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(generated from captions) Hello, I'm Peta Burton. Welcome to State Focus. greatest beach day, we're going to And while today may not be the the way in a cleaner, greener future, see how the South Coast is leading saving clubs more energy efficient starting with making our surf life for next summer. singer/songwriter who has plenty of And we'll meet a Canberra from his time in the army, to his real life experience to draw on, magazine. days as a writer for Penthouse and seen it all and now sings about Ernie Van Veen is a man who's done it. favourite actors, John Wood is about But first, to one of Australia's new Q Theatre. to take centre-stage at Queanbeyan's on State Focus. But right now he's in our spotlight Good morning to you John. Hi Peta, how are you? morning. I'm doing very well this Sunday How are you? What have you been up to? speaking to you from Mackay, from Well I've been on the road, I'm the entertainment centre. including lots of places around But we've been to lots of places where you are. new Q theatre. And what's bringing you here to the We're very excited to have you here. Oh I'm very excited to be coming. It's brand new isn't it? It is. Only a couple of weeks old! Yeah, yeah. Really looking forward to it. Paints still drying! the time we get there. (LAUGHS) Well I hope it's dry by experience. It's, it's been an amazing since about the 14th August last We've been on the road now for well over Christmas but for the rest of Australia. the time, we've been all over Queensland but we've just come here As I said, we're currently in Australia and we were up in you from Darwin and Perth and South Wollongong and Orange. know, sort of your area around Oh and we played Tuggeranong. before Christmas. I think we played Tuggeranong And how did that go? I heard it was a sell out show. Any fond memories on or off stage? little theatre. Tuggeranong, Tuggeranong's a funny you're walking out onto stage and It's a lovely place, but you know in front of you. the audience is sort of vertically theatre, but it's very vertical. It's a hundred and twenty seat It was great. there. It was a great experience to play I've been meaning to ask you. Now listen.

For a while now. know. I'm sure a lot of people want to Do you miss Blue Heelers at all? Croydon. Do you miss Senior Sergeant Tom honest. I don't miss Tom at all to be but not the actual, I don't miss I do miss Blue Heelers a little bit, the people. anything about the show apart from close friends on that show and we You know, I had a lot of really each other and with the crew for had a fantastic relationship with to let something like that go. twelve years, so it's always hard withdraw or anxiety or separation You know, you do suffer a bit of anxiety. same things with The Club. But we're about to go through the we do six performances in You know, when we play Queanbeyan, it's about the 8th, no it's not, Queanbeyan from Wednesday, I think June in Queanbeyan and that's it. anyway, we finish on about the 8th road together, as I said since the You know, and we've been on the 14th August. separation anxiety there as well. So there's going to be a bit of Did you always act? remember. Yeah, for as long as I could I don't know where it came from. movies. My mother was a big fan of the about the sort of movies with You know, like the, I'm talking desperately in love with James people like, well she was Stuart. they weren't really my aunties, one But you know, she in my "aunties", Gable, one of them was in love with of them was in love with Clark with James Stuart and so I sort of Humphrey Bogart and mum was in love that. got and interest in acting through the theatre when I was young and I But I don't recall ever going to theatre, ever since I can remember. always wanted to work in the wondered why you wanted to do that I know that you're dad said, what, sissy sport. Yes that's right. was, sort of more surly, it was I don't know why you want, yes it to do that acting for, bloody sissy sort like 'don't know what you want sport'. (LAUGHS) Yeah, look I don't know. I don't know either. believed that, he just, you know, And I don't think he really the guys that we worked with would that was obviously something that have believed. you know, like the minute I started But, it was one of those things, guys, all the jocks that played wanting to be an actor, all the referring to me as a "poof" and football at school, started basically wiped me. so I just thought - well I'm not And you know, like, so I wiped them, football, you can all go to buggery. gonna be at all interested in again and you know, not through The And I've become interested in it happened when I was in Adelaide Club, I have to say, it sort of Davis. working with Jim Sharmen and Judy them and they didn't have Saturday I was over there doing Lou Lou with loose end, so I started going to matinees and I was at a bit of realised how much I'd missed it and the footy in Adelaide and I got back to it in a big way. how much I really enjoyed it and ever want to do more sex symbol type When you first started out, did you roles? (LAUGHS) I still want to be a sex symbol. What are you talking about? (LAUGHS) was known as the thinking women sex There was a period there where I Rules. symbol when I was doing Rafferty's don't know that I'm still a sex But that was twenty years ago and I symbol. nice, but didn't happen. No, I never, it would have been you take your work seriously but can Now do you take, well of course, you take it too seriously? balance between a disrespect and a And do you find that need a bit of a respect for the art. For your craft. take yourself too seriously when I think, look it's very easy to you're an actor. it's so hard to make anybody else In Australia particularly, because take you seriously. that it's not really a job, or it's You know, everybody sort of thinks sorts of barriers in your way to not really, you know, there's all being an actor. I'm not really convinced is an art, And to having any sort of belief, to be honest, I think it's much more of a craft than an art and I'm not even sure that the theatre's an art. You know, I suppose broadly everything's an art, everything's covered by the word, but I think the craft is more important as an actor than the "arty" side of it, you know. You really need to be able to, you know, the craft of getting your voice across and things like that you know. Now look, just to finish up, what's your, what would be your advice I think, you know, in a couple of words, what would be your advice for those... To young actors starting out? (LAUGHS) Well the easy answer of course is don't start. (LAUGHS) Okay. No, look, I think the best advice is to try and work with people who have been in the business for a long time. You know, to actually get in at the bottom and learn the craft by working with people that already know it. I think that's some great words to have. Thank you so much John. Look I can highly recommend when you're coming to Queanbeyan in a couple of weeks the Q deli which is just up from the Royal there... Oh okay. They make pizzas John! Okay I'll look forward to that. I have a fondness for pizza. (LAUGHS) Okay. Nice to talk to you. Nice talking with you as well. All the best... Thank you. ...and break a leg for The Club. We're looking forward to having you there at the new Q. It's a great show people will love it. Come along. Thanks very much John. Thanks for talking with us this Sunday morning. See ya. Take care. Bye. Pleasure. Time to take a break, but coming up on the show, a better, brighter future from the far South Coast to Canberra. We meet two locals energised about making a difference to the climate in this life time. That's next on State Focus. Welcome back to State Focus. Time to take a look at clean and green energy with two people who believe global difference on climate change starts with local action. With me now, is Canberra's Robyn McKay from the environmental group "SEE-Change", and joining us on the phone from Tathra. on the far south coast, Doctor Matthew Nott, founder of the group "Clean Energy for Eternity". Good morning to you both. Good morning Peta. Hi. Now I'm going to start with you first Robyn. Tell us what's happening in Canberra to make us cleaner and greener? I guess a lot from my perspective. See-change is just one of the groups that's working at the community level to take action on climate change and we're working on solar bulk buys and raising awareness about food miles and a whole range of things. From a range of different suburbs as well. Absolutely, there's five See-change groups in Canberra at the moment. From Belconnen to Woden to you know, inner south. So it's fantastic. And you're in charge of it all. Helping to co-ordinate it all yeah. (LAUGHS) Now Dr Nott. Can I call you Matt? Absolutely. Okay Matt, tell us about 50/50 by 2020. What's involved and is that a realistic target? Well 50/50 by 2020 is a target that we came up with about 18 months ago to look at ways of tackling climate change. It's a target that we set without much fanfare in Bega valley well over a year ago. That target was then quickly adopted by the Bega valley shire council. And over the last twelve months, we've managed to get four shires in south-eastern New South Wales to adopt that target and most recently the Mossman shire in Sydney have adopted a 50/50 by 2020 target. What the target is is a 50% reduction in the consumption of energy and a 50% production of energy from renewable sources by the year 2020. And just recently Mike Tilley the new federal member for Eden Monaro, set an aspirational 50/50 by 2020 target for the entire electorate of Eden Monaro @ target Is it an achievable target? It certainly started off as a symbolic target. But as the science of climate change becomes more real and when you look at projections such as Ross Garno who are recommending a reduction in this nations emissions of 90% by 2050, I think that 50/50 by 2020 target is right on the money. The communities working together Robyn, you're more than aware of this, but are you able to make a difference. Can things actually change locally? Yeah. I mean I think they absolutely can and you can see with things like clean energy for eternity and see-change, whenever we hold events or have meetings there's so much support for doing something at that grass roots level and I think sometimes we need to, we need to start there to demonstrate to, you know, the higher levels that we, that what we want to see, so that it filters through to policies and that sort of thing. You often say, you've said that sometimes you're preaching to the converted. So how hard is it to generate support and I guess, more importantly, sustain that support and make sure that there are results that come out of this and if people don't change, I guess, or if these changes don't motivate people what will? I guess in terms of preaching to the choir or preaching to the converted, sorry, it's, it is hard sometimes because the people that quite aware and already made changes in their lives that we're talking about. that Matthew's talking about, the big events that get those people who you might not normally get too about what the issue are and trying to figure out from them what they're issues are, what they're worried about and what changes they can make in their life style and it is about change, about behavioural change and so educating people discussing it and then following through with practical tips and workshops and just getting bit by bit, changing the behaviour to a more sustainable way of life. You've got to keep following it up though. Absolutely, yep. Now Matthew, Robyn's just mentioned some big swims. Tell us about what's changing on the far south coast in terms of local surf clubs. I believe there's initiative that could go national. We've been working hard to set up the six surf clubs in south eastern New South Wales with renewable energy. And so far we've managed to raise nearly $50,000 to get renewable energy infrastructure onto roof tops and with council support and federal government rebates, we've been, within the next three months I'm hoping we're gonna have all six surf clubs in south eastern New South Wales set up with renewable energy. Which I think I making a strong statement. And it's also allowing us to tap into a large group of very community minded people, those are the people that run surf clubs and the sort of people that might not ordinarily be fired up about tackling climate change. But a campaign to set up a surf club with renewable energy is getting a lot of community minded people interested in tackling climate change peo And big swims, sorry to interrupt you, big swims is where a lot of that money has been generated. Now there is a big swim that's planned for Lake Burley Griffin, am I right Robyn? We're hoping yes. So there is a chance that we might be able to get the Prime Minister into a pair of trunks. (LAUGHS) We'll have to ask him about that I think. But yeah, it's still very early stages for us, but we're definitely looking to follow in what clean energy for eternity has done and raise some funds to get solar panels on quite an important building in Canberra. So that would be like, like Matthew said about engaging with key people in the community and working together to raise the funds. And there is a big swim planned for Bega, the June long weekend and if all goes well and enough money is raised that could mean a wind turbine Matthew for Tathra primary. Oh well, that's right. We're hoping to raise $10,000 with a 7km swim in the Bega river in mid winter, so it's gonna be a challenging event but.. Will you be there? (LAUGHS) ... it's going to be a ferocious cold event and I'm gonna be wearing so much neoprene it's going to make the michelin man look anorexic. (LAUGHS) But you know, I think, I think we'll get the money that $10,000 for a wind turbine for the Tathra primary school. Well, we're looking forward to seeing you in the neoprene but just to finish off. Robyn, you're based here in Canberra, are politicians doing enough about climate change. I think it's one of those situations where maybe we can't wait for leadership from the politicians on this. I think, I heard, I was in a meeting for this. I was in a meeting the other night and we heard someone say, governments don't lead, they follow. So maybe it's up to groups like ours and clean energy to be a leadership and to say what we want and to really demonstrate with things like these big swims and bulk buys of solar and anything that we can do to demonstrate that we want change and we want action taken on climate change issues. We'll have to leave it there. Thank you both for joining us. Very refreshing to hear this on a Sunday morning. Thanks very much Robyn and Dr Matthew Nott for your time. Thanks Peta. You're very welcome, take care. And stay right where you are, Canberra singer/songwriter Ernie Van Veen joins us next to reflect on a crazy life that's now making great material for his new CD. He's next on State Focus. You're watching State Focus. Canberra's Ernie Van Veen became a travelling musician at the age of 10, as his folk-band family hit the road across Canada. The 60s and 70s soothed his musical soul, before he had a turn at being a pastry chef, a writer for Penthouse magazine, and a motorcycle racer. Welcome to the show. Thank you Peta. Now where do we start?! (LAUGHS) I don't know. As far back as my memory goes I suppose. Let's start with your new album, congratulations on 'Mumble and Shout' volume one. Volume one. Which you wrote in five months. Wrote more than a hundred and fifty songs. Gosh, that sounds exhausting. Some of them were very, very bad. (LAUGHS @ Some o (LAUGHS) Okay. They got ditched. I ended up with about thirty songs out of hundred and fifty and so I figured I had to do a two volume CD. Yes, volume two will be out for For Christmas. Yes that's right. Wonderful. So why mumble and shout? Why the title? It's actually a couple of words from a line from a Kelly Joe Phelps song. I like to sing like a bird, but all I do is mumble and shout. And I thought, that fit me perfectly @ An (LAUGHS) I'm either bellowing or I'm mumbling. So Ah. Now listen, I've been looking forward to, very much to talk to you about your penthouse at playboy writing days. First of all, what type of articles did you write and how did all that come about? personality profiles. Okay. And I also used to write for motorcycling magazines. Probably, it was while I was a student I wrote an article on Kevin McGee who was an up and coming grand-pre racer at the time, I went in penthouse and then they asked me to do a couple more articles and I thought I'd try and get into playboy as well, which I did and as we all know, everybody reads the magazines for the articles. know. (LAUGHS) (LAUGHS) Nobody ever said to me, I saw your article in a penthouse magazine @ saw yo (LAUGHS) Now you said something wonderful about your youth, you said, if there was ever a downside, if there ever was a down side to my childhood I don't know what it was. What a wonderful way to think about your youth. So tell us what it was like growing up as a young musician at the age of ten, travelling around Canada with your family. Well my father was a singer and songwriter and guitar player. And he came home one day with a bass, when I was about ten and he said, I need you to learn how to play this. I think I need a bass player. (LAUGHS) And I figured, it's only got four strings, how hard could it be. And there was sort of a learning curve over the next few years but he and my mother used to sing and harmonise together and my brother joined in. He was a little younger than me and they worked in factories during the week so it was a matter of, during the week it was school, work, dinner, washing, whatever and then on the weekend, Friday night or as soon as everybody could get home, bang, everything into the car we're off somewhere. got to wherever we were going. Six hours later or whatever. some sort of make shift accommodation. but coffee houses and school places. You said that your dad was a great musician and he had a great memory for lyrics which has rubbed off on you. My father and his memory for lyrics. He would never take a lyric sheet with him. 'Cos he thought it was cheating @ Okay. (LAUGHS) But he would forget the lyrics, especially to the songs that we wrote. He'd constantly forget them and he's passed that on to me. It must be genetic. But I always make sure that I don't care what it looks like, I've always got the lyrics there with me you know. Now he went through a bit of tough time as well. He suffered severely with depression you've said. Yeah he did. How did you cope with that? How did you cope seeing your father experience that? Funny you should say that because he was one of these people who, he depression and he ended up taking his own life at the age of 48. didn't let on, although he did write a song called Blue. and so on and so forth. 'Cos when you're a little kid you don't, you know, it doesn't make you think about that. I thought it was the stuff that he made up you know. Can we hear a line or two. We have your resonator here with us on set. Can we hear a line or two from Blue. Sure. This is a magic looking machine Ernie. Thank you. Which you're of course gonna allow me to borrow for the week. Sure. (LAUGHS) Take it away. crying. I think my life is going stale. I feel real bad, more like dying. This life is one huge world in jail. Jail. One in jail. And of course it gets more and more sad as you go along. beautiful lyrics, beautiful sound to it. to play that song? that your dad wrote. Not now. But the first time I did it I just about burst into tears on stage. So, at that time I thought I'd be right with it, but look it's been or 6 years ago when I started to sing that song it was a bit hard, but you know, as I went along, you know, it got easier and easier Now I could sit here for ages and talk to you. I with we could do a whole show on you Ernie. Listen, just to finish up, we've got your CD launch which is coming up very soon. 15th June. Yes very exciting times. So we will hear, we'll finally let you all be able to you play volume one in person. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that. (LAUGHS) Just before we let you go, do you have plans to become a writer? A serious writer one day? I was just wondering, will you ever visit and go back to the playboy/ penthouse writing days? No, no. head, you know, like a lot of people I suppose. Although I do have a background in writing but I've got a couple of some point I'll get tired of moving the dog will demand that I stay home. I'll do some writing then. It is a pleasure to have you on. Thank you for sharing your life and your music with us this morning and good luck for volume one. We'll look out for volume two. Thanks very much. Thank you Ernie. We're gonna hear from you in just a moment as well. Well, thanks again for your company, that is the show. We'll leave you with a little more of the talents of Ernie Van Veen and his song, "I don't believe you". Have a great week, and we'll see you next Sunday morning on State Focus. Bye for now. (SINGS) But it's all in my mind you say. Take a quick look around. It was never that easy, yeah. Man, you're bringing me down. I don't believe you. No, no, no, no. I don't believe you. Don't wanna believe you. No, no, no, no. Now I'm sittin' alone on the edge of my seat, got the TV on full, got the world at my feet. I can barely believe all the things that we've done, from the point of the sword, to the point of a gun. And it's not in my mind no, I've been looking around. We're a long way from heavens gate, man we've gotta slow down Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra. We apologise for the temporary loss of captions. Normal service will resume as soon as possible.