Canberra Confidential / Grace’s view about vision loss

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Grace West, right, rattling the tin for the RSB.
Grace West, right, rattling the tin for the RSB.

TEENAGER Grace West’s congenital eye condition won’t be stopping her from raising funds for her favourite charity and shattering myths about what it means to be legally blind.

“I’m only 18 but the barriers are there,” Grace says.

Over the next few weeks the Royal Society for the Blind Canberra is staging its annual Street Appeal and hundreds of students, families, government departments and local politicians will be collecting.

“Of course it’s about raising money, but it’s also about talking to people and changing perceptions so people with vision loss can achieve whatever their goals are without barriers from people around them,” says Grace, who is planning a career in media and education, and is working on a short film about vision impairment and how it affects families.

Street Appeal collectors will be at local shopping centres across Canberra on May 6-7.

Jen gets chastised

Howard Arkley’s “Theatrical Facade”, 1996.
Howard Arkley’s “Theatrical Facade”, 1996.
Jen Rayner, who works for Canberra pollie Andrew Leigh, wistfully tweeted the other day that one of the best things about working at Parliament House is the art – “love this Howard Arkley piece”.

She attached a photo of the painting, “Theatrical Facade”, which attracted a snarky response from some faceless entity called About the House saying: “In case you missed it in your induction, there are rules about what and where you can film at APH.”

Unchastened, our Jen sniffily responded: “Yes, because why on earth would other Australians get to enjoy the beautiful art they pay for”.

So there, About the House!

Certified sick or not?

WHAT’S a boss to do? Absent employee turns up to work with a clearly headed “Walk-in Centre Sick Certificate” in which an ACT Health nurse, based on an attendance at a Walk-in Centre (this one is Tuggeranong), attests to a patient being unfit for work and nominates the number of days off.

But wait, there’s a disclaimer in smaller type at the bottom: “This is not a medical certificate”. If the “sick” certificate isn’t a medical certificate, what’s the point of it?

Here comes famous Frederick

GOULBURN’S SPYfest seems to be capturing the world’s imagination with incredibly famous UK author, former journalist and spy Frederick Forsyth slated to be feted at the September festival of spookery.

Author and spy Frederick Forsyth.
Author and spy Frederick Forsyth.

Forsyth, 78, will join festival patron, one-time James Bond actor and Goulburn-born George Lazenby, at the second SPYfest from September 16 to 18.

Forsyth has sold more than 70 million books and is best known for thrillers such as “The Day of the Jackal”, “The Odessa File” and “The Dogs of War”.

Proposed SPYfest events this year include: the Secret Agents’ Gala Dinner, SPYfest Street Parade, including Aston Martins and other supercars, SPY Expo, Authors Forum and the SPY Express train from Sydney.

Stop tossing the paper!

A FRUSTRATED reader has turned to CC looking for help in “a long battle to try to stop having the ‘Chronicle’ thrown on our lawn”. And this is despite having a “no junk mail” sticker on her letterbox.

“Is there anything we can do?” she pleads in terms similar to a recent “Grumpy” columnist who wondered if the paper’s insistence on dropping the paper into the front garden was a form of legalised littering.

Our troubled reader has regularly approached the paper and says the lady she’s been dealing with “seems to have tried her very best several times to stop the distribution to us. She said it’s a common complaint.”

Dead “Chronicles” lying unread on a front lawn are a great signal to thieves of a resident’s absence. Given the security issues, one might have thought the paper would be more responsive to complaints.

Humility up the Creek

RIVETT snout Suzanne Russell wrote sniffily in defence of her local area having seen it described in a real estate advertisement as the “humble… suburb of Weston Creek”. While not a seller herself, she’s vowed never to use Harcourts. The house to be auctioned is in, presumably, “humble” Weston.


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