The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2017-02-21T01:20:13Z Tech21 brings parents unlimited fun family time with Evo Play 2017-02-21T01:20:13Z tech21-brings-parents-unlimited-fun-family-time-with-evo-play SYDNEY, 21 February, 2017 – Tech21, the leader in impact protection for mobile devices has launched its new range of cases for the iPad in Australia: Evo Play. “Kids + iPads” isn’t always the safest pairing if your iPad isn’t protected, but it can certainly be one of the most fun for inquisitive minds. Whether it’s watching the latest episode of Peppa Pig or navigating through the back garden jungle discovering new wildlife, iPads can open up a world of exploration, but more often than not, a small chip here or a little crack there means that fun can be cut short. Prolong the play time and keep that shiny new look and feel to your iPad even when little fingers have put it through its paces thanks to tech21’s new iPad case, Evo Play. This comfortable and lightweight case has been designed to offer unbeatable drop protection from up to two metres, and with its iconic design, vibrant colours and handy multi-use handle, this case will remove any glimmer of fear you had in handing over your iPad to your children. This case is constructed almost entirely from tech21’s unique material, FlexShock™ Foam, meaning all sides and surfaces are protected from drops as the material moulds snugly to your iPad. Better still, the case is entirely dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to keep clean, and when it’s on your iPad, its sealed outer shell is abrasion/bite resistant, preventing any bacteria from getting in under the surface. “We’ve designed the all-new Evo Play with kids in mind. We know children love to learn, play and explore, and we recognise iPads are a great way for them to do this. However, they may not love your precious iPad back, so Evo Play is there for you,” comments Jason Roberts, CEO, tech21. “Evo Play is lightweight and comfortable for little hands to hold, yet strong enough to keep your iPad safe from tumbles and drops.” Evo Play is available in pink/purple and blue/green colours from, RRP $79.95 for Apple iPad mini, mini 2, mini 3 & mini 4, and RRP $109.95 for Apple iPad Air 2. Much like all of tech21’s products, Evo Play comes with a simple promise: it’s rigorously tested to work harmoniously with your iPad. Like the technology it’s designed to protect, it uses the latest science, ingenious design and unbeatable user-friendliness to make advanced impact protection possible. Tech21 calls it ‘Protection Made Intelligent’. ### For further information, questions, or cases for review, please contact: Jim Barker, tech21/Poem Phone: +61 418 163 770 Email: High-res images: Download here About tech21 Since 2005, tech21 has been developing the most advanced, scientifically proven cases and screen shields for mobile, tablet and laptop devices worldwide. Tech21 combines science, engineering and British design to create products that address three core consumer benefits: style, protection and performance. As the brand evolves to continue meeting the needs of its consumers, tech21 has developed the most advanced impact protection material on the market – FlexShock™. The ultra-thin and lightweight material absorbs and dissipates force and can withstand drops up to 4 metres. In addition tech21 puts all its products through a rigorous testing program, and in an industry first has partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to develop its testing methodology. This ensures that the tests tech21 products have to pass are overseen by independent experts. Tech21 is the number one case brand in the UK. For more information, visit Castlemaine State Festival: Focus on the Phillipines 2017-02-16T21:25:00Z castlemaine-state-festival-focus-on-the-phillipines From a carefully curated program of films from the world’s oldest film industry, to a specially created sculpture from one of the Philippines most exciting young artists, to a diverse compilation of videos and moving image works from across the Philippine archipelago, this year’s program uncovers the real history and promising future of an exciting nation. The 2017 program shines a bright light on the Philippines featuring a program of film, visual and socio-political artworks. Exploring Australia’s connection with the country, with more than 100,000 Filipino Australian living in Victoria alone, these works delve deep into the cultural layers of the country. Crossroads - a thoughtfully curated program of award-winning and highly acclaimed Filipino films, assembled specifically for the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival, will provide unique insight into Philippine cinema and the country’s eventful and intriguing past. With the Filipino film industry widely considered to be the oldest in Asia, the films selected for Crossroads reveal the complex relationships between Filipino film and Philippine society, and how potent social forces and film have the capacity to influence one another with eight film screenings at the Theatre Royal from the 18-25 March. Curated especially for the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival, periSCOPE is a compilation of videos and moving image works from across the Philippine archipelago. The collection has been compiled by 98B COLLABoratory, a multidisciplinary artist-run initiative that seeks to establish a convergence between artists, designers, curators, writers, activists, educators and the general public. The works selected by multiple curators from across the Philippines, with the resulting compendium showcasing diverse glimpses and peripheries as seen through many lenses, offer rare insight into regional contemporary Filipino art production and demonstrate a striking range of themes, geographies and cultural issues. One of the Philippines’ most exciting young artists (with past works including a special commission for Lady Gaga), Leeroy New will create a temporary sculptural installation called La Puerta Del Laberinto (The Door to the Labyrinth) combining visual arts, fashion, film and theatre for the exterior of the Castlemaine Art Museum. Leeroy New is one of the Philippines’ most intriguing young artists. In 2008 Leeroy won the prestigious Ateneo Art Award and was invited to take up a six week residency in 2009 at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre in Bendigo. In 2017, he returns with this ambitious new project which responds to the unique characteristics and context of place and will be made with recycled materials collected from the local area. Festival Director, Martin Paten says: “The Philippines could be seen as an unusual choice of country to feature, but it's a fitting choice I feel to follow-on from our Cuban program last festival. Like Cuba, the Philippines has been heavily influenced by American and Spanish colonial culture, and has suffered significant political division and controversy. But most importantly, Australia has extremely strong connections with the Philippines. There are more than 400,000 Filipino / Australians, of whom almost a quarter live in Victoria, and yet we know so little about the country.” “The Philippines is not a favoured holiday destination for many Australians - but it could be. And we can only be enriched by knowing more about the cultural layers of this diverse nation - with a population of over 100 million and more than 7000 islands producing a wide range of artistic riches. I feel so excited by this year’s international relationship with artists and their works from The Philippines.” The 2017 Castlemaine State Festival runs from the 17-26 March. Visit: ebb and flow fibre arts exhibition delves into the intricacies of life 2017-02-14T02:37:12Z ebb-and-flow-fibre-arts-exhibition-delves-into-the-intricacies-of-life You are cordially invited to the Official Opening: 5.30pm, 10 March 2017, with speaker Valerie Kirk (no rsvp required) From landscapes to moonscapes, from migration to memory and from the sea to the bush, ebb and flow is the latest exhibition from the untethered fibre artists that reimagines a familiar theme in an exciting range of fibre and textile mediums and techniques.“A vibrant exhibition filled with works that challenge us to reconsider countless aspects of our lives and the world around us.” Jacqueline Schultze, independent curator and arts consultant Both the gentle rhythms of life and the momentous shifts that shape our world and ourselves are represented in more than 40 works that tell social and environmental stories as ebb and flow travels from its premiere at Wallarobba Arts & Cultural Centre in Hornsby to Belconnen Arts Centre (and on its way to Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre in May). On the opening night, a short address will be given by respected textile practitioner, writer, researcher and educator Valerie Kirk, who is currently Head of Textiles at Australian National University, School of Art. At ebb and flow, an extraordinary array of fibre and textile techniques and mediums are on display in the form of hangings, wearables and sculptural works. Stitch, print, felt, dye, embellish, weave, quilt, knit, patch, paint, wrap, mould, manufacture, fashion, shape, warp, melt, coil, fuse, collect, reuse… Materials include new and reclaimed fabrics, fibres of wool silk cotton flax linen, threads, yarns, wire, paper, acrylics, tape, plaster, plastic, beads, natural and synthetic dyes, wax, ceramics, neoprene, found objects.“…  what a wonderful array of fine textile works you are exhibiting.  They show imagination, thoughtful consideration, a range of challenging techniques, clever uses of material and great beauty. Above all they give us an insight into their maker’s dreams, stories and ideas.” Maisy Stapleton former CEO of (Museums & Galleries) M&G NSWuntethered fibre artists was formed in 2014 from members of ATASDA (Australian Textile Arts & Surface Design Association), with the shared goals of challenging the perceived boundaries of fibre and textile art, and creating an environment for members to support and encourage each other’s art practices and personal growth as artists. ATASDA is a national non-profit and voluntary organisation promoting and fostering textile and fibre arts; and interaction and co-operation between textile artists. PHOTOGRAPHY by Janet Tavener More hi-res images available on request   Work Club wants to help bring side projects to life, launching after hours memberships 2016-12-19T21:10:00Z work-club-wants-to-help-bring-side-projects-to-life-launching-after-hours-memberships 20 December 2016 - Melbourne. Work Club Melbourne today launches its ‘side project’ membership, catering for anyone who wants to bring their side project to life. The membership provides access to Work Club on weekends and after 5.00pm on weekdays. Including all the benefits of Work Club after hours, the space is the ideal environment to grow a startup or develop a new career. Work Club member, ex Managing Director of Artesian Venture Partners and now founder and CEO of a new startup Xchange, Caitlin Iles, said “When I was working full-time and trying to develop Xchange I spent hours sitting in café or hotel lobbies feeding off the energy of its patrons. I was looking for a space like Work Club that I could access before and after work and on weekends where I could focus and incubate my ideas. I only wish I had found Work Club earlier in my journey of being a founder, I am sure I would have been months ahead of where I am now.” “My new business Xchange is currently in its infancy - we are preparing to launch in 2017. Without a doubt the quality of the interiors, the team and caliber of my colleagues at Work Club in Melbourne and Sydney have brought a level of credibility to my business that has given us a head start. In many ways it feels like an unfair advantage.” Founder of Work Club, Soren Trampedach, who has also designed workplaces for Google and Microsoft, said, “Being a Work Club member gives you so much more than just access to the highest quality workspace. Members also have access to our entertainment and hospitality lounges, concierge services, and member relationships so those starting their side project journey can meet people who are further along and can provide advice and inspiration to help with new ideas and information.” “We know that there are many people currently working in a corporate job that are either starting their own business on the side, or planning to become an independent consultant. This creates a need for energizing and inspiring environments where these corporate escapees can safely begin their transition to life outside of traditional employment. This side project membership provides a soft landing.” Ten side project memberships are available at Work Club Melbourne. Work Club Sydney plan to introduce this membership category in early 2017. More information: Short + Sweet: SNACKABLETV youth broadcast network for short-form content launches 2016-12-01T00:16:58Z short-sweet-snackabletv-youth-broadcast-network-for-short-form-content-launches Meet SNACKABLETV, a revolutionary digital youth network housing the best in bite-sized content. It’s an entirely new way for young people all over the world to access high quality short-form entertainment for FREE, without annoying advertisements or subscriptions. VIEW THE SIZZLE REEL Millennials are diverse, curious and engaged - so, SNACKABLETV is too. It does not discriminate against gender, sexuality, race, creed or socio-economic status, only against beige content. SNACKABLETV launches with solid collaborations and partnerships as official Youth & Content Broadcaster for Sydney Festival, co-produced podcasts with the team from Melbourne’s Sans Pants Radio and short films produced by future creative superstars from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Offering something for everyone, SNACKABLETV plays host to content across seven channels; Culture, Film, Gaming, Music, Podcast, Style, and a dedicated hub for today’s news, events, and the best of the net; What’s Hot. Original series’ will feature respected members of the creative community including; street artist Scott Marsh; music journalist Danny Clayton; celebrity fashion stylist Mikey Ayoubi; mindfulness coach Kylie Ryan; comedians Rhys Nicholson and Robbie Armfield; musicians Client Liaison, Sleep Makes Waves and The Jezabels; and so much more incredible talent in front of and behind the lens. In the face of a fracturing media landscape, SNACKABLETV also offers a solution for brands to target a millennial audience utilising quality native content by creating this ‘safe space’ free of subscriptions and free of pre-rolls and pop-up ads to give viewers a great experience which will keep them coming back for more. The network will lead the fight against ‘Digital Litter’, a result of too much access to poorly made content. Everything on SNACKABLETV is short, sharp, and captivating. It’s video that is never boring, always inspiring, with an added dose of learning for the socially aware, completely free of charge to the viewer. SNACKABLETV Co-founders Kate Edwards and Shae Constantine said today: “We are extremely proud to be launching Australia’s first short form broadcast network made especially for young people. “SNACKABLETV is purpose built as much for the consumer as it is for the creator – it’s a conduit between the two worlds. We identified a gap, in that there is so much good content out there and before now it hasn’t had a home or a chance to get to an audience who will appreciate it. “Our doors are wide open to young creatives and creators. We want to distribute the best short-form content the world has seen, and this is only possible with a truly robust digital platform to facilitate the relationship between creator and audience. That platform is SNACKABLETV.” Content is currently available online (mobile, tablet or desktop) via The bar has been set high and SNACKABLETV is committed to pushing the boundaries in both the controversy and quality stakes. New content will be released on all channels across the network constantly. Stay tuned for updates on exciting co-productions and distribution partnerships. In the face of a fracturing media landscape, SNACKABLETV also offers a solution for brands to target a millennial audience utilising quality native content by creating this ‘safe space’ free of subscriptions and free of pre-rolls and pop-up ads to give viewers a great experience which will keep them coming back for more. Interview and content requests contact The Lantern Group: Louisa Read +61 412 955 101 Fiona Gulin +61 487 992 333 CONNECT WITH SNACKABLETV FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM #snackableTV MEDIA MATERIALS DROPBOX Nail Your Christmas Shopping This Year With RedBalloon 2016-11-15T06:29:56Z nail-your-christmas-shopping-this-year-with-redballoon-1 RedBalloon, Australia’s leading online experience and ‘things to do’ destination is taking the hassle out of Christmas shopping by revealing the latest, must-have gifts as we head into the festive season, with Christmas gift guides for each state and territory in Australia attached. With Christmas just around the corner, RedBalloon promises to take the stress out of present buying this year. And with more than 3500 experiences to choose from, they guarantee you’ll find something to suit everyone. “We’ve seen a strong increase in gourmet experience purchases over the last few years, driven by the growing reputation of Australia’s food and wine our increasingly acclaimed chefs and our passion for home cooking. Last Christmas the gourmet category was our most popular gifting category so we’ve worked hard through the year to ensure we have an even wider range of hands-on experiences on offer including cooking classes, barista courses, wine, beer and cheese tastings and gourmet gifts for anyone, no matter what their taste,” RedBalloon CEO Nick Baker said. RedBalloon gifts and vouchers are available up until Christmas Day, to ensure even the most last minute of shoppers can purchase something unique, meaningful and timely for the biggest gift giving day of the year. Aussies can browse more than 3500 experiences on offer at REDBALLOON’S TOP 3 CHRISTMAS GIFTING CATEGORIES 1. Gourmet Experiences Barista training course Patisserie masterclass Brewery tours and beer tasting 2. Outdoor Activities Horse riding activities Scenic cruises Vintage bike ride with picnic 3. Water Sport Experiences Sea turtle snorkel tour Crocodile cage of death Flyboarding experience ABOUT REDBALLOON is Australia’s most awarded online experience retailer and home of ‘things to do’. RedBalloon has sold almost 3 million experiences since it was established in 2001. Today it offers more than 3500 unique experiences from more than 1000 providers across Australia and New Zealand. RedBalloon also distributes gift cards through selected major retailers nationally, including Coles, Woolworths, Big W, Australia Post, Target, Kmart and Officeworks. Visit Further Information: Laura Sedgwick, / 02 8987 2114/ 0451 041 705 Lawson and Lovell Building Services Celebrate Success at the 2016 HIA-CSR NSW Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards 2016-10-18T11:06:56Z lawson-and-lovell-building-services-celebrate-success-at-the-2016-hia-csr-nsw-housing-and-kitchen-bathroom-awards Lawson and Lovell Building Services celebrated their success at the 2016 HIA-CSR NSW Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards on Saturday night. The Curl Curl based company won the HIA NSW Custom Built Home $1million - $2.5 Million partnered by Smeg Australia for their project at Mosman. Judges said, “This is a beautifully designed home showing great attention to detail throughout. The house shows brilliant workmanship and construction with a seamless design with simple & modern finishes showing the difficulty in construction.” Congratulating Lawson and Lovell Building Services on such an outstanding achievement, HIA Executive Director - NSW, David Bare, said the awards recognise excellence in housing innovation, material selection, design, construction and services to the NSW residential building industry. “HIA is committed to recognising the outstanding achievements of our members. It is encouraging to see that support and commitment to excellence for these awards has yet again been remarkable. Each year a high calibre of entries is presented, reflecting the exceptional standard HIA members place on workmanship, innovation and design thereby raising the bar and making the judging all the more difficult.” “Major winners tonight can look forward to progressing to HIA’s national awards next year and we wish them every success.” The awards were held in front of a sell-out audience at The Star. Special guests included HIA’s National President, Ross Lang; HIA’s Managing Director, Shane Goodwin; HIA’s NSW President, Cathy Inglis; and Paul Manks, Regional General Manager, CSR Lightweight Products. The MC for the evening was comedian Shane Bourne. To open the evening, there was a performance by Takoiz and following the awards presentation, guests were entertained by the Groove Academy. The Association’s awards were a tremendous display of the housing industry’s capacity, innovation and resilience in a very busy NSW residential market. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) is the leading industry association in the Australian residential building sector, supporting the businesses and interests of builders, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, building professionals and business partners. For further information contact: David Bare, HIA Executive Director, NSW – 0418 924 127 Lisa Harris, HIA Communications Executive - 9978 3326 Media Contact: Candice Meisels Rottnest Island native quokkas sprinkle positivity around the globe 2016-08-10T21:00:00Z rottnest-island-native-quokkas-sprinkle-positivity-around-the-globe Allan Dixon has one of the strongest selfie games in the world. Being dubbed “The real-life Dr Dolittle”, content maker Allan Dixon has become a social media sensation worldwide with his heart-warming yet hilarious animal selfies captured on his travels. Dixon has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to release a photo book about quokkas.   The 29-year-old Instagrammer has travelled around the world and mastered the art of taking animal selfies. His portrait mates varied from domesticated dogs, chickens, and horses to wild kangaroos, koalas, camels, and even a Diamond Python.   Three years ago, Dixon’s selfie with a quokka – a small and extremely cute marsupial from Rottnest Island, WA with a photogenic grin on its face has sparked a quokka selfie trend. Since then Dixon has been sharing adorable quokka images every Monday on his Instagram account @daxon and is now set to bring happiness to more people with his quokka images.   “Having taken so many photos of quokkas and never printed anything in my life, I only want to put something out that people will actually love and will affect their lives in a positive way. I hope The Quokka Book is both of those things,” says Dixon.   The adventurer and photographer further explains his quokka book initiative, “The core theme of this book is about sharing positivity. I want to remind people to smile, laugh and, most importantly, to think about doing what makes them happiest.”   The king of the animal kingdom is originally from Ireland, but he is now calling Australia home.   “The Quokka Book will be a 96-page full-colour hardcover book filled with quality photos of Australia’s cutest creature that I have taken over the last two years as well as some never before seen images. It will be printed 35kms from the quokkas’ home in Perth, making it a genuine high quality Aussie product.”   For more information on The Quokka Book or to support the crowdfund campaign please visit    -ENDS-  MEDIA CONTACT Holysmoke! Agency Amanda Fry, Yvonne Kong or Laura Heslop P: +61 2 8354 0931 E;; Celebrity booksellers help find your perfect #bookmatch this National Bookshop Day 2016-08-09T22:30:57Z celebrity-booksellers-help-find-your-perfect-bookmatch-this-national-bookshop-day SATURDAY 13 AUGUST, AUSTRALIA: NATIONAL BOOKSHOP DAY Bookshops flourish despite former Small Business Minister, Nick Sherry’s declaration in 2011 ‘in five years, other than a few specialty bookshops in capital cities, you will not see a bookstore. They will cease to exist.’ Australians love their local and Independent bookshops so much that sales are on the rise. National Bookshop Day, Saturday 13 August gives hundreds of local bookshops an opportunity to throw open their doors to book lovers and celebrate what they do best #bookmatch. Book matching is the heart of bookselling and across Australia there will be ‘Book Doctors’ in store at key bookshops to prescribe the next best kids read; Grug-tastic happenings and a galaxy of popular authors including Alan Brough, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Annabel Crabb, Brooke Davis, Jeff Duff, Nikki Gemmell, Richard Glover, Anita Heiss, Hannah Kent, Garth Nix, Dave O’Neil, Michael Robotham, William McInnes and many more making guest appearances. Leading authors and booksellers will unite to help people leap into their next chapter with a perfect #bookmatch: Lost your mojo? On the hunt for a new recipe? Need a bedtime story? In a dud relationship? Need to escape? Hungry for knowledge? They can help! INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE NOW Event Highlights: Around the country there will be book booths and tee-pees where people can enter, consult the book doctor and emerge with their prescription. See Richard Glover, Nikki Gemmell and Michael Robotham amongst other well-known faces at the #bookmatch table at Gleebooks between 9 – 3.30pm. Support the future of Australia’s book industry at Kinokuniya where a #bookscreate forum including Nikki Gemmell, Michael Robotham, Phillipa McGuiness and Garth Nix will take place at 2pm. James Kellow, CEO of Harper Collins Australia, will host the panel. At Better Read than Dead you can meet Writer in Residence Annabel Crabb, write your own shelfie, see the staff dressed up as their favourite literary characters and nab a cupcake. At 12pm well-known caterer Simmone Logue will be signing her book In the Kitchen followed by a 3pm signing of This Will Explain Everything by musician, artist and local legend Jeff Duff at Potts Point Bookshop. Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs will have little ones enthralled with story time 10.30am at Younger Sun and Melbourne based comedian, man of leisure and now, author Dave O'Neil joins Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hannah Kent and William McInnes will be appearing behind the counter to sell some books to the adults at The Sun Bookshop. Writer, actor, comedian and TV presenter Alan Brough will be presenting a performance based on his children’s book Charlie and the War Against the Grannies 11.30 am at Benn's Books. Expect to see lab coats and stethoscopes at the ready for #bookmatch at Avid Reader. Throughout the day you can busk your favourite book, dress your pooch as your favourite book character and don’t miss ever-popular Grug’s guest appearance next door at Where the Wild Things Are. They will also announce the winner for their ‘Flash Fiction’ prize on the day. There will be many book sales on the day but a stand out will be at the National Library who will be having a National Bookshop Day Sale where you can get your hands on some unique books. Discover all events here (Please contact us for details if your local isn’t listed here) Everyone is invited to play along on social media: Tag: #LoveYourBookshop On the big day itself pop in to your local bookshop to take part in the celebrations. While you’re there you could: Tag/check in on Facebook with @LoveYourBookshop Tag @NatBookshopDay on Twitter Take a selfie with your local bookseller / bookshop Hug your local bookseller! Tell your social media followers why you love your local bookseller, posted with #LoveYourBookshop Film a short video of yourself and upload to your social media pages, tagging @LoveYourBookshop Australian Bookshop Fast Facts Australia has the largest number of independent bookshops in the English-speaking world and growing, with many bookshops expanding and opening new locations. Australians love their local bookshops - book sales at independent bookshops have increased by more than 6% in the past year Australia is home to the ‘World’s Best Bookshop’ – Readings as voted by London Book Fair. The book industry employs more than 20,000 people with around 10,000 in book retail. Australia has quite the reading habit: book sales have grown year-on-year for the past three years and the range of titles sold has grown by 15% since 2008. Children’s book sales have grown over the past five years from 25% to more than 32% of total book sales. The Australian Booksellers Association welcomed 55 new members in the past year. Reasons to Celebrate Bookshops When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits Local retailers are your friends and neighbours—support them and they’ll support you Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains. More independents mean more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community. Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbours The various ‘shop local’ movements across Australia drive home the point that there is a great deal of social capital gained by people who can walk or make a short drive to shops, see their neighbours and be recognised by their shopkeepers. Bookshops are a key component of that ‘shop local’ experience, and are active cultural and social hubs for their local communities engaging with schools, young readers, community groups and local charities. ‑ Joel Becker CEO ABA For more information, interviews, footage and images please contact Emma Rusher T 0423 214 626 | Mercedes-Benz Vans invites creatives, entrepreneurs and small businesses to hack the Vito van 2016-07-11T23:48:21Z mercedes-benz-vans-invites-creatives-entrepreneurs-and-small-businesses-to-hack-the-vito-van Mercedes-Benz Vans invites small businesses, start-ups, product developers, industrial designers, creative technologists, hustlers and hackers to put together a team of like-minded entrepreneurial thinkers and pitch an innovative business idea using the Vito van as the canvas. Six teams will be chosen to participate in a 1 day hackathon on Saturday 6th August where their creativity will be put to the test. The teams will complete a series of exercises, working alongside a team from Mercedes-Benz Vans, product experts and industrial designers to bring their idea to life - redesigning a Vito van in an innovative and creative way. A panel of thinkers, entrepreneurs and business leaders including Shane Delia (award winning chef and restaurateur), Diane Tarr (Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia & New Zealand), and Jane Martino (Advisor, Unlockd & TRIBE, Co-Founder Smiling Mind and board member LaunchVic) will assess the ideas and select the winner, who will be awarded with a brand new Mercedes-Benz Vito. "We believe that the humble Vito has long been underestimated and has simply been used just to get a job done. When we see a van however, we see something different. We see the potential inside. We are excited by the ideas and possibilities for how the Vito van can be reimagined to transform an existing business, or completely reinvented to create new businesses", Diane Tarr Managing Director - Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia & New Zealand. Entries close at 5pm on 27 July 2016. ---- ends About the Mercedes-Benz Vito Whether it‘s work or play, the Vito is purpose-designed to take care of your every need. It‘s a van built not just to fulfil the tasks it‘s set but make that all-important difference when it comes to flexibility, safety, economic efficiency and quality. This peace of mind is something you only get from a genuine commercial vehicle specialist. For more information: Kate Dinon, KDPR +61 487 328 738 | Sami Yusuf, Britain’s biggest singer in the Middle East, announces first New Zealand concert 2016-05-19T00:30:28Z sami-yusuf-britain-s-biggest-singer-in-the-middle-east-announces-first-new-zealand-concert This July, experience Sami Yusuf’s unique voice firsthand when the UK’s biggest star in the Middle East takes the stage in Auckland.   Immerse yourself in the world of “Spiritique” as the founder of the genre, Sami Yusuf, graces Auckland’s Town Hall with peace and harmony on Sunday 10 July 2016. With tickets starting from only NZ$65, this is the best opportunity for New Zealand fans to personally experience Yusuf’s inspiring music.   The Guardian recognised Yusuf as Britain’s biggest star in the Middle East who has sold 34 million albums to date and is distinguished worldwide for the celebrated concerts of harmony he performs. His Auckland show will be no different.   In the current global atmosphere of conflict and turmoil, Yusuf's message of peace and harmony is timely and much needed.   Appointed by the United Nations as both the World’s Global Ambassador Against Hunger and the promoter of World peace and harmony, Yusuf is by no means your typical British celebrity. The brilliant singer is also well renowned for his astounding talent as a composer, producer and instrumentalist. The transcendent message of traditional music speaks for the core of Yusuf’s passions. He strongly believes that the world’s traditions are expressions of the same ultimate truth. Music for him is an expression of divine love and the love of all the great traditions. Speaking of his very first Australian and New Zealand tour, the London based singer cannot conceal his excitement. “I do know that both Australia and New Zealand are unbelievably beautiful, and the people are accepting, kind and hospitable. Also, the aboriginal culture has always been an object of fascination for me. I’m keen and eager to learn more about the two countries,” said Sami Yusuf.   One of Yusuf’s largest live concerts was in Istanbul where he performed to over 250,000 people and also composed and arranged music for the film “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Havthan”.   Auckland fans will see Yusuf perform at Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall on July 10 at 8pm. Ticket prices start from only NZ$65.     SAMI YUSUF is appearing at:-  Auckland, Sunday 10th July 2016 at the Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall Tickets available through Ticketmaster:     MEDIA CONTACT Holysmoke! Agency Laura Heslop, Yvonne Kong or Amanda Fry E:; or P: +61 407 078 407 AUSTRALIA’S LEADING AUTHORS GATHER TO CONDEMN GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO CREATE A CULTURE OF BOOK THIEVES 2016-05-18T22:21:03Z australia-s-leading-authors-gather-to-condemn-government-s-plan-to-create-a-culture-of-book-thieves Who: Richard Flanagan, Nikki Gemmell, Andy Griffiths, Tom Keneally to lead Alist roll call of Australian and international authors When: Thursday 19 May at 6.45pm – 6.55pm Where: Art Gallery NSW, just before the 16th annual Australian Book Industry Awards begin What: Photo opp with limited vox pops available on request. Don’t close the book on Australian stories. The Australian government is about to make significant changes to copyright, threatening the future of our Australian story. But at what cost to writers, culture and jobs? Guest ABIA presenter and Man Booker Prize winner, Richard Flanagan will deliver a speech in response to the Productivity Commission's Intellectual Property draft report around 10pm during the gala ceremony. ‘Australians deserve that their lives, experiences, country and culture be reflected in the literature that they read.’ - Thomas Keneally For more information, please contact: Emma Rusher T 0423 214 626 | Local adult colouring book is a mandala-inspired delight! 2016-05-16T18:04:44Z local-adult-colouring-book-is-a-mandala-inspired-delight Adult colouring-in books have been taking the world by storm in the 2010s, and their popularity has only risen this year. Touted as aids to mindfulness, de-stressing, and increased creativity, adult colouring-in books are great tools for the adult to engage with their childlike sensibilities once again, and get lost in a calming world of colour and directed focus. Brisbane-based artist Jannah Smith has been drawing since she was young, and found art again as an adult, tapping into her fascination with intricate detail, symmetry, and geometric styling. She has been selling versions of Daydream to delighted consumers via markets and trade for the past several years, but this hardcover release of Daydream sees the book delivered as a beautiful product to behold. The hardcover style and binding along the top edge makes this flip-book the perfect item for the owner to take with them and draw on the go, using the rigid hardcover as their sturdy surface – on the train, at a café, when travelling. If you’re passing through Imbil, Queensland, why not grab a copy from recent stockists ‘Seeds to Serendipity’? You can also find Daydream being sold by the author herself at the Eumundi, Gympie, Pomona, and Yandina markets in the future.  Sydney snares famed #WhatLiftsYou social-street artist for wild new murals in Bondi, 4-day colouring extravaganza at Sydney Writers' Festival: 18 MAY LAUNCH 2016-05-13T00:51:23Z sydney-snares-famed-whatliftsyou-social-street-artist-for-wild-new-murals-in-bondi-4-day-colouring-extravaganza-at-sydney-writers-festival-18-may-launch 18 - 27 May 2016 COLOUR WITH KELSEY #WhatLiftsYou creator and international street artist, Kelsey Montague takes Australia for a book and art extravaganza. Famed for blending street art and social media, #WhatLiftsYou creator Kelsey Montague will launch her first colouring book in Australia with a swag of art collaborations, book parties and as the Sydney Writers’ Festival Artist in Residence. Kelsey creates wild and whimsical large-scale murals that beg passersby to step into them, become part of the art and share it with the world via #WhatLiftsYou on social. The #WhatLiftsYou campaign started when Kelsey drew a towering pair of beautiful angel wings on a Manhattan street in 2014. Kelsey invited people to stand with the piece, post about it online and describe what lifts and inspires them in their lives. Thousands of people began lining up to participate. With fans like Taylor Swift and Vanessa Hudgens, this single piece of street art went global, Kelsey was invited to share her art and vision with communities from Costa Rica to Zurich, Bondi to Shanghai, Dublin to France, England and around the U.S. Now Kelsey's exquisite works will be at everyone’s fingertips with her first colouring book, What Lifts You (Affirm Press, RRP $19.99), a stunning collection of images reflecting Kelsey’s unique style and combination of beauty and positivity. The What Lifts You colouring book is a natural outcome of Kelsey’s philosophy that creating art should be an interactive, thought-provoking and uplifting experience. Printed on luxe paper, these are intricate and inspiring images to linger over and lavish colour upon. Kelsey invites you to cut them out, frame them, create one-of-a-kind decor from them. Each illustration in What Lifts You is designed to remind you to consider what inspires you and to always keep the answers close to your heart. Fresh from her wildly popular SxSW (South by South West Festival) take-away art piece and speaking with Instagram founders on connecting people and brands; Kelsey visits Sydney and Melbourne across 18 – 27 May, 2016 on her world tour that takes in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. Kelsey Montague is an international street artist who believes that art should not be separated from the human experience, but that the human experience should have a hand in creating the art itself. After studying art in Florence, and graduating from Richmond University in London with a degree in Art, Design & Media, Kelsey and her illustrations took New York City and now the world. Kelsey has painted large scale, interactive street murals in six countries on three continents. Each piece has provided an opportunity for thousands of people to become living works of art. Kelsey’s art has been featured in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mashable, Refinery 29 and MTV. FOR INTERVIEWS, IMAGES AND FILMING WITH KELSEY Contact: Emma Rusher T 0423 214 626 | E #WhatLiftsYou WORLD TOUR Australian Highlights SYDNEY Tuesday 17 May Sydney Writers's Festival Opening Night Party. Invite only Wednesday 18 May Watch Kelsey create a NEW Bondi Beach Mural Thursday 19 May – Sunday 22 May Sydney Writers’ Festival: Artist in Residence Create part of the art. Join Kelsey to colour in her custom wings on the wharf. Pier 2/3 Foyer, Pier 2/3 Walsh Bay Free Friday 20 May: 1 – 2pm Australia’s Most Social Colouring Book Party Magnificent flying wings, DJ, popcorn, milkshakes and colouring with Kelsey Dymocks Bookshop, 424 – 430 George Street, Sydney Free Saturday 21 May: 1.30pm – 2.30pm Sydney Writers’ Festival Panel Kelsey Montague and Josh Yeldham about art’s power to renew and heal Philharmonia Studio, Pier 4/5 Ticketed $15 Sunday 22 May: 10 – 11am Costco HQ, Colouring book party with Kelsey Monday 23 May Pier One Hotel NEW wings, harbourside VIP Invite Launch Party MELBOURNE Wednesday 25 May Melbourne’s Disney and IMAX NEW Mural AUSTRALIA’S TOP EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER 2016 WINNER NOW ATTRACTING INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM 2016-04-27T21:28:22Z australia-s-top-emerging-photographer-2016-winner-now-attracting-international-acclaim-2 The Outsider by John Feely Head On Photo Festival, Gaffa Gallery, 281 Clarence Street, Sydney 28 April – 9 May John Feely is available for interview and selected images are available for use. Please contact Emma Rusher or 0423 214 626 for more information. CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR THE OUTSIDER ‘John Feely’s The Outsider is a remarkable achievement that shows Feely’s exceptional talent not only as a photographer but as a story teller. One can only get images this rich and poignant by developing a real connection and understanding with their subject matter. Feely more than succeeds in this body of work.’ — Simon Harsent, peer-voted world number 1 photographer and Cannes Gold Lion award-winner. ‘John Feely critiques the shifting margins of Mongolian society by exploring life on the frontier between traditionalism and modernity. With an unsentimental but empathetic sensibility, Feely gives insight into the complexities of globalisation by penetrating the last bastions of a world gone by,’ — Adam Ferguson, Time Magazine and New York Times photojournalist ‘Beautiful and poignant work of John Feely, spend with the nomads of Mongolia. We are all aware how saturated the medium of photography has become. In this maelstrom you find here a rare work of compassion and self discovery.’ — Ingvar Keene, Photographer ABOUT THE OUTSIDER In 2014 a desire to seek out wild adventure led teacher of 'at risk' children and photographer John Feely to close his eyes, and commit to traveling wherever his finger landed on the map. He opened his eyes and his destination was revealed - Western Mongolia. Western Mongolia is an exposed Mars-like wilderness for three months of the year, and an icy landscape for the other nine. Kazaks and Mongols share a way of life in harmony with, and at the whim of, nature’s every gesture. They are a community of outsiders, both physically and in a globalised context. A culture not yet irrevocably changed by modernisation. The Outsider is John Feely’s photographic record of his personal journeys through Mongolia. No language was shared, the process was meditative and silent. Unimaginable events unfolded daily. Rounding up wild horses on mountain tops, climbing into eagles’ nests, migrating cross country with nomads and eating dinner from a single plate with a family of eight. Feely spent time and forged a close friendship with the now famous family of ‘Eagle Huntress’ teenager, Aisholpan, currently the subject of a Hollywood feature animation bidding war. Feely’s attributes his experience teaching ‘at risk’ children for eight years in helping him form meaningful relationships in difficult situations, allowing him to capture life moments and navigate delicate social terrain through his lens. John was the outsider, who became an almost family member in gerts of Western Mongolia. ‘Simply wanting to learn from people and being prepared to sleep on their floors puts you in a space where you are yourself a little vulnerable, and people can sense this,' said Feely. ‘Staying in our comfort zone all the time, always trying to get what we want all the time, seems to solidify our view of the world and our opinions of others. I want to try to get out beyond that, be the outsider and see what comes up to support me.’ Rather than receiving news from the outside world it seems that a fresh internal experience of life is what truly connects us as people. No matter the size, a leap outside the comfort of what we know inspires a reduction in the distance between people. Moment after moment it also makes what was seemingly impossible a fresh new reality. Perhaps this is how our dreams become reality. Slowly Feely, ‘the outsider’ became part of the surrounds. The process was meditative and silent. The photographs are an extension of relationships formed from this place. In August, Feely returns to Mongolia to focus on how the forces of tradition and modernity intersect. The effect of this collision on family, identity, power, culture, health, resilience, survival, opportunity, happiness, providence and connection to the elements that sustain us is the crux of this work. ‘I look for small things, situations that reflect something universal and contemporary that effect all of us. Tradition and globalisation are forces that impacted upon my everyday life and identity here in Australia,’ said Feely. 'I will explore how a father relates to his son in a very different world; how a middle aged woman rediscovers her place in a less traditional society; how a family of nomads survives in a first generation city. I explore the romantic notion of living traditionally and why people chose to move into slums on the outskirts of a heavily polluted city. ‘I want my photographs to raise questions about what we collectively as people and as a global culture gain and lose along the way as well as focusing on specific individual and interpersonal events.’ ABOUT JOHN FEELY John Feely’s approach to photography is an extension of meaningful shared experiences in a range of diverse locations, circumstances and cultures. His previous careers as a behavioural advisor in public education and youth detention, and as a semi-professional footballer influence his photography. He trained at the Queensland College of Arts, and has assisted some of Australia’s premier commercial photographers. He is committed to independent projects that provide him with the freedom to genuinely and deeply explore.