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From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Gillard book rushed out. There’s going to need to be some changes of tense in ex-Fairfax political hack Kerry-Anne Walsh’s inside account on the demise of Julia Gillard …

So no surprise to see a press release this morning from Allen and Unwin announcing the “early publication” of the tome. It’s being launched next Tuesday in Sydney — by outgoing independent MP Rob Oakeshott. Wonder if Gillard will be in attendance?

New PM the face of literacy. Meanwhile, some fortuitous timing for a national fundraising campaign to support the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation to improve literacy rates in remote indigenous communities. The “Wall of Hands” campaign features business and political leaders on digital advertising panels in your local shopping centre — including ex-opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull and rebooted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The advertising panels allow passers-by to take a photo of themselves “raising their hand” for indigenous literacy, which is broadcast onto the big screen at Westfield Bondi Junction and on social media.

Circus school backflip. Swinburne University has been in discussions with its National Institute of Circus Arts for more than a year for the circus school to become an independent body. It seems the university abruptly changed its mind, announcing on Tuesday:

“‘Swinburne University of Technology will continue to be the home for circus arts offered through the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), following a decision that NICA will no longer pursue activities to become an independent performing arts training organisation.”

One tipster reckons the uni hasn’t juggled all the options very well:

“Swinburne very clumsily handling the NICA issue. Philanthropy community (which has strongly come in behind NICA), staff and board members stunned …”

Do you know anything more? Are they just clowning around? What’s the elephant in the room? Let us know …

Last drinks for Bar GuideWe hear that Fairfax’s Good Food Guide suite might be encountering some financial difficulties. Last year The Age produced a Good Bar Guide, but this year problems securing sponsors has put the kybosh on the imbibing bible. And not even an African safari could convince advertisers to whet potential advertisers’ whistles …

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form

Peter Fray

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