Home Blog Page 785



Do you know when you are entitled to a refund? Did you know there is a cooling-off period for a door-to-door sale? Have you been the victim of a scam?

These are just some of the issues that face all consumers, and the Office of Regulatory Services can help with these and other consumer questions.

“Staff from the Fair Trading area of the Office of Regulatory Services will be visiting two of our libraries to help answer general consumer questions and hand out useful information resources,” said Vanessa Little, Director of the ACT Library & Information Service.

“Everyone is invited to come along to Woden and Belconnen Library in May to get some help and find out more about the services provided by the Office of Regulatory services.

“Consumer rights information will be available at our libraries on:

• Thursday 15 May at Woden Library
• Tuesday 20 May at Belconnen Library
• Tuesday 27 May at Woden Library

“Drop in between 10.00am and 4.00pm for your opportunity to learn more,” said Ms Little.

For more information about the ACT Public Library, phone
6205 9000, email library.customerinfo@act.gov.au or visit the library web site www.library.act.gov.au

Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT)

Mental Illness Education

One in five Australians is affected by some form of mental illness. Depression is the most common. There is a lack of awareness in the general community about the difference between feeling sad and clinical depression. Clinical depression is a medical condition that has a significant impact on a person’s life. It not only affects the way a person feels but also interferes with how they function. 

Symptoms can include prolonged feelings of extreme sadness, loss of motivation and interest in activities that previously brought joy, changes in appetite, sleeping patterns or weight, feeling worthless or guilty, impaired thinking or concentration and physical aches and pains.

There is no single cause for depression. Some of the more common factors that may contribute to someone experiencing depression include traumatic or stressful experiences such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job, hormonal changes such as occur during puberty or following childbirth, problematic use of alcohol and other drugs, or a family predisposition to depression. Depression can also occur as part of another mental illness such as bi-polar disorder.

Despite its prevalence, there are many misunderstandings about depression. The most common is that people with depression could change their lot if they just tried. They may be urged to ‘cheer up’ or told to ‘snap out of it’. These sorts of mistaken beliefs can make it harder for people living with depression to seek help and thereby contribute towards unnecessarily prolonging their distress. It is about as realistic to expect a person living with depression to snap out of their illness as it is to expect a diabetic to snap out of having diabetes.

Stigma around mental illness is a serious problem. Stigma means people are made to feel ashamed of their illness or that they aren’t as good as everyone else. Apart from being socially debilitating, stigma prevents people from getting the help they need to manage living with their illness.

Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT) is a local not for profit organisation, with a unique approach to mental health promotion. MIEACT recruits and trains volunteer educators who have either experienced living with a mental illness, or cared for a loved one who has a mental illness.

MIEACT volunteers conduct interactive education seminars on the topic of mental health in Canberra’s schools, workplaces and within the community. All of our education sessions incorporate each volunteer’s real life story of living with a mental illness, including the factors contributing towards their illness, its effects on family and friends and effective treatment. The emphasis on personal narrative is not only incredibly powerful, but it is also very effective in increasing the audiences understanding of mental illness while simultaneously reducing the stigma that continues to surround mental illness.

Research from the University of Canberra reveals that not only do the seminars increase participants’ understanding of mental illness but that volunteer educators benefit greatly from being involved with MIEACT’s programs. Having the platform to speak openly about living with a mental illness is empowering and is an important step on the road to recovery. Improved self esteem, confidence and making new friends are other positive outcomes from being involved with MIEACT.

If you think you might be experiencing depression, contact your GP or

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Life Line 13 14 11

SANE Australia 1800 18 7263

Mental Health ACT Triage 1800 629 354

If you need an education session about mental illness for your school, workplace or community group; or want to channel your experience of mental illness in a positive way, contact MIEACT on 6257 1195 or go to www.mieact.org.au

Story telling for Community Development

‘Stories Changing Minds’ is the MIEACT motto. Storytelling has been a highly effective tool for MIEACT in delivering health promotion, both in educating the public and empowering people living with or caring for someone with a mental illness., To demonstrate these dual benefits, MIEACT will be hosting a panel discussion at the ACT Writers Festival at 1.30pm Saturday June 21 entitled ‘Storytelling for community development’.

For community service agencies, we hope to show how storytelling can be used as a core element of projects. For ACT writers, we hope to show how storytelling skills can be used for social justice. The panel will consist of MIEACT’s Youth Projects coordinator, Jenni Savigny; AIDS Action Council Community Education Manager, David Mills; and Anecdote storytelling consultant Mark Schenk. Light refreshments will be offered at the end of the discussion. Please contact Pip Blackwood on 6257 1195 or pip@mieact.org.au for more information.




An Interview of an Australian Handball Player



This interview was conducted at the Junior National Championships in June 2007 but we only received a copy of the clip a few days ago.  This was shown worldwide to household with paid Filipino TV Channel.

The views and sentiments expressed at the interview are still applicable, and therefore deemed worthwhile to share with the readers.

Canberrans urged to enter the 2008 ACT Sustainable Cities Awards


Canberrans urged to enter the 2008 ACT Sustainable Cities Awards

The Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards for 2008 were officially launched today at the Legislative Assembly by John Hargreaves MLA, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services.

“The ACT Government is committed to the environment and to tackling climate change. These awards are an opportunity for us to recognise those in our community who are making a difference. By focusing attention on those who are doing something new, innovative or even just having a go, we can inspire others to do the same,” said Mr Hargreaves.

Speaking at the launch, Howard Pender from Australian Ethical Investment, winner of the 2007 ACT Awards, said:

“We wanted to do the right thing when we set out to create a new office. Our renovation of Trevor Pearcey House created a better environment for our staff, financial savings for our company and substantial gains for the environment. I encourage ACT residents to enter these awards and to show the rest of Australia what ACT residents and organisations are achieving for the environment.”

Also speaking at the launch was the 2006 Winner, Klaus Weber, from ANU Sliver Cell.

“Thanks to these awards we have been able to reach a wider audience with our message. Best wishes to all entrants in 2008 and to the overall winner who will represent the ACT in the Australian Sustainable Cities Awards for 2008.”

Jenny Pickles, General Manager of Principal Sponsor, the Packaging Stewardship Forum’s ‘Do the Right Thing’ program, added:

“These awards help us find examples of excellence and effective case studies of how much was recycled, where and by whom. We look forward to seeing some interesting entries in the ‘Packaging Recycling’ category this year.”

Entries close 27 June 2008 and winners will be announced early August. Entry details can be found online at www.kab.org.au or email Yvonne Harris on Yvonne@kab.org.au

Background to Australian Ethical Investment and Trevor Pearcey House
The refurbishment of Trevor Pearcey House, AEI’s new head office, transformed an existing building and set a new standard on how a world’s best practice green building can be achieved on a conventional budget. This project was undertaken using accepted conventional and low technology design principles, technologies and materials which can be easily transferred to other projects. Most refurbishment projects see existing internal fit outs as either waste to landfill, or materials to be recycled off site, often at their lowest value. Substantial amounts of materials were reused in the new fit out, helping avoid the purchase of new materials. The building received a ‘world leader’ six star green star office design rating from the green building council Australia. It was the third building in Australia to achieve this rating.

Background to ANU Sliver Cell
Dr Klaus Weber and Prof. Andrew Blakers of the Australian National University invented Sliver solar cell technology as part of a research program substantially funded by Origin Energy. The high efficiency and low cost of sliver solar cells means that sliver technology has an excellent chance of dominating PV technology and the PV industry. Recent studies have indicated that Sliver technology could reduce the costs of PV technology to a point where it will be competitive with wind energy and ‘zero emission’ coal.

Background to the ‘Do the Right Thing’ program of the Packaging Stewardship Forum
The Packaging Stewardship Forum was established in May 2006 as a forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council. The Forum aims to significantly increase government, industry and community understanding of resource recovery and litter management through the delivery of projects throughout Australia, either directly or in partnership with others. Its focus is on providing cost-effective resource recovery and litter reduction solutions that deliver real and measurable outcomes. The Forum’s highly successful Do the Right Thing anti-litter campaign is stronger than ever, with more than 80% of people recognising that Do the Right Thing means put your waste in the bin. Throughout Australia more than 180 towns and cities are taking the Do the Right Thing message to their communities.

Background to Keep Australia Beautiful
Keep Australia Beautiful is best known for its awards programs that identify, acknowledge and promote excellence in grass roots environmental initiatives. These include Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities and Clean Beaches. Each of the awards programs celebrate the work of local communities striving towards sustainability. Keep Australia Beautiful Week is held in the last week of August each to coincide with spring. These are just some of the activities that involve up to 3 million Australians each year. Program details can be found at www.kab.org.au 

The Small Strange Metal Box from Outer Space

A small metal box

By Chris Trappel

It traveled through the stars: the planets and the galaxies, time and space, oceans of black and bright, red and orange, heat and ice, orbits and stagnation. Only to reach the unreachable again, further and further it went, on its pathway towards our planet.
In its funny rotation it gained speed. It: A small, strange metal box from outer space seemed determined to move forward. The space monsters snapped at it. The stars shone on it, but still the box moved on, swimming in the black sea of emptiness, strangeness and divine mystery. It iced up a thousand times then defrosted as the warmth of a star shone upon it. Still, it maintained its odd rotation like an awkward waddle, towards our planet. It was the size of a cigarette packet or perhaps more like a small metal cigar box… because that’s exactly what it looked like. As it approached the Milky Way Galaxy it stopped. Light projected from inside. Then it glowed pure white light and sped down towards Earth. Flames were thrown from behind it like a rocket, helping it to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere. It hit the ocean and was washed up on the shore where a boy found it and took it home. From under the thick cover of his blankets he could see the light. Then shapes dancing and flickering, then noises that woke up his parents.
But the metal box knew that it was safe with the boy and it didn’t want to get him into trouble – so it went quiet all night. The metal box was placed in the park, the boy knew that this had to be done. Machinery appeared from out of the box and grew and grew, entwining and forming connecting monstrosities that turned into beautiful works of art that lit up the sky, challenging our world’s natural wonder. It continued until most of the planet could see the outer worldly beauty. Then it stopped.
The boy picked it up. The strange metal box flew up towards the boy’s face and embraced him with metal arms. Then, like a rocket, it sped out of the Earth’s atmosphere.

This Week In Folkus

In Folkus

Hello, I’ve been away but NOW I’M BACK!!!!

The sadness just keeps coming for some… This week it’s Burma’s turn as we reflect on how fortunate we are here.

1. This Week in Folkus
2. Next Week in Folkus
3. Parish Notices
4. The Comics
5. Sport

1.This Week In Folkus –
The Folkus Room, (operates out of The Serbian Cultural Centre & Club) 5 Heard St. MAWSON ACT .. eastern side of Southlands Centre and just off Athllon Drive.. CHECK OUT OUR NEW MAPS PAGE….

Friday 9 May .. Doors and Bistro open from 6.00pm … Admission $15/$12, children free!
DJ Gosper’s ‘Glory Box’ (with The Blues Cowgirls and the KarismaKatz) emerging from her "Glory Box" CD which raised funds for breast cancer support group, Bosom Buddies, DJ presents a tableau celebrating her survival. The experience has added a lustre to her performance that’s the silver lining on her clouded journey. She says, "Getting up and mobile and performing again, I am performing with no fear. That’s coming through on stage. I am not thinking that next time I will do better. It’s always, ‘Now, this is it’. There’s no room for being half arsed."
This will be one to tell your grandkids about….

2. Next Week In Folkus … a restful and reflective weekend, one year on… it’s been a remarkable time!
Saturday 17 May … Saturday Arvo Jazz with The Black Mountain Jazz Band and open mic opportunities

3. Parish Notices……..

3a. The Folkus Room is offering annual subscriptions. see the web site for details

3b. The Canberra Irish Players are near to finishing rehearsals for another hit out ….Make sure you keep a night free for the Irish Community Players latest production of Bernard Farrell’s "therapeutic" comedy, "I Do Not Like Thee, Dr Fell", which will be on at the Canberra Irish Club, 6 Parkinson St, Weston, from 2nd to 5th June at 8 pm. Tickets cost $20 for Adults and $15 for Concessions, and bookings will be available at the club in a few week’s time on 62887451. Don’t miss the play that helped launch Liam Neeson’s career…

The Oriana Chorale, through the power of the voice, will explore this important part of our heritage from the Romantic period.
"We are delighted once again to be directed by Tobias Cole, one of Australia’s most distinguished countertenors and who performs regularly as soloist with Opera Australia. Toby made his Canberra conducting debut to great acclaim last year in Oriana’s performance of Rautavaara’s Vigilia, following this with Oriana’s equally-acclaimed interpretation of An Australian Summer." The music spans a wide range of styles and emotions: the ecstatic reverence and penitence of Verdi and Rossini; the confident affirmation of faith by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Bruckner; the enigmatic reflections of Max Reger; and the sonorous expression of piety in the Russian Orthodox tradition by Glinka and Tchaikovsky. Underpinning many of these works is the debt owed to the musical foundations provided by JS Bach – in particular his use of the chorale. The concert too acknowledges this debt to Bach: the program starts with a famous song in its original secular form – a love song, you will recognise the tune – and ends with one of Bach’s well-known arrangements of it in chorale form….. Tickets are $25 (concessions available) at the door or from members. Oriana Chorale Inc is grateful for the support of the ACT Government…. Coming up in August, the Oriana Chorale has invited two other important Canberra Choirs – The Resonants and Igitur Nos – to join us in offering to Canberra audiences a feast of music from the Renaissance, to be conducted by Andrew Carwood, director of music at St Paul’s Cathedral in London…. Further information is available from Liz McKenzie, 0417 44 22 32; or Richard Brabin-Smith, 6249 6459 and 0404 461 450.

3d. The notice with depth & C21…. Follow The Folkus into winter. The program just keeps getting better. We are also expecting to be able to present more jazz and blues/roots stuff as aficionados of those genres become more aware of the breadth of our charter.

4. …
It was a hot Saturday evening in the summer of 1960 and Fred had a date with Peggy Sue. He arrived at her house and rang the bell. ‘Oh, come on in!’ Peggy Sue’s mother said as she welcomed Fred in. ‘Have a seat in the living room. Would you like something to drink? Lemonade? Iced tea?’ ‘Iced tea, please,’ Fred said. Mom brought the iced tea. ‘So, what are you and Peggy planning to do tonight?’ she asked. ‘Oh, probably catch a movie, then maybe grab a bite to eat at the malt shop, maybe take a walk on the beach…’ ‘Peggy likes to screw, you know,’ Mom informed him. ‘Really?’ Fred asked, eyebrows rose. ‘Oh yes,’ the mother continued. ‘When she goes out with her friends, that’s all they do!’ ‘Is that so?’ asked Fred, incredulous. ‘Yes,’ said the mother. ‘As a matter of fact, she’d screw all night if we let her!’ ‘Well, thanks for the tip!’ Fred said as he began thinking about alternate plans for the evening. A moment later, Peggy Sue came down the stairs looking pretty as a picture wearing a pink blouse and a hoop skirt, and with her hair tied back in a bouncy ponytail. She greeted Fred. ‘Have fun, kids!’ the mother said as they left. Half an hour later, a completely disheveled Peggy Sue burst into the house and slammed the front door behind her. ‘Twist, Mom!’ she angrily yelled to her mother in the kitchen. ‘The Twist, dammit!………..It’s called the Twist! ‘…….

At a Fishing Settlement

October, and a rain-blurred face,
And all the anguish of that bitter place.
It was a bare sea-battered town,
With its one street leading down
Onto a shingly beach. Sea winds
Had long picked the dark hills clean
Of everything but tussock and stones
And pines that dropped small brittle cones
Onto a soured soil. And old houses flanking
The street hung poised like driftwood planking
Blown together and could not outlast
The next window-shuddering blast
>From the storm-whitened sea.
It was bitterly cold; I could see
Where muffled against gusty spray
She walked the clinking shingle; a stray
Dog whimpered and pushed a small
Wet nose into my hand – that is all.
Yet I am haunted by that face,
That dog, and that bare bitter place. ……………. Alistair Campbell


Stay Well & Truly Silly Gentle Folk

Bill Arnett
The Folkus Room
Canberra’s Acoustic Preference
0407 434 469
"No Strangers Come Here – Just Friends We Have Not Yet Met"

Please note that this E-mail has been created in the knowledge that Internet e-mail is not a 100% secure communications medium. It is advised that you also understand and observe this when e-mailing us. Viruses: Although we have taken steps to ensure that this e-mail is free from any virus, it is advised that in keeping with good computing practice the recipient should ensure it is actually virus free.



Country-style fun for all ages is the theme of the Michelago Mayfair this Sunday (11 May, Mothers Day).

The Fair will be at the Michelago Oval from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon. The official opening of the Mayfair will be performed by the Member for Monaro, Steve Whan MP, at noon.

As well as games and entertainment, the Fair will showcase local enterprises and local produce, says Martin Hughes of the Michelago Region Community Association.

“Michelago Oval is a great community facility,” says Martin Hughes. “And being half-way between Canberra and Cooma, the ideal place to bring Mum, and meet family and friends, on Mothers Day.”

Mr Hughes says that last-minute applications are still being considered, but that so far stall-holders include crafts, handmade soaps, honey and wax, scarves, wood carvings, quilts, iced cakes and jewellery. A local grazier will give demonstrations of sheep-dog handling during the day.

“Community organisations such as Landcare will also be represented,” he says, “with the Landcare bookstall being a certain attraction.”

Children’ entertainments include a jumping castle and face painting, with games and competitions. Fire brigades from around the district will hold demonstrations and competitions, with the Rural Fire Service community education caravan there to dispense good advice.

A particular feature, says Mr Hughes, will be demonstrations by junior fire brigades.

“Some very young brigade members show just how well they can cope with living in the country,” he says. “Adults take note!”

Big-time gamblers will be interested in Cowpat Roulette, says Mr Hughes.

“This sophisticated game of skill involves numbered squares in a paddock,” he says. “Then add a cow …”

The Fair will raise funds for the Michelago Region Community Association, for improvements to local facilities such as the oval and the tennis courts.

“But the main purpose of Mayfair is to have a fun day, to meet friends, neighbours and visitors, and to show off the Michelago region,” says Mr Hughes.

President of the MRCA, Mareeca Steer, pays tribute to the main sponsor of the Mayfair, Country Energy.

“The Michelago Mayfair is the first fair that the MRCA has organised for the region,” says Ms Steer. “We want to showcase the varied businesses that thrive in our region. We also want to provide an opportunity for people from both Canberra and Cooma to come and have a fun family day in our beautiful region.

“Country Energy has given us this opportunity by providing financial support for the fair,” she says. “Without their help the fair would not have been possible.”

Other sponsors include Predator Paintball and Noel Teys Real Estate.

More information from:

Martin Hughes 6235 9093, 0405 209 685

Mareeca Steer 0439 400 129

Trish Grice 0402 487 706

Nick Goldie 6235 9190, 0417 299 586

Country-style fun for all ages is the theme of the Michelago Mayfair this Sunday (11 May, Mothers Day).

Public Discussion on Depression


Be proactive | Learn new skills | Minimise mental illness

The Mental Health Foundation (ACT), a leading service provider and information resource on mental health in Canberra, has organised a series of public discussions for 2008. The discussions generate positive awareness around mental health and provide participants with some useful skills. For example: what symptoms to look out for; available services in our Canberra community; and treatment options available.

Popular first discussion held in Gungahlin
The Foundation held its first discussion in Gungahlin, which looked at bipolar disorder. Over 30 locals or Canberrans attended and gained from hearing the life experiences from a local Canberran: they gave a powerful glimpse of what life is like with bipolar disorder. Attendees also received an information pack on available services.

Feedback received indicates that the format and concept of holding these locally based information nights were of great benefit, as illustrated below by Bob (omitted surname and permission was sought):

“Many thanks for organising the discussion group at the Gungahlin Community Centre last night. I thought it very courageous for the speaker to speak so frankly about her story and the evening was informative… Well done to all concerned.

As I attend these meetings I am surprised at just how many groups there are out there offering support and advice… I feel if I can learn more about depression and bipolar I might just be able to help someone else.”

Discussions on mental illness and health are being held throughout all regions of Canberra. They provide a unique opportunity for people to learn and to better understand what life can be like with a mental illness.

Next discussion: Depression
Depression is a common illness in Australia, the fourth most presented issue for general practitioners: it is likely that you will experience it yourself, or know someone living with this illness.

To some, depression can take away feelings of happiness and hope, leaving you feeling empty and sad. It may be caused by a singular event that shocks us and leaves us unable to cope with what had happened; it could also be ongoing build up of daily pressures, such as work and bringing up children; plus others.

There are many symptoms or bodily signs to indicate depression. Being aware of these symptoms and learning how best to maintain good mental health are some ways to stop or minimise depression.

The Mental Health Foundation (ACT) is providing you with an opportunity to learn more about this illness. Come along and discuss depression with our expert panel of: health professionals; and people who live with this illness.

Details of discussion

Date: 15th May 2008
Time: 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Location: United Pentecostal Church, Cnr Plunkett & Maclaurin Streets,
Chifley ACT 2606
Cost: FREE

This public discussion will be informative and engaging, a good opportunity for you to learn and understand. Open your mind, learn something new and hear the human experience of living with depression.

One in five people will experience depression in their lives – one in four females and one in six males.

Six percent of the population experience depressive disorders in any one year.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported mental disorders to be the third leading cause of overall disease burden, accounting for thirteen percent of total burden.

More Information
P 02 6230 7629 | F 02 6161 8273 | E attitude@mhf.org.au

Handball Connects People

Dino Rulli & Nenad Bach


Being a handball parent and through my involvement in my support role in the Australian Handball Federation [AHF], I have met a number of amazing people both locally and overseas. Recently, I made a quick trip to New York to attend an impromptu get together with my university friends. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting in person someone who has been a supporter of Australian handball. This is none other than Nenad Bach, the Editor of the Croatian World Network [CROWN] website.

A few months after the 2005 World Championship held in Tunisia, one of the Australian players [Ogi Latinovic] came across the picture of Bevan Calvert included in an article published on CROWN. I sent a short email to the Editor to thank him for acknowledging an Australian player. Much to my pleasant surprise he replied and requested some information on Bevan. That marked the start of a ‘connection’ with CROWN, which has been publishing updates on the Australian handball team and Bevan. [see: http://www.croatia.org/crown/articles/8871/1/UPDATE-ON-AUSTRALIAN-HANDBALLER-Bevan-Calvert-A-CroWorld-FRIEND.html] Hence, CROWN has been recognised as one of AHF’s friends and a link between the two websites duly established.

It was fortunate that during my unplanned trip, Nenad was not out-of-town and was able to meet up with me. Our friendly Webmaster agreed that it would be a good idea to do an interview article on Nenad and happily helped develop questions which I emailed to Nenad after I got back home. Here are Nenad’s responses to a few questions:

VC: Is there excitement in Croatia about the upcoming WC? 
In a small country like Croatia, events like World Championship is front page
news. We are building a new sport hall in Zagreb for the event, plus the whole
country will be involved. As we are coming closer to January 16, 2009 you will
see more articles written about the handball and championship.

VC: Do you follow Croatian Handball closely or just the National Team?

NB: I actually didn’t pay much attention to the sport at all, except by default,

because our national team is phenomenal, considering of a small pool of

people to chose from. What triggered my attention is Australian Handball and

Croatian World Network Croatia.org connection with Bevan Calvert and your PR

Team that did an amazing job promoting its national team. Then I started to

pay more attention and now especially that we are the host of the 2009 Men’s

World Championship (January 16th – February 1st, 2009).

VC: Which team(s) do you think will do well in the 2009 WC?

NB: I am not an expert on the subject, so beside obvious choices like Croatia,

Germany, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Spain and France, there are always some

surprises and that depends on a momentum that some teams achieve by a

magic. Most of the time I remember that people who are somewhere in the last

row of the photo when our sports teams leave for Olympic games, are usually

the first one to come out of the plane with gold medal around their neck. Some

people, as well teams, are calibrated for big stages. They shine under pressure.


VC: What do you know about Australian Handball?

NB: Not much, but much more than average Croatian probably. The reason is as I

mentioned before, our connection with CROWN – Croatia.org and therefore, I

learned on a day that Australia qualified for the 2009 games the same day.

And it made me very happy that Australians are travelling to Croatia. We are

two countries that are far apart on the globe, but very well connected in human

stories and sensibilities. Many Croatians found home in Australia and always

promote their new country as the place to visit, with the words "You will love

Australia as soon as you land". Sports is a great catalyst for world peace,

because it is transparent as much as it can be, plus people connect through the

game regardless where they came from and what they do or make for a living.

At the game we are all together on the same spiritual level. It is very close to

VC: What do you expect from Australia at the coming WC?

NB: Well, all I can say that I wish you well. I know that you are not in the same

league as the front runners, but all of these teams got there by participating.

And you ARE partiicipating. You have the whole organization of support that

makes your team better and better; and as we see, your players are being

accepted in the some of the best world leagues; where when they come back to

play for the national team, they will transfer the knowledge to their own team.

Croatians played all over the Europe, plus desire must be stronger than pain.


VC: What made you pick Bevan’s picture out of the hundreds [possibly thousands]of

pictures taken during 2005 WC?

NB: Destiny.

I thought I’d also mention that aside from being the Editor of CROWN, Nenad is also an accomplished singer, songwriter and film score composer. If you want to know more about his "music side", you can check out: http://www.myspace.com/nenadbach . Hopefully plans for him to tour Australia next year would materialise. He could even catch a handball comp game or two, and we could also get the chance to attend his concert. Then we can truly say that sport and music connect people.

Violi Calvert

AHF Media and Public Relations


Son not allowed to visit China after mother passes away

Songfa (left) and his parents in 1996

My 71-year-old mother passed away in China on Sunday 27 April after a long illness. Sadly, I am not able to go to China to pay my respects and say a final goodbye to my mother because the Chinese Embassy has not issued me a visa simply because I practice Falun Gong.

As the eldest son I should be leading the funeral, the week-long mourning and a memorial service on the seventh day according to local traditions. I have now missed all of these without a visa, although my wife and son left Australia for China last Tuesday 29 April.

My case is the latest among many Australian citizens who practice Falun Gong, but who are unable to visit China when their parents are terminally ill or have passed away.

When a parent dies and sons and daughters wish to attend the funeral and memorial services, any government and individuals around the world will give assistance, but not the current government of China to Falun Gong practitioners. My mother’s ashes are now stored temporarily in the crematorium. I wish to spend some time beside her ashes, pay my respects and say a final goodbye to her.

My passport is still in the Chinese Embassy, waiting for a visa to be issued.

I can be contacted via email: songfa@fastmail.fm

Love and the "Transient" Woman


In the name of love, mobility can be a curse.

Recently, I was dumped by a man who was displeased with my identity as a woman belonging to Canberra’s “transient” community. Although I was initially shocked by his view that migration and cheap airline tickets have not become a part of our daily lives, it made me question whether there is a double standard when it comes to dating in an era of globalization.

Historically, men have traveled, went to war and explored the world, whereas women either followed or stayed at home to keep the fires burning. But what happens in a world where women have packed their bags, started frequenting international airports, and become visible members on the frontlines? Are we still expected to embody the myth of the obedient-domestic goddess who is willing to give up her hopes and dreams in order to achieve love? For women, has it always been the battle between love and herself?

Being a member of Canberra’s transient population has reminded me that there is a complex relationship between men, women and love. Women are often positioned within two conflicting categories that mutually reinforce each other. For instance, women are simplistically categorized as either the “good” or the “bad”, the “marriageable” or the “unmarriageable”, or simply the “controllable” or the “free”.

My struggle with patriarchy has occurred within the intimate confines of personal relationships with men. Within such relationships, the men who were threatened by my transient behaviour often categorized me as an un-girlfriend, an un-partner, or an un-wife because of my choice of an uncertain way of life.

I am starting to believe that these categorizations are imposed on women such as I – the transient, the educated, and the free – in order to control us. We perhaps represent a threat to the male struggle to regain security because we have failed to conform. And as a result, women immersed in the transnational space are discarded as outsiders of men’s social experiment with love because we do not represent the safe, local and devoted could-be wife.

Perhaps the predicament of uncertainty has left men searching for security by defining who is deserving of love within controllable geographical boundaries.

Although my recent encounter with love has left me wounded, the experience has made me realize that it is not uncertainty that breaks relationships, rather it is the desire to create a false sense of certainty that does. Instead of experimenting with the battles of romance, discovering alternative ways of loving, and immersing oneself in the adventure of uncertainty; we have settled on packaged solutions to finding the ideal partner. Within a period of economic and social change, many of us continue to depend on the rigid definition that love rests with marriage, 2.5 kids and a four-bedroom house in the suburbs.

However, we need to redefine love within an era of globalization where fast cars, fast computers, and fast food have changed our cultural and geographical understanding of romance and intimacy. If living a life as a woman who exists in the transnational space has taught me anything about love, it would be that the physicality of it does not last but the memory does. Even though we leave, even though we say goodbye, even if we start new lives in remote corners of the world we can rightly say that we were in love once, this person exists to us, and that love is forever because that memory is forever.

But maybe for those who live within the myth that love involves white picket fences this idea that love is transient is not enough.

Australian Agricultural Research to Help Meet Food Shortage in Afghanistan


AusAID Media Release

I am pleased to announce funding of a new agricultural research project that will help increase wheat and maize production in Afghanistan, as part of Australia’s commitment to rebuilding food security, income generation and rural employment opportunities.

To achieve this, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and AusAID are providing $1.5 million funding over four years in partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), and the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

This project is an important step to securing a viable agricultural sector capable of meeting the food production demands of Afghanistan. This includes rebuilding agricultural scientific research capacities which have been severely curtailed by three decades of continuous conflict.

Wheat is the main staple crop in the country, with maize the third most important food staple. Production of wheat falls short of meeting demand by 1.5 million tonnes per year, but better crop management practices and seed supplies of locally-adapted varieties with increased disease resistance will help to close this gap.

This project will ensure that farmers in Afghanistan benefit from the identification and introduction of improved wheat and maize varieties, by involving farmers in field trials, and by rebuilding seed distribution networks. These efforts will link with broader FAO programs and with the work of NGOs to distribute seed to wheat and maize growing areas.

A key component of the project’s activities will be the day-to-day involvement and training of Afghan scientists in field and research work. This supports the Agriculture Master Plan developed by the MAIL.

The new project builds on previous ACIAR-CIMMYT work which has laid the foundations for rebuilding Afghanistan’s wheat and maize industries. Previous research projects over the past five years have resulted in the introduction of new wheat varieties with much higher yields, and the on-going training of Afghan cereal scientists.

Funding of this project is in addition to broader aid initiatives in Afghanistan focusing on security, support for governance, the rule of law and human rights, and economic and social development.



Craft & Quilt Fair

Craft & Quilt Fair Canberra

Australia’s Favourite Craft Event

Be inspired, see new ideas, learn and shop!

Come along to the Canberra Craft & Quilt Fair and be inspired to try scrapbooking, beading, crochet, embroidery, paint a decorative artwork for your home, or any of the other creative experiences you can have at the fair. As well as inspiration, you can stock up on craft supplies from Australian and international craft retailers – it’s Australia’s biggest craft shop! Learn with experts in daily workshops and see displays of superb craftwork. Whatever your craft passion is, indulge yourself at the fair!

7-10 August 2008 10am-5pm daily

Exhibition Park In Canberra, Flemington Rd, Mitchell, ACT 



02 9452 7575

Adults – $13
Seniors – $12
Children – $7 (under 5 free)
Family – $36 (2 adults, 3 children)
Group – $11pp for pre-booked groups of 10 or more


imPERFECTLY SANE too – a human perspective of life with a mental illness, through creative stories, poems and songs


Shining a spotlight on local mental health stories, a glowing experience

Imperfectly Sane Too is an exciting and highly anticipated performance of real life stories from local people who are touched by mental illness, delivered through readings, dramatic monologues, scenes and songs. It follows the sell out success of Imperfectly Sane: Delusions of Splendour, in May 2007 – Encore!

CIT Executive Director Dr. Colin Adrian, 2007 Chamber of Women in Business Outstanding Community Spirit Award winner Jean McIntyre, MLA Mick Gentleman and upcoming actor/musician/producer Ben Drysdale shine a spotlight on mental health and consciousness itself, in Imperfectly Sane Too: an eye opening, frank and funny theatre piece that shares the perspectives of those living with mental illness.

They are joined onstage by singer/songwriters Simone Penkethman and Duncan Sargent, the Rainbow Band and a team of young actors: the Imperfect Ensemble, directed by local theatre-maker Robin Davidson, with musical direction by Simone Penkethman.

You’re Imperfectly Sane Too, so come share the experience
Our theatrical piece raises awareness and reduces mental health stigma in our community. “Imperfectly Sane Too provides a unique opportunity for people to better understand mental illness by seeing and hearing the perspectives of fellow Canberrans through monologues, theatre and song.” Said Mary Gays, Executive Officer of the Mental Health Foundation (ACT).

“Our vision is to reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues in our community. Imperfectly Sane Too is not only educative, it is funny, entertaining and a highly anticipated theatrical piece – don’t miss this opportunity.”

Artistic Director, Robin Davidson, sifted through dozens of contributions from the Canberra public. “These stories are moving, thoughtful, intelligent, and diverse. I’m excited to present such enriching perspectives on stage. Imperfectly Sane Too has received strong support and interest.” Said Robin.

story titles include: Pizza, Turpentine, Cabbage, The Mind is a Sewer, Pollyanna in Wonderland, Ode to a Porcelain Goddess, Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck, and Memoirs of a Fledging Angel.

Avid Supporters
Imperfectly Sane Too is funded by the ACT Government, through artsACT. The territory Government has been the principle financial contributor to both Imperfectly Sane: Delusions of Splendour and Imperfectly Sane Too. The Mental Health Foundation (ACT) is grateful for their support.

Without the assistance of volunteers this production could not be held. With thanks to prominent Canberrans: Jean McIntyre, Dr. Colin Adrian, Mick Gentleman MLA and Ben Drysdale. Below you will find information on Jean’s motivations to be part of Imperfectly Sane Too.

Jean McIntyre
Jean first came into contact with mental illness through her work in the public service. She worked for 13 years in DSS and Centrelink. In Jean’s work in Darlinghurst and other inner city offices she worked daily with homeless people, many of whom suffered mental illness and addiction.

What fascinated Jean about the people she met was that often, in the face of great sadness and adversity, they frequently shared incredible humour. “Life was never dull in Darlinghurst DSS office” Jean says.

It was her memories of these people and her interactions with them that attracted Jean to the opportunity to participate in the performance of ‘Imperfectly Sane Too’.

Jean currently works with Marketing Angels delivering outsourced marketing advice for small to medium businesses. She also serves on the board of the Exhibition Park Corporation.

Ticket Prices, Dates, Location and Booking Information
Tickets are $12 or $5 concession per person.

Thursday 22 May to Saturday 24 May at 7.30pm
Saturday 24 May at 2.00pm

Belconnen Community Theatre,
Swanson Court, Belconnen.

Bookings phone the Mental Health Foundation (ACT) on 6230 7629.