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Archives for August2019

Crowds flock for lavender

SWEET LAVENDER: The Lavender Fairy working her flowery magic on children at Lavandula, as children help to repair her malfunctioning wand. Picture: Kate Healy
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Lavender lovers were treated to sights of lush fields of a bumper lavender crop at the 2017 Lavandula festival.

A celebration of all things lavender, Lavandula farm owner Carol White said immense rain in the later part of 2016 had led to a bumper crop, significantly larger than the drought-affected 2015 crop.

Ms White said the warm weather meant crowds were eager to explore the grounds early in the morning.

“It’s a celebration of the lavender and when we harvest the flowers,” Ms White said.

Sweeping beauty: The heat did not stop crowds from flocking to the annual Lavandula event. Good rain meant bumper crops of lavender. Picture: Kate Healy

“(Lavender) is a crop that we wait for all year.

“It’s a bumper crop this year. Last year was really down and we are really looking forward to it –it’s great to have a big crop.”

Festival growers were treated to music, lavender scones, l;lavender ice cream and even some lavender infused champagne.

“I think it’s the lavender and love the entertainment and the food and the dancing and it’s such a picturesque site and it’s beautiful to see all the lavender.”

Crowds flock for lavender Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

Lavender Harvest Festival at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Picture: Kate Healy

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Big year ahead for Blacks

The Bowral Blacks Ruby Club has big plans forthe 2017 season.
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NEW SEASON: Bowral Blacks player Timothy Lewis in the 2016 preliminary final match against University. Photo: Adam McLean.

The 2016 season broke aneight-year streak since Bowral’s first grade team made it to finals.

The senior Blacksdeveloped in to a cohesive team under the expert coaching from Gene Fairbanks, Al Kanaar and Peter Burt, and the results spoke for themselves. This year, the team has aimed to play hard andwin the premiership.

The club will also aim to integrate girls into the club in 2017.

The Blacks have plannedto enter both girls and boys teams in aFriday night 7s series this year, which will begin inFebruary-March.

While the junior boys will move to the XV’s format for their regular season, it isplanned that the girls will play a ‘7 weeks of 7s’competition.

The competition will haveseven 7s tournaments, involving clubs from around the Illawarra district.

The 7s games will be played between the moths of April and August and it is planned that the grand final will be held in September.

The approach to girls 7s will set up the Blacks girls teams for the Southern Highlands 7s and NSW State Championships in October 2017.

There will also be a specific playing kit designed for the girls.

Bowral Blacks club president Mark Freund said the club was pleased to offer rugby 7s to girls in the Highlands community.

“This commitment to equality in sport is another step towards making rugby accessible for everyone at a grass roots level,” he said.

“The recent gold medal win by the Australian women’s rugby 7s team at the Rio Olympics has inspired many young people to play rugby 7s and we are proud to be able to offer a great rugby experience to local girls across the Highlands.” The Club is taking expressions of interest now for girls who may be interested. Interested players should [email protected]苏州美甲培训419论坛.

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For good of all, we must eat and buy sustainably

I arrived in Australia in February 2011, fresh faced and ready to explore the land of plenty. I dropped my jaw and backpack when I was asked to pay $9.50 for two bananas. They weren’t international prize-winning bananas, they were just two standard bananas.
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Cyclone Yasi had ripped through north Queensland earlier that month, wiping out three-quarters of Australia’s banana crop.

Five years later, avocado eaters tracked the price of the breakfast staple like Wall Street traders as a single fruit reached $7.

These are just two examples of how Mother Earth is putting us back in our place.

We can expect more food price spikes to come as the world warms and heatwaves, bushfires and storms intensify.

Summer barbies will get pricier, as the cost of farmed salmon, beef and wine are predicted to rise.

After a protein fix? Carbon dioxide reduces the protein content of some grains like our daily loaf.

Extreme weather is also shaking up how our food gets from the farm to our plate.

Like crops, highways and railroads are at risk of damage.

During the 2011 Queensland floods, several towns were cut off for up to two weeks, preventing food top ups.

There is generally less than one-month’s supply of non-perishable food and less than five days’ supply of perishable food in the supply chain at any one time – we’re extremely vulnerable.

It’s becoming more difficult to ignore Mother Earth’s warning signs. But we can reason with her.

Supporting our farmers, who work tirelessly to feed us, is a good start.

Eating more plant-based foods, buying the ugly fruit and eating at home more often will also help to make our food supply a sustainable one.

Dr Sinead Boylan is a public health nutritionist at the University of Sydney.

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MH370: Hunt for missing airliner to end in two weeks

Malaysia has announced the A$200 million hunt for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 will end within two weeks, despite pleas that authorities push on with the search of a vast expanse of the far southern Indian Ocean.
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“We’re at the final lap within these two weeks,” transport minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters, adding “we hope we can still find the plane.”

Mr Liow dampened hopes the search would be extended following a recommendation by investigators to search a new 25,000 kilometre area north of where it was first thought the plane crashed in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

He said the imminent completion of a search of a 120,000 square kilometre area would end the most expensive and extensive search for an aircraft in history, in the absence of any “credible clue” suggesting it be extended.

The Turnbull government has also said the plane’s exact location would need to be pinpointed before more resources are committed to scouring any new area.

Aviation experts say one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries is likely to never be solved unless the plane is found and its black box recorders recovered.

Parts of the missing aircraft have been found on the shores African nation Tanzania as well as the Indian Ocean islands of Reunion and Mauritius.

A slew of theories have been raised to try to explain how the plane veered thousands of kilometres off course during a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, including pilot hijacking or a catastrophic malfunction on board the Boeing 777.

Some of the more outrageous conspiracy theories include that it was shot down by the US military or hijacked by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mr Liow said a meeting of officials from Australia, Malaysia and China would be held to discuss the search after the release of a final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which has been leading the search mission.

Many of the passengers were Chinese.

The bureau said in a report last month that there was “a high degree of confidence that the previously identified underwater area searched to date does not contain the missing aircraft.”

“Given the elimination of this area, the experts identified an area of approximately 25,000 square kilometres as the area with the highest probability of containing the wreckage of the aircraft,” the report said, adding experts “were in agreement on the need to search” the additional area.

But Australia’s Transport Minister Darren Chester said the “information in the ATSB report, however, does not give a specific location of the missing aircraft”.

Many relatives of victims have long been sceptical the two-year search was underway in the right place.

In a statement the international group of MH370 next-of-kin called on Malaysia, Australia and China to consider the next step before the current search ends.

“Extending the search to the new area defined by experts is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interest of aviation safety,” it said.

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Josiah Sisson funeral: Family farewells son, brother lost on Christmas Day

Karl Sisson with his son Jordan are seen at the funeral of Josiah Sisson. Photo: Robert Shakespeare BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 07: the funeral of Josiah Sisson, the young boy who was killed by an alleged drink-driver at Christmas on January 7, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Robert Shakespeare/Fairfax Media) Photo: Robert Shakespeare
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Karl Sisson and his son Jordan being comforted by a friend. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

Karl Sisson and his son Jordan carry the coffin at the funeral. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

His life lasted just nine years, but those who gathered for Josiah Sisson’s funeral on Saturday found comfort in their belief he will live forever in heaven.

Josiah’s life support was switched off on December 27, two days after he was struck by a vehicle at Springwood on Christmas Day, driven by local man Adrian Taylor.

Police have alleged Mr Taylor was under the influence of alcohol.

While Mr Taylor had met with Josiah’s father, Karl Sisson, since the accident, he was not among the about 300 mourners who packed the Potters House Christian Church at Strathpine on Saturday.

Such was the demand for space, the walls at the back of the church were lined with mourners unable to find a seat.

Josiah’s family – mother Bonny, father Karl and brother Jordan – cried and laughed with the rest of their church “family” as they farewelled their son and brother.

The duty of eulogising Josiah was left to close family friends.

Phil Ouma, whose family was with Josiah the night he was struck, told the funeral congregation Josiah was a great influence on his life from the moment he was born.

Although, to the amusement of the congregation, Mr Ouma admitted their relationship had a somewhat rocky start shortly after Josiah was born.

“I really wanted to hold the baby, so I asked Bonny very nicely, I said ‘Bonny, could I please hold Josiah?’,” he said.

“She very reluctantly obliged and passed him over to me, and as I grabbed Josiah, in my mind I thought I held him, but to my surprise, he slipped through my hands and landed on the floor.”

Mr Ouma said Josiah was always the first out of the car when the family came to visit, with the announcement – at the top of his voice – “the Sissons are here!”.

“What I always loved about Josiah is the fact that he was never afraid to speak his mind,” he said.

“He was a call-it-as-you-see-it kind of guy and there were many occasions when we were all thinking something and no-one wanted to say anything, but there was Josiah. He’d say it for us.

“I loved that about him. He had this unusual charm about him that I always admired. He was a peacemaker and wouldn’t let anything in the world take away his smile.”

Fiona Goodlet, a family friend from the church the Sissons attended in Perth before they moved to Brisbane, said Josiah was “bold, playful, fearless and cheeky” with a love of slapstick comedy and reading.

Indeed, Josiah’s mother Bonny Sisson has had to return 21 books to the local library, Ms Goodlet said.

“One thing is certain, that child has more front than Myer’s,” she said.

Ms Goodlet said Josiah crammed a lot of life in his nine years.

“I don’t think we measure a time in years, but in the way a life was lived and how it touched others,” she said.

“Josiah had brought so much joy and I hope his life continues to impact others. That’s our responsibility – not to keep him alive in our hearts, because I firmly believe he’s alive right now in heaven, but to ensure his life continues to touch others.”

Pastor Peter Field said he was convinced Josiah was now in a better place.

“When someone so young passes like this, what’s difficult is thinking about it’s too short,” he said.

“In a normal span of life, we think there’s meant to be so many days left, but the reality is, there’s nothing certain about that…

“We all think, ‘I’m going to live to an old age’ but in the reality of life, that is not always the case.

“As Christians, we have to remember and realise to die is gain at any age, because heaven is the destiny for every Christian.”

The Christian faith ran strong through the ceremony at the evangelical church north of Brisbane.

As the familiar sound of Amazing Grace filled the air, Karl and Jordan Sisson led the funeral procession for their beloved son and brother, before the mourners dispersed to a nearby community centre to spend time with the family.

Mr Murray will face court on February 14, charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, and driving a motor vehicle under the influence.

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