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State Focus -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. you with us for State Focus. Hello I'm Peta Burton. Great to have We take a look at a new book, Today, a South-Coast inspired story. Karen Viggers. "The Stranding" by Canberra author 3" share some fond memories of And, a little later the band "Switch album "Calm Before". Parliament House and their latest becoming popular whether you do it But first, pole dancing is fast takes great skill not to mention a for fitness or fun. Either way it bit of confidence to give it a go. is the ACT's two-time champion, But, someone who's perfected poling gorgeous. Willow Arthur. Good morning to you me. Good morning, thank you for Good morning, thank you for having ask you first. You're very welcome. I've got to How do you do that with your body? my body the first time I started Practice. I couldn't do that with years now I've been doing it and so.. @ there is a lot more for me there is a lot more for me to learn, How hard is it? you've got to be fit, you've got to I mean, you've got to be strong, is it? Is it hard work? be incredibly agile, but how tough said though. It is hard work yes, yes. Like I lot better at it. Three and a half years later, I'm a easier and that I guess is the aim So I tend to make things look a lot They make it look effortless. of someone who's a good pole dancer. sexy element. What about the whole, make it look you ain't. I imagine, you've either got it or sort of element. Look we tend not to focus on that acknowledge that and that's half Yes it is a sexy sport, I there to look sexy. the fun of it. But you don't go out moves. To join things together to You go out there to perfect the have your routine flow and if that sexy. comes off then yes it does comes off then yes it does look mean what is it with the high whole So do you have to wear heels? I high heel thing in the first place? Ah, look most dancers wear high competition and their not in heels. You don't go to a ballroom dancing I guess. That's part of the outfit, costume it elongates the body, so it makes It does make the legs look longer, elegant. the whole movement a little more you. I should say, congratulations to brought your sash in. You are two time champion. You Thank you, yes, yes. Isn't it just delightful? (LAUGHS) (LAUGHS) want one. I want one. I want a sash. I so didn't get a sash and I was Well funnily enough last year I when I was awarded the sash on terribly disappointed, so this year stage I was over the moon. (LAUGHS) you actually get a trophy as well. (LAUGHS) What else do you get? Do in pole dancing. I mean, what would you get, you know What would be the trophy? Well it's in it's infancy I guess. the recognition. Last year I got some flowers and got the sash, so maybe there will This year we've moved up and I've at this stage. be a trophy next year, but no not what you're aiming for next and if Is there a national competition to New York for the US competition. you grab that big one then it's off serious has the sport become? The world title in Jamacia. How great indication of how serious. Very serious. I think that's a and they've been really accepting The Canberra community is wonderful that's helped us I guess. of pole dancing as a sport. And look at it as a serious sport. Gain momentum. And helped people Nation wide. Same thing. from all over Australia at the They'll be about 25 competitors winner going to international. nationals next week. And yeah the for? I mean, what more could you ask What about the judging criteria? it to differentiate yourself from How does that work and how hard is yourself and your routine? all the others? Differentiate There's 30 points in total. Look, it is very hard. The points. are for presentation. 15 of those are for pole tricks. 5 And 10 of those for dancing. together and I guess making it look So for joining your routine Differentiation from other people. like one continuous story. similar moves. That is very difficult. We're doing Enjoying yourself I guess being I guess being comfortable up there. clever. 'Cos you've got to be creative and the time you were saying. I mean, your learning new moves all look pretty hard to me. What is the hardest move? They all I'm at now, which would be Yeah, I guess for the level that intermediate/advanced level. the other. It's transitioning from one move to moves I know, but it's how to get So rather than, I mean lots of the from one move to the next... and make it all look smooth. Exactly. Like you know what you're doing. Exactly. Exactly. are pole dancing injuries? Have you had any injuries, or what never fallen off the pole as such. I've never had an accident. I've witness to it. It does happen. I've never been never done it. But it does happen. Thank goodness and I've certainly and I think for me, I actually have a torn hamstring that's part of my flexibility. sorts of positions and at my age I I'm trying to get my body into all guess work on that flexibility more need to really look after it and I position. So I'm learning a little. than just whacking myself into that and I've sort of had to swap and do I've, like I said, an injured leg now. That's been interesting. a lot of things on the other side mean, this is for any age though. You just mentioned, for your age. I I mean is there an age limit. say.. No I don't think there is. No I don't think there is. I only Or should there be an age limit? No there shouldn't be. age limit, but I'm talking for me There definitely shouldn't be an I wasn't a dancer as a child. wanting to compete nationally. And gymnastics, I don't have the range I didn't do ballet, I didn't do would. of flexibility that an ex-dancer dancing and attempting to be So I guess what I meant, at my age, tough on the body. flexible that way I am, can be Can anyone do this? Anyone can do it. So there is hope for me. (LAUGHS) @ There is definitely ho There is definitely hope for you. do you say? All the very best. Good luck, what something like this? Do you say break a leg? For appropriate. @ Yeah, yeah I guess Yeah, yeah I guess that's Happy polling! Happy polling. Theatre. We're on stage at the Enmore appropriate. so I think break a leg is very time. Good luck, thanks a lot for your Thanks for bringing in the sash @ No worries at all. Thanks Peta. You're very welcome. it's all been about true fine wining And just before we go to the break, and dining for those in Canowindra at the Food, Wine & Art event of the year, "The Canowindra Show Case" last weekend. A degustation of some of the region's best drops and mouth-watering meals you only dream of. High profile regional chef Michael Manners and his team of 8 cooks and caterers made magic in the kitchen, and co-ordinated 9 courses to match perfectly with 9 superb local wines, while local vignerons gave the folks some facts about matching food and flavours. And, of course it was a night of first class entertainment making it a night to remember, and, an exquisite culinary experience, can not wait to see what's on the menu for 2009. Okay, time for a quick break, but right the break we head down the South Coast for a great story about the wonders of nature. That's next on State Focus. titled, "The Stranding" by Canberra author, Karen Viggers. And to tell us why it's such a great read and how the South Coast inspired her to put pen to paper, Karen joins us now. Good morning to you. Good morning Peta. Now tell us a little bit about The Stranding. Take us into the world. Well it's the story of two people who've both been deeply affected by grief and loss. Death in different ways and about the ways that they've moved forward and their journey's to recovery I guess and the south coast was really instrumental and inspirational for the book because it's such a gorgeous place and also the migration of the southern, the southern migration of the humpback whales were such an uplifting experience that I was thinking about how that would help people to feel more uplifted and move forward with their lives if they'd been low. It is an amazing book. You cannot put this book down. (LAUGHS) Well it's about a journalist who moves from Sydney after he loses a child and he's marriage subsequently collapses. And moves to a small town on the coast and the way that he starts to be pulled back into life through the small community there and also about an artist Callista who has also experienced loss and she has an interesting family history which comes into the book too. Listen, it involves, a huge part is about whales. What is it with out fascination with wales. Our emotion. Our compassion that we feel whether it's them majestic migration or you know, historic whaling or modern whaling. Or even the stranding of the baby whale, you know, for example in Sydney. What is it that captivates us like no other animal? Well I think it's partly to do with the fact that they're so mysterious and they're so difficult to see I suppose. And it's an incredible experience to stand on the beach and see a whale lift a flipper or lift a tail or breech and that moves us in incredible ways and the book is, tries to follow why people are so attached to whales and it's been very pertinent after this little whale, the baby calf Collin, stranding in Sydney. 'Cos the last part of my book deals with all those emotions and complexities and looks at all the different view points that people might have. The veterinarian. The organisers. All the wonderful people who've come to help and have strong emotions about trying to rescue a whale. And it talks about all of those sorts of things and tries to bring them together. Why did you write this book? I wrote this book 'cos as a veterinarian, my job and my life deals with death a lot. And people's emotions that come to death. So that inspired me to sort of look at people's journey's to recovery. But also the south coast. And whales and the complexities of the stranding. I wanted to get people to think about whether rescues always is the right thing and to understand the background to why rescues are difficult with wildlife backgrou It just seems like they really polarise us. And I've been in some difficult situations. I'm a wildlife veterinarian as well as a regular veterinarian. And I've been down into Antarctica working with seals where we had a couple of seals die as a result of the research we were doing and everyone was so upset. And including the people doing the research. And yet we were also so alienated by other people on the boat because we had done the research. And all of those sorts of things come into the stranding as well. So I could bring my own experience into the stranding. Do you think this will help people to understand those issues a lot more, rather than just making judgements. Do you think this will be able to assist people? I think people will always have their view points. But I think the Stranding scene in particular will help people to understand what goes on behind the scenes, how difficult it is to assess whales that are stranded. How difficult it is to make decisions. I have friends who have been involved in strandings and because an army chain of command is put up, set up on the beach to control crowds and to control the situation they found it quite difficult, cos they knew an animal was going to die, they couldn't always euthanasia it and sometimes we perhaps carry things too far in order to satisfy our human desire to fix things when maybe it may not be humane. You're an incredible woman. Thank you so much. Thanks Peta. For joining us and this book, you will not put it down believe me. Thank you so much for joining us. Thanks very much. You're very welcome. And now we're about to head down to Commonwealth Park for a look at those glorious gardens at Canberra's Floriade Festival. Greg Thomson has been busy amongst all the bulbs with the camera rolling, to capture the best blooms in action and also find out some fascinating facts. (WHOOSH) It's a mammoth effort to get Floriade up and running each year with organisers, gardeners, designers and volunteers taking 18 months to get it perfect. But did you know that year there's more than ten thousand square metres of garden beds and more than four and half thousands of granite pathway. Well if you want to make your own Floriade at home, this is the place to be. This whole sections been cornered off with the latest tools, whipper snippers, everything's here to make your own Floriade at home and it's particularly popular with the blokes, with the ladies down at the flowers, this is where all the men hang out. And one man who's been working hard is Troy Douglas from Contemporary Landscaping who built this crowd pleaser. His design taking out the showcase garden best backyard competition Troy, thanks for your time. No worries at all. Mate, let's talk us through it. What have we got here? Okay, basically the design's built on The Man From Snowy River, so we've got the firepit just to resemble the old traditional fireplace. @ resemble the old tra And we've got some seating around here too which will come in handy. That's right. Have a few beers on a nice day. Gabian stone wall with the steel work. Gabian stone wall with the Yep. Around it, red gum timber, carved out, make a nice seating area. And you made all this yourself. Yes, myself and my crew. Excellent and how many of the crew are there? I've got 5 blokes and then we've got contractors who come in and help me out with the pergola. Which looks fantastic mate, what an effort this is. Let's get up there on board and check it out. Fantastic. Big beautiful barbeque as well. Fantastic, that will do well in summer. Yeah, from Barbecues Galore, let us use that for this display. Yep. Yeah all the viterybond, that was the cladding. Down lights through the top. Got some lights there in well. Yes. Mate you've gone all out. There's also all gardening light all through the garden as well. Which really light up at night time. It's really beautiful. Looks a treat. We've got the bean bag, a glass of red. Loo Yes. Fantastic doesn't get better than that Fantastic d No that's right. Nice sort of homely comforty feel too isn't it. That's right, just clean. Trendy and you know, simple too I think, who would have thought a barbeque and a bean bag, easy as that barbeque Yep it's perfect. Yeah. Cool man. And now we've got a pond here as well. And then we've got some water features as well. Just a natural water feature again for The Man From Snowy River. Just to resemble that. And it goes right around too. We've got the little feature here. Waterfall as well. Yes and a stepping stone through. Fantastic and how long did this part take as well? Um. So the design, to getting all the materials, to putting it together? We've been working on the design for a fair while, but the whole, the getting it all organised a few weeks beforehand and a solid two weeks here to build the display. You must be absolutely thrilled. This is the best one here at Floriade 21. All the hard work and effort has paid off nicely. We're rapt. Love it. How did you celebrate? Ah, we haven't yet. (LAUGHS) Oh that's the best part to come eh? Yes. Alright and obviously, and where do you take it from here? Obviously, it's on show at Floriade 21. Yes. What do you do with it now? Ah, dismantle it and use what we can in other jobs and taking a bit of gear back to my own place as well, so... Fantastic, well it's an absolute star, we've got a water tank on the side as well, which is always good. Getting in with the environment and water saving. That's right and topping up the water feature. Absolutely. It is a fantastic thing. The crowds love it. It's a beautiful piece of work and doesn't get any better than that. Happy man Troy doesn Thank you. (WHOOSH) Greg Thomson there at Canberra's Floriade Festival in Commonwealth Park, which is only on for one more week, and this year is a must-see, so if you're heading to the nation's capital today, great to hear, you could find yourself starring in a film, with a movie being shot on location at the park, or you might want to let the hair down with some good ol' country music at the Road to Tamworth concert. And, for more details or a look at what else is on, the website is the best place to go. Okay, coming up, a bit of music from some Canberra boys making their way up the charts. Switch 3 is next on State Focus. Welcome back to State Focus. Well, they've got the Aussie music scene pumped and paying attention. Switch 3's new album "Calm Before" is out right now and one of the band members, Mick Hoorweg, who calls Canberra home, joined us on the couch a little earlier for a chat, and I started off by asking him about the band's first gig in Japan, reading out bingo balls. (WHOOSH) Our first gig in Japan was quite a few years ago now. Was in a little coastal town it was sort of similar to Bateman's Bay, a little bit bigger obviously because Japan's more crowded. But the same feel. And a good friend of mine put the gig on for us and for some reason he thought, look, let's get there early and we'll run bingo for the crowd beforehand. As you do. It's a hard gig to get. As you do. And of course we set up, did sound check and he let us know that I would be the bingo caller. So he's been trying to call bingo numbers, translate them to Japanese, fun. It was good. It was an usual start to a gig, that's for sure. Was it your calling? can honestly say, it's not my calling really. It was funny but not my calling to be my bingo caller @ It was funny Talk to me about how you all function in the band. I mean there's four of you. You said your a tenacious but stubborn group. There's two brothers in the band. Maf and Ben. So do you all function like a well oiled machine? We do. I think we function like a pretty open honest family. I think. Meaning there's a lot of arguments but there's never any issues as far as our friendship goes. Ben and I, actually Evan and I will play a soundtrack to them and just arguing in the jam room. it's a great group of people. We all work really hard, we all communicate very open and honestly. And we're all friends. that's the most important thing for us. We come across a lot of bands that seem to be a group of people who get together and form a band. Where we were friends to start with. There's a bit of an age difference in the group as well. Is that handy? I mean was there advice there or expertise there or does it sort of work the other way around? Well I think it's, I think it works advantageously for us. Evan's the youngest guy in the band and the great thing about having Evan a couple of years younger is he drags the average age of the band down, so if ever you have to say what's the average age of the band, it makes us look really good. (LAUGHS) What are you say? 20. 20. Somewhere in the 20s. You know, people can make up their own minds. (LAUGHS) Look, and myself, Ben and Maf are all very similar age. We've all had different experiences through travel, music, business etc. Someone threw in law to do this. That's right. And you also worked at Parliament House. Or still do. Yes I do. Yeah. Canberra. good memories for all of us really. We've all been based here for a long time. And we grew up playing music here. It's been a great base for us to start with. The opportunities you can have in Canberra are fantastic, the community is very supportive. The band is, you know, very supported. Would you be where you are now without that? Do you think? I think, we would be where we are. What path we took to get there might have changed. have changed depending on where we were. But I think we did it the best way in Canberra. So what's it like signing autographs and having photoshoots. You know and what's it taken I guess to get to that point? Is it all sort of surreal, you know, can you kind of get used to this? I can easily get used to it. That's for sure. I could think of nothing better than travel and playing music and having people like and listen to music that we write. But as far as all those nice bits and pieces go, travel and photographs etc., it's great. If people take the time to see us, of course we're gonna take the time to be respectful and talk to them. What about the business side of the things. How do you manage that and what's the goal to having longevity or the secret I guess to having the longevity, having that ongoing expanding fan base? operative word and patience. Being fully independent which we are and we're proud to be independent at the moment. We control everything that we do and we work with professionals in the industry to help us get to where we need to go. And that's a strategy that we've purposely worked on. For a number of reasons. The music industry's changing so much and so rapidly that we find that we can do what we need to do ourselves. It does take a little longer. It does take a bit more of your own cash and time which is fine. Yeah how much time, money do you put in? Well we don't like to count how many hours we put in. 'Cos that would be a little bit depressive. Look the other's really don't really matter. It flies by because it's really great when you put the effort in and you see the reward. And at the moment it's coming to fruition like, everyday, something new's on the horizon. We get some feed back, some news. From something that's going on everyday. So it makes that hard work really worth while. What about that other side of it all? How big does the partying get? You know the whole sex, drugs and rock and roll element? It's huge you know. All we do, I only just got up. (LAUGHS) Well that's quite earlier for 8.30! It is, it is. Very early. Yeah it was hard, a struggle. Look, you can definitely get caught up in that scene if you want to. For us we find pleasure in actually playing the gig. To me that's probably the best fun I can have actually being on stage and playing a gig and writing music as well. What about writer's block? You know and how do you keep the music making stimulated you know? Well, it's very easy to keep stimulated because we all come from fairly different musical backgrounds in particular Evan, you know, he's just finished off he's school of music degree in the Jazz school. He brings an element of Jazz and some different, very interesting ideas to the band. So who's responsible for come to me, I'm not the nice guy I pretend to be. Who's that about? Well you'll have to ask Maf. Unfortunately he's not here. Maf writes the majority of the song lyrics. Although we are a very democratic band. lyrics. going on there? With the clip? Well, the clip, it's a fairly literal clip about the song. If you were to listen to the song and watch the clip you could see how they go together. clips in 2D and 3D animation and some really nice band footage. I've got to say, congratulations on the album 'Calm Before'. It does make me sort of think, what's next for you guys? You know great title. growing and developing, I think we are in a constant state of growth and we're always looking for opportunities and I think, we started writing our new album which we can see progressing differently to the new album. It seems you've got your heads in the right place. You've got your heads about you. We like to think we do. It's really hard you know. It's an industry where you've really got to keep check on yourself or you get lost. What are you doing when you're not doing music? I mean, do you guys cook? You know or go surfing, scrapbooking? I don't know. Everything but scrap booking. (LAUGHS) I was gonna say. You're a little tanned, yeah it was Evan who said there's no one paler than he. (LAUGHS) Well when Evan's around you have to put your sunglasses on. He make up for it, he's a great drummer. So that's fine. He's a nice guy. You can say that 'cos he's not here. How do you rate your tan? Well I don't know. I haven't really looked at it. It's a Canberra tan. It is a Canberra tan. It could probably, it's probably seen better days. It could proba I think I could probably do with a bit of sun as well. We'll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. All the very best with 'Calm Before'. Thank you. You're welcome. (WHOOSH) Well that's the show for today and here's a bit more music from the band, "Switch 3". Thanks for joining us and we'll see you next Sunday for State Focus. Have a great week. Bye for now. Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra. We apologise for the temporary loss of captions. Normal service will resume as soon as possible.