Archives for August2018

Vegan bites a tasty, cruelty free delicacy

There are a few simple reasons why Ballarat’s vegan food movement is booming.
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One, says festival founder Bryn Hills, is that more people want lead a cruelty free lifestyle.

Ballarat Vegan Festival Inc. director Mr Hills became a vegetarian 20 years ago –six years ago he switched to veganism.

Since then, the movement has exploded. From vegan wines and beers to perfectly passabledairy free brie or soft cheeses, the ability to eat good food without any animal product is easier than ever before.

“It’s like a light bulb moment when you choose to become vegan. You realise all the bad things that are done to animals and how they a treated and raised,” Mr Hills said.

“Being a vegan is easy –I always think it would be so much harder to be a slaughtered animal(than being a vegan).”

On Saturday Mr Hills and a group of vegan devotees were handing out food samples at the farmers’ market ahead of the vegan food festival which runs from January 14-22.

Treats for tasting included spaghetti bolognaise –made from textured soy protein, tomatoes, hers and stock; a shepherd’s pie with a lentil, cumin and curry powder filling and chilli beans made from beans, cumin and chipotle.

“Twenty years ago it was difficult to be a vegan, now it is very easy. There are statistics that show last year 100,000 Australians took meat off their plates,” Mr Hills said.

The seven day Ballarat Vegan Festival will include a festival launch, a voiceless walk around Lake Wendouree to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence followed by a vegan high tea, an art exhibition, a lakeside picnic and cocktail party.

There will also be a wine tasting day at Nitingbool Winery and a Yum Cha evening.

City of Ballarat councillor and fellow vegan Belinda Coates said the event would promote a healthy lifestyle whiel else brining economic benefits to the city.

“I’ve been vegan for almost 15 years –(but you) don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy good, art, music and cultural events,” Cr Coates said.

“(The event)is a a sign that Ballarat is changing culturally and that there is a lot more on offer in terms of diversity.

“This really enlivens Ballarat and helps promote Ballarat as a really thriving art and cultural destination.”

Cr Coates said the growing vegan movement was proof more people were now aware of the “sound health, environmental, ethical and even economic” benefits of consuming less meat.

For the full event time table visit the Ballarat Vegan Festival Facebook page.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Bryn Hills and Alison Major at the farmers’ market in the Bridge Mall. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

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Centrelink office staff overworked and fearing for their safety

INCIDENT: A duress alarm was activated at Orange’s Centrelink office.As Centrelink workers deal with the fallout of the controversial debt clawback letters, it’s been revealed staff in the Orange office often fear for their safety.
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Last week, police officers from Canobolas Local Area Command attended the Anson Street office after a duress alarm was activated.

Inspector Linda Bradbury said the alarm was activated after a verbally abusive client left the office on Tuesday.

The woman at the centre of the incident has since been banned form entering the office.

A man speaking on the condition of anonymity told theCentral Western Dailystaff had raised concerns about their safety when serving clients or walking to their cars after work.

He said staff were also struggling to deal with the amount of work demanded by Centrelink.

Community and Public Sector Unionassistant national secretary Michael Tull said the 40 staff at Orange’s Centrelink office were under incredible pressure due to job and budget cuts which had bitten into the agency’s resources.

“There’s not enough staff to work on the existing demand, now this debt controversy, pension changes plus changes to Medicare processing means more work,” Mr Tull said.

“Customers want better service and staff want to deliver better service. What’s standing in the way is a government determined to cut public sector jobs.”

According to Mr Tull there were 30 million phone calls to Centrelink which went unanswered in 2016.

He said the pressure on staff had only increased since nearly 170,000 letters were sent demanding people repay money to Centrelink.

“The minister’s own figures say one in five of those letters is wrong. This is part of the problem, an automated system done for cheap,” he said.

“Centrelink has done data matching against tax returns for a long time and now it’s automated.

“The government says that they’re not trying to frighten people but …for many people getting a letter from Centrelink demanding up to hundreds or thousands of dollars is a huge worry, when that happens, people’s first response is to try and get on to Centrelink and this is where the problem starts.”

The Department of Human Services was contacted for comment but did not provide a responseat the time of going to print.

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

From Bach to Britten: a musical journey with Anthony Halliday

World renowned: Organist Anthony Halliday has played for His Eminence Cardinal Hume of Westminster, Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric.
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The rich punctual beauty of the finale ofSaint-Saens’sSymphony (No. 3) fills the Roman Catholic cathedral of St Patrick’s in Ballarat as Anthony Halliday warms his fingers,waitingfor his organ-playing shoes to arrive.

Anthony Halliday plays Durufle’s Toccata from Suite Op.5Wait. There are organ-playing shoes? Surely not.

“Oh, absolutely,” says Mr Halliday.

“Organists need special shoes. They need to be narrow so you can strike two pedals at the same time.”

Anthony Halliday is a truly gifted artist, internationally recognised as a pianist, organist and composer.

Educated at The University of Melbourne, The Royal College of Music and The Royal College of Organists in London, Mr Halliday will be playinga Recital for Three Trumpets and Organ at the cathedral in this year’s Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival.

Saint-Saens’s Symphony (No. 3) The recital will feature works by Bach, Haydn, Durufle, Sdraulig, St Saens, Schein and Telemann.

Mr Halliday says the recital will take advantage of the magnificent acoustics of the bluestone building by placing the musicians around the interior.

“The three trumpets will be on the sanctuary at the front ofthe cathedral. One of the pieces, Benjamin Britten’s Fanfare for St Edmundsbury, was written to be played in the precincts of St Edmundsbury’s Cathedral, and each trumpet will be in a different place in the building,” said Mr Halliday.

Telemann’s Concert for three trumpets“The acoustics here are very lively and resonant, very good for organ and trumpet. I’m hoping that the effect will be something that reminds people of St Mark’s in Venice, where different groups of instrumentalists will play from different galleries.”

Mr Halliday says that while the great British composer didn’t write a great deal for the organ, the work he did write was very good.

“One of the very significant things about Britten is that he wrote for young people. Operas like The Golden Vanity –a set of very imaginative pieces for children who don’t have a lot of musical education.”

The organ in St Patrick’s was installed in the 1930s. It is fed air by hundreds of metres of lead tubes winding through and around the pipes and boxes which produce its magnificent sound.

A Recital for Three Trumpets and Organ will be performed on Sunday January 15 at 8pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ballarat. Tickets for the festivalare available from Tuesday at Ballarat Town Hall.

Information about the complete program and tickets are available online by going to thewebsite, click thebooking link.

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

Jobs gobbled up by cities

With half of all jobs growth in Australia now within a two-kilometreradius of Melbourne and Sydney city centres, researchers are seeing a politicalshift in Tasmania away from the major parties.
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Research from the Grattan Institute showed a significant acceleration in city centre job creation, compared to rural and regional areas, over the past 10 years.

“The intensifying shift in the economy towards our cities has big implications for our regional development policies,” Grattan Institute FellowBrendan Coates said. “Governments have already spent a lot of money building infrastructure in regional areas this past decade, but have little to show for it.”

Mr Coates said the growing economic and social divides between cities and regions was already being reflected in Australian politics, with a growing share of regional voters opting for minor parties at election time.

“In last year’s election, about 20 per cent of people who lived within 10 kilometres of a capital city gave their first preference Senate vote to someone other than the Coalition, Labor or the Greens. This rises to 30 per cent for those living 100 kilometresaway, and 37 per cent for those 1000 kilometres away. The share of those voting for minor parties has really lifted in the last couple of elections, especially for voters more than 10 kilometres from the city centre.”

Mr Coates said voting patterns in Tasmania were particularly interesting, withabout 23 per cent of first preference Senate votes going to minor parties during the 2016 federal election.

“This minor party vote is quite fragmented, with 8.3 per cent going to the Jacqui Lambie Network, 2.6 per cent toOne Nation, 1.5 per cent to Nick Xenophon, 1.3 per cent to the Australian Sex Party, and around 9 per cent spread across other minor parties that didn’t receive more than 3 per cent of the national Senate vote. We saw similar trends across other states where the minor party vote is also heavily fragmented, suggested the shift to minor parties may be as much a vote ‘against’ the major parties as a vote for any particular minor party.”

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

Time to clean up society’s messy behaviour

At the heart ofThe Examiner’sHands Offcampaign is a goal to make every person feel safe and respected.
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The next five weeks will see us tackle the topic of sexual assault and the attitudes that allow them, through a series of articles.

On the surface, women form the majority of victims of sexual assault.

But its effects go further. It creeps and seeps into the fabric of the community.

Obviously, the victims are the foremost affected by these despicable acts. It doesn’t stop there. Family members, friends, feel the frustration and the anger, too.

It fractures our cities and societies, it besmirches what are meant to be times of celebration and enjoyment.

It makes women think twice about walking alone at night. And it casts a shadow on men, because of the acts of just a few.

Some men have voiced their concern that they dare not walk too closely behind a lone woman, for fear of making her uncomfortable.

That is how bad the epidemic is. That even those who have done nothing wrong feel tainted by the same dirty brush.

Women have taken the first step in stamping out sexual assault, by reporting it, and calling it out.

For too long, victims have let it slide, and kept it to themselves.

Five brave women have reportedbeing sexually assaulted at the recent Marion Bay Falls Festival, to police.

Their bravery has formed a rallying point.Police, festival organisers, and bands have added their voices to the chorus.

A Launceston band that performed at the festival applauded the women, and called out the perpetrators, in a social media post.

“As men, fathers and humans we are disgusted, appalled and furious that this behaviour continues to happen and be tolerated in this country,” The Bad Dad Orchestra said, via Facebook.

“Don’t stay silent and naive. Call out this behaviour wherever you see or hear of it. Speak to your sons, speak to your mates. This behaviour is unacceptable and must end! “

The way forward to creating a society without sexual assault, where everyone feels safe and respected, is two fold.

Victims must feel empowered and supported to report the crimes committed against them. And all members of the community must take a stand, and call out unacceptable behaviour when they see it.

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