Archive for March 2019

Light-hearted chatter with football legend

CELEBRATIONS: Kevin Sheedy will be having a chat with Tatyoon farmers on Thursday. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
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KEVIN Sheedy will join young farmers for an afternoon tea at the Tatyoon Football and Netball Club on Thursday.

He will be the guest of honour at the event to celebrate young farmers and their life on the land.

Sheedy will join the farmers from 4pm before running and Auskick session at 5.30pm.

He said young farmers needed to connect with each other to help deal with tough times.

“Our farmers often face adversity, whether it be droughts, floods, bushfires, or market downturns,” he said.

“So we need to ensure there’s a way they can connect with each other and help each other through difficult periods.

“I’ve travelled extensively across regional Australia over the last 50 years and I’ve seen the enormous impact farmers have on our way of life.

“We need more events like this to show our appreciation for the rural sector and inspire confidence and resilience in our farmers to continue producing the food that we put on the dinner table every night.”

The event is being run by the Young Agribusiness Professionals network, which is the youth arm of the Victorian Farmers Federation.

Spokesperson and Ararat districtfarmer Andrew Laidlaw said it was exciting for the Tatyoon community to receive a visit from such a high profile football identity.

He said Sheedyis also passionate about farming and advocate for youth leadership in rural Australian communities.

“It was great to see the launch of the AFL’s Country Round this year and we know that Kevin was the driver behind that,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to have a leader like him come and share his insights and experience.”

Mr Laidlaw said the event was being run by the federationas part of the state government’sLook Over the Gate initiative.

The initiative aimsto help rural communities connect.

It alsoacts as a way to build relationships among future generations of Victorian farmers.

Mr Laidlaw said younger farmers could find themselves isolated on rural properties.

“As a young farmer, it’s always busy on-farm and can be really difficult to find time to check in with mates,” hesaid.

“Sport brings communities together, particularly in tough times.

“It is great that this event can celebrate not only the contribution of young farmers, but also emphasise the importance of sport, recreation and mateshipand the impact that this has on our wellbeing.”

The afternoon with Sheedy is free to attend.

It will run from 4pm with the Auskick session to start at 5.30pm.

Mr Laidlaw said a booking is required to attend the event which will be held at the Tatyoon Football and Netball Club.

He said to contact the federation on 1300 882 833 by Monday to book a place.

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Call for inclusive hiring

HARD AT WORK: Joanna Rigby, of Launceston, works at BlueLine Laundry at Kings Meadows. Picture: Emily Baker.JOANNA Rigby can answer quickly when asked what she likes best about her job.
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“Working on the machine and stirring the staff too,” she said.”I like everything, really.”

The Launceston woman works three days a week at BlueLine Laundry. Her favourite place to be stationed is on level two, where she clips clean sheets from hotels and hospitals into a huge industrial iron.

BlueLine, a not-for-profit run by the Archdiocese of Hobart, employs 10 people with disability at its Kings Meadows premises and hopes to soon double that.

“It’s low-skill sort of work so it’s a good entry point for people,” operations manager Darrin Geard said.”It’s about the opportunities we can provide them with transitioning into employment.”

Not all businesses are so open to employing people with disability.

Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks said half of all complaints to Equal Opportunity Tasmaniacame from people with disability and almost a third of those related to discrimination in the workplace.

She described the problem as “dire”.

“There’s not as many (complaints)as I would expect from the people who face significant disadvantage – I suspect they don’t even get through the first part of the process, and they get so used to being excluded they don’t see that they have those rights,” she said.

“Most of us don’t have to think very often just how important work is to us but to most people work is an integral part of their identity.”

Self Help Workplace general manager Donna Bain knows well the benefits of employing people with disability.

In February, the not-for-profit added a cafe at Riverside’s Windsor Park to its list of social enterprises.

“It creates another opportunity for our supported employees to gain hospitality experience in a community setting,” chief executive Donna Bain said.”They’re loving it – they’ve just had a ball off-site so it’s something new.”

Ms Bain said her experiences bucked the belief that people with disability could not or did not want to work.

“People assume people with disability can’t do the job,” she said.”It means there’s a whole group of people who don’t get to work. Potentially, one in four Tasmanians don’t get a chance to work and can’t get their economic independence.”

People with disability looking for employment can contact Bluegum’sMike McOwan on 0417 039 313 ormmcowan.bluegum@nossinc.org419论坛,BlueLine Laundry’sDarrin Geard on6344 5822 ord.geard@blueline-laundry南京夜网 or Self Help Workplace’sTracey Bagger on 6344 7133 ortracey@selfhelp南京夜网419论坛.

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The week that was in the Hunterphotos

The week that was in the Hunter | photos HUNTER: Sygna reigned proud over Stockton Beach for more than four decades, but in the end it was nature’s awesome force that brought her there and also took her away. Picture: Justin Martin
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CESSNOCK: Two inmates are in critical condition on Friday after a fire in Cessnock jail about 8pm on Thursday night. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

HUNTER: The Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces is here. In the lead up to this year’s event, take a look back at photographs of the Festival of the Fleeces from the Fairfax archives. Picture: Marina Neil

SINGLETON: Singleton’s bat colony is seeking asylum in All Saints Anglican Church grounds as work progresses on removing the damaged trees in Burdekin Park.

SINGLETON: Bulga was chosen as the ideal location to launch the Greens campaign for Hunter.

MUSWELLBROOK: Campbell’s Corner is one of the most iconic buildings in the Muswellbrook township.After years of planning and around 14 months of construction, the newly refurbished Campbell’s Corner was officially opened.

MUSWELLBROOK: Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has slammed the Stop TAFE Cuts campaign as “completely and utterly misleading”.

HUNTER: Hundreds of sheep will soon be donning red socks and marching through the streets of Merriwa.

SCONE: One of the greatest horsewomen the Upper Hunter ever produced has been laid to rest in her hometown of Scone.

HUNTER VALLEY: All Hunter Valley school students and youth groups are invited to join an innovative sustainability leadership training initiative provided by OzGREEN.

HUNTER VALLEY: People from across the Upper Hunter and beyond joined Denman Men’s Shed in their celebrations at the weekend.

CESSNOCK: Police and shelter staff are concerned about the number of horrific animal abuse cases being reported in the Cessnock area. Picture: Perry Duffin

CESSNOCK: Cessnock councillor Cordelia Troy has announced a last-minute bid to contest the federal election.

HUNTER: Surveillance cameras will be placed at a number of illegal dumping hot-spots around the Hunter Region.

DUNGOG: The country’s largest women’s organisation has ramped up its fight against Lyme disease in a bid to stop it destroying lives.

DUNGOG: Dungog High School student Emma Brand dives into childcare for work experience.

PORT STEPHENS: Mayor Bruce MacKenzie used Wednesday’s public inquiries into a council merge with Dungog to slam the Baird Government’s “grubby” treatment of Port Stephens.

PORT STEPHENS: The 2016 Blue Water Country and Blues Music Festival is on this weekend.

PORT STEPHENS: Hunter River High School has become the state’s first “aerospace school” after partnering with four prominent businesses in the industry for the government’s pathways in technology pilot program.

LAKE MACQUARIE: Cheryl Thompson became the first woman to be honoured with life membership since the amalgamation of Toronto Country Club and Toronto Workers Club. Picture: David Stewart

LAKE MACQUARIE: Melva Henry celebrated her 103rd birthday this week. She reckons socialising with the women at Toronto Ladies Golf Club helps to keep her feeling young.

LAKE MACQUARIE: Work on the $7.5 million Lake Macquarie Community Mental Health Facility is a step closer, with the construction tender awarded to North Constructions. Picture: Ryan Osland

MAITLAND: The Rutherford’s Bradford Hotel will host the inaugural Bradford Hotel Crab Races, an attraction that’s tipped to become an annual event.

MAITLAND: Lorn wildlife photographer Jim Thomson recently added four awards to his substantial collection.

MAITLAND: The Hunter Valley is set to be decked out in rainbow colours for the inaugural Pokolbin Pride festival from October 20-24. Picture: Marina Neil

NEWCASTLE: The Newcastle Knights’ major sponsor and a Lake Macquarie multi-millionaire who tried to buy the club are embroiled in a legal dispute with a French construction company that could further derail an already troubled season for the rugby league franchise.

HUNTER: Nick Veljanovski: Desperate family cling for hope in search for missing son and brother. Picture: Brendan Esposito.

NEWCASTLE: Two striking and potentially controversial plans to save the historic former Newcastle post office building will be unveiled at a business lunch in the city on Thursday.

NEWCASTLE: Lindsay Young hoped a janitor in a Florida boxing gym would notice the envelope from Australia and take the time to read the poem he had penned about Muhammad Ali. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NEWCASTLE: Poultry giant Ingham’s will cease production at its Cardiff processing plant in August, costing 199 permanent staff and as many as 160 casual employees their jobs. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebook The week that was in the HunterTake a look at theweek’s news in pictures from across the Hunter region.

HIV still in sights for New England health workers

HEALTH: Hunter New England Health’s Nathan Ryder said the risks of being in the dark on HIV could lessen life expectancy.
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HIV remains a target for health care workers across NSW, where an estimated 14 per cent of people affected are still unaware they carry the manageable disease.

Hunter New England director of sexual health Nathan Ryder said the risks of not knowing include a potential shorter life expectancy, and danger of infecting others. Nathan was part of the campaign to raise awareness of HIV’s presence in our New England communities in 2015.

The initiative resulted in almost 500,000 tests taken last year, a 7 per cent annual rise, but Nathan said there is still work to be done to strive for HIV eradication by 2020. “We still find the majority of cases in men who have male partners, and heterosexuals who have high risk factors, such as sex overseas,” he said.

”But really we’re also trying to have a big push toward finding those unlikely patients who might be attending their general practitioner for years, and never thought about doing an HIV test.” He said reasons for testing should be considered, such as unprotected sex with a new partner.

“(They) should talk with their doctors about whether an HIV test might be warranted,” Nathan said.

“The other situation is for people to be aware of any sort of long-term unexplained illnesses to have HIV testing in the midst of testing that would be done to try and work out what the cause of that is.”

Nathan said the peril of a late diagnosis, which he said was generally found in older people, is missing out on the benefits of early treatment.

“In terms of long life expectancy and a good quality of life. It’s also obviously putting their partners at risk, and no one wants to have a situation when they’re infecting another person unknown to them.”

Nathan said more general practitioners and health workers are encouraging patients to make an HIV test routine in cases where any suspicion might be present, though it is not yet a routine screening across the board.

“What we really want to do is lower that threshold so that HIV testing doesn’t become something that is only done in certain people, that it’s just a routine part of a sexual health checkup for those who have put themselves at risk in some way,” he said.

“Early diagnosis is really the key to successful treatment of HIV, so that people live longer, healthy lives.”

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Euro 2016 football championships: Ten things to watch from the tournament in France

1. Europe’s got talent
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A bumper 24 teams from the continent will be on show in France, meaning an unprecedented level of stars are on show.

Besides Paul Pogba, Andres Iniesta, Giorgio Chiellini and Thomas Muller from the bigger nations, there will be plenty of players worth watching from the smaller nations.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays after missing out on the last World Cup with Sweden, as does Arda Turan with Turkey and Robert Lewandowski with Poland.

David Alaba will play in a rare tournament for Austria and Gareth Bale will catch the eye for Wales.

2. Belgium v Italy

It used to be easier to win the World Cup than the European championship, such was the difficulty of the group stage.

Condensed formats meant qualification was a feat in itself while progressing to the knock-out stages was a cause for wild celebration.

In 2008, The Netherlands, Italy, France and Romania were pitted together while one of the greatest Groups of Death occurred in 2000 with England, Germany, Portugal and Romania.

However, as the expansion to 24 teams diluted the product, three teams can now progress from each group, putting an end to the cut-throat survivalism of the tournament.

For this reason, the group E clash between world no.2 Belgium and four-time world champions Italy is the most eagerly anticipated.

Belgium are many people’s pick to win a first title, while Italy are a great bet to reach the final – or go home after the group stage.

It’s a rare clash of the titans for the early stages of the tournament in the new format and one to savour.

3. Iceland

Never before has a nation this small been represented at a tournament so large. The tiny Scandinavian country will be raring to go at the Euros in what many regard as the weakest group – alongside Hungary, Portugal and Austria – presenting a real chance of progression.

If they continue on their incredible run, it may not just be Bjork, geysers, volcanoes and Sigur Ros that people associate with Iceland, but also a heroic football team.

Can Cristiano Ronaldo replicate his club form in France? Photo: Getty Images

4. Cristiano Ronaldo.

He’s won everything at club level, but nothing with his country and now it’s time to deliver for Portugal.

He is undoubtedly one of the greatest, but there is long held criticism that Ronaldo goes missing during crucial international tournaments.

Of his 58 goals for his country, just seven have come in major competitions. A more notable absence though is his tormenting attacking play which features too rarely in the biggest games.

There is a sense of optimism surrounding the Portuguese team and with good reason. A healthy blend of experience, up and comers, exciting players and a soft group makes for realistic hopes of progress, but much of that will depend on their superstar, supermodel striker.

If he fires and finally lights up in the biggest games, then there’s a chance the flattering bronze statue in his native Madeira will be replicated all over Portugal, and perhaps Petersham too.

5. England

Yes, yes, keep the plane’s engines running, the Three Lions won’t be in France for long.

The jokes are great and here’s hoping we can use them once more. But sadly for others, there’s a real chance England might finally break their tournament drought.

They qualified with a perfect record, and are playing attractive football in a team that doesn’t hinge on individuals. If they can resist the urge to stumble in an easy group, there might be something to celebrate for long-suffering fans.

6. Debutants

Alongside Iceland are four newcomers in what makes this one of the most interesting major football tournament in recent years.

Albania, Slovakia, Northern Ireland and Wales make their entrance and with much interest. Not only does it mean we’ll get to see Marek Hamsik and Bale in major tournaments but there’s a strong likelihood at least one of these five nations will progress to the knock-out stages. From there, anything can happen.

One to watch: Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri. Photo: Reuters

7. The politics

Forget Eurovision bloc voting, this is where politics become compelling. Little brother goes against big brother when England face Wales, old foes Austria and Hungary go head-to-head, but it’s in group B where things can turn sour, where Germany and Poland square off in a match that will could test the security measures.

The long memories of Croatians and Turks serves as a tense backdrop to their group D match, while France and Romanian relations soured in recent years with the mass deportation of nationals.

The game to watch however, is Switzerland v Albania – a battle of allegiances akin to the Socceroos’ clash with Croatia in 2006.

Among Switzerland’s squad of 23 are six Albanians, many of whom rejected calls to play for their ancestral home.

Among those are Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri, former Lazio star Valon Behrami and new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka. All of this and that’s just the group stage.

8. The players you don’t know now, but will later

Marcus Rashford might be stealing the headlines but there are plenty of other young gems that will be unearthed during this tournament.

There’s France’s Kingsley Coman, “Russia’s Ronaldo” in 19-year-old attacking midfielder Aleksandr Golovin – who’s already scored two goals in his first three internationals – one of Germany’s most exciting prospect in years in winger Leroy Sane and the teenager that has Croatians optimistic about their future, Ante Coric.

Nicolae Stanciu could follow Ghoerghe Hagi and Adrian Mutu as a brilliant Romanian attacking midfielder, while it’s been a long time since Italy developed an exciting winger like Federico Bernadeschi.

The classy 21-year-old Turkish midfielder, Ozan Tufan, has all the traits to become a star and has already amassed more international caps than he has years on this earth.

Baptism of fire: England bolter Marcus Rashford. Photo: Getty Images

9. Get comfortable watching France

Because they’ll likely go a long, long way. They enter with form, quality and they’ve already had their race-row over and done with before the start of a tournament.

The hosts were blessed with an easy draw and path to the semi-finals. If all goes their way, the French will be given a lengthy rest between the group and knock-out stages.

That’s all before a look at history which bodes well for Les Bleus, having won two major tournaments on home soil before.

Familiar face: Marc Janko. Photo: Getty Images

10. There’s an Australian touch

No, not like Eurovision. The A-League will have two representatives in France with Melbourne City’s Aaron Hughes lining up for Northern Ireland and former Sydney FC marquee Marc Janko spearheading Austria’s attack.

There could have been two more had Filip Holosko kept his place for Slovakia and Besart Berisha earned a surprise recall for Albania.

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