Up, Up and Away in WA




When I was a young lass in the 70s, my mother Margot (your Starfish film critic) took me with her to the small town of Northam (about 100km east-north-east of Perth) one weekend.  Back then, Mum was WA’s bureau chief for Women’s Weekly, working for the glamorous  Ita Buttrose.
We were there for a giant hot air balloon event mum was covering for the Weekly. I’ll never forget it. Enormous bright and colourful balloons galore, lighting up the green fields. We got up at dawn, watching the balloonists prepare to float above the Avon Valley en masse. Mum and I even got to go up in a balloon ourselves. It was so exciting, that later at school, when asked what I’d like to be when I grew up, I didn’t hesitate: “A  balloonist.” The teacher’s eyes bulged. “What?”
Yes, that idea turned out to be a lot of hot air on my part. Even so, what’s not to love about gliding silently above the landscape, in a beautiful balloon? A few years ago, I was taken with some other journalists on a dawn balloon ride over Alice Springs and that too was a thrill.
Anyway, I was chuffed to hear that next month, champion balloonists from around the globe are descending on Northam to compete in the Women’s World Hot Air Ballooning Championship.
The event was last held in Poland five years ago, then COVID held things up for a while. But now,  30 pilots from 13 nations – including five from Australia – will be up, up and away, vying to become the new world champ.
The event kicks off on Saturday, September 2 and will run through to September 9.
Another event in our diary is the annual Help The Homeless Fine Art Auction. On September 9, it’s on again, at Walyalup Civic Centre, Fremantle.
By attending this evening of entertainment, food and fine art, you’ll be making a difference to the lives of the homeless in our community.
Curator Lyn DiCiero really knows her art and ensures that quality works from a variety of reputable artists are up for grabs, mostly at bargain prices.
The night includes a performance by Cara Deanne, plus The Starlight Hotel Choir – so named to reflect the night view of those sleeping rough. Performer and comedian Sam Longley will be the MC and the auctioneers of the artworks up for grabs are McKenzies Auctioneers, Claremont.
Here’s the catalogue:
Tickets are $50 each and include food, refreshments and entertainment. Book here:
Even if you’re not planning to leave the couch any time soon, this issue of The Starfish brings you a celebration of a new Dickerson exhibition, an interview with author Georgia Tree about her book Old Boy, a delicious  recipe for Chinese walnut prawns, and reviews by Ros and Margot of two outstanding new films. Also, Pete writes about his recent visit to Bali – his first for several years.

2 thoughts on “Up, Up and Away in WA

  1. Fabulous art work at the Help the Homeless Fine Art Auction. So looking forward to this event.

  2. Mum took me on a balloon trip too when I was a teenager – it was for the Quit Smoking campaign (it didn’t work)

Comments are closed.