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Benjamin's winning ways

The YWCA of Canberra has ended the year on a high note with its youth connections officer for Tuggeranong, Benjamin Kane, being named outstanding youth worker at the annual Yogie Awards presented by the Youth Coalition of the ACT.

The Youth Coalition is the peak youth affairs body for the ACT, representing the interests of people aged 12 to 25.

Kane, 23, has been in his position only since January but was recognised for promoting the rights and wellbeing of young people in the ACT through his roles with the YWCA of Canberra and boards of the Ministers Youth Advisory Council and Tuggeranong Re-Engaging Youth Network.

''His laid-back, casual and cool but professional demeanour help him to build rapport with clients and nurture them into educational pathways,'' the citation read. ''Colleagues and the sector appreciate how Ben works in a supportive, passionate and collaborative way.''

Kane enjoys the challenges of his job. ''I think it's the satisfaction of setting people on the right path, a productive path, rather than down a road of struggle,'' he said.

Young people assisted by the YWCA also benefited this week by receiving Christmas presents purchased through fund-raising by staff at the Canberra office of Ernst & Young, with a party held at the YWCA Mura Lanyon Youth and Community Centre.


Other winners in the Yogie Awards were: Robin Sale, Y. Engage Program, Northside Community Service, (outstanding new talent); Matt and Eric, Bit Bent (outstanding contribution to young people); Roslyn Sim, Girl Guide Association ACT/NSW (lifetime achievement award) and Brenda Martin, Multicultural Youth Services (staff acknowledgement award).

Marketing exercise, as seen from space

Canberra and Region Visitors Centre reservations administrator Bryden Rich went above and beyond the call of duty by promoting the national capital while on a holiday in China.

Bryden, who books accommodation and packages for Canberra tourists, visited the Great Wall of China and took the opportunity to get snaps of herself with a ''Like Canberra'' T-shirt. She assures us she would have worn the T-shirt had it not been for the minus 3 degrees temperature.

Never one to miss an opportunity to promote Canberra, Bryden told curious tourists in China to put the nation's capital on their next travel itinerary.

And as an aside, the visitors centre on Northbourne Avenue is selling a range of Canberra centenary merchandise - including T-shirts - if people are still stumped on what to buy friends or family for Christmas. It is also selling tickets to the National Gallery of Australia's Toulouse-Lautrec: Paris and The Moulin Rouge exhibition.

Germans left blessing in Canberra house they built

A nice little follow-up to a story we ran this week about the Jennings Germans, who built 1850 homes in Canberra in the early 1950s.

A Lyneham resident, Tony Henshaw, recognised in an accompanying photograph his family home under construction by the Jennings Germans in Sundew Crescent, O'Connor. (The Jennings Germans were carpenters from Germany, seconded to work in Canberra for AV Jennings during a labour shortage.)

The sturdy little house was home to him, his three siblings and parents John and June. And the Jennings Germans left a little of themselves in the home.

''When my parents extended the kitchen, they found a note written on the inside of a wall,'' Henshaw recalled. ''It said, 'God bless all those who live in this house' and was signed by two German names. My parents cut it out and placed it back in the wall of the extension. It would be still be there today.''

Arboretum soiree interest

Bookings are already flying thick and fast at the National Arboretum Canberra with the Canberra Business Council hosting the first corporate dinner in the new visitors' centre.

The dinner on February 7 costs $175 a ticket, $1700 for a table of 10, or $2200 for a corporate table of 10.

The soiree will come soon after the official opening of the arboretum on February 1 and the ''people's opening'' on February 2.

Canberra Business Council chief executive Chris Faulks said the council had been a long-time supporter of the arboretum and the response to the dinner so far had been ''very good''.

''I think since [the] Voices in the Forest [concert] people are starting to realise what an asset it will be,'' Ms Faulks said.

New angle on bushfire recovery

Photographers, professional and amateur, are being asked to train their lenses on Canberra a decade after the 2003 bushfires in a competition being staged during the Past Present Future - 10-year bushfire anniversary exhibition.

The winning photographs will be used for commemorative postcards available as part of the exhibition which will be at the Scope cafe on Mount Stromlo from January 18 to February 18.

Scope director Simone Hunter is looking for ''big, beautiful and unique images of our Weston Creek and Cotter region''.

The emphasis is ''on the present; how our community has recovered and what the landscape holds for us in the now''.

The exhibition, generally, is also looking for artists, poets, community groups and individuals who are passionate about the region and would like to exhibit their works that emphasise the ''recovery and renewal of Canberra''.

Curator Ben Henderson said any work would be considered for the exhibition - from a painting to a sculpture to a photo to a poem.

Just so long as it was more about the present than the past.

''We're not discounting anything,'' he said.

Mr Henderson can be contacted on 0415 218 348 or email or for photo entries and other enquiries.

$100,000 sculpture reaches for the sky

The artwork cumulus aeronauticus by local artist Geoff Farquhar-Still is the latest public artwork unveiled by the ACT government.

The $100,000 piece was unveiled this week at the Scullin shops. Streets in Scullin are named after aviators, the artwork recognising that history.