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Did you know that Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer)? And did you know that shockingly, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime?
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can change life in a moment. The YWCA NSW after breast cancer exercise program “Encore” helps women stay well after experiencing this adversity. Whilst each program has a strong focus on specifically targeted exercise, the sessions also include information sharing through guest speakers and links into local community services and resources, as well as enabling participants to meet others who have had similar experiences. In the last year alone, YWCA NSW’s Encore program has worked with over 500 women throughout New South Wales.
Encore Program Coordinator, Alison Todd has seen the positive influence the program has on its participants “The program really can change lives” says Alison “There are a number of groups of women who still regularly catch up years after being involved in the program. Many life-long friendships have been formed through Encore, and without the program, their paths may never have crossed.”
Women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their lives are being invited to register now for the free after breast cancer exercise program – Encore, which is running in Byron Bay from Thursday 4th February – 24th March.
“Exercise is one of the ways of supporting the body to recover after cancer treatment and it’s also a good way of keeping spirits up” says NSW Program Manager Kate Guthrey. “Encore not only offers women the proven benefits of exercise, but it also allows them the opportunity to connect with others who share a similar experience and speak without judgement. Understanding that there are others with similar thoughts and feelings has been shown to be very therapeutic and an important part of recovery” says Ms Guthrey.
View this video trailer
The genocide of the West Papuan people at the hands of the Indonesian military, is one of the saddest yet rarely told stories of modern times.
Right on Australia’s doorstep, West Papua is a land of untold riches and in 1969 was hijacked with a violent and rigged vote by Indonesia.
With the support of Australia, the USA and the United Nations, the Indonesian Military have slaughtered nearly half a million indigenous West Papuans in the years since, all in the name of a mountain of gold.
All of this kept secret by a ban on journalists and foreign aid from entering West Papua.
Thus the cry of the West Papuans has gone unheard for nearly 50 years. But Australian Punk is loud, Very loud.
Punks for West Papua is an Australia wide movement, and the brain child of Jody Bartolo.
Jody and his band ‘Diggers with Attitude’ spearhead Punks for West Papua with the aim to raise money and awareness for the Free West Papua cause.
A midnight text message to film maker and friend, Ash Brennan, started the wheels in motion for a small video think piece at the original Punks for West Papua benefit show at Sydney’s Town & Country Hotel.
But Jody and the Australian punk rock community would turn this event into a no holes barred Australia w...
There is a question that we used to ask ourselves to work out what was most important in life: If you had two minutes to get out of your house, what would you grab? Everyone used to say ‘the photo album’. But who has one of those cumbersome things any more? Our photo albums are on our iCloud and apparently virtual formations of data don’t catch fire or suffer water damage.
I thought about it the other day and I came up with ‘All the chargers’. I don’t mean white horses that were left out the front from the continual appearance of dashing men trying to rescue me from myself; I mean those fricking things you plug in the wall that power your devices that keep you in touch with your fricking iCloud. How can there be so many chargers?
Chargers for my iPhone, for my laptop, for my iPod, for the iPad, for my camera. And that’s just me. I have five children. Between them they have a minimum of three chargeable devices. So counting my load, and John’s and the kids, there should be approximately 30 chargers in the house. It would be far too economically rational to make one universal device. No, each charger has a slightly different sized plug-in. They don’t stay with their device. They move. They become unrecognisable. On every desk they sit curled in clumps. They collect in baskets, under beds, in handbags, some are even left dangling in power points. The most often asked question in our house is ‘Who took my charger?’ It is never a polite question. It could be asked more delicately, perhaps phrased ‘Has anyone seen my charger?’ But n...
Elements’ opening pool party on Monday was indeed ‘lavish’. Delta Kay and a troupe of Arakwal dancers performed on the ceremony space overlooking the beach, a helicopter rested in the grounds and women held horses as more than 200 mostly local guests wandered the grounds sipping the new Veuve Cliquot Rich.
It was also an opportunity for Mullumbimby artist Suvira McDonald to see his steel-rod sculpture Chorus in place at the grand entrance.
Executive chef Justin Dingle-Garciyya proved his worth, serving up a great range of delicacies around the infinity pool while a DJ played, spotlights raked the clouds and firetwirlers and drummers did their thing. Owner Peggy Flannery said that it was her ‘greatest wish to contribute positively to the Byron tourism experience’.
Sarah McGrory –
Love it or hate it, food boasting on social media is an epidemic.
Sign into your Instagram or Facebook account and see for yourself – a deluge of food photos, many of questionable quality, proudly posted by your friends for your alleged viewing pleasure.
There’s bound to be a photo of the grim green breakfast smoothie someone mortgaged their house for at a hipster location this morning or the quinoa and raw vegetable salad they diligently prepared for today’s lunch to prove that they really are healthy. There will be endless coffee photos too – overhead shots of coffee art or takeaway coffee cups at the beach. Other food boasters will post murky close-ups of dinner in a dimly lit ‘hatted’ restaurant where you can’t discern if they’re eating mains or dessert.
I have a confession to make: As a food blogger, I am 100 per cent guilty of food boasting. However, I do have one simple rule: I only ever post good-looking food photos – there’s less chance of annoying those friends who don’t give a hoot about what I am eating.
Here are my Three Tips for Better Food Photos on Instagram.
If you’re going out to dinner think twice before you post a photo of your meal taken with your smartphone. Restaurant lighting at night is usually inadequate and using the flash creates reflections on cutlery, tableware and glassware. Plus, the white bala......
A 92-year-old woman died in hospital after being hit by a car after she got off a bus at Goonellabah near Lismore yesterday (Monday) afternoon.
Police say the accident occurred in Cambridge Drive, just before 12.10pm, as the woman started to cross the road.
Ambulance paramedics helped the woman at the scene and took her to Lismore Hospital where she died a short time later.
The 40-year-old female driver of the Subaru Outback station wagon involved in the accident was uninjured and taken to Lismore Hospital for mandatory blood testing.
Investigations continue and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has today welcomed Tourism Australia’s new Australia Day marine and aquatic ad campaign that promotes the magnificent beauty of the Great Barrier Reef to the world.
Imogen Zethoven, the Great Barrier Reef campaign director, said it’s great to see the Federal Government injecting much needed funds into the Great Barrier Reef’s tourism industry.
“The Reef is Queensland’s greatest natural asset and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It supports a $6 billion tourism industry and 70,000 jobs.
“If we want to help the growing tourism industry we need to protect the Reef’s beauty from rapid industrialisation along its coastline, global warming and farm chemical pollution and and allow its threatened marine life, including turtles and dugongs, to recover.
“Queensland needs a diverse economy that protects our magnificent natural assets, our life support systems and the Reef. This campaign is a great step in that direction.
“We look forward to the Federal Government continuing to promote and protect the Great Barrier Reef,” said Ms Zethoven
Media Contact: Amy Gordon 0410 631 404
Imogen Zethoven is available for comment
You can view the ad campaign here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ITeIca-JvI
The post Ad campaign promotes true blue Australian icon to the world appeared first on Fight for the Reef.
SIX youngsters from across South Gippsland were nominated for the Youth Community Contribution award at South Gippsland Shire Council’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Leongatha Memorial Hall on Wednesday.
Gemma Martin of Meeniyan was nominated by Meeniyan Dumbalk United Netball Club for her outstanding community service efforts and her fundraising for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Leongatha’s Lachlan O’Connor was nominated by Mimmie Ng for his role in coaching the Leongatha Knights Senior Women’s team while building a strong community within the sports club.
Mirboo North’s Samuel McCarthy was nominated by Jaci Hicken for his tremendous contributions to the Mirboo North Junior Basketball Association as a team coordinator and a leader within the association.
Rebekah Vagg of Leongatha was recognised for her commitment to local netball, playing and volunteering for the Leongatha and District Netball Association while playing for Leongatha Parrots and the Mount Eccles A Grade team.
Korumburra’s Paige Biggs was nominated by Shirley Reeves for her efforts and contributions to the Second Korumburra Cub Scouts, having involved herself in leadership activities and roles over the past year.
Ms Reeves also nominated Korumburra’s Matt Perks who has been a youth helper with the Second Korumburra Scout group for the past two years.
All youth nominees were recognised for their efforts in the uncompetitive category and were given a plaque to commemorate their achievements.
Leongatha’s Steven Canning was recognised for his achievements in the community when he received the 2016 Achievement Award for a person with a disability.
Mr Canning has been living independently for eight years and working hard for a local supermarket for 13 years. Mr Canning is also a successful artist and passionate musician, playing drums and guitar at Uniting Church Hall, Leongatha. He was nominated by Trease Street Residents of Leongatha.....
MARY MacKillop Catholic Regional College graduate and dux Sarah McCahon reaped the rewards for her academic efforts after getting in to her dream course last week.
Ms McCahon received an offer from the University of Melbourne for her top preference, a place in a Bachelor of Science.
“I received my offer on Monday, January 18 while I was on my lunchbreak at work,” Mc McCahon said.
“I was so relieved because it was my first preference and it is my first step to doing a Doctor of Medicine after my degree.”
After receiving an ATAR of 98.1, Ms McCahon was honoured dux of Mary MacKillop for receiving the highest score in her graduating class.
“I was a bit hard on myself during Year 11 when I was studying two Year 12 subjects,” Ms McCahon said.
“I was easier on myself in Year 12 and I figured whatever would be, would be. I just focused on staying on top of my workload and stayed motivated towards the end of year leading up to exams.”
Moving to Melbourne next month to pursue her studies, Ms McCahon is apprehensive about university lifestyle.
“I am not sure whether or not I am really looking forward to it at this poin; it is very daunting. I look forward to getting started on my further education though and I am sure I’ll enjoy it,” she said.
“I might play a sport at university in order to meet new people. I am a bit shy naturally.”
Ms McCahon is one of many students preparing to further their education after the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre released first round offers to applicants on Monday, January 18.
LOCAL Scouts returned to Victoria recently after a 12 day adventure to the 2016 Scout Jamboree near Sydney.
Second Leongatha Scouts leader Barry Ferguson took a group of 11 children to Cataract Scout Park in New South Wales to participate in the largest adventurer gathering in the country.
“The event is held every three years. This was my fifth jamboree but it is always a pleasure to go,” he said.
“It really is a city of tents. The Scouts have everything they need, from a hospital to a police station.”
The group joined 10,500 Scouts from across Australia to participate in the 10 day camp of activities and celebration.
“Some children leave for the jamboree as 12 year olds and return as young adults,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The children were responsible for cooking all of their own meals. They learnt a lot of life skills and independence over their time at Jamboree and some make lifelong friendships.”
The camp offered both a wide range of physical and practical activities.
“The weather was definitely the biggest challenge for the children,” Mr Ferguson said.
“It poured down rain and there was mud everywhere.”
The rain did not stop the Scouts from making the most of the adventure though, with groups spending days at the Jamboroo water park.
The children, aged between 10 and 15, participated in abseiling, laser skirmish, caving, low ropes courses, BMX bike riding, water park activities and a scavenger hunt in Sydney’s city centre.
Groups also worked to build bird boxes, dog shelters and picnic benches for community groups across Australia.
“They do a lot for communities all across Australia and it is a great way to spend time with friends,” Mr Ferguson said.
The group returned to South Gippsland after a 13 hour bus ride home.
“All of the children were exhausted when they got off the bus. It is a massive adventure,” Mr Ferguson said....
THE Leongatha Table Tennis clubrooms were the perfect setting for a display of scale model boats, built by club member Allan Odgers last Tuesday, January 19.
The exhibition attracted around 10 people to see the boats, some travelling from as far as Bass.
The models were made from locally sourced wood and were displayed for a special exhibition that Allan hopes will become an annual event.
“I have been building boats since a young age. It is a hobby that I have had an interest in since I was a child,” he said.
Around 15 models were displayed, including the Polly Woodside, a submarine and a Sydney Harbour steam tug, all built at 1/72 scale.
Allan uses timber he sources and carves the hulls using power tools. If the timber has to be bent, he boils it to enable it to be shaped.
He makes the models from scratch, using plans and drawings often sourced from the State Library of Victoria.
Australia is a land imaged into being. From the 5th Century to Portugese explorers to Captain Cook, who opened his secret instructions after viewing the transit of Venus - 'search for Terra Australis' the great South Land. Australia continues to be a nation of images, as we image our way from the past to our ... Read more...
TALENTED Leongatha Lyric Theatre performer Olivia Winchcombe embarked on an opportunity of a lifetime recently.
She was offered the chance to attend the Victorian Drama League’s Summer Performance Project, which offers nine days of theatre workshops specialising in puppetry, script development, voice and dance, body work, character movement and character development.
It is held at Allambee Camp in Yarragon and culminated in the performance of two plays at the Warragul Arts Centre.
Fifty young performers were offered the chance to participate with leading artists to help hone their skills and gain excellent experience.
Generally, the recipient of the Geoff Perrett Rising Star Award is offered the position, however last year’s winner Janie Gordon was unavailable to attend.
Olivia was selected to fill the placement due to her spectacular performance as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in 2013, as well as her ensemble performance in last year’s Gypsy.
“Olivia will really benefit from the workshops, as she will be trained by excellent mentors,” Lyric president Peter Western said.
“We asked her to share her experience with the young cast members of Mary Poppins when it’s over. She was happy to do it and she’s really looking forward to it.”
SOUTH Gippsland’s outstanding volunteers and community groups were recognised for an outstanding year of achievement at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony at Leongatha’s Memorial Hall on Wednesday.
Mirboo North’s Maxine Kiel was honoured to receive Citizen of the Year, from South Gippsland Shire Council.
“Thank you to Bill and Judy Keech for having the confidence in me for this amazing honour,” Mrs Kiel said during her acceptance speech.
“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. The work of volunteers in the region is incredible and we absolutely love what we do.”
Mrs Kiel is the current president of Mirboo Country Development Incorporated and has volunteered with the group for more than 20 years. Her work has been integral in the development of the Mirboo North Market.
Mrs Kiel is part of the Arty Gras committee, responsible for organising the Mind, Body and Soul festival amongst other community events. She is also vice president of the Mirboo North RSL, and regularly contributes to projects and fundraising events for the service.
“I feel very honoured to have received this award. I was in very good company,” Mrs Kiel said.
Mayor Cr Bob Newton praised all nominees.
“The work done by our nominees is truly exceptional and they set a great example that all community members should be striving for,” he said.
Citizen of the Year was selected from a shortlist of four finalists across the shire who have dedicated time to community service and volunteering.
The committees responsible for organising Australia Day celebrations across South Gippsland were responsible for selecting the winner.
Korumburra’s Glenda Smith was nominated by Leongatha Lyric Theatre for her involvement in 10 local organisations, including the South Gippsland Orchid Club and Karingal Ladies Service Club.
Foster’s Sandy Bucello was nominated by Joan Liley for her work in community service over the year...
LEONGATHA South dairy farmer Max Jelbart was awarded an Order of Australia Medal this Australia Day (Tuesday) for his service to the dairy industry and the community.
He has been a Murray Goulburn director since 2012, a director at Marcus Oldham College since 1997, is a life member of the Nuffield Farming Scholars Australia and is a past president of the South Gippsland Branch of United Dairy Farmers of Victoria.
His involvement in the community includes work with the Pound Creek CFA, the Tarwin Lower Tennis Club and the Tarwin Lower Primary School.
Mr Jelbart said he was “chuffed” by the award and that it was quite unexpected.
His involvement in the dairy industry started in earnest with the purchase of his Leongatha South property in 1981, after leasing it in 1973.
When he started, Mr Jelbart milked 120 cows.
“I started to get more involved with the industry and began to grow the business,” he said.
Mr Jelbart said meeting the dairy industry’s best and brightest at discussion groups and field days gave him the opportunity to learn and develop as a dairy farmer.
He now milks 1350 cows across two properties, on a total of 2700 acres with around 35 to 40 employees, including the Caldermeade cafe, depending on the season.
Mr Jelbart said he enjoyed the industry in the early days, particularly after completing a Nuffield Scholarship, which he described as “a life changing experience”.
“I realised there was such a lot to be achieved and an opportunity to educate farmers to help move the industry forward,” he said.
“I just tried to give something back to an industry that had given me so much.”
HIS resume barely has any more room but Neville Goodwin will have to make space for his latest accomplishment: a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
The Woodleigh farmer has been contributing to the district, Bass Coast Shire and beyond since he and wife Lyn moved to their farm in 1980 with children Wayne and Rachelle.
Mr Goodwin received the national honour today – Australia Day – in recognition of his longstanding service to local government and the community of the Bass Coast.
“I feel quite humbled by it. They do not hand a lot of them out, do they?” he said.
“I thank the people who think I’m worthy of it and I just have to continue to try and honour what the medal stands for.”
Community service, for Mr Goodwin, is simply a way of living.
“If there is a need, someone has to put their hand up. People are important, community is important,” he said.
“I’m not sure everyone understands how important the community is, and being part of the community and looking out for each other.
“At the end of the day, that’s all we have left: family and community. Each person has to do their bit.”
Of course, he noted the support of his wife of 62 years for backing his community interests.
He has served as a councillor with two shires: the former Bass Valley council and the current Bass Coast Shire Council, the later from 1992-2008 during which time he was the council’s longest serving mayor from 2004-2008.
“I think my legacy was having a cohesive council, and that is the staff and the councillors,” he said.
Through council, Mr Goodwin was part of the Bass Coast Economic Development Board, South Gippsland Road Safety Committee, Gippsland Local Government Network, West Gippsland Regional Library Board, Bass Coast Municipal Emergency Management Board and Bass Coast Police Consultative Committee.
After his stint with Bass Valley in the early 1980s, he was appointed...
A POPULAR Wonthaggi meeting place was destroyed in a fire on Sunday when a fire spread from the kitchen of the White Road business.
Wonthaggi CFA was called to a fire at the popular From the Ground Up Cafe Nursery at 6.30pm.
The fire started in the kitchen and quickly spread to the rest of the building which was consumed by the blaze.
CFA units took 45 minutes to bring the fire under control.
Fire investigators attended the site at dawn on Monday morning to determine the cause of fire, which at this stage is not deemed suspicious.
RECENT safety works on the dangerous part of the Strzelecki Highway known as Crightons Hill will reduce the likelihood of fatalities and serious injuries when cars do leave the road, according to VicRoads.
But not local residents believe the works do not go far enough in protecting the community.
The accident hotspot at Leongatha North has claimed four lives since 2012. Another accident occurred at Crightons Hill on December 26, 2015, with no injuries recorded.
VicRoads eastern region acting regional director Steve McCallum said a series of road safety improvements on the Strzelecki Highway between Mount Vernon Road and Leongatha would be completed by mid 2016.
He said while there are no current plans for realignment of the highway at Crightons Hill, the new safety measures being implemented would make the road safer for drivers.
Leongatha North’s Susan McAlpine uses the road daily and said the improvements were inadequate for slowing traffic.
“The barriers aren’t going to prevent people speeding. It may prevent additional injuries if a car goes over the edge, but nothing else,” she said.
“We have said right from the start, the speed limit must be reduced. A suggested speed isn’t good enough.”
Mrs McAlpine said she and her family travel the road daily and was mere minutes away from the accident on Boxing Day.
“We pulled up and asked everyone if they were all right,” she said.
“There needs to be something more proactive done, rather than spending money on wire barriers.”
Her son David has been on his P plates for six months and said more needs to be done to protect drivers.
“The condition of the road in the wet is another dangerous factor. The drainage is substandard and water rushes across the road, particularly at the bottom two corners,” he said.
“I have never seen the drains cleaned out. They don’t seem to work.”
Mr McAlpine said the speed limit should be reduced....
It angers me to read that Byron Shire Council is not giving grace to unsuspecting ‘offenders’ of this ugly parking system dumped upon us here in the bay, when the victim (letter ‘Parking Hell’, Pat Janda, January 20) was actually exempt from any parking fees to begin with.
To further the issue, after reading Kol Dimond’s letter (Nanny State, same issue) I generally agree with him that we are indeed being trampled by over-governing and legislation.
Tis a shame. I believe Winston Churchill once proclaimed ‘Too much over-regulation shall only lead to revolt.’
These new hefty fines for ‘free-haired’ cyclists may well trigger ‘offenders’ to abscond from the law enforcers.
Beware skate-boarders; the way things are going, you’ll be wearing helmets next.
Jon Bradley, Byron Bay
Letters to editor
The crims are in a panic as it is realised that the masses are waking up to the fraud against our constitution and law of the land. If the crims can remove the head of State they also get their mandate to rewrite the constitution in line with the Admiralty law and corrupt judicial system they have been administering for decades.
Not surprisingly the WA premier has apparently refused to sign. WA has always been out of step and defiant with Canberra and the other states because WA is not and never has been a formerly constituted part of the Federation. That is very much why WA gets away with having the most rotten to the core judicial system in the country and also why when Colin Barnett and those before him threaten to seceed from the Commonwealth people in Canberra sit up and take notice and more often than not Barnett gets the concessions he is demanding. We also suspect this is very much to blame for the High Court persistently refusing applications from individuals residing in Western Australia and why there is no official High court registry in Perth only the Federal court registry acting as postal couriers to Canberra and the Federal court itself is not constituted either with no available proclamation to produce on demand to anyone.
We don’t need a criminal republic so the unlawful "Australian Government" can morphe yet again, we need the crims in Canberra who send our unwitting men and women to die in foreign lands tried for treason and a return to natural justice and adherence to the Act to Constitute the Commonwealth of Australia 1900UK and 1901 proclaimed and gazzetted.
‘Melbourne now #61’.
Something from 2013
In a shocking development, the FBI has brought in over 200 vehicles to Burns, Oregon. To those that know their history, it appears that Burns, Oregon will soon become the next Waco. If I had family (i.e. women, children and the elderly), I would have them leave the Burns, Oregon area as there is ready to be a good old fashion military battleground.
Ammon Bundy was to meet with the FBI to discuss the present situation. The FBI was a no-show. Would the FBI rather have the Oregon situation turn out like Waco with a Godless result in which hundreds of Constitutional supporting Americans are murdered at the hands of their own government?
The Bundy forces are being incorrectly characterized as being anti-government. They are not! They are pro-constitution. The Bundy forces are in the community visiting ranches and correcting the abuses of the BLM and the EPA. It is the Obama administration that is anti-government. The Obama administration is anti-Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Anyone who opposes the use of unconstitutional tactics against the American people is anti-government. The Obama administration is anti-constitution and as such are anti-government, legitimate government.
This week is the last opportunity to book for Lydia Scuglia’s personally escorted Cherry Blossom Tour to Japan for 2016. This is a once in a lifetime experience travelling with a small pampered group of happy friendly travelling companions with your every need met by Lydia and special local guides in Japan. Inquire today to [...]
We have re-published this again for those who missed the first edition.
KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter MP following the airing of Channel 7’s Sunday Night program, July 5th, has urged Australians to vote their politicians out at the next election if they don’t stand up for Australian farmers.
“Vote out your MPs and Senators. They are just a bunch of donkeys going down to Canberra and holding up their hands.
“Even the best ones, you only get a couple of squawks out of it.
“Following the program last night our office has been inundated with callers from around Australia.
“There is no solution here outside of a political solution.
“Australians need to tell their members of Parliament if you don’t take a stand and vote in the Parliament to stop this – we will vote you out” “They might say ‘oh no, the ALP might get in’ or ‘oh no, the LNP might get in’. That is irrelevant – all you (Member of Parliament) need to worry about is that you will be out.
The Sunday Night program featured a number of farmers who have been foreclosed on by the banks including Jim and Kim Whelan from Charters Towers, Mr Katter’s home town in the electorate of Kennedy. The program also focused on the increasing Chinese Investment, much of which is not registered and the recently signed Australia-China Free Trade Agreement which allows Chinese workers into Australia.
“Don’t think we are not coming on strong. We have 8 cross benchers in the......
Federal environment minister Greg Hunt’s first cousin has taken the extraordinary action of suspending herself 12 metres in the air to block access to construction vehicles and interrupt work at Santos’ controversial Leewood coal seam gas wastewater plant in the Pilliga, north-west NSW.
Jen Hunt is a 51-year-old retired social worker, a mother of two and stepmother of six. She is the latest of a series of people who have taken peaceful direct action and risked arrest to stop the controversial project over the last two months.
Ms Hunt says she wants to send a message to her cousin about the need to protect the Great Artesian Basin. So she suspended herself on a platform hanging from a tree in an effot to halt Santos’ construction work.
She was joined today by 20 supporters including two ‘climate angels’ from Lismore who are part of an international theatrical movement for peaceful climate action. In the past two weeks...
The Victorian state government is looking to further intensify animal production systems in our beautiful state. The need, it is argued is to meet growing overseas demand and to help underpin the State’s future economy and jobs growth. An Advisory Committee has been appointed to consider how the planning system can support the establishment and expansion of intensive animal industries in Victoria, balancing environmental outcomes and community expectations. The industries discussed include beef, dairy, sheep (lamb and wool), egg, chicken, pig, camel, goat and rabbit.
This represents a most welcomed opportunity to speak out against the intensification of animal based agriculture. It seems incongruous that given mounting opposition to factory farming on animal welfare, environmental and human health, grounds Victoria is even considering giving the green light to intensive animal based industries. Please take a moment to let our decision makers know this is not in keeping with community expectations.
A discussion paper has been developed to inform submissions into this process you can find it, and the submission form here.
Please note submissions close 5 February 2016.
Photo credit: Tamara Keneally Photography
G’day, I’m Al Hensley, host of the blues/soul/R&B music program Blue Monday. Each week I post the program’s playlist so you can find out more about the new releases and historic tracks featured. To see what was played this week click here
Goldfields landscapes are dotted with mullock heaps: and one of the curiosities of these heaps of apparently useless rock is that they often feature quite healthy trees. How can these trees get a foothold in material you definitely wouldn’t be spreading around your garden?
We put this question to Castlemaine geologist Julian Hollis, and he suggested that one answer might be that pyrites in the heaps decay to a soluble material called melanterite, an iron sulphate which is sometimes used as a fertilizer: so, contrary to what we might think, there are plant nutrients in these rock heaps. Julian was open minded about what other explanations there might be, however. Suggestions welcome.
Attentive readers will have noticed the brief kerfuffle in January on the release of the Parks Victoria 2014-5 Annual Report. You can read the report here.
Interest has centred around the fact that Government funding to PV had been slashed by 37% in the time of the Coalition State Government. This statistic should come as no surprise to anyone following the fortunes of Parks and DELWP over the years. The relevant table can be found on page 25 of the report. It shows that Government funding in 2011 was $110 million, in 2012 it went to $122 million, then dropped steeply, to $76 million by 2015.
The result, of course, is that PV is less able to do what it’s supposed to do, in the way of basic land management, weed and feral animal control, research, education and other programs.
In the December issue of Parkwatch, Robert Bender calculates that staff numbers at Parks Victoria have decreased by 6-7% per year since 2011. Making a crude but useful calculation, he finds that in 2011 each Parks employee was responsible for looking after 3700 hectares of land; by 2015 it was 4540 hectares. The obvious increase in workload inevitably means that, no matter how dedicated a given ranger [or support person] might be, the task of doing the job properly is becoming impossible. It’s not surprising that there are press reports talk of increasing pressure, stress and demoralisation in PV.
Not that you’d know about pressure and stress by reading the Parks Victoria Report. As is the nature of these documents, it’s nicely illustrated, and full of good news. It might be unfair to call the general tone gaga, but not very unfair. Here’s the introduction, by Chairman of Parks Victoria Board, Andrew Fairley:
‘At Parks Victoria, we believe the future is one of excellence, so we have changed how we operated during 2014–15 to significantly improve the way we deliver our services. … The deployment of a new operating model and a new structure in our regions, complemented by realignment across our Corporate Services divisions, has brought considerable transformation to our business…The Parks Victoria Board is extremely excited by these changes…’ Page 8
Get it? What it means is, ‘Government funding dropped from $96 million to $76 million last year, and we’re doing great!’
‘Parks Victoria achieved a net result from transactions of $6.226 million deficit for the 30 June 2015 financial year. This was in line with expectations and follows a challenging financial period due to a decline in funding for Parks Victoria’s core operations [FOBIF emphasis].Throughout the 2014–15 financial year Parks Victoria continued to drive operation...
In the meantime, what’s happening in the Parks themselves? We do have great parks, but this Report, though it does have some useful info, won’t give you a real idea of the serious challenges the park system faces.
The Report papers over so many cracks that, like any rose tinted view of things, it quickly loses credibility. It blandly suggests on page 18, for example, that the feral horse and deer problems are under control in the Alps: this is a depressing evasion of the real facts. On page 17 we are told that major research projects on biodiversity in Box Ironbark regions have been ‘incorporat[ed] into bushfire planning.’ To say the least, this is premature.
Further, there are claims that are counter intuitive to the reader. On page 48 we read that the ‘Number of hectares treated to minimise the impact of pest plants, pest animals, and overabundant native animals and plants (including meeting ecological fire and watering objectives)’ is 1,683,824. This is over 40% of the land administered by PV–in one year! A lot depends on what you mean by ‘treated’–but would anyone claim that 40% of our parks are significantly weed free? Park...
Tuesday 26th January
6 – 6:30pm Voices in Harmony
This week’s program comes with an ‘Australian Made’ stamp! Patricia & Maree will feature choirs, quartets & duets singing songs that’ll spark your Aussie spirit and help celebrate our National Day! And the girls are always looking for local choirs to feature on the program so give them a call!
Webmaster of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club, Chris Timewell, has put the newsletters of the Club from 1976 online. They can be found here.
This archive is a fascinating record of Field Nats observations and reflections on our region over 40 years, and can be dipped into almost at random for interesting insights into the natural scene.
Given that mistletoe is flowering around the region at the moment, here’s an interesting 2003 piece by Ern Perkins, written partly in response to some local calls for the plant to be culled:
‘Research in the ACT shows that mistletoe mostly grows on large, mature trees, and that the density of mistletoes…is positively correlated to the height of the host trees…The study also showed that many of the trees with live mistletoes also carried dead mistletoes…This suggests that some trees have mechanisms to control mistletoes…A study in the Yarra Valley Parklands showed that…of 228 trees under stress, only 4 trees had mistletoes. Other studies have shown that trees with mistletoe grow more slowly. Another study in the Melbourne area recorded 15 eucalypts which were heavily infested...
Locals honoured for Good Deeds Local citizens have been honoured and awarded for many and varied good services to society at Australia Day commemorations around TWT Territory yesterday. Citizens of the Year were named and awarded at ceremonies in Hunters Hill and Ryde plus Young Citizens of the Year and other awards as well as [...]
Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury will hold their 2016 Chatswood Book Fair this weekend January 30-31 in The Civic Pavilion, The Concourse located at 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood. The Fair will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm with all money raised to go directly to Lifeline in assisting the community with much [...]
Christine Jensen’s compassionate life CAPTION: Huntley’s Point’s Christine Jensen is a strong advocate for families and is pictured holding a beloved family photo. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO. A Huntley’s Point grandmother has been awarded an Australia Day OAM for a life of devotion to women and families – at home and abroad – through one [...]
BY OUR CHIEF CIVIC ROUNDSMAN In a blatant act of vandalism the State Government is killing hundreds of heritage trees in Sydney and suburbs to waste billions of dollars on replacing bus services with yesteryears tram tracks. When other cities around the worlld are introducing electric environmentally friendly new generation forms of mass transport. See [...]
Ryde MP Victor Dominello has welcomed 10 medical graduates who are commencing their one-year internship at Ryde Hospital. “It’s a privilege to speak with the interns who will be at Ryde Hospital as they begin their journey as doctors,” Mr Dominello said. “The first days of an internship is a key milestone in the life [...]
Owen Bennett Farewelled Ryde RSL veteran member Owen Bennett was farewelled at his packed funeral service at Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium last Friday. Service was conducted by Father Paul Monkerud of Ryde-Gladesville Catholic Parish with RSL tribute conducted by Ryde RSL President Bernie Cox. Owen is pictured above when he was awarded Life [...]
Quality teaching at Vanborough Vanborough School of Dancing students Andrea Yamine (above)and Tina Hazell (below) preparing for their performances in the School’s end-of-year Recital in 2015. Vanborough School of Dancing offers students and their parents high quality teaching by professional teachers with internationally-recognised teaching qualifications in a caring and helpful environment. The tuition offered is [...]
Last Tuesday’s Extraordinary Meeting of Macquarie Community College was told that the College will record it biggest loss of all time estimated at $576,500 in 2015 following the last two years of $457,000 and $329,600 losses. This is despite each year the annual meetings have been assured by chairman Sue Murray that next year will [...]
Reconnoitre, a verb meaning
Well, maybe that isn’t exactly correct as to what we were doing over the weekend just gone, but both of the words in the title start with ‘R’ and the general idea is there, so it’s close enough!
We live in the southern Riverina, and as it was school holidays, and I didn’t have to work on the Friday the wife, Miss 10, and myself travelled to town of Young about 3 hours drive north and spent the weekend there.
Today Young is known as the Cherry Capital of Australia (hence the big sign [above] located in the railway station precinct). Young owes it original existence to that yellow precious metal, Gold, which was reported to have been found there in 1860. At the time it was known as Lambing Flat because it was a place were lambing took place before the discovery of gold. The town grew quickly in the next few years and with it the trappings and facilities of civilisation arrived – the newspaper, Post Office, court house, National School, the first race meeting (which seemed to benefit the bushranger Frank Gardiner more than anyone else), the hospital, Cobb and Co coach service, and telegraph line, along with a number of churches and a flour mill. Eventually the railway, that most excellent of transportation modes, arrived....
Over the years in my excursions through the Mia Mia I’ve often seen Little Eagles. A pair has bred with regular success and it is not unusual to see the birds circling in search of rabbits – an easy task, as they are abundant in the valley. We had a lovely encounter with two birds yesterday – the urgent cackling of a juvenile alerted me to their presence – it was perched with an adult in a River Red-gum directly above us.
Little Eagles come in pale and dark morphs, the adult pictured below is a pale morph, while the juvenile is a rich rufous underneath, similar to the dark morph.
Several French films will be screened on the first Sunday of the month at Village Cinemas in Geelong.
On Sunday February 7, we are screening The Ultimate Accessory (100% Cachemire)
Our Autumn Season begins on March 6:
Sunday March 6: The Bélier Family (La famille Bélier)
Sunday April 3: Before the Winter Chill (Avant l’hiver)
Sunday May 1: Quantam Love (Une rencontre)
We hope to see you there!
Ipswich City Council questioned:
The Ipswich City Council and Mayor Paul Pisasale are coming under fire for their refusal to answer questions about how the Mayor’s wife came to be given a paid council position.
It was revealed earlier this week that Councillor Pisasale had made email correspondence asking for his wife Janet to be given a job as an administrative assistant in September of 2013 before being hired a week later.
Compensation offers, a slap in the face:
Compensation offered to unpaid or underpaid Indigenous workers in Queensland is being called a slap in the face.
Pauline Hannam was put to work cleaning the Cherbourg girls dormitory she lived in as a child, and is among a group of Indigenous people whose wages and savings were heavily controlled by successive Australian governments until the 1970s.
Staff and medics at The Tweed Hospital are under siege from people under the influence of ice with hundreds of assaults taking place in there past year, according to the state nurses union.
The hospital at times resembles a battlefield with the violence, and riot police were recently called there to restrain a drug-affected man who had broken the hospital’s safe room window with his head.
The news comes as the coalition government defends last week’s revelation that Tweed Hospital was one of seven hospitals statewide at which infants were given to the wrong mothers for breastfeeding, exposing them to serious health risks.
NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) is calling on the state government to increase staff security at the hospital after more than 2,000 incidents of aggression at the hospital in the past year.
Sheila O’Meara told the ABC this morning that violent episodes usually start in the emergency department and continue in the wards, and that up to five members were off on workers compensation due to attacks.
Ms O’Meara said the union was pushing for protocols to be changed so contracted hospital security staff were able to help restrain drug-affected for violent patients.
NSW Labor says the Baird government has been too slow in responding to the scourge of ice and failed to provide enough treatment beds for ice (methamphetamine) affected patients.
But Tweed MP Geoff Provest says he was assured during a visit on Friday to the hospital that efforts to curb violence there was being improved, ‘bearing in mind’ annual emergency-unit admissions a year of 48,000 was double the average for north coast hospitals.
The Labor Opposition said it will offer its bipartisan support to ‘any sensible proposal’ to respond to the violence when parliament resumes next month.
Labor’s health spokesman Walt Secord said the issue of violence and ice, particularly in rural and coastal areas. was urgent with....
Legionella at Mater Hospital
The Mater Private Hospital has released a statement confirming a patient has tested positive for Legionella bacterial infection.
The hospital is unsure whether the infection was acquired at the hospital but it is working with independent agencies to determine the source.
Queensland Health was advised and the hospital is currently conducting water tests, and additional disinfection measures.
Calls for air-pollution monitoring in mining towns:
A central Queensland doctor has joined calls for further monitoring of air-pollution around mining towns.
With only one air-quality monitoring station in the state’s coal-rich Bowen Basin, located at Moranbah, Emerald GP Ewen McPhee says the Queensland Government needs to expand its network.
High levels of respiratory illness and allergies in surrounding communities are not just bad luck, he added.
Fearless in the high seas:
We see ourselves as peace loving, generous, tolerant people yet is that how the world sees us? The rest of the world sees a country constantly at war. We have been at war in Afghanistan for 14 years now, and no end in sight. We here in Sleepy hollow may have forgotten about those wars but I can assure you the people of Afghanistan have not.
The rest of the world sees a nation hell bent on denying asylum to some of the most desperate people on earth, fleeing conflicts half of which we have created, while we debate whether to tow their boats back out to sea and use them for target practice.
The rest of the world sees a nation that treats its Indigenous people like shit. Always has and always will. We may believe we are trying really hard to ameliorate their endless suffering, but the world, I’m afraid sees only our complete and utter failure to do so. Why do we treat them so? Is it punishment for making us feel guilty?
We are one of the wealthiest nations on earth yet we sit back and watch our nearest neighbour Papua New Ginea descend into barbarism. We attempt to diddle our other neighbour East Timor out of their oil. We turn away Pacific Islanders desperately seeking somewhere to live once their countries disappear under the rising seas. A problem we have helped to create and are unwilling to fix.
Maybe it is time to administer a few drops of Optical Viagra and have a good hard look at our selves.
Ben Laycock 2010
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
– Dorothea Mackellar
Here are some photographs I took today of the sculpture “Wide Brown Land” by Marcus Tatton, Chris Viney and Futago at the National Arboretum in Canberra.
What a wonderful piece of public art.
|Australian pelicans (Pelecanus conspicillatus) are a common sight off the coast of Dunwich.|
|Featured areas: (1)
Dunwich shoreline, (2) Town centre,
(3) Cemetery, and (4) Council Depot. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
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