Lumen students take on plastic-reduction initiatives

Lumen Christi students enjoy a visit from clean beach initiative Take 3 spokesman Tim Silverwood.ON NOVEMBER 4, Lumen Christi Catholic College received a visit from Tim Silverwood, a representative from “Take 3”.
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Take 3 is a clean beach initiative that works to raise awareness about unnecessary plastic consumption and to encourage everyone to take three pieces of rubbish with them from the beach when they leave.

Tim resonated with the students as he is a “cool surfer dude” and Take 3 is accessible on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Tim also spoke about his own background and how he founded the Take 3 initiative with his friends after he got to a point in his life where he thought “what can I do?”

The presentation had a profound effect on the students as they were exposed to the fact that Australia uses around 4-6 billion plastic bags per year and many of these end up in our ocean, which threatens our endangered species.

As a result, Lumen Christi immediately looks cleaner.

Take 3 asks people to take three pieces of litter with them every time they leave a beach.

A workshop was also offered for interested students after the presentation and some innovative ideas came from the students like the “Plastic Rapper”, whose role would be to musically spread the message of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

The workshop also led to the idea of all the students forming the Take 3 logo and then taking an aerial shot to show our support to the community.

The environmental committee at Lumen has also been in the process of eliminating all plastic sold from the canteen and is also installing a filtered water refill station to get rid of all plastic bottles.

On December 3, Lumen Christi is having an official Take 3 launch to get ready for 2015 with the aim of “inspiring both the students and the community into action”.

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Roos captain courts limelight

Roos captain courts limelight Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.
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Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.

Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.

Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.

Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.

Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.

Kangaroos captain Troy Whiley will be performing as part of SIDS and Kids ACT fundraiser, Canberra Takes Two. Photo: Kim Pham.

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Plan for Perth school to search students’ bags for junk food

Lockridge Senior High School plans to check students’ bags for junk food.The Education Department has dismissed claims that a Perth high school plans to search and confiscate junk food from students’ bags, calling it a “misunderstanding.”
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Parents of children attending Lockridge Senior High School reacted angrily, including with threats of violence, to a plan to confiscate what it classifies as junk food brought from home.

Responses on the college’s Facebook page to a memorandum that is believed to be circulating about the college’s proposal to confiscate any junk food a student brings onto the school premises has attracted criticism, support and threats of violence.

One post read: “Well teachers, I say unto you, if you perform an illegal search on my child’s bag without my consent or remove anything I have paid for I will have you charged. Failing that I will kick in your classroom door mid lesson and cave in your face.”

However the Education Department’s Executive Director of Statewide Services, Lindsay Hale, said that he believed that the issue of a bag search was the result of a misunderstanding.

He told Radio 6PR a draft document had been circulated among the school community and staff regarding a letter that was proposed to be sent to parents.

The draft concerned the schools healthy food and health eating habits commitment. A number of issues were canvassed including the potential for confiscation of certain items.

“A bag search was not part of this discussion,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Western Australian Council of State School Organisations’ Kylie Catto said principals were ultimately responsible for implementing the Department of Education’s healthy food and drinks policy.

“The policy to my knowledge does not extend to students bringing in food from home,” Ms Catto said.

“I’m not sure a government department can make that decision – I understand why – but I’m not sure they can make a rule to a parent about what you may or may not bring onto a school site.

“They can about what is provided on a school site, fair enough … but it doesn’t extend to the bringing of birthday cake when a student has a birthday or parents evenings where there may be a sausage sizzle provided … so you can’t pick and choose where the policy is going to apply.”

Ms Catto said a holistic approach to child health was needed.

“Rather than any school deciding to confiscate food, how about we all, parents included, how about we participate in education, there’s some fantastic programs out there,” she suggested.

“What’s going to happen? A school is going to take food from a student’s bag? Are they going to provide an alternative or will the students starve through the day? I don’t know.

“As a parent and as an organisation we believe a school needs to be a safe place to learn and for staff work, so if there is a threat to life, if they believe a true threat, I believe there are systems in place so schools can work with police

“But for a bag [of chips]? I don’t know that that’s going [to force] a school closure, if there’s a bag of chips in a school bag.

“Child health and nutrition and obesity are huge issues and let’s not pretend it’s not … this is not the first we’ve heard of a school reportedly going down that line.”

Mr Hale said that it would appear that somebody had misunderstood that the correspondence was simply a draft.

“The only time a bag search might be deemed appropriate would be if there was a high degree of suspicion of drugs or a weapon – not a bar of chocolate,” he said. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Shire of York threatened with suspension

The Barnett government has threatened to suspend the Shire of York for up to six months over its inability to provide good governance.
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Local Government minister Tony Simpson said on Thursday the shire had been issued with a show clause.

The historic wheatbelt council had three weeks to respond.

Mr Simpson said his department had expressed concerns for some time about the shire’s ability to provide good governance.

“During the monitoring period, a significant number of issues emerged, giving rise to concerns about the council’s ability to effectively manage the operations of the shire and to provide good government for the people in its district,” he said.

“I have formed the view there is sufficient evidence that it is inappropriate for the Shire of York’s council to continue without intervention.

“In accordance with my obligations under the act, I will decide what action to take after I have received a response from the shire.”

Mr Simpson said the shire was told councillors undertake training in leadership, governance and procedures.

Earlier this year Shire of York CEO Ray Hooper quit after almost 10 years in the role.

His resignation came after councillors launched a review into his conduct and performance. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Hardship and happiness in the struggle for survival at Dadaab refugee camp

Child’s play: Two girls enjoy some time out inside the camp. Photo: Edwina Pickles Crowded house: Children gather behind thorny bushes used as fencing inside the Dadaab camp. Photo: Edwina Pickles
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Play time: A game of football inside the camp. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Child’s play: Two girls enjoy some time out inside the camp. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Child’s play: Two girls enjoy some time out inside the camp. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Child’s play: Two girls enjoy some time out inside the camp. Photo: Edwina Pickles

It’s a place of sanctuary for hundreds of thousands. But life is harsh at Dadaab refugee camp.  The sprawling settlement is in an inhospitable part of eastern Kenya, not far from the border with Somalia. Temperatures can be extreme, dust storms are common and the remote borderlands are notorious for banditry.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees set up the camp in the early 1990s to shelter refugees fleeing civil war in Somalia. The original capacity was 90,000 but it now houses about 350,000 people. Numbers swelled considerably in 2011 when parts of Somalia were ravaged by famine.  Many of Dadaab’s residents have been in refugee limbo for two decades and a growing number of children have been born and raised there.

Residents survive on meagre fortnightly food rations provided by international aid organisations. Simply claiming those rations can be an ordeal given the vast population.

The township of Dadaab has been overtaken by the humanitarian community. Trucks and four-wheel-drives emblazoned with familiar aid brands such as Care, MSF and Save the Children congest its dusty roads. But security is a major problem – the heavily-guarded UN compound is ringed with a bomb-proof wall and aid workers often travel with armed escorts because of the threat of abduction.

 Edwina Pickles and Matt Wade were supported by Save the Children Australia to report from Dadaab.

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Game of Thrones movie edges from fantasy to reality

Creator: George R.R. Martin. Photo: SuppliedMovie sessions timesFull movies coverage
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Fans of the Game of Thrones books and television series will be dancing in their mediaeval robes, polishing their finest chain mail and sharpening their daggers and broadswords after actor Charles Dance, who plays Tywin Lannister, confirmed “active discussions” are taking place about a Thrones feature film.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, the Hand of the King added further weight to author George R.R. Martin’s comments from earlier in the year and said a feature film was being discussed and was a real possibility.

“There’s talk of eventually trying to do a feature film, but I don’t know which of the storylines,” said Dance. “There’s so much to cram into a film.”

Martin has said he has plenty of material for the proposal and that a feature film budget would be required to do justice to his series of books.

At the New York premiere of season four in March, Martin said the idea for a feature film depended on how long the television series ran and how big the creative scope for the series became.

“It all depends on how long the main series runs. Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10?” Martin said.

Martin has given HBO a certain amount of creative licence with the writing and production of the television series and HBO has already shown it is not reproducing the books verbatim.

The film could take a variety of storylines, from an abridged version of the books and television series, to a prequel or even a new storyline altogether.

“The books get bigger and bigger [in scope]. It might need a feature [film] to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours,” Martin said.

“Those dragons get real big, you know.”

Martin also has a novella series called the Tales of Dunk and Egg, about the travels of a low-born knight and aristocratic squire, which he said could make up a series of stand-alone films.

The much anticipated season five of Thrones has been shot and edited, complete with new characters, plots and sub-plots, and will be televised on HBO early next year.

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Travel deals: Free flights with Fiji family holidays

Fun for the family: Sheraton Fiji Resort. Fun for the family: Sheraton Fiji Resort.
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Fun for the family: Sheraton Fiji Resort.

Fun for the family: Sheraton Fiji Resort.

My Fiji has some amazing family holiday packages on sale that include free flights and stays for children across a range of resorts including Radisson BLU Resort and Fiji Hideaway Resort.

For example, the deal with Sheraton Fiji Resort includes seven nights in an Ocean View Room, return flights with Fiji Airways for two adults and up to two children, transfers and more.

Two children up to 12 stay for free using existing bedding with daily use of kids’ club. They also dine for FDJ$5 + tax for lunch or dinner when accompanied by one paying adult.

The price per adult twin share is $1790 ($3580 for family of four as described) ex Sydney and $1890 ex Melbourne with other prices applying to other cities. Valid for travel February 1-16 and March 3-20.

Valid for sale till November 28.

Phone 1300 003 454 or see myFiji南京夜网.

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Adrian Leijer says Melbourne Victory need to be wary of revitalised Brisbane Roar

Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer insists he and his team-mates will have to be “on our toes” when they face the resurgent Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
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Reigning champion Roar made an uncharacteristic start to the season with four consecutive losses – their worst run of results since December 2011.

But they assumed a more familiar posture last weekend when they smashed the Newcastle Jets 4-0 for their first win since the 2013-14 Grand Final.

“They (Brisbane) did have a rough start (to the season) but last week they managed to score a few goals,” Leijer told SEN on Thursday.

“They’re always going to be a threat so we are going to have to be on our toes again on Friday night.”

The Victory have had to contend with well-documented personnel issues recently with the likes of Mark Milligan, Scott Galloway, Kosta Barbarouses, Matthieu Delpierre, Daniel Georgievski, Connor Pain, Jason Geria and Nick Ansell all missing games due to national duty or injury.

But Kevin Muscat’s team has still managed to make an unbeaten start to the campaign and Leijer was especially proud of  Victory’s most recent result against Sydney FC – a 0-0 draw at Allianz Stadium last weekend.

“We are playing well,” Leijer said. “Against Sydney we made some very good chances and I think the whole feel around the group this year (is) we’ve got 23 top-quality players that can all do a job for us.

“Even though we’re missing key players like Mark Milligan, et cetera, the boys that went out there on Saturday night did a fantastic job.”

Amid the unavailability of so many players, recruits Besart Berisha and Fahid Ben Khalfallah have been constants for the Victory and Leijer praised the roles they have played in the club’s best start to a season since 2006-07.

Leijer said of Berisha: “He’s an intense character and he’s brilliant. He brings that real determination (and) that intensity to training … he’s been fantastic for us and to finally have him as teammate is awesome and we’re all really enjoying it.”

Leijer lauded Ben Khalfallah’s contribution so far too, saying: “He’s got an immense amount of skill. The same as Berisha, the part that fans don’t see is the defensive work that these guys do and the real team work that they do and they’re contributing a hell of a lot going both ways for our team. He’s been a great addition.”

The Victory will be aiming to avoid a third consecutive defeat against the Roar in their Round 7 encounter.

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Why Asher Keddie’s pregnancy news is so shocking

She’s always been coy about motherhood and suggested children weren’t in her future, but that all changed on Wednesday night when a glowing Asher Keddie proudly debuted her baby bump to a shocked media pack.
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The 40-year-old Offspring star is now expecting her own offspring, with her husband, contemporary artist Vincent Fantauzzo, in autumn next year.

“It’s so exciting, we’re so thrilled,” she said on the red carpet at the GQ Man of the Year Awards in Sydney.

“I feel fantastic, tonight. It’s been a little up and down but I’m just like everybody else I think. The happiness is outweighing everything else I think.”

Fantauzzo, who won the People’s Choice award at this year’s Archibald prize for a record-breaking fourth time with the All that’s good in me portrait of his three-year-old son Luca wearing a Superman costume, was equally overjoyed.

“It meant a lot to us and to Asher as well. We’ll just have to keep making family members to paint now,” the 37-year-old said.

The Gold Logie winner also admitted that she has been craving cheese and pistachio nuts.

She will be the second high-profile Australian woman to become a mother after the age of 40 next year.

Earlier this year, after several unsuccessful IVF trials, 49-year-old Big Brother host Sonia Kruger announced that she was pregnant with her first child.

“Hey everyone. Here’s a fun fact … I’m having a baby,” she tweeted back in August.

Keddie, who was previously married to fellow actor and musician Jay Bowen from 2007 to 2011, has always been curious at people’s interest in her private life and usually brushed off questions about starting a family.

“Why do people want to know? I don’t care if people want to have kids or not. But I’m not sure how I feel about it, so to discuss it any further would feel too personal, I suppose,” she told News Corp Australia in 2011.

“I just don’t know if children are going to be part of it.”

“Why are we only considered successful if we can juggle a family and a demanding career?” she asked The Australian Women’s Weekly in 2011 when probed about motherhood.

“I admire people who can do it, don’t get me wrong. But I feel successful not doing it as well. I don’t think, ‘Oh gosh, I won’t be quite there and I won’t be as successful as I want to be unless I’m juggling a couple of kids, a marriage and a career.

“It’s not that I don’t think I can do it. It’s not that. It’s that I don’t know,” she said.

The actress, following her divorce, threw herself into the role of the popular, slightly neurotic Nina Proudman which made her a house hold name.

Then in 2012 she met Fantauzzo before the private couple married in Fiji in April.

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NBL needs to revamp schedule to net television dollars and much-needed exposure

Crowded lane: Melbourne United veteran Mark Worthington tries to evade the Cairns defence. Photo: Mick Connolly
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Crowded lane: Melbourne United veteran Mark Worthington tries to evade the Cairns defence. Photo: Mick Connolly

Crowded lane: Melbourne United veteran Mark Worthington tries to evade the Cairns defence. Photo: Mick Connolly

Crowded lane: Melbourne United veteran Mark Worthington tries to evade the Cairns defence. Photo: Mick Connolly

Television audience is the lifeblood of any professional sport in the 21st century and the NBL is no different.

Playing matches in front of packed stadiums, the bigger the venue the better, should be a goal for any sport but it cannot be done at the expense of TV rights dollars. NBL chief executive Fraser Neill resigned this week and a source of conflict between him and the board was the issue of playing midweek matches at smaller venues to maximise television coverage.

The board should want every team to be playing at the biggest and best venue in its city, in front of packed houses. It’s a noble pursuit but unfortunately not realistic in 2014. The rebadged, repackaged, supposedly reinvigorated Melbourne United have had some encouraging attendances at the 10,500-seat Hisense Arena this season, a much better option in every way than playing at the State Netball and Hockey Centre (just the sound of playing at such a non-basketball-named venue was somewhat embarrassing for the old Tigers in recent years in the NBL).

Last week’s Wednesday night clash with Cairns at the club’s 6000-seat venue Margaret Court Arena was by far United’s lowest crowd of the year. It’s hard to get big crowds on a school night. The Big Bash League experienced the same problem and has altered its schedule to fit as many games into the school holiday period as possible. Even though a drop-off in crowds for midweek matches will inevitably lead to a drop in revenue, it could be a small price to pay if it leads to a bountiful TV deal.

It should be a major concern for the NBL board and fans alike that Neill said the next TV rights contract was still “a fair way off” from being sorted. The existing deal with Channel 10 expires at the end of this season. It’s a pretty poor one for the NBL on many fronts – very few live matches, which often get shunted to One HD or are only shown live in NSW and Victoria.

When the NBL head honchos go to the bargaining table with TV networks – whether they’re free-to-air, the ABC or SBS, or pay-TV – they should be aware that although they have an improving product, it’s still one lower on the pecking order of sports than basketball’s easy-to-remember but hard-to-replicate glory days of the 1990s.

If the NBL’s marquee matches are all on a Friday night and a Saturday night, they will find it hard to get air time up against the A-League, the many forms of domestic and international cricket, and the tennis which dominates the summer schedules.

So, they are almost negligent if they don’t think outside the box and look at other days of the week. They’ve made a good start with Sunday afternoon and Thursday night games and the occasional Wednesday match but why not use Monday or Tuesday as well? Basketball has the luxury of being a sport where players can back up with as little as 24 hours between games. You can see why imports with NBA experience sometimes go awry with all the extra time they have on their hands in the NBL compared to the packed schedule they faced in the United States where teams play as many four games in five nights, often while racking up many frequent flyer points.

By all means NBL officials should look to get five-figure crowds in Sydney and Melbourne on a regular basis. They should not touch the Wildcats who clearly have a winning formula for getting 10,000-plus fans to Perth Arena. But the one size fits all, cookie-cutter approach won’t work for all franchises. Wollongong have announced they’re drawing the curtain at one end of their venue to create better atmosphere as they last-placed Hawks are struggling to attract fans as the wins have dried up. Ideally, it would be great for all teams to play in front of big crowds but that’s the end game, not the next step for the NBL.

Admittedly, it is cringe-worthy when you see the Crocodiles in their new RSL Stadium instead of the Townsville Entertainment Centre but if it means they get better in-game atmosphere and it helps the bottom line of a club which has struggled to stay afloat in recent years, then it’s the way it’s got to be.

The recent Australia v Pakistan cricket series in the UAE were played in front of sparse crowds but Fox Sports did not particularly care because the matches still provided plenty of content.

TV networks will pay for a quality product that fills their schedule. There are many openings for the NBL to fill on the Australian television spectrum. A competition in need of greater exposure which sets its fixtures to suit will cash in much more than one that sticks to what worked in the past.

Taking it to the poll … 

The tanking problem is a big issue in the NBA but many fans aren’t too bothered by it. The most votes in last week’s poll were for it being a “pretty big” problem, with “pretty small” second on the list of responses.

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