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Final Touches for Scouts 40th GANG SHOW


Gang Show Logo
Canberra Gang Show started in 1966 and is still a popular annual event. Scouts and Guides write, produce and choreograph this variety revue showcasing youth theatre at its best. The 100-stong cast acts, sings, and dances their way through this entertaining and uniquely-Gang Show production, now it its 40th year. The Scouting Performing Arts Program is in its 75th year worldwide and this show includes some items from previous shows around the world as well as fresh compositions written by the Gang.

The Scouts and Guides Youth Performing Arts Program is into final rehearsals for its 40th variety show in Canberra. Like Music Hall, a series of skits, dances and songs are interwoven by the youth production team into an entertaining show for all.

Gang Show has thrilled and entertained audiences world-wide since its initial London production in 1932. In 1937, the London Gang Show achieved the distinction of being the first amateur production to have a Royal Command Performance, (an honour that was repeated in 1957 and 1964).

Gang Show came to Australia in the 40’s springing up in capital cities and country centres, assisting each other with scripts and skits. In the months of July and August, the program produces local shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Albury, Hobart, Auckland, Mildura and Newcastle.

In the 90s, the Canberra Gang moved to an all youth production team and cast made up of Scouts, Guides, Venturers and Rovers. These 11-26 year olds write, design, choreograph, and produce the largest on-stage youth theatre in Canberra.

The Gang will be on stage for seven performances at the Erindale Theatre between the 14 and 21st July with this year’s show titled “Get a Life”. Tickets from www.philo.org.au or 6247 4566.

What: Scout’s and Guide’s Gang Show Get a Life
Where: Erindale Theatre
When: Saturday, July 14 to Saturday, July 21 at 7:30pm. Matinees on Tuesday 2:30pm and Saturday 21st 1:30pm.
Tickets: $12.50 – $25
Bookings: 6247 4566 (www.philo.org.au)

Family Outing



It was always a family outing back then never just the two of us. Later, we went out together to meals, movies and even the theatre. There were family outings too for our much larger family. But in the beginning the girls were always there a sort of protection for Pam.
The phone in my tiny flat would ring early Sunday morning. I was always asleep because normally I would not have left Pam’s place until after midnight. A typical call went like this:
“It’s Mother’s Day today and I have to visit my Nanna’s grave.”
I showered, ate a quick breakfast and drove out to Pam’s. Her girls were sitting on the lounge waiting quietly. Although born ten months apart they were dressed like twins, short white dresses their Grandmother had made with matching bows in their blonde hair. Knee length white socks with lace around the top and white, leather shoes. The shoes had tiny double buckles that I always had trouble closing. The girls were the image of their mother.
Pam was wearing blue, flared trousers and a matching blue shirt no jeans for the cemetery. She was carrying a sleeveless cardigan, it was still warm but might be cool later. She was also carrying two white cardigans for the girls.
The journey from Pam’s place to Rookwood did not take long. We stopped just short of the gates to buy flowers. Pam laid them carefully on the top of her wicker basket. She directed while I drove the car as close as possible on the road. Then we walked along the paths until we reached the tree Pam used as a marker to the one that lead to the grave.
She took the glass vase from its special hole on the grave and walked up to the tap to discard the old, dried up flowers and refill the vase with water. As she carefully cut the stems of the new flowers with the scissors she had in the basket the girls grew bored and wandered away. Grass was growing knee high around the grave. Pam slotted the vase of fresh flowers into place and began cutting it with the scissors. Until now I had stood around watching looking at the headstones, but seeing her squatting awkwardly, struggling with the long grass and the blunt scissors, trying not to get grass stains on her trousers, I knelt down to help.
“She isn’t really my Nanna. She just looked after me when my mother left. She’s my father’s older sister.”
I finished trimming the grass as best I could and Pam stood silently watching not saying whether I had done enough. The grave was now the only one in its row with short grass. Pam called the girls and they came running. I thought they had wandered out of sight but Pam had been watching them all the time. The girls each took a hand and we walked back to the car leaving Pam behind. She joined us as I was struggling into my seat belt. The girls were kneeling on the back seat but sat down and put on their belts without being told as soon as Pam climbed into the car.
“I hate these new fangled belts and I can’t drive with them on.”
“You’ll get used to them eventually everybody will, besides you’re a lousy driver anyway.”
“Thanks, I love you too.”
Pam stuck out her tongue without saying she loved me. I was hoping she would. Pam was happier now that her duty was done and as we drove out of the gates made me stop at an ice cream van.
“No, Pam its gelato. I hate gelato let’s find a real ice cream van.”
“Stop fussing the girls like it, you can go without fat tummy.”
We sat in the car. The girls had cones of pink, white and green. Pam’s was plain vanilla. I went without pretending to be miffed. They both said ‘thank you’ when I handed them the cones. Pam ate her gelato carefully not even spilling any when she reached over to wipe the girls drips with a tissue, one handed.
“It must have been hard for you when your mother left?”
“Not knowing why she left us made it harder. I didn’t find out until I left school and could see her again. My father would not let us see her. She told me that one of the things that drove her away was that Nanna would never let her do anything. Cook, clean or look after us Nanna did it all. She kept on doing it after mum left.”
“I can’t imagine you at school.”
“I wore white gloves and always walked never ran. I was a good girl.” Pam smiled around her ice cream.
“The white gloves I can picture but you, a good girl?”
“Let’s go!” She reached over and mussed my hair into curls. She preferred it that way.
“No, my mother’s, she expecting us for dinner.”
When we reached Campbelltown Pam’s brother Pete’s lime green Torana was already parked in the drive way. I pulled the Cortina in behind. Everybody was standing around the smoking barbie. Pam’s mother, her second husband, stepbrother and Pete’s latest girl dressed in short shorts. Later Pam’s mother asked if she had been to Rookwood and Pam told her we had all gone. Pam’s mother smiled at me and I knew she was on my side. I was never sure about the rest of them.
I always felt a little guilty when Pam’s husband left. We were friends and I was the reason they had met. Pam was nursing my father in hospital and I dragged Jim along when I visited. My dad liked him and I could never think of anything to say. Pam and Jim met and that was that. He was a good looking guy. Unfortunately two years and two kids later he was not handling marriage too well. The job he had selling snack food to clubs meant he could drink and play the pokies. They gave him a company car. After he began losing all his pay on the pokies he borrowed money from everyone including my dad and me. Then he lost the job and the car. Eventually he just disappeared and turned up back in Scotland.
Everybody rallied around Pam and the kids her mother, her father, my dad and, reluctantly, me. I did not know what to do or say. Pam was desperately unhappy and the girls did not realise what was happening. Staying in the house made it worse so we began taking the girls out. These outings were small at first mostly just to the local playground. Later we went to one of the National Parks. I still have a photograph of Pam sitting on a swing. Pete took it he was just starting out as a professional photographer then. He was taking photographs of his latest girlfriend but took this shot of Pam without her knowing. The image shows Pam lost in thought eyes black from crying and lack of sleep. It’s a marvellous photograph even though you feel like crying for her.
I am not sure when it changed. Perhaps because people who saw us together just assumed we were a family. Pam came to rely on me and I found it very easy to be with her. She did not say anything direct for a long time but when the time came for me to leave she would always find some excuse for me to stay. I would visit one or two nights a week then more. We spent Saturdays together and inevitably Pam would find a reason to drag me out of bed Sunday mornings. In the summer we would take the girls to the beach. I tried hard not to look at the other girls especially the one that were topless. Pam always caught me looking but she just laughed. The girls would bury me in the sand and everyone had ice cream. It was late in summer on one of our last visits to the beach I noticed the black marks under Pam’s eyes had gone. We went to her mum’s place regularly and some times more important trips like the ones to Rookwood.
I forget now why I decided to ask her to marry me. I just blurted it out one evening. Pam laughed and the moment passed. I even asked her mum to babysit and took Pam to a fancy restaurant. After the meal I bent down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She just laughed again and told me to get up I was embarrassing her. This went on for a while and soon everyone had chosen sides. My dad was against the marriage but his resistance only made me more determined. Pam’s mum was for it. The others wavered.
One Saturday morning we were shopping at the supermarket. The girls were running around like maniacs and I was struggling to carry most of the paper shopping bags. Pam put her bags in the car boot and I called out to the girls.
“Get in the back and put your seat belts on!”
They both did without Pam having to say another word. A lady walking by with her own kids in tow said, “It’s nice when they do as they’re told for once isn’t it? Your husband has them under control and the shopping. He looks like a good one you should keep him.”
Pam looked at me and then said to her. “Yes, I think I will.”
After that the family outings became larger and a lot more complicated.

ACT Indoor Cricket side makes finals


The ACT Rockets celebrate claiming a wicket against Western Australia
The ACT Rockets have reached the finals of the Australian Open Championships being held in Toowoomba, Queensland.

“The side has done enough to put ourselves in contention,” says coach Steve Hart. “A tough game against New South Wales in the minor semi final and then the winner of the major semi final between Queensland and Western Australia will showcase the preparation and hard work our side has put in over the last six months.”

The Rockets have a rich history in the Australian Open Championships, including a National League win in 2000 and a winning culture that has extended to finals appearances in five of the last six national championships.

Upcoming finals matches:

Friday June 29th at 4pm:
Game A: Minor Semi Final: ACT Rockets vs NSW Blues
Game B: Major Semi Final: QLD Lightning vs WA Wolves

Friday June 29th at 8pm:
Game C: Preliminary Final: Winner (A) vs Loser (C)

Saturday June 30th at 1:30pm
Grand Final: Winner (B) vs Winner (C)

The ACT Indoor Cricket Federation provides live text coverage of all ACT Rockets games through its website at www.acticf.org.au through the forum. Registration is required to view the live coverage, but registration is completely free of charge.

Peak chaplaincy body welcomes funding


Young leaders at a camp supported by chaplains
The Federal Government’s announcement of an extension of its funding for a National School Chaplaincy Program has been warmly received by SU ACT, the Territory’s largest provider of chaplains in schools. The Government today announced an additional $25m in funding. This adds to the $90m allocated in October 2006.

For 16 years, SU ACT has been mobilizing local churches across denominations to invest in chaplains, providing help and support for young people at crucial times in their lives. The work of the chaplain complements other student services provided by the school.

Chaplains provide pastoral care, support, comfort and advice to young people and families
struggling with the pressures of life. Anxiety, relationship problems, alcohol, other drugs, pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage or the death of friends cause many young people to lose hope and their sense of purpose. Consequent lack of motivation and focus prevents them from achieving their potential at school.

Chaplains are available for all students and families in need regardless of their faith. Chaplaincy does not include proselytizing or religious education.

SU ACT Director, Jeff Mason, said five government colleges that already have chaplains will be able to increase their chaplain’s time to three days per week. New chaplaincies will start at nine government high schools and primary schools.

Many other schools have been consulting their communities and preparing applications for the second round of funding later this year.

SU chaplains are subjected to a rigorous selection process and police checks and must be acceptable to the school community. They also receive training to develop their skills for this challenging role and counseling support to help them cope with the pressure of their role.


For further information, please contact SU ACT Director, Jeff Mason on 0419 147 219.

About SU ACT
SU is a non-denominational Christian organisation that has been operating since 1867, in over 130 countries. SU ACT is the largest provider of Chaplains in ACT schools, reaching more than 4350 students every year, currently in six government secondary colleges. SU ACT also runs camps and school groups, supported by 200 volunteers. SU takes child safety very seriously, with rigorous training and police checks for all staff and volunteers.

People – Lifestyles & Shopping, farmersmarket,


Emily Brooks
‘Man is not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of men’. Benjamin Disraeli.
Despite our growing awareness of our collective impact upon the planet, finding accurate and unbiased information on sustainable practices can be a daunting task for time-starved citizens.
Therefore, we would like to introduce a new segment, which will highlight the shopping and lifestyle habits of citizens within the Canberra region.
Over the coming months, we will profile willing individuals who take small steps and measures to reduce their ecological footprint. Hopefully, through their stories, experiences, initiatives and convictions, we can find new ways to support each other through sustainable practices. Articles shedding light on matters of sustainability and social equity will also support their stories.
So let’s get the ball rolling!
We welcome your feedback, ideas and suggestions for the segment.
We are also looking for potential sponsors that are willing to support the content of this segment.
Fabian Veron -fabianunbound@yahoo.com
Profile: Emily Brooks
Emily is a woman that I have come to know through my various cups of coffee at Organic Harvests, over the past few months. Emily is still settling into Canberra, having recently arrived from Sydney.
Being a regular at Organic Harvest, I decided that Emily would be my first guinea pig for the ‘People, Lifestyles & Shopping’ segment.
Emily Brooks is one switched on woman that does not take her personal health for granted!
Emily subscribes to Hippocrates’ ancient edict of ‘your food is your medicine and your medicine is your food’.
Emily prefers a lifestyle that is grounded on the simple and sensual pleasures of life.
Emily is also passionate about the power of the arts and the pro-active role that they can play in fostering a more humane and equitable world.
It also became evident throughout the course of our conversation, that Emily is well versed in the areas of sustainable consumption and the positive flow on effects upon local economies (bio-regions).
Emily is one of the many Australians that are seeking to fulfill their personal lives, by engaging a lifestyle that enriches personal experiences through awareness, understanding and empathy towards our world. Finally, as you can see in Emily’s basket, most of her dietary needs are met by shopping at Organic Harvest and Ecomeats – Belconnen Markets.
The items in her basket vary from personal hygiene items such as toothpastes, soaps, and shampoos – through to perishables like meats, veggies, fruits and small goods. These two retailers have a wide range of produce that are sourced from Certified organic producers and whenever possible, produce from local suppliers in order to minimise ‘food miles’!
A good way to minimise your ‘food miles’ is to support your local organic retailers and farmers markets’.
Northside: www.capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au
Southside: www.southsidefarmersmarket.com.au

New Church Launching in Canberra


New Church launching!!!

When the word Church is used, often images of hard pews, boring sermons and frustrated bored children come to mind but that certainly is not the dream of the new Pastors and team at LifeCity Church.

Coming from Cooma as Youth and Kids Pastors, Josh and Ange Reading have a heart to see an environment that is relevant and powerful in the every day lives of people.

‘Whilst people in this region are often affluent financially, when it comes to the matter of the heart many feel that a spiritual poverty exists within, a lack of hope and purpose’ says Josh. ‘At the end of the day we believe that only God and his plans and purposes for our lives can fill that void’

With two young boys they also see a church that is comfortable, exciting and relevant for kids, as well as youth and young adults. Ange admits that maybe the music and style won’t suit everyone with the music being louder and energetic, more akin to a concert than a normal church service but believes that it is just what is needed for many people.

LifeCity Church has its official launch on the 22nd of July at 10am at ‘Top of the Cross’ Southern Cross Club Woden and all are welcome.

For more info you can check them out at www.lifecitychurch.com , info@lifecitychurch.com or give them a call on 0431 827 752

Meet the Writers


Come along to the Tuggeranong Homestead on Sunday 29 July, 2-4 pm, to meet a group of Canberra biographers, historians, poets and novelists who will talk about their writing and publishing experiences and read short extracts from their work. A selection of the writers’ books will be on sale afterwards. Afternoon tea will be available at the Tuggeranong Homestead Kitchen until 4pm. All welcome, cover charge of $5 per person. Bookings and enquiries to Minders of Tuggeranong Homestead (MOTH) on 6231 5548.

Opening of Nature Trail


Walking down from Cooleman Trig
Cooleman Ridge Nature Trail is open again
Again you are invited to walk the trail of Cooleman Ridge, to see the wide views of the Western ranges from the track and the Canberra suburbs from Cooleman Trig.
Again the brochure boxes will be filled with a re-designed pamphlet telling you about the trees, the plants and the hills.
Again the Cooleman Ridge Nature Trail has been officially opened as it originally was opened in June 1996. This time Mick Gentleman, MLA officiated at the ceremony on June 16. The Nature Trail was originally established by the Cooleman Ridge Park Care Group in collaboration with Canberra Nature Park and Weston Creek Rotary Club.
Mr Gentleman described how the 2003 bushfire destroyed several of the landmarks. A number of posts used to mark features along the trail were damaged or destroyed. Information and notice boards needed to be replaced and part of the trail required re-alignment. The trail is 2.7 kilometres long and circles the northern end of Cooleman Ridge.
With the help of a generous ACT Environment Grant the Cooleman Ridge Parkcare Group and Canberra Nature Park have collaborated to make this occasion possible.
After the opening and refreshments an inaugural walk took place on that beautiful winter afternoon. We walked along the trail having the Nature Park to the left and a stunning mountain view to the right. Behind the Bullen Range the peaks of the Brindabella Range with Mount Corree defined the horizon. Further on we saw Mount Tennant named after one of our local bushrangers from close to two hundred years ago, John Tennent (sic). The peak of Cooleman Trig was climbed, a place where our famous radio show man Rod Quinn arrived at an earlier visit exclaiming “From here you can see the whole world!”. Well, Rod may have been exaggerating a bit but you can indeed see the most important of it, the glorious city of Canberra at your feet.
For the last stretch of the Nature Trail there is now an alternative to the steep and unpleasant vehicle road, instead following the footpath down through an area quite rich with plants, the pictures of which can be seen on the website of the Cooleman Ridge Park Care Group, http://www.coolemanridge.org
Gösta Lyngå

Illustration: Walking down from Cooleman Trig

Motorbike Video Classifieds


Motorcycle Video Classifieds
Are you considering, selling your motorcycle privately? Previous options with print only classifieds, are becoming less successfull and taking a lot longer to get a sale on their own. With costly submissions, longer running times required and less than satisfactory results in getting the best price possible.

One trend that is soon to take off in the United States, closely followed by other countries including Australia. Is video classifieds on the Internet. Imagine how much more information you could relay to people if your print advertisement could direct people to a personal webpage for your bike. Including text, digital photo’s and video files of your pride and joy you have for sale. That you can direct any potential buyers to.

Combining a local newspaper or magazine classified with reference to a link on-line, can help dramatically, with your final sale. You can either create the video/photo/text information of your motorcycle yourself or you could employ someone to do it for you, for under $100, depending on content.

The other option of course is to drop the price of your motorbike by a few hundred dollars, when you don’t get a quick sale.

A local classified is the best way to locate local buyers in your area. Additionally, when your bike is advertised on the Internet as well. You can reach interstate as well as international buyers coming to Australia from overseas. Looking for reliable, two wheel transport, already registered and roadworthy in Australia.

The choice is yours, so make it a good one!

Here is an example of one I have prepared earlier, for my silver Subaru 4WD that I presently have for sale. The same concept can be applied to anything that someone has for sale privately and costs very little to set up. I am mostly interested in doing work for motorcyclists at this stage, with a future interest in recreational aircraft and sailing boats as demand increases.

For further details please view www.citizenjourno.com.au
or contact me by phone when I am in Canberra: 02 6249 8945.

Not so slippery slide


A grate slide!
What a grate kiddies slide!

Calwell and Wanniassa Community Bank® Branches Continue Support for the Respite Care Client Holiday Scheme


Bendigo Bank behind community respite care
The Calwell and Wanniassa Community Bank® branches will this week continue to provide people with a disability a unique way to improve their quality of life. On Friday 22 June, presentations will be made to four clients of Respite Care ACT who have severe disabilities to enable them to enjoy a holiday outside the ACT with the paid assistance of their support workers.

Tuggeranong Valley Financial Services operates both branches and Chairman Matthew Coleman said that knowing there are people who live on a disability pension, receiving a high level of care, who rarely have the opportunity to go on a holiday but now can due to the Client Holiday Scheme, reinforces the importance of the Community Contribution grants that are provided by the Community Bank®.

“We are pleased to continue to support this worthy program and facilitate an additional four clients of Respite Care ACT to enjoy holidays with their paid carers this year,” Mr Coleman said.

Respite Care ACT is an independent, incorporated association that provides support to frail aged people, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues and their family carers.

Respite Care ACT Executive Director Paul Bartholomew said the first participant selected last year will be holidaying on the NSW South Coast and this will be their first holiday out of Canberra for more than 10 years.

Paul Bartholomew said “The funding that Respite Care ACT has received and will continue to receive from the Community Bank® over the next two years has been a major bonus for our clients who are selected to participate in this holiday program. In addition to receiving the basic support services they need just to be able to continue living at home, these people will now be able to enjoy a proper holiday that they could not possibly afford themselves. ”

Funding for Respite Care ACT of $15,000 over three years follows the Community Bank® branches’ $25,000 commitment to the George Gregan Foundation, and $4000 to a breakfast program for children.

“To date, we have returned more than $75,000 worth of profits to the local communities we serve. With the continued support of our customers, and any potential new customers, we can look forward to these contributions growing and continuing to help our region prosper,” Mr Coleman said.

For more information, please contact the Calwell Community Bank® Branch on (02) 62913385 or visit them in the Calwell Shopping Centre.

Or, to contact the Wanniassa Community Bank® Branch phone (02) 6231 9024 or visit them at the Wanniassa Shopping Centre.

No dual flush toilets! No way!


Is it time to dob in a building owner? Too many buildings in Canberra don’t have dual flush toilets. There are buildings that have hundreds of people working (and flushing) in them and not a single dual flush cistern in sight.

Should we be shaming those building owners/managers into some action? If you think we should, then reply by telling us all which buildings you know of that send litres of water down the loo unnecessarily.

Nature lovers receive Budget boost


The Government’s investment in the 2007-08 ACT Budget to improve access to Canberra’s nature reserves is great news for nature lovers in the region, Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald said.

$130,000 has been allocated to develop new walking tracks at both Mt Taylor and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

The new track on Mt Taylor will be built on its eastern face and will replace the closed Richmond Fellowship Walking Track.

“The existing track is very steep, highly eroded and unsafe for walkers. Past attempts to stabilise it have been unsuccessful due to its steepness and as a result the track has been closed and will now be rehabilitated to a natural state,” Ms MacDonald said.

The new track will follow a gentler grade in the same general location and will conform to best practise in terms of grade, surface and water diversion.

“The development of a new walking track will provide the community with better access to this wonderful natural resource,” Ms MacDonald said. “Many people climb the mountain each day and the new track will allow them to continue to do so in a safer, more enjoyable way.”

New walking tracks will also be built in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and a further $2.6 million over four years has been invested in the new Tidbinbilla Nature Discovery Centre.

The Centre, due to open in early 2008, will be a significant visitor and environmental education facility, delivering programs, wildlife collection management and more intensive land management at the site.

“The additional funding will help to provide a stronger educational emphasis on Indigenous history and cultural associations with the region,” Ms MacDonald said. “It will also support the development of a significant volunteer program to provide visitor interpretation and education in areas of natural science, animal husbandry and cultural history. This will provide a fabulous boost to ecotourism in the area.”

Budget Advances Status of Women


The 2007-08 ACT Budget has continued to deliver on the Government’s commitment to advance the status of women and girls in the ACT, Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald said.

As a group, ACT women are, in many ways, better off than women nationally. However, across both the social and economic spheres, many inequalities still exist between men and women in the ACT, and between different groups of women.

“The Government has recognised inequalities do still exist in our community and have addressed these through a variety of initiatives,” Ms MacDonald said.

To increase women’s representation and recognition within the community and to honour the first female Chief Police Officer in the ACT, Ms Audrey Fagan, the Audrey Fagan Foundation Scholarship program will be established.

The Scholarship provides $60,000 per annum and will be open to Canberra women in leadership positions working in law enforcement, care and protection, allied health areas or providing professional or social support in areas involving domestic violence or victim support.

As women are at a greater risk of experiencing poverty than men, economic security and access to opportunities are critical in supporting lifestyle choices and decision making. A grants program for women from Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse or low-income backgrounds will be established to support their return to work. Up to $1000 will be provided to women returning to the workforce after having a child.

“The Return to Work grants program gives eligible women the flexibility to prepare to return to work in a way that best suits their lifestyle,” Ms MacDonald said.

The initiatives announced in the Budget are linked to the six key themes of the ACT Women’s Plan:

. representation and wellbeing;
. good health and wellbeing;
. responsive housing;
. safe inclusive communities;
. economic security and opportunities; and
. flexible education and training.

“The Government has again made significant investments in health, education, housing and crime prevention services for the women of the ACT,” Ms MacDonald said. “Improving the status of women and girls is key to achieving our vision of the ACT as a strong, inclusive community, supporting opportunities for all.”