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Canberra's soul – roundabouts, fireworks, polies and pornography.?


By Nicholas Kittel
Canberra often gets a bum rap for being a rather bland place to visit or call home, but take enough time to scratch the surface and you will find a bubbling and burgeoning society that is both contemporary and compatible.
One person who has studied Canberra’s transition from focal point to forgotten and back again is Monash University Professor Graeme Davison, from the University’s School of Historical Studies.
Prof. Davison said that when suggestions for a planned, national capital were discussed, in both the corridors of power and over the dinner table, the resounding opinion was that Canberra should be a city that was in many ways different from other Australian cities.
“When Canberra was first founded, what people most wanted of Canberra was that it should be a city that was in some ways quite unlike other Australian cities. It should be an ideal city, a model city, the most hygienic, the most beautifully planned, the most aesthetically appealing city in the country,” he said.
“That was a wonderful ideal but in some ways it set it apart from the rest of Australia and there was always a certain sense of distance between Canberra and the rest of the nation. There was a slight undertone of resentment and perhaps even a feeling that Canberra was a bit too well planned.”
The fact that Canberra is a planned city makes her the butt of many a joke, with detractors identifying Canberra as a place more renowned for its roundabouts than amazing art galleries, museums and public monuments.
But Professor Davison says that the city has grown beyond on these criticisms and has matured, developing a soul in the process and that Australia is beginning to realise this.
“I do think that Canberra has a soul and what’s more I think gradually that message has got to the rest of Australia.”

Calling all quilt makers


By Sandra Orszaczky
The wonderfully successful volunteer lead ‘Anne’s Legacy for PatCH Kids’ is calling for more volunteers to donate their time and skills in keeping the legacy alive for sick children in Canberra.
Minister for Health Ms. Katy Gallagher MLA was honoured recently to be a part of the event at The Canberra Hospital’s Paediatric Ward where 100 quilts were handed over to sick children who are required to spend a great deal of time at the hospital recovering from illnesses.
“These 100 quilts were beautifully created with a great deal of love and effort,” Ms. Gallagher said. “Every quilt is designed and created by a handful of wonderfully artistic volunteers, and are then documented in a catalogue so that each recipient can select the quilt that they want. I can imagine that this must be a very rewarding experience for those people who make the quilts, to then see them loved and cherished by their new owners.”
The Minister has now made a special call to the Quilters of Canberra and the surrounding region to consider giving their time to participate as a volunteer in this initiative.
“The three outstanding women – Diane Cutting, Sandra Orszaczky and Lyn Bauer-Williams, who are responsible for developing Anne’s Legacy following the death of their very close friend Anne Nelson in 2004, are as keen as ever to keep going with increasing their stock to keep giving to patients in need in the future.”
I would like to support their call for help – and ask that anyone who thinks they can help in anyway or make a donation of any kind, to call Sandra Orszaczky on 6231 6198 or alternatively, drop me an email at info@katygallagher.net and my office will connect you with Anne’s Legacy.

Keeping the Rotary wheel turning


Project planning, Rotary style
By Jackie Yow
Marrying an Aussie was one thing but leaving friends and family behind and embarking on a new life in Australia was another! One of life’s hurdles that so many of us face when we start afresh in a new town or country is making friends and feeling part of the community.
In the UK I played a big role in the community, working for a Premier division football team and later in commercial radio. Through these links I was invited by my female CEO to become a member of Rotary. As a 36 year old woman I knew very little about Rotary except that I though they were a bunch of older men working to help the community.
After my first meeting, I am glad to report, I discovered many older men working along side equal numbers of younger men and women! I was astounded by the magnitude of local projects that this club was involved with and even more staggered by the global achievements of the World Wide Rotary Organisation. I became a member.
When I arrived in Canberra one of the first things I did was look up my nearest Rotary club (Tuggeranong) and I became a member. Since then I’ve been involved in endless local and international projects – arts awards, festivals, youth camps, bike rides, schools, science forums, winery visits and hosted cultural exchange students from New Zealand, Samoa and the Cook Islands!
Tuggeranong is a small but very active club. It consists of 20 members ranging in age from 40 to over 70years. I have made many friends and now play an important part in this local community and so can you. We are looking for new members both male and female. We meet every Tuesday at the Vikings Club on Athlon Drive at 6pm for a bite to eat, a drink and to plan our next project. You are invited to join us.
If you are interested in finding out more, call me on 0437 168680 or our President, Terry Ryan on 0407 223 128. Email Tuggeranong Rotary Club rotaryadmin@rawpine.hm for further information about Rotary go to www.rotarnet.com.au

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.

Minister joins Health Council to talk about the future of health


Minister for Health Ms. Katy Gallagher MLA will join with the ACT Health Council later this month at a Community Forum to talk about a range of key health issues for the ACT.

The Forum will be hosted by the ACT Health Council which provides advice and guidance to the ACT Government on the provision of health care, and is a key mechanism in ensuring ongoing improvement and development of the ACT health system.

“It’s important that members of the community come to the forum to have some input about what they think is important for the future direction of Canberra’s health services,” Ms. Gallagher said.

“Letters have now gone out to health stakeholders asking for their input, along with a range of press advertising inviting consumers and members of the public to come along and have their say,” Ms. Gallagher said.

The forum will be held on Thursday 22 March from 6.00pm – 8.00pm (light refreshments will be available from 5.30pm), at the Marque Hotel,102 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City.

The community forum will discuss a range of key health issues including:

. Timely access to essential health care, including emergency department, acute care, waiting times
. Mental Health
. Aged Care
. Chronic Disease Management
. Early Childhood and Vulnerable Families
. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Interested parties should contact the Secretariat to the ACT Health Council on (02) 6205 1100 or karen.pearson@act.gov.au to confirm their attendance or for further inquiries.

Media Contact: Angie Drake 6205 0139 Mobile 0408 092 016 angie.drake@act.gov.au

Celebrating New Year the Chinese Way


By Songfa Lui

New Year celebrations may be over for many, but for the Chinese and much of the Asian Community who use the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year has yet to come. From year to year it varies from between mid January to mid February; this year it is on the 18th of February.
Chinese New Year celebrations are well known for their loud fire crackers and abundance of delicious food. The festivities, which go for a whole 15 days, bring together families and friends as they celebrate their culture and traditions, wherever they are in the world. Traditionally, many Chinese would wear new clothes to symbolize a new beginning, and enjoy dumplings together – a common sight on the New Year’s Eve dinner table.
The Chinese New Year festival dates back to the time of the first Emperor in China. It was a celebration of survival from a mythical beast called ‘nian’ (year), that would raid villages at the end of each year. Many people died in battles against this beast. Over time, villagers discovered that it feared two things: one was the colour bright red, and the other, very loud noises. This led to the tradition of fire crackers and bright red colours at Chinese New Year celebrations.
2007 is the Year of Pig, the last of a twelve year cycle. It is said that people born in the Year of Pig are more likely to be diplomatic, humble, honest and trustworthy. It is also a good year to get married, as the Year of Pig can mean a year of domestic harmony and happiness.

China’s New Renaissance
From one perspective, the upcoming show Chinese New Year Spectacular is representative of China’s New Renaissance, a growing trend in the past few years – a new attempt to restore traditional Chinese culture and values that were destroyed in mainland China during the Communist Party’s Cultural Revolution in the mid 1960’s to 70’s. This destruction also influenced overseas Chinese communities.
In mainland China over the past few years there has been a growing number of new private schools, especially set up to teach classic Chinese works and traditional culture and values. The growing new trend of traditional type private schools is in many ways counter to the contemporary trend of modernization.

Human Rights
While the Chinese New Year is a happy and joyous time and there is surely much to talk about in terms of China’s phenomenal economic growth and the Chinese people’s great achievements, that China now harbors an increasingly alarming gap between the wealthy and the poor should not be forgotten. Many experts have commented that the unfair distribution of wealth from economic development due to corruption and abuse of power is becoming a serious threat to stability for the Chinese society. The currently ruling Chinese Communist Party has not been able to deal with these problems for various reasons.
Each year, thousands and thousands of petitioners appeal to Chinese governmental authorities for justice. But they are often forced to return to their homes without any change. Many went on for petitioning for years. In 2005 there were some 3700 mass protests or riots involving more than 3 million unsatisfied citizens. The number is likely to be much higher in 2006. It has been commented that many westerners are invited to see the shiny surface of economic growth in contemporary China, at the expense of the increasing calls for freedom, justice and humanity.
Everyday in Canberra Falun Gong practitioners protest silently outside the Chinese Embassy. They have been doing this since 1999, when the tragic persecution of Falun Gong was first initiated in mainland China. The persistence of these individuals touches the hearts of many Canberrans and they do not look like they are going away any time soon.
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are going to put China under the international microscope. While the games may bring China fiscal fortunes, China may be ‘encouraged’ to comply with the principles of the Games, being democracy, fairness, justice, and freedoms of speech and belief.

Chinese in Canberra
It is not known to the author who the first Chinese settler in Canberra was. However, by the 1950’s there was already a small Chinese community, mainly involved in farming. By late 1970’s there were more than one hundred Chinese living in the capital. The 80’s saw a growing number of Chinese students studying here, initially as Master’s and Ph.D students, and then later as English-language students as well.
When the Chinese Communist Party’s army tanks crushed the pro-democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, there were from 2000 to 3000 Chinese, including students, in Canberra. By 1997 the Chinese population here was about 4000. Since then we have seen a significant increase of Chinese living and working in Canberra. Today it is estimated that there are some 10 000 Chinese in Canberra.
Unlike the early Chinese settlers who often ran family-based restaurants, many Chinese here now work in the government, at universities, or at either public or private research and professional institutions. One rapid growth area is in IT, with many Chinese-run computer stores and consultancy personnel. Traditional Chinese medicine is now also more readily accessible, with the opening of a traditional Chinese medicine centre in Woden and Belconnen four years ago.
Because of Canberra’s unique environment, in the past seven years a rapidly growing number of school students came from China to study here. The first Chinese school student came in 1999. Now there are more than 300, with more to come. “Many Chinese students are excellent,” says Sandra Woolacott of ACT Education Department.
According to Tourism Australia, over 280 000 Chinese visited Australia in 2005, among which more than 20 000 came to Canberra.

Canberra’s “China Town”
Dickson’s Woolley Street is considered by many as Canberra’s China Town, which includes an array of restaurants, not only Chinese. But the first Chinese Restaurant, Happy’s Chinese Restaurant, was opened in Garema Place in the city in 1955. Dickson’s first Chinese Restaurant, Golden Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, did not open until 1967, and closed in 1985.
Dickson’s Chinese businesses didn’t really kick off until the early 1980’s, when Ruby Chinese Restaurant, New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, and a herb store and computer store opened in the same decade. A Dickson Arcade is currently being renovated to include three new restaurants (Italian, Indian and Chinese), as well as a traditional Chinese massage centre.

Canberra Youth Association
A new Canberra Youth Association is being established by a number of enthusiasts who are willing to devote their time and energy to help young people grow in a healthy way by learning something positive and valuable, and also to explore the world. Although started by a number of Chinese and Australians interested in Chinese, the association is open to all youth in Canberra. The first classes on offer are for Chinese martial arts and cookery. It may soon expand to travel and other areas.

Chinese New Year Spectacular
An authentic celebration of the Chinese New Year in Canberra this year is available to everyone, thanks to the Asian Culture Association’s (ACA) hosting the Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Canberra Theatre in March. The Spectacular is produced and presented by the New York based Chinese language television network New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV).
At shopping centres and markets over the past few weeks it has been hard to miss a group of heavenly-looking Chinese ladies and angelic girls in their bright, colourful traditional Chinese costumes. They are ACA volunteers, busy promoting the Spectacular, which has come to Canberra for the first time.
Since the show first started in New York four years ago, the Spectacular has been a tremendous success. In 2007 the NTDTV team is touring the world from January to March for 75 shows in 29 cities, including 10 shows in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
From the 3rd to mid January the Spectacular toured four Canadian cities for ten sold-out shows, dazzling an audience of nearly 19,000. “Usually we hear about song and dance multiculturalism, but it’s usually not very deep and very profound,” said distinguished Canadian author, poet, and professor Cyril Dabydeer after watching the show in Ottawa. “But tonight it was the most extraordinary cultural show I’ve ever seen and experienced.”
The show was rated top 7th in the US in February 2006 by Billboard magazine. The Spectacular has become a popular new tradition for the Chinese New Year celebration overseas. It includes graceful dances, exquisite and soulful music, as well as wonderful staging and costumes. These incredible performances showcase 5000 years of Chinese culture, of the Divine Land, for a spectacular and unforgettable feast of music, dance and entertainment.
“We have a magnificent show. When you see the pictures, they catch your eyes. When you listen to the music, it stays in your ears. When you watch the show, it touches your heart.” says, Dr Songfa Liu, vice-president of Asian Culture Association (ACA).
Due to popular demand, there will be an extra show on Tuesday 20th of March in addition to a night show and a matinee for schools on the 21st of March. See advertisement sponsored by The Word.

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?!

IT teacher, publisher, webmaster, poet, songwriter and digital artist!


by Kim Wells
Jennifer Kathleen Phillips doesn’t do things by halves. Now a local, Jennifer Phillips graduated from Massey University, New Zealand, in the top 5% of students with a degree in education and has since taught all ages from preschool to adults in a variety of settings. She is presently an IT teacher at Lake Tuggeranong College and active on a number of committees including the Computer Education Group of the ACT, Australian Government Quality Teaching Program and the Council of ACT Education Associations. In her free time she is vice president of the ACT branch of the Australian Federation of University Women, having just served two terms as president. She has published 5 books and is a poet, webmaster and songwriter as well as an artist.
For Christmas 2003 her husband bought her a copy of Adobe Photoshop and about the same time she was asked if she would paint a picture for Easter. Jennifer says,
“As I had not been making many art works I thought I would do a concept sketch on the computer, so I took photos of a rose and barbed wire and manipulated them using software tools to sharpen the image, stretch and reshape it and add texture. I was so pleased with my work that I had it printed on canvas. The response from people was so positive that it encouraged me to make more digital art works. I discovered some online galleries and digital art communities and began exhibiting my work online as well as offline and have begun selling limited edition prints to a global market!”
Jennifer entered some digital images into the ARTOTEQUE, a real time global art competition held in February 2006 in London and was one of only four exhibitors from Australia awarded prizes.
Encouraged by this success Jennifer held a solo exhibition of works at Belconnen Gallery in August 2006, which was well received by nearly 1000 visitors.
She has since won The People’s Choice at Waniassa Art’s ‘Views in the Hills’ exhibition in 2006 for her image, Loved – never forgotten. Works are currently part of the “Wasteland’ Exhibitio, a project of the MV Network, a federation of regional arts facilities and presenters bonded by the M5 motorway, stretching from the Casula Powerhouse in Western Sydney through Campbelltown and the Southern Tablelands to Canberra and Queanbeyan. The Wasteland exhibition at Belconnen is the first stage in a multi phase project that will see each of the members interpret the Wasteland theme, culminating in a major exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse in 2007
Jennifer’s art will be part of the upcoming exhibition: ‘Affluence’ by the art group Multifocus at the HUW DAVIES GALLERY situated in the Manuka Arts Centre, corner of NSW Crescent and Manuka Circle, Griffith (presented by Photoaccess). The exhibition continues until 20 February. Gallery hours are 11am to 5pm (closed Monday). Phone 6295 7810.
Recently Jennifer has established an online sales site where her prints can be viewed and purchased at www.phillips-prints.com
Jennifer has created several educational aids including easy website development and animation and a series of reading activity packs that contain interactive computer reading games to help young children learn to read. Activity Pack 1 – which contains animated reading activities and printable worksheets to help a child develop early reading skills – is now available at www.phillips-prints.com
Jennifer is also working on a children’s storybook that will be illustrated with digital art.

Belconnen Community Mural


Belconnen Mural
PIC: composite design from artists’ impressions; information about the artists
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.

Sala Kahle Mombasa, hullo Awkward!


By Peter Okwechime
AWKWARD BAR is Canberra’s newest night club, opening on Thursday 22 February 2007, on the site of the former club Mombasa.
Awkward’s music policy is based around Hip Hop, Breaks, Drum and Bass, Indie, Rock and Roll, Alternative Dance, Electro and other non-mainstream music policies. In keeping with the philosophy behind club Mombasa, Awkward Bar will provide an alternative to the discerning clubbers of Canberra looking for a change from the mainstream music clubs. Awkward Bar will be entirely separate in terms of music policy from club Mombasa, but will share the best parts of the club Mombasa ethos, including providing a safe, friendly and welcoming environment. We believe in serving up good music and good drinks in an unpretentious style.
I want The Awkward Bar to support people involved in music at grass roots level in this area. The Awkward Bar is an ideal venue for running an open-mic night and we want to create an exciting venue which is not only accommodating but respectful, inclusive and supportive for the artists”.
The Band Night runs every Thursday from 1st March 2007 at the Awkward Bar. It all starts at 9pm and runs until 3am. Anybody wanting to perform should come down on the night and make themselves known to the compere. Bands wanting to book a slot should phone Peter on 0419609106 or e-mail peter@clubmombasa.com.au
For more information log on to the www.myspace.com-awkwardbar.