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Mark and Gino Stocco, who were captured on a property where Rosario Cimone’s body was also located. Photo: NSW Police Mark and Gino Stocco under arrest near Dunedoo. Photo: NSW Police
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Mark Stocco at Dubbo police station. Photo: Channel Nine

Father and son bush fugitives Gino, 58, and Mark, 36, Stocco stripped a farm caretaker naked after murdering him and hid the body under bushes to “cover their tracks” during an extraordinary time on the run, a court has heard.

The notorious pair evaded authorities for eight years and shot at officers during a dramatic 12-day chase across NSW and Victoria.

The pursuit ended when they were arrested on Pinevale, a remote property at Elong Elong in Dunedoo, 45 kilometres east of Dubbo, in October 29, 2015.

The badly decomposed body of Rosario Cimone, 68, the caretaker of the property, was found after their arrest.

Dramatic dashcam footage played at a sentencing hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday showed the moment the Stoccos fired at police during a pursuit near Wagga Wagga on October 16, sending plumes of dust into the air.

“Urgent! Urgent! Urgent! Shots are fired! Shots are fired!” an officer yells as his car hastily reverses away from the Stoccos.

About five minutes later, the pair shot at Senior Constable Matthew Shaw during another pursuit. He also reversed away before pursuing them for a further 40 minutes.

He told the court on Friday he couldn’t forgive himself for losing the Stoccos during the pursuit and allowing them to then potentially harm others.

“It took a long time to get over what happened,” he said in a victim impact statement.

Mr Cimone’s children also gave a victim impact statement and wept as they described their ongoing nightmares and flashbacks about the way their father, a “gentle giant”, was killed.

The family, from western Sydney, had reported him missing three weeks earlier.

Mr Cimone had well-known Mafia links and the Pinevale property was being used to cultivate marijuana.

“The state of his body was so extremely … decomposed we were unable to identify him,” daughter Maria Perre told the court on Friday.

“We would never even have the opportunity to see our dad the last time and say goodbye, to tell him that we loved him and to share with him all the things we wanted to share with him but hadn’t.”

Her sister, Vincenza Nasso, sat beside her weeping and her brother, Phillip Cimone, stood behind the women staring at the Stoccos before mouthing “dogs” and saying “this will never be forgotten”.

The court heard that the Stoccos’ probable motivation for killing Mr Cimone was frustration and anger at being told to leave the property, an extremely remote and rugged plot.

The pair had worked as farm hands for a short period in September 2015 and were angry because they had nowhere else to go at a time when police were closing in on them, the court heard.

They also claimed Mr Cimone made some threats towards them and had a gun.

Prosecutor Wayne Creasey, SC, said the pair shot Mr Cimone on October 7 then stole the boots off his feet and a small amount of money on him before taking various items from his home to “give the appearance that he just left the property and was a missing person”.

It’s possible that others working on the site may not have reported anything to police because of the nature of the property’s function, he said.

As Gino held a gun at Mr Cimone, he suggested to his son that they only tie him up however Mark was “the dominant partner” and insisted on killing him, the court heard.

Mr Creasey said it was hard to explain why the pair turned fugitives and descended into a period of “lawlessness”.

They had a relatively small criminal record, had no mental health issues and no alcohol or drug use.

“They appeared to have lost their moral compass from being on the run for what were originally minor offences,” Judge David Davies said.

Gino Stocco later told a doctor their behaviour “snowballed out of control”.

At the height of their run from police, they returned to Pinevale in an attempt to hide but were found by police after a member of the public saw their ute in the nearby Goonoo State Forest.

It was only after their arrest on October 29, 2015, that police found the badly decomposed body of Mr Cimone.

The Stoccos built a sinister yet bizarre reputation as they ran amok through rural areas along the country’s east coast for eight years.

They carried out moonlight raids to steal goods, went on vandalism sprees, stank “like a pair of polecats” and lived off the grid with no phones, licences, bank accounts or friends.

They pleaded guilty last year to murder, destroying a farmer’s shed and belongings by fire in 2014 and two counts of shooting to evade arrest.

The pair pleaded guilty to several offences last year and will be sentenced in March.

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  • Posted on 20. May 2019
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Saturday’s Flemington meeting will be the third metropolitan race program in three days and trainer Darren Weir still remains the major player.
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After successes right through the week Weir is again poised to have a strong influence on the nine-race fixture.

In the Kensington Stakes the trainer will be represented with Flamberge, Hellbent and El Divino.

Bookmakers reacted quickly to the reappearance to racing of Hellbent (Race 7, No.4) by installing the sprinting talent at $1.65.

“I’m very happy with him and his ultimate autumn goal will be the Oakleigh Plate later in the autumn,” Weir said.

Oh brother

However, while Hellbent may be favourite for the listed event, no doubt the appearance in Melbourne of the all-conquering Winx’s little brother El Divino (Race 7, No.8) will draw much interest at headquarters.

El Divino was formerly prepared by Gai Waterhouse but connections of the colt believe a training regime at the beach, which Weir can supply at Warrnambool, is the best tactic for the horse going forward.

A Randwick winner early in his career, El Divino, arguably the best-bred horse at the meeting, has drawn gate one and will be aided by having Damien Oliver on board for his Victorian debut.

Poised to strike

Saturday’s Inglis Dash, worth $250,000, looks to be the toughest of all races programmed over the Australia Day week.

With all of the runners graduates from Inglis Sales, bookmakers have installed Fuhryk (Race 6, No.15) as the nominal favourite following his amazing strike-rate of four racetrack appearances for three wins.

Successes at Wodonga and twice at Moonee Valley have labelled the filly a high-class sprinter of the future.

Final chance

Sydney trainer Chris Waller looks poised to win the final race at Flemington with Hipparchus (Race 9, No.3).

The stayer looks well placed here after his remarkable effort to finish second after being so far back at Moonee Valley last time.

The 1800 metres looks ideal and the bigger and more spacious Flemington will also be on his side.

Autumn previews

And it would seem two high-class horses who will race in Adelaide and Sydney on Saturday could well have a hand in major autumn assignments in the next month or so.

Strategic Demand (Race 3, No.4) is poised to make it four in a row in the Sprint Handicap at Morphettville and another success could bring the five-year-old over the border for some rich pickings in Melbourne.

At Rosehill, Music Magnate is all the rage for his return to racing in the $200,000 Expressway Stakes.

Having only his 14th race start, Music Magnate is already a Group 1 winner. He has trialled brilliantly of late and a successful return is very much expected.

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The ringleader of the Ultranet scandal, former education department deputy secretary Darrell Fraser. Photo: Luis Enrique AscuiEducation Department officials wasted up to $240 million of taxpayers’ money during a corrupt tender process for a school IT project, Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog has concluded.
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The officials could now faces criminal charges over the “appalling waste” following a lengthy investigation by the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Ultranet project promised to deliver an online platform that connected teachers, parents and students, but was plagued by technical issues and rarely used after its rollout by the former state Labor government in 2010.

In a long-awaited report tabled in state parliament on Friday, IBAC found that department officials purchased shares in CSG – the company awarded the Ultranet project – influenced the tender process and accepted inappropriate gifts from suppliers including flights and lavish dinners.

“The willingness of some senior leaders in the department to deceive has resulted in the waste of millions of dollars of public money,” the report said.

It follows revelations by Fairfax Media in 2014 that four senior senior education department officials bought shares or took jobs with CSG.

Operation Dunham, an IBAC investigation into the alleged misconduct, found that former regional director John Allman purchased shares in CSG knowing it would likely win the lucrative contract.

His colleague, former regional director Ron Lake, bought $100,000 in CSG shares while on the Ultranet board. Former regional director Wayne Craig and his wife purchased 6000 CSG shares after the company won the contract.

“The behaviour suggests that at least some used confidential information to which they were exposed in the course of their work for private gain,” the report said.

The man who spearheaded the Ultranet project, former deputy secretary Darrell Fraser, used $1 million of department money to “corruptly inject funds into CSG to ensure it had sufficient cash flow to properly deliver the Ultranet project”, IBAC found.

It said Mr Fraser – a former principal at Glen Waverley Secondary College – was “instrumental in manipulating procurement processes to ensure the Ultranet contract was awarded to the CSG/Oracle consortium – companies with whom he had a longstanding relationship”.

He also tried to influence the tender evaluation by ‘stacking’ an assessment team with like-minded colleagues. Mr Fraser also spent thousands of dollars of department funds on expensive dinners and alcohol.

In 2011, Mr Fraser resigned as deputy secretary and took up a senior job with CSG.

The watchdog heard that despite repeated warnings from consultants and probity officers that the CSG bid was high risk, the contract went ahead.

“IBAC found decisions were made that were contrary to proper procurement process – in particular, the unreasoned and inexplicable decision to give singular preference to CSG, despite serious concerns about its commercial credentials in the relevant area.

Ultranet was launched in August, 2010 at an event which became known as “The Big Day Out” and cost a staggering $1.4 million.

A video of the event shows singers and dancers performing to a remixed version of Madonna’s Material Girl: “We are living in a virtual world and I am an Ultranet girl”.

The scandal is a major embarrassment for the Labor government, which pledged to deliver Ultranet at the 2006 state election and considered it a legacy project. It was dumped by the former state Coalition government in 2013.

During the public hearings, former Education Minister Bronwyn Pike was snared in phone taps agreeing to secretly “chew the fat” over drinks with two ex department officials accused of corruption.

But the report cleared her of any wrongdoing, saying her enthusiasm for the project “never gave tacit approval to any person to do anything outside of those proper processes or to act with anything other than complete integrity”.

Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said the government needed to reassure parents that education funding would be spent on improving literacy and numeracy. 

Education Minister James Merlino said that Victorian families had a right to feel angy and let down by the department.

He said the department had introduced reforms which would stamp out corruption by improving procurement processes, auditing and financial training for schools. 

Education Department secretary Gill Callister said that the behaviour exposed by IBAC was “completely unacceptable”.

“I hope that this signals the closure of a dark chapter in this department’s history,” she said. 

“Many people within the department and our school communities will feel greatly let down by the people they were entitled to trust.”

Senior executives implicated in the scandal have been either sacked or resigned, she said.

IBAC is seeking advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions about whether criminal charges can be pursued. It has recommended the Victorian Public Sector Commission look at banning public servants from receiving gifts or benefits from prospective suppliers.

This is IBAC’s second major investigation into corruption in the Education Department. It recently charged former education department official Nino Napoli for his involvement in an alleged scam that swindled $6 million from state schools.

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Key focus areas: Liberal candidate for Collie-Preston Elysia Harverson will focus on job creation, families, and community safety if she wins the state election in March. Photo: Shannon Wood. Liberal candidate for Collie-Preston Elysia Harverson has pledgedto focus on job creation, families, and community safety if elected in the upcoming state election.
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MrsHarverson said she had identified the three key focus areas through feedback from the community.

“I have done a lot of door knocking and a lot of community engagementand quite a few forums and they are the things that have been identified by me that people want us to cover,” she said.

“I think Colliecan play a lot when it comes to jobs,we need to look at diversifying the economywhich I think everyone says because that’s what needs to be done.”

Mrs Harversonsaid investing in technology for the coal industry would be something she supports. “Our emissions target is not as high as Labor’s, so we won’t be looking at closing down the power stations like they will be,” she said.

“The fact that Labor are proposing a solar plant is a big indication to methat they planto close the power stations down and create a solar farm, which is a big concern because there are hundreds of jobs in a coal fired power station.

“We have so much coal, there’s 50 years of coal left I think coal is where it’s at, I think we need to invest in looking at different technology for coal.”

MrsHarverson said, if elected,she would make community safety a top priority.

“In terms of families, one of the things for families is that they want to feel safeand that means making sure our police are properly resourced and that they are doing regular patrols,” she said.

Investing in local tourism is an area that MrsHarverson said she would strive for if elected to the seat of Collie-Preston.

“Tourism is another potential and I think with tourism we need startup businesses in the area,” she said.

“We need to get Lake Kepwari opened, unfortunately there has been a lot of hold up with that but now that it has been handed over to the State Government hopefully we will start seeing some traction, and that will be something I will be fighting to deliver as soon as possible.

“I would also like to see investment at Stockton, Glen Mervyn, those two places in particular have been neglected.”

Improving facilities at Collie Senior High School, implementing a regional meth strategy and further funding for upgrades to Coalfields Highway are also areas Mrs Harverson has pledged her support for.

“I think that this electorate needs fresh vision and energy and I think I am the right person for that,” Mrs Harverson said.

“Collie is going through a real transitional period right now, and I see that as a real challenge. Now is our opportunity to see that we set ourselves up for the future.”

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French songstress Edith Piaf props up in bed in 1959 after an undisclosed illness. Piaf died in 1963 from exhaustion and liver disease, aged of 47. Photo: Matty ZimmermanHe loved music, my grandfather. He’d always played the piano. A family gathering wasn’t worth the name until he approached the lovely old piano in the corner of what was always called the front room, spread his fingers across the keys and summoned the magic, my grandmother at his side. Waltzes, Irish tunes, everyone singing; classical, a smattering of old-time swing, songs and tunes from a century ago. Often, his eyes would close as he delved into his repertoire.
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He spoke French, too. It had been useful on the Western Front where he’d fought in World War I and even handier in Paris when he’d taken leave.

There’d be a ghost of a smile when he’d speak occasionally about Paris. But he left much in the air. You had to imagine for yourself the cafes and the music of that city of light and love, a tall, thin farm boy who spoke French and played the piano, savouring the mercy of a few days away from the artillery and bayonets and machineguns. He had been, after all, just 21 when he sailed across the world to war.

I lived next door to my grandfather when he was old and faltering, and sometimes I’d play him a record of some song or tune that had taken my fancy and which I thought might quicken his heart.

Like a fair proportion of the world, I found myself in the 1960s transported by the voice of the French chanteuse Edith Piaf.

She had, of course, captured audiences for decades, but after she died in 1963, broken down by her addictions to morphine and alcohol and life, her music became more popular than ever.

As a boy, I felt I’d discovered a shining alternative universe of song when I first listened to Piaf. I bought a record of her best-known music and almost wore it out transporting myself to a place that existed only in my imagination: a smoky, black and white Paris, romantic to the point of heartbreak.

One wintry day I played my record to my grandfather. I thought Piaf’s La Vie En Rose, surely one of the loveliest songs of love ever sung, might take him back to the rosy hues of his youth. If there is an evocative song of all things French, this is surely it.

My grandfather closed his eyes and sighed.

But it was another song on that record that stirred him. He sat up in his easy chair and moved a hand to the stirring rhythm of it. His eyes were open and he was clearly seeing something beyond the room in which he sat.

The song was Non, Je ne regrette rien.

“No, I regret nothing,” my grandfather translated, and he sounded as defiant as Piaf’s rendering of it.

I already knew the bones of the story that had shaped his life, and that of all my family.

Twice he was wounded within the hellfire of the Western Front, only to be patched up in British hospitals and sent back to the trenches. In a hospital in Birmingham, he was nursed by a young softly spoken woman named Cecilia. They fell in love.

My grandfather’s military papers listed him as Presbyterian. Cecilia was Irish Catholic.

It is hard now, a century later, to imagine what depths of religious bigotry governed social and family behaviour.

When the war was done, and the delights of Paris had released their spell on my grandfather, he and Cecilia quietly married. My grandfather wrote to his parents, omitting to mention his bride was Catholic.

When, back in Australia, the family eventually discovered the woman who would become my grandmother was a “papist”, no mercy was shown. My grandfather, the twice-wounded war hero and farm boy who spoke French (and Latin), played the piano and had a deep sensitivity about him, was frozen out. He had chosen a wife from the wrong religion.

The newlyweds left the family property and my grandfather went schoolteaching. He had to save hard, because when his father died, the will, which he’d been assured left him the family farm, “went missing”. He was forced to bid at a trustee’s auction for his own property with a Depression only a few years ahead. Much hardship was to follow.

The family wound never healed properly, but my grandfather and grandmother cleaved to each other and had six children. In time, their own family gatherings became immense, grandchildren and great-grandchildren finding themselves stilled by my grandfather’s music, his Cecilia at his side.

“I regret nothing,” he said that day as Edith Piaf’s voice died away.

He meant it. You could hear it. Words to live by.

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  • Posted on 20. April 2019
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RISING STAR: Talented New City cricketer Maddi Baird is the ninth nomination for the Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year award. Picture: MARK JESSER
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MADDI Baird often wonders how different her life would beif she hadn’t accepted an offer to fill in for her brother Nick’s under-11 cricket side in 2009-10.

With New City looking for players one Friday night, Baird was given a call by club official Andrew Kilby to make up the numbers.

Baird has shown her class for New City’s under-16 side this season under the coaching of John McDonald.

She’s been making numbers, impressive ones, on the cricket field ever since.

Baird, 17,has gone on to represent the North East Knights and Victoria and is hopeful of one day playing for the Melbourne Renegades.

State honours … Baird has put some good results on the board playing for Victoria.

“My life would be completelydifferent if I didn’t play that night,” Baird said.

“I don’t know what I would be doing to be honest.

While Baird is best known for her bowling, she is also more than handy with the bat.

“I remember batting and bowling but I don’tthink I did too much.

“After that I played every week and that’s how I got right into it.”

The Xavier High School student’s impressive progress has earned her the ninth nomination for the Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year award.

Although the young all-rounder is presently on the comeback trail after injuring her calf at the national under-18 championships in December, she has still had a season to remember.

She opened the bowling in every match and took seven wickets including 3-12 off three overs against Tasmania.

Baird is presently playing for New City’s under-16 side and hopes to return to the Phoenix second grade line-up in coming weeks.

The youngster has been encouraged by the introduction of Cricket Albury-Wodonga’s Thunder-Stars Girls Under-14 Cricket League this season.

“It’s a lot different to when I started,” she said.

“It’s gone ahead in leaps and bounds.

“I don’t think there were any other girls playing around Albury back when I started and nowthere is a competition which is greatfor the localgirls.”

Baird is an avid watcher of the Women’s Big Bash League, particularly when the Renegades are in action.

Several of her Victorian under-18 teammates –Georgia Wareham, Amy Yates and Nicole Fulton –play for the Renegades..

“They were top-age players at the nationals and got contracts with the Renegades which is really good,” she said.

Junior coach John McDonald said Baird was ticking all the boxes in her development.

“She has an excellent attitude and excellent approach to her preparation,” McDonald said.

“Her training is good and she tries to train well so she can play well.

“She’s a very handy swing bowler and played a very important innings in the under-16s last week.

“Maddi’s doing really well.”

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The Bordertown Chinese Restrarant arecelebrating 20 years in the Tatiara on this weekends Chinese New year that sees the year of the rooster begin.
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Tim and Helen Wei first came to Bordertown 20 years ago on Chinese New year with their eight month old daughter and opened the popular restaurant on Woolshed street a couple of months later.

The couple have since had another child and both kids, Jenny who is now 21 and Jake who is 8 love the country lifestyle.

The kids both went to Bordertown Schools and Jenny is now in Adelaide studying teaching and would like to return tothe country some day.

Tim who moved here when he was 25 bringing Helen across two years later said the the double occasion this year is‘double happiness’

Tim said it was very difficult when he first came over, and despite having learned englishat school he said when he came to Australia, it was totally different.

“I came here for new life, a different lifestyle and a new way to live.”

Before coming to Bordertown, Tim and Helen hada restaurant in Victoria for four years in Bunyip, which was just a little too small and did not allow room for progression.

They searched at many places across four states before checking out Bordertown last and falling in love with the community straight away.

Tim said it was their first impression that made them decide to come.

“People say hello to you on the street, and that’s very important to us.” Tim said.

“When people come to a town,the first thing they notice is the people, and how they make them feel, if they make them welcome or not.”

“Right from the start, the town has been really supportive.” Helen said.

Tim and Helen now enjoy the country lifestyle for many reasons with the Tatiara community being a huge contributor.

Their business has had ups and downs which they said fall in line with all other businesses who have been affected by issues such as the drought and the meatworks.

“The businesses all support each other. That’s how a small community works. We support each other and that is very important.”

There have been a lot of businesses come and go throughout their time here, and Helen believes that the main reasons are for personal issues, and changing locationsrather then slow business.

The couple attribute their 20 years of success to the support from the community, and the quality of their product.

“We appreciate people’ssupport in the last 20 years. Without that, we can’t survive,” said Helen.

Tim said 95 percent of their customers were regulars, which come from beyond the Tatiara, from Tintinara all the way out to Nhill.

Helen said“They come from so far away, I really hope they enjoy their meal. 80Kms is very far.”

Tim who is the chef at the restaurant said that he will never drop his standard and continuesto better his product.

“Some people get slack after a few years, and how that’s some businesses fail. But for me I’m always improving and keeping that high standard. You cant be slack, or people wont come in.”

“When I finish cooking, I come out and talk to people. That is my job. Its important to ask them how they enjoyed the meal.”

This is especially true as they saida lot of their customers are still having the same dish after 20 years.

As well as locals, Tim and Helenhave regular tourists stopping in for the food, and they use the opportunity topromote the district with their main suggestions for tourists being Poochers swamp, the white kangaroos and Claytons Farm.

“There is so much to offer, there is always something to say. I think Bordertown has a lot to offer,” Helen said.

The couple are certainly giving back to the community and havehired a lot of students from the area.

“It’s good for them to have that practice and learn something and it helps us as well. We try to teach them a lot of things, and after a couple of years they are very confident.

“We always give a good reference, and it makes it much easier for therm to find jobs if they leave the area,” Tim said.

They have family in Victoria and China, with Helen’s mum and sister coming out to visit numerous times to see them doing what they love.

“”We are very lucky that we enjoy what we are doing. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing you would find the job pretty hard,” Helen said.

For tomorrow night and throughout the weekend,there will be a number of specials at the restaurant for dine in and take away.

The couple will also be trialing some new items on the menu and have arranged complimentary dumplings and a glass of soft drink or bubbles(dine in only)and are offering 10 percent off all take away orders.

“I’ve tried to cook more traditional meals,” said Tim.

The couple said that their ‘Bordertown Deluxe’ is the most common dish and one that Tim has made up himself and is very proud of.

“We want to thank all customers for ongoing support. We couldn’t have done it without you,” they said.

To make a booking for this weekend, call8752 0494

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FRESH FACES: Front row L to R – Lithgow High School Principal Ann Caro with new teachers Marnie Peters (TAS) and James Taylor (Science), Back row L to R – Nicole Thompson (English), Erika Marlin (English) and Amanda Saladine (PDHPE).
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Lithgow school students will notice a few new teachersas theyreturn to class in 2017.

Erika Marlin is a first year English and History teacher starting at Lithgow High School.

Ms Marlin comes from family of teachers with her mother being a deputy and both her grandmothers having careers in theclassroom.

She appreciates the warm welcome she has received from Lithgow High School community and wants to make a difference in the lives of her students.

“I hope at the very least, if not content, they learn some study skills. In History, I don’t like to give them the facts, Ilike to teach them how to discern the facts themselves by giving them primary sources,” MsMarlin said.

“I like to teach them how we analyse them and how they are contextual to their time and teach them to make a judgement themselves.”

Ms Marlin believes that being a teacher is often so much more than academic results.

“I’ve just come from teaching in Mt Druitt which is a really hard area to teach in.

“Most of the time the kids aren’t there to learn, they’re there to feel safe or they’re there to talk to someone or they’re there to get their basic needs met and I find that more validating than a student getting any band 6.

“So forming relationships with these students that don’t have safety or role models or stability in their lives is really rewarding. Just giving them something for them to be familiar with and safe with, it’s really good, I don’t know how else to say it.”

Local primary school students will also notice a difference with maintenance work being conductedover the summer holidays. In total $67,000 of funds from the NSW government wasused for minor works in primary schools across the area.

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Isolationist USAGiven the beautiful words welcoming all, that are associated with the Statue of Liberty,perhaps the statue should be returned to France given that the USA seems to be in the grip of an isolationist dictator.
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Mary Kidson

Wagga

Don’t jump into same sex marriageRecently, there was a comment on the letters page (webwords, I think) calling for legalisation of same-sex marriage because some overseas countries have done so.

What are we, lemmings to follow the politically correct crowd mindlessly over the edge and down the gurgler?

Few of the world’s 193 member states have legalised same-sex.

In most cases it has been passed by a narrowmargin of the legislature or imposed by activist judges.

We all know how nations can be conned. HItler did it with the aid of Goebbels in Germany in the1930s.

Australianvoters need to be aware that if same-sex marriage is legalised here that upholders of traditional marriage will be hit by the Orwellian nightmare faced by conscientious objectors in Canada whereChristians have become pariahs.

Low graduates at Trinity Western University in Ontario are denied accreditation and thus the ability to work as lawyers because they signed a pledge to forgo all sexual activity unless it is between husband and wife.

This was found by a court to be discriminatory.

From The Catholic Weekly, January 22, 2017: In the last three weeks, we have seen not one but two high ranking UK Government officials with expertise in terrorism suggest that the view that marriage between a man and a woman, and the desire to express this, is a form of terrorism.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the UK for a little less than three years.

Kerry Faust, raised in Australia, now living in the US with her husband and children was, two decades ago, a leading lesbian activist in Sydney.

She says: “Now, a year after homosexual marriage was legalised throughout the United States, changes that many did not anticipate are quickly coming through.”

Darcy Maybon

Wagga

Utter lack of compassionI must react to Colin Field’s letter DA of January 24in which he asserts that Mike Baird’s resignation is the easy way out.

This is totally unfair and untrue.

You know full well that he resigned suddenly for the sake of very serious health concerns of close family members.

What you say is plain shameful and shows your utter lack of compassion.

Pull your horns in!

Paul Bosman

Estella

Australia Day dateIs January 26the most appropriate day on which to celebrate the founding of Australia?

Certainly the landing of the First Fleet marked the founding of Sydney and the State of New South Wales, but what is its relevance for the other states and territories?

For our First Nations people it was not a cause for celebration, but the beginning of a lot of trouble for them.

The event which marked the founding of Australia was the bringing together of the states to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

This was proclaimed on January 1,1901.

Of course, Australians have other things on their minds on January 1, but there are other possible days.

Perhaps March 29, which marks the election of the first Commonwealth Parliament, or May 9,when the first Commonwealth Parliament was opened, would be more appropriate.

Bruce Johnston

Merewether Heights

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  • Posted on 20. March 2019
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RETURN: Belmont skipper Mark Littlewood will more than likely bat next of his team against Stockton-Raymond Terrace at Cahill Oval on Saturday.Picture: Jonathan Carroll.A gamble to play a man down last weekend may pay dividends for Belmont on Saturday as skipper Mark Littlewood returns in pursuit of an outlandish outright victory.
Nanjing Night Net

Despite being bowled out for 23 in their first innings Belmont, the Newcastle District Cricket Association competition leaders,need a further 112 runs with eight wickets in hand and 90 overs available to secure maximum points against Stockton-Raymond Terrace at Cahill Oval.

Littlewoodmissed the unusual events ofday one, which also included the visitors twice being dismissed under 100,because of a 10-year premiership reunion in Adelaide with previous South Australian club Sturt.

But he was still named on the team sheet meaning this season’s leading batsman, with 650 runs next to his name including three centuries, will more than likely be next man in for the hosts.

“That was always the intention, to try and contribute in some way on the second day,” Littlewood said.

“It wasn’t the best showing with the bat, more embarrassing than anything, but the boys have done well to fight back and take 20 wickets which has put us in a pretty good position.”

Belmont resume at 2-24.

Around the grounds and Wests are in a strong position to pounce on much-needed maximum points away against Cardiff-Boolaroo.

The eighth-placed Rosellas have the hosts 2-33 in their second innings at Cardiff Oval, still leadingby 17 runs overall after declaring 50 ahead at 6-133.

Over at No.1 Sportsground and University will take up the chase against Toronto (7-258) on day twoafter the Kookaburras recovered from 4-27 to reach stumpsin the crucial top-four clash.

Remaining round 13 matchesrevert to one-day fixtures with wet weather preventingplay at Learmonth Park, WaratahOval and Wallsend Ovallast weekend.

Hamilton-Wickham have Ryhs Hanlon back in for Jordy Toby while Clint Goodchap is set to make his first grade debut when the second-placed Pumas host Newcastle City.

Waratah-Mayfield are down injured bowlerAron Tisher facing an unchanged Merewether with Michael Holt called up.

Wallsend and Charlestown areas per program.

Meanwhile, the inauguralSixers Social Women’s Cricket competition commences across three Newcastle venues on Sunday with 20 teams registered.

LADDER: Belmont 71, Hamilton-Wickham 55, University 50, Toronto 49, Charlestown 44, Merewether 40, Waratah-Mayfield 38, Wests 34, Newcastle City 29, Stockton-Raymond Terrace 22, Wallsend 21, Cardiff-Boolaroo 9.

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