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JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
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MCN LOCAL NEWS
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
New charity keen to make a difference By Renée Purdie
Photo: Laura McNulty
MCN Melbourne City Newspaper
APPROX: 65,000 COPIES MONTHLY Results of CAB Audit April-September 2010 Editor-in-Chief: Paul McLane Marketing & Media Manager: Dione Joseph Designer: Matt Hocking www.matthocking.com.au Marketing: Pummi Sooden Kasia Todisco, Clarice Lau Photographer: AP Guru Production Manager: Lisa Stathakis Publisher: Paras Australia Pty Ltd Distributor: Arrow Distribution and Private Distribution CONTACT Toll free: 1300 80 40 33 Website: www.mc-news.com.au Postal Address: PO Box 582 Collins St West, VIC 8007 Address: 416-420 Basement Collins St, Melbourne CBD 3000 Next Issue on: 20 June, 2011 (the third Friday of every month) Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Events Listings: email@example.com Freelance submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org General inquiries/feedback: email@example.com Disclaimer MC NEWS and web MC-NEWS. com.au due care in the preparation of the publication but is not responsible or liable for any mistakes, omissions or misprints. MC NEWS prints advertisements provided to the publisher, but gives no warranty and makes no representation as to the truth or accuracy of any description and accepts no liability for any loss suffered by any person who relies on any statement contained herein. MC NEWS reserves the right to refuse, abbreviate or delete any advertisement at any time. Advertisements are responsible for advertising copy by virtue of the Trades Practices Act and advertisements are published in good faith. All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Images are for illustrative purposes only.
Najib Warsame, 18, cuts out unusual shapes for the stop motion animatation activity that day
Youth inspire at Urban Mesh By Laura McNulty
he third Urban Mesh Workhouse is an inspiring government funded initiative that places the focus directly on Melbourne’s young and budding creatives. The outer appearance of the venue is somewhat akin to a “lone ranger,” a building with purpose, yet different. Nestled at the end of Banana Alley it’s odd, yet remarkable. An artist’s messy workbenches as well as state of the art film/media technology are all on offer allowing young kids to gain first hand experience with industry-based artists and emerging media. Part of Melbourne’s funky youth based art hub, known as Signal, the centre welcomes all youth passionate about the arts between the ages of 13 – 20 to come along and be immersed in something special. Regular three day hands-on experience workshops for youth allow them to work alongside Melbourne’s freshest and most passionate industrybased artists. Some of Urban Mesh’s working artists include the talented Ben Cittadini (Performance) Isobel Knowles (Animation) Marion Singer (Film) and Eugene Ball (Jazz/Music). Downstairs, local animation artist Isobel works closely with the students on a stop motion animation inspired project. Upstairs, Eugene plays around with the tech-savvy program
Logic and the kids learn to record and edit various sounds. The opportunities are endless and young people are offered a chance to experiment with a wide range of media. Ben Cittadini, an industry based artist, believes the workshop is crucial for the development of ideas and conversation between artists and young people.
“It’s more than just a place to come and make stuff it’s a place where young people can listen and discuss their ideas” Mentor Ben Cittadini
“It’s more than just a place to come and make stuff it’s a place where young people can listen and discuss their ideas freely.” While previous classes have remained relatively small, Signal’s Supervisor, Christine Grant, believes the art space has room to grow and extends its arms to all youth with a passion in the arts. “A place like this needs young people to grow. We would love young people to come along to our ‘Signal’s Curator’ meetings to collaborate and discuss ideas about what young kids really want in these artist-based workshops.”
Youth are encouraged to think alternatively and express themselves through different art forms and textiles whilst keeping in mind the “Urban Forest Strategy” theme. Christine Grant says that you don’t have to come here with a crazy artistic talent: “you just have to want to be involved”. Najib Warsame, 18, found out about Signal’s workshop through “Youth Hub” and was interested in progressing his drawing and art skills: “It’s good just to be involved in something, teens have a lot of time on their hands but they often don’t know where to start.” Today’s art and media industry places too much pressure on youth to replicate and produce work to a certain societal standard, says Cittadini, and Signal can offer a space that is different: “Kids can become involved in work without actually having the industry pressure to ‘produce’ something.” Signal’s creative art space welcomes new, young and emerging artists to come along and be involved in this creative arts initiative. The next upcoming “Urban Mesh” will be held July 1-3 so make sure you jump online and become involved in this fantastic opportunity to express your inner creative. Or jump online and visit www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ signal/pages/signal.aspx
espite improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education over recent years, a large gap remains between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, particularly in the realm of higher education. According to the 2008 Australian Bureau of Statistics survey, Education and Indigenous Wellbeing (4102.0 —Australian Social Trends, Mar 2011), non-Indigenous adults were over four times as likely to have attained a Bachelor degree or higher (24% compared with five %). To tackle this problem, Yolley Thomas-Kalos has started the organisation Feeding Young Minds. Yolley’s vision for Feeding Young Minds is to be a vessel that will shape and add meaning to young people’s lives. Yolley shared that, “to feed one’s mind is to nourish one’s intellect by giving all the tools necessary to grow and think in such a manner that is positive, productive and beneficial to oneself and to society at large. I’d really like to make a difference in the lives of those who are truly disadvantaged whereby they become productive and contributing members of society and pass it forward to others as mentors helping the next generation.” Yolley was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Haitian parents. She lived in Haiti between the ages of three and 13 before visiting the United States on holiday. She was not allowed to return to her country because of political reasons i.e. a coup d’état wherein President JeanClaude Duvalier was ousted from the country. She was left with no outward relics of her past: no family pictures and
no favourite teddy bear, but she had already been imparted with her father’s legacy: the importance of education and also a deep awareness of what poverty really means. Yolley credits her passion for education to her father. “He told me education would be the key to my future. So, he insisted that I pick a substantial career so that he could rest easy when he’s gone. He was right. Without an education, I wouldn’t accomplish anything in my life. So, I want to pass on my father’s remedy to others.” In Haiti, Yolley saw great poverty and, “talented, smart kids not having the opportunity to further themselves because they have no means to do so … no money, no food, no water, no shelter, no electricity, no clothing”. Having seen the ramifications Yolley is committed to ensuring that children in Australia have the opportunities that so many of us take for granted. Once funding for Feeding Young Minds is obtained, the idea is to provide grants between $2,500 and $5,000. The program will be available to students who are referred by their peers or teachers and there will be a mentorship component available. There will be a massive campaign to promote the launch of Feeding Young Minds in the next couple of months. Email Yolley on ybdforyou@ gmail.com and she will add you to the mailing list. In the meantime, donations can be mailed to: Feeding Young Minds, PO Box 2327, Oakleigh, VIC 3166.
Feeding Young Minds founder, Yolley Thomas-Kalos
NEWS IN BRIEF MCN
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Campfire program sheds new light
munity and cultural groups. “It has been a pleasure to watch other community groups join us and see how Campfire Program has begun to grow to include so many different cultural groups. This year in collaboration with the asylum seekers we were delighted to share the ‘campfire space’ and this is an initiative that I look forward to in the future as well.” For those of us who haven’t experienced the Campfire Program or been out to experience
Photo: Fed Square
or nearly five years the Light in Winter festival has welcomed the expertise of Gunditjmara and Kirrae Whurrong woman Vicki Couzens whose insight and skills as a curator and coordinator for the popular Campfire Program have kept the event burning brightly. Hailing from the volcano country of the Western Districts, Couzens is very excited at the rapid growth of the program as it expands with every year to include a range of com-
Indigenous artist performs traditional dance
country there is a distinctive aesthetic and communal spirit that is ignited: “When you get to experience the sounds of the bush and hearing everyone and everything come alive to sing together that is special – because even though we’re located in the heart of the city we still are on country.” The events in Campfire Program include a range of activities for the community. From June 13th people of all ages will be welcome to listen to Uncle Herb Patten demonstrate his skill at gum leaf playing, attend storyteller Larry Walsh’s dreamtime story sessions or learn the skills of basket weaving. As Couzens explains: “Simply put the campfire is the home and hearth – it is central to keeping warm and is a place where families and communities gather for eating and storytelling.” Spirituality is central to the Aboriginal community and through symbols of fire and light Aboriginal people also bring the spirit of their culture, wisdom and knowledge of traditions that have existed long before the continent was even known as Australia. “City is built on country – peeling back those layers and concrete to expose the real country is vital because that is what we’re walking on today, that’s what’s important”. In regard to the recent decree made by the Premier that it is unnecessary to acknowledge tradi-
Photo: Fed Square
By Dione Joseph
The home and the hearth
tional owners Couzens explains the need for such recognition:
“It is the Aboriginal law of the land to welcome – it is a very important tradition and embedded in our community. You could not travel from here to Geelong without getting permission.” Vicki Couzens
“It is the Aboriginal law of the land to welcome – it is a very important tradition and embedded in our community. You could not travel from here to Geelong
without getting permission.” It seems like straightforward advice, after all you wouldn’t barge into someone’s house without knocking, but as Couzens explains we have forgotten that in this country “everybody who is not Indigenous is a boat person – and while the debate about asylum seekers continues let’s remember that they at least are asking permission unlike 200 years ago”. Simplicity is the key to connecting back to country and the activities in the Campfire Program are all focused upon reconnecting with the essence of what is important. Education is a foundational stone, emphasises Couzens “not only what we learn in school but cultural and community knowledge that is shared through storytell-
ing, singing and participation is essential towards maintain a thriving Indigenous culture”. Ultimately, the Campfire Program is a story about sharing light and invites people to come together to share. Couzens concludes by saying: “The story of light (whether firelight, sunlight, moonlight or even starlight) is a common story across cultures and there are so many similar narratives with similar meanings that when we actually take the time to listen to other cultures it breaks down the barriers we have constructed and highlights our commonalities – and so much of it in the past and even today happens as we gather around a warm and beautiful source of comfort.”
MCN LOCAL NEWS
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Victorian couple say you’re “Not Alone”
ot Alone, established by Victorian couple Peter MacDiarmid and Sheila MacDiarmid, follows the disappearance and suspected homicide of their daughter Sarah MacDiarmid, on Wednesday July 11 1990, from Kananook railway station near Frankston, Victoria. The unresolved case has left the couple, like many others whose missing loved ones are suspected victims of homicide, in limbo. However, that has not stopped the MacDiarmids from establishing an online platform to help curb an issue yet to be addressed in Australia. “We’ve been told there are many websites for those known to be murdered but very few attempting to focus on suspected homicide cases of missing persons. Not knowing one thing or another is not easy,” Peter MacDiarmid said. It is only in hindsight that the couple realised the kind of help they would have benefited from, possibly preventing some of the problems they encountered. The MacDiarmids regret
several of their decisions in coping with their missing daughter’s suspected homicide. “We took many wrong steps. Very much personal things. We wanted to leave Frankston area. We moved to Queensland. We now realise to have been in Kilmore, where we are now, would have been the best option. I would have stayed in my old job which would have seen us better off financially and work wise,” he said. “There was lots of angst and there was no one to help give us any guidance. We appreciated the emotional support but sometimes practical assistance such as financial and real estate help can make the journey a lot easier.” Having gone through 20 odd years of uncertainty with their missing daughter’s suspected homicide case, they hope to share their personal experience of such a journey and make available information regarding referral to appropriate Government agencies and local support services across Australia through “Not Alone”. “Through ‘Not Alone’, we also hope to provide links to a
wide range of professionals assisting with legal help, counseling and eventually making connections with missing persons units in various states. And probably, in the next couple of years, GPs will be involved,” MacDiarmid said. “It will be a healing site not just for Victoria. We’re starting off in Victoria but we hope to go national, completely national. We would like to think we’ll get some assistance from various state governments and be promoted by various homicide departments since that’s where it all sets off.” In fact, the comprehensive online platform does not neglect the impact on siblings of missing persons suspected of homicide. Alisdair MacDiarmid was just 21 and in his third year at Melbourne University when his sister Sarah went missing. “Like the rest of us, his sister’s disappearance has an ongoing effect on him. What’s happening with the sibling is often unknown. We were amazed when he finished off his Honours degree in Electrical Engineering but even now,
Photo courtesy of: Peter MacDiarmid
By Devi Rajaram
Sarah MacDiarmid, still missing
he breaks out into random cold sweats while talking to people. There was one spell following his sister’s disappearance where he went to the UK to meet his grandparents before they died,” Peter MacDiarmid said. Through “Not Alone”, Alisdair MacDiarmid, now married with a daughter, is hopeful he will be able to give some insight and help to other siblings in a similar position. Peter MacDiarmid said siblings interact at a different level compared with their parents. “We feel it’ll be helpful to allow them to discuss their thoughts and feelings at that
level. Alisdair will be able to share with them what worked and what did not work. ” Indeed, “Not Alone”, currently run by pro bono help, functions to serve the greater good of the wider community. It is hoped the website will
benefit from a trust account in the future. “We’re looking forward to proper regulated footing soon for General Practitioner seminars and so on. But it will take time to build, it will take time,” MacDiarmid said.
Local Debate: Climate change or human-made change?
ising oceans. Melting icebergs. Hotter summers. Colder winters. Increasing temperatures. More extreme natural disasters. What is the world coming to? It’s hard to imagine a subject less talked about. Politicians, campaigners, fundraisers, television, radio and every form of print and online media are discussing and debating the concept of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’. But what do these terms really mean and is it truly more than just a big fat carbon tax? The opinions are endless and there are plenty of stats to support both sides. Melbourne City News spoke to Barrie Hunt, honorary researcher at the CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research to get his opinion. Firstly the confusion between “climate change” and “global warming” - the fact that the two terms are related does not mean that they are identical. Overwhelming exposure to the two terms have gradually merged their true meanings so
that today they are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Global warming may encompass a general rise in surface temperatures due to the rising emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, but climate change looks at the globe as a whole – a longer term effect and change to the world’s climate, which will include phenomenon such as the melting icecaps in the Arctic region, and therefore may be the reason why we are currently experiencing harsh cold winters in Melbourne this year. Hunt further elucidated the difference – global warming is only one component of climate change. However, it is not the only thing that is going on right now. Besides global warming, there are also concerns with rising sea level and melting ice glaciers. Climate change does comprise of all these factors and covers more precisely what is actively taking place in our environment that will have adverse effects on the planet we are living on. Hunt, well versed in the cli-
By Clarice Lau
A receding glacier in the Canadian rockies
mate change debate explains that even though many people seem to be aware of the increase in carbon dioxide and that harmful gases are no doubt harmful to the environment, they remain unconvinced of their role in causing climate change. This can be a result of them not fully understanding climatic systems and therefore there is a lot of skepticism about the truth of climatic change. “Recent wet conditions in eastern Australia mainly reflect short-term climate variability
and weather events, not longerterm climate change trends. Conclusions that climate is not changing are based on misunderstanding of the roles of climatic change caused by increasing greenhouse gases and climatic variability due to natural processes in the climatic system,” says Hunt. Hunt also explained that the increasing greenhouse gases and climatic variability works together to either exacerbate or moderate climate extremes. In other words: “purely judging
based on individual’s perceptions of climate patterns does not indicate that climate change theories have been overthrown, and that the world is going to be fine after all.” Despite scientific research showing evidence that the climate has indeed warmed in the last 100 years, and that the glaciers are melting, people are generally not convinced as they cannot see a significant change. The media does not help, often using fear tactics and instead of offering informative analysis.
The reality of the situation is that statistics are often used to prove just about anything, and this goes for both sides of the argument. Interested in the debate? Send your thoughts, questions and comments to the Editor and you could have them printed in the next Edition of Melbourne City News – keep up-to-date with all the latest local news and make sure you get your say. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCAL PROFILE MCN
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Dumbing down debate: the current political mess By Mitchell Shepherd
ainstream political journalism has reached a difficult juncture. Do the media exist to entertain or inform, sell or tell? Our constant craving for drama and sensationalism has now infiltrated political reporting to the point where politicians act in a defensive, almost robotic manner, while journalists wait to pounce on the slightest of errors or slips of the tongue. Former Labour Federal MP Lindsay Tanner discusses in his latest book Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy, how politics and mainstream media now find themselves in an awkward relationship in which games, stunts and drama are now favoured over serious political content.
“Mainstream media have become heavily focused on manipulating and modifying political content to make it more appealing,” says Tanner. “If people want comedy, they’ll
“I do believe both politicians and the media need to find more effective ways of communicating with the public. Lindsay Tanner
go and see a comedian. Political issues shouldn’t be treated like a game.” However Tanner – who retired before the 2010 federal
Lindsay Tanner’s new book Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy
election after holding the seat of Melbourne for 17 years – does acknowledge the current struggle the media find themselves in. They are constantly being torn in two directions and this creates an environment in which editorial responsibility and commercial pressure are engaged in a relentless tug-ofwar. “I don’t blame the media for responding to commercial pressure and it isn’t a problem solely of the media – it’s a problem of the whole community. Media is a central component of democracy and plays a fundamental role, however it is also driven by profit – this creates an unusual tension,” says Tanner. Throughout the book Tanner is critical of the “infotainment” style and emotional stirring of the media. He also draws attention to the everincreasing celebrity fascination gripping the general public and supplying incentive to the mainstream media to over indulge in sex and scandal. Tanner’s point about our celebrity culture isn’t any great revelation, although it is interesting in regards to the fuss surrounding recent carbon tax advertisements starring Cate Blanchett and Michael Caton. Is there a better way to capture people’s attention and whip the media into a frenzy? Tanner not only condemns the media’s dramatic approach to political news, but also the politicians who fuel the circus with ridiculous stunts that draw attention and media coverage. “My biggest complaint is that the more effort politicians drive into appearing on programs like Kerri-Anne, or Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, the less time they spend dealing with the problems that people face in this country,” explains Tanner. “Let’s focus less on
TRUST AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST LASER
Author Lindsay Tanner
dancing around in funny hats on television and spend more time on the serious issues.” It’s quite easy to point the finger and blame others for
“My biggest complaint is that the more effort politicians drive into appearing on programs like KerriAnne, or Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, the less time they spend dealing with the problems that people face in this country” Lindsay Tanner
the current fracas between the media and our political leaders, but it is more complex to allocate responsibility for overcoming this dysfunctional reality. And finding a more adequate working relationship is vital. As Tanner writes, “academic
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research indicates that the primary influence of the media is not in telling people what to think, but in telling them what to think about.” Although only a minority of the population hold a strong interest in politics, a large proportion are slightly interested. Communicating political news to the array of people, personalities and preferences is where the challenge lies. “I do believe both politicians and the media need to find more effective ways of communicating with the public. I think some brave political soul will eventually try new strategies to engage the public and will reap the rewards. Although the political risks involved make it unlikely in this current climate,” says Tanner. Tanner outlines a previous conversation with the Nine Network’s head of news and current affairs in which he was told that when a politician graces the television screen “a hundred thousand viewers change the channel.” This
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could easily be attributed to the typical boring and uninspiring politician we’ve come to expect, but perhaps it points to a stale and out-dated presentation of political content by the media. “The mainstream media – as well as politicians – should definitely consider alternative methods of political communication,” explains Tanner. “Though in this current atmosphere of ‘gotcha’ style reporting we are seeing politicians become very defensive and protective, which ultimately leads to a boring product.” Interest in politics is low. Determining whether that’s because of android politicians running from ravenous journalists, or the media’s skewed and lacklustre presentation of serious political issues isn’t the problem. Locating forward thinking politicians and a healthy media certainly is. Tanner’s book Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy is available now in bookstores.
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Events Calendar For Kids The Light in Winter Various times, Thu June 2 to Sun July 3 Federation Square This is a free event The Light in Melbourne is free and perfect for the kids. This free event is happening at various times from June 2 to July 3 showcasing Federation Square’s annual celebration of light and entertainment. This year the symbolism of fire shines bright in the program with various local and international artists coming together to highlight a series of lightbased artworks and community events for the public. Directed by Robyn Archer this year’s light in winter will feature themes of mythology, ritual and the art of ceremony.
Puppets at Fed Square July 4 to 10, 10am–3:30pm Federation Square. Visit: www.fedsqaure.cdom/schoolholidays Puppets at Fed Square is the perfect place to take the kids these school holidays. The program features a free week-long puppet program showcasing the world premiere of giant puppets, workshops and films. Renowned performance company Polyglot Theatre will be present, actively engaging with kids on an imaginary journey into the world of puppets. Snuff Puppets’ Human Body Parts will also be in attendance including an ensemble of enormous life-like body parts which will be floating around Fed Square during the day’s activities.
Music on Film Festival Screening Disney’s Fantasia Sat July 9, Palais Theatre Adults $20, Kids Tickets $10 Fantasia is a major achievement of cinema and one of the best examples of music on film ever. This 1940 Walt Disney masterpiece has recently been restored, and whether watching it for the first time or revisiting it, the beauty and mastery of its animations, celebrating some of the greatest music ever written, is a joy to behold. Screened, as it was intended, with a twenty minute interval, so bring your friends, your family, and any kids you know and treat it as the special event it is.
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Welcome to our events calendar, packed with arts, entertainment, eco-events, social gatherings and stimulating public discourse. Our month-at-a-glance directory is your gateway to fun in the city. Event listings are free and subject to space availability. Email up to 50 words to email@example.com, or stand out with a photo for only $80. Cutoff date for the next issue is Wednesday July 6 at 5pm.
Melbourne Magic Festival
July 4, Northcote Town Hall General tickets are on sale at www.melbournemagicfestival.com
Australian International Motor Show
The festival is held annually in Melbourne and was launched four years ago by The Australian Institute of Magic. It has already grown into the largest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. This year’s highlights include internationally renowned illusionists Ellis & Webster and the world’s greatest close up magician: the astonishing Boris Wild, direct from Paris. Other events include classes in sleight of hands for adults, magic for school kids, and the famous trick or treat magic shop on location for the entire festival. Ten great shows especially designed to appeal to kids under the age of ten make it the perfect school holiday treat!
6pm, July 1 to 10 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Visit www.motorshow.com.au
We are offering our readers the chance to win one of four passes to the Melbourne Magic Festival. To enter, simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org with MMF in the subject line. Please include your full name address.
Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy July 6 to 11 Rod Laver Arena $24.50 – $54.50 Take the kids to go see their favourite Disney characters on ice! Worlds of Fantasy has Lightning McQueen from Cars racing across the ice, under the sea characters from the Little Mermaid and animals from The Lion King. It’s also the premiere of Tinker Bell and all her fairy friends from Pixie Hollow on ice. From wheels to waves, Pride Lands to pixie dust, your family favourite Disney moments come to life with dazzling skating and special effects certain to create some warm winter memories.
The Australian International Motor Show is the recognised industry showcase event through which vehicle manufacturers choose to display the latest innovations and advances in the industry. This includes safety, environmental and vehicle purpose-built designs for Australian consumers and motoring enthusiasts alike. A major feature of the Australian International Motor Show will be more than 40 new models that will be revealed for the first time in Australia.
Music on Film Festival July 6 to July 10, Palais Theatre Single ticket: $20, Festival pass: $160, Scorsese Sunday pass: $60 Go and support the first Music on Film Festival that organisers hope will become an annual celebration of music in filmmaking. The Music on Film Festival presents the greatest music performed on film in Melbourne’s iconic Palais Theatre. From Sigur Ros to The Who and many more in between. A whole day has also been set aside to celebrate the great Martin Scorsese with four films to take you on a music and film-making journey that stretches from Africa to New York, from 1945 to today. If you love music, film and the Palais Theatre then this event is not to be missed. Visit: www.moff.com.au for details.
We are offering our readers the chance to win one of six passes to the Music on Film Festival. To enter, simply email: email@example.com with MOFF in the subject line. Please include your full name address.
General interest Run Melbourne Fun Run July 16 to 17, Federation Square Run Melbourne Fun Run is the community fitness event for everyone. With the right training, anyone, at any age and any fitness level can participate. Participants can choose from a half-marathon, a 10km run and
a 5km run or walk starting and finishing at Federation Square. There is also a 3km Kids Run on Saturday July 16. It’s also an opportunity to raise money for the charity you care about most. So get training for a good cause, see you at the start line. See www.runmelbourne. com.au for details.
Sri Chinmoy Como Landing Half Marathon
Live performance David Choi
Sun July 3, Route via South Yarra and Richmond. Information: Melbourne@srichinmoyraces.org (03) 98534731 The half Marathon will begin at the Como Landing, Corner Williams Road and Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra. The event is conducted on a 7km circuit along the picturesque Yarra river. The 7km and 14km races complete one and two laps of the courses respectively. The half marathon runners will complete three laps of the course with a short extension at the start. Competitors will have two hours and 45 minutes to complete the course. All competitors will be given a full course briefing at 7:55am on the race day.
The Australian Ballet presents Elegy June 9 to 18 The Arts Centre, State Theatre $28 – $128 The Australian Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, Stephen Baynes, draws inspiration from musical masterpieces of Requiem and Beyond Bach in this unforgettable double bill. Exploring the difficult concept of life after death through dance, Elegy is a must see for those that appreciate the fine art of ballet. For more details visit www.australianballet.com. au and see our “On Stage” page for an interview with the talented principle dancer Amber Scott.
Fri July 1, Melbourne City Conference Centre. $39 – $79
King of Bangor Bella Union, Trades Hall June 29 to July 9 2011 1.00pm and 8.00pm Visit: www.kingofbangor.wordpress.com King of Bangor is a new one act play by renowned Australian playwright, Lee Gambin. A spine chilling glimpse into the world the horror genre’s most prolific writer as well as one of the most reclusive. This is a venture into the world of Stephen King. From the lonely cry of the outsider in Carrie to the complexities of obsession and ownership in Christine to domestic unrest in The Shining, King of Bangor offers its audience insight into the dilemmas one must face when creativity proves dangerous.
Coda/NICA June 22 to July 1 NICA’s National Circus Centre in Prahran. Tickets are now on sale at www.nica.com.au Coda will have a strictly limited season at NICA in Prahran and is it essential tickets are prepurchased before the day. Coda is NICA’s latest offering of stunning contemporary circus which features a cast of 23 second-year students mid-way through their Bachelor of Circus Arts Degree. Directed and choreographed by renowned actor, teacher and director, Megan Jones, who has been the head of performance studies at NICA since 2008 and has directed various other NICA works, including the sold-out season of Ariel’s Dream, Circus Showcase 2009 and Circus Showcase 2010. Talented young circus artists offer a stunning contemporary interpretation of memory, reality and fantasy whilst performing high energy dance and spectacular circus feats.
Singer David Choi from Los Angeles has risen to YouTube fame with over 90,800,000 total video views, making him the 6th most subscribed musician on YouTube. This is your opportunity to see him live and in concert in Melbourne. Dedicated fans might even get to have their moment on stage with David Choi himself. All you need to do is submit a video dancing the David Choi dance and the winner will be able to perform on stage with Choi himself! More details and ticket information can be found at: www.monsoonproductions.com
6th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition July 9 to 17 Tickets start from $30 Visit www.chambermusicaustralia.com.au Sixteen international music ensembles will be arriving in Melbourne to compete for one of the world’s most prestigious Chamber Music Competitions. Piano Trios and String Quartets from the United States, Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom will be giving world-class performances with finals being held on July 16 and 17 at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The entire competition will be broadcast live on ABC Classic FM and in addition will offer significant cash awards for prize winners.
Boom Crash Opera Sat July 9, Palms at Crown Doors open 7:15. Adult $46.50 Visit www.ticketek.com.au Boom Crash Opera would like to invite you to join them for a night to remember and help celebrate 25 years of Boom Crash Opera history by taking a look back at their remarkable career. The band openly acknowledges their influences especially with former front man Sean Kelly whom they have attempted to clone many times. A night not to be missed, Boom Crash Opera showcases 25 years of the band’s music with front man Sean Kelly performing live.
RED CARPET MCN
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Sophie Harley getting into the spirit Christine Ahern and Martine Alpins
Cirque Du Soleil’s Saltimbanco Opening The stars were out to experience Cirque Du Soleil’s Saltimbanco which first premiered in 1992 and continues to captivate audiences around the world. Guests included Melbourne’s TV, radio and music personalities, all out to see the world renowned acrobatic and produc-
tion skills of Cirque Du Soleil. The creative energy and expertise displayed in the choreography, costumes, lighting and musical score (just to mention a few) had jaws dropping around Rod Laver Arena.
Big Fair Trade Morning Break On Friday May 13 as part of the Fairtrade Fortnight, Moral Fairground’s Big Fair Trade Morning Break brightened up the Docklands Harbour Esplanade with a truly memorable morning tea. Morning commuters were served by Global Café Direct’s
Mexican dancers endorsing free trade coffee
fair-trade coffee experts and entertained by Mexican dancers as part of the cultural showcase. All in an effort to educate people about ethical trade and produce and inspire them to make a stand towards a fair and sustainable future. Photos courtesy of Coffex
Photos by Daniel Gregoric
Conrad Taylor and Jo Hall Cameron Barnet and Nadine Garner
Adam Elliot hams it up for the cameras
St Kilda Film Festival Opening Night Gala The St Kilda Film Festival was launched in style on Tuesday May 24 with filmmakers and actors from the Top 100 films in attendance to watch the screening of Natasha Gadd and Rhys Graham’s Old Fitzroy, at the
Melbourne’s very own Cairo Club Orchestra
glorious Palais Theatre. Shane Jacobson hosted the night and had the crowd in stiches. Most people partied on late into the night at the St Kilda Town Hall.
Melbourne International Jazz Festival Opening This free open air concert at Federation Square kicked off the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and got everyone up and dancing. The Cairo Club Orchestra serenaded in the evening’s headline artists; Chiri featuring internationally renowned Korean
pansori singer Bae Il Dong and legendary “tone scientists”, the Sun Ra Arkestra. Thousands of kids and families were treated to a journey through jazz full of games, laughter, and one very big riff.
Sun Ra Arkestra bandleader Marshall Allen playing an EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument)
Photos by Nick Pitsas
Knoel Scott performing with the Sun Ra Arkestra
Gyton Grantley and Alexandra Schepisi
Reg Gorman finds a familiar face
Photos by Jim Lee
MCN OUT & ABOUT
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Fast Ed cooks up a storm By Renée Purdie
ell-known Aussie chef Ed Halmagyi is in Melbourne this week and provides us with a plethora of insight into his style, technique and personality. Ed formerly referred to as “Fast Ed” is best known for his commercial TV work on Better Homes & Gardens as well as making special guest appearances on the radio show. Ed’s passion for food remains simple; keep time to a minimum and keep the flavour turned up. Ed’s most recent book work includes Nove Cicina, Dinner in 10 and An Hours the Limit, featuring a diverse and delicious range of culinary dinner ideas. If you just can’t get enough of Ed he also runs his own food inspired magazine Better Basics which showcases more fruitful recipes for food lovers all over. What is your favourite meal (both to eat and cook)? To cook? Definitely bread. You see, anyone can take a piece of great beef and make a meal. But to combine flour, water, salt and yeast (four ingredients that are not especially valuable on their own) and still create art is a measure of the chef. I live that challenge. To eat? Pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. Fresh, light, noodley and delicious.
I’ve always wanted to create a cookbook. What are the best and worst things about the process? Creating a book takes so much longer than any reader ever understands. At least a year and a half. You have to find an idea that is relevant and sufficiently different to be interesting. Then you need to make sure that every recipe is perfect—a testing process that takes months and costs tens of thousands of dollars. But in the end you get to make something beautiful, and hopefully have a meaningful impact on the lives of others. That’s what motivates me. If you weren’t a chef—and please never take that option—what would you be doing? If I wasn’t cooking, I’d be writing. I’m sure I’m not alone in having an inner author buried deep within, but mine keeps trying to burst through to the surface. Watch out, you never know what may be in bookstores next year!!! If you could dine with anyone in the world (past or present), who would it be and where would you go? My late grandmother, my wife, my best friend Shaun (who lives in London) and Antonin Careme, the 19th century master pastry chef. I’d probably eat at home and ask Careme to make dessert!
What’s the best advice on cooking you can give to budding chefs and also people who simply want to create healthy, flavourful meals for their family? Let the ingredients do the talking. When you do less, the ingredients can do more. I’ve seen more meals ruined by overexertion than by sloth. A great tomato is perfect as it is, so don’t try to change that. Cookery is the art of teasing out those natural tastes. I read in a MasterFoods interview that ground nutmeg is your all-time favourite spice and that thyme is your favourite herb. Can you please share some more tips about spices and herbs that’ll enliven old favourites? Use spices carefully and without going overboard. They are concentrated pockets of flavour that can easily overpower. The idea is restraint. I love nutmeg for its layering and versatility— sweet or savoury—but remember that when it comes to herbs and spices they’re all so flexible. Also, dried herbs are neither better nor worse than fresh, just different, so use them in their own ways. Who or what inspires you both in the kitchen and out? I’m inspired by those who do things I can’t. Whether its talented chefs creating dishes I
Fast Ed and a fan
want to try, Lewis RobertsThomson kicking goals for the Swans, or the amazing nurses at the children’s hospice Bear Cottage in Sydney who provide amazing respite and palliative care to some very sick children. What they do is both inspiring and humbling. Since I have a sweet tooth (a few of them actually), I was especially excited to discover your extensive experience as a pastry chef. What’s the secret to making delicious scones?
A light hand is the most important thing. Over-mixing toughens the flour, making them less light. Also, replace 10% of the flour with cornflour for an even more delicate scone. You’re a celebrity chef, an author, a husband, a father and a philanthropist through your work with Anglicare and Community Greening … What’s next? It’s not always about starting something new; sometimes it’s
about getting better at the things we already do. I want to do better in raising money for charity; I want to make better books, better mags, better TV. But most of all I want to find more time for my kids—they’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I want to make sure I don’t miss out on them just because life is hectic. And to top it all off what’s something we don’t know about you? I collect specimen beetles.
Steampunk rises to fame
ircus Oz is doing a technical run of their new show’s grand finale. As ringmistress Sarah Ward sings the final song, she is to be hoisted high above the crowd, trailing a vast skirt of parachute silk. Ward is multi-talented – cabaret chanteuse, rapper, composer, clown and poet – but she isn’t an acrobat. The lift requires careful rehearsal. It’s a jerky stop-start process, frequently interrupted by artistic director Mike Finch as he discusses the mechanics with Ward and the riggers keeping her safe. It’s a small insight into just how much work goes into staging a show like Steampowered, a steampunk circus extravaganza. Steampunk is a genre celebrating a Victorian era that never was, a past with clunky machines festooned with clockwork gears and powered by superheated water. Already beloved by science fiction writ-
ers, the aesthetic has gradually made its way into the mainstream. When the set designer suggested Circus Oz take on steampunk, Finch says, “It was a real forehead slapping moment.” As Finch points out, although the classical circus tradition evolved in the real Victorian era, that circus was also never quite what people think it was. “Steampunk’s got that aesthetic unity, but it’s also history that never existed. And contemporary circus already plays with that – it’s in a constant state of reference to an imagined history of circus.” Steampowered has inspirations as diverse as Mad Max, the works of Jules Verne, and the French circus troupe Archaos. But Finch promises that Steampowered is “more punk than steam. The punk side is all about breaking the rules.” Known for its live music, raw acrobatics and cheeky flair, Circus Oz also has a reputation
as a company interested in the ethics of performance. Aware of criticisms of steampunk as a genre nostalgic for a racist, misogynist, colonialist past, Finch “set a challenge” for designers. He wanted to explore the circus of an imagined past that had gone a better way: “What if Captain Phillip had integrated with Indigenous Australians? What if the Red Coats had gone bush? What would be a real Australian steampunk?” The result, he says, is a show with a “Victorian aesthetic sensibility – but the politics are a complete reversal.” Especially, it seems, as regards gender roles. “Our female characters are more practical action heroes than romantic heroines.” Circus Oz’s commitment to social justice isn’t only reflected in their performances. For many years, the company has raised money for various causes, including Plan Australia, and the Asylum Seekers
Resource Centre. Circus Oz gives out hundreds of tickets to people who might not be financially able to attend, including gifts to women’s shelters, youth groups, and Indigenous communities. Supported by the Philanthropic Trust they are about to begin a three-year program developing Indigenous circus performers. “We don’t always want to make a big deal about it,” Finch says. “But we think, who is the most disadvantaged, and how can we support them?” So Steampowered has ethics and aesthetics; but is it fun? Finch grins: “On the way out [the audience] feels good about it.” Sarah Ward rehearses the lift again, this time with the other performers around her. The acrobats are dressed in jeans and tracky daks, miming their stunts. Ward isn’t singing in full voice. But the mistress of the ring raises one arm, grins,
Photo: Rob Blackburn
By Karen Healey
and disappears into the billowing silk. For that moment, the magic of a history that never was comes to life. The circus is in town.
Circus Oz is staging Steampowered in Melbourne under the Big Top, from June 22 to July 17. Auslan performances July 3.
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
We’re a radio community T
his experience with society in Australia or an individual suffering from a mental health disorder speaking about their experience with the health system in Victoria.” “We are representing the community at grassroots level. This is a bias that we know about and is something we are very proud of.” James Williams from 3KND
“Community radio is a part of Melbourne life. Melburnians are participants and enthusiasts of community radio; they’re also very supportive of their environment” Adrian Basso - PBS
says that relationships between community radio stations are stronger than ever and echoes the vibrancy and diversity of our beautiful city. “We’re not competing. We’re peers and we support each other.” 3KND is an Aboriginal community radio station known for being the voice of Australia’s traditional land owners.
Photo: Stefan Elias
hree different radio stations with three different specialties. With different channels and different themes, they’re all trying to win over you, the listener, and sell something with advertisements and music, right? Wrong. Melbourne’s community radio stations often work together to promote a sense of unity in the media, unlike today’s mass media. You wouldn’t guess by the hip and crazy mural painted by local artists on the side of its home on Smith St, Collingwood, but 3CR is one of Melbourne’s oldest running community radio stations. The radio station was established in 1976 to provide a voice for those marginalised in mainstream media. Groups like the working class, women, Indigenous people and the many community groups and community issues discriminated against, in and by the mass media were finally given a chance to speak out in a profit-obsessed corporate society. Station manager Loretta O’Brien says the thing most people enjoy about the station is the diversity of shows and people, and ever-vibrant environment. “People on our shows are people who are directly talking
In the booth at 3CR
about their own experiences rather than, for example, a media representative talking about a celebrity’s experience. We have real stories and real issues.” “Our volunteers walk straight off the street, get trained up in our training program and go ahead and talk about their real lives on air.” And with over 300 volunteers presenting 120 programs each week they must be doing something right for our community. “These are voices and stories that you won’t hear anywhere else on any other kind of media, whether it’s a young Arabic male talking about
It is Melbourne’s first community radio station managed and owned by Indigenous Australians and has been airing programs and current affairs since 2003. “We give Indigenous Australians someone to speak to, and also when the wider community tunes in they too learn about Aboriginal issues.” 3KND offers training and support for young Indigenous Australians wanting to get out there and make it in broadcast media. “We have a lot of pride in how we empower young Aboriginal people. We have a lot of youth here that are studying and assistants in
training. We’re really about getting the young ones through training and giving them the education they deserve.” “We talk about issues that they’re scared to. We discuss issues that there’s no money in but that people want to hear.” 3KND has around 30 volunteers participating in daily programs, weekly shows, and most popularly, their “deadly” current affairs program. “The only notable figure we haven’t had on the program is the prime minister. We’ve had pretty much everyone else – all kinds of ministers and politicians talking about issues important to Aborigines and then the wider community.” PBS, “Home of little heard music”, is another community radio station known for its edge – or as Station Manager Adrian Basso puts it: “more music, less talk.” “What makes PBS different is that we solely focus on music. We celebrate music in all its diversity, a cornucopia of all different styles run by all our 100 volunteer announcers.” “All the mainstream stations out there ignore the little gems that we find. Our announcers go and search out these rare and wonderful pieces of art.” “We are dedicated and deliver quality programs week in and week out. We have over 80 programs each week – all music programs – that focus on all different kinds of music.” “I like to describe us being like a nice deli where there’s lots of things you can try you may not have tried before. If you transfer that idea to your ears and to sounds, you should give us a go. I recommend people jump on our website and check out what we have to offer. Depending on what time you tune in, you’re bound to find something you’re into.” Over 20,000 Australians volunteer regularly at their local community radio stations each year. This makes up over $145 million and seven million hours of unpaid work per annum. Community radio stations have been around Melbourne for over thirty years, providing an outlet for music and issues that are often missed by commercial and public broadcasters. “A lot of our needs are overlooked in conventional media. It’s all driven by profit and money,” adds Williams. Community stations usually avoid content found on commercial radio like repetitive Top 40 hits and unfunny comedians on your drive home. Commercial stations don’t
Photo: Stefan Elias
By Zorana Dodos
Smith St community radio station 3CR
play music from emerging artists unless they’ve been paid to do so. They also wouldn’t interview your local café owner holding a charity event raising funds to support the local autistic school. Community radio acts as a means for people to tell their own stories, promote good for our community and contribute to the world of broadcast media.
“Community radio is a part of Melbourne life. Melburnians are participants and enthusiasts of community radio; they’re also very supportive of their environment. “It’s just like our café culture, our football culture; it’s the same thing with our radio culture. There is no limit with Melbourne community radio. There’s so much on offer out there, the connection with the
community is quite strong,” explains Basso. “Over the thirty-five plus years community radio has been around, we’ve grown our own patch, developed our own area. We’ve all established our own niches. “People get into what we do, they support us, and this really shines back into the community.”
Michael Jackson lives on
o mark the 3rd anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing, Australia’s No.1 Michael Jackson Tribute Artist, TJ will perform a special dance tribute concert at Spencers Live, Melbourne. TJ rose to fame when he was declared Winner of a competition run by Channel Nine’s The Today Show to find the best Jackson dancer in the country. TJ has just returned from an amazing tour of Indonesia,
performing as the headlining act at The Hard Rock Hotel Bali and now back home to perform his New World Class show, packed with all the big hits: Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It, Smooth Criminal and many more. Finally, Australia can experience a Michael Jackson Concert – featuring the best of the 1987 Bad Tour, 1992 Dangerous Tour, 1996 History Tour and 2009 This Is It Tour. “This is the most authentic Michael Jackson Tribute Show
you will see, it will be a memory of what MJ brought to the stage during his various world tours – not just a list of songs.” Costumes and choreography is exactly the way Michael presented it on stage. TJ is backed by a team of Melbourne’s most sought out professional dancers and the act features an incredible stateof-the-art-light-show. More special effects, more dance and purely the passion that only the brilliant TJ can bring. www.tjmichaeljackson.com.au
MCN FOOD & WINE
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
“Strictly no powders, artificial fillers, flavours or cream. All too often these are used to camouflage inferior chocolate while pure melted genuine Belgian couverture chocolate is simply in a class of its own.” Chokolait proprietor Ross
and temperature seamlessly combining the pure melted chocolate through the milk with deceptively little effort. It may sound obvious but hot chocolate must be served hot, because your experience should be savoured, not rushed. You can choose from dark, milk or white hot chocolate, add chilli, cinnamon, or coffee, made fresh in any combination, Chokolait also has a range of genuine country of origin chocolate buttons from around
the world, ready to be melted down and crafted into a more exotic hot chocolate experience. The variety of single origin hot chocolates on offer is almost as diverse as Chokolait’s clientele. Ross has sourced the range from Uganda, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Peru and Venezuela each of which have been made using cocoa sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms or have Fairtrade approval. Ross explains that it is only fairly recently that country of origin chocolate could actually be obtained in the chocolate world: “Conglomerate chocolate companies catering for mass consumption, perhaps because of the extra work and logistics involved, prefer to throw chocolate from different regions into the same vat, losing the distinctive flavour of each individual country’s produce.” However, despite these inconsistencies that filter through the chocolate world Ross continues with a smile optimistically explaining that now “single origin chocolate is steadily becoming more widely available which is in large part thanks to people becoming more sophisticated and discerning in their consumption of chocolate and seeking new sensations and innovations.” Each single origin chocolate has its own distinct flavour because each country’s local climate, soil, plants and agricultural practices affect the flavour of the final product. The best examples of this are the decisive differences between the chocolate originating in Papua New Guinea, Peru and
Husband and wife team Marianna and Ross
A decadent hot chocolate from Chokolait.
Costa Rica. They each have the same cocoa content of 64% but because of their different places of origin they each have their own individual flavours and intensity. The Papua New Guinean variety has a very distinctive, smoky flavour with a hint of whisky whereas the chocolate from Peru has surprisingly fresh fruity accents on a rich cocoa foundation. In contrast the strong, smooth, dark chocolate flavours of Costa Rican origin chocolate have made it a favourite among Chokolait’s regulars. Whatever hot chocolate you decide to try, Chokolait ensures that the natural flavours of each individual type of chocolate are its focus, for pure and serious hot chocolate decadence. Not sure if you’ll enjoy the smoky 64% Papua New Guinean, the 71% Ecuadorian or the bold and robust 80% from Uganda? Just ask if you can sample a chocolate button to see if it suits your taste. There’s plenty to choose from, and Ross and Marianna are always happy to talk and help you select your new hot chocolate experience, but be warned, their passion for hot chocolate is infectious. Melbourne may be considered the coffee capital of Australia but the country’s cultural capital most certainly has a hot chocolate heart – beating defiantly and waiting to be experienced in all its delicate richness at Chokolait.
A short history of Chocolate Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree, its scientific name Theobroma Cacao translates to “food of the gods”. The word Chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocolatl, meaning, bitter water. Hernan Cortes brought the valuable secret of xocolatl back to Spain, improving the recipe with the addition of sugar from the East Indies and vanilla procured from Mexico. When the Mayans first turned cocoa seeds into a drink, it was drunk cold. Cocoa beans were used as a form of currency in the Aztec Empire. It was only after the beans had been worn down that they were used in drinks. When the cocoa pod ripens it turns from yellow to orange.
defends it exclusive rights to the term Champagne. Exuding not only a culinary but also a sensory passion, Ross talks about hot chocolate as an experience saying “If you are a serious hot chocolate consumer, having the same hot chocolate can get boring. Unlike coffee you drink it for the sensory experience, not just to get you up and going. We’re here to provide that experience tailored to the individual.” Marianna, always ready with a welcoming smile froths milk to the perfect consistency
inter is officially here, time for all you chocolate lovers out there to enjoy a hot chocolate with friends to dispel those winter blues. But before you settle for just any hot chocolate, consider taking your winter love affair to a more... intimate, discerning and exciting level. Yes, just as the coffee world is concerned with roasts and blends, and the wine experts indulge in debates about terrior, the hot chocolate world has its own aficionados of technique and cocoa regions. Tucked away in the Hub Arcade on Little Collins street, husband and wife team Ross and Marianna run Chokolait: a chocolate salon dedicated to providing premium hot chocolate for ardent and aspiring connoisseurs. I followed the sweet aroma down the arcade and sat down at a cosy corner table with Ross, chocolatier and chef, to find out what it really takes to make a serious, quality hot chocolate. Ross tells me that just like fine cuisine, the most important thing is quality ingredients. If you have the best ingredients you shouldn’t have to add anything, the real flavour of the chocolate should be allowed to shine. “Strictly no powders, artificial fillers, flavours or cream”, emphasizes Ross who explains that “all too often these are used to camouflage inferior chocolate while pure melted genuine Belgian couverture chocolate is simply in a class of its own.” He emphasises that he uses the word “genuine” deliberately to describe his Belgian chocolate, much like the French region
an experience to remember
A ripened cocoa pod
t is possible that the electric kettle, the toaster and the bicycle enhanced the well-being of humankind more profoundly than the Internet. It is also possible that the telegraph, the printing press and radio, as controversial as they may have been in their time, are more significant technological developments. But the information super highway this week detoured around such comparisons as the Internet in Australia celebrated a milestone. It is 25 years since the .au domain name came into being, sparking a revolution to which Australia succumbed with more enthusiasm than any nation on earth â€“ or, presumably, in cyberspace.
Australia has some 10.4 million active internet users and a further 4.2 million wireless broadband users, the highest rate per capita in the world. The Internet became widely identifiable in Australia with the placing in 1986 of the .au appendage in the hands of Melbourne University academic Robert Elz. The Internet, a name derived from the 1960s term â€œinternetworkingâ€?, had been in operation as we know it since 1982 and had existed in one form or another for more than 20 years before that. But the decision of the University of Southern Californiaâ€™s Information Sciences Institute to hand control of Australian domain names to Mr Elz
brought organisation to its local evolution. As the Internet in Australia grew from a project involving a handful of organisations like universities and the CSIRO, the assignation of .au domain names passed from Mr Elz to such organisations as AusRegistry and .au Domain Administration (.auDA). The .au domain is now a part of almost 2.1 million websites, has the highest pro-rata penetration rate in the world and is regarded as one of the Internetâ€™s most secure and trusted namespaces, according to AusRegistry CEO Adrian Kinderis. Australiaâ€™s Internet integrity also benefits the country by attracting commerce, tourism
and investment. â€œJust as Australia has a proud identity that it projects to the world, the .au space does the same for our online presence,â€? said auDA CEO Chris Disspain. â€œThe .au domain name is Australiaâ€™s home on the Internet. Itâ€™s a safe, reputable environment. â€œThatâ€™s why more and more people and companies are gravitating towards .au names that allow us to shop, live, work and play online with confidence.â€? Not every view of the Internet is as positive or altruistic as Mr Disspainâ€™s. The Australian novelist Peter Goldsworthy recognised some of its foibles, describing it as a place where â€œour deepest,
that are not unfamiliar today. The widespread use of the radio and the telephone, it was said a century ago, would promote the use of slang, lazy thinking, poor grammar and could be misused for gambling or criminal activity. Use of the phone and the radio was also bound to encourage baldness, reduced potency, increased blood pressure, piles and manifestations from the spirit world. The Internet is yet to spread its evil so widely, thanks in part to the work of organisations like AusRegister which operates as a guardian of Australian websites, its servers directing more than 650 million internet inquiries each day to the correct destination. AAP
darkest and most thrilling secret impulses can be found and allowed out on paroleâ€?. Goldsworthy likens the net to a place that allows the freedom of movement behind masks and, indeed, without masks. And especially without clothes. There are more pointed criticisms of the net, just as there were when other revolutionary technologies emerged. The arrival of books among average people, for example, caused one commentator to describe them as nothing more than â€œdried tree flakes encased in dead cowâ€?. When electronic communication became widely available the cynics bemoaned the supposed deleterious effects in ways
By Dean Watson
rett Ludeman, founder of Storybottle, has been overwhelmed with the interest in his video service since its launch, a little over a year ago. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of advertising out there that is really just explaining the product, rather than selling it,â€? he explained. â€œMy ads are aimed more at creating a feeling; creating a curiosity and a buzz around the product.â€?
Storybottle is a new creative venture that provides independent performing artists and advertisers with affordable video for online content and advertising. â€œUp until now, video wasnâ€™t very affordable for the industry, especially for independent performing artists. It wasnâ€™t an affordable direction for advertising to go in. Photography and word of mouth was the go, but now video is becoming more and more accessible.â€?
With a background in acting and directing, Ludeman decided his videos were best put to use in the performing arts. â€œI saw a lot of videographers selling into the more â€˜financially loadedâ€™ industries. I felt drawn to go back to my roots, to the industry that really deserved it.â€? His hunch is looking more and more like an inspired decision. â€œI have a small team of photographers and videographers working with me. Weâ€™re
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starting to get more and more people on board.â€? With clients from WA, SA and NSW, Ludeman is hoping to expand as soon as possible. â€œI see Storybottle going international and bringing artists together through online video. I want performing artists to think about how we communicate between theatre groups and theatre companies and how we communicate globally as a theatre network.â€?
For more on the video services provided by Storybottle visit: www.storybottle.com
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Australian Internet celebrates a landmark
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JUNE 2011 â€˘ VOL 2, ISSUE 4
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Education: Making change easier By Candice de Chalain
eople say “an education opens doors” but many people fear it will also close their bank account. However, learning new skills, or polishing your existing ones, doesn’t have to come with a big price tag. New skills can be life changing, whether you are young, old, a student, job-seeker or employee who wants to excel or change your career. Acquiring new skills places a basket of opportunities at your feet filled with job choice, self-confidence and the chance to interact with others like yourself. There are thousands of affordable courses in Victoria, ranging from on-the-job training, apprenticeships and adult community education, to TAFE and university degrees. There are also plenty of grants, loans and payments available to help pay for your course – all you need to do is reach out and grab them. An easy and affordable way to sharpen your skills is to do it locally. Virginia Lowe is one of the 110, 000 Victorians who learn
locally each year. As a single mother of three, Virginia had been swept off her feet for 11 years caring for her children. But when her youngest child
“Go for it. There are so many different things you can do and it’s more affordable than you think. It gives you the confidence to achieve and once you start you never know where you’re going to finish.” Virginia Lowe
went to school she wanted to re-enter the workforce. Virginia used to work as a machinist, but after having children she no longer wanted to work in a factory. “I wanted something that was more flexible because I had young children,” she says. However Virginia wasn’t sure she had the skills to enter
a new profession. That’s when she discovered Learn Local. Learn Local offers a range of adult community education and training programs that help people start work, return to work, change jobs or remain employed. Courses range from basic computer skills to certificates and diplomas in business, information and technology, and community services, such as childcare, aged care and hospitality. Virginia completed Certificate II in Information and Technology, before deciding to enrol at TAFE to complete Certificate III in Business Administration. Virginia found her courses to be very flexible and she was able to customise her workload to suit her lifestyle. “They knew I was a single parent and structured my course so I could still be home for my kids,” Virginia says. Virginia’s new skills placed her in the perfect position to apply for a job at her children’s primary school. And guess what? She got it. Virginia is now working as
an Administration Assistant while completing Certificate IV in Business Administration under the Victorian Training Guarantee. The Victorian Training Guarantee subsidises courses for people over 20 years old if the qualification is higher than their other qualifications. It also subsidises courses at any level for Victorians under 20 years old. “Fees for the course were actually quite reasonable,” Virginia says. There are a range of grants and payments available. Virginia qualified for the Pensioner Education Supplement, which is a fortnightly payment to help pay
Sparks fly at 370˚ T
he 370˚ skills centre provides quality Electrotechnology training in pre-vocational, apprenticeship and trade-based courses. Unique and industry-driven the 370˚ skills centre is the largest private RTO trainer of electrical apprentices in Victoria. Known for its highlyexperienced industryspecific staff the centre holds a strong partnership with the National Electrical and
Communications Association (NECA). The Skills Centre prides itself on being the benchmark for flexible and dynamic Electrotechnology training to meet all the demands of the industry. The new e-technologies training facility is a show case for the electrical industry and has ‘state of the art’ workshops and classrooms.
The 370° skills centre offers cutting-edge training and technology in the way of: • Interactive blended learning environments assisting with student participation, retention and completion rates. • Classrooms fitted with interactive whiteboards, computers and wireless internet to enhance engagement between the teacher and student.
Pre-apprenticeship-Electrical Are you interested in gaining an Electrical Apprenticeship? Improve your chances by enrolling in our industry endorsed Pre-apprenticeship course commencing Monday 18th July 2011 at 370° skills centre in Carlton North. To enrol please call us on 9388 0566 (places are limited) This training is delivered with Victorian Government funding (subject to eligibility criteria)
• Combination of online and face-to-face teaching with added practical application. The 370˚ skills centre has two campuses operating in Victoria in Carlton North and Brunswick. Call 9388 0566 for more information.
for study-related expenses. Virginia says she is “very happy” in her new abilities and job but admits she wouldn’t be where she is if she hadn’t enrolled in training courses. “There are more opportunities available to me now. I feel much more confident in my ability and I know that if I want to do something else I can,” she says. “It’s made me realise that you’re not stuck where you started. It’s a journey and you keep building on what you learn.”
With so many opportunities literally just around the corner, Virginia says she would recommend enrolling in a course to any one. “Go for it,” she says, “There are so many different things you can do and it’s more affordable than you think. It gives you the confidence to achieve and once you start you never know where you’re going to finish.” To find a course in your area, visit www.acfe.vic.gov.au
Job market showing resilience
obs Minister Chris Evans believes the latest employment data highlights the resilience of the labour market with the jobless rate holding at 4.9 per cent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said just 7800 jobs were created in May, well shy of the 25,000 expected by economists, but after a surprise fall in April. This kept the unemployment rate steady for a third straight month. “The latest ABS figures show the resilience of Australia’s labour market,” Senator Evans said. “The latest figures show that
in the past month we have seen a return to job creation.” Australia remained in an enviable position compared to its international counterparts with Europe and the US continuing to battle unemployment rates in excess of nine per cent. “With the unemployment rate expected to fall to 4.5 per cent by mid-2013, we’re focused on building a bigger and better workforce that our economy needs,” Senator Evans said. “We want to ensure Australians receive the training and education they need to enable them to access the job opportunities which will arise from our economic strength.” AAP
Mid-year enrolments If you or someone you know is thinking about changing schools or even dropping out, consider a transfer to CAE instead. Whether it’s VCE, continuing into tertiary education or increasing employment prospects, we can help. To find out how, call 9652 0713 or visit www.cae.edu.au.
ENROLMENT DATES Thursday 23 June, 1-6pm Tuesday 5 July, 1-6pm
FITZROY LOCALITY FEATURE MCN EDUCATION
FEBRUARY VOL 1, ISSUE 12 JUNE 2011 2011 • VOL•2, ISSUE 4
Going best back toof study doesn’t be scary... The the old have andtothe new help is available! in Melbourne’s oldest suburb
You may be eligible for the Victorian Government’s Victoria Works grant. Grants can be up to $1000 and can be used to cover the costs associated with training, such as books, course fees and childcare.
If you are a mature-aged worker:
Rose Street Artists’ Centrelink’s Market Jobs, Education
and Training Child Care Fee Assistance provideand extra help Everycan Saturday Sunday, with the cost of childcare for over 140 of Melbourne’s best parents who are studying. emerging artists and designers
showcase their work at one of If are markets an Indigenous theyou coolest around – student: the Rose Street Artists’ Market Saturdays are for established Indigenous studentsare and artists and Sundays forfullthe time apprentices are eligible up and coming newcomers. for a fortnightly allowance to help This is where you can find with the costjewellery, of studyingfashion called artworks, ABSTUDY. and home wares that you can’t find anywhere else. TheYouIndigenous can find Completions it between Initiative 9.00am andallows 5.00pm,Indigenous at 60 Rose students to only pay the miniStreet, Fitzroy. mum tuition fee for enrolment in government funded trainSoundWaves ing, including diplomas. SoundWaves If you are overis25back andagain until the end of February at studying or doing an Fitzroy Swimming Pool. apprenticeship fulltime: Every Sunday afternoon from You are1.00pm, probablypoolside eligible DJs for provide cool music to helpCentake financial assistance from on the summer heat. trelink via Austudy.
Over the next three years, workers aged 50 years and over with trade relevant skills but no formal qualifications will have
Slow progress in bridging the gap
Photo: Rose St Artists’ Market
he Council of Australian lum, Assessment and Reporting Authority to provide betGovernments (COAG) ter breakdowns of NAPLAN Reform Council has absences in future, showing expressed concerns about the whether students were sick, number of indigenous children not sitting literacy and numergenuinely exempt or perhaps being asked to stay away. acy tests. Council chairman Paul McThe federal government’s Clintock admitted it was posNational Assessment Program sible some institutions were Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests quiz years 3, 5, trying to skew the results. “Gaming is not impossible, 7 and 9 students every year even if it’s not at state level ... a on their reading, writing and local level,” he told reporters in arithmetic. Canberra. Test results feed into the My School website and concerns The council’s 2010 report have been raised that some on national indigenous reform agreements between the states, teachers are asking poorly perterritories and commonwealth forming students to stay home revealed the proportion of inin order to boost their school’s digenous Year 3 students takscores. Head of the council secreing NAPLAN reading tests was tariat Mary Ann O’Loughlin 78.7 per cent in the Northern Territory, and 95.6 per cent for said she had asked test adminRose St Artists’ Market: artworks, jewellery, their non-indigenous peers. istrator the Australian Curricu-
fashion and home wares that you can’t find anywhere else
the opportunity to have their skills assessed and formally recognised. As part of the new Federal budget, training to address skills gaps will also be funded. Victoria has a shortage of skilled workers across a range of industries, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for you to up-skill and meet this increasing demand for higher skill levels and qualifications. Employers and small business owners can apply for Experience Training grants. This $4,950 grant provides training at the Certificate III level or above for workers aged 50 years or over so that they can mentor and supervise apprentices and trainees. For more information and details, vist: www.deewr.gov.au/employment If you are a pensioner:
Centrelink offers a Pensioner Education Supplement, in the form of a fortnightly payment to help cover the costs of fullThor e pool itself study. is open every time part-time day of the week, including most public holidays. With its crystal clear waters, indoor cycle training, yoga school, spa, sauna and steam room, Fitzroy Pool has something for everyone at any time of year.
Eco-House Open Day at Holden Street, North Fitzroy North Fitzroy’s Holden Street Neighbourhood House will open its doors on Saturday February 26 for its second EcoHouse Open Day. Experts will show visitors everything that can be done to conserve energy use in even the oldest weatherboard houses, from solar panels, opening skylights, solar light tubes, passive heating and ventilation system, and insulated blinds. The day will include tours of the house by staff fromgaps the Large participation Enviro Shop, community stalls, were also recorded in Victoria, free bike checks, children’s South Australia, Western Ausactivities and lots more. tralia and the ACT, and they Saturday February 26, 11.00am widened the older students to 3.00pm at 128 Holden Street, got. North Fitzroy. “There is always a concern Or call Oliphant, that people Rachel give up on Year 9 Sustainability Citylate, of and say, `Well,Offi it’s cer, all too Yarraconcentrate on 9205 5769 we’ll on Year 3,” Mr Rachel.Oliphant@yarracity.vic. McClintock said. gov.au
If all this just sounds too expensive...
The Australian Government provides FEE-HELP loans for full fee and government subsidised diplomas and advanced diplomas in vocational education and training. This means that you do not need to start paying the fees of your course until you are employed and earning a certain amount of income. Centrelink will pay you Youth Allowance if you are between 16–24 years old and are studying or apprenticed fulltime. If you turn 25, you can keep getting Youth Allowance until you finish your course or apprenticeship. Most TAFEs, universities and educational institutions provide a range of scholarships to help pay for tuition fees, books and other training expenses. Check your preferred learning institution’s website for details.
www.returningtolearning.com. au – tips, traps and triumphs of studying as an adult. To fund a subject or course that suits your needs, visit www.skills.vic.gov.au/gettraining/directory The Australian Apprenticeships Access Program helps disadvantaged jobseekers find training from training organisations that are accredited and recognised by employers. See www. centrelink.gov.au for more information. The Employment Pathway Fund provides funds to purchase a broad range of assistance to help you get the right training and other support to help you find and keep a job. See Job Services Australia.
And don’t forget: eLearning Grant eLearning is important in increasing participation as it provides the flexibility of choice over time and location of training. Through Skills Victoria, the Victorian Government funds the eLearning Grant. The eLearning grant is an initiative that provides annual funds to all TAFE institutions to increase the uptake and integration of eLearning in their organisation. The grant funds projects that focus on staff development, research or developing teaching resources to support flexible delivery. Trainees and apprentices are even paid wages while they learn.
Beat the heat at the Fitzroy Pool
376 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065 Now on the brink of adolescence, this Brunswick Street bar has become a Fitzroy icon. For seven days of the week its offering of cheap pizza and unique entertainment can be called upon from midday until well into the early morning. $4 gourmet pizzas accompany a diverse range of beer, wine and spirits to be enjoyed amongst the lounges or in the rooftop courtyard. The warmer weather will see live bands take to the outdoor stage beneath Moroccan lights. While downstairs on any given night you can find some of Melbourne’s most talented Indigenous children share their musical talents DJ’s mixing an array of music styles Hop above the national minimum and the NT did not meet their “It’sfrom reallyHip early daysto...Disco, but if House and techno, Rock, progress points. you start to get behind on aSoul trareading, writing and numeracy and Funk. jectory, particularly if you are standards by 2018. There was no major imWithin walls been Mr McClintock said progprovement in numeracy anygoing down,itsthen yourhas chances forged an atmosphere of to comwhere, in any age group, when of getting back on it get be ress was slow in some areas. fort matched with down-toit came to the proportion of For instance, in Year 9 readquite hard.” earth ‘anything indigenous students achieving Theservice statesand andan territories ing, NSW, Queensland, WA, goes’ attitude. at or above the national minihave agreed to work towards Tasmania and the NT did not Makethe Bimbo meet their progress points. mum standard between 2008 halving gap Deluxe betweenyour the inner cityofentertaining In years 3, 7 and 9 numerand 2010. number indigenouslounge and room. acy, and Year 9 writing, NSW non-indigenous students at or Learning and conserving: Holden Street Neighbourhood House AAP
If you would like to Advertise in MCN Please call:
1300 80 40 33 Visit www.mc-news.com.au for Media Kit + advertising Rates
Photo: City of Yarra
If you are a studying parent:
Photo: City of Yarra
he last few years have been hard. For the itzroy was for Melbourne’s economy, families, fi rst offi cial ‘suburb’ for young students and indiand it exemplifi that viduals returning to theesworkfantastic the been best force. Butmarriage if you of have and the old lost and the retrenched, yournew jobthat or have makes this city such an are looking for an alternative exciting to live. career toplace suit the new demands BrunswickthenStreet and of employers Skill Up may Gertrude Street are the dual be for you. This is a free Victohearts of Fitzroy,program and they rian Government depulsatetowith for signed allowpossibilities you to upgrade anyone interested in shopping, your skills so you can re-enter eating or entertainment. the workforce. The programs Besides all to thereceive great up pubs, entitles people to shops, and cafes, this 80 hours of training at asuburb, TAFE sitting on the traditional lands or private registered training of the Woiworung tribe, and still organisation free of charge has some the most beautiful leads to anofAward or Statement bluestone colonial architecture of Attainment. There is also to be found in Melbourne. course guidance and counselfrom theyou small lingAnd available to help work commercial-art galleries, out what is the best course for artist-run andoptions artist you. Here spaces are a few studios to the thriving street specifically designed for those -art community, Fitzroy is looking to further their educaalso home to some of the most tion: dynamic art in a city of artists. Here’shave a tinybeen snapshot of If you out of what the suburb has to off er the workforce while carthis month. ing for your children:
Postal Address: PO Box 582, Collins Street West, Vic 8007, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
The healthy way to kick-start your day Why missing out on brekkie and not drinking enough water isn’t doing us any favours By Violeta Edge your system well fed and it will look after you. Timing is also critical. When running a business, you don’t keep your clients waiting so
“The key is to drink warm to hot water. If hot water is not available, drink room temperature water, but never cold water, especially while eating” Violeta Edge
why would you subject your vital systems to that kind of pressure? The frequency of strokes, sudden death and heart attacks peak between 6 am to noon, with the highest incidence between 7.00 am and 10.00 am. What mechanism within the body can account for this significant jump or be the reason why people never wake up? Platelets – no not mini-sized dinner plates, but those tiny white blood cells that keep us from bleeding to death when we
down of the system. A build-up of plaque slowly attacks the immune system and leads to a variety of diseases including heart failure, cancer and possibly even mental illness. Our stomach and internal temperatures are warm, so drinking hot water helps our body flush out plaque and keeps the wall of the intestine and villi (the little “hairs” in the intestine) healthy and clean, allowing maximum absorption of vitamins and minerals into the twelve organs in our bodies. My Grandma’s advice was never to skip breakfast and now I know the physiological reasons behind it. One of the main causes of high blood pressure is the chronic deficiency of essential nutrients. Millions and even trillions of artery wall cells are responsible for the availability of relaxing factors (nitric oxide) which decrease vascular wall tension and keep your blood pressure in the normal range. Eating a healthy breakfast decreases your likelihood of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. In simple words, keep
get a cut—clump together inside our arteries due to cholesterol/ plaque build up in the arterial lining wall. During the gap between falling sleep and waking up, platelets become the most activated and usually form internal blood clots and poor circulation at the greatest frequency. During that gap, you have not fed the twelve systems of the body. You then expect to get up, race around and get everything done. It’s no small wonder why you’re feeling like you’re always running the Monday marathon! Fortunately, even a very light meal will minimise the morning platelet activation that is associated with high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. Studies performed in 1991 at the Memorial University of
Traditional Chinese Medicine: flourishes in Melbourne By Louise Collins
n the mid-nineteenth century, long before the first Chinese restaurants popped up in Australian suburbia offering an exotic alternative to fish and chips on a Saturday night, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was practiced by Chinese migrants in the goldfields of Victoria. The practice grew slowly over time as the result of increased migration of practitioners to Australia. By the 1970s, with a population open and accepting of alternative medicines
such as TCM, naturopathy and homeopathy, the Australian government-sponsored health insurance for full acupuncture cover for patients of registered Western medical practitioners. Since the 1990s, the Australian government has accredited university degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in May 2000, the Chinese Medicine Registration Act was passed by the Victorian Parliament. TCM practitioner, Dunnielle Mina, sees the popularity of TCM in Australia as being more than the result of industry standards or
Freshly ground herbs are more potent than dried
public acceptance of alternative therapies. “The fact that the industry is now registered and health funds are offering rebates for a lot of our services is evidence of the rise; the cause of the rise is people’s disenchantment with the reductionist medical system”. Whereas Western medicine is seen to provide treatment for a precise illness, TCM addresses how illness is revealed in their patient and then treats that patient, not just the disease. Taking a holistic and preventative approach to health has become common practice. People have become proactive in their approach to their well being, and less inclined to take their antibiotics and sleep it off. Mina explains: “… you’ve got a system that’s looking at disease first and the person second and a TCM practitioner that’s looking at the person first and the disease second, so we’re looking at what’s going on in this person’s life: their lifestyle, the way they think, the way they feel, what
they eat and all of these different aspects and we treat that instead of treating the disease.” “I think one way to summarise would be to say that we’re working from a foundation belief that the body is an inherently intelligent system, it’s about working with the body to get rid of the disharmony…the human body is quite miraculous when you look at it so it’s hard to separate the metaphysical from the physical because it’s a body of knowledge that sees them as interwoven, codependent.” TCM practitioner, Dunnielle Mina, believes conventional Western medicine and TCM are beneficial as complementary medicines and the rise and rise of popularity of TCM within mainstream Australia is bringing the two closer to an integrated approach to health. “I think these days more and more orthodox medical practitioners are willing to work with TCM practitioners … there’s now a lot more Western-style scientific research done in to Chinese herbs and acupunc-
Newfoundland discovered that eating a light, low fat breakfast was very critical in modifying the morning platelet activation in the body. Recommended breakfast components included protein, carbohydrates, fibre, fruit, yogurt, milk or soy. My recommendation is to continue that meal combination throughout the day, with each meal containing protein, carbohydrates and fibre. Some suggestions are porridge with fruit, honey and/or nuts or eggs on toast with grilled tomato and sautéed mushrooms. The choices are endless so be creative! It’s said that it takes seven days to form a habit. If you haven’t had a healthy breakfast today, and you’re not drinking warm to hot water on a regular basis throughout the day, NOW is the best time to start forming habits that could literally save your life.
About Violeta Violeta Edge is a qualified, experienced holistic therapist, consultant and practitioner who specialises in improving the quality of lives and lifestyles by using natural remedies and therapies. Contact Violeta by calling 0403 287 702, emailing: email@example.com or visiting her website: www.veunique.com
y journey as a wellness and lifestyle coach started many years ago in the Philippines. When I was growing up, my Grandma (Irene) always drank two to three mugs of warm to hot water—sometimes flavoured with ginger, lemon juice and honey—first thing in the morning before anything to eat. Then after ten to fifteen minutes, we would have breakfast. The human body can be likened to a car. Trying to operate your body without water is like driving your car without petrol. Sooner rather than later, it’s going to stop operating properly and leave you stranded. The key is to drink warm to hot water. If hot water is not available, drink room temperature water, but never cold water, especially while eating. Why? Firstly, it upsets the digestive system by diluting the digestive juices. That, in turn, can cause indigestion. Also, cold water solidifies oily and greasy food and slows down digestion. This leads to increased stomach acid, blood clots, high cholesterol and a general slow-
Organic, safe and effective
ture, it’s growing and I think as it grows our esteem with orthodox practitioners rises, but
there’s a lot of catching up to do in terms of that evidence-based research.”
MCN ON STAGE
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Principle Dancer, Amber Scott shares her background as a ballet dancer and her experiences with Elegy. By Clarissa Dimitroff
rom a very young age Amber was told that she had potential as a dancer, and pirouetting her way to success, she was recently promoted to Principle Dancer this year. Amber has been with the Australian Ballet Company since 2001 and was promoted to Principle Dancer in 2011. Beginning her journey at the Australian Ballet School at the age of 11 Amber has never hesitated in her career choice. Four years spent overseas with the Royal Danish Ballet as well as performing in many classical ballets nationally and internationally her repertoire has increased rapidly. Despite her extensive experience her favourite role is dancing as Odette in Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake: “I think to date it’s still the hardest role I do and have done. That’s been a milestone role that’s helped me progress, I’ve grown up with it.”
Playing such an important role in a production is never easy, so the dancers are required to rehearse about seven hours a day, six days a week. They have a week off in June and three weeks at Christmas to spend much needed rest time and see family and friends. Although it can be a very difficult career, it is also very rewarding. “I couldn’t have wished for a better career. It’s hard, so you’ve got to be prepared to do the work for it.” On stage, Amber says she feels totally liberated: “It’s a live performance. Every time you go on stage, it’s a little bit different. You’re working with a pas de deux partner usually” she explains “which makes the experience challenging but so rewarding.” In such a style the two dancers must be completely in sync with each other and together they bring to the subtleties of the story and the characters’ emotions. Elegy addresses an issue that appears to perennially plague the minds of mankind. Life after death is a subject which calls for reflection and contemplation and Requiem in partic-
ular touches closely upon this topic, examining how life is a spiritual journey with death as its inevitability: “working with music and hearing pieces like the Requiem by Fauré and the Bach pieces, you can’t help but be moved on quite a deep level,” says Amber, “and I believe there’s an underlying sense of spirituality that permeates this work.” If that wasn’t enough the role is certainly Amber’s dream come true: “I’m a big fan of Stephen Bayne’s work and I’ve always wanted to dance in Beyond Bach.” Hearing the master’s music you are reminded that the pieces were composed in a different era: “There’s that beautiful feeling of history being passed aurally onto the next generation.” The Victorian Opera adds another exceptional dimension to Requiem. Amber says, “Having the singers surround the dancers is just going to be the most beautiful, and to borrow some of David [McAllister]’s words, it promises to be a sensory experience.” With amazing choreography from Stephen Baynes, the talented dancers of the Austra-
Photo: Jeff Busby
Elegy brings sensory experience to Melbourne
Amber Scott with Andrew Killian from Beyond Bach, part of the Elegy program
lian Ballet and a first time accompanying performance by the Victorian Opera, Elegy is not to be missed.
Peter Berzanskis is Stephen King By Tilly Lunken
eter Berzanskis sits casually, chatting about juggling casual work and travel with his bourgeoning acting career and it seems to be a familiar story that belies his late entry into the performance industry. Berzanskis however seems to be content with his career change from working in community broadcasting into the less definable life on the stage. His commitment to acting is paying off, with his resume expanding with numerous short films, feature films and now the stage. Now as the lead in Lee Gambin’s new play King of Bangor he is bringing to life the publicly well loved and (privately tormented) horror novelist author Steven King. The cast and crew are now embarking on an intense rehearsal period before the play
opens on the June 29 for its Melbourne season at the Old Council Chambers at Bella Union. It is this process that Berzanskis has come to relish, “I like theatre because of the rehearsal period and the development,” and having “experienced a lot of things including the shit that happens to everyday people,” Berzanskis is enjoying the process of working with the other talented members of the cast under the direction of Dione Joseph. The synopsis of the King of Bangor promises a world of oppressive darkness and an insight into the spine-chilling creations of Steven King. “In the opening scene” Berzanskis says, “Steven is writing and it’s terrible.” From here the fears that he has previously purged onto the page come back to haunt him and the blurring between the boundaries of reality unleash new horrors. In a
one act play there will be no opportunity for the character (or the audience) to escape. When asked if portraying such a public figure is a challenge, Berzanskis agrees: “yes, because people who particularly like him have an idea of him already, [he] already exists as someone people already know.” However this seasoned actor isn’t daunted and it is clear that he is eager to delve into a character with a expansive and complicated psyche. You might think you know Steven King but King of Bangor will offer an opportunity for a new perspective. As Berzanskis says “a painting of a flower might not be a ‘true’ representation but it makes us see the flower in a different way.” And would he describe himself as a fan of Steven King and his work? Yes indeed, but as an actor he still has no reservations about getting inside his
head! Finally Berzanskis warns us: “The voyage is more than just a creative exploration of Stephen King, it explores the struggles of a writer confronted with his greater fear – that of not being able to put words to paper”. For both Stephen King fans and theatre goers alike the play combines dramatic appeal with iconic references. Book tickets by visiting: www.kingofbangor. wordpress.com
YouTube artist comes to town
f you haven’t heard of David Choi from YouTube then you’ve certainly been missing out! The hottest new artist with over 800,000 subscribers and over 90.8 million total video views is a local boy from Los Angeles, USA and he’s coming to Melbourne to get the party started! He is the first YouTube artist to embark on an international tour in the Asia Pacific region and after performing concerts in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia he will arrive in Australia to bring the best of his music to his Aussie fans. With his opening concert to be held on July 1 at the Melbourne City Conference Centre, Choi will then proceed to Sydney and Brisbane. Having won the grand prize for David Bowie’s Mash-up contest Choi was also awarded winner of USA Weekend Magazine’s John Lennon Song-
writing Contest and appeared in USA Weekend Magazine with recording artist Usher. In 2008, David released his self-produced album Only You worldwide followed by his sophomore album By My Side in 2010. Dedicated fans will have their chance to be on stage with David Choi himself by submitting a video of themselves dancing the “David Choi” dance! Presented by Sydney and Singapore-based entertainment company, Monsoon Productions, tickets are available from www.monsoonproductions. com. For more information and to keep up with the latest Choi Tour news, you can “like” monsoon productions on Facebook and also be updated on Twitter: @monsoonteam.com
ON SCREEN MCN
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
By Dean Watson
scar-winning writer, director, animator Adam Elliot hesitates to call himself a writer. “I feel like a fraud when I say I’m a writer. I’m happy to say I’m a storyteller. Maybe when I’m in my 60s, I’ll call myself a writer. I never know what to have on my business card.” I’m speaking to Elliot before an audience of writers in one of RMIT’s lecture theatres. Like most of the arts venues across Melbourne, he mentions the high probability of having given a talk in this particular theatre at some point in the past. For someone involved in the highly reclusive field of making claymation motion pictures and despite having spent the last 20 months working seven days a week, completing the script for his new feature film, his public profile is strong. On a cold Monday night, there is a crowd of around 80 in the lecture theatre. He attributes the weather as
part of the reason animation is so strong in this city. “Everyone’s inside, which is very conducive to creativity. It’s no coincidence that a lot of these [Academy Award] nominees come from Melbourne. Melbourne is an arts hub. I read in The Age a few weeks ago that there are 16 sword swallowers in the world and Melbourne has six of them. It’s a great place to be an animator.” Elliot is a part of the movement away from the overly colourful Disney and Pixar films. Both his Oscar winning short, Harvie Krumpet (2003) and feature length Mary and Max (2009) are defined by their lack of colour, layered with a rich tapestry of deeply flawed, but human characters. “My films are biographical. They’re comedy/tragedies. There’s no talking animals. Even though they’re blobs of plasticine, I’m trying to create very real, authentic and endearing characters. I’ve thought about other types of writing, but I just love observing people. I’m a human
sponge, like most writers.” He speaks fondly of the time-consuming process of clay animation. “Five seconds a day is our rate. It’s meditative. It’s zen. I’m only making one film every five years. So I’ve probably got another four in me and then I’m dead! The reason I choose plasticine over computer-generated imagery is really simple – I like to get my hands dirty. There’s something magical about clay animation. They don’t date.” For a filmmaker known primarily for his directing, Elliot stresses the importance of a good script. “When I was at film school, Fred Schepisi came and spoke to us. He said, ‘what are the three most important ingredients of a good film?’ and we all put up our hands and said ‘directing, script and casting,’ and he said ‘no, no, you’re all wrong. It’s script, script, script.” “I realised I was never going to get the budgets I wanted for my films because of the nature of them – they’re dark and not
Photo: Daniel Gregoric
A moment with Adam Elliot
Oscar winning animator Adam Elliott
Disney films – so I quickly realised I had to have a good story well told.” He cites Robert McKee’s “Story” as one of the few screenwriting books he’s read. “Like every good screenwriter should,” he adds. Details surrounding his new animated feature film are top secret, but he reveals it’s a romantic comedy. “The actors
we want to get are ridiculous – Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Gérard Depardieu.” On the legacy he would like to leave, Elliot is reflective. “I always pretend that the audience, when they come in to see one of my films are sitting in individual compost bins and sitting there, absorbing as much as they can and are nourished, so by the time they leave
the cinema, they don’t feel like I’ve wasted an hour and a half of their life.” Judging from the number of audience members that waited patiently to talk to Adam after our interview, a cold Monday night in a compost bin, being nourished by Adam Elliot is a place you want to be.
Hayes’ circus magic
his year’s Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) is screening over 350 of the world’s best indie animations, ranging from scribbles in pen and pencil and rough cardboard cut-outs, to elegant paint and sand compositions. But it’s MIAF’s new program Australian Showcase that’s oozing with local talent and getting people excited. Animator and artist Rebecca Hayes is one of Melbourne’s gems featured in Australian Showcase. Four years ago, Hayes was in high school. Now, the 21 year-old is an internationally accredited animator whose work has screened in Poland, the Melbourne Museum and even floated on a screen in Sydney’s Darling Harbor. Hayes’ next stop is MIAF, where she will introduce her latest animation The Show (2010). The Show catapults you into
the midst of a quirky travelling carnival and offers a glimpse into the backstage world of performers. Approximately 20 circus personalities bring the screen to life by performing, what is for them, everyday routines in preparation for a show. But they are not your average characters. A bearded lady, Siamese twins, an armless contortionist and two fat ladies are just a few of the unusual personalities who bring a mix of melancholia and comedy to the big-screen. Hayes thinks of The Show as “a whimsical visual treat” that captures the excitement felt before a performance. “I hope the imagery will take people away on a journey. I wanted it to be quite lighthearted but there is a sense of nostalgia in it” Hayes admits. Without dialogue, The Show relies on Hayes’ hand-drawn imagery, and sound (by Angela Grant), to transport the audi-
ence into the carnival world. Hayes used a combination of traditional and digital processes to create The Show, scanning her hand-drawn illustrations and water-colour paintings onto a computer and then using a tablet to draw directly onto the computer screen. “I like the traditional process of creating things with my hands, but combining digital techniques saves time and means less frustration in the end,” Hayes explains. Hayes was propelled into a career in animation almost by surprise after creating her first animation Bus Stop (2007) during high school. Bus Stop was screened in Top Screen during the VCE Season of Excellence, allowing Hayes to watch her work as part of an audience. “After being around the audience reaction to my work I was hooked,” Hayes says. Now having graduated with
A screenshot from Rebecca Hayes’ The Show
a Bachelor of Arts in Animation and Interactive Media from RMIT, Hayes is receiving glowing reviews and has been awarded the ArtStart grant from Australia Council for the Arts to help establish her career. But Hayes isn’t alone in her talent. “Melbourne is buzzing with animators and creative types,” Hayes says. “It’s really exciting.”
You can see Hayes’ The Show and films by other talented animators at the Melbourne International Animation Festival (June 19 to 26) at Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square. www.acmi.net.au/miaf-2011. aspx
We are offering our readers the chance to win one of six passes to the Melbourne International Animation Festival. To enter, simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org with MIAF in the subject line. Please include your full name address.
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scratch,” he says. Even the labels are handwritten. And whereas inks in mass-produced printed clothing can often be produced from toxic materials, Sheppard works exclusively with one hundred percent non-toxic inks on every printed piece. It helps that the clothes are gorgeous. They’re wry and funky, with a sense of humour that doesn’t obscure the superb craftwork. There are hoodie cardigans with wooden buttons, dresses emblazoned with printed birds, and a top made out of patchwork pieces sewn together that takes up to five hours of personal labour to get right. One particular top features a skull made up of a collage of body pieces refashioned into a
Photo: Gerard O’Connor
olin Sheppard has a message for Australian clothes shoppers: “Stop purchasing so much made-inChina rubbish.” While sympathetic to the financial limitations and lack of options that keep many buyers limited to mass-produced clothing (“It’s a vicious cycle”) Sheppard is definite about the need to support ethical clothing practices. He’s put his money where his mouth is. With partner Brett, he began designing and creating handmade clothing line Do-It Baby, which is now sold exclusively from their Chapel Street shop. “We cut it all out, we print it all, sew it all – it’s all from
A sample of Do-It Baby’s collection
grinning face. When Sheppard cites Vivienne Westwood as a major influence, it’s easy to see her work as inspiring his own. Andy Warhol is another inspiration, along with Australian designer Peter York. But the greatest inspiration for Do-It Baby is the fine work of times gone by. “50s frocks are by far the most incredible,” Sheppard enthuses. “From the 50s to the 80s, that’s what inspires us. We’re trying to do a 90s retrospective and I just can’t figure out where to go.” The spirit of retro fusion lives in Do-It Baby, where a demure grey dress with a 50s style full skirt and cowl neck can hang beside a singlet top in a bright print that wouldn’t shame 80s designers. Even the shop’s décor is a stylistic mashup, with a vintage icebox serving as a dresser, old ships’ lights repurposed as store lighting, and colorful plastic robot statues placed to greet customers. They all belong to Sheppard: “I’ve always collected vintage pieces; vintage clothes, vintage toys,” he says. With the mix of props and racks of clothing, the shop feels like a backstage space. Perhaps that’s not surprising from someone who’s done so much work for the Melbourne Theatre Company as a scenic artist and costume designer. Do-It Baby came from a fortunate fusion of Sheppard with his partner Brett: “He did his fine arts degree in printmaking, and I’ve always been a graphic artist, signwriter and designer. It was magical, those worlds coming together.” Inspired to create, it was clear the medium would be fabric. Sheppard originally envisaged Do-It Baby attracting women from 20 to 35, but soon discovered the range had broader appeal and “now ladies up to 65” frequent the increasingly popular Chapel Street store. Unlike many high-fashion designers, who seem to regard the bodies wearing their clothes as occasionally inconvenient coat hangers displaying their
Photo: Gerard O’Connor
By Karen Healey
A sample of Do-It Baby’s collection
art, Sheppard accounts for the person within the dress, and likes the idea of “the healthy, curved woman.” Do-It Baby goes from size 8 – 16, and “we’re going to go up to 18 soon. And for handmade clothing, the prices are remarkably low, ranging from $85 to $285. “When we were wholesaling, the shirts would go for $145,” he explains. “Now that we’ve got our own store we can bring prices down.”
And yes, before you ask, Do-It Baby take commissions: “We’ve just been commissioned for a wedding dress,” Sheppard enthuses. “It’s full of amazing colour.”
Do-It Baby is offering 30% off to all MCN readers who bring in a copy of this article. Do-it Baby is located at 15 Chapel Street Windsor
Finding the perfect winter hat
ith the recent cold snap in southeast Australia, it’s time to put on a hat. The body loses between 70 and 80% of its heat through the head. And during a winter hike, camping trip or just walking to the train station to get to work, maintaining body heat is crucial. So a good hat is essential. And not just any hat will do on a winter outdoors excursion. You’ll need something that not only traps heat efficiently, but
can also cope with sweat. Here are some important issues to keep in mind when selecting a hat for a winter activity, and a few headwear options: • Side-to-side protection: Use a winter hat or cap that not only covers the head, but the ears as well. Ears are particularly susceptible to frostbite. • Material: This is a key factor in dealing with perspiration. Skip cotton if possible – cotton absorbs moisture
easily. A wool hat will keep your head warm, and copes with sweat better. Caps made of synthetic materials, such as polypropylene or fleece, hold heat in well, and do not absorb water. • Hat system: Some hats offer an adjustable function. A hat system consists of a lightweight polypropylene liner and a nylon shell to alter in changing cold temperatures.
• Hat alternatives: A Balaclava offers probably the most complete protection for the head. It pulls down over the head and neck, and has an opening for the face. It can also be rolled up and used as a hat. A headband made of fleece or other synthetic materials provide another option. The headband can be pulled down to cover the ears and perhaps a bit of the cheeks, but it leaves the top of the head exposed.
A warm hat is a winter essential
JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
FITZROY FEATURE MCN
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JUNE 2011 • VOL 2, ISSUE 4
Bringing the bonsai to the city tree and just tend to it and be at peace. I think it’s the pursuit,” muses Farr. “What would suit an innercity garden is the aesthetic side of a bonsai tree. It’s like an object of beauty that goes with the changes. The green is soothing, and the line of a rugged trunk in a modern habitat is a way of reminding you of nature in a busy world filled with noise.” “Everything we do, all the actions we take have a measurable outcome, but with a bonsai tree it never stops, because the bonsai never stops growing,” describes Farr. And it’s no secret that indoor plants of any kind – literally – liven up any dull indoor space, suit any décor and add an element of texture. There’s even university research showing that having any plant indoors increases productivity by 12%, reduces stress levels, cleans the air and helps in creating a healthier environment. Like making use of the useless, as Farr puts it, what quietens the mind from all the
Photo: Zorana Dodos
trees develop the classic dwarf characteristics that distinguish these plants. “What’s different about a bonsai tree from other plants is the whole intention is to grow smaller and not bigger. It has a different sensibility from other plants,” explains Lindsay Farr, bonsai enthusiast and owner of Bonsai Farm in Hawthorn. “In an inner-city residence you can personally have many views of the world, there is no right or wrong way of living. Whatever you want in life and with a bonsai is a valid and creative pursuit.” For a tree to be considered a bonsai, the growing miniature tree must be a fusion of horticulture, nature and creative expression. Bonsai can be a philosophical experience, in a way a means for feeling the spiritual harmony between man and nature. “The greatest thing about these trees is the way they can quiet the mind. We live in a city so cluttered with noise. It’s great when you can go to a bonsai
Lindsay Farr’s Bonsai Farm in Hawthorn
Could this be your favourite Bonsai?
stress and clutter are the simple things in life. In this case, tending to a bonsai tree. And Farr should know a thing or two about bonsais, being an enthusiast for over sixty years. “I started growing bonsais when I was five years old. I came back to it full-time in 1978 and I guess that was six decades ago now. “What I love about them is their energy, and their capacity to endure hardship. Bonsai trees were inspired by mountain trees, the ones that had been blown about in the wind on mountains and still stood strong.” “And what’s also different about them is what they bring to the individual.” Farr clarified the most common misconception about the bonsai tree is that you have to cut the roots all the time and shape it and style it. “The most important thing is to be a diligent waterer. It is
Photo: Zorana Dodos
e’re all familiar with the usual reasons to live in an innercity apartment: instant access to art and cultural precincts, fantastic dining, glorious shopping, public transport and the list goes on – but once the noise and frenzy have reached their peak is there any chance for some inner city peace and quiet? Forget that concrete jungle, because while some CBD residents may drive for hours to find a bit of serenity, you could be closer than you think. Bonsai trees in an inner-city apartment aren’t exactly hip and ultra-cool. In fact you’re probably thinking, “doesn’t my grandma meddle with bonsai?” Actually, probably not. Bonsai plants and trees are rapidly growing in popularity and inner city Melbourne apartments are increasingly realising their benefits. The Japanese term “bonsai” literally means plant in a tray. Through careful pruning and by wiring the branches, the
Photo: Zorana Dodos
By Zorana Dodos
Bring a little version of Melbourne’s tree lined streets into your home
more of an artistic pursuit contrary to popular belief. If you make a mistake you have fairly secure knowledge that nothing’s locked in stone and you can fix it up and try again.” Because these trees are so small and picturesque, another common fallacy about them is that all bonsais are actual indoor plants. When purchasing a bonsai for an indoor space, great care must be taken in choosing a
bonsai tree suitable for indoors and outdoor balconies that are prone to reaching high temperatures. Although indoor bonsais require a bit more attention than outdoors plants, they do brighten and let light into any small, cold apartment. Next time you feel like you’re stressed, tired and are longing to feel free, the cure might be as easy as investing in a bonsai tree.
Kaffir lime leaves provide citrus kick to the winter blues
ouble-lobed kaffir lime leaves add an unmistakable citrus aroma and flavour to soups, stews and curries. The leaf, which is actually two leaves together, is added to simmering foods to provide flavour, but is generally not eaten. There are exceptions - when it is finely shredded, it can be eaten - for example, added to fish cakes or soups. Pat Tanumihardja, author of The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, said that when she moved to California many years ago, the first thing she did was to buy a kaffir lime tree so all she would have to do was go out on the deck and pluck some leaves.
But if you don’t have a tree, you can find them at many Asian grocery stores, or you can ask your favourite Thai restaurant to give or sell you some, but most supermarkets do stock them these days. “I would avoid the dried ones as they lack flavour and scent,” Tanumihardja says. “If you won’t be using them all at once, seal them in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to three months. Rinse under cold running water before using.” Also before using, crumple them in your hands to release the essential oils. This allows the scent and flavour to fully permeate the dish. Use the whole leaf in simmering
coconut-based sauces, stockbased soups, stir-fries and noodle dishes. If you want to use them in savoury pancakes, shred them finely before using.
• 6 kaffir lime leaves, crumpled 2 tablespoons Vietnamese or Madras curry powder
Winter Warmers: Vietname Chicken Curry
• A 1.3-1.8kg chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, or 1.3kg bone-in chicken parts of your choice (thighs, drumsticks, wings, breasts, etc.)
• Makes 6 servings as part of a multicourse family-style meal
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 2-1/3 cups unsweetened coconut milk (about 1-1/2 cans)
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
• 1 cup water, plus more if needed
• 1.1kg sweet potatoes and/or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer. Add the onion and lime leaves, and stir and cook until the onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chicken and brown for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Don’t worry about completely cooking the chicken at this point; you just want to sear the meat so that it retains its juices and doesn’t fall apart during cooking.
Add the coconut milk and 1 cup water, followed by the potatoes. Make sure the chicken pieces and potatoes are completely submerged in the liquid. If necessary, add more water. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours. When the dish is done, the chicken will be fall-apart tender and the gravy will be thick from the starch of the potatoes. Add 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste). Remove the kaffir lime leaves before serving hot with freshly steamed rice or French bread.
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Chasing the American dream By Anastassia Irina Muhammad Din Fikri
Photo: Trav Media
America’s largest national historic landmark, Virginia City in Nevada
experiencing some true blues and ribs in Memphis, or if you would like to splurge, taking an aeroplane ride down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. In the big cities there are always plenty of tourist options as well, so regardless of what gets you excited anything is a possibility when you’re in the USA. At the moment it is also a great opportunity to make the most of your Australian Dollar. With it being very strong against many currencies at the moment, this ensures that you get your money’s worth if you do end up going overseas. How strong exactly? Well, strong enough to shop to your heart’s content. The interest rate differential (in real terms) drives movements in the exchange rate and looking at the current state, it is quite likely that the AUD will remain strong for now until the US, Japanese and Europeans begin to grow.
Gas (yes, it’s petrol) prices are low as well so why not get your roadmap out and start planning the route along the 101? An extra bonus is that an Australian driving licence is valid within all the states in America and as most rental agencies have a plethora of cars available for all budgets you will be spoilt for choice. Quick Tip: Book online as it’s always cheaper than over the counter and much more economical than at the airport. Also remember that its cheaper to hire several different cars in different states as there are inter-state taxes. Mix up the journey with some planes, trains and buses and things will never get dull. If you’ve never been to the USA before don’t let the notion of endless roads connecting forty-eight states overwhelm you. The best option is to remember that, when trying to plan the trip of a lifetime, less
Photo: Trav Media
magine that you’re driving down the highway (one that’s probably been used in endless film sets), your favourite song is playing in the background, and a fresh sea breeze is blowing as you drive off into a glorious sunset. Sound a little too good to be true? Maybe, but the reality of the situation today is that a road trip through the USA doesn’t have to be pipedream. Whether you’re a young professional looking for a break or a fresh graduate, or even a young family getting ready for their first holiday overseas, an American road trip would be a great way to open up yourself to the world. Australians and Americans have a diverse range of cultures and landscapes but an appreciation for travel and adventure ignites a passion that see many making the trip overseas. The USA has a multitude of natural breathtaking views and sights. Whether it is taking in the beauty of glaciers or working on your tan in the sunny tropical weather, make sure you experience the range of natural and man-made wonders on offer. Whether you’re interested in hiking through the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park in California, drinking in a local bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans, or soaking up the sunset at Key Largos in Florida, there is definitely something for everyone. And don’t just stick to the traditional tourist hot spots (though Disneyland is a must for the young and young at heart) but step outside your comfort zone and hang out with the locals. Some options could include taking a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge,
The natural wonder of Hawaii
is more, and ultimately more enjoyable. Mark Sheehan, Media Chair for Trav Media, commented “The Masai people have a saying ‘The best way to eat an elephant is one small bite at a time’. America is an elephant”. In other words, you should savour the experience of the road trip and treasure the memories instead of trying to do everything in whatever time you have. Remember that research is
about but be flexible and spontaneous. The key to enjoying your travel is to have fun, so plan, book but but leave plenty of room for spontaneity. Special thanks: Mark Sheehan, Media Chair of Trav Media; Sally Branson and Beverly E. Mather-Marcus of the U.S. Consulate General Melbourne and Prof. Olan Henry from the University of Melbourne.
Have you done your homework? Visa There are different types of Visas available for Australian citizens and there’s even a Visa Waiver Program in place. For more info, check out: canberra.usembassy.gov/
Photo: Trav Media
Places to visit in the US
Las Vegas has everything, even an Eiffel Tower
a crucial key to planning your trip. There is nothing worse than going on a holiday and realising that you have to look around for a place to stay for the night. The Internet is your friend and wherever you go there are countless wireless hotspots but very few internet cafés so be warned. Ultimately, your trip to the USA is yours, so make it special. Include the places and activities you’ve always dreamed
Every state and most big cities would have their own tourism board that would be more than happy to assist you with your planning and make suggestions. A good place to start is: www.discoveramerica.com/
The vehicle of choice As with many things, it is a matter of preference. Recreational Vehicles or RV’s are great for those who are on a tight budget and like having the comforts of home, or you could take to the road in style with a Ferrari. Be aware that when taking vehicles across inter-state borders there is often an extra tax.
Accommodation Be it bed & breakfasts (B&B’s) or fancy hotels, it’s all a matter of budget and personal
choice but don’t forget online options like Craig’s list (The equivalent of the Aussie Gumtree).
Travel Insurance Very important and handy to have. DON’T go without it. This is where a travel agent would be helpful but if you’re savvy you can do this online as well. When it comes down to it, as long as you plan ahead but still leave some room for spontaneity, you’re bound to have a great escapade.
Storm develops next generation By Stuart Harrison Twitter: @sportsjournostu
elbourne Storm have faced many challenges since they entered the National Rugby League competition in 1998, but none come close to the challenge of building a team of local players. For Victorian Rugby League chairman and Melbourne Storm Development General Manager, Greg Brentnall, it is a massive task that must be done in order to gain respect for the southern team in a decidedly northern game. Brentnall believes rugby league provides an important alternative to Victoria’s athletes that might not be naturally suited to Aussie rules. He said this element of choice was an important part of his own development while growing up in country NSW. “I put it back to how when I grew up in Wagga [Wagga],
I was given the same opportunities to play both games and I chose to play league when I finished school for reasons that I liked running with the footy. What you’re trying to do is give kids the opportunity to do that.” Brentnall believes this challenge is a generational one that starts from when people grow up listening to the adults around them and consuming the media. “We have to try and change the thinking of a lot of the young players. The issue that we have had in trying to get more players playing our game is we haven’t had free-to-air TV in Melbourne and we’re still not in a position to do that either,” he said. “At the moment we’ve got a new generation coming through who don’t see rugby league unless their parents have got Fox Sports. That has been a hold back for us”. Over the past four years, the game has been able to modestly
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Photo: Courtesy of Melbourne Storm
Storm star Gareth Widdop teaches the next generation
grow itself around the state. This change was helped by the establishment of Melbourne Storm Development, an initiative of the Australian Rugby League with the Melbourne Storm. Additional government grants allowed the body to employ more staff to give their programs and the game as a whole a wider audience. This year, they will run programs involving over 40,000 school children. “Since we’ve been able to get the development staff into the schools over the past three, four years we’ve had a doubling of our numbers, our participation numbers, which is a huge
boost for us,” Brentnall said. “We had around 750 playing the game when we instituted Storm development. We’re now up to, this year we’ll be well over 2,000 playing the game,” he said. “On the scale of things it’s not a huge number but from what we’ve come from it’s been a great advancement and a really positive step for us.” This growth has had positive repercussions on the quality of the amateur VRL competition with local players being able to make the leap into the Storm’s under 20s team. Brentnall said Storm Development are committed to not only growing the grassroots but also providing
pathways for players through lower grade national competitions into the National Rugby League. “We won the under 20s competition in 2009 and we’ve now got nine of those players that have come through to the NRL squad, which is when you look at the numbers coming through the under 20 level and nationally throughout the game that’s a huge number to out of our own program to say have come through to the NRL level,” Brentnall said. “We’d ideally like to have a pathway here in Victoria that we can bring in our local players from the club system, or
pick them up in the school system and introduce them into the club system, then ideally have them come through to play at the NRL level,” he said. “We’ve had a great success this year with Gareth Widdop, not a born and bred Victorian, but came into our system six years ago and this year he’s stepped up as the five-eight in the NRL squad and one of our key players in that area. So he’s been a success story of what we’re trying to create for our players, the ability to be able to come through to NRL level”.
By Stuart Harrison Twitter: @sportsjournostu
elbourne Ice captain hopes his team’s history of fighting adversity can restore the team to defend its Australian Ice Hockey League title. “It’s only a matter of time before we’re challenging more and get back where we were last year,” he said. “We’re almost an identical team. The only problem has been our build-up”. In a team fighting for consistency after the late arrival of import players, the Ice have been relying on their old guard to bring the team together. Players like Hughes, Webster and Armstrong have proved as indispensible in attempts to gel the mix of older, younger and import players together. “Our veterans really are our key. They seem to be able to stand up and bring the team
together. They have been the players that have really been able to give us direction”. The need for a solid team has become even more important as the reigning champions and the admission of a second Melbourne team, the Mustangs. He believes Newcastle and West Sydney will be their biggest contenders for the title, especially in the wake of West Sydney’s last place finishing in 2010. As for the Mustangs, he believes the young team is already turning heads despite a rollercoaster start to the season “The Mustangs have been very unpredictable. They have a young team and nothing to lose,” he said. But despite this early prediction for a possible playoff appearance for the Mustangs in their first season there has been no love lost in the rivalry that has already proved fiery in
Photo: Creative Commons
Melbourne Ice fights to retain title
Melbourne Ice are hoping for more glory this season
their opening two encounters – with one win a piece. “Melbourne Ice have always been a family organisation and having the Mustangs in the comp, it’s kinda like they’re stepping on our toes. A lot of people are going to see it as a negative thing and that’s going to support our rivalry. The rivalry is definitely there. We
hate each other that’s for sure. But after the game we’re all great mates,” he said. Jones said part of the ill-will to the new club will always be based on the fight for recognition that the Melbourne Ice had to endure in the quagmire of underrepresented sports playing at Melbourne’s other ice rink at Oakleigh. He believes
the club’s home for the last two seasons at the Docklands Icehouse has proved to be a massive success for the sport and the club has been reinforced by their championship win last year. “We’re in a position where we can market our sport and show everyone why we love it. This is a huge difference from
where we were in Oakleigh. We were always proud of what we had. But other teams looked at us like we were worthless, like we had no money. But we pushed through that. We had to push so hard to get where we are today”.
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By Stuart Harrison Twitter: @sportsjournostu
or thousands of people who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual (GLBT), the sporting field can be an imposing place, a Victorian University study said last year. It is with this in mind that Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Australian Sports Commission and Hockey Victoria launched the Fair Go, Sport initiative. The Come Out to Play report was released last year and was the first comprehensive support into inequalities faced by GLBT people on Victoria’s sporting fields. It found that a majority of GLBT competitors decided to not disclose their sexuality while many more
were dissuaded from playing sport all together. Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Helen Szoke said the initiative had the potential to not only promote equality in the sport of field hockey but also in the wider community. “Sport has an elevated place in our culture with involvement from all areas of our community. We look to our sports men and women as role models, and we recognise the sports environment can teach us many lessons in human rights because sport has at its core, the values of freedom, respect, equality and dignity,” she said. The program also hopes to break down the negative stereotypes and realities of “club culture” and breed a wider acceptance for difference within sport.
Photo: Courtesy of VEOHRC
Leveling out the playing field
Hockey Victoria contingent at St Kilda’s Pride March earlier this year
Hockey Victoria has four clubs currently acting as pilots for the program. They include Camberwell, Old Carey, Werribee and Baw Baw. Each of the four clubs has also set about organising activities that can further promote the goal of a more inclusive sport for all and create a program design that can be implemented in other
sports. The body has so far overseen the nomination of key national hockey stars as ambassadors to the program, had a contingent attend the Pride March, held an International Day Against Homophobia event and created a Fair Go, Sport Cup to promote the cause to the widest possible audience.
Hockey Victoria CEO Ben Hartung said he worked with the pilot clubs to develop initiatives and resources to engage and educate all hockey stakeholders, from players to the administrators in strategies to fight homophobia. “This project is about real clubs and real people, doing real things to make their par-
ticular clubs more inclusive,” Mr Hartung said. In October, the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at LaTrobe University will assess the initiative and look at how it can be expanded more broadly into Australia’s sporting landscape.
A new title explores Essendon’s past successes By Stuart Harrison Twitter: @sportsjournostu
Photo: Melbourne Storm
any Essendon fans started the year with great hopes for their club. The return of two of their greats James Hird and “Bomber” Thompson to the Windy Hill team has restored hope that the club could once again become one of the league’s premier teams. As their history shows they have never been far from glory sharing the title for the most Victorian Football League/ Australian Football League premierships with Carlton with 16 each. For many envisaging how their club can restore themselves as pride of the league, a look to the past is necessary, and this is particularly the case
if your history has been filled with success. Essendon were first nicknamed the “same olds”, as in the “same old” team that always wins during their first string of premierships from 1891 to 94. It was a nickname that stuck with the team until the run-up to the Second World War. With the club playing in the shadow of the nearby Essendon Aerodrome it renamed itself the Bombers. The signing of former Richmond defender Kevin Sheedy as coach in 1981 proved to be one of the club’s greatest moves. Four premierships and countless champion players were borne out of his programs at Windy Hill. Simon Madden, Terry Daniher, Mark Thompson, Paul Salmon, Tim Watson, Mark Harvey, Scott Lucas,
Dustin Fletcher, Gavin Wanganeen and James Hird were just some of the best players to play under Sheedy. The club moved from their home ground since 1922, Windy Hill, at the end of the 1991 – though few knew it at the time. The club decided over the summer that the ground could no longer hold their growing fan base and a move was made to the MCG and finally to Etihad Stadium. It was a sad day for suburban footy with only Carlton and Collingwood continuing to play home games at their suburban Melbourne bases. But it also indicated an explosion in support shown by their ANZAC Day games against Collingwood in 1995, their premiership win in 2000 and their “blockbuster” club
status. The Sheedy years had brought Essendon a generation of fans and a backlog of coaching possibilities among their retired stars. The club has already shown they will not accept a second rate team – Matthew Knights’ limited coaching career reflected this. The post-Sheedy era has been a glum one for many Bombers fans and the newfound bond the players have found with their former players in the coaching box will only be maintained if the club can continue to prove themselves worthy of being a top club. Flying High – The Story of Essendon’s 16 Premierships published by Slattery Media Group is out now.
A new book explores Essendon’s past successes
Celtic stars come to Melbourne By Stuart Harrison – Twitter: @sportsjournostu July 13 at AAMI Park. Tour promoter, Tribal Sports Management, has said they aimed to keep ticket prices low in order to build the biggest possible crowds for the games in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. A “Jungle End” will be set-up for travelling Celtic supporters while home teams will retain a home end for their club’s passionate supporter groups.
Victory assistant coach, Kevin Muscat, was a former player for Celtic’s cross-town rival Rangers and said he looked forward to his side taking on the 42-time Scottish champions. “The rivalry with Celtic that I experienced during my time in Scotland was phenomenal,” he said. “They are a massive club,
with some of the best supporters in football. To get them out here to Australia again is not only great for the game, but more importantly, great for the fans. Their record speaks for itself, so I’ve got no doubt there’ll be a big crowd on hand at AAMI Park to watch us take on one of Europe’s biggest clubs,” Muscat added.
ecently crowned Scottish soccer champions, Glasgow Celtic, will return to Australia next month to take on the best the A-League has to offer in a series of friendly matches. Celtic returns to Australia after touring the country in 1977 and 2009. This will be their first time coming to Melbourne with a game against the Victory on
Glasgow Celtic will return to Australia next month
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