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Nature comes to life in local exhibition

Maggie Brockie with one of her animal pieces.Maggie Brockie with one of her animal pieces.MAGGIE Brockie’s talent might have come as a surprise to her 22 years ago when she first started work in the studio.

“I raised a family before I started playing around with clay,” the 67-year-old said.

The Stanthorpe-based sculptor will share the gallery space with Tenterfield Aboriginal painter Rod McIntosh for the Inverell Art Gallery Common Ground exhibition, opening Friday evening.

Tasmanian born, the artist said she was searching for warmer weather, but found a familiar four seasons, and inspiration in the Granite Belt.

Her work is life-like and stylised representations of birds and animals, some freestanding, others embedded in a natural setting like a piece of bark or human shoulder.

“Seeing the granite forms, and then just because I do native animals and birds, it was just a natural progression to put them into the rock forms, or the little boulder forms,” she said.

She spent years keeping artist friends company, but even after they invited her to give it a try, she refused, until one day, it was the right time.

“I’ve reared quite a few native animals, so I had that close proximity to animals and birds, and at one point a friend of mine suggested I have a go with some clay and I thought, ‘Yeah, right-o, I’m ready’,” she said.

“And after about three days, he was trying to tell me what to do and I said ‘No, I know what I want to do,” and laughed.

Maggie said her first piece of significance was a joey in a pouch.

“Because I has hand-rearing joeys and looking at them all the time,” she said.

She was advised stick to kangaroos to get a handle on the medium and her skill.

“So you could say I did my apprenticeship on kangaroos and joeys, and then one day I tried to make a possum, and it was easy,” Maggie said with a chuckle.

Her proportions, from frilled lizards, to platypus, pythons to humans, are all accurate and lifelike.

“I think I’m just a three-dimensional person, you know so I know a joey’s about that big,” she said, holding up her hands.

“I talk with my hands a lot, so it makes sense that I would work in a medium like clay in a 3-D way.”

Common Ground opens on Friday, February 19 with an opening at 5.30pm at the Inverell Art gallery. The show runs until April 7 during gallery hours.

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Australian family life clearly under attack

VULNERABLE: Jenna Price says proposed tax and childcare cuts are a threat to the Australian family way of life.If companies and corporations and businesses, big and small, could vote in elections, I would understand the government’s desire to pander to them. If it was only the wealthy who voted, I could understand the government’s desire to appease the rich.

But what I now fail to understand is this: why don’t politicians pander to the ordinary people who vote for them in quite the same way they appease business, big and small; and the rich. Why is their approval so important to the government?

It’s become increasingly apparent that this particular government, first under Abbott and now under Turnbull, is continuing to attack Australian family life. All of us: straight, gay, well, sick, able-bodied or those with disabilities, with or without kids; born here or elsewhere.

This antagonism to all of us was clearly flagged in 2014, when failed treasurer Joe Hockey attempted to push through parliament $8.5 billion in cuts, including a limit of Family Tax Benefit Part B to families when their youngest child turns six. I’m guessing many partners of MPs are stay-at-home parents, so nice for them.

But last week, many of those attempted cuts reappeared and were passed straight through the House of Representatives.Who does that affect? Yep, about one and a half million families will lose their Family Tax Benefit Part A supplements, which is a cut of more than $700 per child every year. And 1.3 million families will lose their Family Tax Benefits, part B supplements, a cut of more than $350 per family every year. That, combined with the abolition of the School Kids Bonus, will mean single parents with two children in high school will lose nearly $5000 a year.

The good news is that, alongside the grasping nature of the ACCI’s prebudget submission, those who represent the rest of us can see what the real problems are.

The Australian Council of Social Services’s CEO Cassandra Goldie says it plainly:“Genuine tax reform is not about raising or lowering tax rates: it should begin by limiting unfair tax breaks and unintended loopholes that mainly benefit people who are on higher incomes and erode the tax base.”

Nick Hopwood, a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney, says it’s very important that we consider the kinds of services which support our most vulnerable. Many of those services, particularly around the area of early intervention for children, have no idea one year to the next whether they will be funded.

In ACOSS’s submission into the family payments structural reform inquiry, Goldie again pleads with those in the Senate to reject the changes to family payments. The submission says the expenditure component of the package, which boosts Part A by $5 a week, doesn’t take effect until July 2018.

It also goes on to point out that there has been no release of an analysis of the impacts of the proposed changes.“It is vital that there is clarity about how different families will be affected, particularly given that vulnerable children and their families will clearly be affected.”

But for me, the most telling yet depressing part of ACOSS’s prebudget submission is about childcare:“The relative generosity at the higher end has increased the overall costs of the (childcare)package, which the government is now seeking to pay for through cuts to family payments.”Yes, reward those families with incomes of more than $340,000 a year. They really need it, don’t they?

– Jenna Price is a Fairfax Media columnistThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.

Wisos over 50s pairs set for May

WISEMAN Park Bowling Club have been forced to cancel next Monday’s popular Over 50s Pairs event with entries taken for the next tournament in late May.

New date: Wiseman Park’s over 50s pairs is set down for May 23.

Wiseman Park greens are recovering after being struck down by ground pearls in turf grass, leaving one greennot back in action until the end of March or early April.

Some greens at other clubs have also been affected by ground pearls but Wiseman Park won’t be impacted during pennant season with two greens still operating.

But they need the third green for the Over 50s Pairs meaning next Monday’s event is off withentries being taken for the May 23 event. Cost is $20 per person, $40 a team which includes lunch. $1700 prize money.

Contact Shane Garvey on 0409 481 006 or sign up at the club. Entries will fill fast.

Garvey expects to have two young players from outside the zone in his Grade 1 side this season. Wisos have also recruited Brian Suckley, with Illawarra Zone 16 round one pennants on March 12.

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Shaving seconds off bests – Local swimmers in good form

Three Glen Innes Redfins swimmers competed at the New England and North West Long Course Area Championships recently in Inverell and recorded personal best times.

Lily Cooke, Peter Marshall and Kyara McIntyre competed against swimmers from Muswellbrook, Wee Waa, Tamworth, Armidale Kootingal, Moree, Narrabri, Werris Creek, and Inverell.

Peter Marshall swam in the 15 year boys division in five events with his best results being a bronze in the 50m Butterfly and 100m Breaststroke both with a personal best time.

Marshall said he was happy with the meet and that he recorded personal best times.

“I had a good day with PB’s in most events,” he said.

Lily Cooke had a full weekend competing in both the Speedo Sprints as well as participating in the Area Championships.

Her eight year old female division was a very large and competitive age group with as many as four heats in each event.

In the Speedo sprints she swam in all four strokes and had PB’s in all four events.

She then swam in area champs and competed in another four events and furthered her morning PBs by 10sec in the 50m Backstroke and 50m Breaststroke.

Kyara McIntyre swam in six events in her large and competitive 12year old Girls age group and whilst not getting any podium finishes scored personal bests across her events.

Miss McIntyre shaved seconds from her previous PB’s in Breaststroke, Freestyle, and Backstroke and was happy with her performance at the meet.

“Wow, all that training has paid off, “she said.

“We have all been training hard in the early mornings and have now seen the results of our efforts.”

Glen Innes Redfins are nearing the end of their season and will be holding there Championships on Sunday March 13.

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Teenager charged over Valentine’s Day robbery

Police allege the 16-year-old robbed a taxi driver just before midnight on Sunday in Kirkwood Street.A 16-YEAR-OLDboy is behind bars on Tuesday morning, accused of two armed hold-ups in the city in as many weeks.

Armidale police have been investigating two robberies in the city after a taxi driver was held-up onSunday night, as well as another armed hold-up of a delivery driver earlier this month.

Following investigations, detectives arrested a 16-year-old at an Armidale home about 3.30pm on Monday.

He was taken to Armidale Police Station and questioned by investigators before he was charged with two counts of robbery whilearmed with an offensive weapon.

Detectives will allege in court the 16-year-old robbed a taxi driver just before midnight on Sunday in Kirkwood Street.

The teenager is accused of ordering a taxi to collecthim in Alexander Street about 11.50pm.

The 51-year-old driver collected the youth before he allegedly threatened the driver with a sharp object and demanded cash.

Police said the driver stopped the taxi,threw his wallet out the window, before the youth allegedly grabbed the wallet and ran off.

The driver suffered minor lacerations to his hands in the incidentand alerted police.

Detectives will also allege in court the 16-year-old was involved in the armed robbery of a delivery driver in Tysoe Crescentin Armidale, on February 2.

The 23-year-old man, who works for a local restaurant, was attempting to deliver a food order in the North Hill streetabout 9.30pm, when he was confronted by two men, both armed with knives.

The offenders allegedlythreatened the employee and demanded money from him before hehanded over a small quantity of cash as well as the food delivery.

The 16-year-old was refused bail by police and will appear in a children’s court later on Tuesday.

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Court orders more work

Anthony Hayden will do community work after pleading guilty in court.A MORTLAKE district man with a history of driving offencesand mental health issues has been ordered to completemore community work at the Ellerslie cemetery.

Anthony Henry Heyden, 56, of Reichmans Lane, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to assaulting police, offensive behaviour, making a threat to kill, causing criminal damage, failing to answer bail and two counts of driving while disqualified.

He was convicted, fined $800 and ordered to complete 120 hours of community work.

Magistrate Ann McGarvie said it would be a long time before Heydencould get his licence back due to his past offending. She said afine and community work were appropriate penalties.

Police told the court that officers stopped Heydenwas pulled over in Webster Road in October.

He was driving while his licence was cancelled.

His vehicle was also impounded,which attracted fees of $1400.

Heydenabused police and asked themto draw their guns before he was subdued with a dose of capsicum spray.

In May last year he threatened a doctor.

During December police and a witness again sawHeydendriving in Mortlake while banned.

He damaged a police cell after being arrested and also failed to appear in court.

Heydenis serving a prison term but is due for release soon.

Defence counsel Don Norris said his client had suffered from mental health issues for many years but he was treatment resistant.

He said Heyden’scondition was mostly passive.

Mr Norris said Heyden could not receive treatment in the Thomas Embling mental health facility during his two months in custodybecause he did not identify as a person who needed treatment.

Heyden has been a regular in court during the past few years for driving offences which often triggeroutbursts when police question him.

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Auction to support rescue chopper

ON Friday, thousands of dollars worth of goodies will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Westpac Helicopter as part of the annual Pacific National Chopper Cup Charity race weekend.

For $100 attendees can expect a five course degustation meal designed by Relish Catering to complement the Allegiance Wines range with each course matched perfectly to its accompanying wine.

Items for auction include four tickets to the Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney on August 20 including accommodation, tickets for two people to The Pointer Sisters show at Jupiter’s Casino including two nights accommodation at Jupiter’s, breakfast and a three-course preshow dinner.

Another prize is a ‘Dinner on the Deck’ for 10 people at the Moree racecourse with catering and table service pro – vided by the club.

You could also win the ‘Ultimate Weekend Golfing’ package, with accommodation, at Pacific Bay Novotel Resort and 18 holes of golf with cart at Bonville Golf Resort.

To book, follow the links on the club’s website 老域名moreeraceclub老域名备案老域名.

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LET author Hugh Mackay help you decide.

Celebrated social researcher and author Hugh Mackay will speak in Bowral next month. Photo FDC

LET author Hugh Mackay help you decide.

Mr Mackay, a social researcher and author of 16 books will present a free 40 minute session at St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in the Fr Glynn Centre on Wednesday, March 9 commencing at 7pm.

His presentation will draw on themes from his previous two books and examine the difference between happiness and meaningfulness as sources of life’s satisfactions.

Mr Mackay will also explore the role of community in our lives and how they matter in today’s society.

With a 60 year career in social research, Mr Mackay will be sure to capture the audience’s attention.

He is currently a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre and holds two honourary professorships.

Mr Mackay has also been Deputy Chairman of the Australia Council, Chairman of Trustees of Sydney Grammar School and the inaugural Chairman of the ACT Government’s Community Inclusion Board.

He was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia last year.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase his books after the presentation.

Email [email protected] catholic.edu备案老域名 to book a place.

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Scholarship opportunity for Indigenous students

Brian Cosgrove contributes to Indigenous scholarships for Southern Highlands students studying at the University of Wollongong. Photo supplied

Liz Williams (left) and Brain Cosgrove (right) contributes to Indigenous scholarships for Southern Highlands students studying at the University of Wollongong. Photos supplied

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander people have been encouraged to pursue their educational aspirations.

Indigenous leader Joanne Albany said the scholarship was intended to put students on the path to a rewarding career.

“I’d like to see more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from this area go to university and get great employment at the end of it,” Ms Albany said.

“It’s about their own sense of achievement and their own sense of contributing,”

“The good thing about this scholarship is it’s flexible as long as you’re passing all of your subjects.”

Ms Albany also said the University of Wollongong was chosen for its pathway programs and support in terms of study skills and time management.

The aim of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance annually to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons to build knowledge and skills through an undergraduate degree at the University of Wollongong.

The two scholarships are sponsored by the Ted Kennedy Fund of the Southern Highlands Foundation, Elizabeth Williams and Brian Cosgrove.

Applicants will be from the Southern Highlands and intend to study full-time or part-time at the University of Wollongong in 2016.

For more information or to apply, visit 老域名uow.edu备案老域名/ about/scholarships/ug/listing/UOW188856.html

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Pius-X Moree recalls apology

EIGHT years on from Kevin Rudd’s official apology in Parliament on February 13, 2008, Pius-X Aboriginal Corporation held a day of acknowledgment and celebration on Friday.

Pius-X Corporation councillor, Annabelle Simpson, welcomed more than 50 people to the celebration.

Speaking at the event, she mentioned a conversation with a work colleague about indigenous and non-indigenous people being different.

“I went and reflected on this. There is a difference, but we are the same. We bleed the same, we all cry wet tears, we all love our families and want the best for our families,” she said.

“That’s what brings us to Apology Day, the indiscretions and the terrible things that went on in the past for the Aboriginal people.”

Indigenous elder, Zona Moore, delivered the Welcome to Country.

“We acknowledge today, reflect on what it means and hope that the atrocities of the past don’t continue into the future,” she said.

“That we all come together in reconciliation and share the future.”

Lloyd Munro spoke about growing up in Moree.

He was born in a separate section of the hospital, went to Kiah Preschool then an indigenous school on the mission were they had their own pool, sports oval, community hall and church. He discussed his time at high school where he experienced racism for the first time.

“I congratulate Mr Rudd and the apology; he brought the community together and the nation together,” he said.

Students Madison Dahlstrom and Shirley-May Swan from Moree Secondary College were asked to speak about Apology Day and what it meant to them. Madison said that Apology Day was a sacred moment in indigenous history and was the first step to reconciliation.

“There is a great example of reconciliation in Moree,” she said.

Shirley-May said the apology had not fully made amends but it was a step towards reconciliation.

Moree Secondary College student assistance co-ordinator (SAC), Peter Franklin, said the Moree community should be proud of itself, for setting an example that other communities should follow.

“When Mr Rudd made his speech he had the weight of history on his shoulders, many people didn’t support him,” he said.

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