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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 – PAGE 17
Celebrated artist and sculptor
Viktors Mednis died recently at the
age of 87.
Mr Mednis was one of SA’s most
talented artists and his works include
large murals and sculptures that
decorated many large city buildings in
Adelaide and around Australia.
His successful solo exhibitions were
based in many galleries both in SA
and interstate, including Don Pedro
Gallery in Stirling, Liddums Gallery
at Beaumont, Strawberry Hill and
Jolly Barry galleries in Sydney and
in his own studio/gallery at his home
Beverina in Bridgewater.
For many years he collaborated with
well-known artist and friend Stan
Ostoja-Kotkowski in producing stage
décor, murals and Festival of Arts
He also designed and executed a
Japanese garden for the late Dame
Nancy Buttfield at her Chain of Ponds
Mr Mednis fled his homeland of
Latvia at the end of WW2 to become a
refugee in Germany.
He began studying painting and
drawing in Munich before migrating
to Australia in 1949 where he served
a two-year labor contract digging
trenches in Melbourne.
He then continued art studies under
William Dargie at Melbourne’s School
In 1950 he married Latvian-born
Elga Sturmanis, whom he had met on
the ship to Australia and a year later
they relocated to Adelaide.
He worked as an industrial designer
and glass engraver during the day and
studied life drawing and sculpture at
the SA School of Arts in the evening.
He began a full-time art career in
1966 and became one the State’s most
well-known and enterprising artists.
The 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfire
destroyed most of his property in
Bridgewater including his studio,
gallery and many artworks.
Although the family home survived,
Mr Mednis found himself unable to
continue with his art but his creative
spirit found him another avenue.
He turned to his garden to create a
European style setting, complete with
lake, waterfall, grotto, bridges and
In his final years, he lived in Stirling.
He is survived by his adult children,
Lia, Ivars, Mara and David and
grandchildren Vik, Tom, Amanda and
April 28, 1927 –
March 21, 2015
A life celebrating art and sculpture
By Melissa Keogh
The Adelaide Hills Council has
encouraged its elected members and staff
to limit council email account use to official
communications with the public.
The State Ombudsman recently shared with
the council results of an investigation within
the City of Playford Council in which it was
identified that elected members were using
private emails for council business.
Under the State Records Act, all council
correspondence must be captured in its records
management system and under the Freedom of
Information (FOI) Act, certain records can be
Governance, risk and corporate services
manager Lachlan Miller said that if elected
members used a private email to communicate
council business, the information could not be
stored in a record management system.
“All councils are trying to make sure that any
official council business that is undertaken by
elected members or staff members is captured
in the system so we comply with the State
Records Act,” he said.
“If someone requests information under the
FOI Act, we would be able to locate it, identify
it and consider it being released. With a private
email address we can’t do that.”
At the council’s general meeting recently, Cr
Ian Bailey said a strict email policy could deter
residents from freely talking to council staff or
“I think it will discourage people from talking
to their councillors,” he said.
“I don’t think our community should be having
Big Brother watching over them.”
Mr Miller said the council would undertake
a workshop in the near future so councillors
could further address “concerns mainly relating
Executive officer Andrew Aitken will also
prepare a policy taking into considerations the
Ombudsman’s recommendations on the issue.
The policy will then be considered for adoption
at a Strategic Planning and Development Policy
Committee meeting in August.
By Natalie Koufos
Miranda Hampton’s passion for
the environment has lead her to
create an award-winning children’s
The Bridgewater resident is the
writer, designer and producer of the
successful children’s show McNirt
Hates Dirt, which won the 2015 Minter
Ellison Fringe and Beyond award.
The $4500 prize is awarded to an
emerging female performing artist
presenting a production at the
Adelaide Fringe Festival, giving them
the opportunity to further develop and
stage the show in the future.
McNirt Hates Dirt tells the tale of an
obsessive compulsive McNirt who likes
everything to be clean and tidy.
One day his neighbor Gerty, who is
messy, asks McNirt to look after her
lily while she goes travelling and the
tale has an organic twist.
Ms Hampton said she aimed to make
a theatrical experience for young people
and she was thrilled to win the award.
performances at the Fringe ... it was
a real honor to win and I am excited
because there are funds to take the
show elsewhere,” she said.
The show is an interactive experience
as there is a real soil section for the
audience to be involved in planting
while they also sing and help transform
the set. Ms Hampton said the story
covered important topics such as
sustainability, the environment and
how to work together as a community.
She created McNirt Hates Dirt while
studying set design at TAFE SA
Adelaide College of the Arts and had
never produced a show before.
“McNirt Hates Dirt is about soil and
how gardening affects us as individuals
through aiding our understanding
of nature and providing a sense of
satisfaction when growing things,” she
“Over 1300 children saw McNirt
Hates Dirt during our Adelaide Fringe
season this year.
“Now I have my sights set on touring
the show interstate and overseas.”
Miranda Hampton the created the successful children’s show ‘McNirt Hates Dirt’.
Miranda’s show a Fringe winner
By Genevieve Cooper
A State Government back down
on merging the administration of
SA’s three emergency services is
a “positive step” for sector reform,
according to the CFS Volunteers
“It’s very good that the process is
being slowed down a lot and it gives
us a chance to have better input into
any reforms that might be made,”
association president Roger Flavell
said this week.
“The process is still happening, it
will continue, but volunteers will now
have a chance to have some input into
reforms without jumping off a cliff and
seeing what will happen.
“... The majority of people are very
happy that the brakes have been put
on and they have been given ample
time to consider what might be put
Continued page 19
Emergency services merger backdown ‘positive’
is on the move
A new Natural Resources Centre opens at
Woodside on Tuesday 2 June.
The centre is at 87 Onkaparinga Valley Road,
Woodside (opposite the Caltex Service Station).
It will open Monday to Friday by appointment,
and on Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to
5pm for ‘drop in’ visits.
The centre offers support for landholders
including training and advice on weed control,
feral animals, and land, pasture and bush
management. Natural Resources Adelaide
and Mt Lofty Ranges (AMLR) staff are also
available for property visits.
To make an appointment or speak with Natural
Resources AMLR staff, call 8336 0901.
The Woodside centre complements a new
Adelaide and Central Hills Natural Resources
Centre recently opened at Black Hill
Conservation Park, Athelstone and the existing
community-run natural resource centres in the
hills at Mount Pleasant and Norton Summit.
With the relocation to Woodside, the Lobethal
office will close on Wednesday 27 May.
For further information on the range of
services available from Natural Resources
AMLR, visit www.naturalresources.sa .gov.au/
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