Brave Olivia’s in remission

Canberra Confidential with Lisa Ridgley

Olivia Lambert.

AFTER extensive treatment in Germany, Olivia Lambert is back in Canberra and in remission!

The seven-year-old has been fighting a rare and aggressive cancer known as Neuroblastoma for almost five years. And while Olivia is enjoying being back at school with all her friends, she’s constantly travelling back and forth to Sydney for chemo.

Olivia’s mum Kirsty says her daughter has doctors stumped. “Olivia’s case is very rare,” she says. “One doctor told us he’d never seen a child survive this long after a relapse.”

The Canberra community has raised more than $400,000 for the Olivia Lambert Foundation, which provides money and support to Olivia as well as other Australian children diagnosed with the disease.

More information at

Rollering into summer?

WHO’D have thought you’d ever be able to ice skate in the heart of the city, but that’s exactly what’s been on offer in Garema Place last month. And, according to the figures, Skate in the City has been a huge success. More than 18,000 people have enjoyed the first open-air

rink in Canberra making organisers very happy.

Stephen Gregory, CEO of Canberra CBD Limited, has confirmed the event will be back even bigger and better next year.

So how do you top that kind of success? I’ve been told not to be surprised if you see a roller-skating rink in the city in January!

Get ready to Wiggle

Blue Wiggle Anthony Field.

THE hottest tickets in town went on sale Monday and if you’re keen to get your hands on some you might need to be quick. The Wiggles are on their way to Canberra for their Big Birthday in the Big Tent and it’s sure to be a sell-out.

It’s been 20 years this year since The Wiggles first formed and Blue Wiggle Anthony Field says he’s excited about coming to Canberra more than ever before. “We’re really looking forward to coming back to Canberra. The last time we were in our nation’s capital was for the Australia Day Concert on January 25. We had a great time then and can’t wait to see the families of Canberra again,” he says.

Word has it The Big Tent will give audiences a very different experience with a 360-degree view of the stage. “The tent gives us an opportunity to get up close and personal with our wiggly audience,” Anthony says.

I’m just not sure who will be more excited about that – the kids or the mums!

November 26 and 27, Epic Park, Tickets through Ticketek.

Wolves love big-kicking Joel

DIGRACED Canberra Raiders player Joel Monaghan seems to have landed on his feet in the UK. The former NRL star’s career ended after a photograph featuring a sex act with a dog was leaked in November last year.

“It hasn’t been easy but he’s put the past behind him and he’s getting on with life,” an insider says.

Monaghan joined his brother Michael in Manchester this season where the pair play for the Warrington Wolves in the UK Super League; just one of the teams known for throwing Aussie bad boys a lifeline.

“He needed an income and England was really the only place he could go,” says the insider. The 29-year-old winger is now one of the League’s top try scorers for the 2011 season.

Duck! Here’s a magpie

BEING attacked by magpies can be a terrifying ordeal, but it is one most of us have experienced at least once in our lives. I was on my way back from the shops the other day completely unaware I was being stalked, when down they came.

My grocery bags became my only defence as I flailed about trying to fend them off. It was quite the scene and I’ve no doubt plenty of commuters had a chuckle at my expense.

Environmentalist Bruce Thornton says it’s not too early for attacks.  “August is nesting time, so people need to start being aware now, especially cyclists because it’s so easy to have an accident when you come under attack.”

Apparently, the best way to keep them at bay is to thread cable ties though your helmet. Alternatively draw or glue plastic eyes on to an ice-cream bucket. “You might look silly, but at least you’ll protect your head,” Thornton says.

Lisa welcomes your feedback, thoughts and item ideas at

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