Archives - June, 2018



19 Jun 18

Andrew Fifita: Turned his life around and has earnt his first Origin cap for NSW. Picture: John VeageSIX years after Andrew Fifita was bailed out of jail by his frustrated mother, again, the giant Cronulla Sharks prop gets to represent his state for the first time at Origin level.
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Better than being either a ward of the state, a state inmate, and much better than being just another state crime statistic.

Fifita, about to turn 24, admitted he could easily have become a teenage statistic, if he didn’t turn his life around in Sydney’s wild, wild west.

“I was running with some gangs on the streets up around home [Blacktown], and after mum got me out I was told in court that I had to get out of town,” admitted the twin son of an indigenous Australian mother and Tongan father.

“I sort of already realised that if I didn’t leave the streets, I might go to jail for good.”

His is an amazing story. His family encouraged him to move away, and he ended up in Griffith — to grow up, and rehabilitate.

So there the nephew of former St George forward John Fifita lived and breathed country football, finished his HSC, and despite some knockbacks along the way, eventually returned to Sydney with a small contract to play for Wests Tigers, along with twin brother David Fifita (he played lower grade and is now overseas).

Andrew Fifita, the once skinny giant who was told he was too thin by some other clubs, put on weight.

Plenty of it, and soon he ended up in the scrum, alongside the more seasoned and experienced Bryce Gibbs.

Andrew also gladly represented Tonga, and the Aboriginal All Stars, and City, too.

But his promising start with the Tigers in 2010, and into 2011, he couldn’t get a big go in the top Tigers team towards the latter part of 2011.

With salary cap problems in trying to buy Kiwi international and Melbourne Storm forward Adam Blair, the Tigers on-passed Gibbs to the Sharks, who got Fifita as part of the “bargain deal” in 2012.

Today, the Tigers wish they had kept both.

With a partner and their first child born just before Christmas, Andrew Fifita is now one of the biggest impact-forwards in the NRL, averaging more than 170 metres and impressing enough to gain a bench spot in the Blues pack, and alongside team-mates Blues captain Paul Gallen and fellow international, Luke Lewis.

“He’s still a bit of a mad, big kid … but he’s settled down to become one of our very best,” said Lewis of the 196-centimetre, 118-kilogram, prop forward.

“I think he’ll create havoc when he comes on from the bench.”

This time, legal havoc, with those big damaging runs through the rucks.

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19 Jun 18

Big win: NSW Swifts captain Kimberlee Green (pictured) led her team to only their second win of the ANZ Championship. Picture: Murray WilkinsonSUTHERLAND Netball’s popular representative coach Maria Lynch was a deserved winner of the 2013 coach of the year award at the NSW Sports Federation 2013 Community Sports Awards held at Parliament House.
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Lynch beat four other finalists after her successes with multiple teams at the national, state and association levels.

Lynch celebrated a fifth consecutive 21/U National Netball Championship title with the NSW team in March last year, steered Sutherland Shire to a grand final victory in the Dooleys State League Waratah Cup last July, and became an integral member of the runners-up, NSW Waratahs, in the Australian Netball League last September. Lynch was assistant coach.

Lynch is “over the moon”.

“In a team sport, you share things with your team and as a coach, you are always looking for your athletes to go further and see accolades,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful recognition for the hours of work you put in, but in saying that it’s all part of being in a team sport and I share this with all the players I’ve worked with and coaches over the years.”

■Sutherland Shire Netball Association will field teams in two age groups at the three-day 2013 State Championships starting on Saturday week, June 8.

Sutherland Shire will have teams in the opens and 17 years and under divisions at Baulkham Hills, and St George Netball Association will field a 19-years and under championship team. More than 130 teams will converge on two venues for one of Netball NSW’s largest marquee events on the calendar.

■Australia will be the first country to use newly developed indoor player tracking technology to gain a competitive advantage ahead of the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.

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19 Jun 18

AG COLLEGE coach Stu Hodgson was lost for words on Saturday after the Southern Inland Rugby Union premier sunk to its third-consecutive defeat at Beres Ellwood Oval.
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Creeping further into the history books with the disappointing loss, the Aggies were outclassed in all facets of the game by an enthusiastic Waratahs performance, 32-8.

Scoring just one try in the effort, the Aggies were depleted with injury and confidence against an effervescent Tahs backline that refused to quit.

Sparking him into action, Hodgson struggled to comprehend the third-straight loss for the premier on Saturday.

“I told the boys at the start of the year that being the premier we pretty much had to gift every team 10 points on us before we started, because teams lift against the premier and that’s our burden,” he said.

“I never thought it would end up as untidy as this, ever. But, we just have to move on.”

Coping with a heavy injury toll, which also claimed captain Dave Armstrong and James Whiteley during the game, the Aggies failed to display their trademark confidence and precision. Despite his disappointment, Hodgson said the problem isn’t attitude based.

“I feel sorry for the boys, you can see they’re really trying but nothing seems to be working, it can’t be fun,” he said.

“Just going into contact we build pressure and then throw silly passes or make a mistake that turns the ball over and we get punished for it, and you just can’t do that.

“Waratahs played very well, their structures are in place and they’re a good side, our scrum was dominant and then we’d knock it on or have massive lapses in concentration.

“I just don’t know what it is.”

However, Hodgson said he was happy with the forward pack, but something needs to be tinkered in the backline to improve confidence.

“You play with the cattle you’ve got, but it’s just so frustrating that we can’t bank the profit from a good forward pack,” he said.

“We can’t go on making any excuses, we’re gutted but we’re just not doing the basics right.

“Ben Leaper was terrific again, but I don’t know how long he can last doing that every week, but Cam Jenkins and Stu Garret were great.”

Waratahs captain Jock Munro sails across the line to score despite a late tackle from Ag College five-eighth Ben Tett.

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19 Jun 18

RFNL Australian rules football
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LEETON-WHITTON put an indifferent opening quarter behind it to consolidate and then blow Turvey Park off the paddock to the tune of 90 points at Leeton Showgrounds on Saturday.

In a game that had to be won by the Crows to shore up their finals credentials, the home side kicked nine goals to one in the final term to storm home 19.18 (132) to 6.6 (42) winners.

The opening quarter had been anything but dominant for the home side and the Bulldogs held a slim seven-point lead at the first change. The second quarter started with indifference, but something clicked for Leeton-Whitton and Turvey started to fall away.

Crows assistant coach Bryce O’Garey said it was good to get back on the winner’s list, particularly after the start and especially at home in front of a big crowd.

“We have been in similar positions throughout the season,” he said.

“Langy (coach Damian Lang) said we’ve been in the situation before and we could go out and play cruising along or break the game open by sticking to the plan.”

The Crows applied more pressure around the contest and broke the Doggies, to the point where pushing and shoving turned to small outbreaks. O’Garey said it only helped his side.

“It was really good to finish off like that,” he said of the boom final term.

“It was bit breezy at that end, but I don’t think it was that much.

“It was good to finish off strong. We didn’t crowd (the forward line), we stuck to the plan and positions.”

So much pre-match focus had been on recruits Matt Smith and Brad Carver, but it may well have been the latter who instigated the switch in fortune.

Both were providing targets up forward, but Carver’s height and big marking seemed to give the Crows renewed confidence going forward.

He was also directing the younger players around the arc as Leeton-Whitton took and then built a small lead going into the break.

“Speaking to some of the younger guys after the game, there was more confidence and there is another big target there,” O’Garey said.

“He was directing the younger players around the forward line. It was good having an experience bloke down there.”

Carver kicked four goals, equalled by Cal Garvey, whose accuracy was better.

“Cal probably played three of the four quarters in game time forward,” O’Garey said.

“He’s been working really hard at goal kicking and ended up with 4.1.”

O’Garey said he would be having a check on his hamstring this week, but expected any niggle he felt to be a bit of soreness.

This week’s return of Will Overs, Grant Commins and potentially Jono Spina will make selection discussions interesting.

“It’s going to be

difficult at selection night, but that’s what you want I guess,” O’Garey said.

“It gives a bit more of a competitive edge to get into the ones.”

FRUSTRATIONS bolied over in the second half between the Crows and Turvey Park players.

CROWS defender Nathan Carn looks for a forward option against Turvey Park.

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19 Jun 18

School-age Australian rules football
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LEETON schools have returned excellent results from the Paul Kelly Cup MIA gala day held in Griffith last week.

While Parkview Public battled out all their games to the end with some success, Leeton Public School made the finals in both the boys and girls competitions and St Joseph’s Primary School repeated its 2012 success by winning the overall MIA final.

The gala day was held on Thursday at the Exies ovals, with schools from across the region taking part.

Public schools played off in the Tony Lockett Shield, with Catholic schools playing in the Paul Kelly Cup.

The winners of both groups then played off in an overall MIA final.

There was also a girls competition in a separate Paul Kelly Cup.

Parkview PS entered a boys team and two girls teams, producing competitive displays in all matches.

The Parkview Panthers girls team ranked the third best team on the day.

The PPS boys team improved over the day, with some tight halves allowing them to break even at times.

Parkview’s best included consistent performances by Jaykob Williams, Mathew Axtill, Jack Quinlivan, Will Rawle, Jai Patten, Connor Pete, Koby Watts and Rhett MacGregor.

The girls were represented by the Panthers and the Penguins, and both produed spirited performances.

Panthers finished as the third-ranked team out of 10, but the focus was on participation and gaining some familiarity with Australian rules.

However, Annie Samuelu recorded a five-goal haul in one game, while there was skilful and determined play from Tess Staines (six goals for the day), Hayley Graham, Acadia Lee, Hannah Pianca, Cherish Kohere and Lara Cameron.

Leeton Public coach Kris Sales was impressed with both his sides.

Last year LPS made the state finals in the girls competition, fell one win short.

“They played better than last year,” he said.

“They showed lots of skill and development and fabulous sportsmanship. Overall, it seems that once you get to the finals, there is a greater level of play.

“A lot of the boys showed a lot of skill particularly because AFL is not their primary sport

The way the boys went in the final, against players with a lot of experience and state players, they played well.”

St Joseph’s had two teams, with its number one team dominant.

After big wins in the round games and taking out a fiery and physical encounter to record a 50-point win over St Patrick’s in the Paul Kelly Cup final, St Joseph’s played Beelbangera in the MIA final and came away with a comprehensive 36-point victory, 6.8 (44) to 1.2 (8).

Coached by parent Ryan Mahalm, teacher Brendon Greatz said it was a new-look team from last year’s successful unit.

“The general standard, the average player is better,” he said.

“We didn’t have a standout individual (this year). We have got a team of very good players.”

St Joseph’s now progresses to the state finals to been held at Manuka Oval in Canberra. Last year’s state finals were held at Blacktown with St Joseph’s knocked out in the semi-final stage.

The finals are played as a round robin, with pool winners progressing to semi-finals and then the overall state final.

ONE of Parkview’s best throughout the day, Mathew Axtill, 11, battles for possession.

LARA Cameron, 11, sends Parkview PS forward at the Tony Lockett Shield/Paul Kelly Cup MIA gala day.

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19 Jun 18

Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes leaving a press conference in Melbourne on Saturday. PICTURE: THE SUNDAY AGE/ LUIS ENRIQUE ASCUIEDITORIAL: An impetus for change
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FRIDAY night’s AFL match between Collingwood and Sydney marked the opening of the code’s indigenous round. Yet the chance for the contribution of indigenous footballers to the game both past and present to be recognised and celebrated was marred by a racial taunt from a young supporter at Sydney’s indigenous star Adam Goodes.

The round of games was aimed at recognising the contribution of indigenous people and culture to the broader Australian society. While showcasing the unique talent and pride in culture of the indigenous community, it simultaneously noted the struggle against racism that has accompanied the achievements of many indigenous people in this country.

While the AFL should be proud of the work it has done to stamp out racism in the sport, the incident where Goodes was called an “ape” by a crowd member has come to be the defining moment of the round. It serves as a reminder that there is still a long way to go to remove racism from Australian society.

What is most shocking about the incident is that it is not a boozed-up, angry supporter being identified by TV cameras as the perpetrator of the abuse. We have become accustomed to seeing this in racist incidents in the public and sporting arenas, most recently involving North Melbourne’s Sudanese-born player Majak Daw.

“What is an appropriate action for someone who is not filled with hatred but is ignorant of the harm she has caused?”

This racist slur, however one which left Goodes visibly hurt and struggling to continue with the game was made by a 13-year-old girl. As Goodes later commented: “I turned around and when I saw it was a young girl and I thought she was 14, that was my initial thought, I was just like ‘really?’. I just thought how could that happen?”

I wrote in a piece for The Conversation recently that, for racism to be challenged, bystanders need to take responsibility and stand up to perpetrators. Be it through direct action or by using social media to publicise incidents, awareness should be raised and abusers “named and shamed”.

However, when the abuser is a 13-year-old girl who doesn’t understand what it means to call an indigenous person, or a black person from any cultural background, an “ape”, what is the value of this? And what then is an appropriate action for someone who is not filled with hatred but is ignorant of the harm she had caused?

This issue was raised in the response of AFL and club officials. While quick to condemn the racism and provide support to Adam Goodes, they were also concerned about the girl’s welfare. Collingwood president Eddie McGuire was quick to apologise to Goodes on behalf of the club, while also showing support for the young Collingwood supporter who he said would receive “counselling services”. He later stated: “We won’t be abandoning her”.

“The taunts are no less deeply felt by those groups who cannot forget the original meanings of the term.”

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou also called for the girl to be supported, claiming that though there was zero tolerance for racism in the AFL, “What we do have to understand is this is a 13-year-old girl. We have to be very, very sensitive and very, very careful about how this girl gets treated from this point onwards.”

This incident highlights the complexity with which racism enters a society and is normalised until the meaning of insidious, racist terms become dispersed, invisible to some who would voice them. The taunts, however, are no less deeply felt by those groups who cannot forget the original meanings of the term, and the personal and community-wide legacy they have left.

In a testament to the quality of Goodes as an ambassador for the sport and his community, he later called for the girl to receive support despite initially pointing out the girl to security guards. This demonstrates the generosity and graciousness of a man who has achieved much, despite having to overcome the hurt and pain of his early years where he was verbally taunted on the basis of his race and appearance.

In his press conference the next day, Goodes explained that it was now about education for the girl and for society. While this meant for him that he had to make a stand for himself, his family and his community, to tell people “that a simple name, a simple word, can cut so deep”, he did not blame the girl and asked for the public to give her support, just like he had received.

“I just hope that people give the 13-year-old the same sort of support because she needs it, her family need it, the people around them need it. It’s not a witch hunt. I don’t want people to go after this young girl.”

This is significant, given that social media provides a platform not just for condemning racism, but also for bullying people who have made a public error of judgement.

Perhaps there is something positive to be made out of this untimely reminder of the persistence of racism in Australian society. Rather than these words coming from a deeply entrenched, racist world view, it came from an innocent heart which can learn from the experience.

This is summed up perfectly by Adam Goodes, who called for education instead of naming and shaming “so it doesn’t happen again”. What a champion.

Amelia Johns is research fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.www.theconversation南京夜网

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19 Jun 18

THE Wiggles, everybody’s favourite coloured skivvies, are in town today performing two shows at Merredin’s Cummins Theatre.
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Having performed for more than one million fans around the world for during the past 21 years and selling more than 23 million DVDs and seven million CDs, 2013 continues to see the coloured troupe’s new line-up off to a flying start.

Their tour continues to attract sell out theatres throughout Australia.

Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins, Red Wiggle Simon Pryce and Lachlan ‘Lachy’ Gillespie (Purple Wiggle), now officially form the group with last remaining original (and Blue) Wiggle Anthony Field.

Joined by their Wiggly friends Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus, the Wiggles are also excited to release their newest musical adventure on CD with 25 new tracks recorded in honour of their favourite animal friends.

The Wiggles Taking Off! first show is at 10am followed by the second show at 12.30pm.

Tickets are available at cumminstheatre南京夜网.au.

All upcoming touring information, new Wiggles shows and events taking place and special tour alerts can be found at wiggletime南京夜网.


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19 Jun 18

A night of comedy: Timylea and Jakan Heijn meet Damian Callinan after the show on Wednesday night. Photo: Harry CoxIF you know what the terms sprinkler, shopping trolley and lawnmower all refer to then you would have loved Damian Callinan’s show Cave to the Rave at the Cummins Theatre last Wednesday night.
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In two hours an energetic Callinan managed to gently poke fun at dance styles from line dancing to contemporary interpretive dance to flash in the pan dance moments such as Psy’s Gangnam Style.

In a world where we now expect your everyday mild-mannered accountant to secretly harbour the desire to don lycra and perform in front of a television audience and every celebrity to perform a passable Paso Doble, Callinan helped unravel the mysteries of dance phenomena such as the awkward side to side shuffle favoured by men everywhere and why women dance around their handbags.

His brilliant 1980s dance montage had people groaning in recognition and his epic tale of being an awkward teen under the influence of Duran Duran had people on the edge of their seats.

Callinan’s natural ability to interact with the crowd was also a real highlight.

The show was presented by the Merredin Repertory Club and RadioWest and sponsored by Smokefree WA through Country Arts WA and Lotterywest.

Merredin was the first stop on the WA tour and the show continues north before heading to Narrogin on Friday, June 14, Corrigin on Monday, June 17 and Hyden on Tuesday, June 18.

If you’re looking for a night of good honest fun that leaves you smiling long after the lights have come up then this show is definitely one to clear the calendar for.

Further tour information can be found at countryartswa.asn.au and the Country Arts WA Facebook page.


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19 Jun 18

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has given her in principle support to the implementation of a 24-hour helicopter service out of Orange making an announcement to the Centroc group of councils in Sydney.
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Member for Orange Andrew Gee said yesterday the support Ms Skinner has given to the recommendations of the Ernst and Young review of aeromedical services in NSW is the first indication the plan will go ahead next year.

“I am absolutely delighted the minister is showing her support and this is absolutely music to the ears of the people in this region,” Mr Gee said.

READ MORE: Hopes of24-hourmedical chopper soar

READ MORE: Orange rescue chopper a priority

Mr Gee put forward two comprehensive submissions to the independent review detailing individual cases where there would have been more positive outcomes for patients who had better access to a helicopter retrieval service and asking the NSW government for equity in the provision of the health care service for people in this region.

Mr Gee said the announcement by Ms Skinner however falls short at this stage of any financial commitment by the NSW government to provide funding for the 24-hour service.

Late yesterday a spokesperson for Ms Skinner’s office said the minister was following the guidelines of the release of the findings into the review and any funding announcement would be made in the early part of the second half of this year.

Mr Gee said he is hopeful that announcement regarding the funding of the service will be made in July. He said the government’s support of the extended hours of operation of the aeromedical service out of Orange is the culmination of the passion and dedication of people throughout the region who wanted to see the 24-hour service become a reality.

IT WILL FLY: Jillian Health Minister Skinner has given support, but not funding, for a 24/7 retrieval helicopter.

“A lot of people were already advocating for this 24-hour service to happen before I came into office,” Mr Gee said.

The Centroc group of councils in the region put forward a submission for a 24-hour helicopter service to the independent review panel from Ernst and Young when they visited Orange last year.

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19 Jun 18

WEDNESDAY, May 22, proved to be a horror day on local roads with three separate crashes within hours of each other.
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About 4.20pm a man was driving along the Merredin-Nungarin Road, 20 kilometres north of Merredin, when his car hit a tree.

Police believe he was driving around a bend when the sun shone into his eyes causing him to lose control of the car.

The man had minor injuries and was transported to Royal Perth Hospital in the emergency rescue helicopter.

A few hours later, at 7.20pm, the RAC Rescue helicopter was diverted to another car crash. This time on the Great Eastern Highway, near York Road and the Carrabin Roadhouse, in Carrabin. Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service firefighters from Merredin and Southern Cross assisted.

Police said the man suffered serious injuries when his vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree.

The victim had to be moved to a clear area where the rescue helicopter was able to land and then take him to Royal Perth Hospital.

Police are not sure how the crash occurred and are still investigating.

Meanwhile at the same time, another accident occurred further along the Great Eastern Highway when a truck rolled near Bodallin.

The driver received minor injuries and the highway was closed for about three hours.


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