More from Don's Autumn Calendar

More events to keep you busy:

April 2nd to 25th: Palace Cinema, Seniors' Film Festival.

Fri. & Sat. 13-13 April: Canberra History Bookfair, Curtin shops.

Tues. 17 April: National Film & Sound Archive, 12.30, the Beatles in "Yellow Submarine" (1968).

Wed. 18 April: Hellenic Club Comedy Night, "Straight out of Compo".

Wed. 18 April: National Film & Sound Archive, 12.30, "Storm Boy" (1976).

Thurs. 19 April: National Film & Sound Archive, 12.30, "Singin' in the Rain" (1952).

Fri. 20 April: National Film & Sound Archive, 12.30, "Fantasia" (1940).

27 April to 6 May: Canberra International Music Festival.

1 June to 31 Aug.: Canberra Region Truffle Festival.

15 Sep. to 14 Oct.: Floriade.

25 Oct. to 4 Nov.: Canberra International Film Festival.

Wed. 7 Nov.: Results of United States mid-term Congressional elections.

22 - 24 Nov.: Canberra Theatre, "Madiba -- The Musical", a celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela.

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New Vintage Reds Flag


Vintage Reds are building a flag stockpile; here is a new one making its debut recently at a picnic by the lake.  It goes nicely with the "Change the Rules" T-shirt.                   Photo: Penny Lockwood




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Don's Autumn Calendar of Events

Website time-lag has meant that only those lucky people who received Don's hand-out were notified about most of the events, festivals and book-launches happening across town since our last Vintage Reds meeting. But some gems are still to come: see below.

A particular highlight was from the Bridge Theatre, London, a recorded production of "Young Marx", which showed at the Dendy cinema over several days. Not to be missed; and we didn't. There are a couple more screenings still, this week.

The Dendy has more offerings from the National Theatre Live series, coming soon: Julius Caesar in April, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in May. 

March 2018

Mon. 19 - 25 March: Canberra Comedy Festival, at various venues. Book fast! Some sessions are already sold out.

Wed. 21 March: "Young Marx" at 1.30 at the Palace cinema;
Wed. 21 March at 6 pm, & Thurs. 22 March at 10 am: "Young Marx" at the Dendy cinema, from the National Theatre Live series, UK. (Note: these are more expensive tickets than normal: $23 to 25 for adults.)

Wed. 21 March: Puccini's La Bohème, performed by Teatro Comunale of Bologna, showing at the Palace cinema, 1 p.m.

Sun. 25 March: Palm Sunday Refugee Rally: Justice for Refugees, in Garema Place at 1 p.m.

Wed. 28 to 31 March: Black is the New White, a play by Nakkiah Lui, performed by the Sydney Theatre Company at the Canberra Theatre.

Thurs. 29 March to 2 April: National Folk Festival, at Exhibition Park. Ring 6242-5944 for information; or click here for a program, to read online or download.

From Thurs. 29 March: The Manchester Guardian's "Film of the Year": The Death of Stalin. At local cinemas.

April 2018

5 April: Brazilian legend Sergio Mendes, "Brasil '66 -- From Bossa Nova to Samba to Jazz and Beyond!" Canberra Theatre, tickets from ticketmaster or at the theatre.

5 & 7 April: Flying Fruit Fly Circus, at the Canberra Theatre. Direct from the grassy bank of the Murray River, Albury, this is always an amazing show. 6 p.m. on Thursday, and 11 a.m. & 2.30 p.m. on Saturday. "Grab a child, go." -- advice from the Sydney Morning Herald

From 12 April: The Party, a film by Sally Potter. On the program at the London, Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals.

12 to 21 April: Bell Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare. At the Playhouse.

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Canberra Hospital cleaners win pay increase

2018-3-7_hospital_cleaners_win.jpgFor six years, while the demands at work steadily increased, wages for cleaners at the Canberra Hospital were essentially frozen. 

But after a long struggle, they have won a pay rise from the contractor, ISS. 

ISS, a global multi-national, began as a Danish company. It claims to have made a profit last year of 2,007 million Danish krone. This is equivalent to almost half a billion Australian dollars.* 


The size of the cleaners' pay rise is under a dollar, and the union is still working to bring their wages up to the ACT public service minimum of $24 per hard-working hour. But even this small pay rise couldn't have happened without the solidarity of cleaning staff and their union. Cleaners have been active and noisy and have run campaign after campaign to get their voices heard. The photo below shows a "Let them eat cake" stall in November last year outside the hospital.

*              Photos: United Voice; Bill Rowlings.

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Japan Airlines Picket at Narita Airport

At the end of a family holiday we reached Narita airport in Tokyo looking forward to a trip home under the care of JAL, a reputable airline. Or so we thought. But that was before we met a group of sacked JAL employees distributing leaflets in front of the departure gate.          2017-11-16_Narita.jpg

JAL went bankrupt in 2010. But Japan's corporate support system protected JAL and helped it to reorganise; staff were persuaded to take pay cuts, and pension payouts were halved. JAL was able to make a profit in the same year it had gone bankrupt. Despite this, on New Year's eve, 2011, JAL sacked 165 people. A year later, its profit margin reached 17%. Of the cabin crew fired, a large majority were union members. And having fired 165 people in 2010, JAL then hired 940 new employees in 2012. 

Photo: "JAL's unfair dismissals: Not good! Bad for air safety!"     

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Penalty Rates at Southern Cross Club

Kasey_2017.jpgVintage Reds members joined United Voice in protesting outside the Southern Cross Club in Woden recently.

The club has managed to procure a new agreement which will cut Sunday penalty rates for some of its lowest paid workers from next year.

A Canberra Times reporter quoted Lyndal Ryan, United Voice union secretary: "We think clubs that hold themselves up as virtuous and community bastions should start making a decent commitment to those workers who don't deserve to have their wages cut." (9 June 2017)                                          Photo: Kasey Tomkins, United Voice.

It was also noted that the Southern Cross Club made over a million dollars profit in the financial year 2015-16.

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Don's October Guide

Don Dwyer's pick of what is on offer in Canberra this month is the National Film and Sound Archive's film, "My Year with Helen", which details Helen Clark's gallant campaign for the position of UN Secretary-General. Part of the Canberra International Film Festival, which has a wide range of films to suit most tastes!


Thursday 19 October: 5 p.m., Museum of Australian Democracy, Members' Dining Room 2, Jon Stanhope and Cathy McGowan etc., "The Ideal Pollie". Free; RSVP to

Thursday 26 October: 8.15 p.m., National Film & Sound Archive; "My Year with Helen". RSVP 6248-2000.

Friday 27 October: 6 p.m., Llewellyn Hall ANU, Kevin Rudd and Stan Grant discuss the first of Rudd's 2-volume memoir, "Not for the Faint Hearted". Free, RSVP to

Sunday 29 October: 1 p.m., National Film & Sound Archive, "Rocking the Foundations", Pat Fiske's 1986 film on Jack Mundey's Builders Labourers Federation.

Monday 30 October: 8.15 p.m., National Film & Sound Archive, "Chauka, Please tell us the time" -- a film made on Manus Island.

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ICAN wins the Nobel Peace Prize

The Vintage Reds congratulate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on being awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

The prize is for ICAN's "work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons".

ICAN has worked for over a decade to get to this remarkable victory. Here's a link to The Conversation's short article on the organisation's history. 


ICAN members photographed at Trades Hall, Melbourne (photo: Chris Hopkins, The Age)

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VR Camino walkers protest against anti-labour laws

2017-9-11_French_embassy.jpgThree Vintage Reds members, who recently returned from walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela through France and Spain, delivered a letter to the Embassy of France in Canberra to protest against Emmanuel Macron's plan to bring in new labour laws.

The new measures have been fast-tracked by decree with limited debate, and will cut back workers' labour rights and protections.

Photo by Jude.


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Don Dwyer's What's On in Canberra

Random-Life_by_Judy_Horacek.jpgDon't forget to check Don's earlier What's On lists, below, where you will find events still to come but not all included again here.


Thursday 17 August: 5.45 p.m., Paperchain Bookshop, Manuka, Launch of Judy Horacek's new crowd-funded book of cartoons.

Thursday 24 August: 5.30 p.m., National Library, Peter Stanley on "The Crying Years -- Australia in the Great War". Free, but RSVP 6262-1424

25 to 27 August: the Canberra Writers Festival is on at a number of places around town.

Saturday 26 August: 1917 Rail Strike dinner at the Goulburn Workers Club, see below.

26 August: 3 p.m., Museum of Australian Democracy, early episodes of "Secret City", based on The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code, by Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis.

27 August: 1 p.m., further episodes of "Secret City".

Tuesday 29 August: 5.15 p.m., National Library conference room, level 4, "Anzac Travellers at Gallipoli, 1990-2015", the Turkish view by Prof. Ayhan Aktar. Free, but RSVP 6262-1111

Wednesday 30 August: 6 p.m., Crawford Centre ANU, "US Economic Policy in Asia Pacific, Post-TPP", by Matthew Goodman (ex-Obama admin.). RSVP 6125-4144

30 August: 6 p.m., National Library bookshop, book launch of Proof, poems by Maggie Shapley. Free but RSVP online or 6262-1424

Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September: Palace Cinema, Acton, French Film Festival.

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