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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Early learning closes the gap

Crucial: Beyond the Bell chair Karen Foster said early childhood education sets kids up for later years of schooling. Picture: Amy PatonChildren who fall behind before they reach primary school are not getting the help they need, a Victoria University report says.
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Researcher MeganO’Connell said improving attitudes toearly childhood education could address issues such as low education attainment rates in the south-west.

“In Australia, (pre-primary school learning is)still not valued the same way as school education is, but it is a necessity and an essential element of preparing kids for life,” she said.

“Some families – and, indeed,some members of the community and some politicians –stillview it more as childcare or babysitting rather than something that sets kids up for life.”

The report foundone-in-four children in Australia starting schoolwerenot well-preparedand one-in-three didnot spend enough hours in early childhood education to help them.

Despite the introduction of a National Quality Standardfive years ago, one-third of assessed childhood services were not meeting it.

“You tend to find that the further away from (Melbourne)you go, the more socio-economic factors come into play and the less services there are available to families,”Ms O’Connellsaid.

South-westorganisationBeyond the Bellaims to lift education attainment rates in the region.

The organisation’s chairwoman,Karen Foster, said early childhood education wasa crucial area.

“We know that once a child has fallen behind the eight-ball, it’s very hard for them to make up ground. Apoor start in the early years can leave them playing catch up for life,” Ms Foster said.

Ms Foster pointed to south-west programs that targeted early childhood, including the Nurture Nest program in Moyne Shire and the Stepping Stones to School inGlenelg Shire.

A Grattan Institute report has examined NAPLAN results and foundlearning gaps between students from different socio-economic backgrounds increased significantly over time.

“This report goes parallel with the Grattan Institute report (which shows)disadvantage is widening over timebetween low and high socio-economic areas and our report shows essentially the same thing but for a much younger cohort,” Ms O’Connell said.

“If you get in early and address the situation before the kids go to school,it’s a lot more effective and a lot less costly.”

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

THE three little words “Lest we forget” continued

A representative of the Australian army pays his respects at the Hill Top Anzac Day dawn service. Photo by Victoria LeeTHE three little words “Lest we forget” continued to ring true through this year’s Anzac Day services held across the Southern Highlands.
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At the Bowral Dawn Service one woman, Elizabeth Wright, fondly remembered her father who fought at Somme and Hill 21 in World War I.

“He was gassed twice during the war and the second time he remembered someone putting their hand on his shoulder and saying ‘this poor bugger won’t make it’,” she said.

However, she said her father did make it.

“He was taken to hospital and that is where he met my mother,” she said.

“They had 10 children.

“My father died on August 31, 1945, at the age of 49. He managed to live until after V-Day.

“He knew about the Germans, but he was too sick to realise the Japanese had also capitulated.”

The importance of remembering the many men and women who suffered – and in many cases died – in battle, so that we today could live a life of freedom was not lost on the youngest members of the community.

Nine-year-old Torah Wooderson was quick to point out that she was at the Bowral Anzac Day service to “remember the soldiers who fought for our peace in Bowral”.

Hundreds of people attended both the Anzac Day dawn and main services in Berrima.

Dogs and children were the stars of the show at the Berrima Anzac Day main service.

Friends of Wingecarribee Animal Shelter (FOWAS) members, accompanied by their canines, laid a wreath to pay tribute to all of the animals that have lost their lives at war, both past and presented.

Students at Berrima Public School also played a large role in the main service.

Both dawn and main services in Mittagong attracted large crowds.

One father explained to his young son, “We are up before the chickens,” at the dawn service.

Flags were handed out at the main service, and rosemary was left outside Twisting Vintage for the dawn service.

Attendees enjoyed free homemade Anzac cookies at St Stephen’s Anglican Church after the main service.

The northern villages of the Highlands held morning services, with a busy service and breakfast at Hill Top followed by the 8am Colo Vale gathering.

Hundreds also took to the streets of Bundanoon to pay their respects, with all generations joining together in song and silence to remember the fallen.

Residents from Sutton Forest and Exeter braved the chilly morning to pay their respects at the Sutton Forest service.

Garry Barnsley OAM read a touching commemoration about members of his family that have fought in the armed forces as well as his nephew who is currently serving.

There was a good turnout for the Robertson/Kangaloon wreath laying service which was then followed by a commemorative service at Burrawang.

MC Greg Hoare said it was one of the biggest crowds he had seen.

Members of the Diggers Military Motorcycle Club were a big part of the celebrations, carrying the original Robertson-Burrawang-Kangaloon RSL flag in their ride.

The members were all men who have returned from active service with the Army, Navy and Air Force and have fought in places such as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Some of the Diggers read the ODE and raised the Australian Flag during the ceremonies.

Miss Judith Green MBE, OAM was also part of the service.

In WWII she was Staff Captain Social Services, attached to the British Commonwealth Overseas Forces for two years in Japan.

Reverend Graham Thomas paid tribute to the soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

“They fought and died so that freedom can be a reality for us. They were prepared to make a great sacrifice and many lost their lives,” he said.

“I can’t imagine how difficult that would have been. (Anzac Day) is a day to honour them and to honour their memory.”

This year was also the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.

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

Star Bombers named best

STARS: Players and representatives of players of the Kapunda ‘Team of the Modern Era’ which was named on Saturday night.A fantastic honour at any level of football, from the national competition to the local club, a best “Team of the Modern Era” was named by the Kapunda Football Club on the club’s 150thanniversary dinner on Saturday Night.
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The entire field oozed class from the outset, with the forwardline up of Dallas Keane, Geoff Schell and Danny Deptula sitting across the forward pockets and full forward position.

Deptula kicked 54 goals in 1999 and 87 in 2000 after finals, claiming the competition’s leading goal kicker award.

Schell recorded the same accomplishment twice as well, with 75 goals in 1986 and 76 in 1987 to win back-to-back awards, while Keane claimed the 2001 best and fairest.

The half forwardline featured two of the biggest names in Kapunda history with Terry Ryan, Nathan Brady and Sam Ryan, with the latter named as the vice-captain.

Across the midfield line was even more brilliance, with Jim Hayward, who was named captain of the side, five-time Bombers best and fairest Richard Anderson smack in the centre and Peter Vandeleur on the right wing.

Captain Hayward won best and fairests in 1967 and 1968 and the League best and fairest award in 1969, shared with Tanunda’s Dale John.

Anderson is a record-equalling five time best and fairest, after winning the awardin 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996.

THE FIELD: The team sheet of the Bombers’ ‘Team of the Modern Era’ which was announced on the 150th anniversary night at the Trotting Track.

The half backs saw Brian Menzel, Phil Schell and Alan Prior named, who had eight best and fairests between them, with Schell nabbing four and Menzel nabbing three.

In addition to his four club best and fairests, Schell was a back to back league best and fairest, winning the award in 1984 and 1985.

Vandeleur was a star in 1966, awardedthe Association’s best and fairest award, and a club best and fairest in 1971.

The full backs saw the appearance of a modern star, with Brad Valentine named along side Robert Jarman and Mick Browne.

The ruck and ruck rover line was star studded, and could execute brilliance at any level of football, with Jason McKenzie, who won two league best and fairests in 2001 and 2012, Brad Taylor, who won five Bombers best and fairests, from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 before winning again in 2012 and Mick McCarthy, the current A Grade coach and two time best and fairest, winning it in 1997 and 2004, with the latter a premiership year.

2004 was the dream year for the current coach, as he also won the League’s best and fairest award in addition to his club best and fairest and the A Grade premiership, the first of two in a row.

The bench was capped off with Adam Turrell, Paul Higgins, Tony Holding and Trevor Leslie, who have won a total of five best and fairests, with the former the current Bombers’ club champion, having taken it out in 2014 and 2015, and his brother Andrew claiming the award in 2011.

Leslie, in addition to his 1976 and 1977medals, winning the Association’s best and fairest award in the senior colts in 1970.

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

Positives from Power defeat

ALTHOUGHGippsland Power didn’t record itsfirst win of theTAC Cup football season, the team’s performance against the highly-rated Murray Bushrangers leftcoaches and supporters with a lot of positives to focus on for the rest of the year.
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The final margin at Princes Park in Melbourne was 33 points, butthe Power was sight ofa stunning victory late in the game despite seemingly being headed to a big loss late in the second quarter.

Going into the match after a huge and morale-sapping loss against Geelongthe week before, it appeared likely, on paper, it was headed for even deeper trouble as the Bushrangershad defeated the Falcons earlier in the season. One positive for the Power was the return ofJosh Patulloand debutants Ethan East and Callum Porter making highly significant contributions to the side’s improved performance.

The message sent by coach Leigh Brown after the Falcons loss was based on greater commitment and competitiveness and, in the opening minutes of the term against Murray, it appeared thatmessage had been taken on board. The Powerwas applying intense and highly effective pressure on itsopponents all over the ground and through some good work by Sean Masterton, Anthony Young was able to kick the first goal of the match.

Midway through the quarter, the Bushrangerskicked their first goal, but, instead of getting back on track, the Power allowed its opponent to kick the sort of easy goals which had been its problem against the Falcons.

By the first break Gippsland trailed by 21points down, but, more importantly, had allowed the Bushrangersto seize the momentum with minimal opposition.

As ithad done at the beginningof the match, the Power took the early initiative but was off target before some strong work by Young and Trent Armour allowed Masterton to kick an important goal. Not to be outdone, the boys kept up the pressure and James Harrison and Jedd Serong went in hard to win the ball and then use it well to allow Ryan Hearn to kick the side’s second major in a row.

Just when it appearedthe lessons ofthe first term had been learned, the Bushrangersupped the ante and slammed on five goals. A combination of turnovers and being exposed on the resultant rebound had gifted the Bushrangerssome of the goals and things were looking grim just before half-time.

The boys made a big effort late in the quarter and Austin Hodge and Will Stephenson appliedpressure to allow Young to kick a vital goal. The Bushrangers’ lead was 30 points and once again the Powerhad provided its coach with plenty of issues to address.

It appearedthe boys hadn’t listened to coach Brown’ssubtle reminders early in the quarter when Murray was able to kick an easy goal. This seemed to inspire the Power to get real and great forward pressure by Young created a chance for Kade Renooy to bring back the status quo and he took full advantage of it.

Instead of building on this, the Power wasted gettable opportunities to kick goals and then watched forlornly as the Bushrangers capitalised on two defensive clangers.

It took some clever ruckwork by Keenan Hughes to set-up Nick Mulqueen to kick a critical goal and bring the margin at the finalchange back to 31 points. The huge positive for the boys from the quarter was howthey had limited the Bushrangers to two goals and had maintained this sort of pressure for the whole term instead of fading badly as they had done in the first two quarters.

At the beginning of the final term, intense pressure by Young and Callum Porter set-up Masterton to snap a clever goal and it appearedthe Power was back in the match.

Two more poor defensive decisions gifted the Bushrangerswith goals almost against the general run of play and once again they looked ready to blow the marginout.

Some remarkable poiseby Will Leslie and Renooy found Hodge, who restored balance for the team. This was followed by some amazing ball use and positive thinking Josh Patullo, Jai Rout, Masterton andLeslie to once again bring the margin to under five goals.

Almost, as if call, fate stepped in again and gifted the Bushrangers with a fickle bounce and goal, giving them a 14.17 (101) to 9.14 (68) victory.

The final margin was 33 points, but most involved with the Power saw only positives from the match. After an indifferentfirst half, the Powerhad applied more intense and effective pressure and had played the sort of footballBrownbelieved it wascapable of.

In his second match of the season, Deven Costigan stepped-up to the challenge of leading his younger teammates.Costiganblitzed talented opponents with some disciplined and hard-nosed defence, but also had the confidence and skill to win and effectively use may important possessions.

Following this example was Sale youngster Will Stephenson, who made a huge impact when on the ball and in attack with his fearlessness in the tightest contests. He applied many fierce tackles against bigger opponents as well as winning and unselfishly using contested possessions all over the ground.

Captain Will Leslie was another who set an example for his side.

Leslietook on and soundly defeated dangerous opponents when in defence as well as playing an equally inspiring role when on the ball. His use of his pace and long and direct kicking were key elements of his performance.

In his first TAC Cup game, Ethan East took on the challenge of a major role in defence and responded manfully as the match progressed.

Not to be outdone by his fellow debutant, Callum Porter won manycontested possessions, but his ability find the time and space to make gooduse of the ballwas exceptional.

The next challenge for GippslandPower will bethe Calder Cannons at Morwell onSaturday. The likely return of captain andAFL Academy member Ben Ainsworth will boost the Power.

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

Farm food message not understood: TFGAopinion

HARVEST: Apple harvesting at Spreyton. The TFGA will be examining the answers to the question ‘what is farming’ to better educate consumers about the process. Picture: Brodie Weeding.WHAT is farming?That is the question that we at the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association have been asking ourselves for some time now.
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While, in simple terms there would appear to be an obvious answer, we passionately believe there is more to it than that.Over the coming months the TFGA will be exploring in detail the answer to that question. You may ask why bother, everyone knows what farming is and what it means. We don’t think so.

It is clear that many people today do not have any real understanding of where their food comes from, worse still they have even less understanding of the systems and people that produce that food.We understand that there are pockets here in Tasmania that are not quite so blasé about that knowledge, but there is a good reason for that. For example,on the North-West Coast we are very fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best farm land on the planet. We grow a wide range of crops and those lucky enough to live here know from observation and personal and family knowledge what farming and the food production system looks like.

Most though do not have the opportunity to work and live on the Coast and are far more removed from farmers and the land more generally. For those who live in places like Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney the understanding of these things is far from complete.The inhabitants of these cities and beyond often see the supermarket as the only interaction required in relation to food. They often have little understanding of the importance of the food production system, or of those who produce it.

Once you understand you begin to place value on those who produce the food, place value on the regions that allow that production due to their natural attributes, and you then begin to value what it means to your ongoing life.So back to the fundamental question what is farming?There is no right answer because farming incorporates so many different elements. The answer can be as varied as there are crops in the ground. Those of us engaged in farming, either directly or indirectly, need to articulate a message to the rest of the community.

That message is, food is critically important, those who produce it are critically important, those who assist or supply those who produce it are critically important, and those who process it are critically important.

Finally, those regions that are literally our nation’s food baskets are also critically important and need to be recognised as such by all levels of government as we collectively work together to continue to supply high quality food to an ever increasing population.

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