Macedonian Australian Welfare Association of Sydney to provide digital devices to help people stay connected | St George & Sutherland Shire Leader | St George, NSW – St George and Sutherland Shire Leader

Keeping connected: Macedonian Australian Welfare Association staff Roza Georgieva and Lihnida Bahcandzieva-Taseska. Picture Supplied

A $1 million grant announced by Good Things Foundation Australia will be used to provide digital loan devices through its Be Connected program.

The one-off payments of $2500 to $5000 will be made to existing Be Connected network partners to purchase digital devices and sim cards for clients.

Good Things Foundation Australia is a federal government-funded organisation, which is working to address the ‘digital divide’.

National director Jess Wilson said it was estimated 2.5 million Australians did not have access to the internet.

She said the coronavirus pandemic had exacerbated the feeling of isolation for many people, especially the aged and those from multicultural backgrounds.

“Access to the internet is absolutely essential during these incredibly isolating times, particularly for older Australians,” she said.

The Be Connected program is currently run by 3000 community groups across the country who provide digital literacy training for people over 50 to ensure they stay connected.

Prior to coronavirus restrictions, the network partners ran face-to-face workshops, which have now been moved online. But many clients do not have access to the digital devices they need to complete the work.

The Macedonian Australian Welfare Association of Sydney at Kogarah has been providing well-being and community support for Macedonian and former Yugoslavian communities for 37 years, including mentoring and coaching.

It will use its grant to purchase digital devices which it will then lend to clients over 50 who don’t have access to their own.

Clients will be taught how to use the devices to stay connected with family and friends, including those overseas, through phone calls and video messaging.

The devices can also be used for other purposes, including accessing traditional music or dancing, watching Macedonian cooking classes or finding recipes.

Macedonian Australian Welfare Association of Sydney chairperson Elena Zdraveska said: “Now more than ever, older people need support, as they are the most vulnerable and they have barriers and questions.

“We are here to provide answers, reassure and support them, and assist them to get connected in culturally appropriate ways,” she said.

Aussie Music Set To Shine As International Acts Remain Blocked Out – Pollstar

Michael Chugg

With tours by Aussie acts expecting to restart by last quarter of 2020 as part of Australia’s COVID-19 recovery, promoters are already negotiating with major and emerging names to get them back on the road.

A golden period for local music is forecast as domestic acts will be the only option for at least six months for starved crowds.

Their international counterparts are not expected here until June 2021 at least, with strict border rules for tourists expected to last until then.

“Many of the touring artists come from the countries most hit by the infection,” said Michael Chugg, head of Sydney-based Chugg Entertainment.

“Why would any international act want to come to Australia and spend two weeks in quarantine?”

TEG chief executive Geoff Jones does not expect to tour international names until late 2021.

The same Aussie-only strategy applies to music festivals, although it’s still unclear when they can return.

Falls Festival

But Secret Sounds fired the first shot for summer when it announced May 6 plans for a limited edition all-Australian lineup for Falls Festival in December/ January.

There was no detail on how “limited” the events would be and if plans are to cover the festival’s four sites at Byron Bay, Lorne outside Melbourne, Marion Bay in Tasmania and Fremantle in Western Australia.

The four dates draw an estimated 75,000 and Falls, like most Australian festivals, rely on international names to boost crowd numbers.

Last summer’s bill included, among others, Hasley, Weekend Vampire and Disclosure.

Secret Sounds’ Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco announced, “We have some of the most exciting acts in the world and this special ‘home grown’ edition of Falls will ensure that money stays in our local economy, providing maximum financial benefit for the Australian music community – artists, management, crew, agents, roadies, production etc – as well as the thousands of contractors and suppliers who rely on our events for their income.”

Falls will fund-raise for music biz charity Support Act, which since March was inundated with a record requests for financial and mental heath aid from out-of-work performers and workers.

.

Chugg is at this stage also considering all-Aussie bills for January’s alt-rock Laneway and March’s country & roots CMC Rocks.

The multi-city Laneway drew 75,000 in Australia with a further 5,000 in New Zealand.

CMC Rocks in Queensland drew 60,000 over three days. Cancelling the latter this year caused a loss of over $1 million (US$653, 979), Chugg previously said.
“There are so many unknowns at the moment. What are the guidelines going to say about camping?

“Music venues might initially not allow audiences standing up, how will that necessarily apply to festivals, if at all?”

Chugg’s take on local music is: “In much of the northern hemisphere, acts are going on hiatus until this thing blows over.

“In Australia, though, they’ve never been busier. There’s a boom, there’s more quality local music now than there’s been for quite a time.

“We’re in a honeymoon period, and Australian music is going to mean more than it has ever meant.”

Livestreaming concerts and festivals are notching up strong figures.

via FacebookCasey Barnes

Emerging country singer songwriter Casey Barnes, whom Chugg manages, drew 100,000 viewers to his album launch. A mid-week stream with his wife and baby, brought in 87,000.

Another client, Brisbane band Sheppard, set up a series of livestream events to set up their new single ‘Thank You’, an ode to mothers.

Each drew an average of 40,000. Helped by Mother’s Day (May 10), the track got radio airplay in 21 countries, and within four days stirred chart action in Asia and

Europe.

The increased appetite for Australian music is generated by the myriad of successful livestreaming festivals which have sprung up since late March’s close-

down.

Their mix of the established and the new makes them discovery models for captive audiences.

Isol-Aid, which stared out as a one-off to raise funds for Support Act, celebrated its eighth episode May 9 and 10.

While it has featured household names Missy Higgins, John Butler, Courtney Barnett and Josh Pyke, its work to put the spotlight on emerging acts is regarded

as impeccable by the biz.

Episode 8 saw lineups curated by innovative youth development program FReeZA, indie labels Daily Nightly and the USA’s Saddle Creek Records, while

The Area and City of Parramatta delivered a slice of multicultural West Sydney hip-hop to mainstream tastes.

Long-time band booker Emily Uhlman, co-founder of Isol-Aid, said mid-tier acts like singer songwriters Julia Jacklin and Stella Donnelly get up to 3,000 viewers.

“Each act name-tags the one after, so there is a continuity and discovery in the

show,” she noted.
Livestreaming, Uhlman added, makes fans consume music differently, and is important for music patrons who have issues with physical access, crowds and loud noises.

Isol-Aid

Delivered Live, a 10-episode festival on YouTube financed by the Victorian government to stream music to regional areas, had by its sixth episode raised $320,000, which was shared by 141 musicians, plus comedians, crew members, agents, managers, backline companies and venues.

On May 17, Delivered Live presents the Discharged Festival, with five-camera venue and studio performances from Tones And I, Missy Higgins, Pierce Brothers, The Jezabels, The Black Sorrows and Archie Roach, among others.

It partners with Victoria’s farming community with a “tour” of fresh food markets where local producers offer items for sale (and home delvery fees picked up by the government) and a chef offering meal ideas from these produces.

Kate Ceberano and Friends is based on the soul singer’s 1994 TV show and features six acts each week, charging a donation to raise money for Support Act.

Digital studio ED is launching At Yours, to help festivals, venues and artists sell tickets online and plans to continue the service post-pandemic.

Festival promoters agree the sector must show authorities it will ensure events safety before these are allowed back as early as possible.

One way is to make it compulsory for attendees to have had checks and downloaded the COVIDsafe app which allows authorities to warn users they were in close contact with a carrier.

In an open letter to the industry, Big Day Out founder Ken West suggested, “The best chance a major festival would have to get a green light would be as a test event.

“It might require everyone entering to be registered, COVID tested and have the app to see if it works on a large scale.

“Governments love tests and PM (Scott Morrison) openly wants everyone, especially cynical young people, to download the COVID app” and West goes on to state that “anything this side of 2020 will battle to get clearance,” which might “not a bad thing for now.”
“Pubs, clubs and theatres have been struggling for years from a glut of events and festivals,” he said.

“They employ a lot of people, cater for locals and desperately need support to stay in business. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt festivals to have a break from the market

as well.”

Live Nation Australasia chief executive Roger Field told the Sydney Morning Herald, “this is a time to be working together and helping the government to

determine a plan for our events to come back.

“We aren’t going to be able to do that without ensuring the safety, wellbeing and health of our audiences, staff and artists. That has to be the absolute focus.”

Australian Street Artist Behind 50-Cent Mash-ups Attacked Over Murals – Eurweb.com

*Actress LisaRaye McCoy recently weighed in on the Lil Kim/Nicki Mianj debate after Usher caught heat over his comments about the female hip-hop stars.

Usher sparked fury among the Barbz (Nicki’s fanbase) after he told Swizz Beatz that a Verzuz battle between Nicki and Kim wouldn’t work because the Brooklyn emcee paved the way for the “Queen” rapper. 

The R&B crooner described Minaj as a “product” of Lil Kim. 

And LisaRaye agrees.

During a recent appearance on Out Loud with Claudia Jordan, LisaRaye addressed Usher’s remarks, saying: “We can all stand together queens and we can all say that all of us are acknowledging the fact that Kim came before Nicki Minaj,” she said, per Hot New Hip Hop.  

“So Nicki, just take a seat. You don’t have to sit down for long, but just take a bow. Just like Beyoncé said, ‘Bow down b*tches,” LisaRaye added. 

As you can imagine, her comments were met with mixed reactions.

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Michael Cohen Set for Release from Prison Tomorrow – What About Bill and All the Brothers?

*”The Player’s Club” star is also facing criticism from Turks And Caicos Islanders for comments she previously made on Jordan’s show, saying she “turned their island around” after marrying (her now ex) former Prime Minister Michael Misick.

As noted by MadameNoire, Claudia joked that she “upgraded the island,” to which LisaRaye replied, “damn right! Say it for the b—hes in the back!”

Adding, “I did more for that island than I did for my own country and my own business, my own self,” she said.

“I became the poster child for Turks and Caicos because Turks and Caicos was a jewel of an island, an elite island, that no one knew about until I said, hey, here we are over here! An hour away from the Bahamas! An hour and a half out of Miami! We’re right next to Haiti! It’s beautiful! The sun and the sand and the water, come see what I found over here! I did that and I started businesses over there. I started opportunity over there and I did nothing for here,” LisaRaye explained. 

After Claudia explained that she herself was harassed online over McCoy’s comments about the island, LisaRaye defended her remarks on Jordan’s show this week.

“Those people in your inbox were probably people who can’t even afford to go to Turks and Caicos, so next,” she said. “Secondly, that would be absolutely ludicrous for me to say Turks and Caicos wasn’t known, although it wasn’t known to me when I first met Michael. I didn’t know anything and didn’t even know how to pronounce it. But I stand by what I said.”

She went on to explain, “As their first lady, I brought a lot of attention to Turks and Caicos Island. But that’s what I planned to do and that’s what I wanted to do,” she continued. “I brought the film festival there. I built a theater there. I brought the first ever carnival there, music festival. Calling my friends saying, hey, we may not have it in the budget to pay your fee, but if I can make a vacation out of it for you because I’m the first lady of this small country, and I want to shed some light on here, can you bring your talent over here so you can entertain our people?”

LisaRaye added, “I still feel that is a second home for me, so I will always be the poster child for Turks and Caicos Islands because it’s beautiful and because I called it home and I do want everyone to see it and know about it because they should,” she added. “It’s right next door to us. So that’s what I said and that’s exactly, again, what I mean.”

Scroll up to hear/watch LisaRaye and Claudia dish about the controversy via the clip above. 

Watch SOTAstream live on PerthNow – PerthNow

SOTAstream, the free, online festival showcasing the best music from local WA musicians will be live streamed here on PerthNow this WA Day, from 2pm to 8pm on Monday 1 June.

When: Monday 1 June

Time: 2pm – 8pm

Co-presented by WAM and Streamed live from Freo.Social

SOTA (State of the Art) Music Festival is back with a 2020 socially-distant edition – SOTAstream.

Featuring a dizzying line-up of local talent streamed live from music mecca Freo.Social straight to your living room, back yard, local park or wherever you are around our State, you will get a front row seat to the hottest event this WA Day long weekend.

With venues forced to close and artists unable to perform due to COVID-19, SOTAstream gives some of WA’s most recognisable musos the chance to get back performing in front of crowds, albeit separated by a screen.

The line-up stars outstanding fan favourites, in alphabetical order:

  • Abbe May
  • Carla Geneve
  • Drapht
  • Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse
  • Methyl Ethel
  • Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
  • San Cisco

Streaming live MONDAY 1 JUNE 2pm – 8pm (WST) here on PerthNow, so be sure to bookmark this page and come back to tune in and watch the live stream.

SOTAsteam is derived from the desire to support, nurture and grow creative opportunities for local artists, and position contemporary music as a leading cultural identifier for WA.

When is WA Day?

WA Day is always held on the first Monday in June. In 2020, it will be on Monday 1 June.

What is WA Day?

In April 2012, Foundation Day was formally changed to WA Day following bipartisan political support in the Western Australian Parliament.

This welcomed in a new era for the State with WA Day being a universal celebration of all Western Australians, recognising our Aboriginal history, early European settlers and the many people from all over the world who have made, and continue to make, Western Australia their home.

As a vast geographic area comprising many different urban, rural and regional communities, as well as being a very multicultural community, the emphasis for WA Day celebrations is on inclusion of all people no matter how long they have called themselves Western Australians.

Adelaide’s cultural tradition to be a force in post-pandemic recovery – InDaily


While the pandemic has largely shuttered Adelaide’s arts and entertainment industries, it has allowed an opportunity to reflect upon their value and successes and to plan to build upon the city’s cultural reputation during economic recovery, argues Douglas Gautier.

Photo: Nat Rogers / InDaily

As we continue to face the immediate issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the way ahead, I well recall taking the Hong Kong Arts Festival through the SARS outbreak in 2003, and trying to steer a pan-Asian TV travel channel through the decimating effects to the tourism industry of 9/11.

There are many parallels and differences to our current predicament, but one fundamental is the same: the belief in recovery and planning for it.

In Hong Kong in 2003 nearly 300 people died and all of us were mainly thinking about immediate survival, with public events being severely curtailed.

Nonetheless through this difficult time there was an optimism that it would eventually end and the community would start to prosper again. And that arts and entertainment would have an essential role to play in that bounce back.

Despite its terrible consequences, the current pandemic, like SARS and 9/11, gives us time and space to think about fitting responses and future initiatives.

For the creative and cultural sector it is an opportunity to take a fresh look at what our communities and audiences will want and need, and then get ready to deliver it to them.

Over the last few weeks in my role as Chair of the Asia Pacific Arts Centres network, I have listened to many thoughts on the recovery plans of more than 70 cultural organisations and precincts from Tokyo to Singapore, and Mumbai to Auckland.

Each in its own way acknowledged that we must all recognise changing civic and community needs as we go into recovery. Many see also the vital role of arts and entertainment precincts in city and state tourism rebuilds and that audience requirements will change and the demand for events that support wellbeing and health that are outdoor and free or low cost will grow.

Further, that the arts and creative sectors everywhere have a distinct capability to bring communities together and make sense of the current difficulties and future implications.

We all agreed that our sectors can meaningfully help rebuild public confidence.

So how might we apply some of this to Adelaide?

In recovery mode, our city will be presenting itself anew as an attractive and viable place to live, work, study, visit and invest.

The combined potential of our leisure and public precincts and the importance of community cohesion in this recovery are areas where the creative sector can make significant contributions.

Let me focus on two of our city precincts.

Firstly, Riverbank.

In the area between the Morphett and King William Street Bridges, we have a unique cluster of public attractions. There is arts and entertainment, sports, conventions and exhibitions, gaming, hotels and restaurants, all in a beautiful riverside setting. This is already a very valuable Adelaide asset, with even greater potential to be realised.

The new Festival Plaza will become its gateway and we will see all the organisations and partners within the precinct work together with the state government to better coordinate and present Riverbank’s collective attractions.

Similar cooperative thinking would also be useful for the North Terrace cultural grouping of the art gallery, museum, library and also the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Secondly, we need to support renewed momentum in the Chinatown/Market precinct. The impressive new Her Majesty’s Theatre will become an anchor attraction in this area which is already richly endowed with great restaurants, retail, many new hotel and residential developments, along with a truly multi-cultural character which well reflects the changing dynamic of modern Australian cities.

The new Maj in Grote Street is ready to resume work. Since first opening in 1913, she has seen South Australia through two World Wars, the 1919 pandemic and the Great Depression.

Now, completely redeveloped, and more inviting and accessible than ever, she will continue to serve South Australians as soon as it is safe for us to gather again.

The Asian Australian communities and students, living, working, shopping and dining alongside the Maj will be a big part of her future, providing a rich seam of new artists, new works and new audiences.

All these precinct opportunities mean enhanced, social, creative and economic benefits, community and visitor engagement, and more jobs.

Indeed, central to the preparation for the 1997 reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty and maintaining it as a world city into the 21st century was the determination to retain its edge as a creative industries hub.

There was a massive investment in the West Kowloon Cultural District – a strategic commitment for community, city tourism, their creative economy and international reputation. This sort of vision and initiative has served many Asian cities well through the diverse social and economic challenges of the past couple of decades.

Regrettably in our country the pandemic has also exposed vulnerable community fault lines. Thus, protecting our precious multicultural achievement and growing it through Australian/Asian cultural engagement and better involvement of Australian Asian communities is increasingly necessary now.

The Adelaide Festival Centre has over the last decade, become a national hub for this multicultural engagement. So the appointment of one our best Asian/Australian creative identities, Annette Shun Wah, to direct OzAsia Festival will reinforce Adelaide’s national leadership in this regard.

At the same time we must not forget the creative and economic significance of our reputation as the nation’s year-round festival capital – and those strongly branded arts festival events that we have nurtured over many years that make that reputation possible.

The Fringe, Womad, AFA, Dream Big, Cabaret, Guitar, Our Mob, OzAsia, History, Feast and Sala. All of them, albeit some currently in online form, clearly enhance the city’s attractions to locals and visitors.

Key to this success, is the sustaining of our artists, arts workers and organisations through these difficult times, and on to the road to recovery.

The experience of some of the hardest SARS hit cities in Asia was that cultural and entertainment activities and organisations were integral in the post pandemic reboot – not only in terms of community spirit and well-being, but also for real economic recovery.

Adelaide is a UNESCO creative city for music for good reason; there are outstanding musicians and music-making here. We must try and support all those music venues big and small, to be active again, when safe to do so.

In addition, the government is looking at the feasibility of a new music centre as a home for the ASO. And the Adelaide Festival Centre is working with the sector to develop the Playhouse complex as a renewed hub and platform for not only the State Theatre Company but also all small and medium performing arts companies.

As well as processing our shared dark days, the special capabilities of the arts will enable wide reflection on the many changes that are occurring around us.

These include strengthened connections with family, friends and a shared responsibility to protect vulnerable members of our community.

Again, drawing on the post SARS experience across Asia, I would say that there was a general recognition that arts and culture could help process negative emotions and be a therapeutic channel for collective concerns to be aired and shared with others.

I hope a new appreciation of the small but meaningful aspects of our daily lives will stay with us long after this current crisis has passed, and that these positive elements of our shared experience will percolate through the arts events we present and their relevance to audiences.

In all of this, I am confident that Adelaide will continue to be known across Australia and Asia Pacific as a creative capital that truly embraces and celebrates its diverse and multicultural community.

A wonderful and exceptional place to live, visit and enjoy.

Douglas Gautier is Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and artistic director

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Woolworths worker and Sikh security guard go viral online with their bizarre TikTok dances – Daily Mail


The fresh moves people: Woolworths worker and Sikh security guard form an unlikely bond and go viral online with their bizarre TikTok dances

  • Dance duo Jorja Crisp and Gursher Singh Heer have become TikTok sensations  
  • The seven videos since April have gone viral racking up thousands of views each 
  • One shows, Miss Crisp dancing to a pop song, then Mr Heer to a Punjabi song 
  • Fans praised the friendship for demonstrating Australia’s multiculturalism 

A young Woolworths worker and Sikh security guard have formed an unlikely dance duo with their popular videos going viral online.

Jorja Crisp and Gursher Singh Heer have been sharing videos of their collaborative choreographed dances performed outside the supermarket chain on TikTok. 

A video posted on April 30, which has since racked up more than 59,000 views, shows Ms Crisp dancing solo to a pop song while Mr Heer stands next to her acting bored while gazing at his phone. 

The music suddenly changes to an Indian song and Mr Heer pushes Miss Crisp out of the way to take centre stage, as he performs a Punjabi dance.  

Jorja Crisp (right) and Gursher Singh Heer (left) have become TikTok sensations for their dance collaborations

The unlikely bond has warmed the hearts of fans, who praised the pair for sharing their friendship online .  

‘Great mix of culture that makes Australia a great country,’ one man wrote.

 Another added: ‘You guys prove that Australia is multicultural. Keep it up guys’.

‘I love this friendship you are developing. It’s really sweet,’ a third wrote.  

The partnership appears to have begun when Mr Heer photobombed a dance video Miss Crisp was making of herself, cheekily jumping in behind her to mimic her choreography. 

In a video posted this week, Mr Heer can be seen teaching Miss Crisp his moves, while the others show the duo dancing in sync to pop songs. 

The seven videos of the pair have all gone viral, each collecting thousands of views.    

Fans praised the team for displaying their mix of dancing styles, showing the diversity of Australian culture

Advertisement

Woolworths worker and Sikh security guard go viral online with their bizarre TikTok dances – Daily Mail


The fresh moves people: Woolworths worker and Sikh security guard form an unlikely bond and go viral online with their bizarre TikTok dances

  • Dance duo Jorja Crisp and Gursher Singh Heer have become TikTok sensations  
  • The seven videos since April have gone viral racking up thousands of views each 
  • One shows, Miss Crisp dancing to a pop song, then Mr Heer to a Punjabi song 
  • Fans praised the friendship for demonstrating Australia’s multiculturalism 

A young Woolworths worker and Sikh security guard have formed an unlikely dance duo with their popular videos going viral online.

Jorja Crisp and Gursher Singh Heer have been sharing videos of their collaborative choreographed dances performed outside the supermarket chain on TikTok. 

A video posted on April 30, which has since racked up more than 59,000 views, shows Ms Crisp dancing solo to a pop song while Mr Heer stands next to her acting bored while gazing at his phone. 

The music suddenly changes to an Indian song and Mr Heer pushes Miss Crisp out of the way to take centre stage, as he performs a Punjabi dance.  

Jorja Crisp (right) and Gursher Singh Heer (left) have become TikTok sensations for their dance collaborations

The unlikely bond has warmed the hearts of fans, who praised the pair for sharing their friendship online .  

‘Great mix of culture that makes Australia a great country,’ one man wrote.

 Another added: ‘You guys prove that Australia is multicultural. Keep it up guys’.

‘I love this friendship you are developing. It’s really sweet,’ a third wrote.  

The partnership appears to have begun when Mr Heer photobombed a dance video Miss Crisp was making of herself, cheekily jumping in behind her to mimic her choreography. 

In a video posted this week, Mr Heer can be seen teaching Miss Crisp his moves, while the others show the duo dancing in sync to pop songs. 

The seven videos of the pair have all gone viral, each collecting thousands of views.    

Fans praised the team for displaying their mix of dancing styles, showing the diversity of Australian culture

Advertisement

The history of Australian commentary at Eurovision: 1983 to now – Aussievision

Article by Kyriakos and Ally 

The Eurovision Song Contest has captivated Australian viewers since its first local broadcast on Australia’s national multilingual and multicultural broadcaster SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) back in 1983. 

Over the decades this transcended into an obsessive love for the Contest, and Australian’s had become accustomed to the BBC’s commentary by Sir Terry Wogan.

But after 18 years, from 1983 to 2000, it was time to break away from the British (and Wogan’s) perspective of the Contest and make room for a fresh approach with an Aussie flavour to the Eurovision commentary broadcast in Australia. 

2001 – Effie Stephanides 

Australia’s first local commentator was Effie Stephanides, a comedic character portrayed by Mary Coustas. She depicted a stereotypical second generation Greek Australian and came to fame from the Australian sitcom ‘Acropolis Now’ which ran on the Seven Network from 1989 to 1992. The show earned Mary Coustas a Logie Award for ‘Most Popular Comedy Personality’ in 1993. 

Effie made a return to the Australian television screens in 2001 where she hosted a satirical series called ‘Effie: Just Quietly’, a show where Effie plunges into everyday Australian life, and of course was bestowed the honoured as the Australian commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest 2001. 

SBS attempted a different approach to their Eurovision Song Contest 2001 broadcast overhauling the production. Effie as host and commentator was to give the show an ethnic flavour with comedic relief. The Contest was edited removing the postcards, Eurovision hosts and interval acts. Instead SBS produced the show in a studio with an audience. 

The show included segments where “prominent multicultural Australians introduced songs from countries of their own background” performances by queer cabaret performer Paul Capsis, who performed several Eurovision classics, and a panel of Australians discussing the entries. (Carniel 2018, p.36)  

Audience participation was also encouraged, viewers could call or email and nominate things like best song, best/worst costume, best/ worst dance routine etc. (Carniel 2018) 

Unfortunately the Australian audience didn’t quite warm to this approach and SBS ended up broadcasting the full Eurovision Song Contest 2001 unedited two weeks later. 

This experiment had not worked out as SBS had hoped and Sir Terry Wogan’s BBC commentary returned in 2002. 

2003 – 2004 

Des Mangan

For those not familiar with SBS, the broadcaster is known for their showing of foreign films and documentaries and along with that was the ‘Cult Movie’ show presented by Des Mangan. In 2003 SBS took a different approach and appointed Mangan as the Australian Eurovision commentator. 

He stressed the importance of Australia having a voice for it’s Eurovision broadcast since Australia’s love for Eurovision grew. It was time for Australia to distance itself from Wogan’s heavy British references and comments and give itself it’s own identity. (Mangan 2004)

Over the two years Mangan was commentator, the broadcast included preview shows with comments from famous Australians. 

At the 2004 Contest Mangan was a guest on the BBC’s ESC2004 preview show, which was hosted by Lorraine Kelly and Paddy O’Connell, accompanied by Eurovision 1992 winner Linda Martin. In the show, which you can watch below, O’Connell summed it up best, describing Mangan as “Australia’s Terry Wogan” demonstrating the approach SBS had taken. 

That year Mangan ended up publishing a history book about Eurovision called ‘This is Sweden Calling’. It’s rather insightful and a must have for any Eurovision nerd.

As much as the broadcaster’s second attempt at having an Australian commentator received good reviews, the Australian audience still hadn’t quite moved on from Wogan. It was understandable, Australians had become accustomed with Wogan on the Australian television screen.

The BBC Eurovision commentary would make its return for a second time on SBS in 2005 up until Wogan’s retirement in 2008. 

Sir Terry Wogan’s departure in 2008 allowed Australian Eurovision fans to accept that Wogan’s tenure had come to an end and the time was right for SBS to wipe the slate clean and allow a smooth transition to new commentators. 

2009 – 2016Julia Zemiro & Sam Pang 

We first got to see Julia Zemiro “overWHELMED” with excitement over the Eurovision Song Contest when she introduced us to the 2008 Contest before the BBC broadcast. The SBS broadcast also included inserts of Julia during the breaks with quick commentary and flag waving. It’s rather iconic, you can check out the opening here. 

With the departure of Wogan after the 2008 Contest, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang stepped up and took their spot, travelling to Moscow to cover the 2009 Contest live on the ground and give us an Australian perspective we so needed. 

Zemiro had been working on the TV show ‘Rockwiz’, and had a genuine passion and huge knowledge about Eurovision. She also took part in many Eurovision stage productions which include ‘Eurovision: The Musical’ in 2003, ‘Euromax 7: The Musical’ in 2004, ‘Eurobeat: Almost Eurovision’ in 2006. (Carniel 2018, p.39)  

Pang on the other hand knew little about Eurovision, but had impressed viewers as the host of a history quiz show on SBS called ‘ADbc’. It was a history quiz show which had teams of academics and comedians compete, even Zemiro had featured.  (Carniel 2018, p.39) 

Over 2009 to 2011 Zemiro and Pang gained backstage access to the Eurovision Song Contest giving Australians backstage footage and showcasing interviews with artists. This gave Australia a strong presence in the Contest and viewership of the Contest grew in Australia. This led to SBS being given a commentator’s box in the 2012 Contest at Baku. (Carniel 2018, p.38) 

The commentators’ chemistry just worked along with their humour which they weaved into their dialogue. The Australian audience yearned for more and in 2012  SBS joined forces with their production partner BlinkTV to produce ‘The Road to Eurovision’ where we got to see Zemiro travel around Europe interviewing past and present contestants as she made her way to Baku. (Carniel 2018, p.38)  

Australia’s presence was definitely felt! At the semi final of the 2013 Contest Australia was offered to broadcast a ‘Greetings from Australia’ segment, hosted by Zemiro, celebrating 30 years of SBS broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia.

In 2014 Australia got the privilege of having a delegation and being the interval act in the semi final 2 in the 2014 Contest. Jessica Mauboy made history and performed ‘Sea of Flags’ to a huge reception and became the first Australian to perform on the Eurovision stage representing Australia. 

Mauboy’s performance along with Australia’s commentary and production of the Contest on SBS made an impression and Australia was invited in a one off, to perform and compete in the 2015 Contest. Zemiro and Pang broke the news to us all. 

After the 2016 Contest, Australian Eurovision fans received the shock announcement that Zemiro and Pang were no longer going to be the Australian commentators. The official reason they both gave for leaving was clashes with their other work (for Zemiro it was in TV and film while Pang also worked in radio), but Julia has admitted the inclusion of Australia changed her perspective on the Contest. (Carniel 2018, p.39) 

2017 – Present Myf Warhurst & Joel Creasey

After the shock departure of Zemiro and Pang, TV personality and radio presenter Myf Warhurst and comedian Joel Creasey took the reigns as the Australian commentators for the Eurovision Song Contest at SBS making their debut for the 2017 Contest in Kyiv.

Warhurst, a radio announcer and television personality, is well known for her work as radio presenter at Triple J (a government funded national Australia radio station that plays predominantly alternative and indie music) , and on the popular long running music-themed quiz show ‘Spicks and Specks’ which was hosted by Adam Hills. Before taking over the commentary role, Warhusrt was actually a member of the Australian jury at the 2016 contest. Fun fact – like three of her fellow jurors, she ranked Belgium in 1st place. 

Creasey is an Australian stand up comedian, actor and television presenter and is a regular at comedy festivals across Australia and even internationally. He has appeared in the Australian soap opera ‘Neighbours’ and even hosted the dating game show ‘Take Me Out’. His witty comedic personality has been labelled as Australia’s ‘Acid Tongue Prince’. 

One of the most memorable moments of the pair commentating came in the 2018 Contest, when after a stage invader invaded the stage during SuRie’s performance, Joel called the stage invader a “cockhead”. The comment even drew praise from author J.K Rowling, who said “Apparently the Australian commentator called SuRie’s stage invader ‘some absolute cockhead’ and I don’t want to hear another word about Australia being in Eurovision ever again.”

Warhust and Creasey have had the honour in hosting Australia’s first Eurovision national final, ‘Eurovision: Australia Decides 2019’. In an epic production where Kate Miller-Heidke was crowned the champion to represent Australia at Tel Aviv. 

Some of the most memorable moments from the pair at the Australian national finals have been the costumes that both Myf and Joel have worn during the show. Who could forget when Joel came out in Dami Im’s ‘Sound of Silence’ dress during the 2019 show, or the bling covered Australian Olympic team style tracksuits both hosts wore at the beginning of the 2020 show!

Don’t forget to catch them on ‘Eurovision 2020: Big Night In!’ which will premiere on Saturday May 16 at 7.30pm AEST and will be hosted by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey. 

Reference List:

Carniel, J 2018, Understanding the Eurovision Song Contest in Multicultural Australia, Palgrave Pivot, Cham

Coustas, M 2003, Effie’s guide to being up yourself, Hodder Headline Australia, Sydney

Mangan, D 2004, This is Sweden Calling, Random House Australia, Milsons Point

OneFour x A$AP Ferg: How ‘Say It Again’ happened – Red Bull

Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to see this week: A$AP Ferg fanning out a stack of Australian $50 notes.

Yesterday, Mount Druitt drill heroes OneFour released their new single ‘Say It Again’. Joining them on the track is Ferg, one of the stars of New York’s A$AP Mob, whose previous collaborators include the likes of Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Missy Elliott and Future. On ‘Say It Again’, he raps about Parramatta fried chicken joint Butter and uses the video clip to throw up a wad of pineapples in the carpark of a Western Sydney gym (New Dimensions in Mount Druitt, if you were wondering). It’s kind of a big deal.

Historically speaking, Australian hip-hop and rap has mostly existed in its own geographic bubble. While homegrown producers like Flume have worked with American rap stars before, we haven’t seen local rappers land collaborators quite this big (bar, maybe, The Kid Laroi’s recent track with NYC’s Lil Tecca.) Which means Ferg pairing up with OneFour isn’t just a powerful co-sign but an indication that with drill, Australia is ready to step onto the global stage.

So just how did OneFour score what might be the biggest collaboration in Australian rap history? To find out, we called OneFour’s manager Ricky Simandjuntak.

So how did the collaboration happen?

It was unexpected, it’s not something that went through labels or anything like that. Hau [Latukefu, host of The Hip-Hop Show on triple j] connected us because Ferg did an interview on Hau’s show and the conversation came naturally to music coming out of Australia and One Four. Ferg had heard some stuff about us, he reached out and asked if we could meet. At that time the boys were still out in Mount Druitt so we thought it would be better to get him in our studio in Chinatown.

Wow, so he reached out to you?

He reached out through his manager. He came through at about 9.30 at night after finishing promo stuff and you could tell he was tired but he wanted to be there. I think for the boys, this is very new for them — the attention they’re getting, and people wanting to come and meet them. So you can see they’re still feeling their way through it.

They ended up exchanging a bit of music; Ferg asked to hear some more of the boys’ stuff. We showed him that track and you could tell instantly he was drawn to the energy of the song. The song is about being the fire, no matter how much the odds are stacked against you. It connected with Ferg and he wanted to put his own spin on it. I think it was no more than an hour and we’d finished the verse.

For the boys, this is very new for them — the attention they’re getting, and people wanting to come and meet them

Then he was like, ‘I want to shoot the clip. But we have to shoot it tomorrow because I’m leaving the next day’. I think Ferg came out after he finished soundcheck for his show that night, did his part and went onto Parramatta to do an in-store [appearance] at Culture Kings and then his concert later on that night. So it was a huge look-in to see not only his work ethic but making the most of every minute, even when you’re overseas. And even the commitment to drive out to Mount Druitt, an hour away, and make the effort for people you’ve only just met.

When did this all happen?

March 3, right before coronavirus really locked us down. It had just become a serious thing, we were talking like ‘how bad do you think this coronavirus thing is going to get?’ — that’s why he references it in the song. We were thinking it was all a bit of an overreaction then Ferg flew out and right after, they closed the airport.

What’d Ferg think of Mount Druitt?

He didn’t really get to see much of it, other than the drive into there. But I think it completed the story for him. He can see first hand what OneFour look like, what the neighbourhood looks like, how multicultural it was. He could draw comparisons between himself growing up in Harlem and feeling like all these kids from different backgrounds are coming together to listen to music. When A$AP Mob first started, they were so different from the New York sound. Different style, different visuals… I think Ferg understood that this is a different picture of Australian society.

I think Ferg understood that this is a different picture of Australian society

What’s the appetite like for drill in the US right now? Did Ferg know that music much before Hau showed it to him?

Drill’s original roots are in Chicago and then the UK adopted the sound. But New York is the epicentre of where that UK sound is; a lot of the producers are working out of New York. So it’s kind of a debate at the moment between the UK and the US, between the original grime guys and drill guys — like, ‘they’re taking the sound but they’re not paying homage’. The producer we used, Gotcha, he’s from the UK and he’s been with us a while. So on this song we’ve got the UK, we’ve got Mount Druitt and we’ve got Harlem, which is where Ferg is from. We reach between these three cities making a very similar sound.

Are the guys excited to have Ferg on a track? That must feel super big?

Oh, it’s crazy. That was huge for us, also huge for Western Sydney.

Meet the live streamed concert series celebrating Australia’s multiculturalism – Beat Magazine

Run by Victoria’s iconic multicultural music organisation, The Boite.

In response to the current crisis, Victorian multicultural music organisation The Boite have been facilitating a number of live streamed concerts over the last few weeks.

Among the successful performances were Cordillera, which flooded listeners to Andean parts of South America, alongside award-winning singer Karen Knowles who performed in collaboration with Earth Hour.

They then welcomed renowned sitarist Sarita McHarg, accompanied by Melbourne Amplified Strings (Anita Quayle on cello and Xani Kolac on violin), in a joint performance that pushed the sonic boundaries of what is possible for stringed instruments.

For their fourth instalment set to take place on Thursday May 7, The Boite presents a performance from Chuei Yoshikawa, Nick Charles and Leigh Sloggett, three artists who reside in different parts of the music spectrum.

The former of the three is one of Japan’s leading acoustic guitarists, while Charles has established himself as “Australia’s virtuoso of acoustic blues and roots guitar music”. The third artist set to perform is the locally beloved Leigh Sloggett, whose music is steeped in blues, contemporary folk and instrumental.

Following this, as part of The Boite’s Matsudo Week, they will presenting a performance spotlighting Okinawa, the southernmost island of Japan. Okinawan music draws from folk and is known for being upbeat and catchy. This performance will take place on Saturday May 9. Then on Wednesday May 20, The Boite will welcome renowned Oud player and composer, Yuval Ashkar, to perform.

Find out more about The Boite’s ‘Adapt, Not Cancel’ live streamed concert series via their website.

Catch Chuei Yoshikawa, Nick Charles and Leigh Sloggett perform live online on Thursday May 7 from 8pm, with tickets available via Trybooking.