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Albert Hall Future Meeting


On 24th May from 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm at the Albert Hall there will be a public meeting to discuss future directions for the Albert Hall. A panel with local senators and MHRs, Chief Minister for the ACT John Stanhope, representatives of the Heritage Council, the Walter Burley Griffin Society and the Friends of the Albert Hall will answer questions from the audience.

This historic public meeting on the future of the Albert Hall is hosted by the National Trust of Australia (ACT) in conjunction with Friends of the Albert Hall and a range of community partners – Canberra City Rotary Club, Walter Burley Griffin Society, Yarralumla Residents’ Association, Manning Clark House, Canberra International Film Festival Inc, Artists Society of Canberra, The Embroiderers Guild (ACT) Inc, Monaro Folk Society, Earthly Delights Dance Academy and in association with Canberra Youth Music.

This will be a forum for discussion, ideas, and information from community groups, experts, federal parliamentarians and ACT officials about the Albert Hall precinct.

Refreshments will be provided and the Bush Dancers Display Group and the Bordonian Heritage Dancers will perform. Please try to attend if you can.

'Live in Canberra' attracting workers to ease the city's skills shortage


''Live in Canberra'' attracting skilled workers to the Capital
Most of Australia’s major cities, Canberra included, continue to face a serious skills shortage. Just over 12 months ago, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope launched the Live in Canberra campaign with the aim of ‘selling’ Canberra’s job opportunities and lifestyle benefits to families in south and southwest Sydney fed up with the rat race.

With a prestigious Public Relations Institute of Australia national Golden Target Award to its credit, the campaign has now expanded throughout Australia and overseas, in what has been a best practice example of government, business and community sectors working together to tackle the skills shortage head on.

Campaign director, Jeremy Lasek, said the Live in Canberra campaign had exceeded all expectations. “While it’s difficult to quantify, the team is aware of at least 50 families and individuals who have moved here as a result of the campaign, and this number continues to grow each week. It’s great news for the ACT,” Mr Lasek said.

Although Mr Lasek acknowledges that the Live in Canberra campaign alone will not solve the skills issue, significant progress has been made in a relatively short amount of time.

Since the campaign’s launch, the Live in Canberra team has responded to thousands of emails and phone calls from people seeking advice about making the move. Over 1500 information packs have been sent out and the Live in Canberra website has had over 40,000 visits with 25 per cent of these now coming from overseas. With seminars and marketing material, the team have assisted hundreds of employers in Canberra recruit skilled workers from interstate and overseas.

As well as two targeted campaigns in Sydney and the Illawarra region, Live in Canberra also attended ‘Country Week’ in Sydney and the ‘Australia Needs Skills’ expos in the UK and Ireland.

This recent push into the overseas market sparked a significant increase in the number of applicants to the ACT’s Skilled and Business Migration program. A comprehensive database of over 1000 people with the skills Canberra needs has been developed. In the past year, 110 skilled workers from overseas have had applications approved to work in the territory. A further 35 applications are pending.

As the competition between the states and territories to attract and retain skilled workers becomes more intense, Live in Canberra is full steam ahead for the upcoming year and currently recruiting new supporters for the next 12 months from our business sector.

“With IP Australia, Service One, IELTS, Forde Developments and the Australian Public Service Commission the latest new organisations to come on board with Live in Canberra, the campaign will continue to build on its strong relationships in the ACT community, ” Mr Lasek said.

For further information, phone 6205 3188 or visit www.liveincanberra.com.au

New Natural Therapies Clinic Opens at Torrens Shops


The Primal Balance Clinic, Canberra’s newest wellness centre, celebrated a busy and successful opening last weekend at the Torrens Shops.

The Primal Balance Clinic brings together a first class team of five experienced and qualified professionals offering a wide range of natural therapies.

Treatments range from relaxation therapies to the treatment of injuries, muscle aches and pains, chronic conditions and stress management.

Taking an holistic approach, treatment styles include relaxation and remedial massage, lymphatic drainage, Reiki, Reflexology, energy balancing, lymphatic drainage, pre and post-natal massage, Bowen Therapy, Hot Stone Massage; and body-mind therapies such as Rosen therapy and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

Exclusive to the Primal Balance Clinic is the Bio-Press which has been imported from Italy to treat problems such as fluid retention, lymphodema, cellulite, and for detoxification.

Two years of careful planning and forethought has resulted in a quality, boutique style wellness centre – the vision of its creators, Anton and Mary Pemmer.

“We took the time to consider the needs of local Canberrans, not just in regard to the wellness treatments offered, but in creating a design, based on Feng Shui principles, that has resulted in an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming and comfortable.”, said Developer and Therapist, Anton Pemmer.

Attention to detail for client comfort is obvious with electric treatment tables, heated towels racks, relaxing music and ambient lighting.

“We felt attention to detail was important, ensuring the little things, such as the quality of the oils we use, were of the same high quality as the Clinic’s fittings and equipment.”, said Co-Developer and Flower Essence Practitioner, Mary Pemmer.

The Primal Balance Clinic, located in Torrens Place at the Torrens Shops, is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 7pm and by appointment on Mondays and selected Saturdays. To book an appointment, phone 6290 0050.

Did you know…?


If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories a hour

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male’s head off.

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It’s like a human jumping the length of a football field.

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. (Hmm mmmm……)

Ri ght-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people.
Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.

A cat’s urine glows under a black light.

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

Starfish have no brains

Polar bears are left-handed.

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.

Panta Rei Fusiondancing


Panta Rei
Panta Rei fusiondancing offers a great way to get fit and stay in shape in a friendly and supportive environment, and to dance without pressure and make new contacts. Nobody is judged and there are no mistakes, only “little variations” that help towards each dancer’s self-development. You can wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing; perhaps you can tie a scarf around your hips, but definitely bring a smile along.

Dance classes: Dancing to worldmusic and to live handdrumming, from 6.15 pm on most Fridays (call for details!) at Gorman House (B block), cnr Batman St & Currong St, Braddon. Cost is $15 each. No previous experience is needed to join in. Classes are relaxed and sociable without pressure to memorise steps. Those who want to stay on can join in with the complimentary choreographies part from 7.30 pm.

It is followed by a hand-drumming group 8.00 pm – join in for $5 per session – bring your own handdrum (e.g. a darabooka, tabla or djembe),
or contact Panta Rei for more information at:

Phone: 0405 638910
PO Box 855 Civic Square ACT 2608

Chamber of Women in Business Event May 23rd


The only Business Organisation representing women in Canberra
The Chamber of Women in Business certainly attracts a wide range of speakers at our events and our May event “Flying High Mini Expo” is no exception. This month’s Mini Expo will be held in conjunction with the Capital Region Business Expo on Wed 23rd May 5:45pm at the Hellenic Club.

Speakers for this month are:
Amy Banson whose “Walk With A Rose”, commemorating the life of Canberra student Clea Rose, continues to raise awareness of and money for Aquired Brain Injury. Amy will speak about how she managed to keep the cause alive through adversity.

Sarah Cook – Young Olympic Rower and AIS resident who knows all about getting motivated to transcend pain and heartbreak. Her personal motto is: “Don’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel, go down there and light it yourself”.

Robyn Moore – who many Canberrans will recognise as the voices behind Cactus Island and Blinky Bill. CWB President Barbara Baikie says of Robyn: “Robyn is one of the most inspirational women I have met”.” The CWBs Mini Business Expos provide practical ideas on starting, growing, managing and selling your business. They offer ample networking opportunities between Canberra business women.

We encourage Canberra business women to come and visit the CWB stand at the Capital Region Business Expo – Hellenic Club on Wed/Thur 23rd and 24th May. Talk to local business women about their experiences. Also check out event details and download a registration form at www.cwb.org.au ‘Events’.

Cost: Members $35 non-members $55
18th May 2007

Inquiries: 6282 6255.
Comments: Barbara Baikie, President CWB, 0419-477959
Ms Jean McIntyre, Promotions Officer CWB Committee, 0428-311387

Questacon – a great day out!


Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, is a large facility with almost 200 interactive exhibits and programmes about Science and Technology. The project was a joint partnership of Australia and Japan that the latter then donated half of the construction cost (one billion Yen) as a major bicentennial gift to Australia. The centre aims to provide science experiences to all in a fun and easy way. It was officially opened in November 23, 1988.

The Centre is located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin on King Edward Terrace, Parkes (on the corner of Mall Road West), in the midst of Canberra’s national institutions. Questacon is the country’s leading interactive science and technology centre. Since the centre has opened, millions of visitors from different places have had fun and meaningful experiences at Questacon. It also offers a variety of programmes for all visitors like Spectacular Science Shows in any of the three theatre spaces the centre has, science-themed birthday parties, after-dark visits and even overnight stays as well.

From the start, Questacon has always aimed to bring the wonder and fun in learning science to children throughout the nation. And since the centre is in Canberra, there are still a number of children who are not lucky enough to visit the place. With this, Questacon makes an effort to reach out to these kids and travel the whole of Australia through several outreach programmes which include The Shell Questacon Science Circus, Questacon Smart Moves, Tenix Questacon Maths Squad, Indigenous programmes as well as others. These programmes intend to develop greater understanding of science and technology to everyone even in the most distant areas of the country. Questacon also has its own website where everyone from kids to teachers can take advantage of their services, have fun and learn at the same time. This is the centre’s way to interact with everyone and make them love and appreciate science, technology and math in a different way. It provides free access to educational materials, online exhibitions and other interactive learning opportunities.

If you are travelling by car, there are plenty of free car parking areas next to Questacon’s distinctive white building. Questacon is a 30 minute walk across the lake from Civic, Canberra’s main business district.

Questacon is open between 9 am and 5 pm everyday except Christmas Day. All admission fees include both entry to the exhibitions and a science show performance in the Theatre.

Adults – $15.50
Concession – $10.50
Child 4 – 16 years – $9.00
Family (2A + 3C) – $46.00
extra child – $4.50

Get more information at www.questacon.edu.au

Z Brasserie: funky, soothing


Z Brasserie now open
Z Brasserie: funky, soothing

The Tuggeranong dining scene is all the more tasty with the arrival of some of the eateries on Anketell Boulevard. One that stands out from the crowd is Z Brasserie.

Z Brasserie is refreshingly different, with a colour scheme that combines cool, fresh shades of green with warm, cozy shades of brown. The logo is funky and the atmosphere buzzy from the early morning when customers are welcomed with good coffee and hearty breakfasts through to lunch, afternoon coffee and cake, drinks after work, and then dinner.

One bonus with Z Brasserie is it believes customers should be able to eat when they want-there’s no closing the kitchen down mid morning or mid afternoon. Rather, food is served all day.

Z Brasserie already has a growing list of regulars who like the vibe and the extensive menu which truly offers something for everyone. There’s an impressive selection of dishes you can order as starters or as a light meal, such as deep fried crab balls with mouth popping mustard seeds, flat fried wontons served with guacamole and bacon, and little chilli meatballs.

The menu pays full respect to vegetarians, offers dishes that celebrate flavours from around the globe, and meals created with fresh, Australian produce. There’s also great family meals including ‘stuff kids love’ like burgers. The ‘Z’ option is guaranteed to hit the spot-it’s served with lean beef, on a fresh, gourmet bun, chips, and a side salad.

And if you have room, you won’t be disappointed by Z Brasserie’s dessert range, which makes for a very sweet ending indeed.

Owner Deborah Wentworth-Shields decided to open Z Brasserie in the new Anketell Boulevard dining precinct after identifying a need for a restaurant ‘with a difference’ in the area. She was one of the first to open on ‘the strip’.

A Brasserie’s wine list is well chosen and suits the restaurant’s personality. The price structure is great and there’s plenty of choice by the glass. Beer lovers will love the classics and can, if in the mood, experiment with options from overseas and specialty Australian beers from microbreweries such as Mountain Goat High Tail.

Deborah decided to open the restaurant after identifying a restaurant ‘with a difference’ in the area. She has a wealth of experience gleaned from her years at Zest in Kingston’s busy Green Square and is a smart operator. She’s passionate about food, understands that at times customers want zippy service and is determined to make Z Brasserie a favorite spot of many.

Z Brasserie is open seven days from early until late. 6293 9333. Southlife, 13B, Anketell Street, Tuggeranong.

Flying Russian Tsars


Flying Tsars
The imperial Russian Dance Company returns to Canberra with their “Flying Tsars” production. With over forty performers on stage, the Tzars present a show for the whole family. Audiences from New York to Tokyo have been spellbound by not only the good looking, wild eyed men with their feverish, dangerous acrobatic dances, sword and drum routines, but also by the stunning beauty of the females, the breathtaking gowns and costumes, spectacular scenery, the circus like tricks and acrobatics, their speed, agility and humour. Their gravity defying dance routines with near six foot high spins and flying leaps makes them unique. Los Angeles Times quoted – “The routines are not simply spectacular, they are wild – so consistently wild, they sometimes make the Cossacks seem tame”. New York Post quoted – “The most spectacular, thrilling and beautiful show in a decade”.

Venue: Canberra Theatre
Duration: 120 minutes including interval
Ticket only: $94.90
Please contact Canberra Ticketing on 6275 2700.
Performance Times Thursday, 24 May 2007 @ 8:30 PM

Thousands unite at the first Canberra Mothers Day Classic


The 8km runners get off to a flying start
The first Canberra Mothers Day Classic (held last Sunday 13 May) was a massive success with 2,400 participants running and walking for the breast cancer cause from Grevillea Park along the Molonglo River.

Although it was Canberra’s first Mothers Day Classic, this year marked the 10th anniversary of the event which was also held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth – with almost 50,000 participating nationally.

Chair of the Women in Super organising committee, Cate Wood said, she was very excited about the success of the first Canberra Mothers Day Classic.

“We are pleased to announce that the inaugural Canberra event had the biggest crowd to a first-time Mothers Day Classic event.

“Even though I am not surprised that the Canberra community embraced this event whole heartedly, our numbers on-the-day exceeded all our expectations, and the bottom line is, this means more money for breast cancer research.

Participants all had different reasons for being involved in the event. Some had won their fight against breast cancer, others supporting someone with breast cancer or had lost loved ones to breast cancer and some just wanted to support the great cause.

“Although much sadness comes with living with breast cancer or helping someone through breast cancer, the feeling on the day was one of celebration and support.

“We want to thank the community for getting involved, our sponsors, especially to our major sponsor Members Equity Bank and volunteers; of course the day could not have been possible with out them” Cate said.

As donations and sponsorship continue to come in, it will be a number of weeks before the total funds raised will be known. However the national committee is confident this year’s event will take the national total raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation to over $3 million since the Mothers Day Classics inception 10 years ago.

Participants are reminded to get their sponsorship money in by 8 June to be eligible for prizes and to count towards the national tally.

The Mothers Day Classic is held each year on Mothers Day and raise much needed funds for research through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Ground Breaking Ceremony


Pastor Stephen Janes and Tania Goodacre turn the first sod
The Senior Minister, Pastor Stephen Janes, on Saturday 12 May 2007 turned the first sod in a ground breaking ceremony celebrating the granting of land from the ACT Government to Christian City Church Tuggeranong.

Pastor Janes was joined by 150 congregation members, The President of the Canberra Islamic Society, Dr Ahmed Youssef and Pastors Len & Lois Russell from Christian Outreach Centre.

The grant of land marks the end of a seven year journey to become the lease holder of this piece of land allowing Christian City Church Tuggeranong to shortly commence building a facility that will include a 500 seat auditorium, multi-purpose rooms and community kitchen that the community of Monash and the surrounding suburbs can benefit from.

“Christian City Church Tuggeranong has the support of the Canberra Islamic Centre in Monash and also Christian Outreach Centre. It is great to see different faiths and churches working together for the good of the community.

The Church is so excited to be able to construct this purpose built worship facility on land granted by the ACT Government, our desire is to provide a building that exudes quality and excellence, something we value as an organisation.

With a strong focus on families, children and youth, Christian City Church Tuggeranong as well as church services will be able to cater for the community by holding regular youth events and youth church services, concerts, musical productions, counselling, teaching, family training and numerous conferences and events for all demographics in the community.” Pastor Janes said

In the Tuggeranong Valley there are 95,000 people approximately and of those only 8% go to church.

Pastor Janes says “people don’t realise that such contemporary churches exist. Christian City Church Tuggeranong’s vision is of “A Contemporary, Caring, Powerful, Vibrant, Growing Church.” In my 13 years of pastoring people tell me that they want to encounter God and are looking for more to life than material possessions. We find that when people visit our church they are looking to experience God and often hoping for a miracle. With this new facility right here in the Valley our Church can offer a place where people can reach out and connect with God in a very real, contemporary and powerful way. We know that having a relationship with God changes lives. We are looking forward to welcoming more of the Valley residents to our congregation when our worship facility opens in early 2008.”



The Minister for Health Ms. Katy Gallagher MLA has expressed her disappointment at the missed opportunity, again, from the Federal Government in adequately funding dental health care for average Australians.

The Minister said that this was yet another of the Commonwealth’s disappointing decisions relating to dental care.

“The current Commonwealth Government withdrew funding for the Commonwealth Dental Program as one of its first acts coming into government back in 1996,” Ms. Gallagher said.

“The program they took away provided access to dental care for disadvantaged people, and by withdrawing the program unilaterally, the burden was shifted onto State and Territory Governments to pick up the slack,” she said.

The Budget initiative announced last night around targeted dental assistance in no way replaces the program that the Commonwealth withdrew. It is an incredibly restrictive program, and even the Commonwealth’s own, usually very optimistic, fact sheets admit that only 200,000 people will access the program over the next 4 years. That’s an average of 50,000 people a year, or less than a quarter of 1% of the population.

Not only is the program very narrow, but access to it is swathed in red tap. To get access to the program someone has to have: chronic conditions and complex care needs, and be referred to a dentist by their GP, and have a GP management plan, and team care arrangements in place.

“This clearly isn’t about providing access to dental care for Australians, but about being seen to be doing something while putting a whole lot of barriers in place to make sure that almost no one can actually access the care.”

“In addition, this is not a new program, but more putting more money into the same restrictive arrangements that have already failed to provide accessible dental care for disadvantaged Australians.”

In the last 4 years, the ACT Government has demonstrated its commitment to providing dental care for disadvantaged people by increasing funding for its dental program by 41%.

“It is bitterly disappointing that the Commonwealth is not showing similar commitment,” Ms. Gallagher concluded.
Date: 9 May, 2007 Angie Drake Ph: 6205 0139(w) 0408 092 016(m)



The new Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU) at Canberra Hospital was a tangible demonstration of the ACT Government’s commitment to improving health services for the people of Canberra and surrounding regions, ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, said today.

Opening the new 14-bed unit, Ms Gallagher said the MAPU model of care was a strategy to streamline admission and intervention processes, facilitate early consultant review and expedite multidisciplinary review.

“A MAPU is a unit designed as a short-stay ward specifically staffed and equipped to receive medical inpatients for assessment, care and treatment,” Ms Gallagher said.

“Timely transfer to a dedicated inpatient setting can reduce overall length of stay and achieve better outcomes for patients.

“A flow on benefit of the MAPU will be to enhance the capacity of the Emergency Department by implementing the early transfer of these patients.

“This purpose built unit, built at a cost of approximately $1.25 million and with 14 new beds, will provide a better environment for complex medical patients to have their diagnoses confirmed and treatment commenced.”

The new unit will receive recurrent funding of $2.88 million per annum.

Statement Ends
Date 14 May, 2007
Media Contact: Angie Drake Ph: 6205 0139(w) 0408 092 016(m)

Reading the Fine Print


Reading the Fine Print – Presbyopia and Product Labelling

Presbyopia is the inevitable loss of the ability to focus on near objects, which means that most people over the age of 45 need reading glasses. The effect is significantly worse in poor light conditions.

The ageing population profile of our country means that presbyopia will soon affect over 40% of Australians.

That’s a lot of people. You’d think therefore that product manufacturers would be trying to accommodate that 40% by labelling their products in a way that made it easier to read the packing or controls.

Many people with presbyopia do not wear their reading glasses all of the time. I for one do not routinely wear them to the shops or the theatre or to the football ground or wherever, because I don’t really need them there and they are just a nuisance to carry around. Of course I can’t wear them whilst I am driving or walking upstairs, etc because they blur distance vision.

Going out without my reading glasses should not be a problem in most cases. In my car glovebox there is a magnifying mirror with a battery-operated light, just in case I need to read my street directory. And a pair of ‘near-enough-is-good-enough’ specs that I can grab if I’m desperate.

Unfortunately, shopping is not as easy as it should be. Product manufacturers routinely label their wares in such a way that the weight, contents, cooking time, etc are in such micro-fine print that I can’t read the details even if I do fetch my reading glasses. If the product is very small, then small print may be inevitable. But even the largest packets seem to want to hide the important details in fine print. Have you noticed that the one thing that’s hard to find on a packet of pasta is the cooking time?! I really am tired of marching to my room to fetch reading glasses, just so I know how long to boil the spirali.

Of course, electronics is where this problems really is endemic. Mobile phones, DVD players, car radios, MP3 players and all the other electronic gadgets are evidently made by the one firm: Bastards Incorporated. It’s not enough that the print on the buttons/controls is smaller than it needs to be, they then print it in a colour that is almost indistinguishable from the background colour. Or use the ‘stainless steel’ look (eg on microwave ovens) so when you look at the control panel you see your own reflection instead of what is written in tiny letters on the panel.

And how about the labelling on the umpteen RCA sockets on the back of TVs and DVD players. Have you noticed that it is frequently part of the plastic moulding. Once upon a time this form of labelling was made visible by the manufacturer wiping a sort of paint roller over the up-raised lettering so that it stood out in relief against the background. Not any more. Given that most of these sockets are on the back of equipment, and usually poorly-lit, you haven’t a hope without reading glasses or a magnifying glass, a torch, and someone to hold the torch whilst you try to read the labels and connect the plugs to the right sockets.

Its about time that manufacturers got smart here. If the 40% of Australians who can’t read without glasses all decided to stop buying products that use poor labelling, a lot of manufacturers would be in trouble. But that’s probably not going to happen.

Instead, why not write or email the company responsible for the next poorly-labelled product that you buy. Tell them you like their product, but have trouble reading the print on their package or controls. Tell them you are one of millions who have that problem. Ask them to change their labelling practices to make it easier for more people to read.

To help you remember to do so, put the offending packaging aside in a “to do” folder. Or keep a notebook in the kitchen and jot down the details as you go. Then one day you can have a field day emailing companies and asking them to do the right thing.

It might just make life a little easier in the long run.