Call of the Avant-Garde

I love the title of this Heide Museum of Modern Art exhibition on Constructivism and Australian Art and have always loved the fact that my ex-client Pat Mackle chose a play on words for her postcard business Avant Card.  Pat, and her partner Paul who runs Shop Neutral at the Prahran Market, have always been ahead of their time as most innovators are.

Jake Treacy Spirit Tableau 2017 image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

Call of the Avant-Garde is being launched next Wednesday night and I’m also pleased to say that I’ll be seeing one of my Heide Visitor Services colleagues Jake Treacy at his exhibition Salon of Spirits being held later this year at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.  Speaking of which, I was at the Homestead for a Board meeting earlier this week so stay tuned if you’re interested in any paid gallery positions there as these will be advertised over the coming months.

The Johnston Collection image via Wikipedia

Animal Kingdom is currently showing at The Johnston Collection museum of fine and decorative art in East Melbourne, which is the annual House of Ideas Exhibition-House tour with animal-inspired objects from the collection juxtaposed alongside fantastic creations from some of Melbourne’s leading contemporary artists.

Image via Banyule City Council

There is also a call for entries before 31st July for the 2017 Banyule Award for Works on Paper with this year’s theme being ‘ebb and flow’ for the $10,000 main prize.  Finally there will be an Architour Art Deco to Moderne walking tour being held on 8 July and I’m also excited about Open House Melbourne later next month as La Trobe University and some of its more obscure and unknown buildings is part of this year’s event.

Art Deco to Modern Walking Tour image via

I’m very relieved to get to the end of the term and looking forward to a few quiet days ahead of me to recover.  If you’re a school parent, I’m sure you’re happy it’s holiday time!


Baby it’s magic…

The Melbourne Magic Festival is once again being held 3 – 15 July at the Northcote Town Hall and beyond and I think this would be one fun school holiday activity with the kids.  The Wind in the Willows is also being staged 14 – 15 July at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre in Preston with tickets available now.  I’m planning on taking my children to the Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition at the NGV before it closes on 12 July.  There are a number of other arts activities both indoors and out, which I’ll post about later this week.

Image via Melbourne Magic Festival

I ate my first pie and donut for the winter season over the weekend and have noticed a couple of new local places to try over the next few weeks.  Proof Pizzeria has opened recently on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg and I missed a dinner there the other week when I was ill but it looks good.  I was also speaking to some Austrian friends about the Austrian Club in West Heidelberg and if goulash doesn’t take your fancy, the sound of some of the desserts like apple strudel and chocolate cake might!

Image via Proof Pizzeria

It’s a good thing I’ve managed to make it to semi-regular classes at Cinch PT in Macleod and I laughed on entering last Friday as my trainer Nikki Ellis always keeps things interesting – last week we did the ‘Olympics’ which was a circuit of running, rowing, long jump, high jump and archery tailored to an indoor studio environment while recent months have included being soldiers in the army and tradies week complete with tool kits to exercise with.  It’s been a lot of fun!  I think Nikki and her husband secretly like planning their themes and creating their exercise equipment and other props to suit.

Nb. Miss Rosanna is sponsored by Cinch PT

Mind over madness

Yoga in Times Square, New York to celebrate the summer solstice and International Yoga Day is something I’ve not yet made it to, but it’s on my bucket list. Every year at this time, I start dreaming of holidays in sunnier places and this one fits the bill.  If you’re a yogi, you may be interested in some of the winter workshops being held at Clifton Hill Yoga School.

Image via Yoga Flava Facebook page

I’ve been busy organising my next Bold Thinking Series lecture on Thursday 27 July at the State Library and wanted to give you advance notice if you’d like to book tickets to Food, Mood & Diet – Myth versus Science where my two La Trobe health sciences academics Catherine Itsiopoulos and Antigone Kouris will be joined by Maha Restaurant Owner and Chef Shane Delia and Dr Norman Swan, host of ABC Radio National’s The Health Report.  Tickets can be purchased here and we’ll start officially promoting via Facebook next week.


I’m a big fan of Shane Delia’s Spice Journey program on SBS so looking forward to working with him on this lecture and his middle Eastern Maha Restaurant in the city, where a couple of my best friends have dined, has been on my radar for a while as much as some of my male work colleagues are fans of his kebabs at the more lo-fi Biggie Smalls in Collingwood.  I also think his related cookbook below would have some great recipes if you’re wanting to experiment over the winter.

Image via Murdoch Books

I was reflecting the other day with Mr Rosanna that it’s been an interesting professional journey for me working mainly with men at La Trobe.  Public Relations tends to be female-dominated as well as many of the industries I’ve worked in such as fashion, beauty, retail and the visual arts.  It’s been refreshing to work with guys this time around from my two bosses, to my colleagues who help coordinate the advertising, event management and livestream filming.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine today.

I love the night life

Night Life is the name of the glamorous fashion exhibition of the 1920s and 30s currently showing at Rippon Lea Estate in Elsternwick featuring over 50 gowns as well as accessories from my favourite period in time.  And while it’s not in the north-east, I think it would be worth crossing over the river for this one and I’ve missed similar exhibitions there featuring the beautiful costumes made for the ABC TV detective series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, in the past.  The night owl in me is a little bewitched by the premise of being transported to a time where ‘stars, sophistication and city lights influenced the fashion worn by the well-dressed’.

Night Life image via Rippon Lea Estate

I was out briefly last night catching up with work friends at The Vegie Bar in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy – a bit of a stalwart from the same era as the Black Cat, Mario’s, Joe’s Garage and the Gypsy Bar.  It’s taken me a bit of time to work out that Transformer Fitzroy is its sister vegetarian restaurant and a more upmarket version.  I have also previously eaten at the more casual and communal Yong Green Food further down the street but my favourite is probably Shakahari in Carlton or its related restaurant Isthmus of Kra in South Melbourne, where I’ve also dined.

Image via Terra Madre

I’ve not been to Smith & Deli in Collingwood or Terra Madre in Northcote but know that both are pretty popular for vegan and organic food and other products – a number of my friends shop regularly at Terra Madre.

Image via Melbourne Design Market

Continuing the Winter Solstice theme from last week, there will be a Festival of Welcome to celebrate the solstice in Fed Square this coming Saturday afternoon and early evening and if you miss that, the Melbourne Design Market is being held undercover in the carpark there the following day.  I’m always glad to see the shortest day and longest night pass by, which is actually Wednesday this week.

Light the flame

Being sick is no fun!  I’ve had the flu this week despite my best efforts to stay well so only now feel like I’m back in the land of the living.  I hope you’ve been in a healthier state than me this week.

Fire twirler image via Winter Solstice Festival

A few local things to mention – applications are now open for Leader Local Grants.  $1000 grants are available if you’ve got a great idea that will benefit the local community.  Applications close on 14 July so you’ve got a month to send yours in.

Image via Amanda Addams Auctions

I also noticed that local auction house Amanda Addams is interested in expressions of interest regarding selling their business after 30 years in the trade.  I often think that my third career will be in art and antiques so if there are any like-minded people out there with an entrepreneurial bent, this would be a great opportunity for the next generation of people interested in all things vintage and antique.

Larry the dog image via Pamela Irving

There are a number of upcoming exhibitions and events I also wanted to mention today.  In time for the Winter solstice is the Mid-Winter exhibition at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe which opens on 21 June, Irreverent Tales by Pamela Irving (Larry the dog sculptor) opens at Whitehorse Artspace in Box Hill on 22 June and Skin Thing at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre opens on the 23 June while Technician’s Choice is currently on.  Speaking of the solstice, there is a Winter Solstice Festival including bonfire at Edendale Farm in Eltham this Saturday night and I believe tickets are still available for this event.

Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

I’ve mentioned before that things have gotten increasingly sophisticated in the suburbs and there will also be a live music Parlour Gig with Benny Walker at Greenhills Neighbourhood House in Greensborough on 24 June, where my friend local writer Jenni Mazaraki works.

Image via Lumiere Art & Co.

Finally, if you’re interested Lumiere Art & Co. is holding its Collingwood Store sale tomorrow from 9 – 3 pm at 76 Cromwell Street along with a number of other boutique retailers and designers.  I particularly like their beautiful shibori linen bed throws which are hand dyed.  Stay warm and stay well!

Healthy body, healthy mind

The Healthy Body Book launch at Busybird Publishing  at 118 Para Road, Montmorency is being held on Saturday 22 July from 3 – 5 pm and I’m happy to say that my sponsor Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Macleod is one of the co-authors!  Refreshments will be provided – admission is free but you do need to RSVP by 18 July if you’d like to come along.  This is the second book of Busybird’s Health Conscious series and Donna Campisi, author of ‘The Unlikely Marathoner’ will be launching the book.

Image via Busybird Publishing

I made it to a morning class at Cinch today and have needed to be consistent with exercise over these colder months, particularly given I’ve had a couple of dinners out over the past week.  Mr Rosanna and I had dinner with some friends last Saturday night in the back dining area at one of my old favourites Paladarr Thai restaurant and cooking school housed in a former Art Deco bank building in Alphington. The food is still great although they do kick you out early being in a residential area – we were served our bill along with hot towels at 10pm!  Still, the duck curry and steamed fish dishes in particular are recommended.

Nikki Ellis in action – image via Cinch Training

I spent last night catching up with an old work friend at Spanish restaurant Tinto in Burwood Road, Hawthorn and managed to snaffle a park right on Burwood Road as it was very busy when I arrived.  Tinto’s been there for a while, and like Paladarr Thai, is a warm and cosy place to go in winter – it was full house last night.  My girlfriend Kath and I shared both the smaller and medium sized dishes which included amongst other things some yummy field mushrooms, a seafood casserole and broccolini.  I did exercise some restraint and didn’t order the churros (Spanish donuts) as much as they were tempting.

© Smudge Publishing
Image via Tinto

My next lecture is one for the foodies so I look forward to letting you know what that’s all about closer to the end of the month.  It’s been a very sombre week world-wide and a number of my friends and colleagues are heading to London in the coming months so I am hoping they stay safe on their travels, and you as well if travelling.

Woven together

Sometimes I don’t like watching the news and this is one of those weeks.  I know we’re not immune from the things that are happening on the world stage but it can seem much worse the more attention you give it.  Whatever happens, everyone loses when hatred and fear win and I feel for the politicians who have to make hard decisions in order to do what they think is best to protect the majority of us who simply wish to live in a peaceful, inclusive society.

Image via

On a brighter note, there are a number of cultural and other activities currently happening around the place.  It’s World Wide Knit in Public Day on Saturday 10 June and Australia is one of the participants including activities taking place locally here in Banyule.  Timely too with it being winter here in the southern hemisphere.  I discovered upmarket knitwear label Cable Melbourne not that long ago and have long loved the sweaters from Purl Harbour in Sydney.

Image via Purl Harbour

In the city, the Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition is currently on at the NGV and I love the sound of the accompanying Lunch like Van Gogh deal at No 35 Restaurant at the Sofitel where you’re treated to classic French edible works-of-art from $45.  Sounds like lots of fun.

Image via Sofitel Melbourne

The Winter Night Market at the Queen Victoria Market has started on Wednesday nights if you’re brave enough to face the elements (albeit largely undercover) while the music lover in me has been curious about both Bird’s Basement in the city and The Jazzlab in Brunswick.

Eat, pray, love.

Welcome to winter!  It’s been cold and I feel like a hibernating bear at the moment just wanting to take refuge indoors and sleep.  I’m jealous of some of my work friends who have European vacations booked over the coming months…if only we could all go away somewhere warm and lie on a beach.

Cooler bag image via Kollab

It’s sale time and there are $5 bags to be had from Kollab if you enter passcode KOLLAB17 at  Nancybird currently have an online warehouse sale with up to 80% off while Sage and Clare are holding their warehouse sale on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June.  There are some beautiful items from all these Australian retailers if you’re on the look out for some cold weather inspiration.

Image via Sage and Clare


The Ramadan Iftar Dinner 2017 is being held tonight at the Bell Street Mall in West Heidelberg with children’s activities and a light show from 5pm and a buffet halal meal at sundown.  All I do is feel like eating at the moment so I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to fast for a month.  Stay warm – I’ll be back next week.ramadan-iftar-dinner-poster-web-724x1024