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.

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

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Lee Rhiannon accused of lying about protest footage

AFR. Property. All the Mayor Candidates for the city of Sydney. Property Council of Australia Luncheon. Pic of Meredith Burgmann. Pic by Nic Walker. September 2008 SPECIALX 91503Controversial Greens senator Lee Rhiannon has been accused of misleading the producers of the ABC’s Four Corners by falsely identifying herself in footage of activists getting arrested at an anti-apartheid protest.
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But Senator Rhiannon has hit back, rejecting claims she tried to “rewrite history” and saying she simply made an honest mistake after being shown a grainy black and white still shot, rather than the full footage.

Monday night’s program focused on the infighting between Senator Rhiannon’s hard-left NSW faction and the rest of the party.

One scene showed two women getting dragged away by police at the 1970s protest, one of whom was highlighted and said to be Senator Rhiannon. The program team showed Senator Rhiannon a screenshot from the footage and she said she believed it was her.

However academic and former Labor politician Meredith Burgmann??? says the footage – taken from a protest against the Springboks at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1971 – is actually of her and her sister Verity.

“It is inconceivable that Lee could not recognise herself in clear footage. I’m not sure she was even arrested during the campaign. Why has she sought to rewrite her past in this way?” the former president of the NSW upper house told the left-wing Challenge Magazine.

“Verity received a heavy fine and I received a two-month jail sentence for our actions. We’re a bit miffed that Lee gets to claim the bust!”

Dr Burgmann has been arrested 21 times for her activism and claims to be the only Australian ever jailed for running on to a sports ground.

But Senator Rhiannon said she was also arrested alongside her then-boyfriend, Bill Berry, at a Sydney anti-apartheid protest against the Springboks.

“When I was interviewed by Louise Milligan I was shown a grainy black and white photo. I was not shown film footage. I was told the photo was from the ABC archives and they thought the photo was of me and Bill,” she posted on social media.

“My recollection of the arrest was that I was led away by the police and Bill was dragged away. This is what the photo showed and I said the photo looked like when Bill and I were arrested.

“I have not sought to rewrite my history as Meredith Burgmann has written. I am proud that I participated in protests against apartheid South Africa. A united left expressing international solidarity was so important to ending that regime.”

Senator Rhiannon says she has sought clarification from the ABC about the photo and what led them to believe it was a photo of her.

The ABC’s Sally Jackson said: “Four Corners checked the image in question with Senator Rhiannon, who told the program team she believed it was of her. Given the doubt that has subsequently been raised, the image has been removed from the story.”

Former NSW Premier Morris Iemma has also criticised Senator Rhiannon’s “poor form”.

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Peanut-allergy cure close after Australian breakthrough

Picture: inewsfoto/ShutterstockA breakthroughMelbourne-made treatment that is providing a long-term cure for childrenwith a deadly peanut allergy may soon be widely available.
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Two out of threechildren who received experimental peanut-probiotic treatment four years ago, can still freely eat peanuts today.

“These children havebeen eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake in the years after treatment was completed,” said lead researcher Professor Mimi Tang.

The clinical trial wasconducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.

Professor Tanghopes aproduct can be on the shelves in the next five years.

“This changes sufferers’ lives. They can now eat peanuts. Their lives change completely,” she said.

“Our feedback is these kids are now going to parties without worry.”

The treatment combines a small amount of peanut flour with a very high dose of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

This bacterium, commonly found in small doses in yoghurt, is a known immune system modulator – it calms the immune system’s response to things it would normally react to, reducing the severity of allergic reactions.

Paired together, the probioticmix encourages the immune system to gradually tolerate larger and larger doses of peanut flour.

“Probiotics are very potent immune-modulating agents to shift the way the immune system responds. Thisparticularprobiotic has been shown in other situations to support tolerance-like responses. It creates an environment for the immune system to respond differently,” Professor Tang said.

Professor Mimi Tang (front) of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with Dr Graeme Wald. Photo: Supplied

About 3 per cent of babies are born with a peanut allergy. Peanuts are among themost-common causes of anaphylaxiswith hospital admissionsover the past decade increasing five-fold in children under four.

In 2013 Professor Tang’steam administered the therapy to 28 allergic children.

The amount of peanut flour was slowly increased over about 18 months, allowing the children to build up tolerance. At the end of the original trial, 82 per cent of treated children were happily eating peanuts as part of a normal diet.

In a follow-up study, researchers went back and re-tested those children for peanut allergy to determine if the treatment had lasted.

It had. They found that four years later, 80 per cent of those cured children were still showing no signs of allergic reactionto eating peanuts.

“These findings suggest our treatment is effective at inducing long-term tolerance, up to four years after completing treatment, and is safe,” Professor Tang said.

“It also suggests the exciting possibility that tolerance is a realistic target for treating food allergy. This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies.”

The institute will now work with a venture capital firm to fund the commercialisation of a treatment, which would involve doses of powder taken every day for 18 months.

With AAP

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Review to probe Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority failures

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 14 August 2017. Fedpol. Photo: Andrew Meares Interim Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority chief executive Dr Chris Parker
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A key part of the Turnbull government’s decentralisation push is set for another review by independent experts, as the pesticides authority struggles to improve assessment and registration times.

Partway through its forced relocation from Canberra to Armidale, interim Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority boss Chris Parker said on Thursday he had commissioned a “root cause” review of the agency’s operational performance.

Citing “volatility” in performance measures and the agency’s ability to meet legislative deadlines, Dr Parker said the probe will review delays in the agency’s work, including assessment and registration of agricultural and veterinary chemical products and the issuing of permits.

The review will begin next month and be finished by the end of 2017.

The authority has seen an increasing number of applications, up by as many as 80 per quarter since the 2016-17 financial year – coming as staff departures reached nearly 20 per cent and recruitment of regulatory scientists to replace those walking out the door struggled.

In June, the Australian National Audit Office said the authority had failed to consider the risk staff would resign over its controversial move to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s New England electorate and was unprepared to manage the problem.

Almost a quarter, or 48, of the workforce resigned between July 2016 and February 2017, including 20 regulatory scientists, while the 57 staff who started were mostly non-ongoing, particularly in IT, case management and administration.

The authority has acknowledged “higher than normal rate of staff departures” and asked industry peak bodies for advice on how to be prioritise its assessment workload.

“Considerable work has gone into improving our systems and processes at the APVMA and we’re not seeing this translate into more applications being assessed and finalised on time,” Dr Parker said on Thursday.

“The performance audit completed by the Australian National Audit Office provided a view of how well the APVMA implemented the 2014 legislative reforms and gave an assessment on whether we’d achieved operational efficiencies, but this did not consider the wider impact or drivers of operational performance.

“We’ve got a unique opportunity here to look at our business more critically and build quality in our regulatory operations ahead of our relocation to Armidale.”

He said the new review would give an objective assessment of what the authority could be doing better, through consideration of the drivers influencing operational performance.

“We’re determined to improve our regulatory performance at the APVMA, and we will.”

Former chief executive Karena Arthy walked from the job in April.

The June report said a drop in efficiency had been recorded since 2014 and the authority had not reduced the cost of regulatory burden on businesses seeking product approvals. Agency officials told senators in an estimates hearing in May it had struggled with a 15 per cent staff vacancy rate.

Its rate of departing staff reached 19 per cent in 2015-16, dwarfing the APS average of 7 per cent, as the Nationals promised Mr Joyce’s New England electorate it would host the APVMA if it re-elected them at the 2016 federal poll.

Labor’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said Mr Joyce was guilty of a continuing “pork barrel joke”.

“My advice to Barnaby Joyce’s handpicked interim CEO is that he doesn’t need to waste taxpayers’ money on a review, he should just confront his boss about the mess he has caused,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Mr Joyce, who faces a High Court challenge to his eligibility to sit in Parliament next week, and Nationals’ deputy leader Fiona Nash are requiring all government ministers to justify the continued presence of public service departments and agencies in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne as part of a whole-of-government decentralisation push.

Business cases for the next round of forced moves are expected by the end of the year.

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Captured: by a cat scratching post

Captured: by a cat scratching post Mia with leading firefighter Brent Giddings. Picture: NONI HYETT
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Five-year-old Mia Thompson with her CFA fire trauma teddy. Mia was rescued after becoming stuck in a cat scratcher post on Tuesday. Picture: NONI HYETT

Firefighters and paramedics work to free a trapped Mia. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mia with her trauma teddy after the ordeal. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mia Thompson with some of her rescuers – firefighter Jon Giles and leading firefighter Brent Giddings. Picture: NONI HYETT

Mia Thompson with firefighter Jon Giles. Picture: NONI HYETT

Emergency services on scene on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: SUPPLIED

TweetFacebookFive-year-old Mia Thompson is comforted by @CFA_Members and @AmbulanceVic after her rescue on Tuesday pic.twitter南京夜网/5nJQecDxbl

— Ashley Fritsch (@abfritsch) August 17, 2017

MrEenjes said firefighters talked to Mia afterwards about PAW Patrol and how she had ended up in a real life rescue.

“It made our day,” he said. “It was beautiful.”

The firefighter of 28 years said it was the first time he had seen a child stuck in acat scratcher, but he had been to plenty of rescues where arms were stuck inside lolly machines or heads between bars.

“There are quite a number that involve fingers or arms where they shouldn’t be,” he said.

“Most times it takes just a small bit of manipulation or a lever to move something to make a bit of space and they come out quite easily.”

Emergency services on scene on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: SUPPLIED

When asked how her head had ended up in the cat scratcher, Mia cheekily said, “I thought it would be fun”.

“I don’t think she will do it again anytime soon!” said mum,who praised the efforts of the emergency services on scene.

“We had two SES trucks, one CFA and one ambulance –that’s a lot for one little girl. They were lovely people,they really were.”

MrEenjes said people should call triple-0 if their child became stuck and they were worried.

“It was a great result and I know mum was taking plenty of photos to keep for her 21st birthday.”

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Tired training system taking toll on juniors

Sick and tired: Results from the Alliance NSW Hospital Health Check Survey 2017 showed young NSW doctors either experienced or witnessed bullying and harassment in the workplace, but feared reporting it.ALMOST half of juniordoctors surveyed at John Hunter Hospital have experienced bullying and harassment in their workplace, but most feared that reporting inappropriate behaviours wouldresult in “negative consequences,” a state report shows.
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The John Hunter Hospital received a“C”average in a report card compiled by the NSWAustralianMedical Association, scoring a “D” in the areas of staff well-being, rostering and overtime.

The results were based on thelatest Alliance NSW Hospital Health Check, which surveyed20 per cent of the current junior doctor workforce,including about 90 from John Hunter Hospital.

They showed49 per cent ofrespondents had experienced bullying or harassment, and 52 per cent had witnessed a colleague being bullied or harassed.

But70 per cent were concerned about negative consequences if they reported inappropriate workplace behaviours, above the state average of 66 per cent.

NSWAustralianMedical Association doctors-in-training sub-committee chair Dr Tessa Kennedy said the survey responses across the state had highlighted“systemic” issues, with many junior doctors feeling overworked andovertired.

The findings come after therecent deaths by suicideof four doctors-in-trainingin NSW within six months.

Throughout NSW,71 per cent of junior doctors wereconcerned about making a clinical error due to fatigue caused by hours worked, and 68 per cent were worriedabout personal health or safety due to fatigue.

“We know from research that if you are fatigued, if there is bullying in the workplace, if there is other conditions that make it hard, you are surviving and coping with that rather than being able to focus on delivering the best patient care that you can,” Dr Kennedy said.

“What we’ve found is that junior doctors are often putting their patients first, which is good –that’s what should be happening, but it is at the expense of themselves, and that shouldn’t be.”

John Hunter Hospital’s director of medical services, Dr Michael Hensley, said it had been encouragingto see that 80 per cent of respondents in the survey would recommend the hospital to colleagues. Butthe number of junior doctors who had experienced or witnessed bullying and harassment, and were fearful of reporting it, was a hugeconcern.

“I think the problem with reporting it is the universal one…that concern that if you identify that it will interfere with your career progression,” Dr Hensley said. “It is certainly my aim that nobody in the workplace should ever tolerate bullying and harassment for fear it will make matters worse for them.”

Dr Hensley said while the hospital had many support systems in place for all of its staff, including an anonymous employee assistance program,they hoped to increase the confidence of junior doctors to encourage them to speak up,as well as increase their skills in self-care.

“I think the steps are there, and the area has recently obtained a grant from the Health and Education Training Institute, to look at how we support junior doctors in the workplace, how we have better rosters, how we minimise fatigue and stress,” Dr Hensley said.

At the Calvary Mater, 44 per cent of junior doctors had experienced and witnessed bullying and harassment, with 67 per cent fearful of negative consequences of reporting it.

The Mater received a “B” average.

Survey grades showed John Hunter Hospital was on par with Sydney hospital’s including St Vincent’s, and St George/Sutherland Hospital.

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Former NRL star to make Wallabies debut against All Blacks

Wallabies debutant Curtis Rona has faith in his own ability and won’t be worried if the All Blacks target him during the Bledisloe Cup opener on Saturday.
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The former rugby league star, who played 57 games for the Bulldogs and Cowboys, has been picked on the wing in what will be a memorable debut against the world No.1 team at ANZ Stadium.

Coach Michael Cheika has opted to thrust Rona into the cauldron of a Bledisloe Cup after Dane Haylett-Petty was ruled out with a biceps injury.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said while his team would respect whoever the Wallabies put out on the park, they might try and target any newcomers in the starting side.

Cheika announced shortly after that Rona would become Wallaby No.910 and the 25-year-old was full of pride and confidence shortly after being given the news.

“I guess they [the All Blacks camp] can say whatever they want, but I know what I’m capable of doing,” Rona said. “I didn’t see it coming, but I’ve been training really hard these past few weeks.”

Rona has played just 80 minutes of Super Rugby on the wing for the Western Force, but his time in the NRL should hold him in good stead, according to Cheika.

“[We have] not got plans to combat it,” Cheika said when asked if he thought the All Blacks would target Rona. “Curtis has been picked because he’s a high-quality player who in the camp has shown a lot of enthusiasm and aggression. He’s just been hungry. I’m sure he’ll handle it, no problem.

“He’s run there pretty much since we came into camp and he’s looked really comfortable. I’ve really been impressed with what he’s done.

“When he came into camp I didn’t think he’d be playing in that spot. There’s no way we would be picking him if we weren’t backing him 100 per cent to do really well.”

Rona added: “I’ve been spending a lot of time on the wing in previous years, so I’m familiar with that role and knowing where to be, it’s like second nature.”

Born in New Zealand, Rona grew up idolising the All Blacks but said his family would be wearing gold jerseys on Saturday night.

“When I told them over the phone, they were all yelling and screaming and carrying on,” Rona said. “I was really happy.”

After a tumultuous few days for the Force, who are facing the axe from Super Rugby, Rona’s inclusion is welcome news for those in West Australia and Australian rugby in general, given he might be more tempted to reject offers from NRL clubs.

“It’s shined a bit of light with the situation with the Force and just to be able to play for Australia is going to be massive for me and has helped me focus on the now and footy,” Rona said.

“I’m pretty confident I’ll be playing for an Australian rugby team [next year].”

Cheika has named Kurtley Beale at inside-centre in what will be his first Test since the 2015 World Cup final.

Stephen Moore, who has relinquished the captaincy to Michael Hooper, will be the team’s starting hooker alongside props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa.

“It’s coming up to my last few cracks this game, [so I am] really keen to get out there on Saturday,” Moore said. “Now there’s a finish line in sight, human nature is you do think about that [it could be my last time to win a Bledisloe Cup].”

Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman are Australia’s starting second-rowers, while Sean McMahon has been given the No.8 jersey ahead of Lopeti Timani in a back row that also features Hooper and one of the best performers from the June series, Ned Hanigan.

Will Genia (halfback), Bernard Foley (five-eighth), Samu Kerevi (outside-centre), Henry Speight (wing) and Israel Folau (fullback), make up the rest of the Wallabies back line.

The Wallabies have not won the Bledisloe Cup since 2002 and have had a poor run of form of late, but Cheika is optimistic, saying his players need to dig deep if they want to achieve success against their fierce rivals.

“The expectation is they [New Zealand] will win and it’s up to us to get up there and put a few obstacles in their way and try and cash in on those,” Cheika said. “They’re a quality outfit. We’ve got to get up there and do our best to put heat on them and play our game as well and that’s where we can create some distraction.”

Wallabies starting team to play All Blacks

1. Scott Sio (32 Tests) 2. Stephen Moore (120 Tests) 3. Allan Alaalatoa (11 Tests) 4. Rory Arnold (12 Tests) 5. Adam Coleman (12 Tests) 6. Ned Hanigan (3 Tests) 7. Michael Hooper (c) (68 Tests) 8. Sean McMahon (15 Tests) 9. Will Genia (78 Tests) 10. Bernard Foley (45 Tests) 11. Curtis Rona (debut) 12. Kurtley Beale (60 Tests) 13. Samu Kerevi (8 Tests) 14. Henry Speight (12 Tests) 15. Israel Folau (55 Tests)

Reserves 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (71 Tests) 17. Tom Robertson (9 Tests) 18. Sekope Kepu (80 Tests) 19. Rob Simmons (71 Tests) 20. Lopeti Timani (7 Tests) 21. Nick Phipps (52 Tests) 22. Reece Hodge (13 Tests) 23. Tevita Kuridrani (47 Tests)

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Big win for small firm

Success is sweet: “It’s all about the hard yards and having a vision,” says MachineMonitor CEO Mike Davis. Picture: Marina NeilA SMALL Hunter business has outclassed multinationals to win a $10 millionelectrical services contract on the $47 billion Ichthys liquified natural gas plant.
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Belmont-headquartered Machinemonitor, a subsidiary of the MM Group of companies, recently learned of itssuccessin the 18-month LNG project’s tender process. It comprises an offshore facility off the Kimberley coast in West Australia and an onshore gas processing facility in Darwin Harbour linked by an 890km pipeline.

Machinemonitor CEO Mike Davis said his company would monitor the electrical assets –including generators, high voltage cables, transformers and motors–of theLNG project driven by Japan’s Inpex Corporation.

He said the three-year contract, which includes extension options -was the biggesthis firm had won “by a long shot” given tenders were usually piecemeal.

The 66-year-old electrical engineer and one-time teacher said the win was a coup for his 30-strong staff.

“It was a significant team effort and it proves that a sole trader in 1980 can go out there from a base like Newcastle and grow wider markets and develop products that are innovative,” he said.

Near the end of construction, Ichthys has been touted as one of the world’s most significantoil and gas projects in the world and has an operational life of 40 years.

Mr Davis said his company had not been confident of winning the tender, which he said was“a very arduous process” on multiple fronts.

“They had gone to ground for the last four weeks of the process and I was beginning to be doubtful,” he said.Instead, he was told by Inpexthat Machinemonitor won because it had “home-grown, Hunter Valley engineering pedigree that was far superior to any other bidder.”

Mr Davis’ first business foray wasthe electrical repair firm Hunter Valley Rewinds, named Telstra business of the year in 1995, which hesold to a listed Singaporean company.He later bought the monitoring arm of his former firm, renaming it Machinemonitor, and devised sophisticated web-based tools to help firms better assess risk in their machinery.

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Australia adds 1000 jobs a day to continue record run

Tony Abbott during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 9 August 2017. Fedpol. Photo: Andrew Meares Labor MPs Ed Husic and Tim Hammond during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 30 May 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Nanjing Night Net

The average number of workers being employed every six months has had its strongest run in seven years, new figures show, as the unemployment rate drops to 5.6 per cent on the back of 10 straight months of gains in full-time employment.

The economy has added more than 1000 full-time jobs a day over that past six months, according to the figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday.

The result means the Coalition government is on track to match former prime minister Tony Abbott’s optimistic promise of 1 million new jobs in five years, made when he took office in September 2013.

Since then, 658,300 jobs have been added. If the economy continues at the current rate, the government will achieve that target before September 2018.

“Full-time employment has now increased by around 220,000 persons since September 2016, and makes up the majority of the 250,000 person increase in employment over the period,” the Bureau’s chief economist Bruce Hockman said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison welcomed the result in parliament on Thursday.

“That is the highest rate of jobs growth we have seen in a full financial year since before the global financial crisis,” he said.

But the growth in jobs has failed to give rise to greater incomes, with the growth in average weekly male earnings slipping again to stall at their lowest level since World War II.

Thursday’s figures show a paltry growth rate of 1.56 per cent, well below the cost of living at 1.9 per cent.

The ABS only began its current wage price index in 1997, so any long-run historical comparison relies on the average weekly earnings measure.

The figure is cruder than Wednesday’s wages index, which grew just 0.5 per cent in the three months to June 30, or 1.9 per cent over the year. The record low is placing mounting pressure on household budgets by barely keeping pace with the cost of living.

The participation rate, which refers to the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, was up 0.1 percentage points at 65.1 per cent.

Economists are usually sceptical about single-month job gains but Thursday’s result is the fifth chunky gain in as many months.

“The past volatility of the data means it pays not to get too excited by strong employment data and not to get too worried by weak data,” Capital Economics chief economist Paul Dales said.

“But the recent improvement in the labour market is an upside risk to our cautious economic growth, inflation and interest rate forecasts.”

There are still more than 720,000 Australians who are unemployed, the figures show, while more than 1.1 million are underemployed.

Over the past year, the three states with the strongest growth in employment were Tasmania [4.0 per cent], Victoria [3.1 per cent] and Queensland [2.7 per cent], while NSW is nearing full employment with only 5 per cent of the population unemployed.

Indeed economist Callam Pickering said it remained difficult to square away strong employment figures and high business confidence, with such low levels of consumer confidence.

“Normally a strong labour market is associated with an enthusiastic household sector, which indicates to me that conditions on the ground are perhaps not as rosy as the employment figures suggest,” he said.

Labor’s acting employment spokesman, Ed Husic, said workers still felt insecure about their future.

“You can still see underemployment is a big issue,” he said. “That is one of the factors that is fuelling a view amongst Australian workers about how secure their work is and whether or not the jobs are actually meeting their needs.”

TD Securities economist Annette Beacher said strong upward trends in full-time employment and hours worked underpinned the Reserve Bank’s cautious optimism on the labour market.

“These are expected to spark wages growth from current record low levels,” she said.

As a result, Ms Beacher said she did not expect the central bank to raise rates until May 2018.

with Peter Martin

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

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A tale of two Sydneys: first class and baggage

Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr delivers a speech to recognise Palestine as a state to the NSW State Labor Conference at Sydney Town Hall, in Sydney, Sunday, 30 July, 2017. (AAP Image/Daniel Munoz) NO ARCHIVINGFor the past week a large police van has been parked at the top of Martin Place, opposite the Reserve Bank building and just up the hill from the “millionaires’ factory”, Macquarie Bank.
Nanjing Night Net

There are no actual police to be seen outside it, but the message is clear to the homeless people and activists who camped out there in recent weeks: don’t dare come back.

Within hours of the NSW Parliament passing a bill empowering the Lands Minister Paul Toole to send in the police to move them on, the residents of what became known as “tent city” began packing up after months of occupying the space.

The so-called “mayor of Martin Place”, Lanz Priestley, had hinted at legal action but unsurprisingly given the meagre resources at hand, it failed to eventuate.

In justifying the decision, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward ran lines about “safety” for the general public and the tent city dwellers.

In reality, what prompted the government to act is media attention.

Instead of engaging more deeply on the issue of homelessness by perhaps helping to establish a less impractical space elsewhere in the CBD, the government decided to sweep away the problem.

In a literal case of “out of sight, out of mind” its solution was to throw some cash at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross so it could expand its opening hours.

Contrast this with the treatment of another group daring to defy the state government; a group with significantly different means.

In a neat parallel, about the same time as the tent city was packing up the Berejiklian government quietly published the latest figures outlining taxpayer support for former premiers.

They reveal that during 2016-17 Nick Greiner claimed $318,000 in communications, office space and staff costs. The figure for former premier Bob Carr was $307,000.

To his credit, one of Berejiklian’s predecessors as premier, Barry O’Farrell, tried to end what is increasingly widely regarded as an outrageous rort. But when pushed for the entitlements to be abolished, he was threatened with legal action. Sound familiar?

In this instance, the government backed off and instead of abolishing entitlements altogether, simply cut them back and restricted them for future recipients.

So each year hundreds of thousands of dollars is spent to keep two independently wealthy former politicians in the fashion to which they have grown accustomed.

It almost goes without saying, but no one should hold their breath waiting for the Berejiklian government to legislate to sweep them out of their taxpayer-funded city offices.

Clearly there are significant differences in the two scenarios, not least that the tent city had grown to the extent that it was starting to impede foot traffic in a major city thoroughfare.

What makes the comparison legitimate is that, like her predecessor Mike Baird, Berejiklian claims that one of the things most important to her in the job is “protecting the vulnerable”.

When she and others raised that some of the occupants of tent city were protesters rather than homeless, they were right. But using this as a criticism completely missed the point.

The fact is the Martin Place tent city was a protest – a bid to draw attention to the plight of Sydney’s homeless.

Setting up outside the Reserve Bank in the heart of the financial district and across the road from NSW Parliament was an attempt to highlight the divide between the haves and have nots in this city and a plea for the political class to address it.

It certainly achieved that. To be fair, it also served as a reminder of the complexity of the homelessness issue, which many governments have struggled with.

But despite its pledge to spend every cent on new facilities, the Berejiklian government is already on the nose over the related issue of social and affordable housing thanks to the sell-off of public housing at Millers Point and the Sirius building.

In responding as she has, Berejiklian has missed a golden opportunity to prove that a Coalition government so often painted as heartless in the pursuit of efficiencies, also has a genuine social conscience.

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

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When Jobe kicked a goal and time stood still

When Jobe kicked a goal, time stood still. A little bit like the champ himself over the past few weeks. All due respect Jobe, I love you and everything you have done for our club. You are all class. But in the last few games as a footballer, you’ve made an excellent barista.
Nanjing Night Net

At Etihad Stadium, on Saturday night, while Adelaide hustled us from the inside and out, while you could see our guys busting a gut to keep up, while the extraordinarily annoying Crows fan behind me with the very loud clappy hands boomed away in my ear all night, the clock stopped ticking for a moment.

Just inside the 50 at the city end, you demanded the ball, hard won out of a scrap at centre half forward, you took it cleanly, ran a step or two and it was then, in that instant, the entire Bomber world stopped spinning.

As the ball left the boot I found myself standing up. It was because the guy in front of me was standing up and the woman in front of him and the kid in front of her. You can’t be sure of too much in life, but I’m pretty certain every Dons fan from the gods to the corporates were on their feet. All sound disappeared in that split second. Holding our breath, holding our breath, holding our breath.

From my members’ forward pocket angle, it looked like the thing had sailed straight through. Had it? Did it? The cheer squad behind the sticks was roaring. In that second it was time back on and the sound was otherworldly.

There is noise at a footy game. And then there is the sound of unbridled joy. The clatter and crash, the thud and hum and resonance; the flow of the thing is almost alive.

We were on our feet screaming. For you, for us, for our club. We’ve donned the sash since birth and we’ve not taken it off. Ever. Just like you.

Your teammates hugged you, swamped you and enfolded you, as if to say, for all of us, an almighty thanks to someone who appears to be, from this fan’s seat at least, a very good man. [email protected], you are a star. Congratulations on a great career! pic.twitter南京夜网/HJ8mWOy1oO??? Toyota Australia (@Toyota_Aus) August 16, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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