Where’s Kevin?

That was the question we were all asking our poor Events manager yesterday at the Kevin Rudd: On China’s Rise and a New World Order sold out public lecture for over 600 people held in the Grand Ballroom at The Sofitel.  Apparently our ex-PM is known for often running a bit late and yesterday was no exception.  There was a private VIP lunch held beforehand, while general attendees got to mill around in the foyer having a stand up light lunch which was included in the ticket price.  So there were a number of us sweating and hoping Kevin would actually turn up to the venue in time!

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Kevin Rudd

Turn up he did, and irrespective of what side of politics you’re from – Kevin Rudd is an extremely intelligent man who was quite relaxed and funny yesterday with an outrageously extensive vocabulary.  I often find my brain hurts at the end of the day working at a University and mixing with such clever people who all have many letters after their names.  Linda Jakobson, the CEO of China Matters was just as impressive and it was always going to be a hard act to follow a former Prime Minister.  That she speaks Finnish, English and Mandarin fluently is an amazing feat in itself.  The lecture was facilitated by Professor Nick Bisley, the Executive Director of La Trobe Asia and it was a packed house with me taking one of the few last spots in the media seats at the back.

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Image via Black Inc. Books

My mum ended up surprising me by turning up to the lecture and she bought herself a copy of Linda’s book China Matters published by Black Inc. Books and La Trobe University Press and Kevin’s new book Not for the Faint-Hearted was also on sale.  After the last-minute flurry of activity including a fire drill held before the lecture, it was great to come home yesterday after the big event to de-compress.

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Linda Jakobson

It’s all about the art this weekend with Bundoora Homestead Art Centre’s biggest show opening tonight – the Darebin Art Prize.  This major multi-medium award for contemporary visual art includes a $10,000 acquisitive prize and $1000 People’s Choice Award.  It’s held only every two years so enjoy if you go to the exhibition.

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Image via Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

If portraits are more your thing, the Rick Amor Portrait Prize – a $20,000 acquisitive prize winning exhibition at Montsalvat has also opened and would be well-worth seeing.  There is a lovely house for sale at 29 Edwin Road in Templestowe known as the Thompson House built in a similar era to Montsalvat if you’re a fan of things of stone and wood.

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Finally, Nancybird is turning 15 with a big sale on this weekend at the Northcote Town Hall with up to 70% off.  I’ve got a number of Nancybird leather goods and I have to say I love the artistic aesthetic of this beautiful brand – there will also be other things for sale including chocolate, jewellery, candles and plants by other artisans so this would make a great start to your Christmas shopping.

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.

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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.

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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!