In Their Own Words...

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Rev Paul Arnott, chair of the Acorn Press board
19.08.11 10:07 pm

Friday, August 19, 2011
Acorn Press is delighted to inform you that two of its books won awards at the 2011 SPCK Australian Christian Book of the Year Awards in Melbourne.

Professor Ian Harper’s book, Economics For Life, won first prize in the awards, worth $2500.

The late Bishop John Wilson’s book, Christianity Alongside Islam, won second prize, worth $1000.

The chair of the Acorn Press board, the Rev’d Paul Arnott, said he was thrilled by the awards.

“Both awards are a wonderful tribute to John Wilson’s passion for Australian Christian writing. John had the vision for Ian’s book, which is expertly crafted, and succeeds admirably in addressing a wide range of economic and faith issues in a country that often worships the almighty dollar.”

He said, “John’s own book on Christianity and Islam is beautifully written. It is the fruit of a decade’s reflection on the world’s two largest religious faiths and provides us with a rich picture of both Islam and Christianity, as they are laid alongside each other. They are many similarities and some striking contrasts.”

Details of the books can be found on the Acorn website at



Richard Cornish and Frank Camorra from MOVIDA in store tonight.

Rachel Edwards, Events Manager, Fullers Bookshop
19.08.11 10:39 am

Fullers is delighted to be hosting Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish, chef and writer of the fabulous Movida Cookbooks tonight, in store, at 6pm.

The event is to celebrate the publication of ‘Movida’s Guide to Barcelona’ a funky food driven guide to one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

To get into the swing of all things Spanish Frank and Richard will be making and serving some ‘refrescos’ and Spanish Sparkling wine will also be on offer.

The three Movida restaurants in Melbourne lead the way in terms of Spanish style food and entertaining.

Tickets are still available for this exclusive event – ($8, all inclusive).

PS – don’t forget National Bookshop Day, tomorrow, all day – great events happening all day.


What's On

The nightmare future

Kim Peart
19.08.11 10:15 am


Image from here:

A study has warned that high food prices lead to riots (story below), that a situation could arise within years, even a couple of years, where rising food prices lead to global chaos. Such chaos could slide into wars, that in a nuclear armed world could slide into nuclear madness, where nations panic when leaders are faced with impossible decisions.

With peak oil upon us, food crops have been turned into fuel and this is driving up food prices, forcing more people around the world into starvation. This is happening in a background of an unsustainable demand on this planet by humanity that is draining life from Nature.

We now need more than 1.5 Earths to keep the show going and this is racing toward 2 Earths by 2030. This is a totally unsustainable bubble that is growing ever larger and simply cannot keep growing forever. One day this bubble must burst and when it does, the whole World will be in a terrible mess, one that may herald the requiem for human civilization in an orgy of war, rape, cannibalism and potentially, the long cold nuclear winter.

This nightmare future, ever so near, ever so real after the recent riots in London, could have been entirely avoided, if humanity had responded to the call for space development in the 1970s, when Gerard K. O’Neill put his vision on the table to build solar power stations in space, launch space industry and construct space settlements. Humanity could have begun to make the transition from an Earth-based house-of-cards carbon economy to a civilization in the Solar System with a strong economic foundation that would last as long as the Sun shines.

Now we face the price of our inaction on expansion beyond Earth and allowing a situation to develop where far too much is expected of one small planet.

Do we have time to act?

If a large enough number of people on Earth awoke to a vision for space and began demanding action and also worked toward this happening, hope would be generated that inspired action, where instead of riots, we may see that energy mobilised toward a better future on Earth and among the stars. If humanity is to have a future, it is time for empowered individuals to awaken and begin demanding action on the building of our survival insurance policy beyond Earth, so that we may be in a position to also survive on Earth.

Hope is the key to buying time to act. 

High Food Prices Driving Unrest: study
Stephen Pincock   18 Aug 2011   ABC Science Online

The waves of social unrest and political instability seen recently around the world have coincided with large peaks in global food prices, US researchers have found.

They warn that unless something is done urgently to address rising food prices, it could trigger more widespread trouble in the near future.

Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the New England Complex Systems Institute , and colleagues, correlated the dates of riots around the world with data from the United Nations that plots changes in the price of food.

They found evidence that episodes of social unrest in North Africa and the Middle East coincided closely with peaks in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index.

Reporting their findings on the pre-press website arXiv.orgthe researchers say that although the riots reflect many factors such as the long-standing political failings of governments, high food prices provide a tipping point.

“There are indeed many factors that can contribute to unrest,” Bar-Yam explains. “What we see, however, is that these conditions can persist for many years without causing this level of protest, rebellion and revolution …. Then food prices go up to a certain level and social order falls apart.”

Specifically, the researchers found strong statistical evidence that social unrest and rioting occurred when the Food Price Index hit sharp peaks above a figure of 210.

On 13 December last year, the researchers say, they wrote to the US government pointing out the link between global food prices and unrest. Four days later, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia in protest at government policies, an event that catalysed social unrest throughout the Middle East.

Reaching a threshold
Although Bar-Yam and colleagues correlated outbreaks of unrest with food price peaks, they also warn that the underlying price trend is increasing so quickly that it will soon breach a threshold.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Food Price Index has been above 210 since February this year.

This is a worrying situation, says Bar-Yam. “The problem is that every society in the world has poor and disaffected populations. Social disorder is contagious. The more we see it happening elsewhere the more it becomes imaginable where one lives.”

“As we saw in London recently, even relatively affluent people … who do not have to worry about having enough food, can get caught up in conditions of social disorder and exploit them for remarkably small benefits.”

“What we see therefore is a rising force of food prices driving a general collective transition to disorder around the world.”

Deregulation, biofuel driving prices
The researchers point to two main factors driving the increase in food prices. The first is the deregulation of commodity markets, especially in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, which allows prices to fluctuate widely. The second is the use of corn to produce ethanol for biofuel.

Unless these two factors are addressed, the researchers see an ominous future that they estimate could arrive within the next couple of years.

“This scenario we see unfolding is very much the scenario that people have been warning about as a global societal collapse,” says Bar-Yam. “The immediate scenario we see is driven by specific local decisions: corn to ethanol conversion and commodity market deregulation. These decisions, which could be reversed if policy makers change their positions, turn out to be the critical ones.”

He says the question is whether the world will be able to respond effectively to the precursors of widespread social disorder.

“How far down the road we will have to go until the warnings are being heard? The further things go, the more difficult it will be to change direction and the more damage will be done in the meantime.”


Launch of Workforce Development Survey 2010

Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tas Inc.
19.08.11 9:41 am

Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tas Inc.
Launch of Workforce Development Survey 2010
Media Release
The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tas Inc. (ATDC) will launch the report of its 2010 Workforce Survey 10:30am-12pm on Thursday 25th August at the Bahaií Centre, Hobart.

“Workforce development has been identified as a state and national priority necessary to ensure a skilled and flexible workforce that can deliver the highest quality client service”, said ATDC CEO Jann Smith.
Ms Smith said “The collection of baseline data has been identified as essential if we are to prepare and implement sound workforce development plans.”

This survey, which represents 133 workers and 21 managers from 18 community sector organisations which deliver alcohol, tobacco and other drug services to clients experiencing problems with substance use, provides comprehensive data about the nature of the workforce and the issues experienced by the workforce.

“This data provides solid evidence to back the recommendations regarding funding, development of recruitment and retention strategies and professional development for the sector”, said Ms Smith.

The launch will also provide an opportunity to hear one of Australia’s leading experts on ATOD Workforce Development, Professor Ann Roche, Director of the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction. 


What's On

GOULBURN ST GALLERY: Roger Murphy &  Paul Tilyard

Ian Jeanneret, Goulburn St Gallery
19.08.11 6:48 am

You are warmly invited to
an exhibition of paintings by
Roger Murphy &  Paul Tilyard



Opening Friday 26 August 2011 at 6pm

91 Goulburn Street, West Hobart 7000
Ph: 03 6231 3200 E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Showing from 26/8/11 to 15/9/11
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 10am to 3pm


Arts | What's On


Moonah Arts Centre
19.08.11 12:43 am

Moonah Arts Centre’s popular Friday Night Concert Series continues on Friday September 2, with a trio of Tasmania’s most original contemporary songwriters and instrumentalists – “Circle of Three”.

“Circle of Three” is Dean Stevenson, Alistair Campbell, (Al Future) and Jane McArthur. For this unique performance the musicians will sit in a circle of light. Each takes a turn to lead an acoustic song with collaborations from the other performers. An intimate, unique and fascinating collaboration is promised.

Dean Stevenson is a gifted writer and performer of strong sentiment without being sentimental. “The listener has to own my songs as much as me” says Dean having just finished recording his third album IN TIME.

Alistair Campbell is well known for his quirky songs that in his own words range in subject - “ from universe destroying science experiments to love songs about warm beverages” – a blend of pop, folk and slightly obscure comedy!

Jane Macarthur is one of Hobart’s finest contemporary female singer songwriters. Perhaps best known as the lead vocalist of Hobart/ Melbourne outfit, Let the Cat Out, Jane is widely admired for her sweet , soulful vocals and fine original riff laden tunes.

This hour long performance in the intimate venue of Moonah Arts Centre promises to be one of the highlights of the Series.

Where: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins St Moonah
When: Friday 2nd September
Times: Doors open from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
Entry by Gold Coin Donation


SLOW FOOD: Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch and the bounty of Bruny

Jenny Dudgeon Convivium Leader Slow Food Hobart
17.08.11 1:33 pm

Come to dinner only, Sunday only or both

Saturday October 22
Arrive at Bruny Island at your leisure, take a boat tour to see the seals, visit oyster farm, berry farm or do one of the many walks. 

At 6.30pm for 7pm
Dinner cooked by Ross O’Meara of Gourmet Farmer fame and proprietor of Bruny Island Foods.
Ross will prepare three courses, including wild rabbit, wallaby and Murrayfield lamb – all from the island.
Bernice and Richard Woolley of Bruny Island Premium Wines will provide a wine tasting and wines for the dinner.
At Lunawanna Hall,  4586 Bruny Island Main Road

Sunday October 23

If you have stayed on the island or come on the 8.25am ferry:
Visit Bruny Island Premium Wines
4391 Main Road, Lunawanna

10.20 for 10.30 (this allows for coming to the island on the ferry leaving Kettering at 9.30am) Bruny Island District School, Alonnah
Principal Steve Robinson will host a visit of the school garden.

Next stop is to see some of the 150 beehives Grahame Wright of Tassie Liquid Gold Honey has on the island.

Lunch is at Bruny Island Cheese Company, where Nick Haddow will give a talk and tastings of his cheese and provide a pizza lunch with a glass of wine.

Our last stop is Murrayfield station, run by Michael and Lyn Bruce for the Indigenous Land Corporation.  Aboriginal people may have inhabited the land for 35,000 years; the first Europeans in 1824. The station grows wool and premium lamb, and is provides training in farm skills and conserving native vegetation.
We will leave Murrayfield in time to catch the 4.30pm ferry back to the mainland. 

The cost for dinner on Saturday night is $75 for members and $85 for non-members, all inclusive
The cost for Sunday activities is $35 for members and $45 for non-members all inclusive

Travel to and from Bruny and between destinations on Bruny will be in your own car.  Please advise if you have space in your car to spare/would like to ride in someone else’s car.  Cars can be parked on the Kettering side.
Detailed maps of where we are stopping will be provided.


Phone Elaine Reeves 03 6295 1870 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to book for Saturday dinner and/or Sunday tour.

TO PAY: Please go to your own bank and transfer money to B&E BSB 632 001, Account Number 100133048. Account name: Slow Food Hobart.
Please put your name and what the payment is for in the reference section. eg: Smith 2 for Bruny. 
PLEASE book with Elaine BEFORE you deposit money.

Explorers Cottages
20 Lighthouse Road, Lunawanna

There is a special rate when you book nominating the Slow Food Hobart event.  Each cottage has a queen-size bed in one room, and two single beds in another.  If four people stay in a cottage it will cost $200 per cottage, if three people stay it will cost $175 and for two people a cottage will cost $150.
To book phone (03) 6293 1271 and ask for Emma Harley.

Bruny Island Premium Wines
4391 Main Road, Lunawanna
Also has accommodation:


Departing Kettering Daily Departing Bruny Island Daily
6.35am (not Sundays) 7.00am (not Sundays)
7.45am 8.25am
9.30am 10.00am
11.05am 11.35am
12.05pm 12.35pm
1.45pm 2.15pm
2.45pm 3.15pm
3.45pm 4.30pm
5.00pm 5.30pm
6.30pm 7.00pm
7.30pm (Friday only) 7.50pm (Friday only)

Bruny Island Ferry Prices

Vehicles less than 5 metres Normal Fare
Visitor $28.00
Visitor Pensioner $15.00
Visitor Seniors Card $20.00
• Passengers in vehicles and pedestrians travel free of charge.
• Pensioner and seniors discounts only apply to vehicles less than 6 metres.
• Patrons are advised to be at the terminal at least ten (10) minutes before the advertised departure time.


What's On


Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome
17.08.11 6:25 am


Media Statement
Tuesday August 16th 2011


Australia’s same-sex marriage advocates are outraged by claims made today at an anti-equality rally in Canberra where conservative American commentator, Rebecca Hagelin, said same-sex marriage will lead to marriages between paedophiles and children, and North Queensland MP, Bob Katter, said the idea of same-sex marriages “deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed”.

Australia’s same-sex marriage advocates are outraged by claims made today at an anti-equality rally in Canberra where conservative American commentator, Rebecca Hagelin, said same-sex marriage will lead to marriages between paedophiles and children, and North Queensland MP, Bob Katter, said the idea of same-sex marriages “deserves to be laughed at and ridiculed”.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said offensive rhetoric has no place in the same-sex marriage debate and called on the Australian Christian Lobby and Australian Family Association, who organised the rally, to distance themselves from the comments.

“The Australian Christian Lobby, which often complains about opponents of same-sex marriage being ridiculed and demonised, must show it is sincere about a mature debate by distancing itself from the offensive comments made today”, Mr Croome said.

“Along with other independent MPs, Bob Katter will attend a charity dinner with same-sex partners in Parliament House later this year, and they will remind him why marriage equality is about some of the most serious things in life like love, commitment and family, and is definitely no laughing matter.”

Australian Marriage Equality successfully bid for the independents’ dinner earlier this year, at the same time as Get Up! successfully bid to have three same-sex couples have dinner with Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

The comments at today’s rally were also condemned as “damaging” by Queensland psychologist, Paul Martin, who is an expert in the mental health of same-sex attracted young people.

“Prejudice and ridicule damage the mental health of young same-sex attracted people and the last thing they need to hear are these kinds of offensive comments from people who purport to represent ‘family values’.”

Meanwhile, Australian Marriage Equality today released an opinion poll conducted by Galaxy research which found that a majority of Australian Christians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

AME spokesperson, Malcolm McPherson said, “Christian groups that oppose marriage equality like the Australian Christian Lobby are entitled to their view, but they do not represent the majority of Australian Christians.” “Clearly, most Australian Christians believe same-sex marriage is consistent with Christian values like justice, love, compassion and fidelity, not opposed to these values.”

Buoyed by the poll results, Australian Marriage Equality has launched a Christians 4 Equality letter-writing campaign which has the endorsement of a wide range of Christian leaders and has already seen almost 10,000 letters sent to MPs from Australian Christians since the site went live on Friday afternoon.

Christian leaders who have given their support to the campaign come from Uniting, Anglican and Baptist churches across Australia, and include Sydney minister and 2GB radio host, Rev Bill Crews.

“We want politicians to understand that marriage equality is not about ‘God v the gays’, but about principles like justice and inclusion that have support across many faith communities”, Mr McPherson said.

Reports on today’s rally can be found here:

Details of the Galaxy poll can be found here:

The Christians 4 Equality webform and a list of clergy endorsing it, can be found here:



Media Statement
Tuesday August 16th 2011


A national opinion poll has found a majority of Australian Christians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, while a number mainstream Christian ministers have spoken out in favour of the reform.

A Galaxy research poll released today, ahead of a rally against same-sex marriage in Canberra convened by religious groups including the Australian Christian Lobby, found that 53% of Australians who identify as Christians support same-sex marriage, while 41% oppose. 67% of non-Christians support it.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Malcolm McPherson, himself a Christian, said the poll shows church leaders and Christian lobbyists who oppose same-sex marriage are not representative.

“Christian groups that oppose marriage equality like the Australian Christian Lobby are entitled to their view, but they do not represent the majority of Australian Christians”, Mr McPherson said.

“Clearly, most Australian Christians believe same-sex marriage is consistent with Christian values like justice, love, compassion and fidelity, not opposed to these values.”

Buoyed by the poll results, Australian Marriage Equality has launched a Christians 4 Equality letter-writing campaign which has the endorsement of a wide range of Christian leaders and has already seen almost 10,000 letters sent to MPs from Australian Christians since the site went live on Friday afternoon.

Christian leaders who have given their support to the campaign come from Uniting, Anglican and Baptist churches across Australia, and include Sydney minister and 2GB radio host, Rev Bill Crews.

In his endorsement of Christians 4 Equality, Rev Crews pointed out the distinction between religious and civil marriages.

“In a secular and non discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.”

Melbourne Baptist Pastor, Matt Glover, said allowing same-sex marriages will benefit marriage as an institution:

“When a couple want to be part of the institution of marriage, when they fully accept the same rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat marriage with the respect it deserves, why should they NOT get married? As a Christian minister, I believe that marriage is under threat from many angles, but also believe that recognizing same-sex unions will help return marriage to its rightful place in society.”

Mr McPherson said he is pleased more Australian Christians who support marriage equality are speaking out.

“We want politicians to understand that marriage equality is not about ‘God v the gays’, but about principles like justice and inclusion that have support across many faith communities.”

“We urge all Christians who support marriage equality to email their local MP.”

The Galaxy poll found overall support for allowing same-sex marriage to 60%, which is unchanged from an identical poll conducted by Galaxy in October last year (the result of the October poll was 62%, which is within the margin of error of +/- 2%).

However, there has been a marked shift in how strongly views on the issue are held. Since October last year 5% of supporters of equality have shifted from “agree” to “strongly agree”, with a similar shift among opponents of reform from “strongly disagree” to “disagree”.

The Christian clergy endorsing Christians 4 Equality join the Unitarians, Quakers and the Metropolitan Community Church in publicly supporting same-sex marriage in Australia.

The Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia put their support for same-sex marriage on the record in June.

Details of the Galaxy poll can be found here:

The Christians 4 Equality webform and a list of clergy endorsing it, can be found here:

Details of today’s National Marriage Day events can be found here:

A selection of statements from religious leaders who endorse the Christians 4 Equality campaign can be found below.

For more information contact Malcolm McPherson on 0409 321 233 or Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.

“Today in Australia we all live in a secular non discriminatory society. Churches and other spiritual institutions exist within this society. It seems to me that in a secular and non discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.”
Rev Bill Crews (Uniting Church Minister, Sydney)

“How can I, a heterosexual who’s been very happily married for 50 years, tell anyone else they don’t have the right to form a loving, committed, lifelong union and enjoy the fruits of marriage as I have done? Marriage is not a club to be restricted to some. Like the Gospel, it is a blessing to be shared.”
Rev Rowland Croucher (Baptist Minister, Sydney)

“When a couple want to be part of the institution of marriage, when they fully accept the same rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat marriage with the respect it deserves, why should they NOT get married? As a Christian minister, I believe that marriage is under threat from many angles, but also believe that recognizing same-sex unions will help return marriage to its rightful place in society.”
Rev Matt Glover (Baptist Minister, Melbourne)

Access to marriage, a public expression of commitment and love, is an essential part of being human and an inalienable right. As Christians we need to support those who are excluded and challenge those who through exclusion dehumanise and discriminate. I urge you to join the campaign to welcome our GLBT friends to express their love and commitment to each other through this special rite.”
Rev Roger Munson (Uniting Church Minister, Canberra)

“From a Christian point of view, marriage is an institution designed to serve two social needs:
1. contribute broadly to social stability
2. provide a stable environment for the nurturing of children.
If this is the case then the only questions Christians need to concern themselves with when it comes to the issue of gay marriage are these two:
1. Would gay marriage lead to greater social stability?
2. Would a married gay partnership be likely to provide a more secure environment for the nurturing of the children of a gay couple than an unmarried one?
I think the answer to both these questions has to be ‘yes’.”
Fr Dave Smith, (Anglican parish priest, Sydney)


Supply interruption for Tranmere residents

Southern Water
16.08.11 6:56 am

Southern Water
Media release
Supply interruption for Tranmere residents

Due to a technical issue at one of Southern Water’s Clarence reservoirs, water supply in the Tranmere area and some parts of Howrah has been interrupted.

The issue has now been resolved and Southern Water crews are working to restore supply.

Mr Ian Dunbabin, Southern Water’s Executive Manager Service Delivery, said it was expected that water will returned to affected homes by 8pm.

“While we expect to have water supply restored to Tranmere residents within the next two hours, customers may experience some low pressure as the system is returned to normal operation.”

“Customers may also experience some discolouration or cloudiness in their water as it returns to the system. Affected customers should run an outside tap for a few minutes until the water runs clear.

Southern Water apologises for any inconvenience to customers.

A media release is attached; your assistance in disseminating this information is greatly appreciated.


“Cloudy” water no cause for alarm

Southern Water
15.08.11 3:19 pm

Southern Water wishes to reassure residents of Hobart, Glenorchy and Kingborough who may have been experiencing a “cloudy” appearance in their water supply that there is no cause for alarm.

Mr Ian Dunbabin, Southern Water’s Executive Manager Service Delivery said the appearance was simply due to aeration in the supply lines.

“This “cloudy” effect is just tiny air bubbles trapped in the water pipes. This has no effect on the quality of the water supply.

“By leaving a glass of water to stand for 10 minutes or so until the air bubbles settle, customers will see that their water quality is unchanged.”

Mr Dunbabin said the aeration was caused by an unusually large quantity of water coming from the Mt Wellington catchment over the weekend.


ALL DAY: National Bookshop Day celebrations at Fullers Bookshop, Saturday, August 20th.

Rachel Edwards, Events Manager, Fullers Bookshop
15.08.11 12:03 pm

Fullers Bookshop will be buzzing with book related celebrations on National Bookshop Day which is taking place nationwide next Saturday, August 20th.

The day includes a Pedlars Parade for children, ‘Author Recommends Lunchtime’ and a talk from Australian publishing expert, Henry Rosenbloom, founder and publisher at Scribe Publishing.

The celebrations begin with a Pedlars’ Parade where young readers are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character and take part in a parade through the shop.

Award winning children’s author, Lian Tanner, author of The Museum of Thieves will be judging and prizes will be awarded to the most creative, most colourful and the best parent/child combination. The Pedlars parade runs between 10-11 and to register email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Lunchtime (12-2pm) will feature ‘Author Recommends.’ Some of Tasmania’s best known and loved authors will be chatting with customers about what they like to read and making recommendations in a casual and interactive environment.

Authors confirmed so far include Heather Rose, Peter Timms, Rachael Treasure, Rosie Dub, Katherine Johnson and Danielle Wood. This will take place between 12-2pm throughout the shop

At 2pm Australian publishing treasure, Henry Rosenbloom, founder and publisher at Scribe and an informed, intelligent and entertaining speaker will be talking about what actually IS going on in the world of books, publishing and writing in Australia. Do not miss this opportunity to hear Henry speak.


What's On

Rwandan Democracy supported by Facebook and the Commonwealth

Frank Habineza, Founding President, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda
15.08.11 10:20 am

Monday 15th August 2011

A global network of concerned citizens launches Friends of Rwandan Greens (FoRG) to support democracy in Rwanda and the right of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda to campaign as an opposition party without fear of violence or repression. 

FoRG has been launched on 15th August 2011 in recognition of the second anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and also in time to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia.

The Australian Spokesperson for Friends of the Rwandan Greens, Amy Tyler, explains that whilst many of the members of FoRG share no history or common language with Rwanda, they have united under the Commonwealth values of democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and opportunity for all.

“FoRG was established after I spoke with the President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Frank Habineza and learnt of the difficulties his party was having in participating democratically in Rwanda,” Ms Tyler said.

“We decided to establish a Facebook and Twitter site so as to provide a measure of global oversight on the Rwandan situation.”

“As can be seen by the Arab Spring democratic uprisings, social mediums like Facebook are increasingly being used as global tools to strengthen democracy” Ms Tyler said.

“Facebook and Twitter are not just online forums to chat with friends. They also provide rapid unfiltered information, document abuses and connect members from all over the world in fights for social and political justice.”

“FoRG will provide up to date information about the Rwandan Greens as well as remind the Rwandan government that there are people all over the world watching and documenting their actions.”

“This year, FoRG is a focusing their attention on ensuring that the Commonwealth steps up the plate and ensures that political and democratic rights are upheld in their member states, such as Rwanda.”

“Despite suspicions of human rights abuses, Rwanda was allowed to join the Commonwealth Nations in 2009. Since then, however, we have seen no progress in Rwanda for political freedom, and in fact things have probably got worse for those struggling for political freedoms in Rwanda,” said Ms Tyler.

“The Commonwealth has roots as far back as the 1870s and one of its core principles is to strengthen civil society to build stronger democratic institutions and procedures.”

Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown is supportive of Friends of the Rwandan Greens taking action through the forum offered by the Commonwealth Nations.

“I have been concerned about political freedom in Rwanda for several years, and in 2009 I raised this issue in the Australian Senate before the admission of Rwanda to the Commonwealth.  This was when there was an opportunity to review Rwanda’s record on human rights according to the standards agreed to by the Commonwealth’s 1991 Harare Declaration. The Australian Government should have insisted upon this before supporting Rwanda’s Commonwealth membership. I and the Greens will continue to work for this worthy cause,” Senator Brown said.

“Grass-root social organisations like Friends of Rwandan Greens need to take action because our governments are failing to fulfil their duty to the Commonwealth principles.”

“Friends of Rwandan Greens are calling on the Australian and other Commonwealth governments to use the forum of the Commonwealth Nations, to take constructive action and investigate these crimes so as to ensure the political freedom of opposition parties in Rwanda and the next parliamentary elections in 2013 to be free, fair and democratic.“ said Ms Tyler.


The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda was launched on 14 August 2009. 

However, the government made it impossible for them to register for the 2010 elections and they were unable to run for government.

Then, on the 14 July 2010, their first Vice President, Andre Kagwa RWISEREKA was found decapitated, in a manner reminiscent of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

President of Rwandan Greens, Mr Frank Habineza, is laying low in Sweden since August 2010 but below is a statement from him:

“Our second anniversary has been a time of reflection and encouragement.

The past two years have been very hard.  We remember our founding congress of 30th October 2009, which was violently sabotaged and thereafter denied permission to convene again.  We remember our First Vice President, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka (RIP), who was decapitated on 14th July 2010-a few days before the August 9th presidential elections.  We remember all the difficulties that our members have had to endure: those who have been imprisoned and those who had to go out of the country.

We are determined to move on and will participate in the 2013 parliamentary elections. Democracy will finally take base in Rwanda. Keep strong my people, never lose hope, we shall overcome. We warmly welcome the launch of Friends of Rwandan Greens”.


Forest Conservationists in Hobart Magistrates Court Today

Jenny Weber - Huon Valley Environment Centre
15.08.11 8:43 am

Media Release

15 August 2011

Forest Conservationists in Hobart Magistrates Court Today

Two conservationists from Tasmania’s grass roots forest groups will today appear in Hobart’s magistrates court.

Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber will appear in relation to a charge of trespass on a Ta Ann vessel at Hobart wharf, resulting from an action in March 2011, when attention was brought to the loading of high conservation value forests on to the Ta Ann vessel for export to Malaysia.

Ali Alishah, environmental campaigner with Huon Valley Environment Centre, Code Green and Still Wild Still Threatened will be appearing in relation to charges from 2009 -2011.  Including, in 2009 Ali joined Peter Cundall on the steps of Hobart’s Parliament House to protest about Gunn’s pulp mill and he was charged with failure to comply with a police officer’s direction, in 2010 trespass in Picton valley, Ali participated in a protest about logging of world heritage value forest that bordered the world heritage area. In 2011, Ali has been active in the campaigns to bring attention to the failure of a promised moratorium to protect high conservation value forests from logging and bringing attention to the Malaysian logging giant, Ta Ann.  Today in court he is appearing in relation to three charges from commit a nuisance at the headquarters of Forestry Tasmania, trespass at the Ta Ann office on Davey st, and trespass on a Ta Ann vessel at Hobart wharf.


North American wood pellet capacity set to increase

Hakan Ekstrom, Wood Resource Quarterly
15.08.11 8:37 am

North American wood pellet capacity set to increase to serve markets in Europe and Asia, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review

European demand for wood pellets has to a large extent, driven the expansion of pellet capacity in both the US and Canada the past five years. The North American Wood Fiber Review reports that in coming years, it is likely that demand for pellets will increase not only in Europe, but also in Asia and North America, which will generate new opportunities for pellet producers, particularly in Western Canada and Eastern US.

The full article can be found in the attached PDF file…..




Duncan Hart
14.08.11 12:22 pm

Friday 12th August 2011
SDA Members reject Joe De Bruyn’s claims on marriage equality

Members of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA) have rejected claims today by the union’s national secretary, Joe de Bruyn, that allowing same-sex marriage will be politically disastrous for the Gillard Government, and have called on Mr de Bruyn to survey his membership on the issue.

SDA Members for Equality is campaigning to change the SDA’s policy of opposing marriage equality, saying that the majority of members probably support the reform.

Duncan Hart, spokeperson for SDA Members for Equality, said:
“The SDA membership have never been consulted on the issue of marriage equality, yet Mr De Bruyn seems to be on a personal crusade to stop equal rights for same-sex couples.”
“Mr De Bruyn’s comments are particularly hurtful to many of the gay and lesbian members of the SDA.”

Mr Hart said that the SDA leadership was “out of step” with its members on the issue, pointing to a Galaxy Poll last year which found that 80% of young Australians support marriage equality.

“Polls show that a majority of Australians support marriage equality and young people are the strongest supporters. It stands to reason that the SDA membership, which is largely young people, would also support marriage equality.”

“But Joe de Bruyn refuses to listen to his members on this issue. He continually uses his position to push an anti-equality agenda.”

“It’s time that Mr De Bruyn actually consulted and represented his membership on this issue rather than the personal views of Joe de Bruyn.”

SDA Members for Equality is currently conducting a Photo Petition to pressure the SDA leadership to support marriage equality. Photos can be sent to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For the Galaxy poll results, go to:


DESPARD GALLERY: The winter blues are all a state of mind apparently ...

Steven Joyce, Director, Despard Gallery
11.08.11 4:10 pm


This is your invitation to get out and get re-inspired with a vibrant art exhibition (and enjoy a wee drink)

Please bring a friend to launch the exhibition ‘river’ by Todd Jenkins - this long awaited solo show is the first that Todd has held at the gallery,
I hope you can join with the artist and friends at the launch Thursday evening the 18 Th August from 6 pm.

Steven Joyce

Despard Gallery
15 Castray Esplanade
Hobart Tasmania Australia 7000
ph +61 3 62238266
fax +61 3 62236496


Arts | What's On

Safe Food Foundation retains Slater & Gordon Lawyers

Scott Kinnear, Director, The Safe Food Foundation
11.08.11 3:22 pm


Safe Food Foundation retains Slater & Gordon Lawyers to provide legal advice and support for GM free growers near the site of Tuesdays GM canola spill in WA

Following the truck fire and spill on Tuesday of 15 tonnes of GM canola in the middle of a self declared GM free zone in WA, the Safe Food Foundation has retained Slater & Gordon lawyers to provide legal advice and support to the local GM free grain growers. The Safe Food Foundation will also provide free GM test kits for the local GM free grain growers who want to test their crops this coming harvest.

Scott Kinnear, director of the Safe Food Foundation said today, “This spill highlights the complex network of legal responsibilities that need to be unravelled and understood given the introduction of GM canola into WA, Victoria and NSW. It also highlights that this issue is between GM and GM free and not just organic versus GM as has been portrayed by some commentators.

The 12 grain growers in the local region who have declared themselves GM free and are negotiating contracts with Japan have a right to know who is responsible for the cost of clean up and monitoring, over what time frame the clean up will take place, and who will compensate them for loss and damage should their GM free crops be contaminated and they incurr loss of income or clean up costs on their land.

It is possible that the truck driver, the trucking company, Cooperative Bulk Handling and the Department of Food and Agriculture and other parties may all have some legal liability for the cost of cleanup and monitoring over many years, and for loss and damage should contamination cause loss of GM free status and loss of income.”

While the Safe Food Foundation understands a large vaccuum cleaner was used to clean up some of the canola, it is inevitable given the size of the grain and the quantity involved that GM canola is still on the roadside.

A lot of questions need to be answered publicly by the Government and Cooperative Bulk Handling which the SFF understands was moving the grain. Some key questions are:

1. Which parties are accepting legal responsibility for the GM canola spill?
2. Precisely what distance of roadside is contaminated? It could span many kilometers.
3. Precisely how much canola was lost in the spill? This will be the difference between the GM canola that left the silo minus the GM canola recovered at the site of the fire.
4. Is there any chance of contamination with nearby GM free canola crops given they may flower until October if spring rains are sufficient.
5. What monitoring program, both for this harvest and in the longer term will be put in place, what testing will be involved, who will monitor, who will undertake the clean up work and what herbicides or mechanical measures will be used in cleaning up GM canola that grows along roadsides as a result of this spill?

The Safe Food Foundation believes that Slater & Gordon are best equipped to help ensure that the GM free grain growers along the road side affected by the spill are appropriately protected for this season and into the future.

Slater & Gordon lawyers have also been retained by Steve Marsh, the organic grower who lost his organic certification following alleged GM canola contamination.



Food | Environment | Legal | Society

Farmers’ Voice wins printing award

Jan Davis
11.08.11 4:00 am


Dated: 10 August 2011

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association’s monthly magazine Voice has taken out a major Tasmanian printing award for excellence in print.

Voice, edited by the TFGA’s communications officer Nardia Deverell, won a silver award at the recent Printing Industries Craftsmanship Awards for a newsletter category.

“This is fabulous recognition of the work we’ve done on the magazine, which is about to celebrate its first birthday,” TFGA chief executive Jan Davis said.

“Nardia and her team go to great effort to track down material of interest to farmers, and to make it readable!”

Voice, which printed by Flying Colours, is distributed free to 1500 TFGA farmer-members throughout Tasmania.



Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Peter Furness
11.08.11 3:30 am


Media Statement
Wednesday August 10th 2011


Marriage equality advocates have welcomed support for reform from the next Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill.

At a media conference in Adelaide yesterday Mr Weatherill said “I’ve always been a supporter of same-sex couple marriage,”

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Peter Furness, said Mr Weatherill joins almost all other states Labor leaders in supporting same-sex marriage.

“We welcome Mr Weatherill’s support for marriage equality, as will the majority of South Australians who support equality”, Mr Furness said.

“Mr Weatherill joins Labor leaders in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT who all support equality”

“This high level of support for marriage equality helps build momentum for change in the lead up to the ALP National Conference in December”.

In October last year a Galaxy Research poll found that 62% of South Australians believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry (see below).

In may this year a Galaxy Research poll found that a massive 84% of South Australians believe the reform will happen, compared to 74% nationally (see below).

Mr Weatherill joins the majority of ALP State and Territory Leaders who support marriage equality, including NSW Labor Leader, John Robertson, Victorian Labor Leader, Daniel Andrews, Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, West Australian Labor Leader, Eric Ripper, Tasmanian Premier, Lara Giddings and ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher.

State Labor conferences have passed motions endorsing marriage equality in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT. The ACT and Tasmanian state conferences have also ruled out civil unions as substitutes for marriage equality.

For the October 2010 Galaxy poll go to:

For the May 2011 Galaxy poll go to:


How to catch a liar ...

Sharon Evans Big Sky Publishing
11.08.11 12:36 am


Big Sky Publishing August Releases:  Four New Titles - How to catch a liar, Sir William Glasgow, The seige of Tobruk and a Chaplain in Timor:

Download: August_2011_Releases_BSP_Media_Information.pdf


PHILIP COCKER: Resist kneejerk response on amalgamations

Alderman Philip Cocker Hobart City Council
10.08.11 6:01 am

Alderman Hobart City Council
Tuesday 9th August 2011

Resist knee jerk response

Alderman Philip Cocker today called on councils to resist the pressure to amalgamate and reduce councillor numbers until they had done the hard work of looking at what services they should be providing.

‘What is disappointing is the assumption that a reduction in council and councillor numbers is the first and only idea that takes centre stage as a solution to unspecified problems Alderman Cocker said.

‘There is need for a broader and substantial discussion about what councils provide now and should provide in the future. There are good arguments that councils, being the closest to the community, should be controlling and delivering more of the services currently being delivered by the State Government. It is true that that the further the layer of governance is away from the delivery, the lesser the quality of service.

‘In other countries local government looks after social, housing, medical services, transport, schools and libraries.  Whilst I am not proposing all these areas should become the province of local government, we do need to have a broad look at how the delivery of services and bureaucracy is best achieved in Tasmania with its widely dispersed population.’

Alderman Cocker said, ‘The Federal Government has previously recognised that there are areas where local government is best placed to deliver some services and it has changed its funding model to bypass the State bureaucracies to do that.’

‘The challenge is for councils to examine themselves in terms of who is best positioned to deliver quality services for the least cost. In many cases this can be properly resourced local government, operating closest to the community.

‘I urge all Tasmanian councillors to engage with their communities to think about what the best structure is for their community for the next 20 years and not adopt a knee jerk response to negative short- sighted populist calls to reduce numbers and or amalgamate.’


Politics | Local


Edge Radio
10.08.11 3:12 am

Media Release 09.08.11
In celebration of Amplified 2011, Edge Radio will launch its first ever ‘Amplified
Amplified 2011 is set to showcase a huge variety of the very best in Tasmanian
music, as well as provide important opportunities for artists and industry workers to
learn from some of the leaders in the music industry.
From Monday, August 15, Edge Radio will be running ‘Amplified Week’. Throughout
the week, listeners will be able to hear Tasmanian music on high rotation, as well as
special interviews and performances with local artists. Even the occasional Amplified
delegate will be jumping on the Edge airwaves for a chat.
The Edge Radio website ( will feature a handy Amplified 2011
calendar which will display all of the Amplified 2011 events, gigs, and workshops.
The calendar will also list the interviews and performances you can hear on Edge
Radio throughout ‘Amplified Week’. Also set up on the Edge website will be a special
Amplified podcast channel.
Edge Radio Program Director, Brad Duence, said “We are really excited to be
working with CMST and Amplified this year to deliver ‘Amplified Week’, it feels like a
very natural fit for us. Edge has always been the major radio supporter of Tasmanian
music, and Amplified 2011 is a chance to not only celebrate the very best of our local
music industry but nurture it as well.”
Edge Radio proudly supports Tasmanian music with over 1500 Tasmanian tracks on
rotation, as well as our longest running program, ‘Tasmusica’ (Tuesdays, 8pm). Edge
Radio also offers online support through the Tasmanian Music Downloads page on
Edge Radio’s ‘Amplified Week’ begins next Monday, August 15 and runs
through to Sunday, August 21.
The ‘Amplified Week’ online calendar will be available to view from 9am
tomorrow morning on
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Prisoners’ Strike Consultation – International Prison Justice Day

Justice Action
10.08.11 2:09 am

Media release August 10, 2011
Prisoners’ Strike Consultation – International Prison Justice Day

“Justice Action announced today, August 10, International Prison Justice Day the launch of a consultation for a prisoners’ strike possibly extending to mental health patients, and others held in detention” said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

“Strikes by powerless people held in custody are the ultimate weapon available to them. They are a cry of desperation and have a long history of anguish and pain. Justice Action has been asked by detainees for many years to coordinate such an action in their fight to being recognised as people with human rights and dignity. Prisoners and their families are frustrated by the lies and contempt. The question is raised: ‘Have governments lost their moral authority to imprison their citizens?’” said Mr Collins.

“Detainees rely on outside community support to hold governments accountable. Funded organisations are compromised, and the courts avoid interference. Families and communities have limited access. The power structure guarantees abuse, as the history in every country has shown.  Prisoner initiatives of goodwill such as the ‘Offer of Hope’, are ignored. The OUR PICK Report exposes corruption and raises questions that have been unanswered. Its analysis proposing effective use of services intended for detainees’ benefit has been ignored” said Mr Collins.

Governments ignore official reports based on academic research and Inquiries as it is easier to continue on course. The horrendous twenty percent dying within one year of their release, 60% Hepatitis C infection rate without protection, and 60% recidivism rate for youth tell the story. Those held for ‘care’ in hospitals have no support against attacks on their personal integrity like their right to think uniquely or possess a name. Governments reject community values for change. On whether to build a new women’s jail 137 of 138 submissions, said no.  On prison privatisation 442 of 453 said no. Only government and big business supported them” said Mr Collins.

“Detainees by definition are held in isolation and subject to discrimination. They are the ‘others’ about whom unfounded fears are created, whilst expanding industries exploit the taxpayer for up to $200,000 a person each year, causing greater damage in the process” said Mr Collins. 
“The proposed form of the strike is disciplined, non-violent, non-compliance with authority. It would mean the shut down of industries and administrative support, but with different expressions based on personal decisions – not imposed by threats or violence. It would only end with recognition of the right to bargain with direct detainee expression. If agreement is reached after this consultation Justice Action undertakes to provide outside coordination and services” said Mr Collins.

Trades Hall, Suite 204, 4 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
PO Box 386, Broadway NSW 2007 Australia
T 612 9283 0123 | F 612 9283 0112
E .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Peter Furness
09.08.11 6:09 pm


Media Statement
Tuesday August 9th 2011


Australian marriage equality advocates have welcomed a statement from federal Finance Minister, Senator Penny Wong, that she and her partner, Sophie Allouache, are expecting a child, and say it highlights how out-of-step the ban on same-sex marriages has become.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Peter Furness, said,

“We congratulate Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache on their happy news and we wish them well.”

“It’s pleasing state and federal law will recognise them both as parents, but this just highlights how out-of-step the same-sex marriage ban has become by denying their child the option of having married parents.”

“Marriage can benefit children by providing them with a greater sense of security and recognition, and these benefits should be available for all Australian children including those raised by same-sex couples.”

Senator Wong declared her support for marriage equality at the most recent South Australian Labor Party conference in November last year.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, opposes same-sex marriage but according to Mr Furness Senator Wong is working hard within the Labor Party to ensure equality for same-sex couples.

For more on Senator Wong’s announcement see:

For more on the South Australian ALP Conference see:


TIM JACOBSON: The Aged Care Report

Tim Jacobson, HACSU Assistant State Secretary
09.08.11 8:54 am

8 August 2011

“Critical Aged Care Report to be released today”

The Federal Government will today release the long awaited report by the Productivity Commission on Aged Care in Australia.

The Productivity Commission’s Draft Report released in January this year highlighted a number of critical weaknesses in Aged Care across Australia. While over one million older people receive aged care services, the system, it was found,  is difficult to navigate, identified gaps in service coverage, inconsistent and inequitable user charges, and a workforce is under considerable pressure.

Among a raft of proposed recommendations, the report highlighted the plight of Aged Care workers including the areas of working environment and wages for Carers and Nurses.

Health and Community Services Union (HACSU), Assistant State Secretary Tim Jacobson highlighting the plight of Aged Care workers in Tasmania said today, “workers in the industry are struggling every day to meet the basic needs of elderly Tasmanians, the industry has been in decay for over a decade which is largely as a result of the failure of consecutive Governments dealing with funding to the sector.”

The evidence is that the workforce across the Aged Care Sector in Tasmania is ageing and the industry has struggled over many years to make the industry attractive to young workers.”

The test for the Federal Government today will be in its own response to the report and ensuring that funding to the sector is able to address the many issues affecting the industry. In submissions provided to the Productivity Commission HACSU called on the Productivity Commission to make several recommendations to the Federal Government, these were:

• The major reasons for workforce shortages include low wages and conditions, excessive workloads and strenuous work.

• Funding for aged care providers should be increased on the condition that providers pass on a proportion of these increases in funding to wages for workers. Without this, aged care providers will not be able to attract and retain the workers they need.

Tim Jacobson said “much of the work undertaken by Aged Care workers is not unskilled and workers need to be adequately compensated for their skills and qualifications.”

ABC Online Report: Advocates give Aged Care report tick of approval



Rodney Croome Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group
08.08.11 4:22 pm


Media Release
Monday August 8th 2011


Tasmanian same-sex couples have been reminded that they can enter their relationship on the Census form.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics allows same-sex partners to indicate if they are in de facto relationship, married, or in a state civil partnership.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said it is important for same-sex couples to take advantage of the ABS’s non-discriminatory policy.

“It’s important for the government to have an accurate understanding of how many same-sex couples there are in Australia, where they live and what their lives are like”, Mr Croome said.

“This helps improve government planning in areas such as education, health and family policy.”

Question 5 on the Census form allows same-sex couples to indicate if they de facto partners or married.

Being in a state civil partnership such as a Tasmanian Deed of Relationship is not an explicit option but can be indicated in the field “other relationship”.

Mr Croome said it is disappointing that state civil partnerships are not an explicit option in this Census and he hopes the omission will be rectified by the time of the next Census in 2016.

Meanwhile, at the weekend the Tasmanian State Labor Party Conference overwhelmingly supported motions in favour of allowing same-sex marriages and adoptions.

Mr Croome said legal discrimination has no place in Tasmanian society.

“Labor’s support for same-sex equality in marriage and adoption law sends a clear message that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Tasmanians have an equal and valued place in family and community life”, Mr Croome said.

“This is the second time Tasmanian Labor has endorsed marriage equality which highlights just how out-of-step Julia Gillard is with Labor rank and file.”

“The current bar on same-sex adoption stigmatises same-sex couples and their families, and is not in the best interests children, including those children fostered by same-sex couples who would benefit from adoption by their foster parents.”


Meath’s Magical Mary

Paula Xiberras
08.08.11 5:49 am


Most people would be familiar with the name Tara from both the book and film; ‘Gone with the wind’.  It was the name of the ancestral home of the novel and film’s heroine, the very Irish Scarlett O’Hara. The name brings with it a sense of royalty. The name Tara comes from a place in Ireland’s county Meath which was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The high kings might well be enshrined in Irish folklore but it seems fitting that Meath should also be the home of a woman of beauty and talent befitting the title of Celtic princess.

Mary Duff is a beautiful lady with an ethereal, unworldly voice that would seem, as it says in one of her songs to be ‘The Voice of an Angel’ or indeed one of Ireland’s bewitching fairies folk.

I had the pleasure of talking to Miss Duff ahead of her Tasmanian tour which will take place this August.

The magical analogy continues as Mary’s story is one of fairy tale. The young Mary’s father, Tom Duff is a musician of note, a button accordion player with his own band. One day young Mary decided to record a couple of songs (which she remembers) on her Dad’s tape recorder only for him to later discover his daughter’s remarkable singing talent. Mary was encouraged by her Dad to join his band, an exciting possibility for the school girl who worked full time in the band while still attending school and enjoyed the pocket money that the job afforded.

At the completion of her studies Mary took a job as a secretary at the local secondary school, Newtown Secondary. Shorthand and typing became part of her routine until she joined the aptly named Jukebox a band that was a mix of rock and roll and pop. Mary remained with them for three years until she won the ‘Sunday World’ Competition and was spotted by Irish singing star Daniel O’Donnell. He snapped her up right away and from that time on she has become his singing partner. M. Now countless tours of the world later Mary is a well known and much in demand singing star in her own right. Mary tours with Daniel for part of the year and the rest of the year tours with her own band. When she is not touring which is not often, you might be lucky enough to spot Mary performing at the Country Club she and her husband manage in Meath.

Over the years, Mary has gathered around her many loyal fans, indeed she mentions how some of her Tasmanian fans pop up in other venues across Australia when she is touring so as to catch some extra performances by her.

This tour Mary will be accompanied by an opening act, young Australian star Straalen McCallum. Mary says Straalen, who is only 13, reminds her lot of herself when she joined her father’s band at a similar age. With a keen interest in supporting young talent Mary is enjoying her Australian tour which started this week and will see her perform in Tasmania later this month.

Mary is managed by Gordon & Stahl Touring with whom she has developed a firm friendship. Gordon and Stahl are committed to touring some of the best artists from the world and within Australia. The company also has a strong commitment to regional touring and regularly brings high quality acts to our island state.

Here are Mary’s Australian tour dates:

Thursday 28-Jul CALOUNDRA RSL CLUB 07 5438 5800
1 800 014 014
Saturday 30-Jul OAKEY CULTURAL CENTRE 131 872
Sunday 31-Jul KEDRON WAVELL SERVICES CLUB 07 3359 9122
02 6652 3888
Wednesday 3-Aug WESTS LEAGUES, NEWCASTLE 02 4935 1200
Thursday 4-Aug WEST LEAGUES CLUB TAMWORTH 02 6765 7588
Friday 5-Aug CLUB FORSTER 02 6591 6591
Saturday 6-Aug SMITHFIELD RSL CLUB 02 9604 4411
Sunday 7-Aug CAMPBELLTOWN CATHOLIC CLUB 02 4625 0000
Monday 8-Aug GOULBURN WORKERS CLUB 02 4821 3355
Tuesday 9-Aug DUBBO RSL CLUB 02 6882 4411
Wednesday 10-Aug GRIFFITH REGIONAL THEATRE 02 6962 8444
03 5225 1200
Saturday 13-Aug COMMERCIAL CLUB ALBURY 02 6057 2000
Sunday 14-Aug CAPITAL THEATRE BENDIGO 03 5434 6100
03 5832 9511
Wednesday 17-Aug BURNIE ARTS CENTRE 03 6430 5850
Friday 19-Aug COUNTRY CLUB TASMANIA 1 800 635 344
Sunday 21-Aug WEST GIPPSLND ARTS CENTRE 03 5624 2456
Monday 22-Aug HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE, BALLARAT 03 5333 5800
Tuesday 23-Aug FRANKSTON ARTS CENTRE 03 9784 1060
Wednesday 24-Aug KINGS COLLEGE, WARRNAMBOOL 03 5559 4885
Friday 26-Aug THE CAPRI THEATRE, ADELAIDE 08 8272 1177


What's On

Damien Leith, a Composition of Substance

Paula Xiberras
08.08.11 4:55 am


Damien Leith is a musician, author and scientist, a modern Renaissance man. Composition is a word that belongs to the realm of a musician, and also to a scientist, and Damien is an energetic mixture of both worlds with the musician prevailing.

The name Damien means to subdue or tame but ironically it also means spirit and that is what comes to mind when you think of Damien Leith a man of spirit and passion for whatever he puts his mind too, whether it be writing and performing music, writing novels, creating in chemistry or dancing.

Leith by the way is a Celtic name which means broad river.

Damien has crossed broad rivers, or more precisely ocean from his homeland in Ireland to become an Australian citizen.

When I spoke to Damien I wanted to discuss his Renaissance man qualities, his music, his writing (2 books to date) his time as an industrial chemist and his most recent appearance as a celebrity dancer on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. The discipline of Irish dancing has given Damien an agility and flexibility of mind and body. Damien
explains he just can’t sit still!

It is true that he is one of the nicest if not the nicest man in
showbiz. His bubbly and very Aussie laid back exterior and artistic nature make us forget sometimes that he has a powerful analytical mind that served him well
in his past career in chemistry where he was involved in making medicines and the honourable business of among other things seeking a cure for leukaemia.

Indeed Damien’s family are steeped in a tradition of effortlessly combining careers in science and the arts. Damien’s dad is an engineer that travels the world, a fact which saw Damien grow up in many diverse places.
Damien’s dad is also a skilled musician, guitar player and
visual artist.

I had to ask Damien if he has the trifecta and can add painting to his science and singing. He confesses that it is something he hasn’t pursued but his wife, Eileen is a gifted artist that is encouraging their children to be the same. When I ask Damien how he juggles all of his pursuits he says this is part of Eileen’s artistry!

This year Damien will be showcasing his tribute to Roy Orbison during his concert series. The Orbison family were impressed with Damien’s rendition of ‘Crying’ on Australian Idol and requested a copy, which transpired into the family giving their blessing and support for Damien to develop a whole album of Roy Orbison songs.

There are similarities between the two men in that when Roy was given his first guitar at 7 years of age he realised that music was the only thing he wanted to do. Damien’s journey has been different as he says he has travelled many paths to find that music is his calling too.

This talented dynamo will be touring Tasmania next month. Damien enthuses that he is happy to be returning to Tasmania one of the ‘musts’ of his touring schedule and a place where he has had some of his favourite concerts.

Damien will be performing at the Launceston Country Club on Saturday 27th August (sold out) and at Hobart’s Wrest Point Entertainment Centre on Friday 26th August.


What's On

Junction Arts Festival announces its 2011 Festival Program

Junction Arts Festival
08.08.11 2:46 am

Junction Arts Festival (24-28 August 2011) announces its 2011 Festival Program of performances and events, and the free public Opening Reception on Wednesday 24 August, 6pm, at The Junc Room in Civic Square, Launceston. All are welcome.

For immediate release

Launceston TAS, 3 August 2011 – The Junction Arts Festival is pleased to announce its 2011 Festival Program with over 50 FREE performances and events. Visit the Festival’s newly launched website at: for a complete list of programs, and check out JAF LIVE to share photos, videos, comments and tweets, and get involved.
The Junction Arts Festival (JAF) is an annual multi-arts festival featuring playful, interactive and ambitious contemporary live performance, theatre, visual and media arts, literature, music and dance by leading local, national and international artists. JAF focuses on presenting participatory works that invite audiences to become active participants and collaborators, as well as site-specific performances and installations that transform the city.
This year’s Festival features the Australian Premiere and international artist residency with the UK performance company Search Party. In their work, Search Party vs Launceston, Search Party challenges the people of Launceston to a three-day marathon game of table tennis. Get your game on, Launceston, and get ready to play! Search Party vs. borrows the notion of team from sport to examine connections between the personal and the geographic, exploring ideas of community, place and belonging, and is part of their ongoing research into sport and performance. While on their residency, Search Party will lead an artists’ workshop and undertake research to present at the 2012 Festival.
Back by popular demand is The Junc Room, THE place to enjoy music and cabaret, featuring a hot and eclectic program, including: Resident DJ: DJ Kashishi, Transylvanian Gypsy Kings, The Lawless Quartet, Vardos, Heel Toe Express, DJ Adams, Younger Dryas, Guthrie, Flap!, Charles Du Cane, UTAS Community Wind Ensemble, Hip-Hop under the Big-Top, Slipstream Circus, The Barons of Tang, The Cubas, Mic Attard and Katy Humphries, Mal Webb, The Staynes, the Chordwainers, Chicada, and special guests. Unwind with friends, and enjoy great food by local restaurant Fresh on Charles, and sample Tasmanian wine, beer, coffee and hot chocolate.
Three top-end ticketed theatre shows highlight the best in live performance, variety and new media:
Barry Morgan’s back with Barry Morgan’s World of Organs sharing the joy of the organ, and ready to delight and entertain audiences with the Golden Syrup sounds of his 1981 Hammond Aurora Classic. Sit back, relax and be swept away; award-winning Elbow Room challenge themselves and their audiences to imagine just what a night out at the theatre can be, in their acclaimed performance There; and finally, in Error_In_Time(), Nancy Mauro-Flude explores the intimate workings of computer/human interfaces, surveillance and social media.
For the curious interested in experiencing Launceston through a different lens, Seek: Launceston, part scavenger hunt, part spectacle, gets participants investigating Launceston in search of hidden gems, entertaining passers-by on the way; ABC Open’s Your Favourite Place workshop takes participants around the CBD in search of favourite places and teaches participants how to make a time-lapsed video; the Streets Alive Art Trail takes audiences off the main street and into the laneways to find installations; Jim Coad’s Video Architecture reinterprets Launceston’s façades through large-scale projections and live video manipulations; and take it all in on the Performance Bus – Junction Arts Festival takes over Launceston’s free Tiger Bus with live opera, music ensembles and a brass band!
Need a well-crafted love letter? A team of novelists, poets, and journalists as part of the Tas Writers’ Centre’s Letter Writing Service will be at the ready to help draft your letters; Lazlo Steigenberger brings audiences closer to understanding the universe and our place on earth, or soon to be off it – in an experience in time and space that you’ll never forget!; and Dan Koop from DJK International will hand-deliver your Wish We Were Here postcard messages to anyone in Launceston – it’s time to reconnect.
For the adventurous performer, So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance, a Junction Arts Festival collaboration with Stompin, invites audience members to come on stage and interpretive dance their heart out – a team of local judges hail the winner; Cameron Hindrum’s Poetry Slam returns to give audiences the chance to share their poems and win a spot at the State Finals; while Community Jams invites musicians to BYO instruments and jam.
Top events for kids! JAF’s first show for babies by renowned Melbourne-based Polyglot Theatre, How High The Sky invites babies under 12 months and their families into a multi-sensory experience of lightness and dream-like images and sounds; Inflatable Whale by Mark Cuthbertson – a life-size 27m long inflatable blue whale, the world’s largest creature – roams around Launceston; and visit the local library to see and hear Sonja Hindrum’s Talking Skirt (Prototype) – a wearable skirt that when activated by touch plays a recording of an author reading their poem.
Finally, for those who would rather sit back and relax while others perform; Tasdance and Malcolm McMillan join forces with students from City Campus to present a collaborative dance work-in-progress; The White Box Experiment sees four local artists (Vika Emma Fifita, Josh Foley, Peter McGeachy, and Peter Sly, along with Castlemaine artist Helen Kelly) create an experimental laboratory – watch their artist studio transform during the Festival; and for those who love Mozart, there’s the Clarinet Concerto Relay, an opportunity to listen to a team of clarinettists take on Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622, relay style.
Workshops to get your hands dirty! Crocheted Chocolate, an installation of delectable treats crocheted by a team of participants from across the state; and the Wild Willow Café Workshop – an opportunity to build your own willow furniture, then show it off to your friends at the Wild Wilow Café – the Festival’s daytime hub with coffee, and great food by Fresh on Charles.
JAF is pleased to offer a range of ways to get involved. There are numerous ways for locals to participate as collaborators and performers in a number of performances. As well, there are also opportunities for volunteers and interns to gain first-hand experience working inside an international festival, network and talk to artists, and meet new friends. Volunteers receive discounts on tickets and more.
For more information on how you can get involved in workshops or volunteering, contact the Festival Office at +61 (0)3 6331 1309 or visit

The 2011 Junction Arts Festival is funded by the generous support of our Presenting Partners, Tasmanian Regional Arts, the Government of Tasmania through Events Tasmania, and Launceston City Council; Funding Partners, the Winifred D. Booth Charitable Trust, Tasmanian Community Fund, and the Salamanca Arts Centre, HyPe program; Media Partners, LUMINA, ABC Northern Tasmania, The Examiner, Southern Cross, and Sauce; and Supporting Partners, Effective Naturally, Flying Colours, Telstra, Optomeyes, Ninth Island Tasmania, CityProm, think big printing, Kids Paradise, TASCO, Launceston Airport, Fresh on Charles, Europcar and Australian Business Arts Foundation (ABAF). Junction Arts Festival is supported by the Tasmanian Premier’s Arts Partnership Fund, a three way partnership between AbaF, Arts Tasmania and Corporate partner Veolia Environmental Services.
To purchase tickets call the Launceston Travel Information Centre on 1800 651 827 (free call) or visit or for details.
Junction Arts Festival, 24-28 August 2011
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
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Information and Media Contact:
Melanie Kershaw, Marketing Manager
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Notes for editors - feature projects
The Junc Room, A Hot Club for a cold night!
For five days and nights watch the City come alive. Set in the heart of Launceston’s Civic Square, The Junc Room is the place to enjoy music, cabaret, dance, and more. The Junc Room was a smash hit at last year’s Festival with thousands of people passing through the boutique circus Big Top. As the Festival Club, The Junc Room features a hot and eclectic music program, with some of Australia’s finest variety and physical performers. Unwind with friends, and enjoy great food by local restaurant Fresh on Charles, and sample Tasmanian wine, beer, coffee and hot chocolate.
Search Party vs. Launceston, Search Party
Search Party is throwing down the gauntlet. They challenge you, the people of Launceston, to a marathon game of Table Tennis. The people of Launceston are invited to compete against Search Party: to represent Launceston and join the team, and to support each other through thick and thin. Crowds are invited to become fans, sing, chant, wear your hearts on your sleeves, and take your tops off and swing them round your heads. Search Party have already beaten Bristol, Leeds, Lincoln, Kuopio and Barking & Dagenham, drawn against Plymouth and lost to Battersea, Camberwell, Derby and Newcastle. Will Launceston win or lose? It’s in your hands. FREE.
How High The Sky, Polyglot Theatre
An immersive theatrical experience for babies under 12 months and their carers, that takes baby and adult into a multi-sensory experience of lightness and dream-like images and sounds. In an environment that continually shifts and transforms, altering atmosphere and intention, the work explores the role of a baby as a unique element in theatrical space, inviting adult reflection of a baby’s unique view of the world.
Ticketed Shows
Barry Morgan’s World of Organs, Barry Morgan
Fresh from adoring Melbourne Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe audiences, the fast-becoming-a-celebrity organ salesman Barry Morgan is packing up his Toyota Crown and heading to Launceston. Barry is the owner and proprietor of the now world famous ‘World of Organs Super Store’ in the beautiful Sunnyside Mall in Adelaide. When he’s not busy giving the public the best organ deals in town, you can catch him performing live; sharing the joy of the organ. Barry Morgan will delight and entertain with the Golden Syrup sounds of his 1981 Hammond Aurora Classic. Sit back, relax and be swept away by the mesmerising power of Barry’s Zither Arpeggiator, his Fascinating Fingers and his celebrated One Finger Method.
There, Elbow Room
In this hugely entertaining and award winning production Elbow Room challenge themselves and their audiences to imagine just what a night out at the theatre can be. Drawing on their extensive stage and screen credits the performers play with the imagined expectations of the audience – as well as their own – in the course of this strikingly original and brilliant work. Winner Adelaide Fringe Touring Award for Best Performance, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2008.
Error_In_Time(), Nancy Mauro-Flude
Error_in_Time(), is a new performance by Hobart-based electronic artist Nancy Mauro-Flude. Our computers know us more intimately than lovers—but this is a lopsided relationship. Behind their user-friendly facades, what do we know of the operating systems that drive our daily fix? What happens inside “geek space”? Nancy Mauro-Flude gives compelling insight into geek space from the perspective of a female media hacker. Error_in_Time() uses sound, literature, performance and live code manipulations to explore the intimate workings of computer/human interfaces, surveillance and social media.
Seek: Launceston
Are you game? Part scavenger hunt, part public performance, and part spectacle, this interactive journey will engage, challenge and inspire participants as they explore and experience Launceston’s CBD like never before.
Inflatable Whale, Mark Cuthbertson
Inflatable artist Mark Cuthbertson worked with members of the Portland community to create this full sized inflatable whale: a 27-metre behemoth. Visit with friends and family and appreciate the stunning size of these magnificent creatures.
Wild Willow Café, Basket Makers of Tasmania
Back by popular demand, the Wild Willow Café is a fully functioning café made entirely of furniture created from Wild Willow Tree branches, and produced through a series of workshops across Tasmania as part of the Festival.
Wish We Were Here, Dan Koop
We send millions of SMSs and emails daily, yet still feel distant from those nearby. During the Festival Dan from DJK International will hand-deliver your Wish We Were Here postcard messages to anyone in Launceston.
Lazlo Steigenberger
For a scientific approach to the earth and our place on it, or soon to be off it, attend Lazlo Steigenberger’s world-renowned Planetarium Lectures of Insight at the most spectacular place in the world: the Planetarium. Experience the universe like you’ve never before. Attend Sunrise and Sunset, commentated by Lazlo, an experience in time and space that you’ll never forget.
So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance, Junction Arts Festival with Stompin
Sure to be a huge hit, this is the dance competition for anyone who has ever found themselves boogying at a party and thought “I should be on stage!” See competitors busting their interpretive dance moves to a crowd sourced selection of great overblown tracks.
ABC Open
Through their Photobooth, Storytelling Tent, and My Favourite Space projects, ABC Open invites participants to share stories, photos and videos of their own experiences. ABC Open Air Cinema will screen a selection of videos made by local contributors to ABC Open’s video projects.

Letter Writing Service, Tas Writers’ Centre
Need a well crafted love letter? Have something you want to say to your nearest and dearest? A team of leading novelists, poets, and journalists from across Tasmania, set up in cafés with typewriters, stationery, and a variety of pens and quills are ready to help audience members compose letters and notes and write on your behalf. They’re ready and waiting.
Video Architecture, Jim Coad
Jim Coad brings his large-scale projections, live camera feeds and video overlays to Launceston, transforming architecture, recreating and reimagining the City.
The White Box Experiment
The White Box Experiment invites local artists and painters to create an experimental laboratory and relaxed environment that both mimics and plays with traditional notions of the artist’s studio.
Crocheted Chocolate, Margaret Barlow
An open, participatory project, Crocheted Chocolate invites a team of crafters from across the country to knit and crochet hundreds of tiny chocolates, biscuits, truffles and other such delectable items. Installed in shop-front windows in the CBD, the tasty treats displayed for all to see and feast, with afterhours viewing through the shop front windows.
Performance Bus
The Junction Arts Festival takes over the Tiger Bus with live opera, intriguing music ensembles and a brass band! Musicians and singers entertain Launcestonians as they make their way to work or on their daily errands.
Community Jams
The Junction Arts Festival launches its first series of Community Jams, designed for strangers to meet and play music together. Community Jams invites local musicians to rock up with their favourite carry-on instrument and jam with leaders of the local music scene and special guests from The Junc Room’s music program, including Heel Toe Express.
The Mozart Clarinet Concerto Relay, Karlin Love
Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622 is one of the best-loved classical works of all time. But for clarinettists, the only problem with it is that there is room for only one soloist. Join us for desserts, Viennese style, as our team of clarinettists takes on the Concerto, RELAY style.
Talking Skirt (Prototype), Sonja Hindrum
Sonja Hindrum’s Talking Skirt (Prototype) explores how we communicate through textiles and what we wear. Made of 32 one-metre-long pin-tucks, 77 metres of conductive thread, 16 metres of stainless steel and new and recycled technology, Hindrum has created a wearable skirt that is activated by touch.
Tasdance Malcolm McMillan Residency, Tasdance
Tasdance and well-known dancer and choreographer, Malcolm McMillan, spent three weeks in July as resident artist working with five arts-inspired students from the City Campus of the Northern Vocational School, at Inveresk. This open performance is the culmination of their work together.
Poetry Slam, Cameron Hindrum
The Junction Arts Festival’s Poetry Slam is BACK, and held this year in conjunction with the 2011 Australian Poetry Slam. Fast, competitive and loud performance poetry at its very best!
Streets Alive Arts Trail and Fashion Show
Follow the Streets Alive Arts Trail as it transforms unexpected spaces across Launceston’s CBD with sculptural installations created out of recycled and upcycled materials, and attend their Fashion Show.

Phone +61 (0)3 6331 1309   Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Office Albert Hall, 45 Tamar Street, Launceston Tasmania 7250 Australia
Post PO Box 898, Launceston Tasmania 7250 Australia


Pianist Roman Rudnytsky from USA appearing in Tasmania

Teresa Beck-Swindale Regional Touring Officer
05.08.11 8:54 pm

Pianist Roman Rudnytsky from USA appearing in Tasmania for four shows as part of International tour.

Roman Rudnytsky is a concert pianist of Ukrainian background whose frequent performances take him all over the world - to every continent and places in-between. As of 2010, he has performed in about 95 countries and on 35 cruises for P&O as the classical pianist on board.

In addition to performances in capital cities and high profile musical centres, he often plays in places away from the musical mainstream, bringing the world and pleasure of classical music to audiences which seldom experience this type of music in live performance. He has received much acclaim in the world’s press and many invitations to return.

Born in New York into a prominent Ukrainian musical family, he began the study of piano at age 4 and gave his first full recital at age 7. He is a graduate of the famous Juilliard School in New York and also did additional studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland and at masterclasses in Austria (the “Mozarteum”) and Italy.

Mr. Rudnytsky is a prizewinner in 10 piano competitions, including such prestigious events as the International Leventritt Competition (New York) and International J.S. Bach Competition (Washington) and, in Italy, the “F.Busoni” and “A. Casagrande” International Piano Competitions. He has made numerous recordings in Poland, Australia and the United States.

In addition to his many recitals, Mr. Rudnytsky has also appeared as a soloist with many orchestras around the world; to date, he has played over 45 different works for piano and orchestra with them. A great honour indeed, he gave the British, Latin American and Australian premiere performances of the recently-discovered Liszt “Concerto No. 3 in E Flat” between 1990 and 1993.

He also conducts master classes and workshops for local piano students and teachers during the course of his travels. The settings for these range from universities to small, rural towns and villages.

Since 1972, Mr. Rudnytsky has been a member of the piano faculty of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio (U.S.A.). He is a recipient of that institution’s “Distinguished Professor Award” in recognition of his concert activities. He previously served on the piano faculties of the Indiana University School of Music (Bloomington, Indiana) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory, in addition to being “Artist-in-Residence” at two Australian universities.

On his Tasmanian tour, Roman will be playing from the classical and contemporary repertoire, including Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin and works by Australian composers Percy Grainger and Neil Goodchild.

Tasmanian itinerary 2011:
Thursday 25 August   Forcett Hall hosted by Southern Beaches Regional Arts
Friday 26 August   George Town Memorial Hall hosted by Lighthouse Regional Arts
Saturday 27 August   Galley 9,  Deloraine hosted by Arts Deloraine
Sunday 28 August   Uniting Church Hall, Currie, King Island hosted by King Island Cultural Centre

Full details:
ph: 6426 2344image


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