Committed to early learning nationwide

PROGRESSIVE AND INCLUSIVE: Staff and children at Gateshead Goodstart engage in early learning activities.Goodstart Early Learning is Australia’s largest early learning provider, with 643 centres Australia wide.
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The not–for–profit social enterprise exists purely to improve the lives of Australia’s children and their families, with all surplus funds reinvested for the benefit of the children.

There are 10 Goodstart centres in the Newcastle region, located in Broadmeadow,Cameron Park, Cessnock, Gateshead, Glendale, New Lambton, Rutherford, Thornton,Anna Bay andNelson Bay.

“At any Goodstart Centre there is a focus on contemporary, inclusive and progressive play-based learning through an ‘attachment lens’,” Mandy Portlock, director of Nelson Bay Goodstart said.

“By attachment, I mean that we ensure all children are treated with dignity and have a strong bond with key adult educators, working together in small, tight-knit groups to reach the best possible learning outcomes.

“When childrenleave Goodstart, yes they can read their names and identify letters, they have had access to many early literacy opportunities, but they will also be armed with the skills to persevere, take on challenges, and realise they are part of a bigger picture world.”

Goodstart invests millions every year in the development, training and qualifications of their educators and the ongoing improvement of the centre environments and equipment.

“Goodstart provides professional development opportunities for staff and educators,” Mandy said.

“There’s fabulous access to technology likesmartboards in the rooms and robots that we use for programming, while the training is modern with a strong focus on infant psychology and learning.”

Each Goodstart centre aims to become the heart of an inclusive and supportive local community and welcomes every child regardless of their background or the challenges they may face, to help them reach their full potential.

Goodstart Nelson Bay, for example, works closely with other centres and schools in the Tomaree Transition to School Network.

“We believe relationships with families are just as important as those with the children,” Mandy said. “It leads to the best outcome for childrenand families. Goodstart provides its educators time to establish and maintain those relationships.”

Many of the Newcastle centres engage with their local Community Centres to provide external playgroups.

These playgroups give children who are not yet enrolled at Goodstart Early Learning exposure to early earning programs offered by qualified professionals.

“Families are welcome to come along to playgroup once a week. This is an excellent networking opportunity for families, builds community connectedness and supports our priorities of inclusion and partnership,” Mandy said.

“It’s part of our equity-of-access approach based on Goodstart’s guiding principle that all children are entitled to the best possible start in life regardless of their background.”

Goodstart staffwork closely with local Aboriginal groups to ensure culture is embedded and connection to country is established.

“The work is based around reconciliation, liaising with local land councils, attending meetings and smoking ceremonies and making ties in order to honour our first Australians,” Mandy said.

”Children do acknowledgment of country each morning, and we embedculture through everyday practices right down to planning gardens and going on excursions to get connection to country and understand what that country means to traditional custodians.”

Goodstart partners with local universities, colleges and schools to provide career pathways for indigenous students.

“Students can attend acentre one day a week in a structured and supported environment and get a feel for what it’s like to work at Goodstart,” Mandy said. “It’s all about increasing long-termengagement with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce in orderto make reconciliation authentic.”

Goodstart staff and children regularly visit aged care facilities to provide inter-generational experiences

“It’s about working with children to build empathy and respect, and it’s a great outcome for both the children and the residents,” Mandy said.

“Nelson Bay has a large ‘transient’ community made up of ‘Sea Changers’ and Defence families, and often there’s not so much family support. By doing these visits we provide everyone with a chance for inter-generational experience.”

Goodstart Nelson Bay staff and children participate regularly in community events, like the Human Whale project each year.

“It’s a way to strengthen ties and be a presence in the community.”

To book a tour at your local centre, call 1800 222 543 or visitgoodstart.org419论坛.

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Connection to carer is key

FOCUS: Staff at Lambton Early Learning Centre create a safe and comfortable, home-away-from home environment where everyone is valued and treated with respect.
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Alicia Ferris is a qualified teacher and mother of four who understands what it’s like being a full-time working mum looking for childcare.

OUTSIDE IN: The award-winning layout of Lambton Early Learning Centre provides numerous spaces for age-appropriate play and education.

In many ways it’s why she established Lambton Early Learning Centre.

“Leaving your child with strangers and making sure they receive the highest level of care can be daunting,” Alicia said. “Finding a childcare centre near work is another challenge.”

When the old Salvation Army Church on Pearson Street in Lambton came up for sale a decade ago, Alicia and builder husband Josh saw the potential immediately.

“Childcare needsto be in the right location – this was close to John Hunter Hospital and Newcastle University, where people needed childcare,” Alicia said.

“As a building it had to be inspiring: a place that was great to work in, with great flow. The old church fit the bill perfectly.”

The pair renovated the historic building, winning a swag of awards along the way.

“We kept the bulk of building, but altered the layout and floor plan to bring the outside in and vice versa,” Alicia said.

“We created rooms for each age group, from babies through to five year olds, and made sure that all rooms had direct access to the outside so children could play in a safe environment.

“We used a lot of glass to promote vision inside and out and we made sure that the place feltlike a home away from home.”

Today Lambton Early Learning Centre is a fully-accredited, long-day, childcare centre with 21 staff providing individualised pre-school curriculum culminating in a school readiness program with high educator ratios right in the heart of suburban Newcastle,

Open 7.30am to 5.30pm each day, bar three weeks over Christmas, Lambton Early Learning Centre relies primarily on word of mouth to promote itself – no website or signs required.

But with enrolments for next year looming, and an extension recently completed, Alicia finds herself in a unique position.

“With our recently completed extension, we can offer a few new spots,” Alicia said.

“I want to let people who are looking for that connection with their carer to know that Lambton Early Learning might be the environment that’s right for their child.”

Connection is critical for the 130 families currently enrolled and thousands Alicia has dealt with over the last decade.

“As a parent, I know what a juggle it is and that your major concern is you’ve got a carer you can trust.

“I know what it’s like to sit in the car and cry that first day you drop them off, and I tell my parents it will be OK, that the things they learn will be amazing, and that we have that connection.

“Hearing from my families that they don’t worry about their child when they are in my care is my greatest reward.”

Staff retention has been central to establishing that connection.

“I recognise the great contribution educators make and work tirelessly to retain staff,” Alicia said. “Most of our staff have been here 10 years. They’re qualified, valued and amazing.”

Alicia’s passion for childcare is palpable.

“The relationships you have with a family can last for many years from one sibling to the next. This relationship that I develop with families is key to providing excellent childcare and is what brings me the most joy.”

To inquire about enrolments, ring Lambton Early Learning Centre on 02 4952 6568 or [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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‘There’s no cure’: Distressing diagnosis for one in five women

Lucy Ogden-Doyle was only 14 when she learnt she may develop fertility problems. It was distressing news for someone who went to see her GP about irregular periods.
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Her doctor said she might have a hormonal condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and she should drop five kilograms – despite then being 52 kilograms and 172 centimetres tall – to “pre-empt” weight gain, a symptom.

Tessa Copp, a PhD student at University of Sydney, is the lead author of the BMJ article on the definition of polycystic ovary syndrome. Photo: Supplied – CareFlight Facebook page

“It was quite a dramatic thing to tell someone so young that they may be infertile and to lose weight, which would have made me underweight,” Ms Ogden-Doyle, now 24, said.

“Two years later I had tests and I do have PCOS but I’m not showing the symptoms like excess hair or extra weight so, while it has been a negative experience, right now I’m not letting it affect me.”

The arts student is among one in five women diagnosed with PCOS, a deeply stigmatising condition. The figure is based on eight separate studies across six countries including Australia and China.

PCOS, which occurs when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal, is the most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorder in reproductive aged women.

In an opinion article in the latest British Medical Journal, Australian researchers argue that an expanded definition had inadvertently led to overdiagnosis, and therefore too much treatment and even harm.

The widening of the definition (to include the sonographic presence of polycystic ovaries) in 2003 led to a dramatic increase in cases, from 5 to 21 per cent.

Lead author Tessa Copp, a PhD student at Sydney University, said many women were being “given a lifelong disease label” in their teenage years when symptoms such as acne and irregular periods overlapped with signs of puberty.

She referred to three studies that found the prevalence of PCOS by age decreased rapidly after 25, suggesting the symptoms may be transitory for some women.

“A lot of my friends had it and were feeling quite dissatisfied because there’s no cure, nothing you can do, except to undergo treatments that focus on alleviating symptoms,” she said.

“Some cases are severe and they will benefit from the label, but women with milder symptoms may experience harm from the overdiagnosis and overtreatment.”

The authors said women diagnosed with PCOS had higher levels of depression, anxiety, poorer self-esteem, negative body image, disordered eating and decreased sexual satisfaction.

They said it was unclear whether these impacts were due to the condition, its symptoms, or from the psychological effect of being labelled a PCOS sufferer.

“It’s associated with infertility, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, so it labels women as abnormal but the consequences are not the same for everyone,” Ms Copp said.

The authors argue that, given the uncertainties, the risk of psychological harm and the impacts of applying a one-size-fits-all diagnostic criteria to a wide-ranging set of symptoms, it was important for doctors not to rush diagnosing women.

“We need better understanding and research to characterise the benefits and harms of diagnosis and treatment for women with both severe and milder symptoms,” Ms Copp said.

“Instead of diagnosing women in adolescence, note they’re at risk, follow up with them over time and use treatments that target the symptoms.” Call to action

The article comes as influential health groups, including the Consumers Health Forum and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, launch a call to action to address overdiagnosis in general and “the problem of too much medicine”.

In an initial statement via a Wiser Healthcare collaboration, they said there was an urgent need to develop a national action plan.

“Expanding disease definitions and lowering diagnostic thresholds are recognised as one driver of the problem, and the processes for changing definitions require meaningful reform,” it said.

Dr Ray Moynihan, from Bond University and a Wiser Healthcare member, said the problem of too much medicine was driven by many factors, including the best of intentions.

“PCOS appears to be a strong example of the problem of expanding disease definitions or lowering diagnostic thresholds that are potentially labelling too many people,” he said.

PCOS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure and poorer psychological wellbeing.

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Cashed-up elderly: The target for Cochlear’s iPhone powered hearing implants

Hearing implant maker Cochlear will ramp up consumer campaigns to convince another 37 million people globally with severe or profound hearing loss to use its iPhone and iPad-powered hearing implants.
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The Sydney-based company holds about 62 per cent of the global market for hearing implants, which it pioneered, and helps preserve hearing in patients with nerve deafness who cannot benefit from hearing aids.

The implants, which can costs tens of thousands of dollars but in some countries are partially government funded, are surgically placed in the inner ear to convert sound waves into electrical signals that stimulate nerves and provide hearing.

On Thursday Cochlear lifted full-year net profit 18 per cent to $223.6 million. Sales revenue grew 7 per cent to $1.2 billion, while earnings before interest and tax rose 20 per cent to $315.6 million, up from $262.6 million the previous year. Dividend up

As the company moves into emerging markets including China, it forecast a net profit of $240 million to $250 million in 2018, an increase of 7 to 12 per cent, based on an Australian dollar of US80??.

Cochlear declared a final dividend of $1.40, fully franked, bringing its total dividend to $2.70, up from $2.30. After an 8 per cent surge in morning trade, by 2.30pm Cochlear’s share price was up 6.10 per cent to $151.49.

In July Cochlear announced CEO Chris Smith will retire from his position in January. Cochlear’s president and chief executive-elect Dig Howitt said Cochlear had grown its sales force and would ramp up consumer campaigns to build awareness among people with hearing loss about how its implants can help, especially seniors who may need to upgrade from typical hearing aids.

Nearly one out of every three people over the age of 65 is affected by hearing loss, and Cochlear estimated 37 million people could benefit from a Cochlear implant. Market penetration

“The aging population and people wanting to live a quality life longer is helping us significantly,” Mr Howitt said.

There are 450,000 Cochlear customers worldwide, and while Cochlear is the market leader, Mr Howitt said there was less than 5 per cent market penetration.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report released in March said more than 5 per cent of the world’s population – about 360 million people – have a disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children).

Cochlear is already using Google search engine optimisation and Facebook algorithms to target consumers searching for hearing aids across the US. It is expanding that campaign into Australia, Western Europe and Japan. Word-of-mouth referrals

Much of the advertising in the US happens via word-of-mouth. The company uses 3500 volunteers who use the product to share their stories with potential users.

While there was growing consumer awareness about its products – the WHO report estimates the global cost of untreated hearing loss at $US750 billion annually and recognises Cochlear implants as a cost-effective intervention (among other devices) -more than 50 per cent of adults with a moderate to profound hearing loss were not familiar with Cochlear implants, he said.

During the first half of the year, Cochlear Kanso, the company’s first off-the-ear sound processor, and the Nucleus Profile Slim Modular electrode, the world’s slimmest electrode, were launched across Europe and the US.

Mr Howitt said the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, which allows users to stream sound from an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch directly to their sound processor, will have full commercial rollout in September. China expansion

The company also hopes it can expand its footprint in China, which will include a manufacturing facility and research. Mr Howitt said it was the company’s second largest market in terms of units sold.

The Chinese government is one of the biggest buyers of Cochlear implants, purchasing 4500 to 5000 a year.

During the year the company invested $152 million, 12 per cent of sales revenue, in R&D, and said it would launch a pipeline of new products over the coming years.

Mr Howitt urged the Turnbull government to ensure Australia’s tax concessions and corporate tax rate remained competitive, otherwise companies such as Cochlear would be forced to do more business offshore.

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Valente flies into Fiji contention, as Vijay takes swipe as Australia

He was the last man into the field and hidden away in the final group to finish in fast fading light, but Victorian Daniel Valente emerged from near Fiji International obscurity to burst into contention after the first round at Natadola Bay.
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The world No.1688 had cancelled weekend flights to Fiji thinking he wouldn’t get a spot in the $1.5 million field, but hastily re-arranged travel plans on Monday when told he would be first reserve.

And the almost anonymous Victorian’s dash to the tiny Pacific country on a wing and a prayer has him staring at the biggest payday of his career, taming the wild Coral Coast winds to surprise a field which features Vijay Singh and two other former US Masters champions.

“I was fourth alternate on Sunday and I had a flight booked for Sunday night and Saturday [and] canned it,” said Valente, who finished Thursday’s play just one shot shy of New Zealander Daniel Pearce.

“On Monday morning I was told I was going to be first reserve and one of the Challenge Tour guys probably wasn’t going to play so I decided to fly over. It’s paid off obviously, so far.

“I said to the travel agent on Saturday, ‘look, I’m probably not going to get in. I’ve been fourth reserve for a week so forget about it’. [But] it’s cheaper to fly later to be honest. It wasn’t like booking it six weeks in advance, but when you don’t know your full schedule you can’t do that.

“You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t come over. The Aussie Tour co-sanctioning these events means these are great pathways. It’s a great opportunity so if you get a chance, absolutely come and play.”

Ironically Valente’s career best result came when he finished in a tie for sixth in the Fiji International two years ago – and the Western Bulldogs-mad 32-year-old is also no stranger to flight changes.

He delayed a journey to Europe to play in the Dunhill Championship last year to watch the AFL premiers at the MCG in last year’s grand final after realising he would have boarded a plane just hours before the first bounce.

Kiwi journeyman Pearce reeled off an eagle followed by three straight birdies on his inward nine on Thursday to post an electric 66, blotted by two dropped shots on his final four holes.

Pearce’s breakthrough win came in the Queensland PGA earlier this year – just four weeks before the birth of his first child Lola – and fellow New Zealander Ben Campbell (-5) joined Valente in a share of second.

“It’s definitely given me some new perspective on life,” Pearce said of fatherhood. “It’s pretty cool having a little person to come home to that doesn’t make your bad rounds feel so bad and makes your good rounds feel even better I guess.

“It’s the first international trip my wife has been on [since the birth] so it’s good to have them both [including daughter Lola] over here with me.”

South Australian Peter Cooke (-1) provided the day’s highlight when he used a 52 degree gap wedge to ace the 132-metre 15th.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green (-4) was the best of the morning draw, posting a blemish free final nine after he and Canadian playing partner Austin Connelly (-3) – who finished in the top 15 in last month’s British Open – both eagled the 17th.

Singh battled an elbow complaint, but remains right in contention after carding a one-under 71 and took a thinly-veiled swipe at Australia’s national championship after receiving rave reviews on his Natadola Bay course re-design.

“The economy of Fiji compared to Australia is worlds apart, yet we have the biggest golf tournament in this part of the world,” Singh said. “I think Australia should take a hint from that and come up with a tournament that is better. This tournament has more prize money than the Australian Open … that’s ridiculous really.”

Singh is one of three former US Masters champions in the Fiji International field, which also features Mike Weir (-1) and Angel Cabrera (even).

FIJI INTERNATIONAL(Aus unless stated)

-6: Daniel Pearce (NZ)

-5: Ben Campbell (NZ), Daniel Valente

-4: Gavin Green (Mas), Adam Bland, David McKenzie, Peter Wilson

-3: Jason Norris, Michael Sim, Austin Connelly (Can), Dale Brandt-Richards, Wade Ormsby, Rahil Gangjee (Ind)

Adam Pengilly is covering the Fiji International as a guest of the PGA of Australia.

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‘We were living in a state of innocence’: Murder of schoolgirl rocked small town

‘We were living in a state of innocence’: Murder of schoolgirl rocked small town Christine Simpson in front of a painting of her 9 year old daughter Ebony Simpson, painted by partner, Gunther Deix; Ebony Simpson; and Andrew Garforth, Ebony’s murderer.
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Police diving team retrieving the murdered girls school bag laden with rocks out of the dam from which her body was also found Wirrimbirra Sanctuary. August 21, 1992. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Commercial hearing of Andrew Garforth for the murder of Ebony Simpson. Ursula Henry of Kurrajong stand with a supporter outside of bowral court with her death penalty sign. February 10, 1993. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Hanging Dumby at the corner of Albion and Riley St Surry Hills. August 26, 1992. (Photo by Simon Alenka/Fairfax Media).

Commercial hearing of Andrew Garforth for the murder of Ebony Simpson. Andrew Garforth is led from bowral local court after appearing for a commital fro the murder of Ebony Simpson. February 10, 1993. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Police Diving Team Retrieving the murdered girls school Bag laden with rocks out of the dam from which her body was also found Wirrimbirra Sanctuary. August 21, 1992. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Scenes from he supreme court this morning where Andrew Peter Garforth was appealing the Senerity of his sentence for the murder of Bargo school girl Ebony Simpson. The Simpson family talking to the media left to right. Zac Simpson, Christine Simpson, Peter Simpson and Tas looking at father. The Homicide Support Group. May 23, 1994. (Photo by Dean Sewell/Fairfax Media).

Seachers for Ebony Simpson. August 20, 1992. (Photo by Steven Siewert/Fairfax Media).

Seachers for Ebony Simpson. August 20, 1992. (Photo by Steven Siewert/Fairfax Media).

Children at Bargo Primary School. August 20, 1992. (Photo by Steven Siewert/Fairfax Media).

Scenes from darlinghurst court where Andrew Peter Garforth was sentenced for the murder of Ebony Simpson. A lone demonstrator with pictures of Ebony and a message to Garforth. July 9, 1993. (Photo by Dean Sewell/Fairfax Media).

Missing Girl Ebony Simpson. Children Line up to catch the bus home. August 20, 1992. (Photo by Steven Siewert/Fairfax Media).

Scenes from darlinghurst court where Andrew Peter Garforth was sentenced for the murder of Ebony Simpson. A lone demonstrator with pictures of Ebony and a message to Garforth. July 9, 1993. (Photo by Dean Sewell/Fairfax Media).

Police Diving Team Retrieving the murdered girls school Bag laden with rocks out of the dam from which her body was also found Wirrimbirra Sanctuary. August 21, 1992. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Commercial hearing of Andrew Garforth for the murder of Ebony Simpson. Tas Simpson brother of murder victim Ebony Simpson is led from Bowral local court after attempting to attack Andrew Garforth in the Dock during court proceedings. February 10, 1993. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Commercial hearing of Andrew Garforth for the murder of Ebony Simpson. Patricia von Wienrich(signing supporting of the death penalty inside the court grounds. February 10, 1993. (Photo by Troy Howe).

Captains Flat cafe owner, Christine Simpson in front of a painting of her 9 year old daughter Ebony Simpson, painted by partner, Gunther Deix.

TweetFacebookTragedy struckBargo 25 years ago when nine-year-oldEbony Simpson was abducted and killed on her way home from school.

The crime rocked the small town in Sydney’s south-west to its core.

On August 19, 1992, Ebony got off her school bus and began to walk home.

Her mother, Christine Simpson, who usually met Ebony at the bus stop was busy.

Ms Simspon asked Ebony’s older brother to meet Ebony after he got off his bus. But his bus was late.

On the walk home, with her house in sight, Ebony approached a car that appeared to be broken down.

The car’s owner, Andrew Peter Garforth, grabbed her and threw her in the boot.

He drove to a remote dam. Once there, Garforth bound Ebony with wire, raped her and then threwher into the dam with her pink backpack full of rocks.

Former Wollondilly councillor and Bargo resident Ray Law clearly remembers how the heinous crime affected the small community.

“The whole town was devastated and we were in a state of disbelief at the time,” Mr Law said.

“When we heard word that Ebony was missing, no one in our little village could have imagined what evil had been perpetrated.

“We were living in a state of innocence. We thought ‘that does not happen in Bargo’.”

Mr Law said hundreds of locals throughout Macarthur joined the search party.

“At some point everyone was out looking forher,” he said. “We looked in the bush around our house. The Rural Fire Service and Special Art Service came out to search.”

Garforth joined in the search to find Ebony. On August 21, police turn their attention to Garforth who stunned them with his casual manner andgraphic description of events as he confessed to the crimes.

Mr Law said the crime changed the way parents in the community treated their children.

“Our two boys, aged eight and 10,went to school at Yanderra Public School and they had been at my wife and I to let them ride their bikes to school rather than us driving them,” he said.

“Any chance of that evaporated when we realised such evil existed.

“We all became very protective of our children. We wouldn’t let our kids out of our sight.”

Mr Law said the “heinousness of the crime sent shock waves through the community”.

“When we were first told how she was found, it was all everyone was talking about,” he said.

“We just hoped that whoever did it was ‘not one of us’, we hoped he wasn’t local.”

Garforth had moved to the areaa few months before from Western Australia with his defacto wife and two children.

Mr Law recalls people standing outside Picton Court House, where Garforth was being held, with signs calling for his execution.

“People felt so much emotion, shock, anger and horror,” he said. “People reacted in the only way they knew how to voice their own pain.

“During Garforth’s trial everybody had their own opinion on capital punishment. There is no doubt people were calling for him to be executed.”

Garforth is serving a life sentence without parole at Goulburn jail.

Garforth unsuccessfully appealed his sentence to the High Court in 1994.

His prisoner status was downgraded from A2 to B in July, a decision immediately reversed by Corrective Services Minister David Elliott.

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Ex-terrorists pledge allegiance to Indonesia, decry terrorism as sickness

Tenggulun???, East Java: The first thing former terrorist Ali Fauzi Manzi does when he meets Fairfax Media is apologise to Australia and the 88 Australian victims of the first Bali bombing.
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Ali Fauzi is best known to Australians as the brother of the Bali bombers.

In 2008 he oversaw the religious rites on the bodies of Amrozi and Mukhlas – who were executed on the penal island of Nusakambangan – and sent a text message to relatives in Arabic saying: “They are with the Almighty”.

“Again, I would like to apologise for what my brothers did,” Ali Fauzi tells Fairfax Media. “They have been executed or are spending their life in prison. Their actions cost many lives.”

Ali Fauzi studied bomb-making and between 2004 and 2007 was jailed for terrorism offences in the Philippines, where he had helped build a military training camp for extremists.

Ten metres from where he is standing in Tenggulun village in the Lamongan regency of East Java is Amrozi’s old home.

“The bombings, all over Indonesia, you could say originated from here,” Ali Fauzi says. “At one point there was [sic] 13 tonnes of explosives here before they got distributed to other places such as Ambon and Poso.”

Lamongan, once dubbed the birthplace of terrorists, is still a hotbed of extremism.

But Ali Fauzi hopes the Circle of Peace foundation he started in November last year, which provides a transit house and job opportunities for ex-terrorists, can start to defuse the radical ideology.

On Thursday a motley crew of ex-terrorists and combatants and their families joined Indonesian Independence Day celebrations for the first time as an indication of their new-found commitment to Indonesia and its pluralistic ideology of Pancasila.

The men in charge of raising the Indonesian flag included the son of Bali Bomber Amrozi, Zulia Mahendra, who long nursed feelings of vengeance and anger against the country that executed his father.

The commander of the ceremony was a former student of an Islamic State commander in Syria while Ali Fauzi read the 1945 independence proclamation text.

“My pledge to Indonesia is real,” Ali Fauzi says. “My pledge is loving the nation. Islam respects other religions, even if Indonesia became an Islamic country that does not mean it would get rid of other religions. That’s what I believe now.”

Ali Fauzi describes terrorism as a sickness, that requires a “special doctor”. “It took me seven years to be the ‘now Ali Fauzi’,” he says. The first six months of his deradicalisation process – an education “half-forced” upon him by Indonesian police after he was deported from the Philippines in 2007 was “torture for me”.

“At first I resisted, I couldn’t let go of my own beliefs, I complained, I argued with the Islam they taught, the so-called moderate Islam. After six months I realised I was less angry.”

One of the turning points was meeting victims of terrorist attacks, including Dutchman Max Boon, who lost both his legs in the 2009 Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta.

“I apologised to him. He’s a Catholic, he said to me: ‘I already forgave the perpetrator, let alone you’. He forgave me. If it was reversed, if I was in his position, I don’t think I could forgive as easily.”

Ali Fauzi says his old belief is wrong that kafir (unbelievers) should be killed wherever they are, something he says Islamic State calls for.

The mission of Circle of Peace is to provide a new community for ex-terrorists to prevent them returning to their old networks because they have no other alternatives.

“To get them to join the foundation is not an abracadabra moment. It starts when they are in prison, I visit them, I assist with problems they face, financially, their families. Once they are released we assist them to get jobs. We so far have assisted seven ex-terrorists to get jobs with my business friends. It’s still a long way to go.”

The head of Indonesia’s national counter-terrorism agency Suhardi Alius last month inaugurated a mosque and Koran learning centre in Tenggulun, which will preach moderate Islam.

“Nationwide there are 560 ex-terrorism convicts,” he tells Fairfax Media. “It means their children, their wives, their community has been exposed to radicalism.”

He says Lamongan is an epicentre of terrorism but thanks to the Circle of Peace: “now there are 37 ex-terrorism convicts there who are now on our side”.

“Altogether they have around 100 children. Can you imagine how many lives we can save by taking this approach?”

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Top three homes in Sydney to see this weekend

Three listings, from Double Bay, Mosman and Newtown, are at the top of Domain’s list this week of open homes to see this Saturday.
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There’s a waterfront pad, a colourful boutique apartment, and a trendy warehouse conversion on offer. Double Bay

A private harbour berth for your launch and direct access to summer playground Murray Rose Pool are the standout features of this three-bedroom home.

The big main bedroom is in the distinctively curved north-western facade of the art deco building, which houses eight apartments in total.

Double Bay village is a stroll away from the luxury-laden residence.

Agent Peter Starr of McGrath Edgecliff has set the price guide at $3.8 million and will take the property to auction on August 26.

The main bedroom enjoys a north-west aspect. Photo: Supplied

See more photos of 2/5 Gladswood Gardens hereMosman4/28 Rickard Avenue, Mosman. Photo: Supplied

Just a stone’s throw from Taronga Zoo, harbourside walks and ferries, this oversized, high-ceilinged apartment retains the charm of its boutique block with contemporary comforts to boot.

The communal gardens are a peaceful retreat and there’s near-level access to the apartment from the lock-up garage. The high ceilings are an added element of charm. Photo: Supplied

Expect to pay around $1.15 million for this apartment at its auction on August 26, through Belle Property Mosman’sBo Zhang.

See more photos of 4/28 Rickard Avenue hereNewtown5/71 Wilson Street, Newtown. Photo: Supplied

Will it be the round window or the arched window?

This building, a converted warehouse, has both in its eye-catching facade.

Exposed timber beams draw attention upwards in this 170-square-metre apartment and the split-level floor plan includes three big bedrooms – the main more than six metres long.

There’s a secure car space and a handy storage room adjacent to the kitchen. Exposed timber makes a strong design statement. Photo: Supplied

BresicWhitney Darlinghurst agents William Phillips and Nick Playfair have set a guide of $1.5 million for the August 26 auction.

See more photos of 5/71 Wilson Street here

Download the Domain app to search for more properties on show this weekend in Sydney

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Dragons on wrong side of history in hunt for win

When it comes to the Dragons, Wayne Bennett giveth and Wayne Bennett taketh away. Friday marks the latest instalment in the joint venture’s complicated relationship with a man beloved and derided by the Red V faithful in equal measure.
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At Suncorp Stadium, form and history suggests Bennett will be leaning more to the takething away part. For St George Illawarra, who must win as they lustfully bound after the top eight, trying to beat the Broncos of late has been as demoralising as looking over to see Usain Bolt in the next lane of a 100-metre final.

But hey, even Bolt gets a cramp from time to time. Brisbane would need to seize up completely given their dominance over recent rounds, which has seen them score 86 points and concede just 10 in the past fortnight. They are seeing them like watermelons as spring arrives early at Red Hill.

Add to that a suite of stats that says this fixture is a nightmare for coach Paul McGregor and his team – no wins in Brisbane since 2009, one victory in their past 12 meetings, nine consecutive losses at Suncorp Stadium – and the gravity of the scenario becomes overwhelming.

It shouldn’t have come to this for St George Illawarra. Losses to South Sydney and the Knights have put them in a scenario where they must beat the game’s hottest attacking side on their home track to remain a live hope for September football.

To add to the task, McGregor announced on Thursday that two of his players were injured at training and another two have contracted the dreaded man-flu. Exactly which four were struck down, he wouldn’t say, although that shouldn’t be interpreted to mean some or all won’t take part.

“Two guys stayed in bed this morning because they were ill with flu and we lost two at training today. We brought 21 players up so we have coverage,” McGregor said.

“We came up a day early on Wednesday thinking we would get the jump but a couple of guys woke up under the weather and now this.”

For Bennett to preside over the team that may effectively end the Dragons’ finals ambitions would be fodder for those that feel the supercoach left the club in a questionable state when he departed after three seasons in 2011.

But what price a premiership? Bennett was head-hunted to provide the joint venture with its first grand final victory and duly delivered in 2010. What few counted on in the heady days was the duration of the rebuild, which has seen St George Illawarra feature in the finals just once (2015) since Bennett’s departure.

While that has been painful for a club with such a rich history of success, Bennett has nothing but fond memories of his tenure.

“I enjoy playing against good football clubs. They’re a good football team. I had a wonderful three years there and have a lot or relationships there. We play great footy against each other, Dragons-Broncos has never been anything else but good football,” Bennett said on Thursday.

He doesn’t agree the Dragons are the only team with something to play for on Friday, even if they are the very definition of “desperate” after two losses that shattered hearts in the dressing room and among disbelieving supporters. The bounce-back against the Titans was welcome but may end up being too little, too late.

Bennett wants a top-two finish but more importantly, wants his team to continue its brilliant touch throughout the final rounds.

“There are reasons for us to win as well. It should be a really good game of football. They’re at the place where they need to win, we’re in a place where we want to maintain momentum,” he said.

“It’s the right end of the season to be playing like this. That’s our challenge right now, to maintain the way we’ve been playing over the past few weeks.”

Bennett is hardly counting this as an easy night at the office. When asked if Melbourne were able to be beaten this season, he replied: “Everybody’s beatable. We’re beatable [Friday] night.”

Should it go pear-shaped for the Dragons, there may be one redeeming feature to the broadcast should Ben Hunt continue to shine in his new role at hooker, where he replaces the injured Andrew McCullough.

He was a prized signing for St George Illawarra and joins them in 2018 on a five-year, $6 million deal. Since the move was announced in January, the halfback has only grown in stature, becoming a Maroons Origin player and over recent weeks, reminding everyone of his flexibility within a squad.

Bennett said Hunt had no reason for nerves, or to prove the Dragons he was worth the money.

“I don’t think you get excited about playing [a club] you’re joining. I don’t think that’s an issue. When you’ve played somewhere, you sometimes want to prove a point.

“In Ben’s case, he’s got nothing to prove to the Dragons. He’s going there for the next five or six years, deal is done. He won’t be showing them what he can do. They know what he can do – that’s why they bought him.”

McGregor was quick to pour cold water on playing Hunt as a No.9 when he finally arrives, despite suggestions from former Blues and Newcastle rake Danny Buderus that he suits that role better than No.7.

“I have already got my hooker,” McGregor said. “He has done what has been needed for the team [playing hooker]. They have lost a quality player in McCullough but he has come on and really held his own.

“I looked at him as a player who could take the club in a new direction [at halfback] – I haven’t changed my opinion. He is on the top end of the halfbacks going around.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Jordan Junior? Spieth’s mate firing again after Open shock

Listening to the unmistakable Texas drawl, you would think it’s Jordan Junior. Same home town, same management company, same Australian coach … and apparently the same winning attitude.
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“We play a fair bit in Dallas when we’re both in town, which is not very much,” said dual citizen Austin Connelly, the tiny Canadian-American you might not have heard of until last month. “He’s a nice guy, a good friend of mine and I’ve got to spend a lot of time with him over the years.”

So when Spieth speaks, the world listens. He said something during his wild march to a maiden British Open title last month which stuck with many. The baby-faced kid – Connelly’s actually 20 years old – had a “killer instinct”, according the man destined for golfing greatness. He would know given their friendship.

Connelly had just snatched the last spot in The Open qualifying, loitered near the top of the leaderboard all week and wound up in a tie for 14th in his first major at Royal Birkdale. His Australian swing coach Cameron McCormick and Spieth’s guru labelled it a giant leap.

The golfing world had quickly scrambled to figure out where the guy with the maple leaf next to his name had come from. He was born in Texas, but for now he plays under the Canadian banner. And with pride.

“It’s been incredible [the last few months],” Connelly said. “It’s nice to take advantage of an opportunity like that [major].

“I’ve played reasonably well [in 2017] having never seen the golf courses before and playing golf courses I didn’t really hand pick. Some of them fit me and some of them didn’t. Overall it’s been a good year.”

Good year? It’s been better than that. Much better. But maybe the mark of the man is he wasn’t surprised at all at his British Open success – and actually demanded more of himself.

It’s why the kid who could whack a golf ball 120 yards at age four turned pro at just 18, partly on the advice of Spieth. He skipped college and jumped straight into the professional furnace.

“I had just finished high school,” Connelly said. “For me it came down to [the fact] I didn’t want to balance my time. I knew that this is what I wanted to do for a living.

“My whole team was confident I had the skill set to do it and I had to get the job done. It’s worked out well so far and I’m happy with where I’m trending and I feel like I’m going in the right direction.”

If Connelly had accidentally leant sideways during the opening round of the Fiji International on Thursday, the crazy coastal winds at the Vijay Singh-designed Natadola Bay course may have blown him over.

In the bombs-away modern golf era, world No.356 Connelly is almost half the size of the tour’s burly boys.

Which is why the gusts during his opening-round three-under 69 – inspired by a chip-in eagle on the 17th, to be just three shots off pacesetter Daniel Pearce – didn’t worry him one bit as he tries to cement his European Tour status for next year.

“I love it when it’s windy,” Connelly said. “I would like it to be like this for the next three days which would be ideal. I’ve grown up playing in the wind and I definitely think I have an advantage over this field in these conditions.”

Adam Pengilly is covering the Fiji International as a guest of the PGA of Australia.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Hawks won’t get lost in space

Nathan Harkness admits the open expanses of Dick Burwell Oval will not suit his Cardiff side in Saturday’s Black Diamond AFL qualifying semi-final against Terrigal-Avoca.
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But the first-year coach is backingthe Hawks to repeat their victory over the minor premiers last weekend and reach their first grand final in five years.

Cardiff were undefeated this year on their tight home ground at Hillsborough and beat the Panthers by three goals there in the final round.

Terrigal were unbeaten on their own turf at spacious Hylton Moore Oval.

The two sides meet on Saturday on neutral territory at Nelson Bay,a ground Harkness knows will favour his opponents, although forecast strong winds could cause havoc.

“It probably suits Terrigal more, to be honest, because it’s a bigger ground,” Harkness said. “But we’ve played really well at Nelson Bay, too. We’ve won both games up there this year.It’s a bit bigger for us, but we’re really looking forward to it.”

Harkness said last week’s triumph, their first over Terrigal in four years, had given his players confidence and proved they had the tactical flexibility to cope with setbacks during a game.

“We really stood up. It was a really good, physical contest, which is what we needed to get us right.We tried a few things, and a few things worked as well. Now it’s a matter of getting the right plan for this week.

“We’re so flexible. Marcus DeLeur can play back, he can play centre. Simon O’Brien played in the forward pocket and kicked two goals.Tom Yensch played ruck-rover, ruck, full-forward, kicked four. We’re very, very flexible.If things don’t go your way, we have plenty of back-up plans to make it go our way.”

Jayson van Dam will return to the Panthers front line after missing last week, and the Hawks have defender Zac Metcalfe back.

Cardiff are enjoying plenty of output from the likes of Josh Murphy (25 goals), Tom Quade (22), Tom Yensch (18) and Cam Jones (17).The wildcard could be Aaron Wivell, who has kicked only two goals in four games since returning from a two-month injury lay-off. If he fires as well, Terrigal are in trouble.

Newcastle City are strong favourites to end Nelson Bay’s season in the elimination semi-final at 2pm.

The Marlins got within two points of the Blues early in the season but lost by 114 points and 61 in their two subsequent meetings.

Nelson Bay’s back linecould struggle to contain City’sforward threats, including Nick Gill, Pat Gillingham, Courtney Knight and Max Quinlan.

In the BDAFL Women’s semi-finals at Dick Burwell Oval, unbeaten Newcastle City play Maitland (9.30am) and Nelson Bay meet Gosford (4.30pm) for a place in the decider.

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Morrison may need just one more senate vote to pass Medicare levy

The Turnbull government may need just one more vote from the Senate crossbench to pass the $8.2 billion Medicare levy, which is designed to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
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Fairfax Media revealed on Thursday that Treasurer Scott Morrison has been negotiating behind the scenes over the levy, and the government introduced the bill to the Parliament on Thursday.

A deal has not yet been sewn up, but a range of senators have confirmed they back the measure or are open to it, which will raise the levy by 0.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent to help fund the NDIS from July 1, 2019.

Scott Morrison introduced the Medicare levy to the Parliament on Thursday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

A parliamentary inquiry is likely to be held into the levy in September, and the government hopes the Senate will vote on it in October.

The relatively unknown Senator Lucy Gichuhi could hold the key final vote the government needs to pass the law. Her office did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Thursday, claiming media adviser Mark Mudri was in a meeting.

Senator Gichuhi’s vote has come into play because Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie said on Thursday she had spoken to Mr Morrison several times and was prepared to support the increase if the threshold at which the levy kicked in was raised.

Senator Lucy Gichuhi delivering her first speech in the Senate. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

“I still think starting at that low rate, at $28,000, I think it needs to be pushed up higher. I think Bill Shorten is calling for $87,000 [for the levy to kick in], that’s too high. I think we can find some middle ground here,” she said.

Labor argues the levy increase will hit singles earning as little as about $22,000 and couples on as little as $36,000, but the government has released figures that show a single parent earning less than $49,871 or families with three children on less than $57,399 pay a reduced rate or even no levy, potentially assuaging Senator Lambie’s concerns.

Senator Derryn Hinch has discussed the levy with the Treasurer and supports the increase; the three members of the Nick Xenophon Team are sympathetic to the rise, though their support is not locked in; and it’s understood One Nation has not ruled out support for the measure.

Senators Cory Bernardi or David Leyonhjelm could also provide the needed vote, but are unlikely to support any rise in tax.

Greens treasury spokesman Adam Bandt said it was optimistic to suggest his party could support the increase, and it had not been discussed in the party room.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Living in a six foot world

CHALLENGES: Sanctuary Point resident Christine Phillips is out to raise awareness for short structured people. A quick dash to the ATM might seem like an easy task, but it’s not so simple for Christine Phillips.
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At just 121 centimetres tall, the Sanctuary Point woman struggles to reach the keypad to make a withdrawal.

Reaching door handles, accessing public facilities and dealing with stairs are just some of the other challenges she faces.

While she said people are always willing to help, Christine is hoping to bring more awareness for people with short stature.

“Things are getting better but there’s still a lot of challenges that we face,” she said.

“It’s little things that people don’t think about. For example, at the entertainment centre it’s very difficult to take a seat because they flip up and I can’t sit down.”

Christine grew up in the state’s Central West with her two brothers and sister, all of whom are normal sized.

She later moved to Sydney and worked at House with No Steps. After later moving back to the Central West, Christine retired in 2000 and bought her home in the Shoalhaven.

While she faces daily challenges, Christine hasn’t let it slow her down.

She drives a car modified by her two brothers. Extension pedals allow her to drive, but the car is also designed to be driven by people of normal height too.

Her house isn’t modified. Instead, Christine uses stools to help her access tall cupboards.

While grocery shopping could prove difficult, Christine has good local support.

“I do my groceries at IGA in St Georges Basin and they’re great. I just click my finger and they help me get things down and carry it to my car,” she said.

“They’ve been wonderful.”

While Christine said she’s seen a couple of other short structure people in the Shoalhaven, there’s no local support group.

However, next month, she will travel to the Hunter Valley for the 2017 Annual National Convention of the Short Statured People of Australia Inc.

The event will celebrate its 50thanniversary and is organised by the Short Statured People of Australia.

The conventions program is devoted to supporting short statured people and their families, with a focus on empowering short statured people for the betterment of both the individual and society.

Christine is looking forward to a wine tour, a visit to the Hunter Valley Zoo –and spending time with others who understand what it’s like living in aworld designed for six foot individuals.

South Coast Register

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