02 9710 0333. Go to and search for “Camellia Gardens”.

BRINGING COLOUR to Canberra’s Commonwealth Park from Saturday, 11 September to Sunday, 10 October 2010, Floriade is the country’s biggest flower festival. Tiptoe through the tulips, bluebells, hyacinths – the whole rainbow of blooms. Entry free.

a little different

THE HERITAGE-LISTED GROUNDS of Jimbour House in south-east Queensland are an echo of a much grander time. Garden beds are laid out in a traditional, formal style with displays of annuals and roses. And being Queensland, jacarandas, hibiscus, palms and bougainvillea also feature in the garden. It’s a wonderful mix of plantings that is at its most colourful in spring. Open daily 10am–4.30pm. Entry $7. Jimbour via Dalby, Qld, 07 4663 6221.

TOOWOOMBA is known for its gardens. See rows of roses at the State Rose Garden in Newtown Park and visit the scented garden for the visually impaired at Laurel Bank Park. Entry free. www.toowoombarc. > Facilities & Recreation > Parks & Gardens

WENDY’S SECRET GARDEN is a patch of green heaven between Clark Park in Sydney’s Lavender Bay and a railway shunting yard. Massive fig trees, tree ferns, palms and exotics planted by Wendy Whiteley, artist Brett Whiteley’s widow, make this a much-loved picnic spot. Even smaller is the Neild Avenue Maze (opposite Gosbell Street) in Paddington. Toddlers will shriek with laughter as they lose their way in the waist-high hedge. Entry free.

VISIT SYDNEY’S FAMOUS Royal Botanic Gardens by all means, but don’t miss out on the gardens out west. Auburn Botanical Gardens are laid out over 9.2 hectares with a Japanese garden, a rose garden, free-roaming peacocks and more. Corner Chisolm and Chiswick Roads, Auburn, NSW. Entry $3; free for residents of the Auburn local government area. > Residents > Parks and Recreation > Auburn Botanical Gardens

HOW TINY CAN A TREE BE? Find out at the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection at Canberra’s Commonwealth Park. You’ll see some intriguing examples of bonsai (“tree in a pot”) and penjing (“landscape in a pot”), using Australian native and exotic species. Open 10am–3pm every day. Entry free. Caretaker’s Cottage, Regatta Point, Acton, ACT, 02 6262 9219.

PETER CRISP GALLERIES, between Yass and Gundagai, has a lovely lavender parterre, an avenue of willows, a water garden and more. Entry free. Gap Range, Bowning, NSW, 02 6227 6073.

words: Jo McKinnon PHOTOs: Supplied, getty imageS


Round & round the

Every state and territory has gardens to explore this spring. Here are a few of the best, but if you want even more options go to or get a copy of Australia’s Open Gardens Guide for $18.95 from newsagents and bookshops.

Oak Lodge in Richmond is an impressive gentleman’s residence built between 1831 and 1842. The house is interesting, but the garden also has historical appeal. Its layout and plantings remain true to its 19th-century origins, so if you want to see how things used to be done, this is the place. Open daily, 11.30am–3.30pm. Entry by donation. 18 Bridge Street, Richmond, Tas, 03 6260 4153.

GET LOST AMONG 2-metre tall hedges at the Ashcombe Maze and then explore 10 lovely themed gardens. Entry $16. 15 Shoreham Road, Shoreham, Vic, 03 5989 8387. www.

listen TO THE birdsong at Inverawe Native Gardens where Bill and Margaret Chestnut have put in 7,000 native plants. Open daily, 1 Sep–31 May. Entry $12. 1565 Channel Highway, Margate, Tas, 03 6267 2020.

THE SERENE AdelaideHimeji Garden melds Japanese water garden and dry garden design. Open daily. Entry free. South Terrace, Adelaide, SA. www.cityofadelaide. > Recreation > Park Lands > Himeji Garden

Edwin Ashby’s fascination with the native plants of Australia and South Africa led to the creation of Wittunga Botanic Garden in the Adelaide foothills. It has Australian banksias and grevilleas on one side of a lake and South African leucadendrons and proteas on the other. Open daily. Entry free. Shepherd’s Hill Road, Blackwood, SA, 08 8370 8370. > The Gardens > Wittunga Botanic Garden

Even the Australian desert has flowers. At Olive Pink Botanic Gardens in Alice Springs, you’ll see the rich variety of plants that thrive in our arid landscapes. Entry free. Tuncks Road, Alice Springs, NT, 08 8952 2154.

Tropical orchids in all their forms take pride of place in Jenny’s Orchid Garden near Darwin. There is nearly a hectare of tropical epiphytic orchids under cultivation, as well as Jenny’s delightful private garden, with her collection of more than 2,500 plants. Entry $7.50. 10 Niel Court, Howard Springs, NT, 08 8983 1641.

Darwin’s executive level public servants had their own part of town prior to World War II. Burnett House in the Myilly Point Heritage Precinct was once home to the NT Director of Works. The house is now a museum, with an old-fashioned tropical garden. You’ll see frangipanis, palms, bougainvilleas and a container garden ablaze with pinks and purples. Open 10am–1pm daily; high tea on Sundays 3pm–5.30pm. Entry by donation. 4 Burnett Place, Darwin, NT, 08 8981 0165.


Half an hour out of Adelaide, the 60-hectare Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is a lush patch of cool-climate plantings. There are seven valleys, with each dedicated to a particular plant group including magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias, roses and peonies. Open daily. Entry free. Summit Road or Piccadilly Road, Crafers, SA, 08 8370 8370. > The Gardens > Mt Lofty Botanic Garden


Perth has Kings Park, but in the Darling Range to the east is the 60-hectare Araluen Botanic Park. Set in a cool valley, it brims with tulips, rhododendrons eucalyptus species, lilac and camellias. Entry $4. www.

The south-west of Western Australia has the Festival of Country Gardens (www.countrygardens. on 4–7 November 2010, but you can visit Holberry House in Nannup at any time. It has 1.5 hectares of beautiful grounds with Englishstyle plantings, duck ponds, a jarrah forest and an arboretum of specimen trees. Open daily. Entry by donation. 14 Grange Road, Nannup, WA, 08 9756 1276.

THE Patsy Durack Rose Gardens in outer Perth are a must-see for rose lovers. Garden-owner Patsy tends over 900 field rose bushes, each one clearly labelled. Open Sundays 10am–4.30pm, October– May. Entry $8. 33 Parke Road, Gooseberry Hill, WA, 08 9293 2719. www.

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The parklands are lovely and so are the trees, but for many visitors to the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens the main drawcard is Peter Cundall’s Vegetable Garden, which featured on the ABC’s Gardening Australia (it’s near the Cactus House). There are also specialised gardens and collections to enjoy, including the Subantarctic Plant House. Open daily. Entry free. Queens Domain, Hobart, Tas, 03 6236 3075.

Home of The Digger’s Club, Heronswood on the Mornington Peninsula is a living catalogue of the group’s heirloom plant varieties. Flowers, vegetables, fruit and herbs are interplanted to combat pests. And while the cottage and dry climate gardens are spectacular, they’re upstaged by the five vegetable patches, where the plants look good enough to eat. Open daily. Entry $10. 105 LaTrobe Road, Dromana, Vic, 03 5984 7321.




KICK-START SPRING with the open day at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne on 3 October 2010. Reserve a place on a tour to areas normally off-limits to the public, and enjoy live music and free activities. Entry free.

For the past 22 years the Banksia Foundation has used the national Banksia Awards to celebrate the local heroes of sustainability. Now they’re calling on Australians to get to know some of these quiet achievers and decide who deserves special recognition. The nine finalists of the 2010 Banksia People’s Choice Awards are profiled on these pages. Read their stories, then go and vote at But hurry! Voting closes 13 October 2010.

choose Your champioN

At Yarra Valley Salmon, the fish are netted and milked by hand for their roe, avoiding the invasive processes used in intensive salmon farming.


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Project Catalyst is testing new farming practices to reduce chemical run-off to the Great Barrier Reef.

People’s Choice Award

“We believe that schools can form the biggest environmental workforce in Australia.”

Yarra Valley Salmon

Kids Teaching Kids

On the Rubicon River at the foot of the Victorian Alps lies a series of earthen ponds. In those ponds live the 50,000-odd salmon of Yarra Valley Salmon Farm. Here the salmon are reared without the chemicals habitually used in intensive salmon farming, fed by hand to minimise wastage, and hand-milked for their roe using clove oil as an anaesthetic. The Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 had a big impact on the business, but even now, as it continues to rebuild, Yarra Valley Salmon is making sales of 100 to 200 kilos of salmon flesh weekly and around 600 tonnes of caviar a year. Luke Mangan, one of Australia’s top chefs, is an enthusiast for the product. “Given its quality, it’s no surprise to learn Yarra Valley Salmon’s Atlantic Salmon are not treated with antibiotics or chemicals and live in a natural healthy environment,” he says. General manager Mark Fox knows he’s not matching the profits of the intensive salmon farms, but he hopes that he’s laying the foundations for future prosperity. “We really are looking at the long term. If this was an intensively run business, yes, we’d be making more money. But what we hope is that in 10 years’ time people will start to appreciate food that’s grown sustainably, without chemicals and antibiotics, and that demand will grow. It’s all about long-term growth.” For now, the small company continues to sell everything it produces, to cleanse the fresh water it uses and return it to the Rubicon River, and to avoid the complications of disease that often plague the intensive aquaculture farms. “It might be a harder way to make money,” says general manager Mark Fox, “but it’s an easier way to run a business.”

Which environmental movement is harnessing the goodwill and enthusiasm of 20,000 Australians at more than 2,000 locations around the country? It’s not any of the big name charities. It is, in fact, Kids Teaching Kids: a popular, father-and-son run program of school-based projects. The story of how Arron Woods and his dad, Richard, founded Kids Teaching Kids back in 1999 is the subject of a separate story in this issue of Australia Today (see page 6). More than 10 years on, Arron and Richard maintain that one of the keys to their hugely successful environmental education program is that students are encouraged to identify and work on a local issue that has an immediate impact on their lives. As a result, the loosely understood notion of “environmental responsibility” is superseded by something very practical and very personal for the children involved. The students at Euroa Secondary College in central Victoria, for example, produced a video that educates local farmers on what they can do to improve the creek environments on their land. Children at Saint Paul’s Primary in Victoria’s Mildura encouraged local irrigators to donate some of their unused water entitlements to save the area’s drought-stricken red gums. And at Reynella East Primary School in Adelaide, students learned how to propagate seedlings to grow nurturing habitats for native birdlife. “We believe that schools can form the biggest environmental workforce in Australia,” Arron has said. “The wide distribution of school locations means that if all schools adopt their patch or local issue, we will have the environmental stewards we so desperately require.”

The Kids Teaching Kids program gets students thinking about local environmental issues.

Project Catalyst The Great Barrier Reef is a wonder, but up to 700 of its reefs are at risk from chemicals found in water run-off from farms. Project Catalyst is testing innovative farming practices that can reduce the environmental fallout from sugarcane production. Just one year into a five-year trial with 19 sugarcane growers in the Mackay Whitsunday region, it’s delivering results. Already the amount of water runoff from those farms is down by 20 per cent. Nutrient pollution in that water has been reduced by 60 per cent and herbicide pollution by 95 per cent. Some of the new techniques have been suggested by the cane growers themselves; some have come from agricultural scientists. Project Catalyst measures the outcomes, both environmental and financial, to see if these new methods are worthwhile. “Typically it takes 15 years for a new farming practice to go from the testing phase to being widely adopted. If we fasttrack the testing, it could be adopted much more quickly,” says Will Higham of Reef Catchments, one of the project partners. “Ultimately we’re fast-tracking the evolution of land management practices.”


Mirvac Harmony 9 Home Awards


People’s Choice Award

“It’s still an ongoing project but what we’ve done is really good.” Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation Super invasive, super devastating, the Yellow Crazy Ant is recognised as one of the world’s most threatening species. The alarm was raised in Australia in the 1980s when it was sighted near Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land. For years the authorities argued about who should get rid of the ant. Then in 2004 the local Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation took on the challenge, with the support of the CSIRO and local miners Rio Tinto Alcan. “Yellow Crazy Ant pretty much takes over everything,” says Dhimurru’s senior ranger of special projects, Daryl Lacey. “Whatever comes up in its way, it gets rid of.” With a workforce of 50 locals plus some volunteers from Conservation Volunteers Australia, the Dhimurru team mapped 35 infestations in the area and set about a program of eradication. “It was a big job,” says Daryl, explaining that the project involved 31 communities representing 13 indigenous clan groups and a total of 14 different languages. After five years the Dhimurru-led program had eradicated the ant from 21 sites covering 246 hectares of land. That’s twice as many recorded eradications and over five times as much land area than had been achieved by any community, internationally, over the last century. Not surprisingly the project has received international attention from groups including the United Nations Invasive Species Specialist Group and it was recently the focus of an invasive ant management workshop attended by specialists from 10 different countries. “It’s still an ongoing project but what we’ve done is really good. Everyone’s really happy about it,” says Daryl.


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One-off wonders of sustainable architecture aren’t that hard to find; the greater challenge is to come up with mainstream housing models that make big reductions to energy and water use. That was the task property developer Mirvac set itself in the design of the Harmony 9 Home: a four-bedroom, two-storey suburban house. It may look like any conventional contemporary dwelling, but over the course of a year it uses 125,000 litres less mains water, produces 12 tonnes less of greenhouse gas emissions and costs around $1,200 less to heat, cool and light. It’s been an exercise in making ordinary construction do extraordinary things. All windows, for example, have been designed so that sunshine pours through unobstructed from 26 May to 19 July. Then from 17 October to 26 February, when the sun is at its most oppressive, the same windows are fully shaded. The house is open daily at Waverley Park Display Village in Melbourne.

SecondBite Why should people go hungry when good food is being thrown away? Each year in Australia more than 3 million tonnes of food is sent to landfill, while thousands of Australians do not have enough to eat. SecondBite bridges this gap by collecting unsold fruit, vegetables and meat from shops and suppliers and redistributing it to charities and other organisations. In 2009 it saved 702 tonnes of fresh food from going in the garbage – enough for 1.4 million meals. In 2010 it’s on track to collect 900 tonnes for its more than 160 recipients in Victoria and Tasmania. It’s a win-win situation. Food suppliers have a sustainable way to offload fresh produce with a short use-by date, and charities spend less of their limited funds on food. St Mary’s House of Welcome in Fitzroy estimates SecondBite has helped it shave $40,000 off its annual food bill. But that’s just the start. As Zoe Whyatt, SecondBite’s general manager, explains: “We want to find long-term solutions to food insecurity. We want to teach people about cooking, give them access to fresh food. That means supporting things like community kitchens and gardens,” she says. And there’s another thing. Last year’s 702 tonnes of food would have produced 630 tonnes of carbon dioxide if it had been left to rot as landfill. Food for thought.

Mirvac’s Harmony 9 Home produces 12 tonnes less greenhouse gas each year than a conventional home.

“We want to find long-term solutions to food insecurity.”

Surplus fresh food is redistributed to charities by SecondBite.

The invasive Yellow Crazy Ant is successfully being eradicated from sites in Arnhem Land by a team led by the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation (right).

Papyrus Australia is making veneers from banana trunks.

“Citizen scientists” can help Ecocean Inc. track whale sharks worldwide with photos.

Papyrus Australia

Ecocean Inc

Around the world, 10 million hectares of banana plantations produce something like 2.5 billion tonnes of decomposing, methane-emitting raw material every year. For more than a decade and a half, Ramy Azer and his company Papyrus Australia have been working on a system which will see that waste converted into usable paper, fibreboard and veneer products. And it can all take place on the banana plantation. As part of the usual process, a grower regularly cuts down and discards the trunks of the banana plant. But those trunks could be collected and fed into a low-cost, water-free, chemical-free, wastefree manufacturing process developed by Ramy. The water released from the trunks during pulping can be redirected to irrigate the bananas. The low levels of residue that are a by-product of the process can be fed into a bio digester to generate energy to keep the factory running. “It’s moving away from non-renewable sources like timber, to a totally renewable, sustainable resource in banana plantations,” says Papyrus chairman Ted Byrt. Last year the company set up its first commercial processing plant on a plantation in Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands.

Any ocean-going tourist, any scuba diver or casual snorkeller who photographs a whale shark can be part of a global community of “citizen scientists” brought together by Ecocean Inc. Upload your photo to their website, , and you’ll be sent an email telling you if this shark is already in the Ecocean database, or whether you’ve made a first sighting. And in the years to come you may receive other emails, letting you know if your shark has been spotted again, perhaps off the coast of Mexico or Mozambique. Whale sharks are in decline and scientists need as much information as possible about the existing population. It’s not unusual for scientists to track a species by marking or tagging individual animals, but that can be very invasive. The database system developed by Western Australian marine scientist Brad Norman and US-based scientists Jason Holmberg and Zaven Arzoumanian works with photographs instead. Whale sharks are covered with unique patterns of spots that function like a fingerprint, so individuals can be tracked from the images people contribute. The more photos, the more accurate the study is. That’s why the contributions of “citizen scientists” from across Australia and around the world are so welcome. “Their work is actually gold. It’s actually what we need as scientists to do our analysis,” says Brad. In 2006 Ecocean took 1,050 public submissions. Three years later the number had tripled to 3,259 submissions. “Anyone can do it,” insists Brad. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to take a photo of a whale shark. Anyone with a throw-away camera can do it.”

Taylors Wines Sheep are playing their part in reducing the carbon footprint at Taylors Wines.

What’s your preferred tipple? A shiraz blend, a chardonnay? Or would you prefer something carbon neutral? Taylors Wines’ Eighty Acres range is the world’s first 100 per cent carbon neutral wine. Sheep graze the vineyards to keep grass and weeds under control, reducing the need for chemical controls. Straw is spread as mulch to reduce water loss through evaporation. The vines are irrigated with state-of-the-art dripper lines fed from two lined dams. Waste water from the winery and bottling hall goes on the vines. Even storm water is harvested from the buildings. Eighty Acres wine is bottled in special Lean+Green glass, which is 40 per cent lighter than standard bottles, and packed in cartons without cardboard dividers. “I think it’s great to see a company stepping up and leading the way,” says Taylors’ environment manager Merridy Pink. “We have regular environmental information sessions for employees so they can spread the word as well.” And the sheep? “They play only a very small part, but it’s nice to see them in the vineyards as I drive to work,” she says.

who will get your vote? It’s all up to you. Which finalist deserves a pat on the back? Who deserves some public recognition? Who will you choose? Voting for this year’s Banksia’s People’s Choice Award closes on 13 October 2010 so be quick! Head to to have your say. We’re listening.


It’s your bill, you choose. Our lives are busy enough without being told how we should live them. So, how you elect to pay your bills should be your choice. Australians rely on Postbillpay for its trusted, friendly and helpful customer service. With over 3,800 outlets, as well as our phone and online service, Postbillpay remains your convenient choice for your everyday bill payments. Through the years, we’ve been here for you. The times might be changing, but Postbillpay is here to stay.

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share stories. A work in progress

Retirement age may be 65, but that doesn’t deter many older Australians from working well into their 70s and 80s. Why do they do it? Well, it’s not usually because they have to. More often it’s because they can’t really imagine doing anything else …

Words: Lachlan Brown, Claire Halliday Photos: Paul Harris, James Braund

Nan Kelly has been running her craft shop in Melbourne’s outer east for nearly 40 years. Now 76, she says “it would be sad to say goodbye to it”.


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Nan Kelly, now helped by her daughter Deborah, is still passing on craft tips to the creative folk of Melbourne’s Boronia.

“One chappy comes to see me – he’s 45 – and I can remember when he wasn’t big enough to look over the counter.” Dr Sarma says that equivalent rewards flow in cultures where older people live with their families and are respected and valued as elders. “This is associated with significantly lower rates of suicide and depression in older people in these places.” The benefits of work can cut both ways, too. “Grandparents looking after their grandkids, for example,” says Dr Sarma. “For some, it can be intellectually and physically stimulating, and personally rewarding.” “Activity” is the operative word, says Dr Sarma, in both mind and in body. “Whether you keep on working or you fill in your spare time pursuing your interests, stay busy.”

Nan Kelly, 76 owner of craft store, Nancraft, melbourne

The fact that Australia’s population is getting older

could turn into a win-win situation for baby boomers. Why? It’s all to do with work. Science is discovering that working in general is very good for our health – mentally and physically – and it looks like there will be plenty of jobs around in the future for retirement-age employees wanting to work beyond their 65th birthday. The Australian Treasury’s 2010 Intergenerational Report says that by the time the country’s population peaks at 35 million in 2050, the number of people between the ages of 65 and 84 will have doubled. On the other hand, employment participation will have dropped to around 60 per cent from the 65 per cent it is today. To shore up our ever-dwindling workforce, the federal govern­ ment is bringing in programs to encourage older Australians to work on past retirement age – and that’s not a bad option for boomers searching for their fountain of youth. Dr Shanthi Sarma, a Gold Coast psychiatrist specialising in old age, says people who regularly strive to improve their physical and mental fitness are best equipped to ward off the spectres of depression and cognitive decline in later life. Work, whether as a paid employee or a volunteer, also nurtures other elements vital for good health. These include social interaction and the feelings of self-worth arising from job satisfaction.


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Nan Kelly is grateful she was passionate enough to open her craft shop Nancraft when she did, back in 1971. Within a few years, her husband died aged just 41 and Nan was left to raise five children – aged from 8 to 16 years – alone. “Legacy helped me because I was a war widow – my husband served in Malaya and Vietnam – but the income from the shop helped enormously. I had five children to educate,” she says. Nan’s children called their mum’s Melbourne craft shop a second home. They would arrive after school, then wait for their mother to finish up, hanging around for late-night shopping on Fridays and again on Saturdays until 4pm. The hours were long but the business grew. Nan started employing staff and that allowed her the occasional holiday with her family. These days, with the insurance requirements that now come with having employees, Nan’s holidays are long gone and she manages the business with just the help of her daughter Deborah, 50. While Nan has always served the community of Boronia – in Melbourne’s outer east – her shop has shifted premises several times to keep ahead of rising rents. Her loyal customers have come with her. “I have customers who have been coming since we opened. One chappy comes to see me – he’s 45 – and I can remember when he wasn’t big enough to look over the counter,” Nan laughs. She has been at her current shop – a cosy treasure trove of tapestry equipment, knitting wool, rug-making tools and assorted craft supplies – for six years. Craft trends, she says, flow like a river. She remembers the macramé boom in the late 1970s and says that, these days, her customers include male tapestry lovers, elderly women knitting or embroidering heirloom gifts for grandchildren, and younger people keen to follow in their family’s crafty footsteps. While the shop keeps her mind active, Nan also does a weekly fitness class for over-50s. “We’re no chickens!” she says, laughing. She sees herself working for as long as her health allows. “I enjoy doing what I do,” she says. “When you’ve been used to being with people all day long for as many years as I have in the shop, it would be sad to say goodbye to it.”

A butcher by trade for more than half a century, Allen Petersen now wields his cleaver alongside his son, Neil.

Allen Petersen, 83

“I still have nothing to do with the display fridge … To me, meat is like a tomato; you only cut it when you need it.”

butcher, petersen’s quality meats, Brisbane “I never thought about retiring. I’ve never wanted to stop working,” says Allen Petersen, who at 83 works behind the counter of his butcher’s shop in inner-city Brisbane alongside son Neil, and his wife Beris, who’s in charge of the register three days a week. Allen has no particular philosophy about working “beyond retirement age” because for him work and life have always been inseparable. There must have been a time when he was just too young to do chores on his parents’ dairy farm outside Rockhampton, but he can’t remember it. His formal education began in a school of a dozen pupils when he was age 8 and ended when he went droving at 14. “I never thought of the future. If I went onto anything different it was because someone offered it to me and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll learn anything’,” says Allen. Chance and the idea of having a go ruled what he did and where he went, and he spent quite a few years travelling the countryside as

a jack of all trades. Butchering came along when he was 29. If “change is the only constant”, as the gurus of modern business would have us believe, then Allen is the exception to the rule. His reluctance to change his old work practices has paid off in the current foodie revolution. Only about four years ago, Allen gave in to Neil’s plea to “modernise”. That meant having a meat display fridge. Before that, there was only a solid counter and meat was cut on demand. “I still have nothing to do with the display fridge,” says Allen, betraying a tiny smile, “that’s Neil’s department.” Allen sticks with his old ways, and many foodies love him for it. “To me, meat is like a tomato; you only cut it when you need it,” he says with 83-year-old wisdom. Allen intends carrying on butchering. “I’ll go as long as I can – while I can still get about and do it – because I can’t sit at home.” Strange to say, he believes Beris is thinking along the same lines. >


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Bob Badgery learnt the craft of plaiting kangaroo leather as a child. After a career as a solicitor, he now has a business handcrafting quality belts.

Bob Badgery, 85

“… there is something to be said for keeping going with the things that I loved doing when I was young.”

belt-maker, badgery belts, bRISBANE Bob Badgery learnt the craft of plaiting kangaroo leather at age 8. Today, at the tender age of 85, and with a long career as a solicitor behind him, he’ll still “put up some leather” on a nail on the wall and plait an exquisite belt or a watchband, for the pleasure of it – and for the business of Badgery Belts. “Badgery Belts – I suppose you’d call it a hobby business – comes from a long way back in that I spent the first eight or nine years of my life on a sheep station in western Queensland,” he says. “I was taught to plait by a couple of workmen on the place.” No sooner had Bob made his first belt than the life he loved crashed. “It was 1933 and the worst of the Great Depression was probably over. But, as it emerged, my father and his partner had to sell out.” The failure brought with it a twist of fate that has coloured Bob’s life to this day. Had the property not been put on the market at that time, the stock and station agent who arrived to conduct the sale would never have admired the boy’s handiwork, and the passion of a lifetime may not have been sparked.


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“He saw this belt and said, ‘That’s amazing? Did you make that?’ And I said ‘Yes’ and he said ‘My son would love that belt. Would you sell it to me?’.” Bob agreed and received two shillings and sixpence. “For a bush kid, it was a very exciting thing to happen ... and to get such praise heaped on me! Anyway, it made a singular impression on me because I have enjoyed a love affair with the plaiting of kangaroo leather ever since. “I try to look at my life objectively but it’s very hard,” says Bob, cracking a laugh. “But I do think there is something to be said for keeping going with the things that I loved doing when I was young – and plaiting is one of them – and so this business has been a great thing for me. “I’m still pursuing something that I started when I was young and I’ve never gotten there! Somehow there’s an achievement that I want to make ... There’s a phrase used a lot these days: ‘a work in progress’. I think that’s what I am.”


GOOD TO KNOW There are plenty of resources out there for older Australians interested in staying actively employed. Here are just a few. Introduced by the federal government in July 2010, Experience+ is a suite of services designed to support matureage Australians who want to stay in the workforce. These include, for example, free professional career planning sessions and a résumé appraisal service for Australians aged 45 and over. Call 13 17 64 or go to the website. A federal government website aimed at employers with tools and information to help them prepare for a predicted labour shortage by retaining – and retraining – their older workers. The Queensland government has a number of publications of use to mature-age job seekers and businesses interested in hiring and retaining older staff. Online versions of those brochures are available on the website. Call 1800 630 647. A specialist online employment agency linking workers aged 45 and above with age-friendly employers. Telstra Connected Seniors is a program of self-teaching guides and interactive workshops aimed at helping older Australians master the skills of computing, emailing, text messaging and even website design. The federal government has funded the set-up of almost 1,000 Broadband Seniors Kiosks at community centres, clubs and retirement villages. The aim of these kiosks is to provide seniors with free access to broadband to help older Australians gain confidence with computers. Call 1300 795 897.

Seniors cards Australians over the age of 60 and not working full-time are eligible for a Seniors Card. The Seniors Card offers a range of discounts to services like public transport as well as a number of retailers and shopping centres. Cards are issued by the local state or territory authority, but generally they’re accepted right across Australia. QLD or 13 13 04

NSW or 1300 364 758

ACT or 02 6282 3777

VIC or 1300 797 210

TAS or 1300 13 55 13

SA or 1800 819 961

NT and do a search for “Seniors Card” or 1800 777 704

WA or 08 6217 8855

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! Not everyone is comfortable using the internet for banking. Luckily, Australia Post offers over-the-counter services for personal and business banking. If your business has an account with one of the seven participating financial institutions, then you can use Australia Post retail outlets as an extension of your bank or credit union: you can withdraw cash, deposit cheques, deposit up to $3,000 cash and check your account balance. While you’re there you can also pay your personal bills, send your mail and do your personal banking. Call 13 76 78 or visit auspost. to find out if your financial institution participates.


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it all started here

How the westie won Funnyman Anh Do arrived in Australia as a refugee, lived in 17 different houses in roughly as many years and put up with second-hand footy boots. But he knew things would be okay as long as he followed his parents’ advice. Photos: Tim Bauer Words: Bernard Zuel


tanding in front of an ordinary fibro cottage in Yagoona in Sydney’s south-west, Anh Do looks at the building with interest but not huge affection. It’s not that this house, where he and his family lived more than 20 years ago, holds bad memories. Far from it. Across the road is O’Neill Park, a bunch of soccer fields next to the train line, where Anh and friends would run free after school. Further on is the scrabbly patch of ground near a railway overpass, rather grandly called the Aurora Recreation Field, where up to 15 boys would kick around a rugby league ball for hours on end. So no, it’s not bad memories at play here; it’s the sheer number of competing memories, for this house was just one of 17 homes where Anh, his brother, sister and mother lived when he was growing up. Spread across western Sydney, from Yagoona to Bidwill, these houses varied in size, shape and quality. But with his mother working long hours and his father separated from the family, Anh recalls that the common factor in each home was the family code that “you stick by each other”. It was a lesson learnt early, even before they made their way to Australia in 1980 in a cramped, dangerously listing fishing boat. Anh’s father and uncles had fought on the side of the South Vietnamese in the long and bloody civil war. At war’s end,


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retribution followed. After breaking his brothers out of a prison camp, Anh’s father put everyone, including Anh, then age 2, and Anh’s brother Khoa, who was not yet a year old, on a tiny boat carrying 40 people and headed south to Australia. It was a living embodiment of his father’s philosophy of “it’s now or too late”. Along the way they were twice attacked by pirates. In the second attack, baby Khoa was dangled over the side of the boat by one of the armed thugs and the boat’s passengers were thrown one bottle of water in exchange for all that the pirates had stolen from them. That bottle was enough to keep the refugees alive in the drifting vessel until they were picked up by a freighter a few days later. Now 33, Anh often tells that story in his motivational talks for corporate audiences. When it comes to his comedy, though, it’s his stories of growing up as a kid in the western suburbs that provide the material. Anh was a refugee at a time when Asian faces of any sort were still relatively uncommon in Sydney’s south-west, but it was his experience as a “westie” attending an exclusive North Shore boys’ school that really made him feel different. “We got a scholarship to go to St Aloysius,” he says with a smile, remembering the days he and Khoa spent at the prestigious Catholic boys’ school at Milsons Point, in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge. “There it was like a mismatch in socio-economics.” Anh points out that while he never faced racism at school, “just hanging around here with westie kids, and then going there with North Shore kids … it was fascinating how people are different. Even kids.” And that difference was driven home at the beginning of every year with the financial reality that Anh’s mother, working two jobs including one at “a sweatshop making clothes getting about six bucks an hour”, couldn’t afford to buy all the schoolbooks her children needed – up to $1,000 annually between Anh and Khoa. Not that she knew the full extent of it at the time. “I wouldn’t even show her the list because it would upset her that she couldn’t afford them all, so I’d say ‘Mum, I need some textbooks. >

“Sometimes when things are tough it’s a blessing if you choose for it to be so.” Anh (on the right) and his little brother Khoa learnt “you stick by each other”. Growing up, they lived in a string of homes across western Sydney, including this one in Yagoona.


it all

Anh with his wife Suzanne at the Sydney premiere of Footy Legends in 2006. Anh starred, his brother Khoa directed and they both worked on the screenplay.


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What have you got, 100 bucks?’ And I’d try to get them secondhand,” says Anh. “I’d go to class and I wouldn’t have the right textbooks so I’d get detention for forgetting my textbooks. But I wasn’t going to tell them that it was because Mum couldn’t afford textbooks. I would rather cop detention than be known as the poor kid.” But being “the poor kid” couldn’t be ignored all the time. There was sport for a start, a lifelong obsession for the brothers who in 2006 made the rugby league-based film Footy Legends, with Khoa directing and Anh up on screen. “My brother and I would share a pair of boots, too, so I would wait for his game to be over and as soon as he finished he would sprint to the sidelines, take them off and give them to me,” explains Anh. “We had two pairs but we bought them from St Vinnies and the second pair was like four sizes too big. I would run around in them looking like Ronald McDonald when we played on different ovals.” And then there was the night the electricity was cut off. Anh, aged 13, was looking after Khoa and his sister Tram while his

inset Photo: GET T Y IMAGES

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“That’s the thing about my parents: a ridiculous belief in us without pressure or expectation. It’s a lovely combination.”

mother was away at her second job. With the stove not working, they sat in the dark, hungry, until their mother came home hours later. But rather than despair she stuck her head into his room and repeated what she had often told her eldest son: “This is going to turn out to be okay, you know,” she said. “Sometimes when things are tough it’s a blessing if you choose for it to be so.” Anh shakes his head in admiration and wonder. “She is very wise, my mum, for a very simple illiterate migrant. I lay in bed that night thinking ‘ ... electricity cut, water bill third notice and the landlord demanding the late rent’. And I thought ‘one day I’m going to buy Mum the biggest house in Yagoona’,” the funnyman remembers. “I asked around: ‘What’s the job that pays the most money?’ and someone told me ‘Lawyer’. I thought that’s what I’m going to be but if I’m going to be a lawyer I have to start turning up to school. And I did, and I went from being ranked 25 out of 30 to being ranked number three in the class by the end of the year.” It wasn’t until Anh’s final year at law school, with major firms beginning to make approaches to the star student, that a night out

Anh back on the streets of Bankstown (above and opposite), now one of Sydney’s most multicultural communities. Anh, his mother and his children – Xavier, Luc and baby Leon – celebrate his 30th birthday in 2007 (left).

at a comedy venue put the idea of being funny on stage into his head. But how could a kid from the western suburbs, a refugee growing up with the weighty expectations of the classic migrant family, face his mum and dad with the news that a lucrative career in commercial law was being chucked away for the life of a comic? “That’s the thing about my parents: a ridiculous belief in us without pressure or expectation. It’s a lovely combination,” Anh says. “Mum and Dad taught us two things as soon as we got here: do as much as you can to give back to this beautiful country that gave us a chance; the other thing is throw caution to the wind.” At 23, with his comedy beginning to pay off, he took out that loan and bought a house for his mother, “one of the proudest things I’ve ever done in my life”. As his autobiography The Happiest Refugee (Allen & Unwin, $32.99) reveals, Anh has found a way to blend his dad’s approach of “it’s now or too late” and his mother’s view that life’s a blessing if you choose it to be. “I like to give things a go, you know. It’s a philosophy that can lead to a little bit of magic,” he says.





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Where the are Fur, feathers, scales? WIRES volunteers have been looking after sick and orphaned wildlife in NSW since 1985, and not just the cute and furry kind. They’re part of an army of dedicated carers, but there is always room for more. Photos: Nick Cubbin Words: Helen Hawkes

WIRES volunteer Belinda McCarthy offers fruit to an injured flying fox.

It’s 3am and Pam Strykowski is getting out of a

warm bed to feed her latest visitor. He’s a tiny feather-tail glider who needs three-hourly attention. “When he gets bigger, he’ll be more independent,” says the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service ( WIRES) volunteer. “But right now, he only weighs 4 grams so it’s eight feeds a day.” After raising three children – now 40, 38 and 34 – as well as having three stepchildren and seven grandchildren, you might think 65-year-old Pam would welcome the end of nights interrupted by feeding hungry mouths. “You’re absolutely right!” she laughs. “I certainly sympathise with my daughter and her newborn.” But her lifelong love of animals, combined with the emotional rewards that go with releasing an animal back into the wild, is what keeps her going. Pam is one of more than 2,000 volunteers throughout New South Wales who rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned native animals for WIRES , a non-profit, non-political charity established in 1985. Pam joined the Central Coast branch in 1997 after she saw an ad for volunteers. She was a perfect candidate. “I work at home [for her husband’s lift company] and I’ve always loved animals,” she explains. Previously her personal menagerie included numerous cats and dogs. “Right now all I have is a ‘watch cat’, a legacy from my daughter. She is 8.5 kilograms of bolshie feline and I keep her away from the rescue animals. They must be protected from pets as well as household noise.” Besides her own brood, Pam has raised birds from chicks and cared for almost all species of possums and gliders for WIRES, with the exception of the greater glider. “I’ve helped out with a snake rescue, too, but I’m not really a snake person!” she says with a chuckle. Pam received the little feather-tail glider after it was found abandoned with a sibling in a cable box and someone called the WIRES helpline. “I lost his sister early on but you can’t let it affect you too much or you couldn’t carry on with the job,” she says. “I have to concentrate on this little guy now. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to save an animal, even though you do your best to keep them alive.” Sadly, before this story appeared in print, the glider did die – “he was just so little”, says Pam. “He had gained weight well and was eating well but these little guys are very prone to loneliness and I just think it was all too hard for him. “I felt terrible but realised I did all I could for him.” But Pam has also had plenty of successes, like the yellow-bellied glider she nursed after it was found covered in oil – it had fallen into an oil tin. “I cleaned him off and fed him and he subsequently ate his own weight in food,” she says. “He was in good condition when we released him back where he’d been found in Terrigal.” Pam points out that WIRES volunteers don’t pet the animals. “We keep animals as wild as we can. The exception are flying foxes, which need mothering.” >





Like all WIRES carers, Pam has completed a compulsory training course that covers WIRES policies, animal identification, rescue and first aid as well as occupational health and safety. Over the years she’s also added to her knowledge by doing a selection of specialist courses that range from caring for macropods (such as kangaroos and wallabies), flying foxes and reptiles, to caring for birds of prey and possums. “I was a bit nervous at the start and it did take quite a long time to learn how to care for different species,” she says. “But there is always a more experienced carer who is happy to help you.” WIRES also has regular workshops that provide an opportunity for volunteers to share their knowledge and experiences, explains Central Coast branch chairman Bill Fortier. “And all our new volunteers get a mentor.” They may also get cages, animal pouches, heating pads, aviaries, traps and other essential items. “The most important is a 100 per cent subsidy on animal food as well as vet accounts and a petrol allowance for kilometres travelled carrying out WIRES work,” says Bill. Although caring for native animals involves a lot of work, it is also very rewarding, says Pam. “It’s wonderful to be able to release an animal back into the wild, even though they don’t give you a backward glance.” Each year WIRES receives more than 100,000 phone calls to its 27 branches in NSW and rescues more than 56,000 native animals, from injured blue-tongue lizards to orphaned wombats. WIRES also responds to requests for help from businesses, the RSPCA , zoos, government departments, local councils and the police, says media manager Jilea Carney. “We have a comprehensive animal database that records information on types of animals, injuries and dates and locations for rescue and release,” she says.

“It’s wonderful to be able to release an animal back into the wild, even though they don’t give you a backward glance.”

WIRES Bat Team volunteer Storm Stanford (above) checks a bat’s tag number at the flying fox aviary at Kukundi Wildlife Shelter in Sydney’s Lane Cove.

Vet Jeffery Lee and WIRES volunteer Pam Strykowski (right) examine a sulphurcrested cockatoo with a suspected broken leg. Pam and Barry Alexander rescued it from Beecroft in Sydney’s north (below). Pam helps Central Coast volunteer Belinda McCarthy care for recovering flying foxes at Belinda’s Wyoming home (opposite page).

Dogs, cats and cars are the worst offenders when it comes to wildlife injury, says Pam. “We get a lot of orphaned joeys whose mothers have been killed by cars.” Blue-tongue lizards and native birds are often mauled by domestic pets, too, and bushfires are another hazard for native species, including flying foxes. “The biggest problem with bushfires is that unless there are green spaces for the animals to run to, most perish or are not found in time. Obviously we are not allowed into fire grounds until they are deemed safe,” says Pam. Habitat loss, hazardous chemicals and competition from introduced species pose yet more threats to the wellbeing of native animals. While WIRES receives a small grant from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, this represents less than 2.5 per cent of its funding. “We’ve had lots of fundraising events over the years – barbecues, charity weeks and trivia nights,” says Pam. “Luckily we have a core of people who come to everything, and that helps!”


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010


Find out more WIRES Call 1300 094 737

WIRES operates only in NSW, but there are plenty of other wildlife rescue organisations around the country. See the list below for just a few.

Could you be a WIRES volunteer? There are WIRES branches throughout New South Wales. While you certainly don’t need previous veterinary experience to become a WIRES volunteer, says media manager Jilea Carney, you will need time and patience. What does it take to be a wildlife rescue volunteer? Being an animal lover helps, but you also need to be practical and have the capacity to shut off from tragedy. Not every animal makes it and there is some heartbreak involved. “However, most WIRES members say that the exhilarating feeling of caring for an animal, seeing it heal and releasing it back to the wild makes it all worthwhile,” Jilea says. Do I need a special kind of home? Having a spare room to house an injured animal in solitude is a plus. Households with pets and young children are generally not suitable. Children often want to cuddle the rescued wildlife and domestic animals may pose a more sinister threat. Will I get training? WIRES runs regular courses (go to on rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife. And remember, you won’t be going it alone. WIRES’s specialist teams of volunteers have expert knowledge in caring for different species, and you can ask them for help.

Wildlife rescue services

Will I need a car? You’ll probably need your own transport to pick up sick or injured native animals and take them to a vet for intensive care, or to your home.

Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to locate a help service in your area should you find an injured or orphaned native animal. Here are a few phone numbers that may come in handy. You can also call the RSPCA in your state or see your local vet for assistance.

How long will I be looking after an animal? You may care for an animal overnight or for up to 18 months. And you may have to administer 20-minute feeds (to baby birds, for example).

QLD Wildlife Volunteers Association (Sunshine Coast and hinterland) 07 5441 6200

TAS Central North Wildlife Care and Rescue (north-west coast) 0409 978 064

FNQ Wildlife Rescue (Tropical North Queensland) 07 4053 4467

SA Fauna Rescue 08 8289 0896

NSW WIRES 13 000 WIRES or 1300 094 737

NT Wildlife Rescue Darwin 0409 090 840

Friends of the Koala (Northern Rivers region) 02 6622 1233

Katherine Wildlife Rescue Service 0412 955 336

VIC Wildlife Victoria 13 000 WILDLIFE or 1300 094 535

Wildcare Inc. Alice Springs 0419 221 128 WA Wildcare Helpline 08 9474 9055

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! Wildlife carers at Australia Post Australia Post is celebrating the work of the wildlife carers of Australia with the release of a set of six stamps. The Wildlife Caring: Rescue to Release stamp issue and other products will be available from participating Australia Post retail outlets, online at auspost. or via mail order on 1800 331 794 from 5 October 2010, while stocks last. For availability see page 73.



“I couldn’t imagine living without my hearing aid” “I have been wearing a hearing aid for three years and it’s now so much a part of my life that if I forget it, I will drive back and get it.” Prior to getting my hearing aid, I had been struggling with conversations in noisy places and I would often have real difficulty hearing my kids. I’d learned to cope as best I could, but it was becoming more difficult to hear what people were saying. That’s really what did it for me ultimately – it was all the pressure I was getting from my friends and family. My hearing problems were putting an unnecessary strain on communications, when I couldn’t hear, I’d misheard or asked them to repeat what they’d said. They would get annoyed and then, in turn, I would get annoyed. In the end, they found the easiest way was just to leave me out of their conversations. Since having my hearing aid,

happening around the table! So take it from me, if you have hearing problems … don’t put off doing something about them! Take action today! You’ll be amazed what a difference a hearing aid can make to your life. Andrew Telford Woodwork Teacher, Victoria If you suspect your hearing isn’t as good as it once was, now’s the time to do something about it. At HEARINGLife our focus is to help improve your hearing and your quality of life. To make an appointment, call us now on 1300 134 097 or SMS your FULL NAME & POSTCODE to 1300 331 224.

Andrew Telford Good hearing is crucial for his work. everything has changed. I can hear everybody and I can even go out to noisy bars and restaurants with renewed confidence … much to the relief of my friends! As a trade teacher in a noisy environment, my hearing aid is absolutely critical to me. Just imagine what it would be like trying to run a class full of teenagers, if you can’t hear half of what is going on! The kids I teach have been really good about my hearing and how I did something about it. It has actually provided a talking point about hearing loss and how important it

is to protect your ears against noise that can cause permanent damage – particularly noisy machinery and listening to music for long periods at high volume. Over the three years I’ve been wearing the hearing aid, it has been absolutely fantastic. I have dropped it, stepped on it and generally been quite rough with it and – astonishingly – nothing has ever gone wrong with it. To be honest, I don’t always wear it at home, because the environment is lot quieter. But if we are having friends over for dinner, I will have it on, so I don’t miss what’s

HEARINGLife are fully accredited by the Australian Government to provide subsidised services to pensioners and veterans under their Hearing Services Program.

Make an appointment for your FREE hearing test now! At HEARINGLife, we believe that cost should never be a deterrent for taking that all-important first step. That’s why we do full hearing tests and trials of the latest digital hearing aids at no cost*! To arrange your FREE hearing test, call us on 1300 134 097 or SMS your FULL NAME and POSTCODE to 1300 331 224.

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inspirin g ideas and practical wa y s t o g et ahead

make plans. Can you dig it? Having a chat, taking in some fresh air, sharing advice ‌ there are plenty of reasons for pitching in at a community garden (and not all of them relate to the produce!). So grab a spade and get involved. It really can grow on you. Words: FRAN LAWRENCE Photos: ROBERT FRITH / acorn photo

For an annual fee, participants in the West Leederville Community Garden can access all the tools, compost, seeds and mulch they need for their garden beds. Sue carts gear in a communal wheelbarrow.


make plans

C ommunity


A mother and her young child pick their way

between garden beds on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the little girl keeping up an excited chatter all the while. An older man wanders past with his dog, while nearby a woman is busy filling a basket with fresh leeks, potatoes and beetroot for her dinner. It could be a scene from a farm, or a small country town – except that overlooking it all is a high-rise apartment block and a bowling club, with a busy road carrying city traffic just metres away. The West Leederville Community Garden sits on a modest plot of land in the heart of one of Perth’s inner suburbs. Established in early 2007, the garden has grown from 12 allotments set up on a trial basis to a lovingly tended 25 allotments today, with a waiting list of eager gardeners looking to take part. The garden has become a neighbourhood hub, with Leederville community members – from infants to octogenarians – chatting over the garden beds and trading tips on pest control and planting.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

Community gardens have been around in one form or another in the UK and Europe since the early nineteenth century. They have provided green space in busy industrial cities and supplemented family food supplies through recessions and war time. In Australia, the first community gardens took root in Melbourne in the late 1970s. From there they have spread across the country, springing up on vacant lots, verges, rooftops and parkland in our biggest cities. For the West Leederville garden, the seeds of the idea were sown in a local residents’ association formed to tackle traffic issues. “Being a near-city suburb we’re fraught with traffic issues, and the association developed out of concerns about that,” says Peg Davies, one of the founding members of the West Leederville garden committee. “Then there was the suggestion that we could be a bit more positive, and a couple of people came up with the idea of a community garden.”


Peg (left) shovels aged manure to enrich the soil in her garden bed. The plot is a hive of activity (far left) on Saturdays, but socialising is as big a pleasure as the gardening. Carole (below) has a tea break with her fellow diggers.

The group approached the local council – the Town of Cambridge – about securing a vacant plot of council-owned land for a garden, with plans to devote half the land to allotments and half to public space. “The council ended up saying ‘Okay, you can start off with 12 allot­ments for a year and we’ll see how it goes, and then it’s easy to take apart if it doesn’t work’,” Peg recalls. “Well we didn’t wait that long … before the year was up we got the councillors down here and showed them how well it was all going, and they said ‘Go ahead’ – we now have 25 allotments.” The council provided a seed grant of $17,000 to help set up the garden, but thanks to the group’s frugal approach and DIY skills they handed back $3,000 at the end of the year. It was a great result for what Peg describes as “a huge leap of faith” from the council. “It was quite unusual at the time to have a relationship between local council and a community group for a community garden. Since then, there’s been a number of them pop up around Perth and it’s quite familiar, but [back then] Town of Cambridge weren’t quite sure what they were getting.” These days the West Leederville garden has around 45 registered adult participants from across the community, including singles, families, couples and pensioners. “We’ve been very fortunate with the skill base among garden users. We might have someone who’s not great at gardening but is very good at obtaining donations, someone who’s good at reticulation, someone who’s great at doing websites; and the local community has given us lots of tools and so on,” says Peg. The garden is run by a management committee of “six or seven” gardeners, who meet once a month to go over any issues. For a cost of $120 a year, gardeners lease an allotment (measuring 4 metres by 2 metres) which can be shared with a friend or neighbour. There’s an option to renew after 12 months. The annual fee gives gardeners access to all the necessary tools, seed, manure, compost, mulch and

“In summer we tend to knock on our neighbours’ doors and hand over big bags of produce ...” materials to build garden beds, while a website and a blog provide tips on what to plant and when. In return, participants are expected to pull their weight in the garden’s communal areas by weeding, mulching, composting or otherwise contributing their time or services – a system that generally works very well, although Peg wryly notes “some are a lot more keen to do that than others”. “We have the garden open on Saturday afternoons and otherwise people come and go as they please through the week ... quite often there’s somebody here working on their allotment or doing a bit of maintenance on the communal space.” >


make plans

C ommunity


As well as having individual allotments, the West Leederville garden includes communal areas where anyone can help tend herbs and vegetables.

Growing your own community garden There are numerous community gardens across Australia, and new ones are popping up all the time. The Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network ( has a great Find a Garden tool on its website. If you can’t join an existing garden, here’s how to start your own. gather your group Start by talking … to your neighbours, your friends, the people down the street and your local council. Once the idea has some support behind it, you can start to make things happen on a practical level. Find out what other people did Visit successful community gardens in your area. Talk to the people involved about how their garden operates, their challenges and their achievements. Check out for fact sheets and tips on setting up a community garden. Think about a site Start thinking about where you could put the garden. Possibilities include government-owned land, existing parks and playgrounds, unused private land, church or community centre grounds, or disused bowling greens. Once you’ve narrowed down the sites, you can approach the landowners to get the ball rolling.

Louise Toy and her husband, Greg, have held an allotment from the beginning and say it provides them with more than fresh vegetables. “When I was a child growing up in the ’50s, my father had a vegie garden and grew all our produce,” says Louise. “Where we live we have a very small block which is shaded by the street trees, so we can’t grow vegies the way we’d like to and that’s a passion of mine. The community garden is fantastic [for us].” With Greg at the garden “probably every day” and Louise there at least twice a week, the garden has also become a big part of their interaction with friends and neighbours. “In summer we tend to knock on our neighbours’ doors and hand over big bags of produce because we’ve got more than we could possibly eat,” she explains. “At the garden we have met so many lovely people, and walking down the street to the garden we bump into people and have a chat ... ” According to Peg Davies, it’s that exchange of ideas, cordialities and conversation that makes a community garden work. “When we first started, a lot of people weren’t confident, so myself and a couple of others gave lots of hints and advice for the first year. Those people are now able to do that for the new people coming in, [telling them] what to do for aphids ... when to pull their eggplants ... That transfer of knowledge is quite nice and growing all the time,” she says. “At the same time, if someone is sick or away then we’ll help by looking after their allotment, pulling produce as needed, weeding, that sort of thing. There’s lots of give and take, and people really value that.”


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

crunch the numbers Regardless of size, community gardens cost money to set up and maintain. Think about how you plan to fund the set-up and operation of your garden, and the options available – including donations, council or business support, membership fees and grants. Also think about how to keep your costs down through things like in-kind support and donations, recycling and tapping in to the skills and knowledge of your members and supporters.

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! Your local Australia Post retail outlet can get you equipped for gardening adventures. Pick up a copy of the must-have Australian reference book Yates Garden Guide, $29.99. Or broaden your skills with the Gardening Australia DVD box set (G), $19.99 per set. For availability see page 73.

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As Santa and his reindeer joyously fly into the Christmas night, the Wonderland Express slowly chug, chug, chugs its way ‘round and ‘round the peaceful little village nestled amongst the snowkissed evergreen boughs. Now, inspired by Thomas Kinkade, the “Wonderland Express Christmas Tree” Masterpiece Edition captures this wondrous night in a very special collectable available exclusively from The Bradford Exchange. With three levels of rotating trains – plus Santa and his sleigh – you’ll watch with delight as the Wonderland Express “climbs” higher up the tree. With 12 brilliantly illuminated buildings and over 30 figurines, this meticulously hand-crafted, hand-painted masterwork lavished with a blanket of glitter-touched snow—and playing a beloved medley of holiday carols—is certain to be the ever-so-perfect addition to your holiday decorating.

Exceptional value; attractively priced. This delightful Masterpiece Edition can be yours for $299.95, payable in 5 easy payments of only $59.99, plus $19.99 postage and handling, the first due before shipment. But don’t wait to reserve your tree. Due to intensive handcraftsmanship, this is a limited-time offer and strong demand is expected. Send no money now. Just complete and mail the attached coupon today!


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With dog owners alone now spending close to $3,000 a year on their beloved pooches, it’s no wonder that businesses servicing pet owners are popping up all over the place. Words:Michael Blayney Photos: Robert Frith, Eamon Gallagher and Randy Larcombe Words: Michael Blayney Photos: Randy Larcombe, Eamon Gallagher, Robert Frith / acorn photo

Paws for thought

An early morning stroll past the local bakery is

one of life’s pleasures. Follow your nose and before you know it a warm loaf of bread is tucked under your arm. But the fragrant goodies at Wayne McNamara’s bakery are more likely to attract the attention of four-legged rather than two-legged sniffers. Wayne and his wife Amanda own and operate The Woofery ( ) in suburban Adelaide, a bakery that caters exclusively for dogs. Before you ask, it’s a concept that works. Tails have been wagging since 2003, when the McNamaras first started making their treats as a side venture to their successful Wash a Woofa grooming salon. They opened the bakery shopfront in 2007 and the business model has proven so successful that nationwide franchising opportunities are now being discussed. “It’s like Bakers Delight, but for dogs,” says Wayne. “We have ovens out the back so that when you walk in you can smell the biscuits


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

baking. We also have an outdoor dining area and we let people bring their dogs into our shop. It can get fairly social at times.” Like so many good business ideas, The Woofery took flight almost by accident. When the McNamaras’ dog developed an allergy to preservatives and additives, they looked into ways of manufacturing low-fat healthy treats. Veterinarians and naturopaths were consulted, and four treats were rolled out. The couple had a ready-made market of diet-conscious dogs at their pet salon, and before long they were baking more than grooming. Located in Melrose Park, The Woofery has more than 100 varieties of meat-free goodies up for grabs. Try these doughy delicacies on for size: pooch pretzel, peanut butter pups, muddy paw pie, droolin donuts, and their very own take on the national dish, a puplova. There’s been so much heated action in the bakery, The Woofery has taken on a qualified pastry chef.

“It’s like Bakers Delight, but for dogs.”

Pastry chef Vanessa Kmit at Adelaide’s The Woofery (left) offers an ice-cream shaped honey and maple syrup biscuit and a star-shaped banana, honey and cinnamon treat. Suzi Ting (above) and sons Finn (centre) and Khai hang out with Monty the golden retriever.

According to Roger Perkins from the Pet Industry Association of Australia, The Woofery’s success is part of a pet pampering trend. “The average spend on a dog in Australia is $2,800 per annum, and we’re spending more money than ever before. People are more conscious about the health of their animals and are looking for better quality food,” Roger says. The Australian Companion Animal Council estimates that in 2007 the nation’s pets numbered 3.7 million dogs, 2.24 million cats, 7.8 million birds and 20.5 million fish. Pet owners come from all walks of life but cashed-up singles, gay couples, empty nesters and overworked professionals are more likely to splurge on treats and grooming for their beloved animal friends. Dogs are not the only beneficiaries of our willingness to spend on pets. When Maurie Spano was unable to find suitable furniture for his two cats, a big Maine Coon and a curly-haired Selkirk

Rex, the former Melbourne tram driver took to his tools to knock up something himself. That was over five years ago and now he’s devoting all his efforts to manufacturing “the funkiest feline furniture in Australia” under the banner Funky Cat. “I used to build fences and pergolas around the house, but I had no knowledge of making cat scratching posts or anything like that,” says Maurie. “I was lucky because my wife worked in the pet industry and knew there was a market out there, so it was just a matter of getting into the workshop and testing things out.” Funky Cat ( w w w.funk ) sells carpeted pet steps, climbing trees, cat stacks, logs and hollows that are a barrel of fun for inquisitive moggies. But the big drawcard is that the cats tend to ignore your furniture to climb, scratch and snooze on their own. “Cats are very curious creatures and they like to take ownership,” explains Maurie. “It’s an interactive product. We teach people to >


make plans



Leanne Kenworthy with her labrador Bonnie at K9 to 5, her dog day-care centre in Perth. Sassy the Jack Russell terrier (below right) gets ready to chase a ball with her day-care friends.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

brush their cats on the posts to make the cats aware that good things happen on the furniture. Our customers treat their cats as part of the family and they want them to have the best.” That same sort of affection funnels clients to the dog day-care business run by Leanne Kenworthy. Operating in the Perth suburb of Osborne Park, K9 to 5 will take a dog off your hands for the day when you toddle off to work. “There’s a huge need for it because people work long hours and their dogs are isolated at home,” says Leanne. “Dogs are pack animals and left at home by themselves, they can develop behavioural problems like barking, chewing, digging and even escaping.” For $35 a day, you can drop off your hound in the morning and pick it up in the early evening. Leanne runs the business with her husband Damien, looking after 25 dogs every weekday. “We’re both dog people, but I guess you could say I’m a little obsessed. It’s funny, but when I tell people I run a dog day-care facility it polarises people. Some people are against it, and then there are the dog lovers who can’t live without it.” K9 to 5 ( ) is located in an industrial area, but Leanne says the bulk of the day is surprisingly quiet as dogs are “running around having a good time”. But what if things turn ugly? What if a German shepherd corners the Maltese terrier? “We’re very good at reading body language,” Leanne says, stressing that they also have designated days devoted to small dogs and other days for big ones. “We’ve had the business for three years and I’ve never been bitten. When we see something escalate, we’ll separate [them] immediately. We give the dogs lots of affection, but we’re the leaders of the pack.” >

“We give the dogs lots of affection, but we’re the leaders of the pack.”

Maxwell Smart the Maine Coon cat (top) and KAOS the Selkirk Rex investigate one of Maurie Spano’s Funky Hollows.

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! Need to get your product delivered? Australia Post’s Click and Send online lodgement system makes it easy to get purchased items to your customers, whether they live across town, across the country – or on the other side of the world. Go online to select from a range of services, print off your address labels, pay online (with a courier pick-up) or lodge and pay at an Australia Post retail outlet. Registered users can also generate email notification online to their customers with shipment information. Find out more at And if you download the free Australia Post iPhone application, you’ll be able to estimate postage costs while you’re on the go, using the postage assessment calculator. The Australia Post app also lets you view and track parcel items, search for a postcode, locate Australia Post retail outlets and more. Visit for all the details on the iPhone application and the Australia Post mobile website.


make plans



Finn (at front), Khai and Monty the dog check out the treats at The Woofery, an Adelaide bakery that caters exclusively for canines.

AP OS T # 7 p 0 0 0 _ b e a u p e t s _ QP . p d f

Pa ge


1 0 / 0 8 / 2 0 1 0 ,

3 : 3 9


Making a go of your pet project 1. Get the word out: A business card and a flyer are good, low-cost starting points. Place them wherever appropriate: in pet stores, vet offices or supermarkets, on school and community bulletin boards or on cars at dog parks, and pop a few into local letterboxes.

Remember when walking your dog was fun!

2. Have the right equipment: Some pet businesses need a lot of space while others, like grooming services, require very specific and often expensive machinery. Before taking the plunge, make sure your business plan reflects all the necessary expenses. Insurance is also a must.

Problem: Your dog not only pulls but lunges, is fearful, anxious and reactive… Solution: Gentle Leader Headcollar –it’s like power steering for your dog. The Gentle Leader has been designed to work with your dog’s pressure points on the neck and nose. This helps to lower anxiety and your dog learns in his own language that you are the leader. Instructional DVD included.

Problem: Your dog takes you for a walk, is excitable and pulls incessantly…

3. Provide references: Potential customers will want to know if they can trust you with their pride and joy, and sometimes looking after pets means getting clients’ house keys and alarm codes. A few references and a police check should, at the very least, put their minds at ease.

Beau Pets Gentle Leader


Solution: Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness. Designed to discourage your dog from pulling, the Harness redirects pressure through a front leash attachment, tightening slightly across the chest and shoulder blades when your dog attempts to pull forward. It’s simple to use with very little acclimatisation time or special technique required.

Easy Walk


Available from all good Vets and Pet stores. For more information visit

4. Carry a pocketful of treats: Getting your own pet to do what you want can be tough, and it’s doubly tough when the pet’s not your own. If Fido won’t budge, a small healthy treat is a great little motivator to get those legs pumping. 5. Have an online presence: The three businesses we spoke to conduct very little or no traditional advertising, relying on word of mouth and the internet to promote business. The word of mouth should take care of itself, but a strong web presence is essential these days.


UP TO $5,000

For sending cash, they’re right on the money. Australia Post Money Orders. Money Orders are ideal for a range of payments – paying a rental bond, sending a gift or making an online purchase. They’re the trusted, affordable and secure way to send money.


For more information, please visit

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new technology

Get your head in the Cloud Welcome to the Cloud, the corner of cyberspace that lets you step away from your personal computer and start making use of a bunch of clever, net-based services and applications. It’s easy, it’s fun … and for the most part, it’s free. Words: brad howarth


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

With the massive presence of online


retailers like Amazon and eBay, you could be forgiven for thinking the internet is nothing but a giant shopping mall in the sky. But you’d be wrong. In the last decade an array of very interesting applications have been assembled in a part of cyberspace the computing industry now refers to as “the Cloud”. Cloud services exist on the internet, rather than as software installed on your computer’s hard drive. That means the data you’re working with – be it information about your appointments, your invoicing records or simply your digital photo collection – is stored on the internet, rather than your own computer. To get access to a Cloud service and all the information you have stored there, all you have to do is connect to the web, through either a computer or a suitable smartphone such as an iPhone or BlackBerry. Hotmail is one of the best-known early examples of a Cloud computing application. It took the desktop-based concept of email and moved it out to the internet way back in 1996. Many notable Cloud applications have followed, such as the social networking sites MySpace (2003) and Facebook (2004), photo-sharing service Flickr (2004) and YouTube (2005). Some software makers, such as Google, operate almost entirely within the Cloud. Its Google Chrome internet search engine and other applications such as the Google Docs wordprocessing tool can only be accessed online. “Cloud computing is one of the big revolutions that is happening today,” says Lucinda Barlow, the head of corporate communications for Google in Australia. “We firmly believe that in 10 years’ time everything that you care about in terms of the media and applications that you use will be online, and that shift is happening today.”

When you have lots of photos, music or work files to store It’s an unfortunate possibility that your house might burn down one day, but thankfully the same fate is unlikely to befall the internet. That’s why the Cloud is a smart place to back up your

computer f iles. There are dozens of Cloud back-up services. Norton Online Backup from Symantec ( w ) is one example. It watches for changes or new files and backs them up automatically, and gives you 25GB of storage for US$49.99 per year. Australian company Memory Box Backup takes a slightly different approach. It breaks up your files, then encrypts them and stores them all across the internet on the Memory Box user network, for just $8 per month ( ). There are also plenty of free places where you can store your files, particularly photos, such as Google’s Picasa ( w w ) or Flickr ( ).

If you want to keep a handle on your finances without all the paper Accounting has been a big success in the Cloud. Australia’s market-leading software maker MYOB is currently testing a Cloud-based service called LiveAccounts ( w w ), but until it’s ready there are plenty of other packages to try. ( w w ), another Australian company, offers a business package for invoicing, purchasing and other basic activities for free, but charges for email support and more advanced features. Xero ( ) has a personal finance package that lets you organise all your bank accounts in one place and track your spending. Test it out on a free 14-day trial.

When you need to keep track of your (and your friends’) schedule Keeping track of all your appointments can be hard, and it’s harder still when you’re trying to organise your family or friends. Thankfully there are a lot of Cloud-based calendar services out there so everyone can see what everyone else is up to. Google’s free Calendar ( > More > Calendar) also lets you send invitations and track RSVPs, while Australian company Remember The Milk ( w w w.remember themilk .com ) has created a free web-based reminder service that you can use on devices including an iPhone or BlackBerry as well as your computer. >

Back up all your work, and those even more important photo files, off-site with Memory Box (top). Remember The Milk (above) helps you organise your life for free.


Good to know The appealing thing about the Cloud is that once you have paid to get connected to the internet, the services themselves are usually free. The software providers make their money by placing advertisements within the application. Be aware, though, that any files you move into and out of the Cloud may count as part of the data transfer limitations of your monthly broadband plan.


make plans

new technology If you want to get all your preferred content in one place

Good to know

When you need that list of great sites and you’re away from home

When using Cloud services it’s important to know how much of your personal information can be seen by other people. That’s especially true of social networking sites such as Facebook. Most of those sites have privacy settings: it’s up to you to familiarise yourself with them and make good use of them. Be careful to protect your passwords, so no-one can break into your account and pretend to be you – a practice known as identity theft.

Having trouble keeping track of all the cool websites you’ve found? Cloud-based bookmarking services let you save your favourite sites so you can access them easily from any computer. They also allow you to share bookmarks with your friends. ( w w ) lets you see what other users think is hot, Faves ( ) lets you follow people and topic groups that interest you and StumbleUpon (www. ) helps you find pages that match your interests. All three of these bookmarking services are completely free – and a lot of fun.

Enjoy a quick round-up of news stories from right across the internet at Newsvine (top). Bookmarking service Faves (above) helps you find great websites from others’ recommendations.

Cloud-based bookmarking services let you save your favourite sites so you can access them easily from any computer. They also allow you to share bookmarks with your friends.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010



Sick of having to flick between multiple websites to find interesting stories? Why not bring the output of different online publishers together in one place? Google Reader ( does this by letting you select news feeds from your favourite sites and displaying them together on the one screen. Newsvine ( ) does some of the work for you by pulling in content from The Associated Press, ESPN and other services, while Digg ( ) and reddit ( ) let other web users find interesting stories for you. Digg users vote for articles that they like by tagging them, and the most popular stories in different categories then appear on the Digg home page.

Over 10,000 home and office products delivered nationally From traditional stationery to the latest in technology, consumables, furniture and cleaning items, we’ve got it covered.

Visit to buy online now!

Products available from The Australia Post trademark and its associated device marks are trademarks (registered or otherwise) of the Australian Postal Corporation.

Christmas cards Choose from religious, traditional, formal and contemporary styles. From $1.99 per pack

Jodi Picoult book packs Choose from two different book packs by this internationally best-selling author, sold exclusively through Australia Post. $24.99 per pack of three

Special Occasion Organiser with cards A folder specially designed to keep your birthday dates, cards and addresses all in one place. The organiser includes 20 cards and envelopes plus an address book and date pages. $19.99

Purchase +pack +post Beat the rush and drop into your local Australia Post retail outlet today to purchase, package and post gifts to family and friends – all in one go!

2011 calendars and diaries Choose from a wide range of designs (not all designs are available in all retail stores). From $8.99 each

Aussie Animals book pack These book packs are great for grandchildren, nieces and nephews living overseas. Book pack exclusive to Australia Post. $14.99 per pack of four

The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls A sure-fire hit with adventurous tweens. $19.99 each

Steam Train DVD box set (G) A good choice for child train enthusiasts and more mature fans alike. $19.99 per set

Products available in store from 27 September 2010.

1. purchase

Next time you visit an Australia Post retail outlet, check out the range of affordable Christmas gifts. From books and bears to beach balls and picture frames, there’s something for everyone. On these pages are a few ideas to get you started.

3. post

Assorted beach games Bump up the fun with beach balls, colourful flyers and more. From $9.99 each Then and Now picture frame An ideal gift for loved ones far away; available in three designs. $16.99 each

Small bear Available in six colours. $9.99 each

Smart Science kits A popular choice for primary school-age kids. Available in six assorted titles. $16.99 each

Table Tops family games Just the thing for round-table family fun. $4.99 each

around the world

If you want to send a parcel overseas, cheaply, the most economical way to do so is by Sea Mail. Some of the Christmas deadlines have already passed, but you still have up to 28 September 2010 to send Christmas parcels to places like North America, South Africa and parts of Europe. Talk to the people at your local Australia Post retail outlet for details. Air Mail is also a low-cost option and usually gets the parcel to its destination within 10 business days. If you want to send a parcel overseas, fast, then use Express Courier International. This service will have your parcel delivered within two to four business days* to any metropolitan area of a major international city. Express Courier International also offers online item tracking and the reassurance of signature on delivery. If you want to insure the parcel you’re sending overseas, the safest way to do it is with Express Courier International and Express Post International Parcels. With those services you can insure parcels up to the value of $5,000 to all destinations. You can also insure some parcels sent by Air Mail, but that depends on regulations operating in the destination country. Go to > All products & services > Tools & applications > International Post Guide to find out more about parcel insurance.

Don’t leave it to the last minute!


Christmas wine box $3.95 each (Packaging only, postage not included.)

2. pack

Christmas-themed packaging From $3.15 each (Postage not included.)

For practical advice on how best to pack fragile, perishable, crushable and sharp goods, go to auspost. > Personal > Postal services > Sending parcels in Australia > Packaging > Packaging hints and tips

Your local Australia Post retail outlet sells a wide range of packaging materials, including everything from boxes and padded bags to mailing tubes, wine boxes, bubble wrap and packaging tape. At this time of year you can also pick up special Christmasthemed packaging products.

To ensure timely delivery of international Christmas Air Mail, make sure your parcels are in the post by early December.


around Australia

If convenience and reliability are your priorities then use Australia Post’s parcel delivery services. Australia Post has Australia’s largest delivery network and can get your parcel to its destination usually in one to five working days. If you need to move an item quickly and want the guarantee of next-business-day delivery**, Express Post is the service to use. For peace of mind when sending valuables use Express Post Platinum. This premium service offers all the benefits of Express Post plus enhanced tracking, signature on delivery and automatic compensation up to $100. Additional extra cover up to $5,000 is available for high-value items. * Standard delivery times between metropolitan areas of major cities and excludes time in customs if applicable and may be subject to delays due to causes outside of Australia Post’s control. ** Within the Express Post network see for details.

make plans

H ealth

& W ellbeing




Get set for an outbreak of happiness. These simple strategies may not chase all your cares away, but they will change the way you feel. Words: Helen Hawkes


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

If you long to start feeling better about life in general then tune in to a new ABC television program. Making Australia Happy is a three-part series that sets out to change the lives of eight volunteers. All of them live in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west, a suburb identified in a 2008 Deakin University study as one of the unhappiest in Australia. In recent years scientists have come to the conclusion that happiness is actually a skill that can be cultivated: you can choose to be happy. To prove the theory, three experts with scientific backgrounds led the volunteers through a series of happiness experiments and challenges. It’s absorbing television because it attempts to answer some of the questions that plague us all, such as what is the key to lasting happiness, why are some people always happy and some miserable, and do money, love, good looks and good genes make any difference? Heading up the happiness team was internationally recognised coaching psychologist Dr Tony Grant, who applied a range of evidence-based techniques derived from positive psychology, a movement pioneered in the 1990s by American Dr Martin Seligman. These included getting volunteers to write their own eulogy to help them identify their highest values, to keep a “gratitude journal”, to perform acts of kindness at a local shopping centre and to undertake volunteer work. Qualified GP and mindfulness coach Dr Russ Harris, who believes happiness is about accepting life, warts and all, was also on hand with some mood-boosting tricks. He showed the volunteers some simple techniques to help them be fully engaged in the present moment and accept, rather than struggle with, painful emotions. And he taught them how to let go of their worries and anxieties by making more space for them. Of course health is also vital to happiness, so leading physiotherapist Anna-Louise Bouvier, author of The Feel Good Body ($24.99, HarperCollins), was also on board. She fitted each volunteer with a SenseWear armband so she could see how much energy they burned and how they slept, then she went about tailoring a fitness program for them. You’ll have to tune in to the show to see how things turn out, but Dr Harris says the results have been rewarding and dramatic. And if you want to catch the happiness bug yourself, try adopting some of these happiness habits.

Photos: Gett y Images, supplied

DO you want to be happier? who doesn’t!

What’s on your mind? The concept of “mindfulness” has its origins in Buddhism and Eastern traditions like meditation, yoga, and tai chi. But only in the last 30 years has it taken root in Western science, attracting the interest of some of the world’s leading medical researchers, psychologists, neuroscientists and geneticists.

2. Make room for pain. Recognise that happiness is not the same as feeling good. “If you’re going to live a full life, you will feel the full range of human emotions – both the pleasant ones and the painful ones. If you accept those painful feelings as a part of life, you’ll make it a whole lot easier for yourself than if you struggle with them.”

Dr Russ Harris says mindfulness – the practice of being wholly engaged in what you are doing right now – and living according to your values, are the keys to a happy life.

3. Be present in the moment. “We spend way too much time lost inside our own thoughts and, as a result, we miss out on much of our life,” says Dr Harris. Really pay attention to what’s happening in the world around you. On the ABC ’s Making Australia Happy show, volunteers had to regularly stop what they were doing during the day and notice what they could see, hear, touch, taste and smell. For some it was a life-changing experience.

“I think we have all heard a lot about positive thinking and affirmations but, in my opinion, that’s an unrealistic approach,” he says. “To be happy you need to feel that you are living a rich, meaningful life and to experience the whole range of human emotions, including joy and pain.” Here’s what Dr Harris recommends you do if you want to feel happier today. 1. Act on your values. “What do you want to stand for in life?” he asks. “What personal qualities and character strengths do you want to be remembered for?” Use these core values to guide your actions, both great and small. “The more you do, the more meaningful life becomes.”

4. Give to others. “When we contribute to the happiness of others – provided it is done willingly, not grudgingly – we usually experience a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. It doesn’t matter precisely what we contribute – time, money, skills, care, attention, support, expertise or knowledge. As the saying goes ‘Giving is its own reward’,” Dr Harris says. 5. Diffuse negative thoughts. To help relieve stress, Dr Harris coached

volunteers to “breathe into and expand around their anxiety”. The technique involves noticing the stressrelated sensations in the body – the knot in the stomach, the tight chest – and then breathing slowly and deeply into and around those sensations. It’s not a matter of trying to get rid of them, just making room for them. Says Dr Harris: “It’s as if in some magical way the space inside your body expands, making lots and lots of room for the anxiety to move around in, so there’s no need to struggle with it or be controlled by it.” Try it. It works.

In recent years scientists have come to the conclusion that happiness is actually a skill that can be cultivated – you can choose to be happy …

What about your body? A growing amount of evidence points to the strong connection between mind and body – happy body, happy minds, says physiotherapist Anna-Louise Bouvier. In fact how you sleep, what you eat, how often you exercise and even how much time you spend smiling (you might need to fake it until you make it) all have a direct impact on your mood and your state of >


make plans

H ealth

mind. Here’s what she suggests doing to up your happiness quotient. 1. Move more, sit less. Research by scientists at the University of Queensland and the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne shows people who sit for more than four hours a day have a 50 per cent greater risk of cardiovascular disease, says Anna-Louise. Now that’s enough motivation to get out of your chair or off the lounge and go for a mood-raising walk. Exercise not only lowers your risk of chronic disease, it sends feel-good endorphins pumping through the body. 2. Get serious about sleeping better. Poor sleep is related to low levels of wellbeing and, consequently, unhappiness. “We found that many of the (unhappy) volunteers on the show surfed the net or watched television until it was time to go to sleep. Instead, we asked them to spend the last half-hour of the day winding down with a warm bath or shower or reading by lamp light,” says Anna-Louise. The result: better sleep and a better frame of mind. 3. Use positive posture. “Eighty per cent of communication is nonverbal,” Anna-Louise says. “When you walk into a room people can immediately tell how you are feeling, especially if you are expressing anger,


& W ellbeing

Lift your chest, put your shoulders back and smile and, after a while, you won’t only fool others, you’ll fool yourself. sadness or frustration.” Lift your chest, put your shoulders back and smile – and, after a while, you won’t only fool others, you’ll fool yourself. “The mind thinks you are happy and begins to release feelgood endorphins,” she says. 4. Get outside and try new things. “If you exercise outside, rather than indoors, you will enjoy a more uplifting experience. It could be the scenery, the light or just the chance to connect with nature – we’re not sure. But it’s definitely better than running on a treadmill.” To really switch off from worries, suggests Anna-Louise, challenge yourself with activities you have never done before, things that involve some difficulty. On the TV show, she took her happiness volunteers out surfing. 5. Breathe to relax. “The single biggest indicator of what’s going on in your head is what’s going on with your breath. The faster you breathe the more the body is in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Consciously calming the breath can switch you into ‘rest and digest’ mode. So, once an hour, take five deep breaths and centre yourself,” urges Anna-Louise.

australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010



Making Australia Happy screens on ABC1 on Thursdays at 8.30pm, from 4–18 November. If you want to find out more about the happiness toolkit, get hold of the companion book to the series, Eight Steps to Happiness by Tony Grant and Alison Leigh (Melbourne University Press, $34.99). It’s sold at most major book retailers. Or go to the website (from 15 October 2010) for more information.

Eight volunteers (above) had a happiness boot camp with experts (below) Dr Tony Grant, Anna-Louise Bouvier and Dr Russ Harris.

Bank@Post and get on with business


When you can’t get to your bank, you can do your business banking at Australia Post.* Bank@Post is available at over 2,500 Australia Post retail outlets for business banking, with more than half located in rural areas. Find out how by: 1. Visiting to see which business banking services your local retail outlet offers for your financial institution. 2. Contacting your financial institution and asking them how you can get started. *Not all banks participate in Bank@Post and business banking services vary between Australia Post retail outlets. Visit or call your bank for more information.

Moving house? We’ll move your mail. Australia Post’s mail redirection service is a safe, simple and reliable service that ensures your mail follows you wherever you move. You can pick up your free Mover’s Kit today by visiting or your local postal outlet.

Part of every day.





Friends for






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Photos: Rob Shaw RECIPES: Jennene Plummer

Fancy yourself as a domestic goddess? With these simple (and scrumptious) cake recipes, you’ll be serving up the perfect afternoon tea.

Basic butter cake 55

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Basic butter cake


good to know Test a cake to see if it’s cooked by touching the top lightly with your fingertip: if it’s ready, it will spring back. Alternatively, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake; if it comes out clean and dry, the cake is cooked.

Orange and poppy seed ring cake

Basic butter cake Ready in 1 hour Makes 1 cake

125 g butter, chopped, at room temperature ¾ cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 eggs 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted ²⁄ ³ cup milk VANILLA ICING 2 cups icing sugar 15g butter 1–2 tablespoons hot water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Lightly grease a deep, 20cm round cake pan. Line base with baking paper. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence together in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Lightly fold flour into creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until cake is cooked when tested. Let cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. VANILLA ICING Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter, water 56

australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

and vanilla. Beat well with a wooden spoon until a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread icing over cooled cake.

Orange and poppy seed ring cake Ready in 1 hour Makes 1 cake

125 g butter, chopped, at room temperature ¾ cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 eggs 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted ¹⁄ ³ cup milk ¹⁄ ³ cup orange juice 2 tablespoons poppy seeds grated rind of 1 orange whipped cream to serve SYRUP ¾ cup orange juice ½ cup caster sugar shredded rind of 1 orange Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Grease and line base of a 20cm fluted-ring cake pan. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Lightly fold flour into the creamed mixture alternately with combined milk and juice, beginning and ending with flour. Mix in poppy seeds and rind. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake for

40 to 45 minutes, or until cake is cooked when tested. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack over a baking tray. Pierce cake in several places. Spoon over syrup to soak in. Serve with whipped cream. SYRUP While cake is cooking, make syrup by combining juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Add shredded rind, cook a further 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Mixed-fruit patty cakes Ready in 40 minutes Makes 24 patty cakes

Marbled loaf Ready in 1 hour 15 minutes Makes 1 cake

12 5 g butter, chopped, at room temperature ¾ cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 eggs 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted ²⁄ ³ cup milk, plus 1 tablespoon milk extra few drops pink food colouring 2 t a blespoons cocoa powder pinch of bicarbonate of soda CHOCOLATE ICING 2 cups icing sugar 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 15g butter 1–2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Lightly grease one 13 x 23cm loaf pan. Line its base with baking paper. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly fold flour into mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Divide mixture into three portions. Leave one portion plain, add a few drops of pink food colouring to another portion, then add sifted cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and extra milk to the remaining portion. >

12 5 g butter, chopped, at room temperature ¾ cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 eggs 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted ²⁄ ³ cup milk ½ c up sultanas or chopped dates ¼ cup chopped dried apricots shr e dded coconut, toasted, to top cakes LEMON ICING 2 cups icing sugar 15g butter 1–2 tablespoons lemon juice Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Line two 12-hole patty pans with paper patty cases. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down sides of bowl. Lightly fold flour into creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in fruit. Spoon mixture into paper cases until ¾ full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked when tested. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. LEMON ICING Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter and enough juice to make icing a spreadable consistency. Spread icing over cooled cakes. Sprinkle tops with coconut.

Mixed-fruit patty cakes 57

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Marbled loaf

good to know Cakes freeze well, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap or in freezer bags, without fillings or icings. Always remember to label and seal well. Baked goods thaw rapidly at room temperature. Fill and ice the cake just before serving.

Drop alternate colours of mixture into pan. Draw a skewer or knife in circles through the batter to streak the colour. Smooth top of mixture and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until cooked. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool completely. CHOCOLATE ICING Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add butter and water. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake.

Apricot and macadamia slice Ready in 1 hour 10 minutes Makes about 16


Apricot and macadamia slice

What do you serve up for afternoon tea? Send us the recipe for your favourite treat, sweet or savoury. The two entrants with the most tantalising recipes will each win a Delicious book pack, valued at $39.99. Two runners-up will each receive a set of three books from the Cooking School series (Thai, Italian and Indian), valued at $29.97 per set. They’re among the wide range of cookbooks available at Australia Post retail outlets. Send your story to FRIENDS FOR TEA, PO Box 443, Eastern Suburbs MC, NSW 2004, or visit us online at au/australiatoday. Conditions apply, see page 72.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

12 5 g butter, chopped, at room temperature ¾ cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 eggs 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted 1 t e aspoon ground cinnamon plus ½ teaspoon extra ¾ cup sour cream 2 tablespoons milk 82 5 g can apricot halves, drained, pureed 10 0 g packet macadamias, halved 1 tablespoon caster sugar icing sugar for dusting Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Lightly grease one 18 x 28cm slice pan. Line its base and sides with baking paper. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and cinnamon together, then lightly fold into creamed mixture alternately with combined sour cream and milk, beginning and ending with flour. Spread half the mixture into prepared pan. Top with apricot puree. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with macadamias and combined sugar and extra cinnamon. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cooked. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.

Gift giving made easy.

Finding the perfect gift is easy at Australia Post. Our

from over 1,700 Australia Post retail outlets nationwide.

great range of gift cards from over 40 big brands means

Once activated, they are ready to use after 24 hours.

we’ve got something for everyone and every occasion.

What better way to simply say thank you, congratulations

Pick up a gift card ranging in value from $20 to $200

or just because.

Available at participating Australia Post outlets. For your nearest participating Australia Post outlet call: All states 13 13 18. Visit our website: On sale 19 July 2010 unless otherwise indicated or unless sold out. All prices are GST inclusive and are recommended. While stocks last. The Australia Post trademarks and their associated device marks are trademarks (registered or otherwise) of the Australian Postal Corporation. All rights reserved. Please read gift card terms (on packaging or on the card) carefully before purchasing a card. Please take note of any expiry date applicable to the card. Gift cards are not normally redeemable for cash. Cards may not be redeemable for up to 24 hours after purchase. Trademarks on any card shown are the property of the owners, used with their permission. Not all cards available in all Australia Post outlets. For full terms and conditions see in-store for details or visit:

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Broaden your horizons

Bring back more than a suntan from your next vacation – learn a language, master a skill or discover the secret to the perfect risotto on these holidays with a difference.



australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

You’ll saddle up and learn about wilderness riding in the spectacular Apache country of Gila, New Mexico. It’s more than horsing around! At a Cowgirl Camp at the Double E Ranch you join in cattle drives and much more.

Ride ’em cowgirl (and cowboys)

For any woman who has ever dreamt of leaving

behind the everyday and becoming a cowgirl, this is the trip for you. At the Double E Ranch’s Cowgirl Camp you’ll saddle up and learn about wilderness riding in the spectacular Apache country of Gila, New Mexico. You’ll also pick up the “why” and “how” of Western riding, take part in cattle drives and rodeo events, and try your hand at barrel racing, roping and team penning. Forget notions of saddle sores and going without the creature comforts: an optional pampering massage is available to every cowgirl (for an extra US$75), and there’s plenty of time allowed for long walks and lazing about. More than a dozen camps are scheduled between February and November 2011. Although the Cowgirl Camp weeks are female-only zones, the Double E ranch also has mixed-group camps throughout the year. Find out more What does it cost?

The five-day Cowgirl Camp costs US$1,500 (around AUD$1,665) per person. This includes share accommodation in a cabin, meals and ranch activities.

Getting there and around

United Airlines has daily direct services from Sydney to both San Francisco and Los Angeles, with connections to New Mexico. See for booking details. The nearest major airports – El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix and Albuquerque – are all several hours’ drive from the Double E Ranch. The best idea is to pick up a hire car at the airport and drive yourself to the ranch. The nearest town is Silver City. Where to stay

During the Cowgirl Camp, you’ll stay right on the Double E Ranch in one of its Cosy Cabins, with meals served “family style” at Headquarters. The ranch has other accommodation at different prices, including the luxurious Cloudsplitter tri-storey, southwestern-style house with 360-degree views of the ranch. Leisure time

Days at the ranch are busy and fun-filled with scheduled activities including trail rides, barrel racing, rounding up cattle, gymkhana events, canyon hikes and horse grooming. Downtime chill-out is all part of the experience as well. Swing in a hammock on the porch and make new friends at the ranch dinners held each night. >


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More sporty getaways ➤ Play tennis in the Costa Blanca Improve your backhand or volley and perfect your serve at Europe’s premier tennis destination. La Manga Club resort in Murcia, Spain, has 28 multi-surface courts and a state-of-the-art academy equipped to coach beginners and professionals alike (Tim Henman and Andy Murray have both trained there). Find out more:

Go skating on the South Coast For the young and the eternally youthful, Australia Skate Safari is a holiday with a difference. Departing from Sydney, you’ll tour south on a wild ride of adventure to skateboard parks. Whether you’ve just caught the fever and want to learn to skate, or you’ve been skating for years and want to learn new skateboarding tricks, this one’s for you. Find out more:

Test your sporting prowess on the Great Barrier Reef For an unforgettable week of sports and fun for the whole family, head for Club Med Lindeman. In addition to cocktails by the pool, a world of sports is included in the price. You can learn golf, tennis, archery, trapeze, table tennis, bocce ball, soccer, kayaking and more. Find out more: or 1300 855 052 Pick up snowboarding in the Snowies Why not put this in your diary for next year? Spend a week on the snowy slopes in Victoria or New South Wales and you’ll pick up ski and snowboarding skills to impress. Some of the best snow in the region is also the most easily accessible, and home to renowned ski schools. Mount Buller is 246km north-east of Melbourne near Mansfield, a threehour drive from Melbourne. Mount Hotham is 375km north-east of Melbourne, near the town of Bright. Perisher is a five-and-a-half hour drive from Sydney. The Australian ski season starts on the first weekend in June and runs through until early October, depending on conditions. Find out more: , and . >

Snowboard novice? Learn the ins and outs of both snowboarding and skiing at Mount Hotham.

Win a $5,000* Travelex ATM Cash Passport!

What have you always wanted to learn – and where in the world would you travel to take your lessons? Would it be tango in Rio de Janeiro? Diving on the Great Barrier Reef? Noodle-making in Beijing? Share your dream with us and you could win a Travelex ATM Cash Passport carrying AUD$5,000 value. Tell us about your ideal learning holiday (in 100 words or less) by entering the My Holiday Money competition online at *Conditions apply, see page 72. The ATM-only Cash Passport is issued by Interpayment Services Limited (a UK company which is part of the Travelex Group). Interpayment Services Limited is not a regulated bank or financial institution.


australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

The underwater wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef.


$0 Commission on Foreign Currency Cash Passport# Use it at over 1.4 million ATMs worldwide Receive a back-up card at no extra cost PIN protected Ability to store foreign currency value onto the card Avoid currency fluctuations for foreign currency cards> Reloadable in-store, online or via sms Customer support available 24/7 to deal with lost or stolen cards and passports, emergencies and access to emergency funds Travelex will organise replacement of lost or stolen cards within 48 hours* and will transfer funds via Western Union – free of charge.

You can purchase a Travelex Cash Passport card at selected Australia Post retail outlets in Australia.


#$0 commission does not apply to Australian Dollar Cash Passport cards. >Exchange rates may include a service charge. The prevailing exchange rate is locked in for the initial load value. Subsequent card reloads will be processed at the then prevailing exchange rate on the day of the reload transaction, and will be locked in at that rate.*Speed of Card replacement dependent on Location. The ATM Cash Passport card is issued by Interpayment Services Limited (a UK ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������


Sawasdee with a smile Elevate your Thai language skills beyond a simple

Learn Thai in Chiang Mai and you can visit the Elephant Park, 60km north (left), and chat with monks at Wat Chedi Luang (right). Chillis at the market (top left). A local mum and her son (top right).

Where to stay

“Sawasdee” (hello / goodbye) when you study the local language in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The northern city is the perfect, affordable base for joining a six-week beginners’ course at AUA Language Center. Lessons run for two hours a day, Monday to Friday, so there’s plenty of time left over for shopping, massages and sampling the local cuisine. Courses are taught by native Thai speakers with many years’ experience in helping foreigners learn how to order lunch, haggle in the market, count to 100 and much more in the local dialect. The emphasis here is on spoken Thai.

AUA does not provide accommodation for language school students but you will find an abundance of guesthouses, hotels, serviced apartments and resorts. A lot of the local guesthouses don’t have an internet presence, so one option is to book your first night’s accommodation ahead of time, then simply wander around town to find some accommodation that suits your needs. If you prefer to plan ahead, you can go to to check out a wide range of hotels and resorts. A popular low-cost option is Top North Guesthouse ( ).

Find out more or

Leisure time

What does it cost?

You’ll pay 4200 baht (AUD$150) for the 60-hour intro­ductory course (called “Book 1”). Accommodation is an additional expense. Getting there and around Thai Airways ( ) flies regularly to Bangkok

from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. From Bangkok there are connecting domestic flights to Chiang Mai. A convenient system of songthaew taxis operates around town. Simply flag down one of the red utes on the street and pay the standard fee of 20 baht (about 70 cents) per trip.


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You’ll have plenty of spare time to explore the popular tourist town of Chiang Mai. Book in for a massage at Mama Lek’s Nerve-Touch Massage ( ), where Thai masseuses use herbal compresses to coax muscles into tricky stretches. Take a drive up into the majestic Doi Suthep mountains, where the historic Wat Phra That Buddhist temple affords superb views out over the city. You could become a regular at the Sunday Walking Street market, held weekly from 4pm on Ratchadamnoen Road. Traffic is blocked off to clear the way for pedestrians, and stallholders offer everything from handmade pooch clothes to painted postcards, furniture and authentic northern homewares at rock-bottom prices.

Photos: Gett y Images, supplied

kick back

More language holidays ➤ Learn Italian in Perugia

Learn to speak Italian in the charming town of Perugia, the capital of Umbria … and enjoy the good life with the locals while you’re there. This Odyssey Ed-Venture tour is specially designed for participants aged over 45. The course runs for a calendar month and is suitable for both beginners and for those more fluent in Italian who want to improve their language skills and enhance their knowledge of Italian art and culture.

Learn to speak Italian in Umbria and enjoy the good life with the locals while you’re there.

Find out more: or 1300 888 225

speak Vietnamese in Hanoi

Hanoi Language and Culture Tours combine daily language lessons with short tours around the city, so you’ll be learning Vietnamese in a fun, results-driven way. On the five-day course you’ll take classes in the morning and short tours in the afternoon. Enjoy the practical experience of reading signs, finding locations, buying tickets and talking to local Hanoi people.

A waiter delivers coffee at Cafe Sandri (left) on the Corso Vannucci (below). It’s one of Perugia’s most elegant shopping streets.

Find out more:

pick up French in Sydney

Dreaming of running away to live in Paris? Perhaps just planning a grand European jaunt? Then do the right thing and pick up some basic spoken French before you leave Australian shores. Spending even a week in Sydney doing the “un, deux, trois” drill will pay ample rewards when you eventually jet off. It’s the learning holiday you need before your big adventure. Find out more: or 02 9264 0232 brush up your Spanish in Melbourne

Use your next vacation to brush up your Spanish in Melbourne. Tres Culturas offers Spanish classes for all levels of learners, from beginners to advanced. Practise your new vocab over sangria and tapas at MoVida in Hosier Lane, consistently named one of the best a u s 0Spanish 5 1 0 _restaurants s e n t i in n Australia. e l _ T PH. p d f Pa ge 1 1 9 / 0 4 / 2 0 1 0 , Find out more: or 03 9696 4822 >

1 : 3 9


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Tastes of Tuscany

(and Thailand) Secrets of authentic Italian pizza (above) and Thai classics (left) are on the menu at Wildwood Valley, Yallingup. Beds are comfy, too (below).

What do you get when you combine the tranquillity

of a 48-hectare Margaret River property with sweeping ocean views, superb food and top-notch international cooking classes? The perfect weekend away. Mad About Food Residential Cooking School offers alternating weekend courses in Tuscan and Thai cuisine at the Wildwood Valley guesthouse in Yallingup in Western Australia. The hands-on cooking classes are taught by hosts Sioban and Carlo Baldini (she trained under Rockpool’s Neil Perry and Longrain’s Martin Boetz; he’s from Tuscany). Check in on Friday afternoon, explore the local area, then wake up to an unforgettable cooking class experience on Saturday morning. At lunch you’ll enjoy the results of your morning’s endeavours with a glass of Margaret River wine. There is free time on Saturday evening and Sunday morning to taste more wines, shop for local produce or generally enjoy some good living. You can reserve a private class for you and up to nine friends, or join in with some like-minded strangers. But be quick. After winning rave reviews, the classes are booking out fast. Find out more or call 08 9755 2120


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What does it cost?

A package including two nights’ accommodation, gourmet breakfasts, cooking school and lunch, apron and recipe booklet costs $375 per person twin share. Single supplements are available. Getting there and around

Wildwood Valley is about a three-hour drive from Perth. Virgin Blue and Qantas fly regularly to Perth from other major cities. Check out schedules, fares and booking information at w w w. , call 13 67 89; and , call 13 13 13. You can also organise car rentals through these websites. Where to stay

Accommodation is provided at Wildwood Valley. There is a choice of bed-and-breakfast rooms, self-contained apartments and cottages. Go to to view the options. Leisure time

The cooking school schedule is relaxed, leaving plenty of time to explore the local area. Art galleries and fantastic restaurants are located within minutes of the property. See the Wildwood Valley website for tips and recommendations. Golf, horse riding, bushwalking and surfing are among the more active options if you want to work off some of that food.

More foodie getaways ➤ create Japanese cuisine on the Gold Coast

Learn to create mouth-watering sushi, sashimi and teppanyaki (and practise tossing shrimp through the air!) at Benihana Japanese Steakhouse’s cooking class, hosted by the top chefs at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa. The class is followed by a delicious lunch with matched wines. Find out more: or call 07 5592 9770 Take a cooking master class in Adelaide

Learn the secrets of masters – including Universal’s Christine Manfield and Thai food guru David Thompson – at this cooking school in the Adelaide Hills. The location is tranquil, the teaching style is dynamic and interactive. Visit some wineries while you’re there. Find out more: w w w.stick or call 08 8339 1314

Freshen up your seafood skills in Sydney

You’ll be wowing friends and family with your sensational seafood paella, knockout lobster salad and tasty chilli crab after attending Sydney Seafood School. More than 12,000 people every year attend this school at the Sydney Fish Market, so they’re doing something right. What a great excuse for a trip to Sydney! Find out more: or call 02 9004 1111 Train with the stars in Oxfordshire

Kitchen conf idential indeed. The Raymond Blanc Cookery School is the only school in the world to offer visitors the chance to watch, learn and practise in the kitchen of a two-Michelin-starred restaurant. The one-, two- and four-day classes for budding chefs at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, England, include a popular Patisserie Course and a Seasonal Dinner Party Course. Find out more:

Taste Turkish on the Lycian Way

And now for something completely different … learn how to whip up Turkish vegetarian cuisine at the remote Yediburunlar Lighthouse lodge on the Lycian Way, one of the world’s most famous trekking paths. Guests learn about traditional Turkish life as well as how to cook nutritious Turkish food. In no time you’ll be turning out stuffed peppers and lentil soup like a local.

WE’VE GOT IT COVERED! Sort out your passport You can pick up applications for Australian passports at more than 1,700 participating Australia Post retail outlets across the country; take a look at for locations. Australia Post can handle applications for British passports, too; go to ukinaustralia.fco. for more details. And to top it off, you can even have your passport photo taken at Australia Post. Now how’s that for great service?

Handle your money matters Whether you prefer taking foreign currency, a reloadable prepaid credit card like the Travelex Cash Passport or Prepaid Visa card, or American Express Travellers Cheques, you can find them all at participating Australia Post retail outlets. Ask a staff member to fill you in on all your options.

Find out more: > mindandbody > turkish vegetarian cuisine

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Puzzle time

Put your feet up and give your brain cells a work out with these puzzles. You’ll find all the solutions and answers on page 73. TRIVIA quiz EASY 1. The official Sydney residence of the Australian prime minister is known as what? 2. What was John Wayne’s nickname? 3. In the words of the iconic song “There’s a track winding back to an old-fashioned shack, along the road to ... “ where? 4. Which continent has no capital cities? 5. The Reverend John Flynn pioneered the establishment of which Australian outback medical organisation? 6. Who launched the famous perfume known as No. 5? 7. In the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the year of the what? 8. What is the name of the rock in Ireland that you can kiss to reputedly be endowed with the gift of the gab? 9. According to legend, what was the last thing left in Pandora’s Box? 10. Hercule Poirot is the creation of which detective writer?

MODERATE 1. By what name is rock star and actor Gordon Sumner better known? 2. What is the English name for the island of Rapa Nui? 3. Australia’s gold medal winning swimmer is usually referred to as “Libby” Trickett. What is her correct first name? 4. By what name is Barbara Millicent Roberts better known? 5. Mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young



CHALLENGING 1. Used as a pain reliever since ancient times, salicylic acid comes from the bark of which tree? 2. Parker and Barrow were the surnames of which famous couple? 3. The flower kimjongilia was cultivated to celebrate the birthday of which country’s leader? 4. H ow are the monkeys Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru better known? 5. S indonology is the study of what? 6. W hat does the name of the internet portal “Yahoo!” stand for? 7. S ome call it Sagarmatha or Chomolangma, but in the Western world it is generally known as what? 8. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were all guitar players in which rock group? 9. Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu is better known as what? 10. What is the name of the Chinese-registered ship that rammed into Douglas Shoals in the Great Barrier Reef on 3 April 2010?

Fill the grid so that every column, every row and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9.


9 8 7 9

PHOTO: Gett y Images

are known as what? 6. In which novel would you find the characters Atticus Finch and Boo Radley? 7. What was the name of the cyclone that destroyed the majority of Australia’s banana crops in Queensland in 2006? 8. Dr Watson was Sherlock Holmes’ crime-fighting companion. What was his first name? 9. “Divine wind” is the English translation of which Japanese word, often used in reference to a particular type of pilot? 10. Who was named 2010 Australian of the Year?

5 1 4 8 5 9 5 4 7 1 8 3 9 2 5 3 4 5 2 9 3 6 4 8 7 5 9 3 6 3 9 5 4 6 1 2 8 7 2 6 8 7 3 5 4 9 1 4 7 1 9 2 8 5 3 6

To solve the Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: • each vertical row • each horizontal row • each of the 3 x 3 boxes Remember, no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box.

we’ve got it covered! Your local Australia Post retail outlet has a variety of books and games for puzzle lovers. Puzzle Master packs, each containing two books, are priced at $12.99 a pack. The Touch Screen Sudoku is priced at $19.99. For availability see page 73.


kick back


giant crossword Devote a whole afternoon to this crossword or work your way through it over a few days. Either way, it will keep you amused and challenge your memory. The solutions are on page 73.











17 20 22 27

24 29







50 57 65

52 59
























94 99














122 129






125 132

136 138


Oct/Nov 2010

126 133

134 137

139 141

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79 82



71 73













51 58












25 33











28 36










ACROSS 1. Spanish dance style 6. Painter’s furniture cover 12. Face veils 17. Adhesive tag 18. Hotel car-park attendant 19. Gallivant (3,5) 20. Unconventional (person) 21. Resemblance 22. Bell sound 24. Army group 26. Affirmative replies 29. Type of spanner 33. Hard-to-please 36. Facets 39. Tentacled sea creature 41. Golf cart 42. Nappy (US) 43. Clock bird 44. Lawful 46. Fast-food pie 48. Eruption (5-2) 50. Horseback hockey 52. Indian butter 54. Rio de ... 56. Wow! 58. Ticket fee 60. Brave deed 61. Pea casing 62. Personal minder 66. Vienna’s “Waltz King” 67. Dead-end roads (3-2-4) 70. Regards highly 71. Gasped 72. Newborn 73. Lout 75. Crab claw 76. Talkback radio session (5-2) 77. Partakes of alcohol 78. Lessened 80. Conger fish 81. Noisy summer insect

82. Canine disease 85. Horror writer, ... King 88. Bowel 90. On and on, ad ... 93. Meanest 95. Actor, Sir ... McKellen 96. Castrated pigs 97. Colourless 99. Military actions 100. The “N” of UN 102. Cougar 104. Clump 105. Wizardry 108. Everything included (2,3) 110. Untied 112. Affix 114. Red / brown (hair) 117. Polite 118. Tiresome 119. Deputised (5,2) 120. Grip 122. Try 126. Not even once 129. Awry 132. Hate 135. China ornament 136. Girth measurement 137. Skin colours 138. Prance 139. Strong winds 140. Splatters 141. Trade slump 142. Moral purity DOWN 1. Misty 2. South American ranges 3. Ambassador’s residence 4. Sounded like hen 5. Statement of allegiance 6. Rate 7. Gastric ailment

8. Attend to medically 9. Rabbit coop 10. Eject 11. Filled tortilla 12. Dog’s cry 13. Sneeze noise (1-6) 14. Mindful 15. Illegally helps 16. Actress, ... Spacek 23. Jot 25. Mountaineering, ... climbing 27. On a par 28. Keenly 30. Aviation centre 31. Short-lived fashion 32. Confines 34. Futile 35. Step 37. Spy agency (1,1,1) 38. Send-up skit 39. Eight-piece group 40. Refill, ... up 45. Month after July 47. Infuriate 48. Lie 49. Organic fuel 51. Caught by lariat 53. Must, ... to 54. Sharp bump 55. Attentively 57. Before (poetic) 59. Inaccurate 60. Met (demands) 61. Play on words 63. Disobedient 64. Sexes of people 65. Dedicated admirer 67. Taxi-drivers 68. Revising (manuscript) 69. Pacify 74. Atrocious 79. Going out with

81. Movie inspector 83. Prejudice 84. Tavern 86. See next page (1,1,1) 87. Pelvis / thigh joints 89. Evokes 90. Author’s alias, ... de plume 91. Versus 92. Powerful light (3,4) 94. Slope 96. Wounds 98. Fails (at box office) 101. Cancel (marriage) 103. Billiards cloth 106. Hoist (flag) 107. Brazil’s ... Paulo 109. To and ... 111. Removes from country 112. Supply funds 113. Sent to the ocean floor 115. Salt Lake City state 116. Feed 117. Picture theatres 120. Coffee bars 121. Cherub 122. In the know 123. Flavour 124. Flour factories 125. It takes two to ... 127. Painter, Leonardo da ... 128. Out of practice 130. Large water masses 131. Washstand jug 133. Legume 134. Cartel of oil producing countries


© lovatts puzzles au

Your aim is to create as many words of 4 letters or more using the given letters once only but always including the centre letter. Do not use proper names or plurals. Bull’s eye See if you can find the 9-letter word using up all letters.





Your aim is to create as many words as you can consisting of four letters or more using the given letters once only but always including the centre letter. Finding 12 words is a good 1015GOOD 20+ EXCELLENT 15–VERY GOOD result, words is better 20 or more is sensational! Don’t use proper names or plurals. And see if you can find the nine-letter word that uses all the letters. The solutions are on page 73.




TERMS, CONDITIONS AND DISCLAIMERS talk to us (ON PAGE 7) 1. To enter the promotion entrants must send an email message to Entrants must include the competition name “TALK TO US” and their own details, including daytime contact details. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 22 October 2010. Limit of one entry per person. Limit of 100 words (or less). 2. Prize winners will be the first 100 entrants received. Prize winners will win a copy of The Stamp of Australia, valued at $26.95. The total value of the prize is $2,695. LET’S PLAY (ON PAGE 8) 1. To enter the promotion, entrants must provide a written entry describing their favourite childhood games. Entrants must also include their own details, including daytime contact details. Written entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 22 October 2010 via post (LET’S PLAY, PO Box 443 Eastern Suburbs MC NSW 2004) or internet ( Limit of one entry per person. Limit of 250 words (or less). 2. The prize winners will be the entrants whose entries are the best in the opinion of the Promoter’s panel of judges. Prize winners will win a copy of Let’s Play, valued at $19.99. The total value of the prize is $58.97. MY HOLIDAY Money (ON PAGE 62) 1. To enter the promotion, entrants must describe the learning holiday of their dreams, including what they would like to learn and where they would like to learn it. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 22 October 2010 via internet ( Limit of one entry per person. Limit of 50 words (or less). Daytime contact details must be provided. 2. The prize winners will be the entrants whose entries are the best in the opinion of the Promoter’s panel of judges. The first prize winner will win a $5,000 Travelex ATM Cash Passport. The total value of the prizes is $5,000. FRIENDS FOR TEA (ON PAGE 65) 1. To enter the promotion, entrants must send in a recipe for their favourite sweet or savoury afternoon treat. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 22 October 2010 via post (FRIENDS FOR TEA, PO Box 443 Eastern Suburbs MC NSW 2004) via internet ( Limit of one entry per person. Limit of 250 words (or less). Daytime contact details must be provided. 2. The two first prize winners will be the entrants whose recipes are the best in the opinion of the Promoter’s panel of judges. First prize winners will each win a Delicious book pack valued at $39.99. 2. The two runners up will be the entrants whose recipes are the next best in the opinion of the Promoter’s panel of judges. Runners up will win a set of three books from the Cooking School series, with a total value of $29.97 per set of three. The total value of the prizes is $139.92. GENERAL CONDITIONS OF ENTRY FOR PROMOTIONS 1. Information on prizes and how to enter form part of these conditions of entry. 2. The Promoter is Australian Postal Corporation (ABN 28 864 970 579) trading as “Australia Post”, 111 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000. 3. The promotion commences at 9am AEST on Monday 20 September 2010. No responsibility accepted for lost, late, illegible or misdirected entries. 4. Entry is open to all Australian residents who fulfil the entry requirements. Entrants must be at least 18 years old or must have the consent of their parent(s) or guardian to enter the promotion. Employees, directors, management, licensees and contractors of the Promoter, its related companies and agencies associated with the promotion, the immediate families of the above listed persons, and the retailers of and suppliers to the Promoter are ineligible to enter. 5. Each entrant warrants that all details provided in their entry form are true and correct and that the entry is their own original creation and work, and does not infringe the rights (including copyright) of any other person. Each entrant agrees to indemnify the Promoter in relation to any loss or damage resulting from any breach of warranty. 6. Judging will take place on Friday 5 November 2010 at ACP Custom Media Level 14 Civic Towers 66 Goulburn Street Sydney NSW 2000. The winner will be notified by telephone, mail or email. The winner‘s name, suburb and state will be published in the next issue of Australia Today. 7. If the prizes remain unclaimed three months after the draw, the Promoter may award the prize to another entrant whose entry is the next best in the opinion of the Promoter’s panel of judges. If necessary, judging for the unclaimed prize(s) will be conducted on


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Oct/Nov 2010

Friday 11 February 2011 at ACP Custom Media Level 14 Civic Tower 66 Goulburn Street Sydney NSW 2000. 8. The Promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable and are not redeemable for cash. All entries become the property of the Promoter. 9. To the extent permitted by law, each entrant hereby assigns to the Promoter all intellectual property rights (including copyright) in the entry submitted. If any intellectual property rights (including a moral right) cannot be assigned, each entrant hereby grants to the Promoter an irrevocable exclusive licence in perpetuity to use, copy, distribute, broadcast, modify, adapt and otherwise exploit the entry for any purpose, together with all ancillary rights. The Promoter may exercise all such rights without any fee being paid to the entrant. 10. The Promoter, its contractors, employees and agents, shall not be liable for any claims, losses, damages, injuries, costs and expenses suffered, sustained or incurred (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) as a result of, arising out of, or in any way connected with the promotion and / or its prizes, except for liability that cannot be excluded by law. Tax implications may arise from the receipt or use of a prize. Independent financial advice should be sought. 11. The Promoter assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorised access to, or alteration of, the promotion. The Promoter is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone, network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or referral’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in or downloading any material in this promotion. 12. If there is an event beyond the Promoter’s reasonable control which prevents or hinders the conduct of the promotion or the Promoter’s ability to deliver the prize to the winner, then the Promoter may in its discretion cancel the promotion. Further, the Promoter may at its sole discretion recommence it under the same conditions. 13. Entry into the promotion shall be deemed acceptance of these conditions of entry and is deemed approval to use the winners’ name(s) and photograph(s) for publicity purposes. The Promoter may at its discretion refuse to award any prize to any entrant who fails to comply with these conditions of entry. Privacy notice: We collect your personal information so you can enter and we can administer this promotion. Without your personal information we cannot enter you in the promotion. Where you give us the personal information of a third party you agree to tell them the purpose for which you have done so and the contents of this notice. Subject to some exceptions allowed by law, you, or the person you have nominated, may request access to your / their personal information while we store it. We will assess any request in accordance with the law and give reasons why if access is denied. A request to access, update or correct any information should be directed to the Privacy Contact Officer, Australia Post GPO Box 1777 Melbourne VIC 3001. GENERAL DISCLAIMER The material in this publication is provided for general information only and on the understanding that Australia Post is not providing professional advice on any particular matter. The publication may contain information that is intended to simplify the law for ease of understanding. Legal information is not the same as legal advice, that is, the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. You must obtain appropriate independent legal advice from a lawyer before any action or decision is taken on the basis of any material in this publication. Australia Post does not make any representations regarding any of the third party businesses or individuals referred to in this publication or their goods or services. Although Australia Post has made every effort to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, Australia Post, its contractors, employees and agents involved in the preparation of this publication shall not be liable to any person for any loss or damage of any kind whatsoever or howsoever (including indirect or consequential loss) arising from any

rules and errors or omissions or from reliance placed upon any information, advice, statement, opinion or conclusion in all or any part of the contents of this publication or arising out of, or in connection with the supply of goods or services by third party businesses or individuals or by reliance on the representations made by them. EVENT DISCLAIMER Any event information listed in Australia Today is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by Australia Post of the event, the organiser nor any associated organisations. While Australia Post takes reasonable care to ensure the information provided about such events is accurate at the time of going to print, we recommend that individuals contact the event organiser to confirm event details and their suitability to participate in such an event. Availability Products and services featured in this publication are available at selected retail outlets only. To find your nearest participating Australia Post retail outlet visit or call 13 13 18 (all states ). All items in this publication have been included in good faith on the basis that the goods described will be available at the time of purchase. Some illustrations in this publication are not to scale. A failure by a supplier to deliver in accordance with sample, description or not at all, or other unintentional causes, may result in some lines being unavailable. Accessories not included in price unless stated. Products available and prices valid at time of printing, unless as otherwise indicated or unless sold out. All prices shown are GST inclusive and are recommended unless otherwise indicated. The Rating: Australia Post, Bank@Post™, Postbillpay, Postpak, Post Office


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The following readers are the winners of the June / July issue Good News competition and will each receive a $50 gift card from their choice of Dymocks, Hoyts, Myer, Sussan or Westfield: Dianne Calistro, Newport, VIC; Rebecca Dedden, Roseberry, NSW; Joe Ruvo, Essendon, VIC; Jennifer Deaves, Loganholme , QLD; Elle Taylor, Bungalow, QLD.










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TRIVIA QUIZ EASY: 1. Kirribilli House 2. Duke 3. Gundagai 4. Antarctica 5. The Royal Flying Doctor Service 6. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel 7. Tiger 8. The Blarney Stone 9. Hope 10. Agatha Christie MODERATE: 1. Sting 2. Easter Island 3. Lisbeth 4. Barbie 5. Monotremes 6. To Kill A Mockingbird 7. Larry 8. John 9. Kamikaze 10. Professor Patrick McGorry CHALLENGING: 1. Willow 2. Bonnie and Clyde 3. North Korea’s 4. The Three Wise Monkeys – See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil 5. The Shroud of Turin 6. Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle 7. Mount Everest 8. The Yardbirds 9. Mother Teresa 10. Shen Neng


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MELBOURNE CUP FROM THE MIDDLE EAST In 1941, Australian soldier Bob Roeth wrote home to his sister-in-law about how local Middle Eastern traditions in farming and horse racing compared with those back home. new stamp e releas

This letter card I send to you to let you know I have not forgotten you and to convey

earnest wishes for a merry Christmas and a bright and happy New Year


to you, Granny,

Charlie and family. I trust it will find you all in the best of health … I suppose the picture on the front will remind you of the Dubbo district, the sheaves, stooks and even the incomplete stack with the tarpaulin covering it and even the old bush-apple tree. Enough to make one homesick. Over here they cut the wheat with reaping hooks and cart or rather pack it off the

field on mules, asses or camels. Winter is nearly here, snow is lying on the distant hillsides. I think it will be a cold spot here and I detest the cold. Still it will be better here than out on the Libyan desert, I think ... Today was Melbourne Cup day, we got the results about 4pm that would be about midnight over there. I hope you had a few shekkals on Skipton. We had not heard of him over here before but we know that he won the V.R.C. Derby. Yaralla has proved he can’t stay but should be a Doncaster or Epsom proposition later on. Sunday is the race day over here, one fair-sized town (Beirut) holds a meeting every Sunday. No bookmakers, all tote. They run from eight to ten races in the afternoon, about a dozen start in each race but they (the horses) are not much good … I will cease this scribble now Alma and close with love and best wishes to you and yours.

TO READ MORE LETTERS from Australia Post’s Letters of a Nation archive, go to: > Letters of a Nation > Letter Archive 74

australia todaY Oct/Nov 2010

Melbourne Cup stamps from Australia Post This year marks the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup and to commemorate this important milestone, Australia Post is releasing four 60c stamps featuring Carbine, Phar Lap, Saintly and the Melbourne Cup trophy. The stamps and associated products will be available from participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 or online at stamps from 1 November 2010 while stocks last. For availability see page 73.

Reloadable Prepaid Visa cards now at Australia Post.

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Help manage your spending with a reloadable Prepaid Visa card now available at Australia Post. You can reload funds as needed with a reloadable Prepaid Visa card, much like a prepaid mobile phone and because it’s prepaid, you can’t run into debt. A reloadable Prepaid Visa card has all the advantages of a credit card without the credit checks or a link to your bank account. It is perfect for shopping online and safe to take travelling with you. Accepted worldwide at retailers, ATMs and online, you can reload as you need. It’s great for students who may need a little support while they are away from home. Simply visit a participating Australia Post retail outlet to purchase and top up your card today.

Visit to find out more.

Terms and conditions: Visa Prepaid Cards are issued by Heritage Building Society Limited ABN 32 087 652 024. AFS Licence No. 240984. This advertisement has been approved by the issuer but any advice in it does not take into account your financial needs. It is important for you to consider these matters and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) at the product website (see packaging) before acquiring the product or activating a card. Visa Prepaid Cards are not credit cards. Activation is subject to successful identity verification.