The opening night of Turandot on Sydney Harbour was a star-studded event

On Thursday 24 March 2016, Opera Australia held the opening night of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Turandot at the Fleet Steps at Mrs Macquarie Point.

Turandot is opera in three acts written in the 1920s by Giacomo Puccini, completed by Franco Alfano after his death, and set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. It is a Persian tale which is set in China and is about a brave suitor that risks his life to win the love of Princess Turandot.
The scenery was spectacular, with the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney opera house in the background. The performance space is situated at the water’s edge in a pop-up opera house with purpose-built bars, restaurants and a grandstand under the stars.

For the fifth year, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour makes the aria the “firework moment” and it’s lead tenor, Riccardo Massi, provided the Luciano Pavarotti vocals to match for the aria Nessun Dorma. There is also a magnificent, massive, fire-breathing dragon, which comes to life at a dramatically poignant moment, and a pagoda tower from which Princess Turandot rules over China.

Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng does his best to adapt the production to a less stereotypical Westernised view of China. Italian tenor Riccardo Massi plays the smitten suitor Prince Calaf with enormous vocal passion. Serbian soprano Dragana Radakovic is an outstanding ice cold princess Turandot. However, it is Korean Australia soprano Hyeseoung Kwon who is the crowd favourite as the lovelorn servant.

The who’s who of Sydney attended this black tie event including: actress April Pengilly; Channel 7 presenter Anne Sanders; fashion designer Peter Morrissey; TV presenter Fiona Falkiner; media personality Deborah Hutton; theatre and cabaret talent Paul Capsis; actor Tim Draxi; journalism queen Ita Buttrose; TV presenter Sophie Falkiner; actor Craig McLachlan; editor and journalist Melissa Hoyer; Channel 9 news presenter Deborah Knight; artistic director of Sydney Dance company Rafael Bonachela; Home & Away actress Emily Symons; TV presenter Heather Maltman; actor, singer and writer Peter Phelps; Master Chef winners Adam Liaw and Julie Goodwin; Home & Away actors Nic Westaway and Kyle Pryor; actor Ian Stenlake; fashion designer Carla Zampatti; and the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy Turnbull (who arrived just after me and I had a security guard tell me from behind to move aside for a little while so he could pass).

Turandot is at Mrs Macquaries Point until April 24. For more information, go to:


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Coogee’s Foreshore Festival brings Coney Island to Sydney

Coogee Pavilion hosted a beachside festival of food with tasting plates from Merivale’s family of restaurants called The Foreshore Festival on Sunday 19 March 2016.

Attendees experienced the Coney Island beachside vibes as they feasted on food provided by Vinnie’s Pizza, Manly’s Papi Chulo, Surry Hills favourite El Loco, the CBD’s Mr. Wong and Japanese treats from Sushi e.

A foreshore festival wouldn’t be complete without gelato, so the Pavilion is serving its special ‘Fat Tony,’ a creamy vanilla creation with marsala soaked sponge, crumbled amaretti, chocolate and espresso swirls. There was also other flavours such as chocolate and raspberry to take your fancy.

There was live music and activities for the children.

There was even a Veuve Cliquot pop-up bar outside.

Tickets were $45, which includes six tokens to be used on the food and drink.

For more information, go to:

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Sydney Family Show is the perfect place for a family day out.

The Dodo Sydney Family Show runs from 19th – 28th March at the Entertainment Quarter Showring, Moore Park.

Enjoy the many rides the show has on offer. Get closer to a tiger than you ever imagined and roar like a lion at Australia’s first animatronic zoo…it’s like no zoo you’ve seen before!  Join your favourite yellow friends, the Minions, as they work to save all Minionkind or help Snoopy solve some challenges with his friends from the Peanuts movie.  Don’t forget the numerous showbags to choose from and many delicious treats to fulfill your appetite. There is definitely something for everyone at this year’s show!

The best part, it’s FREE ENTRY, that’s right, FREE ENTRY! You just pay for the rides you want to go on or buy an unlimited ride pass. Grab the kids and prepare yourselves for a fun-filled family day at the show, opening daily at 10am!

For more information, check out our website

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The ‘Sleep Happy’ Festival comes to Sydney

Sleeping Duck, an Australian sleep company, launched their 10-week bed festival in Surry Hills, Sydney on Thursday 17 March 2016.

Guests were encouraged to wear their pyjamas, lie on the mattress and even have pillow fights. They also enjoyed breakfast-inspired canapes and cocktails.

The “Sleep Happy” Festival highlights the company’s commitment to change the way we shop for mattresses.

From Friday March 18 till May 26, the 10-week pop-up will host five events running fortnightly for 2 weeks each. And because the best activities are undoubtedly the ones you get up to in bed, they’ve planned a few to keep things interesting.

You’ll find yourself fighting off bedfellows with a pillow, having your dreams read, and getting out of the office and into the bed for your weekly meeting. You’ll even skip that awkward first date by taking it straight to the bedroom. And forget Netflix & Chill, Sleeping Duck has you covered with movie screenings for you and your friends, or that coveted second date.

Sleeping Duck co-founder Winston Wijeyeratne said the pop-up is all about transforming the traditional mattress buying process.

“Shopping for a mattress can be so tedious and frustrating. We’ve created this popup so that customers can have fun, whilst also engaging with the brand and product in a lively and exciting way.”

Held at the blank_space gallery in Sydney’s Surry Hills, the space will be transformed into something out of a dream, featuring exclusive art installations by Sebastian Barkoczy, Jacqui Hudson and Saxon Duke.

Whether you like your mattress not too hard, not too soft, or somewhere in between, Sleeping Duck has a sleep solution to match your bedtime preferences. With the pull of a zip, their unique modular mattress can be simply adjusted to personalise your firmness.

“We don’t expect you to make a decision after lying on the mattress for ten minutes. That’s why we give you 100 nights to trial the mattress, where you can either swap the firmness or return it for a full refund.” Winston said.

Collaborating with SUKUHome, Derma e skincare, Dri Glo, Madame Flavour Tea and more, Sleeping Duck’s Sleep Happy festival will have lots of goodies and fun activities on offer.

“Mattress shopping shouldn’t be stressful and confusing. We wanted to continue the buying experience that people get via our website. When you go into a store it should be both a learning and an enjoyable experience, and this is what our festival is all about.”

They have kept costs down by cutting out the middle man and selling directly to the customer through an interactive and streamlined online store..

The no-fuss online buying experience and friendly service provided by Sleeping Duck allows customers to simply go online, select their firmness option and get the mattress delivered in a surprisingly small box.

Also, exclusive to Sleeping Duck, they have a half-half option for couples who can’t decide between medium and firm.

Whether you like your mattress too hard, not too soft, or somewhere in between, Sleeping Duck has a Sleep solution to match your bedtime preferences. The unique and modern design means Sleeping Duck can easily adjust firmness for customers by swapping out a single firmness layer, allowing for a firmer or softer mattress, or if required a bit of both.

The calendar for the 10-week Sleep Happy Festival is as follows:

  • Week One and Two: The Pillow Fight (Friday March 18 – Thursday March 31)

Have you ever wanted to let out your frustrations in a healthy manner? This is the time to do it. The showroom will be transformed into an arena with a bed in a boxing-style ring – all with an umpire to watch over as people let loose and fight it out.

  • Week Three and Four: Dream Teller (Friday 1 April – Thursday April 14)

Forget fortunes, we’ii tell your dreams . Come in, lay down and have a dream teller decipher your dreams.

  • Week Five and Six: Movie Screenings: (Friday 29 April – Thursday April 28)

What’s better than a night in watching 90’s flicks? Enjoy a front row screening of your favourite classic film at our Surry Hills pop up, with dinner, drinks and pillows on Sleeping Duck.

  • Week Seven and Eight: Sleep on the Job (Friday April 29 – Thursday May 12)

Meetings in the boardroom are never as fun as meetings in the bedroom. Use out pop-ups for the perfect team-bonding experience for your Monday morning WIP or your Friday afternoon beers.

  • Week Nine and Ten: First Dates (Friday May 13 – Thursday May 26)

An Australian first – bed first, dinner second. No more awkward moments. Bring your date to our bedroom and play an assortment of games as you work out if you-re found the one.

What: Sleeping Duck’s Sleep Happy Festival

When: Friday March 18 – Thursday May 26

Where: blank_space gallery 374 Crown St Surry Hills NSW 2010

Trading Hours: Monday – Friday: 10am – 6.30pm | Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 5pm

For more information, visit

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Irish Film Festival celebrates the past, present and future

The 2nd annual Irish Film Festival returns in 2016 boasting a melting pot of films to provide a window into Irish culture. The Festival will open in Sydney on Thursday 07 until Sunday 10 April, 2016. The Festival screens at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington and will present eight feature films and three shorts.

From action packed mob chases, to weekend love affairs, and films to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising, the Irish Film Festival presents audiences with the very best of contemporary Irish culture. Ireland has a rich history of struggle for social justice and the films programmed in the 2016 Festival uncover rich and rare stories that capture the spirit of the Emerald Isle.

Festival Director, Dr Enda Murray says “The films in the festival shine a light on contemporary Ireland. The big story in Ireland this year is the commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising which saw Ireland strike for its freedom from British colonial rule. It’s easy to see some parallels with Australia and the debate around the impact of a republic. Why was it such a big deal in Ireland? You’ll have to come and see the films!”

The opening night celebrations include a screening of Glassland (Thur 07 April).Glassland stars Australia’s own Toni Collette as an alcoholic mother whose addiction pushes her son into the underground world of human trafficking. The award winning film has been praised for its two leads’ bold and understated performances which saw Collete nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award and co-star Jack Reynor taking out the World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Acting at Sundance Film Festival.

The opening night gala screening will also include a pre-screening reception hosted by The Consulate of Ireland. Irish food, drink and music are guaranteed to flow, providing movie goers at the Chauvel with a taste of Ireland in Sydney.

Other films on the bill include the landmark documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion (Fri 08 April), which examines the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin and the subsequent events that led to the establishment of an independent Irish State and indirectly to the breakup of the British Empire. Narrated by acclaimed actor and Irishman, Liam Neeson, this is a fresh look at the events and their significance in Irish and international history.

Continuing the theme of the Easter Rising, After ’16 (Fri 08 April) presents 9 short films in a range of styles from animation to live action, drama and documentaries that capture the filmmakers’ responses to the events that took place in 1916. Older Than Ireland (Sun 10 April), is a touching documentary that looks into the lives of centenarians, people who were born in the dawn of Irish Independence and the immense social, political and technological change they encountered throughout their lives.

Something that will have the little one’s bursting with delight, the Festival has programmed their first family film with and the critically acclaimed Irish folk animation Song of the Sea (Sat 9 April). The film follows the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse, the last seal-child, who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea.

For a modern turn, Pursuit (Sat 09 April), takes audiences on a high speed chase with a contemporary take on the Irish legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne. This road-movie employs all the great aspects of a truly engaging thriller – pursuit of power, class, love and the chance to start again.

Relationships are also a focus of the Festival with Lost in the Living (Sun 10 April), a complicated love story set in Berlin. The director of Lost in the Living, Robert Manson will introduce his film in person as well as attend the opening night of the Festival. Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen stars in You’re Ugly Too (Sat 09 April), which won Best Irish First Feature at the 2015 Galway Film Fleadh and is a touching take on modern family relationships.

Three stand out shorts also compliment the program. Two of the shorts explore aspects of being Irish and in Australia. @Home looks at Melbourne’s ageing Irish community using social media to close the distance between Ireland and Australia while Follow the Rainbow to Ireland follows the Sydney Queer Irish group as they prepare to march in the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras ahead of the Irish marriage equality referendum. A third short, Ballsy, is an uplifting documentary on a cancer sufferer’s search for meaning in the world.

The Irish Film Festival provides an essential window onto contemporary Irish culture for all Australians. Whether you’re of Irish heritage or just have an affection for the Emerald Isle and its people, the Irish Film Festival is a must.

Stay up to date with the Irish Film Festival


Facebook: Irish Film Festival Australia

Twitter: @irishfilmfestau

Instagram: @irishfilmfestau



When:                  Thursday 07 – Sunday 10 April, 2016

Where:                Chauvel Cinema, 249 Oxford street, Paddington

Tickets:                Book at 02 9361 5398 or

$30* Opening Night (includes Opening Night Gala Reception)

$20* Full Price

$15* Concession (excludes Opening Night)

* Transaction fee applies ($1.30).



Thursday 07 April

7:30pm Opening Night Gala Reception + 9.00pm Glassland


Friday 08 April

6:30pm 1916: The Irish Rebellion

8:45pm After ‘16


Saturday 09 April

2:00pm Song of the Sea

6:30pm You’re Ugly Too

8:45pm Pursuit

10:00pm Festival Party @ the Gaelic Club, Surry Hills.

The Irish Film Festival will party late into the night on Saturday night with  amidnight performance of his new show The Man from Moogaga by Irish comedian and musician Aindrias de Staic (The Hardy Bucks, The Jig Gig) – direct from a sold out run in Dublin.


Sunday 10 April

4:00pm Older than Ireland

6:30pm Lost in The Living

The Newport set to open on Good Friday

The Newport officially opens its doors this month, when Merivale launches the first phase of the venue’s landmark redevelopment on Friday 25 March. Looking out over the stunning vista of Pittwater estuary, The Newport will be a vibrant gathering place that embraces the property’s remarkable location and offers a diverse range of spaces to drink, dine and admire the unrivalled views.

Justin Hemmes, Merivale CEO, said: “The Newport is at the heart of so many wonderful memories in the local community, so it is incredibly important for us to honour this as we create the new chapter in its history. With its sprawling grounds, magnificent landscaping and team of over 450 passionate locals, this is one of the biggest ventures we have ever undertaken. We are so excited and proud to finally open the first phase”.

The Newport will be spearheaded by Executive Chef Sebastien Lutaud who has designed an extensive menu that reflects the Northern Beaches’ enviable coastal lifestyle. Guests can journey through a diverse marketplace of food and drink experiences, enjoying sizzling grass-fed beef and chicken burgers with soft potato buns from ‘The Burger Shack’; fresh seafood including classic fish and chips, salt and pepper calamari and crispy basil prawns; seasonal salads and exceptional Australian meats like smoked brisket, barbeque chicken and hot-smoked salmon; fresh juices and smoothies from ‘The Juice Bar’; or freshly-brewed coffee, pastries and donuts at ‘The Kiosk’.

The Newport will also be home to ‘Vinnie’s Pizza’, where Merivale’s own pizza superstar Vincenzo Biondini will be whipping up his lightly-charred, wood-fired creations in the open kitchen. Guests can order pizzas directly from The Newport app and simply collect when ready.

A wide selection of wine, beers and quintessentially Sydney drinks will be on offer. Frozen cocktails such as the Yuzu (made famous at the pop-Asian hangout Ms.G’s), Pina Colada, Miami Vice and Strawberry Slushie will be served alongside margaritas and classics – all drinks made to sip as the sun sets over the peninsula.

The Newport will present an exciting programme of free events and activities. Over the Easter long weekend, children can enjoy face painting, Easter egg hunts, bunny rabbits and a petting zoo, with gold coins being collected for ‘Mums for Mums’, a local charity groupsupport families of Newport, Bilgola Plateau and Avalon Public Schools through times of illness and bereavement. For children and adults young at heart, The Newport will also feature a retro-inspired games area with badminton, ping pong tables, exercise bikes that can charge mobile phones and a giant magnetic scrabble board.

Live music will be at the heart of the entertainment experience. An expansive alfresco deck has been built to showcase amazing local talent, seven days a week. The likes of Rob Somatik, Rad Dan, Gangs of Brothers and Paper Parade will all be performing during the opening weekend.

The Newport will also play host to Sunday Sundown, Merivale’s live music series. Melbourne’s nine-piece soul outfit Saskwatch kick off the programme on Easter Sunday, followed by indie duo Gypsy & The Cat on 3 April, Tasmanian singer songwriter Asta on 10 April and Sydney synth-pop trio Mansionair on 17 April. Entry to Sunday Sundown sessions at The Newport is free.

Drawing on influences from Montauk, The Hamptons and the Mediterranean, the reimagining of The Newport has been led by a team including Kelvin Ho and Emilie Delalande of Akin Creative, stylist Amanda Talbot and Justin and Bettina Hemmes. Due to the sheer scale of the property, Merivale has planned a gradual and thoughtful approach to its redevelopment, with stages two and three set to be revealed later in 2016.




2 Kalinya St, Newport, 2106

#merivale #thenewport @merivale

Color Me Rad Explosion Hitting Sydney

Want to join a party and a workout all in one? Color Me Rad Australia is bringing a 5k colour explosion to Sydney on March 19th at Heron Park, Chipping Norton.

Each section of the run adds a new explosion of colour to your clean, well-chosen outfits until you cross the finish line into a final blast of rad colour.

Following up from the highly successful 2014 Sydney event, which raised over $12,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Fund, the rad run is back and better than ever.

A single day event, all participants will receive the ultimate “rad pack”; including 5k entry, Color Me Rad t-shirt, a colour pack, and free photos from photographers.

Alongside the rad run festivities, participants will enjoy a selection of entertainment, including music acts and a Zumba warm up before the run kicks off.

The only colour run featuring Colour Gels, participants will enjoy this unique colour sensation alongside our traditional colour bombs across the eight colour stations throughout the race

All ages are welcome to participate in the rad action, encouraging a fun environment where your workout feels more like a celebration!

Tickets to Color Me Rad Sydney are available from the website:

Peppers Manor House relaunches as a 5 star foodie heaven escape

Say goodbye to the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains, the new weekender is Peppers Manor House in the Southern Highlands. With over 150 food and wine producers the region is a perfect weekend escape for the self-proclaimed foodie.

Officially relaunched on Wednesday 16 March 2016, Peppers Manor House has been completely re-imagined with a $4.5+ million upgrade and a new 5 star rating. “Our goal has been to create a place for all seasons; a refined country escape that embraces the natural surroundings,” says Peppers Manor House General Manager, Jesse Kornoff. “The guest rooms have retained a 1920’s sensibility enhanced with 21st century comforts complemented by classic furniture choices.”
It’s not just the great showerheads and fluffy pillows that make Peppers Manor House a luxurious home away from home, the on-site Katers Restaurant brings the best produce the Southern Highlands has to offer right to your plate. A must try on the menu is the Sweet Bell Pepper Soup with goats cheese sorbet, chocolate chilli panna cotta and pomegranate.  Executive Chef John Shelly describes how he loves to “see the surprise on guests’ faces when they try something and don’t instantly recognise the flavour… the goats cheese sorbet goes really well with the chilli chocolate”.
The restaurant proudly sources its ingredients from local suppliers including those involved in the Moss Vale Cluster.  “A lot of people lose touch that their food doesn’t just come from the supermarket but that a lot of care and compassion goes into creating the produce” commented Mayor Larry Whipper who officially relaunched the hotel, “The clusters support economic growth and community resilience”. Katers Restaurant creates surprising dishes using organic vegetables and sustainable produce.
Peppers Manor House is a picturesque Southern Highlands country manor, located in Sutton Forest, 15 minutes from Bowral, a scenic 90 minute drive south of Sydney and less than two hours’ drive from the nation’s capital, Canberra.
For more information on Peppers Manor House, go to:
Photography was by Sarah Keayes from The Photo Pitch.
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20th Biennale of Sydney unveils works by 83 artists from 35 countries

The 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed was unveiled by Artistic Director Stephanie Rosenthal at a media preview on 15 March 2016.

The Biennale of Sydney is Australia’s largest contemparay art festival running from 18 March 2016 to the 5 June 2016.

it is also the Asia Pacific region’s largest contemporary visual arts event features 83 artists hailing from 35 countries and is presented free to the public across seven venues or ‘Embassies of Thought’ and multiple ‘in-between spaces’ around the inner city. The exhibition is supplemented by a comprehensive schedule of public programs including daily guided tours, artist and curator-led talks, lectures, workshops, salons, reading groups and gatherings.

Artistic Director Stephanie Rosenthal commented: “The ‘Embassies of Thought’ in the 20th Biennale have been conceived as temporary settings without set borders, representing transient homes for constellations of thought. The themes associated with each of these ‘embassies’ are inspired by the individual histories of each venue, whilst the ‘in between’ spaces speak to one of the key ideas in this Biennale exploring the distinction between the virtual and the physical worlds. We’re asking visitors to consider our interaction with the digital world, as well our displacement from and occupation of spaces and land, along with the interconnections between politics and financial power structures.”

The Biennale’s seven ‘Embassies of Thought’ are: Cockatoo Island (Embassy of the Real); Art Gallery of New South Wales (Embassy of Spirits); Carriageworks (Embassy of Disappearance); Artspace (Embassy of Non-Participation); Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Embassy of Translation); a roving bookshop (Embassy of Stanislaw Lem) and first time venue Mortuary Station (Embassy of Transition).

Performance is an integral part of the 20th Biennale, presented at each embassy and at in-between locations by artists including: boychild, Boris Charmatz, Neha Choksi, Mette Edvardsen, Mella Jaarsma, Lee Mingwei, Adam Linder, and Justene Williams, who is collaborating with Sydney Chamber Opera.

More than half of the 200 artworks in the exhibition have been specially commissioned for the 20th Biennale of Sydney. More than a third of artworks are presented at venues in Sydney’s inner west.

In addition to artworks presented across the seven embassies, the 20th Biennale commissioned twelve site-specific projects taking place at locations throughout inner Sydney, including a new work by Swedish artist Bo Christian Larsson that will unfold over the course of three months at Camperdown Cemetery. In a former gallery space in Redfern, artist collective Brown Council (Frances Barrett, Kate Blackmore, Kelly Doley and Diana Smith) present a new participatory performance about how we recall the past and imagine the future.

Carriageworks, the Embassy of Disappearance brings together works by artists exploring themes of absence and memory, including disappearing languages, histories, currencies and landscapes. Artists presenting work at this Embassy include

Lauren Brincat, Neha Choksi, Yannick Dauby and Wan-Shuen Tsai, Minouk Lim, Yuta Nakamura, Jamie North, Bernardo Ortiz, Mike Parr and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The 20th Biennale of Sydney Keynote Address will be presented by leading performer, choreographer and radical innovator of dance, Boris Charmatz, on Saturday 19 March at Carriageworks. Over the past twenty years he has explored the relationship between art and philosophy, challenging preconceived notions of dance in the process. Charmatz has presented work in numerous contexts internationally – in theatres, festivals, and at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Modern, London. Tickets to the Keynote Address also include entry to a one-off performance and Australian premiere of Charmatz’s work manger (2014).

Cockatoo Island hosts the Embassy of the Real, with the former convict settlement and shipyard offering a space for artists to explore how we perceive reality in our increasingly digitised era. Artists will consider the spaces between the virtual and physical, as well as the physicality of the human body, with major works by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Lee Bul, Cevdet Erek, Cécile B. Evans, William Forsythe, Camille Henrot, Chiharu Shiota, Ming Wong, and Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company).

Artists exhibiting at the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Embassy of Spirits explore the intersection between the spiritual and the philosophical, including works concerned with personal and religious rituals. Works presented at the Embassy of Spirits by Johanna Calle, Sheila Hicks, Mella Jaarsma, Jumana Manna, Sudarshan Shetty, Taro Shinoda and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu can also be considered in conversation with the Gallery’s rich collection of Asian and Indigenous Australian artworks.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is transformed into the Embassy of Translation, bringing together a selection of works that contextualise historical positions, concepts and artefacts, alongside contemporary concerns and working methods. While relying on a range of different strategies, each work considers history as one material among others, restaging and reimagining it as part of the process. Artists presenting work at the MCA include Nina Beier, Noa Eshkol, Helen Marten, and Dayanita Singh.

The Embassy of Non-Participation is located at Artspace in Woolloomooloo, a former artists’ squat now renowned as a site for experimentation. For the 20th Biennale of Sydney, artist duo Karen Mirza and Brad Butler have taken over Artspace, considering the act of ‘non- participation’ as an active and critical position.

A first time venue for the Biennale of Sydney, Mortuary Station in Chippendale has been reimagined as the Embassy of Transition. Works by two artists, Marco Chiandetti and Charwei Tsai will be shown here, and in different ways they each engage with cycles of life and death, as well as rites of passage.

The Embassy of Stanislaw Lem which takes form as a roving book-stall, that will reappear at various locations throughout the Biennale. Chong’s work develops out of a process of accumulation; he has gathered together second-hand copies of Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem’s books (in both English and Polish), which will be available for visitors to both peruse and purchase.

To view more detailed information on performances, activities and programs initiated by artists in the 20th Biennale of Sydney please visit

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Marine Stewardship Council encourages Australians to buy certified sustainable seafood on Sustainable Seafood Day

On Sustainable Seafood Day, Friday 11 March 2016, the Marine Stewardship Council held an event at the Sea Life Aquarium Darling Harbour to encourage all Australians to buy sustainably caught or responsibly farmed seafood.

Guests enjoyed delicious certified sustainable seafood canapes from the Aquarium’s cafeteria and heard from industry leaders about the importance of sustainably caught or responsibly farmed seafood and the positive changes that have occurred in the industry.

Our ocean supports the livelihoods of one tenth of people on the planet, whilst fishing makes up one-sixth of the protein consumed by people around the world. Seafood is the most consumed animal protein and the most traded food commodity in the world. Wild-caught sustainable seafood has the most lowest carbon footprint of all animal proteins (and beaten by eggs). Unsustainable fishing is harming fish populations, habitats and fishing economies.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation established to address the problem of unsustainable fishing and safeguard seafood supplies in the future. They have worked with scientists and marine experts to develop the world’s most recognised standard for sustainable wild-caught seafood.

Seafood from MSC certified fisheries can be sold with the blue MSC eco-label so that everyone can make an informed decision to buy seafood from a sustainable source. Annually over 10 million tonnes of seafood, accounting for ten per cent of all wild-caught seafood, comes from fisheries engaged in the MSC program. To meet the MSC Fisheries Standard, fisheries must meet 28 performance indicators for sustainability across the three principles of: sustainable fish stocks; minimising environmental impacts; and effective management.

In Australia, the Western Australian Government has made some commitments to sustainable seafood certification. All WA They have committed 14.5 million Australian dollars to assist all WA fisheries to assess their fisheries against MSC standards. In addition, the South Australian Ogvernment has started to match fisheries’ contributions towards third party certification. In 2015, the world’s first pearl fishery entered into full MSC assessment.

Australia has 10 MSC certified fisheries which produce 19 per cent by volume and 39 per cent by value of Australian wild-caught seafood. These fisheries are:

  • Western Rock Lobster
  • Northern Prawn Fishery
  • Spencer Gulf King Prawns
  • Shark Bay Prawns
  • Exmouth Bay Prawns
  • Blue Grenadier
  • Walker Seafoods Albacore, Yellowfin and Swordfish
  • Macquarie Island Toothfish
  • Heard Island and McDonald Island Toothfish
  • Heard Island and McDonald Island Ice Mackerel

Lent and Easter is the time of the year when Australians consume the most seafood.

For more information about sustainably caught seafood and the Marine Stewardship Council, go to:


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