BRIGHTSIDE: Krista Barrie - teen targetingcancer

Full Socceroos coverage
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NSW preschools face closure due to state government funding shake-up

Full Socceroos coverage
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Lorcan Redmond, Cassandra Fayers repeat victories

Full Socceroos coverage
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Renjo’s sprint double tops record-beating performances

Full Socceroos coverage
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Lily Costello sets sights on world champs

Full Socceroos coverage
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Socceroos: Milicic has fond memories of WA and backs Perth match

Full Socceroos coverage
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To truly be Australia’s team, a team has to play all over the country.

The Baggy Greens play in all mainland states during a five Test series in their own backyard, but their travel diary is matched by few others.

The Socceroos are arguably the only team aside from the cricketers that really can claim to be representing a sport that is popular throughout the entire nation. But they are acutely aware that they need to appear more often outside of their eastern seaboard strongholds in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Hence their first trip to Western Australia in a decade this week when they take on Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier at Perth Glory’s neat, trim, 20,000 capacity nib Stadium on Thursday evenng.

Its a good move; the Western Australians, along with fans in Adelaide, missed out during the Asian Cup, and, according to FFA officials, have responded well. Over 17,000 tickets have been sold and the remainder are expected to go in the next few days, ensuring a sell out and a hostile environment for the visiting Bangladeshis.

Socceroo assistant coach Ante Milicic has fond memories of Perth from his time as a player. Although the ex international striker spent the bulk of his career in his native Sydney, along with spells in Brisbane and Newcastle as well as in Europe,  Milicic made quite a splash in WA on his brief visits there.

He scored the only goal of the game _ and won the Marston Medal for best on ground _ when Sydney Olympic defeated Perth Glory in the 2002 NSL Grand Final, and recalls a match seven years before that when the nascent Glory took on Italian side Sampdoria in an exhibition game.

“Myself and Kimon Taliadoros (ex Socceroo frontman and now Football Federation Victoria  president)  got called up as guest players for that match. I was staying in the same hotel as Sampdoria, and got all kitted out with the gear after, ” he reminisced at a training session the national team coaches hosted with several WA youngsters at the match venue on Sunday afternoon.

“Its a great opportunity for the Perth public to come out. We really want to get around the whole country. We didn’t have the chance during the Asian Cup, but the opportutnity now is for  the whole country to see the squad, the way its developing and coming forward with the young players.

“The pitch and the surface is great. This is what you need at international level. The pitch and the facilities, the grandstand here is great and the crowd will be close to the pitch. These are the kind of venues that the Socceroos enjoy playing at.”

Milicic said there had been no overnight reports of injuries, and that while Austalia would go into the game against Bangladesh as hot favourites, they certainly would not underestimate their opponents.

“We respect every opponent and Bangladesh is no different. We have chosen a full strength side from everyone who is available. We have done our homework, we know what to expect. “

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Tony Abbott to sack ministers for backgrounding? Not bloody likely!

Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos. Photo: Cole BennettsSinodinos slams ‘political sabotage’
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The call from a respected senior Liberal, Arthur Sinodinos, ostensibly for Tony Abbott to sack cabinet ministers for backgrounding against Joe Hockey and Abbott himself, seems extraordinarily decisive, as far as it goes. But let’s be honest, it is not going anywhere.

Plainly, this a rhetorical rather than a literal call for the Prime Minister to use his most severe rebuke.

The call by press release is in fact a symptom masquerading as a remedy, and is itself, part of the gathering symphony of dysfunction now drowning out the government’s official message of “jobs, growth, and community safety”.

It barely requires stating. The very essence of backgrounding is that it is anonymous. It is both unnamed, and unprovable. A minister suspected of backgrounding would never admit to it, and a journalist/beneficiary of said leaks would never give up their source. The wiley Sinodinos knows this, and thus knows that no ministers could or will be sacked. Even more, the ex-chief of staff for John Howard knows that in the fractious condition the government and its leadership now find themselves, the percussive dismissal of a senior minister or ministers for alleged “disloyalty” would almost certainly prompt a crisis of its own resulting in internal collapse.

Frankly put, Sinodinos knows Abbott is in no position to sack anyone.

Which is not to say there isn’t some frustration evident in Sinodinos’s words, given his Liberal Party is fighting a do-or-die byelection in the WA seat of Canning.

Party loyalists are concerned that talk of losing, or, of the serious ramifications of a violent anti-government swing, increases the danger of self-fulifilling prophesies.

Yet politics being what it is, Canberra watchers are caught somewhere between bemused and befuddled by the Sinodinos snipe.

No blind adherent of the current leadership, nor particularly of Abbott’s uber-powerful chief of staff Peta Credlin, Sinodinos is widely thought to be a supporter of the popular alternative to Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull in turn would be the big winner of a change of leadership – a change that is more likely, not less, if Canning goes bad.

All of which has some conspiracy-minded theorists wondering what Sinodinos is doing. On the face of it, he is strafing leakers. Yet he knows they will not be identified and then ejected.

Which leaves us contemplating the sub-surface meanings. First, that any public attack on “backgrounding” inevitably draws attention to that backgrounding and thus kicks the story along for another day at least. Even assuming this was not his primary purpose, it is an outcome of which the experienced Sinodinos would have been well aware.

Second, that pro-Turnbull forces are worried that in a final desperate play, Credlin might advocate throwing Hockey overboard, to forestall her own removal, and they want to expose that option and thus kill it off.

Or third, that previous assumptions of allegiances within the NSW Liberal caucus, are out of date and that Turnbull may have lost supporters, such as Sinodinos himself, to the up-and-coming Scott Morrison.

Either way, it is a curious contribution.

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China stockmarket: why fears of a collapse are overblown

A total collapse of the Chinese property market is unlikely, says Gavekal’s China research director Andrew Baston.China’s allegedly imminent recession has become a popular topic recently after the plunges of its equity markets and the devaluation of the renminbi currency sent tremors through the international investor community, but a leading economic researcher says most of these fears are overblown.
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While there are many legitimate concerns about China’s inevitable slowdown, Gavekal’s China research director Andrew Baston says, fears China is teetering on the verge economic collapse are misguided.

“Such fears are exaggerated; China’s economy is not collapsing. But it is slowing,” Mr Baston said in a research note.

The note details how investors are rightfully concerned about the rising domestic debt, the government’s recent failures to steer the economy coupled with the slow down in investment as well as in heavy industry and commodity sectors, but ultimately concluded an economic collapse was unlikely.

With construction stagnating and investment at its weakest in 10 years, Mr Baston said Beijing deploying looser monetary policies would have limited impact so the slowdown was inevitable.

But this looser monetary policy will be hard to implement because the level of domestic debt is so high.

“With total debt at 250% of GDP, China today is far more leveraged than in 2009 when Beijing last launched a major monetary expansion. Today, such a debt-fueled stimulus program is out of the question, given the high starting point. As things stand, the combination of very high total debt plus deteriorating economic growth will push up the level of bad debt,” Mr Baston said.

However there were four commonly discussed issues where Mr Baston said fears of economic fragility are excessive. 1. Renminbi devaluation is not part of a currency war

The incident that caused the tides of concern to begin to rise was the devaluation of the renminbi in early August.

The renminbi fell 3 per cent after the People’s Bank of China lowered its trading midpoint and investors are concerned it could have another 5 per cent or so to fall.

This sparked concerns the PBoC was not just preparing for lower domestic growth but potentially positioning for a currency war that would slash billions from global budgets, particularly throughout Asia and commodity driven economies such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

However, Mr Baston said the fear the devaluation would launch a foreign debt crisis were overblown.

“China is well insulated from the sort of foreign currency debt crisis that has struck other emerging markets in recent decades,” Mr Baston said. 2. Market volatility won’t trigger a broader meltdown

The Shanghai stock market experienced significant plunges last week that brought the total value lost since the volatility began in June to almost 45 per cent.

While investors and economics remain riveted by the market’s tumultuous trading, Mr Baston said the sell-offs impact on the broader economy would be limited, as equities make up no more than 5 per cent of household wealth.

“Although a continued slump from current levels would generate plenty of hyperbolic headlines about a crashing China, even a further sell-off would have a limited spillover effect on the real economy,” Mr Baston said, adding the Chinese banking system had little exposure to the stock market volatility.

“So, although wealth management products linked to the stock market may sustain big losses, and while it is possible some brokers could fail, it is highly unlikely that a further slump in equities will trigger a systemic crisis.” 3. Deep collapse of property prices unlikely

While Chinese household equity exposure may be low, property investment is far more common and the local appetite for property has pushed prices to dizzying heights.

Mr Baston said the widely held view that the Chinese property market would collapse under the weight of an enormous speculative bubble fuelling high prices was out of step with the two key drivers of the housing price rise: expanding urban population and rising incomes, both of which are set to continue.

“That does not mean everything in the garden is rosey: these fundamentals indicate that housing demand is close to its peak, and that the sector has gone from being a growth driver to a drag on growth, a shift with huge knock-on effects for the rest of the economy,” Mr Baston said.

“But the maturation and decline of housing demand is a very different thing from the unwinding of a massive speculative bubble.”

In the last six months, the Chinese government have lowered interest rates and relaxing regulations that operated as restrictions to property purchasing to support continued buying and still has plenty of room for further cuts or policy changes. 4. Unemployment surge to be limited

A slowing economy is rarely good news for unemployment numbers and there are widespread concerns unemployment in China could trigger tranches of newly unemployed workers, which would cause a significant blow to already weak consumer demand.

But Mr Baston said the fact the major slowdowns had occurred in state-owned enterprises, such as heavy industrial and commodity management sectors, meant a record waves of redundancies were unlikely as these companies had far less flexibility to cut jobs.

“Even in the private sector, firms have balked at making mass lay-offs, with mining companies choosing instead to reduce working hours and award employees more holiday.”

Mr Baston said while work hours and wages had declined, unemployment would remain relatively stable.

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BRIGHTSIDE: Krista Barrie – teen targetingcancer

Krista Barrie with her mum, Kim. Krista started surGICure to fight gastrointestinal cancer. SurgiCure gearing up for first fundraising ball this Saturday at Newcastle City Hall. Picture: Jonathan Carroll SIMON WALKER: Bright Side archive
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WARNERS Bay teen Krista Barrie is proud to be helping local people battle gastrointestinal cancer with her charity surGICure.

Krista set up the fundraising vehicle for GI research last year, when she was only 14 years old, inspired by the tireless work of surgeons at the John Hunter Hospital who helped save her nan’s life after she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. At the time, surgeons were paying for research out of their own pockets.

Through various fund-raising ventures this year, surGICure has enabled the Department of General Surgery at the John Hunter Hospital to partly fund a research nurse position.

‘‘We’re not funded for any of our clinical research, so the salary for the research position and gear we need, like software and computers, is assisted by this charity,’’ said Stan Chen, who was Krista’s nan’s surgeon.

‘‘Gastrointestinal cancer is anunsexy cancer in terms of funding, even though GI cancer is widespread. Bowel cancer, for example, is the second most common cancer in Australia and the incidence of pancreas and liver cancer is growing at an alarming rate,’’ Dr Chen said.

‘‘We deal with a lot of sick patients who need major surgery and we’re researching into ways to optimise surgery and patient care.

‘‘Krista’s charity is helping us do that – there are very few charities in GI cancer that I know of – so we’re very lucky.’’

Krista’s nan, Agnes Orr, made a complete recovery from her surgery and bounced back so well she’s since travelled to Scotland to visit family.

‘‘She’s a good girl,’’ Agnes said proudly of her grand-daughter in a broad Scottish accent.

‘‘Not many 16-year-olds will do what she’s been doing, so it’s great.’’

Krista’s mum, Kim, has been the ‘‘official adult’’ in the charity because Krista is so young, but their efforts are literally helping people have more life.

‘‘It’s not the most glamorous of cancer and the treatment is quite cruel for the patients,’’ Krista said yesterday, on her way to a babysitting assignment.

‘‘We became aware of the research from nan’s surgery and now we’re encouraging anyone going through the treatment to donate their information to the research.

‘‘All you have to do is tick a box when being admitted to the hospital.’’

If you want to get involved in surGICure, attendance at events and sharing experience will ultimately broaden awareness and promote the means for local research and local funding.

As part of ongoing fundraising activities, surGICure will hold its first annual ball, an ‘‘Evening of Elegance’’, at Town Hall on September 12. A number of musicians are donating their time and talents to the entertainment, including Sydney GP Geoff Darvas, who’ll get the house rocking with his band Triple Grip.

A number of other musically inclined medicos, including Dr Chen, Ajay Iyengar and Sarah Maclean, as well as Nigel Goddard and Hannah Murray will play a support spot during canapes with the inimitable ‘‘Barbarians’’ wind quintet.

If you want to attend the ball or get involved with surGICure, email [email protected]上海夜网m or visit www.facebook上海夜网m/surGICure or ring 0249471520

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NSW preschools face closure due to state government funding shake-up

Michelle Armstrong and son Ryan Armstrong, 3, at Brooklyn preschool. Photo: Lisa Maree WilliamsNSW preschools are starting to close their doors following a funding shake-up in the early childhood education sector that has stripped government subsidies from most three-year-olds to focus greater resources on four-year-olds.
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Support funding offered to preschools that are disadvantaged under the new model will be wound back next year, forcing providers to reduce places, cut days or close their doors.

A survey of providers by the Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW) found the majority believed they were likely to suffer viability problems without additional support funding. More than half of preschools had already raised fees for three-year-olds and a further 25 per cent intend to do so.

There are about 800 preschools in NSW, catering to about 32,000 children, with the new funding model aimed at better targeting children in the year before they start school and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Co-operative chief executive Leanne Gibbs said the change had resulted in financial uncertainty for the sector.

“Preschools are looking at how they will manage long term and many of them can see they will be in deep trouble,” she said. “We will see preschools closing or cutting back on quality or cutting the number of days they can offer.”

She expressed concern that the new model would put preschool, which does not attract a childcare rebate, out of reach for middle-income families.

“Families who experience disadvantage will get the full subsidy for their children to attend preschool, and families who can afford to send their children to preschool will do it, but there is this large middle group who fall through a hole,” Ms Gibbs said.

KU Children’s Services is closing its mobile preschool services in Mount Ku-ring-gai, Brooklyn and Maitland at the end of this year as they are no longer viable.

KU Children’s Services chief executive Christine Legg​ said the new model was having a significant impact on the non-profit organisation, which is the largest preschool provider in the state with 80 centres.

“For families it’s becoming unaffordable. For us as an operator, it’s becoming unsustainable,” she said.

“We celebrate 120 years this year. We want to be around for another 120 but the funding model we have been given is not sustainable long term.”

Michelle Armstrong, whose son Ryan attends KU’s Brooklyn centre, said its closure will force families to travel up to two hours to get to the next closest preschool.

“I believe every child is entitled to an early childhood education and the new funding model has put children in our area at a disadvantage,” she said. “The consequence of these changes means there will be no preschool locally for our children to attend despite the demand.”

Melinda Gambley​, director of a community-based preschool in Clunes on the NSW north coast, said one-third of the preschools in the area were worse off under the new model, with a number considering closing within the next two years.

“The government’s stated goal is to get more children into preschool before they start kindergarten, but what we are seeing in our region is fewer children getting access to preschool because services are winding back,” she said.

A Department of Education spokesman said the funding model was “already having a positive impact”, with enrolments of children from Aboriginal backgrounds and low income families increasing by 5 per cent and enrolments of children in the year before kindergarten rising by 2 per cent.

He said support would be made available to preschools who need help adjusting to the new funding model.

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Lorcan Redmond, Cassandra Fayers repeat victories

Lorcan RedmondHUNTER runners Lorcan Redmond and Cassandra Fayers have repeated their double of 2013 with victories at the School Sport Australia All-Schools cross-country championships.
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Redmond, a year 9 student at St Philip’s Christian College, Waratah, took out the under-16 boys’ title and Maitland Christian School’s Fayers the 12 years girls’ final at Moonee Valley Racecourse, Victoria, on the weekend.

Fayers completed the three-kilometre course in 10 minutes, nine seconds to finish 8s clear of her nearest rival and secure a hat-trick of national schools titles.

Redmond, who was second last year, ran the 4km course in 14:07 to win by 9s. Redmond helped the under-16 boys’ NSW side finish second in the teams event, which is based on individual efforts, and claim gold in the relay.

Fayers’ NSW 12 years girls’ team won their pointscore.

Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College student Montana Monk was third in the 11 years 3km girls’ race, only 3s behind the winner.

■ Hunter Sports High School, Gateshead and All Saints College, St Peters, Maitland will represent the region in the Bill Turner Cup and Trophy finals at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility, Speers Point, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Semi-finals of the annual 15 years boys’ and girls’ schools soccer knockout will be held on Tuesday.

In the girls’ Bill Turner Trophy, Queensland’s Cavendish State High School take on Illawarra’s Holy Spirit, Bellambi at 1pm and Hunter Sports play Fairfield’s Westfields Sports High at 2.30pm.

In the boys’ Cup, Ipswich Grammar play Victoria’s Maribyrnong College at 4pm and St Peters clash with Westfields Sports at 5.30pm.

On Wednesday, the semi-final losers will face off for third place in the girls at 10pm and the boys from 12pm.

The grand finals are set down for 1.30pm and 3pm.

St Peters beat Kurri Kurri 5-1, Mount View 6-0, St Josephs, Aberdeen 7-0, ASC St Josephs, Lochinvar 4-1, Gosford HS 3-2, Hunter Sports 3-0, Mackillop College, Port Macquarie 1-0 to progress to the national finals.

It is the first time since 1999 that the school has made it to the semi-final stage in the Cup.

They were runners-up to Figtree that year and third on debut in 1987.

St Peters won the final the following year, 1-0 over Figtree.

Hunter Sports defeated St Phillips Waratah 8-0, St Pius X, Adamstown 2-0, Hunter Valley Grammar 3-0 and Trinity College, Lismore 2-0 to progress to the last four in the girls’ contest for the 12th consecutive time.

Hunter Sports High have taken home the trophy in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013 and been runners-up in 2008 and 2014.

■ Zac Lidell and Michael Lloyd scored two tries each to help Tomaree High School claim the under-16 NSW Combined High School rugby union title last Wednesday.

Tomaree defeated Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School 34-28 at TG Milner Field in Sydney to take out the Arthur Buchan Shield.

Ryan Duffy and Jack Hutchison also scored tries for the Emma Chester-coached Tomaree. Jerome Lamb kicked two conversions.

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Renjo’s sprint double tops record-beating performances

SIX records tumbled at the Hunter Primary Athletics Carnival at the Hunter Sports Centre at Glendale last Friday.
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Denman’s Renjo James put his name into the record books twice when he won the sprint double. Competing in the 13 years boys’ 100 metres, Renjo ran 12.67 seconds to eclipse the previous record of 12.90s. This followed his performance in the 200m where he ran 25.61s to break the record set by Zac Walpole in 2003.

Another 200m record broken was in the 11 years boys’ event. Kahibah’s Hugh Sharman ran 26.69s to break Daniel Izzard’s mark set in 1995.

Caves Beach’s Kayne Gilmore set a record in the junior boys’ discus last year and added his name to the 11 years’ event with a throw of 33.66m to break the previous mark of 30.90m.

His training partner, Ashlyn Blackstock, from Jewells, also set a record in the 11 years girls’ discus. Ashlyn’s throw of 32.32m easily broke the previous mark set by Bella Ferfoglia in 2013.

And Charlestown’s Imogen Petrie erased Stephanie Scigala from the record books in the 11 years girls’ shot with her effort of 11.02m. This gives Imogen her second regional record after breaking the junior discus record last year.

The NSW PSSA Championships are at Homebush on October 14 and 15.

■ Hunter won back the NSW Combined High Schools trampoline sports trophy after the championships at Niagara Park last week.

The Hunter team scored 330 points to take the title back off Sydney West, who finished with 315 points.

Belmont High retained their title as the champion school and Whitebridge finished third behind Endeavour Sports.

In individual competition, Flynn Lanz (Lambton) won the 13 years boys’ age championship while the 14 years boys’ champion was Kaiya King (Merewether High).

Flynn went on to compete in the prestigious Champion of Champions event where he finished fourth.

Other students to medal were Paris Wright, Charlie Haigh, Harrison Civas Jack Cutajar and Nicholas Considine from Belmont, Dayna Garside and Lachlan Croker (Lambton), Sam Shortland, Jackson Beer and Kye Condon (Whitebridge) and April Carpenter (Francis Greenway) and Sean Boswell (Cardiff) in the athletes with a disability category.

■ San Clemente Mayfield intermediate boys’ basketball team had success at the NSWCCC Basketball Championships at South Windsor last week.

San Clemente made it to the semi-finals by downing rivals ASC St Peter’s Maitland 65-32 in the quarters before going down 55-35 to Holy Spirit College Bellambi.

Other schools to compete were ASC St Joseph’s Lochinvar (intermediate boys), St Paul’s Booragul and ASC St Peter’s Maitland (intermediate girls), ASC St Peter’s Maitland and St Pius X Adamstown (junior girls) and ASC St Joseph’s Lochinvar (junior boys).

■ More than 90 students from across the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic secondary schools attended a diocesan golf day at Newcastle Golf Course last Friday.

Iain Morrissey, from San Clemente Mayfield, convened the day which has grown in numbers over the last three years. The more able golfers played an 18-hole tournament while the novice and beginners played a nine-hole ambrose tournament.

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Lily Costello sets sights on world champs

Lily Costello, 16, of Blacksmiths at Red Head Beach. Lily has been selected for the Australian Youth Team for the International Surf Rescue Challenge. Picture: Max Mason Hubers LILY Costello leaves on Tuesday to join her first Australian surf lifesaving team, but she is already focused on working towards her next squad on an even bigger stage.
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The 16-year-old from Blacksmiths will be one of eight girls on the 16-member youth national team which is part of a 32-strong Australian squad to contest the three-Test series, International Surf Rescue Challenge against No.1 rivals New Zealand in Maroochydore.

Costello will go into camp ahead of the first Test on Thursday morning thrilled to train and compete in the green and gold alongside some of her surf idols.

National ironman and ironwoman series champions Ali Day and Liz Pluimers, who will be in Newcastle in December defending their titles, are among the stars in the open Australian side.

‘‘I’m looking forward to just competing with some of my friends and against New Zealand, that will be exciting,’’ Costello said.

‘‘There will be also be athletes like Harriet Brown, Georgia Miller, Ali Day and all that.

‘‘I look up to them, so I’m excited about that as well.’’

Past the thrill of her debut, Costello is focused on proving herself on the international stage ahead of next year’s Lifesaving World Championships, to be held from September 1-18 in the Netherlands.

‘‘I really want to go well here then hopefully over to Aussies and have a good chance to be named for the worlds team going to the Netherlands,’’ she said.

‘‘This will obviously give me a little boost. Hopefully if I go well here it will give me good experience to get picked in that team.’’

The Redhead clubbie pushed her claims for Australian selection with gold in the swim, bronze in the ironwoman and fourth place in the board final as a first-year under17s competitor at the national championships in April.

The year 10 student at St Marys, Gateshead, said she started her winter training earlier than usual in preparation for the international tournament and trials for the national ironwoman series at Alexandra Headland on September 12-13.

Her old brother, Isak, will be pushing hard for one of three places in the ironman series that will be on offer, but Lily is going in with little expectation.

‘‘I’ll be up there, and my brother is going to come up and do it, so I was going to stay and have a go at it, just for experience,’’ she said.

‘‘I’d be stoked to get top10, but I’m not sure which girls are doing it. There’s a few of the older girls who are keen to get in, but I’m just doing it for experience.’’

Costello, a former Catherine Hill Bay and Swansea-Belmont club member, said her biggest challenge in preparing for the Test series had been mastering the surf ski.

She moved last season to Redhead, where multiple Australian champion and two-time Olympic kayaker Peter Scott has proven a valuable guide.

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Mum’s invention -illuminating tongue depressor – finds funding

Jennifer Holland with her illuminating tongue depressor – or Throat Scope – for kids. Picture: Ryan OslandREDHEAD ‘‘mumtrepreneur’’ Jennifer Holland has wooed Brisbane multimillionaire Michael Dempsey to come on board as a major shareholder in her fledgling medical device business and is poised to reap a windfall from distribution deals.
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Ms Holland invented the Throat Scope – a transparent tongue depressant that illuminates inside the mouth and takes the heartache out of oral cavity examinations for kids, parents and doctors – after taking her youngest child to the GP in 2009.

‘‘My son had a sore throat and the doctor was trying to look in his mouth with a wooden tongue depressor and it was quite distressing having to help hold him down while they were looking,’’ she said.

After years of tinkering on a prototype, the mother-of-four pitched the Throat Scope on the Channel 10 entrepreneur program Shark Tank earlier this year.

She convinced tech start-up millionaire Steve Baxter to offer $76,000 for a 30 per cent stake in the company, plus 5 per cent of royalties of sales up to the investment amount.

Ms Holland confirmed she has successfully pitched her business to Mr Dempsey, who sold his electronic payments processing business Ezidebit to a US company for $305 million late last year.

‘‘He loves the device and the story and thinks we have a great team behind it, he was impressed and wanted to move forward and be a major shareholder,’’ said Ms Holland. ‘‘He will give us advice when he can, he’s a lovely guy.”

Until now working from home while nursing her youngest child, Ms Holland will soon move into a new office minutes from her home to give her the space she needs to develop her business, with her corporate team based in Brisbane.

She said an initial capital raising drive has secured $360,000 from private investors and last week she finalised a deal with Ebos Healthcare, one of the largest medical distributors in Australia and New Zealand.

The initial Ebos deal will see 200,000 Throat Scope blades distributed to GPs, hospitals and aged care facilities, as well as 2000 starter packs.

Ms Holland said this month her company will pitch to Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the US, alongside the second biggest operator, CVS Group.

‘‘There are also lots of other discussions going on with distributors overseas but nothing I can confirm yet,’’ she said.

The Throat Scope is being manufactured by a Sydney supplier in China, from where the product will be shipped to Ms Holland’s office for national distribution, as well as Hong Kong for US shipping orders.

Ms Holland said the last few months had been ‘‘unreal’’ though she hadn’t had time to stop and think about the fine details.

“I haven’t had a moment to myself,” she said.

‘‘The deals take forever, you agree on something and then weeks later you confirm because the contracts are going back and forth, it does take a toll on you, you think ‘when will it end’.’’

Jennifer Holland with her illuminating tongue depressor – or Throat Scope – for kids. Picture: Ryan Osland

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Reporter’s stock market ‘confession’ a stark warning to Chinese media

Wang Xiaolu makes his confession on Chinese state TV. Photo: CCTV The state is struggling to contain public anger over the sharemarket collapse and the recent explosions at Tianjin, where these protesters took to the streets. Photo: Sanghee Liu
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Beijing: Televised “confessions” have increasingly become the preferred propaganda tool of Chinese state television, but this admission of guilt was particularly jarring.

In a six-minute news story aired on Monday morning, state broadcaster CCTV showed a visibly nervous and contrite Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with respected financial magazine Caijing, deliver a statement that underlined the yawning chasm between a free press and China’s expectations of its state-controlled media.

“I, through private inquiries, these sorts of abnormal channels, obtained news materials,” Wang said. “And then through adding my own subjective judgement, I wrote this news report. During a sensitive period, I should not have published a report which had such a huge negative impact on the sharemarket.”

It may sound like he was trying to do his job, but Wang’s crime, in the eyes of the Chinese state, was that he strayed from the party line.

At a time when China’s leaders were under huge public pressure to steady a teetering sharemarket, Wang published a cut-through piece on how Chinese regulators were contemplating pulling back on its emergency intervention measures.

Official news agency Xinhua said Wang had written about the Chinese stock market “based on hearsay and his own subjective guesses” that “inflicted huge losses on the country and investors”.

Wang was first taken in for questioning last week, and was officially detained on Sunday.

“I regret my actions, and I am willing to confess my criminal behaviour,” Wang said in the CCTV broadcast. “I hope the judiciary can give me a chance and provide me with lenient treatment.”

Four executives of CITIC Securities, China’s largest brokerage, and one employee of the securities regulator also confessed to crimes including insider trading and fraud.

China’s leaders face an uphill battle to rein in irate public sentiment over its accountability and handling of a $US5 trillion ($7 trillion) stock rout and the deadly Tianjin chemical warehouse blasts.

Both incidents prompted wide and often critical reportage from pockets of China’s more independent-minded commercial media outlets, who frequently navigate the grey area between serving their readers’ interests – and thereby staying relevant and commercially viable – while not straying beyond the government’s red lines.

But Chinese authorities are now sending a message. Law enforcement officials said on Sunday they have disciplined nearly 200 people for spreading “rumours” online in connection with recent “major news events”.

The government crackdown on politically sensitive discourse targeted people spreading false internet rumours regarding the stock-market turmoil and the Tianjin explosions, the Ministry of Public Security said.

The ministry said the accused had expressed remorse for their actions, in which they “misled society and the public, generated and spread fearful sentiment, and even used the opportunity to maliciously concoct rumours to attack [Communist] Party and national leaders.”

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The Gods of Rugby Heaven: The wingers

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David Campese. Photo: Getty Images

David Campese (Australia) One of the greatest attacking players the game has seen. Campese played at three World Cups, but 1991 was his crowning glory, where he was named player of the tournament after scoring six tries in as many matches. However, it was for a try assist during the semi-final against the All Blacks at Lansdowne Road that he is best remembered. Campese latched on to a grubber kick from Michael Lynagh before jinking, drawing two defenders and throwing a no-look, over-the-shoulder pass to an unmarked Tim Horan, who crossed for the try. His involvement in the match-winning try by Lynagh against Ireland in the quarter-final and the only try in the final to Tony Daly have often been overlooked.

Bryan Habana. Photo: Peter Meecham

Bryan Habana (South Africa) The South African flyer with the broad shoulders, speed to burn and a swerve to die for could sniff out a try from anywhere. Every World Cup winner needs an expert finisher, and the Springbok was one of the best in 2007, where he racked up eight tries. Those performances ensured he was the first winger to be named IRB player of the year. He has scored 10 tries in 11 World Cup matches, the most by a South African. He will lace on the boots for another tilt at the William Webb Ellis trophy in 2015, in what could well be his international swansong.

John Kirwan. Photo: Alden Williams 

John Kirwan (New Zealand) Tall, fast and powerful. In the pre-Lomu era John Kirwan was considered by many to be the ultimate winger. He was also responsible for one of the most celebrated moments in World Cup history. In the first game of the first tournament in 1987 the All Blacks were hosting the Italians when Kirwan fetched a kick-off and ran 90 metres, leaving seven defenders sprawled on the turf to score one of the great individual tries in the game’s history.

Brian Lima. Photo: Craig Golding

Brian Lima (Samoa) A giant in a minnow team. Most wingers earn nicknames for their attacking prowess. However, such was Lima’s power in defence he became known as The Chiropractor. A versatile back-line player, Lima played in five World Cups and featured in his team’s two quarter-final appearances. His biggest hit was on Derick Hougaard in 2003, which left the Springboks five-eighth dazed for several minutes. But for all the talk of his hard-hitting defence, he could find the try line too, crossing 10 times in 18 World Cup matches.

Jonah Lomu. Photo: Reuters

Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) A monster of a man and a giant of the game. So awesome was Lomu’s power, he was able to transcend the game and became a well-known figure in non-rugby countries. It is somewhat unfortunate that his seemingly unstoppable runs, which yielded 16 tries at the 1995 and 1999 tournaments, did not translate into World Cup success. The iconic try in the 1995 semi-final against England, where he steamrolled fullback Mike Catt, forged the reputations of both players.

Jason Robinson. Photo: Getty Images

Jason Robinson (England) A rugby league convert who gave England an attacking edge out wide. Robinson was on the wing during England’s successful World Cup campaign in 2003, but was equally adept at fullback during the 2007 tournament. Robinson was a powerful runner whose deceptive footwork made him England’s most dangerous attacker. He is considered the benchmark in England when commentators talk of fullbacks and cross-code converts.

Joe Roff. Photo: Reuters

Joe Roff (Australia) A quiet achiever of three World Cup campaigns. Roff was an integral member of Rod Macqueen’s champion Wallabies team that won trophies for fun. He was an institution on the left wing. Fast, powerful and with a damaging fend, Roff was equally at home at fullback. His goal-kicking ability was often underestimated because it was so rarely called upon.

Rory Underwood. Photo: Reuters

Rory Underwood (England) Small, fast and consistent, Underwood’s try-scoring ability was matched only by his longevity. Underwood first appeared at the World Cup in 1987 in a poor England team, but came into his own in 1991, when he played outside the likes of Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott. He scored 11 times in 15 matches but his two tries in the semi-final of the 1995 tournament were overshadowed by the feats of Jonah Lomu.

Shane Williams. Photo: Craig Simcox

Shane Williams (Wales) The scrum-half who became a winger. A will-o’-the-wisp flyer, Williams’ reputation as a prolific try-scorer was forged under the tutelage of Steve Hansen when the current All Blacks coach held the reigns over Wales at the 2003 tournament. Williams was picked on the wing during a pool game against New Zealand in 2003 and his dazzling performance cemented his reputation. His most successful World Cup was in 2007, where he scored six tries.

Jeff Wilson. Photo: Getty Images

Jeff Wilson (New Zealand) Another winger-cum-fullback. Jeff Wilson was the ultimate professional on the wing. Mistakes were rare and try-scoring opportunities were rarely spurned. He scored nine tries in 11 World Cup games, but he unfortunately belongs to a generation of great New Zealand players who never won the William Webb Ellis Trophy. He also represented the Kiwis in one-day international and Twenty20 cricket.

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The Gods of Rugby Heaven: The tight-head props

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Jean-Pierre Garuet. Photo: Getty Images

Jean-Pierre Garuet (France)

A giant of the scrum. Garuet made his name in an era where the scrum was not a blight on the game and props were not expected to be open-field maestros. Garuet was a pure scrum technician and he dominated his position in the mid-1980s culminating in a World Cup final appearance in 1987. He also had the dubious honour of being the first French player in history to be sent off when he was found guilty of eye-gouging an Irish opponent in 1984.

Richard Loe. Photo: Supplied

Richard Loe (New Zealand)

The All Black enforcer is known for many things; smashing Paul Carozza’s nose, eye-gouging and striking. It’s a (self-inflicted) shame, because he could play. Loe made his Test debut in the inaugural World Cup match in 1987 and played in three World Cups in total. His front-row partnership in the late 1980s with Sean Fitzpatrick and Steve McDowell is considered to be one of the greatest in All Blacks’ history.

Ewen McKenzie (Australia)

The former Wallabies coach was a formidable presence in Bob Dwyer’s successful team of the early 1990s. A rare product from the Melbourne system, McKenzie moved to Sydney and became one of the best No.3s of his time. He started in 50 of his 51 Test appearances for the Wallabies and featured in two World Cup campaigns. The try credited to Tony Daly in the final against England in 1991 from a rolling maul, could easily have been awarded to McKenzie. He went on to have a successful coaching career.

Patricio Noriega. Photo: Getty Images

Patricio Noriega (Argentina)

The Pumas prop played 24 times for Australia, to go with his 25 Tests for Argentina, and could have easily represented the Wallabies in the World Cup in 1999 until a shoulder injury ruled him out. Noriega was one of the best scrummagers of the 1990s and managed to play in the 1995 World Cup tournament for the Pumas. He served several seasons as the Wallabies’ scrum coach before leaving the post in 2012 to take up a job in Europe.

Phil Vickery. Photo: Reuters

Phil Vickery (England)

The Wasps prop was the dominant force in a dominant scrum for a decade. Vickery was promoted to the national side at the age of 21 and had a topsy turvy beginning with England scoring 60 points against Wales on his debut before conceding 76 points to Australia in his second match. He featured in three World Cups including the successful 2003 side before skippering England to the final four years later. His career came to an abrupt end in 2009 after the Springboks destroyed the British & Irish Lions’ scrum.

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The Gods of Rugby Heaven: The number eights

Quick and powerful: Toutai Kefu.
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Zinzan Brooke. Photo: Craig Golding

Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand)

Amazingly agile, mobile and strong, Zinzan Brooke, now 50, played 58 Tests for the All Blacks and also led the Auckland Blues to their Super 12 titles in 1996 and 1997.

Brooke was blessed with remarkable running and skills akin to that of a back. He once kicked a drop goal from 47 metres in the 1995 World Cup, which was one of three drop goals he booted for the tournament. He also had an incredible read of the game.

Brooke retired from international rugby in1997, after which he played for Harlequins in England and later became their coach, while continuing to play amateur rugby.

Lawrence Dallaglio. Photo: Getty Images

Lawrence Dallaglio (England)

Laurence Dallaglio, 43, debuted for England in November, 1995 against the Springboks.

By 1997, Dallaglio was in the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa and became England captain over Martin Johnson who had led the Lions.

Dallaglio lost the captaincy to Johnson in 1999, but in 2001 toured with the Lions to Australia where a knee injury ended his trip.

He played in the 2003 World Cup for England who beat Australia in the final, and in the 2007 World Cup, making the semi-final and retired in 2008 with 88 Test caps, 85 for England and three with the Lions.

Toutai Kefu. Photo: Tim Clayton

Toutai Kefu (Australia)

Toutai Kefu, now 41, is arguably best known for his match-winning try at the end of Wallabies captain John Eales’ final game against the All Blacks in 2001.

But there was much more to Kefu, now 41, than a headlining try. Tongan-born, he was as quick and powerful as he was big.

He debuted for the Wallabies on August 23, 1997 off the bench against South Africa and went on to earn 60 caps.

He made the No.8 jersey his in 1998 when he started against England in the June domestic Test Australia won 76-0. Kefu was also a key member of the Wallabies squad winning the 1999 World Cup.

Sergio Parisse. Photo: Iain McGregor

Sergio Parisse (Italy)

Argentine-born Sergio Parisse, now 31, has great ball-handling skills that proved so valuable in the lineout and in running play.

He stood out in a team that was mediocre, but there was no doubting his pure class.

Parisse’s Test debut at age 18 was in June, 2002 when coach Italy John Kirwan picked him for Italy’s 64-10 loss to the All Blacks in Hamilton.

Parisse played in the 2003 World Cup where he scored his first Test try against Canada. His 50th Test was in 2008 in the Six Nations against England.

Parisse also played in the 2007 and 2011 Worlds Cups, captaining Italy in the latter.

Wayne Shelford. Photo: Russell Cheyne

Wayne Shelford (New Zealand)

After touring with the unauthorised Cavaliers squad to South Africa in 1986, Wayne “Buck” Shelford debuted for the All Blacks later that year against France in Toulouse.

Now aged 57, Shelford was a member of the All Blacks who won the inaugural 1987 World Cup, playing in five of their six games, including the final against France.

After that World Cup, Shelford became the All Blacks captain up until 1990. In that time, the All Blacks never lost a game, but they drew once to Australia in 1988.

He ended his Test career with 48 appearances for the All Blacks, of which 22 were in Tests.

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