February 5, 2017
Brandenburg Choir

Brandenburg Choir

Australia’s Brandenburg Orchestra, the five time ARIA Award winning baroque orchestra, is opening their 2017 season with Handel’s Messiah. The world’s most performed baroque work is being played for the very first time by the Brandenburg in Sydney and Melbourne from 22 February 2017.

The Messiah was first performed almost 275 years ago in Dublin, where women were urged to wear dresses without hoops and men not to carry swords, so they could fit more people into the Musik Hall. It still fills recital halls around the globe and is a tradition for concertgoers across all ages.

Artistic Director, Paul Dyer

Artistic Director, Paul Dyer

Artistic Director Paul Dyer promises a Messiah like no other, having assembled an international soloist team, featuring Spanish Soprano, Greek Alto, American Tenor and Australian Bass. Paul commented “Over three years of planning, negotiating, crossing fingers and toes has resulted in one of the most magnificent seasons we have produced yet at the Brandenburg. We’ve got it all: old friends return, new friends join us and I get to tick something off the bucket list when I conduct Handel’s Messiah for the very first time. I can’t wait to share this very special season with you!”.

Paul added “Handel was the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head, and kneel before his tomb.” That’s what Beethoven said about Handel, the great master of the baroque and composer of what must surely be the world’s most performed concert work, the oratorio, Messiah. The iconic Hallelujah chorus is guaranteed to fill your hearts with joy. Who doesn’t experience an endorphin rush when they hear or perform it? The Messiah brings people such overwhelming pleasure and it is easy to understand its phenomenal popularity.”

Along with the Brandenburg Choir and Orchestra, featured soloists include Spanish soprano Lucía Martín-Cartón, winner of the Renata Tebaldi International Voice Competition who toured Australia in 2015 as a guest artist with Les Arts Florissant.

Greek countertenor Nicholas Spanos, won Best Young Artist of the Year in Greece and his recording in the title role of Handel’s Tamerlano won the prestigious ECHO Klassik Award.

Sydney based, American tenor Kyle Bielfield is a Masters graduate of New York’s prestigious Juilliard School. His career covers classical and pop/electronic music as well as opera performances in the US and Canada.

Messiah Soloists

Messiah Soloists

Australian baritone David Greco, who recently returned to Sydney after eight years study and work in Europe, is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in The Netherlands. David has a long association with the Brandenburg, returning to Australia to perform as a soloist on numerous occasions. As a young singer, he was a member of the Brandenburg Choir.

Sydney: City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place on 22 & 24 February plus 1, 3 & 4 March at 7pm
with a Matinee on 4 March at 2pm.

Melbourne: Recital Centre on 25 February at 7pm & 26 February at 5pm.

Sandra Tiltman


January 20, 2017

SeaLink Travel Group unveiled their new twin passenger catamarans, “MV Blackwattle Bay” and “MV Cockle Bay” at a christening ceremony in Darling Harbour recently.

Business Events Sydney Chief Executive, Lyn Lewis-Smith officially launched the vessels in the traditional maritime way, breaking a champagne bottle across the bow. Ms Lewis-Smith said “Congratulations to BESydney’s partner, Captain Cook Cruises on a dedicated Sydney ferry route for conference delegates. I am honoured to take part in the launch of the two new vessels that will make our city even more accessible for visitors and locals alike.”

Christening Blessing

Christening Blessing

The two catamarans, which were designed in Sydney by Incat Crowther and built in Tasmania by Richardson Devine Marine, are the first of their kind to join the Captain Cook Cruises Sydney Harbour fleet. These12 meter boats have the capacity to carry 60 passengers and with their innovative design and light weight, are highly maneuverable. They are low wash and like the rest of the fleet are fuel efficient, eco-friendly and equipped with the latest technologies to reduce their carbon footprint.

Jeff Ellison, Lyn Lewis-Smith & Anthony Haworth

Jeff Ellison, Lyn Lewis-Smith & Anthony Haworth

According to Managing Director, SeaLink Travel Group, Jeff Ellison “At a time when Sydney’s road congestion is creating significant challenges for both government and commuters, “MV Blackwattle Bay” and “MV Cockle Bay” will offer a welcome solution, opening new inner city routes and offering regular high speed travel to commuters. These twin boats will also operate services for Captain Cook’s Hop On Hop Off, White Bay ferry service and act as a regular transport service for conference delegates to the new International Convention Centre, providing them with easy access between Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.”

Sandra Tiltman.  Photos: John Pond/SeaLink


January 9, 2017


“Ladies in Black”, featuring original music from legendary singer songwriter, Tim Finn OBE plus a stunning range of some thirty custom designed and created dresses and suits is currently delighting audiences at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre.

From the adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, “The Women in Black”, this acclaimed production has been brought to life by Australian screenwriter Carolyn Burns and internationally-acclaimed director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies).


The world premiere of “Ladies in Black”, which tells the story of fashion, friendship and 1950s Australia, took place in Brisbane in November 2015 and last month won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work, as well as being nominated for another five awards.

Set in a stylish Sydney department store, F.G. Goode, at a time when the city is on the cusp of becoming cosmopolitan and moving away from the stuffy repression of the 1950s and into the glorious liberation of the 1960s, “Ladies in Black” follows the bright-eyed, bookish school leaver Lisa who is about to temporarily join the ranks on the sales floor of the city’s most prestigious department store. Lisa’s domineering dad intends to railroad her into a career as a secretary, but Lisa has grander schemes in mind. In that summer of innocence, a world of possibilities opens up as she befriends the unlucky Fay and the frustrated Patty, plus the exotic, compelling European refugee, Magda, mysterious mistress of the model gowns, who takes Lisa under her wing. From the Christmas rush to the chaos of the sales, these women stand together learning lessons in life and love and in the end, it’s not just the fancy frocks that are forever altered.


The spectacular array of beautiful frocks and gowns provides colour and charm to this wonderful production, bringing back pleasant memories to those old enough to remember the times and allowing younger audience members a glimpse into the fashions of a bygone era.

Sarah Morrison is totally believable as Lisa, the young starry eyed school leaver while Natalie Gamsu as Magda manages to steal every scene she appears in and Bobby Fox is brilliant as Rudi, otherwise known as the ‘Continental’.

Sandra Tiltman


January 9, 2017


Sydney’s Bondi Beach is now home to lululemon athletica which recently opened their first local concept store in Australia. Situated right opposite the world famous beach on Campbell Parade, this store is one of only five in the world and the very first in the Southern Hemisphere.

A yoga inspired athletic apparel company, lululemon designs products to create transformational experiences for people to live happy, healthy, fun lives and keep people active and stress free. Setting the bar in technical fabrics and functional designs, lululemon works with yogis and athletes in local communities for continuous research and product feedback.


As well as selling a curated collection tailored for the Bondi lifestyle, the store is much more than a traditional retail space, acting as a hub for people to meet, exercise and work on personal development.

At the opening function, Kyle Housman, Vice President & GM Aus/NZ, said “This location will take a traditional retail store and turn it into a connection point for those in the Bondi Beach community who exemplify lululemon’s culture and values”.

As a company that creates technical apparel for sweaty pursuits, lululemon has a natural connection to the coastal lifestyle synonymous with Bondi Beach. The store’s unique product assortment for both men and women supports sweaty activities, both above and below the water, reflecting the needs of local Bondi residents.


The design aesthetic for this new location, plus the in-store features that celebrate the beauty and active lifestyle of Bondi Beach, have been brought to life by lululemon’s in-house store design team. Some of these features include a hydration station with sparking and still water taps, installed for the community, as well as a dedicated community space offering the perfect environment for meetings, co-working, creating and connection.

With only five locations in the world, lululemon local concept stores are smaller, hyper-local community stores that focus on connecting with customers and athletes in communities where the brand wouldn’t otherwise reach. Other lululemon local stores can be found in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Fort Collins Colorado, Bend Oregon and Sun Valley Idaho.

Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond


December 16, 2016

Celebrating its 26th year, Flickerfest, Australia’s only Academy® accredited and BAFTA recognised short film festival was launched at Bondi Icebergs recently. Flickerfest is second to none on the Australian short film festival circuit, with its loyal patrons continuing to support the much loved and respected fixture on Sydney’s summer calendar.

During the evening, the crowd was transfixed with the screening of the world premier of the official Flickerfest trailer that featured an all indigenous cast and crew, with a Wizard Of Oz theme descending on Bondi Beach. Directed and written by award winning indigenous director Dena Curtis, the trailer stars Miranda Tapsell as Dorothy, Christine Anu as the Good Witch and Jeremy Ambrum as the Lion, Bjorn Stewart as the Tinman, Meyne Wyatt as the Lion & Alexis Lane as Wicked Witch.

Following the trailer’s unveiling, the launch screened the Australian premier of a wonderfully comedic new Australian film “The Eleven O’Clock”. Written and produced by Josh Lawson, produced by Karen Bryson and directed by Derin Seale, this film will certainly entertain audiences. Starring Josh Lawson, Damon Herriman and Alyssa McClelland, the film tells the story of a delusional patient of a psychiatrist who believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they each attempt to treat each other, the session gets out of control. I was so disappointed when the trailer ended as I was totally drawn into the mayhem. Guess I will have to go along to the full screening when Flickerfest gets underway.

Speaking to the crowd about the sensational year to come, Festival Director, Bronwyn Kidd, stated that after 26 years she was proud Flickerfest continues to be a platform for the best of Australia’s and the world’s most talented filmmakers. Bronwyn is looking forward to showcasing these brilliant short films to eager audiences, not just in Sydney, but at over fifty venues in all states of Australia on their national tour.

Receiving over 2,400 film submissions this year, Bronwyn and the selection committee will handpick the very best 100 films for the 2017 programme to showcase across Australia from January until May.

Flickerfest, which is an all-weather event, will run in Sydney for ten days at the Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach, from 6-15 January 2017, before touring nationally from January to May 2017 in over 50 venues.

For tickets and full programme go to

Sandra Tiltman   Photos: John Pond


December 16, 2016

Travellers planning a trip to Tel Aviv will find they have more choices in early 2017 when Cathay Pacific Airways expands its global network. The airline will launch a new four-times weekly service between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv on 26 March 2017.

The new service will be operated by Cathay Pacific’s state of the art Airbus A350-900 aircraft. It will provide greater convenience for business and leisure passengers travelling between the two cities and give those travelling from Israel easier access to key destinations in Asia and Southwest Pacific through the airline’s hub in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “We are excited to be launching a direct link to Tel Aviv, which has established itself as a culturally rich and technologically advanced business capital. As an important market in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, Israel offers tremendous potential for business and leisure travel. Together with the recent launch of our Madrid and Gatwick operations, this new service to Tel Aviv reflects our commitment to growing the Cathay Pacific network and further strengthening Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s great international aviation hubs.”

Tel Aviv is Israel’s largest commercial and technological hub and is recognised as one of the world’s leading financial centres. Often described as “the city that never stops”, the coastal metropolis lies within easy reach of ancient Jerusalem, and each year draws millions of leisure travellers from around the world thanks to its diverse culture, thriving arts scene and renowned nightlife.

The features of Cathay Pacific’s new A350-900 aircraft take passenger travel experience to a new level. The environmentally friendly aircraft is equipped with the airline’s latest cabin products, an enhanced inflight entertainment system and Wi-Fi connectivity in Business, Premium Economy and Economy classes. The design of many of the cabin features has been carefully considered to give passengers the best sleeping experience, the best entertainment and greater control over how they want to use the space, whether for working or relaxing. With its extra wide body, the aircraft offers more space and comfort. The A350 is designed for passenger wellbeing with its quiet cabin, panoramic windows, LED mood lighting and huge overhead lockers which all contribute to a more comfortable and relaxing journey.

Cathay Pacific has five A350-900s in service and by the end of next year will have taken delivery of a total of twenty-two.

Flights to and from Tel Aviv will operate on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Summer schedule CX675 departs Hong Kong 0100 arriving Tel Aviv 0740. CX674 departs Tel Aviv 1350 arriving Hong Kong 0510+1.

Winter schedule CX675 departs Hong Kong 0100 arriving Tel Aviv 0700. CX674 departs Tel Aviv 1245 arriving Hong Kong 0515+1.

Sandra Tiltman


December 5, 2016


Kialla Pure Foods, Australia’s leading processor of organic cereal grains, has recently launched their unique Plate2Farm Recipe Book, which tracks the origin of the ingredients for each recipe.

Packed full of recipes from famous local and inspiring chefs, the book also shows the consumer exactly where the grains in their cupboard have come from.


The Plate2Farm Recipe Book was developed after the success of the Plate2Farm Tracker, which was made in response to shoppers’ increasing interest in the source of their food. It is the first consumer to farmer tracking system in Australia to use the audited traceability built into the organic certification system. The tracker has the ability to trace any Kialla product on the shelf back to the farmer. The motivation behind the tracker is not just to let people know where the product comes from, but also the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind it. The tracker is able to unveil how one specific product has been stored and treated, how it has been milled and most importantly, introduces the faces behind the complex process.


Sheridan Kennedy, Kialla Pure Foods’ Communications Cultivator commented “Whilst you are cooking up a storm with our recipe book, why not check the origin of the flour you are using and the story behind it. Who farmed it, why they are in the industry and how that product got into your hand. You can see a map, watch a video or browse photographs. We wanted to create a free, downloadable resource for our customers, so they too can make amazing creations, just like the chefs who have curated these fantastic recipes. We have even included my grandmother’s recipe, that has been handed down from generation to generation,” adds Kennedy.

Established in 1988, Kialla Pure Foods is one of Australia’s first certified organic grain mills. Located near Toowoomba, Queensland, they source over twenty different grains from a wide range of certified organic growers. Kialla is 100% committed to using organic methods and building integrity in the food chain, plus ensuring reliability and consistency in their products. By supporting organic farming, Kialla creates environmental sustainability and fair returns to farmers. Their sustainable ideology starts at the farm and works its way through the supply chain and ultimately to the consumer. They believe that focusing on sustainability and quality is not only profitable but also ecologically sound.

Sandra Tiltman at Recipe Book Launch at Al Taglio, Surry Hills

Sandra Tiltman at Recipe Book Launch at Al Taglio, Surry Hills

All grains received at the Kialla Mill are given a unique batch number on their packaging that allows people to trace the product back to the actual farmer. Using the batch number or QR code allows the consumer to follow it back to the source via the Plate2Farm Tracker. Photos, videos and maps show the farm, while stories about each farmer explain what’s involved in growing the product. The consumer is offered a virtual tour of the Kialla mill so they can see how the product is stored, treated, milled and the faces behind it all. The tracker covers a range of products including wheat, maize, kamut and oats grown in Australia as well as overseas.

The Plate2Farm Recipe Book is free to download at  

Sandra Tiltman   Photos: John Pond