The Australian Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair was an absolutely delightful experience! The entrance was colourful, encapsulating and simply magical ! The castle entrance amplified the magic of Disney. The timeline of Disney films leading up to the entrance of this Internationally acclaimed event was nostalgic and wonderful! This event showcased new and exciting Toys from the 5th to the 8th of March 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
What a relief knowing that after two long years of hosting this event digitally due to covid, that 2023 would be the year people from across the globe could gather in person!
The Australian Toy Association’s annual Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair is actually the biggest and most important industry event in the southern Hemisphere.
This was a highly anticipated trade event where thousands of attendees patiently but eagerly wanted to explore the wide variety of toys and games coming out into the market.
I was absolutely blown away by the vast variety of toys catering for all ages, interests and developmental level ! There were a range of products including cutting-edge technology, action figures, collectables and products developed from recycled materials and toys developed with sustainability in mind.
Being a newcomer to this event, I was incredibly impressed by the vast array of products on display. There was indeed a packed schedule of events, including Educational Seminars and Product Demonstrations suiting all interests.
Nee-Doh has such an incredible array of products ! I spend such a long time in this section playing with all of their fidget toys which are helpful in aiding stressful situations for children or adults ! The Mac and squeeze was so innovative, given how much children love the food and then creating a fidget to pair with their love of pasta ! Genius! I will be personally investing into a range of Nee-Doh for the students I teach in my classroom.
Glopals should be acknowledged for their fantastic sensory toys ! They are absolutely phenomenal! Certainly going to clear off the shelves.
Connentix Tiles are a stand out construction based item that in my opinion have gone viral ! These tactile connective plastic parts have filled a much needed pocket in the toy market ! Children and adults can spend hours connecting magnets whilst simultaneously building their own masterpieces. This was an impressive display and I look forward to personally investing into my own collection.
Mad Mia Official have a brilliant array of themed, 3D socks. They are so eye-catching! The colour range is impressive.
Little Long Legs was my favourite toy in the whole exhibition ! Brought to you by Bubble Mingo. This gorgeous pet is your new best friend.
Colour, passion and love surrounds the Australian Toy Association’s annual Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair! I was so immensely impressed with the variety of toys but also the innovative and creative ideas behind each stand! Well Done on a groundbreaking event seen and experienced by thousands!
On a sultry, Saturday evening in early March, we approached the Paris Cat Jazz Club to see one of our favourite performers, Nikki Nouveau. The chic club on Goldie Place, in Melbourne’s CBD, is split into three sections, The Basement focus is live jazz from local and international artists, The Gallery is the space for small get togethers and functions, while The Parisian Loft combines an intimate dining setting with live performance. We saw Nikki Nouveau perform London By Night, The songs of Julie London, in the Parisian Loft. The Loft has intimate velvet walls, filled with Jazz greats, beautiful chandeliers and table candles.
The show begins with Jazz pianist, Alexander Nettelbeck taking a seat at the piano, while Tony Hicks, who beautifully plays tenor sax and clarinet sits at the opposite side of the stage. Nikki begins the show in a glamourous emerald dress singing a smoky song from Julie London. The show continues to move the audience through a river of emotions through Nikki’s elegant performance, telling the life story of Julie London. As the night continues, the performances turn more jazzy and languid, melting the audience, as she works her way through The American Songbook. My favourite is the George Gerswin song, Summertime. The lyric, styling and music perfectly portrayed that moment in the evening at the Paris Cat.
Summertime And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich
And your ma is good-looking
So hush, little baby
Don’t you cry
I highly recommend London By Night perfomed by Nikki Nouveau at the Paris Cat Jazz Club. It is an elegant, relaxing evening you won’t forget. Beautiful singing, song styling and live musicians make you believe you have stepped into Paris in the 20’s or 30’s.
Face of Australia QLD Coronation Night 2023 NEW website photos by Ali Hassan
Lyn Shadbolt - Event Director Face of Australia QLD Greg Shadbolt - MC, Aaron Bromley and Romelyn Sapalo- both co host. Alex Bromley - Tabulator and Voiceover, Kevin Moreno - Voiceover Mia Shadbolt, James Nield, Charles Abarquez, Zeny Olivera, Daniel Mallari & Alma Colledge - entertainers. Also Polonce. Julia Coutts- Grand Winner and Ms Face of Australia QLD Winner 2023 Tatiana Zeller - Winner - Princess Face of Australia QLD 2023
First 2 photos of previous winner,Melanie Diamonde. air and make up Hulyo Designer.Roy Erwin Tizon
Winner Julia Coutts Hair and makeup by Honey Therese
photos by Bob Mogahan
List of Candidates
PRINCESS CATEGORY Candidate NumberCandidate’s Name 1Meliha Hidanovic Face of Australia QLD 2023 Princess Most Improved award 2Jesicca Page Face of Australia QLD 2023 Princess Congeniality award 3Maria Brereton Face of Australia QLD 2023 Princess 2nd Runner up 4Sylvia Valdez Face of Australia QLD 2023 Princess 1st Runner up Best in Evening Gown and Photogenic Award 5Tatiana Zeller Face of Australia QLD 2023 Princess Winner, Best in Resort Wear, Best in National Costume
MS/MRS CATEGORY Candidate NumberCandidate’s Name 6Asoumah Kesselley MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Most Improved award and MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Ambassador 7Barbie MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Most Photogenic Award and MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Ambassador 8Carmena Meciar MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 1st Runner up, Best in National Costume 9Ette Karney Evans MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 2nd Runner Up 10Julia Coutts MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Grand Winner, MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Winner Best in Resort Wear Best in evening Gown
11Rowena Vistaz MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Popularity Award MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Congeniality Award and MS/MRS Face of Australia QLD 2023 Ambassador
Moments of madness, murder and mystery all intertwined in this spellbinding production called ‘The Mousetrap’!
The Mousetrap dates back to 1952, written by the famous Agatha Christie.Opening in London's West End and making its way around the globe. This production has made quite the splash here in Melbourne.
As of 2022 the play has been seen by 10 million people in London. Imagine that number now ! The story follows the news on the radio at Monkswell Manor relating to a murder that recently took place. Mollie and Giles Ralston are young, newly-married owners of the once-regal estate which they recently converted into a guest house. A blizzard raging outside sends guests and quite the random assortment of personalities into the house ready to mingle.
The Mousetrap is a classic stage who-done-it by the master of British murder mysteries.
I honestly loved the collection of personalities in this comedy mystery murder ! Wow ! Well worth the wait indeed ! You’ll think you have the answer to the murders and then you’ll be thrown off by another clue ! Cliff hangers from start to finish.
A delightful combination of stage presence, acting and appropriate props to really set the scene. This production certainly takes you back in time.
Our media crew was lucky enough to attend the red carpet and opening for media event on 16 February. Please enjoy the photos by Neil Chand of M4E - Memories 4 Ever Photography
A musical performance based on the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, seems to have been extremely captivating. The show tells the story of Joseph and his brothers, who were jealous of him because their father loved him more than them. They threw him into a well and he was sold to the king of Egypt, where he grew up and learned everything about governance and administration. In the end, he reconciled with his brothers.
It seems that the show was excellently presented, with actors, dancers, and musicians using their skills in a harmonious way to deliver a stunning performance. The beautiful colors and decor added to the appeal and grandeur of the show. The remarkable vocal performance and beautiful movements added to the beauty of the show. Even after three hours, the show seemed like it was not ending and the creativity did not stop.
Overall, it can be said that the show presented the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, excellently and impressed the audience. Undoubtedly, hard work and attention to small details helped make the show exciting and amazing.
FACE OF AUSTRALIA VICTORIA Best Dressed Filipino Women and Kids 2023 showcasing beautiful Filipino Costume and Goddess Attire event website review by Royce Anderson photos: Robert Wilson
Review of ‘Face Australia Best Dressed Filipino Women and Kids 2023’. Held at the Melrose Reception Centre, Carrick Drive on 18 February 2023.
Review by Royce Anderson
The Face Australia Pageantry Organisation is an established and reputable promotions and event management establishment which organises top tier and high value events in Melbourne. Every year, this organisation seeks out the best candidates for multiple pageantry awards to represent Australia on the international front. This community organisation has delivered multiple Australian pageantry candidates overseas where they have returned with coveted crowns, titles and awards for our country.
Some of the prestigious beauty titles ‘The Face Australia Pageantry’ Organisation is proud to have contributed to the world includes the presentation of candidates for Mrs. Philippines Global International, Mrs Asian Petite & Grandma & Kids Supermodel, Mutya ng Pilipinas and Flores De Mayo, and Mrs Summit International.
By popular demand and by listening to its massive base of clientele, The Face Pageantry Organisation has recently expanded into the entertainment front where celebrities have been specially flown in to perform at events. One such event was the ‘Face Australia Best Dressed Filipino Women and Kids 2023’ held at the Melrose Reception Centre on 18 February 2023. The highly successful event kick off at 7.45PM amongst massive attendees who were dressed up in their best ‘GODDESS’ outfits for the night. A rough count would estimate at least 1000 of such enthusiastic attendees. The crowd was pumped and danced the night away along with celebrity of the night ‘Marcelito Pomoy’. Marcelito, a star in the Philippines serenaded the massive crowd with hits after hits, his audience lapping up and fully enthralled with his stellar ashowmanship and powerful vocals.
The night would not have been complete without a fashion parade by beautiful ladies, gents and kids who all vied for the title of ‘The Face Australia - Best Dressed 2023’. The crowd were entertained by host of the night Sha'uri Livori and Andrea Jaca – Smith, who made the night even more fun, all these while attendees were also wined and dined throughout! What a spectacular experience this was. Winners walked away with beautiful trophies, plaques and prizes sponsored by ACROLEX Lawyers, Las Islas Filipinas Education Consultants and Visa Services, Megaworld International, Tizon, Reyn Lights and Sounds, Classy Eyebrows.
Everyone would now be looking forward to the next event organised by The Face Australia Pageantry! Overall, I rate this event a solid 9.5 stars out of 10.
15th Yr Anniversary of the Soriano Orodio Foundation Inc. Pre-Valentine Charity Gala Night website photos by Kieran McNamara of Kieran Mcnamara Photography
15th Yr Anniversary of the Soriano Orodio Foundation Inc. Pre-Valentine Charity Gala Night organised by Soriano-Orodio Foundation Inc. Australia at Grand Star Receptions Convention took place on SATURDAY, February 11
special thanks: Nelda Estores
15 Years of Crystal Love: The Soriano-Orodio Foundation
On someone’s 15th year anniversary an appropriate gift is crystal, as it represents purity and transparency. This traditional anniversary gift symbolises the lightness, clarity, and durability of love. The modern gift is a watch or other timepiece, representing the many hours and minutes you've spent together, as well as the years to come.
On Saturday, 11 February 2023, the Soriano-Orodio Foundation celebrated its 15-year anniversary through a fund-raising Pre-Valentine’s Ball at Grandstar Receptions and Convention Centre in Altona North. The event was coloured by joy, fun, laughter, glitz, friendship and love for dance and music but more significantly, the genuine passion and support of those who attended for the cause of the organisation.
The Foundation originally started in the Philippines, by its founder, the family patriarch, a highly respected, successful banker, businessman and philanthropist, Mr Antonio Soriano-Orodio. To honour his legacy, some family members decided to continue his mission and vision to help the needy, the poor and underprivileged children and youth of the Philippines. In Australia, the Foundation was formed on 6 th June 2008.
In its 15 years of working tirelessly to raise funds, the Foundation has seen its fruits in 9 university graduates, with one of them becoming a medical doctor soon. The Foundation has 54 on-going scholarship recipients from grade school to high school and college. It has also created a Public-School Library in June 2018 at Bololmala Elementary School, fully furnished with books and reference materials, most of these coming from Australia. The building of another library is its second major project in the town of Tupi, South Cotabato. On 17 th of August 2022, work commenced but had been stopped temporarily due to shortage of funds. The dinner dance on 11 February will now go a long way, as it will help re-start the building of this second project. 100% of the proceeds of the event is earmarked for the Foundation’s cause.
Around 300 guests arrived and were treated with a hearty dinner, entertainment from Zymone Abatayo, a violinist, Juliet Rhamos Khor, a singer, dance performance from Doctor Lorie and Mr Willy Reyes of Raven Medical Centre,
Narre Warren, along with the expert sounds of DJ Pros, and the ROXX MIXX DUO. It was easy for new and regular guests to be on the dance floor and show their groove.
Sponsors and donors were very generous handing out prizes, awards and take - home gifts to winners of raffles, door tickets and icebreakers, such as the free professional photography from Angelito Valdez, Jr. Richard Manning, a committed supporter of the Foundation since its inception, donated an abstract painting worth $2,200 which was auctioned and purchased by Chris Centeno of My Travel Solutions.
The winners of the Best Dressed Parade for Top 12 Female and Male created an exciting scene, with the top 3 being awarded trophies. The poignant tribute to Rose Simonsen, long-time friend and supporter of the Foundation whose memory lives on through her kindness, generosity, her courage, and boldness to be unique in her talents was a feature of the night. A video clip prepared by Nancy Coates showed Rose’s brilliance. The Rose Simonsen Fashion Awards was created to honour her memory, with daughter Sandra Rai facilitating and awarding the Top 3 Winners, whose artistic gowns were breath-taking.
The Silangan Cultural Dance Group of Rose gave a performance, with the audience surely missing her presence in the dance. Guest Speaker Ms Estellita Casuga, Senior Staff and Assistant to Nationals Officer spoke on behalf of the Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo (who arrived in November 2022 to assume her post in Melbourne) and highlighted the need for unity and harmony in our communities, acknowledging the great work that was done in the past and in the present, encouraging the forging of hearts and minds to elevate the Filipino culture and legacy to new heights as they work together. For June, Independence Day, Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo invites everyone to be part of this great celebration as a cohesive body. Ms Casuga also advised of the rollout of additional services now in Melbourne, especially concerning passports. The opening prayer of co-emcee for the night, Dina Mananquil-Delfino is a profound reflection of the responsibility and privilege of being kindred to others. Love, compassion, caring, respect, faith, goodness has a place in our spirit and are always honoured and can shine through even through glamorous events. In the words of Edward Everett Hale: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Emcee Alex Sy, also a devoted supporter of the Foundation, official videographer Hector Calara and stage managers Melson Jay, Renzo and Tonton
LA NOCHE LATINA NEW website photography: Tony Kots (TBA) review by Marina Sk
La Noche Latina, The Ultimate Latin Dinner & Show took place on Saturday 28th January and was organised by Just Strut / Strut Events at the Waterfront on the Pier.
It is a gorgeous place and magnificent restaurant located on the waterfront with spectacular ocean views. The show starts at 0800 pm after the guests get seated and order their drinks - most common culture here for the restaurants that host their own gigs / entertainment programs. You can also buy dinner and have a catch up chat with your friends before the show.
The Latin Dancers who followed the dinner were pure fire with beautiful outfits, performance and music. We heard salsa music to dance together with the show presenters and brought to us by a skilled DJ.
The patrons of the venue created this special atmosphere and excitement of the night. But my personal opinion / or suggestion would be, if I may please express my thoughts , that the tickets should include the price of the dinner plus the show as many venues practice these days. People would be happy to pay more (say, $60-$80) for the dinner plus the show; and drinks can be charged separately, but this is only MHO as I think it would be so logical.
Overall it was an excellent night and we enjoyed our experience; if you decide to attend with your happy friends bring your dancing shoes with you and dance as you never danced before - till dark.
review by David Black and Grace Liu photos: David Black and Kieran McNNamara
The Antipodes exhibition at Beinart Gallery is just mind blowing! Grace and I had the pleasure of attending the opening night. Over 50 of Australia’s best artists are featured, showing off a variety of styles and media.
The alcohol was supplied by the sponsors Malocchio and Jetty Road Brewery. Malocchio provided 3 different flavours of their Hard Seltzer and Jetty Road supplied 3 different beers. Grace and I tried to have one of each, but 6 drinks was too many so we just had 4 and stumbled home. Both sponsors products were excellent! We weren’t too drunk to appreciate the artworks btw.
The artists featured are - Shaun Tan, Sean Layh, Clare Toms, Jennifer Allnutt, Annita Maslov, Mark Seabrook, Jessica Ng, Belinda Wiltshire, Jai Raphael, Ben Howe, Erik Sherman, Robert Duxbury, Jack Rowland, Robyn Rich, Liz Gridley, Katherine Gailer, Greg Olijnyk, Eevien Tan, Zeke’s Lunchbox, David Lee Pereira, Lix North, James Bonnici, Joshua Smith, Julian Clavijo, Alex Louisa, Jason Penfold, Jackson Booth Sean Edward Whelan, Alexia Novella, Brooke Penrose, Brian Cheung, Dan Power, Ryan Pola, Wolfgang, Andrew Hopgood, Brad Gunn, Adele Foster, Mai Yazawa, Brendan Rowe, Rachel Perrin, Dave Ramsden, Josh Juett, Avraham Vofsi, Ben Lopez, Nic Smith, Catriona Secker, Jeska Valk, Kim Evans, Samantha Dennis, Sooj Mitton, Jacqueline Michell Butterworth, Angela Ho, Creature Creature, Kat Young & Kate Gorman. There were so many whose pieces are well worth talking about but I can’t cover all of them, so I will just highlight a few. The first to catch my eye was Avraham Vofsi. I loved the way he was exploring biblical themes and even using the frames of his paintings as part of the art. Avraham is a Jew that was born in Australia, who is using art to discover his heritage. I had previously seen a work of his on David and Goliath, so I asked him about this and he replied…
Avraham - I would say that being a minority community in diaspora does make you think about how your culture/heritage and history helps in forming your life and world view. And definitely as I have explored my heritage and connected more over the past few years, I have learnt a lot. So yes, the piece with John showing the David and Goliath story, including striving for historical accuracy (regardless of the reality of the story) was my motivation. Here is a link to Avraham’s piece at the Antipodes exhibition: https://beinart.org/collections/antipodes-2023/products/avraham-vofsi-anointment-oil-on-linen Another to catch my eye was Wolfgang, whose fine line art on “Reprisal” was amazing. It was quite a dark, gothic piece. Wolfgang is a professional tattooist at Umbra Tattoo and the years of hard work he has put into line work show. His tattoo work is similarly themed with the same fine lines and stippling. https://beinart.org/collections/antipodes-2023/products/wolfgang-reprisal-felt-tip-pen-on-paper
Grace quite liked Jeska Valk’s “The White Moth.” This is an interesting oil on linen piece which is features a white moth with crochet pattern on its wings and a lady with crochet material around her neck. I am sure that there is a deeper meaning behind why the moth obscures her eyes, but I didn’t get a chance to catch up with the artist to find out. https://beinart.org/products/jeska-valk-the-white-moth-oil-on-linen.
There was one work in particular that blew my mind. Greg Olijnyk actually created an Escher style piece in cardboard. I’d always believed that it was impossible to take Escher’s optical illusions and turn them into real pieces. Greg actually did and it was amazing! https://beinart.org/collections/antipodes-2023/products/greg-olijnyk-escher-cube-cardboard The exhibition will be running until the 29th of January, so there is plenty of time to experience this. All art works are for sale but will probably sell before the end night, so I would suggest getting there soon.