Weller gives Saints a chance against Roos

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DESPITE North Melbourne rolling the reigning premier last weekend, Maverick Weller said the men from Arden Street were “definitely” beatable.
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Weller and his St Kilda teammates fly to Tasmania this morning ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at Blundstone Arena, where they meet a Kangaroos outfit who are fresh from dismantling Hawthorn last Friday night.

Maverick Weller is looking forward to playing in Hobart this weekend. Picture: Getty Images.

But Weller isn’t reading too much into the result.

The former Burnie boy said North Melbourne’s form line this season suggested the team might be due for another slip-up.

The finals-bound Roos have won nine matches to date, but only twice have they claimed back-to-back wins.

“I think we’ve got a massive chance,” Weller, 22, told The Advocate yesterday.

“Everyone knows they’ve been up and down, and hopefully we can keep that trend going.

“It’s going to be wet and windy, and there’s going to be a massive focus on contested footy, so if we can win the ball in close we’ll back ourselves.”

Weller has been one of the rare shining lights for the struggling Saints since his debut for the club in round 7.

He capped off a stellar month of performances last weekend in the loss to Carlton, picking up 22 possessions and being named the team’s third best player.

“I’ve been trying to keep my approach to playing pretty simple and it’s working well,” Weller said.

“But it’s not much fun when you’re losing all the time and we’re pretty keen to end this [10-game] losing streak.”

Tomorrow’s clash in Hobart is just Weller’s second appearance in his home state after suiting up for ex-club Gold Coast at Aurora Stadium in 2011.

The hard-nosed midfielder said he was looking forward to playing in front of up to 15 family members and friends, who will make the trip down from the Coast.

Weller, who was picked up as a rookie in November last year, said contract extension negotiations would start soon and he was confident of being put permanently on St Kilda’s senior list.

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South Burnie players racking up the milestones

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GAME milestone celebrations will have come thick and fast at the South Burnie Hockey Club this year with eight of its members reaching more than 200 games.
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Three of its division 2 men’s members have or will reach the 650-game mark in the next fortnight, while three of its women members have reached 300, 400 and 600 games apiece.

South Burnie Hockey Club players who have or will reach milestone games this season, from left: Darrell Webb (600), Kyle Webb (200), Deb Davis (300), Cor Vander Vlist (650), Sharee Taylor (600), Wayne Edmunds (650), Helen Ainslie (400) and Robert Taylor (650). Picture: Stuart Wilson.

Between them, the eight members, Darrell Webb (600 games), Kyle Webb (200), Deb Davis (300), Cor Vander Vlist (650), Sharee Taylor (600), Wayne Edmunds (650), Helen Ainslie (400) and Robert Taylor (650) have amassed more than 4000 games.

Division 2 team member Wayne Edmunds said he reached his milestone about a month ago, but said it was always great to celebrate other people’s achievements.

“You don’t always like to talk about yourself but it’s good to celebrate those milestones with others,” Edmunds said.

Edmunds has been playing with fellow 650-gamer Rob Taylor since he started playing hockey years ago and said it was great relationships that made the sport so engaging.

“When you’ve played a few games with the same blokes you get to know their quirks and habits, you can always move to be in the right place,” Edmunds said.

The South Burnie Hockey Club prides itself on being a family club and Edmunds said junior hockey development was at the forefront of the club’s mind.

Edmunds said hockey appealed to all ages because it was more low-impact than a sport such as football and as it always promoted relationships on and off the field.

Robert Taylor will be next in line to reach his 650 games in a couple of weeks.

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CHFL: Smythesdale coach sacked after player revolt

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Glenn TreacyA PLAYER revolt has aided in thesacking of Smythesdale coach Glenn Treacy.
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The Bulldogs moved quickly to release Treacy from his position on Wednesday night, just days after senior players approached club president Nick Gray to raise their concerns following a 342-point drubbing at the hands of Central Highlands Football League powerhouse Bungaree.

Gray told The Courier Treacy’s style of coaching didn’t suit the group currently at the club.

“The main reason being there was a bit of unhappiness with Glenn’s style and the way he was coaching from the players,” Gray said.

“It was either going to be one or the other. If we lost our players, at this time of year, you don’t want to be doing that.”

Gray said the decision to release Treacy wasn’t made lightly.

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Marjorie Hutchieson’s family mourn loss of loving nanna

Shirley Barrett, left, has been hospitalised after a crash which killed her sister Marjorie Hutchieson, right, this week.
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THE family of a Wangaratta woman who died after a car crash on Wednesday have remembered her as a kind, generous and giving lady.

Marjorie Hutchieson was travelling with three family members when their car slid off the Hume Freeway at Springhurst and hit a tree.

She was seriously injured and died in hospital on Wednesday night.

The road had been covered in ice after a hailstorm at the time of the crash and police said no-one was at fault.

Her son Bobby remembered the 87-year-old mother of seven as a giving person who would be sorely missed.

“In the past 10 or 15 years she spent her time knitting beanies and gloves to send to people overseas,” he said.

“She had bags and bags of them which she used to send to third world countries.

“She was a wonderful lady.”

Mrs Hutchieson had been married to husband Robert, who was driving the car, for 64 years.

They had been travelling with Marjorie’s sister Shirley and her grandson Jeremia, from Queensland, around local attractions when a hailstorm struck about 2.30pm.

“He slowed down from about 105km/h to about 80km/hand as soon as he slowed down the car aquaplaned,” Bobby said.

“The tail spun out and hit the tree.”

Shirley was taken to Wangaratta hospital with serious back injuries and later airlifted to a Melbourne hospital, while Robert was assessed at hospital and released yesterday.

Jeremia was assessed but escaped with only minor injuries.

Phil Hutchieson described his late grandmother as “an absolutely lovely person”.

“She was always helping others,” he said.

“She was kind, loving and loved her knitting.

“You wouldn’t find a better grandmother.”

Pam Hutchieson said her mother-in-law was “more like a mother” to her.

“She was terrific,” she said.

Family members were planning to travel from Queensland to visit Shirley in hospital.

Funeral arrangements have not been made for Marjorie, but she is expected to be farewelled late next week.

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Jenny Podesta draws ire of Twitter after ‘poor comment’ on The Nation

LABOR candidate for Benambra Jennifer Podesta last night drew furore on social media after tweeting a response to the appearance of Federal Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer on Sky News program The Nation.
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Ms O’Dwyer was on the program as a guest alongside Australian Labor Party national president Jenny McAllister.

During their debate Ms Podesta tweeted “Kelly O’Dwyer actually makes me glad there aren’t more female MPs in the govt”.

The tweet was later deleted but not before it was commented upon and questioned by others on Twitter.

Ms Podesta later tweeted a response: “This was a very poor choice of words brought on by sheer frustration & not a reflection of my respect for all women who enter public life.”

This was a very poor choice of words brought on by sheer frustration & not a reflection of my respect for all women who enter public life

— Jennifer Podesta (@jenpodesta) July 10, 2014The Border Mail the tweet was “an utterly foolish thing to say”.

“It does not reflect what I think about women in public life or the need to have more women on all sides of the debate,” she said. “I sincerely regret the comment.”

Ms Podesta said she had been frustrated by Ms O’Dwyer’s arguments during a heated debate with Ms McAllister.

“I accept people will be disappointed and to those people I apologise,” she said.

“I expect I will be apologising for it for some time.

“It was a foolish, impulsive and thoughtless thing to do.”

@shanebazzi Wow. That’s disturbing. @jenpodesta

— Briony Kidd (@BrionyKidd) July 10, 2014So tell us @jenpodesta how many carbon taxes have you killed off ? Our grandchildren will thank @KellyODwyer#thenation#auspol

— Sir Cory Bernardi (@HerrCoryBernard) July 10, [email protected]@jenpodesta Imagine if Abbott said that!!

— Plunge Punter (@PlungePunter) July 10, 2014“@jenpodesta: Kelly O’Dwyer actually makes me glad there aren’t more female MPs in the govt. #thenation” wow #classy

— Paul Mossman (@PaulMossman) July 10, 2014Um? RT @jenpodesta Kelly O’Dwyer actually makes me glad there aren’t more female MPs in the govt. #thenation

— Emily Bennett (@ebennettau) July 10, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

We must protect our way of life

CONGRATULATIONS Sumner Berg on your informative letter “Why religions are dangerous” (The Border Mail, July 2).
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Your letter is my sentiment exactly.

I feel if there were no religions in this world, it would be a great deal more peaceful and practical.

The politicians who designed our immigration policies bordered on treason against the Australian people to have done what they fashioned with a “non-discriminatory immigration policy”.

As we will find out very shortly, and these past immigration politicians should stand up and be counted when the penny drops for what they have done.

The US and the United Kingdom found out their mistakes and it cost them a lot.

As stated by Sumner, “which God?”

Keep up the good work and we need more people putting pen to paper if our grandchildren are ever to lead a quiet contented life.

All this points to why we should all be thanking Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison for trying hard to protect our sovereignty and our once great way of life.

— BILL WHITHAM,

Tallangatta

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Beth Docker poised for prima role

Beth Docker is working towards becoming a professional ballerina. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
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BETH Docker knew she wanted to become a professional ballerina at age three.

That dream is now one step closer.

Beth will travel to Belgium in September to take part in an international competition.

Once the competition has finished, she will audition at prestigious ballet schools in Europe in a bid to land a position.

“I just love it because you feel free and happy and you get to act and be whoever you want to be,” she said of the dance style.

“It’s hard work but you have to make it look effortless.”

The 16-year-old ramped up her commitment to ballet earlier this year by moving to the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy in Sydney after completing year 10 at James Fallon High.

She practises ballet at the Sydney school full-time, six days per week, after spending several years with Murray Youth Ballet in Albury.

“The Murray Youth teachers have helped me to become a full-time student,” Beth said.

“Now my teachers are helping me to progress even further.”

Her mother Kerrie said undertaking year 11 studies and full-time ballet classes was a big commitment.

“It’s a very big load,” she said.

“But she’s really excited.”

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ALBURY-WODONGA BANDITS: Excitement builds for Bandits after weekend turnaround

THE Albury-Wodonga Bandits might be out of the SEABL playoff race but they still have every intention of trying to make sure other teams miss out, too.
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Sitting sixth in the East conference, the Border outfit hopes to upend the fifth-placed Brisbane Spartans tonight and end the Queenslanders’ flickering post-season hopes.

After tonight’s clash at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre, the Bandits will hit the road tomorrow to take on the Frankston Blues, another club teetering on the playoff bubble.

Bandits veteran Nick Payne said there has been a noticeably different attitude around the team this week after last Friday’s upset win over the Kilsyth Cobras.

“We’re hanging in there,” Payne said.

“Hopefully we can string a few wins together and wreck some other teams’ seasons.

“It’s just been a completely different vibe, much more relaxed, almost like a sigh of relief because we’ve been working so hard at training.

“Guys are excited again and we’re starting to find some cohesion.

“If we can play defence like that again this week, we’re a great chance in both games.

“Our defence has been our Achilles heel all year so we need to lock down like that again against two good offensive teams.”

One of the big keys to the Bandits’ fortunes will be replacement import Lamar Mallory who has shown some impressive signs of late.

After a settling-in period, the athletic forward-centre has averaged 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over the past four contests.

“Lamar has been doing really well,” Payne said.

“It’s really tough to come into a situation like this.

“But he gives us high energy and a presence around the basket, something we haven’t had a lot of this season.”

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ALBURY-WODONGA LADY BANDITS: Horror season has star out of answers

Martha Harmon with her daughter Emilee and husband Larry. Emilee is the star U.S. import for the Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits. Picture: DAVID THORPEIF there is a solution to the Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits’ woeful starts, star player Emilee Harmon has yet to find it.
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An already abysmal season somehow got worse for the Lady Bandits in a nightmare first quarter against a rampant Kilsyth last Friday night.

Were it not for a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Rachel Maenpaa, Albury-Wodonga would have scored just four points for the period.

Seven didn’t really cut the mustard either, but regardless, it was emblematic of the Border outfit’s troubles this year.

“I wish I had words for that, I wish I had answers,” Harmon said.

“If I did, I would’ve tried to change it.

“When you come out and get beat by the opposition and yourself, that’s what that start (against Kilsyth) was.

“We just can’t come out like that, we have to take it quarter by quarter.

“If we can do that, maybe we can chip away.”

While there have been very few shining lights in this SEABL campaign, Harmon has been the one constant, consistent presence for the Lady Bandits.

Averaging 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, the Ohio State University product has been a tower of strength, constantly overpowering taller and stronger opponents in a valiant attempt to keep her team afloat.

Despite the losing streak — 13 — the ever-cheerful Harmon has enjoyed herself immensely.

“I have my routine down, really comfortable now,” she said.

“So, yeah, settled in and I’m really enjoying myself.

“I’m here to play basketball, so everything else aside, that’s (the losing) been very frustrating.

“But you can’t let it get to you; if you let it, it’s going to play mind games with you.

“So you have to come and work every day and try to get better and take all you can from it.”

For the second time in as many weeks, the Lady Bandits have a Friday night game, hosting the Brisbane Lady Spartans tonight at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre.

They back up and head down the Hume Freeway to Frankston to take on the Lady Blues tomorrow night, a home-road double that will be a huge test for a team which has tasted victory just once this season.

Harmon was cautiously hopeful not only of some success this weekend but perhaps a return to the Border next year, although she admitted it was “early days, nothing official” in talks with the club.

“I come in optimistic and I think that’s the mindset we all have to have,” Harmon said.

“There’s always a chance for us because all the pieces are there.

“It’s just a matter of getting those pieces to all fit together.

“There’s six weeks left in the season and I don’t want to write it off yet.

“We’ve talked and I have told the club I’m interested; I do like it here but we just need to get more of a winning attitude going.”

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Refugee policy must change

I AM sure many Christians are repelled by the treatment successive governments have handed out to genuine asylum seekers and refugees fleeing persecution.
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What is happening in our off-shore detention centres and now on the high seas in our name must give those of us with a Christian social conscience a lot of unease.

As a follower of Jesus of Nazareth who himself had to seek asylum in Egypt with his family, I am a little perplexed why there are not more Christians and churches speaking out in the face of this cruel and heartless policy. Thankfully there are notable exceptions.

The policy of secrecy about asylum seekers’ treatment in detention (especially families and children) is an obvious ploy not to awaken Australia’s compassionate heart.

If we really knew what is going on in our name, then people would be shouting that “enough is enough”.

The government eventually listens to the voice of the people.

Call me a bleeding heart or whatever but my conscience will not allow me to remain silent any longer.

It is my belief a regional solution with Australia processing a certain percentage of asylum seekers “on shore” is worth another look.

We need a more humane approach to refugees that is much more transparent.

So it’s up to all of us to let our MPs know we are not happy.

We did not give our government a mandate to act in such a cruel and inhumane way.

— DAVID SLOANE,

Corowa

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Cathy McGowan going a little too far

CATHY McGowan ever the populist, fresh from beating up on the North Eastern passenger rail service, is now attacking the federal government’s plan to revise university fees (ABC Country Hour, July 8).
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Firstly she exaggerates the likely cost of obtaining agricultural qualifications concentrating her attack on the cost of higher degrees; a small segment of the market and arguably one where the student should pay significantly more given the remuneration.

On the same program a caller reported he had completed his degree in agriculture last year, costing $28,000 overall.

Even if this was to escalate by 20per cent, a level which Education Minister Christopher Pyne argues will be restrained by competition between universities; surely this cost relative to the lifelong value of a degree in agriculture, is relatively insignificant.

It is disingenuous to imply the long suffering taxpayer should pick up the tab for those with great potential for an income much higher than average.

Secondly, Ms McGowan suggested those studying agriculture in New Zealand, where degrees are somewhat less costly, would be unlikely to return to their local area.

The dean of the renowned Lincoln University, in welcoming students from Australia, indicated it was common for students to return to work in Australia and he foresaw no impediment to this occurring.

Ms McGowan, in aiming to provide a semblance of relevance is overreaching and clearly failing to provide the quality of representation the electors of Indi have experienced over many decades.

— P. MURRAY,

Wodonga

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Foster carers’ fresh new approach to growing challenge

Challenge’s regional manager Stephen Doley, Murrumbidgee Family and Community Services director Glynis Ingram, Challenge chairman Ted Wilkinson, chief Barry Murphy and Connecting Carers NSW’s Jill De-Ath at the opening. Picture: TARA GOONANTHE preschool-aged children were paraded for Jill De-Ath and her husband and they were told to pick one.
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“A boy or a girl?” the children’s home matron asked flatly.

The 1964 incident was the couple’s first experience of fostering a child — or inmate, as the government termed them at that time.

They took home a two-year-old girl, who stayed each weekend for six months.

When they applied to care for her full-time, the authorities hastily agreed — there was no formal agreement, no training and no police checks.

That is how it was done.

Mrs De-Ath, now the western regional co-ordinator of Connecting Carers NSW, shared her story with 50 foster carers, support workers and children yesterday, at the launch of Challenge Children’s Services in Englehardt Street, Albury.

Her tale was a fitting illustration of how much the NSW system had changed since the 1960s — change that was still occurring.

EDITORIAL:Help offeredin foster care

Challenge Albury is the region’s second private sector out-of-home care provider, next to Anglicare. It is already working with 35 children and their carers.

Part of Challenge Disability Care, Challenge Children’s Services has grown since 2012 when the state government outsourced foster care to non-government organisations to free up Community Services Department case workers.

Its staff help foster carers and find places for children in need.

Selection and follow-up is a lot more stringent than Mrs De-Ath experienced in 1964.

Challenge manager Stephen Doley said the organisation had helped 460 children since it started.

He said demand for carers often outweighed supply, and the organisation was keen to hear from local people interested in fostering.

The Albury office was opened by Family and Community Services Murrumbidgee district director Glynis Ingram.

She said government changes had allowed support services to keep caseloads at a manageable level, as opposed to the “quite high” workloads of DOCS workers.

“Rural and regional children need the best services we can give them,” Mrs Ingram said.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack reflected on his work as a police officer with youth and the need for quality foster care.

“These young people are not statistics — they’re people,” he said.

“Getting them out of the residential care system is critical, they’re the gatekeeper to jail.

“The council will work to continue this journey and to help recruit many more foster carers.”

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Bridge bid to bring B-triples to Corowa

B-triples could access Corowa Saleyards if bridge upgrades are approved in the shire. Picture: DAVID THORPEB-TRIPLES and road trains could become commonplace enroute to Corowa Saleyards if essential bridge upgrades are approved.
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Corowa mayor Fred Longmire said the council would seek state government cash to upgrade bridges over Wangamong Creek on the Riverina Highway and Hopefield Road.

The roads are key stock routes into Corowa and improvements to those roads could make the town’s beleaguered saleyards more appealing to farmers.

The yards themselves have been repeatedly overlooked for funding for an upgrade.

The shire will apply for funding to assess the suitability of upgrades to both bridges as part of the NSW government’s “fixing country roads — local roads and bridges” program.

Cr Longmire said a study had been completed by NSW Roads and Maritime Services about 18 months ago, referring to the opportunity for B-triples in the region.

“The curtailing factor is the railway crossing and bridge on the Riverina Highway,” he said.

“Unless that’s made bigger and better, it doesn’t allow the opportunity for that to happen.”

It was a similar situation on Hopefield Road, he said, where upgrades in recent times had improved the road, but the bridge was still unable to cope with heavier vehicles.

Albury MP Greg Aplin said the fixing country roads program provided $37.5million for regional and rural NSW councils to share for road projects, particularly those aimed at “connecting our towns and unlocking our economic potential”.

“It targets roads and bridges in local communities to make sure our transport and freight network supports regional producers, growers and business,” he said.

He encouraged councils in his Albury electorate to apply.

Cr Longmire said by that definition, he was “a bit encouraged” on Corowa’s prospects for funding.

“We’d fit right in like a glove,” he said.

Greater Hume mayor Heather Wilton said her council would also seek funding — to improve Jingellic Road at Yararra Gap, a “quite dangerous, winding, steep road”.

Mrs Wilton said Mr Aplin had seen the road and agreed it was in need of work.

“We’ve got some very well-developed plans and are pretty well ready to go as soon as we get some money,” she said.

The government said projects with well-advanced planning and environmental approvals would get priority in the hope construction could start next year.

Council submissions close on August 4.

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