How running is transforming a Torres Strait island community

(ABC Rural: Charlie McKillop)
Training for a marathon in seven monthsIt is a path Elsie knows only too well. With Elsie encouraging from the sidelines — “C’mon bala, you can do it! “For the majority of people who come here and choose to be a part of the program, 60 seconds of non-stop running is massive for them,” Elsie said.”So you imagine me telling them they’ve all run three minutes, and you see how they celebrate, the joy and excitement.”

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Elsie Seriat never imagined the positive change running would make in her island community. Keep pushing hard” — they dare not stop until her piercing whistle sounds again.These are members of the TI Deadly Runners beginners’ group, who together are embarking on the road to positive change, one step at a time.At first, the improvements are incremental, but the self pride is evident. Now I can run a full kilometre without stopping,” said Carolyn, who has lost eight kilograms since starting with the Deadly Runners. Rural news in your inbox? “Before, I couldn’t run for 10 metres. Photo:
Elsie Seriat and Harold Matthew after completing the New York Marathon in 2014. Today she has brought along her friend, who readily admits “running is not my thing”.”The first whistle’s hell,” her friend laughed. Barriers to healthy living are complexStatistics show the Torres Strait mirrors the alarmingly high rates of obesity on the mainland — more than two-thirds of people aged over 15 are obese — and diabetes and heart disease are primary health concerns.The barriers to losing weight on TI can be complex. As the group sets off together, some walk, some run, some shuffle. When she and Harold Matthew became the first Thursday Islanders to join the Indigenous Marathon Project three years ago, she never imagined what they would achieve. (Supplied)
“It’s a mixed emotion for me, yeah, because I can see myself in that same situation when I first started running — coming from a zero running background in seven months to be able to run a marathon,” Elsie said.”So you know, coming back into the community is a perfect example for my people to see if I can do it, they can do it, too.” When Elsie crossed the finish line of the New York marathon in 2014, it was only the beginning, not the end of her journey. Photo:
It is all smiles after another session for the TI Deadly Runners beginners’ group. “But the second whistle’s good because you get to walk again!”But amid the laughter and mock protests, each runner has their own reason for being here, and everyone is pushing to their limits. (ABC Rural: Charlie McKillop)
Marathon training was a lonely path for the young trailblazers.Today, the Deadly Runners group is gaining momentum, with up to 60 members attending beginner and advanced sessions.Even Elsie’s partner and mum have become regular runners.In the local general store in the main street, a new sports section has replaced aisles of electrical goods as a growing band of runners vote with their feet.”My word of encouragement to others is just to get off the couch; that’s what it’s all about, people choosing to do that,” Elsie said. For example, when Elsie’s fellow marathon buddy Harold began training, friends noticed his weight loss and were worried he was sick and needed more kai kai (food). Subscribe to get the national headlines of the day. She returned home to TI determined to help others to embrace the healthier, active lifestyle she had discovered.
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ABC Rural

By

Charlie McKillop

Updated

August 18, 2016 09:40:29

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Members of the TI Deadly Runners group stretch out after a regular interval training session (ABC Rural: Charlie McKillop)
The shrill of Elsie Seriat’s whistle cuts through the pre-dawn stillness of her island community.It signals the start of an interval training session for the 20 or so people who have gathered on the foreshore at Thursday Island (TI), a small island in the far northern waters of Australia.

A Big Country: Islanders embrace a healthy lifestyle

(ABC Rural)

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Pull on your running shoes to join the Thursday Island Deadly Runners for interval training

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New York Marathon beckons Thursday Island Deadly Runner

Dubai plane crash survivor wins $1m in airport lottery

Updated

August 11, 2016 07:13:47

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Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar was on this Emirates plane when it crashed and burned in Dubai (AFP: Gulf News Dubai/Ahmed Ramzan)
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“I live a simple life, and now that it’s my time to retire, I feel like God gave me a second life when I survived the plane crash, and blessed me with this money to follow all this up by doing good things,” he told Gulf News. It has been an eventful few days for Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar, an Indian living in Dubai. Key points:Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khadar bought a lottery ticket on his way to IndiaComing back to Dubai, he was on board an Emirates jet which crashed and burned on the runwayHe says some of his $US1m will go to help impoverished kids in Kerala
In the space of a week, he survived a crash-landing at Dubai airport then won $US1 million in a lottery organised by the airport’s duty free operator, Gulf News reported. Video: The Emirates plane burns on the runway

(ABC News)
Mr Khadar has lived in Dubai for 37 years and is married with two children, one of whom is paralysed after a fall early on in his childhood, reported Gulf News.Mr Khadar said he was planning to return to Kerala to retire and would use the money to help children in Kerala who need financial support.He said he earned around $US2,200 a month, and would continue to work as long as he could.”Nothing else can give you the satisfaction of your hard-earned money,” he said. Video: Chaotic scenes as passengers try to evacuate burning Emirates plane

(ABC News)
AFP The 62-year-old was flying home from holidays with family in India when the Boeing 777 in which he was travelling caught fire on landing with 300 people on board.The accident last week shut down the Middle East’s busiest airport for several hours, forcing authorities to cancel hundreds of flights.All the passengers and crew escaped unharmed, but a firefighter died tackling the blaze.Just six days later, Mr Khadar discovered that the lottery ticket he had bought on the way to India was now worth $1 million.A fleet administrator with a Dubai car dealership, Mr Khadar told Gulf News he habitually bought a lottery ticket on his way to visit family in the southern Indian state of Kerala.Ticket number 845 in the Millenium Millionaire draw at the airport’s Dubai Duty Free proved to be his winning shot.

On-the-job training for people with disability through the Yellow Door

“I like helping people and interacting with people,” he said.Paula Ryan is a volunteer with the shop, and said it was very rewarding to see the trainees building their skills.”The interaction the clients have with the general public, their improved sense of humour, seeing them manage the EFTPOS and computers, it’s very rewarding to see that capacity building,” she said.Ms Ryan said as far as the customers were concerned, service at Yellow Door was just like any other local shop.”For the general public, it’s not an issue, and that’s the key point — it’s not an issue.”Mr Searles said the aim was to see their clients move on to other paid work or volunteering roles in the community.”As we progress with the program the intent is to look for local businesses who might partner with us to give placements to people with disability, so they can test out the skills they’ve learned at Yellow Door Books in other retail settings,” he said.Mr Searles said HSA did not currently receive funding to run the program, and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme could mean a promising future.”The program at Yellow Door Books is targeted at motivated individuals who have identified gaining employment, paid or unpaid, as one of their goals,” Mr Searles said.”The retail program provides formal training in a supportive environment that’s also a functioning business.”Therefore it offers real on-the-job training, with real customers, rather than simulated training.”In the future under the NDIS when people have their own funding and they’d like to use that for skills development, this would be one of the programs they may consider as an option.”Certainly from the feedback we’ve had we think it’s a program that could be quite attractive.” Photo:
CEO of the Home Support Association Grant Searles (left) with Yellow Door Books staff member Jenny Reeve and Ben Kelly from Rockhampton who is in training at the shop. A social enterprise on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast is giving people with a disability an opportunity to get job-ready and build their confidence and skills.Yellow Door Books in the coastal town of Yeppoon is a social enterprise run by Central Queensland non-profit Home Support Association. Six people with disabilities are currently in training at the shop, learning everything from social skills to technology.Their jobs include sorting, cataloguing and preparing for sale books donated to the shop, customer service, cash handling and using EFTPOS terminals.Home Support Association (HSA) CEO Grant Searles said they took on Yellow Door Books as a means of providing training for people with disability.”To see the growth in our clients as individuals is proof enough the program’s working,” Mr Searles said.”Confidence would be the biggest change we see.”When people first start the program they can be reluctant to be involved, particularly in customer service, but soon that’s a part of the program they really look forward to.”I have discussions weekly with clients, and that’s the first thing they want to talk about — how many sales they’ve made, and how they’re able to use the technology.”Ben Kelly from Rockhampton is currently in training at Yellow Door.He said the social interaction was the highlight of the job.
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ABC Capricornia

By

Chrissy Arthur

and

Jodie van de Wetering

Updated

August 12, 2016 08:30:36

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Yellow Door Books volunteers Yvonne White and Paula Ryan say the increase in confidence in the clients coming through training at the shop is wonderful to see.

Paralysis partly reversed using brain-controlled robotics

Key points:Doctors upgrade patients’ status to “partial paralysis” in four casesOne woman unable to walk for more than a decade, walks with help of bracesStudy combines techniques to stimulate dormant parts of brain
Six men and two women who had completely lost the use of their lower limbs all made significant progress, scientists reported in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.In four cases, doctors were able to upgrade their status to “partial paralysis”, an unheard-of level of improvement using non-invasive techniques.One of them — a 32-year-old woman paralysed for more than a decade — may have experienced the most dramatic transformation.At the outset of the trial, undertaken at a clinic in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she was unable to stand, even with the help of braces.Within 13 months, she could walk with the help of braces and a therapist, and could produce a walking motion while suspended from a harness.”We couldn’t have predicted this surprising clinical outcome when we began the project,” said Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University in North Carolina and the main architect of the rehabilitative research.”Until now, nobody has seen recovery of these functions in a patient so many years after being diagnosed with complete paralysis.”

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A person wears a cap lined with electrodes to record their brain activity. “She could feel the contractions.”The innovative therapy combined several techniques to stimulate parts of the brain that once controlled the patients’ long-inactive limbs.The underlying — but still unproven — theory is that this process provokes changes not only in the brain, but in the damaged spinal cord as well.Mr Nicolelis took the global spotlight in June 2014 when a paraplegic wearing a robotic bodysuit he co-designed delivered the symbolic first kick at football’s World Cup in Brazil.Patients imagine walking while immersed in a digital 3D world
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Walk Again Project led by Dr Miguel Nicolelis
In the new trials, rehabilitation began by learning how to operate a digital Doppelganger, or avatar, within a virtual reality environment.At the same time, patients wore snug caps lined with 11 electrodes to record their brain activity through EEG, or electro-encephalography.Initially, when they were asked to imagine walking while immersed in a digital 3D world, the parts of the brain associated with motor control of the legs failed to light up.”If you said, ‘use your hands’, there was brain activity,” Dr Nicolelis said. Photo:
A person in a harness tries to take some control of their posture during the study. (AASDAP and Lente Viva Filmes)
“But the brain has almost completely erased the representation of their lower limbs.”After months of training, these long-dormant parts of the brain started to wake up.At that point, the patients graduated to more challenging equipment that required some control over their posture, balance and ability to use upper limbs, including overhead harnesses — common in physical therapy centres — that carry the body’s weight.They also used exoskeleton robotics not unlike the articulated, high-tech armour of comic book hero Iron Man.Through all of this, the patients wore an arm sleeve equipped with a touch-technology, called haptic feedback, that uses a range of unique vibrations — something like the buzzing jolts gamers feel in hand-held controllers — to help train the brain.When an avatar walks on sand, for example, the patient feels a different pressure than for grass or asphalt.The patient’s brain creates the illusory feeling that he or she is walking without the assistance of devices.What exactly happens in the body to allow for these improvements is still not clear.Brain creates the illusory feelingAt least one previous study, Dr Nicolelis said, has shown that a large percentage of patients who are diagnosed as having complete paraplegia may still have some spinal nerves left intact.”These nerves may go quiet for many years because there is no signal from the [cerebral] cortex to the muscles,” he speculated.”Over time, training with the brain-machine interface could have rekindled these nerves.”Even a small number of remaining nerve fibres “may be enough to convey signals from the motor cortical area of the brain to the spinal cord”, he suggested.High-tech imaging confirms activity in the brain during training. Patients long paralysed from spinal cord injuries have shown unprecedented gains in mobility and feeling through virtual-reality training and the use of brain-controlled robotics, scientists say. (AASDAP and Lente Viva Filmes)
One of the women sufficiently recovered sensation — on her skin and inside her body — “that she decided to deliver a baby”, Dr Nicolelis said. External Link:

Paraplegic man in robotic suit kicks off World Cup 2014
However, the scanning cannot be used to scrutinise the spinal cord due to the presence of reconstructive metal in the damaged area.In 2014, three young paraplegics were able to voluntarily flex their knees, ankles and toes after US scientists placed implants in their lower spine, hailed as a breakthrough at the time.And earlier this year, a US man paralysed in the arms was able to use his right hand to swipe a credit card and stir coffee thanks to a surgically-inserted chip that allowed his brain to communicate with a computer linked to an electrode sleeve.But the new results may be the first achieved without the use of any invasive devices.With the eight patients now into their second year of training, Dr Nicolelis is preparing a follow-up study looking at changes in their quality of life.Most them recovered some degree of control of basic bodily functions, including bladder control and bowel function.”There has also been improvement in sexual performance for the men,” Dr Nicolelis said.AFP
Updated

August 12, 2016 05:31:06

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Patient performs brain-controlled walk
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Top Brisbane chef to cook food in children’s hospice

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Hummingbird House is due to open by the end of 2016. The head chef at one of Brisbane’s most awarded restaurants has hung up his fine-dining hat to cook for sick children and their families.Mat Fury resigned from the acclaimed Restaurant Two to take over the kitchen at Queensland’s only children’s hospice, Hummingbird House, at Chermside in Brisbane’s north.Mr Fury said he wanted to use food to create memories for sick children.”Food is actually the way to break down the wall to vulnerability,” he said.”With the food that I create with lots of love, it actually supports these people to just sit down, have a chat and just relax.”Not having to cook a meal, not having to think of what you’re going to prepare – instead there’s a chef here that’s going to put up an amazing meal they can just enjoy.”Hummingbird House will open at the end of the year, offering paediatric palliative care for children and their families.It will be the third children’s hospice in the country.Mr Fury said he had already begun designing menus and “special food events” to distract children from their illness.”We’ll have a foundation menu that will run seven days a week and people can order from that,” he said.”Or if children or families want something different, we can do it.”So for an example a child might like to make their mum and dad dinner – I’m the middle point and can help create an experience for that child.”Mr Fury said he saw the job as a chance to give back to the community and help families in need. (Facebook: Hummingbird House)
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Mat Fury wants to create memories for sick children. (Facebook: Hummingbird House)
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By

Allyson Horn

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August 12, 2016 06:45:58
Anonymous $3 million donation gives Queensland's first children's hospice solid start
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Story dog Lollipop helps kids improve their reading skills

(936 ABC Hobart Carol Rääbus) 936 ABC Hobart

By

Carol Rääbus

Posted

August 12, 2016 09:48:09

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Logan reads with Jacqui Brown while Lollipop takes a break from story dog duties.
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Logan reads to Lollipop the story dog. (936 ABC Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
“It’s not a difficult thing to do,” Ms Brown said.”You get a very warm welcome from the schools.”Each dog is assessed by the organisation for its temperament, while the dog’s owner gets support and training with literacy skills.At the moment Lollipop is the only story dog in southern Tasmania.Ms Brown said they were keen to recruit more calm pooches to the cause.”Boxers are well known for loving people, especially children … (936 ABC Hobart: Carol Rääbus)
Story Dogs started in 2009 and has teams working with primary schools all over Australia.The program focuses on children from grade two and up who need a boost with their confidence and reading skills.”Last year we had a boy who was in grade six, he didn’t know all his letters,” Ms Brown said.”He was Lollipop’s first client and by the time he left he was able to read a newspaper, he could read a bus timetable, he could use a computer.”Lollipop made a big difference to him.”Non-judgmental dogs help improve confidenceWhereas a child might be scared or embarrassed to make a mistake reading in front of a human, the dog gives them no judgment and just seems pleased to be with their efforts.Ms Brown and Lollipop work at Austins Ferry Primary School.They have scheduled mornings when they spend time with children one on one. but any dog that’s calm would be wonderful.”More information on how to become a Story Dogs volunteer is available on its website. Lollipop sits looking at Logan as he reads a book about baboons to her.Lollipop is a story dog, tasked with helping kids improve their reading skills in a fun and non-threatening environment.Jacqui Brown is Lollipop’s owner and the Hobart coordinator for Story Dogs.”Many children have emotional upsets in their day,” Ms Brown told Bridget Hickey on 936 ABC Hobart.”The dog is something that calms them.”

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Lollipop the boxer has been a story dog for two years.
Story Dogs program given the lick of approval

Australian Wagyu producer to defend World Steak Challenge title

Wagyu exporter hopes Japanese live trade will resume soon
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Jacks Creek 2390
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Managing director Patrick Warmoll cooks the world’s best steak. If you’ve got five and the world wants five, you’re in trouble.”Australian Wagyu database becoming globally recognisedAccording to the Australian Wagyu Association, which attracted a record 400 producers to its recent annual conference, the world market is unlikely to become over saturated.Chief executive officer Graham Truscott said the greater risk — with Australian Wagyu joinings set to grow to about 820,000 in five years — was from inferior genetics being used by new players. Photo:
Wagyu steak, with the distinctive marbling that gives it its flavour. It may not have the prestige or the following of the Olympic Games, but the hopes of the nation will rest on the broad shoulders of a carefully prepared entrant at a different kind of international event in London in September.New England-based Wagyu beef company, Jack’s Creek, will defend its title as producer of the best steak in the world.With its German partner, Jack’s Creek beat more than 70 producers from 10 nations at the World Steak Challenge last year.Its winning entry came from a Wagyu beast bred at the company’s eponymous farm at Willow Tree in NSW, which was carefully and slowly fattened for about 30 months to achieve the high marbling that gives the Japanese breed its famous full flavour.”When I found out we actually won I gave out a hell of a big cooee,” said Jack’s Creek co-founder David Warmoll.Phillip Warmoll started the company with his brother David in 1990. They had been partners in a family cropping enterprise at Breeza in NSW and were carting grain to feedlots preparing Angus and Jersey cattle for the Japanese Kobe beef market.”I said ‘Well why don’t you use Wagyu?’ and they said ‘You cant get it, they’re protected, it’s a national treasure, you can’t get the semen out of Japan, we have no protocols,’ but the idea was planted in our heads,” Mr Warmoll said.”Years later my brother was in a doctor’s surgery reading Time magazine and he saw there were some bulls in the University of Texas, and he asked me ‘What do you think, do you want to have a go, should we have a go?’ and I said ‘Get onto it’, and we started from there.”‘We are worried about over production’Phillip Warmoll’s sons Patrick, Robert and Stuart are now helping run the export-focused business, producing 12,500 tonnes of Wagyu and Angus beef a year.”We now sell Wagyu to 20 different destinations direct via air freight or sea freight, chilled, frozen, boneless, bone in; we pack four different marble score grades, 27 or 28 different cuts from the carcass, so there’s a lot of different codes being produced and we ship them all over the world these days,” Patrick Warmoll said. (ABC News: Sean Murphy)
“If we don’t get the right genetics in there then of course the product at the end of the supply chain won’t perform, and that’s an issue for us with this very high rate of growth,” Mr Truscott said.Wagyu registrations with the association were growing by about 30 per cent a year, he said, and producers from 25 countries were now registering their Wagyu genetics in Australia.”The Australian database is actually becoming well recognised globally as really the only place to get genetic analysis done and so the world is really looking at Australia in a rather unique way to be able to service the world for the genetic analysis of Wagyu,” Mr Truscott said.See the story on ABC Landline this Sunday at noon. (ABC News: Sean Murphy)
There was room for further growth in the market he said, but with a 30 per cent increase in Australian-bred Wagyu forecast for each of the next five years, there was a risk of over production.”Markets take time to develop sustainably so it’s still a step by step approach by our company and others in the field,” he said.”There’s been a significant expansion of Wagyu breeding and that raises some concerns for us that there’ll be a crash at some point.”David Warmoll agreed that over supply threatened the high prices attracting new producers.”We are worried about over production, if we grow this too quick, the market won’t be there, we’ve got to grow it steadily, steadily,” he said.”It’s like in everything, if you’ve got four of something and the world wants five, you’ve got a market.
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(Twitter: Jack’s Creek) Landline

By Sean Murphy

Updated

August 12, 2016 17:21:09

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Jack’s Creek last year won the World Steak Challenge, and is looking to defend their title.
Incredible drone footage captures saltwater muster

Breaking Barriers inspiring Aboriginal youth in western Sydney

Young Indigenous men have highest suicide rate in world
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Sydney 2000
(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
‘We aren’t scary, we are people’Local police have developed a close relationship with the Mount Druitt Indigenous community and will often alert elders like Mr Hamilton if they notice local youths “going down the wrong track”.The relaxed relationship between the young attendees and police officers was reflected in the calls of some boys who yelled out, “Bye Aunty Jules” to Sergeant Julie Underwood as they left the pool deck.”I think that’s absolutely fabulous; they do treat you like you’re the big aunt,” she said. Photo:
Breaking Barriers aims to improve the health, fitness and confidence of local Indigenous youths. It was started three years ago as a spinoff from Clean Slate Without Prejudice, a boxing program for kids in Redfern. Photo:
Sergeant Julie Underwood with (from left) Kelemete Anderson, Ethan Lewis and Dominic Whitton. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Breaking Barriers is a fitness and mentorship program overseen by Indigenous elders and Mount Druitt police who hope to inspire young Aboriginal people to avoid a life of crime. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
While Sergeant Underwood usually attends the morning sessions in civilian clothes, she will occasionally come dressed in her uniform to remind the kids of her day job.”Unfortunately, a lot of the kids have beliefs with police in relation to older members in their family or in their family circle,” she said.”We’re trying to break that down to say we’re not that bad, we aren’t scary, we are people. It takes away that stigma.”Reducing Aboriginal youth crimeAccording to the most recent report of youth detention by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 54 per cent of all those in detention were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.Mr Hamilton said the community elders were determined to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in the juvenile justice system. When 15-year-old Carly Bates attended her first session at Breaking Barriers, an Aboriginal youth program in western Sydney, she had low confidence and feared the police.Two years later, her attitude towards authorities has turned around.”At first it was really scary when they said the police were involved and we didn’t know what to do,” Carly said.”But the police say they’re here to help us, and if we’re scared to go to them. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“Our motto is: Choices we make will affect our tomorrow.”The real reason we do it is to make sure our kids understand that a life of crime is not what they need in their life.”We talk to them about making better choices.”That’s the message getting through to 11-year-old Jamal Wallace, who gave Sergeant Underwood a wave as he walked past.”[The police are] good leaders for the young kids,” Jamal said.”They’re good and teaching us not to be bad.” We also have all our aunties and uncles here that we can go to whenever we want.”

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Carly Bates says the mentors at Breaking Barriers have helped her become more confident. Photo:
The kids race each other across the pool during a fitness session. Breaking Barriers not only creates a social space for the local community through weekly fitness sessions, but it aims to make the young attendees comfortable with talking to authorities.”There’s always a stigma between Aboriginal people and the police that they don’t get along,” Darryl Hamilton, Aboriginal elder and mentor at the program, said.”We’re trying to break those barriers down and make sure our kids are comfortable around police officers instead of being scared by police or not having trust in police.”The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning at Emerton Leisure Centre.At one session, about 30 primary and high school students were in the swimming pool balancing on coloured noodles and being put through their paces by a fitness instructor.Afterwards the students were served a healthy breakfast before heading to school.
(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh) 702 ABC Sydney

By

Amanda Hoh

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August 12, 2016 10:44:19

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Young Aboriginal youths are mentored by Mount Druitt police and Indigenous elders.

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Students break record for world’s largest science lesson

Students explore future careers in science and technology at ANU
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(612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe) this is what makes our state great.”I urge you to keep up the science lessons.”

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You can imagine taking the class roll took some time. External Link:

Students work on the world record attempt in Brisbane
A total of 2,895 students from years five to 10 came together for the lesson.Teacher Anne Brant taught them how magnetic fields worked using the humble paperclip.The record was previously held by students in Durban, South Africa, where 2,102 students attended a lesson.Queensland’s Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garnett, said it was great to see how excited the students were to learn about science.”Most teachers would say teaching a class of 30 is a challenge, so teaching 3,000 students is a big challenge.”These children can now look back on their careers and life and say that they were part of a world championship-beating event.”That’s pretty special.”

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Chief Scientist Geoff Garnett says the students will remember the record-breaking day. Photo:
Shambhavi Mishra and Johannes Faller took part in the record attempt. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Students Shambhavi Mishra and Johannes Faller said the lesson was conducted without a hitch.”All aspects of science are important in life and we’re so glad we got to help the primary school kids learn more about science too,” Shambhavi said. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“It’s amazing to think we’ve been part of a world record-breaking event,” Johannes added.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the world record proved Queensland was strong in the science field.”We had children represented here today from Cairns, Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast … Thousands of Queensland students have used their love of learning to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever practical science lesson.
(612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe) 612 ABC Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

August 12, 2016 13:33:24

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Students celebrate becoming record holders for the world’s largest science lesson.
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‘Overwhelmed, proud’ Fiji celebrates historic Olympic win

Fiji storms to sevens gold, claiming first-ever Olympic medal
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By Pacific affairs reporter Liam Fox

Updated

August 12, 2016 14:14:55

Video: Fiji fans go wild as country wins first gold for rugby 7s

(ABC News)
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Around 400 people packed into Dratabu’s community hall to watch the game. There have been scenes of jubilation in Fiji after the country won its first Olympic medal — a gold in the inaugural men’s rugby sevens competition.Two of the country’s players, Samisoni Viri and Kitione Taliga, are from Dratabu village near Nadi.Around 400 people packed into Dratabu’s community hall. Never have we stood so tall as a nation,” Mr Bainimarama said in a statement.Not only is it Fiji’s first medal, but also the first time a small Pacific nation has won Olympic gold, and the win is being celebrated around the region.It also comes six months after Cyclone Winston killed 44 people and caused extensive damage to large parts of Fiji. (ABC News: Liam Fox) (Reuters: Alessandro Bianchi)
Dratabu chief Ratu Meli Saukuru said people were immensely proud of Viriviri, Taliga and the rest of the Fijian team.”We are really proud and feel so great this morning and we are overwhelmed,” he said.Viriviri’s mother Vikaili Rabale said having two locals in the team made the victory especially sweet.”The village is so proud and happy and all waiting for their return and we’re going to host a big party for them,” she said. Photo:
The Dratabu chief said people were immensely proud of the team. Photo:
Fiji smashed Great Britain 43 to 7 to win the gold medal. (ABC News: Jamie Fox)
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the gold medal win was a wonderful moment in Fiji’s history.”Never before has the Fijian spirit soared so high as it does today. Photo:
It is the first time a small Pacific nation has won Olympic gold. (ABC News: Liam Fox)
Teachers brought children from nearby schools to watch the match.The crowd was ecstatic and grown men cried as Fiji smashed Great Britain 43-7 to win the gold medal.

Swimmers who beat Campbell sisters make Olympic history

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Cate Campbell misses medals in stunning Rio upset
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Campbell concedes she succumbed to nerves in Rio final

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Manuel and Oleksiak both touched the wall in 52.70 seconds. (Getty Images: Richard Heathcote)
‘This medal is not just for me’Oleksiak was overjoyed as she saw the final score.”It’s amazing to tie for gold, I never thought I’d win,” Oleksiak said.”I’m only 16, so it’s pretty insane to win a gold medal in your first Olympics.”She [Manuel] deserves it as much as me.”

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Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual swimming event. The two swimmers who edged out Australia’s Campbell sisters to tie for gold in the women’s 100 metre freestyle finals have both made Olympic history.Simone Manuel, 20, became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a women’s individual swimming event, while Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, 16, became the first athlete born in the 21st century to claim Olympic gold in an individual event.In the suspenseful race, Manuel and Oleksiak both touched the wall in 52.70 seconds, as the crowd gasped at the times flashing up on the scoreboard.For both Oleksiak and Manuel, Rio is their first Olympic Games, and the two women were inseparable at the finish.Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who took the bronze with a time of 52.99, was astonished.”I think that was a big shock for everyone in the final,” Sjostrom said.”Everyone had to watch the result many times before we understood what happened … (AP: Natacha Pisarenko)
Manuel was overcome with tears as she celebrated her victory with Oleksiak.”This medal is not just for me, it’s for some of the African-Americans that have come before me and have been inspirations to me,” Manuel said.”I think it means a lot, especially what’s going on in the world today with some of the issues with police brutality. (AP: Lee Jin-man)
Oleksiak and Manuel’s victory was the second time the women’s 100m freestyle has ended with a double gold.The first was at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, when Americans Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer tied at 55.92 seconds.It came after the timing was reduced from a thousandth of a second to a hundredth, following a controversial dead-heat in the 1972 men’s 400 metre individual medley when Sweden’s Gunnar Larsson was awarded the gold ahead of Tim McKee of the US.At the 2000 Sydney Games, another 21.98 second dead-heat saw Anthony Ervin of the United States and team mate Gary Hall Jr each awarded the 50m freestyle gold.Reuters Photo:
Bronte Campbell finished fourth, while Cate faded at the finish to sixth. I think that this win kind of helps bring hope and change to some of the issues that are going on.”Oleksiak was only seventh at the turn, but powered back on the final 50 metres with a frenzied, head-down final, 15 metres to the wall.She has now collected four medals from Rio — the most by a Canadian at a summer Games — winning a 4x100m freestyle bronze on the opening day of the competition, followed by a 100m butterfly silver and another bronze in the 4x200m freestyle.There was disappointment for the Campbell sisters, with world champion Bronte finishing fourth and world record holder Cate leading in world record time at the turn, but fading at the finish to sixth.”I’ve always said that I didn’t need a gold medal to have self-worth and I guess that that’s being put to the test at the moment,” Cate said. the biggest surprise so far in this competition,” Sjostrom said.
(AP: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press) Updated

August 12, 2016 17:05:24

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Simone Manuel (left) and Penny Oleksiak (right) tied for the gold medal.

Grandpa goes viral after gymnastic move on Rio train

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By

Lucia Stein

Updated

August 14, 2016 12:06:27

Photo:
Mr Barker’s grandfather demonstrating some significant upper body strength with a flag pole lift. (Twitter: Britton Barker)
Mans a legend. A Texas grandfather has been labelled the “coolest papa out there” on social media after photos of his impressive flag pole lift on a train in Rio de Janeiro were shared by his grandson on Twitter.Wayne McEntire, 68, was riding on a train with his grandson, Britton Barker, when a commuter offered him a seat in a designated section for elderly passengers. External Link:

Britton Barker tweets photo of his grandfather's flag pole lift
But Mr Barker’s grandfather respectfully declined, instead walking a few steps down the carriage and demonstrating his upper body strength with a flag pole lift.Mr McEntire’s spontaneous display has since gone viral after it was shared on Twitter by his grandson, who had his camera ready filming his ride back from the Olympic Games.”Oops accidentally made Papa Twitter famous,” Mr Barker tweeted after seeing the online reaction to his grandfather’s public display.Mr Barker told the ABC he did not expect the response it had received.”I was pleasantly surprised at 5:00am when I got woken up by the buzzing from all of the notifications and I realised it had gone viral,” he said.The original tweet has received more than 66,000 retweets and drawn a number of responses online.”My new life goal is to be like your grandpa. #FortheGold

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Tweet: I'm not at all surprised that papa is twitter famous. External Link:

Tweet: OH MY GOD. BEST GRANDPA. External Link:

Britton barker tweets his Grandfather offering to give his grandmother an autograph

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Tweet: Why isn't he in the Olympics competing? How do I make this happen?”, one user asked.”Hands down coolest Papa out there,” another said.Mr Barker said his grandfather performed tricks like that all the time.”While I didn’t know exactly what he was doing, I knew it was sure to put a smile on my face,” he said.This is Mr McEntire’s fifth Olympics, after first visiting the 1984 LA Games with his daughter and wife.He also attended the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games to watch his good friend Brandon Slay take the gold for the US in wrestling.

Maths, story and dance: an Indigenous approach

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Maths, story and dance: an Indigenous approach to teaching

ABC Science

By

Anna Salleh

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August 15, 2016 05:18:28

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Understanding a child’s culture is important when teaching maths (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)
For one thing, you’re getting the kids to ‘be’ the mathematics themselves.”She says Dr Matthews’ approach has enormous potential in the classroom, and this potential was already starting to show — and not just for Indigenous children.Maths for allAccording to Professor Tom Cooper, the head of the YuMi Deadly Centre for maths education at the Queensland University of Technology, the principles involved in Dr Matthews’ approach to maths as storytelling are “very powerful”.”It’s the basis of our teaching now,” he said.The YuMi Deadly maths program aims to improve maths education for disadvantaged students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, by adapting to the specific needs of the children. In another equation, children grouped together to create a cloud that moved over country, and then some of them dropped off as the rain.”The subtraction was the loss of rain from the cloud,” said Dr Matthews, who now now heads up the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).Dr Matthews is heartened to see children linking their Aboriginal identity to maths given the racism he himself experienced at school.”I was the only Aboriginal kid in the class.”Ironically, it was this tough school experience that led Dr Matthews to bury himself in the geeky but “safe” world of maths. We have evidence that it has improved NAPLAN.”And it is not just the obviously disadvantaged that can benefit. I remember sitting there one day and thinking ‘Why is this so easy?'”Dr Matthews excelled at maths, and headed off to university, eventually gaining a PhD in applied mathematics.He decided to help his people learn maths when he observed how often maths is relied on to make environmental decisions affecting Aboriginal land.”We need the capacity to engage in this decision making and to review the scientific papers,” he says.And so Dr Matthews set out to develop a new way of teaching maths at school. Photo:
Children using the YuMi Deadly Maths program use their bodies to represent different numbers (Tabitha Jos/Kingston State School)
Professor Cooper says movement is also a key feature of the program.”All mathematics must be taught with the body,” he said.”So if we’re teaching distance, then we run distances. If we’re teaching numbers, everyone lies on the ground and makes numbers with their body.”He said the results of the program spoke for themselves.”So many schools tell us that it’s changed the way they teach and improved dramatically the learning they have … Want more science from across the ABC? A group of two children, acting as brolgas, flew together, and then linked up with another group of two, and then two more groups of two to become a group of eight. A new method using culture-based storytelling to teach maths to Aboriginal children is reaping results.Aboriginal school children on average lag two years behind their non-Indigenous peers when it comes to maths, but according to one expert we can bridge the gap by paying better attention to culture.”Maths and science are very much seen, from an Aboriginal point of view, as a white fella thing,” said Dr Christopher Matthews, of Griffith University, who is just one of a handful of Aboriginal people to earn a PhD in mathematics.Dr Matthews is from the Quandamooka people of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), but grew up in Toowoomba. Video: Children make up dance about brolgas to illustrate equation

(ABC News)
Or to illustrate 7-3 = 4, a group of seven kangaroos went out one day when three were hunted, leaving four behind. Photo:
Chris Matthews has done a lot of soul searching about the relationship between maths and culture (NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group)
Teaching maths as storytelling and danceDr Matthews realised you could help children struggling with maths by linking it to their own stories about the world.”Maths involves creating symbols and putting them together to represent the real world,” he said.Most students only experience maths in the abstract form without getting to relate it to something meaningful to them, Dr Matthews said.”As people we all want to understand the world around us and we do that through our own cultural lens.”But fundamentally, we are looking at ways of understanding the world and that’s pretty much what science and maths is.”

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Children are encouraged to make up stories, sometimes in the form of dance, to learn mathematical concepts (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)
Brolgas, kangaroos and storm cloudsDr Matthews’ approach to teaching maths involves Aboriginal children making up stories about equations — sometimes in the form of dance.The numbers in the equations become characters who take certain actions resulting in a particular outcome.The actions either bring things together (addition and multiplication) or take them apart (subtraction and division).For example, Aboriginal children turned the equation 4×2 = 8 into a dance about flying brolgas. “I actually got caught cheating on my two-times table when I was in grade two,” he laughs.However, that attitude changed when he discovered algebra.”It was like an epiphany. Resources …YouTube: Tom Cooper from YuMi Deadly Centre at QUT explains the Matthews approachYuMi Deadly Maths a hit in Hughenden for students at different levelsMake it CountNational Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)NAPLAN: Would you pass the test? “I get anxious.”It is no surprise to him that many children find maths as storytelling a preferable approach.”We all carry our own cultural understandings and I think if you allow kids to be creative within that they can actually bring that to the table.” Hear more about Dr Christopher Matthews and his approach to teaching mathematics on RN Life Matters. Professor Cooper said some elite schools had taken on the program.”It may simply be people who don’t learn well by sitting in rows and being given symbols — people who learn better by acting out,” he said.Dr Matthews believes his early failure in primary school was because his maths teacher demanded rote learning and quick recall.”My brain just doesn’t work like that,” he said. You must always start your teaching from something that interests them,” Professor Cooper said.Children must be encouraged to make up their own symbols, he says, and relate them to stories about their own world, before being expected to acquire more generic symbols used in the world of mathematics. It really opened their eyes to the potential of mathematics,” she said.”I think it’s a fantastic whole new way of looking at how mathematics can be taught. Since 2010, a total of 250 schools have adopted the program.”You’ve got to look at your kids and you’ve got to get to know their culture. Subscribe to our weekly email newsletterLike us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter Photo:
Children painted up ready to dance (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)
Mathematics educator Caty Morris, of ATSIMA, helped Dr Matthews evaluate the maths as dance trial and says it transformed the children’s view of maths.”They realised that maths was more than all those equations on the blackboard in the classroom.

Usain Bolt’s five steps to greatness

(AP Photo: Lee Jin-man) Updated

August 15, 2016 16:51:52

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Usain Bolt’s Rio win confirms his place in the pantheon of the greatest athletes the world has seen.

(Reuters: Eddie Keogh)
Gatlin thrillerBolt headed to the Beijing World Championships in August 2015 with signs that his crown might be slipping.Injuries had appeared to have left him looking vulnerable for the first time in seven years, and long-time rival Gatlin was the man in form with the season’s fastest time.For many, the thought of Gatlin — twice convicted of doping offences — unseating Bolt was an uncomfortable proposition.World athletics chief Lord Sebastian Coe said the prospect made him “queasy”.Yet when he needed it most, Bolt was able to find an extra gear, winning in 9.79 ahead of Gatlin, second in 9.80.Rio romp

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Usain Bolt wins the men’s 100 metres final, ahead of Justin Gatlin, at the Rio Olympic Games. (Stu Forster: Getty Images)
Bolt arrived at the August 2008 Beijing Olympics as the newly minted world record holder, having clocked a blistering 9.72 seconds at a meeting in New York in May.When it came to the competition in China he was simply unstoppable, setting a world record in the 100m of 9.69 before breaking Michael Johnson’s world record of 19.32 to win the 200m.Bolt and Jamaica threw in a world record in the 4x100m relay for good measure.Berlin record-breakerAt the Berlin World Championships in 2009, Bolt defied logic by improving upon his astounding performance in Beijing the previous year, bettering his world records in both the 100m and 200m.He sliced more than a tenth of a second his previous world best, scorching across the line in 9.58 to take gold. Leading up to his unprecedented third consecutive victory in the 100 metres final at the Olympics, five moments have defined Usain Bolt’s career.The win saw the 29-year-old Jamaican legend, competing in his final Olympics, roar into Olympic history to confirm his place in the pantheon of the greatest athletes the world has seen.Beijing brilliance

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Usain Bolt won the men’s 200m final and broke the world record at the Beijing Olympic Games. External Link:

World Records – 200m Men Final Berlin 2009
Four days later he followed it up with a scintillating display in the 200m, clocking 19.19.Both records have remained intact in the seven years since.Double-treble in LondonBolt arrived in London chasing an improbable “double-treble”, aiming to successfully defend all three of his Olympic titles won in Beijing.The first leg was achieved with victory in the 100m, where he and training partner Yohan Blake finished well clear of a field containing Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.Bolt’s time of 9.63 remains the fastest ever run at an Olympics.The 200m saw a Jamaican clean sweep of the podium, with Bolt winning in 19.32 ahead of Blake and Warren Weir.The treble was duly completed in the 4x100m relay in a world record 36.84. (AP: Matt Slocum)
Despite a patchy season hampered by injuries to his troublesome left hamstring, Bolt was able to draw on his phenomenal ability to raise himself for the big occasion in Rio.With the crowd roaring his every move — and booing his rival Gatlin — the champion stormed over in 9.81 to become the first man to win three consecutive 100m titles.AFP Photo:
Usain Bolt poses with his gold medal after winning the men’s 200m at the London Olympic Games.
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From bullets to bull-rider: Iraqi-born Aussie cowboy on the ride of his life

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(ABC News) By the national rural and regional correspondent Dominique Schwartz

Updated

August 15, 2016 16:59:48

Video: 17-year-old Iraqi-born bull-rider Haider Al Hasnawi at the Mount Isa Rodeo.
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In cowboy hat, spurs and tasselled rodeo chaps, Haider Al Hasnawi does not fit any stereotype of a young Muslim man.The 17-year-old from Katherine in the Northern Territory is probably Australia’s first Iraqi-born bull-rider.”I just love it… You’ve got to have strength and balance and you’ve got to be positive about everything.”

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Haider Al Hasnawi competing in the junior bull-riding competition at the Mount Isa rodeo. (Supplied: Stephen Mowbray)
Haider first jumped on a bull at the Noonamah Rodeo outside Darwin two years ago, and was instantly hooked.Last year he was runner-up in the Northern Cowboys Association’s junior bull-rider category and competed in the national titles in Dalby.Haider said it was a dangerous sport, but after growing up in Nasiriyah in south-eastern Iraq, he took a relative view.”A bull can kill you, so can a gunshot,” he said.Nasiriyah was at the centre of one of the fiercest battles between Iraqi and American marines during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.”It is a scary thing… you can be playing out on the street and out of nowhere, there are gunshots and bombs and straight away, you know, you have to take cover,” he said.Haider, his mother and three brothers moved to Australia in 2009, finally reuniting with Haider’s father who first arrived 20 years ago.’As long as I’m riding a bull, I’m happy’Swapping bullets for bull-riding was not the safe future Haider’s mother had imagined for her son.”Mum, she’s a bit worried and that, like a normal mother but real supportive and Dad, he’s not so worried, but he lets me do it as well,” Haider said.He said he gets nervous before a ride, but that his experiences in Iraq have probably helped forge a mental toughness.Once on a bull, it is all about living in the moment, and trying to stay on for the eight seconds needed to score.”You can’t think about too much or you’ll get bucked off,” he said.”You’ve got to have your eyes on the bull and go where he goes and hold on for your life.”The bulls got the better of Haider at Mount Isa this time round.But next weekend, he will be at the NT’s Pine Creek rodeo, trying his luck again.”As long as I’m riding a bull, I’m happy,” he said. Lots of training. just the adrenalin rush, the atmosphere, there’s no better feeling than being on the back of a bull,” he said at the Mount Isa Rodeo in outback Queensland over the weekend.The fencing worker drove 1,400 kilometres in a borrowed car to compete at Australia’s richest and biggest rodeo.”It’s not just walk in and jump on,” he said in a broad Australian accent.”There’s a lot to it.
Top End rodeo cowboys on two very different journeys