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Seniors Northern NSW

February, 2018

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2 Seniors Northern NSW

Welcome

In this edition

Cover Story: Andy Thomas .....................................Page 3 What’s on.................................................................Page 11 Travel ...............................................................Pages 13-15 Wellbeing/Living............................................Pages 16-20

Contact us General Manager Geoff Crockett – 0413 988 333 geoff.crockett@news.com.au Editor Gail Forrer – 1300 880 265 gail.forrer@seniorsnewspaper.com.au Media Sales Manager Kristie Waite – 1300 880 265 kristie.waite@seniorsnewspaper.com.au Media Sales Executive Sue Germany – 0408 286 539 sue.germany@seniorsnewspaper.com.au Now online Get your news online at www.seniorsnews.com.au Advertising, editorial and distribution enquiries Phone: 1300 880 265 or (07) 5435 3200 Email: advertising@seniorsnewspaper.com.au or editor@seniorsnewspaper.com.au Location: 2 Newspaper Place, Maroochydore 4558 Website: www.seniorsnews.com.au Subscriptions Only $39.90 for one year (12 editions) including GST and postage anywhere in Australia. Please call our circulations services on 1300 361 604 and quote “Northern NSW Seniors Newspaper”. The Seniors Newspaper is published monthly and distributed free in northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland. The Seniors newspaper stable includes Toowoomba, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Northern NSW, Coffs and Clarence and Central Coast publications. Published by News Corp Australia. Printed by News Corp Australia, Yandina. Opinions expressed by contributors to Seniors Newspapers are not necessarily those of the editor or the owner/publisher and publication of advertisements implies no endorsement by the owner/publisher.

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

The extraordinary timeline of change

HELLO readers, This month our cover page features Adelaide-born astronaut Andy Thomas. If ever there was a dramatic story showcasing the extraordinary pace of technological advances and their implementation into daily life, then it belongs to Andy. The experiences of the 66-year-old now Houston USA resident, range from memories of ice being delivered to neighbours to fill the family’s icebox to rocketship launches and walking in space. While most of us have not walked in space, according to our age, we could all draw up an interesting timeline detailing our own experience of technology change. For a start, I’ll share a bit of mine. I’m 60 years old and my first-grade writing materials consisted of a slate and a slate pencil, the next year they were

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK GAIL FORRER

Group editor Seniors Newspapers network

replaced with paper and lead pencil, but it was one marvellous day when I saw the bright, gaudy colours that issued forth from ‘Neo Magic’ pens (I think this was the beginning of ‘fluoro’ colours). Television broadcasts were in black and white and the news of colour made life feel, well, very much improved. Manual typewriters turned electronic – who remembers the IBM Selectric? I think seatbelts (as we know them) were yet to be made, let alone legislated as compulsory. There were plenty of cars on the road that could be labelled ‘rust buckets’, hardly the case these days. And talking of TVs, how

about the invention of the all-in-one television, radio and record player. By the time I started to seriously navigate a kitchen, the microwave oven arrived and it seems around the same moment I was typing away on a word-processor, that, looking back featured quite user-unfriendly programs. Today, as I watch my four-year-old grandchild deftly use her iPad, I wonder what sort of changes she will experience and perhaps communicate, in a yet-to-be-known medium. This edition also features this year’s Senior Australian of the Year, the eminent scientist Dr Graham Farquhar. He said he felt a sense of responsibility to voice his views on Seniors’ issues including seniors in the workplace. “The challenge is how to make better use of their experience and talent without necessarily reducing prospects for

Today, as I watch my four-yearold grandchild deftly use her iPad, I wonder what changes she will experience... younger people to get a job.” He closed his acceptance speech, with, as journalist Tracey Johnstone said, “an evocative life outlook”. He said: “To me the most important things in life are to struggle to improve, to struggle to be honest, and to struggle to re-evaluate one’s prejudices.” I agree. I trust you enjoy our varied stories on health, wealth and happiness and don’t forget to checkout our stories: www.seniors news.com.au or visit www. facebook.com/seniors news.com. — Cheers, Gail

Insatiably curious man is Australia’s top senior in 2018 efficient crops can protect food security in a changing climate. Notably, he has worked on developing strains of wheat that can grow with less water. In his speech, Dr Farquhar, 70, acknowledged how lucky many of fellow seniors are. “We can, on average, live longer and more healthily and thereby contribute more. We can be creative. We can struggle for honesty. And, we can deal with failures. “We are all lucky because of our ability to

embrace creativity and hence progress as a nation. “Creativity is not limited to the arts or science. “It can be applied to most activities I can think of. “I would like to see in Australia, that values creativity of all kind – scientific creativity of course, but also technical, sporting, artistic, organisational creativity.” Dr Farquhar feels a sense of responsibility to use this year to voice his views on these and other seniors issues that he feels strongly about.

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THE man seeking to find the answers to food security, Professor Graham Farquhar AO, is 2018 Senior Australian of the Year. Dr Farquhar was completely surprised by the Australia Day announcement which was awarded for his lifelong work in helping to reshape the world’s understanding of photosynthesis, which is the basis of life on earth, through his work on how the world will feed growing populations into the future. He has been researching how water


Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Cover Story: Andy Thomas

Northern NSW

Seniors 3

The sky high man acutely aware of earthly challenges JOURNALIST TRACEY JOHNSTONE ANDY Thomas’s feet are now firmly on the ground, but it wasn’t so long ago he was setting records as the first Australian-born NASA astronaut. Dr Andy Thomas AO participated in four space flights, spending over 177 days in space including one space walk, and four months living in zero gravity on the Mir space station. But back on the ground in his birth city of Adelaide for a short visit, the 66-year-old shared his practical take on what life has been like and what he sees are the challenges ahead. Dr Thomas has seen dramatic changes around him since leaving the Adelaide suburb of Fullerton after finishing his University of Adelaide doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1978. In his early student years slide rules were the only tool available for calculation. “By the time I finished post-graduate, we had calculators,” Dr Thomas said. “The other was computers. We had huge computers which we would submit programs in with punch cards; you would have a shoebox full of cards. Then you would wait a few hours to get a response out. Now, of course, you have more computing power on your desktop than we could ever have imagined back then. “I can also remember when I was very, very

young, the neighbours having ice delivered to their house because they didn’t have a refrigerator; they had an ice box. And I can remember the milkman would come in the middle of the night to leave milk, and he used a horse-drawn cart to deliver to the neighbourhood. “I have (also) seen a lot of changes in technology over my lifespan.” Dr Thomas was back in Australia over the Christmas holidays to visit his elderly mother, who still lives in Adelaide. While helping her with her care Dr Thomas became acutely aware of the challenges facing older people, not only in Australia. “Commercial enterprises are becoming totally reliant on computer systems and internet access,” Dr Thomas said. “For example, if you want to run a bank account today you have to have a cell phone. “I get very frustrated by this. I think it’s very presumptuous for banks, for example, to assume that everyone has a cell phone. Some seniors aren’t comfortable with a cell phone and don’t want one, and are entitled to that, yet you have these organisations that immediately assume you have to have a cell phone for any kind of transaction.” He has been confronted by the challenges of food packaging while shopping for his mother. “They are packaged in ways that are almost impossible to get into and that provides huge challenges for elderly people,” Dr Thomas said. As for the shopping experience, with “bricks

CHANGING WORLD: Dr Andy Thomas.

and mortar” stores decreasing as online shopping becomes the norm, “I think that is going to be a challenge for senior people because they’re not necessarily comfortable buying through the internet,” Dr Thomas said. “They are accustomed to walking the aisles of the grocery story, for example, and trying things on and picking what they want. That’s going to be relegated to the past and I think it’s going to be a big challenge for a lot of people.” He also laments the lack of evidence-based thinking and the amount of fake news among the broader community. “We don’t teach rational thought that comes with scientific education,” Dr Thomas said. Dr Thomas wants Australia’s grandparents

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to turn this around. “I urge everyone to encourage their children and grandchildren to study science. You cannot survive (in the modern, technology world) without having some understanding of science and mathematics. “We have a culture where we don’t ascribe enough value to evidence-based thinking. You have these extraordinary fake news stories getting perpetuated through the internet which gain traction even though they are utter nonsense. Some politicians in the US are very schooled at exploiting this; we have a president that exploits it. “I think it’s really important that we teach people to value evidence-based thinking, empirical evidence and respect for facts, true

facts, not fake news,” he added. He also encourages Australia’s younger generations to aim high. “The sky isn’t the limit, based on my own experience,” he said. “I encourage young people to follow their dreams and bring them to reality because I think it’s important they have hope for the future.” Dr Thomas remains resident in America as his wife, Shannon Walker, 53, is also a NASA astronaut. She flew eight years ago and wants to fly again next year. “If you are in the space fight business, you have to be in Houston, Texas, if you want to be an NASA astronaut,” Dr Thomas said. “So, for the immediate future I will be staying in Houston to support her. “I retired from the

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agency about three years ago,” he said. “I had four great flights, four more than I ever thought I would get, so I have no complaints.” Dr Thomas still retains a keen interest in Australia’s progression in space programs. He said he was one of many voices that in recent years has pushed the Federal Government to form a national space agency to collect satellite data, for communication, and for environmental, strategic and national security monitoring. “Space is the modern, critical infrastructure that countries need in order to function in the modern world,” Dr Thomas said. “I have pushed very hard for Australia to embrace that and have an in-country capability and infrastructure built around the space sector.”


4 Seniors Northern NSW

Profile Story: Mandakini Dasi

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Elder part of rap duo The granny rapper is at home in Krishna Village Yvonne Gardiner

MANDAKINI (Mandi) Dasi joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1973, after many years of searching for the meaning of life. “I went through the whole plethora of spiritual communities,” she said. “I met the devotees and read the books of our spiritual master. “It was other-worldly and yet it made so much sense. “We have many things in common with Christian and other faiths.” Mandi talks to me in the peaceful gardens that are part of the Krishna Village, New Govardhana, a 400 hectare property with orchards, organic vegie gardens, protected cows, horses, streams and swimming holes. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Warning, at Eungella, in the heart of the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, the village is a place of retreat and the centre of a community. Devotees have their own homes and jobs

outside the village. Mandi, aged 78, has a part-time occupation as an actor, with an agent in Brisbane. She’s also in a rap duo. “I have a duo with my 59-year-old son called The Granny Rapper and the Prodigal Son,” Mandi said. “We have the most amazing hip-hop costumes with bling. “That’s what I do in my spare time. “For my occupation here at the Krishna community, I am something of an elder. “We have deities of the Lord, according to shastra (spiritual teachings). The whole meaning of life is explained. “This is why I chose this movement, so much knowledge of everything. “We worship the Lord with offerings, incense, dancing and singing. “I help organise the services. “We dress the deities in beautiful clothes. “I might do two or three services a week – I’m a floating fill-in person.” Krishna Village

welcomes visitors, tour groups and guests who stay in the cabins on-site. Bharat Devanani conducts farm tours around the village, showing visitors the temple, the organic farm, the school and coaxing them to feed and groom the cows. Many visitors take part in meditation and yoga retreats. “A lot of people are interested in an eco-friendly lifestyle,” Bharat said. “I see a lot of women who feel that it’s safe and family-friendly here.” The village has “zero tolerance” of smoking or drinking alcohol, and devotees are vegetarian. The delicious food appealed to Bharat when he first encountered the Krishna movement. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has been coined the “kitchen religion”. “I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the

MEANING OF LIFE: Mandakini Dasi in the temple with the deities she cares for. PHOTOS: YVONNE GARDINER

Hare Krishna temple,” late Apple founder Steve Jobs said. To visit the Krishna

Village at 525 Tyalgum Road, Eungella, book with Bharat by email devanani74@gmail.com,

Mukunda Goswami is one of the original devotees of the Hare Krishna movement.

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Local News

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

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CHALLENGING A WILL ON THE GROUNDS OF UNDUE INFLUENCE OR SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Manipulation of elderly and vulnerable family members to change their Wills Attwood Marshall Wills & Estates partner Angela Harry discusses this interesting and increasingly prevalent area of law.

Most families have a story of an elderly or vulnerable family member who has been influenced or even bullied by a close relative or family member to change their Will. In some cases this can also result in a transfer of property to the relative in question. Most lawyers have dealt with the unpleasant situation where adult children of an elderly parent squabble over the assets of the parent and quite often play “musical Wills” with siblings taking their parent to their own lawyers to have a Will drafted in their favour. This issue is not confined to family members and can also apply to friends, neighbours and increasingly, carers. We have many enquiries from family members concerning the validity of Wills that have been signed by their parents or grandparents in circumstances where there are suspicious circumstances concerning the provision of instructions and signing of the Will. One of the most common scenarios that we face is that an elderly parent, after a long history of previous Wills which leaves their assets equally to their children, suddenly and without reason changes their Will shortly prior to their death to leaves their entire estate to one particular child or a friend or carer. Whilst most adult children have grounds to bring a provision claim in the event of this happening, it does not cover all the circumstances and there are usually 3 main grounds that the validity of a Will can be contested: 1.

Lack of testamentary capacity The question as to whether someone has the necessary mental testamentary capacity to provide instructions and sign a Will is a long-standing and recognised issue in the area of succession law. Many people think that if a person has been diagnosed with the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia that this precludes them from making a new Will or signing an Enduring Power of Attorney. This is not the case and in order for a person to have sufficient testamentary capacity there are 4 recognised areas that the courts look to in determining whether someone has the necessary capacity to make a Will, namely: (a)

The Will maker (testator) must be aware and appreciate the significance of the act in the law upon which he or she is about to embark;

(b)

The testator must be aware, at least in general terms, of the nature, extent and value of the estate over which he or she has a disposing power;

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The testator must be aware of those who may have reasonably be thought of to have a claim upon his or her testamentary bounty and the basis for and the nature of the claims of such persons;

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The testator must have the ability to evaluate and discriminate between the respective strengths of the claims of such persons.

The upshot of the above is that the person making the Will must have regard to their overall circumstances, the assets that they own and how these are to be distributed amongst their family members (and the consequences of their actions in drafting the Will). There are many different circumstances that apply to the issue of whether someone has the requisite capacity to properly make a Will. The Courts have stated that it is the duty of lawyers to do their best to follow instructions provided to them (with the assistance of treating doctors and family), even if they are concerned as to whether their client has capacity. It is ultimately a matter for the Court to decide the issue of capacity. 2.

Knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will – “suspicious circumstances” Even though a person may be deemed to have sufficient testamentary capacity to make and sign a Will, there is an additional element that the courts will look to in order to ensure the validity of the Will matches the testamentary intentions of the Will maker. This involves an examination of the facts and circumstances surrounding the preparation and execution of the Will support the fact that the Will maker knew and approved of the contents of the Will. In most cases, particularly where the Will has been prepared by a solicitor and signed by the Will maker, there is a presumption that the Will maker knew and approved of its contents. However, it depends upon the circumstances of taking the instructions for preparation of the Will and the signing of the Will that will determine whether the Will maker knew and approved of its contents. In the event of there being “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the execution and/or preparation of the Will, the onus of proving that the Will maker signed the Will with knowledge and approval of its contents shifts to the persons propounding or seeking to uphold that Will. Suspicious circumstances are varied but some of the examples that have appeared in the cases are as follows: •

An unexplained change of testamentary direction (e.g. where previous Wills have left the estate to children equally and suddenly changes to one child or a carer);

No apparent estrangement of the Will maker from disinherited beneficiary (e.g. a child is left out of the Will for no apparent reason);

Control of a testator by a favoured beneficiary (e.g. where the child lives with the elderly parent);

Preparation of a Will by persons known to the beneficiary rather than the Will maker (e.g. taking the parent to their own lawyer or another friend who prepares the Will);

Suspicious conduct of the beneficiary under the Will towards the disinherited beneficiaries after the Will has been executed (e.g. attempting to hide the existence of the Will or telling lies about the Will’s existence etc.).

Although there is no strict definition of “suspicious circumstances”, most of the cases have held that wherever a Will is prepared under circumstances which raise a well grounded suspicion that it does express the mind of the Will maker, the court ought not to pronounce in favour of the Will unless that suspicion is removed (see Tyrrell v Painton (1894) P151). Another common circumstance is where a beneficiary has relayed the instructions for the preparation of the Will to the person drafting it (i.e. a solicitor) (see Astridge v Pepper (1970) 1 NSWLR 542). In many cases where there appears to have been suspicious circumstances (even when solicitors have been involved in the preparation and signing of the Will), it is common practice for beneficiaries who have been left out of the Will to seek particulars of the circumstances of the preparation and signing of the Will from the lawyers involved. In some cases, inexperienced lawyers in this area can make fatal mistakes in relation to accepting instructions from relatives of the Will maker and not properly testing the capacity and/or knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will with their client. This may also lead to a possible action for professional negligence against the lawyers by the beneficiaries who have been affected by the negligence of the lawyer. 3.

Undue influence (and fraud) The issue of undue influence being used by a family member or beneficiary in relation to a person making or changing their Will is a very difficult area to prove. A very succinct statement of the law in relation to this area is as follows: “To be undue influence in the eye of the law there must be – to sum it up in a word – coercion.....The testator is in such a condition that if he could speak his wishes to the last, he would say, “This is not my wish but I must do it” (see Wingrove v Wingrove (1885) 11 PD 81.” It is no surprise that with this standard required in order to establish undue influence that there are not many cases where this has been upheld by the courts. In most areas of law the issue of undue influence can be quite straightforward, depending upon the relationship between the parties involved. However, when it comes to the area of succession law and people making Wills, by definition this involves close family relationships between the person making the Will and their relatives or family members. These relatives and family members have a very close relationship with the person making the Will and will certainly be able to influence the elderly parent or grandparent to make provision for them in their Will. This would appear to be behavior which is tolerated in this area of law because of the very close relationships involved within families. It is therefore very difficult to prove undue influence and the onus of proof shifts to those who allege it. Although there have been some very clear cases of coercion or bullying by relatives to elderly parents or grandparents, it would appear to be quite exceptional circumstances that will apply before this particular area can be proved. The areas of fraud are also very difficult to prove but seem to be very clear when fraud has taken place (e.g. people forging signatures on homemade Wills or pretending to be the person signing the Will etc.).

Conclusion – How to get some advice Challenging the validity of a Will can be a very complicated and stressful experience for those who have been affected by this type of conduct from their family members. Emotions can run high and some children or grandchildren simply cannot accept that their parent or grandparent has chosen to change their Will and leave their assets in a certain way. In most cases you can engage an experienced lawyer in this area to investigate the circumstances of the preparation and signing of the Will for a relatively modest fee. In some cases, lawyers will attend to this on a “no win no fee” basis but usually only where the facts would appear to support a provision claim or a clear case of lack of capacity or suspicious circumstances. Please contact our Wills and Estates Department Manager, Donna Tolley on direct line 07 5506 8241, email dtolley@attwoodmarshall.com.au or free call 1800 621 071 to book an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.

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GIVE CHARITY A BASH: Bob and Robyn Shackell prepare for another stint of dirt-road driving with this year’s Variety Bash. PHOTO: YVONNE GARDINER

Variety Bash heads for the Red Centre JOURNALIST YVONNE GARDINER

yvonne.gardiner@apn.com.au

ENTRANTS in this year’s B to B Variety Bash are gearing up for an adventure with mates, driving cars that are 30 years or older through regional parts of NSW. This is all in support of Variety – the Children’s Charity, which helps disadvantaged kids with equipment, therapy and medical supplies. Bob Shackell, from Pottsville, has been a Basher for 10 years, while his wife Robyn is a recent convert – 2018 is her third year. From August 12-21, they and four teammates will drive their two cars – a 1963 Ford Fairlane dubbed “Pink Ladies” (No.52) and a 1968 Ford Falcon (No.49) – from Bonnyrigg near Sydney to Braitling in Alice Springs. This B to B Variety Bash will cross over the Blue Mountains, to Bathurst, Broken Hill and on to Coober Pedy and Alice Springs, the Red Centre of Australia.

There’s a real camaraderie among the Bashers and you see the effect Variety is having on communities. I just love the fun, all the dressing up and the colour of the event, and the Outback too. That’s 10 days of riotous fun with hundreds of other Bashers. “I love old cars and I love the Outback and dirt roads – that’s what got me into it,” Bob said. “I realised what Variety does for special needs children. “Being a Basher, you actually get to see where the money goes. “They provide mobility equipment for children, heaps of equipment for schools.” Bob’s car usually raises $11,000 to $12,000 for each Bash. “The cars have got to raise $8500 – that goes directly to Variety,” he said. “Our expenses are on top of that. It usually costs $2200 per person. “I do all the work on the cars myself. “They’ve got to be reliable and strong. “The mechanics scrutineer before the Bash.”

Bob, as a transport company owner, attracts a lot of sponsorship. Robyn and the Pink Ladies choose to fundraise. “This year, we’re having a barefoot bowls day, and raffling a holiday,” she said. She loves the playfulness of the event, and finds the Bashers to be warm-hearted and fun-loving. “There’s a real camaraderie among the Bashers and you see the effect Variety is having on communities,” she said. “I just love the fun, all the dressing up and the colour of the event, and the Outback too. “You rotate your driving and the navigation. “It’s not a race. “The girls travel quite slowly and are usually at the end of the pack.” Anyone wanting to join the Bash, or donate, find details at the website varietybashnsw.org.au.


Local News

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Northern NSW

Seniors 7

Biggest little museum Yvonne Gardiner

BRUNSWICK Valley Historical Society tells the fascinating tales of its region, with photos and memorabilia, at the Mullumbimby Museum. Displays range from the first timber-getters who felled the valuable red cedar, to the now-defunct hydro-electric scheme, colourful event posters by Chester Harris, an old classroom, hospital operating room, the Terania Creek protests in 1979 and the hippies who came to the area in their droves during the 1970s for an alternate lifestyle. There’s also a machinery shed to explore and Aboriginal artefacts to see. Artist and collector Stephen Hall has been the society’s president five years, and a member for 20 years. He moved to the area from Townsville. “Mullumbimby had the perfect climate and a country-town atmosphere,” Mr Hall said. The museum, formerly the post office, is full of historic treasures. “People donate stuff all

the time to the museum. We’re running out of space. “We only collect things that have a local provenance. There was a big timber industry here. The red cedars were worth serious money.” About 5000 photos in the museum collection include some which illustrate why Mullum is indeed the “snake capital of Australia”. “The biggest little museum in the country, we call it,” he said. “We get bus trips and school groups. The markets are our busiest times.” Markets are held beside the museum on the third Saturday of the month from 9am-1pm. “They help fund the museum’s upkeep and activities.” A collection of newspapers details the region’s history. In January 1892, a Sydney Morning Herald reporter described the living conditions of railway workers: “The men are at work at different points along the Lismore contract, in all some 700 being

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employed. “Byron Bay is about the centre of the second section, and labourers are camped here in large numbers. At Coorabell Creek a settlement is being formed... “The navvies find themselves in the bush, a dozen miles from civilisation. Their work is laborious; and their fare is of the most frugal character. “Their ‘houses’ are of the most rough and ready kind. They build ‘canvas towns’; but really good tents are few and far between. “The majority are made up of calico, combined with old sacks, and bagging of any kind. Most of them are just large enough to crawl into... Some of the tents are larger, and contain whole families – husband, wife, and perhaps, half-a-dozen children.” Eighty years later, the hippies moved into the town of Mullumbimby. Their impact has been recorded on films produced by the historical society, Mullumbimby’s Madness – the Legacy of

HISTORIC TREASURES: Brunswick Valley Historical Society president Stephen Hall shows visitors around the Mullumbimby Museum, a former post office. PHOTO: YVONNE GARDINER

the Hippies, and Mullumbimby’s Magic – the Culture of the 70s-80s. These films will screen on Saturday, February 24 from 5-9pm, at the Drill Hall Theatre, 2 Jubilee Avenue, Mullumbimby. Filmmaker Sharon Shostak will be in attendance. Tickets from Mullumbimby Bookshop or Mullumbimby Museum. Phone 6684 4367.

Ladies in their finery at Joyce Evans’ fancy dress party in Mullumbimby.

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8 Seniors Northern NSW

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Talk’n’thoughts Hurdles, highjumps and solutions

No mistakes, it just happens FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK GAIL FORRER

Group editor Seniors Newspapers network

FOR the past 12 months, I have written many articles to raise awareness on the increasing number of older women experiencing homelessness. According to a 2014 report commissioned by the Mercy Foundation, Older women’s pathways out of homelessness, researched by UQ academics, “the largest proportion of older women presenting with housing crisis in Australia have led conventional lives and rented whilst working and raising a

family. Few have previously been involved with welfare and other support systems”. This month, I received a letter that succinctly described the circumstances that landed one woman in a precarious housing position. Here is an edited extract: “My fear/anxiety is housing or lack of. I need the government to supply more housing. I am a single female aged 76 and paying for private rental. I have never married and I am living on a pension. Anxiety about my living arrangements has been with me for 20 years when I realised I would not earn any more money in my job. I have never married or had children, or applied

for a government firsthome loan. I have rented privately for 50 years at different addresses, as owners wanted to sell, I had to move. I do not smoke or drink. I have worked full time for over 50 years with not much sick leave, I am still healthy and well and active. I do have six hours a month paid employment doing data entry which also helps my computer skills. When I was working I tried to get a bank loan to buy a house and was told ‘single female, not enough deposit’. I was not ‘allowed’ to join super until my late 40s. I did not choose to be single. When you are young and have a partner you can plan your future, which I never did. I just ‘expected’ I would marry

and then it was too late and I was in my 50s when I started to think about retirement and my living arrangements. Before I left work in Sydney, I researched rental villages and was put on waiting lists. I enquired about housing commission and was told about 15 years wait, if ever. I decided to move to Queensland when I retired, as living in Queensland is cheaper than Sydney. The costs of removalists over the years I haven’t added up but it would be thousands. I have been on the housing commission list here for over 10 years and have just been told I may never get accommodation as there is not enough for the homeless. They put

me on the NRAS list which I check regularly and there have been only two or three places suitable but not much cheaper, I feel secure where I am.” Jeanette Large is one person working towards finding answers to this terrible problem. She has worked in the community housing section in Victoria for more than 30 years. She is CEO of Women’s Property Initiatives, a not-for-profit provider of affordable, long-term homes for women, and of Property Initiatives Real Estate, a social enterprise established to create a revenue stream for WPI. Ms Large has addressed the issue of older women and housing through the foundation of a new community housing model. This plan is for

affordable housing for women who do not own a home but do have, with some superannuation, say between $100,000 to $300,000. The model’s finances are accessed through a philanthropic source, commercial loans and a financial contribution from the women. At this stage, Ms Large has secured the funds, however, due to the model undergoing further legal examination to ensure women will receive appropriate ownership in return for their funding and long-term tenancy, the construction start date has been delayed. However, Ms Large is upbeat about its success and forecasts a start date in the next few months. The project is taking place in Melbourne.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Email editor@seniorsnewspaper.com.au or go online to www.seniorsnews.com.au.

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Northern NSW

Seniors 9

Swinging to a ’70s beat ❝ A blast to the past and a reminder of life in suburbia Tracey Johnstone

AS THE ’70s Swinging Safari movie images started to unveil themselves on the big screen in front of me, the memories came flooding back from when my family were growing up in a suburban Sydney cul-de-sac. Once I got home from the cinema it was out with the old photo albums and on the phone to the family to reminisce. I remember the two boys across the road with air guns, a madly barking Alsatian protecting the loud opera singer in the second house up the road, lots of teenage boys and girls to grow up alongside, a small park at the end which everyone played in and used to let off the occasional bunger, and plenty of freedom to visit the neighbours. We knew we were free to roam and have fun. In the summer, it was down to the beach all day where we fried ourselves with coconut oil, while we

tried to blonde our hair with lemon juice and then peroxide. Were we surrounded by “rudderless families” as profiled in the retro movie? Since I was in my mid-teens, I don’t really know. But when I asked my oldest sister what she remembers about the antics of our cul-de-sac families, she very firmly replied, “not for the record”. She did however remind me of some of the fashion of her friends and their parents which made up a lot of the movie wardrobe – everyone with long hair, halter tops, long dresses, big lapels, chunky earrings, neck scarves, bell-bottom pants, thongs and platform shoes, mission brown and burnt orange colours, men with hairy chests and heavy gold chains and rayon, lots and lots of rayon. Even the old flammable pyjamas made a showing. Constantly tucked in around the outrageous Swinging Safari parody

Even the old flammable pyjamas made a showing.

RETRO FUN: Take a hilarious journey down memory lane with the Australian movie Swinging Safari. In cinemas now.

with a swingers party that goes very wrong and an exploding whale, is a myriad of 1970s memorabilia; you just need to keep a close eye on everything happening in front of and beside the main movie characters. There is the shag pile carpet with plastic cover to protect it, almost unbreakable Parker-type

furniture with its vinyl seat covers, pearlescent plastic chimes, the beach umbrella with its awful fringe, vinyl records, amber glass tumblers, and the very trendy fondue set. Remember the rumpus room? Do we still have them? They were the best indoor place to play and

hide from the parents. In Swinging Safari the kids thrive in the rumpus room where they hatch some crazy stunts. The old Fairlane (ours was murky green) and the Kingswood gets a show-in, so does K-Tel and the “free steak knives”, the Avon lady, space food sticks, Chiko Rolls, Kentucky Fried Chicken,

Kahlua and milk, and last, but not certainly not least, cask wine. The favourite neighbour dog, the over-fed golden Labrador is in there too. We had one called Bambi. Once we had fed her she would visit many houses around the cul-de-sac for more of the same, even though we put a sign around her neck saying, ‘please don’t feed me’. On the way home from the cinema I stopped outside the nearby retro furniture shop to gaze at the contents and shake my head over the prices. I wonder, just wonder; if we had kept all that wonderful, mad ’70s artwork, clothing, cars and more, we might just have made a lot of money from it now? At least we could wear it, drive it and decorate with it, and be back in fashion. Swinging Safari is showing in major cinemas now.

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10 Seniors Northern NSW

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Community NSW SENIORS FESTIVAL If you would like to provide information on activities and events for inclusion in our Calendar of Events (March edition), please email your submission by March 7. Include the event name, date, time, cost, contact and a brief description and location details to Nicky or Chris at communitynotes@seniors newspaper.com.au

LISMORE OVER 50S LEARNING CENTRE INC.

LISMORE Over 50s Learning Centre offers a range of art and exercise classes for mature age people. Most classes are held at the Lismore Heights Bowling Club, High St, . New members always welcome. Inquiries phone Barbara on 6624 2237, 0401 503 732 or see our Facebook page.

BEGINNERS LINE DANCING

FREE lessons for novice beginners. Learn to line dance for fun, relaxation and exercise. All ages, don’t need a partner. Monday and Wednesdays at 9.30am for beginners, 10.30am for early intermediate and 11.15am for intermediate. Located at Parkwood/Arundel community centre, Napper Road. Friday 9.30am at the Pottsville community hall at 1 Tweed Coast Rd. Also available for functions, corporate/private, parties and demos. Phone 0403 225 313 or go to dallaslinedancers.com.

U3A

2pm. The next bus trip will be March 18. Phone Evelyn 07 5599 8283.

■ TWIN TOWNS

WE WELCOME you to join in the fun. Covering Tugun, Coolangatta, Tweed Heads and Palm Beach. Choose classes such as languages, art and craft, ‘random readers’, games and cards, current affairs and many physical activities and inner health. Have the time of your life while you are learning and enjoying social activities such as theatre parties, bus trips and Tea & Talk. Phone 07 5534 7333 or email emailu3atwintowns @gmail.com.

■ TWEED COAST

WE PRESENT our March Friday Forum with wellknown local identity Ross Johnson and an historical slide show and talk informing us all about The Tweed in its early days. A fascinating look back at post-war 1950s, the heyday of summer holidays on the beaches of the Tweed. All welcome at The Uniting Church hall, 24A Kingscliff Street, at 2pm on Friday, March 2 and enjoy a fascinating talk and a delicious home made afternoon tea. We welcome a $2 donation. Website: tweedcoast.u3anet. org.au/wp or phone Julia 0415 464 616.

PROBUS CLUBS ■ KIRRA TUGUN

HELLO retirees, need to enhance your social life with a hit of golf, a casual game of cards/mahjong or maybe meet friends for a meal, enjoy an outing, the movies, or perhaps go touring? If you are an active retired or semi

ACTIVITIES FOR SENIORS

CARPET Bowls are held fortnightly on a Friday from 10am-noon. Next will be on February 23 and March 9 and 23. Phone Marg on 6687 8033 for more information about these activities at Tintenbar Hall.

SAUCY SIZZLERS: Twin Towns Evening VIEW ladies Jill, Dot, Trudy, Rosie, Fay and (centre) Twin Towns Services Club board member Ross O’Leary.

retired single or couple, and like to socialise come visit us.We meet at Currumbin RSL on fourth Thursday of each month, at 10am, and are entertained by a guest speaker. Phone Rod on 07 5534 1909 or Ken 07 5599 5757 or probuskirratugun.org.au.

■ HASTINGS POINT TWEED COAST

THE March meeting of the Probus Club Of Hastings Point Tweed Coast will be on Tuesday, March 20 at 10am at the Tri Care Retirement Community, 87/89 Tweed Coast Rd. Come and join us for our educational meeting. Guests will be most welcome and we have a morning tea. Inquiries with Julie on 0418 966 256 or go to the website hastingsptprobus.org.

BRIDGE LESSONS TWEED BRIDGE CLUB

LESSONS start on Saturday, March 3. Inquires with Dinah Morgan on 6676 3136.

VIEW CLUBS ■ TWIN TOWNS EVENING

CENTAUR Primary School Banora Point, warmly welcomes VIEW ladies each Monday to provide a warm breakfast of toast, fruit and juice free of charge. The ladies have proven to have a positive impact on Punctuality, Academic results, concentration and behaviour of the students.

■ COOLANGATTA TWEED

WE WILL be celebrating International Women’s Day 2018 with a very special function on Thursday, March 8 at the South Tweed Sports Club, Minjungbal Drive, South Tweed Heads commencing with morning tea at 10am

DST. Refreshments are served and a Trading Table will be available. The cost is $16 and bookings can be made up to February 26. Phone Penelope Thorpe on 07 5534 3931 or Janice Monk on 07 5524 5707.

■ TWIN TOWNS DAY

WE MEET for lunch on the first Thursday of each month at 11am DST at the South Tweed Sports Club. Ladies who are interested in coming along can expect to hear an interesting guest speaker and enjoy the company of our friendly members. Phone Freda on 07 5524 1357.

AOOB

THE Australasian Order of Old Bastards (Twin Towns Branch) will be celebrating their 25th anniversary on Friday, March 2 with a luncheon in the Secret Garden Room at South Tweed Sports Club beginning 12.30pm (NSW) followed by a meeting at

TWIN TOWNS & DISTRICT GARDEN CLUB

OUR next meeting will be Monday, March 12 at South Tweed Sports Club, Minjungbal Drive, South Tweed in the downstairs auditorium. Our guest speaker will be Garry who will be talking about ‘Gourmet Mushrooms’. The hall opens at 8.30am for entry and benching. Cuttings and Trading Tables will commence selling at 8.45am. Morning tea is available and the general meeting commences at 10am. Cost: $3 entry fee paid at the door. Phone Monika Ross on 0412 638 373.

TWEED GOLD COAST FAMILY HISTORY ASSOC.

WE INVITE members and visitors to join us at South Tweed Sports Club, Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads Sth on Tuesday, March 6 at 1.30pm. This month we are having a presentation about handing on your family history, and also talking about organising your family history. Inquiries: Trish on 07 5524 2156.

No dodging the facts as this car has one very long and healthy lifetime THE obsession with old cars began for Allan Keys when his grandfather gifted him a green Dodge bought in 1927. Allan, who was eight at the time and living on the family farm, couldn’t wait for a driving licence to try it out. “It was still driveable. I used to drive it up through the paddocks to primary school,” he said. “We put wooden blocks on the pedals so I could reach. “I had a hand accelerator on the steering wheel.” That first Dodge is now

part of a collection of about 20 veteran and vintage cars, five of them registered for the road. In addition to that are 40 to 50 old trucks and 40 tractors on the property at Federal. “The old cars are far more reliable than the modern cars,” Allan said. “In 40 years, the Dodge has only let us down once. “One thing is, the technology was made to last several lifetimes. “My youngest son John, he’s got two cars of his own. “We’re currently restoring one of his at the

VINTAGE CARS: Collector Allan Keys, from Federal, with his 1916 Dodge, a hawker’s vehicle. PHOTO: YVONNE GARDINER

moment. “We do them up. If I had to pay someone to do the work, you’re looking at what the car’s worth.” Most of Allan’s cars

were manufactured by Dodge, although a Willys-Knight he owns, made in 1924 in America, was also built to last. “It was made to do

200,000 miles without being touched,” Allan said. “Even Rolls Royce didn’t make cars that good.” Allan’s family share his passion for old cars and regularly join him on outings with the Mt Warning Historic Auto Club and the Northern Rivers Vintage and Veteran Car Club. The Northern Rivers Vintage and Veteran Car Club currently has 70 members and 72 vehicles/bikes and trucks registered. It accepts all vehicles/bikes older than

December 31, 1980, of original design. On Sunday, March 4, the club will host an outing to Cram’s Farm, via Nimbin. They will meet with members from the Tweed Valley Vehicle Restorers Club and Gold Coast Antique Auto Club. Club meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at Lismore Workers Club, Keen Street, Lismore, 7.30pm. Mt Warning Historic Auto Club meets on the third Sunday of each month, 9.30am, Condong Bowling Club.


Northern NSW

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

What’s on JOURNALIST YVONNE GARDINER

yvonne.gardiner@apn.com.au

MAD HATTER’S PICNIC

WHY not get a group together and have some fun at a three-course, picnic-style buffet on Saturday, February 24? Mad Hatter games and decor will create the scene. Great prizes to win. Prize for the best Mad Hatter’s hat and costume. All profits to ovarian cancer research. Adults $35, children 5-12 $15 and under 5 free. Picnic from 6-8pm at the Lismore City Bowling Club, Molesworth Street, Lismore. Details at: hightealadies.com.au or phone Glenda Ramsbotham on 0416 231 596.

YOWIE COUNTRY

WOODENBONG Seasonal

“Yowie Country” Market is held on the last Saturday of the month at the end of each season in February, May, August and November. Next market is February 24. Held at the Woodenbong Public Hall grounds, Unumgar Street, from 8am-2pm with a variety of stalls, food and coffee, country atmosphere and a children’s playground on-site. Free entry. Phone Marian on 0487 635 558 for further information. Woodenbong is 9km from Kyogle and 143km from Brisbane or the Gold Coast. Officially declared a village in 1908, it is rich in natural and cultural history and is located in the shadow of Mt Lindsay.

CANCER RETREAT

WITH breast cancer can come fear, uncertainty and exhaustion. However, for many a diagnosis can also become an opportunity for a life-changing experience. Join us for a day where together we each have an opportunity to share our

MAD HATTER: Get a group together and have some fun on Saturday, February 24 at the Lismore City Bowling Club.

wisdom to support the healing process. The retreat on March 4 is hosted by complementary health practitioners, health professionals and women who are interested in women’s health. Please note that no medical advice is given at the event. Bookings are essential at the website: esotericwomenshealth. com/events for the retreat

from 9.30am-4pm at Lismore City Hall, 1 Bounty Street, Lismore. Cost $60. Phone Mary-Louise Myers on 0419 106 702 for details.

BUTTERY BAZAAR

UKI Buttery Bazaar runs every third Sunday of the month, next held March 18. Come along and enjoy the wonderful village atmosphere that is Uki.

Just a country drive away – 40 minutes from the Gold Coast, less than an hour from Byron Bay. Half the fun is getting there. Leave the big smoke behind, breathe fresh air and take in the spectacular mountain scenery. Stay for a scrumptious lunch from one of the foodies or just mellow out under the shade trees. Cruise the trash and treasure bargains, take home a plant or two, and meet the friendly locals. Held at 1454 Kyogle Road, Uki. ukivillage.com.au/ community/markets.

CHARITY WALK

THIS year will be the inaugural event for the Tweed Coast Charity Walk on Sunday, March 25. The walk will start from Family Park in Fingal (next to the Rovers Surf Life Saving Club) and follow the coastline to Lions Park, Kingscliff (7km). Participants can enter individually or in teams of two to 20 people. Minimum age is 12 (accompanied by a paying

The A, B and C of Mercedes-Benz. Owning a new Mercedes-Benz can be as straight forward as A B C. A. Meet Lachlan, he is a Mercedes-Benz Certified Sales Consultant at Mercedes-Benz Coffs Coast. B. Lachlan is professional, courteous and knows just about everything there is to know about Mercedes-Benz vehicles. C. You know that you will get the right advice and friendly service from Lachlan, before and after you have purchased your new Mercedes-Benz.

Make an appointment with Lachlan on 0402 214 323 for your personalised test drive and demonstration of our new A-Class, B-Class or C-Class motor vehicles today.

Mercedes-Benz Coffs Coast 4 Tolhurst Place, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 Tel 1800 693 876 www.mbcoffscoast.com.au

LMD3461

Seniors 11

adult). Costs range from $25 to $45. All participant fees are a tax-deductible donation to Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter. Additional fundraising is encouraged. First start wave is at 8am. coastalcharitywalk.com. au.

LIGHTHOUSE TOURS

JOIN a volunteer-run lighthouse tour to the top of the Cape Byron Lighthouse, taking advantage of the 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean from the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. Tours available every 30 minutes from 10am-4pm depending on suitable weather and availability. Cape Byron Lighthouse is 2km east of the Byron Bay town centre. Limited parking is available at the lighthouse and a $7 car entry fee applies. Gold coin donation. The last tour runs at 3.30pm. For more information, phone NPWS Cape Byron Lighthouse office on 6620 9300.


12 Seniors Northern NSW

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Money

Aged Pension acid test

THE new assets test has become an acid test for many who were receiving a part Age Pension. Almost 90,000 individuals and couples around Australia who previously received a part Age Pension payment completely lost their entitlements in 2017 as a result of the Federal Government’s changes to the pension assets test rules, it can be revealed. In addition, hundreds of thousands of individuals and couples who were previously receiving a full pension have had their payments reduced.

limits on the amount of assets outside of a family home that could be held by couples or individuals before their pension rate was reduced. The amount of pension received is now reduced by $3 per fortnight for every $1000 over the new limits under what is known as the pension taper rate.

THE ASSETS TEST LIMITS

■ SINGLE Home owner $250,000 Non-home owner $450,000 ■ COUPLE Home owner $375,000 Non-home owner $575,000 USING the latest official government data, our research has found that between the end of December 2016 and the

end of June, the number of recipients receiving a part Age Pension under the assets test fell from 486,031 to 321,106, a variation of just over 147,000. The DSS has claimed only part of that difference was due to the actual changes in the assets test, and that no full rate age pensioners have had their pension cancelled due to the assets test changes. However, between December 2016 and mid-2017, the total number of Australians receiving an Age Pension dropped from 2.57 million to 2.49 million. The number of couples receiving a full or part pension fell by around 61,000, from 1.43 million to 1.37 million, while the number of singles slipped from 1.13 million to

1.12 million. In terms of assessing the Age Pension under the assets test, the DSS data shows that around 1.18 million recipients are couples owning a home. A further 660,000 are singles owning a home. These cohorts tend to have the highest value level of assets outside of their homes. The pension assets test does not apply to the family home itself, but does to its contents and any other assets owned including property, vehicles, caravans, boats, superannuation holdings and funds in bank accounts. Average superannuation balances at retirement already put many Australians close to or over the new asset test thresholds. But one of the

biggest problems for those in this position is that having higher superannuation retirement savings may actually generate less tax-free income than those who only receive the Age Pension. In other words, having more can equal receiving less. As such, the changes to the assets test could deter some individuals and couples from putting more money into their superannuation so they can still supplement their income with a pension. But this is a complex area and it’s definitely worth seeing a financial adviser to assess all your options. Tony Kaye is the editor of Eureka Report, which is owned by financial services group InvestSMART. www.investsmart.com.au

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The revised pension assets test rules introduced last year also mean many Australians who had calculated their retirement income stream around receiving a part Age Pension in the future should seek out professional advice urgently to re-evaluate their financial position. The Federal Department of Social Services has confirmed to Eureka Report that around 86,600 part rate age pensioners had their pension cancelled directly as a result of the assets test changes that came into effect on January 1, 2017. And, as we head into 2018, more retiring Australians will likely miss out on receiving any level of age pension. The Federal Government set new


Northern NSW

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Seniors 13

T ravel

10

FOOD is an important part of travel and for many it is the main purpose of visiting a country. Ann Rickard believes in embracing the cuisine of the country you are in, forgetting all your usual favourite foods and taking your taste buds out for new experience. Be brave and try, she says. These are her 10 favourite food countries, but you surely will have your own. ■ CHINA STICK to the familiar if you are nervous, but dumplings, Peking duck, yum cha and stir fries as we know them are taken to a new level of flavour. For the adventurous, everything is possible. We’ve braved chicken feet in a Guangzhou restaurant that seated 1000 people, eating everything from what looked like battered spiders to slippery eels. ■ VIETNAM FAMILIAR and fabulous is Goi Cuon, a translucent

best food destinations spring roll filled with minced pork or crab and coriander. Not so familiar but a must-try is Banh Xeo, sizzling fried pancakes with prawns, bean sprouts and egg, wrapped in rice paper with herbs and dipped into a spicy sauce. Steer clear of the wet markets unless you have a strong stomach. Live frogs, snakes and turtles in buckets might disturb us but the locals love them simmered in a spicy sauce. ■ FRANCE IT’S not all Michelin-star dining, although it is quite the experience to sit down in elegant surroundings to confit duck and foie gras. But the real pleasure comes in finding a rustic bistro (often behind a tabac in a small village) serving three simple but good courses for 15 euros – the lot, including wine. Then there are the vibrant markets to pick up a pungent cheese, gnarly

tomatoes, marinated olives, an obligatory baguette and maybe an apple tart tatine. Where’s the nearest picnic spot? ■ THAILAND WE’VE eaten five-star here at David Thompson’s Nahm restaurant with its teak and wood panels, but we also love pulling up a plastic chair at a tin table on a footpath while something nearby sizzles in a wok or chars on an open burner. Don’t be afraid to eat on the street, but stick the rule of eating at stalls with crowds of locals, and watch your food being cooked (beware of anything in a food warmer.) For the timid, street food tours with English-speaking guides in the cities and towns will show you the ropes. ■ SPAIN HIT as many tapas bars as possible for lunch and feast on hundreds of varieties of small bites. Then have a long siesta

WILLS WEEK 12–16 March 2018

and go out to eat at 11pm like the locals do. Paella at one of the waterfront restaurants along the Passeig de Joan de Borbo might be touristy but when you have a towering pan of fragrant, saffron rice filled with moist chicken and fresh seafood in front of you, being a tourist among other tourists is okay. ■ MALAYSIA BREAKFAST on roti canai, a griddled pizza-like dough with a pile of lentils on top, (or an egg if you are conservative.) Eat at least six times a day here where food is king and all the familiar dishes are tastier than we know them: nasi goreng, rendang curry, satays. But a snack on the street of kuey teow, rice noodles cooked over charcoal with chilli, prawns and soy, eaten out of a paper parcel, will make you feel like a local. ■ ITALY ENJOY your pizzas with thin crusts and simple

mozzarella, prosciutto and tomato topping, and eat one all to yourself (locals do) and then take the taste buds out of their comfort zone with insalate di polpo (boiled octopus salad) or trippa (tripe). Each region has its own trippa recipe but it is often cooked in a tomato and wine broth. Look for cacciucco, a seafood stew in a chilli tomato broth. ■ GERMANY FOOD is not the first thing you think of here, more like beer, but start the day with bread and you’ll know you’ve arrived. Crusty outsides, soft or dense insides, Germans eat bread with every meal. Then there are the slow-cooked pork knuckles, smoked meats, sauerkraut… let yourself go but do save yourself for a large slice of Black Forest Cake. ■ SWITZERLAND THIS small land-locked country never blows its trumpet about its cuisine

but some of the tastiest food in the world is here. Rosti, thinly grated, pan-fried potatoes is a national dish, enhanced with salty bacon and fried egg and raclette cheese (Rosti Valaisanne) and eaten with tangy gherkins and pickled pearl onions. Finish that off with a Swiss chocolate or two and you’ll know you’re in a country that loves its food. ■ GREECE IN A taverna in the Plaka with views of the Acropolis I once ate a slab of moussaka so rich, I could barely lift my stomach off the ground for two days. But moussaka is a must in Greece, as is stuffed squid, a Greek salad, meatballs and baklava. Octopus, fresh off the boat and cooked over a grill on any Greek Island is going to be a lasting memory. Read more of Ann’s musings at www.annrickard.com

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14 Seniors Northern NSW

Travel

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Music of Mississippi For the music enthusiast, a tour with Glenn A Baker could well prove to be a once in a life-time, spectacular trip Gail Forrer

BLUES and jazz fans, come on down. This is your chance to do a slide riff into the birthplace of jazz and blues with the master of music, the legendary music journalist and historian Glenn A Baker. In 2014, Glenn A Baker, a three-time winner of the BBC’s Rock Brain of The Universe title, label owner and nationally syndicated radio presenter led a tour to Beatle Week in Liverpool via Hamburg and London. The tour didn’t miss a trick including visits to famous sites such as George Harrison’s house, Penny Lane and the obligatory pic across Abbey Road. Glenn said the commonality of purpose really brought the tour together, but he was over-the-moon, when various tour travellers called it the trip of a lifetime. The positive feedback was a key factor in his hosting of the 2018 Mississippi River cruise. According to the man with the encyclopaedic knowledge of music, the 16-day long cruise (June

22-July 10) has a lot of romance attached to it. Perhaps the love begins with the American Queen, this riverboat claims the reputation of the world’s most luxurious and opulent one of its kind, a floating palace that that glides regally between the banks of the Mississippi River, where memories of Huckleberry Finn and his childhood adventures are scattered through the river’s wilderness along the with soaring emotional melodies that found root in this fertile country. Glenn A Baker’s easy conversation and brilliant knowledge will reveal to you the music and its makers when you visit the hot spots such as New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and many more including a cruise to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the Louisiana Delta Museum, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studios, Fame Studios, New Orleans Studios and the Blues Foundation’s Fall of Fame, New Orleans. In each new destination, you will be immersed in a musical nirvana, celebrating the birthplaces and historical landmarks of gospel, blues, jazz, bluegrass,

ENTERTAINMENT GALORE: Beale Street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee is lined with blues clubs and restaurants.

country and rock ‘n’ roll. Also, a two-time Travel Writer of the Year recipient, Glenn has visited more than 120 countries, making him the ideal guide for the American Queen’s voyage into the heart of American blues, rock and soul. “I can’t wait to get on board our version of Proud Mary,” Glenn said. “From a true music fan’s perspective, it really doesn’t get much better than this. “Not only does the cruise explore so much history, but it takes passengers to the haunts

Glenn A Baker.

of some of the truly pivotal acts of America’s musical history – to the Crossroads where the devil and the blues are supposed to have interconnected, to the recording studios where some of the greatest

sounds of the twentieth century were captured. “The cities we’re visiting were at the centre of, and shaped the face of music for decades. “On top of that, it’s going to be a huge amount of fun, with like-minded people indulging their passions and being immersed in the cultures they have long dreamed of.” TOUR DETAILS The cruise offers fine dining each night prepared with local produce by celebrated American chefs. On the American Queen, passengers are

treated to breakfast every day, along with luxurious five-course dinners with included wine and beer. The ship also boasts a vast library and a two-deck-tall Grand Saloon to showcase the cruise’s Broadway-worthy entertainment. Prices start at $9990 twin share including air fares, accommodation, food and drinks on board the ship, world-class entertainment and access to daily sightseeing attractions. For further details, visit travelrite.com.au or phone 1800 630 343.

Explore Brisbane city in comfort LEAVING the car safely stowed away for two days while we explored the delights of central Brisbane was an appealing suggestion. My travelling companion and I had a reunion to attend at South Bank, so it was a great opportunity to rediscover the city. Staying at central city accommodation like the Oaks Charlotte Towers, on handy Charlotte Street, was the perfect choice. As sedentary workers tied to computers most of the time, we looked forward to a long stroll. The car sat in secure, underground parking beneath the 44-storey Oaks hotel. There was so much to see and do within a 20-minute walk away from the hotel. Just minutes away is the Queen Street Mall, Myer Centre and all the attractions of a glittering

city. If shopping’s your thing, expect to be spoilt for choice. A pleasant walk across the William Jolly Bridge opens up the delights of the Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum and the Queensland Art Gallery beside the Brisbane River. Brisbane’s old Botanic Gardens, an oasis of calm and tranquillity in a bustling city, are also a short walk away from The Oaks on Charlotte Street. We stopped for a snack at the garden’s cafe, to reminisce about our first date there 23 years ago. Among the cool greenery, it’s a perfect place to sit, eat and relax. Eagle Street Pier, with its many restaurants, bars and casual eateries, is also a fine location to enjoy the city’s best views of the Story Bridge.

Treasury Casino is an entertainment mecca if you want to try your luck, or just bask in the magnificence of this sumptuous, heritage building. We were in Brisbane for two very hot days in December, so the outdoor plunge pool at the Oaks Charlotte Towers was a big attraction... not just once. Right next to the pool is an appealing sundeck area complete with barbecue facilities – a perfect, secluded area for a social gathering. My travelling companion, being a keen swimmer, took advantage of the gleaming 25m heated indoor lap pool next to the gym, and followed up the dip with a lounge in the sauna. Whenever we spent time in our one bedroom executive apartment, we couldn’t help but admire

SPECTACULAR VIEWS: Night-time is something special in Brisbane.

the view from the 42nd floor. Some of the time, we could see as far as the Glass House Mountains in the distance. Bigger, two bedroom apartments are also available for families or a few friends. Guests at the Oaks looked to be of all ages – youngsters there for birthday parties, families sightseeing in the city, seniors like us attending celebrations of all

kinds... Convenience to the city shops and attractions, plus pleasing attention from the hotel staff that makes a guest feel very welcome, puts ticks on the approval rating. While the units are fitted out with everything necessary for a comfortable stay – kitchens and laundries included – a well-stocked, upmarket cafe next to the hotel is open most hours of the day.

Brisbane is a place you can return to time after time, because there’s always the latest show, a new exhibition, markets, entertainment, parks, river walks and endless attractions. Phone Oaks Charlotte Towers, 128 Charlotte Street, Brisbane on 1300 663 477 or visit the website: minor hotels.com/en/oaks. The writer was a guest of the Oaks Charlotte Towers.


Northern NSW

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Seniors 15

• • • • • •

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16 Seniors Northern NSW

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Wellbeing

Battle to balance work and health JOURNALIST TRACEY JOHNSTONE FORMER tennis great in the 1970s and now Federal Government MP, John Alexander OAM, works long hours in his public life which puts a strain on his health. A younger man may not think this is a significant issue, but for the 66-year-old, who in a former life was extremely active when competing on the international tennis circuit for 18 years, finding a balance between work and health is important to

living a healthy and consequently, happy ageing life. Seniors News spoke with the member for Bennelong while he was savouring the short Christmas-time break from Canberra, distracting him from a game of golf with his partner Deb Chadwick, for a chat about keeping healthy in a fast-paced world. “I’m very good at lecturing people about it, but I’m not very good at doing it myself,” Mr Alexander said. “Inevitably you do what has to be done at work and then you squeeze in whatever you can as far as maintenance goes.” The start of every new

year he makes a commitment to finding a better health balance. “This New Year’s Eve resolution was more exercise, less food and less alcohol,” Mr Alexander said. “Then I read everyone has made the same one.” It’s a tough resolution to achieve as Mr Alexander, like many other government ministers, is on the job at least six days and often six nights a week as well. While many ministers put on weight, Mr Alexander has consciously worked on lowering his weight, even following the 5:2 Diet to trim off the edges of a lifestyle that involves a lot of work

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functions. Preserving at least one day a week for relaxation and outdoor activity is a must for him. Sometimes he gets that day, off sometimes he doesn’t. But when he does get a day off, he enjoys his golf or a social game of tennis.

ACTIVE AGEING: The Federal Member for Bennelong, John Alexander OAM.

Otherwise, he tries to fit in a little bit of running, walking and some gym work. “I am reasonably active, but nowhere near regimented enough because the life of a politician doesn’t give you

that standard nine-to-five,” he said. “You might be out seven nights in a row so when you are and have to work through the next day, you try to catch every minute of sleep you can,” he said.

Tips for better relationships

Dr Emanuel Svoboda

Servicing the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers 6 Scott Street, Coolangatta Qld 4225

“This New Year’s Eve resolution was more exercise, less food and less alcohol. Then I read everyone has made the same one.”

CHECK out these Relationships Australia tips for improving your spouse or partner relationship. ■ Talk about your day and the things that both excite or worry you. ■ Spend time alone together and ensure it is a priority. ■ Celebrate the good times together. ■ Express affection and give your partner thoughtful little surprises like a small gift, a flower from the garden on their bedside

table, a favourite treat, an unpacked dishwasher or a special meal. ■ Develop common interests, though allow time for independent interests as well. ■ Listen to your partner and communicate your needs. Don’t wait for your partner to try to guess what is going on for you. ■ Talk about sex and what is good about your sex life and what, if any, issues there are. ■ Tell your partner when you are happy or

unhappy about something – honestly and respectfully. ■ Try to find solutions that are suitable for both of you. Prepare to compromise. ■ Respect and accept both your differences and your similarities. ■ Aim to be flexible and willing to change or try something new. ■ Be supportive in the good and the challenging times, and ask for help when you cannot cope with a situation. ■ Share the work load.

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Northern NSW

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Seniors 17

Living Relays help put cancer under spotlight

JOURNALIST YVONNE GARDINER

yvonne.gardiner@apn.com.au

VITAL funds for Cancer Council NSW’s research, prevention, information and local support services will be raised in March and May at relays in the Tweed and Ballina regions. Last year, the Tweed Valley community raised $56,000 for the Relay For Life. This year’s Tweed Valley Relay For Life takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, at the Cudgen Leagues Club, Kingscliff. Committee member Kathie Dwyer was invited to Relay For Life by a friend about four years ago.

“My mother had breast cancer back in the late-70s and is still alive despite being told she only had six months to live,” Kathie said. “My father retired at 60 and got a tumour first, followed by leukaemia a few years later, then went into remission. “At the end, lung cancer finally got him at age 85 last April. “I relay now this year in memory of dad. “He didn’t care about being sick but hated to see young kids, mums, dads suffering. “His attitude was ‘I’ve lived my life – let’s go save some younger persons’.” The highlight of the relay for Kathie is doing more laps than she did the year before. “I want to do as many laps as possible to represent all those who are no longer with us and

FUN INTO FUNDRAISING: Tweed Valley Relay For Life organisers (from left) Kathie Dwyer, Hannah Brooks, Sonya Lee, Jane Prichard, Marissa Zambelli and Sarah MC.

It’s really a chance to get together with your mates or family, or both, and think about loved ones touched by cancer... do not have the luxury of walking anywhere,” she said. “My feet and back kill me the next day but it is nothing compared to suffering a terminal illness.” Thanks to events like Tweed Valley Relay For

Life, Cancer Council NSW is able to continue local programs such as Improve Your Long Game. Implemented by Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club, Improve Your Long Game is a sun-safe lifestyle program aimed at men over 40. Funds also support the Cancer Council NSW Information Service at Tweed Hospital, which supports up to 200 patients and carers a week. This service is used by residents on the Far North Coast as well as across the border in Queensland. Ballina Shire Relay takes place this year on

Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, at the Alstonville Showgrounds. Committee chairman John Woods said the event was a lot of fun for all ages. Attractions include live music, games, kids’ activities, food trucks, a health hub and overnight camping. “It is not a race, you don’t have to run. I certainly don’t run,” John said. “It’s really a chance to get together with your mates or family, or both, and think about loved ones touched by cancer, maybe learn some new things to stay healthy,

have a dance, dress up in costumes, shed a few tears, and share stories and laughs.” Funds raised support Cancer Council NSW services such as Transport to Treatment where eligible Ballina Shire patients are offered subsidised transport to their medical appointments in Lismore, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Gold Coast and even up to Brisbane. For more information or to register for either relay, head to www.relayforlife.org.au or contact Hannah Brooks at hannah.brooks@nswcc. org.au.

Let’s talk about sex and ageing positively

GOOD HEALTH: It's important for you to remain sexual.

WE NEED to have a chat about sex for older Australians because it’s time we got upfront about how it can be a positive experience if done safely. Feeling better about yourself and improving your quality of life, alleviating depression, increasing life satisfaction and general well-being are all important outcomes of an active sexual life for ageing Australians, says researcher Dr Sue Malta from the National Ageing Research Institute and University of Melbourne. “I think the most important thing is remaining sexual, whether you are

partnered or on your own,” Dr Malta said. “Society has tended to cringe about older people being sexual. A lot of today’s older people grew up in an era when sex wasn’t talked about, and masturbation was actively discouraged, so a lot of older men and women probably wouldn’t feel comfortable that they can explore their own bodies if they are on their own or with a partner.” Dr Malta has found that as more older people are getting divorced, they are looking for and entering new relationships. The advent of online dating has also opened

the door to older people realising they can again be sexually engaged. Enjoying sex at an older age can be redefined as people take their physical limitations and disabilities into account. It doesn’t have to involve intercourse, it may involve “outercourse”. “There are all sorts of ways you can have sex,” Dr Malta said. “It’s not just about intercourse; it can be doing other things that give you pleasure and make you feel good.” Women can find that after menopause they discover a resurgence in sexual feeling. “It’s not like

menopause means the end of your sex life,” Dr Malta said. Dr Malta also said some women feel they have lost their sexual drive when they no longer have a partner, but in fact it could be dormant, and they can rediscover it. Dr Malta wants to develop a website containing information on all issues relating to sexuality and ageism. While that project waits for funding , Dr Malta recommends seniors look on the Jean Hailes Foundation and Andrology Australia websites. www.jeanhailes.org.au and www.andrology australia.org.


18 Seniors Northern NSW

Living

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

STYLISH DOWNSIZING: Bathers Beachside is designed to make the best use of its stunning outlook.

Downsize to upgrade your lifestyle on Brisbane’s coast REDUCING your living space to a luxury apartment and upgrading your lifestyle on Brisbane’s coast is a very attractive option. There are many factors to consider when moving from your prized family home, but if you’re an empty-nester, downsizing into a smaller place is both sensible and economical. Retirees looking to downsize to a modern apartment have the opportunity to re-evaluate their lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, many opt for a quieter beachside life, lapping up the water views and brilliant sunshine it offers. Acclaimed coastal property developer Traders in Purple caters to the over 50s. It creates new, luxurious and modern seaside developments for those who are unwilling to compromise on quality. With sweeping panoramic views of Moreton Bay, new developments like Bathers Beachside, and the recently completed Waters Edge and The Scarborough, offer unprecedented value for money for retirees. These developments are at coastal havens of unparalleled beauty right

villa or townhouse. From July this year property owners will be able to take advantage of an attractive new government scheme which will allow retirees aged 65 and over to make a non-concessional contribution of $300,000 for a single and $600,000 for a couple, from the sale of their principal place of residence which they have lived in for 10 years or more, directly into superannuation.

Apartment living also provides greater security and convenience for those seeking a better quality of life.

at your doorstep, and although it feels like a holiday destination, the Brisbane CBD is still close by. The vibrant bayside suburbs, which are just north of Brisbane city, are blessed with beautifully maintained parks and walking tracks, making this area appealing to potential buyers who are searching for peace and serenity. The residences have open-plan living spaces and contemporary kitchens with high-quality appliances, ensuring a sleek modern feel that is both stylish and functional for over 50s. Every fitting and finish is meticulously selected, from the stylish designer-appointed interiors to the premium custom cabinetry, so you don’t feel you have compromised in the slightest. One of the key advantages of downsizing

Bathers Beachside with its beautiful finishes and generous spaces.

to an apartment is the freedom it affords retirees. It gives those who have left the workforce the choice to live in a place that celebrates a relaxed style of life, where maintenance is low and recreational facilities are in abundance. Better yet, freehold apartments often come with a real sense of community without an expensive price tag that landed property in desired locations have. Apartment living also provides greater security and convenience for those seeking a better quality of life. Think of it as

Bathers Beachside and its uninterrupted views of the Moreton Bay.

downsizing your space, but upgrading your lifestyle. Forget mowing the lawns, taking out the garbage bins and worrying about the safety of your

household belongings if you take a holiday break. The upkeep and ongoing costs of maintenance for vertical living are minimal compared to those required to run a house,

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Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Northern NSW

Seniors 19

NOW IN CONSTRUCTION. MOVE IN LATE 2018.

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20 Seniors Northern NSW

Advertising Feature

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

LIVING WITH PAIN 2017 Global Pain Index reveals high cost of pain

PAIN: There is a whole raft of treatment options that are useful for pain management. PHOTO: KATARZYNABIALASIEWICZ

Is codeine change good for pain control? Tracey Johnstone

MEDICINES containing codeine are no longer available over the counter; instead, a doctor’s prescription for it will be required. Pain relief products such as Panadeine, Nurofen Plus, Mersyndol as well as cough relief products such as Codral and Demazin, and any generic pharmacy medications carrying codeine will be off the front shelves and moved into the back of the pharmacy. As a consequence, there will be more people visiting their doctor for pain prescriptions and a

greater demand on GPs to do a better job at managing chronic pain complaints. Pain Australia’s chief executive officer Carol Bennett sees this change in policy by The Therapeutic Goods Administration as advantageous for the one- in-five Australians who regularly suffer chronic pain. “I think it has highlighted the extent of the problem and that people are desperate to manage pain in whatever way they can,” Ms Bennett said. “At the moment what you are seeing is a lot of inappropriate use of codeine and it’s masking

underlying conditions. People are taking it because it seems the go-to thing and it’s easy to get. “We know it doesn’t address chronic pain and we know it’s not effective. There are much more effective medications and other treatments.” Ms Bennett said the next step is for a fully endorsed national plan to consistently manage pain treatment which is one of Australia’s most chronic and expensive problems. With codeine off the shelves, Ms Bennett expects the community will push hard for that plan to be put in place. The Federal

Smith Street Spine Centre

Government announced at the end of last month an interim trial program called Pain MedChecks, which is being managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. The program will facilitate pharmacists, through face-to-face consultations with patients, reviewing the patients’ medication and analgesic use and developing a written action plan, incorporating education, self-management and referral to doctors or other experts where additional support is required. Pain Australia is also offering information on the range of pain

management options, which it has listed on www.realrelief.org.au. “We know people who access pain clinics, 80 per cent of them get effective treatment,” Ms Bennett said. “There is multidisciplinary, which is the gold standard – physiotherapy, massage and psychology services. Then there are the medication options. There is a whole raft of options that are useful for pain management.” To find if your pain medication has codeine in it, go to www.nps.org.au /medical-info/medicine -finder?, and enter the search word codeine.

■ The 2017 Global Pain Index has found that Australian workers took 3.3 sick days for body pain, as well as 1.4 days for head pain in the past year, costing the nation $10.6 billion. ■ Australia ranks highest in the world for weekly body pain (impacting 68 per cent of Australians). ■ One in four (25 per cent) experience both head and body pain on a weekly basis, negatively impacting almost every aspect of their lives. ■ The study puts a spotlight on how pain is decreasing our quality of life, leading to missing out on moments in life, including valuable time with family and friends. Is pain impacting our careers? Almost a third (30 per cent) of Australian workers with body pain frequently struggle to concentrate at work because of their pain, and another three in 10 regularly lose motivation (30 per cent). Pain is taking a toll on family time Half (50 per cent) of Australians surveyed say they have trouble enjoying everyday moments with their family due to pain. Why are Australians ignoring pain? Almost all body pain sufferers in Australia (94 per cent) and most head pain sufferers (79 per cent) say they know the cause of their pain, and many have had the cause of their pain diagnosed by a healthcare professional (58 per cent). However, more than four in 10 (42 per cent) say they have self-diagnosed the cause of their body pain.

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Walk-ins welcome, however a referral is required and can be forwarded to referrals@smithstreetspinecentre.com.au or Phone: 1300 000 151 or fax: 1300 000 152 Located 151 Smith Street, Southport. 6757747aa


Northern NSW

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

Seniors 21

Let’s save

Living in the ’70s THE ’70s. What a time to be alive. It was when glam rock was born and the music and the clothes were outrageous, with furs and flares being the norm. Food was starting to evolve with the influx of immigrants into Australia. Our tastebuds started changing. Takeaway was only available from the local fish and chip shop, then the Chinese and Italian restaurants started to arrive with such incredible flavours and ingredients. I remember going with mum and taking a large saucepan to the Chinese takeaway to collect fried rice and dim sims in the early ’70s. It was such a treat. Chow mein entered the

HOME COOKING CHRISTINE PERKIN menu at home along with the delicious apricot chicken, spaghetti bolognaise (still is) and fondues. The fondues were a must for any dinner party, sweet or savoury, and that is still relevant today. For more recipes, take a look at www.seniorsnews. com.au.

BRIE FONDUE WITH THYME

Serves 8 This is a rehash of the ’70s fondue with today’s ingredients.

The fresh herbs and wine in this fondue add a decadency that masks how simple it is to prepare. You can also add in luxurious ingredients like fresh crayfish, crabmeat, sautéed mushrooms, or spinach. Crisp tart apple slices are good for dipping; you can also use carrot sticks, roasted potato wedges or bread cubes.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp butter 1 large shallot, finely diced (about 1⁄4 cup) or white onion 1 ⁄2 cup white wine 500g brie, rind removed and cut into 1-inch pieces 11⁄2 tbsp cornflour 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme Salt and pepper

4 medium Fuji apples cored and cut into 1-inch slices (about four cups)

METHOD

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about three minutes. Add the wine and quarter cup of water, and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, toss the brie with the cornflour to coat and then whisk into the wine until the cheese completely melts, about two minutes. Stir in the thyme. Season then transfer to a fondue pot, set out skewers, and let guests serve themselves by dipping the apple slices or bread into the fondue.

Peace, love... and lava lamps WHAT screams the ’70s more than flares, tube tops, tie-dying, tang, beaded necklaces, disco balls, platform shoes, clogs, cassette tapes, pet rocks, Etch A Sketch and talking on a phone with a cord? Each decade has its own colour palette and the ’70s was totally about chocolate brown, avocado green and burnt orange. Many homes got groovy with a wall hanging of an owl or some kind of animal print and, possibly, a macrame potted plant hanger. One of the earliest recorded uses of macrame-style knots as

BE THRIFTY AND THRIVE NICKY NORMAN decoration appeared in the carvings of the Babylonians and Assyrians. Fringe-like plaiting and braiding adorned the costumes of the time. Macrame travelled from North Africa to Spain, France and then on to other European countries. Many Australians were into macrame in the ’70s and the creative flow of that era.

GROOVY: Use your creativity to make a macrame pot plant hanger.

Materials used in macrame include cords made of cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather and yarn. Cords are identified by construction, such as a three-ply cord, made of three lengths of fibre

twisted together. For larger decorative pieces, such as wall hangings or window coverings, a work of macrame might be started out on a wooden or metal dowel, allowing a spread of dozens of cords that are easy to manipulate. If you would like to get mellow with macrame and go back in time some 40 years, check out the free patterns and tutoring videos available online: free-macramepatterns.com/ and youtube.com/user/ macrameschool. For a modern spin on macrame creations, visit modernmacrame.com.

WILDLIFE WARRIOR: Bangalow Koalas president Linda Sparrow, cares for the trees that will go in the ground along the planned wildlife corridor. PHOTO: YVONNE GARDINER

Wildlife corridor has community support MEMBERS of the group Bangalow Koalas saw the need for an unbroken wildlife corridor to protect vulnerable animals, and in a short time have achieved as much. The group of about 60 volunteers started in April 2016, with the main goal of creating a wildlife corridor that connects existing sections of koala habitat and food trees on the western side of Bangalow heading towards Lismore. This corridor would encourage koalas out of urban areas, away from the threats of dog attacks and car strikes. At Bangalow Koalas’ biggest planting so far, at the end of March, 1400 trees will be put in the ground – mainly tallowwood, forest red gum and swamp mahogany. Byron Shire Council funding will assist this project. Group president Linda Sparrow said the corridor crossed six properties, all privately owned. “The first property is ticked off – he’s got enough trees,” she said. “The second property where we’re planting 1400 trees is linked to that.” Bangalow Koalas has a stall at the farmers’ markets on the fourth Saturday of each month to raise funds and awareness.

Linda also works with Friends of the Koala in Lismore, and has completed a koala rescue and handling workshop with that group. “Our thing is all about educating, involving and inspiring the community,” she said. “People are now talking about the koala corridor, driving by and having a look. “We’ve got the community behind us. It’s inspiring. “The landowners are really enthusiastic. “The pre-school is wanting to get involved, and I’ve got businesses wanting to help out. “Each tree we plant is helping to save a koala.” Expertise is at hand, with ecologists and scientists joining Bangalow Koalas. “We’ve already got a lot of properties with koala trees. It’s just a matter of connecting them,” Linda said. “I feel quite confident we can get this done.” Linda would particularly welcome to the group anyone experienced in writing grant proposals. “Our goals for 2018 are to continue with fundraising and grant applications to help us create our wildlife corridor,” she said. For more details go to: bangalowkoalas.com.au.

Event Cinemas Seniors Ticket Giveaway

Thanks to the Event Cinemas’ Cinebuzz for Seniors club, we are giving away double passes for seniors to see any movie at their local BCC or Event Cinemas! To be in the running, simply visit seniorsnews.com.au/competitions to enter online. Good luck! PLUS, Why not join Cinebuzz for Seniors? It’s free to join and members get $9* standard movie tickets at BCC and Event Cinemas, plus more great benefits. Join now at cinebuzz.com.au

Visit seniorsnews.com.au/competitionterms for full competition terms and conditions. Promoter is ARM Specialist Media Pty Ltd of 2 Newspaper Place, Maroochydore Qld 4558. Promotional period 05/02/18-05/03/18. Competition drawn 11am 12/03/18 at Cnr Mayne Rd and Campbell St, Bowen Hills, Qld 4006. Winners announced in Seniors April Editions 2017. Total prize value $200.00 (including GST). Entry is open to all permanent residents of Queensland, residing in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Toowoomba Seniors distribution areas. and NSW regions Northern NSW, Coffs and Clarence and Central Coast. NSW Permit number NSW/LTPS/18/21522.

Wellbeing + Travel + living + Money

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22 Seniors Northern NSW

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Reviews The Whole Bright Year IN THE summer of 1976 it’s picking season on an Australian stone-fruit orchard run by Celia, a hard-working woman in her early 40s. Years ago, when her husband was killed as a bystander in an armed robbery, Celia left the city and brought her newborn daughter Zoe to this farm for a secure life. Now 16, Zoe is a passionate, intelligent girl chafing against her mother’s protectiveness, yearning to find intensity and a bit of danger. Barging into this world as itinerant fruit-pickers come a desperate brother and sister from Sydney.

The hard-bitten Sheena has kidnapped her wild, ebullient 18-year-old brother Kieran and dragged him out west, away from trouble in the city. Kieran and Zoe are drawn to each other the instant they meet, sparking excitement, worry, lust, trouble...

How do we protect people we love? How do we bear watching them go out into the perilous world with no guarantee of safety or happiness? What bargains do people make with darkness in order to survive? From the creator of Offspring and author of Useful, The Whole Bright Year is a gripping, wry and tender novel about how holding on too tightly can cost us what we love. Debra Oswald’s The Whole Bright Year is in bookshops. Published by Penguin. RRP $32.99.

White Gum Creek

A ROMANTIC and uplifting tale about two people haunted by their pasts, the story of White Gum Creek plays out against an authentically vivid rural backdrop. Nick Langtree has lived reclusively on his farm, Winters Hill, ever since the tragic death of his wife. Whenever Nick comes into the Gumnut Bakery, Natasha Duroz tries to engage him in conversation when she serves him. There’s

something about him that intrigues Tash, but she’s not sure if it’s because she feels sorry for him or there’s something more. At last encouraged by the warmth of a few old and new friends, Nick gradually begins to re-engage with the outside world. Then, suddenly, some minor vandalism on his farm escalates and odd things begin to happen on Winters Hill. Is someone out to hurt Nick or have his years of solitude been

playing tricks on his mind? This entrancing novel is about overcoming heartache and loss through the power of friendship and love. Published by Allen & Unwin, available in bookshops. RRP $29.99.

Learn Lawn Bowls SOMETIMES we all feel lonely. Playing sport can be a very good way to escape loneliness to some extent and lawn bowls is an excellent sport to interrelate with people. This coaching manual introduces the new bowler to the wonderful game of lawn

bowls. Pat O’Brien played competitive bowls for more than 50 years. His highest achievements included representing Zimbabwe at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and at World Bowls and other international comps. RRP $19.95. www.zeuspublications.com.

Welcome our new citizens Yvonne Gardiner

SETTLING into a new country is rarely an easy experience. Friends and family have been left behind, and it can take time to find new employment, accommodation and social ties. Despite the drawbacks and sacrifices, millions of migrants have blessed our nation with their talents and commitment. Elenita Ribas Goncalves followed her daughter, Vanessa Schneider, to Australia six years ago, initially on a tourist visa. While missing her family and friends and the social life she had in Brazil, she enjoys the company of her family here, including two grandsons. Elenita, retired and aged 65, left a “beautiful life” in Brazil but well appreciates the benefits that Australia offers, like security, health care and education, and the fact that “everything’s clean”. “I think Australia is like a mother for its children, because it’s a good country,” she said. “And the people are lovely. Very friendly and very nice people. “My days are full with

my grandsons, aged 10 and three.” Elenita is the former head of a chemistry school and lecturer at university. She sees a government here that cares for people in need, in contrast to the many homeless people on the streets in Brazil. “The political situation in Brazil is very bad – there’s corruption and it’s not safe,” she said. Elenita is improving her English skills at TAFE classes. Learning English was the reason her daughter Vanessa first came to Australia. “My husband wanted to learn a bit of English so he came as a student,” Vanessa said. “Three months later, my mum came over to visit. “At first, it was very stressful for her. She thought she could speak English well but struggled to understand Australian English.” Like her mum, Vanessa brought professional qualifications to her chosen country. She graduated 18 years ago as a dentist and had her own practice in Brazil. Securing a job as a dentist in Australia

TRUE PRIDE: New Australian citizen Elenita Ribas Goncalves, pictured with her daughter Vanessa Schneider, loves the people and lifestyle. PHOTO: YVONNE GARDINER

required years of study. Vanessa, now settled with her family at Tweed Heads, teaches dentistry at Griffith University and works in private practice. As tough as it was, she has no regrets about coming to Australia. “We love that if you want to be something here, you can be,” she said. Rob Allen, of Currumbin, epitomises the young migrant who seizes the opportunities that Australia offers, and

makes the most of them. He’s a longtime resident who first worked as an engineer. “I immigrated to Sydney in 1981 from Birmingham, UK, and had 13 years there, then I came up to the Gold Coast,” he said. “When I came to Australia on a holiday for a couple of months, I got a sense of Australia being a place of opportunity. “People were judged not on their parents, what position they held, who you knew, what you had...

“I liked that opportunity as a basis for building a life. “Tall poppies are knocked down. I enjoy the idea of Australia being equal for those who want to give it go. “I now feel a strong desire to carry Australian citizenship.” Flying his own plane, Rob likes to travel to sporting events and to visit the spectacular outback. He retired early at 53, after achieving success

as chief executive officer of a window manufacturing company. His wife and five children are all Australians, so he made a solo trip to pick up his citizenship papers. Rob, at the age of 63, officially became a citizen on January 26, as did Brazilian-born Elenita. “A couple of times before I’ve started the (citizenship) process but failed to finish it. I was busy,” he said. “I really feel I should be an Australian citizen and acknowledge the great country we’re in.” Asked if opportunities he had still exist in Australia for migrants who arrive today, Rob says “they differ as we are even more diverse as a country and, as information and then markets have become so much easier to access globally, we are less constrained by our borders”. “That means greater opportunity for us but more competition. For this reason, we must look forward to plan change to government and tax structures to maintain competitiveness for our next generations.”


Puzzles

Monday, February 19, 2018 seniorsnews.com.au

G E N E R A L K N O W L E D G E

1

2

3

4

6

ACROSS 6 What chewy sweet is made from sugar or honey, nuts, and egg white? (6) 7 What sleeveless jerkin was worn by a knight over his armour? (6) 10 What creatures outnumber all others in the animal world? (7) 11 What dish consists of pieces of meat, fish, vegetables etc, grilled on a skewer? (5) 12 An orchestra tunes to the note A played by which instrument? (4) 13 Which town in Spain is the centre of the sherrymaking industry? (5) 16 What are short repeated phrases in jazz or pop music? (5) 17 Who, with Meg, Jo and Amy, make up the March sisters in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women? (4) 20 What is the darkest part of a shadow? (5) 21 What pungent gas is widely used in refrigeration? (7) 22 In what units of weight is gold quoted and sold? (6) 23 Leonardo da Vinci wrote most of his notebooks in what type of script? (6)

5

7

8

9 10

11

12

13 14

15

16

17

18 20

19 21

22

23

SUDOKU

Fill the grid so every column, every row and 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9.

Northern NSW

QUICK CROSSWORD 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 9

10

DOWN 1 Who was the first singer to sell one million copies of a record? (6,6) 2 What is a slang name for a detective in the US? (7) 3 What carried thing is a half- hunter? (5) 4 What durable brownish- yellow cotton fabric was originally made in China? (7) 5 What lively ballroom dance comes from Brazil? (5) 8 Which singer teamed up with Chris Stein to form a hugely successful 70s-80s band with hits including Heart of Glass? (7,5) 9 Which British Isles island has its own currency, stamps, native tongue and the world’s oldest continuous parliament? (4,2,3) 14 What is a Salvation Army meeting hall? (7) 15 Who did Derek Fowlds play in TV’s Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister? (7) 18 What dark wood is used for bagpipes? (5) 19 “Electronic mail” is abbreviated to what? (5)

ALPHAGRAMS

Insert the missing letters to make ten words — five reading across the grid and five reading down.

Solve the anagrams. Each solution is a one-word anagram of the letters beside it, and the five solutions are sequential. For example, if the fiveletter solution starts with J, the six-letter solution starts with K, and so on.

14

15

17

21

GK CROSSWORD

SUDOKU C U B I C

5x5

S L A T S

A R E N A

P E T E R

E S S A Y

Across: 1. Part 3. Amicable 9. Dallied 10. Oldie 11. Obsolescence 13. Karate 15. Bolshy 17. Reservations 20. Khaki 21. Keeping 22. Antipode 23. Omit. Down: 1. Paddocks 2. Rules 4. Modest 5. Closemouthed 6. Bedecks 7. Ewes 8. Will-o’-the-wisp 12. Eyesight 14. Reenact 16. Evoked 18. Odium 19. Skua.

How many words of four letters or more can you make? Each letter must be used only once and all words must contain the centre letter. There is at least one nine-letter word. No words starting with a capital are allowed, no plurals ending in s unless the word is also a verb. TODAY: Good 19 Very Good 27 Excellent 34+

QUICK CROSSWORD

ALPHAGRAMS: KNEAD, LANCED, MOTHERS, NEPOTISM, OPERATORS.

(But a gift card’s a close second)

R

Across: 6 Nougat, 7 Tabard, 10 Insects, 11 Kebab, 12 Oboe, 13 Jerez, 16 Riffs, 17 Beth, 20 Umbra, 21 Ammonia, 22 Ounces, 23 Mirror. Down: 1 Enrico Caruso, 2 Gumshoe, 3 Watch, 4 Nankeen, 5 Samba, 8 Deborah Harry, 9 Isle of Man, 14 Citadel, 15 Bernard, 18 Ebony, 19 Email.

Down 1. Small fields (8) 2. Regulations (5) 4. Unassuming (6) 5. Tight-lipped (12) 6. Decorates (7) 7. Sheep (4) 8. Someone or something elusive (4-1-3-4) 12. Vision (8) 14. Reconstruct an event (7) 16. Brought to mind (6) 18. State of disgrace (5) 19. Large seabird (4)

WORD GO ROUND

THE BEST GIFT IS LOVE, ACTUALLY

C

A

WORD GO ROUND

H F

N

NAKED CANDLE THERMOS PIMENTOS POOR RATES

eight feign felting feting fight filing flight fling gelt genii gent gift gilt glen glint hefting hieing hinge ignite ingle legit length lifting light lighten lignite ling neigh nigh night nightie NIGHTLIFE thegn thing tiling ting tinge tingle

23

Across 1. Component (4) 3. Friendly (8) 9. Wasted time (7) 10. Senior citizen (colloq) (5) 11. Process of becoming out of date (12) 13. Martial art (6) 15. Obstreperous (6) 17. Doubts (12) 20. Military fabric (5) 21. Retaining (7) 22. Direct opposite (8) 23. Leave out (4)

515

T

SOLUTIONS

22

G

S

Note: more than one solution may be possible.

20

I I

B

18

19

N E

R

T

16

L T

P

L 12

13

3/2

5x5

C 11

Seniors 23

Event Cinemas Movie Gift Card Winner Announcement Congratulations to our winners: Rosalind Bird Heather Inwood

Buy yours today at the box office or at eventcinemas.com.au

Wellbeing + Travel + living + Money

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24 Seniors Northern NSW

seniorsnews.com.au Monday, February 19, 2018

Your rights. Your voice. Seniors Rights Service provides free and confidential legal advice, aged care advocacy and community education. Our aged care advocates • Provide information about rights and responsibilities • Listen to your concerns • Help resolve problems or complaints with your aged care service providers • Refer to other agencies where necessary

Legal | Advocacy | Education Free and confidential

1800 424 079

www.seniors rights service.org.au

ABN 98 052 960862

Seniors Rights Service Inc. ABN 98 052 960 862

Northern NSW, February 2018  
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