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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Jones confident ahead of Throsby showdown

Throsby MP Stephen Jones.Months of rumours about Throsby MP Stephen Jones’s future in the seat will come to a head today as Labor officials call a long-awaited preselection ballot.
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The traditionally safe Labor seat remains one of just two in NSW without an endorsed Labor candidate for the September 14 election.

Former Labor MP Craig Thomson’s seat of Dobell is the only other seat for which the party is yet to preselect a candidate.

When nominations for the ballot open today, Mr Jones will face a challenge from Wollongong nurse John Rumble, in what is shaping up to be a battle between the party’s left and right factions.

MORE: Don’t call him ‘Angry’ … It’s Gary Anderson for Throsby

Former state MP Matt Brown was touted as a possible third candidate after saying locals “missed him”.

It is understood he has now decided against the idea.

Mr Jones, who is from Labor’s left and was parachuted into the Throsby seat in 2007, has been calling for a rank-and-file ballot to occur since late last year.

He said yesterday he was angry it had taken this long to allow branch members to decide who would represent them in September.

“I think it’s an absolute joke that it has taken so long for the party officers to sort this out and call it, and I think they have held the branches and members in contempt by dragging it out for so long,” he said.

Mr Jones said he had no doubt party members would support him in the ballot.

“I’m absolutely confident of my position and that I will be the candidate for Labor in the 2013 election,” he said.

“I know the people in my branches, I’ve spoken to them all and I’ve known most of them for years, and the overwhelming majority of them are supporting me.”

Likewise, Mr Rumble was confident of being supported by a majority of branch members.

“I have gathered support from branch members and I am quietly confident of winning,” he said.

“Running against a sitting member is always going to be difficult but I think I am in with a very good chance.”

Mr Rumble, who is the son of former Illawarra (now the state seat of Shellharbour) MP Terry Rumble, narrowly missed win- ning preselection in Shellharbour in 2011. Despite reports that Wollongong’s state MP Noreen Hay was involved in a right faction push to install Mr Rumble as the Throsby member, she yesterday denied any involvement in federal affairs.

“I have been overseas and have no inside knowledge,” she said.

“I haven’t spoken to anybody on this issue.

“I work well with all my colleagues and that includes Stephen Jones and basically the NSW branch of the Labor Party and the administrative panel will make their determination and I would encourage them to do so ASAP.”

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Students find their happy space with the ducks

The quackers help make lunch a social occasion with Kai Paijmans and Naomi Cox. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOWhen University of Wollongong Wellbeing Centre co-ordinator Naomi Cox extended an open invitation to “Dine with the Ducks”, she didn’t expect so many feathered friends to RSVP.
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Around 150 students attended the event held at the university campus at lunchtime yesterday as part of an initiative introduced this year to boost student wellbeing physically, mentally, spiritually and socially.

Ms Cox said UOW Wellbeing, funded through the student services and amenities fee, aimed to “enhance the student experience”.

MORE: UOW’s positive residence first of its kind

“It’s about helping students to be positive and proactive both at university and in their own lives, and we’re doing that through a range of approaches,” she said.

“We have a physical centre on campus where students can come to relax and get information and it is also a referral point for different services on campus and out in the community.

“We are also establishing a campus presence through a series of activities such as yoga and meditation as well as health campaigns and events.

“And we have a strong online presence with a Facebook page and website which contain messages, updates and resources.”

MORE: UOW to investigate Chinese medicine

Ms Cox said Dine with the Ducks was part of UOW Wellbeing’s “Get Connected” campaign.

“This is a focus on the social dimension of health,” she said.

“It’s about social connection and establishing networks at university and in the community, which is important for wellbeing and happiness.”

Sandwiches and soup were given to those who attended the event, and while the ducks mainly stayed on the sidelines of the gathering they flocked to Ms Cox’s side when she sat down for her lunch.

“The scenery and wildlife is a great part of the campus,” she said, “and we wanted to encourage people to take a break from study, sit down and enjoy their surrounds and interact with others.”

UOW Wellbeing ran a health-screening campaign on campus this year and will be holding an event to support Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea on Tuesday.

The centre will also be running events to help students combat stress and maintain a balanced life during the exam period.

“UOW Wellbeing has had a really positive and overwhelming response from students – and we’ve been getting hundreds of people turning up at events,” Ms Cox said.

“We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to get healthy, be positive and stress less.”

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Team just a shadow of the past

STAR: Pink Panthers’ Lorraine Cole brings the ball into attack.IN A bitter blow for the Mount Isa Amateur Netball Association, Spinifex Shadows have pulled out of the competition.
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Shadows struggled through the season with limited numbers, before ultimately pulling the pin on their team earlier this week.

The association will work with Shadows’ players still willing to play, moving them to suitable teams respective of grading.

On the court, round eight action is highlighted by several enthralling clashes, poised to split the women from the girls.

Merilyn Harding’s Isa News Remploy take on 2PH Redbacks in the showcase match of the 7.30pm time slot.

Redbacks will be fresh after their bye last week, while Remploy will take plenty of confidence from their 13-point win over Cruisers.

HV&IS Vixens and Strikers are one of two intriguing battles set to take place from 6pm.

Vixens went down to the dominant Isa News Pirtek last start, but can take heart from the fact they weren’t completely played off the court.

Like Pirtek, Strikers are one of the powerhouse teams in the competition, so it will be no means be a walk in the park for Vixens.

2Ph Timewarps and Snow Leopards will also be a match worth watching, as Christine Sonego, Alaina Ardrey and Renee Gattera and co. build on last week’s 41-20 victory over Matariki 3.

Of the division one sides in action, Matariki take on Stingers while Isa News Pirtek sit out due to the absence of Shadows.

Round 8 Mount Isa Netball Association fixture

(Time Court Team 1 Team 2 Umpires)

4.30pm court 2 Pink Panthers v GSCC, Assoc & HV&IS Vixens; 4.30pm court 3 Isa News CNW jnr v Shooting Stars, Matariki 4 & Isa News 5; 4.30pm court 4 Victorious Secrets v Isa News CNW 2, Assoc & Shadows; 6pm court 2 Isa News 5 v Matariki 4, Isa News CNW jnr & Shooting Stars; 6pm court 3 Isa News Mitech v Nettaroos, Ultimates & Workpac Warriors; 6pm court 4 Strikers v HV&IS Vixens, Matariki & Stingers; 6pm court 6 2PH Timewarps v Snow Leopards, Matariki 3 & Thunder; 6pm court 7 Super Nova v Sparks, Isa News Pirtek & GSCC; 6pm court 8 Matariki 2 v St Joeys, Isa News Remploy & 2Ph Redbacks; 7.30pm court 2 Matariki 3 v Thunder, Isa News Mitech & Nettaroos, 7.30pm court 3 Ultimates v Workpac Warriors, 2Ph Timewarps & Snow Leopards; 7.30pm court 4 Matariki v Stingers, Assoc & Strikers; 7.30pm court 7 Isa News Remploy v 2Ph Redbacks, Super Nova & Sparks. Byes – Isa News Pirtek, 2Ph Shots & Cruisers

Court duties: set up – GSCC, close – 2PH Redbacks

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Toole takes bed fears to Minister

THE community’s concerns over bed closures at Bathurst Base Hospital have been taken to the health minister.
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Bathurst MP Paul Toole is acting following the release of plans by the Bathurst Health Service to close five surgical beds from June 3.

This would result in staffing levels being reduced by five full-time nursing positions and see the number of surgical beds in use slashed from 20 to 15.

Members of the Bathurst Medical Staff Council were livid at the news being delivered via email to department heads and medical staff by health service general manager David Wright.

They claimed there had been no consultation about the cuts and that the decision is “purely about saving money”.

READ MORE: Bed closurea mistake, says health boss

OPINION: Fears for future of our hospital

There is also discontent amongst local GPs and local health service staff that nearby Orange Hospital has been given additional funding and services for a number of years, to the detriment of Bathurst.

Mr Toole said yesterday he is concerned at the lack of consultation in the whole process and was raising the matter with Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

“The first I knew of the cutbacks was when I read it on the front page of the Western Advocate last Saturday,” the Bathurst MP said.

“Like members of the medical staff council, I also have concerns about these changes and will be meeting with the health minister and health service chief executive in coming weeks to pass on both mine and the community’s concerns.

“The fact there are ‘surge beds’ available to cope with demand should it arise can’t work unless there’s also staff there to man them.

“We need to come up with a model that is workable to ensure patient care is a priority. There has to be a contingency to bring nurses in when the need to open these surge beds arises, instead of shunting the patients off to Orange.”

As far as Bathurst Base Hospital being a poor cousin when it comes to funding compared to Orange Base Hospital, Mr Toole said the key is to keep building the specialist services out of Bathurst.

“The more activity we can get based here the more funding we can get,” he said.

“There needs to be a strategic plan across the whole district where can we identify what Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo hospitals do well.

“That will come out later this year, and I am sure that will present Bathurst as a centre of excellence when it comes to providing certain health services.

“For example, Bathurst already has two additional dialysis chairs, two new ecologist specialists have started at Daffodil Cottage and the $250,000 refurbishment to the young mental health facility at the hospital was only opened this week.”

Councillor Jess Jennings from Bathurst Regional Council, who is also the Labor candidate for Calare in the upcoming federal election, said the current cuts to vital health services in the NSW hospital system are just a small taste of what’s to come if the federal Coalition is elected to govern Australia in September.

THE community’s concerns over bed closures at Bathurst Base Hospital have been taken to the health minister.

“Make no mistake, the Coalition will reduce money and resources for health,” he said.

“They have made it clear the Medicare local services will go, which in Bathurst provide vital after hours medical and related services.”

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When Mother’s Day makes you sad

Mother’s Day conjures so many images: earnestly clumsy handcrafts and cards, inedible breakfasts in bed, cafes crowded with families over lunch, stiff carnation bouquets and bored children softly squabbling while trailing their mothers at craft markets.
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For many, Mother’s Day is a celebration of the here and now – the mother whose hand we can hold before handing over a gift. But for others, Mother’s Day can be a reminder their mother is no longer around.

PhD student Danya Vears, 31, from South Melbourne says, “Mother’s Day can be a tough day. It can be difficult seeing people with their mothers… I will never be able to do that again. It makes me miss the little things – going out for coffee with her or just being able to unload on the phone.”

Often, Vears finds the promotion of the day just as bad as the event, “It’s also the lead up to the day….I miss her often but sometimes it feels like Mother’s Day rubs it in your face a little.”

Vears’ feelings are closer to the original intention behind Mother’s Day than you might expect.

Mother’s Day as we know it was initially created to honor a mother who had passed. In 1907, Anna Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day service and gave out carnations to pay tribute to her mother, Ann, a social activist during the American Civil War. Jarvis held the first event to remember her mother, before campaigning tirelessly to make the day a national event.

Jarvis later decided Mother’s Day was over commercialised and actually campaigned against her achievement. The day and her criticism still stand but others have found special ways to mark the ocassion and remember the mothers they once knew.

Vears will mark the day the same way she has for the past few years: by taking part in the Mother’s Day Classic, a fun run and walk that raises funds for breast cancer and an event she used to attend with her mum.

“The first year after she died I decided I would run the 4km as a tribute to her,” she says. “I felt like pushing myself a little to do something like that was something she would have been proud of – I was never very sporty when I was younger but I knew my mum had been, so it seemed fitting.”

Mother’s Day for Brunswick based writer Clementine Ford will be less energetic.

“Anniversaries affect me very little,” she admits. “My strategies are the same as those I employ every day – I allow myself to feel both grief and happiness when they come, and feel grateful that I had her at all.”

Knowing that it does affect others, Ford takes to social media on Mother’s Day.

“I usually reach out to other people I know may be having difficulty. I might post something on Facebook offering solace and solidarity to others in the Dead Or Absent Mothers Club,” she says.

For both, family cycles continue and grow with new challenges and celebrations. For Vears, it’s been discovering an interest in running while for Ford, an impending addition to her family.

“I’ve never felt anything like the anticipation I feel for my sister’s baby,” Ford says. “Charlotte’s due about ten days after my mother died, but we both feel it would be a nice symmetry to have the baby come on the actual date. Whatever happens, that child is going to grow up knowing who their grandmother was and hopefully feeling as connected to her as is possible.”

On a day when many are reminded of a crucial family connection that has been lost, the day can be softened, perhaps even celebrated, by the connections we’ve made since.

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