What’s on in Port – March 2018

Make Your Mark Port Melbourne Carnival

FREE EVENT! Saturday March 3 12pm – 4pm

Make your mark on your community – find out about Port Melbourne’s very own Street Art project and speak to the young people who are involved! Free HIP HOP session and much much more! Don’t miss out.
For more info click here

Street Art has a long and prestigious history. Archaeologists have also found graffiti scratched on walls in the city of Pompeii.
If you’d like to find out more click below

For More Info

A Plastic Ocean
Thursday 15 March 
Port Melbourne Town Hall 6.15pm
This film has won many awards for its content and spectacular photography.
Q&A afterwards
For reservations of seats click below

Reserve Seats

The Little Free Library at George Walter Garden has been restored to it’s former glory by the Port Phillip Men’s Shed Association (thank you!)
if you’d like to get involved with this and other Port Melbourne based libraries, please click below

Get Involved

International Women’s Day
is the 8th March

City of Port Phillip will be holding an event on the 1st of March.
for other events in Melbourne click here

BeachPatrol 3207 are holding a Clean up Australia Day on Sunday 4 March  9am – 10am
Meet at Lagoon Pier 3207

LoveOurStreet 3207
Saturday 17 March
from 9:30 am – 10:30am. 
Meet at the Graham St underpass car park
Help us look after our local neighbourhood streets of Port and South Melbourne to stop litter getting to the bay and meet great people at the same time!

Celebrate Social Inclusion Week at Merry & Bright on Sunday 26th November, Deakin Edge

Merry & Bright, the School of Hard Knocks final concert for 2017 is presented on Sunday 26 November from 2pm at Deakin Edge. This concert takes place in Social Inclusion Week, an annual initiative, which was created in 2009, by the Founding Artistic Director of the School of Hard Knocks Dr Jonathon Welch AM.

Jonathon said “I founded Social Inclusion Week to connect local communities, to build and strengthen relationships and networks.” Merry & Bright does just that. Conducted and compered by Jonathon, Merry & Bright also features Liane Keegan, one of Australia’s great legends of opera, XL ARTS, the Choir of Hard Knocks, THECHO!R and the Footscray Yarraville City Band, conducted by Phillipa Edwards!

“The School of Hard Knocks has been built on the amazing work and support from our participants, volunteers, friends and wonderful guest artists.” Jonathon explained, “we want to recognise and celebrate that!! It is just such a joy to bring everyone together for these concerts and events now, and throughout the whole year!”

“We also have our wonderful 350 massed voice choir singing in Merry & Bright. The massed choir is drawn from choirs in the School’s Absolutely Everybody choral program, including the Voices of Casey, Latrobe Valley Community Choir, Voices of Frankston, Choir of Opportunity, Voices of Alfred, Western Health Singers and All Together Choir. Our Absolutely Everybody Brisbane choir, conducted by Melissa Gill, will also be visiting from Queensland to be part of this concert. A wonderful community of singers.”

“We would LOVE everyone to connect, or reconnect, with us at Merry & Bright! 2017 has been a huge year of growth and success for the School. We are so very proud of our achievements and all our programs. Proceeds from this concert will help us to continue the wonderful work of the School supporting the marginalised and vulnerable in our community.”

Tickets are just $25 for adults, $20 concession, $15 U18 and $75 family for a family of four. Book through http://www.schoolofhardknocks.org.au or at the door from 1.30pm.


Come and enjoy our great Australian music at Australian Songbook, this Sunday at Collingwood Town Hall!

In celebration of Australian Music Month, THECHO!R will present their next sensational concert.  Australian Songbook on Sunday November 19th at 3pm in the Collingwood Town Hall.

Dr Jonathon Welch AM, Artistic Director of THECHO!R explains “this will be a truly special concert of popular, new and contemporary Australian music, with Deborah Cheetham AO and the Dhungala Children’s Choir as our special guests.”

Established in 2009 by Yorta Yorta Soprano, Composer and Educator Deborah Cheetham and pianist Toni Lalich, Dhungala Children’s Choir is an award-winning ensemble for Indigenous children between the ages of 9 and 17.

For thousands of years the Yorta Yorta people have passed down their traditions, language, dreaming and culture through song on their country.  Dhungala Children’s Choir (DCC) is a continuation of this tradition.  DCC gave its debut performance in the SheppARTon festival performance RiverSong and has since become a strong presence in Shepparton, Geelong and throughout Victoria.

THECHO!R was also created in 2009, by Jonathon Welch.  One of Melbourne’s most exciting community adult choirs, it has performed extensively throughout Victoria, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane, raising thousands of dollars to support other community related music activities.  All funds from this concert will be going to support Dhungala Children’s Choir.

“I can’t wait for everyone to come together at this concert” Jonathon exclaimed.  “We will be performing such a mix of glorious Australian music.  We will also be premiering Wominjeka Birrarunga – many voices, a beautiful new work by Deborah, commissioned by THECHO!R.”

Australian Songbook on Sunday November 19th at 3pm in the Collingwood Town Hall. Tickets are now on sale, $35 adult and $28 concession and under 18.  Refreshments are available.  Don’t miss out!!!!!

Book through THECHO!R’s website at http://thechoir.com.au/

St Kilda Rocks The Bowlo for SKAC

St Kilda Rocks

Friday 22 September

St Kilda Bowls Club

Doors 7PM

St Kilda has long been a stomping ground for dirty, take no prisoners rock n roll. Long considered the home of underground rock and the place with some of Melbourne’s most iconic venues, St Kilda Rocks continues the legacy of St Kilda’s claim to DIY, grassroots approach to putting on live gigs and getting things done.

Local live music champions Suzi Q Dhol and Mark Entwistle in association with St Kilda Arts Crawl have put together a bill, featuring musicians from St Kilda’s past and present, to showcase what St Kilda sounds like in 2017. It will take place at the St Kilda Bowls Club, a massive supporter of live music in this town. For naysayers that say St Kilda is dead, have a look at this line up.

On the bill are new comers Ghetto Blaster & the Finger Bangers and the Dead Amigos proving rock is still alive and well in St Kilda, punk tribute legends the Peptides featuring iconic names from St Kilda musical past and present, Stackhouse with their cigar box blue collar anthem’s, and internationally recognised The Mercy Kills. This line up as well as the other events as part of the St Kilda Arts Crawl show that live music is still alive in St Kilda and how important the arts and artists are in the community.

St Kilda Rocks is part of the inaugural St Kilda Arts Crawl, a local event promoting the wonderful art of St Kilda and its artists over three days. Lay claim to being a part of history by getting down to the Bolwo or one of the other venues showcasing this incredible event.

Catch St Kilda Rock at the St Kilda Bowls Club on Friday 22 September. Doors 7pm, $10 at the door



Coming Back Out

Some LGBTI elders have lived through a  period when being LGBTI could result in imprisonment, enforced medical cures, loss of employment and rejection by family and friends. Even now, in a community which is under increasing scrutiny and attack, division still exists, and these same elders that should be respected, face exclusion and isolation in the day to day. 

Hosted by the much-loved Australian arts icon Robyn Archer, The Coming Back Out Ball will be presented at the Melbourne Town Hall as a premiere event of the 2017 Victorian Seniors Festival in association with the 3rd National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Conference.

TAGG Arts and Entertainment Editor Jessi Lewis spoke with Cameron Menzies over coffee at The Arts Centre, about this importance of this event, history and more recent times.

Let’s introduce ourselves.

My name is Cameron Menzies and I’m the event director of the Coming Back Out Ball.

And what is the Coming Back At Ball exactly?

It’s a celebration, essentially. It’s like an old school ball at the town hall.

It’s part of collaboration with All The Queen’s Men. For the last year, they’ve been doing a monthly dance club for LGBTIs over sixty-five. From that, it’s grown into a more formal celebration as part of the Seniors Festival, and also as part of the third national aging LGBTI conference. It’s now turned itself into this ball of 500 guests at Town Hall on the 7th of October.

Do you think some of the importance of the actual event is the misrepresentation or the overrepresentation of youth in the gay and queer community?

I think obviously there is a focus on youth. But, what we’re finding is that a whole lot of people from a whole lot of different walks of life have bowed out of the so-called ‘gay community’ – or whatever that means – many years ago, even though they were really instrumental in helping us create it. And because there’s nowhere for them to go, there’s nothing to do that’s specifically geared at them. 

So, it sort of is addressing the youth, but not at the expense of them. It’s just creating an event that is particularly for LGBTI, for over-sixty fives. It’s not exclusive to them – anyone can go – but the event is created for that age group.

What are some of the other important factors of the actual event? For you personally, what do you think it gives?

I think visibility is a huge issue for that age group as well, but also visibility in terms of people having fun at that age. There are a whole lot of considerations around getting that kind of an age group into a room.

It’s also about getting people with some sort of life experience together. Even though everyone has their own individual story, it’s going to be a room full of people that have had a life experience, just purely historically, and their journeys coming out.

I think some of those big issues are addressed monthly with the dance club, but I think this will be a great event for these people to come to. It gives them something to look forward to; it gives them something to come to. It also gives them an event that is specifically designed for their interests and their needs.

Who are some of the entertainers that you’ve got?

We’ve got a really great, broad range of entertainment. We tried to stick to LGBTI performers, and predominantly over sixty-five.

Our MC is Robyn Archer. She’s also performing on the night. Carlotta’s agreed to come down from Sydney to performance for us, which will be great.

And then we’ve got people like Deborah Cheetham. She’ll talk about her experiences, but she’ll also sing opera for us.

It’s a really broad variety of what’s happening. We’ve got the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus coming to perform for us. We’ll have our own orchestra on the night.

So that real sort of old school glamour?

Yes. So we can go from really old school balls with orchestras, and then after all of that live proceeding happens, the dance club that have been working with All The Queen’s Men will do a lead dance. Then we turn into a nightclub at the end, which will be fun.

There’s such legacy within the older, elderly community and the queer community with the 1980s. How would you say that they could pass on that knowledge to the younger queer generation? I think a lot of them don’t quite understand that they’ve have gone through so much, you know –  Stonewall, AIDS epidemic, and the rest of it.

Yes. Predating all of that, there’s a fabulous woman that will come and speak at Coming Back Out Ball. She was a champion shearer, and she lived her life out as a lesbian for a long, long time, so even pre-dating eighties sort of history. She will be at the ball and she wanted to shear a sheep for us! We can’t achieve that for her, but she will definitely be at the ball and she’ll be talking about her experiences as well.

But I think what the issue is – or what a consideration of this is – is that people are not taking these oral stories down. You look at things like Holocaust history and there are a lot of oral histories being recorded. As part of the night, there will be vox pops moments, and people will get up and tell parts of their stories. I think that will help in terms of making the people that have the stories feel like there’s an interest, but also we’ll also be able to capture these stories.

Why do you think that is?

Maybe it’s because there are no groups that are coming out and meeting en masse just to talk to people. I’ve done a little bit of work with Living Positive and they have the speaker’s bureau where people living with HIV go and speak about HIV to groups. You know, there aren’t necessarily those groups available because it’s such a disparate sort of group of people that have moved into nursing homes, or who are still in their homes but are finding it hard to get out.

That isolation would be incredibly difficult as well.

Yes. We’ve just spoken to Uber and they’ll come on board to help us get our guests over sixty-five home. So, when they’re leaving around ten o’clock at night, they won’t need to worry about public transport or the cost of a cab.

Are there any other corporate sponsors of the event that have surprised you by coming to the floor?

There’s a couple that are still kind of under wraps a bit because we’re still trying to work them through. But everyone that we’ve spoken to – we originally started with All The Queen’s Men, and we went to the City of Melbourne to talk to them about it – they’ve since taken it on as one of their major events. I feel like everybody that we’ve spoken with has come on with generosity and absolute interest in what we’re trying to achieve, but also in an acknowledgement that this group of people do need support and do need to be visible.

Corporate stuff aside, the over sixty-fives don’t have to pay. It’s a three-course meal; it’s an entertaining night. The state government, the City of Melbourne and all our other sponsors have come on board to essentially take the food and beverage bill off us.

 Is there anything else you want to touch upon today?

There will be some poignant moments, but it’s a celebration of this group of people. It’s about understanding the experiences of people going into nursing homes. Some of them have to go back into the closet and deny what they’ve lived their entire lives just to feel safe within a nursing home context. I understand the Uniting Church has just done a whole lot of work on trying to make nursing homes safer spaces. We have real instances of people having to go back into the closet because they don’t feel safe where they’ve been allocated. That’s a major concern.

It’s horrible to think about that.

Yes, it has a far-reaching social impact. But I think it’s about having fun and really acknowledging these findings. Marriage equality comes into it still.

The elephant in the room.

Yes. That’s not the major focus of the ball, but it’s certainly one of the components.

But I think the biggest thing is that it’s a party; there is a serious reason for the party. There will be some really poignant moments, but it’s also not dumbing it down. It’s not putting on, for want of a better term, an “old folks” show, because sixty-five is not that old. 

That’s what we’re classifying as being an elder because that’s just legally what it is. But a lot of our guests will be in their eighties. They’ll be greeted and looked after the entire night. We have a volunteer base of about forty people that will come on board. We don’t want anyone to be a wallflower. So, if there are people sitting by themselves, there’ll be hosts just to talk to people; or, if someone needs a bit more physical help somewhere, they’ll be available. These forty volunteers are all vetted, and all inducted for the evening to be there on hand just to help people and talk to people, and make everyone feel welcome.

I think the biggest thing is that the underlying issue is really serious, but it’s a fun night to acknowledge and honour the LGBTI elders that have fought and advocated and lived their lives, and need to be seen.

The Coming Back Out Ball takes place at Melbourne Town Hall on the 7th October for more info click here

Celebrating choirs & the joy of singing at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sunday June 11th

Do you LOVE to hear choirs and beautiful melodious singing …WE DO!

Are you a fan of the Divine Divas of Sunbury, THECHO!R, Co-cheol and Amber Evans … WE ARE!

Would you like to be introduced to the sublime singing of Musica and Men Aloud! …YES???

Then come to our choral extravaganza at the Melbourne Recital Centre this Sunday June 11th!!!

The Melbourne International Singers Festival proudly presents our three Fantastic Festival concerts, starting from 5pm.

Our first GALA concert features the spectacular Divine Divas of Sunbury conducted by Adam Przewlocki, Musica (Queensland) conducted by Melissa Gill and Men Aloud! Conducted by Dr Jonathon Welch AM

Flow My Tears, at 6.30pm is an exquisite musical journey, with soprano Amber Evans accompanied by the incomparable Adam Przewlocki. Returning to Australia fresh from her triumphant performances and studies in the U.K. and USA, soprano Amber presents her first solo recital ‘Flow My Tears’ that takes you on an exquisite musical journey from Dowland, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy and Puccini to Strauss, Hamilton and Lehar.

Our GALA concert at 8pm, features Co-cheol, an award winning a cappella quartet with spine tingling harmonies taking you on a journey to the Celts and beyond, and THECHO!R one of Melbourne’s most exciting non-auditioned choirs, created and conducted by Dr Jonathon Welch AM.

You can buy a concert package and come to all three concerts. Individual tickets are also available. Book at http://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/series/melbourne-international-singers-festival/

What is not to LOVE?? You will also be supporting the School of Hard Knocks, providing arts and cultural programs to the vulnerable and marginalised in our community.

Please check our website if you would like to find out more about how the School’s programs are Empowering Through the Arts. http://schoolofhardknocks.org.au/sohk/

Queen’s Birthday Street Party – St Kilda

Queen's Birthday in Fitzroy Street

THIS SUNDAY 11 June 2017 all eyes will be on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda …. and this time, for all the right reasons!

The Gatwick is now vacant and preparations for The Block 2018 are well underway, and no better time to celebrate than this weekend’s QUEEN’s BIRTHDAY.

The Fitzroy Street Business Association will be hosting their first ever QUEEN’s BIRTHDAY STREET PARTY from 3pm till 6pm.

Under the meticulous eye of the Association’s Vice President & well known celebrity photographer, Murray Schoorman, the street is set to “come alive” with a bevvy of live entertainment throughout the afternoon.

Commencing seaside, at the St Kilda Seabaths, a decadent horse-drawn carriage will transport the birthday girl (Queen Elizabeth Impersonator) over the Esplanade and into Fitzroy Street. This convoy will be flanked by the official Royal British Guards and will be played in by the traditional bagpipes.

Roving up and down the street, members of the general public will be able to stop and take photographs with Her Majesty and her entourage.

Outside the Metropol complex will be a highly skilled fire twirler spinning his flames like no other guy can do.

All the while, sexy models in “Queen of Hearts” costumes and a magician will be entertaining the crowds till sunset.

You wont miss the amazing stilt walkers, adding to the exciting “street party” vibe!

It would not be a Queen’s Birthday without St Kilda’s famous resident Queen’s – DRAG QUEEN’s of course!

Look out for iconic gender illusionists, Paris, Krystal Ring, Pashion and Rita LC who will be camping it up like they do best.

Venues along Fitzroy Street will be decorated in British flair and many will be hosting after parties into the wee hours of the Monday morning. Which we may add, is a public holiday so no need to rush off to work, guests may like to splash out at the boutique TOLARNO HOTEL where they are offering their rooms for a heavily discounted rate of only $110 for the night.

The Association has enlisted the services of Melbourne’s PR queen, Helen Reizer from HRPR to ensure the street is buzzing with VIP’s and Celebrities to welcome Her Majesty and show off the streetscape from it’s best angle.

This event is a key milestone for the community as they are now on the up & up following an extremely tough and challenging trading season.

All public are invited to come along from 3pm and show their support & enjoy a right-royal party!.

For more information, please visit their Facebook event page;


Fitzroy Street

Melbourne International Singers Festival is proud to present Fantastic Festival Concerts on Sunday June 11th

GALA Festival Concert #1

5.00pm – 6.30pm

Featuring the spectacular Divine Divas of Sunbury conducted by Adam Przewlocki, Musica (Queensland) conducted by Melissa Gill and Men Aloud! Conducted by Dr Jonathon Welch AM

GALA Festival Concert #2

8.00pm – 9.30pm

Featuring Co-cheol, award winning a cappella quartet with spine tingling harmonies taking you on a journey to the Celts and beyond, and THECHO!R one of Melbourne’s most exciting non-auditioned choirs, created and conducted by Dr Jonathon Welch AM

Tickets at http://www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/calendar/2017/06

1 ticket: Standard $24.90 / Concession $21.90 / student or child $16.90
2 concert package: Standard $44.90
NB Transaction and booking fees may apply

Proceeds from the Festival support the School of Hard Knocks providing arts and cultural programs to the vulnerable and marginalised in our community. Please check our website for information about the Festival and the work of the School. www.schoolofhardknocks.org.au

Enquiries Call 0419 337 283 or email misf@schoolofhardknocks.org.au

School of Hard Knocks

Find us on Facebook and Twitter



THE Les Twentyman Foundation is teaming with award-winning Australian musical theatre director and composer Warren Wills this month to run a new six-month community drama program, Embrace, in Melbourne’s West.

Physically and intellectually disadvantaged young Teens, from Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, are encouraged to join in the socially inclusive this program which culminates with a world premiere performance on October 12 at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s theatre.

Embrace, a free musical theatre program for secondary school students, is based on similar projects Mr Wills has led in Shepparton, Victoria, and several outer-London boroughs to a socially inclusive program  to find a cultural common ground.

Over the past 15 years more than 10,000 young people from socially isolated communities and under-privileged backgrounds have played a part in musical theatre projects that Melbourne-born composer Mr Wills has led.

In the rural city of Shepparton, Mr Wills and fellow West End musical theatre producer Yamin Choudury ran a short pilot program of performing arts for 60 young people in 2011 with the backing of Latrobe University.

Youth outreach worker Les Twentyman attended a performance of the work they created, Ghost Gum High, at Shepparton’s Shepp Shed and expressed his interest in bringing an extended version of the program to Melbourne’s west, where Les Twentyman Foundation works with troubled youth.

Embrace Warren Wills, Les Twentyman and crew

Embrace rehearsals begin this month at two venues, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Churchill Ave, Braybrook  and community Centers in Footscray, Sunshine and Braybrook

Mr Wills said although he will be writing the score for the production the ideas for the storyline, roles and staging are completely in the hands of the 100 teens he hopes will commit to Embrace.

“I want the kids to be engaged and as creatively involved in the development of the show as possible,” Mr Wills said.

“My mantra is diversity, inclusivity and quality. This work with youths of different backgrounds is genuinely transformational.”

Mr Wills has worked as an award-winning musical director and composer of West End and Broadway shows over the past 30 years with credits on more than 50 productions.

He has worked closely with actors Pamela Anderson and Woody Allen, and has played and composed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK.

Splitting his time between London and Melbourne, this year Mr Wills will also direct the world premiere of his new musical Bowie and Mercury Rising at Chapel off Chapel from July 26 to 30.

As a performer in his own right, he has recorded eight albums and his range as a pianist encompasses cabaret, classical, opera and jazz.

Mr Wills will perform on June 8 with special guests at Dizzy’s Jazz Club during the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.


Swell at Fort Nepean

Albrecht La’Brooy, are Melbourne improvisers Sean La’Brooy and Alex Albrecht.  They modernise the classic jazz format and will perform their gentle electronic sounds in a historic gun emplacement, one of the live spaces during Swell – an immersive adventure that blends live music, design and multiple artforms to create an experience like no other. 

Swell will all be staged inside the remote forts and tunnels of Fort Nepean at the very tip of the Point Nepean National Park on the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April 2017 (Anzac Weekend).

This is the first time the Fort has been given over to an arts experience and Albrecht La’Brooy is a taste of one of five acts. Every genre diverse artist performing in this never before used wild location will be unlike the other, and experienced by audiences in an entirely unique way

In addition to the live performances, Swell has also set out to collect the live music history of the musically alive Mornington Peninsula. History adorns the Peninsula with fascinating stories of beach culture, food, war, farming, maritime tales and even popular music. Yet little is recorded about the experience of live music – the action it has inspired, the significant moments celebrated, the ways it has deeply changed people. 

Listen to stories and share your own through a Confession Booth, vintage typewriter stations plus live orations and audio recordings of interviews. Artists and non-artists share their live music experiences, including local musicians Hayden Calnin, Marty Williams and siblings Larissa and Ryan Tandy along with 91-year-old local resident Patsy Olle and Bunurong man Dan Turnbull who describe live music stories from times long past. 

Throughout one of the vast tunnel networks there will be a 24-channel soundscape by local artist Bryce Grunden featuring field recordings from nature – highlighting the contradiction of natural beauty and person-made structure.  Waves, water movement, whales, underwater sounds, wind and shore birds will make up the manipulated content, walking the line between reality and dream.

This is Swell edition three and each edition creates something entirely new.  The earlier iterations have gone behind the scenes of a hotel and into the basement of an abandoned hospital.  This time audiences will explore five genre diverse, reimagined live music performances and a series of live music history installations. 

Swell was founded by Janenne Willis who continues as Artistic Director. Alongside Janenne is a team of creative professionals – most of whom are volunteers – who all love art, music and provocative culture and are passionate about the motivations of the work. Past collaborators have included US Architect Brooks Atwood and Melbourne Party Maker Edd Fisher.

There are many ways to get there – by car or bus.  Buses will depart from Melbourne, near Flinders Street and Balnarring. Local food and drink offerings from some of the Peninsula’s finest – Montalto wines, coffee by Commonfolk and food by Martha’s Table plus more.

Swell is an independent art project. This edition is generously supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Janenne Willis, Creative Director is available for interview. 

Swell at Fort Nepean, Point Nepean National Park on the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April 2017 (Anzac Weekend). Bookings:www.swelllivemusic.com