Author Archives: Kerrie Pacholli

Port Phillip EcoCentre Fundraiser with Keith Badger

EcoCentre team

EcoCentre team

I attended another special fundraising event at The Deck Brighton hosted by Port Phillip EcoCentre featuring author Keith Badger with an introduction to his book ‘Joining Loose Ends’.

At the age of 58, Keith Badger suddenly found himself with a dream and desire to leave behind his corporate job and return to his birthplace in England, and walk. It was a simple plan, to walk from one end of Britain to the other with his wife Debby. And yet as they traversed the country over 139 days and 2,801km, Keith and Debby found themselves confronting far greater challenges than the landscape and shocking weather.

Port Phillip Baykeeper on the effects of plastic  pollution in Port Phillip Bay

‘Joining Loose Ends’ at one level is an adventure story about a long walk that stretched a couple to their limits. However, in candidly sharing his life story and vulnerability, Keith reveals with great honesty how in walking and connecting to nature for the first time in his life, he found richness in the world beyond his former business and consumer lifestyle, eventually learning what it means to be human.

Keith is now an Iceberger, swimming in the Port Phillip Bay every morning. He is the long-standing Treasurer of the Port Phillip EcoCentre, a leading community-managed organisation with a dedicated team of scientists, educators and volunteers who design and implement innovative environmental programs, with expertise in Port Phillip Bay health and the urban ecology of Greater Melbourne, within the traditional lands and waters of the Kulin Nation. The EcoCentre’s vision is to create an empowered and engaged community actively cultivating long-term social and environmental well-being, and do this through a range of education, research, citizen science, public advocacy, and volunteering programs. 

If you are interested in getting involved by volunteering your time or  perhaps you would prefer to make a donation, please click this link  https://ecocentre.com for more details.

Students from Caulfield Grammar in Melbourne participating in rubbish collection activities with the EcoCentre at Elwood beach.

Beachside Stories **** Open Media review

Gasworks Arts Park and Melbourne Writers’ Theatre present

Beachside Stories – 13 – 22 June 2019

Review & images by Kerrie Pacholli for Open Media Australia

Rating

****

Selling out fast! Link to bookings : Beachside Stories

Dick Gross & Alex Gilbert image © PationPics

Dick Gross & Alec Gilbert

 

The ghost of Dick Gross (played by Dick Gross, Mayor, City of Port Phillip) shares the stage with actor Alec Gilbert who actually plays Dick Gross. Both Dick Grosses engage in a robust conversation about his life in public office, his fears of past failures, frustrations, love of family and his hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future.

Beachside Stories is described as a series of duologues  by Clare Mendes, Producer and Company Manager of Melbourne Writers Theatre; commissioned by Gasworks to create, write and produce this highly entertaining window into the lives, loves, successes and vulnerabilities of five extra ordinary local community Stars.

Carolie Ling & Emma Cox image © PationPics

Coralie Ling & Emma Cox

Rev. Coralie Ling joins the stage with her much younger resonation in Emma Cox.   We learn about Coralie’s relentless and successful battles with the establishment regarding her ambitions in becoming the first women to be ordained as a minister in the Methodist Church in 1969.

Giovanni Piccolo & Peter Logan image © PationPics

Giovanni Piccolo & Peter Logan

We find out about the struggles that community activist Peter Logan has endured since 1996 with regards to Save Albert Park group along with proven deceptions by the Grand Prix and government officials.

Karissa Taylor & Melisand Box image © PationPics

Karissa Taylor & Melisand Box

15-year-old Albert Park College student Melisand Box (right) totally embraces the opportunity to show us just how talented, ambitious and naturally confident she is in her role as a conniving savant surgeon who operates on American actress, and her personal idol, Ann Hathaway played by Karissa Taylor.

Sarah Hamilton & Tony Adams playing Tony Manago © PationPics_6337

Sarah Hamilton & Tony Adams

Last but definitely not least was the touching story of Tony Manago played by Sarah Hamilton & Tony Adams. Known as the ‘ The Singing Butcher’ of South Melbourne Market. Tony’s life took an amazing turn at age 38 when he was approached by an Italian maestro whilst, singing at the market, to eventually become a professional Opera singer touring Rome and Sicily.

Tony Manago image © John Edwards

Tony Manago image © John Edwards

The grand finale sees the real Tony Manago singing an Italian Opera, Pavarotti style.

Elizabeth Walley, Resident Director at Melbourne Writers Theatre directed this collaboration which features plays written by five MWT writers who first interviewed and then wrote scripts for the Local Stars: Bruce Shearer for ‘Only Ghosts Can Second-Guess’ (Uncovering Dick Gross); Clare Mendes ‘Rhapsody in Purple’ (Pondering Coralie Ling); Alison Knight ‘Logan’s Run’ (Reliving Peter Logan); Brooke Fairley ‘The True Imaginings of Melisand Box’ (Exploring Melisand Box); and Adele Shelley ‘The Singing Butcher’ (Celebrating Tony Manago).

Beachside  Stories is a heartwarming and entertaining showcase about real community activists; their loves, ambitions, desires, insecurities and courage.

 

SPA 2019 Fundraiser Art Auction

Text & images by Kerrie Pacholli

SPA (Sunchine Print Artspace) 2019 Fundraiser Art Auction

SPA (Sunchine Print Artspace) 2019 Fundraiser Art Auction

This May saw the Sunshine Print Artspace SPA host it’s 2019 annual Fundraiser Art Auction.

Under the same roof as the prestigious Fundere Fine Art Foundry, SPA presented 96 works of art for auction by 64 contributing artists from all over Melbourne with most works going under the hammer as SOLD.

Unlike most fundraising art auctions, contributing artists are given the option of receiving a percentage of sale of their artwork.

Adrian Spurr co-founder of SPA (Sunchine Print Artspace)

Adrian Spurr co-founder of SPA (Sunchine Print Artspace)

SPA is a non-for profit creative hub, established by Adrian Spurr and his long time colleague Phillip Doggett-Williams. It is an open space providing self-expression and creativity, dedicated to fostering, promoting and facilitating excellence and innovation in artistic practice by providing an access printmaking studio for established and emerging artists and members of our community.

Phillip Doggett-Williams co-founder of SPA

Phillip Doggett-Williams co-founder of SPA

Sunshine Print Artspace – SPA is located at the prestigious Fundere Fine Art Foundry, 29 Western Venue, Sunshine.

Forfront Emma Davies Ghost of stoneware 2019 (polypropylene) background left, Simon Moore ' Blue Shift 2018, right Arthur Powell Chrysler Bulding NY 2017

Forfront Emma Davies Ghost of stoneware 2019 (polypropylene) background left, Simon Moore ‘ Blue Shift 2018, right Arthur Powell Chrysler Bulding NY 2017

Macnamara Candidates’ Forum, 30 April 2019 Memo Music Hall

Text & Images © Kerrie Pacholli

The entire two hour event was filmed by Henry Greener producer of THE SHTICK

JoJosh Burns (ALP), Steph Hodgins-May (Greens) & Kate Ashmor (Liberals)

Josh Burns (ALP) & Steph Hodgins-May (Greens) & Josh Burns (ALP), Steph Hodgins-May (Greens) & Kate Ashmor (Liberals)

The Macnamara Candidates’ Forum was held on the 30 April 2019 in the heartlands of St Kilda at Memo Music Hall and there was standing room only.

Serge Thomann_5819

Serge Thomann from unChain Inc. event organiser

John Daley Moderator © PationPics_5643

John Daley Moderator

Michelle Foster © PationPics_5722

Michelle Foster inaugural director of Peter McMullin Centre

Lyn Allison © PationPics_5747

Lyn Allison, last former federal parliamentary leader of the Australian Democrats.

Stephen Armstrong © PationPics_5777

Stephen Armstrong for the Sustainable Australia Party.

Ruby O'Rourke © PationPics_5786

Ruby O’Rourke Independent for Child Protection

Helen Paton © PationPics IMG_5796

Helen Paton from United Australia Party

Chris Wallis © PationPics_5806

Chris Wallis for Macnamara on Sustainability & traffic congestion.

Produced and organised by Serge Thomann of unChain Inc. and sponsored by Memo Music Hall and the Vineyard the proceedings started at 7pm sharp and the race was on.

Local candidates’ Steph Hodgins-May (Greens), Kate Ashmor (Liberals) and Josh Burns (ALP) had an initial ‘timed’ four minutes to share their prospective party’s Policies on many issues across the board.  

Moderator for the night, John Daley captained a well oiled and rhythmic flow which made for a fast paced delivery from our three Macnamara Candidates for this coming Federal Election on the 18 May 2019.   

The pressure was on and all three candidates held their positions; perhaps breaking a little sweat at times, as they were succintly probed by a couple of highly distinguished keynote speakers.

Professor Michelle Foster inaugural director of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness at the Melbourne Law School lead the charge; raising the bar from the get go about respective party policies on refugees and social-economic rights. The Greens call for a “Charter of Human Rights”, The Liberals were more about growing “The Pie” to allow small business to accommodate and Labor assured us that Penny Wong,  Minister for Foreign Affairs will be all about sorting out the mistakes from the past and pushing for a closure of Naru.

Next keynote speaker was Lyn Allison the last former federal parliamentary leader of the Australian Democrats. She delivered pointed questions on policies around corruption, secrecy and accountability.  Stating that Policies across the board are usually decided by a hand full of long time colleagues and it is not good enough.  There needs to be Indigenous representation and protection of the natural environment.  She is calling for a National Integrity Commission.  All parties did there best, however the Greens shown bright with enthusiasm aligning themselves toward Labor, maintaining a cautious eye on accountability.

We then heard from four independents in Stephen Armstrong for the Sustainable Australia Party.

Ruby O’Rourke for children’s rights. Helen Paton from the United Australia Party and Independent Chris Wallis proudly single and all for sustainability and easing traffic congestion.

Staying on schedule, there was an equally fast paced Q & A from the audience to the candidates via Slido.com through the evenings Moderator.

In summary the ALP want to stop politics of fear and move toward innovation and collaboration. The Greens see fossil fuels as ‘got to go’, wanting to move toward 100% renewables. The Liberals are wanting to continue to grow “The Pie” through standard support to private enterprise and small to large business.

Henry Greener from The Shtick filmed the entire two hour event. You will have the opportunity to hear from the main Candidates but also from a few of the unprecedented Independents bidding for a seat and voice at the Policy table. He all also be interviewing organiser Serge Thomann on THE SHTICK.

 

Greg Mullins – Climate Council

Dear Kerrie,

My name is Greg. I’m a former Commissioner of Fire & Rescue NSW, and I recently joined the team as a Climate Councillor. I’ve worked for 47 years fighting fires both as a volunteer and as a full-time firefighter, and I’ve personally seen the horrific impact that fires can have on communities, not just in NSW, but interstate and overseas.

In recent years, I’ve seen first-hand how increasingly catastrophic extreme weather is putting lives, properties and livelihoods at risk – and in many cases, overwhelming our emergency services.

Today, 22 of my former colleagues, all senior fire and emergency service leaders from across Australia who have also seen these changes, have joined me to take a stand. Together, we are united in calling for urgent action to curb climate change.

These leaders are men and women who have been on the frontline of some of the worst threats and extreme weather events our nation has seen, from raging bushfires to devastating floods and cyclones.

All of us have experienced how climate change is intensifying the impacts of extreme weather events. We have seen our emergency services becoming more and more overwhelmed, as they struggle to cope with intensifying extreme weather driven by climate change. Emergency services simply don’t have the resources or capacity to adapt to this changing threat, particularly as many face continual budget restrictions.

That is why, today, we are uniting as a new group, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, to make an important statement.

We are stepping up because we have a duty to protect Australians and to share what we know.

But Kerrie, we need your help. Will you chip in to amplify the voices of these former Emergency Services Leaders who are calling for climate action?

We know that there are many groups already active. So it’s fair to ask, why create another group. Emergency responders are on the frontline of climate change and are confronted disproportionately with its impacts. With our skills, knowledge, and connections, we are well placed to talk about both the impacts and solutions to climate change, specifically in relation to bushfires, storms, and floods.

Already this morning, we have been out in the media making our objectives clear, speaking on prime time television and publishing our joint statement in The Age Newspaper. And this is just the beginning.

Today Show segment and statement in The Age

We’ve come up with a hard-hitting plan to speak to the heads and hearts of those in power and to the Australian public, by:

  • Calling for the Prime Minister to meet with a delegation and allow us to present to the relevant Ministerial Council, and to the Australia / NZ Emergency Management Committee on the need for adequate resourcing, emergency planning, and policy change.
  • Calling on the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments to properly resource urban and rural fire services, the SES, and forestry and national parks firefighting arms. To reduce hazards, mitigate fire threats, and respond with every available tool, including large firefighting aircraft that are increasingly unavailable to us because the Northern Hemisphere faces a similar escalating bushfire threat. Another crucial tool is ongoing research into bushfire and natural hazards and what we can do differently to protect life, property and the environment.
  • Getting out in the media talking about the need to rapidly and deeply reduce greenhouse gas pollution to start addressing the worsening impacts of climate change.
  • Hosting a summit for emergency leaders to discuss new ways forward.

Can you chip in to help power the voices of the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action? Your support will help spread our crucial message far and wide.

The signatories to this statement are no strangers to facing danger and making difficult decisions. These are people who have shown moral fortitude, strength of character and courage throughout their esteemed careers. They are all strong leaders, with the ability to look at the bigger picture, and to take decisive action.

They decided to form this group to push for decisive leadership and big-picture thinking from our politicians, who must make rapid, crucial decisions to tackle the escalating climate crisis.

Thank you for your support of the Climate Council and its vital work. To learn more about the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, sign up via the website.

Greg Mullins AO, AFSM
Climate Councillor
Former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW, former President of the Australasian Fire & Emergency Service Authorities’ Council.

Arj Barker Opening Night – The Athenaeum Theatre

Review and images by Kerrie Pacholli 

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Not only did I get the opportunity to experience  Arj Barker’s ‘We Need To Talk’ show live at the beautiful Athenaeum Theatre on his Opening Night. I also get the honour of writing this review. Wow I say. This was the very first time in my life that I got to enjoy the very talented Mr Arj Barker.

One of our other very talented writers, who specifically requested to review Arj Barker because Arj, is his favourite comedian in the whole world, happened to arrive just after half time, due to unforeseen and extreme circumstances.

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Opening night can often be a pain for not only the international artists, who could presumably be suffering a little jet lag; but when the show starts at 7pm, in Melbourne, on a Friday night, it can be a real challenge for the audience to not only arrive on time but also relax into it.

I’m pretty sure Arj, a stalwart professional and a working Comedian since he left school in 1989 picked up on these challenging set of circumstances.

Arj Barker MICF 2019 © PationPics_5149

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Regardless, he did not miss a beat with his delivery of detailed comedic story telling in unison with animated body language. I’m telling you, it was a hard arsed Melbourne audience full of fans that wanted blood, his blood and by god he delivered.

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

My job was to capture the images. The man moved so consistently fast it was pretty hard to get the clarity that I so much want in a pic. Yet they say a picture says a thousand words so feel free to read the longer version of this review.  The best picture of Arj Barler was taken by Arj, after the show, at his merchandise table, in the back alley on my iPhone, which for some reason decided to incorporate a 10 second delay. So, by that stage I looked like an embarrassed, recoiling version of myself. He was very patient and generous and even thanked me for giving him my business card…

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre ©

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre with myself.

Aliya Kanani at Coopers Inn MICF 2019

Review by Tommy Langra

It was late the night before when my editor, Kerrie Pacholli asked if I could take two tickets and write a short review for Aliya Kanani show at Coopers Inn which is part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019. As I am never one to turn down tickets to a free show, I happily said yes. Without any knowledge of who i may be seeing, or what may be involved, i approached the show with no small amount of trepidation, worried that the title ‘So where are you from, from?’ may leave me in a lurch about some deep political ‘comedy’.

Aliya Kanani performing at Coopers Inn as part of MICF 2019

Arriving at the Coopers Inn didn’t inspire an overt amount of hope, as after work city people crowded the blue stone sports bar which had on its main screen the American baseball, which, if nothing else, let everyone know they were in for something a bit different.

Aliya, however, was exuberant and… well… funny. A fresh view on the world through – what she termed – a feminine, slightly narcissistic, chronic liar’s interpretation which left scope for a large amount of audience interaction. Those from the passenger seating that volunteered.

The show covers everything from high school to travels in Indonesia, touching on the importance of spirituality for some local tribal members, yet doesn’t avert from some important message of the interconnectedness of people, no matter their race or creed. Aliya stated after the show that she was “concerned with the value of the question of where we are from, instead of asking ‘who’ we are?”

This coupled with the message in the show of rising above challenges, through the use of comedy, and a spare dose of secondary trauma.

Yet don’t despair if you think this sounds like too much material from foreign escapades, exotic places, and the one time Brazilian Aliya, she quite seamlessly approaches the local climate and context of Melbourne itself, and the value of learning Australian as a second language (in her case, seventh).

An important part of the show and something not to overlook is the improvisation of audience participation, an excellent display of Aliya’s capacity to think quickly on her feet, proving her capacity to talk herself out of any situation… leaving us smiling as she does so.

Aliya Kanani at Coopers Inn, 282 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

‘UgLeigh’ at The Alex Theatre St Kilda

Reviewed by Baroness Madeleine von Hohenfels

Alex Theatre, St Kilda
Doors Open: 7.30pm
Act One: 8.00pm
Approx. Finish Time: 9.10pm

PERFORMANCE DATESWed 10th, Thurs. 11th, Fri 12th Sat.13th & Sunday 14th April.

Tickets: Adults $36.85, Concession $34.40.  Artist Passes welcome

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 has tapped into our Australian larakin laughter mechanism once again, by that I am referring to Australian’s ability to laugh at themselves.

Nicolette Nespeca & Maia Absburg © PationPics_5205 copy

Nicolette Nespeca & Maia Absburg

And for those of you who love a little theatre with their laughs then look no further, as the production of UgLeigh at The Alex Theatre (Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda) is sure to shock and entertain you.

UgLeigh is a humorous and confronting look at the added pressures we all contend with in current life; brought about by the seemingly never ending technology allowing us to change ourselves physically to suit the fashion of the day, to be enhanced, and more appealing to ourselves, and our perception of what other’s may want to see in us – at least on the outside.

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg © PationPics_5222 copy

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg

UgLeigh sets a good pace from the outset and, for the most part, continues this throughout the production with laughter attained within the first few lines.

The ensemble cast deliver Charlotte Watson and Shamita Sivabalan collaborative work ‘UgLeigh’; not only did these two capable women write UgLeigh, they also produced and directed its’ production.

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg © PationPics_5228 copy

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg

The lead actor, Maia Absberg’s portrayal of the ugly duckling ‘Leigh’ was passionate; humorous; confronting; and believable, right down to genuine tears, snot, and dribble. And Ben Lindsay, Nikki Nespeca, and Andrew Burns all delivered hilariously and animated characters husband, boss and surgeon of Beauty respectively.

This multimedia production of clever design, wit and craft is minimalist and punchy and performed to a Full-House at The Alex Theatre last night, which was the opening night for UgLeigh.

Andrew Burns © PationPics_5175 copy

Andrew Burns

I recommend you get in quickly for this production as there are only four nights left of it’s run ( Thu. 11th April through to Sun. 14th April ) at The Alex Theatre, St. Kilda, where this production takes bold strides on the intimate stage at 8:00pm .

UgLeigh is akin to ‘Selfies and Botox meets The Rocky Horror Show’…

The Alex Theatre, 135 Fitroy Street, St. Kilda is easily accessed by the Light Rail and Trams, with ample parking at the primary school car park and surrounds.

Images by Kerrie Pacholli © Pation Pics

Stephen K Amos – Athenaeum Theatre – MICF 2019

Review and images © Kerrie Pacholli

I was again privileged to be part of a very appreciative audience for the fabulous Stephen K Amos at one of my favourite venues The Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. Stephen is back in Melbourne, of course, as part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 or MICF 2019 which I prefer to scribe.

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre © PationPics

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre

Let’s face it, this man has charisma and stage presence that the Queen would envy.

From what I heard, he travels the world, communicating with audiences from many, many countries and cultures. I suppose the Queen does too…Yet, this man is truly funny. Just thinking about him on stage makes me laugh as I am writing this, this review.

Clearly, he has well oiled jokes up his sleeves for comfort, but the man comes across mostly as spontaneous.

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre © PationPics

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre 

Engaging with the energy of the audience, particularly probing a few special targets in the first rows. Nothing better in this world than natural quick wit and spontaneity. Except perhaps, very large sums of money to compensate for the lack there of.

Stephen is an artist, a true artist who shares his life’s stories on stage with us. Transforming soul wrenching experiences into bare able positives through humour and generosity. I was so chuffed to get a selfie with the man himself, in the alley, on the way out of the theatre, where he and this friends collected donations for palliative care organisations, inspired by his own family experiences.

It was a true pleasure to experience this man doing his thing. I predict a Knighthood in the not to distant future. But then I do carry on like an over intuitive oracle at times.

It makes all this hard work of creating a MICF 2019 Open Media Review Feature all the more worthwhile. And a special thanks to generosity of Alexis Lalios from Hatching Communications and artist manager  Mary Tobin

Stephen K Amos & Kerrie Pacholli 2019 MICF

Stephen K Amos & Kerrie Pacholli 2019 MICF

Akmal Salem performing The Palms at Crown

Review by JC Harvey for Open Media

Before yet another sell-out crowd, Akmal Saleh delivers quality entertainment with his own unique brand of ridicule, imitation and criticism.

Akmal Saleh performed at The Palms at Crown, during MICF 2019

With sarcastic wit wrapped in an annoying mock-bogan twang, Akmal’s show for this year’s festival revolves around identity and the irony of belonging, pointing out with humour and mockery the tribalism which plagues us all.

From petrol heads and politicians to surfer dudes, paranoid conspiracy theorists to violent alcoholic miners itching for vegan blood, Saleh spares none the whip.

His subtly extreme style attempts to reveal to the audience that the choices we make become the characters we are, and that clan mentality has become ridiculous in its quirky, cliquey divisiveness.

We all enjoy a good laugh at the stupid, crazy stuff people do, and Akmal shows he is just as stupid and judgemental as the best of them, with self-deprecating tales of bad judgement and missed opportunities.

With a career spanning decades, Akmal Saleh knows his audience and he can work the crowd. His excessive, zany bogan-bashing style has kept him off the dole since at least 2002.

His style has strength in considered, well rehearsed observational humour, tall tales, and practiced interactions with the front rows, but, as with his years on radio, improvisation can leave him grasping at straws.

Whether you are a fan or a critic, Akmal Saleh will not just make you laugh, he will give you pause to consider the role you’ve chosen to play, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally understand that you are a minority of one. Just like the rest of us.