Monthly archives: August, 2018

Will we give the new Premier a ‘fair go’?

As the State’s second female Premier is sworn in, it would be nice to think that history will judge her for her merits and achievements.
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Sadly, it is a certainty that she will also be judged on her dress sense, her shoes, her hair, her marital status and her personal life.

Anything she does will be filtered through the lens of gender, and she will endure the much harsher scrutiny applied to women in the public eye.

The State’s first female Premier, Kristina Keneally, has already protested about being asked to give Gladys Berejiklian advice.

Was Barry O’Farrell asked by the media to offerMike Baird advice?

No, and the advice sought from Keneally wouldnot be about policy or leadership, but about survivingas a female leader in the male-dominated world of politics.

A question that in 2017 should not need to be asked.

But as Keneally points out, the new Premier is taking office at a time when a sexual predator is the US president.

Just this weekend gone, women in cities all over the world took to the streets to protest against Donald Trump’s draconian and offensive attitude towards women.

In Australia not so long ago,wehad a female Prime Ministerwhowas hounded and harassed by misogynist commentators.

While no leader is perfect, the hatred stirred up by some sections of the media overshadowed Julia Gillard’s achievements.

Gladys Berejiklian’s experienceand background should all bode well for a successful term as Premier.

The child of immigrants, her father was a boilermaker who worked on the Sydney Opera House and her mother was a nurse.

When she started kindergarten, she couldn’t speak English.

Her background is close to that of average Australians from diverse, working class backgrounds.

Like most of us, her story is an economicworldaway from the likes of theTrumps and Turnbulls.

She has already outlined public education and housing affordability as two key platforms.

In her own words:“I’m not going to judge anybody on their personal circumstances. I’m here to govern for everybody. And I hope that people judge me on my merits and on what I can do.”

In a country that prides itself on a“fair go”, let’s hope we can offer GladysBerejiklian this simple courtesy.

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Westdale rises in response to theft

Community spirit
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THE community has rallied around Jim Finucane after his chairs were stolen from the Westdale Memorial Park.

The 87-year-old, affectionately known as “Tamworth Jim”,left the plastic chairs at the parkfor the regular community events he organises, such has the upcoming Australia Day celebration.

Mr Finucane was distraught to discover his chairs had been stolen, but aFacebook post by his friend Bird Aitken led to an outpouring of support.

Pilliga NaturalTimbers owner Daniel Clissolddecided to donate some permanent chairs that can’t be stolen.

“We’ll get three or four logs that are 14 to 15 inches round,take the sides off them and sit them under the shade,” Pilliga Natural Timbers spokesman Greg Corbett said.

“They’ll be big enough that two people can’t pick them up and carry them away.”

Mr Finucane has been trying to get permanent seating in the park for years and was blown away by the “wonderful” offer.

Mac’s Event Hire also donate a marquee and 30 chairs for the Australia Day event after seeing the Facebook post,while more than a dozen chairs have been donated byresidents to replace the ones that were stolen.

“I was amazed at the inquiries I got,” Mr Finucane said.

“Two other blokes are going to come help us on the day, there’s a country music artist travelling from Manilla, a lady entertainer from Attunga, there’s Michael The Living Poet coming fromMildura.”

Ms Aitken said someone had even offered to bring their barbecue to the Australia Day event.

“This is people power at it’s best –even though Jim was very distressed when the chairs got stolen, some good has come out of it,” she said.

The pair said if anyone had old plastic chairs they were willing to donate, they would be more than happy to accept them.

“We just need someone to donate a bike lock and a chain to lock the chairs up,” Ms Aitkensaid.


The history of Australia Day

Australia Day: A brief history of how we came to celebrate Australia Day.When the First Fleet landed at Sydney Cover on January 26, 1788 one of the first things that Captain Arthur Phillip did was to raise the English flag and claim New South Wales as a British colony.
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The flag raised with the Queen Anne Jack or Union Flag. At the time only England and Scotland were represented on the flag –no Ireland . Ireland was added to the Union Jack in 1801. In 1922 after an uprising, Ireland became the republic of Eyre. The red cross of St Patrick on the Union Jack now represents Northern Ireland only.

Captain Phillip did not become Governor of NSW until February 7, 1788 when the formal proclamation of the colony and Arthur Phillip’s governorship was read out.

Australia was originally named Foundation Day or Anniversary Day, after Captain Matthew Flinders named it Terra Australis while he was imprisoned on his journey home on December 17, 1803 until June 1810, seven years on the French island of Mauritius. He was thought to be a spy. The passport he carried was the Investigatorbut he called at the island for urgent repairs and supplies aboard Cumberland.

It was while he was under arrest on Mauritius in 1804 that he first used the name Australia as a geographical name.

A note in his letterbook on August 25, 1801 reads:I call the whole island Australia or Terra Australis and that was the title he gave his general chart that year.

Throughout his detention, Flinders kept a record of his life on the island,“Matthew Flinders’ private journal 1803-1814”. He mentions Australia at regular intervals between 1805 and 1808.

Trim disappeared on Maurtius (probably into a coking pot). He had been Matthew Flinders’ feline friend since 1794 and was the first feline to circumnavigate the whole of Australia.

Deliverance came suddenly in June 1810. Flinders was released and pardoned.He was back home in England by late October, 1810.

Flinders was promoted to post captain, he finished writing a narrative “A Voyage to Terra Australis” which was published in 1814 and contained 1100 pages.

He became gravely ill by May, 1814.

The charts including a general chart of Terra Australis or Australia werepublished before he died. The first copiesof his book were delivered to his bedside. By this time he was in a coma and his wife Anne put the book on his chest under his hands. He died the next day, July 19, 1814, just 40 years of age.

He was a great explorer and founder of Australia.

Lachlan Macquarie, governor of NSW, was aware of the title of the 1814 chart of Matthew Flinders and seized upon Australia as an alternative name for New South Wales. He officially requested its use on December 21, 1817. Australia appears to have gradually been used in Britain from the late 1820s.

So Commander Matthew Flinders officially named Australia, the name he first chose in 1804.

At first January 26 was known as Anniversary Day or Foundation Day and did not become know as Australia Day until over a century later.

The first recorded celebration was in 1808, the first officially was at the forming of New South Wales and was held in 1818 during Governor Macquarie’s governorship.

On New Year’s Day 1901, the British colonies of Australia formed a Federation marking the birth of modern Australia.

A national day of unity and celebration was looked for but it was not until 1935 that all Australian states and territories had adopted the use of the term Australia Day and it was not until 1994 that the date January 26 was consistently marked by a public holiday.

At first, if this date fell during a weekend, the holiday was celebrated on the following Monday.

Australia Day is now celebrated on the actual day January 26 falls.

Pauline Walker is a member of the Fellowship of First Fleeters. She visits schools to speak about Australian history. Commander Matthew Flinders officially named Australia. Photo: State Library

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Orange Citizen of the Year nominees: Granton Smith flies the ribbon

There are six worthy nominees forOrange’s 2017 Citizen of the Year award. Today, theCentral Western Dailypresents Granton Smith.
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NOMINATED: Senior Constable Granton Smith.

ONE of this year’shopefuls believes in upholding a standard and considering he works with victims of domestic violence, it’s a crucial one.

Canobolas Local Area Command domestic violence liaison officer Granton Smith was nominated for his work organising the inaugural White Ribbon Treadmill Relay in November

Senior Constable Smith, 36, took up the domestic violence role two years agoand adopted the motto ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you set’.

“I realised victims are so disempowered by what they experience, they are generally speaking in no fit state to be advocating for themselves and they need the rest of the community to step up,” he said.

“It’s about education people about the concerning behaviours so they don’t gave to wait to experience trauma before they see the writing on the wall, and it’s blokes challenging other blokes’ behaviour.

“If you’re in a social situation and someone says something really off-base or inappropriate, if you choose to ignore it, that person is going to think that’s OK and you’re just as bad as the perpetrator.”

He originally came up with the idea of running one hour for every Australian woman who died as a result of violence in 2015.

“But there were 80 victims in 2015 so it seemed to be a bit unattainable and it grew from there,” he said.

A 24-hour event was eventually settled upon, which raised more than $6000for White Ribbon Australia and Housing Plus.

“There was one lady who was transfixed by the names [of the victims] rolling past on the big screen,” Senior Constable Smithsaid.

“You can talk about the numbers, that one in three women face physical or emotional violence, but when you take pause and realise it’s people, it takes on a whole new meaning.

“It’slucky Orange hasn’t had a murder in recent times, but it can happen to anyone.”

He hoped to use anyexposure from his nomination to promote this year’s eventon November 25and conduct school programson healthy relationships.

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Wilkinson primed for another Surfest surge

FROTHING: Matt Wilkinson holds the Mark Richards Trophy aloft after his Surfest win in 2016. Picture: Jonathan CarrollMATT Wilkinson will return next month to defend his Surfest crown after it proved the “perfect” start to his breakout season in 2016.
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The world No.5 is expected to be the men’s top seed when fields for the 6000-point qualifying series contests at Merewether from February 20-26 areannounced this week.

Fellow Central Coast surfer Glen Hall, the 2010 Surfest champion, started coaching Wilkinson last year and confirmed the goofy-footer would be chasing back-to-back titles at Merewether.

“He’s in, he’s going to be there for sure,” Hall said.

Wilkinson primed for another Surfest surge TweetFacebook Matt Wilkinson at Surfest 2016Jonathan Carroll captures Matt Wilkinson’s victory at Surfest 2016.“He enjoys Newcastle and competing in the waves around there. He thought it was the right thing to do as well, to come back and defend his title.”

Wilkinson was a standout at Surfest last year beforedominating Italian LeonardoFioravanti in the final 17.83 to13.33. It was the start of a career-best streak taking inhis first CTwin,at the opening event atSnapper Rocks, and anotherat stop three, Bells Beach. A second at the Fiji Pro in June kept him in the world title race until a round-two exit at the penultimate event in Portugal.

Despite the late disappointment, the 28-year-old’s fifth-place finish on the CTeasily eclipsed his previous best of 18th in 2015.

“Surfest was a perfect year-starter for Wilko,” Hall said.“There were some good rights, he got into his groove and got his comp head on. He found some good form there, got the win and that without doubt helped him at Snapper and Bells.

“He found himself in the title race for almost the whole year. Unfortunately he didn’t finish on top, but you can’t deny he had a pretty amazing year from where he came from the year before.”

Hall, making his debut as a coach after retiring from competition, also had a remarkable year.As well as guiding Wilkinson, Hall helped Tyler Wright to a maiden world championship and Laura Enever to a career-best season of 10th.

Hall said Wright would not be coming to Surfest afterhaving “a lot of time off”.

“She didn’t feel she’d be ready to compete at the toplevel then, so she didn’t want to commit and only do it half-arsed,” he said. “But she’s in full swing training and surfing.”

Enever, though, was a chance to compete at Surfest.

“She’s entered but she’s carrying a knee injury from throwing herself over the falls at Jaws,” Hall said. “Hopefully she’ll be right.”

Hall also helps Wright’s brother, former world No.3 Owen Wright, who is recovering from a brain injury suffered in fall at Pipeline in late 2015. Hall said Owen was talking about a Surfest returnand “wanted to be there, but he’s not quite ready yet”.

“He’s slowly making his progress towards a comeback, but the timeframe is still unknown for everyone, even himself,” he said.

“He’s just taking it easy and easing his way into it. He’s surfing and training and he’s really happy, which is a good thing. He’s past the real serious side of the brain injury and he’s in a position where he can slowly get his back into the groove.”

Hall himself was looking forward to starting the year off in Merewether and catching up with the likes of Surfest chief Warren Smith.

“It was a pretty special year for me last year and I’ve obviously got a sincere passion for Surfest,” he said.

“I’ve been going there forever, staying at the Smiths’ house as a grom, then winning it eventually and being there last year coaching Wilko to the win.

“It’s a pretty special event for me.”

Hall has also taken on coaching American Conner Coffin,who he said would not be coming to Surfest.