‘Beauty often has a dark side’: The truth behind one of Sydney’s most scenic spots

Posted by on 13/06/2019 at 11:08 am

It is one of Sydney’s most scenic spots. Towering sandstone cliffs topped with endangered banksia scrub guard the entrance to Sydney Harbour, providing sanctuary to a rich array of native animals, including an endangered community of long-nosed bandicoots and penguins.
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But North Head was also a place of disease and death for Indigenous people as well as convicts and migrants making the arduous and often lengthy journey from their homelands.

More than 500 people were laid to rest in the three burial grounds at North Head, although artist Susan Milne said: “I imagine there were many more deaths.”

Milne was one of 10 artists who were invited by Manly Art Gallery & Museum to explore the site’s Aboriginal heritage, environmental significance, military history and migration stories after camping at North Head earlier this year.

Thier artworks will be exhibited in The North Head Project at the gallery until February 18.

Made of gauze and bearing crosses, Milne’s artwork, Souls on Board, represents the 572 recorded deaths at the Quarantine Station, which opened in the 1830s and operated for more than 150 years.

“As part of the disembarkation method for a yellow-flagged ship moored in the waters off the station, the travellers were protected and isolated, incubated and infected, sealed and preserved,” she said. “Each soul was in limbo, in a hospital where fumigation, steam and lime were the salving agents.”

More than 13,000 people passed through the station from ships suspected of transporting people infected with contagious diseases, such as typhus, smallpox, Spanish influenza and bubonic plague.

“Some of the staff working at the Quarantine Station also died,” Milne said. “It was the arrival of the Europeans and disease, which had a devastating impact on the Aboriginal people in this region. Beauty often has a dark side.”

Milne’s thoughts were echoed by photographer Tamara Dean, who said she kept “straying back” to the Quarantine Station.

“In particular the evocative stories of people being placed outside and treated with the fresh air to try to heal them, as well as imagining the discomfort of being sick in the hospital beds in the heat we had experienced ourselves,” she said.

The North Head Project features landscape paintings, photography, porcelain, botanical watercolours and Karla Dickens’ Unwelcome, an upturned boat with oars bearing cruel messages aimed at Aboriginal people and refugees.

Dickens said North Head was a site of death and destruction for Indigenous people: “The foreigners were quarantined to heal and deal with infectious diseases at the same time as the First Australians were poisoned, murdered and raped.”

Curator Katherine Roberts described the site as “an amalgam of Australian history” for its overlapping Indigenous, social, environmental and military stories.

Rich in flora and fauna, North Head was crucial to Sydney’s coastal defences, laced with tunnels, equipped with artillery and home to soldiers. It was also colonised by the Catholic church, which built a seminary and Bishop’s palace on the slopes above Manly.

“I can see North Head from my office window; ever-present, monumental and rich in natural and social history,” she said. “This charged site is relevant, thought-provoking and especially ripe for artists’ interpretations.”

The North Head Project is at Manly Art Gallery & Museum until February 18, 2018.

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Hunter students top state in HSC

Posted by on 13/06/2019 at 11:08 am

​On your marks: Seraina Danuser and Jacob Wallace, who said his keys to success were being able to prioritise, manage time and know when it’s time for a break. He balanced study with riding dirt bikes. Picture: Simone De PeakHUNTER students have been praised assome of the country’s standout academic performersafter theytopped the state in fourHigher School Certificate subjects.
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Newcastle Grammar’s Seraina Danuser received first place in Design and Technology, while Mount View High’sJacob Wallace came first in Electrotechnology, which he completed throughTAFE NSW Maitland.

Merewether High’s Owen Small outsmarted his peers in Geography andMaitland Grossmann High’s Alexandra Fletcher achieved the number one spotin Visual Arts.

Newcastle Grammar’s Seraina and TAFE Maitland’s Jacob are first in state in Design and Tech and Electrotechnology #hsc2017pic.twitter南京夜网/PTRJj1JyA2

— Helen Gregory (@HGregory_Herald) December 15, 2017

The quartetwere among the 120 students from 85 schools recognised at a First in Course ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday.

Seraina, 18, said the honour was“unexpected”.

“I’m still quite shocked,” she said.

“I didn’t think I’d know anyone – let alone be the person – to receive first place in the state.”

Seraina Danuser with her table and stools.

She said she was “adamant” about completing a major work to help make the exam period “less stressful” and chose the subject because her older sister had enjoyed it.

“It’s a different kind of concentration and you put more time into it because you can see you’re making progress.”

She spent all of the subject’s classes, as well as free periodsand some lunchtimes, afternoons and holidays completing the major work – a table and two stools constructed using a vacuum press from Bendy Ply and covered in American Walnut, for the cafe where she used to work.

“My written exam was my last one and only 90 minutes,”she said.

“I was relaxed and it was definitely betterthanpast papers.”

Seraina hopes to travel to Europe next year and study chiropractic science at Macquarie Universityin 2019.

Jacob said Electrotechnology piqued his interest early and he felt it could be helpful for a future career.

“It was my strongest subject and just came naturally,” he said.

“But I was not expecting this at all –I thought I’d finish the HSC and that would be the end of it.

“I knew I seemed to be good at it but I didn’t realise I was that much in front –there was only one other person in my class!

“But it was the only exam I went home actually thinking ‘I did alright’.”

Jacob will start an electrician apprenticeship atBulga open-cut minein January.

Owen andhis family were absent fromthe ceremony.

Alexandra is on holidays in Europe with her parents and twin sister, Charlotte. Her cousin, Lucy Grummitt, accepted her award on her behalf.

“I haven’t spoken to her properly about it but I think she is pretty stoked,” Ms Grummitt said.

“Her family is very arty and the twins have always been creative.”

Students will receive their subject resultsfrom 6am on Thursday.

The HSC Results Inquiry Centre,1300 13 83 23, willopen from 8am.

Students will receive their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) on Friday.

Hunter excels in HSC 2017Lambton High and Newcastle Grammar named among All RoundersMerewether High goes to top of classMerewether sets ATAR record

Opals coach urges Rachel Jarry to put health first

Posted by on 13/06/2019 at 11:07 am

Australian Opals coach Sandy Brondello has urged Canberra Capitals star Rachel Jarry to put her health first and avoid rushing a return to basketball.
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Jarry’s seventh career concussion saw her stretchered from the venue and taken to hospital during Canberra’s drought-breaking WNBL win over the Dandenong Rangers on Saturday night.

Play was halted for almost 20 minutes as paramedics were called, and Jarry will now spend a few days in Melbourne with family before returning to Canberra to be assessed by AIS medical staff.

The 26-year-old concedes she won’t play again this season as she prepares for a possible six-month stint on the sidelines which would rub her out of Commonwealth Games contention.

But Jarry says she felt much better on Sunday morning, taking the chance to reach out to everyone that had her in their thoughts.

“Thanks for all the concern and well wishes. I’m alright, I’m in good hands with the doctors and everything so I’ll be fine,” Jarry said.

Jarry will have extensive neuropyschological testing at the end of the season to monitor concussion symptoms.

The 26-year-old told The Canberra Times in November the lack of knowledge about the long-term effects of concussion is “worrying” but she had no plans to change her hard-nosed style.

Brondello says Jarry’s “body on the line” approach is “just the way she plays” but the Opals mentor has implored the Capitals forward to ease into the recovery process.

“With anyone, their health is the most important thing,” Brondello said.

“Coming back from injuries or coming back from a hit in the head – I know she had a recent concussion too – that’s the most important thing, your overall wellbeing.

“I think everyone – her club, her coaches, the Opals, Basketball Australia – they’re all concerned about the individual and making sure they come back at the right time.

“You don’t want to risk anything with your health so hopefully Rachel is doing okay. She will take her time, there’s no rush. She needs to do what the doctors tell her and then feel comfortable out there.”

The WNBL concussion policy was approved by the Australian Basketballers Association and requests any concussion must be reported, and any player must be cleared by an official club doctor before returning to training or play.

Brondello says she has seen “a few, but not many” concussions during her time in basketball and she was very surprised to learn Jarry has suffered seven.

“It just shows what a competitor she is. She’s not afraid of the contact and it really is unfortunate,” Brondello said.

“Everywhere has concussion protocols, it’s no different to the WNBA. There’s a few but not many, but it does still happen.

“They say it’s a non-contact sport but it really is, it’s a very physical sport and it’s how it’s played. It’s incidental contact and it’s just unfortunate, it’s through the nature of the game with the aggressiveness that there is.

“No one ever wants to see that. It’s talked about a lot in the NFL in America and I’m sure it’s talked about in other sports here too.

“It does happen, it’s such a serious thing so you have to make sure the player is healthy and everything is fine before they get back to doing anything.”

The loss of the WNBA and WNBL champion is a cruel blow for a struggling Capitals outfit, albeit one that got a much-needed confidence boost with a stunning win on Saturday.

Jarry’s absence opens the door for Chevannah Paalvast to play extended minutes in the final five games of the year, beginning against Bendigo on Thursday night.


Thursday: Bendigo Spirit v Canberra Capitals at Bendigo Stadium, 7pm.

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Sydney FC disappointed not to have scored more in the derby

Posted by on 13/06/2019 at 11:07 am

They sent their fans into raptures, they sunk their rivals into the depths of despair but Sydney FC players weren’t rushing to pop open bottles of champagne after their clean sweep over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.
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The Sky Blues inflicted a record A-League defeat of their rivals with a commanding 5-0 win at ANZ Stadium but while the players were pleased with the result, there was no hiding their disappointment at having not scored more. It was the “ruthless” performance Graham Arnold called for in his pre-match talk as Sydney tore the Wanderers apart away from home, carving open chances with ease as they left Western Sydney’s defence in tatters.

Their rout of the Wanderers was the highest winning margin of any team thus far this season and the heaviest defeat in Western Sydney’s domestic history but Sydney FC were bemoaning missed chances and a controversial decision that denied them an even more one-sided result.

“We still think it could have been six, it could have been seven, it could have been eight,” midfielder Brandon O’Neill said. “That was the message after the game, we still think there are areas we could improve on … it was good but it could have been better.”

Sydney FC were perhaps unfortunate to have a goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee after Michael Zullo’s impressive strike was ruled out after a handball was noticed in the build-up, some five passes earlier and well before a critical moment leading to the goal. While a clear handball from Sydney FC’s Adrian Mierzejewski, it brought into question the manner of use for the VAR, which was not meant to re-referee the game but only to eradicate referee blunders.

It failed to take the gloss off Mierzejewski who scored two goals and played a pivotal role in a third in a stellar performance in his first Sydney Derby. The Polish international opened the scoring in the 14th minute before doubling his tally with a curling free-kick on the stroke of half-time. Mierzejewski spent hours practising his set pieces at training before the derby and says he’s as dangerous from distance as the penalty spot.

“I think it’s my good side, I know how to score free kicks,” he said. “I was training with [Sydney FC defender] Jordy [Buijs] and to be honest every free kick was a goal, it’s like penalties for us. I know the last goal against the Wanderers, Brandon scored an amazing free kick but I know it’s my place on the pitch and I knew that I’d score. That’s why I’m working hard and training to be ready for this. I am just waiting for more free kicks.”

While Mierzejewski posed a constant threat from dead balls, Bobo, Alex Brosque and Zullo were denied late goals by a string of fine saves from Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic who was one of the best performers on Saturday night, according to Mierzejewski.

“He conceded five goals but he could still be man of the game,” he said.

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Mysterious sea creature remains wash up at Mystery Bay

Posted by on 13/06/2019 at 11:07 am

Mysterious sea creature remains wash up at Mystery Bay BODY PART: The gelatinous, rubbery body part that looked like some kind of skull was found on the beach at Mystery Bay south of Narooma on December 5.
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BODY PART: The gelatinous, rubbery body part that looked like some kind of skull was found on the beach at Mystery Bay south of Narooma on December 5.

BODY PART: The gelatinous, rubbery body part that looked like some kind of skull was found on the beach at Mystery Bay south of Narooma on December 5.

One of the smooth or short-tail stingrays common in the Narooma area.

Typing ‘stingray neurocranium’ into Google shows any number of diagrams matching the mystery Mystery Bay body part.

TweetFacebookNarooma News Facebook page also a new fish identification service on the iNaturalist website.

Bermagui commercial fisherman Jason Moyce, who blogs under the name Trapman Bermagui, was one of thefirst to commentthat the object looked like it could be the skull of one of the large black smooth or short-tail stingrays common on the Far South Coast.

While the body partwas relatively large, so are the stingrays around Narooma and Bermagui, growing to 4.3 metres longand 2 metres wide and up to 350kg in weight.

This was backed up by renowned marine biologist and fishing writer Dr Julian Pepperell, who also saidit did “look like cartilage rather than bone, so more likely shark or ray, with similarities to various ray skull elements”.

This was further confirmedby Owen Li who works at the the Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre atJames Cook University in Townsville.

He posted that it appeared to bethe neurocranium of a large ray. “Typing ‘stingray neurocranium’ into Google shows any number of diagrams and photographs of the same skull element for multiple ray species.”

There was plenty of other speculation on the Narooma News Facebook page that it could be a cow’s head or even the nose or rostrum of a whale, but these ignored the fact it was soft cartilage and not bone.

Further clarification was sought through the new AustralasianFishes projecton the iNaturalist website where anyone can post photos of animals, plants or other natural objects can be identified by experts logged on to the site.

In this case the mystery object was uploaded under the heading of “elasmobranchs”, which denotes the class of sharks and rays, and the feedback came in immediately.

iNaturalist user adammyates suggested: “the big open dorsal fossa, down curved olfactory capsules and the lack of an obvious postorbital process make this look like a big ray skull to me”.

The Australasian Fishes project was set up by Mark McGrouther, collection manager ofichthyology at theAustralian Museum Research Institute.

He encourages anyone interested in fishes to upload their unknown or even favourite fish photostohttps://梧桐夜网inaturalist.org/projects/australasian-fishesto help build up the database.

“It allows anyoneto upload images of fishes, or parts of fishes,from anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. It’s quick and easy, and gives you access to a growing community including many fish scientists who identify and comment on fishy images,” Mr McGrouther said.

This is second natural mystery at Mystery Bay covered by this journalist in the past two weeks with the other being mysterious tracks identified as belonging to feral deer.

Narooma News

Council set to leave its mark on the corridor

Posted by on 13/06/2019 at 11:04 am

AFTER literally decades of debate, the future of the Newcastle heavy rail corridor looks likely to be decided on Tuesday night, with Newcastle councillors being asked to endorse a rezoning proposal to effectively end the corridor’stime as a rail line.
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With Hunter Street now a construction zone for the light rail, the state government is determined to press ahead at the same time with the other side of its Revitalising Newcastle process, which centres on opening the old heavy rail corridor to new use.

The council first endorsed the rezoning proposal in October 2016. A changed version went on exhibition during September and October, and it’s this new versionthat is scheduled to be voted upon on Tuesday night. As the Newcastle Herald has observed previously, it only takes a single building on this long, narrow 4.2-hectare parcel to effectively end its utility for any future transport need.

But with Transport Minister Andrew Constance writing to the council in September to reaffirm the land will be “no longer required as a transport corridor”, there seems to be little if any appetite among those in power to even pause on the rezoning process to ensure that the grand experiment of putting light rail on Hunter Street is a success. Given all of the expense, and all of the disruption,it is fervently hoped that the 21stcentury version of the downtown tram is indeed an unqualified smash hit.

But what if it’s not?

It would be a major embarrassment, but with the corridor preserved, the opportunity would still be there to shift the light rail off the road. Instead, bolstered by reams of reports and a survey showing 57 per cent favouringdevelopment over 34 per cent wanting the corridor preserved, the council appears determined to take a major step closer to the point of no return.

It should be noted, however, that both this version, and the original, are nowhere near the wall of buildings that critics had predicted would be the end result of “handing the corridor to developers”. The first plan envisaged 500 to 600 new dwellings.The new one says just 100 to 150. Commercial and retail space is downby 20 per cent. Open space is up by 3200 square metres.

But in this instance, it may bethe big picture, rather than the detail, that matters the most. And from an official perspective that requires us to keep ploughing ahead, with faith in the vision.

ISSUE: 38,671.

Watson raring to go for Thunder in Big Bash

Posted by on 13/05/2019 at 4:13 pm

Sydney Thunder captain Shane Watson has declared himself fully fit ahead of next week’s Big Bash season-opener against the cross-town Sixers, having recovered from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of this year’s Bangladesh Premier League.
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The retired Test all-rounder has returned to grade cricket with Sutherland after injuring his troublesome hamstring early in the summer, rendering him unavailable for the Dhaka Dynamites in what would have been his first crack at the BPL. He scored 108 off 51 balls in grade cricket on Sunday against Mosman.

Watson missed the first four matches of last season’s tumultuous Thunder campaign with a calf injury. He returned to lead his side to three wins from their last four games, but it wasn’t enough to steer them into the finals and their title defence ended with barely a murmur.

His injury was only one of several unsettling issues that plagued the club last summer.

England one-day captain Eoin Morgan was forced back to international duty halfway through the season, while Pat Cummins couldn’t see out the season due to commitments with the Australian team.

West Indian dynamo Andre Russell also missed the back half of the summer through injury. He subsequently received a 12-month ban for a doping whereabouts rule violation.

“It didn’t help that I was injured for the first four games as well, so that mucked around the batting order and the bowling line-up,” Watson said.

“We had Andre Russell come in and had a few things hanging over his head. It was a pretty disruptive season with a few things that happened.

“What we took out of last season was to be able to make things simpler, make sure that we really set the foundations really strongly in the first week in the lead-up to our first game, so everyone really is on the exact same page, everybody knows exactly what’s expected of them.”

The Thunder have recruited well as they target an instant return to the top four in this summer’s expanded competition.

Callum Ferguson has joined from the Renegades while New Zealand quick and Twenty20 specialist Mitch McClenaghan signed earlier this year. Both are expected to play out the entire season.

English wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has also joined the Thunder. He’s been named in England’s 16-man one-day international squad which will play Australia in five ODIs after the Ashes, starting on January 14, but should be available for most of the BBL.

“We’ve lost a bit of experience with Eoin Morgan, but for us to be able to get Jos Buttler, he’s a world-class T20 player and, from my dealings with him, he’s a world-class guy as well,” Watson said.

“His experience and his quality as a T20 player is going to add a lot of value.

“We’ve obviously lost Pat Cummins and the impact he provided with both bat and ball last year. The reason we went for Mitch McClenaghan [is that] he’s an impact bowler, very experienced as well – he’s had a lot of success at T20 cricket.

“Then through the middle order with Callum Ferguson, he is a huge coup. To be able to get Ferg up from the Renegades, he’s still playing great cricket.

“He’s going to add a lot of experience in that middle order. He’s a highly-skilled batter, reads the game very well, very calm under pressure.”

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Why private schools need to be a thing of the past

Posted by on 13/05/2019 at 4:13 pm

More wealthy parents are looking past private schooling for their children. Photo: Jim RiceOpinionIf I had one wish for Australia it’d be this. Ban private schools.
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TheTurnbull government has been caughthiding funding figures for Catholic schools but it beats me why such funding even exists. Indeed, it beats me why private schools exist. Why they’re even legal.

Private schools don’t necessarily produce bad people, although it’s true that (as a 2013 Crikey survey found) most cabinet ministers attended them. Private schools are just very, very bad for the country.

Public money is our money. It’s there to fund stuff in which we all believe and from which we all benefit – stuff that makes Australia fairer, more creative, more harmonious, more successful.

Illustration: Simon Letch

We’re across it. That’s why Peter FitzSimons’petitionagainst Gladys Berejiklian’s $2 billion stadium rebuild gathered 150,000 signatures inside a week. “We are tired of taxpayer dollars being lavished on …Sports Big Business while community sport withers on the vine…” wrote FitzSimons. Everyone agrees.

Yet when it’s schools withering, we’re fine. Every year we pour $53 billion into a system that can only divide us, with a quarter of it – $12.7billion – going straight to educational big business.

And for what? What does it buy, this immense spend? It buys a system that deliberately tribalises children before they can read, that has parents selling their houses for school fees, stressing about homework and entry exams and increasingly investing inprivate tutoring for four-year-olds. Yet for all that effort and angst, it’s a system that leaves us (asrecentnewsyet again makes clear)less well educatedwith each passing year.

Increasingly, education seems like happiness: despite (or because of) a vast global industry devoted to generating angst, the harder we try, the more elusive it becomes.

Three arguments are usually advanced for private schools. One, choice. Parents should be free to choose expensive or religious education for their kids if they wish. Two, quality. Private schools offer better education and, regardless of politics, the kid’s interests should prevail. Three, burden: private schools, far from siphoning wealth from the public system, lightens its load.

None of these arguments stack up. Take choice. Choice relies on comparison, product to product. But education is not shampoo. You can’t try a school for a few weeks or years and know that how your kid tracks is a direct result, or how things might have been different elsewhere. So comparison is illusory.

Indeed, anew papersuggests that the focus on choice and competition may itself be distracting us from the content and purpose of education, in favour of its trappings.

Which goes directly to the quality argument.Many parents send their kids to private schools, even when they don’t approve, because they think the education is better and there’s at least a modicum of discipline. And yes, private schools are more able to impose order and sack teachers for non-performance. But, given that these students are already more biddable and more literate, it’s impossible to prove any net educational benefit.

Three years ago, David Gillespie (author ofFree Schools) argued persuasively that, once you correct for socioeconomic advantage, even the most expensive schools add nothing to educational outcome. This may be one reason why – it’snow reported– more wealthy parents are choosing to put their kids in the public school system.

Across the board, though, quality is low and falling, with consistently dropping international test scores in maths and science. Even a recent and welcomeimprovement in reading, mainly because girls love books, still takes us only to about the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average. Could do better.

And that leads immediately to the idea of burden. Does anyone suggest sport’s Big Money dudes – the sponsors and gravy-trainers, the owners and big-bucks players – are taking the burden off the public sport system?

No, they’re creaming off the talent, quarantining it from public access for vast private profit and getting a public leg-up on the way. This is so wrong on so many levels. What’s weird is that we can see it with sport, but with schooling – where the bill is six times the size, and annual – we’re blind.

But honestly – burden? According to theABC, almost a quarter of the $53 billion funding of schools ($12.7 billion) goes to private schools – which educate roughly a third (34 per cent) of populace. So each private school student sucks almost two-thirds as much as each public one. Before the benefit of their $30,000 in fees.

In other words, for every private school student the burden decrement on the public system is fairly small, but the personal advantage is immense.

This is manifestly unfair. Private schools heighten inequality, privileging the privileged, hogging the teaching talent and siphoning off kids already equipped with reading backgrounds, so depriving the public system of beneficial peer-to-peer learning.

But that’s not all. Tribalising children before they outgrow the booster seat can only encourage class-based and religious sectarianism. Friendly rivalry is one thing. But you can’t allow a lovely school like Loreto Normanhurst without also allowing schools that demand your mother’s birth certificate, or preach against infidels. This can only bring hatred.

But the best argument against private schools is productivity. Squabble all you like about divvying up the pie but far more useful – and more fun – is growing it. Technically, yes, education is a burden, but as an appreciating asset it’s more house than car; an investment.

Forty years ago, Finland stunned the world by nationalising schools, revering teachers, ending streaming, entering school late, shrinking the school day, reducing homework and extending holidays – then topping every test.Lately, its schools slipped a little, mainly due to global financial crisis-driven reductions. But its schools are still up there, and in an extraordinary turn-up Dr Pasi Sahlberg, who as minister designed the Finnish system, will move to Sydney next year, to teach.

Maybe we can persuade him to fix our schools, putting all schools up there with Grammar, say, or Loreto. If he needs more than Gladys’ stadium money, we could give him WestConnex as well. Wouldn’t that be great? Save the parks, clean the air, grow the future. Win, win, win.

Kurt Gidley back at Knights in corporate position

Posted by on 13/05/2019 at 4:13 pm

Returning: Former Newcastle Knights skipper Kurt Gidley is returning to the club in a corporate role following his retirement. Picture: Peter StoopTwo years after his decorated 251-game NRL career endedat the club, Kurt Gidley is back at the Newcastle Knights.
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The former Knights skipper will join the club’s corporate management team for the first time on Monday in a business developmentexecutive role as part of Newcastle’snew era under the ownership of Wests Group.

In an appointmentcertain to win widespread approval from sponsors and fans, Gidley’s job description includes community and corporate workas well as an involvement in media.

Read more: Knights to target Radradra

“I’m really looking forward to it and grateful for the opportunity,” Gidley said on Sunday.

“I’m starting tomorrow and it is going to be a bit of a hybrid job whereI’ll probably be involved in a few different areas.

“There will be some community stuff, some corporate stuff initially and game day involvement during the season as well and some input intothe club’s on-line media.

“I’d imagine I’ll be pulled in a few different directions and I can see it beinga really good experience.”

Gidley’s15 seasons as a player at the Knights saw him becomethe club’s second-most capped player behind Danny Buderus before he finished up at the end of the 2015 season.

He has spent the past two years playing with English Super League club Warrington, coming agonisingly close to winning the Challenge Cup/grand final double with the club in his first year.

But after finishing up at the end of last season and returning home to Newcastle with his young family,Gidley said a football department role did not interest him.

“I’m looking forward to doing something on the corporateside of things as opposed to the footy side of it,” he said.

“Igot my level two strength and conditioning while I was in England but by the time I finished that, I was thinking I don’t really think this is what I want to do.

“I wanted to try something new and after talking to Phil [Gardner, Wests boss and Knights CEO], this opportunity opened up for me on the corporate side.

“To be honest, I’m happy to try and steer away from the coaching side of things.Maybe one dayit will happen but at the moment -part of retiring -I want to get away from it a bit.

“It’s great the way it’s worked out that I can still stay involved in the game and back at the Knights, who I love and back in Newcastle. But I want to try something else and learn some new skills.”

Gardner said Gidley’s standing withinthe club and in Newcastle makes him a perfect fit for the business development role, which was previously filled to some degree by James McManus.

Gardneralso revealed Gidley’s former teammate Mark Hughes will be working more closelywith the Knightsfollowing the sale of his cleaning business.

“To haveKurt and Mark, who had such great playing careers at the Knights,involved again is a huge positive for ourclub and will enhance our strong corporate position,” Gardner said.

Climate group ‘charity’ question

Posted by on 13/05/2019 at 4:13 pm

The blockade starts.THE climate groupthat organised an anti-coal blockade of Newcastle harbour last yearis being investigated by the federal government’s charity regulator.
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The deputy chief executive of 350.org Australia, Glen Klatovsky, told the Newcastle Heraldon Sunday that the organisation was being investigated under the Charities Act for allegedly “engaging in, or promoting, activities that are unlawful or contrary to public policy”.

Mr Klatovsky said 350.org Australia was contacted in September 2016 by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission over the May 8, 2016, event, in which 2000 people gathered on Horseshoe Beach and in the harbour as a protest to “break free from fossil fuels”.

Read more: How 350.org blockadedNewcastle harbour

There were no arrests on the harbour but more than 50 people were detained by police after a protest on the coal rail lines at Sandgate.

Mr Klatovsky said the commission was trying to ascertain whether 350.org was “promoting unlawful activity” in its role as protest organiser.

“Our goal was to be part of a global set of actions on climate change using the rights of Australian citizens to protest,” Mr Klatovsky said. “We didn’t tell people ‘while you are here, go and get arrested’.”

He said the organisation also denied “advocating for a particular political candidate”. Hesaid 350.org had asked whether there had been a complaint made against it but had not received an answer for the commission.

“Many of usfeel that following similar attacks on similar groupsin Canada and the UK, that what we are seeing here is an attempt to silence civil society voices,” Mr Klatovsky said.

Fairfax Media’s Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday that the organisation had emailed supporters saying the probe was costing “thousands of dollars in legal fees’.

“We need to make a stand against these attacks on charities by the federal government, the Minerals Council of Australia and the fossil fuel industry,” the email said.