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Call to strangers: come to Canberra

New Year festival

Stephen Easton reports

MICHAEL Pedler is offering newcomers to Canberra “a weekend with friends that you haven’t met yet”. He is heading up an ACT Rotary project – “Have You Ever Been to Canberra?”– that will host 100 visitors over the Centenary year who have never visited the city. “Surprisingly, there are a lot of people in this country who have never been to their nation’s capital,” he says. “We felt there was an opportunity to bring people here for the 100th anniversary celebration. “That’s the main motivator – to bring people who’ve not had a chance to come for whatever reason. I guess the most obvious one is going to be socioeconomic, but it doesn’t have to be, it could just be circumstance.” Intending applicants for “Have You Ever Been to Canberra?” need to nominate their interest via their local Rotary Club, or be nominated by someone else. They will then stay with local Rotarians for a few days, see the sights and hopefully, leave with a new appreciation of Canberra. Some might point out similarities to Australian Capital Tourism’s recent Human Brochure project, which selected people to visit Canberra and report on their experience through social media. But this is not about tourism, as such, says Michael. “It’s about linking people,” he explains. “If there’s a tourism flow-on, then so be it, but the objective is to bring people to Canberra who’ve never been here, to see the national icons, meet the locals and, in some

Rock swap returns

Michael Pedler... “It’s about linking people. If there’s a tourism flow-on, then so be it, but the objective is to bring people to Canberra who’ve never been here.”  Photo by Brent McDonald respects, to show that it’s more than a town of politicians, that real people live here and that there are interesting and fascinating things to see.” Participants will be able to arrange a trip that is personalised to their interests, but also include any Centenary-related events that happen to be on. “In a sense, it’s about spending a weekend with friends that you haven’t met yet,” says Michael. “What we’re hoping is that individuals in the Canberra area might know someone who lives out of Canberra, who’s not been here and would like to come. “We’d be certainly pleased to hear about them, and also we’d be very pleased to hear from local businesses who might be prepared to sponsor visits or just contribute some money to help with the subsidies for

index / contacts Arts&Entertainment 21-25 Canberra Confidential 17 Cinema 23 Dining 25 Garden 26-27 Letters 14 News 5-16 Politics6 Puzzles 20 Socials 18 Sport 15 Cover: The Merrymaker Sisters, aka Carla and Emma Papas. Photo by Silas Brown. Story Page 12.

THE Thai New Year Celebration, the Songkran Festival, will be held at the Thai Temple, Wat Dhammadharo, 80 Archibald Street, Lyneham, 10am4pm, on Sunday, April 14. Proceeds from the festival, which includes a Thai food fair and cultural activities, go to the building fund. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

getting people here.” So far, the ACT Government’s funding for the project stretches to a $200 subsidy for each visit, but Michael says Rotary would love to be able to cover everything. “We’re not putting an upper limit on it, within reason, and if there’s money left over, we’ll find an appropriate way of using it. It is possible that this could be an ongoing project, if it becomes successful; and if we’ve got money left over that’s a chance to have a go again next year.” To nominate someone from interstate for their first ever trip to Canberra, or to sponsor the “Have You Ever Been to Canberra?” project, email enquiries@

THE annual Canberra Rock Swap will be held at Wagtail Way, EPIC, 8.30am to 5pm on the weekend of April 13-14. Dealers and non-commercial rock enthusiasts will be selling a range of wares and there will be activities such as sapphire sieving, gold panning and lucky dips. Entry is free and organisers promise activities for the whole family.

A Frank encounter WRITER and book reviewer, Frank O’Shea, is the guest speaker at the Canberra Friends of Ireland’s April meeting. His presentation is titled “Anyway, That’s What I Think” and he will talk about the work of some contemporary Irish novelists, “who tell charming lies in the guise of fiction”. It’s at the Canberra Irish Club, Weston Creek, 8pm, Wednesday, April 17. Enquiries to 6287 7587.

Since 1993: Volume 19, Number 12

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: Brent McDonald, 0421 962 325 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  April 11-17  5


Revealed: nation’s true builders

WHILE “nation building” invariably forms part of political-speak in election years, it is ironic that those who talk about it rarely understand who the real nation builders are.

Fast rail, huge dams, increasing road, air and rail capacity for goods and people are the favoured projects as political parties try to win the hearts and minds of the electorate. But it is not just big projects that form part of nation building. The economic stability, healthiness and capacity to deal with the sick, participation at all levels of education, the rule of law and the justice system, national memorial and celebratory institutions all form part of the national identity that is guided by the Government. The current Government celebrates the National Broadband Network as one of the key parts in its role in nation building. In

dose of dorin

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Michael Moore comments

the first term of the Labor Government, then-PM Kevin Rudd developed the NationBuilding Funds Act 2008 using the threat of the global financial crisis to invest in a wide range of nation-building programs around community infrastructure. The hiccups around school projects and insulation programs that were driven with this fund did considerable damage to the credibility of the Government. These glitches were effectively used by the Opposition to illustrate incompetence and to take the shine off the Government’s nation-building projects. When these parts of our national identity begin to deteriorate, or infrastructure fails to meet community needs, governments look tired or incompetent. Even though Australia has amongst the

worlds’ lowest debt-to-GDP ratios, it will be some years before the Budget comes into surplus and that ratio begins to get even better. Good economic management is fundamental to strong nation building. However, nation building is much more than infrastructure and financial management. It includes our national identity, cultural development, shared values and understanding of what we expect our nation to be in the future. The management of this complex matrix of infrastructure, social and cultural identity is the role of Australia’s public servants. It is our public servants in Federal, State, Territory and local governments who are the real nation builders. While political leadership is invaluable in setting new direction and steering the acceptability of change, the real work is done by those who support the political direction. From the lowest-paid public servant right through to those who lead departments, there is a contribution that simply does not receive adequate acknowledgement. Without the extraordinary honesty and dedication of so many of these workers Australia would not be the nation it is today – the high calibre of our health, education, social services and justice systems serve as examples to illustrate the importance of this commitment. Attacking public servants has been regular fodder for political parties in opposition as part of their preparation for elections. It is simply short-sighted and reflects their poor understanding of the building blocks of our nation. Of course, the system is not perfect, however, the rhetoric of wholesale slamming or dismantling parts of the public service will have long-term negative ramifications for national identity and national well-being. Governments and oppositions should be celebrating the role of public servants as nation builders and planning their election campaigns in such a context.

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CityNews  April 11-17  9


Chef on the Move’s Jiju Rajappen with UC Eat! team members, kitchen manager Dinesh Kumar, director Mara Stroppa and front of house manager Michaela Neumaier.  Photos by Silas Brown

Chefs step in to treat hospital families Kathryn Vukovljak reports

“CITYNEWS” teamed up with University of Canberra’s UC Eat! and independent caterer Chef on the Move to organise a delicious meal for the families at Ronald McDonald House recently. Located within the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children at the Canberra Hospital, the House provides a home away from home for families of seriously ill children who don’t live locally. The well-organised team of chefs, under Chef on the Move Jiju Rajappen, donated and cooked a yummy meal of roasted chicken, seasonal veg, mashed potato and side salad, with a brownie and caramel sauce for dessert. Fortunately for the House residents, the “CityNews” editorial team stuck to laying the table, serving dinner and washing the dishes! If you’d like to help Ronald McDonald House, please visit For more information about Chef on the Move, call 0431 526027. For UC Eat! at the University of Canberra, call 6201 2202 or visit

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House guests tuck into the special dinner.

“CityNews” serving crew, from left, Silas Brown, Janis Meikle, Kathryn Vukovljak, Laura Edwards, Brent McDonald and Stephen Easton

news / cover story

Sweet sisters show how to spare the sugar THEY may not use sugar, but sisters Carla and Emma Papas are serving up a much sweeter alternative to greasy and processed meals. The bubbly duo from Fadden, both public servants, believe they have tapped into a “health-food craze” since launching their food blog, The Merrymaker Sisters: Fit and Healthy Made, in November. The blog offers healthy recipes, fitness tips, ideas and lifestyle observations, with an emphasis on swapping processed foods with natural ingredients. “It’s been really popular, so far we get about 30,000 hits each month and it’s still growing,” says Carla, 22. “Most of our regular readers are from overseas as well, which is insane.” Posting photos of meals they had cooked on social networking website Instagram was the inspiration behind the website, says Emma, 25. “We had so many people ask us for the recipes, so we thought why not write them all in the one spot,” she says.

Laura Edwards reports

“We’ve always loved cooking, from when we did home economics classes at school. We got the name ‘Merrymaker’ because we’re always being asked why we’re so happy!” Recipes on the blog have a focus on clean eating and a “paleo” diet, says Carla, which means no processed foods, grains or excess sugar. “We love finding alternative ways to enjoy the food once thought to be the enemy, like pizza, crackers, muffins and pancakes,” she says. One of the girls’ most popular recipes is their chocolate/raspberry cake, which substitutes sugar with raw honey and stevia, a natural plant based product. “People are surprised at how sweet it tastes without sugar,” says Carla. “We also have pizzas with a meat base rather than the dough, and sweetpotato chips as a snack option. “We just experiment with different ingredients and go from there.”

The girls believe popular reality television shows such as “Masterchef” and “The Biggest Loser” have led to a “health-food craze” sweeping the country. “I think people are really starting to question what they eat, everyone is becoming much more health and fitness conscious, which is a great thing,” says Carla. “I remember the days where we’d just have chips and soft drinks on the canteen menu at school – those days aren’t entirely gone yet, but there’s much more awareness now.” But Carla and Emma say they avoid “pushing” their way of living on people. “We’re not trying to be gurus – we just hope our website can be a place where people can come and share their stories and relate,” says Emma. “There’s so many celebrities out there plugging a crash diet product or a fitness craze and it’s impossible to relate to them. “We like to talk about the everyday problems everyone has. Many people have these body image issues, including men, and it just plays on their

Homemade crackers and dip • two tbs rosemary • sea salt to season

Crackers Ingredients (serves four) • two cups of LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds) • two egg whites • one tbs coconut oil • quarter cup of sesame seeds

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Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. 2. Mix all ingredients together (it should form a sticky dough). 3. Between two sheets of baking paper roll out the dough to 3mm thick (more like thin). 4. Carefully peel off the top sheet of baking paper. Slice the dough into desired cracker size. 5. Place on a baking tray and into the oven for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown.

Chickpea free hummus Ingredients • half a cauliflower • quarter cup of tahini • three cloves crushed garlic • one tbs paprika • juice of a lemon • salt n pepper to season Instructions 1. Boil the cauliflower florets until soft. 2. Let the cauliflower cool. 3. With a stick blender puree the cauliflower. 4. Mix in the tahini, garlic, paprika and lemon until smooth. 5. Season with salt n pepper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

The Merrymaker Sisters, aka Carla and Emma Papas... “We’ve always loved cooking, from when we did home economics classes at school,” says Emma.  Photo by Silas Brown minds. We get really nice messages and comments from people saying ‘wow this has actually helped me’.” The girls hope to eventually write an e-book with healthy recipes and ideas.

“If we could do this for a living... it wouldn’t even be working,” says Carla. Visit for more information.

Choc-raspberry no-bake cake Ingredients For the base • one cup of roasted cashews. • one quarter cup of raw cacao. • one quarter cup of unsweetened dessicated coconut. • one tbs. natvia. • pinch of salt. • three tbs. coconut oil melted. • one tbs. raw honey.

cashews in a food processor until a fine meal forms. 3. Transfer the cashew meal into a bowl. 4. Add raw cacao, dessicated coconut, natvia, salt and mix until combined. 5. Pour in the melted coconut oil and raw honey, mix well. 6. Press the mixture firmly into the base of the cake tin, make sure it is even and compressed. For the filling 7. Whiz the cashews in a food processor • two cups of roasted cashews. until a fine meal forms. Transfer the • one third cup of coconut oil melted. cashew meal into a bowl. • one and 1/4 cups of coconut milk (not 8. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut the light kind). milk, natvia and mix until well • one and 1/2 tbs. natvia. combined. • one cup frozen raspberries. 9. Transfer half of the mixture back into • three tbs. raw cacao powder. the food processor (leave the other half in the bowl). Instructions 1. Line a 19cm cake tin with baking paper. 10. Add the raspberries to the food processor and whiz until the mixture 2. Start with the base. Whiz the is a pretty pinky purple.

11. Spread the raspberry mixture onto the base, making sure it is flat and evenly spread. 12. Place in the freezer for at least 15 mins. 13. Back to the filling that was left in the bowl - add the raw cacao powder to the remaining filling mixture and mix until combined. 14. Take out the cake tin from the freezer and spread the chocolate filling mix on top of the raspberry mix. Again, making sure it is even and smooth on the top. 15. Return the cake to the freezer for a further hour.

CityNews  April 11-17  13


Letters to

Centenary arts views are ‘bizarre and insulting’ FRANK Madrid’s insinuations (“Centenary will let down the local arts”, CN, March 28) are bizarre and insulting to the Centenary of Canberra team, which is delivering unprecedented opportunities for local artists. Frank is fully aware of the Centenary’s funding for three Canberra artists to perform in Brasilia in August. He has also contacted us re the touring potential of the group Sistema Criollina from Brasilia when we bring them to Canberra in September. The insinuations that we have let down local artists are simply untrue – the opposite is the case. The following Centenary programs are a sample of those giving local artists exceptional opportunities and platforms during 2013: The

Canberra International Music Festival, The Cashews’ Local Gold guerilla gigs, The Legacy of Good Design memorabilia by ACT artists, CCAS with their best openings in years, the Kick Up Your Heels sell-out dances, and Pro Musica’s The Musical Offering. The Famous Spiegelgarden and The Village Festival have hosted a wide range of local acts as well as national and international artists. The March 11 birthday event around the lake used hundreds of local artists, as did Parties at the Shops – many artists involved have told us they have extra gigs coming out of those appearances. The Centenary’s indigenous program has offered profile and gigs to a wide range of local visual and performing artists, and the

Cartooning reader

Street Theatre’s Made in Canberra and Capital Jazz have both received Centenary support for the work of local artists. Above all, the Griffyn Ensemble is managing the program called Gigs Go Local, funded entirely by the Centenary and designed solely for the placement of local artists now and into the future in new venues. There is only one truth in Frank Madrid’s letter: while local artists have taken advantage of the incredible opportunities and platforms this year, they will need to use them as leverage for the future – because come December they have to do it themselves.

Robyn Archer, creative director, Centenary of Canberra

Sporting chance CAN someone please explain to me how, in a country town of 300,000-plus, a politician who accrued only 1909 first-preference votes, is in a position to use his magical “call-in powers” to approve a controversial major housing development for a sporting association that, not so long ago, received an ACT grant injection to help prop up its then wobbly operation. I can only continue to hope that someday the ACT Government will look at ACT motor “sport” with such intense fervour.

Michael Attwell, Dunlop

From reader “Cymroz” via email

Time for transparency ALL ratepayers are entitled to transparency and full disclosure of what they pay for. Pleasing as it is that Treasurer Andrew Barr and Chief Minister Katy Gallagher are grilling ACTEW, they are not setting an example themselves. Whilst they are the only shareholders, all ACT ratepayers and residents are the owners of ACTEW. Our annual water bills currently read as: Water usage – number of kilolitres x highest charges in Australia $725 – late penalties apply. Our water bills should read as follows: • Water usage – $500 (fair enough? No, we pay more if we use more and pay more if we use less). • Water Abstraction Tax (a tax is a tax is a tax), $100. • Utilities Tax (just another tax), $25. • Return on capital above cost of capital (a nonsense item, another tax), $50. • Profit to government (but ratepayers and residents own ACTEW... another tax), $50. Total water bill (including taxes), $725* (*Excessive executive salaries and perks, if any, included but not shown). Before we are criticised for getting our figures wrong, that’s the whole point – we get no itemised figures at all from ACTEW, nor the ACT Government which owns ACTEW. ACTEW, Barr and Gallagher, please explain.

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Peter Jansen, president , Ratepayers Association of the ACT Inc.

What’s Lundy done? THE main purpose of my letter re Senator Kate Lundy (CN, March 7, to which Lulu Respall-Turner responded, CN, March 28) was to emphasise just how long a period of incumbency our representatives have achieved. Good management principles suggest that such long periods in positions of power breeds complacency, laziness and a tendency to become divorced from the real world and one’s own constituents. My own studies at the Australian Graduate School of Management suggested change should occur soon after 10 years’ service, something which has occurred (unwillingly) in respect to Senator Humphries, but not Bob McMullen (22 years) and Lundy (17 years). I would be interested if Respall-Turner could provide a list of Lundy’s ACT-specific achievements, especially if this meant voting against the party machine. All I see from Lundy at the moment is a rather fawning, puppy-like following of Julia Gillard on TV as she strides from meeting to meeting or addresses the media backed by her various, nodding dog-like cronies. Surely Labor can come up with someone new and energetic who will actively represent ACT electors like Commonwealth superannuants and Defence Force pensioners, rather than simply pay lip service to their concerns?

Ric Hingee, Duffy

Matter of opinion WAS that an editorial slip in Robert Macklin’s exclusive: “Revealed: Why Rudd wasn’t coming back” (CN, March 28) under a heading of “news”? Although I’m of bygone days, a war baby indeed, it was clearly an “opinion” piece, even when I went to school.

Don Wilkey, via email

Sporting Confidential with Tim Gavel

Shame, Sydney, shame I HAVE heard it said that you can judge a community by the way it treats people with a disability. Recent events at the Sydney Track and Field Classic bring into question our commitment to treat our Paralympic athletes with fairness and equality. Canberra’s Evan O’Hanlon is the dual Paralympic gold medallist in the 100 and 200 metres from London; he is the fastest runner in the world for athletes with cerebral palsy. Evan has been an ambassador for the Paralympic movement as well as track and field. Imagine his disappointment at the way things unfolded at the Sydney Classic. Some of the issues that have been documented include: Evan and other athletes with a disability found that their names weren’t included on their runners’ bibs in the same way as provided to the able-bodied athletes; only able-bodied athletes were profiled on the big screen at the track; there was little understanding by the ground announcers of the different classes of athletes with a disability; and the athletes with a disability felt as though they were being rushed through their events. It was far from satisfactory and understandably Evan was fuming. All he wanted was parity with the able bodied athletes. His decision to break his silence on the injustice hopefully will lead to change and more recognition of Paralympic sportspeople not just within the wider community but, it would seem, within the individual sports themselves. Paralympic swimmers have also had issues with their sport and the lack of recognition. The decision

Paralympic gold medallist Evan O’Hanlon... fuming. during live television coverage to put the Paralympic swimmers on during the advertising breaks and thus miss out on coverage has been just one area of concern. Fundraising for Paralympians is another bug bear of mine. People fundraising outside shopping centres in Canberra is a difficult way to gain significant funds for athletes. I was under the impression that the Federal Government provided funding through the Sports Commission for all elite athletes and, if this is the case, there wouldn’t be a need to fundraise outside shopping centres. It is obvious we can do more as a community and as a society to provide the necessary support to our Paralympians. We should be proud of these athletes and treating them as second-class citizens does little to enhance a stereotype that still obviously exists amongst some.

Barr says the jury’s out THE situation with the proposed southside track and field facility appears clearer following a meeting involving the ACT Government and ACT Athletics. There were concerns the Government was planning to build the multi-million-dollar facility, with a synthetic track, on the limited site of the existing track at Woden. Little Athletics said it wanted the new facility to be built at Stromlo, with the capability of hosting major championships. Sports Minister Andrew Barr says the site for the new facility hasn’t been decided and says it was never the plan to build a facility that would replace the AIS as the venue for major track and field events in Canberra.

More courts for Lyneham AND on facilities, plans for the new tennis complex and sports facility at the National Sports Club at Lyneham have been finalised. The plans include 30 new tennis courts which is an increase on the current 25 courts. The latest submitted plans include two swimming pools, one 25-metre indoor pool and a 25-metre outdoor pool.



Breaking down barriers to lake As we celebrate Canberra’s Centenary, it is appropriate that a visionary plan promises new life to the city centre, says CATHERINE CARTER THE recently announced “City to the Lake” proposal will break down the barriers between Civic and the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The dramatic transformation of the area south of Civic is made possible by the Griffin Legacy amendments in the National Capital Plan. Pedestrian access to Commonwealth Park, City Hill and the Lake will be improved by “traffic calming” of Vernon Circle and London Circuit and converting Parkes Way into a split-level “smart boulevard” lined with street cafes and shops. Plans include a new Convention Centre to tempt Australian and international big business, a waterfront boardwalk and urban beach reminiscent of Brisbane’s South Bank and a new sports stadium. Between the Lake and Civic 20,000 new, inner-city residents are anticipated – a major contribution to Canberra’s population growth to half a million by 2030. At the same time, the value of continuing developments should not be overlooked. Kingston Foreshore is well on its way to becoming Canberra’s premier setting for lakeside dining, but still needs to be fully realised. The vision for Civic and the mid-city precinct including the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings should remain the overarching priority. Without a robust Civic master plan there is a risk that in the rush for new lakeside accommodation, the existing city will be abandoned, leaving behind half-empty office buildings and unresolved public spaces. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia.

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briefly Record events SATURDAY, April 20, is Record Store Day and Songland Records in Cooleman Court will stage a second-hand vinyl sale with all money raised going towards the Weston Creek RSPCA’s Animal Shelter. Songland is happy to accept all donations of vinyl (and cassette tapes). Landspeed Records will have about 2000 second-hand records for sale outside its Garema Place store.

Avenue upgrade WORK has begun on a $1 million upgrade of 650 metres of the city-bound side of Kingston’s Wentworth Avenue, from Burke Crescent to Dawes Street. The road will receive a new surface, new kerbs and guttering. Work on each of the two city bound lanes of Wentworth Avenue will be completed separately and, until the end of June, traffic is limited to one lane.

Silicon Valley visitor CANBERRA business owner Louise Curtis (pictured) is the only ACT delegate selected to travel with nine other successful Australian businesswomen on a Commonwealth Bank, nine-day study tour to Silicon Valley in California next month. The tour is aimed at female entrepreneurs with a high-growth, high-potential, innovative business with global or disruptive business models and growth plans.

Canberra Confidential Ivan almost leaves telco MR Transact, the relentless Ivan Slavich, pictured, is to leave full-time work with the now Perth-owned telco at the end of May to strike out on his own as a consultant. He has created Trident Business Services, which will operate from the Barton offices of accounting firm Joyce Dickson, from August. As MD, Slavich was the very public face of the former Actew-AGL subsidiary’s brand for five years until the business was acquired by iiNet 17 months ago. Since then, the cost-conscious sandgropers have chopped and changed Transact, including dismantling local jobs and moving the largely staffless Slavich to a sales and relationship role with government accounts. Pushed or jumped, Ivan? “Definitely not pushed”, he says. It was “a mutual thing” now that Transact is fully integrated with iiNet. He’s keeping a finger in the telco pie as non-executive chairman (and only local face) of the Transact board of three other distant iiNet executives.

Going for a song CANBERRA Centre marketing manager Tero Blinnikka and his partner are cheerfully

off to watch the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, next month as the result of losing a bet! Keen Eurovision watchers (125 million TV viewers can’t be wrong), last year they disagreed with a Swedish friend that his country would win the contest, but agreed that if it did they would go to Malmö for the next event. Sweden won.

consider his next move. “Alan left on friendly terms with the theatre for personal reasons,” a theatre flak cooed.

Foulkes flies off SINCE 1990 Alan Foulkes, right, has been the imperturbable “face” of the Canberra Theatre Centre, heading up its front of house come rain, hail or shine, for 23 years. Until March 28, that is, when he astonished everyone by retiring. Foulkes is known as a fastidious consumer of fine art and music, so has chosen New York for some R&R before returning to the ACT to

Gungahlin, charges $4 per stubby of beer. “Being charged $16 for four beers out of a six-pack of stubbies, which we bought for $15 seems slightly unreasonable,” he politely grumbles. CC welcomes feedback about excessive BYO charges. Email

The runway has landed!

Right place, right time LOCAL rapper and poet Omar Musa, right, was in SA for the Adelaide launch of his second book “Parang” and, while loitering with not much intent at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival launch, was commissioned on the spot by artistic director Kate Ceberano for a gig at next year’s festival.

Know something? /

Sweethearts Joyce and Len Goodman pictured in the mid-’50s.

Len’s grey matter ENERGETIC octogenarians Len and Joyce Goodman celebrated their collective 160th birthday the other day with three cakes (a pretty one for Joyce, a tennis theme for Len and a thoughtful gluten-free one) at a family soiree at home in Flynn. The party date was exactly midway between the six months that separate their birthdays. Irrepressible Len, who turned 80 in late December, told the gathering he’s always been seen as Joyce’s “old coot” having started turning grey in his early twenties!

Corkage watch Judi Pearce writes: “What about $15 a bottle at Artisan in Narrabundah!” and fellow reader Jack Kirkup bemoans that Flavours of India,

THE runway seems to have landed for Canberra’s much-anticipated upcoming fashion festival, Fashfest. New “CityNews” snapper Brent McDonald got a look at the exclusive location at the modern-industrial space, still under construction at 3 Molonglo Drive, Brindabella Park. The unfinished space will ultimately be used as five-star accommodation, but for next month at least, it will be transformed – and construction will halt – for the four-night red-carpet fashion extravaganza, with a runway, bar, massive screen and special lighting.

Hmmms TONY Nesci, of innovative Civic barbershop Martinos, tells CC his new in-house therapist is doing more facials on men than she did in her previous women’s salon. “Male beauty is booming,” he beams. THE Rotary Club of Queanbeyan may have set a world record with its recent “save the date” alert for its World Polio Day Dinner at Turquoise Turkish Restaurant. They urge an early response ( to avoid disappointment for the banquet from 6.30pm, on Wednesday, October 23! FARMER’S Daughter, the trendy little coffee shop that’s just expanded into the defunct newsagent space at the Yarralumla shops, is apparently also heading for a presence in the Canberra Centre. FRIES with that... Organisers of the second annual, ginormous Ronald McDonald House charity ball at the Convention Centre managed to separate more than $340,000 (and rising) from the pockets of enthusiastic gala goers to cover a big slice of the annual costs of running the hospital-based hostel for out-of-town parents of sick children.

CityNews  April 11-17  17

scene / around canberra At the Ronald McDonald House ball, National Convention Centre

Kate Vukasinovic, Karen and Peter Sarris and Naomi Peck

Julie Snook, Robyn Chapman and Mel Smith

Kylie Harding, Narelle Byrne and Sam Wilson

Alicia Day, Stephen Lazaro with Diana and Steve Thompson

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Laura and Sean Martiniello with Katherine Olsen

Alannan Tagliapietra, Emma Stockbridge and Fiona Coleman

Jason Dutfield, Natasha Singh, Shannon Higgins, Frank Osborne and Luke O’Connor

Scott Crowther and Macee Bevis

Mark Edmund and Mick Bevis

Sharron and Scott Edwards with Carla Di Maria

Alex Carle, Rachel Lynch and Jacqui Carle

invite us /

At the ‘Ten Squared’ exhibition, Canberra Glassworks, Kingston

Host Ann Jakle, Susan Taylor, Ann Brennan, Merryn Gates and Blanche Tilden

Annabelle, Lucy and Andrew Lavery, Spike Deane and Deb Robinson

Emilie Patteson and Spencer Whittaker

Gordon Bull, US ambassador Jeffrey Bleich and Richard Whiteley

puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / April 15 - 21

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

Rams are feeling restless! With four planets powering through your sign (and the Sun hooking up with Mars), you’ve got energy to burn as you tackle a wide range of projects, juggle roles and multi-task like a pro. Just make sure you don’t blow a fuse in the process! Mars moves into Taurus on Saturday (until May 31), which will help stabilise your fiery Aries energy.

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

With Venus vamping through Taurus, you’re at your tantalising best as you charm your way through the week. Make sure you express yourself creatively via acting, singing, dancing, crafting, cooking, gardening, photography, painting or playing music. The period from Saturday to May 10 will be the time to be bold and beautiful, confident and creative, as Mars joins Venus in your sign.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Open and honest communication is the key to a successful week. Expect an eventful weekend, as Mercury (your ruling planet) aspects Uranus and Pluto. Make sure your restless mood doesn’t turn into reckless behaviour. Passing on unverified hearsay could lead to unpleasant consequences, so think long and hard Gemini, before you spread salacious gossip.

General knowledge crossword No. 402 Across Down 4 Name the creator of Ginger Meggs, James ... 7 What is the final abode of the righteous? 8 To lay open to view, is to do what? 9 What is a representative, as at a conference, or the like? 11 Name another term for the studio of an artist. 13 Which pungent powder is used as a food seasoning? 15 What does a surgeon often do? 17 Which straight knife is used in surgical operations? 20 What is the latest time for finishing something? 23 For which sport is Kostya Tszyu famous? 24 What describes that which is selected from various sources? 25 Name a roundabout way, used temporarily instead of the main route.

Solution next week

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

With Venus moving through your networking zone, the more you mix and mingle and the more connections you make, the better your week will be. Looking for employment? It’s time to capitalise on all the contacts you have, from family and friends to acquaintances in your local community. Don’t wait for opportunities to appear – be proactive about following your dreams.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

Is your office a mess? Venus is visiting your career zone (until May 10) so it’s time to spruce up your work space via the addition of paintings, music or new furniture. Plus fresh flowers are a must! Thursday is your pick of the week, as the Sun hooks up with Mars and your adventure gene is activated. So it’s time to let your hair down and overdo just about everything!



LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

Your ruling planet Venus moves into Taurus, which lights up your luxury-loving side and wakes up the hedonist within! Romance and passion are also highlighted, as Venus and Mars heat up your sensuality zone. Single Librans – look for a lover who is also a friend (someone who you can really talk to). The weekend favours feisty conversations about controversial topics.

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)




8 9

10 11



14 17




19 20


24 25

Sudoku medium No. 101

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Sharing the good times puts a sunny smile on your Sagittarian dial, as Venus encourages you to be more cooperative with work colleagues; and Jupiter jump-starts your romance zone. Singles – love is likely with someone from foreign shores so cast your net wide. Saturday is your pick of the week, as your generous nature attracts positive people into your world.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Have you got stuck in a rut when it comes to unhealthy eating choices and lack of exercise? With Venus and Mars both moving into your health zone this week, it’s imperative that you find a diet and exercise program that you enjoy (and stick to). Prepare for some disruption to your weekend schedule, with sudden surprises or unexpected guests dropping in.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Have you been less than 100% truthful with a family member? Jupiter is jumping through your domestic zone (until June 26) so it’s time to be open and honest with loved ones. Friday looks fabulous, as Venus/ Neptune aspects rev up the romance factor. Attached Fish – plan something special with your partner. Single Pisceans – it’s the perfect day to look for love online.  Daily astrology updates at Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011 20  CityNews  April 11-17



Scorpios (like Hillary Clinton and Ted Turner) are born organisers, supreme strategists and marvelous managers. But – with Venus in your relationship zone – aim to be less controlling and more cooperative with your partner. Single Scorps – if you’re looking for love, you’ll have to be proactive. The weekend is a wonderful time to get to the bottom of a perplexing problem.

Smart communication is the secret to a successful week. Resist the urge to launch half-baked projects and jump to hasty conclusions – and listen closely to what others are telling you, otherwise you’ll misunderstand their motives. As birthday great Emma Thompson said: “Any problem, big or small, seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.”



VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

Jupiter is journeying through your career zone (until June 26), so confidence and chutzpah will take you far at work. If you stop criticising others – and turn on the charm instead – then you’ll zoom ahead in leaps and bounds. You’ll also gain valuable insights into the hidden motivations of a loved one on the weekend, but make sure you use such information discreetly.

1 What is another term for counterfeit? 2 Which grant gives an inventor exclusive rights to the discovery? 3 Name another word for a prima donna. 4 What is a soft, round, peakless cap? 5 What are fictitious narratives? 6 In playing cards, what is the jack also called? 9 Which word is applicable to evil spirits? 10 What is the immature form of frogs? 12 To go back on one’s word, is to do what? 14 That which lacks pigmentation is termed what? 16 What are surviving memorials of things past? 18 To replicate exactly is to do what? 19 Which garden implement trims the lawn borders? 21 What is a supporter or an associate? 22 Which slender piece of metal holds pieces of wood together?


Crossword No.401 S P I D E R R R O H E W I T T S V U A S T E R N W D I A C O N F U S N I B U N G A L S U I R E P R I S S E P


Sudoku hard No.100 S N S O U T T S E


Solution next week

arts & entertainment

Wendy Johnson Pretty place for the peckish

Gloriously trashy and irresistible musical theatre

“Eurobeat – Almost Eurovision” Presented by Supa Productions Inc. ANU Arts Centre, until April 20. Reviewed by Bill Stephens

From left: “The Hidden Face” from Colombia, “The Student” from Mexico, “Cinema Libertad” from newcomer El Salvador and “The Clown” from Brazil.

Latin movies’ popular pull Arts editor HELEN MUSA previews one of the most popular film festivals in town, and no wonder – it’s free, and it pulls no punches... IN coming weeks, the 9th Latin American Film Festival will see scores of students, film buffs and culture buffs packing into the National Gallery of Australia for a festival that pulls no punches. This year, boasts Pedro Villagra Delgado, ambassador for the 2013 organising country, Argentina, there will be films from 12 countries including what he calls “the new kid on the block”, El Salvador, participating for the first time. The festival will travel throughout Australia, helped by the strong participation of the Latin American community in Darwin, and by DFAT’s Council on Australia Latin America Relations. This year each movie will be screened twice, at 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm, partly in response to the packed-out sessions of last year and partly to accommodate people of different ages. Ambassador Delgado and two of his colleagues, Mexican ambassador Beatriz Lopez Gargallo and Peruvian ambassador

Luis Felipe Quesada Inchaustegui, are quick to assure “CityNews” that the festival will pull no punches when it comes to exploring regional differences, political and social questions and sometimes unpleasant realities. Though each of the films is chosen by participating embassies, there is no overt censorship to put an unnatural gloss on events in their countries. “People will laugh, but we have tough movies, too, there’s great variety,” says Delgado, who believes that’s precisely what has given the festival such credibility. The issues range from the hilarious to the critical. Ambassador Gargallo says Mexico’s offering tells of a 70-year-old man who goes back to university and breaks through ageist prejudices to confront the generation gap. Ambassador Quesada says the history of South American countries is “full of grandeur but full of trauma,” with a strong history of self-criticism. His country’s offering will be the film “Red Ink”, about a rookie journalist working for the tabloid press and confronting situations “from the most ethical to the most vile”. The variety is impressive. “Guantanam-

Argentina’s “The Man Next Door” era” from Cuba is a satire in which a funeral procession keeps crossing paths with a playboy trucker. In “Pescador”, from Ecuador, a man’s life changes when a shipment of cocaine washes up on the beach. In “The Hidden Face”, from Colombia, an orchestra conductor struggles with the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend. In “7 boxes”, from Paraguay, a 17-yearold is asked to carry seven boxes through a market in exchange for a torn half of a $US100 note. Argentina’s offering “The Man

Next Door,” was shot in Casa Curutchet, the only house in the Americas to have been designed by Le Corbusier. As we part, the ambassadors reassure me – “all these movies have a little bit of liberation, but don’t forget, we love to criticise ourselves.” The 9th Latin American Film Festival, at James O Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia, 6.30pm daily, April 17-30. Free admission, no bookings required. For the full program visit

WHAT’S not to like about “Eurobeat – Almost Eurovision”? This evening of seriously silly fun embraces everything that’s fabulous about the Eurovision Song Contest, while sending it up sky high, resulting in a gloriously trashy, irresistibly entertaining production. The premise is brilliantly simple: Fifteen countries compete, with each act more excruciating than the last. During interval, the audience votes, either by iPhone or on voting coupons supplied. During the second act, the voting is counted, and the winner announced. On opening night it was the obsequious Irish entrant, Ronan Corr (Cameron Gill) who won over the audience with his fog-bound rendition of “La-La-La”. Utilising vast amounts of sequins, glitter, paper flitter flutter and heavy fog, first-time director Emma Tattam gets the tone pitch perfect. Lachlan Ruffy and Sarah Golding are brilliant as the viperish Sergei, and vapid Boyka, who just manage to maintain an uneasy truce long enough to compere the show. The large ensemble cast frequently change identities and nationalities. The accents are definitely dodgy, and not all 15 acts hit their mark, indeed some rather outstay their welcome. But all are well-rehearsed, and enthusiastically performed in clever costumes by Suzan Cooper, which range from inspired to outlandish. So, what’s not to like about “Eurobeat”?

Norway... Max Gambale, Anthony Simeonovic, Calen Robinson and Tim Stiles. Photo by Mick Deutsch

CityNews  April 11-17  21

arts & entertainment

No plain Jane this big year IT’S the 200th anniversary of “Pride and Prejudice” this year, making it a particularly fine year for the Jane Austen Festival Australia at St John’s Reid Hall from April 18-21. We hear, “Austen and Napoleonic fans from all over Australia come and indulge themselves in everything Regency.” Bookings to DUNCAN Ley’s fourth directorial role with Canberra Rep is coming up in Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood”, at Theatre 3 until April 27. All eyes will be upon this full theatrical production, a contrast, no doubt, to the vocally-oriented presentation by Dianna Nixon late last year at The Street Theatre. Bookings to 6247 1950. CANBERRA Dance Development Centre’s holiday program from April 15-17 will feature the entertainment dance company, A-Live Entertainment. With a list of credits such as “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Tap Dogs” and “Happy Feet”, it’s bound to be popular. Bookings to 6259 1550.


22  CityNews  April 11-17

Helen Musa arts in the city

There will be separate music and dance routines throughout the evening as each meal course is served. Show-only guests can access a pop-up bar and gourmet snacks. MEANTIME, the enterprising gallery@bcs is seeking donations of artwork for the Community Art Support Program Fundraising Exhibition. Contact THE Llewellyn Choir is presenting two relatively unknown 19th century Italian choral masterpieces – “Four Sacred Pieces” by Verdi and the Requiem in C Minor by Cherubini – at St Paul’s, Manuka, 7.30pm, Saturday, April 20. Bookings to 6278 4498, or at the door.

“ART Market”, which supports original art with “the goal of steering the community away from buying generic prints from department stores”, will be at Yarralumla Woolshed, April 13, noon5pm and April 14, 10am-4pm. More information at

“TWO Fires” is that passionate Braidwood festival inspired by the memory of poet Judith Wright, with the theme this year of “Fanning the Flames”. There’ll be youth arts, dance, music, film, on-line activism, indigenous poets, indigenous dance, a classical concert and a film festival from April 12-14. More information at twofiresfestival.

“TRADITIONAL Vegas” is the theme for the next cabaret night at Civic’s Waldorf on London, on Saturday, April 20, when a live band plays the music of Sinatra to Presley with a little country in between, plus dancing from the Rogue Dolls.

CANBERRA’S Dante Musica Viva members are planning a concert featuring popular Italian songs such as “Santa Lucia” and “O’ sole mio” at the Italo-Australian Club, 2.30pm, April 14. Bookings to 6247 1884.

A-Live Entertainment... at the holiday program of the Canberra Dance Development Centre. THE third Canberra String Festival is a joint venture of the Canberra Branch of the Australian String Association and the Wesley Music Foundation and runs at Wesley Music Centre over the weekend and into Monday, April 15. More information at

arts & entertainment

Where things are not always what they seem “Trance” (MA)

JUST after a painting by Goya sells at a London auction for £27.6 million, four crims pinch it. Not a bad start to a film that’s less about the theft than finding the painting after gallery employee Simon (James McAvoy) gets run down by a red Alfa driven by a pretty girl whose importance in the film is indeed significant, but whose name so captured and delighted my attention that I felt it too good not to share with you. The actress’s name is Tuppence Middleton. Anyway, Simon wakes with no memory of where he stashed the Goya. Not even extracting his fingernails with pliers makes him fess up. So the crims, led by Frankie (Vincent Cassel) decide that hypnosis might unlock his memory. Enter the film’s real star. Rosario Dawson plays hypnotherapist Elizabeth. Ms Dawson is not only a convincing actress, she’s a true world-class beauty as brief shots of her full frontal and behind attest. This may sound like just a routine thriller in the best British style, but there’s more. For the director is Danny Boyle and what he does with the second half of Joe Aherne’s screenplay is great film entertainment by any measure. Things are often not as they seem. “Trance” has a denouement that delivers an entanglement of plot threads with energetic staging that nearly bypasses credibility but doesn’t. Excellent value. Thanks, Danny. At all cinemas

Melissa McCarthy in “Identity Thief”.

“Identity Thief” (MA) JERRY Eeton wrote a story, Craig Mazin converted it into a screenplay for Seth Gordon to direct. The resulting film does none of them credit. Which is regrettable, because lead actors Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy deserved better material to work with in what puts itself forward as a comedy but generated few (and those less than vigorous) laughs. Bateman plays Sandy, a low-level Denver executive. The cops arrive to ask him about credit card and other monetary malfeasances bearing his name in cities and States that he has never visited. He tracks the

Dougal Macdonald cinema

perpetrator down to Diana (McCarthy) in Miami and persuades her to accompany him to Denver to face the music. Blighted by a lifetime of emotional and material deprivations, Diana has developed a formidable array of street smarts. Sandy, rather a nerd, father of two girls with a third gestating, is his own worst friend, slow to react to situations, putty in Diana’s hands. They drive from Miami to Denver followed by a bounty hunter, two gambling debt enforcers and a trail of wrecked cars and unpaid bills. Every time Sandy tries to pop his head up from the morass into which he is sinking, Diana pushes it back down. Messrs Eeton, Mazin and Gordon may think their film funny, but it’s more like Stupidity 101, which is not. At all cinemas

“Saving General Yang” (M) DURING the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), General Yang Ye, patriarch of a military clan, had seven sons. Yang’s clan and the Pan clan are at odds. But they must join forces against the invading Khitan army. So the film’s plot may pose difficulty to non-Chinesespeaking film-goers trying to work out to which side a character belongs, especially when beards confuse the issue. Ronnie Yu’s vigorous actioner is not about winning a war. The General’s wife, wanting her husband brought home, sends her seven sons to undertake that task. Two of the boys have seen battle. To the other five, battle is an adventure. Against handsome backgrounds of western China’s deserts, Yu has staged powerful military sequences in which stabbing and cutting weapons wreak havoc in ways almost too graphic to imagine. Slowly, the drama develops into a single theme. For the general is dead, and the sons must bring his body home. Hence the film’s title. One by one, pursuing clansmen cut the young men down. With significant Australian inputs after filming finished, assembling images into coherent statements of battles marked by confusion, refusing to compromise in its bloodshed and mutilation of bodies, this is a powerful film, with a plot driven by strong filial devotion delivered with admirable visual, emotional and cultural energy. But perhaps not for the squeamish. At Dendy

CityNews  April 11-17  23

arts & entertainment

Symphony with big story to tell “Symphony of Australia”. What does it mean? Is it a work, an orchestra, or an organisation? The answer is, all three, writes arts editor HELEN MUSA AFTER Australian composer Gavin Lockley returned from years in Europe consumed with a patriotic desire to write a symphony for his native country, he needed to make it work by creating an organisation to administer his ideas and an orchestral team to bring it to life. Canberra music lovers will soon have the chance to hear “Symphony of Australia” when it comes to the National Gallery of Australia, illustrated with projections by video artist Hamish Siddons, conducted by Simon Kenway and performed by singers Renae Martin, Stuart Maunder, Darryl Lovegrove and the composer himself, together with a 30-piece classical orchestra and choir. Initially, in 2007, it was played by an orchestra of 60, but when the NGA offered him the James O Fairfax Theatre, he jumped at the chance and we’ll be hearing a new orchestration. It’s not just the symphonic work we’ll be hearing. As a prelude, the concert will open with eight songs based on verses by “Banjo” Paterson, Bruce Simpson, C J Dennis, J L Cuthbertson and John O’Brien, many of them haunting numbers familiar to generations of Australians. The second half will be Lockley’s grand, sixmovement tone poem, “Symphony of Australia”, telling nothing less than the story of Australia. It’s a grand vision that leaves no thematic stone unturned. The first movement, “Dreamtime”, sets the scene with the visions of Australia’s first people. Then in the second, “The Ships”, Lockley taps into the familiar refrains of folk music to conjure up colonial settlement, later, in “Red Centre” expanding into a more classical exploration of the opening of the wide, brown

24  CityNews  April 11-17

land through the story of Burke and Wills. His “Pie Jesu” becomes a lament for Australians who perished in wars. Lockley’s fifth movement, “Immigration Scherzo”, celebrates multicultural Australia and the finale, the sixth, is “My Country Australia”, taken from the Dorothea Mackellar poem that initially inspired him. Director and performer Stuart Maunder is keen to assure “CityNews” that the main work is not an exercise in jingoism. On the contrary, he says, it is “a very fine work inspired by Australian history”. His personal favourites are the “Immigration Scherzo” and “The Ships”, but he has noticed that it’s “My Country” that always leaves audiences moved. Like Tchaikovsky’s and Mendelssohn’s symphonic poems, it appeals to the deeper emotions, yet tells a story. Maunder is a familiar figure in Canberra as the director of operas, but in this case he directs, narrates and performs, becoming characters such as an angry minister of religion railing at his flock. As for the “beautiful settings of classical Australian poems”, they still bring a tear to his eye, especially Lockley’s setting of “Clancy of the Overflow”. Maunder can still recite the poems he learnt by heart as a child, “The Man from Ironbark”, “The Geebung Polo Club” and others. It’s a tradition he believes will die hard. A 56-page, full-colour book that includes a 50-minute recording of the symphony by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will be launched in Canberra. “Symphony of Australia, the first orchestral history of our nation”, National Gallery of Australia, 7.30 pm, Saturday, April 20, and 2pm, Sunday, April 21. Bookings to

‘Pooped’, but pianist gives his very best music

Daniel de Borah Wesley Music Centre, April 5 Reviewed by Clinton White

Composer Gavin Lockley... returned from years in Europe consumed with a patriotic desire to write a symphony for his native country.

Director and performer Stuart Maunder... the work is not an exercise in jingoism, he says.

ENJOYING a piano recital for the technical ability of the artist and the challenge of the music is very satisfying for an audience. Daniel de Borah’s recital did just that – brilliantly. It decisively underscored de Borah’s very impressive credentials as a pianist in global demand. There were three selections: Sergei Prokofiev’s “Sonata No 9, Op 103” (1947); Johannes Brahms’ “Four Pieces for Piano Op 119 (Klavierstücke)” (1893); and Robert Schumann’s “Kreisleriana Op 16”, subtitled “Fantasia for Piano” (1838). The Prokofiev was a particular challenge. Far from having much structure, this composition, while technically very difficult, seemed more like a grab-bag of random thoughts spread across four unsystematic movements. Daniel de Borah turned what could have been confusing tedium into beauteous life, through his marvellous expres-

Pianist Daniel de Borah... gave his all to challenge and entertain. sion and deep sensitivity. That he played it, indeed the entire program, from memory made the performance even more special. The Brahms and Schumann works, written at either end of the Romantic period, but with a surprising connection – Schumann’s wife, Clara – were challenges, too. Brahms’ mixes introspection with boisterousness and Schumann’s has a dark, even tragic side to it. Once again, de Borah beguiled his audience with his intellectual approach and superior keyboard prowess. The audience demanded several curtain calls for Daniel de Borah’s extraordinarily uplifting and rewarding concert. But he denied them an encore, simply saying: “I’m pooped.” Fair enough. He had given his all to challenge and entertain.

arts & entertainment

The lakefront Museum Café... “magnificent” spine of floor-to-ceiling windows.  Photos by Brent McDonald

Pretty, peaceful place for the pretty peckish THE Museum Café is a peaceful, pretty place to be when you’re peckish.

for everyone. And it’s well-priced given you’re at an iconic national institution. You can dine in (breakfast Sometimes we Canberrans take our national instituor lunch) or pick up some take-away and find yourself a tions for granted – we really do. But we shouldn’t, and spot on the grass along the lakeside. that includes when deciding where to enjoy a bite to eat. The lakefront café has a spine of floor-to-ceiling It was Easter weekend, the weather was glorious windows – absolutely magnificent. It operates as most and we found ourselves at this innovatively designed eating establishments do at museums and galleries. café perched right on the lake with sweeping views You order at the counter, grab a number and find a (part of the $11 million revamp at the National table (food is brought to you). We lucked out with a Museum). And speaking of glorious, you can enjoy nice spot outdoors. a Devonshire Tea special ($10) in celebration of the Breakfast is more or less as you would expect. “Glorious Days: Australia 1913” exhibition running until Various egg dishes, toasted muesli (although with a October. The exhibition transports you back to a year yummy-sounding poached rhubarb and vanilla-bean when people were optimistic and having fun exploring yoghurt) and toasted sandwiches. All eggs are free fashion, design and ideas that “expressed a nation’s range and vegetarians and gluten-free dishes are dreams before the world changed forever” when available. World War I hit. We were lunching and found the selection of light The Museum Café is operated by Peter Rowland meals attractive, including the steamed dumplings Catering, which also handles food operations in with black vinegar dressing and soft-shell crab tortilla the ANU Commons and CSIRO Discovery Café. The with avocado and salsa. The mini burger with bacon, menu isn’t extensive, but there truly is something cheese and beer-battered chips is a nice idea for those who love burgers but don’t want to be too stuffed. Mains included the beetroot tarte tatin with baked goats cheese, green beans and almond salad ($17). Although smallish in size, it was delicious and delightful. The sweetness of the beetroot contrasted nicely with the slightly tangy, smooth cheese and the almond salad added nice crunch. I had the lightly battered flathead tails with beerbattered chips, salad and citrus mayo ($22). It wasn’t a super memorable moment, but I enjoyed the dish well enough and thought the mayo featured just the right amount of citrus. The Museum Café is licensed and has free wi-fi. Open Chocolate mud cake with cream and strawberries. 9am-4.45pm daily. Call 6208 5179.

Sharing the wonder of Wonderland CHAMPAGNE and chips in the foyer made way for cupcakes and teas to sustain theatregoers’ trip down the rabbit hole! The 35-minute performance was created by Canberran James Batchelor and performed by Chloe Chignall, Amber McCartney and Emma Batchelor. We were given a seat and encouraged to move around the theatre space with the performance, which kept things lively. Starting out as an observer, viewers inadvertently became unhelpful, hostile participants as Alice and the characters of Wonderland search for answers as to how they ended up there. Or how they could escape. McCartney looked perfect, with platinum hair and


“In Wonderland” Created by James Batchelor Courtyard Studio Season closed Reviewed by Samara Purnell wide-eyed affectation. Although not entirely a dance production, her awkward isolations were perfectly executed and she gave a really effective solo to close the show. Chignall’s performance as Alice and The Mad Hatter was entertaining and confidently well delivered. More attention to detail in dressing the space and fixing an audio glitch in looping would have polished the show. CityNews  April 11-17  25

open garden Autumn calls peaceful, old Collingwood Words: Kathryn Vukovljak Photographs: Brent McDonald IT’S imperative that you visit John and Margaret Emery’s garden, because they are lovely folk who rescued our intrepid reporting team from a flat tyre while lost in Gunning! But, more importantly, because Collingwood is a beautiful, peaceful historic garden, with views over vast paddocks, majestic wind turbines and the occasional freight train rumbling past. Collingwood, which surrounds a large 1820s homestead, will be open to the public on the weekend of April 20-21 as part of Open Gardens Australia. Usually the garden is a feast of autumn colour at this time of year, but Margaret says an infestation of elm leaf beetle may have an effect on the golden glow they usually get. “We have about 80 English elms in the garden that line the driveway and shelter the house,” she says. “They’ve all been treated now, but we’re not yet sure of the effect this will have on the elms turning for autumn.” The garden features old stone walls, arbours heavily draped in wisteria, winding paths and a magical woodland area to the left of the homestead. “It’s a nice old place; it’s very peaceful,” says Margaret, who has lived here for 21 years and does the bulk of the gardening. It’s her husband John’s family home. “I was a keen gardener when I was younger, because my father was, but once I moved here I became quite passionate about the garden and realised, this is a gift.” Margaret has created several veggie beds outside the kitchen, with corn, capsicums, tomatoes, carrots, rhubarb and herbs. The area is surrounded by a rare deciduous osage orange hedge. “It had been left to grow as trees, and was planted in a L-shape to keep the cattle out because it’s quite spiky,” Margaret says. A stroll around the garden reveals aquilegias, bluebells and heritage roses, while the rectangular lawn is framed with lilac, roses, kolkwitzia, lavender, perennials and a row of Sally Holmes roses. Collingwood, at 2312 Cullerin Road, Gunning, will be open 10am-4.30pm on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21. Entry is $7, children under 18 are free. Teas and light lunches will be available. Funds raised will go to Open Gardens Australia and to Lucy Wangari in Kibera Slum in Nairobi. More information at

Margaret Emery... “It’s a nice old place; it’s very peaceful.” 26  CityNews  April 11-17


Grass trees... a truly ancient tree that can live for hundreds of years.

Beauties from the bush AUTUMN days are a great delight in the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Cedric Bryant

Visitors will see two particular plants that they might have growing in their own gardens – Dicksonia antarctica or tree fern and Xanthorrhoea or grass tree. Starting with tree ferns – 80 per cent die in a short time from poor siting and watering requirements. All tree ferns sold are taken from the bush under strict licensing regulations by the Parks and Wildlife Service and must have a serialnumbered tag to prove they were not removed illegally. Always select a good healthy plant free from physical or insect damage from a registered garden centre with the tag attached. When siting your tree fern, ensure it has ample shade. They originate in shady forest areas where they get neither direct hot sun, blasting hot winds or severe frost settling on the fronds. This can be under trees or shade cloth. In heavy soils, dig deeply adding plenty of organic matter such as rotted leaves, cow manure and coarse river sand. Good drainage is vital. Place a third of the

trunk in the ground and immediately thoroughly water in with Maxicrop Seaweed Plant Nutrient to encourage strong root growth. Tree ferns should be watered in the crown of the fern and around the base. If drip irrigation is used, make a circle around the base and a line to the crown. Mulch well, and if you have no accumulations of rotted leaves etcetera, Canberra Sand and Gravel’s Organic Mulch is ideal. In the forests, they have plenty of rotting natural leaf litter. In summer, a good, deep soaking once a week is usually sufficient. An application of seaweed solution several times in spring and summer is sufficient as most of their nutrients will come from the mulch. The only real pest for tree ferns is scale insects on the back of the fronds, usually indicated by a lack of vigour and health in the fronds. Ants often accompany the scale and these do no damage, actually attacking the scale insects. Multicrop EcoPest will fix scale, mites and other sucking insects by spraying it on the underside of the fronds.


Xanthorrhoea are a truly ancient tree and can live for hundreds of years. As with tree ferns, their removal from the bush is strictly prohibited except by licensed companies. Normally these are dug and held in a specialist wholesale nursery for 12 months until they display new growth and roots before being offered for sale. Preparation of the hole is the same as tree ferns. It is preferable to cut the pot away from the plant rather than risking damage to the roots by banging the pot off the plant. Grass trees have a fairly shallow root system with most feeder roots within the top 60-70cm of soil. When planting, water in the same as tree ferns with plant nutrient. Its distinctive flower spikes usually appear when the tree is well established and over a metre tall. Patience is the name of the game with grass trees and they take their own time to flower. Extra watering or feeding will not hasten their growth and flowering. Once established (and they can grow to two metres in a couple of months), they usually produce flower spikes each year. Whereas the trunk will normally only grow about 10cm a year. A tree two metres tall could easily be more than 200 years old. The one in the picture is possibly at least 300 years old. Your grand, great and great great grandchildren will enjoy the ones you plant today. THE Great Autumn Plant Sale by The Growing Friends of the ANBG will be held from 8.30am to 11am, Saturday April 13. Plants, priced at $3 and $5, have been propagated by the Friends from material in the gardens. The plant list is available on au/friends. Bring boxes, bags or even a trailer for your purchases.

The exquisite and intricate uncurling tree fern... when siting one, ensure it has ample shade.

THANK you to those who sent emails regarding the proposed chopping down of the stand of poplar trees at Braidwood. I have forwarded your comments (less names and addresses) to the mayor of Palerang Shire, which includes Braidwood. Keep them coming to cedricbryant@ CityNews  April 11-17  27

Canberra CityNews April 11  

TWENTY-something sisters Carla and Emma Papas, from Fadden, created a healthy food blog late last year that is attracting huge interest fro...

Canberra CityNews April 11  

TWENTY-something sisters Carla and Emma Papas, from Fadden, created a healthy food blog late last year that is attracting huge interest fro...