Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 19-05-2015 Contents Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 8
PRINCE COMES HOME
Dancer aims to lead boys into ballet
A boys only ballet class as part of the Australian Ballet program is set to take place in Canberra.
Photo: Daniel Boud
Kimberley Le Lievre
Born and bred Canberran Drew
Hedditch will take to the stage in front
of a home-town crowd with the
Australian Ballet for a production of
For the first time as a member of the
Australian Ballet, the 20-year-old will
perform at the Canberra Theatre
Centre from May 21 to 26, and as part
of audience engagement he will host a
boys' day for up and coming dancers
aged nine to 14.
Hedditch said he hoped to
encourage other young men to try
ballet. His own experience was of
never wanting to be a ballet dancer. It
wasn't until the age of eight when he
actually tried it. He found that he loved
it and never looked back.
"It was only when I was about 16
that I realised it was what I wanted to
do [as a career], and I realised that
could become a reality."
While ballet is seen from the outside
as more of a women's stage, Hedditch
said men definitely had their place in
the ballet world.
"Every time you see a big lift, there
is always a guy underneath pushing
the girl up. It's not as simple as just
lifting the girl, there is quite a specific
technique to it, and you have to make
it look effortless.
"We have class every day to refine
our technique and build our strength."
While Hedditch said there are
plenty of female-dominated classic
ballets like Giselle, the variety of
performance options means men get
their time to shine often as a prince, or
in male-dominated ballets like
"There are so many different and
appealing things from many ballets I
find it hard to pinpoint just one I'd love
to do," Hedditch said.
"The biggest thing for me would be
to step out on stage and be the prince,
it would be an amazing feeling and it's
been a dream of mine for years now."
As part of the boys' day to be held
on Saturday May 23, Hedditch will be
teaching a group of young male
dancers and the boys will get to see an
Australian Ballet training class in
For more details on the boys' day,
topics for forum
The North Canberra Community
Council meets tonight (Tuesday, May
19) at 7.30pm at the Majura Function
Room, Majura Community Centre at 2
Rosevear Place, Dickson.
The meeting will also discuss a
motion on the ACTION bus service to
the airport that was raised in the April
That meeting included presentations
by Canberra Airport, Knight Frank
and Morris Property Group
representatives and the ACT Asbestos
Public transport to the airport
terminal was discussed along with
changing departure routes for aircraft.
Knight Frank representatives
discussed potential building options
for the Lyneham Motor Inn site,
preferring a eight-storey, 27-metre
high residential development.
The ACT Asbestos Response
Taskforce said there were 105 Mr
Fluffy houses in north Canberra, of
which 77 were 700sq m or larger.
About 20 were affected by heritage
They said 770 homeowners had
accepted the government's offer and
the territory had taken possession of
377 houses with about 80 houses
The Woolworths carpark proposal
was also discussed.
mum did for us
Every May, Canberrans are met with
trees bursting with autumn colour and
the first chills of winter.
It is a great season of change and
variety; what better way to mark the
diversity of May than with Mother's
Like the floral variety of autumn,
motherhood takes many forms.
I think of my mother, brought up in
southern Europe under communist
oppression, who took the great risk to
come to Australia with my father to
give her children a better life.
Or I think of the single mothers I
know, working selflessly to provide
for their children. Or mothers in the
paid workforce, stay-at-home mothers,
or grandmothers with children and
grandchildren to whom they can pass
on their wisdom.
(It would be remiss of me not to
mention my wife, Ros who does an
amazing job with our five children. )
What unites all these mothers is a
love for their children and a tireless
effort to provide for their happiness.
We must also spare a moment to
think of the mothers doing it tough;
those who have lost a child, a tragedy
no mother should have to endure.
We also remember mothers who
died and left a legacy of goodness to
Without our mothers we would,
quite literally, not be here.
So iin this month of change, colour,
and beauty, let's all take a moment to
thank our mothers for everything they
have done, in love and care, for us.
BRUSH-TAILED ROCK WALLABY
A shadow from the past returns
Wildlife officer Leith Collard at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with a brush-
tailed rock wallaby joey.
Our bush capital
When Europeans arrived on these
limestone plains, the rocky granite
boulders of the Monaro supported
abundant populations of the iconic
brush-tailed rock wallaby.
These small agile wallabies were at
ease among the imposing granite tors,
bounding swiftly and boldly without
effort, gaining poise on sheer cliff
edges through their powerful bushy
tails and soft padded feet.
With their striped facial markings
and camouflaged dark brown bodies
they were ideally adapted to their local
They blended against the grey
granite, seeking refuge and sanctuary
from any would-be natural predators.
In time, European settlers would
come to know these acrobats of the
wallaby world as the shadow'' for
they were seldom seen and moved
with rapid speed.
The ensuing 200 years of European
influence have not been kind to this
idyllic little wallaby.
Habitat lost through land clearing,
the introduction of feral foxes, sheep,
rabbits and feral goats all took their
toll on this once abundant diminutive
It was once estimated that there
were less than 40 southern brush-tailed
rock-wallabies in the wild. It was time
Today as a park service we see
ourselves as conservation custodians
for those who will walk in our
Set against that challenging
perspective Tidbinbilla Nature
Reserve took the lead in developing
cutting edge cross-fostering breeding
techniques to bring the species back
from the edge of extinction.
Cross-fostering is an accelerated
breeding program where surrogate
wallaby species raise the young Brush-
tail joey as if it were their own.
This means that the female brush-
tailed rock wallabies can breed once
again to produce more young.
This ingenious method allows more
young brush-tailed joeys to be born,
thus increasing the overall population
of this critically endangered species.
Tidbinbilla currently has about 70
per cent of the captive breeding
population in Australia.
Since 2010, Tidbinbilla has
successfully bred 72 joeys; with 26
captive-bred brush-tailed rock-
wallabies having now been released
back into the wild in Victoria as part of
a national recovery program.
The success of this program is in
large part due to the passion and
enthusiasm of our staff, coupled with a
highly creative surrogate mum'
breeding program pioneered by the
To bear witness to these iconic agile
wallabies making a triumphant return
to their rightful home gives you reason
to rejoice, this is the reason we do
what we do. To my mind, a fine
example of practical conservation
programs in action.
So next time you are out visiting
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve keep an
eye out for the elusive shadow'' as it
grasps a foothold back from the edge
Brett McNamara is Regional
Manager with ACT Parks and
Links Archive Canberra Chronicle 12-05-2015 Canberra Chronicle 26-05-15 Navigation Previous Page Next Page