Hunter students head to Youth Rodeo Association national finals in Texas

Youngsters saddle up and head to USA for the ride of their lives Buckle up: Thomas Hutton and Olivia Priestley-Halliday will leave on June 6 and compete from June 14 to 17. Picture: Max Mason Hubers

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facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappOLIVIA Priestley-Halliday’s after-school chores includemore than just homework– and more than just her.

The 11-year-old devotes almost every hour of daylight she’s not in the classroom to feeding, bathing and working her horse Kakadu Dundee. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

Olivia, 11, will represent Aus at a USA rodeo competition in June. pic.twitter苏州美甲学校/lbhKMuXVRq

— Helen Gregory (@HGregory_Herald) March 26, 2017

Olivia and her friend Thomas Hutton have been selected in a junior team of 16 to represent Australia at the upcoming Youth Rodeo Association national finals in Gonzales, Texas. They will compete in barrel racing, western pole bendingandfigure eights to win prizes from a pool of three trailers, 66 saddles, 171 buckles, a scholarship and cash.Thomas will also compete in goat tying.

“I cried, I was just so shocked,” Olivia said. “I did not think I would make it this far until I got to high school so I’m feeling both nervous and excited. I love competing andhaving a pet that’s so big and so cuddly.”

Due to distance they will “outsource” their mounts, posing an extra challenge.

Thomas said he was “pretty excited” and hoped the rodeo would bring him one step closer to his dream of working with horses. Olivia said they both hoped to bring home a buckle. “But even if I don’t it will still have been a great experience to go over and a pleasure to ride in the team.” The pair are no strangers to rodeos and both have made the top 15 in their age group for the past two of the Australian Bushman’s Campdraft Association’s national finals. Their families are holding a jackpot barrel racing day on May 6 at Branxton Showground and a trivia night on May 19 at Maitland Showground to raise funds. Email [email protected]苏州美甲学校.

Banned Bombers come back into new world order

The start to any new AFL season will be marked by most clubs unveiling at least a couple of new faces. Occasionally, there’ll be the return of a long-term injury casualty. But never has a club had close to half a team come back to the fold after a year away from the game.

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That’s the extraordinary position in which Essendon find themselves on Saturday night going into the opening of the 2017 season against Hawthorn at the MCG.

It’s a big occasion for the Bombers, the impossible weight of the supplements scandal finally lifted after four hellish years. But a lot has changed even in the 18-odd months since the 10 players remaining at the club who were suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last took the field for premiership points. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_afl_video’);

The group includes veteran Jobe Watson who, in his last game for Essendon, was captain and a Brownlow medallist, and now in his next is neither, with his successor as skipper another of that group, Dyson Heppell.

There’s ruckman Tom Bellchambers who, in his absence, has been superseded as the No.1 man by former Brisbane Lion Matthew Leuenberger. And All-Australian defender Cale Hooker, whose temporary pinch-hitting as a forward in his last outings seems to have become a permanent shift.

And there’s no fewer than seven midfielders, nearly all a regular part of Essendon’s best 22 in 2015, but who return to find far more competition for a spot in the mix.

As the Bombers not only covered the gaping holes left by the CAS suspensions last year but looked to rebuild for the future under John Worsfold, the wheels of change kept spinning.

Zach Merrett, in 2015 still only a promising youngster, became in 2016 an elite midfielder, a best-and-fairest winner, and in 2017 is also a vice-captain. Draftee Darcy Parish fitted immediately into the midfield mix, and is an integral part of the engine room.

Orazio Fantasia and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti emerged as excitement machines up forward, an area in which Essendon have long struggled. And two more supposed “top-ups” – James Kelly and Matt Dea – acquitted themselves so well they remain part of the mix.

It’s a world away from the Essendon of which the 10 returnees were last a part. Just how do they fit in to the new Bomber order? Let’s take a look on a case-by-case basis.

TOM BELLCHAMBERS

Including last year’s suspension, the big ruckman has played just 18 games in three years, also beset by ankle, foot and more recently a knee injury, from which he returned in a VFL practice game only last weekend. Definitely behind Leuenberger in the queue for No.1 ruck spot, though he, too, is injured. Coach John Worsfold isn’t opposed to playing both now the Dons have some nippy little men up forward, but that’s currently a moot point in a position where Essendon now look the thinnest.

TRAVIS COLYER

Was in career-best form midway through 2015 when a foot injury ended his season. Returns with perhaps even more responsibility. “Trav has had a crack in at the centre bounces on a few occasions in the pre-season and it’s worked pretty well for us,” says Essendon football manager Rob Kerr. Colyer will spend time on a wing and could also have spells up forward. He and small forwards Josh Green and Fantasia are likely to take turns to act as centre-square “shock troopers” when more pace out of the middle is required.

DYSON HEPPELL

The new Bomber skipper might have less change to his role than any of the other returning players. Heppell, who led the Dons for clearances and contested ball in 2015, is still No.1 midfielder, though with the on-ball division now batting a lot deeper, Worsfold might have more flexibility with his captain than previous coach James Hird did. “He might get asked to play at half-back at different times and could find himself on a wing,” says Kerr. “We’ve got a few players in that category, and he’s one.”

HEATH HOCKING

The strongly built midfielder has played just five games since the end of 2014 after his 2015 season was ruined by a serious groin injury requiring surgery. In a deeper midfield, he’s no longer a walk-up start, but his capacity to run with opposition key on-ballers will earn him selection more often than not. “It’s a pretty good string to his bow that not everyone else has,” says Kerr.

CALE HOOKER

The former All-Australian defender was switched forward in the second half of 2015, averaging two goals a game. And with Joe Daniher still needing support up forward, it’s there Hooker will stay. “One will play higher pushing up the ground and one deep, so it will be fairly dynamic,” says Kerr. The Hooker-Daniher combination will involve some “learning as we go”, he says. “We haven’t seen a lot of these two together, and ‘Joey’ has had another good season under his belt since Cale played up forward.”

BEN HOWLETT

Of the 10 returning suspended players, it’s Howlett who might have to fight hardest to win a spot in the best 22. Once an automatic midfield pick because of his work ethic, Howlett, a good tackler, has more recently been used as a defensive forward. His problem is that with the emergence of Fantasia and McDonald-Tipungwuti, and recruitment of Green, the Dons have an army of small forwards. That might see Howlett squeezed out of not just one, but two parts of the preferred line-up.

MICHAEL HURLEY

The All-Australian centre half-back of 2015 was arguably the player Essendon was most anxious about re-committing to the club. Will be the undisputed general of the Bomber defence with Hooker playing forward, and fellow keys Michael Hartley, Patrick Ambrose and Mitch Brown very much support staff. Kerr says the Bombers will be looking for Hurley to provide effective rebound as well. “He’s a good kick, so we want him to do that as well as be someone who can quell a good opponent,” he says.

DAVID MYERS

None of the banned 10 have played as little as Myers. Injured in the opening minutes of the first game of 2015, he was injured again in his only other appearance, giving him effectively one half of football since the 2014 elimination final. A finger injury means he’ll miss at least the first month of this season, too. That said, fully fit, Myers is a walk-up start. “He’s an inside mid with a long, penetrating kick. He’s probably the one we’d be looking for to launch the ball into our forward 50,” says Kerr.

BRENT STANTON

After weighing up retirement, the 30-year-old was given a one-year deal by the Dons. Not everyone thinks he’ll be a regular with newer faces rotating through midfield. But the other side of the argument is that, relieved of the pressure of a weekly tag, with which he has sometimes struggled, Stanton can provide Essendon with his trademark endurance running from the luxury of a wing, or rebound off half-back, where he spent most of the pre-season.

JOBE WATSON

Now 32, the former skipper can’t be relied upon to carry the midfield. The good news is Essendon probably won’t need him to, thanks to the emergence of Zach Merrett and Parish. That means Watson looks set to spend more time than ever before up forward. “He can certainly take a grab and he’s got reasonable forward craft in terms of his leading,” says Kerr. Watson has only once kicked more than 16 goals in a season. That may change substantially in 2017. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_afl_tiles’);

Kate calls motherhood a ‘huge challenge’ in rare insight into home life

The Duchess of Cambridge has given a rare insight into her home life, describing motherhood as a “huge challenge”.

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The royal, who has two children, Prince George, three, and Princess Charlotte, 22 months, made the comments during a speech at an event organised by Best Beginnings, a UK children’s health charity on Thursday.

“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge,” she said.

“Even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not. Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It’s full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.”

Since the birth of Prince George, the Duchess of Cambridge has been assisted by a home help team.

The family’s current nanny, Maria Borrallo, joined the family when Prince George was eight months old. Dressed in a retro brown nurse’s dress, Spanish-born Borrallo travels everywhere with the children.

(Oh, and the dress isn’t just an aesthetic choice: it’s the uniform for graduates of Norland College, a prestigious nannying school in Bath where nannies-to-be are trained in everything from nappy-changing to self-defence.)

“There is no rule book, no right or wrong; you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family,” the Duchess continued.

“For many mothers, myself included, this can at times lead to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance. Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with our very mental health.”

The candour is a rare move from the Duchess, who normally only divulges small tid bits about her private life in conversations with members of the public at charity events she attends (who subsequently tell the tabloids).

She went on to encourage women to seek assistance for their mental health during pregnancy and parenting in the same way as they would treat their physical health.

Along with her husband, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, the Duchess is the founder of Heads Together, a mental health charity initiative that aims to reduce stigmatisation surrounding mental health diagnosis and dialogue. She was invited to speak at Thursday’s event in a partnership between the two charities. Watch The Duchess of Cambridge speak at the launch of the @BestBeginnings ‘Out of the Blue’ film series, with @Heads_Togetherpic.twitter苏州美甲学校/1mMupReocK??? Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 23, 2017

Grampians National Park graffiti artist receives corrections order

Photos of destruction found on vandal’s phone An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

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An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

An area of the Grampians National Park was vandalised.

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facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappA HORSHAM man who spray painted graffiti near a significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sitein the Grampians destroyed the paint cans in a fire, a court has heard.

Caleb Boydcote, 23, faced Horsham Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with criminal damage, as well as drug and weapons charges.

He pleaded guilty to the charges.

MagistrateRonald Saines sentenced Bodycote to a 15-month community corrections order.

The court heard that between September 1 and November 11, Bodycote and two co-accused went to Hollow Mountain in the Grampians.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Belinda Ryan said the area had Aboriginal significance.

She said Bodycote walked about one kilometre to a cave, where he caused extensive damage by spray painting the rock.

Bodycote then lit a fire and stayed the night, destroying the paint cans in the fire, before leaving the next day.

On November 18, police searched Bodycote’s home, where police located a receipt for paint cans and a map of the Grampians National Park, outlining Hollow Mountain.

Police also found about four grams of cannabis, cannabis seeds, shotgun ammunition, two swords, a homemade sword, a double-edged dagger and a butterfly knife.

They also found a torch, that was thought to be missing from the Horsham Police Station.

Police also searched a co-accused’s house in Stawell, where they found paint cans, a phone and a digital camera.

The court heard that photos on the phone depicted Bodycote damaging the rock face and lighting a fire.

A video showed paint cans exploding in the fire.

Senior Constable Ryan said Bodycote took responsibility for all the damage at Hollow Mountain andno-one else was involved.

The court heard that it cost $4267.44 to clean the rock.

Defence solicitor Julia Barling said Bodycote was in a downward spiral, smoking cannabis and making poor decisions.

“He bought the weapons off the internet or at second-hand stores –he didn’t know they were illegal,” he said.

Ms Barling said he had made a stupid decision when he choseto damage the rock.

MagistrateRonald Saines said it was confronting to hear incidents of environmental vandalism.

“It not only affects the Aboriginal community, but the tourist industry and national parks,” he said.

“It is so disappointing that anyone would find this amusing.”

Mr Saines said he would have preferredif Bodycote was made to clean up the site himself.

“There are also elements of dishonesty and criminal damages, as well as various drug charges, which is concerning,” he said.

“You need to decidewho you want to become, rather than being in the revolving door of the justice system.”

Wimmera Mail-Times

Trump’s tweets distraction from decisions being made at White House

Washington: Stories of women who have had enough, Snapped has been going gangbusters in the US reality TV genre for years. You know the kind of story – cheated woman drives over lover or husband; puts the car into reverse gear and drives over him again.

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But in the era of Donald Trump, Americans get to watch a real, media-political version of this show. “Fake news” luminaries such as The New York Times and The Washington Post cracked months back – driving over the 45th president time and again in angry editorials and strident op-eds.

But it wasn’t till this week that The Wall Street Journal, the very conservative and very sensible, Murdoch-owned WSJ, snapped – its Wednesday editorial tears into Trump for his false and lying tweets.

Likening the teetotaller commander-in-chief to a desperate alcoholic, it thunders on Trump’s widely-debunked claim that former US president Barack Obama had ordered wire taps on Trump Tower: “The President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims.”

The Journal often is accused of covering Trump with kid gloves. But throwing into reverse, the editorial’s author drives over the President again – damning his “seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods”. And then it guns the engine before making another run: “If he doesn’t show more respect for the truth, most Americans may conclude he’s a fake president.”

Theories abound on Trump’s obsessive, reckless tweeting – it’s a fight to defend the legitimacy of his presidency; it’s innate – he was groomed since childhood to wage total war on any threat, real or perceived; or it’s all a distraction – creating a crisis to divert attention from other crises and/or from the dire impact of his legislative and executive decisions.

George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at the University of California at Berkeley, sees a deliberate strategy at work. Analysing Trump’s March 4 wire-tapping tweets, Lakoff lays out four elements on his blog: Pre-emptive framing: He frames first. He creates a new presidential scandal – Obama’s wire tapping – an accusation without evidence, and with all evidence against it.Deflection: He puts the onus on his squeaky-clean predecessor.Diversion: The press bit and the diversion worked. It generated headlines questioning whether Obama, rather than Trump, had committed wrongdoing. The diversion worked, at least temporarily.Trial balloon: Will the public accept it, or listen to a discussion of it long enough to distract the press and the public from the treason issue?

Bruce Miller, a political science professor at the University of Albany, doesn’t buy this theory of calculated distraction. “That’s rarely the case,” he tells Fairfax Media. “All the tweeting is an unavoidable part of his personality ??? so provocative and unchecked that it has a perverse impact ??? leaving a sense of a frenzied, chaotic start to this presidency.”

But calculated or otherwise, the distraction is profound. Stories that might run for days get bumped from the headlines as an army of political journalists changes gears, going after the latest Twitter feed.

Not getting the attention they would ordinarily deserve are a litany of White House decisions or, as in the case of his proposed budget, Trump’s wish list for federal spending cuts that often target the very people he promised to watch out for, those of whom he said in his inauguration speech in January: “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”.

These include his proposal to undo what is called the Fiduciary Rule, an Obama edict that was to come into force this year, by which small-time retirement investors would be protected from financial advisers who scam them of an estimated $US17 billion ($22.3 billion) a year; tax cuts worth hundreds of billions for the rich that are buried in Trump’s makeover of Obama care; and the upending of programs worth billions that help the poor, especially in remote and rural America, with the likes of legal advice, banking, community infrastructure, job training and shelter – affordable housing, heating and weather-proofing.

Trump has put medical research on the chopping block; along with a series of economic revitalisation programs, like the Appalachian Regional Commission, which covers hard-pressed coal country; and vital long-term environmental efforts, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the clean up of the sprawling Chesapeake Bay, North America’s biggest estuary.

The new president’s determination to undo a swathe of Obama’s “stupid” climate policies is hugely consequential – but this too gets short shrift in the Twitter wars. Climate change research and prevention programs would be eliminated along with a series of vehicle and power plant pollution control efforts that were deemed necessary to counter planet warming.

They were part of Washington’s commitment to reduce greenhouse pollution by 26 per cent by 2025 under the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change – which Trump says he’ll junk. And Trump wants to weaken rules that protect hundreds of rivers from pollution.

“As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: we’re not spending money on that anymore,” Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney said while briefing reporters on budget proposals.

Trump is arguing against laws that prohibit US companies paying bribes to get overseas contracts. And having paid $US25 million to settle class actions against his own university, work is underway to relax rules that make it difficult for other private colleges to scam their students.

Among Trump’s 23 executive orders and memoranda, his crackdown on migrants and refugees from first seven and then six predominantly Muslim countries earned continuous headline coverage, but much of the rest has been lost in the weeds.

So called sanctuary cities, of which there are more than 100, would be denied all federal funding unless they co-operate in Trump’s efforts to round up undocumented migrants as thousands more immigration and border patrol agents are hired ahead of spending billions of taxpayer dollars on a wall on the Mexican border.

Trump’s “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganising the Executive Branch” could see whole agencies eliminated, with their work being shunted to private contractors or offloaded to the wary state governments.

And just in case Trump doesn’t go the whole hog, Republicans have introduced these bills in congress: HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency – Shutters the EPA by the end of next yearHR 610 Vouchers for Public Education – Switches school funding to a states-run voucher systemHR 899 Terminate the Department of Education – Closes it by the end of next yearHR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood – Denies funding for all its work unless it agrees to cease abortionsHR 785 National Right to Work – Further weakens trade unionsHR 147 Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act – Recriminalises abortionHJR 40 Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 – Would reverse the Obama administration’s effort to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill

In several recent polls Trump’s approval rating languishes at 37 per cent and seemingly, that drives his tweeting excesses because, as explained by some in his inner circle, he is frustrated by his inability to control the narrative and to dominate the discourse of his chaotic presidency.

It could be that as a weapon of choice, Twitter is nearing the end of its useful life for Trump. A poll by Fox News last week found that 32 per cent of voters “wish he’d be more careful” in his tweeting – only 16 per cent of voters approved of his social media communications; and even among Trump voters, just 35 per cent approved.

Maybe, just maybe, a space is about to open up for some serious political debate.

Community input needed for next phase of Throsby Creek planGALLERY

A LOT has changed in and around Throsby Creek over the past two decades. Once a desolate and polluted stormwater drain, the city’s largest urban waterway now supports a thriving ecosystem.

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Times are changing: Throsby Creek bird watcher Tom Clarke. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The creek’s change in fortunes has also helped drive the property boom in Maryville and Tighes Hill in recent years.

The blueprint for the transformation, the 2001 Total Catchment Management strategy, has recently been reviewed.

Work is now underway onthe 2017 Throsby Creek plan and community input is now sought into its development.

Community members have the opportunity to discuss and have input intothe plan at the Throsby Creek Action Station to be held at Islington Park on Sunday, April 2 between 9am and 3.30pm.

“The new plan will consolidate and focus the efforts of agencies responsible for action within the creek and catchment for the next six years,” event coordinator SusanMorley who works for Hunter Local Land Servicessaid.

Turning the Throsby tide Bleak: A degraded section of the Carrington foreshore in 1992. The area is now thriving with mangroves.

Carrington Mangroves, 1992

Dredging the main channel, 1992

Dredged sediment, 1992

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960. Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

Throsby Creek Regatta, 1960 Picture: Bob Scobie, University of Newcastle.

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facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappTighes Hill resident and Hunter Bird Observers Club member Tom Clarke will be among those sharing informationon the day.

“It’s amazing to see the changes that have occurred in the birdlife around the creek over the past 28 years,” Mr Clarke said.

“We have seen new bird species move into the area while others have moved on.”

The creek drains stormwater from a 3000 hectare catchment area that extends to Charlestown.

The main channel betweenMaitland Road and Hannell Street was last dredged in 1992.

While much of the sediment has returned, a Hunter Water spokesman there were no immediate plans to re-dredge the channel because studies had shown sedimentation did not impact on flooding.

A new sediment study to determine where the sediment is coming from is underway.

“With sedimentation in the tidal reaches of Throsby Creek forming as part of a natural process, a range of options are being investigated to determine if it is more beneficial to have treatment options throughout the catchment, or if dredging the sediment in the lower reaches is the most suitable management method,” the spokesman said.

“The outcomes of this study will feed into the future plans for the creek,”

Throsby Creek Action Station:Sunday 2nd April,Islington Park, 9.00am – 3.30pm

ADVERTISING FEATURE: AEH Retirement Living in Sugar Valley offers a pristine golfing experience for both the young and old

ABOVE PAR: Sugar Valley Golf Club has been in continuous operation for over 50 years and is suitable for beginners and experienced golfers alike. In May 1936, the Macquarie Golf Club was foundedon Notley’s Paddock, the site of the now Sugar Valley Golf Club.

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GOING GREEN: Sugar Valley Golf Club boasts pristine courses that offer great fun for everyone from beginners to the more experienced golfer.

Macquarie was the first golf club foundedwithin the Lake Macquarie local government area with 35members and a nine-hole course.

Fast forward 80 years and the Sugar Valley Golf Club, set in the picturesque valley of Mount Sugarloaf,has undergone an extraordinary transformation under the careful management of course superintendent Dave Johnson.

Gone are the goat tracks, and in their place is a redesigned, boutique, easy walking course, perfect for those looking for a quicker round or who find it difficult to manage larger courses.

Eighteen holes spread over 3100 metres –that’s only three to four hours at even a leisurely pace.

Other courses in the area range from5000m to 6000m.

The result is a family-friendly environment perfect for children and seniors alike.

The layout is great for beginners, due to its size, but at the same time, also a testing short-game challenge for experienced golfers.

Nine dedicated holes with alternate tees deliver a surprisingly diverse front and back nine surrounded by an abundancy of wildlife that call the course and creek that circles it home.

The greens and surrounds have never been in better condition thanks to Dave and his team of volunteers.

Carts are available for hire and barbecue facilities and golf clubs are available for use free of charge.

The course is currently running its autumn super special – an unbeatable $10 social round for unlimited holes and $5 for children under 18.

And as always the 19th hole awaits at the nearby West Wallsend Workers Club for those looking for a relaxing end to their game.

You can play socially or competition. The ladies run their’son Thursday mornings. The men’s comp is on Saturday morning.

Located at Boundary Street, West Wallsend, Sugar Valley offers the beauty of a laid-back, country atmosphere with the convenience of being only 30 minutes from the Newcastle CBD and fiveminutes from the M1 and Hunter Expressway.

For further information or inquiries, check the Facebook page (facebook苏州美甲学校/sugarvalleygolf) or call 4953 2891.

Five highlights in your travel weekMarch 24

Pacific Dunes Golf Club … a challenging test for any golferPacific Dunes Golf Club in Port Stephens has partnered with accommodation providers, shuttle services and Fly Pelican to offer new fly-stay-and-play packages out of Sydney.

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An example of the packages involves staying at Ramada Resort at Shoal Bay. This option is priced from $147.50 per person twin-share midweek, including one night’s accommodation, green fees for 18 holes and lunch at the Greenhouse Eatery, with a $20 surcharge per person on weekends.

Flights between Sydney and Newcastle with Fly Pelican are priced from $59 per person one-way, including 20kg of baggage and all taxes.

Phone (02) 4916 0500 苏州美甲学校论坛portstephens.org苏州美甲学校论坛 Kimo Estate …luxury boutique accommodation near Gundagai

Tourism to regional New South Wales is booming, at least partly due to the opening of new luxury boutique accommodation offerings such as Kimo Estate, near Gundagai.

Set on a 7000-hectare working farm, Kimo Estate has built luxury eco-huts that sit proudly on the hills with 360-degree views over the Murrumbidgee River flats.

The architecturally designed huts provide a quiet spot to refresh, and feature solar power, a beautiful bathroom and gourmet breakfast.

The property’s 100-year-old workers’ cottages have also been stylishly refurbished and feature sweeping verandahs.

苏州美甲学校论坛kimoestate苏州美甲学校 Uluru Fork and View … a new dining experience in Central Australia

Central Australian small-group specialist SEIT Outback Australia has partnered with ATG Downunder to launch Uluru Fork and View, a double-decker bus that’s been converted into an open-top restaurant at the base of Uluru.

Groups and private charters can now enjoy a dinner tour or a progressive three-course meal, while individual travellers can hop on for a morning-tea experience which is available daily.

A fully guided four-to-five hour sunset tour is priced at $250 per adult ex Ayers Rock Resort, including a three-course set menu and a premium-beverage package.

苏州美甲学校论坛seitoutbackaustralia苏州美甲学校苏州美甲学校论坛If you prefer cheese and wine to chocolate eggs, then the Sunshine Coast isn’t a bad place to head this Easter.

The region will play host to the Kenilworth Cheese, Wine & Food Fest on Easter Saturday (15 April) — a free event that kicks off with a cheese-rolling competition, features a Cheester Egg Hunt for children aged four-to-seven years, and includes gourmet cooking demonstrations showcasing produce from the Mary Valley.

Other events on the Sunshine Coast this Easter include the Ocean Street World Festival on Sunday, April 16, when Maroochydore will celebrate diversity at a free event featuring artists across four stages, with acts from Japan to Bolivia, and Budapest to Jamaica.

There’s also the Pa and Ma Bendall Memorial Surfing Contest Surfers, one of Australia’s oldest surfing competitions, which will attract plenty of talent to Caloundra’s Moffat Beach over the whole Easter long weekend from 14-16 April.

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach has an Easter deal priced from $255 per night in a one-bedroom apartment (minimum three-night stay).

Phone 131 517 苏州美甲学校论坛mantra苏州美甲学校苏州美甲学校论坛苏州美甲学校论坛visitsunshinecoast苏州美甲学校. The John Morrison SBF All Stars Big Band … Thredbo-bound this April.

Thredbo Jazz turns 30 this year and the 2017 festival will bring some of the country’s best jazz and roots music to the rooftop of Australia from April 28-30.

The festival program will see 17 bands playing in a variety of venues from the village to the top of the mountain, so festival goers can catch performers in different settings across the weekend.

Australian jazz legend Bob Barnard will return with the Barnard Family Jazz Band, and Thredbo crowd favourites, the Kirrawee High Band, will also return to show off their youthful energy and prodigious talent.

All-inclusive festival and accommodation packages are priced from $160 per person per night.

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Socceroos in sticky spot and nerve-shredding nights await

Staying unbeaten and picking up points in every game is all well and good, but not very helpful when all you do is draw — especially while your key opponents are winning.

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Six games down in the 10 match World Cup qualifying tournament and Australia is still in the hunt, but Ange Postecoglou and his team will be starting to feel the pressure after their 1-1 draw against Iraq in Tehran overnight.

The Socceroos were, in the end, quite fortunate to cling on for a draw having taken a first half lead with a rare international goal from Matthew Leckie.

Admittedly this was a match played on a cabbage patch pitch in muddy conditions more reminiscent of the lower divisions in England than for a World Cup qualifier, but that in theory should have suited the Socceroos, many of whose starting line do, in fact, play in The Championship, or have experienced life in England’s lower leagues earlier in their career.

Australia is now in tricky spot in the battle for a guaranteed place in the World Cup finals in Russia.

Saudi Arabia, who are flying, are three points clear on 13 points having won 3-0 in Thailand (where Australia could only draw last November), while Japan are second, also on 13 points, following their 2-0 win in the United Arab Emirates.

The best that can be said at the moment is that Australia’s destiny still lies in its own hands, with three of its final four matches at home with the only test on the road a difficult trip to Tokyo. But they wouldn’t want to be facing Thailand in their final match in September knowing that they simply had to win to make it to Russia.

Tuesday night’s game in Sydney against the UAE looms as a must win affair now. The Emiratis are a point behind the Socceroos and would know that defeat would surely spell the end of their World Cup ambitions.

Postecoglou experimented with a changed line up and different structure for the Iraq game, shifting to a back three with four in midfield and Jackson Irvine, given a chance from the start,.

His selection favoured men who are playing regularly – something that no-one can really complain about – and certainly Irvine, who has been an excellent contributor to a struggling Burton team in the Championship, showed that he has plenty to offer with his energy, competitiveness and ability to pop up in threatening areas.

Mitch Langerak, who has been between the posts for Stuttgart while erstwhile number one Mat Ryan has been kicking his heels for much of the season on Valencia’s bench, was also given an opportunity and he is another who proved that he is certainly good enough to retain a place in the starting line up, making a handful of critical saves particularly as Iraq threw the kitchen sink at Australia in a desperate second half.

Australia might be champions of Asia, but they don’t look it right now.

All too often in this game passes were overhit, underhit or missed their target or players simply miscontrolled the ball as possession was surrendered too easily.

Once more the Socceroos looked toothless in front of goal. Leckie’s excellent header came from a Mooy corner – a set piece – while the previous three goals the national team had scored had come from the penalty spot courtesy of Mile Jedinak against Thailand and Japan. Its a legitimate question to ask how or when they will score from open play.

Did the switch to a new system hinder them? They are all professionals, the best the country has to choose from, so they should be able to cope with a change of set up with a minimum of fuss.

And as the coach pointed out after the game, a lot of the time they were dealing with high balls as Iraq went route one in search of a direct path to goal: that is a relatively unsophisticated strategy and centre backs should be able to contest aerial battles whether they are playing in a back three or four.

The gap has been closing for years. Australia no longer has the Premier League stars it once had, nor does it have the intimidatory power those big names once gave it when they ran out against Asian teams.

There is plenty of work to be done. Their destiny lies in their own hands, but it its by no means a done deal….

Millar goes on tour with Matilda, parents list family home

Whale Beach weekender tops the suburb’s highest sales this year at $8 millionHelpmann Awards 2016: Matilda the Musical sweeps the board with 13 winsSecure Parking CEO Garth Mathews selling his Mona Vale mansion

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Actor James Millar hopefully already said his goodbyes and packed up his things from his family home in Kenthurst before he went to Perth recently, because by the time he gets back the April 8 auction will have passed and – fingers crossed – someone will have paid $4.25 million to $4.65 million for the resort-style estate.

Millar, who is touring with Tim Minchin’s Matilda the Musical playing Miss Trunchbull (for which he won a Helpmann award last year), has called the Kenthurst property home since 1982 when he was two and his parents Graham and Gaye purchased the 2.17-hectare property for $90,000.

And it’s been his home in Sydney ever since. Known as Sandalwood Park, the five-bedroom residence comes with a heated pool, a billiard room, spa, tennis court and guest quarters.

The Millars are off to the northern beaches, prompting the listing with Will Hampson and Kate Lumby, of Lumby Hampson. Best in the valley

JP Morgan’s managing director Andrew Best is set to off-load his Kangaroo Valley retreat, Baltard II, for more than $4 million.

At that level the sale might almost match the $4.3 million the state government has paid JP Morgan for financial advice on the proposed sale of the land titles registry.

Speaking of which, those same public records show Best, a long-time Centennial Park local with his wife Natalie, paid $1.8 million for the 38 hectares in 2006.

The lavishly appointed weekender with tennis court and pool is listed with Belle Property Berry’s Nick and Gary Dale.On song in Enmore

Opera singer John Wegner and his wife Mignon have sold their Enmore Victorian terrace for a smidge over $2 million.

The four-time Helpmann award winner and former principal artist at Opera Australia retired due to Parkinson’s disease.

The three-bedroom house last traded in 1994 for $300,000, and was beautifully renovated before it was sold by Tina O’Connor, of Ray White Annandale.Woollahra to Prague

Philanthropist, former publisher and art collector Tom Schrecker has long split his time between his homes in Sydney, London, Prague and Val D’Isere, but having now settled permanently in the Czech Republic he is selling his long-held Woollahra base.

The three-bedroom penthouse has not traded since 1978 when it was sold for $115,000 by fur merchant Telian Goldberg and his wife Kety.

Schreck was one of the 669 Jewish children rescued from Prague before the Nazi invasion of 1939 by Sir Nicholas Winton, who later moved to Australia and became Asia Pacific director of Readers Digest.

Harriet France, of Sotheby’s International, is asking $2 million. Making tracks

High-profile barrister Nancy Mikhaiel is offloading her former Victorian-era home in Randwick now she’s ensconced in her $8.5 million beachside home nearby.

Given its position on Alison Road opposite Randwick Racecourse, the house is fittingly named Shahzada after the purebred Arabian stallion that was imported from England to Australia in 1925.

Mikhaiel, whose clients have included jailed former MP Eddie Obeid and broadcaster Alan Jones, purchased the 500-square-metre property in 2009 for $2.1 million.

Seaton Jones and Peter Taylor, of Ray White TaylorJones, are asking $3.3 million to $3.5 million ahead of the April 8 auction. Fundie lists in Birchgrove

Fund manager James Simpson has not long completed a renovation of his waterfront residence in Birchgrove and has it up for sale with a $7 million guide and an April 4 auction.

Simpson is off to Mosman and the $11 million house he purchased in early 2015 from Nicolette Pappas, wife of NAB senior executive and Gina Rinehart’s preferred banker Spiro Pappas. Incidentally, the Pappas clan have since taken to North Bondi, where they paid $8.55 million two years ago.

Simpson paid a bullish $7.2 million for his Birchgrove property in 2007 from lawyer Susan Hilliard and her partner, former PowerTel chief Shane Allan.

It is now listed with Robert Page and Cae Thomas, of Black Diamondz Concierge.

Newcastle District Cricket Association: Hamilton-Wickham favourites over Belmont according to opposition captains

HIGH FIVE: Hamwicks celebrate a wicket. Picture: Max Mason-HubersHamilton-Wickham will go into this weekend’s grand final against minor premiers Belmont as clear favourites at No.1 Sportsground according to the majority of Newcastle District Cricket Association first grade captains.

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Opposition skippers cited a variety of reasons why the 2016-2017 title would go the Pumas way, rather than the Lake Macquarie Club.

Who was named #NDCA1617 player of the year? #DeCourcyLunch#MerewetherSurfhouse#[email protected]@CtryCric_NSWpic.twitter苏州美甲学校/hgfArWa4fb

— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) March 24, 2017

“They just have a good all round side,” Wallsend leader Steve Storey said.

Charlestownprovided a combination of factors.

“They have been there before and haveexperienced players,” Steve Mace said.

Scott Mackenzieput it down to recent successover Belmont.

“They probably have the mental edge after their T20 wina couple of weeks ago,” Waratah-Mayfield’s mentorsaid.

However, Shane Burley couldn’t split them.

“Tough one becausethere’s some genuine match winners in both sides who can win a final on their day,” the Wests bosssaid.

CLEARED: Belmont’s Ray Cooper passes fitness test

FEATURE: Tom Dwyer stays true to Hamwicks

WEATHER: Rusty but rested for grand final after rain

CAPTAIN’S CALL

Richard Green (Cardiff-Boolaroo): Hamwicks–“Close one but I think their bowling is better.”

Steve Mace (Charlestown): Hamwicks–“They have been there before and haveexperienced players. Belmont rely heavily on Mark Littlewood and have been bowled out for a few low scores this year.”

Jack Downing (Newcastle City): Hamwicks–“I can’t see them being beaten with the experience they have. The bowling attack is quality and I think they will get the job done.”

Matt Gawthrop (University): Hamwicks–“They’ve been there too many times to lose another one. I think their aggressive style with the bat in particular will be more effective on what’s more than likely going to be a pretty average wicket at No.1.”

Steve Storey (Wallsend):Hamwicks – “They just have a good all round side.”

Scott Mackenzie (Waratah-Mayfield):Hamwicks –“They probably have the mental edge after their T20 win a couple of weeks ago.”

Shane Burley (Wests): Even –“Tough one becausethere’s some genuine match winners in both sides who can win a final on their day. Toss/weather may play a part, especially if it ends up being over two weekends. Very even match, I’m on the fence.”

What to see this weekend: The best of Queensland property

Millionaires compete over Gold Coast’s most expensive homesRecord-breaking $18.48m sale a new era for BrisbaneWhy 2017 is the ‘year to watch’ for the Brisbane apartment market

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10 Sunnymeade Place, Mudgeeraba

10 Sunnymeade Place, Mudgeeraba, is a Hamptons inspired haven Photo: Harcourts Coastal

Auction in rooms, Wednesday, April 5, 11am

6 bed, 6 bath, 3 car

Open Saturday March 25, 3pm – 3.30pm and Sunday March 26, 11am- 11.30am

Agent: Katrina Walsh, Harcourts Coastal 0429 899 295

Hamptons tragics beware: this Gold Coast home will steal your heart.

Set on a beautifully manicured one-acre block only 15 minutes from Broadbeach, its timeless interiors and luxurious finishes are attracting buyers from across the country, agent Katrina Walsh says.

“The style of this home is just that exquisite, I’ve had interest from buyers everywhere,” she says.

“It really suits the Gold Coast lifestyle, particularly this prestigious gated enclave.”

The house itself is expansive – around 80 squares in fact – and it’s drop-dead gorgeous inside. Featuring a gabled roof line, handcrafted doors, handmade and internationally sourced tiles, custom lights from the Hamptons in the USA, coffered ceilings and custom made leadlight main entrance doors, it’s a property with warmth as well as style.

Wonderfully bright and light inside, it has a strong connection to the outdoors and the extravagant entertaining terrace overlooking the pool.

With six bedrooms, a master suite with a shared balcony, private study and a luxury guest wing, it’s as spacious as it is gorgeous. 84 Dewar Terrace, Sherwood

84 Dewar Terrace, Sherwood, features elegant interiors. Photo: Place Graceville

$849,000

3 bed, 1 bath, 2 car

Open Saturday March 25, 10am – 10.45am

Brad Robson, Place Graceville 0414 73 437

The cute exterior of this timber Sherwood home belies an absolutely gorgeous and elegant interior.

Considered entry-level buying into the high side of Sherwood, it’s surrounded by multi million-dollar high-end homes, agent Brad Robson says.

“This place is simply gorgeous but the key things here is the position. This is where you want to be in Sherwood, this is where all the expensive property is,” he says. “A home nearby recently sold for $3 million.”

The house has been restored by the current owners, who have done a beautiful job incorporating contemporary fittings in with the original character.

A hushed colour palette and warm timber floors evoke a sophisticated feel, while features like the commerical-style kitchen which opens out to the expansive entertainer’s deck makes the most of the leafy aspect outside.

The spacious master suite has been beautifully finished with eggshell blue walls, timber floors and ornate cornices. There are another two bedrooms which are serviced by a large, central family bathroom. Other features include air conditioning, lush gardens, a white picket fence and garage space for two or more vehicles.

Built in the 1930s, this home is located just moments away from local schools, Sherwood Arboretum and the lifestyle and shopping amenities located on Sherwood Road.29 Rockbourne Terrace, Paddington

29 Rockbourne Terrace, Paddington Photo: Ray White Paddington

Auction on site, Saturday April 8, at 3pm

5 bed, 2 bath, 2 car

Open Saturday March 25, 11am – 11.45am and 1pm – 1.30pm

Agent: Max Hadgelias, Ray White Paddington 0411 276 372

Paddington is not short on cute cottages, but this circa 1890s Queenslander is a genuine piece of history.

Named “Rhondda” after the Welsh Valley, its original features have been carefully preserved and it stands today as a wonderful example of some of Brisbane’s prettiest early architecture.

Better yet, it sits on over 1,100 square metres of premier Paddington land, with a massive 40-metre frontage. It’s being offered as a package on two titles of land (house on 743 square metres and land on 404 square metres).

“These outstanding properties offer astute buyers a rare opportunity to purchase a genuine Queenslander filled with rich character and heritage within easy walking distance of iconic restaurants, bars and boutique shops on Latrobe Terrace,” agent Max Hadgelias says.

The interior has stunning period features, including rich timber floorboards, high ceilings, sash windows, breezeways, VJ panelling, cornices and large casement windows.

There’s plenty of space, with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a nursery, family room and spectacular formal living room complete with ornate ceilings, heritage fireplace and stained glass doors.

The house is positioned four kilometres from the CBD and only a moments walk to local transport facilities, parklands, Suncorp Stadium and Rosalie Village.

19/19 Thorn Street, Kangaroo Point

19/19 Thorn Street, Kangaroo Point Photo: LJ Hooker Cannon Hill

Offers over $560,000

2 bed, 2 bath, 2 car

Open Saturday March 25, 10.30am – 11am

Agent: Deanne Hansom, LJ Hooker Cannon Hill, 0403 066 191

This spacious, light-filled loft-style apartment is already drawing collective “wow”s from potential buyers, agent Deanne Hansom says.

“Everyone keeps asking me if it’s on the top floor. The moment you walk in, there’s this amazing sense of space, natural light and wonderful views. It’s just so open,” Ms Hansom says.

And although it isn’t on the top floor, it may as well be. With entertaining space on two separate decks, it has a wonderful outlooks from both sides, including views of the Kangaroo Point locale, city and hinterland .

Soaring double height ceilings and windows positioned up high do a great job of catching the light, while two generous bedrooms complete with built-in robes capture prevailing breezes.

There is a modern kitchen opening overlooking all living areas, secure lift access, a common area including a BBQ area, gardens and large roof line covered area.

The apartment is within walking distance of buses, CityCats, the Story Bridge Hotel and the beautiful parklands fronting the river. If you don’t want to walk, it has two secure car spaces.