20. 06. 2019
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Lourdes Hospital staff in for a Dry July

Lourdes Hospital staff in for a Dry July

DOING IT FOR CHARITY: Janelle Vandermaal, Tamara Hollman and Steve Evans will be sticking to the water and tea this month as participants in Dry July. Photo: Belinda SooleSix staff members at Dubbo’sLourdes Hospital are foregoing alcohol to raise funds for cancer patients.
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The group are taking part in Dry July, and Lourdes health service manager Steve Evans said he was confident they would be successful.

“My dad passed away in 2014 of cancer and the hospital he was in had a project funded by the Dry July movement. That sort of gave me the idea to do it,” he said.

Tamara Hollman was also motivated byher family.

“My son was diagnosed last year with cancer. He’s okay now but it was pretty intensive for the last year,” she said.

“There’s a lot raising money for certain cancers but they’re generalised, they’re for certain cancers. This is something for everyone who has cancer.”

Ms Hollman said she wouldn’t be tempted to drink as she would be thinking about what cancer patients go through.

Funds can be donated through the Dry July website.

“They can pick a team or donate it to one of us- it all goes to the same charity,” Mr Evans said.

The money raised from Dry July has funded a range of services likea free wig library in Royal North Shore Hospital, transport to treatment services in Lithgow and chemotherapy chairs at the Maccarthur Cancer Therapy Centre.

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20. 06. 2019
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Honoured for community service

Honoured for community service

Rotary 9650 district governor Maurie Stack names Graham Brown a Paul Harris Fellow. Photo by Ashley Cleaver/Cleavers Images.The name Graham Brown is synonymous with community service in the Manning Valley.
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He is also now a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, with the announcement taking placeat the Rotary District 9650 changeover dinner.

Graham was an important part of the original fundraising committee for the Manning Entertainment Centre in 1988 and again 20 years later when a flytowerwas required.

When funding was needed for a construction of a small hospital on the island of Nias, Indonesia, following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, Graham and his son Kyle devised and executed the World’s Largest Dinner Party which raised $53,000 in a single night in support of this Rotary Australia World Community Service project.

For more than 30 years Graham has donated enormous amounts of his time and expertise to theManning Valley Businessman’s Association,Manning Valley Entertainment Centre Committee,Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia,Manning Online (founder and initial funder),Taree Legacy,Manning Development Corporation and many other community organisations.

Since 1997 hehas been chairperson of the Bushland Health Group and has overseen enormous developments during that period.

Graham personally kick-started the transformation of Taree CBD with his Tidy Up Taree group which has been operating since 2013.

He is a passionate and articulate promoter of the Manning.

Graham accepted the role of treasurer for the recent Rotary District 9650 conference and not only controlled all aspects of finance to produce a widely acclaimed event under budget but was closely involved in all aspects of planning.

During the presentation, Graham was described as a “gift to the Manning Valley and to the world and a worthy Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International”.

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20. 06. 2019
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Collie community rallies behind local workers

Collie community rallies behind local workers

Collie community and union members are set to rally outside the Fair Work Commission in St. George’s Terrace this morning at 9am.
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The move comes as the Australian manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) appeals the decision to cancel the Griffin Coal Maintenance Enterprise Agreement and resulting 43 per cent pay cut and shift changes.

The FWC’s decision to cancel the Agreement would place 70 maintenance workers on the Black Coal Mining Industry Award from July 10.

AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said the decision would significantly alter Collie’s economy and the lives of the workers and families involved.

“It is not in the public interest to rip away 43% of the income of a significant number of workers and their families in the Collie and local South-West communities,” he said.

“Lanco owned Griffin Coal is one of the worst-run businesses I’ve ever seen, and we refuse to accept that workers and their families should suffer because of this company’s mismanagement.

“Lanco don’t pay their bills, and they’ve been chased by everyone from the Australian Taxation Office, to local earth-moving contractors and the local hardware store, and we won’t accept that somehow our members should pay for that.”

Mr McCartney said the pay cut and roster changes highlighted the company’s unfair treatment of its workforce.

“Our members routinely bring their own basic equipment and supplies such as light globes and safety gear to work, and many times over the years have been paid late and worked for free to keep the mine running,” he said.

“Of course we’re prepared to cooperate and compromise, but to date the very best offer made to our members was a 27% pay cut and six extra hours worked every week for free, with a roster change that would kill local sport and community events on weekends.”

Mr McCartney said he was concerned that the decision would set a precedent for an array ofcompanies operating out of Collie and across Australia.

“This decision throws doubt into the mind of every Australian worker who thinks that playing by the rules and fairly negotiating an Enterprise Agreement gives them security and certainty at work,” he said.

“Every Australian worker will now be wondering if they’ll be next.

“All these workers are trying to do is to negotiate a fair replacement agreement with their employer as is their legal right, and they continue to have the full support of the Collie community.”

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20. 06. 2019
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Students’ spiritual journey

Students’ spiritual journey

Pilgrimage: (From left) Johanna Boncato, Jeremiah Mondragon, Mariel Alag and Clinton Kroutz will be going to Poland later this month to attend World Youth Day. The will also be attending a giant Mass led by Pope Francis. Picture: Geoff JonesStudents from St John Paul II Catholic College are getting ready to embark on a journey that will see them be in an audience with Pope Francis.
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Johanna Boncato, Jeremiah Mondragon, Mariel Alag and Clinton Kroutz will be amongsix year 11 students representing the Schofields school when they travel to Krakow in Polandlater this month to represent Australia as part of World Youth Day.

World Youth Day is a gathering of young Catholics from across the globe that takes place every three years.

The event culminates in a large Mass led by Pope Francis, something Clinton said he is eager to attend.

“Being that close to the Pope is a thrill because you’ll be surrounded by 1 million people from around the world and it will be thrilling to be in the presence of him,” he said.

The students will be among 5000 Australian pilgrims attending the week-long event, which starts on July 25.

Johanna told theCouriershe was excited to connect with other people from around the globe.

“I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by so many young people and celebrate our faith with people from different countries and cultures,” she said.Jeremiah also agrees.

“It’ll be about being with other young people who are also devoted to Christ and sharing the moment with everyone.”

Jeremiah MondragonThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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20. 06. 2019
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From sleuth to saviour

From sleuth to saviour

Ambassador: Anna McGahan, who plays Rose Anderson in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, will speak in Ballarat next week about a project close to her heart.
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NEPAL is a long way from the mid-century sets of The Doctor Blake Mysteries.

But since visiting the South Asian country a few years ago, actor AnnaMcGahan –who plays feisty journalist Rose Anderson in the Ballarat-based hit TV show –has become deeply passionate about empowering women and putting a stop to human trafficking.

Next week, McGahan will stop by Ballarat once more –not in her role as a 1950s reporter, but as an ambassador.

The actor, who rose to prominenceplayingprostitute Nellie Cameron in Underbelly: Razor, will speak at theDelacombe Salvation Army and advocate for a new Nepal project enabling trafficked women to learn new skills and complete apprenticeships.

Delacombe Salvation Army ministerDebbie Serojales said McGahan was a passionate supporter of the Salvos and the Make It Happen project in Nepal.

“We are thrilled to have Anna coming on board this year, she is passionate about empowering women and after a visit to Nepal a few years ago, she believes in this cause and wants to help see these women and children have opportunity for a safer future,” Major Serojales said.

“Every two years, the Salvation Army hasan international project … where they raise money to help disadvantaged women and children around the world.

“The project aims to prevent the trafficking of young girls and women living in the city of Kathmandu and the high risk areas of Gholdhap and Dorumba.”

Major Serojales said the Salvation Army would establish a social enterprise by opening a cafe and beauty spa in Nepal where young women would receive education and training, and have the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship.

The goal is to raise $160,000 over two years –with the tally currently standing at $101,000.

Human trafficking is a prevalent issue in Nepal, particularly in instances where vulnerable women are tricked into working across the border into India, only to become sex or labour slaves.

An Afternoon with Anna McGahan on July 16 will include a high tea and also feature artist Zoe Trollop. The eventstarts at 2pm at Delacombe Salvation Army, corner Greenhalghs Road and Warrina Drive.

Tickets are $25 per person. To purchase, phone Major Serojales on 0459 600 915.

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20. 05. 2019
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Davey Quokka puts mocker on Turnbull

Davey Quokka puts mocker on Turnbull

RESPONSIBLE: Finger pointing in the Liberal camp has landed on Davey the quokka.
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TOPICS has come up with a new rhyming slang term for having a shocker.

He’s had a Davey Quokka!

Yep, amid all the finger-pointingand scapegoatery of the election fallout, there has been one marsupial almost deafeningly silent on the whole matter –Davey the quokka.While the federal election was too close to call for many, the ever daringDavey went out on a limb andpredicted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal party-led coalition would run out winners over Bill Shorten's opposition Labor.

The small four-year-old native Australian marsupial made the prediction at Wild Life Sydney Zoo last week after being left to choose between two jars of his favorite eucalyptus leaves, one labelled Turnbull and the other Shorten.

Davey, the size of a domestic cat, initially moved towards Shorten's jar before changing his mind and eating the leaves in prime minister Turnbull's pot.

Davey, you’ve either had abloody shocker, mate, or you’ve put the mockers on Mr Turnbull.

Now, which is it?

Topics will bring you updates on this important matter, as well as more words that rhyme with quokka, as they arise.

DO YOU WANNA LIVE HERE? WOW: A view of the resort on the Micronesian island of Kosrae.

Well do ya? Wanna live here, that is. Not here, where Topics is currently located, but there (pictured right).

Well, believe it or not,you can becauseAustralian coupleDoug and Sally Beitz, who spent their life savings building a resort on an idyllic Pacific island is giving their tropical oasis away — through a raffle.

It’s a classicallyAussie way to get rid of something. Topics has had a bit of luck at raffles.

We used to cleanup on the meat trays at the Delaney Hotel on a Thursday night.

So we’re going to throw our hat in the ring and snap up one of these $66 tickets.

And perhaps you should too, because if Doug and Sally don’t sell at least 50,000 tickets by July 26 then the resort won’t go up for grabs.

If less than 50,000 are sold, half of the money raised will go to the drawn winner with the family taking the remainder of the funds.

It’s a genius strategy to get some publicity for the sale of your unique property and potentially make a bit of cash.

Doug and Sally moved their young family from the Gold Coast to the Micronesian island of Kosrae in 1994 and have spent the past two decades developing a waterfront resort and scuba diving business there.

Now wanting to return to Australia to become “professional grandparents” ,the couple plan to hand over their island empire to the lucky winner.

The prize includes the Beitz family’s 16-room, fully staffedKosrae Nautilus Resort.

To enter the raffle visit 梧桐夜网wintheislandestates南京夜网/enter.

DRIVING JUNIOR GOLF TAP IT IN: Bobs Farm students using the new kids course at Pacific Dunes.

WHO said golf was an old man’s game?

A bunch of students from Bobs Farm Public School have been putting, chipping and driving down the fairways of Pacific Dunes’ newly built kids course.

It’s all part of the government’s “Sporting Schools” participation program aimed at kidsfostering a lifelong interest in sport.

The four-week golf program was conducted at the school, offering 16 students from year 3 to year 6 the chance to be introduced to the sport.

The program, which was a partnership of My Golf and coach Amanda Burns, focused on all elements of the game beforethe students battled the windy conditions to play three holes andspendsome time on the putting green at Pacific Dunes.

General Manager Kurt Linde said thenewly built kids course at Pacific Dunes, located on Championship Drive at Medowie,featured a3800 metregolf course with a par 72.

PGA Professional Jamie Hook is hosting weekly kids golf clinics and a school holiday program on July 13 and 14 and the club has a special membership price for under-18s.

With any luck the increase inparticipation might lead to the Hunter unearthing Australia’s next golfing prodigy.

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20. 05. 2019
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Forbes win close to record

Forbes win close to record

The Forbes Magpies’ 106-12 win over Wellington in Group 11 on Sunday wasn’t a new record but it also wasn’t far off it, according to Group 11 secretary Ross McDermott.
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NO CONTEST: Wellington were mauled by Forbes 106-12 in their Group 11 clash at Forbes on Sunday. Photo: FARREN HOTHAM

McDermott said he could remember a team posting a score of 118 or 119 against a side about a decade ago, but he said he doesn’t want to see anyone coming close to it again.

Group 11 has been in contact with Wellington and were told the club only had approximately 14 players to field in reserve grade and first grade.

“The players that were there won the reserve grade match but then had to back up and play first grade. It was 60-6 at half-time and there was concern but the players gave it everything until the final siren,” McDermott said.

It has been a tough season for the Cowboys, who are winless after nine rounds.

They have leaked an average of 55 points per game but their worst loss prior to Sunday had been a 58-0 loss at the hands of Dubbo CYMS.

McDermott said some players had been letting their club down by not being available for away games.

“They do have some players who can only work every second week because of work commitments but there are others who aren’t pulling their weight,” he said.

“It’s not fair on the players who do turn up andit’s not fair on the crowds who turn up to see a good game.”

McDermott said there was a mercy rule in junior rugby league that saw a game stopped once a team reached around 50 pointsbut one did not exist in seniors. However the Group 11 secretary said it wasn’t a good look to have such lopsided scorelines.

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20. 05. 2019
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Wallangarra Meatworks to close on Friday

Wallangarra Meatworks to close on Friday

Goat and sheep processing at Wallangarra Meatworks, on the Queensland NSW border, will shut on Friday for the 'near to medium future'.
Nanjing Night Net

SHEEP and goat processing plant, Wallangarra Meatworks, on the Queensland/NSW border, will close it’s doors on Friday indefinitely.

Owner Thomas Foods International has cited livestock shortages and difficult global trading conditions.

In a statement, chief executive officer Darren Thomas said employees had been informed the facility would cease operations for the near to medium future.

The closure follows on from an extended stand down since April.

Last year, the plant employed around 260 workers.

“In making this decision, we wanted to give our loyal employees some certainty with regards to their employment so they could move on with their lives and either seek alternative positions within our group or pursue other work opportunities elsewhere,” Mr Thomas said.

All employees will be paid their respective entitlements as defined in the company’s enterprise agreement, including any notice period and leave accruals.

“A number of Wallangarra employees have already transferred to our company’s Tamworth operation and we are hopeful that others who have been offered the opportunity will follow suit,” Mr Thomas said.

“Thomas Foods International is very hopeful of retaining skilled employees who wish to relocate to other operations within our group and we would offer what support and training we can in helping in this transition.”

Thomas Foods International maintains large meat processing centres in Murray Bridge in South Australia and Tamworth in New South Wales.

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20. 05. 2019
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Cheer, dance grand champsPhotos

Cheer, dance grand champsPhotos

CHAMPS: Hannah Haxton, 12, Georgia Almond, 12, Jade Baldwin, 13, and team won their division at the Global Dance and Cheer Games held in Hawaii in June. Picture: Ellie-Marie WattsYEARS of hard work and dedication to dance and cheer has earned three Port Stephens girls world champion status.
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Georgia Almond, 12, from Medowie, Hannah Haxton, 12, from Corlette and Nelson Bay’s Jade Baldwin, 13, were named grand champions after their team took out thelevel one division at the Global Dance and Cheer Games.

The Port Stephens girls travelled with 30 other students from their dance school,MC Planet Dance in Newcastle, to Hawaii where the games were held in June.

The invitation-onlychampionship saw hundreds of participants from right across the globe, including China, Japan, USA and New Zealand,compete inall levels and styles of dance and cheeracross three full days.

Cheer, dance grand champs | Photos GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: MC Planet Dance students in Hawaii for the dance and cheer games. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

GRINNERS: The jacket and ring winners of the dance and cheer games received. Picture: MCPD/Facebook

CHAMPS: Jade Baldwin, 13. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

CHAMPS: Georgia Almond, 12, Hannah Haxton, 12, and Jade Baldwin, 13. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

CHAMPS: Hannah Haxton, 12, Georgia Almond, 12, and Jade Baldwin, 13. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

CHAMPS: Georgia Almond, 12, Hannah Haxton, 12, and Jade Baldwin, 13. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

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20. 05. 2019
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Scuppered by web delay

Scuppered by web delay

B&W Rural agronomists Peter Birch, Rob Long, Bradley Donald and Sophie O'Neill flying a Quadcopter drone at the agronomy business' head office.
Nanjing Night Net

RELATED:Ag’s fate in telcos’ handsAGRICULTURAL technology is in easy reach for farmers who are eager to implementnew ideas on their farms.

Unfortunately though, limited mobile internet access is still a critical issue for rural Australia, which is arguably hindering the advancement of agriculture and technology.

Australian Farm Institute executive director, Mick Keogh said farmers were frequently having to meet compliance systems when selling their produce.

Mr Keoghsaid some processors require producers to show full veterinary and chemical records before they accept crops or livestock.

Several systems have been introduced to make it easy for producers to record this information from the paddock or cattle yards and have the data transferred via cloud.

Without reliable mobile internet access though, Mr Keoghsaid these systems weren’t available to farmers and they were instead relying on recording important data in their pocket notebooks.

“It results in something that should be able to be completed from the cab of the tractor or the cattle yards, taking several hours to do,” he said.

About four years ago, B&W principal, Peter Birch, Moree, recognised drone technology as a valuable tool for agriculture and farming.

Mr Birch’s agronomy business offers clients access to an AgEagle aerial system.

The AgEagle imagery is used to determine crop vigor, identify hail and spray drift damage and assess fertiliser requirements.

Starting from about $3/ha, B&W use the AgEagle on property to stitch together a field map for clients –this is the process of taking hundreds of images taken by the AgEagle and turning them into one single image.

In the United States, Mr Birch said the AgEagle is able to send data through 4G technology, allowing it to instantaneously stitch together a field map before the drone lands.

Here, because of poor mobile coverage, the technology isn’t able to work to its full extent.

Mr Birch said when they fly the drone, they use an SD card to store the images it takes –they then download the card’s content to a laptop where image processing can take anywhere between four to 10 hours.

Mr Birch said the lack of connectivity in the bush was a real challenge and something that hindered the ability to use farm technology to its full extent.

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