New generation of Irish dancers ready for St Patrick’s Day

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Emma Wiggle is inspiring a new generation of Irish dancers
“Also if you go and see Riverdance and you have a child with you, they’re going to want to start Irish dancing no matter what.”Ms McGrath said aside from the big hair and jewel-clad costumes, the students were attracted by the fast pace of the dance style.”The fitness that these kids have is unbelievable,” she said.”The material that even my six and seven-year-old class are learning is really technical.”The standard is quite high now and I can expect a lot from these dancers.”As well as the little ones, we’ve got dancers who are training to compete on the world stage.”

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Irish dancer Aine Fitzpatrick, 19, prepares for St Patrick’s Day in Canberra. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) Irish dancers of all ages from McGrath Irish Dancing school will feature as part of the festivities across Canberra on Friday.The dance school is one of five in the city, training kids as young as three and four in the high-energy pursuit.While many of the young dancers have Irish heritage, dance school director Leanne McGrath said there had been a new kind of resurgence in the sport.”Since last year, Emma the Wiggle has been doing Irish dancing on the Wiggles,” she said. It wouldn’t be St Patrick’s Day without the sound of a traditional Irish jig, shamrock green dresses, towering hair and feet tapping in unison. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
Aine Fitzpatrick has been training up to six times each week in preparation for the world championships in Dublin in April.The 19-year-old ANU student said she was first attracted to the sport while living in its heartland.”I started when I was really young living in Ireland but gave it up when I moved to Australia, thinking there were so many other things I could do,” she said.”When I moved to Canberra about five years ago I was so inspired when I met Leanne and have kept going ever since.”Starting from 7:30am on Friday, Ms Fitzpatrick and the troupe will be performing at the Irish Club in Weston, at various nursing homes across the city, and then busking around Woden.”Then in the afternoon we’ll be back to the Irish Club,” she said.”After we perform on St Patrick’s Day there are always tonnes of people asking where we have classes and what kind of ages can do it.”

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Jayden, 11, and Imogen, 9, took up dancing after being inspired by a performance at the National Folk Festival. “A lot of beginners watch the Wiggles and so a lot of the intake in the last couple of years has been because of that — it’s been awesome for the sport. (ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley)
A family sportSiblings Jayden and Imogen started Irish dancing after seeing a live performance at the National Folk Festival in Canberra two years ago.”The dancers looked like they were having so much fun and they looked really fit,” Jayden said.”Dancing helps us to be strong for the other sports we play because we both play rugby too.””It’s great doing a sport together, because we can help each other out when we need it,” Imogen said.”If one of us has had to miss a lesson, then the other one can teach us anything new we might have missed out on.”It means we never fall behind and we’re always at the same stage.”

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Dancers from McGrath Irish Dance school practising ahead of St Patrick’s Day in Canberra.
(ABC Radio Canberra: Hannah Walmsley) ABC Radio Canberra

By

Hannah Walmsley

Posted

March 17, 2017 07:00:00

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Six and seven-year-old dancers will perform as part of St Patrick’s Day festivities in Canberra.
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Canberra 2600

We’re not kidding: Cyclists draw a goat with 200km ride

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Perth 6000
“There is talk of doing a quokka or a numbat or some other iconic West Australian animal,” Mr Jones said.Tackling the goat before the kidBut their next adventure won’t happen next weekend. “Part of the reason we actually did this now is that my partner is nine months’ pregnant, she’s due in about four days,” Mr Jones said.”It was something fun to do before I have a kid — geddit?”In the meantime, the goat ride route is available online for anyone to replicate. Strava art — the practice of making a drawing in the course of a ride — has been around for a few years.Creating the goatMr Jones said he planned the route carefully. A cycling group has caused a stir online after completing a 202-kilometre ride across Perth, mapping a picture of a goat.Ben Jones, one of four members of the amateur cycling team Fight Club, told ABC Radio Perth it took eight hours to complete.He said it was just a fun way to spend a Sunday. (Supplied: Ben Jones)
“People love it,” Mr Jones said.”I think it’s just that people like something a bit different.” The team has also been asked what their next piece of ride art will be. “It comes up through Osborne Park for the head, the eye is in Noranda, horns in Mirrabooka, and then it goes through the north-eastern suburbs,” Mr Jones explained.”The tail is in Swan View, some hooves in Kalamunda and the other hooves in Kensington and Victoria Park.”Online hitAfter sharing the image on Sunday night, it has had an enthusiastic response from cyclists internationally. Photo:
Ben Jones (right) and the Fight Club team on the eight-hour goat ride. The team started in Leederville, Perth’s inner-city suburb known for its cafes and popularity with both cyclists and hipsters.”There is a joke going around among people who have seen it online that it makes sense that the beard of the goat is in Leederville,” Mr Jones said.The route then took the riders north, east to the Perth hills and then across the river to the southern suburbs. External Link:

Instagram shot of Goat Ride Prep – Ben Jones
The team’s progress was mapped using Strava, a social media app for cyclists and runners which tracks your progress and then shares the results online. “In Perth, everyone rides their bikes around the river and around the hills which are great places to ride, but it’s interesting to do something a bit different.”But why a goat?”Goats are badass and they’re an easy animal to draw in profile,” Mr Jones said. “It’s about 202 kilometres, so not for the faint-hearted, but anyone can do it,” Mr Jones said. “We are hoping that a few other people will have a crack at it and, in the spirit of Strava, try and do it faster than we did it.”
(Supplied: Ben Jones) ABC Radio Perth

By

Emma Wynne

Posted

March 15, 2017 14:29:43

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Team Fight Club rode 202km in a day to create this image across Perth’s suburbs.

Meet the outback school using fresh food to change lives

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Mount Isa 4825
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Underprivileged students board community school bus toward academic success
Prep teacher Sarah McKenzie said the value of the program was visible on report cards and on the students themselves. “From an education perspective as well, these kids are having the right nutrition for their brains, so they’re able to focus for longer periods of time.”Ms McKenzie said the nutrition program was also helping to relieve pressure on teachers.”It makes my job a lot easier as well because these students, they’re healthy, they’re ready to learn, and they’re coming to school every day, which is the most important thing,” she said. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Improving health and gradesWhat began as a trial for Prep students has been expanded across the entire primary school. A remote school in north-west Queensland has launched a nutrition program aimed at improving attendance and student health.Sunset State School in Mount Isa offers students breakfast, morning tea, and lunch free of charge — something teachers say is helping the entire community.”It’s available to everyone that comes here — any families, any children, any background,” said principal Bryon Burke. “A lot of these children had lots of sores all over their skin, and just by having oranges every day has remarkably improved the quality of their skin,” she said. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Educating the communityStudent support worker Jenny Craigie, who frequently works alongside parents and guardians, said the food program was also making a difference in homes. Photo:
Prep teacher Sarah McKenzie describes the changes in her classroom as “remarkable”. “The rates of sickness and absence in our children has significantly decreased, attendance rates at school have significantly increased,” he said.”Children are here far more regularly at school each day and it gives them the opportunity then to more frequently access the curriculum. Their learning is far more consistent.”

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Sunset State School in Mount Isa runs a food program aimed at improving grades and attendance. “We believe it’s highly beneficial for our school and our kids, and certainly that’s what the data is telling us.”Attendance rates improve

Boarding the bus for academic success An unofficial school bus service is increasing school attendance rates for some of far north Queensland’s most underprivileged students. He said it was about prioritising student welfare and making sure bellies were full. The index of community socio-educational advantage (ICSEA) ranks schools according to their level of educational advantage.Sunset State School is ranked below the national average.While limited educational advantage often goes hand-in-hand with poor attendance rates, Mr Burke said his school was now bucking the trend.In 2015, school records show Sunset’s Prep class reported an average attendance rate of 78.6 per cent. It’s actually a honeydew melon.”

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School support workers Toni Woodward (L) and Lisa Dempsey prepare fruit and sandwiches for students. “With Indigenous families, because fruit is a very expensive item, they’ll only buy bags of oranges and bags of apples that come pretty cheap in bulk, but we miss out on a lot of other things like nectarines and our peaches, and our grapes,” she said.Ms Craigie said by exposing young children to fruit they did not recognise, the school was helping to expand their horizons.”The reaction to some of these fruits is unreal, it’s like the colours — they’ve never seen it before,” she said.”We actually had a honeydew melon [and] we cut it up.”Those kids had seen a rockmelon, so they were like ‘Miss, this fruit is not right — it’s not the right colour’.”I was no, no baby, that’s the right colour. (ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham)
Mr Burke said Sunset State School did not receive any extra funding to pay for the program. Two years on, preliminary 2017 data ranks the attendance rate at 91.3 per cent, something Mr Burke attributes to the new nutrition program. “We saw issues such as attendance and nutrition in children and family support as important to us, and I fund those on a yearly basis to make sure that they happen,” he said.

(ABC North West Queensland: Harriet Tatham) ABC North West Qld

By Harriet Tatham

Posted

March 13, 2017 14:47:02

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Prep attendance rates have risen from 78 per cent to 91 per cent over a two-year period.

Meet Margaret River’s winery dogs

(ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
He is a bundle of infectious energy. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
He’s been around the winery longer than a lot of the staff and is a bit of a celebrity in his own right. He’s a calming presence who tends not to move too quickly these days but we couldn’t imagine life on the vineyard without him.— Jo Evans, ownerSolstice the dingo-heeler

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Solstice loves a belly rub. — Hannah Mackay, ownerBear the black Labrador

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Bear is a calming presence in the vineyard. She is the meeter and greeter. Vintage is underway in the vineyards across the Margaret River region of Western Australia and, just as they do each year, four-legged friends play a pivotal role in keeping stress levels down as the workers toil under the blazing sun. I think it’s important to have a dog around the vineyard and we can’t imagine life without Rex.— owner Debbie Gallagher, ownerSonny the beagle

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Sonny is full of beans and the vineyard is his playground. — Mike Peterkin, owner Video: Meet Margaret River's winery dogs and watch them at work

(ABC News)
Boallia the kelpie collie

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Boallia keeps an eye on vineyard workers. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
He’s a calming influence on everyone and has the ability to slow everything down when it’s at its busiest. He loves getting out among the vines and checking everything out; it’s like one big playground for him. He’s as much a part of the winery as the vines themselves. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
Bear is a constant companion around the vineyard for my husband, who often works alone. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
He’s just pure love and we are blessed to have him in our lives here. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
Willow and Pinsky play a very important role for us. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
The workers just gravitate towards her throughout the day for a cuddle or pat. (ABC Rural: Anthony Pancia)
Jessie loves to lounge around on the cellar door floor where it’s nice and cool and the guests love to see her there. She just has that ability to keep everyone happy. — Danica Bettany, ownerWillow and Pinsky

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Willow and Pinsky are ice breakers and prompt conversation among winery visitors. They act as an ice-breaker with customers, which in turn makes it a lot easier to start conversations. She’s got a beautiful temperament and will never say no to a nice rub down, which seems to help as the stress levels start to ramp up throughout vintage. I see our workers having a great old time with him and Solstice is always happy to roll over and get a nice rub on the belly. There’s no doubt his presence acts as a stress relief.— Vanya Cullen, ownerHamish the terrier

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Hamish is a bit of a celebrity at his winery. They add a nice homely touch and add to the overall atmosphere. — Emily Bromell, cellar door managerRex the Staffordshire terrier

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Rex is able to slow everything down in the vineyard and bring calm. — Ute Kurys-Romer, ownerJessie the chocolate Labrador

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Jessie enjoys meeting and greeting winery visitors. He’s getting on in years, so is not as active as he once was, but our customers and workers just love going up and giving his belly a big scratch.
ABC Rural

Photos by Anthony Pancia

Updated

March 10, 2017 10:19:26
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Margaret River 6285

Story Dogs helping develop young bookhounds

Second time lucky for rescued dogs Bella, Bindi, Zuri and Angus
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Perth 6000
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“It is fun — and that is really what it’s all about.”Seven-year-old Taylor Jovanovic had been finding reading “a bit difficult” but said she loved reading to the Story Dogs and the volunteers. Photo:
Story Dog teams operate at schools right across Australia. One of those volunteers is Christina MacAulay, who comes to St Vincent’s every week with her dog Jasmine. A nationwide program that sees children reading aloud to dogs is building their confidence and improving their literacy. “The more Story Dogs we have, the more children would get the opportunity to build their confidence as readers,” she said.”We know there are a lot of dog lovers out there and a lot of people like myself who have retired and are probably looking for something different to do.”The children love it, the dogs love it and the volunteers love it as well.” Lindy Etteridge is the coordinator of Story Dogs for the Rockingham and Kwinana area in Western Australia.Every week, she brings her dog Poppy to St Vincent’s Primary School for one-on-one reading sessions with some of the children.She has seen some remarkable improvements in the children who read to the dogs.”One of the dogs was listening to a selectively mute child read,” she told ABC Radio Perth.”Over the year the child went from refusing to read, then would only read if the volunteer didn’t listen, to actually reading fluently in front of the volunteer and dog.”Dogs don’t judge or correctMs Etteridge said children who have been struggling to read suddenly feel confident in front of a dog.”A dog is non-judgmental, it is not going to bark if they get a word wrong. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)
“We have a number of dogs that we are waiting to assess to see if they are suitable, to try and get a few more into schools next term,” Ms Etteridge said. “Sometimes my parents would go and do other stuff and I wouldn’t have time to read to them,” she said.”She’s [the Story Dog] nice, she’s kind and she helps with words.”Story Dogs sought afterStory Dogs is reliant on volunteers willing to bring their dogs to school and organisers are keen to recruit more. “We have a normal routine at home, but once Jasmine has her jacket on she knows that it is time to work,” Ms MacAulay said.She said she hoped more people would consider joining Story Dogs.
(ABC News) ABC Radio Perth

By Hilary Smale and Emma Wynne

Posted

March 10, 2017 10:43:51

Video: Story Dogs are helping kids gain confidence in reading.
How an autism assistance dog turned a family's life around

How my wheelchair turned me into an artist

ABC Radio Sydney

By

Amanda Hoh

Posted

March 09, 2017 12:59:42

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Andrew Grant has been working as an artist since 2013. (ABC Radio Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
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Sydney 2000
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Andrew Grant was fit and active throughout his teens and 20s working as a labourer, with National Parks and Wildlife and then in hospitality.But at the age of 28, he slowly found himself struggling to walk up stairs and get out of low furniture.He was diagnosed with a degenerative neuromuscular condition called inclusion body myositis.The disease causes Mr Grant’s muscles to waste away to the point that he may one day struggle to breathe and swallow.”To a degree there was a loss of identity,” he said.”I used to love riding motorbikes, sailing and working on cars and bushwalking and doing active things.”But as I became more and more disabled I wasn’t able to participate in those activities and those were parts of my identity which were starting to splinter away.”That experience is one that Mr Grant has channelled into his work now as a painter. Photo:
One of Andrew Grant’s untitled paintings in his solo exhibition. (Supplied: Andrew Grant)
The body of work, which has taken a year to produce, features abstract landscapes and figure paintings of lonely contemplative women and men.”Most of the figure paintings were inspired by this loss of identity and the emotional toll that you experience with the transitioning into a physical disability,” Mr Grant said.”I wanted to expose people to that emotional toll like the solitude, the frustration and angst.”Mr Grant said he had only gravitated towards being defined as a disability artist, as opposed to being recognised simply as “an artist” in the past year, as a way to encourage other disabled people to join the art scene.”Getting involved in the arts for me has brought me into a creative and nurturing community where I can find acceptance and not be judged.”It will give you social participation, it will give you a voice.”Following the exhibition, Mr Grant will start on his next project — a “dark and moody” self-portrait to enter into the Archibald Prize.The Renaissance Project is being exhibited at 107 Projects in Redfern until March 12. External Link:

Andrew Grant and life as a disabled artist
Following his diagnosis, Mr Grant went back to high school via TAFE to earn his Higher School Certificate before enrolling in art school.The only campus he could attend was Kogarah TAFE which was wheelchair accessible.”I found myself at a bit of a crossroads and I took the opportunity to reinvent myself,” he said.Accessible paintingMr Grant started painting large works initially, but had to move on to smaller canvases as he lost movement in his arms.He bought an electric easel with grant money from Accessible Arts, and has a wheelchair that can be raised and lowered so he can extend his reach around his paintings.Last week, the 45-year-old launched his first solo exhibition titled The Renaissance Project.

Joan Oliver is 70 and is going back to school

“I walk about an hour-and-a-half every day, I swim four times a week, there’s no sitting down watching telly or reading trashy novels for me,” she said.With life experience on her side and a very supportive family, Ms Oliver said she was thrilled to finally satisfy her longing for a better education.And her advice for other elderly people considering further education is: “Do it.””It’s never too late and I’ve seen people that could be about my vintage at the campus and it doesn’t take long to feel like you belong.” “My plan at this stage is possibly to work with the community on a voluntary basis because I think I’ve missed the boat when it comes to a career,” she said.And while most 70-year-olds are settling into retirement, Ms Oliver said she had no plans to slow down. Joan Oliver never felt satisfied with her education after being taken out of school at age 13.Now aged 70, she has completed her VCE — last year she was the oldest graduate in Australia — and is starting university for the first time.Sitting at the grounds of Victoria University in Footscray, Ms Oliver was feeling slightly daunted before the first class of her criminal justice degree began.It has been more than 50 years since she left high school.”Part way through year seven I was taken out of school at age 13.”My mother didn’t believe in education for girls and I was sent off to work in a dressing gown factory.”Married at 19, and giving birth to her first child shortly after, Ms Oliver said she had always wanted to further her education but life got in the way. (ABC Radio Melbourne: Fiona Pepper)
“I was an avid golfer but unfortunately I incurred an injury and I couldn’t play golf anymore, and I thought right, now is the time to go back to school.”While completing her VCE, legal studies became one of Ms Oliver’s favourite subjects; that led to her decision to study criminal justice at university.If all goes to plan Ms Oliver will be in her mid-70s when she graduates with a Bachelor of Criminal Justice, significantly older than most university graduates. Photo:
After finishing up her VCE last year, Joan Oliver is getting stuck into a bachelor criminal justice at Victoria University.
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Melbourne 3000
(ABC Radio Melbourne: Fiona Pepper) ABC Radio Melbourne

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Fiona Pepper

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March 08, 2017 09:07:20

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Joan Oliver says it’s never too late to better your education.

Indigenous student recognised for excelling in STEM

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Maryborough 4650

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Ross Kay

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March 08, 2017 12:46:34

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Indigenous student Greta Stephensen receives her award. (ABC Wide Bay: Ross Kay)
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On the screen over time the particles arrange in the shape of the narrow slit. (ABC Wide Bay: Ross Kay)
Her advice for any woman considering studying STEM subjects is simple — your perspective is important.”I think if you’re a woman and you’re wanting to go into the STEM field then you really need to just try,” Greta said.”You really need women and people from diverse backgrounds to go into the workforce. “What we’re doing with the Indigenous STEM awards is showcasing some of these great Indigenous leaders that we do have.” Quantum mysteries of the double-slit experimentThe subject Greta chose for her investigation was one that was originally performed more than 200 years ago but still confounds scientists to this day — the double-slit experiment. “Research shows that when you do have diverse groups you have greater results, you have a diversity of opinion, and you have different ways of looking at problems,” she said.”If you have a single type of person working on a problem, they may not look at all the possible angles, but if you do have a mixed group of people they may think of things that you may never have considered. The experiment shows how light can demonstrate characteristics of both a particle and a wave.Photons or matter are shot towards a plate with one narrow slit and a screen behind it. ASSETS program manager Jen Parsons said the importance of diversity in the sciences could not be overstated.”We have a lot of knowledge and expertise in our Indigenous communities,” she said.”A lot of time the reason why we don’t see good representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is purely because they may not know that opportunities exist, or they may not have those types of aspirations. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
In May Greta will fly to the United States for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair as a guest of the CSIRO, where she will observe competing teams from around the world, including Australia. “I had to submit an application with all the things I had done, so that included the camps and the competitions and an [extended experimental investigation] that I had done, that presented my skills and my passion for STEM.”

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STEM subjects centre around science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A young Indigenous woman has been recognised by the CSIRO for her passion and pursuit of excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).Greta Stephensen, from St Mary’s College in Maryborough, received the CSIRO Indigenous STEM Student Award after attending an Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) camp, as well as demonstrating her work on an experiment.”The award is about passion for science as an Indigenous student,” Greta said. When the particles are observed or measured, they arrange in the shape of the two narrow slits.But when unobserved, the particles arrange in multiple lines, as though the particle waves have interfered with each other.”When they’re not observed they create a bunch of lines at the back of the wall, and they think that is due to diffraction, so we chose to do our [experiment] on the diffraction of people,” Greta said.”So we set up the experiment and came up with the same results, which is really hard to explain considering scientists still don’t know why the particles are doing that.” Encouraging more women into scienceGreta has plans for university study in the future.”If I get a good enough OP I’m hoping to apply for the University of Queensland and get into the dual degree of engineering honours and maths, and then I would like to apply for a cadetship with the CSIRO,” she said.”If I get that I can work with them all through uni and then after that I don’t know where I’ll go. “If we have them, then the world will be better because we’ll be able to have new technologies and new perspectives.”It is an idea echoed by Dr Parsons, who adds that broader perspectives can lead to better problem solving. STEM subjects in fashion Thinking of a creative industries career? Anywhere in STEM, NASA maybe.”I’m very passionate about STEM, and I don’t think anyone could influence me not to do it.”

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Greta will spend two weeks in the US attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. “It’s really important not only for women to recognise that it’s a fantastic career opportunity, but also for organisations to see the benefits of having women, and Indigenous women in their organisation.” External Link:

The Double-slit experiment explained
When you introduce a second narrow slit, things get interesting. Then stick with maths and science, writes Mark Liu.
Queensland's Deadly Science program hits WA

Stationery social enterprise changing girls’ lives

(Facebook: Words With Heart)
She said pitching to male investors also had its challenges.”I’ve had times where I’ve pitched to men and have had comments on my voice, appearance and things that are off the topic of investing in a start-up,” Ms Shuttleworth said.”Every woman I know in the start-up space has a story like that.” A Brisbane woman has created a social enterprise stationery business to help fund education projects for women in developing countries.Lauren Shuttleworth said she began Words With Heart two years ago after being inspired while on a volunteer trip to Kenya. External Link:

Words with Heart
“I met a 10-year-old at a school but the orphanage she was at couldn’t pay her school fees anymore,” she told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Terri Begley and Rachel Fountain.”It really upset me.”When I came back to Australia I decided I wanted to create a source of funding for these girls that wasn’t a one-time donation but an ongoing source.”I realised that starting a business was the way to go, and I wanted to do something that would help education, so stationery was a good fit.”The social enterprise measures its impact and success by how many education days they can fund.”So far we’ve funded 70,000 education days across Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Uganda and Nepal,” Ms Shuttleworth said.”Our aim is to fund one million education days by 2019.”Being a woman in the start-up worldMs Shuttleworth said getting ahead in the start-up world was at times difficult; currently 75 per cent of start-ups are founded by men.”Sometimes when you go to a networking event for start-ups it can feel like Where’s Wally trying to spot the other female in the room.”It can feel unwelcoming at times from the sense of being different, especially in the tech space.”

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Stationery made by the social enterprise helps women and girls in developing countries learn.
(Supplied: Words With Heart) ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

March 08, 2017 12:58:33

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Lauren Shuttleworth hopes to use paper to make a difference.
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Brisbane 4000

Siblings reunited after brother given up on street 70 years ago

It was during the Depression years, and people were strapped for food and cash and everything else.”That was that — until Mr Stubblety was reunited with his sister this week in Perth, where Mrs Crick had eventually moved to live.She said she was overwhelmed about meeting her brother for the first time.”I was nervous but I was very excited. and then my brother drowned and after that it was just me.”He is now surrounded by brothers, nieces and nephews — a feeling he said was “indescribable”.And as for where they go from here?”We’ll just be brother and sister and we’ll be seeing each other again at every opportunity,” Ms Crick said. (Supplied: Family)
“I never thought it would get this far … “It took her breath away … “We were very close, it was only me and my brother … Bruce Stubblety and Barbara Crick are 69 and 73 years old, but despite sleeping in the same cot as babies, the brother and sister have lived a life apart.The siblings were separated when Mr Stubblety was put up for adoption at the age of just two months.After having had no contact for almost 70 years, the pair has been reunited after some online sleuthing by Mrs Crick’s granddaughter. (ABC TV News)
While the story of how Mr Stubblety was given up for adoption differs, what he does know is his mother was walking down a street in Richmond, Melbourne in 1947 when she was approached by a woman.”She said ‘That’s a nice-looking baby’ [and] my birth mother replied ‘do you want him?'” he said.”And they went down to the Richmond town hall to sign the birth papers and I went home with her. there wasn’t much information,” Ms Crick said.”Nana is always talking about what happened to her and her siblings and I realised that was my opportunity.”I went on to the Government website and I filled in the form and got our identification and just waited.”When the day finally came for the long-lost siblings to meet, it was an emotional and overwhelming occasion. My mother would go to jumble sales and get dresses, and trousers, pull them apart and then make our clothes out of the old Singer [sewing machine],” he said. Photo:
Mrs Crick and Mr Stubblety were reunited at Perth Airport this week. I always knew I had brothers out there but he [Bruce] didn’t know,” Mrs Crick said.”We slept in the same cot together as babies … to see her seeing someone that she had known as a baby, it was amazing to see and be a part of,” Ms Crick said.Meeting family ‘indescribable’, brother saysMr Stubblety said his adopted family life had been close knit.”They did everything they could possible do for me. Photo:
Mrs Crick says she was overwhelmed about meeting her brother. I was looking for a Peter but they’d changed his name.”Granddaughter used website ‘and just waited’The reunion was the work of granddaughter Angela Crick, who began investigating the family tree in January 2015.
(ABC News: Sarah Collard) By

Sarah Collard

Updated

March 08, 2017 21:01:17

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Bruce Stubblety and Barbara Crick have a lot of catching up to do.
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Perth 6000

Five of the best street art pieces around Brisbane

(ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“A lot of the time people who don’t have an art background might not always understand how the process works and how they [the artists] respond to the space and environment.”The festival team has already begun planning next year’s event which will be held in the first half of 2018. Photo:
Artist Mr Sor2 uses detail to create his elaborate piece in Fish Lane, South Brisbane. Photo:
Alethea Beetson painted by Claire Foxton at 280 Elizabeth Street. Warehouse walls, delivery docks and a former skating rink have been brought to life with hypercolour portraits and positive messages thanks to street artists across Brisbane.The two-week Brisbane Street Arts Festival saw more than 22 major murals painted at places throughout the city by both local and international artists.”There was a massive positive response from the general public this year, and being our second year we had bigger and more central locations,” festival co-director Lincoln Savage said.”What we set out to do when we started the festival was to give the city more energy and character.”We love adding to the city.”Mr Savage said the largest piece created this year was in South Brisbane. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“Claire Foxton’s portrait on the Telstra Exchange Building on Elizabeth Street in the CBD of Alethea Beetson from the Queensland Museum and Digi Youth Arts was the most important,” he said.”It recognises Alethea’s work with young Indigenous kids in art — and the outcome is incredible.”Enhancing the urban tapestryThis year the event’s name changed to the Brisbane Street Arts Festival, added an ‘s’ to art to ensure performance and sculpture was included in the program.The street art component, however, continued to pack the most punch.Pieces can be found in Newmarket, West End and extending all the way to the Sunshine Coast. Photo:
The largest work is Minimal Intervention by Mimi which shows the four stages of wine production. Photo:
Social Weave was a piece painted by Guss which aims to shine a light on the current state of race issues. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“In terms of size, the MiMi piece in Fish Lane on the Wandering Cooks wall was huge,” he said.The piece stretches to more than 10 metres in length and sits on the back of an old warehouse, providing a stark contrast to the new apartment buildings going up in the area.Mr Savage said for him a large portrait in the CBD packed the biggest impact. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Rae Allen)
“Another festival director said the festival was ‘about enhancing urban tapestry’, and I totally agree with that,” Mr Savage said.During the two-week festival, people were also encouraged to see the works being drawn, painted and refined.Mr Sor2’s piece on an underpass in South Brisbane and Drapl’s large mural on the side of the former Red Hill skate arena were both created in front of eager crowds.”These public events gave people the chance to speak to artists directly and to watch the artistic process and that’s really important,” Mr Savage said.
ABC Radio Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Updated

March 07, 2017 11:21:53

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Artist Drapl weaved his magic on the old skate arena in Red Hill. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
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Café serving social inclusion with lunch and coffee

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Derwent Park 7009
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ABC Radio Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

March 07, 2017 10:58:04

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Angela is all set to serve you a morning coffee at the Car Yard Café. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
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Brewing up coffee success for Adelaide's disadvantage teens
“We’re hoping that we’re going to be here for a long time.”The Car Yard Café will officially open on March 15 but is already welcoming patrons in for snacks and lunches on weekdays from 9:30am to 2:30pm. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“The other reason that it’s been established is because the community, at this point in time … (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Aurora Disability Services has been running the Old Chapel Tearooms in Glenorchy for many years.Joy Cairns, founder and director of Aurora, said the café environment provided clients with a hands-on training experience in silver service hospitality.”It’s been established to give people more variety, to give them great opportunities for learning and developing,” she said. Photo:
AJ with Joy Cairns at the Car Yard Café. Photo:
Anne waits for the lunchtime customers at the service counter. A new social enterprise café has opened on the Main Road in Derwent Park, providing the area with a much-needed stop off for coffee, sandwiches, cakes — and smiles.The Car Yard Café is a new venture by Aurora Disability Services and offers training and work experience for people with disabilities. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“We want the community to be educated to see that they can contribute, they can contribute to our economy, they can contribute to their local communities.”We feel that if our community patronise us, that we’re going to succeed. they’re not providing the opportunities for supported employment or open employment opportunities.”The new café is decked out in car-themed décor and the counter is stocked with fresh salad sandwiches, quiches, pies and sweet treats.The food is made by Aurora’s clients in the small but spotless kitchen with help from support workers. Photo:
Sam loves to bake. Photo:
Laurie prepares sausage rolls from scratch with help from Sia. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
All functions of the café are run by the clients too, from maintaining the outdoor seating area to staffing the sales counter.Ms Cairns said having a café like this which served the general public could help change people’s opinions towards those with disabilities.”We need to change attitudes,” she said. Melting moments and Anzac biscuits are her favourite.

Wizards disability tenpin bowling club in a league of its own

(ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
He travels an hour from Yass in New South Wales to Canberra each Saturday to play, and last year made the ACT state team after five years of trying. “It’s good to go away. Each Saturday morning an army of orange and blue-clad Wizards gather in Canberra for their weekly tenpin bowling competition.It is magic to see, with each of the 87 competitors bowling the lanes in their own way.Each has a physical or intellectual disability, but that does not stop them delivering scores on par with the average able-bodied league bowler.”There’s some amazing bowlers … Photo:
Rodney Pearson delivers a strike at the Wizards’ weekly competition. “This year I got my first four-bagger which is four strikes in a row.” Bowling helps teenager ‘blossom’, make friends Ms Potter’s 13-year-old son Liam joined the league in 2015. “I didn’t know what to do I was so excited.” “We have a league ladder and at the end of the year we give trophies to the most improved and the winning team.” Each year, 30 of the top Wizards compete in a national competition. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
The league has been running for 28 years and the players range in age from 13 to 67. Photo:
A sea of bright orange and blue as the Wizards show off their tenpin bowling magic. “I just never gave up,” he said.”It was one of my goals and I just never gave up trying.”Last year when I made it I thought, ‘oh my god, it’s come true for a change’. Photo:
Kalinda Gallagher and Haylee Richards look forward to seeing one another each week. I like to win.”Social highlight of the week But it is not all about bowling and competitions. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
They named their team the Hot Strikers.”Because we’re very hot,” Ms Richards said.”And we like to get strikes,” Ms Gallagher added. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)
“We were looking for an opportunity for Liam to have a sporting activity and to increase his social involvement,” she said.”We’ve seen him blossom, he started to make some friends, his skill and ability in bowling has been encouraged and nurtured.”We’ve seen such a dramatic change in him since we started.”‘I just never gave up trying’Rodney Pearson is turning 50 soon and has been bowling for seven years with his team the Mighty Ducks. “[It’s] incredible the level of skill they have — I know I wouldn’t be able to bowl as well as they do.”

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A Wizards competitor uses a bowling ramp to deliver her ball. and it’s amazing to see the way they’re able to adapt their bowling to fit in to what their abilities are,” parent and Wizards Disability Tenpin Bowling League committee member Kara Potter said. The weekly gathering is the social highlight of the week for players like Kalinda Gallagher and Haylee Richards, who have both been playing in the league for more than 10 years. Robert Gordon is one of the players heading to Sydney in June for the annual event.”It’s a lot of fun, you get to meet new people, meet new friends,” he said. “They know they’re in a league so they’re out to beat their opposition each week,” league president Marilyn Richards said.
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ABC Radio Canberra

By Penny Travers and Laura Tchilinguirian

Posted

March 07, 2017 11:36:58

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Robert Gordon is one of 30 Wizards players who will compete in a national competition in June. (ABC Radio Canberra: Penny Travers)

Could you do 100 triathlons in 100 days like this mum?

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Rain, hail or shine — Debi Hazelden has run through them all in the past 38 days.The Sydney mum is on a world-first challenge to complete 100 triathlons in 100 days to raise money for the Red Cross, and so far it has been the weather and illness that has proven the most challenging.There were a couple of 42-degree days in February, and heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning last week tempting her to give up.But despite the blisters, a cold and a week suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease passed on by her eight-month-old son Ryder, Ms Hazelden is determined to keep going.”We love endurance sport and we’ve always loved doing crazy things,” the 36-year-old said.Every day for the past four weeks, Ms Hazelden has swum 1.9 kilometres, cycled 90 kilometres and run 21.1 kilometres.Her husband, John Mergler, is doing double that and their total by the end of 100 days will equal 33,900 kilometres. Photo:
Debi and John have had supporters join them on their daily runs. External Link:

Debi Hazelden
They set out at 5:30am in their campervan to Prince Alfred pool in Chippendale for the swimming portion, before going to Centennial Park to complete 24 cycling and six running loops.It takes them six hours to complete.When they have their son with them, the pair will alternate their running and cycling so that one of them can push the pram at the same time.”I’ve been injury free so far,” she told ABC Radio Sydney.”Running in the rain is nice, but on the bike in the rain is bad.”Supporting disaster reliefMs Hazelden has previously run 20 half ironman triathlons while Mr Mergler has done at least 60 ironman competitions.Two years ago she became the third woman in the world to match the height of Mount Everest by cycling Watsons Bay Hill in Sydney’s eastern suburbs 161 times in a single ride.It was at that challenge where Ms Hazelden met Mr Mergler, who had come to cheer her along. (Supplied: Iron Century)
The pair have since organised fundraisers for the Cancer Council, but Ms Hazelden chose the Red Cross this time having seen first-hand the disaster relief the charity provides.She was living in Christchurch when it was devastated by an earthquake in 2011.”They do amazing work for people in disasters.”They do such a great job; giving hot meals, shelter, all sorts of things you don’t think of but is so important.”The couple have so far raised $20,000 and hope to reach $100,000.Their last five days of the challenge will take place in Port Macquarie, with the final day competing in Ironman Australia.
(Supplied: Iron Century) ABC Radio Sydney

Posted

March 06, 2017 16:02:36

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Debi Hazelden and John Mergler will cover almost 34,000 kilometres in their 100-day quest.

No social media, no problem for kids attending Victoria’s wilderness leadership schools

By Jessica Longbottom

Posted

March 05, 2017 14:58:00

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Kids at the Marlo campus learn outdoor skills like canoeing. (ABC News: Jessica Longbottom)
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Marlo 3888
(Supplied: Mel Wuethrich)
‘Everyone loves each other’The school was established in 2000 by former Liberal education Minster Phil Gude as a way to give public school students a “private school” experience.It was modelled on Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop, which was attended by Prince Charles.Students have to undergo a tough selection process within their own schools to be accepted.At any one time, there are students from four rural and four city schools, with many of the teenagers getting to know each other for the first time.They sleep, eat and learn together, rising at 6:30am and attending activities until 8:30pm.They only have one day off a week. There’s a demand and willingness on behalf of the government,” he said.The Department of Education said it was working with the school on the proposal and it would be subject to future budget considerations. Photo:
Students working together building a bridge at the Marlo campus. They’re fantastic.”The school’s overall principal Mark Reeves said a decision should be made on the two new campuses in the next two months.’We’re confident they’ll go ahead. Instead, the students participate in outdoor activities, classes on problem solving and leadership activities.”If building other campuses was driven by data alone, then we would have ten more campuses,” Marlo campus principal Robyn Francis said.”The outcomes for our students are excellent … our dream would be for every public school student to have access to one of our programs.” Approximately 540 year nine students are selected from public schools around the state every year to attend one of the campuses for approximately ten weeks.However that only works out to roughly 2 per cent of Victorian public school year nine students. (ABC News: Jessica Longbottom)
‘Watch them shine’The experience aims to give students the skills to become future leaders.”We find that the individuals who participate in our programs are more independent, more confident, more willing to get out there and have a go at things and not fall in a heap so they develop resilience while they’re here as well,” said Ms Francis.She said the school’s research showed that former Indigenous students were more likely to stay in secondary school and pursue university studies after attending.Students on the whole were also more likely to take up leadership roles within their communities, with past alumni starting up various projects including those to help the disabled and homeless.”We make the mistake with thinking adolescents believe ‘It’s all about me, it’s all about me,'” Ms Francis said.”But give them an opportunity to do something for someone else and watch them shine. Photo:
The year nine students stay at the school for 10 weeks. (ABC New: Jessica Longbottom)
Afghan migrant Abas Hassani, who arrived in Australia in 2013 and usually attends Dandenong High School, said he loved the experience.He was tying up logs for a bridge-building exercise with his classmates.”We have already met 45 kids in like a week but everyone’s like… best friends, everyone loves each other,” he said.Principal Robyn Francis said it was not unusual for students to be getting their first experience outside Melbourne at the school.”One of the past students had never been to the ocean before and we took him fishing in the estuary,” Ms Francis said.”He waded out in his tracksuit pants with his fishing rod, sat in the ocean and he just couldn’t believe how lucky he was.”Social media and mobile phones are not allowed.But that does not phase Max Dunston, 14, who was preparing for a canoe trip.”We have 44 other people we can speak to and talk to and find out about… I haven’t been missing [social media] at all,” he said.”I’ve been loving it so far.”

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Students at this school learn tai chi rather than taking normal classes. A wilderness adventure experience for Victorian public school students has been so successful it looks set to be expanded, giving more teenagers the chance to learn outdoor and leadership skills.The Victorian Government is looking at establishing two new School for Student Leadership campuses in the Yarra Valley and the Grampians.They would be in addition to the three existing campuses: at Marlo in far east Gippsland, Mount Noorat in the western districts and Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps.There are no regular classes at the schools.