Grants were awarded to applicants whose work “supports the Government’s foreign policies and economic diplomacy interests and projects a positive contemporary image of Australia”. Applicants were encouraged to read the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.
Liaw was born in Malaysia before moving to Adelaide aged three and worked in corporate law before winning Masterchef in 2010.
Liaw’s peeps said the name would probably change but couldn’t say much more about the program, describing it as being in “pre-pre-pre-production”. But the hope is to sell it to a broadcaster such as SBS or the Asian Food Network, which broadcasts across Asia. Liaw can probably take his pick of networks and streaming services, which are currently mad for cooking shows. Although getting a grant to make a program, and then selling it to a broadcaster, seems like a very good deal to us.
And in a twist we are sure is unintentional, the DFAT grant notice managed to misspell the name of Liaw’s production company, listing instead a different company run by a Chinese bloke in Rhodes in suburban Sydney. Guys, you can’t make the dish properly unless you follow the recipe.
With all that is going on, you could be forgiven for thinking that the much-vaunted under-construction Science Gallery, part of the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Connect innovation precinct, could be delayed.
But no, the gallery is to “open as planned in early 2021” a representative tells CBD.
Only problem is, the institution’s website says it is due to open its doors to the public “in late 2020”.
Melbourne Uni was chuffed to win the Australian rights to the gallery, and installed as its director Sydney’s former Powerhouse Museum boss Rose Hiscock (partner of Melbourne Theatre Company general manager Virginia Lovett), to oversee its 3500 sq m of cutting-edge immersive exhibition and learning spaces.
After CBD’s query, a clarification followed: the gallery is due to “open” for a public First People’s acknowledgement ceremony later this year (COVID lockdowns permitting). But the first exhibition to open to the public will be in February next year to align with the university semester schedule. As you were.
STOKES GOES AGAIN
It was the critical announcement from the Australian War Memorial that was surprisingly easy to miss. Seven boss Kerry Stokes’ term as the War Memorial’s chairman has been extended by another 12 months.
Securing the stewardship – and the support, in cash and in kind – of the billionaire media boss for another year is a major coup for the museum, which is midway through planning a controversial $500 million expansion in the midst of an unprecedented recession.
So far, Stokes himself has been perhaps the biggest proponent of the project. Heck, he even picked up the $700,000 tab for a lavish ‘do’ showcasing the launch. In his spare time, the amateur military historian has donated valuable artefacts to the institution including 800 photographic glass plates from the First World War.
So it’s curious then that the government chose to make the announcement in the most low-key of ways – via a post from the Veterans Affairs minister Darren Chester on the department’s website on Saturday morning. It’s time also known as the dead zone of the weekly media cycle.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Stokes has had no shortage of coverage in the press of late, given his green-light to avoid hotel quarantine after returning to Australia was aided in no small part by an unnamed senator and minister (hint: last name Cormann).
The War Memorial declined to comment on the appointment on Monday. The Minister’s office was marginally more expansive, telling CBD Stokes’ appointment “provides stability to the council during a crucial phase” of the memorial’s expansion.
“In partnership with former Memorial director Brendan Nelson, the council under Mr Stokes’ leadership, has prepared extensive plans to better tell the story of the modern generation of servicemen and women,” a spokesperson for Chester said.
Spare a thought for Racing Minister Martin Pakula, victim oF a text message stitch-up. The message, which purported to contain details about stage four lockdown, was said to be from a “Haileybury dad who sits on the front bench of the Victorian government”. Well, that’s obviously Haileybury old boy Pakula, who left the school in 1986 and has children there, including a son doing year 12. After three fellow MPs warned him about the text, the Member for Keysborough sent out a note setting the record straight.
“In case it needs saying, I am neither the author of that text nor its source. It is a fairly transparent attempt at mischief by a person or persons unknown. I am annoyed by it, and by other similarly mischievous actions, particularly in these difficult times.”
He then noted there was work to be done and no one should be diverted “by this sort of stuff”.
Stephen Brook is CBD columnist for The Age. He is a former features editor and media editor at The Australian, where he wrote the Media Diary column and hosted the Behind The Media podcast. He spent six years in London working for The Guardian.
Samantha is the The Age’s CBD columnist. She recently covered Victorian and NSW politics and business for News Corp, and previously worked for the Australian Financial Review.