A great list of things to do in St Kilda delivered to you every Sunday evening

This Week in St Kilda #315
Pre-poll voting starts Monday 9 May

Sparks fly at Memo debate
$$ for local theatres in State budget
Council flags big changes for ratepayers
Music and film tribute to David McComb @ Astor

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Pre-poll voting @ Victorian College for the Deaf
597 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Monday 9 May – Friday 13 May: 8 am – 8 pm
Saturday 14 May: 9 am – 4 pm
Monday 16 May – Thursday 19 May: 8 am – 8 pm
Friday 20 May: 8 am – 6 pm
Other nearby locations:
South Yarra Community Baptist Church, 12 Surrey Rd, South Yarra
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
St George’s Anglican Church, 296 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern
St Stephen’s Church Hall, 111 North Rd, Brighton
More AEC voting locations 

Meet the Artist > Ilan El @ Linden
Wednesday 11 May, 2 pm – 3 pm
Join artist and designer Ilan El in conversation with Linden New Art curator Juliette Hanson. Suitable for practising artists/designers and emerging arts industry professionals. Free
ARC presents Neil Young’s Harvest Live – 50th Anniversary @ Palais
Wednesday 11 May,
ARC, Antipodean Rock Collective, will present “Harvest” in its entirety before the returning to the stage in the second half of the night to present a selection of Neil Young classics . $76+

Helmut Newton: In Focus @ JewMu
Until January 2023
The Jewish Museum’s flagship exhibition for 2022 is an expansive view of fashion photographer Helmut Newton showcasing the trailblazing image-maker’s most recognisable and quintessential works, including 78 original Newton photographs – the same daring and often controversial images that revolutionised the fashion world and established Newton as one of the most sought-after photographers of the 20th century. $20 / $15

Panel discussion: Helmut Newton – Polarising, surprising, loved and loathed @ JewMu
Thursday 12 May, 6 pm
A special panel discussion hosted by VAULT in partnership with PHOTO 2022, International Festival of Photography. The discussion will grapple with sexuality, expression, innovation and censorship within art and fashion as seen through the work of Helmut Newton.
Moderated by VAULT Editor Alison Kubler, panellists include JewMu Director & CEO Jessica Bram, Senior Curator & Collections Manager Eleni Papavasileiou and photographer Justin Ridler. $35 including exhibition entry

Loss + Dexy Oscillator @ Espy
Thursday 12 May, 8.30 pm
This week’s new music is from Loss and Dexy Oscillator. Free
Espy gigs
Let It Be Live – 50th Anniversary @ Palais
Thursday 12 May
ARC, Antipodean Rock Collective, are self-confessed Beatles tragics. As they did with Abbey Road Live, the band will once again walk the tightrope to faithfully and lovingly bring another brilliant Beatles creation to life on stage – Let It Be from start to finish – followed by a second set playing a selection of favourites spanning the breadth of The Beatles’ catalogue.

Jersey Boys by CLOC @ National Theatre
Friday 13 May – Saturday 28 May, 8 pm plus Sunday matinees 2 pm
CLOC (long standing non-professional music theatre) presents the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – one of the most successful bands in pop music history.
50 Years of Imagine @ Palais
Friday 13 May, 8 pm
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Imagine, a stellar line-up of talent will bring alive the John Lennon classic in its entirety along with a set of Lennon classics including “Woman”, “Mind Games”, “Instant Karma”, “Give Peace a Chance”, “Beautiful Boy”, “Power to the People” and maybe even a surprise Lennon penned Beatles classic or two.
Starring: Russell Morris, Glenn Shorrock, Wendy Matthew, Jack Jones and Steve Balbi.
Acland in Autumn @ Acland Plaza
Friday 13 May – Sunday 15 May
Livening up Acland Plaza with outdoor entertainment.
Friday 13 May
4 pm: Benny Walker
5.30 pm: Clare Bowditch
Saturday 14 May
2 pm: Tim Scanlan
4 pm: Zeon
Sunday 15 May
2 – 5 pm: Salsational: Salsa dance classes
More info

Claire Birchall + USER @ George Lane
Friday 13 May, doors 6.30 pm
Claire will be performing a dual sound and light scape for this Saturday night show.
George Lane gigs

Voodoo Boogie @ Memo
Friday 13 May, 7.30 pm
Featuring three of Melbourne’s best and long serving combos, The Detonators with their Original Jump Rock Blues, Collard Greens and Gravy from deep in the misty swamp zone and Rod Paine and the Full Time Lovers supplying the greasy blues. $45 / $35
Memo tix

Fast Food @ Red Stitch
Friday 13 May – Sunday 5 June
The world premiere of Fast Food by Morgan Rose (desert, 6:29pm), an original, poignant comedy that flips an ordinary day in a fast food joint, and propels us into the fantasies of its protagonists. Fast Food looks at the gig economy through the lives of five people just trying to dream of something better.

Sunshine And Disco Faith Choir Present ‘Friday the 13th’ @ Espy
Friday 13 May, 8.30 pm
A true ode to dancefloor salvation, Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir serve to share the gospel of Disco Faith with those whose enthusiasm lives in the hands of the music. $64
Espy gigs

Nina Ferro presents: ‘Lady Soul’ The Songs of Aretha Franklin @ Memo
Saturday 14 May, 7.30 pm
Accompanied by her band ’Soulville’, Nina Ferro pays tribute to Aretha Franklin.
Nina is a great singer with a powerful stage presence – TWiSK is a fan. $50 / $45
Tix | YouTube

Checkerboard Lounge @ George Lane
Saturday 14 May, Doors 6.30 pm
Semi-finalists at the 2020 International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN, recording at the legendary SUN Studio and a new incredible live CD to launch, word keeps spreading about this formidable act.
The Tarantinos @ St Kilda Sports Club
Saturday 14 May, 9.30 pm
“O Brother Where Art Thou?” The Soundtrack Live @ Memo
Sunday 15 May, 3.30 pm
The Collingwood Casanovas with special guests Tracey Ann Miller, Freya Josephine Hollick and Loretta Miller will perform the album in full, delivering loving renditions and hot new takes of the soundtrack. Yeeha! $55 / $45

Steve Hoy & The Subliminals @ George Lane
Sunday 15 May, doors 4 pm
Steve Hoy with the Subliminals: Mark Ferrie (Models) on guitar with Scotty Martin on drums, Garrett Costigan (Don Walker & Band – pedal steel) and Bruce Haymes (Paul Kelly’s band) on keys.
George Lane tix

Love in Bright Landscapes: A Tribute to David McComb @ Astor
Sunday 15 May, 3.30 pm and Concert 6.10 pm
Film – plus performance by The Friends of David McComb. The film tells the tragic and intimate life story of David McComb, Australian singer/songwriter and driving force behind The Triffids.

Sunday Blues: Kieron McDonald Combo @ Espy
Sunday 15 May, 6 pm
Enjoy the authentic wild Garage style Rockabilly, Hillbilly Bop and Rock’n’Roll music of The Kieron McDonald Combo. Free
Espy gigs
Poetry Reading Afternoon Tea @ Mary Kehoe Community Centre
Sunday 15 May, 3 pm – 5 pm
Planetary Healing Artists welcome all to read out an original poem or the poem of another relating to the theme of War and Peace for this session or just attend as a listener. Afternoon tea and a microphone will be provided.
The event is free but registration is essential as places are limited.
224 Danks St Albert Park 3206
The Peptides @ St Kilda Sports Club
Sunday 15 May, 5.30 pm
Free – guaranteed punk or your money back.
The Human Voice @ Theatre Works
Until Saturday 14 May, 7.30 pm
A woman lies dead. A telephone rings. Her last chance to speak to an ex-lover…
Theatre lovers are invited to witness a tour de force performance by renowned actor Jane Montgomery Griffiths.
$40 / $32 Concession, $25 Preview and Student
Tix and info
Suitable for ages 14+

Endangered Folk Arts of India Exhibition @ Space2b
Until Tuesday 28 May
India is home to over 50 traditional folk arts. These beautiful folk arts have been passed down from generation to generation for over 3000 years. However, with the exception of a few, the rest of them are on the verge of extinction. Space2b and Artisan Society will be curating some of the forgotten beautiful artefacts from India in this month-long exhibition.
Tues – Fri 10 am – 5 pm, Sat 10 am – 2 pmArt and Storytelling Competition @ Alma Road Community House
Celebrating Neighbourhood House Week (9-15 May)
Port Phillip Community Group’s art and storytelling competition for Neighbourhood House Week invites you to paint, draw, photograph or tell a story about something special in your community.
All entries will be exhibited at Alma Road Community House in July.
Enter your artwork or story for a chance to win $100 worth of prizes from local businesses
Go to the PPCG website to enter 
Café Helping Homeless Youth @ Middle Park light rail stop
From Monday on Route 96
A new social enterprise café helping to tackle youth homelessness has opened at the Middle Part Light Rail stop.
The café building is being provided by Yarra Trams for a peppercorn rent.
For Change Co. started in 2015 creating pathways out of homelessness and now has five venues across Melbourne, with 100 per cent of profits being reinvested its programs.
The Middle Park cafe will train and employ 30 young people each year.
More info


Meet the Artist > Cyrus Tang @ Linden
Saturday 21 May, 2 pm – 3 pm
Join Linden New Art in an intimate conversation with Cyrus Tang about her exhibition Time Fell Asleep in the Evening Rain.
Hybrid offering @ St Kilda Film Festival
Friday 27 May – Sunday 5 June
St Kilda’s short film festival is back again in hybrid format with an opening night at the Astor.
Thereafter, sessions are mostly at the Astor or online, with a special feature at the Pride Centre.
Full program, venues and ticket sales are now available.

Council poised to make big changes

TWiSK has been watching Council plans for many years and we can say that the changes proposed in this council plan are the most profound and challenging.
Here is a quick summary with quotes from the Council paperwork in italics.
New way of calculating rates
“[Council] We want to change how rates charges are worked out, from the rent value of a property to its sale value, to ensure a fair rates burden on residents, so that people are charged a fair contribution for services, particularly considering the shift in property valuations.”
Given that rates are highly technical and understood by few, this needs more explanation and clarity than is provided.
The skinny is that residential values are going upward faster than commercial (which may be declining) – this apparently means the rate burden will shift for to residential rate payers. Hence the need to tweak and have differential rates.
TWiSK would like to see some independent modelling to explain this.
Hybrid waste model – bespoke or complicated?
“[Council] We’re developing a new Waste Strategy, to ensure that we are delivering what our community wants – which is additional waste services, to cover four different streams of waste management including more recycling services. The four streams cover general waste, general recycling (paper, metal, plastics), glass, and food organics and garden organics (FOGO).”
The devil is in the detail here. It flags the need to manage charges – which some will see as a red flag for charging ratepayers more!
And a new waste charge
“[Council] We’re proposing to implement a waste charge – separating out from general rates the cost to deliver waste services (kerbside bin collection, hard waste collection, and operating the Resource Recovery Centre) – to cover additional costs for proposed new services (FOGO and glass recycling) that are being requested by our community and address increased costs to deliver current services.”
The concept of transparency gets a workout here.
“This means that you would see on your rates bill a new, flat waste charge that would fund existing and new waste services. This waste charge could be adjusted (up or down) over time, in line with any changes to the cost and range of waste services provided.”
It sets up a system of ‘flexible’ charging in the future. TWiSK would be interested in these questions…
Will rates be reduced by the value of the new waste charge? If not why not?
Will increases to the waste charge be an open cheque or limited by some independent measure eg CPI?
Managing assets – what’s so special about this?
“Council is custodian of $3.6 billion worth of community assets.”
We expect Council to have a plan to manage assets and this is certainly important. But the rationale given on the website is high on jargon and low on benefits to ratepayers.
As a start, TWiSK would like to see the anticipated efficiency savings on the implementation of a new system?
Read Council’s info on there proposals
Have Your Say Pages
TWiSK welcomes reader comments
St Kilda Festival to return to ‘big-Sunday’ format
After reviewing the St Kilda Festivals 9-day-COVID safe format, Council has resolved to return to the big-Sunday event with a weekend long family friendly activation in O’Donnell Garden and First Peoples music / cultural event on South Beach Reserve on the Saturday.
The “St Kilda Festival Sunday” will return on Sunday 12 February 2023, including
music and cultural activation of Acland Street, Fitzroy Street, The Esplanade and
key parts of the foreshore and open space within central St Kilda.
Subject to final approvals, Council will spend $1.7M on the 2023 Festival.
Wow factor missing, traders disappointed
The 2022 St Kilda Festival was spread over 9 days and attracted 35,000 people, while the big Sunday event had previously attracted up to 400,000 visitors.
The report noted that many traders were disappointed by the lower crowds and missed their biggest trading day of the year.
Locals flocked to the smaller format
The report did acknowledge that 40% of the 2022 audience were locals, much higher than the 23% in previous years.
Read the report to Council in full 
$$ for theatres in State budget
Last week’s State budget included some good news for both Theatre Works and National Theatre – who will receive $1.1 m and $300K respectively for much needed repairs and refurbishments.
Dianne Toulson, TW General Manager, told TWiSK the $1.1M grant will bring the venue into an accessible and technically sound theatre with a key focus being on accessibility for artists and audience
“We have been in this building for 40 years. While the building is heritage listed our aim is to modernise the functions of the theatre and secure the venue for the next 40 years.”
Meanwhile at The National, $300K will go towards replacing the decaying hand-pressed metal canopy on the 101-year-old theatre.
Other local budget news included:
Albert Park Reserve Solar installations $1.6M – for renewable and energy efficient infrastructure upgrades for sporting clubs and community groups;
LGBTIQ+ Legal Service $1.6M at the Pride Centre to provide specialist legal services to LGBTIQ+ Victorians who experience discrimination and disadvantage associated with their sexuality or gender identity.

Sparks fly with vocal locals

Democracy got a work out at the unChained Macnamara Candidate Forum last Thursday night.
With the three major candidates in the house, the discussion covered a lot of territory, including economic recovery post pandemic, integrity and Australia’s place in the world.
Watch a recording of the event on YouTube
With an audience of about 200 locals, the takeaway for TWiSK was the relative inexperience of the Liberal’s Collen Harkin compared to Labor’s Josh Burns (the current MHR) and Steph Hodgins-May –  the Greens’ three time candidate. 
On numerous occasions, Harkin’s presentation style prompted a flood of audience interjections, and the chair needed to remind the audience to let the speaker be heard. Thankfully, the audience cooled down and let the speaker be heard in relative peace.
Burns and Hodgin-May’s answers were more locally informed – and so they should be with years on the hustings – while Harkins were more generic about Liberalism, support for small business and personal choice.
But one thing is for sure, Macnamara will be decided on preferences with no candidate likely to achieve a majority of first preferences. 
Three way pledge for Albert Park sports
All three major political parties have now made commitments to invest in community sports facilities in Albert Park Reserve.
Josh Burns (ALP) was first cab off the rank, promising to put $5 million into the Park if the ALP wins government. The funds will be allocated according to the outcomes of the Albert Park Sports Management Plan now being prepared by Parks Victoria (with community input).
Steph Hodgins-May (Greens) has also made a $5 million pledge along the same lines if she wins the seat.
While Colleen Harkin (Liberal) has chosen to make smaller commitments to two specific projects if the Liberals retain government – $1.4 million to Power House Rugby Union FC for their pavilion project, and $850,000 for early works on Albert Park Yacht Club’s aquatic precinct plan.
Hugo Armstrong, President of the Albert Park Sports Clubs Association, told TWiSK that much more (perhaps another $60 million) is needed to bring the Park and the Lake fully up to standard to sustainably meet demand, but these are fantastic contributions by federal candidates for what is primarily a state and local government responsibility.
Greg Day
Happy to chat anytime 0418 345 829
Content suggestions and community questions are always welcome.
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This Week in St Kilda respectfully acknowledges the Yaluk-ut Weelam Clan of the Boon Wurrung.
We pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land.