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CityNews  March 21-27  1


Sports clubs hit by ‘Monty Python’ pricing LOCAL sports clubs have been left confused after receiving notification from the ACT Government reflecting a 54 per cent increase to sporting ground fees, which could see them trying to find an extra $7000 per year. And yet, despite the notices being sent, Sport Minister Andrew Barr told “CityNews” he has not yet signed off on the increase. President of the Woden Valley Soccer Club, John Brooks, says his was one of the clubs that has received an notice outlining an increase to sports ground fees to $6.40 per hour from

Steve Doszpot... “It’s not good enough, it could even be bordering on illegal.”

Laura Edwards reports

April 1, up from $4.15 the year before. “While it doesn’t sound like much initially, the costs add up,” Mr Brooks says. “We have six or seven fields that are trained on for around three hours each day from Monday to Friday... if they’re all $6.40 per hour, we worked it out to be an extra $7000 per year. Other clubs bigger than us will have to pay even more than that.” Mr Brooks says there was no prior consultation from the Government about the increase. “We set our club fees for players and families early in the year, and then we find this out... I’m not sure how we are going to find the money other than fundraising as we can’t charge extra now, it’s too late,” he says. “It’s extremely frustrating, as the old costs are still on the [department’s] website, so there was no way of knowing until we were hit with the notice.” But Mr Barr says while a notice has been sent out, he is yet to see an increase schedule. “While I am aware Sport and Recreation Services have notified some clubs they anticipate an increase, this has not been approved and I am yet to

index / contacts Arts&Entertainment 25-27 Canberra Confidential 16 Cinema 26 Dining 27 Garden 28-30 Letters 12 News 3-14 Politics6 Puzzles 31 Socials 17-20 Sport 14 Cover: Grammar students Audi Reza and James Quiggin in “Guys and Dolls”. Photo by Silas Brown. Story Page 5.

consider any increases,” he says. Mr Barr says increases may vary to adjust to the fee structure of junior sport being charged at half the rate of senior sport. “The increases are a small cost when you consider that it does go back to improving the sporting community, and that’s what the Government is committed to,” he says. Shadow Minister for Sport Steve Doszpot says Mr Barr’s response is “the stuff of ‘Monty Python’.” “On the one hand, we have clubs telling us that ground fees are a huge impost, and on the other, we have a minister who says they are a mere trifle,” he says. “To send out a notice increasing fees by 54 per cent without consultation, without even signing off on it, is not good enough, it could even be bordering on illegal.” Mr Brooks says if the increase goes ahead, it may affect registration numbers. “If they go up again next year, the only way we can cover these increases is through fees charged to players and families,” he says. “It’s not necessarily the only charge for people to play – we offer programs and things like that, anything more just starts to add up. People might President of the Woden Valley Soccer Club John Brooks, centre, with players Cody question the value.” and Mitchell Webb.  Photos by Silas Brown

Since 1993: Volume 19, Number 10

Phone 6262 9100 Fax 6262 9111 GPO Box 2448, Canberra City 2601 Chief executive officer: Greg Jones 0419 418196, Senior advertising executive: Ernie Nichols, 0421 077999 Advertising sales executives: Rebecca Darman 0411 225169 Sara Poguet, 0415 706758 Advertising sales co-ordinator: Sydney advertising sales: Ad Sales Connect, 02 9420 1777 Distribution: Richard Watson,

Editor: Ian Meikle, Journalists: Laura Edwards, Stephen Easton, Kathryn Vukovljak, Arts editor: Helen Musa, 0400 043764 Design and photography: Silas Brown, 0412 718086 Graphic designer: Leonie Fox Accounts manager: Bethany Freeman-Chandler

Responsibility for election comment is taken by Ian Meikle, Level 1, 143 London Circuit, Canberra.

CityNews  March 21-27  3

news / cover story


Guy with an eye for the right role

High tea time

WHEN Grammar School Year 11 student Harry Bolton heard auditions were coming up for a co-production of “Guys and Dolls” with Girls’ Grammar, he rushed to Wikipedia and worked out that the lead character, gambler Sky Masterson, was the only one in the play who got to kiss a girl. Luck, previous experience performing in “Les Mis” and a great singing teacher in Teresa Rayner combined to score him the role of the slick love interest made famous on screen by Marlon Brando. It sounds like a dream production. As it happens, Sky’s song “Luck Be a Lady” is one of the alltime favourites of drama teacher at CGS, Martina Crerar, an expert in staging schools’ productions in professional venues. Now she’s embarked on a bigtheatre production where music and drama staff from both schools played equal roles in a main-stage venture. She and associate director, Sophie Benassi, from Girls’ Grammar School, have spent long hours in rehearsal while music teachers Craig Woodland and Melinda Saw-

Helen Musa arts editor

ers have trained the musicians. They’ve been planning for a year and rehearsing since October, enjoying the luxury of two boot camps on campus and showcasing little song segments at morning assembly. Why “Guys and Dolls”? What could a 1950 musical about a bunch of gangsters, crap-shooters and Salvation Army girls have to offer present-day students? Well, with the ambitious target of staging the show for three nights in the Canberra Theatre, they Grammar students Audi Reza and James Quiggin in “Guys and Dolls”.  needed a surefire script with lots  Photo by Silas Brown of great songs. And what songs! “A Bushel and a Peck”, “Adelaide’s characters, many of them theatre Hosie as Sarah – for both, the roles Lament”, “If I Were a Bell” and the archetypes such as the “no good- are “full of surprises.” nik” Nathan Detroit and his showIt’s countdown time now to tender “Sue Me”. an April 11 opening. Crerar has Also, Crerar says, the play is girl Miss Adelaide. Then there are the “straight adopted the Broadway blockbuster “full of funny stuff,” yet gives the approach and has the entire cast students the capacity to bring out characters”. Bolton, a music student who onstage for the showstopper “Sit “so much maturity, sensitivity and loves golf and “The Phantom of the Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”. rapport”. You can just picture the standTo Crerar, the production had Opera”, tells “CityNews” that his “legs” from the start when 250 “cool” character, Sky, is the one ing ovations. who undergoes the biggest change talented kids auditioned. “Guys and Dolls”, Canberra TheShe’d read a bit of Damon Ru- in the musical. Underneath “he nyon, on whose Prohibition era is a good man”, one who respects atre, 7.30pm, April 11-13, bookings stories “Guys and Dolls” is based the innocent Salvo girl he falls for. to 6275 2700 or canberratheatrecenand loved the sheer size of the He’s relishing working with Emily

THE Zonta Club of Canberra is holding an autumn high tea at the Burrunju Aboriginal Gallery, 245 Lady Denman Drive, Yarramundi Reach, 2pm-4pm, on March 24 in support of Ovarian Cancer ACT. Guitarist Steve Allen will be playing. Cost is $30. RSVP and full details at

Brides and more THE Bride’s Diary Wedding and Events Expo will be held at the National Convention Centre, 10am-4pm, on Sunday, March 24. The expo features some of the region’s best wedding and events specialists. All brides-to-be attending the expo will be given three wedding magazines, valued at $47.85, and the chance to win a honeymoon in Fiji. Tickets available at the door or online at bridesdiary.

Buddhist talk POPULAR Buddhist teacher, the English-born Ajahn Brahm, Abbott of Bodhinyana Monastery near Perth, will give a free public talk at the Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara, 30 Jenkie Circuit Kambah, at 7pm on Tuesday, March 26.

Twilight in Torrens “TORRENS Twilight Fair”, 2pm-6pm, Saturday, April 6 at the Torrens Primary School in Ritchie Street promises an “afternoon of entertainment and bargains, with something for everyone”. There will be cake, craft and preloved goods to buy; devonshire teas, a barbecue, coffee and other refreshments plus face painting, carnival and pony rides, interactive displays and a patting paddock. Entry is free and all proceeds support the school and resources for the students.

CityNews  March 21-27  5


/ politics

After 11 years, a determined Canberra mother realises a dream

Media reform: has Conroy got the balance right?

Time for a son’s new life

Domination of the media – in the hands of individuals or governments – is a threat to democracy, says MICHAEL MOORE

Stephen Easton reports

NEXT month, three young men with disabilities will move into a unique public housing development in Phillip with 22 other tenants, where they are expected to build an “intentional community” together. Housing ACT may have built the cluster of units in Alsop Close, but it only came about through the tenacious efforts of three mothers, whose grown-up sons with disabilities can now live in their own homes and stay connected to the wider community, with the support they need. Sally Richards formed the family-governed group Getting a Life in 2005 with Karen Connaughton and Cheryl Pattrick. Supported by Hartley LifeCare, they have spent eight years working towards the intentional community, which is modelled on one in Canada where 10 people with disabilities and 95 other public housing clients live together. “It just seemed like a really good idea to me – that you create a community around the people with a disability,” Sally says. “People were invited to apply to live in a community that has as its premise being neighbourly, being friendly, being welcoming, being

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Getting a Life founder Sally Richards... “It just seemed like a really good idea to me – that you create a community around the people with a disability.”  Photo by Silas Brown warm. You know, contributing, giving and taking.” Sally first started working on the project 11 years ago, when her son Jackson West was 16 years old. He’s now a 27-year-old man who works as a courier in the small business Sally set up for him, Jackmail. Ben Connaughton also works as a courier, part-time at Canberra Hospital, and Daniel Pattrick works in several jobs. All three are grown men who require a significant amount of support every day, which their families can’t continue to provide indefinitely. “I think that if we hadn’t done this, or something similar, there is no chance that Jackson would have lived independently in his own house,” says Sally, explaining he had been waiting for public housing since 2003. There are few options for young people with disabilities who can no longer live with their families; many parents go through the dis-

tress of relinquishing their adult children to inappropriate housing such as aged care homes, after the burden of caring for them becomes too much. Members of the “neighbourly” intentional community are expected to help each other out, while formal disability support will come through a co-residential model. Jackson and Ben will live with salaried carers who also get rent-free accommodation, while the housemate of the more independent Daniel will just receive a rent discount. After 11 years of hard work spanning four different disability ministers and delay after delay in the construction timetable, Sally finds it hard to believe the move-in day is really coming up on April 3. “It’s time, I think. Time for him to have a new life, time for me to have a new life. So I think it’s going to be great.” More about the Getting a Life Intentional Community on Sally Richards’ blog at

THE fanatical response of News Limited to the Gillard Government’s media reforms suggests that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy may have come some way to getting the balance between freedom and regulation right. The reforms represent a strike by an elected government attempting to mitigate against the dominant force and control of vested interests in influencing the population. Dominance is a greater threat to liberty than a poorly regulated media. There is a power struggle internationally between extraordinarily narrow media control such as the Murdoch empire and elected governments. It is not so long ago that a squirming Rupert Murdoch appeared before a British Parliamentary Committee apologising for the abuse of power by his UK papers. The conflict lies between a small number of powerful players and elected governments rather than a struggle that involves all forms of the media. Right now this same struggle is being repeated in Britain and other places. The Murdoch papers, as exemplified by the Sydney “Daily Telegraph”, have been running story after story against reform – arguing that a free media is fundamental to democracy. The most effective lies carry a substantial amount of truth. In the past the curtailment of free media has been associated with dictatorships and theocracies. The rampant bias of a concentrated stable of media outlets owned by News Limited has really highlighted the changing role of this type of media. As the concentration of ownership has increased, so too has the misuse of the power.

On the surface, Senator Conroy’s reforms are largely about arm’s length checks and balances, focusing primarily on the main media corporations – dealing with such issues as control and media ownership, complaints mechanisms with teeth and an independent regulator. Of course, these reforms should be reviewed carefully by the Senate Committee to ensure that they meet the intended goals and do not move too far into interfering more broadly with freedom of expression. However, the fundamental issue is about domination and ethical standards. The question that the Senate Committee should be wrestling with is who should be the dominant controlling force regarding media? When it draws the conclusion it is inconsistent with democratic principles for anyone to have such controls as it undermines freedom of thought and expressions, then it needs to ask if the package put forward by Senator Conroy does the job. The good news for those who value freedom and democracy is that although concentration of media has grown, the major metropolitan newspapers are losing their prominent position in society – although their residual influence cannot be underestimated. And the combination of related control over newspapers, television and radio still remains a considerable threat. Some of the answer lies in the growth of social media. Propaganda is about domination of the media. It is bad enough when an elected government controls the propaganda. It is so much worse when the dominant force is extraordinarily wealthy, unelected individuals who use their media ownership to further their own interests.

CityNews  March 21-27  7


/ Easter

City’s memories trace an astonishing 75-year marriage

In search of simplicity

George and Iris, together forever

Nick Jensen religion

VIVA la papa! Or in the colloquial tongue: “Long live the Pope”.

Stephen Easton reports

WHEN radio and television pioneer George Barlin arrived in Canberra on a Friday night in February, 1933, he didn’t think he would outlast six months. The fledgling city of 6000, struggling to its feet in the midst of the Great Depression, was a long way from his hometown of Lansdowne, near Taree on the NSW mid-north coast. “My first impression was that I couldn’t live in such a scattered place, with nobody around,” George recalls. “It wasn’t a town as I knew it; Taree was a good, flourishing little town serving the fishing, dairy and timber industries.” The “strange concept” of leasehold land discouraged many from moving here, he says, and for the government employees who moved from Melbourne, “this was like being banished to Siberia”. “Canberra consisted of a few scattered houses in Ainslie and a few scattered buildings in the civic centre,” George says. Most of the shops in Civic were empty, the Melbourne Building was half-finished and the newly planted trees stood little more than six feet. At Molonglo (Fyshwick), construction workers lived in what was intended to be a World War I internment camp, further contributing to the feeling of isolation. But by the time Australia had begun to emerge from the economic gloom shortly before World War II, George had grown to love the city he has lived in for the past 80 years. He married his wife Iris in 1938 and the couple celebrate their 75-year “diamond anniversary” on Tuesday, March 26.

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Celebrating 75 years of marriage, George and Iris Barlin... “Don’t take your worries to bed at night,” says George.  Photo by Silas Brown Iris has lived in Canberra even longer, having moved from Bega to Queanbeyan as a child in the early ‘20s, and then to Canberra in 1926. “In the beginning when I came to Canberra, my parents took us to all the foundation-stone laying ceremonies and all the openings of, say, Civic or the War Memorial or the different churches,” she says. “It was a Saturday afternoon out, because that was somewhere to go, and there were only four shops in Kingston when we came.” After 75 years with George, Iris sums up her relationship advice with one phrase. “Give and take,” she says. “If you don’t give, there’s nothing coming back. It’s not all easy, clear sailing, but you get over those bumps.” “You need a bit of luck, too, and don’t take your worries to bed at night,” adds George. As Canberra looks back over a century, most of which the 97-year-old couple took part in, the broadcasting trailblazer thinks that for the most part, “whoever was responsible did a good job”. “Canberra’s gone through tremendous changes – not all for the better,” George says, referring to a diverse economy and facilities

such as medical specialists, but also pointing out the inevitable increase in crime. The era he remembers most fondly is the late ‘30s when he and Iris had just met, when there was plenty of trout to be caught, and his neighbours felt safe going on a month’s holiday without bothering to close the front door. “Everybody knew everybody; you’d go down the street and be stopped at every 10 yards. It was different then, even though there was, in the early stages, some class distinctions. ” George got to know the Crown Solicitor’s son – a young Gough Whitlam – and used to pass Prime Minister Ben Chifley in the street. “I was driving home one night and there’s this bloke walking along beside the road, and I knew him because I used to see him every Friday morning to do a recording for him. I said, ‘Mr Chifley, can I take you somewhere?’ “‘No,’ he said, ‘don’t worry about that. I like to get a bit of fresh air and get away from the mob before they get at me.’ That’s the sort of place it was.”

Despite not being a Catholic, it is hard not to get excited over the new church leader who has been popularly known to as “the simple Pope” (in the non-derogatory sense). Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the bus-catching first Pope from outside Europe since the 8th century, now represents one of the largest bodies of people in the world. The reason he is so interesting is not only his unadorned life and enduring work with the poor in Argentina, but the “mirror of justice” he holds up to our own society. The name he picked for himself is Francis I, named after St. Francis of Assisi. This popular saint is wellknown for taking on the life of a beggar in order to serve and preach without worldly distractions. The most famous story is when he strips naked in the centre of town to renounce his father’s wealth, announcing: “From now on, my Father in Heaven will provide all I need”. We are now at the wealthiest time in history for the Western world, and the notion that we must continue to gain wealth and technology to be happy is, unfortunately, almost universally accepted. However, the question I believe the Pope and St. Francis embody and challenge us with is: “How can I simplify my life?”. Something within me reacts against such a question, as it goads me to sacrifice comfort. However, it is one that resonates deeply with that part of me that seeks true and simple happiness, and ultimately, I believe, God. To be denominationally balanced, over the last few weeks our own Anglican bishop Stuart Robinson has led walks through all the coastal towns in this diocese carrying a giant, two-metre cross in an act of simplicity and humility this Easter. The aim was to travel through Bungendore and Goulburn, finishing in a final walk through Canberra at 5am on Easter Sunday. This act, although early, cold and uncomfortable, speaks to me of this beautiful simplicity that encapsulates true meaning and hope to a hurting world. So this Easter, I encourage you to consider such a significant personal challenge. Not seeking the sales, but simplicity. Not feasts as much as frugality. Not self, but sacrifice. It may not help the economy, but I believe through this “simple” question we may discover what it is to be truly blessed. Nick Jensen is a director of the ACT Australian Christian Lobby

CityNews  March 21-27  9


Cindy’s tough walk for her dad ASTROPHYSICIST Prof Stephen Easton Stephen Hawking is probably reports the best-known person with motor neurone disease – he’d been a farmer all his life – (known in the US as Lou and he was determined to fight,” Gehrig’s disease), but is she says. “We always knew it perhaps not the best example would happen, but I just think his fight was so brave and so long of how the condition affects and when it finished it was like, most people. ‘It’s all over now’. For me, it’s still

Diagnosed at 21 and given two years to live, he has kept on with the condition for half a century. When Cindy McGhie’s father was diagnosed in 2007, doctors informed him that he probably had between 18 months and three years left to live. “Dad was told to go home and get his affairs in order,” Cindy says. “We had a huge grieving process, which began then.” Cindy has done the Walk to d’Feet Motor Neurone Disease and helped promote the event for the past five years, raising about $40,000 for MND NSW. But this year, she says, the five-kilometre walk on Sunday, March 24, will be harder than ever. Surviving twice as long as his original bleak prognosis, her father died six weeks ago. “My dad was as tough as tough

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really raw.” Throughout the physical decline caused by the disease, Cindy’s mother cared for her father with the support of MND NSW. “A lot of the money is directed towards care and support for sufferers and their families,” Cindy says. “I know with dad, he was actually able to stay at home the entire time, through aids that were delivered to the house free of charge – walking aids, then wheelchairs, then hoist devices for the bed.” Some of the money raised by the walk also goes to fund research into treatments. Justine Calvert’s father also died of MND, surviving just over two years after he was diagnosed in 2010. This Sunday will be her third time doing the Walk to d’Feet MND, and she also volun-

Got to love our liveability By Catherine Carter

FOR a 100-year-old city, Canberra is looking pretty fantastic.

Cindy McGhie... “My dad was as tough as tough – he’d been a farmer all his life – and he was determined to fight.”  Photo by Silas Brown teers her time to help promote and run the event. Like Cindy, the experience of her father’s rapid decline made her determined to raise awareness. “You almost feel like standing

on the rooftops and just screaming it out so everybody knows,” Justine says. “I really want people in the community to know about it and if people in Canberra can find it in their hearts to give what they can, any amount is helpful.”

We have lots of reasons to celebrate this year – a new survey shows Canberra second to Adelaide as Australia’s most liveable city. Almost 6000 respondents to the Property Council of Australia’s Liveability Survey, across 11 cities, were asked what they thought was important in making a place good to live and to rate their city’s performance. The poll supports what we all know to be true – Canberra is a beautiful and special place to live with good public facilities. It’s still easy to get around, it is a comparatively safe place to live and is based on a community of a diverse range of people who get along well. The survey also revealed areas for improvement. Nearly half of the respondents felt that the public transport system was inadequate and many believed that our Government was doing a poor job in supplying infrastructure to meet demand. Most believed there was not enough range in affordable housing – we need to pay attention now to this critical issue if we want to maintain our balance of community. The good news is there was strong support for a diversity of housing types, including developments on new land, mediumdensity housing and residential reuse of industrial sites. The challenge remains for the ACT Government to do more to ensure that our city is a home not just for the privileged few, but for anyone who wants to enjoy it, particularly our key workers and young people. More on the poll at Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia


dose of dorin

High price of charging over the political cliff THERE comes a time in Robert Macklin any society when political the gadfly discourse reaches the edge of vitors from another century. a cliff called Danger. Experienced participants know, deep in their hearts, when that point is reached. Even if the abyss beyond is shrouded in the fog of ideological warfare, they know that to take that extra step would be to plunge the contest into a world from which there can be no retreat. In some societies the cliff is ubiquitous and vertiginous. One false word and you’re history. In Australia, we have a little more leeway, but we should remember that between the Lambing Flat riots of 1861 and the Cronulla riots of 2005 we had almost a century of enforced homogeneity via the White Australia Policy. However, now we have a dilemma, particularly among those of us who abhor racism but at the same time find themselves disgusted by religious strictures that turn women into veiled ser-

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We tell ourselves that a couple of generations of Australian secular egalitarianism will solve that problem, but in the meantime as a community we must all tread a careful path. The Opposition spokesman on immigration, Scott Morrison, is an experienced participant in our political discourse. And he knows just how explosive the “boat people” issue is. But he also knows that it’s a surefire vote winner among the less well educated folk in the key western Sydney seats. So, over the last two years – in lockstep with his leader Tony Abbott – he has exploited the issue by stepping ever closer to the edge of that political cliff. And then, with knowledge aforethought, he blithely jumped over with a call for “behaviour protocols” for asylum seekers (for which read “Moslem terrorists”)

released into the community. And it worked. Tony Abbott supported him. The polls supported him. And the Prime Minister responded by elevating a phony issue about 457 visas for temporary migrant workers into an earnest of her determination to put “Australians first”. Moreover, the media has followed the downward plunge. I am on the list that receives transcripts of the Prime Minister’s daily speeches and interviews. The speeches – which are invariably of a remarkably high standard – are simply ignored. But the tone of the questioning has descended from merely impolite to downright insulting… and that’s not from the egregious “shock jocks” but from the more civilised members of the pack. But here’s the rub. Once over the cliff the Morrison tactic becomes one of ever diminishing returns. To keep his converts, he and Abbott will have to keep raising their voices in ever more hysterical cries of hate and fear. One of two things will then happen – either the PM will follow them over the cliff; or she will, at last, find the courage to turn away from the edge, to come out from behind the Houston Committee shield, and direct her appeal to the better angels of our nature. Will it win her the election? Maybe, but the odds are against her. However, if she loses she will at least have kept faith with the principles of “Labor decency” that she says she holds so dear. We’ll see.

letters Ridiculous trappings of statehood FORMER Senate Clerk, Harry Evans, is a voice of reason in the Assembly size debate when he advocated having a mayor for Canberra along with a representative council, thus doing away with the Assembly. One of the reasons for me being involved as founding president in establishing the Community Alliance Party was to push for a community council type approach to governing the ACT along the lines of similar councils in Canada. It is ridiculous for a small territory like the ACT to have the expensive trappings of statehood with our own Supreme Court, Human Rights Commissioners, ATSIC, Ombudsman, Multicultural Affairs office, Environment Commissioner and the like. With little or no income from industry, minerals, commodity, resources and agriculture, it would be cheaper to buy these services in from NSW or Victoria when required, rather than have the ACT taxpayer alone supporting them. And it is useless having an adversarial type government system with members sitting on opposite sides of the Assembly. Better to have councillors representing their various constituencies sitting around a table in a co-operative environment. We would then have no need for yet more expensive, party-machine serving MLAs supping at the public trough.


considered gungy underwear but was wearing clean knickers, I was much relieved. Indeed, it seems to me that from now on, it should be de rigueur for men and women to wear clean underwear at dedication ceremonies in Canberra.


Don Allan via

Lessons of theocracy YOU can’t beat those Catholics! While politicians around the world are in fear and trembling at the prospect of facing their electorates of some thousands, 1.2 billion Catholics, including up to 50,000 in St Peter’s Square, awaited joyfully for the man in white to walk on to the Vatican balcony. What’s surprising about that? Well, apart from the size of the electorate, they didn’t even know who the man in white would be – let alone a 20/1 shot. Lots of people sure seem happy with a theocracy instead of a democracy! Pollies could learn a lesson?


Colliss Parrett, Barton

Hard to resist I HAVE just arrived from Ahmedebad, India. When visit-

Ric Hingee, Duffy ing local shopping malls, I have picked up “CityNews”

Katy keeps it clean! WHEN Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, touched on the dress code of 100 years’ ago in her speech at the celebration of Canberra’s original dedication ceremony and admitted that she wasn’t in what might now be

from the baskets and believe the magazine, apart from being very attractive, contains items and features worth reading. In my opinion, if you read “CityNews” thoroughly, there is no need to buy a daily newspaper. Its cover is so attractive that no one can resist picking it up.

Arvind Joshi, Dunlop


Sporting Confidential with Tim Gavel

Young buck at authority

Soul food chef Victor Kimble... “Food for me is not just about food, it’s about comfort and family.” 

Photo by Silas Brown

Star chef’s food for the soul HE’S cooked for the likes of Laura Edwards James Brown and the Harlem reports Globetrotters – now chef Victor Kimble will serve up a touch of soul was where everyone would congregate, to Canberra diners. and I would always hang out in the

Victor’s new restaurant, Soul Food Kitchen, will open in Erindale this month. He describes soul food as “the flavours of New Orleans” – think corn bread muffins, slow-cooked barbecue pork ribs, black-eyed peas, crab cakes and southern-style chicken breast strips. “The origin of soul food is from the southern slave States, which is why it is often also called southern cooking,” Victor says. “It first started in New Orleans, Louisiana, then in places like Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, so the soulfood cuisine has roots of over 400 years old, and uses the blends of Cajun and Creole spices from a history of French, Spanish, Italian, Indian and African cultures.” Growing up in Alabama, Victor started cooking at five years old while learning from his mother and grandmother. “When I was growing up, the kitchen

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kitchen with my mother, grandmother, aunts and neighbours while they’re cooking, especially during big events like the fourth of July, thanksgiving, those sort of big eventful holidays,” he says. “Food for me is not just about food, it’s about the comfort it brings, enjoying it with family and friends.” Victor moved to Australia in 1993 and opened Soul Food Kitchens in Sydney and the Sunshine Coast, where he received “off the hook” feedback. “While Soul Food Kitchens are popular in the US, the evolution of Soul Food in Australia has been limited,” he says. “So the feedback I got was fantastic, people just loved it.” Word must have got around because a few celebrities paid him a visit, such as James Brown, Stevie Wonder and the Harlem Globetrotters. But Victor insists they were “just the same as every other customer”. Since moving to Canberra three

years ago with his wife, Victor has run cooking shows at the Fyshwick and Belconnen markets. “After the shows people always came and asked where’s your restaurant, when can we come, and that’s one of the things that prompted me opening my own place here,” he says. “It will be a takeaway and dine-in, but with the vibe I’m hoping they’ll want to stay in.” Decked out with a piano, trombone and a big screen TV – and of course, soul and Motown music playing in the background – Victor says the restaurant aims to make customers feel like “they’re coming into my home”. And he means it – the decor will also include Victor’s family photos, old snaps of him playing basketball and even his wedding photo. “I’m not one of these chefs that’s no fun and loses their temper, I’m in the kitchen singing and dancing,” he says. “I have a good time and want my staff to have a good time, and if my staff do that then that transcends to the customers.” Soul Food Kitchen, 38 Gartside Street, Wanniassa, open from March 28. More information at

IS it just me, or do some of the emerging generation of professional sportsmen have an issue with authority? Josh Dugan’s problems at the Canberra Raiders have been well documented. It had become obvious that he had an issue with the discipline required at the Raiders. Then there was the Collingwood player fined for parking in the chief executive’s car space, some of the Australian cricket team having trouble conforming with coach Micky Arthur, Quade Cooper’s public falling out with coach Robbie Deans... the list of examples goes on. Situations as we saw at the Raiders appear to be more prevalent with athletes needing constant attention to remain focused. There are so many distractions, so much money at that age, so much spare time and so many people offering advice. Player managers have become baby-

sitters for professional sportspeople and, if something goes wrong, they have to sort it out. If the player gets dropped, the manager is on the phone to the coach and the chief executive. It has become ludicrous and it is breeding a generation of sportspeople unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. By building them up as super humans, we in the media need also to take some responsibility for the current breed of sports behaviour. But what sort of person are we moulding? Is it one who believes he doesn’t have to adhere to authority? Let the manager deal with issues that people in everyday life have to deal with; leak a story to the media to gain public support. I think the Raiders’ board had no option but to sack Dugan. Hopefully, he will go on to become a great player at another club; I don’t begrudge him that. Like Todd Carney, I hate seeing talent go to waste.

Fraught tale of two tracks The ACT Government made an election promise of $4.5 million to build a new synthetic running track and facility on the southside for use by Little Athletics and other athletes. Clubs on the northside are able to use the AIS, but it’s grass on the southside. Little Athletics identified Stromlo Forest Park as the preferred location, given the space and the cross-country circuit nearby. However, the Government preferred Woden, on the site of the existing trackand-field facility. Little Athletics has pointed out that there is no room to build a decent facility

for championship competition use on the Woden site and there is a major problem with parking, but has been told that to build a new synthetic track and facility for field events at Stromlo would cost more than $20 million, well outside the budget. Something needs to be resolved here. The last thing we need is a facility that can’t be used for competition because it is too small. We have only to look at what has happened to swimming in the ACT to understand why we should avoid building a facility that isn’t capable of staging competition events.

Extend the course JUST on facilities, watching the Independent Schools’ Rowing Regatta and the ACT Championships over the past month, it is obvious that we need to look at extending the rowing course on Yarramundi Reach.

The course is 1800 metres, 200 metres shorter than the Olympic distance of 2000 metres. The sight of crews having trouble stopping before hitting the (physical) wall after races is evidence enough that it needs to be looked at.

Tiffen & Co / advertising feature

Winners are grinners... the winning team of Tiffen & Co with their Australian Mortgage Awards, including the top prize of Australian Brokerage of the Year.

Principals David Friend, left, and Gerard Tiffen... We’re helping people buy a home and we don’t charge them to do it; our service is free, says Gerard.

Passion drives the ‘humble’ star brokers SINCE merging with The Mortgage Detective in 2008, independent mortgage broker Tiffen & Co continues to go from strength to strength, and has a swag of awards from industry peers to prove it, including 11 in the past two years.

In July the team picked up Boutique Brokerage of the Year in the Australian Broking Awards for the second consecutive year, and in October they not only took out their category in the Australian Mortgage Awards, but also the big one, Australian Brokerage of the Year. Managing director Gerard Tiffen knew his team were a good chance in their group, but was genuinely surprised to win the top gong, which he describes as “one of our proudest moments”.

“A local firm of only 14 people to beat the rest of Australia? Maybe it’s just us being a little bit humble, but you think, ‘Wow, that’s pretty good!’” Tiffen & Co was also named the nation’s number one independent broker of 2012 by “Mortgage Professional Australia Magazine”, and just this month made the finals of the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia’s Excellence Awards, giving it a strong claim to being Canberra’s leading mortgage brokers. The independent judging panels for these industry awards don’t just look at measures of business success such as loan volumes and conversion rates, but also consider factors such as customer service and stakeholder engagement. Tiffen’s cohesive and committed team is both the reason for entering such awards and the explanation for how they keep win-

ning them, he says, joking about how they never seem to come up with the cash prizes attached to awards in other industries. “But that’s by the by,” Tiffen says. “The reason we do it is for the staff. They love it, knowing they work for the best company in Australia in what they do. We’ve got

It’s a great time to buy, a really great time to get into the market”

good people and all of them have a lot of passion.” That passion, he explains, comes from being able to offer a free service to people buying their first home, property investors or “mums and dads” buying their second or third home. “You’re not taking anything away from

them, you’re giving. We’re helping people buy a home and we don’t charge them to do it; our service is free. “We can also be totally impartial and get the best deal for the client. That’s why it’s a good job to do.” His co-director David Friend has worked with Gerard since 2000, and agrees that a vibrant culture is the strength behind the striking success of the brokerage. He says that sometimes, clients are surprised when they walk into the welcoming, relaxed environment of the Kingston office. “We’ve got good longevity with our staff, too,” he adds. “There’s not a high turnover in admin staff or brokers, so that gives us a good foundation.” Friend says Tiffen & Co is expert in helping investors restructure multiple mortgages from a single lender. “People come to us with the wrong

structure. They go through a bank and everything’s cross-securitised. We pull it apart and make it easier for them and give them a choice to go elsewhere,” he says. Looking ahead, Tiffen says it’s a good time to get into property investment in the ACT or expand an existing portfolio with the growth in house prices flattening recently. “Money is cheap – 4.99 per cent – and at the moment you can get two years, three years fixed rate,” he points out. “That’s a positive, but on the flipside of the coin you’ve got a [potential] change of government imminent and traditionally, Canberrans hold their breath [until after the Federal election]. “So I think the market will stay flat for at least the next 12 months, which means again from my point of view it’s a great time to buy, a really great time to get into the market, because it’s affordable.”

CityNews  March 21-27  15

Canberra Confidential Lunch number bites the dust

published a tweet, from “@MisterMeikle”, in violent agreement with Moloney. Surely, this showed that “CityNews” editor Ian Meikle was a hypocrite! ONLY a politician could turn 100 into 134. Unfortunately, it was not the gotcha Here’s how: to be publicly recognised as one moment they had wished for. They hadn’t of the 100 women who have “made a differchecked. They had blithely assumed that ence to Canberra”, nominees were invited, Scott Meikle (absolutely no relation) was compliments of UN Women Australia, to atour man Ian Meikle. tend the blockbusting International Women’s Since Ian was MD of the “Times” for a Day lunch at the National Convention Centre. decade, and a simple check with its own But what if you made the list but couldn’t photo library would have revealed he bears make the lunch? no resemblance to the tweet photo of the According to MP for Canberra, Gai younger, plumper @MisterMeikle, it’s time Brodtmann, who was managing the for an apology. Centenary-inspired list, attendance was a prerequisite: “Nominees must have made a significant contribution to Canberra. Women do not need to be high profile; they can be DEBRETT’S, the arbiters of etiquette, quiet achievers and influencers... they just advise that when drinking champagne one need to be able to attend the lunch.” should: “Hold it at the stem so your warm But the Honorable Member must have lost hands don’t affect the temperature of the her nerve. The final list has 136 women, well, 134 actually, two names are double listed, comprising the 100 who made the knees-up and 34 obviously distinguished individuals who couldn’t or politically couldn’t be excluded.

I say, bad form, what?

Not so gotcha! Last week, after “Canberra Times’” senior staffer John-Paul (“Birdman”) Moloney published a plebeian critique of the Centenary’s One Big Day celebrations, CC tickled him up about it. In reply, last Saturday, the daily paper must have thought it had a big story when it

16  CityNews  March 21-27

Know something? /

champagne.” Clearly, a subtlety missed by our Prime Minister and Governor-General at the Centenary toast to Canberra.

Hmmms SHINY, new ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson appears to be putting his stamp on the job. Hannah Passfield was titled media adviser in his predecessor’s office. New chum Stephanie Hawkins is signing off as media advisor. New and clearly still deferential, Ms H described Liberal Treasury spokesman Brendan Smyth in a recent press release as “Mr Brendan”.

Home of booners AND while we celebrate all-things Canberra, the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the ANU has been musing about words that are Canberra inventions. It credits us with creating a unique term for public servants: to wit pube. Then there is govie (or guvvie) for a house that was originally built and owned by the government. We’re also credited with the delicious term booner to describe someone regarded as uncultured or unsophisticated, in the mould of the more widely used bogan or Westie.

CC’s diplomatic mole says rumours are swirling that Jeffrey L. Bleich, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the US and 24th American ambassador to the Commonwealth of Australia, is being called by “The Boss” to other things. Ambassador Bleich has been here since 2009.

Flashfest Fashfest ANYONE doubting that May’s high-fashion, debut Fashfest event won’t put Canberra on the map ponder this: it has attracted more than 90 volunteers and more than 25 organisations; it’s landed more than $200,000 in sponsorship funds and more than $100,000 in creative expertise has been donated in-kind... and that’s just so far.

What moves Joy WE received a mournful missive from Cuban ambassador Pedro Monzon politely bemoaning that renowned expatriate artist Nelson Dominguez´s four-metre sculpture, a gift from Cuba to mark our centenary, had attracted no media attention on the day it

Cuba’s centenary gift to Canberra. was presented to the city. Despite being roundly snubbed by the fourth estate, the ambassador in the role of scribbler, had something of a small scoop in reporting that ACT Arts Minister, Joy Burch, was “visibly moved” by the imposing image of this steel sculpture. He tantalises, but offers no more insights as to the state of the minister’s tear ducts.

WHAT’S with the death-wish cyclists frustrating car drivers by riding the single-lane, twisting Alexandrina Drive beside the lake at Yarralumla when there’s a bike lane running alongside? IS this a record rip-off? BYO corkage charge at the wee cafe atop Red Hill is $7 per person (four people x one bottle = $28!). Can that be topped? would like to know.

scene / around canberra

invite us /

At the Canberra Star Ball, Hotel Realm, Barton

At Omar Musa’s poetry book launch ‘Parang’, Braddon

Kyna Vandenbeld, Ellen Mace, Elizabeth Oermann, Laura Vagger, Tamara Fanning and Jaimee Palmer

Amelia, Nadia, Zahari and Annette Osman with host Omar Musa, centre

Matthew Kerrigan, Angela Dodgson and Alan Martin

Paul Minihan and Katherine Olmos

Gonzalo Olmos, Jeanette Krah, Veronica Olmos-Holt, Greg Holt and Troy Dawe

Rebecca Kennedy and Ryan Schilg

Bly Miers, Anna Bezos, Roland Cheung and Marg Job

Seyi Onitiri, Karolina Kilian and Foti Eteuati

Jackie Dowling and Kaine Miers

Christine Hodge, Meg Bowland and Deb Stevens

Sybilla Grady and William Mackay

Irma Gold and Suzanne Kiraly

Emmett Howard and Caitlin Priest

Julia Winterflood, Jacquie Chlanda and Meg O’Connell

CityNews  March 21-27  17


more photos /

At ‘Vegas Nights’ dinner and burlesque show, Waldorf on London, Civic

At Canberra Lakes Probus Club’s 20th anniversary

Cass Valentine, Ellie Martin, Ruth Campbell, Frieda Koenig, Carrie Powick and Katrina Shegog

Incoming president Joyce Goodman, Phil Armstrong, outgoing president Ellen Matthews and Chris Norwood

Bec Wooten and Andrea McNamara

Sean and Petra Barnes with Dale and Daryl Brosnahan

18  CityNews  March 21-27

Sean Hill, Gerard Young, Liz Paver and Danica Vress

Samatha and Wayne Winter with Leigh and Bec Winter

Petro Famelis, Vince Gelomese and Con Westerberg

Leanne Aboud with Stan Hume

Karen and Richard Palmer with Steve Pragnell

Lisa and Marc Roberts

Gliselle Ramos and Helen Bellato

Frances and Don Bloomfield

Brigitte Coles, Joan Hurren, Jenny Reynolds and Barbara Parker

Judy Paske, Val Ginns, Joan Frizelle, Faye Yeatman and Gloria McKenzie


more photos /

At the Australian Institute of Company Directors ‘Autumn Twilight Networking Event’, The Lobby Restaurant

Chris Miller, Kylie Watson and Anne Hazell

Fiona Dolan and Adrian Watts

Tim Wedding, Karen Schilling and Michael Monck

Amanda McBroom, Linda Bennett and Virginia Field

Duncan Buchanan, Alison Carmichael and Joyanne Gough

Heidi Yates and Belinda Barnard

Peter Quiggin, Barbara Knackstedt, Caroline and Fergus Fitzwarryne

At National Folk Festival launch, Lonsdale Street Traders

Pam Merrigan, Zena Armstrong and Sebastian Flynn

Kate Bowman and Ruby Nelson

Andrew Cronshaw and Fred Smith

Pauline Skerman and Mark Cranfield

20  CityNews  March 21-27

Cassidy Richens and Gabrielle Mackey

CityNews  March 21-27  21

Easter choices

advertising feature

The Resurrection is a Christian symbol of hope OBVIOUSLY Easter is an important time of the year to Christians, and Belconnen Baptist Church executive officer Phil Priest says it’s also an opportunity to share a deeper meaning with the whole community. “To us it’s an opportunity to be able to share with the community what we understand as the true meaning of Easter, beyond the foil and the eggs and the Easter Bunny,” he says. “Not that those are terrible things!” The church has a service on Thursday night and three on Good Friday, one of which is at Franklin Early Childhood School. “We’re holding a service over there for the first time, for some of our folk who live over in the Gungahlin community and their family and friends,” Phil explains. “Really, the whole weekend is geared around family and community and provides opportunities to come in and hear what we see as the true

message of Easter.” Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion on Good Friday, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. “It’s what provides us with hope for the future,” Phil explains. “An understanding that we are created by God in His image and what He has done for us with that gift – which can be represented by the eggs at Easter – is what gives us hope for this life and the future.” Belconnen Baptist Church, Dallachy Street, Page. More information at or call 6254 6565

Cute kids’ treats – without the sugar! LELLOW Kids in Braddon is a cute boutique that stocks clothing, shoes and toys for babies and young children, as well as decor for their bedrooms. Owner Loretta Hately focuses on unique, high-quality products that she believes kids will love, based on her experience with her own young children. She says Lellow Kids has a range of sweet

Easter treats – but not the kind that are full of sugar. Loretta is excited to be the only stockist in Canberra for soft toys made by the French brand Moulin Roty. “They’re an exquisite French brand that use the finest fabrics and materials, and they’re presented in really nice gift boxes as well,” she says. “You can get rabbits, lions, penguins and lots of other different types of toys for newborns up to toddlers.

“We also have brand-new Glottogon puzzles and beautiful, classic Easter books, as well as a variety of toys and a large selection of designer childrenswear.” With storybook-style fantasy murals and stock displayed on white shelves built into the walls, Lellow Kids is also an interesting shop to poke your head into. Shop 3a, 25 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Open 10am to 4pm Easter Saturday.

Experience. Well written, well read.

Ian Meikle editor

Greg Jones CEO

22  CityNews  March 21-27

CityNews  March 21-27  23

24  CityNews  March 21-27

arts & entertainment

Dougal Macdonald Masterful ‘Performance’

Geometric music with a secret thread By Helen Musa

Alternative folk/country singer-songwriter, Jordie Lane.

Easter’s festival of mixed folk IT’S an early Easter this year, but that’s no problem for the 47th National Folk Festival.

With nearly 800 musicians and singers, 450 dancers, four choirs, a kids’ festival, workshops, poetry recitals, instrument classes and dozens of food and craft stalls, it’s bigger and brighter than ever, festival director Sebastian Flynn says. There’ll be smaller, more intimate venues around EPIC and an innovation whereby people can bring kids aged under 7 at no cost, while young people from 7-15 qualify for children’s prices. As usual the “National” will have folk superstars from Ireland, Paul Brady and Andy Irvine; former UK Singer of the Year, Seth Lakeman; Kieran Kane, from the US; David Francey, from Canada, and Himmerland from Denmark. Then there are “these two shady guys from the States,” storyteller/composer David Olney and top guitar picker Sergio Webb, known for highly theatrical performances. Olney is doing a one-off songwriting masterclass at Ainslie Arts Centre, Braddon (more information at Flynn is keen to stress the importance of indie/young artists such as Triple J “Unearthed” winners, Husky, and alt folk/country singer-songwriter, Jordie Lane. Contemporary singersongwriter, Fred Smith, has contacted “CityNews” to tell us he and his “accomplice” Liz Frencham are staging “something of a retrospective”. Smith’s been around town for years performing his songs about Canberra, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan, and on

By Helen Musa Easter Monday Smith will present songs from “Bagarap Empires”, the CD he reckons put him on the map. (Smith needs photos from Bougainville, either pre-or post-conflict, and can be contacted at Canberra, naturally enough, will be the “feature State” to mark the Centenary, so artistic program manager Pam Merrigan has scheduled local performers such as Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens, Shortis and Simpson, Wirad-

Storyteller/composer David Olney, left, and guitar picker Sergio Webb.

COMPOSER Vincent Plush hits the nail on the head when he quotes the great German writer, Goethe, to the effect that: “Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music”. That’s just it, Plush says, as he prepares for the coming premiere Centenary performance by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra of his new work, “Secret Geometries”. The title alludes to the underlying “secret” symbolism behind the designs for Canberra by Walter Burley Griffin and his wife, Marion Mahoney, concepts derived from theosophical notions of sacred geometry or “geomancy”, including the Chinese principles of feng shui. Plush has been a familiar figure around town during six years as senior researcher with the National Film and Sound Archive, but during his time living here, not a crotchet hit paper. Now that he’s left the NFSA for Brisbane, Plush is also resuming his former identity as one of Australia’s most distinguished composers. He says he has created “secrets” of his own, using codes and pitches

Vincent Plush... composer of “Secret Geometries”.  Photo by Peter Hislop that conceal names and information in the music. The opening unison orchestral flourish, for instance, asserts the “Canberra” theme, comprising the pitches C-A-B (B flat, in music)-E-A. Other melodies spell out the names of Walter, Marion, and their adversaries. Plush has dedicated “Secret Geometries” to the memory of the late American composer William Duckworth who, during one of several trips to Canberra, visited the Red Hill Lookout and said, sotto voce: “This city is sheer music”. “Boléro”, at Llewellyn Hall, March 27-28.

juri Echoes, Franklyn B Paverty and the Bush Capital Band, the Miss Chiefs, Hashemoto, Burley Griffin and Son of Rut. They’ll be entertaining, certainly, but they’ll also be there as living proof that Canberra strides the musical stage with ease, flair, and conviction. National Folk Festival, EPIC, March 28 to April 1.

CityNews  March 21-27  25

arts & entertainment / reviews

‘Performance’ with a masterful twist “Performance” (M) THIS lovely debut feature by producer/writer/director Yaron Zilberman didn’t get a nomination for the recent Academy Awards. Nor should it have. Too good for box-office-driven competition, brilliantly credible, every element of its creation offers deep satisfactions. For 25 years, four talented string players have performed together. The patriarch is cellist Peter (Christopher Walken unlike any previous role). First violin is Daniel (Mark Ivanir). Second violin Robert (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and viola Juliette (Catherine Keener) are parents of promising 24-year-old violinist Alexandria (Imogen Poots). “Performance” studies those five people – growth as performers, domestic and professional relationships, emotional issues. Its catalyst is Peter’s recentlyconfirmed Parkinson’s disease, a terrible anguish for a player whose art is in the fingers of his left hand. That dark destiny is one of two constants underlying Robert’s yearning to change chairs with Daniel, Juliette and Alexandria’s falling out over the latter’s affair with Daniel and Juliette’s fury at waking one morning and smelling another woman on Robert’s body. The other is Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, Opus 131, which the quartet is booked to perform. With no intervals separating its seven movements, it challenges the players both physically and artistically. Zilberman’s emotionally powerful film delivers major satisfactions as it ranges across a wide cultural spectrum. The screenplay is structurally robust, with dialogue betokening a masterful writer’s ear. At Palace Electric and Capitol 6

“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (M) THIS film, set in the milieu of magic as a performance attraction, is the debut in the grown-up, big-screen world of director Don Scardino and writer Jonathan Goldstein after careers in network TV. As melodramatic comedy, it’s okay. As an exposé of the secrets of conjuring, sleight-of-hand, illusion and prestidigitation, however you wish to describe it so long as you don’t call it magic, it skates over the surface. Cinema can deliver visual fakery better than live performance can. Burt (Steve Carell) and Antony (Steve Buscemi) found common cause at primary school through their love of magic tricks learned from a mail-order kit from Holloway (Alan Arkin). For a decade they have performed to a slowly but inexorably declining audience at Doug Munny’s (James Gandolfini) Las Vegas casino hotel. Munny is

26  CityNews  March 21-27

Dougal Macdonald cinema

the name, money is his game. And he’s about to dump Burt and Antony, whose childhood friendship is in tatters after the emergence of irreconcilable differences partly caused by Jane (Olivia Wilde), their attractive stage assistant. To replace them, Doug has engaged Steve (Jim Carrey), whose act involves self-harm on a grand scale overshadowed by the dimensions of his ego. Working out how Don and Jonathan resolved that list of the film’s issues poses no great intellectual challenge. Numerous defects do nothing to reinforce the plot’s credibility. Can we forgive them? Buscemi, Arkin and Gandolfini give performances more satisfying than their billing justifies. At best, the film offers escape rather than magic. At Dendy and Palace

“Goddess” (PG) THIS is the kind of Australian film that lacerates a reviewer’s soul. Its good intentions are palpable – observing aspects of society that merit discussion. Its Tasmanian exteriors look sublime. Magda Szubanski as the villainess is, as usual, admirable despite, or perhaps because of, having to spout dialogue that is trite, abrasive and alienating. That short list sums up the good things about a film in which Elspeth (Laura Michelle Kelly), caring for scallywag twin sons on a Tasmanian farm while husband James (Ronan Keating) is away recording a whale song, stumbles across fame when she goes live on the web chortling the “sink songs” that divert her from life’s hum-drummity. Elspeth doesn’t realise that her web-cam moments, intended to keep in touch with James, have become a viral hit. Sydney advertising tycoon Cassandra (Szubanski) needs a success. One of her clients wants to break into the oversupplied tablet market. It’s called Goddess. Director Mark Lamprell and his co-writer Joanna Weinberg have failed to see the mishmash they were creating. The plot sinks into a bottomless satirical morass as notoriety destroys the ephemeral comfort zone of overnight success. At all cinemas

Fun time with Fred and Liz music

“Frencham Smith” Liz Frencham and Fred Smith At the Famous Spiegel Garden, March 15. Reviewed by Ian McLean FRED Smith attracts a diverse group of ardent followers. There are those entranced by the many songs he has written during postings as a political adviser in Bougainville, the Solomons and Afghanistan. Then there are a group from the folk world familiar with his association with the Spooky Men’s Chorale. Yet another fan base has followed his fortunes through a 10-year professional link with the immensely talented Liz Frencham. When this eclectic crowd of devotees packed together into the sold-out Spiegel Garden tent (irreverently described by Smith as akin to a rotisserie) one could sense a special night was in store. In the main, we journeyed through songs from the Frencham Smith collaborative album, “Into My Room”. Besides splendid and always tasteful bass playing, the warm-smiling Liz Frencham has a mesmerising voice, at times reminiscent of Billie Holiday. There was plenty of fun as well. Smith’s writing is quirky and clever as he relays his interpretation of real life. We laughed about a bar in the US, tried in vain to link Canberra’s Centenary with Oklahoma, giggled about Nara and revelled in the naughty ditty “I Need a Little Renovation Too”. A fine band – Barney Wakeford (piano), John Jones (drums) and Graeme Reynolds (trumpet) – supported with subtle, tight and never intrusive backing. All in all, a happy and informal concert that united the cross section of diverse fans with simple grace and charm and excellent music.

arts & entertainment

More than love in the air when starring newlyweds sing THERE’LL be more than a touch of local romance when newlyweds, soprano Lisa Cannizzaro and baritone Jeremy Tatchell, star in Co-Opera’s new production of “Die Fledermaus” at Albert Hall. I first saw Tatchell, the son of two leading Canberra musicians when, aged 12, he played the Artful Dodger in a Canberra Grammar production of “Oliver!” The couple met during Co-Opera’s “Kiss me Kate” and, at their wedding, the tables were named after productions in which they had starred together. This “Fledermaus” is set in 1920s Australia, so where other than Albert Hall, where it will be seen at 7.30pm, Tuesday, March 26? Bookings to or 0402 120478.

Helen Musa arts in the city

CANBERRA’S chief arts lobby, the Childers Group, has emailed us about its 2013/2014 ACT Budget submission, which asks the question: what happens when the Centenary celebrations are over? What indeed? CANBERRAN James Batchelor is already famous for working in contemporary dance and experimental film. A graduate of Canberra’s Quantum Leap and the Victorian College of the Arts, he has a new work, “Inwonderland” at the Canberra Theatre Centre soon. It’s billed as “a

NewActon’s Močan & Green Grout... a compact and eclectic café. 

vibrant series of dreamlike scenarios in which reality gives way to delusional fantasy [that] will leave you amused, confused and a little bit loopy.” At the Courtyard Studio, April 3-6. Entry free, but bookings advisable to or 6275 2700. THE Griffyn Ensemble is venturing into “uncharted musical waters” with its first international exchange program, the “Water into Swine Festival,” starting on March 28. The high point is a dinner-show on April 5 at Belconnen Arts Centre exploring “water” and featuring Griffyn and the Swedish ensemble, The Peärls Before Swïne Experience. Preceding that are concerts called “Last Supper”, “Easter Vigil”, “Feast With Pigs” and “April’s

Fool”. There’s a bargain gold pass for just $100, details and bookings to THAT artistic dynamo David Sequeira, director of “Imaging Canberra”, tells us he’s had to close his Everything Nothing Projects gallery in the old Center Cinema building after the lease expired, but says: “I will be opening a new space soon and look forward to welcoming you.” IMPRO ACT has a showcase festival of Canberradevised one-act impro shows coming up at Casino Canberra from April 5-7. Bookings to 1300 851 055 or

Photos by Silas Brown.

Pumping home of the buzzy breakfast IT was the morning before Canberra’s Wendy Johnson 100th birthday and Močan & Green Grout, dining a compact and eclectic café (in every sense of the word) was pumping. Sitting on shelves are well-used cookbooks, scales

The line-up at this NewActon eatery was noticeably long when I passed the entrance to find a car park but, hey, it was a big day in the nation’s capital. Močan & Green Grout is a destination for those who like a buzzy breakfast. It describes itself as a “café with a conscience”, doing all the right things such as growing herbs and veggies, composting and supporting local producers. What I love is the feeling that you’re sitting in someone’s home, smack in the middle of their kitchen. Indeed, the dark-green marble bench table is half for clients chowing down and half for chefs cooking up a storm… so very communal. And I approve of the hooks for ladies’ bags (no woman enjoys tossing her bag on a café or bar floor).

Omoku Bai Jo Heirloom tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella with olive dust.

and “odds and sods”. Blocks of wood form a feature wall, on which hangs a roll of brown paper recording specials. But enough of the décor. Let’s taste the food. The breakfast menu is smallish but super interesting. I was going to do a “my-body-is-my-temple” breakfast and have rose-scented Granola, rhubarb and yoghurt ($9), but that wasn’t meant to be. When I walked inside, I smelled heavenly chorizo being cooked and so ordered that with fried, free-range eggs ($16). My breakfast plate was adorned with two small mounds of piped, creamy avo and a small amount of corn sprinkled about – the effort to plate up nicely noted. The chorizo had kick and the eggs were cooked “just so”. My friend went for the smoked salmon loaded on top of a proper bagel, tarted up with whipped lemon ricotta and salty capers ($9). Another dish that would have made my taste buds dance was the Tripoli baked eggs with hummus, spiced radish and yoghurt ($15). If you want something small, Močan & Green Grout offers organic pastries. While I loved the delicate leaf pattern on my cappuccino, I can’t say it was even close to one of the best I’ve had, lacking in depth and flavour, but I tip my hat to Močan & Green Grout for serving fair trade coffee. I also tip my hat for the free wi-fi. One real concern was overall congestion, especially for those sitting on seats low to the ground. I was on tenterhooks waiting for rushed staff to trip or spill a hot coffee. Work on better spacing and flow would serve the place well. Močan & Green Grout. Open seven days and some evenings,19 Marcus Clarke St, 6162 2909.

CityNews  March 21-27  27

open garden Green thumbs gather at Lanyon WORDS: Kathryn Vukovljak PHOTOS: Silas Brown

THE garden at historic Lanyon homestead has never looked better, with its beautiful roses blooming and the huge vegetable garden overflowing with produce beneath views of the Brindabella Ranges. The working farm will again host Open Gardens Australia’s annual Plant Fair on March 23-24, which promises to be heaven for anyone interested in gardening, and bigger and better for the centenary year. “Lanyon’s grounds represent one of the earliest examples of gardening in the region and are loved by residents as an oasis of reflection and fun,” says Sally Stratton, ACT historic guide at Lanyon. “The Plant Fair is the perfect setting to appreciate the legacy of green thumbs past and to pick up a special plant that continues our gardening tradition.” The garden features historic bunya bunya trees on what was once the popular croquet lawns – “ but the roots of the old trees have put paid to that,” says Sally. There’s also wisteria dating back to 1890, a lily walk which is gradually being replaced after rabbits and hares ate them all, and a flower “picking” garden, created to grow flowers for inside the house, among other heritage features. The fair will be held in the grounds of the 1850s homestead, where visitors can wander through the gardens, chat to Lanyon’s guides and volunteers and enjoy the talks, children’s programs, garden tours and other activities. “The fair brings together specialist growers with everything from bulbs to trees, natives to exotics as well as garden art, outdoor furniture, tools and guest speakers,” says Bronwyn Blake, from Open Gardens Australia. Talks will include landscape architect Michael Bligh, on historic country gardens; author Attila Kapitany, on designing with succulents; Australian Garden History Society’s Helen Wilson, on gardens of the 1930s; historian Dr Lenore Coltheart, on the legacy of nurseryman Thomas Hobday and permaculture consultant Nick Huggins, on permaculture in the backyard. Lanyon Homestead, Tharwa Road, Tharwa. The Plant Fair is open from 10am-4pm on the weekend of March 23-24. Admission is $10, under 18s free. More information and a full list of exhibitors and activities is available at

28  CityNews  March 21-27

CityNews  March 21-27  29


with Cedric Bryant

Autumn’s colours in shrubs AS the leaves turn in autumn, there are many shrubs with rich leaf colour at this time. Starting with the viburnums, the first that comes to mind is Viburnum opulus “Sterile”, commonly known as the Snowball Bush due to its white pom-pom flowers. It is also known as the Guelder Rose (although no relation to roses) or European Cranberry, so take your pick. This is a native of Europe and North Africa, so has no problems with low water usage. In autumn, it has large bunches of translucent red berries that hang on long into winter. The rich tones of the autumn leaves are an added attraction. This is just one of many viburnums that are worth checking out. Cotinus coggygria, or Smoke Bush, features fluffy, smoky-blue inflorescence in late summer followed by reddening leaves in autumn. I recommend C.c. “Royal Purple” that, as the name suggests, has rich purple coloured leaves all summer. The plant was first introduced into western gardens in 1656. We know this as the early plant hunters kept meticulous records of where they first found the plants growing in the wild and the dates of discovery. For a smaller shrub, there is the interesting Hydrangea quercifolia or Oak Leaf Hydrangea with its magnificent autumnal oak-leaf shaped leaves. It has white flowers most of the summer. It was first found growing in the wild in the south-east of the US in 1803. Finally in this group of suggested autumnleafed shrubs, Euonymous alata is a many branched shrub distinguished by its corky, winged bark similar to Liquidamber styraciflua, except the latter is a very large tree only suitable for the biggest garden. This Euonymous is classed as one of the finest of all medium-sized shrubs for autumn colour. It was found in China in 1860. MOST garden advice columns will tell you to spray fruit trees with Bordeaux or Kocide mix in spring to prevent brown rot and curly leaf on the fruit. Usually this advice does not tell you that it is equally important in autumn. The time to spray stone fruit trees, ie peach, nectarine and plums, is once 75 per cent of the leaves have fallen. It is equally important to remove any fallen fruit from under trees or mummified fruit still hanging on the branches. The identical sprays are used at this time of the year. One important piece of advice is when pouring the spray into the sprayer, use a fine meshed funnel or an old nylon stocking. This will prevent

The Oak Leafed Hydrangea on the turn in autumn. fine particles of the powder clogging up the spray jet, which can be highly annoying. SOMETHING eating your veggies before you do? Plants looking off-colour rather than green? Problems deciding is it a weed or a goodie? If your local garden centre can’t solve your plant problems visit the CIT School of Horticulture Plant Clinic, at Bruce CIT in Charles Weston Lane, corner of Battye and Eade Streets. Questions can be answered as part of student training, with a backup from teaching staff. It operates every Monday from 2pm-4pm during term times. Please put any nasties in a plastic bag and, for plant ID, if possible bring leaves, flowers and seeds. Contact 6207 4610.

Apple Day celebration THE 23rd Apple Day Harvest Celebration will be held at Loriendale Orchard, 1.30pm-5pm, Saturday, April 6. Discover the best of organic heritage and modern apples, quinces and pears. Relax in the gardens with Devonshire teas and live music. Enjoy homemade, country-style apple pies, French crepes and Dutch pancakes at this Hall District Event. Loriendale Orchard is just past Hall village, taking the Spring Range Road to the right off the Barton Highway and right on to Carrington Road, watch for the signs.

In this Indian summer...

• Plant pennyroyal near a path so that it gets trodden on, wafting through the air with the delicious peppermint fragrance of the leaves. • Sow snapdragon seeds now, sprinkled randomly. • Freeze herbs after cutting back for later use. • Give box hedging a last clip of the season and it will remain tidy until spring.

Parisian makeover


WINNER of La Bimbi’s Parisian hair makeover and a personalised La Biosthetique haircare, skincare and make-up hamper worth more than $500 is Melanie Dunn, of Lyneham. “CityNews” thanks all entrants for an amazing response to this competition.

30  CityNews  March 21-27

• Use apple corers to get rid of weeds in lawns.

Translucent berries of viburnum opulus.

• Wear gloves when handling hyacinth bulbs. The very fine hairs can cause a dermatitis-type rash.

puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / March 25-31

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

Relationship dramas are likely as the Full Moon, Mars and Pluto stir up partnership problems. You’re feeling fiery and feisty, but resist the temptation to start arguments and arouse opposition in others. With Venus visiting your sign, aim to be more cooperative. If you can morph from a rowdy Ram into a loveable Lamb, then you’ll have a more enjoyable week.

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

For business-savvy Bulls... commercial ventures and financial matters are favoured up until June 26, as Jupiter moves through your money zone. So strike while the iron is hot! But are you feeling uncertain about a close relationship? Possessive power trips and jealous hijinks will only lead to problems on Sunday, so strive to feel more secure and settled within.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Geminis can be easily distracted, as your mercurial mind jumps all over the place. This week, Saturn and Pluto help you power through projects and focus on important issues – so don’t waste the chance to get things done. Are you still hanging out with the same old crowd? If you are bored with your current peer group, perhaps it’s time to introduce some fresh new faces?

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

It’s not a good week to bring up controversial or sensitive issues. The Full Moon highlights your home zone, so be on domestic drama alert and realise that emotions will be running high (and self-control running low) and that you’re likely to blow things way out of proportion. Take a chill pill Crabs and go with the flow! Singles... love and work are linked in unexpected ways.

General knowledge crossword No. 400 Across Down 4 Kiev is the capital of which European republic? 8 What, in botany, are sepals? 9 To be without clothes on, is to be in a state of what? 10 What is a protective coating of resin? 11 Name the balanced interrelationship of organisms and their environment. 12 What are wanderers commonly known as? 14 What do we call one who judges with severity? 18 Name the ceremonies connected with the disposition of a dead body. 21 What is a striped badge worn on the sleeve of a police officer, etc? 22 To rewrite on a smaller scale is to do what? 23 What is a reconditioned motorvehicle tyre? 24 Name another term for planets or stars.

Solution next week 1




VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

Versatile Virgos set extremely high standards, especially this week. Saturn and Pluto activate your perfectionist side, and you’ll accomplish tasks with great diligence and dexterity as you analyse, organise, study and solve sticky problems. But resist the urge to criticise the performance of others.



9 10 11






17 18


20 21


LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

The Full Moon lights up Libra, so get ready to sparkle and shine. Your diplomatic skills may also be called on, as a domestic drama escalates and you are called in as peace-maker. With Jupiter in your aspirations zone, it’s time to dream big dreams. Be inspired by birthday great Gloria Steinem: “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.”



LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

Lively Lions love Full Moon energy because it signals excitement and volatility. You’ll feel fabulously creative this week but beware of being bossy, especially with a nervous neighbour or a stressed-out sibling. Uranus stirs up your temperamental side on Friday. If you keep yourself busy with interesting projects, there’ll be less inclination for you to be disruptive and demanding.

1 Who was Australia’s prime minister 1929-32, James...? 2 What is a number of sheep known as? 3 To have dug up a corpse is to have done what? 4 What describes one who lends money at an exorbitant rate of interest? 5 What is a different term for a wireless? 6 Which strong ship is used for breaking channels through ice? 7 What is a more readily known term for a composition? 13 Which word describes an emperor, etc? 15 To which animal groups do rats and mice belong? 16 Name a highly poisonous substance. 17 What are open sores? 18 What is an alternative term for ensigns? 19 What is an addition to a document, etc? 20 Name the first sign of the zodiac.

23 24

Sudoku medium No. 100

Solution next week

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

You won’t feel like being particularly sociable, as the mid-week Full Moon stimulates your moody and mysterious Scorpio nature... plus Pluto cranks up your controlling side on Sunday. Health issues could also come to a head, so make sure you are doing all you can to look after your mind, body and spirit with nutritious food, suitable exercise and regular relaxation.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

The Full Moon fires up your friendship, networking and entertainment zones, so it’s the perfect week to be a sociable Sagittarian. Friday’s stars are fabulous for flights of fancy as you explore and experiment, go on a grand adventure, or fall in love at first sight! You’re full of creative ideas on the weekend but don’t rush and overlook important details along the way.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Have you been burning the midnight oil and neglecting your nearest and dearest? This week’s full moonbeams crank up your career zone, and also draw attention to domestic problems. Look for ways to make your home life happier and more harmonious. This may involve resolving issues with relatives, or re-organising your living space so that it better suits your current needs.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Others are paying close attention to your work but don’t put all your cards on the table just yet. Keep a few aces up your sleeve, so you can really wow them when the time is right. The sparks fly on Friday, as Uranus shakes up your relationship with a relative, a neighbour... or a surprise new love. Your creativity and communication skills also shine in unconventional ways.

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Prepare for a dramatic week, as the Full Moon brings up unresolved issues to do with lust or loot. An intimate relationship could soar – or crash. And, if you are careless with cash (or credit) then you’ll pay the price further down the track. Friday’s spontaneous stars encourage you to explore and create... plus change your mind every five minutes.  Daily astrology updates at Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011


Crossword No.399 A E C S H I E D N P A E R S T I A L N



Sudoku hard No.99


CityNews  March 21-27  31

32  CityNews  March 21-27

Canberra CityNews March 21  
Canberra CityNews March 21  

GEORGE and Iris Barlin have been married for 75 years. That’s right, 75 years. Their blessed love story traces delightfully the evolution of...