Pet taxi driver has the pawfect job

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Louie and Molly experience the pet taxi for the first time. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Ms Case said working as a pet taxi driver was rewarding but not for the weak of stomach; there is always plenty of fur, dirt, slobber, poo and occasional vomit to deal with.But no amount of gross stuff would put Ms Case off.”I really love it.”I’ve met a lot of people, great people, wonderful dogs, cats and rabbits and I’ve even looked after sheep.”And they’re all animal lovers and that’s what I like, to meet people like that.” (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Dealing with stressed animals was an occupational hazard for pet taxi drivers, and knowing how to keep calm and reassure both the animal and their owners was an important skill, Ms Case said.Reassuring animals is something that comes naturally to her and is something she has to do most days with her own pets when she comes home covered in the smells of other animals.”I put a lot of attention on to them when I come home.”But sometimes they do just look at me and walk away because they know I’ve been with other animals.”

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Ramesses is a ragdoll cat Catherine Case is looking after while his owners are interstate. Covered in fur, scooping up poo and never happier. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Ms Case’s job changes from day to day depending on what clients she has and what their needs are.This week she started out by picking up Aaron, a service dog, to take him to his job at an aged care home.”He’s a very good helper … (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
The older of the two dogs, Louie, had a hydrotherapy appointment while his owners were at work; Molly just needed a walk.It was the first time Ms Case had met the dogs and Molly showed signs of being a rather anxious, nervous dog.”It’s a thing that a lot of people don’t know how to deal with [anxious dogs],” Ms Case said.”If you ever see a dog that’s scared, the best thing is to not make eye contact, lick your lips and yawn.”It’s amazing how much the dog will calm down.”

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Louie has regular hydrotherapy to help keep him moving in his old age. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
After dropping Aaron off, Ms Case drove across town to meet some new clients — a pair of golden retrievers.”I actually do this just to keep me out and active,” she said.”I’ve been at Perth, Garden Island, Ridgeway, all sorts of places.”I’ve seen places I never even knew existed in Hobart.”Her new clients, Molly and Louie, had to be driven to the Montrose vet centre. he’s very well loved,” she said. Photo:
Aaron spends the whole day hanging out with the residents at an aged care home in Hobart. Working as a pet taxi driver provides plenty of challenges but plenty of cute, adorable clients to cuddle too.Most regular taxis refuse to transport animals, so pet taxi services help fill the void; they move animals wherever their owners need them to go, for a fee.Catherine Case has been working as a pet taxi driver since April last year but has always been an animal lover.”I grew up with pets all my life as a child,” she said.”You name it, we had it.”

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Catherine Case loves all the animals she meets driving the pet taxi.
(ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus) ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

March 24, 2017 12:15:11

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Catherine Case starts her day taking Aaron the service dog to his day job at an aged care home.

Record run has rising track star dreaming big

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(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) ABC Radio Canberra

By

Hannah Walmsley

Updated

March 24, 2017 13:12:39

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Keely Small trains at the AIS as part of an elite middle distance running squad.
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Keely Small 800m race
A couple of weeks on from the event, Small is now allowing herself to set some bigger goals.”The main goal for this year was to represent Australia at the under 18 Commonwealth Youth Championships in the Bahamas.”Now that I’ve run 2:01, there’s more possibilities on the agenda.”Representing Australia in the green and gold at a Commonwealth or Olympic Games would be the ultimate and I know that’s a possibility now.”Training with elite menSmall started running at the age of nine after she was talent-spotted at a fun run by local junior coach Paul Torley.”I was a swimmer from when I was really young, but then when I met Paul he encouraged me to come along to training and I’ve loved athletics ever since,” she said.Now coached by AIS senior physiologist Philo Saunders, Small is training as part of an elite group of middle distance athletes.She is the only female in her squad which includes Paralympic bronze medallist and T46 1,500m and 5,000m world record holder Michael Roeger.”Trying to hang on to the back of the boys at training has really helped my confidence which has paid off in competition,” Small said.”I’ve always preferred to run with the guys and it really makes me work hard.”My goal has always just been to keep up with the guys at training.”And now I’ve started passing a few of them,” she added, smiling. External Link:

Keely Small statistics tweet
Small clocks around 60 to 70 kilometres each week which she manages to fit in around school hours at St Clare’s College.”I want to do well at school as well, so I just need to work hard to get the balance right.”A quiet achieverDr Saunders said Small had just the right combination of strong determination and good physiology.”Keely is so good to coach because she’s a quiet achiever — she always turns up and trains hard, never complains, is always appreciative and just gives it her best,” he said. Canberra high school student Keely Small is dreaming of wearing green and gold.And it is a dream well within reach after the 15-year-old set a new Australian junior record over 800 metres in Canberra earlier this month.Running the blistering time of 2:01.46, Small became the world’s fastest ranked female aged under 18 over 800 metres.She lined up on the start line of the Athletics Australia Grand Prix in Canberra hoping to run the Commonwealth Youth Games qualifier of 2:08.20.The year 10 student ran past athletes 10 years older than her to clock a world-class time, less than half a second short of the qualifying mark for the senior IAFF World Championships. “Being part of this fast group has really just harnessed her speed.”Her speed is so good that she’s not far behind the guys when we do shorter reps of 200 metres or 300 metres.”Within the squad that speed can almost go unnoticed because she’s training with elite males.”When you stop and look at the times she’s running, it’s pretty unbelievable.”While the 800-metre event is where Small is shining, Dr Saunders said she had the potential to perform equally well over 1,500 metres.”She’s run 4.18 for the 1,500 metres at 15 which is also pretty exceptional,” he said.”If she keeps progressing the way she is, she’s going to be in line to run at the Commonwealth Games next year or have that as a realistic goal.”Small will compete in the under 18 800m at the Australian Athletics Championships as well as the open 800m race.Winning the junior race would give Small automatic selection for Commonwealth Youth Games in July.The Australian Athletics Championships begins on March 26 at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre, with more than 3,500 track and field athletes set to compete.

Primary school ‘power rangers’ lead the way in sustainability

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(ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers) ABC Radio Canberra

By

Penny Travers

Posted

March 23, 2017 11:06:48

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Year three student Toni Kuss demonstrates how to use the recycling stations that are in each classroom.
Each lunch break at Maribyrnong Primary School in Canberra, students donning capes and masks give up their play time to help save the environment.These “power rangers” investigate each classroom to see if any lights, monitors or electronic whiteboards have been left on. “Again, incredible improvements; I go around now and I’m lucky to find any cling wrap in a class.”

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Year four students Kaleb Baldry and Riley Gray check out the school’s compost bin. “It’s been incredibly successful,” specialist science teacher Leslie Carr said. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
The school has more than 430 students and all of them, from preschool to year six, are involved in the sustainability initiatives.”It’s everyone’s business, and more than just the school, it’s the community as well; it’s bringing people along and getting everyone involved,” Ms Howard said.”Science affects every part of our lifestyle [and] in relation to the environment, it’s absolutely crucial that we work on sustainability practices with our students so they do long-term look after our planet and are able to nurture future generations to do so.” (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
Saving on power billsRainwater is collected and used for flushing toilets and the school also has solar panels.And all the energy-saving measures are paying dividends.”Simple things like replacing the lighting with LED lighting long-term has quite an impact on our energy consumption and in turn then allows us to allocate funding to other things other than bills like learning programs,” principal Jennifer Howard said. “It really gives the kids ownership of our energy consumption at the school.”It’s making them aware that every little action that we do has an effect on our environment, and it’s their environment, they’re growing up in it, and they’ve got to teach the grown-ups how to look after it too.”Waste-free WednesdaysAs well as leading the way in power-saving measures, the school also has a worm farm, compost bin, vegetable garden, bee hotel, bird boxes and recycling bin stations.”We have a waste-free Wednesday program where we say no waste from your lunches, so no cling wrap, try not to have any chip packets, that sort of stuff,” Ms Carr said. “We go around and if their lights and computer monitors are on we give them a sticker that’s called an energy mite, and we give them rainbows if the lights and monitors are off,” year four student Aiden Barinton said.”At the end of each month, the class with the most rainbows gets an award.”

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Year three students Lucy Thorpe and Willow Florian dressed as “power rangers” as they turn off monitors and lights. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
The program is one of the many initiatives the school started to achieve its five-star energy accreditation from Actsmart Schools. Photo:
The school’s “power rangers” give up some of their play time to check lights and monitors are switched off.

Burnie man’s cloud dreams come true

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(Supplied: Gary McArthur) ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Updated

March 23, 2017 12:21:26

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Gary McArthur has a passion for all things skyward.
The world's newest cloud is from Burnie

(Your Afternoon)
Did you know meteorologists still hand draw weather maps?
(Supplied: Gary McArthur) The other entrants were just as good as far as I’m concerned.”I think they picked mine because it had no enhancement. Some of the other photos had a bit too much enhancement and looked a bit too unreal.”

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Gary McArthur photographs transient clouds from a plane. Mr McArthur said he was “chuffed” to have his photograph picked as the best example of the asperitas cloud.”I was just lucky.

(Supplied: Gary McArthur)
For the cloud now known as asperitas, the editor’s pick was one taken by Mr McArthur at Burnie in northern Tasmania.”I was on my way to work and I thought, ‘well that’s most unusual’,” he told Helen Shield on ABC Radio Hobart.”Luckily I had my really good camera with me at the time and took heaps of photos; I remember on the day people were just stopped on the street, it was so fantastic.”
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Clouds in the sky over Burnie filmed by Gary McArthur
Mr McArthur said he was fascinated with the weather growing up and had always wanted to become a meteorologist but never had the opportunity.Instead he turned his gaze downward and became a geologist, working in and around the mining industry.But his interest in clouds and the weather continued alongside his geology career.”Living in Tasmania, we’ve always got clouds. Photo:
Gary McArthur’s photo of asperitas cloud over Burnie has been chosen as the best example of the cloud. It’s a cloud spotter’s delight.”I lived in western Queensland for many years … Gary McArthur’s head has always been in the clouds.Now his passion for all things skyward has been recognised by the World Meteorological Organisation.To mark World Meteorological Day, a new edition of the International Cloud Atlas has been launched; it is the definitive guide to clouds used by meteorologists and cloud enthusiasts around the globe.This edition has 11 newly classified clouds in it, each with a photo deemed to be the best example of that type of cloud to help people identify them. it was just deadly boring up there; six months and you didn’t see a cloud.”There’s nothing worse than a boring, cloudless sky.”
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Victory for Cloud Appreciation Society as asperitas formally classified
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New centre provides day care for sick children in Canberra

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ABC Radio Canberra

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Louise Maher

Posted

March 23, 2017 15:05:15

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Mia with her mum Liz Walker (right) and educator Dannie Condon. (ABC Radio Canberra: Louise Maher)
(ABC Radio Canberra: Louise Maher)
Ms Clever said the centre would give parents like her “a couple of hours to themselves to do things that they cannot do”.”It’s really hard to have a shower when you’ve got a sick baby that you can’t leave alone,” she said.Kimberly Lane’s one-year-old son Jack was born with a serious heart defect and spent the first seven months of his life in a hospital, mainly in intensive care.Ms Lane said she wanted him to have the same opportunities his big brother enjoyed through mainstream child care.”Jack … just wants to jump down and play with all the kids and I hate that he can’t do that,” she said. Mia is 18 months old and likes eating cake and playing with toys.But serious illness has prevented her from mixing with other children in a mainstream childcare centre.”Every time we’ve approached one we’ve been told they can’t accommodate her or they just flat out don’t reply,” her mum, Liz Walker, said.”So this place is awesome.”The Stella Bella Children’s Centre is the first in Canberra to provide places for seriously ill children aged five and under.It was the long-term dream of Suzanne Tunks, who started the Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation in memory of her baby daughter Stella who died in 2010 from a rare heart condition. turning this into a real community centre.”Flexibility for familiesMs Tunks said there would also be flexibility for families and financial help if required.”All of the kids in the special care unit will be here in a means-tested capacity.”So if they can’t afford to be paying the gap, we will be paying that for them.”I think we’re going to have a lot of part-time and occasional care in the special care unit because these babies spend a lot of time in and out of hospital.”Much-needed time out for parentsCasey Clever’s 10-month-old daughter Arcadia suffers from a genetic disorder and has to be fed through a tube. Photo:
Casey Clever (left) with her daughter Arcadia and paediatric nurse Gemma Sweaney. Photo:
Suzanne Tunks and the galah mural that decorates the centre’s special unit for sick children. (ABC Radio Canberra: Louise Maher)
The new centre, made possible through corporate fundraising and volunteer support, is housed in a former daycare building in Fyshwick.One section will accommodate up to 30 children in mainstream care.Their fees will help fund up to 15 children in the Galahs unit, named after baby Stella’s totem animal.”We don’t want the children to feel like they’re in a special care unit,” Ms Tunks said.”When they’re here they’re just everyday children and we just subtly have all these other special things in place to take extra good care of them.”We’ll all be involved in the gardening and the chickens and the playground equipment … Photo:
The centre’s fairy garden was created by Suzanne Tunks’ family. (ABC Radio Canberra: Louise Maher)
Ms Tunks’ foundation already runs the Little Stars Beads program which rewards the courage of sick children with a lasting memento of their medical journey.But the centre is her biggest achievement to date.”I’m not just someone thinking I know what works well with these families — I lived it.”I love the idea of coming to work every day here, doing the work of our foundation, supporting all of these families outside as well.”Doing that in an environment full of beautiful little children being happy and enjoying all the things we’ve put in place for them, it’s like a dream come true for me.”

A woman’s fight against racism since fleeing South Sudan

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I have two brothers here and a sister,” Ms Manasseh said.”My other brother and sister are back home in Africa and I never see them.”Ms Manasseh arrived in Hobart in 2005, but at times her heart is still in South Sudan.”I’m having a good life here, I’m safe. External Link:

Tweet of photo of Living In Between workshop
The idea was born after Ms Manasseh’s English-as-a-second-language teacher, Gini Ennals, encouraged her to write down her story and give a presentation to classmates about her experiences.”When I start off I’m talking about my homeland and starting to remember the bad things that have happened, or I’ve seen, or gone through,” she said of her presentation.”Then as I move on to the different stages of my story I feel the relief coming into my heart.”Ms Manasseh has told her story over and over again in the past nine years, sharing it with students in primary schools through to universities.She has also helped other refugee students to share their stories.The SAR program has now expanded across Tasmania and Ms Manasseh has also travelled to Melbourne and Sydney to encourage schools there to start their own groups.”It’s not easy, but because of the change that we have seen from this workshop, [we] just want to keep going.”When she is not trying to tackle racism, Ms Manasseh works at the Hobart Women’s Shelter helping women escape domestic violence.”I just want to work with people in the community and help people with high and complex needs,” she said.”That’s my dream — just to work and help people.” Nene Manasseh knows what it feels like to not quite belong anywhere.She grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya after her family had to escape the violence in their homeland of South Sudan.”I’m one of six kids. I had the opportunity to go to school and I’m working.”[But] it’s not easy thinking about [my relatives still there]. Even just two months ago I lost a cousin.”Ms Manasseh’s experience of still feeling the pain of her war-torn homeland is one shared by other refugees locally.They have also had shared experiences racism and bullying since arriving in Hobart.To help build a sense of community and connection, Ms Manasseh started a group called Students Against Racism (SAR) while studying at Hobart College nine years ago.
ABC Radio Hobart

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Carol Rääbus

Posted

March 22, 2017 12:06:35

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Nene Manasseh came from Africa to Hobart more than a decade ago. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)

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Refugee fashion breaks down barriers

Grandmother to walk 450km for cystic fibrosis fundraiser

Zoe, 13, talks about life with cystic fibrosis
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(ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
But after seeing Tehya-Rose’s decline since, Ms Gascoine said she decided more had to be done.”The average life expectancy now is into the mid-30s … Grandmother Susan Gascoine is about to undertake an epic walk from Murray Bridge to Adelaide via Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu Peninsula to raise money for cystic fibrosis.”The family thinks I’m crazy,” the 70-year-old said with a laugh.She is walking in support of her granddaughter Tehya-Rose.”[Tehya-Rose] was diagnosed [with cystic fibrosis] when she was a couple of weeks’ old,” Ms Gascoine said.Last year, the dedicated grandmother walked from Renmark to Adelaide to raise money for the disorder.All up, she raised more than $15,000 for Cystic Fibrosis South Australia and the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Photo:
Susan Gascione’s walking boots in front of roses, the flower symbol of cystic fibrosis. so we have made a lot of progress but we still don’t have a cure.” She said she hoped to raise at least the same amount again this year.Granddaughter inspires through tough timesMs Gascoine said she would draw on thoughts of her granddaughter to keep her going on the 420-kilometre walk.”Sometimes I have to remind myself, when I feel like giving up, that I have to keep going [for her].”The other thing that keeps me going is that I have people stop on the side of the road, come and give me a hug and say, ‘thank you for doing this for my child’.”That gets me teary and I think it’s all worth it.”Ms Gascoine will set off from Murray Bridge on March 25, walking to Tailem Bend, Meningie, around Lake Alexandrina, Strathalbyn, Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island, Victor Harbor, Yankalilla, Myponga, Willunga, Aldinga and will arrive at Peace Park in North Adelaide on April 30.She will publish updates on her Susan Strides 4CF website.
Dash the Brave: Clothing range supports people with cystic fibrosis
(ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson) ABC Radio Adelaide

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Brett Williamson

Updated

March 21, 2017 13:56:56

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Susan Gascoine says she is walking in support of her granddaughter who was diagnosed as an infant.

Farming neighbours cultivate harmony across shared boundaries

Three couples celebrate 150 years of marriage
They don’t interrupt and they allow you to do it,” he said.”As long as we’re just in our work and fair with our neighbours and the responsibilities we owe to them, then everything is fine.”Neither man could identify any barrier between them, other than the physical barbed wire fence separating their properties.”Neighbours, in a lot of cases, are even closer than relations because you’re seeing them more regularly and interacting with them more regularly,” Mr Murat said.”And when you know that your neighbour is not doing well or is in need, you should help him with that need.”Mr Howe said having a good relationship with your neighbours was even more important when it came to farming.”It’s really important to get along with your neighbours, otherwise they can make life hard for you,” he said.”If you’re in town somewhere you can always sell your house and move somewhere else, whereas on a farm it’s not that easy to just sell up and move away from your neighbour.”

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Benjamin Murat, Peter Howe and Skender Murat walk off their morning tea in Benjamin’s gardens before getting back to work on their respective farms. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)
Love thy neighbour, no matter the differencesMr Murat said his faith had no impact on his relationships with any of his neighbours, and especially not the Howes.”I find that when people know that you’re a practising Muslim, they respect what you’re doing. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)
‘Differences aren’t that deep’Understanding between the two neighbours has helped both families prosper in their respective farming endeavours.”We’re upwind of them [the Murats], which means they get all our chemical drift, dust and water and they’ve never whinged or complained,” Mr Howe said.”They’re just easy to get along with.”For Mr Murat, the explanation for such a long-standing amicable relationship is simple.”The differences aren’t all that deep, really,” he said.”Apart from nationality, apart from some religious aspects of our lives, there’s so much commonality between the two of us.”As human beings we all have the same interests at heart … and these slight differences we might have are inconsequential when it comes to living together, particularly as neighbours.”

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Serbian Orthodox priest finds cultural harmony in Australia Despite differences in the crops they farm, their religions and even their appearances, the Howe and Murat families have a lot in common.The Murat family are devout Muslims and the Howes identify as Christians, but the way in which their families came to be in Australia are almost identical.Benjamin Murat’s father left Albania in the late 1920s, while Peter Howe’s grandfather left Italy around the same time.Both men’s relatives laboured on farms in various locations around Australia before saving enough money to purchase their own properties on the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns.And, while the two very different farming families have shared a fence line for only a few years, they have known each other for decades.Mr Howe describes one of his first interactions with Mr Murat’s faith as “a funny story”.”We were doing some contract work with the Murats, picking up rocks,” he said.”It was about lunchtime, around 12 o’clock, and we had an issue with the rock-picker, so another fella and I came into the shed looking for Ben.”We walked into the shed being pretty rowdy and here was Ben, kneeling down, praying to Mecca — we sort of shit ourselves, we didn’t know what we were supposed to do.”We snuck out of the shed and pretended we weren’t there.”

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The shared boundary between the Howe family’s avocado farm and the Murat family’s cane farm is often a place of conversation between the families.

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Mark Rigby

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March 21, 2017 12:24:34

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Benjamin Murat, Peter Howe and Skender Murat enjoy mid-morning smoko together. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)
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Thunder wins backing for return to national wheelchair basketball league

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Jocelyn Neumueller competed in Rio last year. (Supplied: West Lakes Canoe Club)
“We were at training when we got the call that we’d been approved to get back in the league, so we pretty much finished up training then and there and did some celebrating,” captain Adam Roocke said.”We’ve got plenty of money for this season now, and we’ve knocked off a fair chunk of next season [costs] as well, so with some additional fundraising this year we will hopefully secure enough for two seasons.”The 2017 season will open in Wollongong, as the teams converge for several games, and their 18-game season has several such rounds because it helps minimise travel and other team expenses.The Thunder captain said the Adelaide team was raring to get on the court.”There’s four players that have previously played for the Adelaide Thunder and it means so much to us,” Roocke said.”We’re all really keen now. Thunder’s potential stars:Jay Dohnt: Paralympic swimmer who won bronze in Beijing in 2008Henry de Cure: Tennis professional since 2007, with career-high rankings of 55 in singles and 36 in doublesJocelyn Neumueller: Paralympic canoeist who competed at Rio in 2016
The Adelaide Thunder had long been trying to raise $40,000 it needed to play in the competition.After success in the 1980s and 1990s, it was forced out of the national league in 2013 because of a funding cut.At a function last year, former Adelaide Oval grounds keeper Les Burdett was introduced to Paralympic swimmer-turned-basketballer Jay Dohnt.At 13, Dohnt was diagnosed with meningococcal disease and spent months in intensive care, eventually needing some of his limbs amputated.The Beijing swimming bronze medallist and London Paralympian impressed Burdett with his positive attitude to adversity and sold him on the idea of helping the Thunder return to the national competition.”I was just so impressed [with] the way he’s fronted up to life with it and his overall attitude to life,” Burdett said.”There’s lesser guys who complain about little ailments and you’ve got this kid that’s struggling to a big degree on the challenges of life and he just takes it on the chin.”

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Henry de Cure has been a tennis circuit professional since 2007. We’re champing at the bit to get back on the court.” A chance meeting has led to funding for a South Australian team to return to the national wheelchair basketball competition. (Supplied: Tennis Australia)
Burdett is a member and ambassador for Adelaide’s West End Community Fund which uses public donations to back community causes.”The Thunder had half the money and Jay gave me a figure of what he was looking for, so I took Jay’s story back to my board and talked about the character of this young man and what he was representing,” Burdett said.”It was unanimous around the board table that we would try to support him and the team.”At least we’ve got them going and next year is another year.”Dohnt plays college basketball with the University of Texas but has promised to be back in Adelaide before the national wheelchair basketball league season starts in May.Thunder well placed for two seasonsWith the West End donation and money from an anonymous donor, the team is now set for the season ahead.
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Jay Dohnt will return from playing in the US for the Adelaide Thunder’s coming season. (Facebook: Movin’ Mavs)

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By Loukas Founten

Posted

March 21, 2017 15:22:05

Boy’s petition prompts cuts to NSW hospital parking fees

By Lily Mayers, Dom Vukovic

Updated

March 20, 2017 12:01:01

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Gidon said trips by his family had cost thousands of dollars. (ABC News: Stephanie Dalzell)
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A Sydney teenager’s online petition has prompted the New South Wales Government to cut the cost of car parking at public hospitals by about $200 a week.Fourteen-year-old Gidon Goodman, who has a rare blood disorder and has to go to hospital for regular medical infusions, started the petition because he was concerned family members would stop visiting their sick relatives due to high hospital parking costs.Today, Premier Gladys Berejiklian responded to his campaign, which garnered more than 70,000 signatures, by announcing “a huge reduction in car parking fees” at all New South Wales hospitals.”Instead of paying about $200 a week, they’ll be paying about $20 a week,” she said.”Some families will be saving hundreds and hundreds of dollars every month.”

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The Premier (right) praised Gidon for making a difference to people’s lives. (ABC News: Stephanie Dalzell)
The Premier said affected car park operators would get $11 million a year in compensation as a result of the fees being slashed.”It does mean negotiating, it also means as a government we have to do what’s called forego revenue,” she said.”So we’re talking millions and millions of dollars.”We will be contributing to this every year.”Ms Berejiklian praised Gidon’s efforts in advocating for the change and pressing the Government.”Today is about people making a difference … a teenager like Gidon making a difference,” she said.”This is a huge boost for families patients and for carers who are visiting all of our public hospitalGidon said he was thankful the Government had acted to make it easier for families and carers to visit sick patients.”I’m now unbelievably proud to be able to say that the Premier and the Health Minister are introducing a policy which is going to do amazing things for the families,” he said.”Someone [visiting] once a week for a year will be saving $1,600.”These changes are going to be helping people who go [regularly visit hospitals] long term, helping families, people having babies [who] have to go longer than two days in a row.”Health Minister Brad Hazzard said Gidon’s campaign had sparked a review into the costs of car parking.”As soon as I became Health Minister, I met with Gidon, I listened to his concerns and I agreed. Gladys Berejiklian and I determined that we would move as quickly as possible and we have,” the Minister said.”He brought it to the Government’s attention.”Gidon said trips by his family to visit him in hospital had cost them thousands of dollars in car parking fees.The parking fee changes come into effect from July 1.

Amateur stargazers share passion for all things space

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I was interested in the geology of planets,” he said.Fun for all agesThe society is open to anyone with an interest in space, and holds regular talks, meetings and observation nights.The University of Tasmania gives the society space to use behind the Mount Pleasant Observatory.There, the radio telescope looks up to the distant sky while much smaller telescopes at its foot provide those gathered with glimpses into the void. On a clear, warm night a small gathering of people chat in the dark, taking turns to look through viewfinders on various telescopes pointed at the night sky.The Astronomical Society of Tasmania was founded in 1934 by a small group of keen stargazers.In recent years the society has experienced a renewed enthusiasm for all things space from the general public.At the society’s latest public viewing night, close to 700 people turned up to learn more about the stars. Photo:
Oliver says he will probably pursue a career in astronomy as it has been his passion since kindergarten. but now I’ve got to this stage of life, I’ve got the time to put into it and I absolutely love it,” he said.”I started at the beginning not knowing anything about the stars, I wouldn’t know where they were, but in a year-and-a-half I’ve learnt a lot.”The Astronomical Society of Tasmania has members all over the state.More information on the society and the stars can be found on its website. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Oliver is in grade nine at school and is the youngest member of the society.”I’ve had [an interest in stars] since I was in kindergarten,” he said.”From that age I was really interested in the stars and space.”Just finding out the unknown and just how beautiful everything looks.”

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Photography got Michael Novak into stargazing. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“I think television has a big influence these days,” Peter Manchester, the society’s outreach officer, said.”I think people are looking to ask the question ‘why’ and they want to know more.”

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Peter Manchester is the outreach officer for the Astronomical Society of Tasmania. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Mr Manchester developed his interest in space after a career in geology, spending time looking down into Earth.”After many years being associated with geology, I wanted to think laterally … (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
A love of photography prompted Michael Novak to join the society.”I’ve always been interested in [astral photography] … Photo:
Members of the Astronomical Society of Tasmania setting up for an observation night.
ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

March 20, 2017 12:20:00

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There has been renewed public interest in all things space. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)

Fitness program pairs young students with older clients

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Fitness student Joelle Bowgett watches on as Joyce Macmillen from U3A completes her training program. (ABC Tropical North: Sophie Meixner)
“I just wanted to get back into the exercise routine. A fitness program at a north Queensland university is aiming to improve health outcomes for older Australians while encouraging interaction between young and old.Fitness students at Central Queensland University’s (CQU) Mackay City campus have been paired with clients from the University of the Third Age (U3A), who are generally in the 60+ age range.The students work one-on-one with the same partner for 10 weeks, and develop a set of goals that fits their client’s needs.At the end of the program the client may feel confident enough to join a gym independently, or feel more comfortable performing everyday tasks. I think we had 63 people who wanted to do it, so we’ve got a long list of people waiting,” he said.”These people often would not normally go to a gym, so we’d like to see the progression for the participants gaining enough confidence in this sort of environment to then go further and potentially enrol and become a member of a local gym.”So therefore their journey along the fitness lines is a continuous process.”

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Coordinator Russell Gardner says the course offers valuable experience for students. (ABC Tropical North: Sophie Meixner)
Mr Gardner said the feedback from the student was positive.”From an experience point of view you just can’t beat that face to face contact with different clients,” he said.”It’s not just the programming side that’s important, it’s also the experience of talking to different people, the socialising process, the relationships.”Especially for some of our younger instructors, to relate to 75-year-old clients, that’s something that we can’t simulate in a classroom situation. Photo:
Fitness student Jarred Baggow watches on as Frank Venselaar from U3A completes his training program. I lost my way a little bit, haven’t been doing it for a little while, so just wanted to get back to it again and be a little bit more active in my life.”Ms West said her trainer had been careful to adapt his exercise program to her abilities.”He’s very cautious with me because I think he’s got to be, and I’m the one saying ‘Yes, I can do a little bit more’,” she said.”Definitely not too strenuous yet, but we’re going to get there eventually I hope.”Skills you cannot learn in classroomCQU fitness course co-ordinator Russell Gardner said the program’s waiting list was over capacity.”We can only take 15 at a time. (ABC Tropical North: Sophie Meixner)
Making daily life that little bit easierFitness student Cameron Robertson said he and his client Glenda West had developed a good working relationship.”The exercises that I give Glenda, it’s mainly stuff that she can do with me and stuff that she can do at home herself, just to make her daily living tasks a lot easier,” he said.”Whether that be carrying the shopping, walking, squatting down and bending and doing stuff in the garden.”Mr Robertson said the program gave him skills he could not learn in a classroom.”It’s pretty good because 99 per cent of the population, they’re young when they’re in the gym, and it’s very rare that we get an elderly client in the gym,” he said.”This essentially broadens our search and we get to train everyone because everyone is different, and then with an elderly client, their goals are very different to a younger client.”Getting back into an exercise routineMs West said she enjoyed the program so much she had already arranged to come in for an extra session.”I’d do more if I was allowed,” she said.She said she had signed up to the program to give herself more motivation to keep active.”I’ve found that just doing my normal stuff at home is not enough, and this gives me a little bit more motivation, and motivation is a big part of being fit,” she said.
How to do a fitness audit (and why it's a good idea)
(ABC Tropical North: Sophie Meixner) ABC Tropical North

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Sophie Meixner

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March 20, 2017 13:44:57

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Fitness student Cameron Robertson helps Glenda West develop her fitness.
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Perth zoologist devotes life to saving African painted dogs

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ABC Radio Perth

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Emma Wynne

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March 18, 2017 11:00:00

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African painted dogs are at risk of being killed by farmers and poachers. (Supplied: Perth Zoo)
Now just 5,000 to 6,000 remain in the wild. Perth Zoo’s John Lemon has devoted his life to saving the dog.”When I’m not here at the zoo, I’m in Africa, that’s my life,” the founder of Painted Dog Conservation Incorporated told ABC Radio Perth.”I’m a self-confessed workaholic but I really do want to try and save a single species in my short lifetime.”

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John Lemon divides his time between work at Perth Zoo and conservation projects in southern Africa. “Particularly in Zimbabwe, in the area we work there were around 350 when we started, now there are around 750 to 800,” Mr Lemon said.”So there are direct outcomes from our work.”As part of the program, conservation workers spend time with farmers educating them that the dogs are not a threat to their livestock. “They are the underdog, and they are not even closely related to domestic dogs,” Mr Lemon said.”They have their own separate genus. “Obviously Africa has a lot of poverty and if we don’t give people an alternative to poaching, then who am I to say, ‘you can’t feed your family?'”What we have got to do is create alternatives and show them that their wildlife is the future, and that without the wildlife, people won’t come to Africa to visit.”Mr Lemon said he planned to devote the rest of his life to the African painted dogs. Photo:
African painted dogs are part of a breeding program at Perth Zoo. (Supplied: Perth Zoo)
Why the painted dog?To many zoo visitors, the African painted dog enclosure is not a major attraction.Their blotchy fur patterns, big ears and domestic dog-like looks are neither exotic nor cute, but Mr Lemon said we should not judge a book by its cover.”It’s their caring, social nature that really has me hooked.”They look after their weak, their sick, their injured.”I’ve seen dogs with two legs amputated due to snares in the wild still surviving because the mob come back and feed them.”If we could take a leaf out of their book, as humans, I think we’d be in a better place.”Their painted fur might look blotchy but each pattern is as unique as a fingerprint, while their Mickey Mouse ears help them communicate. “In 2000 I was lucky to win a fellowship to travel to Africa, and I decided I needed to do more.”So at the top of my game I quit my high-paying job, told my wife: ‘I’m going to sell everything, are you happy to support me? I’m going to go to Africa and build the largest rehab centre and children’s bush camp for education for a single species anywhere in the world’. A century ago there were 500,000 African painted dogs in 39 countries across Africa. “The dogs have been around for 13 million years, yet they may go extinct in my short lifetime.”If I can halt that, then I have achieved something really good in my lifetime and that’s what I want to leave the world with.” “I went there on February 28, 1977 on the front seat of my sister’s boyfriend’s car to the opening of Western Plains Zoo and I said, ‘I want to work here one day’.”My whole life was aimed at achieving that — and I did.”By 2000 he was the senior supervisor for carnivores and primates in Dubbo and had had considerable success breeding the painted dogs at the zoo. (Supplied: Perth Zoo)
“They use them for social communication like we do with our hands,” Mr Lemon said.They are also a distinct species. They are also trying to combat poaching and persuade local communities that conserving wildlife can boost tourism. “And I did that in Zimbabwe.”Life between Perth and AfricaPainted Dog Conservation Incorporated was founded in 2003.The not-for-profit now runs two programs in Zimbabwe, three in Zambia and one in Namibia — and they are starting to see results. “There is nothing else quite like them and once they are gone, they are gone.”‘I want to work at the zoo one day’Mr Lemon grew up in Dubbo, home of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo.On his very first visit he said he decided a life alongside animals was his future.

Creating the perfect butterfly garden

(AMLRNRM: Jeremy Gramp) Photo:
An Australian painted lady butterfly.

Butterfly collection of 'great scientific value' gifted to Launceston museum
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A common brown male butterfly.
Gene that turned moths black also colours tropical butterflies yellow
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A bitter-bush blue butterfly.

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ABC Radio Adelaide

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Brett Williamson

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March 17, 2017 12:28:38

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Butterfly gardens are booming in schools to help boost nature play and outdoor learning. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

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A southern grass-dart butterfly.

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Searching for butterflies provides hours of entertainment for both children and adults. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
Looking at the antenna was a way to differentiate a butterfly from a moth, Mr Ryan said.”A moth will have a club-like antenna.”And butterflies, when resting, usually have their wings closed, whereas moths will lay them flat. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson) Photo:
Butterflies are definitely welcome in the specially designed garden. Know your local butterflies He said the first thing that usually comes to mind when someone says “butterfly” is the monarch.”They are actually introduced and were brought over from California.”The NRM has an Adelaide-region butterfly identification chart, that when printed in A3 size shows species at life sizes.Mr Ryan said there were many local butterflies you could attract to your garden, including the wrongly named cabbage moth.

Australasian butterfly holds record number of vision cells

Caper white butterflies flock to Brisbane

A boom in butterfly gardens at schools across South Australia is being driven by an increasing interest in nature play and a drive to see students learn more outside of the classroom.The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management (NRM) Board has helped 12 local schools build a butterfly garden on their grounds.”It’s a great way for children to interact with their local environment,” NRM education coordinator Sam Ryan said.”[Students] learn about plants and some of the animals you are likely to see in a metropolitan area.”What makes a great butterfly garden?O’Halloran Hill kindergarten staff recently created their own butterfly-attracting garden in a southern courtyard of their grounds. Photo:
The NRM’s Sam Ryan talks to teachers who are about to become new butterfly garden hosts. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
He said an important part of creating a butterfly garden was growing plants that caterpillars would eat.”[Plants] like the ruby salt bush, kangaroo grass, hardenbergia — they’re fantastic for those caterpillars.”Flowering plants are also needed as a food source for adult butterflies.”A good butterfly garden will have different plants flowering at different times so the food source is spread out,” Mr Ryan said.Attracting the locals (ABC Radio Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
Mr Ryan said the plants were chosen to support and attract local birds, bees and butterflies.”There are predominantly local native species [in this garden].”

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Birdbaths with rocks in them provide surfaces for butterflies to access water.

Dumpster divers make free meals to build community

(ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
Brendon Donohue has been a regular at the Food Not Bombs event over the past year-and-a-half.He is blind.”I was looking for more social interaction,” he said.”As a blind person it is very hard to get out into the community and go to social places which accept all diverse people.”Everyone is included here, regardless of disability.”It gives me a sense of belonging in the community.”William Hunter, who has had mental health problems, has been coming most Fridays since July 2014.”I was a bit involved with petty crime and stuff and I was a bit mentally unwell because of drugs.”I’m a lot better now but I get a bit lonely sometimes, so I come here and talk to my mates.”They’re good people, they’re kind and you can have a good conversation.”I’m on the pension and it helps, it’s a free feed.”

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Mike, originally from Sudan, comes some Friday nights to meet new people. Photo:
Sandon and Brendon met through Food Not Bombs and now go to the cinema and on runs together. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
“He lives in the area and lives a fairly isolated life,” Mr Paine said.”He has been a real blessing, he has taught us sign language.”We have made a long-lasting friendship.”If he doesn’t turn up I’ll send a text to make sure he’s alright.”Paul did not want to be interviewed nor photographed, but those there could see the delight on his face.The group circled around him to sign “happy birthday” as he blew out his candles. Photo:
After half an hour sifting through the dumpster, the group has enough food for up to 40 people. What it’s like dumpster diving The crew from Food Not Bombs hits a bin once a week in inner Brisbane to rescue kilograms of food. Photo:
The table, laden with food, is carried a short distance from the community house to the park. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
Atop the table last week was carrot soup, mash potato with saffron, a mushroom, eggplant and ginger stir-fry, apple crumble and a fruit salad.They had also made a carrot cake for one of the regulars celebrating a birthday — Paul, who is deaf. A group in Brisbane is turning food thrown out by supermarkets into home-cooked meals which they serve to the lonely, isolated and some who are just plain hungry.The young men and women gather each Friday in a West End park; they do not have a permit to be there, nor do they believe in asking for one. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius) They are part of Food Not Bombs, a global movement to reclaim public space and protest against rampant food wastage.Andy Paine and his friends have been dumpster diving once a week for the past six years.They hit just one bin, fishing out enough fresh food to feed 30 to 40 people — bags of zucchinis, potatoes, loaves of bread, as well as packaged bananas and donuts.There are also unopened soft drinks, dumped by the supermarket after one in the pack of four broke.The usable food is washed off, the damaged turned into sauces, and the too-far-gone composted.”It is an incredible amount of waste, but it will help us provide food for other people.”

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Bags of zucchinis and potatoes were saved from the dumpster, as well as unopened soft drinks and cakes. Photo:
The food rescued from supermarket dumpsters is turned into vegan and vegetarian meals. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
They head to a community house to cook, turning the haul into vegan and vegetarian dinners.”We are not just about reducing food waste,” Mr Paine said.”Food waste is also just eating in front of the TV and not thinking about the potential.”Not thinking about what we could be doing with our food, what communities we could be building, how we could be reaching out to people, how we could be using the streets. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
“That is what Food Not Bombs is about; it is about envisioning a different world and a different way of eating.”Forming lasting friendships through foodAs part of their weekly ritual, the barefooted group walk their long wooden serving table from the community house to a park on Boundary Street. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius)
Mr Paine said they wanted to create an environment where you could make friends and meet new people every week.”We welcome strangers and use food as a resource for building community — using food beyond just fuelling our bodies.”

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Denis comes to Food Not Bombs to talk to people from other cultures.
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(ABC Radio Brisbane: Kym Agius) ABC Radio Brisbane

By Kym Agius

Updated

March 17, 2017 13:23:56

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Food Not Bombs regular William Hunter has turned his life around after petty crime and mental health problems.