Monthly Archives: June 2016

Scouting for FASHFEST film makers!

By Wendy Johnson

Ever since it appeared out of nowhere, FASHFEST, Canberra’s most stylish red-carpet fashion event, has been a major platform for amazing talent from many creative industries. It might seem that the spotlight shines solely on fashion designers and their glamorous new collections, but those who have attended FASHFEST know it offers a much broader arts and culture experience—did we mention it’s also a great social night out?

The Activist; directed by Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe

The Activist; directed by Nicky Tyndale-Biscoe

This year, FASHFEST’s fourth, is no exception. And the call has just gone out inviting filmmakers to apply to produce six original short films, reflecting the still-kept-secret themes for 2016. This is an amazing opportunity for filmmakers to stand tall on the FASHFEST platform and showcase their work in front of the event’s large and diverse audience, which includes VIP and national and international guests.

The award-winning co-founders behind By George Studios, Robb Shaw-Velzen, ASC, and Georgina Jenkins, are throwing their support behind selected filmmakers, sharing their wealth of experience and guidance where needed. By George is a major FASHFEST sponsor.

The Cartographer; directed by Hew Sandison

The Cartographer; directed by Hew Sandison

“FASHFEST is a great opportunity to develop and showcase local talent,” says Georgina. “The short films add another layer to the guest experience so we’re looking for filmmakers who will push boundaries with strong, original concepts. Each film must link the FASHFEST theme to Canberra, inspiring the audience to see Australia’s capital in a new light. And each film must feature a music track provided by one of the official musicians selected for this year’s event.”

The Engineer; directed by Hanna White and Laura White

The Engineer; directed by Hanna White and Laura White

Applicants must be over 18 years of age. They’ll be judged on a range of factors, including strength and originality of concept, interpretation of theme, and strength of their team. “Preference will be given to Canberra region filmmakers,” says Georgina.

Selected filmmakers will receive $1,000 cash from FASHFEST to use for production. The ACT Screen Industry Association is saving filmmakers’ money by providing public liability insurance and also giving a year’s membership for free (valued at $550). Catering—important during long filming days—is by Fresh2Go (CIT Student Association).



FASHFEST 2016 will host six shows, each curated around a theme. “This means those struck by FASHFEST fever, who won’t be able to resist attending more than one show, are guaranteed a unique experience each time,” says FASHFEST co-founder Clint Hutchinson, who created FASHFEST with his wife Andrea.

The Inventor; directed by Jimmy Ennett

The Inventor; directed by Jimmy Ennett

The creative brief for the shout out to filmmakers is on the FASHFEST website. Get those cameras in action now!

Applications close Monday 18 July.

Images from FASHFEST 2015 which ran four themes; The Activist, The Cartographer, The Engineer, and The Inventor.

Breakfast at Edgar’s

Here’s another great place for a weekend brecky! On a very cold and very wet Saturday we bagged the last table inside to enjoy our first visit to Edgar’s Inn! By Aine Dowling

Edgar's Inn - image Edgar's

Edgar’s Inn – image Edgar’s

I haven’t been to Ainslie in years, but since a recently enforced visit I decided it was a great little shopping centre (especially the IGA) and have been waiting for an opportunity to try out Edgar’s Inn which always appears to be packed to rafters, and here’s why:

  • One—they have GF and vegan options
  • Two—they have a great outdoor seating area that even keeps you dry on the wettest of winter days
  • Three—the service is fast
  • Four—they have an all-day breakfast—at least I’m assuming that’s what ‘til late’ means.
Edgar's Eggs Benny - photo LFW

Edgar’s Eggs Benny – photo LFW

The Saturday we were there was no exception to the ‘packed to the rafters’ status even though it was less than 10 degrees celsius and absolutely bucketing down rain, the place was literally chockers both inside and out. The standard weekday breakfast menu is not extensive but offers enough variation on each individual dish to give you more options to choose from, and includes sweet choices granola and pancakes, as well the usual savoury favourites. The weekend menu has much more on offer and the prices are very reasonable compared to what you might pay in the city.

The main menu provides a choice of snacks and share dishes, salads, burgers, classics such as steak, and fish ‘n’ chips, and desserts—though sadly not GF, and there’s a good wine list.

We ordered Eggs Benny with bacon, a freshly made juice, and pot of tea. The service was fast and friendly, and the Eggs Benny was brilliant and generous with the eggs done to perfection, nice wilted spinach, and plenty of bacon, plus two pieces of toast. The only downside, and this applies to most cafés I’ve visited, is the tea. Why do they think it’s OK to charge around $4.50 for a pot of hot water with a teabag? Seriously, is it so hard to provide real tea? I’d willingly pay a bit more to see an infuser in my teapot.

Outdoor seating - image Edgar's

Outdoor seating – image Edgar’s

Edgar’s also caters for the sporting fans among us with footy nights (all codes). For those not into sports, get down there on Sunday afternoon for some great acoustic music by local groups and bands. Bookings are essential on the footy nights, and probably a good idea anytime on the weekend.

Edgar’s Inn, Ebden Street, Ainslie. Open Mon-Fri 7am – ’til late, weekends from 8am – ’til late.

Canberra’s Sustainability Efforts Awarded!

By Wendy Johnson

It goes unsaid that we all need to do our bit for the environment, to enable Canberra to become an attractive, sustainable city. Some local businesses popped the cork for their green efforts at last week’s Actsmart Business Sustainability Awards. And they deserve to be as proud as punch for their achievements. Even those that didn’t take out the top gong were applauded. Every business present at the awards had worked with Actsmart to make positive change—including recycling and reducing energy and water use—with many saving significant money along the way.0974_ACTSmart_LOWRES_001[1]

The stories were all inspiring and I couldn’t help but wonder what the capital could achieve if every single business, no matter how large or small, signed up to become accredited through Actsmart.

More than 1000 businesses have already done so, benefiting from direct ACT Government support. Actsmart’s many services are described on its sustainability hub ( and include free tools, guides, tips, training and even rebates of up to $5,000 for certain activities. Support also includes free onsite inspections by experts who then write reports with recommendations on how to improve recycling or energy and water use. Business is a focus but Actsmart also covers what can be done at home, school and in your community.



This year, 12 businesses won top awards across eight categories and five were highly commended by Simon Corbell, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change. So what exactly did some winners do to make it to the ‘top of the class’?

Minimising waste was a big ticket item. By erecting free Actsmart information signage and training staff, Barmco Mana Partnership now only sends a tiny 3 per cent of its waste to landfill—amazing for a building consultancy that handles some pretty big projects for some pretty big clients. I bet I send more waste to landfill than that from my household and I live alone!

Mooseheads, a bar in the city, first implemented full recycling services, including plastics, glass and organics, and then embarked on a journey of staff education. Mooseheads now recycles 32 tonnes of waste each year, diverting 86 per cent of its waste from landfill.

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Canberra Balloon Spectacular

Festivals and events naturally generate massive amounts of waste, especially one the size of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular which attracted 40,000 visitors in 2016. Organisers and guests recycled their little hearts out, collecting an amazing 714 kilograms of mixed recycling, 153 kilograms of organics, 148 kg of cardboard and 30 litres of cooking oil. Can you imagine?

Canberra Balloon Spectacular - photo by Martin Ollman

Canberra Balloon Spectacular – photo by Martin Ollman

Energy and Water Star awards went to two organisations that had implemented saving initiatives and reduced consumption through efficiency upgrades, staff behaviour change and/or innovative projects. One such business was the Smith Family, which received a $5,000 rebate from Actmart to upgrade its heating and cooling system. The upgrade will lead to an annual energy saving of $6,500 and 20 tonnes of CO2.

Small businesses with less than 20 employees are making big gains, like Cheeky Chicken Early Learning Centre in Hughes, which donates pre-loved clothes to needy babies and children. It hosts tours of its sustainable building to local children, showcasing its water harvesting, recycling and energy production management.

From small to large, the United States Embassy took out a corporate award for its green initiatives. The embassy is the first diplomatic mission to receive Actsmart recycling accreditation (calling all other embassies and high commissions—get on board!). Staff not only go green in the embassy itself, they encourage the expat community to get involved. The embassy has a lamp recycling collection program, a ‘turn it off’ light campaign, includes all staff (even the Ambassador) to complete Actsmart training, issues a bi-weekly newsletter to Embassy staff and families with greening tips, holds brown bag lunch presentations on environmental best practice and much, much more.

More from Canberra Balloon Spectacular by Martin Ollman

More from Canberra Balloon Spectacular by Martin Ollman

Another winner in this category was Brema Group. Even though some of its building sites generate a whopping 6,000 tonnes of rubble, Brema manages to send only 3 per cent to landfill. Office and management staff also ‘walk the talk’ by sending only one shopping bag of waste to landfill each month from their office. Again, I bet I generate more waste to landfill from my own home!

So here’s the big tip of the day. If you own a business, get smart and talk to Actsmart. Chances are you’ll save heaps of money, get a quick return on investment, be a better corporate citizen and help the environment along the way. Who could ask for anything more?