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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Where are all the female economists in Australia?

Federal Reserve board chairwoman Janet Yellen. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde. Photo: JOSE LUIS MAGANA
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In my job as a financial journalist, I spend a lot of time with blokes.

I interview blokes. I go to lunch with blokes. I listen to blokes deliver budgets. I read statements by blokes on interest rates. I write up research by blokes. I compete with blokes to write the best economics columns. Which is odd.

Economics – more than any other discipline – puts high value on the importance of individual choice, free markets, fierce competition and efficient outcomes.

The dearth of senior female economists in Australia doesn’t fit the theory.

As gender barriers are torn down in other industries, economics remains a distinctly masculine pursuit.

If Australia has ever had a female chief economist of one of the big four banks, I can’t recall. Of the 49 distinguished academic economists on the Economic Society of Australia and Monash Business School’s national panel, just six are women.

We’ve certainly never had a female federal Treasurer. A woman has never headed the federal Treasury department – nor is she likely to anytime soon after the clear out of senior women that occurred after Tony Abbott’s dismissal of former Secretary Martin Parkinson, who was a champion of women and now heads the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Women are inching up the tree at the Reserve Bank, with Luci Ellis, Michelle Bullock and Alexandra Heath in senior positions. But I suspect we’re still at least another Reserve Bank governor appointment away before a woman is seriously considered as a leading candidate to pull the monetary policy strings.

There’s greater progress overseas.

The most powerful financial job in the world – head of the US Federal Reserve – is now performed by a female economist, Janet Yellen. Although most news stories about her appointment (including, mea culpa, my own) couldn’t help but mention she’s married to the famous economist George Akerlof.

The head of the International Monetary Fund also wears a skirt. Under the tenure of Christine Lagarde, the IMF executive board has finally begun considering the idea of gender diversity. Of the 24 positions, just one  is occupied by a woman: Chileshe Kapwepwe from Zambia.

Together with Australia’s representative on the IMF board, Barry Sterland, she has been leading a push to promote women.

To Sterland, the economics of promoting women is simple.

“Diverse boards are more effective because they have access to more talent. Talent is evenly distributed among men and women, hence there is talent in our member countries that we are missing out. This is about ensuring the widest range of talent to make for a better board.”

And there’s the crux: talent is evenly distributed.

Statistically speaking, that means that for every top man, there is an equally talented top woman. For every second best man, a second best woman. So if you have a team comprising the four top men, your team is, by a matter of statistically certainty, not as strong if you had the two top men and the two top women.

The maths is simple, which is why most of the male economists I know are unabashed feminists.

So why aren’t there more senior female economists in Australia?

A large part is just the usual toxic combination of unconscious bias, old boys networks, women’s traditional role of being responsible for child rearing responsibilities etc.

When it comes to why more women aren’t quoted more often in the media, I can speak with more authority.

First of all, there are definitely fewer of them.

But it’s not just that. In my experience, male economists are also more likely to have honed their “dial a quote” skills, so valued by journalists. Quotable economists need to be quick on the draw and confident in their assertions. Male economists are, in my experience, more likely to feel very well informed across a broader range of topics. They’re also more prepared to stick their neck out with an opinion, even if they’re not entirely across all the details.

On a recent visit to Australia, American economist Betsey Stevenson, a former adviser to Barack Obama, made the excellent point that women – herself included – tend to focus on the “confidence interval” surrounding their findings and not hammer home their “point estimate” as hard as men

But over-confidence is not genetic: it’s a skill that can be easily learned and must be, I’d argue, for female economists to succeed.

At a retreat in the McLaren Vale  a few months ago, the Economics Society fo Australia organised for some of Australia’s most senior female academics economists – Alison Booth (ANU), Deborah Cobb-Clark (University of Sydney) and Lisa Cameron (Monash) – to mentor and network with some of most talented upcoming female economists.

As a result, a new Australian Women in Economics Network is being established. Such networks are common in other male-dominated disciplines such as maths, science and engineering.

The goal is to promote the talents of female economists across the private sector, academia, education and government.

A registry of female economists will be established to help media and other institutions to identify female talent.

Any female economists wishing to join should look up the Facebook public group “Women in Economics Australia”, which already has about 150 members, or contact Leonora Risse at RMIT or Danielle Wood at the Grattan Institute.

So ladies, brush up your dial-a-quotes and focus on your point estimate. And expect my call.

Ross Gittins is on leave.

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Wallabies future lies with the NRC, not the NRL

Not Wallabies quality: The Kangaroos forward pack wouldn’t displace any current Wallaby. Photo: Paul Kane Lost opportunity: Cameron Smith could have been the Wallabies long-term halfback in a different reality. Photo: Paul Kane
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Whenever I watch the Kangaroos, as I did on Saturday night, I’m reminded of one of many favourite yarns out of New Zealand.

It concerns a talented young player at Hamiltons Boys’ High School in New Zealand, a noted rugby nursery that produced Henry Speight, Sean Maitland and Tawera Kerr-Barlow, among others.

This kid was gifted. All the Super Rugby teams were interested but there was a problem. He was playing up off the field, a bit of a tearaway.

Exasperated, his school rugby coaches gave him a final warning – a threat, really.

“Look son, if you don’t sort yourself out we’re going to send you to the Warriors.”

It’s probably apocryphal, but nonetheless it gives you a good indication of the pecking order in New Zealand. By and large, the best gravitate towards the All Blacks. So when the Kangaroos struggle against the Kiwis, as they have in recent years, it gives me pause to consider their true quality, despite the oft-repeated line that all the Wallabies need is more league players.

When you look at the Kangaroos forward pack, the idea that many – or any – could go into the Wallabies and provide an instant lift just isn’t realistic. The body shapes and technical requirements for tight five rugby forwards and No.7s immediately rule out the entire Kangaroos pack. The only positions that you could argue might work for a code swapper are No.6 and No.8.

The Kangaroos pack that played in Perth on Saturday included Matt Scott, Shannon Boyd, Boyd Cordner, Matt Gillett, David Klemmer, Tyson Frizell and Sam Thaiday – they are all good, tough players but what would do with them? Athletically, there would be question marks about some of them going the 80. My pick of that bunch are Gillett and Cordner, but if you are comparing them with Kieran Read and Jerome Kaino, or the likes of Billy Vunipola, Toby Faletau and Maro Itoje, I’m far from convinced they would stand out in that company.

As for the backs, well let’s get the obvious out of the way. If, 10 years ago, rugby could have picked up Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston, then it would have won the lottery.

Smith, frankly, is incredible. He would have made an outstanding halfback and lifted the whole Wallabies group over the past decade. But that’s living in an alternative reality. They are league men and at this stage of their careers would be terrible value for rugby. Of the younger Kangaroos backs, I’d pass on every one.

So where does the Wallabies’ future lie? In developing its own and, more broadly thinking, developing the competitions that excite players. With these two things in mind, the addition of a Fijian team to the NRC is a credit to all involved.

The involvement of World Rugby is key, too. First, it indicates that the ARU can be a player again, an organisation that gets things done. And second, there are longer-term implications.

Sure the ARU might be reticent about over-selling the benefits, but this looks – in part – like a clever, market-driven strategy to tackle the question of athletes being lost to Europe’s clubs.

Stronger: The Fijian team in the NRC will greatly improve the standard of competition. Photo: Getty Images

You can’t stop players from seeking overseas contracts with regulation. It is punitive and it doesn’t work. For example, World Rugby might listen to arguments about the three-year residency period for eligibility being extended to five years, but it also knows the clubs are already ahead of that game. The French have already started recruiting players younger. Five years won’t stop the flow, it’ll just encourage more cradle-snatching.

What might stop it, however, is giving the Pacific Island players an opportunity to earn a living by doing what they love closer to the crucial support networks that are crucial for young players. This is why I hope, with every fibre in my body, that this Fiji NRC team is a success.

In addition, Australia knows that any competition – NRC today, possibly Super Rugby tomorrow – that has a Fijian team in it will be enhanced.

The NRC is already a better competition this year than last. It is also being nourished by the attitude towards it shown by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika – picking Tolu Latu based on NRC form was a great message.

The Wallabies’ future is developing their own, and that’s already begun.

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Novak Djokovic to focus on life off court as Andy Murray threatens for No.1 ranking

Novak Djokovic plans to celebrate his son Stefan’s second birthday on Friday and focus on his life off the court rather than tweak his late-season schedule to fortify his threatened No.1 ranking against Andy Murray’s year-end assault.
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Despite the Serb’s recent form issues manifesting in a 6-4, 6-4 semi-final loss at the Shanghai Masters to Spanish 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, Djokovic said he had no plans to play again before the Paris Masters, starting on October 31.

Murray, who was to face Bautista Agut in his career-best 10th final of the season on Sunday night, is playing an additional tournament in Vienna before Paris. The world’s top two are scheduled to finish at the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November, where Djokovic is the defending champion.

While a finals victory in Shanghai would leave Murray just 1190 points behind Djokovic, the world No.2 insists the year-end summit is not a realistic ambition. He is being conservative. It still can be done.

“My goal is not to try and reach No.1 this year,” Murray said. “I’d have to win pretty much every match between now and the end of the year. And Novak would not have to win hardly any. So it’s not in my hands.

“I want to try and get there, but I don’t think doing that by the end of this year is that realistic. So I just want to try and finish this year as strong as I can. Maybe give myself a chance at doing it the early part of next year.”

After a dominant start to the year, Djokovic has won just one title – the Toronto Masters – since the emotional completion of his career grand slam at the French Open in June. After being eliminated in the third round at Wimbledon, he was beaten in his Rio Olympics opener and lost to Stan Wawrinka in the US Open final.

His early departure from China came after he ripped a shirt, smashed a racquet and clashed with chair umpire Carlos Bernades. Djokovic’s nerves fraying just as his usually-immaculate game recently has.

“There are definitely things that I need to [regain] kind of from the emotional/mental point of view,” Djokovic said. “So, yeah, I guess I’m focusing on that more, so it’s a transition somewhere in between. Maybe just exhausted by the amount of matches I have had in the last 15 to 20 months. So maybe all in all that’s the cause of me feeling this way.

“But I had to experience sooner or later this. I knew I could not go on playing on highest level for so many years all the time, you know, but it’s good to experience this so I can hopefully get better in the period to come.”

Asked about Djokovic’s difficulties, Murray said it was not his place to offer advice to his long-time rival and friend, but added: “I do think that after everything he’s achieved and the kind of dominance that he’s had, it takes so much effort and work to be making finals almost every single week for two years.

“I mean, it’s a really, really hard thing to do. And it’s maybe normal if he’s mentally a little bit tired or trying to find the next thing for him to achieve after what he did at the French Open, as well.

“So I do think it’s pretty normal, and I’m sure he will get it back. But it’s just normal to have a period after what he’s done the last few years where he’s maybe not as dominant as he was.”

Among the more telling comments of the week was one from Bautista Agut, who was 0-5 against Djokovic before their semi-final, and had taken just two sets from the Serb in a history dating back to 2013.

“I’m so happy I could beat him, no?” said the Masters 1000 finals debutant. “The first time I remember I played him I thought he was from another planet, and now I think I’m closer to him.”

Many players will be sharing that sentiment. In a changing tennis landscape, Djokovic may be clinging to the mountain-top, but the pack, headed by Murray, is closing. Fast.

Linda Pearce is a guest of the Shanghai Rolex Masters

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Sally Faulkner to reveal story behind botched child recovery attempt in Lebanon

Sally Faulkner recalls the moment her ex-husband, Ali Elamine, broke his promise to return their children to Australia after a holiday in Lebanon. Photo: Australian StoryBrisbane mother Sally Faulkner has described the moment she found out her children were not coming back to Brisbane after what was meant to be a two-week holiday in Lebanon with their father.
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It was a moment that would eventually lead to the botched attempt to recover her children with a 60 Minutes crew in tow, which captured the attention of both nations.

Reported as a kidnapping by Lebanese media outlets and a botched recovery attempt by Australian media outlets, it started after a Skype call between Ms Faulkner and the children’s father Ali Elamine.

“When he answered the Skype call, I could just see his face and I said to him ‘what’s wrong’ and he looked at me and he said ‘plans have changed’ and that’s when every part of me just wanted to fall apart,” Ms Faulkner said

“I said ‘what do you mean?’ I didn’t quite believe it and he said ‘plans have changed Sal, the kids aren’t coming home'”

It was the recovery attempt that saw Channel Nine’s 60 minutes crew, including presenter Tara Brown, detained in Lebanon.

Today, seven months on, the children remain in Lebanon with their father, Ali Elamine, while Ms Faulkner has since penned a book All for My Children, due to be released in November.

In an interview with ABC’s Australian Story to air on Monday, Ms Faulkner says she signed an agreement prior to the children’s trip that had been written by Mr Elamine and which she anticipated would give the children the best outcome.

“We were able to co-parent, we sat down together and did a parenting agreement, just written on paper signed and dated about what we expected and the kind of things we wanted from each other in terms of the children,” Mrs Faulkner said.

“We were making the best of what we could given we lived in two different countries.”

An excerpt of the informal agreement written by Mr Elamine reads: “I also expect our children to maintain a healthy relationship with the Australian side of the family as well as their Lebanese one by visiting my parents and their uncles and cousins once a year.”

The interview also sees Ms Faulkner detail the few months in the lead up to the ‘child recovery attempt’.

“Ali, he said to me ‘is it possible I take them back to my family to spend some time, just as a holiday’,”  she said.

“And so I drove them to the airport, I thought this is great, the kids are going to have the best of both worlds.

“They’re going to have Lebanon, they’re going to know that culture, I thought we were on the same page, we’re on a good thing, we we’re able to co-parent.

“I said to him, I said ‘Ali promise me, look me in the eye and promise me that you will bring them back…  he said we’ll see you in two weeks.

“Then he put his arms out and give me a hug and goes ‘you’re a good mum Sal, you’re a good mum’ he goes ‘they’ll be all right with me’ and then I said ‘I trust you’.”

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Talking weeds and birds with Landcare

Hi Landcarers, Central West Lachlan Landcare is thrilled to welcome Paul Sullivan to share his knowledge and expertise on weed management.
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Paul Sullivan has worked for 38 years on weed biological and integrated control for NSW DPI, so brings with him a wealth of knowledge.

Whilst Paul has played a large part in introducing and distributing many of the species that we are now seeing the benefits from in terms of reduction, he also has a sound knowledge of chemical and other alternative treatments for many of the species that are still providing significant problems in our area.

Paul has researched, developed and coordinated many projects for terrestrials Paterson’s curse, prickly pears (common, tiger and tree pear), broom weeds (English and Cape), blue heliotrope, horehound, thistles (nodding and Scotch), dock, blackberry, bridal creeper, gorse and St John’s Wort and aquatics salvinia, water hyacinth and alligator weed.

Healthy Patterson’s Curse: One of the plants Paul Sullivan will be talking about on Wednesday.

He is also actively involved in educating, training and assessment of those involved in natural resource management.

The Weeds Management Workshop runs between 1pm – 3pm on Wednesday,October 19 at the Central West Lachlan Landcare Office at Kelly Reserve in Parkes.

I will pop the kettle on for a post lunch cuppa and snack (please no post-lunch napping). Please RSVP to me on 02 6862 4914 or [email protected]南京夜网

As I mentioned last week, we are very excited to once again be involved in activities during the Aussie Backyard Bird Count betweenOctober 17-23.

This is a chance for us all to have an extra focus on our birdlife and the environment that they live in.

On Tuesday, October 18 we will be holding our Forbes Kids Bird Walk at the Bird Hide at Gum Swamp, again, commencing at 4pm with a talk on the Painted Snipe Project that is being undertaken at the Swamp to increase bird habitat.

Please note that a parent or caregiver must be present with children attending any of these walks.

If possible, it would be good for kids (and adults) to wear long pants, a hat, sunscreen and binoculars if you can.

I will bring a few basic binoculars with me.

Please RSVP to me on 6862 4914, text me on 0418 611 053 or email [email protected]南京夜网 if you are attending any of these activities.

As usual, links to items in this article are available on facebook or on our website at 梧桐夜网centralwestlachlanlandcare.org

Until next week, happy Landcaring!

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Mental health on the agenda

HIVE OF ACTIVITY: St Helens District High School students at Thursday’s mental health event at Break O’Day Community Stadium. Picture: Supplied St Helens got into the spirit of Mental Health Week on Thursday with a community event at Break O’Day Community Stadium.
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East Coast health organisations and service providers were on hand to discuss mental health withSt Helens District High School students throughout the morning and early afternoon,before community members arrived in the afternoon for a barbecue.

Students werealso keptbusy with a promise wall, where they wrote mental health pledges to themselves.

St Helens Neighbourhood House manager Trish O’Duffy said while the day incorporated entertainment including giant games and live music,there was aserious message behind the event.

“We all have times in our lives that we’re anxious or depressed so it’s important to be aware of what strategies you can put in place to prevent that and where you go to get help,” Ms O’Duffy said.

Wellways (formerly MI Fellowship) senior program worker David Wilkes,one of many health professionals to attend the event,said it was important to encourage people to be proactive about mental health.

“We’re about social participation and encouraging people to participate in their communities and connect with something that’s meaningful for them, whether it’s study or work or a personal interest,” Mr Wilkes said.

“Some of the kids said to me today they’re getting the message about talking to other people and not keeping things to themselves, which is a critical message to get across to young people.”

Students also received a visit from Break O’Day Council general manager John Brown, whowas only too pleased to help spread the message of mental health awareness.

“Events like this are really important no matter where they are because they’re building awareness of mental health and where assistance can be obtained,” Mr Brown said.

“Events like this are very much acknowledging that there is a need within any community and this is just one method of addressing the situation that does exist within communities.

“It’s great to see a number of local organisations like the school being part of it and the range of community organisations coming together to work on an event like this one, it’s great.”

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Police charge driver after high-speed pursuit

Drunk and drug-affected drivers caused havoc on Wagga roads at the weekend, with police saying one man led officers on a high-speed chase and another narrowly avoideda life-threatening head-on crash.
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At 11.10pm on Friday, a 34-year-old Mount Austin man – who blew close to three times the legal blood alcohol limit – careered out of control on a residential street into the path of an oncoming car.

Acting Inspector Darren Brand from Wagga Local Area Command said he was amazed nobody was killed or seriously injured in the incident.

Police said the man lost control of his Nissan Navara on Stanley Street, Kooringal, crossed over to the wrong side of the road, mounted a kerb, hit a tree on the nature strip and then slid for 50 metres.

The driver of an oncoming car had to violently swerve to avoid “severe impact”.

The ute was towed, the driver’s licence was suspended on the spot and he will face Wagga court in November.

Acting Inspector Ryan Sheaf said the risk of serious injury was “extreme” and condemned the driver for putting others’ lives at risk by driving drunk.

At 11.45pm on Saturday, a 26-year-old Glenfield Park man gave highway patrol the slip on dirt roads outside of Junee, after he pretended to stop for a random breath test.

The fleeing driver reportedly clocked 120km/h on unsealed roads, throwing up plumes of dust, which he used to his advantage to temporarily escape.

Highway patrol officers ended the pursuit and headed to the address where the car was registered, arriving just moments before the Glenfield Park man arrived home.

While the driver had not been drinking, he tested positive to drug tests on the roadside and back at the Wagga police station.

He had already been disqualified from driving until March 2017.

He has been charged with failing to stop and driving while disqualified and will face court in November.

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Extreme weather plans could pay dividends

Tasmaniahas copped the extremes this year when it comes to weather.
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A long dry period early in the year had the state wondering if its hydro electricity system would grind to a halt. From May, Tasmania has received its fair share of a record wet period for the country.

Floods arrived in June, claiming lives and damaging homes and businesses.

The expense from both the wet and the dry has been significant.

The state governmentsaid it would provide $8.7 million for the replacement of high priority, critical road and bridge infrastructure damaged by flooding.

During the drought period before the El Nino broke down, it brought incostly generators to supplement Tasmania’s hydro power.

The downpour has complicated life for farmers in recent months while the fires earlier this year similarly brought major challenges for producers.

The fingerprints of the wild weather can be found in many unexpected places.

Last week Tasmania received the alarming news that a 35-metre sinkhole threatened to open up at the Beaconsfield mine yard and destroy the iconic skyshaft, after a ground subsidence caused by the big wet.

It’s believed $1.2 million is needed to address the problem with the best option: A concrete plug to prevent any further movement.

This unexpected cost is likely to be carriedat least in part by the federal government. It’s another surpriseexpense brought on by the year’s tumultuous weather.

Looking back, future historians will see this year as a particularly trying one for the state. Hopefully it becomes the exception and not the norm.

Tasmania has seen its normal order of weather and climate upturned, bringing chaos at times to its way of life.

However it’s a credit to the state the way its communities united in response to flooding earlier this year.

How governments decide to deal with other problems, such as the Beaconsfield subsidence, remains to be seen.

Given the unpredictable nature of this year’s events, it may pay for governments and councils throughout the state to consider all the infrastructure that could be vulnerable to extreme weather events.

That way, it can plan responses to potential problems better, and head off any disasters with some preventative action.

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

Lees takes titles as a clown cops a hit

KICKING: Shaun Read takes a wild ride during Saturday night’s rodeo at the Orange showgrounds. Photos: JUDE KEOGH
Nanjing Night Net

CROWDED HOUSE: Organisers were delighted with the response of Orange people to the rodeo which attracted 4300 people for a night of thrills and spills.

Ben Lees claimed the glory in a night of action before a big crowd at the Orange Rodeo on Saturday night.

Lees, 36, of Singleton,won the All-round Cowboy title as well as being the Australian bareback rider and East Coast saddlebronc champions.

HOLDING ON: Troy Burtenshaw clings to the back of a bucking bull.

President of the East Coast championships, Al Wilson said: “He’s a top gun in the rodeo industry. He’s won many East Coast championships and Australian national championships.”

Other winners included Josh Barnett in the open bull ride, Brendon Crawley in the novice bull ride andBianca Hurdle in the ladies barrel racing. There was a three-way tie in the steer riding with Clayton Miners, Jack Barnes and Brett Lewis-Jackson sharing the spoils.

Wilson said the biggest hit of the night was taken by bullfighting protection clown Matt Darmody who was hit by a bull in the last round and broke his arm.

“Most people wouldn’t have known it had happened as it was in the last round. He just got hit by a bull and broke his arm. He finished the event before going to hospital.”

Wilson said Darmody had already needed both kneesreconstructed and surgery to his shoulder after other hits during his career.

“He specialises in saving cowboys from charging bulls. It’s the world’s most dangerous job and bull-fighting is the world’s most dangerous sport,” he said.

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

Title beckoning for Eagles in Tamworth

Flying Eagle: Angus Roberts and the NSW Country Eagles are headed back to Tamworth after securing hosting rights for the final with a 50-24 win over the Melbourne Rising on Saturday. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Nanjing Night Net

Tamworth will host the National Rugby Championship decider after the NSW Country Eagles defeated the Melbourne Rising 50-24 in Saturday’s semi-final in Newcastle.

The final will be held at Scully Park on Saturday night and will be the Eagles’ second in three seasons.

They’ll play the Perth Spirit, who in Sunday’s second semi-final, defeated the Sydney Rays 42-24.

It will be the second game the Eagles have played in Tamworth this season after they tackled the Rising at Tamworth Rugby Park back in the third round of the competition.

Eagles general managerPeter Playford said there were a few factors that contributed to Tamworth being awarded the final.

Among them was the reception they received the Rising game.

“The whole town was very accommodating,” he said.

“Tamworth has really embraced the Eagles.”

It will be their third game in Tamworth in the three years of the competition and Playford’s vision is to host at least a game in Tamworth annually.

With Fox Sports broadcasting the gameand, the only week turnaround, they also needed a venue ready and with the facilities to hostsuch a big game.

“The last two grand finals have been at Ballymore,” Playford said.

“We always said if we made the grand final we’d take it to the bush.”

Things were looking shaky for the Eagles early on Saturday with the Rising jumping up to a 16-nil lead inside the first 10 minutes.

“Then we put on six unanswered tries,” Playford said.

After scoring his first try of this years NRC the previous week,Eagles skipper, and Tamworth boy, Paddy Ryan had a memorable hand in one of those, producing an offload straight out of the top drawer to set Sam Figg up for his second try.

Backing up in support of half-back Jake Gordon, after he swooped on a loose ball from a Rising lineout, Ryan flicked a pass -one-handed –across his body.

The try put the Eagles ahead 28-16 at half-time and they were never headed from there.

“I’m very happy, but you don’t want to get ahead of yourself,” Ryan said after the win.

“Clichés in rugby come out for a reason, and that’s because a lot of them ring very true. If we start getting ahead ourselves, then we will fall at the last hurdle.”

The final program for Saturday is still being finalised but Playford is looking to bring in big screens so spectators can watch the Aussie womens test against the Kiwis and the third Bledisloe.

Tickets are available through West Tamworth Leagues Club at $10 for general admission and $20 for a seat in the stand.

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

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