‘Welcome home’: Afghanistan veterans march in Melbourne

‘A sense of belonging’: Chris Sharp, who served as a sergeant, holds daughter Ruby, while his wife Jocelyn is pictured with Hayley. Photo: James Boddington The parade honoured Australian servicemen and women who have served in Afghanistan since 2001.
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Reunited: Sergeant Adam Keegan with wife Kristi and baby Emerson. Photo: James Boddington

As Afghanistan veteran Chris Sharp marched down St Kilda Road focused and proud, out of the corner of his eye he saw a sign in the crowd with the words “welcome home”.

The enormity of the momentous occasion washed over him, blurring his eyes with tears.

More than 1400 Australian Defence Force personnel marched to the Shrine of Remembrance on Saturday morning to commemorate the end of Australia’s 13-year operation in Afghanistan.

Crowds lined St Kilda Road, some joyous, cheering and waving flags, others sombre and reflective.

“You’re in a bit of a zone at the start, you’re just marching,” Chris, who served as a sergeant in the Australian Light Armoured Vehicle command, said.

“You hear the crowd cheer and see a sign out of the corner of your eye and it kind of brings you back to reality.

“You get a sense of belonging and that the people, the public, do care. It means a lot.”

When Chris was deployed to the Mirabad Valley in June 2011, he left his wife Jocelyn and daughter Hayley, who had just celebrated her first birthday.

Four soldiers lost their lives during his tour and he often feared for his own as his regiment came under fire.

“There were definitely times that were a bit hairy,” he said.

When asked the date of Chris’ return, Jocelyn did not miss a beat.

“January 16, 2012.” The date forever stuck in her mind, such was its importance.

“It was just awesome, not only to have him home, but Hayley had her dad back,” Jocelyn said.

For Chris, now a warrant officer in the army reserve, the transition back to family life and work in the barracks was not easy.

“You go through a time when you know you’re back in Australia, but you’re still on edge, you’re still alert,” he said. “Loud noises make you jump. I had dreams.”

Helping with the repatriation of Rick Milosevic, who was killed months after Chris’ return, was a “tough time”.

“I’m very proud of Chris, especially, but all of them,” Jocelyn said.

“They do so much for us with little thanks and cop a lot of criticism for it, so it’s nice to actually see the crowds out to show their support.”

The parade, and eight others around the country, was to thank the more than 34,500 army and police personnel and public servants who served in Operation Slipper.

It was also to remember the 41 soldiers who died making the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Families of the fallen marched and laid wreaths in their loved ones’ honour.

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the “Anzac Day-style” national commemorations of the Afghan War, he said it was to “ensure the bitter experience of returning Vietnam veterans was not repeated”.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews thanked the soldiers gathered below the shrine for their “heroism, sacrifice and dedication”.

“Operation Slipper was Australia’s contribution to ensuring that Afghanistan would never again become a safe haven for the terrorism that threatened Australia and the wider world,” he said.

“But for those who were deployed to Afghanistan, this was about their service to their nation, their loyalty.”

Premier Daniel Andrews said those who served in Afghanistan had done so in the “pursuit of freedom”.

“They protected all those values that we as a community in the free world hold dear,” he said.

“We gather simply to say thank you, but in a more profound way to make sure that we never forget all those who served in defence of our freedom.”

Operation Slipper began in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and finished in December 2014.

The march comes just weeks before from the Anzac Day centenary on April 25.

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Privatisation will costHunter ‘hundreds of jobs’

Privatisation will cost Hunter ‘hundreds of jobs’ The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak
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The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds: TAFE teacher Mark Powell addresses the crowd. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds: NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Deborah Langbridge addresses the crowd. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds. Picture: Simone De Peak

The Trades Hall anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle sheds: Two-year-old Leuca Wiebford shows her support. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookJob losses, no newapprentice rolesand limited TAFE opportunities- that was the message from speakers at Saturday’s anti-privatisation rally at Honeysuckle Sheds.

About 400 people attended the rally organised by Newcastle Trades Hallwhere theyheard fromworkers in industries facing job cuts as a result of privatisation.

Speakers included Hamiton TAFE teacher, Mark Powell,Deborah Langbridge from NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, andRachel Smoothy from Support Worker and Disability Services.

“The community is against privatisation,” saidrally organiser and Secretary of Newcastle Trades Hall Council, Daniel Wallace.

“The bigissue for us is that the unemployment wasup from 5.9per cent three years ago to 12.4 per cent, that’sthousands of workers losing their jobs”, says Mr Wallace.

According to Mr Wallaceprivatisation will add to the ranks of the unemployed, with young people bearing most of the brunt.

“When they [government]even mentioned the saleof poles and wires, theelectricity industry stopped putting on apprentices and that cost about 500 youngpeople apprenticeships,we’ve got about 18 to 19 per centyouth unemployment in the region.”

“There’s no doubt that Newcastle has been the engine room for the state …a lot of work has gone into diversifying into different areas and we can’t start closing industries in this region”.

The Newcastle Herald

Five burning election issues: The Abbott factor

Corflutes, core promises, preference deals and enough hot air to float the Hindenburg – welcome to the 2015 state election campaign.
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To help you slice through the spin in the lead up to next week’s poll, we’ve identified five key battleground issues that will shape how Wagga votes.

Each candidate will get up to 150 words to explain their position on the future-defining issues, ranging from the poles and wires sale to how to lure more jobs to Wagga.

Day 5: The Abbott factorDan Hayes –Country Labor

I do think federal politics does get played out at state level. We’veseen a number of decisions by the federalgovernmentthat have had a dramatic effect at the state level. We’ve also seen what theAbbottgovernmenthas been doing as an example of what the Liberal stategovernmenthasbeendoing for the last four years. People see a two-pronged approach of Liberalgovernmentsto either sell it or cut it.We saw the impact ofTonyAbbottat theVictorianandQueenslandelections and it’ll certainly have an impact onNSW.

Paul Funnell–Independent

I think it will to a certaindegree locally–not to the extentpossiblyin other areas. The reason Ibelieve it will influence the outcome of the election is that federal politics tends to dominate, for obvious reasons, and the Abbottand Hockey duopoly have notbeenable to sell their message and this is damaging theLNP. They, like the state Coalition, have this emphatic commitment to selling and privatisation of publicutilities. Because of this unpopular attitude of selling rather than managing, which then leads to not being able to sell his message, it has polarised the electorate and people are concentrating on Abbottrather than the issues at hand. Abbottcontinues to air an arrogance towards the people,for example, his StPatrick’sDay message, rather than listen to the people and explain to us how he is going to fix things.

Daryl Maguire –Liberals

The voters of this region understand the difference between state and federal issues. They understand how the Greens, the Labor Party and especially independents share preferences and block progress. They have seen this at a federal level. My opponents will try to connect the federal and state because that’s what you do when you have no fully funded policy and you continue to make promises without foundation or funding. This election is all about what Mike Baird’s Liberal National Government can continue to do for this electorate. It’s all about completing the Wagga Base Hospital, building roads, bridges, the court house and ambulance stations. It’s about moreinfrastructure and creating morejobs. More nurses, teachers and police. It’s about maintaining the state economy as number one in Australia. This state government is investing and driving growth. The voters understand that a vote for anyone other than a Liberal state government places all this at risk.

Keith Pech–Christian Democratic Party

It probably will have an influence, although I hope that the people of Wagga will look at local issues more than the national issues. I hope the people of Wagga will look at who can deliver the changes that we need, which party is interested in creating jobs, which party is interested in infrastructure needs and in providing the services required for Wagga to prosper. the Christian Democratic Party is totally committed to looking after the needs of this electorate. We will look at ways for jobs to be created, we will look at improving service delivery and we will ensure the families and the people of Wagga are put first. Only the Christian Democratic Party is committed to these and i believe that we can deliver.

Kevin Poynter –The Greens

Tony Abbott is certainly unpopular, but Ithink that local voters are looking more at state-based issues and local concerns. The important issues are retaining public assets in public hands, particularly the poles and wires that the Baird government plan to give to private enterprise. People are also concerned about health, education, proper plans for public transport and roads and supporting a local food economy. Ithink the Coalition might be afraid that our gaffe-prone Prime Minister may affect them badly –that seems to be why they are keeping him away from their campaign. Ithink our voters are perfectly aware of the difference between state and federal elections and while they’re focused on the state election at this point in time, they certainly seem to be waiting to send a strong message to Tony Abbott in the federal election due next year.

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Society has to pick up the pieces and rebuild youth

THERE is a theory on what keeps society orderly and civilised: fix the broken windows.
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Actually I’m not sure if it is a theory so much but character Rick Grimes from zombie apocalypse show The Walking Dead said it and it kind of makes sense.

“You keep the windows intact, you keep society intact,” he says with the kind of Southern US accent that only a British actor can pull off. Essentially, it is the little problems that matter.

Keeping them in check stops little problems becoming bigger problems. Launceston has experienced a spike in petty vandalism with several businesses having windows smashed.

The perpetrators’ motives have either been to steal items inside the shops or just mindless destruction.

A little problem in the grand scheme of things but incrediblyfrustrating to business owners, police, the council and general public who want to see an orderly and tidy society.

Nothing looks worse for a city’s image than smashed windows, damaged buildings or empty shops. A broken window begets another broken window and so on and so on.

If left unattended, the problem spirals into a mess that becomes the norm and tells of a place’s reputation.

Often these problems elicits a lament from the general public that, “someone should do something”.

The police should do something. The council should do something. CityProm should do something. Business owners should do something.

Yes, that is true, and they are; organising a meeting between stakeholders that will address the issue and other anti-social behaviour.

But the general public must also ask itself, “What can I do?”

What can I do to deter crime and anti-social behaviour happening in my community?

Because solving such matters is a job for everyone.

It is the job of the passer-by who observes suspicious or criminal behaviour to report it.

It is the job of businesses to install security measures such as close circuit television and sensor lights.

It is the job of the general community to support those impacted by such behaviour and let them know it is not deemed acceptable.

CityProm is hosting a breakfast meeting next month to discuss ways to combat the recent spike in offences. Shoplifting has also been identified by some retailers as being on the increase – one saying it his costing his business $45,000 a year.

If we want businesses to not just survive but thrive in a difficult economy, we cannot accept that as the status quo.

Like most antisocial behaviour, the answer comes back to better education.

That sounds hopelessly simple but if young people are engaged in school, then they are less likely to be engaged in antisocial behaviour.

It is, however, not the fault of teachers or schools entirely either. Again it comes back to a total response from all community stakeholders.

On Friday, I attended a working group held by the Beacon Foundation, which aimed to bridge the gap between students who didn’t go on to either work or tertiary study.

Business leaders from across Launceston were asked what they could do to help ameliorate the rates of youth unemployment, which are projected to rise dramatically if nothing is done.

There was immense goodwill in the room tempered by the reality that whatever is agreed upon must be achievable and have actual and lasting impact.

It is a sensible attitude that reminds me of a saying Frances Underwood said her late husband, governor Peter Underwood, was fond of saying: “What’s happening on Monday?”

It struck a chord, because we can have all the backslapping, feel-good ideas, but unless we make them sustainable and act on them, they will come to nought.

And that necessitates everyone getting involved with a solution.

We must become practical idealists. Tomorrow is Monday.

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Wanted: Bar with midnight snacks

MANIKA DADSON says: LAUNCESTON needs an intimate, upmarket cocktail and coffee bar that operates until at least after midnight.LAUNCESTON needs an intimate, upmarket cocktail and coffee bar that operates until at least after midnight.
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It would also be good if it sold hot snacks and was near the Princess Theatre.

Big ask, I know, but it’s needed.

A new bar – well, technically it’s a cave – opened in Launceston this week and is going to fill a gap.

The problem is, it is only open for 10 days, is not going to serve hot drinks, and hot food isn’t on the menu.

The bar is Plato’s Cave at the Earl, a lounge space created in the Earl Art Centre foyer by Launceston artist Sue Henderson, Red Brick Cider House and Theatre North as part of the Tasmanian International Arts Festival.

The space is somewhere for people to gather intimately after watching a show.

It’s something we don’t seem to have in Launceston.

A woman painted the picture well on Facebook this week.

She posed a questions to 45 to 55-year-olds on the A Heads Up to Eating Out in Launceston page asking “where does one go on a Saturday night after the theatre for a drink/cocktail”?

“I’ll paint the picture of last Saturday night,” she went on.

“Group of ladies after Evita (great show!!), tried the Hotel Grand Chancellor – sorry bar is closing; Alchemy – great dirty martini but so noisy you couldn’t hear yourself think; Bakers Lane – bar staff were lovely but again noisy and crowded, and we felt like we were everyone’s mother! We ended up at King of Kebabs.”

She asked for suggestions and got some back, like Cataract on Paterson, which serves cocktails until midnight, St. John Craft Beer, the Oak, O’Keefe’s and the Northern Club.

While I’m only in my 20s, I’ve had the same problem.

Having performed in shows since I was young, a usual need after the curtain goes down is hot food, a drink and a chilled-out place to mingle.

My mum’s request is usually a hot drink, something she often can’t get because “sorry we’ve turned off the coffee machine”.

A few bars are in the pipeline for Launceston, so let’s hope they listen to these requests: give us something classy and intimate that serves alcohol, hot drinks and hot food until late.

Something similar to what is on Melbourne’s Spring Street would be perfect.

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Week in Review March 16-21: PHOTOS

Week in Review March 16-21: PHOTOS Stephen Fifer in the new auditorium at St Jude’s Anglican Church Bowral. Photo by Dominica Sanda
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Isla Griffith (5) with grandma Wendy Griffith showing off Isla’s artwork. Photo by Dominica Sanda

Hill Top quick Joel Moran took five wickets for his first grade cricket team last weekend. Photo by Josh Bartlett

‘Poppo’ Bill Pope, ‘granma’ Wendy Pope, ‘ninni’ Michelle Druery with five-year-old William Pope in class at Exeter Public School. Photo by Dominica Sanda

Jacob Fairall shows the full face of his bat for Mittagong’s second grade cricket team on Saturday. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Mayor Duncan Gair cuts the ribbon to officially unveil the new cricket nets at Bowral’s Centennial Park on Monday. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Alex Debs jumps on wicketkeeper and captain Simon Reid as Hill Top players celebrate the crucial wicket of Michael Pike on Sunday. Hill Top won its first grade cricket major semi-final against Wingello by 50 runs. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Mittagong batsman Matt McMullen has a big swing and a miss at a delivery on Saturday at Welby Oval. Robertson/Burrawang progressed to the second grade grand final with an outright win against Mittagong. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Mittagong third grade batsman Michael Bond carefully watches and leaves a delivery on Saturday. Mittagong lost its minor semi-final to Wingello. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Bowral Bowling Club’s Stephen Della and his grade three pennant team mates recorded victory on the weekend. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Highlander Lily Mauger will return to the netball court this Saturday. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Robertson/Burrawang bowler Mitch Wright took five wickets in a losing cause on the weekend. Goulburn progressed to the first grade grand final with a three-wicket win over Robertson/Burrawang. Photo by Josh BartlettPhoto by Josh Bartlett

Fanta Pantz 2 player Steve Strode prepares to tackle an opponent during a grand final of the Moss Vale Summer Soccer Competition. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Australia Post area manager retail Tim Lennon with Burradoo local Richard Stone, Sydney West letters facility faculty operations manager David Barrett and Bowral Post Office transport driver Scott Norrie. Photo by Victoria Lee

Mittagong players Ash Carlon, Regan Economos, Ash Brown and Nick Eccleston prepare to sprint at training recently. Mittagong’s rugby league players will take on Moss Vale Dragons this weekend. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Berrima District Sports Awards 2014 junior champion Lauren Cheatle has been picked again for the Australian Shooting Stars women’s cricket squad.Photo by Josh Bartlett

Former Moss Vale representative Andrew Storey (right) won the best defensive player award in the 2014-15 GMP Ultimate Basketball League competition. Storey had an excellent season for Glebe Magic. Photo courtesy of Noel Rowsell

Caitlin Brewer and her mount show great form during the 2015 Moss Vale Show on Saturday. Photo by Mindy Hindmarsh

Brooke Sheather and Rachel Martin celebrate their team winning the ladies second grade premiership in the Moss Vale Summer Soccer Competition. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Jane Durnford, Beth Sharp and Jo Dowe from Exeter branch with the tea cosies they knitted as part of their branch project.

Matt Rolles is tackled by a couple of Robertson players at training. Rolles shapes as a key player for the Spuds tonight against Bundanoon. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Year 7 Moss Vale High School students Zoe Drayton, Clare Middleton, Zoe Bosevski and Amy Webb with their classmates reading The Light Horse Boy. Photo by Emma Biscoe

Lara McAlpine with Callum and Lachlan, 11 months.

Laura Sommer with Ruby and Riley, 11 months,

Jocelyn Oslear, Marion Wingfield and Elva Alchin enjoy their free coffees served by Shaye O’Connor at Jo’s Cafe in Moss Vale. Photo by Emma Biscoe

Mittagong’s and Robertson’s Jennifer Menzies both competing for the ball in Sunday’s major semi-final.Photo by Roy Truscott

Ella Veleba and Casper clear a jump at the 2015 Moss Vale Show. Photo by Mindy Hindmarsh

Emma Roach and her mount clear another fence on Saturday at the 2015 Moss Vale Show. Photo by Mindy Hindmarsh

Fiona Vanderbeek will be honoured at this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show. Photo supplied

Steve Giddings controls the ball ahead of opponent Jacob Moore during a Moss Vale Summer Soccer Competition grand final. Photo by Josh Bartlett

Moss Vale’s Carly Parmenter and Phoebe Johnson are set to attend national basketball championships in the coming months. Parmenter will be an assistant coach while Johnson will compete. Photo supplied

Bowral’s Grant Lewis just makes it back in time before Bundanoon’s Andrew Hoare takes off the bails. Photo by Jen Walker

Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell shakes the ballot box. Photo by Megan Drapalski

Jackson Phillips smiles after his Robertson/Burrawang cricket team recorded victory in its under-14s semi-final. Photo by Mindy Hindmarsh

Lily Durlach and Trumpy compete at the 2015 Moss Vale Show. Photo by Mindy Hindmarsh

Major Singles Championshps Final Singles Champ MA 2015 060

Willo Camp junior Riley King has been invited to take part in The Willo Enduro mountain bike event this Sunday at Wingello. Photo supplied

Robbo Reelers award winners on Sunday. (Back) Robert Mace, David Cruickshanks, Stuart Newton and Donna Crombie. (Front) Greg Barea and Steve Young. Photo supplied

Exeter Tennis Club’s Hot Shots participants for 2015. Photo supplied

Highlanders are invited to play Australian rules football with the Wollondilly Knights in 2015. Photo supplied

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Layt recalls Slipper memory

Veteranhoop Adrian Layt was rapt to have a winner on Golden Slipper day after getting favourite backers off to a winning start in the opening race at Kembla Grange.
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Layt showed great vigour to lift the Bart and James Cummings-trained Angel Miss to victory over Tribe in a head-bobbing finish in the opening race three-year-old Maiden (1000m).

Front-runner Tribe looked to have stolen a winning break but was nipped at the post by Angel Miss, with the filly breaking through at her fourth race start.

‘‘I knew I’d got there, it was tight but I knew I’d won,’’ Layt said of the photo finish.

‘‘She needs more ground. Six furlongs (1200m) she’ll be better and even further. She’s dour but knuckled down and has potential.’’

Layt is a Kembla regular and had five rides on one of the Illawarra Turf Club’s biggest race days.

Punters were lining up to get into the course well before the first race.

And while connections of Angel Miss collected a share of the $12,250 winner’s purse, everyone’s focus was on the $3.5 million Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens.

Unbeaten Vancouver proved himself arguably the fastest two-year-old in the world, earning $2 million for his connections in the world’s richest juvenile race.

Layt rode at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day in 1999 when Catbird saluted.

‘I remember it as a huge day for everyone – jockeys, trainers, punters,’’ Layt said.

‘‘There’s a huge buzz about riding on such a great race day.

‘‘It’s a day I won’t forget. But saying that Kembla is a great facility and to have a winner on a day like this is pretty special too.’’

Winner: Experienced jockey Adrian Layt rode a perfect race as Angel Miss saluted in the opening race at Kembla Grange. Layt rode at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper day in 1999 when Catbird took out the world’s richest two-year-old race.

Leading Kembla bookmaker Grant Lynch has been operating at Kembla for 12 years with Golden Slipper day second only to Melbourne Cup day as his biggest meeting of the year.

He was hoping to hold around $80,000 on the Slipper with Kembla punters.

‘‘A good bet would be around $2000,’’ Lynch said.

‘‘ Things are a lot different from the best years as a bookmaker but it’s an important day for punters and bookies.’’

The proliferation of internet betting has hit on-course bookies hard, particularly at regional centres like Kembla Grange.

A few years ago Lynch held up to $150,000 on the Slipper alone from Kembla punters.

Lynch admitted his worst result was the heavily-backed Vancouver winning, with the boom colt overcoming barrier 18 to score an impressive victory for trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry.

Meanwhile, top apprentice Winona Costin claimed the Kembla riding honours with a race-to-race double.

Costin saluted aboard outsider Centerofattention (race 4) and $2.80 favourite Vision and Verse.

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2015 Batemans Bay Writers Festival launched: Photos

2015 Batemans Bay Writers Festival launched: Photos Batemans Bay Writers Festival treasurer James Henningham, events and program coordinator Marion Roubos-Bennett, Eurobodalla mayor Lindsay Brown, secretary Suye Mackenzie and media liaison Sarah Veitch celebrated the launch of the June long weekend festival on Friday night.
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Batemans Bay Writers Festival treasurer James Henningham gives the welcome address at the launch.

Eurobodalla mayor Lindsay Brown officially opens the festival.

Batemans Bay Writers Festival events and program coordinator Marion Roubos-Bennett announces the line-up.

Peter Boys, Marianne Ruffin and Margaret McClintock of Batemans Bay.

Sharyn Saville and John and Fay Ulph of Nelligen.

Mary Clark and Jann Adamson of Batemans Bay and Diana Cody of South Durras.

Joy Poulain and Julie Condon of Batemans Bay.

Batemans Bay Writers Festival committee member Stephanie Williams, information officer and website manager Gary Kellly, and featured author and committee member Rita Wagner.

TweetFacebookThe Rosie Project, had been sold in more than 30 countries and was on Bill Gates’ six books for summer reading list.

Simsion’s sequel, The Rosie Effect, is equally clever and surprising, she said.

“Graeme won the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript with The Rosie Project, and the novel was the Australian Book Industry Association Book of the Year for 2014,” Ms Roubos-Bennett said.

“To have an author of such international renown is an amazing coup for the festival.”

Indigenous author and playwright Julie Janson, is another stellar addition to the festival line-up.

“Her works include The Crocodile Hotel, an epic story about a young Aboriginal single mother, and a contemporary theatre work The Eyes of Marege, shortlisted for the prestigious Patrick White Award,” Ms Roubos-Bennett said.

“They’ll join one of Australia’s foremost crime fiction writers, Gabrielle Lord, to headline our program.”

Other authors include Jeff Apter, James Bradley, Anne Buist, Paul Brunton, Mark Henshaw, Linda Jaivin, Hannie Rayson and Susan Wyndham.

Ms Roubos-Bennett said that in response to feedback last year, more workshops would be featured in the program, including memoir writing, creative researching and interviewing; a poetry workshopand Wright for Delight, a creative writing workshop with local writer and comic performer Harry Laing.

“I’m also pleased that the festival will see the launch of the Eurobodalla Fellowship of Australian Authors anthology, Flights of Fancy,” she said.

For more information visit www.batemansbaywritersfestival南京夜网

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The Big Dance gives owners thrill of a lifetime

LIAM O’Meara and nine of his mates from the Woodend-Hesket Football Club have a lot to thank Tully Costa for.
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Their syndicate purchased a share in the Danny Curran-trained Tully Costa a few years ago and “have had a ball” ever since.

Their association with Tully Costa led to an email from Curran last year asking the syndicate if they would like a 10 per cent share in an Omaru Force filly. The share cost just $200 and the Woodend boys jumped at it.

That $200 investment turned into a $15,000 collect on Saturday when the filly – The Big Dance – scored a stunning win in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo.

The Big Dance wins the VOBIS Gold Rush.

“I can’t believe it,” O’Meara said after the race.

“We knew she had ability, but to win like that is amazing. For a two-year-old to break the track record is sensational.

“When she raced clear at the top of the straight me and the boys were asking each other if that was really her.

“Danny has done a super job with her. I couldn’t be happier right now.”

The Big Dance costs the syndicate of 10 $50 per week in training fees.

“We got into racing for a bit of fun and we have had a great time with Tully Costa,” O’Meara said.

“She has paid her way for three years and she is the reason we formed this syndicate.

“It looks like we are going to have a lot more fun with The Big Dance.”

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Darcy Tucker named captain of Rebels

SKIPPER: Darcy Tucker has been named North Ballarat Rebels captain. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERHORSHAM Saints star Darcy Tucker has been named North Ballarat Rebels captain for the 2015 TAC Cup under-18 season.
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Tucker’s teammates voted him into the role of skipper through a peer-assessed voting system.

Rebels talent manager Phil Partington described Tucker as a “standout leader” for the club across the pre-season.

“Darcy was a standout on the training track and particularly in his work ethic, he’s a standout for the other players,” he said. “He’s got some natural leadership qualities about him and leading by example is a big one.”

Tucker, 18, is an AFL Academy member and was named in the 2014 All-Australian squad as an underage player.

Partington said a strong leadership group of seven had been appointed, with senior players Josh Webster, Ben Simpson, Joel Cowan and Jacob Hopper included.

Bottom-aged players Todd Lawrence, Jarrod Berry and Connor Byrne are also listed as the Rebels look to develop their leadership base.

The Rebels’ season kicks into action in round two on the road against Geelong Falcons on Saturday.

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