Month: May 2018

Everyday heroes pound the streets

IT’S HARD to stand out among a crowd that includes the Jamaican bobsled team and people in gorilla suits – but that didn’t faze five women from the Nambucca Valley who were among the 85,000 starters in this year’s City2Surf fun run.

And shine bright they did. Carol Mitchel, Trish Grace, Yvonne Parkins, Karen Mitchel and Raelene Dalsanto wore Vehicle Rescue Association (VRA) shirts and carried giant balloons which spelt the name of their chosen charity.

The girls completed the 14 kilometre walk or run from Hyde Park to Bondi, raising more than $2000 for the Nambucca Valley Volnteer VRA.

The money will be used by the VRA to purchase equipment.


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Paisley Centre to house Bunbury museum

THE City of Bunbury has voted toestablish a local museum at the Paisley Centre in Bunbury’s CBD.

Built in 1887 and originally the Bunbury Boy’s School, thePaisley Centre is one of

the last 19th Century public buildings remaining in thecity.

“We are delighted the council has resolved to establish aBunbury museum,” City community and customer services director StephanieAddison-Brown said.

“This project has been discussed for a long time and we arevery excited about the opportunity this will present for the community.”

City museum curator Lauretta Davies said her team can nowdevelop a museum collection and follow up on offers from major collectors andmembers of the community.

“We have already uncovered many fascinating objects withinthe council and local studies collections which show the stories of how Bunburybecame the city that it is

today. Work has already begun on sharing these collections.

“Our aim is for the community of Bunbury and visitors tohave a relevant and exciting

new museum in the heart of the city.”

Arts and culture team leader Margy Timmermans said it neededto be recognised that modern museums of today were seen as learning and socialspaces where the “delight of new discoveries makes the experience memorable andenriches our sense of the world and our place in it.”

The Paisley Centre is currently undergoing heritage-relatedrenovations.

Once they are completed, the Museums collection will be ableto move in.

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Yet another prize for Black Caviar

Winning the race: Bernice Dey’s pastel on paper of Black Caviar racing at Royal Ascot is one of the finalists on show. FOR Peter Heagney, the highlight of his career as an auctioneer was selling a young filly named Black Caviar in 2008.

Four years later, Black Caviar will be at the centre of the Inglis Equine Art Prize exhibition to be curated at Oaklands Junction in Hume.

The theme of this month’s exhibition is ‘At the Track,’ with 34 of the finalists – including seven paintings of Black Caviar – selected from 134 entries.

“When I was selling her, I obviously didn’t know she was going to be as good as she is ,” said Mr Heagney, an auctioneer with bloodstock agent Inglis.

“Looking at the copy of the tape, which we keep of all the horses we sell, I made a flippant comment, ‘Just imagine what she’ll be worth if she wins a group one race’. That turned out to be a fair statement.”

Black Caviar was sold for $210,000. Since making her debut in 2009, the mare has won all of her 22 races and her total prizemoney is $6.3 million.

Mr Heagney said it was appropriate for an art show with a huge focus on Black Caviar to be on display locally.

“Not many people from around here realise she was sold by us.”

The exhibition is at Inglis’s Victoria estate in Oaklands Junction on August 16-17.

Fireys to train in Craigieburn

METROPOLITAN Fire Brigade firefighters will soon be battling ‘faux’ blazes in Craigieburn.

The state government announced last week that Craigieburn will be home to the MFB’s biggest training headquarters, to be used by 1800 firefighters.

The $109 million training centre, at an 18.6-hectare site at the old Apollo Gardens caravan park on the Hume Highway, will provide firefighters with a “realistic and practical training base”.

MFB spokesman John Rees says it will create 140 jobs during construction.

Craigieburn was chosen because of the large space it offered and ease of access.

“It was a question of access and the actual terrain.” Mr Rees said.

“It’s large and flat. There’s good access to Hume and it’s not far from anywhere in Melbourne.

“We’ve obviously had to take care of any environmental issues so that it was manageable. Craigieburn ticked all right boxes.”

At the training ground, firefighters will have a range of practical settings to train with, including a streetscape, high-rise buildings, a shopping centre, service station and residential precinct.

Deputy Premier and Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan said the venue would not only meet the MFB’s training requirements but have the capacity to be available to other emergency service organisations, like the CFA.

Construction work will begin in the next two months and the centre is expected to be operational in 2014.

Nambucca bowlers fly the flag at Forster

THE NAMBUCCA Heads all-star No.4 pennants team performed strongly at the State Finals at Forster

The Nambucca girls were level with the other teams on the first day, but were beaten by Sussex Inlet on day two (Sussex went on to win the Division 4 flag).

Pictured is the Nambucca team and their supporters.

From left is Joy Nicholas, Pat Smith, Brenda Fane, Coral Behan, Shirley Willis, Val Miles, Pat Fletcher and Myra McKay with their coach Maurie Miles and their club supporters who were champions at cheering.


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See how they grow

Staying fresh: Stephanie Alexander, with Youssef and Grace, is delighted with Meadows Primary School’s gardening progress. Picture: Scott McNaughtonMEADOWS Primary School in Broadmeadows was abuzz when celebrity chef Stephanie Alexander visited last week.

While at the school, Ms Alexander announced $5.4 million of federal government funding for her Kitchen Garden program.

The program is aimed at teaching students the benefit of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh food.

At present, 267 schools have joined the program.

The funding will allow a further 400 schools to get involved.

Meadows Primary has run the program since last year, with 164 children from years 3-6 now involved.

Grade 6 student leader Youssef welcomed Ms Alexander to the school before she sat down with others to enjoy a lunch cooked by the students with produce they had grown in the school’s garden.

“If it wasn’t for you, Stephanie, supporting us we wouldn’t have a kitchen garden program,” Youssef said.

Ms Alexander said it was great to see the school making the most of the program.

“I haven’t been to this part of Melbourne for a very long time and it’s been fantastic to see the new facilities and see how exceptional the gardens are.

“I’m very envious of the brussels sprouts and the cabbages.”

Program details: kitchengardenfoundation苏州美甲培训学校.au

Hoop dream needs assist

High goals: Mishael Kenneth and Bob Tuala are preparing for their US challenge. Picture: Marco De LucaTWO basketballers could miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime if they can’t secure funds to travel to the US.

Mishael Kenneth and Bob Tuala, both 17, of the Gladstone Park Basketball Club (GPBC), have been selected by the All Australian Basketball Academy to represent Australia on a 30-day tour of the US during November and December.

The squad will be in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, playing against high school and college teams and attending a training camp at the Impact Basketball Academy, which is linked to the National Basketball Association.

The pair need to secure $6500 each by the end of October to join the tour.

GPBC secretary, Fiona Browning, said as the club was small it couldn’t fund the trip without help from the community.

Ms Browning said the trip could lead to further success for the boys through links to the NBA.

“When they found out they could be going they were absolutely blown away,

particularly because of the potential it brings. If they’re considered good enough there could be scholarships to American schools and colleges which link into the NBA.

“It’s probably the best exposure to get for an Australian, other than go to the Australian Institute of Sport.”

Kenneth and Tuala were selected for the US tour after showing their basketball skills at an invitational, elite camp in Melbourne.

Both have played basketball for about nine years.

Browning said they and the club were reaching out to the Hume community and the three tiers of government for help.

“We really need to have the first $3000 [each] by October 1. The rest is due by October 30 and if they don’t get funds together they’ll miss out.

“Unlike a lot of others, we’re a tiny little club in the grand scheme of things.

“All our kids have to work really hard. For us to get kids to that level is a really big thing.”

To help out with funding, contact Fiona Browning, 0414894258.

Works put a spoke in wheel for cyclists

HUME cyclists are miffed at the closure of a major road in Craigieburn, which will be off-limits to riders for the next four months.

Until November, Craigieburn Road East will be closed for construction of a signalised intersection at Epping-Kilmore Road.

Hume Bicycle Users Group (HumeBUG) member Kevin Balaam says the closure by VicRoads is abrupt and will affect rides from Craigieburn to Epping as the road is the only entry for cyclists.

“The closure of Craigieburn Road East would most likely result in a change to the standard routes, making them no longer ‘loops’ but more like ‘out and back’ rides using alternative roads or a much longer distance if using the detours, ” Mr Balaam said.

“I’m not confident that the road would be reopened in time for our ‘summer rides calendar’ to be developed with rides along that section of road.”

The HumeBUG organises group rides throughout the year, often from Hume into the Whittlesea area.

Mr Balaam said the needs of cyclists should have been taken into consideration before the closure.

“Those needs should be included in an approved traffic management plan whenever roadworks are performed,” he said.

“In this case, with such large detours, a sealed bypass of the works site should be included and knowledge of the existence of this bypass be made to cyclists. It’s not unreasonable to expect cyclists to be permitted through on a bypass. Cyclists don’t have the mass and momentum of motor vehicles.”

A VicRoads spokeswoman said the project would reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.

A hug for the volunteers

Hats off to you: UnitingCare volunteers (front, from left) Alan and Jill Southon, and Prasanthi Dona. At back are Marion Lawrence and Michael Woolner. Picture: Michael CoppALAN Southon knows what it’s like to give a helping hand to people in need.

Along with wife Jill, he’s a volunteer at UnitingCare Sunshine and Broadmeadows (a single agency).

The couple volunteer every Thursday in Broadmeadows to help stock and organise the pantry used for emergency relief.

They were among 200 volunteers who were recognised at an Olympic-theme lunch last week.

UnitingCare provides children’s and family services, financial counselling and emergency relief.

Mr Southon, 73, says it’s a rewarding role.

“You can see the results. The volunteer gets more out of it by being here, by being part of it,” he says.

“The need in the community for emergency food relief is increasing – anyone can see that.

“We just like coming over here. You feel that you’re needed.”

Mr Southon has been a volunteer for four years and his wife for 16 years.

He says the social aspect of volunteering is a bonus.

“That’s one of the best things about being a volunteer; you have time to talk to people. You do make friends. We don’t get to see the clients, but from a volunteer’s perspective we get to talk to everyone in the building.”

The lunch was held to thank volunteers across the organisation’s bargain centres, Broadmeadows and Sunshine sites, Kids Unplugged and the Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre.

The agency’s chief executive, Joy Nunn, said the annual event “gives us the opportunity to thank our volunteers for giving back”.

“It also allows us to acknowledge the efforts of those staff involved in attracting, retaining and liaising with our volunteers.”

Hume Council backs bid to lighten ‘super’ load

HUME Council has backed a new taskforce that will lobby the state and federal governments to reduce councils’ contributions to a superannuation fund for staff.

The taskforce, set up by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), will also work on accessing lower borrowing rates and reducing contribution taxes and WorkCover premiums.

As reported by the Weekly on July 10, under the ‘local authorities superannuation fund defined benefit scheme’, which is run by Vision Super, payments for staff employed before 1993 are fixed by a formula based on the final salary.

Councils have to pick up the tab for any shortfall, and it was announced by Vision Super last month that Victorian councils would be required to cover nearly $400 million to make up the latest shortfall – that’s up from $62 million in 2010.

Hume’s figure is expected to be close to $10 million. Since payments were first made in 1997, the council has contributed nearly $14 million to the fund.

MAV chief executive Rob Spence said the old scheme was a “volatile and unpredictable model” that councils could not plan ahead for.

“At a briefing on July 4, councils agreed to unite to fight for legislative reform that puts local government on an equal footing with exempt state and federal schemes.

“An exemption for other public sector schemes allows the Australian government to have an unfunded defined benefit liability of around $61 billion. The Victorian government’s liability exceeds $29 billion.”

Mr Spence said Hume Council had up to 15 years to pay out its $10 million bill, but in making it an exempt public sector scheme, councils would have even longer to pay.

Hume city governance and information director Daryl Whitfort said the council was still unaware of the actual figure it would pay.

“Council would welcome any change to the Commonwealth Superannuation Administration Act that would assist in minimising the impact of future obligations to the defined benefits fund that council may face.”