Battle of the big four Reply

At rest after the test: the glamour big four.

by Louis Cordony

Within metres of each other, there is over half a million dollars worth of cars travelling through thick clouds of dust. The speeds aren’t stupid, but the unsealed gravel road makes grip scarce as my hands grasp the leather tiller of Munich’s ultimate mum mobile, the BMW X5M. In front of me is eminent photographer Thomas Wielecki in Jeep’s brand new Grand Cherokee SRT8. Behind me are the Porsche Cayenne GTS and Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. They round out the four-car convoy en route to Wolgan Valley and the five-star Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort situated on the doorstep of the Blue Mountains.

Getting there takes us 180km north-east of Sydney, passing through Richmond on to Bells Line of Road all the way to Lithgow. I keep my right foot above the brake pedal, waiting for the Jeep to colour the dust clouds red with its brake lights. Thankfully, after photographic requirements has been fulfilled, Thomas gives the signal to slow down. Pebbles and loose rocks ricochet off the wheel wells as the engine whirr down to idle revs.


Irrelevance now an increasing risk for the Church Reply

Attitudes to the Church are changing: a 1950s postcard promoting church-going as a family commitment is now a collector’s item. Picture: Frank DeFreitas

by Indre McGlinn

Adam, 30, has hair like Patrick Swayze with the same shapely, crest-like sweep across the top of his head. Adam’s wife Minnie, 27, says that she can’t stand romance movies. Minnie is perched on the arm of the lounge beside Adam, knees to her chest, musing about how the Church doesn’t like to talk about sex. But she has a lot to say about the institution of marriage in light of highly-publicised proposals made by Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen a few months ago. These include plans to change the language of marriage vows for women to say that they will ‘submit to’ their husbands instead of ‘obey’ them.


Saving spaces or creating more places: the role of foreign actors in Australian cinema Reply

Julia Blake in Antony’s Ginnane’s Last Dance.

by Michael Simms

“It’s our job to get out there and shoot them down.” These were the words of producer Antony Ginnane as he took center stage at the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) conference last November. After stepping down from a three-year term as SPAA’s president, Mr Ginnane was ready to open fire, taking direct aim at the actors’ union, Equity.

In February 2011, Antony Ginnane had cast American screen veteran Gena Rowlands in the lead role of the Australian thriller Last Dance. Equity disputed the casting decision and two weeks before cameras were set to roll, the Government revoked Ms Rowland’s visa.


Horror on a spring afternoon Reply

A bench in the bushland dedicated to the memory of Claire Deane.

by Greg Volz

It was 4.25 in the afternoon when the first announcement came over ABC Radio. Something about a hazard reduction burn, some fire fighters missing. Carol Deane didn’t really notice. It was at Mt Kuring-Gai National Park. Claire, her daughter, worked at Lane Cove. The ABC mentioned it again at 4.30pm. When the news was mentioned a third time, Carol suddenly switched on. “I thought, where was she going?” She remembered the night before, her 25-year-old daughter snuggled up in her arms, in tears. Upset after a long, hard day. Her first ever working on a hazard reduction burn. Just her second month with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). She didn’t like it, didn’t like fire, wasn’t impressed with the way it had been organised.


City’s business awards get green tick of approval Reply

Alex Arnaudon, Joel Fleming and Ryan Kane, from Climate Friendly, receive the award from the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.

by Brendan Gallagher

This year’s City of Sydney Business Awards has highlighted a growing environmental awareness by local businesses and a keenness by the Council to reward it.

The emphasis on the green businesses culminated in Climate Friendly, a carbon management consulting firm, taking out the 2012 Business of The Year Award. Winners in the 22 general categories and four prestigious categories were announced on October 8.


The fingerprint revolution Reply

Forensic fingerprint techniques under scrutiny at UTS

by Carrie Soderberg

Every day we leave behind traces of who we are. Every surface we touch, every item we hold. There is not one fingerprint in the world that is alike, unless you count one chance in 64 billion that your fingerprint will match another. Not even identical twins share the same fingerprints. And a fingerprint’s uniqueness is what makes it so appealing to law enforcement.

Marks on a glass, door handles, office desks, even bank notes can be detected, making it easier for forensic scientists to find the owner of the fingerprints.  But there is one surface impossible to take a fingerprint from. Human skin.


Young men susceptible to lure of gambling Reply

Kate Carnell, Chief Executive Office of Beyond Blue: mixing up sport and gambling and getting the balance right

by Claudio Russo 

Tom Waterhouse is taking over my television. I think he’s taking over my mate Dan’s television as well. Dan’s brother is having the same problem, while my cousin can’t seem to watch his favourite show without flashing up on his screen. We’ve asked Tom to leave, even opting to change the channel every now and then, but one way or another, he’s there, waiting for the opportune moment to tell us that he “knows what punters want.” Tom’s not our only constant visitor. The TAB seems to be doing a pretty good job of it as well, not to mention Sportsbet, Betfair, Sportingbet and a host of other betting agencies. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think they want us to gamble or something.


Giving Indigenous children an education, and a voice Reply

Faith Williams, Naeem Salah and Rose Lord from Chester Hill Public School on Indigenous Literacy Day. Picture: Anna Zhu

by Mayrah Sonter

Professor Juanita Sherwood is an accomplished Wiradjuri woman and academic who has overcome a difficult start to her own education to become the Professor of Australian Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Technology, Sydney.

“Schooling wasn’t a great space for me and it was the last place I wanted to go,” she says. “Growing up, my literacy wasn’t great and we moved all over the country, making schooling difficult.”


On the verge of really good things Reply

Carolynn King in the lush and productive verge garden she started in her street.

by Brendan Gallagher

At the intersection of Windsor and Elizabeth Streets, on the nature strip created by the resulting cul-de-sac, sits a chair. It looks derelict, yet it has managed to appropriate a sense of belonging, aided by the pine box that sits in its lap, holding straw-covered soil hosting two strawberry plants, a solitary fruit just starting to redden.  Across the strip, a rusted wheelbarrow rests jauntily back on its haunches, dark green mint and nasturtiums sprouting from its bellyful of soil.


A young woman’s campaign against the thin ideal 1

Jessica Barlow’s line-up of paper people aims to demonstrate that digitally modified images just don’t look right.

by Leanne Elahmad

Sifting through hundreds of cut-outs of seductive eyes, chiselled noses, pouting lips, impeccably white teeth, long smooth legs, tiny waists and the latest fashion styles from around the world, she mixes and matches to produce the most perfect woman. Only to realise that the overall picture is not perfect – they’re just paper people.

Jessica Barlow, 20, founder of The Brainwash Project, makes paper people to illustrate the idea that although digitally modified images of models in magazines make women long for those perfect eyes or that infectious smile, when you put the overall image together it just doesn’t look right.