Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Foreign Correspondents on display

The Northern Territory Library in Darwin is hosting an inspiring exhibition showcasing the work of ABC Foreign Correspondents during the past seven decades. The exhibition is open for the next two months, so if you are passing through Australia's TOP END, don't miss it. There are some great photos, anecdotes, and memorabilia reflecting correspondent's experiences - sometimes precarious - reporting from around the world.

There's also an online version of this exhibition. What do you think?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Movie stars, models, yachts and corporate highflyers

The "Aussie Angel" ... Kristy Hinze. Could this person be reason at least one of two superyachts are parked in Darwin Harbour?

Thanks to all those bloggers helping me to solve the mystery connection between the two superyachts - the Athena and the Octopus - newly arrived in Darwin Harbour just as filming is about to start on Baz Luhrman's epic "Australia". The movie features two of Hollywood's hottest Aussies, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Now.. the Athena (see yesterday's blog) is owned by American billionaire Jim Clark.. and here's the breakthrough to my mystery former Sydney model Kristy Hinze - once dubbed by the US press as the "Aussie Angel" is his girlfriend. Last year she was at the centre of Jim Clark's $US125 million divorce.

Kristy Hinze is also the granddaughter of the late Russ Hinze - Queensland's original "minister for everything". And of course she has a few film credits to her name. (The Extras 2005), and SNAP!! WOW!!, now I get it she must be here for "Australia".. perhaps alongside Nicole, Hugh, and other Aussies like Peter Wenham, David Gulpilil etc.

Jim Clark - owner of the most wonderful yacht I've ever seen visiting Darwin Harbour - is the founder of Netscape, mega-wealthy, and about 36 years older than Kristy Hinze.

Last August Hinze was spotted cruising the South Pacific aboard Clark's $100 million superyacht Athena, taking in the sights of French Polynesia with stops at Tahiti, Bora Bora and Rangiroa. No doubt she felt right at home in the master suite, which features a huge marble bath atop a pedestal.

Hinze has been living in New York for years and was signed to the Ford Models agency there.

So what about the Octopus?? What is it doing in Darwin Harbour?? Can any sleuths join me unravelling this puzzle.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Darwin's mystery yachts.

The Athena anchored in Darwin Harbour.

Can anyone tell me the connection between two of Hollywood's hottest Aussie stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, and their impending arrival in Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory, for filming of Baz Luhrmann's "Australia", and two of the world's most luxurious yachts now anchored in Darwin Harbour? The yachts I'm talking about are the Octopus - measuring almost 130 metres long - the world's fifth largest super yacht. It's owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the fifth richest man in the world.
The yacht has three helicopters on board and is valued at more than U.S. $200m.
Diners at Darwin's Stokes Hill Wharf can gaze in envy at the huge yacht, while a little further offshore, the world's largest privately owned sailing yacht is anchored not far from where rusty old illegal fishing boats are kept.
The striking Athena is owned by another software developer Jim Clark.
It has three 60 metres masts and is about 90 metres long.

Meanwhile, filming for "Australia" will start at Darwin's Stokes Hill Wharf on July 3 to 5, when Kidman is shot arriving in Australia from England in a Qantas flying boat. The big old wharf will feature prominently in the movie. Nicole Kidman is playing an English woman who comes to Australia inheriting a big property, falling in love with a stockman by the name of Hugh Jackman. Filming in Darwin will resume on July 10 and 11, after the real life working wharf is made to look as it would have a couple of hours after the bombing of Darwin (a real life event that occurred in 1942).
So what's the connection between the yachts and the arrival in Darwin of our beloved movie stars Nicole and Hugh?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Book launch: Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor and Australia


Here's an amazingly original anthology just launched! It's called TERRA - a unique publication for the Austronesian region. Where? I haven't heard of that before!

The work is in English and Bahasa Indonesia - representing the best of prose and poetry from 40-plus-strong list of writers includes some of the leading literary lights from Australia, Indonesia, East Timor and Singapore. Edited by Sandra Thibodeaux and Sitok Srengenge, with Chief Translator Kadek Krishna Adidharma. Check out more and make your order by contacting the
NT Writers Centre.

Here's what some of Austronesia's leaders are saying about Terra:

...the powerful works in this collection speak to me with force and passion of matters of huge individual and political relevance to our region: freedom, belonging, fear, insecurity, identity.
Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Timor-Leste

Edgy and vibrant, us insigts into the multiple aspects of "Territory": possession, dispossession, racial, religious and environmental conflict, personal spaces, love, fear and hope.
Mike Ladd, Australia

Proof that post-20th century world literature is a movement from margin to margin...not something that spreads out from the centre.
Nirwan Dewanto, Indonesia