Written by editor. Posted in Community News


Adelaide / Melbourne / Sydney


Tickets are now available for the April/ May season of critically acclaimed new musical comedy Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life starring The Block All Stars’ Amity Dry.


Click here to have the chance to win a double ticket to the Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life, valued at $119.

Amity Dry’s musical comedy: Mother, Wife and the Complicated LifeSinger/songwriter Amity Dry became a household name in 2003 when she appeared on the phenomenally successful original series of channel 9’s The Block. She was immediately signed to Universal music and achieved top 10 ARIA chart success with her debut GOLD album The Lighthouse.
Currently featuring in 9’s The Block All Stars with husband Phil Rankin, Dry’s very honest, warm and likeable personality has again captured the attention of Australia, resulting in the announcement of national dates for her self-penned musical.
Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life is a contemporary musical comedy about marriage, motherhood and the pressure on women to ‘do it all.’ Dry wrote and composed the show in 2009, after noting there was a lack of musical theatre about motherhood.
Audiences agreed, giving the show a sell out season in its Fringe Festival debut.
Since then Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life has enjoyed four successful seasons in South Australia, garnering rave reviews and a nomination for Best Professional Musical in the Adelaide Theatre Guide Awards.
‘Amity Dry’s musical is a rousing success. At a time when new musicals all seem to be imported re-hashes of movies, this is a home-grown gem.’ Adelaide Theatre Guide
‘There is a beautiful truth about this production. It is a raw look at relationships, parenthood, love and family and the audience hangs on every word.' Stage Whispers
‘There is so much to like about this show. Highly recommended, fantastic.’ Rip It Up
‘Amity Dry knows her subject matter well and has clearly struck a nerve, judging from the audience reaction.’Db Magazine
The show touches on many subjects not typically seen in musical theatre, from unwanted pregnancy and postnatal depression, to the pressure women feel trying to balance work, kids and relationships, without losing themselves in the process.
With women more than ever publically discussing these struggles through the worldwide popularity of female focused websites and blogs, this musical takes that discussion and puts it on the stage in a way that has not been seen before.
“I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about Amity Dry’s musical ‘Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life’ and I simply cannot wait to see it for myself.” Mia Freedman,
“The show is about celebrating women” says Dry. It’s about acknowledging that, as wonderful and rewarding as marriage and motherhood can be, it can also be incredibly hard work and we need to be more honest about that.”
“I often have audience members approaching me in tears, thanking me for showing them their lives are normal. So as well as providing lots of laughs and a fun night out, that is a message I am passionate about.”
With international interest and US dates in the pipeline, it seems this new musical is the quiet achiever of the Australian musical theatre scene, and one we’re bound to be hearing more of in the future.
To find out more about the show visit
Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life Tour
April 19 - June 1.
Adelaide – April 19-28 - Star Theatre, Hilton
Melbourne – May 1-5 - Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran
Melbourne – May 10-11 - Karralyka Centre, Ringwood East
Sydney – May 23 – June 1 - Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre, Darlington / 02 9351 7940
Early bird ticket prices available until midnight February 22 – enter MOTHER as the promo code.
Book now at
Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life
Book and lyrics by Amity Dry
Music by Amity Dry and Mark Simeon Ferguson
Directed and Designed by David Lampard
Musical Direction by Mark Simeon Ferguson
Starring Amity Dry, Nikki Aitken, Susan Ferguson and Rachel McCall

The Raspberry Drop Rebellion comes to Melbourne!

Written by editor. Posted in Community News




Main Street at Sovereign Hill is turning a bright shade of red, as ‘The Raspberry Drop Rebellion’ is brought to life these September school holidays. Visitors of all ages will enjoy a full day of old-fashioned, rebellious fun, with this year’s holiday program bigger than ever.


Sovereign Hill has been delighting visitors since it was officially opened to the public on Sunday, 29 November 1970. In the 1960s, the Ballarat community recognised the need to preserve the unique heritage of the city through a network of museums that would collect research and interpret the significance of the goldrush era. From this vision, Sovereign Hill was born.


This year the Redcoats will take over Main Street, with girls and boys aged between 7-12 years able to join the British Army’s 40th Regiment of Foot in Ballarat. In this special school holiday program, kids will be introduced to the daily life of a Redcoat soldier encamped on the goldfields. Each child will enlist, get their uniform, and learn about camp duties, a soldier’s drill, army doctoring and how the Redcoats fire their muskets!


Sovereign Hill’s famous Raspberry Drops will be the taste on everyone’s lips - with over 3,000,000 sold every year, they’ve always been a firm favourite with both young and old. Made on site by Brown’s Confectioners since 1974, children can watch lolly-making demonstrations each day, and delight in revealing their red tongues after indulging in a raspberry drop!


There will also be a gingerbread workshop, where children can get hands-on with decorating traditional gingerbread; and ‘Music in the Goldfields’, where families can learn a traditional goldfields song or two. In addition, all of Sovereign Hill’s regular activities including gold panning, three different mine tours, coach rides, candle-making, bowling and the full range of daily favourites can be enjoyed. Other highlights include:


Hansel and Gretel’s Gingerbread House 

Explore the Gingerbread House from the tale by the Brothers Grimm. Why not stay and add some craft sweets to the cottage or to the garden? There will be plenty of fun for children in a cosy woodlands setting. From 11am – 3pm daily at the Horse Bazaar.


Beauty and the Beast 

Beauty and the Beast is one of the best-loved fairy tales ever, and we’ve added our own touch of silliness, a good dose of slapstick, and even the odd pirate and witch, to ensure that it’s riotous pantomime fun for children of any age. You can boo, cheer, sigh, laugh and cry to your heart’s content! 2.15pm daily at the Victoria Theatre, Main Street.


So, rise up and join in ‘The Raspberry Drop Rebellion’ these school holidays! Sovereign Hill is an easy 90-minute drive from Melbourne, and there is ample free, unlimited parking on-site.


When: September School Holidays, Saturday 21 September – Sunday 6 October 2013. Open daily from 10am.
Where: Sovereign Hill, 3 Bradshaw Street, Ballarat, 3350

Ph: (03) 5337 1199 or visit

General admission:
Adults $47.00,
Children (5-15) $21.40

Concession and family passes available.


High regard for education a key to Finland’s success

Written by editor. Posted in Community News

18 August 2009


Likely reasons behind Finland’s continued success in international tests of student achievement will be presented to a leading education conference in Perth today.


Professor Patrik Scheinin from the University of Helsinki will present the case of the Finnish comprehensive school to discuss strategic questions of educational policy, teacher education and teaching in a keynote address to the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) annual conference.


Finland has been a top performer in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) since its ception. The country’s education system has been closely scrutinised by educators around the world, keen to find the answers to why some countries perform better than others on PISA.


Professor Scheinin will tell conference delegates that how the school system of a country manages the students’ learning potential counts more than the amount of money a country spends on education or other socioeconomic factors such as parents’ education or students’ attitude towards school.


“The countries with the best PISA results do all manage to ensure that the weaker students are not left behind,” professor Scheinin says.


“What makes the Finnish school system specially interesting from the perspective of educational policy is that it is the only comprehensive school system with top PISA results.”


Professor Scheinin attributes Finland’s success to a combination of factors including the nation’s high regard for education and the teaching profession; the high standard of applicants for teacher training; a nationally coordinated curriculum and the nation’s inclusive comprehensive school system that provides all students with a high quality general education.


“The role of schooling as part of the Finnish history and cultural heritage is remarkable,” Professor Scheinin says. “Education of the people was used as a strategy in creating the nation and teaching has been and still is a highly regarded profession.”


Patrik Scheinin is a Professor of Education and the Dean of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Helsinki. He is a Vice Director and a founding member of the Centre for Educational Assessment and a member of the steering group of the Finnish PISA project.


The ACER Research Conference 2009, Assessment and Student Learning: Collecting interpreting and using data to inform teaching, takes place in Perth from 16-18 August 2009 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Source: Australian Council for Educational Research

My School data stops schools being left behind

Written by editor. Posted in Community News



The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, announced that an additional 110 struggling schools will share in $11 million in extra funding designed to ensure students improve their literacy and numeracy.


The Government has identified the schools that would have missed out on a share of the $2.5 billion Smarter Schools National Partnerships were it not for the additional information on the My Schools website.


The 110 schools include those that have results that are below or substantially below (light and dark red on the My School website) both the national average and those for statistically similar schools in all areas on the NAPLAN national tests.


The schools are from a variety of areas including county and inner city and a variety of socio-economic areas. They include schools from the Government, Catholic and independent sectors.


Ms Gillard said that this is an example of the Government using the information now available to every parent on My School to direct funding so that those schools who are struggling can be given a helping hand and so students aren’t left behind.


Since 2008 the Australian Government has been supporting pilot projects across all school systems using established best practice to improve literacy and numeracy. Lessons from these pilots can now be used to raise achievement in more schools.


Through the $540m National Partnership on literacy and numeracy education systems will be rewarded for lifting results so that more students achieve above minimum benchmarks.


The partnerships will deliver practical help including literacy and numeracy specialist teachers in the classroom, literacy and numeracy coaches helping to help teachers to improve their teaching skills and additional teacher’s aides to provide support for teachers.


Schools will also be able to take advantage of whole school improvement plans using expert coaches and proven methods for teaching and assessing literacy and numeracy.


A number of states including Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania have already published the lists of schools that will benefit from the Australian Government’s Smarter Schools National Partnerships. Full details of the National Partnerships schools and those identified as additional will be released as soon as negotiations with the States and Territories have finished.


The partnerships include $540 million for foundation skills in literacy and numeracy, $550 million for improving teacher quality and $1.5 billion over seven years to support up to 1500 low socio-economic status schools across the country. This funding will be matched by state and territory co-investment over the life of the partnership. 


Media Release

Sydney Observatory's April School Holiday Program: "Saturn, Jewel Of The Night Sky"

Written by editor. Posted in Community News

It’s 50 years since the first manned Space flight and the planet Saturn will be easily visible in the constellation of Virgo throughout the month. Visit day or night!
April skies at a glance
New Moon 4 April, 12.32am
First Quarter 11 April, 10.05pm
Full Moon 18 April, 12.44pm
Last Quarter 25 April, 12.47pm

Saturn is visible in the East from 6.30pm every night.


Night tours available at Sydney Observatory every evening! See over for details.
Day activities
3-D Space Theatre and telescope tour
New sessions in Korean and Spanish! Explore the galaxy in our interactive 3-D Space Theatre. All English language sessions feature a short presentation on the Square Kilometre Array. 30 minute duration
Cost per show: $7 adult, $5 child/concession, $20 family, members free (limit one session per day).
No bookings required.
Session times
10.30am: In Korean: Elysium 7: A Voyage to Mars and After Stars
11.00am: Elysium 7: A Voyage to Mars and telescope dome tour
12noon: After Stars and telescope dome tour
2.30pm: Detective and telescope dome tour
3.00pm: In Spanish: Elysium 7 and After Stars
3.30pm: The Little Things and telescope dome tour
4.15pm: Einstein’s Universe, Evolution: the Life Cycle of Stars and Spinning in Space (triple feature, ages 10 years and over)
3-D Space Theatre and extreme planetarium tour
Weekdays only, 1.30 - 2.30pm
Explore the universe in the beanbag planetarium, discover the weather in the Solar System with the Extreme Places 3-D Space Theatre show and tour the telescope dome.
Cost: $10 adult, $7 Child/concession, $27 family, $5 Powerhouse members.
Sydney’s historic time ball
Daily, 1pm
See the historic time ball drop at precisely 1pm every day.
Make a model of Saturn
Drop in anytime from 11am to 2pm to watch our awesome slide show on Saturn then use craft materials to make a model of Saturn to paint, decorate and take home.
Cost: $5 child, member child $3. Ages 3-12 years.
Vacation Day Care excursions
11.00am - 12:30pm
Arrive from 11am for LEGO® fun and outside telescope viewing, followed by a 3-D Space Theatre show and beanbag planetarium session. Complete the day with craft activity to take home!
Cost: $7 child, ideal group size 40.
Bookings essential on 9921 3485 or
Digging Up The Past
9 and 12 April, 10.30am – 12.30pm
Become a hands-on archaeological detective and explore the history of Fort Phillip and Sydney Observatory. See some of the recent finds from the 2008 excavations onsite!
Cost: $20 child, $15 member child. Ages between 7-12 years.
Bookings essential on 9921 3485 or online at
Space engineering workshop
13 and 20 April, 10am – 4pm
Test your engineering skills in the full day workshop for budding space engineers. Launch a water-powered rocket, build a landing capsule for an egg-astronaut and build a MadLab electronics circuit board gadget to take home. Pizza lunch is included!
Cost: $75 child, $65 member child. Ages 9-15 years.
Bookings essential on 9921 3485 or online at
Mini-astronaut party day
14 April, 10am – 2pm
Drop in any time between 10am and 1pm to collect your activity passport! Check out the special LEGO® City Space area and construct your very own space shuttle for the chance to win the new LEGO® City Space range, valued at over $200. Go on a 3-D voyage in the Space Theatre, dress-up as an astronaut and take your picture in front of a space backdrop, have your face painted, launch a water powered rocket, and make alien an from recycled materials to take home. Includes telescope dome tour.
Cost: $10 child, $8 member child, accompanying adults and under 3 year olds free. Ages 4-7 years.
No bookings required.
Night activities
Rings of Saturn pizza nights – perfect for young families
11 and 19 April, 6pm – 7.45pm
Explore the night sky with a visit to the telescope dame, see a show in the 3-D Space Theatre and enjoy pizza, drinks and a Milky Way for dessert! If the weather is overcast there will be a planetarium session offered and a star map workshop.
Cost: $30 adult, $27 concession, $25 children, $85 family.
Members: $25 adult, $22 concession, $20 child, $72 family.
Bookings essential on 9921 3485 or online at
Saturn night fever open night
16 April, 6pm - 10pm
This is the perfect night to see both Saturn and the gibbous Moon in the constellation of Virgo Goddess of Justice. Plus enjoy disco tunes. Food from Café Express is available to purchase.
Regular night tour costs apply, see below.
Cost: $17 adult, $14 concession, $10 children, $47 family. Members: $15 adult, $8 child, $37 family.
Book for express entry or 02 9921 3485. Last entry is 9pm.
Regular night tours
Every night, 6.15pm and 8.15pm
Come along to one of our regular night sessions. Telescope viewing, plus enjoy a 3-D Space Theatre session.
Cost: $17 adult, $14 concession, $10 Child, $47 family
Members: $15 adult, $8 child, $37 family.
Book for express entry or 02 9921 3485. Last entry is 9pm.
Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks
Open daily 10am – 5pm; nightly by bookings only.
Bookings & Information: 02 9921 3485 or

Contact Us

+61 (0) 3 8376 6284
+61 (0) 5 2563 9865

Envato, PO Box 21177, Little Lonsdale St, M. Victoria 8011 Australia