Day: April 29, 2018

Glimpse of future in farming

Farming Futures chairperson, Jo Newton, the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Northern Grower Services manager Sharon O’Keefe, managing director of Meat and Livestock Australia Ltd Scott Hansen and Farming Futures vice-chairperson Felicity McLeod. THE University of New England’s rising stars of agriculture gained a glimpse into their career futures at two events held on Friday.
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Agricultural students had the chance to mingle with industry representatives at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Farming Futures dinner on Friday night after Armidale’s new Agricultural and Agribusiness Careers Fair was held earlier that day.

The events were organised by UNE’s Rural Science Undergraduate Society and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) UNE with attendance at the industry dinner more than doubling in size after last year’s inaugural event.

Some 250 students and industry representative attended the dinner, held at the Armidale Ex-Services Club while the careers fair attracted around 260 people.

Farming Futures committee chairperson Jo Newton said the events were born last year from a conversation between herself and fellow student Jo Robinson about agricultural career opportunities.

“We talked a bit more and said ‘let’s create a forum where students that are studying ag can meet with people who are working in the sector and maybe we can get a few prestigious graduates back to talk to students and try to inspire them a bit,” she said.

Ms Newton said after the inaugural dinner last October a grant from the School of Environmental and Rural Science allowed for the event to expand to include the careers fair this year.

The fair was open to UNE students, secondary school students and teachers, TAFE students, and students from other NSW universities.

“The feedback from companies so far has been phenomenal, amazing, they’re all looking forward to coming back next year,” she said.

“I never thought that the idea of Jo and I had of connecting students and industry together would grow into an event with 22 companies, with 250 people at the dinner.

“To see the enthusiasm from the committee, from the students at the dinner, that came to the careers fair is just unbelievable.”

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Universities lack funds, productivity

UNIVERSITIES are so badly underfunded and over regulated they have become “counterproductive”, says ABC Radio National science broadcaster Robyn Williams.
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Mr Williams was the guest speaker at the launch of the National Tertiary Education Union campaign on issues facing regional universities.

The respected broadcaster responded to recent comments made by University of NSW vice-chancellor Fred Hilmer, who had warned that universities were heading for decline after being smothered by regulations.

Mr Williams said he believed universities were wasting their potential and had become the victims of overindulgence.

“It’s counterproductive because all the time that you’re spending being regulated like that, not in an efficient and sensible way but so that people’s backs are being covered, the productivity becomes less and less,” he said.

Despite the widespread problems within universities, Mr Williams said there was “change at hand” and attributed the positive outlook to lateral thinkers.

Mr Williams said the emergence of broadband technology, in particular, could have a significant impact on universities in regional areas like Armidale.

“When you think about universities you must think, like this vice-chancellor has, of a kind of revolution which is coming through the wired world,” he said.

“A wired community, led by a university, can make a real difference in the world.”

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Dreams come true

ARMIDALE’S Lauren Rouse Upjohn has been signed with the German football club Bundesliga on a recent football tour to Europe.
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Rouse Upjohn plays for Joeys FC United in the women’s Premier League and after being voted best player at the 2011 Joeys mini world cup, she was awarded a five week trip to travel Germany with the Joeys Football Academy, Socceroo and World Cup Coach Rale Rasic.

The trip saw the nineteen-year old play in a number of tournaments where she displayed her finely tuned skills and impressed a number of German coachs

Following a tournament in Germany, the Bundesliga Club’s coaches selected Rouse Upjohn as part of their Bundes Liga team.

Rouse Upjohn will now take to the football field to play against some of the best players in German and international football.

Following the signing with the German club, it has paved the way for the Armidale youngster to be considered for teams in professional football.

Rouse Upjohn has been in Germany for the last two months and in addition to playing football the Bundesliga Club is providing assistance with university education where she will study graphic design.

While the level of competition Rouse Upjohn will now face is a big step up from the local Women’s Premier League, she said she would not be in this position without the Armidale competition.

“With the start of the women’s Premier League in Armidale by Heinrich Haussler it has created a great opportunity for the women in the country to show everyone what they have to offer,” she said.

If it weren’t for Haussler, I would not be here in Germany with the opportunities of a lifetime,” she said.

“Signing with the Bundes Liga Club and staying in Germany has gone beyond my wildest dreams.”

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Sporting traditions – Do you have any?

THIS Saturday the New England Nomads AFL club will celebrate their 50th year of competition with their game against Inverell at Bellevue Oval followed by celebrations to commemorate the milestone.
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Later this year, East Armidale soccer club will also celebrate their 50th anniversary.

It seems that Armidale’s sporting communities have long and proud traditions that most certainly need recognising.

My own involvement in sport as a surf lifesaver as a nipper on Sydney’s beaches has seen me involved in a sporting tradition with a surf club whose grassroots stem from the turn of the last century.

The sport of surf life saving has progressed with new technologies and new ideas like most sports in the 21st century.

But it is those aspects of the tradition of surf life saving that have weathered the tides of change that mean the most, and perhaps I am most proud of.

The pulling on of the club cap my grandfather pulled on, supporting competitors in events that were part of the foundation years of surf life saving techniques.

You only need to look at the Olympics right now to see events steeped in tradition.

The Olympic rings, synonymous with the world’s sporting elite, the rituals of the opening ceremony and the lingering pride that exists years later with our gold medal successes.

Armidale doesn’t a have surf club and we are a far-cry away from London, but community is no different, the players that take to the fields and courts all over Armidale are tomorrow’s history and the traditions that exist ensures our sport’s future.

While there are only two sporting clubs in Armidale celebrating milestones in their history, they are not alone with many other sports with traditions deeply entrenched in the life and soul of Armidale’s history.

Perhaps even more exciting is the presence of new sports and new teams taking to the fields.

Teams such as the women’s premier league sides, or the Armidale roller derby team are creating their own history and add to the sporting fabric of life in Armidale.

I would love to hear of the local sporting traditions that you are apart of.

Send me an email at the above address of on contact me on Twitter.

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Saints suffer against Nomads

THE NEW England Nomads look to have cemented their place as the top contender for the 2012 premiership after claiming a 91-81 victory over the top-placed side, the Inverell Saints at Bellevue Oval on Saturday.
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The first half saw the scores relatively even and Nomads player-coach Tom Granleese said it wasn’t easy for his side to keep the Inverell side on a tight reign early on in the game

“The score in the first half was tight and the lead kept changing marginally,” he said.

“It was a credit to our boys to be able to hold on to the lead going into the second half as we were kicking into a fairly stiff breeze in the first part of the game and this was a little hard to counteract at times.”

THE Nomads’ strong kicking game saw them further their lead in the third quarter before a courageous Inverell side fought back .

“Inverell came back at us and they looked like they could almost come within striking distance,” Granleese said.

“Luckily we were able to hold them at arm’s length to secure the win and they just ran out of time on the clock.”

The Nomads’ victory was led by the effort of Nomads captain Clint Ballard who had only just returned from overseas.

“ Ballard led courageously from the backline and even though he has been away for awhile, on the field it was like he had not even missed a beat,” Granleese said.

Nomads centre-half forward Ash Cruickshank was also a driving force behind the Armidale side’s victory.

“Cruickshank had a great game and kicked five goals which is a gallant effort and was pivotal in cementing the way our game unfoldend against the Saints,” Granleese said.

The Nomads now have their sights firmly set on securing a place in the grand final and Granleese said his side is looking to finish the season at the top of the ladder.

“If we can secure two wins from our next two games we will be able to secure a semi final at our homeground and we will be well on our way to being able to secure the grand final being held at Bellevue Oval,” he said.

The Nomads suffered a number of losses earlier this season, but they look to have turned the corner just as the business end of the season approaches.

“We are starting to play some really good footy and we are now working really well together as a team,” Granleese said.

“It was tough earlier in the season but we have been able to play consistently the last few weeks and we are now focused on finishing the season on top and to win the premiership would just be the icing on the cake.”

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Knights unable to slay Souths

DEMON KNIGHTS are sitting in second position on the Northern Inland Premier League ladder, but after a 2-all draw with South Armidale on Saturday, only one point now separates the two teams with three games remaining in the season.
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The South Armidale side took control of the game early on and Demon Knights coach Alan Waddle said it was hard for his side to match their fire in the first half at the Rologas field.

“Souths played a much better game in the first half and they really made it difficult for us,” he said.

Going into the break at half time the score was level at 1-all and Waddle said his team needed to capitalise on the opportunities they were creating in attack.

“We can play much better football than we did in the first half and at the break I told the team that we really needed to step it up and really focus on gaining control, which they did.”

Waddle said his side’s performance in the second half was much improved.

“We played a much better game in the second half and when we scored I really thought we would be able to hold on to a 2-1 won lead,” he said.

“In saying that, we created lots of opportunities that we just didn’t seem to be able to capitalise on.”

The last time the two sides met earlier this season the result was also a draw at nil-all and Waddle said that Saturday’s game was a reflection of two the most evenly matched sides in the Premier League’s northern conference .

“We may be sitting just ahead of Souths on the ladder, but Saturday’s game was a fair result,” he said

“We did play a much better game in the second half, but strength of Souths in the first half didn’t necessarily mean we deserved to win.”

With only three games left before heading into the finals, Waddle’s side are looking to stay focused on each game the same way.

“We need to approach every game with the same focus no matter who we are playing,” Waddle said.

“We need to play our best football each and every time that we take to the field if we want to be considered serious contenders in the finals.”

In other Premier League northern conference games North Armidale have again cemented their place at the top of the ladder after defeating Joeys FC 3-nil in Inverell.

Glen Innes FC delivered Guyra a 5-1 thrashing which sees them move into fifth place on the ladder and only one point

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Getting physical with wool

Madeleine Keaton and Helen Sisson participating in sleeve trials at Curves gym. Armidale is at the forefront of new developments to better measure the comfort levels of wool, with trials being run by the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC).
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The Wool ComfortMeter, a device which tests the comfort levels of woollen garments, is on the cusp of becoming a commercial reality with accuracy testing underway in Armidale.

A group of around 40 local women are participating in specialised wearer trials which are being held at Curves gym to test the accuracy of the technology.

The women are participating in newly designed sleeve trials, which see them test out two different sleeves at a time, based on research showing that the forearm is the most sensitive part of the body to wool comfort.

The volunteers each participate in 12 gym sessions, wearing the sleeves while working through standard circuit exercises.

Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe said the use of individual sleeves instead of more generalised wearer trials meant the research goes beyond any that has been conducted before.

“We’re looking at a broader range of fabrics because it’s a simpler and more robust test and we can compare two fabrics at the same time,” he said.

“A third component which is very important is that we’re asking people to rank sleeves in terms of their willingness to pay for their comfort.”

The ComfortMeter has been developed by the Sheep CRC in conjunction with the CSIRO, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA), Deakin University and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) and will discover any fibres sticking up within a garment which are likely to cause discomfort.

Mr Rowe said Meat Standards Australia’s success was proof that consumers appreciated quantifiable measures of quality.

“We expect to find a similar thing here, that people are willing to pay for a quality that is measurable and predictable,” he said.

“The comfort of wool is just so, so important if people are going to wear wool next to the skin.

“ Wool’s got all these really great properties, but people won’t appreciate them if the thing isn’t comfortable.”

The ComfortMeter is currently being tested at the world’s biggest knitwear company, the Crystal Group, in its Chinese mills, Mr Rowe said.

“There’s no reason to think it will be very long before it’s being used within the supply chain,” he said.

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Fresh calls for Church Royal Commission

A SENIOR cleric at the centre of the ‘Father F’ sex abuse scandal has become embroiled in new allegations of concealing evidence of sex offences following a police investigation in the Hunter region.
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Australian Bishops Conference general secretary Father Brian Lucas (pictured) is one of three persons of interest to Strike Force Lantle, which has investigated how the Catholic Church handled paedophile priest Denis McAlinden.

McAlinden, who died in 2005 without facing charges, is believed to have sexually assaulted possibly hundreds of girls over four decades in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

Although the Church reported McAlinden’s offences to authorities in 2003, it is alleged Father Lucas knew of his actions as early as 1993.

There were internal attempts to defrock the priest between 1993 and 1995, with then Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Leo Clarke allegedly telling McAlinden that his name would be protected by the confidential nature of the process.

A strike force was established last month to investigate claims of sexual abuse by a former priest and current resident of Armidale known as ‘Father F’, who was the subject of a Four Corners investigation.

Police were unable to confirm whether officers attached to Strike Force Lantle were also involved with the newly-established Strike Force Glenroe.

Father Lucas was also at a 1992 meeting between Father F and two other senior clerics, during which it is alleged that Father F admitted to the sexual abuse of five boys in Moree during the 1980s. The allegations were not passed on to police and Father F was not laicised until 2005.

The allegations have sparked fresh calls for a Royal Commission into the Church’s handling of sexual abuse

allegations against priests.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has called on the State Government to conduct an inquiry similar to one under way in Victoria.

“A Royal Commission must now be urgently established to uncover the full extent of the Church’s systemic failure to deal with decades of child sexual abuse committed by priests in dioceses in NSW,” he said.

“There are many good people in the Church now joining the call for a full, public and independent inquiry into the question of sexual abuse.”

A local lobby group known as ‘Save Our Kids’ has also been established, calling on Bishop of Armidale Michael Kennedy to support a Royal Commission.

According to a Save Our Kids spokesperson, the group is an alliance of New England parents, relatives and friends of paedophile victims, as well as other activists.

“For 50 years clerics have offered lame excuses when Armidale, Tamworth, Moree and other centres have endured terrible destruction to children and families,” the spokesperson said.

“Churches certainly are not above the law and their medieval thinking and behaviour is a vicious burden for children and their families.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Father F was previously employed as an interviewer for the Living in Australia study, conducted by Roy Morgan.

A spokesperson for Roy Morgan said Father F’s employment with the company had ended before the Four Corners program aired, but was unable to provide

further details.

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Nomads celebrate 50 years

THE NEW England Nomads will take to the field against the Inverell Saints to mark 50 years of Australian Football in New England tomorrow at Bellevue Oval.
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The Nomads are currently sitting in second place behind the Saints on the ladder and Nomads coach Tom Granleese said his side is ready to give them a run for their money.

“Tomorrow we have a full strength side taking to the field and after a long string of matches away from Armidale the entire team is fired up to have a great game at home,” he said.

The top two teams have clashed twice this season with the Nomads claiming a four-point victory over the Inverell side earlier this season in Armidale.

The last time the two sides met five weeks ago, the Saints delivered Armidale what Granleese describes as a thrashing.

“We were in Inverell, we didn’t have a full side on the paddock and we suffered,” he said.

“They were able to capitalise on this and delivered us a thrashing.”

Leading the charge for what is set to be a grand final preview is Nomads captain Clint Ballard and vice captain Jonathon Frost.

“Both Ballard and Frost are always there to penetrate play in attack,” Granleese said.

“As a side, we play our best footy when we are able to dominate this.”

The Nomads are looking to secure a victory over the Saints this week as they look towards the finals and secure a semi final home game.

Tomorrow’s match will also see former players, officials and coaches of New England AFL attend the match to celebrate 50 years of AFL in New England.

The first team in Armidale took to Consett Davis oval at The University of New England in 1962 as the UNE AFL Club.

The team initially entered into an inter-college competition which saw teams from Robb and Wright Colleges, shortly followed by St Alberts, Earle Page and United (Austin and Drummond) Colleges take to the field.

The growth of AFL in the New England was marked by the inclusion of a Tamworth team in 1975 which then saw teams from Gunnedah, Uralla, Coonabarabran, Moree, Coffs Harbur and Port Macquarie also compete.

The New England Nomads were formed in 1999 and joined the Tamworth AFL side in the growing competition and the Armidale-based side had immediate success, winning premierships in 2000, 2001 and 2004.

Old boys chairman Rod Gillett said that for the Nomads to continue their current run of success and win the premiership in the 50th year of the competition would be a great feat.

“The last time we had a reunion in 2004 the Nomads won the premiership, so to see the Nomads repeat the effort this year and in the 50th year of the competition would be a great thing for the club,” he said.

The New England Nomads will wear commemorative guernseys donated by the club’s old boys that honour the original UNE AFL club.

The old boys will present the jumper with the number they wore as a players to the current Nomads side.

The club’s celebrations will kick off at Bellevue Oval at 12pm with junior Auskick games, followed by the Nomads first grade side taking to the field at 2pm.

Following the day’s games the Nomads will hold their annual ball at the Wicklow Hotel, the club’s major sponsor

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Uni tour more intimate than festivals: Bluejuice

Bluejuice members Jamie Cibej, Jake Stone, Stavros Yiannoukas, Jerry Craib and James Hauptmann.Australian indie rock stalwarts Bluejuice will hit Armidale next week as part of their “Winter of Their Discotheque” universities tour.
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The Sydney band will play at The Stro at UNE on Thursday night, supported by Deep Sea Arcade and The Preachers.

The band has been part of the Australian music scene since their formation in 2001, gaining popularity in 2007 when their single Vitriol reached number 11 in the Triple J Hottest 100.

The band is also known for the 2009 single Broken Leg, which reached number 27 on the Australian Singles Chart and number five on the Triple J Hottest 100.

The band has released three albums and played at festivals including including Big Day Out, Playground Weekender Festival, Come Together, Splendour in the Grass, Parklife and Homebake.

Vocalist Stav Yiannoukas said regional tours can stand out from festivals as they offer the chance for a more intimate performance experience.

“Having your own show, there’s a bit more risk attached and you can be really engaged with the audience,” he said.

“At festivals the crowd becomes almost an anonymous jellyfish.”

Mr Yiannoukas said the group had been involved in a packaged university tour for O-Week in 2009 alongside bands such as The Fratellis and Yves Klein Blue.

“It’s the first time that we’ve done a university tour off our own bat,” he said.

“It’s something that’s not that regularly done and the university crowd is definitely really into it.”

Mr Yiannoukas said the band had done a lot of regional touring over the past three years and liked playing at venues outside of the major cities.

“I’ve loved going to Armidale before, mostly due to the pretty girls,” he said.

Aside from touring, band members have also been busy songwriting and hosting on Triple J.

Five-piece Deep Sea Arcade released their debut album, Outlands earlier this year and have played at festivals such as Peat’s Ridge Festival, Playground Weekender and Primavera Sound in Barcelona. They have also played alongside acts such as Holly Throsby, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Modest Mouse and Noel Gallagher.

The Preachers recorded their second EP in late 2011 with the first single Take A Card receiving high rotation airplay and making them a Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist.

The rock’n’roll inspired band have supported and worked with bands such as Blitzen Trapper, The Cranberries, Cameras, Phrase, Papa vs Pretty and Guineafowl.

Tickets to the gig are available from www.bigapachee南京夜网.au or Campus Essentials at UNE.

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