It’s been a sad time in the world of music and fashion with the passing of Australian luminaries Olivia Newton-John, Archie Roach and Judith Durham and Japanese designer Issey Miyake.
I will always think of Olivia Newton-John every time I drive past the ONJ Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Heidelberg and know a number of school mums who’ve had breast cancer treatment there including one who sadly lost her battle last year. I’m also thankful to have done the Olivia Newton-John Wellness Walk and Research Run back in 2019 before our lives were all forever changed by the pandemic.
My then-colleagues at La Trobe University and I had a great day out at the Alexandra Gardens (below) and I couldn’t believe my luck at the start when I spied the great lady herself in front of the media doing her thing (above). I managed to get fairly close to take a photo of her from the side and remember being surprised at the time at her lack of entourage or close personal protect (bodyguard), which was lovely – she really was one amongst the people. I do think she was a beautiful person inside and out and her legacy in the health and wellness space as well as her music will live on – she was one of the early wellness industry pioneers with her Gaia Retreat in the Byron hinterland.
With Judith Durham and The Seekers, I often think our unofficial Australian anthem is I am, you are, we are Australian which is more inclusive. It was the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples last Tuesday and we had a special treat at ANZSOG with presentations on the movement towards Treaty here in Victoria and the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand. It was lovely that Archie Roach was also paid special tribute to at the National Indigenous Music Awards 2022 in Darwin last weekend.
Meanwhile, I think Issey Miyake hit his peak in the 90s with the release of his namesake perfume for women and I remember Collins Street fashion store Cose Ipanema (which more recently had an outpost in Ivanhoe that has sadly closed) stocking his clothing including the fabulous pleats he was known for. Locally, I’ve had my eye on Melbourne label Alpha60’s pleated scarves in black or cream which remind me of Miyake.
My work weeks continue to be pretty full on but it’s made a difference having a full team and someone to support me in the alumni space. Social events too, have meant winter has passed relatively quickly – my work team had our quarterly lunch the other week at Lygon Street stalwart DOC Carlton and the cinema end of the street frequented by locals has fared a lot better than the city end.
I had a girls’ night out in Fitzroy last night with a yummy, reasonably priced express dinner (some of our shared dished pictured above) at atmospheric Lebanese restaurant ISME in Kerr Street (tip: there is 4 hour parking closer to Smith Street if you’re ever in the area) – we arrived late for the earlier session so had to leave by 8pm but had a leisurely stroll down Brunswick Street with all the pretty young things ending up outside under the heaters at Farro Pizzeria for some hot drinks to keep us warm.
If death by cheese is more your thing than chocolate this winter, you might want to head to That’s Amore Cheesery in the backstreets of Thomastown. While Mr Rosanna and I have had their cannoli in the West Heidelberg industrial estate, we might need to venture further out next time.