Video shows kayaker swimming with killer whale

A New Zealand photographer has captured the amazing but dangerous moment a kayaker encountered a killer whale in the sea near Auckland.The drone footage showed the orca interacting with the kayaker at Army Bay.The kayaker then jumped into the water and swam with the large marine animal, which seemed interested in playing.Once the kayaker returned to the boat and paddled away, the whale appeared to follow.Photographer Sam Kynman-Cole said when he heard there were orca sightings in the area, he took his chances and went out there with his drone.He wrote on his Topview Photography website he was “in the right place at the right time”.”Overall I was in the air filming for about nine minutes, it was a truly memorable experience and I feel very lucky to have been able to capture it,” he wrote.
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New Zealand
Posted

September 08, 2016 11:40:16

Video: Kayaker swims with killer whale

(ABC News)

Brisbane brothers plant seeds of change, one garden at a time

612 ABC Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Posted

September 08, 2016 11:42:14

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Harry (left) and George (right) Arkinstall hope to make a difference through gardening. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
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Together the brothers hope each garden they look after creates change in how people view people with autism and depression. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
George too has had his own struggles. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“We want to link more experienced gardeners with people with autism to help them find jobs, like I’ve done with Harry,” he said.”We want it to work for other people as well.”And despite being brothers, George said their fights were few and far between.”Every now and then I tell Harry to pick things up, but we’re normally pretty good as we get on really well,” he said.”There’s no fights in the garden … (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
The brothers — who come from a family of nine — weed, mulch, mow, water and tend to gardens throughout Brisbane suburbs for a fee.Twenty per cent of their profits go to beyondblue and Autism Queensland. He suffered from depression during high school.He said the gardening business helped him share his story with others and teach the wider community that mental health problems that can affect anyone.”I’ve grown from that [experience and] I’m happy to talk to people about it now,” he said.George said explaining Harry’s autism to other people could sometimes be difficult.”I’ve grown up with Harry my whole life, so his scenario can sometimes be hard to communicate … thankfully.” “It was always going to be a way to give back and we’re not doing anything special … because to me he’s just normal,” George said.”It’s rewarding every time we tell people what we’ve both been through and what we’re doing now.”George said people were often surprised when he told them why he started the business. we’re just gardening and donating money,” he said. Photo:
George started the business to ensure his brother Harry had a job. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
He hoped their work would encourage others to make a difference in their community.”Anyone can make a difference; you don’t have to be a politician or a scientist or anything,” he said.”Just find something you’re passionate about, raise awareness and hopefully change it to make the world a better place.”George, who works three jobs and studies business at university, said he also hoped to create opportunities for others with autism in the future. Photo:
The brothers work together tending to gardens throughout Brisbane. A Brisbane brotherly duo are advocating for greater awareness of autism and depression by building and maintaining gardens throughout the river city.George Arkinstall began Gardening A Difference to ensure his brother Harry, who was diagnosed with autism at a young age, would always have a job.”It started as a side project to help my brother,” George said.”Harry was struggling to keep work and find new jobs with what he’s got [autism].”He had always helped out around the garden and it was something he had done really well and enjoyed.”

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Harry checks the tomatoes growing in the vegetable garden.
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Cops hike to tip of Australia to help disabled child tick item off his bucket list

Far North Queensland police investigate messages in a bottle
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Qld cops locate authors of bottled messages found on remote beach
Police from the remote Cape York town of Bamaga have helped a disabled child tick standing on mainland Australia’s northernmost point, off his bucket list.Sidney Cook, nine, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just three months old and spends much of his time confined to a wheelchair.While planning a trip to Cape York, he and his family wanted to visit the iconic tip of Cape York sign at the northernmost point of the Australian continent.With neither of his parents able to carry him over the rocky terrain leading to the sign, Sidney’s family put out a call for help on social media. (Supplied: QPS)
Acting Senior Constable Talina O’Brien from Bamaga police station was quick to respond.”I knew once I got the word around the station and into the community that we’d get an overwhelming response,” she said.”We had guys come in on their days off wanting to be a part of it.”We had a local gentleman construct a perfect little lift-chair for Sidney so he was set up nice and comfortably and we could carry him down to the sign.”

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Officers from Bamaga police station carried nine-year-old Sidney Cook in a chair they built especially for his visit. Photo:
The pathway to the tip of Cape York, where the signpost for the northernmost point of the Australian mainland is, winds over rocky, uneven terrain. (Supplied: QPS)
Narelle Cook, Sidney’s mother, said she was overwhelmed at the lengths police went to.”We didn’t know what to expect,” she said.”To turn up on the day and have the entire team from the Bamaga police station there, with a specially made chair for Sidney, left us lost for words,” she said.”I don’t think we will ever be able to thank them enough for everything they have done.”
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Sidney's Cape York adventure
ABC Far North

By

Mark Rigby

Updated

September 12, 2016 11:29:15

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Sidney Cook (centre), mum, Narelle, and dad, Gary, with officers from Bamaga police station. (Supplied: QPS)
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Cats rescued from rubble two weeks after Italy quake

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Two cats have been pulled from the ruins of Italy’s deadly earthquake more than two weeks after the disaster which claimed nearly 300 lives.In the town of Amatrice, the worst affected by the August 24 quake, firefighters rescued Pietro the cat after his owners, who came back to retrieve some belongings, heard him meowing weakly. Freed by firefighters, Giorgiana was weak and dehydrated but alive.Last week firefighters pulled a golden retriever called Romeo alive from the rubble of his owners’ house in the village of San Lorenzo a Flaviano, more than nine days after he was given up for dead. Dehydrated and weak, he was taken into the care of vets. Shock, heartbreak among the rubble On every corner of the historic Italian town hit by an earthquake, townsfolk are utterly shocked at the brutality unleashed from the earth, Lisa Millar writes. External Link:

Romeo the dog is rescued from underneath rubble in Amatrice
AFP Meanwhile in the nearby hamlet of Illica, another cat called Giorgiana was plucked from a ruined house. Her owners were killed in the quake but their daughters, who survived, asked animal welfare group Oipa to look for their three cats.After a series of unsuccessful attempts, Oipa volunteers leaving food and calling the cat were surprised to hear at long last a quiet meowing.
Dog pulled alive from rubble 10 days after Italy earthquake

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September 10, 2016 06:27:47

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Cat rescued from quake rubble

German way of farming paving way for pastured eggs

(ABC Landline: Prue Adams)
The pigs are killed and butchered in the on-site slaughterhouse and the meat is sold at the on-site organic shop and cafe.About 150 tonnes of potatoes are produced each year and they grow maize and rye and wheat which are ground and baked into bread in the on-site bakery.In the stone barn above the large wood oven where the bread is baked, the warmth is not wasted — this is where the Leiders grow out their chicks for the separate flocks of meat and egg chickens.Pastured eggs trend transcends countries

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The Stautenhof farm has 800 chickens in each of the five “animal stables”. A German farm that has embraced organic practices to result in healthy profits is bringing new perspective to the term “pastured egg production”.Lazy brown and white cattle lounge in lush green grass as you head up the gravel driveway.There are young white chickens to the left housed in home-made portable coops, alongside the centuries-old stone piggery.It is bucolic in the true sense of the word. (ABC Landline: Prue Adams)
Customers come for farm experience and shoppingWhile eggs produced this way in Australia are increasingly being labelled “pastured” or “pasture-raised” or “paddock-raised” eggs, in Germany Mr Leider’s eggs are labelled “organic from mobile stables”.”Because consumers here understand the advantages of mobile stables,” Mr Leider said.Without dogs to guard the chickens like in Australia, the German farmer said a handful of chickens get taken by hawks each week, and if the doors of the coop are left open at night, foxes will wreak havoc.With the shop turning over an impressive 3 million euros ($4.5m) annually, and with a staff of 50, Stautenhof has been growing at 10 per cent a year.More than 2,000 customers a week come through the gates to see the farm operation and to buy from the shop.Even in Germany, this scale and this level of integration is unique.”Not many others do such a wide range of products,” he said.”It’s great, but it is also very hard.”

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The Stautenhof farm produces about 2,000 eggs each day. The hens roost inside at night and are free to come and go as they choose during the day.He produces 2,000 eggs a day on the farm` and sells them for 6.50 euros a kilogram. Mr Leiders said the retail price for his organic free range chicken meat was 15 euros ($22) per kilogram — about five times the price of conventional chicken meat.Australia is not the only place where egg producers are looking at alternatives to layers en-masse in huge sheds or cages — Europe is also into “pastured eggs”.Five years ago Mr Leiders began with a few small “animal stables” as he calls them, each housing 225 laying chickens. Photo:
Christoph and Beate Leiders sell their productions from their organic farm at an on-site cafe and shop. (ABC Landline: Prue Adams)
In this part of the world — where the soil is rich, the rainfall plentiful and the European Union subsidies generously — a 42-hectare organic farm growing a range of products from potatoes to pork not only survives, it can thrive.It is difficult to imagine such a place could exist in Australia, where scale and concentration on one commodity are the norm, and organic farming is still niche.But this is Germany, where about 23,300 farms (8 per cent of all farms) are run organically — without the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides.Christoph and Beate Leiders started converting their farm — Stautenhof — from conventional to organic production in 1997, beginning with 100 breeding sows.The farm now boasts an array of other farm foods, they process in an impressive display of vertical integration. (ABC Landline: Prue Adams)
In the paddock beside the piggery, the white-feathered chickens, destined for meat consumption, flap about in clover grass.Their tin-and-timber coops are on wheels so they can be moved on, when they peck out the best of the pasture. The battle for ‘free range’ Pastured eggs are becoming the latest consumer trend as small scale producers who regularly move their chickens to fresh paddocks pitch themselves as being more than free range. Photo:
Egg laying chickens peck and move around a field of grass while outside their mobile “animal stable”. An agrarian idyll in the countryside less than 100 kilometres north of the old West German capital of Bonn, not far from the Dutch border. Now he has three large stables, each housing 800 chooks.The houses are moved weekly to greener pasture, and surrounded by portable fencing.Their organic grain feed and water are housed inside the shed. (ABC Landline: Prue Adams)
For more on pastured eggs and the Australian take on the growing trend in the egg industry, watch Landline this Sunday on ABC TV. Photo:
White chickens destined for meat are moved around in coops made of tin and timber.

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Concern for Canberra free-range egg farmers amid new national standard
Anger over changes to definition of free range eggs
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Free range could mean up to 10,000 hens per hectare under new proposal
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Landline

By Prue Adams

Updated

September 10, 2016 19:44:17

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Christoph Leiders runs a completely integrated, organic farm. (ABC Landline: Prue Adams)

Outback Queensland families go the distance for school musical

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Riley, Livia and Elke Robertson all have parts in this year’s Longreach School of Distance Education musical. Photo:
Longreach School of Distance Education vice principal Rachelle Moore rehearses with her students over the air. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore) Elke’s developed this voice and this character which is just a classic,” she said.”We remind her of people she knows and she can copy mannerisms of.”In this instance of this character it’s very much like Robert De Niro, and [also] my father, so she’s mimicking her grandfather, which is just gorgeous.”

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Netta Robertson helps her children with their roles in the Longreach School of Distance Education musical. The Robertson children are enrolled at the Longreach School of Distance Education and their daily classes take place on their family’s cattle property, Orielton, near Hughenden in north-west Queensland.Each Tuesday afternoon is scheduled rehearsal time for the musical, Porridge.The Robertsons and their classmates hook up via the telephone and webcam to run through their parts in the script. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore)
Acting lessons just part of the job for distance education parentsNetta Robertson said she and her husband Peter both thoroughly enjoyed helping their kids with their roles.”We sit down and we give them a little bit of assistance of a night time … The property is about 230 kilometres from their school in Longreach. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore)
Ms Robertson said being an acting coach was just part of the job of a mum with children in distance education.”I think a mother teaching their kids out here has to be a jack of all trades and a master of none,” she said.”You’re forever teaching them outside of the schoolroom, whether it be riding a horse or a motorbike.”It’s never ending and unrelenting anyway, why not just add some casting experience and some acting experience as well?”

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The Robertson family has a cattle property near Hughenden in outback Queensland. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore)
Ms Moore said on the big night it was not just the children who had butterflies in their stomachs.”It is extremely nerve-wracking because when we come together for the first time it’s usually a little bit chaotic,” she said.”But on the night it is absolutely amazing.”She said the hard work and effort was worth it because the students learned so much from the experience.”Distance education kids are something unique, they’re just beautiful kids,” she said.”It’s an opportunity for them that they wouldn’t normally get, not attending school on a daily basis.”It’s something different and it’s giving them an opportunity to do what our city kids get to do.”

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Longreach School of Distance Education students, including Riley Robertson, during a rare in-person rehearsal in Longreach. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore)
The 96 students involved in the production are spread across an area more than twice the size of Victoria.They will have just a handful of opportunities to practice in person with their classmates before the big performance in December.Riley, who scored one of the main roles, said apart from the rehearsals over the air, he also spent a lot of time practicing on his own.”Some nights I get my iPad, and I’ve got my play recorded down onto there, so I listen to it and it gets through my mind,” he said.”So I know it better and I’m more used to it.”Elke said her father Peter had been a big help as she had figured out how to play her role, Papa Bear.”My dad and I went on YouTube and looked up the Godfather,” she said.”All these little scenes, his moves, and what he said — it helped a lot.”

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The Robertson children rehearse for their school musical from their family’s cattle property. (ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore)
School musical a rewarding challengeThis is the third musical the Longreach School of Distance Education has organised.The job of teaching and directing belongs to vice principal Rachelle Moore, who even provides the students with a DVD of herself performing the moves.”It’s a bit like watching an aerobic video at home,” she said.

(ABC Western Qld: Blythe Moore) ABC Western Qld

By Blythe Moore

Updated

September 29, 2016 10:23:37

Photo:
Elke Robertson running through her lines at Orielton station.

Like most kids, Elke, Riley and Livia Robertson have parts to play in their school musical this year.But unlike most kids, their rehearsals are happening over the air and their teacher is based 230 kilometres away.
A Big Country: Rehearsing the school musical over the air

(ABC Rural)
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Hughenden 4821

Indigenous man does ‘something nice’ after overhearing racist comments

(Facebook: Jarred Wall) ABC Kimberley

By Leah McLennan and Vanessa Mills

Updated

September 12, 2016 14:54:08

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This random act of kindness is receiving global attention.
A Perth man wanted to show that nice gestures go a long way when he left a note for two customers he overheard having a racist conversation at a table next to his. (Facebook: Jarred Wall)
Jarred Wall, 31, was having lunch with his fiancee and his two children at a Perth cafe when he listened to a pair of “elderly ladies” discussing Aboriginal people.”The first part of the conversation started with basically one of them saying ‘He got into power because of the colour of his skin’ and it escalated from there,” Mr Wall told ABC Local Radio.In his post on Facebook, which has been shared 2,300 times, Mr Wall said “the conversation was less than distasteful with words like assimilation thrown around willy-nilly”.”I could have unleashed a tirade of abuse, but that wouldn’t have helped,” he said.Instead, he did the opposite.”I did something nice and bought them a pot of tea and left a little note on the receipt,” he said.”Maybe these ladies will be a little wiser and think before they speak. Photo:
Mr Hall’s Facebook post featuring a picture of the receipt has received overwhelming support. I am sure they have had their own experiences and their own things that have happened in life that might have caused them to have such a view.”But not every book is the same.”Mr Wall said after he left the receipt with a waiter he watched the ladies’ reactions from afar.”By that time the kids were getting a bit antsy so we went down to the park,” he said.”I could see the gist of how their reactions were.”Mr Wall said he was astonished at the overwhelming response to his post.”I certainly did not expect it to spiral the way it has,” he said.”I hope they had a great day and a nice lunch; I just want people to think more before they speak.”If I can bring some awareness in that respect, that is what I have tried to achieve I guess.” Hopefully there won’t be a next time!” he posted, alongside #blacklivesmatter and #englishbreakfasttea.Mr Wall’s post has garnered more than 2,100 comments and more than 22,000 likes.Fighting racism with positivityMr Wall said his intention with the note was to spark “a bit of thought in their minds” and to show that there were alternatives to dealing with conflict.”It is hard to sit there when you can clearly hear something that does not sit well with you really, and I did not want to just sit there and say nothing, but I did not want to go over there and cause a scene,” he said.”Too often we see violence and negativity … and I thought how can I put a positive spin on this and show that there are other ways to deal with things?”They probably did not realise that I was Aboriginal.
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Fremantle 6160

Perth music students go solar with own mobile stage

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South Fremantle 6162
By

Nicolas Perpitch

Updated

September 13, 2016 15:03:38

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The Solar Stage is giving the South Fremantle students a platform to perform. (ABC News: Nicolas Perpitch)
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Ebony Howard says students love that the stage is sustainable as well as mobile. (ABC News: Nicolas Perpitch)
Ebony Howard is the lead singer in one of the bands.”It’s really cool for us students to have that privilege to not only perform on a stage and be able to tour with it, but the fact that it’s sustainable and it’s one of a kind is really cool for us,” she said.Mr Gowland said he wanted to expand the music program’s tours and take the stage and students across regional WA.The program focuses not only on music and student development but also cultural experiences.Last year, the students learned about the Stolen Generations by going to the Roelands mission, which housed more than 500 Aboriginal children over 30 years.They played at a festival there and learned about life at the mission from members of the Stolen Generation.”We try and enrich them on as many levels as we can,” Mr Gowland said. And the kids [get] the opportunity to experience what life is like on the road. Photo:
Parent Jeff Burge says the stage is letting students experience life on the road. Music students and parents at a Perth school have built their own solar-powered mobile stage after struggling to find venues at which they could play.South Fremantle Senior High School has 14 bands in its music program and last year toured Western Australia’s South West region, travelling to Albany, Margaret River, Bunbury and the nearby former Aboriginal mission at Roelands, near Collie.But music program coordinator Mike Gowland said it was hard to find venues because not many people wanted to watch kids play unless they were family members.They were forced to use outdoor venues at markets and parks, but found they had limitations. (ABC News: Nicolas Perpitch) I think that’s incredibly valuable.”Solar-powered stages have been built elsewhere in Australia, but the staff and students at South Fremantle believe theirs is the first in WA.They plan to make it fully automated, so the stage folds down, the light rigging locks into place and the instruments are set up in less than an hour. Photo:
The stage’s solar powered battery pack gives students four hours of playing time. (ABC News: Nicolas Perpitch)
“It’s really hard to perform because there’s no power and no shelter,” Mr Gowland said.So with the help of the school’s parents and donations from local businesses, they built their own stage on a dual-axle, three-tonne trailer.South Fremantle Senior High School was Australia’s first accredited carbon neutral school and it wanted the stage to be the same.One of the music student’s parents, Steve Fisher, spent more than 200 hours making a stage that could be driven anywhere and easily unpacked.Solar panels feed into a battery pack that provides four hours of playing time.”With it being solar powered, it can be pulled by a regular 4WD, we can go anywhere with it,” said parent Jeff Burge, who coordinated the project.”We just rock up, fold out, perform to a community, pack up and go.

Adelaide libraries turn a new page with pianos

Piano practice becomes fun for young and old
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Derelict pianos given a life beyond music
Wrong.This unusual pairing is working in harmony for two libraries in Adelaide.The pianos were rolled into the Goodwood and Unley libraries in February after being made redundant by hall renovations nearby.”We thought that we would be able to encourage some of our staff, as well as the public, to have a bit of a go on them,” Jackie Gosling, literacy and learning team leader, said.”We wanted to see if that would be something that the public would enjoy.”The pianos, at first, were greeted by some speculation.”There are always going to be some people who are going to be doubtful,” Ms Gosling said.”But so far so good.”

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Where music and manuscripts meet. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
Ms Gosling said they were likely to become a permanent fixture at the libraries.”The majority or people have just gone up to the piano and tinkled a few keys.”Some people have sat down and had a play — it’s been fantastic.”Ms Gosling said staff were constantly amazed by the regular library visitors who were harbouring secret musical skills.”We have one regular customer who we had no idea that he played the piano, but he is an absolutely amazing piano player.”Every time he plays, people stop and listen — you would think that he is a professional.”Ms Gosling said many visitors who fancied tinkling the ivories were trained players who could not afford to own a piano at home.”We get the benefit of being able to listen to live music,” she said.Libraries evolving to stay relevantThe stereotypical image of libraries being stuffy and quiet places had long been left behind, Ms Gosling said.”Libraries are trying to position ourselves in the community as another place to go to hang out.”Pianos are just another thing to make it feel like a second home to a lot of people.”The City of Unley Council is seeking volunteers who are interested in playing the pianos for two hours on a weekly basis.The Unley library hosts its volunteer player from noon till 2:00pm on Wednesdays. The piano in the Unley Library. Pianos and libraries go together like oil and water, right?
Hobart still in tune with pianolas of yesteryear
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891 ABC Adelaide

By

Brett Williamson

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September 13, 2016 10:20:37

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Jackie Gosling says images of libraries being stuffy and quiet places have been left behind. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
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Students surprise teacher battling cancer with singing

Updated

September 13, 2016 11:41:49

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Video of students singing to sick teacher
A teacher battling an aggressive cancer has received a touching tribute from his students, after they surprised him by going to his home and singing hymns under his window.Ben Ellis has been teaching at Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) in Nashville since 2008, and was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in December last year.Last week, he and his family decided to discontinue his treatment, deciding “the time that would be needed for any type of treatment to be effective would almost certainly exceed the time that Ben has left”.Christ Presbyterian headmaster Nate Morrow said when the school found out about the decision, principal Parker Altman decided they would “go sing to Mr Ellis”.Leslie Ponder, a teacher at CPA, said the trip was a “spur-of-the-moment decision”.”This is one of the many things I love about CPA, they will stop ‘education’ for a bigger lesson — a lesson of life, of love, of compassion, of community,” she wrote on Facebook.”Today these students learned more than they would have in a classroom.”Mr Ellis described the singing by the 400 students — the entire student body — as “beautiful and unforgettable”.”I have never felt so weak but God is strong in me,” he said.Mr Ellis would often organise hymn sing-alongs with the students, Mr Morrow told Buzzfeed News.”This is a man who loved us well and we want to go love him well,” he said.The video was shared by country singer Tim McGraw, who said he received the video from a friend.It has since been viewed more than 21 million times.
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How comic books helped a Darwin man learn to read and write

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Listen to Billl tell his comic book story.
(105.7 ABC Darwin: Nick Hose)
By about 11, Bill found that he could read.”That was when I got fair dinkum about going to school,” he said. Good artwork,” he said.”The stories are funny and nothing is meant to be taken seriously. It could be [the word] ‘have’ and mum would explain it and after that I could put the words together,” he said.”[We’d] usually be in the kitchen. There wasn’t much television around.”Decades later, Bill still has the collection in his shed, which he has kept safe with a plastic covering throughout the years, including during the devastation of Cyclone Tracy.His northern suburban home’s other ’60s treasures include a long-forgotten rusted troopy and a vintage hot pink children’s cot.”I don’t collect anything. No swearing. Entertaining. No stupid stuff. “I could read the stuff they put on the blackboard but I was never any good at maths. “In those days, you did read. Geeze, I hated arithmetic.”Bill moved north to Darwin in the 1960s and continued to read comics with his then-wife in the ’70s. (105.7 ABC Darwin: Nick Hose)
Bill does not read today’s comic books and prefers earlier works.”There was a story in them in the old days. Wrapped in plastic in a suburban Darwin backyard shed is a hoard of vintage comic books that have somehow survived time, mould and Cyclone Tracy.Their owner Bill is, by his own admission, not a dedicated comic book collector.Yet the faded stash of Disney, Phantom, Two-Gun Kid and DC comic books clearly holds a special place in Bill’s heart.”The comic books is how I learned to read and write.”Bill grew up in country Victoria and struggled with correspondence school as a child, although he was always interested in the colourful world of comic books.”Mum used to give us money for comic books or buy them for us. I don’t let it go, that’s all.”

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Bill’s comics are in great condition. Comics are meant to be an escape, anyways.”It’s fun. Probably kids of these days mightn’t like them but my generation would.” Everything happened in the kitchen with a wooden stove mostly with kerosene lamps and the wireless.”

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Bill often taught himself to read using Donald Duck. There was Dan Dare, a science fiction one, and my brother liked Sooty,” he recalled.Around age eight or nine his mother started helping him to read using the speech bubbles of his favourite characters.”There’d be a word of Donald Duck saying something to his nephews.
105.7 ABC Darwin

By Nick Hose and Emilia Terzon

Posted

September 13, 2016 12:42:41

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Bill isn’t a fan of modern-day comic books. (105.7 ABC Darwin: Nick Hose)
Local comic books being kept alive with pure passion
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Teddy bears in flood-affected school help kids recover from trauma

(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)
BEAR Plan still in actionThree years on, Mr Bowmaker said the program had definitely had an impact on students, and continued to be used in the school.”There are a whole range of traumas that kids go through; things happening at home, domestic violence, conflict, parents separated,” he said.Mr Bowmaker said all the children in the school had a good understanding of the BEAR plan, and that the bears belonged to particular kids.”We have children who will self refer, they will come in and say ‘I need a bear’,” Mr Bowmaker said.”Then after awhile they will start to talk a little about something that was really upsetting them. It’s about the calming down.”The program won a Queensland Child Protection Award earlier this month for its outstanding contribution to preventing child harm and neglect. “They would either be explosive, angry, reactive, or they would just be so quiet we couldn’t get anything out of them.”He said the school had initially hoped it would receive help to do something for the kids, but when that did not eventuate, staff realised they were on their own. “We’ve had some kids that when they first got a bear didn’t even know how to hold on to a bear. The program was taught to children in the school to use whenever they started to feel upset, angry or worried. But the BEAR Plan strategies were not just designed for the children.”We identified a number of strategies that worked for children and adults, because we had a whole lot of parents in here who were exactly the same,” Mr Bowmaker said.”It didn’t matter if we were talking to a five-year-old child, or a 10-year-old, or parents.” Mr Bowmaker said it was beneficial for everyone involved with the school to be using the same strategies. “It just rolled on for a long time,” Mr Bowmaker said. Photo:
Mr Bowmaker implemented the BEAR Plan in response to the 2013 Australia Day flood in Bundaberg. A program using teddy bears to help students deal with the aftermath of a devastating flood in 2013 is still being used by a Bundaberg school to help students get through other issues.The BEAR Plan program, run at Bundaberg North State School, was implemented after the worst natural disaster ever experienced in Bundaberg, the record-breaking Australia Day flood of 2013. A room was also set up within the school where children could keep a teddy bear they could visit in times of distress. (ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos)
Mr Bowmaker said staff realised they needed to give the kids some coping mechanisms, so the school turned to teddy bears.”Teddy bears certainly give that feeling of comfort and support,” he said. He said it was not just the flood the kids had to deal with, but also its aftermath.Many families were displaced from their homes, or had lost businesses or employment after the floods. BEAR became an acronym for the four strategies the children could use — Breathe, Exit, Ask, and Relax.During the 2013 flood, North Bundaberg residents had to be evacuated when fast-flowing floodwater rose to unprecedented levels, with houses and streets being washed away.Many residents were airlifted by rescue helicopters, with thousands of homes and businesses across the city inundated.Flood aftermath went on for monthsSchool guidance officer Alan Bowmaker said in the months following the flood, a number of children at the school were unable to settle.”We still had a core number of kids that were just really upset,” Mr Bowmaker said. They were so traumatised, they would hold it by an ear or an arm,” Mr Bowmaker said.”But over time they have learnt how to hug it.”

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A room has been created at Bundaberg North State School where kids can go when they are experiencing heightened levels of distress.
(ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos) ABC Wide Bay

By Trudie Leigo and Brad Marsellos

Posted

September 13, 2016 14:31:08

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The BEAR Plan teddies help students deal with difficult issues.
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Bundaberg North 4670

Crowdfunding raises more than $400k for elderly iceblock vendor

We have to pay the bills’.”When local Joel Cervantes Macias saw Mr Sanchez on the street, he bought 20 paletas and gave him $50.”It broke my heart seeing this man who should be enjoying retirement,” he said.He and friend Joe Loera later decided to set up a crowdfunding page for Mr Sanchez, inspired by his work ethic.The initial target of $US3,000 was surpassed in less than an hour.Mr Sanchez and his wife said their daughter had been helping the family pay rent and utility bills, but through the crowdfunding they had gained “many sons and grandsons”.Despite the windfall, Mr Sanchez said he would keep working, and planned to donate some of the money to people in need.”I have the motivation, I have the strength and I feel better [working] than when I’m at the house,” he said. More than $400,000 has been raised in four days through crowdfunding for an elderly iceblock vendor, after he was spotted struggling to push his cart in the streets of Chicago.Fidencio Sanchez has been selling paletas in Chicago’s Little Village neighbourhood for 23 years, having moved to Chicago with his wife to help give their only daughter an education in Mexico.The 89-year-old had been retired for two months earlier this year, but was recently forced to go back to work after his daughter died in July, leaving him and his wife custody of their two grandsons.His wife also worked to sell paletas, but had to stop after hurting her shoulder.”I wake up early and all day until eight at night,” Mr Sanchez told ABC News in the US via a translator.”We thought, ‘What are we going to do?
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United States
Updated

September 14, 2016 12:40:39

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Fidencio Sanchez says he plans to donate a chunk of the money to people in need. (Facebook: Joel Cervantes Macias)

The palace, the mystery blaze and the grand piano

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Sydney 2000
702 ABC Sydney

By Bill Code

Updated

September 14, 2016 13:00:19

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The Garden Palace was built for the 1879 Sydney International Exhibition. (Supplied: National Library of Australia )
well, I wouldn’t.”It’s a piano that’s got an incredible possibility of dynamic variety and a sense of drama.”To best showcase it, the audience was treated to music of the era; the ethereal compositions of Grieg, Debussy and Chopin to grace the more functional industrial creations of the museum atrium.”Having Gerard in this process has meant we’re really able to examine notions of excellence, particularly in the engineering of the instrument,” the museum’s Marcus Hughes said. “You have to treat it like a very delicate, little old lady. (ABC: Bill Code)
“How Gerard as a technician can drive that engineering to create something that exists beyond the physical.”For the next two weeks, the palace will be re-imagined on site at the gardens by Kaldor Public Arts Project winner Jonathan Jones, with 15,000 Aboriginal ceramic shields tracing the scale of the building.Hughes is the museum’s Indigenous program producer and he arranged Willems’ performance as part of that project to mark that “interruption of cultural practice”.”It’s an opportunity for us to showcase parts of that collection but also for us to create a relevance culturally for those things that we keep,” he said.Jones’s art installation opens at the Domain this weekend. “Like an old piano,” the technician snapped back, to Willems’ laughter. “I love recording on old pianos,” Willems said later over coffee. Photo:
Gerard Willems treated the audience to compositions of Grieg, Debussy and Chopin. “You have much more control over the sound quality. “How’s it sounding?” Willems asked the tuner hunched over the grand old dame in the lead-up to the performance. You’re not going to shout your head off to a little old lady …
Rumours of the fire’s cause abound, and the wealthy residents of Macquarie Street who had seen their harbour vistas blocked have been perennially viewed with suspicion. “The stained glass of the skylight dropped in a molten rain.” The sheer scale of the loss of contents was a disaster for the colony. For three short years, the ornate glory of the Garden Palace dominated the Sydney skyline, “reminding one of the fabled palace of Aladdin in the Arabian Nights”, the Sydney Morning Herald gushed at the time.Built for the 1879 Sydney International Exhibition, the building was 244 metres long and housed countless artefacts and records, artistic and literary, scientific and industrial, Indigenous and foreign.But it was not to last. (Supplied: National Library of Australia )
It was also a huge blow for the organisation from which the Powerhouse Museum was born, the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum. Early one Friday in September 1882, a huge and devastating fire took hold.”In less than an hour the whole edifice with its contents was totally destroyed,” the Herald reported.Of the fire’s ferocity, the watchman’s hose was “only a drop to quench a furnace”, the paper said. It had been set to take ownership of many of the items from its grand opening but only around half a dozen small items survived.Yet as luck would have it, one luxuriant item from the era appeared to have been moved from the palace before the blaze; an 1878 Bechstein concert grand piano which so wowed the judges at the 1879 exhibition that it was awarded first prize in the musical instruments category. Photo:
Gerard Willems says he loves recording on old pianos like the Bechstein. Photo:
The Sydney Garden Palace lies in ruins following the 1882 fire. (ABC: Bill Code)
Dusting off the ‘little old lady’On Tuesday night in Sydney it was dusted off by the Powerhouse Museum for a rare performance.Seated at the ivory of the Berlin-born grand was leading concert pianist and classical scholar Gerard Willems.
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Twitter video of piano

Basket Brigade gearing up to give back this Christmas

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Basket Buddies
This year they are using social media to encourage people to buy and donate an item from their shopping cart each week leading up to Christmas.Volunteer Katrina Bills said the new Basket Buddies list showed people what item to buy; this week it is pasta sauce.The list is online, allowing people to track what product is needed each week.”We always try and make sure there’s a few Christmas things like pudding, shortbread and custard in each box,” Ms Bills said.”Non-perishable things like tinned food and juice all help and the Basket Buddies list helps us do that.”

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Volunteers hope people throughout Brisbane will collect in their workplaces. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Although the baskets are delivered anonymously, Mr Sherlock said many recipients contacted the group via social media to show thanks.”My wife and myself always keep a few boxes back to deliver them ourselves,” he said.”We get people who hug or cry, [through] to people who get a little embarrassed as they aren’t quite sure about what’s going on since it’s anonymous.”When you read our Facebook posts after the day, some of the stories we get back bring tears to your eyes.”Registrations for volunteers to pack and deliver the baskets opens in early November on the Brisbane Basket Brigade website.Teams will set out and deliver the baskets on Sunday, December 11. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“Recipients who have been nominated by various charities have a box delivered to their door,” Mr Sherlock said.”Each of the boxes are delivered with no markings, with no names and we just say it’s from someone that cares.”We call for nominations from about 40 different charities — from families in need, refugees and the elderly.”With just over 100 days until Christmas, volunteers have come together this week to begin organising donated items that will later be packed into boxes. More than 1,600 baskets of food and gifts are set to be delivered anonymously to needy households throughout south-east Queensland this Christmas.The Brisbane Basket Brigade collects donations and packs boxes with non-perishable items, toys and toiletries for the elderly, homeless and hungry.The boxes also carry a note that asks recipients that if they find themselves in a position to help another, they should “pay it forward”.Organiser Graeme Sherlock said each year his team of volunteers tried to collect thousands of items they knew would help others. Photo:
Food items, toiletries and gifts are collected to be packed into baskets.
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Brisbane 4000
612 ABC Brisbane

By Jessica Hinchliffe and Terri Begley

Posted

September 14, 2016 13:33:16

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The Brisbane Basket Brigade plans to pack over 1,600 baskets this festive season. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)