The doctor who dispenses photos as medicine

ABC South East SA

By Stuart Stansfield

Posted

March 30, 2017 15:31:00

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This photo taken by Dr Yao Zhang shows a bird in flight over wetlands in South East South Australia. (Supplied: Dr Yao Zhang)
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Naracoorte 5271
During his time with the RPA, health problems again struck and he was treated for bowel cancer.After two years, Dr Zhang returned to Adelaide to be with his family, worked at Flinders Medical Centre and Modbury Hospital, and was then accepted into the GP training program.And this is where he will stay for the time being, taking photographs of his new home and giving them to his patients, as medicine. He was one of only two overseas-trained doctors taken on by the RPA in 2010. Photo:
Dr Yao Zhang in his consulting room at Naracoorte, South East South Australia. Dr Zhang also learnt about Australia by listening to the ABC on an illegal shortwave radio he built at home.Relations with China in the 1980s meant he could not continue his medical studies in Australia, but he was accepted to study language in Adelaide for 20 weeks, and then travelled across the country.He worked in a factory and other jobs to repay a loan from an uncle and fund his travels.Dr Zhang had intended to return to China, but an aunt who owned properties across the globe told him Australia was the best place to set up a home.Barossa visit led to wine export opportunityA visit to the Barossa Valley opened Dr Zhang’s eyes to opportunities in the wine industry and he became a wine exporter, building a business that shipped 300,000 bottles a year to China.Major problems with diabetes in 2003 caused him to adjust his life, and three years later he decided to resume his medical studies to become a GP the same as his wife, who had been an ophthalmologist in China. (Supplied: Dr Yao Zhang)
The countryside and country lifestyle were key factors in Dr Zhang deciding to live at Naracoorte, but his life has not been easy or straightforward, which he said had made him a better doctor.”With rich life experience and deep understanding of people, you can touch the heart of the people,” he said.He finished in the top third of his class at medical university in Guangzhou and worked as a trainee doctor in a 2,600-bed hospital.He had dreamed about visiting Australia since watching a television program about the country as a child. Sitting in his consulting room, Doctor Yao Zhang looks over to a bookcase with photos displayed on the shelves and says with a laugh: “I use the photos as a medication”.The keen landscape and nature photographer has worked in hospitals in China and Australia, including the Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) in Sydney, but now lives in Naracoorte in south-east South Australia where he is finishing his training as a GP registrar. Photo:
Kangaroos hop across grassland against a misty background. (Supplied: Kate Foster)
“The pathological side [of illnesses] is a lot easier to deal with, but the mental side is totally different,” Dr Zhang said.He gives his photos of landscapes to aged patients and those in palliative care who cannot get around.”I just tell them — think about the good things, keep a positive attitude,” he said.”I’m Chinese, and Chinese say if you don’t help yourself nobody can, not even God.”Dr Zhang recalled a patient who brought one of his photos of summertime on a farm to every appointment.”I asked why and she said ‘Now, I cannot go to the countryside [but] every time I look at that I feel happy’,” he said.”This type of photo really boosted her.”Life-long interest in photographyDr Zhang’s father gave him his first camera when he was 13 and taught him how to develop photos.”I just take photos of whatever I like; I just can’t stop,” he said, adding that he had shot thousands of photos in two and a half years spent working in the Casterton and Grampians region in Western Victoria and then at Naracoorte.An exhibition is on the cards once his final exams are out of the way. (Dr Yao Zhang)
He passed his clinical exam in 2008 but could not secure a hospital position in Adelaide.”I looked at New South Wales and the only hospital I knew in Sydney was the Royal Prince Alfred — from RPA the [television] program!” he said. Photo:
A grain harvester works in a paddock in summer in South East South Australia. “In 2005 I fully made up my mind, and then in 2007, that’s almost 20 something years after uni, I fully passed the exam — the recognition exam in Australia,” Dr Zhang said.

Baby delivered ‘safe and dry’ at ambulance station during Cyclone Debbie

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Updated

March 29, 2017 11:48:56
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@AnnastaciaMP: Best wishes to Billiana's proud parents – some good news in the midst of #CycloneDebbie & thank you to @QldAmbulance – exceptional work. As wind and rain from Cyclone Debbie unleashed havoc on the north Queensland coast, one family welcomed their new daughter into the world.Baby Billiana was born at 4:20am on Wednesday at the Whitsunday Ambulance Station at Cannonvale, near Airlie Beach.Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) tweeted the good news, confirming both mother and baby were “safe and dry”.QAS Director of Operations Dave Hartley said his crew got the call just after 4:00am that a woman was in labour in the Whitsunday area.”With all of the road closures and damage we couldn’t transport her to the hospital so we took her to the ambulance station where they delivered the baby girl,” he told the Courier Mail.”Everything is fine, it was a nice controlled delivery they are just waiting to assess things today to see if they can get her to hospital.”Queensland’s Minister for Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick, congratulated graduate paramedic Pamela for the successful delivery. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also tweeted her best wishes to the proud parents.”You know, out of all of this, to see a little miracle, I think brings a smile to a lot of faces and especially to all those people who have been working so hard overnight,” the Premier told a press conference. Photo:
Graduate paramedic Pamela holding the baby girl she delivered, (Twitter: @QldAmbulance)
“Amid the destruction of #CycloneDebbie the birth of #baby Billiana reminds us life is precious & by looking after each other, all will be okay,” he tweeted.
(Twitter: @QldAmbulance) Photo:
Baby Billiana was born at 4:20am at the Whitsunday Ambulance Station.
'What else can you throw at us?' Locals emerge from cyclone zone
Live: Cyclone recovery begins as flood warnings extend to NSW border
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In photos: The aftermath of Cyclone Debbie
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Why I ditched the office to work outdoors in the city

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Hobart 7000
Pet taxi driver has the pawfect job

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Ms Case taking service dog Aaron to his day job. but in the end it’s ultimately worth it because you get more positive than negative moments,” she said.”You smile at the people as they go past, try and engage them, don’t just setup and try and make money and get out of there.”I see it was trying to brighten up the day, not just to get some money for me, just to put some music over an otherwise grey day like today.”The window cleaner

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Mr Macintosh moved his business to Hobart from Brisbane to escape the hot summers. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“The challenge is the sun,” he said.”Tasmania still has the sun, just like Brisbane, and with me being very fair skinned I have to be always careful of how much exposure I have.”Mr Macintosh gave up an office job in quality checking for a jewellers to be out and about in his job.”It is very physical, tiring at the end of the day, [but] it’s something you get satisfaction out of … once it’s all complete and finished you can stand back and look at it and you have that sense of accomplishment that you’ve done something great and it looks fantastic,” he said.”It feels so wonderful to work so hard on something and make it look so good at the end.”The busker

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Katie K says busking shows the generous side of strangers. It might sound cheesy but each house can be like people. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“There’s just too much fun to be had outside,” he said.With his six-month-old terrier by his side, Mr Fowler said he builds things, does landscaping, gardening, moves furniture — whatever needs doing.So far, there has not been a downside to the job.He even said he was “looking forward” to his first winter as an outdoor worker.”The biggest thing that keeps me going and taking on bigger and bigger projects is … They’re all different.”Windows are windows, but access to windows, how to go about cleaning them, it changes almost from job to job and it requires me to stay active in the latest technology to get the job done.”The pet taxi driver

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Ms Case loves animals of all sorts and being out and about means she gets to meet a lot of them. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Before Catherine Case became a pet taxi driver, there were suburbs of Hobart she had never heard of before.”I’ve been to Perth, Garden Island, Ridgeway, all sorts of places,” she said.”I’ve seen places I never even knew existed in Hobart.”Ms Case worked in finance in the private and public sectors for years until ill health meant she had to leave her office job. Photo:
Mr Fowler will tackle just about any job someone needs doing. Working outdoors is not just for those on farms or out in the bush.All through March, a social media campaign using the hashtag #greendesking encouraged office workers to get outdoors for an hour.As these Hobart outdoor workers show, there are plenty of jobs that get people out and about in the city.The handymanDom Fowler quit his job running a fast food outlet three months ago to work with his hands doing all sorts of odd jobs around Hobart. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
She took on the job as a pet taxi driver to keep herself active and her job means she gets to meet lots of animals, of all sorts, who she helps by taking them to where they need to go.”I really love it,” she said.”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)
Katie K is a working musician in Hobart and regularly busks to supplement her income.”If I’ve come up short with my budget and I have to busk it’s really nice knowing that the people in this town are so generous,” she said.”It’s nice to see that side of humanity in people.”There are a lot of very, very generous people in Hobart.”
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Katie K and Eloise busking
Katie said it took her some time to develop her busking skills as it “can be embarrassing”, while she had to get used to some people being very rude to her.”They give you dirty looks and I’ve had kids put garbage in my guitar case … (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Kris Macintosh spends his days cleaning windows in summer and cleaning chimneys in the cooler months.He moved his business from Brisbane to Hobart for the weather, although that meant experiencing frozen fingers while cleaning windows in winter. Photo:
Mr Macintosh says just about everyone in Hobart has a good view so clean windows are important. I’m proud of the work I’ve done.”It can be interesting at times.
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(ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus) ABC Radio Hobart

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Carol Rääbus

Posted

March 29, 2017 11:57:01

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Dom Fowler loves working out in the open with Arnie by his side.

Playground for adults (and kids) planned for Perth

Trouble-plagued Elizabeth Quay water park reopens
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Perth's Naturescape gets $3m upgrade
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(ABC Open: Mikaela Williams) ABC Radio Perth

By

Emma Wynne

Posted

March 29, 2017 17:15:38

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Architects hope the playground will help people of all ages rediscover the joy of swings and much more.
Reflecting on past and present playgrounds
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I go as high as I can and make loud noises of joyfulness — my granddaughter loves it, she shrieks with delight and it’s such fun,” Tracy said.”I love the idea of adult playgrounds. People need to understand that just because he is an adult size he still loves to play.””I am nearly 70 in years but young at heart and in my brain and I will be the first one at that playground,” one listener said via SMS. Construction has begun on a riverside playground in Perth which will invite people of all ages to jump on the swings and take a ride on a flying fox.The All Abilities Play Space is now in the early stages of construction at Beaton Park, on the Swan River foreshore at Nedlands.The $4 million project has been initiated by the City of Nedlands and funded by Rotary Clubs and public donations, and aims to let people of all ages be playful.The landscape architect who has designed the playground, Fiona Robbé, told ABC Radio Perth many adults wanted to use playgrounds but felt they were not supposed to.”I think that we are all playful human beings but we often lack the cues in our public environment to actually play,” Ms Robbe told ABC Radio Perth.”Much as we may all love to swing or spin, we feel shy about it because it is something that children do and it’s childish.”So this playground is designed in such a way that you are encouraged, all the cues are there.”The playground is expected to include traditional equipment like swings, slides and flying foxes as well as devices designed to improve physical agility.There will also be swings of all sizes — something Ms Robbe said had been a common request.”There will be scientific discoveries and a sensory walkway where you can experience different musical sounds,” she said.Swings for seniorsThe playground’s concept received an enthusiastic response from ABC Radio Perth listeners.”I always go on the swings with my granddaughter. My 23-year-old autistic son loves to go to swings and playgrounds but we are looked at strangely by other parents and children,” Kathy said.”It can feel very uncomfortable.

Family dog raises alarm after owner slips down SA cliff

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Marion Bay 5575
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Abby is being promised a juicy bone for her heroic effort. I said to her ‘take me to where mum is’ and she started to trot off on this little track.”Abby led Mr Pethick to a car park overlooking the beach.”She just stopped there and kept on looking down and looking at me,” he said.”By the time I got within 20 or 30 metres out, I started calling out and I could hear Sue’s voice and she said ‘I can’t move’.”Mr Pethick said it was quickly evident his wife was seriously hurt.”Down this rocky base was Sue on her back and her ankle was pointing in a different direction,” he said.He ran from the scene until his phone had reception, then called triple-0.Two women involved in surf lessons on the beach went to the injured woman’s aid, staying with her until emergency services arrived.It took rescuers about two hours to stabilise the woman’s condition and get her back to the top of the cliff. Mr Pethick said the pain made his wife pass out a couple of times.The woman was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for surgery on her injured ankle.Mr Pethick said Abby was keenly aware something was wrong when he eventually took the dog back to the camp site, then packed up to head home.”I could sense that she just wasn’t comfortable with me driving off without Sue,” he said.”She’s certainly a little hero now — I’ve just pulled a big bone out of the freezer, so when that defrosts she’ll get that,” he said after returning home. (Supplied: Michael Pethick)
“When I saw Abby on the sand dune and Sue wasn’t with her, I knew something wasn’t right,” he said.”I called her to me and she came running over. A red heeler dog, Abby, has raised the alarm for rescuers after her owner fell and fractured her leg on a cliff on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.Sue Pethick was walking the family pet at Gleesons Landing on southern Yorke Peninsula on Monday afternoon when she slipped down the rocky cliff face.The woman’s husband Michael said he became worried when his wife, 55, and the dog had taken longer than usual for their walk.He said Abby then turned up at their camping site without his wife.
(Supplied: SA Police) By Annabelle Regan and Paul Culliver

Posted

March 28, 2017 11:29:06

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It took rescuers a couple of hours to stabilise the injured woman and return her to the top of the cliff.

How the worst hospital for Indigenous health became one of the best

And if they say they want to just go for a walk, you just say, ‘Would you like to take some medicine with you just in case you don’t come back?'”Care plans to lower ‘take own leave’ ratesThe introduction of weekly meetings to go over care plans for the Indigenous patients means everyone in the hospital can keep up with what’s happening with individual patientsThese meetings are attended by social workers, doctors, nurses and admin staff.At one such meeting, Dr Tallis mentions Jason, a 30-year-old patient from the remote community of Ngukurr, 330 kilometres south-east of Katherine.Jason has tuberculosis, and has left the hospital during treatment once before. (ABC RN: Hagar Cohen)
His high level of specialist training has meant that patients who would have had to be evacuated to Royal Darwin Hospital can now receive treatment in Katherine. But things have come along way since then. Many of the doctors were junior, and staff turnover was high.The new management has made huge inroads in the way the hospital cares for Aboriginal patients.This year, only 4 per cent of the Indigenous patients “took own leave”, making Katherine one of the best performing hospitals in the nation when it comes to caring for Aboriginal patients.Systematic use of interpretersIn 2006, when respected Indigenous lawman Peter Limbunya, from the remote community of Kalkarindji, stayed in the hospital for 10 days, he did not have access to an interpreter, despite not speaking English.At the end of his treatment, Mr Limbunya, who was part of the legendary Wave Hill walk off in the 60s, was flown to a remote airstrip 5 kilometres away from his community. The hospital’s Aboriginal liaison officer, Theresa Haidle, says improving the way doctors communicate is the key to developing Indigenous patients’ trust in their treatment plans.Regular use of interpreters has been an essential part of Ms Haidle’s work. It’s an issue plaguing the health system nationally: a 2014 federal Health Department report found that racism contributes to the low rates of access to health services by Aboriginal people.Similarly, the number of patients who “discharge against medical advice” is recorded and recognised by health departments as a key indicator for the quality of Aboriginal healthcare.In the NT, 11 per cent of all Indigenous patients discharge themselves against medical advice.”These people have very complex illnesses,” says Dr Quilty. “Many of them are highly likely, if not treated well, to resolve in significant injury or death. So I heard the interpreter telling her: ‘You know, like mushrooms growing?’ They got her to stay and get it treated.”Changing doctors’ attitudesPip Tallis, who is training to be a physician at Katherine Hospital, has worked in hospitals in Alice Springs and Darwin, where she says many of her Indigenous patients left before their treatment was complete.”I found it really hard to understand why,” she says.”It was frustrating as a doctor, and there was a lot of frustration among the staff and no-one really took the time to understand why people were taking their own leave, or really did anything to change it.”I think, there was a bit of hands up in the air. If there’s any doubt, we get interpreters in, or even on the phone.”The systematic use of interpreters is a big change at Katherine Hospital.Ms Haidle says the hospital has a lot further to go when it comes to providing a culturally safe environment, but overall, the relationship with the Aboriginal community is getting better all the time.”It’s like a big learning process for everybody,” she says.”We have to break it down as simple as we can,” she says. Photo:
Katherine Hospital has been extraordinarily successful in improving Indigenous health outcomes. “We even got bacon and eggs for him in the mornings so he doesn’t complain about porridge, he’s got a DVD player, USB drive, he got pizza the other day. Many Indigenous patients who live in remote communities don’t like going to Darwin to receive medical treatment because it’s far from family and the hospital is bigger and less personal.Gaye, 50, a cancer patient who was transferred to Darwin for chemotherapy says she felt lonely in Darwin. His family wasn’t told he’d be back that day and nobody was there to meet him. In Katherine her deafness was recognised by the nurses and she was given a hearing aid, which she says made a huge difference to her mental health.Katherine Hospital now employs two full-time physicians.Still no Aboriginal doctorsKatherine Hospital employs 24 doctors but none of them are Indigenous.Ms Brannelly admits the hospital hasn’t done enough to attract Aboriginal doctors.”That’s good advice for us, and it’s probably where we need to go in that space around seeking out Aboriginal medical officers to come and work for us,” she says.”I think we have some work to do there, absolutely.” ‘Whatever, what can we do about it? Photo:
This dark-skinned baby doll is given to Indigenous women who suffer from dementia to comfort them. It’s their problem.'”

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Theresa Haidle says the hospital’s relationship with Katherine’s Aboriginal community is improving. (ABC News: Iskhandar Razak)
They’ve brought highly trained specialist doctors who are invested in the community, interpreters are used regularly and families of Indigenous patients are consulted on complex treatment plans.In the past, interpreters were available but rarely used. Its findings weren’t released publicly.Background Briefing can reveal that the final report concluded that there were “significant deficiencies in nearly all the essential dimensions of safe clinical service provision”, adding that the “root cause is that the medical service model is unsustainable and becomes more unsustainable with each passing year”.Six years ago, a new general manager and a group of new doctors arrived with an ambition to turn things around. So we tried really hard to make it possible.”But there’s still a cultural divide. His family has convinced him to return. It’s a bit terrifying really.”Back from the brink The NT Department of Health conducted an investigation into the staffing crisis at the Katherine Hospital. “It’s better and works fast because we learned it from old people.” More support for staffThe hospital’s general manager, Angela Brannelly, says the 2010 investigation into the staffing crisis recommended major changes to the way the hospital operates, its level of staffing and supervision.She says supporting the medical staff was one of her first priorities.”We took it very seriously and made some really serious changes to the way that the medical team was supported here. At the end of the meeting, Jason explains to another doctor that he thinks “white fella” medicine is too slow.”I want to go back to bush medicine,” he says. He died of dehydration.During the inquest into his death, the coroner found that interpreters were not in use at the hospital.His cousin, lifetime activist and advocate for Aboriginal people Josie Crawshaw, remains outraged. She says they’ve been key in making sure patients understand their illnesses and treatment options.”English isn’t their first language. “In Darwin I was always sad and crying a lot,” she says.No-one in Darwin had realised that Gaye was deaf, which made communication with medical staff virtually impossible. Since 2012, there has been a decrease of 43 per cent in the number of total aeromedical evacuations to Darwin. (Getty Images: Manfred Gottschalk)
Dr Tallis says that her perspective has changed since coming to work at Katherine Hospital.”I’ve spent six months working with the team here and observing how they engage with the patients, and I think that they do significant things to result in people not taking their own leave,” she says.”Previously I was very inflexible. Last year he won the Royal Australian College of Physicians’ medal for clinical service in rural and remote areas. It was around ensuring that someone’s got their back,” she says.Dr Quilty, who joined the hospital in 2012, was the first physician to have ever been employed at the hospital. Hospitals in remote locations really need high expertise to deal with the very sick patients that turn up here.”Thirteen and 15-year-olds are developing type 2 diabetes, they’ve got kidney impairment by the time they’re 22 and they’re on dialysis in their early 30s. Now I spend a lot more time appreciating why people take their own leave.”I’m also picking up the subtle signs on a patient who’s starting to not engage. Families weren’t a part of the consultation process. “There’s not an Aboriginal word that means cancer, so how do you explain those things?”I remember one day a lady had this fungus, and there’s no words for those things on women’s bodies, or inside. She says her uncle would have known “absolutely nothing” about his treatment and what was going on. I’ll sit down with them and explore their issues. Dr Tallis explains at the meeting that Jason doesn’t like the hospital food, and that special food is being provided for him.”We tried really hard to engage him,” she says. It may not even be their second or third either.

RN

By Hagar Cohen for Background Briefing

Updated

March 28, 2017 17:14:45
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Gaye is a 50 year-old cancer patient from Mataranka in the NT. (Supplied: Simon Quilty)

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Katherine 0850
These “take own leave” cases are complex, but one factor is Indigenous patients’ perception of inadequate treatment. The hospital was on the verge of shutting down.More than one in four Indigenous patients left Katherine Hospital before completing treatment, often without informing staff, the worst rate in the nation. Katherine Hospital in the Northern Territory has gone from one of the worst facilities in the country when it comes to Indigenous health care to one of the best.Their secret: engaging with Indigenous patients and supporting doctors.When physician Simon Quilty arrived at the hospital, it was going through a major crisis.”What had happened in 2010 is that the hospital found itself in a situation where things were falling apart,” he says.A number of doctors complained to the NT Medical Board about a lack of supervision and the impractical workload.

Listen to the full story

(Background Briefing)

Pet taxi driver has the pawfect job

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Hobart 7000
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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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Canberra 2600
(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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Kaleen 2617
(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

By

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

By

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

By

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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Exploring what makes modern-day neighbourhoods strong
ABC Far North

By

Mark Rigby

Posted

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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Mareeba 4880

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