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Tuggeranong Arts Centre celebrates NAIDOC Week


skin to skin

For the first time in Canberra art from six remote Indigenous-owned art centres will be shown in seven venues over five weeks.

skin to skin/ Miri Kutjara Tjungu is an innovative undertaking by Tuggeranong Arts Centre to bring the art and artists from 6 remote Indigenous-owned art centres in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) of northwest South Australia. The exhibition program is curated by Hilary Furlong, who was Art Centre Co-ordinator at Ernabella from 1999 to 2006.

Tuggeranong Arts Centre Director Evol McLeod says of the program, ‘ Our decision to bring the art and the artists from the APY Lands, one of the most remote regions, is a small step in raising awareness of the contribution the artists are making to sustaining Indigenous heritage and culture.’

The extensive program for NAIDOC 2007 is collaborative and cross-cultural with exhibitions and events in 6 venues across Canberra over 5 weeks: Impressions on Paper Gallery, Braddon, Tuggeranong Arts Centre Gallery, Old Parliament House, the Canberra Centre, the Act Legislative Assembly and Megalo Print Studio and Gallery.

Exhibitions will feature works from Tjala Arts, Ernabella Arts Inc., Kaltjiti Arts and Crafts, Iwantja Arts and Crafts, Ninuku Artists and Tjungu Palya. These include limited edition prints, including work by master printer Basil Hall, paintings, batiks, ceramics, rugs, cushion covers and photography.

Featured in the program is a forum at Old Parliament House. Keynote speaker The Honourable Linda Burney MP will address the issue: Preserving Aboriginal Culture and Heritage – the story behind the boom. Ms Burney, the Member for Canterbury and now Minister for Fair Trading, Youth and Volunteering, was the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the NSW Parliament.

Another event in the program is an evening with award winning local Arrernte poet, visual artist, writer and educator, Jenni Kemarre-Martiniello, who will present readings of her works and a digital story made recently in a project managed by photoaccess inc.

Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s purpose in developing this program with the APY Lands is clear and simple. The Centre hopes to engender a deeper understanding of the essential role the remote art centres play in maintaining the social and cultural integrity of these communities. At the same time the project creates opportunities for the artists to profile and sell their work in the national capital. Twelve artists and art centre co-ordinators will travel to Canberra for skin to skin.

Further information and a full program can be found on Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s website www.tca.asn.au or by obtaining a skin to skin brochure from the Centre by phoning 6293 1443.

Image attached: Work from the cross cultural batik collaboration with Brahma Tirta Sari and Ernabella Arts Inc. Image courtesy Ernabella Arts Inc.

Media contact
Barbie Robinson
Marketing Tuggeranong Arts Centre
0419 492 658; 6293 1443

Warped and Twisted?


Warped and Twisted?

Many visitors to Canberra Spinners and Weavers recent exhibition quickly went from being awestruck to being curious. Could they, too? How would they get started? What would they need?
To meet this interest, members have arranged to demonstrate their crafts at a completely free open day, the venue being the Guild’s rooms, “Kurrajong”, in Ainslie.
There, under expert guidance, you can try your hand at spinning, weaving, knitting and dyeing. Here you will find answers to all your questions, including the most important question of all: is this for you?
Kurrajong is situated at the corner of Sherbrook and Angus Streets, Ainslie ACT.
Date: Sunday 17th June
You are welcome between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Enquiries: 6273 3972

Queanbeyan Art Society


Quweanbeyan Art Society Gallery
Members are reminded to pick up entry forms for the “Spirit of Molonglo” exhibition, to be held in July. With prizes of over 3000 dollars on offer this is one of the Queanbeyan Art Society’s major exhibitions for the year. It is held in conjunction with the Molonglo Catchment Group and major sponsors include The Village Building Society, ReadyMix Quarries, The Queanbeyan Paper Shop in Riverside Plaza, Actew and Leighton Contractors, with support from many other local businesses. The competition is open to all members, and for those who wish to join, an application form is printed on the back of the entry form, available from the Gallery, or on the website at http://www.qarts.com.au.
Entries close June 30.

Renovations are continuing at the Queanbeyan Art Society’s Gallery in Trinculo Place, and updates can be seen on the website, along with the latest newsletter.

Master painter Terry Davys will hold a workshop in oil painting on the 23rd and 24th of June. Cost is 110 dollars for members and 120 for non-members. Deposits should be paid by June 18.



... acknowledging the many and varied users of the community houses ~ extract of a sketch drawn and donated to the Tuggeranong Link by Linda Kavenco
The month of May is officially the time to celebrate Neighbourhood Houses across Australia.
In the ACT there was a particuarly great community lunch with Annette Ellis on Friday 11 May 2007, in which many volunteers were acknowledge for their great work within the community. In particular, the Over 50 women’s Care ‘n Share group was acknowledged, who’s volunteers work hard every second Friday to ensure that a lovely lunch is provided and that all attendees are supported. In addition, one year of the Richardson Men’s Group was celebrated, in which key volunteers were acknowledged for their efforts.

Two long-time supporters of Tuggeranong Link were awared lifetime memberships, and presented with an all-weather jacket to represent the many changing conditions faced by community organisations in past years. Liz MacNeill (playschool teacher/member for over 15 years) and Philip Veerman (committee member for over 15 years) were warmly congratulated, along with current President, Karen Adams. Gifts were given by Janine Robertson, Executive Officer, and Annette Ellis MP as shown in the photograph below.

A sketch of a community house and participants (attached), drawn by a participant in a joint program of Tuggeranong Link and the former Disability and Disadvantaged in the Arts, was acknowledged as a symbol of community participation.

Tuggeranong Link provides a range of services and activities, including playschool, playgroup, Tax Help, seniors and men’s program. For information please contact Janine on 62921604.

The Recruiting Officer


The Recruiting Officer
Canberra Dramatics presents
The Recruiting Officer
Starring Catherine Hagarty, Trevar Alan Chilver, Simon Wall and many others.

The Recruiting Officer is widely acknowledged as one of England’s finest Restoration Comedies, and was the first Western drama produced on the Australian continent.

Captain Plume has arrived in Shrewsbury to recruit for Her Majesty’s army. His methods may not focus on the glory and heroism of war, but his results speak for themselves, even if he has accidentally recruited for the army the woman he sought to woo for himself.

Performances: Thursday to Saturday 8pm. 21st to 30th June 2007.
1pm matinees on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June

Venue: Tuggeranong Arts Centre Theatre, cnr Cowlishaw and Reid Sts Greenway.

Tickets:$24 Adult, $18 Concession.
Tickets are on sale now. Book at The Tuggeranong Arts Centre on 6293 1443.

For further information please visit our website www.canberradramatics.org.au
email info@canberradramatics.org.au or phone 0417 050 879

Nuclear Power Plants –


An open letter to Mr John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia.

Dear Mr Howard,

Nuclear Power Plants –
A Viable Solution or the Latest Pea and Thimble Trick?

On a recent current affairs program, you declared your support for the Nuclear Power option and claimed it would only take Australia 10 years to get our first Nuclear Power Station built and operating. What, only ten years?!? A lot of global warming can happen in ten years!

But Will Nuclear Power Be Safe In Ten Years? Will It Ever Be Cost Effective? [sub-heading]

We have to ask, what will be the true cost of building such a Nuclear Power Plant? At the present time, the cost effectiveness and safety of Nuclear Power are uncertain, while safe alternative energy sources are becoming more cost effective day by day. Before Australia embraces Nuclear Power as the answer to our future energy needs and our response to global warming, we need to be told all the implications for our health, safety and environment. But are we being given the true and full picture?

Surely, Mr Howard, many factors apart from the building and commissioning of one plant must be considered, if your government is to ascertain the true cost of committing to the Nuclear Power option.

It seems obvious to us, that we must take full account of the cost of eliminating risks of pollution and run-off of contaminants from Uranium mines; the cost of compensating miners for the effects of their exposure to Uranium; the cost of processing and enrichment of Uranium; the cost of manufacturing usable fuel rods or whatever form the technology may require when the Nuclear Plant is finally built; the cost of measures to minimise thermal heating from coolant discharge and other pollution; the cost of protecting the Nuclear Plant against terrorist attack; and the cost of safe and terrorist-proof infrastructure for water supply, transport systems, and storage of radioactive waste. And we must not forget that over its 10 year building phase this one plant and its ancillary industries would need a massive drawdown of power from existing systems!

We must then consider what it will cost for this Nuclear Plant to actually produce electricity once it is built. A small but reliable workforce would need to be housed nearby. The plant will need to be within economical distance to feed its output into the national power grid.

The plant itself will need electricity to function; and we gather it will need a large water supply for all phases from mining through converting raw material into usable fuel to cooling the nuclear core during power production. It seems hard to justify the use of a technology that needs a lot of water when our farmers are having to restrict the amount of water they can use to produce our food! Water is a scarce commodity. In the Snowy Mountains Scheme at present, we are told, dam levels have fallen so low that operation of the power generating turbines is in doubt. A nuclear reactor will require guaranteed water supply for cooling. As water becomes scarcer it will inevitably become more expensive. Water is vital for life, nuclear energy is not.

Meanwhile, if the plant fails to make proifits for its private sector investors, will it require heavy public subsidy? In the event of nuclear accident or terrorist attack, will it be the insurance industry or the Australian taxpayers who will have to compensate the private investors?

What About Waste Disposal? [sub-heading]

Is Australia going to solve a problem in ten years that has confounded scientists and engineers and remained basically unsolved since the 1940s?

We hear that your government, in the face of strong opposition from the public and the Northern Territory government, is pressing ahead with plans to dump nuclear waste in the Territory in return for Commonwealth help for local communities with health, education, and employment. Welfare of communities should be a “given”, not conditional upon taking nuclear waste into their land! What a loaded carrot is dangling from your stick!

Disposal of deadly radioactive waste has been the major issue bedevilling Nuclear Power Production since the beginning. At this time the only solution to Nuclear Waste still is to seal it in drums and bury it somewhere or, as was done in the 1960’s off Australian and US coasts, to dump the drums into the sea! We are reminded that a “concrete sealed” steel drum of nuclear waste that had been dumped in 1000 fathoms off the US coast at New Jersey was caught in a fishermen’s net – trawling at just a few fathoms!* No matter where it is stored, on land or at sea, this toxic waste will pose a risk for thousands of years!!!

We must not discount the cost of protecting the world from contamination by accidents or terrorist attacks, misuse or poor storage of waste, etc. As the sophistication of terrorists’ weaponry increases along with the development of technology, who is to judge how much security protection of a nuclear power plant will ever be enough to protect it (and the environment) from attacks by determined terrorists? And the discharge of heated coolant water from nuclear plants overseas has caused major ecological damage even where studies beforehand suggested that no such damage would occur.There is much costly work to be done to make Nuclear Energy safe, and even if we agreed to wait ten years to get it all done, there is no certainty that all the problems will be solved in the end. We think this is such an important decision for Australia’s future, that it ought to be decided by a properly informed debate by all the people.

But Alternative Energy Sources Are Available Now! [sub-heading]

Mr Howard, why waste time debating Nuclear Power, when proven Alternative Energy is available now? Ten years to reach an uncertain outcome is in our view a luxury of time we cannot afford. Let’s get every home set up with Alternative Energy – a process which could be measured not in years but months!!

Alternative Energy power systems such as photovoltaic cells or wind power are available which we understand will be cheaper sources of electricity than any Nuclear Plant when all the attendant costs are factored in. And most importantly, in view of the pressing need to do something substantial to slow global warming, alternative energy is able to supply our domestic needs NOW – compared to the 10 years it would take to produce power from a Nuclear Power Plant! That is, if it can ever be done cost effectively, safely and without the environmental risk!

We are led irresistably to ask – how many homes in Australia could be equipped with solar power supplies, or how many wind farms could be built, in the ten years it will take to get one hugely costly Nuclear Plant on line? And for what percentage of the real cost of just one Nuclear Plant could the equivalent amount of power be obtained from Alternative Energy sources?

We believe that Alternative Energy would provide employment to many more Australians than the number of workers that Nucear Power generation and uranium mining use combined. And it is cheaper and safer for the general population in the long term if the big problems of nuclear waste disposal and security are taken into account.

Any small drop in our living standards due to the variability of Alternative Energy supply will be a very small price to pay if the sure disaster of global warming caused by coal power or the risk of slow death from radiation poisoning and contamination by nuclear power accidents ande terrorism are the alternatives.

Friends who have gone to Alternative Energy have had no problems supplying their household power demands. One family of four, and a couple of single person households, all function normally without having to ‘ration’ their power. One family has a suburban ‘grid feed back’ system that has meant that the power supplier ‘owes’ them and the cost of retro installing their system has been recovered in just 6 years!

Breathing Space to Develop Clean High Volume Supplies for Industry. [sub-heading]

On the Jim Lehrer News Hour (SBS Television, Fri 11 May) a statement was made that today’s Aternative Energy does not provide a sufficiently constant volume of energy such as is needed by industry or commerce. If all Australian households could have Aternative Energy systems to supply domestic needs and feed excess into the grid, power could still be supplied to industry and commerce from existing power stations and Australia still will have enough coal to supply fuel to the power industry for a long, long time – long enough to allow us time to rationally develop superior cleaner large output Aternative Energy delivery systems that in time could take over supply to industry and commerce and allow our coal power plants to be phased out.

Money presently being spent by the Coalition in securing access to Iraq oil could be better spent. In Issue 221 of the US Mother Earth News, we learn from Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, that the Iraq War will cost US taxpayers $2.2 trillion. The point is well made that this is a high cost to secure access to oil reserves, because if this huge sum was spent on “renewable energy just once it would provide more than enough power to replace all our fossil fuel energy production including coal oil and gas – as well as nuclear.” **

Finally, Mr Howard, Australia has the climate and cleverness to produce all its power safely while making a substantial contribution to reducing global warming and avoiding the environmental threat posed by nuclear power. All we need is the political will to make it happen.

Mary Martin & Pete West

* per Dem. Congressman Geo. P. Miller, 1966 Proceedings of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, US House of Representatives.

** “Renewables To the Rescue” page 6 of Issue 221 (April/ May 2007) of Mother Earth News.



There’s nothing like home.

That’s the feeling four adults with disabilities have after moving into a house on Araluen Street that provides them with a comfortable environment they can call their own.

‘Araluen’ has two fully modified bathrooms and the latest equipment designed to support people with acquired brain injury. Despite the technology and modifications the house is bright and comfortable and its four residents-David, Craig, Paul, and George-have settled in.

David, who is 47 years old, has ‘had a grin on his face’ since he moved into Araluen, after having lived in a nursing home for elderly people for several years waiting for somewhere to go, says his brother Jay: “He’s now in a much more proactive friendly environment amongst caring staff.”

The Araluen residents are supported by a team of seven full-time staff (rostered) who have undergone extensive training to equip them to support people with an acquired brain injury. The project is a joint initiative of Canberra’s Hartley Lifecare and TAS Housing, with Hartley Lifecare providing care and support, and TAS Housing providing tenancy management.

“Residential support programs like Araluen are very much needed in the ACT,” says Jennifer Mollett, Executive Director, Hartley Lifecare. “There are more people requiring accommodation than there are available funds and houses. It’s why we seized the chance to open a new home.”

THE OFFICIAL OPENING WAS FRIDAY 15 MAY 2007. Ms Katy Gallagher, Minister for Disability and Community Services, officially opening the house.

Araluen, as with all of Hartley Lifecare’s residential services, encourages families and friends to be actively involved in the day-to-day lives of the people with disabilities they support.

Hartley Lifecare provides quality accommodation, respite, and community services to those who have physical and complex disabilities-24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It has been making a difference in the ACT for more than 44 years.

Tears:Please Don't Fall


Tourists visit Chinese Embassy as Falun Gong protesters maintain their vigil
Tears: Please Don’t Fall!

It was not a long drive from Sydney to Canberra. Arriving in Canberra; in front of the Chinese Embassy (CE), facing a scene that many Canberra residents are very familiar with for the last 7 years: a couple of banners, and few Falun Gong practitioners.

I settled myself to do some Falun Gong exercises, which allowed me to release some tension from the trip and gain some focus for talking to Chinese tourists when they come.

Basically, only Chinese tourists come to visit the CE, because they were taught that “China is the best and greatest country in the world”, and they believe, having a picture taken in front of the Embassy of “our great country” is envied by all Chinese people. It is true. I came to Australia in 1988 with three old schoolmates from Uni. One of them, his father had been wrongly locked up in a labour camp for 17 years, but he was still proud to have his photo taken in front of the CE.

Most Chinese tourists depart from Sydney in the morning, and are taken to tourist attractions on a very tight schedule once arrived in Canberra, and leave Canberra about 3pm for Sydney. So, taking photos in front of the CE, is on the schedule, and between 12pm to 3pm, it is a busy time in front of the CE. Many times, there will be Chinese tourists with look of shock on their faces on seeing our Falun Gong protesters; some take photos of us, or stand there reading our banners and thinking. Though I have not being able to come to the CE often due to my busy work schedule, but a dozen times a year, talking to tourists in front of the CE, has left me with many memorable moments.

One day, there were tourists from a few buses who came at one time. I had talked to the crowd for a while, and just stopped for a rest. I heard a female voice, quickly whispering to my left, “Give me a copy! Give me a copy!” Hearing such a tense voice, I turned my head slowly, and saw a beautiful lady, looking calmly straight ahead, but not at me. I gave her a copy of the booklet “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party”. She quickly slipped the pocket sized booklet inside her vest. What was she afraid of? The video camera from the CE may have spotted her receiving my offer; the other passengers or maybe (colleagues) in her bus? I wanted to speak to her, gave her a hug, or even just to give her a smile! But I could not! I turned my head away from her as if I never dealt with her. I felt a twist in my stomach and my throat felt distended. No, no tears! She needs encouragement, not tears! I tried to calm myself, and started talking to the crowds: “Nobody is living more fearfully than the criminals, the Chinese communist party! They know their days are numbered. Especially since that historical rock-engraving was found in Guizhou in 2002, announcing the “Chinese Communist Party is Dead” .” I hope my words helped her.

There was another experience. A mini bus stopped on the side of the CE drive way, and about 6 men in suits, got off the bus and I started to talk to them. They were busy taking photos for each other and they were obviously from the same company or department. They were ignoring me completely. My throat felt a bit tired as it was about 2pm. I thought to myself that I might just have a little rest as they are not listening. Then another thought came to me: “It might be the only precious 3 minutes that they have to be able to hear the truth that they never had a chance to hear.” I continued my own “broadcasting” type of talking.

They finished their photos and got into the mini bus as if I never existed. I kept talking to them before the bus left. Suddenly, I saw the man in the last row of the bus on his own, lower and turn his head to meand half fold his hand to wave good-bye to me! Another man sitting in the second last row by the window closest to where I was standing, stared sincerely into my eyes, as if to say: “Thank you! Please understand me! Remember me!” I keep waving my hand in the air robotically, and trying to let them know that I understand them, but I can not let other people in the bus know that they trying to communicate with me through their eyes! I could feel water trying to rush into my eyes, but I had to hold! I thought how much hard it would be for them if I enjoy my freedom of crying, in front of them!? The bus left. I still stood there. I could not distinguish if it was my sentimentality or compassion, but I felt enormous compassion from my Master: “Tell the truth to Chinese people. They do not have a choice but only listen to lies.”

They want to hear the truth! Yes, I assure you of this. Even if they sometimes make fun of me, or even swear at me, they may still want to listen to the truth deep inside their hearts.

Some tourists will ask people to pass messages to us secretly, that they were told by Chinese government officials, or by tourist guides, that “You will see Falun Gong practitioners at some of your visiting spots, and do not take their pamphlets, do not believe them. They are paid to do such job. If you take material from them, you will get yourself in trouble when you return to China!” So most time, the tourists do not speak to us, nor even dare ask us to help them with a group photo. No, not many Chinese citizens dare to even talk to a person who the Chinese communist Party wants to kill. I have to prepare myself as a radio broadcaster when talking to the Chinese tourists in front of the CE.

Usually, I just stand at the footpath in front of the CE, and wait for the tourists to walk from the bus to the front of the CE gate; and I would say goodbye when they started to walk back to their bus.

Around New Year this year, there were many tourists visiting that day. One crowd was leaving the gate area, and I finished my sentence and was just about to say goodbye to them, when one tourist with a very low voice behind me, said: “Keep going! Keep going! Follow us!” I did not look back at him, but my legs started to bring me ahead with the crowd. It was such a precious 2 minutes for them to have the freedom of listening to the truth; It was such a weighty task that I had to fulfill! I tried to talk, but tears running inside my heart interrupted my speech. I followed them and tried my best talking to them right up to the bus door.

My dear Chinese friends, I will do my best to let you know the truth.

What do dogs and orangutans have in common?


AOP volunteers at the Million Paws Walk day
What do dogs and orangutans have in common?
Australian Orangutan Project volunteers had a great day at the recent RSPCA Million Paws Walk in Commonwealth Park.
AOP raises money for sanctuaries for hundreds of orangutans [including very young babies] which are rapidly being driven to extinction by the loss of their rainforest homes in Indonesia through palm oil plantations, illegal logging and forest fires. AOP makes sure as many orangutans as possible are rehabilitated and eventually released into secure parks. This is usually expensive and always time consuming.
Although you might think dogs and orangutans don’t have much in common, dog lovers enjoying the Million Paws Walk were very interested in what AOP does, and were generous in giving us donations.
The Australian Orangutan Project is a national non profit organisation with fundraising committees in each state. On our website, www.orangutan.org.au you can find out what we do, make donations or adopt an orphan orangutan.
The Canberra committee meets monthly for an hour or so for an after-work coffee while we plan our forthcoming fundraisers, followed by an optional dinner to exchange news.
We are a diverse, happy and active group and would like to welcome a few new members. If you would like to join us, please contact our local group:
ACT State Representative – Julie Enzerink…
Email – act@orangutan.org.au
Telephone – 0402 454 116
We would love to have you join our dedicated team of volunteers.



What are you doing this Saturday night?

The annual Outback Car Trek is on again and this year it starts in Yass. It’s a great community event aimed at raising money to support the brilliant work of the Royal Flying Doctors Service. As always, a lovely team of Just Cuts Stylists will be heading down there to kick things off!

When: This Saturday, 2nd June

Where: The Royal Hotel, Yass

What: Just Cuts hopes to raise over $10 000 through cutting wild haircuts for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Interested? Read on…

For the tenth year running, ten of Australia’s top hairstylists from Just Cuts will be sharpening their scissors and snipping their way through a bustling crowd of trekkers at Cut-A-Rama, the fundraising event that kicks off the annual Royal Flying Doctor Outback Car Trek.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday 2nd June at The Royal Hotel in Yass with around 350 people expected to attend. Just CutsTM will be recruiting stylists from surrounding salons, including Canberra, Queanbeyan and Sydney, to manage the manes ready to be tamed. Just CutsTM hopes to raise over $10,000 as they cut their way through the crowd over a three hour period.

Many Trek veterans grow their hair for months to prepare for the Cut-A-Rama and are happy to sport an unorthodox style for the week-long rally, with everyone ‘getting tidied up’ before they head back to work the following Monday.

Participants make a donation to the Royal Flying Doctor but in many cases the audience up the ante on how far the person is willing to go. “When all your friends are donating money to your favourite charity and yelling at you from the audience, it’s pretty hard to resist the temptation to go that one step further,” says CEO of Just CutsTM Denis McFadden. “Last year we had a team of men shave their heads to a number two and then hairspray their remaining hair red; the colour of their team’s car. There’s a lot of silliness that goes on – lots of Mohawks and the like,” says McFadden.

Since 1998, Just CutsTM stylists and owners have raised over $200,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service with participants coming from around the globe to share in the festivities. Their reason for this is simple: “Royal Flying Doctors is an iconic Australian institution,” says McFadden, “We needed to choose a charity that related to every state and territory throughout Australia because we’re located nationally,” he says.

The Trek commences first thing the following Sunday morning and continues over the next seven days, finishing at Mt Isa.

Olympic Boycott Warning Made Outside Australian Parliament


Rally at Parliament House
Olympic Boycott Warning Made Outside Australian Parliament
By James Burke

During a rally supporting the over 22 million people who have quit from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an investigative coalition consisting of high profile members has called upon the Chinese communist regime to end the worst of its human rights abuses or it will support a global effort to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“In order to win the right to host the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese regime promised to improve human rights in China,” began the statement from the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China that was read during the rally held outside the Australian Parliament in Canberra on Thursday, May 24.

“However, recent reports from UNHRC and Amnesty International have clearly proven that the human rights situation in China is deteriorating; particular hard hit is the community of Falun Gong practitioners,” it continued.

The signatures of the statement included Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett, the Edmund Rice Centre, the National Civic Council, Dr Noel Preston AM who is the former Director Uniting Care Centre for Social Justice and Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM, the former Human Rights Commissioner.

The statement demanded that if three points were not given a satisfactory response on or before August 8, the coalition “will support a public effort from around the globe to boycott the 2008 Olympics.”

The first of the three points in the statement was that the communist regime must: “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong immediately and release all practitioners incarcerated for their faith”; secondly, “stop the persecution of friends and supporters and defence lawyers of Falun Gong practitioners (eg, Gao Zhisheng, Li Hong)”; and thirdly, “allow unfettered inspections by independent investigators from the international community to confirm (1) and (2) above, and be exonerated from the continuing live organ harvesting allegations,” from living Falun Gong practitioners.

Another statement was read out from one of the coalition members, Peter Westmore, President of the National Civic Council, who repeated the coalition’s demands while also congratulating those Chinese who have resigned from the CCP.
“This rally marks the resignation of 22 million people from the Chinese Communist Party, an event unprecedented in the history of any Communist Party, and indeed, of any political party anywhere,” Mr Westmore stated.

“Yet in spite of the fact that the CCP has lost the confidence of so many of its members, and undoubtedly a far larger number of ordinary Chinese people who were never members of the Party, the regime stubbornly refuses to submit itself to the will of the people.”

Also supporting the rally, organized by the Free China Association and the Australian branch of the Quit CCP service centre, was Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, the Australian Democrats’ Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. In her statement, the Senator said her party “believe that human rights and democratic representation should be fundamental and inviolable principles for every society. The Chinese Communist Party must understand that these principles are not secondary to the maintenance of absolute power.

“The mass resignation of Communist Party members sends the Chinese government a message that the Chinese citizenry are increasingly disillusioned with their totalitarian rulers,” she said.

“The Chinese Government must heed this message-respect human rights and allow true political opposition to flourish. I have no doubt that the growing weight of people power will ultimately win the day.

“The Democrats have consistently called for the Chinese Government to adhere to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and we offer our support and commendation now to those who are gathered to speak out for freedom in China,” the Senator’s statement said.

Also speaking at the rally was Anne Zhong from the Australian branch of the Quit CCP service centre, Mr Fang Yuan, chairmen of the Chinese Labor Party and also the Secretary of the Coalition of Democratic Parties of China. James Scott and Megan Stout from Tears of the Oppressed, an interdenominational Christian human rights organisation addressed the rally as did two Falun Gong practitioners; Sandra Hattingh and Guy Harvey both from Sydney.



We are looking for loving families who are willing to open their heart and home to a child in need. These children have been deprived of a healthy environment. With this wonderful opportunity, children can thrive and blossom into beautiful people.
You can make a great difference for a child or children. Your care will not go unappreciated. Children, regardless of age, race, or disability, have a right to a loving home. Opening your home will prevent children from growing up in an institutional environment. We will respect your right to choose a child that best meets your needs. Children from infancy to age 18 need a chance to be loved.
There’s definitely a need and there aren’t enough foster parents to take them in. There’s especially pressing need to find homes that will take teenagers, sibling groups or children with special needs.
Anyone Interested?
The first step is make sure that every family member is on board and that you have the time, emotional resources, and support system to take on the challenge. Then, contact Barnardos to get more information. Barnardos has orientation meetings where people can ask questions, get background information, and begin the application process.
And it isn’t a money making proposition. There is a reimbursement to cover the child’s expenses. This will help the family group live better. The children arrive with a lot of needs. They come having lost their family. That’s very traumatic for them, it’s like beginning again with a new set of rules, new food, toys, and schools. They are scared, and angry: there’s a whole baggage of emotions they bring with them.
They job is taxing, but you are making a significant difference in a child’s life. Prospective foster parents shouldn’t be afraid. There is really nothing better than helping someone else.
Contact us today on 6241 5466 so we can fill that gap in your life.




There’s nothing like home.

That’s the feeling four adults with disabilities have after moving into a house on Araluen Street, Fisher, that provides a comfortable environment they can call their own.

‘Araluen’ has two fully modified bathrooms and the latest equipment designed to support people with acquired brain injury. Despite the technology and modifications the house is bright and comfortable and its four residents-David, Craig, Paul, and George-have settled in.

The project is a joint initiative of Canberra’s Hartley Lifecare and TAS Housing, with Hartley Lifecare providing care and support, and TAS Housing providing tenancy management.

David, who is 47 years old, has had a grin on his face since moving into Araluen, after having lived in a nursing home for several years waiting for somewhere to go.

Carol and Brian Kay, whose son Paul lives at Araluen, say they’re impressed with Hartley Lifecare’s staff and relieved Paul is in an environment that suits his needs. Paul’s disability came from a mosquito born virus and after three attacks, from three to 18 months, he could no longer talk or live on his own. At age 32 he has passed year 10 maths and science, which is a ‘real achievement’, says Carol, and now walks with a walking frame. “At Araluen there’s lots of room and he can get outside,” says Carol.

Araluen residents are supported by a team of seven full-time staff (rostered) who have undergone extensive training to equip them to support people with an acquired brain injury. One resident’s disability is from a road accident and another from a stroke.

“Residential support programs like Araluen are very much needed in the ACT,” says Jennifer Mollett, Executive Director, Hartley Lifecare. “There are more people requiring accommodation than there are available funds and houses.”

Katy Gallagher, Minister for Disability and Community Services, officially opened Araluen Friday 15 May. “It’s an excellent example of government and non-government working together to deliver a good service response,” she said.

Hartley Lifecare provides quality accommodation, respite, and community services to those who have physical and complex disabilities-24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It has been making a difference in the ACT for more than 44 years.

Goodbye Songs for Howard


Shortis & Simpson
Shortis & Simpson’s political satire gives Howard a serve using songs, puppets, instruments and audience participation.

More one-sided than previous shows, “11 Year Itch” is a critique of the Howard years. Labor pollies including Beazley are teased and tousled and we watch Latham self explode into a shower of expletives while John Howard is served up on a caustic platter.

The show is a story of Howard’s political journey just prior to that election which Keating couldn’t loose. The audience watches Howard’s introduction of GST while tax cuts buy the votes of the aspirational middle class.

The spotlight falls on Howard’s failures with Reconciliation, Refugees, and the children-overboard deception, and lying about why we entered the war results in public servants being blamed for Ministers’ mistakes.

I enjoyed the song “yes – we (have no banana’s) caught no Osamas, we caught no Osamas today! We reconsider urban paranoia (given that Australia has never been attached by Alkieda), and the show finishes off with Hicks’ illegal incarceration, and peculiar release.

One deeply moving song gives a glimpse into the life of a caged asylum-seeker.

If you believe that “we should vote the bastard out!” then this show is for you.

Elena Greggor