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Wednesday, 18 July



The City of Bayside is a Local Government Area in Melbourne, Australia. It is located in the southern suburbs, with an area of 36 square kilometres and an estimated population of about 100,000 people. It comprises the City of Brighton, City of Sandringham, City of Moorabbin, City of Mordialloc and City of Bayside. As well as having quite exclusive and very expensive real estate by the seaside in Brighton, for example, it also has areas of industrial and business park usage, as in Moorabbin, for example.

Here are some photos from Brighton Beach where the bay is blue, the beach is beguiling, the boxes beautiful, the breeze bracing, and the bank balances buoyant!

This post is part of the the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.


Why the alt-right want to call Australia home "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

On Friday, Canadian alt-right YouTuber and activist Lauren Southern will host the Melbourne leg of her national speaking tour, alongside fellow alt-right YouTuber and compatriot Stefan Molyneux. Southerns video announcing her tour really tries to bring the drama: You guys are at a crossroads. Do you want to retain your culture your borders, family, identity? Or will the boats keep coming, the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism?


KYGO Announces Australian Tour Dates Tone Deaf

Tropical house producer KYGO has just announced Australian tour dates. Hes set to hit our shores this October, performing two massive shows in Sydney and Melbourne.

He broke through with his fresh sound, going from bedroom producer and pianist to one of the most hyped artists on the planet in an unprecedented amount of time.

Continually churning out festival and dancefloor hits, Kygos track It Aint Me featuring Selena Gomez reached Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and amassed more than 700 million streams on Spotify alone.

KYGO Announces Australian Tour DatesKYGO performing.

The 26-year old producer has travelled his way across the globe, performing to huge crowds in Israel, India, Canada, Ibiza, and the United States, as well as festival appearances in Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong.

In 2016, he became the first house music producer to ever perform at an Olympic ceremony closing out the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Kygos dominating success has won over the support of fans across the globe. Consistently performing to huge crowds with an epic live show complete with a mesmerizing display of lights, lasers and tropical house realness, his return to Australia is expected to be nothing short of epic.

KYGO Australian Tour Dates



Click here for ticketing info.



the 25th album in B'O'K's decades-spanning series of pop-compost "compop" releases contains traces of: Ariana Grande, Bad Lip Reading, Guns n Roses, Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Nicki Minaj, P!nk, Metallica, Grandmaster Flash, Camilla Cabello, Sia, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Tommy Ca$h, Pink Floyd, Melanie Martinez, Vanilla Ice, John Zorn, Bennink and Brotzmann, Madonna, Yes, Public Enemy, Darth Vader, pigs, etc...


Words like "mashup" and "remix" don't really do justice to Buttress O'Kneel's method - Top 40 pop crap gets sliced, diced, and tossed into a dizzying, exciting hardcore electro stew. Compared to other djs who timidly drop a Vanilla Ice acapella over a Chemical Bros intro just to move a dance floor, O'Kneel shreds copyrights with a blood-curdling vehemence. Smash the state!
- Music 4 Maniacs

"It's a trip down the radio frequency spectrum. Random, slippery and fun mix of a multitude of sources and elements."
- Triple J

"It's great! And it's all over the place. One track is a heavily cut-up political speech, another is a kind of glitch-pop. Sometimes we're in mashup territory and then all of a sudden it's a collage of startup sounds appropriated from the artist's personal computer. Hard to pin down, but most often compelling."
- Some Assembly Required

 "media manipulator extraordinaire, Buttress OKneel surfs the flux between truth and information"
-The Night Air, ABC




Public art in rural Australia - grain silo murals ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Victoria Spanning 200 ks across rural Wimmera-Mallee in Victoria, the federal and state-funded Silo Art Trail was designed to stimulate social, cultural and economic benefits to the region through art and tourism.

Famous Brisbane street artist Guido van Heltens works adorn public walls in UK and Ireland, France, Ukraine, Belarus and Estonia. He was invited to Brim (pop 260 in the Wimmera) during 2015, and was asked to come up with a design inclusive of the locals. The project organiser of  a Melbourne art management business said the project would cost $10,000, made possible with grants from Yarriambiack Shire, Regional Arts Victoria and the Brim Active Community Group, plus donations.

Luckily Guido always believed that silos had perfect surfaces for painting street art. In Brim he painted a 30m x 30m scene depicting the Farmer Quartet across the four GrainCorps decommissioned grain silos. Created in van Heltens famous monochromatic photo-realistic style, the Brim mural quickly became a regional landmark and provided the inspiration for The Silo Art Trail project.

The site was no longer in use and the community had been looking at different ways to attract people to their town. Brim Active Community Group wanted the artwork to attract more visitors to the drought stricken rural town, 350km northwest of Melbourne.

In the Grampians, travel to Patchewollock (pop 250) and see the work of Brisbane-based street artist Fintan Magee, sometimes referred to as Australias Banksy. Painted during Oct 2016, the giant mural depicts a local sheep and grain farmer, chosen for his classic farmer looks and his strong connection to the farming community.

Another giant mural dedicated to Indigenous culture and knowledge emerged in Sheep Hills (pop 28), little more than a farming locality on the rail line between Minyip and Warracknabeal. Well known artist Adnate painted the GrainCorp silo as part of the Yarriambiack Shire Silo Art Trail, the third silo after Brim and Patchewollock. And the largest work (30m x 40m) that Adnate ever created.

Adnate is noted for working with Indigenous communities and for his renaissance-style chiaroscuro impressions, so the Sheep Hills project reflects this passion. He worked with the Barengi Gadlin Land Council to create his design, featuring two Wimmera Elders, along with a young boy and a young girl set in the night sky. The mural is about passing Aboriginal culture and knowledge from generation to generation. Appropriately there was a community event to launch the mural, given that the community was rapt with it and that it is so different from all the other silos.

Other Victorian silos have since been painted to make up a 200km silo art trail in the Wimmera and Mallee. These include silo artwork at the Lascelles silos. Melbourne street artist Rone depicted the faces of Lascelles couple whose families have lived and farmed in the area for generations and continued the family traditions of strong community involvement.

The Rupanyup grain storage was painted as a further part of the silo art trail in 2017. The artwork on the silos of two young locals was completed by Russian artist Julia Volchkova, then the Wimmera Grains Store featured the same artwork on their chick pea and lentil packaging.

In late 2017 the silos at Rosebery, south of Hopetoun, were painted with giant murals. Melbourne street artist Katie Kaff-eine painted two farmers on the final silo in the Shires Silo Art Trail.


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Tuesday, 17 July



Melbourne's tram system began operations in 1885, when the first cable line operated by the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company opened for business. The cable tram system grew to be very comprehensive and operated successfully for 55 years. Electric trams Australia's first electric tram line, from Box Hill Station to Doncaster, was built by a group of land developers using equipment left over from the Great Exhibition of 1888. It opened in 1889.

At this time the line must have been right out in the sticks, since Box Hill itself was many kilometres beyond the existing tram system. It had one or two problems, such as arguments with land owners who fenced over the line and pulled down the power lines, and poor reliability, since its owners knew nothing about running a tram system, and it died by 1896. The only hint now that there was ever a tram system in the Doncaster area is a road along the former route - Tram Road.

The first serious electric trams in Melbourne began in 1906 with the North Melbourne Electric Tramway and Lighting Company (NMETL) who built a line from the edge of the cable system out towards Essendon, and the Victorian Railways who built a line from St. Kilda to Brighton. The NMETL, a British concern, was interested in selling electricity to customers along the route (and the same motive led to the establishment of the Ballarat, Bendigo, and Geelong electric tram systems). The company commenced operations with single bogie saloon cars (later classified U-class) and unpopular "toast-rack" cars (later classified V-class).

This photo is of Melbourne's classic tram. When the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board was formed to take over the operations of the various Municipal tramway authorities, it found itself with a unified cable system, but an absolute plethora of electric tram types, which it gave letter codes from A through to V. The board decided that it was time to introduce a standard design. The new W-class design, first introduced in 1923, was an outstanding success, and has been the mainstay of the Melbourne tram system for the bulk of the last century. It is a two-bogie, drop-centre design, which has had many variants over the years. The oldest W-class tram still in active service was built in 1938! Originally, W-class was the term given to those trams built before the W1 was introduced, but now the name refers to all the variants as a group. Some of the trams are denoted SW (for sliding doors). It's here shown "hurtling" down La Trobe St towards the West...

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.


Can a great book be made into a very good film? On Chesil Beach ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

I had good reasons for seeing the 2017 film On Chesil Beach. Firstly Ian McEwan is one of the most intriguing modern novelists I have read, especially his 2007 novella of the same name! Secondly the brilliant film Atonement was based on Ian McEwan's 2001 novella Atonement and starred, amongst others, Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan. Thirdly Chesil Beach was set in 1962, an intriguing time that came just before my personal Golden Era of 1965-1970. Finally the book was quite rightly shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2007, my best guide for selecting novels to read every year.

Author McEwan did the screenplay adaptation, and the film was directed by Dominic Cooke.

The newlywed stars on their honeymoon were both anxious virgins. The new wife was Florence Ponting, a talented and ambitious violinist, and the new husband was Edward Mayhew. I remember my grand mother talking about the dangers of sex before marriage, but who discussed the terror of sexual intimacy after marriage?

Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle, the young stars of Chesil Beach

I assumed Chesil Beach was a fanciful location for the film's honeymoon hotel .. because I had never heard the name outside McEwan's novel. Now it turns out that the 18 miles of protected pebble beach along the Dorset coast is real. And famous! What an appropriate and moody location for a brief marriage that ended after a night of disastrous non-sex. Florence and Edward Mayhew, who came from different backgrounds, had an idyllic courtship. But they never got to consummate their marriage, breaking up in tears before doing the deed.

Saoirse Ronan (born 1994) was an inspired Florence, daughter of a wealthy but icy cold family. The Irish actress knew how to express an innocence and repression, while remaining outwardly charming. The actress herself explained that she had been too young to read McEwans book when it had first been released. She was also too young to deal with this very intimate topic and acknowledged that it had to be told in a delicate way. Perhaps Ronan didnt even know about the societal pressure that could accompany physical intimacy back in 1962.

Theatre actor Billy Howle (born 1989) played a character whose working class father was a teacher, while his mother was damaged in an accident; their home was more informal and closer to nature than Florences posher background. Edward was a recent university graduate (in history) and had decided to become an author. 

Looking down from Abbotsbury Hill onto Chesil Beach, Dorset
Photo credit: The Guardian

Transmission gives a synopsis with extra information that I could not have elucidated myself.  It was a gripping, heart-rending account of a loving relationship battered by outside forces and influences first formed in childhood, in a society with...


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #603 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: 17 - 23 July 2018 Newsletter | #603 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 17th July 2018 to Monday 23rd July 2018 Healthy Body and Soul Festival Melbourne Property Buyer Expo 2018 The Nose | Theatre Works Friday Night Live At London Eleven European Friday Night Market Ballarat Winter Festival 2018 Decor + Design 2018 Docklands Firelight Festival Healthy Body and Soul Festival Leaps and Bounds Music Festival 2018 Luna Park Hot Dog Eating Competition 2018 Maddies Match | Saints v Tigers Melbourne Tartan Festival Moonee Valley Winter Fest 2018 National Pyjama Day 2018 National Sports Convention Sport and Recreation Expo Series Mania | Television Festival Shot In The Heart Of Melbourne 2018 SpotJobs Career Expo 2018 Stadium Stomp MCG 2018 Enjoy #Melbourne Healthy Body and Soul Festival Sunday 22nd July - 10am to 4pm - Brunswick Town Hall An intimate and boutique event connecting you with the finest selection of Exhibitors, Psychics and Therapists. Healthy Body and Soul Festival Melbourne Property Buyer Expo 2018 Free Entry | Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Listen to leading industry speakers and exhibitors all under one roof. Melbourne Property Buyer Expo 2018 Theatre: The Nose Tue 31 Jul 2018 - Sun 5 Aug 2018 @ Theatre Works Energetic, hilarious and uncomfortable Winner of the Sydney Fringe Festival Directors Award brings its antics to the free market. Snot for the faint hearted. The Nose | Buy Tickets Friday Night Live Music Live At London Eleven is a licensed venue in Bayswater featuring a variety of great live music shows every Friday night. Friday 20th July - Hard Edge Friday 27th July - Blues Brothers Tribute Show Live At London Eleven | Buy Tickets Here European Night Market Every Friday night in July - 5pm - 9pm Expect to be transported to the finest European hotspots with fabulous food and live entertainment every Friday night. European Night Market 2018 | Madame Brussels Lane Whisky, Wine and Fire Thursday 19th July - Sunday 22nd July | Caulfield Racecourse Melbournes newest festival dedicated to all things malt and grape has just dropped their menu line-up and its a whisky-lovers dream. Whisky, Wine and Fire | Food Festival | Buy Tickets Docklands Firelight Festival Embrace the chill in a month-long celebration of food and fire, music pop-ups and eclectic entertainment. Docklands Firelight Festival 2018 This Weekend Ballarat Winter Festival, Decor + Design Expo, Leaps and Bounds Music Festival, Luna Park Hot Dog Eating Competition, Ma...

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Monday, 16 July



In Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield, by the Yarra River on a Winter morning. Find the mosaic!

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.



A family of one legged Stilts The Gap Year and Beyond

Just to the north of the coastal bird-hide in the Lake Borrie Lagoons (Western Treatment Plant) is the mouth of the Little River. It is a great spot for various roosting birds at the high tides. On this occasion we found dozens of Red-necked Avocet roosting and preening and a few metres a small family of Black-winged Stilts.

Pied Stilt, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Black-winged Stilt family, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic


Open House Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Open House 2018

Would you like to come on a tour of the station at 21 Smith Street, Fitzroy? 3CR is part of this year's Open House Melbourne on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July. We're throwing open our doors to the public, so make sure you secure a ticket online now. Come and see programming in action, jump behind the mic and meet some of our volunteers. 


The late Thelma Webberley, a very fine journalist ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Thelma Komesaroff (1923-2015) was a student at University High, a selective school in Melbourne that encouraged its students to stay at school, even throughout the Great Depression and the 1939-45 World War. At a time when most girls and some boys were encouraged to leave school at the minimum legal age, Thelma finished Matriculation and was offered a place in the prestigious University of Melbourne. Her passion was English and Russian Literature.

Thelma and Les, post retirement

The University did not close during the war, but students whose husbands, fiancs and fathers were recruited into the Armed Services felt obligated to get paying jobs. Thelma married Lieutenant Les Webberley (1922-2015) in 1945; she continued working in a city bookshop when Les returned to University after demobilisation, to finish his engineering degree. 

Once their babies were out of nappies, Thelma became a journalist at The Australian Jewish Herald, published weekly in Melbourne. After 18 years of columns on music, the arts, travel and community organisations, Thelma took the opportunity to go back to Melbourne University, this time to earn a degree in Journalism. And this time with her daughter (me) on the same campus!

I have already documented Thelmas community work. Courage to Care offered workshops, presentations, exhibition viewing and facilitated discussions designed for high school students. And one section of Bnai Brith Victoria provided scholarships for teachers to travel to Israel and to learn in in-depth teaching programmes.

But I have not discussed the rest of Thelma's professional career, intended to be spent as a journalist in tertiary educational institutions.  Only one mid-career move was a surprise, still as a journalist but not in a tertiary educational institution. Thelma was given 3 years to write a history of the Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers in Melbourne, starting in the 1870s in Melbourne. In August 1881 it became the Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers/VCM. It remained an unincorporated association until 1922, when it was incorporated under the Victorian Companies Act. VCM played a role in Australian industrial relations and within a couple of years the Australian Chamber of Manufacturers formed the Manufacturing Grocers' Section.

The Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers
across the state of Victoria

Book Orphanage says the book is a hardcover, 10" x 7", with dark-blue cloth-bound boards with gold title to spine, 218 pa...

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Sunday, 15 July



Hosier Lane in Melbourne, is found between Swanston and Russell Sts, extending from Flinders Street through to Flinders Lane. In the 1920s businesses in Hosier Lane were diverse and included an organ manufacturer, a warehouse for a men's clothing company, and a costume manufacturer. The nearby Higson and Oliver Lanes had warehouses that were predominantly used by businesses involved in the manufacturing of clothes and the name of this lane reflects its association with clothing.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

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Saturday, 14 July



It's still not unusual in Melbourne to walk by a house in the suburbs and suddenly hear a cock crow, or the clucking of chickens. Some people have hens in a coop in the backyard, or some more adventurous, greener souls allow them free range in the front yard...

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

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Friday, 13 July



On July 13, a partial solar eclipse was visible from the southeastern coast of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealands Stewart Island, as well as the northern coast of Antarctica. Earth has not seen a solar eclipse fall on a Friday the 13th since December 1974. Adding to the phenomenon, this moon will be a so-called dark supermoona new moon that arrives when the lunar orb is especially close to Earth.

While I was unable to catch sight of the partial eclipse, the diagram below shows the tiny sliver of the sun was obscured by the edge of the moon at maximum eclipse.

What I did get to photograph earlier that morning, however, was a foggy sky and a silver sun amongst the gum tree leaves. That too was quite beautiful on a cold Winter morning in Melbourne.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme.


Matthew Schiavello - The NORTHSIDER matthew schiavello: photos and words

Matthew Schiavello - The NORTHSIDER:

So I was interviewed for this local publication.  Very excited about it.

The interview is online If you spot the typo, you owe me $5!


Matthew Schiavello "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

NAME: Matthew Schiavello LOCATION: I live in Thornbury IN A SENTENCE EXPLAIN YOUR CRAFT: I am a photographer (specialising in abstract and conceptual), and a mixed media artist . WHATS YOUR PROUDEST PIECE OF ART? This is hard question to answer.  I do still have a soft spot for one of my earlier pieces Hometown Untitled #26.  []

The post Matthew Schiavello appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.


Peak Books, Free Libraries and Art Black Mark

We live at a time of peak stuff and consequently it is also the time of peak books. What once was rare and valued is now a glut. Collecting printed matter used to be a virtue and now it is the vice of a hoarder. Perhaps, we can only understand everything about books is when there is an excess of books.

Nicolas Jones, Holman Hunt book

My own book shelves are overflowing, packed two deep with books. More books are stacked in various strategic positions. Are they simply trophies of previous reads? How many of them will I ever read again or repeatedly consult?

Now, e-books might be an alternative to having physical books. I have read only one e-book, Medieval Graffiti, but I no longer have a dictionary or thesaurus or an encyclopaedia takin up space on my shelves. I no longer keep newspaper clipping or photocopy of articles as they are available online or in PDF files.

Peak books is a disturbing concept to bibliophiles and bookshop workers especially second-hand bookshops because peak books means more free libraries. I have been taking some of my excess books to the free libraries. There are free libraries at Coburg and Moreland stations, more around the streets and even one at Barkley Square shopping centre. I first noticed a free library in my neighbourhood in 2014 but the recent growth in them is a sure indicator of peak books.



Kendrick Lamar DAMN pop-up shops will be hitting Sydney and Melbourne Tone Deaf

kendrick lamarDAMN. Merchandise

Kendrick Lamar will be opening up two pop-up stores in correspondence with his Australian tour. Were not quite sure what we can expect from the pop-up store but we bet therell be a bunch of exclusive DAMN. merchandise. Dates and locations below:

13th-14th July
195 A Brunswick St, Fitzroy
11AM 7PM

24th-25th July
Above The Clouds
205 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

WATCH: Kendrick Lamar, Sza All The Stars

The DAMN. tour kicked off in Perth on Tuesday. Check out the remaining tour dates below:




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Thursday, 12 July



Primula malacoides or the Fairy Primrose have dainty clusters of flowers that are carried in spirals on an erect, hairy stem, well above the dense rosettes of attractive, mid-green foliage. The colours range from white, through pink, to magenta. These are classic mixed border plants and are generally amongst the earlier flowers to bloom making them a very good start to the season (Primus means first in Latin).

These do best if planted in any fertile soil in which well-rotted animal manure will help to promote larger blooms. Regular watering will ensure long blooming times, otherwise easy to grow and need little other care. Snails can be an occasional problem, especially with young plants.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


matthewschiavello: simmabenno: [nun begab es sich da ihr... matthew schiavello: photos and words



[nun begab es sich da ihr geliebter grozuegig segnungen und sterliche salbungen vornahm ohne da er dabei im mindesten dazu gefragt worden wre] Hands have functions: they dispense the unctions.

Some photographs I took were an inspiration for this. This is very cool and well done!



And the last one The Gap Year and Beyond

A great day at the Werribee Treatment Plant ended with a drive along the surrounding roads looking for the raptors using the fence posts as perches to watch for their evening meals. This little Kestrel was fluffed up against the cool air. The Nankeen Kestrel is also called the Chickenhawk (though it mostly hunts insects, small birds and mice), Mosquito Hawk and Windhover (due to its hunting technique). Its scientific name is Falco cenchroides resembling kestrel-like hawk falcon (doesnt leave much out).

Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Nankeen Kestrel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic


New Zealand outlet positively reviews Disaster Capitalism film "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

My film Disaster Capitalism with director Thor Neureiter continues to spread around the world. Thor was recently in Melbourne for the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and the film is screening soon in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.

New Zealand outlet Foreign Control Watchdog has published a review of the film written by Jeremy Agar:


The years roll by but the news from Afghanistan scarcely changes. From the dry hills in landlocked Asia we glimpse mad mullahs shooting their rifles into the air. We see Humvees straining up a mountain pass and wait for the ambush. Underneath the banner news rolls through: a suicide truck has blown up a dozen pedestrians in Kabul.  

Few of the many disasters that our information screens send our way are as wearying as the scenes from this war, the one that 30 years ago was dubbed the forgotten war because sometimes, back then, it wasnt getting much air time. These days were all too likely to hear the inevitable soothing words that follow from the President, but whoever he is this time, no-one is listening.

On comes an American general. Just a few more troops, he assures us, and all will be well. Just a few more years and well deliver you a shiny new democracy. Be patient. Rome wasnt built in a day.But despite the assurances of the nation builders, peace in Afghanistan hasnt been built in centuries. The waste, the futility of it all has a cartoonish quality: the US Army as Homer Simpson; the jihadi as Jihadi. Boring. We flick the channel to the newest cooking show.

Its the lack of any of this tedium that makes Antony Loewensteins analysis so welcome. By steering clear from clich were allowed to see Afghanistan as the sort of place an open plain, not some dizzying crag that is not all that different from some parts of Loewensteins native Australia, perhaps, or America. He gets driven just an hour from the capital and talks to some quite normal locals. They were promised decent jobs and social development from a mine. It becomes clear that the foreign corporation never intended to make good on the deal, and that the Governments undertaking to hold the company to account was similarly fraudulent.

Back in Kabul Loewenstein seeks answers from the bureaucrats who oversee the mining industry, No, Mr X is unavailable; Mr Y is busy. Mr Z? No, it is not possible. Leave the building. In other words, standard obstruction, standard corruption....

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Wednesday, 11 July



Thank you for your emails and messages asking for the return of Melbourne Fresh Daily. OK, I have relented and will post here occasionally as the fancy strikes me. I'm starting with a view of the Yarra River and the city lights of the CBD. Night can hide much and the romantically inclined can then idealise what little they see...

This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.



Kids Up Fronts drama classes and holiday camps aim to help build childrens performance skills and confidence daily.

The post A BOOST TO YOUTH CONFIDENCE IN YARRAVILLE appeared first on The Westsider.


Grumpy Noll and the case of the flying tinny Will Type For Food

For those of you not as au fait with the trending events, current occurrences, and occurring trends of the present day, let me bring you up to speed. It seems young Australian balladist and bon vivant Mr Shannon Noll has been caught in something of a contretemps recently, when a member of his audience happened to give vent to his oppobrium and let fling forth from his hands a missile which had previously happened to contain a beverage of the genera ale. As if that was not bad enough, Mr Noll did then give forth to his contempt, vilipending the malefactor in terms most severe, demanding that they  put an end to their grievances on stage in a manly show of strength and pugilism, and extending his contumely and umbrage to touch on certain other members of that personage's family.

Now, Mr Noll does certainly seem to have overstepped the conversational bounds of gentlemanly conduct here. No doubt about it. But what I am wondering is - what sort of beer was it? The empty can of which was hurled on stage? VB? Four X? Tooheys? Not that I'm saying it makes a difference, mind, but still, such details matter....

It is nevertheless a well known fact that the timely application of a tin that had previously contained a fermented beverage of barley and hops can be utilised when all other heckles fail. Can you imagine the rage with which a certain performing hipster might vent themselves if, say, a malodorous person with venomous intent had decided to fling a half-drunken can of craft beer, say, a Moon Dog Black Lung, on stage? Good heavens, you larrikin layabout - do you have no appreciation for such a heavenly balance of dark malted barleys? If such a thing were to happen, well, the performing hipster might remonstrate with the heckler most sternly, comparing beard length, and even threatening to write a non-complimentary zine about him.

But it is also true that empty beer cans are hardly the worst punishment that can befall a speaker or singer. Why, I hear at conservative political gatherings,  they fling whole teapots at you. Fine bone china and the works. Oh, the brewmanity!



Once a month, the Little Songs of the Mutilated collective create Sonic Exquisite Corpses and release them on Bandcamp.  They are now twelve releases into this madness.  Time to celebrate!

"Exquisite corpse, also known as exquisite cadaver (from the original French term cadavre exquis), is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule (e.g. "The adjective noun adverb verb the adjective noun." as in "The green duck sweetly sang the dreadful dirge.") or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed."
- Wikipedia

So far this project has involved Experimental Melbourne luminaries like Justin Ashworth, Nat Grant, A Demon Sheen, Uboa, Jen Tait, Ari Sharp, Matt Bush, Emily Bennett, Courtney Blackney, Maria Moles, Raceless, Karen Heath, Cat Tyson Hughes, Adam Hunt, Vijay Thillaimuthu, John-Joe Wilson... the list goes on.
Each player creates 40 seconds of music, then passes on the final 10 seconds to the next player, who uses that 10 seconds to spark off a new 40 seconds.  The finished Little Songs are pop-song length dream-ditties created by six different artists each, held together by nothing but the silver strings of astral intent.   

Dive in deep right here:

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Tuesday, 10 July


Bruges, a perfectly preserved medieval Belgian city ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Bruges (pop 120,000) was founded in the north of Belgium in the C9th by Vikings who settled locally. A town developed around the fortress that the Counts of Flanders built in the area and the young settlement worked hard to acquire city rights. In fact a very protective city wall was built around Bruges, with solid gates.

The settlement very quickly became an important harbour close to the North Sea. Inside the city, the river and canals became the vital communication links. By the C14th Bruges was the starting point of a commercial transport road to the Rhineland; traders from all over came to sell their products and to buy Flemish cloth.

Markt Place, outdoor coffee shops and sculpture (top)
The Beguinage  (second photo)

Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s, the German Hanseatic League dominated Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the Northern European coast. Bruges became a port of even greater importance when it joined the Hanseatic League.

St Saviours Church was founded in C10th and added to later eg the high altar is C17th. Serious fires may have been the result of wars, accidents or iconoclastic destruction. But some lovely part of this church still stand: C15th choir stalls with the Knights of the Golden Fleeces arms, organ, cloisters and treasury.

The Beguinage was founded by Margaret of Constantinople, countess of Flanders in the mid C13th. Some women were the bereft widows or daughters of knights killed in the Holy Crusades, women who did not want to be secluded nuns but who wanted to do good works. The Beguinage is still a green space and lovely whitewashed houses; the Beguine Museum enables visitors to feel the C13th.

Markt Place is a central, large square used for all social and political activities. On one side, the medieval belfry looms 272' over Markt Place, the proud symbol of the wealth of Bruges since 1282. And there were renovations added during C15th glory days. Inside the belfry, see the treasury room; then up 366 steps, past the C18th carillon and onto the roof. The 47 bells chime each day.

On the east side of the square is the neo-Gothic Provincial Palace. From 1850, it was used to house the provincial government meetings. Then it became a government meeting hall and now a ceremonial building-exhibition space.

The Basilica of the Holy Blood (mid C12th) was built on the site that the First Count of Flanders built his fort. It didn't become a chapel until the bones of St Basil the Great AND Holy Blood of Jesus Christ were brought from the Holy Land or Constantinople (C12th). The ground floor of this double church has its original darkish Romanesque character, while the upper chapel is a totally Gothic storey built in the C15th.

The relic of the Holy Blood is always in the upper chapel, in a tiny crystal phial with a golden stopper hung with silver chains. Only on Mays Ascension Day does it move aro...


TomboyBill "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

NAME: TomboyBill (a.k.a Dionne Chambers) LOCATION: I live in Banyule and work in Darebin IN A SENTENCE EXPLAIN YOUR CRAFT: I am a fine artist/painter, who in a former life was an illustrator/graphic designer. WHATS YOUR PROUDEST PIECE OF ART: I would have to say   Its 2am Get Out Of My Head  from my last exhibition offcut. It was []

The post TomboyBill appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #602 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: 10 - 16 July 2018Newsletter | #602 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 10th July 2018 to Monday 16th July 2018 Winter School Holiday Guide The Finders Keepers Market Ice Skating Festival Precarious | Circus Oz Melbourne Magic Festival Espaa | Spanish Music Concert European Night Market Live At London Eleven Bastille Day French Festival Writers Symposium @ Wheeler Centre Enjoy #Melbourne Circus Oz | Precarious 29th June - 15th July | Circus Oz Big Top @ Royal Botanic Gardens A 70-minute non-stop spectacle of acrobatic mayhem. #Must see! Precarious | The Finders Keepers Market 13-15 July | Friday 12pm-9pm Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday 10am-5pm The Finders Keepers markets is a massive three day event, featuring over 250 independent art and design stalls. Finders Keepers Market Details | Royal Exhibition Building School Holiday Guide Saturday 30 June 2018 - Sunday 15 July 2018 Keep the kids busy and warm during the winter school holidays with over 500 events and programs specially for kids. --> Read School Holiday Guide...


Got A Pulse, A Conscience And A Funny Bone? Then You Need To See Hannah Gadsbys Nanette "IndyWatch Feed"

If you have Netflix, and a beating heart, then set aside an hour and watch Australian comedian Hannah Gadsbys new special, Nanette.

Were not going to review it for you. Were not going to spoil any of the punch lines. Were just going to tell you Nanette is some of the best, most powerful comedy ever produced. Its also probably the bravest comedy ever made, and will make you laugh and cry at the same time a craugh.

It will also likely inspire the absolute shit out of you, which helps explain why the performance has received five star reviews across the globe, and has won Best Show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Gadsby herself also won Best Comedy Performer at the Helpmann Awards.

You can find out more details by clicking here.

And heres the official trailer.

The post Got A Pulse, A Conscience And A Funny Bone? Then You Need To See Hannah Gadsbys Nanette appeared first on New Matilda.

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Monday, 09 July


The kangaroo in WW1 - nationalist pride and homesickness ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

As shown in the photo below,  a toy kangaroo, made of brown velvet and with movable legs, was dated between 1914 and 1918. Pinned to it was a collection of World War I fundraising badges made of materials such as brass, enamel and glass. Some of the badges were first issued when the Australian Government wanted to identify and thank the nearest female relatives of members of the Australian forces on active service. Separate badges were issued to signify relatives serving in the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Imperial Force.

Funds went to the repatriation and rehabilitation of soldiers, the erection of war memorials, and to children and families affected by the war in France & Belgium. At school, children learned about Empire, citizenship, national pride and duty. The war reinforced their lessons and inspired them to contribute.

Australian diggers (soldiers) and a kangaroo, 
Mena Camp in Cairo, Dec 1914
Photo credit: Australian Geographic

Visitors can see this velvet kangaroo at the National Museum of Australias Terence Lane Collection, amassed by the former Senior Curator of Australian Art. With 180 objects of Australiana, predominantly featuring the kangaroo, this is considered the best collection of kangaroo theme items in Australia and is therefore of important cultural value.

The kangaroo has long been a patriotic symbol, and one used widely in wartime. But not only toy kangaroo were popular. In the shadows of the great pyramids and amid kitbags and Lee-Enfield rifles, an Australian Imperial Force infantryman encounters a kangaroo. Skippy was on permanent shore leave at Mena Camp, the British Empire's training ground in Egypt. Members of the 9th and 10th Battalions smuggled these "mascots" from home aboard transport ships. The first Australian troops to arrive in Egypt in 1914 were proud to be serving the British Empire, and some men took kangaroos and wallabies aboard ship when they left home. Apparently they were a common sight in the Australian camps at Mena, Heliopolis and Ma'adi in 1914-15. There were at least a dozen, and they were mentioned frequently in soldiers' letters home.

These men had just signed up, voluntarily, for war. They were young, with not a lot of thought for the future. The soldier in the photo treated the marsupial expat with tenderness and homesickness. It is believed it ate the same food as the British force's horses and donkeys, a hay and chaff mix. In March 1915, after three months of military training, the men left Mena bound for Gallipoli, bequeathing their mascot to the care of the Cairo Zoological Garden.

Velvet kangaroo and war badges 1914-8
National Museum of Australia

In 1915 recruiting committees were formed in nearly every sizeable town in Australia. In the central west of New South Wales a movement began under the leadership of Captain Bill Hitchen; 20 rural men enlisted and started to march to Sydney on the Kangaroo or Coo-ee March. Gathering other recruits a...


The Little Duck-Hawk The Gap Year and Beyond

Another of the raptors we found along the roads in the Treatment Plant was an Australian Hobby. I dont often see this species though have seen one twice now in the last few months. I actually see Peregrine Falcons more often. This one flew into the Paradise Lagoons section along one of the roads and watched the various birds in the area as well as watch us slowly drive forward.   The Hobby (from old French hobe meaning small falcon) was also called the Little Falcon , Little Duck-Hawk, Black-faced Hawk, White-fronted Hawk and its Latin name means Long-winged Falcon.

Australian Hobby, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Australian Hobby, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic


Crime and the Art Market Black Mark


Riah Pryor Crime and the Art Market (Lund Humphries, 2016)

How corrupt is the art market?

Riah Pryor is an art history graduate who worked as a researcher at New Scotland Yards Art and Antiques Unit. Her experience should have provided more  to the reader. Instead there is a tiny dab of narrative at the start of chapters to suggest something of the authors experience.

It is difficult to define art crimes; Pryor mentions a Nth Ireland police report where a stolen tube of paint was classed as an art theft. Pryors focus is on the economic side of art crimes: stolen art, illegally exported antiquities, art forgery and art fraud rather than art vandalism, art censorship and art as criminalised protests. However, in this did introduce me to other ways that art can be used in crime; one of these is elegant bribery.

Elegant bribery where an official is given a fake of little value, the official then puts the fake up for auction, where it is sold at a high price that a genuine work would attract to another member of syndicate acting as if he mistook the fake as a genuine. In this way all the transactions appear legitimate. I can only assume that elegant bribery was detected only through data matching because Pryor doesnt give many details about this or other the crimes.

No particular crimes are looked at in any depth in the book. The lack of detail might be deliberate in order not to assist in crimes, as attested in an anecdote from an art authentication lab expert but the lack of details makes the book read like a colourless report about art crime from the perspective of law enforcement. It is as dry as a policy paper and her conclusions, although reasonable, are not particularly useful nor informative.

There is no correct reason to care about art crime, or at least no reason which all will agree on. However, determining why someone does or does not care is probably the most effective way to go about working with them to agree on future ways of tackling it. (p.88)

Dividing the book into Villains and Heroes is a simplistic strategy and shows Pryors police mind set from time her New Scotland Yard. It also fails to work with Pryors own solution to get all sectors of the arts industry involved with stopping art crime for their own benefit. 

Art crime is a hot topic, at least for publishers, art historians and the general public, although not for the police who seem to prefer their criminals violent, stupid and intoxicated. Only if you are obsessed with the subject should you read Pryors Crime and the Art Market as it is simply the most boring book on the subject. If this has whet your appetite for more about art and crime then please read some of my other posts on the subject.

The theft of La belle Hollandaise

Forgery Trial Book



Ut the el are you talking about, you ef wit? Will Type For Food

Ut, adit, ob, etaerio - I think we can all agree that these are all incredibly important concepts, as they allow us all to win important points in Scrabble. But what do they actually mean? What am I, Einstein, or something? Well, yes, actually, and I'm going to tell you exactly what they mean now.

UT - a very small utterance.

ADIT - To edit an ad.

OB - Thing that gives birth to little obs.

TALIONS - Plural of talion, 'thing that is a talion; thing that has the property of being a talion'.

EUOI - Second-person informal pronoun for an oik. As in, "Hey, euoi!"

ETAERIO - Those weird test charts of letters they make you read when you go to the optometrist.

JUPON - The state of wearing a JUP. Opposite of JUPOFF. 

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Thursday, 01 March


Smart Arts 1 March 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

This week Richard is joined in studio by Play On: The Art of Sport's Curator Jacqueline Doughty in celebration of 10 years of the Basil Sellers Art Prize, Alison Croggon and Robert Reid chat about the launch of arts journalism website Witness Performance launch; Program Director Spiro Economopoulos spruiks this years' Melbourne Queer Film Festival.


Becks Melbourne gig served as a welcome return for the alt-rock legend "IndyWatch Feed"

Review: Beck & Meg Mac at the Margaret Court Arena, February 28 2018

Last year, Beck announced that he was set to descend upon Australia for the first time in six years for the inaugural Sydney City Limits festival, in support of his thirteenth album, Colors. When the musical chameleon happened to announce sideshows for Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, fans were eagerly awaiting these long overdue performances to refresh their memories as to why hes one of the worlds most versatile and accomplished musicians.

As crowds slowly trickled into Melbournes Margaret Court Arena last night (which featured small signs made by the public referring to it as the Marriage Equality Arena), there was much talk about the show that awaited them. Overheard conversations included some fans hoping to hear some of his earliest cuts, while others hoped for something more recent. The most exciting thing about this though was that both fans had equal chances of leaving happy, with audiences never really knowing what to expect from a Beck setlist.

As showtime rolled around, a sadly all-too-small crowd was in attendance for one of Australias most talented performers of the moment, Meg Mac. Fresh from a huge year which saw the release of her debut record, Low Blows, Meg Mac took to the stage with her five-piece backing band, all of them dressed in shades of black and white a far cry from the Colors tour which Beck was bringing to the people.

As Meg Mac kicked off her set, which included hits such as Never Be, Low Blows, and Roll Up Your Sleeves this hugely talented muso showed off her amazingly soulful pipes to a hometown crowd, proving why she has been so popular in recent years with her her catchy, almost gospel-like tracks.

With her sister on backing vocals, and a hugely-talented backing band behind her, Meg Mac continued to deliver the hits, showcasing her stellar cover of Bill Withers Grandmas Hands, and even throwing down her 2017 Like A Version cover of Tame Impalas Let It Happen. By the end of her set, there wasnt a single audience member who wasnt enthralled by what they had just witnessed, and it was clear that she...

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Tuesday, 27 February


In which the pond refuses to pay the Price ... "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The pond always hesitates to do a third reptile leg in a day, but received an indignant communication from a reader angry that the pond ignores Fairfax these days

But really what's the point? With the magic water man long gone, the magic has gone from Fairfax.

The correspondent attached a screen grab of a story which will need to be clicked on to enlarge

The foolish correspondent seems to have entirely missed the point.

Mendacity and trolling of the Danny Price "If you're against Adani's mine, you're against fighting poverty" kind is all in a day's work for the lizards of Oz

If the pond wants to chant "dinkum Ozzie clean coal, oi, oi, oi," and marvel at expert climate scientists explaining how climate science is a gigantic Chinese hoax (and/or an attempt by the UN to establish a world government by Xmas), why would it go to Fairfax for such naked and blatantly conflicted nonsense as that being peddled by Danny Price?

The Fairfaxians are so inept at this sort of nonsense they can't even dig up someone worth a decent price let alone a full piece of mockery ...

The same correspondent provided a link to Buzzfeed, outraged that Malware now has the NBN's 100 mbps speed,, a plan he claimed no one would have a need for and the humble taxpayer is paying for Malware's pleasure

"But the question is do households need to have will they value, will they have any use for very high speeds of 100 megabits per second and higher and its difficult to identify the applications that would need that," he said on ABC's 7.30 program in 2013. "Remember, to stream a high definition video, a high definition video requires six megabits per second so youve got to have a lot of them going simultaneously to get to 100[Mbps]" 

Uh huh. Suddenly Malware's a mega movie buff ...

Opposition leader Bill Shorten told the Labor caucus that whole suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were having....


OnlyMelbourne Newsletter #583 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online Newsletter | #583 | What's On this WeekWelcome to Newsletter | #583 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 27th February 2018 to Monday 5th March 2018 Sydney Road Street Party The famous (and free) opening event of the Brunswick Music Festival returns on Sunday 4 March 2018. Sydney Road Street Party 2018 Seddon Festival .nobrtable br { display: none } Seddon Festival will transform Charles and Victoria Streets into a lively community fiesta for the whole family, including the dog. Seddon Festival 2018 Knox Festival .nobrtable br { display: none } Knox Festival invites everyone to a festival that promises to be a feast for your senses. Knox Festival 2018 The Black Sorrows .nobrtable br { display: none } Friday 2nd March 2018 | Jo Camilleri , gospel and country at Hysteria Lounge in Lilydale. Tickets selling fast. The Black Sorrows | Buy Tickets Online Gourmet Cinema .nobrtable br { display: none } Enjoy a classic movie while feasting on some of Melbournes best restaurants under the moonlight at Caulfield Racecourse. 1-11 March | Gourmet Cinema 2018 | Caulfield Racecourse | Tickets Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N .nobrtable br { display: none } The Immersive Experience integrates modern technology and movie based props for the ultimate immersive experience Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N | Federation Square Virtual Reality Experiences .nobrtable br { display: none } The Viri Experience will engage your senses through an 80 minute virtual reality immersion with your friends. Virtual Reality Immersion | Melbourne | Book Online Big Melbourne Escape .nobrtable br { display: none } Melbourne has been keeping its secrets for many years. There is only one opportunity to solve all the riddles and escape the city maze. Big Melbourne Escape - Insomnia Race | Book Now (Limited Numbers) Festivals This Weekend .nobrtable br { display: none } Wurstfest 2018 Port Melbourne Community Carnival 2018 Melbourne Fashion Festival 2018 Lantern Festival | Yun Xio Ji F1 Grid Festival 2018 Brunswick Music Festival 2018 Boolarra Folk Festival 2018 Wyndham Holi - Festival of Colors 2018 View Festivals This Week: 27 February - 5 March 2018 .nobrtable br { display: none } F1 Grid Festival, Gourmet Cinema, NAB AFL Auskick Launch, Neon Run, One Fine Day | Wedding Fair, Park Cinema Docklands, Reptile and Amphibian Expo, Walk for Monash Children's Hospital, Warragul Show View These Events Markets & Sales .nobrtable br { display: none } This week Blak Dot Artists Market, Moonee Ponds Primary School Fete, Crate Digger Record Fair | Preston, Point Cook Market, Yarra Glen Racecourse Craft Market, Bairnsdale Makers Market, Longwarry Fire Brigade Market, Hawthorn Craft Market, Werribee Undercover Market, The Arts Centre Sunday Market, Koonung Heights Uniting...


Jack River has released a stunning new track Ballroom ahead of her Aussie tour "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Jack River has fast garnered a rep for making waves both behind the scenes and at the forefront of alt-pop perfection in Australias music industry. Aside from spearheading the incredible Electric Lady Festival, celebrating female talent in Australia, shes taken over the festival and live music circuit with her hazy take on folk.

Premiering on triple js Good Nights last night, the trailblazer has now released a stunning new track, Ballroom with an accompanying, dizzyingly beautiful technicolour music video.

The track showcases Rivers penchant for eclectic pop music and hauntingly beautiful lyricism, which she said was written by imagining in an arena in my head and built in a beating, constant heartbeat throughout that felt like my own. The song is built of that untouchable determination that drives through your blood when you want something so bad, nothing can stop you.

Jack River will be bringing her epic live show to worshipers around the country this March on her Fault Line Tour, with the vast majority of shows already sold out. 

Check out the video for Ballroom below:


Friday 16 March

Mojos | Fremantle, WA 18+ | SOLD OUT!

Saturday 17 March

Rocket Bar | Adelaide, SA 18+

Thursday 22 March

Howler | Melbourne, VIC 18+ | SOLD OUT!

Friday 23 March

Oxford Art Factory | Sydney, NSW 18+ | SOLD OUT!

Saturday 24 March

Woolly Mammoth | Brisbane, QLD 18+

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Monday, 26 February


The Libertines have announced a surprise Melbourne headline show "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

English garage-rockers The Libertines are currently in the midst of their debut headline tour of Australia, and its just gotten that little bit bigger.

Having performed at the inaugural Sydney City Limits festival over the weekend, the group also have another couple of shows scheduled throughout this week, hitting up Melbournes Forum Theatre, and Brisbanes Tivoli. But now, Melbourne have just scored themselves another huge show.

Announced today, The Libertines are set to perform a rare pub show at The Curtin on Tuesday night. Taking place one night before their sold-out show at the Forum Theatre, this is going to be one pretty in-demand event.

Tickets to the show will only be available at the door, so make sure you get down to The Curtin at 8pm for what is sure to be one of the most exclusive rock shows in Australia this year.

Check out The Libertines I Get Along:

The Libertines Australian Tour 2018

Tuesday, February 27th
The Curtin, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at the door from 8pm

Wednesday, February 28th
Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Thursday, March 1st
The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD


Higher education inequality: do graduate outcomes differ by socioeconomic status? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In earlier posts in this series on inequality and higher education, I have suggested that the SES participation differences are largely driven by prior academic performance and that different SES groups seem to experience higher education in much the same way, but low SES students are less likely to complete their degrees. In this post, I will look at outcomes for the students who do complete their degrees.

First, are there differences in rates of getting a job? The 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey finds that there are small differences. About four months after completing their bachelor degree, 73.6 per cent of high SES graduates who were looking for full-time work had found it, compared to 70.3 per cent of low SES graduates. However, of those who were working full time low SES students were slightly less likely to report not fully using their skills at work than high SES graduates (27.1 per cent compared to 28.9 per cent). It is difficult to say whether there is any direct SES effect in these results, as employment outcomes differ substantially by field of education, and SES differences in discipline choices could explain the results.

The Graduate Outcomes Survey also looks at starting salaries in the first full-time job after completing an undergraduate degree. Again, we find a small SES difference: the median starting salary for high-SES graduates in 2017 was $61,000, and for low SES graduates it was $60,000. This does not tell us whether there is any direct SES effect (such as not being able to access social networks to find professional jobs) or whether other factors such as discipline explain the result. A study using an earlier first year out survey had a limited control for discipline, as well as controls for weighted average marks, gender, and various other factors. It found no negative salary effect for low SES students, using a geographic measure of SES.

One possible cause of SES differences is that low SES students tend to attend the less prestigious universities, reflecting the school results issues...

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Saturday, 24 February


WTF News: Hipster scientists discover a way of making vegetables out of meat Will Type For Food


From deep in the hipster laboratories of Hipsterville today comes exciting news: hipsters have discovered a way of synthesising vegetables out of meat.

"This important discovery could soon make it possible for us to have an all meat diet," says Hipster McHipsters, chief scientist at the hipster laboratories.

Although the meat-made vegetables only currently come in the form of bacon-lettuce and pork-kale, the hipster scientists soon hope to develop bacon-tomato, thus giving the world the first BLT made solely out of bacon.

Activist group Bro Central hailed this development in cruelty-free food, saying, "No longger will bros have to suffer eating vegetable-based vegetables. Soon, we will all be able to make the transition to a true carnivorous diet! This shows the whole world a better way is possible."

"Except, you know, for the animals", clarified the Head Bro.

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Friday, 23 February


Tomorrow (Sat) is the last day of Boxed Light @marsgallery in... Steven Rhall | Blog

Tomorrow (Sat) is the last day of Boxed Light @marsgallery in Windsor. A work I made as part of the #WODDALOADA residency happened to align well with the curatorial premise of the show. Thanks @andy_dinan for the opportunity
The indexicality of objects derived from a particular context (detail) 2017
colour reversal film, epoxy resin, found commode, florescent light, excercise ball. Dimensions variable. (at MARS Gallery)


Higher education inequality: how much does performance at university differ by socioeconomic status? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In an earlier post, I argued that the Australian higher education system probably deserved about a 7/10 for equity of access. In line with some theory, the middle-class meritocracy continues to reproduce itself successfully, but the universities are open to talent: for a given ATAR, university participation rates are very similar across SES groups. But what happens when students arrive at university?

Intriguingly, many studies have found that low SES students or students from non-selective government schools do not do worse and indeed tend to get slightly higher marks, for a given ATAR starting point (eg here, here, and here and the literature cited within).

Various theories for this finding have been offered, but I suspect it is because the schools higher-SES students attend maximise ATARs through intense coaching and social pressure, but their less motivated and organised students dont do as well in the much less structured university environment. By contrast, a lower-SES student who has done well in Year 12, quite possibly with much less school and social support than higher-SES students, is a motivated and resourceful person, and that pays off at university as well.

Student satisfaction is not reported directly by SES, but recent surveys differentiate between people who are first in family and those who are not. This gives much less nuance than I would like, but low SES students are much more likely to be first in family than high SES students. The Student Experience Survey finds first in family students are often slightly more satisfied with their educational experience than students who are not first in family. Maybe first in family student expectations are different, but generally...


Byte Into IT - 21 February 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

Warren and Cassie in the studio this fine Wednesday evening to bring you all of the week's news in technology, computing and startups.

Our first guest is Councillor Jackie Watts, speaking about the City of Melbourne libraries making the Kanopy film and streaming service available to all members.

This is then followed by an interview with musician and artist Chipocrite, who tell us about the upcoming Square Sounds festival and his crash course on how to make chiptune music.


Yemaya Festival "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

YEMAYA FESTIVAL 2nd - 4th May 2014 Victorian Bushland Under 2 hours from Melbourne Three luscious days and two luminescent nights of audio-visual enchantment across two stages, highlighting the finest psychedelic visual art and music production talent Australia has to offer. Amongst the indulgences will be a crystal healing space, a relaxation space, an arts display space, and a creative participation space, all are encouraged to become involved! Yemaya is a mother goddess, signifying home, fertility, love, and family. Her healing powers are carried in the great waters, her energy powerful during the ebb and flow of life challenges. Like water she represents both change and constancy, bringing forth life, protecting it, and changing it as is necessary.

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Tuesday, 20 February


This week is the last opportunity to visit TELL, a touring... Steven Rhall | Blog

This week is the last opportunity to visit TELL, a touring exhibition of @ballaratfoto, currently in Sydney for @sydney_festival. The opportunity to realise Avert originally timed with the above statement entering consciousness (whilst camping in the Otways). Manifesting as object, the work sought to bring into question ideas of representation, cultural expression and medium specificity. The video above documents from the final element of the works making an application of light sensitive solution, which as active agent, responds to light / the context / and environment of the works presentation.

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Friday, 16 February


In order to clarify matters Will Type For Food

In order to clarify matters, here are my preferred pronouns:

Obnoxious old fart (2nd person)
Cantankerous antique bag full of wrinkles (3rd person)
Discarded toe-nail in a sack of pus (2nd person reflexive)
Malodorous hirpling excrescences (2nd person plural)
Grasping grizzling glabulous gnome (possessive)
I, me, my (1st person)


Showing alongside some great artists in A Thousand Times the... Steven Rhall | Blog

Showing alongside some great artists in A Thousand Times the Rolling Sun at the Beechworth Gaol. This exhibition is only up for the duration of this weekend and well worth the drive up the Hume. #athousandtimestherollingsun
Visibility is a trap (2108)
Decommissioned observation structure of HM Beechworth Prison, floor painting, steel rods, fluorescent lights.

The town of Beechworth exists as vestige of colonisation. This colonisation has enabled a collective consciousness based around alternative narratives which, largely serve economies based on romantic notions of settlerhood. The central well of the HM Beechworth Prison acts as a figurative nexus of how power and visibility function in forming dominant narratives and minimising others. The panoptic dynamic of the prison, both in form and as nexus, incorporate notions Foucaults Panopticism whereby vision is central to the interrelationship of power and control. Rhalls use of light seeks to further the symbolism of the panopticon whilst rendering it defunctionalised via reflections occurring within its own structure.
(at HM Prison Beechworth)

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Thursday, 15 February


Greater Dandenong Sustainability Festival "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Anyone looking for a fun and informative day out will enjoy the City of Greater Dandenongs Sustainability Festival, which returns to the Dandenong Market in March.

Now in its fifth year, this free-entry event celebrates and promotes environmental sustainability in a friendly and enjoyable way with activities, demonstrations and information that will appeal to all ages, and with innovative ideas that can be implemented in everyday homes.

Families can learn the simple steps they can take at home or in their backyard to help do more with less, helping to create a better environment. Some steps may even help save money!

Last years event had a record number of attendees and this years event promises to be even more popular with new hands-on activities and demonstrations and displays, as well as some of the more popular elements from past festivals.

Attendees can learn gardening skills, meet native animals and discover new ways of growing, preparing and cooking food. There will be spot prizes given out throughout the festival and Council will present the winners of the annual Sustainability Awards.

This exciting day will also feature:

Free kids activities including face painting; puppet making with the Trash Puppets team
Make your own Soy Candle with Lots a scents
Pot your own plant to take home with friendly City of Greater Dandenong team members
Pedal-powered smoothies with Bike and Blend
Live native animal displays and demonstrations
Food stalls and vans, including vegan and vegetarian options
Live music on stage throughout the day
Cooking demonstrations with sustainable, locally grown ingredients
Information and support services from community groups and Council staff

The Sustainability Festival is proudly presented by the City of Greater Dandenong, sponsored by the Dandenong Market and supported by the Sustainable Living Foundation.

Family Sustainability Festival
Sunday 4 March from 10am 3pm, Dandenong Market
For further information:

The post Greater Dandenong Sustainability Festival appeared first on National Sustainable Living Festival.

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Wednesday, 14 February


Preparing an installation in my makeshift studio called... Steven Rhall | Blog

Preparing an installation in my makeshift studio called visibility is a trap for #athousandtimestherollingsun curated by @gabriel.curtin Im installing this tomorrow as long as I manage not to zap myself and find a vehicle which makes it to Beechworth. Opens Friday evening 18/2 #sofarsogoodtouchwood (at Mums Table)


SWOON! It's Valentine's Day poetry time! Will Type For Food

Translations of old love poems into modern terminology

My love is like an earnings sheet
In profit after tax;
My love is like an office that's
Productive to the max.
If I chart out, my fiscal love,
How deep in love am I,
You'll find a healthy balance sheet
At least til EOFY.

- Robert Burns, 'A Red, Red Rose'.

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Tuesday, 13 February


A digression concerning cats Will Type For Food

Now don't get me wrong. I think cats have many important duties to perform for this nation, such as getting you to open the door in the middle of winter and then sitting in it and neither going in nor out so you can't close the door while the cold winds sweep through your house. Or catching a mouse and then eating half of it and dropping the other half in your slipper for you to stand on. Or vomiting a furball on your feet while you are in bed just because.

But: it occurred to me yesterday - and I have never once altered my opinion since - that cats should not be Prime Ministers. No, there is no use arguing with me otherwise. I am convinced on this.

Oh, it would all start so innocently:

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: And so, Mr Speaker, I am convinced that I must therefore argue against the government's policy that the door should remain open at all times. I therefore...

CAT PRIME MINISTER: (Stands up) Miaow!

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: I therefore say that...


MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: Oh all right, I can't argue with that. (Opens door). 

But then, it would quickly turn into a nightmarish dystopia:

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: Mr Speaker, there is no way I can support the position the Prime Minister and his party are arguing today, that we should declare war on all midgets, make sexism compulsory in all schools, and leave the door open at the one time! It is simply...

CAT PRIME MINISTER: (Stands up) Miaow!






CAT PRIME MINISTER: Miaaaaaaaaaaaaow!

MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION: Oh, all right, have it your way. (War is declared on all midgets, sexism made compulsory in all schools, and door pushed open). 

In conclusion, the end.

(What do you mean, get out more? I get out quite enough, thanks very much. I get out as often as I want to. And my cats agree with me.)

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Sunday, 08 July

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Sunday, 11 February


Tiny Little Houses Idiot Proverbs "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Tiny Little Houses

This week"s feature album comes from Melbourne band Tiny Little Houses with their new album Idiot Proverbs.

Tiny Little Houses frontman Caleb Karvountzis has come a long way from writing indie pop songs to upload to Soundcloud. Now, Karvountzis is living in Melbourne and part of a four-piece band (he jokes that being in Tiny Little Houses is just like having three girlfriends) and has found a loyal audience, enamoured by songs like You Tore Out My HeartEasy and Medicate Me. 

Now, in their debut album, they have taken a grungier angle following in the footsteps of lead single Garbage Bin, moving away from their indie pop beginnings. This album is gritty, playful and has oodles of sing-along potential. From all of us here at 2RRR we hope you enjoy listening along this week!

Idiot Proverbs is a record that works fantastically simply because it is not taken too seriously Amnplify

Highlight Tracks:Entitled Generation, Nowhere SA, Garbage Bin.

Tiny Little Houses are currently touring Australia to promote the new album.
Catch them in Sydney on March 9th.

Support Tiny Little Houses: Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp.

Tune into Breakfast and Youth Jukebox on 2RRR 88.5FM all week long to hear these songs and more.

Lead image: Tiny Little Houses / Facebook

The post Tiny Little Houses Idiot Proverbs appeared first on 2RRR.


#TFW when you arrive home to discover yr Mum has subverted your... Steven Rhall | Blog

#TFW when you arrive home to discover yr Mum has subverted your art practice/objects At right is a work installed a few months ago at #Wyndhamgallery. Here Mum has repurposed it to stop the dog we mind each day from damaging the fly screen (swipe left for the context of my own recontextualisation of this found Mad Max 3 block mounted poster). At left is said dog (Noodles) making use of a pool Mum made from a found playground slide Im using as a prototype for an upcoming @artscentremelbourne commission called #birrarungsuperfunhappyslide (at Sunday Funday)

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Saturday, 10 February


Climate change impacts in urban Australia "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

A question of sustainability or survival?

Climate change poses a serious threat to the long-term habitability of planet earth. This existential crisis for humanity will play out differently across a variety of battlefronts. Some areas will suffer most from sea level rise, some from extreme rainfall and flooding, but for Australian cities the major risks are water scarcity and heat.

During the millennium drought parks and private gardens in Melbourne suffered severely from water restrictions, turning a green city distinctly brown. It is easy to forget how close Melbourne came to disastrously running out of water, as is currently occurring in Cape Town, South Africa.

Heatwaves cause more deaths in Australia than any other natural disasters. During the Black Saturday bush fires, more people died from the heatwave in Melbourne than died from the fires.

Of course, water scarcity and heat are not independent phenomena. Not only does hot weather often coincide with dry weather, and lead to increased water demand, but also intelligent water management may end up being one of our best defences against heat.

Adapting to water scarcity

Water scarcity is primarily caused by population growth, short-term droughts, and long-term changes to rainfall averages. Fortunately for our cities, humans are no longer entirely dependent upon rainfall for water resources.

All major cities in Australia have constructed desalination plants, and all have made some attempts towards wastewater recycling. Desalination technologies are condemned by some as altogether unsustainable due to energy usage.

Wastewater recycling for non-potable uses, such as agriculture, parks, gardens, toilets and laundry, is a viable option in some specific circumstances, but generally does little for a citys overall water balance.

Recycling wastewater into drinking water supplies allows far more water to be recycled, but faces challenges with community perceptions of safety. This approach has been adopted in Singapore since 2002, and will soon be the case in San Diego, where it will supply a third of the citys water demand.

Urban heat

Urban areas suffer from a phenomenon known as the Heat Island Effect, which is caused by replacing vegetated areas that naturally shade and cool, with unshaded asphalt and concrete and other materials which retain heat. When combined with the expected temperature increases associated with climate change, we can expect urban heat to be an increasingly dire issue into the future.

Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies our cities can adopt to ameliorate these risks. Planning regulations can be used to ensure buildings are designed for hot weather. Unnecessary hard surfaces can be ripped up and replaced with vegetation. Street trees, green-walls and green-roofs can be used to provide as much shade and evapotranspiration...

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Friday, 09 February


Land Art Generator Initiative "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Have you ever had a picnic at a power station? Meet the Land Art Generator Initiative.

By Jodi Newcombe, Carbon Arts (and Regional LAGI2018 Director)

The great energy transition underway this century, towards a 100% renewable world, has the potential to transform the character of our rural and urban landscapes. In 2017 two exciting announcements were made by the Victorian Government, setting high expectations for energy generation and cutting edge design: the ambitious Renewable Energy Action Plan would aim for net-zero carbon by 2025, and the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), one of the worlds most popular sustainable design competitions, would come to Melbourne in 2018.

Operating now for almost 10 years, the LAGI biennial ideas competition has been challenging creative minds to imagine public art installations in Copenhagen, New York, Dubai/Abu Dhabi and Santa Monica that double as renewable energy generators, powering local neighborhoods. In 2018, the site is the St Kilda Triangle and the theme is energy overlays: the superimposition of energy and art onto an emerging master plan for urban regeneration.

During the early days of electrification it was not easy to transmit electricity over long distances. For this reason, and because at the time we little understood the dangerous health impacts of burning coal we located power stations in the hearts of our cities. They were impressive, iconic buildings that added to urban cultural heritage and later became, for example, the Tate Modern. When we moved these installations out of town, we lost the local air pollution, but we also lost a cultural connection with our energy systems.

Out of sight and out of mind for many, the location of the heavily polluting industry of coal-fired generation in rural Victoria keeps us disconnected from the urgency of the transition to renewables. By placing clean, renewable energy generation back in our cities, we embrace the future and all its possibilities. And also, by embracing the beauty and potential of large-scale renewable energy installations in rural areas to be land art we reposition these spaces as desirable destinations and places of recreation.

At this critical juncture in time, the Land Art Generator Initiative provides us with the opportunity to dream into all of these possibilities, to weave these new, sustainable infrastructures into our urban and rural landscapes in culturally sensitive, imaginative and beautiful ways. The people at LAGI recognise the powerful role that creativity and inter-disciplinarity play in innovation, and like collaborators, Carbon Arts, they use public art as a vehicle to explore this.

RMIT, long an entrant to the competition, is partnering with LAGI in 2018 with a dedicated studio, an exhibition and a series of talks and events towards the end of the year. Along with sponsor: the Victorian Government, and partners: City of Port Phillip, FedSquare,...

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Thursday, 08 February


Beginning an intervention today into the central well of the... Steven Rhall | Blog

Beginning an intervention today into the central well of the Beechworth Prison as part of A Thousand Times The Rolling Sun, curated by @gabriel.curtin A Thousand Times The Rolling Sun is a project held in and responding to the Old H.M Prison in the historic town of Beechworth. Built in 1864 and ceasing operations in 2004, the prisons exterior and interior spaces have long been estranged from one another. Its facade, relatively untouched since its original completion, has corroborated and perpetuated a specific history and narrative, particularly to do with Beechworths gold rush and Kelly gang affiliations. Since public entry, until very recently, has been extremely limited, the nuanced and tangled lineage of the prison have been obscured by its surface effect. This project attempts to investigate and celebrate the multiple histories and fallacies that comprise the prison. This group show involves numerous artists including @a1jessiebullivant @muckletimes @katiewularni and my ride and great company today @tara.oconal opens this Friday the 16th. #panopticon #athousandtimestherollingsun #beechworth (at HM Prison Beechworth)

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Friday, 02 February


Abolish emotions to stop this nonsense from happening Will Type For Food

Birds of a feather may flock together, but United Airlines recently shot down one travelers request to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight departing Newark Liberty International Airport. Woman denied emotional support peacock on United flight.

Well I say all this emotional support nonsense has got to stop. What next? Emotional support humans?


(SCENE: A busy airport. A long queue of people are filing on to the plane, giving their tickets to the HOSTESS to scan in. MS SPLODGER and her HUMAN approach.) 

HOSTESS: (Absent-mindedly). Ticket, please! (Takes ticket). Wait a minute. What's that you've got with you?

MS SPLODGER: Oh, this? (Indicates HUMAN). I hope you don't mind. That's just my Emotional Support Human.


MS SPLODGER: Don't worry! It's quite tame, and native to this area! There's a little colony of humans not far from here.

HOSTESS: I'm sorry. We have a strict rule. No animals on this flight.

MS SPLODGER: Oh, I simply can't travel without my human! I get terribly anxious. (Pats it behind ears.) 

HUMAN: (Begins making noises) I will be ready to produce the reports by Monday! I love the sunshine but am depressed by the rain. How awesome is healthy eating? Lets action that after our meeting!

MS SPLODGER: Look! (Giggles). It's so cute. It's like the sounds it makes almost mean something!

HOSTESS: That's lovely, Ms Splodger, but we really can't. Some of other passengers might have allergies.

HUMAN: I really like having a beer with my mates!

MS SPLODGER: (Face falls). What am I supposed to do with it? It's domesticated! I can't just leave it out in the wild.

HOSTESS: Do you have someone who can take care of it until you get back?

MS SPLODGER: Oh, my uncle I suppose, but really...

HOSTESS: (Voice lowering) Look, I'm really not supposed to do this, but we have a seat ready on the next flight. I'll arrange for you to have it. It's in an hour so it won't set you back too much. Your human is adorable, but we can't have it weeing on the floor of the plane. The company won't allow it. Can you get your uncle to come in and take care of it?

HUMAN: I often vote for the Greens in Parliament!

MS SPLODGER: (Crestfallen) I suppose so. (Takes ticket off hostess and leaves with HUMAN). 

HUMAN: Hard work is the key to success! Let's watch I'm a Celebrity on television tonight! Do you like coffee? (etc etc). 

(The HOSTESS is now approached by an ELEPHANT in an ant suit and an ANT in an elephant suit.) 

HOSTESS: (Takes tickets from them, scans them in and gives them back). Thank you.... enjoy your flight!

(ANT makes lame imitation elephant noise and ELEPHANT makes a far-too-loud ant noise in response). 


Fig 1: A 'human'. 

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Thursday, 01 February


Smart Arts 1 February 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

This week Richard is joined by Bernard Caleo for Draw Out, Co-creators Brodie John and Marissa Bennett chat about a new Butterfly Club show Burlesque By Force; Rory ONeill (aka Panti Bliss) pops in to talk about RIOT at Arts Centre Melbourne and finally composer, artist and curator Lawrence English chats to Richard about Loyalty Does Not end with Death - a Genesis P. Orridge exhibition at The Substation.

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Wednesday, 31 January


Various people interacting with my work tonight @c3artspace... Steven Rhall | Blog

Various people interacting with my work tonight @c3artspace which is in-situ for the next month. Thanks for those who made it along and the conversations about what is very much a test of ideas made possible with c3s support and that of #counihangallery @vca_mcms Margaret Lawrence Gallery an @acca_melbourne #every1sawinger (at Abbotsford Convent)


Rainbow Afterparty Feb 3 - RUBIX Warehouse Melbourne "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

For those with wear left in your Rainbow legs it's time for one last shimmy with Benny Page (UK), JPOD the beat chef (Canada), Cello Joe (USA), Mortisville & Friends + more!


3CR presents: Communities of Sound! "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Communities of Sound Kutcha Edwards

3CR presents 'Communities of Sound! An afternoon of Treaty, Creative Women and Diverse Cultures' live music and performance at the Fairfield Amphitheatre. Featuring Kutcha Edwards, Thando, The West Papuan Band, June Jones, Manisha Anjali, Sweet Dreams (DJ) and Dani Sib. Spend a beautiful summer afternoon by the river with family, friends and enjoy some of Melbournes best music and performances. Bring a picnic or grab food or a drink at the kiosk all funds raised support Radical Radio. Head down to the Fairfield Amphitheatre on Sunday 18 February 5-730pm for an afternoon celebrating the best of 3CR. FREE EVENT. Check out our facebook event here.  Presented as part of the City of Yarra's Fairfield in Feb series

Photo of Kutcha Edwards by Mardi Thorpe

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Tuesday, 30 January


Im in the final stages of installing Every 1s a winger... Steven Rhall | Blog

Im in the final stages of installing Every 1s a winger tonight @c3artspace which actually opens tomorrow night 6-8pm. This is alongside a group show featuring @garrf @issicats @isabel_buck & @lina_buck and solo shows by @unwarranted_advances @madeline_kelly @torika_b & the lovely @lieslpfeffer see you @abbotsfordconvent (at Abbotsford Convent)

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Saturday, 27 January


Hi folks. Some upcoming shows. I have a solo exhibition opening... Steven Rhall | Blog

Hi folks. Some upcoming shows. I have a solo exhibition opening this Wednesday the 31/1 @c3artspace and a work @marsgallery, as part of a group show Boxed Light, opening . Roll up! #every1sawinger

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Thursday, 25 January


Giant Freshwater Lobster "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Giant Freshwater Lobster puppet, currently under construction for debut at SLFs Big Weekend.

In a partnership between Bob Brown Foundation and Snuff Puppets, the construction of a 5 metre long, 2 metre high, giant blue freshwater lobster puppet began late last year. The puppet is a larger than life size replica of the Tarkines Giant Freshwater Lobster, a creature found nowhere else in the world other than a small number of rivers in Tasmanias northwest.

The habitat of this unique species is threatened by sediment and run off from logging of the Tarkines ancient forests that flank the river where this species lives, Tarkine campaigner Emma Wasson told the Festival.

So far the construction of this puppet has taken more than 300 hours, with time donated by a group of 20 volunteers who have become active in Bob Brown Foundations campaign to protect the Tarkine from Melbourne.

Festival Partner, the Bob Brown Foundation hopes this giant roving lobster puppet will highlight to Melbourne the plight of threatened species in Tasmanias ancient rainforests and that people at the festival will take lots of photos to share over social media using the handle #craycray.

Using our phone cameras and social media networks we can amplify the message that species like this are being pushed to the brink of extinction unless we stop destructive ancient rainforest logging, a practice well out of date in the 21st Century.

Currently there are activists in the threatened Sumac forests, defending them in tree sits, staying vigilant and ready to raise the alarm on logging activity which they hope to prevent again this summer. Tasmanias Tarkine is one of the last wild places left on Earth. The Bob Brown Foundations campaign in Melbourne to activate citizen participation in this urgent campaign is growing and they will have a big summer of action planned.

The creation of this giant Snuff Puppet will continue this month. Painting and puppet operation training for volunteers will begin in early February. The puppet requires two puppeteers to operate and a team of marshals who will accompany this giant through the festival grounds handing out campaign information.

If youd like to join the puppet team over the Festivals Big Weekend, you can RSVP for training here.

Snuff Puppets have a wonderful reputation in building giant puppets commissioned by the Nation Gallery of Victoria and have built their business through the grassroots environmental movement of Melbourne. Weve also had support from the Lush Charity Pot to aid the construction of this campaign prop.

The post Giant Freshwater Lobster appeared first on...

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Saturday, 07 July


Wisdom of crowds puts BusinessDay ahead of Treasury! "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Women are much better forecasters than men, and a weighted average of forecasts in Fairfax Medias BusinessDay economic survey easily outperforms the Treasury, an analysis of 20 years of Australias longest-running economic survey has found.

Answers to the BusinessDay survey, when weighted by past performance, provide the most accurate macroeconomic forecast in the country, said researcher Warwick Smith. Treasury would do well to set up a system like it.

The BusinessDay survey has been running for almost 40 years. The first edition, published in The Age in January 1979, predicted economic growth of 3.4 per cent, inflation of 6.25 per cent, and an interest rate on government bonds of 8.25 per cent.

A year later BusinessDay reported that those first forecasts had been way off beam. Early in 1979 the Shah of Iran was toppled by Ayatollah Khomeini. By the end of that year 52 Americans had been taken hostage in Iran and the price of oil had doubled, pushing Australias inflation rate to 10 per cent, the government bond rate to more than 10 per cent, and economic growth to 4 per cent. Australia was an exporter of oil.

As has been the case in every BusinessDay survey since, the chief economists of each of the big four banks took part, as did 25 other economists from industry and academia including Professor Neville Norman of Melbourne University who took part in the first at the age of 32, who continues to take part today, aged 72.

Professor Norman attended the working lunch convened by former Age business editor Terry McCrann in 1978 to toss around ideas for the survey. He said in those days the Treasury published few forecasts and private consultants charged their clients and kept their forecasts secret.

I wanted people to know what was being forecast and why, and I wanted some of the forecasts to span more than a year ahead, he said. Terry doubted the readership would take forecasts more than a year ahead. I suggested dividing the forecasters into groups: bank economists, academics and and others, a distinction that prevails today. Terry later reported that a surprisingly high proportion of the people we recommended had agreed to join the panel.

An analysis of 10 years of the early survey results compiled by Professor Norman in 2003 showed that the panels average....


No Turning Back: Artworks from The Torch 2018 Black Mark

No Turning Back is a group exhibition Art by Indigenous prisoners and former prisoners at Deakin Downtown Gallery, the one room gallery Deakin Universitys elegant space at Collins Square in the Docklands.

Big Kev, Ceremony, 2017

Big Kev, Ceremony, 2017

Most of the paintings are about the artists country. The fire paintings about burning as land management by Pitjantjatjara artist, Veronica Mungaloon Hudson. Jeffrey Jacksons paintings that represent Mutti Mutti country around Lake Mungo. Robby Wirramanda painting and ceramics inspired by the Lake Tyrrell salt flats with his hopeful dragonflies trailing after images of dots across the surface of the paintings. Ray Traplins large dot painting of a giant snake creating rivers in Kuku Yalanji country.

There are paintings about ceremony. Ceremony by Big Kev, a Ngiyampaa man has so much detail and about his culture. The clarity of information about an exchange ceremony held between Wiradjuri, Barkindji and Wailwan in this one painting is impressive. And Bora Rings (Ceremonial Grounds) by Bradley, a Dja Dja Wurrung/Yorta Yorta man is restrained in its ochre hues but has the intensity and concentration of design that is typical of much prison art where the painting is evidence of time well spent.

Not that Gary Scotts painting looks out of place for not being about country or ceremony. New Beginnings is about changes in his own life and from all accounts Scott is making a career as an artist in the highly competitive Indigenous arts sector, even selling a couple of paintings to the Victoria Police Academy.

On Thursday morning Kent Morris, The Torchs CEO and a Barkindji man gave a talk at the exhibition. Weaving his own personal story of finding his identity into the way that The Torchs program works in helping Indigenous inmates find their identity, reconnect to their culture and earn some money through art. Morris talked about the many challenges for The Torch from getting the law changed so that Indigenous prisoners can sell their art, to giving art criticism to prisoners. If you think that some artist are sensitive (and believe me they can be) then consider the delicate art or giving prisoners art criticism. Having the resilience to work through criticism and failure is necessary for artistic development but it is a very tough thing for someone in prison when the rest of their life isnt going well.

See my earlier posts for more on The Torch:...

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Monday, 15 January


A tale of two Australias Will Type For Food

Seeing as Australia Day is coming up in a week or so I thought I'd set out in a neat dialogue form basically all the arguments everyone will be repeating over the next few days anyway. Never let me say that I don't keep my readers ahead of the curve. 


Happy Australia Day, mate!

- OMFG! How offensive! To say such things about Invasion Day!
- Well, I'm offended by your offence!
- You right-wing piece of sh.. .
- No! It should be called Survival Day out of respect for Indigenous people!
- You're both wrong! I love Australia and we have to keep Australia Day just as it is! Otherwise you're basically supporting hijabs for kangaroos and halal Vegemite sandwiches!
- How could you say such things! Celebration at a time like this! It's highly hurtful to all the Indigenous people I know!
- YOU LIE! I totally know an Indigenous person too, or at least I met a guy once at a pub, and they totally don't want the date changed because it would be just more patronising bullshit coming from whitey!
- Wrong! It will only be patronising if we don't move the date! Let's find an Indigenous person and ask them!
- Don't look at me, I'm staying out of this conversation.
- I'm so ashamed of this country!
- I'm even more ashamed!
- I'm the most ashamed! We have nothing to celebrate! Why have Australia Day at all? I'm so sick of patriotism!
- If you don't like it, why don't you le...
- No, you're racist!
- You have no idea what racism is, you lower-case illiterate inbred...
- Seriously, if you think we're all invaders and this is still Aboriginal land, isn't it racist for you NOT to leave?
- Shut up! We all have to come together as a country, not engage in this divisive...
- Come together and celebrate Australia Day, perhaps?
- No! That's racist too!
- Unless Indigenous people are celebrating.
- That's kind of a grey area.... anyway, if we joined in their celebrations, wouldn't we be appropriating their culture?
- We can solve everyone's problems always everywhere by moving Australia Day to May 8...
- January 1st....
- July 30...
- Everyone knows Australia Day has been celebrated on 26 January since the dawn of time, it says so right here in the Bible!

*Stands about with friends at a barbecue basically having a really nice time*


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Sunday, 14 January


The things we do. (We all started from somewhere) VICTORIA_STREET

With the layout in exile, and with the family away up north while I have to work. Normally about this time of year I perform major works on Victoria Street. 

Question; What does one do and not yet indulge in self destructive behaviour before moving house? 

Answer; Plonk down some set track and run some retro train sets on the living room floor.  

First cab off the rank, remember the Christmas of 1977, Hornby punch out an Australian series that include the Victoria Railways S class with a ZL van and a loose collection of domestically branded British rollingstock all resplendent with tension lock couplers.  Sadly the box no longer exists, but I found this example online. 

From the catalogue.

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Saturday, 13 January


Message from The City of Melbourne "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

The National Sustainable Living Festival reminds us that everyone has a role to play in protecting our environment. The City of Melbourne is proud to support this month long celebration which inspires numerous sustainable living ideas.

Over nearly two decades the event has grown rapidly, now hosting hundreds of organisations, performers and sustainability experts from across Australia and the world. From its base at Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, the Sustainable Living Festival spreads to encompass activities all over Melbourne in Eco-City hubs.

Visitors can enjoy the Cool Down and Power Up shady installation outside ArtPlay while enjoying a bite to eat from the sustainable food market serving delicious local, organic treats. Plus, explore backyard biodiversity, a veggie patch at Melbourne Town Hall and yoga at the Boyd Community Hubs summer pop-up park.

As you enjoy many of the free events, we urge you to think about ways you, individually, can reduce your impact and help fight global warming. We wish you all a most successful Festival.

The post Message from The City of Melbourne appeared first on National Sustainable Living Festival.

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Monday, 08 January


Over-qualification: hard to measure, harder to avoid "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

This morning The Australian very much delivered in the governments attempts to use annual data releases to support its case for not paying universities the full funding rate unless they meet various performance indicators. More than a quarter of the nations graduates say their degrees are close to useless for their jobs read the opening line of its page one lead story.

Concern about graduates taking jobs that dont require degrees is very long-standing. The other day I was reading a report from 1972 when hardly anybody had a degree compared to now that mentioned the issue. In the past, using the approximate method of looking at what jobs graduates are doing, I estimated that in 1979 about 20 per cent of graduates were in jobs unlikely to require degrees. The equivalent figure now is about 30 per cent.

But the survey that triggered todays story shows how complex these judgments can be. As the chart below shows, the supervisors of graduates are more likely than the graduates themselves to think that the graduates qualification is important.

The other interesting aspect of the chart is the very imperfect match between ABS classifications of occupational skill levels and the views of graduates and their supervisors.

The ABS classifies professional occupations as typically requiring a bachelor degree or above or at least five years relevant experience. Yet one-third of graduates in professional jobs and a quarter of their supervisors dont think that the graduates degree is important (although perhaps in some cases a previous degree is important).

By contrast for technicians and trade workers, community and personal service workers, and clerical and administrative worker...

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Tuesday, 02 January


Wombats Bush Band "The Bush Dance Album" 1988 Cassette "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

Again, we owe a vote of thanks to the Victorian Bush Folkie for this rip. This cassette tape was obviously in very good condition and my contribution was to simply remove tape and equipment noise and to encode the tracks.

There are about 48 separate dance tunes in this album in 11 tracks with each track representing a particular dance style. Many of the tracks also include vocal renditions. The tunes are mainly a mix of British and Australian standards e.g. Waves of Tory, Maire's Wedding, Starry Night for a Ramble, Back again to Yarrawonga. I have included details of the tunes for each track in the "comment" tag and they are also listed in the included graphics.

I have no idea who the performers were and, if you know, please let us know. The quality of the music is very good. It is a well produced album.

Tracklist (medleys)
1. Oxo Reel
2. Pride of Erin
3. Seige of Ennis
4. Evening Three Step
5. Heel and Toe Polka
6. Barn Dance
7. Wombat Polka
8. Irish Trot
9. Waltz Country Dance
10. Gay Gordons
11. Gallopede

Downloads are compressed files including the cassette graphics.
Click here to download MP3 224-256VBR version  64MB
Click here to download FLAC (lossless) version  309MB
Either file needs to be decompressed before playing.
Link no longer available? Then tell and I will re-up the file.


John and Mary Kopke "The Ship Mahogany" LP 1982 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

This album features John and Mary Kopke who, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, were active folksingers based in Warrnambool in Victoria.
The album features a mix of tracks ably performed by this couple with some good vocal and instrumental backing.

The title comes from a self-penned song apparently about a wrecked ship discovered somewhere near Warrnambool. Of course, regulars to the blog will recognise a number of "standards" in this album.

1. The Ship Mahogany
2. Leaving Liverpool
3. Ballad of Cob and Co
4. MTA (Melbourne adaption)
5. Bo The Banjo Man
6. Flash Jack from Gundagai
7. Reedy Lagoon
8. Mary's Choice (trads)
9. Blame it on the Kellys
10. Drovers Dream
11. Ballarat-o
12. Click go the Shears.

The downloaded files will need to be decompressed before playing.
Let me know by email - - if files are not available and I will fix it.

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Monday, 01 January


The Great Local Lunch "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Calling all growers and gleaners! WIN tickets to The Great Local Lunch 2018.

Hosted by Costa Georgiadis, over 200 growers and gleaners will serve it up to revolutionise our food system.

The Great Local Lunch connects farmers and local producers to food lovers, urban growers and the sustainable food industry.

The Lunch begins with urban growers and gleaners being encouraged to register their harvest. Using a crowd farming model, produce is grown or gleaned from gardens and local farms across Melbourne.

The harvest occurs during the month of February in the lead up to the event. Growers are encouraged to harvest their produce and deliver to assigned drop off points.

The produce is transported to the GLL chefs who do not know the type and quantities of produce they will receive. After receiving the produce, our GLL chefs design a four-course menu and set about cooking up for over 200 guests.

This year guests can also win tickets to The Great Local Lunch through sharing an inspiring story about how you are redefining local food and waste.

Enter to be a part of this unique crowd farmed lunch on the banks of the Yarra River. 11 Feb 12.30pm-2.30pm Birrarung Marr Melbourne.


Theres two great ways to win 2 tickets to The Great Local Lunch 2018.


Grown or gleaned
fresh edible produce from your backyard, farm or local neighborhood.


Submit an inspiring story
about how you are redefining local food and waste.



The post The Great Local Lunch appeared first on National Sustainable Living Festival.


Have you ever not finished a university degree? "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

At the Grattan Institute, we are nearing completion of a report on not completing university degrees, one of the measures that could be used in the new performance funding regime.

Weve got lots of interesting new data on how much time students spend enrolled before they leave, how much they have spent, and the risk factors that can help predict who will complete and who will drop out.

But the data and literature on how people feel about incomplete qualifications is very sparse, and so we decided to run our own online survey.

Its obviously not a random sample, but with over 800 responses to date we are able to identify some general themes. With more respondents we could start to see whether reactions to not completing differ across student categories.

The survey is going to close in a few days, so if you have dropped out a degree yourself, please take it. Or if you know someone who has dropped out, please forward the link to them.

Our report is going to focus on people who have left university without any degree, but we are also interested in people with a complete degree as well as a complete one.

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Friday, 22 December


We three kings can't orientate: a Christmas carol Will Type For Food

We three kings can't orientate

We three kings are rather lost
Wandering from coast to coast -
Westward leading still proceeding
We three kings are rather lost.

We three kings can't work it out
Turn the map around, about -
Westward wending, southward sending,
North and left and upwards tending -
We three kings can't work it out.

We three kings are in despair
Neither here and neither there.
High and low and near and far -
We found the star, we lost the star -
Perhaps we should have gone by car -
We three kings are in despair.

We three kings still bumble on
Fumble flap and stumble on -
Now with footsteps not so fast
As our footsteps in the past
Somehow we'll find the Christ at last
Though this whole trip has been disast...
We three kings still bumble on.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.



Today, at 4.42 pm, a 4-wheel drive vehicle attack on a busy pedestrian crossing in Melbournes Flinders Street (at the T-intersection with Elizabeth St) left 19 people in hospital, six of them critically injured. A pre-school-aged child who was injured with severe head trauma is now stable.

Police have announced that they believe this attack was the work of a mentally ill drug addict and it is not being treated as terrorism. The driver is thought to be a mentally ill man with a history of addiction to the drug ice. It is understood he has no known links to extremism and is not known to counter-terrorism authorities.

A second man pictured arrested at the scene was unconnected to the attack. He was video-taping the incident and was arrested because police found three knives in a bag in his possession. No other weapons were found in the offenders car, the vehicle itself of course being weapon enough in the drivers control.

In these days right before Christmas there will be many households in our city that will be affected by this horrible act of violence. The families and friends of the victims first and foremost of course, but also the family of the offender who must grieving not only for their child but for all those he injured. Add to them every other rational human being who observes this and similar senseless acts of violence and cannot help but feel revulsion, abhorrence and outrage.

All we Melburnians feel rather numb seeing this is the second incident of this type that has occurred in our city this year. On January 20 earlier this year, a car running wild in the Bourke St mall caused the death of six people and injured 28 others. The driver, Jim Gargasoulas 27 years old was charged but has pleaded not guilty, his defence being mental illness.

Our city is changing, our world is changing, people are changing and Im afraid that things are not changing for the better. Melbourne was a beautiful city, its people mostly friendly, courteous and law-abiding. In the last 30 years we have seen Melbourne, The Large Modern City the Most Livable City in the World slowly becoming Melbourne the Post-Modern Megalopolis: Overcrowded, noisy, congested, riddled with crime, corruption, and home of violence related to drugs, mental illness, homelessness, racial tensions, and the ever-present threat of terrorism hanging above our heads....

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Thursday, 21 December


Well, that was a busy year. VICTORIA_STREET

I know it has been quite a while since the last post, but a fair bit has happen since. 

We have sold up our little abode in the inner west of Melbourne and obtained a good price for it and have bought a massive piece of suburbia in the south east sand belt. 

The bride will get her wish of moving back to her side of town after her tour of duty out west. 

This palatial domicile has ticked all the boxes on the original wish list, the kids will get their own rooms, the bride will get a study, I will get a decent sized shed and we all will get two bathrooms, two living areas and a massive covered outdoor entertaining space. 
This residence unlike some others we have seen doesn't require a renovation that starts with a box of matches. 

As always at this time of the year, I wish followers of the blog the best for the season, try to sensible with the food and drink, and remember it's all about the kids. As it will be our last Christmas west side this year, it is still shared with family and that is what matters.

This years Christmas card is a rework of the fifty thousand hits photo.

Seasons greetings all, from Victoria Street. 

So to the matter of the resumption of services on Victoria Street, as the layout was the first thing packed and stored, it will no doubt be the last thing to see the light of day after the relocation, which will happen in late February.
This will happen when I sort out my new man cave/shed. 

From under a soon to be different roof that will eventually have wires to run under. 


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Wednesday, 20 December



For a city of of its size, Melbourne has a reasonable number of public transport options. There are buses, trams, coaches, taxis and trains that cover nearly every suburb in the greater metropolitan area, and beyond.

Metro Trains Melbourne operates the metropolitan train network under an agreement with the Victorian Government. There are 15 separate lines in the Metro train network, 837 km of track and a total of 218 stations, 80 of which are premium stations with enhanced facilities. The fleet size consists of 407 three-car sets comprising: 187 Comeng, 72 Siemens, 134 X'Trapolis and 14 Hitachi trains. The annual patronage for the 2012-13 year was 225.5 million passenger trips.

Most of the rail track in the suburbs is above ground as shown here but there is a largely underground rail loop in the City centre. Over the next eight years the Level Crossing Removal Authority will oversee the removal of 50 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne. Construction has already commenced on several sites, and planning and early consultation is underway for the delivery of the entire project.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.



City Baths, in Melbourne, Australia, is a historically and architecturally significant building. Located at 420 Swanston Street, it is an instantly recognisable Melbourne landmark.The Melbourne City Council opened the first Melbourne City Baths on 9 January 1860, which housed public baths. The objective was to stop people from bathing in the Yarra River, which by the 1850s had become quite polluted and the cause of an epidemic of typhoid fever which hit the city resulting in many deaths. However, people continued to swim and drink the water.

The Baths were leased to a private operator, but lack of maintenance resulted in such deterioration of the building that the Baths were closed in 1899. New baths designed by John James Clark were opened on 23 March 1904. Strict separation of men and women was maintained, right down to separate street entrances. Two classes of facilities were maintained, with second class baths in the basement and first class baths on the main floor. The popularity of the swimming pool increased with the introduction of mixed bathing in 1947.

The Baths now house a swimming pool, spa, sauna, squash courts and a gymnasium. To cater for all types of swimmers, the swimming pool is divided into four lanes: an aqua play lane, a medium lane, a fast lane and a slow lane (or 'aquatic education', when swimming lessons are given).

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

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Tuesday, 19 December



The Christmas Tree in the background image is the tree in our garden at night. A long exposure picks up the lights and creates the asterism effect. On that I have superimposed the images of the mosaic jewel tree and the greeting.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

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Friday, 06 July


Visit the NT! Honest Government Ad "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The Australien Government has made a tourism ad for the Northern Territory and its surprisingly honest and informative!


Visit the NT Honest Government Ad

The Australien Government has made a tourism ad for the Northern Territory and it's surprisingly honest and informative. Tell gas companies to get the frack out of the NT: Ways you can support us to keep making videos: Become a Patron: Tip us on PayPal: Shout-outs to our Patreon Producers: Brian J Saville, Dirk Kelly, IDontHaveTimeToWork, Amel Tresnjic, Waeress, Nicholas-B, Richelle-R, Anna Hathis, Rumpole c cat, Tom Mettam, Anon-H. Produced by Patrons of the Juice Media.

Posted by The Juice Media on Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Tell gas companies to get the frack out of the NT



Greek Resistance Bulletin Open Jam fundraiser "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Get along to the Greek Resistance Bulletin fundraiser at Open Studio204 High Street, Northcote 8-11pm on Thursday 12 July. Come and dance the night away with performers from OPEN JAM "". Supporting Greek Resistance Bulletin means supporting independent and radical news and voices and promoting local community artists. The night features Odysseas Krypotos & Yiannis Tsartsaflis (Cats and the Canary), Paschalia Latra, Giorgos Sklavos, Kalliopi Stavropoulos and special guests. 

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Monday, 18 December


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Sunday, 17 December


Notes instead of cleaning Notes while cleaning Will Type For Food

Just empty the dust pan on the ground outside. It can only improve the appearance.

Cleaning really makes you notice all the bits so little nobody would notice unless they were actually cleaning. So be sure to leave a few discreet little piles of dust here and there, otherwise people coming home won't be able to notice. 

The leftover bits of dust  are there for contrast, to set off the swept up portions. It's just like a painting. Light and shade...

The bits under things are a carefully balanced ecosystem, and ought not be disturbed. Under the mat. Under the fridge. Under the bed. Under the pants. Under the roof.

Refuse has magical properties, and will form the most amazing shapes when left to its own devices: naval lint and slut's wool.

You don't clean because of what others will think. You clean because of what you think others will think. The others, meanwhile, are cleaning because of what they think you will think.

Arrange to have plenty of friends accidentally drop in while you are cleaning. It's rude to clean while friends are round, so you won't have to do any more cleaning. Plus it's nice to have friends round.

Once you start cleaning it can be hard to stop cleaning. This problem has an obvious solution.

House mess is a carefully ordered type of chaos that allows us to know where everything is. Cleaning is our way of losing everything all over again.

Nobody bothers tidying the majestic forest, and look how popular that is.

An object that has been dropped on the floor in a few weeks actually becomes the floor. No-one knows quite how this mysterious process happens.

What happens under the bed stays under the bed.

The bits under the cushions of sofas have powerful progenitive properties. If left to their own devices, they will eventually yield untold riches.

It is much easier to mess a tidy room than to tidy a messy room.  In fact, even if left entirely on its own, a room will gradually fill with dust and mess itself.

A sublime mountain range is just a mess a few million years on. 



This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

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Friday, 15 December



The Dandenong Ranges (commonly just called 'the Dandenongs') are a set of low mountain ranges, rising to 633 metres at Mount Dandenong, approximately 35 km east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The ranges consist mostly of rolling hills, steeply weathered valleys and gullies covered in thick temperate rainforest, predominantly of tall Mountain Ash trees and dense ferny undergrowth.

After European settlement in the region, the ranges were used as a main source of timber for Melbourne. They were popular with day-trippers from the 1870s onwards. Much of the Dandenongs were protected by parklands as early as 1882 and by 1987 these parklands were amalgamated to form the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was added to again in 1997. The ranges experience light to moderate snow falls a few times most years, frequently between late winter and late spring. In Summer the temperature is several degrees lower than that at Melbourne and the dense vegetation is luxuriant.

Today, the Dandenongs are home to over 100,000 residents and the area is popular amongst visitors, many of which stay for the weekend at the various Bed & Breakfasts through the region.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme.


Youse can all use this Will Type For Food

An additional verse to Gerard Nolste Trenit's poem about English spelling, accurately entitled The Chaos. You can read the original poem here.

Additional verse to The Chaos

What shall I say to you of youse,
A use which some don't like to use? 
Some find it gross, I find it grouse,
And often use it round my house. 
But please don't ask me to espouse
Upon the wherefores, whys or hows. 
(Australians use it - not the US - 
Land of St Louis - or St Louis!)

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Thursday, 14 December



Victorian Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos) in the Lamiaceae family, is the largest of the Australian native Mint Bushes and has the widest distribution. It ranges from southern Queensland to Tasmania from coastal to sub-alpine altitudes, and grows from 2 m in exposed mountain sites to at least 10 m high. It is best known as a tall, graceful forest shrub about 5 m high, and is popular also in the gardens of native plant lovers. It grows by creeks and in the moist shade of dense, wet sclerophyll forests, where it may have room to develop a good shape or scramble through a tangle of vegetation.

Not far from Canberra towards the high mountains, it occurs in forest hollows, near tree ferns and luxuriant mosses, reaching 5 m. When not in flower it can be detected by its menthol fragrance when touched; though sometimes too strong, it is more pleasant than in some native Mint Bush scents. Examples in the Australian National Botanic Gardens vary greatly owing to different origins and different planting positions. Plant form, leaf, flower and flowering time all vary, making an interesting study. Moist, shady conditions are not necessary for this species to grow, and it will recover from neglect as shown by older examples in the Gardens - 5 m shrubs 25 years old and growing in full sun. They were shaped by past droughts and storms into sprawling irregular shrubs with thin branches on which the upper bark is attractive and shiny.

Prostanthera lasianthos is unaffected by light frosts and will grow in light or stiff soil in sun or shade, but constant wind should be avoided. It is excellent for hiding a fence, as a tall hedge or by a red brick wall. With a good mulch and some watering it would thrive in city gardens, giving flower when most purple Mint Bushes have finished. Foliage is attractive in plants growing freely and can be bright-yellow green to darker green, hairless, sometimes shiny, and without blemish. Mountain forms and plants in full sun have slightly leathery foliage. Leaves are up to 15 cm long and from 13 mm to over 19 mm wide, larger than in other Prostanthera species. They vary in denseness, taper finely, and the margins are generally toothed, sometimes also waved or curved.

Masses of thin, soft flowers in wide-angled tapering sprays are the main attraction. The flowers are around 2 cm long and are funnel-shaped with spreading lower lobes. In the throat are tiny purple blotches and larger orange ones. In some the flowers are white but others, highly prized, appear pale pink or mauve from a distance. Close inspection shows suffused blotches of pale purple or violet, extending sometimes to the calyces and thin flower stems. These latter are slightly viscid and in some cases even more scented than the leaves. A separate light perfume can sometimes be detected in the flowers, but generally it is masked by the minty scents.

The flowering season is November to December, though it lingers till January in some years, and no doubt Christmas flowers could be planned with the right form in a cool position. A magnifier allows one constant feature to be seen in the flowers - they are coated inside and out with fine hairs, a fact which sets this species apart from other Prostanthera spp. Short branches of flowers last well in wate...



Warrandyte is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 24 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Manningham. At the 2011 Census, Warrandyte had a population of 5,520.

Warrandyte is bounded in the west by the Mullum Mullum Creek and Target Road, in the north by the Yarra River, in the east by Jumping Creek and Anzac Road, and in the south by an irregular line from Reynolds Road, north of Donvale, Park Orchards and Warrandyte South.

Warrandyte was founded as a Victorian town, located in the once gold-rich rolling hills east of Melbourne, and is now on the north-eastern boundary of suburban Melbourne. Gold was first discovered in the town in 1851 and together, with towns like Bendigo and Ballarat, led the way in gold discoveries during the Victorian gold rush. Today Warrandyte retains much of its past in its surviving buildings of the Colonial period and remains a twin community with North Warrandyte, which borders the Yarra River to its north.

The Warrandyte Road Bridge over the Yarra River connects Warrandyte with North Warrandyte. The first bridge was built in 1861, but after its demise, the current bridge was built in 1952.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.


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Tuesday, 12 December



Melbourne's outer northern suburbs are considered to be one of Australia's fastest growing corridors. The high population growth occurring in areas 25-35 km from the city centre in the north continues to drive demand for housing and has resulted in this being one of Melbourne's growth hotspots.

Melbourne's growing northern metropolitan fringe is changing the character of what was a sleepy, bucolic area with acre lots and larger farms into a densely populated suburbia with town centres, schools, health and educational facilities that are servicing the increasing population. Pockets of nature and recreational facilities are being preserved, such as this, the parklands around the Yan Yean Reservoir, which is the oldest of Melbourne's water dams.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.


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Monday, 11 December



Our recent bout of changeable weather has made me put together this mosaic of skies of Melbourne and made me chuckle thinking: "Variety is the spice of life"!

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,

and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.



There are currently 105,237 people in Australia who are homeless. The rate of homelessness (which takes into account population density) is 49 out of every 10,000 people (0.5% of the population), of which 56% are male and 44% female. 25% (or 26,744) are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 30% are born overseas.

Victoria has 22,789 homeless people (42.6 people per 10,000) +20.7 since 2006, which is 22% of Australia's homeless. How old are they?
Under 12: 17% (17,845)
12-18: 10% (10,913)
19-24: 15% (15,325)
25-34: 18% (19,312)
35-44: 14% (14,484)
45-54: 12% (12,507)
55-64: 8% (8,649)
65-74: 4% (4,174)
75 and over 2% (2,028)

Just a small coin may make a difference...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

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Saturday, 09 December



Ducks and a cormorant on the River.

This post is part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme.

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Friday, 08 December



Sunset in Werribee, enjoyed on a walk by the riverside nature reserve. It was good to have a respite from the cool and rainy weather with a return of the fine and warm conditions more appropriate for the beginning of Summer.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.


Its been really great working with @andyray87 to produce a new... Steven Rhall | Blog

Its been really great working with @andyray87 to produce a new iteration of English as a Second Language for his show Always there and all a part viewable now at @Blindside (thanks for the beers). Manifesting in 2015 in response to found signage which read We specializes in authentic Indian cuisine in local Footscray, I considered narratives related to this text and notions of language and place where for this location, English was never spoken until recently. The orange wall text mirrors the font and hue of the original sign. Andys decision to paint the wall a particular grey lends itself to the statements ambiguity as to who we might be, what is both authentic and Aboriginal Art as framed in this instance by Institutional spaces and their own beliefs on these questions. A looped video component features a time lapse of myself deinstalling the very 1st installation of the text. At the time a spontaneous documentation and performance.
Andys show is on until 22/12 and I encourage you to check out the pertinently brilliant works by @ _nathanbeard @lara_chamas_artist @_garciagram and @textaqueen. The opening night also saw a fantastic performance by Priya Srinivasan and Hari Sivanesan subverting the relationship between performer and audience, the watched and the watcher where intentional or otherwise, audience members participated directly in recording this relationship and by doing so, reinforcing certain ideas of social hierarchy, body economies and the exoticised other.
Images: still from video, as installed, text, audience and participation. (at BLINDSIDE)



Agapanthus praecox (Common Agapanthus, Blue Lily, African Lily, or Lily of the Nile) is a native of Natal and Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Local names for this species include agapant, bloulelie, isicakathi and ubani. Most of the cultivated plants of the genus Agapanthus are hybrids or cultivars of this species. The plant is reportedly naturalised in Great Britain, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Eritrea, Ethiopia, St. Helena, Victoria, Norfolk Island, New Zealand, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Tristan da Cunha.

Agapanthus praecox subspecies orientalis (shown here) occurs in Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal. It has up to 20 poisonous, strap-like leaves per plant which are arching and are not leathery. These range in length from 20 to 70 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide. Flower colour ranges from various shades of blue to white.

Shiny black seeds are produced in three-sided capsules. These have perianth segments which are less than 50 mm in length. Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis is highly regarded for being tough in sun and heat, long-flowering, and is a favourite for many councils in Australia for the landscaping of roads and other public areas which do not get watered. The plant is still widely planted but in some areas it is considered a weed, and planting has been discontinued, although it is not generally regarded as highly invasive.

In Melbourne these plants grow luxuriantly and bloom for several weeks around Christmas. They are a common garden plant, but are also planted on nature reserves and verges along roads.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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Thursday, 07 December



Victoria (abbreviated as Vic) is a state in southeastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state and its second-most populous state overall (at the end of 2015 Victoria's population was an estimated 5,996,400). Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Geographically the smallest state on the Australian mainland, Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales is to the north, the Tasman Sea is to the east, and South Australia is to the west.

Named in honour of Queen Victoria, who signed the division's separation from New South Wales, the colony was officially established in 1851 and achieved self government in 1855. The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s significantly increased both the population and wealth of the colony, and by the time of the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city and leading financial centre in Australasia. Melbourne served as federal capital of Australia until the construction of Canberra in 1927, with the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne's Parliament House and all principal offices of the federal government being based in Melbourne.

The city of Melbourne has many attractions, including shopping, the Crown Casino, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Docklands, Southbank and St. Kilda. Melbourne is also the home of cultural and sporting icons such as The Arts Centre, National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which held the 1956 Summer Olympic Games.

The historic cities of Ballarat, Beechworth, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maldon and Daylesford which were all towns built on the goldfields during the 1850s. Natural attractions include The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Wilson's Promontory, The Grampians, Buchan Caves, Gippsland Lakes and the penguins on Phillip Island. The Dandenong Ranges just east of Melbourne has the Puffing Billy Railway and Healesville Sanctuary.

The Murray River which is the state's northern border, has towns including Echuca and Mildura. Boating, fishing and other water sports are popular along the river. Geelong, south west of Melbourne on Corio Bay, has many beaches, and hosts the Australian International Airshow. Nearby is the Bellarine Peninsula, which has many famous beaches such as Bells Beach, Torquay and Queenscliff. The Mornington Peninsula is well known for its beaches and wineries. The Victorian Alpine Region in the Australian Alps is popular for skiing with resorts at Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, and Mount Buffalo.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the...

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Wednesday, 06 December


Tonight sees myself and @karencaseyartist talking to Dr Mick... Steven Rhall | Blog

Tonight sees myself and @karencaseyartist talking to Dr Mick Douglas about our residency at the Wyndham Refuse Disposal Facility and WADDA LOADA, the artwork that came from it. Come for the chats, stay for the cheese (at Wyndham Cultural Centre)

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Thursday, 05 July


Bassian Thrush winter project? The Gap Year and Beyond

After the wild weather of last Saturday it was nice to get out into the Greens Bush forest again on Sunday and see what was happening. It was still early, a bit cold and many of the usual species I see there had decided to sleep in. One of the highlights beside some nice morning sun was finding several Bassian Thrush feeding on parts of the circuit track. Being quite dark under the trees I tried using the flash with some limited success but had better luck when I slowly followed the Thrush up the track a few steps at a time staying low until it finally moved into a mottled sun patch. This species is generally quite shy and due to its skulking nature has not been studied well. I see a few Thrushes most times I visit Greens Bush so I know it is a good spot for them. I can feel a project coming on.

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic

Bassian Thrush, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic




in duo form is *as yet undefined*, on this occasion they will be presenting a site specific large scale 1/4 tape collage that utilises the space. The audience is invited to move freely about the space     for the duration of the performance.

Wince is a face word. Singe is a hair word.
Joan Fleming is the winner of the Verge Prize for poetry and has written two books, The Same as Yes and Failed Love Poems, both from Victoria University Press. On this occasion, Joan steps into new territory....


Liam Snootle "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Name: Liam Snootle Location: Collingwood In a sentence, explain your craft?  A visual artist searching for cohesion between the left and right brain. Whats your proudest piece of art?  A painting from a couple of years back, entitled Late Fragment, I see it as the perfect balance between colour and shape, many times the final []

The post Liam Snootle appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.

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Tuesday, 05 December



The architecture of Melbourne is characterised by an extensive juxtaposition of old and new architecture. The city is noted for preserving a significant amount of Victorian architecture and has some of the largest in the country. Additionally, it features a vast array of modern architecture, with around 60 skyscrapers over 100 m in the city centre which have deliberately been set back from thoroughfares and streets to preserve historic architectureleading to the title of "Australia's most European city".

The juxtaposition of old and new has given Melbourne a reputation as a city of no characterising architectural style, but rather a city possessing an accumulation of buildings dating from the present back until the European settlement of Australia. The city is also home to Eureka Tower (2006), which was the tallest residential tower when measured to its highest floor for some time. Here are some Victorian gems, landmarks of our city.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Como House, South Yarra 1840s

Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, 1880 (World Heritage Site)

Melbourne General Post Offic...

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Thursday, 30 November


BuzzConf weather forecast "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Last updated: Fri Dec 1 @ 13:21

The latest info from BOM is that the rain will get heavier over night and mainly come on Saturday so come up and join us early. Gates officially open at 5pm, but come down before then if you want to beat the traffic.

Were running extra shuttles from Ballan Station to BuzzConf between 18:00 and 20:30 so if you dont want to drive up well look after you. If you get stranded at the station give us a call on 0401372974.

We have a team standing by to help you set up your tent if youve not done it in the rain before, and still have beds in dorms available. Again if youre concerned about the price let us know.

Download the program with updated maps.

Weather forecast
As you may know, weve got some weather coming our way in Victoria, and BuzzConfers will need to prepare to get a little wet. Were actioning some contingency plans to ensure the weekend is still as fantastic as usual and really excited by how the site is taking shape.
In particular, please note that on Friday and Saturday we are highly likely to have very significant rainfall totals and subsequent flash flooding and flooding.  Although the rainfall is expected to be heaviest north of the Divide, areas south of the Divide including Ball...

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Monday, 27 November


Boo hoo brouhaha Will Type For Food

I don't know what it was exactly, but between the one millionth time the video of Penny Wong crying popped up in my feed and the one million and oneth time the video of Penny Wong crying popped up in my feed, something snapped. What is it with the news media and the news media audience and pictures of politicians crying? But then again, it's a confusing issue. On the one hand, I think my life would be greatly improved if I never saw a politician crying again. On the other hand, who's to say what benefits could come to all of us if our feed was full of all politicians crying, all the time? It certainly wouldn't be any worse than what the media is full of at the moment (and the media is certainly full of it). 

Everyone cries, of course, and politicians cry too. Bob Hawke cried. Kevin Rudd cried. And now Penny Wong cried, too, when the results of the plebiscite rolled in and it became clear the 'yes' side had won the same sex marriage plebiscite. And she just happened to be standing in  front of the camera and the camera just happened to be recording her and the ABC just happened to take that footage and post it up on the internet as a news story (HEADLINE: politician's eye glands still in working order) and thousands of Australians just happened to watch it with such regularity that it just happened to appear in my feed again and again and again.

Humans are generally sympathetic sorts, of course, and there is just something about a video of Penny Wong crying that makes others cry. It's probably something to do with her being a likable politician who obviously has feelings and emotions like normal  people. Though why those normal  people would want to click on a video of Penny Wong crying for a second, third, fourth, or one millionth time is another question entirely. Sometimes normal people aren't very normal at all.

Maybe, in future, just as sitcoms get made with a laughter track, soap operas will get made with  a weeping track made principally of the sound of  Penny Wong crying, and played every time a break up or a death happens, so normal people might be able to sympathise in that way normal  people do and maybe even cry the tears of normal people as they do every time that recording of Penny Wong crying is played.

Not that I'm saying Penny Wong should cry full time. Don't be sad, Penny! Australia is a thriving modern nation with great economic prospects and a fantastic manufacturing sector! And you only need to do it once!   

Why... why are you looking at me that way, Penny Wong? I.... I didn't mean to. But the mainstream media made me do it! No, no... really! Ayieeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

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Monday, 06 November


Gritty realism Will Type For Food

Last week the exercise in German class was to sit and watch a video of a mountain and then come up with adjectives about it. The mountain was doing that thing it is that mountains do: not very much. In due course we had come up with a series of not particularly  original adjectives which the teacher was dutifully placing up on the board: "Hoch" ("high"), "neblig" ("misty"), "groartig" ("great, sublime").... at around this point I ventured: "Vielleicht es ist ein bisschen langweilig" ("Maybe it's a little boring").. The teacher laughed at this, said "Nein", and refused to write anything of the sort on the board: "Ja, langweilig", I cried, rallying to the course: "Es ist gro und grau und dreckig: langweilig!" (Big, grey, dirty).

And, come on, I was right: mountains are indisputably big, mostly a dull grey, and undeniably dirty: they are *literally* dirt. Big collections of rocks remain rocks, no matter how highly they may elevate themselves.

But people really do get over-excited about their big rocks. Just the other day the traditional owners of Uluru - that's the big red rock in the middle of  the desert, for anyone from other lands - decided to ban people from walking on top of their rock. Fair enough, it's their large stony object and they can do what they want with it, I guess. But the outrage! The anger! The cranky tweets and Facebook posts! Australians, it seems, really take their big rocks - and their right to walk over their big rocks - personally! What does it say over the state of a nation where one of their most beloved national icons is a gigantic rock in the middle of the desert? Mind you, we do have one over the United States. They get excited about a big hole in the middle of their desert.

What do people love about such masses of dirt, anyway? I suppose I shouldn't seem too dismissive of big rocks and hills and the like. Let's be exact and precise in our language here: a mountain is an exaggeration of dirt: there really is a lot of it. "A presence to glop at", as Auden wrote about that gigantic sphere of dirt and stuff in our sky. When Edmund Hillary learned of Everest, that gigantic collection of dirt in the Himalayas, his instinct was to climb it, too (this seems to be a common theme - getting on top of exaggerations of dirt, and then getting down to the other side). After he actually achieved this feat, one particular party - I'm not sure whether they were struck by a sudden fit of intelligence or a sudden fit of stupidity - asked Hillary why. Hillary's response was singularly unforthcoming: "Because it was there".

Well, they are there, after all, these hills and mountains and rocks and things, and they might as well earn their keep, which is why I suppose people do make such a song and dance about them. Tourism, photo opportunities, exciting travel opportunities (travelling to the mountain, travelling up the mountain, travelling down the other side of the mountain, travelling back home from the mountain again*) - not particularly meaningful, you might say. But who cares about giving meaning and substance to your life when you've got the basis for a national economy instead? Perhaps these big rocks have something to them after all.

Mind you, when we were in New Zealand in February, Lexi and I took a trip by train to Chateau Tongariro, right up next to the famous Mt Ruapehu. There was a train packed full of people, with a viewing platform where everyone could see its sublime peaks and its noble vistas. All the way there and all the way back, our sight of the mountain was occluded by large swathings of clouds and mists and the like. None of us got to see this wonder of nature at all. It was great. I even got a poem out of it:

Ruapehu! So bigly and profound! 
We've come to see your stately scenery! 
Though swathed in mystic mists, down to the ground
You truly are a sight we'll never see. 

 I wrote ten more lines of this, but you see where I'm going.

Not that I really have anything against rocks. They're all right, I suppose. I just guess I get annoyed when the big ones detract attention from the other ones, really. Why does that mountain range get all the glory? What about this majestic pebble? This sub...

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Tuesday, 31 October



Weve got awesome news thats going to make your year!

The 3rd and final acts announcement has landed feat 170+ music artists!

Do dont kid yourself. You wont be at work Monday.

Final call for 3rd release discount tix 35 left save 100 bucks!

get tix full details rsvp

enhance your experience

vehicle pass catch the bus boutique camping powered camping

The post FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED! 35 DISCOUNT TIX LEFT. appeared first on...

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Thursday, 26 October


90 3rd release tix left for earthcore victoria "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Ok folks Were exactly 4 weeks to go till the big dance!

3rd round lineup for earthcore 2017 Summer Dreaming drops 10am Tues 31 October

The 90 3rd release tix that are currently remaining will no doubt be gone before the acts drop final call to save 100 bucks!

get tix full detailsrsvp

The post 90 3rd release tix left for earthcore victoria appeared first on earthcore.

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Thursday, 12 October


All permits granted! "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

And what is our biggest news of the year we have now been granted all permits for Earthcore 2017 Summer Dreaming !!!!

This is the 1st and only festival of this nature in Victoria this coming season to have a Place of Assembly permit and also POPE permit granted. We thank the tireless work of our staff and crew getting this over the line. We are now officially excited !!! Bring on summer!

Last chance 3rd release tix

The post All permits granted! appeared first on earthcore.

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Sunday, 08 October


List I found in my notebook Will Type For Food

Useful useless jobs

Maker of zips for fake pockets
Church gargoyle feeder
Umlaut weigher
Pre-ripper of invisible jeans
Snark breeder
Walker of trolls
Maker of pockets for fake zips
Reverse stripper

*Note: I heard the first two in various places, I'm not quite sure where. The rest I made up. 

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Thursday, 05 October


A users guide to awkward hugs Will Type For Food

Hugs are always awkward. In fact that's probably what hugs were invented for, cheap and efficient awkwardness on a global scale. There are some people who claim that hugs are for being comfy and feeling loved, but those people are in denial. How long is this comfy hug supposed to go on for? Is a feeling loved hug maximised if I place my arms here, or move them there? What if the second person in the comfy loving hug has entirely different feelings about the correct position and duration of the comfy loving hug than the first person in the comfy loving hug? There could be an argument about it. There could be a huge fight. Marriages have split up over less! It's all incredibly awkward, which takes us back to my initial point about hugs being always awkward. They just are, as I have just irrefutably proved.

But by far the most awkward hugs of all are awkward hugs. You might think this is tautological, and you'd be right. Awkwardly awkward hugs are the hugs that put the 'logical' into 'tautology'. You might argue that 'tautology' doesn't have 'logical' in it, and again it seems you would be right. It's all very awkward, and we're only *talking* about hugs, which really proves just how awkward they can be if we can come to such an embarrassing impasse without actually hugging.

So, it seems we need a users guide to awkward hugs. And here it is. Take it from me. I know about awkward hugs all right. I'm an expert. Nobody hugs more awkwardly than me.

1) Embarrassing embraces with people you've just met. 

2) Peremptory smooshes with people you'll never see again. 
If you do 1) right, it becomes 2) anyway.

3) Awkward hugs with awkward kisses. 
How do you do these things again? Peck on the cheek? Right hand cheek, left hand cheek? And quick, right? Just how quick?

4) Surprise hugs in the middle of a party from a drunk person. 
These are difficult. I find that awkward hugs works best if you really prepare for them, anticipate every aspect of their awkwardness for weeks, and then blunderingly get the whole thing wrong anyway, but surprise hugs in the middle of a party from a drunk person can be pretty awful too. Try and arrange for it to be a) in a surprisingly awkward location b) stationed in front of a large audience of people who will ask you awkward questions about it afterwards (eg your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband) b) surprisingly, well, surprising.

5) Bear hugs from a bear. 
Very awkward, these.

6) Awkward hugs with awkward kisses from a bear. 
 You hardly even know one another, and already one of the party is bear. Ho ho ho ho ho.

7) Gawky side hugs.
Are you being not affectionate enough, or too affectionate? Should you be side hugging from the other side? These hugs create more questions than answers.

8) Manly manhugs with one of the participants being a dweeb and the dweeb is you. 

9) Cold emotionless distant formal hugs. 
Because emotion is evil and must be crushed.

10) Hugs for comfort where neither party is comfortable but maintain the illusion of comfort and safety to keep the other person feeling comfortable and safe. 
With a bear.

11) Awkwardly hugging someone with parasites. 

12) Passive aggressive hugging. 
I mean, often nobody's enjoying it. But sometimes it's got to be done.

SEE ALSO: Awkward sex hugs, awkward spooning where one of the partners is subtly out of position making the other spooner uncomfortable, awkward sex hugs with your partner, one cat, two dogs, and a goat. Not that I know anything about those ones. And the goats not talking either. 

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Thursday, 28 September


Crew Takeover The Brink "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

We give you yet another crew takeover for earthcore 2017 Summer Dreaming Victoria, gracing our monster mainfloor is THE BRINK!

The Brink is a post-apocalyptic themed event crew that promises the finest electronic music this side of the edge of the universe. With not a psy-ghoul in site, their oasis offers sanctuary where you can bask in the vibrating glow of all the fun, deep, odd, heavy, wet and wild shit that synthetic music can offer: tech, breaks, DNB, electro, house, glitch and almost everything in between.

full details

The post Crew Takeover The Brink appeared first on earthcore.

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Wednesday, 04 July


Back on track. VICTORIA_STREET

"Under the cloak of darkness of an early Sunday morning, after a sly reconnaissance mission during a weekday, it was decided to power up the trolley wire and it was time to knock off some oxide of the rail head. As the poor locals of Victoria Street have had to tolerate bustitution for over twelve months.

The tram, SW6 964, out of service with 'special' on the headboard, gently coasted into Victoria St from Albert Rd, then gingerly back shunted into 3 road of Westside depot. Replacement buses transferred from Footscray were laid up on roads 1 & 2. 

The next trip was out to the racecourse, with somewhat a minor delay at the gates, as the railway signal man was caught out, for he and his colleagues haven't had to throw the switch for the overhead from the 1500V railway to the 600V tramway for over a year.

It was rather quiet at racecourse terminus, there was no one there. The replacement buses had somewhat diminished the reliability of the trams, even with the bus idling there, no one was interested.
As this was the only tram service out this far today, the crew had chance to inspect the operation of the bundy clock and the track phone, together with a few cigarettes and a discussion about yesterday's football results.  



What's wrong with tall men anyway? Will Type For Food

Not all men!
No tall men!
On mall ten!
Non mallet!
Mall net on!
Loan ten, ML!
Anent moll!

- from Songs and Sonnets of the MRAs.

 UPDATE! - Interestingly, if you rearrange the letters of 'David Leyonhjelm' you come up with the words 'what an utter twonk.'

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Wednesday, 20 September


Change of Location Beside the Yarra

Hi all,

For anyone who has stumbled across this blog, a short note to say that I am re-locating to a new site, which you can find here:

'The Museum of Lost Things' will continue my rambling exploration of Melbourne's forgotten history, but paint on a slightly bigger canvas. So there will be a wider scope of articles, hopefully stuff that you will enjoy.

I will also be transitioning the existing article from here, to there, over the coming weeks.

Anyways, check it out if you have time, and if you have any comments, feedback or suggestions, feel free to drop me a line at

Thanks to everyone who read Beside the Yarra, and hopefully see you on the new page.


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Tuesday, 12 September


September 2017: Update Streams & Desolations

Its a rainy spring morning here in Melbourne, Australia. The sky is a pale, glary grey mass of sheer clouds looming over the still trees. Bright red blossoms have appeared on the gum trees on our street, and the rainbow lorikeets are chattering happily as they feed on the flowers. A mass of daffodils are []

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Wednesday, 06 September


Misinterpreted misinterpretations of words that do not mean what they mean Will Type For Food

Oy you lot, drop what you're doing! I can't believe we didn't start talking about Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken five minutes ago! Is it up to me to start all the discussions about the completely random pointless trains of thought which I came up with for no reason at all and which I'm talking about no for even less reason? You're just lazy, that's what you are!

Anyway, everyone is wrong! This is a poem that has not just been misinterpreted, it's a poem where everyone's interpretation of the misinterpretation is a misinterpretation! (Except for me, of course.)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Got that?

- Okay, so ... it goes something like this. People commonly misinterpret this poem as if it was about a person choosing between two roads and then realising how that choice 'has made all the difference' later in their life. Seems simple enough, right?

- Ah, but, a second set of people claim. The poem's not really about that at all! It's about how there actually was no difference between the two choices! They point out how Frost describes the roads as being 'really about the same' and that 'both that morning equally lay'. There, you see, they claim, Frost is actually taking the piss out of this guy speaking, who says that the choice he made was actually important. The speaker is actually trying to make out a difference where there is none.

- Is not, say the first.

- Is too, say the second.

But - and here is the nub that the misinterpreters of the misinterpretation miss out on - it's not as if the speaker is relating the events as they happen to him. It's a past tense poem and could be relating events that happened years, even decades ago. So when the speaker says of his choice 'that has made all the difference', he may well be referring to knowledge he has gained since the events relayed in the poem. It is true that he says that 'I kept the first for another day/Yet knowing how way leads on to way,/I doubted if I should ever come back' - implying that he can't really know if taking the other track would have made a difference. But maybe he did? It doesn't say either way in the poem.

And it's not as if it's a purely physical poem, is it? The point the most first set of misinterpreters pick up on - sometimes - that the second set of misinterpreters don't is that it's a bit of a metaphor, really. The two roads mightn't even be real. They might just represent a choice the speaker made in their life. And though you can't ever return back to that point in your life where you were able to make that choice - 'k...

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Thursday, 31 August


Filmonik Melbourne International Filmmaking Kabaret 2017 Filmonik Melbourne

The Filmonik Melbourne 1st International Kabaret, or Filmonik Kabaret in short, is two sessions in two successive weekends of creative, spontaneous, collaborative film-making in a festive shared production environment called the Kinolab, bringing together filmmakers, actors, musicians, writers, technicians and film aficionados. In this Kinolab amateurs and professionals will be called upon making or participating in the making of one or many 5 minute or less short films in these 48 to 72 hours sessions with all other participants. Both sessions will immediately culminate Sunday night with a public screening of the produced short films at Lido Cinema.

Filmmakers: Make films in a positive collaborative environment with access to actors, crew, resources and a guaranteed screening spot. Get the support to make your first film or make your most epic one by meeting a new crew or using everyone whos available as actors.
Writers: Come talk about your ideas and find a director to realise your vision. Brainstorm and find new ideas. Script doctor and assist filmmakers and crew. Get pushed into making your own film even.
Actors: Get featured in as many films as you can to build a Demo Reel. Fall in love with one or two scripts and fully develop a new character. Improvise and have fun with a new creative crew.
Film crew: Try out your new gear and experiment with your craft. Get experience. See how different directors work. Meet new friends.
Post-production artists: Put new VFX shots in your reel. Be the editor of a great short film. Take pictures on set. Exchange tips and tricks with fellow editors and bond as the screening approaches and everyone is tirelessly working around the same table in the style of a hackathon or game jam.
Musicians: Have your old tracks featured in a short film. Compose with a director. Play and hang around in the Kinolab. Jam sessions.

Registration for all participants include access to the Kinolab for 2 weekends and one ticket for each screening.
Directors have to reserve a screening spot for one weekend or two. A director that selects only one screening still has access to the event for both weekends. Screening spots are strictly limited. Some spots may be released last minute but the only way to guarantee a spot is to reserve now.

Once you have paid you will have to fill the registration form to populate your presentation sheet if it is not already done.
You can save on fees by filling the form and paying in person at the next Filmonik screening.

-Key dates-

Thursday Oct 19 6:30pm: First session production meeting.
Friday Oct 20 6:30pm: Kinolab opens to the participants to collaborate and make films until Sunday.
Sunday Oct 22 6:30pm: First session screening at Lido Cinemas.
Friday Oct 27 6:30pm: Second session production meeting and Kinolab re-opens to collaborate and make films until Sunday.
Sunday Oct 29 6:30pm: Second session screening at Lido Cinemas.


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Wednesday, 30 August


On the home front. VICTORIA_STREET

The study/man cave/old layout space now looks a treat (and a lot larger), after a dash of interior acrylic called 'Royal beige 1/2 strength'.  This area has been annexed by the bride as 'her' home office. 

After the neighbours place was sold at auction at a very good price, the works around "casa del Glenno" have notched up from a leisurely 'full series' trundle to a slightly manic 'full parallel' dash. 

With all the prep work and paint going on at the moment, I have discovered that all of my children must suffer an inner ear issue, as they cannot to seem to walk straight along the hall without 'pinballing' off the newly painted walls. This has been remedied by proclaiming from now on that all the walls are made from lava. 

On an another front, my football club has missed out on the finals this year, thus freeing me up to do more with the house this September. It has been stated in the media that the Bulldogs are suffering a premiership hangover, but I am still glad to have this problem as a result of breaking a 62 year drought. 

I did recently obtain another W class tram at a good price, this is the only modelling topic on this post. 

An old photo of the first five,
Now there are six

From amongst the paint tins and colour charts. 


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Friday, 11 August

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Sunday, 16 July


The early removal of services VICTORIA_STREET

The layout has not had a tram cut a notch since the suspension of service notice was issued. Even if I did attempt to roll one out of the shed, the layer of filth and dust on the rails at the moment would render the tram 'insulated'. 

End of an era 

These are not the greatest days of modelling, but in the end, this will only be temporary. As you can imagine, I have a list of tasks that Evil Kinevil would struggle jumping, but then he would find himself in the back of an ambulance after failing such an attempt. 

On the other hand the neighbours have finished their episode of 'grand designs' and their property goes up for auction at the end of the month, this will determine how intently we go from here. 

Over the previous weekend, one month before the original scheduled shutdown, services were suddenly suspended, rollingstock packed away, and the entire 4mm to the foot universe that is Victoria Street was placed into recess and storage.

It is only when one is required to take stock and pack it, that's when you find out that you may be a hoarder. I have found 'assets' that have been long forgotten, the bride during her stocktake has 'rediscovered' her vast collection of fabrics and yarn, therefore at this moment in time, the scores are level. 

As most of you can appreciate, photos are in short supply at the moment with all the fun and games going on.  

I'm sure I can conjure up unpublished finds and then cobble them with enough text as a retrospective, also I can use this time to assist others online and live vicariously through their layouts along with their adventures with tramway modelling. 

From the recently cleaned out study with a bewildered look of where the wires were. 


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Friday, 07 July

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Tuesday, 27 June

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Monday, 19 June


Link Bakowski poetry news

My sixth poetry collection in Australia will be published by Guillotine Press in late July 2017

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Tuesday, 03 July


Testing the flush zone at the treatment plant. The Gap Year and Beyond

Towards the end of my last drive around the Western Treatment Plant we found several Brown Falcons using the fence posts as lookouts for their evening meals. Using the car as a mobile bird hide and watching for nervousness we managed to get quite close to a few. Depending on their age and temperament they had quite different flush distances (no-pun intended).

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #601 "IndyWatch Feed"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: 3 - 9 July 2018Newsletter | #601 What's On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 3rd July 2018 to Monday 9th July 2018 Winter School Holiday Guide Ice Skating Festival Precarious | Circus Oz The Big Bubble Show! Kid's Magic Gala Moonee Valley Winter Fest Melbourne Magic Festival Espaa | Spanish Music Concert - Melbourne Musicians European Night Market Phillip Island Whale Festival Live At London Eleven VIVA La Fiesta Enjoy #Melbourne Circus Oz | Precarious 29th June - 15th July | Circus Oz Big Top @ Royal Botanic Gardens A 70-minute non-stop spectacle of acrobatic mayhem. #Must see! Precarious | The Big Bubble Show! Combining astonishing bubble magic, sidesplitting audience participation a | Spanish Music Concert - Melbourne Musicians Melbourne Musicians directed by Frank U.Pam present a program of Spanish music by various composers, mostly premieres or rare performances. Espaa | St Johns Southgate | Buy Tickets Online European Night Market - Madame Brussels Lane Every Friday night in July - 5pm - 9pm Expect to be transported to the finest European hotspots with fabulous food and live entertainment each week. European Night Market 2018 | Madame Brussels Lane VIVA La Fiesta | Narre Warren Saturday 7th July - Sunday 8th July 2018 Celebrating Latin culture: Copacabana International presents a two day family friendly festival filled with great energy and fun. VIVA La Fiesta 2018 | Bunjil Place This Coming Weekend Docklands Firelight Festival, Face of Ethiopia in Docklands, Glen Eira Storytelling Festival, Low Light Festival | Art Music & Food, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Melbourne Truffle Festival, NAIDOC Week, Phillip Island Whale Festival, Puffs | The Play, World Chocolate Day View Weekend Guide | Winter School Holiday Guide Markets This Weekend Melbourne Rare Book Fair, Collins Place, Casey Centra, City Cellar Door and Wine Market, Boho Luxe Winter Wanderlust Market, Coburg Wellness Market, Narre Warren, Sorrento, Footscray Finds Market, Crate Digger Record Fair Preston, Craigieburn, Docklands Sunday Market, Melbourne Tool Sale + 54 Markets + Computer Markets View Market Calendar | Garage Sales Newsletter Subscribe Current Week Archive | Previous Week Advertising | Privacy Policy | Contact Us All Content Copyright (c) 2018 RIPEFRUIT. All Rights Reserved.


Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov - great pretenders ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

In July 1918 Bolshevik revolutionaries, acting on Moscows orders, shot Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, four daughters (Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia), their son Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich and four servants. Their bodies were taken from the Yekaterinburg cellar, in the Urals, and buried in the forest, yet a rumour got out that the body of the Grand Duchess Anastasia had not been accounted for. Did she hide in the closed cellar?

Since 1918 many women have presented themselves as the missing Anastasia (or another sister). However only Anna Anderson and Eugenia Smith gathered substantial support. Thank you to True Crimes and Curiosities for much of the information .

The princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia
Alexander Palace, 1916

Olga, Alexei, Anastasia and Tatiana
Under house arrest in Tsarskoe Selo, 1917
Last known photo of the Romanov siblings

A] In 1920 Anna Anderson tried to commit suicide and was sent to a mental health centre in Berlin. One of the patients took her for the Grand Duchess and later this legend was supported by Russian immigrants. Two years later Anna started believing that she was in fact the real Grand Duchess Anastasia. In 1928 she moved to the USA and lived off Russian princess Xenia Georgievna, who was actually distantly related to the Romanovs. However, after failing to prove herself, Anna returned to Germany.

Those who had known Anastasia personally said Anna Anderson was an imposter, but most ordinary people believed her. So the Tsarina of Russias brother Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, hired a private investigator in 1927 to find out who she really was - Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker suffering from mental illness

For 20 years Anna struggled to get her name recognised by the European courts, but failed. In 1968 she moved back to the USA where she married a wealthy man. Anderson died there in 1984 and post-mortem DNA tests finally disproved her claim of being a Romanov. As they did for every other claimant mentioned here.

I saw the film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986) decades ago.

B] Eugenia Smith (1899-1997) was born Eugenia Smetisko. According to her naturalisation papers, Eugenia was born and raised in 1899 in Bukovina, an artist & writer who emigrated to the USA in 1929. In Chicago in 1963 she presented a book to a publisher which she said was a manuscript given to her by the Grand Duchess Anastasia herself. Doubting her tale, the...

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Wednesday, 07 June


Moves are afoot. VICTORIA_STREET

I have in the last few months fielded a few enquiries about exhibiting the layout from exhibition managers and followers of the blog. I thought I maybe able entertain one or two exhibitions this year, but in reality the humble abode in which the layout resides along with the bride, three kids, a jack russell terrier, one cranky budgie and myself in is somewhat becoming cramped. 

This can only eventually lead to one conclusion, possible relocation. Soon!

Our current domicile is a quaint 'worker's cottage' in the inner west of Melbourne, while this was extensively renovated nearly ten years ago with a 'study' that I annexed. It is believed no longer able to accommodate my family and all our stuff. 

Therefore, not much at the moment is happening on the layout at this point in time, yet the entire bandwidth of Internet is being utilised on searching for possible candidates.  

As with every potential move, requests are being entertained, mine include a reasonable shed/workshop and some more potential layout/man cave space, as apposed to our current arrangement. 

The kids would like individual rooms, but on most stormy nights would huddle together in the main bedroom with the bride and I, to at which point I make a statement, " why bother with a house when could have a tee-pee."

The bride would appreciate a little space for her interests too, considering she smashed her graduate diploma with high distinctions on the laptop, on her lap and on any somewhat clean level surface in our free standing post office box. She does deserve better. 

Either way, be it through my Nostradamus like thinking or the strict initial limitations placed by the bride, but the concept of a modular layout in this current location may have paid off. 

Originally I opted for a tramway layout that was modular for two basic reasons.


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Saturday, 13 May


Emma Donovan & The PutBacks in Melbourne on 12/05/17 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

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Thursday, 11 May


Kulin Tide Strings in South Melbourne on 10/05/17 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

  • Artist: Kulin Tide Strings
  • Date: Wednesday, May 10th 2017
  • Time: 6:00pm
  • City: South Melbourne, Victoria
  • Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre
  • Address: 31 Sturt Street
  • Country: Australia
  • Admission: Free
  • Age restrictions: All Ages
  • Notes: Special guest vocalists Emma Donovan and John Wayne Parsons will be joining James Henry and SiloSQ for this special performance.
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Tuesday, 09 May


Filmonik #40 Filmonik Melbourne

More info on our Facebook page
RSVP on Meetup

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Monday, 08 May


Mission Song Project in Melbourne on 07/05/17 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

  • Artist: Mission Song Project
  • Date: Sunday, May 7th 2017
  • Time: 2:00pm
  • City: Melbourne, Victoria
  • Venue: Melbourne Town Hall
  • Address: 90-130 Swanston Street
  • Country: Australia
  • Admission: free (booking required)
  • Age restrictions: All Ages
  • Buy Tickets
  • Notes: Featured Artists Joe Geia (Gugu Yimithirr/Kaurareg) Jessie Lloyd (Gugu Yimithirr/Kaurareg) Emma Donovan (Gumbainggir/Danggali & Naaguji/Yamitji) Deline Briscoe (Gugu Yalanji) Jessica Hitchcock (Saibai) Clint Bracknell (Noongar)
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Wednesday, 03 May


reflections from 2015 and 2016 attendee, Anne "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Want more intimacy and connection? Want more fun with sex and relationships? Are you respectful and curious? Tickets now on sale

I receive emails all through the year from people telling me how this event has opened up and impacted positively on their whole life.

Today (with their permission of course) I am sharing with you what Anne, 2015 and 2016 attendee, sent me about what they experienced attending Celebrating Sexuality.

See you in November, Jo xx
Excited for this, my 3rd Celebrating Sexuality Festival, later this year. I'm making the trip to Melbourne especially for this wouldn't miss it! 

Basically it is 3 days of diving deep into the core of all you are made from (because after all, our sexual energy is one of the most powerful energies we have and it drives everything we do - it makes sense to want to learn more about this stuff). It is filled with over 30 workshops on differing topics around sexuality from rope play to bondage, to how to talk to children about sex, to communicating boundaries with lovers, to how to negotiate threesomes+, and so much more. 

The site where it is held is lush, serene and as extravagant as you decide for it to be. The food is delicious, varied and healthy, with great coffee on hand. It is so incredibly well organised with each detail meticulously considered (thank you Jo Balmforth for your tireless energy and efforts in making Celebrating Sexuality the exemplary experience that it is). 

I can't even begin to express how much personal growth I've had from the experiences I've had at 'Sex Camp'. Not only was it fun and informative, but the feeling of connection and open heartedness I felt by the end was unbelievable. 

Truth be known, the first one confronted the crap out of me. It was so uncomfortable, yet I am forever grateful for the experience. Most of the workshops I attended were Tantra based (my first introduction to it and I haven't looked back since, with Celebrating Sexuality opening me up to a...

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Tuesday, 02 May


Episodes of Bustitution VICTORIA_STREET

Buses, either complement or are the nemesis of tramway operations, but they are a reality. They offer flexible route alternatives without the pork barreling and/or the expense of infrastructure in implementing a tramway.

Victoria Street now has on its roster ( or streets), six buses of four differing types and vintages. 

All buses in the collection are all 1/76 (OO) scale made or offered by mobs such as EFE, Trux, or Oxford, then a maybe a combination of all of the above. 

First cab (bus) of the rank is....

The Austerity bus.
(Oxford Bedford rework)

Loosely based on the unit that featured a timber body that was pressed ganged into service during the darkest days of WW2 before the tramway was extended from the then terminus, Maribrynong River to the government cordite/explosives factory further west over the river.  Most services 'gunned  it' from Footscray railway station with the headboard coded with 'Special E'. 

MMTB 301

This model has 'blackout' white markings on the bumper bars and mud guards. 

Now it's on an enthusiast's excursion. 


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Tuesday, 18 April

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Thursday, 13 April


Some more distractions VICTORIA_STREET

What can I say, I'll do anything than tackle outstanding work on the work bench. The annual leave/household maintenance has come and gone, then closely followed by the Easter school holiday, these scenarios are the thief of modelling time. 

While there is not any pressing issues that require attention on the layout, the rollingstock (anyone remember 821?) are trundled from one end to the other to keep the rails clean and the mechanisms moving. 

When it comes to recent achievements, I have finished the distraction that is the per way loco, introducing SEC 1. 

Nothing like a bit of imagineering. 

The other side project features an aspect of interior design with a tramway theme. Framed genuine W class tram route numbers. 

 82 (Footscray to Moonee Ponds) and 
57 (West Maribyrnong to City via North Melbourne) 

These take pride of place at the top of the stairs leading to the study/man cave with full approval of the bride.

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Sunday, 09 April


Some Bendigo ghost signs Finding the radio book

I've just come back from an overnight stay in the old gold mining city of Bendigo, where I stumbled on a few signs.

Firstly, three on an old building opposite the railway station:

And a bunch of others we stumbled on:

At the derelict gasworks - let gas help you!



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Monday, 02 July


Sextual Healing Will Type For Food

Art of Safe Sexting to teach Victorian schoolgirls how to safely send sexy snaps

SCHOOLGIRLS as young as 12 will be taught how to safely send sexy snaps via texts and social media, including cropping out their heads in nude images.
Look, I know it may seem strange to some, this prospect of teachers going about the classroom teaching students how to put condoms on their iPhones and investigating how to administer contraceptives to their laptops, but what alternative do they have? Once a kid takes a nude selfie and texts it off, it's out there in the world. And that nude selfie is going to meet other nude selfies, and soon enough those nude selfies are going to do what nude selfies do with one another, and they're going to have nude baby selfies. Just like Tamagotchis, only small and pink and doing lots of nude baby selfie poos all over the place and.... okay, I have no idea what Tamagotchis actually look like, but that's not the point! LISTEN UP!

This is serious. Because the other problem is sextually transmissible diseases. Do you have any idea what it's like when you're iPhone gets gonnorhea? My friend's phone got that once, and... stop tittering up the back! My friend's phone got that once, and it started doing revolting mucal discharges all over the place. It got incredibly itchy, and so it started buzzing at random intervals to scratch itself. It was all incredibly embarrassing, and it was all because it had been sending nude selfies without adequate protection!

Safe sext, kids. It's a thing. Get onto it.

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Monday, 03 April


Moving day The Red and Black Architect

Click on the Logo below to continue through to the new look website


The Red +Black Architect started as an after-hours hobby in 2012. It was a platform to talk about architecture and the built environment in a straight forward way, such that the public could get an insight from an architects perspective. Five years on, it has achieved some extraordinary things. From discussions with leading architects and influential politicians through to coverage of major events and local controversies, The Red + Black Architect has provided a unique lens on the architecture scene in Melbourne.

This was only possible due to a confluence of factors for which I am incredibly grateful. It never ceases to amaze me how supportive Melbournes architecture community can be. To all those who have been interviewed, written guest posts, shared content, commented on or read articles, thank you. Particular thanks must also go to Olivia, Sonia, Justine, Alison, Peter and Stuart for your incredible support and encouragement.

Today is moving day. Having outgrown this free wordpress site it is time to turn the page. To kick off the discussion on the brand new website, is the Atelier Red+Black entry into the 2017 NGV Architecture commission.  The new refreshed website is live and can be found at:

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the next generation of The Red+Black Architect

Architecture is for everyone...

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Monday, 13 March


I'm too easily distracted. VICTORIA_STREET

I'm currently on a spot of annual leave from work, so along with the responsibilities of the school run, I have been reliably informed of tasks around the house the require attention, this tends to stifle creativity on and around Victoria Street.

The shell of 821 still resides on blocks at the moment with the chassis hiding in the in the back of the shed, as there is no real hurry to introduce another W class to the roster.

However I have phaffed about with other (non Melbourne) distractions.

Like fitting this powered bogie from a Bachmann San Francisco cable car to this little open platform tram. (Still DC at the moment)

This one of the many static models courtesy of the Atlas release that have inundated the European market and are eagerly motorised by the model tramway community.

We need a bigger tram

Another side project is this obscure steeple cab shunter which was made by Lima. While this does not have any relevance in MMTB operations in history, this will become a per way loco that will be part of the tram depot/museum that is Westside.

A drop in ride height along with new paint, decals and some trolley poles.

A while ago I obtained two Bluerail decoders that operate on the Bluetooth frequency from an app on your smartphone or tablet. One was installed in SW6 870 and after a few teething issues (dirty wheels/track) operates quite well, the spare unit has been fitted into a translucent zippy box with a socket and four LEDs as an ad hock DC controller.


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Tuesday, 07 March


Turning the ship around The Red and Black Architect

2017 marks five years of substantial and sustained cultural change within the Australian Architecture profession. On this International Womens Day it is timely to reflect on how far we have come towards a diverse profession, as well as how far we have still to go.

In May 2012 the website Parlour: Women, Equity Architecture burst onto the scene. Armed with a potent mix of rigorous scientific data and digital media savvy, it demanded attention from all levels of architectural practice. It could no longer be argued that architecture didnt have a gender problem, all that was left was to figure out what to do about it.

It is a debunking project in that it is trying to show the realities of everyday life at work in architecture, not necessarily the kind of glamourous public image, but at the same time there is a lot idiosyncrasy and pleasure, fun and sense of community that happens in architecture where everyone is working together on a common project and really committed. You can see that in the images of people and also workplaces and the minutiae of everyday life of women in architecture Dr. Naomi Stead
(Photo Phuong Le, from Portraits of Practice Exhibition by Parlour)


In 2013 Parlour hosted perhaps its most pivotal event to date, Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture. The central question of this full day seminar was: If architecture were more inclusive would it also be in a stronger position? This broad ranging question intentionally made diversity everyones business.

Transform was also the debut of what eventually became the Parlour Guides for Equitable Practice. This award winning and internationally significant publication takes individuals and practices through the major causes and resolutions of inequality in architecture.  These guides have had such an impact, that the American Institute of Architects is now beginning to look at producing a similar set of guides for their own members.

Perhaps change over the last five years has been most notable in the Australian Institute of Architects itself. In 2013 the Institute announced its new Gender Equity Policy and a National Committee for Gender Equity. This triggered a raft of changes within the AIA, some subtle, others more obvious. There have been CPD events, med...

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Thursday, 02 March


Volunteer Profile Nafeu Aungshu "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Star SLF volunteer, Nafeu Aungshu, burst into action during the Festivals Big Weekend. Check out our latest volunteer in conversation with Nafeu.

Where did you grow up?
I was born on the banks of Bay of Bengal beside Sunderbans, the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world and my birth place is known as Bagerhat. In Bengali, the word Bagerhat means land of tigers and it is famous as Royal Bengal Tigers territory. At the age of 4, I moved to Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh with my parents and my schooling started there. At the age of 22, I moved to Melbourne, known as the most liveable city, for my double masters at Monash University.

What are the projected impacts from climate change on your place of birth?
Perhaps, it is enormously difficult to believe that my birth place Bagerhat will be vanished from the world map within next decade during my lifetime. Due to climate change, the rising sea level threatens the persistence of my birth place and this could inundate 17 per cent of Bangladeshs land area by 2050, reducing cultivatable land and displacing 35 million people. Within next 10 years, Dhaka will be affected by Climate change and expected to cause significant changes in river salinity. This will lead to shortage of drinking water in the urban areas. Bagerhat is famous as the territory of Royal Bengal Tiger but unfortunately, the remaining tiger habitat in Bangladesh would be declined by 96 per cent due the sea level rise. Experts predicted that, due to climate change, Bagerhat will suffer with temperature rise, tropical cyclones, saline water invasion, land inundation, ocean acidification, invasive species and so on, which eventually may pose threat of extinction to biodiversity of Bagerhat. Currently, 16% of mangrove species which are critically endangered, 10% are near-threatened and more than 40% of the mangrove-endemic vertebrates are now also at risk of extinction due to habitat loss. The river erosion from flooding claims 20,000 acres of land and leaves up to 200,000 people homeless each year. Above all, the main challenge involves increasing rice production without using groundwater unsustainable, especially with an increase in population and sea level rise will pose significant challenges to agricultural productivity in the future.

What level of awareness is there about these impacts in your home town?
Bangladesh is fully aware of the fact that two-thirds of Bangladesh is less than five metres above sea level, making it one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to rising sea levels. Bangladesh has taken wide range of strategic policies. For instances, Bangladesh became the first country in developing nations who made its own climate fund known as Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT) and every year 7 per cent of the budget is allocated only to climate change. Within 9 years of time, th...

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Monday, 20 February


Melbournes White Night 2017 "IndyWatch Feed"

Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations.

Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.  The Light show entitled Rhythms Of The Night by White Night & Artists In Motion, depicted the four stages of sleep. These fantastical scenes were at times like that of a Halloween nightmare, with spiders and skeletons. The dream would them move on by disintegrating into vibrant black and white patterns reminiscent of MC Escher.

Supporting this main event, were a number of excellent installations throughout the Carlton Gardens Precinct. Sailing in between the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building was The Pyrophone Juggernaut. Part steel pirate ship, part musical performance, part pyrotechnic show this collaboration between Hubbub Music and Strut & Fret was a real crowd favorite. Nearby, the Sonic Light Bubble by Eness and Pixel Fruit by Tim Newman both created valuable support pieces to this precinct, which as a whole was a significant improvement from previous years.


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Sunday, 19 February


A short update. VICTORIA_STREET

Not much to report, 821 is still up on blocks in the workshop (the workbench), then 800 decided to have an episode, so a quick trip to the Go-Box combined with some harsh reeducation and all is well.

One thing I did do is have a fidgit with the smartphone, I shot some video and then to proceeded to phaff about with an editing app to deliver this rather slick/sloppy clip, so sit back and waste about ninety seconds of your life.

From under the wires, behind the smartphone all going well.

Regards Glenn

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Tuesday, 31 January



All over Melbourne, people are doing their bit to lower their impact on the climate, and you can too.

The City of Melbourne wants to work with you to create a sustainable future for our city. Thats why they are inviting you to a special series of Eco-City events throughout Melbourne. From learning how to grow your own veggies to connecting through community power, there are plenty of things to get involved in. Theyre easy, free and fun!

Building momentum for community energy.

Park ranger trailers.

Learn how to grow your own green roof.

Free film screening.

Interactive cooking demonstrations.

Move more and sit less.

Grow your own edible garden.

Queen Victoria Market.


You can find out more about City of Melbourne sustainability programs at Eco-City Information Booths at City Libraries and Hubs during the Festival.

The post CELEBRATING SUSTAINABILITY IN MELBOURNE appeared first on Sustainable Living Festival.

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Sunday, 29 January



I cannot believe it's nearly four and half years ago that the empire expanded to five W class trams*, yet to have all in service at once has not yet really been achieved.

The family portrait from then.

A lot of decoders and exhibitions have trundled by, along with the extension to the running lines and an inclusion of a depot. After a summer break that did not engage the usual serious intervention*, the consideration once again looks to rollingstock.

The static W5 812 was roughly fitted with a rolling DC chassis at the time but was left like a wallflower on the shelf as the other W's were retro fitted with DCC and lights. This W5 812 was earmarked to be re-imagined as W5 795, but with a little research W5 821 was the only canvas two door W5 painted in the then new corporate green and gold of the metropolitan transit authority, this now saves me a paint job. It was also unsuccessfully fitted with trolley retrievers to the apron, another little detail to differentiate it from the rest. here is my work in progress.

Work in progress

The chassis (Bachmann Mech) with the NCE 13SRJ decoder fitted under the drop center.

W5 821 going for a trundle down Collins St in the City .

The decoder was appropriated from my SW6 870 (since fitted with Blu-rai...

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Thursday, 12 January


2017: Good byes and fresh starts, books, and parenting Streams & Desolations

Its a warm Thursday afternoon in the middle of the summer school holidays. The sun is shining, the cicadas are chirping, and Im listening to classical music. The kids are playing video games and, as always, conveniently not hearing my repeated admonitions to switch off their games and give their eyes a rest from the []

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Friday, 30 December


Something different. VICTORIA_STREET

How does one make a layout a little different and offer some other entertainment. A narrative requires conflict in an effort to define a hero or a villain, enter tank warfare.

These were obtained in the Christmas Day draft that is Kris Kringle at the outlaws.

One of German decent the other somewhat soviet.

While Melbourne avoided direct contact with the enemy during WW2 other than the odd surveillance aircraft sporting bright red dots as an insignia, that what followed with the associated level of domestic anti aircraft fireworks. this city managed to continue on as a hub for munitions and logistics during the great conflict.    

The latest interaction features two small remote control battle tanks of indeterminable scale. but they do offer another dimension of theatre.

These little pieces of conflict are operated on the common remote frequencies of 27Mhz and 40Mhz, their only downfall is that they tend to run at full speed, regardless of straight line speed or turning and under certain circumstances prototypically throw their tank treads thus rendering them disabled.  I may have to 'adjust' their enthusiasm.

These micro examples of warfare use the concept of infra red signals to impact the other, after a four "hits" the receiver is disabled. The entertaining part is that the delivering tank 'recoils' on firing while the victim 'twitches' on  impact.

Waiting its turn at the gates.

The visitors are taking advantage of Oktoberfest at the racecourse.

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Sunday, 01 July


Here's a disgusting and potentially toxic thing! Let's eat it! Will Type For Food

They have spirulina in Smarties. Did you know they have spirulina in Smarties? I was contemplating this surprising news yesterday shortly after having discovered, along with the Baron, a slime mould growing in our community garden. (By the way, don't slime moulds strike you as having something of a split personality disorder? Are they not sure whether they want to be a slime or a mould? Make up your tiny microbial mind, Gunkypoos!) Like, I would have expected there to be a little vegetable (wheat, sugar) and a little animal (milk) in my Smarties: but a blue-green algae? Really?

(And while we're talking about split personality disorder, what's that blue-green algae all about?)

But anyway, it all got me thinking - if I can munch my way through a packet of sweets with animal, vegetable, and cyanobacteria in it, what's to stop me throwing some other oddities in it? Mushrooms, yeast, fungi generally, yes - all these have been done before. But - and I think you see where I'm going with this - what about edible slime moulds?

The internet, an amazingly authoritative source for credulous people all over the world, was, it turns out, surprisingly silent on this matter. Our old friend, Dog Vomit Slime Mould (these names, they just seem to exacerbate the split personality disorder) did appear in a couple of web searches: it's kind of the rock star of the slime mould world, it seems. This newspaper article suggests that you can eat Dog Vomit Slime Mould (though considering DVSM was so named because it looked like dog vomit, how would you ever be able to tell if you were eating the right thing until, well, you had eaten it?). Though a few more web searches seemed to imply that aforesaid newspaper article writer was getting his slime moulds confused. (The last thing the discerning slime mould gastronome wants to do is to get his flavours mixed up like that.)  It turns out there is another, distinct slime mould which people will sometimes eat in South America called Caca de Luna ("Vomit of the Moon" - do you see the emerging theme here?) which you could, if you were culinarily so inclined, prepare as a tapas.

Slime moulds are all very well. But what about mosses and lichens? I've got my omnivore on now, so I want to get a slice of a juicy moss and a soupcon of delicious lichen. As it turns out, there's always Icelandic moss, which is, (confusingly) not a moss but a lichen. Hey! Yeah! I made a beer out of Icelandic moss once and I totally didn't die!

As it turns out, almost all of the edible mosses turn out to be lichens, and the edible mosses that don't turn out to be lichens may not exist at all. But on the other hand, I'm not sure what on earth lichens or mosses are anyway, so maybe that's enough confusion for one day.

Fig 1: Potentially delicious! 

No, you can't have any Smarties. I ate them all.

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Tuesday, 20 December


2016: A fork in the road The Red and Black Architect

It is hard to remain positive reflecting upon the year that is now rapidly drawing to a close. 2016 has been a difficult and particularly disliked year. To the despair of many, the world lost some of its cultural giants, David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen and Mohamed Ali, to name a few. At times it seemed like a week could not pass without another icon leaving our midst.

Australian architecture also lost giants. Paul Pholeros AM the founder and driving force behind Health Habitat, Romaldo Giurgola the architect responsible for Australias New Parliament House, Stephen Ashton from ARM in his AIA Gold Medal year, and another Gold Medallist Peter Corrigan AM, from Edmond and Corrigan all left us in 2016. They will all be greatly missed for what they gave the architecture profession.

Many will look back on 2016 as the year of Brexit and Trump. The year great democracies chose building walls over building bridges. Australia, despite our geographic isolation, has not been left out of this reactionary, fear driven club. Our Federal politicians are building their own fence, around our Parliament House. The house Romaldo Giurgola designed as an expression of our democratic freedoms, is to be undermined by wire and steel, excising the building from the founding ideals of our democracy.

Romaldo Giurgola designed this building so that you had very good access to the people so it expressed freedom, it didnt in any way express exclusivity. Putting a fence around it is putting a noose around it. Glenn Murcutt

The popular thinking for the moment is that if we continue to build walls, fences, detention camps and surveillance we will eventually be able to isolate the good from the evil. We will be able to prevent unwanted people, unwanted ideas and unwanted change. Those within the sanctuary will prosper and those outside it, well who cares about them anyway.

New Parliament House by Romaldo Giurgola

New Parliament House by Romaldo Giurgola

This ideology of divisiveness will not deliver harmony nor prosperity. It will instead harbour inequality and resentment, which are at the very cause of the anger levelled against our democracies and the fear within them.

The real work of an architect today is to have a vision of the future of life
Jean Nouvel

As we approach a new...

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Monday, 12 December


Beyond Sculpture: Melbournes new Habitat Filter The Red and Black Architect

In a city that boasts an impressive collection of freeway architecture and roadside sculpture, Melbournes new Habitat Filter looks to set a new benchmark in urban art.


The Power Street Loop has been an industrial by-product since the construction of CityLink by Transurban in the late 1990s. This island site sits isolated inside a ring of bitumen and fast moving traffic, but is now home to Melbournes latest piece of urban art Habitat Filter.

The project itself is the result of an open design competition held by Transurban. Landcare Australia were looking to re-vegetate and rehabilitate the site, whilst Transurban were also looking for a sculpture that would sit comfortably within the adjacent arts precinct.

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Friday, 09 December


It's beginning to look alot like Christmas VICTORIA_STREET

Another year rolls around and before you know, it's Christmas. Therefore as I have done in years past,
here is this years Christmas card from Victoria Street.

As always I wish all the blog followers the best for the season, the usual rules around safety, the fact the one cannot consume their weight in food and beverages and not suffer the consequences and in the end it's all about quality time with family that involves bringing joy to the little ones.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From under the tinsel and the wires.

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Wednesday, 07 December


Desivolution The Red and Black Architect

Architecture is a reflection of culture. For architects, understanding and responding to culture through design is a critical part to achieving buildings that resonate with people.   

Architect and Atelier Red+Black co-director Sonia Sarangi, has been investigating the evolving Indian culture in Melbourne which has now led to a solo photographic exhibition at Magnet Gallery in Melbourne.  


The evolution of Indian culture in Melbourne is still very much a work in progress. Whilst many would be familiar with the butter chicken and Bollywood stereotypes, there is far greater diversity and depth to Indian culture than what is commonly portrayed. For Sonia, exploring how the Indian food scene was adapting and thriving within Melbourne was a window into this evolution.


People call Melbourne the sports capital of the world, but I also call it the food capital. Melbourne has so many cultures, people here come from every single part of the globe. We have another restaurant in New York, however the Melbourne restaurant is the original. Usually trends come from the United States, however this is the other way around. One thing I can say, with my hand on my heart, is that Melbourne is way ahead of New York when it comes to food.


Babuji, St Kilda


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Wednesday, 30 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 30 Streams & Desolations

It is finished, and while I hit my 50,000 target word count on Day 25, I continued writing. This is not only the first NaNoWriMo in which I reached 50,000 significantly earlier than the cut-off date, it is also the first one in which I wrote every single day. I cant recall the exact statistics, []


After the epic sports hiatus. VICTORIA_STREET

"With the breaking of the long suffering premiership drought together with the time honoured spring racing carnival on top of the bride absolutely smashing her post graduate studies, services have resumed along Victoria Street."

Other than the odd shuffle of services along Victoria Street, I did make some headway into a drawn out project, my interpretation of MMTB freight 19.

On a mail run to Victoria Street 

The prototype 
(Photo Trams Downunder)

The prototype freight 19 started off as a single truck saloon tram, built by Brill and assembled in Australia, originally plied its trade for the then NMETL (North Melbourne Electric Tramway & Light Company). 

These trams ran services through the inner north west of Melbourne, which connected with the then cable (city) tram at Flemington Bridge to the then outer suburbs of Essendon and Ascot Vale. 

After the consolidation of all municipal tramways under the banner of the MMTB, these little trams found themselves operating on short cross suburban routes until they were retired into freight duties.

These freight duties involved the distribution of departmental mail and supplies from Preston Workshops/stores to outlying tram depots, as trams they could access deep into the sheds over pits to deposit such items as brake blocks plus other bits and pieces. 


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Friday, 25 November


NaNoWriMo Day 25 Streams & Desolations

I just reached the 50,438 words count so now its official I have attained the title of NaNoWriMo Winner* for the fourth year in a row with my rambling, chronologically confused and in-desperate-need-of-editing sci-fi fantasy Chloes War. And quite frankly, I want to keep writing it. While Im glad I finished it before the []

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Tuesday, 22 November


Finally - the Happy Thoughts Tobacco sign on High Street Thornbury Finding the radio book

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks - the first decent uncovering in quite a while. (I've had issues with my phone not being recognised by my new computer...)

The Happy Thoughts Tobacco sign has recently been revealed in High Street Thornbury - an area of northern Melbourne that has taken the mantle of the latest hipster epicentre. And so it's not entirely unrelated that this part of our city is now "apartment development central", hence the tearing down of the building that has hidden this sign for nearly a century.

You can see the sign was painted by the Hancock and Taylor firm:

 A quick search on Google shows that Happy Thoughts was produced by a local company called Dudgeon & Arnell Pty Ltd. These guys had a knack for kooky promotions it seems:



NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 22 Streams & Desolations

Current word count: 45,970/50,000 words. Todays writing soundtrack: ABC Classic FM radio (and the sound of one of the neighbours dogs howling ugh people, please: if you cant give a dog the attention he or she needs to be psychologically healthy, maybe you ought to not have a dog. Keeping a highly sociable pet []

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Monday, 21 November


The dark side of architectural education The Red and Black Architect

Architecture is one of the most intense university courses one can pursue.  Chelsea Doorne, a fourth year Master of Architecture student, shines a torch on the dark side of the architecture student experience. 

Architecture school and dedication are synonymous, however more often than not, this devotion to the art of design comes at a cost.

A recent survey conducted by the Architects Journal documented that 1 in 4 architecture students are suffering from mental health issues, with a further 26% stating that they would likely seek treatment and professional help in the future. This is hardly surprising given that when searching architecture student, images of solitary students crouched over models are accompanied by a smattering of memes depicting feelings of rejection, chaos, and most predominantly, forced insomnia. This deeply embedded culture of overworking and negativity is one of the primary reasons why mental health is such a prevalent issue within the architectural student community.

Long hours are one of the most recognisable traits of the architecture student community, with almost 1 in 3 students reporting that they work through the night on a regular basis. This common place experience of sleep deprivation within architecture school is widely known and also referenced by a number of blogs such as architorture school. Among students, stating your longest time awake can become akin to a competition, and often be seen as an implied level of success in the studio realm. This normalising of nocturnal study isnt just supported by students, with there being an expectation to work throughout the night imposed by many tutors. The large workload of the degree, noted as being one of the heaviest, can also contribute to the frequency of all-nighters with the design process demanding an unquantifiable number of hours. It is common for a designer to feel that the process is never truly complete, even when the final deadline has long passed. With one often feeling as though a large amount of improvements which can be made, unlike a finance report, for instance, which is completed when all the data has been entered.

The ever present threat of time, or lack thereof, is added to by the expectation of students to work part time in firms to gain experience and in the case of some universities, it is a requirement for graduation. In a course where, particularly at Masters level, most timetables demand the full five days of study, many students are skipping classes to satisfy these demands. The high requirement of these hours along with the prevalence of some internships that (illegally) pay in experience over money, lead to many students experiencing financial difficulties throughout their degree. Although the job market for architects is currently looking positive, it is also highly competitive and many universities no longer offer study placement programs, making these positions increasingly difficult to secure. This stress of gaining necessary, yet difficult to find experience, coupled with the already stressful study period is a large contributing factor to the poor mental health of architecture students.

These monetary stresses extend into the cost of study which is notoriously expensive. While university text books are expensive across the board, the constant need to print and construct models can often blow an already tight student budget, with some models costing in excess of $300, and printing frequently exceeding $100 per presentation. These expenses (coupled with expensive software, computers and the cost of travel for site visits), can force many students to switch to a part-time load, adding time to an already lengthy degree.

The overarching costs of the degree as a whole, when coupled with poor pay and employment prospects, paint a bleak outlook for the average architecture student.

The critique or design review of the architecture degree is well known from day one in architecture school, and the negative stigma that...

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Wednesday, 16 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 16: in which I hardly mention NaNo at all Streams & Desolations

So, NaNo, hey? 35,928/50,000 words at the start of Day 16. Like, how?! In previous years I wouldve been lucky to be 19,000+ words into writing by this stage. Maybe practice makes perfect. The more terrible novels I write, the slightly less terrible they become each time. But Ive been drifting a bit and getting []

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Tuesday, 15 November


NaNoWriMo 2016: Days 11-15 Streams & Desolations

Friday, 11 November Child No. 2 had her annual concert costume fitting and photo portrait day at ballet school, which meant having to tap out the days word count as early as possible in order to prepare all the make up and hair styling products. Funny how motherhood so often entails being multi-skilled at a []

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Saturday, 30 June


Children and Dogs A Bridge to Nature guest post ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

In Nov 2016, Animal Medicines Australia released its Pet Ownership in Australia Report, providing insight into the state of pet ownership in this country.  At 62%, Australia continues to have one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world with 5.7 million of Australias 9.2 million households home to a pet. Dogs remain the most popular type of pet.

Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital in its report agreed that pets are an integral part of  our lives as Australians - some 80% of Australians have an animal companion at some time in their life. Sometimes pet relationships are ranked higher than certain kinds of human relationships for comfort, esteem, support and confidence, with benefits in areas of child development, family harmony and health.

For a more detailed examination, let us go over to Mat Coulton of Wileypup, with thanks for his text, photos and links.

Recent scholarship has demonstrated the health benefits dogs offer their human companions. The scientific research found 15 ways in which positive health effects come from time spent with dogs! These studies have focused on measurable physical and mental health indicators such as lower levels of stress, reduced blood pressure and heart rates, lower levels of obesity, and decreased feelings of anxiety, depression and social isolation. 

However, our canine companions are also playing a role in how we understand the world around us by serving as a bridge between our modern lives and the splendour of the nature. In particular, they may be a valuable asset in helping children connect intellectually, emotionally and spatially with the environment.

An Age-Old Connection
It may surprise many readers to learn that the oldest domesticated animal that joined the human evolutionary journey was, in fact, Canis familiaris, the domesticated dog. Their presence as invited members in human societies predates horses and livestock.

In fact, this relationship with dogs is so old that modern science has begun to demonstrate evidence of the co-evolution of humans with these important companion animals. Not only has our social organisation been shaped by canines, our biological selves have likely been influenced by our cooperation with them.

The connection goes deeper than hand to harness, the relationship with dogs is clearly significant, however, what do we know about how they may be impacting the lives of our children? Let us take a closer look.

Dogs have a way of reaching us with their unconditional love and loyalty. Children often develop empathetic bonds with dogs which is an important aspect of breaking through the often transactional and entertainment driven exchanges with modern technology.

Emotional Intelligence
Learning to understand that other animals have their own emotional reality is an important part of emotional intelligence, also known as EQ. It turns out that EQ is related to better mental health, lower rates of risky behaviour, and higher levels of educational success in children.

Interest in Biology
Interactions with dogs may prepare children to take an interest in learning about biology. Although this is an area in need of more study, research does show that childrens interest in and sense of basic biological concepts is improved by spending time with, and particularly taking part in the care of, our companion animals, such as pet dogs.

Dogs have a natural curiosity about the world around them that is simp...

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Sunday, 13 November


Negotiating Form: Q+A with Kerstin Thompson (Part 2) The Red and Black Architect

Recently Michael Smith and Sonia Sarangi sat down for an in depth conversation with Kerstin Thompson, one of Melbournes most highly respected architects, to discuss the built environment, form making and the relentless negotiation required to create excellent architecture.

This is the second part of the interview, to read from the beginning click here

Timber detail from Deakin University School of Architecture and Building, Kerstin Thompson Architects

Timber detail from Deakin University School of Architecture and Building, Kerstin Thompson Architects


Michael Smith: Previously youve spoken about your architecture as being a gradient architecture. Is this a conscious benchmark or is it a result of the process?

Kerstin Thompson: I wrote about gradients a long time ago the thinking came from a classic late 80s training in architecture where all oppositions were being challenged. Anything that was black or white I was always looking for the grey. You think about things on a spectrum rather than one or the other. The article reflected on the kinds of formal outcomes a gradient architecture might offer. I think that idea still permeates through a lot of our projects where the situation presented is not an either or its an in-between and you need to formulate a response to that.

In relation to our Deakin School of Architecture and Built Environment / A+B this idea of gradients relates to different kinds of spaces and how they relate to each other. The schools existing floorplan was highly cellular and comprised of discrete spaces. We shifted this to a more fluid arrangement, rethinking the formal binaries of public vs private spaces, smaller spaces to bigger spaces, intimate space/open space, quiet space/loud space. Exploring the space between these two ends is often an important driver our projects. You offer a range of spaces and it makes available different sorts of positions; people find their preference and make their choices within that.

MS: So it is a deliberate strategy to put that in?

KT: Yes I think it is. It came from when I was teaching in th...

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Thursday, 10 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 8, 9, 10 Streams & Desolations

Current word count, as at 10 November 2016: 23,092/50,000 words. Im doing way better on word count this time around, as compared to previous years. Its quite exciting! Its Thursday morning here in Melbourne and I think that like a lot of the rest of the world who followed the US elections with considerable interest, []

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Monday, 07 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 5,6,7 Streams & Desolations

Its Day 7 of NaNoWriMo here in Melbourne, Australia. What started out as a sunny spring day is now clouding over, as a north wind blows warm pollen-heavy air across the hills and into my sinuses. God bless the inventor of antihistamines. I just noticed that the NaNoWriMo widget at the bottom of my WordPress []


Negotiating Form: Q+A with Kerstin Thompson (Part 1) The Red and Black Architect

Kerstin Thompson is one of Australias most respect architects. Her practice Kerstin Thompson Architects was established in 1994 and has delivered architectural excellence across a broad spectrum of project types from education projects, police stations and commercial fit outs, as well as multi-residential and single bespoke homes. Recently Michael Smith and Sonia Sarangi sat down for an in depth conversation with Kerstin to discuss the built environment, form making and the relentless negotiation required to create excellent architecture.


Kerstin Thompson


Michael Smith: As one of Melbournes leading architects, how do you evaluate the development of our city? What do you think were doing well and where do we need to lift our game?

Kerstin Thompson: I often bang on about how housing matters because most construction activity is housing. If you get housing wrong youre buggering up your city. In my teaching in Wellington, but also in my practice here, I often lead research around higher density forms of housing. Recently one of my thesis students did an interim presentation to an academic from Newcastle University on the topic and his comment was its so unusual seeing thesis projects on housing. In Newcastle we think its too hard so we dont encourage students to tackle it. I thought what a failure not to ask students to think about a substantial part of the citys formation.

MS: Its an extraordinary approach.

KT: It is. Im always surprised that housing is seen as a prosaic topic in universities, that its not viewed as a place for innovation and good thinking. I think were realizing that Melbourne, despite priding itself on its architectural cultural, is missing the mark in terms of housing quality. This crisis is reflected in the design of minimum standards but its 10 years too late. That said, any turnaround is something.

MS: That leads directly into my second question, which is exactly on those draft apartment standards. Are they a good result or a missed opportunity?

KT: Theyre a good start. Minimum size always alarms me because I do think there are cases where size is not the determinant of a living spaces quality or public realm benefit. Wh...

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Friday, 04 November


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 3 + 4 Streams & Desolations

DAY 3 started out very well. I smashed out 1700 words very quickly, caught up with a friend for coffee, uploaded some new art to my RedBubble portfolio, picked up the kids from school, took them to the public library for our weekly book borrowing session, Child No. 2 got to ballet lessons on time []

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Thursday, 20 October


Art Stall Market Silent Image - Blog

On 30/10/2016 I am to set up a Art stall at The Beehive Market Sun 12 PM  The Hood  Preston, VIC. 

I plan on selling various digital art, a few original pieces as well as cards/post cards.

We will see how it goes.

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Wednesday, 19 October


A few from France and Germany Finding the radio book

It's been a while! I've just returned from a quick and intense family trip to France and Germany and managed to snap a few signs in passing. I actually saw a lot more than shown here: some were impossible to photograph from high-speed trains (including some great wall-sized signs in Paris' outer suburbs) and others were encountered when my phone had run out of power. C'est la vie. So here are the few I did manage to snap.

 Montmartre, Paris:


 Somewhere in the north of Paris:

Strasbourg - only just got the building side in time in this bad shot:


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Tuesday, 18 October


finding the lost art of human sexuality "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Hello! How is your week so far?

Here we are with just 3 weeks to go until we gather for our 5th year!

Sunday evening
I met with the crew in Melbourne's CBD and we were really pleased to see some of our attendees there as well. No photo's unfortunately - I was having too much fun catching up with everyone.  Hey, you will see us all in, did I mention, just 3 weeks :)

Thank you for the lovely messages regards my previous blog. I was very touched that so many of you took the time to write to me and share your thoughts and experience, it really means a lot.   

I have written another piece, Finding the lost art of human sexuality. Writing is something of a personal journey for me so it's a definitely an edge to share it, but I have to say I am enjoying the process.   I invite you to read it and if it resonates with you, I would love to hear.

The Crew are SUPER excited - as am I :) :) I know many of you are, too and....

Can't wait to see you in November!

Jo xx
Co-Founder & Festival Director
Celebrating Sexuality
explore | learn | grow | play | celebrate

finding the lost art of human sexuality - Jo Balmforth


If its meant to be it will work out.  Wont it?  At 37 years old I began exploring what I wanted from sex and relationships.  Prior, I travelled with an expectation that I should know how to be intimate with other people.  Deep down accompanied by competing doses of fear of being alone, and unwillingness to go there.
To be fair, being a good person with positive intentions and expectations coupled with conditioning: This is how things are done/my parents did it can take you quite far in a relationship.  It took me to 13years and I suspect its what has kept many more relationships...


site visit "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"


How was your weekend?
Mine was awesome!! Saturday I took a drive out to the Mornington Peninsula here in Victoria to meet with the managers of our 2016 site. We finalised the details of the weekend - and I am pleased to say it went really really well.

The site for the 2016 Celebrating Sexuality is so beautiful and well looked after - I know you are going to love it :) I have attached some photo's below - you can just see the swimming lake (my favourite feature) between the trees.

Those of you who have come along in the last 4 years will know how supportive and welcoming the managers at the previous venue were.  Now retired, we will certainly miss Brenda & Brian (legends) but it feels like we got lucky again with the new venue and especially the managers, who you will meet at the opening.

With just under 4 weeks to go, there are still some tickets available - but numbers on site are limited to only 200. I don't want you to miss out.

There are various accommodation options - indoor and outdoor, details via the website, link below.

See you in November!
Jo xx

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Monday, 17 October


The Salt Lake Band bring music and culture of Groote Eylandt to Yabun Festival "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

All the way from Groote Eyelandt in the Northern Territory, the 11 member Salt Lake Band will make history next January when they become the largest band to ever grace the stage at Yabun Festival, one of the nations biggest and longest running annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and culture events.

Formally known as Yantarrgna Band (after lead singer/song-writer Brandon Yantarrgna), Salt Lake Band consist of brothers, uncles, cousins and grandfathers, all hailing from the Warnindilyakwa family group.

Were feeling really proud and excited that our mob, Groote Eylandt, Warnindilyakwa mob, from Top End, Gulf of Carpentaria, can have a voice in Sydney at Yabun with all our Koori brothers and sisters, we have never travelled that far from our Island, says Basil Mamarika, a young elder and spokesman of the Umbakumba community and member of Salt Lake Band.

The name of Salt Lake Band springs from a special part of the band members traditional lands, bringing with it their song-lines and Dreamings, all sung in Anindilyakwa language. Mixing rock, blues and reggae, and incorporating the band members totems of dugong, turtle, whale, dolphin, seagull and shark, Salt Lake Bands songs share the sacredness and potency of the Warnindilyakwa Dreamtime.

The Salt Lake Band share a 10 year history and have headlined at several major Indigenous music and cultural events including Garma, Barunga, and the Alice Springs Bush Bands Bash. Based in their home community of Umbakumba (which has a total population of 350 people) the bands language group is distinct from Yolngu, belonging exclusively to Groote Eyelandt.

Proud representatives of their language group and culture, Salt Lake Band have gained the financial support of their own Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) to make the long trek to Sydney in order to share their music and culture with the Yabun audience, providing a special added cultural element to the 2017 Yabun Festival which already features esteemed Indigenous artists Kev Carmody and Warren H Williams.

The Top End continues to be such a wellspring of vibrant and unique Aboriginal music and artistry and we are absolutely thrilled to showcase some of that proud legacy and culture at the 2017 Yabun Festival, says Yabun Festival Producer, Miah Wright.

This will be one of the few times that a Top End band has performed at Yabun and is set to be one of the most special moments in the events 15 year history.

Yabun Festival takes places at Victoria Park in Camperdown on January 26, 2017 (10:00am 7:00pm).

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Thursday, 13 October


Halloween Special Filmonik #34 Filmonik Melbourne

In October Filmonik #34 will be back in its original Monday night slot and it just so happens that the last Monday of October is Halloween day. Come costumed (trashy prizes for best costume) and try to come with a horror/suspense/weird/genre/thriller/mysterious film but, as always, any genre will be accepted.

Filmonik - Halloween

Filmonik Halloween

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Monday, 10 October


Perform at Yabun Festivals Corroboree Ground "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Held each year on January 26 at Victoria Park in inner Sydney, Yabun Festivals Corroboree Ground features traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance performances occurring throughout the day.

Corroboree Ground has become one of the most popular elements of the annual Yabun Festival, the largest annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in New South Wales that draws over 20 000 people each year. Corroboree Ground provides a unique space to celebrate the vitality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures on Survival Day.

Yabun Festival welcomes expressions of interest from traditional dance groups from across the country to perform at the 2017 Yabun Festival.

To register your interest and receive more information on performance rates, please complete the online form.

Expressions of interest will close on September 30.



Council Election Special: Q+A with Councillor Rohan Leppert The Red and Black Architect

In many ways it is the local council level of government which has the most profound impact on our built environment. In most cases they are the first line of decision making for buildings seeking planning approval and they also have a very significant role to play in the formation of local planning strategies and regulations. Right now the 79 local governments across Victoria are in election mode, with the postal ballots being accepted until Friday 21 October.

In this election special, The Red+Black Architect spoke exclusively with Councilor Rohan Leppert from the Melbourne City Council. Rohan is one of very few councilors across the state with any formal training in planning or architecture.

Red+Black Architect  Youre currently studying a masters of urban planning and environment. How has this influenced your decision making process when considering planning applications?

Cr Rohan Leppert Its a really good question. Im only half way through the degree which is quite theoretical and Ive not had to do too much technical work yet. To be perfectly honest, the work Ive been doing at council has been influencing my work in uni much more so than the other way round. Its good, I appreciate having a much more solid understanding of the history of planning in Victoria to when Im applying my role as a decision maker on planning applications and planning scheme amendments at the city of Melbourne. In many ways, I think it improves the quality of my work at the city of Melbourne. Im in a very fortunate position.

CR Rohan Leppert

CR Rohan Leppert

R+BA  From what youve seen of how the council operates and the various councillors, how they vote and questions they ask. Do you think that the other councillors have a genuine understanding of what theyre deciding upon or it is very much a case that theyre relying on their officers to sort of hold their hands through the process?

Cr RL  Well there are eleven councillors and I think its fair to say there are eleven different understandings of the role of a councillor. Thats natural and inevitable. Well before I went back to do more study in this area, Ive been on the public record being quite critical of the lack of training available to councillors at the beginni...

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Friday, 29 June


The ghosts of galleries past Black Mark

Walking around Fitzroy in middle of winter and feeling haunted by the ghosts of so many past art galleries, exhibitions and ARIs. I was looking for Fort Deltas new location since it moved out of its basement space in the city late last year.

David Palliser, Deep Sneeze at Hunger Rosario

David Palliser, Deep Sneeze at Hunger Rosario

On my way along Brunswick Street I passed the street where Roar studios used to be. Roar was Melbournes first artist run initiative. Perhaps it was this that got me thinking about all the past white walled art galleries or maybe it was the cold shiver that ran down my spine on the coldest day of the year. I meandered my passed the location of Andrianakis Fitzroy Gallery. It started in 1992, when it was called The Fitzroy Gallery, but has been closed for almost a decade now.

On Gertrude Street there are many more ghosts of galleries and studios (although this digression make the geography of this story is inaccurate). Seventh Gallery, so named because it was the seventh gallery in Gertrude Street, closed in March this year. Now there is a clothing boutique in the space that hasnt even changed the name on the window. For a moment I had my doubts; was my favourite artist run space closed? Or was it an installation that looked like a shop? (I dont know and their webpage hasnt been updated.)

In the early 1980s there was Melbourne Contemporary Arts Gallery (MCA) a pioneer commercial art gallery on Gertrude Street. MCA started out above a Turkish takeaway on the corner of George Street before moving in 1990 to a two-storey Victorian building at 163 Gertrude Street. I remember going to an exhibition opening upstairs at MCA in the late 1980s; it was a typical gallery space with white walls and bare floorboards exhibiting mid-career Australian artists.

I cant remember the names of all the galleries that were once on Gertrude Street. There was 200 Gertrude or, when it later changed it name, Gertrude Contemporary. Art galleriess names have gone the way of bands, so now instead of names designed with the bland clarity of an institution it is a random combination of words.

I found Fort Deltas new location. The entrance is in a graffiti covered laneway off Hanover Street. The gallery is a couple of rooms with white walls and white painted floor boards at the back of the buildings on Brunswick Street. I was slightly confused by the change of name to Hunger Rozario but this was clarified when I checked my emails (the name change just occurred on the 27th).

At Hunger Rozario there was an exhibition of paintings by David Palliser called Deep Snee...


Volcanic ash disrupts Bali flights "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Mount Agung volcano spewing hot volcanic ash as seen from Kubu Village in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, 29 June 2018. The ash cloud out of Mount Agung was reported to stretch to a height of 2000 m after an eruption on 28 June in the evening. EPA/Made Nagi

SYDNEY, AAP Australians flying to and from Bali are being urged to check their airlines websites on Friday morning after Mount Agung began spewing water vapour and ash into the atmosphere, disrupting travel.

Flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and the tourist island have been delayed, cancelled and turned back because of renewed activity at the Indonesian volcano.

More than 20 flights across Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin and Air Asia were disrupted between Thursday night and Friday morning due to the ash cloud moving toward Denpasar airport, which is now closed.

Virgin cancelled two flights between Sydney and Denpasar on Thursday and said another scheduled to depart the island on Friday morning faced delays.

The airlines are awaiting an update from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre due at 9am on Friday.

The Mount Agung volcano began shooting ash 2,000 metres into the air on Thursday.

The regional volcanic ash advisory centre in Darwin said winds could carry the ash southwest toward Balis international airport and Java, Indonesias most densely populated island.

Mount Agung is about 70km northeast of Balis tourist hotspot of Kuta.

Its last major eruption was in 1963 and killed about 1,200 people.

Activity at the volcano was high last year and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, but it had been quieter this year.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Local government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

The post Volcanic ash disrupts Bali flights appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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Thursday, 06 October


Creating the Permaculture Designers Manual: Andrew Jeeves interview on life with Bill Mollison "IndyWatch Feed"

This is our first week without Bill Mollison.
Our rascal-genius, founder of Permaculture, has finally gone to that big haystack in the sky.

Bill, you are loved and missed, and always will be.

The Bill Stories are all coming out of the woodwork, being told around the campfires of the world, as we all get sad together. 

 Bill Mollison was known for the way he would enter intense creative relationships with others, sometimes lasting for days, sometimes years.  Here I interview artist, writer, systems-thinker and action-man, Andrew Jeeves.  Andrew and Reny Mia Slay were the crew behind the extraordinary Permaculture Designers' Manual. Here is Andrew's Story. 

Cecilia: What was it like creating the Permaculture Designers Manual, day to day?

Andrew Jeeves: Hard work. Bill used to read voraciously. In those day hard copy no internet. Anything that was interesting hed rip out of a magazine or write a note or photocopy and throw it in a old tea chest in the corner. After a few years, when the the chest was full, Bill said, Time to write a book. So we all got together and poured out the contents of the tea chest on the floor and grabbed a handful and started to organise things into categories. Until we had 40 piles on the floor and the everything was catego...

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Sunday, 02 October


Living in a parallel universe VICTORIA_STREET

As one of those that models a small scale tramway, one tends to heavily invoke the modellers licence; but what if your slightly obscure view of your small empire became reality?


X1 460 (an old Footscray Tram) leads SW6 964
across the crossover heading off to the football
Victoria Street is my little microcosm of the tramways that run in the western suburbs of Melbourne, while not true to any particular part that exists due to the ever dynamic streetscape that is an inner urban environment.

I have kitbashed various buildings with verandas together with rather local signage to offer an experience of familiarity.  A combination of local and nostalgia breathes life to Victoria Street. 

This weekend stuff did happen, my little empire may have cross pollinated life as we know it, because I for my own amusement had populated the local streetscape with small copies of the 1954 premiership banner poster from the long forgone Melbourne Herald newspaper celebrating the Footscray Bulldogs grand final victory. 

The Milk Bar


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Saturday, 01 October


Jiotto Studios: Renaissance Festivals and Camps "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Renaissance Festival 2012 printsBP printsBW 10154240_10151969499311537_5219886826971560125_n 10151223_10152779041759115_1943457869965616506_n 1075307_10151962083001537_3675305202638483881_o 10882380_774412805939194_4835516965361198696_n

RENAiSSANCE Easter 2018

March 30 April 2, 2018.
Gates open on Friday the 30th of March at 11 AM.

at CAMP EUREKA,  100 Tarrango Rd.  YARRA JUNCTION,  Vic. 3797
Melway Ref. 288 K10



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Friday, 23 September


Kev Carmody headlines 2017 Yabun Festival "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Renowned Aboriginal troubadour, Kev Carmody, will headline the 15th annual Yabun Festival in Sydney on January 26, 2017. Other artists who will perform at Yabun Festival in 2017 include Red Ochre and Deadly Award winning country music artist Warren H Williams (joined by emerging artist Dani Young), Aboriginal rock n roll icon Vic Simms, Sydney based blues artist Marlene Cummins, soul music performer and former The X-Factor star Rochelle Pitt, National Indigenous Music Award winning hip hop artist Philly, and popular reggae/dub band Oka.

Kev Carmody grew up in the Western Darling Downs area of Southern Queensland, his initial inspirations coming from the rural and oral traditions of his Irish and Aboriginal grandparents. Kev released his first album Pillars of Society in 1988 and is among the most esteemed Australian singer songwriters and Aboriginal musicians. In 2009, Kev was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

The music of Kev Carmody has impacted countless people over the past four decades, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, he is one of our most treasured and significant Australian artists and we are absolutely thrilled to have Kev as our headliner for the 2017 Yabun Festival, said Yabun Festival Producer, Miah Wright.

Established in 2001, Yabun (meaning music to a beat in Gadigal language) is one of the nations largest annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural gatherings, and Sydneys biggest Aboriginal music event. Held each year on January 26 at Victoria Park in Camperdown, Yabun Festival is a free event that features live music, a bustling stalls market, panel discussions and community forums on Aboriginal issues, a wide range of childrens activities including art, sport and culture workshops, and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances staged at the Corroboree Ground. In 2016, over 20 000 people attended Yabun.

As well as featuring some real legends of Aboriginal music, Yabun will be showcasing plenty of emerging talent in 2017, and the Corroboree Ground will once again bring traditional Aboriginal culture to the heart of Sydney, Yabun welcomes all people to join us for this one of a kind celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, said Ms Wright.

Former Yabun Festival headline performers have included Bart Willoughby, Archie Roach, Dan Sultan and Jessica Mauboy. The 2017 Yabun Festival will take place at Victoria Park in Camperdown, Sydney, on January 26, beginning at 10:00am and finishing at 6:00pm. Yabun Festival is supported by Australia Council, City Of Sydney, Arts NSW, Destination NSW, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

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Wednesday, 21 September


There is always something on the go. VICTORIA_STREET

Since the exhibition, the layout sat fallow in the study for over a month, still as the three disjointed modules that were placed there on the Sunday evening after the exhibition.  This is mainly due to the bride entering the final furlong of her post graduate studies, which in turn places me in the chief role of kid wrangler (3), until Melbourne Cup week (early November). 

With the modules not connected, this allowed some housekeeping to be performed between organising food relief (dinner) and emergency sessions of the UN Security Council (peacekeeping).
- some street lights at the junction were finally connected. 
- an external socket and switch installed to the front end of railway station module.
- an introduction into the realm of Bluetooth technology. 

Lights are on.

The intersection of Victoria St and Albert Rd is now illuminated by street light which improves operational safety for tram services heading to and from the Ammo Factory of a night time.

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Sunday, 18 September


Filmonik #33 Filmonik Melbourne

The next Filmonik is in one week, prepare your edgiest, most twisted, sexy, musical, urban, underground short films because its on a Saturday on Saturdays we party. Screening will start earlier at 6:30pm sharp. Loop Lounge Saturdays with Tom Ambroz after the screening.



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Thursday, 15 September


Never Say Never Tour feat. PEZ & Mallrat "GroovUs Feed Aartists"



Never Say Never Tour Featuring PEZ & Mallrat

Oct 29th @ UC Refectory Canberra ACT # - GET TIX

Nov 4th @ HQ Complex Adelaide SA (LIC/ALL AGES) - GET TIX

Nov 5th @ Originals Music Festival Coolum QLD #* - GET TIX

Nov 17th @ Republic Bar Hobart TAS - GET TIX

Nov 18th @ The Croxton Melbourne VIC - GET TIX - SOLD OUT!

Nov 19th @ The Croxton Melbourne VIC - GET TIX

Nov 25th @ Miami Tavern Gold Coast QLD - GET TIX

Nov 26th @ The Tivoli Brisbane QLD - GET TIX

Dec 2nd @ Wollongong Uni Bar Wollongong NSW - GET TIX

Dec 3rd @ Long Jetty Hotel Central Coast NSW - GET TIX

Dec 8th @ The Jack Cairns QLD #* - GET TIX

Dec 9th @ Dalrymple Hotel Townsville QLD #* - GET TIX

Dec10th @ Magnums Airlie Beach QLD #* - GET TIX

Dec 16th @ Cambridge Hotel Newcastle NSW - GET...

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Monday, 12 September


Filmonik #32 Filmonik Melbourne

Loop Bar, 7:00pm, Thursday, 25th August

On Thursday, 25th August around 6:30pm, shadowy figures gravitated from Bourke Street Tram Stop 9, Parliament Railway Station and the many dark adjoining lanes, towards Meyers Place and the subdued lighting of the Loop Bar Melbournes new home for amateur filmmakers.

The friendly Filmonik aficionados greeted old friends and regulars, and welcomed new visitors to a typically relaxed, fun filled night of free amateur films and leaning on the Loop Bar.

Filmonik #32 had ten new movies and a live music interval by Filmonik organizer Glyn Francis on acoustic guitar and singer Renee Bufton on guitar and violin.

After an intro by Iphigenie Frey the program was launched by a delightful film from Argentina.

Birds of Prey  by Leandro Olgiati (Argentina)

Director Leandro Olgiati based his beautiful coming of age film on an existing short story. It was shot on a Canon T3i, over four days outside San Juan, Argentina, with teenage actors, and the post production was completed in only seven days. The Filmonik audience was entranced by the relaxed, natural acting of the three boys (Bruno and brothers Marcos and Matias). All agreed that the cinematography was a standout with exceptional close ups of the actors expressive faces. It was a simple story of three friends who all come to notice the intrusion into their world of a girl from the city and are each affected in different ways. She comes and goes through their lives and at their age, she changes some forever. Leandros short film was perfectly realized and a great opening to the evening.

Pin 16 by B.J. Hill (Melbourne)

B.J. holds the record for presenting new videos at more Filmoniks than anyone and is the master of stop motion. We watched glasses fill and empty mysteriously, biscuits appear and disappear on rotating plates and the black hand of the director patiently animating everyday objects into a strange but ongoing narrative. We know B.J. will back next month with more dancing delicacies.


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Wednesday, 31 August


Look what arrived in the mail today... Finding the radio book


Finally, after three years from idea to completion - the world's first scholarly book on ghost signs is in my grubby little hands. Inside its pages are 22 chapters about ghost signs from Australia, the UK, US, Belgium, Peru and Vietnam, by a great group of academics, sign painters, historians, conservators, marketers and psychologists around the globe. It's been an enormous amount of work and to be honest I'm very glad it's all over - but also very glad it's here too.

It describes the book as "the first scholarly collection to examine the social and cultural aspects on the worldwide interest in the faded remains of advertising signage (popularly known as ghost signs). Contributors to this volume examine the complex relationships between the signs and those who commissioned them, painted them, viewed them and view them today. Topics covered include cultural memory, urban change, modernity and belonging, local history and place-making, the crowd-sourced use of online mobile and social media to document and share digital artefacts, retro design and the resurgence in interest in the handmade."

As a hardback academic book with a limited market it's also very expensive - but it will come out in paperback in 12 months or so. Also, Google Books has some snippets if you'd like to peek inside :)

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Wednesday, 24 August


Juice Media Update & Introducing: Honest Government Ads "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

Hey everyone! It feels like ages since I posted anything on the website. Sorry.


Two birds with two birds. Pic taken by Ben Erwin, my awesome host in NYC

But I havent been idle these past few months. Ive taken some time to sort out a few things spent time with my parents; exercised; took time to think; went to Berlin for a final Live Rap News show (check out some highlights here!); had my first ever visit to Murica (and Montreal) which was truly inspiring and energising. And now that Im back home in Melbourne Im ready and pumped to get the Juice blender back into action.

Some of you will have seen that Ive already started uploading new videos:

The first new series that Ive launched is called HONEST GOVERNMENT ADVERTS (HGAs for short) and its been getting a great response. I really enjoy making these: i love the concept of honest government propaganda (something theres far too little of in our lives); and I especially love how quick and relatively easy these videos are to make.

So far Ive made 3 HGAs (Ill post links at the bottom of this post). Theyre all about Aussie issues, but now that Ive tested the idea Ill be expanding to make HGAs for many other countries, starting with USA, UK, EU, Canada, Israel, and many others.

Do you have an idea for an HGA for your country? If so, Id love to hear your suggestions. (Keep in mind though, HGAs need to be short, ideally under 2 mins, so topics need to be quite specific and focused!)

Thats not all. Im in the planning stages for a new JUICE RAP NEWS episode. Its not 100% confirmed yet, but I just wanted to let you know that sooner or later Rap News will probably make a come back. Id like to start off with just the occasional broadcast (think Rap News in the early days), and if things go well it might become a regular series once again down the track.

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Wednesday, 27 June


The Brown Falcon of 29 Mile Road The Gap Year and Beyond

Two thirds of the Elwood Birding Crew aka Port Phillip Birders along with our regional member from up Knox way joined for a day at the pooh farm and surrounding roads. It was cold and grey with dim lighting but the number of raptors along the various roads was surprising and we kept our car windows down, and the heater, gloves and beanies on. We cruised the roads and lagoons, watched and photographed Brown Falcons, Wedge-tail Eagles, Kites and Kestrels. What better way to spend a cold winters day.dont tell Mary.

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Brown Falcon, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic


Good(?) people "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

So David Lynch said a thing about Donald Trump, conspiracy media pus sac Alex Jones shared these words as if they represented support for Trump, clickbait normal media jumped on it and trigger happy champs immediately began with the hot takes about David Lynch the nasty out of touch old white man. Put aside what Lynch said for now, it doesn't even matter. Too many people are taking their cues from mentally ill conspiracy theorist/white supremacist niche moron media because mainstream media are so wedded to clickbait that they will happily amplify the lie that a popular artist kinda sorta supports fascism. 

And mainstream media are now reporting on this stage of the out of control situation they helped create, but are being very careful to leave the clickbaitness intact. One thing mainstream media doesn't do is criticism of their incredibly dangerous business model. Another thing they do is make money. They will talk about anything surrounding what Lynch actually said, but not the core of it. If you want analysis of everything but an actual problem (or solution), mainstream media is your endless source of delicious bullshit.

He could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much. No one is able to counter this guy in an intelligent way. While Trump may not be doing a good job himself, Lynch thinks, he is opening up a space where other outsiders might. Our so-called leaders cant take the country forward, cant get anything done. Like children, they are. Trump has shown all this.

That's what David Lynch said in an interview. I can see how far right crazies could read that as support, but anyone else might want to slow down and read at a slightly more leisurely pace just for fun. Shitstorms of opinion like this are why I rarely scroll through my Facebook feed. Living in a world of righteous outpourings based on outright lies are why I am an activist type in the first place. 

Full disclosure: I am hugely inspired by David Lynch's work and I have no idea what any of it means. 



June 27 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1789 - Ooooooooo, there was excitement plus, peoples, when Captain Tench and his party gallivanted upon the Nepean River.

1865 - Army commaner and engineer John Monash was found in the cabbage patch.

1874 - Victoria's mining unions amalgamated to form Amalgamated Miners Union.

1880 - Seige of Glenrowan Day 2 -
Most of the law abiding element of Glenrowans population had been rounded up by Ned Kelly and his gang and held hostage in Ann Jones Inn. This was so the Kellys could derail the train tacks and no warning of the trap towards the police and their special train coming from Melbourne. As the day wore n, and no police train appeared along the tracks, the tense atmosphere developed, and by late night, it appeared that there would be no train. The police train finally left Melbourne for Beechworth in North East Victoria, at 10pm, with police, horses and blacktrackers.

1891 - Floods destroyed property from Wagga Wagga to Queanbeyan, NSW.

1905 - The newspapers were full of the news that 3 West Oz Aboriginal men had been arrested, while a 4th escaped, after the discovery of two skeletons alleged to have been white fellas, while between 9 and 12 murders were being attributed to these men.

1909 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1911 - Australia's first military academy, Duntroon, opened within the Australian Capital Territory.

1916 - Those farmers in Yanac were mighty pleased with the opening of the Yanac-a-Yanac Railway Branch Line (Vic) from Lorquon.

1925 - The Mildura Railway Line (Vic) was stretched a little longer when it was extended from Merbein to Yelta...and became the Yelta Railway Line.

1927 - When the Duke and Duchess of York finally got home after their tour of Or-stray-lia they had 3 tons of gifts for their little girl, Elizabeth. Bet that copped them a fair fine for over-weight luggage!

1934 - Eight Aboriginal prisoners who had been condemned to death in the Darwin Courts for murder of two white prospectors had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment by the Governor-General.

1937 - In Dubbo, western NSW, trade unionist and Aboriginal politician William Ferguson launched the Aborigines Progressive Association, in opposition to the Aborigines Protection Board, after officials of the Board had arbitrarily used their powers to harass Aboriginal people.

1949 A coal strike involving 23,000 miners began. It lasted for seven weeks until Australian military forces were used to break the strike; the first time such a thing had happened in peace-time Australia.

1951 - The Country of Cumberland Scheme, which determines and controls the growth and planning of Sydney, became operational.

1974 - Eighty-e...

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Thursday, 18 August

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Wednesday, 17 August


The Sunshine Report. VICTORIA_STREET

Another exhibition done and dusted, the Sunshine Model Railway Club by their reports had a reasonably good turn out over the weekend of the 6th & 7th of August, to myself it felt busy at times but not too crowded, with the punters easing off during the last hour or so on both days.

Plenty of natural light at Sunshine.

There were two main points of interest with the layout, trams as opposed to trains, and the use of wifi control with smartphones/tablets with  JMRI and DCC. 

The tram angle with the JMRI works as it allows tight head ways and independent operation with the ability to wander from one terminus to the other whilst in some form of control. 

The other great feedback was how detailed the layout is and also how given its compact size offered plenty of operational scope. 

The exhibition was another chance to catch up with a few familiar faces and  put faces to names on people who follow this blog. There was plenty of variety of layouts on show, ranging from Z scale to G scale live steam covering Australian, British, European and U.S. prototypes, along with the usual traders.

On the Sunday, I was assisted by my oldest daughter which eased the load of having something on the move while chatting with the public. 

As per usual, there were a few dramas, such as stalling, derailments and the odd bit of bang roading together with a complete shutdown of the JMRI when the eldest turned off the laptop, but these add character as well as a few more grey hairs. 

The other thing that dragging out the layout does is it gives you a chance to view it from different angles and from a distance.  The pack up was pretty swift, the exhibition closed at 4pm and the car was packed and the key in the ignition by 4:27 and was home by 4:45 after swinging by the bottle shop(off licence/liquor store).


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Sunday, 31 July


Yarnbomber EP Launch "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

Grab your finest winter woollens and get ready to dance your blues away because yes, it's the long-awaited Yarnbomber EP launch party starring us and our brilliant musical chums Lanewaves and The Belafontes and kicking of with the debut sounds of Al Paca & The Llama Farmers. It's only at the bloomin' Brunny so entry is free, drinks are cheap and the fun is unavoidable. Come down early and cosy up with some of Melbourne's best indie pop talent, and even treat yourself to a real-life hard copy of the EP, just like in the old days! We'll see y'all really can't get much better than this!

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Sunday, 17 July


The Six O'Clock Swill Beside the Yarra

You knock off work at 5pm.

It's been a long day and you decide to go to a bar for a drink with some of your workmates.

It's a mixed group, men and women, and you split up at the entrance. The girls go into the ladies lounge, and the blokes go in via a separate door to the public bar.

Inside, the bar is hot, crowded and smokey. The main area is crammed, wall to wall, with the heaving bodies of the city's workers. Everyone is drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

You push your way to the bar and order a couple of beers. You and your mates take it in turns getting the rounds in.

People yell and argue, and a few scuffles break out. You can barely hear yourself talk. You are jostled constantly, and beer slops on your clothes. There is beer all over the floor, and your shoes are damp.

At ten to six, the barman rings a bell, and all hell breaks loose. The atmosphere, already boiling, erupts into a mad frenzy. 

As one, every punter in the place makes a lunge for the bar, everyone shouting for five beers each. They snatch the schooners up as they are poured, and start chugging them down as quickly as they can, gulping the beer in huge, breathless gasps. 

The Six O'Clock Swill has begun.

Melbourne beer ad, prior to WWI.

In 1910, Melbourne was a city with a powerful thirst.

With one bar for every 120 people (the current ratio is more than three times this), alcohol was one of the city's most popular, and lucrative, past times. Stopping at the pub on the way home from work was a daily ritual for a majority of the city's workers, and the industry had expanded to meet this enormous demand.

Alcohol was cheap, readily available, and heavy drinking an accepted part of everyday life.

Temperance movement, anti alcohol poster.

The downside to was as you would expect; high rates of alcoholism, and alcohol related health problems. Also claimed, although not universally accepted, was that the level of drinking had lead to increased property crime and domestic violence.

Campaigning for more moderate alcohol consumption and stricter government control, the local Temperance movement became prominent in Australia's major cities, Temperance Halls were established, where serving alcohol was prohibited, and regular anti-booze demonstrations organised.

During World War...

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Wednesday, 13 July


The wire is up! VICTORIA_STREET

Finally the trolley wire is up left of the railway bridge on Victoria Street. 

After about eighteen months since the beginning of construction of the new modules, (the depot, the junction and the Ammo factory), the trolley wire sits resplendent above the rails. 
Now to be quite honest, I thought I would not be able to get this up before the Sunshine model railway club exhibition, the first weekend of August; however the lucky combination of an early shift and and the bride heading off with the kids to her parents for a few days during the school holidays allowed myself to knock over this task. 

The method of hanging wire is a bit of a dark art that requires a little planning and a fair crack of patience. 

The materials that I use for this project are;
- coat hanger wire (span poles)
- multi strand copper earth cable
- craft beads (insulators)
- PVA and five minute epoxy glue
- a sharp felt tipped marker pen

A collection of hobby tools required are;
- a soldering iron and solder
- small side cutters
- a 300mm/12" steel rule
- a cutting mat
- a few spring loaded clothes pegs

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Tuesday, 12 July


A few Hurstbridge signs Finding the radio book

It's been a while since I've posted here - life's kinda got in the way of late :) So now I've got this ridiculous backlog of ghost sign pics...will try to clear it over the next little while. Stay tuned.

But first, some signs I snapped the other day in the main drag of Hurstbridge, including a fabbo Nestles sign uncovered by a billboard removal on an old grocery.

Oh, and PS: After over two years of work, WE'VE HANDED IN THE FINAL PROOFS FOR OUR GHOST SIGNS ACADEMIC BOOK!! It should be out soon...the blurb is here:

Note that it will be only available in ridiculously expensive hardback for the first 12 months, then out in more reasonable paperback after that.

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Sunday, 10 July


Melbourne in the 70's - Photo Gallery Beside the Yarra

Please note: The following photos have been sourced from public domain sites, or other blogs. Please contact me if any of the images I have used violate copyright, and I will remove. 


Bon Scott at North Altona Tech, 1975.

Melbourne Sharps.

Factory workers in South Melbourne

Lillian Frank attends the opening night of 'Hair', the musical. 1971.

Bjorn and Frida from ABBA, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, 1977.


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Sunday, 26 June


Evan Dando at The Hi Fi Beside the Yarra

The Lemonheads in 1987.

The Lemonheads were formed by a group of high school friends in Boston in 1986.

They came to prominence in the early 90s; their jangling guitars and bittersweet, melodic pop songs finding a place among the alt-rock music that dominated the era. Their 1992 album, It's a Shame About Ray, was a critical and commercial success, and one of the defining records of the era.

Evan Dando, 1992. Note the 'Smudge' tshirt.

Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando seemed like the quintessential 90s rockstar; sensitive, laconic, scruffy, and largely unchanged by success. Dando was the one constant in the band as it developed, with other musicians coming and going regularly. He also had a documented drug problem, and his behaviour was erratic at times.

But his sweet voice and facility with wistful lyrics always shone through, whatever turbulence had occurred in the background.

By the time the 90s became the 2000s, The Lemonheads were defunct (splitting in 1997)  and Dando was performing as a solo artist.

But his recorded output since the band had ended consisted of only one live album, 2001's Live at the Brattle Theatre, which served to showcase an artist resting on former glory; his set list made up of old Lemonheads songs and covers. In the intervening years, Dando's drug and alcohol problems had worsened and the artists behaviour had become increasingly eccentric and unpredictable. He sometimes appeared disorientated in interviews, and struggled to finish his sets when onstage.

Then, things seemed to take a turn for the better.

In 2003, Dando finally recorded his first solo album of new material, Baby I'm Bored. This was accompanied by a much publicised detox and a change to a healthier lifestyle. The new, improved Dando would support his album with a world tour, a showcase for his reinvigorated talent, body and mind.

Evan Dando and Nic Dalton

Evan Dando had...

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Saturday, 25 June


Before Melbourne Central Beside the Yarra

Situated on a busy Swanston Street corner, opposite the State library, there are few structures in our city as well known as Melbourne Central. With a distinctive glass cone on the roof, a train station underneath, a cinema, food court, and a full complement of retail, Melbourne Central is a busy, and heavily patronised, part of inner city life.

It's hard to imagine that corner without it.

But this is misleading.

For Melbourne Central was only opened in 1991, and so is a relative newcomer to our city. And, like many of the locations we examine on these pages, the area it was built on has already had a number of different incarnations.

Inner city Melbourne, 1860

The city blocks bordered by Swanston, Elizabeth, La Trobe and Lonsdale Streets were once the industrial heartland of the city.

This rectangular area was a rabbit warren of winding lanes, alleyways and cul-de-sacs, populated by small scale heavy industry; ironmongers, carpenters, metal workers, brick makers and coach builders, among many others. As the city boomed in the decades after the gold rush, the economic activity in this area skyrocketed.

Into this lively domain stepped James Coop.

Coop Shot Tower, 1891.

Born in England, from a hard scrabble family, James Coop arrived in Melbourne in 1855 looking to make his fortune. A plumber by trade, Coop found work in the thriving local construction industry, and was shortly after able to open his own business.  By 1868, he was based on Knox Place, in the midst of the bustling industrial neighbourhood described above.

By the 1880s, Coop's son Walter was running the business, and he decided to expand into shot making. Shot - effectively small balls of lead - was an important industry in the Victorian era; it was used not just as ammunition for firearms, but also as weight for scales, in pinball machines and mechanical games, and as ballast.

Over the years 1889-90, Walter Coop oversaw the construction of the 'Coop Shot Tower' above the family plumbing business. Made out of red brick, and standing 50 metres high, when cons...

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Wednesday, 22 June


Something's going on VICTORIA_STREET

The punters and traffic have been removed from the layout and are stored at the moment, rollingstock is in the process of getting a once over and a tidy up, track and infrastructure is being cleaned and tested, all of this can only lead to one thing, an upcoming exhibition. 

All is quiet on the western front.

 Playing the numbers game.
(Because you need to know what tram to call up)

Complete with pigeon holed up punters.....

 .....and take away traffic.

There is nothing that lifts ones enthusiasm than an impending exhibition date, as I have done some extensive work on Victoria Street since its last outing at the AMRA Caulfield exhibition during August 2014, I have accepted an invitation for the Sunshine MRC exhibition at Braybrook secondary college, the first weekend in August.

While I do get a few invitations to exhibit throughout the year, the combination of work/family commitments, exhibition dates and distance are the factors I consider, also I try not to over expose the layout on the exhibition circuit. The Sunshine exhibition works better for me for two reasons, one I have already been rostered three days off that weekend, and secondly, the venue is only a five minute drive from home. 

As I have exhibited at Sunshine before, it's will be nice to head back again, as it was here that Victoria Street made its debut as a small/micro layout in 2010.



Williamstown Racecourse Beside the Yarra

Williamstown is one of the oldest suburbs of Melbourne.

Situated at the Western mouth of the Yarra river, the town arose naturally after the founding of the city, as it proved a good location for a port. With the river impassable to large cargo ships (discussed further here), Point Gellibrand was quickly established as the disembarkation point for goods headed for Melbourne.

Founded in November 1835, a few months after the city itself, and named after King William IV, Williamstown thrived as Melbourne expanded. Like much of the city, this growth increased exponentially during the Gold Rush of the 1850s.

One tangible indicator of this expansion was the founding of  the Williamstown Racecourse.

Williamstown Racecourse, shortly after its founding.

In 1857, local enthusiasts formed the Williamstown Racing Association, and began looking for a place to build a track. The local council denied their initial request for lands close to the township, but they were able to secure an open clearing on the waterfront, adjacent to Koroit Creek (then in Wyndham Shire). Construction of the track began in 1858, and the first race meeting was held on Boxing Day in 1859.

Aerial view of the racetrack
Location of track on current map.

Reached by a small causeway crossing the creek, the track's location offered a sweeping view across the bay. The simple wooden grandstand was augmented by decorative Canary Date Palm trees, and Norfolk pines ringed the far side of the course. It was a simple, but handsome, layout, and the track grew quickly in popularity.

The Boxing Day races became an annual event, and the racing program would expand into the racing season proper. In 1885, the Williamson Racecourse Railway Station was opened, to allow punters easy access to the course. Originally the end of a small side spur from the Geelong line, this track would eventually be expanded thr...

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Tuesday, 26 June


This Week in Melbourne: What's On #600 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Read Online This Week in Melbourne: 26 June - 2 July 2018 Newsletter | #600 Whats On this Week in marvellous Melbourne Tuesday 26th June 2018 to Monday 2nd July 2018 Winter School Holiday Guide Circus Oz | Precarious The Big Bubble Show! Kids Magic Gala Live At London Eleven Chronic - A Gentle Nightmare in Two Parts Melbourne Boat Show Docklands Ethiopian Festival Moonee Valley Winter Fest Where to watch World Cup Friday Nights @ NGV Ice Skating Festival Enjoy Winter School Holiday Guide Keep the kids busy and warm during the winter school holidays. Saturday 30 June 2018 - Sunday 15 July 2018 --> Open School Holiday Guide...


La Trobe Uni Sculpture Park Black Mark

I studied at La Trobe University in the 1980s; recently I went back to its Bundoora campus to see some of its sculpture collection. The university describes itself as a sculpture park and features sculptures from every decade from the 1960s, when it was established, to the present. I am not going to look at all of the sculptures but have chosen to look at four.


Charles Robbs Landmark, 2004 was the main reason for my visit. In front of the West Lecture Theatres, Landmark is a traditional memorial statue of La Trobe that has been turned on its head with the plinth looming above the upside down figure. Made of fibreglass, polyester resin, steel, polystyrene, polyurethane, sand, automotive lacquers and acrylic paint to look like bronze and stone.

Robbs anti-monumental sculpture was donated to the University through the Australian Governments Cultural Gifts Program by the Artist 2006. Landmark was originally installed as temporary sculpture in the City of Melbourne in 2005 when it was award a judges commendation the Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award.


Outside of the LIMS buildin...


Ida Wells, a very special black-rights and women's-rights activist ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Ida Wells (1862-1931) was the first child of James and Lizzie Wells who had been slaves of the Confederate states. The parents were freed by the Union, thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation in Dec 1862. However living in Mississippi, these African Americans still faced racial prejudices and discriminatory practices.

As a member of the progressive Republican Party during Reconstruction, Idas father was involved with the Freedmans Aid Society - a group that sent a supply of teachers from the North and provided housing for them in the South. And James also served on the first board of trustees at Shaw University-Rust College, a school that opened in Holly Springs MS for newly freed slaves in 1866.

Southern Horrors,
one of the many books and booklets written by Ida Wells

But Ida suddenly had to leave school when both of her parents and one sibling died of yellow fever in the 1878 epidemic; she became the primary care giver for her 6 surviving siblings! Only in 1882, when her brothers worked as carpenter apprentices and her sisters moved to an aunts house in Memphis, could Wells study again at Shaw University.

On a Memphis-Nashville train ride in 1884, Wells had a 1st-class ticket. Unexpectedly the conductor ordered her to move to the 2nd class car for African Americans; outraged, this brave black woman refused! As she was forcibly removed from the train by the conductor and some passengers, she bit a conductors hand. Wells returned to Memphis and sued the Chesapeake-Ohio Railroad Co, winning a settlement of $500. The Railroad Co appealed, and in 1887 the Supreme Court of Tennessee ordered Wells to pay court fees instead.

This double humiliation led Ida Wells to write about race and politics. She wrote editorials in southern black news papers, challenging the infamous Jim Crow system that legalised segregation.

Ida was offered a job in, then bought a share of a Memphis newspaper, the Free Speech and Headlight.

Shaw University-Rust College,
Holly Springs Mississippi
opened for newly freed slaves in 1866.

While working as a journalist and publisher, Wells also held a position as a teacher in a segregated public school in Memphis. She became a vocal critic of the condition of blacks-only schools in the city, and was fired from her job!

Wells first became very well known internationally as an activist when she brought attention to the lynching of African Americans in the South. In 1892, African-American Tom Moss, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart set up the Peoples Grocery S...


9/158 Chesterville Road, Cheltenham "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The thing about scanning a crowd for possible fascists is that all white people look a little bit like they could snap and go Full Nazi. I'm joking, but only a little bit. Today I was at Fed Square Melbourne, a privately owned public space that has replaced the City Square in our hearts as a confusingly designated gathering space where we may or may not have any human rights. Did you know Australian towns were designed to specifically not have town squares? This was so the people would have no obvious designated areas to commence insurrection. Bloody fair dinkum Aussie history is great stuff isn't it? If you add to this the fact that most Aussies are in superlove with cops, well, it's a recipe for militant apathy that is world class. Feel free to fact check all of that. I am an artist, I literally don't have time for facts.

Despite these horrific truths(?) about the penal colony bone structure of this astonishingly average nation (that's a fact), people turned out in good numbers today to support Dan the street artist, who was monstered by Nazi clowns on the weekend. The idea was that he would do his street show, the TV people who mould our opinions would get footage and the story would be shared widely and the people would then rise up and crush every Nazi in our midst. I might watch The Project to see just how far they fall short of this ideal, but probably really only to see if they got images of me and if so, how fat do I look? I felt a bit fat today. And don't tell me shame doesn't work, shame is going to carry me to the gym after I write these fucking swear words.

Anyway, quite a few people arrived, many more than managed to make it to the Sunday flag worship rally. I recognised members of the performer community I'm not famous enough to talk to, but consoled myself with the knowledge that I have fucked my comedy career by doing shit like this. I scanned the crowd like a fucking anarchist street activist who does shit that's like, way cooler than having a successful comedy career, but didn't see any extremely obviously Nazi types, so was left alone with my cool thoughts about the cool things I do that are totally better than success according to some arbitrary standard like "money".

Where was I? Oh yeah, So anyway, Blair Cottrell apparently asked the network of younger men he is grooming like a Far Right Pedo to not not come to Fed Square today. He knows he has blown it totally and now his clubhouse at 9/158 Chesterville Road, Cheltenham will be closed down by either popular opinion, unpopular but like, heaps cool antifascists or a council dude who notices the building has no fire safety sprinklers or fire escapes, or fire hoses or any way to deal with the molotov cocktails that definitely won't be thrown at the place because no one wants to go to jail over this shit.

It's funny that I feel I have to mention that I and everyone I know is not into arson. You sort of have to because extremely pervas...

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Saturday, 11 June


10 Classic Vintage Billboards Beside the Yarra


'Buy War Bonds'

In every sense, war is expensive. The financial costs alone are enormous, and the revenue raising required to conduct warfare is so large, and so controversial, that they stand behind many of the most famous social upheavals in history (English Civil War, French Revolution, among many others). 

In the 20th century, Western governments came up with a new idea; borrow the money to fight from the population, and pay it back with interest when the conflict was over. This was the 'War Bond' program, an ad for which is on the St Kilda bound tram above.

There were also 'Peace Bonds', which were issued by the Government after the end of the war... to help them pay back the money they had borrowed during the conflict. As we said, war is expensive.


'Minties - The Universal Sweet'

The hard, white, cubic lollies known as Minties were first concocted in 1922, by James Stedman in Sydney. Initially sold under the 'Sweet Acres' brand - also the original home of Fantales, Jaffas and Milkshakes - the lollies' manufacturer has changed hands several times over the years; to Hoadley's (1968), Rowntree's (1971), and Nestle (1981). They are now sold as 'Allen's Minties', Nestle having bought out the Allen's brand in 1985. About 500 000  Minties are still sold each year.


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Sunday, 05 June


Television City Beside the Yarra

Bendigo Street, Richmond runs from behind the local Officeworks down to the busy hubbub of Swan Street.

The houses are mostly from the 60s and 70s, and look well kept. At the top of the street is a community garden, and about half way along, at number 22, a substantial red brick factory complex, which has been renovated and turned into apartments. There are a couple of upmarket cafes, and a swanky looking bar.

It's the very picture of successful, hip, inner city Melbourne.

It's hard to believe, visiting today, that this street has had other lives; that it was once part of the industrial heartland of the city, that pianos and baked beans were manufactured here. That, even more astoundingly, this street even has a glamorous past, and was a second home to many local celebrities. But some embossed lettering that remains on the re-modeled factory frontage confirms this unlikely history for us.  It reads: Television City.

But our story doesn't start in the age of television. Instead, it starts in  eastern Europe.

Hugo Wertheim
Hugo Wertheim was born in Lispenhausen, Germany, in 1854. The son of a successful businessman, who himself came from a merchant family, Wertheim came to Melbourne in 1875 to make his fortune. He took a junior position with his father's cousin, a wealthy manufacturer of sewing machines, and soon established himself as hard working and dedicated, with a flare for and promotion,

Saving money diligently, Wertheim was soon able to go into business for himself. He sold not only sewing machines, but other mechanical devices popular at the time; mangles, knitting machines, washing machines, bicycles, and even pianos.

Wertheim's business expanded rapidly, and by the 1880s he had established a presence in  Europe and America. He traveled extensively, and was well known for staging elaborate demonstrations at trade shows. He returned to Germany in 1885 to be married, and then settled with his wife in a magnificent 17 bedroom mansion - 'Gotha' - on the banks of the Yarra. 

Hugo Wertheim had become one of Melbourne's most successful, and well known, businessmen.

The Wertheim piano factory.

Pianos had, by this time, become one of Wertheim's most profitable products. Well before television, and before even radio had taken hold, the piano was a fixture in...

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Wednesday, 01 June


The Morris Ward Combo "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Jack is the only musician in the Festival older than Wayne Shorter. He began his career in the back row of the massed Trombones of the Royal Airforce. This fearsome outfit was known to descend shrieking like banshees on an unsuspecting populace armed only with 86of brass pipe each, and blow the bejaysus out of a wide range of unsuitable big band pieces.

Once brought under control due to the post-war valve oil shortage, Jack was shipped out to New Zealand or Sydney or both, and continued a remarkable career.

The sly old dog has now assembled the likes of Izzo (piano) Brunton (trumpet) Chalmers (saxophone) and Andy Moon (double bass, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) into a hot band.

Old age and treachery (Jack), combined with youthful enthusiasm(everyone else), will be ripping it up at the Faulder Watson Hall, Sunday 3.00pm, and then at the Cumberland at 9.00pm not to be missed!

Jack Morris

The Morris Ward Combo

The post The Morris Ward Combo appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.

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Monday, 30 May


Kay Young Trio Jazz on Broadway "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Vocalist Kay Young has teamed with Helmut Lopaczuk on Piano Accordian & Larry Kean on Drums to present Jazz on Broadway.
Melodies and music of Cole Porter & Gershwin. Throw in a taste for Latin Rhythms with a little Fats Waller on the side, and you have the beginnings of a passionate dish to be heard savoured. I am now fortunately able to travel the World singing Jazz in Umbria Italy, Melbourne and Darwin. Born in Melbourne& studied Music at the University of Melbourne Melba Conservatorium. I had a previous life in TV and Theatre, and taught music & drama at International schools in London & Bangkok. I am now turned full circle and have been reborn as a Jazz Singer of sorts.


Kay Young trio

The post Kay Young Trio Jazz on Broadway appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.

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Saturday, 28 May


Anne Hayres with Melbourne Chamber Jazz "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Annes warm tones are blended with Peters intricate and playful piano and Leons driving String Bass rhythms in this Chamber Jazz Ensemble. Jazz can be gentle and quiet but still exciting in this presentation of Jazz Standards, Latin and Ballads that are arranged with humour and surprise.

Anne Hayres with Melbourne Chamber Jazz

The post Anne Hayres with Melbourne Chamber Jazz appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.

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Friday, 27 May


The Low Down Big Band "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

The Low Down Big Band is an 18-piece group from Melbourne. Theyre young, fresh and play high-energy music. You can expect a big sound, funky beats, swinging solos and good times when Low Down hits the stage.

Members have toured with The Cat Empire, played with Madre Monte, Aaron Goldberg and Dean Ray, and performed at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival.

Other projects of members include The ishs/Allen Project, Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Copperhead Brass Band, The Jon Magill Jazz Orchestra, Ozark, Grainger Wind Symphony, the Heidelberg Wind Symphony, Ben Nieuwkerks Strange Awakening and the Melbourne Wind Orchestra.


Low Down Big Band

The post The Low Down Big Band appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.

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Sunday, 15 May


Four Directions "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Melbourne-based ensemble, Four Directions returns to CJF with two sets of French-infused swing, bossa and gypsy jazz.

With Sonia Davoine (v)
Mihoko Abe (sax)
Sam Izzo (p)
Elliott Joe (g/b)
Daniel Pickard (b)
Andrew Putman (d)

Four Directions

The post Four Directions appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.


Nardia Rose Band "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Nardia Rose is best known as a Singer-Songwriter with powerful, raw & sultry vocals seasoned in the genres of Blues, Soul & Jazz. With a harmonic ear for music, Nardia wields her vocal range with intensity & musical prowess.

The Nardia Rose & Forster Band is a Melbourne based band which was established a few months ago, and already they are turning heads and making a stamp in the Melbourne music scene recently supporting Tex Perkins and soon to support Russell Morris as well as playing at various Jazz and Blues festivals around Victoria and NSW. The band currently exists as a trio featuring the amazingly talented Steven Forster on guitar and the gifted Keys Player Thomas Byrne.

Their repertoire is a mix of the classics along with Nardias original songs that she wrote while travelling with a guitar on her back through the South of the US including Memphis, New Orleans & Mississippi. She is very excited to be working on her new album this year and finally sharing her music!


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Saturday, 14 May


Prince at Bennett's Lane Beside the Yarra

On April 21, 2016, the musician known as Prince passed away. The exact cause and circumstances of his death are unknown at time of writing, although it has been widely reported that he was addicted to prescription painkillers, and that these may have played a part.

Prince toured Australia five times, and had been as popular and successful here as everywhere else. The outpouring of grief at his passing was public, and prolonged.

But rather than focus on his sad, premature demise, today we will revisit Prince's role in a famous piece of local music folklore. The occasions (yes, more than one), when the multi-millionaire, multi-platinum selling, pop megastar played secret shows at humble Bennett's Lane nightclub.

Flyer from Prince's first Australian tour; Sydney, 1992.
Prince first toured Australia in 1992, as part of the 'Diamonds and Pearls' world tour, which kicked off in Japan, and then ventured to a handful of European cities. The clamour to see Prince live locally was enormous; he had been one of the worlds most popular musicians since his album '1999' had been released in 1982, and a visit to Australia seemed long overdue

Backed by his new band, The New Power Generation, the tour focused mainly on tracks from the 'Diamonds and Pearls' album, including the eponymous title track, and hit single 'Cream'. An extraordinary six shows were sold out quickly at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, and five at Melbourne's Tennis Centre.

On stage in Australia, 1992.
The tour was a massive success, but it would be 11 years before Prince would return.


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Friday, 13 May


The Bridge Hotel "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Shes back! The Bridge Hotel has reopened. Deep in the heart of the Goldfields cool country, Castlemaine, the beautiful 1860s pub has swung open her heavy wooden doors once again. Our motto Keep it simple, fresh, approachable, with just a touch o fancy

Not their first rodeo, new owners Mace Williams and Catherine Fletcher (formerly Grace Darling, Strange Wolf, Hells Kitchen: Melbourne & Jealous Lovers: Bali) have tarted up the ol gal, with a lick o fresh paint, new bar-top and some slick new joinery to restore the pubs history and magnificence. Keeping the bones, theyve crafted a fresh but well-trodden patina, add to this a sunny beer garden, a veggie patch and a locally re-homed beehive and youve got a recipe for some good country vibes.

Nestled amongst overflowing grapevines and with a badass view to the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, the Bridge entices punters with cold beer, live music and top-notch nosh. Despite her pretty looks this hotel aint no damsel; shes a rough-riding country belle with city flair.

Want local beer? Come get it. A classic cocktail? With pleasure. How about chowing down on some Nashville Spicy Chicken Wings, or Southern Pulled Pork, while listening to an indie/country soundtrack? Hank Williams coming right up. The Bridge heralds a return to the democracy of drinking: good ol basics and local wineries serving up their best drops at reasonable prices with pots and pints of BLOKE house beer poured from a tap with a rustic saw-handle.

With straight-up brews and something for the more adventurous, this is a space for buckaroos, bull-riders and babes alike. Fresh, locally sourced produce stars in classic, not-too-fussy dishes. The menu includes free-range pork belly and salads picked from the garden by local chef wunderkind, Luke Hards. So leave your guns at home (no parole), grab your Stetson and Martin D-28, jump on the train with a fellow traveller and some unfinished, hand-written lyrics, and head north west to The Bridge Hotel.


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The Jazz Train "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Listen to some great music in a unique venue. Catch the Victorian Goldfields Railway steam train to Maldon. With departures from Castlemaine station at 11.45 and 1.45 on both Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June, you can sit back in the lovely open lounges and listen to live jazz with steam while enjoying a drink from the bar.

Travel in wonderfully restored first class carriages: the cosy Macedon with art deco elegance and open bar serving a range of drinks and snacks; or the Tambo featuring Edwardian art nouveau woodwork with end viewing platform. Switch carriages on your return journey to get the full experience and range of music.

A very special Festival Fare of $40 (normally $65) or $35 concession is available to Jazz Festival patrons to travel first class to Maldon and back. Watch the picturesque world go by as you listen to some great music by our festival musicians. (refer Jazz Festival Program)

Buying Tickets:

  • During the festival Castlemaine Jazz Festival Booking Office (The Ray Bradfield Room)  Open from Friday 10 June 2015
  • Platform 2 Booking Office, Castlemaine Railway Station
  • Buy now online at Trybooking



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Sunday, 08 May


Phaffing about VICTORIA_STREET

The last month after knocking over the depot shed, work and life has conspired against me. On the odd occasion  I tend to shuffle trams in and out the roads of the depot shed, along the stretch to the racecourse back to the ammo factory then back into the sheds.

Busy times at the depot.

The other thing I doodle with is time tabling, especially when I'm on dad duties, roughly drawing train graphs of arrival and departure times that allow for short shunting special services to and from the racecourse that also in turn need to avoid conflict with regular services. The backs of envelopes, pages from a scribble pad, scraps of paper all provide a medium for creativity while supposedly supervising small children.

I did manage to visit a hobby shop, I obtained some sanitation based objects, old school rubbish bins (none of those 'modern' wheelie bins), and a Victorian era public convenience for the Ammo factory terminus. As per usual the facilities were kitbashed to suit my requirements, as the original concept was again too large for the area provided.

I bet the ratepayers of Victoria Street are happy with the local council.

Loitering or stage fright?

The other purchase was a replacement motor for 812, as this tram had a history of coughing and farting after about fifteen minutes of continuous running, the current draw of the original motor was diagnosing an issue with one of the windings, the decoder after the stated period would kick in 'self preservation' mode so as not to allow the 'magic smoke' escape.

The replacement motor is one for the Auscision brand of Australian prototype locomotives, the centre height was spot on, however the diameter of the new motor is about .070" wider than the original, so some old tech school bench fitting was required to make it fit inside the split chassis of the Cooee Collectable mechanism.

I will make it fit...

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Monday, 25 June


Red-kneed Dotterel with red knees The Gap Year and Beyond

I like it when a bird species has an identifying feature listed in its name, it makes birding just a fraction easier. Before the Spotted Crake did his dash across the small shallow lagoon a few Red-kneed Dotterels worked their way along the edge looking for small insects on the water.

Red -kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic

Red-kneed Dotterel, Western Treatment Plant, Werribee, Vic


Nazi Pepper "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Yesterday a cop threatened to pepper spray me in the face, so I was very rude to him. Friends, I'm afraid I told him that he was a fucking pig and that he could go fuck himself. Gosh, when a cop threatens me with violence I become quite spiritual, forget the uniform and as if the clouds have parted I see another human being who can eat loose brown shit directly from my splattering arsehole.

In our fine city of Melbourne it's now illegal to wear a face covering, particularly at a protest, because the cops need full access to people's breathing holes and eyes for when it's spraying time. They are so concerned about public safety that they pulled their weight as one the of most powerful gangs in the state to change that law. This means protesting is now several times more intense and mentally draining. A cop could empty his hell spray down the front of your head at any moment with no warning. They are insane cowards and if I could shit on them so it goes in their mouth and they eat a bit of it, I would, darling readers.

I am long past giving a fuck about the institutions that supposedly protect society. They are all Nazis. All. Here's how the theory works: Melbourne street Nazis are a small group who need police protection at street protests. So Victoria Police, who provide this service above and beyond the call of Hitler, are at the very least Nazi supporters. People who excuse every police action are Nazi supporter supporters. So that's a lot of people I somehow have to work out how to shit on in such a way that it goes on their lips and they taste it and realise they're licking and touching shit. I didn't ask for this honour.

The scumbags who march in small numbers under the Australian flag are clowns, but they're evil, violent clowns. It doesn't matter that some are thick, clueless and foolish, that some don't know what they're talking about or that some are delusional. Since when did being fuckwitted make someone less of a threat?

Yesterday the Loser Hitlers proved this when, having had their Nazi rally and march, they openly celebrated in a city centre pub and then stepped outside to terrorise a street artist. The police had to be fetched by the victim because the cops either did not have eyes on a known violent gang of racists or because they didn't care, but the upshot was that Victoria Police proved they don't give a fuuuuuuuuuck about the public. That square was full of tourists, who are foreign, you think cops care about them? Nope.

When the cops came they smiled at the Nazis and told the street artist- who had to abandon his equipment and run away to find the cops- that he should pack up and leave. The cops had special powers that day but instead of using their power to eject the thugs from the city, they shut down an artist working on his biggest earning day of the week.

That performer must have been terrified as this mob of deadshits surrounded him, yes, but I imagine he...

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Tuesday, 03 May


The Chewton Town Hall "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

A gorgeous intimate performance space, the Chewton Town Hall is a substantially intact and rare example of a small town hall from the Victorian gold rush period of the 1850s. Possibly the smallest intact Town Hall in Victoria?

It will be buzzing during the festival with a limited bar set-up and fabulous home-crafted artisan pies, cakes, and tea and coffee provided by Honky Tonks of Castlemaine.

The Town Hall was built in 1858 as a community hall in the centre of the rapidly developing Chewton township, and served as the meeting room of the Chewton Borough Council from 1861. In March 1997 the Town Hall building, the similarly historic Post Office next door and Ellery Park were handed over to the local Chewton community in recognition of the role this precinct plays in the life of the town.

The hall has undergone a major restoration by the Chewton Domain Society thanks to a state government grant for restoration works in 2013, and continues to be a central part of Chewton community life for the past 160 years.

Check out the relocated portable police lock up right next door.

Access: A few steps to enter the front door. Level access is available at the side of the building via the back door. Parking in Main Road and some parking (via Church Road) behind the Hall. (8 car capacity) Bands to enter via Back Door please.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 11.05.30 pm

chewton community hall

The post The Chewton Town Hall appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.


The Miles Nicel Quartet "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

The Miles Nicel Quartet evolved from a chance meeting of guitarist Peter Ryan and bassist Steve Nicel at a Melbourne jam session one Sunday afternoon late last year.

Peter from Melbourne and Steve from Eurora starting playing together and sharing their musical expertise. This developed into the basis of a band and Steve co-opted his son Miles to play drums and Peter talked his mate Colin Garrett (Tenor Saxophone) to join yet another band. With weekly rehearsals the band soon built up a sizable repertoire of jazz standards and Peter Ryan originals to be presented at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival.

Miles Nicel Quartet

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7th Zorba at Durummbul Hall....!!!! SAVE THE DATE 28 . 5 . 16 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

Zorba - Gypsy Party -First Zorba for 2016!!!Contagiously danceable Gypsy and world Music, dance, food, belly dance and more... to excite your passions and satisfy your soul!Dress up and come down to celebrate!Featuring well-loved local Gypsy sensation - ShakShka, all the way from Melbourne - The Imprints, Local band - Hamsa (Amir Paiss & Avishai Barnatan), Bedouin song circle with Shai Shriki and friends. Belly Dance by Rachel Myra & Yael Mahler. DJ Blackbird (Daniel Harris)From soul-stirring Gypsy songs and heart-melting melodies to sublime grooves and quirky beats to shake your hips, this is a night not to miss!Saturday 30th Jan 2016Durrumbul Hall 6km out of Mullum on Main Arm Rd. on the Left.Doors open: 6pm till MidnightFood by Open Table Catering from 6pm$20Kids entry FREE or by donationAll Donations go to Sea ShepherdFor any inquiry please email: zorbagypsy@gmail.comYoutube: ages welcome!About the Acts:Shakshuka:Shakshuka play music from the heart and around the world, both heart-achingly beautiful and contagiously danceable. Up-tempo Eastern European Gypsy melodies, Middle Eastern, Latin and original songs are played on Guitar or Oud, Fiddle, great vocal harmonies and live Belly dancing in a fusion of contemporary and traditional sounds.Shakshuka are a global journey of sound, emotion and dance and together they take the audience on an eclectic gypsy journey around the world.The Imprints:The Imprints play high energy experimental and groovy dance music with world and Gypsy influances. Emerging from the creative and vibrant Melbourne music scene, long time collaborators Willow Stahlut and Linden Lester make the crowd dance from the first note.Hamsa:An uplifting blend of Middle Eastern inspirations, Hebrew cultural roots, traditional and contemporary instruments and grooves.DJ BlackBird - Daniel Harris:Emerging from the sweaty vodka pits of the New Zealand klezmer underground, and crossing the Tasman Sea to the great land of dreaming, Blackbird has wandered from Melbourne to Mullumbimby with his magic box of gypsy musicians. He has performed in parties and festivals across Victoria, and now he unveils his magic box of gypsy beats, balkan bangers and klezmer mania for Mullumbimby with one aim - to make you tantz like a meshuggeneh!Link:

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Thursday, 28 April


Trumpet "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Trumpet are a 5 piece jazz band featuring vocalist David Ruiz playing styles of jazz music from bebop to bossa nova and beyond. Trumpet also delve into blues, funk, soul and 50s rock n roll. The band has performed at numerous private and public events in Melbourne and Victoria including the Park Hyatt, Dizzys Jazz Club, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Museum, Yarraville Festival and Grampians Jazz Festivals.

More info and YouTube clips etc are on our site


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Sunday, 24 April


Two Melbourne cafs with ghost signs attached Finding the radio book

Melbourne is well known for its coffee culture and its ghost signs, so it's not that much of a surprise that the two have met in recent years.

At least two cafs are operating in premises that have uncovered ghost signs on their walls - and have left the signs there to their advantage.

In fact, one, Mr Morse - just next to the railway bridge in Johnston Street, Abbotsford, has named itself after the large early 20th century Mr Morse's Indian Root Pills sign uncovered on a former external wall:

This sign is part of an intense marketing push by the Australian purveyors of a snake oil remedy originally from the US - as seen by many other large cobalt blue Indian Root Pills signs around the district, including the famous chicory kiln in Bacchus Marsh (below) and various other Root Pills sign uncoverings (see: And for more details on Dr Morse's elixir, see the great Melbourne Circle blog for a fascinating history of the Indian Root Pills brand:

The second caf is in Lower Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe. Signwriter Larry Stammers alerted me to this great place after we met at a State Library talk recently. Funnily enough, when I went to take these pics recently, Larry was there having lunch. Again, the sign was painted on a former external wall. We wondered what oat company it might have been - possibly Uncle Toby's - there's a large faded ghost sign in St Georges Road in North Fitzroy that though very different in other ways has a similar curved swirl (any suggestions?)

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Monday, 18 April


New article about a ghost sign project in Ballarat Finding the radio book

"COOPED up in her magnificent 19th century office, artist and researcher Amy Tsilemanis loves nothing more than researching Ballarats antique advertising signs and brochures.
Based in the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute library, Tsilemanis goal is to bring old things to life in creative ways. She is currently working on a project about the citys ghost advertising on the sides of buildings  faded ads from the past."

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Saturday, 16 April


Risa Kodani and Jazz Notes "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Risa Kodani is originally from Japan, where she studied at the Osaka School of Music. Risa married an Australian and migrated here about five years ago.

Ann Craig has been playing wind instruments all of her life and teaches woodwind, brass and keyboard. On stage, she plays flute.

Kevin Blaz (guitar) and Ann teamed up a few years ago and have been developing Jazz Notes ever since.

Daniel Pickard (bass) left the music scene in Newcastle a couple of years ago and has been playing in various musical contexts around Melbourne. Since he arrived here, he has played regularly with Jazz Notes.

Marek Podstawek (drums) has played with Jazz Notes for the past couple of years and is a very versatile and entertaining musician. Marek recently featured with Jazz Notes, playing vibes at the Grampians Jazz Festival and Australian Jazz Convention.

Jazz Notes with Risa

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Sunday, 10 April


Fire from the Sky Beside the Yarra

September 28, 1969: Two months after NASA landed a manned spaceship on the moon, an extraterrestrial visitor returned the favour; a chunk of ancient rock streaked high above Victoria. Coming to ground near Murchison, in the states north, the meteorite was to prove more than just an exciting light show.

Once parts of the meteorite were recovered, scientists were amazed to discover that the rock contained amino acids, organic molecules that are the building blocks of our DNA. Previously, amino acids had only ever been known on earth, and it had been thought that the conditions outside of our atmosphere would be too harsh for them to form, or survive.

The discovery raised a tantalising possibility: could life have actually evolved somewhere other than Earth, then hitched a ride here on a meteorite?

Headline in The Argus

On September 28, 1969, residents across Victoria were startled when their Sunday afternoon was rocked by a blazing fireball that erupted above them. Witnesses across the state reported loud explosions, crackling sounds, smoke and a strange smell, like methylated spirits, as a meteorite left a flaming trail across the sky:

Weighing approximately 100kg, the meteorite finally disintegrated above Murchison, a small town in the Goulburn Valley, about 160km north of Melbourne. Breaking up into about 2 000 chunks, some weighing as much as 5kg, the fiery debris rained down over the town and the surrounding farmland.
Curious locals immediately began recovering meteorite fragments, and either keeping them as souvenirs, or turning them in to the local authorities.

Samples were sent to Melbourne University for analysis, and for comparison to some samples of moon rock, which had also recently arrived:

The preliminary results showed that the rock was at least 4.5 billion years old, and so was likely older than the earth itself. Professor Lovering's guess that it was a carbonaceous chrondite was proved correct, and so made the find particularly rare.

And there the matter may have rested.


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Thursday, 07 April


Modest uncovering in a tradionally immodest St Kilda street Finding the radio book

This old real estate sign was recently uncovered in the heart of St Kilda's former centre of sin: Grey Street. Of course, it's rapidly gentrifying - as evidenced by the flash new apartments being built on this former down-at-heel site:

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Monday, 04 April


Gypsie Swing Ensemble "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Its French Its Romantic Its Fantastic

For Hot Club Swing & the Manouche Gypsy Jazz thing

Gypsie Swing Ensemble is a Melbourne Trio playing Bohemian Swing from the Night Clubs and Cafes of Paris in the 1930s a first for the Festival. Sit back, relax with a Pernod and water, get a little decadent

Le toot

The post Gypsie Swing Ensemble appeared first on Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2016.


The Glass Moon "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

A standout group in 2015, and a regular headline act in their home town of Melbourne, we are very excited to announce that the boys are back. A pop jazz vibe featuring

Cam Giles-Webb vocals
Daniel Robertson piano
Mike Mathews fretless bass
Kieran Rafferty drums
Lachlan Davidson saxophone
Jack Pantazis guitar

Glass-Moon-Promo2  Glass Moon Promo

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Up Trio "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

UpTrio formed in 2014 with Ben Hooper on keys, George Borthwick on bass and Sebastien Jego on drums. The group strives to play contemporary and standard jazz in a variety of genres and performing original compositions. Since forming, UpTrio have performed in numerous venues around Melbourne and in December 2015 were invited to perform at the Renaissance Festival in South Gippsland. 2016 will see the band return for their second Castlemaine Jazz Festival with the addition of Agus Batara on keys.

up trio

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Trio Z Plus One "GroovUs Feed Afestivals"

Trio Z will be back with happy-making music for the small intimate venue. Their tasteful and clever repertoire has been enriched with more originals plus a double bass for this years festival.

This Melbourne formation brings together players who love the action and excitement of gentle entertainment. A happy audience is their musical pursuit. Trio Z Plus One are fun so come and see us!

Trio Z is Amanda Jones (clarinet), Mark Nuttney (aka Rhythm Machine Joe Coool) and Ziggy Saabel (saxophone, guitar) plus Brenda Roan (double bass).

Trio Z Plus One

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Works at the Depot. VICTORIA_STREET

The brickies have been in and the depot shed is starting to resemble something like a tram shed and less like a cool store, This is the largest and most intact structure on Victoria Street, it is also the final one.

A typical day on the tramways.

The brick sheet used is Superquik pasted onto the foam board with a glue sick, concrete lintels and bases are cereal box card,  the roof is in the process of being finished off with Wills corrugated iron.

The space between the shed and the office features the former substation that used to serve the depot and the line to the Racecourse and the Ammo factory,  The original rotary converter installed when the depot was isolated from the main system inside has been mothballed and the space is used by maintenance as a store. This was made up from leftovers from the Ammo Factory building, a Metcalfe Warehouse kit.

The substation/stores

Depot signage has either been scanned from books or sourced from the internet, resized in windows word then printed out on office paper.

Here are few more photos in and around the new depot shed.

4MPH in the yard.
Carring out from the sheds.
About to enter service.

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Wednesday, 23 March


Online video of my recent talk on the Lewis & Skinner archive at the State Library of Victoria Finding the radio book

If you've ever craved information on ghost signs, elephants, tea, online archives and mouldy documents, come and take a look here.

The videos by SLV Fellows are on the right hand side of the page:

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Wednesday, 16 March


Moomba BMX Jam at Riverslide Skate Park Deborah Jane Photography

Riverslide Skate Park & Moomba Festival Present Moomba BMX Jam

U14, U16, Pro and Best Tricks Comp.  Just some of the photos taken at the event on Monday 14th March






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Sunday, 24 June


Resumption of services. As if! VICTORIA_STREET

Forgive me followers for it has been far too long between posts. 

There are many things to be said about relocation, you have a fair idea what to keep and what to discard, you also have a similar opinion about other stuff, and then you have to prove once again that you are not a hoarder. 

It is the eternal dispute of what needs to stay, and what has to go. 

At the moment, I feel like those certain blokes who attempted to impose their ideals across Western Europe. That is, if you take on more than one onerous task at one time, more than likely it's going to end in tears. 

The layout does reside indoors, while the workshop space is out the shed. 

I have relocated the layout, but!!!

It has seems that storage and time has been somewhat unkind to reliable running.  Also at the same time, the rollingstock has somehow suffered the same issue. 

I have cleaned the tracks, cleaned the wheels on rollingstock, and still, have encountered some serious issues with reliability. 

For some reason.....

The lights on the racecourse module will not work when connected to the rest of the layout, yet will work independently in test mode. 

The 'up' track from the racecourse terminus is as dead as a door nail, yet works again when tested independently.

Rollingstock, such as all of my W class have become so unreliable, that it seems all will have to be overhauled in regards to pick ups, lights and cv adjustments.  



two great museums in Leipzig - Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

As you can tell from my old posts, I've long been interested in Leipzigs musical connections. Now let us summarise the details published in Discover Leipzig and then focus on the historic Bose House-museum.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was active in Leipzigs musical life from 1723 on. He was responsible for the services and special ceremonies at the churches of St Nicholas and St Thomas. And, as the city's Director Musices, he was also charged with the organisation of a wide range of secular events. He directed an association of professional performers and musically active students.

Many of his major compositions were written in Leipzig, including annual cycles of choral cantatas, St John and St Matthew Passions, Christmas Oratorio, Art of the Fugue and his Mass in B Minor. Since the C19th no end of effort has been put into the study and interpretation of Bach's works in Leipzig, and several institutions, societies and competitions have been established.

The Leipzig Music Trail is an easy way to explore the musicians who lived and worked in the city. The sites lie on a 5km stroll that winds through the city centre, marked by curved steel inserts in the ground. See the Bose Family Home A C16th front home is one of the oldest buildings on the square outside St Thomass Church. The twin-aisled Renaissance entrance hall had impressive Tuscan columns and a portal with its porphyry Romanesque arch. The Bach family later lived across the street in St Thomas School, now demolished.

Bose Haus, Leipzig
now the Johann Sebastian Bach Museum

In 1710, the home was acquired by Georg Heinrich Bose, an affluent manufacturer of gold and silver products, who had it turned into a prestigious Baroque merchants residence. The side wings and back building were newly erected by the Bose family. The faade of the front building has a two-storey bay window. In the rear building, Bose installed a magnificent banqueting/concert hall, fitted with wall mirrors, a musicians gallery and a movable ceiling painting.

In 1745 Boses son-in-law Johann Zacharias Richter acquired the parental home, adding an extensive art collection of his own, and opening it to the public. From 1765 it was opened to connoisseurs on one afternoon each week for two hours. Among the celebrities who viewed the art treasures were Moses Mendelssohn, Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein and Jean Paul. The collection remained with...

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Tuesday, 15 March


St Kilda Festival, 14th Feb 2016 Deborah Jane Photography

In summer, every year St Kilda puts on its famous music festival, it is a free celebration with over 400,000 people who descend to the famous beachside location. They come from all over and listen to and are entertained by a variety of Australian musicians.

_MG_3873_4_4Over 400,000 people attend the festival yearly.  The Esplanade, St Kilda _MG_3654_4_4 Band playing on St Kilda Beach ...


Daddy Cools Dali rocks off Flaming Hoop

Guitarist, singer and visual artist
1 December 1950 8 March 2016

To Daddy Cool bass player Wayne Duncan, Ross Hanna Hannaford was far more than just his eccentric DC band-mate since 1970. He was the Salvador Dali of Australian rock, said Duncan. Everything he did, he did his way. Every guitar he had, he would adapt and change hed paint over it and make it a Ross Hannaford, an art object.

For instance most guitarists have standardised sound effects pedal boards to stomp on. Hannas, however, another regular collaborator, Shane Howard, of Goanna, confirmed, were like fantastic landscape paintings with artificial turf. Howard recalled the lanky player rocking up for a session, his guitar painted in reggae rainbow outbursts. Hed be wearing his fluoro vest, Afghani hat and some Blundstone boots painted gold the full dude.

Ross was a contrarian, said Howard. But he was very generous to me. I learnt how to write, to tailor stuff that was in his frame of reference. The way he played was always surprisingly and moving and it came from a very deep place. Ross sense of tone it felt right. It was always right. There was a fearlessness to him.

But it wasnt always so.

Ross Andrew Hannaford was born at Mayfield Hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales. Although both his mother Winifred Win (ne Johnson) and father Alan Al Hannaford had grown up in Melbourne, Al had taken a three year posting with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in Newcastle as an engineer. Struggling with a difficult workplace, unable to see much of his family, Al suffered a nervous breakdown. The Hannafords returned to Melbourne and a better life when Ross was one and a half, managing a motel and a caravan park.

Ross only had one sibling, Ian, older by four years. Their parents lived into their 90s; both have died now. My brother was a very shy kid, said Ian. He used to love diving, but as a baby hed suffered perforated ear drums perhaps from ear infections so hed been ordered to stop.

Compromised hearing or not, from the age of four, Hannaford regularly asked his parents for a guitar. When I was eight, I could hold one, he explains, in the documentary Hanna in a Nutshell (Haydn Keenan, 2015) so I got one and some lessons. Then came musical theory. I can't teach him, his ABC Academy teacher announced finally. But he can play. For Hannaford, the education system was a nightmare. At Cheltenham Primary School, a teacher terrorised him. Then he went to Brighton High, Mentone Grammar, Prahran Tech and RMIT.

At 12 Ross Hannaford was playing banjo in a kid jazz band and also guitar in his R&B band The Fauves. He was short, fat and wore bottle-thick glasses. Three years above him at school was Keith Glass, a muso whod go on to form Missing Link Records and manage the Birthday Party. When The Fauves played we all went along to a local church hall and watched them, Glass recalled. I remember being astonished at the sound and natural technique Ross [Hannaford] had with a cheap Canora acoustic guitar with an equally cheap Ibenez pickup shoved in the sound hole.

Meanwhile Hanna saw Wilson playing blues harp with Glass's band (The Group/The Rising Sons) around the same time. I think it was 1963, said Wilson. He wasn't quite 13. His parents didn't know what to do with him. He used to...

Monday, 14 March


James Stephens and the 8 Hour Day Beside the Yarra

This weekend is the Labour Day long weekend in Melbourne (and in most of Australia), so I thought it would be a good time to have a look at the origins of this holiday. Like most of our long weekends, Labour Day is a commemoration but, unlike many of them, this links us globally to many other Western countries, most of whom mark a similar occasion somewhere in their calendars.

The origins of Labour Day are linked to the beginnings of the organised labour movement, and some courageous and principled folk who demanded fairer treatment for workers. And in Melbourne, the first of these working groups to demand better conditions were the local stonemasons, lead by a tough and determine Welshman.

Trade Association banner, Melbourne, 19th century.
Melbourne started as an agricultural outpost in 1835, with a small city centre and limited industry. But, as the city expanded rapidly, especially during the gold rush of the 1850s, the city also began to modernise. This brought new industries, and new jobs, in manufacturing, mining, and public works.

But working conditions in these new industries were tough:

One of gold rush Melbourne's biggest growth industries was construction. Awash with cash, and the newly wealthy purveyors of it, the city effectively set about rebuilding itself. The low, often wooden, and very basic buildings that had been constructed during the city's foundation years were largely removed, and replaced by grand edifices, many stories high and largely built of stone.

It was a boom time for Melbourne's stonemasons but, despite high demand for their services, they suffered the same treatment as the city's factory workers; low pay, dangerous conditions and very long hours.

Enter James Stephens.

James Stephens: Stonemason and labour activist.
Born in Wales in 1821, Stephens followed in his father's footsteps and became a stonemason as a teenager. In 1839 he was seriously injured when he fell from a construction site scaffold, and the lack of assistance available to him while he recovered helped steer him towards the organised labour movement.

Sunday, 13 March


The Heavenly Queen of the Maribyrnong Beside the Yarra

Standing on a nondescript bend in the Maribyrnong River, between Footscray and Flemington Racecourse, is a most unexpected sight. Rising above a former industrial block, towers the Heavenly Queen of the Maribyrnong.

The Heavenly Queen of the Yarra, Footscray.

Under construction for more than a decade, her arrival at this location is a tale that actually stretches back several thousand years.

Lin Niang; traditional representation.

Born in 960, on the island of Meizhou off the south eastern coast of China, Lin Niang was marked as a remarkable child from an early age. Visiting a Buddhist temple with her family when she was 4, Niang experienced a vision of the Goddess Kuan Yin, which left her with the power of second sight.

Pious, and highly intelligent, Niang began to study Buddhist teachings when she was 10, and was accepted as an apprentice to the village priest shortly afterwards. From her early teens, people from the surrounding area would come to pray with Niang and she developed a reputation as a healer.

Niang seen by sailors, travelling atop a cloud.

She also had a profound connection with the sea; Niang's father and brothers were fisherman, and village life revolved around the ocean.

When Niang was 15, her father and eldest brother were out at sea when a fierce storm blew up and overturned their boat. Working on a tapestry at home, Niang was overcome by a powerful vision and fell into a trance. She was able to project her consciousness out to sea (some versions say she was actually transported, via cloud, as depicted a...

Sunday, 06 March


There is a fine line between detail and insane. VICTORIA_STREET

I have been in the process of installing lights into the two SEC trams, Ballarat 28 and Bendigo 29. These trams were DCC chipped nearly two years ago, they had their CVs tweaked and have been in regular service since.

County cousins from about 2 years ago.
However a tram without running lights can be a hazard to itself and to others, for when it is called up by the controller, you have no clear idea which direction it will go when it moves into step one, (usually into the tram 'behind' it at the depot), nor can you tell if it has stalled on dirty track or it's just being difficult.

That's the thinking behind about fitting lights are, the headlights let you know which way it should go and the saloon lights inform you that the tram is receiving power and is waiting for further instruction, this sums up the detail aspect.

The insane part of this blog, is that both trams are of the single truck four wheel variety, (Ballarat 28, a reworked tyco/mantua trolley and Bendigo 29 a JEM resin kit on an Bachmann 44t powered bogie) therefore there is a distinct lack of real estate inside these models, even when you have installed rather small decoders, there is the space consumed by the mechanism, then you decide to install headlights, marker lamps and interior saloon lights as well, enter the two blokes with the straight jacket and a few sessions of weaving cane baskets!

The mechanism of Bendigo 29, with a socket on top
fashioned from half an eight pin IC socket.
The innards of Bendigo 29.
With three LEDs at each end, two warm white, on red.
What makes this concept more interesting is that I install LEDs with dropping resistors for lighting, but as I choose not to incinerate surface mounted LEDs for these projects, no, I use the more robust 3mm LEDs, warm white for the headlamps, red for the tail/marker lamps and yellow for interior lighting.

With the marker lights, I use 1mm(.040") fibre optic thread/element that is heat shrunk to the LED, and to ensure that the 'magic smoke' does not exit the decoder, all leads of components and wires are heat shrunk and insulated. All of which is in the confined space of these trams.

Wednesday, 24 February


We're havin' ourselves a barn raisin' VICTORIA_STREET

All good depots need a shed, a tram shed/car barn, somewhere to berth and then service rollingstock after a hard days work, and in the situation of Victoria Street, somewhere to hide rollingstock from the domestic curse of household dust.

The Depot shed with W5 800 on the kitchen bench
(The place where all good models are photographed)

After the construction of the depot light and overhead array, I have been trawling cyberspace for a suitable structure to 'plonk' over the frame, I have settled on a traditional 'saw tooth' design that will allow ambient light during the day but will 'light up' in the evening when trams are retiring for the day.

A simple construction made from 4mm foam board, this grand shed spans the three roads of the Albert Road/Westside Depot, the roads, numbering from 1 to 3, left to right.
This is enough to serve the requirements of this cross suburban line with a little more space for a few heritage units for weekend gunzel* excursions.

Hiding in the shed

At the rear of the shed, road three runs through to an external yard (loading ramp), this is the entry/exit point for rollingstock on the layout.

A shot from the rear door of road 3,
looking out onto Victoria Street

More details to be added, brick paper, roofing and so forth, but it is a tram shed.

From under the wires inside the shed,

*Gunzel ( noun, slang Australia especially Victoria): A person who pursues useless and pointless railway enthusiast activities. Verb (intransitive) to gunzel, to go gunzelling.
UK equivalents: gricer, anorak.
USA equivalents: foamer, foamite.

Monday, 22 February


JuiceRapNews Live in Berlin: 11 March 2016 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

Attention Berliners and all nearby EU Juice Rap News fam/fans:

Ken Oathcarn, General Baxter and Terrence Moonseed from Juice Rap News will be rocking the stage at the Berlin Congress Center on March 11!

(I know we said we wrapped up Juice Rap News but after receiving a warm invitation from the Center of Investigative Journalism we decided to make one exception in order to be able to present some Juice at least once for our EU friends!)

Baxter 2  Ken Pic 2  Terrence 3

Verrrry honoured to have been invited to talk about JuiceMedia/RapNews at The Logan Symposium, which brings together some of the most badass peeps of our generation working in journalism, hacktivism, human/digital rights and unfucking-the-Internet including Julian Assange (via Skype), Sarah Harrison, Seymour Hersch, Cage, Jacob Appelbaum (Tor), Jesselyn Raddack, Jrmie Zimmermann, Subgraph, and many others.

Amidst this madness Ill be presenting some excerpts from the JRN live show with help from stellar Melbourne mcs MANTRA and Grey Ghost as General Baxter and Terrence Moonseed. So, if you live in Europe and thought you had missed out on ever seeing live Juice, nows your chance to catch this PLUS many other awesome speakers. (NB: This will not be our FULL show, as Hugo is not with us, but well do our very best to make it as awesome as possible!) So come down; it would also be awesome to meet you during this first-ever (and perhaps last) EU show!.

Tickets and Event Details here

<3 Giordano


The p...

Sunday, 21 February


White Night Federation Square Deborah Jane Photography

Beautiful artwork by Reko Rennie projected onto the many different surfaces at Federation Square #Melbourne for White Night Melbourne.
About Reko Rennie
Reko Rennie is an interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary mediums. Rekos art incorporates his association to the Kamilaroi people, using traditional geometric patterning that represents his community. Reko has shown internationally including Venice, Paris, Berlin, Jakarta, Shanghai and USA. Recent highlights include: 2015 Venice Biennale, 2014 Art Gallery of NSW, 2013 GOMA commission, 2012-13 La Trobe University public art commission, 2012 Archibald Prize Finalist, a solo exhibition at SCOPE Art Fair, New York 2012, a 35-metre commissioned work by the Washington DC Arts and Humanities and a two-year public artwork, Neon Natives as part of the 2011 Melbourne Laneway Commission.,. Whats On Federation Square. N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

Friday, 19 February


Brilliant Nugget shoe polish sign on an old shop window in Middle Park Finding the radio book

Drove by this on Canterbury Road the other day. What a beauty - and great that it's been kept:

This find reminded me of my earlier encounter with the remnants of a Nugget sign in Carlton that had been photographed years before by ghost sign aficionado John Hunter:


Highett staples: Velvet Soap, Robur Tea and house paint Finding the radio book

Today I was driving on Highett Road near the Highett Railway Station. I saw a glimpse of a painted paintbrush on a fascia, decided to give it a miss, then saw a European cake shop. Hmmm. Lunchtime. Worth a look then.

So I parked, got some food and walked down the street. Lucky I did - walking back the other way I stumbled on a palimpsest of signs that includes a Velvet Soap sign with a cartoon figure painted over the top:

I saw the sign from a small square across the road. There was something on the wall there too. I took a closer look - and realised it was the R and O from a large Robur Tea sign:


The paint shop fascia was there too, but hard to photograph from the other side of the busy road:

Wednesday, 17 February


Sunday Sessions at Station 59 "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

With sunny weather on the way this weekend, where better to be thanStation 59 listening to some live music from local bands?

Hang out in the beer garden, grab a feed and have a few drinks whilst listening to the likes of...

Beastly Bird
"Beastly Bird was formed with the aim of creating a fresh, new sound, and with their unique blend of alternative rock they just might have done it"

Peter Dickybird
"Indie pop so unique it is like sighting a rare Red Goshawk through a set of binoculars"

Agamous Betty
"Lo-fi/avant garde performance artist"

"Doggerel play blues and unrelated genres powerfully, aggressively, and even crassly - all with the hope of making purists weep"

Jaded Souls
"A uniquely talented duo expressing themselves whole heartedly, honestly, and with musical flair"

Friday, 22 June


Shiiiiiiiitcuuuuuuunts "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

At the end of last year my twitter account was nuked because I told a lot of people I deemed to be committed racists, one at a time, that they were a "shitcunt". This was a tremendous mistake because if you get into an argument with major online entities like Twitter they erase a chunk of your online existence. I tried explaining myself, but I wasn't talking to a person, I was talking to a system built by more shitcunts. So an account I'd been running for a decade, with all the connections I'd made with thousands of people, was no more. It was all my fault but my fault wasn't being a shitcunt, it was that I am a hero who takes risks. Fuck I'm amazing. Get fucked. A fucking hero. Fuck. You.

Also, since April of last year until about a few weeks ago I have been obsessed with making my first solo show a goer, but after doing the show at four different festivals I was sick of it. Festivals, like major social media behemoths, suck a million business dicks but will not lift a finger to help the little people that make up the entire reason for their existence. And that shit costs a lot money. Paying money to do comedy? How dignified.

Online and at fringe and comedy festivals, I have watched the creators of art get milked dry by business vampires. They take our time and money and give back nothing but bullshit. The creators who do succeed do so because they are mediocre or cowards, generally. Check out the wide selection of boring comedians on Netflix if you doubt this.

Anyway late last year I got on with calling a lot of racists a "shitcunt". Shitcunt. What a word. A lot of people are in my estimation weak dogs, piss holes or dipshits, but hey, they might be struggling for some personal reason I know nothing about. But a shitcunt? That person is just a shitcunt. It was glorious to abuse the christ out of these shitcunts for a golden hour.

Last year my brother died and my family didn't bother to tell me and it got life changingly weird and ugly. So I focused my anger at the entire human race on one group- committed racists- and abused the fuck out of them. I will always come back to the simple idea that if you have horrible shit in your life, take that emotion and use it on a target that deserves it. Sure I lost that twitter account, because if you fight, you might lose. But if you don't fight, you're just a loser. Possibly even a shitcunt.

I've got some other ideas for things I can do that won't result in my destruction, so that's nice. A podcast. Returning to blogging, obviously. Stand up comedy, again. But I'm not 100% sure what I would be doing any of it for anymore. I know for a fact that producing content with an audience in mind is a recipe for a truly garbage life.

I have to go do a shit now.


Three sentence reviews of some June exhibitions Black Mark

Katie Erasure, Simple upside down spectator

Katie Erasure, Simple upside down spectator

Fortyfive Downstairs, Emerging Artist Award  2018

A white ViewMaster-style stereoscopic viewer with a round magazine of surreal photographs by Ayman Kaake was one of two winners of the emerging artist award. The other was a bold abstract painting, Simple upside down spectator by Katie Erasure. Not that these winners were that far ahead of the rest of the exhibitors.

Lauren Simpeoni, Gift

Lauren Simeoni, Girt

Craft, Island Welcome

A great exhibition curated by Belinda Newick of necklaces in a wide variety of materials by fifteen intelligent and inventive jewellers. The exhibition is a reminder that the simple act of giving a neckla...


June 22 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

1788 - "Slight shock of earthquake in the newly formed settlement of Sydney Cove. It did not last more than two or three seconds. It was felt by most people in camp, and by the Governor himself, who heard at the same time a noise to the south, and which he took at first to be the report of guns fired at a great distance.  The earth teemed with sulphurous odour for some time after."

1829 - John Slack (alias York) was hanged at Sydney for putting in fear and burglary at the house of Timothy Beard at Cabramatta.

1838 - Col William Light spat the dummy and resigned as Surveyor-General of South Australia, after being refused additional staff and being ordered to use an inexact method of survey.

1842 - The Imperial Waste Lands Act increased the minimum price of land in all the Australian colonies to 1 acre - half the proceeds to be used to encourage migration. Wakefield, Torrens & Hutt's plan from the SA Foundation Act of 1834, is to be half adopted in the other colonies i.e. NSW WA & Tas.

1846 - The Eastern Market was opened in Melbourne right alongside the Female Peniteniary ; the Eastern Market site later hosted The Southern Cross Hotel where the Fab Four stayed during the Melbourne leg of their Oz tour but, sadly for them, there were no longer any caged females screaming next door....

1854 - The news finally reached Oz about the outbreak titled the Crimean War, which gave rise to fears of attack on Oz by the Russian Navy....which in turn led to the night When The Russians Didn't Invade Victoria.

1854 - Sir Charles Hotham plonked himself into the post of Governor of Victoria.
And then the rot set it.

1863 - Roll up, Roll up! The City of Churches aka Adelaide was sparkling like a hazy diamond in the night when the city was illuminated by gas.

1884 - A simple lesson for men to change their socks more often!!! Henrietta Dugdale and Annette Bean had been darning too many socks for the menfolk - their heads had obviously been turned (as had possibly their stomachs) by the odourous smell assaulting their senses so they formed the Women's Suffrage Society in Melbourne on this day.

1889 - Sydney's tallest building, the head office of the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, opened. It stood more than 34 metres above street level.

1892 - During a day of wild weather all over the state of Victoria that caused much damage, a cyclone hit Ballarat resulting in extensive damage to buildings, numerous people were injured and 2 lives were lost.

1892 - Newspapers reported that the unemployment situation was so bad, some families were selling their own clothes to buy food.

1899 - Essendon....

Saturday, 06 February


Gatwick Private Hotel, St Kilda, Melbourne. Deborah Jane Photography

The Gatwick stands at 34 Fitzroy Street, a building that was established by Vittoria Carbone known as the Queen of St Kilda (Queen Vicky) in the 1960s. After her death in 1998, the hotel was taken over by her daughters Rose and Yvette who have run the place since then.

During the War, the hotel functioned as a billet for allied troops; specifically US officers. The Prince of Wales, across the street was used likewise. The Banff building further along operated in the same fashion during the war as General MacArthurs HQ for the Pacific campaign.,. Inside The Gatwick St Kilda News. N.p., 2015. Web. 6 Feb. 2016.

#Gatwick #Private #Hotel #StKilda #Melbourne #Australia_MG_2028...

Friday, 05 February


My speech from the launch of Iris and the Tiger Andrew McDonald

Last night I had honour of launching my good friend Leanne Halls new book Iris and the Tiger at Readings in Carlton.

Leanne has already published a couple of YA novels, but this is her first novel for younger readers and its an absolute winner. So much so that I dressed up as my favourite scene from the book for the launch.

Leanne and I

Here we are enjoying a moment at the book signing afterwards. Thanks to Steph at Text Publishing for taking the pic.


It is my great honour (and stiff-necked misfortune) to be launching Leanne Halls splendid childrens novel Iris and the Tiger tonight.

I want to talk about the brilliance of this book and I will but first allow me to explain why I look the way I look.

I am a sunflower.

An athletic sunflower.

And I come to you in fancy dress tonight for two reasons:

The first is that this is a Leanne Hall event. So were doing things the Leanne Hall way. And when Leanne Hall invites you to launch her amazing new book and suggests on social media that its going to be a dressing-up kind of occasion you do not disappoint by showing up in jeans and a shirt.

So Ive taken it upon myself to come dressed as my favourite scene from Iris and the Tiger.


Iris, of course, is the hero of the story and were with her from page one as she flies from Australia to Spain to spend ten days with her Great Aunt Ursula. Aunt Ursula is vague and mysterious, and the big house on her estate, which is known locally as Bosque de Nubes, Spanish for forest of clouds is even stranger. The banister of carved vines seems momentarily to whip around Iriss wrist. Notes on a sheet of music seem to have a life of their own. And a couple of overgrown sunflowers use their leaves to hit a tennis ball back and forth on an old court in the garden.

Ever since I first read Iris and the Tiger, this scene with the sunflowers has stayed with me. Leanne has a special talent for writing scenes that, once read, do not go unremembered. They bobble around in the brain. For me, theres just something completely inscrutable yet comforting and familiar about big sunflowers playing tennis.

And thats the second reason Im dressed like this tonight. Its all about the aesthetics. The tennis court tableau is, I think, representative of the kind of fantastical imagery that Leanne has a knack for conjuring be it the tennis-playing sunflowers or the Kidds (capital K) who ride their bikes around town and terrorise people in Leannes debut book This Is Shyness). And while evoking such strong visuals, the beauty of Leannes prose doesnt suffer at all. Technically speaking, its quite a thing to behold.

The imagery in Iris and the Tiger is so strong that Aunt Ursulas mansion feels like a real location to me. So real we probably could have had this book launch in Aunt Ursulas lounge room.

I can just imagine it:

All of us, boarding a plane to Barcelona and driving three hours to Aunt Ursulas estate.

Then moving through the white mansion, across the coloured tiles on the lobby floor and into the lounge room for the book launch.

A great chandelier would be hanging above our heads. Armchairs and tables and statues would be scattered all along one wall. While another wall would be covered in many different paintings, including a large painting above a fireplace of a woman and her greyhound, which appears to have five legs.

Up the front of the shop where the Readings counter sits is where the grand piano would be, with it...

Wednesday, 03 February


Elephant found in deliberate Collingwood uncovering Finding the radio book

The other day I was on Smith Street Collingwood. On a corner is a motor garage that's been there forever - these days it looks like it's run by people who are also motoring history enthusiasts. The place was open and the walls were covered in old enamel signs for petrol and oil. People were sitting around the workshop, so I felt odd about taking photos.

A few days earlier, though, I'd been there when the place was closed. The whitewashed walls have been partly stripped back, presumably by the enthusiast owners, to reveal a bunch of old painted signs, including a big one for Elephant Kerosene, a former brand of both the Esso and Standard-Vacuum oil companies:

Elephant brand kerosene used to be a popular one in the early to mid 20th century:

Looking up close, and lots of other details revealed themselves, including the old phone number dating from the 1950s:

Friday, 29 January


St Kilda Pier, Melbourne Deborah Jane Photography

St Kilda Pier


The most famous attraction on St Kildas beach is the St Kilda Pier. This landmark was originally constructed in 1853 and the iconic kiosk on the pier built in 1904. The kiosk was destroyed by fire in 2003 but was rebuilt soon after and features a viewing deck which offers panoramic views over the bay. At the end of the pier is a breakwater which was constructed for the 1956 Olympic Games to provide a safe harbour for yachts. Visitors can walk part of the way on top of the breakwater or descend to a boardwalk at sea level. Around 100 penguins have made this rocky breakwater their home.  St Kilda Information Travel Victoria: Accommodation & Visitor Guide. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.




Hello 2016: ghost sign book in production, upcoming talk at State Library of Victoria, 40,000 page views and lots of ghost sign pics to follow soon Finding the radio book

Happy new year! It's been nearly two months since I posted on this blog - there's been lots on.

Firstly, our forthcoming edited academic book on ghost signs has consumed much of my time of late. It's finally about to go into production - will let you know when it's out. It will have 22 chapters about ghost signs from around the world, by a range of academics and practitioners. I'm very proud of it. Some initial details are here:

Secondly, I'll soon be doing a talk at the State Library of Victoria on the Lewis and Skinner archive. Details are here: Unfortunately it's now booked out - but drop me a line if you'd like to go and I'll see if I can get you in.

Thirdly, this blog has now generated 40,000 unique page views, which is very nice. Thanks for reading!

And lastly - I've accumulated a large backlog of ghost sign pics over the last months and will start posting these shortly. Stay tuned...

Monday, 25 January


Thursday, 21 January


Yoga -St Kilda Beach, Melbourne. Deborah Jane Photography


The FunAddicts invite you to one of the most entertaining and relaxing Summer activity ever!

Enjoy a Yoga lesson at St Kilda Beach where you can relax and have the opportunity to make new friends and take some cool pictures of the spot!


Wednesday, 06 January


Then and Now: Manchester Unity Building Rooftop Beside the Yarra

The Manchester Unity Building is one of the architectural jewels of the Melbourne. While researching the broader history of this iconic landmark, I came across this amazing photo:

It seems that from the 1932 through to about 1940, the rooftop of the building (Level 12) was home to a Japanese garden and cafe.

The same spot today:

The structure on the right houses a suite of offices, which had been converted from apartments (built in the 1990s).

Sadly, the rooftop is no longer open to the public, although Melbourne Open House often runs tours that include it. The rooftop is currently used for private functions, by the building's tenants.

Monday, 28 December


Son of Death is a childrens book of the year Andrew McDonald

As a cheerful way to end the year I was recently honoured to see Son of Death included in The Age and the Sydney Morning Heraldbest childrens books of 2015.

Son of Death was noted in the section for middle fiction, along with The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell, The Cat With the Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears and Dinalie Dabarera, The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton and The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels. Fine company indeed!

Heres what they said about Son of Death:

A long way from whimsy is the hugely entertaining Son of Death by Andrew McDonald (Hardie Grant). This funny, tender and inventive story revolves around Sod, a 14-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a rock legend, but discovers a very unusual family secret.

Thanks Frances Atkinson, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald!

You can read the full article here.

Son of Death


The post Son of Death is a childrens book of the year appeared first on Andrew McDonald.

Thursday, 17 December


Me and Elizabeth Gilbert (well, sort of) on Creativity the rachel papers

I had the great pleasure of talking to Sarah Kanowski for her program on Creativity the other day for local ABC - listen here. It was a bit intimidating to know that our interview followed hot on the heels of Sarah's discussion with the very warm and wise Elizabeth Gilbert, who has been giving so much thought to this territory. But nevertheless I enjoyed offering another angle on the creativity subject - especially when being interviewed by such an interesting and sensitive presenter.

Wednesday, 20 June


Tumtooma, Caustic Grip, Shallow, Corpsepaint XPress at Boogieman Experimental Melbourne



Tumtooma (Mariam from Diploid)

Caustic Grip (Scud from Deader)

Shallow ( John from Religious Observance)

Corpsepaint X-Press (Nik from spasmoslop, Anthony from DFFDL)


Dumb Things! "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Described as an ultimate bad feminist Amanda Jane Pritchard makes her international debut this August at Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her comedy/cabaret show All The Dumb Things, but not before shows in St Kilda, Sydney and London (as part of Camden Fringe). Coming to you from a backyard somewhere in sunny St Kilda, Amanda Jane []

Wednesday, 16 December


Djarmbi Supreme Goes To Hell: 9. Wish You Were Here "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

track art

Batmania/Melbourne, Port Phillip's labia.... the city's the clit (clitty).

Thursday, 10 December


A few on the run in Sydney Finding the radio book

Today I took a lightning five-hour visit to central Sydney for work. But even in that short time, a few ghost signs reared their heads.

I snapped the first one in the city near Wynyard station on the way to our meeting.

The other three were taken by colleague Dale from the train back to the airport (Dale had the better phone camera):


Thursday, 03 December


Hiding away in the Melbourne CBD Finding the radio book

It's been a little while since I've been able to post some sign pics - and there are plenty to post. So might as well get started. Here are a few I took yesterday that popped up unexpectedly when I was walking through the Melbourne CBD's south-west, around Highlander Lane:


Further down, there was this, on Rutherglen House - one of the city's original residences (1842), and host of a colourful recent life:

The sign says (something) House - but obviously not when it was called 'Rutherglen':

Then around the corner, the entrance to the old sewerage works:

Up above: not a ghost sign but a fascinating late Victorian urban sanitation innovation - 5-storey urinals at the back of the Rialto Centre. Ironically, one of the state-of the-then-art building's first tenants was the Metropolitan Board of Works, who ran the city's sewerage system. More here:

And lastly, to finish off, a sign I'd previously missed on Elizabeth Street:

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