The rise of the vanities
Brittney Kleyn and Amanda Lyras
he recession has affected how people is not a crime. Botox and other such procedures By wearing makeup and nail polish, these
spend their money in a lot of ways, but can have harmful negative effects on women young girls are essentially turning themselves
one of the stranger statistics to come to especially on their self confidence,” she says. into ‘mini adults’. Child development experts
light is that Botox is booming among The increasing focus on appearances among say that young girls are now entering their
working women looking to get ahead. women also has a much more sinister effect: it ‘tween’ years (between being a child and a
Workplace women are seeking cosmetic is trickling down to young girls. These days, teenager) at the tender age of six, five years
enhancement to give them the edge in the there is no longer shock value when a 12-year- earlier than previously.
workplace because they believe that their old rocks up to primary school with a face full The message seems to be: don’t be fooled by
appearance could strongly influence the hiring of make up. In fact, makeover parties are now what your mother told you – in this day and age,
and firing policy of an organisation. all the rage. outward appearances matter.
Women who have recently been made Melbourne-based Glamour Girls Makeup But while women seeking cosmetic
redundant are also flocking to surgeries because Parties, which targets the four-to-10 age group, enhancement can make their own informed
they think an improvement in their looks could offers two-hour makeover parties for girls choices, young girls need to know that at their
given them a great advantage when being applying eyeshadow, blush and lip gloss. age, it should be what’s on the inside that counts.
interviewed by a potential employer.
The trend, which has been confirmed by the
American Society of Plastic Surgeons in the US,
shows that vanity is back, giving women a sense
that success is only a needle prick away.
In the US, popping out of the office on a
lunchbreak for a quick hit of Botox, a procedure
that once took hours and perhaps days to recover
from, is becoming increasingly common.
This is echoed in UK, with a recent article in
the Times Online showing that British women
are counting on Botox, and not makeup, during
the recession. And this idea of a quick trip to the
clinic is now crossing the Pacific. Brittney Kleyn and Amanda Lyras
Dr Steven Liew, from the Shape Clinic in
Sydney, says: “We are finding women coming
in for a quick treatment in their lunch breaks
or even after work. It’s non-invasive which
means women can quickly get back to their
Dr Liew says it is unclear whether the trend
will continue to boom in Australia but he says
the convenience of the treatment and its results
are so far being hailed by Sydney’s working
And it’s not just working women looking
to get ahead – other women who have a full-
time job of a less competitive description are
stepping out for the treatment.
Annie Little is a full-time mum and while the
stress of the workplace doesn’t get her down,
she says that being a full-time mum takes its toll
on her skin.
“I can pop the kids into childcare at the
beautician for half an hour and get that perk.
Then, I can get on with my day.”
Ms Little adds while it doesn’t give long-
Image: Zabrina Wong
term results, the treatment is affordable enough
for her and gives her added self-confidence.
However Sydney psychologist Gemma
Cribb believes that this is where the problem
lies. “Women need to learn that aging gracefully
Image: Nikpon Tran
The upside to feeling down
incent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, we may not like, but can be good for us – pain, Sadness: Why Feeling Sad is No Reason Not to
Hunter S. Thompson: some of the danger, anxiety and disgust all serve adaptive Be Happy, spends her days teaching workshops
greatest artistic minds have belonged functions that prepare us better to cope with on how best to experience sadness and to harness
to some fairly miserable people. And environmental challenges,” he says. “We now its power for good. She says she wrote the book
now, a growing body of research suggests it’s find that mild sadness functions in a similar way, to show that sadness can offer an important
not just tortured geniuses who may benefit from automatically triggering more careful thinking catalyst for personal development.
a bout of sadness. Sadness may improve our and greater attention to the world around us.” “For lots of us we learn through pleasure
memories, accuracy and – yes – some say it can The findings echo those of many of Professor. and joy as well but we also learn tremendously
even make us happier. Forgas’ previous studies, in which it emerged through the difficult experiences that we have,”
Researchers from the UNSW School of that dysphoria – or negative mood – may make she says. “I think that if we can learn to value
Psychology have found that a gloomy mood us less gullible, and better at decision-making. those times of sadness ... in ways that help us
may positively influence people’s ability to Professor Forgas says that, just as reactions to move through them fluidly, and to gather the
accurately recall details. Their study, published like disgust may have developed as a survival lessons and the gifts of those times then that’s a
recently in the Journal of Experimental mechanism, sadness may have stayed with tremendous happiness skill.”
Psychology, measured the effect of mood on the us over the centuries because it is favoured She says one of the reasons sadness gets
memories of customers in a Sydney suburban by evolution. The Neanderthal who didn’t such a bad rap is that the word is often used
newsagency. On wintry days, the researchers mind being betrayed by a fellow caveman, for interchangeably with mental health terms
arranged for sad music to be played in the store example, might have been more likely to end like depression. Although Karen Masman
and on fine days customers heard happy music. up being let down again than one who felt sad acknowledges that depression is a problem faced
The customers were then approached to test at the betrayal and took steps to avoid feeling by many, she says it is important to distinguish
how many of the objects they could remember that way again. These sad-sack ancestors might between what she calls ‘appropriate sadness’ on
seeing. The group found that customers who then have had a better chance of staying alive the one hand and depressive illness on the other.
came in on rainy, cloudy days could list three to pass on their gloomy disposition to future True sadness, she says, is just an emotion
times as many objects as those who came in on generations. – and one that is not necessarily incompatible
sunny days – and what’s more, their memories Embracing feelings of sadness is now with happiness. “Happiness is not about the
were more accurate. even seen by some to be therapeutic. Sadness absence of sadness. Happiness and sadness are
Professor Joseph Forgas, who led the study, workshops have sprung up to help people get in not polar opposites,” she says.
says it could be evidence of an upside to feeling touch with their sad side. If you think you may suffer from depression,
down. “There are many aversive experience that Karen Masman, author of The Uses of help is available at www.beyondblue.org.au.
All in a knit
The old Rex Hotel where Frank Sinatra once
performed to thousands of Sydneysiders
serves a different purpose today. Now, it’s
the Rex Centre in Kings Cross, where every
Monday a group of ladies gather together to
knit at 10am sharp.
But it’s not social knitting – to call it that
would be an insult to these hard-working
Image courtesy of the City of Sydney council
women who defy those who refer to it as a
“We’re not the type that sit around
knitting in God’s waiting room,” says
Anne Farrago, as she pulls a chair up to
join the other ten dedicated women. “This
is knitting for a cause”.
And the cause couldn’t be greater.
These women are part of Wrap with Love,
an organization that aims to provide wraps,
or blankets, to those around the world who
suffer from extreme cold. Started in 1992 Usde it or lose it: The seniors ‘ creative writing class in Alexandria put their minds to good use every week.
by Sydney woman Sonia Gidley-King, the
idea spread and now there are numerous
splinter groups across NSW.
Annette Bennett is the fearless leader
of this particular group. Like the other
The write way to learn
knitters, she wants to make a difference,
but looking at the statistics, it seems like
her mission’s already been accomplished. Alicia Nally
The wraps make their way to nearly 40
countries each year. From Vanuatu to Peru he bright, beaming eyes of Wilga “A healthy body and a healthy mind are to
to the Swat Valley in Pakistan, the knitted Leone shine out from underneath a do with a good attitude and a healthy diet and
wraps hug anyone in need of warmth. swathe of grey hair as she mingles exercise.
Just recently a number of wraps were with guests, clearly revelling in the at- “Exercising your brain, particular-
delivered to Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital mosphere of the book launch today. ly in ways that take you outside of nor-
in Ethiopia. The book in question, Off Your Rocker, was mal habits, could help to keep the brain
But while most of the blankets are sent written by the members of a seniors’ creative healthy,” Ms Davidson says.
overseas, local needs are also high on the writing class in Alexandria, of which Ms Leone Verity Laughton, a playwright, author and
agenda. As the women talk about places is a part. The class meets every Wednesday and current instructor of the Alexandria writing
like Mongolia, Tanzania and the Congo is made up of men and women, mainly in their class, believes this is true. She says the class
where the blankets end up, they smile when 70s and 80s, who have joined this class to make is helping protect participants from mental de-
recalling a more local story. Recently, they friends, explore their creative sides and perhaps cline, an issue that faces most people in the later
took a wrap down to the Big Issue vendor work their brains. stages of life.
who normally sits outside of Woolworths A 2007 research paper by Alzheimer’s Aus- “Writing can improve one’s mental skills.
on Macleay Street in Potts Point. “He tralia on dementia prevention suggests that cog- “I do think the classes have helped the mem-
was cold, he really needed it, we wrapped nitively stimulating activities such as reading, bers’ mental fitness. It shows in little ways -
it around him and it really was just like doing crosswords and writing can be linked with more openness to new challenges in some, more
wrapping him with love,” they say. a 46 per cent decrease in the risk of developing self-confidence in others,” Ms Laughton says.
These women who’ve become friends dementia, and last month, US researchers found Indeed, Ms Leone is in her eighties,
are by no means a closed group. Towards that undertaking such intellectual exercises can but this doesn’t seem to stop her from flit-
the end of the session, a lady walks in and build up ‘cognitive reserves’ even inlater life, ting around with the mental and physical
introduces herself: “I know I’m late but assisting in the slowing of memory loss. dexterity of someone decades younger. It’s
I’m here to knit. I’m Lyn.” The women Marion Davidson, a mental health worker, clear that both Ms Leone and other members
forage around for a spare set of needles, has seen her parents suffer from forms of mental of the Alexandria seniors’ creative writing class
and as Annette welcomes her into the deterioration that ultimately ended their lives. have developed skills and friendships that are
group and offers her tea, it seems like Her father in particular, succumbed to dementia enabling them to live long, engaging and pro-
anyone who comes in contact with the towards the end of his life despite rising to great ductive lives. There is no doubt that this, at
group is also wrapped with love. heights in the business world and being an avid least, is a group of senior citizens who will most
reader and a lay preacher. definitely not ‘go gentle into that good night’.
Dotcom doctors a danger
he endless volume of information
available on the Internet combined
with the fact that people are
increasingly time-poor means that
the Internet is now a first port of call for those
suffering health-related problems.
While a trip to the doctor can often be difficult
to schedule, an explanation of symptoms and
possible diagnoses are only a click away for
those with an Internet connection.
The practice of actively researching health
problems online, aptly titled ‘cyberchondria’,
has become widespread in recent times.
Last year, a survey of more than 700
Australians found that four out of five people
use the Internet to look for health information.
But Dr Jared Dart, of iHealth Solutions
Consultancy, warns that consulting ‘dotcom
doctors’ for medical information and self-
diagnosing is dangerous when undertaken
by people who are not qualified medical
“You can’t be objective and there can be
a tendency to over or understate symptoms,
sometimes leading to a dysfunctional obses-
sion with health issuesidentified by searching
According to Dr Ronald McCoy, of the Royal
Australian College of General Practitioners,
the problem with the Internet is distinguishing
whether sites are reliable or not.
“There are a lot of websites that you can’t
trust when it comes to your health and if you
can’t trust them then you’re putting your health
at risk through misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis
and getting wrong medicines,” he says.
A 2007 survey of GPs published in the
Australian Doctor Magazine found that up
to 40 per cent spent at least one day per week
reassuring patients who had misdiagnosed
themselves or others through the Internet.
Dr Gillian Deakin, author of Things Your GP
Would Tell You If Only There Was Time, says 10
minutes out of a 15-minute consultation was Self-diagnosing health issues on the Internet can lead to anxiety.
often spent explaining to patients why their
diagnosis was wrong. gone a bit green. I thought it was pretty gross.” and to be supported by health educators.”
“I see a lot more higher levels of anxiety as Emily typed it in online and a website she found Both Dr Deakin and Dr McCoy say they
a result of the Internet,” she says. “I also see a told her that she might have to amputate her toe. encourage people to print out any information
large amount of distress in people because they “I started crying and my Dad took me to the they find on the Internet and to take it to
are sure their symptoms match an alarming doctor. It ended up being fine.” their doctors.
diagnosis.” Dr Dart says most people wanted to receive For safe and accurate sources of health
Emily Hely, 21, once used the Internet on online health information. information, they recommend www.healthinsite.
a regular basis to self-diagnose herself but “Guiding people to safe, verifiable sources gov.au and www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au.
admitted that this often made her more worried of health information is the greatest challenge “They’re very good, they’re very reputable
about her health. as most people still use a search engine,” and the point about them is that they can give
“About a year or two ago, I used to work at he says. “We need a mechanism for you independent health information without
swimming pools and part of my toe nail had patients to access this health information flogging products,” Dr Deakin says.
ocial networking websites have soared
in popularity over the past few years.
It is almost an impossibility to find
someone without a Facebook, Myspace
or Twitter account.
Most people use these sites to connect with
real-life friends, but for those who suffer from
social anxiety, this online technology is their only
hope of forging friendships with other people.
The online world allows them to be a more fun
and outgoing version of themselves.
However, psychologists warn of the
harmful repercussions: a sufferer can become
too dependent on their online friends and
devastation can result when a virtual friendship
fails to translate offline.
Dr Yega Muthu, a lecturer at the University
of Technology in Sydney, says sufferers use
social networking sites because they have
become loners and are intimidated by face to
“Twitter or Facebook allows you to avoid
personal contact. You have the confidence to do
whatever you like on the Internet because the But according to Dr Auerbach, there are “If all of a sudden, the person withdraws
other person cannot see you,” he says. dangers associated with having this sense of from you and you don’t have that social contact
According to Dr Muthu, the internet is a connection without the physical dimension. with them anymore you come back to being a
haven for those who suffer from social anxiety. “It can get people entrenched or cocooned loner,” he said. “It’s a physiological effect.”
“They want to be accepted in a social way, into a life or a world in which they are not really Dr Muthu says that the social withdrawal can
By going on the web, they can achieve that.” feeling motivated to confront their difficulty,” lead to depression, drug and alcohol abuse and
Dan Auerbach, Director and Consultant he says. suicide.
of Associated Counsellors and Psychologists While establishing online connections with Social media expert Dr Jason Wilson, of
Sydney, says that people suffering from any others may boost confidence, Dr Auerbach the University of Wollongong, says however
social or anxiety disorder usually develop warns that problems can arise if a relationship that the effects of social networking ultimately
avoidance behaviours, which can disappear does not progress from online to offline. depend on the individual.
when they go online. “The sorts of skills, the sorts of brain “In an increasingly mobile world, being able
“One thing that social media may do is to development and interactional development that to keep in touch with your family and friends is
allow people to live a virtual life in which we’d like to see in people with social difficulty probably something that maybe makes people
they can have quite a lot of interaction and may be hindered if they are purely living in the feel more secure.
even have feelings of being interacted with, online space,” he says. “It just depends on how individuals actually
but aren’t confronted by the physical presence Excessive dependence on online friends can employ the technology, what they do with it and
of a person,” he says. herald devastation, according to Dr Muthu. what kinds of boundaries they set,” he says
Habitual hoarders are addicted to
The house in the inner city has received 14 “You see homes where the clutter is lack of understanding about how hoarding can be
visits from council workers in the last 17 completely overwhelming. Rooms that best treated, according to Dr Morgan.
years. can’t be entered, because they’re piled high “What people often do is come in and try to
However, the problem does not involve with newspapers, clothes, books, objects… forcibly clean it up which causes a lot of pain
unruly teenagers, building approvals or everything imaginable.” and psychological trauma to the person living in
environmental skirmishes. Unlike the notorious inner city case, most the house.
The problem is the house belongs to a hoarding incidents tend to slip under the radar. Jessica Grisham, senior lecturer from the
compulsive hoarder. But Dr Morgan suggests the problem may be school of psychology at the University of New
Dr Christopher Morgan, of the University more prevalent than the general public realises. South Wales, describes two main psychological
of Melbourne, has completed a PHD thesis “It’s been a largely under diagnosed and motivations behind hoarding.
on the topic of compulsive hoarding. unrecognised condition. There have been “The first one is instrumental saving: the
He can easily identify the homes of estimates...In Australia we’re not sure but it’s person thinks ‘I might need this one day’. Maybe
people who are ‘addicted’ to accumulating certainly over 100,000-200,000,” he says. they’ll collect all the rolls of toilet paper they
possessions. Along with this lack of research is a general ever find – thinking maybe one day their son
Examining science of love
sk a Doctor to define love, and the while The Explorers want the stimulation of a
expectation might be a garble of large city.
scientific terms. Certain combinations are far more common,
But President of the Australian but Dr Fisher says they can all work, “…as long
Psychological Society Dr Bob Montgomery as the partners continue to respect each other.”
says it simply: “Love means something different An integral part of attraction is sexuality,
to everybody.” and not only feeling comfortable with one’s
It is said that love increases the levels of partner but also with oneself. According to Dr
certain chemicals in the brain like Dopamine Montgomery, sexual intimacy does not always
and Adrenalin. come naturally to couples. He says that although
But Dr Montgomery dismisses this as this can cause problems, it does not mean they
“pseudo-scientific gobbledygook”, the kind of are not in love.
fodder reserved for “women’s magazines or Dr Fisher says that sex drive evolved in
misleading advertisements.” humans primarily to motivate individuals to find
He says love can be divided into two a suitable partner for reproduction. A healthy,
separate types: passionate and compassionate. loving relationship between parents generally
The former is generally in the first stages of a provides a good developmental environment for
relationship and lasts somewhere between six children.
and 18 months. It involves intense psychological Do humans then love out of need or want?
feelings and strong sexual desire. The latter According to Dr Montgomery, it’s both.
involves friendly affection and a deeper “Humans love because they can... it is good
attachment, tolerance of the other person’s for them.”
shortcomings and a more meaningful sexuality. For all the stress caused by those “he loves
According to Dr Montgomery, this can last me, he loves me not” qualms, the benefits of love
forever, as long as it is nurtured. still far outweigh any cons. Recent Australian
However, who we fall for still remains a Beaureau of Statistics data show that those in are more likely to catch a cold or the flu.
mystery. intimate relationships live longer than those Studies have given some life to the old adage
According to Dr Helen Fisher, researcher at who are not. Love can be one of the strongest that it’s possible to die from a broken heart. A
Rutgers University and prolific author, people drives on Earth, and according to Dr Fisher, it recent study conducted at Sydney’s Royal North
are drawn to those from similar backgrounds, seems to be more powerful than hunger. Shore Hospital found that people mourning the
with the same level of intelligence and Losing a loved one or ending a relationship death of a loved one had higher blood pressure,
good looks. While many meet these same have negative health implications. Timing, increased heart rates and changes to their
requirements, romantic bonds are few. busy schedules and financial woes put pressure immune system, all of which can cause heart
This can be explained if the population is on relationships. The misery caused by such attacks.
broken down into four personality types: The problems can lead to physical health problems. While there may be some risk in jumping on
Builder, The Explorer, The Negotiator and The A 2004 study by the Medical Research the bandwagon of love, in the end, the old adage
Director. The Builders, for example, live in the Council in Glasgow found that those going rings true: It is still better to have loved and lost,
suburbs and want grass and neighborhoods, through a rough patch in a relationship than to have never loved at all.
might want to use it in art project.” Catholic Health Care received Government to clean up they can assist with the clean up
“The other one is emotional attachment. In funding for a pilot project focused on the – they can pay for that to happen,” she says.
this case, they collect it …because it’s inherently problem. Ms McDermott says the project has met a
valuable to them. For example, they may collect According to Ms Dermott, the aim of the great need in the community.
all the clothing from a loved one who has passed Domestic Squalor Project run by Catholic “The project has been going for a year
away.” Health Care, is to provide sustainable solutions now and they’ve received heaps of referrals -
Shannon McDermott, of the Social Policy to people who live in squalor. I think over about 220 referrals in the last
Research Centre in Sydney, believes there is “So that means that in some cases it’s not year. So it’s been immensely popular and it
increasing recognition in Sydney of people appropriate just to waltz in and, you know, clean seems like it’s filled this amazing gap in the
living in squalor and hoarding. up someone’s house. service system. No one really wanted to deal
“In 2005 there was a bunch of community “They work with the person to figure out with it before,” she said.
organisations that got together to develop some if they have any underlying issues, such as In November Catholic Health Care
guidelines around dealing with situations of dementia or mental illness that need to be will host the inaugural National Squalor
squalor in the community.” Just last year, the treated. And then in cases where it’s appropriate Conference in Sydney.
Heritage & Conservation
Hidden heritage revealed
he Walsh Bay Heritage Walk is The heritage walk is a self-guided tour with The bay hides many little-known secrets
full of surprises. Beautiful vistas a map and directions available from the Walsh and stories. In the mid-20th century, it housed
unfold across the water and along Bay Precinct website. Information points dotted a world-class cargo loading facility. The high
the headlands, from under the Sydney among the wharves and old stores provide ground ringing the bay allowed direct access to
Harbour Bridge down to the Opera House. insight into the region’s rich industrial heritage. the top level of the wharves, which were fitted
Around every corner is another historical gem The walk is a government initiative that with state-of-the-art hydraulic cargo handling
to discover, another surprising story to hear. began in 2005 after the old wharves were systems. The remaining wharves are now the
Walsh Bay lies on the northern tip of the gutted and converted to commercial and last of their kind in the world.
craggy peninsula next to Circular Quay, residential space, while still retaining their Just before Hickson Road turns south from
down the road from The Rocks and at the outer heritage appearance. Today, many office, Millers Point to Cockle Bay is Towns Place.
base of Millers Point. Despite the prime position, apartment and shop windows contain early The public square was also known as the ‘bull
the walk is a hidden attraction, but offers an colonial artefacts and information points. ring’, where labourers gathered early in the
interesting way to pass an hour or two in the heart The walk takes in a 1.6-kilometre loop morning to vie for paid work that day.
of Sydney’s heritage. from Hickson Road, round the infamous Work was scarce during the Great Depression,
It was almost 100 years ago that the ‘Hungry Mile’ (where dockside workers when only the strongest men, known as the
public was locked out of Walsh Bay due to would desperately seek work during the ‘bulls’, were selected for back-breaking 24-
bubonic plague, and 10 years since it was Great Depression), along the lengths of the hour shifts, carrying enormous loads of up to
completely re-vamped to become Sydney’s old turpentine timber wharves, and back up 80 kilograms at a time, lugging lung-destroying
biggest cultural, residential and retail precinct along the clifftop path, skirting the escarpment coal or even asbestos.
with a unique blend of contemporary and overlooking the bay, with the stunning harbour A preserved convict cottage from the
turn-of-the-century architecture. views spilling out below. 1830s provides some insight into Sydney’s
settler heritage, while the site where Sydney’s
first plague victim lived stands as a token of
the city’s darker memories.
Walsh Bay was once known only as
Millers Point, but was officially renamed in
1919 after HD Walsh, the Harbour Trust’s
chief architect. By 1921 the wharves had
been constructed, serviced by an access road
for haulage that connected the bay to the
commercial hub of Darling Harbour.
The monumental Hickson Road, wide as
a freeway, was sunk deep into the sandstone
escarpment. Sheer cliffs were gouged out of
rocky outcrops, vaulted by arching overpass
bridges that connected to the second-
story loading docks of the finger wharves.
The scenery is what attracts tourists
to Walsh Bay, but it is the rich and engaging
history discovered that makes the visit a special
must-see stop, shedding light on Sydney’s rarely
seen industrial heritage. Old factories have been converted to office space, apartments and shopping stores along the Walsh Bay shoreline.
Heritage & Conservation
Rejuvenation, reflection and
Glebe Point Road’s colourful terraces and eclectic shopfronts are iconic aspects of the suburb.
ormer Prime Minister Gough Whitlam Governor Arthur Phillip first established During the early 20th century, and especially
said “few places in Australia are Glebe as part of an early land grant in 1789 to during the Great Depression, Glebe’s streetscape
richer in history than the inner-city support a church minister and a schoolmaster deteriorated and the suburb became shabby and
suburb of Glebe.” Whitlam spoke in the new settlement of Sydney. By 1856, overcrowded. Despite this decline, the area
of the uniqueness of Glebe and the tangible financial difficulty forced the church to retained a close and distinctive community.
and intangible characteristics that make it the sell some of its land. This led to the establishment The 1960s saw a renewed interest in the
historically invigorating suburb it is today. of commercial venues alongside residential neighbourhood and wider recognition of its
The Glebe, as it is formally known, has dwellings for blue-collar workers. historic urban character and natural beauty.
undergone a profound transformation from a Max Solling, a local Sydney historian, There was little or no involvement by old
quiet church-owned peninsula to a culturally points out that Glebe “…has a well-defined Glebe residents in this urban recognition
diverse contemporary neighbourhood. The mosaic of the middle-classes living on the and community renewal. Many viewed
celebrations surrounding Glebe’s 150th elevated Glebe Point, and the working classes the Paddington-type gentrification of their
birthday have put focus on its distinctive settled on the lowlands near Grace Brothers in suburb with deep suspicion, bordering
village character, heritage streetscapes and the Glebe estate…what’s unique is that it’s on hostility. Ben Kline, club manager of PCYC
strong sense of community. still a stratified society.” Glebe, says “Some residents would have been
revelry as Glebe turns 150
Bright terraces are prized residential dwellings. Victorian terraces run the length of Glebe Point Road.
Badde Manors is a popular cafe on Glebe Point Road. The 18th century St John’s Bishopthorpe designed by colonial architect Edmund Blacket
highly concerned about the effects of this renewal Many of the houses that were an important of these buildings. The process has enabled
and how little say they had.” part of ‘The Glebe’ were demolished. This the history of Glebe to survive.
And yet the renewal created the mixture destruction led to the formation of The Glebe Today, nestled between Parramatta Road and
of grand Victorian homes, Federation houses Society in 1969, which sought (and still seeks) Blackwattle Bay, Glebe offers a diverse mix of
and modest workers’ cottages that is perhaps to restore and retain what is left of the suburb’s bohemian relaxation and inner-city bustle. The
contemporary Glebe’s most striking feature. historical past. suburb is popular with university students, as
The range of architectural styles encompass Robert Darroch of the Glebe Society, well as upwardly mobile professionals because
mid- to late-19th century development with says, “What we in The Glebe Society it blends a leafy suburban homeliness with the
some examples of early 20th century Federation were doing was restoring Glebe to what convenience of urban living. Close proximity
styles. The Glebe streetscape includes Regency it was before its decline in the first-half of to The University of Sydney and University
mansions, suburban villas, large and small the last century… one of Sydney’s better of Technology, Sydney ensures Glebe will
terraces and small workers’ cottages. Ornate suburbs, full of rare and marvellous buildings.” continue to have a vibrant streetscape of cafes
late 19th century commercial buildings and The inimitable character of Glebe has been and boutiques and house an eclectic mix of
Federation period warehouses also show the retained largely through the restoration, office workers, bankers, Beatniks, Hippies,
architectural richness of the suburb. rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of many writers, musicians and artists.
Heritage & Conservation
The stories behind street
Agilene De Villa
A few of Sydney’s most iconic streets – Elizabeth Street, George Street and King Street – each have a fascinating story behind their name.
e walk along them daily and Professor Howell says a common method was Whichever way you see it, many of Sydney’s
rely on them for direction to use the name of key industries in the area. For streets have a history. But it doesn’t stop there.
and rendezvous points, yet we example, Lime Street in Darling Harbour was Suffixes are not chosen at random either but
rarely give their origins a second named after an occupation. “Loading limes in indicate their function as a roadway. ‘Street’
thought. What exactly is the untold story the docks employed many in the area,” he says. is used for a roadway integrated into an area,
behind a Sydney street name? Similarly, Goodlet Street was taken from the whereas a ‘road’ is interpreted as one which
Trevor Howell, Professor of Heritage and Goodlet and Smiths brickworks, and Albion leads somewhere. Professor Howell says, the
Conservation at The University of Sydney, says, Street after Albion Brewery, both in Surry Hills. roadway we currently know as City Road in
“There wasn’t much structure in Sydney’s roads The suburb of Chippendale is riddled with Newtown, “was previously known as Newtown
upon colonisation in 1788.” There was little streets named after flora – Wattle, Myrtle and Road when it was considered to be the road
organisation of roadways and Sydney became Rose – a nod to Shepherd’s Darling Nursery, to Newtown.” But once the City of Sydney
a haphazard collection of roads, streets and a successful commercial nursery founded in expanded, Newtown Road was no longer the
alleys. People relied on landmarks and asking the area by Thomas Shepherd in the 1830s. So sole connection between Newtown and the city,
for directions to determine their whereabouts. Shepherd Street was rightly dedicated to him so it was given a more fitting name.
Order was only imposed upon Sydney’s and Vine Street to his unsuccessful attempt at Similarly, the roadway now referred to
streets in 1810 with the arrival of Governor growing grapes in the area. as Broadway has had many name changes
Lachlan Macquarie. He was a man with a But not all streets were named with such little to reflect its changing function. Originally
passion for urban planning who pushed for imagination. Others streets, such as Paradise known as Parramatta Road, it was modified
“posts and fingerboards with the names of the Row, which existed in the 1840s to 50s, have an to Parramatta Street when housing was built
streets painted on them to be erected”. ironic humour. Shirley Fitzgerald, former City in the area as it was no longer considered to
The years went on and urban development of Sydney historian, writes in Sydney’s Streets: be the road to Parramatta. It was later
continued in order to simplify the maze. Streets A Guide to Sydney’s Street Names, Paradise Row changed to George Street West in an effort
were widened, realigned, established and was far from the peaceful happy environment to incorporate it into the city. Finally, once
destroyed, and their names were modified. suggested by the name. Instead, it housed many the street was widened in the 1930s, it took
Naming streets was a simple process. of Sydney’s poorest and sickliest inhabitants. on the name Broadway. Although it is believed
by many to be in reference to New York City’s
The wheels are in motion
on Bourke Street Cycleway
Broadway, it was actually literally named after
the broadening of the road itself. Edwina Carr
By 1842 the City of Sydney Council
took over the responsibility of street naming he construction of the Bourke Street Mr Cooper says the whole project will be a
but still took public opinion into account. Cycleway by the City of Sydney waste of taxpayers’ money and is particularly
Dr Fitzgerald tells of a Mrs E. Shorter, Council has gone ahead despite concerned about the loss of car parks resulting
petitioning the Council, in 1875, for the lane concerns from local residents and from the new cycleway. “This loss is completely
behind her house to be given a name “unless community groups. Loss of parking spaces, a unnecessary. Most of the homes in this
it is too insignificant to notice”. Dr Fitzgerald contentious two-way separated cycleway, and the neighbourhood were built in the late 1800s and
says, “Her humility was rewarded, and the removal of trees are causing residents unease. few have off-street parking. Like it or not, some
lane was named Shorter Lane.” Brian Noad, spokesperson for the Nichols residents do need and choose to have a car.”
That is not to say Sydney is without its streets Street Community Group, says the Surry Hills Josh MacKenzie, Senior Media Officer for
of historical significance. There are numerous community is worried about the dangerous the City of Sydney Council, says that Sydney
roadways named after more prominent figures design of the cycleway. “The width of the needs to start taking serious steps to become
and events throughout Sydney’s history. cycleway is very narrow and we’re seeing this an environmentally friendly city. “Once
For example, Albert Street was renamed on King Street now – there’s not only the risk of the cycleway is in place, there will be less
Alfred Street after an assassination attempt cyclists colliding with cars, they’re also at risk congestion because people will be using it – our
on Prince Alfred in 1968. of colliding with one another.” research shows that people will ride if we create
Politics has also had an influence on the Mr Noad says that the 42 intersections on safe cycleways. We have to look at smarter ways
naming and renaming of streets. World War I Bourke Street will be a hazard for cyclists and of getting around the city.”
saw many streets with German names replaced drivers alike and sections of the cycleway will Construction began on June 12 this year and
with names that boosted national morale and cause people who are parking to alight directly the Council expects completion by 2010. The
patriotism. Lisa Murray, a historian for the City onto the cycleway. “There’s a narrow concrete cycleway will cover 4.3 kilometres and runs
of Sydney, says that Schmiel Street in Waterloo median strip between parking spots and the from Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo to
was named after an early developer in the area, cycleway in some areas and so car doors will Elizabeth Street, Zetland.
James Schmiel. This was renamed Lenton open onto the cycleway – mums who are trying The cycleway is part of the Council’s
Parade once German names became taboo. to get their shopping and children out of their Cycle Strategy and Action Plan: 2007-2017,
The few streets throughout Sydney that are cars will be dodging cyclists.” which was implemented in April 2007. The
named after women were in dedication to “the Chris Cooper, an experienced city plan aims to increase cycling in the city and
wives”, Professor Howell says. One of Sydney’s cyclist, says that he will not use the cycleway promote it as an environmentally friendly
most popular streets, Elizabeth Street (formerly once it is complete and he does not think and safe transport option. Sydneysiders have no
known as Mulgrave Street) was named in others will either. “Serious cyclists will realise choice now but to wait and see if these plans
honour of Governor Macquarie’s second wife, it is unsafe and will rejoin the traffic lane.” deliver. Only time will tell.
Elizabeth Henrietta Campbell.
Dr Murray says people often named streets
to get on the right side of their superiors. “It
was a form of flattery and acknowledgement,
often to recognise a contribution to political
life.” With only a few women in positions
of authority, they were not featured in Sydney’s
plethora of street names.
Finally, Sydney’s most popular street, George
Street has an interesting story of its own. It
was originally called High Street, due to the
English custom of naming a town’s main
shopping street by that name. But it was
changed to George Street by Governor
Macquarie in 1810, after King George III. He
entrusted a monarchist feel to Sydney’s central
streets, giving them names of the current
monarch, King George III and the ducal titles
of the king’s sons York, Cumberland, Sussex,
Clarence, Cambridge and Kent.
There’s more to Sydney than just its beautiful
architecture, breath-taking landscapes and urban
culture. The next time you wander the streets,
look up at the street signs and ask yourself,
‘what’s the story behind the name?’ Constuction is underway for the Sydney Cycleway along Bourke Street.
Drawing the night away:
hey look like a group of friends
gathered after work for dinner and a
drink at an inner Sydney restaurant
– that is, until the sketch pads and
pencils come out.
Drawing in the City at Night is a course
created and run by Enrique Del Val and Aaron
Matheson. The point of the class is to turn
everyday people into artists by looking at the
city in a new way. Students come from work
or home to a cafe or bar located somewhere on
the outskirts of the CBD to learn how to see
– and draw – Sydney from a new perspective.
Before the drawing begins, the students
are reminded to let themselves go. “It is about
being honest to what you see,” Enrique Del
Students make room for their sketch pads on
the table among plates and glasses, dropping
pencil shavings on saucers. Instructions are
given and the table goes silent. It is in this
silence that the class really comes alive.
The first half of the class is dedicated
to drawing exercises. Students draw while
Matheson and Del Val watch on and offer
Jamal, Enrique Del Val & Aaron Matheson - doing the drawing exercises “The exercises are designed to be free
etting your council to act is now problems more efficiently.
quick and easy with Council Waverley Council was the first to step on
Gripe: a website that facilitates board with the scheme. Mayor Sally Betts
discussion between residents and is quoted on the site as saying: “Waverley
councillors. Council is proud of being an open and
Council Gripe, created by university transparent council and welcomes feed-back
student Chris Hamlin, is aimed at combating on all its services.” Now 13 other councils
the difficulties in communication between have requested to participate in the site.
residents and their Council. Mr Hamlin says Chris Hamlin highlights Waverley,
his idea was sparked by family and friends Woollahra, Randwick and City of Sydney
who always had issues with the council. Councils as those that have responded
Chris Hamlin wanted an outlet for and implemented changes as a result of
residents and councils to solve problems complaints posted on Council Gripe.
through discussion. One Randwick resident posted a gripe
Council Gripe allows people to “publicly on May 7th about a broken street sign,
submit a complaint to council, where others Councillor Kiel Smith replied on the day:
can comment and lend support,” he says. “Thank you for taking the time to post on
Making councils aware of problems in this forum and make council aware of the
The Council Grip website suburbs can persuade them to act and fix damage to the Greville Street sign. I will
new perspectives on city
from expectation,” Enrique Del Val says in a “The classes aren’t studio based,” he wants to pick up where she left off.
thick Spanish accent. “Whatever happens is says. “So you’re out of a safe environment. “The way they teach is about letting go of the
welcomed.” It’s mysterious.” adult way of trying to know what you’re going
“It’s about exploring the range of ‘you’,” Students find a spot on the street with a view to do before you do it,” Felicity says. “I like
Aaron Matheson adds. they’re happy with and set their sketch pad up being led along.”
The group is almost silent as they draw. on their thighs, employing what they’ve learned One of the most striking things about the
It is clear from their expressions that they in the exercises to draw what they see. class is how much gets done in the short time
could be anywhere. Drinks are left untouched, One of the students, Jamal, hadn’t drawn students are outside.
surroundings are forgotten. The atmosphere is since high school and joined the class to “It’s the intensity of capturing,” Aaron
almost meditative – not even the squeal of the recapture that spirit. Matheson says.
coffee machine can disturb them. “I don’t have a background in drawing,” he This intensity has led to the Drawing in the
“Drawing can be lonely,” says Aaron says. “I enjoyed it at school and thought this City at Night exhibition. Located at Gallery
Matheson, a softly spoken Englishman who could be fun. I want to improve my skills and Red in Glebe, the gallery’s walls are lined with
is obsessed with drawing. “But like this, it unlock creativity. I want to find a style.” drawings of the city all done during class time
becomes a way of communication below the Felicity is formally trained as an architect. by Drawing in the City at Night alumni – former
level of words.” Like Jamal, she drew creatively as a child and students, now artists.
John, a former draftsman, joined the class
to escape the demands of his professional
drawing training. He was surprised by the
range of drawing styles. “The styles range
from far left field to finely detailed,” he says.
“Everybody is different.”
In the second half of the class, students are
released to, well, draw in the city at night. It is
here, Aaron Matheson believes, that students
are challenged. If a participant has a comfort
zone, the city forces them out of it.
speak with council staff today to request
that this sign be replaced/repaired as soon as
possible.” The following day, the sign was
fixed, a speedy and efficient response which
showcased the success of Council Gripe.
Any complaint which is submitted on
the website will receives a status. Firstly
is ‘Gripe’ which becomes ‘Council Has
Replied’, and finally ’Fixed’ or ‘Not Fixed’
depending upon the council’s response. This
allows residents to follow the progress of a
Chris Hamlin hopes to see the site fulfills
its potential as a facilitator of communication
and allows councillors to efficiently
implement changes in our communities.
“I intend the site to become an important
customer feedback tool and not simply a
name and shame site.” Nicki Braithwaite and Aaron Matheson are drawing the city night from a fresh angle
Ambos facing violence on job
Ambos attending a scene
Ambulance officers attending an emergency in the city
he union representing ambulance we’re vigilant about,” Alexander says. The “It is probably going to be the worst drug that
officers wants the government to damage isn’t always physical. “We certainly this country has ever seen,” says Paul Alexander,
consider extending the penalties cop a lot of verbal abuse on a regular basis.” who describes the devastation caused by ice to
for attacking policemen to apply It’s not at every emergency, but it’s enough be worlds apart from that of heroin. “Chalk and
ambulance officers too. Figures ambulance to be a fear in the back of the mind. The tension cheese,” he says.
officers to be increasingly at risk on the streets. of an emergency can be volatile, and people “The people who use it have no idea what the
Ambulance paramedic Paul Alexander has can act in out-of-character due of fear, anxiety, drug’s been cut with,” he says. “They become
had a used syringe full of fluid squirted into his frustration and a sense of powerlessness. psychotic, dangerous, irrational, violent.”
eye. He also describes an incident in which two Alcohol and substance abuse can affect the “I have had someone [on ice] throw me
of his colleagues were assaulted on the same situation as well. The question now being across a room.” Alexander says that it took eight
job. “One of them literally had a huge chunk asked is whether the drug ice is repsonsible for people to restrain this one violent user.
bitten out of his arm.” the increase. At this stage, nobody has adequate knowledge
It is confronting to learn that amidst the The entry onto the scene of this high-purity or training to deal with ice addicts. “We’re using
stretchers, syringes, masks and panic that form of methamphetamine can be seen to have the police and extra staff,” says intensive care
accompany emergencies, the people sent left a trail of destruction. In 2006 the NSW State paramedic Adam Butt. “We only have a limited
out to rescue and heal are becoming victims government commissioned a report examining range of medications that we can give.”
themselves. Figures released last month by the the possible links between ice and violent Bob Morgan, industrial officer for the Health
clinical risk department of the NSW Ambulance behaviour, and its effects on crime. Those Services Union, agrees. “Anecdotal information
service claim that assaults on paramedics have among the ambos have actually seen the after is that ice has increased violent incidents, and
increased by 60% since last year. Over 120 effects of ice at first hand. that the nature of the violent behaviour of ice-
paramedics were assaulted in NSW in the last The whispers that the drug ice has a lot affected persons is more extreme. However,
12 months. to do with the situations they are handling excessive alcohol is still reportedly the greatest
“It’s a real concern, and it’s something that are growing trigger for violent events.”
Rosebery residents oppose depot
Outraged Rosebery residents are escalating their properties will comply with relevant health and
fight against council plans to locate a garbage environmental standards. “Every effort has been
truck “mega-depot” next to their homes. made to reduce the impacts of the proposed
Rosebery residents say the depot will result depot on the small number of households
in unacceptable noise and air pollution, and will adjacent to the industrial area.”
adversely affect property values in the area. The council bought the Dunning Avenue site
Local businesses are also concerned council in 2007 for $34 million. The building’s existing
workers will occupy all on-street parking, 4.8m walls will accommodate garbage trucks
leaving no space for their customers and and will also help block out noise.
employees. A spokesperson said: “[The site] is zoned
Spokesperson for the Rosebery Residents industrial and is a large parcel of land with
Action Group, Graeme Grace, said: “We only existing buildings which can be efficiently
need one truck in the middle of the night to adapted to our needs limiting environmental
drive on the wrong street, and our amenity is impact and costs.
destroyed.” Mr Grace believes the council considered
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore the cost efficiency of the site but neglected its
has received over 100 submitted objections proximity to local residents.
and a petition of over 1100 signatures against “The council got two or three valuations
the proposal, earmarked for Dunning Avenue, to make sure they weren’t spending too much
Rosebery. money on the site, [yet] they got no evaluation
The proposed 24-hour-a-day facility will of the site use and its effect on residents,” he
be used to clean, maintain and garage garbage said.
trucks and street sweepers. The facility will “They are more worried about money than
accommodate around 150 council workers. they are about the residents.”
The depot is part of the council’s wider The City of Sydney announced in a residents
strategy to rationalise its depots. The City of community forum on 30 September that it had
Sydney plans to relocate its existing depots in amended it’s development application for the
Redfern, Alexandria and Zetland to the new Rosebery Depot. The City of Sydney indicated
depot in Rosebery. that it would persist with the proposal, but
The City of Sydney said that independent had no official comment as to when a revised
testing has found that noise levels at nearby development application will be exhibited. The site of the proposed Rosebery depot
Statistics from 2004 claim that 3.2% of “It is acknowledged that it is an offence to Industrial action from the paramedic union
Australians were ice users, so its use is still assault or interfere in a police officer carrying there brought about the change. Similar calls
minor compared to excessive alcohol use all out their duty to uphold the law, and maintain have been made in Queensland after numerous
over Australia. peace and good order. Ambulance officers (and assaults on paramedics in Cairns.
The NSW Government launched a campaign other emergency workers) are also required to Ambulance officers welcome the change.
supporting the work of paramedics last year respond to emergencies and to provide, in the “We should have a right to carry out our duties
with the first annual ‘Thank A Paramedic case of ambulance officers, lifesaving clinical without being harmed,” says Butt.
Day’. The campaign aims to increase respect interventions in an emergency and uncontrolled “We quite often share the same dangers [as
for paramedics within the community. Former environment,” says Morgan. police],” says Alexander.
Health Minister John Della Bosca announced “It is only logical that the same protection Morgan says one of the things can be done to
last month he hadn’t ruled out a policy to should be afforded to a paramedic providing enhance the job safety is that the public needs
protect paramedics with stab-proof vests. lifesaving clinical assistance to the public. Not to be “properly educated that interfering with
Alexander says says that whilst this would to provide such protection not only imperils the paramedics in the course of their duties is not
prevent more victims, it does not tackle the root ambo, but also the patient!” only socially unacceptable, but that there is
of the problem. Morgan says that while the HSU hasn’t been a significant penalty involved for any and all
One suggestion to curb the violence has running a specific media campaign on the issue, infractions.”
been to increase penalties for offenders. The they have been negotiating at a political level. A change in the law may be slow to take into
maximum penalty for assault on a police officer It may well be raised at the National Council of effect. Until then, paramedics are on the road,
in NSW is five years in prison, as compared to Ambulance Unions when they meet in the near on the scene. “I think that ambos have a really
two years for assault on a civilian. The Health future. good built-in radar system,” says Alexander. “It
Services Union (HSU) is calling for people who This amendment in legislation has already is something that you acquire on the road.”
assault ambulance officers to be punished in the been enacted in Victoria, where assaulting a
same way as those who assault police officers. paramedic became a specific offence in 2004.
Aiming high for the homeless
ost experts agree that while the
causes of homelessness can be
wide-ranging and complex, more
often than not factors such as
mental illness, substance abuse and domestic
violence play a major role.
However, emerging data suggests there may
be a new demographic of homeless people as a
result of the global financial crisis.
The City of Sydney’s Homeless Person’s
Information Centre (HPIC) announced in
August that it received a record 66,610 calls in
the last year, representing a 24 per cent increase
in calls from the previous year, and the highest
number received in its 25 years of operation.
For the first time ever, the most frequent
reason of calls related to housing stress
where disproportionately high percentages of
household income are spent on rent or mortgage
repayments. More calls were received from
householders unable to pay their rent or
mortgage than calls relating to substance abuse,
mental illness or domestic violence.
Sue Cripps, CEO of Homelessness NSW,
Sue Cripps, says people who would never
have previously envisaged themselves as being
homeless, were now among those struggling to
find a roof over their heads.
“The anecdotes we are getting from
homelessness services are that they are seeing
more people turning up – and they are new
people,” she says
“These are people who perhaps would have
never been homeless before, and are people
who were renting on low income, but working
– probably on casual shifts at supermarkets and City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says city lacks affordable housing. Picture showing high-rise in Refern
stuff like that – and they have found themselves
in situations where they have either lost the
house that they are renting, because the owner per cent of all City of Sydney housing is social August this year, a holistic preventative
has gone pear-shaped, or they just have a cash- housing, and another 7.5 per cent is affordable approach that goes beyond the provision of
flow issue and suddenly find that they can’t private rental housing. crisis accommodation. The project is based on
afford it.” While the strategy will provide a further a proven model that has worked well in cities
Housing NSW data shows that 76 per 8,000 private affordable rental housing units, such as New York and Melbourne, and is part of
cent of low-income households in the City of the Council stressed in its research report that the broader NSW Homelessness Action Plan, A
Sydney (earning less than 80 per cent of median the ability to, and responsibility of, tackling Way Home.
household income) are under housing stress. homelessness and housing affordability Reverend Graham Long, Pastor of The
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore ultimately rested with the Federal and State Wayside Chapel, expressed his delight at the
says the trend was exacerbated by a chronic lack Governments, given their control of economic, apparent level of identification and commitment
of affordable housing. health and social policies. from federal, state and local governments, but
“The trend is consistent with the current In December 2008, the Rudd Government emphasised there is a long way to go before
global economic crisis and shows that now, unveiled its national policy document on words are put into action.
more than ever, Sydney needs more affordable homelessness. The Homelessness White “I think we can all give three cheers for the
housing,” she says. Paper: The Road Home was widely lauded as kinds of discussions that are taking place,”
The City of Sydney recently exhibited its the comprehensive and progressive approach Reverend Long says.
Draft Affordable Rental Housing Strategy, Australia desperately needed to tackle “We’re all jumping for joy at that, but it
outlining plans to create more affordable homelessness from the bottom up. remains to be seen what the delivery is going
housing in inner-city Sydney, with the ultimate The NSW Government subsequently to be.”
aim of achieving, by 2030, a scenario where 7.5 announced its Common Ground project in
A view of the Barangaroo development site from the harbour
Sustainability of redevelopment questioned
Bonnie Rando Leys
he redevelopment of Sydney’s western tourists disembarking to make their way business as usual patterns continue, the number
foreshore could hinder Council’s long- into the city. A lasting arrangement for an of deaths caused by air pollution could rise to
term plans to meet Sustainable Sydney international passenger terminal will be made approximately 2,380 a year.”
2030 emissions reduction target. after government consultation with the Balmain The original plans for Barangaroo did include
In a move by the NSW State Government community. port facilities that would have kept transport
and City of Sydney Council, the 22-hectare Earlier this year, Chief Executive of Carnival mileage to a minimum; however these have now
Darling Harbour area, Barangaroo, will undergo Australia, Ann Sherry said “anyone who travels been discarded.
extensive redevelopment from a working port down Victoria Road in Sydney knows that it’s a Chief Executive of the Green Building
and entertainment district into a new precinct. car park in the morning already, and this will be Council of Australia, Romilly Madew points
In a statement made two years ago, Lord adding 600 to 1,000 bus and passenger vehicles, out residential and commercial buildings are
Mayor Clover Moore said: “We know now... that plus 30 trucks, at peak hour at the beginning and responsible for 23 per cent of Australia’s total
Sydney’s environmental footprint is equivalent the end of each day.” greenhouse gas emissions.
to 49 per cent of NSW. If we continue as we are, Cargo ships servicing the city have been “Buildings also offer the single largest source
and do nothing, by 2031, it will have reached 95 pushed to ports in Botany Bay and Port of greenhouse gas abatement, outstripping
per cent of NSW – unsustainable for Sydney, for Kembla. Sydney Branch Secretary of the MUA, the energy, transport and industry sectors
NSW and for the nation.” Warren Smith has said these ports are far from combined.”
The Barangaroo redevelopment is a the primary market in the CBD, and would The Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan offers a
key feature in City of Sydney’s plan to cut be forced to rely on inadequate rail transport solid start in climate change mitigation.
greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent and linkages to reach the city. He says shippers don’t Dr Rafael Pizarro, lecturer in sustainable
create a “green, global and connected city” by want to extend their routes, but rather discharge urban planning at Sydney University, and
the year 2030. But the land is also the focus of cargo directly at the market, “anything else is creator of the innovative White Bay Eco-City
industrial debate. inefficient and inflationary”. prototype, says “The plan is generally sound, as
The State Government’s recent closure When asked about the move of cruise and it covers the main aspects of building sustainable
of the wharf and cruise ship terminal on the cargo ships from the Barangaroo wharves, cities”.
Barangaroo foreshore has attracted criticism Council spokesman, Josh Mackenzie said the However it falls short in one aspect that
from cruise company Carnival Australia and issue was not particularly connected to the will prove critical if we want to arrest global
the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) as their Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan. warming and stop our dependency on oil:
businesses will be redirected outside the city In a statement issued by City of Sydney in how to produce food on a scale larger than the
centre. June 2007, Council reported that the impact individual household or building within the
Cruise ships have been redirected to White of air pollution in the Sydney basin caused urban core of Sydney.
Bay in Balmain for a minimum of five years. between 600-1400 deaths each year. “Sydney is one of those places in the planet
If the location is made permanent, White Bay The Council statement concluding: “With a where food has to be hauled from thousands of
would recieve around 75 cruise liners a year, 50 per cent increase in car travel and a doubling kilometres (mostly from overseas) representing
with hundreds of thousands of international of container traffic predicted by 2030 if a major item in the carbon budget in Australia”.
Inner Sydney residents create garden beds to plant fruits, vegetables and herbs in Alexandria Park Community Garden.
Bloom time for community gardens
t is just past ten o’clock on a Saturday “One snow pea and some lettuce, was the concentrates on regenerating sites with a focus
morning and already the caravan of reward for the first harvest,” says Redfern on hardy local plant species.
tour buses filled with bargain-hunting resident Maria, who with her partner Andrew, “Anything we can get our hands on that is
daytrippers has slowed to a crawl comes every second Saturday to the garden vacant and derelict, is a potential site,” says the
outside the retail outlets on McEvoy Street in group. Growing up on a farm outside Munich group co-ordinator, Elizabeth Elenius.
Alexandria. Around the corner in Danks Street, in Germany, having the space to grow food She points out a space not far from
the inner east’s favourite gourmet strip is filled is important to Maria, so after moving into a the Channel Ten building, behind Saunders
with breakfasting families and foodies doing property with neither yard nor balcony, she Street in Pyrmont, that she says was a
their grocery shopping. began to investigate community gardens. mess before the regeneration.
But for a group of local residents, Saturday The couple are typical of the growing “What we are trying to do is return the
mornings are reserved for slightly more number of inner city dwellers living without areas, as much as we can, to what their original
energetic and ecologically-minded pursuits, balconies or backyards who are looking beyond habitat would have been.”
where al fresco means getting down and dirty the boundaries of their own properties to get It appears there are some initial signs of
in the strawberry patch, rather than taking involved with community gardening. success, with reports of sightings of the timid
one’s latte on the terrace. For the volunteer Driven by a trend of placing importance on Blue Wren in the regenerated areas.
gardeners at the Alexandria Park Community the seasonality of fresh fruit and vegetables, Gardening has proven to be a big hit with
Garden, it is time to dig. Three new there are currently 13 community gardens some of the local businesses where team building
garden beds are ready to be filled with soil, within the City of Sydney Council that not only days have seen staff from corporate offices such
compost and mulch, and a heady brew grow herbs, fruit and vegetables, but also act as as Google and American Express, donning the
of worm juice is waiting to season the mix. conservators of rare plants and seeds. gloves and pulling weeds alongside the retirees
In the shade, punnets of rocket, passionfruit Creating and maintaining a community who make up the bulk of the gardening group.
and other unidentified cuttings sit waiting garden requires long-term preparation and “They come to us,” says Elizabeth, “and we
patiently to be assigned a home. commitment from community members. To start try to accommodate them as much as we can.”
Today the gardeners are working on the new a community garden, residents are encouraged But the benefits go beyond merely
plots on the side of the oval at Alexandria Park to form a garden group and work with a range beautifying the area.
Community School. The original garden over of different landowners to find a suitable site. “In Pyrmont, we have all come from
at the community centre next to the school is But it is not only about growing edible somewhere else,” she says, “and so it’s up to us
up and running – the strawberry patch is a riot plants, as the Pyrmont Ultimo Landcare group to generate a community. It’s been terrific and
of succulent fruit, the beans are almost ready has shown. In the laneways, rail corridors and we have made such good friends.”
for picking and the late-winter rocket crop has dusty corners, a quiet revolution has started The City of Sydney Council is currently
already gone to seed – so the gardeners have – one that has seen previously barren and supporting new community garden groups
moved on to the newest space with thoughts of unkempt scraps of land transformed into a to establish and find suitable sites in Ultimo,
a bumper harvest clearly in mind. verdant and fertile wonderland. This group Glebe, Surry Hills and East Sydney.
Large footprint found in city
ypical inner Sydney residents may lot more and the impacts of that are a lot more.” impact of what they do,” she says. “Everything
live in small houses but a space the Other products and services account for 27 they do has an impact on the planet . . . now they
size of 12 rugby league fields is what’s per cent of Sydney’s eco-footprint. have the awareness to make a choice,” she says.
required to support their lifestyles. “It’s typically the small things we don’t think A sustainable eco-footprint, according to the
The Australian Conservation Foundation of – like going to the hairdressers, or making a ACF study, is 1.8 hectares, or 2.3 football fields.
(ACF) Consumption Atlas is an online tool banking transaction,” he says. The problem is getting people to change.
created with the University of Sydney’s Centre It is not what you earn but how you spend. “Some people get really disheartened and say,
for Integrated Sustainability Analysis, and it has Services have a lower per dollar environmental ‘That’s not possible’. Others see the magnitude
found that the wealthiest suburbs are doing the impact. So getting a massage or going to the of the difference and see that something
most environmental damage. movies will have less effect than buying a new significant has to be done,” says Professor Dey.
Professor Christopher Dey, of the University pair of jeans or mobile phone. Sarhn McArthur is one inner Sydney resident
of Sydney, says an eco-footprint is the amount The ACF runs the GreenHome workshop passionate about reducing her footprint.
of land required to produce the food, fibres, series to educate communities and individuals From using green bags, to changing her
resources, materials and services that each of us on the simple lifestyle changes they can make to choice of products and starting an environmental
use to sustain ourselves. reduce their ecological footprints. resource blog, Sarhn gradually changed her
That is an average of 8.58 hectares for inner “We remind people that they have a lot lifestyle. She recycles most household organic
Sydney dwellers, who along with residents of of purchase power . . . people are quite often waste with a worm farm she received as part
North Sydney, Mosman and Woollahra, have astonished to realise the environmental of a free workshop run by the City of Sydney
the biggest eco-footprints in Australia. The impact of their spending,” says program Council. When combined with the Bokashi
Australian average is 6.4 hectares, already the co-ordinator Alex Graham. Bucket, a kitchen composter that breaks down
fourth largest footprint in the world. Bridget Kennedy attended the program in organic waste, the worms only have to be fed
“It’s directly correlated with income,” says Lane Cove and was so surprised by the impact once in three weeks and produce a fertiliser that
Professor Dey. “The more we earn the more we of food production (43 per cent of the eco- Sarhn says has made her plants go wild.
spend. The more we spend the more resources footprint) that she stopped buying red meat. “I love the fact that someone will say
we require to support our lifestyles.” She also introduced a ‘Carbon Credit Game’, something to me and I’ll research it and think,
It is the pollution and the land and water used where family members gain credits for saving ‘I can use that’, because I was someone who
to create consumable products and services that energy and debits for things such as leaving really didn’t know a lot before. I just didn’t
make the inner city suburbs’ footprints so large. their mobile phone chargers on. At the end of want to be average. I wanted to really tread
“If you take an average household income of the week the winner gets to choose the week’s as lightly as possible,” she says.
$60,000 in the southwest compared to an inner TV and the loser has to clean the bathroom. The GreenHome workshop is set to run in
city couple each on $100,000 – they will spend a “The kids have really got to understand the inner Sydney in November.
Poster pillars help spread the word
S Y Lee
The amount of illegal bill posting has reduced Mr MacKenzie says that because posters
dramatically since new restrictions were put in usually advertise a number or address, locating
place last year by the City of Sydney Council. the culprits is relatively straightforward.
“The city’s bill poster campaign has The new poster pillars have been integral
been a phenomenal success. We have seen a to cleaning up the city. However, despite
dramatic reduction in commercial bill posters, the successfulness of the program, the
which used to clutter major roads across the Council sees no need to add to the number
City of Sydney,” says Josh MacKenzie, a of poster pillars. The city currently has
City of Sydney spokesperson. nine poster pillar sites.
Garry Harding, the director of City “In October 2008, city contractors removed
S Y Lee
Services, says that even though illegal 16,023 commercial bill posters compared with
bill posting seems harmless, it can have May 2009 when they removed only 134 across
Poster pillars in Sydney have helped clean up the city.
serious consequences. the same area,” Mr MacKenzie says.
“It deteriorates quickly, and has the Local store owner Bill Hennings used to “A lot of people gather around the pillars
potential to wash into the storm water advertise by pasting posters wherever he could, and take their time looking for a good deal,”
system polluting the harbour.” but is supportive of the poster pillar program. he says. “In many big cities around the world
Over the past five years, more than $6 Mr Hennings now says that he does not have they have poster pillars and if Sydney is to
million dollars have been spent on removing to worry about doing something illegal in an live up to being a global location, it can’t be
and disposing of illegal posters. effort to promote his business. littered with posters.”
How to have a whale of
ine o’clock!” Australia to give birth and mate, and between two in 2001. However, the growing number
The commentator yells through late August and December, the whales of vessels in the Sydney region has caused
his microphone and passengers migrate south, returning with their mates and concerns about the impact on whales and the
stampede across to the left side of newborns to the Antarctic. long-term sustainability of this industry.
the boat to get a better view. According to the International Fund for “It’s a huge industry. More and more
A fountain of water appears in the distance, Animal Welfare (IFAW), the number of whales people every year want to go out and see the
and a dark grey hump surfaces for a few migrating along Australian coastlines has whales, but if the industry’s not sustainable
moments. There are gasps of applause as slowly grown in the past 25 years. This has led and the whales are responding negatively to
cameras flash. It does not take long for a giant to whale-watching becoming an increasingly it, then it’s not going to be a viable industry,”
grey outline in the water to appear next to us. popular activity in Australia. says researcher Maryrose Gulesserian, of
A Humpback whale emerges, his great According to a report released by IFAW Macquarie University.
knobby head appearing from the water. He is in July this year, the average growth rate of Ms Gulesserian recently completed a
just as curious as we are. He takes a quick peek whale-watchers in New South Wales has research project on the potential impacts of
at us before diving back under. increased 14.7 per cent in the past decade; vessels on Humpback whales in the Sydney
Every year, between May and December, with just over 800,000 whale watchers in 2008 region. Using specific tracking software, she
thousands of Humpback and Southern Right compared to only 200,000 in 1998. analysed and compared the behaviours of
whales migrate to Antarctica along the Along with more whale watchers, there has the whales before, during and after different
coast off Sydney. also been a significant growth in the whale- types of vessel approach.
From mid-May to early August the whales watching industry, particularly in the Sydney Her research is currently a part of a bigger
leave the colder waters of the Antarctic region. There are currently eight official whale- project being conducted by the Marine Mammal
and head up north to the warmer waters of watching vessels in Sydney, compared to only Research Group (MMRG) at Macquarie
As the whales migrate to warmer waters, whale-watchers are able to see these majestic animals as they surface for air.
University and the Sydney whale-watching
business, Bass and Flinders Cruises. The
project, aimed to ensure the sustainability
of the whale-watching industry, will be
the first to provide a scientific basis to the
Australian National Guidelines for Whale
and Dolphin Watching.
Current guidelines in Australia for whale-
watching strongly focus on the approach
distances of a vessel – no vessel can be closer
than one metre to a whale, and no more than
three vessels at a time are allowed within 100 to
300 metres of a whale.
Ms Gulesserian believes that whilst current
guidelines are needed, it is important to consider
Whale-watching tours take visitors within close reach of the migrating whales.
the effect on whales of the types of approach,
including the vessel’s speed and steering.
Approach distances as close as 20 and 30
metres were tested by MMRG and Bass and
Flinders Cruises. According to Richard Ford,
co-owner of Bass and Flinders Cruises, the
number of vessels surrounding a whale has a
greater impact than a vessel’s approach distance.
“The impact is negligible, in fact, the whales
aren’t worried at all about boats approaching
closer than the regulatory requirement,” he says.
“However, once the traffic gets very high,
there is an impact, and so there is a requirement
of certain number of boats around each whale
pod. It’s not a distressed impact; it’s just a
reduction in activity . . . they’re just more
cautious with more boats around.”
“The whales are fully aware where we
are at all times and they’re very much aware
we’re not a predator.”
With almost 16 years of experience in the
Industry, Bass and Flinders Cruises is determined
to ensure the whale-watching industry is
Curious calves are known to swim out to the tour boats and operators need to be mindful of maintaining an appropriate distance.
sustainable in the long-term. A thriving business,
with terminals in Darling Harbour and Circular
Quay, it offers two whale-watching cruises that are now available, nothing beats being on will only keep increasing, which is why it is
every day of the week. the water and seeing the animals in the flesh.” important to not only regulate activities such as
As Mr Ford says, “People of all nationalities Ms Eyre has studied the songs and whale-watching, but also to oversee it to ensure
enjoy seeing the whales.” communication between Humpback whales that people are doing the right thing.
The cruises attract people of all ages, and since 1985. She says, “All along the coast of “As it is now, there is no enforcement
although the majority are international tourists, Australia these animals are hearing shipping and so there are some questionable
there is also a lot of local interest. noise. If boats get too close, the whales have to behaviours by operators.”
Of the research project with MMRG, Mr Ford keep changing direction and with an increasing The adoption of strategies to keep whales
says, “Our approach is through education and Humpback and human population the risk of out of harm’s way is the only way for the
the experiences we’re giving people. Through collisions is very real.” whale-watching industry to be sustainable in
this they can better understand why the whales She believes there needs to be more than the long-term. For whale-watchers, it would
are such an important mammal and the impacts just guidelines in place to ensure a sustainable be a shame to lose an opportunity to see the
man is having worldwide.” whale-watching industry. giant creatures in their natural habitat.
Libby Eyre, an aquarist at the Sydney “Marine life as a whole all over the world Ms Gulessarian believes that with consistent
Aquarium, says, “Whilst you can learn a lot has had to get used to increased vessel traffic management and monitoring, the whale-
about whales from the amazing documentaries and all that goes with it. This is something that watching industry can be sustainable.
New life for recycled goods
aper, books and CDs are just a few of the
things that have been given a new lease
of life by artists at Eveleigh Artisans’
Arts and Craft Market. The markets are
redefining the notion of recycling by turning
Courtesy of Eveleigh Artisans’ Market
Courtesy of Eveleigh Artisans’ Market
used papers and broken book covers, previously
deemed useless, into arty configurations that
also have an environmental message.
When you step into the market, which opens
every first Sunday of the month, you will find
a shopping frenzy. Many recycled products are
nicely presented at the open-air market. Men and
women, old and young, even children are found
walking around the market trying and enjoying
the creative products. Many stallholders have
their art ready and displayed, from books,
decorations, clothing and much more.
Sophie Verrecchial, an Italian-born mosaic
artist, has a stall in the middle of the market.
Sophie proudly presents her art created from
materials mostly found in rubbish tips, Salvation
Army stores and recycling centres.
“I use lots of material. I use glass, of course. I
use ceramics. But I also use a lot of objects that
I found in the street.”
It is like magic seeing all the used materials
that can be transformed into new products.
“All used materials are very cheap and they
look very ugly sometimes, but when you break
them into little bits, and you reorganise them
with other objects, they can take a new life,”
If you have old books or papers that you
think you will not be using anymore, do not just
throw them away. The Artisans’ Market has a
number of artists who will happily reproduce
paper-based materials in a new form.
“Basically, I’m really motivated by having
things recycled and sustainable products. So
I use recycled paper and I recycle old books,”
says Holly Walker, another stallholder at the Clockwise from left: A knitted tea cosy; sample of a mosaic artwork; and a stall’s display of photo albums and journals made from
market who loves retro looking arts. Holly broken book covers and used papers.
and her boyfriend work together replacing old Besides those selling recycled products, the making something I’m not happy. So I have to
storybook covers with new notebook covers. “I market also has stallholders who like to invite be making something,” she says.
want to make these sad little old books useful people to express their creativity. Miriam Ross One of her philosophies is to create a very
again,” she says. is a mosaic and craft artist and teacher who uses arty community where you feel happy to
The Artisans’ Market is located opposite the market to promote private lessons at her create and share. That is why she really loves
the CarriageWorks in Darlington, Sydney. Its studio in Rosebery. She invites customers to teaching adults and children and has worked in
existence benefits artists wanting to promote explore their creativity with mosaics, handmade many community colleges, community centres,
environmentally friendly products. tiles, sculptures using inexpensive materials and vacation care centres, after school centres and
Direct interaction between customers and simple armatures, basic knitting, dimensional schools, on a paid and voluntary basis.
artists often provides inspiration that can even and free-form crochet. The purpose of the Eveleigh Artisans’
boost artists’ creativity. “I once experienced a She has been selected as the project artist for Market is to provide artists with a good
moment where a customer came and grabbed a the Coogee Cares Centre Mosaic Mural grant way to start using recycled products that are
photo album. She said that it’d look good in a project, and she really enjoys her time working environmentally friendly.
notebook. So I thought it’s really good to adapt with materials such as fabric and yarn, cement, “What I’m trying to tell people is I
and make things new from people suggestions ceramics, recycled materials, paper, metal and want them to know that it brings smile.
that you can’t get from online,” says Jenny. glass, to name a few. “I just know that if I’m not Happiness,” Sophie Verrecchial says.
Courtesty of IFAW
Courtesty of IFAW
The Tails for Whales photo campaign has attracted immense support from both celebrities and the public.
A tail of a whale wins accolades
any of us have signed a petition Tails for Whales started as an initiative campaign has accumulated 869 ‘tails’ from the
or two in our lifetimes – saving known as Project 551 in the form of an email USA, 506 from the United Kingdom, 1211 from
the whales, freeing the bears, petition, like any created by animal welfare Australia and many more from other countries.
stopping global warming. groups, until the Republic of Everyone thought “As people join the Tails for Whales family
It usually involves adding your name to an it could help expand it. The petition was created they can continue to be activists for whale
email and sending it off, never to be seen again. in response to the slaughter of 551 whales by a protection around the world, from ending
The Green Globe Awards are the leading Japanese whaling fleet in 2007 and 2008. whaling to increasing protection against
environment awards in New South Wales The project followed a creative process, ocean noise and reducing ship strikes and
and are initiated by the state’s Department of incorporating Youtube and Facebook to promote entanglements,” says Erica Martin, IFAW
Environment, Climate Change and Water. the campaign in association with the IFAW. Director for the Asia Pacific Region.
The awards are presented to individuals and It released posters, blog updates and pictures. “Only when enough people stand up for
organisations who show outstanding dedication A television broadcast was also launched in whale protection will governments around the
towards tackling climate change. association with National Geographic Channel. world invest time and action into reducing the
This year, the Republic of Everyone, an The goal of the initiative was to collect threats to these magnificent animals.”
advertising agency for environment and photos of everyday Australians and some well- The photographs were presented to the
humanitarian organisations, was awarded a known faces making a whale tail gesture with Environment Minister Peter Garrett on 6 June,
Green Globe Award for its work in creating a their hands. which has been named National Whale Day.
social media campaign. The organisation continues to utilise a variety A book has also been created featuring the
The campaign was aimed at promoting of interactive media including its website to photographs and will be available for purchase
the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s promote Australia’s dedication to stop whale by supporters.
(IFAW) dedication to saving whales by creating slaughtering. Meanwhile, the Tail for Whales campaign
a unique type of petition. In Australia, the campaign has received the was in the spotlight at New York Fashion Week
IFAW organises many petitions as it dedicates support of celebrities including Silverchair when it hosted parties and attracted support
itself to creating awareness for the protection of frontman Daniel Johns, singer Christine Anu, from fashionistas and celebrities alike.
species all over the world. broadcaster Derryn Hinch, and Underbelly actor
“When we sign petitions, we have no idea Gyton Grantley.
where our signatures go,” says Ben Peacock, On the international front, the campaign
Creative Director for the Republic of Everyone. has attracted international personalities such The public can continue to submit their
“We wonder did we really change the world as British model Twiggy, the cast of the movie photos and see a collection of the photos by
by signing that? We wanted to see if we could Fame, actor Goran Visnjic from the television visiting the Tails for Whales website at
do something positive, if we could build a better series ER, and members of British Parliament. http://www.tailsforwhales.org/.
petition – a physical petition.” According to the project’s website, the
Love counts says professor of passion
r Clio Cresswell shines like a beacon St Tropez high school, Dr Cresswell went on to
in a sea of motley maths-lovers. pursue studies in mathematics in Sydney. She
At the City of Sydney’s Science later won the university medal at the University
Festival, grey-haired academics and of New South Wales and completed a PhD.
gangly teenagers jostle shoulders for the chance With the publication of her book
to learn about arguably one of the juiciest Mathematics and Sex in 2003, Dr Cresswell
maths mysteries of our time: sex. And who was plunged into the media spotlight. Tackling
better to learn it from than the foxiest academic issues like the decreasing frequency of sex
in the city? throughout marriage, aka ‘the marriage
“By studying patterns of behaviour and problem’, Dr Cresswell soon became the
combining self-awareness with mathematics, world’s first maths celebrity.
I can show people that maths not only Although her book has been criticised for
helps in engineering but even goes as far as being all froth and no formula, Dr Cresswell
relationships,” Dr Cresswell says. is adamant her theories hold water. However,
Dr Cresswell, a mathematics professor at the she is not living proof of their validity. Such is
University of Sydney, insists that she is not a the case with her controversial ‘12 bonk rule’,
“hormonally crazy mathematician”. Rather, her which attempts to show that the likelihood of Naughty numbers: Can 1+1= love? Dr Cresswell says yes.
world-famous research is a means of getting finding one’s best match increases to above
the world to engage with her passion for maths. 75 per cent if 12 partners are tested first. Dr Cresswell’s formulas, she is the first to
Yet Dr Cresswell was no whiz kid. “I “My problem is that I’d already had more admit that maths isn’t the only answer.
was not a child prodigy by any stretch of the than 12 lovers. It’s not that the maths is wrong, “You can believe astrology if you want,
imagination,” she says. it’s just that I have problems committing.” and I read my star signs from time to time, but
After flunking maths abysmally at her While there is a certain comfort in maths is a bit more predictive.”
One minister’s fight for human rights
he Reverend Dorothy McRae- In the 1960s, Rev McRae-McMahon of ordaining gay and lesbian ministers.
McMahon’s passion and fight for travelled to the new republic of Cyprus. At the Of it all, Rev McRae-McMahon says, “I have
social justice began early in life and War Museum in Nicosia, she was disillusioned been honoured to live in a period of history
has been honed by half a century of by the proof of torture and brutality under the where these things were happening.”
encountering refugees, poverty and racism. recent British occupation.
In her twenties, the former Pitt Street Uniting “I thought I was a pacifist at that time. Now I
Church minister lived “right at the edge of a believe in non-violence but I don’t pretend I’m
mass public housing estate where I had a lot to a pacifist.”
do with the struggling people. In the 1970s, Rev McRae-McMahon stayed
“I worked with those people, lived amongst first with Israelis and then visited Palestinians
them, represented them. That politicised me.” in refugee camps in Israel and Lebanon. She
Rev McRae-McMahon was involved in the visited squats in Bangalore’s rubbish tips and
early anti-nuclear, women’s rights and anti- helped to micro-finance loans for development
Vietnam War movements. and independence of poor communities.
She and her then-husband were the first in Rev McRae-McMahon championed social
Australia to organise a group to protest against justice in her 1980s role at the Pitt Street
the White Australia Policy. Uniting Church, clashing with a dangerous
Additionally, Rev McRae-McMahon cared neo-Nazi group and battling her own ego as she
for four children, including her severely was awarded numerous humanitarian prizes.
disabled son Christopher full-time for Stalking and attacks from the fascists
16 years. alongside the struggle with her pride taught
“I worked late into the night to keep her “how to be vulnerable” and enabled close
myself alive, wrote endless letters to editors to relationships with her parishioners.
participate in society,” she says. She raised the debate about sexuality and
When Christopher went into care, she religion with her brave, strategic coming-
threw herself fully into work at the National out as a lesbian at the National Assembly of
Council of Churches, where she became the Uniting Church, adding weight to calls
heavily involved in international aid work. for the church to make a decision in favour “I have had an incredible life,” says Dorothy McRae-McMahon.
Making the director’s cut
arc Furmie looks like any other
regular, good-looking young guy.
Dressed in dark jeans, a faded
t-shirt and aviator sunglasses,
you’d never peg him for an award-winning
director. Yet that is exactly what he is.
At only 28 he is an up-and-coming force
in the Australian film industry. He has met
and worked with some of the top names in
the business including George Lucas, Jane
Campion, Graeme Burfoot and David Denneen.
“Nothing is unachievable. You have to be
diligent and network as much as possible. Just
get out there,” he says.
Originally from South Africa, Marc Furmie
spent his childhood living with his grandparents
in Sydney’s western suburbs. His passion for
storytelling was nurtured from a young age by
his grandfather who would get him out of school Filming on Dixon street in Chinatown, Marc Furmie checks a shot on the final day of shooting short film Dark Horse.
to go to all-day sessions at the local cinemas.
“I remember when I was around 5, my Recently, he has been filming a new short became a much bigger project. We ended up
grandpa would turn up at school, say something movie, Dark Horse which delves into an with an 11-day shoot. We were really able to
to the teacher, and the next thing I knew she unlikely relationship between a taxi driver and a do what we wanted with it so all these creative
would come over and whisper to me that it was girl in trouble. For this project, he and his team juices started flowing and so far I’m so proud of
time for me to go to the dentist or something,” won funding from Screen NSW. how it has come out.
he says. Explaining why Dark Horse received the “The film industry can be very insular and
“At school, I was always thinking about grant, Valerie Allerton, co-ordinator of Screen cliché. It’s about being in the right circles and
stories and basically, visualising concepts. But NSW’s Emerging Filmmakers Fund says, “It meeting the right people. Australia is a great
it wasn’t until I realised that there were people received funding due to a combination of the place to not get caught up in the system.
behind the movies that it became real for quality and creativity of the script, balance of “So when we were making Dark Horse and
me,” he says. “When I realised that, it wasn’t experience. The story was well-written with a we were able to have such creative control in its
abstract anymore.” strong vision, believable characters, and a clear production, it was a breath of fresh air,” he says.
Furmie’s love for film continued to grow journey and resolution for the protagonist. “I do strongly believe in reaching people. It’s
and he enrolled in Fine Arts at the University “This project and team ticked all of the reason Spielberg is as powerful as he is. I
of New South Wales. When he wasn’t studying the boxes.” believe that I have important stories to tell, as
film, it wasn’t far from his thoughts. Dark Horse has been a labour of love for do a lot of people. For me, directing a story, it
“COFA [College of Fine Arts] was nurturing Marc Furmie the team. One such person is has to be realistic and true to life. Never tell a
and obviously drew on my artistic tendencies but long time collaborative partner and producer superficial story,” he adds.
I would also go to seminars and courses. There Simon Ritch. It’s clear to see that Furmie is on the road to
was also this cinestore that a few of us used to hang Having worked with Furmie for over three success. While he has achieved a lot in a short
out at. It was about getting ourselves out there years, he says, “Marc and I work really well space of time, he is also quick to put his recent
so that we could meet the right people and make together because of our similar personalities, achievements into context.
the connections.” work ethic. We strive for the same goals and “I never decided to be perfect at what I do,
From then, Furmie has directed several trust each other’s abilities to achieve them. On and I’m not. It’s not about perfection,” he says.
television commercials for Volvo, RSPCA top of all that we’re actually really good mates “I communicate a lot with my actors and get
and Amnesty International as well as music which helps when things get stressful as we can great feedback from them on what they believe
video work with the Rogue Traders, Seany B, talk openly with each other and have a beer and their character is going through. A big part of
The Follow and most recently, Birdie Blackman. a laugh afterwards. getting it right is in the rehearsal process with
In 2006, he received a grant from the “Marc and I created Dark Horse from the the actors because they are your lifeblood.”
Australian Film Commission to direct his ground up and saw it through to completion so His years of experience have taught him to
first short film, Death’s Requiem, which he knowing all that went into it, it makes me very be afraid of neither mistakes nor the familiar.
also co-wrote. proud to see it on the screen. Having complete “I’ve learnt by doing. Make mistakes because
Screened at over 20 international film creative control was nice as well, as it shows that is how you learn. Write what you know. Not
festivals, the film scooped up awards at St Kilda anyone interested in our work what we really literally but the closer it is to you, the more it
Film Festival, Method Fest and two horror like doing and are capable of.” will resonate with your audience.”
festivals; the Eerie Horror Film Festival and Furmie adds, “Dark Horse was supposed to Dark Horse is currently in post-production
Shriekfest. be a short four-day shoot that all of a sudden and will be premièring in Sydney later this year.
Seung Rok Baek
Model Rebecca Mills poses in Alana Clifton-Cunningham’s distinctively different designs.
(Scar)ves: textile art explores self-mutilation
istortion, manipulation and body the average home-made scarf or beanie. The with my work. It can always lead you to
scarification. Hardly words one patterns of pieces like her leg-wrap mimic body interesting places.”
associates with the soft, snug appeal scarification patterns that mark important events At a time when people are looking to reduce
of knitted wool. Yet this is exactly in a person’s life. waste, Clifton-Cunningham’s unique design
the description that Sydney-based textile Working with such a versatile medium philosophy fittingly resonates through her focus
designer, Alana Clifton-Cunningham, conjures allows Clifton-Cunningham to push the on one-off pieces.
up with her unique knits in the exhibition, boundaries of her craft. Her shoulder-wrap, for “While the mass market fashion industry has
(Re) Skin: Contemporary Knitting. example, demonstrates a craftsman’s handle its place, it would be nice to see the cycle of
Her work, exhibited at UTS in September, on the materials used, which are not limited fashion slow down, and to see people purchasing
moves distinctly beyond the childhood realm to wool. Leather, laser-cut wood veneer and items that have a longer shelf life.”
of blankets and jumpers and into a world of gemstones are also worked in, contrasting with When the trend is towards value for
experimentation that is a challenge to knitting’s the sculptural lines of the stitching. wear purchases, Clifton-Cunningham’s
usual associations of the cozy and the comfy. Constantly developing and experimenting message is one that increasingly resonates
“I am interested in identity. Knitting conveys with techniques often means mistakes can with consumers: “I would like to see a return
so many messages through the stitch patterning be miracles. “I embrace accidental outcomes to the exclusive.”
and structure, very similar to body scarification,
so I liked the idea of combining the two to
create a new language,” she says.
Clifton-Cunningham has come a long way
from the 16-year-old who picked up a pair of Alex Taylor
knitting needles for the first time. Back then, it
was not love at first stitch. dam Hill rides a wave of satire,
“My mum did teach me initially, but I propelled by an ocean of ironies. For
think I gave up quickly. I really didn’t enjoy over 10 years, the indigenous artist
it at first but felt that it was something I has sung, sculpted and painted his
needed to conquer.” political, artistic and professional activism.
Clifton-Cunningham attributes her ability to His people are originally from Bellingen,
create such beautifully unsettling shapes to the northern New South Wales, and he detests being
materials she works with. denied free access to his ancestors’ land.
“I am drawn to the unique characteristics Hill’s grandmother was a Stolen Child, one
of wool, and what you can do with of the many Indigenous children who were
it while knitting. removed from their families. She was later
“If you were to produce the same piece, one employed by the Aboriginal Protection Board.
in wool and, say, one in cotton, you would have For the last three years, Hill has been a local
a really different outcome,” she says. of the inner-Sydney’s Redfern and has engaged
Her latest exhibition uses knitting to with local politics in his art.
explore concepts distantly removed from Artist Adam Hill takes time out at his Redfern studio. The Chief of Police commissioned a
The art in making mistakes
f you saw the Mori Gallery from the to keep those sorts of principles that came up
outside, with its grimy brick walls and in the 1960s: humanitarian themes, freedom of
graffitied garage shutters, you may not expression, and intellectual practices,” he says.
give it a second glance But while it may Those principles have led him to believe that
seem like a forgotten warehouse this Sydney art is inherently linked with humanitarian and
gallery has been in existence for more than environmental issues.
30 years. “A lot of the art world tries to separate and
Stepping into the cave-like building, justify that it doesn’t have to involve itself in
it feels more like an artist’s garage studio those sorts of arguments, but I’m one who
than a renowned Sydney art gallery. With chooses to.
its rusting metal door, strewn canvases and “I don’t think you can have an art world and
paint fumes, the Mori Gallery is chaotic, have those intellectual pursuits if you don’t have
raw, and disarming. Much like its owner, trees or subjects as it were. I don’t think you
Stephen Mori. can have form if you don’t have subject. It’s like
“I went to art school, rebelled at art school, painting a landscape but all the trees are gone.”
and then got expelled at art school. So I’ve Mori is currently setting up Susan Norrie’s
always had a problem with institutions, but I’ve forthcoming exhibition, an Australian artist
sort of become one myself, which is pretty bad.” whose work and philosophy he greatly admires.
Wearing a black singlet and shorts, the The same can’t be said for many emerging
soft-spoken Mori looks, and is even built, like artists he has encountered.
a truck driver. In fact, Mori is wary of where art, in general,
At 58, the bespectacled New Zealand native is heading. From art schools to galleries, he
embodies the gentle, free-spirited 1960s: believes art has transformed into a vacuous and
from his passion for the environment; love of sterile lifestyle trend. Stephen Mori has always gone against the grain.
live music and touring (which resulted in one “I don’t like most galleries in Sydney. I don’t
of his two sons); to his long, free-flowing, like most galleries in the world because to me, This is where art and therapy converge; a
pepper-coloured beard. they’re lifestyle and they’re art for art’s sake. concept that is of great interest to Mori as he
“I set up the gallery as an alternate style They believe in their own bullshit. personally deals with an eating disorder and
of education when I was at art school. It was “They’re just real wanky,” he says. addiction.
at the time when everybody was questioning Anorexia, mental health, disability and the “We stigmatise mental health, we hide it.
education and wanting alternates to education, Northern Territory Intervention are just some People get embarrassed when they find anything
like free schools. of the issues being explored at the Mori Gallery wrong with themselves.
“So I sort of look like a hippy. I’m not over the coming months. “I’m a real advocate of trying to stimulate
really a hippy, but I did get involved in the Most artists on show are an extension of their more interest in mental health in the community.
freedom movement in the intellectual sense. artwork, since many are sufferers of diseases I’m interested in art as a form of relief from
That movement was short-lived but I still try like mental health or anorexia. what you are dealing with.”
Mori is well aware that his strong convictions
the political artistic landscape do not make him popular in the media circuit or
the art world.
His opinions can be controversial. From a
total ban of nude drawings in his gallery, which
he believes to be degrading and sexist, to heavy
painting from Hill to hang in the local police an illustrious story, but I didn’t know why Kevin criticisms for wealthy Australian artists who do
station. Though the commission was later Gilbert was in gaol, for the macabre murder of not financially support Aboriginal land rights,
withdrawn for financial reasons, Hill thought his wife,” Hill says. and high praise for China’s sophistication,
it fitting that his work was displayed at He has resonance as a fair bloke in and which he says is comparatively less racist than
Redfern police station. around the Block, collaborating with various Australia’s treatment of Indigenous Australians.
“Fair enough, given that 99% of the people friends including buskers and the folks at “I can admit where I stuff up, and I know
processed there are indigenous,” he says. Koori Radio. what my problems are to an extent, but at least
Though his art often deliberately engages He gains genuine excitement from scouting I can have a conversation with what’s going on.
politics, Hill was surprised by the controversy community centres for new graffiti artists, and “Art’s been corrupted by this pseudo-
surrounding his design for the façade of prefers to support artist-run galleries. He is intellegentsia. It’s just a small clique, and they
Redfern’s Black Theatre site. A tribute to full of praise and enthusiasm for Sydney street keep it in-house. It stays the same and it takes all
the Cherry Pickers by Aboriginal playwright artists, activists and their grassroots initiatives. the funding,” he says.
Kevin Gilbert, Hill’s design was inspired by the Check out Hill’s contribution to “Funding for art space should go to different
back-story to the play. Breathing Space at the Hawkesbury Regional communities everywhere and to every group
“Rumour says that it was written on toilet Gallery until October 25. For more details visit starting out. Art should be about making
paper in gaol and smuggled out, which I found http://www.atthevanishingpoint.com.au. mistakes, not about clean operations.”
Injecting reality into drug
r Marianne Jauncey is a woman of injecting centres save lives and make contact at Gove District Hospital in Nhulunbuy.
heart, and of hard evidence. with an incredibly marginalised group of people. While in the Northern Territory, Dr Jauncey
A public health physician, I feel very privileged to have been offered the worked in the various wards of the hospital
Dr Jauncey was appointed as position. It’s a service that I believe in even and travelled on its single-engine Cessna
Medical Director of the Sydney Medically more, if that’s possible, after a year.” airplanes to various outlying Indigenous
Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in August Despite MSIC’s demonstrated success in communities including Yirrkala, Ramingining
2008. MSIC, Australia’s only drug injecting meeting its public health aims, confirmed in and Groote Eylandt.
centre, is a facility in which illicit drug users multiple independent evaluations, the facility The young doctor bore witness to the stark
can inject themselves in a safer, medically continues to operate merely as a trial project. divide in health that often exists between
supervised environment. The trial, like addiction itself, is chronic Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Before taking up her position at MSIC, and relapsing. The passage of legislation is At that stage, Groote Eylandt had the highest
Dr Jauncey worked at the nearby Kirketon Road repeatedly required to keep the facility open as violent crime rate per head of the population in
Centre (KRC), a free health service for drug each trial period comes to a close. According the southern hemisphere.
users, sex workers, homeless people and youth to Dr Jauncey, this demoralises existing MSIC Dr Jauncey saw multiple cases of
at risk. She has also worked for NSW Health staff and presents difficulties when hiring new Sydenham’s chorea, a complication that can
and the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology employees, particularly nurses. occur in patients with rheumatic fever.
and Clinical Research. “I think it’s entirely appropriate if there’s “When I got back to university, we had a
“You do see some pretty sad things,” she not good evidence for any kind of medical or lecture and something came up about rheumatic
says of her decade spent in the drug and alcohol public health intervention that you do some fever and Sydenham’s chorea and the lecturer
field in Kings Cross, “But to shrink from the kind of evaluation,” Dr Jauncey says. “But if said, ‘you’ll never see that in Australia, it’s a
provision of safe and sanitary injecting premises you’ve gone to the trouble and effort of doing disease of third world nations’.
is short-sighted.” that research, then it’s beholden upon you to act “It just struck me. I thought, how much of
When MSIC’s clients overdose, trained upon the outcomes of that research.” Australia doesn’t know what happens in other
medical professionals are there within seconds Dr Jauncey’s interest in improving access places in Australia? We assume that everybody
to revive them, with oxygen tanks and Narcan, to health services for marginalised populations has access to the same health services and level
a heroin antidote, at hand. Since opening in reaches back to her days as a young medical of care that we do but it’s just not the case.”
2001, over 2,700 drug overdoses have occurred student at university. When asked about her most memorable
on-site without a single fatality. During her third year of studies in 1992, client, Dr Jauncey recalls a young woman she
“There’s no question that supervised Dr Jauncey travelled to Arnhem Land to assist met while working as a doctor at the KRC. The
Dr Marianne Jauncey believes rehabilitation is a right. The Kings Cross injecting booths, known as Stage 2 of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.
woman, referred to Dr Jauncey by a counsellor,
was in a state of distress and suffering from a
“She was looking pretty bedraggled, sitting
there eating these no-brand liquorice all-sorts.
She was using a lot of cocaine and was street
sex working, homeless, in her twenties, and
hadn’t slept for days. She’d pulled out bits of her
hair because of the cocaine use, had scratched
herself and was bleeding.”
During her consultation, the woman
confronted Dr Jauncey with the desperate
details of her life and demanded to know why
A tenuous relationship with conformity has led Norrie May-Welby’s life down many unexpected paths.
anyone would bother to help her.
Shared stories of sexuality
“She said, ‘my mum was a junkie whore
who died on the streets, and I’m a junkie whore
who’s going to die on the streets too, there’s no
point. I accept that, why don’t you?’
“It was at that instant the enormity of this Philip Wen
life struck me. She’d first started injecting – or
being injected – at the age of 11 and said that her he life of Norrie May-Welby is an “I had reactive depression, or a mental
mum had done that. She didn’t know who her open book – she says so herself. breakdown, as they called it in those days.
father was, her mum had been a sex worker and On her MySpace page, Norrie has That’s when I started on hormones. That’s
had accidentally gotten pregnant and she was a posted an eight-minute video in when I realised that being androgynous
result of that. which she muses on her sexuality, sex change wasn’t accepted, so I had to be one gender or
“There’s a temptation, just for a fraction of and experiences as a transgender woman. the other,” she says.
a second, where you just think, ‘Is she right? “I like being honest with regard to sex and A founding member of Sex and Gender
Is the situation actually hopeless?’ Then you gender and sexuality because it forms who we Education Australia (SAGE), a lobby
recover and you think well, no, of course it’s not are. The way to face discrimination is just to group for people of gender diversity,
hopeless. You just start one step at a time and be honest.” Norrie has been a long-time campaigner for
at the moment she needs more than anything to Discrimination has had a big impact on same-sex marriage.
sleep and get some food.” Norrie’s life. As a shy and sexually naïve She was a keynote speaker and performer
When Dr Jauncey next saw the woman adolescent boy, Norrie did not realise she was at the National Day of Action rally for same-
she was waiting to see a counsellor at the gay until her late teens and started wearing sex marriage on earlier this year.
KRC. Though only months had passed, she flowers in her hair. “It’s a matter of equality. I don’t actually
had begun to grow a full head of hair and was A happy few years identifying as a young, know if marriage is a good idea or not,”
approaching a healthy weight. She sat, with her androgynous gay male at university followed, Norrie says.
head down, buried in a copy of J. D. Salinger’s but things began to unravel when he joined “Everyone should have the same
Catcher in the Rye. the workforce. aspirations available to them. Whether they
Salinger’s novel, which features in high “It was the 1980s when the public service choose to get married later on or not, they
school curricula across the English-speaking said it was gay-friendly and had anti- should know their opportunities are equal.”
world, is a powerful image in the hands of discrimination policies but was, in reality, Norrie, 48, has been male, then female.
a rehabilitating drug addict and one that has old-fashioned. Today, she is “40 per cent gay male, 60 per
remained with Dr Jauncey since. It serves as a “I was allowed to be whoever I wanted cent female”.
reminder that people can, and do, rehabilitate, to be at university. Then I joined the public She has been a cartoonist, a transgender
and that everybody deserves the opportunity to service and suddenly I wasn’t acceptable.” activist, a campaigner for same-sex
stay alive long enough to try. The alleged harassment and bullying marriage, an advocate for sex workers and an
“People have got this sense of, ‘but you have were traumatic. Depressed and distraught, occasional sex worker herself for 20 years.
to get them off drugs right now’. Obviously Norrie came to the conclusion that if it was “Life has taken me in very unexpected
that’s an ideal outcome, but any smoker will unacceptable to be a dress-wearing gay male, directions,” she says.
tell you that it’s not always that easy and it the only answer was to become a dress- “I’ve ended up with friends, most of whom
doesn’t happen the first or the second time even wearing female. are in the sex industry, who party a lot and
that you give up. “It was social pressure definitely that led are into political activism and do meaningful
“Everybody deserves that chance. It might to the sex change because I didn’t think of it things with their lives.”
sound trite, but you can’t get someone who’s until I had a nervous breakdown.
dead into rehab.”
Derby girls roll their way
Drew Barrymore sets her sights on winning in the movie Whip It Above: all rivalry is forgotten in post-match celebrations; and the Sydney City Assassins after
a recent bout.
hirty women on roller skates, dressed in fishnets and short Don’t be fooled by the sexy get-up; roller girls train hard. They spend
shorts, drop simultaneously to the floor: bums up, feet up. This seven hours a week on skates alone, with extra sessions for strength and
is the Porn Star Fall. endurance.
The Porn Star Fall, The T-Stop and the Baseball Slide are The appeal is partly in the theatrics of the sport. Skaters take on a
strategic plays in the latest sports craze to hit Sydney – roller derby. persona and dress up to enhance their skating alter egos. Ms Nelson, or
Sydney’s regional team, The Sydney City Assassins, just returned from “Miss Biff,” describes her skating persona as “a cheerleader who wants
its first interstate bout in Adelaide where it lost 62:129 to the Adelaide to fight everyone.
Phantoms. “It’s about being able to be strong and sporty and sexy and a woman all
“We got annihilated but it was an awesome day,” says Ms Nelson, Vice at the same time,” she says.
President of the Sydney Roller Derby League. The Assassins will play The Sydney league is now gearing up for its third introductory training
again soon against a team from Newcastle. program, Fresh Meat, where a further 60 to 80 Sydney women will be
“Their on-the-track strategy was amazing,” she says.“We learnt so taught the basics of skating.
much and are looking forward to the bout against Newcastle in November.” Karen Pieper, or Paige Turner, a project manager in corporate banking,
The Sydney Roller Derby League is one of 20 all-girl, flat-track roller joined Fresh Meat six months ago.
derby leagues in Australia, and 145 worldwide. Roller derby is a contact “It’s like drama for people who can’t act,” says Miss Pieper. “You get
sport played by two teams of five on quad roller skates on an oval track. to take on a persona, dress up and also get to hang out with really cool
Points are scored when one player – the jammer – passes through smart women.”
the opposing pack of players. The role of the other players – blockers “During the week I have to be the project manager and wear the suit
and pivot blockers – is to prevent the opposition’s jammer from getting and be serious. Here I get to dress up and be silly and let that fun part of
through. my personality come out.”
into the Sydney spotlight
The revival of this sporting spectacular, originally popularised
in 1930s Chicago, began five years ago with the Texas Rollergirls in
America. It quickly grew into a worldwide craze that’s seen independent
amateur leagues spring up in the UK, Germany, Finland, Switzerland,
Denmark, New Zealand and the United Emirates.
Two teams from the Sydney league, The Screaming Assault Sirens
and The Sydney City CB Deviants, played their debut season this year
over 3 games, drawing crowds of up to 500.
“We’ve all been really focused on creating it as a real do-it-yourself
grass roots sport. Two years ago we were just sitting around in a pub
with some really dodgy skates and bad protective gear going: ‘How
does it work?... What are the rules again?’” says Stacey Nelson.
Liz Divine, or Divine Intervention, says refereeing is a good way for
guys to get involved or girls who are interested but nervous about the Clockwise from top left: Ellen Page discovers her passion for roller derby as teenager Babe
contact aspect.“A big part of it is the community value. To meet so many Ruthless in the movie Whip it; the Sydney City Assassins are deadly in action ; a friendly
different people is really wonderful.” post-match congratulations; and a rough tumble, which is all part and parcel of the game.
The spirit behind the disc
What would happen if you told your mates that you were representing
Australia overseas in Ultimate Frisbee? A common reaction is to laugh
at the thought of throwing a disc in a field as part of an international
competition. But over the past decade, the unique game of Ultimate
Frisbee has had burst in popularity, particularly among university students.
The first competitive discs were thrown in American colleges in 1968.
Today Ultimate Frisbee is a thriving game played in over 40 countries on
beaches, backyards, schools and sporting fields.
According to Glenn Hodges, coach of the Frisbee Club of UTS, the
sport has become increasingly popular in Australia since he began playing
in the 1990s, “There are now more players than ever at an elite level and
who undertake tougher routines.”
When training for this year’s University Games on the Gold Coast, the
UTS team blended athletic practices with an occasional pub outing.
The aim of the annual University Games is to bring usually distant
teams together to enjoy the spirit of the Games and soak up the sun and
surf. Most importantly it encourages the continuous growth and support
of Australian student sporting communities.
However, Evan Sieff, Vice-President of UTS Ultimate Frisbee,
believes his club and many others are in need of sponsorship. “In order to
be taken seriously, we need some serious support.”
In the frisbee sub-culture, the sport is known simply as ‘Ultimate’
which invites us into the social world behind the disc. “Once the game is
over, we’re all mates. The frisbee community is very close. We all stick
together,” says Evan.
But friendships undoubtedly unravel when rivalries erupt at
competitions. Despite UTS playing in Division One on the Gold Coast
this year, the massive powerhouse that is Sydney University continues to
be a threat.
“Sydney have put everything into training for these University Games,”
says the Sydney Uni captain, Brett Latham.
Ultimate Frisbee is non-discriminatory and allows players to be of any
age, sex, size or speed. It is self-refereed which further adds to its appeal
as a social sport. Flicks for kicks: Frisbee players in the heat of the moment.
Wheels in motion for a cycling city
Sydney City Council will spend $70 million in cycling as an environmentally friendly and safe Andrew Dodds, Vice President of Bike
the next four years to build an extensive cycle alternative transport option. Sydney, says that the cycleways will give
network throughout the city. Josh MacKenzie, Senior Media Officer for commuters and residents a convenient transport
The infrastructure is part of the Council’s Sydney City Council, says that the cycleways option.
Cycle Strategy and Action Plan which began in will allow hesitant cyclists to ride the busy “Sydney as a city becomes more attractive
April 2007. streets of the city with confidence. if you can encourage not just residents but
The proposed cycleway will be a 200 “People have told us they want to ride but commuters who’d otherwise be driving or
kilometre track which will include 55 kilometres are hesitant to do so in Sydney next to fast catching public transport to start cycling,” he
of separated cycleways. moving traffic,” Mr Mackenzie says. says.
In February, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of The King Street cycleway opened in May this “I’ll certainly be using the Missendon Road
Sydney, said that surveys of the City of Sydney year and is the first of many to be completed. cycleway.”
area indicated a 37 per cent increase in residents Other cycleways due for construction will be Mr Dodds says that although the cycleway
who cycle to work. The Council’s cycle strategy located in College Street, Missenden Road and infrastructure will encourage drivers to
intends to meet this rising demand. Union Street. start cycling to work there is no one silver-
The plan aims to increase cycling in the Construction on the Bourke Street cycleway bullet solution to improving Sydney’s
city by 500 per cent by 2017 and to promote has begun and is due for completion by 2010. current transport system.
Lunchtime of fitness Students take
Thanh Hieu Dinh
on ping pong
ome on, guys. Pass me the ball,” a adding that many of his friends also play Alex Jones
soccer player urges his team-mate. sport at noon at the Domain Park in Sydney
The closer they get to the goalpost, CBD. Crouching poodles and Atlantic salmon have
the more urgent the shout. The Sports and Aquatic Centre is open to the been spotted at Moore Theological College
Along with it is the incessant thud of sports general public as well as students. in Newton.
shoes against the wooden floor and the whistle of Leonie Lum, Programs Manager, said the But they’re not dogs or fish – they’re
the referee, creating the hectic atmosphere of an activities were initiated more than five years names used to describe the moves, mistakes
indoor soccer game at the Sydney University’s ago as part of the University’s Lunchtime Social and techniques of students who play in the
Sports and Aquatic Centre during a Monday Sport program. college’s table tennis competition.
lunchtime. “The activities offer a good opportunity Second-year student Steve Boxwell
Many students, whether they have just set to get outside to meet people and be active,” and his friends came up with the names
foot on campus or have been there for years, Ms Lum says. while watching fellow students play in
share a passion for sport. And sport at lunchtime has become ‘pong’ showdowns.
However, for these students, lunchtime is not increasingly popular among office workers in “We wait till something happens that’s
just for eating. Instead, it is also the time to get Sydney as well. funny or a bit unusual,” Mr Boxwell says.
the legs going and the heart pumping. Lunchtime Legends, a corporate sports “We’re trying to identify signature moves
Andrew Brown, a 20-year-old Malaysian competition in Sydney that has been running people have, kind of like Street Fighter,”
university student, is a newcomer to the Sports for more than 16 years, attracts a weekly he says.
and Aquatic Centre, but looks eager. participation of more than 2,000 people. Students have embraced the competition
“I am playing futsal or indoor soccer simply Director Helmut Fleig said Lunchtime which was set up to promote a sense of
because I like it,” he says. Legends has participating companies community and foster relationships among
“I have formed the team with my friends from financing, banking, insurance and the students.
from the Sydney International Village and we the legal sector. “It makes things a little bit more
usually come here between 1pm and 2pm every “It’s really an opportunity for them to get light-hearted and more social and gets
Monday to play the sport for two sets, each out of the office because people spend so everyone out of the books and lets people
lasting 15 minutes.” many hours sitting in the office, so it’s truly an muck around,” says Mr Alby Lam, sports
Apart from futsal, students can opt to play opportunity for them to come and play,” he says. committee member.
netball and basketball. Mr Fleig says there are three principal Table tennis originated in Victorian
Rowan Kunz, 22, who is now in his final year benefits: fitness, fun and stress relief. England, where it was played between
at the Sydney University’ s Faculty of Law, has “But the upshot of all those things is people British Officers.
been playing soccer during lunchtime for nearly are in a non-work environment with their A champagne cork was used as a ball,
five years now. colleagues,” he says. which was hit with cigarette boxes over a
“Well, I like soccer, and doing it during “It really does build better co-operation ‘net’ of books.
lunchtime gives me a good break since I can run among staff and better attachment within the The game has been controlled by the
around a bit and meet a lot of friends,” he says, organization,” Mr Fleig says. International Table Tennis Federation since
1926. It became an Olympic sport in 1988.
Sue Stevenson, High Performance and
Coaching Coordinator of Table Tennis
Australia, says it takes a lot of skill to
“Internationally, the athletes train six
hours a day, six days a week, 365 days a
year,” Ms Stevenson says.
“They rarely ever have time off. You have
to be able to make decisions in fractions of
seconds,” she says.
Ms Stevenson believes Australia’s
professional table tennis athletes are not
exposed to the same level of international
competition as the 20 million Chinese and
With this said, it appears that most average
players will have to be happy with the simple
glory of winning a game of ping pong in a
suburban garage – complete with ‘crouching
poodles’ and ‘Atlantic salmon.’
Training hard: joggers ditch their office clothes at lunch time for a session of exercise at The Domain in Sydney.
Danger on the rocks Alex Jones
eneath the thrill of rock fishing lies Sydney has several rock fishing black spots,
danger and tragedy few people know including north and south of Maroubra Bay and
about. The sport has claimed nine Malabar Bay, and the bottom of St Michael’s
lives in NSW this year alone and at Golf Course at La Perouse.
least 50 lives over the last four years, according The recently formed National Rock
to the Government’s ‘Safe Waters’ website. Fishing Safety Panel, established by
These statistics may scare some, but for rock Surf Life Saving Australia, aims to
fisherman Vincent Hou, the risk and uncertainty educate fishermen and reduce the number
A fisherman barely escapes as waves sweep over the rocks. adds to the sport’s appeal. of rock fishing accidents and fatalities.
“Danger is part of the reason it is exciting,” Its media campaign, to be released late this
he says. year, will target newspapers and radio. ‘Safe
“Everything you do in the city is repetitive, fishing’ workshops will be conducted along the
but if you go out on the rocks and go fishing you coast as well as in the western suburbs.
don’t know what you’re going to catch. The best Chris Parker, Senior Lifesaving Officer
feeling is uncertainty.” with Surf Life Saving NSW, hopes the panel
However, Mr Hou, who has been rock fishing will succeed where previous independent ones
since 2006, believes many rock fishermen have failed.
remain uneducated about the dangers involved. “Rather than trying to do it alone, this is the
“There are a lot of people who just don’t care. first time a formal group has worked together to
A trapped fisherman waits to be saved from the deadly waves. They go without really caring about the weather. achieve the same goal.”
If they’re lucky they get away with it; if not they As the warmer months approach, life saving
Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter
get washed out into the water,” he says. officers will be on their guard.
Tony Wood, Crew Chief of Westpac Life “It’s the time when we see more people
Saver Rescue, has rescued many such people coming to the beach and taking more risks,” Mr
from the sea. Parker says.
He says the key to making rock fishing safer According to Mr Tony Wood, people
lies in fishermen wearing the necessary safety should ask themselves one question before
equipment. taking such risks: “You can go out and
“Nine times out of 10 if the person doesn’t drown, but what’s left behind? Just think of
have a life jacket, the mission will end in a body your family.”
retrieval rather than a rescue,” he says.
A Westpac helicopter scours the rocks for trapped fishermen.
Women tackling AFL
Every weekend 80,000 women and young girls Talent Manager of AFL, says young women
around Australia put their bodies on the line to fought for the right to play the game once they
play AFL. had reached an age where they were excluded
Boasting some of the largest growth of from the boys’ competition.
female participants in any sport across the “It’s quite remarkable the growth in both
country, AFL is reaping the benefits of women women and girls in women’s football. It was
flocking to show off their athletic skills. evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Women
“I think awareness has been a big thing, demanded the right to play a game that they
especially in Sydney. We’ve had 10 years in were falling in love with,” says Mr Sheehan.
the competition now and now have a couple You have to look no further than the
more teams that are spread across a wider SWAFL to uncover bravery, success
demographic. So now that we’ve expanded and commitment to the game. The Newtown
a little bit, we’ve got a higher presence in Breakaways, who walked away from the 2009
AFL,”says Jemma Still, President of the Sydney season with their fifth premiership, show no 2009 Grand Final: Newtown Breakaways vs. Western Wolves.
Women’s AFL (SWAFL). sign of slowing down. As a team on the field we have that ‘will to win’
The push for better organised senior women’s “I believe that wearing the red and white attitude and we never give up, even if we’re
AFL was certainly noticed by the sport’s actually means something to the players who down,” says, Rebecca Burridge, Newtown
governing officials. Kevin Sheehan, National join each year as the club has a proud history. Breakaways President and current player.
Get your kicks out of tricks
Up in the air: Trickers take the floor to perform new and daring manoeuvres.
hen it comes to pushing the 2007. In January next year, gatherings out of extreme martial arts. Athletes
limits, some people like to jump will be held at gyms, parks and beaches around upgraded their competitive routines
out of planes, run marathons Sydney, with trickers from across the nation with flips from gymnastics as well as new
or wrangle reptiles. But for and overseas anticipating an adrenaline-fuelled variations of traditional kicks and twists.
practitioners of a sport called tricking, nothing summer. Ernie Reyes Snr formed the world’s first
is more exhilarating than stringing together According to Scotty Skelton, a 21-year- tricking group in America and shortly after, the
a unique sequence of flashy flips and kung fu old tricker from Brisbane, it is often the sport went global.
kicks. amazing moves that first attract people to Trickers used instant messaging,
Tricking is an aesthetic blend of aerial tricking, but it is the friendships formed online forums and video-hosting sites
gymnastics skills and martial arts manoeuvres and life lessons learned that keep them coming to share training videos and tips. Soon
with influence from other sports such as break back for more. they began to organise seasonal and annual
dancing and snowboarding. It is performed “To say tricks have shaped who I am as gatherings to train and learn.
in ‘combos’ with as much innovation and a person would be the understatement of the Tricking is a sport mainly dominated by
individual style as possible. century. Tricking has taught me more about men. However, as it becomes more and more
Twenty-three-year-old Morgan Flook has persistence, the importance of getting up after a popular, girls are getting involved bringing a
been participarting in the sport for eight years fall – sometimes quite literally – and as cheesy new dimension to the sport.
and says it has become a lifestyle for him. as it sounds, the power of friendship,” he says. Twently-one-year-old Sarah Laidler was
“The idea is to define yourself as a tricker, Recently Scotty Skelton was acknowledged attracted to the sport when she saw people
show your dedication and express that in a way as the first tricker in the world to land a ‘triple training at the gymnasium where she was a
that you can be proud of,” he says. cork’ – a slanted back somersault off one leg recreational gymnast.
“Tricking is such a young sport and the with three complete twists. “I think many girls are scared to try or give
direction and form its taking is very exciting,” “Four years and about four million crashes up too easy. We generally don’t pick things up
he says later I finally got lucky enough to make people as quickly as the guys and that can be quite
Many young Australians have caught think otherwise. It’s a moment I will never discouraging, especially when there are few
on to the new underground sport; the first forget,” he says. girls to compare yourself to,” she says.
Australian Tricks Gathering was held in Tricking developed during the 1990’s
Close encounters the new cool
t emerges from the depths of the crystal mothers and calves have been seen regularly heritage, and cruises such as those run by
clear ocean, beautiful and graceful, yet in October, often very close to shore, with Tribal Warrior take people on a journey to learn
frighteningly large, its dark body glistening curious calves swimming towards tour boats. about the traditions of Aboriginal people. Rob
with the salty water. The Humpback whale These tours also research whether rules for Roberts, the Sales Manager at Tribal Warrior,
lunges into the air and comes crashing down whale-watching are adequate, and to study says that the cruises connect Aboriginal and
again, a spectacular sight, and all within metres. their migration path. modern culture, taking participants ashore on
According to Tourism NSW, “New Sydney has countless landmarks, many of a Sydney Harbour island to teach them about
South Wales has the advantage of offering which are easily seen on foot. Adventurers can traditional Aboriginal dance and music.
a wide variety of nature experiences within choose to travel by water, kayaking through “It includes informative commentary and
one state. And because we are seen as the Sydney Harbour. Sydney Harbour Kayaks take the stories passed down from generation
international gateway to Australia, we groups to familiar sites and other locations to generation on the Sydney Harbour clans
are able to capture a large portion of the accessible only by water, and teach about their and their hunting and fishing techniques and
nature tourism market.” natural and social history. the first contacts between the Aboriginal
Ecotourism educates travellers by taking Australia’s culture is rich with Aboriginal people and Europeans.”
them to unusual areas to witness flora, fauna
and cultural heritage in a pristine state while
creating minimal impact on the environment.
The Bonza Bike Tours combine exercise
with Sydney’s scenic views while minimising
the impact of conventional tourism. Much like
walking tours, they steer away from polluting
forms of transport such as buses and cars.
On the Sydney Classic Bonza Bike Tours,
guides take participants to Sydney’s iconic sites
and also lesser known places. Key sites include
the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour
Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park,
Chinatown, and some museums and galleries.
Courtesty of Tribal Warriors
Australia has some of the most unique flora
and fauna in the world but Sydneysiders rarely
get to see them up close, except in captivity.
For plant and animal lovers, there is Centennial
Park’s Centennial Parkland and Spotlight
Prowl and the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens’
free guided tours.
Centennial Park rangers lead groups into the Travellers can learn about Aboriginal song and dance during Tribal Warrior tours.
park at dusk on a guided walk, to put a spotlight
on creatures such as brush-tailed possums, Grey-
headed Flying foxes,corellas and microbats.
Centennial Park ranger Rebecca Collett says,
“The primary focus of the Spotlight Prowl is to
join a ranger to look for animals in the park after
dark as well as to educate and inform members
of the public about plants and animals that are
found in an urban Sydney park.”
Courtesty of Sydney Bonanza Bike Tours
Meanwhile, volunteer guides take groups
on free tours through Sydney’s Royal Botanic
Gardens twice daily to explore the plants and
history of the gardens.
On the water, whale-watching tours get up
close, especially during the Humpback whales’
annual migration to the south from the middle
of May until early December. They also teach
participants about marine ecology and other
creatures such as the Bottlenose and Common
dolphins, and on occasion, the Blue whale.
The Whale Watching Sydney blog states that The Sydney Bonza Bike Tours takes vistors past Sydney landmarks whilst minimising its impact on the local environment.
Two men perform capoeira in a promotional photo shoot for Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival.
Brazil’s fight club takes off
t a glance it might appear that of looking inwards to achieve fulfilment. This not capoeira, it’s a physical movement.”
capoeira, Brazil’s version of karate change in values has helped lift the profile of As Capoeira Angola is born from empirical
or kung fu, is simply another martial capoeira in Australia. learning, you need to learn from a master who,
art. But in reality it is much more “The people see capoeira on television, in in turn, has learned from another master.”
than that. magazines, at school and university. YouTube Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking
Capoeira was born in the 16th century with and the internet have provided easy access,” an interest in capoeira as a form of fitness. The
the African slave population in the sugar Meire-lou says. acrobatic movements look impressive and those
plantations of Brazil. Music and dance-like While she is pleased with the growing who practice it are trim and toned.
movements were fused with kicks and head- interest in capoeira, she worries that in reaching Meire-lou Marchiori says: “Capoeira even
butts to produce a form of self-defence unlike the masses, its traditions and culture will today empowers you. You feel very strong
anything else in the world. become diluted. about yourself and it changes how you present
Over the years the practice of capoeira “That’s a big concern, the fear when people yourself for the better.”
has evolved. learn capoeira through YouTube they’ll lose the Mestre Roxinho has taken this message a
Meire-lou Marchiori, a teacher at Grupo tradition of it, where it all comes from or how it step further by running Project Bantu, a program
Capoeira Brasil, explains: all started. teaching Capoeira Angola’s skills and traditions
“We don’t fight people, we play them. It’s “You have to relate to another person, it’s a to underprivileged children and teenagers of
a game where we develop not just physically body language, a game, you have to develop a Aboriginal and refugee background.
but emotionally and psychologically as well. body dialogue.” “Capoeira Angola with all its tradition, ritual
It combines elements of acrobatics, dance, This is certainly a concern for Mestre and culture can educate young people and help
gymnastics, fighting, music, but in the end it’s Roxinho, Edielson Miranda, whose school them socialise, give them a space where there
a celebration.” practices the more traditional form of capoeira, is respect.
In these lean times, more and more people Capoeira Angola. “Young people are the future for Capoeira
are spurning material possessions in favour “What they actually learn on YouTube is Angola and the maintaining of its tradition.”