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Volume 18, Number 12 / Phone 6262 9100 /

How aunty Vi survived the Titanic TUCKED away in Marilyn Jessop’s Libby Hill Forrest home are priceless reports trinkets that tell the story of Among Marilyn’s memorabilia her aunt Vi, who survived the are photos and newspaper clippings, sinking of the Titanic 100 years which are brought to life in the book ago this month. “Titanic Survivor” – the memoirs

The passenger liner sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, causing the deaths of 1514 people.

Marilyn Jessop with a copy of her aunt Vi’s story “Titanic Survivor”.  Photo by Silas Brown

her English aunt, Violet Jessop, wrote in 1936. Marilyn Jessop purchased the regional rights to publish her aunt’s memoirs, which were released in the late 1990s around the time James Cameron’s blockbuster film was released. “Although Violet Jessop’s memoirs are titled ‘Titanic Survivor’ Vi’s story is actually a whole lifetime of survival,” says Marilyn. Born in 1887, Vi survived scarlet fever, poisoning, typhoid and tuberculosis as a child. She became the family breadwinner at 21 and went to work on ships as a stewardess. “As a first class stewardess, Vi worked for 17 hours a day and she worked for very demanding people – famous people and very rich people,” Marilyn says. In her career, Vi survived two sinkings of the sister ships the Titanic and the Britannic. “When Titanic actually did hit the iceberg she was in bed and heard the noise, so she got up, got dressed and

went to look after her passengers. That was the first thing she had to do, she made sure that they got up on to the deck,” Marilyn says. Vi survived the sinking and her description, as she sits in the lifeboat looking at her “beautiful Titanic” disappearing, is hauntingly evocative, says Marilyn. After that, she was on the Britannic, a hospital ship on the way to pick up war wounded when it hit a mine. “The captain thought if he was closer to land, there would be less loss of life and so he kept the propellers going,” Marilyn says. “When this happened she got into the lifeboat. The ship was behind her and they were being rowed away and then she saw everybody jumping out of the lifeboat and when she looked around she realised the propellers were still going and the boats were being pulled into the propellers. “So she jumped overboard and then she saw all these dismembered bodies in the water.” Vi survived again and went back to sea. After almost 40 years at sea Vi retired at 63 and died in 1971 aged 83. Marilyn Jessop will give a talk about her aunt Vi at Paperchain in Manuka on Thursday April 12 at 6pm.

briefly Colonial festival STEP back into the 1850s at the “Hume’s Heyday Family Festival”, at the National Trust’s Cooma Cottage, Yass, 10am-5pm, on Saturday, April 14. There will be exhibitions in blade shearing, hand milking, fruit preserving, blacksmithing, and horseshoeing. Entry is $5; families, $15.

Thai New Year THE Songkran Festival, celebrating the Thai New Year, will be held at the Thai Temple, Wat Dhammadharo, 80 Archibald Street, Lyneham, 10am-3pm, on Sunday, April 15. The free celebration will include a Thai food fair, cultural activities and an open house.

Trivia for Wishes THE Canberra Branch of Make-A-Wish is holding a trivia night at the Italian Club, Forrest from 7pm on Friday, April 13. The cost is $35 and RSVP to Dusanka Simic at by April 8.

Plant here often?

Violet Jessop in her nurse uniform. More photos of the Titanic memorabilia at

LANDCARE for Singles will hold a “speed planting event” at Bullock Paddock Road, Uriarra Forest from 10am on Sunday, April 22. Refreshments and lunch will be provided and organisers say that in addition to getting out and meeting new people, the planting day will contribute to rehabilitating the Lower Cotter Catchment. For catering purposes RSVPs are essential to or email with your name, email and date of birth.

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news / politics


Democracy is all in the numbers WITH our own election only six months away, Canberrans should be seriously looking at the lessons of the Queensland elections – though they’re more about democracy than politics.

With a tad below 50 per cent of the firstpreference vote, the Liberal National Party secured 78 of the 89 seats or nearly 90 per cent of seats in the Queensland parliament. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s party deserves to be in government. It would not matter what electoral system was used when the LNP was able to secure 49.9 per cent of the first-preference vote. If the Liberals were able to manage a similar result in the ACT elections in October, Zed Seselja would lead a majority government. However, the opposition would not be decimated in the way that has occurred so unfairly in Queensland. It simply would not be possible in the ACT under the Hare-Clark electoral system which, unlike Queensland, is based on proportional representation. At the last ACT election, Labor had 37.4 per cent of the primary vote, the Canberra Liberals 31.6 per cent and the Greens 15.6 per cent. The Greens wound up with four of the 17 seats or 23.5 per cent of the Assembly; the Canberra Liberals, 35.3 per cent with six seats and Labor on seven seats with 41.2 per cent. Although these figures do not represent the result after distribution of preferences, they provide a clear indication that the seats won are proportional to the intention of voters in the ACT. This is in stark contrast to the electoral system in Queensland. Former Queensland Royal Commissioner and crime fighter, Tony Fitzgerald, told Griffith University that the lack of a substantial opposition in Queensland is not good for democracy.

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Michael Moore comments

In the ACT we are relatively well served by oppositional politics. The approach of the Seselja Liberals is in stark contrast to their Federal counterparts who largely oppose anything that they can. The ACT Greens have also played a strong role in questioning the Government and in seeking better outcomes. These ACT parties look at politics from entirely different perspectives, but they have worked to ensure the Government remains accountable and that alternative ideas have been considered. The recent examination of the Cotter Dam budget blow-out provides an excellent example. Liberal Alistair Coe has been a terrier with a bone while he and his colleagues mercilessly seek more information and crossexamine the Government about the $33.5 million over-budget expenditure. The Greens have supported the examination. Close examination is important. In the end, it may well be that the two wettest years on record provide the full explanation – but it is appropriate for an opposition to dig deeper to find the extent to which that explanation accounts for the over expenditure. The Greens relentlessly continue to push for the end to battery chickens in the ACT. The majority of MLAs have resisted so far – but this style of politics is healthy for our democracy. We might not agree with our opposition and cross-bench party members from time to time. However, we should at least recognise that they are assisting in maintaining a healthy democracy.

Shame, Canberra! MY wife and I drove up from Sydney last Saturday (March 31) to attend a magnificent performance of St Matthew Passion by The Llewellyn Choir, accompanied by the Llewellyn Sinfonia. The venue was Canberra Girls Grammar School, and when I politely enquired of a choir member as to why the famous oratorio was performed there – instead of Llewellyn Hall at the School of Music – I was informed that the choir and its superb Llewellyn Sinfonia can ‘no longer afford’ to hire the Llewellyn Hall. I was amazed that the organisation which gave birth to such a fine choir no longer supports it, and further amazed that neither The Llewellyn Choir, nor the Llewellyn Sinfonia, receives any form of private or government sponsorship. Shame on you, Canberra! Francis R Harvey, Freshwater, NSW

Rights and wrongs ONCE again Pam Lai (“Pondering Easter”, CN letters, March 29) appears excited by the fact that “The Canberra Times” recently has published three articles concerning homosexual (her terminology) issues, but seemingly is not exercised enough to take her discomfort to its source. Perhaps the articles have much to do with the fact that gay rights and marriage equality have been prominent in the national consciousness recently, particularly among our legislators, and hence the high and legitimate media interest. And perhaps it will be timely and appropriate if the “CT’s” Easter homily will be something from the compassionate Christ’s New Testament teachings regarding His new commandments of “love thy neighbour as thyself”, “turn the other cheek” and “do unto others” – central tenets of His Christianity.  Barry Rollings, via email

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news / cover story ‘I’ve been to a pretty rough place and I have survived...

Revealed: the private Katy Gallagher shares her intensely personal journey to the ACT’s top political job with FREYLA FERGUSON CHIEF Minister Katy Gallagher is one of Canberra’s most familiar faces, but who knows that: • she’s mum to three children; Abby, 14, Charlie, 6, and Evie, 4? • she’s not married, but is in a loving relationship with her partner? • she was brought up with two younger brothers who were adopted? • she shouts out “living the dream” when things get a bit too much? But she’s also been to hell and back; losing her partner Brett Seaman, the father of her first child, in a cycling accident, and losing both her parents to cancer – her dad didn’t live long enough to see her become a member of the Legislative Assembly. “CityNews” met Katy and her family at their inner-north home to get a rare insight behind our Chief Minister.

Early years KATY Gallagher’s parents, Charlie and Betsy Gallagher, were immigrants from the UK. Charlie, a chronic asthmatic, was advised to move to a country with a warmer climate. He met Betsy on the ship to Australia. Katy was born in Canberra within a year of their move in 1970. The Gallaghers settled in Waramanga; a home where her elder sister Claire still lives. Katy says to cope with the isolation of a husband who worked long hours in the public service and raising young children in a foreign country, her mum threw herself into community work. “Mum became Mrs Community Worker,” she says. “She ended up setting up all these community networks because she was so lonely and she found those early years here really, really hard.” Within four years, there were four children in the Gallagher family, with the adoption of Richard, whose parental heritage is from PNG, and Matthew, who is of Asian descent. “It was a really interesting childhood because we dealt with a lot of racism for poor Richard at school,” she says. But she says it was a “good upbringing... we dealt with things other families wouldn’t”.

Formative years IN 1988, as an 18-year-old, Katy began working in after-school care and school holiday pro-

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grams, initially for the extra money, but soon realised she actually really enjoyed it. “I really liked looking after children with a disability,” she says. “I have my mother’s soft side. I went to look after the children that perhaps were sometimes harder to find staff to work with them and I genuinely liked working with them.” While she worked, Katy attended ANU and studied a Bachelor of Arts, in politics and sociology. “I didn’t have that sense of wanting to bust out and go to Wagga or Armadale, as some of my friends did,” she says. “Maybe I liked the home comforts. My marks weren’t incredibly flash, I don’t think I could have gotten into law or anything like that but I think arts provided me with a safe option.” She ended up doing a double major in politics, a move inspired by her dad, a member of the ALP. “I had always enjoyed talking to dad about politics,” she says. But at that stage getting into politics had no interest to her. “I hadn’t joined the party, I didn’t get involved in student politics,” she says. “In fact, I didn’t really understand it. There was nowhere that I really fitted. I wasn’t way left – and they were crazy – and I wasn’t right.”

The turning point AFTER completing university, Katy began working in the community sector for an advocacy support group called People First. Part of the job was visiting people with intellectual disabilities, in their homes and workplaces, and representing their interests. Katy says she was making headway with the group until her partner Brett Seaman was killed instantly by an 87-year-old woman who hit him at 110km/h while he was road cycling. “I just couldn’t face that work anymore and I never went back,” she says. “I was 27, I was pregnant, it was just a really bad time, it’s integral to the story because I never went back from the accident, I never went back to that job.” It was the union where Brett had worked that took Katy in when she was at her lowest. “They found me a job, sat me in front of a desk and pretty much demanded nothing from me other than being there and trying to keep me going along,” she says.

I am actually really, bloody tough.’

life of Katy Gallagher “I’ve been to the worst place, or one of the worst places, I don’t want to speak for everyone who has had a horrific thing happen to them because there have been many worse than mine. “I’ve been to a pretty rough place and I have survived. “I think that is where some of my colleagues in the Assembly probably underestimate me a little bit, that I am probably not as tough as I am, but I am actually really, bloody tough. “It doesn’t mean I am not sensitive or I don’t get hurt, but you have to do something pretty serious to rattle me.”

Then there was five... KATY was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2001; she describes it “by accident”, after being nominated by the ALP and union movement as a female representative. It was in the Assembly that she met her partner Dave Skinner, who works as manager of the Strategy and Parliamentary Education Office. Both owning beagles, the pair first connected through a “play date”. “The dogs brought us together,” she says. “At work it was just a ‘g’day’ in the corridors.” But Katy describes their relationship as the “right person, right time”. And it wasn’t long until son Charlie came along and two years later, Evie. “I was getting along, I was 36,” she says of her decision for a second child. “There was no mucking-around time, we

thought one would be good...then we got a surprise package.” At home, like most mums, she cooks most of the meals. “Meal time is like a cafe, handing out meals over a long period of time,” she says. “By the time you get to your own meal, the dessert line has started up.” What’s easier, being a mum or being Chief Minister? “Chief Minister can be easier because I have a lot of help, even within my own office I get a lot of help. People respect the position,” she says. “Whereas at home, I’m mum. All the other challenges other mums face, are the same for me.” And when it all gets too much? “A favourite line of mine is ‘living the dream’, I often shout it out when things are pretty much out of control,” she says. “It’s hard, it’s really hard, I am not sure how long you can manage it at a frantic pace, but having said that, children grow up, children get easier, already my children are much easier than they were in 2008, when I was Deputy Chief Minister with similar responsibilities. “It’s crazy and hectic but funny and full of love. That’s what you want, isn’t it?”

FRONT COVER: Chief Minister with partner Dave Skinner and children Abby,14, Charlie, 6, and Evie, 4.  Photo by Silas Brown At home with Katy: photos at

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news / easter

Roundabout way to peace Freyla Ferguson reports

DID you know a labyrinth has no dead ends? And in the Christian tradition, labyrinths go back to medieval times when the Crusades made it too dangerous to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. For the first time, the St George’s Anglican church in Pearce has created its own indoor labyrinth that’s open to the public over Easter. According to Jennifer Pickard, wife of the church’s parish priest Dr Stephen Pickard, walking a labyrinth is a way of finding peace. “A labyrinth has no dead ends – not like a maze in that way – you can’t get lost,” she said. “One winding path into the centre and then, after spending as long as you wish in the centre, you retrace your steps out. “It is a bit like winding your way around your own life – sometimes you are on the edge/outer and then suddenly, you will find yourself on the inside and you are surprised at where you are. It can be understood as a metaphor of our life.” The St George’s labyrinth is based on one in Chartres in France, that was constructed about 1201 AD, and is still used today. She said there’s interesting research

The labyrinth at St George’s Anglican church in Pearce... “A labyrinth has no dead ends – not like a maze in that way – you can’t get lost,” says Jennifer Pickard.  Photo by Silas Brown into labyrinths, particularly in psychology journals which show they are used today in hospices, jails and schools to help calm the mind. And she hopes that the indoor labyrinth will one day become a permanent fixture for the church.

To walk the labyrinth visit St George’s Anglican church, 67 Pethebridge Street, Pearce on Thursday April 5, 5pm to 7pm and after 7.30pm service till 9.30pm; Friday April 6, after 10.30am service till 5pm; Saturday April 7, 11.30am to 4pm; and Monday April 9, 7pm to 9pm.

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Open at Easter / advertising feature

Here comes the holiday fun THE Marketplace in Gungahlin kicks off its school holiday fun with the Easter Bunny roving around the centre and distributing chocolate eggs. From April 16 to 22, the centre will offer free entertainment for children with an animal-farm experience. Kids of all ages will be able to nurse and feed animals, from 11am to 2pm daily. Children who also wish to join the Market Play Kids Club can call Centre Management on 6123 4900 to have an application form sent to them or collect a form at Market Play – the kids’ indoor playground. By joining the Kids Club, members receive a free joining gift, a member card, invitations to birthday celebrations and will be the first to know about The Marketplace’s school holiday entertainment. Located in the heart of Gungahlin Town Centre, The Marketplace encompasses Big W, Woolworths and more than 60 specialty retailers. Parking is free all day, every day.

Burger star for Manuka GRILL’D Healthy Burgers, with restaurants open in Belconnen and Woden, is launching a new spot in Manuka next month. The restaurant concept was born from a late-night pub discussion eight years ago between mates. After complaining about the lack of a healthy burger that tasted good, founder Simon Crowe was told to put up or shut up by friends – and so Grill’d was born, with the first restaurant opening in Hawthorn, Victoria, in 2004. Australian-owned and operated, Grill’d has a

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commitment to supporting the local communities that it is a part of through “Local Matters”, its community donation program.

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Bungendore / advertising feature

Great taste of rural living FOR a taste of wholesome country living, there’s no place like nearby Bungendore. Why not make a day of it and indulge in boutique shopping and fine food for a family day out? Start at the railway station on Majara Street, where Trish Creegan has set up the Station Shops, which is worth a visit for the boutique homewares, giftware and children’s toys. “You have to search this place out, but it’s well worth a visit,” Trish says. “On weekends, it can be really difficult to get a park in the centre of town, so people come here, have a look through the gallery and then go for a wander.” The Platform Gallery at the station is open on weekends and has handmade products from local The Station Shops at the railway station on Majara Street. designers. IF homewares are your thing, there is more to be found on Gibraltar Street at the Wicked Cackle Nursery and Gallery, which Debi Campbell has owned since 2003. There are, of course, plenty of delights for the gardener, too. “Fruit trees are very popular here and we encourage people to grow their own food and preserve it,” Debi says. THERE is local produce on the menu at Le Tres Bon, which is frequented by many Canberrans, who make the trip to Bungendore to dine at the charming French restaurant. Owner and chef Christophe

Cheryl Welsh from Just Law.

Wicked Cackle Nursery and Gift Gallery. Gregoire moved to Bungendore with his wife Josephine for the country lifestyle. “I come from a village in France that has the same spirit,” he says. “We like it here, there is no stress of the city anymore.”

Trish Creegan from the Station Shops.

AFTER 30 years in the town, Cheryl Welsh says there is a change happening in Bungendore. The solicitor and owner of Just Law moved to town for a quiet country lifestyle. “It’s a good place to be and it’s growing now. We’re getting more people moving in thanks to the new Defence headquarters, which is good for anyone in business,” Cheryl says.

Debi Campbell and Donna Sherriff from the Wicked Cackle Nursery and Gallery.

Win Doc Martin DVDs Win one of five “Doc Martin” Series Five boxed sets. 14  CityNews  April 5-18

Owner and chef at Le Tres Bon Christophe Gregoire.

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auto italia / advertising feature

Auto Italia Canberra... “We always want to ensure our entrants and spectators have a great time on the day,” says Tony Hanrahan.

New flair of Italian style AUTO Italia Canberra is set to convene again on the lawns of Old Parliament House, Sunday, April 15.

Organised by the Italian Cars Association of the ACT, Canberra’s premier annual display of Italian automotive machinery celebrates cars, motorbikes and scooters. This year, the association is introducing a range of new elements to the event. “We always want to ensure our entrants and spectators have a great time on the day, and to keep people interested we need to be introducing new elements to the display each year,” says Tony Hanrahan, president of ICA. ICA has been exploring new options for sponsorship and display classes for 2012. “Usually we only have one featured marque to celebrate a particular model at the event; however,

2012 will commemorate major anniversaries in Italian design, not only will we have one [anniversary] to celebrate, but three,” Tony says, 2012 will honour the 50th Anniversary of the Alfa Romeo Guilia, the 40th Anniversary of Maserati Khamsin and 100 years of Bertone design. This year ICA has taken a leap into the digital world, creating a presence online to attract more spectators. Auto Italia Canberra has redeveloped its website and fostered a Facebook profile. “It is important that we stretch our communication beyond our stereotypical spectator for Auto Italia Canberra. In recent years we have seen an increase in the younger demographic at the event, it is essential we connect with them to continue to grow,” Tony says. More information at

Auto Italia... Canberra’s premier annual display of Italian automotive machinery.

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Canberra Confidential Leigh reports from burger frontline

Club’s not leaving the House

HIGH-profile ABC journalist Leigh Sales, who is on maternity leave from presenting the “7.30” program, found herself in Kingston in a

FALSE alarm! Well, kind of. When the news that Canberra House would be redeveloped and tenants needed to be out by October hit the media last month, it certainly was news; news to the building’s biggest tenant, the Canberra Club. According to Canberra Club president John Bundock, the first time he heard about it was on the radio! Mr Bundock said his home phone and email was inundated with messages from people concerned with the club’s possible relocation. But in an email to members he’s attempted to put minds at ease saying: “The club has not been given notice to vacate” and that, as part of its lease agreement, the club is entitled to at least nine months’ notice if the landlord wanted to redevelop the premises. Mr Bandock told “CC” that although they were aware the landlord, Prime Space Property Investment, had intentions of redevelopment, no notice has been sent to the club. “We’d like the certainty, but unlike other tenants we have a nine months’ provision,” he says. The Canberra Club is a 30 per cent shareholder in the Canberra House Trust and, although it’s a “minority share”, Mr Bandock would still like to see some urgency put on when the building’s redevelopment will go ahead.

tedious queue at the re-located Brodburger cafe in the Canberra Glassworks. She passed the time tweeting…

When chiefs gather IF you ever wondered where former chief ministers go to... “CC” can tell you – it’s Tosolini’s! The ACT’s first Chief Minister Rosemary Follett was seen in animated conversation in a dark corner of the popular city coffee shop with our last CM Jon Stanhope the other morning.

Know something? /

Welsh said in the interview. Welsh: “You’re office has had the information from the Opposition, from Kate Lundy’s office and from the father, all of which has apparently gone missing.” Bourke: “Nothing’s gone missing.” Welsh: “Again I will ask you, are you fully across your portfolio as Minister for Education?” Bourke: “Yes I am.” The interview, described as “embarrassing” by the Opposition, made its way into the Assembly’s Question Time when Liberal education spokesperson Steve Doszpot asked whether Bourke stood by his comments that he was confident with the way the department had handled the The iToddler trolley matter. WE’VE done iPad as a watch (“CC” March 22), now “Yes, I thought it was an embarrassing display iPad as a toddler pacifier. Snapper to the Stars by Mr Welsh of confected outrage,” Bourke said, Silas Brown spotted this happy toddler, Zac, and after some interjections from the Opposition: enjoying a movie on an iPad from inside a trolley “In fact, it echoed the earlier press releases while his mum was shopping at the new Majura put out by Mr Doszpot with further confected Park Shopping Centre. outrage. Mr Speaker, I am satisfied with the When asked if Zac enjoyed the set-up, his mum directorate’s handling of this matter.” – who didn’t want to be photographed – replied: Doszpot said later: “This is not the case of “Well I like it because it keeps him quiet!” a man who could do better, this is a man who clearly tries his hardest, but is just not up to the Bourke and the art of cringe job.”To listen to the interview visit ONE of the hottest podcasts in Canberra right podcasts.html and go to “12 Most Popular”. now is the cringe-worthy interview between Education Minister Dr Chris Bourke and 2CC Chairman Len steps down Drive presenter Mike Welsh. The minister fumbled and mumbled as the THE indefatigable Len Goodman has stepped award-winning broadcaster probed about a down after a huge 13-year contribution as bullying case at an ACT high school. chairman of Burgmann College. The ANU college Bourke, who appeared not to be entirely has been the alma mater of political luminaries across the issue, was smashed by Welsh over such as former Labor Prime Minister Kevin his lack of communication with the concerned Rudd, former Liberal powerbroker and senator parent of the bullied victim. Nick Minchin and former rock icon and present “You’re an absolute failure as a minister,” Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett.

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invite us /

At RSM Bird Cameron 90th anniversary, National Gallery

Edward Reid and Svetlana Manns

Springna Zhang, Emma Molloy, Tina Gioffre and Jodie Moore

Allison Burman and Angela Samuels

Cathi Moore, Ray Shannon and Hilary Martin

Tony and Phillipa Loneragan

Sarah Grieves, Anna and Frank Lo Pilato with Irene Cassimatis

James Calabria, Susan Sullivan, Anne Calabria, Francis Sullivan and Teresa Lo Pilato

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more photos /

At ‘Art of Seduction’, Aarwun Gallery At the Lifeline Canberra Annual Cocktail Party, The Deck at Regatta Point

John MacPherson, Larissa Witschi, Jim Van Geet and Lauren Weston

Suzie and Alex Hoitink

Karen Smith and Ayesha Razzaq

Yu Yun Dallavenezia and Ilisa Philpot

Dorothy Danta and Derek Jory

Brendan Smyth MLA, Mark Watson, Andrew Springall and Kylie Watson

Dennis and Lynn Millar

Robbie and Marina Bolton

Harry and Deb Notaras

Host Mike Zissler and Andrew Springall

Kelly Barry and Tracey McMahon

Alisha Tarrant and Arthur and Rebekha Pattison Vasili Skountzos

Merryn Royal and Georgia Henry

CityNews  April 5-18  21


invite us /

At the CML Partners lunch, The Boat House by the Lake

At the Guillermo Gonzalez concert, National Library of Australia

Anne Mayberry, Rachael Coghlan and Kate McRae

Spanish pianist Guillermo González with Marta Altolaguirre and Spanish ambassador Enrique Viguera

Geoff McKinnon, Mick Kegel and Michelle George

Elaine and Michael Loebenstein

Amanda Ely, Martin Kalina and Patrik Nilsson

Jo Cantle, John Vassallo and Catharine Armitage

David Lang and Ian Gordon

Merryn Sommerville and Brittany Simpson

Henri Lefebvre, Emma Verheijke, Paola Lasso and Elodie Raitiere

David Brownie, Reyes Ferreras and Benimar Garcia

At The Abfab Shop soiree

Host Julie Le Gall with Beres Senden

Lucy Mills and Teresa Margules

Jan Hurley and Heather Luckie

Bronwyn Vincent and Linda Francis

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arts & entertainment

Dougal Macdonald Fleeing free of hysteria

Of an ancient life in the slow lane EVER wondered what happens when you cross-breed a Dromedary with a Bactrian camel? No, it’s not a joke. The answer is that the offspring are less grumpy than the parents. This is the kind of thing you’ll discover in the National Museum of Australia’s new exhibition, “Travelling the Silk Road”. The museum’s Dr Mike Pickering is comfortable with the curiosity value of the show, the third in a trilogy of exhibitions from the American Museum of Natural History. “That’s no bad thing,” he tells me, “it’s good to throw a bit of effervescence into the mix.”

Chinese silks… modern reproductions of Tang-era silks (618-906AD). © AMNH/D Finin.

Helen Musa reports

“It’s going to be a fun exhibition,” he says as we chat about Marco Polo, Sinbad other ancient travellers on the route. And what a route. To Pickering, who has researched the trade routes of Aboriginal prehistory, this is almost a perfect show. The exhibition extends its concept from land journeying to take in sea-routes too, with a crusty Arabian dhow one of the objects on show. But nothing can quite compete with the life-size model of a two-humped “ship of the desert”. Kids of all ages will doubtless be fascinated by this medieval version of a rent-a-car, where you swapped camels half way along the journey, hiring the Bactrian variety for Asia and the Arabian variety for places further west. But it is Man who is the centre of this exhibition, which takes us on a journey from Xi’an, the ancient capital of China; to Turfan, famous for its vineyards; Samarkand, in what is now Uzbekistan, and on to the fabled Islamic capital Baghdad. Each section is defined by differently coloured silken tents and each is jam-packed with objects and interactive displays. I can

Nestorian stele rubbing… © courtesy of the AMNH Division of Anthropology. report that I successfully identified some rich oils in the smelling section. There’s also spices, a sexton, a five-metre-long replica of a Tang-era loom, musical instruments and the glass from Baghdad that the Chinese so prized. The exhibition is linear and, as you enter, you’ll get a passport that can be stamped as you travel from one city to the next. Though Xián is officially the starting point, it really begins in remote villages where people grow silkworms and make silk. There are many hubs on the way, and “capillaries of this artery”. The Silk Road reached its height by the end of the Dark Ages, around 1000 AD. “The traffic is not just in objects,” Pickering notes. So individuals on the Silk Road swapped religious beliefs, bringing the West

Dr Mike Pickering with the exhibition’s life-size model of a Bactrian camel.  Photo by Helen Musa into contact with Buddhist, Muslim and Zoroastrian ideas. To Pickering, this exhibition is most relevant to Australians. He believes it shows an exchange of ideas in moral philosophy and law that continued into Europe. There were other exchanges, too – medical knowledge,

paper manufacturing, knowledge of minerals and dyes and, since traders undoubtedly started new families on the six-month journey, human contact. “Travelling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World”, National Museum of Australia, until July 29.

Fortnight of fun IT’S a bumper fortnight coming up in the Canberra arts scene, extending well beyond Easter – and much of it’s going to have you laughing. Raconteur and thespian, Henri Szeps, will be at The Street for a two-week season with his own one-man show, this time not autobiographical. “Wish I’d Said That” is about a fictional retired actor and abandoned parent, Joe Bleakley, consigned to the Foggadieu Retirement Village. April 10-21, bookings to 62471223 or I’VE just been reading “Comedy Rules”, by Jonathan Lynn, co-writer of “Yes, Prime Minister”, in which he talks a lot about his fellow Cambridge law student, John Cleese, and especially a disastrous tour of the Cambridge Circus to NZ. Cleese will be at the Canberra Theatre, April 12-16. Two shows are sold out, but there are limited seats for the others. Bookings to 6275 2700 or “MR&MRS” shows how terrible it can be for a married couple who are both stand-up comedians. Tuggeranong Arts Centre will host the show, featuring British comedian Liz Stevens and Australian Aaron Counter, veterans of the Adelaide Fringe. They are actually married to each other. TAC, 8pm, April 10, bookings to 6293 1443.

Helen Musa arts in the city

APRIL school holidays will also see a rollicking kids’ production, “Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries” with a mystery to solve and lots of familiar songs. At the Canberra Theatre, April 21, bookings to 6275 2700 or WATCH out for “The Life of Patrick White”, 10am-5pm daily at the National Library of Australia, April 13-July 8. It’s the library’s way of saying happy 100th birthday to the memory of our most eminent writer. BELCONNEN Arts Centre promises to “chase away boredom” during the autumn school holidays with events planned for children and families from April 17-20. There’ll be creative workshops in print, dyeing, puppet-making and kite art. Inquiries to info@ or 6173 3300. ICKLE Pickle Productions is taking its coming production “Sinbad The Sailor” to both sides of the lake. The pantomime first runs at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, April 17-21, bookings to 6293 1443, then moves to Belconnen Theatre, April 23-28, bookings to 6262 6977.

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arts & entertainment / reviews

Fleeing free of hysteria Henry “Le Havre” (PG) DEVOTED to his invalid wife Arletty (Kati Outinen), Marcel shines shoes for a living. He finds an African boy Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) under a wharf in the harbour and takes him in. Detective Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) is enquiring among the waterfront folk for information about Idrissa’s whereabouts. Life is pulling Marcel (a lovely performance from Andre Wilms) in several directions. There’s enough human interaction in this summation to give promise of a charmingly compassionate film. Finnish film-maker Aki Kaurismaki’s screenplay illuminates the unforced humour in the daily lives of the local shopkeepers and residents. In making its statement about the plight of refugees fleeing third-world demagogueries, brutalisations and economic depressions, “Le Havre” avoids hysteria or hubris. Its dramatic structure is direct and simple. Its warmth is charming. Hard to fault those parameters. At Greater Union.

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Dougal Macdonald cinema

“A Dangerous Method” (MA) THE names Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung are commonplace nowadays as the fathers of psychoanalysis. Not so that of Sabina Spielrein, who in 1904 aged 19, was admitted to the Burgholzli mental hospital in Switzerland with symptoms of hysteria. David Cronenberg’s film draws on multiple sources to tell the story of Freud, Jung and Sabina, whose lives interacted after Jung’s 1909 letter to Freud describing Sabina as “a challenging case”. In time Sabina became the first woman to practice psychoanalysis. The Nazis executed her and her children in 1942. It’s a beautiful film, reproducing the elegance of its time and social classes in Switzerland and Vienna. There is some question whether Jung, married with children, was Sabina’s first sexual partner. Christopher Hampton’s screenplay bites the bullet and says that was the case, describing the affair with restrained frankness in a plot both direct and in some ways complex. Michael Fassbender is excellent as Jung. Viggo Mortensen is even better as Freud. But the film undeniably belongs to Keira Knightley as Sabina, a performance clamouring for acknowledgement at peer-group awards, whether plumbing the deepest depths of emotional anguish, playing

delightful relationship games or debating complex professional ideas. At Dendy, Greater Union and Hoyts.

“Salmon Fishing in The Yemen” (PG) AFTER reading Paul Torday’s book, I gave copies to two friends. So I awaited the film with great optimism. I left the cinema feeling mild disappointment. Simon Beaufoy’s screenplay adequately encapsulates the threads of the plot, but despite director Lasse Hallstrom doing his best to overcome its problems, I’m not persuaded to give that extra half star to a film I found flat, listless, lacking the book’s clever sparkle of ongoing comedy without replacing it with a credible tension. Playing Dr Alfred Jones, a Fisheries Department scientist working on freshwater recreational fishing, makes no demands on Ewan McGregor. Emily Blunt plays property consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, engaged to manage the proposal by keen angler and Yemeni oil squillionnaire Sheik Muhammed (Ari Waked), to develop a recreational fishery in the middle of the desert and later use the water to irrigate agriculture. If you haven’t read the book, there is no possible reason to avoid the film. But if you have, be aware of what to expect. Underpinning the story’s real conflict, its exposition of the fishery science is spot on. At Dendy, Greater Union and Hoyts.

goes dancing MUSICAL THEATRE “Syncopation” The Q, Queanbeyan, until April 5 Reviewed by Ian McLean

“SYNCOPATION” may have parallels with “Dirty Dancing” and “Strictly Ballroom” (boy meets girl and teaches girl to dance), but this is a story with no requirement for a supporting cast. This clever and moving play by American Allan Knee is enchanting and enthralling in the hands (and feet) of just two outstanding actors. A helter-skelter opening of car horns and city chaos introduces meat packer Henry Ribolow (Justin Stewart Cotta) and seamstress Anna Bianchi (Emma Palmer). Henry dreams of becoming a ballroom dancer and places a newspaper ad seeking his perfect dance partner. Timid and shy Anna answers and so begins a journey of individual self discovery through the jazz rhythms and haunting melodies of Gershwin, Joplin and Irving Berlin. Both actors are outstanding. With sparkle and wild excitement in their eyes and passion and hope in their every movement they combine complex acting and dancing flawlessly. A dance with a mop and a train ride to Coney Island were highlights, while the grace and charm of foxtrots and tangos brought this delightful tale to life via a compelling mix of drama, comedy and pathos. Sensitive lighting, tight direction and a clever, functional set added to the enjoyment of this quite magical play. This production epitomises the profession of theatre at its finest and should not be missed.

arts & entertainment / dining

Big, bold, beautiful flavours Wendy Johnson reviews

NOT every restaurant in Canberra has direct access to the talent of an overseas Michelin-star establishment to help create a food journey for its diners. But Malamay, the latest restaurant to grace the Barton dining scene, does.

which I bet will pick up awards in no time. We enjoyed two local selections —Mount Majura (2010) Pino Gris, $39, and Collector (2010) Lamplit Marsanne, $45. Dishes progress from light tastes to big, bold, beautiful flavours. Our first dish was the floss of house-smoked trout with driedscallop chilli and quick-fry milk, which is egg whites, cream and milk Malamay is part of the group that cooked in thin layers to create a owns The Chairman in Hong Kong creamy, soft texture. as well as Chairman and Yip and One of our party has an aversion Lanterne Rooms in Canberra. It ofto eggplant but sampled it slowfers an exquisite dining experience. cooked with sweet chillied sticky Dishes are modern interpretarices. It was a stunner of a dish that tions of the traditional culinary style won her over. of China’s West. Each is created In the spring chicken dish, Malamay... an exquisite dining experience.  with exceptionally high-quality Malamay uses two types of quality ingredients and best-practice Sichuan pepper, which create a cooking styles and methods. If gastronomic experience, including Sichuan spices, chillies and peppers a wonderful tingling sensation on make you quiver with excitement, the palette. This represents what then Malamay is for you. Malamay strives for – introducing The set menu inspires. You can customers to a new world of dining. choose $88 a person for seven The ban ban smoked chicken courses and a simple dessert or noodle salad is in honour of tra$62.50 for five courses of your ditional street food and designed choice. Half of the set menu will around the quick Chinese-style change every few weeks to hold the snack enjoyed in the afternoons. interest of those who return and, This dish is about crunch – the based on our experience, many will crunch of the noodles and whole return — time and time again. roasted peanuts. It was sensational. Malamay will match wines (and So, too, was the three-chillied relish offer half glasses) for your degusta- and Bonito marinated prawns on tion experience, or you can choose hand-made noodles. And the pork your own from the quality wine list, ribs with plum and pork belly with chillied dust. And the scallops with mussels, flavoured bean paste and Enoki mushroom. Malamay’s décor is intriguing and mysterious… 1930s glam Shanghai mixed in with the colours of China’s black bamboo forests and mountain areas. Bright red bamboo and earthy stone feature in the design, which is as sensational as the food. It was an honour to dine there. Malamay, 1 Burbury Close, Barton, call 6162 1220. Lunch, Pan seared prawns with three chilli relish and hand made soba Tuesday-Friday noon-3pm; Dinner, Tuesday-Saturday, from 6pm. noodles.

Photos by Silas Brown

Win tickets to ‘Cafe de Flore’ “CityNews” has 15 double, inseason passes for the fantastical odyssey of love that is the new movie, “Cafe de Flore”, which opens nationally from April 25. The tickets are waiting to be won at

CityNews  April 5-18  25


The easy-growing, sun lovers Cedric Bryant gardening

SALVIAS make a wonderful display with many varieties flowering from spring to autumn and even into early winter. Salvias belong to the mint family, Lamiaceae, with fragrant foliage when crushed to the wonderful range of flower colours. These perennials are just so easy to grow even if you have never grown a plant in your life. Quoting that authoritative book “A New Zealand Handbook of Bulbs and Perennials”: “Salvias are a big genus of over 500 species, without which our gardens would be the poorer. Particularly as many of them provide shades of blue, violet or purple not frequently found in other plants.” These range from the purely ornamental salvias to Salvia officinalis, the common culinary sage to one of my favourites, Salvia greggii, which is still in flower in our garden after providing many months of enjoyment with its red to purplish-red flowers. Most varieties are found in the southern US and Mexico, although salvias can be found from Turkestan and Russia to Asia.

The “Gosh Wow” shrub... Osmanthus auruntiacus. Unfortunately, there have not been many varieties available in Australia, but this is changing with folk such as David Glenn, of Lambley Nurseries, and Plant Growers of Australia, both in Victoria. The former is a mail-order business and PGA is a wholesale nursery. PGA, one of the largest nurseries in Australia, last year brought us the delightful Daphne “Eternal Fragrance”. Now it is growing a wonderful range of salvias, many not previously available and grown exclusively by PGA. Salvias are sun lovers, but do require a well-drained soil. Once established, they only require a deep watering during extended periods of heat.

Salvias growing in Cedric’s garden.

Here are a few to tempt you: Salvia “Wendy’s Wish” with a long-lasting display of bright, magenta flowers. This was a recent and stunning discovery made by a Victorian salvia enthusiast. A percentage of proceeds from sales is donated to the “Make A Wish Foundation”. The Sierra range comprises of three compact forms of S. greggii of coral, pink and red flowers. S. “Limelight” and S. “Lolly” look great planted behind lower plants in the garden bed with their rich variations of violetblue flowers. Send me a stamped self-addressed, standard business size envelope at “CityNews” (GPO Box 2448, Canberra

City, 2601) marked “It’s salvia season” and I will send you PGA’s coloured leaflet listing all their new varieties. LAST week I mentioned Osmanthus auruntiacus, but it is such a stunning shrub that I have to include a photo of it again. This has been flowering in our garden for several weeks with the flower colour of apricots and a similar fragrance. Everyone who picks up the fragrance in our garden lists it as a “must have” shrub. Ours is now 4m tall with a spread of 2.5m, although with judicious pruning it could be kept smaller. If you have the space, I would suggest you allow it to grow to its natural size. A visitor to our garden a few years ago picked up the fragrance from the other side of the garden and called it the “Gosh Wow” plant. SOME readers have contacted me having not been able to find the new varieties of yellow and porcelain-blue pansies I mentioned a few weeks ago. The nurseries that grow these plants are in Victoria and, while not being actually flooded, have been affected by the torrential rain. Don’t worry, they will become available. THE Growing Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens will hold its Australian native plant sale, 8.30am-11am on Saturday, April 14. With plants from just $3-$5, you will need to arrive early. Bring your own bags or boxes.

Now is the time...

26  CityNews  April 5-18

• to plant foxgloves. • collect any fallen fruit under trees. • sow seed or plant seedlings of winter veggies. • plant Bellis Perennis (English daisy), polyanthus and primulas for winter colour. • clean up fallen rose leaves that may harbour diseases. • plant thyme as a “living” mulch.

puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / April 9 -15

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

You’re in the mood for some retail therapy on Friday, as extravagant Jupiter activates your money zone. Aim to buy practical things that you need – rather than expensive trifles that you’ll later regret. Thank goodness mighty Mars moves forwards again on Saturday, and your mojo starts to return. Catching up with friends fires your enthusiasm for future joint projects.

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

Bulls can be a lazy, languid bunch. But with Jupiter jumping through your sign, you need to tap into increased levels of energy and enthusiasm. Time to get off your beautiful bovine behind and make things happen! Be inspired by Fred Hollowborn on April 9: “Aim to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition.”

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

With Venus in your sign, it will be hard for others to resist your Gemini charms. Attached Twins – ask your partner for the moon and stars (and they might just deliver). Singles – there’s never been a better time to attract your soul mate. So send out the appropriate signals, and then go after them! And is it time to freshen up friendships with a bohemian new crowd?

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

It’s time to shine in the professional spotlight, as the Sun heats up your Crab career zone (until April 20). You’re keen to channel your energy and enthusiasm into professional projects, and you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to call the shots at work so make the most of them. Singles – look for a long-term lover who has emotional depth and plenty of life experience.

General knowledge crossword No. 355 Across Down 1 What is a loudspeaker designed for low-frequency audio sounds? 7 Name an oil used in salads (5,3). 8 Name the order of priests among the ancient Celts of Gaul, Britain and Ireland. 9 What is another expression for an actor? 10 What does the “W” stand for in the name of George W Bush? 11 Name the backward strong current flow beneath the waves on a beach. 14 What is a brief statement giving a general view of some subject? 18 Which term describes the helical ridge of a screw? 19 Name the British prime minister 1979-1990. 21 Which colour lies between violet and blue in the spectrum? 22 What describes that which is connected with, or used in courts of law? 23 Name the chair occupied by a sovereign. 1


VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

You’ve got the power! With Mercury (your ruling planet) lighting up your charm zone, use your powers of persuasion to help get others onside. Mighty Mars starts moving forwards in your sign on Saturday, so it’s time to revive your Virgo vim and vigor – plus your courage. As birthday great Clare Booth Luce wrote, “courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount”.

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

Scorpions are self-sufficient souls and can be too proud (and stubborn) to ask for assistance. Resist the urge to use guilt or manipulation to get what you want this week. Instead, swallow your pride and ask for help openly and directly. Your curiosity is stimulated on Saturday as you uncover a secret, find a missing object or unearth hidden information.



8 9 10 11






17 18



LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

With the Sun shining in your relationship zone, strive to get the balance right between giving and receiving. Your strong ‘need to please’ often results in others taking advantage of your kind and diplomatic disposition. Perhaps it’s time to let your partner do the pampering for a change? Single Librans – love is likely with a lusty Leo or an amorous Aquarian.

Solution next week 4


LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

The power of the group is on your side as you chat and collaborate; mix and mingle. But avoid cutting corners – if you are slap-dash and take short-cuts, you’ll just end up having to do everything twice. With powerful Sun/Moon aspects mid-week, your personality packs a punch as you dazzle others with your sunny mega-watt smile and positive can-do attitude.


1 What describes men who have lost their wives by death and have not remarried? 2 What was once a colloquial term for the movies? 3 Which platforms, or their like, are used for public speaking? 4 Name a high-pitched flute. 5 What is a particular state of mind or feeling? 6 Name a title of a well-known G and S opera. 12 What is another term for a region or locality? 13 Which tall, upright, cupboard is used for holding clothes? 15 Who were the race of brutes in Gulliver’s Travels? 16 What is a vent or exit called? 17 Which motor-driven bladed vehicle is used for road works? 20 Name an alternative word for stockings, etc.

21 22 23

Sudoku hard No.77

Solution next week

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Avoid being too hasty with family or friends. If you do jump to conclusions, then you could end up with egg on your Sagittarian face. Friday’s fabulous Moon/Jupiter trine will increase your energy and enthusiasm, so it’s the perfect day for plenty of positive action! On Sunday, make sure your generous offers of assistance don’t end up as empty promises.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Conscientious Capricorns are the pedantic perfectionists of the zodiac, but watch that your need to succeed doesn’t shift into overdrive this week. Getting the balance right between your professional and personal lives is the key to being reasonably relaxed and happy over the next seven days. You’re also in the mood to research a topic that has always fascinated you.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

The buzz word this week is communication. Your curiosity is piqued, and you’re keen to converse with a wide range of people. You’ll also feel like breaking out of your usual routine and doing something completely different. Variety is the spice of life as you experiment with new activities which (for some singles) could include a sudden romantic attraction.

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Don’t splash around cash! With the Sun and unpredictable Uranus in your money zone, you’re in the mood for spontaneous spending sprees. If you overdo it though, there’ll be serious consequences in the future. Saturn urges you to adopt a long-term financial plan. With Neptune moving through your sign it’s time to stop pretending, as you morph into the real you. Daily astrology updates at Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011


Crossword No.354 L C C A V A L V U W A T C H E U A I R S H P O C N A T U R R B W R A I T O S S W A M P


Sudoku medium No.77


CityNews  April 5-18  27

build it up / advertising feature

Thinking of making changes in your life? If you’re thinking of building, buying land, extending or renovating, then here is a quality list of professional, established providers to draw inspiration from.

Promise of the best tradies KENRO Services is a home-maintenance company that organises tradespeople to handle a range of trade jobs for customers. “With all our work we use the very best licensed tradespeople,” says co-owner Mark O’Shea. “Whether it be bathroom renovations, decks and pergolas, repainting or extensions, we use professional tradespeople.” Mark says Kenro specialises in bathroom renovations.

Kenro Services... can remodel full homes and custom build.

28  CityNews  April 5-18

“People are going for the minimalist look in bathrooms at the moment,” he says. “Wallmounted vanities, wall hung toilets, frameless shower screens and large tiles are all very popular. It’s a look that’s less cluttered and easy to clean.” Kenro Services can remodel full homes and custom build. “We are doing a lot of knock down and rebuilds in the older suburbs,” Mark says. 20 Isa Street, Fyshwick. Call 6239 3211 or visit

Springbank Rise... open day on April 21.

Buying and building made easy SPRINGBANK Rise is having an open day on Saturday, April 21, with a range of activities on offer. See why residents are proud to call Springbank Rise their home and learn about buying and building a new home with the “Home Buying Made Easy Workshop”. A design co-ordinator will be on hand to walk visitors through

everything from choosing a block, siting a building, choosing a builder, organising finance and understanding the legal processes. At noon there will be a barbecue in the park in addition to children’s activities including a jumping castle, face painting, colouring-in and train rides. More information at

build it up / advertising feature Doors and windows that save money SOLACE Creations offers energyefficient windows and doors that will save you money, says director Karen Fisher. “We have been selling uPVC windows and doors since 2005,” she says. uPVC is the smarter alternative to timber and aluminium and is one of the most energy efficient windows/ doors available. The frames are insulated and double glazed. The windows meet or exceed the

Australian Standard and will not be affected by our harsh climate. They suit old and new homes. “We have a beautiful showroom in Hume, with many windows and doors on display,” she says. “We are experienced in energy efficiency and can give you advice on your new home, particularly in regards to your windows, orientation, cladding, insulation and shading.” Unit 3, 45 Sheppard St, Hume. Call 6260 1621 or visit

Quality joinery on time CAPITAL Veneering specialises in high-end commercial and domestic joinery. Owner Ben Madden says the business has steadily grown from a boutique veneer-pressing and furniture-making workshop to the large enterprise it is today. “Our professional and committed team have extensive experience in commercial joinery and project management on significant sites

locally and interstate,” Ben says. “We have the ability to deliver quality output on large-scale projects according to agreed schedules. “Having worked on green star projects, we understand the value of being environmentally conscious and endeavour to use sustainable materials wherever possible.” Unit 3-4, 67-71 Bayldon Road, Queanbeyan. Phone 6299 1557 or go to

Capital Veneering...specialises in high-end commercial and domestic joinery.

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Most people support help for more liveable cities FOUR out of five Australians want the Catherine Carter Federal Government to take a more comments interventionist role in making our cities more productive and liveable, according to As part of the launch, a new app “Our Nation: new poll results. Australia on the Move” was also released. This online

The “My City: The People’s Verdict” survey of 5231 city dwellers shows overwhelming support for more Federal funding for city infrastructure, and for new Federal incentives to achieve better planning and streamlined development assessment at State and local levels. As a result, the Property Council launched its “Make My City Work” campaign at the National Press Club, urging all three spheres of government to commit to a “new deal” for Australia’s cities. Property Council CEO Peter Verwer told the launch lunch that people didn’t want their Federal Government to be bystanders in cities’ policy – they wanted targeted action. He said that while the Federal Government had made some encouraging steps on cities over recent years, the Auspoll results showed there was overwhelming support to do more. The campaign calls on governments to create a “new deal” for Australia’s cities and to engage the community on the future growth, and mobilise support for more political action. Verwer said Australians were passionate about their cities and exhibited a canny sense about what was right and wrong about them.

tool, which models demographic, infrastructure and fiscal scenarios facing the country to 2050, is designed to lift public debate about Australia’s future. It presents scenarios of Australia’s future. Verwer said: “We all know Australia is growing. But what are the country’s hard and soft infrastructure requirements? How do opportunities for the nation’s 41 major cities and towns differ? What are the fiscal implications arising from different population scenarios? “You can’t have a discussion about Australia’s future without exploring these issues. That’s what ‘Our Nation’ does for the first time.” He said the app, based on Treasury data, indicated that Australia would grow by around 6.2 million people by 2030 (assuming an annual net migration of around 180,000). “Clearly, Australians will need more community services and the infrastructure to deliver them,” he said. Canberra residents can have their say via the new Make My City Work website at canberra. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia

CityNews  April 5-18  35

Canberra CityNews April 05  

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

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