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2  CityNews  March 29-April 4

CityNews  March 29-April 4  3


Volume 18, Number 11 / Phone 6262 9100 /

1 for me because… Vote 

Elizabeth Lee, lawyer and university lecturer: “I’ve got the ambition and the spirit of community service. And because Canberra is where I choose to live.” James Milligan, small business owner: “We should take pride in Canberra and do what we can to help the local economy grow and help people get into the housing market and ease the pressures of cost of living.”

Murray Gordon, ex-Air Force serviceman: “I have a huge investment here in Canberra, mainly my three daughters and two grandchildren, and I’m not going to leave that to the current government.”

Guilia Jones, wife and mother: “Canberra families deserve better. Canberra families need to be able to find a house and find child care. That’s my focus.”

Tom Sefton, former commando and public servant: “I love Canberra, and I want to see it prosper. I want to see better services.”

Pick Molongolo’s most likely ONE of these Liberal candidates is likely to become a new member for Molongolo in the October 20 ACT election.

Freyla Ferguson

Why the certainty ahead of other candidates in other seats? With reports of recent polling by the ACT Greens and the Liberals showing the probable defeat of Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur, the Liberals are expected to reclaim a third seat in the seven-member electorate that, prior to the 2008 election, had returned three Liberals since self-government. James Milligan, Guilia Jones, Tom Sefton, Elizabeth Lee and Murray Gordon will join Jeremy Hanson and Steve Doszpot as Liberal candidates for Molonglo. It’s also traditionally the electorate of

Liberal Party leaders Kate Carnell, Gary Humphries and current leader Zed Seselja, who at the last election claimed the biggest share of votes in Molonglo. But despite Seselja’s move to Brindabella, the polling apparently shows that the Liberal Party is in as good as any position to retake the third seat. “The Liberal ticket in Molonglo is an impressive one,” Seselja said. “Every candidate running has a genuine shot at being elected and would make an excellent MLA. “The community is already responding


to our message of changing this government so we can focus on local services. “Every election is a tough fight, and we have the team to get the job done in Molonglo. I believe that with this ticket and a lot of hard work, the Liberals will take back a seat in 2012.” In hailing the LNP win in Queensland, Seselja said it was clear that Australians are beginning to see the Labor reality over spin. “The ACT Labor Government has let the people of Canberra down, pushed up the cost of living and failed to deliver local services,” he said. “We look forward to the opportunity to change government and give Canberrans the local government they deserve this October.”

CityNews  March 29-April 4  5

news ‘This is coming out of the heat of desperation about broken infrastructure and lack of planning’

Campaign challenges Labor’s spending IN an orchestrated bid in an election year, to put pressure on the ACT Government about Canberra’s liveability and housing affordability, the ACT Property Council has drawn other local business and industry groups, community groups and unions to support its “Make My City Work” campaign. The online, national campaign, described by ACT Property Council executive director Catherine Carter as a “community call to action”, has drawn information from the Auspol report “My City: The People’s Verdict 2011” and the Property Council’s new “Our Nation” app, which uses the same data used by the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission. Through the website, “Make My City Work” people can discuss ideas and concerns about housing, jobs, lifestyle, infrastructure and sustainability. “This is coming out of the heat of desperation about broken infrastructure and lack of planning,” Ms Carter said.

6  CityNews  March 29-April 4

Freyla Ferguson reports

“We know population is growing and getting older, but there’s no action plan for that from any government at all, including our own government.” According to the Auspol report, Canberra rated as the second most liveable city, Despite this, the results show that 61 per cent of residents believe the Government is doing a poor or very poor job in terms of making housing more affordable. The report shows that 51 per cent believe the Government does a poor job of setting a fair level of tax when buying or selling. Ms Carter said ahead of the election, now’s the time for the Government to put in place policies that can make a positive change to the liveability of Canberra. “Canberra is very liveable city and, by and large, ask any Canberran that and that’s what they’ll say,” she said. “We don’t have some of the problems of other cities, we don’t have broken infrastructure like Sydney has got. But we do have our own problem. Housing affordability is

The campaign logo... “Housing affordability is our major challenge and barrier for people coming here and staying,” says Catherine Carter. our major challenge and barrier for people coming here and staying.” Ms Carter says although the Government is in the process of finalising the ACT Planning Strategy, the Territory is missing a long-term infrastructure plan. “The ACT Government are putting less and less into infrastructure as the years go by,” she said. “One thing is they are financially restrained and the other one is they don’t have a plan... “This is why having a dedicated infrastructure commissioner is the right idea. “The fact that the ACT Government were contemplating building their own office block for $432 million, whether they stated it or not, makes that their number one infrastructure project. How was

that determined to be so? “The Government has made the pragmatic decision to not proceed with that building on that basis, but how was it determined that over all these things that we need in the Territory, that was the number one thing? “There needs to be an infrastructure plan with someone at the helm looking at what the priorities are.” The council’s “Our Nation” free app, launched this week, uses demographics drawn on the same data used by the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission, to make projections into the nation’s future. According to the app data collected, Canberra is heading towards becoming one of the oldest populations in the country. “One of the biggest problems here in Canberra is young people leave, we have the best schools in the country, world’s best universities, lowest unemployment in the country and, in spite of this, young people leave in droves,” Ms Carter said. “Why is this so?” To join the conversation visit

briefly Jazz festival saved

LOCAL business has stepped in to rescue to teetering Moruya Jazz Festival from financial ruin. Following a meeting between the festival committee and district business interests, festival co-ordinator Dianne Grigson said: “We received wonderful support from the business representatives and we can now go forward confidently with arrangements for October.” A new committee, including business representatives, would be elected at the AGM later this month.

Bank boosts school

GALILEE School has received a $10,000 Westpac Community Grant towards its horticultural program’s worm farm project, which assists students in developing their entrepreneurial skills from farming, research budgeting, purchasing, packaging, marketing and sales. Galilee is an alternative education program for disadvantaged and at-risk young people from 12 to 16 years.

Parkinson’s explained

MICHAEL Dwyer, from Parkinson’s ACT Inc, is the guest speaker at the next meeting of the CWA Canberra Evening Branch. He will talk about Parkinson’s Disease. All are welcome at the CWA rooms, Barry Drive, Civic, at 7pm, Wednesday, April 4. More information to 0425 000294.

The write message

The ACT Writers’ Centre has a workshop, “Writing Speeches for Government”, from 10am-1pm on Saturday, April 14. Taught by veteran speechwriter James Groves, this workshop will help participants to prepare speeches for parliamentarians and senior executives with confidence. More information at

CityNews  March 29-April 4  7

news / politics

Welcome to weird ‘Abbottworld’ Michael Moore

dose of dorin

THE Opposition’s latest attack on Labor’s Craig Thomson took parliamentary practice to a new low and represents the fierceness of the divisive, acrimonious, oppositional politics that Tony Abbott has introduced to the parliament.

8  CityNews  March 29-April 4

No more pollies, please COME, come, Mr Moore. More pollies (politics, CN, March 15) for this tiny polity of Canberra? In the immortal words of the tennis great John McEnroe: “You cannot be serious”. Nor can Greg Cornwell. Washington, D.C, capital of that great democracy and with a population more than twice the number of good burghers (617,996 at last count) than Canberra (300,000 plus) is governed by a simple city council of 13 and one mayor (Alan Fenty). Fourteen to oversee the capital of a huge country, as opposed to, what is it, 17 already running Canberra. I don’t think so.  Barry Rollings, via email


It fits into a pattern where no quarter is given irrespective of the long-term consequences. Welcome to “Abbottworld”, a space that can only be effectively understood when seen through the same lens as the Leader of the Opposition views the world. In the Thomson example, for the first time in the Australian parliament, one medical certificate was not good enough to allow sick leave. Chief Opposition whip Warren Entsch claimed it was “very vague” and wanted more information. The threat was to deny an Opposition “pair”. A pair allows an MP to be matched with an opposing counterpart, allowing them to be absent by agreement without affecting parliamentary votes. The balance of the parliament has been so tight since the election that no opportunity is lost to put the Government on the skids, no matter what the long-term costs. At the end of May, 1994, Tony Abbott presented his credentials to the Australian parliament in his first speech. It provides an understanding of how he sees life and what was to come. It shows what is still to come if the Leader of the Opposi-


Proud of ‘bush capital’

tion becomes Prime Minister. In his inaugural speech, Abbott said: “Loss of faith is a social problem extending far beyond politics and far beyond Australia” and the “challenge is to answer uncertainty with conviction and to refute doubt with faith”. On matters of his faith and his beliefs, Abbott has demonstrated a propensity to interfere with issues of women’s rights and even the rights of duly elected governments to allow people their own choice regarding voluntary active euthanasia. And yet he demands governments “stop

playing the busybody in every nook and cranny of society”. In “Abbottworld” he can have it both ways; it’s a world defined by Tony Abbott in that first speech, in which he said: “When authority first came to the Warringah district, the inhabitants showed what they thought of government policies by spearing Governor Phillip in the shoulder. I hope I can be a similar goad to government”. His concerns in 1994 were about the discordant debates over the flag and the constitution which he saw as “the absolute opposite of nation building, because it is guaranteed to tear Australians apart rather than bring us together”. And later he warned: “Governments which live in fear of tomorrow’s headline are incapable of any change – even change which gives the overwhelming majority of Australians exactly what they want”. A prediction perhaps, but it is a tactic that he now applies on almost a daily basis – ensuring there is a headline that the Government will fear! In practice, Abbottworld mirrors the American “Tea Party”. The approach helped cheat Australian taxpayers of their share of the profits from the mining boom, ensured that poker machine laws were off the agenda, sewed doubts about the impact of climate change and took the industry sponsored fossil fuel view of carbon pricing, Bob Brown has suggested that the intensity of the attacks on Julia Gillard has to do with her being a woman. I think it is about Abbottworld politics. Knock it down! Knock it all down to be rebuilt following a change of government. In the interim, Malcolm Turnbull waits, John Howard style, in the shadows. Michael Moore was an independent member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1989 to 2001).

“WHEN I think of Canberra it brings up thoughts of those idiots in that funny shaped circus tent on the hill rather than the beautiful surrounds.” This was a recent comment of a friend of mine who lives in Adelaide and has never lived or spent a lot of time here in the nation’s capital, but unfortunately has a similar opinion to what a lot of “outsiders” think of Canberra. I have resided in Canberra for over 20 years, having been born in Sydney and lived and worked in most of the other capital cities of Australia prior to that. Thankfully Canberra is NOT like any of those places and the mistake many government officials and land developers make these days is trying to create it so. Canberra does not have the same bustling, high density problems that are facing cities like Sydney and Melbourne and many people have moved here because of that, me included. We are a “bush capital” and that should not be considered a dirty word or detrimental comment. It happens to be the seat of Government for Australia, but that is just where the Government is located, not what Canberra is about.  A Medcalf, via email

Pondering Easter COMMONWEALTH Day was celebrated by “The Canberra Times” with an article on homosexual rights, and Valentine’s Day with an article and photo of a homosexual couple. In between, there was an article on internet dating, homosexual of course. Wonder what they will do for Easter?  Pam Lai, Holder

CityNews  March 29-April 4  9


Bridge too far for Mr Carr? FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr’s most important task is to get us out of Afghanistan before any more of our best soldiers are killed. I speak particularly of our SAS operators who have borne the brunt of the fighting. I have had a privileged insight into the work of our Special Forces over the past two years, first as I co-authored the bestseller, “SAS Sniper” with the regiment’s outstanding marksman, Rob Maylor; and presently as I work with another former operator to tell his story. Both men spent a lot of time in Afghanistan. Both came under withering fire. Both were highly effective and completed their tasks with honour. However, they know that even if our initial commitment of forces in the wake of 9/11 was justified, that time is now long past. We – that is, the West led and dominated by the Americans – should not be there. We are not wanted. We are only making the situation worse. And we are putting Australian lives in jeopardy. A new book, “The Operators” (Orion, 2012) by Michael Hastings, the “Rolling Stone” magazine journalist who told the inside story of the clash between US commander Gen Stanley McChrystal

Robert Macklin

Tim Gavel

the gadfly


and President Obama (and which got McChrystal fired), absolutely confirms the scandalous posturing and criminal futility of the intervention. It is a devastating account, a “must read” by anyone who currently supports the war. You’ll recall that we went in to fight Al Qaeda. Well, that’s done and dusted. There are now less than 50 AQs in the entire country. Most of the survivors of the American offensive have retreated to Pakistan. Indeed, if we’re having a war against AQ we should be in Islamabad and Yemen and the Sudan and even in London where they planned and organised their terrorist attacks. Instead, fighting within some surreal civil war mix of the Taliban (a religious grouping) and the warlords, many of whom hold identical, archaic cultural/religious views. It’s one thing for America’s Christian military/industrial complex to wage their crusade against such people. But it’s no place for secular, multi-cultural Australia. The fiction that somehow it’s connected with the Bali bombing – as leaders on both sides of the Parliament insist – is an insult to our

SPORT will play a major role in Canberra’s Centenary celebrations next year, and rightly so.

intelligence and to the casualties of that fanatical outrage. You don’t make Australians safer from terrorism in Bali by shooting people in Afghanistan. Bob Carr knows this. He also knows that a good friend to America would tell them (as he says he would have told them in Vietnam) that they are in error. He has said that he’s prepared to spurn any

involvement in their bellicose adventurism towards China, and thank goodness for that. But to stop the Afghan idiocy he would have to talk tough to his Prime Minister who wants us to stay there until 2020! Is that a bridge too far for our Mr Carr?

briefly Award for baby snapper CANBERRA photographer Danielle Stahl has won the ACT Family Photographer of the Year award at the annual NSW/ACT Australian Institute of Professional Photography Awards held in Sydney. She specialises in newborn and baby fine-art portraiture. Danielle recently relocated to Canberra from Darwin and it is the first time she has entered the ACT awards.

Talking aged-care health JO Root from the Council on the Ageing will discuss “Reform in the Aged Care Sector” at the next meeting of the Kippax Library Discussion Group, 11am, Monday, April 2.

10  CityNews  March 29-April 4

Time to salute stars of the past

Sport day returns

Hollywood night

THE rain-postponed Sport for Women Day 2012 will be held at Stage 88, 11am-4pm, on Sunday, April 1. The event will follow the 2012 Women and Girls’ Fun Run. It will feature more than 25 demonstration sports to try, free exercise classes, free massages, free health checks, diet advice and there will be a mass choreographed dance by 5000 school children. Participants can learn the choreography online at

TICKETS are on sale for the Hollywoodthemed, “Glitz and Glamour” night at the Hellenic Club, Woden, June 16, in aid of Karinya House and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Organiser Wendy Newton says the night includes a three-course dinner, a band and a silent auction. Tickets, on sale at $65 each or a table of 10 for $600, are available from Just Cuts, Shop 28, Riverside Plaza, Queanbeyan, call 6299 3534.

The role played by our sportsmen and women in showcasing to the rest of the country that Canberra is not just about Federal politics cannot be underestimated. The Raiders’ breakthrough victory in 1989 is seen by many as the catalyst, but there are other key moments: the Cannons’ dominance in the NBL; the Capitals in the WNBL; the Brumbies’ two titles; Canberra United in the W League; and before this, there was the memorable win by the ACT Australian Rules team over Victoria. Getting a handle on how to honour sport in 2013 isn’t easy, but while it would be great to have a range of events, the real essence of Canberra sport is the role played by participants and volunteers. Therefore, it is heartening to see plans from the sports umbrella organisations to bring about community-based events. One concept involves a tribute to water sports, giving us a chance to recognise swimmers such as David Dixon, Dimity Douglas and Angela Kennedy; water skiers such as Sharon Stekelenburg; sailors such as Mathew Owen and those who guided Brindabella to victory in the 1997 Sydney to Hobart; John Fox in water polo – and the list goes on. But it also provides an opportunity to recognise the role volunteers have played in allowing sportspeople to achieve their goals. Another proposal put forward by ACT Sport is a series of events paying tribute to the role that women have played. There are many who deserve recognition including Heather McKay, who won 16 British Open squash titles in a row; the Powell sisters and Loretta Dorman in hockey; Sally McCreedy who went on to play more than 350 softball internationals for Australia; Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and all in women’s basketball; Susan Hobson in running; Julie Murray and Sasha Wainwright in women’s football; and the many others. While the emphasis in the minds of many is the here and now, the past should not be forgotten and next year gives Canberra a real chance to recognise the role played by sportspeople from previous generations and those who have contributed behind the scenes – no sport would exist without them.

CityNews  March 29-April 4  11

Canberra Confidential

Commissioner called to Chequers

Crowe tweets for Omar HOLLYWOOD actor and Academy Award winner Russell Crowe appears to be a fan of Queanbeyan’s own slam poet and writer Omar Musa. In a series of Tweets and retweets, @russellcrowe has commented on Musa’s poetry video “Fireflies”, which featured on America-based news website “The Daily Beast”. Rusty said on Twitter: “What I saw was great man, keep it up, powerful, inspiring stuff. Play on my brother, play on.” “Seems old Rusty is a fan,” says Musa. “CC’s” followed the thread and it appears Musa has been making the most of the opportunity; he’s been sending Crowe more of his material via Twitter. Musa has just released an album “MoneyKat” and who knows, may be some of his writing or hip-hop could make it into a Hollywood film!

What’s with burgers? FIRST Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr abandoned the affairs of state to launch the East Row McDonald’s and now Arts Minister Joy Burch has been using ministerial time to open Brodburger, the former burger-vanmade-good in its new spot at the Canberra Glassworks. They say opening the hamburger restaurants fits their portfolios: Barr for Economic Development and Burch for the Arts, but with only months to October’s ACT election, it seems more like pollies on the election trail.

12  CityNews  March 29-April 4

Know something? /

Mark Owen-Taylor (Jim Hacker) and Philip Quast (Sir Humphrey) with the British High Commissioner Paul Madden. Photo by Silas Brown

Baton man returns APRIL 3 will mark 20 years since the youthful Maj Ian McLean, director of the Royal Military College Band at Duntroon, took up his baton to conduct the first Music at Midday at the Canberra Theatre. Now a lieutenant-colonel, McLean (and “CityNews” music reviewer) has been invited back by the current RMC Band music director, Maj Dan Hiscock, to conduct the anniversary program. They’ll all be joined on stage by Andrew Dark, now a Melbourne lawyer, who was the first Music at Midday guest artist. Other familiar faces will be will be the deputy director of music, Australian Army, Maj David Bird and Maj Peter O’Connor,

commander of the Australian Army Band in Sydney. Many Canberra artists claim their appearance on Music at Midday as their big break, among them the a cappella group The Idea of North, cabaret McLean in artist Queenie van de Zandt 1994. and opera singer Susan Ellis. According to McLean, Music at Midday has brought a great deal of joy to countless thousands of Canberra citizens and assisted most Canberra and region charities through its gold-coin donations. Music at Midday, Canberra Theatre, 11am and 12.30pm, at the Canberra Theatre, April 3, gold coin donations go to “Outward Bound”.

British High Commissioner Paul Madden was using all his diplomatic skills when called to Chequers for a high-level meeting with his Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary. Well, not his Prime Minister and not the PM’s country home, either. The good-humoured meeting was on the Canberra Theatre set of “Yes, Prime Minister”, the British stage show comedy that is thrilling local audiences. Paul found himself in the company of actors Philip Quast (Sir Humphrey) and Mark Owen-Taylor (Prime Minister Jim Hacker). The show’s Canberra season closes on March 31.

Sissi takes your ticket AN unexpectedly familiar face in a Canberra Theatre usher’s uniform was spotted by “CityNews” arts editor Helen Musa at the opening night of “Yes, Prime Minister”. It was Susannah Bayes-Morton (pictured), who plays Sissi, the young female “godfather” in ABC TV’s “The Straits”, due to reach its dramatic conclusion this week. Bayes-Morton told Musa she’d planned on staying at home in Canberra to watch episode nine of the series when a call came from the theatre offering her the shift!

With fond regards REGARDED, a new website and iPhone app offering romantics the opportunity to find, flirt, date, fall in love with or befriend someone they have spotted or “regarded”, has hit Canberra. Regarded gives people the opportunity to follow up on a stolen glance, smile or friendly chat that was cut short. Users simply log in to Regarded, describe the scenario, time and place and, if the other person does the same, they can connect. Gavin McCormack, founder of Regarded said: “We have all experienced being ‘regarded’, be it a smile on the street or a conversation on the train that was over too soon, leaving us wondering what might have been. Regarded is the answer to this problem – a second chance to connect. “Canberra has a buzzing social scene and a large student population which means lots of opportunity for ‘regarding’ people.” The Regarded app and website include Google maps to easily find locations, bookmarking favourite places and direct messaging. The Regarded app and website are free to use and available for download from the App Store. More information at regarded.


invite us /

At the Save the Children high tea, The Lodge

At the Ronald McDonald House ball, National Convention Centre

Jamie Anderson, Karen Gomez, Helen Watchirs and Rita Parker

Narelle and Tim Byrne

Save the Children Australia CEO Suzanne Dvorak with ACT patron Virginia Haussegger and Scott Gilbert

Kristina Crnagoj, Helen Owens, Britt Foley, Val Dowse and Kim Thompson

Julie and William Scheer with Geraldine Velez

Save the Children national chairman Peter Watson and ACT chairman Alan Scandrett

Lenni Thompson, Jess Nolan and Jaclyn Van de Wetering

Hariklia and Andrew Sarris

Lyne and Peter Dingwall with Ronald McDonald

Lisa Shaw, Mandy Hynda and Tess Hayman

Marie Medori, Luita Aichinger and Mina Favolte

Telisha Summerfield, Tori Mac, Michelle Rutishauses and Brianna Fruend

Maile and Kieran Steele

CityNews  March 29-April 4  13


more photos /

At the Canberra Airport Open Day

At the Hats and Gloves High Tea, Government House, Yarralumla

Derek, Atticus, Scarlett and Ariane Fittler

Tania Lace, Lindsay May and Richard Snow

Margaret Steele and Patrick Kirkland

14  CityNews  March 29-April 4

Robyn Puckett, Annette Nobbs and Helen White

Megan Cross and Karrine Beasley

Bryan Thurling and Vivienne Singleton

Jenifer Mirpuri, Alicia Murphy and Justine Redwin

Julie Pangalos, Colleen Dahl, Hannah Elwood, Jessana Pirotta and Riana Greenberger

Tracey and Chris Lowe

Vanessa Brady, Melanie Spilker and Ankie Kitsk

Claire Lutomski, Alex Arnold and Karen Goddard

Kelly Knight and Jayne Armstrong

Melissa Russell and Stacy Morgan

advertising feature

Open for Easter

Here are some leading retailers full of Easter gift and experience ideas...

The world of good taste INFLUENCE Gifts and Homewares in the Canberra Centre is home to a unique and tasteful range of gifts and homewares sourced from across Australia and the world. Give the perfect gift to brighten someone’s home with plenty to choose from including soft furnishings, wall art, small furniture pieces, lamps, table wear and outdoor pieces. Influence manager Kate Butt says there is an

extensive selection of gifts and homewares including shabby chic, country style and modern. “Paris is still huge and we have just received a new range of Paris hat boxes, book boxes, trunks and suitcases,” she says. “Something which has been really well received is our pop-up cards. They are a gift and card in one, and they make neat little gifts for Easter time.” Established in 2007, Influence can be found in the link mall on the ground floor of the Canberra Centre. Ground Floor Canberra Centre. Go to influenceonline. or call 6227 6229.

Nursery of autumn colours AT the Heritage Nursery, in Yarralumla’s Weston Park, you will find flowering orchids, brightly coloured ceramic pots for balcony or gardens and plants galore. Autumn is a fantastic time to plant shade or fruit trees. The ground is warm, and this year it is soft and moist. Soon Canberra will be a blaze of autumn hues and it’s a great opportunity to choose a tree with colour for some shade next summer. You will find fabulous autumn colour in the lipstick maple range – a Canadian maple that has been bred to suit modern backyards. Other favourites are Manchurian Pears, Chinese Pistacio and golden-

coloured Maidenhair Trees. The baby chickens at the Heritage Nursery will entertain the kids for hours. They make great pets, and will lay many eggs with

the Organic Country Heritage Chookfood available at the nursery. You won’t ever need to buy eggs again, except chocolate Easter ones, of course...

Time for TLC around the house? ARE you planning to give your home a little TLC this Easter?

16  CityNews  March 29-April 4

doing the same thing, but also letting you know about VIP specials. Sign up online.”

8 Beltana Road, Pialligo. Go to A quick and easy way to freshen or call up a tired garden or courtyard is to 6257 8358. use pots. Bliss Garden and Giftware has a wide selection to choose from including modern, shaped Urbanlite pots, brightly-coloured glazed pots, and glazed water features. Doing inside, too? Bliss has newseason cushions, lamps, vases, wall decor and furniture that will enliven tired rooms. “It’s the start of the autumn/ winter season and Bliss has heaps of new season products now in stock,” says owner Iain Eaton. These include the new range of B.Sirius handbags, new Ecology Servingware, stacks of new jewellery, new beautifully packaged soy candles, new cushions and lamps. “Bliss is now uploading new products and displays on Facebook almost daily, so jump on and ‘like us’! “ says Iain. “We also send out monthly emails

advertising feature

Mighty Mitchell Mitchell was named in honour of Maj Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell, surveyor-general and explorer of NSW and all the suburb’s streets are named after Australian industrialists.

Motorbike’s big debut MOTO Central Showroom in Mitchell is introducing to Canberra the Daelim brand of scooters and motorcycles. Daelim, a South Korean brand of motorcycle, has become one of the top-selling brands in Australia. Don Murray, of Moto Central, says Daelim’s learner-legal

motorcycles are a quality bike at the most affordable price. “They come with a two-year warranty in about a $2000 price range,” he said. Moto Central Showroom, 12 Sandford St, Mitchell. Call 6248 0229. More information at www.

Affordable tiles – and more “WE don’t aim to be the biggest; just one of the best,” says Peter Bonelli, owner of Tileflair, which he says offers affordable elegance and personalised service – and now bathroom renovations. “We’ve been in the tiling industry for 25 years, and pride ourselves on providing quality products from all across the globe,” he says. “We have a large,

modern showroom that’s open seven days a week.” A locally owned and familyrun business, its complete and personalised bathroom renovation services can be as simple as re-tiling your bathroom to a full renovation; replacing everything from bathtubs, vanities, fittings and tiles. Tileflair, 22 Essington Street, Mitchell. Call 6162 3080.

Centre with room to brrrrm WITH about 1300 square metres of showroom space, there’s little wonder why Canberra Motorcycle Centre in Mitchell is part of the ACT’s biggest motorcycle dealership. With a sister store in Fyshwick, the Mitchell store stocks Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles, apparel and accessories, and is one of 10 stores nationwide that stock

Spider three-wheel motorbikes. It also features a service centre that specialises in Suzuki, Yamaha and Can-am, but also services a wide range of pre-loved bikes. “Our biggest selling points are accessability and range,” he said. Canberra Motorcycle Centre, 26-28 Kemble Court, Mitchell. Call 6241 8107.

Amy’s team loves to search MITCHELL Personnel Solutions Recruitment enjoys being part of the growing Mitchell community, says CEO Amy Hewson. “Our expanding team of recruitment professionals are constantly working hard to maintain the quality and high level of service we are recognised for,” she says. “We remain highly competitive in the Canberra market offering end-to-end recruitment services

specialising in business administration, legal, finance, industrial/ trades and executive search.“ Mitchell Personnel Solutions also offers a variety of services under MPS Training, MPS Scribing and MPS Gold Standard Background checks. Mitchell Personnel Solutions, Unit 9, 141 Flemington Road, Mitchell. Call 6123 0500 or email

CityNews  March 29-April 4  17

arts & entertainment COVER STORY: Legendary Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is to sing in Canberra next month. She talks exclusively to arts editor HELEN MUSA

Nothing like this Dame “I’VE never looked down on ‘popular’ music and often sang it – as a teenager, on recordings, and even now,” Kiri Te Kanawa tells “CityNews”. “I’ve sung ‘I Believe’ for as long as I can remember and still do – along with ‘Climb Every Mountain’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and parts of ‘West Side Story’. I like those – and so do concert audiences and record buyers.” That’s DAME Kiri to you and me, of course, since the ravishing NZ soprano was knighted in 1982, thus joining the ranks of stars we simply know as Dame Judi, Dame Joan, Dame Maggie and so on, without any need for a surname. It’s hard to believe, but the glamorous diva will be at Llewellyn Hall in April, doing her favourite things. “Of course, a singer has to be careful about whether a particular song actually suits their kind of voice,” she reminds me, so it won’t be a return to her pre-operatic youthful years when she was a pop star and scored the first NZ gold record ever. Canberra audiences will get to hear operatic favourites by Mozart, Handel, Strauss, and Puccini and more, all accompanied by renowned NZ pianist Terence Dennis. “A concert gives me the opportunity to bring forward a mixture of composers and considerable variation in music and song ‘images’,” she says.

Younger days are still green in her memory, though it wasn’t all fun. “Riding around singing ‘West Side Story’ wasn’t all I did,” she tells me, “I had a very firm singing teacher and a busy learning schedule… but in my young years, NZ was idyllic – and I still regard it like that.” Dame Kiri still has a home in NZ and returns at least once every year – “there’s great fishing – I can’t go fishing in London or New York.” Like many other wise divas, notably Dame Joan, she has largely abandoned the operatic stage in favour of the concert platform. Now 67, she concerns herself with nurturing young singers and musicians through her Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. “I realised that when I got round to retiring (which isn’t happening just yet) everything I’d learnt about the music world and its disciplines might just vanish with me… that’s why, in 2004, I established a foundation which focuses on my vision of offering young singers mentoring, financial support and most of all – career guidance,” she says. Dame Kiri reports that the foundation’s first seven years have been “enormously successful”. She’s particularly thrilled that Julia Lezhneva, a young Russian protégé she helped to study at the Guildhall, has just been signed to a contract with Decca Classics. So, what about retirement? “I decided that my season of Strauss’ ‘Rosenkavalier’ in 2010 was the last major operatic role I’d undertake,” she says. “But soon after that the New York Metro-

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa... “I haven’t totally left the stage, as long as I don’t mind playing an eccentric wacky Duchess.” politan invited me to play the small cameo role of the comic Duchess in ‘Daughter of the Regiment’… so… it seems I haven’t totally left the stage, as long as I don’t mind playing an eccentric wacky Duchess. “Actually, I loved it.” Kiri Te Kanawa, at Llewellyn Hall, 7.30pm, Saturday, April 21 only. Bookings to 132849 or

Folk who make the ‘National’ massive

Wendy Johnson Merimbula turns on the culinary charm

Romance with a Hollywood theme THERE’S romance in the air for Art Song Canberra’s next recital, “Hollywood’s Romantics”. Husband and wife duo, soprano Sonia Anfiloff and baritone Ben Connor (pictured), have popped in from studies in Vienna for this recital. Both are ANU graduates in voice and both former prizewinners in the National Aria. They’ll perform Strauss, Korngold and Copland – all composers who wrote scores for Hollywood. At Wesley Music Centre, 3pm, April 1. Tickets only at the door.

ANOTHER ANU voice graduate, tenor Christopher Steele, now living and performing in England, has retranslated Bach’s “St John Passion”, to be premiered by The Oriana Chorale, led by David Mackay, with Steele singing the role of the Evangelist, soloists from the School of Music and an orchestra led by Barbara Jane Gilby. At Llewellyn Hall, 7.30 pm, April 5. Bookings to 132849 or THE 2012 National Film and Sound Archive’s Orlando Short Film Award has been awarded to Craig Boreham, writer and director of “Drowning” (2009). The winner of the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex short Australian film receives a cash prize of $5000 and is placed in the National Audiovisual Collection.

Helen Musa arts in the city

FOLK Festival folk are scratching their heads about how to sustain the Majestic Fringe Festival, the biggest drawcard for youth, when its ACT Government funding runs out this year. Readers will recall that the funds were re-assigned away from the Multicultural Fringe three years ago. CANBERRA City Framing Gallery in Hobart Place has been seized with the Archibald fever and is exhibiting and selling works by seven recent Archibald finalists, including former winners Ben Quilty and Sam Leach. Until April 15, inquiries to 0407 778022. CANBERRA’S most famous composer Larry Sitsky will perform “The Piano Dances”, works by Bartók, Moszkowski, Paderewski, Martinů, Dvořák and Sitsky that were inspired by dances. Wesley Music Centre, “Wednesday Lunchtime Live”, 12.40pm to 1.20pm, April 4. $2 or paper note entry. Seats at door. DAVID Sequeira’s Everything and Nothing Gallery is going around in “Concentric Circles” with a Zen-like exhibit of paintings, drawings and constructions by Sidney Nolan (“Cantos of the Eye”), Trevor Richards and Sequeira in the age-old, “compelling format” of the circle. ENG , Level 1, Center Cinema Building, 29 Bunda Street, Civic, Saturday and Sunday, noon-5pm, until April 1. Inquiries to 0414 583723.

Helen Musa reports

CANBERRA’S Easter Folk Festival “is going to be massive,” says artistic director Dave O’Neill, of the event now fondly known as “The National”. It’s his seventh and final year at the helm and bears his distinctive marks. “The main angle is always active participation and education,” he explains. “I get people in who’ll not just sing, but do workshops – musicians who are prepared to jam at the session bar… that way, young musicians can play along with the greats.” And it’s the same deal for the international guests. To O’Neill, those international musicians are essential, bringing with them a wealth of experience. “Our performers often don’t have the same level of experience and it’s that professionalism that rubs off,” he says. Take Battlefield Band, one of Britain’s leading revival bands, founded in Glasgow during 1969 – “they’re all mad session players –

Mongolian horse-head string performer, Bukhchuluun Ganburged. Award-winning ukulele virtuoso, Daniel Ho. guaranteed,” says O’Neill. You can expect participation, too, when Hawaiian Grammy Award-winning ukulele virtuoso, Daniel Ho, turns up. For O’Neill, like “CityNews”, has noticed the ukemadness sweeping the national capital, putting it down to the fact that playing the instrument doesn’t seem too hard. He’s always been proud of his ability to find wacky angles. This time there’ll be the launch of Dennis O’Keefe’s new book about the “Waltzing Matilda” story; massed union choirs; The Chordwain-

ers, who play quirky music on all-leather musical instruments; and Franklyn B Paverty’s show about the prolific late Canberra Irish composer and Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme migrant Ulick O’Boyle. But it’s not all Anglo-Celtic. A noted fiddler himself, O’Neill eagerly anticipates the appearance of Mongolian horse-head fiddler and throat-singer Bukhchuluun Ganburged. Showbiz pizazz will be evident with Lindsey Pollock’s Balkan Brass Band in the street parade

and Adam Hadley’s Majestic tent, hosting deliberately tasteless acts such as Julian Fleetwood’s tale of zombies attacking Canberra. And O’Neill’s parting pièce de résistance? He’ll be attempting to beat the Guinness record of 150 for the most people playing the “lagerphone” (bottle caps nailed to a stick) at one time. No problem, he says. With such “massive” musical resources at his disposal, it’s in the bag. The 2012 National Folk Festival, April 5-9, Exhibition Park. Bookings to or 1300 235849.

CityNews  March 29-April 4  19

arts & entertainment

Top cast makes the most of India “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (PG) TO film Deborah Moggach’s gentle novel about dealing with major culture change in later years, director John Madden took a top British cast to India. The result is delightful, warmly humorous, centred on old age yet un-assertive about it, glowing with India’s urban colours and motion, not didactic about its social stratification or its culture yet respectful of them. At the no-longer-new Marigold Hotel, young manager Sonny (Dev Patel) greets his first guests, seven no-longer-young Brits. Recently widowed Evelyn (Judi Dench) remains enthusiastic about life.  Xenophobic retired housekeeper Muriel (Maggie Smith) travels in a wheelchair, takes comfort from complaining and won’t eat anything she can’t spell.  The marriage of Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Jean (Penelope Wilton) is declining. Madge (Celia Imrie) and Norman (Ronald Pickup) seek carnality but not with each other. Retired judge Graham (Tom Wilkinson) has good reason to be a loner.  With this cast, you can trust “Marigold Hotel” to deliver good value. Its humour is well-populated with quick one-liners in an unstressed plot that goes nowhere in particular in dealing affectionately and perceptively with newly-met characters

Dougal Macdonald cinema

interacting not only with each other, but also with Indian folk whose lives touch theirs. That it revolves around retired Brits in India to pass their final years should not define its target audience or prevent younger adults from getting a full bowl of satisfaction from it.  At all cinemas

“The Hunger Games” (M) THIS futurist actioner continues a mass-entertainment tradition extending back more than two millennia. Citizens thronged to Rome’s Coliseum to enjoy the violent deaths of lesser people in the arena, behaviour for leading a slaves’ revolt against which Kirk Douglas got crucified in “Spartacus”.  More recently, “Logan’s Run” told a story about a society in which everybody on their 30th birthday played a game to the death.  The US in 2076 consists of 12 districts from each of which, to expiate the sins of the populace in past years, a young man and woman are selected to compete in the annual Hunger Games, a TV spectacular in which the last contestant

remaining alive receives honours and benefits. Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss who volunteers to replace her younger sister selected to compete. The film is about Katniss’ dour determination to return home as the winner. She has few friends. But coming from a deprived rural region, she has outdoors survival skills. The film’s profoundly-discomfiting aura raises questions about brutal oligarchic policy in which the populace acquiesces. Sequences resembling Nazi rallies show the panoply and passion of the opening ceremony and dedication of the competitors.  I cannot know whether writer/ director Gary Ross wants “The Hunger Games” to serve as a polemic against the kind of public policy it depicts.  I suspect however that if enough people pay to see it, this filming of the first volume of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy might lead to a sequel. At all cinemas

“The Raid: Redemption” (MA) IN a flat in an Indonesian city, Rama (Uko Iwais) wakes before sunrise, does a strenuous workout, kisses his pregnant wife’s belly, says goodbye to his unborn

son, then goes to work. Those are the only calm moments in Gareth Evans’ super-violent actioner as Rama leads his SWAT team into the highrise apartment building where landlord Tama (Ray Sahetapy) keeps a gang of toughs to operate his narcotics business and protect it from police intrusions. “The Raid” is uncompromisingly violent. Cops and crooks using machetes, rifles, handguns, fists and feet do battle among the building’s rooms and corridors with admirable energy, delivering images conveying blood, pain, death.  The film’s minimal plot is repressed until everybody’s dead except for Rama, his brother and a senior cop who unexpectedly joins the team as it arrives at the building. Offsetting that shortcoming, Evans’ choreography of high-speed combats and directing their filming is impressive. Some of the one-on-one combats are less than convincing, more like prize-fights than mortal combat, arms furiously delivering windmill blows against arms. That’s what the public wants to see, I guess.  Opportunities to end it sooner by intercepting a kick and delivering the coup de grace to a man thrown face-down to the ground come and go despite no referee being on hand to call a foul.  At Dendy

‘Breaker’s’ deep acting talent EVERYMAN Theatre’s “Breaker Morant” showcases the depth of male acting talent (along with one female, Andrea Close) in the ACT. Director Jarrad West has assembled a strong cast to shape the tensions of this engaging play. Driven by Duncan Ley’s Morant and the constant provoking of Duncan Driver’s Major Thomas, the language and drama of this notorious historical event hold the audience in awe throughout the whole performance. The Courtyard Studio provides an excellent venue for the minimal set which focuses very much on the characters. The relationship between the men in a stressful wartime situation is most effective in the connection created between

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“Breaker Morant” By Kenneth G Ross, directed by Jarrad West at The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre, until March 31. Reviewed by Joe Woodward Robert DeFries’ Lt. Peter Hancock and Ley’s Morant. Their spontaneous responses to the constant threats and momentary victories are highly entertaining. In a production with many highlights, Graham Robertson provides beautifully constructed cameo appearances as Doctor Johnson and Pieter Van Rooyan. Jasan Savage provides the suitable antagonism that drives the action of the play.

Paul’s answer is blowing in the Winds Helen Musa reports

PAUL Kildea is a big-picture man and, right now, the Canberra-born conductor and next director of Bermagui’s Four Winds Festival is busy considering the long-term future of the Easter musical summit. This year, apart from a packed program of classical recitals, there will be a new Sound Shell, to be launched by the Gondwana Chorale and commissioned works from Julian Yu and Damian Barbaler. But when Dr Kildea spoke to “CityNews”, his mind was on the festival from 2014 in a new permanent building and amenities that will house bigger and wider audiences. The former St. Edmunds College student, with a doctorate on Benjamin Britten from Oxford, divides his time between Berlin, England and his native Australia, where he will soon conduct Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” and Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Opera Australia. “I feel very fondly towards Canberra,” he says. His parents and sister still live here and he got his early musical training from trumpet teacher John Thompson and piano teacher Keith Radford after seeing an announcement on the school notice board calling for “anyone who wants to learn to play an instrument”. Now, at 47, he can look back on a career that includes the directorship of Paul Kildea... a Aldeburgh Festival and Wigmore Hall big-picture man. in England. Two years ago, the present Four Winds director, Genevieve Lacey, invited him down to Bermagui. “I was blown away by the site,” he reports. Then Four Winds chair Sheena Boughen asked if she might phone him in Berlin, and the rest is history. He takes up the appointment in May. Dr Kildea’s mind is not just on Easter, but on summer proms, an outdoor cinema, residential schools, international commissions and educational programs, especially in light of the fact that “the population swells enormously in summer”. The organisation is largely staffed by volunteers who “forge a relationship with the community”, but he now wants to expand its infrastructure. In his view the future lies in “our real diversity of cultural expression”. “I’m interested in what the festival becomes,” he enthuses to “CityNews”, explaining that the “amazing” world-class ocean views in buildings would be hard to find anywhere in the world – “it’s a very inspiring place”. Four Winds Festival, April 6-8, Bermagui/Barragga Bay, information and bookings to

Australian Hotels Association Hospitality Awards / special feature

Industry’s night salutes its brightest and best FOUR hundred industry leaders came together for the 2012 Australian Hotels Association’s annual Hospitality Awards night, this year held at the Hotel Realm.

“The 34 awards recognise standards of excellence in the ACT hotel and hospitality industry,” AHA ACT general manager Gwyn Rees said. “In the last year, we have seen some great new venues open, refurbishment of wellloved locations, and providers, such as those damaged by the fire at New Acton, who have

triumphed over tragedy. “People living and visiting the ACT certainly have an almost unlimited choice of great hotels and hospitality venues offering quality food, beverage and service.” He said many of the winners will go on to represent the ACT at the AHA National Awards for Excellence in September.

Winners were chosen following a nomination process and assessment program, which includes independent judges visiting each venue and testing against national criteria. “I would like to commend all of the winners,” Mr Rees said. “Not only have they performed outstandingly but they have done so during a time when businesses have never

faced such increasing scrutiny, regulation and red tape. “In the accommodation sector we have Burbury and the soon-to-open East Hotel; funky new bars like Public, La De Da and Honkytonks; and the amazing refurbishments of Urban Pantry, The Artisan, Soju Girl and Sage.”

Award winners and finalists The full list of the 34 winners and all nominees in the 2012 ACT Australian Hotels Association’s Hospitality Awards: John Press Award: Winner – Sasha Trpovski, Honkytonks & Hippo Bar Member of the Year: Winner – Doma Hotels Best Family Restaurant: Winner – Caph’s Café Bar Best International Cuisine: Nominees – Taze’ Mediterranean Cuisine, Italian & Sons. Winner – Italian & Sons Best Prestigous Restaurant: Nominees – Mezzalira Ristorante, The Artisan Restaurant, Sage Dining Rooms. Winner – Sage Dining Rooms Best Modern Australian Restaurant: Nominees – Kingsley’s Steak & Crabhouse, Pistachio Dining at Torrens, The Kennedy Room, Public. Winner – Pistachio Dining Best Restaurant (Informal – Overall): Nominees – Kingsley’s Steak & Crabhouse, Pistachio Dining at Torrens, Taze’ Mediterranean Cuisine, The Kennedy Room, Italian & Sons, Public. Winner – Italian & Sons Best Pub Bistro: Nominees – Mooseheads Pub & Nightclub, The Durham Castle Arms, The George Harcourt Inn, King O’Malleys, Ha Ha Bar, Edgars Inn. Winner – The George Harcourt Inn Best Wine List: Nominees – The George Harcourt Inn, The Artisan Restaurant, Mezzalira Ristorante, Italian & Sons, Honkytonks, Public. Winner – The George Harcourt Inn Best Bar Presentation & Service: Nominees – Mooseheads Pub & Nightclub, The Durham Castle Arms, The Kennedy Room, King O’Malleys, Honkytonks, Kremlin Bar, Edgars Inn, Hippo Bar, Sub-Urban, Northbar, ICBM, Public, Mint Garden Bar. Winner – Public. Highly commended – Honkytonks Best Cocktail Bar: Nominees – Kremlin Bar, La De Da, Hippo Bar, Northbar. Winner – Kremlin Bar Best Local: Nominees – The George

Harcourt Inn, Edgars Inn, Ha Ha Bar, Mint Garden Bar. Winner – Edgars Inn Best New/Re-developed Venue (General Division): Nominees – Sage Dining Rooms, Honkytonks, La De Da, Soju Girl, Public. Winner – Public. Highly commended – Honkytonks Best Late Night Entertainment Venue: Nominees – Mooseheads Pub & Nightclub, Academy Nightclub, Transit Bar, ICBM, Meche. Winner – Academy Nightclub Best Live Entertainment Venue: Nominees – Mooseheads Pub & Nightclub, King O’Malley’s, Sub-Urban, Transit Bar. Winner – Transit Bar Best Sporting Entertainment Area: Nominees – The Durham Castle Arms, Statesman Hotel Motel, King O’Malley’s, Edgar’s Inn, Sub-Urban Winner – SubUrban. Best Deluxe Accommodation: Nominees – Hotel Realm, Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Winner – Hotel Realm Best Superior Accommodation: Nominees – Diamant Hotel Canberra, Burbury Hotel. Winner – Diamant Hotel Canberra Best First Class Accommodation: Nominees – Belconnen Premier Inn, Quality Hotel Dickson, Quality Hotel Woden, The Brassey of Canberra, all seasons Canberra. Winner – Quality Hotel Dickson Best Mid-Range Accommodation: Nominees – Statesman Hotel Motel, Forrest Hotel and Apartments. Winner – Statesman Hotel Motel Best Suite/Apartment Hotel: Nominees – Clifton Suites on Northbourne, Forrest Hotel and Apartments. Winner – Clifton Suites on Northbourne Best Hotel Restaurant: Winner – Bicicletta, Diamant Hotel Canberra

Best Marketed Hotel: Nominees – Rydges Eagle Hawk Resort, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Diamant Hotel Canberra, Burbury Hotel, Forrest Hotel and Apartments. Winner – Hyatt Hotel Canberra Best Meetings & Events Hotel: Nominees – Hotel Realm, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Forrest Hotel and Apartments. Winner – Hotel Realm Best New/Re-developed Venue (Accommodation Division): Nominees – Quality Hotel Dickson, Burbury Hotel. Winner – Burbury Hotel Best Environmental Practice: Nominees – Rydges Eagle Hawke Resort, All Seasons Canberra. Winner – Rydges Eagle Hawke Resort Best Front of House Employee: Nominees – Alyssa from Rydges Eagle Hawk Resort, Alex from Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Matt from All Seasons Canberra, Erika from All Seasons Canberra, Kate from Quality Hotel Dickson. Winner – Erika Jurd, All Seasons Canberra Best Restaurant Service Employee: Nominees – Dexter from Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Michael from Caph’s Café Bar, Emily from Caph’s Café Bar. Winner – Dexter Mathais, Hyatt Hotel Canberra Best Restaurant Cookery Employee: Winner – Clement Chauvin, Sage Dining Rooms Best Apprentice Chef: Nominees – Jemma from Pistachio Dining at Torrens, John from All Seasons Canberra, Ashleigh from Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Winner – Jemma Patat, Pistachio Dining at Torrens. Best Bar Service Employee: Nominees – Duncan from Kremlin Bar, Richard from Mint Garden Bar, Russell from La De Da, Julia from Meche, Bryce from Northbar. Winner – Richard “Dick” Blanchard, Mint Garden Bar

Arthur and Shannon Schuster with Nicole and Daniel Rawson

Allen Lees and Leader of the Opposition Zed Seselja

MLA Brendan Smyth, Robyn Devin, MLA Jeremy Hansen and wife Fleur with Yasmin Burraston and MLA Alister Coe

CityNews  March 29-April 4  21

Australian Hotels Association Hospitality Awards / special feature

Dining venues hit the highs “CANBERRA has the highest proportion of restaurants per capita in Australia,” said AHA ACT general manager, Gwyn Rees. “There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that our dining venues are of an exceptionally high calibre and as a result locals really like to go out for meals. “Italian and Sons was again named Best Restaurant (Informal) and also took out the award for Best International Cuisine. “Caph’s in Manuka is a multiple winner of the Best Family Restaurant award after securing this honour again in 2012. “Sage Dining Rooms was recognised for its upscale atmosphere and cuisine with the award for Best

Prestigious Dining. “In the slightly more casual dining field, Best Pub Bistro went to The George Harcourt Inn, which also won Best Wine List. “Pistachio Dining, at Torrens, was highly commended by the judges in the Best Restaurant category in 2011 and this year took home the prize for Best Modern Australian. “After having to close for a short period during the past year as a result of fire damage, Bicicletta in the New Acton precinct has not only bounced back better than ever, but secured the title of Best Hotel Restaurant. “The depth and breadth of Canberra’s restaurant and cafe scene is good news for the dining public but bad news for our judges who always have a tough time trying to work out who should win these awards.”

Shell Vicary, Laura Press, Jenna Lobb, Kass Scarlett and Angie Apa

Sasha served up top award SASHA Trpkovski, an owner of Hippo Bar and co-owner of the recently opened city hotspot, Honkytonks, was awarded the John Press Award for outstanding contribution to the industry and/or community by a publican or bar owner at the AHA’s Hospitality Awards. AHA ACT general manager Gwyn Rees said: “Honkytonks has helped revitalise Garema Place in Civic and has been exceptionally well received by the Canberra public. “Since opening in October, this new venue has attracted large crowds and become one of the ACT’s most hip and happening places. “The success Honkytonks has enjoyed in such a short

time was recognised with high commendations in two other award categories – Best New/Redeveloped Venue and Best Bar Presentation and Service.” The owner of the awards’ host venue, Doma Hotels, was named Member of the Year for its outstanding service to the industry, community and the AHA. “Doma Hotels has not only injected new life into the ACT hotel sector with the opening of Realm and Burbury Hotels in Barton, but been an exceptional advocate for the accommodation sector, “ Mr Rees said. “Doma Hotels has played a key role in improving support locally for hotel development. It has shown that construction of accommodation venues can be a good business decision and led the way for future clever, multi-use development.”

David Lee, Kevin Cho, Johan Svensson, Aaron Cook and Adam Brown

Curtis Brent, Mathew Rayner, Wes Heincke and Ellen Butler

Pat Minjoot and Tahlia Spooner-Stewart

Silvio and Fran Pasquetti, MLA Steve Dozspot, Bec Smith and Joe Condi

Eight nightlife winners EIGHT awards were presented in the bar, pub and nightclub categories of the AHA Hospitality Awards.

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“The ever-popular Edgar’s Inn, at Ainslie, was named best local,” said AHA ACT general manager Gwyn Rees. “Canberra is starved of suburban pubs as they find it difficult to compete with the large gaming clubs, however Edgar’s is an excellent example of a venue bucking this trend. “For those looking for a more glamorous night out, Canberra has some outstanding cocktail bars. According to the judges, the best performer in this category for 2012 was the Kremlin Bar. “Recently opened in Manuka, the Public Bar and Dining Room won both Best New/Redeveloped Venue and Best Bar Presentation and Service. Public has a unique design and bar layout that combines industrial chic with 1920s architecture. “Honkytonks, in Civic, was highly commended in both these categories, with the judges seeing this venue as a very close second. “The Best Live Entertainment Venue and Best Late Night Entertainment Venue were also hotly contested but eventually won by Transit Bar and Academy Nightclub respectively. “Sub-Urban, in Dickson, took out the award for Best Sporting Entertainment Venue.”

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arts & entertainment

Merimbula turns on the charm Wendy Johnson Merimbula dining

THE Easter holidays see many Canberrans hopping to crystalclear waters; some to pretty little Merimbula, Sapphire Coast. Merimbula and surrounds is a playground for those who love the sea and these days it is also a food lovers’ destination. We had not been for a few years and were impressed, especially the devotion to local produce. Let’s start with the “fresh from the farm to you” oysters at Wheelers Seafood Restaurant, a few minutes out of town. Wheelers began as a tiny kiosk selling creamy farmed oysters, then expanded to a retail outlet and then into a full restaurant. To get oysters fresher than this you would have to source them yourself straight out of the water. For mains, the Eden grilled Kingfish was delightful with its super crispy skin, although the yellow fin tuna sadly was cooked more than the “seared rare” promised. Wheelers also has duck, lamb and other meat dishes and the pièce de résistance was honey vanilla and orange panna cotta with Grand Marnier and orange and strawberry salad. Cantina Tapas and Wine Bar, recommended by a Canberra foodie friend, is a must. On Market Street, the Cantina serves tapas that pack a punch and we went back three times indulging in Eden mussels with garlic, chilli and white wine, a pizza with chorizo, caramelised onion, anchovies, black olives and parmesan and – wait for this —sizzling Spanish-style prawns. The décor on the bar side features record

Sorting oysters at Wheelers Seafood Restaurant. albums and posters of Fleetwood Mac, T Rex and Pat Benatar, and surfy stuff. Too quirky for words. Breakfast was yummy at Waterfront, always packed but worth the wait. The staff have “people moving” down pat and the second a table is available it is cleaned and ready to go. Fabulous coffee. A super vibe. Great people watching along the promenade. Need I go on? Another breakfast hot spot, another short drive away is the Bar Beach Kiosk, “the place to go where the north winds blow”. It is a true local on a family-friendly, sheltered beach. More good coffee and the bacon and egg roll a steal at $7.50. We lunched at the Aquarium Wharf Restaurant, a heritage building combining trueblue wharf architecture with a modern interior. Decent but not sensational food, although the views made up for it and it was fun watching a bunch of lads jump off the wharf. We did not fuss with the aquarium side of the operation. Other places we hoped to suss out but could

not fit in (partly because we were stuffed by the end of our three days) was Zanzibar at the top of Main Street, with new owners, and Vicolo, a little piece of Italy. Sapphire Coast Tourism, call 1800 150457.

Bettison’s world of coloured glass canes BETTISON, a 2006 graduate of the glass workshop at ANU uses a technique known as Murrini, or mosaic glass, where variously coloured glass canes are layered up and then drawn out under heat, resulting in cross-section designs. Originating around 360 BC in Egypt and adopted by the Venetians in the last part of the 19th century, Bettison’s plates, vessels and blocks cleverly reference the flowers and architectural details found in Venetian lace. Glass is a team sport and Kemarre Martiniello acknowledges the glass artists resident at the Canberra Glassworks who have assisted her, in the four years since she began working with glass, to realise her ambitious bodies of work.

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Open Work: Giles Bettison and Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, and “Transference” by Melinda Willis, Canberra Glassworks, until May 3. Reviewed by Anni Doyle Wawrzynczak In this exhibition she presents a suite of eel and fish traps, conical baskets and dilly bags, using a combination of hot blown and cold worked glass and canes, both new and recycled. “Eel trap #4”, hot blown glass, canes, in its long, imperfect, sinuous curve comprehensively references the

indigenous fibre eel traps that inspired this collection. Melinda Willis is one of the most exciting conceptual glass artists to emerge from the last decade. The installation “Transference” comprises 15 variably sized panels of kiln-formed and cold-worked opaque, mirrored and clear glass and continues her interrogation of the interactive properties of glass within the urban environment. The layout compels viewer movement and rewards with unexpected glimpses: the viewer reflected in a mirrored panel; UV-cured inkjet prints on glass of nighttime traffic or city dwellers reflected on to other panels or foreshortened through a layer of clear glass. Thrilling, really.

open garden

Paradise rises from the blisters “IT has been a real challenge and through blistered hands and aching muscles, we have achieved what we believe to be our little piece of paradise,” say garden owners Mary and Adrian Hesse. And their beautifully maintained and established garden at 24 Grylls Crescent, Cook, is open on the weekend of March 31-April 1 as part of the Open Gardens Australia program. “Our garden has seen many changes and improvements over the past 43 years,” they say. “When we first started the garden we had very limited knowledge of gardening, but this has improved through reading, enquiring at nurseries, asking questions and through trial and error. “As our garden has grown, we thought that as Canberra has four seasons a year, it would be exciting to try and create an English garden. “We did not know it would be a big challenge considering our climate. It would be great to have year-round colour and interest throughout the garden. “Our reward is the enjoyment of seeing our plants grow and mature and the excitement of future plans and changes, which never seem to end!” A screen of conifers provides a backdrop for mass plantings of perennials, herbs and flowering bushes, which add rich colour and

26  CityNews  March 29-April 4

Gardeners Mary and Adrian Hesse... “Our garden has seen many changes and improvements over the past 43 years.”  Photos by Silas Brown perfume to the garden and attract many varieties of birds and butterflies. Roses ramble through the garden and over archways, providing a magnificent display for many months, and the nandinas that are scattered throughout the garden turn brilliant shades of red in the autumn and winter. Hedges, topiary, arches, a pond, mirrors and statues add form and interest to the garden and meandering paths lead to surprises at every turn. Open garden: 24 Grylls Crescent, Cook, March 31 and April 1, 10am-4.30pm, entry $6 (under 18 free).


Hot news, light pavers Left: In North Canberra... a small, paved area is often all that is required.

Cedric Bryant gardening

MORE and more homes have large doors opening on to an outdoor area as an extension of the home. If this area is not given some thought, large paved areas can increase the heat in the home through reflected heat on to glass windows. Dark paving absorbs and reflects more heat. Charcoal-coloured roof tiles are popular in today’s modern homes. However, it is said that these dark tiles can increase the temperature in the home by 5C-7C. Combine this with charcoalcoloured pavers for the outdoor area and, perhaps, a bitumen drive or charcoal-coloured cement and the home becomes a hot box and air conditioning bills rise. For these reasons, I always recommend a light-coloured paver for outdoor paving. An ideal size paver is 400mm x 400mm, which is easy to lay and will provide a stable area for a table and chairs as opposed to the small standard 230mm x 110mm paver. Binks, our local paving company for the last 50 years, has an excellent range of outdoor paving. Its sandstone, grey and off-white range of coloured pavers will suit the colour scheme of most modern homes.

In the garden

the area with a deciduous climber such as Vitis coignetiae, ornamental grape or Parthenocissus quinquifolia, Virginia creeper providing natural summer shade.

The rear of a garden in Jerrabomberra with a larger, paved area opening out from French doors... the large paved area will have a pergola added.

THE Friends of the Botanic Gardens next talk is by Rosemary Purdie on “Wildflowers and Vegetation of Kamchatka, Far Eastern Russia”. Rosemary has visited this area of extinct volcanoes that, despite having ice and snow most of the year, is awash with floral colour in spring and summer. All welcome at the Gardens Theatrette, 12.30pm, on Thursday, April 5.

• AUTUMN leaves may fall early this year with the unseasonal conditions. It is always recommended to spray fruit trees in spring at the “pink tip” stage for brown rot. Not usually mentioned in garden advice, but it is equally important to apply an autumn treatment with an organic spray such as Bordeaux or Kocide when 90 per cent of the leaves have fallen. • I RECOMMEND that you do not plant citrus in the ground at this time unless you are prepared to cover them every night for frost. Best to wait for spring. • IT is not too late to core lawns to aid aeration and water penetration. • CHECK out the now-flowering Osmanthus auriantacus at your local garden centre, for its stunning apricot fragrance.

between, leads to the side gate. Still plenty of garden space for their collection of roses. This use of space could easily be adapted for a small courtyard. The second picture is the rear of a home in Jerrabomberra with a larger paved area opening out ILLUSTRATED here are two from French doors. It is surrounded examples of outdoor paved areas. by a low, 400mm wall, standard The first is a garden in North chair height, and perfect for seating Canberra with a patchy, mainly dead when one has a party. The wall lawn after the drought. The brief is topped with 400mm x 400mm was for a small lawn area, mainly sandstone pavers to match those on for Paddy the dog, combined with the ground. a small paved area. The clients only For an area such as this, I recomwanted an area to fit a small table mend a minimum of 3m x 3m to and chairs with sandstone-coloured adequately provide for a good size pavers. Ideal for coffee and reading table and chairs. the paper on a Sunday morning. In the brick wall I installed The home had an existing deck on small LED lights about 2m apart to its easterly side. A path of off-white provide soft night lighting. The plan pavers, set apart with pebbles is to install a timber pergola over

CityNews  March 29-April 4  27

puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / April 2 -8

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

Mercury moves forwards on Thursday night, so you can take your foot out of your mouth, and start communicating with more care and consideration than you have over the last three weeks! Easter is a time when selfless love for humanity is highlighted so (with the Full Moon in your relationship zone), it’s the perfect time to think less about yourself, and more about others.

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

Extravagant Venus moves into your money zone mid-week, so resist the urge to splurge at the Easter sales. Friday’s Venus/Neptune square has some Bulls being led up the primrose path to trouble. Take off your rose-coloured glasses and try to see things clearly! Saturday’s Full Moon encourages you to eat, drink and party your way through the holiday break.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Gregarious Geminis will feel right at home, as Venus vamps into your sign mid-week. Saturday’s Full Moon fires up your friendship zone, so those around you can look forward to some amusing antics and manic moments from yours truly. And with Mercury (your ruling planet) moving forwards from Thursday onwards, you’re really ready to rock and roll this Easter!

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

Looking after loved ones isn’t easy at the moment, as you struggle to juggle your personal and professional lives. Saturday’s Full Moon falls in your home zone, so be on domestic drama alert and realise that stress levels will be running high – and self-control running low. Your motto for the week is from birthday great Gregory Peck: “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

Business and financial dealings are favoured, but make sure you read the fine print. You’re keen to overindulge in hot cross buns and Easter eggs, as you adopt the philosophy of fellow Leo, Mick Jagger: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Saturday’s Full Moon boosts your communication skills, but beware of being bossy – especially with a stressed-out sibling.

General knowledge crossword No. 354 2 What is a private meeting of MPs to Across discuss policy, etc.? 4 What does a helicopter blade do? 7 Name an alternative term for a knight. 8 Name a town in south-western WA on King George Sound. 9 What do we call one who keeps guard over a building at night? 11 Which other term describes the breastbone? 13 What is a self propelled lighterthan-air craft? 15 Name the social worker attached to a hospital. 17 That which is not artificial is what? 20 Name the renowned Australian landscape painter, Sir Arthur ... 23 What is another term for a visible spirit? 24 What is a concluding part added to a literary work? 25 Tracts of marshy ground are known as what?

Down 1 Name a more common term for magma. 1






10 11



14 17




19 20


24 25

Sudoku medium No.77

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

With Venus moving into your relationship zone, it’s all about romance this Easter. Attached Archers – make sure you pamper your partner with plenty of extra TLC. Singles – look for love with a gregarious Gemini or a lusty Libran. Saturday’s Full Moon stirs up your entertainment zone, so you’re keen to see a movie, go to a concert, hit the clubs or party with friends.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Conscientious Capricorns are the workaholics of the zodiac. With the Easter Full Moon and Saturn both in your career zone, your natural inclination will be to work through the long weekend. But, with three planets stimulating your home zone, there’s no escaping domestic responsibilities. If you focus on family, you’ll reap the rewards now and into the future.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

The Full Moon shines the spotlight on lust and loot. An intimate relationship could soar – or crash and burn. All business transactions must be examined carefully. And joint ventures may be problematic, as you aim for a mutual agreement without too many tears and tantrums. Easter is a time of rebirth, so start rejuvenating parts of your life that require a reboot. Daily astrology updates at Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011 28  CityNews  March 29-April 4



You’re more mysterious than usual as you ferret out secrets, keep mum about confidences, and charm others with your persuasive personality. From mid-week onwards, Venus blesses financial partnerships and joint ventures. Your obsessive nature is likely to go into overdrive on Friday. Relax and pace yourself, otherwise you’ll be exhausted by the weekend.

With five planets (including the Full Moon) in your travel zones, it would be great to escape for the holiday break. Many Aquarians are rebels at heart (like James Dean, Yoko Ono and Bob Marley) but remember there’s a fine line between being rebellious, and being plain reckless. If you are too hasty, you could find yourself with (Easter) egg on your face!



LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

Taskmaster Saturn continues to move slowly through your sign (until October) sending challenges in your direction. Don’t despair! Be inspired by birthday great Bette Davis: “The key to life is accepting challenges.” Librans have a sweet tooth but if you overdo the hot cross buns and chocolate eggs this Easter, you could end up with unwanted extra kilos on board.

Solution next week


VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

Your working life is set to improve, as Venus visits your career zone. So it’s the perfect time to connect with colleagues, plus beautify your work space. On Saturday, serious Saturn and the Full Moon shake up your finance zone and shine a glaring spotlight on money matters. It’s time to focus on budgeting (rather than borrowing) and saving (rather than spending).

3 What is another word for a movie? 4 Alexander Archibald Leach was more commonly knows as Cary who? 5 What was the first given name of Scott of the Antarctic? 6 What is a Malayan title of respect before family names? 9 What is an instrument for use in combat or war? 10 Name the bituminous substance used to cover roads. 12 What is a millionth part of a metre? 14 Which art movement was initiated in France in 1907? 16 Name a state in the north-western US on the Pacific coast. 18 Which weapon is shot from a bow? 19 Which trophy is played for by Australia and England in test cricket? 21 Name a more common term for precipitation. 22 What is a musical composition called?


Crossword No.353 V E L O U R R C E B I S H O P C R O C A R E E R O T W E S T E W A R H R A R T I F I O G D C A S H M E T T S


Sudoku hard No.76 N O T V E S N A N R Y U R S A L Y

Solution next week

CityNews  March 29-April 4  29

30  CityNews  March 29-April 4

CityNews  March 29-April 4  31

Canberra CityNews March 29  

CityNews is a quality, free, news and personality magazine published weekly in Canberra covering local events, politics and personalities. I...

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