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September 2005   

Interview: Polar Eclipse
Academic David McKnight challenges some sacred cows in his new book "Beyond Left and Right".

Industrial: Wrong Turn
Radical labour reform is on the horizon but some workers, like Sydney bus driver Yvonne Carson, have seen it all before, writes Jim Marr.

Unions: Star Support
It wasn't just families who backed workers' rights at The Last Weekend, but a bunch of musicians who set the tone, writes Chrissy Layton.

Workplace: Checked Out
Glenda Kwek asks you to consider the plight of the retail worker, and shares some of her experiences

Economics: Sold Out
The Future Fund and industrial relations reform are favourite projects of the PM and the Treasurer. Both are speculations on the future and the only guarantee with them is that you will be worse off, writes Neale Towart.

Politics: Green Banned
The impact of new building industry laws won�t be confined to one industry, writes CFMEU national secretary John Sutton.

History: Potted History
Lithgow is a place with a proud history as a union town. The origins of broader community solidarity lie in the early industrial development of the town and the development of unions. The Lithgow Pottery dispute of 1890 was a key event.

International: Curtain Call
The curtains have opened for East Timor�s young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.

Review: Little Fish
At last! An Aussie film with substance, suspense and a serious dose of reality, writes Lucy Muirhead

Poetry: Slug A Worker
In a shock development, the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, gave a ringing endorsement to the poetry pages of Workers Online, writes resident bard David Peetz.


The Soapbox
Families First
New Senator Stephen Fielding turned a few heads with his Maiden Speech to Parliament.

The Locker Room
The New World Order
Phil Doyle declares himself unavailable for the fifth and deciding test.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West, reports from the NSW Government's Safety Summit

On The Bus
A bright orange bus travelling the state has become the focus of the campaign against federal IR changes. Nathan Brown was on board.


Middle Australia
The Prime Minister rarely responds directly to criticism, so when he rushed out a media release rebutting an ACIRRT analysis of wages data this week, it was clear that they had a hit a raw nerve.


 Trucks Run Down Mums

 Boom! Biff! It�s Howard Unplugged

 Fun Guy Spreads Fertiliser

 Doors Close on Battered Mums

 Bing Lee Peddles Rubbish

 Bless This Bus

 High Court: Ads Do Kremlin Proud

 Families Water Win

 Tesltra Cuts Get Poor Reception

 Vegetable Campaign Sprouts

 Check Work/Family Balance Here

 Tim Wins For Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

 Activists What�s On!

 Care Confusion
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Curtain Call

The curtains have opened for East Timor�s young theatre performers, thanks to a Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA project.


Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, in cooperation with AusAID's East Timor Community Assistance Scheme and UNICEF, is proud to have supported East Timor's inaugural retreat for young East Timorese theatre performers, 'Opening the Curtains to Theatre in East Timor', August 22 - 28, 2005 in Maubara on Timor's north coast.

The project brought together approximately 75 young people from various theatre groups around East Timor with international artists from Australia, for a seven day theatre skill-share retreat in Dare. The main aims of the project were for participants to develop their practical and administrative skills, share their experiences, and devise a collective strategy for the development of the theatrical arts in East Timor.

Theatre has flourished in East Timor since independence with more than 10 theatre groups being formed over the 3-year period. Theatre has proved to be a successful way for people to tell their stories, an effective tool to educate communities, and has provided entertainment for thousands of people around the country. At present there are three key theatre groups in East Timor, and one of them is Bibi Bulak which is based in Dili. This group works in the theatre, film, radio and music sector, and has a primarily public education focus. The company regularly tours the districts of East Timor and runs a training school from its base. Recent topics that Bibi Bulak have explored through drama include domestic violence, gender equality, the environment, and HIV/AIDs.

'Opening the Curtains to Theatre in East Timor' is a significant step in creating a collective strategy for the development of the performing arts sector in East Timor.

Robyn Waite and Annie Sloman, theatre teacher of the theatre group Bibi-Bulak, established the retreat after concerns from theatre groups across East Timor about the lack of networking and skills development opportunities available to them.

The retreat aimed to provide a forum for the East Timorese theatre groups to share their skills, stories and cultures with one another, and to create strong local and international networks.

Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA's executive officer, Peter Jennings said, "the East Timor performing arts scene is still in the early stages of development, so this retreat will be a unique opportunity for these theatre performers to shape the future of creative arts in their country".

Five visiting Australian artists led a series of skills workshops, discussions, film screenings and work-in-progress performances over the week.

On August 28, 2005 the participants of the retreat held a public performance of their final creative works at the Maubara marketplace. The Bibi-Bulak theatre group also performed a theatre piece called Ikan Boot.

For a full list of Union Aid Abroad's East Timor projects, visit


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