Archive for December, 2018

Jets strike late to stun Perth

13/12/2018

ON TARGET: Johnny Koutroumbis celebrates after scoring against Perth Glory in the Jets’ 2-1 win on Saturday night. Picture:AAPNEWCASTLE Jets coach Ernie Merrick says he should be charged with “theft” after watching his side steal a 2-1 A-League win over Perth Glory with two goals at the death.
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Glory looked headed for victory courtesy of a 20th-minute strike from Joe Knowles in Saturday night’s game at nib Stadium.

But a sweet volley from 19-year-old Jets substitute John Koutroumbis in the 88th minute levelled the scores, before Glory defender Jeremy Walker scored an own goal in the 92nd minute to hand all three points to the Jets. The double blow stunned the 8063 crowd, and left Glory languishing in eighth spot following consecutive defeats.

The Jets remain in second spot, five points adrift of ladder-leading Sydney. Newcastle struggled for opportunities for most of the match, and Merrick said his side were lucky to come away with the win.

“The police have just come into the dressing room and charged us with stealing three points,” Merrick said.

“It really was theft. We didn’t deserve three.

“Sometimes you need a wee bit of luck. We’ve played some really good games and finished up either losing or getting a draw.

“We were a bit lucky tonight. I felt it was a bit of a scrappy game, but the better team was Perth Glory, without a doubt.” Glory coach Kenny Lowe was proud of his team’s efforts, and agreed with Merrick’s thoughts.

“I think he’s being very honest. Ernie’s a decent bloke and he knows the game,” Lowe said.

“They’ve had one shot on target and won the game. I don’t know how you can do that.

“I thought we were excellent. I thought we controlled the game.” Koutroumbis made no mistake with his volley after Roy O’Donovan’s header fell to him as he surged into the box.

And Walker could only look on in distress as his attempted clearance from a corner came off his left thigh and rocketed into the back of the net. Star Glory striker Andy Keogh failed to return from a groin injury, but Spaniard Diego Castro made a strong cameo off the bench Jets striker O’Donovan also made a strong return off the bench in his first game back from a groin injury.

Glory defender Alex Grant (hamstring) and Xavi Torres (groin) limped off in the 67th minute, and their absence left a big hole as Newcastle stole the win.

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How to cope when your ATAR arrives

13/12/2018

The lead-up to the release of exam results can be as stressful as the exams themselves, but remember: the ATAR will not make or break your life. Don’t let your ATAR define you
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It is the biggest cliche of them all when it comes to the final years of school. But it is also the most true: The ATAR will not make or break your life. The ATAR is not an IQ score. The ATAR – Australian Tertiary Admission Rank – is exactly that. A rank. It is not a measure of how well you will succeed in life, and it is not a ticket to a high-paying job. It won’t set you up for life, and it certainly won’t end your chances.

You have every right to be super proud if you do get the ATAR you were aiming for. It will probably get you into the university course you have your heart set on and it can make the next step in your journey a little more straightforward. But do not let it define you.

Remember: More than half of all students who start a degree at an Australian university are admitted in ways other than by their ATAR. That can be anything from interviews, to Year 11 and 12 reports, to portfolios.

Professor James Arvanitakis is an academic who regularly speaks and writes about the unhelpful hype around the ATAR. He offers students this advice: “Put enough pressure on yourself to do well. Any more than that is wasted energy. It leads to panic and over-stress.”

“When I did they HSC there was only one way to university. But now we have so many pathways. Even medicine has multiple pathways,” Arvanitakis says. What is an ATAR and how is it calculated?

The ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It is not a mark; it is a rank. It’s a number between 0 and 99.95, increasing by 0.05 increments. The highest possible ATAR is 99.95, while the lowest is 30. Any rank below that is referred to as “30 or less”. The ATAR system is now used by all Australian states and territories, although Queensland is still transitioning from its Overall Position (OP) to the ATAR system.

The ATAR is a measure of a student’s overall academic achievement in relation to other students. It helps universities rank applicants for selection into their courses. It’s designed to predict how well you will perform in your first year at university.

Your result is a percentile position out of all students who started Year 7 with you. So an ATAR of 80 doesn’t mean you got 80 per cent, rather, it means that you’re in the top 20 per cent of your year group. The average ATAR is usually around 70, not 50 as you may think. It would only be 50 if everyone from Year 7 went on to get an ATAR – and they won’t.

Scaling is the first step in calculating the ATAR. This is important because students take all sorts of different courses, so scaling allows courses to be compared fairly. The same marks in different courses are not necessarily equal, just as the same amounts of money in different countries are not equal. Scaling is done using raw marks to ensure apples are compared with apples, so a scaled mark of 50 means the same – you were in the middle of those who took the course. Scaled marks are then used to rank students.

Universities make admission offers based on the number of places available for a course, the number of students who have applied and their ATARs.

All universities publish their ATARs for each course, based on the previous year’s admissions. This gives a good indication of the minimum ATAR you will need. Advice for parents

Judith Carlisle, headmistress at top British independent girls’ school the Oxford High School, has a blunt message for her students: No one will give a damn about your final school results a couple of years down the track.

So forget about being perfect, she says. Instead, learn how to cope with failure.

Sounds harsh – but it is good advice.

Since 2014, Carlisle has been running a program called the Death of Little Miss Perfect. She wants to get rid of the idea that girls need to be perfect, so she uses the phrase ‘”unhelpful perfectionism” to explain what she means.

“In a high-achieving school such as Oxford High School, there is now a recognition amongst pupils that the further you go in academia there is less likely to be an answer that can be verified as correct or perfect. Girls are encouraged to just go for it, and that it is OK to learn from failure,” Carlisle says. “Importantly, they are all encouraged to be kinder and more positive towards themselves.”

In Australia, Jenny Allum, head of the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School in Darlinghurst, has a similar message for teenagers and their parents: Parents have a role in helping their teenagers (girls or boys) to avoid “catastrophising” when things do not go as planned.

“If you think getting 12 out of 20 in an essay, or even 8 out of 20, is the worst thing in the world, then you have a pretty good life,” Allum says. “Every tiny little milestone that happens in your last two years of school is not the be-all and end-all. Nothing is the end of the world.”

“Teenagers have highs and lows about all sorts of things.” says Allum. “I think it is important for the adults around young people to be the stable ones, to be the calm and rational ones with reality checks. When parents ride waves of emotions with their teenagers – whether they are elated when something good happens [or] angry when things are not so good – [it] only amplifies those ups and downs.” When the results are not what you were expecting

The lead-up to the release of exam results can be as stressful as the exams themselves.

When the day arrives, there can be jubilation. Or devastation. And plenty of emotions in between.

All may not go well. Disappointing scores? An ATAR that will probably fall short of the mark?

The not-for-profit organisation Youth Beyond Blue, which works to address issues around depression and anxiety, urges parents not to be fooled by their teenagers if they appear too dismissive of their results – particularly if they were lower than what everyone expected.

Chances are they really do care about how they went, and especially about what their parents and friends think.

Don’t make negative comments or point out what they could have done differently.

It’s too late to criticise now. Remind them that all is not lost if they do not get into their first choice of uni course or miss out on their traineeship. There are many pathways to get to their ultimate career destination.

Their exams will be a distant memory before they know it, and their marks will not damage their future.

Encourage your teenager to think of Plan B.

It is common to transfer degrees after first-year university, so their second-choice course may be a good option. They could take a gap year and spend some time working. A career or guidance counsellor may be able to help make a plan.

And just keep reminding them that a Year 12 result, whether good or bad, does not define them.

This is an edited extract fromIf You Want to Blitz Your Year 12 Exams … Read this Book, by the Herald’s education editor Alexandra Smith (ABC Books RRP$27.99), published on December 18.

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‘I bought the zoo,’ says the man who fell in love with the devil

13/12/2018

News Review. Singles Gallery. Kangaroo road kill between Walgett and Lightning Ridge. Photograph by Edwina pickles. Taken on 25th July 2010. ” i must of drove around & past 10-20 kangeroos, casualty of roadkill.The devil made him do it. Animal behaviouralist Bruce Englefield emigrated to Australia after falling in love with Tasmanian devils, working with others to save them from the facial cancer that was threatening them with extinction.
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But he was shocked when nearly a quarter of healthy devils released back into the wild became road kill within weeks of their release.

The roads are as big a threat to the devils as the facial cancers, he says. His research estimates “millions” of Australian marsupials are killed on the Australian roads every year. The most vulnerable are kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and koalas, he says. The figures don’t include birds or reptiles, also run over in large numbers.

At 75, Mr Englefield – previously a television technical director, animal behaviour counsellor and farmer in Britain – is now undertaking a doctorate in veterinary science with the University of Sydney.

To find out how many animals are being killed by cars, Mr Englefield is conducting a survey of anyone who rescues native animals. He wants to quantify the size of the problem (estimates vary wildly and hard data is hard to find), the number of wildlife carers, how much support they need and how they can continue to rescue injured animals as the amount of road kill increases.

“If you find a dead wallaby with a live joey, it can be alive in the pouch for three to four days,” he said. With so much road kill, the government and the public had a choice of policy options: “You either bring in a policy to leave them there and let them starve to death, or take them out and euthanise them. I don’t think the Australian public would go along with this. The only alternative, then, is hand rearing these animals, and if that is the decision you may need a lot of voluntary carers.”

NSW’s WIRES Wildlife Rescue responds to thousands of calls each year related to motor vehicle collisions.

Right now, it’s the worst time of the year for road kill and injured animals.

It is currently receiving about 4000 calls a week about animals that have been injured on the roads and elsewhere, and the number of calls rose 19 per cent in the past year to 143,000.

Yet its spokeswoman said it was impossible to say accurately how many animals were killed or orphaned by cars each year.

She said it was difficult to identify why animals were coming into care because some may have been moved from the scene of the accident. Those which were euthanised on the scene, or orphaned, were not attributed directly to motor vehicle collisions, although they were often the result of these crashes.

It receives more calls to help animals in more populated areas where there are major roads located near areas of native habitat. “This is partly due to road traffic but also loss of habitat and just greater human-animal interaction in general,” the spokeswoman said.

Some highways now have overpasses or tunnels to allow native animals to cross safely.

In Queensland, CSIRO’s research has found vehicle strike is a major threat to koalas. In 2013, Fairfax Media reported 10,956 of the 15,644 south-east Queensland koalas that died between 1997 and 2011 were struck by cars, mauled by dogs, or died of stress-related disease.

But a six-year study of bridges and tunnels found many animals regularly used tunnels and bridges as soon as they worked out how to use them.

WIRES wants more of these crossings: “We are a long way from the ideal, but it would be great if organisations and government could work together to identify hotspots where safe animal crossings or rope bridges could be deployed to reduce the impact of our roads on wildlife.”

Based in Tasmania, described by some as the road kill capital of Australia, Mr Englefield fell in love with Australian wildlife when he visited Tasmania on holiday in 2000.

When he visited a wildlife park about 150 kilometres east of Hobart, he saw devils for the first time.

“I was wowed, I couldn’t work them out, and their behaviour with spinning and running, and everything they did, was different from anything I’d seen from other animals. They were unique. They fascinated me,” he said.

He also saw that the zoo was for sale.

“To cut a long story short, we bought a zoo,” he said.

“But it was the devil that brought me over here. I started the Devil Island Project and by running a wildlife park I had the thrill of seeing devils on a daily basis,” he said.

Researchers within the Tasmanian government’s Save the Tasmanian Devil Program have since pioneered new approaches that have reduced the road toll of devils being released.

As part of his research Mr Englefield is undertaking a scientific appraisal of a virtual fence system that appeared to reduce devil road kill. If shown to be successful, it could be extended Australia-wide.

Survey: https://redcap.sydney.edu419论坛/surveys/?s=NHTLWLKTRT

Wildlife Rescue Line: 13 000 WIRES or 1300 094 737.

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Paramedic educator shortage stokes fears for front-line

13/12/2018

Overstretched paramedic educators are struggling to support untenable numbers of front-line staff hone critical skills to respond to life-threatening medical emergencies including birthing complications and stroke.
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A shortage of educators has left critical training officers (CTOs) responsible for training up to three times the number of paramedics than recommended by NSW Ambulance itself.

A leaked 2015 report from NSWA stipulates the appropriate ratio for educators to paramedics is one to 75.

But this ratio has never been achieved in Sydney “with subsequent negative impacts on both educators and paramedics”, according to the Paramedic Response Network, Education report.

“Educators are overwhelmed with a workload incorporating CTP course delivery, workshops for accelerated clinical roll outs, return to clinical practice, training needs analysis, clinical assistance programs, on road assessments, trainee followup [sic] and general engagement with paramedic staff,” the report read.

Paramedics were not able to access educators when they wanted to, and a lack of CTOs meant there were delays in getting returning paramedics back to work.

Two years on, the ratio of educators to paramedics in western Sydney has ballooned to 1:211, almost three times recommended ratio, according to staffing figures obtained by the Health Services Union (HSU).

In south west Sydney there are 188 paramedics to a single CTO, two-and-a-half times the recommendation.

In South East and Central Sydney, the ratio is 1:177, and in North Sydney there are 146 paramedics for every CTO.

Paramedic CTO and HSU delegate Allison Moffitt said the roles of responsibilities foisted upon educators have increased markedly, but their ranks have not.

“There is an untenable workload pushed onto educators because of a lack of staff,” Mrs Moffitt said.

“We’re not even close to where we need to be, There is just not enough of us to effectively support our paramedics.”

Mrs Moffitt said the pressure has taken its toll on educators as well as frontline staff.

“They work in really difficult conditions under really stressful circumstances and are short staffed themselves. They turn to us for support and when we can’t give it to them, that is a really hard thing for us to deal with.”

“We feel like we’re letting them down.” Educator to paramedic ratiosWest Sydney 1:211South west Sydney 1:188South east and central Sydney 1:177North Sydney 1:146

Being “severely understaffed” on the front lines and in eductors ranks will also have flow-on effects for patients, Mrs Moffitt said.

When NSWA decide to roll out a new training module, CTOs are tasked with creating the content and teach the course in addition to their already overwhelming workload that sees them travel between ambulance stations to oversee paramedics’ follow up training.

“When a new training package is rolled out, ongoing training suffers,” Ms Moffitt said.

CTOs are currently working on a suite of new maternal care training covering medical emergencies involving pregnant women and their unborn babies.

The skills paramedics need to respond to birthing complications including breech birth and prenatal haemorrhage are not routine, and paramedics will need considerable training and support to master the techniques.

The relative rarity of encountering a birthing complication only reinforced the importance of thorough and ongoing training to cement the knowledge, Mrs Moffitt said.

“It’s a big area of need for us [in terms of training] because it’s not something paramedics do everyday.

“When it does happen we’re talking about a critical medical emergency,” Mrs Moffitt said.

“You can’t just go through a course and be a master at it. They need to be supported throughout their career and we can’t give them that with the current ratios,” she said.

Training in thrombolysis to treat blood clots and prevent heart attack and stroke was another training priority.

“We know drastically improves patient outcomes and decreases long-term complications, but again it’s not something paramedics practise everyday so they need to drill the skills,” Mrs Moffitt said.

Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said the community expected paramedics to be prepared for critical health emergencies across the gamut of medical scenarios, and capable of dealing with the most extreme presentations in volatile situations.

The HSU is urging the state government to fund an additional 31 educators.

Mr Hayes said paramedics needed consistent ongoing training and access to educators to maintain the skills and knowledge needed to respond to traumatic births, heart attacks, major trauma, mass casualties, drownings, suicide attempts, mental health emergencies and rescue operations, Mr Hayes said.

“We can’t expect to maintain world-class paramedic standards without sufficient paramedic educators,” he said.

“Over the next 20 years, this state will grow by several million people. NSW desperately needs investment in its paramedic workforce to keep pace with that growth.

“Unfortunately, the current government’s investment in paramedic skills and training is a fail.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for NSWA said the service had 70 dedicated staff to support training and eduction of frontline paramedics and two new CTOs recently started in Sydney, as well as an additional aeromedical educator starting in the new year.

“NSW Ambulance is committed to providing quality clinical training for our dedicated paramedic staff,” the statement read.

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