Tag Archives: truth

Equal access to Education

Jerusha Mather is an enduring voice of equality for disabled students seeking access into courses that they are grossly underrepresented in. Her personal journey began in Sri Lanka, where at birth, the doctors told her parents that she would never walk or talk, later she was officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy. In Australia, she received strenuous and heavy therapy and began to see drastic improvements in her physical heath.

“I was able to walk and talk – although it was not perfect, it was something of a miracle to me.”

At school, she joined the advanced maths group and was invited to participate in a statewide maths tournament. She was a Kwong Lee Dow Scholar at Melbourne University and the first to become social justice captain in high school however during her VCE exams, she was not given appropriate support.

“I was not even offered a scribe which made things challenging for me”

Despite the odds, Mather was accepted into a Biomedical Science Degree at Victoria University, a step closer to fulfilling her plan to become a Doctor.

Gender equality that has enabled women to become medical professionals has given female patients access to female doctors that share similar anatomy and conditions. For disabled patients, the opportunity to benefit from a truly empathetic doctor in a similar situation is highly unlikely.

“I believe it is because of, and not in spite, of my disability that I will make an excellent candidate to become a doctor. I have a sense of empathy unmatched by my colleagues, understanding of life with a chronic health condition and remarkable patience.”

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As a patient, Mather has experienced the spectrum of health care professionals, the good and bad. She is motivated to be part of a generation of doctors where communication and compassion are paramount tools. Mather drew inspiration from the recognised and notable work of Dr Janice Brunstrom; a paediatric neurologist in the USA who has cerebral palsy.

“My career aspirations are also in neurology, though her dedication to her profession, continuous development, and desire to utilise her disability to her advantage have been a true motivational force for me.” Mather

Disability effects a high proportion of the community yet most have been denied pathways to medical training due to both direct and indirect discrimination by educational authorities. In some instances, disability discrimination is overt and direct; in others, it is founded on lack of knowledge of disability issues and inclusion practices. By law, educational facilities are to make ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ for their disabled students however the definition is vague and broad.

Curriculum adaptation needed; curriculum limited; or curriculum needs not addressed. Components of courses or post-qualification employment not accessible HumanRights.gov.au

Not enough has been done regarding curriculum needs and adaptation for people with disability. Academic courses for general qualifications contain areas that such a student with cannot complete or access. This creates difficulties with enrolment (advice and information issues), with granting qualifications or accreditation, and with post-qualification work or profession.

“There are still quite a few internal barriers for someone like me who wants to become a doctor. One of the major barriers is passing the GAMSAT. Now Section 2 is quite straight forward because I can type that section. Nonetheless, section 1 and 3 requires a fair bit of handwriting which is extremely difficult for me to complete. I think there is an unrealistic expectation for people with a physical disability to do it all in their head, which is merely impossible given the nature and complexity of such a test. I do not think that this is the only concern here, every student must undertake an interview, in which I fear the possibility of discrimination.”

Due to ACER, being an independent organization, students with disability do not get appropriate funded disability support to help them prepare for the required tests.  Students with disability require a levelled playing field, where all get the same chance.

“Although the university was very supportive, we did find it difficult, however, to source appropriate academic support staff. Thus, some of my academic support workers came late to class. Some of them did not write quality notes. Some did not facilitate my independence. Some did not understand what was required of them. Admittedly, it was a bit disappointing to see.

One of the most hurtful experiences I have ever had was when a doctor (with a disability) suggested I should be a ‘grocer’. He was the last person I expected to hear it from. I also had a lot of online trolls saying negative things about me. I was bullied a lot by past mentors and GAMSAT tutors.”

Mather believes that there are various specialties that a person with a disability can display excellent competence in and demonstrate safe clinical practices such as pathology, radiology, rehab medicine and general practice.

“I am completing my honors in biomedical sciences at RMIT University this year and am hoping to do further research, but I hope that one day, I will be serving you as a doctor.”

Please sign my petition here to produce an alternative pathway for prospective medical students with disability:

https://www.change.org/p/australian-medical-schools-alternative-entry-scheme-pathway-for-aspiring-medical-students-with-disabilities

 

 

 

 

Complicit

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Dictionary meaning:

Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.'the careers of those complicit in the cover up were blighted'

Complicit, a documentary by Heather White and Lynne Zhang, has completed a 2 year journey around the globe. Opening night began in London on March 11 2017 and it screened at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on July 14 that year; since then, it has completed its epic run at the Friday Harbor Film Festival, Washington this month. It took 3 years to make and has earned 16 prestiges awards. The story is told by the victims.

We heard about a young man suffering from occupational leukemia who had decided to assist others also suffering from occupational diseases. We first met Yi Yeting—COMPLICIT’S main protagonist—when he invited us to join him on a visit to Ming Kunpeng, a 26 year-old former worker with late-stage occupational leukemia.

Kunpeng had developed cancer linked to a cleaning solvent containing benzene, a known carcinogen. He entered the factory when he was 19 years old and—by age 22—was diagnosed with leukemia. During our many interviews with electronics workers as well as those from other industries, we discovered that the incubation period for occupational leukemia in China’s electronics factories typically occurred after 2-3 years of exposure in the workplace.

For 18 months, Kunpeng’s family had unsuccessfully tried to get his medical expenses paid for by his employer, Dutch semiconductor manufacturer—one of Holland’s largest producers of components and semiconductor equipment for the electronics industry. The family and the company were at a stalemate when we arrived in 2013.

Yi was helping Kunpeng’s family petition for an acceptable settlement . They weren’t able to pay for chemo or surgeries without the company’s support, which eventually they received. Ultimately, Yi’s help led to a much higher settlement agreement (US $100,000) than the industry average. However, early treatment is critical, and doctors said Kunpeng had no chance of survival. Not wanting to be a burden on his family he committed suicide in 2015.’ H.White

Kunpeng is only one of the young men and women whose life is cut down. The gadget they were making will be upgraded for newer version in the same time that they receive their diagnoses. One persons smart purchase is another death sentence, how can this quandary be understood within a moral and economical context.

Is moral responsibility a luxury we can’t afford

In a world rich in technology have we become so poor in Spirit that we are scrimping to find time for each other, are we slaves to money and has money made us so poor that we can’t see the suffering anymore, or even care. What does it matter if we can park a car in front of a big house if the water and air is toxic. Chinas problems today are our problems tomorrow, it is the investing countries that have set the standard that our children will inherit.

‘Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see’  Revelation 3

How can someone believe they are wealthy, when they can’t afford morality; to think they are free when money has bound them to silence.

COMPLICIT was filmed in several provinces in China— something we cannot imagine trying to do under today’s Chinese government crackdown on civil society. We also filmed in the U.S. and Netherlands. I decided the public interest would be better served by a film which powerfully conveyed all that we discovered, and put the book on hold to make a feature length documentary.

I hope that after watching COMPLICIT viewers will feel a sense of increased connection to the workers that make the devices we as consumers can’t live without, and understand the risks associated with chemicals used during their production.’ H White

As I complete this article and read todays news, the headline reads:

‘Teenage girl left with a screw lodged in her cheek after blow dart attack …narrowly avoided losing her eye.’ 9News

We have lowered our standards for economic wealth and our social environment is in tatters. It’s never to late to turn back and amend our wrongs. We have to boycott companies and banks that don’t merit our business.

 

WATCH NOW

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complicit-Heather-White/dp/B07CJP6LQZ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1527670915&sr=8-3&keywords=complicit

 

Prizes:

*Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary Paris Alliance Cine – Human Rights Film Festival; Best Documentary Life After Oil, Sardinia, Italy;Best Documentary Workers Unite Film Festival NYC * “DOXA”  Documentary Film Festival Finalist, Best Female – Directed/  *”Best Social Media Award” 

Raw Science Film Festival/ * International Labor Film Festival Sao Paolo Brazil, Luis Espinal Prize/ award* semi-finalist: Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Festival 

 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS:

 Human Rights Watch Film Festival – London, New York, TIFF/ Toronto, San Diego, Amsterdam / Geneva Switzerland Human Rights Film Festival / Melbourne Australia Documentary Film Festival//Solidarity Tel Aviv Human Rights Film Festival/ ACT Human Rights Film Festival, Colorado/  Sedona International Film Festival/  Belgian Millennial Film Festival/ Addis International Film Festival, Ethiopia/  New York Workers Unite Film Festival / 

SF-DOCFest San Francisco / Human Rights Nights, Bologna, Italy/ DocuDays – Documentary Film Festival, Kiev/Friday Harbor Film Festival/Galway Film Fleadh, Galway and Belfast Cinemagic –  Ireland

 

Save DeGraves

As developers mow down the remnant of urban culture and bring the suburbs into the urban heartland, the  locals are a tad P.O. Uprooting cottages for flats that look like offices,  speeding down narrow streets where children play and destroying a treasured a metro arcade is ultimately changing Melbourne.

 

Easing through the morning at the DeGraves underpass starts the day off on a ‘good foot’, a coffee, a bit of art and a relaxed vibe. Removing this space from the Urban Art Culture would be like removing the goal posts from the MCG.

The Art Deco architecture of Campbell Arcade embraces Melbourne in1955, the salmon pink tiles, black granite columns capture a by-gone period where few examples remain. The display cabinets along the subway wall host local artists and most often a busker, serenades the office troops, as they pass.

Every morning commuters submerge under the station through Campbell Arcade and surface into DeGraves. What a great way to start the day.

 

Early morning busker

 

 

 

Nightsongs

Life looking back is a vista, a remarkable journey, encumbered,encrusted and inspired; the good,the bad ,the ugly and the beautiful, the footprints the young look upon with indifference, unless it weeps from the tree of integrity.That nectar that inspires trust.

Natasha Moszenin has over 25 years of musical experience that mixes the palette of life and art and delivers a performance at the quaint Butterfly Club that made Friday night fatigue, a soothing recharge.

Moszenin stares unflinching at the drama and terrors of life that hide in the shadows, she has faced them all and knows them by name. With maturity, resilience and defiance, she acknowledges and creates a wonderful score about her life. Ironically the Butterfly Club’s eclectic pictures on the wall illustrate the transformative passage of hope,  love,trauma and …triumph.

The Artists Lara Vocisano, Claie Nicholis and Jai Luke present a narrative through song that washes over the audience. The beautiful voice of Nicholas is of a song-bird but not to take away from the solid vocal presence of Vocisano and Luke, as Moszenin plays the beautiful score on an old piano.

Moszenin dives into the depths and finishes off on a light comment on todays less emotional world.

Nightsongs is performing at the Butterfly Club this weekend

 

 

Review by April forward

Against the odds

How hard is hard? What is our mortal capacity?

Artist, Mel O’Callaghan explores these questions through her dramatic Video Art currently on display at NGV Australia. Resistance and endurance is a rite of passage each of us will pass through eventually, a relative condition at every age.

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Ensemble within the NGV space is cinematic, with life-size actors in a war-like water-battle. O’Callaghan uses the violence of the force to explore existence. It is when we let go  , that life spirals and the body is swept away.

‘What a single body is capable of when enduring a voluntarily experience of duress is a powerful thing to behold’  Callaghan

Australian O’Callaghan lives in Paris and gave a live performance at the Serralves, taking it out of the dark theatre space and into the light of day.

O’Callaghan considers the body as a vehicle of ‘imposed labour’. The resistance of a ballet dancer perhaps or an underpaid worker forcing him/herself out of bed? Consider the Soldier preparing for death, or worse. Each day we battle, not to win, just to remain standing.

‘To fall, to begin again which is where the virtuous aspect comes into violence. It’s not being purely negative but rather a creative force’ O’Callaghan

Her work also relates to the Political and Economic climax point that is coming into focus.

…. those mounting feelings of deep despair that force acts of extremism’

Now showing within the perfect space, the deconstructive architectural venue at Fed. Square.

 

A.Forward

 

 

based on interview with Louise Paramor NGV

Bombing the Environment causes Climate Change

Since 1945 there have been 2056 known nuclear test explosions around the Earth, including Australia. Most of the tests have taken place on Aboriginal peoples land and small islands in the pacific. Whist it appears that “Climate Change’ is a central topic of motivation for a range of strategic outcomes, no plan can be complete without assessing extreme damage of nuclear blasts. Responsible steps toward disarmament, regardless of being unlikely, is the only rational option.

Dropping bombs has caused devastating havoc on our people, our land, the oceans and fault lines. We can’t take back time but we can consider that the impact is greater than anyone is willing to predict.  Every bomb that hits the ocean kills marine life and pollutes our shores.

As early as ‘ March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed “Castle Bravo,” the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area‘      Ocean.Si.edu

Ceduna, known as the Cancer Capital of Australia had nuclear dust blown in from the Emu Fields where 600 bombs were dropped in the 1950’s.

“It was in the morning, around seven. I was just playing with the other kids. That’s when the bomb went off. I remember the noise, it was a strange noise, not loud, not like anything I’d ever heard before. The earth shook at the same time; we could feel the whole place move. We didn’t see anything, though. Us kids had no idea what it was. I just kept playing. It wasn’t long after that a black smoke came through. A strange black smoke, it was shiny and oily. A few hours later we all got crook, every one of us. We were all vomiting; we had diarrhoea, skin rashes and sore eyes. I had really sore eyes. They were so sore I couldn’t open them for two or three weeks. Some of the older people, they died. They were too weak to survive all of the sickness. The closest clinic was 400 miles away.”       Sami Lester iCAN website

Soil contamination and biological effects creates a legacy of devastation for the generations that follow the original victims. Space has also been a nuclear bomb playground. Every time a missile is fired on our Earth, a criminal act has taken place.

 

 

Type into Google, the reasons for Global Warming and these are some of the answers offered.

‘Burning Fossil Fuel, De-Forrestation & Farming’ WWF

‘The Sun is to blame’ NASA

Humans’ Union of concerned Scientists

Theses are all very good reasons for localised de-genaration but avoid the most obvious impact.Operation Fishbowl

 

Plundered & Broken

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The tale of Aboriginal plunder is a never-ending ballad that sings in the winds of this great country, a land that Elea (Albert) Namatjira painted so lovingly in watercolour. Namatjira’s world-renowned artistic status may have provided him with a thin shield against racism but it was easily shattered, even his greatness, wealth and innocence could not protect him from incarceration.

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Namatjira surrounded by family as he painted

The legend begins when Artist , Rex Battarbee took a painting trip into the Outback, after returning from the devastation of War in the 1930’s. He met Namatjira and it was through their collaboration that the 30-year-old Aranda man learnt to paint and exhibit. They went onto become lifetime friends, able to see pass the bigotry of the day.

International success took this humble man to great worldly heights, he was awarded the Coronation Medal and was the toast of the town. His exhibitions sold out shortly after they opened and most kitchens had one of his reproductions on a calendar or tea towel.

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Before the 1967 Referendum, Australian Aboriginals where denied Human Constitutional Rights and were categorised as part of the wildlife or wards of the state. They were denied most basic human rights and in an insipid twist of irony could not own their land as it had been acquired by the Commonwealth.

Namatjira’s unprecedented rise on the world stage would require him to have a passport and his growing wealth attracted taxes, thus him and his wife Robina were given Australian citizenship  in 1957, enabling him to buy a house in Morris Soak .

Unfortunately his children were not granted citizenship and were regarded as ‘Wards of the State’ as all Aboriginal people were. They did not have the right to choose their marriage partner, be legally responsible for their own children,to change location or socialise with non-aboriginals. It also meant that when the Great Artist and his wife died the Legal Will that aimed to financially protect their children was made void as his children belonged to the state. Their financial copyright royalties were ‘acquired’ by the state and sold on.

The Namatjira Project  began as an objective to buy back the royalties (which will expire shortly) but has become a legal investigation.

The most moving part of the film is when Namatjira’s  homeless grandson gives his artwork to the Queen in her palace and walks away empty-handed. The documentary is a thoughtful journey, full of beautiful archives and an artistic vision, they tip toe over a mine field but I think they have let off a bomb.

*Due to the humane efforts of The Namatjira Project, the Royalties have been returned.

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Another victory in justice for the family

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The Namatjira Family continue the water-colour tradition as their cultural inheritance.

A Message from the Family

It is a with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that our dear friend and watercolour artist of true talent, Kumantjai K Namatjira has passed away. On Saturday afternoon 3rd November in Alice Springs Hospital, he bid farewell, surrounded by family. One year after his cousin, Kumantjai L Namatjira, and 5 years after meeting The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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by April Forward

THE NAMATJIRA PROJECT

DIRECTOR & CINEMATOGRAPHER Sera Davies

PRODUCER

Sophia Marinos

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Julia Overton

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS (CULTURAL)
Lenie Namatjira
Gloria Pannka

Truth, what is truth?

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REVIEW

George Orwell’s 1984 , adapted by Robert Icke & Duncan Macmillan, is currently playing at the Comedy Theatre.

‘You don’t have to be an expert to know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year.”

Unwriting people, removing words, controlling thoughts was Orwell’s dismal view of the future. The play explores the tragic demise of the human spirit with brutal clarity.

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Tom Conroy as Winston

Winston played by Tom Conroy, is man of fear that falls prey to the Party machinery by daring to hope. His Partner in crime, the fierce and splendid Julia (Ursula Mills) is a vision that bursts into his life to set it ablaze for a brief moment.

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O’Brien (Terrence Crawford) Winston (Tom Conroy) & Julia (Ursula Mills)

The wooden interiors and costumes seem reminiscent of the 50’s when the book was written, a generation looking through the keyhole of the condition of the world in 1984. There are no clumsy cream PC’s or the continuous screening of the Iran- Iraq war that dominated our tv’s, in the 80’s. In its essence, the rich nostalgic settings creates a longing for something personal and contrasts the horror of The Ministry of Love.

The acting,direction and effects are flawless. Fiona Press as Mrs Parsons is formidable, by merely stirring a caldron, she captivates a mood that seeps onto the stage.

The Lighting (Natasha Chivers), Sound (Tom Gibbons) and Video Designer (Tim Reid) are major players in the production and carry the full power and might of Big Brother. It’s a beautifully crafted masterpiece, the sets have amazing attention to detail and border on the sublime.

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Paul Blackwell , Terence Crawford & Tom Conroy

Audience response:

“Nothing is believable, everything is manipulated, it’s unfortunate for humanity”

Do you think the play has any relevance to you? MP

“Which agencies are believable and which aren’t , its awful and in the end all you have is your own soul and that’s ripped apart as well.”

So what did you think about the play?

“It’s done amazingly well , there is nothing held back”

Would you recommend it?

“Very much , I want the world to see it”.

Some audience members had to leave midway in the final act, it is confronting.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SHANE REID

MELBOURNE
Comedy Theatre
until June 10

 

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Copywriting Services

Orwell’s 1984 is back

‘Power is only what you allow it to be’.1984

English-born , George Orwell’s, 1984, will be re-visited.

MELBOURNE
Comedy Theatre
31 May – 10 June

Despite the age of the novel, its potent warning remains.

Orwell wrote the book in 1948, but it’s most relevant to those born in 1984 as the days of surveillance are upon us. ‘Big brother is watching’. Ironically Steve Jobs included a clip of the movie when Apple launched the Mac, in 1983. 1984 and the internet age coincide and determine the possibility of life imitating art.

Many of us read 1984 at school, a few of us saw the movie and though it’s been dormant for a decade or two, it resurfaces in a blaze.

Written as a Sci-fi, he wrote it based on events he witnessed as a Colonial Policeman in Burma. He never went to university and was not author previously, but what he wrote continues to resonate through time.

‘Why was he writing it? For the future, for the unborn’ (1984)

In ‘1984’, war is prolific, slavery, torture and imprisonment without trial, are common and fear abounds. The population is constantly aware that they are being watched and denied privacy.

He explains that ‘double speak’ is talk that reframes negative terms as positive and this language is used to subvert and confuse the masses.

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Orwell knew the exploitation of power as he saw it first hand, as an inflicter, not a victim. He had used a female slave as a house companion, enforced cruelty and led men to their deaths. 1984 was to purge the pain of his conscience and to warn the innocent.

‘The hate had started.’ Orwell

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1984

“To hold the population down by force, I was in the police, which is to say. I was part of the machinery” Orwell

Although Orwell engaged in an evil authority he could not digest it, it disturbed him and led him to undermine his future life in acts of penance. 1984 was written to warn the innocent and to have hope that a future he saw could be prevented.

“ I watched a man hang once …… I didn’t realise what it meant to destroy a healthy conscious man…cutting a life short when it is in full tide, this man was not dying, he was alive, just as we were alive. He and we were a party of men, seeing, hearing and feeling, understanding the same world and in two minutes one of us would be gone” Orwell

Today young children play killing games, in their rooms on their computers. Some of the video games are rich in realism which makes the malice more personal; some are playing on Defence websites that observe their results for recruiting purposes. Many parents adopt the slogan, ‘Ignorance is Strength.’

‘So vicious was the boys demeanor it was hardly a game, it was frightening like tiger-cubs that will grow into man eaters … Mrs Parsons eyes flitted nervously from Winston to the children and back again….they do get noisy, she said. They’re disappointed because they couldn’t get to see the hanging, I’m too busy to take them.’ 1984

Orwell like Vincent Van Gogh walked away from his middle class life to become ‘down and out in Paris and London’, as a hobo he hoped to rid himself of the imperialist past that haunted him.

According to Orwell, war is ‘double think’, it is to use the product of the machine without producing goods. It is designed to strip human resources so those that have absolute power, can enjoy power.

If people live hungry and are overworked, even when it is easy for all to live well, it serves cruelty. Orwell explains in 1984 that there is a surplus of resources and all are able to live well but this is contrary to the desires of the ruling class.

‘The slave population allow the continuous tempo of war to be sped up …the primary aim of warfare is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living, the problem of what to do with the surplus’ 1984

Orwell explains that poverty is deliberate.

 

What pain women endure for shoes

I am taking a liberal guess, but I can confidently say that nearly all women have a pair of shoes that they endure with pain and will not throw out.

I went to the streets to test my theory. These are their stories.

Jess from Belgrave

Designer

“I have sitting shoes, I can’t walk anywhere without holding on to my partner’s hand. He props me up until I find a seat, then I can sit down, looking pretty.”

Other women call their un-walkable footware, their dinner shoes

Jan from Burwood

Hairdresser

Jan has 50 pairs of shoes and 12 Boots, which she rotates.

I asked her if she wore uncomfortable shoes.

“Absolutely that’s why I have sore feet. I just grin and bear it, anything for the look. I want to be tall and slim with long legs and when I get home I whinge”

Lizzi Ablmett from St Kilda

Sales Assistant

“I have 8 or 9 shoes that all hurt and I squeeze my feet into them, every night. I come home with blisters and bunyips. I do it because they look great. Even if they’re the wrong size I don’t care. The problem is my feet, not the shoes.”

Simone from Burwood

Sales Manager and Clothes Stylist

Simone has 41 pairs of shoes.

“I rotate my shoes, if I don’t wear them, I give them away. Since having a baby I no longer wear painful shoes, I need to run around and be able to pick up Alice.”

Bernie from Hallam

Sales Manager and Fashion Coordinator

Bernie leaves shoes at work that she changes periodically, during the day, to regulate the pain.

“I’ll wear painful shoes if they go with the outfit”

Sonia from Watirna

IT Specialist

Sonia has knee issues and is forced to wear sensible shoes however she holds onto her ‘unwearables’.

“I look too gorgeous in them, to throw them out.”

Sophie from Elwood

“I am drawn to the statement and collect them like feet ornaments, yet I wear the comfy one’s everyday. My collection waits for me.

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Gemma from Mont Albert

Journalist; L’Oreal

“ I was a ballet dancer for 18years, I’ve put my feet through so much pain, I can handle any shoe now.”

Dorota from Mt Waverley

Legal Intern

“I have an obsession, all of my friends come to borrow my shoes. People tell me I’m crazy. My uncle, who is a builder made me shelves, for half of my wall, for all my shoes.

Tell me about your favourite.

“ I bought a pair in Poland. If I wear them out at night, I can’t walk the next day.”

Vinita from St Kilda

Journalist

“I can’t wear heels or my foot will twist, I can’t balance but I always want them”

Do you buy them?

“Yes, a lot, I’ve got 13 pairs, but I only wear two.”

What does you partner say about your shoes?

“When I go shopping, my husband will say. ‘Why do you want them, you wont wear them? He thinks I’m just collecting the things”.

Kshipra from Hoppers Crossing

Manager

“I have really high heeled white shoes with pretty straps and I just wore them once. I didn’t take public transport, I got my husband to drive me to the door of the restaurant. When we wanted to walk around the city, I changed into other footwear.”

And do you still have them?

“Yes, its been three years since I bought them but I wont throw them out. I always dust them and put them back, I hope to wear them some day. The hope is there.”

What does your partner say about your shoes?

“ He says, why don’t you give off the ones you don’t’ wear, then buy the new ones? I say, no I’ll wear them some day.”

Kshipra adds;

“At Crown, after the party, I walked out and see these women,  the first thing they do is take off their shoes. And there was one girl, no matter what, she did not want to remove her heals. She was holding to her friend, because she couldn’t stand on her own, yet she refused to remove her shoes.

We were watching her from behind and we really thought she would fall.

Based on these stories, I conclude that Cinderella didn’t loose her shoe, she was kicking them off at the end of the Ball.

Comic Maverick and Ideas Man

This Charming Man, the very affable Matt Stewart draws in a full house as he gives a ‘Dry’ dose of ‘Very Dry’ at The Chinese Museum in Chinatown. He has taken his routine out of The Fringe and into the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, for a fresh round of laughs.

Getting to the venue is half the adventure, up the street hustle of Chinatown and into the historic site that sets the tone for the nights event. Stewart is unassuming, able to ‘break your guard’ whist never pouncing..

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The key to his art is his unflinching delivery as he stares into the bright lights that veil the audience. He promises to give ‘A pretty Good Show ‘ It’s most likely one of the top ‘Pretty Good Shows’ on the circuit.

Even though Matt’s not your mate, he could be. With comic cool he creates a friendly rapport as he spins absurd Aussie tales and butters it with wacky wisdom. He is edgy with a blunt delivery. ,

As a Caped Crusader, Stewarts superpower is to engage, indulge and transfix.

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‘Pretty Dry’ at the CHINESE MUSEUM                             Review by A. Forward

 

3 Mates & a glass of wine at MICF

The MICF Show is in town and Three Course Comedy is the show-bag of comic treats. Each night 3 Comedians take the stage to give you a sample size dish of their material. It’s a great way to be exposed to a range of comic styles, with a line up that changes each night.

MP went to the very ambient Fort Delta Gallery  in Howey Place to be amused by Tim Hewitt, Adam Knox and Michael Shafer

Tim Hewitt warms up the Crowd, as first up in ‘Three Course’ line-up.

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Hewitt is soaking in the City culture of MICF after doing the ‘hard yards’ in the parochial wilderness of Pokies Den’s and Greyhounds. The comics life may be rich in experience but it may not afford holidays to remote islands with Supermodels. There are compromises.

Hewitt has a personal warmth that endears the crowd, his suburban tales ‘touch a nerve’ and there are outbursts of laughter throughout the room.

With two comedians to follow, the routine manoeuvres speedily through his visual landscapes.

Also performing ‘Comedy Zone’ on the MICF circuit.

‘Knoxie’ is next

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Knox brings a mix of cultural anomalies to his performance wrapping his clever wit around some pearls of insight. He wavers between action, concern and an offhand remarks. He establishes an instant rapport with the audience before entering his comfort zone, once there, he opens up to the deeper issues that concern him, like a mate does.

Knox is also a part of Chimp Cop Forever

Michael Shafer

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Shafer breaks away from his sellout solo performance Jewis-ish to join his mates in this 3 course round-up. His routine is a bite sized, sped up sample of what audiences can expect to hear at the full show. Shafer continues to polish his work with diligent effort, comedy is not a vacation it’s his vocation.

Shafer manages to lead the course through the choppy waves of perception and throws out a line to the women in the audience, those that may be floundering in the male shallows.

Annie Goldson, ‘Everywhere and Anywhere’

Acclaimed New Zealand Documentary Director, Annie Goldson was in Melbourne to launch her new (secret project) film. Goldson has a strong formidable countenance and she needs it, many of her subjects are capable of murder or the victims of the culpable hand. She needs to know when to back off.

ACMI hosted the Australian International Documentary Conference, which brought in talent from all over the globe. Goldson was doing a spot of shopping when we caught up.

“Its nice to have some time off and be wandering around Melbourne” Goldson

Goldson began her career as a Journalist and has ‘inched her way’ into filmmaking. She tackles the hard facts behind the news stream and goes into the bog, looking for the truth. As a political observer she finds her stories ‘everywhere’, she is curious and like Alice in a complex Wonderland, has to adapt quickly. We may wonder why the terrorists are so irate, she takes her team and her camera and asks them. She is a historians torch into the unknown.

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He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghanistan war that lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined. ‘Did we stay to long?’ the film asks. Can lessons be learned to prevent such long-term engagements for the sake of alliance.

Brother Number One was a challenging work as it was necessary to create a present from the past events of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot. New Zealander Ron Hamill, the films source, explains how his carefree adventurous brother Kerry ,sailed into a nightmare.

“An innocent man brought to his knees and killed in the prime of his life” Ron Hamill

Goldson records Hamill’s emotional pain as he addresses the torture and death of his sibling at the War Crimes Tribunal.

The mass Genocide that murdered 2,000,000  ( a 1/4 of the population) was led by a ‘charismatic and smiling’ leader Pol Pot who was indifferent to the torture of babies. In 1975. He led the Kamor Rouge into Nu Pen and in 72 hours he had cleared the city of its inhabitants and sent them to work in labour camps, to grow rice that he would export as the population died of hunger, overwork or beating.

“Documentaries are always a challenge.” Goldson

Her films are intense political dramas that set the stage and cast its light into the ‘heart of darkness.’ Her other well-known films that she Directed are; Punitive Damage and An Island Calling 

by April Forward

All photo’s courtesy of Annie Goldson film extracts.

Beyond the Pale

Australia Day tribute:

“It’s always been about sharing stories, identity loss and grief, determination , imagination , self belief, cultural integrity, hope and justice, reliance , cultural pride, and more than anything it’s about my people’s survival of spirit.” Hill

Noongar woman, Sandra Hill was a stolen Aboriginal child that was forced into foster care at the age of seven by the Australian Government due to the Assimilation Policy that was still active in 1958. Four children were removed from their mother’s house, they included her self , her two sisters and a brother. They were the 3rd generation of children removed from this family line.

‘In 1994 Hill  was employed as the Aboriginal Community Cultural Officer. During this period she applied for, and was awarded, a Creative Development Fellowship from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. This afforded her the time to carry out research relating to her life experiences as a member of the Stolen Generations’ (extract from Design & Art Australia on-line)

Hill’s work is held in many private collections and is also represented in Major Art Galleries throughout Australia, currently her mixed media work “Beyond the Pale’ is on display at the NGV Ian Potter Gallery at Federation Square in the Australian Art Exhibition. She explores domestic labor as part of the ‘Assimilation Project’.

In the past, Domestic colleges were set up to train poor white girls and ‘half-caste’ Aboriginal children to attend to the needs of the wealthy.

‘In the early issues of Home Beautiful there was a feeling of nostalgia for the passing of an age in which almost everyone in the middle and upper classes could afford to keep a live-in maid. Even at the turn of the century , architects and designers were discussing the ‘servant problem’ and trying to come up with ways to help women face a future without servants’ The Australian Home Beautiful, from Hills Hoist to High Rise.

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ref: page 73, Household Help: The Servant Problem. The Australian Home Beautiful  from Hills Hoist to High Rise  Hardie Grant Books Oliver J.