Wherrol Flat Tennis Club trivia night

The current Wherrol Flat Tennis Club ‘clubhouse’. Pictured: James Kemp and Fay ProtheroWHERROL Flat Tennis Club is holding a trivia night at the Wherrol Flat Hall on Saturday April 18.
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The evening starts at 6pm for a 6.30 pm dinner. The cost is $25 per person for a two course meal and children are welcome.

Funds raised through the dinner and trivia night will go toward a new shed at the tennis court, as the old one is more of a farm shelter than a ‘clubhouse’.

The tennis court at Wherrol Flat is nearing 70 years old and has a history of deterioration and rejuvenation at varying times.

Currently a social competition is being held every second Friday night and is inclusive of all ages and abilities.

The club is also keen to encourage new players to join.

Bookings for the trivia night will be helpful for catering purposes, so please contact Marelle Robinson on 6550 7386 if you are attending.

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It’s not all rosy in Branxton

THINGS are not so rosy for the owners of Branxton Newsagency, David and Susan Smith – they have experienced a 40-50 per cent drop in sales.
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Susan Smith said her business had suffered a 40-50 per cent drop in sales.

Although, they acknowledge that thanks to their loyal customers they are managing to stay afloat.

But now the many miners who once travelled through town early in the morning, and late in the afternoon, are bypassing Branxton, they are calling for the main street to be improved to attract visitors.

Mrs Smith says the town has been “forgotten” for a long time andimprovements must be made.

“A lot of money has been spent on studies, surveys and reports,” she says.

“Promises have been made, butnothing has been done.

“We have food outlets but no alfresco dining options, footpaths need levelling and potholes in front of our shop need to be filled.

“We need more facilities and more services – something to get people off the freeway.”

A frustrated Mrs Smith says she would like to see the Cessnock Council apply for Resource for Regions funding to improve the town.

This type of funding is available for regions affected by mining and is how the Singleton Council has been able to upgrade their main street.

A spokesperson from Cessnock Council says they are working on a plan to guide the further development of Branxton.

“The Branxton Sub-Regional Land Use Strategy will be developed by January 2016 and will guide the future development of the Branxtonsub-region, capitalising on theopportunities offered by the Hunter Expressway and Huntlee – aiming to minimise any adverse impactsresulting from future development,” the spokesperson says.

“The aim of the strategy is to respond to future impacts and opportunities in the Branxton area initiated by the opening of the Hunter Expressway and the development of Huntlee.”

The spokesperson says it will also coordinate cross-boundary issues and provide a framework for future

planning decisions across the broader Branxton area within both Singleton and Cessnock local governmentareas.

“We have also just issued approval for Branxton Tidy Towns to complete adollar-for-dollar funded project withus.

“The scope of works includesestablishment of two outdoor dining areas plus minor landscaping.”

The establishment of an RV area at Branxton Oval has also been included in the draft 2015-2016 Operational Plan for council’s consideration.

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Changes to the championships

ON COURSE: Leading C1 contender John Crichton, Adrian Poulten and current B grade champion Steve Serong. Poulton will be trying to take Serong’s title.GOLF over the Easter weekend was disrupted by some timely and beautiful rain. No golf was played on Saturday due to the rain.
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Thursday afternoon golf was well-supported.

Peter Ryan, who is showing a bit of good form coming into the club championships, was the victor on the day. Balls went to Bob Bearup, Hugh O’Neil, Steve Serong, Brian Balaam, Bob Slattery and Billy Wilcox.

A reasonably good field played a stableford event on Monday.

Bob Rickard stole the show with a good round of 39 points and Dennis O’Connell was the runner-up with 38 points.

Irene Bishop was the best of the ladies with 40 points.

Nearest the pin on the first went to Bob Rickard. Balls went to Eric Whalan, Neil Whalan and Ray Ross.

Club championships will begin next Saturday with an 18-hole stroke event.Members will play for the monthly medal and a putting competition.

This year we have made some changes to the championships, especially for the higher handicap players.

A grade will be from 0-10, B grade from 11-15, C grade from 16-19 and C1 will be 20 and up. Players on a handicap of 20 or more can still win the C grade championship, but they can play the event as a stableford competition instead of a stroke event.

Players will be seeded from the second round of the championship.

The A grade seeded players will hit off at 11am on Sunday, B grade seeded players at 11.15, C grade seeded players at 11.30 and C1 seeded players at 11.45.

All players will need to check with the club house on Saturday evening to determine their seeding. Handicaps are fairly close in each of the grades, however, the most keenly contested grade is probably B grade.

Defending champions are Kyall Ryan in A grade, Steve Serong in B grade, Terry Robinson in C grade and Don Miller in C1.

I am sure that there will be plenty of guys trying to knock them off their perch.

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Locals launch better belly bread

A NEW bread, especially designed for people sensitive to wheat, will be launched in Tuncurry next week.
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Local doctor Geoff Whitehouse and dietitian Kerith Duncanson have developed a new bread designed for people sensitive to wheat.

Local doctor Geoff Whitehouse and dietitian Kerith Duncanson through the Forster based company the Good Gut Group (GGG) have developed a breakthrough dough-based technology which will be used to create ‘better belly bread.’ It is designed for people who are sensitive to wheat, experience symptoms consistent with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and may be on a low FODMAP diet.

According to its founders, the bread is a tastier and healthier option than the gluten-free products that are currently on the market.

Dr Whitehouse says after eating gluten-free bread for a number of years as part of a low FODMAP diet, he was inspired to find a better alternative.

“Basically I feel the taste and texture of gluten free products are terrible,” Dr Whitehouse said.

“I got sick of eating gluten-free bread and wanted to enjoy eating bread again. Bread was also the obvious starting point for our business as it is the thing that most people miss if they have to cut out wheat.”

The bread’s technology builds on recent research from Monash University on IBS and fermentable sugars known as FODMAPs which cause gas formation and fluid shifts in the gut.

New research shows that the majority of people sensitive to wheat or with IBS will benefit from a diet low in FODMAPs.

Up until now, however, the only way to buy wheat-like products low in FODMAPs was to convert to a gluten-free diet.

Dr Duncanson says gluten-free products are often “inferior in texture and taste” when compared to products that contain gluten.

“Gluten-free products serve a role for coeliac disease but 90 per cent of people who use gluten free will feel just as good with our products and will enjoy a vast improvement in their culinary experience,” she said.

“It will also improve people’s diet as gluten free products are usually low in fibre and have a higher glycemic index than regular foods.”

As part of the development of the product, Dr Whitehouse and Dr Duncanson employed local baker, Daniel Henderson of Butterfingers Bakery in Tuncurry to help refine their bread line.

Samples were then sent to Monash University where they were tested and verified as low in FODMAPs. They then performed a pilot study on 20 people with IBS who were following a low FODMAP diet. At the end of the study, none of the participants who had added the GGG bread into their diet reported a recurrence of symptoms.

Local baker Daniel Henderson said it will be interesting to see people’s response to the bread locally.

“I’ve made gluten-free bread in the past and it’s just tasteless so this is definitely a healthier choice of bread.”

Better Belly Bread will be available at Butterfingers Bakery from next Wednesday (April 15). For more information visit http://goodgutgroup南京夜网/

So, what are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs are a cluster of sugars found in food that can cause gut symptoms in sensitive people.

FODMAPS are an abbreviation for ‘fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharide’s and polyols.’ They are found in foods such as onions, garlic, beetroot, apples, wheat and dairy products, just to name a few.

Most of us can eat a meal loaded with these fermentable sugars and feel fine but one problem for IBS sufferers is that the nerve endings in their gut are extra-sensitive making them more likely to react with pain when gas distends their bowel.

“FODMAPs pass through the small intestine to the large bowel where they are fermented by naturally occurring bacteria. This results in the production of gas and additional fluid being drawn into the bowel,” Forster dietician Kerith Duncanson explains.

The low FODMAP diet was created by doctor Sue Sheppard in 1999. Through her research, Dr Sheppard has proven that by limiting dietary FODMAPs it is an effective treatment for people with symptoms of IBS rather than the traditionally recommended gluten free diet.

For more information about FODMAPs visit: http://梧桐夜网med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

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Show off your skateboarding skills at [email protected]ran Park

Calling keen skateboarders: An example of some of the action to be expected from [email protected] Park at Oran Park Town on April 16.Skate boarders, BMX and scooter fans who want to show their skills and learn some new ones will have the opportunity next Thursday, April 16, when the crew from Big Air School visits Oran Park.
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Big Air School will bring a team of action sports athletes who will put on demonstrations, run workshops and hold mini competitions.

[email protected] Park will turn the Oran Park Town sales office car park into a skate park between 11am and 3pm.

Entry to the event is free, although anyone under the age of 18 who wants to participate will need to have a waiver signed by their parents.

[email protected] Park is supported by Camden Council and National Youth Week.

Details: Josephine Roccisano on 0400743779.

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Dan Tehan wants to see regional newspapers grow

FEDERAL Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan hopes Fairfax Media has listened and consulted widely as it prepares to make a decision on a proposal to restructure Victorian newspaper mastheads including The Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News.
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Under the proposal, announced in March, job losses will occur at both newspapers.

Mr Tehan said newspapers such as The Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News are an integral part of a local community.

“I met with Fairfax before Christmas and during that meeting I implored Fairfax to carry out a thorough and proper consultative process,” he said.

“To listen to what employees had to say when consultations took place.”

Mr Tehan said he was particularly concerned about the potential loss of local photographers and a full time journalist position shared between Ararat and Stawell.

“The idea that one photographer could service three newspapers: Horsham, Ararat and Stawell is ludicrous,” he said.

“I would hope that having been told this, they (Fairfax) will not follow through with such a plan.

“Also, there is a need for quality journalists, that is what the success of local newspapers is based on and Fairfax as an organisation should know this.”

Mr Tehan said editorial staff are an important part of the news gathering process.

“One of the things I was eager to point out is the important role photographers and journalists play in country communities,” he said.

“I also asked them to consider it is the rural newspapers which are the profitable part of their business.

“Newspapers like The Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News have a proud history of servicing the local community and I want to see that continue and grow rather than diminish and I would hope that Fairfax as an organisation is striving for that as well.”

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New Marian College principal has great expectations

Carmel Barker was appointed principal of Marian College at the start of the year. Picture: BEN KIMBER
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MARIAN College’s first female lay principal is convinced her secondary school students can perform better and one of her main priorities is to ensure they do.

Carmel Barker was head of teaching and learning at the school for three years before she was appointed principal at the start of this year.

Prior to that Mrs Barker had lived in Queensland where she was deputy principal at a large school and acting principal for a time.

Mrs Barker said she and her husband, who grew up on a wheat farm north of Ararat always had the desire to return to the region. It was just about finding the ‘right time’.

“I love the area, both my husband and I have strong connections to this area,” she said.

“We lived in Queensland for 20 years and we always had the desire to come back it was just about being the right time.”

Mrs Barker has brought a renewed push for improved tertiary entrance scores and focus on self development at all levels.

“I suppose in any school, it’s about setting high expectations and helping the students to believe that just getting through is not always okay, if they’re capable of better,” she said.

“It is about making sure that students don’t accept that ‘I am only this role’ or ‘only this person’ and that the opportunities today are really endless, the world is their oyster to a degree.”

Mrs Barker said the more than 600 students enrolled at Marian College have two pathways, VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) or VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning).

“We don’t want to just improve VCE results we want to start right from year seven and say to every year level we need to set the bar higher,” she said.

“If it is not good enough, it is not good enough. If you’re not working hard enough then what can we do to try and motivate you better.

“We’ve got two pathways here at the school and we’re saying which ever pathway you choose, you be the best you can and don’t accept that it’s okay to just get by.

“You need high expectations if you want an apprenticeship, because you may want to own your own business one day, and to do that you will need the skills to be able to communicate and converse with people, lead staff and be role models.”

Mrs Barker said today’s crop of students face a multitude of distractions unparalleled in past generations.

“The challenges for students are always going to be those competing outside interests,” she said.

“There is just so much going on in their world, I think more than compared to us when we were going through school.

“It is always a challenge with work and their social life and other outside influences, but what we are saying is ‘no, knuckle down, it is just one or two years of VCE or VCAL and you are through’.

“It is really about maintaining that focus and realising that those other things can wait.”

Mrs Barker said improved learning outcomes are as much about the teachers, as they are the students.

“I’m hoping to empower those around me, that’s my greatest vision,” she said.

“It’s not just about looking at the students, it’s also about looking at the teachers.

“We are being very self reflective, spending a lot of time working together and developing what we need to do as far as making sure we’re life-long learners.

“Learning should be seen as a priority over the teaching, because at the end of the day you can teach a beautiful lesson, but if the kids aren’t learning anything it’s a waste.”

Mrs Barker said the attitude of the students from year seven through to 12 has always struck her as positive.

“They just have a very nice way about them, I think that struck me a lot when I came here, how friendly they are, both here and out on the street when you run into them at the supermarket,” she said.

“We have really friendly students here and I think, in large, part that is a reflection of their families.”

Mrs Barker said she hopes to collaborate with student leaders, as they are key to continued growth and development.

“One of my goals this year is to have very close ties to our student leaders here at the school,” she said.

“I think it is really important to support your student leaders and to help develop their ability to feel like they have some ownership over what is going on and to ensure they build a profile in front of the other students.”

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Raffle profits aim to help recovering Pete

SUPPORT: Organisers of the raffle Lynnette and Kate pictured drawing the winning tickets last Wednesday.
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ORGANISERS of a fundraising raffle to help Toni and Peter Petch are appreciative to business houses and locals who have donated to this worthy cause.

Mr Petch suffered severe injuries after at truck accident on the O’Connell Road on March 2. Mr Petch was airlifted to Liverpool Hospital for treatment.

The good news is Mr Petch has been transferred to Bathurst Hospital for rehabilitation and is doing well.

The monster raffle, with over 20 prizes and vouchers, was drawn last Wednesday in no particular order and the winners are:

Oberon Farm Meats – Judy Cooper

Barkers Butchery – Owen

Flair Hair – Maureen Lawson

Melita’s Clippers – Jackson Brien

Pick of the Bunch – R. Lewis

DJ’s Cafe – Y. Webster

Long Arm Farm Cafe – K. Beesley

Arrow’s Newsagency – Jessica Grozdanovska

Caltex Oberon – Tania Weekes

Shell Service Station (2) – Bernice Keft and Klaus Rose

Dale Gifts (2) – Suki and Paula Callan

Oberon Pharmacy – Tam Colley

Our Town Beauty Care (2) – Larry Jones and Val Williams Mawhoods

IGA – Anne Kirby Mawhoods

Mitre 10 – Miller Rainbow

Chinese Restaurant (4) – Kirsten, Jane Evans, Marty and Cheryl Lee

Monkey Bean Cafe – Jas Hughes

Royal Hotel – Coedi Hamner

Sargent’s Rural Supplies – Korine Williams

Oberon Post Office – Max

CurrumbenaGarden Centre – Kiwi

Oberon CRT – Connie Deaton.

Organisers Lynnette and Kate said the raffle was very well supported and the money raised will help the Petch family cover ongoing medical costs.

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An air of optimism in Branxton

IT’S too early to say whether ornot Branxton will become a“destination centre” but 12 months after the completion of the $1.7billion Hunter Expressway there is still plenty of optimism in the air.
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As predicted some businesses, like the local newsagency and Branxton Fish and Chips, have taken a “hit”.

department manager Peter Bradford and store manager Liam Collier have benefited from the opening of the Hunter Expressway – 12 months on.

They can no longer takeadvantage of the steady stream of traffic that once flowed through the small town – up to 40,000 vehicles a day.

Although they acknowledge the downturn in the mining industry has also played a role in thesequieter times.

However, less traffic andcongestion is enticing locals back to the main street now they can “get a park”.

The owner of Branxton House Motel, Lucy Fung, says this also makes staying in Branxton more attractive.

“I was worried at first but it has turned out to be more of a positive than a negative,” she says.

“It is much quieter, safer andeasier to get around.

“Overall, it is a much moreenjoyable experience for visitors and they stay longer.”

Having only purchased the motel three years ago, she is more worried about the decline of the mining industry.

“We are busy on weekends but the weekdays are much quieter,” she explains.

“There was a big drop offbefore the expressway was even completed.”

Manager of Branxton Hardware Liam Collier has called it “ablessing in disguise”.

The store he manages is reaping some unexpected, but welcome, benefits now the region is directly linked to Newcastle.

Mr Collier says without having to do any promotion a new market has opened up for them.

“Now we have a qualityconnection to a metropolitan area, more tradespeople from Newcastle are working in the area and we are picking up business from them,” he says.

“As once they are here doing a job, they don’t want to travel back to Newcastle for supplies.”

The driven store managerdecided to take advantage of the trend and revamped this side of the business accordingly.

“Tilers, painters, plasterers, plumbers, and the like, are doing all types of work in the area so supplying the trade market is making up for the minimal retail leakage we have experienced in retail due to the expressway.”

“If we continue tomarket the business properly we shouldalso see some turnover from the Huntleedevelopment.

“I didn’t expect it to be a positive but it has been,” he says.

“I have lived here allmy life and I haveseen so many new faces lately.

“Apparently they have been here for a while; they just never shopped here because it was too busy.”

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Red Alert – Gina Rinehart doesn’t want your money!

This is not the first time Gina Rinehart has been the victim of scam emails. Photo: Bohdan WarchomijIf you have received an email from Australian billionairess Gina Rinehart, seeking help depositing funds for charitable purposes, you might be surprised to know that its origins might be closer to Nigeria than Mrs Rinehart’s mansion in Perth’s wealthy enclave, Dalkeith.
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Mrs Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd (HPPL), has warned that it has been made aware of several scam emails purporting to be from Mrs Rinehart “seeking assistance with the depositing of funds from an alleged charity or humanitarian purposes.”

It said “the message is not from Mrs Rinehart who is in no way associated with the scam charity or the scam scheme. The scam is designed to fraudulently induce you to transfer money to persons associated with the scam.”

Mrs Rinehart has been legitimately involved with several charitable causes, including a million dollar donation to a charity assisting the victims of abuse in Cambodia and late last year she pledged $175 million to develop a state-of-the-art health facility in Darwin.

HPPL also recently signed on as the main sponsor of Swimming Australia.

But it is not the first time she has been the victim of scam emails.

In December 2012, a grammatically challenged email, purporting to be from Mrs Rinehart, was sent out representing another charitable cause.

“I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart,” said a report citing one version of the email.

“I am a 58-year-old widow with a weight problem, a persecution complex and I am contacting you because I don’t have any other option than to tell you as I know I won’t survive for long,” the email read.

“I was touched to open up to you about my project is worth ($200,000,000) Two Hundred Million Dollars which I intend to use for CHARITY.”

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