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Welcoming a new member into the fold

Rewarding: Janine Gapes and her daughter Georgia said becoming foster carers has been a positive experience for their family-of-six and has brought them closer together. Picture: Rob GunstoneFirst-time foster carerJanine Gapes believes her family are thelucky ones as they care for a teenager with complex needs.
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Mrs Gapes, husband Scott and their four adult children welcomeda female adolescent into their foldon Christmas Eve.

“If we were to do it,everyone had to be on board,” Mrs Gapes said.

“It was my children who came to me and said: ‘Mum, maybe we could do that.’”

While she said caring for the teenagerwas constant, there wasplenty of training and support available.

“It’s really not what I expected,” she said.

“It’s not something we thought we’d be doing at this stage of our life, but,to be honest, it’s really brought our family closer together.”

She said the children had “stepped up” to look after their foster sister, collecting from her school,taking her to the movies and for drives.

“We will get so much more out of this process than what the child will,” she said.

“Although she’s getting a lovely home and everything, as a family and as a friend groupshe just lightens everything and brings us joy.”

Georgia, 24, said it was a “really rewarding” experience and her foster sister had become “a really good friend”.

“I love being involved and helping her,” Georgia said.

“I wouldn’t have imagined that there’s that many people in our area that need our help.”

Mrs Gapes said people had embraced their newest family member.

She encouraged others to consider foster care.

“I didn’t realise (the benefits of foster care). You’re living in your own little bubble and you don’t realise that there’s that many kids out there,” she said.

“It’s just heartbreaking. I think if they have one person in their life, whether it be on a weekend or a monthly basis or whether you can do school holidays – it doesn’thave to be full time. You could make such a difference.”

RELATED: Fostering a family feeling

RELATED:Drugs fuel foster demand

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The New EnglandRegionalArt Museum (NERAM) in Armidale has received adonationof 11artworksby leading Australian artists which confirms its position as one of the leadingregionalcollections of Australian art in the country.
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Thedonationfrom Canberra based land-owner and arts benefactor John Gale OBE was announced by Andrew Murray, Chair of the Board at a special function at the New EnglandRegionalArt Museum last Friday evening attended by local donors and supporters of the museum.

Thedonationof elevenartworksvalued at over$1.2millionincludes paintings by Sir Arthur Streeton, Rupert Bunny, Elioth Gruner, Adrian Feint, JJ Hilder, Hans Heysen, Herbert Badham, Harold Septimus Power and Desiderius Orban.

They will complement the famous Howard Hinton Collectionat the New EnglandRegionalArt Museum.

“The generosity of John Gale in donating these eleven paintings to NERAM will assist us to provide our visitors and community with quality artistic experiences,” Robert Heather, Art Museum Director, said.

Mr Heather said the donationwas based upon John’s desire to see the works find a permanent home in a regionalinstitution that would value them highly and put them on regular display.

“Thisdonationbuilds upon the tradition of philanthropy and benefaction established by Howard Hinton OBE when he donated over 1000artworksto the Armidale Teacher’s College between 1928 and 1948,” he said.

“These form the centrepiece of NERAM’s extraordinarycollectionof over 5000 works of art now valued at approximately $30million.”

Mr Heather said it was the result of work by staff and supporters over a number of years who have been in contact with Mr Gale and his representatives.

The works in The GaleDonationare being submitted to the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program and will complement The Howard HintonCollectionat the New EnglandRegionalArt Museum.

These works will be on display inThe GaleDonationa small exhibition at the New EnglandRegionalArt Museum until Sunday,February 5, 2017.

Gale family member Clive Austin with NERAM director Robert Heather at Friday evening’s special function.

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

EVERY DAY HERO: Mike Shaw (left) with his bike ‘Moccona’ and Robyn Hardge-Scott of Bidwill, who will participate in the Broadening Horizons trek.MIKE Shaw had dreamed of riding his bike acrossthe Nullarbor Plain since he was 14.
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Now 44, he has justcompleted an incredible 39-day ridefrom Bunbury in Western Australia to Bondi Beach on Thursday.

Mr Shaw said he rode through rain, hail and floodwaterand spent an average of nine hours a day in the saddle,coveringmore than 4155 kilometres in the process.

He said he had some tough days on the machine hehas dubbed ‘Moccona’ –because it always gets him to coffee – but he was pushing the pain barrier for a worthy cause.

“There were some days when you just know that your body doesn’t have the energy but the cause I was riding for was much greater than the pain I was experiencing,” hesaid.

The ride raised more than $4000 for Bidwill Uniting Church’sBroadening Horizons program, which aims to changethe lives ofyoung girls livingBidwill.

The money will go towards funding an experience of a lifetime forthe four young women in the program -a trip to Tasmania in December to take on the famed Overland Track trek.

Mr Shaw, who lives in Bunbury but grew up in the Blue Mountains, said he found out about the program throughhisfriend, Reverend Mel Macarthur.

The pair set off together from Grace Christian School on August 8 along with their trusty driver Graham Loan.

Although his riding partnerwas forced to return home after 15 days,Mr Shaw said he never thought about giving up.

“I wasn’t doing it for me. Anyone can go for a ride but I wanted to bring up the positive aspects of society and make a difference,” he said.

“Too often you see negative articles but then you see what they’re doing here [Bidwill Uniting Church] and that resonates with people.

“The focus has always been on the girls here in Bidwill.”

Bec Reidy said following the ride had been an inspiring experiencefor everyone connected withBidwill Uniting Church.

“It was pretty amazing to have someone who has never met us to do something so incredible to help us out,” she said.

“The Broadening Horizons program is about mentoring young people to reflect on the direction of their lives byshowing them the world that existsbeyond Bidwill.

“Mike’s efforts certainly did that.”

Mr Shaw said his experiences on the road showed him the generous spiritof Australians.

“The Australian culture is about battling for the underdog. The generosity of the Australian people is amazing.

“If you were to ask me if I’d do it again –I would say yes.”

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

Braceyourself for a major backlash against the proposed privatisation of the Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment.
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The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association has the knives at the ready and with good reason.

It’s no secret the State Government is scrounging for money in the wake of the failed Transgrid sale. But partial privatisationwill come at a high cost to workload and job security.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner cannot guarantee the latter.

”Current permanent staff who want to work for new hospitals will be offered a position, provided an equivalent position exists,” her Thursday statement read.

Little wonder the troops are nervous. Goulburn MP Pru Goward says a privatised facility will mean more staff, not less. But how does she know?

Surely this depends on the type of partnership proposed and the services provided. Ms Goward also assures us casual staff will be safe. There are no guarantees there either.

In privatised hospitals throughout NSW, nurse to patient ratios have gone out the window in the drive for profit. Cost rationalisation is economics 101 unless minimum requirements are mandated by the government.

If we are indeed to have a partially privatised facility, the government must give these undertakings upfront.

Otherwise it will have a very big fight on its hands.

The expression of interest call also begs scrutiny. Authorities are well down the track with planning but are calling for interest in development of the existing or a greenfield site. Go figure.

SPYfest successOnce again the SPYfest organisers have pulled it off.

Congratulations to Wendy Antony, Julie Judd and a very hard working committee for a fantastic weekend.

The festival, with George Lazenby the star attraction, brought the community together and injected a dash of magic.

The street parade and activities in the park were buzzy, Lazenby generous with his time and praise of Goulburn,Saturday’s ball packed to the rafters and Sunday’s program at Victoria Park a great one for the family, despite the rain.We could go on.

What started as an idea has turned into a stunning success. Long may it continue.

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

Your Say

Military ClothingSO WE could save about $50 million by having military uniforms made overseas. Surely there are other things we could send offshore, and at the end of the day the marriage equality plebiscite will be paid for?Mind you there will also be the minor matter of welfare payments for the Australian citizens displaced from work as a consequence of this decision.
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Whatever happened to “Jobsen Growth”?On the positive side though, I suppose that this contract does ensure we won’t unilaterally (no need for a plebiscite) declare war on a country that is making our military uniforms, in case they decide to go slow, or cease production.

Rick Mecklenburgh, Seven Mile Beach.AbstainI VERY much agree with the two excellent sets of comments from B. Pearce and Malcolm McCulloch regarding euthanasia and the pulp mill (The Examiner, September 10).

The Tasmanian Liberal government members with strong religious beliefs, who certainly weren’t elected because of those beliefs, should abstain from voting on any bills involving euthanasia, which could enable Tasmania to have voluntary euthanasia.

Also, pass more severe laws to stop Green and environmental protesters from trespassing, which would encourage a company to finally build a pulp mill, which would create jobs for Tasmanians and have economic benefits for our state.

Mick Leppard, Invermay.Pauline HansonIT IS demeaning to watch past and present members of the Coalition supporting Pauline Hanson’s right to express her outrageous views regarding the Muslim faith and it’s followers with the immunity of parliamentary privilege. Even her most severe critic during her first term in the Senate, John Howard, has now changed his stance.Whatever could have brought about such a vigorous defence of Senator Hanson’s comments?Don’t suppose that four votes in the Senate plus a green light to Jacqui Lambie to follow suit has any bearing on the issue.

A Carter, Mowbray.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bin end as cellar staff pruned

CORKED: Lindeman’s cellar door and Harvest Cafe at Pokolbin will close on Friday.Cellar door staff have lost their jobs at Lindeman’s after its owner Treasury Wine Estates announced it would close the cellar door and its 1843 Harvest Café at Pokolbin.
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The closure will take place onFriday to undergo a review and extensive upgrade of the iconic winery.

A spokesperson for Treasury Wine Estate said asmall number of permanent full time roles will be impacted along with a number of casual roles.

However, theysaid it is possible that a number of casual roles will still be retained.

“At this stage it is not clear how long the review will require as we’re in the early stages of the process,” the spokesperson said.

“We havedecided it would be more effective to develop the plans for upgrade without trying to maintain all of the current operations at the same time.”

“The facilities are in need of a significant upgrade of both the look and feel of the interior, as well as the tourism facilities and attractions,” the spokesperson said.

“The Hunter Valley is a prime location for national and international visitors, so it’s important for the company to consider a range of concepts.

“We’re still in the early stages of reviewing all of the potential options for the site.”

The spokesperson said Treasury Wine Estates hasbeen in consultation with the employees impacted earlier this week.

Lindeman’sfunction centre will continue to operate while the plan for the overall site is being developed.

– The Maitland Mercury

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Great South Coast residents have until Thursday to have their say about theopportunities and challenges facing their communities.
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The Great South Coast Regional Partnership onlinesurveyasksresidents their priorities and visionfor the region,capturing valuablecommunity feedback.

Share your view: Great South Coast residents have until Thursday to have their say about the opportunities and challenges facing the community.

Great South Coast Regional Partnership chairwomanEmily Lee-Ack said the Victorian Government launched thepartnerships to give rural and regional Victorians a greater say.

A regional assembly,to be held in Port Fairy in October 6, willdiscuss and debate the region’s priorities, which will then be delivered to theVictorian Government.

Ms Lee-Ack said there had beenstrong feedback about the need for improved roads and transport networks, anemphasis on educationandtraining,visitor economy andtourism.

Respondents’visions for the region includegreatercultural diversity,educational opportunities, more employment for youthand a region thatvaluesenvironment, culture and the arts.

One person surveyed wantsa community that attracts companies and industries, while another would like to see “athriving 21st century economy that’s Australia’s dairy, eco-tourism and green energy capital”.

One respondent was more specific and called for a bike path from Allansford to Warrnambool.

Issues and topics raised onlinewill help form part of the regional assembly discussions.

“This is a great opportunity for people to offer feedback directly to the government and tell them what the priorities are for our region,” Ms Lee-Acksaid.

She said while there had been a good response, she would like as many people as possible to participate in the survey before it closed on Thursday.

“The better informed the partnership is, the better the quality of our work will be in terms of delivering the voiceof the community into government,” Ms Lee-Acksaid.

“We know that’s something that people really value. We want to do our absolute best to be that conduit and connect the voices of our community very firmly and directly into government.

“(At the assembly) we want to hear from people who are hugely passionate about their community, have some real fire in their belly about what they think will make a difference, or what it is they really love and want to see maintained,” Ms Lee-Ack said.

The Great South Coast Partnershipencompasses Warrnambool City andCorangamite,Glenelg,Moyne andSouthern Grampians shires.

It is one ofnine Victorian regional partnerships which will hold anassembly between October and December.

To answer the survey or register for the assemblygo tohttps://engage.regions.vic.gov419论坛/great-south-coast

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

Chris Ryan has been used in key position posts at both ends of the ground this year. Picture: NONI HYETTRelated –BFNL finals flashbacks | Photos
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Golden Square enters Saturday’s BFNL preliminary final clash against Eaglehawk with the weight of expectation firmly on its shoulders.

From day one of the season the Bulldogs have been expected to at least make the grand final.

For much of the season they have been on track to do so.

One poor performance in last Saturday’s second semi-final has the doubters circling and the full of confidence young Hawks can smell blood.

“From a scoreboard perspective (if we lose) it would be a wasted season,’’ Carter said.

“We put a lot of work into recruitment to build a list that we thought would be competitive at the end of the season.

“It would be really disappointing to bow out now considering our ladder position. In saying that it wouldn’t be a wasted season for the club because I think we’ve developed the bottom half of our list really well.

“We’ve promoted four or five young players who are going to become seasoned senior players for years to come.

“Like everything, you take the positive and negative out of things, but overall we’d be very disappointed if we lost on Saturday.”

The Dogs produced arguably their worst performance of the season in the second semi-final against the Dragons.

Carter admitted the effort stung his players.

“The reaction was like what I would expect,’’ Carter said.

“The guys got a kick in the backside and they needed to feel that for 24 hours.

“I’ve been impressed by the way they owned what happened, but at the same time focused on the week ahead.

“You really don’t have time to whinge about what might have been.

“We’re one win away from the big dance, so you have to be positive. We’ve sharpened up on a couple of things… and there’s a good feeling there.”

The Bulldogs and Hawks met three weeks ago, with Square scraping home by one point.

The Hawks have won two cut-throat finals since that game.

“We need to be prepared for an even more confident Eaglehawk,’’ Carter said.

“They’ve played really good footy to get where they are and they nearly got us a few weeks ago.

“They have a good mix of strong inside players with some very quick outside players.

“We need to ensure we get an A+ for the structures and disciplines that we set for ourselves. If we do get an A+ it will set up the game for us.

“We’re expecting a really tough contest against a young side that is full of confidence.

“We know how young teams can perform at this time of year because it wasn’t so long ago that a lot of our players were in the same situation.”

Carter said the opening 20 minutes of the preliminary final would be vital for his team.

“I’m expecting a fair bit of chaos in the first 10 minutes of the game and it will be a case of which side settles better for the next five minutes after that,’’ Carter said.

“We need to put on some scoreboard pressure early in the game and give our forwards early options with run and carry and movement of the ball.”

The Bulldogs will decide their final 22 on match morning. Bendigo Pioneers duo Riley Saunders and Jordan Rosengren are a chance to be included in the senior side after performing strongly in the reserves.

The preliminary final is scheduled to start at 3.10pm.

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

Forgotten but not lost

Robyn Wood and Gillian Erratt with the wall-hanging to be raffled at the Dementia Awareness Month event. FOUR wrong turnswere all it took for Robyn Wood to realise there was something wrong with her husband.
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The couple had been travelling to their eldest daughters’ farm in Narromine every year for the past 13 years so the route was more than familiar.

“That was the first indication that something was wrong, then he was at the football and was coming home but ended up lost down the street, that’s when we decided to do some testing,” Mrs Wood said.

John Wood was diagnosed with mildcognitive impairment in 2006 and esophageal cancer in 2010 and an eight hour operation to put a shunt in his neck saw a decline in his mental health to dementia.

The first six months that followed the diagnosis were the hardest as Mr Wood struggled to come to terms with his decline in brain function.

“Initially it was very stressful, the first diagnosis and testing was very stressful and it was quite hard for a few months until he learned to accept that he had a problem with his memory, he thought it was because he was dumb,” Mrs Wood said.

The couple decided not to keep the diagnosis a secret.

“I let people know because that’s one of the worst things, trying to hide it and to have people think nothing was the matter.

“You could talk to John about the weather and you would think there was not a problem because he could converse with you really well, but he could drive down the street and not remember where he put the car.

“That’s why I let all his mates and people know so that if they found him wandering they could help,” Mrs Woodsaid.

Mr Wood passed away six months ago and Mrs Wood credits the dementia with his ability to hold on for three years past expected.

“We think that the dementia helped him last longer with the cancer because he never worried about anything,” she said.

Mrs Wood was her husbands’carer for ten years and said watching her partner lose his independence was one of the hardest things.

“When we first came home the last time they said to me, ‘You’re the carer now, not the partner,’ but it’s a double-edged sword there.

“Your relationship changes but it doesn’t change, it’s a strange one.

“I know some people would find it very difficult, toward the end I was helping him shower and dress but I just thought that’s what you do, you do it for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, that was my job.

“He became really dependent on me, I think that happens in a lot of relationships, I saw it with my parents, when my father got oldhe was lost without my mum and our relationship was very much the same.

“It was very hard for him but I think he was very accepting of the caring part toward the end, he would just say, ‘Oh you’re a good girl, you’re a good girl,’” she said.

Mrs Wood talked frankly with her husband about death and said this helped them both to cope.

“We’d laugh about a lot of things, even with his dementia and the cancer he knew that he only had limited time so we could always talk honestly and openly about the fact that he was going to die.

“One of the funny things is that we ended up with three wallets because he would always plant them in places where we couldn’t find them.

“He had an old Ute and we could never find the keys, weeks and weeks later I found them, he’d put them in an old water pipe in the shed, another time I found them in a shoe box, just strange places.

“The biggest advantage was that he rarely ever got cranky but if we did have an argument it never mattered because five minutes later he’d forgotten about it,” she laughed.

Mrs Wood has attended a carers group since her husband received his diagnosis and found that the solidarity she found in others was a great pillar of support.

“I think to have other people going through that situation with you it helps because you can have a whinge to them about it.

“One of the things I learned pretty early was to have no expectations, because today he might be able to remember how to sweep the floor, tomorrow he might not.

“If you have no expectations, you don’t expect them to know where they’ve left something or what they’ve done then you don’t get disappointed as a carer, that’s one of the biggest things I learned,” she said.

September is Dementia Awareness Month and HealthWISE will run a free event at Kent House from 10amon Tuesday September 27.

An artwork by artist Gillian Erratt will be raffled on the day to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.

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High school champs: The cycling team representing William Clarke College after winning the inaugural InterSchool Secondary Cup. Picture: suppliedWilliam Clarke College has held off a challenge from Knox Grammar School to claim the inaugural InterSchool CyclingSecondary Schools Cup.
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The team finished first ahead of16 secondary schools represented in the competition and third of 42 schoolsoverall, including thosecompeting for the Primary Schools Cup.

The13-week competition wasorganised by the Junior Cyclist organisation, with schools from across Sydneyrepresented, compilingscores reflectingparticipation, personal best times and top 10 finishes inraces graded on ability around a 2km cycling track at Lansdowne Reserve.

Although not entering the competition until after seven rounds, William Clarke College had a tight battlewith Knox Grammar School with the Kellyville students only taking the lead in the penultimate week.

Year seven student Erica Campbell-Rogers, 12, said it was good to meet so many people from different backgrounds.

“I got to race with people who were younger than me,older than me and we worked really well together seeing as though we didn’t know each other,”she said.

Erica also entered the competition with teammates including her twin brother Peter and sister Eleanor.

“It gets a little competitive sometimes and we may push each other off the line when we’re trying to draft,” she said of racing with her siblings.

“However, other than that, it was pretty fun.”

Generally training for triathlon with Hills Triathlon Club, Erica saidthe competition would help her cycling leg.

Coach Robyn Low Hart fromthe Hills Triathlon Club and local training group Active8 Training said the rivalry with Knox was a good motivator as the children tried to stay ahead in the competition’sfinal weeks.

“Every week, the kids would come to me and ask ‘is everybody racing this week?’ she said.

“There was one week where we did not have any William Clarke kids at all and they were all devastated.

“We really had to dig deep and have a full contingent of people to go there and get back in front.”

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