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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Araluen exhibition of photographs and other works

Federal Hall, 5989 Araluen Rd, Araluen NSW
Saturday 31 October 2020 11am – 4pm
Monday 26 to Sat 31October 2020 2pm-5pm

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.

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]

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

Barbie Robinson and Ian Robertson – Grandma’s Knicker Tree

For Pity Sake Publishing, Australia, 2020
Review by Sam Tidy

Grandma’s Knicker Tree, written by Barbie Robinson and illustrated by Ian Robertson, is a beautiful reminder of why we love books and keep them within easy access on shelves in homes and libraries for reading to the little people we live for.

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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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Shed Talk: Georgeina Whelan, ACT Emergency Services Commissioner

Life and this Year of 2020
Shed Talk Series, Artists Shed
Unit 1-3 88 Wollongong Street Fyshwick
Wednesday 21 October at 5.30pm

After 32 years of military service, Georgeina Whelan joined the Emergency Services Agency as Chief Officer of the State Emergency Service in late October 2017. Her face became familiar to all Canberrans with regular bush fire reports during the summer of 2019-2020.

Barbie speaks with Kathryn Spurling, organiser of Shed Talks at The Artists’ Shed

Tickets $20 with contribution to ACT Down Syndrome Association

  • Bookings essential – 0418 237 766.
  • Refreshments available at the Bohemian Café
  • COVID-safe conditions apply.

Dr Cathy Adamek appointed Ausdance ACT Director

Ausdance has appointed Dr Adamek as its ACT Director with funding assistance from the ACT Government through COVID-19 Organisational Emergency Support Funding.

Barbie speaks with Cathy Adamek, newly-appointed Director of Ausdance ACT

For 30 years, Dr Adamek has made a significant contribution to Australian dance, theatre, music and film as an independent artist and creative producer and through her research, writing and organisational leadership. Most recently, her work with Ausdance SA as President has seen her lead a volunteer board to revive and reinvigorate the organisation.

Cathy trained in acting at NIDA and Webber-Douglas (London), has a BA (Hons) in English Literature, a PhD on Adelaide Dance Music Culture and studied ballet with Joanne Priest and Shelia Laing to an Advanced RAD standard.

Her physical theatre and dance music works have toured nationally in major venues and festivals. Cathy is an Associate Artist with Dance Hub SA and teaches regular adult ballet class as part of their programs.

A Collective Mix – Helen de Jonge and Lesley Whitten

Bungendore Fine Art
October 2020
Open Friday to Monday 10 to 4.30pm

Helen de Jonge was  a designer and pattern maker in the clothing industry for 35 years and attended drawing classes at East Sydney Technical College.

She started painting when she moved to Goulburn 20 years ago, working in oil, acrylic and pastel, but with a preference for watercolour. Her chosen subjects are birds and landscapes, many of which are created en plein air.

Several works in this exhibition were created during 10 days of painting in the red Centre and Queenstown New Zealand. Other works are studies of the native birds which inhabit Helen’s property near Goulburn.

Helen has been President of the Goulburn and District Art Society for six years.

Picture: Lesley Whitton

Lesley Whitten is a Goulburn artist who paints in a variety of mediums and subjects. She has won numerous awards and exhibited widely in NSW and the ACT.

Online launch of WEST BLOCK, new edition

10am Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time
Sunday 25 October 2020

Free event, but registration required

You are invited to the virtual launch of Sara Dowse: WEST BLOCK, new edition published by For Pity Sake, Australia in 2020.

In the comfort of your own home, join author Sara Dowse and Managing Editor of Verity La, Michele Seminara for a ZOOM launch of this ‘timeless classic of gender and federal politics’.

The event is FREE but registration is required. Please click button to register.

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