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  • KIAS changing lives overseas

    2019 - 01.21

    THE Leopold family visited the Da Nang Red Cross Orphanage in Vietnam in the April school holidays.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Ellie and Ben Leopold play with the children in Vietnam.

    Kangaroo Inn Area School teacher Ange Leopold travelled to the orphanage with her children Ben, 17, and daughter Ellie, 15, as well as her husband Tim to deliver the $500 that the KIAS senior SRC had raised for the orphanage throughout term one.

    The money, which was raised through a casual clothes day and sausage sizzle, will enable the orphanage to buy many items included physiotherapy equipment for the children and formula for babies.

    It also funded an outdoor soccer playing area.

    Robe kindy also contributed by making and selling rice paper/cold rolls.

    KIAS has raised money for the orphanage for the last three years, an initiative which was established with former student and occupational therapist Ella Dunsford who regularly volunteers at the orphanage.

    Ben said it was “good to see first-hand” the improvements that have been made because of the KIAS fundraising.

    Ellie said the experience really opened her eyes to “how fortunate we really are”.

    “I never fully understood their situation until I saw it for myself,” she said.

    “I would definitely like to go back there in the future.”

    Ange said it was also uplifting to see the difference KIAS and Ella Dunsford have made.

    “The outdoor area was lovely and well utilised,” she said.

    “The children and babies soaked up and loved the attention and interaction, and it was reassuring to see they were genuinely well cared for with limited resources.”

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

    Offenders charged for stolen DPI car

    2019 - 01.21

    Three offenders have been charged for stealing and extensively damaging a Disabled Peoples Incorporated transport vehicle.Three offenders have been charged for allegedly stealing a vehicle from Disabled Peoples Incorporated last week.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Two youths and a 19-year-old male have been charged with numerous offences after reportedly stealing the white Toyota sedan at about 10am last Tuesday.

    The vehicle is used by the not-for-profit organisation for transporting disabled, aged and infirm community members to medical appointments and outings.

    Shortly after being stolen, motorists noticed the car driving in a dangerous manner in the vicinity of Westland Shopping Centre and reported the driver to DPI.

    DPI president Greg Byrne said he apologised for the incident as it was not one of the organisation’s volunteer drivers and staff were glad no one was injured as a result.

    Whyalla police then received reports of the vehicle being driven suspiciously in the Point Lowly area just before 11.30am that day.

    Patrols spotted the car on the Lincoln Highway and attempted to stop it however, the car drove off at speed.

    Another patrol then followed the car after it was seen driving erratically in scrubland behind Stuart High School.

    The car was found abandoned near Charles Avenue in Whyalla Norrie.

    Property recovered from inside the car led police to the offenders.

    A 19-year-old man from Whyalla Norrie was arrested and charged with theft, illegal use of property, speeding in a dangerous manner, engaging in a police pursuit and driving unlicenced.

    A 12-year-old boy from Whyalla Norrie was also arrested charged with serious criminal trespass, two counts of theft and illegal use of property.

    The 19-year-old male was bailed by Whyalla Magistrates Court to appear at a later date while the 12-year-old male youth was bailed by Whyalla Youth Court to also appear at a later date.

    The 13-year-old female youth was released on police bail to appear in Whyalla Youth Court.

    RELATED CONTENT:Disappointing blow for DPI

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

    David Ryan takes out classic Setsplay championship

    2019 - 01.21

    The 2015 Setsplay Singles champion David Ryan (left) with runner-up Jerome Coles.
    Nanjing Night Net

    DAVID Ryan has taken out the Brendan’s Australia Tours Setsplay Singles Championship for the second time.

    The bowler from Essendon defeated Jerome Coles in a tense four set final which finished under lights.

    Both Ryan and Coles were pushed to the maximum in their respective semi finals where Ryan overcame Richard Martin (Hamilton) in a three set battle, while Coles was also taken to three sets in his semi final by Stawell’s Andrew Sharp.

    In the grand final it was Coles who got off to a flying start taking out the first set, seven shots to five. However, it was Ryan’s experience and composure under pressure that saw him steady and take out the next three sets 7-3, 7-6, 7-4.

    Spectators who stayed to watch the final were treated to some of the best bowls ever seen in Ararat, with both finalists showing why they were in the final vying for the title.

    In accepting the $1000 prize money and trophy, Ryan paid special thanks to Brendan’s Australian Tours as the sponsor of the championship and also acknowledged the Ararat Bowls Club for conducting the event

    The sectional rounds of the championship were completed a weekend earlier with 16 bowlers returning to the greens to contest the finals.

    While there were a number of experienced and well performed bowlers from previous championships who won through in the sections, there were also some new and relatively unknown and untested ‘dark horses’.

    The 2014 defending champion, Len Kean from Bridgewater, was in devastating form and won his section without dropping a set to his opposition.

    Eventual runner up Coles showed again his class for such a young bowler and previous winners, Anthony Mathison and David Ryan, also won through their respective sections.

    Grampians Bowls Division bowlers also featured in the knockout finals. Peter Oehm (Aradale), Andrew Sharp (Stawell) and Chalambar’s Karen Brennan ensured the visitors wouldn’t have things all their own way.

    Results (finals)

    S Meale lost to Jerome Coles 7-0, 7-5; P Matthews lost to K Brennan 7-3, 7-4; A Sharp 3-7, 7-2, 7-5 def A Mathison; C Skene 7-3, 7-6 def J Robertson; D Ryan 7-6, 7-5 def L Kean; C Bryant lost to C Dawson 5-7, 7-5, 7-1.

    Quarter finals: P Oehm lost to J Coles 7-0, 1-7, 7-0; K Brennan lost to A Sharp 7-1, 6-7, 7-2; C Skene lost to D Ryan 7-6, 3-7, 7-6; C Dawson lost to R Martin 7-0, 7-4.

    Semi finals: J Coles 0-7, 7-6, 7-2 def A Sharp; D Ryan 4-7, 7-3, 7-6 def R Martin.

    Final: D Ryan 5-7, 7-3, 7-6, 7-4 def J Coles.

    Section winners

    Section 1: Richard Martin (Hamilton). Section 2: Len Kean (Bridgewater). Section 3: Peter Oehm (Aradale). Section 4: Craig Bryant (Heathmont). Section 5: Peter Matthews (Melton). Section 6: Conrad Dawson (The Avenue). Section 7: Andrew Sharp (Stawell). Section 8: Karren Brennan (Chalambar). Section 9: Darren Gordon (Dunkeld). Section 10: Craig Skene (Camperdown Golf). Section 11: David Ryan (Essendon). Section 12: Jerome Coles (North Balwyn). Section 13: James Robertson (Warracknabeal). Section 14: Stan Meale (City Oval). Section 15: Anthony Mathison (Kyneton). Section 16: Peter Brown (Murtoa).

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

    Brian Stratton wins the 40th annual Camden Art Prize

    2019 - 01.21

    ‘‘Stunning’’: Camden Art Prize committee member Peter Morison with Brian Stratton’s winning painting which can be viewed, along with all the other entries, at the Camden Civic Centre until May 15. Picture: Jeff de PasqualeARTIST Brian Stratton knows how to paint a winning watercolour.
    Nanjing Night Net

    A former guest judge of the Camden Art Prize, Mr Stratton was named overall winner of the 40th annual exhibition on Friday night.

    The Camden Art Prize committee has purchased Mr Stratton’s winning entry — titled Desert Country – Lake Mungo 2 — which the judges described as a ‘‘stunning painting that works on all levels and a worthy winner’’.

    The renowned landscape artist has entered the Art Prize competition almost every year since it started and has previously won.

    Mr Stratton retired from his position as a senior arts teacher in 1989 so he could paint full time. He has won more than 280 art prizes and was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2006 for his service to the arts and as an educator.

    The exhibition can be viewed until May 15 and is open from 10am weekends and 12.30pm weekdays. Entry is free.

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

    Teen ambassadors an inspiration

    2019 - 01.21

    Teen ambassadors an inspiration Olivia Sargent
    Nanjing Night Net

    Rachelle Rativo

    TweetFacebook Blacktown Youth AmbassadorsPictures by Gene RamirezNAGLE College student Olivia Sargent and Rooty Hill High School student Rachelle Rativo are Blacktown City’s 2015 Youth Ambassadors.

    Olivia, in year 11, said the selection process involved a written application explaining why she wanted the role; an interview with eight members of the council; a written quiz and the delivery of a five-minute speech relating to this year’s theme on how the youth of Blacktown are influenced by technology and the ways the council can use technology to enhance the Sister Cities program.

    “I explained how the evolution of technology will impact and contribute to the communication and interaction between people on opposite sides of the world, and connect us to one another,” Olivia said.

    “My parents and I were extremely shocked and so happy when it was announced that I was one of [those] chosen.”

    Rachelle, of Quakers Hill, said she was honoured to have been selected.

    Also in year 11, she said people at school often told her how much of an inspiration she was to them.

    “I always tell them I’m no different from them, I’m just an average teen and the secret is — if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything,” she said.

    Rachelle said legal studies was her favourite subject and she wanted to pursue a career in law.

    The girls said they’re looking forward to the experience.

    “Rachelle and I will have a very busy 12 months ahead of us,” Olivia said.

    “We’ll [attend] a number of civic functions, presenting speeches at citizenship ceremonies and representing the youth of Blacktown City at the Young Australian Sister Cities Conference in September.”

    Aboriginal project wins ZEST award

    2018 - 12.21

    NGALLU Wall’s efforts in building stronger Aboriginal families have paid off.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Doonside organisation recently won the ZEST outstanding project award for working with Aboriginal communities.

    The ZEST awards celebrate the importance of a diverse community sector to promote a positive image of western Sydney.

    Ngallu Wall is part of the Closing the Gap in Indigenous Disadvantage initiative which aims to halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements for children, and ensure access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four-year-olds.

    Ngallu Wall opened in February last year after three years of hard work.

    It is staffed predominantly by Aboriginal workers and run by a community advisory board.

    An elders group meets fortnightly to reads stories to children in the childcare centre.

    Centre manager Leonnie Herczeg stressed the importance of working in partnership and not competing with other services.

    Homelessness, domestic violence, drugs, rehabilitation and school attendance are some of the concerns she handles on a daily basis.

    “The best thing you can do is give someone your time,” she said.

    “Many people here have had a hard life, but they know what works. I want to empower every individual that comes to me by listening, acting and sometimes praying together,” she said.

    There are two consulting rooms available for use by doctors, community nurses, paediatricians and ante and post-natal services.

    Ngallu Wall works with allied services including Blacktown Hospital, Northcott Disability Services, Ability Options and local legal services.

    Also at the centre is the Youth Hope Initiative for ages 9-15 at risk of serious harm, a yarning circle, a Koori Dance Group and women’s collective.

    Day of firsts for new parents and baby

    2018 - 12.21

    Shayleen John with newborn son Isaiah, who was the first baby to be born in NSW on Mother’s Day. Picture: Gene RamirezTHE usual gifts for Mum on Mother’s Day might be a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates or a new set of winter pyjamas.
    Nanjing Night Net

    But for first-time mum Shayleen John, her present was the best of all.

    Mrs John and her husband Vijay, of Blacktown, welcomed not only their first-born, but the state’s first Mother’s Day baby on Sunday (May 10).

    Mrs John, 27, said she was originally due to give birth on May 4, and had been in the hospital for six days before her son decided to enter the world.

    “He waited until Sunday which happened to fall on Mother’s Day,” Mrs John said.

    The happy new parents said they didn’t mind whether they had a boy or girl, they just wanted to raise a healthy child.

    “We weren’t fussed about the gender, all we wanted was a healthy baby and we were blessed with exactly that,” Mrs John said.

    Proud parents Vijay and Shayleen John with baby Isaiah. Picture: Gene Ramirez

    Mrs John said the couple were so happy and overwhelmed when she gave birth to their son, they hadn’t even realised it was Mother’s Day.

    “We were so caught up in the moment,” Mrs John said.

    “We didn’t take notice of the time and date when he was born until we were told his birth time was 12.05am,” she said.

    The Johns, who met in year 11, named their son Isaiah Aditya John.

    The couple had spoken about baby names long before Mrs John became pregnant.

    “I had discussed the name Aditya to Vijay when we were younger, then years later his grandmother mentioned that his grandfather wanted to name him Aditya,” Mrs John said.

    “We decided it was more than a coincidence so we had to incorporate it into our son’s name.”

    Isaiah is a biblical name meaning the salvation of the Lord.

    Mrs John said giving birth was the best gift she could ever have.

    “My son being brought into the world on Sunday was the best Mother’s Day gift I could ever receive,” she said.

    Isaiah measured 52 centimetres and weighed 3.8 kilograms.

    New MP Mark Taylor makes first speech in parliament

    2018 - 12.21

    Mark Taylor
    Nanjing Night Net

    NEWLY-ELECTED Seven Hills MP Mark Taylor has told State Parliament he intends to see NSW become “the infrastructure government of our time”.

    Domestic violence, infrastructure and a commitment to community were among the topics closest to Mr Taylor’s heart when he gave his maiden speech in State Parliament on Thursday.

    Mr Taylor named the North West Rail Link and the road projects WestConnex and NorthConnex as highlights of the previous government’s time in office, a vision he says he means to carry on.

    “We have a chance, as a government, to leave an enormous legacy,” Mr Taylor said.

    “In 40, 50 years’ time, my children’s generations of this great state will look at the tenure of Premier Mike Baird’s state government and deem it the era of NSW politics where we expanded the economy and drove economic growth, an era where great things were achieved.”

    A former police prosecutor, Mr Taylor said domestic violence was one of the concerns on which he would take a strong stance during his term.

    “Our justice system must prioritise the victims of crime in a more strident manner,” he said.

    “Having seen first-hand the impact domestic violence has on victims I am extremely proud of the strong stance that the NSW government has taken on the matter.

    “It is often said that some [things] are above politics, and the specific issue of domestic violence, as well as how the justice system responds to victims of crimes, are eminently clear examples of such [matters].”

    Longer hours at shire libraries

    2018 - 12.21

    SUTHERLAND and Cronulla libraries will soon be open longer on weekends.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Councillor Diedree Steinwall made the call last March to increase Sunday opening hours for Sutherland Library.

    But the council’s lifestyle committee went a step further and recommended longer Saturday opening hours at Cronulla Library.

    The longer hours were expected to be given final approval at the full council meeting on Monday.

    Sutherland Library, which had opened from noon to 4pm on Sundays, is expected to open two hours more, from 11am to 5pm.

    The committee also recommended increasing the 9am to noon opening hours of Cronulla Library by an extra four hours, from 9am to 4pm.

    The cost will be covered by increasing the volunteer overtime roster.

    The total hours of operation of the council’s library services are above the NSW average but there is a high demand for services, particularly for students.

    Cr Steinwall said the extension to library hours was a positive outcome and reflected the increasing needs of the community.

    “The library is increasingly called on to provide a space for quiet study for our tertiary and senior students, especially during those critical times of the year near the trials and the HSC exams,” she said.

    “Libraries are evolving but they still provide one of the most essential of services.

    “Every effort should be made to make sure they cater for all groups in our community.”

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

    Easy to criticise

    2018 - 12.21

    Easy to criticise
    Nanjing Night Net

    Re: the letter “Service fell flat” (Your View, April 30). I thought Michael was very harsh with his reference to the Anzac Day dawn service at Sutherland. I have been attending this dawn service for 20 years and want to commend Jimmy and his colleagues for their dedicated efforts and commitment to honour our fallen servicemen and women since 1949. It’s easy to be a critic these days!

    Steve L, Oyster Bay

    Dear Michael, have you ever: volunteered to play in the band at the dawn service, ever volunteered to sing, ever volunteered to join the St John Ambulance, ever helped the police with crowd control, ever spoken as a child or chaplain about our brave soldiers, ever helped cook or serve breakfast after the service, or most importantly volunteered like our amazing 90-plus hero to fight for his country?

    If not, should you be criticising Sutherland dawn service?

    Helen, Gymea Bay

    I agree with Michael of Loftus — the Sutherland dawn service was an embarrassing disaster.

    The antics of the presenter led to six occasions of crowd laughter; absolutely inappropriate for such a solemn event.

    Not only was it an affront to the memory of the sacrifice of the fallen, it was a terrible example to the many children and teenagers in the crowd. Hopefully, the presenter next year will have a more apt spirit of occasion.

    Robert, Sutherland

    My wife and I attended a dawn service with our son and grandsons to honour the fallen Australians and the families they left behind.

    We could not hear a great deal as we were at the back of a very large crowd, but unlike the critics, this did not impact upon our feelings or emotions.

    We don’t go to listen to speeches, we go to honour and remember those brave young men and women who fought so that we might live in our great country.

    We came away from the service proud of the young men and women while silently reflecting on their sacrifice.

    Michael, perhaps you should contact the Anzac Day committee at Sutherland and offer your assistance next year?

    Ian, Engadine

    Re: Bob Richard’s “Dawn disappointment” and Michael’s “Service fell flat”. What the Sutherland dawn service lacked in spit and polish it made up for with warmth and charm and a real country-town feel.

    Jim McIntyre was very endearing and did a sterling job as MC. All contributing speakers were good, and a special mention goes to the seniors from Jannali High.

    John Gunn, Jannali

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