October, 2018

The stage is her calling

New artistic director Lyn Wallis wants HotHouse Theatre to strive for deeper connection with the Border community while attracting top national artists. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Nanjing Night Net

LYN Wallis might be new to the Border but, in one sense, it’s a kind of homecoming.

The new artistic director of HotHouse Theatre is returning to the stage after five years on the bureaucratic side of the arts world.

The Border’s much-loved professional theatre company was one of her charges as the Australia Council for Arts director of theatre — and she had long seen its appeal.

“I know it very well from my previous role, but living it is very different,” she said.

“Companies like this are incredibly rare — HotHouse has enormous respect around Australia but it actually has a very specific role in the community too.”

Ms Wallis, who began her new role this week, sees maintaining that balance as a key role.

She began her theatre career almost 30 years as an actor and singer.

“I realised there were others who did that better than me, so I moved to directing,” she said.

Her first directorship was with Canberra’s Jigsaw Theatre, a “regional setting smaller than HotHouse”, eventually leading to a stint with Belvoir Street Theatre.

There, she developed programs that had a particular focus on helping emerging and independent artists and groups, something she still is passionate about.

“At that time, there were very few opportunities for the little companies and directors and writers to get a break,” she said.

“Once upon a time there was a strong regional scene with regional companies everywhere but that collapsed. There was a rise of independents but nowhere for them to go.

“The programs I ran were important to get the next wave of our industry up and running.

“If we don’t have that next generation, if we aren’t nurturing now, we’re going to have problems down the track.”

There are a lot more opportunities these days for independent acts, with HotHouse well-known as providing one of them, and Ms Wallis plans to continue that.

“I think what Jon Halpin (former artistic director) and the board have done is excellent and part of my role is about keeping HotHouse firmly on the national stage,” she said.

“I want to continue bringing the best national artists but also deepening our community engagement, and always keep the local audience in mind.

“Our shows aren’t the only point of contact with us, so we’ll really be trying to create something the community can engage with in different ways.”

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

Group wants new pool to honour Faith Leech

Faith Leech at her home in 2012.RELATED:Kangaroo Flat group fears for Bendigo’s reputation over aquatic centre
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HAVING ramped up its support for the construction of the planned Kangaroo Flat aquatic centre this week, the Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise has now suggested the pool honour a Bendigo swimming legend.

The group is calling on the $30 million pool to be known as the Faith Leech Aquatic Centre, honouring the Olympic gold medalist and one of the city’s most recognisable and favourite sports stars.

At this stage, the proposed pool is officially known as the Greater Bendigo Indoor Aquatic Leisure and Wellbeing Centre.

Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise spokesperson Sarah Mulqueen said the group wants both a concise and significant name for the proposed structure.

“While describing perfectly what it is, and the benefits it will bring, the current name is too long,” she said.

“Bendigo has a perfect opportunity to create a landmark building and top quality pool, and it is only natural to name it after someone who has made a significant contribution to Bendigo, Australia and swimming in general.”

At 15 years of age, Faith Leech won gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the 4 x 100 metre relay team alongside Dawn Fraser.

She also won bronze in the 100 metre freestyle at theMelbourne games.

Mrs Mulqueen said naming the pool in honour of Leech would be a worthy way to recognise her legacy.

“When she died in 2013, Bendigo lost a hero. This is a great chance to remember her contribution tothe sport and to the city,” she said.

“I was pleased when her family let us know they supported our suggestion.”

The State Government announced a $15 million contribution to the Kangaroo Flat aquatic centre in May last year.

The City of Greater Bendigo is yet to announcea financial contribution to the project and is expected to wait on a business case ensuring the financial viability of the $30 million pool.

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

Stubbins down to bare bones as he seeks way forward

TALK: Phil Stubbins and Michael Bridges emerge from a meeting with players on Thursday morning. Picture: Darren PatemanHOW do the Newcastle Jets remain competitive in their next A-League match?
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It is one question Jets fans will be asking after the turbulence of the past week.

If losing an A-League record 7-0 against Adelaide United on Saturday was not humiliation enough, worse could follow when they face Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium next Friday.

Since the Adelaide debacle the squad is yet to kick a ball at practice.

The two training sessions have involved a jog along Merewether Beach on Tuesday and a spin cycle class on Thursday at the Forum gym.

Both fitness sessions were preceded by crisis meetings more focused on the toxic disharmony engulfing the squad than on mapping out game plans and formations to defeat the Roar.

Developments in the past two days have eroded the depth of the Jets’ roster, which was already looking thin.

Captain Kew Jaliens, Joel Griffiths, David Carney, Adrian Madaschi and Billy Celeski, the perceived leaders in the failed player-led coup to oust coach Phil Stubbins, were sacked on Wednesday, taking with them 333 A-League games and 72 internationals worth of experience.

Their departures followed the release of Marcos Flores (Jacksonville Armada), Mark Birighitti (AS Varese), Sam Gallaway (Western Sydney) and Jonny Steele (Minnesota United) this season. None of the four have been replaced.

Winger James Virgili is also unavailable for at least nine weeks with a broken left ankle.

It has left Stubbins with a bare-bones roster of 13 contracted senior players.

The Jets are believed to be in the final stages of signing former Olyroos striker Travis Cooper and 24-year-old Thai-based former Spain under-19 defender David Rochela, but neither deal is over the line.

It is understood defender Adrian Chiappetta, who captained Northcote City last year in Victoria’s National Premier League, could also arrive before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

Whether any of the three would be ready to play against Brisbane is highly doubtful.

Stubbins may be forced to throw several youth players in the deep end.

The best possible starting side Stubbins can muster against the Roar is goalkeeper Ben Kennedy; a back four of Scott Neville, Taylor Regan, Allan Welsh and Sam Gallagher; midfielders Jacob Pepper, Ben Kantarovski and Zenon Caravella; and forwards Edson Montano, Jeronimo and Andrew Hoole.

Some are badly out of form and many are bitter at Stubbins and Nathan Tinkler over the treatment of their sacked teammates and coaches. What kind of performance they produce is anyone’s guess.

They have not escaped criticism for the Adelaide debacle and may be motivated to atone in the eyes of fans.

Funding pulled, health organisations close programs

A LAUNCESTON service which helps families at risk of homelessness will close next month after Anglicare missed out on federal government funding.
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The organisation will also be forced to close a statewide service for families affected by alcohol and drugs, as well as a North-West mental health support service.

Other Tasmanian organisations including Mission Australia, UnitingCare and Colony 47 have missed out on new funds after the federal government cut grants programs due to “budget considerations”.

Mission Australia state director Noel Mundy said the organisation had missed out on grants for a new child and family service for at-risk communities in Launceston, Smithton and Risdon Vale.

“My understanding is most people got very, very little, if anything,” Mr Mundy said.

Colony 47 chief executive Therese Taylor said plans to expand to Northern Tasmania had been hindered after the organisation also missed out on funds.

Ms Taylor said the organisation had applied for nine grants and missed out on seven, with three of those aiming to support families and mental health in the North.

UnitingCare Tasmania chief executive Lindy O’Neill said the organisation had been informed by the department that it was a preferred provider for emergency relief, but the organisation hadn’t yet learned what funding would be offered.

Ms O’Neill said the organisation also applied for funding for services they hadn’t previously delivered, and was “understandably disappointed” that it was unsuccessful.

PIC: PAUL SCAMBLER and REPORT: Emily BakerLAUNCESTON:Tony ReidyCEO of TasCOSS

Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy said it wasn’t yet clear if Anglicare’s defunded programs had been cut altogether or would be offered by another provider.

“TasCoss at the moment is actually canvassing the community sector to try and get a handle on the depth and breadth of the defunding or the failure to fund a range of essential community programs,” Mr Reidy said.

“It’s a period of enormous uncertainty.”

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said the department received more than 5500 applications for grants worth more than $3.9 billion, with about $800 million in grants funding available when the grants round was announced.

“Some 700 organisations will be funded to do this work in the community,” Mr Morrison said.

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

League: Three female referees named for Nines with a view to the future

Getting closer: A female ref may soon handle an NRL game. Getting closer: A female ref may soon handle an NRL game.
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Getting closer: A female ref may soon handle an NRL game.

Getting closer: A female ref may soon handle an NRL game.

Three female officials, including a promising 20-year-old Kiwi, will be involved in the Auckland Nines as the NRL edges closer towards handing a woman the whistle for a first-grade fixture.

Kasey Badger and Belinda Sleeman made history when they ran the lines in the inaugural Auckland Nines, the latter getting a taste of the big time in the final NRL round of last season. The duo will reprise their roles in the second edition of the Nines alongside Rochelle Tamarua, who has made a stunning rise through the officiating ranks in the past year.

The trio will also help to control the Tests between the Jillaroos and the Kiwi Ferns, who  are part of the tournament. For Tamarua, the honour came as a result of the NRL’s quest to identify the best officiating talent on both sides of the Tasman. “It’s an exciting development for Rochelle and the New Zealand Rugby League and the NRL,” said the NRL’s general manager of football operations, Nathan McGuirk.

“Part of our legacy of the Nines last year was holding a referee’s workshop for emerging young match officials from the New Zealand Rugby League. Referees’ boss] Tony [Archer] identified her this time last year as someone to watch closely and that culminated in her officiating at the female Test match during the Four Nations tournament. This is the next step in her development as she becomes part of the elite squad for the Nines. We’ve now got three [female] referees in our squad for the Nines. It’s exciting that someone not even on the radar 12 months ago will be officiating at the highest level… this weekend.”

Sleeman was the first woman to officiate an official NRL match, as a touch judge in  the Tigers-Sharks clash in round 26 last year. However, McGuirk believes it won’t be too long before women regularly put in control of first-grade matches.

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

Faye a person of true wisdom

I READ this week with sadness about the death of Faye McDonald.
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Faye was one of those worthy souls who, in her time here, truly did make the world a better place.

I imagine that I am only one of several thousand recipients of Faye’s kindness who feels her loss.

I met Faye after I had my second baby 29 years ago.

I was 19, and I recall Faye’s empathy, respect and lack of judgment on my circumstances.

Her respect and advocacy for all mothers have been singular — there has been no-nonsense but always compassion.

I’ve never forgotten a visit to Faye after the birth of my fifth child, when she said: “Darling, when we are sad, we cry” because I was so embarrassed at being a blubbering mess.

Faye told me to realise when it was my turn, and that it was a pity the word “selfish” had gained so many negative connotations when its original meaning was simply “to be with self”.

That, she said, means being able to advocate for one’s own needs because they are at least as important as anybody else’s.

I always felt so much better after talking to Faye, and I have passed her lessons on to many other women since.

When I posted about Faye’s passing on my Facebook wall, other women shared their memories, including those of Faye picking up the washing when they were exhausted new mums.

She was amazing, just a beautiful lady who leaves behind many who remember her with gratitude and affection.

My deepest sympathies to her family. Vale, Faye.

— LOUISE McORMOND-PLUMMER,

Lavington

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

Funding pulled, health organisations close programs

A LAUNCESTON service which helps families at risk of homelessness will close next month after Anglicare missed out on federal government funding.
Nanjing Night Net

The organisation will also be forced to close a statewide service for families affected by alcohol and drugs, as well as a North-West mental health support service.

Other Tasmanian organisations including Mission Australia, UnitingCare and Colony 47 have missed out on new funds after the federal government cut grants programs due to “budget considerations”.

Mission Australia state director Noel Mundy said the organisation had missed out on grants for a new child and family service for at-risk communities in Launceston, Smithton and Risdon Vale.

“My understanding is most people got very, very little, if anything,” Mr Mundy said.

Colony 47 chief executive Therese Taylor said plans to expand to Northern Tasmania had been hindered after the organisation also missed out on funds.

Ms Taylor said the organisation had applied for nine grants and missed out on seven, with three of those aiming to support families and mental health in the North.

UnitingCare Tasmania chief executive Lindy O’Neill said the organisation had been informed by the department that it was a preferred provider for emergency relief, but the organisation hadn’t yet learned what funding would be offered.

Ms O’Neill said the organisation also applied for funding for services they hadn’t previously delivered, and was “understandably disappointed” that it was unsuccessful.

PIC: PAUL SCAMBLER and REPORT: Emily BakerLAUNCESTON:Tony ReidyCEO of TasCOSS

Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy said it wasn’t yet clear if Anglicare’s defunded programs had been cut altogether or would be offered by another provider.

“TasCoss at the moment is actually canvassing the community sector to try and get a handle on the depth and breadth of the defunding or the failure to fund a range of essential community programs,” Mr Reidy said.

“It’s a period of enormous uncertainty.”

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said the department received more than 5500 applications for grants worth more than $3.9 billion, with about $800 million in grants funding available when the grants round was announced.

“Some 700 organisations will be funded to do this work in the community,” Mr Morrison said.

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