Shaun Oliver died a hero, trying to save a stranger’s children from drowning at Wollongong’s City Beach

Wollongong drowning: Shaun died a hero, trying to save a stranger’s child HERO: Shaun Oliver. Picture: Facebook
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Picture: Robert Peet

TweetFacebookWollongong drowning: Shaun died a hero, trying to save a stranger’s childhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd成都夜生活/transform/v1/crop/frm/bEHa392pg8uWfDH5RxA6T9/d172152c-c830-4d68-bfca-f1b6bbb7f2b4.jpg/r2_85_958_625_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgA father-of-three who drowned at a Wollongong beach on Sunday has been hailed a hero.man, drowned, died, oliver, four kids2017-09-12T05:30:00+10:00https://players.brightcove成都夜生活/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5571631676001https://players.brightcove成都夜生活/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5571631676001An off-duty paramedicleft his wife and his own young child on the sand in order to bring the 10-year-old boy ashore, saidDetective Inspector Brad Ainsworth, of Wollongong Local Area Command.

Mr Oliver got into trouble as he attempted to rescue the 12-year-old boy.

Surfers ultimately came to the boy’s aid. Meantime, Mr Oliver was swept out to sea.

Three police officers later stripped off their uniforms and pulled him to shore, where paramedics tried in vain to revive him.

Paramedics transported one patient, believed to be in a serious condition, to Wollongong hospital by road ambulance.

He was later pronounced dead at Wollongong Hospital.

“It’s a heroic act,” Det Insp Ainsworth said. “It’s unfortunately cost him his life.”

The stricken children and their father were visiting the unpatrolled beach from their home south of Wollongong.

Read more:Most people can’t spot a rip. Can you?

Addressing reporters on Monday morning, Det Insp Ainsworth expressed frustration at the loss of life. He described surf conditions at the time as“treacherous” and confirmed the beach was closed when the family entered the water.

“There was a heavy surf, there was a drag, there was an undercurrent -there were all the conditions there that you don’t go in,” he said.

“It’s a tragic loss of life and, not putting too much of a point on it … it really puts individuals that come to the aid of people there in danger, and it’s the ultimate sacrifice, I suppose.”

“We haven’t even reached the swimming season yet. Unfortunately it’s a timely reminder and warning that you swim between the flags, at patrolled beaches only.”

[email protected] Illawarra duty officer Daren Weidner speaks following this afternoon’s rescue at Wollongong City beach https://t成都夜生活/q4Na0Y9qOApic.twitter成都夜网/FMUksh2oz2

— Andrew Pearson (@andrewrpearson) September 10, 2017

Mr Oliver leaves behind a wife and three young children.

He was employed as project manager at a company in Lynbrook, in south-east Melbourne, and was a shopfitter by trade.

​In a Facebook comment, his sister Clare Murray wrote “we are all shattered”.

“My brother… the ultimate hero. We cannot believe this has happened… a loss that will be felt by many,” she wrote.

Mr Oliver’s brother Nathanael has launched a Gofundme campaignaimed at supporting the 32-year-old’s grieving family.

”He was faced with the terrible decision when he heard the cries for help and, without a thought for his own safety, launched himself into the water,” Nathanael Oliver wrote.

His aunt and uncle, Gary and Karen Oliver, said they were“so very proud, and so very sad” at their nephew’s actions.

He attended Chandler High School in Keysborough, graduating in 2002.

School friend Joel Tranquille said: “Hewas a great friend to everyone, you wouldn’t be able to find a single person that would tell you otherwise.”

“It’s never easy when you hear about a friend passing when he is still so young, especially a great bloke like Shaun,” Mr Tranquille said.

Another high school friend, Lisa Pountney, saidMr Oliver “would talk to everyone even socially awkward people”.

“(He)would make you laugh or smile if you were sad, he would always put others before himself, he was a bright and loveable guy,” she said.

His former sporting club, Keysborough Football Netball Club,tweeted: “Devastating news that our former junior and senior player Shaun Oliver drowned trying to save two young children in Woolongong (sic)”.

The emergency unfolded about 4.30pm on Sunday, almost two weeks before patrols at the beach will get underway as part of the 2017/2018 patrol season.

The off-duty paramedic and two children were transported to Wollongong Hospital for assessment, but did no require admission.

Lachlan Pritchard, Surf Life Saving state duty officer, said authorities had issued a hazardous surf warning on Friday, and that conditions had eased by Sunday but were still considered dangerous.

“It can be quite deceiving, the surf conditions,” he said.

“While the waves might not look too big, the undercurrent …is quite strong and that’s what does cause most of the issues. The conditions can sweep you right out.

“If you do get stuck in a rip, we encourage you to raise your hand to signal for help and ride the rip out to the back where there is calmer water and hopefully wait for emergency services to arrive.”

Surf lifesavers are urging swimmers to heed the “no flags, no swim” message, as summer approaches.

Illawarra Mercury with The Age

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Best in the nation: Sydney Uni comes in fourth in world rankings

The University of Sydney has been ranked fourth in the world for graduate employability, coming in ahead of leading institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge University and the University of Oxford for its effectiveness in “preparing students for the workplace”.
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The University of Melbourne is closely behind with a rank of seven in the latest QS Graduate Employability Rankings, followed by the University of NSW at 36, the University of Queensland at 49 and the University of Technology Sydney at 69.

A total of eight n universities have been listed in the top 100 in the ranking, which was launched in 2015 to look beyond traditional measures such as research strength and academic reputation. Instead, it focuses on students’ chances of finding jobs soon after graduation, institutions’ reputation among global companies and connections with employers, and the achievements of alumni.

It currently ranks the top 500 universities in the world.

Overall, Stanford University was ranked first for graduate employability, followed by the University of California, Los Angeles, Harvard University, the University of Sydney, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford.

Martin Juno, lead analyst in the QS intelligence unit, said that Sydney University was the only institution “to achieve at least a top 40 rank in all five metrics considered”.

It was ranked eighth in the world for employer-student connections, 14th for its partnerships with employers and in the top 20 for its graduate employment rate.

“All this makes [Sydney University] one of the most reputed institutions among employers in the world … [it] is clearly [doing] an excellent job in terms of employability, with their employer engagement strategy being top of the class,” Mr Juno said.

He said it was the most successful university in “at producing graduates with highly successful career paths”.

Mr Juno also highlighted the University of Melbourne and UNSW as the two most reputed n institutions among employers.

“Leading institutions present a remarkable aptitude and willingness to successfully engage with a wide range of employers, providing students and [graduates] with an extensive network and, thus, work-placement opportunities,” Mr Juno said.

“This enhanced collaboration with companies and organisations, both domestically and internationally, is usually translated into a higher employer reputation, more successful alumni and a higher employment rate after graduation.”

A number of n universities have performed far better in the graduate employability ranking than the overall QS World University Rankings, which were released in June. The University of Sydney was ranked at 50 in the overall ranking while the University of Melbourne came in at 41.

Mr Juno said that this was mainly due to weaknesses in measures that are excluded from the graduate employability rankings, including research strength and student-to-faculty ratio.

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Town ‘going nuts’, so locals are escaping to these tiny places

An attention grabbing budget priced property at Newstead sold easily as it was priced at $235,000 and was on 970sq metres and close to the local school. This church conversion at Fryerstown fetched $675,000 when it sold recently.
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In Harcourt, an elegant four bedroom home on an acre is looking for $598,000.

Originally a Victorian home built at Maryborough, the lovely, four bedroom Rosehill farm has been moved several times before landing in Maldon. It’s on the market for $675,000-$695,000

Just as the domino effect of property jostling happens in the capital cities, so it can play out similarly in some of the top sea and tree change townships.

Castlemaine – the artsy hub of the Goldfields region that has been known as “Northcote North” since being colonised by early tree changers and first-home buyers who realised they had to get out of Melbourne to get into the market – continues to maintain such allure that “it’s going nuts!” according to agent Tom Robertson.

The Waller Realty agent says “the amount of enquiry is phenomenal. We’re flat out sales-wise, too. There are no quiet seasons here anymore”.

Fellow agent Brett Waller, of Castlemaine Property Group, laments that “for this time in spring, the amount of stock is well down”.

Most inquirers are coming from Melbourne. “But we’ve also got people moving up from Woodend now because they no longer feel like they’re in the country until they get past Malmsbury.”

With the continuous waves of incoming newbies, even on a cold day, Castlemaine township is rocking.

Photographer Michael Rayner, who moved up last year because in search of affordable property and “a powerful sense of community” embedded within a scene he could relate to, has counted 14 cafes in the commercial hub.

READ MORE:

Related: Why Melburnians flock to KynetonRelated: Stawell, a town that won’t quitRelated: What’s the future for Wallan?

“It’s funkster junction,” confirms Robertson.

Yet, in a town where any cute period property in need of renovation is now hard to find, and when they are fixed up can sell for $600,000 to $700,000 – “with quite a few selling for $1 million” – the domino effect is in operation.

The response of some long-term residents who liked it sleepier, has been to move out of the big smoke they believe Castlemaine has become and on to the smaller, cheaper, satellite villages of the district. Here, they can buy a nice house for about $400,000 and either pocket the change or put it into their super.

“They’re escaping,” says Robertson. “Escaping the Melbourne-type prices and moving one town further out.”

This “Castlemaine effect” is bringing into focus the old gold rush towns of Maldon, Harcourt, Fryerstown and Guildford.

History-redolent Maldon, with its film-set red bricks, rusting galvanised iron and streetscapes of arching verandahs is, Waller says, 20 minutes from the transport links of Castlemaine.

“People now settling in Maldon are prepared to travel to Castlemaine to commute to Melbourne (90 minutes by train to Southern Cross Station),” he says.

If their children don’t attend schools in Maldon or Castlemaine, including a Steiner School option, the kids also become commuters, travelling on to reputable colleges in Kyneton, Bendigo or Maryborough.

On granite country and famous for its wines and apples, Harcourt hasn’t much of a commercial centre. But in all the residential breathing space, there are some tidy and affordable homes.

One that is more upmarket than most is a four-bedroom home in Reservoir Road that, on an acre, is looking for $598,000 through Wallers.

“Harcourt is popular because it’s handy to Melbourne, interesting to young families,” says Robertson, “and there’s quite a bit of subdivision talk going on.”

In pretty and scantily populated Fryerstown, 10 kilometres south-west of Castlemaine, Robertson has just sold another top priced “but beautiful church conversion for $675,000”.

At the other end of the price scale and consequently contested by a crowd of interested buyers is an interesting new house built using old materials that Brett Waller has also just sold for $235,000. (Yes, you read that right!) Sited at Newstead, a town midway between Castlemaine and Daylesford.

Also on the way to Daylesford is picturesque, if low-key, Guildford (population 333) where, among a handful of properties on the market, are an almost million dollar, four-bedroom brick house on 20 acres, and a converted train “with a pool and three bedrooms”, adds Robertson.

Speaking of trains, Brett Waller reckons that because Castlemaine and its satellite settlements are now considered viable for daily city commutes, the velocity of the region’s future development will hinge “on what happens next in public transport”.

That, and the domino effect of property jostling.

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Set to strike: Jets in talks with two South Americans for marquee spot

Patito Rodriguez
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NEWCASTLE Jets are in talks with Argentinian winger Patito Rodriguez but the one-time teammate of Neymar Junior may not be the South American who lands in the Hunter.

Reports emerged on Tuesday that the Jets were poised to sign Rodriguez from Greek club AEK.

Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna confirmed that Rodriguez was amonga“few players”they had identified but said a deal had not been struck.

“We have spoken to his agent along with others,” McKinna said.“That is the calibre of player we are looking at. It is getting very close. Hopefully in the next day or two it is finalised.You can’t just dive in when you are spending big dollars.”

The Newcastle Herald understands that negotiations are also advanced with an attacking midfielder fromVenezuela, who is based in Europe.

The decision is likely to come down to which player best suits the balance of the team.

Rodriguez spent four years on the books atBrazilian Serie A club Santos from 2012-16.He played alongside Neymar for two seasons before the Brazilian superstar’s transfer to Barcelona in 2013.

The 27-year-old Argentinestayed onbut played little first-team football after his first campaign with Santos, going on loan twice before joining AEK last season.

Visitando a un viejo amigo en Barcelona! Gracias por todo, @neymarjr 💪🏼 pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/X8I2Hmlzip

— Pato Rodríguez (@RodriguezPatoOk) April 16, 2017

Greek websiteSportotal.gr reported on Tuesday thatRodriguez was”very likely” to join the Jets after positive discussions between the clubs.

The Jets were close to finalising a deal with a Brazilian attacker a month ago before the player pulled out due to a family health problem.

Coach Ernie Merrick has since been prepared to bide his time in search of the right marquee.

Wayne BrownandDimi Petratos have played as attacking midfielders in the pre-season. Brown played the first 56 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sydney FC in the No.10 role before Petratos moved in from the right wing.

Petratos scored the opener against the Sky Blues and along with Roy O’Donovan and Andrew Nabbout have hit the back of the net regularly in the pre-season.

Merrick has also been happy with the progress of young guns Joe Champness, Mario Shabow and Kosta Petratos.

The diminutiveRodriguez, who stands at 172cm, is an attacking player who can operate centrally or on the left wing.He has made 25 appearances in the Greek Super League for AEK over the past two seasons and has a strong pedigree in South America.

Rodriguez began his career with top-flight Argentinian side Independiente, playing 87 times before shifting to Santos for the 2012 season.

If a deal is struck, Rodriguez wouldbethe third Argentine in the A-League in 2017/18, along with Melbourne City’s Fernando Brandan and Melbourne Victory’s Matias Sanchez.

The Jets play Wellington Phoenix at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday in their final hit-out against A-League opposition before the season kick-off on October 7.

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Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League grand finals at No.1 Sportsground

They’re back.
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Up to 10,000 people are expected at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday when rugby league grand finals return to the historic Newcastle venue for the first time since 2014.

Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League (NHRL), the region’s second division competition, will hold its flagship event at the “spiritual home” of the code’s deciders with11 clubs playing six games across more than ninehours.

BACK: Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League committee members Paul Arandale, Brad Morgan, Dave Wild, Chris Dawson and Steve Scott at No.1 Sportsground ahead of Saturday’s six grand finals. Picture: Josh Callinan

“The spiritual home of rugby league,” NHRL administrator Dave Wild said.

“It’s good to be back here and it’s the first time for this competition so we’re pretty excited.”

TheNHRL grand finals have usually meandered between grounds from season-to-season andthis year were originally set for Harker Oval, which recently became unavailable.

It left organisers with no field to play on but with Aussie rules now over and cricket yet to begin, No.1 Sportsground was booked through Newcastle City Council.

This means NHRLwill be the sole rugby league users at the venue in 2017 with Newcastle Rugby League in its third season at Broadmeadow-based McDonald Jones Stadium after a long-standing first grade grand final tradition closer to town.

Wild said there was a high level of excitement among the participating community.

BACK: Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League committee members Paul Arandale, Steve Scott, Dave Wild (centre), Brad Morgan and Chris Dawson at No.1 Sportsground ahead of Saturday’s six grand finals. Picture: Josh Callinan

“We’re genuinely hoping to get 8-to-10,000people here, which would be an awesome sight,” he said.

“Looking at old games, as I have since we got it, there’s a lot of history attached to the ground and to have a crowd like that for our level of footy would befantastic.”

Wild said there may be scope to make it a more regular arrangement for 2018 and beyond.

“We might even look at this on a more permanent basis in the future,” he said.

The move has been endorsed by Country Rugby League chairman John ‘Choc’ Anderson, who believes all rugby league grand finals should be played at No.1 Sportsground.

It tops off a record year for NHRL with 54 teams.

“Numerically, as far as I’m aware, it’s the highest ever for this competition,” Wild said.“In fact,I’m told it’s the biggest senior rugby league competition in the world.”

GRAND FINALS

A-Grade: Shortland v Fingal Bay (4pm)

B-Grade: Kotara v Dudley (2:20pm)

C-Grade: Waratah-Mayfield v Abermain (12:40pm)

D-Grade: Glendale v Cardiff (11am)

Ladies League Tag A: Aberglasslyn v University (9:50am)

Ladies League Tag B: West Wallsend v Cardiff (8:45am)

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Newcastle Cup 2017: Pacodali makes the trip as contenders fall away

NEWCASTLE-BOUND: The Darren Weir-trained Pacodali beating 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin to the line at Moonee Valley on August 26. Picture: AAP Image/Mal FaircloughTHE Darren Weir-trained Pacodali firmed as a serious contender for the Newcastle Cup (2300m) after news on Tuesday of several withdrawals ahead of acceptances on Wednesday.
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Weir racing manager Jeremy Rogers confirmed that Pacodali, a winner at four of his past five starts, would accept for Newcastle’s $175,000 group 3 staying featurebut a question mark remained over stablemate Master Zephyr.

Both were also nominated for the $120,000 JRA Trophy (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.

“We’re not 100 per cent sure about Master Zephyr but at this stage Pacodali will come up,” Rogers said.

“He’s going really well and it’s a nice race for him.”

Pacodali defeated 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin over 2040m at Moonee Valley last start on August 26and twice won over 2000m at Flemington in July.MasterZephyr was in the placings both times.

Five-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams nominated the Robert Hickmott-trainedKilimanjaro, Hans Holbein and Crocodile Rock for the Newcastle Cup but Sky Sports Radio reported late Tuesday that none would race at Broadmeadow because of concerns about a firm track. All three were also entered for the JRA Trophy.

Also on Tuesday, Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride informed Newcastle Jockey Club officials that Cup topweight Destiny’s Kiss, which was also nominated forthe Kingston Town Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, wouldnot be accepting for Friday’s race

Queensland trainer Brian Smith also told the NJC his nomination,MyDiamantine, would not be accepting.

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, after his first Newcastle Cup, said Singing may not run.Seventh when injuring his hoofas favourite in 2016 edition, Singing was among four Lees nominations.

“There’s a few little issues with his feet, which is typical of the horse, so we might have to keep his runs spaced,” Lees said.

Admiral Jello,Doukhan and Wahng Wah will carry Lees’ hopes.

Doukhan could have Hugh Bowman aboard after thechampion jockeylost his ride with the withdrawal of Destiny’s Kiss.Newcastle trainer Paul Perry’s The Getaway isthe other local Cup chance.

AAP: Star Irish stayer Order Of St George has been given top weight for the Melbourne Cup for the second-straight year and the handicapper says he will be bitterly disappointed if the horse doesn’t take up the challenge this time.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Order Of St George has 58kg for the 3200m race at Flemington on November 7, half a kilo more than last year’s third placegetter Hartnell.

Godolphin’s Hartnell is the 58kg topweight for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) with Order Of St George only entered for Flemington.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Almandin has 56.5kg in both Cups, a rise of 4.5kg on his 2016 winning weight.

Two days after Order Of St George won the Irish St Leger by nine lengths, Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter was comfortable with 58kg.

He said despite the big-margin win at the Curragh, Order Of St George would have only run to the same rating, or slightly less, as in this year’s Ascot Gold Cup when runner-up to Big Orange.

“The challenge is always that the general public will look at a race where he wins by nine lengths and have an automatic reaction that he should be much higher in the weights,” Carpenter said.

“But Makybe Diva is the only horse with 58 kilograms that’s been able to win in the last 40 years and we’ve seen Vinnie Roe and Yeats and Septimus travel to with that sort of weight and not be able to win.”

The last original Melbourne Cup topweight to win was Comic Court in 1950. Order Of St George bypassed the 2016 Cup to instead run in the Arc in France, finishing third. That race is again an option.

“He’s been nominated the last three years and I will be bitterly disappointed if he doesn’t travel to this year,” Carpenter said.

“The reason I’m so keen to see Order Of St George travel to is for the last three years he’s been one of the powerhouses of European staying.

“I think that we would see a world class stayer if he came here. Aidan O’Brien has had eight runners in the Melbourne Cup now. His best finish was Mahler who ran third.”

Carpenter said it was a straightforward decision to give Hartnell top weight in the Caulfield Cup but decided his 3200m-form warranted a reduction in the Melbourne Cup given he has not won in three attempts at the distance in .

Almandin will try to become the sixth multiple winner of the Melbourne Cup. Japanese horse Admire Deus, who will join the Darren Weir stable, has 56kg in the Cups, the same as n Cup winner Humidor.

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Matildas v Brazil: Emily Van Egmond keen to turn success into more home internationals

FOCUSED: Matildas midfielder Emily Van Egmond at training with the national squad in Parramatta on Tuesday. Picture: Ben Coonan/FFANEWCASTLE midfielder Emily Van Egmond says the pressure is on the Matildas to meet new expectations when they take on Brazil in a two-game series on home soil.
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And the 24-year-old hopes success across the matches at Pepper Stadium in Penrith on Saturday and McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday night will lead to the national women’s squad having more chances to shine in .

Van Egmond, who plays forVfL Wolfsburg in the women’s German Bundesliga, joined the Matildas camp in Parramatta on Monday ahead of the Brazil series. Newcastle Jets Gema Simon and Chloe Logarzo were also joining the squad this weekfrom their overseas clubs.

The Matildas are back together for the first time since their breakthrough Tournament of Nations win in August in America. There they beat the USfor the first time before thumpingBrazil 6-1 in their decisive final match.

The success has carried on with Sam Kerr’s goalscoring heroics in the US, Monday’sground-breaking W-League collective bargaining agreement and Tuesday’s news the Matildas were finalists for The Don Award for great n sporting feats of2017.

Van Egmond hoped the Matlidas could convert the excitement around the team into support for more major matches in , including the 2023 World Cup.

“With success comes pressure and it’s just something we have to deal with, but the girls are just super buzzed to have home games,” Van Egmond said on Tuesday.“If we can build on that, get some success in these two games against Brazil, who knows, hopefully there’s more home games in the future.”

The former Jets skipper and W-League player of the year said it was nice to have higher expectations on the side after their tournamentwin but she was wary of Brazil bouncing back.

“We should be full of confidence, but at the same time, Brazil are a quality team and they’ve got a bunch of individuals who can turn it on at any moment,” she said.

“They are Brazilian in their mentality and I don’t think that they are going to like that we beat them 6-1, so I’m sure they are going to come out with a point to prove.

“Given that, I think it’s going to be a good challenge for us.We’re playing at home for the first time in a while, in front of a sell-out crowd at Penrith and I believe Newcastle have got a decent amount of tickets sold.

“Women’s football in is exciting at the moment.The W-League CBA just got announced and it’s awesome to see those conditions are a lot better.

“I think things are definitely looking up so now it’s up to us as a country and as a national team to uphold that expectation.”

Van Egmond has played at home at McDonald Jones Stadium only a handful of times and said it was special to get the opportunity with the national team.

“To be able to play in your home town in front of all your friends and family is not something everyone gets to experience so I’m super excited for that,” she said.

“But I’m more just super buzzed for the games in general, to come home and play for your country. I can’t remember the last time we had a home game, it’s been a while.

“It’s also good for the the fans to come out and see us in such big games against a footballing country like Brazil.”

As for a return to the Jets, Van Egmond, who is contracted at Wolfsburg until 2019, said: “I’m not too sure what the future holds, but I’m with Wolfsburg and I’m enjoying my time there.”

She paid tribute to former Matildas teammate and Jet Katie Gill for her work in delivering the new deal for n female footballers.

“We’re very fortunate to have a players’ association in the PFA who do such a great job in steering us in the right direction,” she said.

“Someone like Katie Gill is spearheading that, which is awesome. She’s an ex-player, she’s been through it all herself and she’s done nothing but great things to push the game forward.”

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Disgruntled townsfolk walk in and out of polling booth without voting

Only a third of Tingha’s population turned out to vote in the local government elections.It’s a small hamlet in northern New South Wales that has produced some of the state’s best rugby league players, but now it has a new moniker – the town that didn’t vote.
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At least half of Tingha’s eligible voters snubbed the local government elections last Saturday – and those who did vote, nearly a third, made a mockery of their ballot papers, voting informal.

And in some ways, you can’t blame them.

Earlier this year, Tingha residents were told they would be moved from the old Guyra Shire to Inverell Shire (who wanted them with open arms). When Guyra was consumed by the new Armidale Regional Council, it included Tingha, in the far west of the shire.

The move for Tingha to Inverell (who held their council elections last year), was set in stone and backed by Northern Tablelands MP AdamMarshall.

But just three months out from the election, officials from the newly merged Armidale Regional Council came to Tingha and told the citizens that their council boundarycould not be changed six months either side of a council election.

So when it came to Saturday’s local government election, most of the town either didn’t know they had to vote, while at least half of those that did, chose not to. There wasn’t even a Tingha council representative standing at the poll.

Tingha’s Audrey McArdle was Tingha’s Guyra shire councillor for 17 years, but when she was sacked after the merger between Guyra and Armidale, she took it personally and decided not to stand again. Anyway – she wasn’t sure which council she was supposed to be in !

She doesn’t blame a huge rump of Tingha’s population for not voting.

“People are very upset, so they saw it as a protest – ‘we’re not voting, we don’t care’. I know it’s a terrible way for democracy to be, but that’s the way it is,” Mrs McArdle said.

Latest NSW Electoral Commission figures record 358 formal votes with 102 informal votes in Tingha last Saturday. A vast majority of those formal votes were for the Guyra’s rural candidate Simon Murray, supported by farmers in the area. Also Armidale’s Margaret O’Connor received 115 votes.In 2012, council electionsin Ward A based at Tingha, there were 800 formal votes and just 17 informalvotes recorded with a massive 81 per cent voter turnout. There were about 1000 eligible voters in the ward.

Tingha Citizens Association’s Colleen Graham –the Northern Tablelands’ Citizen of the Year –said she witnessed people walking into the polling booth last Saturday, having their names marked off –and walking straight out again.

Mrs Graham said the blame for the electoral mess could not be sheeted home to anyone.

The Armidale administrator Ian Tiley didn’t know about the six-month exclusion rule, AdamMarshall didn’t know about the exclusion rule and NSW Local Government minister Gabrielle Upton could not sign off on the boundary change because of the exclusion rule.

Mrs Graham said she had been told by Inverell mayor Paul Harmon that the change to Tingha’s status would still go ahead –and had been signed off by both Armidale and Inverell. But on Saturday voters were showing they were unhappy at the whole process.

“There was anger, frustration. People were asking me ‘why are we here?’, ‘this is a waste of time’, and well, I agreed with them,” Mrs Graham said. “But we are a town of great resilience and I’m sure the boundary change will go ahead.”

Tingha, whichhas a high aboriginal population, has produced some of the state’s best footballers including Nathan Blacklock, Preston Campbell, Owen Craigie and Peter Ellis.

Tingha is famous for hitting icy temperatures in winterand its amazing rock features, often likened to animals. So it would seem in the 2017 councils elections, the disappointed citizens of Tingha were caught between their rocks and the hard place of election rules.

The Land

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Emergency laws to ban vilification, intimidation and threats in same-sex marriage campaign

ns who feel vilified, intimidated or threatened by another person’s conduct during the same-sex marriage campaign will have legal recourse under emergency laws being rushed through Parliament this week.
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Civil penalties of up to $12,600 will apply, but any legal action for an alleged breach of the new law will have to be approved by Attorney-General George Brandis.

The special protections will end at the conclusion of the same-sex marriage postal survey in November.

Attorney-General George Brandis will have the power to block legal action or appeal an injunction. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Civil penalties can be imposed by a court, but no criminal penalties – such as fines or jail time – will apply.

“It will be unlawful to vilify, intimidate or threaten to harm a person either because of views they hold on the survey or in relation to their religious conviction, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status,” a government spokesman said.

“That will be a sunset provision, it will only last for the period of the postal plebiscite.”

The protections are similar to those already enacted in various state jurisdictions around but do not currently exist at a Commonwealth level.

The laws, to be rushed through both chambers of Parliament by Thursday night, will apply to “conduct” during the campaign, which could include advertising, leaflet materials or behaviour.

Judges will have the power to injunct any materials subject to an alleged breach, but Senator Brandis will also have the power to appeal that injunction.

Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann told the Coalition party room Senator Brandis would no doubt approach the issue of “with a bias toward freedom of speech”.

The Turnbull government has been negotiating the bill, first revealed by Fairfax Media, with shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus, and Labor is expected to back the measures.

The bill will also import a number of safeguards from the Commonwealth Electoral Act, such as a requirement that campaign materials bear an authorisation, and apply them to the postal survey campaign.

The usual safeguards do not automatically apply because the survey is being conducted under the auspices of the Census and Statistics Act, through the n Bureau of Statistics, rather than the Electoral Commission.

Tuesday’s Coalition party room meeting green-lighted the new laws as former prime minister Tony Abbott penned an opinion piece for Fairfax Media advocating the “no” vote.

Mr Abbott argued it had been years “since gay people have been discriminated against, and just about everyone old enough to remember that time is invariably embarrassed at the intolerance that was once common”.

However, the former PM went on to say same-sex couples in settled domestic relationships “have exactly the same rights as people who are married”.

“To demand ‘marriage equality’, therefore, is quite misleading. Same-sex couples already have that,” Mr Abbott wrote. “This debate is about changing marriage, not extending it. And if you change marriage, you change society; because marriage is the basis of family; and family is the foundation of community.”

The former prime minister also charged supporters of the legal change for being primarily responsible for bullying and hate speech in public debate, rather than same-sex marriage opponents.

“It’s striking how little love the supporters of same-sex marriage are showing for anyone who disagrees with them,” he argued.

Big businesses, from sandwich giant Subway to the ride sharing service Uber, also copped a serve for “virtue signalling” on the issue.

Mr Abbott concluded by urging a “no” vote to show that “political correctness has got completely out of hand”.

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Sally McManus sounds the alarm about government’s union-busting laws

Sally McManus , Secretary of the ACTU. Photo Nick Moir 30 March 2017A new tranche of industrial relations laws planned by the Turnbull government are an “attack on democracy”, according to ACTU chief Sally McManus, who says fighting them will be the next major front in the organisation’s fight against the federal government.
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The proposed laws amend the Registered Organisations Act and do three things: create a public-interest test that could make it harder for unions to merge, as the construction and maritime unions are currently attempting to do; toughen the rules that allow union officials to be disqualified; and harden up the rules that allow a union to be deregistered.

The government argues the proposed laws, which were introduced into Parliament on August 16 and are now being examined by a Senate committee, protect workers’ interests by ensuring unions comply with their legal requirements.

It says its laws simply expand the grounds a court can consider in deregistering a union, to include repeated law-breaking, serious criminal offences and corrupt conduct by union officials.

But Ms McManus said those three specific measures were “three huge problems” for the union movement, as they would allow employer and business groups – and the minister – to interfere with the operation of unions.

The draft laws state that an application for deregistration of a union can be made to the Federal Court for corrupt or unlawful conduct by a Fair Work Commissioner, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, or “a person with a sufficient interest”.

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‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’ by Nah Mate releases new video, plan more rugby league-themed songs

LEGEND: Sam Cupitt and Joshua Ballico from the band Nah Mate.HE gave us ‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’,and for that we are eternally grateful.
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ButNewcastle folk/alternative musicianJoshua Ballico,who performs under the name Bofolk Ballico, wasn’t done.

He’s put together a band, Nah Mate, whose first release, a full recording of the unofficial Newcastle anthem complete with a new video dropped last week, and the group plan on releasing more original rugby league-themed songs.

As well as Ballico, Nah Mate consists ofSam Cupitt (vocals), Ryan Cox (harmonica and electric guitar), Dhare Labbe (bass) and Andrew Greentree (drums). But for ‘The Ballad of Joey Johns’ they were also assisted by Shaun Danger on electric guitar and Spencer Scott on bass.

We wanted to know what other songs the band might cover, and suggested maybe a Cliffy Lyons themed tune that centered on his penchant for rolled cigarettes and inch-perfect inside balls.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say that we discuss Newcastle rivals in one of our songs,”Ballico said.

“We also flashback to the 2002 Origin series and discuss one of our favourite commentators. “The attention received by the original video was enough to make me think there was an audience out there for these songs. “A niche. “But after recording the original I practiced the song with my band. “It went really well live and sounded great with a full band. “That’s really what motivated me to make this recording and video. “Sam Cupitt had endless lyric ideas that were all worth pursuing.

“The songs will not exclusively be about Newcastle players, but will all be sung from a Novocastrian perspective.”

GREAT: Joshua Ballico recreates that iconic Joey Johns image.

MONKEY LAWSUIT SETTLES SAY CHEESE: The monkey selfie. Copyright Naruto, er, David Slater.

IF you’ve done a communication degree, a media law course or shown any interest in copyright then, chances are, you’d be familiar with the monkey that took a selfie.

In 2008, British nature photographer David Slater traveled toIndonesiato take photographs of the critically endangeredCelebes crested macaques.

But the case, which is now referred to as Naruto et al vDavid Slater, didn’t gain wider public attention until the photographs werepublished as monkey self-portraits by a news agency in 2011.And we’d hoped that a recent US lawsuit over who owns the copyright to the selfie photographs snapped by Naruto would finally, once and for all, answer the novel legal question.

But, alas, the thing about courts, particularly in the US, is if they can settle a case without proceeding to trial, they will.

Under the deal, Mr Slateragreed to donate 25 per cent of any future revenue to charities dedicated to protecting crested macaques, lawyers for an animal-rights group said last week.They said they would seek to dismiss the case pending before the San Francisco- based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued on behalf of the macaque monkey in 2015, seeking financial control of the photographs for the benefit of Naruto. Lawyers for Mr Slaterargued that his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., owns worldwide commercial rights to the photos, including a now-famous selfie of the monkey’s toothy grin.

Slater argued that he engineered the photographs in 2011 by travelling to an Indonesian jungle, spending three days with a troupe of monkeys to gain their trust and deliberately making his camera accessible to the animals to take photographs.

A lower court ruled in the photographer’s favour, saying that animals could not hold copyrights. The 9th Circuit was considering PETA’s appeal. The lawyers notified the appeals court on August 4 that they were nearing a settlement and asked the 9th Circuit not to rule.

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Tomago Aluminium is preparing for more power shutdowns this summer

Smelter’s $100m decision Concerns: Tomago Aluminium chief executive Matt Howell is the man who has to make the “$100 million decision” when the company is asked to shut down parts of the smelter during extreme conditions. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.
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Past: A 1984 photograph of the potroom at Tomago Aluminium showing a worker about to tap molten aluminium.

History: A 1992 photograph showing the huge potline at Tomago Aluminium.

Future: Liddell power station outside Muswellbrook which has become the catalyst for an energy “debate” in .

Talks: AGL chief executive Andy Vesey arrives in Canberra on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Discussions: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks to the media last week about Liddell power station.

TweetFacebookIf a potline is shut down for longer than an hour it can quickly turn to custard, literally.

Tomago Aluminium chief executive Matt Howell

After 75 minutes without power an aluminium smelter’s potlines startto “freeze”. After three hours without power they aredamaged beyond repair. The replacement bill is $100 million per potline, and the risk of shutting even one down is a “$100 million decision”.

’s energy “crisis” –brought to a head by the sudden closure of ageing coal-fired power stations and a decade of energy policy inertia –is an existential threat to the state’s biggest power user, with February’s shutdown a warning of what could lie ahead.

“Of course we’re concerned,” Mr Howell said.

If Tomago Aluminium has an “uncontrolled potline freeze” of its three units caused by energy unreliability this summer,“In an environment of low prices you’d walk away. You’d take the insurance money and walk away,” Mr Howell said.

He argues strongly for coal and gas power into the future, despite AGL’s public statement that it is moving away from coal, and an AEMO report last week backing the need for an upgraded national energy market design because the existing market “is unlikely to incentivise the development of new flexible dispatchable resources (energy on demand) at the level required”.

Mr Howell acknowledged “the need and desirability of renewables”, but after February’s shock, and an earlier shock in January, 2016 when AGL requested a potline to be shut for 40 minutes,he prioritises reliability in the short term to keep the smelter operating.

In the January, 2016 incident there were four failed attempts to re-start the potline. The 40-minute shutdown stretched to two hours and 35 minutes offline, with 11 frozen cells within the potline.

If Tomago Aluminium had ignored AGL’s request for a potline shutdown in February, the company would have been forced to pay the wholesale price applying at the time,at the cap of $14,000 per megawatt hour because of the extreme conditions, with a final bill of $5.25 million for 75 minutes of energy.

If it had ignored AEMO’s request to remove another 300 megawatts of demand from the grid that day there would have been a probable state-wide blackout, with the likelihood of irreversible damage to three potlines, Mr Howell said.

“Our concern is about the reliability of the national energy market. The closure of Liddell in 2022 has just brought the issue into focus. We have a long-term contract with AGL until 2028. We’re obligated to buy and they’re obligated to supply. It’s the reliability of supply and how that affects us that is the issue,” he said.

“We can’t afford to be exposed to the wholesale power price when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. I get asked why I don’t support batteries but it’s a nonsense and it needs to be called out for what it is. The batteries exist, but you can’t afford the costs.”

Mr Howell is critical of AGL, and said interruptions initiated by AGL were “longer and they’re more frequent”.

He strongly supports proposed changes to bidding intervals in the national energy market after clear evidence of late “rebidding” by generators leading to significantly higher prices achieved for power.

“The current system is a bit like playing a hand of poker where the dealer knows the cards to come in advance,” Mr Howell said.

Grattan Institute energy fellow David Blowers described events in February as a “massive warning shot across the bow for everyone in the energy system”, prompting “every point in the market pulling together to make sure they have appropriate responses”.

AEMO’s responses had included finding other high energy users that could potentially shut down in extreme conditions so that Tomago Aluminium is not put at risk, Mr Blowers said. AEMO had also increased emergency capability.

“We’ve got a lot more tools in the toolbox to be able to deal with it, but things can happen. It’s understandable that people are nervous,” he said.

n National University Energy Change Institute director, Professor Ken Baldwin said was “only now realising the implications of a decade of energy policy paralysis by governments, and we’re being forced to address this on a very short time frame”.

“Dysfunctionality” could only be addressed by energy policy certainty, he said.

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Party with Jerry Schwartz at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Party in style with Hunter hotel mogul | PHOTOS Glitzy: Jerry Schwartz built the new five-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. A special, pre-opening launch will raise money for the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).
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Jerry Schwartz and his son Dane lay concrete during the hotel’s construction.

Jerry Schwartz at his Vaucluse home in 2013.

Jerry Schwartz at a former monorail station at World Square, which is now an office space, in 2016.

TweetFacebook The five-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. If you like to party and have fun, you best keep reading.

Check out this picture–it’s thefirst five-star luxury hotel to be built in Sydney since the Olympics.

It was built by Hunter hotel mogul Jerry Schwartz, who is planning a big party to mark the occasion.

Jerry’s known for owningCrowne Plaza hotels in Newcastle and Hunter Valley, along with theNovotelon Newcastle Beach.

He’s also known for being a doctor, cosmetic surgeon and philanthropist.He’s a big supporter of the world-renowned Hunter Medical Research Institute, affectionatelyknown by its catchy acronymHMRI.

Which brings us to the party. Jerryhasgivenaway all 28 floors of the hotel to 28 charities for a special, pre-opening launch of hisnew hotel at Darling Harbour on October 3. HMRI was given one of these floors.

Those who join the party willbe among the first people to stay at the new five-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

HMRI hasnine rooms left, which it is offering for $1000 each. Every cent will go to HMRI.

This “golden ticket” type eveningwill buy you anooncheck-in, an 11am checkout,breakfast, entry to an exclusive cocktail party in the hotel ballroom and use ofthe hotel’s swish facilities.

If you take up this offer, you’ll be the first people to sleep in one of the hotel rooms, the first tojump on the bed and the first to… ahh, how do we say this politely… ermm… christen the bed.

HMRI’s Rebekah Wilson said “it’ll be great fun” and aspecial experience at the upmarket hotel.

“It’s a chance to get dressed up and attend a proper cocktail event,” Rebekah said.

“It’s the day after a long weekend and school holidays. That’s a good night for people to go down there.”

JerryconsidersNewcastlehis second home,since heworked there as an ophthalmology registrar at Royal Newcastle Hospital.

“HMRIis expanding strongly, which will help build Newcastle’s reputation as one of the most progressive medical research and technology hubs in ,” Jerry said.

Jerry Schwartz and his son Dane lay concrete during the hotel’s construction.

“The funds they raise through the Sofitel Darling Harbour charity launch will help fuel that expansion.”

The Sofitel launch isimportant to him.

“It’s the first new-build hotel I’ve been involved with and it will play an important role in Sydney’s future tourism development,” he said.

“I’m expecting all of my friends in the Hunter to get behind HMRI’s fundraising efforts for the charity launch, but also to call the Sofitel their Sydney home away from home.”

Jerry said he’ll personally welcome to the Sofitel those who take up the HMRI offer and also “join in the partying with them”.

“We’ve produced some fantastic brews out at the Lovedale Brewery this year, so I’ll see if we can bring in a few cases to give the party a distinct Hunter Valley flavour.”

To secure a room, [email protected]成都模特佳丽招聘.au or phone(02) 4042 1000.

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