27 February 2011

Formal launch of CRC-ACS

Friday 25 February 2011 saw the formal launch in Melbourne of the Cooperative Research Centre for Advance Composite Structures, which was re-funded from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015 in the latest Commonwealth Government CRC Round.

Under revised corporate governance arrangements for the CRC it has a skills based board with two independent directors, of which I am one.

I have placed a full post on CRC-ACS on the AADI Defence Pty Ltd blog – access it here.

22 February 2011

SMH on Emma Buzo

A rather nice piece on Emma Buzo was published in the Monday 21 February edition of The Sydney Morning Herald. Unfortunately it does not seem to be in the online edition, so I reproduce it in full below.

For an earlier post on Emma and the company she founded to promote her father’s work, see The Alex Buzo Company.

A father’s legacy takes centre stage
Natalie Muller

Few people follow in their father’s footsteps to the extent that Emma Buzo has done.

The Sydney-based actor and theatre producer has moved to Armidale to teach at The Armidale School, where the late Australian playwright, Alex Buzo, first discovered his love for language and drama about 60 years ago.

She is also teaching his first play, Norm and Ahmed, which rose to national prominence in the late ‘60s after being at the centre of a fierce censorship battle, being banned in three states.

Now the work is part of the HSC drama syllabus and year 12 students at The Armidale School would be hard pressed to find someone more qualified than the author’s own daughter to teach it.

“They’re being taught by the daughter of the playwright at the school the playwright went to,” Buzo says. “I know the background and can talk about the inspiration behind it that hasn’t been published anywhere.”

After the theatre great’s death in 2006, Buzo founded the Alex Buzo company and produced several plays, including Norm and Ahmed, under its banner. Then she lobbied to get the text included in the 2010-2012 HSC syllabus.

The play’s themes of racial tension, as valid today as they were in the 1960s, are talking points in the classroom. “It’s eerie, the journey of that play,” Buzo says.

“Since 9/11 and the Cronulla riots, it’s only gathered momentum.”

Buzo says exposure to theatre was lacking in regional schools.

Besides teaching drama, she will also manage the school’s Hoskins Theatre, a 200-seat performance space, where she is hoping to bring theatre professionals from around Australia.

Buzo says she is excited to evoke the potential in her students.

“It only takes one teacher who sees the potential in a student,” she said. “I hope I can light the flame, because once an interest is established they’ll seek more.”

The school’s headmaster, Murray Guest, says her experience in the industry is a plus.

“That means a lot for the boys, that she is not a teacher pretending to be a theatre producer, she’s the real thing,” he says.

Buzo has been a teacher for the last 15 years and has taught at NIDA and the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP).

05 February 2011

Greg Mitchell’s list of WikiLeaks revelations

US blogger Greg Mitchell, who has been following the WikiLeaks story very closely (blogging developments in real time since the beginning) has recently posted on Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com) a list of the major revelations that have come from the cables released so far.

It’s quite a list, and should dispose once and for all with the claim that there is “nothing new” in the WikiLeaks cables.

Among my favourites in Mitchell’s list is the fact that in 2009 the UK promised to protect US interests in the official Chilcot inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the start of the Iraq invasion – just in case you thought that this would be a no holds barred quest for the truth.

Another is the fact that Israel wanted to bring Gaza to the brink of economic collapse – just in case you thought that Israel wasn’t into collective punishment of the hapless citizens of Gaza.

A somewhat surprising revelation is the fact that Iraqi government officials see Saudi Arabia, not Iran, as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledgling state.

The fact that Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda is one “revelation” that genuinely does come under the rubric “nothing new”.

For Mitchell’s full list, click here.