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    ‘Dancing man’ at local TAFE campus

    2019 - 05.17

    Let yoursef go: ‘Dancing Man’ Tommy Franklin will be at Wauchope TAFE on Tuesday.

    NORTH Coast TAFE has invited students and the community to meet “North Coast dancing sensation” and Australia’s Got Talent finalist Tommy Franklin at its Wauchope Campus next Tuesday, February 10.

    Tommy Franklin became an overnight YouTube sensation when tourists filmed him dancing in the rain on the streets of Byron Bay in 2010.

    He has since danced at Australia’s biggest music festivals, appeared in numerous video clips and films and was a finalist in the prime-time television competition,

    Australia’s Got Talent, in 2013.

    Tommy is known for his unique free spirit and infectious joy of life, having overcome some challenging life hurdles.

    “At 16 years of age I fell into the trap of drugs and alcohol and had a serious accident that left me in a wheelchair and out of action for nearly 12 months. I have struggled with mental health issues, including suicide and depression,” says Tommy.

    When Tommy realised that just by dancing he could make other people happy, he felt he had found his purpose. He now lives to inspire others and has touched countless lives through his performances, youth workshops and art projects.

    “The key is to find something you enjoy doing and make it your work and you’ll never work a day in your life. Nothing worth having comes easy or free,” says Tommy.

    “I’m very passionate about helping people and I feel honoured to visit North Coast TAFE to share my story and inspire people to further their education and better themselves.”

    North Coast TAFE’s event coordinator, Meredith Gibson, is inviting the whole community to come along and express themselves with Tommy.

    “There will be prizes for the best dressed, the best dancer and the most popular ‘selfie’ with Tommy. He’s very friendly and down to earth, so he’d be happy to have a chat and take a selfie. It’s going to be a blast,” says Ms Gibson.

    “A video will be filmed on the day so we’re asking people to wear yellow clothing to Wauchope campus – or you can just come as you are.”

    “It’s going to be colourful and fun and a good atmosphere,” says Tommy.

    “I’m really looking forward to it. It will be something that people have never experienced.

    “I want people to let themselves go and just dance. I don’t want them to stand on the sidelines with their mobile phone. It’s great to feel free and like a child.”

    North Coast TAFE’s community and business engagement leader for the Hastings Valley, Caleb Rose, says that Tommy is both an ambassador and an advocate for North Coast TAFE.

    “He embodies the values that we practise – we are passionate about learning and innovation, and want everyone to be able to access education. Our teachers support students to be bold and start something new, believe in themselves and find what makes them happy,” says Mr Rose.

    Tommy Franklin will be at the Wauchope TAFE Campus, Young Street, Wauchope on Tuesday, February 10, from 2pm to 4pm.

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    Funding on offer for GP training

    2019 - 05.17

    Angus Taylor and Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash discuss training for GP training facilities.Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor says funding applications are being invited for regional GP training facilities.

    Mr Taylor has urged eligible local general practices to apply for new Federal grants of up to $300,000 to build facilities to take on more trainee doctors and GP registrars.

    “There’s been a lot of interest from local communities in this programme and I am delighted to announce the details.

    “Guidelines for the Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants programme and an ‘Invitation to Apply’ are now available on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.gov.au/tenders. Applications close on 23 February 2015.”

    Mr Taylor said the Government was committing $52.5 million over the next three years to help regional general practices expand their facilities.

    “From before entering parliament, I have been working hard on options to attract and retain GPs into our towns. Under this programme, existing practices can apply for funding to build additional consultation rooms to support and teach medical students and to supervise GP registrars. Successful applicants will be required to match the Commonwealth funding.

    “Evidence shows that people often choose to stay and work in areas where they have trained. This investment in infrastructure will not only strengthen the general practice workforce, it will mean more GP registrars and medical students are trained locally.

    “The Government’s aim is to establish funding and support programs so that trainee doctors can experience general practice in a rural or regional location, develop an interest in regional medical care and ultimately join the rural health workforce,” Mr Taylor said.

    He said the infrastructure programme would be complemented by an increase in Practice Incentives Programme (PIP) payments from $100 to $200 per session from 1 January 2015.

    “This will help compensate general practices for increasing the amount of time invested in teaching.”

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    Bushfire relief concert was top event

    2019 - 05.17

    TOP EVENT…Event coordinator Anton Lunstedt with Di Pech (centre) from the Wirrabara Progress Associaiton collecting the award for Community Event of the Year from District Council of Mount Remarkable mayor Sandra Wauchope.The Bangor Bushfire Relief Concert was named the Community Event of the Year by the Mount Remarkable District Council on Australia Day.

    One of the organisers, Anton Lunstedt, said the event held in March 2014 was a collaboration between the Wirrabara Progress Association, the Wirrabara Sports Reserve Committee as well as himself and other volunteers to raise money for victims of the devastating bushfire.

    In total, around $50,000 was raised for the bushfire victims, with funds raised divided between people who lost their homes in the Bangor bushfire, and bushfire charity Blazeaid.

    Mr Lunstedt said the idea to plan the concert came about because many people in the community wanted to give back.

    During the concert, money was raised through gate takings, stalls, donations from organisations, personal donations, auctions and raffles. On the night, a crowd of up to 2000 packed out the Wirrabara Sports Reserve, with musicians from Port Pirie, local areas and Adelaide entertaining the crowd.

    Mr Lunstedt said the concert was just what the community needed, following the devastating bushfires.

    “The whole community wanted to contribute to the recovery.

    “As well as a fundraiser, the concert was a way to say thankyou to those who helped fight the fires and those who helped behind the scenes.”

    He said the concert was a display of the community spirit and moral following the bushfires.

    “Everyone who got the concert together had their own lives, maybe they’d even fought the fire too, but they still found time to put the concert on. It was an extraordinary effort.”

    A documentary was also produced of the Bangor bushfire experience, called “After the Fire”.

    It is screening this weekend at the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery on Saturday and Sunday.

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    Floods: Downpour floods Ivanhoe cellar door, delays harvest

    2019 - 05.17

    PART OF THE JOB: Ivanhoe Wines owner Stephen Drayton says the heavy rainfall during harvest was an inconvenience but will be dealt with accordingly.Last week’s rainfall may have been needed for some but came at an inopportune time for others – such as the local wine industry.

    Last Tuesday morning (January 27), Ivanhoe Wines at Pokolbin received around 70mm of rain in the space of 45 minutes, right at the time of their summer harvest.

    The rain was so rapid that water ran down from Marrowbone Road into the cellar door.

    Owner-operator Stephen Drayton said the vineyards became inundated with water quite quickly.

    “It was running right through our vineyard, it looked quite spectacular at the time,” he said.

    Luckily the water left no damage inside, but it did put a spanner in the works for their grape picking.

    Not only does rain stop the grape harvesting machines from operating as they get bogged down in the mud, the rain also affects the quality of the grapes.

    During this time of year, the sunlight usually helps make the fruit nice and ripe.

    However rain drops the fruit’s sugar levels and water dilutes the fruit.

    Mr. Drayton said this makes the weather a very decisive factor in regards to picking.

    “The weather tells us when to pick rather than we tell ourselves,” he said.

    Mr. Drayton has owned and operated Ivanhoe Wines for the last 15 years with his wife Tracy.

    He said he experienced similar weather problems in 2008 and 2012, but had a good year of weather in 2013 and an exceptional year in 2014.

    Mr. Drayton said they had already picked the Traminer and Verdelho before the bad weather struck and were unable to pick from Australia Day to January 30 due to wet grounds.

    He said they managed to pick the remaining whites, Semillon and Chardonnay, on the weekend of January 31 before moving on to the reds.

    “We’re taking the opportunity while the sun shines,” he said.

    Although the rain has been an inconvenience, Mr. Drayton said it is uncontrollable and will have to be dealt with accordingly.

    “Obviously this is an important time of year for us; it’s what we work for all year,” he said.

    “You can’t control the weather; you’ve just got to work around what happens.”

    Floods: Downpour floods Ivanhoe cellar door, delays harvest RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

    RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

    RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

    RAPID: The torrent rushed down Ivanhoe Wines’ driveway into the cellar door last Tuesday morning. Photos by Tracy Drayton

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    Not backing down from fight

    2019 - 05.17

    VOLUNTEERS…Gathered at the Jamestown CFS station on Friday night to discuss the changes were volunteers (back, from left) Steve Leesong of Jamestown, Nick Taylor of Jamestown, Shaun Irrgang of Jamestown, Black Rock Group Officer Ken Campbell, and Peter Lehmann of Caltowie CFS.Front from left Sean Kerslake of Jamestown, Damien Carpenter of Jamestown, Lee Iles of Jamestown, Derek Carkle of Jamestown and Tim Cooper.Country Fire Service volunteers are not showing any signs of stopping the fight to stop changes to the organisation they say would be harmful.

    Around 40 CFS volunteers from the Mid North attended a rally in Adelaide last Wednesday, sending a firm message to the South Australian Government.

    The rally, organised by the CFS Volunteers Association, questioned the government’s motives in choosing to “dismantle a proven emergency structure”.

    Northern Region CFS Volunteers Association President Tim Cooper, speaking on Friday night, was one of the Mid North CFS volunteers at the rally.

    He has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 35 years, and said he thinks the CFS has never faced a challenge like it faces today, with a proposed restructure that would see the parts of CFS, Metropolitan Fire Service and SES operations merged, with one commissioner controlling all three organisations.

    “(Emergency Services Minister) Tony Piccolo has said the reforms are about reducing duplication and saving money which would then be reinvested in the sector.

    “On the face of it, no arguments about that.” But Mr Cooper said the volunteers are upset that their voices haven’t been heard, despite Minister Piccolo frequently stating that he conducted widespread consultation. They say no real detail about the reforms has been released.

    “We were at the rally to tell the government we’re unhappy with the level of detail we’ve had, and the lack of guarantee about where we’re headed.

    “It’s like jumping out of a plane with no parachute.”

    He said the documents the volunteer association has been provided offer “scant” detail, and that the government had failed to do its due diligence by not providing cost-benefits analyses to CFS stakeholders.

    Mr Cooper said Mr Piccolo was “pushing the replay button” when he talked about his widespread consultation.

    “Has he been listening to what he’s been told?”

    He said his CFS colleagues attended the consultation sessions to share ideas and hear from the Minister about the proposed changes, but were given little information.

    Mr Cooper said volunteers are concerned the changes will be pushed through anyway, and that he thinks the government is “hoping the problems will just go away.”

    According to Mr Cooper, the majority of volunteers would not be against changes for the benefit of the organisation, but fear it could lead to a lack of support and resources.

    He said in a worst-case scenario, it could leave the CFS unable to protect the country communities of South Australia.

    “But emergency services volunteers don’t give up easily – we wouldn’t be in this game if we did.”

    Mr Cooper’s concerns were echoed by his fellow volunteers, including Black Rock Group Officer Ken Campbell, who said that “no-one is objecting to reform.

    “But there has been no evidence gathered to show the need.

    “We are against reform for the sake of reform.

    “The Minister has not been asking the right questions.

    “He should be asking ‘what things need to be improved, and what are the solutions?’”

    Mr Campbell said the volunteers wanted to see “evidence gathered and shortcomings documented” and said the government needed to be much more transparent in its dealings with the CFS.

    In response to questions, Minister Piccolo said “I have consulted with nearly 2000 emergency service personnel and will continue to consult throughout the journey.”

    “I have also met and consulted with the appropriate volunteer organisations, like the CFSVA and SESVA, on many occasions.”

    “If anyone wants to discuss the reform, I am happy to meet with them and discuss it face-to-face.”

    “It is important to remember that the reform process is just commencing, so there will be ample opportunity for all workers in the emergency services sector – both paid and volunteers – to have an input in the design and implementation of the new organisation.”

    “The intricate details of the new sector are now being developed in consultation with a reference group made up of emergency service stakeholders including representatives from volunteers in the sector.”

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