Keeping children safe

STAY SAFE: Eglinton Public School captain Jane Sheather, vice captain Lachlan Taylor and kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 students with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation Big Red truck. Photo:CHRIS SEABROOK 102516cdaniel
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IN 2003, 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe was abductedfrom the side of the road as he waited for a bus.

He was later killed, his remains not found fornearly eight years.

His story is well-known throughout Australia and has spawned the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which now aims toeducatechildren about personal safety through various school-run programs.

On Tuesday, Eglinton Public School was visited by the foundation’s Big Red truckin a joint-effort with the Australian Federal Police to continue spreading its message.

Assistant principal Ross James said child safety is a very important part of the curriculum at Eglinton Public School.

“It is important for every child to remain safe and ensure that while they are in our care they are safe,” he said.

The school has participated in Day for Daniel, held onOctober 28, for the past three years, but Tuesday was the first time the truckhad visited.

Educators from the truckwere keen to spread one vital message to students: recognise, react and report.

Students were told to trust their instincts in unusual situations and react accordingly.

“In a lot of situations about child safety, instincts tell us that if you don’t feel safe, you probably aren’t safe,” Mr James said.

Internet safety was another focal point of talks during the visit.

Studentswere told to protect their identities online, regularly changes passwords, restrict social media use until they’re over 13 years of age and never add someone they don’t knowas a friend on social media.

“It is one of our biggest concerns and I don’t think we are aware about how dangerous it can be,” Mr James said.

Eglinton Public School will participate in formal Day for Daniel activities on Friday.

Students will wear red to school in support of the day and talk about a specific child safety issue in classrooms, which will be shared at an assembly later in the day.

Mr James said the Daniel Morcombe Foundation has made addressing these issues with students easier thanks to itssupply of classroomresources.

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Funding boost for Wimmera schools

Seven Wimmera schools have received new state government funding for buildings. WIMMERAschools will be able to upgrade old buildings after the state government announced new money for maintenance.
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Seven Wimmera schools are among 400 schools to share in $40 million.

Hopetoun P-12 College will receive $246,000, Horsham Primary School will receive $166,000 andHorsham West and Haven Primary School will receive $60,000.

Dimboola Primary School will receive $47,000, Kaniva College $29,000, Apsley Primary School $13,000 and Beulah Primary School $5000.

Hopetoun P-12 College principal Tony Hand said he was ecstatic to learn about the money.

“We haven’t got the finer details yet about where exactly we can spend it, but it will certainly contribute to our refurbishment work in putting all the students onto one campus,” he said.

The collegemoved all of its students onto the senior school campus from the start of this year.

Previously there was about onekilometre between the junior and senior sites.“This money will allow us to now focus on some of the secondary school buildings and remove some old, decommissioned buildings,” Mr Hand said.

“We had plans in place for these buildings, but we weren’t expecting any money, so this willallowus to get our plans into action.”

Mr Handsaid merging the school’s two campuses had been a positive move.

“The transition of all students onto one campus has been exceptionally smooth, which is a credit to students, staff and the community,” he said.

Horsham Primary School principal Chris Walter said how the money would be spent was still to be decided.

“We are really pleased got some money and it is always very helpful to our school,” he said.

Education Minister James Merlino said the funding boost would allow more schools to replace or upgrade building that were in poor conditions.

“It’s important our teachers and students have the first-rate classrooms they deserve,” he said.

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Shire canoe club face a very Hawkesbury Halloween

Big day: Sutherland Shire Canoe Club members. Picture: SuppliedWhile you and your kids are out trick-or-treating this weekend, some of theShire’s fittest and fastest will be spending their Saturday night in a very differentway.
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Around 14 members of the Sutherland Shire Canoe Club have entered theannual Hawkesbury Canoe Classic, a 111km overnight paddle that raises fundsfor the Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation.

The Classic, now in its 40thyear, starts at Windsor and ends at Mooney MooneyBridge at Brooklyn, on the Hawkesbury River.

The paddlers will leave Windsor in groups between 3pm and 5pm on Saturdayafternoon, with the fastest taking around 8.5 hours to do the route, arriving inBrooklyn at around 2am. The average paddler will take 13 hours while theslowest will take 16-19 hours – and probably get to see the sun rise.

“A few of our paddlers – and about two-thirds of the entire field – have enteredwhat’s called ‘Brooklyn or Bust’ which is simply focused on finishing the eventrather than racing,” club presidentSteve Dawson said.

“The rest are racing classes divided by boat type, age, and gender. Personally I’drather finish fast because sitting for longer in a boat is physically worse thanworking harder.”

Among the club members hopeful of good results are Dawson and his wife,Kate, who are record holders from previous years, as well as fellow husband andwife team, Ross and Robyn Bingle. Other hot tips are Bob Turner and JasonCooper paddling together, and Kristy Benjamin.

Steve and Ross covered the distance last year in less than nine hours (8h:46m).Bob and Kristy have also posted sub-ninehour paddles previously. Others whohave competed before but not this year will be at the river as support crew.

All the club members who have entered have been training hard. Most haveclocked up 40-50km each weekend; the Dawsons have been doing 60-80km.

Many have been cross-training too, either running or cycling.While it might seem a punishing way to spend a weekend, Mr Dawson saidfinishing the 111km race comes with a real sense of achievement – and more.

“The event has a great atmosphere. Everybody encourages others as they passin the night. In last year’s race, where Ross and I were racing for a podiumposition, we were paddling alongside the other leaders, chatting and swappingstories for almost the entire race,” he said.

“When we came across a paddler in difficultly, all the lead boats stopped tocheck they were okay, even though we didn’t need to. When we knew they werealright, we all went off again together.

“The chatter stopped in the final two kilometres as everyone got down tobusiness. We finished third, two seconds behind the boat that came second.

“There are tough times, because it is such hard work. Between 40km and 60km isthe worst, while the final 30km is almost a relief. Crossing the line is ecstasy.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the cause can do so via the club’sEveryday Hero account.

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Ben Quilty launches exhibition of Myuran Sukumaran paintings for Sydney Festival

Artist Ben Quilty surrounded by works painted by Myuran Sukumaran, which will be exhibited at Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival. Photo: Daniel Boud Artist Ben Quilty (right) with Campbelltown Arts Centre director Michael Dagostino (left) and Sydney Festival director Wesley Enoch. Photo: Daniel Boud
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Sukumaran was a prolific painter during his incarceration in Bali’s Kerobokan jail and on Nusa Kambangan. Photo: Daniel Boud

With 24 hours left before he faced death by firing squad, Myuran Sukumaran could have been forgiven for wallowing in self-pity and regret. Yet Sukumaran, one of nine Australians arrested for heroin smuggling in 2005, spent his last day of life on the Indonesian island of Nusa Kambangan wielding a paint brush.

His friend and mentor, the Archibald Prize-winning artist Ben Quilty, says Sukumaran was determined to leave an artistic legacy and take a stand against the death penalty.

“The last day on the 28th of April, 2015, Myuran made four or five paintings,” Quilty says. “And he was up all night, as much as he could, with his family around him, supporting him, bringing him food. And he just painted and painted and painted till the end.”

The artworks painted by Sukumaran the day before he was executed last year will be exhibited at Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival.

Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise features more than 100 death-row paintings by Sukumaran as well as works created by seven artists in response to his execution.

One of the new works by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah features a dove nesting inside a circle of 3665 eggs, representing each day of the more than 10 years Sukumaran was imprisoned until his execution in 2015.

Sukumaran was a prolific painter during his incarceration in Bali’s Kerobokan jail and on Nusa Kambangan. He painted portraits of himself and friends inside prison as well as his family including a series of pictures of his grandfather on his death bed in Liverpool Hospital.

“By that point in Myuran’s prison life, he was very well-respected and trusted inside the prison and they allowed him to have a Skype for several days with his grandfather,” Quilty says.

It is one example of Sukumaran’s dramatic transformation from heroin smuggler to model prisoner who was entrusted to run language and art classes for inmates and even have keys to the jail’s medical facility, Quilty says.

The exhibition dwells on Sukumaran’s rehabilitation as well as the death penalty and treatment of prisoners in Australia, according to co-curator Michael Dagostino. “The whole idea of rehabilitation and redemption doesn’t really figure in our justice system.”

Sukumaran and fellow Bali Nine drug trafficker Andrew Chan were two of the prisoners executed by Indonesian authorities in April 2015.

Vigils were held across Australia in support of the pair, who grew up in western Sydney, and senior politicians pleaded with Indonesian authorities for their lives to be spared.

But a poll conducted in January 2015 found that more than half of Australians supported the death penalty for Sukumaran and Chan.

Controversy also surrounds the conduct of the Australian Federal Police in alerting Indonesian police about the Bali Nine, which led to their arrest in a country with the death penalty.

Sukumaran’s life and death also raises intensely personal issues for Dagostino and Quilty.

Dagostino, the director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, says there is a dark side to western Sydney: “Where I live there are drugs around and I’m scared for my son.”

Quilty says he hopes the exhibition prompts a debate about why young men engage in risk-taking and destructive behaviour.

He says Sukumaran paid a tragic price for the type of mistake made by many young men.

“I was locked up. I was arrested,” he says. “Not for anything quite as crazy as that but there was drugs and alcohol and violence. That was my background.”

He adds: “And my group of friends, whoever was the one who was going to go and buy the big bag of drugs was the risk taker who took the risk of actually going to prison for all the mates who then took the drugs and got high.”

Quilty also points out that racism and bullying were a daily reality for Sukumaran during his youth.

“That’s not an excuse and he never, ever looked for any excuse,” Quilty says. “He took his crime squarely on his shoulders but it’s an insight into what leads young men to behave the way they do.”

Quilty says drugs remain an integral part of youth culture.

“I have a son now and I am going to talk about it and I’m going to continue talking about it with him, with his friends, with my community to work out why that happened,” he says. “Why was that drug culture completely ignored by authorities, by society, by our parents, by teaching staff of the schools and universities?”

Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise is at Campbelltown Arts Centre from January 13 to March 26.

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Council’s new boss faces uncertain future

Planning and regulatory director Peter Chrystal has been chosen to replace Frank Cordingley as the new interim CEO of Newcastle Council.
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However his tenure in the top joblooks set to last just months as city continues to churn through a revolving door of general managers.

Mr Chrystal will act in the role for up to 12 months while recruitment takes place for another interim CEO. That personwill lead the council for 12 months or until a decision is made by the state governmenton whether it will merge with Port Stephens Council.

Areplacement had to be found for MrCordingley immediately on Tuesday night becauseunder the Local Government Act, hiscontract could not be extended beyond a year.

The arrangementspassed with the support of Labor and Greens councillors, who accused the state government of cornering theminto “asituation not of our making” by stringing out the amalgamation decision.

Greens Cr Therese Doyle said it was critical the council had “good governance” while it guided the city through a period of change, including deciding on the usesof the old heavy rail corridor.

“I think the question of expense, of course it should be weighed but it’s important for us to…go through the process of the elected council selecting the CEO,” she said.

Mr Chrystal becomes the eighth Newcastle Council general manager in ten years, in a role that has been referred to as a “poisoned chalice”.

The Liberals and Independents argued thathe shouldfill the role indefinitely while the merger decision looms, labellingit a “silly”exercise and a waste of ratepayer money to go through the recruitment process only to have an administrator installed.

“[Even if the merger does not go ahead] the Act will require us later to go through a costly exercise to recruit the permanent CEO,” Liberal Cr Brad Luke said.“Most people would expect to know the result of the merger proposal soon. We might be appointing someone for literally a month or two.”

Cr Sharon Waterhouse (Liberal) questioned the quality of the external candidates that would apply given the uncertain timeframe.

Cr Nelmes admitted that the council could have started the recruitment process earlier but expressed frustration they had been led to believe a merger announcement was imminent.

“We need to protect ourselves…we could be sitting here in 12 months time having the same conversation.”

Crs Nelmes, Michael Osborne (Greens), and Andrea Rufo (Independent) will be on the merit-based recruitment panel, which will meet no later than November 4.

INCOMING: Director of Planning and Regulatory Peter Chrystal was appointed the new interim CEO of Newcastle Council on Tuesday night, becoming the eighth person to take on the top job in ten years.

Meat allergy phenomenon linked to tick bites

Janelle Williams has a mammalian meat allergy, which she developed after a tick bite. Photo: Nick MoirJanelle Williams knew nothing about allergies or anaphylaxis when she walked into her doctor’s practice five years ago, covered in hives, eyes swollen shut and struggling to breathe.
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She certainly didn’t connect her predicament to the meat she had eaten the night before or the ticks that had bitten her in the grass around her Freshwater home.

The surgery was in panic mode, her GP was yelling for somebody to call an ambulance, and she wondered briefly who was in trouble.

Then she realised it was her.

“I’d never had an allergic reaction before, no hay fever, nothing,” Ms Williams said.

“I was totally naive when I started having breathing problems how quickly it could escalate to your throat closing.”

An allergy test six weeks later would reveal an insidious culprit in mammalian meat, which extended not just to beef, lamb and pork, but products made with animal products such as dairy, wine and fruit juice, as well as gel tablets, toothpaste, bandaids and tampons.

“There’s just a whole range –you have no idea.I had to basically clean out my entire house.”

Two months ago, she went into anaphylaxis after breathing in the fumes of beefserved in a plane.

Mammalian meat is one of many strange allergens that have surfaced in recent decades, but its even more bizarre trigger –tick bites –could hold the key to a cure.

Mammalian meat allergyhas become more common since it was first reported in theJournal of Internal Medicinein 2007, and nowhere more so than the eastern seaboard of Australia.

In thetickendemic areas of the Sydney basin it is a more common food allergy thanpeanut allergy, with one in 550 people developing the condition in the northern metropolitan region.

Tick-induced Allergies Research and Awareness Centre immunologist Sheryl van Nunen made the connection between ticks and meatafter noticing a trend of people admitted to hospital overnight with anaphylaxis, who developed reactions tothe moleculealpha-gal in prick testsand had recently been bitten by the parasite.

The Australian paralysis tick. Photo: Stephen Doggett NSW Health Pathology

She hopes that the cause-and-effect relationship between tick bites and a meat allergy could hold valuable clues to the causes of allergies generally.

“There’s no other allergy as far as food goes where we know why you became allergic to it,” Associate Professor van Nunen said.

“So we’ve got anunparalleledopportunity for both primary and secondary prevention of mammalian meat allergy.”

Alpha-gal is a combination sugar molecule found in all mammals apart from humans and old apes, but it is harmless when introduced orally because people have learnt to be tolerant to it.

But when it is injected into a human withthe saliva of a tick that has picked it up from a mammal such as a deer, kangaroo or bandicoot, the body detects it as a foreign substance.

In some people, this process seemsto reprogram their immune systems to detect the alpha-galas an enemy the next time they meetit at the end of their fork.

Some research has shown that the number of bandicoot sightings has increased since fox baiting was permitted in2003, which Associate Professor van Nunen points out was around the time that meat allergy started to be notified.

Some people lose the allergy after a few years if they have no further tick bites, but in others it appears to get worse.

The best prevention is to wear long clothes and insect repellent and avoid being bitten at all. If you arebitten, the tick should be removed with wart freeze rather than disturbed, which is when it releases its saliva.

It should not be squeezed or removed with tweezers, Associate Professor van Nunen said.

Shelley Peat’s daughter, Ella Bennett, was one of the first people in whom meat allergy was linked to tick bites.

Now 16, she developed the allergy when she was four, while attending a preschoolon the northern beaches where ticks were plentiful.

“The last time she went to that preschool she would have had 100 ticks on her body,” Ms Peat said.

“I told the preschool they needed to do something about it and they said, ‘Oh, we’ve got lavender around the property’.”

Recently Ella’s allergy seemed to worsen– she has developed a reaction to barbecue fumes –but it has reduced in Ms Peat’s son, Kobi Bennett, 14, who thinks he is now clear.

“But he’s unwilling to have a bite of bacon.”

First appeared SMH

Bitter and twisted; a toast to beer

Celebration: Snapshot from a previous Bitter & Twisted Festival.
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THIStime next weekend beer lovers will descend upon Maitland Gaol to honour, once again, the beverage world’s most renowned awesome foursome – grain, hops, yeast and water.

On November 5 and 6the Bitter & Twisted Boutique Beer Festival will celebrate 10years of showcasing some of Australia’s best sherbets and suds, including local legends Dusty Miner, Foghorn, and Murray’s, who have been involved with the festival from the beginning. Other brewers attendinginclude The Pourhouse, Lovedale, Morpeth Beer, Hunter Beer, Hunter United home brew club, Hope, Nomad, Modus Operandi, Australian Brewery, Six String, Rocks, Young Henrys, Stockade Brew and The Grain Store (VIP area).

“Murray’s have always been big supporter of the festival and we’re very pleased to still be showcasing our range of beers, as well as a few new ones, at Bitter and Twisted 10years on,” Murray’s brewerAlex Tucker says.

There is more to behold than just the taste of beer, withplenty of food stalls, including Voodoo Burgers and the Bao Brothers, creating many delicious dishes to accompany a few cold ones, as well local wines from Tamburlaine, Drayton’sand Tulloch.

“It’s incredible to think the event is in its 10th year and it’s a credit to the many people including our volunteers that have helped make Bitter and Twisted what it is today,” event coordinatorAdam Franks says.

Kids are welcome, especially on Sunday, when family friendly activities will take place in a dedicated area of the gaol.

Tickets for Saturday have sold out. Pre-purchasetickets for Sunday are available online. There will be a limited number of tickets available on the day of the event.

Go forth and froth!

Bitter & Twisted Festival, Maitland Gaol, John Street, Maitland, November 5 and 6.Bitter &Twisted coordinator Adam Franks

Wallabies rookie Kyle Godwin backs coach Michael Cheika ahead of spring tour

Wallabies newcomer Kyle Godwin has thrown his support behind embattled Australian coach Michael Cheika following his selection in the 32-man spring touring party which leaves for England on Friday.
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Godwin joins former Melbourne Storm winger Marika Koroibete and NSW Country teammate Tolu Latu as potential debutants selected by Cheika, three days after the Wallabies’ 37-10 Bledisloe Cup loss was overshadowed by the coach’s post-match rant at the New Zealand media.

Cheika’s comments were aimed at a New Zealand newspaper after it published a cartoon of him dressed as a clown, before All Blacks coach Steve Hansen weighed in by telling his counterpart to “stop whining”.

Hansen has since suggested he and Cheika have a beer together to sort out their “frosty” relationship.

Godwin said he was unaware of the clown cartoon when it was originally published, as he was focused on the weekend’s National Rugby Championships grand final won by Perth Spirit.

But the inside centre, who will play for the Brumbies in next year’s Super Rugby competition after five seasons with the Western Force, expected Cheika and the Wallabies to bounce back in Europe.

“I’ve had a couple of tours with ‘Cheik’, he’s an unbelievable coach and the boys have all got massive respect for him and I do as well,” Godwin said.

“He’s got the boys together. To learn off him and obviously play for him, I’m thoroughly looking forward to that.

“They [the Wallabies] have had a bit of a tough year but they’re doing a great job. They’re really striving to have a successful grand slam and hopefully we can have the wins that we need on the tour.”

Wallabies coach unimpressed: The New Zealand Herald sports back page of Michael Cheika as a clown. Photo: Supplied

Godwin is yet to speak with Cheika following his selection in the touring party, informed instead via email on Monday night in a message that outlined the “big challenge” the squad was facing.

The goal is a second grand slam against the four home nations, despite Australia’s recent record of just three wins in its past 11 games dating back to last year’s World Cup final loss to New Zealand.

Only once has Australia beaten England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on a spring tour, back in 1984, and Godwin said repeating that feat was the target.

“We’re certainly telling that to ourselves and the team,” the 24-year-old said.

“It’s a massive challenge but we’re looking forward to that challenge and hopefully we can achieve it.”

Godwin travelled to Europe with the Wallabies two years ago, but didn’t earn his debut Test cap.

Next month he’ll be aiming to force his way into the No.12 jersey, or at the very least claim a spot on the bench.

Bernard Foley and Reece Hodge have played at inside centre in recent times, but it’s a position that has caused Cheika much chagrin in 2016.

Injuries have sidelined Matt Giteau and Matt Toomua, while Christian Lealiifano is undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

Centre Samu Kerevi was injured in Saturday’s loss to the All Blacks and will miss the tour to have ankle surgery.

The Wallabies’ first assignment next month is against Wales at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, a side that will include England-based players George North and Jamie Roberts.

Welshmen Ross Moriarty, Tomas Francis and Luke Charteris are therefore also available for selection, but Taulupe Faletau is injured and will miss the Wallabies game.

English Premiership rules would normally prevent players from contesting internationals at this time of year, given they fall outside of the World Rugby Test window, but premiership clubs have agreed to a “one-off” policy change.

“This comes as we continue deliberations on a new post-2019 global season structure to find an appropriate balance between club and international rugby,” a Premiership rugby spokesman said.

“We are showing flexibility to help a number of unions who have decided to play on this particular weekend but we must stress this is a one-off variation to the allowed window while discussions continue.”

Wallabies 32-man squad: Allan Alaalatoa (5 Tests), Rory Arnold (6 Tests), Adam Coleman (7 Tests), Quade Cooper (64 Tests), Kane Douglas (28 Tests), Scott Fardy (37 Tests), Israel Folau (48 Tests), Bernard Foley (37 Tests), Nick Frisby (3 Tests), Will Genia (72 Tests), Kyle Godwin*, James Hanson (12 Tests), Dane Haylett-Petty (10 Tests), Reece Hodge (6 Tests), Michael Hooper (61 Tests), Sekope Kepu (73 Tests), Marika Koroibete*, Tevita Kuridrani (40 Tests), Tolu Latu*, Sean McMahon (12 Tests), Stephen Moore (c) (112 Tests), Dean Mumm (53 Tests), Sefanaia Naivalu (2 Tests), Nick Phipps (48 Tests), David Pocock (61 Tests), Tom Robertson (4 Tests), Rob Simmons (66 Tests), Scott Sio (25 Tests), Will Skelton (16 Tests), Henry Speight (6 Tests), James Slipper (82 Tests), Lopeti Timani (3 Tests).

*denotes uncapped player

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Winner of Barbara Jefferis award Peggy Frew writes a new song of hope

Peggy Frew has won the Barbara Jefferis award. Photo: Supplied Melbourne writer Peggy Frew has won the Barbara Jefferis award for her second book Hope Farm. Photo: Josh Robenstone
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 After high school and before children Peggy Frew was bass guitarist in an indie rock band that made three albums, toured internationally and won an ARIA Award.

As the band grew apart and she tired of the “crappy jobs” she took to support the music and pay the rent, Frew enrolled in a professional writing and editing course at Melbourne’s RMIT University. It was a relief not to be looking for dead-end work.

A decade later, Frew’s second career has paid dividends with her second novel, Hope Farm, receiving a rich literary fiction prize established to reward an Australian author’s positive depiction or empowerment of women and girls.

The Barbara Jefferis Award is offered biennially, administered by the Australian Society of Authors, and comes with prize money of $50,000, funded by a significant bequest from Jefferis’ husband, the late film critic, John Hinde.

Frew was shortlisted along with Sarah Hopkins for This Picture of You, Gail Jones for A Guide to Berlin, Alice Pung’s Laurinda, Claire Zorn’s The Protected and Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things. Her novel had also been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and Stella prizes.

“It’s a sign that my writing is taken seriously in the world which might seem like a silly thing for me to take away from [the award]”, says Frew, “but I didn’t complete a university degree. I have never studied literature. Writing was something I’ve come to later in my life. It helps to get this external validation, it certainly does, it kind of makes me think I must really be a writer now.”

In Hope Farm Frew explores a complex mother and daughter relationship through the eyes of 13-year-old Silver, who is brought to live in a hippy commune that has “seen better days” in rural Victoria during the mid-1980s.

The judges applauded Frew’s “exquisite novel of female sensibilities about the decisions women have to make and the consequences of living with them”.

Said Frew: “I was drawn to the notion of hippies and alternative ways of living and communal ways of living as a backdrop in which to take a parent-child relationship and see what happens when it is tested; what it may be able to withstand.”

Frew had been thinking of her own relationships with her three children when she started the novel four years ago. “One child in particular is very independent and I’ve had to learn to really tune in with her in order to have love expressed back and forth. I think this became a big theme in the book, that there is a big difference between loving someone and having the skills to demonstrate that love.”

Growing up in Melbourne, Frew always loved books, and in high school wrote short stories but remembers harbouring an adolescent irritation “at having to work at something I knew I would have to try at”.

“I thought I should automatically be the best writer in the world and never have to put any effort in.”

In 1995 she formed Art of Fighting with her high-school sweetheart. “It was great,” Frew says. “We toured Europe and did a lot of touring in Australia. We did three albums and won an ARIA and did pretty well for a while and then everyone started having children and taking jobs more seriously and that kind of receded. We are trying to finish an album at the moment so we still get together and work on music, we just haven’t been able to give it the time it deserves for many years now.”

From the band Frew derives a sense of common purpose. “Everybody’s doing something different and you are interacting with each other in real time. There is a lightness to it, an element of mindfulness to it, which is a very hackneyed term.”

Writing is more exposing and terrifying but more personally satisfying, she says. “What’s so good about writing is I can’t pretend that it’s anybody else’s work – it’s just me. I’ve done it.”

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Alleged killer Robert Adams raped three women before Mary Wallace disappearance, court told

Robert John Adams leaves the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday. Photo: Peter Rae Alleged killer Robert John Adams targeted his victims in a similar fashion and committed similar, violent acts upon them, a court has heard.
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He would often meet them in bars or clubs on Sydney’s north shore and engage in conversation with them before enticing them to his car.

As soon as they were isolated, he would put his hands around their throats and squeeze hard before raping them.

“The accused had a tendency to strangle women,” Crown prosecutor Mark Hobart SC told the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Mr Hobart outlined about how three women had come forward and described the way they had been attacked by Mr Adams in the 1970s

He said this was tendency evidence that a judge should rely upon to find Mr Adams guilty of the murder of nurse Mary Wallace at Crows Nest in 1983.

“The tendency evidence strongly supports the Crown theory that on this night, September 23, 1983 … the accused killed the deceased.”

Ms Wallace, 33, was last seen leaving a Crows Nest wine bar with Mr Adams and getting into his car on the night she disappeared.

Mr Adams has told police he and Ms Wallace engaged in sexual activity in his Holden Commodore, but he later fell asleep. He said when he woke up she had vanished.

Police allege Mr Adams raped and most probably strangled Ms Wallace before disposing of her body – which has never been found.

Two hairs found in the boot of his car were later identified as belonging to Ms Wallace.

Mr Hobart also outlined how witnesses had seen Mr Adams cleaning out the boot of his car the day after Ms Wallace’s disappearance.

“When he washed out the boot of his car, the Crown says he was trying to erase all evidence that Mary Wallace had ever been in that boot,” he said.

During his closing address Mr Hobart reiterated the evidence of the three women who said they had been attacked by Mr Adams.

Mr Adams has been previously convicted of the rape of one woman he met at the Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

The woman told police how she was in Mr Adams’ car when he pulled over, put his hands around her throat and began to choke her.

He said to her: “I’ll f— you either dead or alive.” And later: “Either f— me now or I’ll f— you when I kill you.”

The court heard how Mr Adams raped the woman after threatening to “finish her off” and throw her in the river if she did not do what he wanted.

Mr Adams’ defence barrister Peter Lang is expected to give his closing address on Wednesday.

The trial continues before Justice Richard Button.

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Bega Cheese shares dive on fears over China demand for infant formula

Its failure to penetrate the infant formula market led to Bega Cheese shares dumped on Tuesday. Photo: Steven Siewert Bega Cheese is trying to move away from commodity products for the bulk of its revenues.
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Bega Cheese bore the brunt of a dairy sector sell-off on Tuesday after revealing its recently launched joint venture with Blackmores is under pressure from weak Chinese demand.

Bega Cheese shares dived after it warned it would write off much of its exposure to a newly formed infant formula venture, which analysts had hoped could help the dairy group transition away from being a bulk commodity processor and boost margins by moving further into the branded-products sector.

Bega shares closed down a heavy 17 per cent at $5.40 Tuesday, near the day’s low of $5.20.

Bega Cheese’s woes spilt over to other makers of infant formula such as Bellamy’s, which shed 2.8 per cent to $12.90 as A2 Milk fell 2.5 per cent to finish at $1.95. A2 Milk generates about a third of its revenue from the infant formula market.

Announced a year ago, the first Blackmores-branded infant formula product was launched in April with initial sales in pharmacies, and more recently in supermarkets.

At its recent analyst briefing, Blackmores said early sales of the venture had topped $9 million as it prepared to enter the China retail market in 2017. Changes under way

“There are significant market changes under way,” Bega Cheese executive chairman Barry Irvin said after Tuesday’s annual general meeting.

“Some of these are short term and we will continue to observe the market as these changes play out.”

The biggest change is the move to close the ‘grey’ market with individuals buying infant formula in chemists and supermarkets and shipping it into China, which prompted the Chinese government to impose regulations to try to shut this market down.

“Chinese demand for infant formula is strong. It is more the change with the market evolving,” Mr Irvin said.

Bega Cheese’s Irwin conceded it will take time for the venture to build a brand presence, which involves taking on global giants of the sector, although Blackmore’s experience in developing product for the China market is seen as an advantage, he said. Contested share

Rivals, however, claim the venture’s share of the infant formula market is less than 1 per cent.

“I was always cautious about that deal,” an analyst said of the Blackmores venture.

“Blackmores doesn’t have a presence [in that market sector] and it meant taking on long-standing players such as Mead Johnson and other groups.

“The heritage value for Blackmores lies with its vitamins business. I always thought China was a reputational issue, with Chinese interested in Blackmores vitamins.”

Bega Cheese has been seeking to move away from relying on commodity products for the bulk of its revenues, and the global surplus of dairy products has squeezed margins across the industry, with the company warning on Tuesday that earnings will be flat this year, before taking into account the write-off from the Blackmores venture.

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

Toughen up, everyone

“Punch to destroy,” I remind my 10-year-old daughter on the drive to her hand-to-hand combat training, being an annoying father who says the same stuff all the time.
Nanjing Night Net

“Yes, Dad,” she says, scrolling through pop songs on her iPad.

“You don’t want to be one of those people,” I tell her, tapping the steering wheel for emphasis. “And I know you’re not, but you know what I’m talking about – those people that just flop their arms out or slap the target.”

“I’m not, Dad,” she says, settling on a Sia tune.

“Coz if you get in a fight – if you have to defend yourself or defend someone else – then tapping the bully, not hitting them seriously, you know, is just going to annoy them and make them hit you harder. You gotta stop them in their tracks. You gotta be ferocious – controlled, but ferocious.”

“I know, Dad. I know.”

“And if they sense that sharpness, that controlled ferocity, in you –”

“Dad.”

“Then chances are the fight won’t happen in the first place.”

“Dad! I know. Can I listen to my song now?”

“Of course, sure – sorry.”

I gear down for a corner and she restarts She Wolf, singing along to “What do you see in those yellow eyes?”while I ponder the challenge of raising a girl to be able to fight.

The stand-up-for-yourself attitude hasn’t been easy to instil when her schools have drummed into the kids that it’s always wrong to fight – that “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Shoving a bully away can easily land the defender in as much trouble as the bully – a tad more trouble even than doing one of the many banned activities which include cartwheels, handball at times (depending on how heated the games get), and going up the slippery dip instead of down.

This all might make life easier for teachers and minimise their charges bruises, scrapes and sprains, but longer term it’s weakening kids. Years back when I did some neighbourhood karate instructing I had a pair of boys about my daughter’s age training together. One was used to the ouches and tumbles of the physical world while his mate was soft as butter, having grown up to that point with permission and even more – encouragement – to opt of out of things that might hurt.

We spent a morning learning how to block kicks – something in which your arms sometimes get bruised, especially before you loosen up and get supple, get your timing in, get in the flow. And when butter-boy copped a sharp heel-thwack on the arm, he burst into tears and ran out.

I found him over in the shade clutching his mortal injury and asked if he was OK. “I’m hurt!” he said. “My arm hurts!” He was now stunned that anyone would choose to do this. “It hurts!” And for a moment he cried harder at the shock of it all.

We sat for a while and as he calmed I told him that pain and emotion can be separated – that something can hurt, and hurt a lot, but that the pain need not be distressing. “In fact, unless it’s done some real damage, you know, like broken a bone or wrecked your knee or something, don’t even give it the time of day. It’s just pain. And if you’re fighting, then don’t even show it. Eat it. Eat the pain and use it as fuel. Use it to make you sharper.”

The little lad looked at me in amazement. “Just pain?”

The concept was utterly foreign to him. So far in his life he had been taught that pain and emotion – being upset, more specifically – go together.

“Just pain?” His eyes were wide.

“Yep. Can wake you up, can’t it?”

The lad’s mate came out to see how he was going and butter-boy surprised us both; he wanted to get straight back into it, and he did. When he collecting a few more bruises he yelped but grinned and later didn’t even yelp so much but worked well on stance and timing and movement and counter-attacks. When the session ended he was the most satisfied I’d seen him, and his hardier little mate looked at him in a new light.

Later that day I caught up with the changed kid’s mum, and I ran her through the transformation in thinking, in being, that had taken place. She stared at me, somewhat appalled. “There’s nothing at all wrong with getting upset about pain,” she said.

“Sometimes, sure,” I said. “But this is just pain, it’s only pain – and even when it’s more than that, when you’re hurt because of someone’s cruelty, then not going straight to distress and mess but instead showing nothing – no sign of it – and even using it to get sharper, well then this separation I’ve taught your son about is useful. It could strengthen him.”

She was lost for words and stared at me like I was a maniac, which made me glad I hadn’t gone into full loony cult-mode and given the boys set readings like Joyce Carol Oates’ book, On Boxing, particularly the part where she so reverently writes that the sweet science “inhabits a sacred space predating civilization”. To nail it even further, Oates describes boxing with a sizzler of a line from a DH Lawrence poem. Boxing, she writes, comes from a time “before God was love.”

What I wanted those boys to know then, what I want my daughter to understand now, is that despite all the moral and physical hand-holding going on at schools and in popular culture, we still live in that time. God is vaster than love. Life is vaster than love. Life, God, existence, is also made of terror and torment and pain.

We can’t run from it all. We can’t always go and tell a teacher. Sometimes we need ferocity and control.

“I can’t compete with the she-wolf,” sings my little girl. But putting aside the song’s adult connotations, when I see her switch to war mode in the class and punch with speed and power, I think maybe she can.

Matt Thompson is the Dungog-based author of Mayhem: the Strange and Savage Saga of Christopher ‘BADNE$$’ Binse.

Barnaby Joyce pushes for resolution of disrupted live cattle trade with Indonesia

Australia is now the only country to export live cattle to Indonesia. Photo: Louie Douvis Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Nanjing Night Net

19 companies have now been issued with import permits. Photo: Paul Harris

Simon Crean met with Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita in Jakarta on Monday. Photo: Joe Armao

Australian cattle at a feedlot run by the firm PT Tanjung Unggul Mandiri in Tangerang, 25 kilometres west of Jakarta. Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Australian cattle at a feedlot run by the firm PT Tanjung Unggul Mandiri in Tangerang, 25 kilometres west of Jakarta. Photo: Irwin Fedriansyah

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is pushing for negotiations over a proposed new rule disrupting the live cattle trade to Indonesia to be resolved as quickly as possible, warning any interruption to trade will hurt exporters, importers and Indonesian consumers.

No cattle were exported to Indonesia in September due to permit delays amid negotiations over a proposed new policy requiring importers to bring in one cow for breeding for every five cows to be fattened for slaughter.

The previous month 71,458 cattle were imported to Indonesia, while 51,255 were imported in July.

The unexpected new rule shocked the beef industry and led to cattle being stockpiled in feedlots in Australia and exporters having to absorb the massive costs of ships sitting idle in Australian ports.

Indonesia was Australia’s largest live cattle export market in 2014-15, taking 746,193 cows valued at $601 million.

Although 19 companies have now been issued with import permits and the first ship left Townsville at the end of September, the number of cattle imported in the final trimester of the year is expected to be significantly reduced.

“The government is conscious that many Australian producers and exporters … need to see this situation resolved as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson for Mr Joyce said.

“Unfortunately any interruption to the trade will have cost implications for Australian exporters, for Indonesian importers and unfortunately for Indonesian consumers.”

The spokesperson said the agriculture and foreign affairs departments had been in “constant communication” with the Indonesian government over the past fortnight.

“The minister is in contact with his counterpart in Indonesia as is the Australian minister for trade, to seek a timely resolution on this matter.”

Australian Live Exporters’ Council chairman Simon Crean met Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita in Jakarta on Monday seeking clarification of the new policy.

Mr Crean said Mr Lukita had indicated the new breeder rule did not apply to individual consignments of cattle but would be tallied at the end of a period.

The two countries had agreed to establish a working party to assist with implementing the new policy.

Mr Crean said fattening cattle for slaughter and breeding cattle were entirely different operations and the breeding program would take time to establish.

“We have pointed out that all of Australia’s experience and breeders generally globally is that feedlots do not make good outcomes for breeding,” Mr Crean said.

“And therefore what has got to happen is we have to find the land.”

Mr Lukita said the Australian Live Exporters’ Council had told them breeding was difficult. “But if we don’t start today, when will we start? I said we are responsible for ensuring our cattle population is increasing.”

Australia is now the only country to export live cattle to Indonesia.

But Mr Lukita said he told the delegation Indonesia was also exploring importing live cattle from Brazil, Mexico and Spain to ensure there would be no shortage of supply.

“I told them the price in Brazil is far lower,” he said. “[Importers] will go away from a market in which the regulation is complicated and the price is too high.”

Asked if Australia would lower the price of cattle given that Indonesia was exploring opening up its market to other countries, Mr Lukita said: “I don’t know. But I gave them hints about us having alternatives, they understand already.”

But Mr Crean said the price of beef was up to the market: “We can’t guarantee the price will come down.”

Uncertainty surrounding the issue of import permits also had an impact on cost.

“If the cost of shipping is higher because the vessels have to be hired at the last minute, somewhere or other someone has got to pay for that,” he added.

Mr Lukita said 80,000 cattle would arrive from Australia before the end of the year. He said none of these would be required to be for breeding, in order to give companies time to adjust to the new policy.

Asked if 80,000 cows would be enough, Mr Lukita said: “More than enough.”

He said an audit would be undertaken at the end of 2018 to ensure importers were complying with the new breeding rule.

Meanwhile, Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting issued a statement on Tuesday detailing the virtues of her $365 million offer with Shanghai CRED for S. Kidman and Co – Australia’s biggest cattle empire, hoping to counter any concerns about foreign ownership.

with Karuni Rompies

Follow Jewel Topsfield on Facebook

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