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Polin’s in the air… Bridgerton Season 3 is upon us!

After a two-year hiatus, Netflix's swoon-worthy series, Bridgerton, returns to our screens! Read more to find out how Part 1 has faired...

Dearest gentle reader of W’SUP, pollen seems to be in the air more so than usual, which can only mean one thing. It is my pleasure to finally review Part 1 of Bridgerton Season 3! Or as I’d like to call it, the season for the wallflowers. But be forewarned, dear reader, if you wish not to be spoiled, please watch Part 1 of Season 3 and resume reading from this point. 

This author was pleased to see representation for the wallflowers and introverted individuals in general through Miss Penelope Featherington, the aptly named Emerald of the Season, and Miss Francesca Bridgerton, the Queen’s Sparkler. How it encapsulated the experiences of being a wallflower being out of their element and soon coming into their own was very much beloved and appreciated.  

How the first half of the season dealt with the friends-to-lovers trope was great, as it portrayed how friends who reciprocate romantic feelings for one another, and finally realise it, the floodgates of emotions burst wide open. Part 1 was indeed captivating, especially by its cliffhanger leaving us thirsty for more, since Colin Bridgerton has finally come to his senses about his true feelings for Miss Penelope. 

However, as much as I would love to give endless kudos to the showrunners, like all human beings, flaws were undoubtedly noticed within and without. This season’s pacing felt oddly rushed as if it were a hare attempting to beat the tortoise, to mayhap be met with disappointment from its overconfidence.  

Netflix’s decision to split the season into 2 parts was unusual, as the season has the same number of episodes as its predecessors. However, in retrospect, it was recognised that a purpose behind this decision was to drag out the hype. Taking this strategy is kind of a gamble, as the story progression in Part 1, dictates how fans would approach anticipating Part 2. From seeing how Part 1 delivered a somewhat satisfying cliffhanger, despite how oxymoronic it may be, Part 2’s prospects for a delicious ending for this season’s leads, may prove to be a success. 

Questions abound as to how Netflix will go about fleshing out Part 2 in a smooth, satisfying manner. How will Colin Bridgerton react when he finds out the truth about his best friend, now fiancé? And how will Cressida Cowper go about attempting to reap the Queen’s 5,000-pound reward for providing evidence as to Lady Whistledown’s identity? 

Only time will tell, as we all await Part 2’s arrival on June 13th

Finally, before ending this review, a message to Netflix… 

PART 2! YOU MUST MAKE HASTE! 

Yours Truly, Luci Whistledown (pun intended)

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A taste of Western Sydney’s music scene

Sydney, and particularly its West-end is becoming a thriving and evolving hub of talented musicians, fulfilling musical appetites with a diversity of ...
Sydney, and particularly its West-end is becoming a thriving and evolving hub of talented musicians, fulfilling musical appetites with a diversity of genres that matches its diversity of people. 

Don’t sleep on our Western Sydney and local Sydney artists, otherwise, you’ll be missing out on some great tracks that’ll keep you through the dreadful shuttle bus rides to your classes, or even better, finding parking at Parramatta South campus. Allow editors Dania Roumieh and Jostina Basta to take you on a melodic journey through Western Sydney’s music scene, giving you a unique taste of some of their artists. Get your iTunes or Spotify app ready to download some fresh new tracks, infused with some sweet and soulful R&B, and a mix of energetic and lively hip-hop, rap, and afro-beats.

Thandiwe Gudu. 22. Zimbabwean & South African.
@thqndi

Photo supplied by Thandiwe Gudu.

Have a listen to:
1. HUNNY
2. DEMONS
3. On The Table
What got you into the music scene? 

“My dad’s a musician, so music has always been a huge part of my life, and it’s been only natural for me to continue making music into adulthood. I’ve honestly been writing music, singing and performing since I was a kid. So when I finished high school I jumped right into any opportunity that came my way and in 2019 I decided to pursue a career as a solo artist.”

How would you best describe your music style?

“My music style is hugely influenced by Old School Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop genres. I like to take elements of Old School composition and put my own spin on it, and some electronic elements.”

What are the top 3 artists that you get your inspiration from? 

“Today, I’d say Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys and Anderson Paak.”

What do you hope to see in the Western Sydney music scene in the next 5 years?

“I’d like to see a thriving R&B and Hip-Hop scene that celebrates the diversity and real talent of what’s on offer – not just tokenistic diversity. I’d also like to see more opportunities for the many artists on the come up. There’s so much amazing underground music yet to be embraced by the wider community. I feel like so many people aren’t aware of all the damn good sh*t coming out of this country!”

Eugene Yaw Obeng. 23. Ghanian.
@yaw.doesitall

Photo supplied by Eugene Yaw Obeng.

Have a listen to:
1. Get it
2. ARMADILLO
3. Free Zone

What got you into the music scene? 

“Music and performance have always been a dream, but I started off taking photos for some local artists and, with that, got closer to the music.”

How would you best describe your music style?

“My music is eclectic and ever-evolving, and at its heart, it is filled with bright energy, flowery production, and witty lyricism that creates a progressive hip hop fusion sound.”

What are the top 3 artists that you get your inspiration from? 

“Tyler the creator, Kojey Radical and Brent Faiyaz.”

What do you hope to see in the Western Sydney music scene in the next 5 years?

“I think the audience needs to pay attention to all forms of art coming out. I think because we’re new, it’s easier for people to jump on waves and trends but I will love to see people listening through the sound and supporting those who have been around keeping the scene alive. There’s a lot of talent going to waste cos, not enough support is coming from the people around. And that’s to say we’re as important as their favourite international emcee’s. With this- I think we’ll be good.”

Kwame Agyeman. 29. Ghanian.
@therealchanje

Photo supplied by Kwame Agyeman.

Have a listen to:
1. PASSENGER
What got you into the music scene? 

“I actually didn’t start making music until 2 years ago. I’ve been an MC pretty much all my life, been all around Australia hosting clubs – Marquee, Ivy, Trademark, The Club. I was doing big shows, like Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, The Game, Tory Lanez … it was good until I lost my way during those times”

Change adds “it wasn’t until I found my faithful life, and that’s where music came in. It’s all about telling people how great God is, through clothing, fashion, music and arts”

How would you best describe your music style?

“I don’t really have a genre, although I love hip hop and afro-beats. I’m very versatile with my sound.”

What are the top 3 artists that you get your inspiration from? 

“Guvna B, KB and Lacrea – all Christian artists”

“I think it’s a whole lot harder to be rapping about faith, but when it comes to secular music, you can rap about anything”. Nonetheless, Chanje adds that “the Lord finds ways to bring new ideas to stay creative the more you tap into him, the holy spirit and your faith”

What do you hope to see in the Western Sydney music scene in the next 5 years?

“I want to see revival, I want to see people’s lives getting changed, people getting off the streets, see the world helping each other to grow,” says Chanje.

Chanje emphasises his desire to see a revival in the music scene, sending faith-led messages that help support, build and edify others. Following the devastating effects of COVID-19, particularly mental health issues, Chanje ultimately hopes that such music will allow them to tap into living a righteous life.

Laani Jansen. 21. Sri-Lankan & Dutch
@laanij

Photo supplied by Laani Jansen.

Have a listen to:
1. SURRENDER 
What got you into the music scene? 

“My Dad was a big musician in Sri Lanka and continued music when he came to Australia, so I’ve been immersed in music from a young age and I’ve just loved it as long as I can remember.”

How would you best describe your music style?

“I find it hard to describe my music style because I like so many styles but I’d say I mostly sing soul/R&B music as well as pop/punk.”

What are the top 3 artists that you get your inspiration from? 

“My top 3 artists would have to be Harry Styles, Brendon Urie and Christina Aguilera.”

What do you hope to see in the Western Sydney music scene in the next 5 years?

“Well I hope to put out my own music into the Western Sydney music scene soon but I’d love to see more of the older R&B style resurface. It would also be cool to see more people making it from this area, I feel like it’s really hard to get big in the industry when you aren’t from America but things are changing slowly.”

Check out the recommended songs and music on our Spotify playlist!

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But first, brunch: some of Western Sydney’s best cafes

Join a culinary adventure through some of Western Sydney's quaint coffee shops and uber-trendy brunch spots....

Attention coffee addicts, eggs benedict-obsessed enthusiasts and all-around brunch lovers!

As we are power on through these uncertain times with ever-changing restrictions, it’s completely understandable to be feeling a little disheartened or maybe even lonely.

But luckily, the cafés of Sydney are here to cheer us up. It’s no secret that we’re spoilt for choice with quaint coffee shops and uber-trendy brunch spots galore – especially right here in Western Sydney. You’ll feel great knowing you’re helping out local businesses as you chow down on a plate of delicious pancakes.

Circa Espresso
21 Wentworth St Parramatta

Although Circa Espresso is conveniently close to Parramatta station, there’s no doubt many would travel far and beyond for their quality coffee and famously known Ottoman eggs – poached free-range eggs with crumbed eggplant, labneh and fried leeks on focaccia. Their quirky laneway-style set up provides an out-of-the-box experience for Sydneysiders who are always on the lookout for new and interesting dining experiences. Not to mention – they offer a range of delicious seasonal coffee and tea blends. But be aware: Circa is technology-free so ditch your laptop and simply enjoy the coffee.

Atlas Café
53 Ettalong Rd Greystanes

Atlas Café is a family-owned café that is sure to fulfil all your brunch needs and desires. With an innovative menu that transports you around the world (hence the name Atlas), there’s something for everyone. Choose the “Afghan” for a plate of baked eggs and roast vegetables, the “Canadian” for buttermilk pancakes with crispy maple bacon or the “Brazilian” for a fresh acai bowl topped with fruit, granola and shredded coconut. The outdoor garden setting provides a uniquely refreshing ambience, as well as a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Old Boy Café
24 Tallawong Ave Blacktown

With its unexpected and isolated location, Old Boy Café is definitely one of Blacktown’s hidden gems. Upon entering, you’ll find that the café has a unique vibe compared to other Western Sydney cafes with chill beats, vintage-style décor and an array of indoor plants. The café’s quirky ambience is accompanied by their great coffee and a generous all-day breakfast menu. If you live around the Blacktown region – this café is a must-try.

Paper Plane Factory Café
64 Mandoon Road Girraween

Paper Plane Factory is a pleasant surprise to find in Sydney’s West, and another hidden gem tucked away within Girraween’s industrial area. Not only will you enjoy the contemporary and stylish interior of the café, but their affordable prices and delicious food will provide you with a satisfactory brunching experience. You’ll find your brunch classics, alongside other tasty items like brioche buns with pulled pork, jalapeno burgers – and their delicious peanut butter thick shakes.

XS Espresso
Plumpton, Wetherill Park, North Parramatta and Kellyville locations

If you’re a Western Sydney local, it’s likely you’ve popped into XS Espresso before. While they’re famous for their extravagant milkshakes and decadent desserts, they also serve great coffee along with tons of brunch options to boot. They have an impressive latté selection where they incorporate new and exciting flavours, including Nutella, Taro and Matcha. Don’t miss out on their new creation: a Biscoff-inspired latté, named the “Lotus Latté”.

Henri Marc
Shop 2, 438 High St Penrith

Henric Marc is undoubtedly a local favourite for its Instagrammable plates and rustic, hipster interior. They’re known for their specialty coffee and an impressively long beverage menu with organic hot chocolate and tea options, interesting milkshake flavours and freshly squeezed fruit juices. Their French toast and chai lattés are popular amongst regulars – and very likely to be just your “cup of tea”. 

Coffee Trad3rs
1/8 Victoria Ave, Castle Hill

As the name suggests, this café has a passion and knack for serving great coffee. Coffee Traders takes latte art to a whole new level with their funky 3D designs. To add to this, their lunch menu includes an interesting fusion of Asian and Australian dishes. The owner, James, is well-known in the area for his friendly demeanour and attentive service that tops off a wholesome and equally fulfilling brunch experience.

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#BOSS women killing it in their fields

Anecdotes from women who choose to take up space, be outspoken and command attention for impact and change....

In light of International Women’s Day, Western Sydney Community forum hosts their ‘Voices of the West’ event to showcase inspiring and #BOSS women various industries, walks of life, ethnicities and experiences.

Through their ‘living library’ sessions, guests conversate with influential women and speakers including United Nations Association of Australia President, Dr Patricia Jenkings; and 2016 Woman of the year for NSW, Jen Armstrong. Through their own individual journeys, they have created a positive and impactful life for themselves and others through their work.
Let’s meet them!

‘Living library’ sessions at the event. Credit: Western Sydney Communoty Forum

Meet Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe, a multicultural community liaison officer for the NSW Police

Credit: Western Sydney Community Forum

Coming to Australia as an asylum seeker in 1999, Kariuki was forced to flee her native Kenya after tribal clashes. She was filled with despair at having to leave her children behind, but used this as a driving force to work harder for herself and her family.

Despite the difficulties she faced in finding a job with no certifications in Australia, she never resolved for the ‘easy’ roles or generic jobs. She knew she had more to offer and refused to settle for less.

“I knew how to fight for myself from the beginning” Kariuki says.
Despite her personal and social battles and barriers, she now supports the NSW police force and links them to minorities and people who speak English as a second language.

Based on her own life experiences, she emphasises the importance of women in power and believing in your own inner voice despite external pressures and struggles.

“When a woman is in power, they pass their voice and message to other women”, she says. She exemplifies this in her work ethic, now helping hundreds of African women settle into Australia from their home countries through her work.

Just as she once battled isolation and despair upon arrival in Australia, she now helps other women work through this and places them under her wing through her career.

Meet Billie Sankovic, Chief Executive of Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF)

Credit: Western Sydney Community Forum

Prior to her work at the WSCF, Sankovic previously worked in industries such as working with local and state governments, that placed her a lone woman in a room full of high-profile men. Attending meetings, she felt that she was dismissed and belittled as the ‘personal assistant’, or simply ignored.

She admits that it sometimes took her male colleagues to defend and stand up for her in these instances.

“It took their voice to legitimise my credibility” Sankovic says.

Sankovic enabled situations like this to fuel her passion for women’s rights, as well as her own voice. Particularly, she has spent 30 years working across Greater Western Sydney and now leads WSCF to shape policy and services in Western Sydney.

As a voice for representing the people and services in the Western Sydney region, she reminds us that today is our opportunity to bring our collective voices “from the west to the fore”.

Meet Jen Armstrong – founder of her charity + woman of the year

Credit: Western Sydney Community Forum

Jen Armstrong is a living testimony of how small, kind gestures can have great impacts.

It started off when she received a $20 body wash after leaving a place of domestic violence, that sparked incredible change in her life.

Through this seemingly minor gesture by a community network, she started a charity called Beauty Bank, which provides victims of domestic violence with essential toiletries and small gift items. She started off in 2013 by asking her friends for toiletries on Facebook, which grew into distributing over 8,000 bags around Sydney through generous community donations.

This is why Armstrong discourages the “shrug” mentality when it comes to making individual impacts and changes to things happening within your community, the nation and worldwide. Every single tiny thing helps, she adds, emphasising how small gestures can make big changes.

These are just a handful of anecdotes from women who choose to take up space, be outspoken and command attention for impact and change- despite being told or persuaded otherwise. Whilst the day for celebrating women is only held once a year (unfortunately), these women are few of the many examples of females making an incredible impact every other day of the year.