Bee Cruse
Taste Tour of Lakemba
Sara Mansour - Bankstown Poetry Slam

Nick Atkins – The Joan

The joan

One of the most impressive buildings standing in Penrith is The Joan – a building that inspires, impresses and slight intimidates. Take one step inside and you find a state-of-the-art facility quietly turning out productions that go onto to play on stages all over Australia and the world. We recently spoke with Nick Atkins, a producer at The Joan, who is in charge of The Q – a specifically designated division for developing and producing theatre “in and from the heart of Penrith”. Nick and The Q are instrumental in making the arts accessible to a region that is seriously under-funded and under-represented yet bursting with talent and local stories to tell. Continue Reading

Australia Day in Parramatta 2017

Australia Day Parramatta

Australia Day, however you recognise it, is a day off from work and a chance to get out in the gorgeous weather we have been having here in Sydney. It’s a chance to have a big old barbecue and listen to the Triple J Hottest 100 and celebrate all the amazing opportunities we have here in Western Sydney and in Australia. The City of Parramatta has a great reputation for hosting one of the hottest parties in Sydney, with their annual Australia Day celebration being touted as one of the best ways to listen to some of the best local music that Western Sydney has to offer.  Continue Reading

Miranda Wheen – Champions

Champions

Contemporary Dance and Soccer not two things you would usually read about in the same sentence. On the surface they seem miles apart but it doesn’t take much scratching to start to see the similarities between the two. Both take hours of training, dedication and determination. Both face issues of gender inequality and neither escape the expectation of a great performance.

‘Champions’ is the latest production from FORM Dance Projects, an organisation based in – and advocating for – dance in Western Sydney. ‘Champions’ celebrates the talents of elite sporting performers colliding with contemporary dance to producing surprising parallels between the two.    

The Westies spoke with associate artist Miranda Wheen who grew up in Richmond and attended Penrith High School before going onto University of Western Sydney, at their Werrington campus when they still had beautiful dance studios, and the amazing School of Contemporary Art.  Continue Reading

Santa Run in Cambridge Park

santa

For close to thirty years now, on Christmas Eve Santa has been visiting Cambridge Park on the back of a Ute and with the help of some friendly and fit elves delivering bags of lollies to rows of little – and big – kids who line the streets waiting for his visit.

Kellie Brown has been part of the tradition for almost twenty years and invited The Westies to tag along for the ride. Smiles were wide and the air was thick with excitement for the visit of Santa. The contagious energy put us on a high for the next week, because there really is nothing like the joy of Christmas.  Continue Reading

Uncle Kurts Parramatta – Review

 

Uncle Kurts

Uncle Kurt’s might just be the hottest place in Parramatta right now. After the desperate cries from Westies across this great region, small bars are finally happening here, and we could NOT be more excited about it.

The Westies recently visited (on mass, on Christmas Cheer) Uncle Kurt’s and discovered a little of why this is considered just the hottest spot in town.

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Bank of Queensland – Penrith

bank

Why is it that the most important things in life are almost always seen as the most boring? Like banking – none of us get together over a drink to discuss home loans and interest rates (well some of us might but only to whinge about it). Banking is important, it’s part of our everyday lives yet it’s something most of us would rather not speak of. Checking your balance can cause more anxiety than that well overdue trip to the dentist.

 So we decided to rip the bandaid off and have a chat with Drew Clegg who has been with Bank of Queensland Penrith for 10 years now which is just about as long as they have been open.

 Drew is a lovely guy, generous with his time and has a great way of making you feel comfortable instantly; however when he suggested that the best way to know about the banking experience with BOQ Penrith is to speak to a customer – that is exactly what we did. The customer, Robert, has also been with BOQ Penrith for 10 years. Robert runs his own business and has purchased two houses at actions with the support of BOQ, here is what he told us about his experience. Continue Reading

Bradley Eastman – BEASTMAN

Beastman

Back in August the students at Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High in Emu Plains played host to a pretty special artist in residence, Bradley Eastman better know as Beastman. Over the course of a week and though sunshine and rain Brad turned a once boring concrete wall into a huge piece of artwork in the unmistakable style Beastman is know for. Brad grew up in the north west of Sydney and now travels all over the world working on commercial projects, transforming public spaces and infusing the world with colour and geometric shapes you can stare out for hours, taking a new meaning out of each time the piece is viewed. We managed to track Brad down in between projects and were lucky enough to have him answer a few questions for The Westies.  Continue Reading

THE PLOT 2016

plot parramatta

Walking through Parramatta on Saturday, there was an absolute buzz of excitement. A vibe, a feeling, a prickling sensation around the earlobes, whatever you want to call it, everyone was a little bit excited, including us – for finally, The Plot 2016 was here.

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Bankstown Poetry Slam – Sara Mansour

Poetry Slam

A visit to Bankstown Poetry Slam had been on the radar for quite some time, last month I finally made it there. It was my first experience of watching people perform poetry and I very quickly figured out why it’s called a slam. The words being spat out by the brave performers hit you with force and an energy that embeds them deep in your conscience. Poems about lost grandparents, lives yet to be lived, isolation, love – topics so common no one in the room would struggle to understand them, yet the room was full of people who were less then common. It was a room full of diversity, every age group was represented, the gender split was even. There were hijabs and hair braids, beards and bare skin. It was a united nations of people whose common goal was expression. There was no bar, no drinks were served yet the energy was intoxicating. It was thick with joy, with acceptance and support. I left the place on a total high waiting for my next hit.

Before the night started I managed to catch the beautiful Sara Mansour, one of the co-founders of Bankstown Poetry Slam for a quick chat about how BPS came to be and the unexpected rewards it has brought.     Continue Reading

What are you doing for your local environment?

Lake Parramatta - Parramatta Rowboats Hire - Photo Katrina James

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider myself a greenie. I could do more to help the planet (as my enviro-loving friends are often telling me!) but I do like to do the simple little things, because I do believe we have to look after the earth (the only earth) that we live on.

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