Monthly archive for ‘ July, 2019 ’

Train buffs love to help

22nd July 2019 | Closed

TRAIN BUDDIES: Angus Webster and Steven Winkler were the two volunteers behind the scenes who helped Rutherford Technology High School students build a train line. Picture: Belinda-Jane DavisThey met through a model railway magazine and now best mates Angus Webster and Steven Winkler have used their skills to help others.
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The pair were the volunteers behind the scenes that helped Rutherford Technology High School’s special needs unit build an elaborate train track that would be any train enthusiasts dream.

Mr Webster, a retired coal miner, and Mr Winkler, a retired signalman,taught about a dozen students how to buildtwo tracks, a platform, arange of delicately painted buildings and the landscaping that brought it all together.

They worked on it one day a week with the students during the school terms and it took18 months to complete.

Mr Webster and Mr Winker said they enjoyed sharing their skills with the students, but most of all, they wanted to send a strong message to the students –that there are people out there in the community who want to help them grow.

“There are people out there that want to help them,” Mr Webster said.

“They got so much out of it and they gained a lot of skills and knowledge,” Mr Winkler added.

The pair initially made a test track with the students and hooked up the power so the train would move on the track.

They said taking the train around the larger track for the first time was an exhilarating moment.

“You should have seen it, it really made the track come to life –the kids loved it,” Mr Webster said.

Mr Webster said other retirees could help students complete a range of projects, but they had to have a task that was suitable for their level and could be done at school.

Mr Winkler has 25 years worth of experience on the railways. He developed an interest in model railways a few years ago.

“When I came into it Angus had already started the concept with the kids,” he said.

“We broke the kids into two groups and Angus would have one and I’d have the other.

“We’d do different things with them, for example, I would be teaching the kids to lay the trackwhile Angus would be teaching the kids how to build the scenery.

“Angus specialised in making the trees.”

Mr Webster has been interested in model trains since his father bought him a train set at the age of 11.

Mr Winkler is an avid volunteer and said volunteering was rewarding and gave retirees a path to give back to their community.

He volunteers with Beresfield Community Transport and helps at a local church.

“You have to have something to do and you meet different people on the transport side of it,” he said.

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Mayor Johnson confident

22nd July 2019 | Closed

COUNCIL: Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson, Federal Minister for Regional Development Hon Fiona Nash, Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer, Port Pirie Mayor John Rohde. PHOTO: Upper Spencer Gulf Group.PORT Augusta City Mayor Sam Johnson met with key ministers and South Australian senators in Canberra last week to discuss opportunities of storage-based renewable energy.
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Mayor Johnson, Port Pirie MayorJohn Rohde and Whyalla MayorLyn Breuer were joined byEnergy Minister Matthew Canavan, SA Senator Simon Birmingham, SA Senator David Fawcett at a morning tea hosted bySouth Australian Senator and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston.

Advisers from the Prime Minister’s office and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s office attended the meeting.

MayorJohnson is keen for the Upper Spencer Gulf cities to take full advantage of emerging opportunities in storage-based renewable energy technology, arid innovation in agriculture, defence, mining services and tourism.

“The visit provided a substantial level of comfort to us that senior members of government are committed to this region and are prepared to work with us to make sure our future is secure,” Mayor Johnsonsaid.

“It reinforced that we are on the right track, that we are being taken seriously as a region and that we can be confident about our future.”

Other issues discussed includeWhyalla steelworks, maximising local economic benefit from the Cultana defence expansion and improvinglocal higher education, skills and research capabilities in the region.

The Mayors met with Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Greg Hunt,Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash andEducation and Training Minister Simon Birmingham later that day.

Advisers from Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s office and SA Senators Don Farrell and Alex Gallacher also found time to speak with the trio.

Mayors Johnson, Rohde and Breuerleft Canberra feeling confident about the level of political supportthe regionis receiving.

Whyalla Mayor Breuer said the trip was extremely worthwhile, with ministers and senators all showing strong levels ofengagement.

“There was genuine interest and goodwill by everyone we met with and a deep level of understanding of the issues and opportunities we were presenting to them,”MayorBreuer said.

Port Pirie Mayor Rohde emphasised the importance of Upper Spencer Gulf unity, statingthe neighbours must continue to work together tomake these initiatives a reality.

“Without a critical mass it will be difficult to achieve this on our own, so we need to keep working with our neighbours to make these initiatives a reality,” Mayor Rohdesaid.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Teenagers turn to internet

22nd July 2019 | Closed

More young Tasmanians are turning to the internet for help withimportant issues in their livesthan to a school counsellor, teacher, or a community agency.
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After relatives andfriends,the internet was the most utilised source forhelp.The statistics were detailed in Mission Australia’sYouth Survey 2016,which represented 1950 Tasmanian respondentsaged between 15 and 19 years old.

Almost half of Tasmanian respondents said they would turn to the internet. The Tasmanian figure was slightly higher than the national average.The internet was also preferred to telephone hotlines, magazines and online counselling websites.

Mission Australia state director Noel Mundy said the trend raised questions about what advice teenagers were seeking and receiving on the internet. Mr Mundy said the statistic could indicate an increased need for honest conversations between family and friends.

The survey found coping with stress was the primary issue of concern for male and female Tasmanian youths.

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY founder Mitch McPherson said youthsturning to the internet over face-to-face counselling was reflective of technology’s rising prominence.

“I don’t see this as a negative, we have to remember that telling someone you may be feeling down or battling some mental health issues is pretty daunting,” Mr McPherson said.

“So if kids are using resources such as the internet for help or advice, I think we should look to adapt to this and be aware that it may be in fact a more positive way to help young people,” he said.

“I would certainly push for people to utilise face to face counselling rather than online, but thankfully online is there as an option for those not willing to seek face-to-face.”

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the state governmentput “significant resources into initiatives that specifically address concerns around the mental health of our young people”.

If you need help, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 orbeyondblue on 1300 224 636

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Damien’s Lego dream

22nd July 2019 | Closed

DAMIEN MacRae, 41, grew up in Londonderry and Richmond, and though his successful career as a lawyer took him to Sydney, it’s his Hawkesbury allegiance which is driving him to ask for ourhelp to realise a dream Lego project with his son.
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Damien MacRae and son Aiden, 4, with their surf rescue scene they put together. They have 2000 votes so far and need the Hawkesbury’s support to get it over the line.

Damien’s striving to get his Lego dream up is intertwined with the other battle he’s engaged in –against serial ‘spot fires’ of his stage 4 melanoma.

He and Aiden, 4, have put together a Lego Surf Rescue scene prototype from bits and pieces they’ve sourced from vintage Lego and having individual pieces manufactured by an English company. They chose the Aussie beach scene because sun exposure is the biggest risk factor for melanoma, and he wants to get the message out there to cover up against the sun.

He heard that Lego would manufacture a scene if 10,000 supporters voted for it online and that the Ghostbusters Lego rangehad come about by this method. Hefound the only Australian scene Lego made was one of the Opera House, so he and Aiden set to work on their prototype scene.

“I’ve been off sick for two years now from my company so I’ve got to spend a lot of time with my son on it,” Damiensaid.

His melanoma started with a mole on his earlobe.They took a third of his left ear off to be sure.He was given the all clear, but a few months later an X-ray found a fist-size tumour in his chest. They took that out along with three ribs in March 2015.

“I had to relearn how to walk and sit as a whole lot of muscles and nerves were missing. I now have back and chest pain and amstill getting over that,” he said. “Then six weeks ago I had a seizure out of the blue with with an arm and a leg waving around.” Thewalnut-sized brain tumour culprit was taken out three weeks ago.

More little tumours have been found in his brain but they will just be treated with radiation and new immunity-boosting drugs.“It’s like ‘Whack a mole’,” he said, referring to the arcade game of hitting moles with a mallet as they pop out of holes.

Support @LegoSurfRescue athttps://ideas.lego南京夜网/projects/155367.

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‘I want make their first Christmas in Australia a positive experience’

22nd July 2019 | Closed

Time to help others: Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone and Rowena Tran at the Whitlam Library in Cabramatta.Cabramatta residentRowena Tran likes to help people.
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Not justhelp. But the 22-year-old cares for other people and genuinely wants to make sure others are OK.

It led to her thinking about the influx ofnew refugees and migrants settling in Fairfield and how they will celebrate their first Christmas.

“Christmas might not be something new refugees and migrantsusually celebrate because of the situation in their home country,” she said.

“Christmas is a special time in our community. It’s a time for families to get together and celebrate. This year, I would like to make their first Christmas in Australia a positive experience.”

It led to her starting the Christmas Giving Tree appeal where residentscan leave Christmas cards or messages of support and donatetoys, canned food, clothingor other gifts.

Fairfield City Open Libraries will host aChristmas Giving Tree at each of their library branches.

“I believe this initiative is a great way for the residents of Fairfield City to come together and show our support for the new members of our community,” theFairfield Youth Advisory Committee member said.

“I think it would be wonderful to be able to provide the love and support that refugees and migrants need during their transition to Australia, especially during this time of year and let them know we are here to help.”

Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone said the Christmas Giving Tree was a wonderful community initiative.

“By participating in the Christmas Giving Tree you are contributing to making Christmas in Australia a positive experience for more than 3,500 new refugees and migrants that have settled in the area during the last twelve months,” he said.

Council will work together with the Parents Cafe in Fairfield to distribute the donations to the families of new refugees and migrants attending their Christmas party on Wednesday, December 28.

For Miss Tran, the Christmas appeal is the latest in a long list of ways she helps others.

Last year she raised almost $2000 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation when she participated in theCity2Surfafter her mother was diagnosed a few years ago with abrain tumour.

She also tutors at the libraries’ homework centre that gives free assistance with homework, assignments and study help for students.

On Saturday the speech pathology student leaves to volunteer in Taiwan at a school for disadvantaged children for three weeks.

“Helping others is something I really enjoy doing and when I saw this opportunity I wanted to do it,” she said.

“I will be teaching to children and English and helping them develop their confidence in their language skills.”

The Christmas Giving Tree is available at Bonnyrigg, Fairfield, Smithfield, Wetherill Park and Whitlam Libraries until December 21.

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