July 2012


If you’re local and have something to add here in following months, send details to with “add me” in the subject bar if you’d also like to join the list.


Informing others about this website will assist the artists of the Illawarra!

Thank You!







I want to share an alarming fact with you…4 out of 5 kids in remote Indigenous communities can’t read.This is a national disgrace, can you believe that we have let this happen in our own country?Well, I am doing something to change it.I have raised my hand in the 2012 ALNF Wall of Hands Indigenous literacy appeal and created my own personal wall to help bridge the Indigenous literacy gap.But I need your support to make a difference and help these kids.Please visit my wall (below) and sponsor me to support Indigenous

Your support will allow Indigenous kids to write their own futures.

And remember, tax time is only days away so if you sponsor me before June 30 you can claim your donation in this financial year!

I believe being able to read and write is a basic human right, please sponsor my wall today and give an Indigenous child the gift of literacy.

Thanks for your support, it really means a lot.






Some very sad news. Viv Sawyer died on Monday Morning of June 4. Viv was the Illwawarra Folk Club’s resident story teller and poet and was our prized octogenarian.

Viv was born in the year that they opened the Harbour Bridge (you can work  out when that was, because Viv was 80 when she died) She always maintained that it took as much paint to keep her up to scratch as it did the ‘Coathanger.’

Viv was the grand Daughter of the Labor Member for Bulli Jack Sweeny and I reckon that’s where she inherited her ability to tell lies and write poetry. Jack had been a coalminer all his life and spent his retirement representing the good folks of Bulli for the Labor Party. When we moved the Folk Festival from Jamberoo Viv was the person we put on our Festival CD where she spoke about her Grandfather and the links to Bulli.

She was a contestant in our first Woolly Yarn Spinning contest at Jamberoo in  the pub in 1988 (I think) Her mum, Vina Oehm won it and Viv ran third. After that she continually won it or was placed every year until she said to me a couple of years ago that she would not enter any more because it was unfair to other contestants. She became a judge and compere after that.

She produced a fine book of poetry called ‘Bridging the Gap’ where she published not only her own poems, but also those of her mum, Vina and her Grandmother, Virginia Standen.

She also produced a CD, which she recorded at Wongawilli Hall to a packed house. I was privileged to compere it and Dave De Santi produced both the Cd and the book. Viv also was the reciter of the year at the National Folk Festival and the champion Yarn Spinner.

I have lots of stories about Viv- too many to tell here. If you have a tribute to pay let me know on email and I’ll put it in the next Newsletter.

She had a wicked sense of humour- Here’s one from her book:-


‘Yesterday I met a man from Horsham.

He sat near me in the Mall,

‘Horsham,’ I was sure I’d been there,

When or why I just could not recall.

I’ve worked at many different jobs

In many different places.

As I get older, it’s hard to remember

All those names and faces.

“Horsham”, I muttered yet again,

Then I remembered quite gleesome,

I once worked at a teashop in Horsham,

Or was it a whoreshop in Teasham.’


Viv always had a breathing problem in the latter years of her life. In 2006  she came dangerously close to meeting her maker and spent quite a bit of time in Port Kembla hospital. Here is a little comment I wrote then.

Viv Sawyer was our resident poet in the Folk Club. She got incredibly ill and almost died. When we visited her in hospital she had had a tracheotomy and was quite frail. Bev took her flowers- I took her this bit of doggerel. She made a remarkable recovery which I attribute to this verse.

Our resident poet took ill,

Couldn’t breathe, and had to lay still,

Said the doc, If breathing’s your goal,

Then we’ll need to make you a new hole.

Said Viv, “Don’t cut out the lot ‘o me,

For I’ll just have a small tracheotomy,”

So the op. with a scalpel was done,

Not something that Viv could call fun.

She’s got four holes, so she can now choose,

Which hole, for which function, to use.

Though she said I can breathe now by heck,

But this hole is a ‘pain in the neck.’

Bigruss May o6

A limerick for her 80th birthday party earlier this year. A great party.

‘A Priest booked for a three day session,

Went into a state of depression,

Not caused by a retreat

But the frightening feat

Of hearing Viv Sawyers Confession.”

Bigruss Jan 31st 2012

Oh, and the funeral. Here’s the details and if you were a mate of Vivs or would like to pay tribute to her, then we’ll see you there.

Her funeral will take place on Tuesday 12th June at the Catholic Church, Tongarra Rd Albion Park. at 10.00am.

Regards A rather saddened bigruss.



The Illawarra Folk Club is a non-profit incorporated association with the objective to present and en-courage folk music and folk lore as it exists in Australia today, in all its most genuine, and valuable musical, social, historical, cultural and pleasurable forms.

The Illawarra Folk Club presents concerts on 1st Friday and 3rd Saturdays of each month and the annual Illawarra Folk Festival.

  • FRIDAY 6 JULY – The Hannafords, Pukara
  • SATURDAY 21 JULY – Woody Guthrie Tribute with Peter Hicks
  • FRIDAY 3 AUGUST – 25th Anniversary Concert – Wongawilli Band, including past members, Wongawilli Colonial Dancer

165 July 2012 ifc newsletter-web






The Song Company

Town Hall on August 13th.The following is a current video that will give you an idea of what that program , Sunken Dreamswill be about: Who we are:The Song Company is Australia’s leading vocal ensemble. It embraces music from around the worldand across the ages. In collaboration with artists of the highest calibre, it aims to create a distinctiveand dynamic new voice, relevant to the audiences of today and tomorrow.

Attached also, is a recent recorded interview that our Artistic Director, Roland Peelman gave for

Qantas Radio. It was on air in-flight throughout June.

If there is an opportunity for us to promote our upcoming event through your organisation, I would

be happy to discuss this with you and in turn how we might support you.

Kind regards,




Australian Chamber Orchestra

Trout Quintet & Quartet for the End of Time

Thursday 9th July 2012  7.30pm

Adult tickets from $49. Accessible seating must be pre-booked via Box Office.

Small in scale but exceptionally musically and emotionally ambitious is the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s concert combining Schubert’s Trout Quintet and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, with brilliant young Palestinian-Israeli pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar and clarinettist Paul Dean.

“The most ethereally beautiful music of the 20th century…as overpowering now as it was on that frigid night in 1941.” Alex Ross, “His [Saleem Abboud Ashkar] brilliant technique allowed him to play with wonderful phrasing and tender shimmering sounds.” Der Bund

SCHUBERT Piano Quintet, “Trout”
MESSIAEN Quartet for the End of Time
Helena Rathbone Violin
Christopher Moore Viola
Timo-Veikko Valve Cello
Maxime Bibeau Double Bass
Paul Dean Clarinet
Saleem Abboud Ashkar Piano

This concert pairs two great works inspired by very different experiences away from home, both written for the musicians available and, as a result, for unusual combinations of instruments. Aged 22, Schubert had his first holiday in the country. In the Trout, he captures the mood of those carefree summer days and his ecstatic delight in the countryside, in warm, beguiling melodies and harmonies.

A prisoner of war, Messiaen wrote the Quartet for the End of Time for the musicians he found in the camp, premiering it to an audience of inmates and guards. “Never” he said, “was I listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension.” Critic Alex Ross calls it “the most ethereally beautiful music of the 20th century…as overpowering now as it was on that frigid night in 1941.” ACO Principals are joined by clarinettist Paul Dean and dynamic young pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar, making his Australian debut.



The Eric Dunan Quintet

Featuring an all-star line up from the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music’s Jazz Faculty…Eric Dunan (trumpet), David Reglar (sax), Lucy Clifford (bass) and Jens Hoppe (guitar), with special guest Fabian Hevia (drums). This is a family-friendly, free event.

What: The Eric Dunan Quintet

When: 5 – 8pm Sunday 1 July

Where: Samuel’s, 382 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul (Tel: 4268 2244)

Sandy Evans Trio with Bobby Singh

The Sandy Evans Trio will perform with special guest Bobby Singh as part of the 2012 Jazz Series on Friday 6 July at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music, Gleniffer Brae.
This performance will redefine the fusion of jazz and Indian music as it weaves an extraordinary kaleidoscope of colour, rhythm and melody. Expect soulful melodies, breath-taking improvisations, hypnotic grooves and stunning percussion solos.
This is a rare opportunity to see one of Sydney’s leading Indian musicians, tabla player Bobby Singh, in a thrilling dialogue with jazz musicians Sandy Evans (saxophones), Brett Hirst (bass) and Toby Hall (drums).

What: Sandy Evans Trio with Bobby Singh

When: 7pm Friday 6 July

Where: The Con’s Auditorium, Gleniffer Brae

Tickets: $15 (General) $12 (Concession) $10 (Student) available online or on the door.

Jazz Showcase @ The Con

Come along to Gleniffer Brae from 6pm and enjoy an evening packed full of Jazz at the Con. All Con jazz groups will be performing…in the Theatre, room 1/2 and the auditorium. Included in the ticket price is entry to the Sandy Evans Trio with Bobby Singh gig, 7pm in the Con’s Auditorium. A BBQ and tea/coffee will be available onsite throughout the evening.

What: Jazz Showcase

When: 6pm Friday 6 July

Where: Gleniffer Brae

Tickets: $15 (General) $12 (Concession/Parents of Con Students) $10 (Con Students) available on the door.

Note: Con Students performing get in free of charge to all events at the Jazz Showcase.




Dear friend of Pics and Flicks,
Friday, 5th July 2012
Pics and Flicks
2012 Oscar Award winner:

The Artist

This witty and moving homage to the silent movie era is one of the most purely enjoyable movies in years, writes Peter Bradshaw

  • Details: Cert PG, 100 mins, Romance, Dir: Michel HazanaviciusWith: Berenice Bejo, James Cromwell, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, Penelope Ann MillerSummary: A silent movie star struggles to come to terms with the arrival of talkies

Find out what’s on next month at
Tickets go on sale at Gerringong Town Hall at 7.30pm with the film starting at 8.00pm. After the film, stay for our Gerringong Pics and Flicks world famous Tea, Coffee and Cakes ($3.00) and take the time to discuss the film or anything else you like in a relaxed social atmosphere.
And remember – yearly memberships available now for only $60. That’s 11 movies for just $60.
So come get your kicks at Gerringong Pics & Flicks!!
Exhibition Dates: 6th – 27th July
Open Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm

Main space: The Museum of Accidents
Jess Hutchins, Ness Flett, Luke Warm, Chris Baldwin, Chase C Middleton, Grace Tan
We experience the world in two halves at once; the dystopic and the utopic, the cheap and the luxurious, the scarce and the abundant, the repulsive and magnetic. Life co-exists within this dichotomy. It is in between spaces that simultaneity occurs and reality thrives.
In The Museum of Accidents, we witness an exploration of a “Utopia” and its antithesis “Dystopia” through the perspectives of six artists who each have two windows to present their view. If the utopian construct is an unattainable perfection we look towards, do we place ourselves in a perpetual state of dystopia?
Vitrine: Placeholder
Julie ShielsThe objects and the text in this work might be familiar but not recognisable. The bronze sculptures are cast from the empty spaces in clear plastic packaging, but bear little physical resemblance to the toys and implements originally enclosed in those transparent voids. Their origins are obscured and abstracted, just as we are distanced from the industrial processes used to produce the original goods. The faux-Latin text, Lorum Ipsum, is used in publishing and graphic design as a place-holder on unfinished websites or publications.  It focuses attention on appearance rather than the meaning. These sculptural and textual devices are a metaphoric exploration of 21st century consumer culture.Sample: Platform Archive Project
Therese Keogh

“The old name Stratigraphy is applied to the study of strata – that is, to the rocks as they occur in the earth’s crust in strata or layers, to their superposition and relation to one another, and to their history as shown by the contained fossils, their mineral composition, etc. Stratigraphy is actually the real summary of geology, the continuous story and history of the evolution of the solid earth and all that is upon and in it.”
– A. Raistrick

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