Page 1





Get anywhere Choose from 400+ cars shared by local people in your community

Get $30 credit when you join using promo code INNERCIRCLE


EDITOR’S LETTER It’s getting quite chilly out there, but rather than dread the dropping temperatures I begin to feel a sense of comfort as I’m reminded somewhat of being back in England! But if the colder temperatures offer less comfort for you, remember that June also brings us another public holiday, and that’s something we can all look forward to! June also sees us reach Issue 4 of Inner Circle Magazine, and if there’s one thing the journey has made evident so far, it’s the unbelievable sense of community and creativity in the region. Combined, they provide the perfect platform for people to do and create some truly amazing things. It’s this combination that is the key theme of this month’s issue. Join us as we take a look at NobleGenie, a social enterprise helping build and strengthen the community spirit in Melbourne’s inner north. We also explore Everywhere Roadie, a platform connecting independent artists across Australia and beyond. Both of these very creative, very different projects share a common ethos of community, sharing and helping. Another important aspect of Melbourne’s inner north is its rich history and diversity, something we explore as we chat with film producer Lucinda Horrocks about the making of her new film Out of the Closet, Into the Streets, which celebrates the spirited rise of Melbourne’s Gay Liberation Movement and its impact and history in the inner north. But it doesn’t stop there. This feature packed issue also sees us tempt our caffeine cravings as we delve into the world of coffee, getting to know some of the people behind the local coffee industry. And not to forget our fashion conscious readers, enjoy as we catch up with Michael Albert of Smart Alec Hatters, who knows just what it takes to find that perfect hat!

Editor & Co-Founder - James Fox Head Designer & Co-Founder - Declan Hooper We would not have been able to create Inner Circle Magazine without the hard work and dedication of all involved. Thank you! Editorial Assistant: Eleanor van Driel Design Assistant/Illustrator: Nicola Hooper Consultant: David Hooper Print Columnists: Nathan Senn, Tobias Handke, Quincy Malesovas, Estelle Artois, Ruby Syme, Zubin Pratap, Simon Wraight Photography: Jean Baulch, Frank Prain, Peter McEwan, Alix Whitelaw, Emma Darbyshire, Estelle Artois

Thanks again for picking up a copy of Inner Circle Magazine, and as always, we hope you enjoy our latest exploration of Melbourne’s inner north!

Online Columnists and Contributors in May: Nina McQueen, Kathryn Lewis, Nathan Senn, Quincy Malesovas, Peter Matthews

James Fox - Editor & Co-Founder, Inner Circle Magazine

Special thanks to:

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners of the Land: “We, at Inner Circle Magazine, would like to acknowledge that the land we meet on is the traditional lands for the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their country. We would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the custodians of the Melbourne region, including Melbourne’s inner north, and recognise that their culture and heritage is still important to the Wurundjeri people today. We wish to pay respect to their Elders, both past and present, and further acknowledge the important role that Indigenous people continue to play within our communities.”


Zubin Pratap (NobleGenie), Michael Albert (Smart Alec Hatters), Robert Dimattina (30Kerr65), Elliot Monfries (Atomica Coffee), Yris Apsit (Wide Open Road), Lucinda Horrocks (Out of the Closets, Into the Streets), Kate Bradley (Everywhere Roadie), Liz Thomas (Everywhere Roadie) Special thanks also reserved for all our advertising partners. Publisher: Inner Circle Magazine - To contribute, head to: For advertising enquiries, contact: James Fox - Declan Hooper -

Printed by Ellikon on PEFCTM certified laser paper made from 30% recycled waste and using vegetable inks. This document has been produced to international standard ISO14001 bystandard a certified greenbyprinting using recycled This document hasenvironmental been produced to management international environmental management ISO14001 a certifiedcompany green printing company usingpaper. recycled paper.







A Destination for S hopping & Eating….

and all the


you need ! • • • •

Banks & Financial Accountants & Tax Community & Employment Agencies Legal & Educational


• • • •

Medical Centres Dental & Optometrists Myotherapy & Podiatry Naturopathy & Holistic Health


Issue 04 • June

Inner Circle Magazine • Arts

ARTS IN THE INNER NORTH ROUND-UP & PREVIEW Written by Nathan Senn May offered up another artistic feast for the senses in Melbourne’s inner north. Just days before the brand new season of Twin Peaks dropped, Fitzroy’s Howler hosted a special screening of Fire Walk With Me – David Lynch’s controversial cinematic prequel tells the chilling story of Laura Palmer’s final days. Presented by Melbourne creative collective Tastemakers in collaboration with the Idea Cult, Howler transformed itself into Lynch’s infamous Black Lodge, replete with red curtains, pianists belting out Angelo Badalamenti’s iconic score and even a plastic-covered Laura Palmer replica - for what was a truly memorable screening.

systems maintained and upheld by those who reside in the Coburg/Brunswick area. Blunt and at times absurd, Jones’ paintings reflect the historicity of a community and the presence of domestic artifacts – oddities, which take pride of place on their front lawns, gardens and houses around the inner north.

Swanston Street’s Fort Delta Gallery also hosted One Foot in the Grove, the first solo-exhibition of the works of inner north resident Ben Jones. Jones’ work surveyed the ad-hoc ornaments and decorative

Looking forward to June, the Emerging Writers Festival hits the inner north from the 14th – 23rd. On June 19th, Carlton’s Bella Union will play host to Amazing Babes, a panel discussing Melbourne’s most

Closer to home, North Melbourne’s Gallerysmith hosted The Myth-Makers, two solo exhibitions from Melbourne artists Jeremy Blincoe and Becc Orszag, exploring the synergies between two unique practices, drawing and photography.

IXTLAN MELBOURNE JEWELLERY We all own jewellery. Some of it is worn every day, other pieces are hidden away and admired, only to be brought out for a special occasion. Usually those that mean the most are the pieces that have been gifted to us by a loved one, passed down from generation to generation. They are often highly sentimental and the most unique. In a world saturated with mass production and cheap imitations, jewellery like this comes from a time when exquisite workmanship was sought after and each piece was handcrafted and made to last. With an eye for beauty and a flair for bold design, Paris who owns Ixtlan Melbourne has been sourcing and creating one off masterpieces for more than two decades, recently making his home in Gertrude Street Fitzroy. The jewellery is elegant, contemporary and styled for maximum impact, with many items set with rare and uncommon gemstones. Ixtlan Melbourne is a celebration of individuality where every necklace, ring and bracelet has an identity and you can experience one man’s passion for quality, inspired by his travels around the globe.

102 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy 03 9416 1603

talented writers and paying respect to the women who have most influenced them. The following night Readings in Carlton hosts Literary Dystopias where authors Sally Abbott and Daniel Findlay discuss their latest post-apocalyptic novels. For a lighter affair, there’s also Songs and Stories from Home, a night of song and poetry revolving around place and belonging at Fitzroy’s Worker’s Club. From June 8th, Brunswick’s Tinning Street Presents also presents Eigengrau, the latest exhibition by Canadian photographer Noah Spivak. Here, Spivak isolates, breaks and reconstitutes the materials that compose photographs, producing versions of images that confront audiences with the distance that can exist between a physical object and a study of its visual re-presentation – a show not to be missed.

OUT OF THE CLOSETS, INTO THE STREETS CELEBRATING THE SPIRITED RISE OF MELBOURNE’S GAY LIBERATION MOVEMENT Words by Nathan Senn (Photography Above) Gay Pride Week, Melbourne, 1973. Photograph by Frank Prain. ©Frank Prain 1973. Courtesy of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. (Photography Right) Gay Liberation Demonstration, City Square, Melbourne, 1972. Photograph by Peter McEwan. ©Peter McEwan 1972. Courtesy of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Selected as one of 2017’s Top 100 Australian films at St. Kilda Film Festival, Out of the Closets, Into the Streets is a new short film that celebrates the spirited rise of Melbourne’s Gay Liberation Movement. Directed by Jary Nemo and produced by Lucinda Horrocks and Kathie Mayer, the film follows a group of Melbourne University students who in the early ‘70s took a stand for the rights of the city’s gay citizens. Taking a historical approach, the film is comprised of a combination of rich archival footage and compelling interviews from those present at the very inception of the grass-roots-movement. Eschewing nostalgia, the viewer is transported back to a time when homosexuality was widely repressed and openly criminalised and charts the journey of those who fought for equality. We recently sat down with Producer Lucinda Horrocks to discuss the making of the film, its impact and the history of the Gay Liberation Movement in the inner north.

Issue 04 • June Inner Circle: Hi Lucinda! Firstly, congratulations on such a great film. What inspired you to tell this particular story and how did the film come about? Lucinda Horrocks: Thank you! The idea for this project came from our partner producer Kathie Mayer. She is a long time fan of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and she kept on telling us there were amazing stories hidden in the archives. When we were invited by Culture Victoria to pitch project ideas we thought we would create a story around an exhibition ALGA had already put on about the 1970s Gay Liberation Movement in Melbourne. IC: The Gay Liberation Movement was based largely out of Parkville/Carlton. Melbourne University and student activism seems to play a big role in the movement. How do you perceive the changes in student activism today? Lucinda: The 1970s were a radical and shifting time for politics, and student politics played a big role in that. We are talking the era where higher education was suddenly free, the baby boomers were coming of age, and students were going to university from families which up to that point had never finished high school. Many of those students became significant leaders and change-makers, and lots of them began their activism at university like so many of the Melbourne Gay Liberation Front members did. IC: From a modern day perspective – the idea of abjuring notions of equality for more radical change, as addressed in the film, seems particularly revolutionary. How do you see that the Gay activist

Inner Circle Magazine • Arts movement in Melbourne has changed since the film was made? Lucinda: I think generally today as a society there is an orthodox way of thinking about how a good society progresses, which is more conservative than how radical activists saw it in the 1970s. So, yes, it is a shock to hear activist voices from that era. They didn’t want equality, because to them that simply reinforced the status quo. They wanted to shake up the very foundations of society. IC: Likewise, given the stated, ideological influence of feminism on the movement, what are your views on contemporary feminism and its relationship to rebellion? Do you feel that same revolutionary spirit still alive today? Lucinda: I’m a child of the 1970s and a daughter of a feminist who marched and protested and fought hard for the rights I enjoy today. I’ve always felt I owe a strong debt to my mother and those women of the 1970s. After producing this film I realise I owe a strong debt to the Gay Liberation activists of that period also, because they fought hard for respect of difference and I think they did change the world. Where to with contemporary feminism? I’ve seen a strengthening of feminist voices in the past few years. I think feminism remains a force to be reckoned with. IC: I found Andrew’s message in the film around the importance of participation to be particularly inspiring. What is it that you hope your audience will take from the film? Lucinda: I’m pleased you say that because we all felt that Andrew’s statement was extraordinary. I would like the audience to think about how difficult and discriminatory our society was even

“I owe a strong

debt to the Gay Liberation activists of that period… I think they did change the world

45 short years ago, and how hard people had to fight to change things. Andrew’s statement is like a call to action, a reminder that you have to be part of the change you want to see, which is as relevant today as it was in the 1970s.

IC: I believe as filmmakers, you and Jary have a rich history with the inner north? Lucinda: Jary and I lived in Flemington for several years in the late 90s/early 00’s. I remember Jary used to work in Clifton Hill and he would ride his bike from Flemington through Royal Park past the zoo along the old Inner Circle Line rail track. I have very fond memories of those days. I think Kathie lived in Carlton in her student days. We started Wind & Sky Productions 9 years ago and have produced over 20 short films. I worked as a researcher on a project about David Scott, who was a pioneer in social justice in the 1960s and 70s. He founded Community Aid Abroad and was director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, which has deep roots in Fitzroy. IC: And what are you currently working on and what should we keep our eyes out for in the future? Lucinda: I love making documentaries. I learn so much about the complex realities of the world we live in. We are working on two great stories at the moment, one about the Chinese on the early goldfields of Victoria and another about Data Democracy. With the support of Culture Victoria, ‘Out of the Closets, Into the Streets’ and its associated archival materials can be viewed in full, online at:

NEEL DEY FURNITURE In an age of cheap pre-fabricated furniture when identical is considered ideal and disposable is desirable, many are bucking the trend and looking to more traditional means of craftsmanship to furnish their homes. Just a stone’s throw from Collingwood’s Wellington Street, Neel Dey Furniture (107-109 Rupert Street, Collingwood) offers hand-made, recycled timber furniture of the highest order. Started by Vinko Markoski in 2008, the business has grown to a team consisting of 9 full-time staff. Having spent 13 years plying his trade at Steptoe’s Renovations in Collingwood, Markoski oversees the operation and employs his vast expertise in woodworking to bring to life some of Melbourne’s most beautiful, rustic furniture. Using recycled timber sourced locally from some of Melbourne’s oldest buildings, factories and most iconic institutions, each piece is treated to retain the markings and traces of its former life. The gnarled knots, grains and gashes on the timber

not only pay respect to the material’s rich history but are artfully integrated into the final product, ensuring each piece has a modern feel while still deeply anchored in the past. Privileging strong service, customers are invited to play an active part of the furniture making process. Offering extensive customisations, the team works closely with their clientele to personalise pieces to suit every home. From creation to installation, the greatest of care and workmanship is given in the production of each piece. Driven by a focus on sustainability and a nostalgic appreciation of Melbourne’s architectural history, timber boards of the highest character are identified, selected, de-nailed, sanded and finished with an oil-based polyurethane for maximum durability. In construction, the use of hardwood and mortise and tenon joinery ensures structural integrity in their tables and furniture – built to last a lifetime. While their range is eclectic and varied, Neel Dey Furniture are perhaps most renowned for

their double panel tabletops. Inspired by Markoski’s time making recycled timber doors, these pieces are skillfully infused with timber of various textures, tones and colours to create a truly distinctive style. For those looking to personalise their business, Neel Dey also has a commercial branch, providing furniture to some of Australia’s best culinary institutions such as Le Bon Ton and the Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood and Il Pizzaiolo in Thornbury. Beyond its mere practical application, the team at Neel Dey understands that every piece of furniture has the capacity to tell a story, reflect the values of its owners and transform spaces. As such, their appreciation of the historicity of the materials used to create products not only ensures quality but also seeks to forge progress from the past, with each piece exuding values that mix old-fashioned craftsmanship with contemporary innovation.


Issue 04 • June

Inner Circle Magazine • Community


Written by Quincy Malesovas Melbourne is a great place to live for many reasons - one being that, unlike lots of other cities, it doesn’t completely shut down during winter. In fact, there are probably just as many events on during the cold months as there are in summer. Although it is pretty brisk out there these days, that’s no excuse for staying in until spring rolls around. Our top community events this month should keep you toasty and occupied until and you can comfortably venture outside once more. Although the first event on our radar this June is, in fact, held at an outdoor venue, the multitude of people you can expect to rock up should offer more than enough body heat to combat the wintry weather. This grand festivity is Freedom Time, a music, art and dance fete held at Coburg Velodrome on the 3rd June.

The next day in the same suburb is the Round She Goes fashion market, where stallholders can sell their pre-loved garments to a new home where they will be freshly appreciated. By shopping the market, you’re supporting a more ethical way to consume clothing AND you’re not going to see others coming and going in the same styles as you. For those looking for something a bit more masc, head to Union Club Hotel in Fitzroy on June 7th for the monthly meeting of Tough Guys Book Club. The club is not specifically for “tough guys”, per se, but the books in question are typically written by men of such a nature. This is a space where men can come together, discuss men’s issues and encourage one another to be better read. Each month in Melbourne seems to bring a different niche festival - this month’s being

the International Jazz Fest. Running from the 2nd - 11th of June, this festival has several events happening in and around the inner north. One we’re particularly keen for is Still Night: Music in Poetry. This performance, lead by Andrea Keller, takes place at the Jazz Club in Brunswick on June 11th. It’s described as a “sublime meditation on the omnipresent sentiments of death, grief and loss.” The final June happening we’re super happy to hype is the launch of Bongo Bingo (“Bingo like you have never played it before”) on the 29th June at Collingwood Town Hall. But this isn’t your Nan’s bingo - it’s part interactive game sensation, part dance party and a whole ton of UKspawned silliness that will surely gain just as much following here in Aus.


Zubin Pratap is a proud inner north local, but in 2016 something happened that made him realise there was something missing in our digitally distracted worlds. It was this realisation that planted the seeds for his new project ‘NobleGenie’, a social enterprise helping build and strengthen the community spirit in Melbourne’s inner north. In his own words, Zubin explains what NobleGenie is, how and when the idea was born, how it works, and why we should all get involved. In December 2016, the weather was warming up and Fitzroy was bustling with eager anticipation of the Christmas break, I walked my rescue Greyhound, Maggie, to Edinburgh gardens. While Maggie was sniffing feverishly at what appeared to be perfectly normal grass under someone’s fence, I struck up a conversation with the lady gardening there. As we talked of greyhounds, impending Christmas mayhem and other trifles, I remarked that I’d promised my wife that I’d tidy our garden too, and that I needed to drive to Bunnings to get new secateurs. A few more desultory exchanges about the tyranny of chores, and then we said goodbye as Mags and I pressed on. A few days later we passed by the same lady’s (now very prim) garden, and she called out, bounded over and handed me a new set of secateurs. “I hope you

haven’t already been to Bunnings I was going anyway so thought of you.” Imagine my surprise. I didn’t know this person, though she lived three streets away. From a single, convivial conversation she recalled a throwaway comment of mine while at Bunnings. It filled me with wonder, gratitude and a deep sense of connection. I could see that she felt special too – happy she could do something nice for someone, only because we belonged to the same community. In this harried and digitally distracted world it had been ages since I’d felt anything like that. In fact, I couldn’t remember when I last felt that captivating mix of gratitude, wonder, affection and connection to a stranger. And I could see from her smile that she felt that unique joy of generosity and kindness too. “Since I was there, why not, right?” she added. “Yeah, why not!” I thought, as I took her email address to reimburse her via PayPal. Later that afternoon, new secateurs in hand, I was attacking the bushes, when Ben Lee’s hit ‘We’re All in This Together’ played on my Pandora station. I was still emotionally ‘high’ from the kindness I had received that morning, and the song really made a lot more sense to me. “She’s right…why not?” I murmured.

I am an utter nerd and remember reading Dan Ariely’s ‘Predictably Irrational’, a classic on the quirks of human psychology, some years ago. In Chapter 4 he discusses a research program he undertook over several years. As an expert in Behavioural Psychology, Dan has written copiously, and his TED talks have gathered more than 8 million views, so I take his stuff quite seriously. Chapter 4 reveals a remarkable finding – people enjoy doing nice things for each other without expecting any payment or compensation. This pure form of social exchange is so powerful that people put in remarkably high levels of effort to help. In fact people will, in the right context and for the right reasons, put in a level of effort that is comparable to the level of effort that you get when you pay someone, and being paid would actually destroy that impulse. Incredible. Ariely identifies two worlds we all inhabit – the social and the financial. The social world is driven by our humanness and social natures. The market transaction is driven by monetary rewards. And if you ever sully a social transaction with the hint of money, things get horribly

Inner Circle Magazine • Community

awkward – and expectations on both sides change dramatically. Think about it – if a passer-by saw you dragging a heavy mattress off your roofrack, and ran over to help, and then, after you’ve both caught your breath she asked for $5, you’d be a bit taken aback. It wasn’t expected and it even feels a bit ugly. In reverse, if you offered her $5 for her effort when she didn’t expect it, it could feel a bit awkward and embarrassing for both of you. As Ariely points out – you would do irreparable damage to your domestic life if you threw down $100 to thank your mother-in-law for a particularly hearty Sunday roast. The actions of my neighbour started to become even more interesting to me. Why did her act produce such strong feelings of connection, of wonder, of sheer unalloyed happiness? Is it because we are fundamentally social creatures and the feeling of belonging is rapidly evaporating in our digitally distracted world?

Does collaborating with the people in our urban ‘village’ appeal to some ancient, tribal instinct in us?

IKEA flowerpot she needed. He got it

I think so. I think happiness comes from being true to our nature – not just our culture. And our modern high-density culture is to create psychological barriers justified by private property, politeness and ‘rules’ of social engagement. Worst of all, we have fallen prey to the unfortunate cynicism of believing other people will think us weird or sinister simply because we are being nice for no clear reason. That is an indictment of our modern culture – do we really need a clear, obvious-to-all reason to be nice?

felt that special feeling of connection and

This was a disturbing thought. By February, it was really gnawing at me. A powerful (ancient) idea had been re-born in my head – what if we had a way to collaborate, to contribute to our communities, not just through charities, fundraisers, school sausage sizzles etc, but for daily living. What if we viewed our suburb as a large team, united by where we sleep, laugh, struggle and celebrate? What if we used technology to give our neighbours the ability to reach out, receive and offer help? Why can’t we all pitch in, to tackle everyday life?

These little triumphs, in a mere 7 weeks,

And so I have decided to find out. My little social experiment is called ‘NobleGenie’ ( ). It runs on a Facebook group (easy, ubiquitous and free). And I’ve been handing out flyers and talking to people on the street. Amazingly, people love it – and since the group is open to surrounding suburbs, we have Thornbury, Brunswick, Carlton and Abbotsford represented too. Remarkably, people have actually been doing little things for each other. One guy announced he was at IKEA, so another member sent him the link to an

for her – one trip, two great outcomes; she was spared the effort, and they both helpfulness. Another girl’s modem died, and she asked if anyone could lend her a spare for the weekend. I had one and offered it to her. Turns out she lives on my street. As my wife observed – she wouldn’t have door-knocked down the street. But the NobleGenie group took away the awkwardness of reaching into her community for help. And it was efficient – one post was all it took.

have left me inspired and fulfilled. A small, cheerful group has coalesced around an idea that is deeply human – to belong to a tribe who support and care, collaborate and help. I don’t profit from any of this. Actually, that’s not true. I am enormously enriched each time I see happy messages from the ‘strangers’ we live amongst sharing and contributing to make our daily living that little bit easier. Truly, we’re all in this together. Zubin lives in Fitzroy and would love for more people to join the NobleGenie group – fitzroynoblegenies. Zubin’s currently working on expanding NobleGenie to other suburbs, and can be contacted at If you’d like details on Dan Ariely’s work that inspired NobleGenie please contact Zubin.

FASHION IN THE INNER NORTH ROUND-UP & PREVIEW Written by Estelle Artois And so we see the last few leaves fall as we kiss the proverbial behind of May goodbye. Gear up your winter wardrobe with the following essentials to brave the winter chill before it hits you: Layering is the way to go to tackle the interchangeable weather. Pair any outfit with a cashmere sweater to keep you warm. They not only look good, but feel good and are soft at the touch! Trench coats are a timeless classic, protecting you from the cold and any sudden downpours that we are likely to experience in our schizophrenic Melbourne weather. Fur seems to be showing up in stores and on runways everywhere. Fake furs are definitely the way to go and just as common. They can be found in stores in the forms of collars, scarves, gloves or jackets. Ladies, get yourself a sweater dress and



couple it with knee high boots for that Parisian street-chic look that offers you practicality with street-smart edge! ‘Gents, get yourselves a pair of light coloured jeans under a long overcoat: who said you have to wear dark colours when it’s chilly? Scarves are a necessary staple heading into winter: wool or silk scarves can be seen popping up everywhere. If you don’t feel like purchasing brand new, go vintage! They don’t make them like they used to you know, and silk and wool garments can be picked up for as little as $20 if you know where to look! June is jam-packed with seminars, courses and events to get you equipped with the right stuff to take your style to the next level:


We stock the best new books across all genres, the latest art and design titles, plus music and dvd’s. We’re open every day, so come and see why we’re Brunswick’s favourite independent bookstore.

Brunswick Bound 361 Sydney Rd Ph: 9381 4019 |

On June 4th you can head to the Coburg Town Hall on Sydney Road for the Preloved Fashion Market. Here you can pick up a pre-loved bargain and prepare your winter wardrobe or stock up on items for next summer! Also on June 4th XO Studios in Brunswick East will be holding a “Look and Learn” session to teach all you ladies how to perfect vintage pinup curls from Ella Martinez herself, Australia’s Premium Bridal Hair Stylist. Gents, you’re also invited to perfect your quaffs, slicks and close-shaves with the full day shear course on June 26th at the Masci Hair and Spa in Brunswick East. You will experience a full-day clipper course to perfect your hair cutting technique as well as styling advice.


TURNING SKEPTICS INTO FULL-BLOWN HAT FANATICS Words by Quincy Malesovas Photography by Alix Whitelaw

Over the years, in the eyes of fashion analysts and trend trackers, hats have come in and out of vogue, but for Michael Albert, the man behind Smart Alec Hatters in Fitzroy, headwear will always be in style. It’s a non-negotiable aesthetic element that can pick even the daggiest of outfits up a notch.

Albert’s specialty is far removed from fitted caps with “MOTIVATION” scrawled across the brim or snapbacks stolen from some grandfather’s closet. His passion lies in proper “gentlemen’s” hats - from finely crafted bowlers, berets and top hats to straw fedoras and flat caps in just about every print and colour imaginable.

And this is exactly what Albert tries to prove to anyone who graces his shop.

Smart Alec also offers gloves, cufflinks and scarves to complete the look, and tchotchkes to play with while you browse. I don’t think they sell canes, but I feel this would be a fine addition to their collection.

Smart Alec has been running for ten years strong, but it’s sister store, Scally & Trombone, was conceived twenty years prior. Between the two shops, all of your hat needs can be met, including those you didn’t even know you had yet.

But of course, the main thing that keeps customers coming back is the hat selection, complemented by Albert’s advice on

finding that perfect fit. He prioritizes a soft sales approach in the hope of maintaining trust and goodwill between himself and his customers. “Sometimes it takes two to three visits to find that sweet hat,” Albert told me when I stopped into the shop for a chat. He shared stories of regular customers paying him a visit, only to be sent away because he knew the right hat for them wasn’t available. But then again, there were other times when he would sit a customer down with five different options, convinced that any one of them would be appropriate for their needs.

horn-rimmed spectacles, lace-up vans and, of course, a newsboy cap to top it all off.

“Sometimes it

takes two to three visits to find that sweet hat

Despite the classification as a men’s store, Albert’s clientele is not limited only to males. The customers at Smart Alec cross a wide range of backgrounds, in gender and in age, ethnically and economically. Interestingly enough, they don’t all start off as ‘hat people’ either, although Albert claims that’s where a lot of the fun lies. As much as he loves when customers know exactly what they’re after, he also enjoys the challenge of turning a skeptic into a full-blown hat-fanatic. And if there’s anything to convince you that hats are a good look, it’s the sight of Albert himself, decked out in a different hat on any given day, plus a grade-A ensemble to complete the look. When I stopped in to see him, he was in all black, complete with a button-down vest,

It just so happens the hat was tweed, Albert’s fabric of choice. He admits to having an obsession with the material, even going as far as to “tweed-bomb” the pole out the front of his shop. The tweed around the pole has held strong for three years thus far - a testament to the knit’s sturdiness as well as Albert’s craftsmanship. Although Smart Alec describes their inventory as “unique vintage imports” of the cranial variety, they do offer bespoke wear as well. Albert is the man in charge of these custom caps, which he crafts right in the back room of his shop.

community. He believes the ‘average’ folk who make up the local community are the bread and butter of his business. Although I am still a bit scared to don an outrageous hat (when I’m not smoking a cigar and sipping rum on the screenedin porch of a tropical bungalow), Albert’s charisma was just about enough to turn me. There are plenty of appropriate times to wear a Smart Alec cap, including: while attending a fancy dinner party, going to the theatre, playing a game of outdoor chess (notwithstanding any crazy Melbourne weather), or doing your Sunday-morning shopping.

Many designs start off for his own use, but end up in some other lucky customer’s hands when they convince Albert to let them take it home. At the end of the day, though, he is there to sell hats, and he’s happy when a good design receives the appreciation it deserves.

In any occasion, Smart Alec has got you covered.

Over his ten-plus years of business, Albert has sold to the rich and the famous. He’s had both local and international celebrities visit the store; he’s had customers who wouldn’t bat an eye on spending a few hundred per hat.

To witness Albert’s millinery finesse for yourself, pop into Smart Alec (235 Gertrude Street) on any day of the week, where it’s almost guaranteed the man will be there, charming and styling customers from late morning til eve.

But he aims to treat each customer like the next, regardless of background, which is why he has such rapport in the Fitzroy

*And for a whole range of femme wear, don’t forget to head to Scally & Trombone, located right next-door.

And who knows - it may just take you a visit or two to be donning hats with every outfit and wondering why you didn’t do so a long time ago.


Kundalini Yoga

Acupuncture & TCM

Hatha Yoga


Prenatal Yoga


QiGong Meditation


Restorative Yoga

Bowen Therapy

Teens Yoga

Pregnancy Support

Yoga Therapy

and more

and more

Kundalini House

Kundalini House

(03) 9482 4325 391A St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North 3068

$59 Intro Offer

Multi-Modality Health Clinic

Yoga Studio

for a month of unlimited Yoga


Melbourne is the city of coffee. We’re famous world over for our iconic cafés, creative blends and trendy espresso bars, and whether it be single origin, long black, latte, or cold drip, you’ll always find what you’re looking for. From the back streets of Brunswick to hilly High Street in Northcote, or a quirky lane in Fitzroy comes some of the best coffee the world has to offer, and behind it, the baristas, roasters and café owners who make this glorious liquid a possibility. Join us as we get to know Robert Dimattina from 30Kerr65 (30 Kerr St, Fitzroy), Elliot Monfries from Atomica Coffee (268 Brunswick St, Fitzroy and 14/167 Beavers Rd, Brunswick East) and Yris Apsit of Wide Open Road (274 Barkly St Brunswick). They are passionate, energetic and invested, and as full of life as the coffee they serve.

Robert from 30Kerr65 Robert Dimattina, owner at 30Kerr65, has been in the coffee industry for over 19 years. He’s brimming with knowledge and passionate energy, and this, mingled with the caffeinated aroma of the café, makes his enthusiasm for coffee almost palpable. He sits across from me at the low, wooden table, then, remembering a roast, bolts back up to check on it. When he returns to the table five minutes later, he brings with him a blue saucer full of still-warm beans. “You probably won’t have had this experience before,” he says, offering me the beans to smell. “You won’t get it any fresher than that.” For Robert, coffee in his blood. His father and his family began roasting coffee in 1954, and Robert followed suit later in 1998, joining his cousins in establishing Dimattina Coffee. “There’s always been an interest in

coffee for me, because of the family involvement,” he explains. “There was always the aromatics of coffee in the car, and an important part of school holidays was earning some pocket money by going in and helping Dad with the roasting.”

Outside of coffee, Robert is an avid sports fan, both of soccer and AFL, “I also follow community sport, which has evolved through having children who play for local teams,” he says, “It’s been a really nice thing.”

Although he studied Urban Planning at University, and still maintains an active interest in the area, Robert couldn’t escape the siren call of the coffee industry.

When asked what coffee he embodies, Robert likens himself to a ristretto. A stronger version of an espresso coffee, Robert says it’s “because in this business you need to be alert at all times and always on the go… always active.” With an energetic ‘punch’, not unlike Robert himself, ristretto seems an appropriate choice.

“There’s something about it... many years later it still appeals to me,” he says. “It’s a means of social interaction, of opening up communication, of bringing people together. It’s a really easy product for people to embrace.” It’s also the ever-changing nature of the industry that he enjoys, and the level of customer connection it affords him. “We try and get to know the customers, and have the customers know us. We want them to feel a part of us,” he says.

It’s clear he holds a passion for coffee that’s a lifetime deep. And it’s not only passion, but a deep respect, almost reverence, for the industry and the product itself, too. “I enjoy the process of making it, hand grinding it, getting the coffee into the actual stovetop and experiencing those aromatics,” Robert says. “It’s a ceremonious action.”

Elliot from Atomica Coffee Roasters

“What’s great about coffee in Melbourne is everyone’s always trying out different things and bringing in new trends.”

“It’s basically just singing about beers and pubs in the most bogan accent I can manage. But it’s good fun,” he laughs.

Newer to the industry is Elliot, roaster and account manager at Atomica Coffee in Northcote. He’s been with Atomica for just under a year and it’s his first foray into the coffee industry. Bearded and bubbly, he laughs as he retells the story of how he first got started.

Hailing from Adelaide, Elliot credits his move to Melbourne with sparking his interest in coffee. “I used to drink a bland flat white… I probably even went to Starbucks without even thinking about it,” he says.

Laidback and likeable seem to be Elliot’s vibe, traits which are reflected when he answers latte to my ‘what type of coffee would you be’ question.

“I was working in a logistics company and I got so sick of talking about pallets, it was hard to get up each day. Eventually I quit and started thinking about what I really wanted to do. I thought, I like coffee, I like drinking coffee, and here I am!” When he first started in the industry, Elliot admits he “didn’t really know anything,” but a coffee and barista course later and he found himself immersed in an industry he finds fun and exciting. “I enjoy the culture behind it, how fun it is. It’s always changing and you’ve always gotta be trying something different,” he says.

“It’s a means of

social interaction, of opening up communication, of bringing people together.

Now, he’s a self-confessed “nerd” when new beans come in, and is firmly set on short blacks or a filtered coffee or pour over. The odd espresso martini doesn’t go astray either. “I used to pretend they weren’t for me, but now I’m like – I’m taking them all!” he says with a grin. Coffee also spills over into Elliot’s spare time, where he enjoys exploring different coffee shops around Melbourne, Admiral Cheng Ho, Ray’s Cafe and Penny Farthing among some of his favourites He also enjoys music, catching a gig “at least two or three times a week.” He and a friend jam together, playing what Elliot describes as Australian Slacker Rock.

“Standard, normal, not too bitter and easy to drink,” he explains. “No one ever complains if you put a latte in front of them.”

looked up their scientific names,” she tells me.

Yris from Wide Open Road

daily life more passionate,” she says.

“It all started through working at my first cafe in Melbourne which was mostly a paythe-bills job,” says Yris, barista at Wide Open Road. “I wanted to work in my field of social sciences but nothing really worked. So I took the situation in a different way.”

She’s been in the café and coffee industry for two and a half years now, and loves the experimental nature of the job. “I love playing with coffee, trying new beans... I am also very lucky to have an amazing team so there’s a good work flow and lovely regulars that make your day,” she says.

Originally from Columbia, Yris decided it would be a good chance to learn more about a product from her home country. “I was very surprised about the coffee culture here, and I decided this was a good opportunity to spice up my job and learn about a produce that we cultivate at home. It was all about curiosity and making my

When she was younger, Yris dreamed of becoming a biologist or a botanist, keeping research diaries about what she saw and experimented with. “Like the time I tried to observe the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly that I had kept in my room or when I glued little samples of leaves and

Now, in her spare time, Yris enjoys writing, photography and roller derby. “Skating is my happy place,” she says. She’s yet to break a bone, but adds that she is “touching wood” because in roller derby there are frequent accidents. Talking about her own coffee tastes, Yris says it depends on her mood. “I love filter coffee, I think it is a very delicate way to experience coffee so I usually would go for that. Sometimes I just feel like changing it up and I will go with a different cup,” she explains. But, no matter what the type, something Yris finds a constant in coffee is the comfort it gives. “The smell makes me feel so nice, like home. Sometimes I dream of my next day off, just to wake up and make a cup of coffee and have that time to myself,” she explains. “Coffee is that excuse, to have that time with yourself.”


Issue 04 • June

Inner Circle Magazine • Music


The inner north once again played host to an eclectic range of musical acts throughout the month of May. The returning Dappled Cities got things underway with a rollicking show at Brunswick haunt Howler. Touring in support of their recently released fifth record IIIII (Five), the Sydneysiders delivered with a cracking set of new material intertwined with classic cuts. Howler also played host to the electronic delights of Oliver Tank and alt-country veteran Bill Callahan, whose intimate four-date residency was a journey through the affable American’s back catalogue of hits. Billy Davis and his unbelievably talented band The Good Lords had everyone grooving at The Gasometer with their funk-meets-pop sensibility, Methyl Ethel wowed crowds with three sold out shows at The Corner, and Seth Sentry knocked

it out the park when he performed at Northcote Social Club, with recent single Play It Safe receiving a massive reaction alongside older favourites. Special mention must be made of Royal Headache’s show at The Curtin, with the Sydney outfit as explosive and mind numbingly amazing as always. Despite winter being officially here, June features an action packed month of musical goodness that will have you rugging up and braving the cold for some great live performances. Melbourne newcomers The Good Lagoon play their first live show at The Workers Club on Tuesday June 6th, Adelaide’s best Bad//Dreems hit The Corner on Saturday June 10th and Died Pretty and Radio Birdman are playing alternate headline shows at The Croxton Park Hotel on Friday June 30th and Saturday July 1st.

Local legends and pioneers Underground Lovers celebrate the launch of their new album Staring At You Staring At Me with a second and final show on Sunday June 11th at Northcote Social Club. The evening will be split into two sets, described as; “Staring At You: Electronic versions of old and new songs” and “Staring At Me: full band mayhem.” Finally, London based poet, musician and visual artist Kojey Radical is touring Australia for the first time and playing The Curtain in Carlton on Friday June 9th. Having supported the likes of Young Fathers and Ghostface Killah, Radical’s show is an electric combination of raps, spoken word and visual highlights, and is our tip for gig of the month.

Supporting Melbourne artists like Carol Zsolt since 2007

5% oFF whEn mEntioning innEr circlE


039417 2656

Bru n sw

i c k s t, F i t z

r oy

purv small B Eyors oF quality craFt BEEr & 98 atch sp irits to Fit zroy sincE 18 | 321 Smith St Fitzroy 3065

Issue 04 • June

Inner Circle Magazine • Art


THE PLATFORM HELPING INDEPENDENT ARTISTS AT GRASSROOTS LEVEL Written by Simon Wraight Photography by Emma Darbyshire The sharing economy has propelled to unprecedented heights in recent years, and we now use and benefit from this in many aspects of our lives. If you need a car, you can hire another person’s car for the weekend, if you’re going on holiday or working in another city, you can rent out someone’s spare room or apartment. And now, thanks to a couple of local musicians who were sick of paying over-the-top to hire gear whilst on tour and recording, you can benefit from a peer-to-peer marketplace for muso relevant goods and services. Enter Everywhere Roadie. Everywhere Roadie is a platform that has set out to reduce the costs involved with touring as well as helping musicians and others involved in the music industry to make a buck or two off their gear or services. Co-founders and local musicians Liz Thomas (Ouch My Face, The Loveless) and Kate Bradley (Dark Fair) came up with the idea after facing a common problem; that of finding gear whilst interstate or attempting to share a bill with others who weren’t into sharing their equipment. As Liz explains, “in my experience bands on a bill often try and share backline. Things can get tricky when you’re out of town or interstate though, or supporting a headline band that isn’t willing to share. That was the situation that both Kate and I had found ourselves in, and ended up paying way over our performance fee just to hire gear from a traditional hire company.” They quickly realised that many of their peers faced similar issues whilst on tour, and figured that there had to be a better way. Kate describes that whilst it was relatively easy to come up with the initial idea and concept, it was a completely different matter implementing it and

turning it into a functional business. After much brainstorming and deliberation, they eventually sought legal advice to set up terms and conditions so that they could create a fair marketplace, and floated the service via a Facebook event. Instantly the pair received positive support from a number of local music labels as well as from various national music blogs. The idea of a peer-to-peer marketplace for the industry instantly resonated with many local musicians. But it wasn’t just because these local artists wanted to save a buck that the concept propelled, it was also because it allowed them to be part of a community and offered the possibility of networking with other like minded artists. By reducing the costs involved in touring, the hope was that it would encourage more bands to be able to hit the road and play outside of their own cities and towns. The exposure and experience that comes from playing interstate is hugely important to artists, and with a service such as Everywhere Roadie bridging the gaps between musical communities in Australia and around the world, artists can hopefully find the experience cheaper and ultimately less stressful. “Touring is just so costly,” says Kate. “But the service isn’t just about gear. It’s about getting deals on services. It’s about reducing the costs of all aspects of a tour. This includes car hire, accommodation, sound engineers and more. Our platform is about making life easier for the travelling independent artist. It’s even harder when you’re just starting out and you don’t know other bands outside of your own town or city. This is where it’s harder for bands to access backline on the road. That’s where we think the service can really assist. New

bands can use the platform to source gear cheaply and from other artists, that they may then form a network with for future touring needs.” In March this year, Everywhere Roadie was selected to showcase as a part of the Music Start Up Spotlight at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in which Kate and Liz were able to network with people from a range of new countries that have interests spread across the music and business worlds. They shared the stage with 20 other companies from across the globe, and whilst they didn’t know what to expect, Kate explains that the idea was really well received. “It’s easy for a little company to get lost in the crowd but I think we offered something quite different with Everywhere

Issue 04 • June

Inner Circle Magazine • Art

Roadie and something really authentic (given we are also touring musicians), and this really resonated with people and helped us stand out.”

artists, which will surely go some way in helping some of these acts to become the established stars of the future.

By helping touring artists at grassroots level to save a few dollars and by allowing other musicians to rent out their gear or services to help fund their own projects, Everywhere Roadie are making themselves heard at all levels, right across the music industry. And whilst there was a little bit of backlash from traditional hire companies when they launched, they have quickly found their niche with smaller independent

Without trying to get too far ahead of themselves, both Kate and Liz hope that the platform continues to grow and becomes a common way for independent artists to source gear whilst on an international tour. Liz shares with me that her dream is to be able to one day tour Europe with her band and use Everywhere Roadie to source all of their gear, engineers, vehicles and accommodation.

“Our platform is about making life easier for the travelling independent artist ”

The benefits of the sharing economy are well known, with less waste and pollution created due to goods and resources being used by multiple individuals, and with stronger community ties being made through the interaction of like minded people. With that standing true, it certainly seems that Everywhere Roadie is destined to be the way bands and artists tour in the future. So why not list that old amp that is gathering dust or make your van available to a band that is on tour? Because you never know just who you might be helping. You can find out more at:

Avantiplus Collingwood

New Location! Now at 192 Wellington Street Open 7 days Mon to Fri 8am - 6 Sat 10 - 5 Sun 11 - 6 Local Bike Shop Call 9419-1995

SUMMER HEALING YOGA Intro Pass $49 for 30 days MORE THAN 40 CLASSES A WEEK Memberships from $25/wk Direct Debit

p. 0452217919 e. w. Level 1, 30-32 Sydney Rd, Brunswick (Cnr Brunswick Rd & Sydney Rd)



moond ogbrew ing

info@ moond ogbrew .au 17-23 Duke Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067

2 8

Profile for Inner Circle Magazine

Inner Circle Magazine June 2017 Issue 4  

Inner Circle Magazine, dedicated to documenting the social and cultural pursuits of Melbourne’s inner north, and inspired by the vibrant loc...

Inner Circle Magazine June 2017 Issue 4  

Inner Circle Magazine, dedicated to documenting the social and cultural pursuits of Melbourne’s inner north, and inspired by the vibrant loc...