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Editor's Message Here at Urban Village we are always positive in the face of adversity, which comes in many forms: to name a few there was the campaign against same sex marriage, the Lock Out laws which still afflict us and the general malaise in Sydney nightlife. One person who shares our optimism about Sydney is our cover story for this edition, James Winter. James is from arts management not for profit BrandX and is on a mission to revitalise Sydney through transforming old and disused spaces into art venues. James already has an impressive track record for this but he also believes, as do we, that the best is yet to come and that Sydney is on the cusp of a nightlife Renaissance, and that pretty soon we’ll be wondering what all the whinging of the last few years was about. Here’s to that! Also in this edition we are profiling a number of other people who are following their dreams and making our neighbourhood a better place for it. Venue 505 was started by jazz bass player Cameron Undy and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
At the Jazzy Café Nina and Jordan are pursuing their dream of running a café, dodging the barricades and temporary fencing on Devonshire Street as they dispense their excellent coffee which is already getting a stellar reputation in the area. On other tangents, we explore the world of the hobbyist pole dancers. Do they have an obligation to recognise the history of the pole around which they gyrate, and the origins of the dance? To get you through autumn we also have Sydney drag queen Hannah Conda, 2014 NSW Young Australian of the Year Genevieve Clay-Smith, award winning artist Tina Havelock Stephens, the first of our comedy instalments from the Surry Hills Times and some local flash fiction, plus all our regulars. So read on, and we hope you enjoy our autumn edition of Urban Village. Lachlan Colquhoun Editor, Urban Village
Q & A with Elly May Barnes
Autumn 2019 March/April/May
Genevieve Clay-Smith talks inclusivity in film
Editor Lachlan Colquhoun Words Tess Scholfield-Peters, Lachlan Colquhoun, Sean Masters, Peter English, Fiona McIntosh, Meg Hewitt, Glen Hare, Dave Drayton, Dan Dixon, Mike
Comedian Becky Lucas talks pub gigs, taboos and Twitter bans
James Winter is finding Sydney’s X Factor
Introducing local satire from The Surry Hills Times
Galvin, James O'Brien and Dr Nima Rahmani Images Walter Maurice, James Ervine, Ch'aska Cuba de Reed, Sean Masters, Alexies Adao, Meg Hewitt, City of Sydney Archives, Yanni Kronenberg, Astra Howard, Richard Glover
Depth Analyst, flash fiction by Dave Drayton, illustrated by Alexies Adao
Design & Layout walterwakefield Creative Consultant Sean Masters Publisher Urban Village Media Pty Ltd ABN 68 623 934 609 Cover James Winter Cover Photo Walter Maurice All Enquiries Tel: 02 8218 2163
Urban Village is published with the support of the Surry Hills Creative Precinct to foster communcation, innovation and networking between the business community, residents, visitors and workers of Surry Hills and the surrounding neighbourhoods of inner Sydney. To learn more or to join, go to www.shcp.org.au
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The Surry Hills Creative Precinct is now accepting expressions of interest from businesses and creatives wanting to get involved with the 2019 Festival, Saturday September 21. Get in touch at email@example.com.
Also look out for...
Sydney International Comedy Festival 22 April – 19 May Showcasing talents of Australian, international and emerging comics.
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Sydney Writer’s Festival, 29 April – 5 May Australia’s biggest celebration of writing and ideas.
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 12 May – 18 May Sydney’s most stylish descend upon Carriageworks for a week of runways and Instagram stories.
Pint of Science Festival 20 May – 22 May Bringing leading scientists to your local pub to discuss their latest research. Keep an eye out for Sydney locations, to be announced.
Vivid Sydney 25 May – 16 June Sydney’s iconic festival of lights, music and ideas.
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Anna Toka 1959 to 2019. Rest in Peace Photo: Meg Hewitt
Meg Hewitt remembers her friend and a much loved and respected local, Anna Toka, who passed away recently of a sudden heart attack. Anna Elizabeth Toka was born 17 March 1959 in Huntly, a small town in the Waikato. She was raised in Rotowaro with 11 siblings and was a tomboy who was good at sports. The town of Rotowaro was demolished by 1987 to accommodate a large opencast mine. The west bank of the Waikato River at Huntly is the traditional home of the khui ariki â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Kngitanga royal family. Some members of Annas family have worked there with the present king, Theitia. Toka means rock and Anna was certainly that. Dependable and strong, she would look upon her customers and friends with the caring eyes of a mother, but she also would not tolerate bad behaviour. She was loyal to her friends and to her employers. Soon after moving to Australia Anna began working in pubs. Anna took a position at the Gaslight Hotel on Crown St where she was embraced by the Browne family and would often attend family celebrations and also look after the children. She would often stay back after her shift and enjoy a few midis of VB on the bar whilst chatting with patrons and keeping a vigilant eye over the establishment well past her scheduled hours. She was employed by the Gaslight for over twenty years. 8 | Urban Village
Anna moved from the Gaslight to work at the Brighton Hotel on Oxford street after the Browne family relocated to Cooma in 2013. On shift Anna was often left to mind the bar by herself in situations where normally a strong man would be preferred. With my own eyes I saw her go from a polite conversation to jumping over the bar in three seconds in order to remove an out of control patron. Despite her small stature she could summon fear in the eyes of a large man upon being ejected from the venue. Non-judgmental she could converse with everybody from a barrister to the homeless and she would always lend an ear to her customers at the bar. Humble as she was, she would never trouble others with her own concerns. Anna had been having heart problems and was waiting for surgery. Unfortunately, she died suddenly of a heart attack on Saturday the 9th of March almost one week before her 60th Birthday. Anna will be sorely missed by many.
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SURRY HILLS FESTIVAL 2019 For latest updates: surryhillsfestival.org facebook.com/surryhillsfestival
Surry Hills Festival is an initiative of Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, supporting the community. Urban Village | 9
DINNER DATE Award winning artist and musician Tina Havelock Stevens is a long‑time Surry Hills resident who lives just down the road from the Clock Hotel. The winner of the 2018 Blake Prize, she caught up with Urban Village editor Lachlan Colquhoun over dinner at the pub to discuss her plans for a busy 2019.
Getting Tina Havelock Stevens to slow down enough to have dinner is a rare feat. The day after our dinner she was on the plane to Perth where she was set to perform at the Perth Festival in an opera premiere called “Speechless”, inspired by the Human Rights Commission Report into Children in Immigration Detention. “It is inspired by the kids’ drawings, and the composer Cat Hope has used the colours from those drawings to create a visual score,” says Havelock Stevens. “So there’s a 30 piece orchestra, and of course I play the drums.” Playing the drums is something Havelock Stevens has done throughout her career, and it is now a central part of all her art. Starting off in post punk bands such as the Plug Uglies, and with stints in Crow and the Titanics as well as her current incarnation, the Mumps, Havelock Stevens combines her earlier work as a film documentary maker with drumming to create a unique kind of performance video art in unusual places. She has drummed in the industrial ruins of Detroit, underwater at the FOMA Festival in Hobart, and in the Philippines in the locations used to make the film Apocalypse Now. It was for her work Giant Rock, a performance video work made in the Mojave Desert at a site with 10 | Urban Village
significance both for Native American Indians and UFO enthusiasts, that she was awarded the Blake Prize last year. “There’s always a rock n’roll element in all of these art projects,” she says. “It combines my documentary background and draws from my post punk background and while it is personal, there’s always a universal element as well.” When she comes back from the Perth Festival there are other major projects in the pipeline for 2019. Havelock Stevens has prepared a new work for The National 2019, an exhibition partnership between the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of NSW and Carriageworks. Then there is a production out at Bella Vista for the MCA’s C3West program, which has a “Bollywood” inspiration. In between, look out for the possibility of performances by the Mumps, the psychedelic instrumental three piece which often plays to one of Havelock Stevens films. “I do love the band, and every time we play people get cranky because we don’t play more,” she says. “But with everything else, it’s just hard to make the time.”
ON THE MENU Tina had the Crispy Skin salmon with fennel, watercress, pickled eschallots and romesco, while Lachlan enjoyed the 300 gram spice rubbed lamp rump with cucumber, mint, celery leaf and macadamia. One bottle of excellent Rightbank Pinot Noir from the Eden Valley in South Australia was consumed, preceded by Gin Tonics The Clock Hotel www.clockhotel.com.au/bookings Tel: (02) 9331 5333 470 Crown St, Surry Hills, 2010 Urban Village | 11
Iain Halliday is a force of nature in the Australian interior design landscape. For over 30 years he has challenged and shaped design, meticulously playing with the tension between stunning minimalism and decorative drama. We spoke with architect Adam Haddow in the last edition, this time we asked Iain about his role in the Surry Hills Village project.
What do you love about the area?
What is your favourite feature or finish?
The area is so special and unique. As a suburb, Surry Hills keeps getting better and more diverse. The people who live here and visit here carry their own unique sense of style and confidence. It’s a creative and evolving hub. And the fact that the site falls on the border between Surry Hills and Redfern, Crown Street and Baptist Street is a point of interest in itself – it has a sense of eclectic character just in the address alone.
In a heritage setting, Surry Hills Village with have a modern and complimentary feel. The use of flat art and urban sculptures and will echo the creative feel of the local neighbourhood. The palettes we use rely of high contrast, even though they are neutral colours. We also used terrazzo – we love it. It ages well, has a great resilience and is the right material for the character and style of the area.
What has been your approach to the interior design? Firstly, we wanted to create a style that is incredibly unique yet perfectly fitting for the lifestyle of Surry Hills. We purposefully avoided falling into the clichés you see in other residential developments of creating a ’light’ and ’dark’ scheme. Instead, we thought deeply about who will live here. They’ll be into photography and creative endeavours. They’ll have an interest in decoration, the arts. Our design is about creating a living environment that will frame their lifestyle. We want the residences to immediately give a sense of home as soon as you enter. Planned layering of space gives a sense of arrival. It makes you feel comfortable immediately. We wanted a diversity of scale and detail in every one-bedroom residence. So we used things you associate with a house rather than an apartment. 12 | Urban Village
What was it like collaborating with Adam Haddow? It is always great working with Adam. This project was borne out of a mutual respect. Adam can be scared of colour, but the project deserved colour. So we worked together, sharing a vision for what we wanted to achieve for the project and for the people who will live here, and the result is stunning – of course, with the right amount of colour.
THE SURRY HILLS VILLAGE RE-DEVELOPMENT
THE INTERIOR DESIGNER IAIN HALLIDAY DIRECTOR, BKH INTERIORS
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MEET THE LOCALS
SKATERLADS AT THE SHAKEY Wandering at random into the Shakespeare Hotel on a Friday afternoon, the Urban Village team discovered that it’s a favourite haunt for some of Australia’s best skateboarders, who meet there regularly.
Anthony Bull comes from Queensland but he’s been living in Surry Hills for ten years now, and loves the place. “Always something going here,” he says. “Always lots of beautiful people to see, always beer flowing.” One place the beer does flow is at the Shakespeare and Bull and his Skater mates are regulars.
“Always something going here, always lots of beautiful people to see, always beer flowing.”
When the Urban Village team caught up with them, it was Grifters and the pub’s sweet potato chips all round while one of Anthony’s mates, a skateboarding videographer, was tucking into a mushroom chicken parmi. Bull had been away in Queensland skating and was not long back in Surry Hills, so the natural plan was to head to the Shakespeare on a Friday afternoon. With a few other skater friends in town as well, it was only natural they should congregate at the pub for an afternoon bevvy. They got off at the wrong station but made their way to the pub eventually, and started making up for lost time. “Really authentic, real old school vibe, its perfect,” was the verdict of the parmi eating videographer, whose name we failed to catch amid the all the camaraderie. Later, we do a google on Anthony Bull and discover he’s the real deal, featuring in some amazing videos on a number of leading skateboard sites. It seems he’s a major influencer in skating, not going in so much for competitions but just skating around Australia and showcasing his skills as he promotes skate brands. When it’s over its back home to Surry Hills and what he says is the inevitable “cheeky beer” at his local pub, the Shakespeare, along with the other skaters. The people you meet…. 14 | Urban Village
Photo: Ch’aska Cuba de Reed
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ELLY-MAY BARNES Local lady Elly-May Barnes is a veteran of the Surry Hills music and fashion scenes. She met me for a coffee on Crown Street after dropping her son Dylan off at pre-school. “Dylan – like Bob Dylan, but a child,” she laughs as she sits down. Interview by Tess Scholfield-Peters What have you been up to lately? I've just finished touring with Joan Jett and my father (Jimmy Barnes). It was incredible – Joan is so cool. Great hair. What’s the best thing about your job? I love that my whole family is in my Dad’s band pretty much. My brother and brother-in-law play and I sing with my mum and sisters.
“I like skulls and that aesthetic but I’m really the least punk person you’ll meet.”
What’s the worst thing about your job? I guess because I have cerebral palsy it can be a little demanding. And travelling away from my son for extended periods of time.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Watch where you’re walking! I trip over a lot. I stacked it yesterday, actually. I’ve got really grazed knees.
What’s your connection to Surry Hills? I’ve lived around here for years, same with most of my friends. I only moved out when I had the little guy. I used to play at Low 302 quite a lot, they’ve just redone their stage actually. And I recently did my first cabaret show at Claire’s Kitchen – I opened with a Bowie song and finished with ABBA. It was a weird show.
Any other words of advice for our readers? I’m the wrong person to ask! I guess just be a nice person. Not enough people are friendly.
Where’s your favourite place to eat in the neighbourhood? ‘Maybe Frank’ does the best pizza and really yummy cocktails. They do a pizza with truffle pecorino on it that I’m all about. Where’s your favourite place to shop in the neighbourhood? Since Wheels and Dollbaby shut down I’ve been having a really tough time. I’ve joined a secret online community of girls who sell their old Wheels and Dollbaby – I’m like, “does anyone have anything with a skull on it?” Desperate times. But I do go to Route 66 to search for cowboy boots all the time. What does your ideal day look like? Reading a book and moving as little as humanly possible. 16 | Urban Village
ELLY-MAY’S TIPS: For live music Low 302 –302 Crown Street, Surry Hills For pizza and cocktails Maybe Frank – 417-421 Bourke St, Surry Hills For an eccentric evening Claire’s Kitchen – 35 Oxford Street, Surry Hills For vintage Route 66 – 255 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
Photo: Walter Maurice
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BELVOIR DOWNSTAIRS PRESENTS THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING By Tess Scholfield-Peters A severe lack of resources, exploitation and systemic class disparity: these are the grim realities of Sydney’s theatre scene. And it’s not only theatre – these are issues that plague all of Sydney’s creative industries. Theatre has historically been an activity for those who could afford it – the Belvoir is challenging this preconception with their program 25A. Now in its second year, 25A allows a diverse range of emerging and independent artists access to resources, rehearsal rooms and Belvoir’s downstairs theatre for free. As Sydney-based sound designer, playwright and singer Clare Hennessy told me, 25A is a crucial step in combatting Sydney theatre’s tendency to navel-gaze. Clare worked as sound designer of Louris van de Geer’s play Tuesday, which was performed in Belvoir’s downstairs theatre as part of 25A in February.
25a presents Jess and Joe Forever.
“For theatre to work on a social level it needs to be speaking to the realities of what it’s like to live in Sydney for everyone. If it’s only a certain portion of people getting access, theatre can’t function in the way that it needs to,” said Clare. In a city as competitive and expensive as Sydney, programs that encourage low-cost theatre are few and far between. “There’s insufficient funding from the top down. If you’re trying to enter as an independent, it’s very hard to be sustainable,” said Clare. By allowing new and diverse voices access and exposure, 25A is a vital mechanism through which Sydney’s theatrical eco-system can thrive. “It’s about keeping that healthy lifeblood flowing through the entire community,” said Clare. Coming up on Belvoir’s Downstairs stage is ‘Jess and Joe Forever’ (Zoe Cooper), running from March 13-30, and ‘Extinction of the Learned Response’ (Emme Hoy), running from May 7-25. Visit belvoir.com.au or like @twentyfive_a on Instagram for more details.
Seen a local production that needs to be talked about? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Clare Hennessy. Photo: Supplied. 18 | Urban Village
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SAMPLE’S MOVE TO
TRANSPARENCY Above left: Reuben Mardan
By Tess Scholfield-Peters The term ‘ethically sourced’ is often used by businesses as more of a branding device than an actual practice. But Sample is striving for total transparency so customers can see their ethical processes, from farm to keep cup. By midday Friday only a handful of pastries remain in the small display, and a few newspapers lie scattered across the polished wooden bench. The morning rush is over at Sample but owner Reuben stays behind the counter, as the steady stream of pilgrims will continue well into the afternoon. Reuben Mardan worked for Single Origin and Mecca before deciding to open his own coffee shop. A favourite among Devonshire-dwellers, Sample opened seven years ago and is now one of Sydney’s most loved coffee roasters. From Colombia to Ecuador to Kenya, the majority of coffee producers Sample partners with are either family-run businesses or small co-operatives, with eyes towards sustainable farming and education. 20 | Urban Village
“What we’re trying to work towards is total transparency – from what the farmers get paid, to what the importers get out of it, to the price we buy and then sell the coffee for,” says Reuben. Beyond their shopfronts in Surry Hills and St Peters, Sample offers a coffee delivery and subscription service, whereby subscribers can get a single origin coffee from a range of farms delivered to their doorstep either fortnightly or monthly. There’s a story behind each coffee at Sample, from working with not-for-profits on the ground in Kenya, to discovering the potential of Ecuadorian beans. “It’s definitely a creative outlet for us,” says Reuben. “Discovering interesting coffees, creating new relationships with farmers and strengthening the old ones.”
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Image supplied: Sydney Comedy Festival
AARON CHEN TELLS STORIES, AND ALSO TALES. Interview by Tess Scholfield-Peters I had a phone chat with Sydney comic Aaron Chen. Every word of this is true (just kidding). When did you get into comedy? In high school I was extremely psychopathic and also shy, but I used to do speeches and they were funny. But I didn’t always want to be a comedian. I hated the idea. I wanted to be a Hollywood superstar. What’s the most memorable bomb you’ve had? The worst I had was at the Hollywood Improv when I was travelling in America late last year. I was on stage and Seinfeld had just been on. I had to follow Seinfeld, which is crazy to ask, even for the best comedian,
and I’m just this guy from Australia. I got up on stage and Nicholas Cage was in the audience with his uncle Francis Ford Coppola, and then Sophia Coppola joined them later on. Then Meryl Streep and like everyone was just walking in during my set, it was nuts. Then David Duchovny started talking loudly, everyone was talking over me. I started yelling at them saying they weren’t real celebrities or good actors, and everyone turned on me and said get out of here, you’re not a real comedian. Then Jerry Seinfeld came back on and everyone stood up and gave a round of applause. That was pretty memorable.
What do you do besides comedy? Mainly just try to hang out. I go between my two apartments in Marrickville and Hollywood Boulevard. If it gets too much I go to London for a few weeks, travel through Berlin and stuff. Try to party, keep up with people. Tom (Cruise) and stuff, we go to church together. At the church of Scientology they try to help you out a lot. It’s a very loving community. What’s your new show about? My new show is called piss off (just kidding). It represents two sides of one coin. “Piss off” kind of evokes a lot of negative emotion and sadness and darkness. And “just kidding” is quite light, it’s the dessert after a very difficult day. So piss off (just kidding) as one, is kind of exploring both sides.
Have you got anything else in the works? I’m trying to raise $1000 for a movie. The idea is I have a plastic bag filled with twenty $50 notes. I’ll go around Sydney with these scripts I’ve written for two people. Then I’ll find two strangers, say a lady who works at an office and a man who’s working on construction at that time, and I’ll give them both a script and $50 each and get them to perform the script. But I need $1000, so if you could put in the article that I’m looking for a patron, that would be really helpful. You can catch Aaron perform ‘piss off (just kidding)’ at the Sydney Comedy Festival, Wednesday 15th – Sunday 19th May at The Factory Theatre.
What can the audience expect from you? This year I’ll be telling stories and also tales.
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Image supplied: Sydney Comedy Festival
BECKY LUCAS TALKS PUB GIGS, TABOOS AND TWITTER-BANS Interview by Tess Scholfield-Peters 24 | Urban Village
The Brisbane-born comic has written for shows like Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me, performed and written a pilot for ABC, opened for Conan O’Brien and last year was banned from Twitter for drunkenly tweeting she’d chop the PM’s head off. Talking to Becky reveals a genuine, insightful and infectiously silly voice you instantly want to have a beer with. Which do you prefer - writing or performing? I definitely see myself more as a writer and someone who’s just funny socially. I don’t think I’m a naturally great performer. There’s a part of me that thinks if I let go too much on stage I’ll get made fun of. Performing is such a knife’s edge, you have to read the room right. When I write, I can edit and I’m in complete control. Having said that, when I perform I can get the job done. What’s the toughest gig you’ve had? I’m on the Gold Coast at the moment doing a run of really rough pub gigs. Two nights ago there was a group of teenage girls in the audience. They were talking really loudly during my set and I was like, “guys, can you keep it down?” And one of the girls yelled, “If you wanna be a stand up comedian why don’t you try being fuckin’ funny!” It was so brutal. I couldn’t really roast them either because they were kids. I just had to cop it.
How do you broach touchy subjects in your comedy? I never want to say something just to get a clap. If I talk about sexism or feminism I want it to be something that’s funny or a bit taboo. I guess in comedy there are a lot of people who are quite earnest, whereas I feel like while that’s important sometimes, a comedian’s job is to find everything a bit stupid. My opinions might not align with the most hard-core feminists, but in general I’m one of the good guys. Yet I still get attacked – it’s like, I’m still on your side. These days if you have an opinion that’s slightly to the left or right of someone you get completely polarized. I want to engage in politics but it’s too hard. People are so ready to hate on you. What’s life been like since your Twitter ban? Just my general sense of happiness has increased, I have more time for family and friends, you know. They haven’t given me my account back and I don’t think they will – they’re making an example of me, I guess. I just love that I got banned for tweeting something I wrote drunk at the pub - like as if I’m going to actually do it? Anything I’ve ever said I’m going to do I barely do anyway. Like I don’t even have my licence, I’m certainly not going to chop the PM’s head off. Becky Lucas will perform her new show ‘Um, Support Me?!’ at the Sydney Comedy Festival, Wednesday May 16th – Sunday May 20th at the Factory Theatre.
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Katia Schwartz. Photo credit: Walter Maurice.
CAN POLE DANCING BE STRIPPED OF ITS HISTORY? By Tess Scholfield-Peters The adult industry has existed since the beginning of time in various manifestations around the world. As Sky Sirens founder and renowned performer Katia Schwartz told me, there has never been a time when naked women weren’t used for entertainment. Pole dancing has gained widespread popularity as a fitness workout in recent years: it burns calories fast, it’s great for your blood flow, joints and balance. Perhaps most significantly, said Katia, it promotes confidence and self-expression. Yet concurrently to the acceptance of pole dancing into mainstream culture, the adult and sex work industries continue to fight for recognition and rights. The most recent attack on these rights was the 2018 FOSTA‑SESTA ruling in America, which effectively banned adult industry workers from promoting their services online, a much safer alternative than brothels or street work. The repercussions of this ruling have extended to Australia via harsh restrictions on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Given this climate, do hobbyist pole dancers have an obligation to recognise the history of the pole, and the plight of the industry from which pole dancing originated? Absolutely, according to Katia. However as its popularity increases, many pole dancing studios with owners from non-adult industry backgrounds deliberately ignore the historical roots of pole dancing, and work to separate pole from stripping in their marketing campaigns.
The use of the hashtag #notastripper on Instagram is another tool used by hobbyist pole dancers to disassociate their dancing from stripping. “Our society now says pole dancing is acceptable, but stripping, the adult industry and sex work will never be okay,” Katia said. While Katia is no longer an adult industry worker, she runs events and sessions that promote dialogue between sex workers and the wider community, and owns Sky Sirens, a burlesque, aerial artistry and pole‑dancing studio on Crown Street dedicated to inclusivity and diversity. Partaking in pole dancing classes without an understanding and appreciation for the history and continued hardships of those in the sex work industry is, according to Katia and many other sex worker advocates, a regressive act of appropriation. “As long as there is a prejudice against women expressing their sexuality and sensuality, this will always be a problem,” said Katia. “It’s really not even about stripping or pole dancing; it’s about peoples’ attitudes towards women expressing sex. The shame that people still have towards sex is actually the problem. I don’t even know if that will change - definitely not anytime soon.” Sky Sirens is a totally inclusive academy of burlesque, pole dance and aerial artistry. 656-658 Crown Street, Surry Hills.
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X FACTOR James Winter moved to Sydney from Adelaide two decades ago because he was attracted to the “quirky, queer and contemporary” inner city culture. That culture has since been threatened, but Winter believes the city is on the verge of a new renaissance and he’s doing what he can to bring it on. Words by Lachlan Colquhoun Photos by Walter Maurice
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Sydney sometimes makes James Winter feel sad. “So many people are just staying in and watching Netflix and ordering UberEats,” he says. “It’s so dreary!” “Anything to do with people making noise is legislated to the eyeballs and then the police arrive, but jackhammers at 7 am are ok, so it's almost as if the city is given over to machines.” Winter, however, isn’t one to complain. He’s antiwhinging, anti-apathy and essentially totally pro‑Sydney, or pro the Sydney which he believes we will be enjoying in the near future. “In five years time we’ll look back at 2018 and 2019 and say ‘what a disaster’ and think how wonderful it is to be living in such a fantastic Sydney,” he says. “But there’s work to do, because as soon as we sit back and whinge, that is a defeat.” Winter has been doing anything but sit back and whinge. As the director of not-for-profit arts management group Brand X since 2005 he has been a significant catalyst for innovative projects throughout the inner-city. Brand X are the managers at the East Sydney Community and Arts Centre, where they provide space for creatives working in the performing and visual arts, recording and media.
shopping centre as an art space while the managers, Fraser Properties, found commercial tenants. “It was a fascinating experience moving into that space,” says Winter. “We were really confident but weirdly enough the artists resisted because it was in a shopping mall. “For the first three months I had to beg people to join us on that journey, but by the end of the tenancy I had people screaming and knocking on the door wanting space.” Creative space in shopping centres might be unfamiliar in Australia, but it is commonplace in Asia and as Sydney develops is likely to become more prevalent here. “In Asia cultural infrastructure is entrenched into all building projects,” says Winter.
“The theatres are closed shops and new work is high risk, and the more established venues are nervous of taking that risk, which means that the stories we are seeing in theatre and dance are monocultural”
Brand X are not simply managers, they are also entrepreneurs in their own right, curating the Flying Nun arts program which aims to give oxygen to artists struggling for performance and exhibition space in a city with a chronic shortage of venues. The program is structured so that 98 percent of the box office goes back to the artists. “Sydney is bottlenecking in terms of creative space,” says Winter. “The theatres are closed shops and new work is high risk, and the more established venues are nervous of taking that risk, which means that the stories we are seeing in theatre and dance are monocultural.
“Flying Nun is an opportunity for artists who are often locked out of venues, and an opportunity for them to show their work and give them a real leg up.” Finding space is the heart of the Brand X project, and Winter and his team have also become expert in finding disused and obscure properties and converting them, even temporarily, into art spaces. The group managed several warehouses in the Kensington Street area at Central Park (now Spice Alley) while the project was under construction, and then activated 1000 square metres on level 3 of the
“It's part of their DNA. On floor 17 there’s a dance studio, on level 24 there is a library, and I think that is the future here too, and what we need to do is argue that the space allotted to the creative community is good stock, and not at the back of the lot next to the dumpster bins.” The potential for using temporarily unwanted and “broken” spaces for art to re‑animate Sydney is one of Winter’s passions, and he believes that upcoming State Government legislation combined with longstanding City of Sydney policy could be about to make this more possible.
“There are more spaces out there to repurpose,” he says. “And the State Government and the City of Sydney are very switched on to the idea, so the legislation is changing and that is a huge thing. “Right now, we might see a lot of empty buildings on the streets, but there’s not a lot we can do about it because they are locked in regulation but we might see some legislation in State Parliament in the second half of this year.” It might be co-incidental that this is happening with a State Election afoot, and while he might think the Government has moved too slowly in this area Winter says there’s no point in complaining, as this is an opportunity to embrace. When he looks at Sydney, Winter thinks about city’s and how they go through cycles. “Cities go from rich to poor, from adventurous to safe, and we need to be able to read these cycles and be opportunistic about making new ideas happen,” he says.
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“We also need to remember that we are dealing with a city which is also dealing with massive construction, so it’s not a friendly space for us to even navigate a way through the built environment, and we are also looking at a city where it is incredibly difficult to survive financially, for most people.”
“When that happens people will gasp and say ‘my god how beautiful’ and they’ll look back on what is happening now as another time.
In all cities, the work of artists is critical, says Winter. They are the people who give the city its identity and create the entertainment.
“So people just need to keep on believing, and understand how wonderful it is to have a young international city which can come into its own again.
Luckily for Sydney, they are also the “most flexible beings on earth” so even in a time of relative adversity, such as now, artists are still working away and their creativity is pushing the city forward.
“It’s almost as if we have needed this conservatism for us to realise what it is we don’t want for our city, and I really do believe that people are hungry for difference and for a more inspired future in Sydney.”
There are also glimpses of Sydney’s future in the present, and a hint of what might lie ahead. “You can walk down George Street and look at those hoardings, and realise that when they do eventually
come down we are going to see something beautiful, and that is when we can fill those spaces with our patronage and the content of our artists,” he says.
He might be from Adelaide, but in James Winter Sydney has one of its true believers. He’s an X factor and a catalyst for a more exciting Sydney, hopefully coming our way soon. Urban Village | 33
Testing, Testing... be aware!
Pedestrian bridge across the Eastern Distributor
Over the summer, significant progress has been made in the Surry Hills and Moore Park areas. This will continue as the project heads towards the next phase: tram testing! In February, a 750-tonne crane successfully helped lift two girders into position for the pedestrian bridge, which will provide safe and convenient access to the new Moore Park light rail stop. The bridge will benefit more than 2,000 students who currently cross Anzac Parade to get to Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls High Schools as well as the hundreds of thousands of fans who attend special events at Moore Park each year. 34 | Urban Village
New pedestrian bridge
Keep an eye out for our Tram safety staff who will be around to give helpful advice and information on our new safety campaign.
A new pedestrian bridge has been opened across the Eastern Distributor, replacing the previous bridge at Parkham Street. In future, pedestrians on their way to Moore Park will be sharing this with trams. Head to our Facebook page to check out some more great photos and time lapse of the monster cranes needed for this work.
When tram testing gets closer, construction fencing and barriers will gradually be removed along the alignment, exposing some newly completed tracks and stops. Remember that trams are not servicing passengers and the system is still being tested. Please do not approach stops or trams during this period. Always be mindful of tracks and only cross at designated pedestrian crossings.
Upcoming work in Surry Hills includes substantial work to upgrade pavements, kerbs and traffic signals in the area. Works are also progressing on future pocket parks in Holt and Waterloo Streets. Soon, overhead wires installed in December will be powered up and energised. This allows the project to heads towards the next phase, tram testing.
How will energisation affect me? • Tram movements – trams move quickly and quietly. Be mindful of your surroundings.
Tram testing Tram testing will begin in coming weeks and will initially start at night between 9pm and 4am. Trams will be operating at low speeds, gradually increasing before day time testing. As tram testing occurs, be aware, there may be a tram there! Trams will move quickly and quietly in both directions so always be mindful of your surroundings when near light rail.
• High voltage wires overhead – remember to look up and keep a safe distance. • Respect hazard signs – please pay attention to signs for safety • Height restrictions – restrictions of 4.6m will apply and permits required for work areas near poles and tracks.
Map showing tram testing zone and energised overhead wires
St nd ela
Overhead wires being energised and tram testing zone Overhead wires fully energised
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Photos: James Ervine
ELMS STORE BLOOMS ON CROWN STREET By Tess Scholfield-Peters
Above: Rebecca Elms
Elms is a lifestyle store and gallery space on Crown Street that celebrates Australian designers and artists. I stopped in and spoke to owner Rebecca about her move into the neighbourhood, the rise of Instagram in retail, and the importance of stocking only Australian brands. “Our stock is a collection of things I love, things that I have in my own home,” said Rebecca. Elms is spread across two levels: the ground level displays rows of candles, body products, accessories and racks of carefully curated Australian fashion labels. The second floor features home wares, bedding and ornate vases displaying a collection of Australian natives. Across one wall hang prints from Australian artists David Bromley and Bonnie Gray, part of Rebecca’s regular rotation of artworks. “My background is in interior design – I think what I love most is the ability to take something that is decrepit and old and renew it rather than just knocking it down.” While Rebecca sources much of her stock from trade fairs and private showings, she admits that Instagram is fast becoming the most effective means of sourcing, buying and connecting with designers and makers. 36 | Urban Village
“We actually just launched buying on Instagram a few weeks ago. It’s been huge in getting the word out to so many people,” she said. “I think what’s really special about Australian products at the moment is the shift towards using natural, organic and vegan ingredients, Australian botanicals and their properties. The makers are all really passionate about their products.” It’s important to fill your home with things that you love, rather than just “stuff,” says Rebecca. Her locally minded, simple approach to Elms Store is something we might all apply to our own spaces. Elms Store 393 Crown Street Surry Hills Instagram: @elmsstore
Rebecca’s go-to products: 1
Raconteur candles, made in Bondi. Rebecca recommended the scent of native grass, cedar, lavender and moss.
Salus Eucalypts and Rosemary body scrub
Artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impression of the new Northern Concourse, with feature canopy and more open space
Work underway on the new entrance to Central Station from Surry Hills Work is beginning to ramp up along Chalmers Street as the project prepares to start demolition on the new entrance to Central and Central Walk which will connect customers to new underground metro platforms.
Site sheds and hoarding will be installed soon before demolition starts, and will be in place until 2022. The new hoarding will not impact pedestrian and cycle access along Chalmers Street.
Central Walk includes:
Demolition will be completed in stages using tools and techniques that minimise noise and dust levels, and noise and vibration monitoring will be regularly undertaken.
A 19-metre wide tunnel from Chalmers Street linking to new Sydney Metro platforms under Central New, easy access points to Sydney Trains platforms 16 to 23 Escalators directly to suburban platforms for the first time. The entry at 20-28 Chalmers Street will provide direct access to Central Station for customers from the Surry Hills area and a direct interchange for passengers from the CBD and South East Light Rail.
Once demolition is complete, excavation of the new entrance will start, followed by excavation underneath Chalmers Street to link into Central Station. This work will continue into 2022 to prepare Central Walk for customers. For any questions about the Central Station Metro works, please contact the Community Team on 1800 171 386 (24 hour Community Information Line) or email Centralstationmetro@transport.nsw.gov.au. To register for project updates, please visit sydneymetro.info, or email us. Urban Village | 37
VENUE 505 ACHIEVING ICON STATUS In the challenging world of Sydney nightlife, any independent venue which can celebrate a 10 year anniversary is deserving of celebration. Lachlan Colquhoun spoke with the founder of Venue 505, Cameron Undy, as the club moves towards a decade on Cleveland Street. Not so long ago an Australian music legend, who does not need to be named here, was at Venue 505 and was talking with Cameron Undy. “He came up to me and said ‘thank you for creating this wonderful gift to the city’” says Undy. “And of course that really meant a lot to me.” In a live music scene under siege, Venue 505 is a survivor, and even a thriver. Coming out of Hibernian House on Elizabeth Street, where famously they had suite 505 for five years or so, Undy and his wife and collaborator Kerri Glasscock have taken a previously nondescript shopfront on nondescript Cleveland Street and turned it into Sydney’s go to venue for roots music.
“Coming here out of Hibernian was like moving from the underground and going above ground,” says Cameron Undy. “It was at a time when the regulations were changing and venues like this became possible for people like me, who had no money, and I’d had some friends who had lobbied hard to make the change and I thought it was time to come out and be more serious about it.” Everything from jazz, blues, funk, reggae, latin and folk music passes its way through and even hybrids thereof, such as the Estonian “folktronica” duo Maarja Nuut and Ruum, who will perform in March on their way to headline at WOMAD in Adelaide. “I feel like we are real hub of roots music, there is no other venue which is focused on it in the way that 505 is,” says Undy. “The only thing we don’t do is rock n’roll, because we don’t do loud…but of course if you get a 20 piece reggae band, as we have done, that does create its own kind of loud.”
Photo: Supplied 38 | Urban Village
The 505 program includes major international jazz acts such as British born and New York based saxophonist Will Vinson and his trio, along with local musicians who display their chops in funk and jazz on free admission jam nights.
Undy, an accomplished jazz bassist in his own right, is driven simply by a passion for the music. But in 15 years, at Hibernian House and now on Cleveland Street, he has managed to turn a number – 505 – into a powerful brand which now bears the standard for the live performance of roots music in Sydney.
“I feel like we are real hub of roots music, there is no other venue which is focused on it in the way that 505 is.” The brand is even busting out of Surry Hills, with wife Kerri Glasscock’s management of the Old 505 Theatre in Newtown. On the Cleveland Street location, Undy says it has strangely helped to make 505 more of a destination. “The positive thing about being here is that we are in a zone close to the city,” he says. “The good thing is that we don’t have much foot traffic and the bad thing is that we don’t have much foot traffic. “I guess the positive is that we don’t get too many randoms flying in. The people who come understand the venue, they find us and they come here because they want to hear what we have to offer, and that is a unifying thing.”
Photo: Supplied Urban Village | 39
A FAIR GO IN OUR FILM INDUSTRY The Morrison government looks set to call a royal commission into abuse in the Australian disability sector. As Bus Stop Films CEO and co-founder Genevieve Clay-Smith told me, it’s about time. By Tess Scholfield-Peters People living with disability are subject to abuse, segregation and stigma due to inherent societal prejudices. Access to many opportunities for people living with disability – particularly concerning employment – is inhibited due to the age-old narratives of otherness and low expectations. According to the Australian Network on Disability, people with disability aged between 15 and 24 are 10 times more likely to experience discrimination than those aged 65 years and over, with an employer as the source in over half of those instances. A leading advocate for the inclusion of people with disability in the film industry, filmmaker and 2015 NSW Young Australian of the Year recipient Genevieve ClaySmith has voluntarily worked as Bus Stop Film’s chief executive officer since its formal incorporation in 2011. The company now celebrates 10 years of inclusive filmmaking. “We provide educational activities and programs for people with intellectual disabilities and marginalised communities. Our films give voice to underrepresented groups so we can get more inside their experiences,” said Genevieve. 40 | Urban Village
“Our films give voice to underrepresented groups so we can get more inside their experiences” Genevieve has developed strategic partnerships with AFTRS and Panavision, and is a fierce advocate for a more diverse and inclusive society. Bus Stop’s tailored education program provides students with professional training behind and in front of the camera. Bus Stop breaks down the barriers of entry into the film industry and gives people with disability the chance to develop their creative careers at an industry level. “The film industry is our industry of stories – it can’t just be one subsection of society telling those stories. Everybody needs to be included – when we’re missing these different experiences, it only seeks to further marginalise already underrepresented groups,” said Genevieve.
In 2009 Genevieve and Bus Stop Films co-founder Eleanor Winkler won Tropfest with their short film Be My Brother, a totally inclusive film with a cast and crew of people with disability. Lead actor and man with Down syndrome Gerard O’Dwyer won best male actor.
Genevieve Clay-Smith. Photo: Sally Flegg
“At that time there were no pathways or opportunities for people with disabilities in terms of getting work experience on sets and in production companies. “Nor were there characters with disabilities on television or in our films. We saw that gap and really wanted to do something about it,” said Genevieve. In the last ten years Bus Stop has facilitated over three hundred work placements and experience opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities on professional film sets, and flown people interstate and all over the world to advocate and present their films at various film festivals including Oscar‑qualifying festivals. Bus Stop has now started a new program in Mongolia, the company’s second overseas venture. “Film is a very powerful industry advocacy. Photo:for Supplied We’ve seen it in Modern Family, when they introduced Mitch and Cam as the gay couple. That was actually quite an important step to normalise gay marriage and gay couples in the family unit. “When we start to see change in the way we tell stories on the screen, society catches up and it becomes a conversation starter.” “It’s a human right that all people can equally access the film industry, and it’s our human right to be able to own our stories and tell our stories inclusively. I don’t want anybody to miss out on that.”
Bus Stop Films is a crucial platform from which marginalised groups in Australia can be heard, and diverse stories can be shared with broader society to foster understanding and inclusion. Genevieve’s commitment to an inclusive Australian film industry sets the standard for all other industries – the land of a fair go has a way to go yet. Bus Stop is a not-for-profit organisation. If you want to get involved through donation, sponsorship or volunteering head to www.busstopfilms.com.au for more details.
Image supplied by Bus Stop Films Urban Village | 41
JAZZY CAFÉ VENTURES INTO DEVONSHIRE STREET
Photo: James Ervine
Nina Milanova and Jordan Jordanov have been a part of the Surry Hills community for many years and four years ago decided on launching a café. It's been a long time coming but as the old adage goes, good things come to those who wait and Jazzy Café Bar is now open for business. Locals and out of towners are already making a beeline for its speciality coffee which chronicles the migration of jazz from its Ethiopian origins and decadent homemade pastries. The building itself which Jazzy Café Bar now calls home at 212 Devonshire Street has quite a significant history of its own. In the 1930s and 1940s it was home to and headquarters of “Queen of the underground” - Kate Leigh. The introduction of six o'clock closing of hotels during the depression and war era lead Kate Leigh to use this situation to her advantage. Kate Leigh provided illegal liquor, known as 'sly grog', to many Sydney siders who knew the password upon entering in the hours after 6pm. To many locals this establishment was affectionately known as Mum’s. 42 | Urban Village
This historic house is now adding a fresh chapter thanks to Nina and her partner Jordan whose love for simple pleasures like coffee, food and jazz, lead them to the idea of a complete lifestyle change – starting their own café and bar serving alcohol, legally this time. Nina, who has come from coaching the National Team in Rhythmic Gymnastics says the food will always be fresh, healthy and of course a little bit fun like all good things in life. Jordan’s natural creativity for interior design helped them to create a unique atmosphere unlike any we have seen before; a real jazz playground with details including handmade lights forged by giving new life to used musical instruments. One of Jazzy’s customers is Caesar the parrot. If you pass by, you will see Jordan’s latest creation – Caesar’s perch made of trumpet. At last year’s Surry Hills Festival Jazzy opened its doors for the first time, hosting performances by actor
Photo: James Ervine
Vashi Hughes in her compelling Kate Leigh recreation. “It was a big success and great way to introduce our venue. Word spread quickly and the crowd was doubling each night. We can’t wait to do more performances alike” says Nina.
Photo: James Ervine
Although light-rail construction is continuing, the couple have opted for a soft launch for Jazzy Café, opening from 7.00 am - 12.00pm on Monday to Friday. Jazzy is fully licenced and the plan is to open in full swing with two or three evenings out of the week offering a music, food and wine venue for locals when the light rail project is finally completed. Head chef Vinicius Oliveira is dedicated to bringing simple and unpretentious cuisine. He previously worked with well repute chefs as Francis Mallamann in Brazil, Ignacio Mattos and Negro Piattoni in New York, Vini – the sympathiser of slow food, has the magic power to transform the simple seasonal products into beautiful, flavoursome dishes. Jazzy has developed their own coffee blend - “Midnight Jasmine” which was hand-picked by barista Alex and roasted by coffee gurus Grace & Taylor - big body, vibrant and smooth which starts in the heart of Ethiopia then crosses the ocean to Guatemala and ends in Colombia “We’re getting great feedback for our coffee, and more and more people are coming in to try it. We are mainly happy to be here and being a part of this great village and its community rich in diversity and culture. We are so thankful for all the support and look forward to adding our own identity to the collage of stories which makes Surry Hills and Sydney so eclectic” says Nina and Jordan. P.S. The password? “Is mum in? Urban Village | 43
SYDNEY LOOKS BETTER IN DRAG By Tess Scholfield-Peters
From Priscilla to Mardi Gras, Sydney’s history has always had rainbow-coloured undertones. But the hit American show RuPaul’s Drag Race has well and truly catapulted drag culture into the mainstream, Sydney-based drag queen Hannah Conda told Urban Village. Once existent only on society’s cultural fringe, drag artists and performers are now highly sought after by a growing number of big corporations and brands, and by local venues to host trivia and bingo nights as well as perform their own shows.
“People often get confused by what we do because it isn’t what they’ve seen on Drag Race.
Despite the lockouts you can find drag queens performing across venues like Newtown Hotel, The Imperial, Stonewall, Arq, The Oxford Hotel, and The Colombian every night of the week.
“I’ve always said it’s exactly how a builder must feel about a show like The Block – people watch what you do for a living on a reality TV show and suddenly they’re an expert.”
Hannah Conda, aka Chris Collins, is among Sydney’s most prolific drag queens. She’s amassed an impressive collection of awards and stage performances (for the Drag Race fans, she opened for Bianca Del Rio on her Australian tour) and can be found across local venues like The Carrington where she hosts trivia every Tuesday. According to Hannah, Drag Race can be attributed to drag’s recent surge in popularity. But the glossy television portrayal of drag queens in the show has left some fans with inaccurate preconceptions of what the art form is all about. Sydney drag queens hold themselves to an incredibly high standard of production and performance, often on a shoestring budget. “I think part of the magic is you can see little household items popping up in drag shows that have been spray-painted into something else. You have to be 44 | Urban Village
really critical and think about how you’re going to create things – there’s a lot of planning involved,” said Hannah.
What the couch critics might not realise is that the definition of drag is unique to each performer and artist, and the style of drag will differ with each venue. “Oxford Street drag is very show-girly whereas you get to the Imperial or Newtown Hotel and it goes into a more queer art scene, drag kings – performers that don’t fit into that mainstream style of drag,” said Hannah. With marriage equality and the increased presence of GLBTQI+ groups in mass media, people who may not have engaged with this community before are now exploring this ever-growing facet of Sydney life. “We’ve had massive crowds of people that come to the gender bender bingos and trivias and they just adore us, they become friends with us,” said Hannah. “They realise that behind the crazy makeup is just another human.”
Photo supplied by Chris Collins.
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RuPaul's Drag Race. Image supplied by Netflix.
Drag Race has undoubtedly changed the industry on a global level – people can see the individuality of each queen through reality TV, and get the chance to relate to them in a way that hasn’t been possible before. “We have been and will continue to be a mouthpiece for the GLBTQI+ community,” said Hannah. Drag now acts as an important tool for dialogue and education across communities. Plus, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more talented and innovative group of artists.
You can catch Hannah Conda hosting trivia at The Carrington every Tuesday night from 7:30pm. Head to www.sydneydragroyalty.com.au/hannah for her upcoming shows.
WHERE TO CATCH SYDNEY'S BEST DRAG SHOWS Newtown Hotel Catch Hannah and friends Minnie Cooper and Tora Hymen perform two shows every Friday night. The Oxford Hotel Wednesdays from 10pm the venue holds Slay 4 Pay, its own drag comp hosted by Charisma Belle and Carmen Geddit. On Saturdays you can catch a bigger drag show. The Imperial Hotel You’ll find queens at the Impy every night at Drag N Dine, and performing on Friday and Saturday nights. The Impy also hosts the monthly Heaps Gay and Honcho Disko parties. Secret Garden Bar Canned Fruit: Wednesdays from 7pm in Enmore
46 | Urban Village
Knox Street Bar The Oyster Club: Held on the second Thursday of every month, this sell out show features avant-garde queer performance. Stonewall This Oxford Street institution features live drag performances seven nights a week. Arq You can catch drag shows at Arq from Thursday to Sunday. The Colombian Travesty Supreme live show every Friday night from 9pm, and Trans Glamore, a celebration of trans performers held on the first Thursday of every month.
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Photo Credit: Walter Maurice
DMJ COMBINES HAIR, MUSIC AND STYLE By Tess Scholfield-Peters Nestled into a leafy Albion Street corner is top Sydney salon Desmond & Molly Jones Hairdressing (DMJ). You might walk straight past if it weren’t for the 3.5 metre high mural that covers one side of the building, work of local legend Scott Marsh. Salon owner and director Leonard Newton greets you as you walk across the threshold. He’s wearing a felt hat and trendy frames he snagged from a local pop up. You take a seat on the couch and read the exotic tea menu while listening to the obscure yet catchy music playing over the speakers. “This is Lescop, a French band, they’re really cool,” says Leonard. “We also love a bit of Chvurches when we want an energy hit. And a bit of home-grown stuff, a bit of Courtney Barnett.”
world, worked with hair icon Guido Palau, and helped to launch EVO hair care brand. “I’ve lived in Surry Hills now for eighteen years, and we’ve been open for fifteen. I’ve been through all the changes and transformations.” Scott Marsh’s mural out the front is part of a campaign by Vodka brand Absolut, which has created artwork that celebrates the marriages of 218 same sex couples since the law was past last year. “I’m a big fan of Scott’s work. These street art pieces are so significant because they evoke a shift in thought,” says Leonard. “Love comes in all different boxes so it’s really nice to put that out there.”
For Leonard, the best music to cut hair to is Interpol, Joy Division, Foals and dub reggae.
Desmond & Molly Jones 98 Albion, Street Surry Hills
Leonard was taught in London by a now iconic hairdressing duo, back when the brand was in its embryonic phase. He’s taught and travelled all over the
Come and say hi – all new clients receive 20% off with the presentation of this article. T&C apply.
LEONARD'S TREND TIP "I think people are moving away from the long hair balayage thing. It’s nice to see bobs coming back – shorter, more cropped shapes with lots of texture.” 48 | Urban Village
Urban Village | 49
Surry Hills’ fourth most popular satirical newspaper, three weeks running!
Mass Celebration at Plans for 30ft High Ibis Statue in Surry Hills
Off the back of research like this we can now exclusively reveal the City of Sydney’s plans for an “Adopt an Ibis” program.
Amid Controversy Over Funding There have been unbridled scenes of mass euphoria in Surry Hills after Sydney City Council confirmed plans to build a 30-foot installation of an Ibis.
Georgie Murch, 27, of Bourke Street, was gagging at the thought, “I would totes adopt an Iby, cause you could like, just chuck your garbage on the floor and it’d clean it up for you”.
A large group gathered this week in Shannon Reserve on Crown Street, surrounding the bin where the homage is to be placed. Many held hands in quiet reverence of the much-loved icon of the city.
The widespread acceptance of the Ibis statue comes at a welcome time for the council after speculation intensified recently that the much-maligned ‘Cloud’ statue was in fact to be funded by Apple to promote iCloud.
However one unhappy resident, Emma 36, a workfrom-home consultant, took umbrage and admonished the group, ranting, “Have you all gone mad? It’s just a bin chicken! It. Is. Dis. Gusting!” Emma was last seen fleeing for her life.
And it seems when it comes to art installations the council is plagued by controversy with news breaking in advertising circles that Ibis Hotels new ad campaign will feature their namesake.
The council have been taking submissions as part of ongoing upgrades to the area which includes the children’s playground. The idea for the Ibis installation was from local man Bronco Djura, 44, himself a garbologist, “Cleaning up rubbish is a filthy, thankless task but someone’s got to do it. Well guess what? It's time to thank the Ibis,” said Mr Djura through gritted teeth. Just four weeks after creating an online petition for the Ibis statue the groundswell of support was undeniable with over 217,000 signatures gathered. Submissions from artists were in the hundreds. The winner, local Perry Haddock, stated that his installation is to be made out of 100% recycled garbage. Not unlike the DNA of the bird itself.
“Cleaning up rubbish is a filthy, thankless task but someone’s got to do it. Well guess what? It's time to thank the Ibis”
50 | Urban Village
Many see the move as the Ibis finally getting the credit it deserves, like Urban Ecologist, Professor Pat Jarvis from Sydney University, who has just completed a 22 year study into the magnificent creature, “The Ibis is an essential part of the urban ecosystem. Without it our city would be overwhelmed with rubbish.”
The Surry Hills Times understands from B&T that the campaign features actual Ibis birds wandering amongst garbage strewn throughout its hotel lobbies; inspired by Zoolander’s ‘Derelict’, the campaign is “unmistakably in touch with an urban market.” Michael Raso, head strategist of consultancy firm 'Scarves 'n' Insights' stated, “It is a not just a bird, it is a way of life." This has set tongues wagging that the installation is to be exclusively funded by the hotel chain. Sydney City Council categorically denies any corporate involvement from Ibis Hotels Group in the creation of the Ibis installation. What do you think of the Ibis statue? Do you have a story? Email us email@example.com Website: www.surryhillstimes.com Instagram: @SurryHillsTimes
Introducing local satirical publisher Surry Hills Times. Poking fun never hurt anyone, but we recommend reading with a grain of salt. Artist’s impression of “Steve” the enormous homage to the universally adored Ibis. Photo Credit: Sean Masters. Urban Village | 51
Photo credit: Sean Masters.
MIKE GALVIN AND THE DARLO DARLINGS Above: Mike Galvin.
I started the Darlo Darlings Facebook Group in April 2018 as a response to many friends and local business owners telling me they were suffering and didn’t have a platform to connect with other locals.
There is a great vibe in postcode 2010. With the light rail due to open over the next twelve months, Surry Hills will receive a huge boost in foot traffic that will hopefully flow into Darlinghurst and surrounds.
The group is now nearing 2000 members.
It has been so tough on businesses and devastatingly, some didn’t make it. Victoria Street Darlinghurst has also been hit hard with construction works. I’m quietly hoping the Green Park revitalization proposal can help drive much needed foot traffic back to businesses around the area.
Darlo Darlings has hosted over 22 local events, including charity events in partnership with Rough Edges. These events are organized by residents and community members for those in our neighbourhood who need it the most. Our next event on March 29 will be a long table lunch between Victoria Street and Darlinghurst Rd.
Find Darlo Darlings on Facebook, and follow @darlodarlings on Instagram for updates and events around Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.
CALL FOR THE REVITALISATION OF GREEN PARK Earlier this month a proposal was presented to Lord Mayor Clover Moore to revitalise Green Park on Victoria Street, in the heart of postcode 2010. The revilatisation and memorial proposal came about through my Darlo Darlings Facebook group, when artist Christopher Lewis commented on a photo of the park: “Green Park is hallowed ground, we need a memorial to honour the thousands we lost.” Since the 1980s thousands of Australians have lost their lives to AIDS. Today, we still have no memorial that pays respect to those lost.
Victoria Street and surrounds is at a critical point in its lifecycle and retailers desperately need help. They are struggling to keep their doors open – with landlords charging rents of up to $14,000 per month, the pressure on small businesses has never been so high. With the proposed memorial, we have an opportunity to create a place of remembrance that can outshine the darkness that was the AIDS epidemic, and breathe new life into this struggling area.
More than half the country’s HIV/AIDS patients were treated at St Vincent’s Hospital, and its closeness to the park is both a comfort and point of grief for many. The overwhelming support from the Facebook group prompted me to go public with the vision for a memorial and beautification of Green Park. 1130 signatures from the local community were collected in support of the plans. Revitalising Green Park as one of Sydney’s most beautiful green spaces can also benefit the local economy. Above: L-R Mike Galvin, Alex Greenwich and Christopher Lewis . 52 | Urban Village
Bar Bistro Functions Sports Bar 52 Devonshire Street Surry Hills 9211 1612 madisonhotel.com.au Urban Village | 53
SO WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE BEARD? Besides being the physical representation of patience and manhood... Since the beginning of time, the beard has been an embodiment of stature worn by the likes of Kings and Vikings through to Bushrangers (there was also that famous carpenter – Jesus).
the face. Facial exfoliation will assist in avoiding this itchiness and make things that bit more bearable. This is where product selection can also be a life saving and annoyance preventing decision.
The beard comes in many forms, lengths, colours and styles. Each of which have been influenced by the current era and what fashion dictates. Yes they are a fashion statement and highly accepted by the modern society creating the ‘lumbersexual’ movement (also creatively know as The Hipster). This movement is based around the ruggedness of the flannelette wearing lumberjack and the highly groomed ‘Metrosexual’.
So what do you use and when? What is a Beard Balm or Beard Oil?
So the beard is large and long, sharp edged and definitely not to be taken lightly…a complete work of art. The average fur covered man will be spending a lot more maintenance time on his facial pelt than that of his haircut, shaping and preening. This is a precise business and one that if not approached correctly could leave you looking patchy, lopsided and reminiscent of a mangy mutt, having you grabbing the clippers to take the whole thing off only to start again. Hence patience is a virtue. Food and beards establish a symbiotic relationship similar to that of the clownfish and the sea anemone and for those needed to win a partner over with the decision to grow a beard – keep it clean of debris. Growing a beard can be a hard step unless you’ve at least made it to the 4th week mark as a contestant on ‘Survivor’. From inception, the beard can create uncomfortable or itchy skin and in some cases this is as simple as the coarse hair simply curling over, pricking back into 54 | Urban Village
Let’s break these down. A Beard Balm is usually a heavier moisture cream based product that is designed to soften the hair and prevent irritation, encouraging you to persist with growing. It is perfect for a new growth beard and daily application of this will ensure that the skin is nourished. The more common ‘Beard Oil’ (which now seems to be coming out in all shapes and sizes) is designed to soften the hair follicle of an already established beard and give leave it shine with the scented aroma of something better than the daily elements it absorbs. Most are based around essential oils and designed to replicate masculine smells such as tobacco, leather and spices. In summary… your beard should be taken seriously, supported with regular Barber grooming, use the right products and be more than a growth designed to hide your laziness or mustache growing attempts of Movember. Happy bearding!! Dan Dixon Mister Chop Shop, 433 Crown St, Surry Hills Follow: @misterchopshop.surryhills
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& VALLEYS Telling the Stories of People in Our Community
James O’Brien: The Sound Guy
With the exception of four years in Brisbane, I spent the first thirty years of my life in the country: Lismore, Bourke, Renmark and Wagga. When my career brought me to Sydney, I was really excited.
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As I knew I didn’t want to live too far from work, I drew a “walking circle” (old style protractor) around Ultimo, that reached out to Glebe and Pyrmont, but I quickly settled on an apartment in Surry Hills. And even though I’m a country boy at heart, Surry Hills has pretty much become “home”. You can always pick the difference between someone from the city and someone from the country: people from the city ask you what you do for a living, people from the country ask you where you’re from. When I first arrived in Surry Hills in 1995, it was still pretty “rough”. Even now, there are still “rough edges” which I love. One of my earliest memories of being in Surry Hills was being in the Clock Hotel bottle-shop (there was still a “drive through” on Crown Street) when an armed robbery began. While all of the action was taking place, I simply lowered myself and hid behind a stack of beer slabs. I’ve never told my family in the country about the incident, because I knew they’d worry. Their only knowledge of Surry Hills was of my Aunty Molly who lived here in the 1930s and 1940s, long before the gentrification. Though they don’t worry as much since they’ve visited me, I still think they worry about me living in the city, and hope one day I’ll return home to the country. And yes, I might, sometime in the next decade, though work keeps me here right now.
"For me, the sounds of Surry Hills are the rumble of early morning traffic on Cleveland Street and the annoying sounds of koels, that I still associate with walking home from Oxford Street, in the early hours of the morning."
Photo: Tim Ritchie
Since the age of twelve, I’ve been a volunteer and then later worked in radio. Although I’ve worked in commercial and community radio, I’ve mostly worked for the ABC, as a presenter, and then more recently as a manager. I love sound. For me, the sounds of Surry Hills are the rumble of early morning traffic on Cleveland Street and the annoying sounds of koels, that I still associate with walking home from Oxford Street, in the early hours of the morning. Though work brought me to Sydney, there was also the allure of Oxford Street. As a gay man who had lived most of his life in the country, but who visited Sydney from time to time, I couldn’t wait to get to know the gay scene here. The Oxford Hotel, The Midnight Shift, The Beauchamp, The Albury.
I look back with fondness, as so many of those bars have now closed. In the late 90s, I met a guy at Mardi Gras, and we fell in love. That’s how my short-term move to Sydney became more permanent. After a while, he fell “out of love” with me, and he’s now married to a woman, and living in Hobart. We all caught up for dinner a couple of times when I was recently working there. “Corey Bernardi’s head would explode at the thought of that”, I joked to friends. Though I still visit Oxford Street on a semi-regular basis, I now feel (aged 52) like I’m “too old for that”, and I’m not one for dating apps. Now, I’m far more likely to be at home watching Netflix on a Saturday night than out clubbing somewhere. And Surry Hills twenty years after arriving? What worries me about the changes to Surry Hills? The “gentrification” means there’s no longer “room” for some on the “fringe”. There’s a homeless guy who has been living near my apartment on and off for a couple of years. He has a bunch of “issues”, and though he’s sometimes a little “scary”, other times he’s quite okay, and we’ve chatted together about all kinds of things. A few months ago I noticed a nearby neighbour had left an envelope of cash for him, so I’m obviously not the only one who knows and cares for Matt. A few months ago it really struck home to me about the changes in Surry when I was coming out of my apartment block and was confronted by a man who almost shouted at me “Have you seen the homeless guy? Have you reported him to the police?” “Yes, I have seen him.”, I told him, “but he’s never caused me any concern, so I haven’t. Why would I?” The guy looked dumbfounded at my response. A few days later, I saw Matt being addressed by the police, and being told he shouldn’t hang around in our neighbourhood anymore. “What exactly have I done wrong? What law have I broken”, he asked the police. They didn’t have much of an answer. In the same way there’s “room” for public housing at Northcott, and there’s room for so much cultural, gender, sexual etc, diversity, I hope we don’t end up with a neighbourhood that doesn’t recognise the “other”.
ABOUT WWW.SURRYHILLSANDVALLEYS.COM We are four storytellers whether through art, photography or written word, who want to create a space for giving voice to the stories of the inhabitants of Surry Hills. Surry Hills has a history of storytelling. We hope that the stories that are told will bring about community in our neighbourhood especially during this time where Surry Hills is going through so much change. We want to represent the diversity of the people in our community so we can increase learning from and respect of each other. To read more profiles, visit www.surryhillsandvalleys.com Urban Village | 57
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Is booking and lavishing yourself with your dream holiday the same as buying property or retiring early? Of course it is! Whether you’re looking to create your likeness in gold bullion, put the kids through private school or buy a seat on the inaugural Virgin Galactic space flight you can be certain that, in theory, the goal setting process is just as familiar as imagining, booking and enjoying your dream holiday. Follow these three simple steps to envision, enact and enjoy your wildest dreams! 1. Dream up (and write down) the ideal destination for you Nobody books a holiday to a place they don’t want to go. Goal setting should be exactly the same! You wouldn’t choose a holiday destination ‘just because’ and there is no reason why your financial destination should not be the same. Dream up your ideal scenario, somewhere that you’re certain you will be happy and go for that! Whether that be home ownership, early retirement or a Mariah Carey sized closet full of Jimmy Choo’s, envisage it, own it and count down the days until you’re there enjoying it. 2. Break it down into baby steps
GLEN HARE: FINANCE TIPS
The process of transferring our dreams and aspirations from an idea to reality is never an easy one. We don’t just wake up one day in Tokyo! Before we can even think about that steaming bowl of ramen in Shinjuku, we’re charged with working out how to actually get from our comfortable Surry Hills digs to Japan. There is annual leave to consider, the funding of the project and wrangling the schedules and needs of anybody else who might be joining us. Just like waking up in Tokyo, waking up in your own home (or Mariah sized shoe closet) is unlikely to ever happen without meticulous planning. Once you’ve envisaged the destination, break it down into manageable steps, read how other people have done it and formulate a plan that’s going to work for you. 3. Execute the plan with military precision
Guide: How to book your dream holiday AND kill all of your financial goals in 2019.
Glen Hare is one half of Surry Hills based financial advice firm The Fox & The Hare www.foxandharewealth.com/fox-and-hare 60 | Urban Village
Admittedly, transit is never as enjoyable as the final destination but that doesn’t mean the journey is any less exciting. There is the monotony of counting down the days, the screaming terror of realising that the traffic on O’Riordan St might actually cause you to miss your flight this time, arduous security lines and the list goes on. For better or worse, life is extraordinarily unpredictable and things can change in a heartbeat. The only constants are you and your attitude toward getting things done. When you’ve got a clear plan to follow and you do in fact follow it, only the most heinous of circumstances can slow you down. Don’t worry about the snarling traffic, overzealous airport security and shameful people standing two abreast on the escalator. You’ve got a plan, just stick to it! You’ll touch down in no time. Those that have goals succeed, because they know where they are going.
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PET TIPS + ADVICE by Dr. Nima What is arthritis? Just like people, animals can suffer from joint problems. Arthritis is a very painful condition that is caused by damage to the cartilage in the joints, which can lead to inflammation, pain and stiffness in the affected joints.
What should be the goals of treatment?
control joint pain regain normal joint function prevent cartilage destruction control inflammation prevent fibrosis to preserve joint range of motion prevent subchondral bone changes and osteophyte formation maintain a normal biochemical environment within the joint preserve synovial fluid viscosity and chemical makeup
Along with aging and normal wear and tear, obesity, trauma and poor anatomy are the most common causes for arthritis. A lot of animals older than 7 have some degree of arthritis, however, this can occur in younger animals too.
Photo: Biopharm Australia Pty Ltd.
1. McLaughlin, R. (2000) Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice 30, 933-949
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© Biopharm Australia Pty Ltd, May 2013
Management: Like other diseases the first step is to manage the underlying cause of arthritis. One of the first things to consider is weight management as overweight animals are at higher risk of joint problems. Many animals with chronic joint diseases need to be on pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications that your vet supplies. There are also a number of joint supplement products and special diets available to help with the condition
and to slow down the arthritic changes. One of the interesting options is courses of injections that are designed to reduce the progression of arthritis as well as provide pain relief and antiâ&#x20AC;&#x2018;inflammatory relief. With winter on the way, arthritis is known to flare up due to the cold weather and to get more detailed information about arthritis speak to your vet.
A few Extra Tips For pets with arthritis: Provide easy access to food and water. Exercise in moderation to prevent obesity and maintain muscle strength
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Astra Howard, Village Voices, a composite of ideas from four authors - Chav Gibson, Sam Carman, Stuart McLean, Remy Wolanski. Feb – March 2019
THE PUBLIC IN ART By Fiona McIntosh
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Public art comes in many guises. At its core, its role is to encourage a more meaningful experience for a community of its shared public spaces. It provides a focus to publically commemorate an event, or person, or express a collective sentiment. It enhances our architectural and environmental surrounds and, at its best, inspires conversations around our sense of place, helping to shape a community’s sense of identity.
Tucked away in a few of Surry Hills more non-descript laneways are three public artworks which evoke local events and people. None are grand monuments: each are thoughtful proclamations of local experiences and which are hard to ignore once discovered in their quiet, off-beat sites. Each of the artworks uses text rather than images to tell the stories, and explore the landmarks and vibe of this dense and gritty part of Sydney. The graphics of the varying texts are exaggerated to enhance the impact and intent of each message. Their fonts, scale and colour ensure they cannot be misread as general street signage.
experience, and more one of research through public engagement, in which the resulting choreographed gestures reflect the artist’s experiences. The Biennale performance included a public walking group through the city, ending in Wemyss Lane Surry Hills, during which Gothe-Snape gathered ‘data’ – observations, sounds, words and emotions – she encountered from people and places along the way.
Not all the stories remembered are nice ones. In 1996, in what was then Flood Lane (off Bourke St), a woman named Mary was brutally attacked. She later found out that people in nearby buildings had seen and heard the attack but had neither responded nor assisted. The wider community committed to remembering the violence in this neighbourhood, and to reclaiming the laneway for the safety of (particularly) women. As part of its public art program, the City of Sydney commissioned artist Mikala Dwyer to create a public artwork to do just that: it became A Lamp for Mary. The work is in three distinct parts, with its focus on both a practical solution and emotional response to the violent history and grimness of the laneway. Dwyer created an oversized pink street lamp which glows a gorgeous hue to light a safe pathway along the laneway at night. The subtlety of the lamp is emboldened by a single line of script across the side of a brick wall along the lane, describing the vicious attack in no uncertain terms. In a gentle cursive pink, it says: “This is a lane with a name and a lamp in memory of the woman who survived being beaten and raped here. She happened to be lesbian. When the sun sets this lamp keeps vigil along with you who read this in silent meditation.” Walking through the laneway, now officially renamed Mary’s Place, is to read the statement, see the lamp, and enter a private space in the public domain in which to acknowledge and grieve for Mary and all other women victims of violence. Together the three gestures – the lamp, the text, the new name - become a poignant tribute and sign of hope. Down the hill, in Wemyss Lane, on the outer edge of Surry Hills where it nudges up against the CBD, is the text-based work of 2017 - Here, an Echo by conceptual artist Agatha Gothe-Snape. Though bolder in configuration but more obtuse in meaning, this text‑based work is also rooted in the stories of the local community. To begin to make sense of the fourteen phrases, stencilled in paint onto the ground and buildings of the laneway, is to read them in the context of an extended performance work Gothe-Snape did earlier for the 2016 Biennale of Sydney. Her performance work is unconventional: less about a passive theatre
Mikala Dwyer, A Lamp for Mary 2011, photo: Richard Glover for the City of Sydney
“This is a lane with a name and a lamp in memory of the woman who survived being beaten and raped here. She happened to be lesbian. When the sun sets this lamp keeps vigil along with you who read this in silent meditation.” Urban Village | 65
The words in Wemyss Lane are the distillation of this performance and have become its final and permanent imprint, a legacy artwork of the Biennale. Though the font and colour are more that of poster text, the meaning is not fixed nor direct: it is elusive. They are poetic snippets from her research, to add another visual layer of human experience, both individual and collective, to the rich tapestry that is Surry Hills. Read it from north to south; south to north; or as single phrases. Gradually, the painted text will weather and wear, and as the artist intends “… to be absorbed back into the laneway [becoming] … less visible. In a way, drawn back into the fabric of the city that produced it.” Agatha Gothe-Snape (2017). Village Voices by artist Astra Howard is, on the other hand, a permanent fixture in the laneway off Crown St, opposite Lansdowne Street. Also commissioned by the City of Sydney at the request of the local community, Village Voices is a continuous collaboration between Howard and Surry Hills’ locals. Howard is an action research artist with a day job in social services, working with many local community support organisations. With Village Voices, she invites and assists those whose voices are not usually heard to share a personal story, quote or experience which
Mikala Dwyer, Mary’s Lane photo: Richard Glover for the City of Sydney 66 | Urban Village
is then writ large on a purpose-designed sign board. In its sparse, tightly edited format of six lines and thirty characters, it becomes the Surry Hills version of an interactive haiku. The sign-board resembles those used by schools, churches and sporting groups to make direct announcements to their local communities. The letters have the feel of oversized scrabble letters as they are rearranged every two months to declare a different perspective. Howard’s intention is to stimulate discussion and awareness around social issues affecting Surry Hills and its locals, between visitors and residents, businesses and community organisations. New storylines were installed just recently. The next change over, to which you are all invited to witness, will be in March. It is worth making a detour from your usual route through the ‘hood, looking up from your phone and pausing to consider these public artworks and how they may, or may not, affirm a more meaningful understanding of what comprises the local community and your place in it. These laneways are not so intimidating with thoughtfully presented, well maintained artworks for company.
Agatha Gothe-Snape, Here, an Echo 2017, Wemyss Lane, Surry Hills Photo: Yanni Kronenberg Urban Village | 67
Photo: James Ervine
‘LIFE EATS LIFE’: THE HEALING POWER OF GOOD FOOD By Tess Scholfield-Peters Ouroboros Wholefoods Cafe draws its name from one of the world’s oldest mystical symbols. The snake eating its own tail means infinity, wholeness and continuous renewal, and as owner Manny Tzirtzilakis adds: “you are what you eat.” Manny took over the Devonshire Street cafe in 2015 after the decision to leave his seventeen-year long career in the pharmaceuticals industry. But he hasn’t made a complete departure from his old line of work – Manny’s still in the business of looking after people and their health. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” a quote from Hippocrates is painted across a plant-covered feature wall, an homage to Manny’s Greek upbringing.
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“My parents are from Crete, and we grew up on the Mediterranean diet – good, wholesome food,” he says. “Everything we sell here is homemade and fresh. Nothing is frozen or premade.” Manny cold presses the juices himself each morning and sources the cafe’s seasonal produce from small growers at Flemington Markets. Ouroboros caters for raw, vegan and paleo diets, with coffee by Melbourne roasters Veneziano. “Gone are the days where people say ‘oh, it’s vegan, it’s boring.’ More people are coming on board and embracing the new developments in food.” One such development is hemp – one of the highest sources of plant-based protein is now appearing in food, milk and beer.
Photo: James Ervine
"Gone are the days where people say ‘oh, it’s vegan, it’s boring."
Businesses along Devonshire Street have been some of the hardest hit by the light rail construction. Manny had to take on a second job in the peak of construction so he could keep all of his staff employed. But the clouds are beginning to lift, he says, and foot traffic is growing every day as the construction draws to a very welcomed close. “We’ve got a massive loyal customer base that supports us through thick and thin and we’re very grateful for that.”
Ouroboros Wholefoods Cafe 1/118 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills Instagram: @ouroboros_cafe
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Snapchats of our local histories
This issue we delved into the City of Sydney Archives to find snaps of by‑gone Surry Hills, and captioned them accordingly.
328-336 Elizabeth Street, corner of Kippax Street, taken 16 February 1928 Young artist looks towards Hibernian House, ponders his future radical art practice.
226-228 Commonwealth Street, corner of Belmore Lane, taken 15 October 1924 Workers prepare for climate change by installing early version of air conditioning.
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Captain Cook Hotel c. 1913 Early 20th Century Ubers await their drunken passengers.
Wexford Street, looking towards Elizabeth Street c. 1906 - Horse and cart taking another route because Devonshire Street is blocked off.
Do you have a photo that shows a piece of neighbourhood history from any era, with an interesting story/caption to match?
Submit your piece of local history to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to be featured.
All images courtesy of the City of Sydney Archives. Captions by Urban Village team. Urban Village | 71
Expert Advice Locally Icon – Trading Names, Trade Marks and Reputation Risk “Please be advised the matter surrounding the Opal Tower Homebush was not built by our company. The building was built by a company with a similar trading name. Note the two companies have nothing to do with each other.” This statement appears on the landing page of the website of a Sydney based construction company (Icon Construction Group) that effectively shares it name with a major company at the centre of the Opal Tower debacle in Homebush (Icon Co).
The ASIC website says: “To see if your proposed company name is too similar to a name already held by ASIC, you can use 'Check name availability'. You cannot register a company name that is identical to one that already exists.”
Brand Value Business owners usually give a lot of thought to their business name. It’s their brand. Their marketing edge. Their point of difference. Get it right, invest in a logo, website and social media and it can be worth a lot of money. In 2018 Forbes calculated the value of the Apple brand at $182.8 billion. Not far behind were the usual suspects – Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
The reality is, that ASIC will allow any number of versions and derivations of names incorporating the word ICON. If you search the ASIC database for ICON, there are up to 100 company and business names Australia wide in various industries that incorporate ICON in their branding.
Not surprisingly, business owners with strong brands usually invest in brand protection. That includes a combination of a registered trade mark strategy, control of domain names and marketing teams keeping an eye on competitors and sharp operators who set up businesses with similar names in competing industries. Conversely, some business owners see value in adopting elements of a competitors branding, expecting some of that value will spill over to them. So you might be surprised to know that in the local construction industry that there are at least 9 companies sharing the ICON brand in their names. Trading Names and ASIC Some business owners mistakenly believe that registering their company name with ASIC, that incorporates their brand name, is all they need to do to operate lawfully and give them brand protection. 72 | Urban Village
The legal position is that company name or business name registration will not protect you if you chose to trade with a name that is similar to a competitor and where that competitor argues that you are trading off their reputation and/or are engaging in false and misleading conduct. There are no proprietary rights in a business name or a company name, although evidence of reputation and goodwill may support actionable claims for “passing off”, or false and misleading conduct. Also, your registered business name or company name may not protect your name is substantially identical, or deceptively similar, to a trade mark registered by your competitor. So why are there so many ICONS in the building industry? For many, maybe there is a belief that associating their construction work with a result that is “iconic” is aspirational and that their work is intended to be “iconic”. Also, if there are a number of successful building brands that use ICON in their name, that couldn’t hurt, right?
Well….. Icon Debacle Icon Construction Group is a privately owned company based in suburban Hurstville in Sydney that has developed a number of apartment buildings around Sydney. Icon Co is controlled by the Japanese listed construction giant Kajima, which purchased Melbourne based Icon Co in 2015 and then merged with also Melbourne based Cockram Constructions in 2018 to create a construction services business with an estimated turnover in 2018 of $1.4 billion. Icon Co uses the ICON brand through a company it controls. That company has a registered trade mark for ICON for “construction services and project management services; property development”. Reputation Risk Here is where reputation risk becomes an issue. Usually, there is reputation risk for a trade mark owner of infringers offering up inferior goods and/or services. In the ICON case, it’s Icon Construction Group (no trade mark) having to disassociate itself with Icon Co (the billion-dollar construction business) because of the negativity associated with the Opal Tower fail. So why hasn’t Icon Co ever relied on its registered trade mark to prevent others from using the ICON
brand in their trading names? Usually, when a trade mark is registered, it gives the owner a monopoly to use the brand in connection with the goods and services for which it is registered. More on that in another article. The takeaway from all this? Today, in a digital world where social media and powerful search engines produce information on key words (including brand names) in seconds, brand management has never been more important. Know the difference between a business name or company name and a registered trade mark. Do your homework before you decide on your brand. Share key aspects of your brand with others at your risk. Get advice from an experienced IP lawyer.
Peter English Registered Trade Marks Attorney Surry Partners Lawyers February 2019 Peter English is the director and founding partner of Surry Partners Lawyers. www.surrypartners.com.au
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02 9698 8907 email@example.com Urban Village | 73
DEPTH ANALYST By Dave Drayton
I'm in depth analysis. You betcha. I'm a depth analyst - and a damn good one at that, if you'll permit a little self‑promotion. The question is less what kind of depths I analyse, and more what kind of deep, but the list is near endless just the same. Shall I give you a few examples? I could tell you the depth at which an onion or a scallop had been fried. The depths of sympathy and breath. I can comprehend and catalogue the depths to which beauty can penetrate an epidermis. If you wanted to know about Deep Purple I could tell you the depth of the water beneath the smoke. If I've got you in the lab – where I've got a deep six and a sounding line of one through nine to match – and you are deep in thought, I can provide the absolute location of that thought, and deduct where it will be when it reaches absolution. I could tell you how deep blue is. Not only that, I can compare how deep blues are. Quantify the depth of the blues. I had a client about 18 months ago that had me compile a depth dossier on a blue triptych - the Atlantic, a young Russian dancer's eyes, and section of sky above San Francisco from the spring of 1991. It was hard work, but fascinating. I’ve had all types, though the confidentiality assumed between every depth analyst and client means I can’t give specifics. But it’s all types. You two, for example. With you two married now, chances are before too long you'll want to get a house and start a family. And chances are you'll be buying out west given the market, which means it'll be warm. And the kids will want a pool. I mean, it's hot out there, on average six degrees hotter than here in the city. So you want to appease the kids. To beat the heat. And what with the housing market the way it is, it is almost inevitable that the acquisition of a house, particularly one with a pool, will put you both in debt.I measure the depth of that debt. Shall I continue? Or say a few years from now, what with the debt, the depth of which you will be fully aware of thanks to my expertise, and the subsequent sleepless nights and screaming children and the mounting doubts that one of you is finding comfort in the arms of the pool man or woman you can't really afford that you nevertheless hire to clean the pool you don't have time to swim in, you begin to wonder why you still bother, whether you still love each other - I can measure the depth of that love, and of that doubt. And when it falls apart I can tell you how deep the trouble is. The feelings of resentment you'll hold onto after? I can calculate how deep down they will be held.
Author: Dave Drayton is an amateur banjo player, founding member of the Atterton Academy, Kanganoulipian, and the author of E, UIO, A: a feghoot (Container), A pet per ably-faced kid (Stale Objects dePress), P(oe)Ms (Rabbit), Haiturograms (Stale Objects dePress) and Poetic Pentagons(Spacecraft Press). Illustrator: Alexies Adao is a graphic designer and illustrator specialising in quirky, bright and playful illustrations. To see more of Alexies’ work, follow her on Instagram @alexiesmade or visit her website www.alexiesadao.com.
URBAN FICTION Urban Fiction combines a piece of local creative writing no more than 500 words long, with an interpretative illustration by a local artist. If you’d like to submit a piece of flash fiction/poetry/essay or an illustration, email us at info@urbanvillage. com.au for more details. We encourage everyone to submit, including emerging/unpublished authors and artists. 74 | Urban Village
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OFFICE SPACE CONTINUES TO DELIVER INSIGHT Surry Hills co-working provider the Office Space, is continuing the successful Insight business talk series into a fifth year with an innovative program which traverses design, film, marketing, technology and more. The sell-out program has featured speakers such as actor, Susie Porter; dual Archibald-winning artist, Del Kathryn Barton: Qantas industrial designer, David Caon; producer, Jan Chapman; graphic designer, Vince Frost and City of Sydney Counsellor, Jess Scully. Insight continues to push the boundaries by asking the pertinent questions that impact all business decision-makers, be they from small, medium or even the larger organisations, as we face continuous change and new challenges. All sessions start with drinks and light canapes in the Golden Age Bar from 5:30pm with the panel interview 6-7pm (with the exception of March which runs 11:30am-1pm). Tickets are $25 + GST per person and include a welcome drink. There is a $10 discount to members of the Surry Hills Creative Precinct. Insight proudly supports the Sydney Community Foundation (SCF) with full proceeds from ticket sales going directly to the SCF Business Incubator for disadvantaged women. 76 | Urban Village
THE 2019 PROGRAM: · March 29th – Women in Business · April 30th – 21st Century Communication · May 28th – The Film Business · June 25th – East meets West: Consciousness and consumerism · July 30th – How to make a million dollars · August 27th – Lifelong Learning · September 24th – Architecture and Interiors · October 29th – Innovation Nation · November 26th – The Morality Crisis: Ethics in Business
For more information, please contact Naomi Tosic at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 82182100. For program information or ticket sales, please go to www.theofficespace.com.au/blog
Tram testing is expanding to Randwick, Moore Park, and Surry Hills on weekdays and nights. If you are traveling in the area, please remember: Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ride on the tracks Cross tracks on an angle When crossing intersections, follow traffic signals or traffic controllers
Road conditions have changed Trams canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop easily or quickly Look out before you step out
For more information visit sydneylightrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/safety Urban Village | 77
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