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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Thousands back teen's call to slash hospital parking fees
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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

Posted

March 20, 2017 13:44:57

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Fitness student Cameron Robertson helps Glenda West develop her fitness.
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Where to start when you haven't exercised in a while