News

Artist’s impact near and far

Local artist takes it to the streets

 

LOCAL ARTIST Tim Read has been driven to protest the treatment of refugees on Nauru, and he has done it through the medium of sculpture.

“Our government has been fighting in the courts against bringing sick children into this country — and when they are finally ordered to bring them to the mainland these kids are at deaths door,” he said.

Tim said he felt for the children suffering from a syndrome where they are uncommunicative and not eating, because they are being held in detention with no hope of release in sight.

“I was so frustrated that our politicians are doing this, and I thought ‘what can I do?,’ well I can do something at least through my artwork,” Tim said.

So, following his epiphany, Tim stayed up late into the night and produced A Postcard from Nauru, which he installed at Eltham Square in late August.

“Within a couple of hours of it going in people had started to put cards and flowers around it,” he said.

Not everyone was pleased about the installation, Tim’s Facebook page, Tread Sculpture receiving angry messages outraged at his protest, and other’s using the installation to refute Tim’s claims of ill-treatment.

“One person put a printout from the Nauru government website stating that refugee families are living happily in the community, so I looked into it, and it is rubbish — if you saw the

7:30 Report story, you would see the conditions are horrendous.”

Tim said that while he didn’t agree with the sentiments expressed and unhappy with his work being hijacked, the person still had the right to put the poster there.

“That’s the whole point of free speech, but do it with your own artwork, not mine,” he said.

Council also received calls about the work.

“I received a call from Council on Monday who said it couldn’t be a permanent installation and would have to come down.”

While the Council were very supportive of his protest, Tim has now removed the work from the site, and is considering his options about installing it in another location.

Northern Exposure

 

BEND OF ISLANDS artist, Tim Read of Tread Sculpture was pleasantly surprised by a phone call he received a couple of months ago to commission a work for the remote Aboriginal community of Mapoon in Far North Queensland.

“I was staggered when I looked up where Mapoon was,” Tim told the Diary.

The tiny community of around 250 people, only 200 kilometres from the tip of Cape York, is about as far as you can get from the Bend of Islands, but the community felt a connection with Tim’s work and commissioned him to produce an artwork for their up-and-coming Paanja Festival.

“The CEO of Mapoon Aboriginal Shire rang me to say they were having a celebration in September and they would really like some steel sculptural works representing the township and she found me online, ‘am I interested?’— and it went from there,” Tim said.

The remote community initially invited Tim to go fishing with them in exchange for his artwork. “It sounded like a great plan, except I have got to make a living from my artwork,” he said.

“My artist friend who had done work with communities up there, Linda MacAulay, told me that ‘life is simple up there, you enjoy the fishing and the hospitality and that’s the way it works’,” he said.

A more traditional payment was eventually negotiated for the commission.

Tim was shown a painting from local indigenous artist to inform his sculpture, which he has developed into a series of five totem poles that reflect the local Indigenous art, culture and landscape.

Tim works with reclaimed material to produce his sculptures and the rusted metal aspect of his work, along with Tim’s representation of native plants and animals, proved to be the right t for the remote community.

The sculptures are currently making the long journey to Cape York and, after being unveiled during the Paanja Festival, will stand as part of the gateway to the community.

If, dear reader, your travels take you to this far-flung community, keep an eye out for this little piece of Warrandyte in Cape York.

 

 

Small actions make a big difference

SEPTEMBER is Dementia Awareness Month.

More than 400,000 people are living with dementia in Australia and an estimated 70% of those people are actively living in the community.

Manningham Council is encouraging residents to
get involved in Dementia Awareness Month this September to help improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers.

Council are encouraging residents to learn a little more about how we can better support family, neighbours, friends and people in our networks impacted by dementia.

It is an important step to help reduce stigma and dispel some of the common myths about dementia.

Dementia is not a natural part of ageing.

Some of the risk factors associated with dementia can be managed through lifestyle changes or appropriate medical treatments.

Many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia.

Early and correct diagnosis can be helpful to ensure
that the correct advice and strategies are provided to manage the condition.

Manningham Mayor 
Cr Andrew Conlon said Manningham would be highlighting the small actions our community could take to create a big difference for people living with dementia.

“We’re inviting the community to show their support by becoming a Dementia Friend to increase understanding about the condition,” he said.

A dementia-friendly community recognises that a person with dementia needs to continue to participate in the community; this can include employment, volunteering or social activities.

Manningham Council
is running a number of workshops and resources for people and families impacted by dementia, as well as the wider community.

Cr Conlon said through increased awareness and support, Manningham hoped to make a positive difference to the lives of people living with dementia.

“We aim to transform the way we, as a community, think, act and talk about dementia,” he said.

Manningham will also be releasing a pocket-sized set of information cards with up-to-date information about dementia; this includes a list of reputable organisations the community can contact for further support.

Council, in partnership with Dementia Australia will be holding an interactive seminar for Dementia Month: Worried About Your Memory on Tuesday, September 18 at Manningham Civic Centre.

 

Labor promises to spend big on public transport

‘TIS THE SEASON for election promises, and the Andrew’s Labor Party has brought out a doozy, the Suburban Rail Loop, which will form an outer ring around Melbourne, and importantly for the area, provide a station at Doncaster, finally linking Manningham into the rail network.

This is not the Doncaster Rail that has long been called for, but combined with the Bus Rapid Transit service that has been proposed to run along the promised Eastern Freeway upgrade incorporated with the North East Link, this could be good news for Warrandyte commuters.

It is unusual in recent times for governments to commit to such a long-term project, as the four-year election cycle does not often reward such far-sighted policy.

Premier Andrews says that the Suburban Rail Loop project will transform Victoria’s public transport system, providing an underground rail connection between Melbourne’s major employment, health services, education and activity precincts outside the central business district.

There is also promised to be a connection to the airport, providing a direct link for travellers without having to tackle the roads or transit via the CBD, the rail journey from Box Hill or Doncaster taking only around 30 minutes.

Presently, using public transport to travel between Warrandyte and the airport can take around two hours, if travellers want to avoid travelling into the CBD to take SkyBus.

“Trains on some sections of this new suburban rail loop will travel at up to 130 kilometres an hour and will be able to deliver very fast services,” Mr Andrews said at a recent press conference.

Greens’ candidate for Warrandyte in the upcoming election, Ben Ramcharan told the Diary that the Suburban Rail Loop will be a much-needed addition to our public transport system, but without upgrades to existing rail lines, he fears overcrowding will continue.

“I’m personally very excited to see plans for a train station in Doncaster as part of the Suburban Rail Loop.

“This will bring rail services even closer to our community in Warrandyte and is something that the Greens have been pushing for for a long time,” he said.

Undoubtedly, the planned project will fundamentally change public transport around Melbourne, moving from a “spoke and wheel” system to a “web”, directly connecting suburbs without the need to travel via the CBD and reducing reliance on the radial transport and road networks.

It will not happen overnight, the project is expected to be completed in stages over multiple decades, with the nal completion projected out to 2050.

The first stages are planned to commence construction in 2022, beginning with the south-east section from Cheltenham to Box hill and the Airport link to Sunshine.

Project delivery

Exact project staging, timing, route and construction methodology has not yet been released, but Mr Andrews says it will be con rmed as part of the full business case for the project.

Cheltenham to Box Hill (south-east)

  • Fully underground rail to minimise impacts.
  • Further technical assessment required to determine precise station locations, staging and construction timeline as part of the full business case.
  • Target work to commence by end- 2022.

Box Hill to Melbourne Airport (north-east)

  • Fully underground rail to minimise impacts.
  • Further technical assessment required to determine precise station locations, staging and construction timeline as part of the full business case.

Melbourne Airport to Sunshine (north-west, Airport Rail Link)

  • Potential sections of underground and surface rail.
  • Technical assessment being undertaken as part of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
  • Target work to commence in 2022.

Sunshine to the Werribee line (south-west)

  • Potential sections of underground and surface rail.
  • Further technical assessment required for this stage as part of the full business case.
  • To be constructed in sections over a period of decades.

With a headline budget of $50 billion, the actual costings are yet to be released, but the Government has said that the combined Suburban Rail Loop south-east and north-east sections are expected to cost in the order of $30–50 billion, and the Melbourne Airport Rail Link section is expected to cost $8–13 billion.

Local Liberal member, Ryan Smith said that while the Liberal Party supports road and rail infrastructure, he is concerned that the election promise has been developed outside Infrastructure Victoria.

“The devil is in the detail, which is why this idea needs to be sent to Infrastructure Victoria for proper assessment, costing and planning,” he said.

“The Andrews Government set up Infrastructure Victoria in the first place, to allegedly ‘take the politics out of infrastructure’, yet this proposal is not one that has been assessed by that agency, nor did it feature in Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-year infrastructure plan,” he said.

The Government have not yet outlined the funding arrangements for the project, however the project’s Strategic Assessment states “opportunities to o set capital costs and capture value will be considered in the full business case”.

“This includes direct commercial arrangements or developments at stations together with broader value capture mechanisms”.

Mr Smith said he thinks this project will hit Victorians in the hip pocket.

“Worryingly, Daniel Andrews won’t rule out new taxes to fund this project,” he said.

Mr Smith says Governments must plan for the future, “however Melbourne’s commuters are sitting in traffic and standing in crowded trains today — they need a plan for today, not one that will only reduce growing congestion in 30 years’ time.”

Meanwhile the Liberal Party, so far, have more modest promises for Victoria’s rail network,

Liberals’ current promises are:

  • $487 million to extend the Cranbourne line to Clyde, adding both Cranbourne East and Clyde railway stations.
  • $450 million to extend the Frankston line with an electri ed, twin track to Baxter.
  • $300 million to duplicate the Hurstbridge line between Greensborough and Eltham, rebuild Montmorency station and add carparks at Greensborough, Montmorency and Eltham stations. $77 million to increase services and improve track conditions to Shepparton.

However, Mr Smith says “there will be others as the next three months progress”.

Both major parties have promises of massive infrastructure plans for eastern Melbourne, with the Liberals promising to construct an East West Link before they consider developing their own plans for a North East Link.

Labor is continuing its focus on public transport improvements alongside a North East Link and improved Eastern Freeway.

 

The Teskey Brothers perform at Fuji Rock

Photo: The Teskey Brothers Instagram

I WALKED along the meandering boardwalk from the White Stage — a most beautiful walk, spanning two kilometres in length, enclosed by lush greenery, bamboo forests and a canopy of trees for shade, with a rippling stream running alongside.

A part of me was excited with anticipation that there would be a band all the way from Warrandyte playing at Fuji Rock 2018.

It wasn’t long ago that I had sent clips and tidbits about this band to the Fuji Rock guys in Japan.

Coincidentally they were booked only a few weeks later. Nonetheless, they obviously stood out and caught the attention of the organisers.

We eventually enter the Field of Heaven, an outdoor stage within an enclave encircled by an eclectic mix of food tents, organic produce, teepees and craft beer.

It was surrounded by dense woodland, and by far the most chilled out area with a unique vibe — perfect atmosphere for The Teskey Brothers set.

From the moment The Teskey Brothers got on stage to do their sound checks, they gave a tiny yet robust glimpse of the solid performance that lay ahead.

This was cool with the audience who were either eating, ordering some beer or resting aching feet.

The band sounded pretty strong… until…it began… The magic started and their unique old school Motown sounds bellowed.

Folk moved in closer to the stage, some stopped in their tracks. When Josh Teske y (singer) unleashed his smoky, whiskey voice, the audience was taken back to an amazing analogue bygone era — I don’t think many saw it coming.

The fairly large crowd was mesmerised by the sounds of the six-piece band, two more members were added to create the horn section, which rounded off the tone quite beautifully. James from Fuji Rock Express added “ It can be strangely disorienting at times to see Josh speak between songs with his full Australian accent and happy go lucky demeanour then moments later witness the transportation to a rip roaring genuine blues wailer.”

We were treated to some songs that were over ten minutes in length. It was wonderful that each member was able to have their moment to do a solo or go off on a tangent.

During one of Sam’s climactic guitar solos, Josh ripped the set list off the ground to fan him with it, then crumpled it up and tossed it into the audience.

It was these charismatic and playful moments woven throughout that had the audience enamoured.

At the end of The Teskey Brothers hour-long set, it was clear that this was merely a taste of what this band has to offer.

They were captivating and engaged the crowd in their likeable, fun mannered ways. They were humble and appreciative of being able to perform at Fuji Rock.

The audience loved them and they were a favourite act for quite a few people.

Undoubtedly, The Teskey Brothers will be back at Fuji Rock, they have a great sound and left the audience wanting more.

Here’s to the potential and endless possibilities of what lies ahead for them.

Warrandyte, you should be proud. Fuji Rock is a three day Music Festival, nestled in the beautiful mountains of Niigata, Japan.

It is the third largest music event in the world, next to Coachella and Glastonbury.

It always features a solid line up. Fuji Rock is clean and green (the recycling process is meticulous).

It is a fun festival that is inclusive, strictly drug free and family friendly.

The majority of people are decked out in hiking and outdoor gear.

There are many areas to cater for all.

With stunning nature as the backdrop, it is a relaxing place to enjoy music and all the festivities.

Fuji Rock 2019 will take place from 26 July to 28 July.

If you would like your name on an exclusive wait list so that you do not miss out on this sell-out event please email: info@strikingproductions.com.au

 

Nillumbik says no to violence against women

NILLUMBIK Councillor, Jane Ashton lost her twin sister exactly 15 years ago.

Julie was murdered by her estranged husband. Her sister’s death is part of a sickening statistic where one woman per week is killed by a partner or former partner every week.

“We must change this,” Cr Ashton told a Council meeting recently.

Nillumbik Council listened and is taking a stand to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women and children, unanimously adopting a Gender Equity Policy.

Cr Ashton told the Diary she believes there is a link between gender equity and family violence.

“Equity is that everyone feels safe — and that physical attributes, your size, your strength, your gender, shouldn’t determine how vulnerable you potentially can be.

She says it is also about having respect.

“I think that if you are in a safe workplace, learning about equality and learning about the importance of language and learning and modelling respect, and respectful relationships — you are more likely to take that home and be able to influence your family and friends,” she said.

“Particularly with men, it is about giving them the tools and confidence that they can intervene or step in or say something.

“I think that historically family violence has always been seen as a private domestic matter that goes on behind closed doors and people have been very, very reluctant to get involved.”

Cr Ashton knows only too well the devastation that family violence can lead to.

“It is an absolute waste of a life — it is the worst form of murder — my sister had been murdered by someone who had been to my house, who had cuddled my babies, had Christmas dinner with us — what a betrayal”.

She says that while most perpetrators of these attacks are male, men should understand that they are part of the solution.

“The majority of men love and respect women, and they want their wives and daughters and sisters to be safe, but men also understand what other men can be like, and so it is very challenging when you are talking to men and they become very defensive.

“But men have to understand it is a real issue — murder is the ultimate form of family violence, but there are heaps of levels that go on underneath that.

“I’ve spoken to women in hospital who are severely damaged, and that is quite a regular occurrence,” she said.

Cr Ashton said police attended family violence incidents in Nillumbik every day, with sexual violence reported weekly, “we must change this”.

She told Council it was worrying that one in three people in Nillumbik did not believe in equal relationships between men and women.

“We must change this,” she reiterated.

“We all know someone who has been affected by domestic violence in the community.

“Preventing violence against women starts with community attitudes, and Council must lead by example.”

During an interview with the Diary, Cr Ashton said” “we can’t just rely on the police to arrest people or lock people away, or the courts to issue intervention orders, they have to try and manage attitudes around violence, and the way we do that is by promoting gender equity, challenging stereotypes and really supporting women to achieve equal outcomes”.

“Things don’t just happen on their own, they don’t just change, you really have to look at everything: from your advertising, when you are interviewing how flexible you can be, because it is alright saying you have equal opportunity, but people aren’t coming off an equal base, women often have breaks to have children, they don’t have a linear career path so we have to be a lot more flexible,” she said.

She said there is still a glass ceiling discouraging women from moving into leadership roles.

“From our politicians, to lack of female CEOs, for some reason there are barriers there to women being in those positions.

“You have to get it into people who are white Anglo-Saxon male: you come with privilege you don’t even know that you have, if you have never been someone who is marginalised or disenfranchised,” she said.

It is not just women who benefit from gender equity, she says there are benefits for everyone from moving away from stereotypes.

“It should take the pressure off about being an alpha male, for men to being able to enjoy their children and being able to enjoy things that are seen as more subtle sensitive, emotive, without any embarrassment.

“To reduce those stereotypes around both men and women frees us all and liberates us all and I definitely think that men have to be comfortable in their own skin too.

“Men that are artistic and creative people should be able to be themselves, whatever their gender or sexual orientation, everyone can contribute to community and be happy,” Cr Ashton said.

She said Nillumbik Council’s initiative in adopting a gender equity policy statement would be reflected in all its internal and external operations.

“That is making sure internally we have got it right and externally with sporting clubs, sporting facilities that we have got it right — that can actually create gender equity for men too — if you build a swimming pool for example, now we are having central family friendly toilets and change rooms, so whether you are male or female you can be with your child and go into a changeroom or a toilet, and that child is safe and with their mother or father”.

Cr Ashton cited the recent murder of Eurydice Dixon in Princes Park, “she had every right to walk home from work — as councillors if we make sure that our parks are well lit and there aren’t bushes hanging over the path — they are small things we can do, we shouldn’t have to do it — but it does help.”

“We have to do the audit on ourselves, make sure we have got things in place.

“We look through everything we do through a gendered lens — we look at everything — how we are building something, funding things,” she told the Diary.

As part of 16 Days of Activism, Nillumbik Council are officially supporting both Victoria against Violence and the global campaign.

This State campaign, now in its third year, involves 16 days of activism from November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Activities in Nillumbik include a play reading, and Council are taking part in the Christmas Hills Mechanics poetry readings.

Council is putting the message on local garbage trucks to tell every family in Nillumbik that family violence has to stop.

Council is also offering five small grants of $500 each to local groups and businesses to fund activities to raise awareness of violence against women and promote gender equality.

“I really believe in lots of small grants to enable communities to explore ideas themselves, rather than always drive it or hold people’s hands,” said Cr Ashton.

Applications for the grants close on September 21, 2018.