Archive for March 2019

HEALTH: Tom Goss spoke about the importance of sport for wellbeing, along with other guests, at a Coolamon event recently.

MORE than 100 guests were greeted by two double lounges on the St Michael’s hall stage where the four sportspersons were seated and questioned by Coolamon’s answer to Andrew Denton or Michael Parkinson – Tom Goss.

Tom started with his poem about the evils of the drug ice and highlighted how sport was important for people’s wellbeing and health.The speakers supported Tom’s observations and encouraged the audience to participate in sport, whether as a player, coach, volunteer or worker.

Racecaller Alan Hull recalled his first race call at the Coolamon trots and shared his experience calling Riverina Aussie rules games in the 1970s and 1980s.His biggest challenge was calling 36 Wagga Gold Cup made up of 16 year olds, whilst other races included horses he had called many times before.Alan was very proud of his family and acknowledged his son, Quint, on who is a sports commentator for the ABC.

Young wheelchair athlete Jess Pellow shared her success, especially winning a silver medal at a world championship in Canada.The crowd was silent and no one went to the bar as the speakers had the audience engrossed.Jess relayed a frustrating challenge for the 10 wheelchair basketballers on a court when the ball is caught between the the net and the backboard.Jess encouraged the audience to enjoy sport and outlined how sport helped her deal with her disability.

Temora’s Steve Reardon, ex-Canterbury Bankstown rugby league player, who played more than 160 first grade games including a premiership, had the crowd in stitches with stories including asking his father whether he should be a shearer or footballer.Steve summarised some of the great players such as Terry Lamb.

Rosemary Clarke outlined her athletic career as a competitor and coach including long jump and running.When teaching at St Francis Leeton the principal would drive her on Friday to catch a plane to grand prix events all over Australia to be back at school on Monday.

Thank you to the volunteers who ensured the audience walked away from the event feeling good.The combination of humour and great stories will be remembered for a long time.

Bill Thompson,CoolamonGreek Democracy no BouleIN RIGHT Said Fred (Saturday, April 4) Fred Goldsworthy lauded ancient Athenian democracy. Quite correctly he points out that the “democratic” aspects of it (from “demos” = “the people”) leave our own system of career politics for dead.

The Boule was the core body – 500 qualified citizens chosen by lot each year serving only for a month each as “politicians” in groups of 50 – the first task of each incoming group being to audit every member of the outgoing group (the Athenian year had 10 months).The Boule was fed and housed for a month and they then went back to their jobs – a perfect way of both invigorating the populace politically and educating everyone about the political system.

Disappointingly, one aspect Fred missed was the annual vote for ostracism.This process allowed for one person to be banished for a period of 10 years.

Everyone got to jot the name of anyone else on a bit of broken pottery and the person with the highest tally got the boot for a decade.Now, this aspect may well send your readers into a smiling, dreamy ecstasy – like kids in a lolly shop.

But there would also be the nagging thought of “What? Only one?”Or recall Oliver’s request of “Please sir. Can I have some more?”I agree with Fred that we could benefit from a return to Athenian democratic ideas – but let’s not forget their best one.Let’s face it – even if your choice didn’t get up, Ostracism Day would still be a day of bliss for all; well, all but one.

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Jonathan Crombie and Megan Follows in Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story.Canadian actor Jonathan Crombie, who achieved international fame by teasing, courting and finally winning the heart of Anne of Green Gables, has died. He was just 48 years old.

Crombie died of a brain haemmorhage in New York, his family have confirmed.

Though he enjoyed a long career with an impressive list of credits in film and television and on the Broadway stage, Crombie never quite escaped playing Gilbert Blythe in the iconic 1985 miniseries Anne of Green Gables.

Nor did he want to, returning to the role for the project’s two direct sequels, the 1987 television movie Anne of Avonlea, and the 1990 television movie Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story.

He also appeared in a 1992 spin-off television series, titled simply Avonlea.

The adaptations were based on an iconic Canadian novel first published in 1908, Anne of Green Gables, about an elderly couple who want to adopt a boy to work on their farm, but are sent an 11-year-old orphan girl instead.

“I think he was really proud of being Gilbert Blythe and was happy to answer any questions,” Crombie’s sister Carrie told the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

“He really enjoyed that series and was happy, very proud of it, we all were,” she said.

Crombie is the son of a well-known Canadian political family; his father David Crombie, is a former mayor of Toronto and former Canadian federal cabinet minister.

Television producer Kevin Sullivan, who worked on Anne of Green Gables, told CBC the news would be devastating to those who grew up with the universally acclaimed adaptation of the book.

“It’s such a devastating tragedy,” Sullivan said. “In reality, Jonathan was as generous, as kind, as sensitive and as ambitious, in some ways, as the character he came to be identified with.”

Sullivan added: “For legions of young women around the world who fell in love with the Anne of Green Gables films, Jonathan literally represented the quintessential boy next door.”

According to his family, the actor’s organs were donated and his remains will be cremated.

They will then be taken from New York to his hometown, Toronto, on a bus, out of respect for the fact that he disliked airplane travel and regularly travelled between the two cities by bus.

“That’s how we are going to be bringing him back,” his sister Carrie said. “We felt that it was an ode to Jonathan.”

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CAUGHT: Coleambally’s Adam Norton looks to evade North Wagga’s Ben Alexander at McPherson Oval on Saturday. Picture: Laura HardwickNORTH Wagga made a statement to their Farrer League opponents with a tough 10-point win over Coleambally at McPherson Oval on Saturday.

The Saints have enjoyed a strong recruitment drive over the off-season but backed it up with a win in their first outing of the season.

North Wagga, renowned for their youth and speed, outlasted Coleambally at their own game in wet conditions, winning 12.8 (80) to 10.10 (70).

The game was in the balance with scores level at three-quarter-time but the Saints stood tall when it countered to kick away for a tight win.

North Wagga co-coach Nathan Dowdlesaid the tight victory showed exactly how far the Saints have come over the off-season.

“If I was to look back on previous years, those 50-50 games in the past we generally would have lost those games,” Dowdle said.

“As a club and as a side, we’ve improved and I reckon that’s down to guys getting educated on the game and the brand and style of footy we want to play.”

New North Wagga recruits Kirk Hamblin and Chris Willis led the way.

Hamblinled from the front through the midfield and also went forward to kick two crucial goals, while Willis was the best forward on the ground and finished with four majors.

North Wagga also got good drive from youngsters LachieGaffney, Jed Winter, Jacob May and Lachie Robertson.

Dowdlesaid he is pleased with the way the Saints played.

“Coly were a quality side last year, and still are, it was a 50-50 contest and to win a close game like that in those conditions was a good effort,” he said.

“It’s exactly what we wanted from our first game.

“It’s the first time we’ve won our first game of the year since I’ve been involved here, we’ve never had this kind of start and it’s what we were after.”

Coleambally was best served by Drew Kenna, Jack Painting and Lachlan Evans.

The Saints now look forward to an Anzac Day game against cross-town rivals East Wagga-Kooringal at Gumly Oval, while Coleambally has the bye.

Nathan Dowdle



2.1 5.5 9.6 12.8


3.0 6.3 9.6 10.10

Goals: (North Wagga) C Willis 4, J May 2, K Hamblin 2, L Robertson, D Karlberg, M Mullins, M Thomas; (Coleambally) L Evans 3, N Jones 2, J Painting 2, T Pound, S Pound, A Norton.

Best: (North Wagga) J Luff, K Hamblin, L Gaffney, J May, C Willis, L Robertson; (Coleambally) D Kenna, J Painting, L Evans, J Breed, B Jones, M Carroll.

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Extreme loss: A 14-year-old is pushing for education to help young people speak up about violence in the home. Photo: Steven SiewertOne is a 14-year-old girl who wants the NSW government to know that if domestic violence had been better addressed in school, she would have recognised that what was happening inside her own home was not normal.

The other is a 55-year-old grandmother who, through the tragic death of her daughter, discovered there is no appropriate framework in place to prevent abusive parents gaining automatic custody of children.

As the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) was preparing to launch a new national initiative to tackle domestic violence on Friday, these two women unveiled separate online campaigns, both of which highlight the hidden victims of household abuse – and how authorities repeatedly fail them.

Nathan Elvery​, from, said: “These two petitions are among the most powerful we have seen on our platform to date.” 

In a confronting letter that she compiled on her grandmother’s laptop, following her mother’s suicide last month, Rachel* has called on the NSW Department of Education and Communities to “educate children about domestic violence and how to seek help.”

“I am 14 years old and I have been a victim of domestic violence. I didn’t know that what happened in my home was different to any other family home, as a child how could I have known any better?” she asked.

The youngster revealed how she, her three brothers and her mother had been the victims of ongoing abuse, adding: “I wanted help but didn’t know how to get it.”

Following a “major” domestic violence incident last year, the family became homeless for nine months. “The police were involved this time and that’s when I realised how serious domestic violence is,” she said.

Despite eventually finding a new home, Rachel said her family remained “silent sufferers of never-ending sadness” and that when the violence returned, her mother was no longer able to cope.

“If domestic violence was addressed within the public schools educational criteria, I could have gotten help and saved my mum,” she said, adding that if the NSW education system teaches students to recognise what is wrong, they “will begin to speak up and get the help their family needs.”

When the Baird government and Labor rolled out their extensive policy plans to combat domestic violence before the NSW election last month, neither featured any changes to the existing school syllabus. A spokesman for the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards said the syllabus “supports student learning and understanding of a broad range of personal safety and health issues, including respectful relationships.”

Rachel’s grandmother, who is now her full-time guardian, said: “She’s an extremely bright, intelligent young girl who feels, very strongly, that something good has to come out of this situation. If she can stop one other child from going through what she went through, she’ll be happier. She asked me whether the government might even allow her to attend classrooms so she could talk to other children…that’s how determined she is to improve the situation…and make a difference.”

Like Rachel, 55-year-old Louise* is grieving after losing a loved one to suicide. Having witnessed her deceased daughter’s abusive ex-partner receive automatic custody of her grandchildren, she is hoping to harness enough people power to pressure authorities into find new ways of better protecting vulnerable children.

“My daughter was the victim of physical, psychological and financial abuse for 11 years,” said Louise, who added: “She often cried, ashamed that her children had witnessed their father repeatedly and violently beating her as well as seeing the constant psychological manipulation.”

“Her forgiveness and commitment to her family were her undoing. She paid his bail, police fines and withdrew the AVOs, believing if she tried harder, she could change him and avoid further abuse.”

Louise said that for the previous two years, both her daughter and grandchildren had resided with her, but added: “Her ex-partner was relentless. Each time the abuse and manipulation occurred, it became more destroying.”

One day last September, Louise was informed that her daughter had failed to pick up the children from school. A short time later, her worst fears were confirmed. She said that in the months since, authorities had made the father full-time guardian, without even as much as a glance at police reports and a “violent documented past.”

“When my daughter died, he took the children from a loving environment, our and their home.

“He agreed to let me organise counselling for the two littlies. But when they contacted him, he closed it all down.”

Louise wants authorities to know there is “there is nothing in place” to protect her grandchildren and hundreds like them”.

“I fear the day when my granddaughter turns around and says ‘grandma, why did you allow me to live with him?”

* Not their real names

For support and information about suicide prevention or domestic violence, contact: Lifeline on 13 11 14 National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732Other guidance and support resources for women can be found here.

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31 Arthur Street Surry Hill Photo: Supplied 31 Arthur Street, Surry Hills.

31 Arthur Street, Surry Hills.

49 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra, is one of the properties open for inspection on Anzac Day.

31 Arthur Street Surry Hill Photo: Supplied

31 Arthur Street Surry Hill Photo: Supplied

This weekend’s auction clearance rate was the highest ever at 88.2 per cent. There were 737 auctions. The question of how to juggle this year’s Anzac Day, which falls on a Saturday, with the demands of the city’s strongest property market has been a vexed one for owners and their agents.

They’re keen to maintain interest in their homes in the lead up to auctions in later weeks, but also honour the fallen diggers.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW is urging agents not to hold auctions or open homes on the day.

“What we’re saying is that real estate offices should not be open,” said the institute’s president Malcolm Gunning.

“We should be respectful of the day, if [agents] do choose to do open homes or auctions it should be after 1pm.”

While most are heeding the call, there are 51 auctions scheduled to go ahead and quite a few open homes.

Some agents such as Di Jones in Woollahra are only opening the properties of those owners who have requested it. Many more, like McGrath Estate Agents, are moving inspection times to after lunch on Saturday in line with the retail shopping times.

Others, such as BradfieldCleary in Double Bay, are avoiding open homes altogether and having inspections on Sunday instead.

Most Raine & Horne offices won’t be opening properties on the day, but their Bexley office will be because of “marketing constraints”, said director John Gymellas.

“But as a show of respect, there will be no music or entertainment played, and Anzac cookies will be offered on the way out of open homes.”

And you know those portable signs on the side of the road pointing to auctions? “All our pointer boards will be leading to the local RSL, not the open homes,” Mr Gymellas said.

“It’s not much, but the aim is to honour and remember them.”

Another agent holding some open for inspections is Aris Dendrinos, the principal of Richardson & Wrench Marrickville. He said the decision was a difficult one, but was continuing with the opens because it was in the best interests of his vendors whose campaigns had already borne the Easter disruption.

The offices would be closed and the staff taking the day as a holiday. There would also be no flags or bunting around the homes and staff will be wearing rosemary in acknowledgement of Anzac Day, he said.

“We just want to be showing it to the people it’s been advertised for, to support the owner in trying to find the right buyer,” he said. “We don’t want to be spruiking for anyone else other than that.”

Alistair Masters, who has his award-winning Surry Hills terrace up for auction with hopes above $1.7 million on May 9, decided against an Anzac Day open home for the three-bedroom property at 31 Arthur Street.

“Just out of respect for the diggers,” he said. “We’re actually heading over to Turkey later in the year because my partner’s grandfather actually fought at Gallipolli, so it just didn’t seem right to be showing our house on that day.”

His agent Annie Hodgson of Spencer and Servi said the agency’s owner David Servi also did not want any open homes on the day. But to compensate she would be opening the house on the Friday beforehand and extending the campaign by one weekend.

“All the owners have been very understanding,” she said.

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