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