“The idea is that when you stand back it comes together as an image; it’s not painted to look like a photograph or a replicated image.”
I stared and stared at the artwork, wondering why Graeme Heard named one of his portraits ‘Prince of Wales after Sir Joshua Reynolds’. I couldn’t see anything but smudges of colour, an abstract oil on marine ply.
How could this possibly be a portrait of HRH Prince Charles, regardless of whether he’s painted after Sir Joshua Reynolds? Prince Charles is a familiar face, (admittedly, I had to Google Sir Joshua Reynolds to find an image to reference), and still I couldn’t see anything resembling a person, let alone royalty.
Then, as if a veil was lifted, there it was. The portrait appeared like magic! There was audible excitement as I delved further into this extraordinary collection, discovering new details in each piece of art.
Geelong local Graeme Heard has always been an artist, but his creative path wasn’t as he first planned. After commencing a commercial art course at Gordon Technical School, he successfully applied to the Melbourne National Gallery Art School.
“I quite liked the fine art approach taught there but somehow it just didn’t bring me satisfaction. After some 13 months I was asked to leave. Although feeling a bit disappointed in myself I started my own business of garden renovation, construction and maintenance which I thoroughly enjoy. I continued oil painting as a hobby.”
Organised by volunteers, the Geelong Pride Film Festival, GPFF, aims to contribute to the development of a thriving and vibrant community in Geelong for those who identify as LGBTQIA+. The Festival runs until May 16 and more information can be found here: https://gpff.ferve.tickets/
GPFF contributed two videos to our Humans in Geelong Online Expo 2020. You can view them on our YouTube.
Our friends at GPFF are offering our followers 4 free double passes to ‘Breaking Fast’ which is screening this Friday, 7th May 8.30pm at the Pivotonian Cinema. DM us if you are interested.
‘Breaking Fast’ is a romantic comedy about a gay Muslim man living in West Hollywood navigating the intersection between his faith, family traditions and his romantic relationships. During Ramadan he meets a charming young actor who surprises him by offering to break fast during the holy month.
“It was a hot, humid day. The wet season was in full swing so when it wasn’t raining you felt you could cut the air with a knife. The children sitting in class were restless and their young faces were moist with perspiration. They were hot and completely uninterested as I tried to persuade them to concentrate on something they knew nothing about, and which to them seemed both purposeless and pointless. I wanted them to learn to ‘tell the time’.”
As a young teacher in Yirrkala in remote Arnhem land in the 1960s, Beth Graham slowly began to understand that the mainstream approach to education was not meeting the needs of these bright children.
“I realised we needed to recognise where these knowledgeable children were within their own culture, and use this as a starting point for school education. I became a believer in starting the school education of children in the language they spoke, and teaching them to read their own language before they did so in English,” Beth explains.
In the 1970s Beth had the opportunity to return to Yirrkala to help develop bilingual education for that community. She jumped at the chance.
Trigger warning – this story discusses loss. “11 months ago, our family’s reality changed forever, with the tragically devastating news that our dear little nephew had made the decision to take his own life.” Bohdan Evans.
“What made this heart-wrenching news even worse, was the fact that the family member was a child, my sister’s child.
“Abraham Knox is a well-known, much loved and respected teenager who lived in the Geelong community. One of an ever-increasing number of young males who have made the tragic decision to take their own lives.
“Stricken with an inconsolable weight of grief, and already dealing with a lifetime battle of anxiety, I had a choice to make, do I let this grief control me in a negative way, or do I take this grief and turn it into positive strength?
“So, eleven months ago I vowed to uphold a legacy in Abraham Knox’s memory, that I would do better; better as an uncle, better as a father, better as a brother, better as a husband, better as a man.
Schools Strike 4 Climate – With COVID-19 shifting everyone’s focus for a moment, Schools Strike 4 Climate are ready to put our planet’s health back in the spotlight.
“The Morrison Government could be protecting our climate, land and water, and creating thousands of new jobs by growing Australia’s renewable energy sector and backing First Nations solutions to protect Country.”
Organisers are calling on students and supporters to follow Covid-Safe guidelines, and meet at Johnstone Park on Friday May 21st at 11am to show support for a sustainable recovery from COVID-19 in Australia, one that doesn’t involve investment in fossil fuels.
“Burning and mining coal and gas are the biggest contributors to the climate crisis. Gas is a dirty fossil fuel primarily made up of methane, one of the main drivers of dangerous climate change.”
“After two shoulder reconstructions, I needed to change my choice of sport. It was devastating. But when one door closes, another door opens. It was then that I decided that bike riding was the sport for me as I had already been racing bikes as part of triathlons.”
Melissa Burgoyne is a secondary school teacher at Northern Bay College in Corio with an avid passion for cycling and sport. “I was born in Horsham and went to Horsham West Primary School until the start of secondary school. My family then moved to Ballarat for work where I then completed my secondary school and university in Ballarat, studying a Bachelor of Physical Education and Health in Teaching at Ballarat University.“
“I started training for swimming during secondary school and I developed many great friendships and had many successes competing at State and National level. I then became interested in triathlons and competed in many events. One of my races that stands out to me is when I came 3rd in Canberra, qualifying for the world championships.”
That is when Melissa had to overcome two shoulder reconstructions, forcing her to stop competing in triathlons and swimming. But that was not the end of her sporting career. “When one door closes, another door opens, and I didn’t want to focus on that closed door.” Melissa found cycling.
Multi-talented 19 year old Charlotte Crowley, started performing at age 7, with the Geelong Lyric Theatre Society. A dozen shows later, and she’s about to make her debut as choreographer for their live and local extravaganza ‘Wish Upon a Song’. Charlotte tells us more.
“Being part of the GLTS community has been a massive part of my life. Last year I joined the committee and begun coordinating their social media, and this year I was elected as their Secretary.
“’Wish upon a Song’ is Disney fun and magic, for all ages. This is a huge production, one of our biggest musicals in our 50 year history.”
Along with her work with Geelong Lyric Theatre Society, Charlotte works for CentreStage Pty Ltd, as an educator for their CPAA program. “Many of our youth cast members of ‘Wish Upon a Song’ are past or present CPAA students and it is wonderful to get to know them in an external theatre setting.
“There are a dozen production team members, including four producers, working very hard to create and coordinate such a large scale production. We had begun work on this production late 2019, and after being thrown a COVID-19 sized curveball and postponing our 2020 show dates, we were all determined to make this happen.
The ABC is our most trusted, admired and valued national institution, but it is under very serious threat – from politicians, commercial media organisations and certain lobby groups.
The Geelong ABC Friends group was formed in the 1990s to defend and promote the ABC in its vital role as Australia’s only independent broadcaster. The group is not party-political, but does encourage voters to think about the ABC before they vote. We organise rallies, letter-writing campaigns and fund-raising activities as well as meeting to plan those activities, discuss issues that affect the ABC and enjoy each other’s company.
“I love all things music! Mainly I am a vocalist and songwriter but dabble in guitar and keys. With my solo project ‘Trinity Jayne’ I lean towards an indie/folk singer songwriter vibe which I love, inspired by Cat Power, Courtney Barnett, Patti Smith, Birdy etc.
“I also front an indie/grunge band called ‘Nurse Ratchet’ inspired by The Breeders, L7, Nirvana, Black Sabbath etc. So, my love for music is very broad but just as deep!
“The writing and performing processes are my very favourite, although both are so different – one very private and intimate, and one so public. I’ve written lyrics and poetry since… forever, so it’s kind of a huge part of me. In the past 4 years I’ve grown to love live performance just as much as writing. I missed it so, so, much last year in lockdown.
“Recently I was invited to play at VCE Top Class which was an amazing opportunity. I recorded my first EP at Audrey Studios in Melbourne which was an amazing experience to be recording with a producer in a professional studio.
Craig Morley knows Geelong’s 320 bird species, from the diminutive Weebill, weighing in at just 4 grams, to the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle, with a wingspan of 2.5 metres.
When Craig was just 12, his fascination with birds was cemented by the gift of a bird book, What bird is that? by Neville Cayley, from his grandparents. He went on to join the Geelong Field Naturalists Club and BirdLife Australia while studying science at university. Over forty years later, Craig remains an active member of both organisations. In 2019 Craig was awarded Life Membership for outstanding service to the Geelong Field Naturalists Club. Throughout all those years, he has been keen to share his knowledge about the region’s birdlife, giving countless presentations and leading excursions and surveys. It was also a huge thrill in 2020 when Craig was awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion for his contribution to furthering the knowledge and interest in the areas of Ornithology, Conservation and Education.
“Here in Geelong we play host to amazing birds which fly a round trip of more than 26,000 kilometres every year. Shorebirds such as Red-necked Stints, weighing barely 30 grams, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and the critically endangered Curlew Sandpipers and Far Eastern Curlews, with massive down-curved bills measuring up to 20 centimetres.
“They spend up to 6 months each year feeding in wetlands such as tidal mudflats and saltworks, feeding voraciously to build up condition to fly north to breed in the arctic tundra. Then they fly south for our summer and do it all again,” Craig says.