Peter Pilt – Foodbank NT FoodbankNT

Bill Q: Good morning from beautiful Berrimah in the Northern Territory now for anybody that might be listening in around the country it’s the start of Winter in Australia and I’ve got to tell you it is currently 29 degrees and feels like 31 degrees so if you’re suffering in the cold, hunched around the fire, so sad for you. But anyway that’s enough of that. I’m speaking with Peter Pilt and Peter runs the Foodbank NT out here at Berrimah.

G’day Peter

Peter Pilt: Hey how are you doing? and hi to everyone who is listening

BQ: Tell us a bit about Foodbank NT

PP: So Foodbank NT is here to help the most vulnerable Territorian’s particularly when it comes to hunger and we serve the equivalent of about 31,000 meals a month to remote schools, remote communities, urban schools and we have about 124 affiliated organisations that come here to the warehouse that will shop, places like Meals on Wheels, Mission Australia and the Salvation Army. They then take the food and use it, about 31,000 meals. With COVID 19 our demand has spiked and for April we served the equivalent of 53,000 meals of food, what was a challenge about that was it emptied our warehouse and because everybody was panic buying we weren’t able to get food up here because all the trucks that were coming up were all full and so it basically emptied our warehouse, emptied our shelves and was certainly a pretty big deal. But right now, thankfully, our warehouse is now full, we have plenty of food and we are absolutely just smashing it in terms of getting food out again to some of those vulnerable Territorian’s.

BQ: So what’s your source? Where are you getting the food from? Is it donations, are you purchasing it? How does that happen?

PP: We do food rescue, so there’s seven Woolworth stores in the Darwin area and nine Coles stores and a couple of IGA’S, and so we go around on a Monday and Thursday we have trucks here and vans and we go around and we do food rescue so if there is food coming up to best before date, then Coles and Woolworth’s will put that out the back for us and we’ll pick that up and do that. Other places we get, like we got a whole stack of bottles of Coke from the hospital, again heading up to best before date and so yeah they’ll donate. So a lot of organisations around Darwin know that if they need to get rid of some food they can donate it to Foodbank and then we’ll get it out as much as we can. We also buy food from Foodbank South Australia, so it comes up through the center

BQ: Tell me a little bit about that because I noticed there are Foodbanks around the country and some of them might be NSW, ACT is there an affiliation between them all or do you sort of stand alone?

PP: Look it’s a federation, so we all stand alone but we work together, it’s kind of a little bit like the states of Australia.

BQ: Oh god that bad?

PP: No, not that bad, no we actually all work well together and so there is Foodbank Australia, has a head office in Sydney and they co-ordinate the federation and we all work together well. Again, through COVID 19 we’ve all been zooming every week, just updating each other, and it’s a great organisation and they do an amazing amount, and it is an honour for me, I’m fairly new here at Foodbank NT, been here for about five and a half months and its an honour to be part of a great organisation.

BQ: Wow, you’ve sort of got the lucky door prize didn’t you? You came up here how long before COVID?

PP: About six weeks, moved up to Darwin, didn’t know anybody and they closed everything down including the airports.

BQ: Welcome to the Northern Territory. If you want to go back to where you came from, you cant.

PP: And the good thing is it is probably one of the safest places in the world actually to be really honest, we haven’t had any community transmissions and no race riots.

BQ: Ah, hello to our friends in America. Now tell me, just going back to sourcing the food. Are you in the market like if somebody is out there listening and thinks ooh we’ve got some extra food we could happily donate. Is that something?

PP: Look we’ve actually just had last week our first panic buy donation. Where somebody had gone out six weeks ago bought a whole stack of rice and then realised they’re not going to use it. So they’ve bought it in and said hey look you guys can have the rice so yeah. But look honestly the more food we have the more people we can feed and whilst our warehouse is full at the moment we are concerned about the cliff they’re talking about the financial cliff at the end of September when all the payments stop, interest payments go back. So we’re actually now starting to gear up to make sure that we have a very full warehouse for people in at the end of September if they get into trouble we are able to assist. the other group we are starting to invest more into are the working poor, normally to shop at Foodbank you need a health care card or a pension card but at the moment we want to be generous. And so if people turn up to our Food For Life hubs and they’re hungry we’ll feed them.

BQ: Fantasitc, and tell us about those Food For Life hubs, how do people find out about those?

PP: If you go to Baptist Care NT then you will find the addresses of the six Food For Life hubs that we run across Darwin and they run from Tuesday to Friday and members of the public can shop, were also looking, because at the moment at the warehouse you cant shop, members of the public cant shop, you have to be an affiliated organisation but we are looking at opening up on a Saturday to members of the public to be able to come to the warehouse and shop.

BQ: Now, where do you see yourself, are you going to stick around with this for a few years? Where do you see yourself in five years time? Sounds like I’m advertising for a job doesn’t it?

PP: I saw a meme the other day that said, “Nobody that answered the question in 2015 where do you see yourself in five years time got it right” so its a 64 million dollar question but look, my whole life i have served others and this is the second charity i have been CEO of and I love helping p[people and we have expansion plans underway we’ve got some great strategic direction. And I really appreciate the support not only of Foodbank Australia but Baptist Care down South and look, yeah five years time I might be the Chief Minister.

BQ: Stranger things have happened. Peter thanks so much for talking to us today. I have one more question which is right out of left field, do you have a sports team and if so which one?

PP: Wow, that is left of field.

BQ: Ah, I’ve got him.

PP: I don’t really follow sport.

BQ: That’s an answer

PP: So I’ll pick one, go the Maroons.

BQ: This interview is going nowhere that’s being trashed now. Peter thanks so much for talking to us today about Foodbank NT.

 

 

Overheard In Darwin – Asher Gregory Productions

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Image courtesy of Overheard Productions

Watch this space. We are experiencing high volumes of lack of goods, services, and opportunities to get to a laptop.

For now, go to:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AsherGregoryProductions

Website:

http://www.ashergregoryproductions.com.au

 

Darwin Muso Series – Summit, October 2019

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Image courtesy of Summit

Darwin heavy metal band Summit have had a very busy 2019, and it’s about to get even busier as they prepare to head on the road to tour down the east coast of Australia in November.

With the release of a new single in the very near future, the time is ripe for the band to take their music to a wider audience, one that’s already been building off the back of a strong online streaming and Youtube presence.

Having met several band members at a MusicNT meet and greet in August, it was great to catch up with drummer Tom Heffernan and find out a bit more detail about the band’s activities.

Bill Quinn: You’re the new boy in the band, but you’re the spokesperson today. How much can you tell us about the background of Summit?

Tom Heffernan: The boys have been going since 2017. I worked for a couple of them on a major project up here and that’s how we met. I followed them around, watching their shows. They have a lot of talent, and it’s definitely up my alley.

They jumped on to the scene pretty quickly and left a pretty big footprint on the place. I just love their music.

Wes [Beck] is the leader of the band, and he organised it from the go. He was out of the scene for a long time before this band started. Greeny [Matt Greenaway] was over here working from Sydney way, New South Wales, and the two brothers [Jordan and James Atwill] are born and bred in Darwin.

I’m not sure how they got together, who spoke to who. I know Wes and Greeny worked together; that’s how they got together.

BQ: Coming from a number of backgrounds, it’s a Darwin band – but you’ve had a fair bit of interest from outside, even overseas. 

TH: Yeah, we’ve had a lot of success with online stuff so far. The EP was brilliant, the first EP [Echoes Of Aberration]. (Obviously, I had nothing to do with that one.) That’s one of the best EPs I’ve seen from a first-time effort.

And the interest has really escalated from that point on.

There was a bit of a hole with a change of line-up for the boys, but we’re full steam ahead now.

BQ: And you mentioned your online presence – that’s the way you get your music out when you’re isolated like in Darwin. What’s that like? I’ve got to say I’m not a fan of the online streaming services because you don’t get much out of it in dollars and cents. But I notice that you get a lot of plays on Spotify; is that helping?

TH: Oh, it definitely helps get the music out. That and Youtube. Without it, I’d say it would be a lot harder. There’s not a lot of revenue in it, as you said, but that’s the way of the world today.

But the exposure’s nothing like it used to be. To see a band back in the day, or to hear a band, you had to go and see them or buy a CD. [Online streaming] is handy, but there’s no money in it.

But it’s great for the exposure side of things being in an isolated area like Darwin.

We haven’t ventured too far out of the territory, maybe not at all. So big things coming for us soon.

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Darwin Muso Series: Ward Hancock Trio, October 2019

Darwin Muso Series is a string of an indeterminate number of mini to medium to mega interviews with Darwin-based musicians and performing artists. Starting in September 2019, and we’ll see how many we can cover over the next weeks/months/years.

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Image courtesy of Ward Hancock Music

Ward Hancock Trio

The Darwin Railway Club played host to the Darwin regional final of the Passport To Airlie competition in mid-September 2019.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music is held in November, however, in the lead-up, the organisers stage what is arguably* Australia’s biggest battle of the bands competition.

* It’s big. Like really big. Huge. You might think it’s a long way from the Darwin Bus Interchange to Six Tanks – and it gets further on Friday and Saturday nights – but that’s just peanuts compared to how vast the scope of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music’s Passport To Airlie competition is. (With apologies to Douglas Adams, but I’m starting to scratch around for enough gags to see out this bracket of interviews.)

Ward Hancock is an emerging artist from the Northern Territory, though his young years belie the amount of musical runs on the board he’s already chalked up. His style and repertoire have a strong basis in reggae, but zip around to visit blues, dub, and rock.  A home-grown Darwinian, Ward along with his trio won first place in the Passport To Airlie competition, and they’ll be off east in November to represent the Top End on the Whitsunday Coast.

I thought I might miss my chance to speak with Ward after the event, but I managed to reef him away for a few minutes right at the end of the night, and he reflected on his musical background and the competition win.

Bill Quinn: In 80 000 words or less, what’s the Ward Hancock story?

Ward Hancock: I found guitar when I was about 12, because I wouldn’t stop playing an old ukulele that my parents had. No, at first it was drums – drums were the first thing, then I gravitated on to guitar because it was a bit cheaper and a bit quieter.

My thing was I always wrote songs, I always like writing songs more than learning songs. I started singing in about Grade Seven or Eight, because noone else would sing.

The first couple of years, people told me not to sing! Fair enough; it didn’t sound too great. I’ve heard recordings; it’s not pretty, but…

BQ: You’ve got to start somewhere.

WH: Exactly! I just evolved into a singer. I was always a guitarist, but evolved into a singer. Always a songwriter.

There’s a lot of great opportunities living up here. I think one of my first bigger gigs was at the Noonamah Tavern. My earliest memories were of big, tough guys drinking in the beer garden. Bikies, you know? I had no idea, but I had some great experiences with that; I kind of cut my teeth on that.

I had great mentors like [Darwin music legend] JK, and Michael Henshaw – who did sound tonight – he’s a great supporter of music as we were growing up. Mickey at the Happy Yess, and countless other Darwin locals.

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Darwin Muso Series: Emma Rowe, September 2019

Darwin Muso Series is a string of an indeterminate number of mini to medium to mega interviews with Darwin-based musicians and performing artists. Starting in September 2019, and we’ll see how many we can cover over the next weeks/months/years.

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Image courtesy of Emma Rowe Music

Emma Rowe

The Darwin Railway Club played host to the Darwin regional final of the Passport To Airlie competition in mid-September 2019.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music is held in November, however, in the lead-up, the organisers stage what is arguably* Australia’s biggest battle of the bands competition.

* Try saying, ‘Heats in Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Nimbin, Newcastle, Sydney, Illawarra, Melbourne and Adelaide’ ten times fast.

Emma Rowe grew up in tropical Darwin and went from being a “sad teenager” with a cheap guitar to developing a unique talent for crafting quirky contemporary rock songs that combine lust, hope, frustration and joy in a surprisingly complicated but completely relatable style. Emma is a regular on the Darwin music scene as a headliner and support for touring artists.

After her set in the Passport to Airlie competition, Emma joined me in the beer garden to have a chat.

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Emma Rowe performing in Passport To Airlie – Darwin at Darwin Railway Club

Bill Quinn: Tell us the Emma Rowe story!

Emma Rowe: Oh god, that’s a big question.

Basically, I guess it started when I was a sad teenager, and my mum noticed. And she brought home this cheap guitar from Cash Converters, and was like, ‘Here! Put your sadness into this!’

And it worked!

BQ: Was that here in Darwin?

ER: Yeah, I grew up here. Technically not born here, but I moved here when I was really young.

BQ: So many people I’ve spoken to have come here from other places. What was it like growing up with music in Darwin?

ER: I loved it. I really loved growing up here. It’s really communal and that’s really reflective in the music scene.

That’s what I love about the music scene here. We all know and love each other, we’re all really supportive, and I love that feeling: I love feeling supported by my scene.

BQ: I’m glad you said that because I’ve only been here for less than six months, and I actually wrote this down tonight. I’m picking up on a really big, supportive vibe amongst musicians, so it’s something that’s very important here.

ER: Oh yeah, for sure, it’s everywhere, and it’s wonderful. And I think that actually goes for the whole NT as well. We know all the musos in Alice Springs and in Katherine, and we’re all just really connected and really communal. It’s lovely.

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Image courtesy of Emma Rowe Music

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Darwin Muso Series: Alice Cotton, September 2019

Darwin Muso Series is a string of an indeterminate number of mini to medium to mega interviews with Darwin-based musicians and performing artists. Starting in September 2019, and we’ll see how many we can cover over the next weeks/months/years.

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Image courtesy of Alice Cotton

Alice Cotton

The Darwin Railway Club played host to the Darwin regional final of the Passport To Airlie competition in mid-September 2019.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music is held in November, however, in the lead-up, the organisers stage what is arguably* Australia’s biggest battle of the bands competition.

* You’d be doing very well to beat 12-13 major locations across half the continent.

Alice Cotton is an emerging artist who has returned to Darwin to ply her musical trade(s). Alice has a unique twist on folk-country music with original songs steeped in warmth and humour. Her songs draw influence from old-time American music, with a nod to growing up in humid climes amongst a tight-knit community in the Northern Territory. Alice is recording her first EP in late 2019.

Bill Quinn: What’s the Alice Cotton story? With music!

Alice Cotton: I was actually studying classical music; I used to play classical flute, but I just found it a bit of an elitist culture.

And then I really got into music therapy. It was through that I started song-writing and doing my own stuff.

I found it gave me more space to be more creative and do what I wanted to do and do gigs more easily.

BQ: Is that your ‘rent gig’? Do you do music therapy during the day?

AC: Yeah.

BQ: That seems to be a bit of a theme!

AC: Yeah, Crystal [Robins] as well! We actually studied together through University of Melbourne [Alice in Melbourne, Crystal in Sydney].

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Image courtesy of Alice Cotton

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Darwin Muso Series: Ben Evolent, September 2019

Darwin Muso Series is a string of an indeterminate number of mini to medium to mega interviews with Darwin-based musicians and performing artists. Starting in September 2019, and we’ll see how many we can cover over the next weeks/months/years.

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Image courtesy of Ben Evolent Music

Ben Evolent

The Darwin Railway Club played host to the Darwin regional final of the Passport To Airlie competition in mid-September 2019.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music is held in November, however, in the lead-up, the organisers stage what is arguably* Australia’s biggest battle of the bands competition.

* If you can find a bigger one, I want it stuffed and mounted on display at ARIA or APRA headquarters, please.

Opening the batting for muso chats on the night (and for this series of interviews) was Josh Tarca of Ben Evolent.

(Just a quick Overheard At Passport To Airlie from my notes here. My mate leaned over as the third act came on and said, “I think the announcer said this band is from the Netherlands”.

Me: “No, the band’s name is ‘Ben Evolent’!)

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Ben Evolent performing in Passport To Airlie – Darwin at Darwin Railway Club

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Passport To Airlie – 2019 Darwin Heat (Darwin Railway Club)

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Image courtesy of Airlie Beach Festival of Music

Passport To Airlie – Darwin Heat (Darwin Railway Club)
Friday 13 September 2019, Darwin Railway Club

The Darwin Railway Club played host to the Darwin regional final of the Passport To Airlie competition in mid-September 2019.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music is held in November, however, in the lead-up, the organisers stage what is arguably Australia’s biggest battle of the bands competition.

And you’d have to argue very convincingly to beat this: regional finals in (take a deep breath): Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Nimbin, Newcastle, Sydney, Illawarra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

It’s huge.

And budding musos are all vying for the chance to participate in the final at Airlie Beach in November.

As well as the performance opportunity in 2019, the overall winner gets to return to play the main stage the following year, receiving four nights’ accommodation, VIP main tent passes, a $1000 performance fee, and a spot on Music View TV (Cairns).

If you’re a regional muso aiming to get your music to a wider audience, it’s well worth a shot.

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Mensch, Monique in Australia, 2019

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Image courtesy of Mensch, Monique!

Folk On The Road

Mensch Monique!: Interview at Cobargo Folk Festival

Mensch, Monique! were in Australia earlier in 2019, playing gigs, house concerts and festivals. I caught up with Jule and Georg at Cobargo Folk Festival to find out how musical and family life had been treating them since the days of The Beez.

We spoke under a blazing sun, with welcome shade from the café marquee, perched
precariously on milk crates, sipping on ginger and lemongrass over cubed
ice (just brilliant on a baking hot day).

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Cobargo Folk Festival 2019

Bill Quinn: How long has Mensch, Monique! been going? What are you doing? How is it going?

Jule Schroder: Well, actually, Georg and me, we have been playing since 2007.

BQ: And how about music?

JS: Exactly! Playing music! (And we’ve been playing together longer than that!) But I was in a band called ‘The Beez’; for such a long time.

BQ: The Beez? Can you spell that? I’m not familiar with this band.

[If you can’t pick up the irony in that sentence, go to https://overheardproductions.com/?s=The+beez where you can read just one or two articles about this band by the authour over the past decade.]

JS: Tee Hahr Eeh Bee Double Eeh Zsedh. We were one Australian, one American, and two Germans.

BQ: And one of the Deutshes is now Australierin!

JS: That’s right. Deta got married to Rob a long time ago and now she’s got her spouse visa.

So, anyway, I was playing with The Beez, being busy. And there was just no point [after the birth of first child]. We couldn’t play gigs. Or we could, but it was just too hard.

So when I left The Beez in 2014, we said, “Let’s write some songs together”. And why not in German? And that’s what we did!

And it just takes a long time. You know, we’ve got two kids now. But we do it in our own tempo. Our own speed, you know? And we love it!

BQ: That’s very interesting that you do your songs in German, with English being the lingua franca for the world, the language that the majority of the planet understands. Tell me about when you perform in Germany. Is it 100% in German? Or do you mix it up a bit?

JS: We mix it up, but it’s really interesting because I talk to a lot of musician friends from Germany, and we came to the… schluss? … conclusion that we just HAVE to write songs in German because it’s our language.

It just doesn’t make sense that we only write songs in English, because that’s not our language.

And it’s a bit hard to sing in German, I must say. And what is really interesting for me is, because I write most of the melodies, I don’t think in German when I write the melodies. I can’t do that. It’s really interesting.

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From The Vault: Interview with Myf Warhurst, Spicks and Specktacular, December 2011

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In eight days’ time (Sunday 30 October 2016), Overheard Productions is closing its doors OR it might be transitioning into something similar only different.

Yeah, I’d put money on the latter!

Hold on. 30/10/2016 = 13 = 4 = death. Strangely appropriate in one way, but a bit final given my plans! Meh, that numbers game is like a horoscope to me. Interesting for shizs and giggles, but not to be taken overly serious.

[Just look over there while I throw some salt over my left shoulder and turn around three times.]

Over the next eight days, I’m going to (as time permits) resurrect some old interviews and sound files. I’m paying these days for unlimited Soundcloud space, so I might as well make use of it.

This is one that I strangely never attached to a WordPress document, which is very weird since it’s one of my favourites with one of my all-time favourite on air/screen people.

When the Spicks and Specks offered me a choice of Alan Brough or Myf to interview, I did think that Alan would be a fascinating man to speak with given his encyclopaedic knowledge of music and his brilliantly dry and funny wit.

But dude. Myf Warhurst. MYF WARHURST!!!

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I was like a cat on a hot tin roof, though not as alley cat-like as my daughter figured (as mentioned in the interview).

Enjoy.

Myf is currently presenting the lunch show (11am to 2pm ADST) on Double J radio (digital radio, online and Channel 200 on Free To Air television). Though at the time of writing (Saturday 22 October 2016), I believe she may still be overseas and the chair is being skillfully warmed by the aforementioned Alan Brough.

No, that must have been a pack of lies, as my late mother would say. Looks like she’s back!

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