Stronger than Fiction Documentary Film Series 2021

Dendy Cinema, Canberra City
First film – The Mole Agent 2pm on 25 April 2021

Stronger than Fiction (STF) is back after a COVID hiatus. However, rather than screening over a short sharp period, films will be presented monthly., still provide the opportunity for regular get-togethers with like-minded film goers, for Q&As with directors and experts, and for performances by local musicians.

Hannah de Feyter talks about Strong Than Fiction
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Dianna Nixon – Millicent

Dalton Hall 2pm to 4pm
The Old Picture House Gallery and Theatre, Gunning, 6pm to 8pm
24 April 2021

Millicent Armstrong was a Gunning soldier settler farmer and a playwright – a reading of four of her one act plays will be the first performance presented by the newly formed Music Theatre Projects P/L under the leadership of musician, teacher, composer and director Dianna Nixon.  Dianna is also a Gunning resident and found the story of Millicent, along with her plays, irresistible.

Dianna Nixon talks to Barbie about Millicent
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Janet Angus – Soul vs Soul

X Gallery
32 Gibraltar Street, Bungendore NSW
Until 5 June 2021
Open Fridays to Mondays 11am to 5pm

Janet Angus draws inspiration from architecture in this exhibition, in particular the brutalist. She has created a collection of three-dimensional works using layers of ply which are then painted, thus making a form of hanging sculpture which is at the same time a ‘painting’ in the traditional sense.

Barbie spoke to Janet Angus at X Gallery
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Tammi Gissell – Rainbow Serpent

In association with Canberra International Music Festival, National Gallery of Australia, ANU School of Music and Ausdance ACT Dance Week
Fairfax Theatre National Gallery of Australia
Sunday 9 May 2021 at 12pm and 2pm

Dancer/choreographer Tammi Gissell, a woman of the Muruwarri nation of north-western New South Wales, has responded to music by Brian Howard to create a work honouring the spirit of the Rainbow Serpent, known by the Murrawarri people as Mundaguddah. This spirit is of the water and provides a portent, a message in signs on the land that must be observed and followed to avert disaster and to maintain the order of things.

Barbie spoke to Tammi Giselle about Rainbow Serpent
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Liz Lea – The Point

Belconnen Arts Centre
7:30pm 29 April – 1 May 2021
2pm 1 May 2021

The Point is a new full-length dance work celebrating interconnections in design, movement and music.

Debuting on International Dance Day Thursday 29 2021, The Point takes inspiration from the designs of Walter Burley Griffin & Marion Mahony Griffin and the notion of Bindu – the “point” of  creation in Hindu mythology. It also marks the 150th anniversary of Marion Mahony Griffin, and Australian Dance Week.

Barbie talks to Liz Lee about The Point
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AMEB invites entries for national online orchestra music project

Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB)
Entries open until 31 July 2021
Online orchestra performance of Morning Star and Evening Star in October 2021

Individuals, schools, choirs and community groups are invited to download, rehearse and perform the music arrangement of Morning Star and Evening Star, written by Candace Kruger, a Kombumerri – Ngugi yarrabilgingun (songwoman) and Indigenous ethnomusicologist from south-east Queensland, with co-writers Lann Levinge and Isobella Kruger. 

Barbie spoke to composer of Morning Star and Evening Star, Candace Kruger
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Ausdance ACT – Dance Week

29 April to 9 May 2021
Various venues

Dance Week raises the profile of dance and focuses on the values, importance and the many cultural contributions of dance to the Australian community.

Barbie spoke with Ausdance ACT’s Cathy Adamek

The Ausdance network celebrates and promotes dance in all its forms every year in Australian Dance Week. The ACT launch day coincides with  International Dance Day.

​The program includes performances, come and try sessions, an online masterclass,  a dance jam for all comers, an impro workshop and classes for well being.

Details can be found at

Jenni Savigny – The Art of the Story Circle

Celebrating 10 years collaborating with communities to create personal stories
ACT Heritage Library, 255 Canberra Ave, Fyshwick ACT
Until 30 April 2021
Open weekdays 9.30am to 5pm and Saturdays 10am to 4pm.

This exhibition chronicles the work of digital storytelling facilitator Jenni Savigny and photographer Stephen Corey with many groups in the community. It provides a clear and evocative picture of the often marginalised people who have participated in the program.

Barbie spoke to Jenni Savigny at the exhibition
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Alli Sinclair – The Codebreakers

Mira, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises, a subsidiary of Harper Collins, Australia, 2021

This latest novel by Alli Sinclair joins the slowly growing body of literary works about the role that women played in the two world wars. These stories have remained untold for decades and it is only relatively recently that popular fiction has turned its attention to them.

The women who worked in Brisbane at the rather drably named Central Bureau were responsible for codebreaking in the same way that the women of Bletchley Park were in Britain. Not only during the war but for decades after its end, their work was shrouded in secrecy and they were forbidden to talk about what they did.

Barbie talks to Alli Sinclair about The Codebreakers
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Travis Winks – Shattered

67 Days to a Family’s Self-Destruction
Big Sky Publishing, Australia , 2021

Shattered is a raw, honest account of the coming together of three tragedies in Travis Winks’ family life – events which are interconnected and which resulted in the shooting death of one family member, the attempted suicide of another and the imprisonment of a third.

Travis Winks talks about Shattered
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Rebecca Wilson – Kate Kelly

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2021

This fascinating account of the life and death of Kate Kelly, sister of the infamous Ned Kelly, is told with a deep feminine sensitivity. That is to say, unlike many histories, it takes a female (perhaps feminist) view of the subject and the society in which she lived.

The state of Kate’s health around the time of her death, due to possible post-natal depression, general depression, substance use and the stresses of her too brief life as a whole, give the reader much food for thought. It’s also a strongly political work, highlighting the many injustices of the time based on class and wealth.

Barbie talks to Rebecca Wilson about Kate Kelly
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Kayte Nunn – The Last Reunion

Hachette, Australia, 2021

Another fine work of historical fiction by Kayte Nunn, The Last Reunion focusses on the women of the Women’s Auxiliary Services Burma (WASBies). It’s another of the largely untold stories of the contribution of women to the Second World War effort – these plucky women were the closest to the frontline of any servicewomen in this conflict, their role being to run a mobile canteen for the soldiers in the battlefield.

Kayte Nunn talks to Barbie about The Last Reunion
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Skywhales performer on the ground at The Street

PhEnO – Jess Green with her band
The Street, Canberra City
8pm Saturday 10 April 2021

Jess Green, aka Pheno, is widely known and most recently for the success of We are the Skywhales in collaboration with Patricia Piccinini.

After performing Pheno shows for the past two years as a solo act, Jess is joined by long time musical collaborator Lachlan Coventry, who has featured in many of her jazz projects, drummer James Hauptmann and Alyx Dennison on synths.

Barbie speaks with Jess Green about the performance. The interview includes parts of the tracks We Are the Sky Whales and Shadows in the Water
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Shelly Unwin and Jedda Robbard – Hello Baby

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2021

This charming picture book with words by Shelly Unwin and pictures by Jedda Robbard is the perfect gift for people expecting a baby into their lives. It would also be a lovely read for parents and grandparents wishing to spend time with the sibling of a newly arrived or expected baby.

Barbie talks to Shelly Unwin about Hello Baby
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Carmel McCrow – Just Add Water

M16 Artspace
21 Blaxland Crescent Griffith ACT 2603
Until 4 April 2021

Wednesday to Sunday 12noon to 5pm
Gallery open Easter weekend Saturday and Sunday

This exhibition by one of Canberra’s most accomplished artists depicts the many facets of water in the Australian landscape. Possessed of a great love and respect for the landscape, the artist has made many travels inland and to coastal regions, translating to canvas her impressions of colour, light, movement, atmosphere and her own feelings.

Barbie spoke to Carmel McCrow at M16
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