Stoic optimism brings hope in Slovenia

No hardship can crush the hopes of two million people. “Freezing winters, communism, war… all these we endure,” Ljubljana’s Helena said. The red-haired university lecturer stood and watched passers-by stroll through the the main square of Slovenia in southern central Europe. Despite a struggling economy and a ballooning refugee crisis, Helena is optimistic about the […]


Aussies fly on their broomsticks to England for wizard games

Accio broomstick! Australia’s quidditch team will compete in the international summer games in Oxford, timed to coincide with the London Olympics. The sport on broomsticks has swept the globe since 2005 when Xander Manshel adapted the rules in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books for muggles (non-magic humans). Quidditch summer games organiser Karen Kumaki said Australia, […]


Greek festival supports Aboriginal protestors

After being forcibly removed from Musgrave Park last week to make way for the annual Paniyiri Festival, Aboriginal protestors today joined in celebrations with the Greek community. Indigenous dancers gave a Welcome to Country ceremony to show that their quarrel was with local and state government, not the festival organisers. More than 200 police forced […]


City organ gets $2m tune-up

The Brisbane City Hall organ will make its grand re-entrance to Brisbane’s cultural life next year after restoration costing about $1.9 million. Intense restoration work on the 1890s classic organ continues in a workshop at Hemmant in Brisbane’s east. Master organ builder Simon Pierce said a 10-member team from Pierce Pipe Organs was restoring the […]


Juggers play it fast and furious in New Farm

It looked like the rehearsal of a medieval battle scene. People fighting with swords and spears, wearing track pants and t-shirts, were thrown into relief against a darkening sky in New Farm park. The mystery was solved when someone handed me a green leaflet that said: Jugger. Jugger is a game based on the 1989 […]


Young string players charm Brisbane Square

The Terzina String Trio entertained patrons with enchanting baroque music at the Brisbane Square library last week as part of the Fête de la Musique Brisbane festival. The two-year-old trio is made up of Queensland Conservatorium students – twin 19-year-old brothers Michael Poulton on violin and Phillip Poulton on viola and Camilla Tafra, 20, on […]


Reynolds’ “Portrait of Aneas Mackay” is remarkable in its silence

It’s amazing what can be the most attention grabbing artistic work in a collection. People joke about sculptures made from great heaps of rubbish, and paintings that are reminiscent of their 4-year-old niece’s artistic triumphs. But in this case, we see a quiet painting of a man who seems as if he isn’t even there, […]


Glimpses into the life of an artist who died too young

Queensland Art Gallery When painter Amrita Sher-Gil died in 1941 aged 28 she was already recognised as one of India’s most important artists, though she left behind only about 150 canvasses. Born in Hungary to a Jewish opera-singer mother and an Indian Sikh father, her talent was nurtured early and at the age of 16 […]


Life and Light – Lloyd Rees at the QAG

More than 100 pieces of Lloyd Rees’s artwork are being shown at the Queensland Art Gallery this month, celebrating the Brisbane-born artist’s long and successful career. The Life and Light exhibition focuses on Rees’ early drawings of Brisbane and showcases his exploration of light in landscapes, street scenes and portraits. One of his most prominent […]


Review: Girl of the Golden West

Opera Queensland (Lyric Theatre) A strange mix of poker games, Italian, gun fights and high notes, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West combines the cultured world of opera with the 1850s gold rush in California – and somehow does it well. The opera has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it, with Minnie, the […]


Sherbet icon braves the sun for Green Heart

Skin cancer victim Daryl Braithwaite endured the strong Queensland sun yesterday, to wow the crowd at the Council’s Green Heart Fair at Chermside. The Australian pop icon, who made his name in the ’70s band Sherbet, was the climax of the festival, a initiative of Council’s Green Heart (sustainability) campaign. Green Heart is Council’s attempt […]


Asian fusion the key to new life for Brisbane restaurants

Brisbane’s restaurants have fallen under harsh scrutiny from critics and the press alike. Its culinary scene has received harsh criticism over the years, with claims that Brisbane food culture represents a “cultural desert”. Alchemy Restaurant manager Edward Bray rejects the criticism. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a cultural desert as such, it’s constantly evolving, desert […]


Street poll: Should we ban the burqa?

France has passed laws to ban the wearing of the burqa in public places. The ban has attracted criticism from many people, including human rights groups, but some say there should be similar laws in Australia. We asked people in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall what they thought.


Mr Dick makes fun of someone’s name

Campbell Newman is like the character Newman (pictured) in Seinfeld, Minister for Industrial Relations and Education Cameron Dick said today. “Like the postman in Seinfeld, Campbell Newman is known for his shonky, shoddy and grand schemes that eventually come to nothing. Like the postman, Campbell Newman loves his position, loves his status, but never delivers,” […]


Street poll: the future of bookstores

Many brick-and-mortar bookstores are faced with the fact that readers are increasingly buying books in digital form or from internet marketplaces. Borders bookchain in the United States announced bankruptcy last month and the Australian chain announced voluntary administration the next day. We came to the Borders store in Brisbane’s CBD to ask shoppers if they […]


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