OPINION: Deregulation will increase use of drones

THE Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has announced drones under 2kilograms are to become deregulated for commercial use in the second half of 2015.
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This will allow business to utilise the benefits of this technology without being certified.

But public liability insurance is not, and may not, become available to uncertified operators. It will be interesting to see what the insurance agencies deliver in the future to those uncertified because it does leave the community exposed to the risks associated with small drones.

We may find the insurance industry is the driver of the market rather than the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s regulation changes.

Through awareness of the aviation environment, automation systems and a focus on safety, sub-2kg aircraft can be operated safely, delivering efficiencies to many business sectors.

Utilisation of drones is not only about profits and efficiency but removing people from hazardous environments, allowing them to return home safely to their family.

Consider what is the greater risk: someone climbing onto a potentially unsafe elevated structure, or someone using a drone to inspect the structure first without risking harm to themselves.

Deregulation of the lower weight category for drones should see a mass adoption of the technology for many applications.

There are critics, and it seems that inadvertent contact between manned and unmanned aircraft will inevitably occur at some time, the repercussions of which are yet to be seen. This contact is unlikely to be from a commercial operator but from someone who is unaware of the regulations in the first place. Drones are a tool for an expert in their field. The mass take-up of drones is good for Australian business, promoting development, and the deregulation allows entry into unmanned systems without the restrictive costs currently involved. Small drones have their limitations and, as with manned aircraft, some manufacturers will pitch to the under 2kg market while others will remain in the over 2kg market.

There are also limitations on where uncertified operators can fly and, without a Civil Aviation Safety Authority-approved Operator’s Certificate, this may not change.

A common under-2kg multirotor system costs between $1000 and $2000 and is capable of carrying a small camera similar to a GoPro. Often people dip their toe into the market at this level, but discover their limitations and look to upgrade.

Professional applications are unlikely to accept a decrease in performance, quality, endurance or operating area just to remain under 2kg. For others this level of sophistication will be enough and add benefit to their activities.

CASA had previously indicated a weight for regulation as high as 20kg, but don’t hold your breath for this to occur just yet. With any rapidly developing technologies, legislation is slow to catch up and Australia’s legislation is stuck in 2002, when current technologies were beyond the reach of the masses. And Australian legislation is still considered advanced.

Aviassist has designed a workshop promoting safe under-2kg drone fixed wing and multirotor operations, transferring professional knowledge and creating a pathway for seamless transition to over 2kg as users expand their applications.

Ross Anderson is the founder of aviassist南京夜网419论坛, which provides aviation training and support

Street art takes centre stage

PAINT: Jara Gillick-Lewis with part of the mural Hiphopportunities created. Picture GLENN DANIELSHIPHOPPORTUNITIES For Youth is back at Groovin the Moo this year with some new murals helping add colour to the regional music festival.
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Artist Jara Gillick-Lewis said the organisation aimed to give young artists a platform for their ideas.

“We want to inspire and engage them and hopefully they can take (their skills) further,” Ms Gillick-Lewis said.

“There is potentially a chance for them to come back next year and get their own wall or piece.

“We want to see them develop their skills and take them further and further.”

Ms Gillick-Lewis said the group also promoted, including female artists.

“We are eroding that boundary that street art is just for males,” she said.

“The group also included local community children as well as kids from rural areas.

‘It;s very inclusive, brings people in and gives them a space where they are comfortable to express their ideas.”

Ms Gillick-Lewis said this year she was inspired by GTM’s retro poster artwork.

“I hope it’s very retro , stylised and captivating. I am going for a bit of an oasis vibe,” she said.

“I am normally an illustrator but I do graffiti as well.

“You can start out illegally but I don’t like working and looking over my shoulder.

“So I started by getting access to walls and tapping into festivals.

“If you want to paint, you find a way but you’ve got to practise.”

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Boss rates one superbly to claim Guineas for Moody

THUMBS UP: Glen Boss is all smiles after bringing Stratton home to claim the Guineas on Wagga Gold Cup Day. Picture: Les Smith
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CHAMPION jockey Glen Boss produced a brilliant front-running ride to score on Stratton in the Guineas.

Boss rated Stratton ($8.00) to perfection to take out the $40,000 Audi Centre Wagga MTC Guineas 3YO Benchmark 70 Handicap (1600m).

It gave a Wagga carnival victory to two of the biggest names in racing, Boss and Melbourne trainer Peter Moody.

Boss went straight to the front of Stratton and the chestnut kicked strongly in the straight to steal a race-winning lead.

Stratton held off Charming Lad ($11.00) by 1½lengths, with Wagga three-year-old High Opinion ($4.60) making strong ground to be a half length further back in third.

Boss said getting back on a dry track proved decisive for Stratton.

Boss rates one superbly to claim Guineas for Moody THUMBS UP: Glen Boss is all smiles after bringing Stratton home to claim the Guineas on Wagga Gold Cup Day. Picture: Les Smith

THUMBS UP: Glen Boss is all smiles after bringing Stratton home to claim the Guineas on Wagga Gold Cup Day. Picture: Les Smith

THUMBS UP: Glen Boss is all smiles after bringing Stratton home to claim the Guineas on Wagga Gold Cup Day. Picture: Les Smith

THUMBS UP: Glen Boss is all smiles after bringing Stratton home to claim the Guineas on Wagga Gold Cup Day. Picture: Les Smith

THUMBS UP: Glen Boss is all smiles after bringing Stratton home to claim the Guineas on Wagga Gold Cup Day. Picture: Les Smith

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Author’s African journey book launch

Author Ann Hacker on assignment in Africa.THE wilds of Africa will be detailed at the launch of Ann Hacker’s book, Shooting the Breeze, at McCrossin’s Mill on Sunday.
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Museum director Kent Mayo said Shooting the Breezewas a fascinating account of Hacker’s work, over five years, as assistant to a well-known wildlife photographer and author in the wild and remote areas of Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa.

The pair alsospent up to six months at a time on safari.

“Before Ann chose to settle in Uralla, she spent more than 30years in Africa, initially as the group creative designer for the largest publishing company in southern Africa,” Mr Mayo said.

“That didn’t really surprise any of us, because Ann certainly has a way with words.”

The museum hadhosted two successful book launches in the past, Mr Mayo said.

“[Shooting the Breeze]is a really entertaining read, complemented with Ann’s own sketches, which gives the story a very personal flavour.”

The launch of “Shooting the Breeze” is to be held at the Mill onMay 3at 3pm, with refreshments to follow.

To assist with catering, anyone wishing to attend this event should phone 6778 3022 to give their details.

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Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao fight: a genuine mega-bout?

Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
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Boxing’s history is full of so-called mega-fights – bouts that transcend the boundaries of the rapidly shrinking ranks of genuine fans and pique the interest of the wider public. With promoters like Don King and Bob Arum – who this week claimed that his charge Manny Pacquiao had been responsible for saving countrywoman Mary Jane Veloso from execution alongside the Bali Nine ring leaders – the hype can be overwhelming and the fight can often fail to live up to the expectations. This is particularly when one or both of the fighters are past their best, but there are times when an absolute classic results.

But what will this clash between two of the finest boxers of their generation be?

There are many opinions, although the undefeated Mayweather is a strong favourite. Mayweather and Pacquiao have been at each other for years and for good reason as they are among the finest fighters of their generation. Well, if you listen to Mayweather, that is actually doing him an injustice as he believes that he is the best ever, surpassing the universially acknowledged title holders Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. For the uninitiated that is what the ‘TBE’ stands for on the cap that he wears. It was a boast that did not escape Ali’s attention. “Don’t you forget, I am the greatest!” #MuhammadAlipic.twitter南京夜网/HXaTz39RPM— Muhammad Ali (@MuhammadAli) April 27, 2015

There are fears that there is no way that these two aging champions could ever match the expectations that have been set for this fight. But, there has been so much debate about who is better fighter – and so much sniping between the camps – that if they finished their stellar careers without squaring off, even at this late stage, there would have, perhaps unjustly, been an unsatisfying feeling of unfinished business.

Photo: Reuters

Why it’s a big deal?Long-anticipated clash between two of the best pound-for-pounders of their generation Has generated genuine enormous public interestWill be the highest grossing fight ever. It is expected to generate more than $500 million in ticket sales and global TV revenueIt is the classic good vs bad sporting contest. Mayweather is the flashy, egotistical braggart while Pacquiao is seen as the down-to-earth champion

Why it’s not.  It will be held five years too lateThere is uncertainty as to what we will actually get from two ageing champions in the face of boundless hyperbole and pay-per-view prices that have been significantly increased. Does it really penetrate the public psyche like some of the blockbusters of past that have included names such  as Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Tyson, Leonard, Hagler and Hearns ?Mayweather has not had a knock out in his past five fights. It’s been 10 for Pacquiao.

Reasons why Mayweather will win

There is a reason why Mayweather has never been beaten. He a master of ring craft with an crafty ability to undermine his opponents, so much so that his defensive ways can, according to Marvin Hagler, make fights tedious enough to “put the fans to sleep”. But, when the time comes, he is not afraid to get down and dirty with best of them. He has power in both hands as shown by his 26 knockouts, even if he has not had one in eight years. Add in exquisite timing and footwork and strong defence and Mayweather is an imposing proposition to the significantly smaller Pacquiao whose form has seemlingly deteriorated at a quicker rate. He will likely look to wait out the opening flurries and then pick off the points.

Reasons why Pacquiao will win

The powerful Pacquiao could be the hardest hitter that Mayweather has faced. His hand speed and explosive combinations will be a key to victory. He throws a lot punches and he throws them quick, keeping a relentless pressure on his opponent. Pacquiao has a 59 per cent knockout ratio, but he had not had a KO since Ricky Hatton in 2009. His self belief and fitness keeps him going throughout the fight as he looks to wear down his oppponent, a factor that could have a bearing on an aging Mayweather.

What people are saying

“He (Mayweather) is very delusional … He’s a little, scared man. He’s a very small, scared man,” said Mike Tyson.

“If Pacquiao doesn’t get tired, Mayweather is going to be shooing away that fly for 12 rounds, and Pacquiao might surprise him. I’m inclining more, as the fight gets closer, to Pacquiao,” said Oscar de la Hoya who lost to both fighters.

​”Floyd would win, but no knockout. We know that defensively Mayweather is the best in the world,” said Juan Manuel Marquez, seen above after knocking out Pacquiao in their fourth fight.

“Someone walked into my house today and said; ‘Jeff, is it five years too late? I said; ‘listen, if it was five years earlier, Floyd would have got 20 million and the other guy would have got 10 million, the timing is perfect’ ” said Jeff Fenech.



Nickname​:  Money

Stance: Orthodox

Age: 38

Fights: 47, 0 losses, 0 draws, 26 knockouts

World title fights: 24.

World titles across five weight divisions

Career earnings: US$420 million


Nickname: Pacman

Stance: Southpaw

Age: 36

Fights: 57, 5 losses, 2 draws, 38 knockouts

World title fights: 19

World titles across eight weight divisions

Career earnings: US$340 million

Notable Opponents


Marcos Rene Maidana, 13/9/2014, Las Vegas, won UD12;  03/05/14, Las Vegas, won MD12

Miguel Cotto,  5/5/2012, Las Vegas, won UD 12

Ricky Hatton, 8/12/2007, Las Vegas, won TKO 10

Oscar de la Hoya, 5/5/2007, Las Vegas, won SD12

Zab Judah, 8/4/2006, Las Vegas, won UD12

Diego Corrales, 20/1/2001. Las Vegas, won TKO10


Timothy Bradley, 12/4/14,  Las Vegas, won UD12; 09/6/12, Las Vegas, lost SD

Juan Manuel Marquez, 08/12/12, Las Vegas, lost KO 6; 12/11/11 Las Vegas, won MD12; 15/3/2008, Las Vegas, won SD12; 08/5/20-04, Las Vegas, draw SD12

Joshua Clottey.  13/3/2010. Arlington. won UD12

Oscar de la Hoya, 6/12/2008. Las Vegas. won RTD 8

Ricky Hatton, 02/05/09, Las Vegas, won KO2

Erik Morales, 18/11/2006, Las Vegas, won KO3; 21/1/2006, Las Vegas, won TKO10; 19/3/2005, las vegas, lost UD12

Mega-fights of the past

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather, 5 May 2007, WBC Light-Middleweight title 

Dubbed “The World Awaits”, this was the matchup that broke all the records at the time. It featured two of the most charismatic fighters of their generation: De La Hoya, known as Golden Boy who was way past his prime after a remarkable career and Mayweather, who was in his prime and regarded as pound-for-pound no.1 fighter. Despite the split decision in favour of Mayweather, the fight ultimately underwhelmed.

Marvin Hagler v Sugar Ray Leonard, 6 April, 1987, Las Vegas, WBC middleweight title

Any of the bouts that involved the Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran were among the most anticipated of the 1980s. While Mike Tyson was terrifying the heavyweight division, it was the exploits of these four brilliant – but vastly different – boxers that made boxing what it was in the 1980s. Out of all the blockbusters, it was probably the matchup between the gritty ‘Marvellous Marvin’ and flashy ‘Sugar Ray’ that was the biggest because of the animosity between the two. It resulted in a great contest that ended in a controversial split decision to Leonard and sent Hagler into retirement.

Evander Holyfield v Mike Tyson, 9 November, 1996, WBA heavyweight title

Mike Tyson’s presence in the ring captured the public imagination more than any other boxer that followed Muhammad Ali. The combination of the way he pounded his way through the heavyweight division, the brutality of his personal life and his return from a jail term for rape, made him compulsive viewing, even later his career when his skills and aura were vastly diminished. The first matchup with Holyfield was the fight people wanted to see before Tyson’s shocking loss to Buster Douglas in 1990 and it was appropriately promoted as ‘Finally’. But Tyson was not the same boxer after his four year absence from the ring, despite regaining one of his titles from Frank Bruno in 1994, and he was no match for Holyfield who stopped him in the 11th round. They met again the following year when Tyson was infamously disqualified for twice biting Holyfiled’s ear.

Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier, 8 March 1971, WBC and WBA heavyweight world titles

The first fight between these giants of the sport may not have been the best – that was the incomparable Thriller in Manilla – but the build up made it the most anticipated fight of its era. Both fighters were undefeated with Frazier the reigning king of the ring after brutal knockouts of Buster Mathis and Jimmy Ellis but Ali and much of the boxing fraternity believed he was the true champion having had the title stripped from him when he refused to drafted into the US army during the Vietnam War. Ali had returned from more than three years out of the ring, but he had lost none of his verbal sting as he launched barrages of insults that often unjustly denigrated Frazier. The fight lived up to expectations with Frazier winning on points after knocking down Ali late with a left hook.  On this date in 1967, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army and was stripped of his heavyweight title. pic.twitter南京夜网/L8deguDju4— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 28, 2015

Joe Louis v Rocky Marciano, 26 October, 1951. 

A burgeoning tax bill forced the Brown Bomber to end a shortlived retirement in 1950 and 10 fights into a comeback he was pitched against the formidible Marciano. Louis was a legendary figure and many believed, as with Ali two decades later, that he was still the true world champion despite his time away from the ring. Despite Louis being well past his best at 37, the fight was eagerly anticipated. It was a brutal fight with Marciano savaging Louis, knocking him down in the eighth round and then putting him through the ropes with a combination to finish the fight.

Jack Johnson v James.J.Jefferies, 4 July 1910, world heavyweight title

This was the sport’s first real mega-figh which reach stretched far beyond the boundaries of ring. Johnson was the seventh man to hold the heavyweight title in the gloved era but the problem for many at the time was that he was the first black to do so. But not only that, he was flashy, drove fast cars and socialised with white women. With racism driving a backlash against Johnson, former champion Jefferies, who had refused to fight black boxers when he held the title, was brought out of retirement as the ‘white hope’. The out-of-shape Jefferies was no match for Johnson and the fight was stopped in the 15th round.

Anthony Mundine v Danny Green, 17 May 2006, WBA super middleweight title eliminator

The biggest fight to ever be held in Australia and the most spiteful since Lester Ellis and Barry Michael slugged it out for the IBF super-featherweight title two decades earlier. There was genuine dislike between the two fighters and Mundine’s outspoken ways and in-your-face brashness earned him little love from the general public. However, after such an intense buildup the fight itself was a let-down with Mundine winning comfortably on points.

How to follow the action

Fairfax’s Phil Lutton will be live blogging the fight. Follow the coverage from midday (AEST) on Sunday.

Where to watch it

TV coverage will begin from 11am (AEST) on Sunday 3rd May. It will cost $59.95 on Main Event. It will also be shown at 150 hotels around Melbourne.

The fight will begin at approximately 2pm (AEST)

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All you need to know about the ‘other’ rugby league internationals this weekend

Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll
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Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Fiji v PNG

This is a historic first clash between these two sides who will play for the Melanesian Cup. Fiji (ranked sixth) are favourites against the 11th-ranked PNG side. Fiji’s side will be littered with NRL players, including flyers Kevin Naiqama, Marika Koroibete and Eto Nabuli. The trio have scored 12 NRL tries between them this season. The Rick Stone-coached side will feature his Newcastle charger Korbin Sims while Api Koroisau, Jayson Bukuya and Darryl Millard will also play. PNG have 11 players who play for the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup. Their NRL experience will come from Nene Macdonald, Ray Thompson and Canberra fringe player Luke Page. PNG’s hopes rest with Thompson taking control of the side.

Samoa v Tonga

Samoa showed the progression of the Pacific nations with their performances at last year’s Four Nations. They tested Australia and New Zealand and should have beaten England in their opening pool game. Joseph Leilua will again be a focal point of their team’s attack after he rejected an approach from City to turn out for Samoa. Samoa are now ranked fourth in the world, and have a host of NRL players, including Tim Simona, Sam Kasiano, Josh McGuire, Frank Pritchard and Ricky Leutele. Their lack of playmakers could come to hurt them. Tonga, meanwhile, are the 16th-ranked side, and boast a quality forward pack with Sika Manu, Manu Ma’u and Richie Fa’aoso playing.

Niue v South Africa

South Africa play Niue for the first time. South Africa are ranked 31 out of 34 rugby league playing countries, while Niue are yet to be ranked ahead of their clash at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday. The bulk of the South African squad is made up of local players but will feature Halvor Harris who played under-20s for the Cowboys. Titans under-20s player Shane Gillham will also represent South Africa. Wests Tigers NSW Cup player Wes Lolo will represent Niue alongside brother George. The pair played lower grades at St George Illawarra. South Africa and Lebanon will play each other later this year in Dubai in a World Cup qualifying match.

Malta v Lebanon

The teams will play for the Phoenician Cup on Sunday. Lebanon are ranked 23rd – one spot ahead of Malta. The Lebanese side will feature one domestic player, Wael Harb from the American University of Beirut. Long-serving Newtown prop Ray Moujalli – who made one first-grade appearance for the Sydney Roosters in 2009 – has been named to play. The Lebanese squad features a host of NSW Cup players. Malta is also made up of largely Australian-based players. Former St George Illawarra under-20s player Blake Phillips will play for Malta. It will be Malta’s first game since beating the Czech Republic 34-8  last July.

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The land that binds

The author, Deb Hunt, and the cover of her new book, Australian farming families. Pics supplied.For her latest book, Australian farming families, author Deb Hunttook herself to some of Australia’s most far-flung locations and immersed herself in the stories of eight host farming families.
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For a Gloucestershire native who has lived in some of the biggest cities in the world, some of the outback locationsmust have seemed like another planet.

Contrary to being alien, however, she found the land and its inhabitants more of this world and real than most.

“What I must stress is I had the best fun researching this book as every family was incredibly entertaining. Some of them quite eccentric, but all of them entertaining,” Deb enthuses.

To illustrate her point Deb relates a story from the book from Ian Jackson who lives at ‘Tirlta’ Station 100km northeast of Broken Hill.

In the story Ian and his three brothers take their governess for a drive to do a bit of ‘roo’shooting. Once the governess is out of the car,having been told it is her turn to shoot,the cheeky ladstake-off on her leaving her alone in the outback.

“It took Ian’s parent’s hours to find her, the poor sobbing governess,” Deb says.

Deb HuntAustralian Farming Families by Deb Hunt, Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99, is out now.

Families encouraged by care conversation

CONCERNED FAMILY: Marilyn Dalley and Sue Davis raised concerns with Mr Foley. Picture: PETER WEAVINGSANDHURST Centre residents, workers and parents remain optimisticafter the Andrews Labor government committed to providing $7.9 million worth of housing options.
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Housing, disability and ageing minister Martin Foley visited Bendigo on Friday to announce the funding and meet with residents, workers and parents.

Sue Davis attended the meeting as hersonresides at the Sandhurst Centre.

She said she hoped for certainty and consistency from disability services.

“Today I felt like itwas nearly the same words and nearly the same sentences,” she said.

“The only difference is they are not pushing the non-government places on us.”

Though, she said she felt the government had recognised the desire for services to not become privatised.

“We have specific staff who really know how (my son) behaves,” she said.

Ms Davis said new staff may not understand her son like the current staff.

The 29 residents of Sandhurst Centre – due to move into the new units in 2016 – will choose whether to be cared for by non-government providers, Melbaand Karden Disability Foundation, or continue to receive caredelivered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health and Community Services Union state secretaryLloyd Williams said discussion with the minister was welcomed.

“We are confident through thisprocess that the families and residents here will choose the DHS option because they know that the experienced staff who have cared for them for so long are needed to provide future continuity of support and their future care needs,” he said.

“It has now been two years since we began campaigning for certainty for our members.

“We will continue to campaign to stop the contracting out of disability services in this state, because we are of the firm view that it is not in the interest of people with a disability.”

Ashift toa community-based model for residents of the Sandhurst disability support facility in Bendigo was announced on Friday.

Housing, disability and ageing minister Martin Foley announced the Andrews Labor government plan to provide $7.9 million to build five new community residential units to replace the existing style of care.

Mr Foley said the choice lay in the hands of the residents and their carers.

“Yes, this place will close down mid next year, but we will give the families the choice as to whether they will go for the Department of Human Serviceshomes provided in the community or whether they will go with thecontractor employed by the former government,” he said.

“People are wanting to give certainty and closure to this issue and that’s what we have come to give them today.

“We will fund 7.9 million worth of community-based specialised housing for the residents here, so they can live their life with dignity and respect.”

Mr Foley said a mix of services was possible.


SHADOW Minister forDisability Services Jenny Mikakos says Labor will give certainty to Sandhurst if elected.

Ms Mikakos said under an Andrews Labor Government, SandhurstCentre residents would be able to havecontinuity of care at five newly-built DHS residential care homes when the centre closes in 2016.

Ms Mikakos said residents would be able to choose to remain in state-run care or opt for private residential care.

Ms Mikakos made theannouncementto Sandhurst staff and supporters during a visit to Bendigo on Friday.

“We know that families of people with disabilities, their carers and the staff have been living with a great deal of uncertainty since the government made the announcement of the closure,” she said.

“Labor supports the transition of the Sandhurst residents to community-based residential units but we want to make sure that people will be able to continue to live in government-run units and that they will be able to maintain the existing long-term relationships that they have developed with the staff at Sandhurst.”

Ms Mikakos said Labor opposed Premier Denis Napthine’s “privatisation agenda” and, under an Andrews Labor Government, the state would continue to provide residential care.

Meanwhile, Ministerfor Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge announced on Friday thefuture living arrangements for the residents of Bendigo’s Sandhurst Centre were nowfinalised.

“The Department of Human Services received more than 40 submissions in response to theproposed new living arrangements for Sandhurst’s residentsand has refined the originalservice design plans to reflect the preferences and advice of residents, their familiesand staff,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“We now have a clear idea about which residents will be living together in the newaccommodation, where their new homes will be and what types of features their homes willhave.

“Moving to a new home is a big decision in anyone’s life, so as we celebrate this milestone inthe Sandhurst redevelopment, it is important that residents now have some time to considerthe proposed models.”

Read more here.

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The postie and his cockatoo retire

The postie and his cockatoo retire Aberdeen mail contractor Bob Johnston and his cockatoo George. Picture: Catherine Clifford, Muswellbrook Chronicle.
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Aberdeen mail contractor Bob Johnston and his cockatoo George. Picture: Catherine Clifford, Muswellbrook Chronicle.

Aberdeen mail contractor Bob Johnston and his cockatoo George. Picture: Catherine Clifford, Muswellbrook Chronicle.

Aberdeen mail contractor Bob Johnston and his cockatoo George. Picture: Catherine Clifford, Muswellbrook Chronicle.

Aberdeen mail contractor Bob Johnston and his cockatoo George. Picture: Catherine Clifford, Muswellbrook Chronicle.

TweetFacebook ‘‘On normal days George starts calling out from 6am, ‘I’m going to work, I’m going to work, I’m going to work … but if it’s going to rain he sits there all fluffed up and won’t budge.’’

Carole Johnston

Bob was busy doing what posties do when, in 2007, his new pillion passenger unexpectedly arrived on the scene.

‘‘George was kicked out of the nest when he was a baby because he was the runt of the clutch and one of my mates found him and he ended up here,’’ Bob Johnston said.

So how does a cockatoo go from being a bird to being a mail contractor?

‘‘My wife, Carole, and I were delivering the phone books one day and George was in the front of the car with her.

‘‘She said, ‘Why don’t you put him on the bike and see what happens,’ so I did and he’s been a fixture ever since,’’ Bob said.

This is the point where it gets a bit amazing. You see, George the cockatoo was not restrained. There were no chains or ropes or strings that tethered him to the little bar that sat above the front mailbag. He was free to jump off whenever he wanted, but George stayed put.

In fact, George was the quintessential Easy Rider, loving the breeze in his face and around his bright yellow comb, while amigo Bob offloaded their cargo street by street, house by house.

Bob’s wife, Carole, said George wore a ‘‘poopy catcher’’ to keep it in the bag, so to speak.

‘‘I bought the first one off eBay when he was a baby and then just sewed the rest myself, making them a little bigger as he grows. He’s got a Christmas one, a disco one, he’s even got a kilt for the Aberdeen Highland Games,’’ she said.

With that, Bob opened the door on George’s cage and out he jumped. A demonstration ensued as Bob the mail contractor showed this stunned journalist how George the mail contractor eagerly got dressed for work, stepped into a tiny piece of material that sat gently against his undercarriage, fastened by Lycra strips.

‘‘Wait a minute, wait a minute,’’ said Bob trying to slow George’s enthusiasm, ‘‘okay, now you can hop in. You haven’t worn your kilt for a while, mate, have you?’’

Carole Johnston said the routine was pretty much the same on work days.

‘‘On normal days George starts calling out from 6am, ‘I’m going to work, I’m going to work, I’m going to work,’’’ she said, ‘‘but if it’s going to rain he sits there all fluffed up and won’t budge.’’

‘‘He comes in and has a country cheese cracker, and that’s how he starts his day, and at weekends he knows he gets bacon rind and toast. It’s a bit weird, but I’m sure he thinks he’s a person,’’ Carole Johnston whispered.

Were there other phrases in the vocabulary? Yes, quite a few, including ‘I’ve had a shit of a day’.

No prizes for guessing where George picked that one up.

In mail contractor terms in a small country town a ‘‘shit of a day’’ can mean anything from sorting and delivery taking hours longer than expected, a flat tyre, bad drivers doing what they do best, the magpies dive-bombing your bike helmet or the brown snakes out and about looking for water in the hot weather.

‘‘The dogs are not the worst thing; it’s the cat-heads puncturing my tyres,’’ Bob Johnston said.

For the uninitiated, this nasty little sucker, known in science circles as Caltrop Tribulus terrestris, is a low-growing, spreading weed with sharp nuggety spines projecting from a rock-hard little sphere. Stand on it with bare feet and you know you’re alive.

Bob conservatively estimates he’d ‘‘enjoyed’’ at least a dozen flat tyres a year because of the exotic pest.

Apart from these occasional stinker moments, Bob the mail contractor said there’s been a lot of happy days on the Aberdeen mail run. Not surprisingly, George was universally loved on the route, which started with sorting at 7.30am and finishing around mid-afternoon.

‘‘The little kids rush up to you and say, ‘hello’, and they always want to pat him. George hasn’t got a bad bone in his body and he doesn’t mind. In fact, he loves it,’’ he said.

The oldies were equally enamoured, coming out to their mailbox when they heard the Honda approaching.

‘‘They like to have a chat and, although you don’t have a lot of time, you make time. They’ll talk about the weather, their family, George, or they’ll have a whinge about council putting up the rates and, on that one, I agree with them,’’ Bob said.

Christmas time was a veritable feast, with Bob returning from the mail run saddlebags bulging with seed bells, boxes of seed and biscuits for George.

‘‘He’s such a flirt,’’ Bob said.

Some of the generosity was explained because Bob and Carole did their share of Santa and Mrs Claus over the years on Bob’s 650-kilogram touring bike, a Yamaha Royal Star.

‘‘I’ve sold the big bike now, but those days doing the Christmas run for the kids were the best,’’ said Bob, ‘‘with Carole loaded up with lollies, ringing a bell on the back and those kids howling out of the houses to get their gift.’’

Then one day George got spooked and flew off the front veranda.

‘‘The whole town was out looking for him, cars were going everywhere and he was in a nearby yard right down the back in a tree.

‘‘The owner was outside yelling at his kids, ‘I told you to pick up all those sticks and mess from under that tree,’ but it wasn’t the kids,’’ Carole Johnston giggled, ‘‘it was George up the tree picking away at the twigs and making the mess.’’

On the path outside Bob and Carole (and George’s) house there is the legend: ‘‘Just living is not enough,’’ said the butterfly, ‘‘one must have sunshine and freedom and a little flower.’’ – Hans Christian Andersen.

Or a Bob and George.

Lice risk is as high as ever

NASTY: Bovicola ovis, the sheep louse. (Image: Stamp Out Scab.) A RECENTLY published survey shows that around half of Australian sheep flocks show evidence of lice, posing a significant risk to the bottom line of Australia’s sheep producers.
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It is estimated that lice infestations cost the Australian sheep industry more than $120 million a year.

Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) Victorian Regional Officer Dr Patrick Kluver says that sheep producers can successfully control lice and save themselves money by carrying out farm biosecurity planning as part of their monitoring and treatment regime.

“Many producers don’t realise there is an almost 50 per cent chance of introducing lice when you buy new sheep,” says Dr Kluver.

“Direct contact with lousy sheep is the most common way lice are spread, so introduced sheep pose a high risk for lice introduction.

“If you’re purchasing sheep of any type, reduce the risk by insisting on a sheep health statement, and inspect the sheep yourself with 10-20 sheep, carrying out 10 partings per side.

Don’t overlook rams – they are just as susceptible.

“The inspection is not foolproof, as lice are very difficult to find in short wool especially if they have been treated.

Even after all the safeguards there is still risk with introduced sheep, so keeping them in a quarantine paddock for three to six months, or until the next shearing, is essential.”

Dr Kluver says that straying sheep from nearby properties also pose a lice risk and livestock owners should discuss strategies with neighbours to prevent and manage lice problems for the benefit of all in their area.

“Talk to your neighbours about having a written stray policy, which clearly states what you want done with your sheep if they are found in a neighbour’s place, and vice versa.

Just throwing them back over the fence is not a good policy,” he said.

“Consider sheep-proofing the boundary, preferably with a double fence.”

CEO of Wool Producers Australia, Jo Hall, says regular monitoring and early detection are critical for a successful lice control program.

“All mobs should be inspected at least twice a year, ideally when sheep are mustered for other management procedures such as drenching,” says Jo.

“Target any sheep that are seen with rubbed or pulled wool and if lice are present consider using a long wool treatment.

Dr Kluver adds that successfully eradicating lice infestations is just as critical as managing the risk of new infestations.

“Every sheep has to be treated with the correct dose and application,” he says. “No product is foolproof. Avoid using some of the older backliners like Clout, Zapp and Magnum as resistance to them is widespread.

“It’s important to rotate between chemicals to avoid resistance.

Wet dipping has made a resurgence in recent years and is highly effective with the correct operator.”

For a full list of techniques and chemical options, and application methods in short and long wool visit 梧桐夜网liceboss南京夜网419论坛.

South Eastern NSW Local Lands Services District Veterinarian Bill Johnson said that farmers with concerns about lice and lice resistance to product could contact him in Goulburn or talk to their local farm produce supplier.

He said that an estimated 30 per cent of sheep suffered from some lice infestation.

Inspections of yardings at various regional saleyards have found infested sheep being presented for sale apparently unbeknown to the seller.

“Poor application of licecide can also contribute to the presence of lice in sheep as well as the increasing resistance to some older products,” he said.

Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) is an independent industry initiative established by the Cattle Council of Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers Australia – the initiative will be funded over a three-year pilot period by industry levies held in trust.

One of LBN’s key roles is to improve stakeholder knowledge and understanding of animal health, welfare and biosecurity.

It also plays a key role in a national network of government and industry partners helping protect livestock industries from emergency animal disease.

To help protect their livelihood and income, producers are encouraged to complete the Farm Biosecurity Checklist at 梧桐夜网lbn.org419论坛.

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Fungi are farmers’ friends

Fungi may hold the secret to healthy farms and forests. While many people think of fungi as tasty mushrooms to enjoyfor dinner, fungi are also vital in maintaining soil health.
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Although little known, their clandestine subterranean activitiespurify water, recycle nutrients and underpin terrestrial ecosystems.

The secret is what’s known as fungal mycelia. These are the underground thread-like part of a fungus that look a littlelike spider-webs or cotton wool. Mycelia create expansive scaffolds, binding and aerating soils.

They also secretechemicals that break down large organic molecules into simpler forms, building soils, and governing nutrient flows.

While farmers may be more familiar with the pathogenic fungi that blight their crops and cause economic loss, mostfungi are in fact beneficial.

Agricultural soil is often abundant in nutrients. However, crops can’t always access them without the help of fungi.

Fungi form partnerships with plants, extending their root systems and allowing more efficient absorption of soilnutrients and fertiliser inputs.

One obvious advantage to the farmer is the significant saving in fertiliser costs.

Fungi alsomake crops more drought-tolerant and protect them from soil pathogens.

This also helps to reduce irrigation andchemical costs.

Farmers can enhance crop root growth, nutrition and yield by encouraging fungi in their soils.

The forests and woodlands of Central Victoria are also well-known for hosting a great diversity of fungi.

An autumnstroll can reveal fungi in a variety of colours and forms.

If you’re interested in knowing more about this fascinatingkingdom of organisms and how to identify fungi, you may like to join a fungus foray in Central Victoria this autumn.

Full details 梧桐夜网alisonpouliot南京夜网

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Council bid for funding: Battle to control roadside pests

Digging a funding hole: The ever present rabbit menace.MILDURA Rural City Council has called on the State Government to substantially increase the level of funding it provides for managing roadside pests and weeds across the district.
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Councils have received $50,000 each year from the State Government to control roadside pests, but Cr Judi Harris said it was costing Mildura council between $200,000 and $300,000 to effectively manage pests along the 5000km of roads in its vast municipality.

Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins yesterday confirmed the government would allocate $5.2 million in next week’s budget for rural councils’ roadside pest management programs.

Ms Hutchins was unable to confirm exactly how much Mildura council would receive, but she said funding allocations would be based on the needs of each municipality.

“We understand that rural councils like Mildura have unique needs,” Ms Hutchins said.

“This funding recognises those needs and provides Mildura council with assistance to keep doing this valuable work.”

Cr Harris said the existing $50,000 was “not even enough to kill all the rabbits” which were an increasing problem in the district.

Weed management was also an issue.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday’s Sunraysia Daily 02/05/2015.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Dark Mofo 2015 Hothouse thinkers revealed

RELATED:ENTRY FORM: Dark Mofo Hothouse competition
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RELATED:Thinking to flourish in Tassie Hothouse

THE Hothouse session one thinkers:

David Adams.

Professor David Adams

Professor of Management in Innovation, University of Tasmania

A graduate of the Universities of Tasmania, Sheffield and Melbourne, David has been instrumental in developing health policy initiatives. His major fields of research concern the locality drivers of innovation and leadership in the public, private and community sectors. He has published extensively in public policy and management focusing on local governance and its links to innovation and wellbeing.

Dirk Balztly.

Professor Dirk Balztly

Professor of Philosophy, University of Tasmania

Dirk Baltzly is Professor of Philosophy at University of Tasmania and Adjunct Professor (Research) at Monash University. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from Ohio State University and a second PhD in Classics from Monash University. One focus of his research on the late Roman Empire has been the question of paideia or ‘higher education’.

Jane Bennett.

Jane Bennett

Non-Executive Director, ABC

After developing the highly successful Ashgrove dairy brand, Jane today works as a non executive director in businesses including the ABC, CSIRO, Australian Farm Institute, Van Diemen’s Land Company, Tasmanian Ports Corporation and Nuffield Australia. She has a range of experience in industry advisory bodies for food, agriculture, education and training and in rural and regional economic development.

John Daley.

John Daley

Chief Executive, Grattan Institute

John Daley is the inaugural Chief Executive of Grattan Institute, which provides independent, rigorous and practical solutions to Australia’s most pressing public policy issues. John’s work at Grattan Institute has focused on economic and budgetary reform with a particular interest in government prioritisation. He has 25 years’ experience spanning policy, academic, government and corporate roles.

Elizabeth Daly OAM.

Elizabeth Daly OAM

Chair, Tasmanian Early Years Foundation

Elizabeth Daly is a semi-retired senior educator with over 50 years of experience in the education sector as a teacher, principal and senior superintendent. She has acted as Commissioner for Children, worked and volunteered in the community sector with the Smith Family and Colony47 and is currently Chair of the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation and Youth Futures Inc.

Saul Eslake.

Saul Eslake


Saul Eslake has almost thirty years’ experience as an economist working in the Australian financial markets, including 14 years as Chief Economist at ANZ and, more recently, 3 years as Chief Economist (Australia and New Zealand) for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has also worked for the Grattan Institute and run his own consulting business.

Leon Ewing.

Leon Ewing


A musician and media artist who works with young people in remote or regional communities and in tough urban environments, Leon has used art and technology to incentivise attendance and improve literacy. He is currently lecturing at Murdoch University in using tablet technology to deliver the new national arts curriculum in music and new media.

David Gilkes.

David Gilkes

Kindergarten Teacher, Illawarra Primary School, Department of Education

A passionate early childhood educator for 22 years, David has worked in various government and independent schools, including a period of time as Director of the Early Learning Centre at Canberra Grammar School. He is currently convenor of the Tasmanian Reggio Emilia Network and is a recipient of a National Excellence in Teaching Award for innovation in Early Childhood.

Ian Hewitt.

Ian Hewitt

Coordinator, Young Migrant Adult English Program, TasTAFE

Ian has been teaching for over 20 years. His current role at TasTAFE is teaching students from migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds and has seen him be a vocal advocate for an intensive English language centre for youth from Culturally Linguistic and Diverse Backgrounds (CALD). He currently coordinates the Young Migrant Adult English Program (Y-MEP) at TasTAFE.

Greg Lehman.

Greg Lehman

Research Associate, Australian National University’s Centre for Indigenous Studies

A regular contributor to public discourse on Tasmanian identity and history, Greg has spent most of his life encouraging the recognition and understanding of Tasmania’s Aboriginal culture and heritage. He has served on a number of boards and is currently Research Associate at the Australian National University’s Centre for Indigenous Studies, investigating the role of deficit discourse in educational outcomes.

Nick Probert.

Nick Probert

Tasmanian State Manager, Beacon Foundation

Nick came to the Beacon Foundation after a successful career working with young people in a range of high performance and community coaching and management positions. The Beacon Foundation assists youth from around the state by partnering with secondary schools to engage business and industry to play a stronger role in assisting schools with their education.

James Riggall.

James Riggall

Managing Director, Bitlink

James spent five years at the HITLab teaching courses in virtual reality, augmented reality, entrepreneurship and video game design and went on to establish Bitlink – a technology consultancy and software development house. James also serves as a director of Startup Tasmania, a not-for-profit organisation and networking group for Tasmanian entrepreneurs.

Michael Rowan.

Professor Michael Rowan

Adjunct Professor, University of Tasmania

Michael’s main interests as a philosophy academic were reasoning in natural language and the philosophy of science, but most of his university career was spent in academic management. Today his interest is in improving opportunities and educational outcomes for young Tasmanians, strengthening support for education in all communities and breaking the acceptance that Tasmania will always lag behind the other states.

Joanna Siejka.

Joanna Siejka

CEO, Youth Network of Tasmania

As CEO of the Youth Network of Tasmania – the peak body for the youth sector and young people in Tasmania, Joanna provides input into and responds to policy direction, advocates for the youth sector and lobbies for the needs and initiatives of young people. She has specific interests in the areas of education, homelessness, employment and youth justice.

Miriam Vandenberg (Herzfeld).

Miriam Vandenberg (Herzfeld)

Population Health and Health Promotion Consultant

Miriam has worked in the community sector, for the University of Tasmania, and for both local and state governments in public and environmental health, health promotion and primary health. Her roles have enabled her to work within local communities and at a population level to help improve and strengthen the determinants of health and wellbeing.

Alison Venn.

Professor Alison Venn

Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania

Alison is Deputy Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and leads its Public Health and Primary Care research theme. Her broad research interest spans the molecular and social determinants of health and as Director of the Tasmanian Cancer Registry and the Tasmanian Data Linkage Unit leads the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study.

The Hothouse session two thinkers:

Simon Ancher.

Simon Ancher

Program Director – Furniture Design, University of Tasmania

In his current role at the University of Tasmania, and through his practice, Simon Ancher Studio, Simon has developed his own furniture range as well as undertaking commission work including public art and seating. His current focus has seen a shift to more collaborative work and finding ways to upscale production and deal with the manufacturing end of making furniture.

Samantha Blackler

Advanced Diploma Student – Information Technology, TasTAFE

Sam came to Tasmania five years ago from South Africa. She is currently studying computing with a focus on the field of user experience, while also working as Practice Manager at a physiotherapy clinic.

Michael Cordover.

Michael Cordover

Commercial Lawyer, M+K dobson mitchell allport lawyers

After graduating from the University of Tasmania with a combined Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws with a science major in pure mathematics, Michael became a commercial lawyer specialising in intellectual property and privacy law. Michael is on the board of the Hobart Community Legal Service and has a long history with by-youth, for-youth programs.

Juliah Fraser.

Juliah Fraser

Tasmanian Youth Forum

A year 10 student at Ogilvie High School, Juliah is passionate about education. Juliah participates in a program called Big Picture, which facilitates workplace internships where she studies a topic using research and hands-on activities. Her plan is to work in the area of science and medicine in a field that impacts on the lives of other people.

Alyssa Geddes

Community Sports Link Coordinator, Special Olympics Tasmania

Being extremely passionate about equality, inclusion and advocacy within the community, Alyssa studied disability at TasTAFE. On graduation she was offered the role of Community Sports Link Coordinator for Special Olympics Tasmania, delivering fun, inclusive and friendly sporting programs for individuals who live with a disability. Alyssa also works for disability service organisations as a support worker.

Lauren Gower.

Lauren Gower

Masters by Research Candidate (Philosophy), University of Tasmania

Lauren is studying a Masters by Research in Philosophy at UTAS and working as a research assistant with the UTAS Tasmanian Institute for Learning and Teaching. In addition, she works as a tutor at UTAS for the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme and has also been working as a mentor for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students.

Dakoda Leary.

Dakoda Leary

Tasmanian Youth Forum

An Elizabeth College student, Dakoda also volunteers for local youth groups such as the Glenorchy Youth Task Force and is an ambassador for Youth Homelessness Matters Day. Dakoda hopes to become a freelance writer/journalist and believes that to make the world a better place, everyone needs to pitch in rather then turn a blind eye to what’s in front of them.

Joshua Lowe.

Joshua Lowe

Artistic Director, DRILL Performance Company

A Tasmanian-born dancer, choreographer and producer, Joshua is regularly engaged as a choreographer for professional, youth and community-based works. He formed youth dance company DRILL and regularly works for Tasdance, delivering their Education Performance Projects and DanceNET program in schools. Joshua has been awarded both the Bokprint Arts and Cultural Development Award and The Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year Award.

Adam Mostogl.

Adam Mostogl

Founder/Inspirer, illuminate Education & Consulting

In a given week Adam might be helping young entrepreneurs kick-start their companies, stimulating small businesses to challenge the status quo, challenging communities to understand their potential or teaching students to embrace innovation for problem solving. Adam is the 2015 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year for his education endeavours as well as his work generating positive momentum in Queenstown.

Tegan Pearce.

Tegan Pearce

Tasmanian Youth Forum Policy and Project Officer, Youth Network of Tasmania

Tegan has worked on many local and national youth-led projects to address key issues including mental health, drug and alcohol use. Tegan currently works at the Youth Network of Tasmania as the Policy and Project Officer of the Tasmanian Youth Forum, the peak consultative body for young Tasmanians that addresses a wide range of topics including education, employment and youth homelessness.

Nunami Sculthorpe-Green.

Nunami Sculthorpe-Green

Tasmanian Aboriginal Community Member

Nunami is a palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal)/warlpiri student at the University of Tasmania. Since 2012 Nunami has been the Indigenous Cadet at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, designing and producing Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural and historical educational resources and public programming. She is passionate about the education of the wider community on Tasmanian Aboriginal history, heritage and culture.

Briar Walker.

Briar Walker

Tasmanian Youth Forum

Briar is in Year 12 and is passionate about youth representation and advocating for equality and human rights. She has been involved in the Youth Network of Tasmania and Model United Nations programs and has also been involved in the Youth Parliament program for the last 3 years. Briar hopes to eventually work as a human rights lawyer or neuroscientist.

Lauren Ward.

Lauren Ward

2015 John Monash Scholar, University of Tasmania

A University of Tasmania graduate with First Class Honours in Engineering, Lauren is currently working as part of a CSIRO eHealth project. A keen science communicator and senior member of the University of Tasmania STEM Education and Outreach Team, Lauren has been a part of Young Tassie Scientists, as well as a number of University and Inspiring Australia school outreach programs.

The Hothouse session three thinkers:

Twelve members of the public will be invited to take part in the Hothouse, as nominated by the public via The Advocate, Examiner and the Mercury. They will be joined by four facilitators.

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