‘The unsaid says a lot’ campaign making Trans visible

Trans couple

The Victorian Government is proud to announce the launch of The Unsaid Says a Lot, a groundbreaking campaign aimed at raising public awareness about the everyday discrimination faced by trans and gender diverse communities and driving systemic change. This campaign is the first government-led initiative of its kind in Australia and is a crucial part of Pride in our Future: Victoria’s LGBTIQA+ strategy 2022-32, which is dedicated to promoting equality and inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ communities across the state. The campaign highlights the often overlooked, non-verbal cues and microaggressions that contribute to a culture of discrimination and exclusion for LGBTQIA+ communities and takes place alongside the blatant physical expressions of discrimination and reduced opportunities that these communities endure. The campaign is supported by research revealing that discrimination, stigma, and unequal treatment are commonplace for trans and gender diverse Victorians. Findings from a national survey by La Trobe University show that more than three in four trans and gender diverse people were treated unfairly because of their gender identity in the preceding 12 months. This discrimination contributes to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide among LGBTIQA+ people compared to the general population. Leveraging a series of creative campaign materials such as videos, posters, social media initiatives, and community engagement activities designed to foster empathy and inclusivity, the campaign aims to emphasise the significant impact that seemingly minor moments can have on the well-being and mental health of trans and gender diverse individuals. Creative inclusive communications specialist agency Think HQ led the co-design approach, which included input… Read More

A Lilydale restaurant in Victoria you need to know about

Lilydale food

Nestled at the gateway to Victoria’s famous Yarra Valley, Locavore Studio stands as Lilydale’s best-kept culinary secret. This charming establishment, housed behind a heritage façade, offers a remarkable trifecta of experiences: a restaurant and café devoted to seasonal dishes, a providore stocked with local produce and fine wines, and Proximal, an on-site coffee roastery and tasting room. Opened in 2017 by local Jessie Rae Crossley, Locavore Studio has become a beloved destination, thanks in part to Crossley’s success with Locavore Catering, which serves over 300 weddings annually. When patrons step off Lilydale’s Main Street and into Locavore Studio, they are greeted warmly by a friendly front-of-house team. The inviting 50-seat dining room, bathed in natural light streaming through skylights, features earthy tones and intimate banquette seating in forest green leather. Head Chefs Kyle Noll and Ryan Lynch have crafted menus that spotlight the finest local produce, pulled from the ground, foraged, or caught at sea. Locavore’s breakfast and lunch offerings, available seven days a week, include standout dishes like the chilli scramble, Loca Benny, and chilli caramel pork belly bánh mì. Accompanying these meals is coffee from Proximal, with Owner and Roaster Evan Thompson’s signature ‘Best Friends’ blend being a favorite. Thompson’s passion for coffee extends to innovative and rare brews, with bespoke tastings available for those eager to delve deeper into the world of coffee. Encouraged by the community’s support, Crossley added dinner service with ‘Locavore Nights’ in May, led by Head Chef Ryan Lynch. The seasonal nightly menu features delectable dishes such as… Read More

Sweeney Todd on stage in Melbourne this September

Sweeney Todd actors

Following critical acclaim across the country, Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical thriller is coming to Melbourne this Spring with Victorian Opera’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street A Musical Thriller. The performances will take place at the iconic Arts Centre Melbourne Playhouse from 14-21 September, with an extra show on the 16th just added. Sweeney Todd tells the gruesome story of a man living life by the razor’s edge. This spine-chilling musical thriller will transport audiences to the dark heart of London’s Fleet Street, where betrayal, vengeance and dark comedy intertwine. Starring Ben Mingay (Shrek the Musical, Frayed, Pirates of Penzance, Packed to the Rafters) and Antoinette Halloran (Mary and Max, Macbeth, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll), and directed by celebrated Australian opera and musical theatre director Stuart Maunder AM, this is a masterpiece of musical theatre not to be missed. Once, there was a barber who had it all — a happy life, a beautiful wife. But it all ended in a savage act of betrayal. Enter Sweeney Todd. From the haunting melodies of Stephen Sondheim to the chilling narrative crafted by Hugh Wheeler, this production explores the transformation of a once-content barber into the infamous “demon barber”, a suave and perilous figure with a rising desire for vengeance. Alongside the beguiling and eccentric Mrs Lovett, they hatch a twisted plan — equal parts genius and ghastly. Mrs Lovett’s reputation for serving the best pies in town may be short-lived as Sweeney’s thirst for vengeance teeters on the knife’s edge. From Stuart… Read More

Melbourne bakery Burwood Brickworks is open

a display of pastries on a shelf

Bringing Melbourne’s café culture to its lush rooftop, Burwood Brickworks has welcomed Baked Wonder – a new bright and playful bakery concept. Located 19 kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD, Baked Wonder is injecting colour, energy, and creativity into the world of baking by serving up innovative twists on pastry classics, family-friendly treats, and an array of refreshing beverages, all within a stunning view of the Dandenong Ranges. Nestled in the light-filled Glasshouse, Baked Wonder is situated amongst the centre’s rooftop garden, which is run in collaboration with Cultivating Community – a shared community space that encourages social connection and offers a place for locals to come together. The bakery’s menu reimagines traditional pastries in both sweet and savoury combinations. Sweet delights include the ‘Nutty’ featuring honey caramel with crunchy roasted pecans and almonds, the unique ‘Crookie’, a hybrid of a croissant and a cookie, and the signature ‘Pink’ croissant, which oozes raspberry and strawberry once the flaky pastry is pulled apart. Savoury options are just as enticing, featuring items like tomato, vegemite, and cheese scrolls, and sausage rolls from the renowned G. McBean Family Butcher. As for drinks, an all-pink La Marzocco coffee machine serves up milky coffees, alongside more adventurous hot and cold options including a warming seven-spice ‘Wonder Chai’, decadent house hot chocolate, and the refreshing pink ‘Wonder Iced Tea’ made using Yarra Valley Tea leaves. For the younger visitors, the bakery offers mini versions of bakery classics such as croissants, brownies, cookies, and sausage rolls, as well as ‘Bébéchinos’ and strawberry milk…. Read More

Winter woes in Australia: Combatting seasonal blues with Hygge

a man sitting in a chair reading a book in a living room

Influenced by the cold weather, shorter days, and longer nights, new research has revealed Aussie moods are taking a dramatic downturn as the mercury drops. A new national survey from Australia’s leading meal kit delivery service, HelloFresh, shows more than half of the nation (53%) is experiencing ‘Winter Woes’, impacting our comfort levels, motivation, and eating habits. With 41% of Australians associating the seasonal shift with sadness and loneliness, the data has highlighted the biggest barriers to achieving comfort and satisfaction in winter as a lack of sunlight (61%), cold homes and poor heating (53%), and our inability to spend time outside (50%). According to Positive Psychologist and Founder of the Happiness Institute, Dr. Tim Sharp, Aussies should consider looking to the icy isles of Scandinavia for inspiration this Winter by adopting the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced ‘Hyoo-guh’). Dr. Tim Sharp explains: “As an outdoorsy nation, our transition from autumn to winter can be particularly tough as we grapple with the reality of spending more time indoors. What we see as a result is an increase in those feelings of sadness, loneliness, and frustration, as reflected in HelloFresh’s research. Hygge encourages us to reframe how we feel about our time indoors and the winter months by finding comfort in the discomfort and embracing coziness to boost our moods and make the cooler months more bearable.” Fortunately, simple adjustments to our environment and habits can help us traverse those barriers to the comfort we all feel. Creating cosy and inviting spaces in our homes with… Read More

Koorie Art Show 2024: call for entries!

Georgia Cromarty Desert Series 4 Christian Capurro 300dpi

The Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT) is thrilled to announce the 12th annual Koorie Art Show, inviting entries from First Peoples artists (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) residing in Victoria. Scheduled for December 2024, this prestigious event is an open-entry, non-acquisitive award exhibition, open to all First Peoples artists, designers, and craftspeople regardless of their career stage, be it emerging, mid-career, or senior. “This is a fantastic opportunity for all First Peoples to showcase their art in a central location at Fed Square in Narrm (Melbourne),” says Tom Mosby, CEO of KHT. “Significantly, we accept all artworks. All you need to do is submit an entry form by the due date for your work to be accepted. Each work will be professionally photographed and installed in our beautiful new galleries in the Birrarung Building at Fed Square. I encourage all artists to enter and join us in another exciting year for the Koorie Art Show.” The call for entries is open now and will close at midnight on Sunday, 29 September 2024. The exhibition features a diverse range of traditional and contemporary works, spanning various mediums such as digital illustrations, paintings, prints, textiles, ceramics, and more. This event underscores the cultural richness of First Peoples creativity and provides a vibrant snapshot of the current landscape in First Peoples art across Victoria. Entries will be independently judged and are eligible for numerous awards with substantial cash prizes. These include the Creative Victoria Award for Excellence in any Media ($10,000), Viva Energy 3D Award ($5,000), RMIT University 2D… Read More

Theatre review: Sunset Boulevard, Melbourne


The latest production of Sunset Boulevard at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre is a mixed bag, encapsulating both the brilliance and pitfalls of adapting a classic film into a stage musical. The much-anticipated lavish new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece, SUNSET BOULEVARD, starring musical theatre and international superstar Sarah Brightman, is now playing in Melbourne. Audiences have been offering standing ovations for the spectacular show, currently gracing the stage at the Princess Theatre. A season at the Sydney Opera House will follow from August 28. Tickets are on sale at Marking her return to the theatre after more than three decades, Sarah Brightman stars as Norma Desmond, the iconic role that catapulted Glenn Close to Broadway stardom and recently earned Nicole Scherzinger an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical in the West End. Alongside her will be critically acclaimed Australian actor and performer Tim Draxl in the role of Joe Gillis, a role last played on stage in Australia by Hugh Jackman in 1996. Joining Sarah and Tim on stage in the role of Max Von Mayerling is stage and screen veteran Robert Grubb, with the role of Betty Schaefer brought to life by emerging leading lady Ashleigh Rubenach. Musical theatre performer Jarrod Draper takes on the role of Artie Green, while established theatre actors Paul Hanlon and Troy Sussman play the roles of Cecil B. DeMille and Sheldrake, respectively. At select performances, the remarkable Silvie Paladino will assume the role of Norma Desmond. The extremely talented ensemble cast includes… Read More

Mister Bianco doing special chicken this Melbourne winter

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Are you ready to tantalize your taste buds and warm your soul this winter season? Look no further than Mister Bianco in Kew, where culinary excellence meets exceptional value in the form of Mangia – Book Your Chook. This enticing three-course dining experience, starting from Tuesday, 11th June, is a celebration of flavour, elegance, and pure indulgence. A culinary journey awaits Dive into a sumptuous meal that begins with a glass of Italian sparkling Contratto, setting the perfect tone for what’s to come. Indulge in a shared entrée featuring gnocchi with hazelnuts and guanciale, paving the way for the star of the show – the rotisserie chicken paired with a refreshing fennel salad. Conclude your feast on a high note with Mister Bianco’s renowned Tiramisu, a decadent dessert that promises to leave a lasting impression. Rotisserie chicken delights Prepare to be spoilt for choice with two delectable rotisserie chicken options: Exclusive offer The excitement doesn’t end with the exquisite dining experience. By pre-ordering Book Your Chook before Saturday, 13th July, you automatically enter a draw to win a truffle drive in a MINI, courtesy of MINI Doncaster. It’s an extra sprinkle of magic to elevate your dining adventure! Booking info There are no minimum booking requirements for Book Your Chook, making it ideal for both individual diners and groups who wish to savor a variety of dishes from the menu. Secure your spot by visiting the Mister Bianco website, where you can choose your preferred date and time, and pre-order the tantalizing Mangia – Book… Read More

High Cheese at the Westin Hotel Melbourne

The Westin Melbounre 2024. 210

Embark on a culinary journey like no other as The Westin Melbourne presents a delectable offering that promises to delight your taste buds and elevate your dining experience. Featuring exquisite creations that blend artistry and flavor, the High Cheese experience at Allegro Restaurant is set to captivate cheese connoisseurs and food enthusiasts alike. Culinary Delights to Savour Indulge in a symphony of flavours with the El Esparto cave-ripened Manchego cheese bavarois paired with candied pineapple, a combination that promises a harmonious marriage of textures and tastes. Complementing this, immerse yourself in the luxurious Vanilla bean and goat’s curd panna cotta, accompanied by a house-made rhubarb compote and fresh raspberry, offering a medley of sweet and tangy notes that dance on your palate. The Creators Behind the Feast Apoorva Kunte, Sam Studd, and Ellie Studd, the culinary maestros behind this gastronomic journey, have crafted a menu that embodies creativity, passion, and a deep appreciation for fine dining. Their dedication to delivering an unparalleled dining experience shines through in every dish, ensuring that each bite leaves a lasting impression. Personal Recommendations Ellie’s love for the playfulness of the El Esparto Manchego sets the tone for an evening filled with delightful surprises. Meanwhile, Sam Studd’s endorsement of the Le Conquerant baked camembert, adorned with lemon thyme, promises a tantalizing blend of ooey gooey goodness with a touch of winter warmth and irresistible flavours. Reservation Details The High Cheese experience at The Westin Melbourne’s Allegro Restaurant will be available from 19th June until September. To partake in this culinary… Read More