Posts Tagged ‘White House Celebrations


Limited Tickets RACQ Action Rescue Helicopter Gala Ball



Gala Ball Date Claimer Front Cover

RACQ Careflight Rescue Gala Ball

(previously named the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter Gala Ball)

It is absolutely baffling to me that essential services, such as the Action Rescue Helicopters, are not fully supported by government, and are instead left in dire straits each year unless a naming sponsor and major fundraising is secured! Thank goodness there are ordinary people – business owners and householders – who care enough to contribute to the cause. Will you? While you can still make donations via your AGL bill, it will be SO MUCH MORE FUN to be at October’s Gala Ball!!!

Year after year the Action Rescue Helicopter Gala Ball has adopted a variety of themes and entertainment that has created Sunshine Coast’s night of nights. Renowned for its outstanding entertainment, this true black tie experience brings together a unique audience of some of the Sunshine Coast’s most highly respected and influential members.

In 2013 the event will be elevated to new heights as a dazzling celebration of the sensational work that the team at the Action Rescue Helicopter undertake. With the involvement of a professional event management team, it is White House Celebrations’ intent to delight your senses with an evening fit for a King and Queen.

Date: Friday 4 October 2013


Location: Wandiny Room, Novotel Twin Waters Resort


Theme: A Night of Royal Indulgence


Cost: $199 for an individual ticket or $1990 for a table of ten


As the community rescue chopper, the RACQ Action Rescue helicopter team work across south east Queensland supporting employers, schools and voluntary organisations in safety best practice.  And sometimes even further afield….   And beyond the urgent rescue and aeromedical missions we undertake we also take part in regular training exercises both “in house” and in coordination with other emergency services.


Your attendance at the RACQ Action Rescue Helicopter Gala Ball supports the work carried out by the rescue teams, and helps this invaluable service to continue.


President of White House CelebrationsMin Swan, says her favourite part of becoming involved with Charity Galas is learning more about the community services that exist, which she once took for granted.  “Every night I see the RACQ Helicopter on the news rescuing somebody from the Bruce Highway, from Fraser Island, taking a newborn to Brisbane hospitals etc.  Now I get to see what it takes behind the scenes for this service to save lives.”

With the birth of Min’s son, Smith, and his stint in hospital at 3 weeks old, potentially requiring the services of the Helicopter to transport the family to Brisbane, this service is dear to Min’s heart.  We hope you’ll join the Sunshine Coast’s most generous souls on the 4th October to enjoy a truly beautiful evening of celebration, as well as raise funds to close the $2million shortfall this service experiences each year.

Get your tickets online

Or contact Min at White House Celebrations to take advantage of these amazing sponsorship opportunities:

Becoming a Sponsor Partner – only 2 partnership opportunities left!


    Make a Donation


Donate an Auction / Raffle Item





2011 matilda award winners

Wow! A quick note about The Matilda Awards before we all get back to making theatre!

Well, while there was no red carpet and the dress code appeared to be “whatever” but what a great night The Matilda Awards turned out to be! Without the conventional design elements of an “event” night until we took our seats (and my astronomically high expectations only come from working with White House Celebrations so, you know, I have Min’s number if anybody wants it…), last night was a fabulous evening of networking, champagne and celebration!

So many Matilda Virgins present at The Judith Wright Centre (that includes Sam and I)! We, along with many others, didn’t quite know what to expect from Brisbane’s night of nights for the Theatrearti: The Matilda Awards, established 25 years ago by reviewers, Alison Cotes and Sue Gough.

Having withstood their fair share of criticism over the years, the Matilda Awards committee (Sue Gough, Alison Cotes, Rosemary Walker, Bree Hadley, Troy Ollerenshaw, Baz McAlister, Olivia Stewart & James Harper), this year appear to have pleased the vast majority of Industry peeps. As far as award systems go, we have the critics/committee’s choice (The Matilda Awards) and we have the people’s choice (The Groundlings). Perhaps it’s important to keep them separate. Perhaps its important that they are Brisbanecentric. The Matilda website now reflects that “The awards are to reward the best of Brisbane theatre…” whereas previously, they alluded to the recognition of Queensland-wide work even when they didn’t (and couldn’t possibly). Even I, being based on the Sunshine Coast and seeing as much as possible on the Sunshine Coast, see more Brisbane theatre than in my own “regional” – for that’s what we are – area. There is simply more of it. So there’s no denying that Brisbane is the cultural hub of Queensland, despite the terrific things that may be happening, from time to time, all over the state. Time to get over it a little or… if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em (for the Brisbane Theatrearti are indeed, a truly delightful bunch)!

The Groundlings offer no trophy or cash prize; they are an online award system that gives artists due recognition from the voting public. And while The Matilda Awards have, in the past, offered a monetary prize (as Paul Bishop joked last night, the sum of $2000 made up a large percentage of an actor’s wages in those days…and probably still does), the awards for this year came in the form of hand-made trophies donated by Monte Lupo – “outsider” artists – along with a great deal of reverence.

This year, for the first time, artists with 3 or more Matilda Awards were inducted into the Hall of Fame and we saw the full list of winners since 1988, together on screen; all the names of the artists who have shaped our industry since the inception of the Matildas. I think, for some, this was a wonderful revelation. And to share the space with these artists was, for most, a humbling experience. It was fitting to have John Batchelor, well-respected for his contributions to the industry, announce the awards.

If you weren’t there, you won’t have felt the over riding sense of humility and collective pride, which was almost bursting at the seams, even before the official part to the evening’s proceedings started, hosted by Hayden Spencer and perfectly, hilariously punctuated by his sassy wife, Carita Farrar and accompanist, John Rodgers. Talented ACPA students opened the show with a beautiful, stirring dance piece and Emma Dean closed it, with her sensational, stylish rendition of Cabaret. If this is what Brisbane’s Industry Night turns up, I say let’s have more of them! And is it just me or have we (and by we, I mean the virgins and regular attendees collectively) outgrown the foyer space in the Judy? We love you and your style, JWCOCA but if there are any more of us intending to attend next year’s event, you’re gonna’ need a bigger bar!

Congratulations to Rosemary Walker, the committee and the Judith Wright Centre for a fabulous evening of celebration of our industry and our art. So proud to be a teeny, tiny part of it!

With the gorgeous Kristine Sells

You can catch up on the Twitter feed by searching #matildas11


Simone de Haas
for her artistic direction of Mixed Company
and directing, designing and acting in it’s body of work

Steven Rooke
for his body of performance work in 2011
including Julius Caesar, No Man’s Land and The Removalists

Josh McIntosh
for his set and costume designs
for Harvest Rain Theatre Company and body of work

Marcel Dorney
for his script Fractions

Melanie Zanetti
for her performance in Pygmalion


Best New Australian Work
by Marcel Dorney
Queensland Theatre Company and HotHouse Theatre

Best Independent Production
Animal Farm
by shake & stir theatre co

by 4MBS Festival of Classics

Best Mainstage Production
by Queensland Theatre Company

Best Director Michael Futcher
for Animal Farm,
shake & stir theatre co

Michael Gow
for No Man’s Land,
Queensland Theatre Company

Best Male Actor in a Leading Role
Paul Bishop
in Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness

Best Female Actor in a Leading Role
Melanie Zanetti
in Pygmalion

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steven Rooke
in No Man’s Land

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Carol Burns
in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Best Design
Renee Mulder
for set design, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness

Best Emerging Artist
Anna McGahan
for Julius Caesar

Best Musical
by Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre

Emma Dean: Sally Bowles in Zen Zen Zo's Cabaret.


The Beauty House: launch event

If you’re a Sunshine Coast resident, chances are you’ve passed by a big pink sign on Sugar Road in Maroochydore, advertising a beauty academy and salon. It’s been there for years; a massive building (it’s even bigger than you think), that once had a reputation for excellence (those therapists are now working all over the world) but fell into… a rough patch. Chances are you’ve driven right by it because you’ve heard the gossip – so often based on truth – or you’ve been there yourself. Once. And not returned. Well. I’m here to tell you that THOSE DAYS ARE GONE. What was once pink is now blue and what was once lost is found, or rather, is brand new and born of a lotus flower. It’s the gift of good business and great people behind it.

But far from hiding in the background, the incredible women who run The Beauty House (and it’s sister school in Brisbane) are, appropriately,  the beautiful faces of their business. They are up-front, professional, congenial women who look gorgeous and who obviously have a passion for the beauty business. It was always Alier’s dream to  share high quality training and thus, high quality treatments, with Sunshine Coast clients. She and Jane have been welcomed with open arms. When new business women come to the Sunshine Coast it’s a bit like they’ve turned up to the sandbox. I can’t recall who said that but it’s so true. Everybody here looks up and stops what they’re doing and calls out, smiling, “Come play! Play with me!” If you’re in local business and you’ve not yet ventured into the sandbox, pop on over and say hi sometime. In the meantime, check out this month’s Profile mag for, among other interesting and inspiring reads, The Rise of the Female Entrepreneur; opinions about women in business from key Sunshine Coast business women, including our dear friend, Min Swan, of White House Celebrations.

Yvette Adams, hubmaster at and the Creative Collective business guru, put on a special event to launch The Beauty House and to welcome the girls to the sandbox. Kim Edwards, owner of Sea English Academy, cut the blue ribbon and those Choccy Chicks, Kim Morrison and Fleur Whelligan, as the emcees, added their own special sparkle to proceedings. The celebration involved speeches, champagne, canapes, pictures, grand tours, treatments, cupcakes, prizes and goodie bags. And we all love a goodie bag.

The new owners of The Beauty House, Jane Walters and Alier ‘Doris’ Morgan, have over 40 years combined beauty industry experience. They are passionate about the areas they feel are neglected by other training schools; demeanour and presentation, retailing and selling, hygiene and cleaning, and advanced spa treatments.

Fleur, Alier & Jane

Fleur Whelligan, Kim Edwards & Kim Morrison

“Our graduates will emerge as the complete package. Not only will they be qualified therapists, they will be trained in up-to-the-minute treatments, and will have mastered the perfect in-salon demeanour and skills making our graduates the most sought-after pool of prospective employees for Sunshine Coast beauty salons and other beauty industry employers Australia-wide.”

Courses on offer include:

  • Certificate III in Beauty Services
  • Certificate IV and Diploma of Beauty Therapy
  • Certificate II in Makeup Services
  • Diploma in Salon Management
  • Vocational Graduate Certificate in Intense Pulsed Light & Laser Hair reduction
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels & Skin Needling

The girls have plans to offer much more at their Sunshine Coast campus, including makeup for theatre, television and film and special effects makeup.

On salon days, clients can select from a generous range of services that include:

  • facials
  • eye treatments
  • manicures
  • pedicures
  • peels
  • microdermabrasion
  • waxing
  • spray tan
  • makeup

as well as a range of body treatments that need to be seen to be believed. Now, you might remember that I prefer to get threaded by my good friend and another awe-inspiring business woman, Liz See, but for all my waxing, I’ll be booking The Beauty House. A full leg and brazilian for $50? That’s half the industry rate! Okay! N.B. Boys, you can get your waxing done too. Just saying. I’m also looking at booking a vanilla body scrub, a vanilla nourishing wrap, a full body massage, a delicious mani/pedi, a collagen drops facial and an indian head massage. And that’s just to start! At any notable day spa I would expect to pay upwards of $500-$600 for this long list of treats but The Beauty House, charging training prices, will get less than $300 from me. Perhaps I should tip?

You can see that Genine Howard, editor of Profile mag, dressed for the occasion. You can see that I did not.

I wore my forgot-that-I-had-a-really-important-event-to-go-to outfit and I dressed it up at the last second with boots. As I raced out the door, I did the old pick-up-the-Louis-Vuitton-and-leave-my-Pradas-on-my-head-look. I think it worked quite well, don’t you? Lisbeth Salander meets Lara Croft meets school run mum.


And what of the students, the trainees, the therapists? Well, we know they’re in training but we can be sure they are pretty good at what they do. For those of us privileged to receive a special launch evening invite, we received complimentary treatments that compare favourably with any I’ve experienced recently. In short, these girls are GOOD. They are also, unlike other salon, spa and counter staff, very well groomed and beautifully mannered. The Beauty House will certainly set a pretty little cat amongst the pigeons but my guess is that the upset will come from those who feel threatened when they realise their business is not up to scratch. This is all about raising standards across the Sunshine Coast beauty industry, which is a win for us all.

As for the building itself, there are a couple of  spaces left unfinished at this stage, which don’t affect your visit and will be completed in no time at all, if Jane and Alier’s efforts this week are anything to go by! There is still some work to be done but I can confidently say that The Beauty House has already raised the bar in the beauty industry on the Sunshine Coast. Just you wait for the awards to start rolling on in, girls.

Nothing this polished remains unrecognised for long.


  • Saturday 4th February 12pm – 2pm
  • Saturday 11th february 10am – 12pm

The academy is accepting students (from 15 years of age) for the first semester, which commences on Monday 20 February and will open for Salon Days thereafter.

For more information go to




I can’t believe the STEPS Grand Winter Ball happened almost 2 weeks ago! It was fantastic! Check out the photo galleries online

I’ll write it all up…soon. I know, I know; I’m way behind! We have so much to tell you! To be honest, we are all still in recovery mode, whilst simultaneously moving onto the Next Big Things, which include:

  • Sam’s intensive 2 week rehearsal period for a one act play, which was written in the first week of the 2 week rehearsal period and can be seen next week at Lind Lane Theatre, along with a couple of other little gems. Details below:
This is a joint production by Nambour Lind Lane Theatre Inc and Suncoast Repertory Theatre Inc. Any play bill that can boast the names Brett Klease, Sam CowardErrol Morrison and Joy Marshall is enough to make any director salivate. ‘New light through Old Windows’ are three one act plays that have been very deliberately chosen to give the maximum exposure to theatre in one evening. A comedy, a bitter-sweet biography and a pshychological drama all on the one bill.
”Into the Mist’ by Jo Denver. Directed by Jo Denver
Featuring: Joy Marshall as Dame Margaret Rutherford & Errol Morrison as Stringer Davis
‘The Actors Nightmare’ by Christopher Durang. Directed by Cathy Sheargold
Featuring: Adam Freeman as George, Claire Watkins, Catriona McKechnie, Mandi Hardcastle et al
‘So! Where is it?‘ by Simon Denver. Directed by Simon Denver
Featuring: Sam Coward, Brett Klease and Simon Denver.
Be Warned! This play contains adult themes, adult concepts and coarse language. It will be performed last and audience members who are easily offended may wish to leave before it commences.
When: Aug 3rd, 5th, 6th@ 8pm  and Matinee Aug 6th @ 2pm.
Bookings: Phone 5441 1814, or book online at:
  • Sam’s involvement with the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance, as President, is going great guns as we prepare furiously for the biggest drama festival in South East Queensland, held at Buderim Memorial Hall (the home of BYTES & BATS Inc) August 19th, 20th and 21st. Sam will be on stage again and I will be reviewing (and making elegant Alison Croggan style disclaimers about reviewing a play in which my husband is involved)!
  • We’re involved in Dancing With the Local Stars, which is the major fundraiser for the Sunshine Coast Hear & Say Centre. This year it’s a Bollywood theme and it’s looking amazing! The media for that kicks in soon so you’ll start seeing it, well, everywhere now that White House Celebrations is all over it!
  • We are taking on more corporate gigs because we love working with White House Celebrations! If you have a special occasion coming up or somebody you need to spoil at any stage, talk with Min and the girls about the limitless possibilities!
  • We are running audition preparation workshops in the lead up to Mary Poppins auditions on August 23rd in Brisbane (for children) and auditions for Universal Studios Japan on August 19th on the Gold Coast (over 18s). Workshops will be held during the first two weekends in August. For details and to secure a place, email
  • I’m continuing coaching privately (singers and actors) and teaching drama and vocal classes for children at Dance Edge Studios. The senior girls are loving working on Legally Blonde, now that exams and eisteddfods are just about done! Well, for dancers. We’ll see the actors, singers, instrumentalists and vocal groups in the next few weeks of Sunshine Coast Junior Eisteddfod madness.
  • I’m reviewing theatre in Brisbane for and on the Sunshine Coast for the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance.
If you LIKE XS Entertainment on Facebook, you’ll be getting our frequent updates, reviews, links and discussions over there but I will try to get back here to catch up! I promise! And one day there will even be a website. That’s right. It’s coming!

Friends Bare all for Coast Theatre

Nathanael Cooper

Sunshine Coast Daily, 10th September 2010

A PURVEYOR of fine food, a peddler of fine events and a theatre company notorious for pushing the envelope as far as it can go.

Photo: Warren Lynam, SCD

It is hardly the first group of people you would think of putting together, but when Tony Kelly from il Secondo, Min Swan from Whitehouse Celebrations and Sam and Xanthe Coward from XS Entertainment came together it was theatre magic.

After a hit season of La Ronde in Noosa and Maroochydore earlier this year, XS Entertainment took the La Ronde concept to a new level and prepared it for the Sydney Fringe Festival.

At the same time, Tony Kelly was having an epiphany of his own.

“I was trying to think of a really good way that we could make use of these function rooms (at the M1 in Maroochydore),” he said.

“I made a call to Min and the first thing that came to mind was Sam and the work he had done with La Ronde.”

The three new amigos got together and discussed the concept of performing La Ronde’s sister show, Erotique, in two special preview performances for the Coast before travelling to Sydney.

“La Ronde was a great success in Noosa and Mooloolaba with sellout seasons and preceding our tour to Sydney next week, the obvious thing when this opportunity came up was to not only have a dress rehearsal, but also offer some performances,” Sam said.

“The concept of having live theatre in Maroochydore next to a high-class venue with a high-class event team was great, and something we really wanted to be involved in.”

Erotique’s risqué nature, exploring sex in a unique way through the use of minimal sets and very minimal clothing, aims to take culture on the Coast to a new level.

“After the preview (on Tuesday night) we were able to finish the show at 9.30 and walk down to il Secondo bar, have a coffee, have a wine and talk to people for a couple of hours,” Sam said.

“It’s such a rare thing to be able to do on the Coast. Most nights after dark it basically comes to a standstill.”

If Erotique is as successful as the new partnership hopes, Coast theatre lovers can look forward to more of the same.

“I would like to stretch it as far as we can,” Tony said.

“All three of us are praying that Maroochydore and the Sunshine Coast grab it with both hands and cherish the fact that we are putting our neck on the line to do it here.

“And if they can embrace it we will give it to them as much as they like.

“If it’s a two-shows-a-week thing then all three of us will love that to death.”

Some tickets are available for tomorrow night’s performance and are available by visiting or by calling 54441736.

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