NEW SEASON LOOKS / FASHION HEADS IN THE WHITE DIRECTION September 26, 2013
Time to reboot the republic ROBERT MACKLIN
Those polling-day pencils have to go! GREG CORNWELL
Can the Raiders save Ricky? TIM GAVEL
Anarchy in a fur suit
Chartered Accountants Insolvency Practitioners
Review. Refocus. Rebuild.
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2 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Cruel odds that challenge Canberra cafes The hospitality business has a nasty habit of eating its young. So what makes for longevity in Canberra’s competitive food and beverage world? LAURA EDWARDS looks for answers. CANBERRA’S hospitality businesses have a one in two chance of surviving past their first four years, recent figures show. A report released last month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that of the food and beverage businesses operating in June 2008, approximately 50 per cent closed by June 2012. CEO of Zoo Advertising and hospitality investor Pawl Cubbin says he’s unsurprised by the figures. Pawl has been responsible for the development of some of Canberra’s most successful hospitality businesses, including Bellucis, Academy nightclub, Suburban and Public. “It’s not an industry for the faint hearted,” Pawl says. “I think the problem, though, is not that Canberra customers are fickle, it’s that many people here who enter the hospitality industry aren’t driven enough, they don’t have the passion, and they don’t research their customers.”
So what factors increase a business’s longevity? Pawl says it’s not necessarily location, decor or even ambience – Canberrans just want consistency. “If you look at the longest-running businesses in Canberra – The Kingston Pub, Gus’, Mooseheads – yes, they’re all similar in that they’re casual, but they’re good-quality casual, and Canberrans know what to expect from them in terms of the experience,”
index / contacts Arts&Entertainment 29-33 Canberra Confidential 27 Cinema 30 Crossword 35 Dining 31 Garden 34 Horoscope 35 News 3-18 Politics 18 Socials 23-26 Soduko 35
Cover: “The Cat in the Hat” star James Stafford. Story page 11. Photo by Dan Boud.
Owner Manuel Notaras, outside Caph’s in Manuka, says the secret to the cafe’s longevity is “getting to know our customers, and their names… I work and get out there and talk to them, I don’t just sit back and manage.”
It’s also about evolving when he says. “Then you look at our Asian restau- necessary, says Pawl. He admits his rants – let’s face it, the service isn’t businesses don’t always get it right, always great and the decor is pretty and when they don’t it’s important to simple, but they are always quick and “tweak” the model, and fast. Manuka’s Public opened in 2011 and you know exactly what you’re getting. It’s about knowing what your cus- has changed its menu three times to tomer wants from you. With that type suit customers, eventually settling on of cheap and cheerful restaurant, they “simple pub” meals and lowering prices. “People may think Manuka is a just want a quick, good quality meal, Ro CHair 16.09.2013.pdf 16/09/2013 but 9:13:50 every time.” ‘yuppie’1 suburb, a AM yuppie pub in
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Senior advertising executive: Ernie Nichols, 0421 077 999 Advertising sales executive: Kim Garcia, 0414 878 055 Advertising sales co-ordinator: email@example.com Sydney advertising sales: Ad Sales Connect, 02 9420 1777 Accounts manager: Bethany Freeman-Chandler firstname.lastname@example.org
Manuka doesn’t actually work, believe it or not,” he says. “Our customers, they work hard, they have money to spend, but at the end of the day, they don’t want a yuppie-pub experience – they just want a good pub experience. “You’ve got to know your customers, and what they want, and sometimes that can almost be contradictory to who
Continued Page 4
Phone 6262 9100 Fax 6262 9111 GPO Box 2448, Canberra City 2601 Chief executive officer: Greg Jones 0419 418196, email@example.com
Owners Sean Royle, left, and Gus Armstrong, of 86 in Braddon, which opened in April. Sean says: “Even though we’re the new kid on the block, we’re breaking the mould from what’s out there.” Photos by Brent McDonald
Editor: Ian Meikle, firstname.lastname@example.org Journalists: Laura Edwards, email@example.com Stephen Easton, firstname.lastname@example.org Kathryn Vukovljak, email@example.com Arts editor: Helen Musa, 0400 043 764 firstname.lastname@example.org Design and photography: Brent McDonald, email@example.com, 0421 962 325 Graphic designer: Janet Ewen Contributing photographer: Andrew FinchC Distribution: Richard Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Responsibility for election comment is taken by Ian Meikle, Level 1, 143 London Circuit, Canberra. CM
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sat 10 - 4 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 3
Architect goes back to school By Laura Edwards
A BUST of award-winning Canberra architect Enrico Taglietti will now sit in the very buildings he has designed.
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The sculpture of Enrico, who was the architect of the Italian embassy and Giralang Primary School, was unveiled at the school by Italian ambassador Gian Ludovico de Martino di Montegiordano and his wife, accomplished sculptor and artist, Camilla de Martino di Montegiordano, who created the bust. An identical mould will go to the Italian embassy. Camilla says she had known Enrico for years and decided to make the bust as she “always liked his face”. “After I did it, I thought ‘well what should I do with it’?” she says. “I always do two moulds, so I decided to give one to the Italian embassy, which Enrico designed, and also the school, as I thought it was the best place for it.”
Giralang Primary School principal Trish Keller, Canberra architect Enrico Taglietti, artist Camilla de Martino di Montegiordano and Italian Ambassador to Australia Gian Ludovico de Martino di Montegiordano. Photo by Brent McDonald The bust took “about 10” sittings to complete, Camilla says, and was made using clay and bronze. Enrico says he “was a little embarrassed” about seeing the sculpture for the first time. “I like it though, if I didn’t
like it it would mean I don’t like myself,” he laughs. “I was very overwhelmed, but it will age well.” Principal Trish Keller says the bust, which will sit in the school foyer, is a reminder to students of the school’s beginnings.
“The likeness is incredible. It’s wonderful to have as Enrico has won awards from The Royal Australian Institute of Architects for his design of the school, and he is very much known to the students and staff here,” she says.
Cruel odds that challenge Canberra cafes
From Page 3
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they are. So there’s no substitute for research, and for working really hard to tweak your product to get it right. If you don’t, it’s over.” “CityNews” food reviewer Wendy Johnson believes location and great fit-outs are big drawcards for customers too, but agrees many local businesses have been failing because of a lack of consistency. “You don’t want to keep going to a place where you never know if it’s going to be awful or excellent,” she says. She adds that Canberrans are much more aware of what they’re paying and are reacting to inflated prices. “Many restaurants are now having to bow to what consumers are demanding, which is reasonable pricing – you see a proliferation of happy hours, weekly deals,
daily specials and the like,” she says. “There was also a saturation of expensive fine dining in Canberra for a while and this has led to some closures, even of long-standing restaurants like The Hermitage and top quality ones like Alto.” Pawl says the trend towards “funky” restaurants and bars in Braddon and the city, such as 86 and A.Baker, will last as long as businesses have a 24/7 commitment. “They may be busy on Fridays and during the summer, but you have to think about winter too, what do you do to optimise the low time,” he says. “It’s about focusing on how you deal with that, so you can run a business. You can’t just survive on warm weather and weekends. It’s got to be busy all the time. It takes a lot of thinking, the right vision, and a lot of commitment.”
Long runners... Going the distance in the face of changing dining trends, these Canberra venues show cheap, casual and cheerful are generally favoured by locals.
• Caphs Cafe, Manuka – 87 years • Kingston Hotel Pub, Kingston – 86 Years • Charcoal Grill Restaurant, Civic – 51 Years • Gus’ Cafe, Civic – 46 Years • Timmy’s, Manuka – 28 Years • Tosolini’s, Civic – 27 Years • Mooseheads, Civic – 23 Years • Belluci’s, Manuka – 22 Years • Ottoman, Barton – 21 Years • Rama’s, Pearce – 20 Years
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Moving accounts of Canberra High’s history Stephen Easton reports
WHEN Canberra High School moved into its new building in 1939, former pupil Mervyn Knowles recalls headmaster Andrew Watson announcing that it was “the most modern high school in the southern hemisphere”. The school itself had actually opened the previous year, with 378 students picked on academic merit using the NSW “selective school” model (the NSW Government ran ACT schools until 1974). Classes began on the campus of Telopea Park School in 1938 until the gleaming, white Art Deco building that is now the ANU School of Art was ready. It is for this reason that Canberra High – now located in Belconnen – celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, with open days at the old and new buildings followed by a cocktail party at night. “There was a general upheaval for both staff and pupils, but we marvelled at the space and equipment the new premises offered,” says 91-year-old Mervyn, of the move from Telopea to Acton. Two weeks after staff and students moved in to the Acton school house, Germany invaded Poland and Australia followed Britain in declaring war on the aggressor, but in 1939, the lingering effects of the Great Depression had more effect on the daily lives of the young
Former Canberra High School principal and convenor of the archives team, Helen Burfitt with current principal Phil Beecher. Photo by Brent McDonald capital’s residents than war in Europe. Some parents of the first Canberra High students worried their children were being singled out unfairly because they could not afford the fancy uniforms, which were made up of an extensive list of hats, shoes, gloves, stockings, ties, blouses and blazers, nothing like what public school students are asked to wear these days. The Government’s response, however, was as it would be today. Parents were not compelled to buy the uniform, but “urged” to do so as soon as they had the funds. By 1941 the threat of war was much more serious and a Canberra High cadet corps was formed. The next year, slit
The Physical Training Squad practises a routine for the 1940 school concert. Photo belongs to Joyce Campbell.
trenches and camouflaged air raid shelters were built near the school building, which at the time was still mostly surrounded by grass and had a clear line of sight to Civic. In recent years, a small team of retired former teachers, convened by former principal Helen Burfitt, have been working to bring the physical artifacts of the trailblazing school’s history together into a well-ordered collection. Collecting uniforms, equipment and photographs of the past, going through old yearbooks and rummaging around in storerooms is a painstaking labour of love for Helen and her fellow archivists, Betty Growder and the husband-andwife team of Sue and Geoff Young, who met while teaching at Canberra High. “We’ve been putting things in boxes for each year, sorting through them and recording the contents on the computer, so that if anybody wants to do a search, they can,” says Geoff, as he and the others continue their work. The collection includes old trophies, a few of which were luckily retained from inter-school contests: the Koala Cup, from yearly exchanges with Parramatta High School that ended in 1964, the Chandler Cup for overall girls’ sport between ACT high schools and a very old inter-schools cricket trophy. “The last school holding it hangs on to it; possession is nine tenths of the law,” jokes Geoff.
Miss Cairns’ 1946 Public Service class. Carefully piecing together the available clues is Sue’s specialty. “It’s like being a detective,” she says. It wasn’t just the students who were selected on merit in the early days. Top academics were recruited from around the country such as headmaster Watson, who had braved the Antarctic with Sir Douglas Mawson as a geologist and so became a popular after-dinner speaker around Canberra. Watson and several of the first crop of teachers also lectured at university level, such as Russell Rix, who taught Japanese decades before it was offered to any other students in the NSW system, and physics teacher Stuart Bilbe, whose textbook on practical physics was used across the State. One of the biggest items in the collection is an old principal’s desk, handmade with a matching chair by John Walton, who is considered by many to be the “founding father” of modern industrial arts teaching. “It was mine when I was principal,” says Helen, who retired in 2003. “He wrote the bible on woodwork; his textbook was used by every NSW and ACT school.” The move to the current building in 1969, says Geoff, brought about “a great shift in the culture of the place” as it was “such an open, new building at the
time”. According to Helen, the original plan was to name the new school after nearby suburb Aranda, but the school community “fought tooth and nail” to keep the Canberra High name alive by having it transferred once again. “When you look at the alumni, there would have been some pretty powerful and influential people who were pushing for it,” Geoff points out. The archives group is also helping organise the anniversary activities, which are aimed at showcasing the history as well as reuniting the people who have attended or worked at the school over the years. “We’re going to set up rooms by decades for people to come and walk through the past on the day,” explains Helen. “We’re also calling out for people who might be able to fill in some of the gaps, and identify who the people are in some of the photos.” Canberra High School’s 75th Anniversary celebrations are on November 2. Open days are being held at the ANU School of Art, Ellery Crescent, Acton, and Canberra High School, Bindubi Street, Macquarie and a cocktail party is at the UC refectory. For more information or to register as a former student, go to canberrahigh75.blogspot.com.au
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news / Queanbeyan celebrates
Tiny town that helped to build the capital... franco of canberra DOWN the front steps is hairdresser Franco of Canberra, which has been based at the arcade since 1956. With a young and enthusiastic team of talented stylists, come and have a blow-dry, get your formal hair done or just try a change for spring, says James Calabria. “We also offer hair treatments and a head massage, to put the bounce and shine back in your hair,” he says. Franco’s caters for men and women, and are taking Christmas bookings right now.
janines florist GORGEOUS floral arrangements and gifts are available further down the arcade at Janines Florist, where you’ll also get friendly and prompt service. “We always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect, and customer service is important to us,” says Janine Batley. She says they have a host of ideas about how to make any gift occasion something special for you and the recipient. They also offer a wedding bouquet and function flowers service.
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WHEN first declared a township in 1838, there Stephen Easton were about 40 residents of Queanbeyan, and reports farming was the main game in the region. That all changed after the turn of the century the ‘20s, and again in the late ‘60s and ‘70s,” Overall says. when it was decided that a national capital As part of Queanbeyan’s 175th anniversary celebrations, he is presenting Canberra with a 100th was needed. According to mayor Tim Overall, many prominent Queanbeyanites lobbied hard for their region to be the site for the capital but when asked, residents voted strongly against joining it inside the Federal Capital Territory (the original name of the ACT). “Queanbeyan has had a significant role in the development of the national capital, not just in the provision of retail and business services to the fledgling tent city, but health services were also most significant, as well as construction workers and tradespeople as Canberra went through its boom in Mayor Tim Overall.
birthday gift in the form of a sundial made by artist Hendrik Forster for the National Arboretum, to be unveiled at 11am on Friday, September 27. “It represents time immemorial, Queanbeyan and Canberra’s shared history and our shared location,” the mayor explains. “It’s located on top of Dairy Farmer’s Hill, overlooking Canberra with Queanbeyan in the distance, marking the special relationship.” During Canberra’s infancy, he says, the “special relationship” wasn’t always smooth sailing, especially in the Great Depression of the 1930s. “When the major boom that had taken place in Canberra came to an end, Queanbeyan residents were actually discriminated against for employment opportunities in the national capital… preference was given to people who resided in Canberra, which made it difficult for a lot of Queanbeyan families,” explains Overall. But with both cities going on to prosper to each other’s mutual benefit, that’s all water under the bridge.
shoe repairs and watchmaker to floral arrangements and quality cigars
civic shoe repairs
The street parade will include this 110-year-old wagon, pulled by a team of bullocks.
Baker Lorraine Kiewiet with her plan for the five-layer birthday cake.
...so there’s lots to celebrate CANBERRA’S birthday bash has been and gone but the Centenary is not the only municipal milestone in our neck of the woods this year. Over in NSW, Queanbeyan’s 175th is just around the corner.
AJ watch repairs FOR skilled and qualified watchmakers,
you can’t go past AJ Watch Repairs – it’s a unique shop with the largest selection of cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks, barometers and weather stations in Canberra. Owner Krzysztof Jakubaszek says they service all makes and models of watches and timepieces, including every major brand, with two qualified watchmakers on site. “We can restore old timepieces where possible, and can help with any timepiece that needs work,” he says.
143 London Circuit, Civic. Cnr London Circuit and East Row (bus interchange) 8 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
CELEBRATING 40 years of shoe-repair services, Civic Shoes can offer key cutting, bag and luggage repairs, shoe colouring, boot adjustments, general repairs and orthopaedic adjustments. Owner Milton Vassiliotis says he took over from his father at the shop 10 years ago. “We’re now the most well-known shoe repair shop in Canberra and attract customers, who know our work is of the best quality,” he says.
A big community party takes over the city on September 28, kicking off at 11am with a parade led by police and naval officers from the base beside the border, HMAS Harman, who have been granted the historic honour of “freedom of entry” to the city to mark the occasion. Following the sailors down Macquoid Street, the city’s former main drag, is a procession billed as “a cavalcade of historic vehicles”, which goes past some old cottages that are Queanbeyan’s oldest buildings. Among this moving timeline of transportation technology will be a slightly sombre horse-drawn hearse and a 110-year-old wagon, pulled by a team of bullocks who hail from Tomerong on the south coast. The Melbourne Cup trophy, which is handmade each year from 18-carat gold and tours the nation in anticipation of the famous race, will also join the parade and stay parked beside the main stage
throughout the festivities in Ray Morton Park on the eastern bank of the river. Nearby Wanniassa Park will host a vintage car display and as the street parade draws to an end, the food and fun starts up with a multicultural dance show and kids entertainment like storytelling and hobby horse races for the rest of the day. By then, construction of the town’s five-layer birthday cake should be well underway, thanks to veteran local baker Lorraine Kiewiet, in time for her part-chocolate, part-fruitcake creation to be cut during during the birthday speeches, which start from 1.30pm. The formalities include a welcome to country and smoking ceremony with local indigenous leaders as well as the unveiling of all the new smells, sights and sounds of the city’s brand new Sensory Gardens, from Aboriginal totem poles to giant musical instruments and a “life-size Chinese puzzle game”. Then there’s the concert with rapper Omar Musa, twin sisters Brittany and Courtney Menegon, otherwise known as RubyIce, and hip-hop duo Stick n’ Move. “It’s all going to culminate with the biggest fireworks display in Queanbeyan’s history,” says the mayor.
Reboot the republic
Big small beer festival
THE election of a conservative government provides a wonderful opportunity for the progressive side of politics to reboot the drive for an Australian Republic. As a government, Labor was compromised by being part of the establishment and appointing a well-liked Governor-General. Now they are free to take up the cudgels, particularly if Prime Minister Abbott appoints the awful Peter Cosgrove as Quentin Bryce’s successor. But neither they, nor the broader republican movement, should allow themselves to be trapped into an argument about the British royal family. The real issue is a declaration of our repudiation of the British colonial policies that still help to define our self-perception and our place in the world. The monarchy is just the sweet icing on a poisonous cake. I must admit that, until recently, I was a fairly tepid republican, despite the fact that I joined the Republican Party as a 15-year-old after cutting out an advertisement in “The Bulletin”. It was not until I became engrossed in the research for “Dark Paradise”, my book on the horrific history of Norfolk Island, that I realised just how appalling
A BEER festival open to only small breweries returns to Canberra on September 28. The first Small Brewers Beer Festival was held in March at the Australian National Botanical Gardens and hit crowd capacity within 90 minutes of opening. This time it will be held at Exhibition Park, allowing a larger crowd. The festival will have 30 different breweries and cider makers.
The British monarchy is just the sweet icing on a poisonous cake, says ROBERT MACKLIN British colonial policies were. It was no surprise, of course, that they declared Australia terra nullius despite the obvious presence of human inhabitants (who just happened to possess the oldest continuous living culture the world had known). But the reasons behind it are less well appreciated. In the British perception, because they were black they were not quite human; after all, the British had been trading in black humans for 250 years with no fewer than 10,000 voyages, most to support their slave colonies in the West Indies. Indeed, by 1760, only a decade before Cook’s arrival on the east coast, British ships carried no fewer than 42,000 of the 85,000 Africans traded each year; and in such terrible conditions that often a quarter of them failed to survive the journey. Nor is it well understood that Australia itself was a slave colony, the only difference being that the 168,000 slaves shipped here were white. The spin doctors of the day labelled them “convicts” because they had been convicted, overwhelmingly of petty infrac-
tions, by a system in which the industrial revolution produced an underclass that was superfluous to requirements. They were joined by the Irish whose principal crime was to resist the British invasion and theft of their country. And the conditions of their voyages across the world were often no better than that afforded their black equivalents. Having slaved for their British masters, often in irons and at the business end of a lash, they were released to become an Australian underclass to the Bunyip aristocracy. Only the discovery of gold in 1851 challenged the British class system and provided the foundation for an independent economy and the eventual creation of a selfgoverning nation. But the British stain remains; and it will never be expunged until we declare ourselves independent of the historical horrors they perpetrated. And the comic opera that is the hereditary monarchy at the apex of our governance will take its place among the relics of a violent and sorry heritage. robertmacklin.com
Carrie Bickmore… at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome on October 5.
Carrie shares her style tips ONE of Australia’s favourite television personalities, Carrie Bickmore, will share her style tips with Canberrans next month. The host of Channel Ten’s “The Project” will appear at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome on October 5, as part of the centre’s “Fashion and Beauty Uncovered” program which runs from September 23 to October 13. Bickmore will show shoppers how to work this season’s most exciting trends, while renowned Australian make-up artist Liz Kelsh will reveal her must-have beauty tips. Often described as one of TV’s biggest style influences, working mum Bickmore “is a great representative of the everyday woman with style, nailing her look on-air every day,” a spokesperson for the centre says. “Fashion and Beauty Uncovered” will also include complimentary hair styling sessions, fashion advice and makeovers. Carrie Bickmore will be at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome from 11am on Saturday October 5.
Tickets are $35 plus booking fee and are available at moshtix.com.au.
Scary cat show THE ANCATS Halloween Scary Cats Show will be held at the Ainslie Football Club on Sunday, October 13. Exhibitors will have their display cages decorated in a Halloween theme and there will be a prize for the best decorated. There will be a number of different breeds on show including Rag Doll, Maine Coone, Bengal, Siamese & Oriental Shorthair, Persian & Exotic, Egyptian Mau, Siberian, Norwegian Forrest Cat and Sphynx.
Calling all Dodgers THE ACT’s oldest basketball club, the Weston Creek Woden Dodgers, will hold its “55 Years For and Against Reunion” at the Woden Tradies on October 19. Organiser Brian Franklin is expecting original team members to share the evening, which will include a display of club uniforms and photos. Bookings to dodgers.jtevents.com.au
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Jeweller Anthony Bezos in his Dickson studio… “people are walking away from it not just with a nice piece of jewellery, but the experience.” Photo by Brent McDonald
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Do-it-yourself bling! WITH protective glasses on and torches in hand, a group of women busily cut, melt and mould. Within hours, the chunk of metal they started with will be a glimmering set of earrings, a bracelet or a ring, under the guidance of Anthony Bezos in his jewellery workshop. Anthony, who has worked as a jeweller for more than 20 years, believes the trend of creating precious pieces of jewellery through workshops is quickly spreading across the globe and now the country.
Laura Edwards reports
Since opening his Dickson studio in August, he says people from Batemans Bay, Griffith and Bega have travelled to Canberra to attend the classes. “Instead of shopping for jewellery and picking out what’s in the store, people want a more personalised experience, whether it’s a gift or for themselves,” Anthony says. “It’s a creative outlet, and people are walking away from it not just with a nice piece of jewellery, but the experience.”
Students busy at work in one of Anthony Bezos’ jewellery classes… couples will soon have the opportunity to make their own wedding or engagement rings.
In beginner, intermediate or advanced workshops, students are given professional tools and materials to create something of their choice in about six hours, either in a single sitting or five-week courses. “I’ve had women making an ID bracelet, or pendants, but most make earrings or rings,” Anthony says. “We have people using silver, but we can get any materials, whether it be gold or stones. I’m surprised at how good the students are, actually.” And couples will soon have the opportunity to make their own wedding or engagement rings. “When you do it yourself rather than pay someone to do it for you, there’s a bit more personality that goes into it, and it’s a much more special experience,” Anthony says. “I’m hoping to get a few men in, too, perhaps wanting to make a personalised piece for their partners. They’d be in the good books then!” For more information on the workshops, visit jewelleryclasses.com.au/
news / cover story
The Cat: anarchy in a fur suit IT’S a good thing James Stafford likes cats, because he’s about to play a very famous one on stage. The busy Stafford, who’s acted everywhere from a Japanese theme park to the Darwin Amphitheatre, is presently touring in Gary Ginivan’s “Possum Magic”, but when that’s over, he’ll jump into rehearsals for a remount of “The Cat in the Hat”, due here in October in a co-production with Andrew Kay and the Canberra Theatre Centre. Readers young and old will be familiar with the cheeky feline from the Dr Seuss book, but this is the National Theatre of Great Britain’s adaptation, now performed by an all-Australian cast. Stafford regales me with the
Actor James Stafford… “The words are really easy to understand for littlies and it’s action from go to whoa.”
Helen Musa arts editor
story of how “Dr Seuss” (Theodor Geisel) met a challenge from a colleague in 1954 by writing “The Cat in the Hat” with a vocabulary of 236 words. “It’s a ripper of a show”, he enthuses down the phone in a voice that tells you he’s used to communicating with youthful audiences. Stafford plays the mischievous feline, a role he tells me mysteriously is “like being in a bottle”. He’s been acting for years, but it wasn’t always so. While studying and playing the violin at the University of Ballarat many years ago, a mate who couldn’t attend an audition recommended he go for the role. He’s hardly been off the stage since. He worked for The Entertainment Store in Melbourne when it won The Wiggles license, he performed on P&O cruise ships and went to Universal Studios in Japan for a few years. Back in Australia, Stafford got “more into the creative side of things” by creating his own “The Secret Lives of Superheroes”, for an Adelaide venue. It didn’t make much money, but all the same, he says, “stuff like that is really exciting”.
briefly Remembering drug victims THE 18th Annual Remembrance Ceremony for those who lost their life to illicit drugs will be held at the memorial site, Weston Park Road, Yarralumla (opposite the Prescott Lane Junction), 12.30pm, on Monday, October 21. Speakers include Senator Richard Di Natale and a parent who has lost a son to illicit drugs. To have a loved one remembered by name at the ceremony or other enquiries call 62542961 or email@example.com
Stafford as “The Cat in the Hat”... “It’s a ripper of a show”. As a child, Stafford was no stranger to Dr Seuss. “My nanna had a bunch of the books, so my cousin and I read them all,” he tells “CityNews”. That familiarity came in handy during rehearsals. “We looked at the books and illustrations – most of the movement comes straight from the book.” The idea is simple. A boy and a girl home alone on a rainy day when mum’s gone to work, wish for some fun. There’s a knock at the door and there he is – “anarchy in a fur suit”. While he’s busy riding motorcycles in the house and playing tennis, the children’s pet fish tries to represent the voice of reason. But as Stafford explains, that means nothing to The Cat, “a bit of
a force of nature” who balances an umbrella on his head and invites his two little friends, Thing One and Thing Two to join in. “A kite flies around the stage, things get broken into and around under lots and lots of bubbles – kids go crazy for bubbles,” he says. “I think of the play as much from the movement perspective as the words. “The words are really easy to understand for littlies and it’s action from go to whoa… it’s only 40 minutes long and it’s good clean fun.” “The Cat in the Hat”, recommended for ages 3-6 years, at the Canberra Theatre, October 8 to 11, bookings to 6275 2700 or canberratheatrecentre.com.au
LES Explorateurs, Canberra’s French-speaking scout group, is looking for French-speaking adults to join the leadership team for its Joey, Cub and Scout sections. There is also opportunity for youth members, boys and girls, to join its Petits Lutins/Joey (6-7 years), Louveteaux/Cubs (8-11 years) and soon-to-be-formed Les Intrépides/Scout (12-15 years) sections. Volunteer information nights will be held at the Ainslie Scout Hall, 6.30pm, on October 21 and October 24. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten’s big gift for kids SOUTHERN Cross Ten Canberra has presented the $108,000 proceeds of its Give Me 5 For Kids Month to the Canberra Hospital Foundation. The funds, which were raised during June, will be used to acquire equipment for use across the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and community-based clinics.
Clubs aid chopper CLUBSACT is the presenting sponsor for the Snowy Hydro SouthCare Christmas Gala on December 7, in aid of the rescue helicopter. CEO Jeff House said that the clubs industry in the ACT was intrinsically tied to the community, providing essential support to many. “Our support for Snowy Hydro SouthCare is part of that commitment,” he said.
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CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 11
Professor sees the voters coming AS we wait in the eerie post-election calm to Stephen Easton see who has won the ACT’s second Senate reports position, one could be forgiven for being slightly overwhelmed by the whole process that spelled the end of the Howard years, and the 2010 stalemate that led Julia Gillard to form a and wondering what exactly happened. Over coming months, political scientist Prof Ian McAllister will be going some way to figuring that out, from 12,000 questionnaires mailed out to voters and others sent to major-party candidates, as part of the Australian Election Study (AES). The AES post-election surveys have gone out with the same questions since 1987, with some additions and some data added in from up to 20 years before that, providing what McAllister describes as “the most sophisticated and exhaustive set of data ever collected in Australia on the dynamics of political behaviour”. The long-term research shows that political views change quite slowly over many years in the minds of most Australians, which is why it doesn’t take much for the term “landslide” to be thrown around. It’s hard to say whether the recent result represents a rejection of anything as specific as the NBN or the carbon price, but the Coalition’s win is certainly not surprising, given there has been a downward trend in Labor’s first-preference vote at each election since Kevin ‘O7 came to power six years ago. Labor candidates got a little over 4 per cent fewer primary votes this year than in the 2010 election, while the Coalition vote went up by less than 2 per cent. In a similar way, Labor’s primary vote dropped 5.4 per cent between the 2007 election
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minority government, while in the same period the Coalition gained only about 1.3 per cent nationally. “Another thing that was interesting [about the 2013 election] was that people mainly responded to not liking Labor by voting for third parties and protest parties, rather than voting for the Liberals,” says Prof McAllister. He adds that about 75-80 per cent of firstpreference votes for the Greens are usually transferred to Labor, “and their vote was dying this time so the Labor Party didn’t benefit so much from those preferences”. As in the past, this election has also drawn attention to peculiarities of our voting system, especially in the Senate, where preference deals have helped fringe candidates win very few primary votes, in some cases less than one per cent. Prof McAllister says the introduction of above-the-line voting in 1984 made the Senate system operate very differently to how it was originally designed. “This suddenly transformed it from being a very proportional system to something that allows the parties to ‘game it’ much more,” he says. “The information burden this places on voters is huge. I mean, I’m actually amazed that some people still manage to fill it all out.” He adds that Australia’s “bizarre” Senate ballot papers are so large they have become popular collectibles among his political science colleagues from overseas.
property Grey demand prods planners By Catherine Carter
OVER the next 10 years the fastest growing demographic group in Canberra will be people aged over 65, expanding to nearly 15 per cent of the population.
Political scientist Prof Ian McAllister… The large Senate ballot papers are “bizarre”. Photo by Brent McDonald The problem is that to make an informed choice, voters have to either find out about each candidate – no mean feat in NSW, for example, which had 110 this year – or figure out where each party directed their preferences. And even though details of the complex preference deals are available online, McAllister argues it is unrealistic to expect most abovethe-line voters to have a clear understanding of where their vote might eventually end up. Various reforms are being discussed but as the professor points out, any that are enacted will be developed under the influence of the major parties. “The interesting thing about electoral systems and how they’re designed is they’re set up for the convenience of politicians, not for the convenience of voters,” says McAllister.
This discerning cohort will be looking for a place to live that meets their needs at prices they can afford. Regrettably, rather than opening up the potential for diversity and choice, changes to the Territory Plan over recent years have limited the possibilities for development in existing suburbs – reducing the capacity of the property industry to respond to this emerging and critical demand. While many prefer to stay in their own home as they age, well-located retirement villages can be an option for people looking to “right size” into a new home. With around 39,000 people aged over 65 currently living in Canberra, the market demand for an increase in retirement living options is significant. The Government needs to provide more options in village living. Prioritising sites for retirement villages as part of the land release program to identify and reserve land that would best suit community living would be a good start. Thoughtfully located retirement villages in existing suburbs would offer older Canberrans the opportunity to age in their own community, maintaining friendship networks and staying close to local services. These villages would also be a boon for local centre business and keep our demographic mix vital. There should be incentives for quality retirement development to counter the barriers created by high land values and the current restrictive planning context. Without action, older Canberrans will be disadvantaged – and all of our community will suffer as a consequence. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia
Make a friend for life! The Marketplace’s ‘Teddy Bear Workshop’. Monday 30th September - Friday 4th October 9.30am - 4.30pm. Located in front of Big W.
Create your very own furry friend for just $6! Choose from a variety of cuddly teddy bears which YOU can stuff and name with their very own teddy bear birth certificate! Plus sign up to be a Marketplace Kids Club member and you could WIN a Little Rooms of Delight prize pack valued at $300!* *No bookings necessary. Parents and guardians are responsible for supervising their child. Bears are sold for $6 for the first 200 customers per day. Once it has reached capacity bears will be sold or $10. Accessories extra. While stocks last. Visit www.themarketplacegungahlin.au for competition details.
12 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
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Canberra International Riesling Challenge 2013 / advertising feature
Winemakers rally for the big Challenge ENTRIES to next month’s Canberra International Riesling Challenge are up nearly 15 per cent on last year at more than 490, and international entries are up 40 per cent to 113.
Rare chances to learn more
Now in its 14th year, the CIRC attracts entries from around the world and is the most significant event of its type in the southern hemisphere. Judging takes place in Albert Hall from October 8-10 and winners will be announced on October 11. Twelve trophies are presented at the presentation ceremony at the Hyatt Hotel that evening for excellence in wines from Australia, NZ, the US and Europe and the Canberra and Tasmanian regions as well as the Best Wine. A special award is to be made this year by the ACT Government in recognition of Canberra’s Centenary to a person who has made a significant contribution to the Canberra district wine industry. The judging panel includes world-renowned international judges, French wine manager Valérie Dirringer and Alexander Kohnen, managing director of the International Wine Institute in Germany. Australian judges are winemakers Don Young, Anna Pooley and Kerri Thompson and Peter Nixon, a fine wine manager. Ben Edwards, president of Sommeliers Australia and CIRC chairman of judges, welcomed first-time judges Peter, Valérie and Anna to the panel. “The diverse international and local experience of these judges will strengthen and complement the expertise of Alexander, Don and Kerri, all of whom have previously served on the CIRC judging panel,” Mr Edwards said. CIRC chairman and local winemaker Ken Helm said the inclusion of two new international judges from countries not previously represented on the judging panel cemented the Challenge’s position as one of the major internationally recognised wine shows in the world. “The Riesling Challenge has always prided itself on its ability to attract first-class judges,” he said. Associate judges are Peter Munro, Brian Sinclair, Mark Protheroe and Jacob Chairman Ken Helm… “The Stein who is also CIRC is the largest single varietal wine show of its kind winner of the 2011 in the southern hemisphere.” CIRC Encouragement
The Canberra International Riesling Challenge presents four rare chances to build your wine knowledge and enjoy tasting the world’s best Rieslings among Australia’s and the leading international Riesling experts. 1. Seminar on Riesling Excellence, convened by Charles Sturt University at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, 9am-1pm, on Friday, October 11, with five leading wine experts who will dispel some myths and tell of the latest developments in winemaking and the wine industry. Cost $60 a ticket.
The art of judging… “The Riesling Challenge has always prided itself on its ability to attract first-class judges,” says Ken Helm. The event will also include a seminar on “Riesling Award for up and coming Riesling winemakers. Excellence” by leading Australian winemakers and The Canberra District is well represented with 20 academic oenologists and a masterclass of tasting led entries from 16 wineries. by experts from leading Riesling-producing countries, Seven wine-growing nations in addition to Australia both on October 11; and a trade and public tasting on have entered wines in this year’s Challenge with chairSaturday, October 12. man Helm confirming entries from Australia, NZ, the US, More information on all aspects of the 2013 Challenge Germany, France, Canada and South Africa. “It is pleasing to see a great increase in the number of can be found at rieslingchallenge.com French entries – from two last year to 17 this year,” he said. “The US went from 20 to 31. Perhaps the greater interest can be put down to the greater awareness of Canberra in the Centenary year.” “The CIRC is the largest single varietal wine show of its kind in the southern hemisphere.” Mr Helm also paid tribute to the support of the event’s long-standing sponsors including the ACT Government, Wolf Blass Foundation, Australia Post, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, ActewAGL, Charles Sturt University, Market The art of tasting… a masterclass of tasting led by experts from four leading Cellars, and other companies. Riesling-producing countries.
14 th CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL
7 – 12 OCTOBER 2013 THE HYATT HOTEL CANBERRA AND ALBERT HALL CANBERRA AUSTRALIA
WWW.RIESLINGCHALLENGE.COM 14 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
2. The Master Class, Hyatt Hotel, 2pm-4pm, Friday, October 11. Led by wine experts from Riesling-producing countries who will provide special insight into what makes an excellent Riesling and how to get the best from a tasting: • Ken Helm, wine maker / director, Helm Wines • Alexander Kohnen, International Wine Institute, Germany • Valérie Dirringer , Cave Vinicole of Ingersheim, Jean Geiler-Alsace • Don Young, white wine maker, Orlando Wines Cost $85 a ticket. Special price to attend both the Seminar and Master Class: $135. 3. The Awards Presentation ceremony, Hyatt Hotel, from 6pm, Friday, October 11. A chance to taste the 2013 award-winning wines and others from a museum collection matched with food selected by the Hyatt Hotel Canberra executive chef during the presentations. Limited tickets available at $80 each. 4. Trade and Public Tasting, Albert Hall, 11am-3pm, Saturday, October 12. Taste all the wines judged at the 2013 Canberra International Riesling Challenge. Public tasting tickets $30, including souvenir Riedel tasting glass and full results catalogue. Entry payable at the door. Trade and Exhibitors: free entry (from 10am). Bookings and enquiries for all these events to email@example.com or call 6290 1505. Booking forms at rieslingchallenge.com
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At just 16km from Parliament House, Googong is really close to Canberra. But here’s something else it’s close to – becoming a reality. Because come November, the very first residents of this charming township will settle in their new homes, ready to begin building that most special of things – a happy, tight-knit community. And with Googonian territory now selling – including many lots with park view frontages and lots close to the future Googong North neighbourhood shops – now is the time to buy. And with lot sizes from 400m 2 all the way up to 697m2 , there’s an option for every budget. So to find out more about becoming Googonian, visit the Googong Sales and Information Centre at Jerrabomberra Village Shopping Centre (we’re open every day), call 1300 446 646 or visit googong.net
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$5,000 IN CASH GRANTS For many years the Association has given cash grants to people with a disability to enable them to pursue their sport or recreational interests. Our next round of grants are now open and we are calling for applications for grants of between $500 and $1000. Up to $5,000 will be given away in total. Application forms and information on our grants can be obtained via our website: www.actaads.org Completed applications or enquiries can be sent to the Secretary by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (cc: email@example.com) or to ACTAADS, c/- 17 Gilruth Street Hackett ACT 2602 Applications close on the 4th of October 2013.
16 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Can the Raiders save Ricky? Ricky Stuart has come to Canberra with his reputation as a coach hanging in the balance, says TIM GAVEL AFTER winning a premiership at the Roosters, mixed results at the Sharks, series losses with NSW and Australia before things unravelled at Parramatta, coach Ricky Stuart will be desperate to prove that he can lead the Raiders to success. It is for that reason I believe he will be good for the Raiders. As a player, he was the most competitive I have met; after losses he can be a prickly character to deal with, but he was also one of the most passionate. As the Raiders went through the process of selecting a replacement for David Furner, I admit I wasn’t sure Stuart was the right fit for the club given his recent coaching record. Initially, I thought Neil Henry or even Warrington coach Tony Smith may have been better options. But I have changed my mind after talking to Stuart; it’s obvious his desire to prove himself as a coach is burning and that, surely, is a major positive for the club. I also get the sense he wants to repay the faith shown in him by the Raiders, and they obviously have a strong belief in his ability. If the players buy into his passion for the Raiders, the club is halfway to succeeding. The players need to focus on football and totally commit to playing for the Raiders. There must be no “get out” clauses in contracts. As the only inland team in the NRL, the Raiders have been forced to pay over the odds for players in a bid to get
them to Canberra. We must send a message: we are not that desperate to attract players who don’t want to be here and have no passion for the Raiders. The club’s history needs to be embedded in the mindset, players should know of the great players of past years, when the club started, how it was founded. Only then will they realise what a privilege it is to play for the Raiders. I HAD a call this week imploring me not to label the next generation of Canberra sportspeople as “sports stars” coming on to the world stage. The caller’s concern was that the more we build up sportspeople, the more they believe they are more important than anybody else and this can lead to poor behaviour, a point worth keeping in mind as the next generation makes its mark. Canberra’s Michael Matthews has just won two stages in a grand tour for the first time in the Tour of Spain against some of the top cyclists in the world. Tom Rojic remains the next big thing in Australian football as he plies his trade in Scotland and Nick Kyrgios has made the Australian Davis Cup team as a teenager. All three are remarkable sportspeople, all three are humble and well-mannered, which is a tribute to their upbringing; the hope is that they stay that way. The media, as much as anybody else, has a responsibility to keep them grounded.
Donna draws hope from a Downer backyard WHEN Donna Penny was Laura Edwards diagnosed with terminal breast reports cancer and given just 24 months to When Bianca heard Donna had live, she thought to herself: “Well, terminal cancer and was facing losing what can you do? You’ve just got her family home, she “just had to do to get on with it.” something”.
The former Canberran’s positive spirit inspires everyone she meets, none more so than Bianca Parker, who met Donna this year through her younger sister.
Bianca and Matt Parker’s Downer backyard decorated with pink balloons.
Donna, 40, says she wanted to spend her last precious moments with her husband Jason and their five children instead of at work, but when she contacted her superannuation fund, she was told she could not access terminal illness insurance until she had less than 12 months to live. “With Jason on a low income at the moment, this meant we faced losing the home, which has a $3000-a-month mortgage,” she says. Bianca and her husband Matt organised a fundraiser at their Downer home to go towards Donna’s mortgage, decorating their backyard with pink balloons and auctioning off prizes donated by local businesses. With 60 guests, the fundraiser raised $8500. “I couldn’t believe it… we would have been happy with $4000 but we doubled that, it blew me away,” says Bianca. Donna, who moved from Canberra to the Sunshine Coast 13 years ago, flew down for the fundraiser and says she “couldn’t believe what Bianca had done”.
“I just started crying. I was surrounded by all these people I didn’t know, many of them Bianca’s friends, and by the end of the day they were like family to me,” she says. “I had met Bianca once in my life before this, and it just is amazing what she had done, she’d been planning this since July.”
The money raised at Bianca’s fundraiser, together with another fundraiser to be held on the Sunshine Coast in October, will ensure the Penny family can pay their mortgage for another 12 months. “We’ll then reassess our options after the 12 months in terms of the super, but we are just so incredibly grateful
Candle retailer Red Bamboo has offered to donate 20 per cent of its sales to help Donna, visit redbamboo.com. au/ for more information. Anyone seeking support for breast cancer should visit bosombuddies. com.au/
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Bianca Parker, left, and cancer sufferer Donna Penny… “I had met Bianca once in my life before this, and it just is amazing what she had done.” Photo by Brent McDonald
to still have our home,” Donna says. “It’s been our home for so long and when I go, I didn’t want my family to be forced to move and rent somewhere, there’s so much of us in that house.” Donna will spend the time she has left warning other young women diagnosed with hormone-receptive breast cancer - the most common form - to do what they can to stop their menstrual cycles. “I strongly believe any woman who goes through hormone positive breast cancer and their cycle starts again needs to speak to an oncologist and doctor about ovarian suppression, as the cancer feeds off your hormones,” she says. “It’s important for me to get out there and do what I can to educate women.” Bianca says she and Donna are now “like family” and she is in awe of her friend’s attitude to life. “Her willingness to just get out there and her strength, it just amazes me, and everyone she meets, really,” she says.
CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 17
politics / same-sex marriage
Gay marriage Bill will test Hanson
The pencils have to go!
THERE was a standing ovation in the Assembly as the Marriage Equality Bill was introduced. Credit goes to Attorney-General Simon Corbell and the Gallagher Government for striking when the iron is hot. It will be no surprise to Canberrans that the current government is a strong proponent of marriage equality and no surprise that there will be widespread support for the move in the community. The loud voices of a small minority will not drown out this attempt in the ACT. However, they might have more success with Prime Minister Tony Abbott who might look for some wriggle room. Although he will find this more difficult since the Howard Government overturned the ACT Civil Unions Act in 2006. In a country like Australia, the freedom of two people to choose who they marry should not be a political issue – but it is!
In a country like Australia, the freedom of two people to choose who they marry should not be a political issue – but it is, says MICHAEL MOORE The ACT legislation will pass with the support of the Labor Party and the Greens’ Shane Rattenbury. However, it will be interesting to see if the ACT Liberal members have become less conservative and if they allow a conscience vote. It will be a test for Opposition Leader, Jeremy Hanson, as it will provide an indication of the extent to which the party remains conservative. Hardly has the legislation hit the table when the Prime Minister called for legal advice. And yet his approach during the election indicated a much more tolerant view. The Prime Minister is also about to welcome to Australia the gay ambassador of our most powerful ally, the US, who will arrive with his married spouse. It will be hardly respectful if
the Prime Minister is in the process of undermining legislation in the very jurisdiction in which the ambassador resides. This is the Territory that Chief Minister Katy Gallagher describes as “the most LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex) friendly community in Australia”. Corbell argues that he has already taken legal advice and is confident that the legislation is consistent with the powers of the ACT Legislative Assembly. On the other hand, Abbott says, “the ACT is entitled to do what it can within the law” adding, “under the constitution the Commonwealth has responsibility for marriage and the (Federal) Attorney-General will be seeking advice on precisely how far the ACT can go on this”.
Abbott was in the Federal Parliament when the current Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews, introduced the legislation that successfully removed the power of the ACT and the NT to legislate with regard to voluntary active euthanasia. It is difficult to believe, therefore, that he does not know about the power of the Federal Parliament to override any law of the ACT Assembly. Life will be so much easier for the Prime Minister if he can find a legal loophole to prevent the legislation going ahead. As Greens’ Senator Sarah Hansen-Young declared: “It would be a very brave Mr Abbott if he was to, in the face of huge public support, introduce legislation to overturn marriage equality in the ACT”. Michael Moore was an independent member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1989 to 2001) and was minister for health
Assembly nine decide to change the nation THE ACT Labor/Greens Government has introduced legislation for samesex marriage in the ACT, despite clear warnings from constitutional law experts that this legislation is beyond the scope and powers of the Assembly’s authority. The nine members of the Government have decided that they are anointed to change the definition of marriage for the rest of Australia. One would have thought that the nation’s rejection of Kevin Rudd’s agenda, combined with the significant defeat of several votes on samesex marriage in Federal Parliament, would be respected by our local leaders on this. Alas this is not the case, and the personal determination of ACT politicians is blinding them to the significant impact this will have on a very important section of our society… florists. Barronelle Stutzman is a florist who owns Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State, one of a few US States to have redefined marriage. She had a regular customer who was (with her
NICK JENSEN says the ACT Government is out of its depth and out of touch with its push for same-sex marriage full knowledge) same-sex attracted, but drew the line when her customer asked for a floral arrangement for his same-sex wedding. She declined, her reason being that she felt unable in good conscience to use her creative gift to support something she fundamentally disagreed with – as she believed marriage is between a man and a woman. As a result, she is being sued by that State’s attorney-general, and her business has been boycotted and picketed by activists. This is not a one-off situation, and similar cases have included photographers, celebrants, sports announcers, bakers, bed and breakfast owners, mayors, teachers, and counsellors. In fact, there are now dozens of cases involving termination, fines and even possible jail time for refusing to comply with new laws in the handful of overseas jurisdictions where marriage has been redefined.
Ainslie Pilates & Yoga Centre Term 4 – 2013 commences Monday 14 0ctober The centre offers a range of Pilates & Movement classes to choose from, including: • Beginners • Intermediate • Advanced & Seniors Mat Classes • Introductory & Continuing Circuit Classes • Pre-natal & Post-natal classes (Bubs welcome) • Stretch & Mobilisation classes 0414 496 015 or firstname.lastname@example.org Level 1, 1 Wakefield Gardens Ainslie ACT 18 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
These consequences are very serious, as once a law is made, not complying with or recognising that law in the public space can be seen as a criminal offence. Following the logic, an ACT public servant expressing personal opposition to this definition of marriage could legally be charged with discrimination and ultimately sacked (which also has precedent overseas). It is ironic that despite all actual discrimination being removed from same-sex couples in 2008, this next legal push will actually remove genuine rights of freedom of speech and religion. The new Catholic Archbishop, Bishop Christopher Prowse, has recently requested a moratorium on this issue of marriage until a genuine consultation has been had with the ACT community. The question needs to be asked about how this law would affect busi-
nesses, churches, schools, welfare, families, hospitals, and individuals who choose to hold the traditional view. So far, the ACT Government has ignored all requests, with the only “consultation” on the issue held in 2006, where the majority of Canberran submissions rejected the redefinition. In fact, a recent JWS poll showed support for same-sex marriage had slipped to 45 per cent. Maybe a local government who has been in power so long gets complacent, and feels it doesn’t need to engage with everyday people anymore. I hope and pray this is not the case, but it does look like our new Federal Government may need to intervene. My suggestion would be that this issue go to the people, and a national referendum is held on this incredibly important question and the results respected. However, be assured that a poorly thought out law affects more than just florists. Nick Jensen is a director of the ACT Australian Christian Lobby
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Former ACT Speaker GREG CORNWELL says it’s time for electronic voting I’VE been away and missed the formal announcement of the successful candidate for the ACT’s second Senate seat. But that is the point, the election was September 7, I departed Canberra September 21 and the declaration still appeared some time off. During this long, intervening period I occasionally scrutineered at the Australian Electoral Commission headquarters, a time-consuming job that does nothing for ageing backs and knees. I found the AEC staff and volunteers professional, diligent and helpfully honest doing what can best be described as a tedious task. Thousands of large white Senate ballot papers from almost 100 ACT polling booths are carefully unpacked. Already placed in party affiliations, each ballot is individually checked, firstly for above-the-line votes then, in a separate count, for below-the-line. During this counting, questionable votes are removed, perhaps to be subject to another scrutiny. The party ballot papers are counted in bundles of 50 or parts thereof and secured by rubber bands before being counted again by another official. Finally, the total of each grouping is tallied with the total received from the polling booth. The bundles then are marked and wrapped in plastic. Readers who have persevered this far will have likely found it a boring experience, in which case I have made my point. Why does Australia, a pioneer in electoral reforms, persist in an antiquated system of voting and counting more appropriate to the early 20th century? Where is the electronic voting that is a feature of other progressive nations? Apart from the obvious advantage of speed, in execution and result, electronic voting would overcome the perhaps considerable number of people who, unknowingly, vote informal. Electronic voting can accommodate all direct voting choices, including deliberate informal, and may render obsolete the how-to-vote card gauntlet outside polling booths. Certainly, it will stop scrutineering arguments over ticks and numerals on ballots and might even see a reduction in the number of polling places at least in city suburbs. And think of the ballot papers and string-attached pencils saved! At a time when the democracy pundits are all atwitter about microparties gaining Senate representation, a long overdue reform of our clumsy voting system appears possible. With self-interest also finally forcing into action the hearts and minds of our conservative politicians – of all political persuasions – could we extend the necessary reforms to include electronic voting, please? I am confident if agreed-to changes to voting methods such as optional preferential can be incorporated into the new system, but the important step is to get on with it now. Spend the money, yes probably millions, because it will come eventually but extra delay can only be at more expense – in every sense of the word.
spring / summer fashion
Fashion takes the white way
“CityNews” fashion editor LAURA EDWARDS looks at the new looks and colours for the new season WITH crisp snowflake, eggshell and cream tones trending on the runway, this spring/summer is set to be white hot. A detox from the noisy graphic prints that punctuated autumn wardrobes, white is a “clean slate,” according to Canberra Centre stylist Colleen Cuneo. “Nothing says ‘summer-ready’ better than a white dress or a cream skirt.” Colleen says. “White is preppy, and it’s very clean and fresh. This
year, you can do it head-to-toe, and Canberra women are already really embracing that look, which is great.” Dresses with collars or high-cut necklines will also be seen this summer, with minimal accessories required. Another trend to watch out for is monochromatic, says Colleen. “You could do a white suit with a really cool monochromatic shoe, which really makes an outfit stand out,” she says. “We’re looking towards a very modern approach this year. It’s a bit more directional, and a bit more futuristic, which is fun.” Other big colours from the European runways are emerald green, orange and prints. “When you pair white with bold colours, it really sets off your outfit,” says Colleen. Team a bold top with cropped pants and ankle strap shoes to be bang on-trend, says Colleen. For men, it’s all about polished, timeless looks. “It’s a very Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger kind of style this year, and boys love that, a nice polished shoe and a crisp buttoned up shirt with a pair of shorts or trousers,” Colleen says. “It’s not super layered or over-accessorised, there’s a cleaner look there.”
Saba blazer, top and shorts. Seen at Canberra Centre spring/summer fashion show.
Charlie Brown dress, available from Myer.
Country Road jacket, shirt and pants.
Karen Walker top, available from Myer. CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 19
spring / summer
Beautiful pieces at an affordable price
$25 Jump dress, $69 and Hasonia black heels, $45, both from The Jewel in the Crown.
www.thejewelinthecrown.com.au Canberra based-local pick-up available
02 6262 8878
Black and White Dress, $55; black, white and gold necklace, $24 and Tony Bianco black and gold heels, $45, all from Designer Op Shop.
2013 Dates: 5 October Âˇ 9 November
20â€ƒ CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Gabby skye dress, $55, Qupid wedges, $45, both from The Jewel in the Crown.
Dress, $75; gold chain necklace, $22 and green suede shoes, $45, all from Designer Op Shop.
OUTSIDE the arcade is Ken Cook Menswear, which has been specialising in men’s fashion for more than 70 years. They cover a wide range of formal wear, business attire and casual wear from leading designer labels. “Our high-level suit service includes made-tomeasure and an extensive selection of ready to wear styles,” says manager Adolfo Albero. “For any occasion, come and speak to our friendly staff.”
AS you come into Bailey’s Corner from the bus
interchange, you can’t miss the sultry, low lights of Love Time, which sells unique fashion from Japan and Europe. Manager Olivia Zhong says she lives the quirky style she sells. “My outfits are always different, and people love to come and see what I’m wearing,” she says. “It’s a cosy, relaxing store, and we have the latest designs from Japan, like creative, delicately pleated items, which are gorgeous and so clever. “We also have fine linen, silk and some goosedown jackets, all exceptional quality.”
The iconic Bailey’s Corner offers unique fashion shopping through its select and intimate group of speciality retailers, from the top European designers to the best alterations in town
ACROSS the way is Civic Shoes, which sells the
most popular men’s dress shoes in the latest styles from Europe, including Loake from England, Julio from Spain, Brando and Bartalesi from Italy and Ferracini from Brazil. There’s also good old Aussie Baxters. “We carry the latest styles every season, and also a range of timeless, classic shoes,” says owner Milton Vassiliotis.
Tosca Handbag, $55, from The Jewel in the Crown.
Stud Chain Bag, $18, from Designer Op Shop.
access himalaya DOWN the arcade is Access Himalaya, a colourful shop selling imported fashion and jewellery from Tibet, India and Nepal. Owner Tsering Brammall shows me the bright felt hats and bags, batik tunics, cotton pants, sarongs and hand-woven wool scarves, as well as beads, brooches and earrings. All stock is currently discounted for clearance, with new stock arriving in November. “The wool scarves are very popular, they’re gorgeous and very warm,” she says. “The colours are just beautiful, and they will add a unique touch to any outfit.” Galilee green shirt, $169; Oberon blue suit jacket, $399, and Pants $179, all from M.J. BALE.
Black Pool navy/ pink tie, $79.95; Meares mauve shirt, $99.95, and Itoh denim suit, $1295, all from M.J. BALE.
tt fashion UP the stairs is TT Fashion, a well-known, skilled tailor whose family business has been based in the arcade for 13 years. From clothing alterations and mending, to making sure a vintage dress fits and flatters perfectly, owner Tuan Pham says they offer a friendly and efficient service. “We can do suits, dresses, pants and skirts, whether it is shortening, lengthening, letting items out or taking them in,” he says.
143 London Circuit, Civic. Cnr London Circuit and East Row (bus interchange) CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 21
spring / summer
Trenery coat, shirt and pants.
Karen Millen dress, available from Myer.
Ginger & Smart top and skirt, available from David Jones.
22â€ƒ CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Howard Showers dress, available from Myer.
MJ Bale shirt, jacket and shorts.
Seed pants, shirt and tank.
Country Road blazer, tunic and scarf.
Veronika Maine shirt and pants.
Alannah Hill jacket, top and skirt, available from David Jones.
scene / around canberra
invite us / email@example.com
At Save the Children ‘Red & White’ gala dinner, National Press Club
At Murrumbateman Moving Feast, Kingston
Maria Moreno, Bety Mladenoska, Denise Stephens, Christopher O’Conner, Kylie Dwyer and Kety Dulevska
Michael O’Dea, Dennis Rowe, Libby Gallagher, Annemaree Schafferius and Robyn Rowe
Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds, Sophia Notaras, Nicole Terbogt and Tritia Evans
James Anderson, Suzie King, Shelly Miller, Celia Acworth and Tristram Gleeson
Bob Prosser with Lena and Garth Britton
Gary Beck, Melanie Squires, Bruce Gale and Gaye McDermott
Dr Jeff Harmer and Joan Harmer with Maria Hawke and Dr Allan Hawke
Peter Buckley, Amanda Whitley and Gary Parker
Greg Gallagher, Barbara Parker and Bill Crowe
Jow Wanless and Joni Scanlon
Alison Dance and Rebecca Warton
CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 23
invite us / firstname.lastname@example.org
At Calvary Hospital Auxiliary cocktail party, The Arboretum
Alyce Mueck, Jamie Burns, Amber Ferry, Sarah Mueck and Jasmine Brown
At ‘The (Very) Sad Fish-lady’ launch, Craft ACT
Tony and Shirley Steer
Colette Mackay, Maria Watts with Frank and Sue Owen
John Mackay and Daphne Ashley
Brooke, Belinda and Brad Armistead with Michelle Austin
Frank and Elizabeth Iskra
Julie and Neil Grill
Roger and Sally Fitzgerald with Josie and Les Collier
MARGARET DIMOFF ART GALLERY Unique works by Margaret Dimoff
Visit one of the largest galleries in Canberra
7 large rooms of contemporary art
Large affordable abstract canvases and painting under glass One - off original pieces for the home, or corporate setting Delivery is available
One week free trial in your home
Open Friday to Sunday 10-4pm or by appointment
0407 416 480 Corner of Hopetoun Circuit and 38 Grey Street, Deakin, ACT 2600 Email email@example.com | www.margaretdimoffartworks.com.au 24 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Jim McGrath and Dave Temme
Kelly, Harper and Celeste Rothchild
Jacque Schultze and Norma Hayman
Christian West and Alan Higgins
Joy McDonald and Peter Sutherland
Ruth Pieloor and James Scott
invite us / firstname.lastname@example.org
At the AIDS Action Council cabaret, Tilley’s Cafe
At Canberra Centre’s spring/summer fashion parade
Nick Nguyen and Susan Hume
Nicole Gibson and Claire Read
Francesca Leone and Mella Wilkins
Vivian Bachelier, Jen Pearson and Jessica Stewart
Sue Heath and Jane Fricker
Ken Teoh, Jessica Stewart, Barbara Murotake and Peter Twiss
Alex Gosling, Monisha Samuel and Holly Western
Kate Stewart, Robin Dearlove and Rebecca Travers
Cher Shearer and Chrystel Hindmarch
Selina Hardwicke and Catherine Laurence-Rogers
Amy Vickers, Mel Dodd and Megan Studman
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Ruth Pieloor and Caroline Simone O’brien
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strong start in a business for a highly creative person. Our partner will be a significant shareholder in the agency which will look after all of the groups’ creative needs including branding, digital, marketing and advertising. This will also provide the agency with a profitable, foundation from which to expand its retail client base. All enquiries please contact Michelle at First Choice Bookkeeping on 6162 4240 to arrange a confidential discussion.
CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 25
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At ‘Spring Summer Fashion’, Westfield Belconnen
At The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, National Archives
Emma Crowther, Anthony Martin and Michelle Ferreira
Shaun Rohrlach, Louise Doyle and Anne Lyons
Eliane Imesch, Andrea Hutchinson and Wendy Johnson
Kelly McGufficke, Karen Murphy, Amy Chong and Sarah Pene
Molly Wilkins, Leah Hatherley and Geraldine Lim
Carly Devine and Clint Hutchinson
Alice Moudakis, Mara Eversons and Benita Eversons
Emma Williams and Prudence MacLeod
Steve Parish and Director General David Fricker
Professor Diane Bell, Tony Corp and Marie Colman
Jenny Everett and Jocelyn Plovits
Mark Judd and Matthew Curtis
CANBERRA NOW EXHIBITION 27th September – 18th October
Come and see how they see Canberra in its Centenary Year This is an opportunity to purchase an historic work for the future Opening Friday 27th • 5.30-7.30pm Drinks & Nibbles • Meet the artists Opened by Robyn Archer and Charles Billich as guest speaker
Calling for Nomination Recognition of Excellence in ACT School Awards 2013 for best practice with students from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds
Over 20 Artists contributing how they view Canberra in 2013 A Visual Feast, by some renowned Australian Artists. RSVP by 25/9/13
The Recognition of Excellence Awards in an initiative of Companion House. Nominations are invited from parents, community and schools for people who have shown high level skill and commitment to educational outcomes for students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds in the following categories: • Individual teacher award • School award • Principal / executive teacher award • Student award (for support of others) The Award will be presented at the 2nd forum for information exchange between local parent groups (P&Cs), ESL teachers and new and emerging Communities in the ACT on Tuesday 19 November 2013 from 5:30pm – 8:00pm at the Hedley-Beare Centre for Teaching & Learning Fremantle Drive, Stirling, and ACT. Nominations close October 30th 2013 Nomination form can be downloaded at: www.companionhouse.org.au Direct your nominations to: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Post: PO Box 112 Jamison Centre, ACT 2614 Fax: 02 6251 8550
Jointly hosted by Companion House & ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations 26 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Aarwun Gallery, Federation Square, Gold Creek 2913 P: 02 6230 2055 | F: 6230 2056| E: email@example.com
Canberra Confidential Tim drags out the chains QUEANBEYAN mayor Tim Overall says he’s looking forward to dusting off the silverfish when he slips into “the mayoral chains and assorted paraphernalia” for the first time. He’s robing up as mayor for the periodcostume Anniversary Ball at the Bicentennial Hall, celebrating the city’s 175th birthday on Saturday, September 28. “The robes and regalia haven’t been formally worn for well over 20 years, so I guess it’s time to dust off the silverfish,” he jokes.
I am woman AS if things weren’t already difficult for public servants in Canberra, imagine how the one responsible for cocking up Senator Michaelia Cash’s glass plate in front of the new minister’s office in Parliament House must be feeling. The new sign cringingly describes her as the “Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Woman” – no help to PM Tony Abbott, given the sledging he’s had in recent days for naming only one woman, Julie Bishop, in his cabinet.
Kamahl, to be sure AT a glittering charity dinner for Save the Children at the salubrious National Press Club, a number of fundraising “lucky” envelopes held the promise of an anaesthetising Kamahl double album.
You should be so lucky, right? Except the curiosity of the Irish ambassador Noel White and his wife Nessa Delaney, who’d not heard of the kaftaned singer, could not be denied and there was an unseemly scramble of willing dinner suits to present the innocent couple with a complimentary copy.
Tony sets the pace AN eagle-eyed reader spotted Prime Minister Tony Abbott jogging around Lake Burley Griffin the other morning, with his two bodyguards struggling to keep up with the cracking pace... “particularly a fatter one, who was really lagging behind,” the reader unkindly reported. “Tony then stopped for a chat, telling us how good the ‘lavatories’ were around the lake!” As you do.
Bill arrives late SHAME, shame, Tonia Liosatos! Queanbeyan Council’s otherwise fearsomely efficient communications co-ordinator released the Big Deal List of the city’s top 20 distinguished artistic identities, distilled from its 175 years of history, grandly saluting their contribution – and missed one! No ordinary one, either, it was “CityNews” reviewer and Queanbeyan Arts School Cafe legend Bill Stephens (and family members Pat and Tim). How is this possible? Doubtless red-faced and ready to crawl under a rock, Tonia sent out the revised list with the explanation that “somehow [the Stephens] fell off the list I just sent”. Somehow?
Giulia comes home
WHAT’s with this? A CC deep throat reports that first-term Liberal MLA Giulia Jones, shadow minister for Multicultural Affairs, diligently turns up at functions where she garners names and HERE’s some good news coming from bad news. name cards of attendees and thoughtfully sends Reader Steve Grigor, who is disabled and uses follow-up letters to their home addresses. an electric scooter, was hit by a decelerating car DT says: “The reaction of many of the recipients in Belconnen. As he was carted off to hospital, of the letters is to sheet home blame to the he rang local repairman Anthony McDonald organisers of the functions for an abuse of and asked him to fix the battered scooter, which privacy for passing on their home addresses to took the brunt of the damage. the shadow minister.” When our bruised reader emerged from hospital It seems Ms Jones accesses the ACT electoral a few hours later, there was the scooter, fixed rolls for the home addresses. and good as new. One event organiser complains: “I copped it “These sorts of repairs can sometimes take from diners, some of whom accused me of weeks, but Anthony had worked flat out to fix abusing their privacy, when nothing of the it for me and come to the hospital with it so it sort happened. Others, more accommodating, would be ready as soon as I needed it… it was have described her as naïve and showing poor just outstanding,” he says. judgement.”
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CC, poised for a relaxing massage to gently knead away the week’s anxieties, was startled when the burly male therapist discarded the sleepy soundtrack for a burst of Metallica – making for a restless hour of heavy metal!
Clint and Andrea Hutchinson… model couple.
Looking for looks CO-CREATOR of Fashfest and about-town adman Clint Hutchinson’s other half, Andrea, has a very fashionable new venture. She is heading new modelling agency HAUS Models, which is described as a far-cry from traditional modelling agencies. “HAUS models are hand-picked for their style and philosophy,” says Andrea. “We will never be a modelling agency with hundreds of models on our books, the majority of whom would never get meaningful work. “HAUS looks for looks. Of course we do. But we also scout for personality, motivation, flexibility and an intense desire to excel at all aspects of modelling.” Most of the agency’s models were seen stalking the runway at the much-hyped Fashfest and twilight market Hustle & Scout’s fashion parade.
LOOKS like the Centenary of Canberra’s PR gal Anita Perkins, like the rest of us, is over it. Her latest press release is headed: “ACCESS ALL AREAS: CENTEANRY VOLLIES WANTED”. BUDGETING 1.01 from Treasurer Andrew Barr: “The Government will approach the 2014-15 Budget with a mindset of making measured spending announcements, which are offset to the fullest extent possible by responsible savings.” THE ACT Government’s Economic Development unit seems to have more money than sense, with the premium back page of the September issue of the local sports monthly “Play” dedicated to an advertisement showcasing its Canberra Stadium’s “2013 kick off schedule”, with every fixture played. Go figure.
CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 27
arts & entertainment
Dougal Macdonald Snail on a speed trail
Season celebrates classics and fun! Canberra Theatre’s new season seems to cast off the earnestness of the Centenary year to reward subscribers with a series of classics and fun, says arts editor HELEN MUSA WITH hardly a backward glance, the Canberra Theatre has put a year of earnest experimentation behind it and gone for a 2014 “Collected Works” season of out-and-out theatre classics and fun. In a program hosted by that Grand Dame of musicals, Nancye Hayes, the Canberra Theatre was packed with supporters, media and would-be subscribers. You could fairly hear the sighs of relief as announcement after announcement in the 14-work season promised sheer entertainment and fun. First up is a theatrical coup for director Bruce Carmichael and his programming manager Gill Hugonnet in the form of the new production, backed by Mousetrap Productions Ltd London, of “A Murder Is Announced”. Judi Farr plays Miss Marple and Carmen Duncan makes a rare stage appearance. More serious fare follows from Sydney Theatre Company and the ADF with “A Long Way Home”, a new play by Daniel Keene dramatising experiences in Afghanistan and East Timor and mixing professional actors and military personnel.
Blink and you’ll see British actor Patricia Routledge (“Hyacinth Bucket”) playing pianist Dame Myra Hess in “Admission One Shilling” with Piers Lane at the keyboard. Remember Katharine Hepburn as Tracy in “The Philadelphia Story” and Grace Kelly in “High Society”? This staging of the classic has a twist, with provocative director Simon Stone casting Zahra Newman against racial type in the lead role – she’s the girl who once told “CityNews” she was the “go-to girl” for black roles on stage. There’ll be more political spin than you can poke a stick at in Damien Ryan’s sequel to last year’s “Henry 4” for Bell Shakespeare, “Henry V”. Those with long enough memories were recalling that this was the play that, staged in a tent at Rushcutters’s Bay in the 1960s, made John Bell a star. Later in the year, Bell will be back with Peter Evans’ “The Dream”. If Shakespeare is not your thing – though Bell assures us Canberrans LOVE the Bard – there’s comic relief in NZ’s first Pacific musical, “The Factory”, a romantic, comic romp through the life of Samoan migrants with an original score
Patricia Routledge and pianist Piers Lane in “Admission One Shilling”.
A puppet by Joy McDonald on display at a Craft ACT exhibition. Photo by Brent McDonald
Hey presto, more puppets By Helen Musa
Judi Farr plays Miss Marple in “A Murder Is Announced”. and a live band. Missing a bit of Mozart? That latecomer to OzOpera, playwright-director Michael Gow, plans to reprise his success with “Don Giovanni” with an Indiana Jones-style version of “The Magic Flute”, set among the tombs of the Pharaohs, as you’d expect. The Wharf Revue marks its 15 years of satire with the latest in political satire from Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsyth, Phillip Scott and Amanda Bishop. Canberra Theatre tantalises its dance patrons with Sydney Dance Company’s triple bill, “Interplay”, a Sydney indigenous narrative dance story from Bangarra’s Stephen Page in “Patyegarang”, a splash of daring physical theatre from Yaron Lifschitz and The Circa Ensemble in “S” and the WA ballet in the popular classic “La Fille Mal Gardee”. Did I mention that word “classic” again? Well, yes, as Hayes was able to confirm, she’ll be thundering around the stage next year as Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest”, and you can’t get much more classic than that. The theatre is offering lots of tidbits to subscribers, including opening-night
parties, ticket insurance, and free “Take Part” forums. Programs and subscription details now available at the theatre or at canberratheatrecentre.com.au
Nancye Hayes as Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest”.
TWO puppet shows opening in Canberra on the same night, September 28? Isn’t that too much of a good thing? Not to puppetry creator, Joy McDonald, who couldn’t be less worried, telling me that when her show, “The (Very) Sad Fish Lady”, opens at The Street it will be quite different from Jigsaw Theatre’s “Elohgulp”, which is aimed at a lower age-group. “There’ll be more choice for the public,” she says philosophically, as she tells me that her three-year project, supported by CAPO, Craft ACT and The Street Theatre, is almost ready to go. McDonald is the multi-talented Greek Australian ceramicist and painter who was once a professional puppeteer with the fabled Peter Scriven, of The Tintookies, and his successor, Richard Bradshaw, who has acted as dramaturg on this project. As well, an exhibition of pictures and puppets is up and running at Craft ACT until October and there’s also a book of the story on sale. “The (Very) Sad Fish Lady” draws on McDonald’s family traditions from the Greek island of Castellorizo. The old lady advises everyone else, but is deeply miserable. Then, hey presto, a magician appears to solve the problem, and the inevitable happy ending has much to do with emigrating to Australia. McDonald’s puppets are mostly marionettes manipulated by Ruth Pieloor and Scott James, both fully visible, but there are also some rod puppets and a shadow screen to one side of the wide stage at Street 2 for images of the village. “The (Very) Sad Fish Lady,” at The Street Theatre, September 28-October 5, bookings to 6247 1223 or thestreet.org.au; McDonald’s exhibition at Craft ACT’s Craft and Design Centre, 1st Floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit, until October 19, Tuesday to Saturday.
CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 29
arts & entertainment
Snail on a speed trail “Turbo” (G)
Cooleman Court Weston Creek | 6293 4677 www. songland.com.au | OPEN 7 DAYS
CANBERRA PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY in association with ricoh presents
FROM Dreamworks comes this incredible (in the truest lexicographical sense) and, by-and-large, heartwarming animated fantasy of a little guy’s perseverance and ultimate triumph against every expectation and obstacle. Who among us would have imagined that a gastropod could propel itself around a motor-racing track and defeat all those noisy fire-breathing Yank tanks vying for the fame and big bucks waiting at the end of lap 200? In his writing/directing debut, David Soren’s tale of Turbo, a garden snail that, like the little railway engine who thought he could and did, has enough charm to offset its American cultural ambit and narrative purview. Kids will probably find it undemanding. Its issues will either skate over the heads of grown-ups with a two-dimensional view of society’s class structure or engage parents prepared to read between its lines while minding their ankle-biters during the vacation. The film casts Formula 1 type cars as little Turbo’s opponents. When I last watched film of the Indy, the cars were highly modified sedans with road ancestry. Might it be that our American cousins envy the ability of the rest of the motorsport world to build cars that can handle tracks bendier than the boredom of the brickyard? At Dendy, Capitol 6, Hoyts and Limelight
“Mary Meets Mohammad” (PG)
17 october - 2 november 2013 erindale theatre, wanniassa bookings: www.philo.org.au/ticketing ph:02 6257 1950
THIS feature documentary by Heather Kirkpatrick (who wrote, directed, filmed and sound-recorded) tells how a group of Tasmanian women, on learning of the impending incarceration of 100 Afghan refugee men in a new detention centre near Pontville, knitted beanies to help them cope with the winter cold. Mary, a pensioner widow in her 70s, began by discounting the inhumanity of the men’s situation even while knitting for them. The film’s principal constructs are not only
A UNIQUE SEASON OF STORIES FROM AUSTRALIA AND THE WORLD OPENING THE SEASON
TIE’S AGATHA CHRIS
A MURDER EISD
COLLECTED WORKS 2014 SEASON BOOKLET AVAILABLE NOW Visit canberratheatrecentre.com.au or call 6275 2700
30 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
Dougal Macdonald cinema
the women’s work to keep the men’s heads warm but also the epiphany that turned Mary into a surrogate grandmother to Mohammad, separated from the surviving members of his family that the Taliban had not murdered. Kirkpatrick’s observations of local farming folk converting scepticism into awareness follows comfortably as the detainees’ plight comes to light. To balance that, she invites filmgoers to read between the lines as others express vigorous resentment that detainees enjoy better comforts, benefits and conditions than little Aussie battlers. Kirkpatrick’s film has the power to make wellmeaning folk very angry about Australia’s treatment of detainees fleeing cruelty and repression in their homelands. I commend the film unreservedly to schools. Her web address is marymeetsmohammad.com. At Palace Electric
“I’m So Excited” (M) THE word, alas, is “tedious”. Pedro Almodovar’s comedy/melodrama is a disappointment that gay men may find amusing but does little to advance their cause. Which is fair enough. Why should a film proselytise for gays or straights in a comedy about an airliner with a malfunction and a crew of varying sexual preferences? The root cause of the tedium is that Almodovar’s screenplay tries too hard to be all things to all people – distressed airliner in peril, comical capers involving flight crew, cabin crew and business-class passengers (economy passengers having been slipped a potion to keep them unaware of pointy end hi-jinks), marital complications aloft and a-low, criminals fleeing retribution, and Spanish domestic political issues about which the rest of the world is innocent. These themes have been better done elsewhere. It’s sad that a filmmaker with such a wide stylistic capability and reputation has bitten off so much in a work that fails to meet the expectations generated by its pre-take-off passage with Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, Almodovar regulars back in the day, now global stars, playing airline ground crew. At Palace Electric and Capitol 6
Celebrating underground Canberra Helen Musa
arts in the city TWO daring exhibitions are coming to the Canberra Museum and Gallery from September 27 and into November. They are “Splinters Theatre: Massive Love of Risk” and “Head Full of Flames: punk in the nation’s capital, 1977-1990”. They celebrate Canberra’s exciting underground culture of the period, known and loved the world over. AND watch out for related events such as the “Electric Eighties” gig at the Australian Croatian Club, 68 McCaughey Street, Turner, on Saturday, September 28, as part of the “Kick up Your Heels” series for the Centenary. Expect a punk summit on several stages under lighting and projections by Eyesaw Productions. Bookings to trybooking.com/DKAS VETERAN Canberra artist Isla Patterson is exhibiting watercolours depicting the beauty of Canberra and its surrounding countryside at Cottage 1, Weston Park Road, Yarralumla, from September 29 to November 2. Opening Sunday, September 29 at 3pm, all welcome. ARTISTIC director of the Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, Gerard Willems, has teased geography slightly this year to stage the finals of the event at Llewellyn Hall (3pm, on October 12) and not Mittagong. Twenty seven competitors from 17 countries will compete for total prize money of $50,000. Bookings to 1300 795012 or ticketek.com.au GOLD Creek’s Aarwun Gallery has no fewer than 28 artists exhibiting in “Canberra Now,” running until October 18. The idea is to show how artists see Canberra in 2013. Painter Robert Pengilley, for instance, will be represented with landscapes viewed from Mt Ainslie. A new series by Galina depicts Canberra landmarks. Robyn Archer and artist Charles Billich will officially open the show on Friday, September 27, 5.30pm. All welcome.
Starring Amanda Muggleton
October 3 - 5 For tickets call 6285 6290 or visit www.theq.net.au
INSPIRED by the Lake Mungo area in far-western NSW, Brenda Runnegar has created a series of works that tell stories associated with the Willandra Lakes area and the “Mungo Woman” who lived there more than 40,000 years ago. At Belconnen Arts Centre until October 13. Meet the Artist: 3pm, Sunday, October 6. NIDA Open is offering spring courses for 8 to 11-year-olds and 12 to 15-year-olds, as well as more focused programs in screen-acting techniques and audition essentials for people aged 16 and over (including adults). At Daramalan College, October 7 and 13. Details at nida.edu.au or 9697 7626.
arts & entertainment Passion burns amid the fire opera
“From a Black Sky” By Sandra France and Helen Nourse At The Street Theatre, season closed. Reviewed by Judith Crispin SANDRA France’s new chamber opera “From a Black Sky”, with libretto by Helen Nourse, presents an ordinary marriage break-down against a backdrop of devastating fires and a secret lesbian tryst. What begins as light operetta blossoms, by act two, into full-blooded opera seria. In her dramatic tale of love and betrayal, Sandra France reveals a mature and unified palette of orchestral colours, unashamedly lyrical but never succumbing to popular devices. The custom chamber orchestra, expertly led by David Kram, tackled an often challenging, freely atonal score as the opera passes from darkness into light, beginning with the first hints of the coming inferno and ending in the dawn of a new day. Soprano Rachel Duncan (Amelia) brought grace and elegance to the opening of act one, and maintained strong performances throughout. Don Bemrose, a foremost Aboriginal baritone, was compelling as the best friend of Amelia’s jilted husband (tenor David Rogers-Smith) while Mezzo-soprano Judith Dodsworth’s rich tonal colours were often expertly combined with sul ponticello strings. Act two was some of the strongest opera writing I have heard from an Australian composer with wonderful roles for mezzo and tenor. Through the ashes, first light appears and France’s opera ended to tumultuous applause. Judith Crispin’s full review is at citynews.com.au
Mr Wei’s Taro crispy duck...
and Fangxiang green curry banana prawn.
David’s up and a Wei! WELCOME to Mr Wei’s. That’s the lovely greeting at the top of the menus handed out at the new restaurant now occupying the Civic space that was for many, many years a Canberra classic institution – The Hermitage. Now it’s modern Asian and the signature dish is Beijing roast duck. Cooking up a storm in the kitchen is owner chef David Wei, who used to work at Kingston Foreshore’s Wild Duck. The physical structure of the restaurant is the same and the ultra-suede covered chairs as comfy as ever. The mood is still lovely – not sterile, but not noisy. Let’s dig into the food. Entrées start at $12.50 and top off at $16.50. Vegetarians and gluten-free diners are well taken care of. While we went straight for mains (it was lunch and we didn’t want to overeat), I’ll be back for the lotus root and pork parcels or the secretly marinated chicken. Unlike many Asian places, Mr Wei’s doesn’t have page after page after page of mains. Instead, it offers a small, but tantalising list of dishes. Sure, the expected lemongrass chicken is there ($22.50), but so too are dishes that cry “pick me, pick me”. Like the beef cheek, slowly cooked for three hours in Thai massaman spice paste (more secret ingredients) and coconut milk. It’s served with roast sweet potato and taro root and is a great dish to savour while the weather is still a bit nippy.
Centre Cinema Building, Garema Place, Canberra City email@example.com www.lascala.com.au
CIVIC: 70 Bunda Street, 1st floor Canberra City Phone: 6257 3690
Another dish that commanded attention was the Szechuan-inspired strips of pork backstrap, stir fried with earthy wood ear mushrooms and sweet, crunchy bamboo shoots in spicy chilli yu xiang sauce. You can mop up the sauce with fried Chinese bread or soft, fluffy steamed rice ($22.50). I opted for the taro-flavoured crispy duck, cooked in a master stock and deep fried with mashed taro root and tempera. It was meant to be crispy but didn’t quite hit the mark for me on that score. Still, the flavours were wonderful, including the honey ginger-infused balsamic vinegar ($28.50). But it’s the signature Beijing roast duck that I want to try and the menu tells you it’s important to do so: “According to a Chinese saying, no visit to Beijing is complete if you miss seeing the Great Wall or dining on roast duck”. Mr Wei’s is next to the Canberra Theatre Centre and offers pre-theatre bar area seating snacks, which is a nice touch, ranging from $7.50 to $11.50. Many banquet options are available, another nice touch if a group is attending the theatre, or for a lunch or dinner crowd. Prices range from $25.50 per person to $49.90 per person at lunch (for a sumptuous roast duck banquet). Coffee and tea included. Mr Wei’s, 170 London Circuit, Civic. Call 6230 0857. Open Monday to Saturday; lunch: 11.30am-2.30pm; dinner: 5.30pm-10.30pm.
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Fine Asian Cuisine comes to Civic OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER ON PUBLIC HOLIDAY MONDAY
TAKE ME AWAY
Miles Franklin... honoured. 8. George Lazenby, actor 9. Hau Latukefu, rap artist/singer 10. M ichael Martin, tenor and opera singer 11. O mar Musa, poet, rapper, songwriter, author 12. Tommy Murphy, playwright 13. Harriet Schwarzrock, glass artist 14. N orma and Trevor Roach, Queanbeyan Players 15. Kirstie Rea, glass artist 16. Neil Roberts, artist and sculptor 17. Michael Smith, actor 18. Ben Snow, animation 19. B ill, Pat and Tim Stephens, cabaret 20. Hiroe Swen, ceramic artist
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Their brilliant careers LITERARY great Miles Franklin is one of 20 prominent authors, artists, entertainers, musicians and poets from the Queanbeyan region to be honoured in a cultural honours gallery. The gallery, which will be a permanent display in the foyer of The Q, was launched this week by Queanbeyan City Council mayor Tim Overall. Overall said Stella Miles Franklin had been an obvious selection by the Queanbeyan City Council Cultural Development Council and Public Art Panel committees. “Miles Franklin grew up at Brindabella Station, in the Queanbeyan jurisdiction at the time, and in 1901 her book ‘My Brilliant Career’ was published,” he said. The cultural honours roll lists many other “brilliant careers”, in alphabetical order: 1. Dimity Azoury, ballet dancer 2. Alex Asch, artist and sculptor 3. Annette Blair, glass artist 4. Miles Franklin, author 5. Margaret Hadfield, painter 6. Johannes Kuhnen, gold and silversmith 7. Matthew Curtis, glass artist
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floriade week 3 / inventors & inventions
Inventive ways powered by lots of bulldust OVER the centuries, oddball Stephen Easton inventors have come up with a reports universe of wacky ideas to make life easier, which they often patented to will be split into two teams who will have to together if they’re going to solve the make sure nobody could copy them. work perplexing questions she poses and, of course,
Even if these inventions never really changed the world like their slightly offbeat creators hoped, at least the patents they left behind serve a different purpose: they’re good for a laugh. As we chuckle at strange patents from the past such as one for a motorised ice-cream cone, a nappy designed for pet birds or a spinning table that was meant to make childbirth easier (think of centrifugal force), it’s easy to forget how important free thinkers and their wild ideas really are, even if they don’t always hit the mark. For next week at Floriade, when inventors and inventions take over the park, a team from Questacon’s new Technology Learning Centre has put together a show called “Patently Ridiculous” which explores how people come up with original ideas, no matter how big, small, sensible or silly they might be. “It’s a game show all about inventing, so we talk about why people invent things, and why it’s so important,” says Rachel Rayner, who helped create “Patently Ridiculous” and will be presenting one of its four sessions each day for seven days from Monday, September 30. “We do that by looking at some of the really wacky ways we can solve problems in our society; it’s really fun and light hearted.” The effervescent host says her audience
she can’t give away the unexpected answers. “I can say that we will have a 3D printer on hand to show off what they do,” says Rachel. “We’ll also have a few other interesting things people can look at to see some different ways people make prototypes and create their inventions.” To give us a better idea of what “Patently Ridiculous” is all about, she shows the “CityNews” team around the eccentric inventions of Henry Hoke, which are on public display just downstairs from her office at Questacon’s new learning centre beside the Mint. “The show’s based on the wonderful, whimsical nature of the Henry Hoke inventions, so we’ve taken that and we look at other whimsical, crazy inventions that have happened over the last two centuries and how the inventors were aiming to solve big problems, how they went about that and whether we actually use those inventions today or not,” says Rachel, as we stop by a large ride-on contraption called the random excuse generator, covered in knobs, switches and levers with labels like “credibility gap tolerance”, “flattery booster”, “blame shifter” and “hypocrisy filter”. Following in the footsteps of his father Silas, who came up with dehydrated water pills, the younger Mr Hoke went on to sell a whole range of not-so-useful and slightly dubious products,
Questacon’s Rachel Rayner… “We look at other whimsical, crazy inventions that have happened over the last two centuries and how the inventors were aiming to solve big problems.” Photo by Brent McDonald such as the rope hammer. “Really good for hammering around corners but it does take quite a bit of practice,” says Rachel. “Then there’s the corrugated iron, for ironing the wrinkles back into your clothes,” she says, pointing to another display case. “If your grandmother irons your jeans, well sometimes ironed jeans don’t look right, so you have to iron the wrinkles back in; it’s one of those inventions you never knew you needed, but
every now and then might be quite useful.” Next, she shows us the original prototype of Mr Hoke’s well-known sceptical training apparatus, a piece of heavy metal called the long weight, which would be familiar to many who’ve done apprenticeships in the building trades. “Apparently he made day-long weights too, but they were pretty heavy and they’ve all sunk into the earth without a trace,” Rachel explains.
“This one’s really important,” she says, pointing to a small glass bottle. “This is bulldust. This does feature quite a bit in the show. Refined bulldust was used a lot in Henry Hoke’s inventions to get them to work, particularly the random excuse generator; it runs on bulldust.” “Patently Ridiculous”, at the Inspiration Hub, Floriade, September 30-October 6. There are four shows a day at 10am, 11am, 2pm and 3pm.
A MOONLIT EXTRAVAGANZA • CANBERRA WEDNESDAY 25 SEPT - SUNDAY 29 SEPT 2013 • 6.30-10.30PM
• Live Entertainment • Spectacular Light Shows • Stylish Evening Bar • Music and Comedy • Night Markets Buy tickets at www.ticketek.com or 13 28 49 • $25 adult • $10 child/concession • $50 family (2 adult/2 child) • Children 4 years and under FREE For more info about Floriade NightFest 2013 please call the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre on 1300 852 780 Price per night. Transaction fees apply
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32 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
TICKETS – TICKETEK.COM OR 13 28 49
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Read Canberra’s favourite restaurant reviewer Wendy Johnson every week CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2 33
Chicks are back Make the most of magnolias garden
Rhode Island White Leghorn Australorp Sexed + Vaccinated
Cedric Bryant gardening
RIGHT now, magnolias present a stunning sight; the abundance of flowers almost outshines any other plant, just look at the illustrated display of Magnolia soulangeana.
The magnolia family is very large. I have more than 100 varieties on my list which are mainly deciduous shrubs, from China and the Himalaya, that can grow to tree size. The only evergreen magnolia comes from Bull Bay in Carolina, US, hence its common name Magnolia “Bull Bay”, no relation to Laurus nobilis or bay tree. Incidentally, recent queries regarding the bronze colour on the back of the leaf were concerned it was disease such as rust, but it is actually one of the beauties of this tree, combined with the dark green, glossy leaves and huge saucer-size, creamy-white flowers. But take a closer look at the M. soulangeana. At first glance, the floral display will wow you, but did you notice how close it is to the house? This tree was obviously planted many years ago and seemed ideal to plant in the corner of the building. Now, with a trunk 40cm across and still growing, it could cause structural damage to the house, which has had several owners since 1964 and no-one knows who planted it. Each new owner has left it there to get bigger and bigger. In addition, the plant’s roots can present major problems with all the building’s sewer pipes being the original earthenware type. Unfortunately, at some stage this magnolia will have to be removed, a reminder that, when buying trees and shrubs, allow sufficient space for plants to grow and know where the underground services are, especially sewer pipes.
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THERE is great excitement in the Bryant garden. One very small Daphne collina I have been nurturing for two years from barely 10 centimetres tall to its present 40cm has, this week, burst into flower for the first time. This daphne is a taxonomic mystery. It is one of the Mediterranean daphnes as opposed to the Chinese daphne, such as Daphne odora. It was first described by J.E. Smith when he saw it growing in southern Italy in 1792. But since then, this daphne is known only to grow in gardens and has never been found in the wild. Notwithstanding this mystery, it is an outstanding plant. Maybe a little hard to
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34 CityNews Sep 26-Oct 2
SOME crazy person suggested recently in this column “the pullovers are off and everything is growing in the garden”! Slightly premature, as I write this the rain comes tumbling down and pullovers are back on. But what beautiful rain and so badly needed.
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OTHER daphne coming into full flower in our garden include the soft lilac blooms of the deciduous Daphne genkwa. After the dormancy of winter, the flowers appear in abundance before the leaves. Daphne neapolitana from the Naples area of southern Italy is a knockout. The fragrance of a group of three Daphne “Eternal Fragrance” is wafting through the garden. This was bred in England and is a cross between D. collina and D. caucasica. Plant Growers Australia grow this here and market it through most garden centres.
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So, this week in the garden: • Get ahead of the weeds, so easy to remove when the ground is moist. • Rake lawns with a strong metal fork and sow grass seed to repair bare patches. • Tie in rapid new growth of clematis and other climbers to support wires. • As the days warm, look out for aphids on new growth. Hose off with a strong jet of water or spray with organic Pyrethrum. • After this rain, keep the pet-safer Multiguard Snail and Slug Killer on hand for those critters emerging from their winter hibernation.
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A magnificent specimen of floral splendour, Magnolia soulangeana… but did you notice how close it is to the house?
Canberra building news edition 1 - 2011
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Cedric’s Daphne collina... flowering for the first time.
puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore
your week in the stars / September 30-October 6
ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20) Friday’s Sun/Uranus opposition activates your rebellious side, as you push against perceived rules and restrictions. Attached Rams – it’s a wonderful weekend to let your partner know how much you really care. Show them that, beneath the bravado of the Aries warrior, beats the heart of a true romantic! Singles – look for true love with a lusty Leo or a lively Libran.
TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20) Bulls detest disruptions… and there’ll be plenty this week, as Uranus turns your usual schedule upside down. You need to inject some fresh ideas (and friends) into your regular routine. Plus the New Moon shines a bright spotlight on health issues. So it’s time for hedonistic Bulls to leap off the couch and lift weights (rather than cream buns) as you get your body moving again.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) Keep on your toes this week – especially when it comes to children and teenagers. Expect surprises, hiccups and hijinks along the way. And have some of your friendships lost their sparkle? Perhaps it’s time to link up with a creative new crowd? If you have to make a decision about work (or your future direction) be sure to balance intellectual reasoning with intuitive insights.
CANCER (June 22 – July 22) Crabs can easily collapse in a heap after a setback. But with buoyant Jupiter now jumping through your sign (until July 2014) it’s time to bounce back as you put a positive spin on perceived failures; pick yourself up; and keep heading towards higher ground. Be inspired by birthday great, the writer Truman Capote: “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
LEO (July 23 – Aug 22) The Sun opposes Uranus this week, which boosts your restless, rebellious side – and your bossy, controlling streak. Plus, with the New Moon lighting up your communication zone, resist the temptation to jump in and hog the conversation. It’s time for less talking and a lot more listening! As birthday great Truman Capote wrote: “A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue.”
VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22) The New Moon stimulates your money zone, so you need to review financial matters and get up-to-date with detailed paperwork. The Sun/Moon Libra emphasis could also see virtuous Virgos overdose on trying to be absolutely perfect. Remember – perfection is a goal (not a destination). Looking for your soul mate? True love could be as close as the boy or girl next door.
LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23) The New Moon heralds that it’s time for a hot new hairstyle; a makeup makeover; or a stylish wardrobe update. The stars also emphasise that being in a relationship doesn’t have to come at the expense of your personal identity. The challenge is to get the balance right between give and take. (Just make sure you’re not doing all the giving, and others all the taking!)
General knowledge crossword No. 425 Across
1 What is a summary of something? 8 Which NSW city is on the Peel River? 9 What do we call that which lessens intensity, or the like? 10 Name the nationality of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. 11 Which chess piece moves obliquely on squares of the same colour? 13 What are persons who undergo medical treatment? 16 Name the negative elementary particle of an atom. 19 What are frogmen more readily known as? 22 What is a large glass of beer called? 24 Name the first Australian-born governor-general, Sir Isaac ... 25 Which term is descriptive of that which relates to the brain? 26 Name the Inlet between Huskisson and Ulladulla NSW.
2 Name the principal religious official of a synagogue. 3 To ensnare, entrap, etc, is to do what? 4 What is a person employed to attend and groom racehorses in the stables? 5 Name the large, flightless, three-toed Australian birds. 6 What is an evening party or social gathering? 7 What is a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water? 12 To be free from mental derangement is to be what? 14 What are leafless organs of climbing plants? 15 How many players are there in a baseball team? 17 What is a footman or liveried manservant? 18 Which person makes barrels, casks, etc? 20 What are small vessels of glass, for liquids? 21 Name a renowned Australian tennis player, Tony ... 23 Which term implies a mean, or average?
Solution next week 1
8 9 10 11
24 25 26
Sudoku hard No. 112
Solution next week
SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21) Dream big dreams Sagittarius, as the New Moon highlights your hopes and wishes zone. But make sure your creative plans aren’t just surface gloss and glamour. Plenty of elbow grease (and the cooperation of others) is required if you want to turn your dreams into reality. You crave excitement and are impatient for change, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!
CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19) Many Capricorns are style icons (like Marlene Dietrich, David Bowie, Diane Keaton and Kate Moss). With Pluto in your sign, your personal style is gradually evolving so that it better expresses the real you. It’s also time to reassess your career. Are you pursuing your professional dreams and heading in the right direction? If not, then some smart adjustments may be necessary.
AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)
PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20) Creativity and compassion are high as you express yourself artistically, or help someone in need. Avoid making impulsive money moves on Friday, when Uranus stirs up your finance zones. The New Moon promises exciting developments to do with lust or loot. Some flirtatious Fish can look forward to a hot new romance (or a revitalised old one) but there will be strings attached.
Daily astrology updates at www.twitter.com/JoMadelineMoore Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011
Scorpios are often drawn to extreme views, black and white thinking and confrontational communication. But the Libran New Moon encourages you to take a more balanced approach, as you contemplate the subtle shades of grey within each situation. You can also expect flashes of ESP, an insightful dream or a fateful deja-vu meeting with someone special.
Friday will be full of drama and surprises, as the Sun/Uranus opposition revs up your rebellious nature. Just make sure you’re a rebel with a worthwhile cause! Attached Aquarians – you’re in a passionate mood but consider the needs of your partner, not just your own. Sick of being single? Look for someone who respects your Aquarian need for autonomy and adventure.
Sudoku medium No.112
Crossword No. 424 V I A D U C E M N S U B Z E R T E Q R E R O U T Y A T R O L L F E R T R O R I G A M L R D I R E L A N C E R
Sorting out Lou’s super-tax tangle While in London recently, I met up again with my client Lou to discuss his Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme pension. He is planning to draw it in three months’ time when he reaches 60 and needed my help. He had received a letter from CSS and needed advice as to how he was to lodge returns and pay tax in Australia. The letter said that the CSS was required by the Australian Taxation Office to withhold income tax. “You will need to consult the Australian Taxation Office to discuss the need for you to complete a tax return given you are a non-resident,” it said. “Actually, Lou, that’s not quite correct,” I told him. “There is a tax treaty between Australia and the UK. These treaties exist to avoid double taxation. “The treaty with the UK clearly states that a government pension paid to a resident of the UK shall be taxable only in the UK. “As the tax treaty is so specific, there is a mechanism which will enable you to receive the pension in the UK tax-free. You then have to declare it as income in the UK when you lodge your tax return in the UK. “And that means you won’t have to lodge a return in Australia every year declaring the pension, it is just declared in the UK.” However, I told Lou he would have to make an application to the Australian Taxation Office to allow CSS to pay his pension tax free and, as a UK resident, he would not have to declare it as income in Australia. “While part of the pension might be tax free in Australia, the whole pension is subject to normal rates of tax in the UK,” I told him. “Coincidentally, within the last few days, a case has been handed down from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in which an Australian resident received a non-taxable superannuation payment from the UK and the Tribunal held that it was fully taxable in Australia. “This is, of course, the converse of your situation but it is clear that the revenue laws of the country of residence are the laws to apply in determining the tax payable on any income received.” Lou said: “That is a bit of bad news, but I suppose it’s preferable to having to lodge an Australian return every year. Would you please make the application to the Australian Taxation Office for me.” I replied: “Happy to do that for you, Lou.” If you need advice on the taxation of overseas pensions and/ or how the tax treaties might affect you, contact the friendly team at Gail Freeman & Co Pty Ltd.
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