A Conversation With Artist And Former Youth Prime Minister, Aretha Brown

Artist and proud Gumbaynggirr woman Aretha Brown has accomplished more than most 20-year-olds. She was first publicly recognised for her speeches at Invasion Day rallies in Naarm (Melbourne) in 2017, and her passion and desire for change has been inspiring to say the least. ‘It’s time for white Australia to sit down and just listen, just once, to what we have to say,’ she proclaimed to a crowd of tens of thousands. At the time she was just 16.

Aretha took to the stage to make a statement: that for too long have Aboriginal people been talked about, rather than talked to. She has continued to work to change this narrative, through her activism and community work, as well as her creative practice as an artist.

Later on in 2017 she was invited to attend the National Indigenous Youth Parliament, which brought together 48 young Indigenous people from across the

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Bigger Isn’t Better In This Newcastle Home

The clients of this Lambton, Newcastle, project originally engaged Curious Practice to design a small renovation only. However, upon discovering extensive unmapped mine workings and land subsidence beneath the site, a complete rebuild was required. 

Given a new house was not initially on the cards, the client’s budget was modest, calling for a particularly inventive response from Curious Practice. While the previous house consumed the majority of the site, the practice took the opportunity to design something smaller, and more contextual.

‘The discovery of subsidence and subsequent opportunity for a new house allowed us to develop this scheme and maximise garden areas with much more rigour,’ says project architect Greg Lee. ‘With a modest budget, expanding the living areas through large openings onto landscape and outdoor “rooms” was prioritised, and areas such as garages were seen as superfluous.’ 

The architect intends for these outdoor areas designs by Tallowood Landscapes

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The Best News Story Of 2021 So Far!

Maggie May and Josh Kelly, co-owners of gift shop and creative space Think Thornbury, went through the absolute ringer last year – more so than most. At just 28, Josh was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (you can read more about that here). With a busy small business to take care of, as well as their then 18-month-year-old son Remy (oh, and also that global pandemic-driven statewide lockdown), to say the future was uncertain for this family of three would be an understatement.

That was back in October, and we are so thrilled to share that as of January, Josh is officially in remission! BEST NEWS EVER!

We caught up with Maggie May to chat about the last few months, the importance of supporting local small businesses, and what they’ve learned over the last year.

Hey Maggie! last time we caught up with you, Josh had just started chemo.

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A Contemporary Beach House Designed By An Architect For Her Parents!

Depending on who you ask, designing a home for your parents could be either a dream or nightmare job. Luckily for Madeleine Blanchfield, it was the former!

The architect’s parents initially tasked her with designing their holiday house in Bendalong, on the NSW South Coast, but the result was so successful, they now live here full time!

Madeleine’s parents were open to a contemporary house from the outset, but nothing too flashy.

‘They are humble people, and wanted to build something that would not appear too bulky or ostentatious from the street and would not impact neighbours or the village feel that Bendalong has.’ Madeleine explains. Given the number of much-loved, owner-built homes in the area, this latter point was especially important.

In response, Madeleine devised a ‘simple and unassuming’ home using her signature stylish flair! ‘We chose to expose the structural system and referred to the simple post

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A Lean, Clean Renovation To A Grand Heritage Weatherboard

Flow can be a fickle beast when renovating heritage houses. Freeing up extra space, while also retaining the rhythms of the original home don’t always come hand in hand; so subtle transition spaces prove essential to providing continuity.

When nutting out how to connect the intact Victorian front with their plans for a breezy, contemporary renovation at the rear of this house in Williamstown, ioa Studio settled on light, in-built joinery to complete the task. A long wall of ceiling-high bookshelves eases the progression between old and new zones; connecting the living and dining room to the kitchen, as well as concealing ancillary spaces behind it.

At points throughout the open plan space, pockets of custom joinery are accompanied by glazing to create reading nooks and window outlooks to the pool, terrace and ivy-covered fenceline.

‘Before the renovation, the back portions of house had a lot of wasted space and

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Our (Free!) Small Business Summer School Is Here!

Drum roll please! We’re launching something new and a bit different today, and we want YOU to be a part of it!

The Design Files Small Business Summer School is our inspiring new 4-part video series, designed to give you the kick-start you need to launch your dream business or side hustle in 2021!

This series is powered by Squarespace – the website building platform we recommend for anyone starting a small business! Using Squarespace’s all-in-one platform you can buy a domain, build a great-looking website, and even market your brand online. In this series, we’ll show you how to get started – from goal setting, to launching your website, and growing your community and sales online.

Our Small Business Summer School is not an expensive or complicated online course. All the content is short and sharp, it’s FREE and lives right here on our website – simply tune in

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