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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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]

Anna Morgan – Before the Beginning

Hachette, A Lothian Children’s book, Australia 2020

This is Anna Morgan’s second book, following All that Impossible Space, published in 2019 by Hachette and awarded a CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers.

Before the Beginning is a sensitive, though never self-indulgent, exploration of teenage angst, particularly that delicate place of transition, the end of the last year of school – the space between the end of school and the beginning of entering a new stage of life, typically at work, university or other tertiary study or through travel.

Anna Morgan talks about Before the Beginning
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Maya Cifali – The Silver Bracelet: An Egyptian Girlhood

Cheops Australia, 2017

This is a memoir of a life of migration stretching back to Maya’s forebears, but it is also a fascinating history of the Middle East, especially Egypt, seen from its impact on the ordinary citizen.

Brought up by grandmothers due to the circumstances of war, Maya had heritage in both French-Jewish and Italian-Roman Catholic traditions. This strong maternal influence has carried through generations and doubtless contributed richly to Maya’s own outlook on life.

Maya Cifali talks about The Silver Bracelet
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Canberra Bonsai Society Annual Show

10-11 October 2020
Canberra High School
Bindubi Street, Macquarie ACT

The display will feature high quality bonsai from the collections of CBS members, including some created by local artists currently represented in the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia at the National Arboretum, Canberra (NAC).

Barbie speaks with Brenda Berkeley from Canberra Bonsai Society
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Sputnik – Film Review

Dendy Canberra
1 to 14 October 2020

Horror, sci-fi
In Russian with English subtitles
113 minutes, rated MA 15+

This ‘alien taking possession of a space traveller’ film will initially remind sci-fi fans of Alien. Sputnik, set in the Soviet era, has all the violence and horror of any such scenario – we are immediately repelled by the strangeness, the physicality of the invasion of the human body.

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On the Rocks – Film Review

Palace Electric Canberra
From 2 October 2020
Comedy/drama (dramedy)
97 minutes, rated G
Directed by Sofia Coppola

A young New York mother (Rashida Jones) faced with sudden doubts about her marriage teams up with her playboy father (Bill Murray) to tail her husband (Marlon Wayans). The ensuing comic adventure draws father and daughter closer.

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Petronella McGovern – The Good Teacher

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2020

This is a thrilling second novel from the author of the best-selling Six Minutes.

Beginning in a distinctly domestic milieu with a primary school teacher suffering the breakdown of her 20 -odd-year marriage, the story moves inexorably into the dark realms of sociopathic crime. We feel our hackles rise as we live this story with Allison Walsh. It’s an emotionally demanding book with layer upon layer of conflicting emotions for the reader to navigate.

Petronella McGovern talks about The Good Teacher
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Jill Baker – A Dog Called Harry

Hachette, Australia, 2020

One would expect an award-winning journalist to write well, and indeed we are not disappointed with Jill Baker’s engaging and moving book, A Dog Called Harry.

Jill’s comfortable and happy life as editor of major newspapers and magazines, married to George and living contentedly and healthily on a small farm, was suddenly brought to an end with two major life events – the sudden death of her husband due to an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, quickly followed by her own diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent chemotherapy treatment. She had well and truly lost her joy in life.

Jill Baker talks to Barbie about A Dog Called Harry
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Milena Cifali – Mallacoota Time – the lost summer of 2020

Echo Books, Australia, 2020
Available in soft and hardback editions
Design by Peter Gamble, Canberra
Cover art by – soft back Milena Cifali; hardback Ishak Masukor

Part memoir, part hymn to Mallacoota, part account of the fires of the Australian summer of 2019-2020 and the devastation and loss that resulted, Mallacoota Time is a beautifully written passage through grief.

The author aims to help others who have suffered loss through the fires, or other grief, to heal. She writes honestly of her own losses, fears and struggles and in this she invites us to feel our own – whatever they may be.

Milena Cifali talks to Barbie about Mallacoota Time
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Canberra Theatre Centre reopens with school holiday production

Canberra Theatre Centre & CDP with Tall Stories
Thursday 1 October 2020, 12pm & 4pm
Friday 2 October 2020, 10am & 12pm
Saturday 3 October 2020, 10am, 12pm and 4pm

Room on the Broom is a dramatisation of Julia Donaldson’s hit picture book, featuring songs, comedy and scary fun for children aged 3 and up It will be the first production at the Canberra Theatre since the March closure due to COVID-19.

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The Bushfire Book – How to be aware and prepare

By Polly Marsden and Chris Nixon
Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette, Australia, 2020
Front cover design and illustrations by Chris Nixon
Full cover and internal design by Liz Seymour

A book for children and adults about bushfire preparedness is highly appropriate at this time as we reach Spring 2020 and face the coming summer.

The summer of 2019, for some people and communities one like no other, highlighted for the nation how climate change has brought a new ferocity to our fire season. Many people and homes were lost in different parts of Australia.

Chris Nixon talks about The Bushfire Book
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Carmel McCrow – Mélange

Strathnairn Arts Centre
90 Stockdill Drive Holt ACT
Until 20 September 2020

For the oil and acrylic paintings in this collection Carmel takes her inspiration from cast and beautiful Australian landscape from the Kimberleys to the Snowy Mountains. One room features the magnificence and complexity of the sky. The other room is about the land, the earth.

Barbie spoke to Carmel McCrow at Strathnairn about Mélange
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