Two minutes of terror: Orange mental health worker’s Nepal earthquake ordeal

BACK HOME SAFE: Robyn Murray says she plans to return to Nepal in November to continue the work she is doing there, despite becoming caught up in last Saturday’s earthquake.Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0501nepal1SHELTERING in a shop doorway in Kathmandu, Robyn Murray spent a “very long two minutes” trying to stay upright as the city was rocked by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake last Saturday.

The Orange mental health worker had spent a week in Nepal meeting with government bodies and health workers to improve the country’s mental health system, when she was caught up in the earthquake that left 5844 dead and more than 10,000 injured.

Ms Murray was in her favourite carpet shop in Kathmandu on Saturday, the day before she was due to fly out, when the earthquake struck.

“The ground began to move and the shopkeeper ran out because he knew what was happening, but I was sitting there in the back of the shop with the carpets falling off the wall,” Ms Murray said.

“I think it takes you a few seconds to compute what was going on. When I realised what was happening I had to make my way over this sea of moving carpets, the walls were moving. I got to the door frame where the shopkeeper was hiding and he put his arm around me and we braced ourselves until the big waves stopped.

“It was unstable, like being on a jumping castle.”

Ms Murray said she remembered seeing streams of people running down the street, some injured, some screaming, with looks of terror on their faces.

“The streets were moving, the pavement was moving, there were buildings falling down,” she said.

When the main waves of the earthquake had subsided, Ms Murray made her way back to her accommodation at Kathmandu Guesthouse, where she spent Saturday night holed up with other tourists.

On Sunday morning she managed to make her way to Kathmandu’s crowded Tribhuvan International Airport, where she waited for 14 hours for a flight to Australia, returning to Orange on Tuesday night.

Ms Murray, who is a member of Rotary Club of Orange Daybreakand regularly makes trips to the developing country for the club’s Nepal Mental Health Project, said she would be working with Rotary to help raise money for the Nepalese over the coming weeks.

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Small gang-gang is quiet one of the cocky family

EVERYONE is familiar with the cocky: the yellow-crested larrikin of the skies, and then there is the statelymajesty of a few Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos wafting slowly over the treetops.

Less obvious, butfiercely loved by those that know them, is the small grey and red cockatoo known as the Gang-gangCockatoo.

Gang-gangs are usually perched high in the eucalypt trees, or in wattles such as blackwoods, crackinggum nuts and seed pods to eat the seeds inside.

They also eat insects such as wood grubs andcaterpillars.

Compared to a lot of other parrots, Gang-gangs feed quietly, and the only way you knowthey are there is by the gentle dropping of gum nuts on the forest floor.

Gang-gangs are more noticeable when they descend from the treetops to eat one of their favouritefoods – hawthorn berries.

My bird book describes the process in detail: “when feeding on the berries ofhawthorn, the gang-gang will pick an individual berry off the bush with its bill, and pass the berry to itsupraised left foot; they keep the left foot raised and holding the berry while the fleshy parts are eatenfrom around the stone”.

Like other parrots, they are always left-handed!

In Autumn, the Gang-gangs could be in the Daylesford area because they have nested locally; or theycould be travelling to the Grampians, stopping to munch on our lovely Hawthorn berry crop; or theycould be some of the small numbers that live in the area all year round.

Their movements are poorlyunderstood – but the main trend seems to be highlands in Summer, lowlands in Winter.

In NSW and the ACT, the Gang-gangs are declining in number quite dramatically and no-one knows why.

To find out more about their local Gang-gangs, the Canberra Ornithologists Group just completed awhole year of citizen science survey programs – with four week-long “gang-gang musters” whereeveryone submitted their records online.

And the local schools had a wonderful Gang-gang artcompetition and show.

I think we are in a little Gang-gang hotspot here – some years I have had mum and dad and baby at myplace for a few months, and regularly see flocks of up to forty birds.

This year, numbers have beenpretty low, but you wouldn’t know it from all the gorgeous pics coming up on social media this Autumn.

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Rotary swings into action for Nepal

DISASTER AID: Graeme McLean, Margaret Thomson and Dennis Morgan with a shelter box, which the club provides to disaster hit areas. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0501northorangenepal2ROTARY clubs are shaking their donation tins across Orange to raise money to help earthquake victims in Nepal.

The four Rotary clubs of Orange, Orange North, Orange Calare and Daybreak are setting up in some of the busiest areas across the city today to raise money for water purification kits and shelter boxes.

Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak president elect Graeme McLean said the club raised about $200 in an hour yesterday at the North Orange shopping centre and would continue raising money until about 4pm today.

With the show and a Rotary leadership event affecting volunteer numbers this weekend, he said they would continue to set up their fundraising stall for the next couple of weekends.

“The Rotarian leading it from Melbourne said the biggest requirement is the SkyHydrant that produces 10,000 litres of potable water a day, because water is a bigger deal than shelter,” he said.

The club has already paid for one water purifier, at a cost of $3500, and Mr McLean said there were 30 being trucked over from India yesterday.

As well as responding to an international call for help, the club also had a close connection to the cause, as several Daybreak members were in Nepal at the time of the earthquake .

They were all accounted for and were due to arrive back in Australia last night.

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Is country footy no longer a hobby? I opinion

COUNTRY football was once a pastime. The chance for players to run out alongside their mates on a Saturday and have a kick.

It’s evolved over the years – a lot.

Trainings have increased from two nights a week to include weekend recoveries, extra weight sessions and team meetings.

Then there is money – it’s infiltrated many country clubs, making the strong stronger and the weak weaker.

In some respects country football is a mini version of the AFL.

But the question is: should it be?

Country football is not a full-time job, nor should be used, in my opinion, as part-time employment.

I don’t begrudge players accepting money to play but I find it frustrating it’s offered as an enticement to begin with.

And how much is too much when it comes to spending time at the club? Is it becoming all-consuming?

Is there too much pressure now associated with the sport at grassroots level?

Perhaps? Perhaps not? For some players it might become too tedious. Others might thrive on the high professionalism.

North Warrnambool Eagles onballer Andy McMeel appears to be in the former category.

He stepped away from the game on Sunday, having lost interest.

McMeel made his senior debut at 16, quickly establishing himself as a regular in the Bushfield-based club’s best side.

The former North Ballarat Rebel was coming into the prime of his career, a ball winner considered a key to the Eagles’ flag fortunes.

But at 21 and with 76 senior games to his credit, he decided to quit.

Simply, he wasn’t enjoying it anymore.

Credit to him for making the decision. There is no point playing if the fun-factor is gone.

Are we, given the increasing professionalism, likely to see more players follow McMeel into early retirement?

Or will the extra preparation result in more players forging careers at higher levels, be it via the TAC Cup, VFL or AFL?

Only time will tell. But one thing is clear: if you’re not enjoying it, don’t play. It’s meant to be hobby after all.

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On a journey to a sustainable lifestyle

Have you heard of the new family in town, the Joneses? You may have come acrosssimilar families to this one as they have started to move in slowly to lots of places;some have been in our area for a very long time.

The New Joneses is a sustainable living model that is a play on ‘Keeping Up with theJoneses’ that was shared at the Victorian Sustainable Living Festival held in February.

The concept emerged in 2012 and at this year’s festival the ecolive home withsustainable lifestyle demonstrations was visited by 15,000 people over a week whilstset up in Federation Square.

Living like the New Joneses means….

Do more with less.

Thinking where stuff comes from and where it goes,

They maximize resources and minimize waste.

They buy experiences over stuff.

Living it up, not ‘Keeping Up’.

Sentiments I really engage with, as I’m sure many of you do as well.

I want to live more sustainably and want to encourage others to do the same – ourfuture depends on it.

Whether you believe the climate is changing or not, recentstudies show the demands us human’s are making on the planet’s resources is 50 per centgreater than what nature can actually deliver.

Australia has the world’s largestecological footprint per capita….eek!

I’ve made lots of changes to the way I do things but know I still have a long way togo. So I’m embarking on my own journey that I’d like to share with you todemonstrate that it can be done and the benefits are worth taking the plunge.

It can be a little overwhelming to even know where to start but my belief is if we alldo something small, collectively we will have a big positive impact.

Topics to be covered through this regular column will range from saving our energy,managing our waste, through to collaborative consumption. Through my discoveries,I’ll share tips on how to make small changes, link you to some great resources andactivities that already exist in our own backyard and share the highs and lows ofmaking different choices.

Come join me on the journey, share your ideas, make some changes and have somefun living a sustainable life!

Michelle is a Sustainability Designer and Consultant with BE Designs, specializing inenergy-wise landscape design, sustainable home assessments and education throughan online sustainable living resource available at 梧桐夜网bedesigns苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

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