March 27, 2014
Julian R. Day with George Souris

Julian R. Day with George Souris

Launched recently in the Speakers Garden at Parliament House by NSW Minister for Tourism, George Souris, Julian’s book tells his inspirational story, from surviving cancer three times to recovering from a tumour that left him deaf in one ear.

Born in England, Julian came to Australia in 1986 and worked in the IT industry. Over the years, Julian has walked the entire New South Wales coastline, as close to the edge of the water as possible. Walking hundreds of kilometers from Tweed Heads to Cape Howe, at an average of 36km a day, these coast walks were planned and completed in the gaps between his industry responsibilities.

DSC_4221Amongst Julian’s six favourite half day and full day walks that are featured in the book are the 22km Crescent Head to Seal Rocks, 35km Ballina to Byron and the 18km Coffs Harbour to Emerald Beach.  These walks stood out due to their breathtaking coastline views and diverse scenery.

From the walks, Julian has many stories about the people who have helped him and friendships he has encountered, along with many amusing incidents. Surf Clubs have given him lifts in their Rubber Duckies plus he swam creeks and rivers while pushing his 35kg rucksack.

Julian is now trying to raise awareness and money for a new charity, “Waterline”, an initiative to get people to travel the whole of Australia’s waterline in 48 hours.  He aims to get as many people as he can across the nation either walking, running, cycling, paddling, kayaking, rowing or sailing.  Waterline is a grand vision that will take place on the first weekend of September 2014 and aims to involve as many as 200,000 people.

“Walking on a BOB or TWO” by Julian R. Day is available in both paperback or electronic versions www.beachwalker.com.au

Sandra Tiltman   



October 13, 2013
Sandra Tiltman with Lord Mayor Clover Moore & The Hon. George Souris, MP Minister for Tourism

Sandra Tiltman with Lord Mayor Clover Moore & The Hon. George Souris, MP Minister for Tourism

Eating great Asian food with all the variations of flavours, no longer means a trip overseas.  Sydney now has an enormous range of restaurants and take-aways covering every price bracket, offering cuisine from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and the regions within those countries.  Sydney food lovers are spoilt for choice.

DSC00121Almost any Asian food item is now available in Sydney at specialty Asian supermarkets and small shops.  Even many of the mainstream supermarkets have large Asian sections offering a wide range of products.

At Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday evening, Lord Mayor Clover Moore launched Asia On Your Doorstep, a special initiative designed to celebrate the fabulous feast of flavours on our doorstep during Sydney Good Food Month.

The Lord Mayor commented the Festival gave Sydneysiders the opportunity to visit one of the city’s most popular cultural precincts and to taste their way through Asia without leaving the city.  “People will be able to see some of Chinatown’s best chefs at work and try out some of their offerings” said the Lord Mayor.

The annual City of Sydney backed Festival runs until 31 October and helps diners discover the secrets of top chefs and also enjoy some of Chinatown’s signature dishes.

A Festival highlight is the one night only ‘Little Eat Street’ night markets which will be held in Little Hay Street on Friday, 25 October, where more than a dozen restaurants will bring their best street food and snacks to Haymarket.

Students from the City of Sydney’s inaugural International Student Leadership and Ambassador program will act as Festival Ambassadors, helping businesses in Chinatown, Thai-town (Campbell Street), Korea-town (Pitt Street) get involved in the event.

MC Lee Lin Chin of SBS with Adam Liaw

MC Lee Lin Chin of SBS with Adam Liaw

Adam Liaw, MasterChef Australia winner and SBS TV chef, will demonstrate some of his favourite dishes at lunchtime from 10-13 October at Market City. He will also judge an Asian cooking competition between TAFE students, with the winner taking home a $1,000 prize.

More than 70 restaurants across Haymarket will create signature dishes for the Festival, using their five favourite and most interesting ingredients, all for $10-$20.

By enjoying a meal at a restaurant participating in Asia On Your Doorstep, diners will be able to enter a competition to win a trip to Thailand.

Another foodie event currently underway is the Macau Food Festival in Feast Restaurant at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park, running until 20 October.

The lunch and dinner buffet features a selection of new dishes, along with Macau food specialities of Macanese curry prawns, Caldo Verde (a Portuguese potato based soup), a casserole of bacalhau (cod), and Minchi (mince topped with a fried egg), plus the traditional Serradura and Macau egg tarts for dessert.

As part of the Macau Festival, family friendly events will be held in Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park over the weekend of 19-20 October.

Sandra Tiltman  Photos:  John Pond.


August 31, 2013

DSC00038Puccini’s ever popular opera, Madama Butterfly, has been selected as the 2014 Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, with Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, making the official announcement at Sydney Opera House recently.

One of the world’s most unique and spectacular outdoor events will return to its previous location in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.  The stage will be set in the harbour with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as the backdrop.

Opening on 21 March 2014, this production of Madama Butterfly will be a modern retelling of Puccini’s tale of love and honour. With a dynamic moving set, including an enormous full moon, it will play nightly for an exclusive three week season.

A world class creative team and cast has been assembled for Madama Butterfly, including internationally renowned director Alex Ollé, one of the six artistic directors of La Fura dels Baus, one of the most innovative and prestigious theatre companies in the world.

Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura is cast in the lead role as Cio-Cio-San and returns after great success in the title role at Sydney Opera House in 2012. Alternating in the role will be Korean soprano Hyeseoung Kwon. International tenors Georgy Vasiliev and Andeka Gorrotxategi will make their Australian debuts as they alternate as Pinkerton, the American naval officer who romances Madama Butterfly

DSC00040Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said “La Fura Dels Baus is a creative powerhouse and we are thrilled with the spectacular new production their team is bringing for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Madama Butterfly.

We have some superb international singers joining us here in Sydney for what has become the cultural event of the year and we are very appreciative of the support of the NSW Government and Destination NSW in helping us deliver this in 2014. We also thank Dr Haruhisa Handa’s organisation, the International Federation for Arts and Culture, for its generous investment in our vision for an opera event like no other.”

After the success of the two previous Handa Operas, La Traviata (2012) and  Carmen (2013), it is exciting to see that the third opera chosen is a crowd favourite. Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour will hopefully bring a new audience of first time opera goers to enjoy this spectacle, to be performed in such a unique and beautiful setting.

WORDS & PICTURES:    Sandra Tiltman 


June 11, 2013

1. Bangarra Blak-Kaine Sultan Babij-Photo Greg Barrett

Australia’s premier national Indigenous performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, brought the audience to a standing ovation at the opening performance of Blak in the Drama Theatre at Sydney Opera House on Friday night.

The Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO was in the audience along with Minister for the Arts, George Souris and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Linda Burney.

Scar -male ensemble. Photographer Greg BarrettStephen Page, Bangarra’s Artistic Director, along with Choreographer/Dancer Daniel Riley McKinley have presented a physically dynamic work with a modern urban perspective that maintains the cultural integrity and spirit of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tradition, giving contemporary expressions to stories, that create a unique theatrical experience.

David Page’s soundscape, with the electronic mixes of Paul Mac, combined with the mood enhancing lighting of Matt Cox gives the performance its edginess.  Luke Ede’s costumes added to the urban feeling.

As this was my first visit to Bangarra Dance Theatre, I did not know what to expect.  The performance, with no interval to disrupt the mood, was exciting and vibrant, I really enjoyed it.  I am now a huge fan.

Blak is playing at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House until 22 June 2013.     Sandra Tiltman    PHOTOS:Greg Barrett.



May 20, 2013

BLUE MAN BMG_blankMinister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, The Hon. George Souris, recently announced yet another exciting theatrical event for Sydney.  From 10 August 2013, BLUE MAN GROUP, the international entertainment phenomenon, will play an Australian premiere season at the Lyric Theatre.

BLUE MAN GROUP creates experiences that defy categorisation.  Performances feature three bald and blue characters who take the audience on a journey that is funny, intelligent and visually stunning, accompanied by a live band whose tribal rhythms help drive the show to its unforgettable climax.

Best known for their wildly popular theatrical productions and concerts that combine electrifying music, sensational technology, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment, BLUE MAN GROUP continues to reinvent itself

The show combines signature moments with breathtaking new sections that include Blue Men interacting with “GiPads” (think Gigantic iPads), a funny and perceptive look at contemporary modes of communication.  “Over the years, we have grown as artists and the world around us has transformed. These changes are reflected in the new material we’ve generated and implemented into this show,” said Chris Wink, who co-founded BLUE MAN GROUP with Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman.

Producer, Rodney Rigby (Jersey Boys, The Addams Family) said “After years of planning I am thrilled that BLUE MAN GROUP is now coming to Australia. This brilliant show has been entertaining audiences for 25 years and has launched one of the most innovative performance groups ever.  First time audiences leave the theatre astounded by the excitement of a BLUE MAN GROUP show, resulting in one of the highest return businesses of any theatrical event.  People of all ages just love the BLUE MAN GROUP experience, I am sure that same excitement will also be felt by Sydney audiences.”

Sandra Tiltman 


March 29, 2013

400To celebrate the 60th year of the Sydney Film Festival, Minister for the Arts, George Souris, launched a free online publication.  This digital only publication has thousands of pages of content and images, so large it could never have been printed.

Sydney Film Festival 1954 to Now: A Living Archive, features over 1,000 photos and over 50 archived videos including award-winning short films, news clips and trailers plus a list of all 8,580 films that have screened at the Festival.

Festival Director, Nashen Moodley, commented “This free digital archive provides a thorough historical overview of the festival, which has challenged, delighted and entertained Sydneysiders for six decades.  Within its pages you will find a multi-layered, 444multi-dimensional chronicle of Sydney Film Festival – its past, present and future, seen from many perspectives and told with many voices.  It is an amazing resource full of multimedia, interviews and analysis of the history of the festival, its relationship to the local and international film industries, its position in
cinema history and its role in the development of local art, culture and entertainment.”

The City of Sydney bestowed the Sydney Film Festival with a special history grant through their History Publication Sponsorship Program.  “The City of Sydney is pleased to support this wonderful archive which shows how significant the Festival’s impact has been to the evolution of the city’s cultural life over the past 60 years,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

Words & Photos:  Sandra Tiltman.

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June 10, 2012

Leo Schofield AM, with Paris Opera Ballet Dancers

Sydney’s Capital Theatre will be the venue for 13 performances of the Paris Opera Ballet production of Giselle. Regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest ballet company in the world, The Paris Opera Ballet will return to Sydney in early 2013.

Two of the stars of the Paris Opera Ballet, Mathias Heymann and Eve Grinsztajn, flew to Sydney especially for the announcement, at the Sofitel Hotel, of this exclusive event.  Mathias recently won the 20th Annual Benois de la Danse Award for Best Performance by a Male Dancer, one of the highest awards for dance in the world.  Many of the Paris Opera Ballet’s dancers have come through the company school, commencing their training in the French technique as early as eight years of age.

Giselle, first seen in Paris in 1841, is a romantic ballet which tells the tale of an innocent country girl who, deceived by her noble lover, dies and joins the ranks of other young maidens, similarly betrayed, in a spirit world where she is able to save his life through her manifest love for him.

This exclusive to Sydney tour, is presented by Ian McRae AO and Leo Schofield AM.  The season will run from 29 January 2013 to 9 February 2013 and bookings will open on Monday 2 July.  Sandra T.    

PHOTOS:  John Pond.

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