Monday, March 30, 2009

Tony Yap on this weeks program

PULSE is an exclusive short season of site-specific multimedia performances on the breath-taking JOY 94.9 CBD rooftop. The next season is coming up this coming Friday and Saturday (3rd & 4th April) featuring dance pieces by Yumi Umiamare and Tony Yap.
Tony and Umi have been collaborating through their unique styles over 14 years here in Australia, in Europe and in Eastern Asia. And this coming weekend is a further enhancement to that unique collaboratiuon. As a dancer Tony is influenced by his research into Asian sharmanistic trance dance and Butoh.

Tony Yap is Malaysian-born, but now well-established here in Australia on the contemporary dance scene. And he will be our special guest on Orange Ribbon this week (1st April). Tony will not only be talking about his upcoming event on thee JOY rooftop this coming weekend, but he will also talk about his life, from childhood in Malaysia, to his life in dance here in Australia,and all things in between.

So join the Orange Ribbon team at 7:00pm this coming Wednesday to hear about the life of this amazing artist, including some personal revelations of living in today's queer world.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon

This week we will be presenting an interview that Allan recorded in Hong Kong three weeks ago, with Chung To, the Founder and CEO of the Chi Heng Foundation. Complete details and background to this interview can be found in Allan's earlier post to this blog dated March 6th, 2009.

Chung To is a most interesting, yet quietly-spoken, person, with a passion to provide living and education expenses for poor children in China who have been affected by the Aids epidemic. His organization now provides financial support for around 7,000 children in China, and the fundraising required for this support is substantial. Chung has given up his banking career for the past 5 years in order to provide volunteer support for his Foundation, and the children it supports.

Listen in to Orange Ribbon at 7pm on JOY 94.9 (Melbourne, Australia) this coming Wednesday evening (25th March) to hear this amazing story of a very dedicated and passionate human being.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DJ Beaker

Mel, known as DJ Beaker was born in Australia to Chinese parents, although her mother came from Papua new guinea.

Described by some as an Asian Grace Jones, Mel is a self declared bogasian and many members of her family are gay and bisexual. Mel confess not speaking Mandarin and when she tries she often gets the tones embarrassingly wrong.

She moved from Sydney to Melbourne just over 12mths ago. Promoter and Co-founder of Miss Concubine, Beaker, has been spinning in the Sydney G&L scene for over 10 years and has played at various parties including Mardi Gras, Sleaze Ball....

More at 7pm tomorrow...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Allan reports from Hong Kong (again...)

Yes, I know that I seem to have spent a lot of time up here in Hong Kong, but I do love the place, and I have many great friends up here as well. My partner, Pete, and I flew up here just two weeks ago for our umpteenth visit. However, Pete flew out of Hong Kong earlier this morning on his way back home to Melbourne, in order to attend the Daylesford Chill-Out Festival this coming weekend, and then he is off to Sydney and then Brisbane for a few days. In the meantime, I will remain on here in Hong Kong for the next 10 days. We will both meet up back at home (in Melbourne) gain on Monday 16th when I return from Hong Kong.

I have lost count of my visits here to Hong Kong, in particular over the past two years, but it is proba
bly 10-11 visits, totaling probably 6-7 months. Goodness...! I suddenly realized that this means I have spent upwards of 25% of my time here in just the last two years, ignoring various other visits I made here prior to the last two years.

Regular listeners to Orange Ribbon will know that we occasionally chat with Reggie Ho here in Hong Kong, and who gives us an update on what's been happening for the gay & lesbian scene here. Reggie was last on Orange Ribbon on 17th January. (If you missed it, you can click on the "Podcasts" tab on the JOY website, search for "Orange Ribbon" program, click on "Previous episodes...", then search for the program edition for 17th January.) Well, I hope to catch up with Reggie next week sometime for lunch/dinner and no doubt I will get some more local news I can report on when I return.

However, last Monday I caught up with Chung To, the Founder and Chairperson of the Chi Heng Foundation ( Although born in Hong Kong, Chung moved with his family to the U.S.A. when he was 15. He subsequently went to college (university), obtained a Graduate and Masters degree in business finance, and then worked in merchant banking in New York for several years. At the age of 27 years he was then transferred to Hong Kong with his banking employer to take up a senior role here. But as will be revealed in an upcoming interview, Chung got involved in helping Aids-affected children in Hong Kong, and more extensively in mainland China. He started the Chi Heng Foundation which (among many other activities) now provides financial support for living and schooling expenses for around 7,000 Aids-affected children in Mainland China.

His work with Chi Heng Foundation became a full-time role, and so a few years ago he gave up his banking career and now works full-time as the volunteer Chairperson for his Chi Heng Foundation. But he hopes to be able to get back to some (personal) income-producing activities at some stage as he can't live forever with no income to support himself.

Chung To is an amazing Chinese gay and Aids activist, with a deep concern and interest in the welfare of mainland Chinese children who have been affected in some way by Aids... either by having parents or siblings living with (or have died of) Aids, or who themselves are living with HIV.

Chung is a very busy man, and travels a lot through mainland China keeping touch with the work that the Chi Heng Foundation undertakes. However, he set aside an hour for me last Monday afternoon to record an interview which I will be presenting on Orange Ribbon after I return to Melbourne... most probably it will be the program for 25th March.

So please stay tuned for updates, and the most likely date of 25th March when I will present to you my interview with this deeply driven and concerned local who has set aside his own career (and stable income...) in order to start the Chi Heng Foundation and to assist so many children in mainland China.

I will be returning to Melbourne on 16th March, almost immediately to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival which I shall be attending for most sessions, so I probably won't be on Orange Ribbon until the 25th March when I will present to you my recent chat with Chung To. Looking forward to talking to you all then.

Allan Smales in Hong Kong