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My Blog

…the 7 days just past – my blog #2
30 June 2013

So – guess you could say that was a pretty interesting week!

A week for me of technology, politics – who could escape it – and wonderful creative engagement and people.

In a speech in Cape Town in June 1966, Robert Kennedy said:

There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.

While it is apparently neither Chinese nor particularly ancient, the sentiment certainly rings true!

Politics has certainly dominated the airwaves and created endless debate and strongly partisan views – it seems there is no halfway house with most people holding totally  polarized views with little tolerance for those with an alternative perspective!

Monday was spent working on a sculpture commission – see below – and preparing for some presentations on the the Eyefi technology.

Tuesday was spent at Parliament House, Canberra with my clients Telstra and Eyefi undertaking a number of briefings on exciting new technology which can provide very early warning of bush-fires and which has the potential to improve intelligence gathering and lead to significantly better situational awareness for incident controllers. Very useful if we are to continue to improve the accuracy, timeliness and value of the emergency warning process. We were hoping to undertake a similar process on Thursday with invited members of the Victorian Parliament and all was going well until the fires alarms intervened!

Want to learn more about the Telstra Spatial Video Solution.

Wednesday was a catch up with Professor Stephen Cordner from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine to discuss the sculpture I am working on for him. The subject is organ donation, and I feel a great sense of responsibility to create something that really addresses the very many sensitive and important issues surrounding any discussion of organ donation.

Nervous? Scared? I certainly am!

I have worked closely with Stephen in the past and I have great respect for what he and the Institute do for not just Victorians, but for forensic medicine in many other countries. A catch up with him is always stimulating and discussion inevitably travels far and wide! Last week was certainly consistent in that regard!

Following this meeting, it was time to put my Regional Arts Victoria(RAV) hat on and catch up with that creative dynamo, Esther Anatolitis, Director of RAV. Really excited to hear about the latest progress with the very exciting Small Towns Transformation Project. So much occurring right now, and as Robert Kennedy said – and I paraphrase here – the times are dangerous and uncertain, but they are very definitely very very open to the creative energy of men – and women!

So onto Friday. Co-hosted the Conversation Hour on 774 ABC local radio with Sally Warhaft (in Jon Faine’s absence). Our guests were Professor Robin Jeffrey co-author with Assa Doron of the “The Great Indian Phone Book: How Cheap Mobile Phones Change Business, Politics and Daily Life” and Carrillo Gantner – actor, philanthropist, cultural leader, 2007 Victorian of The Year and many many other contributions to Australia’s cultural life.

Robin’s book is fascinating – a rich insight into how decisions made to roll out incredibly cheap mobile phones and call rates is transforming Indian societies. In thte space of roughly 10 years – from 2002 to 2012 the number of phone subscribers jumped exponentially from 45 million to 925 million – meaning a majority of Indians acquired the ability to communicate and independantly access information. Jeffrey descibes this as ‘disruption’ and argues that it is having an unimaginal transformative effect on Indian society in many many ways. It was fascinating talking to Robin, and the time had flown past before I had even remotely covered the questions I had hoped to ask.

It is a fascinating book and well worth a read. It has had rave reviews internationally.

Carrillo Gantner would be well known to many from the wide ranging involvement he has maintained in arts and cultural leadership over many years. He joined us to talk about an exhibition of his collection on indigenous Australian Art currently showing at the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM). The collection was put together by Carrillo and his wife Ziyin and features paintings from the Central Desert, barks from Arnhem Land, and works from the north of Western Australia and Queensland.

We talked about the beauty of the works, the way the works depicted  the meaning and sense of place, and how they captured the sense of loss and longing for country of the artists who painted them. We talked of the parallels with communities using creative practice to recover after natural disasters and the importance of art not just as a way of recording history and ensuring that community and individual experiences were not simply lost with the passage of time, but also as a way of healing.

We naturally turned to the future, and explored in the time remaining the place of art and creative practice in communities, the potential to expand cultural tourism across Victoria and the importance of, and satisfaction to be gained from philanthropy.

All in a all, a very enjoyable conversation with very interesting people. To listen to the program – click here.

Finally, Sunday and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at Melbourne Recital Centre.


A really wonderful program: Stravinsky’s Concerto in D for String Orchestra, Hayden’s Cello Concerto in C featuring the wonderful soloist Sharon Draper, and finally Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E flat major.

The Stravinsky piece was wonderful and a beautiful way to draw the audience into the program to come. The Hayden Cello Concerto in C was magnificent featuring the sensitive, beautiful, moving and sublime performance of cello soloist  Sharon Draper. After interval came  Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E flat major, unbelievably  composed at age 16!  The MCO in Octet form, again played this demanding and physical piece beautifully!

It really was a delightful program matched with a wonderful performance, very much appreciated by the audience.

So there you have it – a very complex week weaving together creativity, technology and the unfathomable practice of politics! Oh and of course, trying to finish all the end of financial year joy!

Enjoy the week ahead – I hope it is full of creative joy!





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