Susan Alberti speaks out for autism program

Former Western Bulldogs vice-president Susan Alberti (pictured) will speak at a breakfast in Frankston this month to announce a new employment initiative for young people with autism.

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The Susan Alberti Breakfast, on Tuesday, October 31, is being organised by Autism Helper, an initiative of Moveplay Pty Ltd and director Ron O’Dwyer, to raise awareness of the employment challenges faced by young people with autism and to raise money for LabPRO, a new program aimed at supporting these young people to become job-ready and connect with prospective employers.

Ron played with Carlton and Collingwood in the VFL and was president of the AFL/VFL Past Players and Officials Association from 2002-2008. His commitment to supporting young people with autism is based on his own family experience of living with autism.

“Kids with autism do it tough and face disadvantage and exclusion in many parts of their lives,” Ron said. “Governments make significant contributions in providing support and services but much more needs to be done. Like all families living with autism, we know how hard you have to work at self-help.

“We’re giving kids with autism access to professional mentoring services to hone their personal and professional skills so they’re job-ready, and sending the message to all employers that young people with autism have unique strengths and abilities to make a valuable contribution to any workplace as well as their community. We want employers in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula to help us give these young people the opportunities they deserve.”

Susan, a philanthropist, businesswoman and trailblazer for the national AFL Women’s competition, will speak about her career and her passions as well as the tragic personal circumstances that inspired much of her work and philanthropy in support of medical research and services for the disadvantaged.

Helping stage the breakfast is Alan Wickes, who played with Ron at Collingwood and went on to become a player, coach and president of the Frankston Football Club.  Alan later became president of the Victorian Football Association and is the current president of not-for-profit community development organisation Proudly Frankston.

The Susan Alberti Breakfast will be held at Functions By The Bay, cnr Plowmans Place and Young St (7am for a 7.15am start); proceeds will help finance LabPRO’s launch next year. LabPRO is an extension of the Lab Network’s national mentor-based program that has helped establish more than 20 IT and computer clubs - known as Labs - around Australia, including Frankston, Mornington and Dromana, for young people with autism.  Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula will be one of three regions in Victoria to pilot LabPRO next year.

For breakfast bookings, go to autismhelper.com.au

 

Open day’s the PLACE to be

Longbeach PLACE, a Chelsea-based community organisation, is offering an exciting opportunity for talented residents to sell their beautiful creations.

The centre is holding an open day on November 25 from 11am-3pm to celebrate Community and Philanthropic Partnerships Week. It’s a welcome opportunity for Longbeach PLACE to thank its many business and organisational partners and showcase the results of these partnerships to the community.

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The centre is eager to offer free market stalls to businesses or community members to sell their unique, beautiful or handmade goods. If you have delicious treats, crafts, homewares, fragrances, body products, plants or other items that you’ve made or grown, then apply for a market stall.    

Longbeach PLACE is welcoming the entire community to the centre for the open day and will be offering a large variety of fun activities, free workshops and presentations, including soap making, knitting, drawing, creative writing, yoga, family history research and online crime prevention. Sausages, hot dogs, barrista coffee and poffertjes will be on sale and you’ll be able to indulge in some old-fashioned fun with a range of traditional carnival games such as ring toss.

To inquire about a market stall or find out more about the open day, contact Carrie Ewin at [email protected] or longbeachplace.org.au/openday  

 

Back to back at the Curved Wall By Liz Rogers

Now this is exciting!  Australian contemporary artist Steve Salo’s work is coming to the Frankston Arts Centre from October 19 until December 9 and you’re invited.

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Salo’s portraits of one of Australia’s most globally recognised and respected theatre companies, Back to Back Theatre, will be on show at the Curved Wall and is set to get hearts brimming. Best known for his emotive portraiture and landscape painting, the largely self-taught Salo has been working full-time as a painter since 2014 after losing much of his art history and materials in a fire in 2013. He has just returned from an art residency in Finland. His Back to Back Theatre Portraits are both beautifully conceived and painted. “I’ve learnt about the amazing creative projection that comes from these people; their sensitivity, fragility at times and their intense focus on their work,” he says.

Based in Geelong, Back to Back Theatre has been challenging the assumptions of what is possible in theatre for around 30 years. This is a group that believes anything is possible and continues to prove it by producing work that inspires, questions and resonates. Steve Salo’s collaboration with the ensemble has resulted in an amazing selection of portraits that reveal the actor’s and artistic director’s souls.

The Curved Wall Gallery is thrilled to show this important collection of work. Open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, and Saturdays from 9am-2pm. Entry is free.

 

CURVED WALL - FRANKSTON ARTS CENTRE

A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston

T: 9784 1896

W: artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au/Exhibitions_Festivals/Coming_Exhibitions/Steve_Salo

 

It - Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

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Having languished in development hell for eight years, the arrival of Stephen King’s 1986 novel It on the big screen couldn’t be more timely. Twenty-seven years after the well-received TV mini-series, It returns to haunt a new generation.

Given the source material’s 1138 pages, It is the first film in a planned duology (something last month’s ill-fated King adaptation of The Dark Tower could have greatly benefited from), which allows it plenty of room to breathe.

For the uninitiated, the film centres on seven kids in small-town Derry, Maine who dub themselves “The Losers Club” and battle an evil entity known as It, which can take the form of whatever you fear, though It is most commonly portrayed as Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård – who never appears to be given the opportunity to leave his mark on the role).

Director Andres Muschietti (Mama) shifts the story from the original ‘50s setting to the ’80s and it works like a charm, crafting a coming-of-age story (not unlike King’s Stand By Me) trading on nostalgia.

Clocking in at two hours and 15 minutes, It spends much of the film’s running time focused on The Losers Club individually facing down their biggest phobias.  These moments provide some well-timed jump scares, yet it’s the personal conflicts played out on screen which are arguably more disturbing than the more obvious horror tropes.

Despite playing to convention, It does justice to the novel’s greatest strengths, making it one of the finest King adaptations ever to grace the screen. Bring on Chapter 2!

SCOTT JACKSON Four (4) stars

 

FAC will make your day

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Frankston Arts Centre offers regular daytime concerts for those who enjoy professional music and a quality theatre experience in one of the best performing arts venues in outer metropolitan Melbourne. These shows are aimed at more mature audiences, delivering quality performances at an affordable $20 a show, with great service, complimentary morning or afternoon tea and an optional lunch for those wanting to make a day of it to catch up with friends.

November audiences will be treated to From Broadway to Ballroom, which stars the 2015 World Dance Council Champions Emma and Rhett Salmon and seasoned opera performers Liza Beamish and Lachlan Baker. Finishing the year off is the Christmas Spectacular, with a wonderful mix of traditional Christmas carols, contemporary Christmas songs and a whole lot of laughs in between. This will be just the ticket to conclude a magnificent year of daytime shows at the FAC and the chance to book into the very popular Christmas Lunch.

The 2018 Series 1 has just been launched and will include such performers as Silvie Paladino and The Australian Ballet School as well as featuring The Pirates of Penzance, the music of Frank Sinatra and a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with songs and stories.

To book, visit theFAC.com.au or phone 9784 1060.

 

The art of recovery

Peninsula artists affected by mental health issues will have their talents showcased as part of the 2017 Mental Health Week Peninsula Art Exhibition next month.

Wintery Wonder, by Sherilyn Bohn

Wintery Wonder, by Sherilyn Bohn

This annual event recognises not only people who have experienced mental health issues but also their care-givers, family and friends.  Timed to coincide with Mental Health Week on October 8-14, the exhibition uses art as the medium to encourage an understanding of people who live with mental health issues.  Artistic expression can play an important role in the artists’ recovery as they express their feelings and thoughts in a manner that can be rewarding and incredibly healing.

More than 80 pieces of art are included in the exhibition across a wide range of media, including sculpture, painting, photography, drawing and film. To enhance the viewing experience, several artists have also included the inspiration behind their works to share with the audience. This creates a powerful and unique connection between the viewer and the artist and leads to a deeper understanding of the artwork.

“Creativity has given me calm and solace throughout my struggles,” says artist Annabelle Carver. “I found happiness upon every stroke of colour, guiding me to a sense of peace I never knew existed.”

Fellow artist Sherilyn Bohn adds. “I love exploring colour and the flow of lines in my art. It helps me to unfold what I am feeling inside and ‘get it out’. That acknowledgement is a step towards self-awareness and dealing with attitudes and feelings and being able to communicate them.”

The exhibition has been co-ordinated by Wellways Frankston, a leading not-for-profit mental health and disability support organisation whose services cover mental health, disability and community care and reach thousands of people every year. Its work with a diverse range of people with mental health issues and various disabilities brings about positive change. Wellways Frankston also assists them to lead fulfilling and positive lives within their communities, helping them create homes, secure jobs and build meaningful relationships.

The 2017 Mental Health Week Peninsula Art Exhibition runs from Thursday, October 5, to Saturday, October 28, at Cube 37, Frankston Arts Centre, 25-37 Davey St, Frankston. It’s open Tuesdays-Fridays from 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 9am-2pm, and entry is free.  The public is also invited to attend the Artists’ Soiree on Monday, October 9, from 6-8pm for refreshments and entertainment with the artists. Anyone interested in producing artwork or attending the soirée is asked to contact Wellways Frankston on 9784 6800. To find out more about Wellways and the services it offers, please visit wellways.org

 

Aghast from the past by Kate Sears

If you could squeeze England’s grisly but great history into an hour, make it humorous and interesting and fill it with some of the country’s most colourful historical figures, would you?

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Live Nation and the Birmingham Stage Company have done just that with Horrible Histories: The Best of Barmy Britain. Filled with laughs, quirky characters and quick wit, it’s a horribly funny and slightly twisted version of the history of Britain with the nasty bits left in and will be performed at Frankston Arts Centre on Sunday, September 24, at 11am.

Based on the works of Terry Deary and Neal Foster, Horrible Histories will amaze, appal and delight you as you meet the most famous, infamous and dangerous characters from British history through audience participation.  Songs, facts, funnies and farts will bring the stage alive in this acclaimed West End show.

Frankly Frankston spoke to Robin Hemmings (pictured), who plays Rex and is excited to visit Australia again. Of the play, he says, “It’s ghastly with lots of humour. Really, we’re quite removed from our history, but this is a chance to look back at it with a wink and a nudge.  The show is pretty non-stop; we run around like nutters. It’s a rollercoaster through history. It’s exciting as a performer and an audience member.”

Letting slip some juicy details about the play, Robin told us that the characters are quite insane, yet they all existed. As the show highlights the more horrible side of history, there’s even a skit on the bubonic plague, which highlights how far science has come.

Robin truly relishes his time on stage with Pip Chamberlin, who plays Queenie. “We instantly set up an onstage chemistry, which is perfect for this playful show as we really bounce off each other. We can read each other. It’s like a tennis rally; the electricity is high as balls fly back and forth.”

Henry VIII was Robin’s favourite character to play. He’s a massive historical figure and he got away with so much. However, the show takes the mickey out of him so he’s fun to play. “I got stuck into making him even more absurd.  It is a fun show to perform, but it’s challenging too.”

This introduction to history has garnered great reviews, so it’s an ideal outing for the whole family. The show is aimed at children, but adults can learn (and laugh) a lot as well. You just can’t miss Queen Victoria rapping on stage, so purchase your tickets without delay from thefac.com.au (prices $34-$39.20).

 

Tune into Frankston Guitar Festival

Former Angels and Screaming Jets fret maestro Jimi Hocking will blaze the stage at the Frankston Guitar Festival 20th Anniversary Weekend next month.

Former Angels and Screaming Jets fret maestro Jimi Hocking will blaze the stage at the Frankston Guitar Festival 20th Anniversary Weekend next month.

“It was 20 years ago today” - or thereabouts - that the opening notes rang out at the first Frankston Guitar Festival.  Next month guitarists from all over Australia and around the world return for the Frankston Guitar Festival 20th Anniversary Weekend.

From October 6-8, Beach 162 will host blues sliders, rock shredders, folk finger-pickers and metal power-chorders as well as guitar makers, distributors and sellers.  Among the artists performing will be ARIA award-winner Jeff Lang, bluesman Lloyd Spiegel, Jimi Hocking (Angels/Screaming Jets), Roger McLachlan (Stars/Little River Band), Mike Rudd (Spectrum/Ariel), Sam See (Sherbet/Fraternity), Glynn Mason (Chain/Ariel), Phil Manning (Chain), Shannon Bourne (Chris Wilson Band) , Lindsay Field (John Farnham), Barry Roy (Jigsaw/Normie Rowe), Brenden Mason (Madder Lake/Ariel), Mike Elrington (The Advocates), Dave Diprose (Hillbilly Radio), Rob Pappalardo (Blues Head), and Swedish jazz virtuoso Anatholi Bulkin.

For a short but exciting nine years, the Frankston Guitar Festival attracted hundreds of players from Australia and beyond.  Oz legends Tommy Emmanuel, George Golla, Phil Manning, Ross Hannaford and Slava Grigoryan performed around the city, as did the likes of Martin Taylor (UK), Tony McManus (Ireland), Dan Crary (US), Beppe Gambetta (Italy) and David Lindley.  Since its closure there have been several unsuccessful attempts to resurrect the event, so this year organisers are planninga huge party to mark the festival’s 20th anniversary, and lucky punters have a whole weekend to catch up with and hear some of these superstars of guitar.

Tickets are limited and are on sale only from Beach 162, 162 Beach St, Frankston (phone 9783 7109).  Get into the rhythm at the Friday and Saturday night shows with a three-course dinner and show option on offer in the dining area. If you’re more into dancing and snacking, there’s finger food and show tickets for Friday and Saturday nights at the Beach 162 Garden Bar, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons will see individual artists on the Garden Bar stage - and perhaps even a few special guests as well!

Follow the action on Facebook at Frankston Guitar Festival.

 

Let your voice be heard

Voice of Frankston 2016 Teen category winner Oskar Proy.

Voice of Frankston 2016 Teen category winner Oskar Proy.

Are you a budding young singer, an aspiring adult performer or a senior with a passion for entertaining? Do you want to be the voice of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula 2017?  If you answered yes, you’ve got until September 29 to upload your audition video and register at themusicindustry.com.au

The Voice of Frankston is a solo artist singing competition with three categories: Junior (up to 12), Teen (13 to 20) and Adult (21 and older).  Category winners will receive a cash prize and a sensational marketing package that includes a song personally written for them, a single CD recording and video performance, an interview with RPPFM, and opportunities to perform at local community venues and events.

“The response so far has been amazing,” said Michelle from The Voice of Frankston.  “We’re expecting 200 entries so we’ve got our work cut out for us to choose the top 25.  The audition videos will be played; however, we’ll be conducting a blind audition. We’ll choose our finalists just by listening to their astounding voices.”

The semi-final is on Sunday, October 15, with the grand final on Sunday, October 22.

The Music Industry is a music school, the first of its kind on the Mornington Peninsula. The philosophy is to offer students music tuition with a difference. More at themusicindustry.com.au

 

Fun-filled festival rocks the foreshore

With Rosebud’s long history as a great place to enjoy summer beach holidays, where better to revive the fun-filled 1950s and ‘60s?

Foreshore RockFest, from November 17-19, will feature a fabulous array of music, dance, movies, cars and vintage shopping all based in Rosebud and Dromana.

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The fun starts on the Friday evening with Rock’n’Bowls at Rosebud Bowls Club, a car cruise along the back beaches and a dance at Rosebud Primary School.  On Saturday morning the town centre will rock with hot rod and ‘chrome bumper’ cars on show, ‘50s bands and dancers along the footpath and a ‘50s and ‘60s Market at Rosebud Primary School with Who Was That Cat playing.  The market will include clothing, food, DJs, live bands and dance demonstrations (gold coin entry) while the vintage shops in town will pump with music, fashion and bargains.

On Saturday evening multiple dance venues will host bands including the Rockin’ Daddies, Itchy Fingers, I.C Rock and Fender Benders. For swing dance enthusiasts there’s the amazing Pearly Shells and Lady Fox, along with a movie and dance at the Dromana 3 Drive In.

Sunday will see a pre-1970s hot rod and classic car show on the Village Green, featuring the Jump Devils. For the fashionistas, a vintage clothing and ‘pin up’ contest will be held in the Memorial Hall next to the car show. The market will continue at the primary school from 9am, and all events will culminate at 3pm.

Tickets are essential for many events and are selling fast through foreshorerockfest.com.au, where you can also get full details of the festival, or like the Facebook page Foreshore Rockfest for all the latest news.

 

Stunning line-up for art show

Jewellers JUMP, with MENPS students, are one of the feature exhibitors at the Mount Eliza Art & Design Show.

Jewellers JUMP, with MENPS students, are one of the feature exhibitors at the Mount Eliza Art & Design Show.

The weekend of October 27-29 marks the 39th annual Mount Eliza Art & Design Show hosted by Mount Eliza North Primary School. This year’s show is shaping up to be a sensational event showcasing the amazing creative talents of artists, designers, sculptors and jewellers from the Mornington Peninsula and beyond.  The feature exhibitors are artist Nicole Haerberle, photographer Liza Clements, jewellers JUMP and glass designer Leisa Wharington.

The Grand Opening Gala on Friday, October 27, from 7.30-10pm offers the opportunity to experience the exhibition with boutique wines and beers from Foxeys Hangout and the Mornington Peninsula Brewery and delicacies from Café on the Mount, while over the weekend Café D’art will be serving refreshments and light lunches. There will be stalls run by Mount Eliza North students as well as a scavenger hunt of artworks to keep the children happy while you enjoy the exhibition at your own pace.

Tickets for opening night are available now on trybooking.com/310470 and tickets for the family over the weekend will be available at the door on Saturday, October 28, from 10am-5pm and Sunday, October 29, from 10am-4pm. See mtelizaart.com for further details.

MOUNT ELIZA ART & DESIGN SHOW
A: Mount Eliza North Primary School, Moseley Drive, Mount Eliza
W: mtelizaart.com

 

Prepare your pets for an eventful day out by Kate Sears

It’s time to emerge from our cozy cocoons and cease being homebodies. Now is the time to be that social butterfly that you transform into every year when the days get warmer. And Frankston certainly has options galore.

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Spring has well and truly sprung in Frankston and that marks the start of the events season, so you can look forward to spending your days exploring our gorgeous parks, blossoming gardens, colourful cultures, compelling art and enticing markets.  Frankston Events invites you and your family to be a part of the fun and excitement of the spring calendar of events, and it all begins on Sunday, October 8, with the Pets’ Day Out at Ballam Park on Cranbourne Rd.

From 10am-3pm, come and celebrate your furry, feathered, finned, scaly and slithery friends, and you’d be barking mad not to get your pet ready to enter the Best Dressed Pet Parade and Owner-Pet Lookalike Contest, hosted by Nine News’ Peter Hitchener.  Join like-minded animal-lovers as you find out about responsible pet ownership, enjoy demonstrations, learn new information and visit displays. And you can also take the opportunity to check your pet’s registration and de-sexing details or even give them a free microchip check.

But the Pets’ Day Out is not just for our furry or feathered friends - there’s also plenty of fun for their devoted owners, including face painting, entertainment, pony rides, an animal farm, workshops for the kids and much more.   You’ll get to meet the charities that can help you adopt a pet and discover what type of animal would be best suited to your family. You’ll be dazzled with the lowdown on the newest trends in pet training and grooming that will have your treasured friend looking and behaving their best in no time.

This popular, fun-filled annual community event is sure to delight animal enthusiasts of all ages with its jam-packed program of pet-related entertainment, activities and giveaways - and it’s all free! Yes, this is certainly not your average day in the park.

Frankston comes to life in spring and events are the ideal way to get involved and get outdoors. Make sure to stop over at visitfrankston.com to find more exciting outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy as well as to view the full events calendar and learn more about your own backyard.

 

FRANKSTON EVENTS

W: visitfrankston.com

INSTA: @frankstonevents
FB: @frankstonevents

 

Libraries embrace Seniors Festival

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Frankston’s seniors are invited to see what’s on offer at this year’s Seniors Festival at Frankston City Libraries.

The sessions include Frankston Folklore, where you’ll be able to hear 10 Stories of Frankston, inspired by a series of banners from the Kananook Creek Association.

During Stories For Seniors you’ll be able to revisit some of your favourite childhood tales, while Social Media for Seniors will walk you through the internet’s most popular social media applications and show you how to protect your privacy while using them.

Zsuzsa Toth will present Freedom to Feel Good, a fun, insightful and interactive workshop designed to increase awareness of how to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts, while

How to Stay Safe Online covers the basics of internet security, things that can potentially go wrong and the simple steps you can take to avoid them.

These are free events for seniors but bookings are essential, and bookings open on Monday, September 11. Phone 9784 1020 or visit library.frankston.vic.gov.au/whats_on

 

Much-loved books come to life

Picture by Heidrun Lohr

Picture by Heidrun Lohr

Around the World in 80 Days is theatre at its most magical - a new adaptation of the classic story told in a completely unexpected way.  This production is one the whole family can enjoy together, so if you can’t get away for the holidays, at least travel around the world with Phileas Fogg and his band of quirky adventurers. This charming show will be performed on Friday, September 22, at 8pm. Tickets are $27-$55.

 Horrible Harriet may be horrible but she sure will make your school holidays wonderful. The kids can join in the mischievous fun with the peculiar Harriet and share in plenty of songs and laughs. And they can even ask Harriet any horrible questions they have after the 2pm performance. Horrible Harriet will be wreaking havoc on Tuesday, September 26, at 11.30am and 2pm. Tickets are $20-$25.

Tickets can be booked on thefac.com.au, in person at Frankston Arts Centre or by calling 9784 1060.

 

Julianne’s Bittern the Big Apple by Kate Sears

 As the token Australian in the Great Big Story team, Julianne Wilkinson is the producer from Bittern making it big in Manhattan.

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While a Bachelor of Film and Digital Media from Deakin University and a Certificate of Documentary Video Production from RMIT set her on her way, Julianne credits her Year 12 media class at Padua Mornington as a major influence on her career.
“While working on my VCE media film it really hit that this was what I wanted to do for my career,” she says.  “I wanted to make film. I found myself staying back after school and trying to get my edit just perfect, and that was when I realised it didn’t just feel like a class I needed to pass for my VCE, and it didn’t feel like work, which is the best kind of job to have.”

Great Big Story was founded as a social video network in 2015.  It makes short documentaries about incredible people and places and releases two or three new videos a week on social media.  As a producer, Julianne is responsible for pitching, filming and editing. GBS started with a dozen staff and has grown to a team of more than 40. Its motto is ‘Tell me something I don’t know; show me something I’ve never seen’. That being said, her team endeavours to focus on the unknown and the curious while concentrating on creating beautifully made video productions. They’re adamant that social media platforms deserve as much effort and quality put into their videos as larger scale productions do, since these platforms tend to be the most accessed place to watch short videos.

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“It’s an exciting time to be at the company and we’re fortunate to have a corporate parent (CNN) that has such high hopes for us,” Julianne says.  “I have had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people and see parts of America I would never have visited otherwise. I’ve seen more rural towns of America than I’m sure a lot of Americans have.”

Previous work as the assistant editor for Broadway Video gained her experience in working with such high-profile clients as CNN, CBS, NBC, Comedy Central, VH1, MTV and Tidal. This followed her promotion from a receptionist’s role and internship there previously. Freelance positions in Australia for Not Half Bad Productions, All My Friends Productions and Theatrepeople gave her the encouragement to take the leap of faith over to The Big Apple.

“While I was studying at Deakin University I did a semester exchange to Hunter College in New York in 2011 and, like a lot of people, instantly feel in love with the city. I was really attracted to the amount of opportunity there is here to work in the film and digital media space and how different platforms for video were being embraced in a way I wasn’t seeing yet in Australia.”

Having settled into Manhattan after moving from Brooklyn (and ultimately the sleepy beach town of Bittern), Julianne misses our coffee. “I’d do just about anything for a latte from Local Café in Hastings and a walk on the beach right now,” she told Frankly Frankston as her home town caffeine cravings became real.

The noise and pace of Manhattan matches her days at work, but she relishes the time she’s on the road filming because it becomes her entire focus, instead of balancing several projects at various stages of production in the office.

“Mine and GBS’s biggest fan is ultimately my mum,” Julianne says. “She comments on every post.”
And finally, Julianne has some advice for anyone contemplating following her lead: “If you’ve recently graduated in a creative degree, do not be disheartened by the lack of opportunity or jobs and get out there and create your own. Make your own web show, film your own videos, put on your own play - don’t wait for someone to hire you.”
 


 

Fatai’s faith in music by Kate Sears

Fatai has a soulful voice and is an artist who looks at the bigger picture.

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She’s been with her vocal coach and mentor David Jaanz for about 10 years and was lucky enough to grow up as a kid under his unique training methods that included emotion-centred singing, which built the foundations of gospel and improvisation. This was opposed to learning the standard classical training methods that focus on technique and scales.

With her signature purple hair and a voice that gives you goosebumps, Fatai is certainly someone who catches your attention and holds it. Watch her videos and you’ll understand what we mean. Her soulful voice lends itself perfectly to genres such as soul, gospel and r’n’b, but Fatai also enjoys the complexity of jazz.

“The purple hair signifies royalty,” she says.  “It represents who I am as a child of God before anything else.”

This spirited young lady would spend her summers at Mordialloc beach with her family where her creative juices flowed as smoothly as a refreshing drink on a hot day.  “Nature speaks to me like nothing else. I’m always inspired by what the ocean has to say to me through the waves about life and its unpredictable ways of crashing on you when you least expect it.”

Chicago is now her physical home, but as she prepares to embark on her second tour of the US her heart still beats for Melbourne. She explains that in her opinion Melbourne has some of the best and most unique talent in the world, but the Australian community could do a better job of supporting the homegrown talent in our own backyard. Instead, as a collective, Australians are so heavily influenced by the international markets. 

“Uniqueness is power, and we need to realise this, recognise it and take risks once in a while.”

Music is both a portal for self-expression as well a tool to tell stories. In that respect she draws inspiration from her own journey - from painful experiences to joyful moments - to inspire her music. This she believes is the connecting point for the listener when they are able to relate to the situation that the artist sings about. Fatai’s belief in this is so concrete that she prefers to not listen to music for inspiration, instead gaining creativeness from the life happening around her.

“Life speaks to me when I’m living in it, and not listening to it through headphones.”

As she applies her passion in the studio working on a single that should be out before the end of the year, she added some fantastic advice for our Frankly Frankston readers: “Just be you. Work hard but stay humble. Use your voice to make a positive change, and remember that music is always bigger than you.”