Bulldogs expand frontvideo

RECEPTION: Bulldog Jack Redpath receives a rock-star reception from Pleasant Street Primary School in the club’s AFL Community Camp last year.REIGNING AFL premier Western Bulldogs will seek to expand its western front from Ballarat to beyond this summer. The Bulldogs confirmed they would return to Ballarat, the club’s home-away-from-home, for camp in February only this time, they would also visit Horsham.
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This move comes leading into the season in which the Bulldogs will play the first AFL premiership season match in Ballarat at a redeveloped Eureka Stadium, when they host Port Adelaide in round 22.

Players and staff will share time between Ballarat and Horsham for this summer’s AFL Community Camp in a bid to strengthen the club’s ties across the state’s west.

This will be the Bulldogs’ third consecutive AFL Community Camp in Ballarat since the club and City of Ballarat formed an official partnership.

Western Bulldogs’ Ballarat engagement manager Brett Goodes said players and staff looked forward to coming back to the region for an extended visit.

“The camp is a great opportunity for our players and staff to interact with the Ballarat community, who we are starting to build a really solid partnership with,” Mr Goodes said.

“The whole club is excited about our (game)at Eureka Stadium, and we hope by continuing to spend more time in the region we will generate excitement leading into the match.”

Community camps, ongoing school visits and clinics are only part of the Bulldogs’ strengthening ties in the region.

The club has an official base in central Ballarat to run social and health community programs, including men’s health initiative Sons of the West, the Whitten Project promoting youth leadership, and children’s literacy program Bulldogs Read.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge brought the AFL premiership cup to an official city street party at Ballarat’s Town Hall less than 48 hours after captains Easton Wood and Robert Murphy held it aloft at the MCG.

Players will be return to visit schools and community groups for the camp on February 20-21, and are likely to once again hit the field for training in Ballarat.

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‘Eerie glow’ not welcome on drive home

MISSED: These ‘beautiful’ and ‘welcoming’ lights and poles on Carrington’s Cowper Street bridge have been removed and replaced with “unattractive, unappealing” bulbs.
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BEAUTIFUL one day, ruined the next.

Without any consultation or discussion with the local residents of Carrington, the beautiful ornate lights and light poles on the Cowper Street bridge have been removed and replaced with unattractive, unappealing and cheap light poles and LED light bulbs.

Who authorised this replacement of the unique light poles? Why were they removed?

The original lights welcomed Carrington residents home as they drove over the Cowper Street bridge.

The new LED lights are not as bright as the old lights and in my opinion they give an eerie glow, like an underground car park.

I know that the former premier for NSW sold the poles and wires, but this is going a bit far to remove Carrington’s exquisite light poles. Please can we have them back, along with the railway?

Susan Mitchell, CarringtonProtection justifies costAFTER reading Matthew Kelly’s article about shark nets (‘Killer catch’,Herald,21/1) I am confused. Like much of the debate around shark nets there seems to be a lack of acknowledgement of their effectiveness.

In the article, both David Powter and Justin Field question the effectiveness of shark nets in protecting ocean users. A detailed look at the global shark attack files, I think, suggests otherwise.The documented dramatic reduction in attacks, particularly fatalities in areas after nets have been installed compared to pre-nets is obvious to me. Not only in Australia but worldwide. It is also worth noting the by-catch in shark nets while unfortunate is a fraction of the by-catch in the commercial fishing industries.

Perhaps focusing our efforts in relation to protecting marine life would be much more effective in this area. I would say that regular beach users, predominantly surfers, are well aware that shark nets do not provide absolute protection hence they do not provide us a “false sense of security”.

However it is clear that they do provide us some protection. The crux of the argument is: do they provide enough protection to justify the cost, both economically and to marine life.

With two young sons constantly in the surf, shark nets are a must for me. I would consider it negligent if they were removed.

Geoff Nicholson,MerewetherPremier for the peopleAS I listened to our new premier Gladys Berejiklian at her first press conference I started to get excited as our Glad pronounced she was going to ensure that all regions of the state would all get their share of resources and, by implication, not only around the Liberal held seats of the city.

Our “Glad” then proclaimed she was a champion of public education as she had been a beneficiary of the Whitlam reforms that made university available to her as the daughter of migrants and that she was a fan of the Gonski funding for disadvantaged schools.However on further listening to our new Premier I decided that it would be too early to plan a party for the kids from Medowie who are forced to be bused every day to get to a high school whilst their fellow Catholic and Christian kids only have to walk down the street to their high schools that have been mainly funded by government funds. If we look at the list areas that received the most of Gonski funds surprise, surprise, it is Barnaby Joyce’s National area so I will hold off the planned party with my Medowie friends when we see if the change is more than a change at the top, but not Liberal policies as usual.

It will be the actions of the new Premier that will determine if she becomes “our Glad’” or remains their Glad, as expected.

Frank Ward, Shoal BayTough time on trainI USED to catch the train from Maitland to Newcastle regularly, 10 years ago when I lived in the Hunter, and never had too many problems. I recently decided I’d catch the train from Maitland to Sydney and I was astonished by how badly the quality of service on the Hunter line has deteriorated.

Due to the difference between the platform and the train at Maitland station, I injured my shoulder lifting my heavy suitcase to chest height just to get it onto the train. I’m a fairly young woman in good health, so if it’s hard for me, it must be impossible for senior citizens, people with mobility issues, or parents with children to carry luggage with them on this line or even get on the train easily. I’d imagine that anyone fitting these descriptions who wanted to lodge an anti-discrimination claim would probably have a good chance of success.

I was actually pretty lucky that day – the Opal machine was broken so that part of the trip was free of charge (despite the moralising of transit officers to the carriage about the importance of buying unavailable tickets from a broken machine), and my train wasn’t one of the services to Paterson that was cancelled without warning, so at least I wasn’t left stranded.

Bring back the old rattlers and ticket machines – at least they were reliable.

Lauren Murray, LynehamHelp for those in needRECENT suggestions of a lack of help to welfare recipients tells us more about our country than we think. On one level, the poor workers are being placed under immense pressure.

More seriously, this news speaks to the many Australians who believe the major political parties are not in touch. So apparently bent on reducing the bottom line, there’s no place for people who really need welfare help.Being so out of touch, the government thought needy people won’t matter. The electorate has voted. We don’t want workers under duress and we do want recognition for people with genuine welfare needs.

Dylan Tibbits,Raymond TerraceThink big, then build itCONGRATULATIONS to Will Creedon for bringing the big picture to the table (‘How Newcastle could be a big bash base’, Herald,24/1). It’s time for us to focus on how these things can be achieved, thinking outside the square (state government). Perhaps a joint venture between Cricket Australia, the AFL, Newcastle City Council and a developer to build a stadium/hotel or residential development all in one at No.1 Sportsground.

The facility could host the BBL team and AFL as primary attractions. The AFL and Cricket Australia both own stadiums. Let’s stop waiting for others to drive the city forward. There is always an answer. Just need the idea. We deserve two quality stadiums, one for rectangular field events and one for round/oval events.

Joel Gribble, Maryville


Letters to the editor

SECURITY: Monica O’Neill has questioned the inspections when travelling to and from Tasmania via the Spirit of Tasmania. Picture: Brodie WeedingINSPECTIONI travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania from Melbourne to Tasmania in a Toyota Land Cruiser.
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At Port Melbourne the gentleman to whom I was directed for a vehicle inspection never approached closer than about a metre to my vehicle.

He indicated that I open the bonnet, said “thank-you” and moved to the back of the vehicle.

I opened the doors, he said “thank-you” again. That was it.

He did not request my opening huge drawers in the back.

No sniffer dogs, no under-car inspection.

If I had wanted to, I could have transported any illicit/illegal person or thing from Melbourne to Tasmania.

No wonder police are concerned about the prevalence of drugs in the state.

Monica O’Neill, Smithton

FINANCESI must remember to never let Justine Keay handle my finances.

In The Advocate (Nov. 26) she states an overseas worker earning $20,000 will pay $2500 in flat tax at a rate of 10.5 per cent. My maths says the figure should be $2100.

In the same letter she says an Australian worker earning $20,000 will pay just $312 in tax. This is true, provided that worker only earns $20,000 in the 12 months.

These are seasonal workers, so they will either get other work at high tax rates or get welfare benefits and get around $10,000 extra taxable payments. In a higher tax bracket.

Back to basic economics, Justine.

Way back, Bjelke Peterson proposed a flat tax rate of 20 per centfor all Australians. Worth looking at?

Chris Palmer, Burnie

THANK YOUI would like to thank the lovely lady who helped my husband when I fell in Harvey Norman’s car park on November 21.

A big thank you.

Yvonne Lyons, Devonport

BUS MALL STUDYI cannot see the use of a bus mall in Cattley Street, Burnie CBD.

One we don’t need it and any feasibility study is a complete waste of money and time.

If Burnie City Council checks its past record spending like the Burnie Arts & Function Centre with a bill of over $50,000 for a couple of months then just to brush it to one side as if it was nothing.

If this sort of money can be wasted it would be better to implement the no smoking policy, but now you are crying poor saying we don’t have the finance.

Maybe next seeing is believing from the Burnie City Council.

Alan Moret, Shorewell Park

CHANGE THE CHANNELSince being elected, Donald Trump says he’s not interested in the Free Trade Agreement.

Does that also mean now, that we won’t have to put up with some of the American rubbish programs that are being screened on our TVs?

Row Morris, Tullah

RELIABILITY NEEDEDTo attract business here we need to have reliable electricity.

Now we know the cable to the mainland is unreliable and Victoria is closing down it’s largest coal powered power station we must do something to secure permanent base load power and we have two options, coal or another dam, and the Greenies are not happy with either one of those.

Wind and solar are a long way from a base load power supply.

We can’t rely on the other states supporting Tasmania forever.

At some stage we have to be able to stand on our own two feet sometime soon.

Phil McDonald, Railton

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


Wollongong shops urged to open on public holiday

GONG BOUND: Voyager of the Seas passengers will visit the Illawarra on December 27, docking at Port Kembla from 8am before leaving at 5pm. Picture: SuppliedWollongong’s peak tourism body has called on CBD businesses to open their doors on a public holiday to accommodate thousands disembarking from a Royal Caribbean cruise-liner.
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Voyager of the Seas will dock at Port Kembla Harbour on December 27, a public holiday for Christmas which falls on a Sunday,carrying 4200 passengers and 1200 crew.

The main drop-off point for people eager to shop and sight-see will be the arts precinct next to the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.

Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said the Australian Cruise Association estimates around $897,000 would be spent in the Illawarra with each ship, so the benefits outweighed the negatives of paying extra penalties on wages for the day.

“Certainly it’s a challenging date for a lot of people but we really need to look at the long term opportunity,” Mr Sleigh said.

“There’s nothing worse than hearing stories of people getting off at a port and everything’s closed up on a Sunday.

“What we’re talking about is bringing a new industry to town and hopefully that grows exponentially over the coming years and people see benefits 50 days of the year, not just one.”

He said when smaller vessel Radiance of the Seas docked in October, around 20 per cent of passengers booked pre-purchased tours around the region (such as to Symbio Wildlife Park or Nan Tien Temple) while “a large portion” of the remaining 80 per cent spent money around the CBD.

Meantime, South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris said before employers start complaining about paying their staff extra over the holidays, businesses should focus on ensuring they are paying correct wages and not “cheating”.

“By all meanswe want to do business and we want to take advantage of the tourism economy and thebenefits but not at the expense of those workers who are spending their time during this holiday periodactually doing the work,” Mr Rorris said.

“Given the expose by Fairfaxover the weekend [uncovering numerous Illawarra businesses severely underpaying staff], it would be great if many of our small business owners focused on ensuring they’re actually paying the award rates to start with before … complaining about penalty rates.”

Voyager of the Seas will return to the region again on January 18, with hope other cruise liners will sign up to also dock at Port Kembla.

EXCITED: Destination Wollongong’s Tanya Brown and Mark Sleigh, plus Councillor Leigh Colacino, hope the cruise industry stays in the region. Picture: Adam McLean

Destination Wollongong chair Tania Brown added Wollongong is in a better position than Newcastle, who recently had constructionapproved for a new cruise ship terminal, because the Illawarra is “shovel ready”.

“We can work with what we’ve already got;we don’t need to the government to spend more money on facilities,” Ms Brown said.

She also urged all residents to embracetheir city as “everyone’s an ambassador”.

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


Letters to the editor

UNDERWAY: CCASE president Lynne Koerbin with Bendigo Bank representative Colin Dunn, Bega Cheese’s Max Roberts and Liberal Party Senator Arthur Sinodinos.Powerful profit systemSo the slashing of solar feed in tariffs on January 1 is to coincide with yet another retail power price rise.
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Retailers will be harvesting heaps of cheap power, and charging more for it. Just another example of a great system at work.

Andrew McPherson, KalaruMoney in protectionWelcome to our world Minister Frydenberg! By implementing a price on carbon, of say $10 per tonne, 400,000ha of public forests in southeast NSW would earn $20millionper annum for jobs in forest restoration, wildlife protection and eco-tourism.

Ending loss-making ($79millionover sevenyears) native forest logging would save water, topsoil and threatened iconic species, the value of which would be incalculable. Plantations supply domestic needs.

Exporting koala pelts and whaling – consign logging of our forests to history too.

Bronte Somerset, QuaamaSeason of consumerismI have faith in the power of an individual to change in positive ways.I have faith in the power of humanity if we dowhat feels necessary and cooperate with others to achieve the changes necessary and tell as many as possible. It’s a beautiful world we live in, it’s our only home, let’s look after it.

The average Australian household spends more than $1226 every year on things they will never use.

Each of us produces more than half atonneof waste every year – a figure only outstripped by the average American.

With a paralysing amount of choices available to us – on billboards, radio ads and online popups, fuelled by ever deepening debt and spending cycle – it’s easy to wonder, if infinite growth is unattainable.

“Inconspicuous consumption” is unique to the rich.A lot of people nowadays question the things they brought into their lives and think it’s ultimately not about depriving ourselves of the things that we have, it’s much more about reducing the desire for owning more stuff, as if those things are going to make us happy.

Australians are generous, which shows me that others also experience the pleasure in making somebody else happy, not just thinking about themselves.

That indeed is the spirit of Christmas,when a Middle Eastern couple were seeking asylum, giving birth to their son and were brought presents.

Dörte Planert, TathraConsideration neededWhile council insists it is not “expanding”the airport, its project involves a 200mextension of the runway, sealing the runway end safety area, expansion of the terminal, freight handling andbaggage security capabilities andis intended to facilitate access for larger aircraft as part of a plan that envisages nearly 600,000 tourists flying into the airport annually via Canberra, Melbourne andthe de-regulated air route from Sydney – a 12-fold increase in current annual passenger movements.

The Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association believes that even with the use of larger aircraft, the forecast passenger volumes are such that there will likely be a six-fold increase in aircraft movements in andout of the airport – surely an issue worthy of public consideration, particularly for those living anywhere near the flight paths.

The association believes council’s failure to take steps to identify the social, environmental andfiscal implications of its project andshare these with the community before committing to the project is completely irresponsible.

We cannot accept that just because the majority of the proposed expansion works are to be funded by the state and federal governments that it eliminates or diminishes the need to carry out due diligence in assessing the big picture implications before jumping in boots and all.

JohnRichardson, secretary/treasurer, BVSRRAThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


A great year full of highlights

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A message from Principal, Anthony O’Leary.

St John’s Primary School (SJP) is an integral part of St Brigid’s Parish. Catholic values and traditions are embedded in all aspects of our school life. Enrolment for 2016 exceeded 420 students with over 40 full time and part-time staff.

Our school should be justly proud of providing a unique holistic and spiritual education for our children – A Quality Catholic Education.

Our Vision is to foster a community of faith that is centred on the teaching of Christ, where love and concern develops the whole child, empowering each individual with the opportunity to realise their full potential. The 2016 school year also so SJP continue its journey as a PLC or Professional Learning Community school.

The PLC culture is an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.

Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators. At SJP there are two dedicated staff who work with teachers and students to ensure the essential learnings are understood.

During 2016 our school had many highlights from the sporting fields to the creative arts. This year SJP performed the outstanding musical ‘Aladdin in Trouble’. All 420 students were involved with 11 amazingly catchy songs and a captivating script resulting in 3 sell out shows. Mrs Maggie Dunn, the schools specialist music teacher directed the musical and it was a success.

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St John’s Primary School

The NAPLAN results for 2016 also showed areas to celebrate. In reading skills the Year 3 cohort performed at a higher rate than the state in the skill of identifying and interpreting information in texts. This skill was evident when identifying the method of persuasion in a letter and Interpreting detail in a narrative. In reading skills the Year 5 cohort displayed strengths in reading information reports.

The cohort scored 10% higher than the state when identifying the main purpose of the information text and Identifies effect of information on text.

The students of SJP continue to be provided with excellent opportunities within ICT and STEM. A specialist IT teacher works with all grades, with opportunities for coding and robotics providing fun and interesting engineering challenges. The Year 6 students were also involved in an exciting STEM project with Year 9 students from St Johns Colleges around the topic of robotics.

SJP looks forward to the future with excitement and enthusiasm.

Live, love and learn.

High achievers: Many awards were given out this year as students excelled in all fields.

Faithful: Learning is centered on the teaching of Christ, where the love and concern develops the whole child.

Strategic thinking: Exciting new projects teach children how to think outside the box.

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Pain and pressure of ‘roadblocks’ to support

ANGRY: Some NDIS users have spoken out about their frustration at the system and the difficulty they have experienced in getting their concerns addressed.
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IAN Kirkwood’s article (‘NDIS in trouble, say care groups’, Herald,10/12) also reflects my experience as a parent of a child now in the NDIS system. Our son was diagnosed with a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in June this year, a connective tissue disorder that presents itself in a fairly hidden manner but is nonetheless eased and controlled with ongoing physical therapy.

Our experience with the NDIS has been both infuriating and upsetting. After trying to secure an appointment with either a public or private pediatrician in Newcastle for a number of years, we finally had a thorough assessment, resulting in the diagnosis. We had a speech, OT and physio assessment completed (at our expense) and all was ratified by the GP. Paperwork was submitted, then nothing. Not even receipt of the application.

We were lucky to have the support of the federal MP for Newcastle to pursue it on our behalf and within a very short space of time our son was confirmed as a legitimate participant in the NDIS in early October. Then everything stopped.

Numerous visits to the Charlestown NDIS office were met with “you need to follow the process” and “it will take time”. Fast forward to this past Thursday. Frustrated, I phoned the national hotline to wait on hold for around 30 minutes, then only to be transferred to the Charlestown office. I thank the team member that took my call as she listened, consulted with colleagues andadvised that there are special arrangements for participant children six and under. The frustrating thing is that, according to the responder, there’s been yet another change of process. Children six and under are being assessed by partner providers, all not-for-profit, but not all children are being allocated specific providers. That’s great, in my view. We can research and discuss the partners on the approved schedule and decide our preference. But why couldn’t this be instigated at the national roll-out phase on July 1?

We have our team of allied health professionals already working with our child, and he’s making great progress. We qualify for financial support for his therapy but at every stage of this process we’ve hit roadblocks.

We are very lucky we can cover medical expenses above what our private health insurance will, but only in the short term. It upsets me that I still have to advocate so hard for our child beyond confirmation that he’s a NDIS participant. Providers are clearly not pleased with the new scheme. I understand completely.

Blythe Scully,Lambton HeightsTake complaints to trackHOW lucky are we to live in what I believe to be the best and most vibrant city in the world, with tremendous opportunities for an exciting future for our children to prosper?

It is disappointing to read on a daily basis the whinging and the negativity of some readers. If these groups get together at next year’s Supercars race they could all air their grievances. The Grid would be for all Supercars protesters.

Pit Lane would be reserved for Save Our Rail. The main straight could accommodate the ‘We don’t like the light rail” protests. First Turn for Save the Figs. The chicane could accommodate a corporate box funded by council for the Lord Mayor who voted against the Memorial Walk.

Nobbys beach for all the coal export protesters with their kayaks strapped on their backs. And the checked flag would have to go the bloke who was not personally consulted about the mansion built on City Road.

John Lehman, MerewetherRenting may not be optionA HEADS up to Premier Mike Baird (‘New circuit aims to please’, Herald,13/12) when he says that East End opponents of the Newcastle 500 “can rent their places out for a fortune”. Short-term rentals in strata properties are often restricted by the Owners’ Corporation under the individual building’s by-laws.

Tenants are usually subject to a residential lease of no less than three months. In addition, short-term rentals could also be violating council zoning. A recent NSW Land and Environment Court decision found that a property used for short-term lettings is not a dwelling house and hence not consistent with the property’s zoning, effectively preventing it being used for short-term lettings (“Understanding Strata”, Strata Community Australia, 2016).

Think again, Mr Baird, and check your facts before you try to placate/silence those who speak up or question your decisions.

Maree Raftos, NewcastleHappy snaps with KnightON Sunday, I was fortunate enough to attend the McDonald Jones display village at Huntlee, where some of the Newcastle Knights attended so fans could meet them.

As I am an octogenarian and it was very hot, the St John’s Ambulance people took me under their wing, so I say many thanks to them, and for the cold water.

Then a delightful young man, Chanel Mata’utia, came over to chat to me and have his photo taken with me, as I thought I would miss out on the photos and that was my main reason for attending. Chanel was very caring and very polite and a lad of whomhis mother could be very proud.

Chanel, you made an old lady very happy. The Knights I had wanted photos of were not present, namely Jake Mamo and Korbin Sims, but Chanel more than made up for this disappointment. I suggest if the Knights want fans to invest in shares in their club they have more of these photo opportunities and chats to fans.

Elizabeth Giles,AshtonfieldSharing in the dreamYEARS ago I supported the Knights by attending as many home games as I could. The excitement factor alone was worth the entry fee when the likes of ‘The Chief’ and ‘The Johns Boys’ stamped their indelible names on the hallowed turf of the International Sports Centre.

But in this day and age of commercialism when money talks loudest, the magic of a Knights home game seems to have gone into hibernation.

Yet for a small sum of around $3 a week, 40,000 locals could resuscitate a once proud and mighty club.With our proven and esteemed local administrators such as Rob Tew and co calling the shots it would not take long for the club to start pulling in crowds of 20,000 or more to every home game. I wait in great anticipation for the day I can purchase my $500 share for a Knight.

Phill Howlette, Holmesville


Conservatorium excels

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Students of all ages took part in an exciting range of music activities at Macquarie Conservatorium in 2016, with more than 1000 youth and adults participating in music tuition, workshops and performances.

Conservatorium staff travelled to schools in Dubbo, Gilgandra, Narromine, Trangie and Wellington each week, giving students the opportunity to learn an instrument and play in their school band. Wind, brass, strings, drumming, ukulele, guitar and classroom music programs were all taught onsite at Orana region schools by specialist Conservatorium staff, who also visited two pre-schools.

In partnership with Outback Arts, the Conservatorium’s drumming teacher Dale Freeman travelled to Cobar, Bourke, Warren, Coonamble, Walgett and Lightning Ridge for drumming workshops, giving people in those communities a chance to try this fun music activity.

In June, many City of Dubbo Eisteddfod prizes were awarded to Conservatorium students and ensembles, including the Daily Liberal Instrumental Scholarship to pianist Madelyn Fardell. The Conservatorium’s Youth Music Theatre Program for ages 8-12 years continued this year, adding extra performances for large groups from schools and preschools.

An auditioned choir of young singers was formed to perform in Opera Australia’s production of The Marriage of Figaro at Dubbo Regional Theatre in August. The Macquarie Youth Chorus had the thrill of appearing in a professional opera production in full costume alongside some of Australia’s finest opera singers.

Throughout the year, visiting artists from the Macquarie Conservatorium Concert Series, including the Streeton Trio, the Flinders Quartet, pianists Daniel de Borah and Simon Tedeschi, gave local students the chance to perform for them and benefit from their feedback in masterclasses.

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Macquarie Conservatorium

Very popular visiting artists this year were outstanding jazz musicians, vocalist Emma Pask, Dubbo’s own renowned bass player Phil Stack, guitarist James Muller and drummer Tim Firth. As well as performing a sell-out concert, these musicians gave an inspiring jazz workshop to Dubbo secondary students.

Five Macquarie Conservatorium students were selected to join other talented students from the 17 NSW Regional Conservatoriums in the Regional Youth Orchestra New South Wales, taking part in two exciting projects at the Sydney Opera House with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra, as well as performing the finale concert of the Artlands Festival in October.

Viola student Emma Newby, vocalist Billie Palin and piano teacher Nadine Isbester were selected to perform at a concert in September at Sydney’s Parliament House, hosted by the Minister for the Education Adrian Piccoli, to showcase the talent developed by NSW Regional Conservatoriums. Billie Palin was also awarded a Young Regional Artist Scholarship, enabling her to travel to London for intensive workshops with leading music theatre professionals.

Enrolments are now open for 2017, for tuition for all ages on a range of instruments and voice, and for performing ensembles.

Music classes for pre-schoolers are available, as well as affordable group tuition for after-school instrumental lessons.

Learning a new instrument: Macquarie Conservatorium’s Ukulele Class at Orana Heights Public School.

World stage: Aidan Kiriakou, Sam Minney, India de Sousa Shaw and Emma Newby. Photo credit: Greg Marginson.

Happy musicians: Macquarie Conservatorium’s instrumental students are excited for their lessons at Dubbo Public School.

Future stars: Macquarie Conservatorium Youth Chorus perform with Opera Australia at Dubbo Regional Theatre

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Happy guest out west

THINGS are looking good out west.
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SNAPSHOT: Some of the singers at Carols by Candlelight on Sunday night in Machattie Park. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 121116carols32

That’s what Parade can report after visiting Dubbo on the weekend for a family function and having a bit of a look around the capital of the Western Plains.

Orana Mall was as busy as an ants’ nest –Parade attempted to find a park undercover, before quickly abandoningthe whole exercise –and the CBD by the Macquarie River had a definite bustle about it as the Christmas shoppers hurried in and out ofbusinesses.

The parklands around the river were green and inviting and there were spruced-upbuildings here and there as Parade had a bit of a snoop around parts of West Dubbo.

Perhaps it’s the season –Dubbo, like Bathurst, is well up on its average rainfall for the year –or perhaps it reflects a more general optimism in the agricultural sector.

Whatever the reason, there was a good feeling in the air.

Parade also took the opportunity to question a couple of long-term residents on Saturday night about Dubbo’s contentious forced council merger with Wellington.

Their summary was that the people of both communities weren’t that keen on the idea, but they have accepted the decision has been made and the only sensible thing is to make the best of it.

Maybe that’s a guide to how the proposed merger between Bathurst and Oberon –which remains held up in the court – will eventually be greeted.

Enjoy a game at the hub partyAND now something for the diary.

Parade is told an invitation is being extended to celebrate Christmas at the Kelso Community Hub this Wednesday.

The annual event is open to everyone in the community, but particularlyfamilies.

A range of games and sport will feature, and there will be a jumping castle, face-painting and photo booth.

The party will kickoff at the Kelso Community Hub on Bonnor Street at 3.30pm and rununtil 6.30pm, and those attending are encouraged to stay for dinner.

For more information, contact Shona Kennedy on 0403 436 737.

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Honours even in top-of-the-ladder cricket clash

Ben Jonas and Josh Meldrum had a 184 run partnership for Taree West in the Manning first grade cricket clash against Old Bar at Johnny Martin Oval.THEtop of the table Manning first grade cricketclash between Wingham and United appears evenly poised after day one at Chatham Park.
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Wingham recovered from a poor start to post 176, with United finishing the day on 2/46.

Wingham elected to bat on a well grassed pitch and lost their first wicket with the score on nine when Wayne Smoothy edged a ball from Tom Burley into his stumps after making just 4. Leading run-scorer, Ben Scowen was next to go for 1, caught in the gully by Burley off Jackson Witt, much to the annoyance of the batsman notwithstanding that it appeared to be a bump-ball. Then Wittbowled Brock Hynes for a second ball duck to have Wingham reeling at 3/12.

Josh Davis and Ryan Morris consolidated the innings with a 59 run partnership in which Davis hit 18 off Danial Stone’s first over.

But Davis was dismissed by Murray McCartney from the final ball before drinks for a valuable 48, with two sixesand fivefours, mostly well-timed cuts.

Morris fell immediately after drinks when bowled by Scott Saunders for 14. Saunders also dismissed Ryan Williams (2) in a five over spell which reaped 2/14 as Wingham again lost a brace of wickets for few runs.

At 6/76 skipper Matt Essery was joined by Mick Stinson and the veterans dug in for the next 20 overs and added 64 runs until Essery was caught at slip by Josh Ferris in Witt’s second spell. Essery looked in command in hitting five boundaries in his 30. He was replaced by his son, Hayden, and he assisted Stinson with a further 30 run partnership before he too was bowled by Witt, for 8.

Dan Barber was bowled by Jordi Gilfillan for a duck with Stinson threeruns shy of a deserved half century, but an off drive soon bought up the club president’s 28th 50before an appreciative crowd.

Unfortunately Allwood, who boasted a 12 average, could not contribute and was caught behind for zero, giving Wittfive wickets for the innings and leaving Stinsonon 51 not.

Wittreturned 5/29 from 14 overs, his best effort against Wingham, with Saunders (2), Burley, McCartney and Gilfillan all contributing to the wickets column.

United took the crease with 18 overs left in the days play. Ryan Williams trapped Josh Ferris LBW with his fifthball and bowled Matt Collier for 5 in his second over to have United in early trouble at 2/7.

However, Matt Kennewell (23) and Burley (12) successfully negotiated the remaining overs whileadding 39. Williams bowled aggressively on the docile wicket for his return of 2/13 from 10 overs and he will play a vital role as Wingham seek early wickets this week.

In the other game a century to Josh Meldrum has put Taree West on top against Old Bar at Johnny Martin Oval.

Taree West declared at 9/309. Meldrum made 135 and featured in a 184 run partnership with Ben Jonas (52).

Old Bar resume next week at 4/59.

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