The Bark August 2019 - Issue 25

It sounds like there has been a lot of clowning around at Candlebark 🤡. I can't wait to get under the big top 🎪 and see all the new and exciting tricks and skills the kids have been learning.

Please feel free to contact me via email on janeduggan26@yahoo.com.au if you have anything to contribute to future newsletters.

Jane Cahill - Editor In Chief


  • Term Dates 2019
  • Student Corner
  • Circus Workshop & Performer Resumes
  • Circus Time @ Candlebark
  • Candlebark and Alice Miller at the State Cross Country
  • Om O'Carrolll wins Victorian Under 12 Girls State Chess Championships
  • Community Notices

Term Dates 2019

  • Term 3 - July 23 to September 19.
  • Term 4 - October 8 to December 18

Student Corner

Our featured author this issue is Hudson.

Tashi and the Mountain of White Tigers

Tashi was walking to Jack’s house. Tashi got inside and Jack was waiting for him on the sofa. He told him the story of the Mountain of White Tigers.

Well it was like this…one day Dopey and I were down at the bottom of a hill, we were playing freeze tag on the lawn of the big hill.

Then we saw a big dark face look at us and then it vanished. Turned away like it was just a puff of smoke.

“What was that?” I asked Dopey.

They followed it into the thick leaves and bushes until they came to a mountain. The mountain was full of ripped up bones and skeletons.


A white and black stripy tiger was about to pounce on them.

“Quick, in here” said Tashi and they quickly jumped in a nearby tunnel.

The tunnel lead to the Baron house, but luckily the Baron wasn’t there. On the way home they went to Wise-as-an-Owl’s house and got a potion for safety, because you know a potion can always come in handy the next time you might meet a white tiger in the bushes.

The End.

Circus Intensive & Performer Resumes

In the second week of term three, we had a wonderful Circus Intensive guided by our intrepid leader and parent Alexander Harrison. Her ability to bring together circus performers from around Victoria was amazing. Students worked hard learning new skills from these very experienced and dedicated people. What follows here is a collection of resumes for your perusal. Thank you Alex for being so engaging with the artists, staff and students of Candlebark.

- Written By Joanne Croke

Debra Batton - Performer Director Teacher Artsmaker

Debra has no loyalty to genre, she can be found in the circus tent, the theatre, the dance studio and occasionally on screen or in the street. She currently performs with SnS, Batton & Broadway and A Good Catch. Debra has a long history in performance as director, performer, acrobat, dancer, choreographer, facilitator and actor. She was the Artistic Director of Legs on the Wall for nearly ten years working closely with a devising ensemble and collaborating with artists from Australia, Canada and the U.K. Last year she was invited to direct Unsuitable with Tumble Circus in Belfast and then Avignon Festival France. She teaches performance at NICA and acrobatics at Circus Oz - to make ends meet she also makes coffees on the weekends. Most recently Casting Off by A Good Catch was awarded the Total Theatre award for Circus in Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as the Melbourne and Adelaide fringe awards for best circus.

Sharon Gruenert

For over 20 years Sharon Gruenert has flown around and been thrown around in the circus. From 1998-2001 she was an acrobat in the first Cirque du Soleil show to come to Australia, Saltimbanco. Returning home she performed with many of the iconic contemporary Australian circus's including Circus Oz and Circus Monoxide. She drove through South East Asia on a double decker bus with Lunar Circus and has also toured and performed with physical theatre companies Strange Fruit and Dislocate. Sharon has co produced her own shows with Full Cream Circus appearing at Sydney's Hoopla and Melbourne's Midsumma Festival to name a few. Sharon performed on a trapeze hung from a hot air balloon 20m in the air as part of Canberra's 100th birthday celebrations. In 2017 Sharon co-founded 'A Good Catch', an exciting new company with the aim to experiment with circus. Their first show 'Casting Off' has won numerous award including Best Circus at the Adelaide and Melbourne Fringe Festival and the Total Theatre Award for circus at Edinburgh Fringe. A versatile performer Sharon shines in ensemble work. Her specialities include partner acrobatics, casting/cradle, double trapeze, flying trapeze, hoop diving, chinese pole, and head-balancing.

Simon Yates and Jo Lancaster

Life and work partners Simon and Jo founded their company Acrobat 25 years ago. Acrobat has created and presented many fine shows and toured them extensively for over 2 decades throughout greater Europe, South America, with also some touring in Australia, Asia and North America. For Acrobat’s history and information about the artists, please go to www.acrobat.net.au

Simon and Jo both create and perform in Acrobat’s shows. They also design and build sets, costumes, rigging systems, structures, apparatus, propsand lighting systems. They have 2 children, Grover Lancaster-Cole and Fidel Lancaster-Cole. Jo and Simon also sometimes assist in the making of work by other companies, usually through offering practical advice or technical support. They are protecting their future artistic integrity through the practise of permaculture and a commitment to a low resource input lifestyle.

Dylan Singh

Dylan’s life has always been around circus. His mother introduced him to circus at a young age as she was a performer with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in Albury, before moving on to perform with Circus Oz amongst other companies. Ever since Dylan was born he has been traveling with the circus, learning different skills from tumbling, handstands, juggling, and so many others. Since he was a young lad, Dylan has trained alongside his Mum, as well as doing gymnastics. He has performed with his Mum numerous times and has been a street performer, busking all over the country.

Dylan was a participant of the Circus Oz BLAKflip Masterclass progam in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and was a cast member of the Green Room award-winning BLAKflip production, Chasing Smoke that was performed as part of the Yirramboi Festival in 2017. Since then he has performed Indigenous dances for the rugby World Cup as well as performed for the Melbourne Awards. Dylan has worked as a Circus Oz Trainer teaching young children and adults a variety of circus skills. He is the lead trainer on the Koori Youth Circus, which Circus Oz runs in partnership with Melbourne Aboriginal Youth Sports and Recreation Cooperative. Joining the Circus Oz ensemble in 2018, Dylan becomes the first ever second-generation performer with the company.

Luke Taylor

Having started his circus career at the age of 12 with a 7 year stint in the Flying Fruit Flies Luke Taylor graduated and joined a tour with Lunar Circus performing all over Western Australia, from big top shows in Perth to workshops in remote communities. Feeling that he still had more to learn he applied, and was accepted to, NICA where he completed a bachelor of Circus Arts, specialising in Russian Bar, juggling and acrobatics.

With new skills under his belt he set out to make independent work, creating shows with groups such as ‘Throw Down’ and ‘Caravan’, these were performed in festivals such as Melbourne Fringe Festival to great acclaim

In 2006 Luke was offered a job with Circus Oz and spent 5 years touring across Australia and the World throughout which time he developed his specialties of juggling, acrobatics, teeterboard and hoop diving. Luke is also a keen, if unsuccessful fisherman and experimental bike mechanic!

Tarah Carey

Having worked professionally as an actor, writer, director and circus performer, Tarah is a uniquely qualified creative with a strong focus on developing new work. She holds a Bachelor of Acting from USQ, Certificate IV of Small Business Management from RMIT and a Master of Writing for Performance from VCA.

She and has performed across theatre, TV and circus and trained with Strange Fruit, Legs on the Wall, Montreal’s top hand-balancing trainer Yury Bozyan. In 2016 Tarah was one of eight, Australian circus artists selected for the Circus Oz Strong Women’s Project and in 2018 Bit by Bit a circus show she directed, was nominated for the Best Circus Award in Melbourne Fringe.

Tim Rutty

Tim trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), specialising in aerial rope, hand- balancing and acrobatics. Since graduating and co-founding Gravity Dolls, Tim has performed internationally and regularly across Australia. He has toured with Strange Fruit, performed across Australia with the circus cabarets Papillon and Paris Underground, as well as being a resident performer at The Ivy in Sydney. In 2019 Tim completed specialized training to become a fully qualified circus rigger.

Ana Rita Pires

Ana Rita Pires has lived her life between Portugal and Australia. This sharing of territories has been the catalyst in the development of her work, as a visual artist and arts educator. Her work questions themes such as migration, identity and place.

Having worked as an independent artist for the past 15 years, many formats and mediums have been explored, such as working alongside Roma communities in Portugal, participating in artistic residencies in Cape Verde and more recently, working on participatory art projects here in Australia. One of her latest projects and collaboration, with fellow artist Alexandra Harrison, has been Line Dance, a series of studio practice inspired workshops, exploring and celebrating mark making, body movement, and all that lies between. Another recent adventure has been the creation of Fandata Studio, with her partner and collaborator Mito Elias; a multidisciplinary arts studio in Melbourne’s West. Ana Rita currently lives in Melbourne’s West with partner Mito Elias and daughters Tamira and Indigo.

Sascha Yeomans

Sascha Yeomans originally studied circus at Circo-Arts in New Zealand where she focused on acrobalance and flying trapeze. She has run several classes and workshops throughout New Zealand and continued to do so when returning to Australia. After settling in the Macedon Ranges, she set up a circus group in Riddells Creek with weekly classes as well as teaming up with other performers for bigger projects. Later, she ran regular classes at Newham Primary as well as many workshops at other schools. Sascha particularly enjoys working with children. Her own children took her to Albury-Wodonga for the Fruit Flies Circus 7 years ago and the family now live in Beechworth. Sascha is also a qualified gymnastics coach in regular gymnastics as well as sports acrobatics and kinder gym. She has coached with many clubs over the last 20 years, but she particularly loves the creativity inherent in circus.

Rockie Stone

Rockie is a graduate of the National Institute of Circus Arts and has a Post-Graduate Diploma - Performance Creation from the Victorian College of the Arts. She’s performed as an ensemble member of Circa and Circus Oz. Rockie co-founded circus theatre company 3 is a Crowd, and recently toured the ensemble’s debut award-winning show Fright or Flight across Australia and Europe. Throughout her circus career Rockie has taught adults and children across the world to stand on their hands, stand on each other and hang in all manner of shapes from various apparatus. Her teaching experience includes working with the Blakrobats, teaching master classes at circus festivals, Circus Oz, Womens Circus, Flipside Circus, Westside Circus, NICA, and directing Tasmania’s youth circus troupe Slipstream Circus’ annual production.

Mara Macs

Mara has been working as a circus trainer for 20 years, with extensive experience in the Castlemaine/Daylesford region. Mara is a dedicated and active community member coordinating and organising many community events, festivals, and performances in particular involving young people and their engagement in these events with circus.

Mara has a wide range of interests including promoting the arts and cultural activites, tolerance, sustainable practices and promoting a healthy environment. After many years of dedicated training in several acrobatic forms of martial arts (Free Form, WuSu, and Capioera), family life refreshed her focus towards engaging children in physical activity through acrobatics and circus. At first the change was made in an effort to provide an appropriate physical practice for children that offered a wide range of physical challenges, and the Daylesford Community Circus School was born. But soon the potential for the positive ways the children could contribute to their community through performance, and the strong, trusting, creative friendships that were developing between children of varying ages and schools, hooked Mara into committing to providing circus in our communities for the long term.

Cameron Macleman

Cameron was born just outside of Bendigo. He turned his country-grown sense of adventure to exploring the city as he grew up.

After forming a close friendship with Flynn in 2006, Cameron started training parkour. Quickly realising that parkour was much less about ‘jumping off things’ and more about movement in general, the passion consumed his life. Flynn and Cameron trained every day together throughout their high-school years. They quickly become competent in the basics and began running public jams and teaching small classes.

Cameron’s role in coaching continued to evolve over the years, including workshops for local fairs and festivals, performances with dance groups, running parkour competitions with youth organisation Xtreme Inc., and coaching parkour with Castlemaine Circus. His knowledge and expertise in movement and the mechanics of the human body led to his employment as a qualified gymnastics coach.

A passion for the outdoors has remained a strong influence in Cameron’s life. He is an avid rock-climber and indulged this passion to study Outdoor Education at LaTrobe University. Armed with strong belief that parkour can offer life-changing support for people who feel they “don’t fit” in regular sport, Cameron aims to make parkour accessible to all. He remains adamant that all his warm-ups make great dance moves.

Flynn Patrao

Born in Shepparton, Flynn moved to Bendigo when he was just three years old. Having lived in many of Bendigo’s suburbs, he has an extensive knowledge of the best playgrounds. Flynn met Cameron in his mid teens, through Venturer Scouts - forming a fast friendship and consolidating their shared enthusiasm for adventure. Parkour provided the perfect framework to indulge this adventurous spirit and consumed most of his free time. Flynn rapidly mastered the foundations, and as he continued to push his physical boundaries he began to pass his knowledge to others.

Flynn has fostered the Central Victorian parkour community for years - teaching classes in local spaces, at YMCA Bendigo, and in various locations in Castlemaine. He has also run workshops for local schools, designed and run a parkour obstacle course, and volunteers for Xtreme Inc. Youth to bring parkour to those who cannot always afford it. In recent years, Flynn has expanded his repertoire of movement to become an accomplished trampolining and gymnastics coach as well as establishing parkour classes with Castlemaine Circus. Flynn aims to be a coach who not only teaches people how to move, but who acts as an important role-model for his students - embodying the values that underlie the philosophy of parkour.

Outside of parkour, Flynn’s passion for Dungeons & Dragons remains strong - and he follows a family tradition of quietly becoming a talented musician. Rumor has it that similar to Samson, Flynn will lose his power if his mutton chops are shaved.

Fidel Lancaster-Cole

Young artist, now 15 years old. Performed in Acrobat’s show ‘Propaganda’, touring the EU, South America and Korea from 2010 to 2011. Fidel is a current student of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and has toured extensively with the show, JUNK, from the beginning, presenting the show at the Sydney Opera House, the Victorian Arts Centre and the Auckland Arts Festival. A recent regional tour took them to Tamworth and the Gold Coast.

Circus Time

Clowning Around
Stilts Walking
Unicycling & Hula Hoops
Strike a Pose

Prep & 1/2X Buddy Reading

Preps being taught by the older kids. They all enjoy such a wonderful experience when they are working co-operatively.

Candlebark and Alice Miller at the State Cross Country

Lily James and Henry Bourke progressed through the interschool, divisional and regional race meets to compete at the State Cross Country Championships on 18th June in Bundoora. State champs is intense. Parents, coaches and nutritionists in active wear and race officials armed with sawdust and buckets at the finish line all add to the high-stakes atmosphere. Both runners gave it their all in the Candlebark blue against some of the strongest runners in the country.

It was Henry’s second time competing at the state champs. He had a frustrating start and found himself boxed in towards the back of pack. But in true Bourke fashion he charged home to finish in in 52nd place. Two of the runners in Henry’s race made it to the finish line but not the bucket and the officials were forced to put the woodchips to work.

Lily, in her first appearance at the states, ran a strong race to finish in 16th place. Both runners have been pushing each other this year at Candlebark’s weekly cross country run as well as training hard at the Woodend running group on Saturday mornings.

Alice Miller Year 8 student Lauren Bourke, competing in her fourth straight state champs, finished in an impressive fifth place. This would have seen her progress to the Nationals in previous years; however unfortunately she narrowly missed out due to a change in the selection process.

Congratulations Lily, Henry and Lauren on a hugely successful running season and thank you to Jo Bourke for the insights and the photos.

-Written By Cam Kerr

Om O'Carrolll wins Victorian Under 12 Girls State Chess Championships

Om O'Carroll won 6.5 out of 7 games to take out the U/12 Victorian Girls State Championship on the holidays, only drawing the top seed. She finished a full 1.5 points ahead of 2nd place who scored 5 points.

Om was then selected as one of twenty-eight kids Australia-wide to take part in the Junior Elite Training squad in Adelaide, where they studied with Australian Grand Masters and International Masters.

Congratulations Om on these impressive achievements!

- Written By Cam Kerr

Community Notices

Created By
Jane Cahill

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