Bunbury turns it on for Australia Day

The Australia Day fireworks are always a popular attraction over the Leschenault Inlet. AUSTRALIA Day has always been a day in which Bunbury citizens come together and celebrate the nation we live in and this year’s City of Bunbury Skyfest Australia Day festivities promise to be the best yet.
Nanjing Night Net

With so many things to see and do, you and the family can enjoy a huge day of fun throughout the Bunbury CBD.

Starting at 6.30am, you can enjoy a delicious cooked Aussie breakfast at the Silverchain fundraising breakfast.

The last two years’ funds made it possible for Silverchain to purchase new assets for the charity group.

Following the breakfast, you and the kids can participate in the annual Bunbury Mail Australia Day Fun Run.

The starter’s gun blasts off at 7.30am on the Pat Usher promenade and you can participate in either the 5km walk, 5km run or 10km run.

The Mayor’s Australia Day citizenship and award ceremony will follow the fun run an hour later, beginning at 8.30am at the Graham Bricknell Music Shell.

You can catch the Bunbury City Band performing at the music shell half an hour before the ceremony just before a welcome to country and the national anthem are performed.

After that, why not check out the Australia Day fair that runs down Blair Street and through Bicentennial Square?

The fair is on from 2pm to 9pm and will also be running at Bicentennial Square on January 24 and 25.

You will find carnival rides, a side show, food and beverage stalls and roving entertainment.

There is also plenty on offer for the kids this Australia Day, with the free Kanga Kids’ Zone operating from 2pm to 7pm.

There will be plenty of things to do including crafts, circus activities, a song and dance show and more.

For mothers and fathers with young children, the Bupa baby base located near the kids’ zone is available for you to feed, settle or change your baby or toddler.

Freedom Island is another popular feature at Bunbury’s Australia Day celebrations.

Operating from 2pm, Freedom Island is a hive of activity for teenagers with local DJs, bands and a mini water park.

The senior’s space will also be running this year.

Adjacent to the main event, the space will provide a quieter and more inclusive area from where you can enjoy the festivities.

The Dale Alcock Concert is the perfect way to enjoy the late afternoon/evening period of the day.

Kicking off at 3pm, the family concert will feature local South West artists.

Then to close out the day, you can’t look past the brilliant fireworks display.

At 8.30pm, Bunbury’s sky will be lit up with a beautiful array of fireworks.

For more information about the Australia Day activities visit the City of Bunbury website at bunbury.w a.gov.au

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

Club offers low-impact sport ” In Motion

Nanjing Night Net

WESTERN Zone Physical Culture encourages all members to achieve their goals.

Western Zone began in 1972, and has clubs across the Blue Mountains, Rooty Hill, Bligh Park, Campbelltown and Bangor.

Manager Lyn Aussel said members were graded individually rather than by club, enabling them to compete with those of a similar level.

“It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are or what your range of flexibility is, everyone is treated the same and can enjoy their classes in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere,” she said.

“Physical culture is a great activity for all ages.

“The music and syllabus is age appropriate and it is very affordable, our members only need one leotard for competitions.”

Ms Aussel said the clubs were friendly and offer a great weekly social outing for everyone.

“Competing is not compulsory but is available to those who love the adrenalin rush of being able to compete against others individually or in a team.

“The competitions are held in September where everyone works hard to gain a place in the grand final.

“All of our members make lasting friendships and have lots of fun while participating in a sport that is low impact and helps to create healthy minds and bodies.”

Each club have their classes on a different night during the week and registration nights commence on Monday, February 2 on the same night that the club holds its normal classes.

All of the class days, times and locations are listed on the website.

■ Details: 0414 472 460 or www.wzpcd南京夜网.au.

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

Philanthropist a true blue Aussie

BEING Australian equates to being “true blue” and generous, according to Capalaba philanthropist Jeffrey Underhill.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Underhill, 86, was recognised in this year’s Australia Day Awards for abiding by those principles all his life.

On Monday, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his generous donations of $3 million to the Capalaba Lions Club and his volunteer work with Meals on Wheels.

In his typical humble style, Mr Underhill passed up attending a medal ceremony to have a barbecue at the beloved Lions Club he helped to rebuild.

His community work had almost gone unnoticed until he was nominated for the Redland City Citizen of the Year award, which he won in 2013.

But the humble octogenarian said his raison d’etre was not about winning accolades.

After handing out $1 million to the Lions Club in 2012 for a new two-storey den, he backed that up with further donations totalling $3 million.

He also helped pay for a day respite and community centre at Degen Road.

“I’d be happy not getting an award,” he said. “All I want to do is to give more donations to suitable charities,” he said.

This year, he said he planned to make donations of up to $250,000 to the Fred Hollows Foundation and to the Flying Doctor Service.

However, in Mr Underhill’s mind, no charity eclipses the dedicated work of the team of volunteers at the Capalaba Lions Club, where he was made a life member in 2008.

Since moving to the Redlands in 2003, Mr Underhill committed himself to helping the community and was a regular driver with Capalaba Meals on Wheels.

He donated two boats for Sailability, a program that gives people with disabilities a chance to get out on the bay.

He also contributed to the Lion’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness Campaign and to Angel Flight, which provides free air travel to patients in need.

of medical treatment at distant hospitals.Mr Underhill has taken a great interest in helping people with visual impairments and has provided portable talking bar code scanners for blind people.

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

2015 Triple J Hottest 100: which songs will top the iconic music list?

2015 Triple J Hottest 100: which songs will top the iconic music list? Hilltop Hoods
Nanjing Night Net

Vance Joy

Peking Duk

Chet Faker

Glass Animals

Asgeir

Chvches

Ed Sheeran

Alt J

TweetFacebookAccording to their lists there’s a host of artists in contention, with Chet Faker, Peking Duck andHilltop Hoods among the favourites.

Will Cosby Sweater, Talk is Cheap or Stolen Dance take top billing? Only time will tell.

We’d love to hear your input as well.

Vote for your choice in the following poll and/or submit your top five predictions in the comments section below the story.

All right, enough stalling: here’s our Fairfax Media “expert” opinions:

1.High – Peking Duk (video below)

2.Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker

3.Mess is Mine – Vance Joy

4.Gooey – Glass Animals

5.Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods

1. Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods (video below)

2. 1989 – Chet Faker

3. High – Peking Duk

4. King and Cross – Asgeir

5. Do I Wanna Know You – Chvches

1. Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker

2. Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

3. Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods

4. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (video below)

5. Shake it off – Taylor Swift

1. High – Peking Duk

2. Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker

3. Stolen Dance – Milky Chance (video below)

4. Take Me Over – Peking Duk

5. Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods

1. Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

2. Left Hand Free – Alt J (video below)

3. Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker

4. Mess is Mine – Vance Joy

5. West Coast – James Vincent McMorrow

1.Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker (video below)

2.High – Peking Duck

3.1989 – Chet Faker

4.Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

5.Cosby Sweater – Hilltop Hoods

1. Take me to Church – Hozier (video below)

2. Mess is Mine – Vance Joy

3. Talk is Cheap – Chet Faker

4. Tightrope – Illy

5. Chandelier – Sia

Do you agree or disagree with these lists? We’d love to hear from you, so please submit your comments and alternative lists in the ‘Comments’ section below.

* All videos courtesy of www.youtube南京夜网

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

Between Here & Home: Every day is whacking day

CHANNEL surfing atthe weekend left no doubt that we’re deep in the heart of an Australian summer. Asia Cup on SBS, Big Bash cricket on Ten, tennis night and day on Seven.
Nanjing Night Net

Summer is about whacking balls, and it’s plain un-Australian not to adore every sweaty, highly-strung, sledge-riddled second of it.

January sorts out the die-hards from the back page flippers.

The tennis tragics happy to insert matchsticks beneath the eyelids if an Aussie player has a sniff, even as the clock ticks past midnight. To hell with work tomorrow.

I don’t hate sport by any stretch. I spend January scanning the sports pages for any skerrick of AFL news.

But there’s a limit to how long I can sit in front of the telly and watch beautiful people in expensive clothing whack balls at one other.

Just as it did back in our suburban backyard circa 1977, watching sport on TV still makes me want to get outside and have a whack for real.

Seventy-seven was the year of the famous centenary test and my best friend and I were cricket-obsessed.

During the five days of a test, we’d be out in the backyard early, preparing the pitch for our own epic, two-person test matches; getting in as many overs as we could before the heat of the day.

We took our cricket seriously. Using the official score sheets from the Cricket Annual, we’d flip to decide who would be Australia and who’d be stuck with England, then bat and bowl our way through the order.

On those school holiday mornings, Dennis Lillee bowled from the plum tree end to Derek Randall. David Hookes whacked the tape-swaddled tennis ball over the Sullivan’s fence for six (and out).

My friend spun the ball like Derek Underwood until his fingers wore out, with an uncanny knack for finding the exposed roots of the pear tree at the vegie garden end.

After lunch, we’d retire to the darkened lounge room, the electric fan whirring, flavoured ice blocks in cones, and watch our heroes.Rick McCosker batting with his broken jaw swathed in bandages. Derek Randall almost saving the match with 174. Me, dreaming of my own big innings the next day.

When the Australian open tennis came around it was the same deal. A rope slung across the backyard – bed sheets hung for a net.Roscoe Tanner and Ken Rosewall battling it out in a Broadmeadows backyard.

My poor dad. It’s a wonder he ever got any grass to grow.

This week my 16-year-old and I have been down at our local court mostnights – weeds sprouting from the baseline – bullants instead of ball boys.

It’s a long way from Rod Laver Arena, but strangely healing to whack tennis balls at one another as the sun sets over the paddocks.

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

‘Bring prices down’

UNFAIR: Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli believes petrol prices in the Leeton shire area are still too high compared to those in the city.
Nanjing Night Net

THE cost of petrol is still too high in country NSW, according to Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli.

Last week he slammed petrol providers, appealing for a fair go for Leeton consumers.

“You know how quick they are to increase prices when the price of oil goes up – if only they were as quick to reduce the price when it goes down.”

The average price of petrol in Leeton sits at $1.21per litre.

“It’s still $1.20 for regular unleaded fuel as opposed to $1.02 when I was in Sydney on the weekend,” Mr Piccoli said.

When asked if regional outlets can be excused for the price differential due to a lower turnover of fuel, Mr Piccoli asserted that operating costs are lower in country NSW.

“I think $1.10 is a bit more reasonable.”

Petrol operators have repeatedly blamed the cost of transporting petrol from the terminal to regional centres, but motorists have questioned the premium of that size.

MrPiccolisaidthe most dominant fuel companies would be scrutinised closely in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation.

NRMA director Graham Blight said the company had recently completed a petrol price analysis, which revealed Australian motorists weresaving up to $25 million per day since the price of oil halved.

“When you see the prices elsewhere you start to realise a lot of our blokes are not giving us a fair deal,” MrBlight said.

“We don’t mind local blokes making a profit …but it’s when they seem to take too much that we get angry.”

Mr Blight said motorists should be using social media to discourage “unfair” petrol prices.

He said regional motorists were still yet to see the full savings.

Readers expressed their frustration over the high price of petrol through social media and believe “enough is enough”.

“I paid 99.9 cents per litre in Wollongong on the weekend. Why are we still being charged 20 plus cents more per litre?” Sarah Thomas said.

“It is nice to se the price at the pump drop again over the weekend but why are we in Griffith (and Leeton), which is classed as country NSW, paying more than Sydney. To me that is a rip off,” Charles Hender said.

In early January, the price of petrol in Leetonwas at a high of $1.34.

Mr Blight said the cost of transporting fuel was about three cents per litre.

Other regional centres surrounding Leeton shire have the same concerns, but somehave experienced lower than usual prices.

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

Three keen teens had a ball

GOOD EXPERIENCE: Gabby Mitton, Sebastian Seaman and Dominique Mitton all had the time of their tennis lives as ball kids during the Sydney International last week. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 112014ptennisTHREE Bathurst tennis-following teenagers had a tonne of work to do at the Sydney International last week – but they enjoyed every minute of it.
Nanjing Night Net

Sebastian Seaman and sisters Gabby and Dominique Mitton were selected back in November to be part of the tournament as ball kids.

They had to go through a rigorous training and selection process to earn the call-up, and theactual job at one of the traditional lead-up tournaments to the Australian Open proved just as demanding.

It might seem like a basic kind of job in comparison to the umpires and linespeople, but there are high expectations on the ball kids and all three of the Bathurst representatives were up to it.

Seaman was in the action for the entirety of the tournament, while the Mitton sisters had to leave early due to other commitments.

They all spent plenty of time on centre court sharing a small space with some of the biggest names in the sport.

“They all had a ball. They got to stand in some really good matches and watch some qualitytennis from a pretty unique vantage point,” said Bathurst Tennis Centre manager Andrew Mitton, who arranged the initial trials.

“It was a fantastic experience for all of them.

“Speaking to my girls, they said that they found the on-court stuff with some of the top players really interesting, just to listen to them muttering to themselves and getting a close-up impression of their on-court demeanour.

“They heard a fair bit of swearing, too.”

While it was potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get so close to the best players in the world, it was strictly a volunteer effort for all the kids involved.

That said, it was well worth the time, according to Andrew Mitton.

“They get given a couple of shirts and hats and their meals are supplied, so all that stuff is covered, but they don’t actually get paid to do it,” he said.

“I know that on one night Dom ended up staying on court until 3.30am. She spent about 12 hours on court in total that day and it is pretty demanding.

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

Great Australia Day Quiz

It’s Australia Day and it’s a great Australian tradition to spend the day on a few Aussie pursuits – cricket, having a barbie and relaxing in the hammock. Try adding our quiz into the list of Aussie things you have a go at this year. Questions have been sourced from some great Australian sites such as the National Australia Day Council’s website, with a few thrown in by our NVI staff!
Nanjing Night Net

Question 1.

Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Let’s start with an easy one. Where is the Big Prawn?

2. What is the floral emblem of Australia?

3. Which Queensland city, famous for its sun and surf, was known as Elston until 1933?

4. Who was the most recent Australian to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon?

5. Name one of the people on the current issue $100 note?

6. What town is known as the Koala Capital of the World?

7. What is the common name of the Ornithorhynchus anatinus?

8. Where did Banjo Paterson write the words to Waltzing Matilda?

9. What was the name of the grocer played by comedian Mark Mitchell on television’s The Comedy Company?

10. How many overs does it take to bowl 26 balls?

11. What natural disaster killed 13 people in Newcastle on December 28, 1989?

12. In what year was Miranda Kerr born?

13. Australians hold the world record for which amazing feat? a) fastest beer bottle opening; b) largest Christmas cracker; c) most sheep sheared in 24 hours; d) largest chicken dance?

14. What is Australia’s largest inland city?

15. Which horse won the Melbourne Cup in 2014?

16. According to ARIA certifications, what is the best-selling album of all time in Australia?

17. Which of the following are Australian inventions? a) the black box flight recorder; b) the bionic ear; c) the refrigerator; d) the Hills Hoist clothesline; e) all of the above.

18. What outback town’s population swells from 120 to crowds of more than 5000 for a horse racing carnival?

19. What was Sir Donald Bradman’s batting average?

20. What is Australia’s largest native bird?

21. What is golfer Greg Norman’s nickname?

22. Who designed the Sydney Opera House?

23. Is Australia’s highest mountain Mt Kosciusko: a) 1832m high; b) 2228m high; or c) 3427m high?

24. How many times has Queen Elizabeth visited Australia?

25. In rhyming slang, what is a dog’s eye?

26. Who won consecutive Gold Logies from 1997 to 2000?

27. Where is the Dog on the Tuckerbox monument?

28. How many players are there in an Australian Rules team?

29. How many ships were in the First Fleet?

30. What is Australia’s most easterly point?

31. Who was Australian of the Year in 2014?

32. What is the highest grossing Australian film of all time?

33. What do you call a group of lyrebirds?

34. What year did Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin?

35. How many albums did the late Slim Dusty record?

36. Who was the first Australian to win the Booker Prize?

37. What is the largest lake in Australia?

38. In what year was decimal currency introduced?

39. Which comedian was known as the “Little Aussie Bleeder”?

40. What year was the controversial dismissal of the Whitlam government?

41. Who is the longest serving presenter of Playschool?

42. Which Aussie band led to the formation of the Wiggles?

43. What is Kylie Minogue’s nickname?

44. What is Australia’s longest running TV show?

45. Who was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal?

46. In what state or territory was the highest recorded temperature of 53 degrees recorded?

47. What is the second largest city in NSW?

48. How many toes does an emu have?

49. How many gold medals did Australians win at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games?

50. Which singer released the album Physical in 1981?

51. Which actor has had leading roles in Phar Lap, The Man from Snowy River and Eureka Stockade?

52. Which prime minister issued a public apology to members of the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian government?

53. How much of Australia is classfied as desert: a) 8%; b) 16%; c) 25%; d) 35%?

54. What is Australia’s largest non-salt lake?

55. Who are the actors who play Kath and Kim?

56. Who is the only person to have been awarded both the Australian of the Year and the Young Australian of the Year titles?

57. Who was the racehorse known as the Goondiwindi Grey?

58. In what year did Canberra’s “new” Parliament House open?

59. What animal featured on the 2c coin?

60. Who wrote Cloudstreet?

61. Cate Blanchett has received an Academy Award nomination for what movie?

62. What did the “A.B.” stand for in poet A. B. Banjo Paterson’s name?

63. What is the tallest waterfall in Australia?

64. Which of the following is not an Australian innovation? a) Chiko Roll; b) lawn sprinkler; c) plastic bank notes; d) dual flush toilet; e) wine cask?

65. What is Australia’s fastest train?

Answers:

1. Ballina

2. Wattle

3. Surfers Paradise

4. Lleyton Hewitt

5. Dame Nellie Melba and Sir John Monash

6. Gunnedah

7. Platypus

8. Winton

9. Con the Fruiterer

10. 4.33

11. An earthquake

12. 1983

13. b) largest Christmas cracker

14. Canberra

15. Protectionist

16. Bat Out of Hell, by Meatloaf, (it is followed by Whispering Jack, by John Farnham)

17. e) all of the above

18. Birdsville

19. 99.94, but 100 would be close enough!

20. The emu

21. The Great White Shark

22. Joern Utzon

23. b) 2228m high

24. 16. She is the only reigning monarch of Australia to have set foot on Australian soil

25. A pie

26. Lisa McCune

27. Snake Gully, 8km from Gundagai, NSW

28. 18

29. 11

30. Cape Byron, Byron Bay.

31. AFL player and community leader Adam Goodes

32. Crocodile Dundee

33. A musket

34. 1974

35. 103

36. Thomas Keneally

37. Lake Eyre, which is 144 km long and 77 km wide

38. 1966

39. Norman Gunston

40. November 11, 1975

41. Benita

42. The Cockroaches

43. The Singing Budgie

44. Four Corners, 53 years

45. Nova Peris

46. Queensland

47. Newcastle

48. Three

49. Two – Steven Bradbury and Alisa Camplin

50. Olivia Newton-John

51. Tom Burlinson

52. Kevin Rudd on February 13, 2008

53. d) 35%

54. Lake Mackay, Western Australia

55. Jane Turner and Gina Riley

56. Cathy Freeman

57. Gunsynd

58. 1988

59. The frilled neck lizard

60. Tim Winton

61. Elizabeth

62. Andrew Barton

63. Wallaman Falls, in Queensland

64. b) lawn sprinkler

65. The Tilt Train, which travels between Brisbane and Cairns at speeds of up to 160km an hour.

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

Fergus Thomson awarded OAM

Belowra farmer, Eurobodalla councillor and former mayor Fergus Thomson received an OAM in the Australia Day Honours.FERGUS Thomson’s life philosophy has changed in the past year.
Nanjing Night Net

When asked, the Eurobodalla councillor and former mayor, who is undergoing intensive treatment for a brain tumour, said his thinking was now different.

“My philosophy today is enjoy every day that you get,” he said.

“It probably has been that we’ve always tried to contribute to the community and we’ve always enjoyed it.”

Mr Thomson was recognised for his service to the community and to local government this week in the Australia Day Honours, receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

A man with an infectious laugh, a friendly disposition, and a clear passion for family, Mr Thomsongrew up on, and still lives atthe family’sBelowra farm, whichhasbeen tied to the Thomsons for four generations.

In his younger daysMr Thomson worked the land full time but was nudged into community involvement by his father, former Eurobodalla Shire president (mayor) Douglas Thomson, who placed great importance on contributing to the local community.

“My father was probably the greatest influence on my life and through all of the things that he did,” Mr Thomson said.

“He said ‘you boys can’t go back to the farm and just bury yourselves, you’ve got to go do something’.”

Mr Thomson joined Moruya Surf Life Saving Club in 1962 and spent every weekend during summer at the beach either volunteering or competing.

“Our mentor was Ron Cheshire – Ron has been the greatest influence on my life apart from my father. He’s just a wonderful man and a mentor to many people,” he said.

“(Surf Life Saving is) a great organisation and I think it is probably understated in the influence it has on people’s lives.”

Among his many achievements in the organisation was serving as the Far South Coast branch state delegate, chairman, president and deputy superintendent. He was former chairman of Country Branches and was manager of the touring competition team to New Zealand.

With his father on council for “as long as I can remember”, Mr Thomson knew well the ins and outs of local government, but had little desire to follow his father’s lead.

“It had been part of our lives I suppose for so long because my father was on the council, and his father was on the council,” Mr Thomson said.

“I think I felt for a long time I didn’t want to go there, I didn’t want to be involved in local government. It wasn’t my scene I suppose.”

He instead became involved in several local environmental pursuits, including founding the Belowra Landcare group. He later played key roles in water catchment management committees and the Rural Lands Protection Board and was even an advisor to the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

It was not until 2004 that Mr Thomson revisited the idea of walking the family’s well-trodden path to council.

“I found that I was working more closely with the people in local government and really liked working with the people in it and it sort of became a bit of a bond and something that I felt I could contribute to,” he said.

Two months after he was elected, Mr Thomson was thrown onto the national stage as one of two NSW representatives to the National Sea Change Taskforce.

It was a role he particularly enjoyed. The group provided guidance to coastal councils on issues such as rapid growth, planning, funding and management of natural disasters, and projected climate change impacts.

Mr Thomson realised that the Eurobodalla was not alone in having 36 per cent of its residents not contributing to the community fulltime, but wanting to use local infrastructure and services. It was being replicated around the country – from Robe to Maroochydoore.

“We did some really good stuff,” Mr Thomson said, of the group.

“We worked with different people in professions and looking at the impact of growth on the community and how to manage it.”

In 2013 Mr Thomson was elected director of lobbying group Local Government NSW. Shortly he after was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.

“I haven’t missed too many meetings, which has been rather miraculous,” Mr Thomson said.

“It’s been a little but of a battle but they put up with me. I used to go in with a bandage on my head.

“I think I did it more for me than I did for them, I felt I wasn’t going to give in to it. I’ve got this problem but I can beat it.

“I probably can’t, but I’ll give it a good shot.”

Mr Thomson said that at the end of the day his motivation came down to a love for the Eurobodalla.

“I love the community and I think that is the only reason you could ever go into local government,” he said.

“If you didn’t enjoy it and you don’t enjoy working with the people you wouldn’t do it – you couldn’t do it.

“There’s nothing better to walk down the street in Moruya or Batemans Bay or somewhere and (see) all my friends, and people you’ve actually been able to help – that’s the reward.

“They talk about getting an OAM or something, that’s the not the reward – the reward is having been a part of it.”

Being a part of it is something Mr Thomson could never have done without having wife Yvonne by his side.

“There was nothing that I’ve done in my life that I could have done without her,” he said.

“She has been absolutely brilliant and most people wouldn’t know – she taught our kids (by) correspondence, because we were so far out (of town).

“While I was mucking around and doing silly things, she was at home teaching.

“She was still out there fencing and farming… I would probably be in at the surf club having a surf and she’s out here drenching sheep.”

Mr Thomson said he was happiest on the farm with Yvonne and their two boys Brendan and James.

“That’s why you enjoy being on the farm – you enjoy it as a family,” he said.

“That to me is my greatest memory and I treasure being alongside Yvonne doing that, that’s a big wow factor.”

While Mr Thomson is unsure of what the future holds, he is certain of his appreciation of those who supported him over the years.

“I will always say it’s been an absolute privilege to have been able to represent this shire and this community. They’re my friends and they’re the people that they’re wonderful,” he said.

“You couldn’t ask for abetter community to work in and live in and so I’ve just been really privileged.”

He hopes a new chemotherapy drug trial treatment in Melbourne he is undertaking will give him more time.

If not, he says he’s had a great innings.

“I know it sounds final but I don’t know how else you can say it,” he said.

“You’ve got to acknowledge there’s life and there’s death.

“But I don’t intend to get out yet.”

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

Widdop welcomes quality time with Marshall

DRAGONS halves Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop expect their combination to be stronger in 2015. Picture: ADAM McLEANIT’S all anyone wants to talk about but star playmaker Gareth Widdop says the focus on his partnership with Benji Marshall is warranted as they look to steer the Dragons to their first finals appearance in four years.
Nanjing Night Net

The pair were forced to build a combination on the run last year when Marshall joined the club midseason. After some early teething problems they managed to steer the Dragons to within one win of an unlikely finals berth leaving fans salivating at the prospect of what they could achieve with full preseason under their belts.

It means they’re constantly fielding questions about their progress but Widdop is just as excited by their potential.

‘‘If you’ve got a strong halves combination it certainly does help the team a lot and having the extra time working with Benji as a halves partnership is going to help us,’’ Widdop said.

‘‘Last year coming in trying to change things halfway through the year was always going to difficult whereas this year [McGregor’s] had the chance to sit down and write out a plan for what structures he wants to run with this year and we’ve had a solid preseason doing that.’’

He went without finals football for the first time in his career but the 2014 season – his first with the Dragons – was by any measure a breakout one for the 25-year-old who led Dally M voting over the first half of the season and established himself as one of the game’s elite playmakers. But the sharpups and downs of the club’s rollercoaster year meant he welcomed an extended break following the Four Nations.

‘‘It’s obviously quite a long season so it’s good to get away and spend some quality time with the family,’’ Widdop said.

‘‘I think that’s important, if you come back too early and you’re not quite ready for it mentally it makes the season a lot harder and a lot longer. It got to the stage where I really enjoyed my break and I just wanted to get back into training.’’

After steering the side himself for much of the preseason Marshall said Widdop has made a seamless return since rejoining the squad three weeks ago.

‘‘He just slotted straight back in like he’d never been gone,’’ Marshall said,

‘‘He was looking pretty fit when he came back and he’s just a world class player. He takes so much pressure off me and makes my job a lot easier. I feel like when he’s out there I can play a lot better.’’

The pair won’t re-unite on the paddock until the Charity Shield with Marshall to skipper the Dragons at the Auckland Nines while Widdop will lead the bulk of squad against the Mackay Cutters on Saturday.

‘‘I’ve only been back three weeks now and Mary thought it would be more beneficial going up to Mackay and directing the boys around,’’ Widdop said.

‘‘We’ve got new structures and new players in that side and I think it’s more beneficial to get solid game minutes under my belt with the new players and the new structures.’’

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

The Mikado information night this Thursday

Musical director Wally Pope, The Mikado director Jodie Holwell and vocal coach Leanne McCready.SINGERS and actors keen to be part of Ararat Musical Comedy Society’s 2015 production of The Mikado are invited to an information night this Thursday.
Nanjing Night Net

Director of The Mikado will be Jodie Holwell and she will be assisted by musical director Wally Pope and vocal coach Leanne McCready.

Ms Holwell said she is looking forward to bringing the show to life on stage, with roles to suit a variety of actors and singers.

“There are nine major roles in the production and lots of chorus work,” Ms Holwell said.

“The chorus is a large contributor to this show – as Gilbert and Sullivan is written to include large choruses – and it will have lots of songs and stage time.

“It is a great show, full of memorable songs and lots of laughs and I would love everyone to come along to the information night and get involved.”

The Mikado first opened in March 1885, in London, where it ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances,.

While written more than 100 years ago, the genius of Gilbert and Sullivan means that its themes are still relevant today and with no copyright restrictions, references to modern day issues, personalities, celebrities and characters can be included to ensure audiences will still be laughing out loud as they did 100 years ago.

The story of The Mikado follows Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado of Japan, who fled his father’s imperial court to escape marriage with Katisha, an elderly lady. Disguised as a travelling musician, he met and fell in love with Yum-Yum, the young ward of Ko-Ko, a cheap tailor in the town of Titipu.

Yum-Yum, however, was already betrothed to her guardian, and Nanki-Poo leaves the town.

Still masquerading as a musician he later returns to Titipu after hearing that Ko-Ko was condemned to death for flirting, but learns that although Ko-Ko was indeed to have been beheaded, he was reprieved at the last moment and made Lord High Executioner instead. As the criminals must be executed in order, and Ko-Ko was next to be executed, no one else can be executed until Ko-Ko cuts off his own head!

Ko-Ko, meanwhile, has received a letter from the Mikado, who is concerned that there have been no recent executions in Titipu and threatens severe repercussions if one does not take place within a month, including reducing the town to the rank of a village.

Ko-Ko comes across Nanki-Poo, who is preparing to terminate his existence rather than face life without Yum-Yum, and the two men strike a bargain: Ko-Ko agrees to let Nanki-Poo marry Yum-Yum now, and, in return, Nanki-Poo agrees to let Ko-Ko behead him at the end of the month and marry his widow.

However, the wedding plans are disrupted upon Ko-Ko’s discovery that, under the Mikado’s law, when a married man is beheaded, his wife must be buried alive. Yum-Yum’s enthusiasm for the marriage is suddenly diminished and a solution must be found!

The information night for The Mikado will be held at Ararat 800 Primary School’s performing arts room (enter via Moore Street at rear of school) at 7.30pm this Thursday, January 29. Anyone who would like to be part of the cast or back stage crew is welcome to attend.

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

Dog attack leads to neighbourhood fallout

DEVASTATED: Margaret and Samuel Morgan are pleading for the owner of the dog responsible for mauling their Jack Russell, Tui, to come forward.A devastated couple are pleading for the owner of the dog responsible for mauling their family pet to come forward.
Nanjing Night Net

Samuel Morgan was washing the dishes, like any normal evening, when he heard his wife, Margaret, screaming.

When Mr Morgan made it to the front yard, his 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier, named Tui, was being mauled by a staffy cross pit bull terrier.

Mr Morgan hasn’t played snooker for years but he attempted to use an old cue to beat the dog away, without any impact.

The dog’s owner also tried to get his dog under control and when his dog eventually lost interest, he fled the scene.

“I’ve never seen something so horrific,” Mrs Morgan said.

Mrs Morgan was letting Tui “do her business” in her front yard when the attack occurred.

The dog’s owner was visiting the house next door when the dog, without a collar or any restraint, jumped out of his car window to attack Tui.

Tui was taken immediately to Mustafa’s Veterinary Clinic where she was put down due to the seriousness of her injuries.

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

Cahill seals his legend

TIMCahill enhancedhis alreadylegendary status by scoring two goals in the Socceroos’ 2-0 win over China in the Asian Cup quarter-final last week.
Nanjing Night Net

Many commentators now consider himthe greatest footballer the country has ever produced. In this week’s At The Bar,Michael “Speedy” Stratton and The Area News sports editor Andrew Pivagive their thoughts on where the 35-year-old ranks.

UNSTOPPABLE: Many football commentators are calling Tim Cahill the greatest Socceroo of all-time. Picture: Getty Images.

Andrew: Canyou remember the last time you did a bicycle kick, Speedy?

Speedy: Can’t say that I’ve ever done one. But I have kicked a bicycle.

Andrew:That doesn’t count. Anyway, I’m still pumped about Tim Cahill’s brace for Australia in the Asian Cup quarter-final against China. His first goal was a bicycle kick and his second was off his head.

Speedy: As they usually are with TimCahill.

Andrew: True, and now there’s talk he should be regarded as the greatest Soccerooof all-time. Whatdo you reckon, Speedy? Does he deserve that title after everything he’s done for the national team?

Speedy: He’s certainly up there. He played for a long time in the English Premier League, and you have to know what you’re doing to play at that level. But the best ever? I’m not sure.

Andrew: Who would you have up there then?

Speedy: Johnny Warren was pretty good in his day. He played for usat the 1974 World Cup. There’s also Mark Schwarzer and Harry Kewell to consider.

Andrew: It’s a big call labellingsomeone “the best ever”. For me, he’s in the top two. Harry Kewell is the most talented player Australia has produced, but his body let him down as he got older. In terms of contribution to the national team, the only person who can match Cahill is Schwarzer. I daresay Schwarzer’s keeping has saved Australia more often than Cahill’s goals, but both men have hadmighty careers on the international stage.

Speedy: Too right. Can we talk about some tennis now please?

Andrew:We can. I guess it’s all about Nick Kyrgios. How far can he go? All the way? I only hope he gets a new haircut if he makes it tothe final.

Speedy: You’re the last person to be talking about hairwith your baldscalp, mate. But it’ll be interestingto see. I originally picked Roger Federer to win the men’s title, but he didn’t even make it past the first week. I’ll go Novak Djokovic now. I don’t think he’s dropped a set.

Andrew: But what about Kyrgios? Can he do something remarkable?

Speedy: Never say never. He’s got Andy Murray next, and he’s more than capable of pulling off an upset. If there’s going to be a shock or two, I reckon it’ll come from him.

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