Volunteering: ‘The cornerstone of what makes communities successful’

BORN TO HELP: Bega Rotary’s Fay Steward said volunteering was just part of growing up in her family environment. Picture: Alasdair McDonaldFor Fay Steward, volunteering is in her blood, and was just part of growing up in her family environment.

”When we volunteer our time, money, or talents, we help make the world a better place,” the Tarraganda resident said ahead of many volunteer’s busiest times –Christmas.

“I think it’s the cornerstone of what makes communities successful.

Pitching in to help others in need, sharing knowledge and experiences andempowering others to get ahead in life, are all aspects of volunteering that have become part of Ms Steward throughout the years.

“I was also inspired by a few teachers during high school about the importance of using my education to benefit the broader community,” she said.

“So I guess there was never any doubt in my mind that volunteering would be something I’d do throughout life whenever I could.”

She still holds fond memories of her first day as a volunteer with the SES at the tender age of 15.

“My biggest worry was not being able to complete the rescue training courses, and that I would be assigned permanent kitchen duties…luckily this didn’t happen,” she said with a smile.

“It’s a bit like your first day in school; you don’t know anyone, everything is new, you’re not entirely sure what you’re going to be doing, and you don’t know if you’re going to fit it – but you think it’s a good idea – so you stick at it.”

Since moving to the area Ms Steward has become a member of Bega Rotary.

“I was a bit nervous fronting up to my first meeting; but that only lasted 5 minutes,” she said.

“It’s been great joining a local club which has such an enormous depth of experience, and a level of enthusiasm and commitment to community that I haven’t experienced anywhere else.

“There was no sense of ‘having to gain your stripes’ before getting involved in some really interesting projects – they were more interested in what my skills and interests were and how I’d like to apply them.

Some of the projects include support for the Community Care Accommodation, Rotary Driver Awareness and the Book Fair.

“What really interested me most was the Science and Engineering Challenge event that Rotary is running with the University of Newcastle in March next year,” she said.

“It’s an annual nation-wide competition and 2017 will be the first time it’s held in our area.

It will give 256 students in Year9 and 10, from eightschools across the region the chance to showcase innovation and academic achievement in science, engineering and technology.

“We’re hoping it will inspire local young people to aim for a career in science or engineering, which in turn could result in making a real difference to their own future and the well-being of the community overall.”

Bega Rotary’s involvement in the Bega Toy Drive is about expressing the importance of a sharing society, she said.

“Christmas is a wonderful time of the year; but it’s also a time that shows up the sharp contrast between those who have and those who are less fortunate,” Ms Steward said.

“In many ways it’s seeing children being happy that makes Christmas special, and there’s something about being around happy kids that brings families together.

“So anyone who donates toys, as well as the volunteers who collect and arrange distribution of toys are doing everyone a great service.

“It sends a message about the importance of sharing and giving within our community.”

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Letters to the editor

Congratulations, Bruce and OliveWonderful pictures and story. Congratulations Bruce and Olive on 50 years withguide dogs.

What a privilege to call you both our friends for many decades through pipe bands, dancing, church, meals on wheelsto name a few of your interests and still time to educate those lovely guide dogs.

Best wishes into the future.

Noel and Greg RankinCall for ring roadGreat to see the proposed plans for the widening of Napier Street are now starting to take shape, all this should have happened 20 years ago.

I personally believe that Bendigo would be far better offwith a ring road to remove all those vehicles that travel needlessly through our great city causing undue traffic problems.

As was quoted to me the other day, ”tomorrow’s infrastructure is cheapertoday” something the current transport minister seems to have missed.

One can only hope that her attempt at road widening is a lot better than her parties attempt at giving us a fast train with only asingle track to Melbourne that has be plagued with problems from day one.

Robert K Smallpage,HuntlyBe safe on the roadsEvery year we look forward to the festive season – it is a time to relax, celebrate and be with those we love.

It is also a busy time – a time of travel, parties and distractions which makes it a dangerous time on our roads.

Already this year we have seen 270* lives lost on Victorian roads, 36* more than this time last year.

This not only represents the lives lost, but also the families, friends and communities left mourning their loved ones.

As a motor vehicle accident lawyer, I have represented many families and have unfortunately seen the widespread devastation caused by road accidents.

By being patient, prepared and responsible behind the wheel this festive season, we can all enjoy a safe, well deserved break with our loved ones.

Joanne Panagakis,Slater and Gordon Practice Group LeaderCountry in troubleAfter the latest economic news, the R word has surfaced in regards to the economy.

I don’t think anybody seriously thinks that December spending will be negative, but if it is, Australia is in real trouble.

Assuming that Christmas comes and goes as normal, February next year and onwards will tell a very different story.

Traditionally, spending in these early months is slow, but with an economy already slipping further into the mire, the rate of spending is likely to flat line longer, keeping the LNP spin doctors burning the midnight oil, trying to think up more excuses to hoodwink the public into believing that all is well, and any way, if not, it is Labors fault, that the LNP have tripled the debt and doubled the budget deficit.

The minister, Mathias Cormann, continues to parrot the rehearsed lines of wibble wobbling, that we have been accustomed to for the past four-and-a-half years.

Will Australia slip into recession, well we wont have to wait long.

All indications point to MYEFO continuing to show a spending problem, caused by falling revenue.

Early next year and onwards, will tell us if we are going to fall off the financial cliff – for the first time in 25 years.

And who is in government – the superior economic managers.

Ken Price, Eaglehawk Have you got an opinion? Send a letter to the editor to [email protected]苏州美甲培训419论坛

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Taree High’s Toni Fatherley retires

Farewell: Teacher Toni Fatherley is retiring. With excitement in her eyes she said she will focus on “Reading! Reading without feeling guilty!”.TONI Fatherley sits in her classroom in theA Block of Taree High School.

The walls are dotted with memoriesfrom decades of teaching –quotes and students’ names remain as a lasting impression of the jokes and struggles shared with theirteacher.After 42 years of teaching and countless hours in this room,Toni will retire this week.

From teaching English, directing and producing drama productions, editing the school’s magazine The Torch, to steering the school’s Student Representative Council (SRC) –Toni has influenced thelives of many.

To honourtheir favourite teacher former students sent video messagesto past vice-captain Amani Jensen-Bentley, who created a video that was shown at Toni’sfarewell.The video featuredtears, poems and updates from students now living and suceeding across the world.

Past student Tim Young said, “the way that you teach and the motivation you provide to all of your students genuinely makes the world a better place”.

Born in Taree, Toni first taughtat Warner’s Bay High School after completing studies in Newcastle.Duringher career she receivedan Excellence in Teaching Award whichshe considers “very special” as she was nominated by Taree High’s P&C (Parents and Citizens). She transferred to Taree High from Warners Bay in 1985.

At Warners Bay Toni taughtAllison Alliston– now Taree High’sprincipal.Toni taught English, history, drama andlater focused on senior English.

In recent years Toni mentored staff who tookover her roles with the SRC and directing student musicals. Thelargest musicalshe directed wasRag Time to Rap in 1991 which was written by students and performed on stage at the Manning Entertainment Centre in Taree.

Toni said what she loved most about teaching “was guiding student’s potential in whatever area they choose”.

“It’ not just about exams or reports,” she said. In the last video to Toni, Amani said, “Taree High is going to miss you but you’ll never really be gone because you are such a massive part of this school and thewhole community”.

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Women’s football face-lift

Women’s football in Tasmania is set for a complete face-lift with the aim to produce more high performance players in the future.

NORTH-WEST ACADEMY: The Burnie Dockers will become the High Performance Academy for female players on the Coast. Picture: Phillip Biggs.

Following a state-wide forum with key stakeholders,AFL Tasmania announcedfive teams to contest the 2017 Tasmanian Women’s League Premier League Season.

The five clubs selected to be part of the inaugural premier league areBurnie, Clarence, Glenorchy, Kingborough Tigers and Launceston.

All Tasmanian State League clubs were invited to submit an application for a TWL premier league licence in November and were asked toaddress key selection criteria,includingfinancial support, player andcoach development and links to regional/zone academy models to name a few.

The aim for the new high performance division will be to complimentthe AFL Women’s League and provideTasmanian womena critical talent pathway.

The new Premier League competition will act as the state’s high performance division with remaining clubs from the 2016 TWL season invited to express interest in aNorth/North-West and South regional competition.

Football Development Manager Leigh Elder said the uptake from clubs to be part of the new level of competition has been overwhelming.

“We congratulate the five TSL clubs on their selection as we push forward with preparations to kick off the competitions next year but also thank all clubs that applied as part of the process,” Mr. Elder said.

Female football is on a massive upward trajectory in Tasmania, the recently released AFL Census showed a 395 percent increase in female club participation in the state.

Elder said the restructure was all about aligning with a high performance model and keep elite players in the state.

“With the talent base we have the decided a four to six team competition would suit but the model will expand with time.

“It will be a five team roster with 15 rounds and what we want to do is align with a high performance model and Burnie will become the North-West Academy and service everyone in the North-West.”

For remaining and new clubshoping to play women’s football on the Coast, a regional competition will be set up for 2017.

Elder said the outcome of the expression of interest for new Regional Women’s Competition will be known later this week, with plans for Lightning Carnivals on March 4-5 to assist clubs with their preparations for 2017.

“It will help grow football in the state with more teams playing across the regional and high performance divisions.

“Those who want to play the elite standard have the high performance model andthose who want to just enjoy footycan play in the regional competition.”

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Sirtex bear still wary despite share price dive

The warning signs were there for all to see ahead of a trading update last week that slashed hundreds of millions of dollars off the market worth of biotech outfit Sirtex​ Medical.

And even its 37 per cent share price fall on Friday hasn’t encouraged Marc Sinatra, analyst at Lodge Partners, to shift from his long-standing “sell” recommendation on the company’s shares.

“I’ve been bearish on the stock for a long, long time,” said Mr Sinatra, who argued the primary market that Sirtex serves – cancer that has spread to the liver from the colon – was a small one.

“The failure of the SIRFLOX study last year is starting to bite,” he said, referring to a disappointing research study that resulted in the halving of the Sirtex share price from more than $40 to below $20 for a time. That study showed no overall improvement in the survival rate for cancer patients from the company’s cancer treatment.

Sirtex has three additional research studies, with the results due for release early next year.

“I don’t think we have another Acrux​,” Mr Sinatra said, referring to the loss by another one-time popular biotech company of much of its business, “but it really needs most things to go in its favour to regain its former glory.”

Acrux, which makes a testosterone treatment, has a sharemarket worth of just $50 million, down from more than $750 million a few years back due to regulatory changes in the US, its key market.

On Friday, Sirtex warned of weak sales, reversing investor expectations of continued double-digit growth.

One investor not spooked by Friday’s warning was Peter Hall, the founder of Hunter Hall Investments, who has made tens of millions of dollars from Sirtex shares over the years. He stepped into the sharemarket on Friday to top up his holding of Sirtex shares for his investment funds.

“We bought at $15.57 on Friday. At that price, it is not a value stock, but it is quite cheap,” Mr Hall told BusinessDay.

Sirtex shares bounced on Monday and closed 3.75 per cent higher at $16.60, well clear of the day’s high of $17.33.

Sirtex has developed radioactive spheres to treat cancer and has built up a sizeable business as a so-called salvage or last-line treatment for patients who have few treatment alternatives. However, rival products are cutting into its market, primarily Lonsurf, which is a pill from Japanese drug maker Taiho Pharmaceutical.

“There are plausible reasons for the [sales] slowdown,” Mr Hall said. “Medical oncologists prefer to give pills rather than radioactive therapy.”

Like other investors, he is looking to the outcome of further research results that are due in the next few months to help strengthen the position of Sirtex’s treatment in the cancer treatment market.

Analysts were wary that the company’s decision to hold a briefing late last month on other research initiatives after it had earlier indicated slowing sales was a possible sign that all wasn’t well at the company.

“It is a fairly common ‘pea and thimble’ trick,” another analyst said, who did not wish to be named. “Holding a R&D day for the first time ever, helps to shift the focus away from the basic business as sales slow.

“That may have been a trigger for Goldman Sachs to sell down its substantial shareholding in the company.”

Goldman Sachs announced last Thursday that it had sold down its stake in Sirtex to below 5 per cent.

Sirtex chief executive Gilman Wong sold more than $2 million of Sirtex shares a month ago, reducing his stake in the company by 27 per cent.

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