MonthOctober 2020

Music for Canberra appoints new artistic co-convenors

Dr Nicole Hammill and Rachel Gould have just been appointed as artistic co-convenors at Music For Canberra.

Sydney-born Nicole Hammill studied in the US for 11 years, achieving a Doctor of Musical Arts from Louisiana State University.  She subsequently lectured at two American universities and returned to Australia to lecture at James Cook University. 

Dr Hammill has taught at the Queensland Conservatorium the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Southern Queensland. 

She has been an active soloist and chamber musician, performing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra since1999. She has acted as Principal First Violin for five years. 

An AMEB examiner and frequent adjudicator, in 2007, she completed a Graduate Diploma of Counselling, leading to an interest in personality theory and its application to music teaching.

Dr Hammill will take prime responsibility for the classical music orchestras and instruction for MFC.

Nicole Hammill and Rachel Gould spoke to Barbie about their appointment as artistic co-convenors at Music for Canberra

Rachel Gould is a Bachelor of Music graduate from the ANU School of Music, where she studied clarinet and piano.

She has worked in the Canberra music scene for around 20 years, including at ANU, as a professional stage manager,  as production and operations manager at the National Folk Festival, and as production and venue manager for the Canberra International Music Festival.

Propelled by a passion for youth music education, she has also been the ACT outreach officer managing the ACT Musica Viva in Schools program and Masterclass Series, and the artistic director of the Young Music Society’s summer school program. Rachel will focus particularly on non-classical music programs at MFC.

The new co-convenors share a passion for youth music education and will no doubt contribute richly with their talents and  impressive qualifications to the MFC organisation and to Canberra’s music landscape.

Chris Hammer – Trust

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020

Trust is the third of the Martin Scarsden series. They are lineal, but there is no need to have read the first two to make sense of and enjoy the third.

This is a pacey novel, plot driven but with careful attention to all characters, including the supporting cast.

Barbie speaks to Chris Hammer about Trust
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Canberra, Australia: c/o Craft ACT – 2020 Craft ACT Members Exhibition

Craft ACT, Canberra City, and online at
29 October – 12 December 2020

Due to the social distancing Craft ACT will deliver its members exhibition public programs a little differently this year. Forty people are allowed in the gallery at any time. There will therefore be two events to celebrate the opening of the 2020 members show:

  • c/o Craft ACT: 2020 members exhibition preview, Craft ACT gallery, Thursday 29 October (3 sessions, bookings essential)
  • Members celebration, Festival Hub (City Walk) Friday 20 November, 5-6pm.
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Dorothy-Jane Gosper – The Witness album launch and performances

Friday 6 November 2020 7:30pm
Austrian Australian Club, Mawson, ACT
Tickets $11 plus booking fee. Limited seating


Sunday 29 November 2020 4pm and 5:30pm
Smith’s Alternative, Canberra City


From Her Canberra:

There have been days over the last few years, where blues singer-songwriter Dorothy-Jane Gosper has had trouble stringing even a few words together.

In 2016, she faced a nightmare in which she witnessed her husband molesting a child.

Incredible upheaval followed—in which he was sentenced to prison and she was left with massive financial debts she had no idea about, losing the stability of having a roof over her head.

And then in 2018, Dorothy-Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Out of such despair, Dorothy-Jane did what she knew what to do, she composed music and let her heart and voice do the rest.

The Witness is Dorothy-Jane’s ninth album, but it is her most important. It will be launched on Sunday 22 March at Smith’s Alternative.

“I had to make this album, not only as a way to heal and process what I and others have been through, but also to help remind others that not only does this type of abuse happen every day, but that it is possible to expose it, to find justice and to grow beyond it,” says Dorothy-Jane.

“In telling my story I hope people have the courage to call out abuse where they see it, to question where they suspect it, and to be ready to help those facing abuse to make that difficult step of telling someone about it.”

Araluen exhibition of photographs and other works

Federal Hall, 5989 Araluen Rd, Araluen NSW
Daily 2-5pm until Sat 31 October 2020

This exhibition of works made during last summer by Araluen people aims to help them share their experiences, appreciate the sustained effort by fire fighters and so many others and to thank everyone who helped their community through the most challenging of summers.

Araluen local Lauranne Ye walked around the exhibition with Barbie

Cakes and lunch available in the hall, Christmas shop, drinks and counter lunch at the pub. Tickets in the big Xmas Raffle available.

For information email  [email protected]

Emma Rani Hodges – winner of TAC’s 2019 EASS Award

Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s Emerging Artist Exhibition Award
Tuggeranong Arts Centre Foyer Gallery
Until 18 December 2020

Emma Rani Hodges draws from the aspects of her cultural history left behind in the process of migration. The works are primarily constructed from fabric offcuts given to Hodges by her grandmother, a dressmaker in Thailand.

Barbie spoke to Emma Rani Hodges at Tuggeranong Arts Centre
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In the Spirit – an outdoor live dance installation

Canberra Dance Theatre, in partnership with Contour 556 and Ausdance ACT
Saturday 31 October at 12.30pm and 2.00pm outside East Space gallery
Original music by Teresa Wojcik

In the Spirit features 16 members of CDT’s GOLD and REVEL performance groups, directed by Jacqui Simmonds and Philip Piggin.

It will be performed on and around Fiona Hooton’s sculpture, Ziggurat, a straw bale construction located on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin, part of the Contour 556 festival, Canberra’s Public Art Biennial from 9 to 31 October 2020.

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Denise Leith – The Night Letters

Ventura Press, Australia, 2020

The Night Letters is Denise Leith’s second novel. She has also published two works of non-fiction, very much in the realm of her academic expertise in International Relations and Middle East politics.

She also draws on this, on extensive research and on the experiences of much overseas travel in the creation of this beautiful, sensitive novel set in Afghanistan, in particular in Kabul.

Denise Leith talks about The Night Letters
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Bad Sydney Crime Writers’ Festival

Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 November 2020
State Library of NSW in person and live streamed on Zoom
Book at

The Australian writers section of BAD features appearances by true crime and crime fiction writers.

Barbie speaks with Catherine de Peloux, director of Bad Sydney Writers’ Festival

It’s an impressive line-up:

Greg Woodland, Petronella Mc Govern, Benjamin Stevenson, Tanya Bretherton, Michael Robotham, Brian Toohey, Kate McClymont, Russell Oxford, Robert Anderson, David Balding, Garry Disher, Metjin Boersma, Justine Nolan, Deb Wallace, Michael Brissenden, Chris Hammer, Caroline Overington, Gary Jubelin, Suzanne Leal, Diane Armstrong, Alan Gold, Nick Kaldas, Natalie Conyer, Anna Downes, Tom Kenneally, Lyndal Gowland, Jess Hill, Ian Lynch, Duncan McNab, Angela Williams and Xanthe Mallett.

The fiction covers the gamut of the genre. The true crime includes social justice/crime issues like modern slavery and violence against women and children, as well as state security, victim impact, unsafe convictions and policing.

Offering a live option at the library, the festival is also live streaming all events in the Dixson Room viz Zoom. Detailed descriptions of each session, the writers and panelists are at

Bad ALL Year allows you to enjoy regular online events. You can subscribe to Bad Sydney e-newsletter via their home page.

Sophie Green – The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle

Hachette, Australia, 2020

Following the huge success of The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club (2017), Sophie Green brings us another story of female friendship. Four women of diverse ages and backgrounds and each with her own private demons and challenges, bond through a daily morning ocean swim.

Barbie talks to Sophie Green about The Shelly Bayt Ladies Swimming Circle
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British Film Festival 2020

10 to 28 November 2020
Palace Electric Canberra

The British Film Festival will open on 10 November with a riotous reimagining of Noël Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit starring Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Dame Judi Dench and Leslie Mann.

The festival features 22 films from powerful true stories and literary adaptations to biographies, comedies and documentaries – tickets to the 2020 festival are now on sale.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

  • Ammonite – From writer/director Francis Lee. Set in 1840s England and starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. The story of a palaeontology pioneer and a young woman and the story of their forbidden love.
  • Misbehaviour – Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley star in this film about true story feminist protestors who disrupted the Miss World beauty competition in London in 1970.
  • Six Minutes To Midnight – A discovery at a school for the daughters of the Nazi elite leads to a series of deadly events. Starring Eddie Izzard and Dame Judi Dench.
  • The Nest – Dramatic thriller starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon. Life for a British entrepreneur and his family begin to take a twisted turn after moving to an English country manor.
  • Summerland – A romantic drama set in World War II starring Gemma Arterton as an English woman who opens her heart to an evacuee in a story of love and friendship.

Retrospective screenings, all in 4K restoration, include The Elephant Man and Flash Gordon, both celebrating their 40th anniversary.

Frida Kahlo – Exhibition on Screen

Palace Electric Canberra 24 and 25 October 2020
Director Ali Ray, producer Phil Grabsky
90 minutes, rated CTC

The folk at Exhibition on Screen really do produce great films – engaging, informative, loaded with visuals and with able expert speakers.

This film about Frida Kahlo gives us a detailed view of her work and lets us into galleries, which in the current COVID times are out of reach. It also sensitively and sympathetically but not sycophantically explores her life from childhood to the end.

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Bill Chambers at The Artist Shed

Flyer for Bil Chambers concert

2-5pm Sunday 25 October 2020
88 Wollongong Street Fyshwick ACT
Booking recommended

Bill Chambers has toured the world playing in daughter Kasey’s band and also his own solo shows, playing anything from house concerts and coffee lounges to major festivals.

He grew up listening to Hillbilly music and discovered early Rock’n’Roll, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. In recent times he has been particularly influenced by Texas singer/Songwriters. 

Chambers also has produced albums for Catherine Britt, Audrey Auld, Amos Morris, Jessica Belle, Sharna Burcher, Sandra Humphries, Bec Willis and Halley Anna Finlay from Texas. 

The support act is 24 year old singer/guitarist Brittany Jane. She has been performing around the Canberra/Bungendore region for the past four years.

Mostly performing acoustic covers, her career highlights have been opening at Gundaroo Music Festival 2017 and opening for Shannon Noll at the Queanbeyan Show 2019

Sullivans Trail public art and history project

Sullivans Trail is a public and history project developed to engage the community with the waterways through Canberra linking our mountains to our lake through the creation a cultural and creative corridor.

Project convener Nicola Lambert talks to Barbie about Sullivans Trail

The project aims to celebrate and strengthen cultural heritage and promote the wider understanding of the culture of indigenous and non-indigenous communities through the collection of stories and by place activation along the route. 

This project gives the community the opportunity to connect with place.  There will ultimately be a cultural and art trail for our visitors and residents to explore.

Members of the community are invited to participate by emailing [email protected]

Intimacy – Belconnen Arts Centre Theatre

Created and performed by Jazida, Noa Rotem and Adam Deusien
6pm and 8.30pm, 22 and 23 October 2020 (final performance sold out)
Running time: 45 mins, no interval, cabaret table seating
Suitable for ages 18 years +

This work explores how we can be intimate in a (COVID) world which requires personal distance.

Jazida, Noa Rotem and Adam Deusien, collaborating with designer Tiffany Abbott, take the audience through ‘the awkward and the beautiful, the audacious and the tender, the silly and the sublime: all the paradoxes of getting closer’.

Barbie spoke to Jazida, Noa and Adam about Intimacy

With burlesque, dance, text and physical theatre, Noa, Adam and Jazida create a world of joy, heartbreak and ridiculousness focussing on the tricky territory of becoming intimate.

$90 per table (seats up to 4 people) Bookings and details:

Image by Captivitae Photography