Archives - February, 2019



13 Feb 19

SCRIPTURE material endorsed by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney and taught to NSW public school children as young as fiveincludesdissecting an animal, encouraging children to have secrets with adults,linking a man’s blindness to hisparents’ sinsand reminding scripture teachers not to seechildren with disabilities as “unintelligent”.
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There are calls for NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes to immediately suspend scripture in schools, and release a long-awaited NSW review of special religious education (SRE), after a Queensland Department of Education review raised serious concerns about Anglican “Connect” scripture content used in both states, including lessons consistent with “possible grooming behaviour” and advice to scripture teachers about punishing children.

Read the reviewhereThe calls come after confirmation Mr Stokes has no power over the content of scripture lessons under the Education Act, and controversial changes to NSW public school enrolment forms in 2015 removing ethics classes as an option, and leaving scripture as the default position in some state primary schools.

The Queensland review in August recommended removing ananimal sacrifice lesson for children aged 10-12, which suggestedscripture teachers “bring in a dead animal to dissect”. The review found other lessons had the potential to be upsetting, inappropriate or likely to affect the social and emotional wellbeing of children, including a lesson for children aged 7-9 about a man born blind, which asked:“Was it a punishment from God because his parents or someone else had done something wrong?”

Dead animal dissection and the scripture class Questions: Education Minister Rob Stokes. There are calls for him to suspend scripture in state schools after confirmation he has no power over the content of scripture lessons.

Suspension: Greens Justice MP David Shoebridge says the NSW Government is breaching the trust of parents by failing to have control over what is taught in scripture classes.

Calls: Fairness in Religions in Schools spokesman Darrin Morgan says the Queensland Department of Education review has shown problems in scripture that the NSW Government refuses to make public.

TweetFacebookYou know something is wrong in this state when even Queensland is more proactive in releasing information.

NSW Greens Justice spokesman and barrister David ShoebridgeOn January 16 the department rejected a FIRIS freedom of information requestfor the $300,000 NSW review, which has been with the NSW Government for 12 months, on public interest grounds.

While releasing the review would “promote open discussion and informed debate” on special religious education in state schools, the NSW Government was still considering its response and releasing it would have “a negative impact on the department’s functions”, the department said.

The Queensland review found that while the “vast majority” of Connect material aligned with Department of Education guidelines, it raised concerns about parental consent, the lack of data on scripture numbers and the lack of legislation to allow “centralised regulation” of scripture content.

Greens Justice MP David Shoebridge called on new Education Minister Rob Stokes to immediately suspend scripture in schools, release the NSW review and allow debate on whether scripture legislation reflectedcommunity views about state education in 2017.

“You know something is wrong in this state when even Queensland is more proactive in releasing information,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“Parents put an awful lot of trust in schools when they leave their children at the school gate, and that trust is breached by a system that makes attendance at unsupervised and unchecked scripture classes the default position.”

Lessons for children about keeping secrets with adults and having “special friendships” with them were particularly concerning because “We know from the Royal Commission that encouraging ‘special friendships’and secrets with adults endangers children and plays into the hands of predators”, Mr Shoebridge said.

“Keeping children safe must be the number one priority in our schools, not pandering to extreme religious views.”

A spokesman for former Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the NSW review of SRE was “currently being considered by government”.

A spokesman for Mr Stokes, who was sworn in as minister on Monday afternoon, did not respond to questions. The Anglican Diocese of Sydney did not respond to questions.

In a statement on Monday Youthworks said all “inconsistent” lesson material identified in the Queensland review had been amended to the standard required by Queensland Department of Education.

“The changes required by Education Queensland have also been applied to our material sold in NSW, and our teachers are being trained to use the new material accordingly,” the statement said.

Youthworks did not respond to a question about whether a scripture teacher had ever dissected a dead animal during a lesson at a NSW primary school.

The NSW Department of Education said it was the responsibility of special religious education approved providers to authorise scripture material, provide an annual assurance to the department that authorised teachers were only using authorised material, to make lesson content accessible on a website and provide information about lessons when requested by parents or principals.

“The department takes its duty of care to students seriously. If an allegation is made against a person providing SRE in a government school, it will be investigated with reasonable action taken to protect students from foreseeable risk of harm,” it said.

“Parents/caregivers seeking information about lesson content for their child’s SRE class, or prospective SRE class, should contact the relevant provider of SRE.

“The NSW Department of Education does not keep a central database of what materials are being used at schools by approved providers.”

This article was first published on the Newcastle Herald


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13 Feb 19

The new parliamentary secretary for the Hunter, Catherine Cusack, is a friend and factional ally of Premier Gladys Berejiklian. PICTURE: Darren PatemanBY appointing Catherine Cusackas her government’s parliamentary secretary for the Hunter, new Premier Gladys Berejiklian has signalled she wants an experienced–and trustworthy –set of hands in the region.
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But she’s also handed the job to someone eager to get to work after years in the political cold.

In 2003when she entered the NSW Parliament MsCusack was one of a number of energeticnew faces in John Brogden’sopposition.

The election itself was a disappointment –the Liberal Party gained no net seats from Bob Carr’s Labor government, a result which saw them remain in opposition for two more terms.

But, among the new MPs were a core group who would go on to playkey roles in the O’Farrell, Baird and now Berejiklian governments.

On the right wasAnthony Roberts, the newly sworn in Planning Minister.

On the left was Transport Minister Andrew Constance, speaker Shelly Hancock and, most notably, MsBerejiklian herself.

In the upper house, Ms Cusack was another prominent Wet. Mr Brogden appointed her to his shadow frontbenchbefore she was even sworn into parliament, and she quickly made a name for herself taking on the Carr government over scandals at the Kariong Juvenile Justice Centre.

Unlike other high profile members of the class of 2003, though, she’s never been a minister.An early supporter of gay marriage who clashed with leading conservative figures like Tony Abbott, she has been willing to criticise her own government in the past; in 2011 when Barry O’Farrell slashed the state’s solar bonus scheme she accused him of causing “deliberate and disproportionate harm”.

In short, she has a reputation for being an outspoken moderate voice within the Liberal Party, and its possible that hasn’t helped her cause.

But there’s a bit more to it than that.

As shadow minister for the environment and climate change (when that was still a thing governments had to pretend to care about) she had beenexpected to take up that position when the Coalition returned to government in 2011.

However she was unexpectedly dumpedfor Robyn Parkerand has remained in the cold since.

The main theory for why is that Ms Cusack tried to stand up to the Shooter and Fishers Party over allowing hunting in National Parks. Mr O’Farrell needed their support on the cross bench, and so it goes that Ms Cusack was collateral damage.

In any case, five years later she finds herself not in cabinet but in the Hunter. It’s an interesting move. Ms Berejiklian and Ms Cusack are factional allies, and in her inaugural speech Ms Cusack called MsBerejiklian an “outstanding woman” who she counted as a friend.

Why would the Premier need a friend and factional head kicker up here?

Well, it’s just a theory, but another factional chieftain from the right of the party has recently returned to the fold after a couple of years in exile.

Mike Gallacher –who, remember, once held huge influence over the Liberal Party in the Hunterand still has plenty of friends here –returned to the partyroom uponMike Baird’s resignation, and from all accounts plans to stay there.

It’s not so outlandish to think the new Premier might want her ownmoderate influence to act as a counterbalance.


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13 Feb 19

Risky business: “I’d rather have a go and fail than live with regret,” says ItsFound managing director Luke Cubis. Picture: Penelope Green. A TECH start-up founded by three Hunter mates is fast gaining traction withcorporates and looking to scale rapidly and go global.
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ItsFound is a software solution that allows large organisations to manage their until now largely ad hoc lost property departments.

Itis being trialled by the Newcastle Knights and Sydney Airport and its growing client list includesGPTand hotel chains Novotel, Rydges andCrowne Plaza.

The start-up was launchedin June 2015 by Lake Macquarie councillor and former teacherLuke Cubis and SydneysidersMarko Njabro and Robyn-Anne Miosge, who met in their Newcastle school days.

MrCubis said Ms Miosge’s background in hotels led her to note the lack of an innovative lost property platform.

“There are cloud-based management systems for everything from accounting to design but there was very little on the market for lost property, just outdated systems and inflexible software,” he said.

The trioscratched together funding and approached corporates including Westfield to tap the market.

“Basically the 100 or so companies we spoke to had nothing better than an Excel spreadsheet to track lost property,” he said.

The company developed its cloud-basedplatform before launching it in May 2016, and is continuing to refine aspects of it, including a three-tier pricing structures which aids corporates, small business and individuals.

A business to business solution, ItsFound allows corporate users to automate their lost property departments, reduceunclaimed items and boost customer satisfaction.It also has a database for all general public lost property and an auction facility which allows clients to sell off unclaimed property and either use the revenue or donate to charity.

ItsFound has just expanded into New Zealand and Mr Cubis, a former primary school teacher, said the company is now poised to do a capital raise to drive fast growth.

“We want to go global and sacrifice equity early to do that because the concept is highly scalable,” he said.

See itsfound苏州夜总会招聘.au.


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13 Feb 19

BRAVE: Stretcher bearers of the 9th Field Ambulance Brigade. Often under shell fire, they would go out to bring in wounded men. Photo: The Digger’s View by Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter enlistment and death details for January 29 to February 4, 1917.
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RIGOURS OF WINTERMr Philip Gibbs, the war correspondent, states that the hardest frost of the war exists at present in France and Flanders. The front consists of mud and quagmires, in which the men have been floundering for months in a half-frozen condition, with great chunks of ice in the shell craters. The cold has been so intense as to freeze the radiators of motor-cars, and staff officers are frequently held up on lonely roads remote from a telephone, their cars having side-slipped into snowdrifts. As a result marching men have for once bad the laugh of the motorists. While exalted staff officers, wrapped up like mummies, were as chilled as New Zealand mutton, the marching battalions were jolly in their shaggy coats. The men are sticking the cold as they stuck the wet. Those suffering from a touch of trench fever held on to their posts until they were sent back to their billets.

RECRUITING MEETINGSSenator Watson, and Mr M. Charlton, MHR, assisted by the recruiting staff and other speakers, held successful recruiting meetings at Swansea and Catherine Hill Bay on Saturday. A meeting was also to have been held at Belmont at 4pm, but owing to the unsuitableness of the hour, none of the residents put in an appearance. At Swansea the attendance numbered about 100, and the meeting was addressed by Senator Watson, Mr Charlton, Mr. Everton, and Staff-sergeant Major Clarke, of the recruiting staff. The meeting was enthusiastic throughout, and at the close two men offered for enlistment. At Catherine Hill Bay the prospects of a meeting being held were not too bright, owing to the miners holding their usual meeting and a picture show being held. However, arrangements were made for the recruiting meeting to be held between the two, and the arrangement answered admirably. As a result of the speakers’ efforts nine recruits came forward.

THE LATE PRIVATE LONERGANMrs A. Lonergan, of Devon-street, Plattsburg, is in receipt of a letter from Lieutenant H. B. Taylor, in which he refers to the death of her son, Private D. Lonergan, who was killed in the trenches near Fleurs, on the 11th November last. The writer states that the good humour of Private Lonergan was the soul of his platoon, which felt his death very keenly, and concludes by saying it was such men as he that had won for the fine name she had in that country. Another letter was received from Private R. Dowson, who mentions that a short time before he was killed Private Lonergan was suffering from a very bad cold, and the doctor wanted him to go into the hospital, but as one’s mates always were ready to “gig” one with being frightened, he said he would show them that he was not frightened. After referring to his death, the writer said he was unable to obtain any of his belongings, and mentions that over his grave a cross was erected, with the inscription, R.I.P., David Lonergan, upon it. Reference was also made to Private Lonergan’s regard for his mother, of whom he would often speak, and the writer asks Mrs. Lonergan to cheer up, for Dave died a good, brave soldier.

SOLDIERS’ LETTERSPrivate D.W. Humphreys and Driver G.W. Stone, writing from ‘Somewhere in England’ to Mr. J. Sperring, of Belmont, say: “You will see by the above address that Dave Humphreys and Bill Stone, who used to work for W. Strudwick, are in England together. We have just come out of hospital – got wounded in France – and we are now waiting to be sent back again. We thought we would just drop you a line to let you all know that we are both alive in the world, and still kicking. We will soon have had two years of it now, and we wish it was all over, so we could return to the little places called Swansea and Belmont. Those were happy days, no doubt, but all the same we have both done our little bit. You can please remember us to all the home folks, and give them our love.”

SHELL SHOCKPrivate T. W. Bedford, writing from France to his father, Mr. John Bedford, of Waratah, says: “Just a few lines to let you know that I returned to duty on the 11th of October, and I have quite recovered from the shell shock. I see by the letters that you were advised about me being wounded. One of Fritz’s shells came “whop” right above my head, on the parapet, and that is what gave me the shell shock (concussion). As I told you before, this happened before the big fight of 19th July, which you speak about in one of your letters; and which I missed being in, owing to the fact that I was in the hospital. At present we are out of the trenches in billets, having a well-earned rest, as we have just came off one of the busiest and roughest parts of the front. But bother talking about the war. I am forgetting to mention that I had a letter from Jimmie Hughes. He wants some Turkish bullets, but I have none. Well, I will have to close this letter now pretty abruptly. As it is, I don’t know whether it will catch the mail or not. The censor has been hurrying us up all day. But the main object in writing is just to let you know I am all right. I never had an opportunity of sending a cable. I would have done, but at the time was shell-shocked. I never thought of it.”

WORD OF NEWCASTLE MENLance-corporal G. F. Coleman, of Cook’s Hill, writes home to his parents: “I am still alive and going strong. The winter is setting in here now, and there is a pond just outside my door frozen up, so you can just imagine how I feel. It has just finished a month of rain, which has interfered with the British and French offensive. On our last stay in the trenches we were up to our waists in mud and water. The fogs made matters worse; we get them nearly every day and night. Those fogs make it awkward to carry on the offensive, because the aeroplanes and balloons cannot observe what the Germans are doing behind their lines, which gives us no targets to shoot at. Of course, I am speaking of the Somme River offensive, where the fiercest battles in the war have been fought. We were to have taken part in a charge early one morning, but owing to our weak condition, after being up to our waists in the mud and water for three days, the charge was cancelled. We only had hard biscuits and “bully” beef to eat, because it was impossible to get anything up to the trenches owing to the fog. In the night we were relieved by another battalion. I had to get up over the parapet and walk across the field of fire. I preferred it to walking through a couple of miles of trench with three feet of mud in it. I succeeded in my task, with bullets and shells flying all around me. Our battalion made a great name for itself at Pozieres. I met Bob Dunn, Wal Smith, L. Wilson, Harold Lahiff, Ned Hunt and a lot more Newcastle lads. They paid a great tribute to George Lucre and Ted Malcolm, whom they said died heroes.

ENLISTMENTSClaude Villiers Armbrister, Kurri Kurri; Percy Villiers Armbrister, Kurri Kurri; Sydney George Arms, Cooks Hill; Frederick Charles Burnett, Homeville; James Robert Burnett, West Maitland; Albert John Collett, Maitland; Charles Hobart Cox, Muswellbrook; Frederick William Dawson, Islington; George Frederick Gibson, Hamilton; Roderick Goodyer, West Maitland; Lewis Grant, Catherine Hill Bay; George Henry Greenwell, West Wallsend; Mark Hancock, West Maitland; Robert Herron, Hamilton; Arthur Kenneth Hill, Cessnock; Harold George Lane, East Maitland; George McCauley, Carrington; William Moses, Newcastle; Henry Robert O’Sullivan, Cooks Hill; Thomas Brown Scobie, West Maitland; Robert Shaw, Tighes Hill; John William Smith, Lambton; James Thompson, Carrington;Edward James Verney, Cooks Hill; Charles Roach Wallace, Edinglassie; Egbert Wilfred Wright, Merewether.

DEATHSPte William Albert Baldwin, Dungog; Pte Robert Donald, Cessnock; Pte Edward Francis Jackson, Catherine Hill Bay; Pte Cyril Andrew Johnson, Dungog; Pte Arthur Kentish, Lambton; Pte Alexander Main, Boolaroo; Pte James Milne, Newcastle; Bdr Frederick Walter Pendleton, East Maitland; Pte David James Quinlan, Newcastle; Pte Edgar Harold Sadler, Horseshoe Bend; Pte George Victor Stewart, Hamilton; Pte Harold John Taylor, Hamilton; 2nd Lieut Arthur Henry Vogan, Newcastle.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. facebook苏州夜总会招聘/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory


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13 Feb 19

Ryan GriffithsNew Western Sydney Wanderers striker Ryan Griffiths has urged fans to watch him back in A-League action before denouncing him as an ageing has-been.
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The 35-year-old has joined the Wanderers until the end of the season “in good nick”, charged with providing the goals that have eluded the grand finalists this spluttering campaign.

Sydney-born Griffiths, the brother of Jets football operations manager Joel, played more than 100 games for Newcastle in the A-League and National Soccer League.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has been in the hunt for another striker since the Kerem Bulut experiment failed and left him low on goalscorers.

A host of high-profile foreigners, including Eduardo, Robbie Keane, Didier Drogba and Dimitar Berbatov, have been linked with a move to the red and black.

But Popovic, severely inhibited by salary-cap restrictions and the rejection of his guest marquee bid for Eduardo, settled for an n with Asian Champions League experience to help guide the club on the continent next month.

And no sooner had news of his arrival from Hong Kong outfit South China leaked, Griffiths was already on the receiving end of criticism.

“Everyone’s bagging me about my age,” he said on Tuesday before his first training session.

“A lot of people do criticise older players, but also a lot of people criticise players when they haven’t seen what they’ve done recently.

“People are quick to jump on anything, and, while I respect everybody’s opinion, I guess they can only judge after watching me on the field, hopefully on the weekend [against Wellington].

“I’m in good nick, and I’m going to run 100 per cent in every challenge until I fall over and they have to drag me off the pitch.”

A true journeyman, Griffiths’ diverse career spans 18 years, mostly in Asia and particularly China, along with a stint in Romania and two prior A-League spells at Newcastle and Adelaide.

The former Socceroo believes the mental strength he has gained in that time will serve him well as he enters the Wanderers pressure cooker midway through a below-par seasonat a club whose devout fans demand success.

“I’ve played at clubs before where the fans would rock up to the training field as a group and yell at the players, sledge us as we’re sitting there,” Griffiths said.

“It’s very similar to the Wanderers’ passionate fans, so it’s a challenge.”

Griffiths admitted the transition from Asia’s steady-paced football to the comparably quick A-League shapedas another testbut assuredfans need not worry because there would “definitely be goals there”.

It comes as Popovic defended churning through63 players since the club’s 2014 ACL triumph.

“They’re entitled to their opinion, but we made a decision after we won the Champions League to change 18 players,” Popovic told Fox Sports on Monday night.

“The fans were certainly happy last year with those 18 changes.”


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