New youth orchestra cultivates young western Sydney talent

(ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“The idea is to try and break down some of those geographical borders while still providing high-quality music education,” Mr Pensini said.”It’s an honour to be involved, to start this project, and having grown up around here, there’s a double layer to be able to give back in some form what I received over my long period in youth orchestras.”Mr Pensini also conducts the SYO Symphonic Wind Orchestra and is the head of woodwind, brass and percussion at St Aloysius’ College in Milsons Point.The orchestra’s first concert will feature a strong repertoire, with the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Moldau by Smetana and the much-loved crowd favourite Rossini’s William Tell Overture.Cultivating young talentThe orchestra’s 30 musicians range from musical grades five to AMusA levels.For many, it has been their first experience of playing in an amateur orchestra outside of music lessons or a school ensemble. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
WSYO offered a number of scholarships for positions in the orchestra which Mr Pensini said allowed them to support and find young talent.”Sometimes the very best players aren’t in a financial position to join the organisation and pay for the tuition, the camps and the tours,” he said.”Some might be the only person in their school who plays an instrument to their high standard and they’re just begging to sink their teeth into something more meaty.”The Western Sydney Youth Orchestra will perform at the Parramatta Riverside Theatres on March 26. 7, fourth movement of Brahms’ Symphony No. Photo:
Blacktown student Keith Lizardo is playing with a youth orchestra for the first time. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
The orchestra rehearses every Monday evening, with musicians expected to perform with the discipline and musicality that is demanded in any orchestral ensemble.Sarah Wang is a 21-year-old flutist who is studying a Bachelor of Music at the University of NSW.She said the orchestra was slowly starting to come together following an intensive music camp that kickstarted rehearsals in February.”It was daunting at first because you didn’t know what to expect from a new orchestra, but it’s been really fun.”We’ve only been rehearsing for three, four weeks now but we’re creating something really special.”Sixteen-year-old Keith Lizardo decided to audition for WSYO this year because the rehearsal space was so much closer to his home in Blacktown than other orchestras.”It’s a lot more efficient than going to eastern Sydney and a lot less time consuming,” the violinist said.”I come from a school which has a musical band but doesn’t play to that [high] standard.”Playing in the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra with people my age and at a similar standard is an excellent opportunity for me.”

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The Sydney Youth Orchestra encompasses 13 ensembles. Photo:
James Pensini is currently conducting the SYO that will tour Europe next year. When James Pensini was learning the trumpet and performing in youth orchestras, he would commute up to four hours daily from the Blue Mountains to rehearsals in the city.So when he was invited to lead the new Western Sydney Youth Orchestra in Parramatta, he welcomed the opportunity for young musicians to play much closer to home.The orchestra, which is made up of players from across western Sydney, the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains, is in the middle of rehearsals for its inaugural concert on March 26.It joins the long standing Sydney Youth Orchestra family which has trained thousands of young musicians in the past 44 years.
ABC Radio Sydney

By

Amanda Hoh

Posted

March 02, 2017 11:35:03

Video: Watch the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra rehearse Capriccio Espagnol

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Meet the sewing machine collector who cannot sew

ABC North West Qld

By

Harriet Tatham

and

Zara Margolis

Updated

March 01, 2017 11:58:43

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After just four years of collecting, Jim Young has more than 120 sewing machines. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)

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(ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham) Photo:
Mr Young even collects vintage tools to restore the machines.
There’s American, there’s English, I’ve got a German one, I’ve got a French one.”My oldest one is about 155 years old; it’s an 1862 model.”Machines built to lastFor a collection Mr Young estimates is worth more than $200,000, he said he was uninterested in its dollar value.Rather, the retired business owner said the collection was motivated by making a statement about consumerism.”Those 100 years ago, they made them to last and they’ll probably last another 100 or 200 years or longer, whereas today’s modern machine would be flat out lasting 10 years,” he said.”It’s not a throwaway world that we came from, us older people.”Mr Young hoped his collection was something younger people could learn from.”I’d like to see a lot of young people coming in and having a look at these collections just to see how things were made in the olden days,” he said.”They would see how well they were made and how long they could last.” (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Four years on, Mr Young’s machine collection has grown from 75 to 120 machines.While many of his purchases have been made online, he said it was contacts who helped him to locate valuable purchases.”Once you get into the sewing machine fraternity, you get contacts,” he said.”They’re from all over the world. Jim Young’s treasured collection of 120 treadle sewing machines are all in perfect working condition, but their owner would not have a clue how to use any one of them.”I don’t sew, so if anybody is going to trial them out, it will have to be my wife,” Mr Young laughed. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Sewing machine collecting ‘a fraternity’After his change of heart, Mr Young started to investigate where to buy vintage sewing machines.”I came in contact with this guy … and next time I went to Brisbane we went to his house,” he said.”From the front door to the back door and every space in between was full of these sewing machines — all very collectable ones.”He explained to me that his health was failing and he had to move into a nursing home, and that’s why he was selling them.”I bought half a dozen of them and on the way home I said, ‘I think I should buy the lot because it’s a ready-made collection — he has 75’.”So I rang him up, made a price, we came to an agreement, and I ended up buying his whole collection off him.”

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Mr Young says he wants younger people to appreciate how well-made things used to be. External Link:

Meet Jim Young, the sewing machine collector who can't sew
He said being a sewing machine collector who could not sew has resulted in some raised eyebrows.”I get some very strange looks from some of my mates down at the pub, but I like the machinery side of it,” he said.”Every one is different and it’s just intriguing.”His specially-built tin shed in Mount Isa in north-west Queensland is rich in oak and intricate in iron detailing, housing Mr Young’s love affair with sewing machines which began when he was a young boy.”I got interested in it when I was a young fella because mum used to make all our clothes and I used to sit there and watch her make them on an old treadling machine,” he said.”I used to fix up the belt when it broke for her every now and again, [and] when she passed away a few years ago, she left me a little hand machine.”I gave that to a friend of ours who was an avid sewer and then I thought, ‘I’d love to start collecting machines myself’ and I did.”

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Jim Young has specially made the shed to store his machines.

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Mr Young also collects bobbins and vintage thread.

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The collection also includes vintage thread. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Huge model train collection worth 'millions' donated to Ipswich museum

Nursing museum still ‘colonising’ uni spaces with little-known history

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(ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon) ABC Radio Darwin

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Emilia Terzon

Posted

March 01, 2017 11:42:21

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Janie Mason rummaging through the storage room for Darwin’s Nursing Museum.
Mary and Maude: Darwin's op-shop veterans
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Old bones are among the many items in storage. Photo:
Photos donated to the museum showing old bush clinics in the Territory. Spread across mismatching cabinets, hidden down hallways, and occasionally obscured by errant furniture, the Darwin Nursing Museum is very much an example of history that just crept into the building.”We’ve never solicited a single artefact,” curator and retired nurse Janie Mason said. They just stay in their little corner.”

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Occasionally the museum’s “pop up” displays get obscured by people who don’t know the exhibit is there. So a lot of wards and clinical hospitals and bush clinics had all this stuff to throw out.”At one stage we ended up with several boxes and crates of just syringes and needles.”Thirty years later the museum has amassed boxes of human bones, pamphlets about bush clinics in the APY lands, replica WWI uniforms with red capes, and numerous examples of “the infamous sputum mug” once used by patients to cough up phlegm and spit. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
“The local Darwin and Territory culture can surprise. It’s obvious this is a different part of Australia.”And we need to keep that story alive because it’s not the same story as Victorian nursing.”

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Janie Mason outside an exhibit as part of Darwin’s Nursing Museum. Photo:
Janie holding a “dreaded sputum mug” that nurses had to clean every morning in years gone by. Photo:
The volunteers start every Thursday with “their first order of business”. There’s the unexpected. I think even today, people find working in what is a pretty typical modern hospital, they find a lot of surprises. She just comes up with these gems all the time,” Sue said.With Sue and Jenny currently focused on digitising the museum collection to Trove, today much of Janie’s focus is on figuring out what is historically valuable and can contribute to further academic research. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon) (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
A woman of ferocious memory, Jacqui is “incapable” of using the computers central to the growing need for collection digitisation, however is irreplaceable for her knowledge of Territory nursing history.”She can just look at a photo and tell us who is in it. Photo:
A display at Darwin’s Nursing Museum at CDU. You did the births in the ward next to everybody else,” Jacqui remembered.”And we used to take the children, from the ones that could walk, to ones needed to be carried, down to Mindil Beach.”We’d take their tablets and some water. They’d play there, have fun in the sand, probably a bit of a swim, then bring them back to the hospital sopping wet yet much more contented.”

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The museum’s storage room is heaving with different curious items. Well, he found the bedpans and I paid for them and put them in a cabinet,” she said.”Suddenly people were approaching us about donating stuff they had left over in the wards.”It was the era of the changeover from metal, glass and rubber medical equipment to plastic and throwaway stuff. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
But the collection’s real numbers is in its faded photographs and documents, many which recall almost forgotten days of mission clinics or kerosene vats that doubled as doona washers. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
For Janie, the reason to keep going is still the same motivation of preserving the Territory’s nursing history, with the collection recently deemed as valuable in a significance assessment due to this very reason.”I came here in 1964 to work as a bush nurse in Batchelor,” she said.”It was a unique and unexpected experience having come from southern training school like most of us did. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
“I asked a man in town for something to fill these empty shelves. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
It all started in 1987 with a set of antique bedpans.Janie was completing a fellowship at Charles Darwin University when she decided to fill an empty nook of her academic wing with something honouring her profession’s “unique” contribution to the Northern Territory. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
Gathered around a table in the tea room, Janie and her volunteers discuss the latest happenings and remember days 50 years ago when Darwin’s hospital wards segregated Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients.”It was called the native ward. We’d often have two babies in one cot. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
With no formal museum room at the university and “stuff” still constantly arriving after 30 years, the collection is today more of an assortment of cabinets throughout hallways with some objects like old baby weights or humidicribs simply leaning against walls or under windows.It is a process that Janie described as a slow “colonisation” of the university’s corridors.”Some people don’t even know this collection exists even though they’ve worked in this building for years. (ABC Radio Darwin: Emilia Terzon)
Sorting through this tide of documentation is made possible by a passionate team of stalwarts who come together every Thursday morning in a small office in Charles Darwin University’s school of nursing and medicine.All retired Top End nurses, core volunteers Jacqueline O’Brien, Jenny Hanley and Sue Green have been with the museum since the 1990s and have about a century of professional knowledge between them.Every Thursday starts with a cup of coffee and gossip.”It’s our first order of business,” Sue said. Photo:
Janie Mason in her office sorting through the archives. Photo:
Sorting through old photographs and documents takes up much of the volunteers’ time.

How tissue donation changed a young woman’s life

Gift of Life walk for donation awareness turns 10
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“The sizing for the cartilage has to be pretty much spot on, so a lot of people don’t actually find the right match.”There’s a very limited number of cartilages in the bone bank — less than 30 — so a lot of people actually miss out.”Walking pain-free for the first time in nine yearsMs Pheeney said the road to recovery had been long but she was now seeing the benefits. “I went to a specialist because of pain in my knee and we had some scans done where it revealed I had severely injured my knee, torn right through the meniscus,” she told Genevieve Jacobs on ABC Radio Canberra. But when she was nine she started experiencing severe pain in her knee. (Supplied: Kayla Pheeney)
“It was bone on bone in my knee; I wasn’t able to do any of the activities I was able to do previously.”My quality of life dramatically decreased.” Specialists recommended she have a cartilage transplant. Photo:
Kayla Pheeney and her mother conquered Waimea Canyon in Hawaii 11 months post-transplant. “It’s a very uncommon procedure, and it’s not done in Canberra; we had to travel to Brisbane,” she said. “It was an injury he hadn’t seen and he’d been a specialist for many, many years.”Quality of life ‘dramatically decreased’Ms Pheeney had been born with discoid meniscus, an anatomical variant that does not usually cause people problems.She had her first knee surgery when aged nine, and the following year she had two-thirds of the cartilage removed from one of her knees because it could not be repaired.”So I basically walked every day in constant pain,” she said. (Supplied: Kayla Pheeney)
“The past couple of months I’ve been getting back to walking without pain.”I went for my first run the other day which was just amazing.”It’s life-changing — even though we don’t know the long-term results of what this procedure is going to have, it’s just awesome that for the time being I can get back to being normal.” DonateLife Walk to raise awareness of organ donation Now that Ms Pheeney can walk pain-free again, she is joining the 11th annual Gift of Life DonateLife Walk in Canberra on Wednesday to help raise awareness of organ and tissue donations.A record 1,447 Australians received a life-saving transplant through the generosity of 503 deceased organ donors last year alone. But she had to wait until she stopped growing before she could go on the transplant waitlist.After a year on the waitlist, a donor was found and the transplant was performed last year. Photo:
Kayla Pheeney on crutches after meniscal repair surgery aged nine. Photo:
More than 5,700 people took part in last year’s Gift of Life DonateLife Walk. (ABC Radio Canberra: Kim Lester)
There are still more than 1,400 people on the organ waiting list at any one time, and 50 die each year waiting for a transplant.”It’s really important to be aware of your family’s wishes,” Ms Pheeney said.”Organ donation and tissue transplantation won’t go ahead if your family and your friends aren’t aware of your wishes so it’s really important that you have that conversation.”For more information on organ and tissue donation, visit the Organ and Tissue Authority. Like many young girls, Kayla Pheeney started dancing when she was four years old.She loved dancing and performed at a national level.
(Supplied: Kayla Pheeney) Photo:
Kayla Pheeney pre-injury competing in the 2007 Australian Irish Dance Championships.
ABC Radio Canberra

By

Penny Travers

Posted

February 28, 2017 11:08:08

Guinea pig club breeding champion pet owners

(ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus) ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

February 28, 2017 12:03:19

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The pet section of the Hobart Cavy Club show encourages good pet care with kids.
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they are pretty spoilt because we grate their carrots for them.”

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The pet section of the show encourages good grooming and good care for the guinea pigs. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
The pet section of the show teaches children how to look after their guinea pigs well, with categories including heaviest pig, cutest couple, fancy dress and best pet condition.Emily Vince joined the HCC 30 years ago at the club’s first anniversary show after her sister got a pet guinea pig.She is now an accredited judge and until recently was breeding pedigree cavies. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“I started with pets and continued on to the pedigree side,” she said.”It is competitive, [but] it is fun though.”We have a lot of good banter between the members and it’s always fun to see who’s going to win at the end of the day with what breed.”Everyone cheers everyone else on and helps each other out with grooming and presentation.”Details of how to join the HCC and their next show can be found of the Hobart Cavy Club website. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Her first pedigree was a satin dark-eyed cream called Champagne.”When you’re taking them to shows you have to wash them, clip their nails, get their guard hairs out and you have to clean their cage every two days or something, especially if you have 27,” Bridie said.”I have all of my guinea pigs in my cubby house and they get fed carrots, corn, lettuce … Photo:
Diana Carroll judges the best condition section, making sure the piggies are well looked after. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus) (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
A little over a year later, the family has 27 piggies and Bridie is about to show her first pedigree cavy.”If they’re mixed breeds you can only show them in pets, and if they’re pedigree you have to show them in the serious part of showing,” she said.”After our pet shows I saw the pretty pedigrees that were shown and I just really wanted to [do it].”

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The first section of the show is fancy dress, which might be more fun for the owners than the piggies themselves. Photo:
Bridie got hooked on guinea pigs after seeing a show by the Hobart Cavy Club with a friend. On a Sunday morning in the Pontville Hall north of Hobart, excited children, and equally excited adults, present their guineas pigs on small squares of carpet to be judged.The Hobart Cavy Club (HCC) holds regular shows for pet and pedigree guinea pigs, with ribbons and prizes including things such as celery bunches to be handed out.Ten-year-old Bridie got interested in guinea pigs when she went with a friend to check out the Christmas guinea pig show. Photo:
Emily Vince is taking a break from owning guinea pigs but will get back into it when her young children are older.
Guinea pig rescue sanctuary aims to spread awareness of small animal welfare

Old Girls on the Road: Women and their classic cars

A muse can come in all shapes and sizes, and for documentary maker Tracey Walker her inspiration comes in the form of a 1967 Mark II Cortina named Blanche.The Brisbane woman is on a mission to find others like her so she can document the love affair that exists between them and their classic cars.Old Girls on the Road is set to feature women across an array of ages and their history with the cars.She hopes to celebrate Blanche’s 50th birthday later this year with the premiere of the documentary. “I wanted to go back to my roots and buy an old car and there was one ready and waiting for me on Gumtree,” she said. (Facebook: Old Girls on the Road)
“I wanted to acknowledge her years on the road,” Ms Walker told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Rebecca Levingston.”I thought at first I would just put cushions in the back window, but my overactive mind thought it was a good documentary.”I’m focusing on women who drive classic cars as we’re a rare breed.”The personal story of BlancheMs Walker said she recently started to drive vintage cars again after being sick of “boring new cars”.Her current beloved white car has a 1.5-litre motor which manufacturers stopped making in 1967. I have mothers and daughters interested in coming on board to take part.”Ms Walker said she was determined to feature women in the film.”When I first started looking for people to talk to it was mainly men with souped-up cars.”I was more interested in cars that were being used every day and were owned by women, so that’s why I’ve gone in that direction.”I’ve already spoken to an 81-year-old at Woolloongabba and she drives a 64-year-old Morris Minor.”Anyone interested in taking part in the documentary should contact Ms Walker through the Old Girls on the Road Facebook page. Photo:
Tracey Walker with her first car travelling back from Kynuna, Queensland. Photo:
Tracey Walker captures images of classic cars as part of her documentary. (Facebook: Old Girls on the Road)
“She’s on the rare side and I bought her off a young lad who restored it with a paint job and some upholstery work.”He basically put Festival Hall in the boot though and wired it up with speakers; I kept finding wires for a year afterwards.”Ageing gracefullyMs Walker said the documentary would also look at the correlation between keeping vintage cars in good condition and the ageing process of women.”I want to look at what it’s like for these women to age with their cars and to what extent people go to keeping things young and beautiful.”I’m finding that for many women it runs in the family.
ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

February 27, 2017 12:29:31

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Tracey Walker with one of her first cars in 1979 in Brisbane. (Facebook: Old Girls on the Road)
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Greyhounds in love among hundreds adopted in RSPCA campaign

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Plenty of room to play, sleep, eat.”Barney and Bambi were just two of the 753 animals who went to new homes last week in a NSW-wide, three-day “clear the shelter” campaign by the RSPCA. External Link:

RSPCA photo
They assured people their “normal adoption procedures” were followed over the weekend, including background checks, as well as having the animals desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and vet checked before adoption.They added that return rates had no correlation with discount weekends, with return rates for the past five years averaging around 5 per cent.Mr Neilly said for this first time the organisation had committed to keeping in contact with adopters for three to six months to check on their progress with their new pets.”We look at what the animal is going to need in the home, so if this is an animal that has restrictions like mobility issues, we make sure your environment matches the animal’s environment,” he said.”We want to make sure this is something that is positive for the animals and families.” (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
By Friday afternoon alone, the shelter had sold about 300 animals and had eager pet owners lining outside the door before opening time.In Rutherford in the Hunter region, 123 animals were adopted, including five Shetland ponies, one sheep, two pigs, 54 dogs and 27 cats.Hunter regional manager Debbie Jaggers said the promotional weekend was “enormously different” compared to regular weekends which usually saw about 20 adoptions.Checking new owner backgroundsOn Facebook, a spokesperson for the RSPCA responded to concerns regarding return rates and “undesirable adopters adopting animals due to the reduced price”. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
All animals were sold for $29.The sale topped last year’s record of 596 animals adopted in three days.”This is about finding homes for animals,” Brendon Neilly, executive manager of the RSPCA’s animal care services, told ABC Radio Sydney.”We see more animals coming in every day [and] this is a way of motivating people to adopt, rather than picking up an animal on Gumtree or those sorts of places.”Among those adopted at the Sydney shelter were ducks, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, a ferret and a goat. Photo:
Barney the basset hound was brought to the RSPCA with inflammatory bowel disease. When Constantine Liaskos and his sister Marina visited the RSPCA shelter in Yagoona, they were instantly drawn to a white greyhound called Barney.But Barney would not be adopted alone.In his short time at the shelter since he was handed over from the greyhound racing industry, Barney had met and fallen in love with Bambi, another rescue greyhound, and the two became inseparable.”It makes us happy that we can give them life, a home, a second chance,” Mr Liaskos said.”They’re new family members in a way.”Our backyard is perfect for two greyhounds. Photo:
Gabby the goat was one of a number of livestock adopted at the Sydney shelter.
Who'll save the day if your trees trap a flying fox?
(ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh) ABC Radio Sydney

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Amanda Hoh

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February 27, 2017 14:17:23

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Barney and Bambi were delivered separately to the RSPCA from the greyhound racing industry.

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Maitland woman spending a year dressed as Marie Antoinette

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“They hardly ever took it off. Photo:
Maitland woman Helen Hopcroft is having to brush up on her makeup skills for the year. It’s a whole new level of skills I’ve got to develop around hair and makeup and dressing.”Dreams of a brighter future for Maitland

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Ms Hopcroft is crowdfunding for her costumes to be made. People will engage all the time.”I just want to spread the word about what a great city Maitland is, and how much potential there is there.” Makeup isn’t really me. “I tend to put on makeup like an angry toddler uses a crayon. (1233 ABC Newcastle: Robert Virtue)
Ms Hopcroft was raised up in Tasmania with a feminist upbringing, and is passionate about connecting her community.”Marie Antoinette was always held up as this symbol of the elite who were disconnected from their communities, who had power and didn’t use it to help the communities,” she said.”I’m all about changing stories, and so I want to take this historical figure and change her story, and make it about community activism and cultural activism, and actually celebrating and being part of a city, rather than being removed from it.”Even though things have changed a lot since I moved up [to Maitland], there’s been a lot of investment in the central mall, and there’s some great businesses opening up.”There’s still a feeling that Maitland needs to grow and celebrate its creativity.”Ms Hopcroft hopes her project will help better Maitland in the long-term.”My dream is to have a purpose-built space to celebrate the history of Maitland and the Hunter Valley,” she said.”As a living symbol of the past, I want to talk about the history of the Hunter Valley and Maitland, and try and start a new conversation about its future.”The great thing about going around looking like Marie Antoinette is people come and talk to you; it’s like having a really cute dog. It takes me away from the corporate wardrobe,” she said.”We’re trying to make this costume as historically accurate as possible.”Towards the end of the 18th century, aristocratic ladies used to wear a linen chemise — it was like their second skin. It is not every day you travel down the street of a regional Australian city and see someone elegantly walking towards you dressed in full 18th century royal regalia.But over the next year in the New South Wales city of Maitland, that image is a distinct possibility.From May, local writer and artist Helen Hopcroft will live her life dressed as historical French queen Marie Antoinette.She is undertaking the challenge in a bid to get people talking about Maitland’s potential, with the long-term aim of developing a new museum paying homage to the city’s history.”I feel that Maitland has an almost enormous amount of potential — the city and its people,” Ms Hopcroft said.”I want to promote Maitland as a centre, as a tourist destination, and as a creative city.”A year as a French queenDressed in a full costume complete with bell-shaped puffy dresses, a towering blonde wig, and makeup featuring chalk-white powder and a rosy blush, Ms Hopcroft’s transformation into Marie Antoinette takes about two hours.”It certainly brightens up Monday mornings, dressing like this. It’s like running an ultramarathon — you really don’t know what’s going to happen until you’re in there.”Ms Hopcroft said she was not looking forward to next summer.”If it’s anything like this summer, it’s going to be a very hot year for me,” she said.Ms Hopcroft is launching a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising $10,000 to fund the design and manufacture of her costumes.From jeans and t-shirts to a complicated costumeLife for Ms Hopcroft will remain as normal as possible over the next year, but with a twist.”Simple things like getting to work or doing the school run suddenly becomes hilarious, and something that requires an awful lot of planning,” she said.”Similarly, if I want to go to the bathroom, I’ve really got to think ahead. They even wore it when they were bathing.”Over that [garment] was a couple of layers of petticoats, and then there was quite restrictive corsets, and then you had the dress over the top of that, which was typically either silk or wool, and it never got washed.”I don’t think you really can prepare for this sort of thing. It’s a five-minute operation.”I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of person.
(ABC News) 1233 ABC Newcastle

By Robert Virtue and Jenny Marchant

Posted

February 27, 2017 15:59:04

Video: Maitland woman to dress as Marie Antoinette for a year.

Australian tall ship marks 30 years at sea

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ABC Adelaide

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February 26, 2017 11:43:03

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Tall ship One and All is a near-replica of an 1850s brigantine. (Supplied: One and All)
(Audience submitted: Rob Morris) (Supplied: One and All)
She conceded that modern navigational requirements meant the tall ship had an engine, GPS, radars and satellite navigation, but said they took a secondary role when trainees came on board, such as when 18 young people from remote parts of the state sailed to Port Lincoln recently.”They had an opportunity of a lifetime to get on board and have five days at sea,” she said.”It is a big buzz for the crew when these kids actually start to meld together and work as a team.”After two or three days at sea we actually hand the ship over to them and they start to bring the ship home.”It’s an enormous high when they get off the ship, it’s that real sense of achievement.”To mark 30 years, the One and All is offering special weekend voyages in early April and will also sail to Kangaroo Island for events to mark the anniversary.Ms Roberts said she was not sure how many nautical miles the One and All had sailed over the years, but its small professional crew always loved the chance to be out on the water.”Every day’s a good day to go sailing, in our book, even if it’s really windy or there’s no wind, we love it,” she said. The only Australian tall ship which sailed in the 1988 First Fleet re-enactment voyage for Australia’s bicentenary is celebrating 30 years on the water.The One and All was built and commissioned in South Australia in 1987 and, three decades on, is kept busy offering youth development programs and leisure voyages.One and All crew member Annie Roberts said the tall ship grew from an idea sketched on a paper napkin.”Just the other day we uncovered the original napkin where basically two men at a pub drew the One and All on the napkin,” she said.”That was really the birth of this whole amazing project.”She represents pretty well what might have roamed our waters here in South Australia about 150 years ago.”

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The One and All was commissioned back when the late John Bannon was SA premier. Photo:
The One and All offers sunset and other leisure cruises, as well as trainee programs. (Supplied: One and All)
Teamwork the key sailing requirementMs Roberts said trainees and volunteers on the ship got a pretty authentic sailing experience.”There’s no flash pulley systems or remote-controlled furling systems, everything is very much teamwork,” she said.”It’s no magic technology — it’s get in there and all hands on deck.”In terms of the traditional skills like communication, and those basics that mariners had years ago, those things haven’t changed.”

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Crew members say any weather makes for a great sailing experience.

Urban foraging: Nutritious weeds in your backyard

A bitter aftertasteBut if you are expecting a flavour that leaves you wanting more, you could be bitterly disappointed.”Plantain has a very bitter aftertaste that improves with salt,” Ms Aylott said.”Those bitter tastes in the plants are from the alkaloids in the plant that have strong antioxidant properties. “That’s what’s so good for us, but that’s what we don’t like because we’d rather eat chips and sugar.”One of the nice things about getting into eating weeds is that you really start to appreciate the cultivation efforts of being able to eat a beautiful piece of spinach.”The Canberra Environment Centre will run a course on identifying and cooking with weeds on March 14 as part of a series of workshops.
(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) Photo:
Blackberry nightshade berries are edible, but care should be taken only to eat the fully ripe berries that fall into your hand when touched.

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Sarah Aylott is a garden educator with the National Botanic Gardens. Urban forager Sarah Aylott told ABC Radio Canberra’s Lish Fejer that these plants come from a long list of edible and highly nutritious weeds.”Wild brassicas are the ancestor from which we cultivated broccolini, kale, brussels sprouts and kohlrabi,” Ms Aylott said.”We look at these plants and see them as something we want to get rid of from the garden, but they’re unbelievably precious.”The dandelion is the most nutritious vegetable ever tested by the US Department of Agriculture.”Ms Aylott is a garden educator with the National Botanic Gardens and facilitates foraging workshops at the Canberra Environment Centre.Learning to forage safelyShe said the safest place to eat plants is from your own backyard. “There are many plants out there that I don’t know and could be toxic,” Ms Aylott said.”I just look for the plants I know.”

Information on plants to avoid:Poisonous or harmful plants fact sheet, from the Sydney Children’s Hospital NetworkGarden plants poisonous to people, from the NSW Department of Primary IndustriesPlants and mushrooms poisonous to people database, Queensland Health Poisons Information Centre
Reading a book on edible weeds, taking an edible weeds tour or studying reputable online sources are good places to start.Ms Aylott said the plantain weed was one of the most common edible weeds and could be found all over the city in backyards and green spaces.”Plantain has nice long oval leaves and a beautiful seed head which looks like a miniature grass tree.”This is where we get psyllium husk from and if you eat something like Metamucil, this is what it is made from.”Just break off the seed head and grind it up in your fingers.”You can chop up plantain leaves and put them in your pesto, salads, stir-fry or a smoothie.”You can sprinkle the seed head on your cereal or put it in your homemade bread or into stews or soups.” (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
But in order to forage for edible weeds safely, you need to be very sure the weeds you are picking are what you think they are. Key points:Many common weeds are edible, and some are more nutritious than store-bought greensDo your research before you go foragingNever eat anything you cannot positively identify
Dandelions, plantain and cat’s ears are three of the most common edible weeds growing in gardens and street verges across Canberra. Next time you weed the backyard, take a closer look at the plants you dig up because they could be more valuable than you realise.
One identifying characteristic of cat’s ears is its sharply toothed and asymmetrical leaves. Photo:
Cat’s ears (Hyochaeris radicata) is often confused with the dandelion. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)

Edible weeds from the backyard (ABC Radio Canberra)

(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) ABC Radio Canberra

By

Hannah Walmsley

Updated

February 25, 2017 15:50:13

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The dandelion root is both edible and nutritious and can be eaten fresh or cooked.

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The best time to eat the sour thistle is when it is small and has spade-shaped leaves. Photo:
Sour thistle or sonchus oleareus (which translates to ‘cooked vegetable’) is a common edible weed in backyards around Canberra. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)

(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) Photo:
Dandelion flowers are edible and make a colourful addition to a salad, while the leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
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Dried leaves can also be used to make tea. Photo:
Violet leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)

(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) Photo:
Plantago major is a species of the flowering plant in the plantain family and is rich in calcium and vitamins A,C and K.

Port Lincoln honours Matthew Flinders and his cat

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By Deane Williams and Daniel Keane

Posted

February 25, 2017 08:51:53

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Three castings of the Matthew Flinders statue have been made. (Supplied: Flinders Memorial Statue)
(Supplied: Flinders Memorial Statue)
Businessman Roger Lang donated the statue to Port Lincoln’s Axel Stenross Maritime Museum, which has loaned it to the local council.Another casting of the same statue is on permanent display at London’s Euston Station, beneath which Flinders is buried.Mr Lang said the idea to make the statue was first put forward by the State Government in 2014 — the bicentenary of Flinders’ death.”The South Australian Government engaged Mark Richards to make a sculpture to enhance the knowledge [of Flinders] for English people,” he said.”Captain Cook they all know, but Flinders is basically unknown in England.”Lincoln City Mayor in the United Kingdom, Yvonne Bodger, has travelled to Port Lincoln for the occasion.”The way I feel is almost indescribable — it’s excitement, it’s almost indescribable,” she said. (Supplied: Flinders Memorial Statue)
Almost exactly 215 years since that day, a statue of Flinders and his cat Trim has today been unveiled at the now-thriving city of Port Lincoln in tribute to Flinders’ famed antipodean voyage on HMS Investigator.The two-metre-high work will be on permanent display at Port Lincoln’s Flinders Precinct, near Flinders Archway on Tasman Terrace, and was unveiled by South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le.The statue is one of only three castings of a design by British sculptor Mark Richards, who attended the ceremony.Richards said the statue depicted Flinders kneeling and using his compass to chart his voyage along the South Australian coast.”I’ve made him working,” Richards said.”His map of Australia is on the base and he’s measuring a part of the coastline.”‘Accessible design’Richards said, despite Flinders’ importance in Australian history, he remained relatively unknown in his homeland.”I tried to imagine what it would be like if I walked up to a statue of someone who was largely unknown, and what I would want to pique my curiosity,” he said.”I came up with a design which was quite close to the viewer in the sense that it’s quite low. When explorer Matthew Flinders visited the spot he christened Port Lincoln in February 1802, he was deeply impressed by the pleasantness of its location.”The port which formed the most interesting part of these discoveries I named Port Lincoln, in honour of my native province,” wrote Flinders, who was born in the county of Lincolnshire in northern England.”Port Lincoln is certainly a fine harbour … It’s very accessible.”

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A mould of a boot for one of the Matthew Flinders’ statues. of the climate we had no reason to speak but in praise.”

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One of the Matthew Flinders statues being created in the studio.
Shortcut to Australia: Matthew Flinders' role in shaping a nation
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Rowing coach kelpies keep the girls moving

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They’re with me all the time,” she said.Lomu and Snap love their morning routine of coming down to the River Derwent before the sun is fully up. They’re obsessed,” Ms Duffy said.”As soon as the boats are launched, they’ll jump in any boat.”I think the girls love [having] the dogs around and I’ve got no doubt that that extra eye on them is an encouragement.”The dogs sit on the bow and watch what goes on and in the water, and they love to help motivate the rowers.”The part that they really enjoy is when we’re practising starts,” Ms Duffy said.”It’s attention. Bark. Photo:
Michele Duffy coaches different rowing team every morning in Hobart and she also competes as rower herself. As the sun rises over the River Derwent, Lomu and Snap are barking out the stroke for training rowing crews.The pair of chocolate kelpies accompany schoolgirls rowing coach Michele Duffy for practice on the water every morning.”They assist in every way,” Ms Duffy told Ryk Goddard on ABC Radio Hobart.”They sit up on the bow and they’re my lookouts — there’s quite a lot of activity on the water in the morning.”They look for the seal, they look out for dolphins.”They supervise my coaching and they keep an eye on the girls.”
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Kelpie coxes on the River Derwent
Ms Duffy started rowing 14 years ago when her sons got into the sport.Soon after she took on the role of coaching and about four years ago she was joined by two little helpers.”With kelpies, they’re part of your lives. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“They’re very keen to get out. Go!”When the dogs think the girls are slacking off a bit, there’s a bit more barking that goes on for a bit more encouragement.”Ms Duffy said she could not imagine coaching without the dogs now.”I can’t imagine anytime, even if I have to lift them up and carry them onto the boat. I’ll do that.”Rower Jessica Hall said the dogs did help lift the rowers’ effort.”It really motivates you when you’re tiring and you are really getting sick of it and you hear them encouraging and keep going on,” she said.Lomu and Snap have become a welcome feature of the rowing circuit in Tasmania.”Everyone knows them around Tassie,” said rower Poppy Newton.”They’re just always at the rowing regattas.”
(ABC News) ABC Radio Hobart

Updated

February 24, 2017 16:44:13

Video: Kelpie cox Snap barks out orders on the River Derwent.

Loving their job is common ground for these unsung heroes

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ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

February 23, 2017 12:08:26

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Michael Shear has been a groundsman for over 15 years. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Boarding school staff provide second home for rural students

Meet three Brisbane groundsmen who believe their job is the best in the world.Michael Shear – St Ambrose’s School, Newmarket Mr Shear swapped his job as an insurance officer 15 years ago for a life of worm farms and sports ovals.”It was just not me and when I started here I just loved getting out of bed every day. that’s really good.”Len Moss – St Mary MacKillop Primary School, BirkdaleWith more than 600 students at the school where Mr Moss works, remembering names is a daily challenge. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“It’s the best job ever; every part of it has been great.”It’s one of those luck jobs that you can get.”He said each day was different.”The fun part is never knowing what’s going to come up during the day.”I start at 6:30am and I clean up from the day before and then things come up like leaking air-cons or bins.”

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Michael Shear wears foot boots to tend to the gardens and grounds. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“I can remember a few of the names but it’s hard to catch them all. Photo:
Rob Miles holds weeds in his hand while being called to another task at the school. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Seeing the children start school and grow up is also an enjoyable part of the job for Mr Shear.”I call all the boys ‘sir’ and all the girls ‘miss’,” he said.”Years later you see the kids grown up and how they turn out so great … Photo:
Flowers and hedges are all part of the school yard gardens that the groundskeepers tend too. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“I think this jobs suits me and the hills keep me thin.”Every day is a new challenge and you never know what’s going to happen.”The biggest thing about the job is that you just have to keep at it and eventually you’ll get there.” Photo:
Len Moss enjoys the variety in the work he does in Birkdale. I’ll keep going for as long as my body lets me.”Robert Miles – Holland Park State School For Mr Miles, his daily mission is to keep the grounds, the parents, the teachers and the children happy. Photo:
The school garden includes paw paw trees, worm farms and vegetables. I don’t know how the teachers do it.”Mr Moss was an electrician for 30 years before he turned to groundskeeping.”You have variety and it’s great to have the kids around as they always want to say hello and see what you’re doing.”At Christmas time many of the parents give me presents — so you know you’re doing something right.”Each day Mr Moss can be seen mowing and cleaning.”I do anything and everything from hedging to cleaning up after a kid that has been sick. Each day, groundskeepers across the country start their day at sunrise, helping to keep our schools tidy and green. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“I like to walk around the school seeing what you’ve done and what you’ve changed.”Being part of the community is a big part of it … (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“I’m surprised when the kids notice the grounds so much, it helps me not see the hills so steep at the end of the day.”I think I made a difference to the school from the minute I put the first plant in the ground.”I love creating the beautiful gardens and being able to make the place look better.”Mr Miles, who was previously a musician, has looked after the grounds at Holland Park for the past eight years. Photo:
Rob Miles enjoys seeing the difference he makes to the school community.
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The bittersweet decision to downsize and sell home of 46 years

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'Unlikely' 96yo activist takes on aged care industry
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(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) ABC Radio Canberra

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Hannah Walmsley

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February 23, 2017 13:24:08

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Rosemary and Gerry Franklin have made the tough decision to downsize.
(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
Sitting in their flourishing backyard, the Franklins joked that they would not miss having to weed the garden.”The garden that we planted, we’ve enjoyed the garden, but as we’ve got older, it is harder to do the gardening,” Mrs Franklin said.”Although I will miss being able to go outside every morning and pick a bunch of flowers from my garden.”A house full of memories”It’s been a real family home with so many big celebrations here for the children and grandchildren,” Mrs Franklin said.”Now our children have been through school, been through university, married local girls and boys and most of them have settled here.”They’ve loved the house as much as we do.”For the Franklins, leaving the family home will be “tinged with sadness”.”Rosemary’s mother also came and lived with us here for the last six years of her life, before she died at 101,” Mr Franklin said.”Those memories are all part of the house.”With Rosemary’s heredity behind her — her father was 97 when he died and her mother at 101 — I figured she might be a widow for a few years and I couldn’t see her rattling around in here on her own.”If we’re going to move, it’s better that we move together.”Our new home will be a lot easier for one left alone to feel secure.”

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Rosemary Franklin says her garden has been magnificent in bloom each spring. Gerry and Rosemary Franklin have made a bittersweet decision that empty-nesters right across the country are faced with each year.The Canberra couple will move into retirement accommodation later this year and sell the family home where they have lived for almost half a century.At 83, Mr Franklin is determined that he and his wife, 82, downsize together while they are both fit and well.An ideal family homeIt was 1971 when the Franklins bought land and built the first house on Wenholz Street in Farrer.”The house itself cost $17,000 and the block of land we bought at auction,” Mr Franklin said.”We said we wouldn’t go beyond $1,500 for the land, but we actually went to $1,900.”A very expensive block,” he added, chuckling.Moving from their small “govie house” in Dickson, the Franklins were in need of a bigger home to accommodate their six young children.”Farrer was a lovely neat little suburb and we were pleased to be here,” Mrs Franklin said.”To us, this place was ideal.”Changing needsOver 46 years the house has undergone numerous additions and renovations to accommodate the family’s changing needs.”For a time there was our family of eight living here and now it’s just the two of us, so it’s a big house to be in,” Mr Franklin said. Photo:
Rosemary and Gerry Franklin say their children have accepted the decision to downsize and sell the family home was a good idea. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
The Franklins will also leave behind their much-loved neighbourhood community.”We love the street,” Mrs Franklin said.”We’ve had such a friendly number of neighbours and we’re going to be grieving at leaving the street.”Encouraged by friends who have already moved into retirement villages and smaller homes, the Franklins are proud their decision is one they have been able to make for themselves.”All the people that we know who have been through this say it’s like going overseas — it’s like sheer hell to go through, but when you get there, it’s marvellous,” Mr Franklin said.

From Harlem to Perth: Sharing the joy of swing dance

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New York swing dance aficionado Lana Turner has brought her passion for getting people onto the dance floor to the Perth International Arts Festival.An archivist and real estate agent by day, by night Turner is well known in the Big Apple for swinging; she is a regular at outdoor dance floors and pop-up jazz concerts in the city’s parks across summer.She stands out among the crowd, dressed in the prized vintage dresses and hats from her vast collection.While she is swaying and moving to the music of Ella Fitzgerald or Count Basie, she always sneaks a peek at those watching on.”You can see the joy in their faces watching the dancers and you know that they want to get up and do the same thing. She also does not stick to a set routine when she dances.Instead, she improvises with her dance partners — a practice she likens to how musicians play jazz. “Knowing that something that started in Harlem has found its way all over the world — and Perth is one of them — is wonderful.”No formal trainingTurner never studied dance in any formal way; she started by standing on her father’s feet as child and just went from there. (ABC Radio Perth: Emma Wynne)
“I just want to thank them for having me come and loving the art of dancing,” she said of the participants. “I’ve never done any choreography, it’s not me.”My model really was my daddy and it was not about performing, it was simply about enjoying that music of Count Basie or Duke Ellington.”Really, dancing is hearing it and being able to react to it. That’s where I fit in.” (ABC Radio Perth: Emma Wynne)
“One of the things I do is try to get people who don’t dance to dance.”I just go and get them and say, ‘it’s OK if you don’t know the steps, it’s alright’.”The idea is to understand the joy and the exuberance of dance.”It’s all about the musicMany people get swept away by Turner’s enthusiasm and reassurance that it is not necessary to know any of the steps.”What you need to do is hear the music and have a great time.”In Perth she’ll be staging a series of workshops and performances; this weekend she will appear alongside famed Harlem drummer Evan Sherman and the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Festival Gardens.Turner said she was certain she would not be the only person dancing by the end of the night.”Don’t worry about the steps, you will get it later.”While in Perth, Turner has also taken up the opportunity to attend swing dance classes — but she said she was not there to teach. Photo:
Lana Turner on the dance floor in North Perth. Photo:
Swing dance students at a class in North Perth.
Perth arts festival set for stormy launch
(ABC News) ABC Radio Perth

By

Emma Wynne

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February 23, 2017 17:06:26

Video: Lana Turner was a guest at a Perth swing dance group during her visit to the city.
PIAF show Before the Siren a 'feminist footy frenzy in Freo'