All posts filed under: free

Free V/Line travel

Victorians! As some of your may know, V/Line has been offering free travel on its services over this past week to make up for ongoing service disruptions. The offer was due to end today, but it has now been extended for another week — until the last service on Sunday 7 February. The offer includes all services, including Night Coaches. This is a great opportunity to get out and about the state and explore those places you’ve been meaning to visit — or just have a look at the network map and do a lucky dip! It’s recommended to book tickets early as trains and coaches are expected to fill up quickly. More info here. Happy travels!

Shaun Tan’s Little Brunswick

Over the last few years, beloved visual storyteller Shaun Tan has produced dozens of small paintings depicting the inner Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. Best known for his beautiful illustrated storybooks (The Rabbits, The Lost Thing), Tan will show over 50 of these works at Tinning Street exhibition space from tomorrow. Here’s what Tan has to say about the exhibition: “I’ve been painting little oil sketches of local environments since the age of thirteen, when I saw a show of Arthur Streeton’s 9×5 landscapes painted on cigar box lids. These unassuming miniatures seemed to capture entire worlds, and I’ve always aspired to do the same. I rarely exhibit my own sketches, regarding them only as painting exercises, somewhat removed from my other work as an illustrator, writer and film-maker. Ironically, this actually makes them very good subjects for an exhibition! There is a freshness and honesty about them, and kind of loose purpose that is often hard to emulate in larger projects. Since moving to Melbourne in 2006, this work has also helped me build a …

Amnesty International free film screening

On July 23, Amnesty International’s Urgent Action Network will host a free film screening event of the documentary ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’. This 52-minute doco explores the circumstances and reasons that many asylum seekers make the choice to step onto boats and make the dangerous journey to Australia. The filmmakers, Jessie Taylor and Ali Reza Sadiqi, met with 250 asylum seekers in gaols, detention centres and hostels across Indonesia to discover what drives refugees to become ‘boat people’. The refugee issue continues to be a controversial and desperately misunderstood subject in Australia, as it is in many other parts of the world. No matter your personal opinion on this issue, this event is sure to be thought-provoking. Catering will be provided by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Book your free tickets here.   AI film screening: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea   Date: 23 July Time: 7pm–9pm Venue: Hares and Hyenas Address: 63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy Tel: 9412 0700

The Night Market Cinema

Everyone loves a good night market. The food, the bustle, the twinkly lights — it’s all pretty winning. Melbourne’s biggest and best-loved night markets happen every summer and winter at the Queen Victoria Market, with this year’s winter season kicking off on Wednesday 3 June. But this year, it gets better. The 2015 Winter Night Market has just become a little more exciting with the announcement of a new addition to the event: a screening of short films programmed by a new guest presenter every week. It’s always great to see local institutions supporting and celebrating local artists, and of course very cool to have a free weekly cinema event to hit up during the winter months. Check out the Night Market website for a run-down of upcoming screenings. So grab a noodle box, folks, and settle in for some short film fun every Wednesday night for the next couple months.   The Night Market Cinema   Dates: Every Wednesday, 3 June — 26 August 2015 Time: 5pm–10pm Venue: Queen Victoria Night Market, Melbourne CBD

Mosaic Festival 2015

If you don’t have anything planned for today, head to City Square in the CBD for the 2015 Mosaic Festival. Run by the Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC), the festival celebrates our cultural diversity and encourages the participation of the whole community. There will be all kind of tasty cuisines — Filipino (GJ’s Grill), Afghan, Syrian, Malay, Indonesian (MiHUB Cafe) and Turkish (Alevi Community Council) — as well as live performances and stalls. If you need any more incentive to attend, the incredibly talented Ning Xue will be there doing one-minute portraits for lucky visitors. This is such a lovely initiative, and if I wasn’t house-bound with the flu I’d definitely be there. The festival will start at 11am and runs till 5pm. Show your support for these lovely ladies and our community’s cultural diversity today — and treat yourself to some tasty treats!   Mosaic Festival 2015   Date: 26 April 2015 Time: 11am–5pm Where: City Square, Melbourne CBD Damage: Free

Swami Baba Ramdev on the power of yoga

If you’re the curious type, it’s always worth checking in with Melbourne’s universities for their various free public lectures, because from time to time something really interesting pops up. This month, there are a bunch of fascinating-sounding lectures on at the University of Melbourne, including “Writing history, making race: slave-owners and their stories” (16 April), “Positive Psych: What’s the hype?” (21 April), and “Religion in the warzone: Driver of conflict, force of peace?” (23 April). This coming Friday (10 April) it’s “The Purpose and Power of Yoga — In Conversation with Baba Ramdev“. Swami Baba Ramdev is a renowned Indian yoga guru who has helped popularise yoga in his home country through televangelism and mass yoga camps. According to his profile write-up, in 2006 Swami Ramdev “was a special guest of the United Nations (UN) in New York and was honoured on becoming the first Indian spiritual and yoga guru to lead millions of people across the world in over 80 countries and to observe ‘Standup against poverty initiative campaign’ held at Times Square, New York”. There …

Fred Schepisi in conversation at ACMI

There’s only a small handful of internationally successful Australian film directors around — a very small handful — and they tend to keep out of the spotlight, so having the chance to hear one of these elusive characters speak publicly is pretty exciting. Particularly if said director has a career spanning 40 years and has worked with the likes of Meryl Streep, Paul Newman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Caine, Juliette Binoche, John Cleese and Helen Mirren — to name a few. Fred Schepisi’s best-known films include the Australian classic The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978), Roxanne (1987), Evil Angels (1988, also released as A Cry in the Dark), Last Orders (2001), the mini-series Empire Falls (2005), and most recently Words and Pictures (2013). He’ll be speaking with producer Sue Maslin at ACMI this Friday as part of the free Friday on My Mind series. If you missed his 2013 talk, make sure you catch this one. Note the new FOMM time of 6pm.   Friday on My Mind: Fred Schepisi Date: 27 March …

Children’s Book Festival 2015

This coming Sunday the kids of Melbourne (and the big kids at heart) are in for a treat. The Children’s Book Fair 2015 will take over the State Library and the Wheeler Centre from 10am till 4pm, featuring author talks, live performances, a picnic library, and a Monster Marquee where you can make a pair of horns to wear and keep — among other fun stuff. The entire event is free for all, but you will need to book seats for the ‘Meet the Authors and Illustrators’ sessions. Unfortunately a few of the big name author sessions — Shaun Tan, Andy Griffiths, Hazel Edwards — are already booked out, but there are still tickets available for the others. If your heart’s set on attending one of these booked out talks, it’s sometimes still worth turning up on the day to see if have been any cancellations or no-shows — but be prepared for disappointment. You can view the entire day’s programme here.   Children’s Book Festival 2015 Date: 22 March 2015 Time: 10am–4pm Venue: State Library …

Sidney Myer Free Concerts 2015

It’s summer in Melbourne, which means the annual Sidney Myer Free Concerts are fast approaching. This year, the three concerts will be held over eight days from the 14th to 21st of February (Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday). Each concert will feature a soloist (soprano, piano and violin respectively) and is arranged around a theme: A Musical Valentine, Summer Nights in Budapest, and Bohemian Rhapsody. If you’ve attended these free concerts in the past, you will know that the venue fills up fast — you will have to arrive a couple of hours early to nab a decent spot on the grass. If you haven’t been before, go. It’s rare to have the chance to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for free, and even rarer to be able to sit with friends and listen under the stars. If you’re in Melbourne this summer, lap it up. And a note to my readers — this Melbourne Local is not, in fact, currently in Melbourne (cheers from Dili, East Timor!) so apologies for the lack of updates of late. I’ll be back in …

Sunset Series 2015

Melburnians don’t need much coaxing to get out and enjoy the city’s parks during summer, but in case you need some extra motivation, the Sunset Series in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens should give you a kick where you need it. For the next two weekends, there will be free entertainment on Saturday and Sunday evenings, including two dance workshops. The Saturday events — each featuring four music acts — will start at 5pm and last till 8.45pm, while the Sunday dance workshops will also begin at around 5pm. There will be food trucks on site if you can’t muster a picnic. Here’s the full line-up: Saturday 10 January: 5–5.45pm Beautiful Beasts 6–6.45pm Dash 7–7.45pm APES 8–8.45pm Echo Drama Sunday 11 January: 5pm Melbourne Salsa Dance Workshop with Live Latin Band Saturday 17 January: 5–5.45pm Dan Flynn and the State of Things 6–6.45pm The Tiger and Me 7–7.45pm Passerine 8–8.45pm Madre Monte Sunday 18 January: 5pm Rhythm and Spice Bollywood Dance Workshop A couple years back I saw the Bollywood dance workshop and it was a lot …