Bendigo Pioneers mark great start to season by beating North Ballarat Rebels 

THE Bendigo Bank Pioneers kicked off their season by beating North Ballarat Rebels in the AFL TAC Cup under-18s football clash at Craigieburn on Easter Saturday.

Led by the play of Kyneton’s Jordan Mangan and Castlemaine’s Josh Cakitaki across half-back, skipper Jacob Chisari from South Mildura, Sandhurst’s Harry O’Meara and Lalbert’s Jake Maher through the centre and across midfield, the Pioneers won 12.18 (90) to 7.6 (48).

It was the club’s first victory since the Ollie Wines and Jake Stringer-inspired 10-point triumph against Northern Knights on July 14 in last season’s 13th round Huntly’s Strauch Reserve.

Although they had 15 players in their first TAC Cup under-18s clash, the Pioneers teamed superbly after a nervous opening to the 2013 campaign.

North Ballarat capitalised on a stiff breeze to lead 12-nil after less than five minutes.

Both of the Rebels goals were taken after two marks inside forward 50m.

Bendigo’s defence tightened up after the early onslaught to concede just two more marks inside the Rebels attacking 50m for the rest of the contest.

The Pioneers finished the first quarter by scoring four consecutive behinds.

Bendigo made a brilliant start to term two.

Liam Byrne’s strong tackle at the centre bounce earned a free kick.

Byrne passed to Chisari who in turn handpassed to the pacy O’Meara to goal on the run from near the 50m arc.

The Rebels replied to lead 19-12 after five minutes.

A series of passes by the Pioneers was capped by a mark and goal to Irymple’s Bryce Heeps.

Mangan’s tap at the next centre bounce ended up with Bendigo winning the centre break and the first of three goals by Sandhurst’s Alex Hywood to take the lead in the 12th minute.

A superb kick-in by Lockington’s Trent Bacon after a Rebels point set off an attack down the outer wing from which Blake O’Halloran marked and goaled to lead 30-20 in the 15th minute.

The Rebels intercepted a kick across ground near centre half-forward and goaled.

It was one of few errors the Pioneers made in transition from defence to attack.

Bendigo hit back with consecutive goals, which included one by O’Meara on the run to lead 43-26 at half-time.

The Pioneers won the crucial third quarter by 14 points.

Highs included Chisari’s brilliant roving and quick handpass to O’Meara in the clear to kick his third major.

Kyneton’s Daniel Davie was rewarded for his chase and tackle with a goal, while South Bendigo’s Blake Poyser intercepted a pass from which the Pios attacked and Hywood goaled.

The Pioneers did most of the attacking in the final term.

O’Halloran and Hywood were on target in a quarter where several shots at goal were askew.

While it was second-year players such as Chisari, Mangan and O’Meara who stood out, a lot of the Pioneers newcomers showed a lot of skill and poise under pressure.

Shortly after they had sung “We Are The Pioneers” with gusto, coach David Newett praised the team for its intensity, workrate and determination to win a lot of one-on-one contests against the Rebels.

The Pioneers led the inside 50m tally, 54-31; clearances 27-21; and marks inside 50m, 7-4.

“Every player contributed to this victory. It’s a fantastic feeling to start the season with a win,” Newett said.

“We showed today that by getting the ball into space and using our pace and skills that we can open sides up.

“Today is reward for effort for all the work you have put in. The challenge is to go again next week,” he said of facing Murray Bushrangers on Saturday at Shepparton’s Deakin Reserve.

GREAT PLAY: Bendigo Pioneers’ Billy Evans wins the ball in the midfield. Picture: AFL PHOTOS

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Street art debate: a conversation Ballarat needs to have

IS graffiti art or vandalism? It’s a question dividing the Ballarat community.

It’s also an issue that is costing more than $250,000 a year to address and frustrating many business owners who have to clean up graffiti attacks on their buildings.

According to City of Ballarat’s public art advisory committee head, councillor Des Hudson, a conversation about urban art is something the community needs to have.

“Where there are legitimate spaces, acceptable designs and approval from the community, urban art can be an acceptable form of public art,” Cr Hudson says.

He cites the council’s traffic signal box art project as a great success in curbing graffiti and encouraging urban art.

Started two years ago with the approval of VicRoads, the $30,000 project has seen 20 signal boxes painted by Ballarat artists.

The project is modelled on a similar effort by the City of Brisbane and links professional artists and community groups together.

Cr Hudson says another 15 signal boxes will be painted by the end of this financial year at a further cost of $10,000.

“When you use public art to reduce the number of blank canvasses, it provides an opportunity for urban art to come out in public domain,” Cr Hudson says.

“Generally, it then doesn’t attract graffiti as it becomes sacred space.”

However Cr Hudson, who also chairs the Ballarat community safety committee, says not all graffiti can be considered appropriate or art.

“For me, graffiti is tagging, it’s words and scrolls that doesn’t mean anything to anyone,” he says.

“It’s designed to damage property and generally make an area appear untidy.

“To that end, we would commend the work of Ballarat police in Operation Centaur, which is taking a hard line to people who participate in this form of vandalism.”

The council has also spent good money trying to clean the streets of graffiti.

“We have spent in excess of $250,000 a year on a graffiti removal program,” Cr Hudson says.

“That’s in partnership with the Department of Justice… we have received around $100,000 from the state government.”

Delacombe-based DJ Graffiti Removals owner David Jebb says removing graffiti from a wall can take between 15 minutes and three hours per square metre.

The costs, he says, can be anywhere from $20 to $45 per square metre.

“I remove the graffiti with biodegradable chemicals. Once its off, I use pressure wash (to clean up),” Mr Jebb says.

“But sometimes I have to paint the wall because the graffiti damages the painted surface.”

One Ballarat businesswoman – who doesn’t want to be named – says she has spent more than $2000 on cleaning up graffiti from her business premises in the past 10 years.

“We got tagged once a year,” she says.

“A lot of the time, depending upon the size, I’d get out there and remove it myself.”

“When it comes to removing graffiti, she says, Ballarat businesses need to be more proactive.

“I would appeal to business owners to remove it immediately themselves,” she says.

“They (graffiti artists) are doing it so that they can see their tags.

“We need to encourage people to be a bit more concerned about the look of their business. That’s what makes our city look so much better.”

Shep Cannery owner Peter Corboy is also concerned with the appearance of his business, but he decided on a different strategy by commissioning sanctioned graffiti.

Mr Corboy says the colourful and vibrant mural on a huge shipping container kept on the side of his shop in Wendouree has attracted a lot of notice.

“It’s my way of stopping graffiti,” Mr Corboy says.

“The container was a big white canvas and someone would have come and put tags on it.

“I didn’t want to look at rubbish.”

Mr Corboy says he spent $50 and two hours scrubbing to remove a previous tag.

The commissioned work, which was done by Ballarat artist Cax and two of the youths he mentors, cost $300 in paint.

“It was something that was worth doing and looking at,” Mr Corboy says.

The work has already attracted positive comments and lots of youngsters have come through for a look.

“I spoke to the kids who were doing it and they seemed really good.

“They had a passion for street art but just nowhere to do it.”

One passionate proponent for street art is 36-year-old Ballarat artist K23.

Somewhere in a leafy city suburb, the father-of-three will put a circle cutter to sticker paper, pick up some spray paint and begin creating.

Inspired by patterns in nature, the softly-spoken visual art graduate likes to produce work that reflects the bright colours of sunsets and flowers.

On first glance, the artworks – bright circles placed on top of each other – might seem random. But they aren’t, sometimes taking weeks to finish.

K23, as he likes to be known, has previously exhibited his work in galleries.

But these new artworks will instead be stuck on the back of signs, on signal boxes and in laneways – mostly in the dead of night.

K23 has been creating contemporary art for the past seven years, but only got into street art in the past two years.

“I like to put art in the public spaces so it adds colour and pattern,” he says.

“Public spaces can be a bit dull and grey.

“It is nice to have some colour and art to look at.”

Street art, he says, brings vibrancy to the landscape and creates public discussion.

“You reach a different audience on the streets than in a gallery,” he says.

“Art gets people thinking.

“Street art adds to our lives.” Reclaiming public spaces from advertisements is also a motivator for K23.

The artist says he would never deface historical buildings, schools or private property.

K23, whose work has appeared in Melbourne, New York and the UK, says street art is a global phenomenon.

Ballarat, he says, is in dire need of a legitimate space dedicated to street art.

Graffiti on the roof of the MLC building opposite Craig’s Royal Hotel in the Ballarat CBD.

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Dragon Mile draws hundreds to compete

FAST times were achieved by many athletes in yesterday’s running of the 27th Bendigo Bank Dragon Mile.

A big morning of racing include the mini-mile for grades four and under, and the mile classic for grades 5-6, years 7-8, years 9-10, and the open.

The Dragon Mile drew hundreds of competitors across a wide range of age groups as they raced along Pall Mall, up Mitchell Street, left onto Queen Street and a U-turn before heading back down Mitchell Street and to the finish opposite the old Bendigo Advertiser building on Pall Mall.

Results from yesterday’s racing:

Dragon Mile open

4.24 Brady Threlfall, 4.43 Jesse Fullerton, 4.47 Jacob Nolan, 4.48 Jamie Cook, 4.54 Luke Crameri, 4.59 Peter Guida, 5.04 Harrison Pearse (Girton), 5.05 Melissa Duncan, 5.14 Daniel Plowright, 5.18 Dave Tarrant, 5.26 Ross Freemantle, 5.27 Katie Duncan, 5.31 Jake Salt, 5.36 Zachary Raeburn, 5.37 William Watson, 5.44 Michael Gibbon, 5.47 Matthew Wilson, 5.48 Nathan Cain, 6.00 Gary Murphy, 6.16 Nathan Healey, 6.28 Darren Trevaskis, 6.37 Jess Pethybridge, 6.43 Pete Taylor, 6.46 Kelly Hayles, 7.59 John Meagher, 8.00 Tim Gretgrix, 8.19 Elizabeth Guida, 8.54 Bec Doherty, 9.33 Tara Hosking, 9.34 Lisa Nicolson,

Dragon Mile years 9-10

4.48 Joshua Powell (Creek Street Christian College), 5.03 Jackson Blakemore (Creek Street Christian College), 5.06 Xavier Walsh (Catholic College Bendigo), 5.08 Matthew Heislers (Girton Grammar), 5.12 Beau Roy-Clements (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.28 Teleah Hayes (Rochester Secondary College), 5.24 Peter Rothacker (Creek Street Christian College), 5.34 Ryan Brook (Bendigo South East), 5.38 Luke Rowlatt (Bendigo South East), 5.39 Tom Barkmeyer, 5.43 Nico Schoobee (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.46 Michael Flynn (Weeroona College), 5.47 James Brown (Catholic College Bendigo), 5.52 Carnie Edlin (Bendigo South East), 5.52 Gary Egan (Catholic College Bendigo), 6.02 Maxwell Pearse (Girton Grammar), 6.03 Tom Mannix (Bendigo South East), 6.08 Travis Mercante (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.09 Mitchell Keuken (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.10 Thomas Dante (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.12 Demi Goodall-Hoffman (Catholic College Bendigo), 6.17 Nathan Burrell (Bendigo South East), 6.22 Shaina Brook (Bendigo South East), 6.30 Andrew Bruce (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.38 Brianna Elder (Weeroona College), 6.39 Paige Davis (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.40 Jayden Wright (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.42 Grace Edlin (Bendigo South Eat Secondary College), 6.49 Shelby Gahan (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.54 Maddie Law, 7.03 Ruby Tuohey, 7.11 Matilda Gibbs (Girton Grammar), 7.24 Casey Barczynski (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 7.55 Matilda Schaeche (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 7.58 Jocelyn Teggerth, 7.59 Bridie Pearse (Catholic College Bendigo), 12.13 Karina Robertson (Weeroona College).

dragon mile years 7-8

5.13 Hugh Schaeche (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.16 Spain Ndikumana (Weerona College), 5.18 Zacharia Paynter (Nambour, Queensland), 5.20 Anthony Dempster (Victory College), 5.21 Ben Powell (Creek Street Christian College), 5.23 Alexander Nielsen (Girton Grammar), 5.26 Jordan Wanafalea (Weeroona College), 5.41 Samuel Wallace (Victory College), 5.48 Matthew Sporle (Catholic College Bendigo), 5.52 Jonas Hosking (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.53 Kayle Thompson (Girton Grammar), 5.54 Kristian McNaughton (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.55 Luke Keuken (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.57 Kate Salvador (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.58 Wade Kinniburgh (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 5.59 Callum Tucker (Bendigo South East Secondary College), 6.00 Liam Christensen (Victory College), 6.04 Kane Watts (Bendigo South East), 6.04 Tom Floyd (BSE), 6.05 Jake Hilson (Weeroona College), 6.15 Harvey Gibbs (Girton Grammar), 6.16 Darby Semmens (Castlemaine), 6.16 Kyle Butcher (Bendigo South East), 6.17 Meg Patterson (Catholic College Bendigo), 6.23 Jack Bourke (Weeroona College), 6.27 Jaydon Flynn (Weeroona College), 6.30 Adelia Ilsley (Bendigo South East), 6.31 Corben Leskie (Bendigo South East), 6.32 Jessica Law, 6.33 Emily Patterson (Catholic College Bendigo), 6.34 Maddison Hooke (Weeroona College), 6.35 Alice Bailey (Catholic College Bendigo), 6.39 Madison Hill, 6.40 Gabrielle Rusbridge (Weeroona College), 6.40 Alex Di Valentine (Bendigo South East), 6.41 Sam Watts (Bendigo South East), 6.46 Annabel Bradshaw, 6.47 Jacinta Rooke (Crusoe College), 6.49 Gabrielle Kleyn (Catholic College Bendigo), 6.58 Rosie Jeffrey (Bendigo South East), 7.01 Emily Seery (Bendigo South East), 7.07 Charlotte Edlin (Bendigo South East), 7.10 Maddi McGregor (Bendigo South East), 7.11 Harry Harrick (Weeroona College), 7.12 Breana Merrin (Girton Grammar), 7.17 Rebecca Dower (Bendigo South East), 7.21 Jessica Saffron (Weeroona College), 7.25 Emma Hindson, 7.27 Caitlin Rowlatt (Bendigo South East), 7.31 Darian King (Bendigo South East), 7.39 Alana Mitchell (Weeroona College), 8.34 Georgia McGuiness (Weeroona College), 8.35 Alexandra Moat (Bendigo South East), 9.59 Chantal Hansford (Bendigo South East).

Dragon Mile GRADES 5-6

5.54 Lachlan Balcke (Lockwood), 5.58 Zahra Hayes, 6.00 Fraser Symons (St Therese’s), 6.04 Macklin Wellard (Eaglehawk North), 6.05 Cayden Thompson (Girton Grammar), 6.12 Bridie Semmens, 6.14 Fletcher Gallagher (St Therese’s), 6.15 Anthony Delgallo, 6.17 Noah Walsh (St Therese’s), 6.18 Pheobe Wearne, 6.22 Matilda Moore (St Joseph’s), 6.33 Ethan Guida (Girton Grammar), 6.34 Yazmine Hayes, 6.37 Frank Gibbs (Girton Grammar), 6.38 Ella Wicks (Lockwood), 6.39 Nick Williams (Girton Grammar), 6.47 Connor Mayman (Strathfieldsaye), 6.40 Jack Merrin (Lockwood), 6.49 Dane Keuker (Strathfieldsaye), 7.04 Ryan Salvador (Kennington), 7.07 Jakeb Nicolson (Holy Rosary), 7.09 Emily Heislers (Girton Grammar), 7.17 Jack Di Valentine (Axedale), 7.18 Sharn McNamara (Lockwood), 7.19 Ted Taylor, 7.27 Tom McCormick (St Peter’s), 7.29 Connor Symons (St Joseph’s), 7.29 Tamas Spark, 7.43 Braydn Murley (Weeroona College), 7.44 Ella Fletcher (Girton Grammar), 7.45 Greta Schaeche (Kennington), 7.56 Abbey Hromenko (Huntly), 8.02 Aisha Quattrocchi (Lockwood), 8.15 Lauren White (Huntly), 8.18 Jazna Austin (Lockwood), 8.19 Shakira Dean (Big Hill), 8.26 Sean Stephens-Schultz (Lockwood), 8.34 Thomas Moore (Huntly), 8.48 Jordan Hayles, 9.51 Jake Hindson (White Hills).

Mini-mile grades 4-under

2.46 Harvey Gallagher (St Therese’s), 2.52 Luke Salvador (Kennington), 2.53 Ryley Taylor (Lockwood), 2.54 Nathan Delgallo, 3.00 Erin Hilson (White Hills), 3.00 Timothy Long (St Therese’s), 3.00 Baxter Symons (St Therese’s), 3.01 Toby Balcke (Lockwood), 3.03 Carissa Brook (Quarry Hill), 3.03 James Kay (Girton), 3.04 Jack McDonald (Strathfieldsaye), 3.05 Zayne Pearce (Axedale), 3.05 Jack Craig (St Joseph’s), 3.06 Cain Donnelly (Kennington), 3.10 Piper Dunlop (St Therese’s), 3.11 Tyler McLennan (Huntly), 3.12 Joshua Ilsley, 3.12 Lucia Dyer (Kennington), 3.13 Cameron Gibbon, 3.14 Solomon Gibbs (Girton), 3.15 Kaleb Crothers (Lockwood), 3.16 Tully Dunlop (St Therese’s), 3.19 Max Balcke (Lockwood), 3.19 Cooper Rooke (Lockwood), 3.20 Elka Barnett (Kennington), 3.20 Jack Fry (St Liborius), 3.21 Owen Towler (St Liborius), 3.21 Jade Donnelly (Kennington), 3.23 Fynn Neilsen-Proctor, 3.25 Caitlin Campbell, 3.27 Mairead Spark, 3.27 Gemma Quattrocchi (Lockwood), 3.30 Hudson Symons (St Therese’s), 3.30 Keely Fullerton (California Gully), 3.31 Callum Craig (St Joesph’s), 3.32 Joshua Liersch (Axedale), 3.32 Ebony Delgallo, 3.33 Samuel Kay (Girton), 3.36 Ebony Butcher (Strathfieldsaye), 3.39 Baillie Bennett (Weeroona College), 3.39 Tom Reid (Quarry Hill), 3.40 Lachlan Feueherdt (Camp Hill), 3.43 Damon Kaine (Girton Grammar), 3.47 Skye Webb (Epsom), 3.47 Max Healey, 3.48 Oliver Mayman (Strathfieldsaye), 3.49 Shae Crouch (St Joseph’s), 3.53 Thomas Nicolson (Holy Rosary), 3.54 Mia Bolitho Williams (White Hills), 3.55 Luke Feueherdt (Camp Hill), 3.56 Portia Kaine (Girton Grammar), 3.56 Depp Hosking (Girton) , 3.57 Shayla Webb (Quarry Hill), 3.57 William Harvey (Axedale), 3.59 Mackenzie Webster (St Francis), 4.06 Hunter Webster (St Francis), 4.08 Marley Gallagher (St Therese’s), 4.16 Beth Towler (St Liborius), 4.17 Catherine Fry (St Liborius), 4.18 Jorja Crothers (Lockwood), 4.19 Courtney Campbell, 4.20 Logan Horomenko (Huntly), 4.12 Abbey Thompson (Girton Grammar), 4.25 Ella Dobell, 4.26 Charlotte Taylor (Healesvillee), 4.29 Abby Warn (Lockwood), 4.30 Darcy Gath (White Hills), 4.30 Zora Shelten (Lockwood), 4.42 Myia Nicolson (Holy Rosary), 4.44 Jessica Taylor,4.45 Rena Nichol (Girton Grammar), 4.48 Tyler Quattrocchi (Lockwood), 4.49 Thomas Harvey, 4.40 Kimberly Stingel (St Peter’s), 4.52 Angus Seigloff (St Josephs), 4.53 Joel Purdy (Huntly), 4.56 Tom McNamara (Lockwood), 5.0 Joshua Feueherdt, 5.18 Nikita Purdy (Huntly).

SPRINT: They’s off and racing in the mini-mile for girls. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

SPRINT: They’re off and racing in the mini-mile for girls. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

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One step closer to living dream

CHARMAINE Garbett is one step closer to her dream of helping others with the upcoming finals of Miss International.

This beauty pageant aims to uncover someone who can act as a positive role model for other women and assist charities.

Miss Garbett is one of about 20 women from across the country who have been selected in the national finals.

From there the winner will fly to Chicago to compete in the international finals.

“What really appealed to me about this event was the access to programs that help others. I have found out about so many different programs which I can volunteer for. I have always wanted to do something for the community and have been looking for a way of doing it,” Miss Garbett said.

“The being a role model for women side would involve eating healthy, having good mental health, looking after your skin and taking care of yourself in general.”

While the former Devonport woman has undertaken several modelling courses and works casually as a promotional model, this is her first major beauty pageant.

Miss Garbett was selected for the contest after completing an online application.

Before Miss Garbett could take part in the national finals in Sydney on April 19, she had to do two things – complete a fund-raising event for charity and put together a book of photos from this event.

Miss Garbett is a beauty therapist at Savoy Day Spain Hobart so used her expertise for the charity event.

“I held a Pamper Me day recently at the Savoy Day Spa in Hobart. This was raising money for the Pamper Me program, a part of the Touch Of Goodness foundation, which raises money to pamper women with breast, cervical or ovarian cancer,” she said.

“The idea behind this is to help out charity and show you have a desire to, but is not about who raises the most money.”

A film and photography crew will follow their journey at the finals.

“The judges will be looking not just at presentation and poise, but your presence on stage and how you interact with people. They need to see these things to decide who will be a great role model for other women and charity.”

Fund-raising is still under way in the lead-up to the finals and Miss Garbett is selling bracelets, earrings and keyrings for organisation Jewellery For A Cause.

To follow Miss Garbett’s journey or to assist her fund- raising visit her Facebook page: Charmaine Garbett For Miss International Australia.

Charmaine Garbett

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Victory breaks dry spell for Fry

Rowena Fry.TASMANIA’S Rowena Fry has claimed a home state victory, with the Launceston-born competitor taking out the Subaru Oceania championship title in the open women’s cross country eliminator in Glenorchy yesterday.

The win was an Easter delight for Fry, who placed second in Saturday’s cross country behind Olympian Karen Hanlen (NZL).

“I haven’t had a win in a long time, I’m really happy to come away with an Oceania eliminator title,” Fry said.

Fry clinched the victory from under-19 riders Holly Harris and Emily Parkes. Parkes seeded fastest and led from the gun in the final, before falling on a rough corner allowing Fry to capitalise.

“Em Parkes has been starting really well which is really impressive and again she was super quick off the line,” Fry said.

“We came into one of the corners and it is quite gravelly and she slid out on it and I narrowly avoided being taken out too – I managed to get around her and re-start and Holly was on my wheel by then but I managed to pull away which was great,” she said.

In the men’s race, New Zealand’s Samuel Gaze made it two-from-two winning the eliminator after he was victorious in Saturday’s under-19 cross country.

Gaze came from behind to steal the win from Australia’s Nicholas Morgan and Tristan Ward.

“I am pretty surprised and chuffed at the same time,” Gaze said. “It’s great to come from winning yesterday in the cross country to winning an elite title, its awesome.”

Under-19 Australian National champion Ben Bradley snapped his chain during the race, causing him to crash and allowing Gaze to make his way through the field.

“Off the gun I slipped and didn’t get my pedal in until halfway down the straight, but I still managed to get into third place early in the race.

“It was hard to keep myself calm while everything was going on. I was about to attack when the other two riders made a mistake so I thought I better go now and I managed to hold them off until the finish which was good.

“Ben Bradley was the highest ranked U19 rider in the world last year – it’s quite a good boost for me heading into the European season,” Gaze said.

The 2013 Australian Mountain Bike Series finishes in Atherton, Queensland, when cross country riders head to the Tablelands for the Subaru Marathon Australian Championships on April 21.

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Boarding school smooths out ripples at home

Let go: Diver Bronte Russell with her mother, Cath Davies. Photo: Mick TsikasThe secret to improving your relationship with your teenager might be what was once considered a punishment – sending them to boarding school.

A longitudinal study of more than 5000 boarding and day students at 13 Australian boarding schools found boarders have better relationships with their parents.

Researcher Professor Andrew Martin, of the University of Sydney, said it was likely ”a bit of the old absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

”Also, some of those daily battles parents have with their kids over homework and so on have been shifted onto someone else.

”And interactions between boarders and parents tend to be more of an enjoyable experience, in the sense that parents might take them out for a meal because they won’t see them for a few more weeks.”

As a self-described ”helicopter parent”, Cath Davies said sending her teenage daughter off to boarding school was traumatic: ”I cried for three months before she went, just at the thought of losing her.”

Her daughter, Bronte Russell, was a talented diver and moved from Newcastle to PLC Sydney in year 9 on sporting and indigenous scholarships.

”Mum called me like four times a day, which was so annoying,” the 17-year-old said. ”It got to the point that I actually had to intentionally miss her calls.”

Over time, Cath Davies said, she gradually ”let go”.

”Whenever I came home, I used to appreciate the time so much and I saw it from a different perspective,” Bronte said. ”Mum and I used to argue so much. It was ridiculous. Now we hardly argue.”

Her mother adds: ”It’s because you are constantly nagging them at home. But you’re not the nagger at boarding school. Someone else is.”

Australian Boarding Schools Association executive director Richard Stokes doubts the study would have found the same results had it been done a few decades ago.

Boarding school was ”a pretty average place” and limited contact with parents meant students often felt neglected and resentful. ”You used to get a slip for the pay phone for three minutes once a week,” he said. ”Parents actually have a relationship with their kids now and don’t feel like they’re getting rid of them. In many ways, the ugly parts of teenage life are covered by the boarding school and the parents get the nice parts.”

Brian Sullivan is the head of boarding at Knox Grammar and said his boys were regularly ”Skyping, emailing and texting” their parents. He said parents often couldn’t believe how much their relationships with their sons improved.

”When they actually see their parents, they have really good quality time,” he said. ”Because of that distance, the boys often have a lot more respect and appreciation towards their parents for the sacrifices they’ve made.”

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Women earn their way to new roles

Author Liza Mundy says she thought about Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she penned her manifesto on the rise of the female breadwinner.

Not only does Australia’s first female prime minister embody the increasing economic power of women that Mundy chronicles in her book The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family, but Gillard’s partnership with former hairdresser now charity ambassador Tim Mathieson also embodies the “flip” Mundy observes is more often taking place in our romantic relationships, too.

“Increasingly it is the case within relationships that women are the ones who are earning more,” said Mundy, who is also a writer at The Washington Post.

“In [the United States] among working wives, nearly 40 per cent of working women are the higher earner in their marriage.”

Mundy will speak about her book in Sydney next weekend at the All About Women festival, which is sponsored by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Her work received significant media attention in her home country when it was published last year, sparking a cover story in Time magazine, not to mention a small backlash from some fellow feminists.

“There has been some feminist concern – that one doesn’t want to overemphasise women’s achievement, that we need to keep our attention focused on the glass ceiling and the gender pay gap,” she said, while acknowledging that both still exist.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the gender pay gap stood at 17.4 per cent in Australia last year, up from 2005, when it hit a low of 15.1 per cent.

But Mundy says: “We need to acknowledge the changes that are taking place.

“This is a very cliched way to say it, but I do think we’re sort of at a glass half full, glass half empty point in the conversation.”

Among these changes are higher rates of women undertaking tertiary study than their male counterparts, which Mundy contends could mean women will overtake men as primary breadwinners.

The challenges this poses to traditional dynamics in romantic relationships are complex.

“I tried to argue to younger women if there’s a generation of men now who are maybe not as well credentialled as you are, that could potentially be an advantage because their career is not necessarily going to drive you out of the workforce,” she said, noting that it is still usually women whose careers take a back seat when both partners are professionals of similar standing.

See Liza Mundy at All About Women, supported by The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney Opera House, April 7.


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Jockeys’ winning antics a bone of contention

Tough crowd: Dundeel’s win in the Rosehill Guineas hasn’t convinced everyone. Photo: Jenny EvansJockeys “lairising” is a problem, says Ray Murrihy, the Racing NSW chief steward, referring to their antics before and after the finish when winning races.

Stewards grilled Brenton Avdulla following his success on Arinosa in the Birthday Card Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. “He was making gestures to the crowd,” Murrihy said, but the stipes didn’t take any action.

Murrihy says jockeys are attempting to “outdo” each other with their antics after scoring.

For instance, James McDonald, 22, stood high and briefly took his hands off the reins when notching an effortless victory on It’s A Dundeel in the Rosehill Guineas. ”It was his first breach,” Murrihy said regarding a light fine of $400 for the New Zealander.

Glen Boss is a serial offender, his last slug was $1000. His spectacular saddle exploits became part of the Sydney scene before he moved to Melbourne, where some are taking offence, judging by letters to the Winning Post. “Perhaps it is accepted in Hong Kong, but in my opinion the negatives outweigh the positives,” Murrihy said. “Jockeys have come down and there has been severe interference after the winning post from loss of control.”

Well, why is it getting worse?HOUSE TROUBLE

Even Victoria’s lighter assessments for imports would not have helped Carlton House, in the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

Alas, he’s not the right type for Australian conditions. It wasn’t weight that stopped him, but hoof or leg problems.

Meanwhile, Jet Away, a $300,000 buy, scored again at Caulfield, taking advantage of the lenience extended down there to those coming off overseas form.

Chris Waller also took advantage of the situation with Rugged Cross in a benchmark 82 at Sandown (Hillside) on Wednesday. Rugged Cross was having his first start since running second at Pontefract, Britain, in a listed, weight-for age race in July last year. Waller had given him two barrier trials in Sydney.

Wise guys figured he would have been handicapped with three kilos more in a similar race in NSW. On reflection, Carlton House, owned by the Queen, should have been treated with caution.

Overseas class doesn’t always convert to Australian conditions. Also, barrier manners and a reasonably clean break at the start often come against foreign entires. Carlton House didn’t barrier trial, which should have been a warning sign. Julienas, his stablemate, trained by Gai Waterhouse, and successful in the Manion Cup, is a more effective type.BEIRNE DISAGREES

New Zealander It’s A Dundeel made the Rosehill Guineas opposition look very common indeed on Saturday, but surely it was a substandard eight-horse field. Still, Betfair’s Dom Beirne indicated it was “the highest rated since 1996, when Octagonal beat Saintly, Nothin’ Leica Dane and Filante and It’s A Dundeel now has an overall IWS rating three lengths ahead of his Derby rival, Fiveandahalfstar”. Consider last year when Laser Hawk downed Ocean Park and Silent Achiever with Ambidexter, Hoylonny, Merlin Mustang and Sangster included in the also-rans. Incidentally, Ambidexter is a half-brother to Sidestep, which triumphed in Saturday’s Pago Pago.EASTER GRIPE

“Curmudgeon” (someone considered bad tempered, disagreeable and stubborn) was the one-word message from Jan Woolard, regarding my reference about about the switch from Royal Randwick on Easter Saturday, and who could argue? About 10,000 went to Rosehill on Saturday for what was once the biggest racing attendance in Sydney. Possibly the most curmudgeonly complaint of the afternoon came from a legal man. “The betting ring is now a beer garden,” His Honour said regarding table and chairs plus boozing in what was once a prized area for the punt. Chairs are required for aged legs because once-great stayers now need respite like a boxer between rounds.ROY THE BOY

Roy Horton, 91, was at Rosehill on Saturday for the running of the Darby Munro Stakes. Munro was regarded by him as Australia’s greatest jockey and Horton rode against the best, including George Moore. Horton was educated at Kensington Public School, which turned out fine scholars (including yours truly) and was in the same class as Lionel Bowen and Lionel Murphy, who went on to leave their mark in politics. Young Roy got better marks.HORSE TO FOLLOW

Try Keith’s Legacy in the last at Randwick on Monday. Maybe the gelding was only 10th to Altered Boy over the Rosehill 1200 metres on March 2 but he was checked near the 800m and 200m.DISAPPOINTING

Two strong fancies came down with the thumps at Rosehill: Sea Siren, easing at $6.50, ended up eighth in The Galaxy, while Crafty Irna, the $4.40 favourite, was seventh in the Epona Stakes.

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Doctors facing charges ‘already disciplined’

A number doctors possibly facing criminal charges over patient harm or death have already faced disciplinary action or have been stopped from practicing medicine in Queensland.

Though charges against six medical practitioners referred to police are yet to be laid, a spokesman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said some had already been dealt with by authorities, including the Queencland Civil Administration Tribunal.

But calls for a Royal Commission into the matter were unlikely to be satisfied, the spokesman said.

“Steps have already been taken in practically each case,” he said. “These have been well discussed cases, and there have been ongoing negotiations with the [Australian Health Practitioner Agency] and QCAT in regards to the matters – the concern over criminal behaviour has taken it to the next level and it’s now a matter for the police to deal with these doctors.”

However the names of the doctors could not be revealed, nor could the specifics of their 24 alleged offences – 11 of which relate to one doctor alone – for privacy reasons, he said.

Such details were contained in a schedule compiled by criminal law specialist and former crown prosecutor Jeffrey Hunter SC whose inquiry into a whistle-blower’s complaints last year about gross malpractice resulted in the doctors’ referrals.

The schedule was attached to a letter from Mr Hunter released in redacted form by Mr Springborg’s office on Sunday along with a statement that confirmed the police investigation and foreshadowed changes to complaints legislation.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart was unavailable for comment yesterday, but it is understood police received notice about Mr Hunter’s findings as early as March 6, when the CEO of Australian Health Practitioner Agency Martin Fletcher wrote a letter offering to assist with the investigation.

Concerns about possible criminal activity in the state’s health sector were initially raised when former medical board investigator turned whistleblower Jo Barber gave the Crime and Misconduct Commission the names of 18 doctors she says might have maimed or killed patients in May last year.

At the time, Ms Baber said many of the doctors were still practising despite being “recklessly incompetent” to the point of gross patient negligence and death.

Ms Barber said Sunday that she was surprised only six doctors were referred given the amount of information she provided, including details about a doctor who “deliberately killed many times”, others with alcohol or drug addictions, and one who repeatedly botched cosmetic surgery procedures.

“That’s only the tip of the iceberg,” Ms Barber said. “[There was evidence of] dangerous surgery which saw women’s faces and breast rot off, because untrained doctors – who wanted to make lots of money –  watched some Youtube films and decided to have a crack.”

She said only a Royal Commission could “uncover the truth, and bring about reform of our sick and corrupted health care system”.

In relation to the likelihood the matter will spur legislative change over how malpractice allegations are handled, medical negligence lawyer Sarah Atkinson said any move towards law changes would help increase patient safety.

‘‘This is also important for medical practitioners,’’ the Maurice Blackburn lawyer said.

‘‘The majority of health staff do a very good job, but it’s essential that systems to protect patients are as strong as possible to ensure that those putting patients at unnecessary risk are identified as quickly as possible.’’

As recently as November last year, QCAT handed down a decision supporting sanctions on an 88 year-old doctor operating in Northern Queensland who bungled prescriptions, failed to properly diagnose patients, and failed to document his consultations.

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Social media sledging didn’t justify Dugan’s abuse

Josh Dugan had 2 million reasons to walk away from a social media fight, but couldn’t resist getting in the ring.

The axed Raiders star can complain as much as he wants about getting heckled by fans on social media and not having to put up with the abuse.

But what he clearly forgot is the smartest guy in the fight is the one who walks away, especially when a $2million contract is on offer.

That the Broncos aborted their chase of the 22-year-old didn’t surprise me – I was more shocked it took this long.

Dugan was always going to be a massive risk for whatever club picked up the pieces after the Raiders rightfully sent him on his way. The talented fullback didn’t just have one chance. He had countless strikes before the Raiders said enough was enough.

You would have thought he would have learnt his lesson about social media.

Used correctly, outlets such as Twitter and Instagram can provide fans with a valuable insight into their favourite players, while also increasing the players’ brand image.

Before Sunday, Dugan hadn’t posted on his Twitter account since March 12 – the day a photo emerged of him shooting the breeze on a rooftop and missing a Raiders recovery session in the process.

That photo came from Instagram, the same app which became the source of his latest downfall on Saturday night.

There was no malice in the latest photo Dugan posted, just one of him and a mate enjoying a good time.

A couple of people – at least one who is a Raiders fan – took the opportunity to get stuck into Dugan about leaving the Raiders, breaking up with his partner and the fact the Raiders were better off with Reece Robinson at fullback. They were cheap shots.

High-profile sportspeople, and celebrities from other walks of life, are easy targets for abuse. Yet that doesn’t give Dugan the right to engage in the battle, let alone to tell one of the users to ”end yourself”.

Footy players cop sledging from the bleachers on a weekly basis. The advent of social media has taken it to a whole more personal level. Trolls have become the biggest menace in the online environment.

The NRL has a strict social media policy for its players, underlined by the fact it employed Charlotte Dawson as an anti-bullying ambassador.

Dawson had a breakdown and self-admitted herself to hospital last year after she was told to kill herself on social media.

Even if the Broncos had proceeded with their pursuit of Dugan, there was no guarantee the NRL would have registered the contract given his latest indiscretion.

As part of his apology on Twitter on Sunday, Dugan spoke about there being two sides to the story and how he shouldn’t have to put up with the harassment.

Then again, he shouldn’t have reacted the way he did. If only he would respond to my numerous texts and phone calls so I can find out his side of the story.

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Port powers to big win over Demons

Jay Schulz flies for a big mark against Melbourne.New Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has credited his team’s unrelenting pressure after Melbourne fell apart in a stunning AFL mismatch.

The Power and Melbourne had so much to play for in round 1, but after half-time Port had the MCG to themselves and won by 79 points.

Demons fans booed their team at three-quarter time and after the final siren.

While the 19.19 (133) to 8.6 (54) drubbing was a dream start to Hinkley’s senior coaching career, it was equally a shocking day for his Melbourne counterpart Mark Neeld.

The Demons must recover fast, otherwise another long and barren season is ahead of them.

Neeld met with his players behind closed doors for half an hour post-match.

Hinkley said the Power coaching staff felt their players were applying plenty of pressure in the first half, but not quite gaining enough reward for effort.

Leading by 27 points after a competitive first half, Port tore Melbourne apart in the third term with 5.6 to a solitary behind.

“We had a big part to play in that – our intensity, even for the start of that quarter,” Hinkley said of Melbourne’s third-quarter collapse.

“Because they kept at it, in the end, clearly they got that result.

“Constant pressure builds and it keeps building and … at some stage, there’s going to be a little break somewhere.”

After Port finished 14th and Melbourne were 16th last year, the two clubs had solid pre-seasons and came into this match full of enthusiasm.

Hinkley’s arrival was part of a total overhaul at Port that included new president David Koch and new captain Travis Boak.

Melbourne also made widespread changes to their playing list.

But in the second half the Demons were awful, frequently allowing their opponents far too much room and committing basic skill errors.

“The whole club’s hurting, no one saw that coming,” said Demons coach Mark Neeld.

“We just didn’t get it done under pressure, we didn’t deal at all with Port’s speed all day, we didn’t cope.”

Hinkley made a massive understatement when he said: “We know there will be days where it won’t go as good as it went today for us.”

Adding to a great day, Port were missing several key players – Domenic Cassis, Alipate Carlile, Robbie Gray, Brett Ebert and John Butcher.

Midfielder Hamish Hartlett starred for the Power and Jay Schulz kicked four goals.

Schulz and Melbourne’s Cam Pedersen kicked goals in the second term after taking towering marks that came under video review.

Replays suggested the two players were lucky the marks were cleared.

High-profile recruits Ollie Wines (Port) and Jack Viney (Melbourne) made their AFL debuts and starred, showing poise and skill far beyond their youth.

Viney and fellow first- gamer Matt Jones stood out for Melbourne.

Demons key forward Mitch Clark hobbled off in the third term with an ankle injury, but it was not as serious as first feared.

Clark missed most of last season with a leg injury.

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Councillors a burden on Tasmania

MUNICIPALITIES throughout Tasmania must ask themselves whether their councils are bleeding them of precious rate revenue to pay too many councillors.

The Examiner has revealed today how 14 of the state’s municipalities are serving a ratepayer population of less than 10,000.

In the case of Flinders Island, a council of seven serves a population of only 776, and King Island has nine councillors serving 1566.

In Victoria the Geelong council has 13 councillors serving a population of 220,000.

Across Victoria the ratio of councillors to population is about one per 8912, while in Tasmania it’s one for only 1822.

The 14 councils with populations under 10,000 have aldermen costs totalling more than $1.8 million, or on average $136,000 per council in councillor fees.

Quite apart from the debate about the number of councils in the state, it is plain waste and overgovernment to have so many aldermen for the small populations.

Ratepayers and taxpayers have enough of their precious net incomes compulsorily acquired by governments in rates and taxes without having to pay more than is necessary to keep an oversupply of aldermen in a job.

You wouldn’t want to merge the Flinders Island Council with any other because it is an island, but surely one councillor per 111 ratepayers is ridiculous, and tantamount to lining pockets for no net gain.

Even Break O’Day Council has nine councillors serving 6194 and George Town has nine serving a population of 6636.

The Local Government Association of Tasmania must take a lead and make some glaringly obvious savings.

Otherwise someone else will do it for them. Tasmania is a small, diverse state, but no more diverse than some other states.

We are persisting with luxuries we cannot afford, and which other states ditched long ago.

Tasmania cannot expect support from other states on issues like GST distribution when our leaders and politicians have no desire to reform the way Tasmania governs itself.

– BARRY PRISMALL, deputy editor

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Getting medical help was difficult

The statue of William Russ Pugh, by Peter Corlett, which is now a feature in Prince’s Square, Launceston.LAUNCESTON’S first hospital was a rudimentary structure reputed to have been on the corner of Cameron and George streets, a site now occupied by Holy Trinity Church.

For soldiers and convicts in Launceston’s very early days it would have been the only place where medical help was available.

Between 1820 and 1840 His Majesty’s Colonial Hospital in Launceston was moved to various locations before finding a home in a two-storey building in Balfour Street.

By 1851 it was called the Cornwall Hospital and Infirmary and housed in a former hotel on the corner of Balfour and Wellington streets.

None of the early facilities were highly regarded by local residents according to historian L. S. Bethell in his book The Story of Port Dalrymple.

“In the early days, when one was sick, to betake oneself to H.M. Colonial Hospital at Launceston was an act of despair … the citizens preferred to die in their own beds.”

The innovative and progressive Launceston doctor William Russ Pugh lamented the situation in a letter to the editor of The Examiner on October 11, 1848.

“It was a fact too notorious to be questioned, or easily forgotten, that the free community of the northern portion of this island, in cases of sickness and distress, was altogether unprovided for.”

Dr Pugh had established his own hospital in 1845, with Dr James Grant, called St John’s Hospital and Self Supporting Dispensary in a house on the corner of Charles and Frederick streets, which today is known as Morton House.

Patients paid an annual subscription, which allowed them to consult a doctor when needed.

Dr Pugh pioneered the use of ether as an anaesthetic in Australia in an operation at his hospital on June 7, 1847, but a shortage of subscribers led to its eventual closure.

Continued public lobbying saw the construction of the first Launceston General Hospital, which opened in 1863.

•Local historians Jenny Gill, Anne Bartlett and Dr John Paull will discuss Launceston’s early medical history on the first day of the LGH Sesquicentenary Medical History and Research Seminar at the LGH on Wednesday, May 15.

Information and registration forms for the seminar are available from Ms Lou Partridge 63487035.

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