Canberra Confidential: Right place, right time

Parliament House, January 25, 2014. Photo by Martin Ollman

Parliament House, January 25, 2014. Photo by Martin Ollman

 “I LOVE the clouds. I love the panorama. I loved being in the right place and at the right time, and getting everything aligned,” says Canberra photographer Martin Ollman of this remarkable photo of Parliament House, taken around 7 o’clock on the evening before Australia Day.

Despite the picture’s sense of timeless serenity, the shot was taken “just after the Australians of the Year had been announced and were doing their press interviews.”

“The Roulettes came over just after that,” he says.

“Every time I go to this spot at this time of year I take a photo of it – an annual shot.”

Crimper brings out Gossips

Hairdresser Chemain Perceval… “As a town of less than 4000 people we’ve done a super awesome job.” Photo by Gary Schafer

Hairdresser Chemain Perceval… “As a town of less than 4000 people we’ve done a super awesome job.” Photo by Gary Schafer

EVERYONE who contributed to the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave this year deserves a pat on the back but a special mention must go to the good people of Bungendore, who tallied up about $25,000 in donations.

“As a town of less than 4000 people we’ve done a super awesome job,” says local hairdresser Chemain Perceval, of Gossips hair salon, who collected more than $10,600 herself, smashing her $4000 target. She also registered Gossips as a World’s Greatest Shave salon, running a barbecue and offering the philanthropic styling pro bono.

“When I was in year 8, one of my girlfriends lost her brother to leukaemia and she was a bone marrow donor for him as well,” Chemain says, explaining her first experience of the disease.

“That was a really big thing, and from that point I realised it was important to do charity work and help people out.”

Loretta Heskett from the Blind Duck Cafe also cracked $10K and another local, Peter Roper, managed to attract $2000 in support by having his chest waxed.

Rugby goes underwater

CANBERRA now has a team dedicated to “the greatest sport you’ve never played” – underwater rugby.

Organiser Bobby Simonsson came to the surface long enough to tell CC he runs the year-old Canberra underwater rugby team and that “we really are just a fledgling community sport with a small group of core players who meet weekly in the pool at the AIS.” There are also teams in Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and Melbourne.

He attached a link ( revealing that, as a spectator sport, it looks to CC as much fun as watching fish in an aquarium.

The unisex game is played almost entirely underwater, with teams of six wearing snorkels and flippers, and chasing an unfloating ball that can be passed up, down, left, right, forwards and backwards. Intending players should check out the Facebook page, Canberra Underwater Rugby.

Rising sap

HOW could one resist: “Plant a new tree with a new woman every eight minutes”?

Yes, the Landcare for Singles’ “speed planting” Sunday is back on May 4 at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. If the prospect of meeting environmentally friendly single women (and men) is your thing, then register at or call 6205 2913.

Dear madam….

WOMEN, according to the Advertising Standards Board, are bigger complainers about advertising than men, with 57 per cent of the board’s ACT complaints last year coming from Canberra’s fairer sex. While the total complaints from the Territory represented only two per cent of the national whinge, Kambah was named as the suburb where most of the local complaints came from, followed by Braddon, Bruce and Florey. The age group most likely to complain was the 40 to 54-year-olds and people over 65 the least likely.


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