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Media and entertainment stories

The following stories relate toTasmania’s Media & Entertainment sector:

Hobart Xmas for Princess Mary

Edition 191_Mary

Tasmania's living, breathing fairy tale — Crown Princess Mary of Denmark — was home for Christmas for the first time in six years and behaved like most visitors.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Line honours to Comanche

Wild Oats XI, the winner of eight previous Sydney to Hobart yacht races, was first across the line for the ninth time this year and broke its own race record only to lose the winner's crown to arch rival LDV Comanche. In dramatic post-race deliberations in Hobart, Wild Oats was found by a five-person international jury to have breached race rules when it tacked aggressively on Sydney Harbour soon after the race start. A one-hour penalty cost the super-maxi line honours and gave Comanche its first win. It was only the third time in the event’s 73-race history that a yacht had lost line honours due to a penalty. Skipper Mark Richards said Wild Oats' crew accepted the jury’s findings and penalty. "Not very often do you smash a Sydney to Hobart record and then get it taken away from you, but it’s happened to us today,” he said. "We’re very disappointed but we have to cop it on the chin.” Much of the yacht's electronic gadgetry had to be replaced in a hurry after a bolt of lightning hit the top of its 45-metre high carbon fibre mast during a pre-Christmas storm in Sydney. Revised times gave Comanche a winning time of 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes, 24 seconds, more than four hours inside the previous record. Handicap honours in the blue-water classic went to the 52-footer Ichi Ban. There were 102 starters and five retirements, but the fleet's adventures didn't end in Hobart. Ninth placer Hollywood Boulevard was disabled after colliding with a huge sunfish off Flinders Island during a return voyage to Sydney. Following a mayday message, six crew were winched to safety by two air ambulance helicopters. The following day two New Caledonians were winched from the rocky shore of Cape Raoul on the Tasman Peninsula when their yacht Claire de Lune was grounded on its return voyage.

In the Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster, line honours went to Lawrence Ford's Spirit of Downunder, while Peter Cretan's Tilt out-raced Fork in the Road to win the Launceston to Hobart race, ending a five-year winning streak by its rival. The three big races brought around 1,000 yachties into the city.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Campbell, 13, is CNN hero

Edition 191_Remess

Tasmanian 13-year-old Campbell Remess flew to the United States in January as the only non-American in a CNN television program about extraordinary young people who have made a difference in their communities. For several years Campbell has been creating home-made teddy bears to comfort children in hospitals. His Project 365 by Campbell has earned social media acclaim around the world. CNN sent a team to Campbell's Hobart home before the New York-based program. It reported: "Campbell Remess (Australia) ... spreads kindness and comfort to hurting kids. He creates and delivers custom-made teddy bears for children battling illnesses around the world." Mum Sonya Whittaker said being in contact with people going through hard times could be difficult. "It's interesting to ask Campbell how he's feeling after he's been to something that's really shocking," Ms Whittaker told ABC Radio. "After we leave my first question is always, 'how are you feeling dude?' His answer is pretty much always the same." Campbell assures his mum he is happy to have made a difference.

Image courtesy of the ABC.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Walsh plays Willie Wonka

MONA owner David Walsh has delivered blocks of chocolate to the letter boxes of 1,200 of his Berridale neighbours, imitating Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And like the fictional oddball confectioner, Walsh had golden tickets delivered along with a small number of the sweet treats. Instead of a trip to a chocolate factory, Walsh’s golden tickets took their lucky recipients to the gala opening of MONA’s $30 million gallery extension, the Pharos Wing. Similar tickets had been selling for $500 a head. Each chocolate bar was inscribed with a thank you to local residents for their patience during construction of the new wing and “for putting up with [MONA’s] shenanigans generally.” The new exhibition space can accommodate 80 patrons at a time and will house work by some of Mr Walsh's favourite artists, James Turrell, Jean Tinguely, Randy Polumbo, Charles Ross and Richard Wilson. MONA will require all patrons entering the wing to sign a medical waiver before viewing some of the works.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

National award to Fullers chief

Fullers Bookshop Manager, Catherine Schulz, has won the Australian Booksellers Association's Bookseller of the Year Award at a national conference. Her success followed the Hobart bookshop's win earlier in 2017 at the prestigious Independent Bookshop of the Year Award. Ms Schulz began working at Fullers in 1990 and has been instrumental in turning it into one of the nation’s leading bookshops. She has been active in supporting her industry, from the smallest of Tasmanian micropublishers through to the industry bodies that formulate policy and programming for Australian independent booksellers. A recommendation from Ms Schulz can create a local bestseller.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Crash claims copter pioneer

Tasmania lost one of its leading aviators in November in an horrific helicopter crash at Hobart Airport. Roger Corbin, 57, the founder of RotorLift, died when an AS350BA Squirrel helicopter being used to train John Osborne, 33, dropped suddenly from a height of about 200 metres and struck the ground near the airport's main runway. Many waiting passengers in the terminal witnessed the event. Three inbound flights were diverted to Launceston and the passengers bussed to Hobart. Three out-going flights were cancelled as crash investigators set to work. Mr Osborne was taken to hospital in a reported "critical" condition, but was discharged within 48 hours. Mr Corbin had clocked up 14,000 flying hours in his 35-year career. He won a National Search and Rescue Award in 2007 for his work in more than 700 rescue missions across Tasmania and its surrounding oceans, including the rescue of a solo Japanese sailor 120 nautical miles south-west of the State. RotorLift operates search-and-rescue missions for Tasmania Police and Mr Corbin was a driving force in the establishment of Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania. The Police Association's Pat Allen said: "He was known to us all as a skilled and dedicated pilot and, of course, was particularly known to our search and rescue members. He was passionate about training members as helicopter crew, and keeping up to date with life-saving techniques and technology to enhance capability." Mr Corbin was the pilot behind Dark Mofo's Siren Sound art installation in 2017, skilfully flying a helicopter at low altitude around the Hobart CBD.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Peroni targets 'red hot' 2018

Teenage Tasmanian racing car driver Alex Peroni is set for a serious tilt at the career-shaping Eurocup in 2018. The young Hobart-born driver ended the 2017 season in 10th place in his first championship. Peroni, who is returning from his Italian base to spend Christmas in Hobart, said: "In Barcelona we had some good form and the points got us over the line to finish 10th in the championship, which we are all very happy about. This is a very tough series with 30 drivers from around the world and all at a very competitive level, so to finish 10th is a great result in our first year." Peroni thanked his sponsors and fund-raisers, as well as the Tasmanian media. As a debut driver who has made a mark, Peroni has significant interest from racing teams, but Team Peroni will have to raise funding for a 2018 campaign. The driver's father, Piero Peroni, said: "We remain hopeful that Alex will have the opportunity to give the championship a red-hot go!"

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Davies wins Geach award

Tasmanian painter Amanda Davies has won Australia's most prestigious award for female portraitists with an impression of fellow artist Pat Brassington. Davies and Brassington both exhibit at North Hobart's Bett Gallery and Brassington posed for her colleague in an inside-out wedding dress. Davies explained that wedding dresses had been a recurring theme in Brassington's work for several decades. “I had a wedding dress in the studio that I had bought a few years ago from an op shop, and asked her to wear it inside-out for me,” Davies told The Advocate. “The wedding dress is ... a reference to surrealism and feminism, so it was a symbolic encounter.” The $30,000 Portia Geach Memorial Award, which dates back to 1965, is recognised as an important celebration of the talents and creativity of Australian female portrait painters. It has played a major role in lifting the profiles of many artists. "The Geach" is awarded each year to "the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, or the Sciences by any female artist resident in Australia during the 12 months preceding the close date for entries."

5 December 2017, Edition 190

West, 24, is a Rhodes Scholar

Medical student Henry West, 24, is the 2018 Rhodes Scholar for Tasmania. He is undertaking post-graduate medical training at the University of Tasmania and is passionate about preventing cardiovascular disease. Mr West, who received a first-class honours degree in Medical Sciences from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in 2015, will undertake a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford, with a focus on developing new imaging tools for examining blood vessels, enabling early detection of cardiovascular disease. The Governor of Tasmania, Professor Kate Warner, AM, announced Mr West's scholarship at Government House. Out-going UTAS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Rathjen, said: "To become a Rhodes Scholar is a life-changing experience, with the program hosting one of the world's most prestigious awards. Henry's on-going dedication and commitment to his studies, and personal achievements, are to be commended and I wish him the very best in his academic career." Mr West has spent time in Uganda providing public health education and intervention. He volunteers locally with the Heart Foundation and in his leisure time runs ultra-marathons, sings and plays the trombone.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Wilderness weeders win award

Volunteers in a 10-year weeding program in Tasmania’s remote south-west coast have been recognised with a Froggatt Award, named in honour of Australian entomologist Walter Froggatt who was a lone voice against the introduction of cane toads in the 1930s. Tasmania’s Sea Spurge Remote Area Teams won their award for a decade of successful work eradicating sea spurge from the wild and beautiful coastline. The 150 volunteers were dropped in by helicopter, boat or fixed-wing aircraft and spent between eight days and three weeks removing pest plant species. They supplied their own gear and relied on food drops, working without pay to remove 14.2 million sea spurge plants from 600km of coastline. As a result, 99.5 per cent of the treated area is sea spurge free. Areas have also been cleared of marram grass and two of the region’s only blackberry infestations. The volunteers contributed a total of 6,000 hours and their work has been valued at over $1.4 million.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 191

Edition 191_Campus

Launceston taking the lead in the race to be Australia's "smartest city" is the top story in your first Tasmania's Stories newsletter of 2018.  I hope you find lots to interest you in your latest edition of Tasmania's Stories.

15 February 2018, Edition 191

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