Macksville-Scotts Head SLSC: 2016 Rescue of the Year award recipients Jason O’Donnell and Scott Balfour. Photo, Surf Lifesaving NSWSURF LIFESAVERS from Macksville/Scotts Head Surf Club signed off on the 2015/2016 season with a State award under their beltsat the annual NSW awards of excellence in Sydney.
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They were honoured with the Lifesaving Rescue of the Year awardfor a daring rescue in June/July where club president Jason O’Donnell and member Scott Balfour launched an IRB, risking their own lives in the process, to save a man who had been knocked off his kayak by the dangerous surf conditions.

The on-water duo were supported by fellow members Cathryn O’Donnell,Barry Clow andPeter Dyba, and Mid North Coast branch duty officer David Brunsdon.

This Staterecognitionfollows on from the prestigious National and Sate Rescue of the Month award for their efforts.

“I wasn’t sure about (getting) the award, there werea lot of good candidates and a lot of good rescues,” Jason told the Guardian.

“I always find it difficult to compare rescues, but the mostimportant thing is that a life was saved on that day.

“It was probably one ofthe worst rescues I’ve ever done in my life …it was the first time ever I’ve had to stop and realise the craft we had wasn’t capable of getting out straight away … thinking we might not get out there to rescue someone.

“We spent 40 minutes trying every other avenue to make the rescue possible – getting a helicopter, jet-ski, anything …after the evaluation there was a small window of opportunity to get out there and we went for it.

“I knew the risks and knew that not being able to save this personcould have been a possibility …I did ask fivemembers for assistancebefore I could get someone, which ended up beingScotty, to come out with me. That in itselfshows the difficulty and stress the conditions posed.

“I highlycommend Scotty and the whole team who assisted me with the rescue.”

Jason also said the area is in “desperateneed of a jetski” to ensure that, in situations similar to the East Coast Low in June/July, rescues are quick.

“We are working closely with our branch to achieve that outcome of having a ski stationed at Scotts Head.”

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Deadly: Centre Shelly Darcy gets aerial in the Dragonflies’ narrow loss to Macquarie Hornets at the Nita McGrath courts on Saturday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEFusions All-Blacks hascontinued its run at the Rawson Homes A-Grade premiership,downingthe fourth-placedFusions Lightning 52-36 at the weekend.
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Second-spot Fusions Pink had no trouble accounting for Fusions Thunder 50-21, while the Narromine Bombers moved further away from the wooden spoon with a 37-31 win over Apollo Cruisers.Macquarie Hornets edged out the Deadly Dragonflies in a 30-26 nail-biter.

While the final placings are yet to be determined, the top four is locked in with the Fusions club claiming all four spots.

With justone match remaining against the seventh-placed Narromine Bombers this Saturday, the All-Blacks are all but guaranteed to finish their season on top of the ladder.

The side sits on 33competition points, just ahead of clubmates Fusions Pink (32 points) who will face the sixth-placed Deadly Dragonfliesin the later game.

The top two sides have dominated the competition from the outset.The ladder leaders are the only team to have accounted for Fusions Pink in 2016, while the All-Blacks’ only trip-up came in round eight whenthey had to forfeit to Fusions Thunder.

Fusions Thunder sits in third spot just two points ahead of Fusions Lightning, with a four-point buffer departing the top four teams from the bottom four.

In the final roundof the regular season, Thunder will be hoping for a win over the bottom-placed Apollo Cruisers, while Lightning will be hoping to get up over the fifth-placed Macquarie Hornets.Both matches get underway at 1.30pm.

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Tasmanian research has the potential to save millions of dollars for health systems worldwide thanks to an innovative approach to postoperative care.
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Haemotologist Alhossain Khalafallah led a project which provided postoperativeiron transfusions to elective surgery patients who were anaemic or bled after their operation.

Professor Khalafallah said current guidelines recommended iron transfusions were provided before operations but this was not always possible.

His research found major benefits for patients and hospitals.

“You reduce the length of stay by three days, infection rate reduced significantly, also the haemoglobin improved, which is the main factor why you give a blood transfusion and blood transfusion was really reduced by five times what we normally get,” Professor Khalafallah said.

The research,a collaboration between the Launceston General Hospital, Calvary, the University of Tasmania and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research,was published in prestigious medical journalThe Lancet Haemotologyand has already been cited by leading haemotologists internationally.

The achievement was especially significantas the majority of the study’s authors were fifth-year University of Tasmania medical students.

UTAS School of Health Sciences head Dominic Geraghty said:“The advantages of being an island state is that we’ve gota single health system, a single university, and we’ve got a primarily very engaged private healthcare sector, so the three of them can work together to achieve research that is above world standard.”

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You have to wonder at what might be so important in life to risk getting hit by a train.
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What makes a person want to face the consequence of possible death or serious injury rather than wait a minute ortwowhile that train passes by.

Surely gaining a minute is not worth costing you your life.

Police Transport Command are targeting those people who take their lives into their own hands by running in front of trains.

The Illawarra has seven level crossings and NSW TrainLink figures have proved the level crossing at Bellambi is one of the worst in the state.

In 2014, rail staff reported eight instances of people willing to risk their lives at the Bellambi crossing.

“Anecdotally, it’s always had a high number ofpeople trespassing,’’Chief Inspector Craig James said.

“I don’tthink peoplerealise they’re actuallyputting their lives in danger.”

The innocent and often forgotten victims in all this is the train drivers.

Imagine having to confront the prospect of knowing each day someone might do something stupid and you might have to bear witness to the consequences.

It’s a horrible thought.

Perhaps those people that are willing to take that risk should perhaps think of the unintended consequences next time.

In Rail Safety Week, police are reminding the public it’s actually illegal.

“It’salso about remindingthe community generally that if they enter the rail corridor they are committing an offence,” Insp James said.

CELEBRATING IN STYLEThe Wollongong City Council is examining how best our community can come together to celebrate the achievements of the Illawarra’s own Olympic champion and four-time Rio medallist Emma McKeon.

The council is working with the McKeon family at organising a fitting public ceremony.

The Illawarra Mercury editorial for the August 16 edition called for a public celebration and it appears that’s what we willget.

There were some good suggestions on our Facebook page too.

“Parade, autographs and keys to city,” was one suggestion.

“Make all council pools free for a month to celebrate,” was another interesting and different suggestion.

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GRAMPIANS emergencyservices personnelhave expressed concern after a three-day power outage left Halls Gap residents unable to call for help.
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For the second time in two months, Telstra customers in the region were left in the dark with services dropping out from 11pm on August 7 to 9am on August 11.

District 16 Country Fire Authorityoperations manager Chris Eagle said the loss of phone reception in a popular tourist and hiking area was worrying.

“If the phones go down it’s a real challenge to ring triple zero,so naturally it’s a concern to us if it’s out for that long,” he said.

Last month emergency services attended five Grampians rescues within two weeks.

Mr Eagle said phone outages hadserous implications on emergency service response.

“People have to look for alternate ways to report an emergency,” he said.

“If they phones are out and there’s a car accident or vehicle fire, or even someone needing to be rescued,there’s a delay in notifying us, ambulances or police.”

Mr Eagle said emergency services were not reliant on the mobile network.

“It wouldn’t affect us at all once the caller was able to alert triple zero,” he said.

“It would have no impact on our ability to respond, we only use phones as a back up method. All volunteers respond by pager and communications are done by radio.”

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker apologised for the outage and said the voice call and 3G service loss was the result of a complex software error.

“Issues with the Telstra mobile service in Halls Gap were reported late on Sunday night to Telstra,” he said.

“Telstra identified an issue with the 3G signal to the local area resulting in a loss of voice services to residents using the 3G network.

“Residents were still able to access data on their mobile phones and limited voice services were still available through the 2G and 4G network.

“Telstra apologises for any inconvenience caused and will carefully monitor the site over the next week to ensure it continues to operate effectively.”​

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The Premier’sletter urging thePrime Minister to reversecuts to Gonski funding isa “turning point” for the future of Tasmania’s education system,the Australian Education Union’s Tasmaniapresidentsays.
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AEU state president Helen Richardson said a letter from Will HodgmantoMalcolm Turnbullwas welcomed by the AEU.

She said itshowed Mr Hodgman was willing to stand up for the state’s education future.

“The letter has beena fantasticturning point,” Ms Richardson said.

“We arevery happy that Will Hodgmanisactually standing up for Tasmanian kids.”

In a letter dated on August 2 Mr Hodgman wrote thateducation funding remained a“significant concern” to Tasmanians.

He asked Mr Turnbullthat the issue be“resolved as a matter of priority”.

Ms Richardson saidother states had beenvocal about the issue in parliament.

She said Tasmania needed their support, given alack of senior Tasmanian Liberals in federal parliament.

“It’scritical that all the state Premiers andministers stand up and insist we get Gonski without doing a deal,” Ms Richardson said.

“I’d like to see our minister be as forthcoming as some of the others,” she said.

In April this yearMr Rockliff told a Senate inquiry into federal educationfundingthat the statecould lose up to $100 millionif Gonski is notcontinued beyond 2018.

The federal government committed an additional $1.2 billion dollars for education in this year’sbudget, but it did not include funds to ensure Gonskicontinued to2020.

Ms Richardsonsaid two-thirds of the state’s Gonski funds were allocated for the final two years.

She said the AEU’s Tasmania branchwouldmeet with Mr Rockliff next week todiscuss the issue.

“Hopefully we’ll be givenmore detail about how the government isactually going to lobby for the fundsand what theirstrategy will be.”

“If we don’t get the fundswe’re committing generations ofkids to disadvantage.”

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FIELD TEST: HIA research and development lead Dr Anthony Kachenko with RIPPA, a prototype robot which can detect weeds and foreign bodies within a paddock.THE vegetable industry’s association with robotics continues to become more intertwined with a weed and foreign objection detection bot being tested on a Queensland farm.
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Trials of the robot, named RIPPA (Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application), were conducted on a Gatton property prior to the 2016 National Horticultural and Innovation Expo in July.

RIPPA has the ability to collect data using sensors that can map an area of a crop and detect weeds as well as highlight foreign objects.

The University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics director of innovation and research Professor Salah Sukkarieh said the device can also use this data to estimate yield and fertilise crops.

RIPPA was developed six months ago and for the first time was trialled outside New South Wales so it could experience new soil and crop types.

Professor Sukkarieh said the robot has a collection of sensors and sophisticated algorithms that can detect weeds from amongst the crop as well as foreign objects such as a stone, glass or metal.

The next step is to build systems that can remove the weed and the foreign object.

Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) commissioned RIPPA using industry funds and matched funding from the Australian Government.

HIA research and development lead Dr Anthony Kachenko said food safety is a huge priority for growers and the whole supply chain.

“RIPPA gives us an insight into a future not too far away where growers can have increased assurance that no foreign matter has slipped through the cracks,” Dr Kachenko said.

“Currently there is only so much that can be detected with the human eye, and the results can be devastating.

“It’s also great to be watching the capacity of this farmbot steadily increase. At the moment it can estimate yield, spray weeds and fertiliser, and it can run up to 21 hours straight.

“It’s exciting to think that such robots could be available to growers in Australia in about five years’ time.”

The 250 kilogram solar-powered robot spent three hours moving up and down vegetable growing rows, conveying extensive data live to the laptop of Sydney university researchers.

Rugby Farm co-owner Dan Hood said when offered the opportunity to trial the machinery on his farm which produces 14,000 acres of vegetables a year, he jumped at the chance.

“We are very keen to see new technologies come online that make the business of producing vegetables easier,” he said.

“Managing weeds can be a difficult and time consuming activity, and if not controlled can be detrimental to both the yield and quality of our crops.

“Weeds can be removed by hand, chipping hoe, mechanical scuffling or by sprays. All are expensive and we are struggling to find people with the skills and the perseverance to do this type of work.

“We are hoping RIPPA will provide a cost effective solution to this challenging problem.

“An autonomous system that has the capacity to do all this 24-hours-a-day could save money and improve accuracy – and we are extremely excited to be part of this trial.”

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West dominate South | PHOTOS Souths player with possession before being tackled.
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Souths player in the process of being tackled whilst trying to get possession onto the ball with a kick.

Winders for West Whyalla running down the centre corridor being pursued in a chase by South’s Liam Edgecumbe.

Maitland with possession as he focuses on options.

Westies player down the wing looking for an option.

Wests player going for a long kick uncontestedly.

South looking for an opportunity to score through set play.

Tackling pressure continues as West Whyalla steal possession from South.

South maintaining possession in their defensive midfield.

Westies player going for a short kick.

Souths player ready to earn possession that is hard earned.

Westies player gazes at the ball from the ground as he tries to encounter ownership with a Souths player closing in on him.

Another tough and battling contest is continued between the two sides.

Cleary gains possession from contested play.

Liam Edgecumbe puts on a hard tackle on a Westies player.

Wests winning the hitout from the centre.

Handball from a South’s player is put under pressure by tackler Josh Quinn with Hage alongside him.

Souths player ready to take an uncontested mark.

Wests player taking an easy uncontested mark.

Ruck contest is battled after play is reset resulted from a goal between the two sides.

Souths player taking some courage to collect the ball.

Scoreboard between West Whyalla and South Whyalla late in the third quarter.

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CHILL OUT: REFCA owner Richard Popovski believes in the value of customer service and the need to run a business that thinks outside the square.
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Advertising feature NEW PREMISES: The REFCA Group have moved to a new showroom and working premises at Unit 6, 112 Munibung Road, Cardiff.

After years working out of Toronto,commercial/industrial cooling experts The REFCA Group have moved to a newshowroom and working premises at Unit 6, 112 Munibung Road, Cardiff.

It was a natural move for the growing business, according to owner Richard Popovski who recently took out theExcellence in Customer Service Award at the 2016 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

It was a well-deserved honour for a skilled operator who believes in the value of customer service and the need to run a business that thinks outside the square.

REFCA iswell-established Hunter-based business that specialises in the commercial refrigeration industry, commercial catering equipment and refrigeration, commercial and residentialair conditioning,cool rooms and cool room hardware supplies.

“We have a knowledgeable and experienced team who are able to provide end-to-end solutions for catering equipment, installation and servicing of commercial refrigeration and cool room design, build and installation, as well as commerical and residential air conditioning systems,” Richard said.

This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more:

REFCA GroupRichard and his team understand that the success of your business is dependent on thereliability of your equipment, which is why they pride themselves on a high level ofcustomer service, using only the bestequipment and parts.

Some of REFCA’sclients includePetersons Wines, Bimbadgen Wines, Hunter Valley Wine Contractors,Aldi, IGA Ritichies and Hungry Jacks,Cellarbrations Liquor, refrigerated warehousing and many more commercial and industrial sites.

Richard did hisapprenticeship in the mid-1990s under Ian Smith, regarded throughout Australiaas one of the best in the industry.

“Doing my apprenticeship under Ian gaveme the tools and mindset along with strong work ethic and standards to establish a successful career,” Richard said.

Richard went on to manage refrigerated sites and do tech support for the major supermarket chains before starting his own business.

REFCA Service Pty Ltd works with medium to large industrial and commercialcompanies that rely on refrigeration as a core part of their businessand also specialise inenergy efficiencyconsultation.Theycurrently look after over 45 supermarkets.

The innovative company has recently developed anAustralian first process at First Creek Wine Making Services which has changed the wine making process and saved over 60% on energy.They are working on a world first with another winery customer.

Recent REFCA projects include all new cool rooms, insert doors and refrigeration atCellarbrations Liquor Rathmines,all new Daikin VRV air conditioningat Hungry Jacks Jesmond, and the installation of cool rooms, refrigeration, catering equipement and stainless steel fitoutat the soon to open Harry’s Schnitzel Joint at Market Town.

REFCA are factory approved specialist dealers selling Fujitsu, LG, Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric and Temperzone Air Conditioning. Being specialist dealers, REFCA can offer builders incentives and trade discounts.

REFCA Catering Equipment Pty Ltd offers an A to Z service from design consultation,equipment selection supply and installation, stainless fabrication, service and maintenance.A working commercial kitchen is currently under construction and will be usedto showcase equipment and services.

Some of REFCA’sbrands include Electrolux,Fagor, Unox,Norris,Goldstein, Manitowoc, Bromic, SkopeandSimply Stainless.

Centenary celebrations | Photos UP HIGH: This aerial photograph was taken as part of Bendigo South East College’s centenary celebrations. Picture: REEL AIR IMAGERY
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UP HIGH: Aerial photograph taken as part of Bendigo South East College’s centenary celebrations. Picture: REEL AIR IMAGERY

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo South East College students celebrate school’s centenary with an aerial photograph. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

TweetFacebookThe school will officially mark the occasion on October 22, when it will hold its Centenary Celebration Day for current and former staff and students.

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