Canberra Confidential: Fashion’s fillies go into the fray

Angela Menz

MELBOURNE Cup day wasn’t all celebrations and bubbly – the race’s Fashions on the Field competition has hit a sour note.

“The Sydney Morning Herald” reports that some of Australia’s “leading designers” have joined frustrated fashion competitors in calling for a ban on so-called professionals from entering Flemington’s hotly contested competition, which has a prize pool of more than $400,000 – and local designer Angela Menz, pictured, is in the firing line.

Melbourne designer Helen Manuell singled out Menz, who won the competition and about $100,000 worth of prizes last year, as an example of a designer entering the public competition “unfairly”. ”How can you call yourself a professional designer one year and then enter the amateur competition the next?” whinneys Manuell.

Hmmm, you might say

IN a rambling and hard-to-follow vote of thanks at conductor/musician Richard Gill’s “Meet the Author” talk at the ANU, the new head of the  School of Music, Prof Peter Tregear, speculated that under the current entry system at the school, Gill would never have been accepted as a student, suggesting that was one reason things had to change. It left people scratching their heads.

Onward, Christian lawyers

CAUSING wigs to curl… The ACT Law Society has abandoned its ecumenical service to welcome the legal profession’s new practising year on February 4, replacing it with what its latest newsletter “Hearsay” reports as, “a general commencement ceremony to which all are invited, including believers from all faith systems and non-believers alike. We had hoped to arrange contiguous ecumenical and interfaith ceremonies but, regretfully, have been unable to do so.”

“CC’s” legal beagle says it’s causing a bit of a stir. Apparently, it’s all the idea of society president Noor Blumer, who it would seem doesn’t think the Christians should be allowed their little bit of tradition.

Cop this, no fun aloud!

“CC” didn’t make it through the achingly-loud Icehouse concert at the Southern Cross Club’s comfort-challenged Corinna Ballroom. But we found ourselves in the foyer in good company. One cranky fan wrote to say: “All people wanted to do was dance and one particular lass (who is a policewoman) in the seventh row stood up and proceeded to dance wildly to the irritation of the disgruntled people seated behind her. After being warned several times she was booted out of the concert”.

A gem from the ‘Giant’

From “The Tuross Giant”, the monthly online village paper:


If someone comes to your door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take off your clothes and dance around naked with your arms up, DO NOT DO THIS! THIS IS A SCAM.

They only want to see you dance naked. (I wish I’d gotten this yesterday…I feel so stupid)

Bubbly brickbat

A CHAMPAGNE fan wrote to “CC” bemoaning the pronunciation of “Moët” on a radio advertisement for the Hyatt’s fabulous new “Moët Bar by Night” on Fridays. She says: “The funny thing is, they call it the ‘Moe-y’ bar, when the correct pronunciation for Moët is ‘MO-ET’ – with the ‘T’. Any high-class operation like the Hyatt should know better than that.” Happily, we have no such problems in print.

Will they jump?

HERE’S a question the political conscienti are labouring with over lunch at the moment: The Federal Government can call an election at any time now, with the latest practical date for an election being October 26, 2013 (five weeks after the expiry of the current parliament). If held before  August 3, the election can only be for the House of Representatives. It is possible the Government could call an election before the May Budget to avoid facing up to the lack of surplus (until after the election). If Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wins a House of Reps-only election, he would be forced to hold a half-Senate election before July, 2014 – thereby having to face the community’s wrath over any spending cuts made immediately after his election. This may transform the Senate from troublesome to completely hostile. So, should the Government go early or go full term?

Nicola, you have mail

GENERATION Alpha, a Australian-based Facebook group of environmental and justice activists, are set to save Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s parliamentary email address ( as “Nosey Nicola”, and for the month of November cc her on the day-to-day emails they believe the government shouldn’t be monitoring and retaining.

“Nosey Nicola’s November Nightmare” is a “humorous” (ha ha) response to proposed changes in Australia’s national security laws, especially the proposal for blanket data retention.

Generation Alpha spokesperson Ben Pennings said: “We don’t want to crash government computer systems. But we do want to send a humorous but clear message to the Attorney-General that the Government shouldn’t have their nose in the private business of either activists or the general public.”

Go home, you betcha!

JUDGING by the amount of traffic that elbows its way on to Canberra’s roads from 4.51 every weekday, it’s hard to believe the latest silly national “day” – Go Home On Time Day – will have much traction here on November 21.

Organisers say this is the day to say “no” to last-minute meetings, avoid out-of-hours emails and calls, and claim back some work/life balance.
Now in its fourth year, Go Home On Time Day is an initiative of The Australia Institute, a public policy think tank actually based in Canberra. The day was conceived as a light-hearted way to start a serious conversation about the impact of poor work/life balance on our health, relationships and workplaces.

There’s a website for anyone with the time…


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