Baboon birth a rare event for Adelaide Zoo

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Adelaide Zoo's giant pandas celebrate their birthdays
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By Claire Campbell

Posted

November 02, 2016 15:14:17

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Chappi cuddles her newborn, which is yet to be named because its gender has not been determined yet. (Supplied: Adrian Mann, Zoos SA)
Kemiri the Sumatran tiger gets pre-birthday health check
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The newborn baboon will be fed by its mother for about six months, zoo keepers say. (ABC News: Claire Campbell) (Supplied: Adrian Mann, Zoos SA)
Adelaide Zoo will keep the baboon at least until it reaches maturity in three to four years, but it could be sent to another zoo after that if it is a male.”It does depend a lot on the individual behaviour within the group as well but certainly there is a dominant behaviour there within baboons and Horus is the king of this troupe,” Mr Olijnyk said.Hamadryas baboons are one of five species found in Africa.Adelaide Zoo is having a busy time for births — a golden lion tamarin was born three weeks ago and is settling into its enclosure and a white-cheeked gibbon is due to give birth in the next few weeks. Photo:
The zoo’s white-cheeked gibbon is due to give birth in December. A rare Hamadryas baboon has been born at Adelaide Zoo, only the second of its species born there in the past decade.Keeper Pij Olijnyk said the newborn’s gender was yet to be determined by staff and might not be known for a few weeks.”[The newborn is] big, looking strong, hanging on to mum for dear life and she’s doing an awesome job,” he said.”We’re really excited for Tomkay, our boy, to have a little brother or sister to play with.”The keeper said zoo staff and visitors were smitten with the infant.”We would like to pretend that we’re not affected by that so much as keepers, but we love little babies — I got caught staring at the little guy a moment ago,” he laughed.He said proud parents Chappi and Horus were doing a great job with their second offspring and the unnamed baboon would feed from its mother for the next six months or so.

A horse walks into a bar, literally

It is the line that starts many a bad joke, but there was one time in South Australia that it didn’t end with any long faces.Hall of Fame jockey John Letts has told 891 ABC Adelaide’s Breakfast program about the time a horse walked into a bar in Adelaide — literally. Photo:
An article in The Times, showing Lord Reims at the bar, still has pride of place at the Morphett Arms Hotel. Lord Reims’ Adelaide Cup history1987Jockey: Maree LyndonWeight: 51.5kgTime: 3:30.9Won by three lengths 1988Jockey: Brent ThomsonWeight: 55.5kgTime: 3:27Won by five lengths 1989Jockey: Grant CooksleyWeight: 57kgTime: 3:27Won by four lengths
“Years ago we had a horse here called Lord Reims who won three Adelaide Cups straight,” he said.The New Zealand-bred gelding became known as one of the state’s best stayers after he won the Cup in 1987, 1988 and 1989.Lord Reims was asked to carry the big weight of 57 kilograms in his bid for that third Cup and still beat the field by four lengths.He remains the only three-time winner of the Cup in its 152-year history.”After the race they took him over to the Morphett Arms Hotel, into the bar, and he had a drink,” Letts said.While trainer Cliff Fenwick led Lord Reims into the front bar and offered him a local brew, according to witnesses the horse was a teetotaller. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
“He was a great old horse and they really honoured him by burying him at the Morphettville race track,” Letts said.Lord Reims was actually buried adjacent to the winning post and also had a Group Three race named after him in 2010.”For a horse to be drinking in the bar, at a local hotel, that was something we had never heard of,” Letts said.
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Brett Williamson

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November 03, 2016 11:56:35

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Trainer Cliff Fenwick takes Lord Reims into a bar for a celebratory drink. (The Times: Dennis Rogers)

Dogs of war: Artist pays tribute to canine military heroes

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Explosive detection dog Storm served in Afghanistan and saved many lives during his two years of service. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill )
Canine companions returnedThe story epitomises the relationship such soldiers and handlers had with their dogs, according to Johnson. Photo:
Tales of bravery meant that terrier Horrie became a household name in Australia at the end of World War II. Adopting Ruffy six months ago, the affable Airedale has become her new studio companion as Johnson has delved into the noble and tragic stories behind each dog of war.”It is definitely a from the heart exhibition,” she said.”No two dogs are the same. On Sunday, the handlers of Vietnam tracker dogs — Caesar, Trajan and Tiber — will be at the gallery to see their beloved comrades immortalised. Photo:
One of Anne’s paintings, inspired by the ‘Lest we Forget’ flag of the WWI British Army Royal Navy. “Just the love and trust between a dog and their handler. The one with the saddlebags stayed with the living soldiers and the other one with the cross went back to find the medic and the handler and then bring them back to the wounded.”Recognising canine heroesWorking with the Australian Defence Force Trackers and War Dogs Association to source images and research the stories, Johnson said she often had to put down her paintbrush, when a story became too much for her.”I found myself getting quite emotional. Twenty-one portraits of brave and faithful canines which have served in military conflicts spanning from World War I right up to Afghanistan will feature at Penola’s Local Images gallery, along with their stories of bravery, heroics and sometimes untimely deaths.The dog portrait artist, in South Australia’s south-east, said it was her beloved Airedales, Skipton, Toby and Ruffy, which sparked her interest in the military role the breed played in World War I. I just love the expression in their eyes, the texture in their coat. They are all just so different.” “He had an ear for aeroplanes and as soon as he could hear the German planes coming, he ran for the bunkers,” Johnson said.”Everyone learned that as soon as Horrie ran, they had to run quick too.”Adored by the soldiers, Horrie was injured by shrapnel during an evacuation and also survived the sinking of a ship.When the battalion returned to Australia, Moody smuggled the dog back in, but quarantine officials demanded the dog be handed over, much to the public’s disgust.”Only in latter years have we found out that Jim substituted another dog for Horrie and he was secreted away to live on a farm out at Corryong,” Johnson said.Just this year, a sculpture of WWII’s most famous canine was erected in a memorial garden in the small Victorian town. Some of the stories are so sad, but also really strong stories of heroics,” she said. Letting go of the collection of portraits will be bittersweet for Johnson, whose beloved Airedale Toby died several months after she began painting. “I just like painting dogs, I don’t want to paint anything else,” she said. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill )
“You look into their stories and I came across the role of Airedales in World War I as the preferred breed for the British Army,” she said.Acting as messengers, carriers of food and ammunition and as “ratters” to keep the vermin from taking over the trenches, two of Johnson’s portraits feature the famous Red Cross dogs, which would work in pairs on the battlefield.”One would have saddle bags with first aid equipment and water and the other would have a red cross,” she said.”They were trained to ignore the dead and find the living. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill )
Johnson said the exhibition was designed to also be a historical journey to educate visitors about the roles dogs played in conflicts across the world — whether it was messenger roles, explosive detection or trackers.”Some I picked because of the stories and some I picked because the images were just irresistible,” she said.”Sometimes the dogs just jumped out at me, just needing to be recognised.”One of these was a plucky little white dog named Horrie, who became a household name in Australia at the end of World War II.Half-starved terrier Horrie was found by Australian soldier Jim Moody in the Egyptian desert in 1941 and became the mascot of the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion. The law was changed in 1993, meaning that Australian Defence Force dogs serving overseas can return to Australia to live out their remaining time with their handlers. They just want to please,” she said.Sadly, the old adage, “you don’t leave mates behind” had to be broken during many conflicts, when Australian quarantine laws prevented the dogs from being brought back in the country. The Coonawarra Penola Returned Service League will also unveil a commemorative plaque in Penola’s main park, dedicating the many animals who died in conflict, the first such animal memorial in the Limestone Coast. There might be a few tears at the opening of Anne Johnson’s new exhibition — Remembering War Dogs — on Sunday, and not just her own.
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(ABC South East SA: Kate Hill) ABC South East SA

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Kate Hill

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November 03, 2016 12:18:12

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Anne Johnson’s love of Airedales inspired a series of paintings on famous war dogs.

Arakwal people’s Dolphin Dreaming dominating awards

Dolphin Dreaming

(ABC News)

More than one million visitors make the trek to Australia’s most easterly point every year, but it is an Aboriginal culture-based experience in a nearby palm forest that is fast becoming one of the nation’s most sought-after tourist attractions.
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(ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull)
Ms Kay said popular tourist destinations such as Byron Bay often struggled to manage their high visitor numbers, but programs like Dolphin Dreaming helped to foster respect.”We want tourists to come here and do our programs because we want them to connect with the area,” she said.”We want them to understand why this place is so special to us and once they understand that then they’ll be respectful of this place.”

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Participants in the Dolphin Dreaming program learn about Byron Bay’s Arakwal people, as well as the broader culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. (ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull)
Ms Kay said the experience was much more than a sight-seeing exercise.”I look at kids today and I think ‘wow this next generation are going to be so environmentally switched on and they are going to have a true appreciation and awareness of Aboriginal culture’,” she said.”I think our next generation will be leading the reconciliation charge — they’re going to be the ones that close this gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the future.”It makes my heart sing, when I finish a program with our kids … there’s so much happiness in my heart to see them so switched on and the love in their eyes.”

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Arakwal man Nigel Stewart plays the didgeridoo for children at the Dolphin Dreaming program. (ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull)
The Dolphin Dreaming program has won many awards across business, tourism and cultural sectors including Gold at last year’s NSW Tourism Awards, and silver in the National Tourism Awards in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander categories.It is a finalist again in this year’s NSW Tourism Awards, with the winners to be announced on November 24.”We don’t go out there to win awards, but when we do I suppose it’s just a reminder how deadly this program is not only for our jarjums [children] but also for their families, teachers and our community,” Ms Kay said.”It’s a really well known and respected program now.”

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Arakwal woman Delta Kay mimics a kookaburra at the Dolphin Dreaming program in Byron Bay. Photo:
Arakwal woman Delta Kay takes students on a walking tour through Byron Bay’s Palm Valley as part of the Dolphin Dreaming program. (ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull) (ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull)
Palm Valley is located in the Arakwal National Park, which is jointly managed by the Arakwal people and the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.Mr Stewart said he was proud that the Arakwal people had been officially recognised as traditional custodians of the land and that the Dolphin Dreaming program allowed them to share their culture.”We’re very honoured and proud to represent our ancestors,” he said.”It’s a very sacred place to the Arakwal family, my family, and also to all of our Bundjalung Nation who work together to keep Country healthy.”

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Arakwal man Nigel Stewart teaches students about Australian animals as part of the Dolphin Dreaming program. (ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull)
Mr Stewart said school groups participated in the program every week, but he particularly enjoyed interacting with international visitors.”It’s not just for jarjums, it can also be for family groups and other people from overseas that don’t have an understanding of Aboriginal culture,” he said.”We try to give them a little bit of an understanding of what it is to be an Aboriginal person in this country and also for young Australian people to create an identity basis to connect them back to country.”

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Children learn Aboriginal dancing as part of the Dolphin Dreaming program at Byron Bay. The Arakwal people’s Dolphin Dreaming program at Byron Bay takes participants on a two-hour tour of Palm Valley that includes lessons in Aboriginal art, dance, music and stories.Arakwal woman Delta Kay and her nephew Nigel Stewart have been leading the groups for 15 years.
(ABC North Coast: Samantha Turnbull) ABC North Coast

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Samantha Turnbull

Posted

November 03, 2016 15:02:41

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Arakwal woman Delta Kay leads a group of students from St Finbarr’s Primary School in Byron Bay.

Adelaide bushwalkers enlisted to help koala research

(ABC News: Philippa McDonald) 891 ABC Adelaide

Posted

November 04, 2016 10:17:51

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Koalas feed for several hours but can sleep up to 20 hours a day.
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South Australians are being urged to help researchers count the koala population, a marsupial which is abundant in the Adelaide Hills but declared a vulnerable species nationally.It will be the second time the public has been enlisted to help, after a 2012 one-day count by hundreds of people pinpointed about 1,500 koalas in the hills.Researcher Philip Roetman of the University of South Australia said this time the search would be over two days on the last weekend of November, so he was confident a lot more people would get involved.He said koalas were beautiful creatures and solitary for much of the time.”What is really fascinating is the amount of time they spend in the trees, they eat a few leaves and then they sleep 19 or 20 hours a day,” he told 891 ABC Adelaide.People can register beforehand which areas they plan to walk through and gather their sightings via a smartphone app.”When you see a koala you hit ‘record a koala sighting’, you can then taken a photograph — easy as that, if you’re happy with the photo you move on to answer a few simple questions,” Dr Roetman said.”Where are you, are there any babies, has the tree got lots of leaves, does it look healthy?”

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A magpie pecks at an Adelaide foothills koala. (Audience submitted: Louise Howlett)
He said the count helped track the health of koala populations over time.”To conserve koalas we really need to know where they are and how many there are. Over time, we can start to look at whether that population’s changing,” he said.This time the phone app would also record locations where people did not see any koalas, he explained.”Everyone when they’re looking for koalas will miss a few. We can compare a few people walking on the same path, we can then work out where all the koalas are on that path and then work out how many koalas [some] people missed,” he said.”Then we can build into the modelling process some recording error.”More details of this month’s koala count can be found at the discoverycircle.org.au website.
Video captures koala 'taking her baby for a stroll' in regional SA
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Saying g’day with emojis: App explains quirks of Aussie culture

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Jessica Hinchliffe

Updated

November 04, 2016 11:31:06

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Marvin Reid’s emoji set shows sides of Australia the wider world doesn’t always see. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
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If Australian lifestyle and culture was an emoji set, what would it look like?Developer Marvin Reid has spent 12 months creating the AussiEmoji app that features cane toads, Uluru and meat pies.Originally from Jamaica, Mr Reid migrated to Queensland eight years ago and became an Australian citizen in 2014.He said he wanted to create emojis that explained the quirks of Australian culture as well as encompassing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Photo:
Emojis include meat pies, Uluru and Indigenous symbols. (Supplied: Marvin Reid)
“The first [emoji] I created was a kangaroo with an expression of surprise.” Mr Reid worked closely with local Indigenous designer Charles Omeenyo. (Supplied: Marvin Reid)
Since being released last month Mr Reid’s emojis have featured on the iTunes download chart.”There’s million of apps submitted every week and it’s good to know that out of those millions of apps that an Australian-made app that showcases Australia can be featured,” he said.”I feel really proud.” (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“I was always really interested and in love with the Australian way,” he said.”The vast history and Indigenous art made me really fall in love with my country.”After becoming an Australian citizen I wanted to create something that showcased Australia to the world in a unique and fun way.”Indigenous culture representedMr Reid said his aim was to create an emoji set that showed sides of Australia the wider world did not always see.”My favourite emoji is the one that showcases the Australian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flag,” he said.”It shows the world that Australia is not just one thing. Photo:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers have been part of the creative process. “I tell him my idea and then he puts his ideas together and we take a few days to get the design done,” he said.”We’re all based here in Brisbane and it’s a Queensland-created app going worldwide.”More than just an emojiMr Reid said there was also a serious side to the emojis.In the next update, each emoji will come with a factsheet explaining to users the background and meaning of each icon.”It’s not just something to make cute symbols that no-one uses,” he said.”I created it so that we use it everyday and to help Australians share their culture and history to people overseas, to show what we’re about.”

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A Queensland cane toad dressed in State of Origin gear is one of the emojis created.

It’s story time with Russ the Bus

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I like reading because it isn’t a time waster and it’s fun,” — Ethan, 7.”I like the pictures the most because illustrators really bring out the magic out of books and the words because sometimes you can’t see what the author is thinking in the words,” Isabella, 12. When eight-year-old student Rohit Igoor writes a story, it is usually about dinosaurs or creatures “because they’re cool”.For 10-year-old Emily Fisk, fantasy books are her stories of choice while she has recently written a story about Ruby the gypsy.These are the sorts of ideas and storytelling skills Australian authors are hoping to inspire in students aboard Russ the Story Bus, a travelling library that will make its way around schools in western Sydney and regional New South Wales for the next six weeks.It is one of a number of initiatives in the Children’s Festival of Moving Stories that launched this week.The bus, which has been painted by artist Shaun Tan, houses a library full of children’s books that students can take home. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Inspiring storytellingThis is the third year the Children’s Festival of Moving Stories has been held and the first time the Russ the Story Bus will visit regional schools.It is a key part of the Sydney Writers Festival’s focus on developing literary skills and introducing young people to authors and illustrators.Along with the bus, workshops and author talks will be held at libraries in western Sydney for primary and secondary students.”The fact we can visit the schools is a bonus for the children who may come from families where English is a second language and they don’t have access to books in the same way,” Clare Sawyer, head of children’s programs, said.”We hope [the bus] can prompt they’re imagination, make them think more loosely and widely and more innovatively, to think about where stories come from and what stories they can make up for themselves.” (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Travelling with the bus each week will be an author or illustrator.James Roy, who has written books like Captain Mack and Billy Mack’s War, said much of his inspiration came from what he saw around him.”It’s really easy to think that stories are all involving heroes or people who can do amazing things or have wacky adventures,” Roy said.”But in actual fact a lot of the more important stories are kids’ own stories and the things they struggle with every day.”I’ve been all over the world talking to kids about writing stories and it doesn’t matter where you go … Photo:
Children can browse Russ the Bus and choose a book to take home. the same things worry them and the same things excite them.”My favourite book is …For the students at Seven Hills Public School, their stories of choice when they hopped into Russ the Bus were varied.”I love reading about Ella and Olivia because it’s about her diaries and she’s also seven years old,” — Maxine, 7.”My favourite books are about finding ways to do things and having to choose your own way to go. Photo:
James Roy says he draws inspiration from the everyday experiences of kids.

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Amanda Hoh

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November 04, 2016 14:21:08

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Students from Seven Hills Public School explore Russ the Story Bus. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Breaking Barriers inspiring Aboriginal youth in western Sydney
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91yo swimmer ready for Masters games

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(Supplied: Pan Pacific Masters Games) ABC Gold Coast

By Damien Larkins and Nicole Dyer

Posted

November 04, 2016 16:01:48

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Don Robertson has been swimming since the age of five.
I want to beat them,” he said.The 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games are on at the Gold Coast from November 5–13. At the age of 91, Don Robertson is one of the oldest competitors at the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast. Having said that, I hope they’re not too good. External Link:

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Mr Robertson will be swimming in six events and, although training has been hell, he is ready to “bring it on”.The Gold Coast local has been swimming since he was five years old.”My mum took my water wings off me and told me ‘You can swim into the shore’,” he said.”After going under a couple of times I think even at five I realised, Don, you can swim.”He dog-paddled into the shore and never donned the water wings again.Since then he has competed at a national level and spent 30 years as a swim official, including being a starter at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.Now he swims a kilometre every day in the pool at his retirement home.”It’s too easy to sit back and say I’m too old, but I’ve thought, no, I can do that,” he said. Photo:
Don Robertson is ready to bring it on at the 2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games. (Supplied: Pan Pacific Masters Games)
Normally swimming is a chance to relax, but once Mr Robertson had entered the games, he said he got the idea he needed to train.”It’s been hell,” he said with a laugh.”I’m glad that the games are eventually here so that I can stop training.”The nonagenarian is fit as a fiddle, having never smoked or drunk alcohol, except once during a year-long stint in the army stationed in the 40-plus degree heat at Woomera.”The only cold drink was a beer so I started to drink one middy beer every afternoon after work,” he said.Mr Robertson did that for 12 months and when he left, his mates said he had the taste and would never give it up.”I said I don’t like the taste, I only drink it cause it’s cold and wet,” he said.Mr Robertson is looking forward to the masters competition.”I’d like some opposition in my age group.

Interfaith cooperation in action in Mount Isa

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The prayer room at Good Shepherd Parish used to be set aside for the local historical society, but it is now used by Mount Isa’s Islamic community. (ABC North West Qld: Hailey Renault)
Father Lowcock said his decision to allow the Islamic community to use the space did not come without contention.”I suppose one of the issues was, do you make it public?” he said.”You don’t want any backlash against them or against us, and there have been some concerns raised by people — even someone from out of town has rung me about it.”

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“Put off thy shoes” can be found in both the Holy Qu’ran and in the Bible. Regardless of the practice, we respect each other,” he said.”All the religion is spreading the peace — nothing wrong with that, so we should love each other.” He grew up in Bangladesh but has been in Australia for the past 14 years.Mr Chowdhury said, before the church opened its doors, the Mount Isa Islamic community improvised locations for prayer.”Before we got a room over here we used to go to some other friend’s place or any other place — we used to pray there,” he said.”So since we got this one, we come here all the time so that’s very fortunate for us.”As Muslims we have to pray five times a day and that’s what we do — we gather here and pray to Allah, and we are all happy because now we openly come any time, whenever we want to.”Mr Chowdhury was aware of negative stereotypes often attached to his faith, and believed positive examples of religious harmony helped dispel the myth that Islam was dangerous.”We invite other people in [from] different faiths, so … if they want they can come and join with us and they can see what we do and how we practise, and what the real Muslims are.””That’s what we want to spread — across the world — that Islam means peace,” he said. (ABC North West Qld: Hailey Renault)
Jahed Chowdhury is a local Muslim. (ABC North West Qld: Hailey Renault)
Father Lowcock said, as much as the move was motivated by the need to find a space for locals to pray, it also demonstrated a symbolic gesture to bring the town closer.And he encouraged other religious leaders to follow suit.”I think there was a bit of a surprise element for people and they wondered ‘Should we be doing that?'” Father Lowcock said.”But I also think, in this day and age, [we need to] lead by some example, so we don’t just give way to the fears in our world, but we give way to what’s going to bring life.”If this is going to bring life to our community, I’d rather see us united rather than divided, I’d rather see us somehow coming together and praying, rather than just be a community that separates people from one side of town to the other,” he said.With a shared devotion to worship, Mr Chowdhury echoed a similar statement.”We live close together and in good harmony and that’s what we are human for. (ABC North West Qld: Hailey Renault)
According to Father Lowcock, the questions stem from misunderstanding and a fear of Islamic extremism and terrorism.”The question in the back of everyone’s mind [is] ‘What’s ISIS all about?'” he said.”I think every time people mention the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’, they immediately think of ISIS.”[But] rather than create the climate of fear in our world we need to create the dialogue and the climate of goodwill.”

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Jahed Chowdhury in the prayer room with a picture of the Kaaba, the building at the centre of Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca, on the wall. A single beige demountable fitted with not much more than an air conditioner, a few chairs, and a patchwork of woven mats turned to face Mecca has become an outback symbol of religious hope.The Good Shepherd Catholic church in the remote Queensland mining town of Mount Isa has offered space in its parish building to the local Islamic community for use as a prayer room.Muslims and Catholics pray just metres apart.”Over the years a number of people have asked ‘Is there a place or a space in Mount Isa for a prayer room?'” Father Mick Lowcock said.”A couple of the people who I know fairly well approached me and sort of said ‘Is it possible for us to use one of the rooms?'”

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Father Michael Lowcock has offered a space to Mount Isa’s Islamic community as a gesture of unity. (ABC North West Qld: Hailey Renault)
Father Lowcock said the relationship also spoke of the true multiculturalism of outback Queensland.”Last Sunday I just looked around and there were 18 different nationalities I counted just at one of our services, and I think they’re only a part of the community of Mount Isa,” he said.”The Islamic society too is made up of a lot of people from different countries.”I know some Catholics are married to Muslims so there’s a whole sense of ‘How we do show support for one another?’ in this.”

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Good Shepherd Catholic Parish in Mount Isa is hoping to lead by example.
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ABC North West Qld

By

Hailey Renault

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Harriet Tatham

Updated

November 05, 2016 15:50:40

Video: Mt Isa chooses interfaith cooperation over community division

(ABC News)

Wiggles visit puts Aboriginal community in global spotlight

It’s been an enriching experience for us.”The Wiggles were in Yarrabah to record for the Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle television series, which will shine a global spotlight on the remote far north community. “Musically, it was so lovely to hear.”The power of musicYellow Wiggle Emma Watkins said she was touched by the Yarrabah reception and overwhelmed by how well the local children knew The Wiggles’ back catalogue. We’ve never been here before.” Mr Schrieber said while The Wiggles’ visit was a day of excitement for the students, there would be long-term benefits.”The job that [The Wiggles] do working with kids fits in so well with what we’re doing here at our school, trying to inspire them, teach them, encourage them that they can go places,” he said. “The music seems to reach all ends of Australia. Music is universal.”

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Blue Wiggle Anthony Field dances with Nathan Schrieber. They’ll enjoy it, but also learn something.”The Wiggles like you’ve never heard beforeThe Wiggles recorded a version of their lullaby Rock-a-bye Your Bear in the Gunggandji language, accompanied by children, local elder Uncle Daniel Murgha, Indigenous singer/songwriter Elverina Johnson, and Yarrabah State School culture teacher Nathan Schrieber.”The funny thing is, our language, we didn’t mean it to match perfectly, but it almost fits rhythmically exactly the same, the syllables of the words,” Mr Schrieber said.”It’s amazing how these two separate languages and separate cultures have come together so well. Wigglemania has swept through the far north Queensland Aboriginal community of Yarrabah.But Blue Wiggle Anthony Field said it was the children’s music supergroup that left richer for the experience.”We learnt so much today about the Gunggandji People,” Field said.”We’ll remember this more than any entertainment centre gig. [It] defines people, it’s what they have in common, it’s unique, it’s beautiful sounding,” he said. Even this morning we had the preps to twos and they were all singing along [to] Hot Potato and Fruit Salad and Rock-a-bye Your Bear,” she said. Photo:
There was a lot of excitement among the children in Yarrabah about their visitors. (ABC Far North: Brendan Mounter)
Field said it was a privilege to share the Gunggandji language with the world.”Language is what it’s all about. (ABC Far North: Brendan Mounter)
“The television show that we do is on in 190 countries around the world, and I hope every one of those 190 countries that are watching learn as much as we did today about this beautiful culture up here — their music, their dance and the people,” Field said.”We wanted to include our Australian culture, and I think today was an amazing educational experience for everyone who watches that show. Photo:
Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins was surprised the community was so familiar with The Wiggles’ music. (ABC Far North: Brendan Mounter)
“It’s amazing that the music has transcended all the way out here.
ABC Far North

By

Brendan Mounter

Updated

November 10, 2016 15:55:07

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The Wiggles perform with traditional Aboriginal dancers in Yarrabah. (ABC Far North: Brendan Mounter)
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Reptile handler proposes as massive croc Elvis watches on

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Grand proposal goes awry after man becomes stuck on rocky cliff
An Australian reptile handler has proposed to his girlfriend inside a crocodile enclosure at a reptile park in New South Wales.Handler Billy Collett made the proposal during a demonstration while 4.5-metre crocodile Elvis watched on from just metres away.In a video uploaded to the Australian Reptile Park Facebook page, Mr Collett can be seen inviting his partner Siobhan Oxley to enter the enclosure to “have a crack at feeding the crocodile”, before dropping to his knee to make the proposal in front of a crowd of spectators.Before inviting Ms Oxley in, Mr Collett coaxed the large crocodile out of its pond with what appears to be a piece of meat on the end of a stick.”Three years ago, next week, I actually met the girl of my dreams; the girl I love more than anything,” Mr Collett announced to the crowd.”The last three years have been, yeah, the best of my life.”Mr Collett tells the crocodile to “stay there” and “behave yourself” before he turns to his partner to propose.”Siobhan, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” Mr Collett asks before the crowd bursts into applause.After she accepts, a clearly relieved Mr Collett jokes that proposing was “worse than feeding a crocodile”.The crocodile appeared to be unmoved by the gesture.
Brazilian rugby player gets surprise on-field wedding proposal from girlfriend
Updated

November 05, 2016 10:38:15

Video: Reptile handler proposes marriage inside crocodile enclosure

(ABC News)

Bold rural experiment gives hope to dying towns

Australian Story

By Greg Hassall

Updated

November 07, 2016 07:53:57

Video: The social experiment to repopulate Mingoola has been labelled a win-win scenario

(ABC News)
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And there’s not much joy in a place with no children.”
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Mingoola, with a population of about 150, straddles the border of Queensland and New South Wales. (ABC News: Kristine Taylor)
State member for Lismore Thomas George said both communities were behind the project.”What I have observed every time I speak to Emmanuel is the respect that he has for Julia and vice versa.”You’ve got a good team and a great community behind them, and that has enabled this program to be a success — both communities have accepted each other with open arms.”For some locals, however, the speed of change has been unnerving and there are concerns about the capacity of the area to take so many new arrivals.”This isn’t a prosperous area,” Mingoola Progress Association chairman Bob South said.”All our kids have had to go away and work; they haven’t found work here.”And I think the biggest fear we had was we would be introducing the [African] people into a poverty trap.”It isn’t racism to actually be concerned for the welfare of these people.”We don’t want to bring people into a lower standard than we would accept for ourselves.”Ms Harpham acknowledged there had to be a limit to the community’s generosity.”I keep saying, ‘please stop telling people about Mingoola,'” she said.”The brutal truth is we have four houses and we couldn’t sustain more than four families anyway in our small community — it’s just not really possible.”

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Mingoola farmers say the new residents bring a permanent seasonal workforce to help pick crops. They had been displaced from Rwanda and neighbouring countries during years of bitter civil war.The majority had rural backgrounds before having to flee their homes for refugee camps.”If you ask them, ‘What was your dream when you applied to come to Australia and boarded the plane,’ they say, ‘We hoped we were going to be put in the countryside, to connect ourselves with agricultural life and have a garden’,” Mr Musoni said.Instead they were resettled in cities where employment prospects were few, the environment was intimidating and many became depressed and isolated. (ABC News: Kristine Taylor)
Since then a third family has come to the area from Adelaide, bringing the number of new arrivals to 29.Local farmers have been employing the adults to do ongoing seasonal farming work that was previously done by backpackers, an increasingly unreliable source of labour.Isaac Icimpaye and his wife, Renata Ntihabose, were among the first to move and they have been very happy with their new home.”What I like about Mingoola is that my children will grow with the same culture as we used to have back home,” Mr Icimpaye said.”In the city I used to just sit doing nothing but in Mingoola I grow vegetable and beans.”‘Poverty trap’ concerns

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Julia Harpham says Mingoola only has enough homes for one more refugee family, despite a waiting list of more than 100. Her town was dying before her eyes.”Many of us have children who work in the city and aren’t going to come back to the farm because things have been so tough on the land,” Ms Harpham said.”You don’t like to see a community die. Photo:
Emmanuel Musoni with a few of the newest children of Mingoola. (ABC News)
Refugees yearn for spaceMeanwhile in Sydney, refugee advocate Emmanuel Musoni was grappling with problems in his community from central Africa. (ABC News: Kristine Taylor)
Generous community welcomes newest residentsAmong the families who have settled there has been a great sense of gratitude.”The people of Mingoola are good people, friendly people, lovely people,” refugee Jonathon Kanani said.”I don’t know how to say about the things that they do for us; I can’t describe that.”Ms Harpham said she was being realistic about the situation.”We know that nothing is ever perfect,” she told Australian Story.”But I’ve been stunned by the generosity of our community. So we feel so thankful to their efforts and their help.” External Link:

The Mingoola experiment shortform
Moving to MingoolaMr Musoni led a small delegation from his community to Mingoola early this year to meet locals and see whether resettlement was viable.On his return he put out a call for families willing to make the move; within a week he had a waiting list of 50.He chose two families from Wollongong with 16 children between them. Key points:Three African refugee families have moved to rural border communityNew residents have brought regular seasonal workforce for Mingoola farmersMore than 205 African refugee families on waiting list
In the tiny township of Mingoola, on the border of New South Wales and Queensland, local woman Julia Harpham was grappling with a common problem in rural communities.The population was in decline, enrolments at the local primary school were down and farmers could not find labourers to help with manual work. Because they weren’t happy in the city.”

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Jonathon Kanani, his wife Fainess Kabura, Isaac Icimpaye and his wife Renata Ntihabose were the first two African refugee families to move to Mingoola. Photo:
The arrival of six primary school-aged children allowed Mingoola’s school to reopen. Six of the children were of primary school age, which would allow Mingoola Primary School to remain open.Meanwhile, the community began renovating several abandoned houses in the area to accommodate the families, who moved to Mingoola in April. Three years ago the local progress association decided to take a leaf from the region’s migrant past and looked for refugees willing to move to the area.But when they began contacting refugee agencies they were told there would not be adequate support for refugees in the bush.”Every time I contacted any kind of refugee service they all said, ‘oh, no, these people need to stay in the city,'” Ms Harpham told Australian Story.At the end of last year matters became more urgent, with the announcement Mingoola Primary School would close if there were no enrolments in the new year.”It was just like the death knell of our community,” Ms Harpham said. A radical grassroots resettlement plan has transformed an ageing rural community, bringing together two groups with very different problems. Our priority is, are they happy? Video: Mingoola locals say a lack of regular work and an ageing population meant the community was facing a bleak future. (ABC News: Kristine Taylor)
Rural towns look to Mingoola modelFor those involved in this social experiment, the hope is that its success can be replicated elsewhere to help other struggling rural communities.Mr Musoni now has 205 families on his database wanting to move out of the cities and politicians have been watching the Mingoola project with interest.”I’ve had no hesitation in telling the Mingoola story, trying to encourage other people to look at the same program,” Mr George said.Mr Musoni said the support so far had been encouraging.”Julia and her community have shown it’s possible that regional communities can be welcoming to people from Africa,” he said.”They have broken the ice that was existing for us to get into the regional areas. (ABC News: Kristine Taylor)
A meeting of mindsMr Musoni made this point at a meeting last year with senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, then assistant minister for multicultural affairs — a meeting that made a lasting impression on one of the senator’s advisers, Isobel Brown.”I’m a migrant myself,” British-born Ms Brown said.”A good settlement journey is your future and a key part of the settlement journey is being secure and safe, gaining employment and getting on with life.”If we’re going to bring people to Australia, we deserve to give them a future.”Around this time Ms Harpham had contacted local federal member Barnaby Joyce about her desire to settle refugees in the area.Mr Joyce’s office knew of Ms Brown’s interest in resettlement and asked her if she could help the residents of Mingoola.Ms Brown put Mr Musoni and Ms Harpham in contact late last year and from there things moved quickly.

Gypsy-rock filmmaker Emir Kusturica and Dope Lemon to play Womadelaide

The Specials headline 2017 Womadelaide line-up

(ABC News: Malcolm Sutton) Photo:
WOMADelaide crowd soaks up the family-friendly atmosphere.
(Supplied: Womadelaide) Updated

November 08, 2016 08:01:41

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Emir Kusturica & the No Smoking Orchestra are one of the headline acts at Womadelaide.

(ABC News: Malcolm Sutton) Photo:
A monk smiles as he rests under a shady tree in Botanic Park during WOMADelaide.

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Ibeyi smiles at the crowd.

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Engaging and colourful, Angelique Kidjo on stage at the 2016 WOMADelaide world of music, arts and dance festival.
Frantic gypsy-rock group Emir Kusturica & the No Smoking Orchestra and Angus Stone’s laid back psychedelic side project, Dope Lemon, are among a further 27 acts announced for Womadelaide 2017.The world music, art and dance festival will be in its 25th year next March, having launched in Adelaide in 1992 and becoming an annual event in 2003.Emir Kusturico is a controversial filmmaker who has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival twice.His 11-piece Serbian-based band was described by Womadelaide organisers in today’s announcement as “genre-defying and irreverent, whose frantic ‘unza unza’ versions of rumba, rock and gypsy music are incredibly entertaining and slightly mad”. Photo:
Angus Stone will be performing with his sometime psychedelic outfit, Dope Lemon. (Supplied: Womadelaide) External Link:

Emir Kusturica & The No Smoking Orchestra
The No Smoking Orchestra are on the bill along with Austrian electro-swing group Parov Stelar in its exclusive Australian debut.Festival director Ian Scobie said it had taken “some years” to get both acts to Adelaide.”Every time we’ve tried they’ve either been about to go into the recording studio or they’ve been at the wrong end of the world,” Mr Scobie said.”Things have just finally come together.”Mr Scobie said the Serbian group was in high demand around the world.”[It’s] a completely crazed Serbian gypsy experience.”They’re really an extraordinary band and Emir himself is a really high-energy performer and that sort of mixture of rumba and rock n roll and gypsy music is just the most amazing mix.”Archie Roach returnsSinger-songwriter Angus Stone will be among a group of Australian acts that include L-Fresh The Lion, DD Dumbo, and Nattali Pa’apa’a — the Blue King Brown singer in her Jamaican reggae project, Nattali Rize.Grammy Award-winning African artist Oumou Sangare is also appearing, along with New Orleans street band The Hot 8 Brass Band and Sahrawi singer-activist Aziza Brahim.The latest festival details follow the announcement in October that English band The Specials would be playing, along with Indigenous singer-songwriter Archie Roach, who was part of Womadelaide’s first line-up 25 years ago.Also taking the stage in 2017 will be the Philip Glass Ensemble, founded in 1968 by the man described as the master of minimalist composition.The work Koyaanisqatsi Live (Life Out Of Balance) will be performed to mark Glass’s 80th birthday.Next year’s festival at Botanic Park will be held from March 10-13.

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Sarah Blasko performs at WOMADelaide. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)
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Sacrilege, a full-scale inflatable Stonehenge replica, is an instant hit with the children at WOMADelaide and inspires some spectacular antics. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)
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The Violent Femmes played their popular hits for the crowd at WOMADelaide.

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Sarah Blasko hits the right notes at WOMADelaide. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)

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At twilight, the opening evening’s big WOMADelaide crowd soaked up the music. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)
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Ibeyi performs on the WOMADelaide stage.
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A woman plays her drums in the park lands setting of WOMADelaide.
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Balmy weather provided a perfect introduction to the four-day WOMADelaide festival. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)
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A big crowd watches the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s performance with Angelique Kidjo on opening night.

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A Tibetan monk at work in peaceful Botanic Park. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)

World music festival delights Adelaide audiences

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A crowd gathers to watch a performance at Womadelaide (ABC: Malcolm Sutton)
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Violent Femmes’ frontman Gordon Gano leads a tight and energetic set at WOMADelaide. (ABC News: Malcolm Sutton)

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Members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo perform at WOMADelaide.
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The iconic flags of WOMADelaide flutter in the autumn breeze.

Back pain to window panes: How lead light helped heal a construction worker

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In his former trade as a dogman, Glenn Howlett at the State Bank building site in the 1980s. Glenn Howlett once soared above Adelaide’s tallest buildings, working as a dogman on various construction sites during the 1980s.He was quite literally on top of the world.Then things came crashing down when he tore a disc in his back.”I tried to rehabilitate [while still] in the construction industry by doing different things,” Mr Howlett told 891 ABC Adelaide’s Mornings program. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson) Photo:
A class of students learn how to assemble lead light panes with Glenn Howlett. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
The beauty and diversity of glass soon had Mr Howlett all but consumed.”I don’t think there is a medium as interactive as glass,” he said.”It can be a lead light or heated, fused and blown.”The dying trade of glass artisanMr Howlett’s son Kane now helps when the kilns are fired and glass is being blown, but the trade is not one he sees his son going into.”Lead light has definitely had a decline over the past 10 years, but everything has cycles of going in and out of vogue,” he said.Cheaper, mass-produced imported styles of glass and the lack of appreciation for handmade items would eventually see the demise of local producers, Mr Howlett said.”It’s really hard to make a living out of doing anything creative.”A lot of art really isn’t appreciated by a lot of people — most people just look at the price tag and go, ‘God, that much?’,” he said. Photo:
Over the years Glenn Howlett has taught himself how to work glass in a variety of ways. (Supplied)
He trained to operate one of the towering cranes but found the work only further inflamed his injury.”Looking down all the time didn’t do my back any good and climbing up and down the tower of the crane was hopeless,” he said.Seeing his window of opportunity closing in the construction industry, Mr Howlett turned to a window of a different kind — a stained glass lead light one.Career changeWanting to create lead lights for his own home, Mr Howlett had enrolled in a TAFE course to learn the craft just weeks before he was injured.”It was the first year that WorkCover came in, [and] the whole theme was to try and retrain people — that’s how it all started,” he said.During his 18-month rehabilitation, Mr Howlett turned his hand to creating lead lights full-time.His interest in glass grew and he soon learnt the arts of blowing and slumping.
Wondai Art Gallery on board for rail trail economic boost
(891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson) 891 ABC Adelaide

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Brett Williamson

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November 08, 2016 13:21:42

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Glass artisan Glenn Howlett works on the layout of a lead light window at Willunga Glass Studio.
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National art glass prize winner named

10yo NASA-bound after creating bandage dispenser while undergoing chemotherapy

(ABC News) By Seraphine Charpentier-Andre

Updated

November 09, 2016 08:32:06

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Bridgette Veneris came up with the prototype while undergoing chemotherapy.
A 10-year-old girl who invented an easy-to-use adhesive bandage dispenser while recovering from leukaemia is about to make a dream trip to NASA after being named Australia’s best young inventor.Bridgette Veneris, from Melbourne, won the littleBIGidea competition for her idea to make a quicker and easier way to unpeel sticky plasters.She received the good news at St Joseph’s School in Chelsea, in front of her family and classmates.”It makes me feel amazing, I never thought I could win the prize,” she said.Bridgette came up with the idea after she was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.She could see her parents and nurses struggle with unwrapping the bandages and decided she would create a system that was more ecological and practical.After a few experiments she developed a concept plan and prototype, where the bandages rolled out like sticky tape.”I thought, if no-one is going to do something about it, then this problem is just going to go on forever,” Bridgette said.”The casing can close completely to make sure no dirt gets in to the casing and it keeps the Band-Aids completely sterile.”Young inventor her dad’s ‘hero’

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The dispenser would still keep the bandages clean from dirt. (Supplied: www.littlebigidea.com.au)
While most 10-year-olds dream of going to Disneyland, Bridgette said she had always dreamed of visiting NASA.Her competition victory is making that dream come true.”Just going in the space shuttle, that would be amazing,” Bridgette said.James O’Loghlin, host of the ABC’s New Inventors and Dr Rob Bell, host of Network Ten’s science show SCOPE, selected Bridgette’s idea as the winner.Bridgette said winning the award was a great thrill after 18 months of chemotherapy and her father Steve had tears in his eyes when reflecting on her tough journey.”She’s been so resilient, she had long beautiful brown hair, she lost all those curls, she lost her ability to walk,” he said.”She’s has been the most positive person, she is my hero.”
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