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Epifania proud of his squad

WRAPPED UP: Gulgong Terrier Brad James is met by the Italian defence while playing for the Western Rams on Saturday. Photo: PHIL BLATCHFEDERATION of Italia Rugby League Australia (FIRLA) coach Leo Epifania onlyhad a week to put together a team for Saturday’s clash with the Western Rams, but you could have been fooled for thinking otherwise.
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The players Epifania assembled at Carrington Park quickly adapted to new combinations and produced some slick football on their way to a 34-18 victory.

While the big Western forward pack hit hard in defence, FIRLA’s speed around the ruck and support play gave them the edge.

“They got into us, but we expected that, you don’t come out to the country and expect anything less,” Epifania said.

“I thought both sides had a real red hot dig, but I was very happy with things from our side. We have got one side that is going overseas for the [World Cup]qualifiers over in Europe and these boys here are our level one players.

“We had to fill in some numbers here, we had topull a side together in a week and the boys did really well I thought in making that happen.

“Some of these players here are younger fellas and later down the track, they will come into that top team.”

Though having to draw on players unfamiliar to himself and each other, the quality Epifania had in key positions was telling

Fullback Christian Bate (Belrose), hooker Daniel Petralia (Canterbury), plushalves Josh Bergamin (Canterbury) and Blake Cavelarro (Western Suburbs) were standouts.

Cavelarro amassed a personal tally of 22 points from three tries andfive goals.

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Plenty of promise but Rams fail Italian job

IN THE MIDDLE: Dubbo Macquarie hooker Jeremy Smith was in the thick of the action for the Western Rams on Saturday, Photo: PHIL BLATCHWESTERN suffered a 34-18 loss against a classy Federation of Italia Rugby League Australiaoutfit in Bathurst on Saturday, but assistant coach Kip Maranda is confident the Rams are on the right path.
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Both sides used the Carrington Park clash as a means of viewing players with potential headed into, for the Azzurri, the 2017 World Cup and, for Maranda’s Rams, next year’s country championship.

On that note, FIRLA’sChristian Bate and halfback Blake Cavelarro gave Italian selectors plenty to think about in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup, the latter scoring 22 of his side’s points in a stunning display.

While, for the hosts, forwards Luke Thompson, Simon Osborne and Brent Seager poured through a mountain of work and Parkes fullback Sam Dwyer was brilliant, earning the FIRLA’s vote as player of the game.

While disappointed, Maranda said it was important to look at the positives, such as the exciting performances of debutantsMitch Burke of Forbes, Lithgow’s Mitch Case and Orange CYMS pivot Dom Maley.

“There’s plenty of good players around,we’re asking them to put their hand up when we have training and to bring the right attitude,” Maranda said.

“We’re not here for one game, we want to make friendships out of it and build to win country championships and get back into that tier one where we should be.”

Western drew first blood against FIRLA, Forbes’ try-scoring gun Ben Maguire muscling his way over from close range to gift the hosts a 6-0 lead.

Ethan Natoli hit back for FIRLA, but a crafty Jacob Neill grubber for himself after 30 minutes put the Rams up 12-6.

Enter Cavelarro.

Leaning on a game revolving around lightning quick footwork and superb support play, the Western Suburbs Magpies No.7 scored two tries in the lead-up to half-time to make it 18-12.

Josh Bergamin extended the lead after the break before Maley got one back,but Cavelarro and Natoli iced the win with tries in the final 15 minutes for the Azzurri.

Having been part of a winning country championship campaign with Western in 2003,Maranda knows the key to success at a rep footy level is composure, something the Rams slightly lacked on Saturday.

“Our completions probably let us down, that was probably a big thing that hurt us which is probably the same thing that let us down at Narellan,” he said.“It’s something for us to work on, and probably a good opportunity to get a few debutantes in there to have a look at.”

FIRLA 34(Blake Cavelarro 3, Ethan Natoli 2, Josh Bergamin tries; Blake Cavelarro 5 goals)def WESTERN18(Dom Maley, Jacob Neill, Ben Maguire tries; Warren Williams 2, Brad James goals)

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Bathurst double at the annual junior classic

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Ben Mackey, 14, and Casey Thompson, 13, won the Bathurst Junior Classic golf tournament on Sunday. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 101616cgolfjnr2
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Bathurst achieved the double in male and female winners at the Bathurst Junior Classic golftournament on Sunday forthe first time since 2013.

Top talented golfers from around the Central West took part in the tournament and in the end it was 14-year-old Ben Mackey for the males and 13-year-old Casey Thompson for the females taking top honours.

Scott Matheson and Emma McCarthy were successful the last timethe Bathurst Golf Club achieved a double at the tournament.

Defending champions James Conranof Duntryleague and Emma McCarthy of Bathurstwere unable to defendtheir crown, paving the way for two first-time winners.

Even though the tournament is held in Bathurst, locals have struggled to dominate,with only six local winners since 2000 in the males and eight local winners since 2000 in the females.

Mackey was humble after his victory, saying it was not his best performance, but happy with the win either way.

“I did not play all that well, but in the end I got there,” Mackey said.

“Back nine I played pretty well, but front nine I struggled to keepwhat I had, but I came through in the end.”

Competition was tough on the day, with Mackey’s play partner competing with him neck-and-neck through the day, until his play partner gave away a hole at the 16th hole.

It was notMackey’s best performance in golf –he hashitlower scores in other tournaments than his 77 on Sunday – but there will be no complaints from Mackey after heknocked-off the favourite from Dubbo, Lachlan Jones, who scored 79 and finished second.

Thompson scored 95 to take home the honours in the female sectionin a tough field, edging past second-placedHannah Knight ofBathurst.

After taking home the junior classic, Thompson will be heading to Sydney next week to compete in the Australian Genesis Golf Link Cup.

Performances at the cup willhelp Thompson’s push to qualify for the final at the New South Wales Golf Club at Le Perouse inSydney in November.

Thompson is just hopeful of some good scores and a good performance at the cup.

“I just want to shoot low scores,just try my best and see how I go,” she said.

Bathurst Golf Club head professional MattBarrett said the course made for a great day of golf.

“We had visitors from Cowra, Blayney, Forbes and Dubbo,” Barrett said.

“It was great to see so many Bathurst people enter as well and they won almost all awards on the day.”

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Faces in the news

Karen Hansen with winner of the 2016 Basil Sellers Art prize, Merryn Sommerville and Tara Allen at the opening of the exhibition on Thursday evening. Artist Steve Fox works on a lantern ‘Artzilla’ preparing it for the Granite Town Festival at last Sunday’s Riverlight workshop in Mogo.
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Doug McClelland, Billy Pickett, Zac Rumble and Ethan Reidy at David Vidgen’s fundraiser last Sunday at the Bayview Hotel..

Broulee Women’s Boardriders Jo Melville, Ness Maxwell and Wendy Wilson working on one of the giant lanterns that will light the Granite Town Festival.

Ricky Thurlow of Surfside, Nathan Reidy and Callie Sandilands of Tuross Head lending their support to David Vidgen.

This week the BayPost’s People and Places takes us to the Basil Sellers Awards, David Vidgen’s fundy, a lantern making workshop in Mogo along with a few socialsnaps.

Lyndall and Micheal Kearny of Moruya were at Ron and Jeannette Miles 50th Wedding Anniversary dinner..

Jolly good old chap – Dave Pearce and Dean Malpas of Bodalla at the Bodalla Arms Hotel for Thursday night live acoustic music evening.

Eurobodalla Shire Council mayor Liz Innes with artist and storyteller Loretta Parsley at the opening of the 2016 Basil Sellers art awards.

Julie Cargill of Tomakin enjoyed at day out with her friend Sherie Reed at the races in Bombala on Saturday.

Three year old Isabella Pan of Catalina had a giraffe painted on her face at David Vidgen’s massive fundraiser at the Bayview Hotel..

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Samantha Clenton facing surgery in Sydney on crushed vertebrae

Samantha ClentonNewcastle apprentice jockey Samantha Clenton was facing surgery in a Sydney hospital next week after sustaining “crushed” vertebrae and a fractured collarbonein a second shocking race fall inside five months.
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Clenton was in John Hunter Hospital on Sunday following a fall from the Steve Hodge-trained Colour Of Loveat Scone on Friday in race seven. The leading NSW apprentice last season, Clenton was near the rail at the rear of the fieldwhen Colour Of Love fell at the 400-metremark.

Clenton, who works for leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees,hit the ground hard andlost consciousness briefly. With her father Des by her side,she was treated by paramedics at the scene before taken to John Hunter Hospital by the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter. The eighth and last race was abandoned.

In a reporton Saturday,Racing NSW doctor David Duckworth was quoted as saying Clenton had fractured two vertebrae and her left collarbone.

The jockey’s sister, Mandy Clenton, said on Sunday that she had been told Samantha had five “crushed” vertebrae, the fracturedcollarbone and potential breaks in her ribs and wrist.

It was initially thought Clentonwould have surgery on her back in Newcastle on Monday or Tuesday, but she was now likely to be transported by helicopter to Sydney for the operation later this week.

“She’s in Newcastle at the moment and we’re looking at sending her to Sydney to be operated on,” Mandy said.

“The pain is obviously still really bad.

“It’s just not fair.”

She said Samantha’sspinal cord was“fine” but the extent of her injuries wereunclear.

“She hascrushed vertebrae, afracture to the other collarbone and they are still looking into her wrist, she’s still got a lot of pain in her wrist as well,” she said.

“I think she has a couple of cracked ribs, but I’m not 100 per cent sure.”

Clenton was in a stable condition on Sunday.

“I haven’t really spoken to her,” Mandy said.

“The times I have I’ve spoken to her she has been really out of it. She’s just so hard on the morphine at the moment, so that obviously makes it really hard. She will talk to you for 30 seconds then she’s out to it.”

The fall cameless than a week after Clentonscored her first winner in a comeback from another heavy fall, on May 23 at Taree.The ride on Fridaywas Clenton’s25thsince returning to racing on September 12from a broken right collarbone and other injuries sustained in the Taree accident in which she was one of five apprentices to fall. She rode a winner at Port Macquarie on October 8 and another at Tamworth last Monday.

Samantha Clenton recovering at her sister Mandy’s home after her fall in May.

Mandy said DrDuckworth was organising her sister’s care but it appeared she would likely return to Sydney Adventist Hospital inWahroonga, where she stayed after her fall in May.

After recently giving up employment as a track work jockeyfor Kris Leesherself because of injuries, Mandy said riding was“a tough gig” butthe family would support her sister in whatever choice she made in her career.

“It’s a massive setback and whatever the decision she makes with hercareer, it will be hers and we’ll just stick by her regardless ofwhat that is,” she said.

Newcastle trainer Steve Hodge saidColour Of Love came throughthe fall without apparent injury but the mare would be spelled and monitored closely.

Hodge said the second heavy fall was shocking luck for Clenton, who appeared to have Colour Of Love roll over herafter the mare looked to haveclipped heels with another runner and tripped.

Centenary celebrated

LYNN Smith rememberswaking to the news that her beloved Devonport High School had burnt down.
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She and close friend Patricia O’Donnell were in the graduating class of 1964.

It was that year the school’s assembly hall was burnt to the ground by a raging inferno.

On Saturday Mrs Smith and Mrs O’Donnell were two of more than 500 current and former students, staff and community members who attended the Devonport High School’s centenary celebrations.

They recalled their fond memories of the school and the assembly hall fire.

“My mother woke me and said you probably won’t be going to school today because the school has burnt down,” Mrs Smith remembers.

“I only lived two blocks away.

“We were back at school fairly quickly after but we used to have classes in the cricket pavilion and we had to go to the Reece High School hall to sit our school sport exams.”

FLASHBACK: Lorraine and Tony Williams from Sydney at the Devonport High School centenary assembly on Saturday. Picture: Scott Gelston

Devonport High SchoolprincipalMike Shaw said the school’s history would shape its future.

“It’s pretty special, the school has a rich history –we learnt so much from that history, we take that on board and we apply that moving forward into the future,” he said.

“The core values remain and have perpetuated throughout time.”

Mr Shaw was pleased to see so many former staff and students at the centenary celebrations.

“We learn from them, we learn from their stories and it’s not just interesting, it gives a deeper understanding of who we are and what our place in the world is,” he said.

The weekend’s centenary celebrations commenced with a welcome drinks on Friday night before a school assembly on Saturday morning, a luncheon and then tours of the school in the afternoon.

So what does the school have planned for the next century?

“We’ve got a focus on some things that are the same –which is quality teaching,” Mr Shaw said.

In 2017 years11 and 12 will return to the school and Mr Shaw said there were development plansto “support quality teaching in the 21stcentury.”

Mrs O’Donnell enjoyed the friendships made during her time at the school more than 50 years ago and said she was happy to be back.

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Bective and Wests victors

Five for: Cooper Barnes has hit the season from a long run up taking 5-14 as Bective dismantled North Tamworth on Saturday. Photo: Barry Smith 181216BSD29Bective East and West Tamworth destroyed their opposition with the ball before chasing the runs for bonus point wins in their second gradeTamworth first grade clashes on Saturday.
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Bective secured a double bonus point after routing North Tamworth for just 97before hitting the total in 20 overs.

At Dick Edwards Oval, four wicket hauls from Brendon Reynolds and Daniel Cunningham paved the way for Wests to be five wicket winners overa limp Old Boys.

After dismissing the defending champions for a paltry 100, they then chased down the runs inside 23 overs to just miss out on the double bonus point.

“It was a fantastic win,” Wests skipper Dave Mudaliar said.

They set it up with the ball and “some fantastic bowling”.

Reynolds led the charge.He provided the initial, and key, breakthrough trapping Simon Norvill in front for nine.

Two runs later opening partner Adam Lole became the first of Cunningham’s four scalps.

He picked up his second two balls later and from there Old Boys never recovered.

Mudaliar was filling in the skippering duties for Tim Kensell and is excited by how the attack is taking shape, particularly Reynolds and boom young quick Tom Scoble as an opening tandem.

“That has a good look to it,” he said.

Reynolds returned to clean up the tail and finish with 4-11 from his 6.1, while Cunningham nabbed 4-27.

Mudaliar was also impressed with the attitude in the field.

He then led the way with an unbeaten 27 as they replied with 5-101.

Warwick Fazakerley also made 27 with Reynolds hitting a quick-fire 17.

Old Boys skipper Ben Middlebrook side his side just weren’t in it.

“They were the way better side,” he said.

“We didn’t perform in any aspect.”

It started with the bat, with his 23 the best.

“There were some ordinary shots in there and we didn’t apply ourselves,” he said.

The bowling wasn’t much better.

Meanwhile over the bridge at Chaffey Park the Bective Bulls bowlers were in top form as they fell first round winners North Tamworth for 97.

Glen Lewington (20) looked to be in good nick at the top for the Redbacks, putting on an opening stand of 22 with Lincoln Peters (9) before Michael Rixon came to the crease.

Rixon was in good form in the opening week and looked like he might go on again, although a good ball from spinner Harrison Kelly saw him scoop one to Greg Tighe before Cooper Barnes swept through the middle order with no other batsmen scoring more than 10.

Bective skipper Adam Jones said that Barnes had the ball on the spot as the first change quick took quick wickets to have the Redbacks struggling at 7-90 after taking 5-14 from eight overs, including three maidens, before Tighe and Kelly cleaned up the tail.

In reply the Bulls started with a flourish as Nick Pearson plundered 53 runs at the top, including a 53 run opening stand with first round hero Jye Paterson (15).

Toby Whale copped a duck as the Bulls chased the double bonus point, before Kelly and Tyson Rennie got them over the line.

“We bowled really well and were better than last week,” Jones said.

“Two winsis a great start.”

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Tigers crash to the Warriors

Tasmanian coach Dan Marsh admitted his team were‘’out-batted” by Western Australia on Saturday in their four-wicketMatador Cuploss at North Sydney Ovalwhich effectivelyended theirfinals hopes.
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TOUGH DAY: Xavier Doherty watches more runs flow from the Warriors’ bats during Saturday’s Matador Cup loss at North Sydney Oval. Picture: Getty Images

Test duo Adam Voges (89 not out from 87 balls) and Shaun Marsh (70 from 78) led the charge chasing the Tigers’ total of 8-267.Some late hitting by Ashton Turner (40 from 30) ensuredvictory.

In contrast, Tasmania had a rollercoaster ride in theirinnings, losing two early wickets before Dom Michael (89 from 102)and man-of-the-match Alex Doolan (93 from 104 for his third 50 in a row)put on 148.

They then lost 4-7, before Beau Webster gave his bowlers something to bowl at with 27 from 10.

Ashton Agar (2-46 from 10) and Nathan Rimmington (2-42 from nine) were the Warriors best.

Hamish Kingston (3-44) again impressed for the Tigers, whileJamesFaulkner, back from a calf injury, did not bowl after making 13 from 18.

“They out batted us on that wicket,’’ Marsh said.

“It was great to see Alex Doolan continue to play well and I thought Hamish Kingston showed again how good a one-day bowler he is.It is a tough competition to win and unfortunately it seems out of our reach for this season.”

The Tigers’ final game is against South Australia on Tuesday at Hurstville Oval.

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Roar started their WNCL season with losses to Queensland (six wickets), New South Wales (207 runs) and South Australia (51 runs).

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Lauren’s historic football switch

FROM NETBALL TO FOOTBALL: Former Lavington netballer Lauren O’Shea will play for Adelaide in the AFL national women’s league in 2017. O’Shea moved to Darwin in 2012.
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A former Ovens and Murray netballer has been drafted to Adelaide.

Lauren O’Shea signed with the Crows under the free agency rules, which caters for athletes not selectedin Wednesday’s AFL Draft.

“It’s just amazing, it wasn’tthat long ago we were talking about the possibility of a women’s competition,” O’Shea said.

PANTHER PAST: Lauren O’Shea played about 100 A grade games in Ovens and Murray netball. O’Shea’s work ethic was vital as she worked her way through the grades.

“It’s hard to believe we’ll all be a part of history.”

O’Shea was born in Yarrawonga, but played the majority of her junior netball with Tungamah.

After time atMulwala and Yarrawonga, O’Shea joined Lavington.

“Lauren had an enormous work ethic, and was such a team player,” Lavington president Tamara Mathews said.

“I remember one season where Lauren spent a lot of time on the bench in B grade, particularly in finals.

“But she worked really hard and started the next year in the B grade team.

“The following year she was in A grade.”

O’Sheasays that off-season changed her approach.

“I had to get fitter, soI sought out a personal trainer in Adam Butler and worked with him until I moved to Darwin in 2012,”she said.

O’Shea went on to play around 100 A grade games with Lavington.

“I loved it there, I didn’t move anywhere because of my love for netball,” she said.

But O’Shea eventually wanted a change andmovedto the Top End.

“I played a season of netball and then asked the girls, ‘what do you do now’?,” she said.

“Eventually I was convinced to have a game, and I remember the first game I played, I was chasing a girl and I caught up to her and then thought, ‘what do I do now’?”

“I could catch alright and kick a bit because I had brothers.”

The 32-year has played in Waratah’s four successive premierships.

O’Shea is 177 centimetres, and plays either in the ruck or as a key defender.

“Lauren is an extremely versatile player and a great decision maker who always has a team-first attitude,” Adelaide coach Bec Goddard said.

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Good morning, Tassie!Sunday, October 16, 2016

State of the nationNeed a national newssnapshot first thing – well, we have you covered.
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► BACCHUS MARSH, VIC:A cluster of baby deaths at a Bacchus Marsh hospital has triggered sweeping changes tohow Victoria will manage medical errors and patient safety across the state.A damning independent report has found that for many years the state health department left patient safety in the hands of individual boards, creating gaping holes in monitoring and a culture of cover-up and missed opportunity.Read more.

► TAMWORTH, NSW:Tenyears ago, the uncomfortable glare of national disapproval was on Tamworth.A plan for the region to offer the humanitarian resettlement of up to five families – refugees from the war, hunger and persecution of their home countries- had been rejected almost 4-1 in a residents’ survey and voted down 6-3 by the council. But for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.Read more.

► BURNIE, TAS: A fundinggrant will seea new bottling line built at the Hellyers Road Distillery to create jobs and increase product output.Hellyers was awarded $250,000 from the government’sRegional Revival Fund toinstall the new bottling line as well as other infrastructure to support the growing demand for their whisky.Read more.

► ILLAWARRA, NSW:Trudy Davis was a fighter, and sinceher death nearly three years agoher mother Karenne has been fighting for justice on her behalf.This week Mrs Davis, her husband Geoffrey, Trudy’s two sons and the rest of the family thought that daymay finally have come.However the news that the doctor accused of wrongly discharging Trudy from Shellharbour Hospital in the hours leading to her death had been reprimanded for unsatisfactoryprofessional conducthas brought them no closure.Read more.

►CENTRAL VIC:Zoos Victoria is calling on central Victorians to help bring back a ‘cryptic’ lizard and a mimicbird from the verge of extinction.The regent honeyeaterwas once a common sight in Bendigo and the grassland earless dragonwidespread across the plainsof central Victoria.However the bird has not been seen in Bendigo for decades, whilethe lizard may already be lost toVictoria. Read more.

►LAUNCESTON, TAS:Launceston-raised Alexander Borst is working to “erase the line” between same-sex and opposite-sex weddings.Mr Borst, who now lives in Melbourne, this year launchedMr Theodore, an online wedding directory that details suppliers who support same-sex marriage. The catalyst forMr Theodorecame from his personal life.Read more.

National news►Roz and John Bradbury have paid just over double the selling price for the last Ford Falcon XR6 sedan produced in Australia.But Roz Bradbury, who owns Sunbury Ford innorth-west Melbourne,says having a piece of the country’s automobilehistory is worth the price.Read more.

►The number of Australian children living in poverty is rising, with more than 730,000 children now below the breadline in what has been described as a “national shame” and a dismal reflection on the country’s politicians.Read more.

►An award-winning Australian cameramanhas been remanded in custody after he was charged with multiple child sex offences.Read more.

National weather radarInternational news► ENGLAND:ChloeMcCardel is an interesting athlete. Many athletes aren’t. Ask them how they did so well and, if they’re honest, they’ll say they were born with a freakish gift and practised a lot.But McCardel was born with a good-but-not-great physical gift, and has turned herself into one of the world’s best open-water marathon swimmers by sheer force of will.Read more.

►THAILAND:A 96-year-old retired military officer and former prime minister has been named Thailand’s temporary Regent as the nation mourns the death of the world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Bhumibol​ Adulyadej​.Read more.

►CHINA:Several employees from casino giant Crown are believed to have been arrested and detained in China by local authorities.Billionaire businessman James Packer’s Crown Resorts on Saturday saidit’sbelieved the employees were being interviewed. Read more.

On this dayOctober 16, 1923: “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – thatitwasall startedby amouse.” On this day 93 years ago, Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded the Walt Disney Company. The company started off as a leader in animation, before diversifying. Now known as Walt Disney Productions, it focuses on a range of media, includinglive-action film production, television, theatre, radio, music, publishing, and online media. And of course, it’s famous for its theme parks! Enjoy a tour of Disneyland with Walt Disney himself,here:

The faces of Australia:Trevor DickinsonNEVER has an artist used Newcastle as both their muse and canvas more than Trevor Dickinson.

Plotting the locations of his instantly recognisable murals on a map is like watching a painting obscure a blank page: Newcastle Beach, Mayfield Swimming Centre, the Merewether Beach tunnel and nearby Beach Hotel, inside and outside Newcastle Museum and even the dartboard at Lambton Park Hotel.

This doesn’t include his works on hoardings outside The Lucky Hoteland inside Charlestown Square, which have since been dismantled.

But after about five years of capturing the icons and idiosyncrasies of his much-loved adopted hometown, English-born Dickinson has drawn only five scenes of the city over the past two years.Read more.

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Bless you, my little woofer

WHERE ARE YOU?: Goulburn woman Kathy Dunn brought along her 12-month old Shih Tzu pups Marley and Charlie to the Blessing of the Pets.
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They sang along to ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and indulged in a few treats afterwards.

ALL CREATURES: Bishop Stuart Robinson led Sunday’s Blessing of the Pets service at Christ Church, West Goulburn amid glorious sunshine.

Or perhaps the many dogs gathered for the Anglican Diocese’s Blessing of the Pets were just yapping at each other.

Either way, Sunday’s gathering at Christ Church, West Goulburn was a convivial affair with some 50 people attending and an unknown number of dogs and cats. There were no guinea pigs,mice, ferrets or other unusual animals.

Bishop of Canberra/Goulburn, Stuart Robinson admitted it was a “bit Vicar of Dibbly-ish.”

“It’s a way of connecting with the community, includingthose not previously involved with the church,and providing a ministry and service in a way that will benefit,” he said.

Bishop Robinson said just as humans were called to be stewards of God, caring forand loving pets was an expression of this.

Sunday’s roll-up clearly appreciated theold Franciscan tradition.

Bless you, my little woofer Louise Gardner had her hands full with dogs Liesl, Misty, Pippa and Paddy. Photos: Louise Thrower

Des Rowley and Elaine Pugh gave Chihuaha Jack Russell, Roxy, some loving care at the service.

Shirley Woolner thought Bella deserved a dose of christianity.

Dr Margaret Beevors and Alan Guymer showed another string to their bow at Sunday’s service.

Holly Doggett was keen to get her dog, Oscar in on the act.

Michael Davis and Gina Catanzariti brought along their Pomeranian cross, Kimber to receive a blessing.

Lay preacher Lorraine Jones blessed Hinia Gunawan’s cats, Kairos and Gizmo.

Brooke Walsh enjoyed the event with Bull mastiff, Holly and Louie, a Lhasa Apso breed.

Ruth Dawe of Goulburn was counting her blessings for ‘Rusty,’ which she bought from the pound.

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Keir loves community

Proud rural woman: Jane Keir loves being involved in the Walgett community. Photo: CONTRIBUTEDWhen Walgett’s Jane Keir retired from her role as a registered nurse at Walgett Health Service in 2011, she didn’t imagine that five years later she would be working harder than ever.
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Not only hasMs Keir been re-elected to Walgett Shire Council for her third term, but she also manages the books for her family’s farm, manages the Come-By-Chance community hall and cemetery, and is back as a registered nurse, this time at Kookaburra Court aged care facility.

The retirement may have been short lived, lured to The Whiddon Group’sKookaburra Court less than three years after her retirement, but embodies her commitment to her community.

“I am born and bred at Come-By-Chance, my family arrived in the 1840s,” she said.

“We are a fifth or sixth generation farming family at Come-By-Chanceand I am very passionate about my community.”

Saturday was International Day of Rural Women and Ms Keir said it was an important landmark.

“Rural women are resilient, strong, energetic, hard working and very proud. We often have to go without some of the things our city sisters take for granted.We have a lot of days now for different causes but I really feel this is an important one.”

At age 10, Ms Keir went to Sydney for boarding school and stayed there while she completed her nursing studies.

She returned to the region in 1973, after more than a decade away. Soon after, she met her husband David andgot a job with the health service, first in community health, and later in palliative care.

Jane Keir

In 2008 she was elected as a councillor for the first time, and in the same year she had the honour of receiving an Order of Australia forher services to the community and dedication to rural nursing.

After she retired, Ms Keir said she wasn’t to look after the books for the family business, run by David and her son Ben. She also wanted to spend more time with her daughter Holly, who had moved to Sydney to start her own family. However,she couldn’t resist the chance to help Kookaburra Court.

“It was really only a temporary retirement,” she said.

“Kookaburra Court was looking for a registered nurse andI had kept my registration. I work two days a week and help with the eight residents there.

“Five of those residents are over 90 and most of them have lived in Walgett all their lives.”

Mr Keir said Kookaburra Court had been fantastic in ensuring the residents were able to remain involved in the community.

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Fine and dandy day for Kennedy

Narromine trainer Kylie Kennedy recommended the purchase of Long Lasting and she left the owners and connections delighted on Saturday when the gelding took out the $20,000George Green Dandy Cup (1200m) at her home track.
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Owned by the Bourchier, Wallace and Howell families, as well as Kennedy, Long Lasting took out an exciting feature race during a bumper day of action at the track.

For part owner and Narromine Turf Club vice presidentMarkBourchier the day was a huge success as the meeting attracted what many stated as the biggest crowd in the past 20 years.

Jockey Daniel Northey took Long Lasting ($5.50) to the lead early on in the Cup but he was made the fight hard all the way down the straight to hold out Darren Hyde’sFound At Last (Kody Nestor,$7) by a nose, with Flying By (Ken Dunbar, $9)a close third.

Pre-race favourite Two Penny Blue ($4.20) loomed around the outside as the field entered the bend for home but couldn’t go on with the job as the three horses who led the race early continued on towards home.

While Dubbo trainers missed out in the Dandy Cup, Connie Greig scored a double on the day with Our Sarastro and Emo Girl both scoring.

Greig, who moved out west from Hawkesbury in the winter, gave Dubbo apprentice Chris Williamsthe third win of his career when Our Sarastro ($2 favourite) led from start to finish in the Barnson Engineering Benchmark 55 Handicap (1600m).

Under strong riding from Greg Ryan, Emo Girl ($3.30 ) came from midfield to defeat Cowboys Karma (Kody Nestor, $8) by a long headin the Aquawest BM 53 Handicap (1300m) whileSunshine Royale (Mathew Cahill, $7) was third

Greg Ryan also won the Agrigrain 2-3 Year Old Maiden Plate (800m) on Azzie’s Ready ($1.70 favourite) while the Barry Molloy-trainedLake Lugarnowas an impressive winner of the 2Du-Zoo FM class 2 Plate (800m).

Lake Lugarno has now won three times and placed twice from six starts and on Saturday the $2.30 favourite finished strongly to edge outMr Swift (Nyssa Burrells, $6 ) by a head.

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

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