Ten’s replacement shows for Wake Up, news hardly threatening

14/09/2018 // by admin

On repeat … Ten returns to soapie stronghold with The Bold and the Beautiful. Brooke (played by Katherine Kelly Lang) from Bold and the Beautiful, which will get an extra run on Channel Ten.
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Bold and the Beautiful

Senior executives at the Seven and Nine networks will breathe a sigh of relief at Channel Ten’s new schedule.

Having axed the low-rating Wake Up and its early, morning and late news bulletins – as well as 150 staff – the struggling broadcaster had some big holes to fill.

But rather than compete head-on with its commercial rivals or try to grow its audience, Ten appears more focused on getting its costs down.

All its axed programs were expensive to produce – especially Wake Up, which required a purpose-built studio on Sydney’s Manly beach. The replacement programs are generally cheap overseas imports and local repeats; hardly a threat to Sunrise and Today.

The new schedule begins with an hour of Ready Steady Cook at 6am, American showbiz program Entertainment Tonight at 7am, then a Bold and The Beautiful repeat at 7.30am.

British cooking show Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals airs at 8am, followed by local program Studio 10 (which escaped the axe) at 8.30am.

Tellingly, Ten will screen “Australian content repeats, e.g. MasterChef” between 11am and noon.

Our main free-to-air channels are compelled to air at least 55 per cent Australian content between 6am and midnight. But as long as they meet the sub-quotas for first-run drama, documentaries and children’s programs, they can show repeats to reach the main target.

Ten’s now-defunct breakfast show and three daily news bulletins went a fair way to meeting the 55 per cent quota. All of it fresh, topical and home-grown.

Now, Ten has replaced this with a mish-mash of low-budget foreign shows and local repeats. This is not to say they won’t find an appreciative audience. (It’s safe to assume they won’t set the ratings on fire, either.)

But it’s always a shame to see Australian programs get the chop, not to mention talented news staff lose their jobs.

The long-term concern about this new schedule is that it reveals a lack of vision for Ten. Last month, CEO Hamish McLennan emphasised news as a “priority”. A few weeks later, he took an axe to what remains one of the best-performing programs for his network.

Conspicuously absent from Ten’s current line-up is a “tent pole” series such as The Voice or My Kitchen Rules. These are the kind of programs that viewers watch live, a few nights a week, attracting premium advertising rates. They also provide a great platform to promote new series and huge lead-in audiences for other shows. Indeed, they’re called tent pole shows because they prop up a network’s entire schedule.

Unfortunately, Ten misfired with its recent attempts: So You Think You Can Dance (too niche) and The Biggest Loser (too mean). MasterChef, a former ratings powerhouse, was diluted by too many spin-offs but still does comparatively well.

The absence of a tent pole show, however, can precipitate a downward spiral that’s hard to correct.

There are fewer viewers to promote programs to and eventually, even good shows go unnoticed. Your prime time programs have smaller lead-in audiences, so they suffer as well. And the effect is self-reinforcing, making it harder to break the cycle the longer it continues.

It’s often said that if only Channel Ten “would put some good shows on”, their woes would be fixed.

This is rubbish.

Ten already has plenty of great shows. It has the best dramas of any commercial network (Offspring, Puberty Blues, Secrets and Lies), some marvellous imported series (The Good Wife) and some great new local series (Have You Been Paying Attention?). There are many other examples.

But without some more bold attempts at tent pole programming, nothing will change.

McLennan has already indicated the network must focus on this kind of “event” television, but there’s not much to suggest he has anything up his sleeve right now. It must become a (well-funded) priority.

It would be shame for Ten to effectively throw in the towel by going further down the path of endless cost-cutting and cheap programming. This is not an inevitability. Only a few years ago, Nine’s sinking ratings and revenue problems seemed intractable – problems since solved by skilled management.

Ten already has many excellent programs that deserve a bigger audience. It also has passionate, talented and loyal staff. With the right leadership, it could again become a great network.Ten’s news chief questions [email protected]南京夜网.au

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David Jones’ board backs $4 offer despite expert view

14/09/2018 // by admin

David Jones’s board is standing by its endorsement of South African retailer Woolworths’s $4.00 a share takeover offer, even though an ­independent expert has found that David Jones shares are worth as much as $4.14.
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Independent expert Grant Samuel & Associates has valued David Jones shares at between $3.73 and $4.14 a share and says Woolworths takeover offer is fair and reasonable and ­therefore in the best interests of shareholders.

In valuing David Jones shares as high as $4.14, the independent expert is believed to have taken into account the value of David Jones’s property port­folio if development opportunities were exploited.

The four CBD stores are in the books at $612 million, but analysts believe they may be worth as much as $1 billion if air rights above the stores are developed. Grant Samuel is also believed to have applied a higher multiple to David Jones’s earnings than analysts have applied used the past and also took into account a premium for control.

David Jones shares were trading around $2.75 and were considered fully valued by most brokers before Myer approached the company last October with an all-scrip merger of equals proposal that valued the shares at around $3.11. The stock was trading around $3.21 before Woolworths, South Africa’s largest retailer, approached the board offering $4 a share cash in April.

The board quickly accepted the Woolworths offer, subject to no ­superior offers, and is standing by its decision. David Jones said on Thursday the offer price was within the expert’s range and represented a substantial premium over the David Jones share price before the offer was made.

Furthermore, in the absence of the Woolworths offer or any alternative offer it was likely that under current market conditions the shares would be trading at prices well below $4.

“The David Jones board continues to unanimously recommend that David Jones shareholders vote in favour of the scheme at the upcoming scheme meeting, in the absence of a superior ­proposal,” the company said.

Grant Samuel said the $4 a share offer represented a substantial 25 per cent premium over the share price prior to the offer.

This premium was “reasonable” but towards the lower end of the standard range, the expert said.

However, in Grant Samuel’s opinion, the premium based on prices up to January 30, when the Myer offer was revealed, was more relevant.

“These are undisturbed prices and are a better reflection of where David Jones shares would trade in the absence of a takeover offer or any speculation as to one,” the expert said.

“On this basis, the Woolworths offer represents very substantial premiums for control (circa 35 to 40 per cent).”

David Jones chairman Gordon Cairns has previously said that the board weighed up the Woolworths proposal against the value that could be created through David Jones’s five-year plan. It came to the conclusion that the offer was worth significantly more than David Jones’s intrinsic value and ­brokers’ valuation.

Woolworths is believed to have initially offered less than $4 a share but was convinced to lift its offer to $4 a share to win board approval.

Mr Cairns has also said that the board would be willing to consider other offers if one of the global retailers eyeing Australian expansion came along.

No counter-bidders have emerged, although analysts believe that other potential suitors would likely wait until after the Woolworths’s shareholder meeting next month before they made a ­move.

David Jones shareholders are due to meet to approve the Woolworths offer on June 30 after the Federal Court cleared the way for the scheme of arrangement to proceed.

The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board cleared the way for the merger two weeks ago and Woolworths gained South African Reserve Bank approval last Friday.

The deal will create the second-largest department store chain in the ­southern hemisphere and one of the top 10 such retailers in the world, with combined sales of $5.7 billion from more than 1151 stores in 16 countries.

Woolworths has identified synergies worth $130 million a year within five years – mainly by increasing the level of private label merchandise in David Jones stores from 3.5 per cent to at least 20 per cent.

Woolworths has also opened the door to selling off David Jones’s four CBD stores – a move that would reduce the cost of the $2.15 billion acquisition.

In a circular to Woolworths shareholders last week, the food and clothing retailer said it intended to “review alternatives” with respect to David Jones’s freehold property assets once further information became available.

This represented a subtle change in Woolworths’s position since it unveiled the offer.

Woolworths chief executive Ian Moir has previously said that ­Woolworths has no plans for the property assets and has denied that Woolworths was considering a sale and leaseback of the stores to help pay for the acquisition.

Woolworths’s wording in the official circular gives the company “wriggle room” to sell or redevelop the properties at some point in the future.

David Jones shares closed down 1¢ at $3.94 on Thursday.

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Australian shares make biggest gain in three months

14/09/2018 // by admin

Shares posted their best day since February boosted by a strong lead from Wall Street, a bounce in the iron ore price, and a better than expected reading of Chinese manufacturing activity, which is a positive for Australia’s major exports.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index both lifted 1 per cent, on Thursday to 5479.9 and 5458.1 respectively with the gains broadly based and all major sectors advancing.

Mining stocks rebounded as the spot price for iron ore, landed in China, recovered 1 per cent at $US98.50 a tonne. However, fears remain that the commodity price of Australia’s biggest export could continue to slide as increased global production collides with slowing demand growth and credit tightening in China.

Australia’s biggest producer of iron ore, Rio Tinto, rallied 2.6 per cent to $60.96, while iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group bounced 3.6 per cent to $4.59. Resources giant BHP Billiton gained 1.3 per cent to $37.65.

Zurich Financial Services took profits and sold out of its stake in FMG earlier this year but retains a confident outlook for the two biggest miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

“We got out of FMG after a good run in anticipation of the iron ore price falling below $US100 while the local dollar remains strong, but even on a very bearish outlook for iron ore prices where the metal price falls below $US90 per tonne and stays there for months BHP and Rio will still do well,” Zurich Financial Services senior investment strategist Patrick Noblesaid.

The market, and miners in particular, got an extra boost after a monthly measure of Chinese factory activity unexpectedly jumped to a five-month high. The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing purchasing managers index lifted 1.6 points in May to 49.7 beating the consensus forecast for 48.4. Alumina added 7.1 per cent to $1.43.

Australia’s biggest oil producer Woodside Petroleum rose 1.2 per cent to $41.72 following an investor briefing on the heels of Wednesday’s announcement it has abandoned an Israeli joint venture. Shareholders now expect a special dividend if the company can not identify a new investment opportunity.

Rumoured Woodside takeover target Oil Search added 1.2 per cent to $9.25. Brent crude oil, the benchmark most closely associated with the contract prices Australian producers fetch, was 0.1 per cent weaker at $US110.42 a barrel.

Gains in the big four banks also helped propel the market higher. Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 0.6 per cent to $80.65, while Westpac Banking Corporation added 0.6 per cent to $33.86. ANZ Banking Group lifted 1.2 per cent to $33.41, and National Australia Bank gained 1.5 per cent to $33.54.

“The big four banks all look expensive but still have good fundamentals. It is not a good time to buy banks but they are still worth holding,” Mr Noble said.

Among other bluechip favourites, Telstra Corporation was unchanged at $5.36, Woolworths added 0.7 per cent to $37.50, and Wesfarmers, owner of Coles, rose 1.1 per cent to $43.22.

Building materials supplier James Hardie lifted 5.7 per cent to $14.47 after showing full year profit rose 118.7 per cent . The result was in the upper range of the company’s guidance and investors welcomed a move to up the final dividend from 13¢ to 20¢ and pay out another special dividend of 20¢.

Logistics group Qube Holdings jumped 6.4 per cent to $2.33 as its joint bid with industrial rail provider Aurizon won a government to develop an intermodal terminal at Moorebank in western Sydney. The freight hub, which is estimated to be a $1 billion development, will facilitate the transfer of goods between trucks and trains.

Bradken was the worst-performing stock in the ASX 200, down 4 per cent at $3.40, as investors digest the mining services group’s down-sizing plans.

Rare earths miner Lynas Corporation, which owns a processing plant in Malaysia, was the best-performing stock in the ASX 200 climbing 9.1 per cent to 12¢ amid reports China, the world’s biggest producer, is considering raising the taxes on rare earths. A $30 million shareholder share purchase plan offer from Lynas closes on Friday.

Healthcare was the best-performing sector, up 1.8 per cent, led by CSL. The vaccine and plasma product exporter lifted 1.3 per cent to $69.77 with investors please to see the Australian dollar trading back under $US93¢ for the second day in a row.

The latest listed investment company to hit the boards, PM Capital Asian Opportunities Fund, dropped 3.5 per cent on its initial public offer to 96.5¢. New Zealand’s Intueri Education Group will float its $200 million IPO on Friday.

“It is great for the market to see a few big IPOs coming through,” Mr Noble said.

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Carol Wall – Books that Changed Me

14/09/2018 // by admin

Author Carol WallCarol Wall is an American writer and former English teacher whose storytelling skills won over reluctant students. Her memoir about an unlikely friendship that transformed her life, Mr Owita’s Guide to Gardening, is published by Random House Australia.
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Our Town Thornton Wilder Our Town is actually a three-act play that my students read almost every year I taught high school English, and it gets a special mention in Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening. The students especially enjoyed the assignment of creating booklets in which they noted small things that brought joy to their daily lives. On the cover they wrote the words of Emily Webb, “O Earth, you are too wonderful for anyone to realise you”.

Washington Square Henry James What a great story—a masterpiece of storytelling. Not a single step is placed awry. I also found it amazing how much my students were drawn to the 1949 film adaptation, The Heiress, starring Olivia de Havilland. They would start off making snide remarks over being forced to watch an “old movie” in class. Invariably, they were racing to my classroom so that they could watch as much as possible during that day’s class time.

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Every high school teacher in the South teaches To Kill a Mockingbird, and I was no exception. I loved that book, having read it for the first time as I was growing up in the South in the 1960s. I was Scout, the curious and (sometimes) bold seeker. More importantly, my dad, though not a lawyer, was the Atticus Finch of our small town. You can tell from my description of him in Mister Owita that he was my hero. I miss him very much.

Einstein Walter Isaacson I love biographies and one of my favourites is Walter Isaacson’s Einstein: His Life and Universe. I love to read about people and their approaches to their problems, which everyone has of course. I admired the creative and unconventional aspect of Einstein’s life—his penchant for questioning conventional wisdom and his respect for free thinking. Often, my friend Giles Owita and I had discussed Einstein and his theories, and I was therefore especially interested in this book.

Spoken From the Heart Laura Bush Laura Bush’s autobiography is one of my more recent favourites. She writes with grace, candour and humour about her fascinating life, both before her eight years in the White House and during her husband George W’s presidency. What a classy, elegant woman. I’m not sure she was in love with the political scene, and I have often thought I would love to talk with her—not about her time in the spotlight, but about other things.

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Festival of Australia and NZ arts launches in London

14/09/2018 // by admin

Author Tim Winton argues there is a common streak through all Australian art. Photo: Marco Del GrandeFrom time to time, Australia launches little cultural assault fleets back to the mother country.
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One year it might be a Leo McKern, who ruled the Old Bailey in his television portrayal of Rumpole, tying a neat bow around the whole convict saga.

Another year it might be a John Pilger or a Julian Assange, doing the journalistic equivalent of selling ice to the Eskimos: a bolder, freer, cooler brand of ice, more sharp and uncomfortable than the usual Fleet Steet sleet.

And of course there are Clive James, Barry Humphries and Germaine Greer  – whose mega-talents took swinging London by storm.

Some of these Aussie Vikings settled down, hung up their helmets and became part of the landscape. Others came back home, Patrick White-style, Tim Winton-style, with new perspective or homesick hearts.

Though … it seems a little unfair. Do we really have to come cap in hand to Europe or North America seeking success and recognition, or some kind of  validation stamp in the career passport?

This month Australia launches a new, full-frontal literary invasion of London.

But the aim is not a reverse colonisation. Instead, according to Jon Slack, it is to demonstrate that no matter how far or how wide our writers roam … etc etc.

“Over here people have a very narrow view of what happens in Australia – the top-level, stereotypical view,” he says.

“There’s some truth to stereotypes but there’s so much more – writing talent, acting talent, film – there’s so much to show off.”

Slack – ex-Adelaide, now a UK resident for just over a decade – is the director of a new, ambitious summer festival in the UK.

This Way Up, the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts, boasts some of the two nations’ biggest talents, supported by some familiar international names, in 60 events over four days.

Tim Winton will discuss his new novel, Helen Garner talks about memory and imagination, Fay Weldon chats to New Zealand writer Paula Morris, other events feature Anna Funder, Greta Scacchi, Kathy Lette and Anita Heiss.

Clive James is doing a new one-hour show about his life in writing, and the festival closes with a new composition by composer Mark Bradshaw set to the biblical poem Song of Solomon, read by actor Ben Whishaw.

I meet Slack on a sunny day in Brighton. He says the idea grew out of a touch of homesickness. “I wanted to work out a way of connecting what I was doing here [in the UK] with back home [in Australia and New Zealand]. I was getting really out of the loop on everything that was happening back in Oz.

“There are so many festivals over here but having a country-specific focus was quite unique … There’s rivalry, affection, understanding [between Australia and the UK]. The more I looked into it the more sense it made.”

There is a risk of backfire in attempting this kind of showcase. Last year London’s Royal Academy, to great fanfare, opened an exhibition of some of Australia’s best and most iconic works of art, from pre-colonisation to the present day.

Reviews were mixed. While few were as scathing as those of the Sunday Times, whose critic ended up musing that in Australia the wrong people became artists, some found the whole idea old fashioned. The Guardian said an exhibition whose “aim is the broad sweep of a country, let alone a continent” risked ending up as “potted history and pop-up content”.

“I am not interested in what might constitute some sort of Australian artistic identity, because I doubt there is one,” the reviewer wrote.

Another critic wrote in the Independent that “more than most countries, [Australia] has carried a baggage of hyper-sensitivity about its place in the world”.

Slack says the reaction to the exhibition showed there was a lot of passion about Australia’s representation in the UK. He hopes the multi-event format of his festival will immunise against such criticism.

He does believe there is a character to Australian writing that will emergeduring the festival.

“If you watch a film from Australia or read a book or even just go back home, there’s something very intangible but you can sense it,” he says. “There is such diversity … [but] the person who described it the best was Tim Winton.”

In a speech in London last year, Winton said he found new perspective on what his home country meant to him when he lived in Paris in his late 20s – his first trip abroad.

He thought the difference would just be language and history, but “the moment that I stepped off a plane at Charles de Gaulle [airport] I knew I was not a European,” he said. “[Australia’s] geography, distance and weather have moulded my sensory palette, my imagination and my expectations.”

Winton found Europe’s land and the sky less beautiful, even saccharine and closed. From afar he recognised Australia as the Neverland of Peter Pan – more wild, a place “more landscape than culture” where the night sky would threaten to suck you up into the stars.

“I was calibrated differently to a European,” he said. “Everything we do in our country is still overshadowed and underwritten by the seething tumult of nature.”

Slack says the Australian voice can vary widely – contrast Winton with Christos Tsiolkas – but at the same time sound alike.

“It’s very direct, it’s bold, it’s just in the character. Even though there’s a lot of bullshit, there’s no bullshit. That’s what people respond to over here.”

Slack says Winton is still a little “under the radar” in the UK, despite the many highlights of his long career.

There is an ongoing question as to whether Australian writers do better if they make a more permanent move to the northern hemisphere, he says. It is even being addressed during the festival, in a “big debate” on whether the cultural cringe is over.

“It’s hard to deny that if you’re based here you’ve got that ongoing presence, it’s easier to have those meetings, do those events, have those conversations you need to have,” Slack says. “The tyranny of distance is still a thing.

“There are some people who still make jokes about ‘cultured Australians, oxymoron’ …People love and respect individual Australians, in films or writers, but I think there is still quite a long way to go. There’s definitely an ignorance of what’s going on … Unless someone has been to Australia you just don’t get past the beach and the sport. It’s really hard for people to do that.”

The festival has a “shoestring budget” in proportion to its scale, but Slack says in planning it became a “controlled explosion” as more people agreed to take part. The event has been part-funded by the Australia Council – which at one stage doubled its support when the project’s ambition grew. One of the council’s aims is to establish a reputation for Australia as an “artistically ambitious nation”, says Jill Eddington, director of literature funding at the council.

But the festival is there, in a nutshell, to help the authors find their market, and the market to find the authors.

“The big challenge for all writers worldwide is discoverability in a huge global online market,” says Eddington. “No, [writers] don’t need to move to the northern hemisphere. The old boundaries and borders are less and less relevant. The work of great Australian writers is relevant to readers anywhere in the world.”

This Way Up is at Kings College, London, from May 29 to June 1.

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Medicare Local overhauled in budget

15/08/2018 // by admin

Minister for Health Peter DuttonIT’S been a nail biting week for Southern NSW Medicare Local, with 105 employees left in the lurch after Coalition Treasurer Joe Hockey announced funding would cease for the health network in July 2015.
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The decision to replace the national body with a smaller and reportedly more concise Primary Health Network (PHN) comes after an independent review found many patients experienced disjointed healthcare under Medicare Local, subsequently impacting the overall care and costs involved.

The review, submitted to Government by Professor John Horvath in March, listed a number of recommendations, among them a system boasting heavier GP involvement and greater alignment with NSW local health networks.

PHN was recommended as a way to “build on the strengths of Medicare Locals” while avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy and duplication within the system.

“Some Medicare Locals have achieved a great deal. However, as a national network they have failed to present a compelling argument to continue in their current form,” the report read.

Taking on board the recommendations, the Abbott Government announced the move during last Tuesday’s budget announcement.

Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the changeover will ensure funding is “not wasted on administration” and focused on improved services. The new network will align more closely with state and territory health systems and build around the work of GP’s.

“Improved primary health care is fundamental to achieving better health outcomes across Australia,” Mr Dutton said.

“A strong primary health care system helps to contain costs because health problems are treated before they need more expensive hospital treatment. Primary health care is best positioned to manage chronic disease and support preventive health to ease pressure on the hospital system.”

The Primary Health Network will also see the establishment of a Clinical Council and Community Advisory Committee. They will not provide health services but instead purchase health services to encourage public and private health care solutions.

The networks will be established following an open tender process later this year to begin operating from July 2015.

Boundaries for the new network are yet to be finalised, although it is understood there will be less than Medicare Local’s 61.

DESPITE the funding block, Chairman of Southern NSW Medicare Local Dr Martin Carlson said the organisation is committed to fight to retain its place as the region’s primary health care agency.

“The Southern NSW Medicare Local is already a high performing primary health organisation as defined by the Abbott Government’s review… we are therefore well placed to transition to the new organisation,” Dr Carlson said.

“It is disappointing that we are required to go through another competitive tendering process later this year.”

He expressed concern at the notion to set up fewer PHN’s as the larger geographical area could lead to slower response times in solving local service problems and hinder the ability to provide effective support to professionals.

“The Department of Health has limited information for us right now but when we see the tender documents in a few months we will be in a better position to understand exactly how these new organisations will function,” Dr Carlson said.

“Our message to the Southern NSW Community is that the Medicare Local’s valued services will continue for the next 12 months and that we will fight hard to retain our position.”

Currently, SNSWML services a population area of 194,000 ranging from Goulburn to Cooma, Queanbeyan and Bega. It provides clinical and allied health services including mental health, Aboriginal health, fitness and lifestyle programs, dietetics, youth health and foot care.

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Fashion pageant steaming along

15/08/2018 // by admin

Thanks to Ashlea Road Boutique museum volunteers can steam the historical garments much quickerManning Valley Historical Society volunteers are hard at work preparing for this Saturday’s fashion pageant.
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After an exhaustive sort through all the historical garments held at the Wingham Museum, the final selection has been made. With so many items to prepare the volunteers called on local fashion store Ashlea Road Boutique to borrow a hand steamer to make the job a little quicker.

Hang Fire Disco will be playing during the parade to be held at the Wingham Memorial Services Club auditorium.

‘A Glimpse into the Past’ will celebrate 100 years of fashion. Items that have been carefully selected will be on displayon Saturday May 24 at 2pm. Tickets cost $20 and are available from the Manning Valley Historical Society or the Wingham Services Memorial Club. Afternoon tea will also be served.

The fashion pageant is part of the 50 year celebrations of the Manning Valley Historical Society. A collection of historical photos are also on display at the Manning Spiritual Wellness Centre in Farquhar Street.

April 23

LOCAL fashion from the past is being carefully chosen for an upcoming pageant of fashion to be held in May. The extensive collection is housed at the Wingham Museum of the Manning Valley Historical Society. Local fashion identities Lyn Catt and Jo Meldrum have brought their extensive experience in the fashion industry to the museum and are joining with the MVHS volunteers to make the selection.

A ‘little black dress’ from 1945 will be part of the collection of historical gowns in Wingham.

The wedding gown and night dress of Alice May Cooper from 1906 will be on display at the pageant of fashion in Wingham.

Lyn Catt (left) and Kim Armstrong at the Wingham museum with a grey linen day dress from 1901.

It’s a difficult task and the women are aware they are collating history. They are also respectful of the emotional attachment that families hold for items they have donated to the museum. “We know of some people who will be travelling up from Newcastle to see the clothing donated by their families,” said Lyn.

Most of the clothing housed at the museum has a strong local connection such as a grey linen day dress from 1901. The dress is thought to be Mrs Frances Hook’s mother’s clothes, Frances Hooke herself a Summerville a family with strong ties to the area.

The historical collection of garments has been collected for ‘A Glimpse into the Past’ to celebrate 100 years of fashion. Items that have been carefully selected will be on display in the Wingham Services Club auditorium on Saturday May 24. Tickets cost $20 and are available from the Manning Valley Historical Society or at the Wingham Services Club. Afternoon tea will also be served.

Women of the Manning Valley in the late 1800s and early 1900s most likely owned fewer garments than women of today. But the often simple and delicate items are a testament to a time when quality materials and careful stitching ensured longevity of the piece.

As Manning Valley Historical Society president Barbara Walters and her team of helpers collate garments for the upcoming fashion pageant they have been reflecting on the difficulty local women would have faced 100 years ago. “Many would have been remembering their homelands and what they left behind,” said Barbara. “The sewing machine would have been important and there would have been a strong reliance on catalogues for fashion inspiration.”

Material would have been ordered from such places as Cochrane’s Emporium which opened in Wingham in 1884. Cochrane employed salesmen who circulated around the district with four carts so women on rural properties may have been able to order their supplies that way. There would have been a heavy reliance on ships to bring fabrics and clothing into the district. Unfortunately shipping disasters may very well have been responsible for entire wardrobes being destroyed which would have been a huge loss to people.

Old photos housed at the museum reveal well-dressed ladies in Wingham’s past. The type and quantity of clothing owned would have depended on the prosperity of the family. It was common for many women to only own one good dress. “This dress would have been worn for special occasions and to church,” said Barbara. Afternoon tea was a popular time to dress in a fine dress and accessories.

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Move to Singleton now worth $7000

15/08/2018 // by admin

Families who chose to move from Newcastle to Singleton will now qualify for a one-off lump sum payment of $7000 under the regional relocation scheme.
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Relocate To Singleton and you may be eligible for a $7000 grant from the State Government.

The scheme was introduced in 2011 to encourage city dwellers to relocate to regional areas but its poor uptake led to the state government relaxing many of the conditions.

Originally applicants had to purchase a property to qualify and this had to be 100kms from a metropolitan city, like Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong.

In 2013 it was extended to those wishing to rent a regional property and now the government has reduced the relocation distance from 100kms to just 50kms.

Member for the Upper Hunter George Souris said the new distance criterion will bring Singleton and Broke into the range of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

“The traffic conga line up to coal mining jobs in the Shire might be a little less attractive with the incentive now reaching Singleton,” he said.

“Singleton has the benefit of being less than an hour to Newcastle and the beaches and is now a very attractive proposition.”

The relocation grants were specifically designed to relocate residents from a metro area to a regional area, he said.

Singleton Council general manager Lindy Hyam said the council welcomes the reduction in distance to qualify for the Regional Relocation Grants and believes it will provide more options for families wishing to relocate.

“Singleton has plenty to offer young families including sports facilities, parks and recreation areas, award-winning restaurants, world class museums, national parks and a wonderful seasonal program of community events,” she said.

“We have an abundance of residential land available and a competitive housing market that is much more accessible to young families than it once was and good rental opportunities. Being located just two hours from Sydney and a short drive from Newcastle, we are well-positioned for those who wish to continue working elsewhere while enjoying an affordable regional and rural lifestyle.”

The relocation program was an election promise designed to boost the population of regional towns, but has failed to meet a target of 40,000 families over four years.

More than $2.2 million remains unspent after 1166 grants were given to families moving from the city to the bush this financial year.

The Regional Relocation Home Buyers Grant provides a one-off payment of $7,000 to approved applicants to assist with the cost of relocating from a metropolitan area to a regional area.

The government also offers a similar grant for those who actually want to relocate to a regional are to work in a local business or start their own.

The Skilled Regional Relocation Incentive commences on 1 January 2014 and provides a $10,000 grant for an eligible employment or self-employment relocation.

The grant is paid in two equal instalments, with the second instalment being paid at least 12 months after the first.

Applications for this incentive cannot be made until at least 3 months after the applicant commences employment in a regional job or commences self-employment in a regional small business.

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

GALLERY: Caragabal Tennis Clinic

15/08/2018 // by admin

On Thursday, April 24, Amanda Livingstone conducted a school holiday tennis clinic at the Caragabal Country Club.
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It was a huge success with 24 young tennis enthusiasts hitting the local courts for some training, followed by a sausage sizzle hosted by the P&C.

We had kids from Grenfell, Caragabal, Marsden and Quandialla who are keen for a follow up session.

If you are interested in attending our next session in May, please contact Hannah 0421 888 601.

Coach Amanda Livingstone presenting the young tennis players with their trophies.

Group photo of the young tennis enthusiasts who attended the school holiday clinic.

Angus Troth, Angus Kelly, Josh LeBroque, Hamish Napier and Tom Ray.

Kate Clifton, Tully McCahon, Halle West, Polly Napier and Phoebe Clifton in front.

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

SUPERFOODS: Turning over a new leaf

15/08/2018 // by admin

ON A MISSION: Centre, Chris Parker harvesting kale this week. Main picture: Peter StoopPlease enable Javascript to watch this videoLAST Thursday morning, Chris Parker harvested 36 bunches of kale at his Congewai property and delivered them to East Maitland store Organic Feast. Four days later, he dropped off another 22. ‘‘I think more people want to eat well and kale is very good for you,’’ says the self-described health nut who began growing the leafy green vegetable commercially and pesticide-free in 2005. ‘‘It’s trendy at the moment as well.’’
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Kale is the ‘‘superfood’’ du jour though there are plenty of others vying for your cash and they form an exotic shopping list: chia seeds, maca, cacao, quinoa, acai and goji berries. Promoted as calorie sparse and nutrient dense, most of these foods hail from far-flung locales but Australian producers are edging their way into the lucrative market.

Parker first planted kale in 2004 at the urging of his health-conscious wife and at the same time he noticed that it was being sold at the Sydney organic markets he visited each week. He ended up getting bunches for Organic Feast but they ‘‘struggled to sell 10 bunches back then’’. How times have changed. When kale recently appeared among the rows of glossy silver beet and array of lettuce at my local supermarket in Mayfield, I realised its renaissance had come full circle.

I blame Gwyneth Paltrow for the hype. In 2010 while promoting the blockbuster, Iron Man 2, the actor attributed her lean physique to her trainer Tracey Anderson and a strict diet consisting of, well, mainly kale juice. (For the record, kale juice tastes and smells like freshly-mown grass.) Since then she has published the health-conscious cookbook, It’s All Good, featuring a number of recipes using kale. Kale chips, anyone?

I also blame Miranda Kerr. For the past four years she has been raving about goji berries, which are grown mainly in China and eaten as a snack or used in smoothies and atop cereal or yoghurt in the same way raspberries or blueberries are.

Other celebrities have also jumped on the superfood bandwagon, including Sarah Wilson, Rachael Finch, and Jennifer Hawkins, who all use social media to show off their pious diets that more often than not eliminate dairy, wheat, gluten and sugar. Green shakes are a popular fixture and include ingredients such as spirulina, kale, avocado, cucumber and lemon. Chia seeds are turning up in muffins, smoothies and snack bars. Quinoa has invaded cafe menus – especially in the big cities – as forcefully as focaccia once did.

I can’t think of the last time a friend posted a photo on instagram of a hamburger or greasy hot chips. They are more likely to show off a bowl of home-made gluten-free muesli or protein balls consisting of almonds, dates, chia seeds and cacao powder. In contrast to our rising obesity rate, there is a burgeoning – some would say booming – industry feeding off the desire to be super healthy.

‘‘It’s a bit like wearing a badge; there’s definitely fashion in food,’’ says Clare Collins, professor in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle. ‘‘In some ways it’s a social trend but also people are looking for a quick fix, an easy solution. Quinoa is high in protein and low in fat, but so are lentils, chick peas, kidney beans and baked beans, which are often grown locally and are cheaper.

‘‘Even if a goji berry is higher in vitamin c than an orange, if you eat oranges you’ll still get enough vitamin c. If you really want to increase your berry intake, frozen berries from your supermarket are just as good. We don’t need to import these foods when we have healthy foods in our backyard. Kale is trendy, but at least it’s grown here.’’

WHEN looking at what has fuelled the popularity of superfoods, whose benefits are often overstated by devotees and understated by dietitians, it is impossible to avoid the influence of the paleo diet. This diet, which is based on what our prehistoric, hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten, has gained an almost cult-like following. It is a simple regimen summed up by what you can eat: meat, seafood, vegetables, eggs, fruit and nuts. Hardline followers also exclude dairy, replacing it with coconut or almond milk. There’s no room for processed or starchy foods, which is quite radical in 2014 given their proliferation.

Mr Activated Almonds, aka chef and My Kitchen Rules co-host Pete Evans, is probably one of the most well-known converts. He has attributed his weight-loss and new-found energy and good health to the diet and has just published a cookbook, Healthy Every Day, which is based on paleo principles and includes recipes such as pan-fried whiting with pumpkin and kale salad, burger with the lot (minus the bread roll) and Sri Lankan beetroot and egg curry. He is overseas and couldn’t be reached by Weekender, but MKR contestant and fellow paleo devotee/cookbook author Luke Hines was happy to expound about the appeal of the diet (he and Evans are touring Australia in July with a presentation called The Paleo Way).

‘‘We [Hines and fitness trainer/co-cookbook author Scott Gooding] were on MKR around the same time that Pete was making the transition so it worked out really well,’’ says Hines. ‘‘Rather than us giving him the lead, it was more like we were learning from each other. Pete’s gone and done a nutrition course and has gotten very serious about what he eats. The thing with paleo is it’s not anything new, it’s not a fad, it’s how we ate – it’s just we haven’t been eating that way for a long time.

‘‘For me it was working out why I couldn’t meet certain physical and health goals and once I eliminated the foods that were dragging me down, I felt phenomenal.’’

Hines acknowledges that certain paleo ingredients have become trendy. ‘‘There is the risk that certain foods become a fad, but at the end of the day they’re getting spoken about because they’re genuinely good so there’s no discounting their health benefits. But rather than thinking that a weekend of a certain food will change you, think about incorporating it into your normal diet. Don’t go hard out and have kale in every meal for a week and think, this will fix me – you’ll be sick of it.

‘‘Pick a superfood wisely, understand why you need it, and see if it suits your lifestyle; if it does, incorporate it long term.’’

ADRIAN Sutter is a picture of good health. The 28-year-old managing director of Fit & Fresh, a Newcastle business that prepares and delivers meals to health-conscious clients, has no doubt the paleo diet is becoming ‘‘mainstream’’ (there’s even a new cafe in Hamilton that has a paleo-inspired menu). ‘‘Paleo is just a word, but it describes the food we’re supposed to be eating – no grains, sugars and or most carbs. People have heard it’s a fad, but from a medical perspective, this is the future.’’

The former soldier, who served in Afghanistan, joined forces with his younger brother Ben to open their health-centred cafe Raw in the city’s east end after their 28-year-old sister Katie died from ovarian cancer in 2011. Fit & Fresh followed last September.

Nutrition professor Clare Collins

‘‘I believe you can eat yourself healthy,’’ says Sutter. ‘‘Get sugar and grains out of your diet, and this will automatically have an impact.’’

He is wary of our fascination with superfoods, though. ‘‘If you’re smashing alcohol all weekend, a few goji berries on Monday isn’t going to fix you,’’ he grins. ‘‘Almond meal is another one of those ingredients; we use it instead of flour to make muffins, but just because it’s within the paleo diet, doesn’t mean you can eat four of them. You’ve still got to check the calorie content.

‘‘But if people who used to eat doughnuts are now eating goji berries, that’s fantastic.

‘‘There’s a scale we need to look at; there’s people at one end who are eating absolute junk and with education, getting them to swap some of the junk food for fresh food would be fantastic. Then, at the other end, there’s those who are educated about diet and want to be optimally healthy; we need to let them know that eating half a kilo of goji berries a day isn’t healthy either.

‘‘We need to teach people about balancing what they eat.’’

It can all get very confusing and it’s little wonder many of us latch on to the Next Big Thing. As is demonstrated by kale’s increasing popularity, it seems everything old is new again. But do we really need to eat quinoa, which is grown mainly on the altiplano, a vast, windswept, and barren Andean plateau spanning parts of Peru and Bolivia, to be healthy?

‘‘If you really want to improve your eating habits, record what you eat in a week and see where the kilojoules are coming from,’’ says Clare Collins. ‘‘If you’re on the paleo diet and you plan to be one of the people who lives into their 80s, my suggestion is to move to super premium health insurance for your osteoporostic fractures and the high-dependent carers you’ll need. Eliminating dairy from your diet is not the way to go. The reality is you don’t need to go paleo but you could include more fruit and veg in your diet. And you can certainly lay off the heavily processed carbs and that will put the odds in your favour in terms of being healthier into your 80s.’’