Canberra Confidential / Stepping out of the shadows


Kaaron Warren

Horror writer Kaaron Warren with her spooky Shadows Award.

KAARON Warren is a Canberra star, our most famous writer of “horror fiction” and, despite her calling, a lovely lady to boot.
Among her great collection of spooky trophies is a new Shadows Award from the Australian Horror Writers Association for winning this year’s best short story with “Mine Intercom”, a good, old-fashioned ghost story “well told by a master at the craft,” say the judges.

Stephen Parker

Stephen Parker playing at his own farewell.

Parker breaks up the band

THE retirement in triumph of University of Canberra vice-chancellor Stephen Parker and his impending move to Melbourne has come at a terrible cost to the local music scene.
While Parker can bask in leaving the university with, among other achievements, a huge operating surplus and the pride in making the campus a destination for popular music, his leaving signals the break up of his own band, hilariously called the Hip Replacements.
Our chief arts snout snapped Parker and the band playing ‘60s hits, including Beatles songs, at his own farewell party.


Knock, knock. Who’s there?

A RECENT burst of intimidatory door knocking for an obscure Queensland charity, laughingly and loftily called the Institute of Disease Prevention, has attracted ripples of concern from Civic to Braidwood, where residents have been confronted by what locals are calling a surly and aggressive male door knocker.
The Monaro police were on to him, posting on Facebook: “Warning to residents in the Bungendore area. It appears people are door knocking in the Bungendore area stating they are collecting money for the charity known as the ‘Insitute of Disease Prevention’. Police investigations indicate this is not a ‘real’ organisation.” It then advised people not to make donations to the door knocker.
Inexplicably, the warning disappeared within hours, presumably because plod had a look on Google where doubtless they discovered the basic, new website with little information, no financial reports and a constitution and aims of vague objectives. The charity shares its phone number with a company called ITAS Consulting.
A quick volley of posts by locals on Facebook revealed the large man had made his presence felt at a number of households and, if people said they didn’t have cash on them, they were told: “Come on! You must have something!”
One resident posted: “He was really pushy for money… I’m a health professional and deal with clinical trials so I’ve heard of most of these types of places this one didn’t ring a bell.”
And the receipt makes no allusion to being tax deductible.



The reach too far….

Wearying of the hundreds of daily emails from hustling PR operatives “reaching out” to him with inane messages on behalf of their clients, editor John Griffiths is threatening to send the flacks this illustrative reply.

Riding away to fitness

A HEALTH-conscious Canberra lawyer holidaying on safari in South Africa reports outstanding step numbers for his Fitbit, clocking up a very impressive 12,500-15,000 steps each day… depending where he sat in the open Land Rover; bumpity, bumpity, bumpity! 12,500 in the front seat and 15,000 in the back.

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