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Rugby league at risk due to ‘soft kids’

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

LONE RIDER: Group 4 boss Mick Schmiedel is known for calling it how he sees it, and has done so again – taking ‘lazy’ parents and ‘soft’ kids to task.Plain-talking Group 4 president Mick Schmiedel has bemoaned the dramatic drop in junior league players graduating to the senior ranks in the region –and has laid the blame on “lazy” parents and “soft” children.
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With the league heartland in danger of becoming awasteland in the under-16 and under-18 ranks, the former long-standing player, who is aveteran administrator and coach, said parentsneeded to get “off the couch” and get their kids involved in league.

“I put the blame, and they won’t like this, squarely at mums and dads,” he said.

“I think a lot of mums and dads have just got too lazy now to take their kids to training or go down to the footy to watch.


— Mick Schmiedel (@Mickysch68) June 13, 2017

“They’drather sit at home or … God knows what they’re doing.”

Schmiedel, who coaches Collegian Warriors’ first grade and under-13 sides, also unloaded of kids –telling them to harden up.

He said years ago if a player“got a spray”from the coach he“took it on the chin”.

“Now (it’s), ‘I’m not copping that. I’m going to another sport. I don’t deserve that’,” he said.

CONCERN: Leading league figures say the lack of junior players entering the senior ranks is hurting the region’s premier competition, First Division.

“Well, you probably did deserve it. You’ve been a little sh**at training, you weren’t doing what you were told, deal with it … And that’s the problem we’ve got.

“Personally, I think we’ve become such a cotton wool society that we’ve got to be so careful of people’s feelings that we don’t want to upset them.

“Hang on. Little Johnny has been a sh**of a kid, so I told him to pull his head in or he’s doing laps. Andhe goes home crying because the coach was nasty.”

Schmiedelsaid the situation was so dire there were only three under-16 sides and four under-18 sides this season.

“So that tells you there’s not a lot (of players) coming through,” he said. “I think there’s only four (under) 15 sides at the moment.”

He added: “The thing with sport in general is we’re competing in a market that everyone wants, and you’ve got rugby union and you’ve got AFL going strong and soccer going strong, basketball’s strong.

“So we’re all trying to dip into the same player pool … which makes it difficult.”

Northern Daily Leader

The politics at play in our changing city

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

AT THE height of its influence, Renew Newcastle’s founder Marcus Westbury was fond of retelling an old joke.
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Newcastle, it seemed, was always on the verge of something. A large-scale development was just around the corner. Three to five years away.

The joke, of course, was that most of the action never really seemed to eventuate, and in the meantime it wasorganisations like Renew fostering small-scale development that helped beginNewcastle’s revitalisation.

That word –revitalisation –has since been adopted by the NSW governmentas its catch-cry in Newcastle.

Indeed it’s no longer UrbanGrowth or the Hunter Development Corporation guiding state investment in the city, it’s Revitalising Newcastle, an amalgam of various state government departments.

The state government, through Revitalising Newcastle, claims credit for bringing that elusive large-scale development to the city.

The narrative is that it has beenthe government’s half-a-billion dollar investment in Newcastle, mostly spent on the 2.7 kilometrelight rail project, that has helped bring activity into the city.

A springboard launchingthe $1.6 billion in development busily changing Newcastle’s skyline.

But if the NSW government wants to bask in our success, it must also accept the heat when things aren’t as positive.

Yet in recent excursions into the city’s politics, two Berejiklian government ministers have failed in this regard.

First it was theTransport Minister Andrew Constance, who attempted to shift attention fromhis own delay incominggood on a promise to produce a business case for the light rail extension with anattack on the Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

And now it’s the Arts Minister Don Harwin, who raised hope for funding to expandthe Newcastle Art Gallery, and now – having failed to deliver any money –is putting theblame on the council.

Say what you will about the council –and it is not without blame, because it has had years to come up with fundsfor theexpansion –but the light rail business case and the gallery extension are exampleswhere the state government has prioritised massive spending in Sydney above more modest projects in Newcastle.

Nothing like a looming election to bring out the blame shifting and party politics.

Issue: 38, 527

Five highlights in your travel week23 June

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

The top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge … climbers greeted by live music.Twilight climbs on all weekends in July and August will see four local musical artists serenade climbers at the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
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After a bucket-list journey ascending the iconic bridge to a vantage point 134 metres above the harbour, climbers will be greeted by a series of musicians, comprised of three duos and one singer-songwriter, waiting at the top with acoustic instruments safely attached and in hand.

There they will perform for each group as they climb the final stairs to the summit, in the genres of art folk, soulful reggae and Americana-inspired folk music.

This musical experience is included in the standard price of the ticket.

Phone (02) 8274 7777 or visit www.bridgeclimb南京夜网

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel … pampering mothers-to-be.

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel has launched a new babymoon package, offering a special pampering experience for mums-to-be.

Defined as a romantic getaway or planned period of calm for expectant parents, the babymoon allows a restful getaway before baby arrives.

The Emporium’s package includes a 24-hour movie package, ice-cream and popcorn, a mum-and-bub gift pack including a signature plush zebra toy, valet parking, late checkout and a 10 per cent discount voucher at the Cheeky Bambino family concept store in the Emporium precinct.

The babymoon package is priced at $150 on top of whatever room rate is chosen.

Phone 1300 833 611 or visit www.emporiumhotels南京夜网.au

Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport … special opening rate.

The Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport is offering a special introductory rate special of $159 per night in a studio king room for when it opens on July 19.

The rate is valid for stays to September 29 and includes 1GB of internet access daily, a welcome drink voucher and room upgrade, subject to availability.

The 136-room, nine-storey hotel is located close to T2 and T3 terminals and features 24-hour service, express check-out and internet kiosk.

The restaurant and bar will serve a provincial menu, featuring the regional NSW beef and sustainably sourced local seafood, served with local draught beer, wines and hand-crafted cocktails.

Phone 131 517 or visit www.mantra南京夜网.au

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel … a great base for Darwin’s popular winter events.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel in the heart of Darwin is offering early-bird and longer-stay deals with up to 15 per cent off standard rates.

Darwin plays host to a wide range of sporting and cultural events during winter, including the Royal Darwin Show (21-23 July), Darwin Fringe Festival (July 11–23), Darwin Cup Carnival (July 8–August 7) and this year’s Darwin Festival (August 4–21), an 18-day calendar of activities featuring local and touring artists, outdoor concerts, workshops, theatre, dance music, comedy and cabaret, film and visual arts.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel is located in the city centre, close to Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Darwin waterfront and Darwin Casino, and within walking distance of Darwin Mall and popular night spots.

The property offers serviced apartments, ranging from studios to three bedrooms. All apartments feature separate living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchen, private laundry facilities and balcony, plus complimentary high-speed wi-fi.

Phone 1800 004 321 or visit www.metrohotels南京夜网.au

Fingal Beach … people line up to make giant humpback.

Each year in Port Stephens, hundreds of people gather on the beach to make the shape of a giant humpback and celebrate the whale-watching season.

The creation of the mammoth mammal will take place at noon on Saturday, July 15, as the finale of the region’s winter Naturefest celebrations. The event will be held on Fingal Bay Beach with free registration available from 10am.

This year visitors can also take advantage of a special winter accommodation deal offered by Marty’s at Little Beach.

Groups of up to four people can stay at Marty’s at Little Beach — 10 minutes from Fingal Bay — in a two-bedroom apartment for $200 per night on the weekend, based on a minimum two-night stay.

Larger family apartments, suitable for up to six people, are available for $250 per night.

Phone bookings will secure a further discount on accommodation.

Nestled between the sheltered stretches of sand at Shoal Bay Beach and Little Beach, Marty’s offers studios and self-contained apartments with balconies, a heated swimming pool, free wi-fi and Foxtel, and an undercover poolside barbecue.

Phone 02 4984 9100 or visit www.martys.net.au. For general regional inquiries visit www.portstephens.org.au

Valentine keep fairytale premiership hopes alive

29/12/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Jalon Brown
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Chris Brown and Scott McGinley were at Valentine when the club were relegated after 2013, and they stuck with Phoenix through two seasons of second-tier football.

On Saturday, they scored as Valentine came from a goal down to beat Northern NSW National Premier League leaders Lambton Jaffas 2-1 and move a point behind them in second after 15 rounds.

The Jaffas went ahead in the 25thminute when Ryan Griffiths smashed home a penalty after Wilson Edwards deflected the ball into himself for a handball.

Valentine levelled in the 65thminute when Brown showed great skill to score with a volleyed, left-foot shot across his body off a Matt Paul corner. McGinley was then the hero in the 86thminute after Jalon Brown and Paul set him up for the winning strike.

Phoenix coach Darren Sills was extremely proud of his side’s determination after they conceded the unlucky goal and he was thrilled to see Brown and McGinley score.

“They were here when the club was in the state league and they toiled away in the second division, so this is important to them and you could see how much it meant to them, they were so happy,” Sills said.

Sills hoped the win was the kick Valentine needed to their premiership campaign after the 3-1 loss to Broadmeadow last week.

“This win still gives us a sniff of the minor premiership,” he said.“It would be a fairytale story for us and we’d love to do it.”

In the other game on Saturday,Charlestown beat the Newcastle Jets Youth 4-0 at Lisle Carr Oval.

Charlestown opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Josh Maguire and Daniel Bartlett combined to give Rene Ferguson space close to goal. Ferguson then sliced a shot between two defenders to score.

The Blues went up 2-0 in the 31stminute when Joel Steward ran onto a long ball and caught Jets Youth keeper Tristan Esquliant off his line with a lobbed shot from the corner of the 18-yard box.

Ferguson made it 3-0 in the 58thminute when he made the most of a failed clearance from Esquilant.

Maguire added the fourth in the 77thminute with his left footwhen unmarked at the far post.

On Sunday, Maitland are awayto Hamilton, Lake Macquarie host Broadmeadow and Adamstown travel to Weston.

Merewether not giving up on finals despite heavy loss to Wanderers

29/12/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Bill Coffey and Josh McCormack celebrate a Wanderers try on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan CarrollMEREWETHER Carlton coach Jode Roach believes his side will improve and the finals are still a goal despite a 54-12 loss to Wanderers in Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union on Saturday at No.2 Sportsground.
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Merewether not giving up on finals despite heavy loss to Wanderers TweetFacebook Wanderers v Merewether-CarltonJonathan Carroll imagesThe Greens were blown away in the second half after losing halfback Ed Clifton to the sin-bin and five-eighth Tom Smith for the match to concussion.

Wanderers overcame setbacks of their own in the first half to lead 12-9 at the break. Lock RhysDombkins and centre Callum McDonald were both given yellow cards but the Greens could only muster a nine-point lead, which the Two Blues soon bridged.

Bill Coffey, Tim Marsh and JoshMcCormack scored two tries each, while Dombkins and Dillon Rowney also crossed for the second-placed Wanderers.

The result left the Greens ninthon 15 points, 10shy of the top five, after nine rounds.

Roach, though, said his young side had not given up on finals football.

“We’ve still got aspirations of making the top five and I think we will continue to get better,” Roach said.

“Every week we’ve got a kid playing first grade for the first time.The halfback, inside centre, fullback, they are only 20 years old. I think at the backend, ourdepth will hopefully shine through a little bit.

“We’re just taking each week as it comes and we’ve got a pretty good feeling around the club.We’ve just been on the wrong side of the ledger a few times.”

Roach said his side “probably didn’t do enough” when the Wanderers were down players in the first half, then they were unable to adjust when losing their playmakers.

“We played some good footy in the first half, then we lost our five-eighth and our nine, and we lost some concentration, then they played some really good footy in the second half,” he said.

“We were in control and sticking to the game plan in the first half but then a little bit adversity cameand we didn’t adapt.”

Elsewhere,SireliBainivalu scored two tries and debutant Rowan Kelly one as leaders Hamilton defeated The Waratahs 29-19 at Waratah Oval.

Southern Beaches beat Maitland 37-17 atErnie Calland Field to leapfrog them into third place, Lake Macquarie defeated Singleton 36-11 atLone Pine Barracks and Nelson Bay routed University 57-12 at Bill Strong Oval.

Premier 1: Round 9: The Waratahs 19 (tries D Sherratt, C Hicks, con D Sherratt) def by Hamilton Hawks 29 (tries Sireli Bainivalu 2, R Kelly, S Sione, con P Kilmurray 3, pen P Kilmurray) Merewether Carlton 12 (pen S Rouse 4) def by Wanderers 54 (tries WL Coffey 2, TJ Marsh 2, JD McCormack 2, RR Dombkins, DR Rowney, con LM Simmons 7) Southern Beaches 37 (tries M Aliifaalogo, V Talaileva Iii, MC Delore, FJ Pauta, S Moss, AJ Delore, JW Vaka, con JW Vaka) def Maitland 17 (tries J Maloney, MA Stafford, con J Maloney 2, pen J Maloney) Singleton 11 (tries DJ Keys, pen RA Mason 2) def by Lake Macquarie 36 (tries W Fraser 2, B Lupematasila, M Tauhinu, BD Holliday, K Ng Lam, con BD Holliday 3) Nelson Bay 57 def University of Newcastle 12 (tries D LeRougetel, D Wells, con F Delli Carpini)

Pickers fightback goes south

29/12/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

MAITLAND coach Trevor Ott lamented his young side’s inability to defend errors after they fell short of a miraculous comeback in a 36-30 loss to South Newcastle on Saturday at Coronation Oval.
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Dane Tilse hits it up for Maitland against South Newcastle at Coronation Oval on Saturday. Picture: Marina Neil

The last-placed Pickers, who lost 52-0 to Wests last week,were down28-6 at half-time against the defending Newcastle Rugby League premiers in round nine but fought back to lead30-28.

Star recruit Luke Dorn scored his second try next to the posts with 14 minutes to go to put Maitland ahead but a dropped ball andpenalty helped the Lions hit back.

Souths crossed again at the death to secure the win.

“We were pretty poor in the first half and our inability to defend errors really frustrated us,” Ott said.“We’ve got to be better than that. We had a bad scoreline last week we were disgusted with as a team and today we started OK, scoring the first points of the game, but after that we struggled.The second half we were a totally different football team and if it wasn’t for some of our own unforced errors at the death, we could have got away with it.”

Dane Tilse,Brenton Horwood and Joe Morris also scored for Maitland.Liam and Luke Higgins,Lachlan Walmsley, Bryce Donovan, Ofa Manufuoa and Ryan Glanville crossed for Souths.

At Cessnock Sportsground, the Goannas ledtop side Wests 10-4 at half-time but lost 26-12.

Joe Woodbury scored twice for Cessnock who went ahead 12-4 early in the second half.Chad Redman and Callan Richardson crossed to put Wests up 14-12 before a Mark Taufua offload put Ryan Walker away tomake it 20-12. Brad Tighe scored late to cap the win. Wests coach Matt Lantry saidPeter Mannion, who scored in the first half, had hisbest game of the season.

“The pressure Cessnock put on us with their defence and what they did with the footy was really good and we didn’t handle it very well,” Lantry said. “But good sides find a way to win.”

“It was ugly but we found a way.”

Lantry believed his side had heavy legs from playing in the mud last week and suffered from a disrupted preparation after the closure of Harker Oval.

Divorcee burnt down house so his ex-wife couldn’t get it, court hears

29/12/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Divorcee burnt down house so his ex-wife couldn’t get it, court hears Krste Kovacevski seizes a television reporter’s microphone before departing Wollongong courthouse on Friday. Main picture courtesy of 9 News Illawarra.
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NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: With his home still smouldering, Krste Kovacevski retreats to his garage/granny flat and fields questions from curious neighbours, the morning after the fire. Picture: Angela Thompson

REFUGE: With his home still smouldering, Krste Kovacevski retreats to his garage/granny flat and fields questions from curious neighbours. Picture: Angela Thompson

Picture: supplied

Picture: supplied

Picture: supplied

TweetFacebookA man has been found guilty of burning down aConiston house sohis ex-wife wouldn’t get it in their divorce.

Krste Kovacevski claimed he still owned the Coniston home in the early hours of August 4 last year, as he poured fuelthrough its rooms, dropped a lit piece of paper, and retreated to his granny flat to watchit burn.

But on Friday a Wollongong magistrate ruled otherwise: Kovacevski destroyed the uninsured, owned-outright home after losing it in divorce proceedings.

Magistrate Mark Douglass found the home didn’tbelong to Kovacevski, and that he was well aware of this, having signed it over in the presence of his lawyer the day earlier.

“It was after that acknowledgement that the accused, with malice, sought to damage the property,” Magistrate Douglass said.

For the second time in as many months, Kovacevski clashed with television reporters as he departed Wollongong courthouse on Friday morning.

He managed to takea 9 News reporter’s microphone and threw it to the ground before departing.

TheMercuryunderstands the matter hasdistressed Kovacevski’s elderly ex-wife.

The pair separated 21 years ago, but only divorced in 2015.

Police found 75-year-old Kovacevski in thegranny flat of the Jutland Avenue. His lawyer had hours earlier lodged signedlegal documents on his behalf,transferring ownership of the home to his ex-wife, in line with terms set by the Federal Circuit Court in a July 22 decision.

Kovacevski was arrested after he admitted he had started the blaze.

When questioned by firefighters, he pointed to a folder of divorcepaperwork and said, “that’s where it started”.

At Wollongong Police station he explained he had been unable to sleep for the past four or five days.

He said he had become emotional and“nervous” afterreceiving a legal notice on August 3, giving him 40 hours tovacate his home.

“I got nowhere to go,” he told police.”So now I start packing … things in a car. My pressure went up.”

“Where I can take it and where I gonna stay?

“I was in the garage. I looked around. I see the kerosene,grab it and light it up. That was it.

“I losteverything so I’ve got nothing to worry [about].”

He told police hepoured kerosene through the hallway, outside the bathroom and in the loungeroom before setting a piece of paper alight and dropping it in the fuel.

The fire caused the roof of the house to cave in and threatened neighbouring properties, which were evacuated.The matter returns to court for sentencing on August 8.

Illawarra Mercury

The retirement racket

29/12/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Villages of the damned: Sold a dream then ripped offThe price of FreedomIts slick marketing promises a safe and sound place to live yet retirement village operator Aveo is making a fortune by ripping off Australians through complex contracts and eye-watering exit fees.Geoff Richards quietly closed the front door of his unit for the last time. The legal letters had been signed, non-disparagement clauses agreed, and the retirement village operator Aveo was about to have its day.
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Slowly walking down the path with his dog, Tosh, the crumpled 80-year-old glanced back one last time.

It was August 2016 and it was the day that Aveo won.

Richards had moved into the retirement village almost six years earlier in December 2010 with Harry Nash, his partner of 55 years. They were in their late 70s and had been seduced by the glossy brochures and promises of low maintenance that come with living in a retirement village.

Geoff Richards and Harry Nash on holiday.

But things started to unravel when Harrylost his battle with cancerin May 2014. Within weeks of burying him,Geoff received a letter from Aveotelling him he had no right to live in the village, despite being the sole beneficiary of Harry’s estate, including the unit.

“Imagine if a husband and wife,” Richards adds, “and one of those died and was the only name on the title. Would they throw out the other surviving partner?”

A joint Fairfax Media-Four Cornersinvestigation into the ASX-listed retirement village juggernaut Aveo can reveal that Richards’ eviction helped them achieve their overall stated business strategy to “turn over” or churn a certain number of residents a year for profit.

Fairfax Media-Four Cornershas spoken to current and former residents, their children, lawyers, former Aveo staff and lobby groups and has found some questionable business practices at Aveo, including safety issues, misleading marketing and advertising and property sales.

But the company’s biggest driver of profit – and behaviour – is exit fees.

With 89 retirement villages around the country, which house more than 13,000 retirees, Aveo is one of the biggest retirement village operators in the country. And it makes a lot of money churning residents out of their villages.

Retirement villages such as Aveo collect an exit fee when a resident dies or leaves. It is a fee unique to the retirement village industry. It is generally based on a percentage of the purchase price on a sliding basis over the number of years of occupancy.

The fee can be extremely lucrative for Aveo. In the company’s most recent Freedom Aged Care contracts, the exit fee charged by Aveo after just two years is 40 per cent of the value of the property. Some units are now selling for $600,000, which means that for each unit that changes hands every two years or so, Aveo pockets a cool $240,000.

It also means that the higher the churn or “turnover” of residents, the more exit fees the company collects.

The joint investigation has obtained a number of letters sent by Aveo to outgoing residents threatening legal action if they reveal any aspects of an offer, including any discussions, to anyone other than their lawyers. “If you disclose the confidential information for any other purpose, we may suffer loss and may have legal rights against you.” Buyback offers from Aveo also include such threats.

Geoff Richards at home with Tosh. Photo: Penny Stephens

Aveo is the most aggressive listed operator in the country, stinging residents with a menu of fees that eat up a lifetime of savings within just a few years.Aveo has a stated targetturnover of 10 to 12 per cent of residents each year. That is equivalent to about 1200 units a year, which is high by industry standards. It’s a numbers game.

If Aveo hits its target, and the average exit fee is assumed to be approximately $75,000 per unit, then Aveo would make $90 million in exit fees each year.

This will only increase after Aveo’s move to a new model that will lift unit prices and hike exit fees to 40 per cent after two years. Some of its older contracts have an exit fee of 20 per cent while others rise to a maximum of 33 per cent on a sliding scale over five to seven years.

Aveo declined to be interviewed for the story.

In a statement Aveo said it was “committed to enhancing the lives of older Australians by improving living choices”. It added that Aveo rates very highly on resident surveys.

In answers to a series of questions, Aveo denied it was more aggressive than other operators saying its exit terms were more favourable and substantial than available “from almost any other operator”.

It says it does not generate a profit from ongoing service fees and it does not churn residents.

In Geoff Richards’ case, Aveo relied on a clause in the contract that says if the “owner” dies, his/her successor loses the right to continue to reside in the village even if they are a de facto partner.

A letter sent to Richards from Aveosays a title search shows the proprietor of the unit was Harry Nash “and not yourself”. It says “sub clause 3 (i) of the agreement provides that a person other than the owner is not permitted to live in the unit without the express written consent of the manager … we have not given such consent so your occupancy has no standing under this agreement.”

He was initially toldhe could only stay in the place he owned if he sold it to himself, enabling Aveo to collect the exit fee, which was almost $100,000. But the agreement fell apart and Richards found himself looking for a new place to live outside the village.

Aveo says it tried to negotiate with Richards and that he was not a permanent resident and that it had asked Nash to put him on the title.

However, documents seen by Fairfax Media-Four Cornersprior to Richards’ settlement show that Richards was treasurer of the owners committee at Veronica Gardens and was in charge of the committee’s bank account. Other documents show Richards and Nash had held discussions with Aveo for Richards’ name to be put on the title, however Nash’s cancer worsened and their focus shifted to Nash’s health.

After Nash’s death, documents show that Aveo’s offer was withdrawn. Further, the documents show that before Nash’s death, Richards, Nash and another man were running a mail order business from a residential address. It was that address, according to Richards, that Aveo would later state that proved Richards was never a permanent resident.

The joint investigation has obtained numerous Aveo contracts,which include clausesthat some lawyers describe as complex and draconian, particularly when the unit is freehold. These include residents potentially losing the right to reside in the village if they become bankrupt, if they vacate their unit for more than two months without Aveo’s permission, if they mortgage their unit, or put a tenant in or allow somebody to stay in the resident’s unit without permission.

A LOST CAUSE: The lawyer’s viewChief executive of the Consumer Action Law Centre Gerard Brody describes some of Aveo’s contracts as among the worst he has seen. “Not only are they over 120 pages in length. They’re dense, they’re hard to understand, they’re legalistic. And the financial obligations in them are eye-watering.”

Some of the clauses state that residents will breach the rules of the village if they are charged with any offence, including late lodging of tax papers or a low-level drink driving charge. And,in some contracts, residents can be directed to replace expensive items like carpets, hot-water services, ovens and heaters if, in the manager’s reasonable opinion, the items require replacing – all while copping tens of thousands of dollars in refurbishment and reinstatement costs to return units to saleable condition on departure.

Under some contracts, if a person dies or leaves the village, they or their estate have to keep paying maintenance fees until the unit is sold. This can take a very long time. In some instances, residents had signed contracts that enabled Aveo to charge maintenance fees for as many as four years after they moved out.

Further, Aveo usually acts as the real estate agent in most unit sales, charging agency fees to the leaving resident or their estate. Restrictive clauses in the contracts deter most real estate agents from selling the units.

It puts Aveo in the box seat.

These incidents occurred during a period when property prices were booming, making it one of the only property asset classes where people lose money.

Geoff Richards sold his freehold property to Aveo under a confidential settlement. He moved to a small unit in a nearby suburb away from his friends at Aveo’s Veronica Gardens retirement village in Melbourne’s Northcote.

“I am now up here in a separate unit, wonderful location. Instead of $6000 a year in body corporate fees, I pay here $1300 a year, yet the same benefits except for an alarm system which didn’t work anyway.”

He also doesn’t have to pay exit fees when he leaves.

Under Richards’ settlement agreement he isn’t allowed to disparage Aveo. But as a certified practicing accountant who has assisted local councils on programs on financial abuse of the elderly, he can comment on the sector in general.

THE AVEO WAY: No easy exitMany residents across the country told Fairfax-Four Cornersthat retirement villages are a financial trap. They say the villages don’t live up to the hype nor the promises represented in their glossy brochures and television ads.

According to the Property Council, the peak lobby group for the multi-billion dollar retirement village industry, most people who live in retirement villages are happy. It bases this on individual retirement village operator surveys and the national McCrindle Baynes Census, which says the vast majority of residents are happy – and happier than they were before they moved in.

However, the joint investigation can reveal that Aveo’s more recent Freedom Aged Care contracts squeeze the time period for capping exit fees to as little as two years.

Under its other new-look contract, known as “the Aveo Way”, which were introduced in 2015, exit fees reach a maximum of 35 per cent after three years and freehold properties are converted to leases. In year one, exit fees sit at 7 per cent, in year two another 14 per cent is added and then a further 14 per cent in year three, which is a total of 35 per cent. There are no sales commissions, marketing costs or refurbishment costs.

Aveo says its new Aveo Way contracts are simpler and it is standardising contracts through the Aveo Way to give residents certainty.

Angela Moore belives she is a victim of the Aveo Way. Moore and her husband Pete moved into the Mountain View retirement village in the town of Murwillumbah in northern NSW, just south of the Queensland border, in 2014.

It seemed like a suitable decision at the time because Pete’s mobility was becoming impaired. “Because of his health we thought we really needed to move into a retirement village which was advertised as they all are, or seem to be, as providing services to help us with our living needs as we aged,” says Angela Moore.

But the couple’s stay would be much shorter than expected.

On June 20, 2015, Aveo held a meeting for residents that sent chills throughout the community. They were told that Aveo wanted to buy all the units that were freehold and turn the village into leasehold, known as the Aveo Way.

“Powerlessness,” Moore says, “in response to a big company saying that they were taking over our homes and ability to sell our homes.”

The Moores had bought into the village because it was freehold. They have a daughter and granddaughter and wanted something to pass on to them when they died.

Moore believed if Aveo bought more than 50 per cent of the units it would devalue the village and the residents would lose power. She – and many others – believed Aveo could then set strata fees to force out the rest of the owners.

She said anybody who had their unit on the market had to vacate it before they would market it for them, which was almost impossible for the majority of people because that meant that they would have to look for rental accommodation, as well as pay the monthly maintenance fees charged by the company.

Moore says that after the meeting she told her husband they needed to leave the village, to get out with some of the money before it was too late. “I felt vulnerable … I said to Pete that this was some potentially huge asset-stripping exercise, particularly over our lifetime.”

After a year of gut-wrenching decisions, the couple decided to move out.

“He was very sick by then but he wanted to know that when he went I was safe and happy, which I wasn’t at Mountain View. He wanted to know that we still had funds, still had assets when we passed away that would be of help to the children that certainly wouldn’t have … or was unlikely to have happened if we’d stayed where we were.”

Shortly after they moved out, Pete died. “We still lost a considerable amount of money but we did move at a time and in a circumstance where financially we were able to recover somewhat but Pete, the move took a lot out of Pete physically. Pete passed away within six months of us moving.”

They bought the freehold unit and garage in 2014 for $225,000 and sold it in November 2016 for a similar price to a retiree who bought the property as a leasehold, meaning Aveo got to keep the freehold title for virtually nothing. After exit fees and other expenses,the Moores walked away with $181,469. They were out of pocket more than $40,000.

Moore says she knows of one person who, in desperation, sold their unit for $70,000 to Aveo. “Then, by the time exit fees were taken out of that very small sum, they were left with a nominal amount, as I understand it.”

Aveo says it does not compel the buyback of any units but confirmed it was transitioning its villages from freehold to leasehold through the Aveo Way.“There is no evidence that switching to leasehold has disadvantaged ongoing residents, who cannot be compelled to change to the new contract, or exiting residents.”

But not everyone agrees. Lawyer Stewart Levitt, who acted for Geoff Richards, says the Aveo Way is akin to selling gold when it is only gold-plated.

“They’re effectively converting freeholds into leaseholds by stealth, and selling the leaseholds as if they were freeholds,” he says. “Many people seem to have been confused as to what they’re actually acquiring when they’ve been acquiring retirement units pursuant to the Aveo Way,” he said.

BRUTAL and BOOMINGIt is a brutal business model that is becoming more honed with each new contract.

Under Aveo’s Freedom Aged Care business, which it started rolling out in 2016, the exit fee reaches a maximum of 40 per cent after two years with 50 per cent share of any capital gain going to Aveo and the resident taking the hit on any capital loss. If a resident moves out after a year they are charged 25 per cent, moving to 40 per cent after two years. The resident shares 50 per cent of the refurbishment and reinstatement costs.

Aveo bought the Freedom Aged Care business in February 2016 for $215 million as part of a new plan to expand its business from retirement villages to include higher care centres. The business model is to provide supported care right up to palliative care level.

It is part of a bigger plan to tap into a deregulation of the sector that came about in February this year, allowing the elderly to direct the government funding they receive for low-care assistance to large service providers, like Aveo’s Freedom Aged Care.

According to the company’s executive ranks, both the new Freedom contracts and the Aveo Way contracts deliver major benefits to Aveo’s financial accounts.

“In financial terms, there’s a very significant value uplift over the medium term for the rollout of both the Aveo Way and Freedom,” Aveo’s chief executive told analysts on a conference call in August 2016.

Given the average age of its residents is 82.8 years old, it is not hard to see why Aveo can roll out the contracts quickly and no doubt lift the turnover of units – the older the profile of residents the less time they are likely to stay.

Tim Kyng, an actuary and senior lecturer at Macquarie University in the department of applied finance and actuarial studies, was given a research grant to build a calculator to help people understand the true cost of living in a retirement village as well as compare different retirement village contracts against each other.

He was inspired after his mother became interested in moving into a retirement village.

“You go to the retirement village” says Kyng, “and talk to the sales person and they give you all these glossy brochures and spend several hours trying to talk you into buying an apartment or buying the right to live in the apartment and it’s really difficult to get them to actually give you the financial details of how the contract works.”

He said exit fees vary from village to village, and the different combinations of entry fee, maintenance fees and exit fees make it difficult to figure out which retirement village deal is the best.

“Our calculator aims to calculate a ‘comparison rent’, like a comparison interest rate for home loans, so that each combination of the fees and fee types can be equated to a rent-per-month payable over the new resident’s expected term of residence,” Kyng says.

Kyng agrees to calculate the cost, for this story, of an 82-year-old woman moving into an Aveo retirement village using actual figures from a Freedom contract, assuming monthly maintenance fees of $1600 and an exit fee of 40 per cent after two years. The result was astounding: if the woman either died or moved out after two years, she would have paid the equivalent rent of $13,300 a month, or more than $3000 a week for the privilege of living in the village.

For that kind of money you could rent a five-bedroom house with a pool in the ritzy Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill or a four-bedroom mansion (also with a pool) in Melbourne’s Toorak, according to properties listed for rent on domain南京夜网.au in June.

The Consumer Action Law Centre’s Gerard Brody says the contracts and high fees are hard for even sophisticated consumers to understand. He believes some of them are unfair and unconscionable.

The law centre has taken an increasing interest in the retirement sector after being involved in a Victorian parliamentary inquiry last year into the sector, which received nearly 800 submissions from angry residents, including Aveo residents.

“When it comes time to exit, some people can feel trapped. It’s a bit like a financial prison.”

“These fees are too high to enable them to exit, move into aged care, or back close to relatives and family,” he says.

For some residents who do leave, the pressure can be intense in other ways.

Fairfax Media andFour Cornershave seen a property valuation given to a resident at The George in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Sandringham. The freehold one-bedroom serviced apartment was purchased in 2005 for $230,000. In 2014 – almost a decade later – it was valued by Aveo at $250,000. Then in August 1, 2016, Aveo lowered the valuation of the property to $240,000. After exit fees and other deductions including legal fees and reinstatement costs, the resident would be left with $183,000.

Aveo is currently marketing Freedom Aged Care leases over one-bedroom units in the same village for $600,000. The loan leases are for 99 years, including an exit fee of 40 per cent at two years.

Aveo says its efforts to bring in higher care was aimed “at reducing the number of residents who leave the village for health reasons”.

“Freedom model offers exceptional standard of care to residents, which cannot be compared to a standard lease agreement for a retirement village unit.”

It also says the low price offered to the outgoing resident reflected the lack of demand and the high price for units at the same village reflected the high demand for the Freedom program.

Under the Freedom Aged Care program, documents obtained by the joint investigation show that Aveo has been charging residents of the program $270 per week per person plus maintenance fees of $473 per week and $56 per week for meals, totalling $799 per week. The document says pensioners and part-pensioners could defer up to $430 a week up until exit.

Aveo promotional material.

At another village in Cheltenham, Victoria, documents show that residents have been charged $415 per week per person for the Freedom Care program, $480 per week for maintenance fees and $56 per week for food, bringing the total to $951 per week, with residents allowed to defer up to $580 per week up until exit.

According to Brody, such high charges and the ability to defer fees is really “asset stripping”. Asset stripping and questionable dealings are a recurring theme in Aveo’s villages across the country.

The company’s Freedom Aged Care ads end with catchy jingle “Give me freedom”. Yet in the absence of governments and regulators reining in some of Aveo’s more avaricious business practices, residents are more likely to find only financial internment and servitude rather than anything resembling “freedom”.

For more revelations, watch ABC TVFour Cornerson Monday, June 26 at 8.30pm.

Know [email protected]南京夜网[email protected]南京夜网.au

How parents and experts responded to Pauline Hanson’s comments about children with autism

29/11/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

IT’S been a big few days of controversy for One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson.
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On Wednesday, she told parliament that students with disabilities should be removed from mainstream classrooms because they put a strain on teachers and schools.

“These kids have a right to an education by all means,” she said.

Students with disabilities are putting a strain on teachers and schools, Pauline Hanson told parliament. Photo: Andrew Meares

“But if there is a number of them, these children should go into a special classroom and be… given that special attention because most of the time the teachers spend so much time on them.

“They forget about the child who … wants to go ahead [in] leaps and bounds in their education.”

Labor MP Emma Husar, whose son Mitch, 10, is autistic, quickly hit back at the comments.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham repeatedly refused to condemn the commentson Thursday, while Senator Hanson maintained she was right and said she had been taken out of context.

This did not stopshockwaves ripplingacross the country, and manyparents and experts have joined in the condemnationof Senator Hanson’s comments.

The expertsTasmania

►Autism Tasmania called Senator Hanson’s comments “reprehensible”. “We cannot stand back and not challenge such hurtful and uninformed comments,” the group said in a statement.

► Moorleah-based neurological music therapist Allison Davies believes the comments are discriminatory and unfair for any children.

Neurological music therapist Allison Davies said “there’s so much anger” over Senator Hanson’s comments.

She said other students could learn from having autistic children in their classroom.

“I was really angry but I was really concerned about the effects that could have on the people who don’t understand this issue and who might agree with her. That could take the acceptance backwards,” she said.

► Autism Centre manager Kathryn Fordyce saidthe comments showed a lack of understanding.

“The biggest challenges faced by people with autism is that kind of ignorance,’’ she said.

Manager of the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre Kathryn Fordyce with 5-year-old Zoe Slater of Penguin. Picture: Jason Hollister


►NSW Teacher’s Federation president Maurie Mulheron says Pauline Hanson made “not a syllable” of sense in her suggestion that children with disabilities were a strain on schools and teachers.

“The comments were both vicious and ignorant,” Mr Mulheron said.

Maurie Mulheron, president of the NSW Teacher’s Federation. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

“It’s unacceptable in 2017 for anyone harbouring any position of responsibility to make such an ill-informed commentabout kids with autism, or about any students with a disability.

“It was a completely and utterly incorrect statement.”


► Warrnambool autism advocate Bryce Pace has called on Senator Pauline Hanson to spend some time in his shoes.

STANDING UP: Autism advocate Bryce Pace has called on Senator Pauline Hanson to educate herself. Picture: Rob Gunstone

The 18-year-old was diagnosed with autism at nine years old. He said Senator Hanson’sthinking was very outdated.

“To say that they hold other students back – I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said.

“My teachers spend just as much time with me as the other students. If there are people on the spectrum and they’re capable of attending mainstream school then they should be allowed to.”


The parentsNSW

► Asa proud father with not “much of a filter”, Federation Council administrator Mike Eden felt compelled to replyto Pauline Hanson’s attack on children with autism.

The former top flight rugby league player directed a tweet at Senator Hanson after she told parliament students with autism should be separated from others.

Albury West Public School captain Will Eden, who has Asperger’s syndrome, with his mate Jacob Horne. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

“Hi @PaulineHansonOz My son is 12 & has Autism he transitioned into mainstream & is now School captain Should school “to get rid of him” ??” Mr Eden wrote.


► Bathurst mother Vanessa Comiskey says inclusion is the key for students with disabilities in the education system.“Children to be supported,made to feel genuinely accepted and allowed to participate equally,” she said.

► Pauline Hanson’s call for children with autism and disabilities to be removed from mainstream classrooms is“antiquated” and “ludicrous,” Hunter parents and disability advocates say.

Lisa Ogle says mainstream education has worked for her daughter, Edie Hall, 13, who loves going to school. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

Lisa Ogle, of Islington, said her severely disabled daughter, Edie, had been in mainstream classrooms from day one, at the suggestion of a school counsellor.

“Because of her very high, complex needs, initially I just assumed she would go to a special school,” Ms Ogle said.“It was really a trial–at first.

“We have seen mainstream education work for my daughter, and the other children around her.”



► Horsham mother Amanda Contal wants to see changes to education to ensure more children with disabilities have a chance to thrive.Ms Contal’s son Tristan, 7, has autism and attends Horsham Special School.

“I was shocked by Pauline Hanson’s comments,” she said.

“It was a very narrow point of view about children with autism because there is such a huge spectrum.

“It broke my heart to hear her comments–I couldn’t believe it.”

► Angela Dobbin has fought for eight years to get her two boys the support they need.

Angela and Allister Dobbin with their two sons, Harryson, 12, and Flynn, six. Both boys have autism, but require different kinds of support. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

Harryson, 12, and Flynn, six, both have autism.

Harryson, who now attends Ballarat Specialist School, was ostracised and bullied by his peers at his previous mainstream primary schools, his mother said.

Because his IQ was deemed “too high” the family had to fight for four years for him to get him appropriate support.

Flynn, whose autism is less severe, wants to be an engineer. He started in a mainstream primary school this year.

Both boys are “thriving” in their respective schools, Mrs Dobbin said.

“Every autistic child is different in the way they learn. It’s like any child, no two children are the same,” the mother-of-three said.

“They all need to be treated as equal. My boys can contribute to the future, they can teach people to be tolerant.”


Laura’s heart belongs to rhinos

29/11/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Affectionate: Laura Ellison and Grace at The Rhino Orphange in South Africa. “I just have this real desperation to help them,” Laura said. Laura Ellisonhas just spent the last three years living in South Africa as a veterinary nurse at The Rhino Orphanage.
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Laura knows there is a softer side to rhinoceros and she is sharing this with the world. The former Forster resident has just spent the last three years living in South Africa as a veterinary nurse at The Rhino Orphanage.

The 25-year-old, who attended Holy Name Primary School, said her passion for helping animals started after visiting a vet clinic with her dog in Forster.

And her passion for rhinos ? –thatstarted at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, where she worked as a keeper.

Laura’s heart belongs to rhinos Myself and Tshidi (2 months) during her treatment at Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital. Tshidi was found wandering with Echo for at least 3 days after losing her mother to poachers. Unfortunately during this time, Tshidi ingested a large amount of sand. When young, milk dependent rhino calves are orphaned, they tend to resort to sand to help their hunger. Being too young to know any better, they generally consume large amounts which pose great health complications to them once ingested. Tshidi was rushed to surgery, her last and only option in hopes to flush all of the sand out of her intestines before it eroded through (which would be fatal). Unfortunately, Tshidi had consumed an enormous amount of sand, all of which could not be safely flushed. For Tshidi’s entire treatment, myself and another carer, stayed by her side, day and night. But, Tshidi died 5 days after her surgery and 18 hours after Echo. Words will never be able to do justice to our heart break.

Pictured here is myself feeding Thula, alongside my younger sister who is feeding Nenkani. Thula was shot by poachers and suffered a bullet wound that passed through her shoulders. That same bullet killed her mother. She also unfortunately lost sight in both of her eyes due to dehydration and injury after the poaching incident. Despite all of this, Thula is an incredibly gentle and loving rhino.

Kabira, Kabelo and I taking a quick nap break on our morning walk. Rhinos love contact, it is their main way of communicating (and getting a pillow). Kabelo always loved to lie all over me (apparently I was comfortable) and I could always feel the purest love, lying in my lap.

Kabelo and Kabira, aged about 7 here, enjoying their wallow on a hot summers day.

Pictured here is Echo an 18 month old white rhino, who was admitted to the orphanage after being found wandering around with another orphaned rhino, Tshidi. Due to the stress of losing her mother to poaching, combined with the recent drought and winter, Echo was in very poor condition, she presented emaciated and very weak and unable to stand. We worked hard to stabilise her and get nutrients into her via a blended mix of hay and electrolytes, as well as starting her on milk again, to help regain strength. Echo was so weak that she was unable to stand. So we purpose built scaffolding around her to help us lift her estimated 4-500kg body weight. Lifting her assisted in her circulation and also prevented a build up of toxins and muscle atrophy. But, despite our best efforts and the best vets, the heart breaking decision was made to euthanize her. Echo’s condition was deteriorating and she had lost her will to fight. NB: Echo was blindfolded and had ear plugs placed to help decrease stress during her treatment. This helped to get her to take her milk and electrolyte formula from a bottle.

Myself and Kabelo, when he was about 3 months old, wallowing on his morning walk.

Initially, only one-two carers are introduced to bond with the calf, replicating the natural bond that they would share with their mothers. This particular orphan was hypoglycaemic and dehydrated so we had blankets, a heat lamp and body warmth provided to help stabilise.


The challengeLAURA’S time in South Africa did not come without its challenges.

After her initial Visa ended, Laura applied for another working Visa through an agent in South Africa and in the mean time returned to Australia.

Upon returning to Africa she discovered the Visa was a fake and she spent 36 hours in South African immigration detainment, which was a jail-like cell next to someone who was suspected to have Ebola.

“I discovered that ‘agent’ was a fraud and I was forced to return back to Australia. My heart was broken,” she said.

Laura was banned from returning to South Africa for life. She appealed and four months later it was processed.

“Not once did I consider giving up. Not going back to those rhinos was just not an option.”

Laura said at times the job was “extremely dangerous” but this is expected in her line of work.

At one point Laura had her leg ripped open, which resulted in a serious infection.

“I didn’t have any fear of the danger. I would risk myself to save them. Often they come to us traumatised or injured from poachers,” she said.

“They need support and comfort like any baby.”

Laura is counting down the days until she can return to be with the rhinos.

“I feel naked without them,” she added.

Laura Ellison is counting down the days before she can be back in South Africa. She is pictured here with Nandi.

Police raise first AMBER Alert after introducing Facebook tool to find abducted children

29/11/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Victoria Police have released their first AMBER Alert in search of missing child Milena Malkic. Photo: VICTORIA POLICE MEDIAPolice have raised their first Facebook AMBER Alert to help locate missing girl Milena Malkic.
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The first alert comesa day after the national roll-out of the system, which police describe asa vital tool to find and return abducted children.

Urgent information appears on a person’s Facebook feed if they are within 160 kilometres of where the child goes missing or is suspected to be.

Two-year-old Milena was last seen in the Springvale area onJune 15.

It is believedshe may be with her mother Nadia Malkic and step-father Joshua Coates in Altona, Warrnambool, Stawell or the Gippsland area.

Toddler Milena Malkic is missing and is believed to be with her mother [pictured] Nadia Malkic and father, Joshua Coates. Photo: VICTORIA POLICE MEDIA

Detective Acting Sergeant TimEvans saidMilenahad been living withher mother and step-father in Springvale before the family moved to an unknown location.

But policehad concerns for her welfareafter receiving information from the public that led them to believeshe could be harmed.

“We have got concerns for her safety and we need to find her,” Detective Acting Sergeant Evans said.

“We are treating it as a really serious caseat the moment, and throwing whatever we have got behind it.”

Detective Acting Sergeant Evans said the couple were known to the police.

Police have released their first Facebook AMBER Alert warning in search of toddler Milena Malkic who is believed to be with her mother and father in a car similar to this blue Ford Falcon, registration 1HZ 4SU. Photo: VICTORIA POLICE MEDIA

“Our only intention, at the moment,is to find this little girlbefore any harm has come to her,” he said.

Police have released a photograph of Milena, Nadia and Joshua in the hope someone recognises them.

The couple are believed to be driving a blue 2002 Ford Falcon with registration 1HZ 4SU.

Missing toddler Milena Malkic is believed to be with her mother, Nadia Malkic, and father, Joshua Coates [pictured]. Photo: VICTORIA POLICE MEDIA

The AMBER Alert system was launched in the US in memory of Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old girl who was murdered after being snatched from a street in Texas in 1996.

Facebook revealed in 2015 it would use the alert system.

The system’s strict criteria means an alert can only be used inurgent cases where a child is at risk of death or serious injury, and there is informationsuch as a registration plate number.

The alert will be the second position in a person’s news feed and include a photograph, description and police contact details.

Anyone who seesMilena, Nadia or Joshua or who knows of their whereabouts is urged to contacttriple-zero immediately.

The Age

Be wowed by our photos of the week

29/11/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Be wowed by our photos of the week WOLLONGONG – Illawarra Grammar School student Isobel Kinnear,14, began dancing at age three and now practices around four hours a day. Picture Adam McLean
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TALLIMBA – Martin Quade, Avonlea, Tallimba, with his dog Molly checking Planet variety barley sown May 17 into last year’s wheat stubble. Photo by Rachael Webb

Port Macquarie – Community campaign: Maria Doherty, Niamh de Groot, Amelia Humphreys and Linda Perkins throw their support behind the Ban the Bag – Reuse the Bag campaign in the Hastings. Photo: Matt Attard

ALBURY – Tracey Spicer at the Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice. Photo Mark Jesser

DUBBO Taronga Western Plains Zoo used World Giraffe Day on Wednesday to raise awareness about the declining number of the animals in the wild. Photo PAIGE WILLIAMS

WOLLONGONG George Taousanis comforts his mother Theodora at her Shell Cove home as she comes to terms with the death of her husband Nick. Picture Robert Peet

WAGGA Emily Wornes is asking for old or spare flowers to be donated so that she can hand them out in hospital. Picture SIMON BAYLISS

PORT MACQUARIE Red nose disco Emelia Stoner, Jacob Wittenberg, Evie Flanagan, Lin Yu Xiang and Fin Couttie from Joeys House Early Education. Photo Matt Attard

TAMWORTH Lucy Cantrill will head to the Baltics and Iceland in July as part of the Gondwana Voices Choir tour. Photo Gareth Gardner

WOLLONGONG International place making expert David Engwicht visited Port Kembla to meet with residents on Tuesday. Picture Robert Peet.

YOUNG_ Acting Inspector Kristin Marshall with illegal fireworks Police seized from a shop in Young. Picture by Craig Thomson.

WOLLONGONG Wollongong Vikings Rugby Club juniors William and Blair Stanton’s parents are eligible for the NSW government’s Active Kids Rebate,. Picture Sylvia Liber

TAREE – Katelyn Davidson sang ‘I Just can’t Wait to be King’ at the Taree and District Eisteddfod, accompanied by pianist Don Secomb. Photo Scott Calvin

LAUNCESTON – Scotch Oakburn College students Sasha Yuvchenko, Chloe Leersen and Ella Robinson visit Marlene Loosmore with Beau, the therapy dog, at Fred French aged care facility. Picture Scott Gelston

ORANGE_ Orange Region Vigneron’s Association chairman Justin Jarrett says there are new additions to the 2017 Orange Wine Festival. Photo by JUDE KEOGH

ORANGE Carly and Lynton Brunt have benefited from the work of children’s cancer charity Camp Quality. Lynton’s relative has raised money for the charity through her work as a consultant. Photo JUDE KEOGH

LITHGOW_ La Salle Academy students Gerard Larsen and Lachlan Zyp showed their support for the Mark Hughes Foundation when the school held their own Beanie Day on Thursday, June 22.

LAUNCESTON Items in the Armitage AuctionsÔÇÖ Petrol and Memorabilia sale this weekend. Photo Scott Gelston

NYNGAN_ Mataya English and Georgia McDougall at the Nyngan Public SChool SRC fundraiser celebrating Red Nose Day.

ALBURY At the Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice. Photo Mark Jesser

COONAMBLE – Macrae kids Isobel, 7, Audrey, 2, Oscar, 9, and George, 5, at their family property Tyrone, Coonamble. Photo Rachael Webb

COONAMBLE -Brian Hanigan checking Spitfire variety wheat sown with his wife, Kerry, son, George, daughter, Sally Inman, Melbourne, and Zeke the dog. Photo by Rachael Webb

COONAMBLE – Macrae kids George, 5, Oscar, 9, and Isobel, 7, on their family property Tyrone, Coonamble. Photo_ Rachael Webb

COONAMBLE_ George and his father Brian Hanigan with Anne Kennedy. Photo_ Rachael Webb

DUBBO_ Neil Sturrock from Autobarn with Joseph and Thomas Smyth, Rachael Watson and Jayne Bleechmore at a child car seat safety check day last year.

COWRA_ Kelly Smith, Jason Smith bringing bottles to customer Christie Anderson. Christie said getting her gas from Cowra Gas was $200 a year cheaper then other suppliers.

BLAYNEY_ Kristie and Ryan Whittaker invite all families to the newly refurbished Bilbys Playgroup in the RSL Hall. Photo_ Mark Logan.

DUBBO_ Janelle and Chris Dowton, John and Karen Creith and Jess and Ayden Hogan in the Dowton’s new bedroom. Photo_ PAIGE WILLIAMS

BURNIE Tasmanian Brick Enthusiasts member Andrew Harris with a model of an excavator. Picture Brodie Weeding

BURNIE Penguin v Wynyard. Photo Cordell Richardson

BURNIE Construction magnate Royce Fairbrother on the Living City site. Picture Scott Gelston

BATHURST_ Cityfit swimming school coordinator Dana Martin with swimming instructor Kayla Sense, Jack, Matilda and Hannah Wylie. Photo_ CHRIS SEABROOK

BATHURST_ Bec Bradley, as Crab, Sensorium Theatre co-artistic director Michelle Hovane and Amity Culver, as Turtle. Photo_ BRADLEY JURD

BURNIE – Darcey Brazendale, Phillip Davis, James Dowling and Sherrin Egger with their SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY jumpers ahead of the Coastal Derby. Picture Cordell Richardson.

NYNGAN – Andrena Smith, of Andrena’s Sculptures, Nyngan, with pups Jaff and Jet amongst a collection of works that will be on display at the Nyngan Ag Expo. Photo by Rachael Webb

BATHURST- Kent and Diane McNab have scored a big win in their push to have a roundabout installed at the intersection of Mitre, Lambert and Suttor streets.

TweetFacebook Photo gallery – take a look through some of our top shots from the week.Take a look back at some of the best photostaken by Fairfax photographers across Australia this week.

See the navy through a different lensPhotos

29/11/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

See the navy through a different lens | Photos TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.
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GREAT SHOT: Former HMAS Albatross photographer Kel Hockey’s photo of one of the RAN’s new Romeo Seahawks hovering next to the air traffic control tower at Albatross, with a Squirrel helicopter in the background going almost vertical which won the Rosemary Rodwell Memorial Prize.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

CONGRATS: Commander Fleet Air Arm to Commodore Chris Smallhorn presents Petty Officer Kel Hockey the Rosemary Rodwell Memorial Prize for the navy’s best photograph in 2016.

HONOUR: Former HMAS Albatross photographer Kel Hockey with his award winning photo.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TALENT: Some of Petty Officer Kel Hockey’s works.

TweetFacebookSee more of Kel Hockey’s photos hereFORMER HMAS Albatross photographer Kel Hockey has joined some elite company winning the Rosemary Rodwell Memorial Prize for the navy’s best photograph in 2016.

Petty Officer Hockey captured one of the RAN’s new Romeo Seahawks hovering next to the air traffic control tower at Albatross, with a Squirrel helicopter in the background going almost vertical.

“It wasn’t a photo I set up, the Squirrel just happened to be there,” PO Hockey said.

“It wasn’t intentional but you have got to take opportunities when they are presented.”

GREAT SHOT: Former HMAS Albatross photographer Kel Hockey’s photo of one of the RAN’s new Romeo Seahawks hovering next to the air traffic control tower at Albatross, with a Squirrel helicopter in the background going almost vertical which won the Rosemary Rodwell Memorial Prize.

He captured the photo during his role as the base’s senior photographer, while covering a traffic controllers’ open day at the control tower.

The Rosemary Rodwell Memorial Prize award was established in 1987 as a bequest by the family of PO Rodwell whose distinguished navy career spanned more than 20 years.

The award is presented annually to a photographer who best demonstrates the pursuit of excellence in capturing a memorable photographic image.

And competition is always fierce for the RAN’s top photographic award.

“It is a great honour to win the award,” he said, who now joins Able Seaman Jesse Rhynard, Able Seaman Alan Lancaster and Leading Seaman Yuri Ramsay from Albatross who have won the coveted prize.

There are 35 naval photographers and each submitted their five best photos, which were then “blind judged” by senior imagery specialists from across navy, army and air force.

“There were so many great photographs. I never expected to win. But to be judged as having taken the best photo for 2016 is pretty special,” PO Hockey said.

Originally a “Nowra boy”, PO Hockey attended Shoalhaven High School where his interest in photography was sparked by Ms Fitzgerald’s art classes.

“I was in years 10 and 11 and it was great,” he said.

“But I shelved it [photography] when I joined the navy in 1997 to become a bosun’s mate.”

After learning about the navy’s photographic service, he transferred in 2001.

He is now based at HMAS Kuttabul in Sydney.

POHockey’s winning photo will be exhibited at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in the coming months – previous award winners can be viewed in print at the Rosemary RodwellHall located on the ground floor of the museum.

South Coast Register