The Arts and Australians: 7 Songs from the ‘Other Side’ of Oz


One of the great things about being an Australian is wherever you wander the world odds are good you’ll come across someone from close to home. Whether in old Tokyo, hiking the Appalachian trail, or in the foothills of Rome, if you’re really in a pinch debating who is better between Australia or the South Africa at Rugby a quick ‘tell him he’s dreaming!’ will get you a cheeky Aussie nearby ready to recall the nation’s great sporting moments.

What’s more, Australia ‘kicks goals’ world over. True, the nation’s culture isn’t perfect in all cultural exports – Vegemite is most certainly an acquired taste after all –  but criticisms of experiences with the locals Down Under more often center around a run in with an Emu over a over a hipster in Melbourne (though true, both dress in black and have skinny legs).

Were there one drawback to a cheery national identity though, it’s that some of our great and immense contributions to the arts can at times be overlooked. Sure, you know the words to Back in Black, Eagle Rock, have Friday on your Mind now and then –  and you always hear Click to continue reading

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Rained Out: Melbourne and 3 Cities to Hail under Grey Skies


If you’re living there right now, or just reading the news from afar and checking the forecast you’ll know: the world’s most liveable city has been in a springtime snafu. While September is meant to be the start of warmer weather and a preview of summer, the past few days have seen far more people tempted to pack a snowboard over a surfboard for a weekend away.

Next Award: 'The World's most swimmable city?'

Pictured: Not exactly what Melburnians had in mind for springtime weather.

It should not be news weather can have a big impact on a city and region. This does not just apply to train delays, lost productivity in the workplace (as many may be inclined to stay under the covers and call in sick on a torrential day), but also to the positive effect of good weather on a locale.

With its eternally sunny climes – getting on average 293 days of sunshine in the city compared to New York’s 234 – Los Angeles long lingered as a natural choice to setup shop a century ago as the American capital of film making. Further south you’ve a city like San Diego, heralded as having one of the greatest climates in the worldClick to continue reading

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Melbourne: 5 Years as the World’s Most Liveable City (and 5 Books to Explain It)


For 5 years in a row Melbourne has been named by The Economist magazines annual survey as the World’s Most Liveable City. While Melburnians as a rule have long aspired to function over decoration – for this title is wonderful but unlikely to happily cited if stuck in traffic on the Westgate – yet is nonetheless affirmation the city is one of opportunity, diversity, and lifestyle; and surely a quiet point of pride for any Melburnians who travel beyond Greater Melbourne.

News this week then that Melbourne could stand to lose its title when the rankings are announced next week generated much discussion. It may be a new headline but in another respect is not news. Melbourne is not perfect, and it is a city that has problems.

This is not a derision but instead just acknowledgement that there is always more to do – and resting on our laurels has surely never been the Melburnian nor Australian way. Just as a generations of great Australian swimmers have seared through the swimming pool and rewritten records books in prior Olympics so too do we cheer the Campbell sisters in Rio right now on their gold and new World RecordClick to continue reading

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Australia abroad in Sport: The Championships We Win Overnight

Melbourne City CBD

It may be after hours for other nations but nightfall in Australia means there’s sports on abroad. Picture: Melbourne, Australia at night.

Its an oddity of living in Australia that few people may at first understand. It may be hard to imagine we have a winter – and true, few Australians kept from their surfboards and summer bike rides may be happy about it – but the trade off to winter-living in Australia is the bounty of sport on offer during this season, albeit after hours. This is true not just in June, July, and August; but all months of the year.

The deeper answers for why the nation is sports mad are best left to a certified sociologist. At its core though it can be offered it’s a nation with a love of healthy competition, and also community. For a nation that for much of its early history was largely isolated from much of the world, the kinship and connection felt by community – that no matter who the athlete or team is if they wear our colours we’re going to back them – has lingered long in our local sports, our national competitions, and has been at the … Click to continue reading

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Melbourne and Sydney property markets vs the World


Large-scale investment from Asia and particularly China is not confined to Australia. Yet, skim some local headlines on your phone or pick up any Sunday morning paper and you’d be hard pressed to find a mention of the word that is crucial to any report on the trend: context.

New York. Where a huge Chinese investment boom is also occurring. Picture: supplied.

New York. Where a huge Chinese investment boom is also occurring. Picture: supplied.

Certainly, both the Melbourne and Sydney property markets have been going through a certifiable surge in recent months and years. Yet, neither Melbourne nor Sydney nor wider Australia is unique in this regard. At all.

Simply put, foreign investment by Chinese investors is immense the world over right now. From Melbourne and Sydney to London,  New York, Toronto and beyond. Chinese investment is big business. To most this is not news, but now and then some of the more sensationalist coverage in Australian media deploys a ‘blind spot’ this reality. So, here now a ‘just in case’ overview…

The “China Challenge” for Australia’s economy

For those yet to encounter the debate surrounding Chinese investment in Australia it is largely is as follows. While Australians may welcome the economic growth and greater wealth that comes Click to continue reading

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Bree and Sam’s reason for running the Melbourne Marathon

Bree and Sam Wollany's Run4aReason campaign. Image: Run4aReason

Bree and Sam Wollany’s Run4aReason campaign. Image: Run4aReason


7.40am Saturday November 16 2015

by Ed Kennedy

Bree and Sam mean business. Two young and dynamic girls who are having a go all across their work and wider life as they speed through their twenties. Nursing, working in airline cabin crew, serving in the Australian Defence Forces Reserves – and oh yeah a bit of running – colours their life and day-to-day. These girls are fun, good natured and normal. This is why the story of their past year is so compelling.

When their father Richard fell ill with PSP the family didn’t run from the diagnosis. For those yet to hear of it – and it’s indeed true this is a illness many have but many more are yet to have of – may the following bring you up to speed.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy is a rare neurological condition affecting the parts of the brain that control walking, eye movements, balance, speech and swallowing.

Challenging‚ confronting and all at once overwhelming‚ the Wolany clan looked to come together and emerge stronger as a result. Many would feel tempted to run at such a difficult moment – Bree and Sam … Click to continue reading

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What does Prime Minister Turnbull mean for Bayside and Victoria?

PMTurnbull.BayCit.September 2015.

Malcolm Turnbull, his wife Lucy and grandson Jack after being sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia at Government House, Canberra. Image: Malcolm Turnbull Instagram

by Ed Kennedy

Malcolm Turnbull has ascended to the top job in Australia and with it changed the face of the national political landscape. While the implications and aftershocks of Monday’s leadership spill – that deposed former prime minister Tony Abbott for Malcolm Turnbull by a vote of 54 to 44 – shall take time to fully see; the short term implications are already looming large. This is especially true for Bayside and wider Victoria.

So, what does it mean for Bayside that one prime minister from Sydney, NSW has been replaced with another prime minister – also from Sydney, NSW? A great deal as it turns out.

I. Andrew Robb’s future appears more secure

Under Tony Abbott, local MP for Goldstein and Australian Minister for Trade Andrew Robb’s future was uncertain. As well as often being touted in the press as a future American Ambassador – often viewed as code for getting pushed out of Cabinet – Andrew Robb was also reportedly lambasted by Abbott during recent weeks for his performance; unusual for a … Click to continue reading

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