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citynews.com.au win tickets to see the Celtic Divas MAY 24, 2012

Why can’t we agree on drugs? MICHAEL MOORE

Mystery of a missing chocolate stash SONYA FLADUN

Lots of work to do in winter! CEDRIC BRYANT

Where Eagles fly, Giants follow MARK PARTON

+ 4 big pages of social photos

The horror story behind Helen’s smile SUCCESS BLESSES A REMARKABLE REFUGEE

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CityNews  May 24-30  3


news 

Volume 18, Number 18 / Phone 6262 9100 / www.citynews.com.au

Film to star in Courtney’s doco COURTNEY Dawson loves films – in particular Australian films. What started with five years working in a Canberra video store, has led Courtney to first class honours in film studies at the ANU, a brief stint at the University of Berkley in California and now work as a film critic/writer, work in online television and the owner of the entertainment website, moviemag.org. But her passion has moved to a new height – she’s working on her own independent documentary, investigating the current state of the Australian film industry called “Advance Australian Film”. “I’ve always been interested in Australian films and why people I know don’t support Australian films,” she says. “They’d rather see a Hollywood film. “It comes down to the fact that for $20 or more they want an experience. “Australian films don’t give you the blockbuster experience.” Courtney says it’s been more than 20 years since Baz Luhrmann’s “Strictly Ballroom” reached number one at the Australian box office and no other film has come close since. “It would be great to see another Australian film reach number one at the box office, or even if it comes close,” she says. “There needs to be more Australian films.” Courtney, who’s from Ainslie but is currently living in Syd-

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Freyla Ferguson reports

ney for work, is researching, filming, directing and writing the doco and has managed to secure some big names in the film industry to make comment including George Miller, David Opitz, Andew Traucki and Anthony O’Connor. She doesn’t just want to know what her industry peers think, but what everyday Australians want to see. As part of her research, Courtney’s started up a Facebook page and a Twitter account to encourage feedback. “A big part of it is I want people to join the forum on the website,” she said. “I really want this to be a film that gets the public engaged.” NSW-based independent screen learning and development organisation, Metro Screen, is supporting the film through its Jump Start scheme, which provides some equipment use, but funds are still needed for crew and other expenses such as archival footage and music licensing. “I really do need funding,” she says. “Film making is extremely expensive, especially for emerging film makers.” To donate, visit advanceausfilm.pozible.com, the trailer’s advanceausfilm.com or, to get involved in the conversation, visit facebook.com/advanceaustralianfilm or follow Courtney on Twitter @advanceausfilm

Aspiring film maker Courtney Dawson... “There needs to be more Australian films.”  Photo by Silas Brown


news / cover story

For the love of family – and mushrooms! Cambodian refugee Helen Chu has overcome extraordinary adversity to make her life such a success. She tells her story to LIBBY HILL “I CAME here as a refugee who had nothing, only the clothes that I wore...I’m making a life, I’m making a change,” says businesswoman Helen Chu. When Helen was a child, her grandfather came to Australia as a boat person and three years later sponsored the rest of his family through a church group to come, too. “We had to escape from Cambodia to the border of Thailand. I lost some siblings and went through a lot of horrific war experiences,” she says “I was around eight or nine years old, but I don’t know when I was born because all the paperwork has been destroyed. “As refugees we walked through landmines and I’ve witnessed people being blown up in front of me. There are so many things I can visualise from when I was a little girl and it’s forever imbedded in me. You cannot erase that memory.” Helen and her husband Ian Chu are familiar to many Canberrans who frequent the farmers’ markets or shop in the city. As owners of Civic fruit shop Majestic Fresh and Majestic Mushrooms, a farm at Murrumbateman, they are determined to be successful. “We’re trying to provide for the chil-

dren as we juggle the two businesses and a big family,” says Helen, who says she gets her work ethic from her own mother. “I lived in Cabramatta in Sydney where most of the Asians lived and grew up there without a word of English,” she says. One of six children, Helen saw her mum work tirelessly sewing and earning 10 cents per garment. “She worked away and eventually bought a double-storey house for us,” she says. “I guess we saw her work ethic. She’s our role model. “Mum always wanted us to get to uni so I just worked and worked. Even when I was in year 9 and 10 I was attending English as a Second Language classes.” When she finished school, Helen came to study at the University of Canberra and, in her second year, met Ian. “Slowly we got to know each other, but my parents are very strict. They don’t believe in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships,” she says. “When Ian asked me out I was very reluctant. My dad always believed in arranged marriage, so I said I couldn’t go out with him.”

Helen Chu and husband Ian... “We went through a lot of hurdles, a lot of trial and error, a lot of tearful nights and a lot of doubts,” says Helen. Photo by Silas Brown But Ian was persistent and Helen eventually agreed. “Four years later – that’s when dad got to meet him!” she laughs. When Helen finished university, she had to move back to Sydney because that was her arrangement with her parents. “In my family, you can’t move out unless you are married. I was devas-

tated at having to go back home and I told Ian we had to break up,” she says. Ian wasn’t letting her go so easily and moved to Sydney as soon as he finished university. “When I went back to Sydney, dad was trying to arrange my marriage and I was going through a lot of emotional turmoil. Sure enough, Ian kept his word and moved to Sydney.”

Rather than hide the relationship, Helen told her father she was marrying Ian – news which came as something of a shock to her new fiance. The pair married and settled in Sydney, Helen teaching “new arrivals” and Ian working as an engineer for 10 years before they decided to go into business with Helen’s sister and buy a mushroom farm in the Windsor area. “I fell in love straight away when I saw the mushroom farm,” Helen says. Although they “knew absolutely nothing” they researched and soon became experts. The business partnership later dissolved and Helen and Ian left Sydney and came to Canberra to be closer to Ian’s family. “Both Ian and I are hard workers and we’re determined, but all we had was the theory of mushroom growing, we had no practical experience,” Helen says. They purchased their farm at Murrumbateman and have immersed themselves in the “very scientific” business of growing mushrooms. “We went through a lot of hurdles, a lot of trial and error, a lot of tearful nights and a lot of doubts,” says Helen. “I’ve got a very loving and strong relationship with Ian. We are very open and talk about anything. We’re able to overcome any hurdles because we’re strong together.”

CityNews  May 24-30  5


news Freyla Ferguson reports

WHEN self-proclaimed treadmill hater, Jasmine Leong, started hula hooping it was purely a way to get fit. “I always look for ways of keeping fit that take my mind off running on a treadmill,” she says. “My partner and I don’t do a lot of activities. And I asked him to do a dance class with me... he suggested a circus class.” Together the pair joined Warehouse Circus in Woden and although her partner gave up after a term, Jasmine continued; taking up the art of hula hooping. “Hula hooping always came naturally to me,” she says. “But I could never find anywhere to learn.” It’s been two years since Jasmine, who is a publication editor for the CSIRO, joined Warehouse Circus. However, it was only recently that she took her sport to a new level becoming the only Australian to reach the top 16 of “Hooping Idol”. The online competition that included competitors from the US, the UK, France and NZ, has a similar format to “Australian Idol”, however instead of singing for TV, contestants entered stylised hooping videos online. Jasmine, who joined because “it looked like a lot of fun”, prepared two videos for the competition – the first was disco and the second circus. “For ‘Hooping Idol’ I had to write a script, choose locations and costumes,” she says. She also rallied together some friends

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Circus class sparks passion for hoops

“Hooping Idol” star Jasmine Leong. to help her shoot, who she says found it “very entertaining”. Jasmine is no stranger to performing; a cellist, she has also performed as part of amateur theatre. However, currently, hula hooping is appealing to her inner performer. “It’s a fun thing to do in my spare time,” she says. “I want to keep doing it.” Jasmine continues to take part in Warehouse Circus’s one adult class a week. She has also joined the organisation’s board. Her first live public performance as a

Photo by Evyn Shuley hula hooper will come in July as part of a short cabaret piece for a fundraiser in Sydney. She will also be performing later in the year as part of a show for Warehouse Circus. Not-for-profit organisation, Warehouse Circus’s main aim is to improve the mental and physical health of ACT youth through social circus. More information at warehousecircus. org.au More information on “Hooping Idol” at hooping.org

Eagles fly, Giants follow MARK PARTON would like a dollar for every time he’s been criticised for wearing his GWS Giants polo shirt. I’M originally a West Australian and I’ve been passionate about the West Coast Eagles since they came into the AFL competition in 1987. There are those who believe that I’ve “sold out” by publicly backing the Giants, this new side with a Canberra connection. They’re wrong. This isn’t about tribal rivalry. This is about the sport that I consider to be the greatest ball game on the planet and the fact that it should be played regularly here in the national capital. Most Canberra-based Giants supporters are flirting with GWS as their “bit on the side”. These people aren’t new to the game. They haven’t spent the last 25 years just waiting patiently for a Canberra team. They’ve followed their Collingwoods, Geelongs and Lions for years – and most of them aren’t leaving their first love, just yet. The question is, will they ever put the Giants first? After being there to watch the Giants historic first win at Manuka on May 12, I think the

answer is: “Yes they will.” Their maiden victory was memorable for so many reasons. The game was in the balance till the last 10 minutes. These young boys in orange had to dig deep and fight to keep the Gold Coast Suns out and then create their own scoring opportunities. It was the sort of game that won fans. It instilled the spirit of the Giants much deeper into my heart – and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I spoke to coach Kevin Sheedy soon after the game and I asked him if he’d ever before heard a Giants’ chant echoing around any venue. “That was the first time,” he smiled triumphantly. “It was very special.” I spoke to some of the players several hours after the game. Their relief and their triumphant joy was contagious. As I watched the players sing their new club song very badly on a makeshift stage at Eastlake Football Club, I wondered if I’d ever give my beloved West Coast Eagles away one day and just be a Giants man. I wouldn’t rule it out.


briefly ‘Times’ sales still sinking “THE Canberra Times” fell below 30,000 paid sales for its Monday to Friday editions recording a 6.6 per cent drop (to 29,441 copies) and the flagship Saturday edition falling by 8.18 per cent (to 49,178). Sunday dipped 5.55 per cent (to 31,377) in the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation sales figures for the quarter to March 31.

Desperately seeking helpers FEMALE volunteers are desperately needed to teach English to migrant and refugee women in their own homes in Dunlop, Latham, Evatt, Charnwood, MacGregor, Holt and Kippax as part of the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services of the ACT’s Home Tutor Program. No teaching experience is required, but volunteers will need to commit to the program of meeting with a student for up to two hours a week for at least six months. More information from htp@marss.org.au or call Rachael Andrews on 6248 8577 on Thursdays.

Audrey’s this year’s Milk Kid Audrey McCormick, 9, is this year’s Canberra Milk Kid. She won the award with a rap video that won over the judges for its creativity and originality. She will be the face of the Canberra Milk Kid for three months, will also receive prizes including starring in a Canberra Milk Kid television commercial, a Snowy Hydro SouthCare helicopter flight to school with friends, a family ZooVenture Tour at the National Zoo and Aquarium and a three-month supply of Canberra Milk.

Goodbye to analogue On June 5 the ACT and regional NSW will move to digital-only television. Retailer Shane Weston said: “People can either get a new digital television with an inbuilt tuner or use a set top box on their existing television.”

Drug law to be debated

CANBERRA Skeptics is hosting a debate “Should Illegal Drug Laws be Changed?” at the CSIRO Discovery Centre lecture theatre, Clunies Ross Street, Acton, from 6pm on June 12. Four prominent speakers will debate whether or not to keep the status quo on illicit drug legislation. For the status quo will be Gary Christian, secretary and research director of Drug Free Australia and Colliss Parrett, a fellow of Drug Free Australia, but on the night speaking in his own right. And against will be Paul Cubitt, president of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Australia and Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia. Entry to the debate is free and dinner will follow at the Canberra Club, 45 West Row, Civic. To RSVP for dinner, email mail@ canberraskeptics.org.au

High team in chess win

ALFRED Deakin High has won the 2012 ACT Secondary Girls Teams Championship. The team, of Megan Setiabudi, Emma Dunstone, Isabelle Spoon and Aislinn Smith, finished two points ahead of close rivals Radford College. This chess competition is also a qualifier for the Australian Schools Teams Championship, with Alfred Deakin and Radford playing off for the right to represent the ACT later in the year.

Human rights film festival winners WINNERS of double passes to see “The Island President” are: Teresa Tu, of Belconnen; Melati Melati, Braddon; Renee O’Shanassy, Franklin; Sven Knudsen, Watson; and Kris Boyapati, Braddon.

CityNews  May 24-30  7


news / opinion

Mystery of my missing stash OMG! Someone has raided my secret, emergency chocolate stash, a hand-crafted block of top-quality, organic chocolate hidden away in our bedroom. When it comes to chocolate, there’s no substitute for quality. The chocolate that comes from the local health food shop is so much more precious than those Freddo Frogs you might succumb to late in the afternoon or the good old family block that, when you do buy it, you’re lucky if it makes it home in the car before being consumed by those in the back. So mummy’s “times-of-emergency” chocolate is the really good stuff that not only melts in the mouth, but is also medicinal – totally good for you, almost sinless, in fact. Well that’s my theory, anyway. Chocolate does have some health positives – most of us now know that there are antioxidant benefits to be gained by regularly partaking of the coco bean – but there have also been reputable medical studies into the relationship between chocolate consumption and heart disease. And, joy of joys, it appears people who consume chocolate, as opposed to those who deny themselves, are less likely to suffer cardiac problems. But before reaching for the mega slab, be warned – the jury is still out on just why chocolate is a good thing. Sadly, a lot of mass-produced chocolate is

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Sonya Fladun mum in the city

full of sugar and coco butter and high in calorie content. However, it appears that chocolate eaten in moderation is a good “de-stresser” and may have a healthy effect purely because it’s a really pleasurable thing to do. However, what is very stressful is suddenly finding that your secret stash has been plundered. After extensive grilling, our children claimed no knowledge of theft from the hat box. Likewise, my husband protested innocence. There was no clear evidence, just a frenzied mess and the crime may have gone unsolved were it not for the return of the thief to the scene of the crime. Two days later, while watching television in bed with a bowl of chocolate chip ice-cream to take the edge off, I observed the cocker spaniel wander into the room, lift the lid of the box with its nose and snuffle around inside expectantly. This did explain why whoever had scoffed my chocolate had made such a dog’s breakfast of it and had me up surfing the web on chocolate poisoning in dogs – and reading about it, I think we were lucky it didn’t have a heart attack. For dogs, if they are to remain man or woman’s best friend, they really need to keep their snouts out of our stash.


news / canberra international music festival

Formidable music festival ends Arts editor HELEN MUSA salutes the Canberra International Music Festival THE nation’s capital has seen festivals come and go, but the Canberra International Music Festival, now in its 18th year, looks set to stay. From small beginnings in embassies and national institutions and always passionately supported by the local community, it has grown under directors Nicole Canham and Christopher Latham into a formidable musical event that puts Canberra on the map. That evolution has been attributable in large part to the input of $630,000 from 2006-08 by music patron Barbara Blackman. Latham has put his own eccentric mark on the event, combining the erudition and architectural know-how of the Australian Institute of Architects with fine music through the “Amazing Spaces” venture and thus giving the festival a unique flavour. The concert “Bachiana Brasileiras” was a case in point, where UC architecture lecturer David Flannery drew comparisons between Canberra and Brasilia. In the Australian War Memorial, music was matched to abstract qualities of valour, while in Old Parliament House, Burley Griffin’s designs were projected on to the ceiling to the sounds of Jonathan

Festival director Christopher Latham... has put his own eccentric mark on the event. Mills’ Griffin-inspired work “Ethereal Eye”. The courtyard of the National Film and Sound Archive became a sound studio for the skills of ubiquitous percussionists Michael Askill, Gary France and DRUMatiX. These were undoubtedly the stars of the festival and visible/audible almost daily. It was no surprise, then, that DRUMatiX was one of three groups (the others were the ANU Chamber Choir and the ANU Chamber Orchestra) honoured with ACTEW’s Outstanding Performer awards. Many other individuals shone, as Latham persuaded invited guests to put their shoulders to the wheel in unexpected spots. British conductor Andrew Mogrelia

seemed as comfortable conducting the cello ensemble in the Brazilian concert as the more rarefied contemporary works in “Credo, Credo” at the Albert Hall. The Song Company’s Roland Peelman, chameleon-like, switched easily from Kats-Chernin and Wesley Smith to the intellectually challenging music of Mills who, as Latham reminded us, is now the busy director of the Edinburgh Festival, but happily sat down to perform the section of his work. Mills and Latham between them injected a super-intellectual touch into the proceedings that may have daunted some patrons. In the annual Barbara Blackman Lecture, Mills invited us to view Walter and Marion Mahony Griffin not as a pair of wacky alternative lifestylers, but as idealists dedicated to a spiritually mediated way of seeing the world who became part of the sad continuum that sees “Uberpragmatism” plague Australian society and politics. All the concerts I attended were packed out. My only worry is that, in marked contrast to the cool crowd attending Bell Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” on the weekend, music festival-goers, loyal and loving as they may be, are decidedly falling into “the sere, the yellow leaf” stage of life. As Latham’s and his festival planners face the Canberra Centenary, it may be time to turn attention to future generations of music listeners.

Italians plan to celebrate ITALIAN National Day will be celebrated with a free event, Festa della Repubblica (Festival of the Italian Republic) at the Italian Cultural Centre in Forrest. Celebrated annually on June 2, the day commemorates the birth of the Italian Republic. Organiser and president of ComItEs Canberra Paola Cerrato says Canberrans will get a chance to experience Italian culture. “The festa will be a great family day out where multicultural Canberra will meet and enjoy Italy,” he says. There will be a variety of food, wine and speciality stalls selling plants, craft, fashion and jewellery. A representative of the Italian embassy, Alessandro Giovine, will officially open the festivities. Games, amusements, live music and choirs will be held and the day will end with a special opera concert starting at 6.30pm, presented by the ANU School of Music. Entry is free with lucky door prizes. Festa della Repubblica, Italian Cultural Centre, 80 Franklin Street, Forrest, 11am-4pm and 6.30pm-9pm, Saturday, June 2. CityNews  May 24-30  9


news / politics

Why can’t we agree on drugs? IN Sydney motor bike gangs have turned streets and shopping centres into battle grounds. In Mexico people are being murdered, and their dismembered bodies put on public display. And some people argue our drug policies are a success! I was a participant early this year in a think tank organised by Australia 21 which resulted in a strong call for significant changes to Australia’s drug policy. Former NSW crown prosecutor, Nicholas Cowdery QC, summarised the perspective of the group stating: “I am strongly in favour of legalising, regulating, controlling and taxing all drugs.” However, a recent poll published in the Fairfax newspapers suggests that about two thirds of Australians believe that we should not decriminalise drugs. This should not be surprising! It is more than a decade since there was a serious debate in this country around the best ways to control illicit drugs. There will never be a perfect system – we do not live in a perfect world. Just as laws against homicide do not entirely prevent murder or laws against speeding do not make all drivers compliant with posted speeds, it is unlikely that laws governing illicit drugs will stop people from accessing, distributing and using them. However, we can do better. Success of prohibition of one of the illicit drugs simply means the market moves to an alternative. The illicit drug trade is the epitome of the free market laws of sup-

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It is more than a decade since there was a serious debate in this country around the best ways to control illicit drugs, says MICHAEL MOORE. And we can do better... ply and demand – when supply is limited the price goes up and profits increase. The more effective are the police, the higher the profits and the greater the temptation for new players. Last year, the Australian Crime Commission estimated the cost of illicit drugs as between $10 billion and $15 billion dollars every year. Over the last decade we have regularly been fed a diet of successful police raids. Senior police officers illustrate their success with huge caches of seized contraband. The police have been successful in delivering according to the task assigned to them. For this, they do deserve recognition and congratulations from the community. However, it is time to ask ourselves if we are making headway. These drugs have been banned because they are harmful to the health and wellbeing of individuals, devastating to families and friends, and undermine good order and productivity in our communities. Instead of governments being in control, illicit drugs are regulated by the criminal gangs with bikie gangs playing a major role in Australia. However, this is an international criminal issue and the international scene has a significant impact on Australia. Criminal organisations with global ambitions often choose to operate from failed or failing

states as they are less policed, culturally more accommodating towards bribery and invariably open to corruption. Compare the failures in police and criminal sanctions of illicit drugs with the success of our approach to tobacco. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, 16 per cent of Australians smoked tobacco in 2010 compared to 72 per cent of men who smoked at the end of World War II. In the ACT, the figure is now closer to 12 per cent. When governments are in control with levers like price, advertising, marketing and health promotion, it is possible to take effective action not just to reduce harm but also to reduce usage. Contrast the steady decrease in the use of tobacco with hurdy-gurdy use of illicit drugs with wildly varying use and harm depending on supply and demand as dictated by criminal elements profiting from prohibitionist policies. Illicit drugs should not suddenly be made widely available. However, there are much more effective ways for governments to control their use than by neglecting their responsibilities and leaving it to criminal gangs. Michael Moore was an independent member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1989 to 2001) and was minister for health.

New tax whacks ACT economy ACCORDING to an independent report by the Allen Consulting Group released this past week, the ACT Government’s Lease Variation Charge will negatively impact on housing affordability, sustainability and the Territory’s economy, as well as confounding several ACT Government policy objectives. The Property Council commissioned ACG to investigate the charge following its introduction in July last year. The LVC is a new, codified system to calculate the value of a change in land usage, with the intention of providing more certainty in change-of-use charge applications. The Quinlan Tax Review, which was released earlier this month, fails to point out that the charge can be passed on in the form of higher prices for redeveloped properties or that property owners may end up with less when they try to sell their home in an existing redevelopment zone. The ACG report, “The ACT Lease Variation Charge: Implications for housing affordability, development and growth”,

Catherine Carter property

confirms that the design, scale and application of the charge will have significant, adverse consequences for housing affordability in the Territory, as well as sustainability and urban infill, and Canberra’s longterm growth and development. The report also confirms that the LVC will impact on the ACT Budget in direct and indirect ways and it now appears highly improbable that the ACT Government will be able to fund its new Urban Improvement Fund announced in February as a 2012-13 Budget initiative. In light of the evidence, the ACT Government needs to move urgently to scrap its redevelopment zone super-tax and replace it with a simple, affordable and unambiguous system before irreparable damage is done. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia


CityNews  May 24-30  11


letters Becoming ‘Struggle Town’ THE adoption of the recently announced ACT Taxation Review recommendations means that general rates will soar to make up for decreases in stamp duty and revenue growth. Eventually stamp duty will be abolished resulting in general rates increasing by at least 200-300 per cent. Existing property owners will be outraged to know that they are being asked to pay stamp duty on their property purchases twice, once when they purchased and now again by way of increases in their rates for the rest of their lives. Canberra is set to become the new “struggle town”, while surrounding areas are likely to boom. The ACT Government, not the Commonwealth, is mostly to blame. After years of fiscal neglect and wasteful over-spending, the ACT Government has now turned its sights on property owners and tenants to pay for its mistakes. A previous ACT Treasurer publicly said (as a joke, he says) that “the Government only wants to squeeze property owners till they bleed, but not till they die”. One proposition has already been put forward that unpaid rates should come out of ratepayers estates after they have died. Death duties next?

Peter Jansen, president, Property Owners & Ratepayers Associations of the ACT Inc.

Cool it, says CSO WITHIN the cultural circles of Canberra and beyond, the current crisis between the ANU and the School of Music has raised intense emotions which reflect the deep passion held for music and

dose of dorin

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cultural engagement in our nation’s capital. Throughout these past two weeks (which embraced the rehearsals and performances of our LS12:2 concert), the Canberra Symphony Orchestra has maintained a clear and unique voice as we recognise the importance of asking the larger, more far-reaching questions that arise from this matter. At the moment, as passions run high, various sectors in the music community are rallying to secure their specific cause. While acknowledging the difficulty of the current situation, we ask that everyone take a step back, breathe and stop for a moment. These are critical times with significant long-term implications; solutions should not be shaped by the heat of the moment. The CSO is the largest source of employment for professional musicians and the largest of the ACT key arts organisations in the region, therefore we believe it is our responsibility and our role to be directly involved in securing the future of music in Canberra. We are part of a creative community and, as such, we share the long-held axiom that change fuels creativity. We are committed to working towards sustainable solutions that will achieve music tuition and performance excellence for our community. This must be a collaborative process and solutions will take time to develop. We are currently discussing ideas with a number of different key stakeholders so that we can continue to position Canberra and Canberra musicians as national leaders in their fields. We understand that in the current climate, rumours fill the gap where facts are not positioned and we are working intensively to reach


the point where we can offer creative, positive solutions that are grounded in reality. Some may look on these as dark days for music in Canberra, but the CSO is here to stay. We are looking beyond the current gloom to open new, enhanced opportunities for inspiring music in the city we love and serve.

Henry Laska, CEO, Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Congratulations, Mark I CONGRATULATE Mark Parton on openly expressing his views on cage eggs. This is supposedly a democracy where people can air their views without the constraints of “political correctness”. As a backyard chook owner, I might not agree with him, but I like the way he speaks out and there should be more of it.

Ric Hingee, Duffy

Temptations of bonus I AM writing in regard to the Federal Government’s decision to replace the Education Tax Rebate with the Schoolkids Bonus under the recently released Federal Budget. According to the Government, the payouts under the Bonus will assist families that are doing it tough with the costs of their child’s education. My initial response to this was positive, because by streamlining the processes for parents to access funding support for the education of their child, we would see greater opportunities for kids in disadvantaged families to attain educational outcomes. However, now that I have seen the Bonus in practice, I am starting to realise that there are deficiencies in the ways that we are delivering this. It is all very well that we hand out Bonus money to families, but I would raise the question about whether this money is actually used

on the purposes intended, to support the education of their children. By freely giving money to families without any responsibility of how the money will be spent, we are putting parents on a path of temptation. We need to ensure that there is some level of accountability of parents to spend the money on the education of their children.

Father Chris Riley, CEO, Youth Off The Streets Ltd, Alexandria, NSW.

What do you reckon? AS we celebrate both World Red Cross Day and International Volunteers Week this month, I would like to thank in particular the young humanitarians in our community for constantly finding new ways to support our work. Over half of the world’s population is today under 25 years old which means we have the largest ever generation of young people in human history. It is obvious that they will be integral to ensuring humanitarian organisations like Red Cross remain relevant and effective into the future. They bring a thirst for change, innovation, creativity and a fresh approach to the way Red Cross engages with all communities, most notably through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This year we’re inviting people on Facebook and Twitter to share what Red Cross means to them. Our Facebook page already has over 27,000 likes and we have 5500 followers on Twitter. I now invite everyone to tell us what Red Cross means to you. Please go to our Facebook page at facebook. com/AustralianRedCross or Twitter at twitter. com/RedCrossAU or our website at redcross. org.au and tell us what you think.

Robert Tickner, CEO, Australian Red Cross

CityNews  May 24-30  13


Canberra Confidential Busker gets a wagging GRANT Denyer, host of “Australia’s Got Talent”, has described Queanbeyan busker/ singer/songwriter Owen Campbell’s audition on the show as “awkward and uncomfortable”... You can say that again. More than 270,000 people (and counting) have watched Owen’s audition on YouTube, where he was rejected by judges Brian McFadden and Dannii Minogue for being rude, despite a standing ovation from the crowd and the judges describing him as “very talented”. Owen’s audition didn’t start well, with a minor slip-up calling Kyle Sandilands, “Karl”. Before he started to play he said to the crowd: “We’ll pretend the judges aren’t there for a while and I’ll just entertain you lovely folks.” The comment appeared to offend the judges; with Kyle asking: “Why did you come out and try and make an enemy of us before even singing?” McFadden seemed most offended. “You know it’s only the three of us who decide whether or not you are going through?” McFadden said. “You can impress everybody, but it’s down to us. Part of being in this industry is you have got to have smarts as well.” Owen who tried to butt-in, was told by McFadden to listen, replying with “Okay, boss”. “Are you actually that cocky?” McFadden said. “Because you are very talented. You

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Owen Campbell... talented but cocky?

can be the most talented person in the world, but if you act like an arse, then people won’t like you.” “I was only joking,” Owen said to the camera after the audition. “Maybe I have got a bad attitude.” Owen, a slide guitarist, is often seen playing in City Walk. But if you haven’t seen him in a while, “CC’s” heard that he’s been booked out with gigs between Sydney and Canberra for the next six months. To view the clip visit http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=etmCR_K33sQ

Adam shares secrets HE beat the Sydney big shots to be named AHFA NSW/ACT Hairdresser of the Year 2012 and now Adam Ciaccia is sharing his styling secrets on YouTube. Ciaccia, a haircutter at Axis Hairdressing, has created Adam Ciaccia Hair TV – a series of online videos that show him creating the

including candidate-specific meetings .

Let it rip, Aussies

Andrew’s got Klout

HERE’S something that tops even the abomination of the cigar lounge... and only in Las Vegas. “CC” was invited to write a story on, wait for it, the world’s first luxury gun lounge at Machine Guns Las Vegas. “With strict gun laws in Australia, the newly launched 10,000-square-foot facility is an opportunity for Aussie tourists to let rip with an AK47 or the M60 used by Rambo,” the PR flak coos. Depressingly, Machine Guns Vegas is the brainchild of New Zealander Genghis Cohen, but reassuringly there are military trained “gun girls” at hand to help tourists handle their “real gun experience”. Prices for shooting a real machine gun start at $A85 and don’t stop before $A699.

KLOUT – a tool that measures social media influence – shows that Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr is one of, if not THE, most influential Canberran online, with a Klout score of 64. Josh Dugan from the Raiders rates highly on 51 and social media consultant Bree Winchester is on 49. The National Gallery is Canberra’s most influential institution on 45. (To put things into perspective, Barack Obama has a Klout score of 94). latest styles. The channel averages 1000 hits per day. “My videos, I hope, will provide insight into how I cut hair,” he says. Head to www.youtube.com/user/ AdamCiaccia

Know something? / confidential@citynews.com.au

Jorian’s big night out

ONCE again, we’ll see some familiar faces turning out for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout next month. There are all the usual suspects, The Brumbies’ Andrew Fagan, ActewAGL’s Ayesha Razzaq, Lollypotz’s Louise Curtis and Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick to name a few. TO avoid any possibility or perception of But “CC” thought something was amiss political bias in the upcoming ACT election, when we heard Canberra’s own would-be the Inner South Community Council has ap- shock jock and former “CityNews” reporter pointed Anne Forrest as its spokesperson, Jorian Gardner was planning to sleep from now until the October poll. And why? rough for the night, too. Well, president Kevin Gill is a “I have been appointed CEO of Capital card-carrying member of the ACT ALP Radio 2CC… okay, only for one day as I take and council member Gary Kent was on the challenge of the Vinnies ACT CEO a candidate for the Liberals at the last Sleepout,” Gardner says. election and a party member still. “I will be sleeping rough for the night in And, clearly, neither of them wants the the Sculpture Garden at the National Galcouncil embroiled in party politics. The lery of Australia on June 21. Predictions are ISCCC will contact all Molonglo candidates that it could be -6 and all I get is a piece of shortly with details of its public meetings, cardboard and a sleeping bag! Brrrrrrr….”

Bias? Not us!

Gun hostess Jeannie Duffy... waiting for Aussie tourists to let rip.


scene

B ROUG YOU BY

H T TO

Canberra’s only locally-owned Subaru dealer

At the opening night of Bell Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, Canberra Theatre Centre

Nicole Mikkonen with Leo and Chris O’Keeffe

John and Carol Woodrow, Lola and Peter Wilkins with Margaret Davies and Alanna Maclean

Alexandra Craig and Melissa Fransen

Amanda East, Bill Peel and Anne McMillen

Catherine Bandle and Markus Gibson-Huck

Tom Westland and Angus Minns

Martin Fleming and Camille Falkiner

CityNews  May 24-30  15


scene

ROLFE SUBARU AT PHILLIP

At the Diplomatic Families Event 2012, Questacon, Parkes At the ‘BIG morning tea’, Brindabella Business Park

Maria Cisneros-Davila and the ambassador of Venezuela Nelson Davila with Fredrico Davila and Stephanie Pulsford

Jemma Rossetto, Alissa Lang and Lisa Meares

Michael West, Stephanie Hennon with Lisa and Greg Jones

Kanchan Bist, Hannah Beven, Wendy Zhou, Sammi Yingsun and Dashy Sivapalan

Chris Woodthorpe, Sally Mansfield, Graham Durant and Mark Stafford-Smith

16  CityNews  May 24-30

Joanna Hawke and Maggie Fitzsimons

John Jeston, Natasha Moore and Murray Vogt

Himali Pullaperuma, Renee Smith and Jet Williams

Jacob Jamieson and Kevin Landale

Stephen Byron and Kel Watt


scene At the Women Lawyers Association of the ACT, Annual Law Week Dinner, OnRed, Red Hill

Larry King and Numira Kuruppu

Louise Donohoe SC and Justice Virginia Bell AC

Jacquelyn Curtis, Jennifer Crawley, Kristy Drillel and Kelly Irvine

Amanda Gilkes, Seyi Onitiri, Lauren Smith and Emma Reilly

Diana Likeman, Darren Carden and Jessica Reed

Janukshi Perera, Nithya Sambasivam and Kerry White

Magistrate Peter Morrison, Magistrate David Mossop and Justice Richard Refshauge

Pam Lyndon and Martin Hockridge

CityNews  May 24-30  17


scene At World Red Cross Crescent Day soiree, Forrest

At Resi Home Loans Canberra grand opening, Weston

Swiss ambassador Marcel Stutz with wife Ester, Arati Waldegrave, Education Minister Chris Bourke and Joan Hughes

Paul Kriss and host Karen Murphy

Pat Varga, Aye Aye Htwe and Pho Sen

Elizabeth Yoo and Charlene Cai

18  CityNews  May 24-30

Lisa Montgomery, Paul Liccione and Peter James

Maegan Clarkson, Dennis Yang, Tanya Gupta, Khin Nyo Nyo San and Breanna Gasson

Shonade Ceccato, Chris Lewis and Nana Jbeili

Geoff Skillen and Sarah McCosker

Oscar, Tony, Bailey and Lisa Favello with Jodie Douglas

April Taylor and Kyle Bradley


arts & entertainment

Dougal Macdonald Loose tensions and unscary moments

Divas with the Irish love of song Helen Musa reports

theatre

WHEN I catch up with Irish singer Noriana Kennedy by phone in Wellington, NZ, I know I’m in for some good old-fashioned Irish talking.

She’s busy doing a dry-run for the debut tour by the four singers calling themselves Celtic Divas, master-minded by musical director Gerry Paul, in which she joins vocalists Eilis Kennedy, Pauline Scanlon and Nicola Joyce, all backed by a four-piece band. They’re staying together in Wellington’s Newtown, home to Pacific Islanders and many other immigrant communities, and where “the Paddies are fittin’ in” and “feelin’ at home”. So, how did the four singers get together in the first place? “There’s loads of tendrils in this connection,” she says, but it really comes down to the drive of Paul, born in Ireland but raised in NZ and founder of the Irish band Gráda. Paul is also a children’s author and songwriter whose 2010 “Hank the Wrestling Shark” won him the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Now he more or less calls the west coast Irish city of Galway home. The

‘Macbeth’: Sex, dirt and death “Macbeth” Bell Shakespeare, directed by Peter Evans The Playhouse, until June 2. Reviewed by Simone Penkethman

The Celtic Divas... Noriana Kennedy, left, Nicola Joyce, Eilis Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon. Dublin-born Kennedy now also lives in Galway, which she says is “an amazing place for musicians, foodies, theatre people and artists”. Smaller even than Wellington, “it feels like a village – on the street you meet everyone you know”. And that’s usually good. The commonality of all four “divas” is “the typically Irish tradition of people who love socialising and singing”. Eilis Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon are from County Kerry. Together they make up the singing duo Lumiere and are known for their quick wit. Joyce, the lead singer of Gráda, has played in 30

countries and also plays drums, bodhrán and mandolin, as well as singing harmonies. As for Noriana Kennedy, she is not only a singer, but also the new, multicultural kind of Irish woman, with a mother from the Filipino immigrant community, one now over 20,000-strong in Ireland, most of them in nursing, “which is nice,” as she says. Personally, Kennedy loves singing, good food and talking. Her musical interests stretch to Appalachian American folk music, which she combines with an age-old Irish singing tradition that

has seen her compared with singers Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Mary Black. Her debut album “Ebb n Flow” seems to be going well. All the divas have been busy with their own careers, but are enjoying this first-time collaboration, in which they boast that they can combine their usual intimacy with the large-scale performance style suitable for venues like the Canberra Theatre. “There’ll be no personas on stage,” Kennedy says, “we’ll all be ourselves.” Celtic Divas, Canberra Theatre, Saturday, June 2, bookings to 6275 2700.

BELL Shakespeare played “Macbeth” with blood, sex, dirt and death in a dark and beautiful world. A dimly lit set of earth and grass evoked a bleak and timeless Scotland. Above, where a sky might have been, was a dull, reflective surface. In it, the players moved overhead as blurred reflections of themselves. The three witches were condensed into one erotically charged Sbyl (Lizzie Schebesta). Her fluid, expressive movement and electronically manipulated voice exuded a heady mix of danger and vulnerability. Kate Mulvany (who also played Cassius in Bell’s 2011 “Julius Caesar”) was a powerful and highly sexual Lady Macbeth. A sense of fragility gave depth and complexity to her journey from love and ambition to madness. The choreography sharpened the comic relief and added poignant beauty to monologues and soliloquies. There were also times when it seemed to slow the momentum of the plot and the natural flow of dialogue. The casting of this production was flawless. Colin Moody’s solid, dark Duncan was a telling contrast to Dan Spielman’s wiry and malleable, red-headed Macbeth. Gareth Reeves’ Banquo personified a masculine energy so strong it matched the witch’s feminine power. Adding irony to tragedy, the Macbeths are Shakespeare’s most loving couple. Their descent into murder and death was powerfully and stylishly replayed.

Cop this, Tempo Theatre takes to the long arm of the law LAST year, Tempo Theatre beat everyone else in this town for the rights to produce “The Mousetrap”. Now, on a similar line, it’s staging the suspense drama “An Inspector Calls” at theatre@bcc (formerly known as the Belconnen Theatre at the Belconnen Community Centre) from June 2. Tickets at the door are cash only or book at Canberra Ticketing on 6275 2700 or www.canberrraticketing.com.au AFTER running at the National Archives of Australia from 2008 to 2011, The Capital Arts Patrons’ Organisation is heading for

Helen Musa

to June 8. The National Museum of Australia’s Margo Neale will open the show officially at 6pm during Reconciliation Week on May 29.

M16 Artspace in Griffith, which will become the sponsoring partner for the CAPO 29 art exhibition from August 31 and the awards night and auction party on September 8.

AUSTRALIAN painter Ela Mierzecka has been travelling around Australia in an offroad vehicle for the past two years. Now her oil paintings can be viewed at the Cork Street Cafe in Gundaroo. Everyone’s welcome to the opening at 6.30pm on June 5.

arts in the city

EMERGING artists Margy Duke and Kaila Smith will collaborate on the centrepiece in the gallery@bcs in Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, during the first week of their exhibition, which runs from May 22

mar School and will be staging Moliere’s “The Hypochondriac” at the school’s Tim Murray Theatre, Monaro Crescent, Red Hill, June 7-9. Bookings to ezyboxoffice.com/ canberragrammarschool

“BRECHT: Bilbao And Beyond” is an evocation of the life of German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, using his songs, poems, stories and plays. Devised, written and performed by retired London professionals John Muirhead ONE name stood out at the 2012 CAT and Chuck Mallett, it sees Muirhead play Awards – director Felix Schwartz. He turns many characters from the stage, while out to be theatre manager at Canberra Gram- Mallett accompanies him at the piano. At The

Street Theatre, June 1-3. Bookings to 6247 1223 or www.thestreet.org.au CANADIAN trombonist Darren Sigesmund writes to tell us that he will be at The Loft, 3-151 Cowper Street, Dickson, with his Strands sextet, including James Muller, at 8.30pm on May 29, before heading to Japan. SALUT! Baroque will perform music by Janitsch, Telemann and Vivaldi, at University House, 6pm, Sunday, May 27. A feature will be Jane Downer on baroque oboe and recorder. Tickets at the door.

CityNews  May 24-30  19


arts & entertainment / reviews

The larrikin musical – with polish MOVE over C.J. Dennis, you have a rival. Andrew Hackwill has invented his own highly entertaining musical genre, the larrikin musical, notable for its catchy tunes and gloriously silly plots. This is the fourth of Hackwill’s musicals to be premiered at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre in recent years, and certainly the most polished. Not only is Hackwill the writer and composer of “The Court of Swing Caractacus”, he is also the director, designer, musical director, choreographer and set builder, and has gathered around him a talented cast who share his taste for silliness, a jaunty six-piece band in which he plays, and six energetic swing dancers to add additional colour and movement to complement Christine Pawlicki’s already riotous costumes. In a cheeky homage to C.J. Dennis, the story is narrated in verse by a cheerful character called Hec (a delightful performance by Brian

musical theatre

“The Court of Swing Caractacus” Presented by Mad Ferret Productions Tuggeranong Arts Centre until May 26. Reviewed by Bill Stephens Kavanagh), who helpfully includes the stage directions and ends up with the winsome Mary (Alyce Nesbitt). It concerns three unlikely fortune tellers, Wong, Elle and Jack (gleefully portrayed by Mark Woods, Jane Kellett and Kevin Crowe), who are threatened with eviction from their Caractacus Court premises by a devious agent, Wilheim (Dim Ristveski) and his cohort Nora (Cerri Murphy). Each gets a solo, of which “It’s Good to Be Wong” and “Me and My Mountain” are standouts, even if most of the lyrics are lost under the over-enthusiastic band.

“The Court of Swing Caractacus”. Alyce Nesbitt, Dim Ristevski, Mark Woods, Brian Kavanagh (back), Jane Kellett, Kevin Crowe and Cerri Murphy

Loose tensions and unscary moments Dougal Macdonald cinema

“The Woman In Black” (M)

A DESERTED, old mansion on a small island is connected by a causeway submerged at high tide

20  CityNews  May 24-30

to a bleak, decrepit village on the mainland where visitors are actively turned away. A young widowed lawyer with a four-year-old son is sent to settle the estate of the elderly widow who owned the mansion and there is a letter from a distraught woman swearing that her son will always be hers despite having been adopted. Those are the basic elements underlying this second filming of Susan Hill’s Gothic ghost story set in the early 20th century. Daniel Radcliffe, playing lawyer Kipps, has the main burden of the drama, investigating in the deserted old house, pondering the locals’ rejection of him, slowly building up our awareness of the reason for there being no children in the village, wondering about the black-clad veiled woman who appears in the house and its garden. The film moves very slowly, interspersed with a small collection of cinematic frighteners that, while we may not see them coming, are familiar from other ghost stories. Ciaran Hinds plays the only village resident who befriends Kipps. Janet McTeer plays his wife who sublimates her maternal grief by treating her two chihuahuas like children. Their only son lies in a mausoleum in the

Daniel Radcliffe plays a young widower in “The Woman in Black” grounds of their property outside the village. Of its kind, the film has some merit. But its tensions are loose and its scary moments aren’t. At Hoyts, Dendy and Limelight

“The Dictator” (M) SACHA Baron Cohen produced, co-wrote and twice plays the title role in this collection of gags, a mostly coarse romantic comedy that delivers offence for the sake of being offensive. An acquired taste giving a slight flavour to substance, Cohen plays Aladeen, the dictator of the fictional

small African republic of Wadiya, and the look-alike engaged to step in front of the assassin’s bullet. Aladeen is a creature of whim, prone to condemning to a short future whoever crosses or slights him. His second-in-command is waiting for the chance to usurp him. In New York to address the UN, he loses the beard by which he is best known. During a street protest against him, Zooey (Anna Faris), who runs a health food store that caters UN functions, sees merit in his excessive behaviours but she’s only the hook from which the screenplay hangs what’s really its unconvincing romantic thread. Perhaps this sounds like extracts from a plot going nowhere. Viewed from a distance, that’s a credible assessment. Cohen knows how to make stupidity serve his purpose. His screenplay has fun playing with American politics and social institutions. He understands the value of keeping the comic pressure on his audience, denying them time to ponder why they have come to watch it. But all things come to an end. You might forgive yourself for emerging from it thinking: “Well, I laughed quite a lot. But now I wonder why.” At Hoyts, Dendy and Limelight


CityNews  May 24-30  21


arts & entertainment / reviews

Tiptoeing into a new menu OUR visit to The Duxton, at O’Connor shops, was almost short lived. We walked through the main door, on Sargood and Macpherson Streets, into what was obviously a bar area. But it was empty; not even a staff member milling about. It was a chilly introduction – as chilly as the weather – and we decided the place wasn’t open for Saturday lunch. Then we spotted another room, tiptoed down the hall and found a second bar, the kitchen, a lounge area, high bench tables and a big-screen TV. So the place was open. The Duxton has just introduced a new menu with greater emphasis on food that is “good for you”. The most interesting breakfast item for my tastebuds was pork and beans on brioche with corn fritters ($15.90). Starving diners can dive into the king-size breakfast ($19.90) and those concerned about living

Sweet potato and zucchini hash with a pint of Kronenbourg1664.

22  CityNews  May 24-30

Wendy Johnson dining

“The Dux” double cheeseburger. The Duxton... The Duxton just introduced a new menu.  Photos by Silas Brown for a long time, the granola ($8.90). Beyond breakfast, dishes include pot pies, including steak and Guinness, and chilli beef. Pizzas ($14 to $19) include the double cheese burger (huh?), Porky pine, and spicy buffalo – hot sauce, mozzarella, boned chicken wings, jalapenos, sour cream and blue cheese. Sounds intriguing. Also intriguing is The Duxton logo of a manic-looking squirrel holding an acorn for dear life. We ordered at the bar from the specials board and received a buzzer. At The Duxton, you pick up your own food when the buzzer goes mental (at least a numbering system makes you feel a “bit special”). The double cheeseburger (not the pizza variety mentioned earlier) was made with Wagyu beef patties cooked medium with sharp cheddar ($19) and a smokey homemade tomato sauce (now a permanent addition to the menu, as are other gourmet-style burgers. The smoked hickory pork ribs (400 to 500 grams) were as tender as ($26), but the tangy sauce was a bit too acidic for my liking. Special thanks to the friendly staff who brought me a finger bowl, noticing I was getting covered in sauce. The new menu has healthy, meal-size

How Pearl takes life in her stride “PEARL Versus the World”, played to a packed house of primary-aged children and their parents. Chrissie Shaw plays a frail grandmother drifting in the fog of dementia. Kate Hosking is eight-year-old Pearl, who carries the story as a monologue. Hosking’s playfully expressive physicality and impeccable voice skills perfectly capture the manner of a child. Imogen Keen’s set, is a grass floor with a bright metal structure, resembling school monkey bars. In the middle is a plastic bubble where granny moves in slow motion, occasionally breaking into a long-forgotten song. Pearl’s life could be seen as a difficult one. Her single mother is carer to her grandmother. She never knew her father. She feels that she has no friends at school and that her teacher doesn’t appreciate her talents. But Pearl’s no victim; she takes

children’s theatre

“Pearl Verses the World” Jigsaw Theatre Company Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre, until June 2. Reviewed by Simone Penkethman life in her stride and wins friends with her rhymes that mock the teacher. Pearl’s world is shaken when her grandmother dies. Through Pearl’s eyes, we see her community close around her and her mother in warmth and support. One of the play’s themes revolves around the resilience of children. This was literally reflected in the fact that although there was barely a dry adult eye in the house, the children all seemed fine. Perhaps they had already read the popular children’s story of the same name and knew what to expect.

The elegant ‘Birds’ of Liz Lea’s fancy Caramelised beetroot and walnut salad. salads, including several vegetarian options and new platter dishes (for two). I asked for the wine list, but there wasn’t one. I was encouraged to choose from the bottles lined up in the fridge. I couldn’t read the labels from my side of the bar, so was a bit lost. The selection is small – more work to be done here. At the bottom end of the experience were the backless stools we sat on. Very wobbly seats and a bit disconcerting. Kids would love playing on them, however I couldn’t find the kid in me the day I was there. The Duxton holds events, has live music on Sundays ($5 Coronas and $5 basic spirits) and a Wednesday trivia night, the top prize for which is a keg of beer. The Duxton, O’Connor shops. Call 6162 0799. Open seven days.

REFERENCING the 120 birds Anna Pavlova reputedly toured with her during her 1929 Australian tour, and brilliantly utilising edited archival film sourced from the National Film and Sound Archive, Liz Lea has fashioned a disarmingly funny and delightfully elegant dance work. She also assumes the persona of the exotic Madame Lou to narrate a highly diverting history of a fictional “Company Elle” which tours the world in the wake of Anna Pavlova, the Ballet Russes, Denishawn and Ruth St. Dennis. Madame Lou possesses a neat turn of phrase that, when she can be heard above the soundtrack of the films that illustrate the journey, might have ensured her a second career as a stand-up comedian. As Madame Lou describes their travels, Liz Lea joins her dancers, Ash Bee, Melanie Palomares and Miranda Wheen, to perform a series of cleverly choreographed numbers, some echoing

dance

“120 Birds” Concept and Direction by Liz Lea The Street Theatre, season closed. Reviewed by Bill Stephens influential dance styles, including fan dances and striptease, performed in variety and vaudeville programs also featuring luminaries such as Pavlova, St. Denis and Annette Kellerman. Contributions by the CDT Burlesque Dancers add to the spectacle, while senior dancers, Toni Allen, Madeleine Bullock, Charmaine Hallam and Glenys Harris add to the charm. This brilliant production with its elegant settings and costumes and affectionate insights into Australia’s dance history and entertainment taste at the time of Federation should be seen for a longer season, hopefully during our 2013 celebrations.


garden

Paving lawn or driveway edges with reinforcing wire known as “bricktor”.

Keep grass away from all trees and mulch well.

Try this method of unrolling drip line to save tangling.

Lots of work to do in winter! WINTER is an ideal time to look at all those little repair jobs such as checking mowers, repairing outdoor furniture or repairing broken paving. Tree roots are always a problem near hard surfaces. To stop roots damaging driveways, dig a trench about 50cm deep along the length of the drive and install root-barrier plastic. This is a heavy duty plastic that comes in various lengths and widths. Basically, it diverts the roots away from hard surfaces. If you are installing a new driveway or replacing an old drive, whether it is concrete, paved or asphalt and trees are close, I would recommend that you, or your contractor, install root-barrier plastic as a matter of course. It is available from CE Industries, 30 Geelong Street, Fyshwick. WHETHER you are intending to do paving yourself or engaging a contractor, it is important that this is laid on washed river sand, NOT crusher dust (pulverised blue metal). This allows movement in the paving, particularly important for driveways. Most paving companies will not honour any guarantee on paving if it is laid on anything other than washed river sand. If you have never paved before, I recommend you attend one of the short courses conducted by the DIY stores. Pavers are often used along the edges of driveways, even concrete

Cedric Bryant gardening

or asphalt drives as a feature. If so, pavers are always laid on a mortar base next to each other, known as a “header” course, not end to end. In addition, it is important to embed, in the mortar, reinforcing wire known as “bricktor”, as illustrated here. This is available in rolls from any DIY or builders’ suppliers. I recommend its use also when laying pavers as a mowing strip around lawns or garden beds. OFTEN “weed control mat” is recommended under mulch to stop weeds. I would recommend that this is NOT used. Most weeds do not come from under the ground, but land on the surface as seeds. Since the fires of 2003, areas of Canberra lost a great wind filter system on our north and northwest. This has resulted in a huge increase of weeds in our gardens. I suggested to a lady in one of our more prestigious suburbs that Paterson’s Curse should be tackled before it gets out of control. The reply was: “Oh no, Mr. Bryant, we do not have this growing in our suburb.” I gently enlightened her and explained about wind-borne seeds. One can have 15 centimetres of concrete under mulch and still get weeds. Weedmat also encourages tree and shrub roots to grow just under the matting rather than growing deep. If your garden is on a slope, rain or irrigated water will hit the mat and simply run off under the mulch.

IT is very important if growing fruit trees not to have grass growing in the drip line and around the trunk. Grass is a rapacious feeder and research by the Royal Horticultural Society has shown that grass growing under fruit trees can reduce the crop by at least 40 per cent. I recommend that all trees are not grown in lawn areas. Shallow watering of lawns encourages surface root growth. And on the subject of trees in lawns, keep those whipper-snippers well away from trees and shrubs. I cannot count the number of times over the years being called to inspect dying trees with my first question: “What type of whipper-snipper do you have?” These machines are very effective at ring barking and killing plants! FINALLY, check out outdoor timber furniture. This will need painting or

treating with preservative. Timber does shrink and screws and nail heads can be exposed causing potential injury.

Help with the roses DO you love the fragrance of roses? While the Friends of the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens have a dedicated band of 52 volunteers, they are always looking for more. Besides helping to look after the roses, you will meet so many folk with similar interests from all over Australia and overseas. More information from Nathan Ward on 6272 2914.

CityNews  May 24-30  23


garden

Relax on an outdoor lounge setting such as Wintons Teak’s Manhattan design.

Living outdoors in winter and loving it AS the chill of winter sets in and the heaters are coming out of storage, the backyard can become neglected and the barbecue gathers dust. Outdoor entertaining in Australia should be a yearround experience, so how do you turn your exterior living space from a potential freezer into a warm, cosy and inviting extension of your home? Here are some suggestions.

Outdoor heating IT’S time to take the bite out of the frosty winter breeze with an outdoor heater and with so many options on the market, there are no more excuses for becoming a seasonal hermit! Gas heaters can heat spaces of up to five metres and take up minimal space, making them a great option for those that need to warm a larger area. If looks are an important factor in your choice of heater, a fire pit can be used as a beautiful focal piece that offers a natural glow when lit and if space is an issue, then a radiant

thermal heater might be your best choice – this consists of panels that can be mounted on an exterior wall, providing the same effect as the sun.

Outdoor furniture DURING the cold season, furniture is all about soft cushioning and comfort. Decorate your outdoor lounge furniture to suit the season with low-seated chairs and thick pillows, and use colour, such as plums, scarlets and deep greens to evoke warmth. Outdoor furniture in Australia needs to be sturdy to withstand the moisture of winter and the aridity of summer. Wintons Teak, cast aluminium and all-weather wicker furniture, tends to be more expensive, but designed to endure the test of time.

Get comfortable WHEN creating a relaxing outdoor space during winter, it’s important to pick a spot that gets maximum sun exposure, but is protected from the wind. Experiment with colours and textures to create the right look for your area, adding some finishing touches, such as rugs and blankets, which will provide additional warmth. A daybed is the perfect way to catch some winter sunshine.

Power needs clear access in garden RESIDENTS are being asked to check gas, water and electrical equipment on their property to ensure there is clear access in case of an emergency. Poles, meters, substations and mini pillars can be located on nature strips, as well as in front and backyards. If work has to be carried out to fix a fault or emergency and access to ActewAGL assets is blocked, extended service interruptions such as blackouts can result. “Tenants and homeowners are responsible for keeping a clearance of 1.5 metres around our poles, wires, pipes, meters, substations and mini pillars. This ensures we can work on them,” says ActewAGL’s general manager asset management Stephen Devlin. “That means not planting gardens right next to mini pillars, or at the base of poles, or letting trees grow into power lines. Trees that are too close to powerlines are a significant public safety risk because in a storm or high winds they can cause fires or bring down dangerous live electrical wires.” 24  CityNews  May 24-30

ActewAGL vegetation inspectors assess a mini pillar. ActewAGL is asking people to check two things on their property: • That trees are 1.5 metres clear of power lines. If they are already too close, use an ActewAGL-accredited tree surgeon. • That there is 1.5 metres clearance in all directions around the base of poles, meters, substations and mini pillars. Information brochures and a list of ActewAGLaccredited tree surgeons are available at actewagl.com. au/safety


Thingies for the garden KATHRYN VUKOVLJAK looks at what’s new in cute gardening thingies...

Sculptural gardening

Harvest basket

SCREWPOTZ planters are fantastic for adding bling to balconies and small courtyard veggie patches, and great as a sculptural accent. You can grow anything in them, particularly tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers and salad vegetables. No more tying and staking! From $25. Available from www.screwpotz.com.

Make a splash

Bright and cheerful

PERFECT for the garden, rainy days, muddy trails and puddly paths. Cute and comfy, with a super comfortable sole and a protective outer, the gummies are available in small, medium and large and three colours – black, green and red. They cost $34.95 from www.annabeltrends.com.

THIS bright magenta watering can is a hefty nine-litres, allowing for watering large areas of plants without having to constantly refill. Bunnings Warehouse, $19.96.

DO your bit for the environment with the reusable shopping bag and basket. With its collapsible design the basket is easy to store in your car or tuck away at home. Annabel Trends vege shopping basket, $24.95 from www. annabeltrends.com

For little landscapers WHEN the kids help out – your little landscapers will love these! Red metal wheelbarrow, $59.99. Mini garden rake, shovel, hoe and lawn rake, $7.95 each. All at Bliss Garden and Giftware in Pialligo. CityNews  May 24-30  25


puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / May 28 - June 3

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

Many Rams will feel irritable, as Mars stirs up emotions and shortens your temper. Avoid getting drawn into arguments with others – and remember that words can wound just as sharply as a knife! Slow down and pace yourself. If you do one thing at a time, in an orderly fashion (and censor what comes out of your mouth,) then you’ll survive the week without too many dramas.

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

Your Venusian diplomatic skills may be called on, as loved ones are irritable and spoiling for a fight. By all means step in and play peacemaker – but don’t get caught in the crossfire! And, with extravagant Venus reversing through your money zone, you’ve got an urge to splurge. But don’t let a persuasive friend talk you into buying something you can’t afford.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Your magnetism meter is stuck on high and others will find your charms hard to resist. So it’s the perfect time to ask someone out on a super romantic date, or call in long overdue favours from family and friends. With love planet Venus in retro motion, some singles will consider revisiting an old relationship. But do you really want to go down that rocky road again?

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

Some capricious Cancers will feel crabby over the next seven days, as tricky planetary aspects increase your irritability – and decrease your patience. Avoid saying hurtful things (in the heat of the moment) that you later regret. If you try to control or manipulate others, then you’re in for a tumultuous time. Cool compromise is the key to having a wonderful week.

General knowledge crossword No. 361 Across

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1 Who conquered Britain in 55BC? 7 What is a concluding part added to a literary work? 8 What are royal domains? 9 Name the break, as between acts of a play in a theatre. 10 Which gland lies in the human thorax? 11 What is a pattern, used as a guide? 14 What is a tactical unit of an air force? 18 Name a prominent seaport of South Africa. 19 What do we call an unmarried man? 21 Which type of street is wide, and lined with trees? 22 Name a genealogical register of horses. 23 In films, what do they call persons hired to play in mob scenes?

1 Name those who are in charge of museums, art galleries, etc. 2 Who was given the head of John the Baptist? 3 What is an electrical non-conductor called? 4 Name an Australian term for an elevator. 5 What is a reddish brown horse? 6 Name an emirate in south-western Asia. 12 Who was a popular comic magician? 13 Name another term for preachers of the gospel. 15 Which imperial liquid measures are approximately 1.137 litres? 16 What are plant lice? 17 Name the archaic term for silver. 20 Which machine is used for weaving yarn?

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VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

With the Sun, Mercury and Venus all lighting up your reputation zone, don’t hide your versatile Virgo talents! Be proud to show the world what you are truly capable of. Your motto for the week is from birthday great Marilyn Monroe: “All of us are stars and deserve the right to twinkle.” Love and work are a messy mix though, so try to keep the two separate.

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

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LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

Don’t give up Libra! With Saturn moving slowly through your sign, you need to persist in the face of obstacles and challenges. Be inspired by Kylie Minogue (born on May 28): “I didn’t want to fizzle out. I had to keep going, like a little Shetland pony.” Concentrate on relationships with positive people who encourage your efforts and celebrate your numerous talents.

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LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

Being proactive about professional projects (or money matters) will take you far. Don’t hog the stage though – give others time and space to have their say. There’s room in the spotlight for everyone! With three planets activating your peer group zone, make sure you nurture and enjoy the mates you have. And is it time to add some fresh new faces to your circle of friends?

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Sudoku hard No.80

Solution next week

Scorpios are in the mood to skip over superficialities this week, as you’re concerned with the deeper issues of life. Study and research are also favoured, and you’re keen to uncover a mystery – or two. The Moon’s in your sign on the weekend which highlights your strengths (and weaknesses). Aim to be sexy and sensitive – rather than stubborn and sarcastic!

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Sociable Sagittarians have the gift of the gab but sometimes you say too much, too quickly and too often. Too much small talk will stall big ideas this week, so think (carefully) before you speak – especially with loved ones and work mates. With Venus reversing through your partnership zone it’s time to patch up old problems, but you’ll have to be patient.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

You’ve got a lot on your plate, and others hope you’ll produce order from chaos (you do it so well)! So your talent for multi-tasking is put to the test as you juggle challenging schedules and conflicting demands. You’re keen to move ahead with an ambitious project but are you seeing things clearly? Perhaps some tweaking is necessary, before you head off in a new direction?

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Money dramas are looming – especially if your finances are linked up with someone else’s. Put away extra dollars to cover unexpected expenses over the next few weeks. It’s important to be prepared. And attention amorous Aquarians! Love at first sight is likely – but is it love, or just a fabulous fantasy? Don’t let a sudden dreamy attraction turn into a long-term nightmare.

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

It’s time for confused Fish to quit flip-flopping around. Keep your head screwed on tightly this week, and don’t let family and friends push your emotional buttons. And stop procrastinating about a rickety relationship! Mighty Mars encourages you to make a major move. If you expect others to take the initiative, you could be waiting for a very long time.

Solutions

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Daily astrology updates at www.twitter.com/JoMadelineMoore Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011

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Sudoku medium No.80

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