Fear of flying no barrier to fan’s love of actor Nathan Page

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Nathan Page and fan Ryan Wadsworth catch up during Adelaide rehearsals. (ABC News)
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August 21, 2016 09:57:13
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Nathan Page is one of just four actors playing 139 roles in the show. He brings understatement in an age of hyperbole,” she said. A chance to see Australian actor Nathan Page on stage in Adelaide has prompted an overseas fan to ignore her fear of flying and travel to Australia.The production of the Hitchcock classic, The 39 Steps, is on target to become the State Theatre Company’s biggest-grossing production.Its star is possibly best known for his role as Jack Robinson in the television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.The TV show and Page in particular have an international following, including many fans online.When it was announced the Victorian-based actor would head State Theatre’s Adelaide production, Canadian fan Ryan Wadsworth booked her plane ticket despite her dislike of air travel.The chance to see Page on stage was too good to ignore, she said.”He’s incredibly generous with his fans and that’s why he has the loyalty that he has. (Supplied)
The Canadian plans to see the show twice during her 10-day visit and Page said he was flattered.”It’s wonderful, it’s gratifying and they’re my strongest support base and in an industry where you’re always putting yourself on the front line and it can be really cruel, when you have incredible support base there’s nothing to compare to it,” he said.The actor and his arguably biggest fan met briefly during the final rehearsals for the Adelaide shows.Page said the production was “Hitchcock on steroids” as it would have four actors playing 139 characters, which made for controlled mayhem off stage, an assessment with which director Jon Halpin agreed.”We actually have to rehearse just the costume changes as well so that out front it looks completely seamless,” he said.
Four decades of theatre costumes up for sale in Adelaide

Adelaide bridging visa student writes book, wins scholarship

Refugee tells of 'huge' decision to leave Iran for new home of Adelaide
By Simon Royal

Posted

August 21, 2016 10:34:30
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Hayat Nowruzi went back to Rostrevor to share his book with some of the young students. (ABC News)
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I tried kangaroo meat and liked that too, but pies are my favourite,” he said.As part of his ongoing efforts to become proficient in English the young man wrote a book, Ahmad and his Friends, the story of an Afghan school boy who loses his way and skips classes until he makes a new friend.”The book is about hard work and the importance of choosing good friends wisely,” Mr Nowruzi said.”With the value of hard work I was trying to say [that] whatever you are doing today, tomorrow we are going to see the result.”Scholarship opportunity at Adelaide UniversityHis work ethic has now been rewarded with a scholarship to support his Adelaide University studies, but his old school principal Simon Dash said such opportunities also highlighted a shortcoming. Even when he spent time in immigration detention on Christmas Island, now-Adelaide resident Hayat Nowruzi nurtured a habit of grasping every opportunity.”It was stressful, but it was also a big opportunity for me to improve my English,” he said of his time in detention after, as a 17-year-old, he arrived on the island by boat in 2013.”I’d learnt some English in Afghanistan, but it wasn’t at a good level, so I was focused on improving my English in the detention centre.”Mr Nowruzi fled Afghanistan because his Hazara ethnic group had long faced regional persecution.In 2014 another opportunity arose and he became a student of Adelaide’s Rostrevor College.Principal Simon Dash said the boys’ school had a long tradition of taking on refugee and asylum seeker students.”I see this as part of our charter to really be looking for people on the margins and what we can do to assist them,” he said. Photo:
Hayat Nowruzi recently went back to his former secondary school. (ABC News)
“I didn’t know about this until Hayat told me, but he’s on a bridging visa and that means he’s not eligible for HECS,” Mr Dash explained.”The only way Hayat and anyone else on a bridging visa can pursue higher education would be as a full fee-paying student and that effectively rules them out.”Mr Dash would like to see the HECS rules changed, but federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said a balance needed to be struck.”People on bridging visas do not have permanent residency rights,” Senator Birmingham said.”No matter how worthy the occasional individual case, it would be irresponsible to provide taxpayer-subsidised loans to people with a high risk of not staying in Australia.”Unlike people on bridging visas, those with humanitarian visas are entitled to HECS loans because they have a right to stay in Australia.Mr Nowruzi said he would love to remain in Australia, if allowed.”As an Afghan who fled a war-torn place, I really feel privileged and grateful for living in this country and that’s because here I am treated as a human,” he said.At least something of his Australian journey now has a permanent place — his book sits on the shelves of the Rostrevor College library. “Today in Australia some of the most marginalised people are the asylum seekers and that’s something we have a deep commitment to, the people who are doing it tough.”Mr Nowruzi lived in the school’s boarding house and studied every evening, apart from Fridays.He developed a liking for Australian pies.”I liked pie night when they’d serve us pies for dinner in the cafeteria.
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Lockhart River on the road to local success

(ABC Far North: Brendan Mounter) ABC Far North

By Brendan Mounter

Updated

August 22, 2016 09:32:46

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Darren Macumboy and Wilfred Accoom work long days building roads in Lockhart River.
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A role model for remote Indigenous businessLockhart River’s goal is to build local entrepreneurs and Cr Piva said he hoped his shire’s early success could pave the way for other Indigenous business opportunities.”I hope that there are companies out there willing to give us a go like Tutt Bryant’s done, giving us the faith to lease their machines,” Cr Piva said.”There are opportunities out there, just get out there and give it a go.”Try and empower your own people, get them involved as well so they understand the day-to-day running of businesses.” The Pascoe Farm roadworks will be completed by the end of August. A remote Cape York Aboriginal Shire Council is taking a ‘local first’ approach to awarding civil works contracts in a bid to build home-grown entrepreneurs.A group of Lockhart River roadworkers have formed their own business and tendered for work that would otherwise go to a fly-in fly-out workforce.Councillor Paul Piva, responsible for economic development in the community, said some 70 kilometres of roadworks around the community provided council with a chance to build local capacity.”It’s given us the opportunity to get 100 per cent Indigenous boys to go out there and work on the roads,” Cr Piva said.”Last year we gave it a go with two machines and then the local boys [saw] me and said ‘Paul, we’d like to give it a go as well’ and I said ‘Well, the opportunity’s there, the money’s there — why don’t we keep the money in the community?'”That’s basically when the penny dropped and everybody said ‘Let’s do the same thing, let’s lease our own machines’ and that’s what we’ve done this year.” Keeping the money within community and creating jobs ‘on country’The $2 million worth of contracts have employed eight young men including 35-year-old Kanthanumpu man Wilfred Accoom who commutes two hours between site and home each day.”We’ve just been working on the formation of the road, putting re-sheet on the road,” Mr Accoom said.”Yeah, hard work getting up at four o’clock in the morning, driving out there … finishing off at six.” Mr Accoom said the long days and hard work would pay off, for both him and his people.”The money stays in the community amongst all the locals and more employment for the young people,” he said.”[We’re] trying to get them out there working on their country, giving it a go.”Darren Macumboy, aged 38, is a new trainee. He worked as a groundsman at the local school for about six years but saw the roadworks as a chance to learn new skills and earn more money for his family.”It’s time for me to seek different jobs. I’m doing my training on a roller and it’s definitely been a different experience from other jobs that I do,” Mr Macumboy said.The Wuthathi man said he was proud to be building roads on his country and wanted to set a path for his people.”When I’m working in community it feels good, you know you’re not away from your family and you’re right here working, you’re surrounded by families too,” he said.”Not only for my family but for the younger generation, I’m trying to be a role model — to show them that it’s not hard to get up and try different stuff and when you do, at the end of the day you’ll reach your goal.”

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Lockhart River councillor Paul Piva holds the economic development, employment and training portfolio for Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council.

Family on ‘amazing’ US cycling road trip with autistic son

How parents should deal with childhood obsessions
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Travis, Fiona and Patch at Sherman Pass on the cycling trip across the US. (Supplied) Why don’t I give that to you in case you want to drive around and look at the area?’,” Fiona said.You can follow Fiona, Travis and Patch’s School of The Road Trip via their Facebook page. Photo:
Patch enjoying the family ride across the US. (Supplied)
Patch was diagnosed autism when he was just 21 months old.Autism affects Patch through minimal verbal communication, complex and restricted behavioural patterns and motor planning delays.”The past five years of our lives have been dedicated to Patch and his therapy and to helping him achieve as much as possible,” Fiona said.Both Fiona and Travis had cycle toured before, so to share the journey across America with Patch seemed like the perfect family trip.”So often there is a concentration on what your child can’t do,” Fiona said.”We want to give Patch the sense that he can do anything.”Patch is a gorgeous, happy child and we have been thrilled to meet people who have really embraced him and seen him for who he is.”A bicycle built for twoThe couple are using a semi-recumbent tandem and a standard bicycle for the trip.Patch is able to sit up front on the extended frame of the tandem bike while Travis does the leg work.”Their heads are really close together, so the whole trip Travis is talking to him and telling him what is happening, reading out signs and explaining to him what we are doing,” Fiona said.”His favourite part of the trip is going downhill.”
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5,000 kilometres and a lifetime of experiencesThe three-month journey across America has provided the family with something so many crave — uninterrupted time together.”[Patch] is just loving that really close family communication and family time that we are being able to have,” Fiona said.”You can see that joy on his face to just be part of this and have us around.”They have also been overwhelmed by moments of kindness shown to them by complete strangers.One man in Montana offered the trio a home to stay in for the night.”He then said, ‘I’ve got a spare car. Adelaide parents Fiona and Travis are riding 5,000 kilometres across America with their seven-year-old son Patch to prove there is no limit to a life with autism.”We wanted to do something amazing as a family,” Fiona said, as the family stopped for a break in North Dakota.They are halfway through their ride from Washington state to Washington DC.
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August 22, 2016 12:33:08

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Patch, Travis and Fiona on their customised bicycles, riding across America. (Supplied)
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Brisbane engineer-turned-luthier helps music lovers build guitars

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Andrew Armstrong talking about guitar he created for the Kathmandu guitar project
“I picked up the shape of the flag and replicated it around in contrasting woods,” he said.”Getting it done was a challenge.”The guitar will be raffled off later in the year with tickets available through the Kathmandu Kids charity website. (612 ABC Brisbane: Ann Leung)
Mr Armstrong said he became hooked on string instruments after pulling apart an electric guitar in high school.”The love just grew from there,” he said.Since then, Mr Armstrong’s reputation as a guitar maker and fixer has grown.Well-known Australian guitarist Michael Fix has become one of his biggest fans, often seeking him out for guitar repairs.”He’s been my go-to guy,” Fix said.Mr Armstrong shares his skill and passion at his workshops, where students are taught how to shape the wood, make soundboards and build necks.”I’ve had students with no wood-working skills at all and they’ve successfully made a guitar or ukulele,” Mr Armstrong said.”People get a deep satisfaction out of playing an instrument that they’ve made.” Lending skills to charityMr Armstrong recently built a guitar to raise money for the Kathmandu Kids project — a charity that funds education programs to help children get out of the slums in Nepal.The guitar is worth more than $10,000 and includes a nod to the Nepalese flag on the body of the guitar around the sound hole. A Brisbane guitar maker is teaching music-loving residents how to make the instruments by hand.Luthier Andrew Armstrong gave up a lucrative full-time position as an engineer to start running Brisbane’s only guitar-making workshops.The workshops in Sumner, west of Brisbane, show people step-by-step how to build a guitar or ukulele — from scratch.”After a 30-year career, as I got older I realised the professional life wasn’t for me anymore,” Mr Armstrong said.”I wanted to do something with guitars and making guitars.”

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The workshops foster a sense of community.
612 ABC Brisbane

By Jessica Hinchliffe and community correspondent Ann Leung

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August 22, 2016 12:50:40

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Workshop participants learn how to build a guitar from the ground up. (612 ABC Brisbane: Ann Leung)
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‘Bloody awesome’ mobile shower van for homeless hits Brisbane

Orange Sky Laundry road trip: Search for Aussies making a difference
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Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett were honoured as 2016 Young Australians of the Year for their efforts — which have now spread nationwide — to help Brisbane’s homeless.Known collectively as Orange Sky, they turned on the shower tap for the first time this morning, having built the van from scratch thanks to $100,000 from the Shine On Foundation and $50,000 from Queensland Urban Utilities.It means homeless people in Brisbane now have access to a free hot shower every day.The van is being rolled out alongside Orange Sky’s free laundry van, which was stationed in Ivory Street, Fortitude Valley this morning.”Twenty-two months ago we had a crazy idea to put two washing machines and two dryers in a van and wash and dry clothes for free,” Mr Marchesi said.”So we then had an even crazier idea of putting two showers in the back of a van. I can smell myself,” he said.Sometimes he even used a fire hose at a local real estate agency to wash himself down.He said he would not be doing that anymore.”They are awesome fellas to do this. The Brisbane duo famous for launching the world’s first free mobile laundry for the homeless are trialling a shower van as their latest charitable venture. (Supplied: Orange Sky)
“We want to complement the amazing work they are doing with a portable service,” he said.There was no stopping Dave ‘Bushie’ Brum from trialling the free shower yesterday.”It was bloody awesome. Photo:
Heat from the van’s engine is used to warm the shower water. Photo:
Nic Marchesi said everyone had a right to be clean. (Supplied: Orange Sky)
“I walk everywhere and I often feel dirty. We have water tanks on board, we have heating on board, we also collect our grey water.”Mr Marchesi said while some charities offered showers at their drop-in centres, they were always “chockers”. It is so great to have a real shower,” he said.Mr Brum, 60, has been living on the streets in Brisbane for more than 20 years.He calls himself the swagman and said it was not uncommon for him to go unwashed for more than a week. It is like heaven being clean — it’s amazing,” Mr Brum said.The Brisbane-born duo now has 11 laundry vans working across Australia and hope to expand the shower concept if the trial proves successful.Orange Sky washes 7.2 tonnes of laundry each week with the help of more than 600 volunteers.”It costs us $6 to wash and dry someone’s clothes and it will cost us the same to give someone a shower,” Mr Marchesi said.He said the mobile shower van was challenging because they had to find a cheap way to keep the water hot.They discovered a way to use the thermal heat from the van’s engine.The pair are about to take their laundry concept overseas, with a rollout planned for the US next year.”Our dream is really basic: to treat people how they want to be treated and to connect them in the community,” Mr Marchesi said.”Everyone deserves the basic human right of having clean clothes and being clean themselves.”
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August 24, 2016 10:51:35

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Dave “Bushie” Brum said the shower van was “bloody awesome”.
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Hemsworth’s hoodie on Thor set boosts charity’s sales

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Brisbane is transformed into New York City during the filming of Thor: Ragnarok. (ABC News: Patrick Williams)

Thor: Ragnarok films in Brisbane “It was luck for us really,” Mr Lyons said.”Our friend who works on sets always wears LIVIN gear.”He gets asked about the gear and he always tells them the story behind the merchandise and people jump at the chance to wear it and support us.”Clothing starts conversationsThe charity started in 2013 after a close friend of the co-founders, Dwayne Lally, took his own life.”We wanted to bring hope to where the darkness was and break the stigma of mental illness and make it normal,” he said.”We want people to know that they can ask for help.”Clothing is a great conversation starter.”

If you or anyone you know needs help:Lifeline on 13 11 14Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36Headspace on 1800 650 890

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August 23, 2016 15:23:34

Video: Chris Hemsworth is in Brisbane filming the latest Thor movie

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Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston on the set of Thor: Ragnarok in Brisbane. (ABC News: Patrick Williams)

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Chris Hemsworth between takes in Brisbane.

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Brisbane CBD workers were distracted this morning by the filming of Thor. (ABC News: Patrick Williams)

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A police officer on the set of Thor: Ragnarok in Brisbane’s CBD.
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Chris Hemsworth looking dapper.

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Some spare costumes on the set of Thor in Brisbane.
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Rock on, Loki. (ABC News: Dan Smith)
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New York taxis line the streets of Brisbane’s CBD on the set of Thor: Ragnarok. (Twitter: Mark White)
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A Yankees jacket? Brisbane is Brisbane no longer during filming of Thor: Ragnarok.

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Actor Tom Hiddleston grabs lunch. Even super villains have to eat.

we’re always humble at any sale we make. An Australian suicide prevention charity has been overwhelmed with orders after actor Chris Hemsworth wore one of its hoodies.Hemsworth was snapped wearing the grey hoodie emblazoned with the charity’s name while on the set of Thor in Brisbane’s CBD.LIVIN is a not-for-profit suicide prevention group co-founded by Queenslander Casey Lyons and Sam Webb.It aims to get young people to talk about their feelings, issues and problems using the mantra: “It ain’t weak to speak.”Mr Lyons said more than 100 orders were made yesterday for the grey hoodie.”That’s phenomenal for us,” he said.”We’ve been running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”We would have sold a lot more if we had it.”It’s very humbling, but … It’s a thrill to see anyone wear our merchandise.”A good friend helps the causeAs a way to raise money, the charity produces a line of clothing including jumpers, singlets, hoodies and caps.Hemsworth saw the clothing on set while filming on the Gold Coast and purchased a hoodie.
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Chris Hemsworth reads a card on the set of Thor during a filming break. (ABC News: Dan Smith)

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The film crew turned Brisbane’s CBD into NYC.

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Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth stand ready at the filming of Thor: Ragnarok.

Anthony Hopkins joins Hemsworth, Hiddleston for Thor shooting
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Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth smile at onlookers as they prepare to film Thor: Ragnarok. (ABC News: Patrick Williams)

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‘The joy of doing dance’: Qld seniors at the barre

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By Megan Kinninment

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August 23, 2016 13:09:35

Video: Senior ballerinas dance for the first time in decades

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For some of these ballerinas, it has been 40 years since their last lesson. But I’d like to continue because I think it’s good for adults.”While the ballet moves may stretch senior dancers, the opportunity to dance again brings joy to 74-year-old Jeannette Thomas, also from Bli Bli.”The muscles don’t really do what you want them to do and what you remember they used to do,” she said.”But it’s wonderful going back and being able to use your body, and your arms, and the music.”It’s just the joy of doing dance. A Queensland Ballet workshop for seniors was held on the Sunshine Coast as part of Seniors Week activities with some of the participants aged in their late-70s.Queensland Ballet holds seniors dance classes not only to improve physical fitness, but to strengthen cognitive performance and reaction times, making it a useful treatment for conditions such as arthritis, dementia and depression.In 2013, Queensland Ballet also launched a pilot program offering specialised dance classes to people with Parkinson’s disease.Queensland Ballet teacher Sally Ringland said that ballet lessons offered many benefits.”For seniors, it’s a lovely thing to get involved in because there is a lot of mental power involved in learning combinations,” she said.”You have lots of long combinations and lots of complicated combinations of steps, so it really takes a bit of brain power which is always great.”Back to childhood

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Gillian Acker (third from right) dances for the first time in decades. I don’t have the same balance. I realise now I don’t have the same strength. (ABC News)
For 78-year-old Gillian Asker of Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast, learning a scene from the classic ballet Gisele brought back memories of a childhood spent dancing.”I started ballet when I was about four, but I haven’t done a ballet class for about 35 or 40 years,” she said.”It’s quite hard. “I might come home exhausted and take a couple of days to get over a class, but it’s a wonderful exhaustion.” The moves are classic, but this is no ordinary ballet class.
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Disability charity turning one man’s trash into jobs

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August 23, 2016 13:23:27

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Rebecca Hell working at the Darwin sorting centre.
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Those involved say the idea can be more widely implemented in Darwin businesses. We collect alcohol, beer, coke, everything. Photo:
Sorting a crate of 25 bottles gets the enterprise $2.50. “I’d like to see us grow bigger and bigger,” Ms Kroes said.Willing workersSupport worker Darryl Farquharson said the concept could have wider applications to other businesses in the Territory.”There are a lot more [people with disability in Darwin] that are sort of in no-man’s land,” he said.”They have carers and some programs to go to but not necessarily work programs.”Coming to work is a big deal because it makes them the same as everybody else.”

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Callum Bateman says his job is a good socialising opportunity. We love to serve good people.”Founded in 2012, Cash For Containers capitalises on the Northern Territory’s 10 cents buyback scheme for used cans and bottles and is managed by Down Syndrome Association NT.Its model involves collecting recyclables from people’s houses, sorting and cleaning them at a council-owned shed in Leanyer, before on-selling to local government. In a giant shed among milk crates and clanking bottles, an environmentally friendly initiative sees one man’s trash turned into jobs for Darwin people with disabilities.Kyle Adams is among the bright orange uniformed workers there.”We pick up from people’s houses, we deliver it, we get money for it,” he said.”We collect bottles with 10 cents. (James Courtney)
Ms Kroes said the enterprise had a “complex” social value.”For a start, it’s actually somewhere [for people] to go in the daytime and meet with other people, enjoy doing jobs, and learning new skills,” she said.”More importantly, as the scheme has grown, we’ve seen these young people grow in confidence, self-esteem, health and team camaraderie.”I think the win-win situation we have here is that we’ve linked a charity with giving, but we have hooked that onto recycling.”Four years after launching, Cash For Containers is now at a crossroads; new vehicles and a secure lease are needed to continue growing.It is also facing competition from other start-ups in Darwin keen to capitalise on the recycling industry. (James Courtney)
At $2.50 for a crate of 25 bottles, the payoff might not initially sound huge, however it adds up quickly with thousands of bottles processed weekly.The charity’s manager, Rachel Kroes, said it all started as a simple idea.”My husband just enrolled some of his family members to start collecting for the Down Syndrome Association NT,” she said.”Once we realised there was a bit of a market out there for it, we started to grow it as a social enterprise with its primary focus on making employment opportunities for people with intellectual disability.”Today there is a workforce of 11 people, including six young people with disabilities, support workers and a group manager.The young workers’ hours range from casual to full-time, with some having their wage partially subsidised by government arrangements.Scheme is ‘win-win situation’For worker Callum Bateman, the job helps pay off his mortgage with his wife, however it comes with added benefits also.”It’s really good to socialise with people and work with them,” he said. (James Courtney)
Mr Farquharson added that Darwin businesses interested in replicating their model would have no trouble finding many willing workers.”Yes, they need to be trained, but certainly the disabilities aren’t really a disability for a workplace,” he said.Mr Bateman said the value in his job was helping other people recycle.He said Darwin households could help them out by removing bottle lids and ensuring there was no food scraps in their donations.”If they put food scraps in, we don’t like the smell,” he said. We don’t collect wines.

Turning hospital landfill into a viable social enterprise

How to be a chocolate judge

Best in show: Judges lip-smacking search for Perth's top ice-cream and gelato
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Amanda Hoh

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August 23, 2016 15:48:07
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The annual Sydney Royal Chocolate Show sees manufacturers enter their creations across 17 categories. (iStockPhoto/Janine Lamontagne)
Jodie Van Der Velden has the sweetest job in the agricultural industry.As the chair of judges for the Sydney Royal Chocolate Show, she will be forced to eat hundreds of chocolate pieces over the next two days as part of the annual competition at Sydney Olympic Park.There are 17 categories of chocolate in the show including filled truffle shells, boxed chocolate, ginger chocolate, chilli chocolate and a showpiece section in which manufacturers have to create a sculpture made entirely of chocolate. (Charlie McKillop)
But she warned it was important to check the ingredients on dark chocolate products. “Start to read the labels — even some dark chocolate is lower grade.”Mass-manufactured chocolate has some milk in it.” (Facebook: Josophan’s – Fine Chocolate)
“Essentially we look at the inside, the outside and innovation.”Ms Van Der Velden is herself a chocolate maker and was twice awarded champion exhibitor.She now leads a team of seven judges who assess attributes of the chocolate entries such as ingredients used, new techniques or methods of working with the chocolate, innovation and flavour combinations.”You need to hold [the chocolate] in your mouth to get a good melt and so the aroma is released.”The aroma is released with heat so if you chew it and swallow it you never give the aroma a chance to release.”From bean to barThe first round of chocolate judging is the chocolate block, where the cacao bean has been manufactured into a bar without any filling or added flavours.It is chocolate in its purest form.”We’re looking for beautiful flavour notes,” Ms Van Der Velden said.”We’re looking for a smooth, fine texture — we don’t want gritty or sandy texture — a good balance of sugar and cocoa butter.”Cocoa butter is what melts in your mouth.”Manufacturers have to specify whether the beans have been grown in Australia or overseas.What’s on the inside? Photo:
Jodie Van Der Velden and one of her chocolate creations in her kitchen and shop in Leura. External Link:

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The majority of competition classes are for chocolate with fillings.”We’re looking at innovation and flavour combinations in the grenache centres and the moulding technique or dipping technique,” Ms Van Der Velden said.Judges also consider texture, tempering of chocolate, use of decoration and harmony of the entry, which is described as “the contrast of filling flavour profile” compared with the “chocolate shell, covering or block”.Be a good judge of chocolateWhile many may envy the job of a chocolate judge, Ms Van Der Velden said you needed to be able to stand long hours of work.As for indulging your sweet tooth at home, Ms Van Der Velden said to remember to do so “in moderation”.”It’s about quality, not quantity.”Stick to the dark, it’s a super food, absolutely full of antioxidants.”

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Exhibitors must specify whether the cacao beans are grown in Australia or overseas.
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Future looks bright for tiny outback Qld newspaper

Outback Qld newspaper faces uncertain future
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We also applied for a grant through the [Gambling Community Benefit Fund] and from them we received about $9,000, which covers our paper, staples and other hardware items, which will keep us going, we estimate, for a couple of years.”She said advertising revenue had also increased following recent rain in the region. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore)
Barcoo Independent attracts new journalistThe committee was also presented with the challenge of finding a new journalist, after the newspaper’s sole reporter moved on recently.A new reporter, formerly based in Mount Isa, is due to start at the end of this month.Ms Harlow said the role was a big challenge, but also a satisfying one for a journalist.”You’re a in a close-knit community, you’re involved with lots of things that are going on,” she said.”The problems with [the role] are that you’re a one-man show, so you don’t have a lot of help on a professional level, but you get a lot of help from the committee who do as much as they can to make the job easier.”[The journalist does everything from] gathering the stories to actually delivering the paper to the shops where we sell them.”The sole reporter would even staple the newspaper together, until a machine was purchased to do the job.The Barcoo Independent prints just 400 copies each week, with most of them staying in the Blackall township.The committee’s Sue Barker said it was a particularly important resource for older residents in town.”They don’t have social media, they don’t get out so readily, so they really do rely on the paper to tell them what’s going on in town,” she said.The Barcoo Independent operated from April 1889 until its premises was destroyed by fire in 1983.The paper was relaunched in 2003 and has been running ever since. Locals in the outback Queensland town of Blackall have banded together and raised enough money to save their small independent newspaper from closing.Concerns were raised last year that the Barcoo Independent, which has a 127-year history, could cease to exist unless the committee found a way to increase revenue.The committee’s Lynne Harlow said the paper had been under serious threat due to a decline in advertising revenue during the ongoing drought.”Our advertising revenue was low because times were hard and you can’t expect businesses to advertise on a weekly basis when there’s no money coming in,” she said.”Even though we did maintain some advertising, it became less frequent … Photo:
Barcoo Independent committee members Lynne Harlow [R] and Sue Barker [L] in the newspaper’s Blackall office. we had to look at other ways of keeping it going.”Ms Harlow said the committee organised a “think tank” to brainstorm strategies to keep the paper alive.”We had a lot of community support from people who wanted to keep the newspaper going and help out so through [local community organisation] Red Ridge we set up a way in which people could make a tax deductible donation,” she said.”As a consequence of that we raised about $17,000 from the community.

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August 23, 2016 17:49:51

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The Barcoo Independent committee says the future is looking bright for the small community newspaper.

Thor and Loki delight kids at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Hospital

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(Instagram: Chris Hemsworth) By

Patrick Williams

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August 24, 2016 09:53:27

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Chris Hemsworth brought along Thor’s trademark hammer Mjolnir and fellow actor Tom Hiddleston to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
Brisbane city streets transform into NYC for Thor filming
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A real-life hero got the chance to meet his big screen idols when Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston surprised patients and their families at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.Calyn Hoad who received a bravery medal in Canberra earlier this year for pushing his younger brother out of the way of an oncoming car in 2013, was one of the 80 children and their families visited by the stars.The pair dropped by after a day of filming for Thor: Ragnarok, which has moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane for the week.Hemsworth, who plays Thor, carried his trademark hammer Mjolnir as he and Hiddleston, who plays Thor’s trickster half-brother and frequent villain Loki, met with the young patients. Photo:
Thor fan Calyn Hoad got the chance to meet its stars in hospital. What brilliant men to come down.”
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Juiced TV on Twitter: Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston visit Lady Cilento Children's Hospital
Ms Hoad said the pair spent about five minutes with them. (Facebook: Bring Calyn Home)
Calyn’s mother Sharna Hoad said it was a magical moment for her son, who is back in hospital battling bacterial meningitis.”It was so awesome. there were so many other sick kids.”Hemsworth paid tributes to the young patients he met on social media.”Met the real superheroes of the world at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital,” Hemsworth wrote on Instagram this morning.”A huge shout out to all the brave kids who are an inspiration to all of us!”Brisbane shoot set to wrap up tomorrowThor: Ragnarok, which has been filming on the Gold Coast, has spent the past two days in Brisbane to shoot scenes for the 2017 Marvel superhero film.The stars have been greeting fans and posing for selfies on Brisbane streets remodelled to look like New York City.Sir Anthony Hopkins, who plays Thor’s father Odin in the movie series, joined the cast yesterday on a closed set.Filming is due to continue today before wrapping up tomorrow.In July, pop superstar Taylor Swift surprised patients at the hospital when she paid a visit arranged through the Starlight Children’s Foundation of Australia.Johnny Depp visited in full Captain Jack Sparrow costume and makeup in July 2015 while in Queensland to film the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.At the time he asked staff to keep the private visit under wraps, but pictures of the star soon leaked on social media. It was just magic, absolute magic,” she said.”I can’t express it any other way than saying it was magic. “They did say to my little man ‘hope you get well soon, hope you get better’.”They weren’t with us they weren’t very long … Calyn’s face just lit up. External Link:

Hemsworth and Hiddleston visit Lady Cilento
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12yo raises almost $3,000 for Indigenous Literacy Foundation

I was expecting it to be just like ours, but it was much different.”Sam is now an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and has been working with teachers and his school’s librarian to raise money and awareness for the issue. While travelling to Katherine in the Northern Territory last year, Sam Giles was shocked by the disparity in literacy levels between students in Indigenous communities and his classmates in Brisbane.One year on, the 12-year-old St Peter’s Lutheran College student has raised almost $3,000 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.”I was lucky enough to be travelling with the Hawthorn [AFL Premiership Cup] and we were going around to schools,” Sam said.”I was at schools when they were doing their English lessons and I was very amazed at how poor their literacy was.”Last year’s Closing The Gap report showed only 34.9 per cent of Indigenous students in very remote areas met or exceeded the national minimal reading standard for year 7.Sam said learning about the low levels of literacy surprised him.”I did not expect it. (Twitter: Epic Good Foundation)
So far his endeavours, which have included a bake sale and gold coin donation book swap, have raised $2,850, just shy of his original $3,000 goal.Literacy vital for equalityIndigenous author Dr Anita Heiss, who was a special guest at St Peter’s for Book Week, said improving literacy levels was vital to achieving equality. External Link:

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“Reading opens doors to opportunities — socially, in education, in employment,” Dr Heiss said.”If we want Indigenous Australians to be self-determined as individuals, and therefore collectively, we need to be able to read and write in the English language, and be able to make decisions for ourselves.”When we aren’t literate, we are relying on non-Indigenous people to make decisions in key areas of our lives.”Dr Heiss, who is a lifetime ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, said it was encouraging to see more privileged children showing compassion for those less fortunate.”They genuinely are keen to participate in ways to help those that are less fortunate,” she said.”This is a relatively privileged area and it is about raising awareness that not everybody lives like this.”How can we be part of making sure other kids like us, who just happen to live in a different area, can have the books and enjoy the books as well?”

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St Peter’s Lutheran College students browse the options at a book swap fundraiser. Photo:
Sam Giles (left) and other students at a bake sale raising money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. (Twitter: Epic Good Foundation)
(Supplied: Anita Heiss)

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St Peter’s Lutheran College student Sam Giles and author Dr Anita Heiss.
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By Thea Halpin

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August 24, 2016 13:03:43

Sydney twins rule the streets busking Game Of Thrones

Rare musical treasures unveiled in Sydney
A crowd gathers around Vasiliy Shapkin in Sydney Town Hall as he plays a familiar tune on his violin.Resonating through the arcade is the theme song from hit TV show Game Of Thrones, the melody decorated with the chink of coins as spectators throw their appreciation into his violin case.Within a couple of hours of busking near the ticket barriers, however, he gets told to move on by a security guard because the slowing crowd is starting to cause havoc during peak hour.Having made a pretty little sum though, it does little to dampen Vasiliy’s mood. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Perhaps given that background, it is no surprise the twins are perfectionists, made apparent when Vladimir became distracted by another violinist busking Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor as they walked through the Central Station tunnel.”He was playing a note sharp, I just played the first page to show him how it’s done,” he said.Yet while Vasiliy and Vladimir may share a birthday and have the same degrees, they are also fiercely competitive and bicker constantly.”We need to practise more,” Vladimir scolded.Vasiliy retorted: “No, you just don’t have the experience playing to big crowds.”One thing they do agree on though is that busking on a dirty street corner was just like being on stage.”It does feel like a performance,” Vasiliy said.”Because it’s outside, the acoustics are wonderful.” Photo:
Vasiliy (left) and Vladimir Shapkin were born in Uzbekistan and have degrees in music, law and commerce. It was such a buzz.”So I started playing variations of Games Of Thrones and adding other pop songs.”On Tuesday, Vasiliy added one extra variation when he performed for 702 ABC Sydney in a duet with his twin brother Vladimir.It was the first time the twins played the song together as they usually prefer to busk on their own so that they “don’t have to share the proceeds”, Vladimir joked.Music is in their bloodThe fraternal twins, aged 32, have been playing the violin since they were five.They grew up in Uzbekistan and studied music in Austria, Germany and Turkey before moving to New Zealand at age 13.They both obtained a Masters degree in music, studied law and commerce and are now living in Sydney studying a Juris Doctor degree to qualify as lawyers.Their father is a professional violinist, their mother a violin teacher, and their aunts and uncles are also professional musicians in orchestras around the world. it’s the best money maker,” he said.Vasiliy has been busking since he was a teenager to make extra pocket money. Photo:
Vladimir Shapkin and his brother have been playing the violin since they were five years old. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
He started out playing classical pieces but his fortunes changed in 2014 when he switched to more popular tunes like Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal and the Game Of Thrones theme.”As soon as I started playing it, people stopped. “Games Of Thrones …
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August 24, 2016 15:15:12

Video: Vasiliy and Vladimir busk at Central Station.

Riverland frogs to benefit from River Murray flows

(ABC Open contributor Sharon Gordon)
SA is home to frogs not seen elsewhereAccording to Mr Walker, frogs play a vital role in the River Murray ecosystem, with South Australia home to species rarely seen in other parts of the country.”You have got eight species which are commonly found in the Riverland … Good flows down the River Murray look set to do wonders for frog populations in South Australia’s Riverland, according to one expert.River flows coming into South Australia have significantly increased throughout the winter months, due to good rainfall and spills from Lake Victoria.With some of these flows unregulated and therefore unable to be captured for irrigation purposes, the environment — such as wetlands and floodplains — will be major recipients.FrogWatch SA’s coordinator Steve Walker said revitalised habitats would provide a safe haven for the amphibious creatures.”Many of these floodplains, when the water level rises and they spill out, provide areas where the frogs can breed where things like some fish cannot necessarily get in,” he said.”You have got a greater survival rate of the tadpoles, so those frog population numbers can increase.”When the water levels drop and conditions get harsh again, there is enough of a population to sit it out through those periods.”Highest inflows in 20 yearsSignificant winter rainfall has seen a remarkable turnaround in water flowing down the River Murray, with July seeing the highest inflows in 20 years.Manager of Water Resource Operations with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Jarrod Eaton, said the environment was one of the big winners.”Generally with the higher flows coming down the river, it enables water to be pushed out through creeks, into wetlands, backwaters,” Mr Eaton said. upstream of Walkers Flat, and they include a threatened species which is the southern bell frog,” he said.”Over the years it has been undergoing a major decline [but] still seems to be hanging on in parts of the Murray and parts of the south-east.”We are quite lucky to still have them here in South Australia.”Mr Walker said while there was often negative stigma about the humble frog, they did play a vital role in the environment.”Frogs are also very important because they eat a lot of the pest species that we do not like; things like flies, mosquito and spiders,” he said.”If we did not have frogs, there would be a mass increase in the populations of those creatures.”If we can get the frogs in to try and control these pest species, the better it is for everyone.” “We can flush also some of the saline disposal basins along the River Murray.”This flow event now provides some opportunities for us which we have not actually had over the last couple of years in terms of managing water for the environment.”

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Improved flows in the Murray River will benefit the environment (file photo).
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(Supplied: Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board) ABC Riverland

By Tom Nancarrow

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August 24, 2016 16:08:57

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The southern bell frog could be one species set to reap the benefits of higher River Murray flows.