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Caloundra: Shearwater Resort

Shearwater Resort in Caloundra.The basics

Shearwater Resort

79 Edmund St, Caloundra QLD 4551

P: (07) 5491 5355

E: [email protected]苏州美甲学校.au

W: shearwaterresort苏州美甲学校.au

Cost: The base rate is $150 per night.

Located directly across the road from Caloundra’s King Beach, this 4.5 star resort has 62 studio rooms and self contained apartments.The Room

Every room at Shearwater Resort has an uninterrupted ocean view, complete with a fair-sized balcony. The room is large for a one-bedroom apartment, giving it the feel that you could stay for an extended period and not trip over each other’s feet.

The bedroom is closed off from the living area by shutters, adding to the resort feel, and the attached bathroom has a spa, double sink and a hidden washer/dryer.

The kitchen and lounge area is at least as large as the bedroom with a comfy couch to relax on and watch Foxtel or a rented DVD from the lobby after a day spent swimming.  The kitchen is where the room shines as a self-contained apartment rather than a resort room. There is everything needed to cook (or drink) up a storm with more appliances that your average Gen Y house with stove top, microwave, electric frypan, dishwasher, wine and beer glasses and of course the all-important corkscrew.

The family-friendly resort also has a games room filled with retro ‘pinnies’, sauna and heated pool and spa.The food

Caloundra offers a variety of options for diners including fish and chips from the Italian food-cum-fish and chippery to the fine dining options down the road at Bulcock Beach.

If you are feeling particularly lazy, the resort has two restaurants downstairs, a great option for breakfast with both offering their own versions of a big brekky under $10. Couple it with a massive mug of the “Sunshine Coast’s best coffee” and the Naked Turtle breakfast will set you up until lunchtime.

For a casual option you can’t go past the Caloundra Surfclub or for traditional pub fair head up to Kings Beach Tavern.  A word of warning though, King Beach Tavern also has a music venue attached and on the night we were there a death metal band was playing.  Makes for great people watching accompanied by not-so-soothing drums and bass pulsing through the restaurant.

Bulock Beach, a 15-minute walk away offers up a number of dining options including Alfies Moo Char and Grill – owned by Alfie Langer no less, the absolute waterfront Sandbar Cafe and Kiosk and Thai with a view Wung Nam Thai Water Palace.The activities

Caloundra is the gateway to the rest of the Sunshine Coast but has plenty to offer without straying too far from home base. The jewel in the crown is Kings Beach, literally across the road and while the waterpark isn’t exactly Wet ‘n’ Wild, it is great for families with small children with water jet fountains and a saltwater pool with shaded area – and even better, its free.

Pelican Waters Golf Club provides the opportunity to channel your inner Tiger Woods (or John Daly).  Feeling lucky?  The Sunshine Coast Turf Club has regular race meets throughout the year on Sundays and some Friday nights.The weekend

It takes little more than an hour to reach Caloundra from Brisbane, and once there, you can leave the car in the resort garage with the beach, water park and restaurants all within strolling distance.

Despite the short distance from Brisbane, Caloundra maintains the traditional feel of a beach holiday destination from the 80s.  Grab a pot at the surfclub, walk along the esplanade and get an icecream from the corner shop before sitting back on your balcony to watch the world go by.

Kings Beach is great for families with its free waterpark with fountains and pool, bike tracks and patrolled beach, the perfect spot for a weekend, or week, away from the big smoke.

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Weekend planner


The Maitland Aroma Coffee, Chocolate and Fine Food Festival returns to Heritage Mall this weekend for two days of coffee and chocolate demonstrations, coffee roasters, fine food stalls, wine tasting and live entertainment. Entry to the festival is free, however some events are ticketed. From 10am daily.


Britain’s leading young chamber ensemble, the Elias String Quartet, performs at the Harold Lobb Concert Hall at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music on Thursday at 7.30pm. Tickets from $30 through Ticketek.


Out in Space Saturday. Learn how to find constellations and use the Southern Cross to navigate at night. 1.15pm, 2.15pm and 3.15pm. Newcastle Museum, Honeysuckle.

Back to the Future Sunday. The popular science fiction film starring Michael J Fox is back for a one-off Science Week special. Science show from 1pm, film at 1.45pm. Tickets $10. Tower Cinemas, Newcastle.

Our Town Model Show Saturday and Sunday. A scale model exhibition featuring award-winning model cars, boats, aircraft, trains, military vehicles, figurines and war gaming. From 9am daily. Entry $10 adults/$5 children. Newcastle Jockey Club, Broadmeadow.

Anchorage Wedding Open Day Saturday. Explore the romantic waterfront location at the venue’s wedding day preview. 11am to 2pm. Anchorage Port Stephens.

Children’s Book Week – Story Time Saturday. Readings of books shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, as well as favourites (for children ages 2+). 10.30am to 11.30am. MacLean’s Booksellers, Hamilton.

Newcastle & Hunter Valley Cat Club Show Saturday. Talk to the breeders and see a wide variety of cats and kittens on show. 9.30am to 3pm. Lambton High School, Lambton.

Sizzling Strings Sunday. Performers include Newcastle Suzuki Strings and A Suite of Cellos from the new Newcastle Youth Orchestra. Morning tea from 10.30am, concert at 11am. Tickets $12 adults/$10 concession/$5 children. Adamstown Uniting Church.

Stitches and Craft Show Saturday and Sunday. From paper craft, home decor and patterns to craft classes and seminars. 10am to 4.30pm. Entry $15 adults/$13 concession/$7 children. Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow.

University of Newcastle Book Fair Saturday. Thousands of books and collectables up for grabs (final day). 10am to 5pm. The Great Hall, University of Newcastle, Callaghan.

Canoeing On Ironbark Creek Sunday. Explore the canoe trail at the Wetlands site. 9.30am. Costs $30 adults/$20 children. Bookings 49516466. Hunter Wetlands Centre, Shortland.

Organ Recital Sunday. Featuring recitalist Pastór de Lasala from Sacred Heart Church Mosman, Mosman Uniting Church and St Joseph’s, Neutral Bay. 2.30pm. Costs $20 adults/$15 concession. St James Anglican Church, Morpeth.

East Maitland Heritage Walk Sunday. Take a guided walk through Victoria Street and finish with afternoon tea at a stately home in King Street. 2pm. Costs $20. Bookings essential 49344314. Meet at Friends of Grossmann House, corner Brunswick and Lawes Streets, East Maitland.

Lake Macquarie Family History Group Saturday. Visitors and new members welcome with experienced family history researches available to assist. 10am to 4pm. Marmong Point Community Hall.


All Saints Anglican Church Market Saturday. China, glassware, clothes, toys, plants, books, records, sausage sizzle and morning tea. 8am to noon. Church Street, Belmont.

Maitland Harvest Markets Saturday. Farm-fresh produce, handmade products, live music, coffee, plants and flowers. 8am to 1pm. Maitland Showground.

Adamstown Markets Sunday. Produce, gifts, crafts and more, 7am to noon. Corner of Glebe and Brunker roads, Adamstown.

Newcastle City Farmers Market Sunday. Fresh produce, gourmet food, plants and more, 8am to 1pm. Speers Point Park, Speers Point.

Hamilton Clock Tower Markets Saturday. More than 30 variety stalls, food, coffee and live music. 8am to 2pm. James St Plaza, Hamilton.

Sacred Tree Markets Sunday. Entertainment, fresh produce, artisan baker, massage, healers, designer clothes and food from around the globe. 9am to 2pm. New England Highway, Branxton.

Raymond Terrace Markets and Psychic Fair Saturday. Psychic readings, massage, Reiki, alternative therapies, food stalls, fruit and vege, plants and more. 9am to 2pm. Riverside Park, Raymond Terrace.


Go Back For Murder DAPA Saturday at 2pm and 7.30pm, Sunday at 2pm. 49623270. DAPA Theatre, Hamilton.

Charlotte’s Web Saturday. Young People’s Theatre. 2pm and 7pm. 49614895. Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton.

1984 Saturday. Hunter Region Drama School. 8pm. 40238738. Hamilton Public School.

Ruben Guthrie Saturday. Stooged Theatre. 2pm and 8pm. 49291977. Civic Playhouse, Newcastle.

The Yeomen of The Guard Saturday and Sunday. Opera Hunter. 2pm. 49431672. Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre, Warners Bay.

When The Rain Stops Falling Saturday and Sunday. Newcastle Theatre Company. Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm. 49524958. NTC Theatre, Lambton.


NRL Sunday. Newcastle Knights v Melbourne Storm. 3pm. Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow.


E-Waste Drop Off Saturday. Residents of the Port Stephens government areas can drop off computers, TVs and electronic waste for recycling. Proof of residence required. 8am to noon. Waste Transfer Station, Lemon Tree Passage.

2013 Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival Prize Sunday. Check out Australia’s largest electric bike grand prix, where teams design and build an electric bike to compete in a one-hour endurance race. 8am to 4pm (first race at 11am). Newcastle Kart Racing Club, Cameron Park.


Art Systems Wickham Lake Edge: Richard Morris, Aaron Bellette. Until August 25. 40 Annie Street, Wickham.

Back to Back Galleries Grounded: Elizabeth Epstein, Barbara Greentree, Ron Pinkerton, Clare Tilyard, David McBride. Until tomorrow. 57 Bull Street, Cooks Hill.

Cessnock Regional Art Gallery The Touring Blake Prize. Until September 29. 16 Vincent Street, Cessnock.

Forsight Gallery Ceramics: Paul Marosszeky. Glass and Silver: Lee Daniel. Until tomorrow. 33 Union Street, Cooks Hill.

Greenway Gallery Chinese Whispers: Group show. Until tomorrow. Swan Street, Morpeth.

Inner City Winemakers Nick Warfield. Until August 28. 28Church Street, Wickham.

John Hunter Hospital Arts for Health Emerging Images: Debbie Andrew, Robyn Selem, Clare Weeks. Coastline: Gwendolin Lewis. Land and Sea: Mel Young. John Hunter Hospital.

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery In-Habit, Project Another Country: Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan. Settled: Works from the Collection. Both Until September 8. First Street, Booragul.

Lovett Gallery Now and Then: Photographic Exhibition. Newcastle Library, Until October 6. Laman Street, Cooks Hill. (Saturdays until 2pm)

Maitland Regional Art Gallery Op Shop: Twelve Opportunity Shop artists. Until October 6. 230 High Street, Maitland.

Nanshe Territories: Mal Cannon. Until August 24. 148b Beaumont Street, Hamilton.

Newcastle Art Gallery To the Edge: Abstracting Art in Australia. Until October 20. Laman Street, Newcastle.

Newcastle Art Space Wind: ASHRI and Newcastle Printmakers (last day). 246 Parry Street, Hamilton East.

Studio 48 Shared Visions: Group show. Until tomorrow. 48 Mackie Ave, New Lambton.

Timeless Textiles Enclothed in Ecology: Gina Mastrio. Until September 15. 7 Beaumont Street, Islington.

University Gallery People and Place: Coal and Community. Until August 24. University Drive, Callaghan campus.

Watt Space Student Gallery At the Bauhaus: Alan Duncan. Sketchbooks of Rome: Group show. Good Night Sleep: Amy Hamilton. Continuum: Jasmine Hanlon. Until September 1. Corner King and Auckland streets, Newcastle.


5 Sawyers Saturday, DJ Matt Meler. Sunday, DJ Tone.

Adamstown Club Saturday, The Big Bang. Sunday, Wobbly Boot with Rita Azzopardi.

Bar Petite Saturday, Beth Gleeson. Sunday, Phonic Duo.

Belmont 16 Footers Saturday, Snape Brothers. Sunday, Backbeat Duo.

The Brewery Saturday, Moose Preservation. Sunday, Flying Mare.

Cambridge Hotel Saturday, Dirty Youth, Lovechild.

Delany Hotel Saturday, Rubicon.

Exchange Hotel Saturday, Kotadama.

Great Northern Hotel Saturday, Strangers With Candy.

Grand Junction Hotel Saturday, Ngariki, Brooke Harvey, Dashville Progress Society, Yellow Feather Dogs. Sunday, Shaun Kirk.

Hamilton Station Hotel Saturday, Live It Up Karaoke (front bar), S Is For Spaceship, Crash Tragic, Shorelines, Emecia (back bar). Sunday, Eye On You (front bar).

Harrigan’s Pokolbin Saturday, GenX.

Kent Hotel Saturday, Overload. Sunday, Dai Pritchard Blues Band.

King Street Hotel Saturday, J-Trick, Nukewood. Sunday, Any Given Sunday.

Lambton Park Hotel Saturday, Ash Mountain.

The Landing Bar & Kitchen Saturday, Timmy Coffey. Sunday, Skoob, Surian.

Lass O’Gowrie Saturday, The Delta Lions, The Shadow League, Leadfinger, Summer Policy, Lincoln Le Fevre. Sunday, The Buzzard Mix.

Lizotte’s Newcastle Saturday, Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows, Alex Gibson. Sunday, Shane Nicholson, Ashleigh Dallas.

Murray’s Brewery Sunday, Brien McVernon.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Dr. Zoom Duo. Sunday, Santana Magic, Marriah, Mustard Mit, Paul Robert Burton.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Sunday, The Toot Ensemble Jazz Band.

Pippis At The Point Saturday, Little Black Book. Sunday, James Chatburn.

Terrace Bar Saturday, Andrew Tuttle, Collector, L.A. County Morgue (5pm, early start), Bloods, The Fabergettes (8.30pm). Saturday Got Soul DJs (downstairs).

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Incognito.

Wests Leagues Club New Lambton Piano Lounge: Saturday, Warren Hunter. Marble Bar: Saturday, Twinsanity.

Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, The Years, Good Corn Liquor. Sunday, Jungle Kings, Angie.


Red Obsession (PG) Russell Crowe narrates this wine documentary, a study of how Shanghai’s obsession with luxury items has affected some of the most illustrious vineyards in France. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

The Princess and The Frog (G) In New Orleans lives a beautiful girl named Tiana, who meets a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again. A fateful kiss leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana.

We’re The Millers (MA15+) A small-time pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) with a big debt recruits a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), and two teens to be part of his fake family for a drug shipment.

Before Midnight (MA15+) We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

Behind The Candelabra (M) Michael Douglas stars as Liberace. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

Despicable Me 2 (PG) Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to deal with a new super-criminal.

Dino Time (G) Three curious kids accidentally trip an egg-shaped time machine into operation and find themselves back 65 million years in the middle of a nest of dinosaur eggs.

The Great Gatsby (M) A Midwesterner now living on Long Island finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbour. (Lake Cinema)

Greetings From Tim Buckley (M) Follows the story of the days leading up to Jeff Buckley’s eminent 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. (Avoca)

Happiness Never Comes Alone (M) Sacha and Charlotte have nothing in common but are made for one another. (Lake Cinema)

In The House (MA15+) Best Film winner at the 2012 San Sebastian International Film Festival.

McLean’s Money (M) A wealthy tycoon pretends that he is dying to see how his children react. (Tower Cinemas Newcastle)

Monsters University (G) Explores the origin story of Mike and Sulley, the two stars of Monsters, Inc.

Much Ado About Nothing (M) A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Now You See Me (M) An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

Pain & Gain (MA15+) Action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie.

The Bling Ring (MA15+) Comedy-drama based on the true story of a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who robbed the homes of Hollywood celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

The Conjuring (MA15+) Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorised by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

The Heat (MA15+) Sandra Bullock stars as an uptight FBI agent who’s teamed with Melissa McCarthy’s brash Boston cop to bring down a drug lord.

The Letter Writer (PG) Maggy Fuller, a rebellious and troubled teenager, receives an old-fashioned letter in the mail from an unknown source. (Glendale)

This Is The End (MA15+) Apocalyptic comedy starring Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and James Franco.

The Wolverine (M) Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) faces a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed.

The World’s End (MA15+) Simon Pegg and Nick Frost try to get the old gang back together to finish an epic hometown pub crawl.



Matt Damon stars as Max, an ordinary guy living in 2154 who desperately needs to get to Elysium, a man-made space station where only the very wealthy live. The rest live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth, which is rife with crime and poverty. Backed into a corner, Max takes on a dangerous mission that might bring equality to the two worlds.


Robert Redford directs and stars in The Company You Keep, an engaging story based on the lives of former Weather Underground activists, alongside Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte. The Company You Keep is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download from August 21. Weekender has five DVD copies to give away, thanks to Madman. To enter, send the word ‘‘Company’’ to [email protected] theherald苏州美甲学校.au or text the word ‘‘Company’’ to 0427369610, including your name, address and phone number. Entries close Wednesday at 9am. The winners of the Jason Byrne tickets are Anne Stevenson of Stockton and Graham Stanton of Wangi.


Morpeth’s Weird and Wonderful Novelty Teapot Exhibition & Tea Cosy Challenge is back for another year from Thursday at Morpeth Gallery with 3847 teapot designs, until September 1.

Email weekend music, event and market listings to [email protected]苏州美甲学校.au

Old George and Dragon chef Gavin Forman ahead of the Maitland Aroma Festival this weekend. Picture: Peter Stoop

VIDEO: Tenor of optimism

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoBRIAN Kennedy has sung for as long as he can remember.

‘‘I was one of those really annoying little kids who used to hum and sing along with everything,’’ Kennedy recalls to Weekender from his home in Dublin.

‘‘I couldn’t stop humming and people would tell me to shut up [laughs]. I was very, very, very young when I discovered music.’’

When he reached puberty, Kennedy’s voice changed and he realised that his big tenor voice could take him places.

Now 46, Kennedy is regarded as one of Ireland’s favourite vocalists.

In 2010 he picked up a Lifetime Achievement award at the Ireland Music Awards, which honoured a 20-year music career that began after he left his family’s council house on the notorious Falls Road in Belfast to make a better life for himself.

As one of six children, Kennedy grew up at the height of The Troubles during which he witnessed people killed in the street as the Catholics and Protestants waged war against each other.

It was music that encouraged him to chase his dreams.

Not long after celebrating his 18th birthday, Kennedy traded Belfast for the bright lights of London where he started from the bottom as a pub singer and busking in the London Underground.

His break came after he met manager Simon Fuller – best known for creating the Spice Girls – who landed Kennedy a recording contract.

With two albums under his belt, Kennedy had begun building a name for himself when Van Morrison invited him to perform vocals in his band, touring the world and sharing the stage with Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.

‘‘Working alongside someone of that stature, I learnt to take risks – and not to be afraid to take risks – and to just keep doing my own thing.’’

He was the first to record the much-covered ballad You Lift Me Up – made famous by US singer Josh Groban – and has represented Ireland at Eurovision.

Since releasing his debut album in 1990, Kennedy has produced 11 solo albums including his latest, Voice.

On the album (which entered the Irish charts at No.3), Kennedy addresses Ireland’s struggle with recession on the uplifting track, Best Days.

He says he wanted to write a song from a positive perspective.

‘‘It really is my reaction to the recession, to difficult times, all those things,’’ Kennedy says.

‘‘It’s a song that looks forward to the future and says our best days are yet to come, don’t give up, I know things are tough at the moment.

‘‘I just thought it was strange that, artistically, I wasn’t hearing a reaction to the recession. When I turn on the radio I’m just hearing songs that aren’t really about that, so I just wanted a song of mine to address it in a really positive, fun, uplifting way and that’s how Best Days was born.’’

The singer – who tours Australia next month for the first time since 2010 – says he can only get better with age as a singer.

‘‘Men’s voices change a lot as they get older – especially if you look after it and so on – so I should actually be peaking.

‘‘I’m in my 40s now and that’s when the male tenor voice really reaches its peak.’’

Brian Kennedy performs at Lizotte’s Newcastle on September 10. Bookings online at lizottes苏州美甲学校.au.

Brian Kennedy discovered music when he was very young.

VIDEO: Sisters on track

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoSTONEFIELD spent four years jamming in a shed on the family’s hobby farm in rural Victoria before winning Triple J’s Unearthed High contest in 2010.

The win scored the band national airplay with the single Through The Clover, which led to the release of two EPs and an introduction to the world of life on the road. The four-piece toured the nation numerous times over, supporting the likes of Cold Chisel, Foo Fighters and even scored a spot on the bill at Glastonbury festival in the UK.

Now, on the eve of releasing their debut self-titled album in October, Stonefield are once again back in the shed where it all began as they prepare to rehearse for a national tour which kicks off in Newcastle next week.

‘‘I’m at my parents’ house where all my sisters live to do a bit of rehearsing for our tour – back to the shed,’’ lead singer/drummer Amy Findlay says with a laugh as she speaks to Weekender.

‘‘It’s really good because we can just make as much noise as we like and it doesn’t bother anyone, so it’s a good space to practise.

‘‘There’s not really any neighbours to disturb but apparently when the wind is blowing, we’ve had people that we know from the town say ‘On this particular day when the wind was blowing toward us we could hear you practising’ which is crazy because it’s kilometres away.

‘‘It’s probably a sign that we have it up too loud [laughs].’’

The shed is located on the 14-hectare property in the small town of Darraweit Guim, owned by Findlay’s parents. They encouraged Amy – who swaps between singing up front and behind the drum kit when they play live – her sisters Holly (bass), Hannah (guitar) and Sarah (keys) to start playing music together in 2006.

Growing up on a diet of Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, the sisters formed a band (then named Iotah) which picked up slots supporting the likes of Children Collide, The Spazzys and Tex Perkins.

They won a swag of youth awards along the way until landing their big break in 2010 after taking out Triple J’s Unearthed High contest.

Findlay says the looming album release is a ‘‘dream come true’’ for the sisters, who flew producer Ian Davenport out from Britain to record the album at Melbourne’s Sing Sing Studios.

‘‘We’ve been waiting for this moment forever,’’ Findlay, 23, says.

‘‘We’re really proud of what we’ve done and we had so much fun in the process that we’re really looking forward to showing it to everybody.’’

The band chose Davenport for his production on albums by one of their favourite bands, English alt-rock group Band of Skulls.

‘‘We love production on their first two albums and we love that sound because I think it’s such a nice mix of that old school thing but also sounds a little bit modern, so I think that’s what we really wanted to do with our album.

‘‘Musically he completely understood us and the direction we wanted to take and also as people we just connected really well.’’

The first single lifted from the album, Put Your Curse On Me, is a heavy rock track which features the vocals of the Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir.

‘‘That was a pretty amazing thing for us. We’ve always wanted to work with a gospel choir – we just love the sound of so many voices coming together,’’ Findlay says.

The album arrives after the girls took a year-long break from touring to concentrate on writing songs without the distractions that come with being out on the road.

Findlay says it allowed them to mature not only as musicians but people too.

‘‘Our whole journey has been a bit of a whirlwind,’’ she says.

‘‘So much happened for us as soon as we were Unearthed by Triple J – it kind of went a bit crazy.

‘‘I feel like we grew up a lot both as people and musically. It was good to just have time to focus on the songs and have that time to dedicate.’’

It’s not all rock’n’roll, though.

Holly, who at 15 is the youngest of the group, and 19-year-old Sarah are still yet to finish high school so must juggle distance education with their band commitments.

Findlay says that as the eldest of the group she tends to take on the mother role [‘‘I’m a bit of a control freak to be honest,’’ she laughs], but being in a band with her siblings is a blessing.

‘‘We’re really close and we’re friends as well as sisters,’’ she says.

‘‘It definitely has its challenges at times, but I think mostly it’s a really good thing to be so close with people that you’re in a band with.’’

Stonefield perform at The Small Ballroom, Islington on August 23. Tickets online at oztix苏州美甲学校.au

Stonefield are proud of their latest album and ready for a national tour.

THAT’S LIFE: Unblocking cowardice valve

I’VE been reading a book by documentary maker Polly Morland called Society of Timid Souls: or How to be Brave.

It’s a lively tome well worth a browse, particularly if you’re a gutless wonder.

Despite filming many terrible things in many scary places, Polly felt she was not that courageous.

So the essential question of her book is: Can we learn to be brave?

Or are most of us doomed to be wimps who hide behind their fingers every time a scary moment comes up at the movies.

And I’m not just talking Jaws here.

Think National Velvet.

Jaws sent me over the edge actually, inflicting psychological wounds much deeper than anything physical suffered at the mouth of what was apparently the fakest looking rubber shark in the history of prosthetic sharks.

Seemed real enough to me, but that’s fear for you, of fear itself. I remember I went for a surf after seeing that flick, primarily to try to unblock the cowardice valve. Or block it as the case may be.

And would you believe it, there was a shark alarm. I remember squirting adrenaline. Not as pleasant as some snow boarders would have us believe.

At first I’d thought it was a cruel joke. A cliche. Impossible. And yet, there were the people on the beach waving. And there was I, the only person left in the water, floating on my surfboard like a harp seal above a pilchard school with the water going “lap, lap’’. Always the “lap lap” when things get sharky.

They say it’s the shark you never see that’s gonna eat you, which is ironic given how hard you start looking for sharks in these situations. Like the sight of a dorsal fin might be somehow reassuring. Amazing, too, how many you start seeing as paranoia peaks among the peaks. ‘‘Lap lap.’’

Another thing they say is you shouldn’t panic, as it sends out the signal you’re a wounded fish burger.

God they say a lot of things.

I was walking on water the last 30metres to shore. Hardly dignified, but who cared. I was ALIVE!! The only fear once on dry land was that people might recognise it wasn’t just sea water running down my leg.

I’m sure we all have our Room 101s and I’d love to hear them.

It is into this headspace that Morland’s book engages the mind.

The phrase “timid souls’’ Morland explains is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt who in 1910 lauded “the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”.

Such words have gone on to inspire generations of triathletes, and horrified the makers of video games.

Translated into Strine, it means “Get off ya arse and have a go.”

The phrase was picked up by a group of stage-frightened Manhattan musos in 1942 who gathered weekly to conquer their performance yips, thus becoming the original ‘‘Society’’ of timid souls.

Morland moves forward with the concept, interviewing an eclectic range of would-be wimps – soldiers, bull-fighters, mothers in labour etc – to explore the physical and philosophical nature of bravery.

Along the way she poses questions like, is it really being brave in combat to run into a minefield to rescue a wounded mate.

A lot of soldiers say no: it’s what they train for and anticipate. Anti-heroic almost. Something that comes from practice.

A famous Spanish matador told Morland he felt no fear in the ring but dreaded worse fates outside it, ‘‘like sleeping alone’’.

A brave thing to say, I thought, to an obviously fiercely intelligent woman as it was one hell of a sleazy line.

Scientists have traced the fear response to the amygdala in the brain and noted that if you get a lesion there, you can become immune to the signals of fear, and hence feel no fear.

But is that being brave?

Yes it helps if you’re fronting ICAC, but true courage, Morland argues, involves anticipating fear, experiencing fear, and overcoming it.

That only comes if you’re Eddie Obeid.

Morland examines the idea that fear is an enhancer of life, and its absence symptomatic of death?

Certainly that didn’t resonate that day in the surf with the shark, although it got me contemplating the symptoms of death all right. Particularly that of being torn to pieces.

While reading this book I spoke to a woman who survived a horrendous airflight over a volcano in Indonesia in 1982 when her plane lost all engine power and was gliding to certain obliteration.

The woman noted at the time that people reacted differently.

Some put on rain coats, thinking if they were going to ditch in the water, they’d better try to stay dry. Her response was to put on woollen socks.

Courage, it seemed, didn’t really need to be informed by logic. Just an all-pervading need to keep your tootsies warm.

Perhaps that in the end sums up bravery, something that makes no sense – you just hope you can bring it when the time requires.

JOANNE McCARTHY: Seeds of revolution

THERE were no fireworks in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday as Rio Tinto and the NSW Government argued a judge got things wrong when he rejected the Warkworth coal mine extension near Bulga in April, and found in favour of Bulga residents.

A dour barrister for the mining giant read out slabs of transcript. There were questions and answers about background noise levels. Some points were made. But to quote Bulga-Milbrodale Progress Association president John Lamb at lunch: ‘‘That was boring as batshit.’’

But oh so significant despite that. This is about coal, but it’s also about belief in government and the integrity of processes supposedly in place to protect the public.

Land and Environment Court chief judge Brian Preston’s criticism of the government’s Warkworth approval outraged Rio Tinto and its subsidiary Coal & Allied. Planning Minister Brad Hazzard sought immediate legal advice.

Rio Tinto met with Premier Barry O’Farrell in May, to push the point made in its statement immediately after Preston’s decision – that a judge could ‘‘overrule’’ decisions of the Planning Minister, government departments and the Planning Assessment Commission which constituted a ‘‘rigorous three-year process’’.

That’s one way of looking at it.

I recommend reading just one document, the February 2012 Planning Assessment Commission decision to approve the Warkworth extension, to get a sense of another way of looking at it – the perspective of Bulga residents, and many other Upper Hunter mining communities.

The Planning Assessment Commission accepted the ‘‘very significant’’ negative impact of the extension on the village and the local environment. It accepted that both the mining company and the government had failed to deliver on previous commitments, including the terms of a Ministerial Deed of Agreement, despite Bulga residents relying on those commitments to invest in homes and businesses.

It accepted that ‘‘best management practices’’ at the mine complex could be ‘‘substantially improved’’, which supports residents’ complaints of serious noise and dust problems based on current operations, even before the mine extends closer to the village.

The Planning Assessment Commission recommended approval subject to ‘‘robust and clear’’ environmental standards, ‘‘unambiguous’’ obligations to meet those standards, and ‘‘effective regulatory action in the event of poor performance’’.

They’re fine words, but the reality is Bulga residents repeatedly making late-night phone calls to complain about excessive noise and dust, having those complaints challenged, and almost laughably small fines when matters are actually pursued by government departments.

You could argue – and certainly mining companies and politicians argue – that the economic benefits of mining outweigh the rights of a small place like Bulga with its 300 residents.

The NSW Government’s proposed State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) makes that abundantly clear. We might have dust monitoring. We might have health studies. However, a SEPP that says in black and white that the value of the coal resource is the principal consideration in decision-making, above all others, which puts a question mark beside the point of any health or environmental considerations.

Coal rules.

But not quite yet.

There they sat in the impressive Banco Court on Wednesday – about a dozen Bulga residents including John Lamb, John and Leslie Krey, and Marie and Stewart Mitchell. Outside the court, hundreds of others protested the SEPP and proposed changes to the state’s planning laws.

People like John Lamb, the Kreys and the Mitchells believed the O’Farrell government’s promises of integrity in planning, and transparency in government decision-making. After the ugliness of Labor’s corrupted coal approval processes, it was a relief.

What they got – what we got – was a NSW Government that has damaged public confidence by a different means. We weren’t given the chance to vote about a government that would value the coal resource above other considerations when making decisions about mines.

This government hasn’t explained why it needs to sit in the Banco Court this week beside Rio Tinto, and against the people of Bulga. It didn’t tell us it would consider doing that.

It’s a corrosive thing, when people cannot believe the politicians who lead them.

The people of Bulga are fighting that, as much as they’re fighting a mine where too many commitments have already been made, and broken.

On Wednesday John Lamb fronted Barry O’Farrell while the Premier was standing in a cafe ordering a sandwich. He asked O’Farrell to visit Bulga, to talk to residents.

In NSW, in the Great Age of Coal, it’s almost a revolutionary idea.

Winners of the Hunter Valley Wine Show

PEPPER Tree, Tyrrell’s and Audrey Wilkinson were the stars of the 2013 Hunter Valley Wine Show as trophies and gold medal awards were presented on Friday at the presentation luncheon at Pokolbin.

Pepper Tree, the centrepiece of millionaire geologist and oil exploration company director John Davis’s wine empire, won four trophies, including the Doug Seabrook Trophy for the best dry red of the show.

The Seabrook prize was one of the four trophies claimed by the Pepper Tree 2011 Limited Release Shiraz, which also won the Hector Tulloch Trophy for the best currently available dry red, the James Busby Trophy for the best premium-vintage red and the Elliott Family Trophy for the best two-year-old red.

The Davis family also owns the Hunter’s Briar Ridge and Tallavera Grove operations and vineyards in Wrattonbully, Orange and Coonawarra and notched three gold medals with Pepper Tree wines and one from Briar Ridge.

The Petrie-Drinan Trophy for the best white wine of the show was won by the Audrey Wilkinson 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon, which also collected the Maurice O’Shea Trophy for the best currently available dry white and the McGuigan Family Trophy for the best premium vintage dry white.

Audrey Wilkinson is part of the Agnew wine group, which includes the Poole’s Rock, Cockfighter’s Ghost and Firestick brands, and is headed by Brian Agnew – a past chairman of the big Moray and Agnew specialist insurance law firm.

Audrey Wilkinson’s three trophies were accompanied by two gold medals and Poole’s Rock took gold with a 2009 semillon.

The Tyrrell’s family wine company won the Singleton Council Trophy for the most successful exhibitor in young wine classes and notched three other trophies and seven gold medals.

The Tyrrell’s Old Vines Chardonnay won the Ed Jouault Trophy for the best one-year-old dry white and the Murray Tyrrell Trophy for the best any-vintage chardonnay.

The Tyrrell’s 2007 HVD Vineyard Semillon won the Tyrrell Family Trophy for the best named vineyard dry white.

Ace winemaker Andrew Thomas was again among the major winners with his semillons from the veteran viticulturist Ken Braye’s Braemore vineyard in Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin.

The Thomas 2013 Braemore Semillon won the H.J. Lindeman Trophy for the best current-vintage dry white and the Marshall-Flannery Trophy for the best current-vintage semillon.

The 2007 Braemore Semillon and the 2011 Elanay Shiraz brought the Thomas gold tally to three.

U and I Tinkler won the John Lewis-Newcastle Herald Trophy for the best museum vintage dry red with the Tinkler 2005 U and I Shiraz.

The Tinkler wine operation is headed by Usher William (Bill) and Kathie Tinkler and brother and sister-in-law Ian and Leonie Tinkler.

The wine was made by Bill and Kathie Tinkler’s son Usher, who is the sixth generation of his family to be involved in the Hunter wine industry.

The Tempus Two 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon won the Graham Gregory Trophy for best museum vintage dry white.

Tulloch Wines claimed the Iain Riggs Wines of Provenance Award, which requires entrants to submit three different vintages of the same labelled wine, covering a vintage spread of at least 10 years with one wine being 2009 vintage or younger.

Bill and Vicki Widin’s 1693 Broke Rd, Pokolbin, Leogate winery had dual trophy success with the Leogate Estate 2011 Western Slopes Shiraz.

The wine won the Len Evans Trophy for the best named vineyard wine of the show and the Drayton Family Trophy for the best named vineyard dry red.

The Windins, long-time wine enthusiasts who own the 5870-hectare Middlebrook Park Black Angus cattle stud at South Tamworth, took the plunge into Hunter winemaking in 2007 and 2008 when they bought the two sections of what was the former Rothbury Estate Brokenback vineyard, at Broke Rd, Pokolbin.

Other trophy winners were:

Two Rivers 2013 Hidden Hive Verdelho (Jay Tulloch Trophy)

Mount Eyre 2013 Three Ponds Fiano (best any-vintage alternate white varieties trophy)

Margan 2011 Limited Release Barbera (best any-vintage alternate red varieties trophy)

Margan 2011 Botrytis Semillon (Doug Galbraith Trophy for premium vintage sweet white)

Drayton’s Non-Vintage Heritage Vines Verdelho (Trevor Drayton Trophy for best premium vintage fortified

The show, which was judged this week at Singleton Army Infantry Centre attracted 730 entries from 78 large and small Hunter producers.

Find out the prices and where to buy 2013 Hunter Valley Wine Show trophy and gold medal wines in next Wednesday’s Good Taste Wine column.

Pepper Tree owner John Davis after winning The Hector Tulloch Trophy for best dry red wine. Picture: Peter Stoop

The smallest star shines brightly

When the directorial team of Scott McGehee and David Siegel discuss the star of their new film, What Maisie Knew, they talk about her ease in front of the camera, her ability to convey powerful emotions in close-up, and her gift for instinctively understanding a scene’s emotional core. They had the same fortunate experience, the pair say, with Tilda Swinton on their 2001 thriller The Deep End, but whereas Swinton was a classically trained, Cambridge-educated screen veteran, their new lead, Onata Aprile, was a six-year-old girl.

”It would have been disastrous if we’d got it wrong,” McGehee admits. ”What we found with Onata, and what kept expanding as we worked with her and cut her performance together, was that we were able to rely on her much more than we anticipated. We were able to use her remarkable ability in close-up to help build the emotional story in a way that we couldn’t have imagined at the script stage. All the time she was really honest, giving a genuinely emotional performance.”

A contemporary retelling of Henry James’ 1897 novel about a child’s view of her bitterly divorced parents and their new partners, What Maisie Knew couldn’t work without a gifted child actor as its fulcrum. Every scene is told from the perspective of Maisie, a bright but increasingly abandoned six-year-old fought over but then neglected by her selfish parents – veteran rock star Susanna (Julianne Moore) and art dealer Beale (Steve Coogan).

Without narration or contrived exposition, Maisie’s understanding of her situation, and that of her parents’ new spouses, bartender Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard) and her former nanny Margo (Joanna Vanderham), is told visually. Onata’s face flickers from joyous to solemn as the mood changes, while her realisation that her parents’ love is flawed proves heartbreaking.

Since the earliest motion pictures, filmmakers have been working with children, and audiences have responded. In 1935, seven-year-old Shirley Temple was the biggest box-office draw in the world, receiving more fan mail than Greta Garbo or Clark Gable.

Child actors, as opposed to the older teenagers who came to the fore in the 1950s, could bring an innocence and emotional clarity to the screen, although their naivete has long been exploited.

”We’ve heard some terrible stories about the way people have got performances from kids,” McGehee says. ”We heard from an assistant director once about needing an emotional performance from a kid and telling the kid that her parents had left and were never coming back. She made the kid believe it – she’d built up this bond of trust throughout the shoot for this one decisive moment – and was telling it to us proudly.”

Child acting is a lucrative profession, and some hopefuls come with professional headshots and first-name knowledge of the relevant casting directors. Onata Aprile, a student at Manhattan’s P.S. 3 school, had already enjoyed two small roles, but that flowed on from tagging along with her actor mother, Valentine. She wanted to act, but had no idea of the stakes involved or the responsibility that would be placed on her tiny shoulders on workdays that were legally mandated at nine hours long.

”We were talking about resting an entire movie on her and that was a huge leap of faith,” Siegel says. ”We considered what would happen if we got to day five and she didn’t want to do it any more.”

Onata was supported and prepared by her mother, who McGehee and Siegel stress was the opposite of the sadly common pushy stage mother, while her adult co-stars also worked closely with her. Skarsgard, who uses his considerable height to show vulnerability instead of his usual dominance in the film, bonded with her after one play session on the floor of Siegel’s apartment.

”There was just something about her energy that felt so raw and so real,” the Swedish actor told a news website.

”And it was like she was so strong but yet vulnerable at the same time, which was a quality we were looking for. So I flew out to New York and met with her, and I was just blown away immediately.”

Moore, whose scenes with Onata are some of the emotionally harshest as Susanna draws her daughter in but then coldly puts her aside or guiltily lashes out when her career and art call, would talk through each set-up with the six-year-old, explaining her intentions. But when they shot, Onata would take those parameters and expand them, often providing Moore with something extra for her performance.

”It takes actors a long time to go from the state of acting to the state of being. She does that, and instinctively knows how to be on camera,” Moore told reporters. ”Whenever I held Onata while we were shooting, I always had this necklace on. She’d always take the locket and open and close it and look at it. Everything she did was so textured and interesting; she’d play with someone’s hair and engage physically with them. It was really remarkable.”

Onata hasn’t acted on screen since What Maisie Knew was released, although the film’s lengthy and well-received journey from the festival circuit to commercial release has kept her busy. But given the enthusiasm and ease they witnessed daily on set, McGehee and Siegel have no doubts where her future lies.

”Onata was the last person to be wrapped on the film, with a scene running up and down stairs at midnight, and everyone knew what was coming except Onata,” Siegel says.

”Dylan, our assistant director, gathered everybody and when we called ‘cut’ her mum picked her up because she was tired, and then Dylan came out and said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a picture wrap on Onata Aprile’, and the place just went bananas.

”Everyone thought this child was special, whether they were close to her or not, and there was just this roar.

”Initially, Onata flinched and for a second I thought, ‘Oh, this is too much for her’, but then this smile spread across her face like a beam of light.

”It wasn’t just that she was happy, it was her feeling that she’d made it, that she’d got through the movie without failing us.”

■ What Maisie Knew opens on Thursday.

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Could Peter Meakin be Ten’s golden goose?

Veteran TV news executive Peter Meakin has joined Network Ten as executive director of news and current affairs.

Meakin, who will be 71 this year, now has cards to all three commercial networks, having held similar posts at Nine and Seven.

Renowned and respected as a straight-talking and hard-nosed rogue with an instinct for commercial news, Meakin is credited as the driving force behind Nine’s decades-long leadership in news and current affairs, as well as Seven’s resurgence after he unexpectedly decamped to the rival network in 2003 following a falling-out with his former boss at Nine, John Alexander.

Meakin has never disputed having called Alexander a “24-carat c—” when changes were made to the news department.

Former Four Corners executive producer and ABC news head Peter Manning once described Meakin as “the best ever news director for both Nine and Seven, getting eyeballs to the channels during their news hours with serious political events or crises”.

“He brought all his commercial and populist expertise to bear to bring a serious perspective to commercial TV. When it would have been easier to ignore difficult, serious events that were happening, Peter committed himself to intervene in the schedule.”

Announcing Meakin’s appointment to Ten, CEO Hamish McLennan says Meakin “has an extraordinary news sense and an ability to bring stories to viewers that no one else in Australia can match”.

“It also marks a new era in the way we will develop, produce and present our news and current affairs programs.”

Meakin left Seven in November 2012 following a restructure of the network’s news and current affairs division.

Meakin says that he will be part of Ten’s initiative to make a bigger name for itself in news.

Ten’s News At Five is often the struggling network’s highest rating show. Apart from the weekdaily Project and Late News, the network doesn’t have a dedicated regular current affairs show in its schedule.

Present news and current affairs head Anthony Flannery will report to Meakin.

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Deals of the week: into Africa

Lion Sands Tinga Lodge. Golf with Peppers.

A QT resort room.


Book a 2014 Africa trip with APT in 2014 and receive a companion return airfare from Australia to Africa free (though pay taxes from $845 a head). One eligible trip is APT’s 16-day South Africa Highlights tour, which leaves from Cape Town and includes Victoria Falls, the Garden Route, Zululand, Swaziland, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls. From $8695 a head, twin share, it features two private game park experiences, 15 nights’ accommodation including in the five-star Table Bay, in Cape Town and Lion Sands Tinga Lodge, Kruger National Park; 29 meals; all flights and airport taxes in Africa; all tips, game park fees, sightseeing and porterage. The airfare offer is available on all bookings of eligible trips made by December 31.

Phone 1300 278 278. See aptouring苏州美甲学校.au.


Harvey World Travel is offering four nights for the price of three at the new QT Resort, in Port Douglas. The package includes: four nights in a resort room, breakfast daily, a $20 spa voucher and guaranteed late check-out at noon. Prices, twin share, start from $349 a head. The offer is valid for sale until August 30, unless sold out before, and for travel October 6-December 25, then January 5-March 31.

Phone 13 27 57. See harveyworld苏州美甲学校.au.


Travel苏州美甲学校.au has put together an accommodation and airfares package for a Cook Islands break. The deal includes return flights with Air New Zealand to Rarotonga, four nights at the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa in a garden room and three nights at Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa in a beachfront bungalow. The package includes breakfast daily, a one-hour spa hydrotherapy package for two at Aitutaki Resort, return domestic airfares to Aitutaki and airport transfers. From $2569 a head (dependent on Australian city of departure), twin share. Airfares include carry-on baggage only. The offer is valid for travel November 1-December 19 and January 11-March 31. It is valid for sale until 3pm September 30 unless sold out before.

Phone 1300 130 483. See travel苏州美甲学校.au.


Peppers has a package for the annual Craigieburn Hickory Cup with the Australian Heritage Golf Society, Bowral, on Sunday September 8. Enjoy 18 holes of vintage golf on the 100-year-old Craigieburn Golf Course, and, after the cup, attend the Living Legends Dinner at historic Peppers Craigieburn. The Heritage Weekend package costs from $299 a couple and includes Sunday night accommodation and breakfast on Monday, one entry to the Hickory Cup and two tickets to the Living Legends Dinner.

Phone 4862 8000. See peppers苏州美甲学校.au/craigieburn.


Yabbaloumba Retreat, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland bordering the Conondale National Park in the Conondale Ranges, is a drive of about 90 minutes north of Brisbane. It is a working property with luxuriously appointed cottages overlooking a dam that is stocked with Australian bass. Wotif has a deal for stays at the property priced from $180 a night, for two people. It includes accommodation in a cottage with an in-room spa, private balcony and gas fire and a daily breakfast hamper, one dinner pack and wine and cheese on arrival. The price represents a 40 per cent saving. The deal is valid for two-night minimum stays from Sunday to Thursday until the end of November, or until sold out. It is available Saturday to Sunday priced from $225.

Phone 1300 887 979 and quote “Wotif deal with meal”. See wotif苏州美甲学校/hotelW134007.

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