Your views: on SA Health and ICAC, university income and more


Today, readers comment on ICAC concerns with SA Health culture, uni budgets, parking fines revenue, arts and reviews.

Commenting on the story: SA Health to answer to ICAC on culture concerns

We are well used to SA Health responding to problems in our hospital system with incomprehensible neologisms and weasel words designed to sanitise the issues or obfuscate the possible solutions. But the examples in this article are gold-plated.

We are told of a redemptive process called a ‘Cultural Evolution Pathway’ designed to develop ‘integrity culture at scale’.

Whatever this means, it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the plummeting staff morale and deteriorating patient care. – Warren Jones

Commenting on the story: Adelaide Uni warns of ‘crisis’ unless overseas students return

Depressing that Prof Høj doesn’t raise what is arguably the root cause of the crisis revealed by the drying up of overseas student enrolments: namely decades of federal governments starving universities of funds.

Morrison and Co are both hostile to education and see it through a neoliberal lens that sees everything in business terms. The recent federal budget exemplifies this and university bosses won’t call them out. I would dearly love to see the apparatchiks replaced with bodies democratically elected by staff, students and the communities they serve. – John Tully

Adelaide Uni should be primarily for Australian students. If it can’t make ends meet without OS students it needs to tighten its belt and make due. – Arthur Filippidis

Commenting on the story: Fewer parking fines, more unpaid debt hits city council pocket

Any organisation that financially relies on people being punished – ie parking fines – is financially and ethically compromised.

The council should be well enough administered that any “punitive” income is surplus to requirement and can be redirected to publicly beneficial outcomes. A budget dependent on the law being broken in order that the books balance is a sign pointing to a broken organisational compass. – Jacob Hodgman

Commenting on the story: Call for ‘big’ spend on SA arts tourism campaign

The South Australian arts sector is integral to SA’s national and international image, economy and cultural vibrancy. It is a no-brainer that the sector should be supported to recover and then grow. – Cressida O’Hanlon

Commenting on the story: Review: Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Gala

Michael, thanks for your review of the Cabaret Fringe Gala preview, much appreciated.

By way of brief background, the Cabaret Fringe Festival had its genesis the very year that Adelaide Cabaret Festival was born and was an express wish of the late Frank Ford AM, founder of the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Cabaret Fringe guiding muse.

Back in 2000, it became a funding requirement of the then Minister for the Arts, Hon Diana Laidlaw MLC, that the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust ensure that a Cabaret Fringe was established, to extend the footprint of Cabaret beyond the Festival Centre complex, and especially into Adelaide’s West End entertainment precinct.

That support was abandoned when the government changed in 2002. You can find more about that history at:

The boundaries of what constitutes ‘cabaret’ in the 21st century have always been fairly loose. In the nature of open access festivals, the Cabaret Fringe Festival program is not curated and therefore our volunteer board and honorary producer do not impose constraints on program development or genre range. A festival platform is an invitation to treat – for artists and for audiences.

Given the social end economic impact of COVID-19 on artists and the cultural economy more broadly, it is a credit to our artists and local venues that they are willing to take a punt and hop on board the Cabaret Fringe program. The program is modest in scale but huge in ambit.

From a risk management perspective, the board chose to make our program dates shortened from one month to 11 nights, and largely a prequel to the main stage Cabaret Festival dates – effectively an ‘off-Broadway’ warm-up for Adelaide audiences. For this reason, the season of some acts extends beyond the nominated festival dates – flexibility for our artists and participating venues has been a driver of this, while seeking to establish boundaries. This is no different to much of the visual arts in the Adelaide Festival and Fringe programs. 

You are correct to note that there is now a lot of ‘cabaret’ genre content in the Adelaide Fringe in Mad March. We celebrate this. However, artists need audiences and income generating opportunities year-round, and so too do bricks and mortar venues. For this reason, we believe that Cabaret Fringe has a place in the cultural ecosystem and calendar. 

On behalf of the Board, I invite all InReview readers to check out our program and catch some local talent 3-13 June (and beyond!). – Greg Mackie

Commenting on the story: Theatre review: Chess the Musical

I attended the matinee of ‘Chess the Musical’ in Adelaide. I love Abba and was interested to hear and see the stellar cast.

I saw the original Jim Sharman directed production at the Theatre Royal in Sydney in 1990 with Jodie Gilles (daughter of Max) as Florence Vassy. Unsurprisingly, political correctness(for example  no colourful set design, costuming and vibrant choreography for the One night in Bangkok’ number) and other  changes over the years to the musical/production itself, as well as  the ‘ paring  down’ of the sets, especially for a concert tour such as this, detracted from this production in a visual sense.

On reviewing my program from 1990 I am reminded of the colourful sets and costuming providing context for the storyline, which today’s critics complain is missing. These are absent from this latest production.

And so with nothing visual for distraction, the music’s the thing and there’s nowhere to hide.

While it may have seemed like a novel idea to have an orchestra onstage, at times they drowned out the singer/s who on occasion appeared to be straining their voices to be heard and from the back row of the dress circle (Row J, about 20 metres from the stage) it was often difficult  to discern their lyrics.

This may well have been an intermittent sound production oversight as balance between singer/s  and orchestra at other times was just right and words were as clear as a bell .

Nevertheless ‘Chess the Musical’  provided an  enjoyable afternoon of entertainment and a trip down memory lane , reminding me of the good old days of music theatre. – Rosanne Richards

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