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March 2018

RENI MAITUA Life After Footy












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WELCOME TO MARCH 2018... A LABOUR OF LOVE Words Dan and James Hutton


elcome to the March 2018 edition of The Beast – the monthly magazine for Sydney’s Beaches of the East. As always, it's been a mad rush getting this month's edition off to the printers on time. We lose a few days in February, so apologies in advance if a few spelling mistakes or grammatical errors sliped threw the craks. Our mum kindly proofread the entire magazine, so hopefully she picked up everything we missed - thanks Mum! Reni Maitua graces the cover of our March 2018 edition. Born and raised in the local area, Reni was a rugby league superstar from a very young age, earning Kangaroos selection in his early twenties. We caught up with Reni, as he prepared to make his professional boxing debut, to chat about life after footy. Reni has certainly experienced his fair share of ups and downs in life, and he's worked hard to come

out on top. It is an interesting and inspiring interview - our best yet. In local news, Duncan ‘The Horse’ Horscroft has prepared a piece on the Bondi Beach Post Office development. As much as local residents accept the inevitability of development, the pressure on infrastructure and the local environment is certainly beginning to frustrate people. Transforming a functioning post office into 14 luxury apartments epitomises the current trend, and residents have had enough. With a failure to develop or even maintain existing infrastructure, the continuous increase in population is having a negative impact on the quality of life enjoyed by the people already living here. Happiness needs to be measured in more than just dollars and cents. Duncan has also written about the recent retirement of Clovelly's favourite family, the Koutsourais’, who sold their family business,

Charlie's Foodworks, a couple of months back. Charles came to Australia from Greece as a teenager and built the business from scratch, literally laying the bricks with his own hands. The family's success story has always inspired us and we wish them the very best for whatever lies ahead. Tara Hayes has also penned a piece about The Spot Festival, which will take place on March 11 at The Spot, Randwick. If you haven't been before, you've simply got to check it out. Randwick Council really puts in the hard yards to bring this event to life every year and it absolutely pumps. I know we've been saying this a lot lately, but thanks again to everyone involved in the production and delivery of The Beast each month. It's a labour of love for us both and we appreciate the support of the local community with what we do. Dan and James - Publishers

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March 2018 Issue 158 8 Welcome Note 11 Contents 12 Pearls of Wisdom 14 Monthly Mailbag 18 Local Bloke 20   Local Chick 22 Thumbs and Dogs 24 Local News 25 Beastpops

36 38 40 42 43 44 58 60 62

Satire Unreliable Guide Enviro News Calendar Trade Directory Interview Tide Chart Fish ‘n’ Tips Sporting Life

64 66 68 70 72 76 80 82 82

Headnoise Sexy Time Travel Bug Local Photos Reviews Food & Wine Trivial Trivia Beardy From Hell Trivia Solutions

Steamy summer swims, by Selina O’Connor.

Don doing what he does best.

SHOW NO MERCY Words Pearl Bullivant Picture Rhodo Dendron


ow absolutely revolting are the revelations concerning the behaviour of men like Harvey Weinstein and Don Burke? Ewwww, disgusting and gross. It’s not just the groping; it’s the lewd talk and foul acts performed in front of unsuspecting women. If a man dared unzip his fly in front of Pearl, I’d be swatting his groin with my handbag before ‘it’ even had a chance to escape. Any lewd talk and I’d grab a ruler from my desk and stab the perpetrator in the guts. But vile men keep their powder dry around the battleaxes of the office, like Pearl. It’s the younger women - the ones these men hold the power over - that they target for shock value, for titillation. No sexual deviant is wanting to get off on watching the reaction of Pearl’s weather-beaten face. The closest I’ve come to a ‘Me Too’ moment happened in the ‘90s, when a manager attempted to throttle me because I refused to succumb to his charms by questioning his dubious accounting 12 The Beast | March 2018

practices. At another workplace, a God-like manager backed me into a corner, accusing me of insubordination over a similar unethical issue. Both men fled their positions once their schemes were uncovered - such is the power of Pearl. Every young woman needs an advocate like Pearl; a woman who will blow the whistle without fear of job loss and will even physically fight back (I’ve used a ruler on a colleague’s beer gut in the past), a woman who will poke her skinny elbow into a man standing too close on a train or slap down a sleazy groper. It shouldn’t have to come to this, but maybe it has, because as much as I endorse the sentiments of the ‘Me Too’ campaign, I can see it running out of steam. It seems that every couple of years allegations emerge against male footballers, university students, CEOs and entertainers who have behaved badly. Women will patiently bide their time and speak up when they are no longer at the mercy of these men and their pow-

erful coterie - charges are laid, civil suits claimed, and the media will harness the moment if an attractive woman is involved. But, just like climate change, it will all be forgotten when it no longer suits the media’s agenda, tucked away with the excuse that the behaviour belonged to an earlier era. We live in an era where sex sells, where no reality TV series is complete without the token topless waitress, and advertisers push an agenda that sees the worth of a woman linked to their attractiveness to men - is it any wonder we haven’t progressed? The media may be embracing the ‘Me Too’ campaign for marketing purposes, but once the balance of power tips towards women it will be deliberately destroyed. So, ladies, maybe it’s time to take Germaine Greer’s advice and experience a neo ‘70s moment: physically fight back! Have that can of mace (or ruler) in the handbag and show no mercy. Or, even better, hire a battle-axe like Pearl.

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THE BEAST'S MONTHLY MAILBAG Words The People of the Eastern Suburbs BOOOORING! Hey Beastie Boys - Can you please start asking the local blokes and chicks, “Who is your favourite person (outside of family, kids, or significant other)?” I'm getting a bit bored of the standard family response - spice things up a bit! Zoe Bondi STRANDED RESPONSE Dear Editor - It’s ironic that Andrew Worssam should describe car parks as “stranded assets”! By doing so he contradicts everything he’s said for the last five years. (Letters, The Beast, January 2018) For years, Mr Worssam has been declaring the importance and sanctity of the Bondi Beach car park. It’s “heritage”, he would say, as if it is Australia’s version of the Acropolis. For years, Mr Worssam has lovingly photographed the car park to be displayed in local publications, The Beast included. Where most people see an ugly eyesore, Mr Worssam sees an architectural jewel. Yet now Mr Worssam says this: “Car parks are going to become stranded assets as autonomous vehicles become the norm and personal car ownership falls.” Well, you know what? I totally agree! Car-sharing will cause personal car ownership to fall and, along with self-driving vehicles, will reduce the need for parking. Yes, I agree! Less private vehicles and more public transport is the way to go. So my question to Mr Worssam is this: When can we declare the 14 The Beast | March 2018

overground Bondi Beach car park a “stranded asset” and convert those many acres of concrete into the extra green and recreational space we need? With Sydney's increasing population and density, surely even Mr Worssam can see it is archaic to have a 17,595 square metre concrete car park adjacent to one of the most popular and visited spots in the world. It is, as he would say, a “stranded asset”! Bill Davies Bondi Beach GREEN THUMB CAMARADERIE On the corner of McKeon and Hereward Streets, Maroubra, there is a really great cafe called the North End. Outside the cafe, and controlled by the cafe, there are garden boxes that once contained all sorts of veggies, herbs, etc. and a composting bin. Rats invaded and the rats were eliminated with the subsequent uprooting of the existing flora and the composting bin. Recently I began planting all sorts of things in the remaining plots. I collect the eyes of potatoes, capsicum seeds, tomato seeds, cucumber seeds, pumpkin seeds, passionfruit seeds, choko seeds, avocado seeds, peach, lemon and apple seeds, and sprouts from ginger and garlic. Grass and weeds were taking over faster than I could fight them, and as I was dolefully surveying them one day a voice said, “How’s it going?” A nice young man wearing a Randwick Council shirt listened while I explained what I

was doing. We discussed what was showing up from my efforts and he pointed out I was planting avocado seeds too close together. Then he asked me if I would like help with the overgrowth. Naturally I said “Yes”. A week later and all the beds are ready for planting, with a cover of straw - no grass or weeds. How lovely of this young man and his wonderful council. Pamela Young Maroubra GREAT WORK Hi James - Thank you so much for placing a piece in the February edition of The Beast about our research. To date, we have had seven enquiries from people responding to the article, and three people enrolled in the study. This is a great response for us. Your magazine is obviously well read and respected. Great work. Thanks again James. Without people like you offering to spread the information to the community, research like ours could never be completed, and a lot of important questions about effective, evidencebased treatments left unanswered. You are definitely on our Christmas card list. Pauline Zahara Research Associate Neuroscience Research Australia Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia are conducting research into how to prevent and treat back pain. If you are between 18 and 70 years of age, live in Sydney and would be interested in participating in a study, please contact the researchers by emailing HOSPITAL REFURBISHMENT I refer to the article in the ‘Bits and Pieces’ section in the January 2018 issue of The Beast. How many readers know that the refurbishment of the Prince of Wales Hospital complex comes at the expense of 88 homes being acquired for this purpose? These homes are in Eurimbla Avenue, Botany and Magill Streets in Randwick. A Resident Affected by the Development Randwick

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RESPECT YOURSELF FIRST “Anyway, the policeman was there for a kill...” (On Yer Bike, Letters, The Beast, January 2018). Relevant to this letter was the article in the December 13, 2017 edition of The Wentworth Courier. “Police said most pedestrians and cyclists were well behaved last Tuesday during a city-wide operation including the Eastern Suburbs,” the article said. “The high visibility operation ran from 6am to 6pm. There were 59 cyclists disobeying traffic lights, 34 riding on footpaths, 56 not wearing a helmet and 11 caught for other offences. There were also 70 pedestrian offences.” Bicycle riders use the roads for free and should follow the rules of the road and show some respect. After all, bicycle riders are not tested and not licenced whilst riding their (generally) unregistered and uninsured vehicles on the road. Fees could be charged to bicycle riders in the future and this could lead them to care more about their

responsibilities to themselves, as well as their responsibilities to others using the road. E.L.H. Bondi Junction NO IFS OR BUTTS Dear Editor - No ifs or butts, the result of the NSW Government’s delayed and imperfect Cash for Cans scheme has largely cleared the streets and gutters in some parts of Sydney from cans and plastic bottles, but this only shows up the large number of discarded cigarette butts, packets and single-use plastic cups that are left behind. Clearly, the next step should be a container deposit and refund barcode on cigarette packets and butts, with refunds available through the limited existing network of NSW barcode-reading ‘Trash for Cash’ machines. Wishing you well in all things and hoping to hear from you soon Garry P Dalrymple Earlwood

Spectacular beaches, beautiful sunrises, and some of the most stunning residences in Australia... It's no wonder that the Eastern Suburbs is one of Sydney's most desirable locations to live. It's about feeling at home, wherever you go. So, whether you're moving in, or moving on, call Mary Howell. She will make sure you feel right at home, wherever you are. MARY HOWELL 0414 400 345

16 The Beast | March 2018

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Circulation 61,000 copies of The Beast are distributed every month; 55,500 are placed in local residents' mailboxes and another 5,500 copies are placed in shopfronts. PEFC Certified The Beast is printed on paper sourced from sustainably managed forests. Letters To The Editor Please email your feedback to


Blake will make your renovation dreams a reality.

LOCAL BLOKE... BLAKE RILEY FROM RANDWICK Interview and Picture James Hutton


andwick’s Blake Riley is a renovation broker and designer who runs his own local business, Blakes Of Sydney. Blake shares his local favourites with The Beast... How long have you lived here? Nine years. I was a Shire boy who got his passport and made it over the bridge, then never looked back. Why do you live here? The Eastern Suburbs are always buzzing with plenty of beaches to choose from, and I love the central location to all suburbs around Sydney. What's your favourite beach? Bronte. I love how you can go for a surf or just sit on the beach or the grass, kick a footy, have a bbq with friends or chill at one of the cafés. What's your favourite eatery? Darley Street Bistro for dinner, and X74 for breakfast and coffee. Where do you like to have a drink? You can’t go past the newly renovated Coogee Pavilion, and my local, The DOG.

18 The Beast | March 2018

Best thing about the Eastern Suburbs? Having so many coffee shops and beaches on your door step. Worst thing about the Eastern Suburbs? Tourists who have ruined the old-fashioned tradition of having a few cold ones in the park or on the beach. I miss those days. Do you have a favourite sporting team? I’m a Sydney Swans fan in the AFL and a Cronulla Sharks fan in the NRL - the 2016 final was one of the best days of my life. Who is your favourite person? My better half, Emily. She has encouraged me to take risks in life and business, which has enabled me to grow into the person I am today. What do you get up to on the weekends? Apart from running my business and seeing clients, an early morning coastal walk, followed by coffee and a swim or a surf. What do you do for work? I’m a renovation broker and designer with my own company, called Blakes Of

Sydney. We connect our clients with renovation experts and save them time and money by sourcing quotes and negotiating on their behalf. I’m passionate about designing and renovating and I’m keen to pass on my knowledge so I can help make clients’ renovation dreams a reality. Visit What's your favourite thing about work? Doing something I love every day and seeing my small business grow. I love seeing clients’ happy faces after a renovation is complete. Getting sincere thankyous from them makes me get up every morning and strive to help others. Do you have a favourite quote? “Don’t die without living.” This quote sums me up. Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast? If you’re thinking about starting your own business, back yourself and give it a go. It is so fulfilling and rewarding. If you believe in yourself and are passionate about the problem you’re solving, you’ll do extremely well.

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March 2018 | The Beast 19

The girl to go to if you want something unique.

LOCAL CHICK... OLIVIA DEUR FROM MAROUBRA Interview and Picture James Hutton


aroubra’s Olivia Deur is a fashion and costume designer, producing all sorts of beautiful garments. Olivia shares her local favourites with The Beast...

a sunset is a good start. Spring Street Social at Bondi Junction serves some really decent cocktails and is great for a chilled, underground mid-week meeting.

How long have you lived here? I've been in Maroubra on and off for 15 years, and in Coogee for 15 years prior to the Maroubra days.

Best thing about the Eastern Suburbs? It’s the perfect balance of a healthy, fun, fashionable lifestyle.

Why do you live here? I’m close to my family and friends and I love waking up to the ocean every day. What's your favourite beach? At the moment it’s Coogee. I was living overseas but I’ve been down there a lot recently and it’s bringing back many lovely childhood memories. What's your favourite eatery? The Blue Monkey at The Spot serves my regular Thai cravings. Everything on the menu is sensational and the tom yum spicy soup is a perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling a bit run down or fluey. Where do you like to have a drink? Anywhere close to the water with 20 The Beast | March 2018

Worst thing about the Eastern Suburbs? Invasive, pumped up seagulls who want my chips. Do you have a favourite sporting team? Yes, the good-looking ones. Who is your favourite person? That would have to be my mum. What do you get up to on the weekends? It’s a mix of exhibitions, live music and dancing, friend’s parties, good food and wine, beach swims and coastal walks, yoga, painting, shopping for work or inspiration, and meeting clients. What do you do for work? I’m a fashion and costume designer. I design and produce breathtakingly

beautiful garments for all types of people and occasions. I’ve just finished designing some very contemporary ballet costumes for an international film and dance festival while freelancing for another company producing some key costumes for the musical, Muriel’s Wedding. This week I’m designing for a bride and her bridesmaids, and there are always party frocks to create for my regular ladies. I’m the girl to go to if you want something unique! You can check out my website at What's your favourite thing about work? I get to create and challenge my imagination while making people look and feel fabulous. Do you have a favourite quote? “Don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.” Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast? Creativity, and life in general, is never straight down the line, so listen to your gut and it will guide you in the right direction if your intentions are good.

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TESS Age 11 years Sex Female Breed Maltese x Weight 2.7kg

Beautiful Green Island, Cunjurong Point.

THUMBS UP SOUTH COAST ESCAPES When the hustle and bustle of the big smoke begins to send you bonkers, it's only a few hours to paradise. AUTUMN That most beautiful time of year when the temperatures settle, the wind goes offshore and the summer crowds piss off and leave us to enjoy our local area again. ANTIEMETICS One of the greatest discoveries of modern medicine - just ask anyone suffering from motion sickness or morning sickness. FRESH SEAFOOD It's getting pretty bloody expensive these days, but it's still hard to beat a freshly fished feast of frutti di mare.

THUMBS DOWN CRYPTO TWATS It’s good to see all those cocky gamblers, who can’t differentiate between luck and skill, getting absolutely slayed. VARICOCELE Feeling like you’ve been kicked in the balls 24/7 isn’t much fun. Fortunately it's easily fixed with a titanium clip and a urologist’s steady hand. PHONE ADDICTION It’s not that unusual to see an entire table of people at dinner together all staring mindlessly into the hypnotic glow of their mobile phones. EXORBITANT CHILDCARE COSTS If ever there was an industry ripe for disruption, the Australian childcare industry is it. AUSTRALIAN INSOLVENCY LAW Allowing low life property developers to profit by using legislative loopholes to legally loot people. 22 The Beast | March 2018

Tess was handed in to Doggie Rescue because her elderly owner was worried that she would trip over her (her previous owner actually did trip over her). Tess is a delightful little girl. She is social with other dogs and very easy to handle. She has an affectionate nature and a non-shedding coat. Tess comes desexed, C5 vaccinated, heartworm free, and microchipped. Also included for the love and health of Tess is a free health and wellness voucher with the Doggie Rescue vet. For more details, please call Doggie Rescue on 9486 3133, or email

BODHI Age 10 years Sex Male Breed Maltese x Jack Russell Weight 7.1kg Bodhi is an easy-going, affectionate little doggie. He is quite social with other dogs and enjoys having people around him most of the time. He particularly enjoys playing with balls and toys, but he is a little plump at present and could probably lose a couple of kilos. Bodhi comes desexed, C5 vaccinated, heartworm free, and microchipped. Also included for the love and health of Bodhi is a free health and wellness voucher with the Doggie Rescue vet. For further details, please call Doggie Rescue on 9486 3133, or email

BANDIT Age 3 years Sex Male Breed English Foxy x Weight 10.5kg Bandit is a sweet boy but he lacks confidence. He can be a bit hesitant about walking initially, but soon gets comfortable and walks nicely on loose lead, ignoring passing cars and other dogs. Bandit enjoys a cuddle and likes to jump up to lick your face. He is happy to be picked by strangers. Bandit comes desexed, C5 vaccinated, heartworm free, and microchipped. Also included for the love and health of Bandit is a free health and wellness voucher with the Doggie Rescue vet. For further details, please call Doggie Rescue on 9486 3133, or email

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You can't stop ‘progress’.

NO STAMP OF APPROVAL FOR BONDI POST OFFICE Words Duncan Horscroft Picture Smart Design Studio


ccording to the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage, the Bondi Beach Post Office is a “fine local example of an Inter-War Stripped Classical style public building” and, they say, “intact period buildings are now rare for this locality”. Despite the historic significance of this “1920s Classical Revival style public building,” it seems the government were more than happy to let Australia Post offload this valuable community asset to a private developer. Australia Post sold the building more than two years ago under an option agreement to Jamie Nemtsas, who then onsold the property to Taylor Constructions for around $15 million. But the site is still owned by Australia Post as the option to purchase stands pending the approval of the DA, which has earmarked the site for a five-storey apartment block with a restaurant downstairs and no plans for another postal facility. Lenore Kulakauskas, head of the local precinct committee, said Australia Post are “strongly saying” the post office will be there for

24 The Beast | March 2018

another 10 years due to their leasing agreement. “But if the option is taken up after the DA is approved they said it will be a priority for them to find another space for a post office,” she said. “Where do they think they are going to find a suitable location for another post office in Bondi? “We would like to know what part the government is playing in this as they are selling our land and that certainly doesn’t benefit the community. “We have sent our objections to the ministers and to Malcolm Turnbull but no one has bothered getting back to us yet.” The post office plays a vital role in the Bondi area, providing a much-needed facility for local businesses and for the thousands of backpackers who frequent the area over the summer months. It is also a favourite meeting place for locals with outdoor seating and shade trees. Waverley Mayor John Wakefield said the level of concern about the pending development had been enormous from the community, and that it was “extremely difficult”

getting an explanation from Australia Post about what is going on. “I have written to Malcolm Turnbull because this is his area,” he said. “And you have to remember he was the Communications Minister when Australia Post was taken from the government and became private enterprise. “Even though Australia Post is no longer a government department, it is still effectively owned by the government and Council wants an explanation about what’s going on.” If a DA is not signed off by council within 40 days the developer can take the matter to an independent panel which, ironically, is made up of State Government-appointed people who are also involved in the property industry. And if no decision is reached it will then end up in the Land and Environment Court. “The level of community concern over this matter is enormous and it is the biggest single development issue confronting council,” Cr Wakefield said. “And as we now have no say in development matters it is entirely up to strong opposition from the local community.”




Yes, with the influx of people and the reduction of basic services, post offices for example, all that will be left here is an overcrowded unlivable space that’s just for visitors at the expense of the local community.

I’ve lived around here since I was five and now you can’t even go to the beach on a weekend in summer; there are just too many people around. I want to move north where there are less people and traffic but still decent beaches.



It’s already as developed as the residents would want it to be. If it gets any more developed it will ruin it. In terms of the Bondi Post Office, does anyone even go to post offices these days? Actually, I bought a stamp at Christmas time.

Yes, I do. It’s too crowded, too expensive, and it’s harder to find work locally. I won’t be able to buy a place here, ever. My generation will either have to lean on their oldies for an inheritance or just move out of Sydney.


Jacquie BONDI

Certain areas are. I’m happy for additional development, but it needs to enhance the communities for the people who live here, and infrastructure needs to be maintained to cope with the increasing population.

The extra people are great for our business but it’s time that we said ‘enough is enough’. The overpopulation is ruining the quality of life and driving out the locals, and we’re losing touch with what Bondi really is. March 2018 | The Beast 25

One of the nicest people in the world.

CHARLIE CHECKS OUT Words Duncan Horscroft Picture Mick Koutsourais


fter more than three decades at the helm of one of the best community-oriented food outlets in the Eastern Suburbs, Charlie Koutsourais and his wife Helen have packed up their groceries and moved on. Charlie’s Foodworks in Burnie Street was a local icon and a popular one-stop shopping venue for locals who were always greeted with a friendly smile and a chat, no matter how crowded. After arriving from the Greek Islands as an 18 year-old, Charlie, now 69, spent the first six months as a factory worker in Melbourne, before moving to Sydney and

26 The Beast | March 2018

working as a handyman and on building sites. His first shop was in Burnie Street in the late ‘70s where the yoga studio now is. “I had a small shop at the front and a bakery at the back,” Charlie said. “It was very hard work because I was working 16 hours a day both in the shop and bakery to pay the rent. “In 1983 I moved to the existing location with only the one shop front and in 1995 I bought next door and the business was then called Charlie’s Groceries. For the past 10 years the shop has operated under the Foodworks

umbrella, but Charlie was permitted to put his name in front of it. As well as catering for all the locals, Charlie supported numerous charities and junior sports clubs, and always had a treat for the kids from the Clovelly Child Care Centre on their regular excursions to Clovelly Beach. In the end it was Helen who played a major part in wrapping up the business. At a Foodworks conference in Bali last year she let it be known she was getting tired of working in the business and the next day they were approached by a potential buyer. “The same person then came to the shop in Sydney and basically that was it,” Charlie said. It was a family business which also included Charlie’s sister, son Mick, daughter Anna, and her husband John. Mick, who was born and raised in Clovelly, said he was relieved his parents had finally retired and that the pressure of the long hours was off them. “It was too tiring for them and there was no family time, especially now they are grandparents,” he said. “And we are also enjoying not worrying about the shop, especially at night. We were rolled a couple of times, once with a knife to the throat, but really nothing too serious.” Charlie says he is sad he no longer has the business and said he sometimes has a tear in his eye after leaving. “I loved that shop. I spent half my life there and we had the best customers. I don’t think there is any other shop around that has the same great customers we had.” “But this was the first year we spent Christmas and New Year with the whole family.” For now Charlie is enjoying a bit of travel and fishing and he still pops in to the shop every day from his residence above the business. He and Helen are off to Greece in June, but in the meantime they are still ‘Clovellyites’ who always have time for a smile and a chat with the locals.

BITS AND PIECES FROM AROUND THE BEACHES Words Lisa Anderson Picture Yehuda Aharon TO BE SURE, TO BE SURE Witness the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park transform into a celebration of colour and sound on Sunday, March 18 as the 2018 Sydney St Patrick’s Day event, The Green Quarter, gets underway. This is a free family event that will feature marching bands, Irish dancers, musicians, local sports clubs and community businesses showcasing local groups, local crafts and traditional Irish goods. Make plans to arrive early, grab a great vantage point and enjoy the best Irish celebration in the country. For more information, visit WAVERLEY’S ARCHITECTURE Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton and Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith recently announced that a project to map Waverley Council’s architectural styles will receive a $42,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Heritage Near Me Program. The project will help Council with the management of heritage items. Waverley Local Government Area has a unique built environment history that ranges from mid-19th century sandstone worker’s cottages, Victorian and Federation

Windy afternoons.

terraces and inter-war buildings, to modern high-rise towers. This project will provide Council with a comprehensive database of existing and potential future heritage. For more information on the Heritage Near Me Program, including available grants, please visit au/heritage-near-me. LOCAL LADS DRAFTED The UNSW/ES Bulldogs continue to build their AFL selection pathways with young guns Jack Buckley and James Bell preselected as category B rookies by the GWS Giants and Sydney Swans respectively. They join former Bulldogs Dane Rampe, Jordan Foote, Abe Davis and Ben Davis, who have all been drafted to AFL clubs over the past five years, underpinning the club’s mandate to develop pathways and opportunities for elite men and women. The two lads are all class and excelled at both NEAFL and Premier Division level in 2017. For more information, please visit FREE MONEY FOR BREEDERS Thousands of school children in the Eastern Suburbs are among those across the state now eligible

for the NSW Government’s new $100 Active Kids program. All parents with school-aged children will have help with sporting and fitness-related costs. Active Kids will contribute $100 for every child towards the cost of sports registration, membership expenses and fees for physical activities such as swimming, dance lessons and athletics. For more information on how to get your taxpayer funded handout, please visit www. or call Service NSW. ADOPT NOT SHOP Pound Paws is an Australianbased charity that provides a modern approach to the re-homing process of pets in pounds and rescue centres. The website provides an online search engine, allowing potential owners to search for pets by breed, age, lifestyle or size. Pound Paws provides its services to potential pet owners and pounds free of charge. A devastating 250,000 healthy and treatable dogs and cats are put down every year and it is Pound Paws’ mission to reduce this statistic and encourage the public to #AdoptNotShop. You can check out their Instagram account at @poundpaws.


Physiotherapy • Sports Injuries • Musculoskeletal Physio • Post-Op Rehab • Back and Neck Pain 8322 3898 228C Clovelly Road Coogee 2034 Mon - Fri 7am - 7pm Sat 8am - 1pm Treatment Prevention Performance

March 2018 | The Beast 29

A fantastic day out.



andwick’s biggest and best outdoor party will hit The Spot once again this year, with the multicultural celebration of food and live music expected to attract over 20,000 people. The Spot Festival, which will be held on March 11 from 1-8pm, boasts activities for all ages to enjoy, including a silent disco, tarot and palm reading, and a new crepe eating competition. “This is the 11th year Randwick Council has held The Spot Festival, and each year it gets bigger, better, and more popular,” Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey told The Beast. “It’s a great reason to get out and enjoy live entertainment, fantastic food, and the company of great friends and neighbours.” Randwick attracts people from all over Sydney to experience its vibrant atmosphere, international cuisines and cherished heritagelisted cinema. Those attending the festivities, held on the corner of Perouse Road and St Pauls Street, Randwick, will make their way through more than 100 stalls selling unique gifts, clothes, handcrafted jewel-

30 The Beast | March 2018

lery and homewares. You will be able to pick up artisan food products and sample the best of international flavours including Chinese, Thai, French and Korean gastronomies. Randwick City Council has also organised an exciting line-up of talented acts to provide continuous entertainment and fun across two stages. Spot some familiar faces and local artists at the Main Stage on St Pauls Street, or head to the Harmony Stage on Perouse Road to enjoy an array of cultural performances. Dance your Sunday away with Martini Club’s mix of old and new tunes as they create a unique and upbeat atmosphere merging a live DJ set with instrumentalists. The Sunshine Wonders, a pop and rock band from Sydney, are also among the artists who are guaranteed to have you on your feet as you groove and sing along to your favourite tracks. There will be high-energy dance routines by the Sydney Roosters Cheerleaders, and Burlesque Entertainment will take to the stage with their new contemporary

‘Goddess Show’. The free event is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing drink or icy cold gelato as we wave goodbye to our warm summer evenings. “The Spot Festival represents the very best things about our city and our community: diversity, energy, and fabulous international food and culture. All of these things make Randwick the best place to live, work and play,” Cr Shurey said. Pull up a beanbag and catch up with friends in the chill-out zone, or visit the festival’s pop-up library featuring a collection of interesting reads. There are also plenty of free activities for the young ones, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole family along for a day of fun. You may find your little ones chasing the huge bubbles as Randwick’s streets come alive with the popular Bubbleman, who will be returning once again this year. A baby changing tent and pram valet will be available for use, making the day enjoyable and relaxing for everyone. Council warns that there will be road closures and event clearways, so it would be worthwhile to leave your car at home to avoid the traffic jams and standard parking fiascos. Why not catch public transport or ride a bike to the street festival? Feel free to park your bicycle in the designated area to keep it secure as you enjoy your day. You can find the bike and pram valet service at the entry on the corner of Perouse Road and Aeolia Street. The Spot Festival is a day not to be missed so mark it on your calendar and be part of our community’s vibrant celebration. The Spot Festival will take place on Perouse Road and St Pauls Street, Randwick, on Sunday, March 11 from 1-8pm. For more information, please telephone 9093 6792 or visit whats-on/the-spot-festival.

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A great way to spend a weekend.



ith cricket season coming to an end, it’s time to start thinking about footy. I guarantee that a number of people reading this article would have made the New Year’s resolution to get into shape this year, so with pre-season footy training underway, why not try your hand at rugby in 2018? Don’t take me the wrong way, I ‘get’ rugby league. As the great grandneice of Gordan Favell (Sydney Roosters player no. 241, 1935), I come from a family that loves all things footy. The great divide in my family is not along religious or political lines, but rather between the Roosters and Rabbitohs, yet I’ve seen relatives switch alliances to support a young family member whose school plays with the rival camp - not a decision to be taken lightly in my family. Despite this cultural saturation, and at the risk of becoming a family pariah, I must confess that my sporting heart belongs to rugby - rugby union, that is and I'm no stranger to the pitch 32 The Beast | March 2018

myself, having played for Sydney University for a decade, representing Sydney, and earning selection as a Californian All Star during a stint overseas. I'm currently the Head Women’s Coach at UNSW, so I understand the joys of rugby union, on and off the pitch. ‘Subbies’ teams, which refers to ‘suburban’ rugby clubs, including UNSW Rugby, have a long tradition of producing world class rugby players and professionals. However, this great club has a lot more to offer than just a rite of passage. UNSW has women’s, men’s and colts teams and, unlike other codes, there’s a place on the pitch for everyone in ‘the game they play in heaven’. Whether you’re vertically challenged, carrying a spare tyre around your middle, or you’re not quite at the peak of your fitness and have a devotion to beer, it really doesn’t matter - as a matter of fact, you sound like the perfect fourth grade prop to me! While I love my rugby league as well, it must be said that union

is a true intellectual’s game - the mere process of trying to decipher referees’ calls requires participants to enrol in a PhD. Unlike the Super Rugby, NRL, or even Shute Shield competitions, entry to the David Phillips Sports Complex at Daceyville is free of charge. Recently ranked in the top one per cent of barbecues by Simon Poidevin AOM, it’s also one of the few places left in the east where you can have a hearty Noah’s Ark sandwich and a beer for under ten bucks, with a promise that the eskies will always be chilled to the perfect temperature. Grassroots sport is the backbone of our professional leagues. While 2017 was a rough year for Australian Rugby Union, and the Roosters’ signing of Cooper Cronk and resulting exit of Mitchell Pearce may have left you all scratching your heads, we have also seen the revitalisation of community rugby with NSW Rugby’s recent move to David Phillips and ever-increasing numbers turning up to club rugby finals. Our love for community sport in Australia has also been highlighted by the overwhelming response to Peter Fitzsimons’ petition urging the Liberal State Government to invest in public infrastructure over private, including community sports facilities. Our connection with all things sport highlights the need to maintain, improve and preserve our green open spaces. I often wonder, is there a correlation between decreasing community sporting space and the performance of the Wallabies? What’s the point of having a multibillion dollar stadium when you have mediocre players filling it as a result of the loss of grassroots sports? A new multibillion dollar stadium won’t do anything to make us a healthier, happier sporting nation, but our participation in grassroots sport certainly will. Oh, and don’t forget the esky! Dr Marjorie O’Neill is a current Waverley Councillor. The views expressed here are her own.

MORE BITS AND PIECES FROM AROUND THE BEACHES Words Lisa Anderson Picture Robert Merlino Instagram @robert_merlino GET NUDE FOR BRAIN CANCER Australian neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has joined world surfing legend Layne Beachley and author and TED speaker Nigel Marsh to encourage Aussies to step out of their comfort zone and strip down for the 6th annual Sydney Skinny in support of brain cancer research. The Sydney Skinny is Australia’s most exhilarating and fastest growing swim event and is being held on Sunday, March 11 on Sydney’s spectacular harbour foreshore. It's an untimed 300 or 900 metres, so get some mates together and raise some funds for charity. You can sign up for the swim at A HIVE OF ACTIVITY Centennial Parklands and the Royal Botanic Gardens have a huge variety of activities on offer for all ages throughout March. Visit for more information on mum’s group fitness classes, musical dog obedience workshops, Moonlight Cinema, labyrinth walks and even a beginners’ bee keeping course. To

New Year's sunrise.

see what’s happening in the Royal Botanic Gardens, including free guided walks, yoga and ghostly garden twilight tours, please visit You can also meet the horticulturalists, scientists and staff that make the gardens tick every Monday at 12.30pm. CASH FOR CLUBBIES Member for Coogee Bruce NotleySmith and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian recently announced NSW State Government grants to increase the availability, standard and quality of surf lifesaving clubs across our state for the benefit of their members and the wider community. As part of the 2017/18 Surf Club Facility Program, $350,000 will be granted to Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club and $170,000 to Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club. Tamarama’s funding has been provided to redevelop the existing clubhouse into an education and training centre for lifesaving operations, as well as providing additional space for community programs and community use. The

redevelopment will provide a new patrol room, conference room with audio visual equipment, training hall, kitchen, gym, change room facilities and improved disabled access. Clovelly’s funding has been provided to improve disability access at the club. The grant will mean the club can construct a ramp at its main entrance and level the floor of its main function space, greatly improving access. THE MARCH CHARGE This March, Cancer Council is encouraging everyone to set themselves a walking or running challenge for the month and feel ‘The Charge’ they get when they challenge themselves and fundraise to beat cancer. Vital funds raised from The March Charge will help support Cancer Council’s groundbreaking cancer research across all cancers, provide practical and emotional support and information for anyone affected by cancer, and run prevention programs to reduce cancer in the community. You can sign up to be a ‘Charger’ at

LEARN MEDITATION Use easy breath techniques to relax and release stress Private sessions available in the Eastern Suburbs Please call Tatiana: 0417 378 018

Waverley Markets

9am – 1pm, Saturday 17th March Waverley Primary School 155 Bronte Road, Waverley Car Boot Sale New & Secondhand Stalls Jumping Castle Face Painting Kids’ Games Good Coffee & Homemade Cakes Sausage Sizzle Stall enquiries: 0498 687 555 Proudly sponsored by Edward Brown of

Bondi Junction

March 2018 | The Beast 35

Buckle up and hold on tight!

FURIOUS FOUR-WHEEL FUN COMES TO SYDNEY’S EAST Satire Kieran Blake Picture Leyland Motors


trap yourselves in folks, SkoolDrop Demolition Derby™ is set to heat up the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Buckle up and hold on tight for the greatest event in the history of international motorsport. Two action-packed hours of high octane, no holds barred, automotive carnage featuring some of the most ruthless drivers on the planet - mums in SUVs. Witness hair-raising, bloodcurdling driving, five days a week (during school terms), as mums battle peak hour traffic to drop their precious little treasures to school and collect them again in the afternoon. Marvel at the merciless mothers as they manoeuvre their spotless SUVs into pole position at the school gates. Resplendent in activewear and make-up, competitors will wrestle their wagons through choked suburban roads while collecting points for proximity to school gates, aggression, double parking, disruption to traffic flow and carbon pollution, as well as assertiveness and their Machiavellian approach

36 The Beast | March 2018

to protecting their offspring, before popping off to the shops and their morning wellness class. Watch the action live from the (dis)comfort of your own vehicle or follow the mind-blowing thrills and spills via the daily live-stream or on the SkoolDrop™ App, streaming from 8-9am, and then again from 3-4pm. Endless excitement, five days a week! More incessant than the BBL, more violent than the UFC. Tune in again on Saturday mornings for the representative fixtures, SkoolSport Drop Off™. This time, it’s “Kate Against Kate”™ and “Late Against Late”™ as frantic SUVs disgorge future stars wielding cricket bats, hockey sticks, Coolmax uniforms and an entirely unjustified sense of self-entitlement. Download and fire up for the resumption of the rivalry between the true superstars of modern day motorsports. Watch undefeated and undisputed SkoolDrop™ world champion, MuthaTrucka, do battle with nemesis BullBarb and rookie kindergarten mum Cindy SideSwipe.

Follow your favourite driver throughout the school year. Will RageRover survive the onslaught from Ravenous4, the canny veteran who chided RageRover last year for refusing to help in the school canteen? Can Ravenous4 utilise her home-ground advantage and collect more points by virtue of the fact that she lives within 500 metres of her child’s school? Will drivers regret last year’s decision to outlaw dodgem-car style padding on their vehicles, remarking, “Why do you think we bought an SUV, to go camping?” Ladies and gentlemen, this ain’t no Tokyo Drift, and it ain’t no Bathurst 1000; this is unbridled aggression and vehicular vitriol, right here on our very own suburban streets. Don’t miss a moment of the action! SkoolDrop Demolition Derby™ is a registered trademark of Crass Entertainment. For sponsorship and advertising enquiries, as well as a full list of official SkoolDrop™ merchandise, go to skooldrop.


Vincent & Dupree Salon


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Irish pub culture is hard to beat.

THE UNRELIABLE GUIDE TO... PUBS Words Nat Shepherd Picture Seamus McMurphy


he Unreliable Guide loves pubs. A good pub is a thing of joy; a place to celebrate, commiserate, initiate new friendships and generally have a bloody good time. But what makes a pub ‘good’? Some pubs are horrible; full of pokies, TV screens and bad beer. Others are soulless reproductions of ye Olde Irish pubs and are as authentic as a bad cover band. Pubs like these are worth neither your time nor your money. But if you want to experience a really good night out, The Unreliable Guide has some tips and tricks to make sure you find what the Irish call the ‘craic’. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION You can have a good pub in a bad location and you can have a bad pub in a good location, but location is always important. Even a mediocre pub is tolerable in a great position, but what is the best location for a pub? A view can be great - nothing nicer than a good pint or glass of bubbles as you watch the sun set over the ocean - but generally the best located pub is the one within crawling distance of your chosen bed, so choose your house wisely.

38 The Beast | March 2018

AMBIANCE This is indefinable, but vital. You’ll know as soon as you walk into a pub if its ambiance is right for you. It should have appealing, friendly staff and play good music at the right volume. A pub must not be too full, but not too empty either, not so brightly lit that everyone looks awful, but not so dark that you end up making unfortunate decisions. Like Goldilocks, you want the pub that is just right for you. Bear in mind that a pub that you love at 5pm might suck at 10.30pm, or vice versa. It’s all about finding the right place at the right time. DECENT NOSH A good pub will always have something tasty on hand for you to soak up the booze. Legend has it that tapas was invented because the Spanish king insisted food be served with alcohol to prevent everyone getting too shitfaced. Wise man. In Italy, they often choose their bars based on the quality of the crostini more than the Campari. Many Australian pubs still have food either as a

main meal or as an afterthought, but it’s improving. SUITABLE CLIENTELE You need a pub that contains at least a percentage of your crowd. That doesn’t mean it has to be filled exclusively with your people, far from it. The best pubs are an eclectic mix of all sorts, but if you are the only vanilla, heterosexual couple in a gay, S&M pub you may feel out of place. QUALITY BOOZE Last, but not least, a good pub has to have good booze. It’s crucial. Your chosen poison must always be available and presented in an appropriate vessel at the correct temperature, state of fizziness, etc. Finally, The Unreliable Guide suggests that if you have no decent pubs nearby you have two simple choices. Move to somewhere that does, or consider doing what some friends of ours did in Melbourne; fed up with a longish walk home from their nearest decent hostelry, they turned their front room into a micro pub. Nice.

possible. Conscious consumers vote for the way we want fish to be caught, sold and valued. The sum of our individual choices translates to market demand, which is the clearest message to industry that good seafood-sourcing is good for business. Where can I buy sustainable fish? Look for the Happy Fish logo at these well-respected local businesses: Joel Best’s Bondi’s Best on Hall Street and in North Bondi, and LoFly in Potts Point; Three Blue Ducks in Bronte; and The One That Got Away on Bondi Road.

Thou shall have a fishy on a little dishy...

HAPPY FISH: FINDING SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD IN BONDI Interview Nicola Saltman, Waverley Council’s Sustainable Communities


any of us have thrown a shrimp or two on the barbie this summer. Did you ever wonder where it came from and whether it had been fished sustainably? You'll be happy to learn that local Second Nature champion Sandra Marshall has and, with her Happy Fish Project, she’s hoping to make it easy for you to source sustainable seafood locally. This means that you can chow down without the guilt of your meal messing with the environment. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your connection to the local area? My background is in architecture and film design. I’ve been a Bondi local for 18 years and I've seen huge changes in that time. The ocean’s been a constant, and the longer I live here, the more I’m connected to it. What’s your favourite thing about living in Bondi? Waving to the whales swimming by, guerilla green-strip veggie planting, diverse people and the city colliding with the ocean. 40 The Beast | March 2018

What inspired you to create the Happy Fish Project? I put my foot in it at a screening and discussion of the film The End of the Line. As I bemoaned Council’s environmental inaction, a local councillor who was present challenged me to ‘walk the talk’. I’ve since learnt just how impressive Waverley Council’s environment department is. In a nutshell, what is the Happy Fish Project about? We're on a mission to support healthy oceans by making it ridiculously simple for you to know what seafood is sustainable, where to get it, and how to track it back to the fishers. Our tracking app shows you when and where your seafood was harvested, and by whom. What’s your overall vision for Happy Fish? To make Bondi Australia’s first sustainable seafood destination and grow the project across Australia and internationally. What can seafoodies do to make a difference? Choose responsibly harvested seafood whenever

What top three things are you hoping people will get from using Happy Fish? Connection to the oceans, fish and fishers; a deeper appreciation for the preciousness of our oceans; and empowerment to make a difference and vote at the counter of your fish ‘n’ chip shop or restaurant. Collaboration has been at the heart of the development of Happy Fish; who’s been involved in the development and how has that process worked? This is a complex undertaking and many incredible people have given freely of their time, including Transition Bondi, leading fisheries scientists and seafood industry, Duncan Leadbitter, Sydney Fish Markets, AMCS, Greenpeace, WWF, NCC, UNSW market research, Happy Fish ambassadors Matthew Evans, Sarah Wilson, Costa Georgiadis and more. I’m working closely with our pilot fishers the Byrnes brothers, Professor David Booth is completing fish assessments, Mitch Standen is steering us towards pilot launch, and Liz Macdonald keeps our communications concise. Happy Fish is one of the 10 local groups that Waverley Council closely collaborates with on sustainability. For more information about Happy Fish, please visit

Celebrating BiOdIvErSiTy in Randwick City

Saturday 24 March 9am - 1pm • • • • •

Urban beekeeping workshop 10am – 11.30am Book Now! Native and exotic plant sale Bee and insect-friendly garden advice Aboriginal food and medicine plants Potting compost, mulch and veggie seeds

Nursery Open Day

Saturday 3 March, 9am - 4pm

Randwick Community Nursery 2B Barker Street Kingsford

1300 722 542

March 2018 MONDAY




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BUY 1 BURGER, GET 1 FREE! To celebrate the opening of their new Coogee store, Little L are offering a crazy ‘buy one, get one free’ deal. That's right, buy a burger at Little L's Coogee store to receive a burger of the same value absolutely free! Just tear out their ad on page 17 and bring it in.

RANDWICK BOYS OPEN NIGHT Visit Randwick Boys High School today from 5.30-7.30pm to speak with their student leaders, staff and principal, and hear about the outstanding educational, cultural, sporting and civic programs at this great local school. Visit www.

SYDNEY FC v KASHIMA ANTLERS Watch our boys in blue take on the Kashima Antlers from Japan in round one of the Asian Champions League at Allianz Stadium this evening. Gates open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm kick-off. Get yourself some tickets by visiting

CARD MAKING WORKSHOP Take part in a relaxing, creative craft session with gifted card maker Gail Kenward. It's on today from 5.30-6.30pm at Lionel Bowen Library and only costs $4 per card made. For more information, please call 9093 6400 or visit

2 FOR 1 PIZZAS AT THE CHARO It's 2 for 1 pizza night every Tuesday night at the Charing Cross hotel! In fact, there's a special deal just about every night of the week at the Charo, including $10 burgers on Mondays and $1 oysters on Thursdays. For more info, have a squiz at the back page of The Beast.

AN EVENING WITH NICK GLEESON Join Nick Gleeson, disability educational awareness trainer and leadership facilitator, at Margaret Martin Library from 6.30-7.30pm this evening as he discusses his book, The Many Ways of Seeing. Bookings are essential, please visit

PIZZA & PINTS AT THE PAV Feeling peckish? Take advantage of Coogee Pavilion's weekday specials, with all pizzas only $15 from 5-7pm on the ground floor. What's that you say? You're feeling a bit thirsty as well? Well, you'll be glad to hear that they're also doing $7 pints and $6 schooners!

PARKLANDS KIDS ACTIVITIES Are your ‘little darlings’ driving you up the wall? Confiscate their mobile phones and bring them to Centennial Parklands for plenty of fun school holiday activities this autumn. For more information and to book, please visit

AILSA PIPER AND TONY DOHERTY Join writer, director and actor Ailsa Piper from 6.45-8pm at Waverley Library Theatrette as she chats to former Rose Bay Parish Priest Tony Doherty about her memoir, Sinning Across Spain, and life in general. Bookings are essential. Visit

DRAW, MAKE, IMAGINE Take part in this eight-week program, where participants will focus on the pleasure of drawing for expression rather than on drawing techniques. It's on for free today from 10-11.30am at Lionel Bowen Library. Call 9093 6400 or visit

FOOD ADDICTS MEETINGS Tonight, Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) is hosting one of its twice weekly meetings, which are held every Wednesday at 7pm and Friday at 10am at Salvation Army Hall, 100 Boyce Road, Maroubra. For more information, please visit

JOIN WAVERLEY BUSHCARE Join like-minded locals and help make a difference to one of Waverley's special green spaces. You'll learn about native plants and wildlife, and enjoy the benefits of time spent in nature. No experience is necessary. For more information, visit

DISCOVER YOUR DREAM & LIVE IT Take part in this innovative online workshop with Bondi's very own channel, mentor, healer and writer, Sin Mariani, on Monday nights from 8pm throughout March. You can book your spot by visiting, or call 0438 611 789 for more information.

DHARMA SHALA NEW YOGI DEAL Bondi's famous Dharma Shala yoga studio is offering an incredible deal for readers of The Beast magazine throughout the month of March, with unlimited yoga for only $35. Just tear out their ad on page 15 and present it at 108 Brighton Boulevard, Bondi Beach. THE MARCH CHARGE This March, Cancer Council is encouraging everyone to set themselves a walking or running challenge for the month to raise funds for ground-breaking cancer research. Sign up to be a ‘Charger’ and ‘Feel the Charge’ by visiting

Now you can upload all your local events for free

Removalist Zak Clark Clark Removals Ph: 0409 808 866 Gardening Leigh Perrie Hedges n' Edges Ph: 0424 700 139



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4 11 18 25

JAZZ @ THE PAV Sit back, have a drink and enjoy the music at Bondi's annual jazz festival, Jazz @ The Pav. It's on in the Bondi Pavilion from 8pm til late on March 2, 8, 16 and 23, featuring a star-studded line-up of Sydney's finest musicians. Please visit

RANDWICK NURSERY SALE Drop in to Randwick Community Nursery today from 9am-4pm to take advantage of their awesome Autumn Saturday Sale. The nursery specialises in Australian native and indigenous plants. For more information, call 9093 6250 or visit

HUGE ECODOWNUNDER SALE Ecodownunder is offering huge savings on all stock while they close their Bondi store. Take advantage of crazy prices to refresh your bedding, bath and beach towels while stocks last. New designs will arrive in the Paddington, Randwick and Rose Bay stores in March.

HERCULES RETURNS REUNION The Ritz Cinema in Randwick will be presenting a special 25th anniversary reunion event of the Australian comedy Hercules Returns, including a question and answer session with the creative team. For more information and to book, visit

CEMENT FONDU A new exhibition and live arts space will open in Paddington tonight at 36 Gosbell Street from 6-8pm. The event marks the launch of the venue’s inaugural exhibition, Suburbia, featuring works by a diverse representation of artists. Please visit

THE SPOT FESTIVAL Now in its 11th year, Randwick's biggest free outdoor festival combines the best that the local area has to offer in food and shopping, with an awesome entertainment program from 1-8pm at The Spot. Visit www. whats-on/the-spot-festival.

ROOSTERS v BULLDOGS Get down to Allianz Stadium this evening for the Roosters' first home game of the 2018 NRL season. Kick-off is at 6.00pm and fans are encouraged to arrive early to allow time to enter. You can get your hands on tickets by visiting

ST PATRICK'S DAY St Patrick's Day, or the Feast of St Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on this day every year, the traditional death date of St Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Generally speaking, the Irish don't mind a drink, so St Patrick's Day can get quite loose.

IRISH MADNESS AT EQ Witness the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park transform into a mad Irish celebration of colour and sound today as the 2018 Sydney St Patrick’s Day event, The Green Quarter, gets underway. For more information, please visit

STEVE POLTZ LIVE AT THE BUNKER Get down to Coogee Diggers this evening from 7.30pm to witness one of the most talented songwriters and freakishly gifted guitarists of our time performing live in The Bunker. Tickets are only $35 on the door, or $30 if you book early through Moshtix.

CELEBRATING BIODIVERSITY Take part in this free event at Randwick Community Nursery today from 9am-1pm. Activities include an urban beekeeping workshop, plant sale, insectfriendly garden advice and much more. For more information, visit

ROOSTERS v KNIGHTS Get down to Allianz Stadium this evening to see the mighty Roosters take on the coal-mining bogans from Newy. Kick-off is at 6.30pm and fans are encouraged to arrive early to allow time to enter. Get your hands on tickets by visiting

MUSEUM PLAYGROUPS Give your ‘little scientists’ an introduction to the natural world every Friday morning at the Australian Museum with their Museum Playgroups program. Suitable for ages 9 months to 5 years. For more information and to book, visit

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Life After Footy

RENI MAITUA Interview James Hutton Picture Jeremy Greive


t just 35 years of age, Reni Maitua has certainly achieved a great deal. After a successful junior footy career, he starred for the Bulldogs in their legendary 2004 NRL Grand Final victory over the Roosters, before earning selection in the Kangaroos squad in 2006. Reni then went on to captain Parramatta and was also selected to represent Samoa at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. We caught up with Reni as he contemplated life after footy and prepared to jump in the ring to make his professional boxing debut...

How are you today Reni? Very well thanks; a bit sore, but I'm good. I'm making my professional boxing debut next Saturday, so I've been training for eight weeks now. I've been off the drink, missed the whole festive season. It's something I wanted to do before I got too old to be able to do anything really physical. I've had an anxious, stressful two months, but I'm really looking forward to next Saturday. No niggles? Going in 100 per cent? Oh, no, not 100 per cent. Never 100 per cent. I've actually retired because I had a lower back problem. I had one more year on my contract over in England, but, you know what, it is what it is. I'm still able to get around - there's people a lot worse off than me - and jumping in a boxing ring was something that I always wanted to do my whole career. Obviously rugby league was something that was my calling, but boxing is a sport I respect and I've loved my whole life. Did you box when you were younger? The only boxing we would do was socially with each other down here, and we used to do pad

work at Koby Abberton's place, in the back yard of his Grandma's place when we were kids. Richie Vas is a professional fighter from down here, and Kurt Bahram has had a professional career, but everything for me was rugby league. Who's training you? Billy Hussein's training me, a very well respected Australian trainer who trains world champions. I've so much respect for him, to be able to take on a novice and put his reputation on the line. Billy and I sat down about two months ago and he offered me a fight, and I took him up on the opportunity. I had a couple of injuries this year - I broke my hand and broke my foot - so I wasn't able to jump on to a couple of amateur cards. I'm jumping straight in the deep end and fighting on the pro card, on the main event next Saturday, February 3rd.

The best thing about Maroubra was that my parents always knew where I was when I was young; I was only a bus ride away. Who are you up against? A guy from out Revesby way. It's kind of strange because he's friends with a few of my friends that I played rugby league with. I don't know too much about him. We've sparred once, about a month ago. I'm not sure what his record is, or what his amateur record was, but he definitely knows the sport, he knows the ring. You find out a lot about yourself when you're in the ring and you're trying to put what you've learned into practise. I've trained

as hard as I could. I'm learning as much as I can. I don't want to disrespect the sport. The only thing I'm really anxious about is doing the sport justice. I want the fight to be tidy, I want to look like a boxer. I don't want to look like another rugby league player that just goes in and throws haymakers, because the people have already seen that. We're sitting here in beautiful Maroubra; can you tell us what this place means to you? Maroubra was a home away from home for me. I grew up not far from here. I was born in Daceyville, in a housing commission area nearby. A lot of my best friends, still my closest friends today, I met at this beach. The best thing about Maroubra was that my parents always knew where I was when I was young; I was only a bus ride away. I wasn't roaming the streets, stealing cars, graffiti-ing or doing anything like that. We were down here surfing and just being kids really. So, the best way for me to describe it is a home away from home. It's somewhere I come to escape - not to escape reality, but somewhere I can surf and have fun and hang out with my mates. You're obviously big into your surfing; were you ever a chance of going professional? I wish I was, I wish I had that career path of being a surfer. I was a surfer that had a footy player style. My legs were too big, my arse got too big, and I put on too much weight. I didn't have the finesse that most of the other guys have. Some of the kids that are coming through here now are unbelievable. They're so much more into their surfing than we were. It's unreal to see, and see how well they're doing. But I do love the surf, and I was a lifeguard down here as

March 2018 | The Beast 45

well. The closest thing to a sponsor would have been PSA, Pure Surf Addiction, the old Maroubra brand back in the day. At the recent surf comp at Maroubra, every single Maroubra kid got through their heat... Yeah, there you go, it's crazy. The kids are really focusing on their surfing now and not getting distracted with other stuff. Where are you living now? At the moment, since I got back from England, I'm just back in Kingsford, Daceyville. It's been a transition period over the last 12 months, finding what my purpose is in life after footy. I've got a place in Coogee that I'll probably move into soon, but the last 12 months has been a real teething process for me, finding out what I could do outside of rugby league. I don't want to go into a line of work that I'm not passionate about. I've still got a fair bit of life ahead of me, so I want to make sure I find the right career path for myself. I've done some stuff for Fox this year. I was working with the NRL in the Ambassador programme, doing some stuff in the community. I've also started a show with Bronte pharmacist Iain Byrne and Willie Mason where we're talking about sport, called Unfiltered. Can you tell us a bit more about that? I'm a huge fan of the Joe Rogan podcast, and it's something I wanted to do, but not just sport and reviewing rugby league. Rugby league is our niche, but we wanted to get into the minds of athletes; get into the mind of a surfer, Mark Matthews is someone that we will get on soon, get into the mind of a boxer, get into the mind of a tennis player... We want to find out what makes them tick, what motivates them, what drives them, what pressures they have; outside pressures, family pressures... It's all relevant to rugby league, even in a sport like tennis or golf. So that was the original idea. At the moment we're doing more of a panel set-up, reviewing rugby league and a little bit of cricket - anything that's relevant in the sporting world at that time. We're still playing around with it.

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There's a good dynamic between you three? There is a good dynamic. Willie's very outlandish, but that's his personality and you wouldn't have him any other way, because then you'd know the show was bullshit. Iain's the brains behind it, he definitely keeps Willie and I in check, and I'm more of a mediator who sees things from a different perspective to Willie, so the dynamic does work. We want to hit the ground running in 2018 and have a big year.

I think editors need to be held accountable, because a journalist will write a story, and then they'll write a headline that doesn't even match the story, just to sell their paper. I've watched a few episodes; the discussion in episode one about the media's influence was particularly interesting. How do you feel about the mainstream media's influence on sport, and how they use that influence? I get that journalists have a job to do, and I feel that if you don't like what the media are going to say about you, then you shouldn't be in the sport, but these athletes have feelings - they have families, they have the same emotions as anyone else - so sometimes I feel like a journalist needs to put that in perspective before they write something about an athlete or their performance. Some journalists don't even put their name to a story. Yeah, that's pretty pissweak... That pisses me off. Someone like Paul Kent, for example, he'll voice his opinion and he'll put his name to it, and I respect that. Does he get personal though, or does he talk about performance? He'll give his opinion and he'll stand by it, and I respect that about Paul Kent. I don't always agree with what he says, but at least he puts his name to it, and he'll stick by his opinion, but you'll get journalists

who will chop and change, sit on the fence. I don't want someone to sit on the fence. If you're going to say something, back it up. I think editors need to be held accountable, because a journalist will write a story, and then they'll write a headline that doesn't even match the story, just to sell their paper. The Sydney Morning Herald has been out of control with its misleading headlines lately... Daily Mail is the worst, one of us will say something on Unfiltered and it will be taken completely out of context, every single week. They'll take our quotes and put it in the paper just so they can sell a story, but once someone watches our show, they'll realise that it was taken totally out of context. I don't agree with any kind of bullying that there is within the papers, or on television for that matter, but it's the world we live in today; it sells papers, it makes a story more glamorous for their company. Have you seen Iain Byrne's calf muscles? I haven't seen his calf muscles, no. They're quite amazing... He's always got long pants on. Next time I see him I'll be lifting up his trousers to check his calves out. You won't be able to get them up, his calves are too big. What do you think of some of his T-shirts? Awful. I've seriously wanted to stop a show so he could get changed. He's really letting our female viewers down, they're switching off once they see his kit. I once rode my scooter into his shop, drove around for a bit, and then stole a Freddo Frog on the way out; do you think it's his own fault for having the Freddos right near the front door? Absolutely, you can't have Freddo Frogs near the front door. All small business owners know that. Your old man is Samoan and your mum is Australian; how did they meet? Dad was born and bred in Samoa, then moved to New Zealand in his late teens. He's a musi-

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cian by trade, and he moved to Sydney to study at the Conservatorium of Music. He reads music and plays piano, guitar and percussion, but he can't sing. He's probably the only Polynesian I know that can't sing. I think they had mutual friends. Mum was friends with someone in a band, and dad was playing in the band. The ironic thing is they met in Kings Cross, where I ended up spending most of my '20s after games, funnily enough!

John Sutton had offers to go to more powerful clubs throughout his whole career, but he stuck with Souths a good Souths junior - and to see him hold that trophy up for his family, our family, and the community, it really meant a lot. What an amazing era that was! Yes, quite ironic, it seems that was always my calling - to end up back in Kings Cross! That's where I was born - on Bayswater Road in Kings Cross - and that's where mum and dad met. They're still together now. Dad doesn't play the guitar as much anymore. Have you spent much time in Samoa? I've been three times. The first time I'd just broken my ankle, so I was over there on crutches. So you weren't surfing then? No, every time I've been there I've been injured. I've met the family. It was unbelievable to see dad's sister that he hadn't seen for 20-odd years. That kind of culture, it's very strange for me because I'm very, very close with my siblings, and dad hadn't spoken to or seen his sister for 20-plus years, she looked exactly like him. To see where dad was born - to see where our roots are, where our bloodline comes from - was pretty special. I've been over there on a rugby league camp as well. I'd love to go back there more often.

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It's not that far away and I haven't been surfing there yet, so that's definitely on the agenda. Now that all our friends are married, or getting married, having kids, it's definitely on, the boys surf trip, coming up in the next two years or so. My brother went there a few years ago, said it was unbelievable... So, Salani - Salani Surf Resort - is where dad was born. Right where the surf resort is there. There's a left and right, just off of the river mouth. Dad was born right there. I think it's Americans that own the surf club, it was wiped out by the tsunami a few years back but it's been rebuilt. If I'd have known when I was younger that that was our land, or where dad was from, I'd bloody kick them out and start my own surf camp. Was your dad a league player? Was he sporty? He'll tell you that he was. He's told a few porky pies in his time. I think he played more rugby union in New Zealand. But, you know, musicians and sport, I don't think they really go together. He's a keen golfer. Eric Grothe Junior? Oh, yeah, well there's one, and you know how weird he is. I love the Guru. He's a very strange man. But there's not a whole lot of musicians that play sport, I don't think. What other spots do you enjoy around the Eastern Suburbs? I spend a lot of time in Coogee. I spend a fair bit of time in Bondi as well. I played for Clovelly Eagles, which is a rugby union side, with Shawn Mackay, Morgan Turinui, you know, these are guys that went on to play international rugby. Oh, Shawny... Yeah, Shawny was very close, since we were five years old. I'm very close to Shawny's family, we all miss him very much. Great guy, great character. His little brother Matty just reminds me of Shawn so much. Randwick home games have never been the same since Shawn Mackay stopped playing. He was the most entertaining footballer that ever

set foot on Coogee oval... I think, on and off the field, that was his character, you know. He's just such a big personality. Like I said, we all love him and miss him so much, all the good things that everyone has a smile on their face about. John, his father, was my coach. I've heard that back in the day he was the enforcer of Newtown? He was the man. For the Roosters. Didn't he play for Newtown as well? He might have played for Newtown, but he definitely played for the Roosters. I know John played for the Roosters, because I'm a Roosters supporter, unfortunately. I was, I was. That's an exclusive for The Beast, I grew up watching the Roosters. Dad used to take me to all the Roosters games when I was younger. Brad Fittler was my hero, and then I played against him in a grand final. Hugh McGahan, that's an old name that some older people might remember, Brendan Hall... Yeah, I was a mad Roosters supporter, and everyone down here hated me for it. Who do you support now? Bulldogs. I'm still a Bulldogs fan, and Parramatta - Bulldogs and Parramatta are the two teams that I support. Watching John Sutton win a premiership with Souths must have been pretty amazing? The funny thing is that I was 18th man for the Bulldogs in that grand final, so obviously I was really disappointed. I stuffed up in the semi-final - I threw a punch against Manly and nearly cost us our spot in the grand final - so Des Hasler wasn't too happy about that. Michael Ennis got injured, and it came down to me and Moses Mbye, who's a young kid originally from Noosa. They went with Moses. I was so happy for him, but we were playing against Souths and John Sutton is like a little brother to me, so I'll follow Sutt - won't follow the Rabbits, but I'll follow John. Anyway, when they won the Premiership and they're holding up the trophy, my team's over there really upset, and I'm standing in front of the Souths team with my phone out taking photos of John Sutton


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holding the trophy up. So I've got my team mates looking at me like, "What the hell are you doing?" and I'm taking photos of my best mate holding up the trophy, because now both of us have won a trophy - I'd won one ten years earlier. Being a Souths junior, I copped a lot of flak for not playing for Souths. They offered me contracts, but I thought Canterbury was a perfect fit for me. John Sutton had offers to go to more powerful clubs throughout his whole career, but he stuck with Souths - a good Souths junior - and to see him hold that trophy up for his family, our family, and the community, it really meant a lot. What annoys you about the Eastern Suburbs? The traffic. I'm so over the traffic now. I love that the business owners, especially in Maroubra, are doing really well. 10 years ago you wouldn't have seen anyone at any of these cafes down here, probably because we were a bunch of ratbags and no one wanted to come down here, so to see all these businesses doing well is fantastic. I love that about the Eastern Suburbs, but the traffic, it just does my head in. Moi has been seen driving around in a Ferrari... Moi, she's part of Maroubra now, I can't believe she's been down here so long. She hasn't got the Bra Boys tattoo yet, but it's got to be on the cards... I wouldn't be surprised if she does have one somewhere. I remember her chasing the young kids out of the shop with a big knife when we were groms, and now she's like the mother of Maroubra. Can you tell us a bit about your footy as a young fella? Which clubs did you play for throughout your juniors? Kensington United was the majority of my junior league. I think there's only one team now, but when I was growing up there would have been about 30 teams, right from under 5s through to the A grade, so obviously rugby league - junior rugby league - is struggling. I played for Maroubra Lions, I played for Coogee Wombats, which is the Maroubra area team, I played two or three years there. I

50 The Beast | March 2018

also played with La Perouse. I was a bit of a journeyman with my junior rugby league days, and I got signed with Canterbury and played my professional career with Canterbury, Parramatta and Cronulla, and then I came back as a retiree this year and played alongside two of my cousins with South Eastern, which didn't go down well with the community down here. It was due to the simple fact that a lot of people I knew played for South Eastern. It wasn't anything against any of the other clubs. I played six or seven games with them last year, just to have a bit of fun. How old were you when you were selected to play for Australia? I'd just turned 24, it was the end of 2006 season.

Besides winning a premiership, everyone wants to wear an Australian jersey, and wear a New South Wales jersey, so it was the most unbelievable feeling. Did they just call you up and say, "Mate, you've got the spot"? How did it make you feel? There's a bit of a story to it. Obviously when you finish your season you have celebrations that might go on a week or two. I was out celebrating and mum rang me and said, “You've just been selected in the Australian team, you better get your arse home.” I said, “You're full of shit, mum.” She goes, “Get home now, Canterbury have just called, you're in the Australian team.” So I'm pretty tanked by that stage and I rang just a couple of people close to me and said, “I'm gonna be announced on the radio, I just made the Australian team.” So I've staggered home and we all sat around the radio, and they've announced the Australian team, but my name wasn't called out. I thought mum was taking the piss, just to try and get me home. I was filthy, and Canterbury rang up and said, “Ricky Stuart apologises,

but they're going to go with Tonie Carroll.” I thought, well, Tonie Carroll's not a bad person to lose my spot to, he's a Queensland player, an international. So I went back to the pub and kept celebrating the great year that we had. About a day or two later, Tonie Carroll pulled out through injury, so I got the call again. I was the last player picked into the Australian squad. Besides winning a premiership, everyone wants to wear an Australian jersey, and wear a New South Wales jersey, so it was the most unbelievable feeling. I ended up going into camp, Darren Lockyer's in there, it was myself, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith... One of the best Australian teams of all time... Yeah, we were all debutantes for the Australian side. Johnathan Thurston, Nathan Hindmarsh, Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley... there was just this unbelievable squad. I felt like I didn't deserve to be there, and being the last player picked, I didn't expect to play. We went into camp, we trained for a couple of weeks before we played the Kiwis, and two days before the first test Ricky Stuart picked me at lock, starting lock. To go from the last player picked to starting in the first test was unbelievable. I thought I was just going to be there to be part of the squad, to get some experience. I broke my ankle in the 79th minute, so that was my one and only test, but I've worn the jersey one time more than just about anyone else. I didn't get to wear it again but, far out, it was the most incredible experience. You got picked to play for Samoa as well? Yeah, that was later in my career, and usually people don't play for Samoa until toward the end of their career. I knew I wasn't going to play for Australia again, or anything like that. I'm really, really proud of my culture, and where dad comes from, and my bloodline you can see I've got the Polynesian tattoos and everything. Best World Cup ever? Jason Taumalolo, Andrew Fifita... what these guys have done for the Pacific Nations, now all the kids want to rep-

resent the islands. They're knocking back 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars to play for Australia or New Zealand to represent the islands. It's hard to put into words what the culture is, and what the feeling is when you're in camp, or when you're doing the Siva Tau - to do that against your opponent, there's just nothing like it. I'm a proud, proud Australian as well, but we don't really have that culture, it's not a long history. When you play for the islands, you can really feel the passion. How was your dad? I'm sure he would have had a little tear in his eye. I can't speak Samoan, but I made sure I learned the national anthem. I stood at the front of the Siva Tau, that's how much it meant to me. They call someone like myself ‘plastic’. That's what islanders call you, you're a plastic islander, an Aussie, but I don't mind. For me, I'm like, well, it's funny, because if you're playing for Samoa, “Oh, Reni's playing for Samoa, yeah, he's a Samoan,” but when you're just Joe Blow in the street, “Oh, he's a plastic islander, he's not really from the island.” But you know what, that's just jealousy. I'm proud of where I come from, I'm proud of my father's heritage, I'm proud of where he comes from, and I'll always represent Samoa, but I'm just as proud to be Australian as well. Fifita defecting to Tonga was one of the best things to happen to rugby league, certainly to the World Cup... Absolutely. I think the Tongans pretty much carried the World Cup on their back. I understand his decision. It was nothing against the Australian jersey - there's so many good Australian kids coming through, you could pick three Australian teams that would win the World Cup. Did you see Lachy Lam's debut with Papua New Guinea? I saw his try, and I was in Papua New Guinea when they played against Wales in the first game, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It's their national sport in Papua New Guinea, so to see them do so well was amazing. It's a scary country, there's a lot of crime that happens

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there, especially in Port Moresby, but when the rugby league's on, they're all together, they're all one. You've had your fair share of ups and downs over the years, including your much publicised battle with depression; how did you get through that and get yourself back to where you needed to be, to where you are now? Look, it was medication, therapy, and just general support from family and friends. It was just getting an understanding of what I was feeling emotionally, and educating myself on how to deal with adversity. Without going into it too much, there was substance abuse, alcohol - I was self-medicating with alcohol. We're not taught in school how to deal with emotion. It's not something you're taught, and there were things outside of sport that I was dealing with, then there was the pressures of the game, being a captain of the club, trying to be a leader. There were just so many elements, I was trying to be someone that I wasn't, and I didn't know how to deal with that. So to get through that, there was the medication, there was the therapy, and then there was support. Then there was getting out in the community eventually and doing a treadmill run for Suicide Prevention Australia... That's the one that Spook and Higgsy organised? Yeah. I did the first year, and then I went to England. I went to college and did an introductory counselling course to learn how to talk to people that might have problems. I've done my mental health first aid twice. I do a little bit of keynote speaking as well, and I've done the rookie camp twice - all under 20 players - and talked about the pressures of the game, and pressures in life. I've spoken to Blacktown and Bankstown Councils. So I think the best therapy for me is to be able to talk about it and share my story. I'm not qualified to tell people what to do, but I'll just tell someone what I went through, and what helped me, and then hopefully someone takes something away from that. With social media these days I'm very accessible, and it's really

hard because I get a lot of direct messages and it's impossible to get back to everyone. Mental health is a really big problem within our society, I've had four extremely close friends take their own lives, and there's probably another five I know of, just through the area, that have taken their own lives, and we can prevent it. It's something that I don't like to get into too much, I need to step away from it a lot. Sometimes it becomes too much, a little bit overwhelming, trying to be that person and staying positive and sharing stories, but I come in and out of it. When I feel that I'm in a healthy head space I can share my story and pass on some of my knowledge, because you don't want anyone to go through those circumstances.

For people who don't have depression, it's really hard for them to understand. Some people will never understand it, unfortunately, until it affects them directly, either personally or through someone they know. For someone who's never suffered with depression, it's a very difficult thing to understand; can you articulate, in a nutshell, what it actually is? For me, I try and explain to people that I was living inside a bubble - I only could see what was sort of directly in front of me, or just to the side or behind me. I couldn't see outside of that bubble. I was enclosed in that sort of cage that I couldn't escape, easily irritated, very emotional, and I couldn't get out. Now, as a person that's doing really well, I see the bigger picture of life. I see my family and smile at my family, I see my nieces, my nephews, my friends, the beach... I see everything. It's like someone's lifted a mask off my eyes. But when I was at my worst, it was like being locked up inside

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of a small room, or a cage, that I could not escape. That's probably the best way I can describe it. It's not until that door's opened, or the blindfold's taken off and you can see the bigger picture, that you begin to understand, "Hang on a sec, there's way more - way, way, more - to life." For people who don't have depression, it's really hard for them to understand. Some people will never understand it, unfortunately, until it affects them directly, either personally or through someone they know. I watched the Michael Slater Footy Show interview with you and Willie Tonga and it was hard not to shed a tear. If Willie Tonga hadn't made it to your place in time that night, you would not be here now. Without digging too deep, how happy are you that he came that night and saved your life? To this day, we still haven't spoken about it, but I don't need to speak to him about it to understand how he feels about it emotionally. The effect that it had on him personally, the circumstances of how it affects my family, how it affects the people closest to me, how it affects Willie, is still something that burns inside me today, because no one should have to deal with that. Willie's a religious man, he knew something was wrong with me, but we didn't really speak about it, so how it affected him on a personal level is still really hard for me to talk about. He's essentially a brother to me. I'll do anything for Will, he knows that. I can't even describe what Willie is to me in words. He's blood to me. You've been able to use your experience to help other people going through the same thing? Yeah, I speak about it. It's public knowledge, I've done a lot of interviews and print media interviews about it and stuff like that. I'm not trying to leave it behind me, but now it's about how I can affect people's lives in a positive way, and moving forward. I don't want it to define me as a person. Unfortunately it was a significant period in my life that got a lot of attention, but I'm trying to turn that into a positive as much as I can.

54 The Beast | March 2018

You got a two year ban for performance enhancing substance Clenbuterol, a muscle building anabolic agent, back in 2009, but you denied ever having taken it. As you were preparing for your return to the game, you explained to News Corp, "Clenbuterol is known as a cutting agent for recreational drugs. You don't need to read between the lines to understand, it's pretty obvious what's happened. The most embarrassing thing is that people might think I'm a steroid cheat. I would much rather be known as someone who partied too much than a cheat." You obviously look down on drug cheats, but just how rife are performance enhancing drugs in rugby league? I thought I was in the know. The whole peptide thing was a complete shock to me. I was like, no way, there's not a chance, and I was forever defending rugby league players, even when I was in England, because they were like, “No, you guys are too good at rugby league, you guys are all steroid users.” I'm like, “I'm telling you right now, we just train a hell of a lot harder than you.” To this day, I honestly couldn't tell you a statistic, or how many people I think might be using performance enhancing drugs in rugby league at all. I'd have no idea. Even back when I played, we just got tested so often.

I'm not overly religious, but there was a reason why I got caught, and it was the best thing for me, because I was partying way too much. How often do you get tested? You just don't know, they could turn up to training whenever. You get in-house tested, blood tested, urine tested... all at the drop of a hat. With my circumstance, it was the better of the two to say, look, I did party too much. It was the first time I'd ever taken recreational drugs during a season. We had played on a Friday, I hadn't drunk for four months, I had a big weekend and six days later I got tested and that substance was in my system.

It wasn't until hours later when mum rang me and goes, “Have you been...”, because we couldn't figure out what Clenbuterol was. It kept coming up that it was for horses with asthma, and we were like, what the hell? So I'm ringing the trainers, thinking, what are you giving us? Like, has it been in the Ventolin? What is it? Then it wasn't until page 10 of Google, “commonly cut with recreational drugs, ecstasy and cocaine,” and that's when it clicked, and instead of facing the music straight away, I walked away. I left, I went to Bali and went, ‘I'm out of here’. Best place to go! I did it, you know, I took recreational. Then, after 12 months, it was time to tell my story. I was getting two years no matter what. I could have just said, “Yeah, yeah, I took a bloody performance enhancing drug,” but I told the truth. It was about 12 months later before I even had the conversation with my dad. I said, “Dad, look, I took recreational drugs, this was cut into it, blah, blah, blah.” So, in terms of performance enhancing, the whole peptide thing was a complete shock to me. I don't think that there is a problem within rugby league with it. There is definitely not a culture within clubs. I can, hand on heart, say that at every club, there is no culture within a club to push their players to do it. I can honestly say that rugby league does not have a performance enhancing drugs culture. Pretty much every person I know dabbles in recreational drugs. It's easier to get a bag of cocaine in the Eastern Suburbs than it is to get a parking spot within 100 metres of your house; do you think recreational drugs should just be legalised? Look, I know recreational drugs are rife in society throughout the world. I don't have a view on whether or not they should be legalised, or anything like that. For me to be a future parent one day, I have to understand that my child, or my nieces and nephews, are going to be exposed to it at some point, so I need to educate them as well as I can on the effects of what these things do to our bodies, our

It’s been six years in the making and I’m excited to finally reveal that the Malabar Headland Western Walking Track is now officially open to the public! The Track is the last remaining tract of native bushland between Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay, and offers glimpses of dramatic sandstone cliffs, ocean panoramas and an abundance of flora and fauna. It’s also home to a unique ecosystem and a species of moss believed to be thousands of years old, so we’ve been careful to take a ‘minimum impact’ approach during construction so as to preserve this special area. The Western Walking Track is not affected by the adjacent ANZAC Rifle Range shooting days, and can be walked seven days a week. I hope you find an opportunity in the coming months to enjoy this beautiful part of our area for yourselves. As we move into autumn we’re busy putting the finishing touches to The Spot Festival, the 13th year of this hugely popular event. If you haven’t been before you can expect to find a fusion of food, drink, live music, cultural performances and kids activities. Eastern Suburbs favourites The Martini Club are once again set to close the Festival, and will join a packed set list of performers throughout the afternoon. Mark Sunday 11 March in your diaries and hit The Spot for a great day out. Councillor Lindsay Shurey Mayor of Randwick 6 March Tai Chi 9:30-10:15am Lionel Bowen Library, Maroubra

14 March The Author Talks: An Evening with Nick Gleeson 6:30-7:30pm Margaret Martin Library, Randwick

11 March

12 March

The Spot Festival 1:00-8:00pm Corner Perouse Road and St Pauls Streets, Randwick

17 March

Card Making with Gail Kenward 5:30-6:30pm Lionel Bowen Library

22 March

Intermediate Bike Maintenance 1:30-4:30 Randwick Community Centre


Made: Draw, Make, Imagine 10:00-11:30am Lionel Bowen Library, Maroubra

brains, our brain function. That's all I can do, because we'll never, ever stop what's happening within society worldwide. It's there, and we have to deal with it the best way we can, through education, and to show the effect that it has on people. As for legalising it, or anything like that, I don't have a view on that. I just need to protect my family. I'll hopefully have kids one day, I've got nine nieces and nephews, and I need to set the best example for them and educate them on the effects of drugs and alcohol. The fact that cocaine is cut with a horse asthma drug is pretty concerning; are you asthmatic? No, but I considered going down that path. I thought, “Maybe I do have asthma?� But that's the thing; I was meant to get caught. I'm not overly religious, but there was a reason why I got caught, and it was the best thing for me, because I was partying way too much. You honestly believe you were meant to get caught? I was meant to get caught. Rugby league was a chore. Like I said, I'm not overly religious, but God has a plan for all of us, and for me, to spend two years away from the game and be a spectator, and realise what I had and what I lost, it made me a better person moving forward into the future, and coming back to a sport that gave me so much. Footy has given me everything. Without rugby league I'd have nothing. What advice do you have for aspiring kids wanting to follow in your footsteps and make it as a professional footballer? I wouldn't say follow in my footsteps completely. I think it's just to be your own person. In a rugby league culture, there's, say, 25 players in a top squad. Even though you're playing a team sport, you have to be a little bit selfish in terms of creating your own legacy, and what you want best for you, because at the end of the day, when you retire, your centre, or your five eighth, or your back row, or your front row, is not going to be paying your bills. So it's about creating your own legacy. Be your own man, don't be a sheep. Be a team

56 The Beast | March 2018

player, but be your own person, because there's too many influences now. It's hard for kids these days with social media, and how much access people have to athletes, it's crazy. I came through a period where social media was just starting, I'm happy that I'm not coming through as an athlete now, because I find that it's a lot harder for kids these days than it was for me when I was coming through. They've got a lot more people pulling at them in different directions, so as long as they can stay on the right path and be their own person, then I think they can have a successful career.

I'm a pretty simple person now, I just want to be able to surf, have some kids, watch them play any sport, watch them surf, watch them grow up, and live comfortably. You have some amazing tattoos, particularly this traditional Samoan piece on your left arm and chest; can you tell us about that? Originally, all of the Samoan design was done from the bottom of the ribs down to the knees, it's called the Pe'a. I'm going to give you a bit of a history lesson now. Only the Chiefs got the Pe'a done. Basically it's the design of the canoe, or the fale - the house - so any of those designs within the fale or the boat is the patterns of a Samoan piece, and then it became more fashionable to get it on their arms, to get sleeves done. I've heard of people getting it in four days, some people about two weeks. People have died getting it, it's essentially chiselled in with a boar's tusk, or a shark tooth - different cultures use different methods. It's a very painful experience and it's a very honourable thing for a Samoan man to go into their manhood, to get the Pe'a done. It's way too painful for me to get the full piece. I had the first piece of mine traditionally done when I was 14 years old, and then the rest was done with a tattoo gun in New

Zealand, and my leg was done in Samoa. It means a lot to me. To get the ink and go through a painful experience to represent the islands and represent my father means a lot. And you got rid of the one on your neck? They've done a bloody good job... Yeah, that's probably a bit of advice for the younger people; everyone goes through different stages in their life, and I got my neck tattooed. I'm still going through the process of getting it removed. It's not me as a person, and it didn't mean anything to me either. There's a long life after footy, and I wanted to be able to get the right job that suits me, and obviously, unfortunately, tattoos are not looked upon well. I've had four sessions now, probably got another three or four sessions to go. A guy named Mike Anderson at Think Again Laser Clinic in Rozelle saw my story - that I was trying to find work, and had neck tattoos - and he offered to remove them, so I'm getting as many removed as I can. It's just not me as a person. I'll keep all my traditional tattoos that mean things to me, and the rest are all Bali tattoos from when I've been on the piss. What does the future hold for Reni Maitua? Hopefully kids, soon. I am 35, and probably left it a little bit late. I've got a beautiful partner, Danika, and I'd love her to give me some little Maituas. I'd love to have a family. I'm a pretty simple person now, I just want to be able to surf, have some kids, watch them play any sport, watch them surf, watch them grow up, and live comfortably. I don't want to have bucket loads of cash, I just want to live a simple life and be a family man. All the best for the future, and thanks for chatting with The Beast. All good, thank you. Reni boxed beautifully in his professional boxing debut on Saturday, February 3, stopping his opponent in the second round. If you'd like to check out Reni's latest project and get your fix of unfiltered sports analysis, please visit

Mayor‘s Message I hope you enjoyed Christmas and New Year.

Spring Street Urban Lounges Upgraded For the last four years, the Urban Lounges on Spring Street in Bondi Junction have been loved by the local community but they are looking a little tired and are ready for an upgrade. As part of the cycleway and streetscape upgrades to Spring Street, we will be installing new parklets to replace the old Urban Lounges. To see a photo of what the new parklets will look like, visit

Your Bondi Pavilion You will notice new signage has gone up in the Pavilion to let people know where the toilets are. Most people don’t know that there are four sets of public toilets in the Pavilion: on the ground floor in the ‘locker tunnel,’ plus off the foyer atrium area, upstairs near the bar/theatre area, and at the rear next to the high tide room. I well recognise that the toilets are in poor condition. They are a priority of the refurbishment project which the Bondi Pavilion Community Stakeholder Committee is now working through. The Stakeholder Committee has been meeting over the last few months and a concept report will come to the February Council. Thereafter the architect will draw up new plans for the total refurbishment of this important community building.

John Wakefield, Mayor of Waverley CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE 55 Spring Street, Bondi Junction NSW 2022 PO Box 9, Bondi Junction NSW 1355 PHONE 9083 8000 WEB

Events Jazz @ The Pav Bondi Pavilion Theatre 2, 8, 16, 23 March, 8pm til late Jazz @ The Pav is a month-long celebration of jazz music in Bondi! The annual jazz festival features a star studded line-up of Sydney’s finest musicians. In 2018, we will hear the great songs from New Orleans to Hollywood and beyond – you are invited to sit back, have a drink and enjoy the music at one of Sydney’s finest locations. Tickets at Eventbrite.

Ailsa Piper in conversation with Tony Doherty Wednesday 21 March, 6.45–8pm Waverley Library Theatrette Join writer, director and actor Ailsa Piper as she chats to former Rose Bay Parish Priest and Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, Monsignor Tony Doherty about her memoir Sinning Across Spain, life, writing, family, faith, friendship and their book The Attachment. Free, bookings essential at Eventbrite. For more event info visit our website

Connect with us:

MARCH 2018 TIDE CHART Numbers Bureau of Meteorology Tidal Centre Picture Jamie Street Instagram @bondiwakeup MONDAY



• New Moon • First Quarter • Full Moon • Last Quarter





3 0354 1014 1636 2244

0.29 1.89 0.21 1.64

4 0443 1059 1716 2327

0.32 1.79 0.29 1.63

11 0430 1123 1721 2257

1.43 0.66 1.17 0.75

1 0213 0837 1511 2114

0.34 1.94 0.17 1.58

2 0304 0926 1555 2200

0.30 1.94 0.17 1.62

5 0531 0.38 1143 1.66 1754 0.38

6 0009 0619 1225 1830

1.60 0.46 1.52 0.48

7 0052 0709 1308 1907

1.56 0.55 1.38 0.57

8 0136 0803 1356 1948

1.51 0.62 1.27 0.66

9 0226 0904 1453 2040

1.46 0.67 1.18 0.72

10 0324 1014 1604 2146

1.43 0.69 1.15 0.75

12 0533 1.47 1222 0.61 1824 1.22

13 0000 0628 1311 1912

0.70 1.52 0.54 1.29

14 0051 0715 1351 1951

0.64 1.59 0.48 1.37

15 0134 0755 1426 2027

0.57 1.65 0.42 1.44

16 0214 0832 1459 2100

0.51 1.69 0.37 1.50

17 0251 0909 1531 2135

0.45 1.72 0.34 1.57

18 0330 0946 1604 2211

0.41 1.72 0.33 1.62

19 0411 1026 1638 2249

0.39 1.70 0.34 1.66

20 0455 1107 1715 2330

0.39 1.64 0.37 1.69

21 0542 0.41 1151 1.57 1754 0.43

22 0015 0634 1240 1837

1.69 0.44 1.47 0.50

23 0103 0732 1335 1928

1.67 0.49 1.37 0.58

24 0200 0841 1443 2030

1.64 0.52 1.29 0.64

25 • 0306 0958 1602 2146

1.62 0.52 1.27 0.67

26 0420 1112 1722 2303

1.64 0.48 1.31 0.63

28 0011 0634 1313 1921

29 0111 0729 1400 2009

0.47 1.81 0.29 1.59

30 0204 0819 1445 2053

0.39 1.83 0.27 1.66

31 0254 0906 1525 2135

0.35 1.80 0.28 1.71

Fresh swell.

27 0531 1.69 1217 0.41 1827 1.40

0.55 1.76 0.34 1.50

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March 2018 | The Beast 59

Young Fin with a whiting nearly as big as him!

DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY Words Dan Trotter Picture Sonny Gordon


fter writing for The Beast for ten years now, I never tire of the monthly call to words. It’s such a great opportunity to write for a publication I personally love reading, that’s local to my home and my heart, and is published by two of the nicest, hardworking and dedicated brothers you could hope to meet. Big-ups to Dan and James for their enduring efforts and commitment. The Eastern Beaches wouldn’t be the same without your witty words and dry sense of humour. Do it differently - whatever it is you do, just do it differently, do it exceptionally well, focus on making it count, and you will rise out of the humdrum noise of the world we live in and stand up and be counted. It is an interesting statement made by an even more interesting man, in a room full of talented people, that caught my attention and made me pause to consider the concept. It is interesting because this statement flies in the face of the commonsense practice many of us adopt as we grow up. To do things

60 The Beast | March 2018

differently meant we’d stand out, be laughed at, be teased or, even worse, bullied. In a world where we as Homo sapiens spend so much of our time working on fitting in, it was music to my ears that I could finally stop capitulating and get even more comfortable with my own differences. Let’s celebrate our uniqueness and teach our kids and the young people we know to do so as well. It really is one of the things that makes life great. After all, variety is one of the spices of life. Now, if you’re a regular reader of The Beast, you’ll recognize the fact that The Beast is a magazine that does things differently, never shying away from controversy or a little bit of conflict, and that’s part of why we love it! “If in doubt, leave it in,” I remember Dan saying to me one day - what a great motto! Now, can I tie this into fishing? Of course I can. One of the greatest things about fishing, for those of us afflicted with obsession, is the joy that comes from a continual learning curve and experimenta-

tion that leads to success. Every innovation in fishing comes from trying the new and doing or making something differently. Whether that’s a location, a lure, a technique or a theory; without it, we’d all be fishing with catgut lines, cane rods and, sadly on the flipside, the fish in the world’s oceans would be a lot more plentiful. So, how can you as an angler challenge yourself to do a few small things differently to improve your catch rates, but also become more sustainable? On the sustainability front, you can start by never buying bait, and never buying commercially caught fish at the markets or in restaurants, don’t buy cat food made from fish, and always only ever kill that which you will use or eat fresh. It’s a challenge at every step of the way, but it is possible if you care about the oceans and your own personal impact. Next month I’ll return to the norm and write about fishing instead of life. But for now, here’s to doing things differently!

Looks like great fun.

“MARCO!” “POLO!” Words Alasdair McClintock Picture Wedgie Reagan


irst things first, this is primarily an article about water polo, not Marco Polo, but I couldn’t resist the memories of that wonderful childhood game that must drive parents around the world completely mad. Water polo is coming to the iconic Bondi Icebergs pool this March, in the form of the Aussie Sharks v International All Stars. Will there be a game of Marco Polo as well? God, I hope so. If you’re there, perhaps you can spark a full-time pitch (pool) invasion scenario? It’d be worth it just to see security have to dive in to grab you. It should be a good spectacle regardless. You can expect a big crowd. Much like Donald Trump, the people of the east love their water sports. The comparisons to The White House don’t stop there either. Water polo is one of the most vicious and unpredictable games around, with the majority 62 The Beast | March 2018

of the foul acts occurring behind the scenes, by which I mean under the water. Scratching, pinching, dackings and rogue explorative fingers are all part of your typical player’s arsenal. I assume. I didn’t actually speak to any water polo players before writing this article and haven’t played the game itself since I was fifteen. I remember my young self being baffled by the contest. The violent elbows, threat of drowning and the real fear that my genitals could be exposed and manhandled at any moment were not synonymous with my previous experiences with sports. I didn’t have the required aggression to survive in such an environment. To this day, it remains the craziest sport I’ve ever played. The similarities to Marco Polo also go beyond the name. Both are unscrupulous sports that encourage the worst of human behaviour. Dipping a toe in does

not exclude you from fish out of water, people! But I’ll admit it, I did it too. I cheated at Marco Polo and I’ll likely do it again. Because modern life and childhood is all about getting an edge over your competitors or siblings and finding loopholes wherever possible. Admittedly, water polo is less about finding loopholes and more about just savagely beating your opponent into submission, but that is also an effective strategy. I know you’re meant to score goals too, but sometimes that seems like a secondary objective. I found it surprising that the game is believed to have originated in Scotland in the late 19th century, but with the water being so cold over there, I guess it makes sense that they should start climbing all over each other. It should be a warm day at the Icebergs, however. In and out of the pool, with all those rigs in budgie smugglers wandering around.

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Living in the moment.

LOOK UP AND LIVE Words Jeremy Ireland, Psychotherapist Picture Al Capone


he very same day that kids went back to school across NSW, I discovered that France is going to ban the use of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools starting from September 2018. Admittedly, I found out while doing some late night mindless trawling on Facebook, but it certainly got my attention. While grappling to come to terms with the logistics of the French achieving such a thing, I suddenly remembered a completely different yet oddly related scenario that happened earlier that day. I was in the car, waiting at traffic lights to turn onto Bondi Road. It’s a busy intersection with a lot of pedestrian traffic. As the lights turned green I started to go. Then, from out of nowhere, a pedestrian who clearly hadn’t seen the little red ‘don’t cross’ man meandered on to the road, jaywalking style, while looking down at their phone, seemingly oblivious to surrounding traffic. The common thread suddenly dawned on me... Addiction. In the traditional or perhaps more widely known sense, one tends to consider addiction in relation to a dependency on chemically based things like alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine and the like. In real terms though, addiction relates more

64 The Beast | March 2018

to behaviour, i.e. the person who is exposed to something changes behaviour to seek the experience. Once addicted, the person can find it difficult to stop engaging in that behaviour, and withdrawing from the behaviour sometimes brings on physical and/or emotional consequences. However, in more recent times the notion of addiction has had to cast a wider net to include the internet and its related technologies. A few facts: Australian males unlock their phones on average 46 times a day, with Aussie women not far behind at 42 times a day, the research suggesting Australia gets the gold medal here. Furthermore, on average we spend 2-3 hours a day on apps. That daily average is just general web surfing and social media apps and doesn’t include texting, streaming or - God forbid - actually making a call. Instead of arguing the pros and cons of smart devices, let’s look a bit more into addiction. Think of three things that give you pleasure. Okay, I’ve come up with red wine, surfing and coffee. There's nothing wrong with any of these. Now comes the cruel irony: the more you do or consume something you enjoy, the more likely you are to want to do it, because it

feels good. All of this sounds fair enough, but if the continuation of the activity or consumption reaches a level that is compulsive and starts to interfere with responsibilities such as health, work or relationships, then there may be an addiction. So, how does this relate to our phone? Let’s go back to our jaywalker, who was deep in the matrix while dangerously crossing the road. Well, it turns out the same ‘pathway to craving’ that you might get from chocolate, shopping and even sex, is exactly the same pleasure pathway that leads us to check our phone. Every time we get a ‘like’ on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or even a good old-fashioned text message, it makes us feel good. In other words, the craving becomes a ‘learned emotional response’ and has the potential to become addictive. For our jaywalker, and other people who have potentially developed an addiction, the reality is they may not even be aware that their behaviour is causing problems for themselves and others. For better or worse, social media is here to stay, and the addictions to it are still socially acceptable and even encouraged in some ways. This is why the decision of the French to ban phones at school seems so bold, especially when - for young people at least - the online world is part of their real world. It is mainly the adults who feel kids are online too much and need protecting, but the reality is that it applies to all of us. Addiction is a complex problem that involves biological, psychological and social factors, and the cause is not always as simple as a search for pleasure. It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to weaning yourself off your device. If you’re trying to give up, craving in the absence of cues decreases quickly after quitting. In other words, by removing yourself from the situation, you’re more likely to quit. Just like the person trying to stop drinking will keep out of the pub, if you feel your phone is getting the better of you, try turning it off and putting it in another room, you might surprise yourself.


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March 2018 | The Beast 65

Sigmund says, “ Yes”.

SHOULD WE HAVE SEX ON A FIRST DATE? Words Matty Silver, Sex Therapist Picture Martha Bernays


’m always surprised that, even these days, there still is a double standard when it comes to having sex on a first date. If a male does it, he is called a stud; if a woman does it, she is called a slut. Shouldn't we have gender equality by now? Should the belief that men and women be held to different standards of sexual conduct be a notion of the past? This issue often comes up in counselling sessions with my clients. Sex can complicate a new relationship; not everyone plans to have sex on a first date, sometimes it just happens. You go out, have a great time, get drunk, feel sexy and, before you know it, you are in bed with someone. It happened to one of my clients recently. She told me, “I just don't understand; the sex was great, there was chemistry, but he never called or texted me after I gave him my mobile number. I feel so stupid now; what did I do wrong?” 66 The Beast | March 2018

I explained there was no perfect answer to such a question. If the guy is really interested, he will find a way to contact you. Maybe he was just someone who is into casual sex and was under the impression you were too. The most important thing is to not take it personally. The assumption that a man will like a woman less after having sex on a first date is also quite unfair to men. Many people recognise that sex is an important component of a successful and healthy relationship. Having sex on a first date may be okay for them and nothing to be ashamed of. As long as there are no expectations that there will be more dates, it's not a problem. The experience may not be that great after all, and once is enough! We are all very busy in today's hectic world, and going out on dates takes up a lot of free time. For some people, it's important to establish sexual compatibility early

on in a relationship - if the moment feels right and there is good chemistry, why not have sex? Another male client told me he went home with an exciting lovely girl who he met in a bar after they’d both drunk too much, but when he was sober the next morning the spark was gone and date number two didn’t happen. It was the legendary Sigmund Freud who coined the ‘Madonnawhore complex’ concept, which explains how some men see women in two categories. The ‘whore’ is the woman he will sleep with and lust after, but he will never respect her as wife material and he will never marry her. He will look for a ‘good’ woman to marry - the pure ‘Madonna’ type, who will bear his children. From a woman's perspective, why would you want to be with a man with such double standards? Is having sex on a first date really such a bad idea?

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March 2018 | The Beast 67

START SPREADING THE NEWS... Words and Pictures The Bondi Travel Bug


ew York, the city that never sleeps, is one of the most exciting and vibrant places in the world. The Statue of Liberty, 5th Avenue, Broadway, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Greenwich Village, the legendary Barneys and Macy’s department stores... it’s a never-ending list of things to see and do. Coming from Australia, we’ve grown up with it all. Whether we’ve seen movies, TV shows (especially Seinfeld or Sex and the City), or read about it, it all pales into insignificance once you’re there in real life. Restaurants and bars are everywhere here, but the delis are synonymous with New York and there’s none more famous than Katz's Delicatessen in East Village. This is where the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally was filmed and it’s here that we piled on the kilos recently by devouring a pastrami sandwich so massive it could have fed a family of four and their dog for a week. We managed to shake some of this enormous sandwich off as we walked the city and visited legendary museums, such as the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern History, and prominent art galleries including the Metropolitan Museum of art and the Museum of Modern Art, where endless masterpieces take your breath away. But to discover the most hip art district in New York, art aficionados have to visit the Lower East Side, where private art galleries are flourishing. It’s such a competitive market; if you can successfully make it in Manhattan as a local New Yorker gallery proprietor, then you’re a legend. To make it in New York as an Aussie, you’d have to be a veritable freak of nature, but that’s exactly what Australians Tim Olsen and Emerald Gruin have achieved as the savvy and dynamic proprietors

68 The Beast | March 2018

of their newly opened Manhattan art gallery, Olsen Gruin Gallery. Tim Olsen is the son of one of Australia’s most famous artists, John Olsen, who is an Australian icon and one of the most adored, unique, loved and talented artists living today. John turned 90 on January 21, 2018, and with his beret and cravat permanently attached, combined with his infectious personality and boundless energy, he has most definitely tapped into the fountain of youth. Having grown up with the scent of oils, watercolours and pastels wafting into Tim’s DNA, art was always going to play a massive role in his life. He showed great potential as an artist in his formative years, but he also possessed an astonishing ability to assess and appraise exceptional artwork from an absurdly young age. From this diminutive stage of his life, he had already developed the passion to be an art dealer. Emerald Gruin’s path was somewhat different, leaving Australia to pursue a modeling career in Hong Kong, London and Paris, before settling in New York. Emerald ended up working for five years as a gallery director and independent art curator in New York, before opening her first gallery in the Lower East Side with her husband, Adrian Gruin, who is also the business director of the Olsen Gruin Gallery. Tim is a renowned and successful gallery owner, art dealer, entrepreneur and philanthropist in Sydney, but was always ambitiously looking to launch a gallery in New York and needed a partner with prior experience in Manhattan. That person was the extremely talented, stylish art curator, Emerald Gruin. The first Olsen-Gruin alliance in the Big Apple launched in March 2017 in Elizabeth Street, Lower East Side, and was a resounding success. The following few exhibitions were also highly

successful and they soon realised that they needed more space, so a much larger gallery was sought and found in one of the most burgeoning art enclaves in New York at 30 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan. The new Olsen Gruin Gallery opened in June 2017 with an exhibition of abstract paintings by Aboriginal artists, highlighted by a five-metre Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri masterpiece. The official opening of the Olsen Gruin Gallery took place on October 13, 2017, and the artist who had the honour of representing the gallery for the opening was legendary Aussie photographer and environmentalist Leila Jefferys. Hip young Instagram followers, together with A-list celebrities such as Brooke Shields, Deborralee Furness and renowned music promoter Paul Dainty, along with New York Consul-General Alastair Walton, all enjoyed an impressive opening night. The Olsen Gruin Gallery has already been incredibly successful and the future looks dazzling, with exciting influential artists from around the world lining up to exhibit. Tim now represents over 40 prominent artists throughout Australia and the world, and the gallery was listed as one of the top 10 art galleries recently opened in New York City - an extraordinary achievement. If you’re planning a trip to Manhattan any time soon, it’s definitely worth adding the Olsen Gruin Gallery to your list of sights and experiences that this pulsating, exciting and thriving city has to offer. How to get there Vicky Gilden at Rose Bay Travel (02) 9371 8166 Olsen Gruin Gallery 30 Orchard Street, Manhattan NY 10002

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DJANGO DJANGO Marble Skies Label Ribbon Music Reviewer Alasdair McClintock Rating  It is not unusual for the term ‘art rock’ to spark a genuine fear that your eyeballs will roll all the way backwards and right out of your head. So much so, that every time I’ve heard Django Django come on the radio, I’ve made a quick dash to put on some goggles. Happily, I remained more or less fully intact after listening to Marble Skies. These guys have certainly mastered the art of the catchy hit song, but it’s the songs in between where they falter. It tends to get pretty dull at points, but hey, that’s why there’s a skip button.

DZ DEATHRAYS Bloody Lovely Label I OH YOU Reviewer Alasdair McClintock Rating 

FILM REVIEW TITLE Lady Bird GENRE Drama Comedy REVIEWER Linda Heller-Salvador Award-winning screenwriter and actress Greta Gerwig’s (Frances Ha, Mistress America) breakout directing debut is a delightfully quirky and poignant comedy drama that takes us into the angsty life of Christine (Saoirse Ronan), a high school senior who is trying to navigate her way through the many perplexing yet typical issues that are a part of any adolescent life. Christine lives in Sacramento, on ‘the wrong side of the tracks’, with her parents and brother. Feeling bored and impulsive, she craves adventures in another city, but her loving yet opinionated mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf ), constantly undermines all of her life choices with bitter-sweet sarcasm. Lady Bird is a creatively scripted coming-of-age drama that is full of sincerity, pathos, insights, warmth and witty dialogue, driven by an exceptional cast. Garnering a swag of awards, including two Golden Globes, only confirms Gerwig is as accomplished in her directing as she is in her writing and acting ability. No matter your age, there will be something in this film that will resonate with everyone, whether it is the angst of teenage rebellion, the pain of young love or the struggles with peer pressure and friendships. 72 The Beast | March 2018

From the very beginning of Bloody Lovely, DZ Deathrays make their agenda clear, with chugging guitars and a scream Barnsey would be proud of. Leave your pretensions at the screen door; this is an album to party to... if you prefer your cornflakes with a bit of gravel in them, that is. Fragile sensibilities be damned, it’s time to let your hair down and jump around like an idiot. It helps to do it occasionally, I can assure you. My only criticism? They should have released this at the start of summer. I would have flogged the hell out of it.

DREAM WIFE Dream Wife Label Lucky Number Reviewer Alasdair McClintock Rating  The music industry is a funny thing. Timing is everything and for Dream Wife their timing as an (apparently) anti-establishment, all-female, pop-punk group could not be better. The glowing reviews have followed, but are they really the saviours of our young women, like some reviewers seem to think? Personally, I don’t think so. In a way, they remind me a lot of The Kooks’ early albums; good, rollicking fun, but when you scratch the surface, there’s not much to it. All that being said, this is an entertaining album, I just wouldn’t look too deeply into it.

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Good enough to make a grown man cry.

BLANCA MAKES ITS MARK Words Dining Dave Insta @diningdave Picture Katrina Parker


stablished in January 2017 by legendary chefs Tomi Bjorck and Samuel Cole, Blanca, meaning ‘blank canvas’, has allowed these creative culinary craftsmen to cleverly combine Mediterranean flavours and fresh Australian ingredients with a traditional Japanese cooking style. My guest and I arrived at Blanca early on a balmy Wednesday evening, the space already humming with an eclectic mix of diners. Faced with a choice between the cozy upstairs section or buzzing main area of the minimalist modern dining room, al fresco on the elevated pathway, or casual drinks and snacks at the bar, we opted for the epicentre and were seated at a beautiful black marble table with comfy white chairs, surrounded by

76 The Beast | March 2018

black broomstick lights with filament globes adorning either end. We began our evening with a signature Herushinki cocktail, a refreshing combination of Hendricks gin, freshly squeezed cucumber juice, lime, ginger and mint - delicious. Blanca’s menu is extensive, offering a variety of snacks and shares plates that are conducive to larger groups. The dishes will seem familiar to those experienced with Japanese elements - think miso, sashimi, yuzu, wasabi and kombu - while at the same time featuring hearty European and Levantine ingredients like potatoes, Angus beef, pork ribs, oysters and hummus. We began with Sydney Rock Oysters, served in glass dishes on beds of crushed ice with yuzu sakebonito granita, baby shiso, flying

fish roe, mandarin-Szechuan pepper mignonette and avruga; Oxtail Dumplings with braised beef and oxtail, black vinegar dressing, sesame and pickled chili; Blanca Black Buns with crispy softshell crab, XO-mayo and spicy red cabbage; Croquetas Furikake Unagi of smoked eel with furikake; Sesame Leaf Rolls with raw beef or edamame; and fresh cooked Yamba Prawns with miso mayo, spicy dressing and ume ponzu. The beautiful presentation of all these ‘snacks’ gives an indication of how passionate Blanca’s chefs are - just have a look at presentation of the oysters in the photo. Our mains included Miso Eggplant with hummus; Saikyo Miso Mulloway with white soy, yuzu dashi, daikon, kale, asparagus and radish (a work of art); Pork Ribs and Miso Caramel Togarashi with miso caramel, pork crackling and spicy baby gem lettuce; and Poached Marron with wasabi dashi, black garlic, grilled fennel, almond, and kombu - tender to the point of tears, I actually wept at the table. We also ordered the addictive Crispy Blanca Potatoes with aioli garlic, furikake, and chili pickle sauce, as a side. I must also confess to demolishing a soothing matcha tea mousse, apple sorbet, almond cake, sorrel, apple and pistachio dessert. I have to hand it to Tomi and Samuel, they have brought exotic fine dining to Bondi and successfully combined style, flavour, different cuisines and fresh local ingredients, and made it accessible to everyone. Blanca has filled its blank canvas with master strokes. Blanca Bar & Dining Address 3 & 4 / 75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach Phone 9365 2998 Instagram @blancabondi Open Mon-Thu: 5.30pm-late; Fri-Sat: 12pm-late; Sun: 1210pm Prices Snacks: $5-9; Mains and Raw: $20-34 Cards Accepted Yes Licensed Yes

Summer lovin’, happened so fast.

GOLDEN SMOOTHIE BOWL Recipe and Picture Jacqueline Alwill


ango season is almost over for another year, so we need to make the most of these nutritious tropical treats however we can. I generally increase the mango quota in the latter part of the season by buying in bulk, peeling them and freezing the cheeks, and then whipping them out to savour when we need some summer food lovin’. They’re incredibly delicious frozen and blended to make a healthy ice cream for after dinner, but why wait until dessert when you can have a mango smoothie bowl for breakfast? I’ve added a touch of our golden anti-inflammatory spice, turmeric, as well as a dollop of coconut yoghurt for satiating fats, and a drop of honey and vanilla to sweeten the deal. Serve these delicious gluten free, dairy

free, refined sugar free and vegan golden smoothie bowls with a sprinkle of granola and some extra fresh fruit, and summer is here all over again. INGREDIENTS (serves 1) • 1 frozen mango cheek • ¼ teaspoon or a pinch of ground turmeric • 1 drop of vanilla • 1 tablespoon coconut yoghurt • 1 handful of ice cubes • A touch of honey as desired

This delicious recipe was provided by local nutritionist and author of Seasons to Share, Jacqueline Alwill. For whole food catering, nutrition workshops and recipes, visit

METHOD 1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until creamy and golden; 2. Pour into a bowl and top with granola, fresh fruit and a dollop of extra coconut yoghurt to taste. March 2018 | The Beast 77

The ultimate healthy kids treat.

RAW CHOCOLATE-COATED RICE CAKES Recipe and Picture Catherine Noonan


made these amazing raw chocolate-coated rice cakes for a children’s party last week and, since there wasn’t a crumb left, I decided it was worthy of sharing. This recipe is inspired by some dark chocolate-coated rice cakes that I found in the health food store recently. Because my children loved them, I thought I’d make my own version, which is healthier because my recipe is:

late products in most health food stores, gourmet supermarkets and even Woolworths now as well. You can also source quality shredded coconut from the Loving Earth brand. Please note that some of the Loving Earth raw chocolate flavours do contain nuts, so if nuts are an issue, please beware. Otherwise, please try this super easy recipe on your kids. I can guarantee it’s a winner.

• Made with raw chocolate - containing no nasty ingredients • Soy free - most standard commercial chocolate contains soy • Refined cane sugar free - most standard commercial chocolate also contains refined sugar • Packed with added fibre and healthy fat from the shredded coconut • Preservative free – be sure to choose preservative-free coconut

TOOLS • Double boiler (mixing bowl atop a saucepan) • Baking tray, lined with baking paper • Measuring cup • Wooden spoon • Spatula

I used Loving Earth Creamy Coconut Mylk Chocolate, which is made with organic raw cacao (47%), organic coconut and organic evaporated coconut nectar. You can find Loving Earth choco78 The Beast | March 2018

INGREDIENTS (makes 28 raw chocolate-coated rice cakes) • 28 mini rice cakes, or 3 to 4 large rice cakes, broken into pieces • 1 x 80g block Loving Earth Creamy Mylk Chocolate (or other flavour of your choice) • ½ cup preservative-free shredded coconut

METHOD 1. Bring the water in the double boiler saucepan to the boil and melt the chocolate gently in the bowl, all the time mixing with the wooden spoon; 2. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat; 3. One by one, dip the rice cakes into the chocolate to coat one side only; 4. Place on the baking paper and sprinkle with shredded coconut; 5. Transfer the baking tray to your fridge to allow the chocolate to set for approximately 10 minutes, or until firm and dry; 6. Once the chocolate has set, serve or store the raw chocolatecoated rice cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cath Noonan is a self-confessed health-foodie, recipe creator, and nutrition student, as well as the founder of healthy food blog, I Heart Scratch. Check out the delicious food pics on her Instagram account, @i_heart_scratch, and find more recipes by visiting

GEWÜRZTRAMINER My wife absolutely loves Gewurz. The nose and flavours are those of rose petals or Turkish Delight - Gewurz means herb or spice in German. Wines made from this grape usually have just a touch of sweetness, which works really well with spicy dishes. Gewürztraminer is a favourite of ours with Thai food. If you like Riesling, you should enjoy it. Some of my favourite producers include Huia, Dry River and Delatite, and most of the Gewürztraminers that come out of Alsace.

Viognier in the wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée of Condrieu.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BARREL: ALTERNATIVE WHITE GRAPES Words and Picture Alex Russell Twitter @ozwineguy


n Australia, we’re only used to a few different grape varieties. In the whites, we’re all pretty aware of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Riesling and Semillon (and blends of some of these), and in the reds, we tend to stick with Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In this series of articles, I’m going to try to tempt you with a few different grapes. Some of them are a bit more prevalent in Australia, while others will be up-and-comers. I’ll start with the whites and move on to the reds next month. VIOGNIER Those who are aware of Viognier usually came to know it from its

frequent blending with Shiraz to soften the big bold red, but it’s an absolute cracker when bottled by itself. The flavours are generally subtle apricot and the texture is usually rich, although there are some examples of fresher, zingier styles, such as Clonakilla Viognier Nouveau. If you like a Chardonnay, you really should try this. Yalumba makes a range of Viogniers, and their Eden Valley Viognier is a great introduction to this grape variety. If you have the money to spare, give their Virgilius a try. Other great producers include Clonakilla and By Farr, although many producers make Viognier in small quantities. Look in regions that produce Shiraz.

ALBARINO If you’ve found that you like Viognier and Gewurz, then your next step is Albarino. Popular in Spain and Portugal, Albarinos are around 12% alcohol (high enough without being excessive), and fresh and zingy due to the relatively high acidity. They're light in flavour and therefore go very well with less flavoursome dishes, and they’re great for a hot summer’s day. There are only a handful of producers in Australia making Albarinos, so try them before trying some foreign options, and visit for more information. GRÜNER VELTLINER There isn’t much of this in Australia yet, but if you want to see it done well, get in touch with the crew at Hahndorf Hill in the Adelaide Hills. It’s a spicy little grape, even with a touch of pepper, that develops a honeyed, more complex character with age. It can be oaked or unoaked. You may sometimes hear this referred to as GrüVe (pronounced ‘groovy’). For me, this also goes well with spicy Asian dishes and is a fascinating drop with cheese dishes as well. It also tends to be great value. There are many others to try. Personal favourites include Vermentino, Marsanne (Tahbilk!) and Fiano. There’s even an Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Check out for some inspiration. March 2018 | The Beast 79






















ACROSS 1. Putting at risk (12) 7. Relating to the devil (8) 8. Bottom of a ship that increases stability (4) 9. Antonym of loosen (7) 11. Informal for working well together (2,4) 14. Expressed clearly; luminous (5) 18. Surround and hold within (9) 19. Singular amount (4) 21. Informal for common sense acquired through experience (6,6) DOWN 1. Trucks or cars towing trailers that have folded (9) 2. Teardropstyled pattern

popular with hipsters (7) 3. Relating to automatons; stiff movements (7) 4. Against the law (7) 5. Animated movie ‘Monsters ...’ (3) 6. Smiled (7) 10. American girl group who originally consisted ‘T-Boz’, ‘Left Eye’ and ‘Chilli’ (1,1,1) 12. Fraction of a circle (6) 13. Quick, light and agile (6) 15. Villain in ‘The Little Mermaid’ (6) 16. Demand something forcefully (6) 17. Brilliant Mike Whitney show from the late 90’s ‘Who ... Wins’ (5) 20. Because (2)

TRIVIAL TRIVIA Words Cameron Anderson Picture Dane Sinclair 1. Who announced their Las Vegas residency in 2012 by shutting down The Strip and arriving on horseback while accompanied by a herd of 40 other horses? 2. Which 2017 film about a Dutch painter is made up of 65,000 paintings by a team of 100 painters? 3. Which country does chocolate

Bronte at its best. 80 The Beast | March 2018

Ferrero Rocher originate from? 4. According to Forbes, who was the highest paid sports person of 2017? 5. What drink do the ingredients of vodka, Kahlua and milk (or cream) make? 6. Which country has the most electric vehicles per capita? 7. After the English and Math-

ematics subjects, what was the most popular HSC subject in 2017? 8. In what year did decimal currency replace pounds in Australia? 9. What is the population of Betoota, Queensland? 10. Which NRL player has won the most Dally M medals?

TAURUS APR 21-MAY 21 You’ve slugged it out for ages in the workforce but you’re getting nowhere; your only option now is to become a hooker or a thief.

LIBRA SEP 24-OCT 23 Consistently leaving a third of your meal for your partner to finish is a horrible, selfish thing to do and will only make them fat and resentful.

GEMINI MAY 22-JUN 21 You’re a good chance of having your first wet dream in quite a while, so go to bed wearing a pad to protect your nice new sheets.

SCORPIO OCT 24-NOV 22 Anyone who uses the word ‘champ’ when referring to you or anyone else, is an insecure, patronising f*ckwit, deserving of a backhander.

CANCER JUN 22-JUL 22 You gallivant around the Eastern Suburbs pretending to be some sort of arrogant elitist, but unfortunately you’re just a deluded derro.

SAGITTARIUS NOV 23-DEC 21 If you really want to make the world a better place, as you often say you do, take the necessary precautions to minimise your chances of reproducing.

PISCES FEB 20-MAR 20 Itchy bum hole? Combantrin chocolate squares are delicious, but they work a whole lot faster if you jam them straight in your arse.

LEO JUL 23-AUG 22 A new hairstyle can completely change your entire personality. What’s that you say? “Not necessary”? You know it’s well overdue.

CAPRICORN DEC 22-JAN 20 Remove any kind of personal responsibility whatsoever by relying on your nonsense religion to justify your selfish and irrational views.

ARIES MAR 21-APR 20 Chuck a sickie when there’s nothing wrong with you, then get absolutely shitfaced so you feel sick the next day, just to justify the sickie.

VIRGO AUG 23-SEP 23 A life of sexual deprivation is about to come to a head; resist the urge to grope as you enter the horniest period of your adulthood.

AQUARIUS JAN 21-FEB 19 You think your family is weird? Everyone’s family is weird, but at least they keep their weirdness confined to family situations.

STAR SIGNS Words Beardy from Hell


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The Beast - March 2018  

The March 2018 Edition of The Beast, featuring Reni Maitua.

The Beast - March 2018  

The March 2018 Edition of The Beast, featuring Reni Maitua.