I’m so glad it’s Friday today and can’t quite believe how frantically busy this past week has been.  While I’ve managed to make it to both a training session at Cinch PT and my yoga class, work’s been a bit out of control with not one but now two lectures on the go and starting to plan and program for 2018.  It’s been a very busy start to Spring, but at least it’s taken my mind off the weather!  Hello Melbourne – what is with this weather?  Never mind…

18-20 Alexandra Street image via www.realestate.com.au

These two houses which have just come on to the market have both caught my eye – the former (train) Station Master’s house at 18 – 20 Alexander Street in Greensborough which has some beautiful period details as well as the light filled, modernist house at 7 Helene Street in Bulleen, where I grew up – I love those clerestory windows.

7 Helene Street image via www.realestate.com.au

It’s also nice to have a number of arty things happening as of this week.  The Darebin Music Feast has started and the 20th Anniversary Art4All event at Fairfield Primary also starts tonight and runs this weekend while if the weather holds, the Heide Makers Market re-starts tomorrow and the Diamond Creek Town Fair is also on.

Image via www.montsalvat.com.au

Sunday looks like the pick of the week and I hope my friend Arts Manager Jeannette Davison is happy with the turn out at the Montsalvat Arts Festival.



Gather Everybody

Welcome to Spring!  The day has finally arrived and while it will still be cold, I’m loving seeing all the blossom on the trees while at work, the baby kangaroo joeys greeted me at the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary this week.  I also had an interesting journey home the other night at the Lower Plenty and Rosanna Roads intersection watching as a mother duck and her ducklings were trying to cross the road at peak hour.

Image via www.latrobe.edu.au

There is a need for calm in the world at the moment and I do wonder what things would be like if there were more female heads of state.  Do we need such aggression and chest beating to prove how strong we are or is there more strength in being prepared to back down, keep the peace and talk to each other rather than displays of military might…there are no simple answers sometimes.IMG_6126

On a brighter note, I went out earlier this week with my work colleagues for a communal meal at the Moroccan Soup Bar on St Georges Road in North Fitzroy – a place I hadn’t been to in years.  There was a queue spilling out into the street when I arrived as they were turning over the tables for the 7.15pm session.  Had I been more prepared like my friends, I would have brought some tupperware containers with me as there’s so much food!  We opted for the $30 banquet over the $25 which gives you a bit of everything and includes mint tea and sweet treats at the end, if you can fit them in.  One of my friends was regretful about going too hard at the start with the dips and bread.IMG_6128

It was lovely to see the Bargoonga Nganjin purpose-built community space all lit up when I left the restaurant.  It opened in April this year and I commend Yarra City Council for being able to get this project up and running – it includes a library, maternal child health service, playgroup spaces, Council customer service area, community meeting rooms, exhibition space and a rooftop garden.  Having worked closely with staff and councillors at Banyule and Darebin Councils now, I appreciate the difficult job they have in meeting the needs of residents and determining their role and the recent furore over Australia Day has left our household in disagreement.  As I said, there are no easy answers sometimes.  I am looking forward to the proposed Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub where community consultation is still taking place if you’re interested in attending an information session.  I’ve got friends involved with the Resolve Rosanna Road/North East Link project and I know that there have been some pretty fiery meetings regarding this controversial project as well.

Image via Macauley Community Services for Women

Speaking of local events, the Fairfield Spring Art Fair by iArt Studios is on tomorrow at the Backspace venue at 14 Montefiore Street Fairfield from 11am – 4 pm.  OLMC in Heidelberg is hosting a high tea on Sunday 10 September while Banyule Primary School is holding its Green Day at Heidelberg Golf Club on Friday 29 September – a golf day, lawn bowls, high tea and cocktail party (they’re covering all bases!).  I noticed too when ducking into Leo’s Food and Wine the other week, that Hahndorf ‘s Fine Chocolates has opened on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg and I hope they do well.  Have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend.

Image via Eventbrite

You’re the one that I want

It’s nearly Spring and I’m feeling the need to start exercising more.  I missed weight training at Cinch PT last week but Mr Rosanna was there for Super Heroes week!  I didn’t get to see Nikki Ellis all dressed up as Wonder Woman but she’s always inspiring whether in costume or not.  Mr Rosanna and I have been watching too much Netflix over the winter and have more recently got right into The Defenders about modern day super heroes Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist fighting crime in New York City.

Image via www.latrobe.edu.au

Speaking of getting physical, we have both signed up for the Olivia Newton John Wellness Walk and Research Run which is being held at La Trobe University on Sunday 17 September.  Despite currently having cancer treatment, Olivia is expected to make an appearance and was there last year, along with Bindi Irwin.

Image via whatsonmelbourne.vic.gov.au

Melbourne Fashion Week also starts this Friday and tickets are now on sale for runway shows.  I’ve booked in to one of the NGV Friday Nights where you can enjoy after hours access to the House of Dior fashion exhibition while listening to some funky beats from a number of Australian and international acts, DJ sets, dining and bars.  The Kate Miller-Heidke gig is already sold out so best to book quickly if you see a show you like.

Image via www.ngv.vic.gov.au

On a more local note, there’s a Speaking of Sustainability – Banyule Toastmasters event being held tomorrow night at Hatch Community Arts Space in Ivanhoe from 7.15 – 9.30 pm.  They’ve just held their 33rd meeting and a number of members won Community Sustainability Awards at this year’s Banyule and Darebin Awards.  It’s a topical subject and the ability to speak publicly is a very useful skill to have both in work and life, coming from someone who was quite shy as a child.  You can’t shut me up now….

Elvis has left the building

It’s the appropriately titled final Avant Card postcard printed in July by my ex-client and friend Pat Mackle signifying the end of a 25 year era and over 20,000 postcards produced.  What a ride it’s been for her and her family and friends – many of whom have been involved in the business over this time across three separate states and all over Australia.  We caught up today for lunch at Japanese raw food cafe Shoku Iku on High Street in Northcote right next door to the Good Vibes Yoga studio (owned by artist Kirra Jamison) near the Westgarth Theatre.  There’s not many people I know who’ve had the courage of their convictions to follow their dreams and go out on their own so I take my hat off to Pat.  Many young people now will have a very different life journey with as many as 17 different jobs across 5 different industries so the times they are definitely a-changing.farewell

I had my sold out La Trobe Three Bold Thinking Series lecture last night at the State Library Theatrette which was a very big night for the three former student activists involved, who finally had their turn in the spotlight to tell their story and perhaps gain a sense of closure from the events of 1972 for which they were imprisoned in Pentridge Prison without sentencing. I was taken back in time to a very different era when the stakes were a lot higher with Anti-Vietnam war protests, conscription and the women’s and gay liberation movements taking place against the backdrop of global social, cultural and political change.  I can’t help but feel we now live in a very corporatised, sanitised and more vanilla era compared to those heady times where the struggle was very real.  What struck me was how all three men, despite their differences and the hardship and trauma they endured, were absolutely resolute in their belief about the right to protest and at no point in time were ever going to apologise to the University.  To this day, as as much as it has impacted their lives, they still stand by their principles united in solidarity – it was a pretty amazing thing to witness.  It was a bit ironic leaving the building last night to see the new La Trobe branding All kinds of clever splashed over a massive billboard opposite my old University RMIT on Swanston Street.IMG_6078

A few things on this weekend including the Eaglemont Village Artisan Market in Eaglemont tomorrow and the Wild about Melbourne pop up market at Thornbury Bowls on Sunday, which is the same day as the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival, which also includes a new Night Market.  There are also a heap of new exhibitions now on at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre with a special opening tomorrow afternoon from 2 – 4 pm, some exhibitions which are part of this year’s Radiant Pavilion Melbourne Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial.IMG_6094

A little life

It’s Hanya Yanigihara’s Booker prize shortlisted book that I picked up at Andrew’s Books in Ivanhoe over the weekend after being motivated by Literacy week to buy a decent sized novel to read as it’s been a while.  I had been in previously and had a look at both Pulitzer Prize winner All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr and Stella Prize winner The natural way of things by Charlotte Wood (also a fairly dark topic) but had put both books down again.  I’m not expecting it to be an easy read both in terms of content and length but it’s one that’s grabbed my attention and pulled me in and reminded me a bit of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.

Image via The Conversation

I spent Saturday night celebrating my best friend Jules’ birthday at The Cellar Door in the Town Square restaurant area at Eastland in Ringwood where we’d previously been for drinks only.  It was jumping on Saturday night with all tables full as far as the eye could see although this time I didn’t venture up to the rooftop bar.  The food and service are excellent – I had the barramundi but would have the hand made squid ink seafood pasta next time and I only remembered we were in a suburban shopping complex when I chose to use the centre toilets near the restaurant entrance instead of taking the stairs to the third level.

Image via visityarravalley.com.au

If you are a creative person, I think the Northern College of the Arts & Technology (NCAT) in Preston would well be worth visiting and a number of mature-age people I know are currently studying there (it’s never too late!).  If you are a local business, there is a business tour this Wednesday if you’re interesting in partnering with NCAT and its students.  There are some other events on this coming weekend (last weekend of Winter) and I’ll be back later this week.

On China’s Rise and a New World Order

It’s the name of my lecture in October with ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, which is being held in conjunction with the Ideas & Society series convened by La Trobe University’s Emeritus Professor Robert Manne – tickets are already on sale given the Paul Keating lecture held earlier this year sold out within a week.  Kevin Rudd is a different person altogether from Paul Keating but they share in common an interest in the Asian region and what it means for Australia.  This lecture will also be different in that it’s a lunchtime event (light lunch provided at the Sofitel!) so targeted more at a CBD-based business audience.  Kevin’s an interesting man from what I can gather from my friends and colleagues who’ve previously worked with him in the media space.

Image via Eventbrite

It’s Spring in another fortnight and I can’t wait for it to begin.  This house at 43 Alexander Street in Montmorency has caught my eye.  It’s an Alistair Knox home with gardens inspired by Gordon Ford and it looks just beautiful – it is the home of a local Montsalvat studio artist and I think it would be well worth a look if you’re in the area or looking to buy in the area given how close it is to the Were Street village and surrounding parkland – Monty is a lovely suburb.

Image via www.realestate.com.au

We’re about to start some minor renovations at home and I’m looking forward to finishing the painting that we started last Spring but never quite finished, and continuing to de-clutter.  Mr Rosanna’s Dad has told me that you never finish once you have a house of your own – there’s always something to do maintenance-wise!  Argh!

Just Another Week in Suburbia

It’s the name of local author Les Zig’s debut novel published by Pantera Press which is being launched at a special event on 2 September at Beer DeLuxe as part of this year’s Melbourne Writer’s Festival, which starts on Friday 25 August.  Les and I were having a chat when I attended Busybird Publishing’s Karma Kinglake writing retreat last year and I know he loves his beer so no surprises there.  The book is a psychological drama that explores the complexities of human relationships and I think a lot goes on in the suburbs, where most of us live.  My own street is a microcosm of society at large with all sorts of things happening that I didn’t anticipate when I moved to sleepy Rosanna almost 10 years ago from the inner city.  It’s not as sleepy as I first thought!

Image via @LesZig on Twitter


If you have kids, the Harry Potter Day on Sunday 3 September at Fed Square in the city, also as part of the Writer’s Festival, looks like a lot of fun if you have a Harry, Ron or Hermione in your household.

Image via Busybird Publishing

Locally there’ll be a pop up book swap at the Harmony Centre in The Mall at Heidelberg West during Literacy Week, also starting next Friday and running until 1 September. The Eltham Bookshop too has recently celebrated its 20 year anniversary, which is a real achievement by owner Meera Govril.  I’m still not making a lot of head way with my reading and seem to be drowning in paperwork at the moment – it’s almost de-cluttering season again and I need to continue with a number of rooms in my house.

Image via Telstra Thanks® – Arts

I was also reading with excitement about the upcoming exhibition The House of Dior at the NGV and associated Gala ball being held on Saturday 26 August – two tickets of which you can actually win through Telstra.  It’s being compared to the Met Gala in New York and I think is one for all the fashionistas out there.