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Friday, 21 October 2016



CAPED CRUSADER Look up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane? No - it’s Mount Druitt Hospital patient Patrick Vlatko, age three, wearing his superhero cape! Capes4Kids, an Australian charity, recently donated 100 superhero capes to help Mount Druitt Hospital’s sick children feel safe and brave while undergoing treatment.

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Call for nappies

Man charged – Seven Hills

GREENWAY MP Michelle Rowland is once again calling on local families that may have leftover nappies to drop them into her office as part of the “Nappy Collective”. The Nappy Collective program is Australia-wide and hopes to collect tens of thousands of leftover nappies that will then be sorted, packed and distributed to women’s shelters, programs for homeless mothers and young mothers in need. Now in its fourth year, 1,449,693

A MAN has been charged with dangerous driving and other offences following a twocar crash in Seven Hills earlier this month. The collision between a white hatchback and a blue/grey sedan happened on Seven Hills Road, Seven Hills, shortly before 11pm on Saturday 8 October 2016. A man and two women travelling in the hatchback and a woman driving the sedan were treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance Paramedics before being taken to Westmead Hospital. The 20-year-old man driving the hatchback suffered leg and head injuries, while his 20-year-old female front-seat passenger suffered abdominal injuries. A 23-year-old woman travelling in the back seat suffered minor injuries. The driver of the sedan, a 69-year-old woman, suffered a broken ankle and neck injuries. Following inquiries by the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit, the 20-year-old man was charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and three counts of cause bodily harm by misconduct in charge of a motor vehicle. His licence was suspended and confiscated. The man from Pemulway is expected to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday 30 November 2016.

nappies have been collected through the Nappy Collective. The next Collective begins from Friday 14 October through until Friday 28 October 2016 and residents are invited to drop in their leftover nappies at 230 Prospect Highway, Seven Hills between 9am-5pm. “As a mum, I know that you often have a few nappies leftover when your baby gets bigger and goes up a size or they and you decide that it is

time to move on from nappies”, Ms Rowland said. “Residents are encouraged to drop in to my office any leftover nappies that they have and as a community we can make a difference for hundreds of mums in Australia that are really struggling to meet the basic needs of their babies,” Ms Rowland said. For further information contact Michelle Rowland’s office on 9671 4780.



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From the Journo’s Desk by Keegan Thomson WHAT I’m about to say is going to cause me a lot of flack. It is hard to be a young person in this country and the concept of a fair go for all is dead. I’m sure that sentiment has been echoed by every generation since the 1920s but I’m taking a stand for the young people of western Sydney. The average youth unemployment rate sits around 14 per cent with only 65 per cent of all university graduates being able to find full time work within a year of graduating. If you’re a TAFE student the numbers are more dire and sit around 50 per cent. To add to the hurt, there is more part time work around than full time work, so quite often young people (myself included) are having to work multiple jobs just to get by. Compare those figures to the 1970s and you can see the changes. In the 1970s in some places across the country the unemployment rate sat around 2 per cent. On top of the five and six figure sums worth of student debt a young, former university and TAFE student has to deal with they also have to deal with the growing unemployment issue. And another thing.... Bernard Salt, a 60-year-old columnist for The Australian, wrote an article suggesting that “the youth of today” would be able to afford their own homes if they simply spend less on eating out. First of all, the idea of linking breakfast habits to the housing market is a very silly thing to do. Second of all, there is evidence that suggests the lack of full time employment, stagnant wage growth and the lack of affordable housing is locking young people out of the housing market. Mark McCrindle, a demographer said Baby Boomers could afford property when they were in their late 20s because of the good income, good job growth and the amount of affordable property around. In the same breath Mr McCrindle said this lack of good income and affordable housing will make it harder for younger people to get into the market. From what I understand this country tries to give a fair go to all, however I’m increasingly losing my faith in this concept. Career politicians and Baby Boomers received free tertiary education, they lived in a period of minimal unemployment and excesses of affordable homes and now the younger generations are struggling to keep up. That doesn’t sound like a fair go to me. This war against young people led by people like Bernard Salt isn’t helping anyone and it isn’t making the situation much fairer, so how about we change the conversation, stop this blame game and instead talk about how we can get more younger people into work, into affordable housing and give them a fair go? Your thoughts?

$10.2 million for life-changing research By Kerrie Davies

THE NSW Government has announced $10.2 million in Translational Research Grants to ensure innovative ideas advance from the laboratory to the front line of patient care. Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward were at Westmead Hospital to announce the 24 recipients in the inaugural round. The grants range from $50,000 to $1 million for projects of one to two years’ duration. “The NSW Government is proud to deliver our election promise to fund innovative projects where the rapid translation of cutting-edge research leads to real health outcomes for patients,” Ms Skinner said. “The 24 recipients of the inaugural grants are innovative, scientifically rigorous, demonstrate strong crosssector partnerships and have the potential to translate rapidly into treatments and better health services.” Ms Goward said some of our brightest minds are dedicated to unlocking the secrets of ill health, disease and cure.

“The cutting-edge research projects we recognise today have the potential to make lives better and to ease suffering.” Among the recipients announced are: • $550,000 to Westmead Hospital researchers Associate Professor Vitali Sintchenko and Professor Jon Iredell, who will use whole genome sequencing of pathogens for rapid identification,

tracking and assessment of antibiotic resistance of tuberculosis and for control of salmonellosis and listeriosis. • $565,225 to Illawarra Local Health District researcher Dr Susan Furber, who will develop a program using text messaging to modify lifestyle risk factors and improve selfmanagement of disease for people with type 2 diabetes. • $199,136 to Hunter New England

Local Health District researchers Associate Professor Adrian Dunlop and Dr Gillian Gould, who will develop a counselling program for pregnant women to quit smoking. Expressions of interest for the second round of the Translational Research Grants Scheme close on November 9. To learn more go to

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More opportunities for our young people in Quakers Hill MINISTER for Disability Services responsible for youth John Ajaka and Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly have announced $50,000 in funding for the Blacktown Regional Economic and Employment Development Taskforce (BREED) to deliver an innovative program that helps young people with autism develop their IT skills. The funding is part of the NSW Government’s Youth Opportunities Program, which provides grant funding to organisations to deliver youth-led, youth-driven community projects. “It doesn’t matter whether you are 16 or 60, the NSW Government wants to help everyone realise their full potential and participate in all aspects of life,” Mr Ajaka said. “The highly-successful Youth Opportunities program is focused on better engaging with young people and removing barriers that prevent them from participating more fully in their community.” Under the IT LAB program, based at Quakers Hills, skilled IT mentors will help young people explore their love of technology in self-identified projects such as programming, graphics, coding, animation, game and app development, and robotics.

“The NSW Government is proud to support such an innovative program that will make a real difference to the lives of people in our area,” Mr Conolly said. “I congratulate everyone involved with the program and I have no doubt it will be a tremendous success.” Stephen Frost from the BREED Taskforce said that the program allows

participants to engage socially with their peers within a safe environment whilst developing behavioural, educational and employability skills. “Initiatives such as these are vital to removing barriers to inclusion for young people with autism, and ensure that they are able to participate in their communities,” said Stephen Frost. Since the Youth Opportunities

Program was launched in 2012, more than $7.9 million has been allocated to over 140 youth development projects. Successful projects from this round of funding will commence in 2017. Information relating to this year’s grant recipients can be found via w w w. y o u t h . n s w. g o v. a u / y o u t h opportunities/

What you might not know about your new ferret


Veterinary REPORT

with Dr Antony Karolis and the team at WellPet Vets phone 1300 WELLPET

Senior Veterinarian and CEO WellPets Vets Mountains, Nepean and St Clair

MOST first time ferret owners spend lots of time researching how to make a perfect home environment, and diet plan for their new furry friend. However, most new ferret owners are unaware that they can be putting their new favorite family member in life threatening danger by not managing their reproductive hormones. Ferrets have a mating season (this is usually the spring and summer months), and very different hormonal regulation than other pets. Therefore, the importance of managing their hormones and the de-sexing procedure itself is very different from what you may expect. Female ferrets will remain in season or ‘oestrus’ for long periods if they are not mated. If a female ferret is not mated when it is in season, oestrogen can reach toxic levels in the blood stream. Excessive oestrogen can cause oestrogen toxicoses and aplastic anaemia, which can be fatal. Most desexed female ferrets will develop this condition unless they are mated every time they come into heat, which can be twice a season. Therefore, unless you are a breeder and plan on mating your new female ferret, it would be best to speak to your vet about what can be done to help regulate her hormones and protect your ferret from

this life threatening condition. For male ferrets, not managing your male ferret’s hormones or leaving your ferret entire comes with far fewer serious side effects than your female ferret. De-sexing or sterilizing your male ferret however will reduce their pungent older and aggressive behaviour that can make them very difficult to live with when they are in season and is still recommended. Yes, male ferrets come into season too. So how can we manage our ferrets hormones, especially for the female ferrets? We recommend as our first choice is chemical sterilsation by means of an implant every 16 months to manage your ferret’s hormones. Traditional surgical de-sexing is an alternative. It is a cheaper option and can be performed at 6 months

of age. If you decide to surgically de-sex your ferret you must be aware that ferret sex hormones help regulate other hormones made in a part of the body called the adrenal glands. When we remove the ovaries or testicles in the de-sexing procedure, we remove the ferret’s natural regulation system for the adrenal glands. If the adrenal glands are left unregulated, they usually start to over-work and become cancerous after the de-sexing procedure. Adrenal gland cancer causes significant hair loss, muscle loss, weakness, and very poor quality of life. Don’t despair though! There are treatment options for this condition available after de-sexing if your ferret begins to show signs of this adrenal disease or to help prevent your new furry friend from developing this cancer. Please don’t hesitate to call us at WellPet Vets so we can discuss the details of the hormone implant and other options available to you for managing your new ferret’s hormones. We offer free kit/kitten health checks and our vets are thoroughly versed in ferret reproductive health. We are happy to help answer all of your questions about your new ferret! Ph: 1300WELLPET.

Watch your kids this summer, warns Mayor By Keegan Thomson

THE warmer weather brings people flocking to the local pools and swimming holes but the Mayor of Blacktown, Stephen Bali is reminding parents of the potential dangers of letting children swim unsupervised. “Whether at home or in a council pool, the danger is always there,” Mayor Bail said. “Through education and supervision we could help save a child’s life and ultimately reduce the alarming number of deaths by drowning which occur each year in Australia”, he added. There have been two near drowning incidents across the last few weeks with the most recent accident involving a seven-year-old boy who was pulled unconscious from a pool at the Blacktown Leisure Centre on October 6. In response to the near drownings the Mayor has reaffirmed the council’s ongoing partnership with Royal Life Saving NSW. “Council, through its ongoing partnership with Royal Life Saving NSW, is committed to educating the

public on the importance of water safety and supervision to ensure that a trip to the local pool does not end in tragedy” Mayor Bali said. David Macallister, the CEO of Royal Lifesaving NSW said direct supervision is the best way to help prevent accidents from happening. “A lack of direct or active supervision by the parent or carer while a child was in the water have been the main factor in 70% of drowning deaths of children at public pools,” Mr Macallister said. “We need parents to realise that

they can’t check their responsibility at the door. Even though Lifeguards are on duty – they are not babysitters, parents still have a crucial safety role to play. It’s not about shifting responsibility; it’s about keeping children safe,” he added Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 there was 280 people drown in Australia with 21 of them being children aged between 0 and 4. Of all those deaths 36 per cent occurred in a swimming pool. The council has put out a check list for pool safety at public pools which includes four key elements:

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• Be Prepared – Parents/carers should ensure they have everything they need before getting into the water, such as towels and dry clothes • Be Close – Parents/carers should always be within arms’ reach of their child • All Of Your Attention – Parents/ carers should focus all of their attention on their child and get into the pool and talk and play with them • All Of The Time – Parents/carers should never leave their child alone in the water, nor should they be left in the care of an older child or the Lifeguard at a public pool.

Est 1971


Ph. 9622 5518 Fax. 9676 8511 Email:


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Dish lickers D-Day ditched By Keegan Thomson

AFTER weeks of speculation, the Premier Mike Baird has backed down on the state government’s proposed greyhound racing ban. When the government rushed through the legislation to ban greyhound racing statewide there was backlash from all sides of politics and the community with the Nationals, the Labor Party, the greyhound racing community and members of the Liberal Party speaking out against the ban. The decision by the Premier to ban the industry from July 1, 2017 followed the report of a special commission of inquiry headed by retired judge Michael McHugh. It found up to 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 years because they were deemed too slow, unable to race or they were injured during race meets. Instead of the full scale statewide ban, the Premier announced last week a slew of new measures aimed at curbing the animal cruelty issues associated with the industry. There would be a breeding cap of 2,000 dogs per year, some of the race courses across the state would be shut down, a bond of $1,500 would be introduced for

every dog bred and there would be a wind down of the number of race meets across the state. Locally, there was initial concern over the future of the Richmond race club, but sources have told us the club will remain open. Labor MP for Londonderry, Prue Car said the change of heart was a big win for the community. “Mike Baird’s back down is a huge victory for the thousands of men and women whose livelihoods depend on this industry and have always done the right thing,” Ms Car said. “Labor fought this ban because the actions of a few should not result in the Government shutting down an entire industry,” she said. Ms Car has also welcomed the new restrictions put on the industry which focus on the welfare of the animals. “No one condones animal cruelty and this is why Labor has always supported the introduction of tough regulation and harsh penalties for those who do the wrong thing,” she said.

Listen to our very own Keegan Thomson with News Hour - Monday mornings from 9am to 10am

Free community forum SUPER-CELEBRITY Kim Kardashian has it. So does Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. And award-winning country crooner Lee-Ann Rimes. Psoriasis – a painful skin condition that affects between 2.3 and 6.6 per cent of the Australian population, according to the World Health Organisation – doesn’t discriminate and can have a heartbreaking impact on sufferers, who are often afraid or embarrassed to ask about the disfiguring disease. A free community forum at Westmead Hospital on October 27 - World Psoriasis Day – will help tackle that. A panel of experts comprising the head of Westmead Hospital’s Dermatology Department, Associate Professor Pablo Fernandez-Penas, rheumatologist Nicholas Manolios, psychologist Shehzi Yousaf and Psoriasis Care Manager Shabnam Habibvand will answer wide-ranging questions about psoriasis, and provide detailed information about its impacts, care and latest research. Associate Professor FernandezPenas encouraged people living with psoriasis to attend. “We know

this is a chronic condition that has deeply-felt and sometimes debilitating impacts,” he said. “A significant number of Australians are affected, and we hope information forums like this one will provide them with options and the sense there are avenues that can help.” The community forum will be held at the Education Block at Westmead Hospital on October 27, from 6pm-8.30pm. Important information: Where: Education Block, Westmead Hospital. Enter via the main hospital entrance. When: October 27 Time: 6pm-8.30pm

The not so spooky origins of Halloween By Keegan Thomson

EVERY year I hear the same smug remarks about Halloween. “I don’t celebrate Halloween because it’s SO American!” or “we live in Australia so why do people celebrate Halloween?” Much to the surprise of all those haters out there, Halloween has a more medieval, religious and European history, with the Americanisation of Halloween only coming about within the last 100 years or so. The version of Halloween we all celebrate today, by gorging ourselves silly on chocolate and lollies and dressing up in frightening zombie outfits, is a popular left over of more than 2000 years of cultural and historical mixing. One of the earliest origins of Halloween comes from the 2000 year old Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light huge bonfires, share epic feasts and dress up as saints, devils and angels to ward off the ghosts of the dead. The festival of Samhain was a pagan celebration to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the long, dark winter. The Celts

often associated winter with death, so a festival to ward off any unwanted ghouls and ghosts was a highly superstitious and spiritual matter. By 43 AD the Roman Catholic Empire had conquered all the Celtic lands of modern day Ireland, the UK and Northern France. Once the Romans had this new territory they then started installing their own festivals around the traditional Celtic ones including Samhain. Across the next thousand years there was a slew of festivities and celebrations named in honour of the deceased, the martyred and the saints. Pope Gregory III marked November 1 as All Martyrs Day, a

day which included bonfires, feasting and prayers, to include the traditional Celtic festival. Around 1000 AD the Roman Empire wanted to irradiate all festivals which weren’t sacred and churchsanctioned so they created All Saints Day, on November 2 which replaced the Samhain festival. Traditional elements of the former festivals merged with All Saints Day, or as it was known throughout England Alholowmesse, but the Celts rebelled and wanted to keep their own day of celebration so October 31 was named All-hallows Eve, which later translated into Halloween. Across England, at this point of

Family fun for a good cause A LIVE talent contest, inflatable obstacle course, rock climbing wall, paper plane competition and fireworks are just a few of the attractions that will pop up at Blacktown International Sports Park next month at the Relay for Life. The event, which raises valuable funds for Cancer Council NSW, will be held over a 24-hour period starting at 10am on Saturday 5th and ending at 10am on Sunday 6th of November. Registrations for the relay teams can be made online or on the day for just $20, but anyone is welcome to come along to the event and enjoy the activities on the sidelines. The teams will take turns walking around the track throughout the day and will also be able to camp out overnight. Live music and performances will play on the main stage, food will be available to purchase, while a rock climbing wall and inflatable obstacle course will keep adventurous kids (and adults!) entertained. Other activities on the program include a massage station, lego workshops, a Zumba dance party, late-night trivia session, paper plane competition and a stunning fireworks display. Blacktown Relay for Life

time, there was a wide sweeping famine which discriminated against the poorer classes. On Halloween, the last day of harvest, the poor would quite often beg for scraps, left overs and any excess produce from the harvest. This is considered one of the earliest incarnations of trick or treating. In 1607, as English colonisation pushed its way into North America, all the traditions of European life made its way across the Atlantic and to the New World. Religious differences separated where Halloween could be celebrated with the staunch beliefs of the Protestants outlawing the festivities. America became flooded with new immigrants as the 1846 Potato Famine took hold in Ireland, and with this wave of new settlers came a new wave of traditional Celtic cultures. As the Irish moved across North America they popularised the form of Halloween that we see today with parades, plays, costumes, trick or treating and parties. Next time someone criticises you and yours for celebrating the very traditional, ancient and multicultural festivities of Halloween be proud like the Celts and rebel, because if you don’t take pride in your celebrations someone will try to turn it into something else.

Blacktown carers ‘go mad’

 Blacktown Hospital nurses Sandra Hamill and Barbara Ritchie

Chairperson, Sally Triglone said that she encouraged anyone looking for something to do on the weekend of the 5th November to bring their friends or family down to the event. “It’s one fantastic weekend with something for everyone… while many people camp out for the entirety of the weekend, some visit for just a few hours, but no one leaves without being affected because Relay is full of emotion and pure inspiration,” Sally said. In 2016, the Blacktown volunteer

committee is aiming to raise $120, 000 for Cancer Council NSW at Relay for Life, with almost half of these funds already being donated. The money raised will go towards Cancer Council NSW’s efforts to beat cancer through world-class cancer research, prevention programs, support for people affected by cancer and advocacy. For more information about Blacktown Relay for Life, please visit blacktown2016 or contact Leanne on (02) 9354 2014.

BLACKTOWN Hospital was a sea of crazy hats earlier this week as staff celebrated National Carers Week, which runs from October 16 - 22. The hospital organised a Mad Hatter’s High Tea party to acknowledge the hard work of its carers, treating them to cakes and sweets. This year’s National Carers Week theme is Carers Count, recognising the enormous contribution unpaid carers make, providing 36 million hours of care each week. Nationwide, there are nearly 2.8 million unpaid carers. For more information on National Carers Week, visit

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Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Getting to know ...

Korena Hale Sales Manager, Western Sydney News Group with Conner Lowe

1. What was your first paid job? Red Rooster in Cronulla 2. What is your guilty pleasure? Beer (Carlton Dry) 3. What is your biggest fear/phobia and why? Not having enough money when you retire 4. What is your worst habit? Smoking 5. Best advice you have ever been given? Be good to your mother 6. If you only had $50 left in the bank, how would you spend it? Probably spend it on my kids 7. Favourite holiday destination and why? Bali because its friendly, full of sunshine, relaxing and cheap! 8. Do you have a favourite sporting team? Cronulla Sharks 9. Name one reason that you love western Sydney? Beautiful people, friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand 10. In three words, describe your perfect Sunday? Sunshine, family, barbeque + beers

State government cuts library funding By Keegan Thomson

BLACKTOWN City Council has called on the state government resume its commitment to library funding. The Mayor of Blacktown council, Cr Stephen Bali claims more than 47 per cent of state government funding has been cut from Blacktown council’s library budget. Mayor Stephen Bali said state government has left the council high and dry by the funding cuts. “The original agreement with local councils was that the state government would fund 50 per cent of the cost,” Mayor Bali said. “Over time the state [government] has almost completely walked away from this, and now only funds seven per cent.” The recent NSW Local Government Area conference, held in Wollongong, adopted Blacktown council’s motion that the state government provide increased recurrent funding for public libraries. According to Mayor Bail NSW receives the lowest per-capita funding for public libraries from the state government of all states in the country. “The NSW Government now only provides seven per cent of Public Library funding while Local Government provides 93 per cent,” he said. “Some 44 per cent of people who live in NSW have library cards and there were 35 million visits to local council libraries recorded

in the 2014/15 period.” He said there is an increasing number of people who rely on their local libraries to connect to the wider community and to social services. “For many people the library is the face of their local council and, for a growing number of residents, it is also their main access point to the state government via websites such as Service NSW accessed from PCs in their local Libraries,” he said. According to Mayor Bali, Deputy Premier Troy Grant reported to state parliament in 2015 that a decision on a future funding model for public Libraries would be made at the end of the Fit for the Future process. Fit for the Future is a state run initiative which works hand in hand with local councils to fortify their longevity and future sustainability.

Good Guys Prospect helps Orange Sky Laundry celebrate ORANGE Sky Laundry, Australia’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless, turns two years old today on World Homeless Day. As their National Doing Good Partner, The Good Guys is helping celebrate by raising money for a brand new van. Give 2 Orange Sky is a fundraising initiative that The Good Guys has been running in the lead up to World Homeless Day, and instore teams all around the country have been encouraging every day Australians to join them in supporting Orange Sky Laundry via the purchase of a $2 fundraising card. With one in 200 Australians homeless on any given night, a service such as Orange Sky Laundry has never been more vital, and the Give 2 Orange Sky campaign aims to help get another free laundry van operating for a community in need. The Good Guys Prospect Store Executive Manager Michael Shafton encourages Blacktown local residents to purchase a $2 fundraising card instore to celebrate Orange Sky Laundry’s birthday milestone and help reach the ambitious fundraising goal. “There are currently 105,000 people who sleep homeless every night across the country and the sale of $2 donation cards, which feature the bright orange t-shirts synonymous with Orange Sky Laundry, will help a lot of people doing it tough, both locally and across the nation,” Michael said. “The personalised t-shirt fundraising cards are featured throughout our store and we hope to see more and more orange cards proudly on display as we edge closer to our ultimate goal.” The goal of $100,000 will allow Orange Sky

Laundry to expand their national fleet to 11 vans, providing clean clothes and conversation to those who are doing it tough. Orange Sky Laundry co-founders, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett remain passionate and determined to make a difference by restoring respect, raising health standards and reducing the strain on resources. “We’re really excited about the growth of Orange Sky Laundry over the last 24 months, and with the long term commitment that The Good Guys has made as our National Doing Good partner, there’s so much we plan to continue to do together to help our Friends on the Street “ said Nicholas “There are so many locations around Australia that are in need of an Orange Sky Laundry van, so we encourage everyone to get behind Give 2 Orange Sky between now and the end of October – every $2 fundraising card sold takes us closer to being able

to set up a new van that reconnects people to the community via the simple process of doing some washing and having a friendly chat” said Lucas. Orange Sky Laundry is a grass-roots charity providing free laundry that operates alongside other community support services in parks and drop-in centres through customized vans that are fitted with two LG industrial washers and dryers. “As a business that sells one out of every three laundry products in Australia, it makes sense for The Good Guys to support a program that provides facilities that allow homeless people to wash and dry their belongings. “It’s part of what it means to be a Good Guy and we are committed to supporting to Orange Sky Laundry,” Michael concluded. World Homeless Day is an annual global initiative held on the 10th of October, which sees people around the world get involved in a variety of ways to try and better the lives of homeless people in their local community. Orange Sky Laundry co-founders, Nicholas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett are the 2016 Young Australians of the Year, an honour awarded to those aged 16 to 30 who have made an ongoing contribution to the Australian community, and who are inspirational role models. Delighting customers and Doing Good is at the heart of everything The Good Guys does and since 2006 The Good Guys has donated in excess of $8 million to more than 200 community groups and charities across Australia through its Local Giving Program. Community donations to Orange Sky Laundry can be made at any The Good Guys store - visit www. to find your nearest store.

Get your bucket brigade ready for McHappy Day

THIS year Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of McHappy Day and inviting the North West community groups to show their support. Getting together to form a ‘Bucket Brigade’ will help the charity raise a record breaking $3.8 million for seriously ill children and their families across Australia. Taking place on Saturday 12th November, McHappy Day will once again bring the community together for a fun family day out, while raising much needed funds for RMHC’s essential programs and services which have so far helped over 120,000 Australian families. Local community groups including businesses, dance groups, the fire

brigade and ambulance services are encouraged to get involved and support seriously ill children and their families by volunteering their time to help collect donations in fundraising buckets at their local McDonald’s restaurant on McHappy Day. Ronald McDonald Houses are attached to major women’s or children’s hospitals and provide accommodation for families with a seriously ill child while they are receiving treatment. Raising funds on McHappy Day will help even more families stay close together at one of the toughest times in their lives and continue to provide families with a home away from home. “The power of family closeness is a driving factor in the work of

RMHC, with families telling us that their ability to stay together during their child’s treatment has a positive effect on both their child’s psychological wellbeing and on the pace of recovery,” said Mark and Tracey Halford, who are the owner operators of the Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Rouse Hill Town Centre and Dural stores. Since 1981 the Ronald McDonald Houses have collectively housed over 2.97 million nightly guests and this number is set to grow as the demand from families continues to increase. “Bucket Brigades are a simple and fun way for people in the North West community to get involved and help us reach our target of $3.8 million this year, which equates to providing

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over 28,000 nights’ accommodation for Australian families at one of the 16 Ronald McDonald Houses across Australia,” Mark added. “McDonald’s and its local franchisees provide major support to the charity’s operations so that your donation helps even more families of seriously ill children in Australia”. A number of Australian celebrities will be doing their bit for McHappy Day to help raise awareness and funds across Australia. Why not help make a difference and join them? To form a ‘Bucket Brigade’ or get involved at your local McDonald’s please contact the McHappy Day Project Office on mchappyday@ppr.

Visit McDonald’s on Saturday 12th November McDonald’s Kellyville | McDonald’s Rouse Hill McDonald’s Rouse Hill Town Centre | McDonald’s Dural



Legends of the West By Garion Thain

BARRY J Gobbe is a long-time public servant, with an official career description as a NSW Ambulance Station Officer II, Intensive Care Paramedic/Educator and SlapHappy the Clown at Westmead Children’s Hospital. Although he

Mr Gobbe in 1986, almost nine years after Granville and fifteen years before his retirement.

retired from the Ambulance service in 2001 after being assaulted in a Blacktown lane by a substance abuser, he has continued his services as a volunteer fire fighter and Independent Support Person with the NSW Police Force, with whom he has been involved for almost 23 years. Already just from a career description, it is fair to call Mr Gobbe a Legend of the West. Mr Gobbe however is also an author, and has penned two books on a real life event he was a first-responder to as an Ambo, which has stuck with him ever since. Mr Gobbe was one of the first on the scene at the horrific 1977 Granville Train disaster. A recipient of an outstanding service medal, Mr Gobbe, by admission, actually kept most of his thoughts on the incident to himself for over 30 years, until he wrote a short article for a newsletter and decided he wanted to research the official story himself. Two novels and a documentary adaption later, Mr Gobbe and survivors of the incident are preparing to observe the 40th anniversary of the disaster, and right some wrongs before the January date. Mr Gobbe’s role in investigating and maintaining the memory of the disaster is commendable, and the

following is some of his story. The worst preventable rail disaster in Australian history, Mr Gobbe says one of the tragedies of the event was that it happened in a time when people weren’t encouraged to question the circumstances, receive counselling or be psychologically supported. “Without any debriefing and no counselling, we had nowhere to turn, so we just got on with it,” wrote Mr Gobbe in his book, “Revisiting the Granville Train Disaster of 1977.” “That seemed to be the ruling of the day as all involved, and the rest of the community just got on with living, leaving many who were injured and directly affected to pick up the pieces and try to cope with what lay ahead.” When talking about the incident in this interview, Mr Gobbe stressed that while some may use the term hero, he says he prefers to refer to the first responders as a team, who were doing their job the best they could. “It’s hard to actually explain, what I did, what it felt like,” said Mr Gobbe. “When I first met with survivors who came forward, I had to listen to people tell my story, what I did, so I could find out what I really did. “I remember, at 4:30pm, they

declared life extinct – and that’s when the operation turned from rescue to retrieval.” Mr Gobbe says he wrote a second book because so many people came forward after the release of the first. Now, approaching the 40th anniversary, there is a network of survivors and a large sum of stories. “The youngest survivor, 14 at the time, was still suffering 30 years later,” said Mr Gobbe. “One committee member moved from carriage three to two moments before the crash, and has survivor’s guilt.” “The release of the book gave people an outlet.” Mr Gobbe said it was also important to tell the stories of survivors who lost people. One mother lost her two young children, her father and step-mother, who were visiting from England. “She had to move forward with the loss of no less than four people,” he said. A former Doonside High School Principal, now 104 years old, lost his son. Mr Gobbe and the Granville Train Disaster Association, who value the importance of honouring the living


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BARRY GOBBE and the deceased, began a fight to right a wrong during the research for Mr Gobbe’s book. At the Granville Train Disaster memorial wall, it was discovered that 13 names were misspelt. With the assistance of Sydney Trains and the newly-formed Cumberland council, a pyrrhic victory has been earned with the wall hopefully being rectified by the anniversary in January. “That was one of my biggest challenges,” said Mr Gobbe. “Nowadays, I work very closely with Sydney rail and transport ministers to make sure [the disaster] never happens again.” Current life has Mr Gobbe work hard to make sure remaining survivors feel they are accommodated and have an outlet, and support from the association’s support group. “I want a fellowship, the ability for us to have conversations. Not necessarily about the accident,” sais Mr Gobbe. “I want people to feel comfortable to speak about it, if they want to,” he said. “For 30 years I could never speak about it.” Mr Gobbe spent a lifetime helping others and continues to professionally

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hi day. d Continuing i i his hi searchh for f to this concrete answers, he feels that while there “is no closure in death,” he wants to do the best he can to help survivors and other first respondents cope with the disaster almost four decades later. And that is the good work a legend does.


 Mr Gobbe receiving a certificate of appreciation.

Barry Gobbe was nominated as a Legend of the West by Glen Vidler. If you know a local legend, send us a nomination at

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Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21


AHHHH yes the wonderful world of the Kardashians. Unless you have been living under a rock we all know that Kimmy K, or Ki Ki as her 750 body guards (that didn’t happen to be on duty the night of the robbery) call her, was allegedly robbed at gunpoint whilst in Gay Paree. No amount of selfies, duck faces, half exposed nipples or a bun from hell can even stop a self-proclaimed “Smart Business Woman” from being robbed. Allegedly! As I hear you all groan and start stabbing yourself with a fork to the numb the pain, thinking, please God not another story on the K Klan, yes folks here it is, bigger than a shiner and bigger than Ben Hur. (Was Ben fat? Never met him) Now I am no rocket scientist or brain surgeon, however, I am not

stupid enough to go onto social media and flash a 5 million dollar ring and say “ Luk whut mie biofriend got meeeee” panting breathlessly, with a baby laugh and duck face to finish it off. Then, yes folks, don’t friggn sit down, this story is now raising the hairs on my arms, Queen KK gets on social and flashes a handbag worth over $200,000 and then tells 600 million people she’s in Paris. Why she didn’t just cut 600,000 keys to the room with a neon sign flashing ”knock yourselves out, bargains galore” I will never know. Whoever said “if you’ve got it flaunt it” should be slapped and pushed back kicking and screaming through the sliding glass doors of ALDI, because that’s a hell NO. Can I tell you, if you are going to

With Gina Field, Nepean Regional Security

travel and stay in a hotel, try not to take 14 million dollars of jewellery with you, just like Miss KK did. So, my beloved and avid readers, have we learnt something from all of this? Well? Besides not to duck face on social media or the vet may stick a thermometer in it? Not to flash da cash, and fling da bling on social media. Travel light, do you really need all the crap on you whilst laying around the pool looking like a beached whale? I mean, glamourous and gorgeous for all to see? No. See this is where people go very wrong. They plan the trip, but don’t necessarily plan the trip from a security perspective. Think about your trips and the security of them. It all starts as a timeline type of thing, right from planning at home

(home security) right through to your trip. Do you have insurance, have you secured your items at home and on holiday in your hotel room, did you carry cash, do you have a back-up plan if your wallet and savings are all stolen on holiday and what security measure do you have in place? Do you have a spare credit card; can you access funds from overseas? Can you imagine losing everything whilst oversea? Remember the Bee Gees song, “Tragedy” ? If you don’t you’ll soon know it because that is all that you will be hear’n. So there you have it! Just remember to perfect the duck pout, get those holiday happy snappies ready with as many self -absorbed selfies as you can get and no Kardashians were injured during the writing of this column.


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Digital wave hits western Sydney By Keegan Thomson

LOCAL MP for Chifley, Ed Husic has been spruiking the possibility of new digitally focused jobs for the people of western Sydney after he was promoted into the position of Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy. Taking on Facebook, the new Shadow Minister welcomed the new wave of digital infrastructure, saying he wants to focus on the future of employment and work in his new position. “It’s terrific to have the opportunity to serve as the Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy - with the additional responsibility of focusing of the future of work in Australia,” Mr Husic said. “I’m extremely grateful that Bill Shorten’s added these roles to my existing responsibilities, they are areas I’ve had a deep interest in for many years,” he added. The MP broke the news of his promotion to his nearly 23,000 Facebook followers, so it is no wonder why he has been promoted into a position which encompasses the social network. According to Mr Husic our digital economy is currently worth around $79 billion with it expected to balloon up to $139 billion by 2020, though he warns of the impacts that will come

with the growth of the sector. “While that will provide huge opportunities for businesses to grow and provide work, automation and technological change will have a massive impact on the quantity and quality of jobs,” Mr Husic said. “Anywhere between 10 and 40 per cent of jobs could be replaced by technology and automation in coming years,” he warned.

He said if the government, the opposition and the country can work towards this digital transition then there will be more high paying and secure jobs for all. This digital wave has even hit schools across western Sydney after the government opened applications for new digital literacy programs for schools who want to help students engage with technology in

constructive and innovative ways. The 2016 Digital Literacy School Grants program is looking for school projects which aim to demonstrate new and innovative methods for teaching students how to use and understand digital technology. Liberal spokesperson and NSW Senator, Marise Payne said projects like these are important for school children across western Sydney. “It is important all children across western Sydney have the skills to use digital technology to ensure they are prepared for the jobs of the future,” Senator Payne said. “By encouraging digital literacy from an early age I hope that we can increase the interest amongst our students in subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and encourage a lifelong engagement in the subjects,” she added. The local university sector has even seen a wave of digital change with the Western Sydney University jumping onto the digital band wagon in 2013 by offering each new student an iPad, laptop computer or tablet. They said the incentive would help bridge the digital divide across western Sydney, and would help give students the necessary skills they’d need when entering a digitally focused workforce.


with Linda Kemp

How to make a successful job offer YOU think you’ve found the perfect candidate, clearly the best person for the job in every way. Don’t take a chance on losing him/ her. Here are some steps to help you make a successful job offer: Act If you’ve made your decision, don’t wait. Call the ‘chosen one’ straight away. It will give them peace of mind and show how keen you are to have them on your team. Offer A personal phone call, means more than an email or text. Your voice and tone can convey your enthusiasm, and gauge theirs. It also means that you can discuss and answer any questions they have without delay. Enthuse Enthusiasm is contagious… be professional but enthusiastic. Confirm that out of all the applicants for the role you were most impressed with them. The employer/employee relationship doesn’t start the first day on the job. It officially starts with the job offer. Make that moment memorable and positive for them. Negotiate Never offer a salary below the

candidate’s current salary unless there’s a genuine, objective reason and even then think hard about it. Candidates generally expect a pay increase of at least 10% when they change jobs. It is rare for someone to change jobs for a lesser salary. If they do, it’s normally due to unusual circumstances or career change and can result in resentment when they get their payslip. Clarify Explain conditions, pay and benefits as thoroughly as possible. Include base salary, bonus and any other benefits. Confirm Follow up the verbal offer with a signed letter of offer clarifying the position description, details of employment and breakdown of all details of base salary, benefits, vacation, and benefits. Provide a signed copy for them to keep and a copy for them to sign for your records, confirming their understanding of the conditions of employment. This is best done in person in your office. Commitment It’s quite natural for some candidates to ask for a day or two to think about the offer. If the delay becomes prolonged ask how they

feel about the offer. Any hesitation indicates that they may turn you down. Ask questions, without being pushy, to see if they have any concerns or need additional information to make acceptance more likely. Support Some candidates refuse a job offer because their current employers make a counter offer. This is always easier to manage by pre-handling it during the interview. You can ask the questions: “How would you feel about giving notice after working there for so long? Is there anything that your boss could do/offer that would persuade you to stay there? Be sensitive to the candidate’s feelings; even if they desperately want to change jobs, resigning will still create stress and anxiety. Be supportive. Question If you are still unsure that they are going to accept the role and time is dragging on, you need to ensure the candidate is committed to starting this role. Don’t be afraid to ask by saying something like: “ I interviewed another good candidate for this role. Can I tell them the job has been filled?” Good Luck ☺

Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21


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Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Faux pas and other misdemeanours with TP AT times a reckless comment can make a seemingly innocent utterance sound like a massive foot in mouth moment. Come on, you all know the time you have said something which would have been best left unsaid. When truth be told you wished that your two feet were planted in your mouth so the words had no way of getting out in the first place. You know the type, “Oh when are you due?” To hear the crushed voice of the person say “I’m not pregnant!” Well few are immune to such faux pas and I made a beautiful one of my own just recently. Out slipped the words and even before the last word emerged I ask myself where is the big hole that I could jumped into? I may have mentioned to a colleague that she could have reduced the deficit of a small country with the amount of money she spent on her wardrobe..... She easily would spend a months salary on one kaftan. Granted it’s fabulous and sparkly but geeez! It may have been a true statement but I upset the poor little poppet because apparently hubby may or may not have mentioned that he was getting emails requesting financial assistance from small countries. My friends looked at me, I looked at them and

there were no words for what seemed like a million years then raucous laughter ensued and we moved onto another topic, any topic!!

There are loads of big name people who seem to have this problem more regularly than others. In fact it’s more like a bad rash that just won’t

go away. Take Donald Trump for example, it’s a wonder that he has any capacity to get any words out as his feet are always in his mouth. Every time he opens his mouth he’s giving Hillary Clinton a free kick. America isn’t the only country with a leader to make cringeworthycomments. We had our very own political leader who thought it was perfectly OK to say that a candidate had “sex appeal” ooh ah!! This drove the feminists into overdrive and he didn’t stop - when he was at a radio station and was being filmed his feet flew into his mouth as he winked when a caller talked about “working the phones at night”, wink wink nudge nudge. Whilst these misdemeanours are not quite as big as Trump’s they are silly comments to make in these leadership roles. The only difference between myself and the duffers above is that I was joking about the financial position of fictitious countries and offended one person whereas the other guys are regularly offending masses of people in the countries that they hope to run!! Faux pas!!!

Opinion: Social media has killed off the reliable strong leader By Bart Bassett

SO what is it about modern day populist politicians thinking they should make decisions based on social media support? The lefties have mastered the art of using social media to make things look like a ground swell when in fact the normal majority in our society are too busy getting on with their productive fulfilling lives rather than concerning themselves with time wasting social media. And that is why Mike Baird is a standout example of a modern day reactionary leader who wants to be liked by all so therefore he is vulnerable to the lefties who manipulate him and his office through social media. It was only when the real people in society stood up and through normal media channels let the Premier know in no uncertain terms he had got it wrong big time! How is it a seemingly smart politician can get it so wrong? The main reason is the majority of staff in offices of senior politicians on all sides of the political fence are now young, naive, just out of uni individuals with no real life experience and their whole world has revolved around their

phones and the pretend shallow world of social media, most have never had a previous job or owned a small business. They also tend to socialise with the same group of people they work with so you have this problem of bad ideas being considered great by the elites because they tell each other how right their policy idea is. That is until it all goes pear shaped, and then you see them trying to use social media again to turn the public view around - which only reinforces the problem because mainstream people don’t care. They have switched off from the leftie media messaging and have turned against the government. Unfortunately even the National Party

have young trendy naive leadership and have strayed so far from their constituent base. Is it any wonder Troy Grant looked like a rabbit in the headlights during the whole sad, sorry, unnecessary Greyhound debacle? A good politician needs to have an office where frankness is encouraged, as should open and vigorous debate in Cabinet and the Party Room be encouraged to ensure all opinions in our community get aired. But in recent times the exact opposite applies. Staffers feel it is necessary to tell the leader how wonderful they are and Cabinet members are so paranoid about loosing their job in a Cabinet reshuffle they allow the leader to

have unchecked “captain calls”. And as for the supposed open dialogue in the Party Room forget that, everyone is trying to climb the greasy pole to a more senior appointment so nobody dares speak out in opposition to the leader or Ministers knowing if you do speak out regularly you will plummet to the bottom of the promotion list. That is the sad sorry state of politics in NSW today. Is it any wonder bad decisions like Greyhounds, lockout laws and unacceptable compensation and treatment of the taxi industry compared to the ride sharing industry have occurred? Government now looks, acts and sounds more like amateur hour on Yes Minister than grown up responsible government. It is not necessary to be liked to be a good leader - it is about consistent fair decisions which are true to the philosophy of the Party you represent and the voters expect the leader to be true to that philosophy. It is time the glass jaws were put in a draw and the spine dragged out and inserted, so real everyday people can once again feel they are being lead by deserving leaders.



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Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Across the Andes: San Pedro de Atacama

By Ben Cranney

PEOPLE passing through San Pedro de Atacama, in northern Chile, might describe it as a moonscape. In fact, a big attraction is the Valley of the Moon. But just a couple of days exploring reveals a lot more, from multi coloured lagoons and hills, to salt flats, lonely cactus and amazing starscapes. The town itself, built from dirt red mud bricks, feels like it’s molded straight from the ground. It’s a lively place, built on the tourist trade of people looking for something a bit remote, but still well serviced.

Most people only come for the Valley of the Moon, where you can hear the rocks talk as the salt inside them expands in the midday sun, or to swim at Dos Ojos, pools of the world’s most dense salt water outside of the Dead Sea. Many don’t get as far as the Geysers del Tatio, which need a 4am wake up to drive to 4,300 meters by sunrise. The freezing morning air (rug up!) and the heat of the geysers makes a spectacular show of rising steam, almost topped by the pancake breakfast and views of the sunrise dancing across the snowcapped mountains. Don’t bother with the hot

spring. It’s more of a ‘warm spring’ and swimming in it was like shaking a particularly sweaty hand. Even less people visit Rainbow Valley where heavy mineralisation colours the hills in greens, reds, whites and browns. On the way there, you’ll stop at an ancient Andean marketplace, covered in rock paintings telling stories about the old trade routes. You’ll also find a special cactus. Small, spiky and round, it looks like a particularly uncomfortable pillow, and is named the ‘mother in law’s cushion’. I’m not sure if this is because she reserves it for you, or you for her.

I was disappointed to miss Salar de Tara, an even more remote and apparently very beautiful salt flat. But they only go if they get the numbers or you pay for empty seats, so I missed it. Most disappointing was missing the star gazing. Our astronomer kept cancelling because of the clouds or the brightness of the moon. Even so, the starscape to the naked eye is first class. San Pedro is also an entry point to Bolivia and the salt flat Salar de Uyuni, a very beautiful place which I’ll tell you about next time. And if the weather is kind, I’d love to see your pictures of the night sky.

The Unintentional Medium By Suzi Samuel Total Strangers LAST Wednesday I had the great pleasure of being the guest speak at An Evening with the Author at Hawkesbury Library. It was a super evening and many thanks to the Library and the lovely Laura for organising everything so beautifully. I spoke for thirty minutes and then took questions. Now this is always a bit of a challenge for me because, as you know, I am not the most informed clairvoyant, just passing on messages from the other side, but I did my best. One lady asked me, “Do you ever go up to total strangers in the street and tell them something?” English reserve aside, I don’t think I have ever accosted someone totally unknown, although I did get one poor chap as he walked in the door on Wednesday to tell him that I had had a message for him while I was doing the ironing, much to his and his wife’s surprise. Luckily, they are friends. It does however raise the point of the responsibility of a clairvoyant. I don’t generally pick up for passersby, but wonder where the moment comes where I would be compelled to say something. Would I want some mad old woman telling me that my

boyfriend was going to let me down or not to get on the 93 Bus that day? I think it would have to be something pretty momentous for example telling Princess Diana not to go to Paris or to steer clear of tunnels but that is a highly unlikely event. The nearest I came to this was many years ago. At the time there was a sort of pyramid selling scheme for water purifiers that became

quite popular and I went along to a seminar with my ex to learn how to flog filters to a gullible public. The event was organised by a charming man called Terry and the moment I was introduced to him, I said very forcefully, “YOU have GOT to come to me for a reading!” My ex thought I had gone mad and I was covered with confusion. “Oh, I am so sorry!” I stuttered. “I never do that!” Terry

looked at me in a strange way and said that I was absolutely right, he did very much need a reading. When I put the cards down for him, there were two distinct paths he could take, but he had to make one very important decision. One path led to love, happiness, riches, sunshine and laughter and the other to darkness. Gran tried very hard to make him see that he had to make his decision and we thought she had succeeded but he was too much of a gentleman to do what he had to do. A couple of months later, my ex came in looking terrible. “Whatever’s wrong?” I asked. “I’ve just had some awful news,” he replied. “Terry killed himself a few days ago.” I knew this lovely, vibrant man had not taken the decision that he should have, but I had not expected the path to be so dark. Maybe those of us who have a bit of insight do have a responsibility. So the next time you are waiting for the 93 Bus and a mad old woman comes up and mutters predictions at you, just say hello. That will be me. The Unintentional Medium is available online and at all good bookstores.


Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Keegan’s Kitchen



Haloumi & green pea mint salad

... Serves 4 THIS week someone came up to me and congratulated me on the fact that we’ve published a sensational vegetarian recipe. Last issue we published a recipe for croquettes, a great, seasonal recipe. This week I’m going to continue the trend with a minty, fresh and seasonal salad of haloumi and baby peas. This dish is easy and quick so anyone in a rush or under the pump can simply throw it all together. It would be a great addition to any lunch time table.

SOLUTION: 7th October

INSTRUCTIONS Fill the grid so that every column, every row and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9 with no duplicates

INGREDIENTS: 380g of frozen baby peas 180g of thick cut haloumi cheese 1 1/2 cups of mint leaves Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon of lemon juice 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil METHOD: Pop the peas in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let the frozen peas par-cook until they’re

tender. Drain the hot water from the bowl and refresh the peas under some cool water. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick flying pan and cook the slices of haloumi until golden brown on both sides. Set aside on some paper towel to drain. In a large salad bowl combine the peas, haloumi and lemon zest. Whisk up the remaining oil, lemon juice with a drizzle of olive oil and pour over your combined salad. Toss well to mix through all the dressing and ingredients.

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Intense sorrow (9) 6 Deleted expletive (5) 9 Blow up (7) 10 Sowed (7) 11 A tropical cereal grass (7) 12 Trade stoppage (7) 13 Regards with suspicion (9) 15 Pertaining to the Hellenic Republic (5) 16 Without companionship (5) 19 Fazed (9) 22 Sharp turn (7) 23 Smooched (slang) (7) 25 Inane (7) 26 Piano music with a syncopated melody (7) 27 Contemplates (5) 28 Subverts (9)

DOWN 1 They often grow on heads (5) 2 Asserts (7) 3 Instructor (7) 4 Whipping, clotted or ice (5) 5 Female imperial rulers (9) 6 A small weighted cloth bag (7) 7 The Muse of music (Greek mythology) (7) 8 Firmly fastened with a device (9) 13 Controls the size of a camera aperture (9) 14 Wastes (9) 17 Beginnings (7) 18 Depletes (7) 20 Notion (7) 21 Prolonged unfulfilled desire (7) 23 Bush (5) 24 Sediment (5)

solution 7/10/16


By Conner Lowe

BLACKTOWN’S Simply Voices seniors choir is staging a charity concert at Blacktown Workers’ Club to raise money for the Cancer Council. An original singer from the Simply Voices seniors choir, Ken Freeman spoke about the talented choir group and their wonderful performers. “The choir group got together in 2007 and has grown ever since. We practice once a week for a couple of hours and really enjoy what we do, considering most of us are retired and it’s nice to leave the house,” Ken said. “The choir is filled with experienced and wonderfully talented singers who are aged well into their 80’s and love to get out and sing. There are roughly 45 people in the choir and love to sing and entertain for any audience singing various genre of songs,” he added. The concert, starting at 2pm on Sunday October 23, will feature a broad range of songs, from popular classics, folk songs and world music. Sponsored by Blacktown City Council and under the leadership of musical director Linda Marr, the choir performs at civic events, community


festivals, retirement villages and multicultural celebrations. Ken would like to express that this is a concert for individuals of any age and that it will be a great couple of hours of entertainment for a great cause. “We have held charity events for the cancer council and many other organisations over the years and it’s always a great couple of hours for everyone who attends. Anyone from parents, children and grandparents are more than welcome to come and support us while we give them a couple of hours of entertainment on the day,” Ken said.

“We have raised up to $600 for the cancer council before and although that may not seem like much every little bit helps and considering we only are selling tickets for $10, it’s a great way for us as a senior choir to help the cancer council,” he added. Major highlights in recent years include performances at the Opera House and in Parramatta Park with massed community choirs supporting Opera Australia soloists in programs of favourite arias. The ticket price is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children. Contact Ken Freeman 0407 288 831 or Ken Simon 0412 677 765 for further details.



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Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Choir sings for Charity







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By Matthew Bennett, Bennett Property Group

SYDNEY’S northwest is booming with construction happening everywhere you look. New housing estates, industrial precincts and major transport corridors surround us. This construction growth is supported by a population boom generated by thousands of new Australians and growing families. The NSW State Government have prepared well for this growth with 17 precincts planned and designed in the North West for 25 years of growth. The same size growth is also happening in the South West. By the time it is all finished, an additional population the size of Canberra will be living in the once rural areas of Riverstone, Schofields, Box Hill and surrounds. As scary as these changes sound,

the increased development brings fantastic employment and investment growth to our regions. Ikea is already being joined by major national and international businesses offering lots of employment. Office towers and industrial hubs are designed and ready to start construction. Beautiful new schools are already being built.

Major parks and playing fields are on their way. Green zones around creeks and floodlands are replacing sheds and car bodies and general backyard rubbish. On-site septic and water tanks are being swapped for town water and sewer. Richmond Road is nearly complete and a new four lane Schofields Roads is well under

way. Even the redesign for the hated Garfield Road railway crossing at Riverstone is finally starting with an overpass proposal. A proposed new train line from the exciting Badgerys Creek Airport to link with the North West rail link could provide connections to the existing rail network at places such as St Marys and Schofields. This could also provide rail connections for housing and employment developments at intermediate locations such as the Penrith Education and Health precinct and Marsden Park. This forward thinking has been so rare in past state and federal governments. We now have a state system that is planning ahead rather than being reactive to the cities growth. All these development plans and construction keeps our local and regional economies growing. We all benefit from the on flow of government investment and support. The more this investment growth continues, the more our friends and families will have work in Western Sydney in the years to come. Our Marsden Park office is a sales and development office that specialises in the new North West Growth Centres. If you are interested in finding out more about Sydney’s growth, call in to 188 South Street and talk to the Bennett Team.

SMALL BUSINESS SPENDING IF you’re running a small business, now is the time to think big. The Federal Government’s focus on small business in the May budget was designed to encourage small business growth through tax cuts as well as measures to reduce red tape, promote more start-ups and hire more employees. Many business owners will be taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an immediate tax deduction on every asset they purchase valued up to $20,000. Cars, utes, tables, chairs, printers, photocopiers, tools, TVs, sound and security systems, computers, tablets and smartphones are just some of the assets that can be deducted until the end of June 2017. Short on capital? Try Leasing

While these tax deductions are great news for many small business, what about those who don’t have the capital available to purchase assets? If you are a small business in this situation, leasing may be your ideal ‘think big’ solution. Rather than buying machinery, equipment or cars, a lease enables you to rent them for a manageable monthly payment. At the end of the lease term, you have the flexibility to return, upgrade or continue to rent. Leasing enables you to enjoy instant access to the tools you need to grow your business, while at the same time freeing up cash flow. Given lease payments are fixed, you can plan cash flow around a known cost, enabling you to stay ‘cash flow positive’.

Australia’s record low cash rate has made leasing a viable option for any business looking to acquire an asset, whether it’s new kitchen equipment if you run a cafe, new tools if you’re a tradie or a new computer if you have a home office. Leasing can be particularly useful if you need to update equipment but you’re not in a position to purchase, or your business relies on expensive equipment that goes out of date quickly. There are also tax advantages to leasing. Under a leasing arrangement, the business does not own the equipment for tax purposes because the financier is the one who has bought the equipment and leased it to you. This means you do not have a depreciating asset on your books and do not need to



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pay GST on the purchase price of the equipment. Lease repayments may be tax deductible and although GST is charged on these repayments, your tax agent or the Australian Taxation Office will be able to advise you of the possibility of claiming these via your company’s Business Activity Statement. Want to know more about equipment leasing or Novated Leasing for motor vehicles? Your Wealthwiz Wealth Manager can point you in the right direction, call us today.

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25 Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

realestate real

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“COTSWOLDS COTTAGE” • Four-bedroom family home on over two acres • Covered deck with retractable sun awning and bushland views • In-ground swimming pool with waterfall feature • Open plan living/dining, timber floors, air-conditioning • Carpeted study plus possible fifth bedroom or rumpus room upstairs • Double lock-up garage plus additional detached garage • Close to Kurrajong Village and North Richmond



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VENDOR COMMITTED ELSEWHERE! MUST$000,000 BE SOLD! CASTLEREAGH • Modern and spacious 4-bedroom family home • Open-plan casual living areas and formal dining • Huge timber entertaining deck, double garage • Timber kitchen with gas, Smeg oven and dishwasher • Carpeted bedrooms, master with walk-in robe and ensuite • Terraced backyard, fully fenced with double garage • 5KW back-to-grid solar, air conditioning, slow-combustion heater


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6 Nina Place

Land size: Approx 2.5 acres (1.035 hectares)

Land size: Approx 596 square metres


$1.4 - $1.6 million


Contact Agent


Matthew Bennett/Nicole Cooney - 4578 1234


Maurice Mantovani - 4573 1228

KURRAJONG (02) 4573 1228 80 Old Bells Line of Road RICHMOND (02) 4578 1234 239 Windsor Street MARSDEN PARK (02) 9835 3355 Cnr Richmond Road & South Street








ENTERTAINER’S DREAM • Four bedroom family home plus office • Fully fenced, cleared land, backing onto bushland • Gourmet kitchen with walk-in pantry, s/s appliances & gas cooking • Formal lounge, formal dining and rumpus room • Ducted air con and vacuum, alarm, 2 x fireplaces • State of the art theatre room with surround sound • Close to Kurrajong Village and North Richmond





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Saturday 22 & 29 October, 2:00 – 2:30pm


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Land size: Approx 1.02 hectares (2.5 acres)

• 3 bedroom home with ducted air & polished floors on lovely corner block • Close to every convenience: station, schools and shopping village • Updated bathroom with corner spa bath. Solar hot water • Great outdoor undercover entertaining area • Walking distance to Nepean Performing Arts School • Short drive to Penrith, easy access to the M4 • Fantastic opportunity for first home buyers or investors!





Just Listed


Michael Bennett - 4578 1234


SENSATIONAL FAMILY HOME WITH ABUNDANT SPACE CASTLEREAGH $000,000 • Modern and spacious 5-bedroom brick family home • Huge undercover entertaining area, saltwater swimming pool • Open-plan layout with multiple living areas and verandah • Renovated interiors with timber floors, new carpet, new paint • Sleek new kitchen with Caesarstone and stainless steel appliances • Slow combustion fire, ceiling fans, air conditioning • Spacious block of land (almost 1 acre) adjoining cleared parkland


Saturday 22 & 29 October, 1:15 – 1:45pm

Land size: Approx 607 square metres


422 Old East Kurrajong Road


$595,000 - $645,000

Land size: Approx 3506 square metres


Karen Rigg - 4573 1228


Contact Agent


Maurice Mantovani - 4573 1228

KURRAJONG (02) 4573 1228 80 Old Bells Line of Road RICHMOND (02) 4578 1234 239 Windsor Street MARSDEN PARK (02) 9835 3355 Cnr Richmond Road & South Street

westernhistory western

28 Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Social media: an agent for remembering T

HE internet and history-focused F a c e b o o k sites like ‘Memories of Blacktown’ and ‘Memories of Seven Hills,’ illustrate the important role social media plays in how and what we remember about the past. For example, a recent query posted on the Facebook page of Blacktown & District Historical Society (BDHS) caused quite a bit of interest and comments about what had existed on the present-day TAFE precinct (located alongside the railway line) in Blacktown. While BDHS archives confirmed the Whitmont shirt manufacturing factory occupied the site from 1952 until 1979, comments on Facebook were interesting because they came from people who had worked there as machinists, cutters or shirt pressers or people who remembered a parent, sibling or other relative, working there. Quite a number of comments concerned the billboard (located on the Sydney side of Blacktown station adjacent to the railway line) and the iconic symbol of the rakish Whitmont man with a black patch over one eye. As a child you knew you were nearly at Blacktown station and home, said one observer, when the Whitmont man came into view. Edward Elias Weissberger, patriarch of the Whitmont name, was born in Poland in 1885. He arrived in Australia in the early part of the 1900s possibly to escape the deeply rooted persecution of Jewish people that had been rife across Europe for centuries. However, it is likely that the outbreak of World War 1, and the rise of anti-German sentiment in Australia, caused him to renounce his German sounding surname (in favour of Whitmont) by deed poll in 1916. By the 1920s, Edward Whitmont was manufacturing clothing from a premises in Kent Street Sydney. In later years his sons Cecil George and Russell John Whitmont and



the creation of a th unique treasure u

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grandsons, Milton and Norton, had a hand in administering the flourishing business. Cecil, Russell and Milton were mentioned in a newspaper article when the Goulburn premises of Whitmont closed down two years after setting up the new plant at Blacktown. Continued next issue....

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Western Sydney perfect for women’s rowing By Conner Lowe

THE Penrith district has been selected as the new home for Australia women’s national training centre. The facilities will be built along the Nepean river, with the first stage of the Women’s National Training Centre to be operational no later than January 2017 able and to accommodate up to 50 elite female rowers. Penrith was selected through a competitive selective process with rowing facilities from across the country, including in Queensland and Victoria, to be the destination for women rowers from across the country to train. Women’s rowing head coach, John Keogh spoke about the importance of Penrith being chosen as the home of women’s rowing and for rowing Australia. “Well it’s a major step forward for rowing Australia, to bring all Australia’s women rowers together in Penrith and training together is what the sport needs,” John said. “Penrith is almost a natural choice, it has one of the best rivers to train

Sports Minister Stuart Ayres and Penrith Mayor John Thain

on, nine out of ten days the water is going to be flat and the river is wide and straight. There aren’t very many rivers where you have those conditions in Australia,” he added. John also went on to acknowledge how the training facilities that are to be built along the river and the newly

appointed coaches will benefit the women athletes. “Absolutely the facilities can improve our women athletes, having all the women together, training together, focusing on the end goal is crucial and it’s what our competitors are doing. Also with the newly

appointed coaches Tom Westgarth and Ellen Randell, having worked with women athletes for years will have an impact on the athletes,” John said. Minister for Sport and Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres last week announced a brand new Rowing Australia Women’s National Training Centre will be based on the Nepean River in Penrith. “The stunning Nepean River is one of the best stretches of training water in the country has been selected over waterways across Australia as the preferred location for this exciting new training facility,” Mr Ayres said. “This is a massive win for the Penrith community, a brand new facility will be established including a boathouse to accommodate a full fleet, a dedicated onsite Strength and Conditioning area plus amenities for athletes and coaches. “The NSW Government has committed $200,000 toward the facility with further funding matched from Rowing Australia.” He added. The first stage of the Women’s National Training Centre will be operational no later than January 2017 able to accommodate up to 50 elite female rowers.

29 Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21


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30 Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21


1991 GRAND FINAL WINNERS REUNITE AFTER 25 YEARS IT’S hard to get excited about Rugby League once the grand final is won and done. It’s like watching cricket in July. But I have to say the recent test match between Australia and New Zealand had my attention. For a few reasons. Mal Meninga is now the Aussie coach and am keen to see what subtleties he injects. There were three rookies for the Aussies that I was keen to glimpse. And the Panthers own Trent Merrin, who missed his brother’s wedding to participate, was in the starting team. Couple this with the fact the the Kiwis were fielding arguably their strongest lineup, in particular their forward pack,  Trent Merrin on the charge for the Kangaroos in a very long time, this game had all the trademarks of being more than just another Test Match between the two this up-coming four nations. It will also be good to long standing rivals. But unfortunately the game see Panther young guns Temaire Martin and Dallin Watene Zelezniak running around for the Kiwis in never reached any great heights. Sure the first half was close, the three debutantes England. If the latest game between the Aussies (Holmes, Boyd, Frizell) all starred, and Trent Merrin and Kiwis is any type of measuring stick then Mal was probably best on ground, but it’s hard to get up Meninga’s boys will be damn hard to defeat. But, the Kiwis do play better in a tournament type for a game that is being played only a couple of weeks after the epic grand final we were treated to. atmosphere and the English boys with the Burgess brothers, Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead Even if it was a test match. One-off encounters post-season don’t seem to from the Raiders will offer some sort of defiance attract that “must watch this game” type of feeling. but it would be some kind of massive upset to see I’m sure the four nations will be different when Australia superseded when the four nations kicks it’s a mini comp of four countries (Australia, New off later this month. Zealand, England, Scotland) played in the Pom’s And another thing... back yard, so hopefully they’ll provide some type Last Friday week was a great day. The 1991 grand of opposition. Likewise Scotland, who are a virtual unknown for final winning team had our reunion in the shape of


 Panthers 91 winning team

a Harbour cruise in the fine waters of the greatest Harbour of all - Sydney. Many a tale was told over the six or so hours we spent cruising around on what was a sparkling day. Sure many of that ‘91 team have physically changed a tad but the memories of the first ever premiership to the foot of the mountains weren’t lost. We’d all like to thank Lou Zivanavic and Col Henry for organising it and I hope it’s not another 25 years until this special group is back together again. For the record, Paul ‘Nobby’ Clarke was best on ground when he stole the show with his rendition of Twist and Shout by the Beatles in the on-board Karaoke competition.

MG (random Westie) OAM

0415 982 093

sport By Noel Rowsell

Summer swim fun

PENRITH Panthers Youth League centre Ella Tofaeono (Oakhurst) has finished the 2016 Waratah Youth League season with several plaudits but certainly the most prestigious was received last week. Ella was one of several players and officials to receive awards at Basketball NSW Annual Awards Luncheon on October 9, taking out the ‘Karen Dalton Junior Metro Female Player of the Year’ award. 2016 has been a huge success for the local youngster, after returning from knee surgery in 2015. Ella began the year as a member of the NSW Under 20 Women’s team, which competed at the Australian Under 20 Championships in Ipswich. Although the Blues finished a disappointing fifth, Ella averaged an excellent 11.67 points and 9.33 rebounds per game. Fast forward to August and after an action-filled season, Ella led the Panthers Division One Youth League Women’s team to win this year’s premiership title. Her performances through the season were recognised in the awards, with the talented youngster taking out the ‘Best Defensive Player’ award and

AS summer fast approaches, splash into fun and fitness at Mount Druitt and Riverstone Swimming Centre. Both of these Council swimming centres provide affordable health and fitness programming, with all classes included in your pool entry fee. Aqua Exercise is a simple to follow low impact aqua exercise class which gives all fitness levels a total body workout. You can also dance up a storm with fitness cult favourite Aqua Zumba, returning at Mount Druitt Swimming Centre. Classes have already commenced! Grab a friend, and bring your sunnies! Ditch the workout and join the party! See you at the pool! For further information on fitness at Mount Druitt Swimming Centre please call (02) 9625 6360. For further information on fitness at Riverstone Swimming Centre please (02) 9627 1496.

 Ella Tofaeono (Oakhurst) dominated in the paint for the Panthers in 2016. Photo courtesy of Noel Rowsell (

selection into the ‘All-Star Five’. Ella’s next goal is to win selection in the 2017 NSW Under 20 Women’s team and has attended the first of two trials earlier this month. The second trial will be in November, with the team being

announced at that time. “I’m just looking forward to 20’s and whatever comes after that, we’ll see” said Tofaeono. “I’m also in the Sydney Flames academy so I’m constantly working on my game”.

Western News 21 October 2016 Issue 21

Tofaeono wins major gong



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Western NEWS Friday, 21 October 2016


Topor-Stanley departs Wanderers By Conner Lowe

THE Western Sydney Wanderers have been left to fill a massive hole left in the centre of defence with the club announcing that club captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley has left for Hatta Club in the United Arab Emirates. Following four incredible seasons in the Red & Black, two as captain, which saw him play in three Grand Finals and win a Champions League and Premiers Plate, Nikolai leaves with the blessing of the club. “Nikolai was a consummate professional on and off the pitch. His dedication did not just exist at the training ground and on game days, but to the philosophy at the core of our club,” said Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas. “While he leaves us at the beginning of our season, his attitude has been flawless and we commend him on his time with us and wish him well for this next chapter in his career,” He added.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley was superb during his 4-year spell at the Western Sydney club earning himself 125 appearances altogether including 103 Hyundai A-League, 14 Asian Champions league, five Westfield cup and one FIFA Club World Cup appearance. Topor-Stanley won the Wanderers Medal in 2015 and the Members Player of the Year in 2013, also receiving selection for the PFA

Team of the Year in the 2012/13 and 1015/16 seasons with the Wanderers. Topor-Stanley left a farewell message for the club before his departure, where he reflected on his time at the club and thanked the club for his years of service. “In football, opportunities such as this rarely come around and when it was presented to me I knew that it

was something I had to explore,” said Topor-Stanley. “I would like to express my upmost gratitude to the Club for allowing me to pursue this opportunity both from a personal and professional level. I have always wanted to test myself overseas and this is a great chance for me to experience a different culture in life and in football. “Firstly I want to thank all my teammates, coaching staff, backroom staff and volunteers past and present that made the last four and a bit years the best of my career so far. The Wanderers is a special club that in so little time has captured a nation and I’m sure it’s only the beginning of more great times ahead. “Football has an unpredictable nature and although it is goodbye for now you never know when our paths might cross again,” he added. The Western Sydney Wanderers sit 5th on the Hyundai A-League table after two matches and look to replicate last year’s success, but will have to do so without the departed club captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley.



Richmond Club 6 East Market Street Richmond, NSW 2753 Tel (02) 4578 1144

Westernnews 21october2016  
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