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Twilight Fair great success!


The annual Torrens Primary School Twilight Fair was held on Saturday 31st March 2007. We were blessed with a fabulous day with blue skies, warm sun and no wind. The fair again proved a popular event with over 700 visitors and kids attending. The fair provides the parents and friends of the school with an opportunity to join together in an action packed fundraising event.

This years popular attractions included: Sideshow Alley, The Fairy Room, the Haunted House and the Crockery Smash. The sausage sizzle and cafe did a roaring trade. The petting zoo, pony rides and giant bouncy castle also proved winners.

Thanks to all helpers and organisers for putting on such a great day!

Export-led growth for Canberra


Canberra Business Council logo
By Neil Primrose

In Canberra’s now predominantly private sector economy, exports are increasingly driving our growth.

Development of an export culture isn’t surprising, given Canberra’s strong international orientation as Australia’s national capital and the strong and extensive work of the Australian Government internationally in both policy and operational work.

That policy work has included working with the governments of our trading partners to reduce barriers to entry and open their markets to Australian products and services. Since the mid 1980s, this has seen the development of highly successful partnerships between Australian Government and business to grow our national income from overseas trade.

And the contribution of Austrade to the development of local businesses succeeding as exporters in the face tough international competition has been huge.

It’s pleasing the see the ACT Government also engaging in an increasingly effective partnership with local exporters, working alongside them at they move into fresh markets to help overcome official indifference and to open doors into new relationships with customers and business partners.

This kind of partnership between government and business is far more important in overseas markets than many people at home realise. Business people in other countries tend to accord significantly greater respect to the position and stature of visiting government ministers than we’re used to doing in Australia. Hence the significant role that successive ACT Chief Ministers and other political leaders have been able to play in support of local businesses opening up overseas markets.

The present Chief Minister, John Stanhope, was particularly effective in his leadership of the recent ACT Trade Mission to India. He paved the way for numerous introductions to Indian business leaders that would not have happened if the ACT businesses had not had such visible and official support in the person of the Chief Minister. We ought not to underestimate the value of governments working in partnership with local businesses.

The participants on the Trade Mission to India are now busily engaged in following up their contacts and the business leaders are very appreciative of the role the Chief Minister played. Those who are planning to be in the forthcoming trade mission to China need the same support and are looking forward to the Chief Minister working with them as the leader of Team ACT.

The bottom line for the community is that growth in exports from the ACT creates additional jobs in the ACT, as well as bringing new skills into our economy. It ensures our companies operating overseas are operating at world best practice. This high standard flows back to local operations, so increasing competitiveness even of those businesses that are not exporting.

The general increase in business activity also flows back to the community through increased GST returns that go to pay for our facilities and services, such as schools, hospitals, parks and all the other things that are paid for from the ACT Government’s revenues.

So our growing export culture benefits all of us.

On another matter, as foreshadowed in the March article, the Council’s paper on the taxi shambles has been submitted to the ACT Government and is now posted on the Business Council’s website at www.canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au

Dr. Neil Primrose chairs the Action Agenda Co-ordination Group of the Canberra Business Council and its kindred organisations.

ACT Primary School Swimming Carnival


The annual ACT Primary School swimming carnival will take place on Wednesday 4th April from 9am – 3pm at the AIS in Belconnen. This event is the culmination of the school and regional swimming carnivals which have taken place throughout the region in March.

All competitors have to qualify and meet specific qualify times defined by the sports governing body. This event provides insight into the future superstars of the sport.

More information can be gained by contacting your local primary school.

Varekai Show Review


Vareki, one of nearly 10 continuously travelling shows from the team at Cirque de Soleil, opened in Canberra on March 15th.

Based on the journey of a man who falls into the magical world of Vareki it is both both absurd and extraordinary.

The word varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.

This production is extraordinary. After a slow start the action warms up with frequent breathtaking performances from an international cast. Crowd favourites include the kids from China and the amazing acrobatic finale.

The show runs until to April 8th 2007 before moving on to Melbourne (opening on April 19th). The circus is located opposite the National Library, Canberra.

Tickets are available from http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/en/showstickets/varekai/Ticketsclub/Canberra_directions.htm

Yarralumla Uniting Church


Yarralumla Uniting Church
The annual Yarralumla Uniting Church Winter Arts & Craft Show takes place from Friday 29th June – Sunday 1st July 2007. This popular event is once again being held at the Church on Denman Street in Yarralumla in Canberra.

Along with a wide display of oil, water and pastel paintings there are a strong displays of quilt and patchwork pieces.

More details can be found at www.yarrauniting.org.au or by calling 02 6281 2750

Lanyon Garden Festival


Lanyon garden1
By Paul Webb
Saturday and Sunday
24 and 25 March 2007 10am – 4pm
Lanyon Tharwa Drive, Tharwa, ACT
Entry: $5 Adults $3 Concession $10 Family
Historic Lanyon will be at its best during the 5th Annual
Lanyon Garden Festival. Enjoy a wonderful array of garden
activities including specialist talks tours and demonstrations in the beautiful setting of Lanyon gardens.
With over 40 events, this year’s festival is sure to provide something for all ages. Visitors can join Jean Abbott as she imparts her secrets of making jams and preserves, or Judith Boden-Cummings in an informative demonstration of herbs for medicinal and culinary uses.
Graham Williams demonstrates how to prune your roses and fruit trees and Lyn Fisher uncovers the charming aspects of flower arrangements from the Victorian Period. Discover the ways of drying plants & how to use them with Judy Refshauge.
Specialist talks this year include, Establishing a new garden on rural land; Gardening at Highgrove House; From garden to table a culinary tour of the Lanyon vegetable garden, along with David Johnson’s tree tour.
Graham Williams talks on beekeeping and growing organic vegetables; Phil Spradbery runs an informative session on European Wasps and learn all you can from Geoff Price of the ACT Weeds Office.
Enjoy live music provided by Bunyip’n Bluegum, Tuggeranong Valley Band, and the Cantabile Choir. Children’s activities include badge making, coloring in, flower arranging and vase decoration, egg and spoon races and sack races. A variety of food will be available including lunch at the Lanyon Cafe (bookings required), a sausage sizzle along
with drinks and ice creams. A variety of stall holders will provide an array of garden related products for sale including Uncle Joe’s Chooks, Gray to Green, water recyclers and Environment ACT.
Discover or revisit the restored 1850s homestead and convict
outbuildings. Meet up with celebrity gardeners and visiting plant and garden societies or simply relax under the elm, listening to music played on the lawns and enjoying the atmosphere of the 5th Annual Lanyon Garden Festival.
Lanyon Garden Festival
Saturday 24 Sunday 25 March 2007
Enquiries. Lanyon Tel (02) 6235 5677
Lanyon, Tharwa Drive, Tharwa ACT

Distributors Wanted


Earn between $200 – 300 per day as a distributor for The Word. We are looking for reliable people with their own vehicle to distribute batches of 10 – 100 papers to pubs, clubs, cafes, nursing homes, govt departments, business office blocks, high traffic shopping areas etc.
Work is availabe 2 days p/month.
Ring 02-62929061

R&D Tax Concession Information Seminar


The R&D Tax Concession is a Government initiative to increase the amount of Research and Development undertaken in Australia. It is broad-based, available to all industry sectors and each company controls the direction of their Research and Development.

The concession enables Australian companies to deduct up to 125% of expenditure incurred on eligible activities from assessable income when lodging their tax returns. An incremental Tax Concession (175% Premium) and R&D Tax Offset are also available in certain circumstances.

AusIndustry invites you to a free information session for companies undertaking R&D and their accountants who have not previously registered for the R&D Tax Concession or for those requiring a refresher.

The seminar will include discussion on how to:

identify eligibility for the concession, including for Research and Development expenditure, and access the R&D Tax Concession.

The seminar details are as follows:

Canberra: 3:30pm – 7:30pm (4:00pm start)
15 March 2007
The Drawing Room, University House
1 Balmain Crescent

For enquiries about the seminar contact Chris Mills on (02) 6213 6795.

You may be interested in subscribing to the AusIndustry e-bulletin for up-to-date news about innovation, upcoming events, and government products and support services for Australian businesses. You can also obtain ’email updates’ about specific AusIndustry products, by visiting www.ausindustry.gov.au.

PR support emerges in emergencies


By Bob Crawshaw
A new scheme announced recently allows PR professionals to volunteer their skills to Canberra community organisations that support victims during bushfires and other emergency situations.
The Communicators Supporting Community Program makes Canberra communicators available to community groups that have relief roles under the ACT’s disaster recovery arrangements. Two volunteers will work with each organisation.
‘The 2003 bushfires showed the vital role that the ACT’s community sector plays in disaster relief’, said Maine Street Marketing Director, Bob Crawshaw. ‘In a crisis the community organisations that provide emergency support can quickly become overwhelmed by requests for information from the public and the media’.
Having professional PR volunteers as part of the team allows other volunteers to focus on providing family support, emergency clothing and counselling.
Last month organisers met with the ACT Disaster Recovery Committee to discuss the scheme. Volunteering ACT, Lifeline and St Vincent de Paul plan to use the scheme to have volunteer communicators in their ranks at the start of 2007.
Volunteer PR professionals will spend two days each year becoming familiar with their not for profit host. During an emergency they will bolster the organisation’s communications staff to help with handling inquiries and preparing information for public release.
The concept is modelled on a US partnership between the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the American Red Cross (ARC). The program was established after 9/11 and activated during Hurricane Katrina and the recent Florida hurricane season.
People can get more information by emailing info@mainestreet.com.au
Communicators Supporting Community is part of Maine Street Marketing’s corporate social responsibility program. The company (www.mainestreet.com.au) has provided free marketing workshops to 70 community groups in the past three years.

Spiritual Element


Spirtitual Element
By Ingrid Shroud
Unique spirit guided meditations- A spirit guided meditation is a great way to expand your awareness and increase relaxation and a sense of emotional control as you journey to the ‘spirit world’. Ingrid guides you through a magical and empowering journey of consciousness. A casual ‘drop-in’ group of like minded people, relaxing and empowering themselves through meditation. There are no terms or registration, rather a relaxed and welcoming regular gathering.
Meditation every Wednesday 7:30 -9:30pm $10
Owing to increased numbers, our meditation group will now be held every Wednesday at The centre of Natural and Alternative Therapies Ross Smith Drive, Scullin Shops

Tarot/Clairvoyant readings
Ingrid offers a unique insight into your aura and the spirit helpers around you. A reading is a good investment when needing confirmation on decisions you may be making or to see what opportunities may be around you or coming up!
Energy exchange $90
Spirit Healings- This a unique, relaxing and almost hypnotic experience with your conscious, subconscious and the unconscious, helping uncover and break patterns and blocks in our lives. Chakra clearing, inner child work, trauma release, past life regressions or whatever your spirit and guides communicate during the session. Ingrid works with crystals, colour and breathing technigues. A unique healing and unforgettable experience. Energy exchange $90

Ka Huna Massage- A holistic and rhythmical Polynesian Bodywork based within the structures of the 7 Ka Huna Principles, this unique massage works along your Lymphatic System stimulating, cleansing and rejuvenating your body. The Aloha Spirit, with its unique movement and music, delivers a trance-like element during your time of bliss and the journey of self discovery through your body, mind and soul.
Energy Exchange$90

Psychic Development Groups and workshops- Ingrid has a passion to help educate sensitive people and has designed a unique group program that helps you discover your own abilities through a series of exercises. Allow yourself to discover various methods of divination from aura and candle readings to a quick introduction to tarot and oracle cards and crystals. The groups are held every Tuesday night for eight weeks with a maximum of ten people (bookings essential) alternatively you make like to take a whole day and enjoy a dynamic workshop filled with surprises to help you realise and feel your full Psychic and Spiritual potential.
Groups $20 every Tuesday or $140 for early payment
Commencing: Tuesday 20th Feb. 7pm
Intensive day Development $160
Commencing: Saturday 24th March 9:30-530
Treat yourself, call Ingrid today on 0409608173

A national festival for all folk!


Folk Festival
Music of the Middle East is one of the themes of the 2007 National Folk Festival, which will feature leading musicians and dancers representing many cultures from the region.
The dance program will feature a leading Australian Lebanese dance group, the Cedars of Lebanon Folkloric Group, performing the dabki. In the Piazza Campfire to Cairo is an evening dance extravaganza, a narrated dance presentation, will take the audience on a voyage through the history of Egyptian belly dance and Daughters of the Peacock will perform belly dance in the earthy, provocative Egyptian gypsy style.
Camoon (Arabic and Hebrew for the spice Cumin) is a funk-fusion group that combines the Moorish rhythms of Spanish and Moroccan music with the melodic styles of Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, played on traditional instruments.
Internationally acclaimed group Sirocco has drawn on music of many cultures and has developed its own unique blend of music, playing over thirty different musical instruments. The Festival offers a chance to enjoy the music of traditional Turkish stringed instruments in the hands of renowned player Ismail Bektas. Dionysus play music of regional Greece and the Balkans on percussion, guitars, lute, oud and bouzouki.
Yalla is one of the few groups in Australia to play Middle Eastern music exclusively on traditional instruments, and features a separate ensemble, Sanctuary, which is becoming well known for its rich and inspiring playing of devotional Sufi music, songs, ilahis (middle-eastern chants), ecstatic dances & the poetry of Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet.
These performers and many more will entertain and delight visitors to the 2007 Festival, four-and-a-half days of non-stop entertainment held in the golden glory of Canberra’s autumn.
Dances from all around the world will take stage at the Festival – Africa, Spain, China, Ireland, Egypt, Scotland, Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Lebanon, the Balkans and beyond – colonial and Scottish balls, bush dancing, square dancing, clog dancing – dance workshops and dance displays, including Chinese Lion Dancing , German dance, Falun Dafa (Chinese traditional dance and Qi Jong yoga), Hungarian dance, belly dancing and the traditional Lebanese dabki.
Africa Live! is a spectacular presentation which features the six- piece Ngewell Kora playing the music of Senegal, while Flamenco Fiesta displays passion and polish from the Tomàs Dietz Flamenco Dance Academy and the Los Carmonas Flamenco Academy.

Western Australia is the featured State in 2007and these are just some of the performers coming out of the west to take part in Australia’s great folk Easter celebration.
In partnership with the National Library of Australia, the Festival features two world-class Irish performers from Western Australia, traditional fiddler Sean Doherty and Tom Kearns, who is a sean-noss (unaccompanied) singer, whistler, and a captivating lilter.
Dougal Adams and Ormonde Waters are a wonderful Celtic whoe instruments include Irish wooden flute, Scottish bagpipes, concertina, uilleann pipes, warpipes and whistles. Versatile composer, performer and music producer David Hyams will be appearing with his Miles to Go Band. Loaded Dog’s repertoire is a mix of Australian folk ballads and original material that reflects Australian life. Steve and Ros Barnes play music that has been described as “folk/ acoustic/ jazz with Irish and country leanings”. Clarke’s Grey Vest may sound like the result of an under-achieving laundry detergent but it is, in fact, a trio comprising three top-line musicians, Dave Clarke, Peter Grayling and Rod Vervest, on mandolin, guitar, fiddle and cello. Bernard Carney, singer /wordsmith of international acclaim, is the musical director of the Working Voices social justice community choir which will also perform at the Festival. Acoustic guitarist Simon Nield sings and plays traditional Irish, classical Indian, pop, jazz and world music. Yarnspinner, bush poet and writer Roger Montgomery teams up with bass player / songwriter John Angliss and friends as Telescopic Roger; giving members of the audience introductions to stars other than those on the stage – and their versions of the first of the Goon Shows. Psallité – four voices in a cappella harmony will take audiences on a witty, warm and wonderful tour of Europe’s deep past. Tetrafide Percussion is a young contemporary percussion ensemble based in Western Australia which plays classical music with urban grooves and irresistible dance rhythms. Ngewell Kora, led by acclaimed musician, singer and dancer Ziggy Mabeye Diagne, performs traditional Senegalese dance and music. There will be rich voices and body percussion from the strictly men’s business Voicemale choir- who have an intriguing workshop entitled Coming out of the Shower”.

The Kids Festival is equally popular with parents and children alike – the daily 10am to 5pm Kids’ Festival offers the rare chance for children to experience live performances from different world cultures and to join in the joyous, creative process. Parents can leave behind the television, computer games and wails of “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” and enjoy seeing the spontaneous creativity the Festival atmosphere generates in the small folk.
The Kids Festival runs a Yoga Garden, the popular Once Upon a Song interactive, dress-up music and storytelling experience, Preston’s Historic Punch and Judy show and the Warehouse Circus!
And for the youth audience there are street bands and choirs to join in with and the late- night acoustic venue AXIS! and a great performer list. The Mammals, described as “subversive acoustic traditionalists” (a string band augmented with drums and electric guitar), is where rock meets traditional Appalachian music. Tom Woodward is a local Canberra talent who doesn’t believe in wasting time, performing before audiences at fourteen and now with 500 songs under his belt and recent release Blue Day Requiem. Borderline Ceili; from Western Australia a beautiful blend of witty, bittersweet lyrics and soul-stirring guitar from Khin Myint and the exciting group Just Fiddling; Damien Howard & the Gentle Souls; slide guitarist Owen Campbell (winner of the 2006 Declan Affley Award); a meld of contemporary folk, gypsy and bluegrass with NSW group Pettibone and CC, accapela singer of traditional Irish, Scottish and English songs A special feature this year will be the hiJinxYouth Cabaret.

All these events are part of the 16-hours-a-day entertainment offered by the National Folk Festival – all for the price of one entry ticket. Generous discounts apply for visitors younger than seventeen and under-fives are free. The site is pram-friendly (as are most of the venues); there’s plenty of free parking and even a shuttle- bus to run you from your car right to the Festival gates. There are food stalls galore and an onsite supermarket. The Festival has a team of dedicated volunteers who keep the wheels running smoothly and ensure that you – and yours – have a time to remember.
It’s a Festival with the best on offer for everyone; for more information or to book tickets online got to www.folkfestival.asn.au , e-mail info@folkfestival.asn.au or call the team on 0262 49 7755.

Belconnen Community Mural


By Jan
The Belconnen Community Mural is sure to get plenty of approval from residents – after all, they designed it!
The project began last year as a proposal to repaint the three murals on the front of Belconnen Community Centre as part of marking the 40th birthday of Belconnen. 4 community artists have been engaged to work on the mural designs. They are Phil Nizette, Nasser Palangi, Duncan Smith, and Kurt Laurenson. All four have had extensive experience in producing public and community based art works, and have long term established links to Belconnen and the Community Centre.

There are 4 stages to the project:
Stage 1 – artists run workshops with the community, leading to draft designs
Stage 2 – the designs are presented for public comment
Stage 3 – panels are painted by the artists with community assistance
Stage 4 – mounting of the panels on BCC and launch

Chief Minister John Stanhope introduced the artists and the process at the Belconnen Festival launch on 26 October, 2006. The artists then worked with 120 community members in 13 different workshop groups to develop designs, concepts, photographs, and drawings. The designs have now been put into a composite image, giving an impression of how it will look on the wall at Belconnen Community Centre.
The painting and mounting of the panels will commence in early 2007, and the whole mural is expected to be completed by Easter. Belconnen Community Centre is delighted with the input from the community so far, and invite comment on the design drawing. Community members are also welcome and to participate in the painting of the murals. Please contact Jan the Community Arts and Culture worker at BCC to find out more.
Thanks especially to the ACT Government, which has given great support so far to the mural.

Congratulations to all the kids who were born in the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!


First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking ..
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cakes, white bread and real butter and drank pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because…… WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem .
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on pay TV, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……….WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents .
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt and the worms did not live in us forever.
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Football teams had trials and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And YOU are one of them!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, show it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!