NSW Festival of Place


A Festival of COVID Safe Places to Visit

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Why? Celebrate summer in a COVID safe way.

Where: Various public spaces throughout NSW

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Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards highlight importance of place amid lockdowns

Winners of the 2021 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards were announced at a virtual event on Wednesday, coinciding with the state entering another difficult seven days of lockdown.

Despite Victoria being the state most affected by COVID-19, competition officials said what innovative landscaping offered the community was more important than ever, in supporting public life and the revitalisation and recovery of Victoria. 

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects named seven Awards of Excellence winners for the most significant and industry leading projects. 

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Sydney news: Mandatory testing in quarantine hotels still not in place, elderly couple hospitalised after stabbings

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Urgent genome sequencing and contact tracing continue after a south-west Sydney woman who worked at a quarantine hotel contracted COVID-19.

The woman, who worked at the Novotel and Ibis hotels in Darling Harbour from Friday, November 27, to Monday, did not have direct contact with infected overseas quarantine patients.

It has also been revealed mandatory testing of all staff is yet to be rolled out across all Sydney quarantine hotels.

NSW Health told the ABC it was still working to implement weekly testing at its police-run hotels.

A health alert to self-isolate and be tested has been issued for people who travelled at particular times by light rail between Convention and Central and by train between Minto, Lidcombe and Central between the Friday and Monday.

Police are investigating after an elderly husband and wife were found with stab wounds in Sydney’s inner west last night.

Emergency crews found a 70-year-old man with stab wounds when they were called to the home on Etonville Parade at Croydon just after 8:30pm.

Police searched the home and found a 65-year-old woman in the backyard who also had stab wounds.

They were taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where the man remains in a critical condition and the woman is stable.

A crime scene has been set up at the home and police say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

The Wayside Chapel’s iconic Christmas Day gathering in Kings Cross — which attracts up to 1,000 of the city’s homeless and isolated people — will not go ahead this year.

Pastor and CEO Jon Owen said to gather en masse with that many people was “not safe”.

Instead, there will be a lunch held every day in the week before Christmas to ensure the community is supported.

Wayside is among several charities having to either cancel or reconfigure fundraising events in the lead up to Christmas Day.

A travel company that organised school trips overseas has gone into liquidation, leaving hundreds of Australian families out of pocket

Educational World Travel had been paid more than $2 million to organise school trips to the United States for families from NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

Bathurst man Terry Steele said he paid $2,000 for a trip for his daughter.

“It’s very frustrating,” he said.

“I feel sorry for the kids that have worked jobs after school to contribute to these payments. I feel sorry for the parents that have worked hard to come up with the money. But I’m at a state where I don’t believe there’ll be any money coming back.”

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‘A place to unwind’: Inside TV personality Emma Freedman’s Paddington terrace home

When TV and radio personality Emma Freedman purchased an 1890s three-bedroom, two-storey Paddington terrace with husband Charlie Rundle, the couple had heard about the sale only three hours before the auction while inspecting a neighbouring suburb. The whirlwind decision comes with no regrets and it’s been their family home for the past five years.

On a leafy street, the terrace feels bright thanks to a skylit living area that’s been fully renovated to open up the rear of the home. A modern kitchen is functional and features a mirrored splashback Freedman has come to love – allowing the space to appear larger than it is. A floor-to-ceiling glass wall opens onto a private courtyard for entertaining.

The family of four spend most of their communal time in the kitchen and lounge. Here, Freedman’s love of Scandi styling meets a passion for eclectic home furnishings.

Colourful artworks are dotted throughout, including a piece by Shane Bowden, which the Lexus ambassador purchased while working on the Today show doing a live cross from Noosa, chatting to the Archibald Prize artist about his portrait of Steve Jacobs painted 10 years ago. There’s a mix of vintage posters to be found as well, from a nod to the couple’s love of skiing to a retro surfing print in the bathroom.

The 1890s three-bedroom, two-storey terrace is on a leafy street in Paddington. Photo: Nicky Ryan

“I am big on colour, especially when it comes to art in the home,” Freedman says. “I like mixing original works with prints, and I love vintage and modern mixed together. We also have a white couch in the lounge – which people think is crazy with two kids under two – but it works well because it has a linen cover that we throw in the wash every few weeks. It works well to open up the space to appear airy and bright.”

A large Marrakesh rug adds an earthiness to the lounge room, and coffee table books tempt her to turn a page when she needs to switch off from life’s hustle.

The daughter of five-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Lee Freedman doesn’t mind getting in on some renovation action. She hired a sander to strip the floorboards at the front of the home, which had been lacquered in black.

A white couch with two young kids might seem crazy, but the removable linen cover means Freedman can easily wash it when needed. Photo: Nicky Ryan

“It wasn’t suitable for a family with a golden retriever and kids so I did it myself and got someone to come and lacquer them back to enjoy the original feature,” Freedman says.

The renovation completed before their purchase also features concrete floors in the kitchen and lounge.

A revamp of the laundry provides for more room to move. A backyard makeover has added greenery and seating. They’ve fitted a barbecue, a new outdoor bench and railing for al fresco dining.

Colourful artworks are dotted throughout the family home. Photo: Nicky Ryan

“Traditional terraces are always long and thin and make for tight living – this is no exception,” Freedman says. “But we love the location and, so far, it’s working nicely for our family.”

In the main bedroom upstairs, a photographic artwork by Georgina Skinner adds a serene touch. “I love that our art choices really reflect that space; the sense of a calm, nature-filled vibe is ideal for the bedroom,” Freedman says.

The mother of two (Will, 2, and Edie, 7 months), is busy juggling a radio and TV career with raising a young family, and admits her home looks lived in, feels homely and comes with all the cliched nods to raising a family.

“It’s not a display home. We have kids’ drawings on the fridge, Lego lined on the TV cabinet, toys in the bathroom. It’s our safe and happy place. The kids like to draw, we enjoy cooking and it’s a place to unwind,” Freedman says.

‘It’s not a display home. We have kids’ drawings on the fridge, Lego lined on the TV cabinet, toys in the bathroom,’ Freedman says. Photo: Nicky Ryan

Their daughter Edie’s room is also her husband’s makeshift office for now, and their son Will’s bedroom is filled with art (an original John Olsen print Freedman purchased in Melbourne), a Night Sky artwork gift from friends Emma and Tom Hawkins on the night Will was born, and a portrait of their dog (a wedding present from Emma’s mother Janelle).

“That’s a quirky wedding gift, but Will loves dogs and it made sense to put that in his bedroom,” she says.

A portrait of a horse hangs in the lounge room; but don’t be fooled, it’s not Makybe Diva. “The horse doesn’t have a name,” Freedman says. “And it’s the only horse reference in the home, probably much to people’s surprise. If I had the space, I’d have a room dedicated to sport and horse racing memorabilia, but for that, we’ll have to wait.”

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NHL roundup: Penguins rout Flyers, grab first place in East

May 4, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

May 5, 2021

Sidney Crosby registered two goals and an assist as the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-3 on Tuesday to claim sole possession of first place in the East Division.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who are 7-2-0 in their past nine games. Pittsburgh’s Marcus Pettersson added a goal and an assist, while Jason Zucker, Mark Friedman and John Marino also scored. Tristan Jarry made 30 saves.

The Penguins are two points ahead of the Capitals, who were idle Tuesday, but Washington has two games in hand.

Justin Braun, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny scored for Philadelphia, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots in the defeat.

Oilers 4, Canucks 1

Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Connor McDavid notched another two points in his chase for 100 on the season to lead visiting Edmonton to a victory over slumping Vancouver.

McDavid, who is running away with the scoring title, collected two assists to give him 93 points; he has five games to reach the century mark. Evan Bouchard and Darnell Nurse also scored while goaltender Mike Smith made 28 saves for the Oilers.

Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks, who have lost six straight games and are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs. Thatcher Demko stopped 23 shots.

Hurricanes 6, Blackhawks 3

Andrei Svechnikov and Nino Niederreiter each scored two goals and Carolina erased a two-goal deficit to defeat Chicago in Raleigh, N.C., stretching its points streak to 12 games.

Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Necas also had goals for the Hurricanes. Svechnikov and Teravainen had an assist apiece, and Sebastian Aho and Vincent Trocheck posted two assists each for Carolina, which has won five games in a row. Petr Mrazek, in his first game since April 19, made 27 saves for the win.

Alex DeBrincat scored two goals and Mike Hardman, playing his fifth career game, recorded his first NHL goal for the Blackhawks, who are 0-5-1 in their past six games. Patrick Kane notched two assists, and Collin Delia stopped 22 shots.

Sabers 4, Islanders 3 (SO)

Anders Bjork scored twice in regulation as well as the lone goal of the shootout, and Michael Houser stopped 45 shots as Buffalo rallied for a home win over New York.

Houser has opened his NHL career with two wins over the Islanders in two nights.

With Buffalo trailing 3-2, Bjork beat Islanders rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin (28 saves) on his short side, under the glove with 9:04 left in regulation to level the contest. It was the first multi-goal game of the season for Bjork, who beat Sorokin up high in the shootout.

Devils 4, Bruins 3 (OT)

Pavel Zacha scored his second goal of the game with 2:18 left in overtime as New Jersey won its home finale by coming back from a pair of one-goal deficits to beat Boston in Newark, N.J.

Zacha shuffled the puck as he bore in on the crease before flicking a backhand over Jaroslav Halak’s glove shoulder to give the Devils their fourth win in five games. Jesper Boqvist and Yegor Sharangovich had goals for New Jersey while Damon Severson and Jack Hughes had two assists apiece. Mackenzie Blackwood logged 33 saves for the victory.

Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall and Sean Kuraly scored for the Bruins, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Matt Grzelcyk and David Pastrnak each had two assists, and Halak finished with 17 saves.

–Field Level Media

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ACT Brumbies book place in final with win over Western Force

Hindsight is a beautiful thing but this was always going to a closely fought contest.

Saturday marked the Force’s 192nd Super Rugby match and first ever finals appearance. Sure, 60 per cent of Australian teams have made these finals in a competition without the Kiwis, but good luck talking down that achievement to the faithful in the west.

The Force have had a decent season, all things considered, and rightfully finish as the third best team in the competition but were no match on a night when the Brumbies played to their strengths.

The Force were dogged, made their tackles (90 per cent success rate), yet failed to score a try against a well-oiled Brumbies team that still has room for improvement based on this showing.

In a largely uneventful first half, Domingo Miotti slotted a penalty before Wright broke the deadlock with an outstanding finish down the right edge.

Force fullback Jake Strachan, on debut in the starters, missed a relatively straightforward tackle to gift the Brumbies the first five-pointer in front of a healthy crowd.


The Force’s woes were compounded when Pulu was marched from the field on the stroke of half-time and Banks, through quick hands to the right side, dived over to put salt in the wound and open up a 12-3 half-time lead.

Wright nearly had a second try but his foot scraped the touch-line.

Miotti kicked three penalties but it wasn’t enough for the Force, whose valiant three-game run was cut short by a team that deserves to be in its second straight grand final.

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How Brookfield Place helped transform Perth’s CBD

Friday night in Perth and this part of the city is jumping. Drinkers at the bars are spilling into the streets, there’s a queue of hopefuls outside one of the wine bars waiting for a table and the new restaurant at the refurbished hotel next door is packed.

The level of noise is deafening.

“Yes, it’s always like this now on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night,” said one of the crowd waiting to be served at the Print Bar, the historic Newspaper House, now reworked into one of its most fashionable drinking spots. “It’s great, isn’t it?”

While many of Australia’s other capital cities are only just stirring from their COVID-19 slumber, previously cocooned Perth looks almost back in full swing.

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This hospitality and business hub, Brookfield Place, off St Georges Terrace near Elizabeth Quay, with its mix of 120,000 square metres of high-rise offices, retail, dining, drinking, arts and performance spaces, looks as if it’s never been away.

“It’s becoming one of Perth’s most popular precincts,” said John Lucas, general manager of the Parmelia Hilton Perth, which in February unveiled the results of a major $45 million transformation to include a direct laneway link to Brookfield Place. “It was a simple piece of infrastructure but it’s changed the whole dynamic.”

The Parmelia Hilton is in the dynamic new precinct.

The whole precinct, as a result, has today become an example of what’s seen as the best of city place-making – and from the most ignominious of beginnings.

Once the home of the Perth Technical College, with stakes owned by disgraced entrepreneurs Laurie Connell and Alan Bond, the site was bought in 1988 by Kerry Packer and Warren Anderson for $270 million, and the one office tower built became mired in the controversy of the WA Inc Royal Commission. In 2003, Mr Packer resold the site to developers for a $200 million loss.

Four years later, BHP committed to leasing 60,000 square metres in Perth’s biggest office deal and construction started on its $500 million, 45-floor Brookfield Place — the second-tallest skyscraper in Western Australia. Another smaller 16-storey tower was completed in 2015, now leased by Multiplex, Westpac and Deloitte, with a walkway to Elizabeth Quay and the CBD.

The five heritage buildings on the site were restored and converted to other uses, and the revived Parmelia Hilton next door, with 32 new rooms and a restructure of the lobby completed over 10 months during the pandemic, has completed the puzzle. The owner of the hotel, Hawaiian Group, also owns three office buildings close by, and are huge fans of Brookfield Place.

“Over the last 10 years, this whole block has pretty much become the centre of Perth,” said Hawaiian general manager Richard Kilbane. “It’s got so much West Australian history from Alan Bond to Kerry Packer but, with the mining boom, it’s now taken on a life of its own.

“Roughly 20 per cent of the Perth office stock is now in this block, and the Hilton here is primarily a hotel for business travellers, so with the new walkway, you can now walk from the office to a bar, to a restaurant and to bed within minutes. The hotel was also 53 years old, so it needed new investment, and the city of Perth used to be a ‘dullsville’ but now with the newly refurbished hotel here, and the vibrancy and amenity of Brookfield Place, the city is really changing.”

The precinct has become the centre of Perth.

The owners, Brookfield Properties, are also delighted with the acclaim the precinct is earning. State manager Alison Beamish says the company has worked hard to make sure there’s plenty going on year round, with a mix of predominantly free culture and events, from art installations to live music and the flagship Winter Lights Festival.

“Brookfield Place has built an unmatched reputation as an iconic place-making destination, providing tenants and visitors alike with a unique experience combining high-end retail shops, hidden bars and award-winning restaurants in a unique setting in the heart of the Perth CBD,” she said. “We are also thrilled by the addition of the new thoroughfare from the Parmelia Hilton.”

Onlookers also admire the new laneways around the precinct, and say it’s a laneway revival that first found its roots in Melbourne’s grand design to bring them back to life.

Eric Denholm, a Perth urban planner at Hatch RobertsDay, who says too many streets in the city are designed using standards better suited to major roads and highways, said: “We’re now seeing laneway revitalisation in Perth, and these are pleasant places to be.

“With buildings around them, they’re enclosed but do create the feeling that they’re outdoor rooms, so they’re very comfortable places to be, away from moving traffic.”

For the tenants, too, the place-making hit is paying dividends. Brendon Sim, the director of pub dining venue W Churchill and cocktail bar Bar Lafayette, said his businesses were not yet back to their six-days-a-week pre-COVID-19 opening, but they’re getting there.

The Perth CBD has been almost back in full swing.

“Brookfield Place is the hub of the CBD now,” he said. “It’s a really good precinct and a great locale, and the number of customers are really picking up now.”

Helen Newburn, the owner of fashion store 29lines, feels similarly.

“It’s coming back alive now,” she said. “There’s such a nice vibe about it. It’s a great destination and more and more people are finding out about it. There’s some beautiful shopping, lovely food and wine, and great office space. It’s got everything, and it’s becoming a bit of an icon.”

At the Parmelia Hilton, Perth’s new restaurant, Samuels on Mill, John Lucas is having to raise his voice to carry over the hubbub of diners.

“We have a lot of loyalty from West Australians as we’ve been here such a long time, and been used for weddings, birthdays, engagements and all sorts of special occasions,“ he said.

“But, now with state borders open, we’re hoping for a lot more interstate visitors to rediscover us and this special part of Perth. We’re a long way from Sydney and Melbourne, but I think a lot of people will be very pleasantly surprised by the city these days.”

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Mark McGowan eases lockdown with ‘interim restrictions’ to remain in place

Mr McGowan says the cautious approach to easing lockdown is to wait for the incubation period of the virus to come to an end.

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Mars One contender Josh Richards finally finds a place to call home, but prepares to leave it all behind

What would you want to do with your last 10 years on Earth?

People often ask the question when facing old age or illness but in Josh Richards’ case, the 35-year-old is preparing for a one-way trip to Mars.

Mars One is the private consortium that short-listed Mr Richards for the space exploration trip in which it aims to establish a permanent settlement on the Red Planet, but it has not said when it will actually happen.

Mr Richards is not even sure that he will be selected for the trip.

Five years after making the final list of 100 from 200,000 applicants, Mr Richards now receives “updates from headquarters” every three months.

Still, there is a chance.

So what do you do with your last years on Earth before leaving forever?

Death or leaving life as he knows it is not foreign ground for Josh Richards.

Before he was four, the boy born in Melbourne had moved to Brisbane, Perth, and Puckapunyal.

“Dad was a military diver for quite a long time and I expected to go down that same sort of path,” Mr Richards said.

After studying physics at university he went into the Army, joining as a combat engineer and specialising in booby traps and “that side of things”.

From the Army, he worked a stint in the mines before joining the Navy as a diver and eventually moving to the United Kingdom to join the Royal Marine Commandos.

It was short-lived. A year in, he got seriously sick with Lyme disease and had to learn to walk again.

“During my recovery, I really started thinking about what we were doing. They were doing continuous operations to Afghanistan, we were told ‘You will go to Afghanistan, everybody does it’,” Mr Richards said.

Once again he left his profession and moved on to something else. “Career ADHD” Mr Richards calls it. 

“At the time, I’d always be thinking, ‘I’m going to make a career out of this'” Mr Richards said.

“I’ve committed to things for longer and longer as I’ve found more purpose in them as I went.”

Wanting to stay in the UK, he “bummed around” with a few odd jobs before settling on his career for the next six years — stand-up comedy.

It was a surprising choice even for Josh Richards.

He was writing jokes for a show when the idea of space travel took hold.

“I’d learnt during my physics degree that we had the technology to get people to Mars but not to bring them back,” Mr Richards said.

“I wanted to use that idea as a metaphor for me actually leaving stand-up, talking about moving on to new things and letting the past go.

Making it to the final tiers of Mars One spiralled him into public life: appearing in the news, talking on panels, writing books.

Leaving comedy for good in 2016, cave diving resurfaced in early 2019.

“I kind of forgot about it for a long time until I wrote this book about what I would want to do with my last 10 years on Earth,” Mr Richards said.

He did his basic cave course in Mount Gambier. When he returned six months later to do the next level course, he was offered a job at the local dive shop. 

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Melbourne’s property boom spreading to Sunshine, Tootgarook and Launching Place

Melbourne’s property market boom is now spreading to once affordable outer suburbs.

Property sales are surging in Melbourne’s west with the prices of units in Sunshine soaring 47 per cent, making the median price $570,000.

People are also flocking to fringe suburbs to secure more land.

Prices in Launching Place, which is 54 kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD, have jumped 21 per cent.

Suburbs on the Mornington Peninsula also continue to surge with Crib Point recording a 17 per cent increase and Tootgarook with a 19 per cent increase.

Bittern has seen a 14 per cent increase in property prices and Capel Sound is at 13 per cent more.

In the southeast, Lynbrook and Aintree have had a 13 per cent and 15 per cent price increase respectively and Wallan is a star performer in the north at 15 per cent.

“Instead of maybe two or three people at an auction bidding, at this stage at many of the properties that we’re seeing, we’re having five, six, seven people bidding,” Leah Calnan from REIV told 7NEWS.

With home sales going well above reserve week after week, claims of underquoting continue.

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