Take the (Gingerbread) Cake

Ckaos Admin - Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Our August Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Sticky Gingerbread cake with Cambozola and Walnuts. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery!

Sticky Gingerbread Cake with Cambozola and Walnuts

1½ cups plain flour 
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
pinch of salt
20g glace or fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
125g butter, softened 
2/3 cup dark muscovado (molasses) sugar, sifted 
1 cup black treacle or molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons milk, warmed
200g blue-brie cheese such as Cambozola or Blue Costello
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted 
honey, to drizzle

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm square cake pan. Sift the flour and spices together in a bowl. Add ginger and toss in flour to coat thoroughly.  

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, the gradually beat in treacle. Gradually add the eggs until well mixed, then flour mixture. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in milk in a small bowl and gradually beat in mixture.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Reduce temperature to 150°C and bake for a further 20 minutes. The cake should appear quite dark. Test cake by inserting a metal skewer into the cake. Cool for 5 minutes and then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Serve cake into slices and top with blue cheese, walnuts and drizzled with honey


We don’t know who was the first person to look at blue cheese and say “Wow, bet that tastes good!” but we’re glad they did. Blue cheese is made by adding blue culture spores to the milk, giving the cheese a characteristic salty and sharp flavour. Which matches perfectly with sticky gingerbread cake. Trust us… It’s amazing!

Ckaos is extremely excited to welcome our newest Industry Placement student Lilly Wentworth. Lilly has been studying Communication Design at Swinburne University for the past two years and joins us for the next year to learn all about real world design!

Ok, so in the studio we have been shivering through an icy cold Melbourne Winter, so we thought we would revisit one of Jenna’s great summer holiday photos from Anglesea…You’re welcome!

Emma went hiking recently in the Lerderderg State Park and came across some interesting and beautiful fungus, as equally beautiful as Jenna’s warm, summer, balmy, warm photo!

We all know how excited designers get about paper, Laura and Jenna recently attended the BJ Ball Colourplan 1 year anniversary. Breakfast and beautiful papers, they couldn’t be happier!

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Not to be cheez'd at

Ckaos Admin - Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Our July Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Lobster Burger with Liquid Cheese. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery!

Lobster Burger with Liquid Cheese

Makes 4 

2 tablespoons rice or white vinegar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced 
4 brioche hamburger buns or soft white bread rolls, split
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard 
8 slices homemade processed cheese 
2 (300-350g) cooked lobster tails
1 cup micro cress or watercress

Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add cucumber and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Arrange buns, cut side up, on a baking tray and toast at 200ºC for 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove lids from tray. Spread the bases evenly with mustard and top with slices of processed cheese. Return to oven and cook until cheese has melted. Fill the buns with sliced lobster, micro cress and pickled cucumber. Serve


You put Processed Cheese with what?!? Stay with us here… Processed Cheese holds a special place in every child’s heart, and while we have progressed (we hope) to more mature cheeses, we bet you have never considered making your own processed cheese. A blend of Colby Cheese, milk powder, full cream milk and gelatine.

Laura has been exhibition hopping again, with a visit to Kirra Jamieson’s Drink, Salt, Moon Exhibition recently held at the Sophie Gannon Gallery. Kirra Jamison is an Australian artist born in 1982 in Sydney, grew up in Byron Bay and is currently Melbourne based. Kirra’s latest body of workok revisits her interest in floral shapes, inspired, in part, by a recent residency in her hometown of Byron Bay."

Laura also found time last month to visit the Hello Play exhibition. Hello Play is an exhibition of new works created by graphic artist Spenceroni. Celebrating all things play, it is an invitation to put aside being serious for a moment and reconnect with your sense of curiosity and adventure. From paintings, patterns, and prints, to sculptures and more, Hello Play is experimental, colourful, and a little bit whimsical, but most of all fun!

Jenna recently took advantage of a trip home to visit Hobart’s Dark Mofo festival. Dark mofo is MONA’s winter celebration of the dark through large-scale public art, food, music, light, film and noise.

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Spice things up

Ckaos Admin - Thursday, June 18, 2015
Our June Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Eggplant and Cumin Dip with Spiced Gouda. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery!

Eggplant and Cumin Dip

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
Salt & freshly ground pepper
200g piece Spiced Gouda 
3-4 baby or Lebanese eggplants, chargrilled, to serve, if desired crackers or fresh bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the eggplant, cumin and garlic and cook until eggplant is golden brown and tender. Remove from heat. Using a stab blender, process eggplant with lemon juice and season to taste.  

Serve eggplant and cumin dip with Spiced Gouda, extra chargrilled eggplant and crackers or fresh bread


Did you know that Gouda accounts for 50-60% of the world's cheese consumption? Well so the Dutch would have us believe anyway, and who are we to argue, we love it! This semi hard cheese has a rich, unique flavour traditionally described as fruity. The curd is washed during the curd cutting process, which gives Gouda it’s distinct slightly stretchy curd, that turns brittle once aged. Well enough about that…let’s go eat some Gouda.


Laura recently attended Elizabeth Barnett's exhibition titled 'In Temperate Climate'. Elizabeth describes her paintings: 
"My paintings are of intimate domestic spaces. They are quiet spaces that I crave in my daily life but don’t often get to experience (life with a toddler doesn’t allow many quiet moments, so I paint them instead!). I wanted the paintings to be like jungles, filled with joyful and colourful plants to immerse yourself in."

Recently spotted!!

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The current currant

Ckaos Admin - Thursday, May 14, 2015
Happy May! Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happenings is the Ckaos Studio.

Our May Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Fennel, Pear and Currant Salad. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery

Fennel, Pear, Currant and Lamb's Ear Lettuce Washed Rind Salad
Serves 4-6 

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 bulbs fennel, shaved or thinly sliced 
2 pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced 
50g lamb’s mache 
1/3 cup dried currants 
150-200g Washed Rind Cheese, cut into chunks 

Place the vinegar, mustard and olive oil in a screw-top jar and shake vigorously to form an emulsion. Season to taste.

Place fennel and pears in a bowl and pour over half the dressing and toss to combined. Place mache in a serving bowl and top with fennel and pears. Finish salad with dried currants and Washed Rind. Drizzle over remaining dressing


They are robust and stinky, but don’t let that put you off. This cheese often has a bad name for its distinctive aroma,but get past the characteristic orange rind and a world of exquisite flavours await! Rubbed or washed with brine to develop the rind and encourage ripening, Washed Rind Cheeses certainly bear out the adage, never judge a book by it’s cover, or in this case a cheese by it’s stink.


Laura has been out market shopping recently at The Rose St. Artists’ Market, where those in-the-know find Melbourne’s best art and design talent. Each Saturday and Sunday there’s a huge line-up of creative types, so expect to feast your eyes on plenty of unique gems and one-off wonders that you won’t get anywhere else! So if you’re a lover of all things handmade then look no further. Go along and experience it for yourself…


The Ckaos talking windows are back, and have something to say! #Real Aussies Say Welcome is a campaign started by Adelaide artist Peter Drew who used the crowd funding platform Pozible to embark on his ambitious project of travelling across Australia putting up posters designed to challenge views on immigration. Ckaos have jumped on board the social media train, through our Instagram account and posted images of our windows, which even appeared on ABC’s Lateline program! Several posters have also been spotted around Melbourne by the eagle eyed studio team..


Laura recently snapped this beautiful reminder that Winter is almost here!

Cameron spent recently spent an evening with Geoffrey Robertson QC along with 2660 other people at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall. In this one night only event, Robertson offered rare insights into the many iconic moments of his private and professional life, including an illustrious career of high-profile and controversial cases and tireless campaigning for international human rights. Some of his recent cases include the representation of Julian Assange in extradition proceedings in the UK, the representation of Armenia with barrister Amal Clooney at the European Court of Human Rights in the Perinçek v. Switzerland case as well as having been on several human rights missions on behalf of Amnesty International – there’s much to be seen, heard and learnt from this extraordinary man.

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In a Pickle

Ckaos Admin - Thursday, April 02, 2015
Welcome to April. Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happenings is the Ckaos Studio.

Our April Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Pickled Camembert. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery

Pickled Camembert

Based on the Czech specialty, nakládany hermelín, pickled cheese is not actually pickled but marinated in oil with spices and herbs and usually either pickled or fresh chilli and peppers.  

200g wheel Camembert, sliced in half
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red chilli or jalapeno chilli, sliced or 2-3 pickled peppers, sliced
4 bay leaves 
2 sprigs thyme 
1 sprig rosemary 
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or juniper berries, roughly chopped
light olive oil, to marinate
fresh bread, to serve

Cut Camembert in half horizontally and remove lid. Fill the centre of the Camembert with half of the red onion, garlic, chilli, herbs and peppercorns. Replace lid and place in a small plastic container. You want a small container that will minimize the quantity of oil you require to cover the whole Camembert. Alternatively you can cut the Camembert into wedges and place in a clean jar. Top with remaining ingredients and drizzle in olive oil until covered. Marinate for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Serve with fresh bread and extra chilli or pickled peppers, if desired


Traditionally Camembert is made using unpasteurised milk,  producing a rich aromatic flavour and when aged to perfection flows from it's white casing like rich creamy lava. Oh, is it getting hot in here? Created in 1791 this cheese has been shipped around the world in its distinctive wooden box, delighting cheese lovers as far away as Czechoslovakia, well it's not that far, but that is where this months recipe originated.


Laura, our resident exhibition fanatic has again been busy checking out what is going on around Melbourne. She recently visited The CJ Hendry Exhibition '50 foods in 50 days' After reading accounts of inmates' final days on death row, Hendry was inspired to draw 50 meals on beautiful Hermes plates. Her work is popular because of her unique style. She spends hours upon hours shading with felt-tip pens until her images look hyper-real. Check out more of her work here.
CJ Hendry's 50 Foods in 50 Days runs from March 27 to April 12 at 166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy!


Emma has also been gallery hopping, recently visiting the David Shringley exhibition at NGV. Shrigley has developed a cult following for his stripped back, darkly humourous and deliberately crude drawings that explore existential dramas, human dysfunction and anxiety. Unfortunately this quirky exhibition is now closed but Emma managed to capture a few pics to share with us.


Jenna took a few days off and popped home to visit her family in Tassie. Making us very jealous with the beautiful pics she sent us while she was away!

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Loving life...and cheese

Ckaos Admin - Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Welcome to March. Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happenings is the Ckaos Studio.

Our March Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Pashka. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery!


600g fresh continental style cottage cheese 
3/4 cup caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups glace or candied fruits ie. Figs, apricots, peaches, ginger
¼ cup raisins or muscatels, chopped
45g whole blanched almonds, toasted
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (see note)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sour cream
glace fruit, to decorate
Kulich, Panettone or almond bread, to serve

1. Combine all ingredients, except sour cream and stir to combine. Add sour cream and stir until mixture is well mixed.

2. Arrange a double layer of clean muslin in a small sieve or colander.

3. Place mixture in the centre of the cloth. Gather cloth around the Pashka.

4. Tie cloth tightly with string to secure. Top with food cans or weights to remove the excess liquid from mixture. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

5. Remove from the muslin. Top with glace fruit, if desired. Serve with kulich or almond bread.

Pashka will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

Hints and Tips
Continental style cottage cheese is available at select delicatessens. Tub cottage cheese is unsuitable for this recipe. Ricotta makes an excellent substitute. If making cottage cheese for this recipe ensure you don’t add the additional liquid to the curds to make it drier and closer to the continental style. Vanilla bean paste is available in most leading supermarkets. Kulich is an Russian Easter bread traditionally served with Pashka. It is similar to Panettone, although I enjoy the crunch of the almond bread with the Pashka


A fresh curd cheese with a bad reputation thanks to diet gurus, but wait until you make it yourself. This simple cheese, named because it was usually made in cottages from any milk left over after making butter, is soft, milky and looser than Ricotta. This (almost) guilt free cheese is used the world over.

February was a busy month for the Ckaos Studio, with love, light and exhibitions featuring!

Emma’s Birthday/Valentine’s party was a huge hit, starting with her beautiful, quirky retro invitations. Eleni produced her famous cheese platters, the hills hoist was put to good use and a great time was had by all!

It was that time of year again when Melbourne lit up for one night only. This year Jenna braved the crowds to attend famous White Night festive.  Check out her pics of this global event.

Laura recently visited the supergraph contemporary art fair (http://www.supergraph.com.au/) where she got her very own face-o-mat. Don’t know what a face-o-mat is? Check out the website!!

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The Big Cheese

Ckaos Admin - Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Welcome to February. Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happenings is the Ckaos Studio.

Our February Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Burrata with Poached Balsamic Grapes. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese, so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery!

Burrata with Poached Balsamic Grapes

1/2 cup good-quality red wine
zest and juice of 1 orange juice
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
1 cinnamon, stick
1 large bunch small red grapes 
1 fresh burrata (125g), drained
olive bread to serve 

1. Place all ingredients, except grapes, in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until combined.

2. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

3. Add grapes and gently simmer for 5 minutes; gently remove using a slotted spoon and place on a serving dish.

4. Return poaching liquid to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes or until mixture has reduced to ¼ cup.

5. Pour over grapes and allow to cool. Serve with Burrata and sliced olive bread.


Rich, abundant, unforgettable…your first bite of a fresh Burrata. A fresh Italian cheese made from stretched Mozzarella and cream. This rich cheese should be eaten fresh at room temperature. The soft Mozzarella shell gives way to a creamy filling. Drizzle with olive oil and roasted cherry tomatoes, add to a summer salad, or just dive straight in and take a bite… but watch out for the oozing filling.

As part of Jenna’s final Honours year at Swinburne she recently worked on the design and production of the Protest, Peace and Progress exhibition at the Victoria Police Museum. The 1960s was a period when Australians were questioning society, politics and the law in ways that would have a lasting impact. What would you do if the Government forced you to go to war? How would you speak out in support of issues like equal pay for women? Imagine if you were arrested for buying books like Lady Chatterly's Lover or for wearing a skimpy bikini to the beach? Put on your bell-bottoms, pick up your protest placard and see how Australians created change in the 60s, this exhibition is on until May 2015 at the Victoria Police Museum in Docklands, Melbourne.

Jenna’s hoping that the work she has done on the Victoria Police exhibition buys her a few brownie points when she zooms around in her shiny, new car. Nice duck face Jenna!

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Salad Days

Ckaos Admin - Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Welcome to January. Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happening is the Ckaos Studio.

Our January Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Trout, Asparagus and Smoked Cheese Tart with Radish Salad. Our 2015 calendar combines our love of food, photography and design. This year our mouthwatering recipes focus on the delicious world of cheese., so join us on our gastronomic journey of discovery!

Trout, Asparagus and Smoked Cheese Tart with Radish Salad

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, finely sliced
1 sheet butter puff pastry
2 bunches green and purple asparagus, trimmed and blanched
150g smoked ricotta cheese 
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon baby capers
1 tablespoon picked dill leaves
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
250g hot smoked trout

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Season to taste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Score a 1cm border around the edge of the pastry, without cutting all the way through. Prick the base with a fork within the scored edges and cover evenly with cooked onion.

3. Arrange the asparagus and ¾ of the smoked cheese over the onion. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg and bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

4. Meanwhile, combine radishes, capers, dill in a serving bowl. Whisk together rice vinegar and sugar until in a separate bowl until sugar has dissolved.

5. Drizzle of radish salad. Season to taste. Serve with tart topped with hot smoked trout, remaining smoked cheese and radish salad.

Hint and Tips
Deli-style ricotta in the wheel or a smoked or baked ricotta can be substituted in this recipe for the smoked cheese.


So fresh it can be eaten within minutes of being made, the soft delicate curds of Ricotta are made from the whey leftover from traditional cheese making. You can make and set your Ricotta in a container and then hot smoke it either using a charcoal burner or wok in the kitchen.


Laura recently took advantage of the Christmas break to head overseas to Malaysia where she took some beautiful photos to share with us the peace and serenity of the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang.

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Raw Prawn

Ckaos Admin - Thursday, December 11, 2014
Our December Kitschen Ckaos recipe is New Age Prawn Cocktails. This simple but delicious recipe has been beautifully deconstructed for our 2014 Ckaos desk calendar. Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happenings in the Ckaos studio, while you are here, why not sign up to our studio newsletter for more details on the inspiration behind our 2014 desk calendar, and other interesting design related news and views.

New Age Prawn Cocktails
Serves 4

2 baby cos quartered or lamb mache
2 avocados, halved, stone remove and sliced 
12 large king prawns, peeled and tails intact 
lime wedges, to serve 

Lime and Dill Dressing
½ cup good-quality whole egg mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
 rind and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill
sea salt and ground freshly pepper, to taste 

1. Arrange baby cos and avocado in four individual serving dishes. Divide prawns between glasses.

2. Stir together all the lime and dill dressing ingredients until combined. Drizzle over prawns and serve with lime wedges.


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Sundae Drive

Ckaos Admin - Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Our November Kitschen Ckaos recipe is Cherry Ice Cream Sundae. This simple but delicious recipe has been beautifully deconstructed for our 2014 Ckaos desk calendar. Check in regularly to keep up to date with the happenings in the Ckaos studio, while you are here, why not sign up to our studio newsletter for more details on the inspiration behind our 2014 desk calendar, and other interesting design related news and views.

Cherry Ice Cream Sundae
Serves 6

Poached Cherries 
2 1/4 cups good-quality red wine
1 cup white sugar
5cm strip orange zest
500g black cherries, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon cornflour, dissolved in 
1 tablespoon water

6 squares or scoops good-quality vanilla ice cream
¾ cup double cream, whipped, to decorate
¼ cup pistachio nuts, toasted, to decorate 

1. Place in the red wine, sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until sugar has dissolved.

2. Bring to the simmer; add cherries and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove cherries and stir in cornflour mixture. Stir over medium-high heat or until thickened.

3. Remove and cool. Stir in cherries.

To serve: place ice-cream in individual serving dishes. Top with poached cherries, cream and nuts. Serve.

It’s been a big month for exhibitions in Melbourne, so we thought we would give you a peek at some of the great ones that the Ckaos team visited:

Laura recently visited Andrea Innocent’s Otoshimono Exhibition at Melbourne’s Federation Square. The bad news is that you missed out, the good news is that you can check out more of Andrea’s work here.


Otoshimono is Japanese for lost or found items. Otoshimono is the story of two characters (Asa & Ai) who feel trapped and misunderstood by their families. With the urge to find a place to belong in the world, both Asa and Ai decide to run away. Their adventures mirror each other as they delve into various themes such as consumerism, self-awareness and independence, ego, family and the Japanese state of mind known as ‘Mushin’.

Andrea Innocent
Andrea is an illustrator currently living and working in Melbourne, Australia. A self-confessed nipponophile there is no denying the influence her exposure to Japanese culture has had on her work. Themes range from investigations into the cult of otaku to traditional Japanese folk tales and Japanese textiles and their meanings. Her inspirations can come from various sources such as newspaper articles, Japanese television and advertising, books, music, toys, animals, the Internet and sometimes even her dreams.

Eirian Chapman is a Melbourne-based artist and graphic designer. In her first solo exhibition, Eirian showcased large-scale print tapestries of female saints across four elements: land, sea, sky and space. These were contrasted with a number of smaller prints depicting the icons of the four patron saints Chapman deemed worthy of emulation and veneration. Referencing religious iconography and traditional woven wall hangings, she portrayed her women as mythological creatures in a contemporary setting - the patron saints of Shiny Things, Drunken Sailors, Interstellar Tennis and Suburban Jungles.

Several of the Ckaos Team spent some time wandering through the beautiful Melbourne Exhibition Building at the 2014 Finders Keepers market. The Finders Keepers markets are held every six months in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and are a specially curated line-up of unique craft stalls and vintage emporiums, combined with live music. In case you want to pop some dates into your diary for next year:

Melbourne held at the Royal Exhibition Building
Autumn/Winter - Friday (evening) 24th & Saturday 25th July
Spring/Summer - Friday (evening) 2nd & Saturday 3rd October

Brisbane held at the Old Museum
Autumn/Winter - Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th July
Spring/Summer - Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th November

Sydney held at the Australian Technology Park
Autumn/Winter - Friday (evening) 8th & Saturday 9th May
Spring/Summer - Friday (evening) 11th & Saturday 12th December

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