The Oils burned bright

EMPHATIC: All three of the Herald’s music writers believe Midnight Oil at Hope Estate stole the show on this year’s live scene. Picture: Jonathan CarrollHUNTER music fans wereblessed in 2017.
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We welcomedmusic legends Bruce Springsteen,Midnight Oil, ColdChisel, Cat Stevens, Alice Cooper, Nick Cave and Stevie Nicks to our stages armed with their memorable hits, alongsiderising stars like Violent Soho, Tash Sultana, Dune Rats and Wil Wagner, who injected verveinto the scene.

The Newcastle Herald’s music writers and photographerswere there among the masses capturing the action.

1.MIDNIGHT OIL,Hope Estate, October 21​They came. They saw. They conquered.

When it was announced in 2016 that Midnight Oil were reforming for their first full-scale tour since 2002 there were skeptics.

Could a band of 60-somethings stilloperate with the same ferocious high-octaveenergy they were renown for?

Could frontman Peter Garrett sing those songs with the same political convictionafter his controversial career as a federal Labor minister in the Rudd and Gillard governments?

Any lingering doubts were emphatically erased within a minute of their opening track Redneck Wonderland.

The Great Circle Tour wasn’t promoting a new album, it was simply a celebration of one of Australia’s most iconic bands, who had last performed in Newcastle in 2002.

Thecapacity 19,000 crowd at Hope Estate responded accordingly. They were absolutely ravenous for The Oils.

The Hunter was always a great supporter of Midnight Oil, dating back to their formative days in the late ‘70s andGarrett remembered.

“Hello to all our friends from the Ambassador [nightclub],” he said.“If you’re under 40 then you don’t know why you’re cheering.”

Everyone knew why they were cheering throughout the two-hour, 22-song set list, whichwas peppered with genuine classics.

Beds Are Burning,Blue Sky Mine,Forgotten Years,Dreamworld,The Dead Heart,Power and the Passion,Best of Both WorldsandKing of the Mountain–the pace was frenetic and the crowd sang their lungs out.

Many of those songs, tired from years of high-rotation on commercial radio, were reborn through thebuzzsaw-like guitar ofJim Moginie and Martin Rotsey and by Garrett’s energy.

Fellow Herald writers Jim Kellar and Lisa Rockman also listed Midnight Oil as theirbestshow, leaving nodoubt who burned the brightest in 2017.

2. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS,Newcastle Entertainment Centre, January 22​ SHAMAN: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds even made the Newcastle Entertainment Centre feel intimate. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The Newcastle Entertainment Centre, not so affectionately known as “The Shed”, can be a graveyard for some artists.

International acts like Placebo and Ace Frehley learnt that lesson this year.

But Nick Cave was special. He created an intimacy that was experienced even at the back of the grandstand through his dark and marvelously intense brand of music.

It was no mean feat given the bleak and melancholic moodof Cave’s last album Skeleton Tree, which dominated the set list.

It felt like a religious experience.Like a mad-eyed preacher bellowing from hispulpit, Cave leaned over the guard rail to passionately sing into the faces of the true believers. The audience replied likeevangelical Christians.

“Can you feel my heart beat?” Cave screamed during Higgs Bosom Blues.The front row almost could.

That’s not to discount The Bad Seeds. While they predominantly let Cave consume the limelight, they are a terrific band.

The grey-bearded Warren Ellis’shredding on theviolin was hauntingly visceral.

3. ALL OUR EXES LIVE IN TEXAS,Lizotte’s, June 11THIS was the year’s great surprise. I knew the all-girl folk-country foursome would be good after hearing their terrific debut albumWhen We Fell, but I didn’t expect sucha riotously funny and entertaining performance.

All Our Exes Live In Texas are Elana Stone (accordion), Georgia Mooney (mandolin), Katie Wighton (guitar) and Hannah Crofts (ukulele), who have each obtained individual success in Sydney’s folk scene.

Together they are a certified super group. Each able to deliver beautiful vocals and harmonies to accompany their rich and melodic folk andblue-grass.

Presentation is key for The Exes. While the majority of their tracks delve into dark territory likeThe Devil’s PartandI’m Gonna Get My Heart Cut Out, they brightened the evening with theircheeky brand of humour.

Much like The Spice Girls or Beatles they constantlyplayed off each other, whether it be telling stories about accidentally breaking grand pianos or watching R-rated reality TV shows backstage.

4. VALERIE JUNE,Dashville Skyline, September 29 STUNNING: Valerie June on stage at Dashville Skyline. Picture: Josh Leeson

The Dashville audience knew instantly they were hearing a different kind of artist.

Tennessee’s Valerie June is like a lost relic from the 1930s, melding gospel, folk, blues and rock. HerAppalachian-flavouredvocal walks at tightrope between heart-warming sweetnessandear-piercing, but June never trippedat Skyline.

“I’ma long way from home, but you people and this place is sure making me feel at home,” June told Dashville.

June’s third albumThe Order Of Timeis one of the best roots albums released in 2017 and the set was dominated by thatnew material like the hypnoticShake Downand vulnerableAstral PlaneandWith You.

Throughout June danced and gyrated in her peculiar and unique style. There’s no one like Valerie June.

5. GRINSPOON,Cambridge Hotel, August 31​ CHAMPIONS: Grinspoon delivered an evening of punk-rock nostalgia. Picture: Paul Dear

Loud, brutal, euphoric and riff-heavy. Grinspoon’s 20-year celebration of their debut albumGuide To Better Livingwas everything their fans craved.

The Cambridge was a heaving mass of late 20s and 30-somethings, eager to relive an album which soundtracked their rebellious and angry teenage years. Some creaking middle-aged legs even managed a mosh or two.

Fans weren’t disappointed. The Grinners smashed throughChampion,Post Enebriated SocietyandSickfestwith the same ferocity they conjured up back in 1997.

Frontman Phil Jamieson is a much-improved vocalist and showman and he threw himself into the set of alternative rock classics.

With his eyes hidden behind a long emo fringe, the 40-year-old orchestrated the audience like a puppeteer, while wearing that trademark smirk.

Whether or not Grinspoon’s reunion will be long-lasting, theGuide To Better Livingtour proved Phil and the lads have fuel to burn.

6. JAPANDROIDS,Small Ballroom, July 15​ PRIMAL: Japandroids guitarist Brian King belting it out at the Small Ballroom. Picture: Paul Dear

Rock’n’roll at its most primal is guitar and drums played with real intensity.

Canadian garage-punk two-piece Japandroids are all about primal rock’n’roll. Their sound could be described as Bruce Springsteen if The Boss played punk rock.

Japandroids’ most famous songThe House That Heaven Builthas the lyrics“If they try to slow you down/tell them all to go to hell” –which perfectly sums up their mission statement.

Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prowse never slowed down. They whipped themselves into a sweat-soaked frenzy during their 17-song set.

Neither King orProwse attempted to wow their audience with acts of virtuosity.

Their currency of trade was intensity.

Kingstrangled the neck of his guitar and thrashed away in a distorted fuzz of power chords. Riffs and solos were not required.

Unfortunately the Small Ballroom was only three-quarters full because a band as powerful as Japandroids deserved better.

7. COLD CHISEL,Newcastle 500 Supercars, November 25 SUPER-CHARGED: Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes led the show during Cold Chisel’s historic set at the Newcastle 500. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

A sea of 20,000 punters packed into Newcastle Foreshore Park was a sight to behold.

Toss in an illuminated Fort Scratchley to the east and a setting sun over the harbour in the west, and you had the recipe for a magical evening.

And Cold Chisel delivered, like only they know how. There was no quarter given, no time for flamboyant showmanship –this was a get-down-and-dirty rock’n’roll show.

Chisel are often unfairly maligned as a “bogan” band. This leads to many people and critics overlooking just what talented performers they truly are.

No one who attended the Newcastle 500 Supercars’ entertainmentmain event were left questioning Chisel’s musical credentials.

While Jimmy Barnes’ vocalsscreeched and croaked at times, you couldn’t doubt his effort. The sweat poured from his face.

Ian Moss’guitar work was immaculate, peeling off bluesy riffs and solos.

Pianist Don Walker and the engine room provided the stable backbone and freely allowed Barnes and Moss to hog the spotlight.

All the hits were covered.Flame Trees,Khe Sanh,Cheap Wine, Shipping Steel, Bow RiverandChoir Girl.

The only disappointment was noStar Hotelto provide thequintessential Newcastle pub-rock experience.

8. WIL WAGNER,Small Ballroom, February 17“How is my guitar still plugged in?” Wagner frantically asked from within a scrum of 30 punters surrounding him on stage.

It was an incredible spectacle of rock’n’roll craziness. After whipping up his audience with solo renditions of his best Smith Street Band material, Wagner proceeded to end the set withYoung Drunkbefore about 30 punters stormed the tiny Small Ballroom stage.

Amazingly Wagner finished the song and amazingly the tiny stage didn’t collapsein what was a thrilling conclusion to a powerful evening.

Wagner is a hulking man, with his face framed by a scraggy mo-free beard and wild hair. He looks like half this audience. Endearingly ordinary.

The nervous voice and Wagner’s lack of pretense further adds to his likability.

But when Wagner sang he was powerful as he belted out Smith Street Band classics likeDeath To The Lads,Ducks Fly TogetherandSurrender.

Two months later Wagner would be joined by his Smith Street Band colleagues at Maitland’s Groovin The Moo, butthis solo Small Ballroom show offered a far more thrilling rock’n’roll experience.

9. THE CHURCH,Lizotte’s, December 5 FAITHFUL: The Church were preaching to the true believers at Lizotte’s. Picture: Paul Dear

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of watching a show at Lizotte’s knows the Lambton theatre is a music-lover’s dream in terms of sound quality and ambience.

However, often the venue doesn’t attract bands intending to showcase their full electric arsenal. The Church did in December for two sold-out shows and it was an incredible display in musicianship.

WhenMarty Willson-Piper left the ‘80s psych legendsin 2013 it seemed impossiblehe could be replaced.

However, ex-Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug proved that he has the musical chops to step into Willson-Piper’s shoes.

Haug was brilliant on the opener,Aura.He was free to express himself on the fret board more flamboyantly than the more muscularPowderfinger ever allowed.

Unlike most of their contemporaries, The Church are still producing forward-thinking new material.

Several cuts off their impressive 2017 albumMan Woman Life Death Infinitywere performed without losing momentum or the crowd’s interest.

Steve Kilbey’s transformation into a more engaging frontman has also been part of The Church’s continuing appeal.

As the two-hour 19-song set progressed Kilbey became more and more expressive, sensing the energy rise from the audience.

Old fans were kept happy withUnder The Milky Way,Reptileand a compelling version ofTantalized, before the crowd-pleasingThe Unguarded Momenthad people dancing in the aisles.

10. THE LIVING END,Cambridge Hotel, March 10 PURE ENERGY: The Living End’s Chris Cheney tearing up the Cambridge. Picture: Marina Neil

One of the greatest developments in the Newcastle music scene over the past year has been the expansion of the Cambridge Hotel’s glasshouse band room.

Increasing capacity to 700 people and installing a state-of-the-art sound system has led to various bigger-name artists performing at the Newcastle West venue.

One of those acts was The Living End.

Are you ever too old to shout out The Living End’s classic teenageangst anthemPrisoner Of Society?

You know the onewith the prophetic lyrics, “Well we don’t need no one to tell us what to do,” and then “’Cause I’m a brat/And I know everything/And I talk back/Cause I’m not listening to anything you say.”

The sold-out Cambridge crowd of mostly 30-somethings delivered a resounding “no” to that question when the rockabilly three-piece closed the set with their rebellious hit.

Earlier in the evening Chris Cheney and his bandmates showed off their incredible musicianship. Cheney is a guitar-lover’s dream. A combination of dexterity, finesse and power.

While it’s fair to say The Living End’s newer material was fairly under-appreciated, the passion for their hits likeRoll On,White NoiseandWest End Riotguaranteed a raucous energy in the room.

JIM KELLAR’S TOP 51. Midnight Oil, Hope Estate, October21:Every song held a memory for someone in the audience. Every song seemingly holds a lyric that, once released, it can never be forgotten.

2. Bruce Springsteen, Hope Estate, February 18:The legendary entertainer hardly let up on his full throttle rock, finishing with a magical acoustic version ofThunder Road.

3. Violent Soho, Groovin The Moo, April 29:Their songs of remorse, meaningless love, lost lives, the detritus of wasted living were delivered with scorching power. They ignite fearful energy. Full of testosterone, the angst of youth.

4. The East Pointers, Unorthodox Church of Groove, March 24:An hour and a halfof sheer joy, about as upliftinga musical experience as you could ask for.

5. William Crighton,48 Watt St, May 27:To say he’s capable of taking an audience to another level is not an understatement. The acoustic-driven show cut down the barriers between artist and audienceto only the air between them.

LISA ROCKMAN’S TOP 51. Midnight Oil,Hope Estate,October 21:It was a privilege to witness songs of passion and protest being performed live so many years down the track. The sound quality was spot on and the production both moving and electrifying. Peter Garrett was mesmerising and the crowd was completely in his (often splayed) hands.

2. Nick Cave & Bad Seeds,Newcastle Entertainment Centre,January 22:Dark, brooding, stormy and violent, this was as close to a religious experience someone who doesn’t go to church can experience. The light and shade of Cave’s brilliance draws you in and takes you on a journey.

3. Tina Arena, Civic Theatre, September 12:Asurprise hit. I knew she could sing, of course, and that she had numerous hit songs to her name but as a performer she blew me away. She never missed a note, joked with the crowd as if we were sharing a beer,and yet carried herself with grace and poise.

4. The Pretenders,Bimbadgen,November 11:Stevie Nicks was the headliner, but for me, Chrissie Hynde stole the show. Thatwoman rocks.

5. The Eurogliders, Newcastle Entertainment Centre, December 3:Fronted by the hilarious, zany andtalented Grace Knight, Eurogliders came out firing and didn’t drop the ball once. It is easy to forget how many great songs they had on the charts in the’80s. I certainly had, but still found myself singing along to every word.

Life after coal: leadership needed for a fair transition

NEW COURSE: The Hunter is no stranger to change, and now it has to ensure there is a supported transition away from coal, the author says. Photo: Simone De PeakThis week the new chair of the Port of Newcastle, Roy Green, began his tenure talking about the need for the port to diversify away from coal. As he said; “Clearly the long term outlook for coal is a threat to the Port and Hunter region, but it is also a huge opportunity”.
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Professor Green’s statements were based on solid evidence. On Tuesday the International Energy Agency released data showing global coal consumption falling. In the past two years there has been the greatest fall in demand, in absolute terms, since the agency began recording data.

In that time there has been a massive global shift away from coal by financiers, investors and insurers. Just in the past week AXA, ING, BNP Paribas, the NAB and the World Bank have moved money away from fossil fuels such as coal. In the Hunter, AGL recommitted to closing the Liddell Power Station and replacing that capacity mainly with renewables while restating its commitment to never invest in coal again.

So why is Australia interested? 350 Australia is a national charity focused on educating and informing people about climate change and its impacts. We are deeply connected in the Australian community and have 70,000 active supporters. 350 Australia wants to see a transition from coal to renewable energy sources. But we want that transition to occur fairly. This “just transition” needs to become a priority for our governments, federal, state and local.

Professor Green was in Newcastle during the transition from steelmaking in the 1980s and 90s, as was I. That is still considered a successful approach delivered by government, business and the community. Over about 15 years we saw the steelmaking workforce decline significantly and the rest of the regional economy grow. By the time the steelworks closed the region was predominantly a services economy led by the health and education sectors.

For many, the loss of the steelworks seemed inconceivable in 1980. Yet, from today’s perspective, it was a natural evolution. The same will occur with the decline of coal in the Hunter.

For a good transition to occur we need positive leadership, more vision and a collaborative approach. This is about people and looking after them and their families.

Here is the reality. The shift from coal is global and being facilitated by the incredible rise of cheaper renewable energy and the urgent need to clean the air in cities in China and India. Commitments to the Paris Agreement are also part of this shift, but the real drivers are price and pollution. We cannot close our eyes to these facts or we will be left behind. That helps no-one.

It is time for us to get together and chart a fair transition. Let’s promote those sustainable industries that are strong and growing. Let’s invest in opportunities like a big renewable energy sector in the Hunter. Let’s invest in our people, providing training and career advice for those who will be directly affected by the transition.

The Hunter has done this before and can do it again.

And, the Hunter can help provide the template for the transition that will be going on in many other parts of Australia and the world. Australia is keen to work with the Port of Newcastle and the people of the Hunter to ensure there is a fair, supported transition away from coal, to be active participants in an exciting future.

Glen Klatovsky is deputy CEO of Australia. He lived in Newcastle in the 1990s and has family there still.

In Rohingya crisis, doing nothing could be a crime

Bangkok: The United Nations human rights chief has raised the possibility of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi being charged over atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.
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Zeid Raad al-Hussein said whether genocide has been committed would need to be decided by an international court but judges could consider the “crime of omission”.

“That if it came to your knowledge that this was being committed, and you did nothing to stop it, then you could be culpable as well for that,” Prince Zeid told the BBC, referring to the Nobel laureate who was swept into power in 2015.

Suu Kyi has been widely condemned for her government’s failure to protect 1.1 million Rohingya while refusing to acknowledge that any atrocities have been carried out by her country’s military.

Zeid’s comments came as a new 30-page Human Rights Watch report reveals that a massacre in a village called Tula Toli in the country’s Rakhine state on August 30 was pre-planned and killings and rapes there were systematically carried out, leaving several hundred dead, far more than previously known .

Human rights lawyers say they intend to initiate international court action over the massacre, the worst known atrocity among many that has forced almost 650,000 Rohingya to flee Rakhine for Bangladesh since August.

On Monday, Fairfax Media published the shocking testimony of a 40-year-old survivor of Tula Toli whose three month old baby was pulled from her arms and slashed to death, before she saw her seven children, her husband and his two brothers executed.

Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch, said interviews with 18 Tula Toli survivors now in Bangladesh shows “soldiers carried out killings and rapes of hundreds of Rohingya with a cruel efficiency that could only come with advance planning.”

The report describes in detail how Myanmar soldiers trapped villagers along a riverbank and proceeded to kill and rape men, women and children and torch the village.

Zeid also told the BBC that Myanmar’s military leaders, including Army chief, Senior General Aung Min Hlaing, could face genocide charges because the gravity and scale of the events in Rakhine require a “response by the international community.”

He said “it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if a court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we are seeing.”

Zeid’s reference to Suu Kyi is a slapdown for many of her supporters who defend her inaction, claiming her power is limited by the military.

Zeid said he spoke with Suu Kyi when his office published a report in February documenting appalling atrocities committed during an episode of violence in Rakhine in October 2016.

“I appealed to her to bring these military operations to an end,” he said.

“I appealed to her emotional standing … to do whatever she could to bring this to a close, and to my great regret it did not seem to happen.”

Zeid criticised Suu Kyi for refusing even to acknowledge the term “Rohingya” which Rakhine Muslims use to self-identity.

“To strip their name from them is dehumanising to the point where you believe anything is possible,” he said.

Zeid said he believed Myanmar’s military was emboldened because the international community took no action after violence erupted in Rakhine in 2016.

“I suppose that they then drew a conclusion that they could continue without fear,” he said.

“We we then began to sense was that this was really well thought out and planned.


This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dungog and Port Stephens councils hold merger talks

Dungog Mayor Tracy Norman, left, in front of one of Dungog’s many wooden bridges, which contribute to the council’s substantial infrastructure maintenance backlog.DUNGOG ratepayers arefacinga substantial rise in rates over the coming years after their council’s initial approach to Port Stephens Council to reinvigorate the push for a council merger was rebuffed.
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The mayors of both councils confirmed that a meeting was held at the Port Stephens council chambers on Monday, with adelegation from Dungog presentingPort Stephens councillors with afinancial synopsispromoting a merger.

The previouscouncil proposed a merger with Dungog in February last year, butPort Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said there was no longer an appetite on the Port side tomerge.Cr Palmer said there was room, however, for exploring the potential for shared services between the two organisations, starting with information technology (IT) systems.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer

Dungog Mayor Tracy Norman, who led her shire’s delegation, said Dungog ratepayers had been asked their views on a merger at the September local government elections that voted in a new council.

“In that ballot,54 per cent of residents asked us to enter into discussions with Port Stephens Council,” Cr Norman said.

“And this was a meeting that we requested to take their pulse to see whether they had an appetite for a merger.

“I had previously held informal talks with the Port Stephens Mayor, Cr Palmer, and it became evident that if there was not an appetite for a merger, then there was a shared services model that we could develop. They are happy with that idea. It was a very amicable meeting in a good neighbourhood spirit. We both want the best for our own communities.”

Dungog council was involved in threemerger proposals as part of the Coalition state government’s Fit for the Future local government reforms, which have proved to be one of its most controversial policies.

Reacting to an electoral backlash, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced an end to forced mergers in regional NSW in February this year, just a month after replacing Mike Baird in the state’s top job.

After initially saying she would move ahead with forced mergers of Sydney councils, that policy, too, was scrapped five months later, in July.

IPART pushes for Dungog and Maitland merger

Port Stephens proposes merger with Dungog

No merger decision for Dungog

Scrap Maitland and Dungog merger says Foley

Dungog a victim of merger reform

Berejiklian dumps regional council mergers

Dungog ratepayers vote for Port Stephens tie-up

The Coalition had been working on local government reform since its election in 2011, starting witha three-year review of local government and the involvement of the state’s main regulator, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, in working out which councils were financially“fit for the future”.

In October 2015, the tribunal recommended that Dungog merge with Maitland, saying both councils were unfit to stand alone. Then, two months later, in December, the government proposed a merger of Dungog and Gloucester councils: Gloucester was later absorbed into the newMid Coast Council with Taree and Great Lakes.

Then, in February 2016, Port Stephens–in a move to counter a proposed merger with Newcastle–applied to merge with Dungog.

Although an immediate decision on Dungog council’s future was averted by the scrapping of forced mergers, the council remains in a difficult financial position.

Cr Norman confirmed the council had run deficit budgets for a number of years, and a substantial rate rise would be needed if it was to eat into its infrastructure backlog.

Council papers show that an“improvement plan” on the books last year proposed an increase in general rates of 13 per cent a year for six years–a cumulative rise of 108 per cent–to meet the government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks.

On this, Cr Norman said:“We had been asked to fill in a proposal to make us Fit for the Future by 2020 and as a result of that, we would have had to have that sort of rate increase to get to that position of meeting their benchmarks.

“But I think the government realises this is a hard thing to do, and larger time frame is a better idea.”

An“overview” document from Dungog’s perspective, distributed at Monday’s meeting, said the state would likely contribute $15 million in grants to a merged council.

Dungogwas“working on new revenue streams” and was reviewing its Section 94 developer contributions plan, which“will allow us to access more funds towards site-specific projects”.

A rural lands strategy was“imminent”.

“We will be taking a special rates variation to our community early next year and will apply for this to come into effect in the 2019-2020 financial year.”

Momentum is building to change culture

Momentum for change: Professor Michael Hensley.THERE is no tolerance for “education by humiliation” within the Hunter health district,John Hunter Hospital’s director of medical services,Dr Michael Hensley, says.
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“The activities during 2017– the AMA Hospital Health Checksurvey, the College of Surgeon’s work, and our own survey by a junior doctor in Hunter New England Health–have all provided a strong body of evidence that we need to change a number of thingswe do,” he said.

“The benefit of all the information we have is that we now have a momentum from the health service, and this hospital, to reduce bullying and harassment, and hopefully remove it completely.”

Read more: Doctors scared to speak up Dr Hensley said medicine was a challenging career, where each doctor was aware they were accountable for a patient’s outcome, as well as their own learning.

“We have to provide an environment where they can achieve that,” he said.

At times, people went into medicine without a full realisation of what it involved.

Read more: Stuck in a cycle of abuse But there had been a “generational tradition” of education by humiliation in the past, and there was no place for it now. The growing numberof junior doctors made it more difficult to get into sub-specialities of medicine than it was 10-to-20 years ago, which had increased the pressure on them.

“I think we are seeing a cultural change with doctors,” he said. “Support is important, and it is available.”

They were trying to improveclinical handovers and rostering to address overtime, andlooking into a teaching program for staff.

Read more: Tired training system taking its toll Dr Hensley said the level of bullying and harassment expressed in the surveys was in excess of reported incidents.

“Hence the concern we are not hearing about them all,” he said. “But the momentum we have now isreally encouraging. I thinkwe will all be different organisations in 12-to-24 months.”

“The one thing I took heart from in the AMA’s Health Check surveywas thatdespite the concerns raised, a majority of the respondents inHunter New England Health said theywould recommend the program to their colleagues,” Dr Hensley said.

“So we are doing a lot of things right in terms of their career development.”

Dr Hensley said explaining people’s bullying behaviour on their personal circumstances, such as stress, was “very human,” but unacceptable.

It needed to be addressed.

“If it’s the first time and the only time, that’s fine. But what I occasionally see is that there is a repetition, and it isn’t just under stress, it’s somebody who needs some assistance with their behaviour, with their level of respect to others.”

NSWHealthSecretaryElizabethKoffsaid a$3millionJMO Wellbeing&SupportPlanwould be implementedthroughout thenext18months.

A keyaspect of the plan waslooking at better rostering systems to reduce fatigue.

“WehavemetJMOcallsforrosteredshiftperiodstotallingnomorethan14consecutivehours(inclusiveofmealbreaksand handover)similartootherstates,” she said.

“Inaddition,rostersmustbearrangedsothereisabreakofatleast10hoursfromwhenajuniordoctorfinisheswork,towhenthey startarosteredshiftagain.”

Theplan wasbasedonfeedbackfromtheJMOWellbeingandSupportForumconvenedby NSW Health Minister BradHazzardandMinisterforMentalHealthTanyaDaviesinJune.

– Anita Beaumont

Almost one tonne of cocaine linked to Centennial Park arrests

Two men involved in a dramatic arrest in Centennial Park last week have been charged with the supply of almost one tonne of cocaine, carrying an estimated street value of $360 million.
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Aukuso Junior Paulo, 34, from Crows Nest, and Kigi Kamuta, 39, from The Ponds, were two of three men arrested while travelling with two semi-automatic weapons and $650,000 in cash, during a planned police operation in the eastern suburbs park.

A third man, Royce Royal Hura, 27, was also arrested at the scene.

Both Mr Hura and Mr Paulo are former players of the Parramatta Eels rugby league club.

Following their arrest, all three men were charged with possessing an unauthorised pistol, possessing ammunition without holding a licence, knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.

However, on Monday, strike force investigators laid further charges against Mr Paulo and Mr Kamuta for the supply of 900 kilograms of cocaine.

The “far more serious charge” was apparently news to the lawyer for Mr Paulo, Nick Hanna, who had the intention of applying for bail on behalf of the 34-year-old at Central Local Court on Tuesday.

“On arriving in court, I was informed first by a journalist and then by the prosecution that a new charge had been laid against Mr Paulo,” Mr Hanna told the court, later adding that “not even the DPP were given notice of the charge until Tuesday morning”.

“It is bewildering that this charge was not filed and served on the defence yesterday … my staff and I worked very late preparing the release application.”

Expressing his frustration, Mr Hanna said he was “not in a position to apply for release” and withdrew the application.

Bail was formally refused and Mr Paulo will spend Christmas behind bars, to reappear via audio-visual link on February 20 next year.

As Mr Hura was not charged in relation to the supply of the 900 kilograms of cocaine, his legal representation continued with an application for bail on Tuesday, on grounds that the Crown’s submission was “not a strong case”.

His lawyer Arjun Chhabra??? argued that Mr Hura was merely the driver of one of the two vehicles stopped in Centennial Park and that he did not know the contents of the backpack in the vehicle; which contained two semi-automatic firearms and ammunition and lay at the feet of the co-defendant in the passenger seat.

The $650,000 in cash and a number of encrypted Blackberry devices were located in the second vehicle.

Mr Chhabra told the court of Mr Hura’s extensive family support network, many of whom were in court on Tuesday, and who would put up their own homes as surety if he were released.

However Magistrate John Andrews ultimately found the prosecution had presented a “much stronger case”.

He pointed to detailed police surveillance that indicated conversations and evidence between all three men, including Mr Hura, in relation to the “laundering of money and the possession of firearms in Centennial Park”.

Bail was formally refused, with Mr Hura to also appear in court via audio-visual link on February 20.

Last week’s dramatic arrests, in which non-lethal projectiles were deployed by police in front of a park cafe, were the result of Strike Force Mangowa, a joint State Crime Command and Australian Crime Intelligence Commission investigation into the activities of an organised criminal group in Sydney.

On Tuesday Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Cooke, head of the Organised Crime Squad, said the latest charges would “send a signal to all criminals that they can expect the full scope of the law”.

“We’ll use every law at our disposal to prosecute those criminals and disrupt their operations,” he said.

Chief Superintendent Cooke said he could not speak about the operation in detail, but added that more arrests and charges were anticipated.

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Hunter’s inviting swim spots mask hidden danger

ON WATCH: Lake Macquarie senior lifeguards Alex Marshall and Lucas Samways on patrol at Redhead beach as the mercury soars on Tuesday. Picture: Simone De PeakLIFEGUARDS have warned against “naivety” on Hunter beaches – including from parents who become distracted by their phones rather than watching their children.
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It comes as authorities brace for another killer season on the coast, after five deaths in the past two weeks and another suspected drowning in Sydney on Tuesday.

Lake Macquarie head of lifeguards Paul Stone said recent hot weather, water conditions and risk-taking behaviour provided the perfect storm.

This appears to be reflected in a spike of rescues over the past fortnight, as an unusually high morning tide makes for strong rip currents in the afternoon.

“Come 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when a lot of people venture down to the beaches, therewill be deep holes along the water’s edge in remote locations,” Mr Stone said.

“They look really inviting for a place to swim, but the problem is they are the locations that are most treacherous.”

Crowds flock to Redhead beach on Tuesday. “The key message is don’t underestimate the ocean”. Picture: SImone De Peak

According to Royal Life Saving data, this summer’s official drowning toll stands at 15.

It was 22 at the same time last year.

Lake Macquarie head of lifeguards Paul Stone

Mr Stone said a particular concern was the increasing number of parents on their phones while their kids played in the water.

“We’re experiencing quite a few lost kids these days and I put that down to mum and dad playing on their phones,” he said. “Little kids on the beach, particularly when they’re playing on the water’s edge, can lose track of their parents pretty quickly.”

Mr Stone added: “I think we just get a bit naive. We really don’t promote that safety message until we’ve had a few drownings each year, and unfortunately we’ve already had some.

“The key message is don’t underestimate the ocean.

“Even though it looks really nice and inviting, it’s not necessarily safe, particularly if you’re not a strong swimmer.”

Surf Lifesaving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce urged the public to swim between the flags.

“The holidays are a great time to relax but it is also the time when families are away from home at unfamiliar beaches they may rarely or have never visited,” he said.

“Please talk to lifesavers and lifeguards who are there to help. If you are in any doubt about your own abilities or your ability to keep others safe, please don’t take the risk.”

Boland’s journey of Indigenous discovery

Melbourne Stars cricketer Scott Boland tells how he found out he was Indigenous a year or two ago. South Yarra, Melbourne. Monday December 18th 2017. Photo: Daniel PockettScott Boland’s family always knew there was a piece of the puzzle missing. They knew Boland’s maternal grandfather John Edwards was adopted, but just where he came from was a mystery. That question mark on the family tree was an itch that Boland’s uncle Peter felt needed to be scratched. So he started investigating.
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What he found was surprising. John Edwards, who died in 2000, was Aboriginal, a member of the Gulidjan tribe from the Colac area.

“I didn’t really know what to think at the start,” Boland told Fairfax Media this week ahead of his Melbourne Stars’ Big Bash League opener against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday night.

“Since then, I think our family is pretty proud of it.

“We’ve still got a lot to learn about our heritage.

“The more knowledge we gain, the better we are to talk about it together.”

Proud of the discovery, the family has continued to unearth information since finding out about their roots three or four years ago.

Boland was already in his mid-20s when this bit of his past was uncovered. He wanted to embrace his background without being disrespectful. Helping him do that has been Cricket Australia’s Indigenous engagement specialist Paul Stewart.

“We’ve had some really good chats about it; learning a lot more about Indigenous culture and what it means to the Indigenous people,” Boland said.

“I think almost the best thing is we’re role models for the Indigenous community.

“Anything we can do to help and hopefully help the next Indigenous Australian cricketer, we’re obviously happy to do.”

Boland and brother Nick, himself a talented quick who played for Victoria’s Futures League team earlier this season, played together for Australia’s Indigenous team during the off-season, while Nick had already played for Victoria in the national Indigenous championships.

For Scott, the experience was another eye opener as he got to see the strength in Australia’s Indigenous cricket ranks first hand. Particularly impressive were D’Arcy Short, who has become a regular player for Western Australia, and Dane Ugle, who has featured in WA’s Futures League side.

“I didn’t really know what to expect. I was actually surprised about how good some of the players were,” Boland said.

“We played a game against the NPS [National Performance Squad] and absolutely flogged them.

“You could see how much it means to those people to give them opportunities. It was pretty special.

“There are definitely some very talented Indigenous cricketers around the country.”

There was a bonus, too. Scott and Nick, born just two years apart, have always been pretty close, but this Indigenous experience allowed them to play together for the first time in eight or nine years.

They are hoping it’s not the last time either. Next year marks the 150-year anniversary of the famous Aboriginal team cricket tour of England, the first Australian team to do so. To mark the occasion, CA are sending men’s and women’s Indigenous teams back to the UK. Both Boland brothers want to be a part of it, as does Scott’s Victorian teammate Daniel Christian, the captain of the national Indigenous team and one of only three men from Indigenous backgrounds – the others being Boland and Jason Gillespie – to have played for Australia. There are just two women to have done so: Faith Thomas and Ashleigh Gardner, whose star has risen over the past 12 months.

If Scott goes on the tour, there will be a poetic connection given his late grandfather’s tribe is only a few hours away from the home of Johnny Mullagh, the outstanding all-rounder of the 1868 tour.

All that is still a fair way in the distance though. In the short term, Boland is focused on helping the Stars end their BBL drought, with the team yet to claim their maiden title despite making the semi-finals in every year of the competition.

Part of the Stars’ preparation for the tournament was an activity-filled day in Phillip Island, including what Boland said was a hilarious skit night highlighted by Daniel Worrall’s impersonation of Ben Hilfenhaus. “It was probably one of the funniest days I’ve ever had,” Boland said.

“I think it’s good to do things like that before a tournament, I think it really brings everyone together.”

Boland doesn’t think the Stars are burdened by their consistent finals failures, preferring to focus on their consistency in getting there in the first place.

On a personal level, the fast bowler says his body has recovered from a heavy workload in the first half of shield season, much of which was spent bending his back on flat MCG decks. “It’s been good to freshen up and get the body back into the rigours of Twenty20 cricket,” Boland said.

“I think it’s almost underestimated how hard those two hours in the field are, especially for a bowler. Just to get your body back into that mode instead of the 96 overs a day where you’re standing around for a lot of it. Get the constant movement back and all the speed back.”

And he is looking forward to again bowling with veteran John Hastings, who has returned from injury, having also been appointed Stars captain, replacing the retired Dave Hussey.

“Another bowler who can bowl at the front, middle and is really good at the back end,” Boland said.

“They’re a dream to have in any team. I look forward to bowling with [Hastings] at the death.”

Boland is already a role model for the country’s Indigenous cricketers, who CA’s participation numbers show swelled from 24,000 in 2014-15 to 54,000 in 2016-17. But he stands to make a bigger impression if he can return to the international scene after playing 14 one-day internationals and three T20 internationals for Australia last year, having also been called up to Australia’s Test squad two years ago.

While he didn’t set the world on fire when given his chance in 2016, Boland says he’s still in the mix to get back, most likely in the shorter formats. “I had a really good start to the shield season,’ he said.

“You never know what’s around the corner. Whoever the form fast bowlers are in Australian cricket will get an opportunity. Hopefully I’m one of them.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Former winner Artis prepares for LPGA

WINNER: Rebecca Artis (right) with tournament namesake Jack Newton after claiming the trophy in 2015. Picture: Tim BradshawMore than a decade ago Rebecca Artis was part of the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation.
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In 2015 she became one of the few women to claim the annual pro-am tournament named in his honour.

But this week she returns to the Hunter-based celebrity classic with a new challenge on the horizon having recently qualified for next year’s US LPGA tour.

“I’d been to the final stage of Q-school four other times and hadn’t managed to get through so it was a big relief to finally get the job done,” Artis said.

Artis earned her card in Daytona earlier this month and heads back to America as a full-time player in March after the summer at home, including the Australian Open at Kooyonga from February 15.

“I’m excited. It will be a big year for me,” she said.

“But I always love coming back to play The Jack. I won it a couple of years ago and I came up through the foundation.”

On course at the current Jack and Artis recovered from a five-over front nine, including a triple bogey on the par-three eighth hole, to finish two-over after Tuesday’sopening round at Crowne Hunter Valley.

The 29-year-old, basedon the Gold Coastbut raised in Coonabarabran, sits six shots off the pace with Melbourne’s Tom McLaine(-4) leading the way.

Strathfield assistant professional Sung Park (-3) is one stroke further back while defending champion Matt Stieger and Harrison Russell (-2) are also in the mix for top honours.

Best of the celebritieswent toformer Knights prop Matt Parsons whilejockey Tim Clark and premiership-winningJets striker Joel Griffiths also performed well.

Play continues at Pokolbin on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Jack Newton Celebrity Classic day one

10 quirky cricket superstitions

There are many sports stars with noticeable superstitions. You only have to watch Rafael Nadal and his water bottles, towels, jumping … wedgies … to see that. And cricketers are no different. In short, they are a superstitious bunch. Here are 10 of the quirkiest superstitions in cricket.
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No luck Nelson

David Shepherd, officiating his final international match, stands on one leg as England reach 111 runs against Australia at The Oval in 2005. Photo: AP

“Nelson” is the much-feared score of 111 made either by a team or an individual. Multiples of 111 (222, 333, 444, etc) are also viewed with dread. Some say it’s unlucky because 111 resembles three stumps without bails, which obviously equates to a dismissal. Others say it originates from famed British Royal Navy flag officer Admiral Lord Nelson, who supposedly had one eye, one arm and one leg towards the end of his life. The late, great umpire David Shepherd brought the superstition to prominence as he used to always stand on one leg when the score reached 111 in an attempt to counter its supposed sinister powers, much to the delight of fans around the world.

The Devil’s number

In Australia, the number 87 is viewed with as much trepidation as it is 13 runs shy of a century. The number 13 is considered unlucky by many. However, its true origins are wedded to an incident that occurred nearly 90 years ago. In 1929, a 10-year-old Keith Miller was stunned to witness Don Bradman get bowled for 87 in a shield match while playing for New South Wales against Victoria at the MCG. The incident stuck with Miller and as his prominence in Australian cricket grew down the track, so did the myth surrounding the number 87. After World War II it became entrenched in cricketing folklore, although Miller discovered later on that, upon further inspection of the scorecard, Bradman had actually been dismissed for 89 on that infamous day!

Sir Donald Bradman.

Tugga’s lucky red rag

The legendary Australian captain Steve Waugh kept a red rag in his pocket for the majority of his international career. The practice began in 1993 when he used it to wipe away sweat while batting against England in the fourth Ashes Test at Leeds. He went on to hit 157 not out in that innings, so as a result he ensured it remained a fixture of his cricketing get-up for his final 11 years as an Australian cricketer. Waugh once described it as his “security blanket”.

Steve Waugh with the famous red rag in 2003. Photo: Heath Missen

Neil the Neurotic

As far as superstitious cricketers go, South African batsman Neil McKenzie would take some beating for the all-time crown. Some of his most bizarre rituals included ensuring that the toilet seats were always down before he went out to bat, needing to have all the lights in the changing room off before going out to bat (he also had to check it eight times) and taping his bat to the ceiling before the game.

South African batsman Neil McKenzie in 2009. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Stay right where you are, AB!

The first day of the fifth Ashes Test in 1989 is one of the most famous days of the storied England-Australia rivalry. Batting first, the Aussies didn’t lose a wicket and reached stumps at 0-301 with Geoff Marsh (125) and Mark Taylor (141) unbeaten. But it might not have panned out that way if not for the actions of Terry Alderman. Well, the paceman would have you believe that at least. A pensive and padded-up Allan Border, who was due in at second drop, started the day in the dressing room watching Marsh and Taylor punish the dispirited Poms on TV. When he decided he wanted to watch the pair do their damage with his own two eyes, a panicked Alderman quickly intervened and demanded that the skipper stay seated in front of the TV. Not wanting to rock the boat, that’s where AB would stay for the rest of the day and the Aussies ended up winning the match by an innings and 180 runs.

Jaysuriya’s touching display

Former Sri Lankan superstar Sanath Jayasuriya had the tiresome ritual of touching every piece of his batting equipment before facing each ball. Given he faced a grand total of 25,895 deliveries across all three formats, that’s a lot of touching – and that doesn’t even include his domestic career! However, he did average 40.07 and 32.36 at Test and ODI level respectively and smacked a combined total of 42 centuries and 99 half-centuries. So who are we to judge?

Sanath Jayasuriya. Photo: Tim Clayton

Kiss and run-up

Jayasuriya’s slinging countryman Lasith Malinga had arguably an even more peculiar habit of kissing the ball every time before he began his bowling run-up. “I have the greatest respect for the cricket ball,” he once explained.

Sachin’s superstitious satay streak

When the game’s greatest run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar made his second-highest score of 241 not out against Australia in Sydney in January 2004, in what was one of the finest innings of his career, there was a curious subplot to that batting masterclass. It was later revealed that the Little Master, owner of 100 international tons, ate the same food at the same Malaysian restaurant on the same table for three consecutive nights during the match so as not to break the routine that saw him strike a rich vein of form. He also hit 60 not out in that drawn Test.

The Little Master: Sachin Tendulkar. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Double-ton duck delight for Smith

Still on the food theme, Australian skipper Steve Smith never used to eat duck on the eve of a match. An individual score of zero is referred to as a duck, so that superstition is pretty self-explanatory. However, he thoughtlessly consumed the tasty bird prior to the Ashes Test at Lord’s in 2015. In the process, he proved the fallacy of his strict dietary rule as he went on to make his then career-best score of 215 not out. We cannot confirm or deny if he ate duck prior to the Perth Test in which he set a new personal benchmark of 239.

Lucky duck: Aussie captain Steve Smith. Photo: AAP

Lyon’s bad bail habit

The GOAT, aka gun Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon, has a quirky habit of his own. Whenever the New South Welshman comes on to bowl, he feels the need to roll the bails over. Smith sums up everyone’s thoughts perfectly by commenting, “I’ve seen it a couple of times … and I think, what are you doing mate?” Well, he must be doing something right given he is this country’s greatest offie with 283 Test wickets at 31.55.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.