Sun is Shining

img_9362.jpgI hope you make the most of the next two weeks before daylight savings ends. It’s already darker in the mornings and I’m trying to steel myself for the coming cooler months – I think a holiday in the sun might need to be booked! I’ve been flat knacker these past 10 weeks and started my week with a Monday night event at the NGV helping host over 600 prospective post-graduate students and alumni while they attended an exclusive Escher X Nendo: Between Two Worlds exhibition viewing (images above and below).

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If you haven’t yet been, make sure you visit in the next fortnight as it closes on 7 April and as much as it was a working event, I did get lost in the beauty of it with some of my work colleagues once our official duties were over. I loved the boldness and graphic nature of the show and hadn’t realised most of it was monochromatic (black and white) until the very end when one of my friends pointed that out to me. Escher had a very unique way of seeing the world and I think that’s the one thing that distinguishes great artists from good – they have a style and signature that is completely their own.

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One of the most beautiful parts of the show was the installation of tiny houses where if you walked to a certain point, the silhouette of a larger house could be seen right in the middle, which I somehow managed to capture on my iphone below.

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I will be trying to take it easy this weekend. The Home Harvest Picnic is on at Edendale Farm in Eltham on Sunday and speaking of food, I have been going down the back streets of Preston of late going past Spanish donut pit stop Mr Churros near Thornbury Secondary College, which I’ve previously mentioned, as well as visiting  middle eastern grocery store Cedar Bakery which has been there for a while but expanded to offer seated cafe-style tables.

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Have a great weekend!

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Get on board

It’s been busy – I’m trying hard to minimise the amount of things our family is doing but it’s been hard. My brain reached saturation point yesterday and my body is obviously not coping as for the first time in my life, I’ve managed to pull my neck and shoulder and have now seen a physiotherapist at Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic not once but twice in the past week. They are very good there and I do feel like I’m in safe hands. I did want to do a special shout out for The Shoulder workshop that my trainer Nikki Ellis is holding at her studio Cinch Training in Heidelberg Heights on Saturday 30 March in partnership with Perform Physio+Pilates. As someone who has long believed in the preventative power of exercise, this one would be a great one to go to and I wish it had been held before now!

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I saw Nikki today at the Banyule Women in Business lunch which was a more intimate affair this year held at the Rosanna Golf Club in Lower Plenty. If you’ve never been it’s worth the more scenic drive inland from Banyule Road past the silos and the horses – it’s incredibly beautiful and was spectacular today with a sea of green everywhere you looked. The lunch will return to the Ivanhoe Centre next year once renovations are complete but for the uninitiated Lower Plenty really is a hidden secret in Banyule – country meets city. I also wanted to do a shout out for the #ShopToItinBanyule Facebook and Instagram competition currently being run by Banyule Business until 30th April giving you the chance to win a $500 gift card.

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The keynote speaker at today’s event was KeepCup founder and former lawyer Abigail Forsyth who was charmingly natural and real as a speaker – she’s a very relatable and likeable person and her story is an inspiring one. I had a quick chat with her at the end as we have people in common and her brother and KeepCup co-founder Jamie has moved on from their business to tackle the scourge that is plastic containers with his BeetBox lunchbox company. I look forward to the Banyule Women in Business event every year, it’s been fantastic for me from a networking perspective (as long as you do follow up) and become an annual thing I do with some fabulous local business women who have become good friends.

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A few things to mention today – John Gollings: Spirit of Place opens at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen tomorrow and I’ve been a fan of his photography for a number of years now. The Darebin Community and Kite Festival is also being held on Sunday. Speaking of things that move, I took a few quick and dirty snaps of this mystery vintage yellow bus (below) that I’ve seen being driven locally on Waiora Road and parked on Lower Plenty Road – bigger than a Combi Van but smaller than a normal bus. I’d love to know its story!

Local love

Well there’s a lot going on this weekend if you like loud cars or loud music but either way there’s lots to do in Melbourne and locally. This beautiful Arts and Crafts house at 32 – 34 The Eyrie in Eaglemont has caught my eye (Miles Real Estate images below via realestate.com.au) – Chadwick House by architect Harold Desbrowe-Annear – which is currently on the market for a heritage housing lover out there. Speaking of heritage, I’m hoping to see The Krystyna Campbell-Pretty Fashion Gift at the NGV International before winter – a gift indeed with over 200 garments celebrating Parisian haute couture fashion with names including Worth, Dior, Chanel, Issey Miyake, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.

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Also coming up locally this week is the opening of Journey Through Life exhibition at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe featuring art works by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Youth Centre and Sha Sarwari as well as the now sold out Banyule Changemakers Festival and Banyule Women in Business Lunch at the Rosanna Golf Club – best to get in quick next year! If you are interested in supporting refugees and asylum seekers you may be interested in the Free to Feed cooking classes run in Thornbury and Northcote or run in your own home for parties of 10 or more. Gift vouchers are also available if you have a friend or family in mind.

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Finally, I am sharing the local love by supporting some of the small businesses in Banyule run by friends of mine who I’d like to see stay in the area for the long-term. Why? Because interesting small businesses like these are the life and soul of communities like ours. From time to time I’ll be doing shout outs about Nikki, Jonno, Luis and Pamela and their respective businesses ranging from a personal training studio, local cafe with a Latin American twist, barber shop and yoga classes but for now you’ll find them here.

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Go the girls

Indeed. It’s International Women’s Day and from my privileged position being an educated woman lucky enough to be born in a first world country, it’s a very easy thing to pay lip service to. My thoughts are for women in other parts of the world where life is still lived as a second class citizen or worse. In terms of Australia, the one in three domestic violence statistic is still deeply disturbing to me as a female but equally there can be no change without the men in our lives to support us – their mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and friends on our journey for equality. So simple in theory, so convoluted in the real world. I’ve been encouraged by my increasing dealings with the next generation of young men and women where the gender lines are not so fraught.

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I’m also incredibly lucky to now be working in an extremely tight-knit and very strong all-female Alumni Relations team supported by a very enlightened male Director and it’s been a nurturing place to land. The word alumni actually means ‘nourish’ in Latin and I find myself both on the the giving and receiving end of that in my current role. The downside to working in a University environment is that we don’t get the Labour Day public holiday so spare a thought for us this weekend!

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I daresay it’s quite deliberate in that the Australian movie release of Captain Marvel with a female superhero is today and my highlight will be seeing the movie at IMAX Melbourne this weekend. If you are having a staycation, don’t forget the Heide Autumn Makers Market is on tomorrow in Bulleen as well as a number of Farmers Markets including Coburg, Collingwood and Alphington and the Autumn Harvest Festival is still on at Bulleen Art & Garden. If you’re at Heide don’t forget too that the Gorman: Ten Years of Collaborating two week pop-up exhibition is on at Heide II while the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival also opens tomorrow. Lots to see and do – enjoy your long weekend.

Hola!

Welcome to a very hot start to Autumn. The new year is still ringing in changes for me and will stay that way over the next few months. Change is the only constant in life as they say so I’m rolling with the punches – I’m not sure if I can use any more clichés! It’s been busy at work with Orientation Week in full swing but great to see lots of excited young people buzzing around the campus which is the largest in the southern hemisphere. La Trobe University has always attracted international and regional students because of this and I also had a tour of Stage 1 of the new Sports Park (the AFL oval that’s bigger than Marvel Stadium pictured below) last week with members of my new team – it will be fantastic once finished and fully open for business.

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My new team is also a bit like the United Nations in that I work with Americans, English and Irish nationals who’ve made the move here for work, study or family reasons so it’s great to see Melbourne through the eyes of people who haven’t grown up here. I also seem to have met a lot of Central and South American people of late including an ex-work colleague and one of my children’s music teachers who are both from Columbia.

Today I had lunch with one of my little men at The Pioneer Cafe in Rosanna, which has now been open 15 months. Owner Luis is from an El Salvadoran background – his gorgeous mum has been working in the kitchen and his new chef is also El Salvadoran. Luis was putting up some new artwork while I was there – the cafe is modern so it was a more subtle nod to his cultural background without being too obvious. They’re holding their first sold out monthly 3 course dinner with welcome cocktail event later this month so it’s great to see a still relatively new and very welcome local business doing interesting things. It’s become decidedly less vanilla in Rosanna in the time that I’ve been living here, which I’ve loved.

The Melbourne Fashion Festival opens today and it’s festival season with the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and Melbourne Comedy Festival all taking place in March. Busy indeed in the capital and closer to home the award-winning Twilight Sounds free music event as part of the annual Banyule Festival is being held on Saturday 16 March at Sills Bend in Warringal Park, Heidelberg with craft beer pop up bar by Thornbury-based 3 Ravens Brewery and a score of different food trucks.