Archive for October 2018

Squeals of excitement filled Sacred Heart Primary School yesterday as the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter paid students a visit.

EXCITED students received a lesson in water rescue yesterday when the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter touched down at Sacred Heart Primary School.Crew members fielded questions from students, who were full of knowledge after learning all about the rescue service as part of a school program.Sacred Heart was selected from more than 300 schools across the country to host the helicopter and crew members who demonstrated water rescue methods, talked about some of their toughest days on the job and reinforced the importance of water safety.

Chopper show thrills students HELPING HAND: Isaak Newcombe demonstrates the harness-safety procedure with student Zak Stavroudakis yesterday.

The rescue helicopter arrives at Sacred Heart Primary.

Student Francis Hogan asks lifesaver Isaak Newcombe a question about the helicopter. Pictures: Carmel Zaccone

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IN: Joey Leilua has been named in the centres to face the Warriors at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.KNIGHTS coach Rick Stone has opted for size and experience ahead of unlimited potential by omitting incumbent Test winger Sione Mata’utia from Saturday’s season-opener against the Warriors at Hunter Stadium.

In what must rate as the most agonising selection dilemma of his career, Stone preferred Joey Leilua and Dane Gagai as his centres, naming Mata’utia as Newcastle’s standby player in jersey No.18.

Barring a late switch to the nominated squad, the youngest-ever Kangaroos representative and arguably Newcastle’s brightest prospect since Andrew Johns will be a spectator for at least the first-round showdown.

Gagai and Leilua have been Newcastle’s established centre pairing since early in the 2013 season and are seasoned campaigners with 65 and 100 NRL games respectively to their names.

Mata’utia, 18, made his top-grade debut last season, and his seven games, which produced seven tries, were enough to earn him a shock selection in three Tests during Australia’s Four Nations campaign. He scored a try in Australia’s 22-18 loss to New Zealand in the tournament final.

But for the first time since he burst onto the scene in round 20 last season, the young flyer has experienced a reality check.

Given Stone had already endorsed skipper Kurt Gidley and wingers Akuila Uate and James McManus as his back three, he had three players vying for two centre roles.

Gagai, who did not miss a game for the Knights last season and played in the recent All Stars match, was retained as right centre, leaving Stone to weigh up the merits of Leilua and Mata’utia.

Leilua had a lacklustre pre-season but was preferred possibly because he outweighs Mata’utia by 13kilograms and his powerful frame will come in handy against the heavyweight Warriors.

Leilua is expected to mark devastating ball-carrier Konrad Hurrell.

Given he was wearing the green and gold just three months ago, Mata’utia is entitled to be disappointed, but if an interview with the Herald last week is any guide, he is unlikely to sulk.

Speaking at the Knights’ season launch, Mata’utia said there was ‘‘plenty of time to play plenty of first grade’’.

‘‘The guys that have been here for years deserve respect, and I think it is important to learn from them before you get to take hold of the reins,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m pretty young and I reckon I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’m going to absorb everything the veterans have to tell me and when it is my time I’ll hopefully be ready.’’

It was a brave decision by Stone, especially as Mata’utia and his two brothers, Chanel and Pat, are embroiled in a contract wrangle after signing letters of intent with Canterbury late last year.

Knights officials remain confident all three siblings will renege on their offers from the Bulldogs to re-sign with Newcastle.

Mata’utia’s omission ensures there is plenty of pressure on Newcastle’s outside backs to perform, because he is capable of playing centre, wing and fullback and is a ready-made replacement for anyone who is injured or under-performing.

There also remains a chance he could be a last-minute inclusion.

Stone indicated on Monday that he would choose his team on a horses-for-courses basis and did not rule out 11th-hour changes to his nominated squad.

‘‘Obviously there’s a couple of key positions we’ve still got to sort out, and we might keep those to game day,’’ Stone said. ‘‘It will be up to us to decide what we think is going to be the best balance and formula for the team on the day against the appropriate opposition.’’

The rest of Stone’s squad was as expected.

Korbin Sims will partner Kade Snowden in the front row, while new signing Jack Stockwell, veterans Chris Houston and David Fa’alogo and versatile rookie Tyler Randell are on the bench.

AAP reports: Team medical officers this season will have sideline access to footage of injuries to help them determine their severity.

Last season was the first in which official concussion protocols were in place, and NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said more work had to be done to change the game’s culture.

Players who suffered head knocks last year had to be withdrawn from the field immediately and have cognitive testing by a medical officer.

But some incidents were missed, and Greenberg said the new technology, which will be accessible in a tent nicknamed the ‘‘injury bubble’’ on the side of the field, would allow doctors to spot anything they might have missed.

‘‘Last year 155 players were assessed,’’ Greenberg said.

‘‘In 67 cases the player did not return to the game. That has been unheard of in previous years. There were also 88 cases where the player was assessed and then allowed to return.

‘‘There will be technology on sidelines for doctors to use high-definition screens to track injury. Doctors can look at this at any time during and after game.’’

PIC OF THE DAY: Send your photos of the Wimmera to [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au or tag us on Instagram @wimmeramailtimes and use the hashtag #wakeupwimmera to have your pic included! Picture: @sjflicksta, via Instagram


It’s a partly cloudy day ahead, with a top of 24. The morning should be mostly sunny though – lucky for morning people!


Callawaddashearer Aaron Hemley will have all the liquid support he needs for a world record attempt 48-hour shearing challenge in August. Mount Franklin water has given Mr Hemley $5000 and all the water and Gatorade he needs for the challenge.

Callawadda shearer Aaron Hemley, front, will attempt a 48-hour shearing challenge in August. Stawell Regional Health group has assembled a committee of health professionals to help him prepare for the challenge. The team is, from left, Caroline Teggert, Amanda Hemley, Henry Hemley, Meg Blake, Les Power, Peta Andrews, Peter Edwards, Liz McCourt, Caroline Tuck and Debbie Bach. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER


“There were people lining up to collect their stakes from 3pm who stayed overnight.‘People line up for fishing and iPhones these days it seems.” – Excitement is building ahead of the Horsham Fishing Competition at the weekend, according to assistant secretary Prue Beltz.

Horsham Fishing Competition assistant secretary Prue Beltz with her stake at the Wimmera River ahead of Sunday’s fishing competition. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER


Wimmera winemakers are praising an ideal growing season for the outstanding quality of this year’s grapes.

Noradjuha-Quantong Football Netball Club members Lucy Brand, Chloe Gabbe, Georgia Francis, Bianca Anson and Brooke Pay pick grapes at Norton Estate Wines. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

SPECIAL FEATURE: Day one at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days

Celebrity chef Bree May cooks rabbit risotto at the field days on Tuesday. For more field days pics, click the link above. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

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Police scour bushland near Bonny Hills for evidence relating to the disappearance of William Tyrrell. Photo: Peter Gleeson Person of interest: William Spedding. Photo: Kate Geraghty

Bones found in William Tyrrell search Police scour dense bushland for missing William TyrrellWilliam Tyrrell disappearance: police visit Bill Spedding’s house

The son of tradesman Bill Spedding says his father had nothing to do with the disappearance of three-year-old William Tyrrell as police scour bushland for evidence, including the toddler’s red and blue Spider-Man suit.

Rodney Spedding said his father had been unfairly harassed by the media, even though a number of other homes and properties had been searched by police – some up to three times, he believed.

“He’s got the biggest heart, he’s very generous. Bill has our full support, and [has] no link to the disappearance,” Mr Spedding told Fairfax Media on Tuesday afternoon.

“I feel very upset, it’s upsetting. The media attention has killed his business, and it’s affected his livelihood.”

Police divers are expected to search a murky creek in bushland between Bonny Hills and Lake Cathie on Wednesday morning.

A search involving 30 officers began on Monday but a police source has told Fairfax Media that only a few soft drink cans and a number of logging markers had been found so far.

The source also said police were on the look out for William’s favourite Spider-Man suit and any other items of interest.

Mr Spedding’s Bonny Hills home and Laurieton office was raided by police in January, following William’s disappearance from his grandmother’s home in September.

The 63-year-old became a focus of investigations after police learned he was due to fix a washing machine at William’s grandmother’s house about the time the toddler disappeared.

Searchers have not been directly told to look for a body but the homicide detective in charge of the investigation said it was always a possibility.

“Of course when we are looking for evidence that would also include a body,” Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin said at the search site.

“Clearly the fact and the resources that we dedicated to the search we thought it was worthwhile information to follow up,” he said.

Police have repeatedly said Mr Spedding was not a suspect but a person of interest but he has been the subject of intense media scrutiny in the past several weeks.

Mr Speeding’s son said he wished police would publicly rule his father out of the investigation but understood they had a job to do.

“He doesn’t need the attention he is getting it just seems media have singled him out for some bizarre reason.”

“I was hoping by now they [the police] would come out and say there is no link.”

He said most of the community on the mid-north coast had been very supportive of his father but that it had taken a hard toll.

“It’s been terrible. When it all started [the first police search of his home], they took his phone off him and we weren’t able to contact him and find out what was going on,” he said.

“It was very, very hard and it’s been very hard on Bill and Margaret.”

Mr Spedding said he and one of his sisters would continue to support their father and hoped police would soon find William.

“I’d like to see him found alive and well. I’d love to see them find him – it would be really, really good.”

The current search of bushland is six kilometres from Mr Spedding’s Bonny Hills home and 21 kilometres from the town of Kendall where William was last seen.

Detetective Inspector Jubelin has said the search was initiated after “fresh information” was received in recent weeks and was expected to wrap up on Wednesday afternoon.

“There will be further searches, when and where that will be I’m not prepared to say.”

Anyone with information was urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

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Former Knox Grammar headmaster Dr Ian Paterson offered a heartfelt apology to victims. Former Knox headmaster Ian Paterson leaves the royal commission after giving evidence on his failure to protect the boys in his care. Photo: Christopher Pearce

The faces of Knox’s dark eraWilkinson ‘appalled’ by ribbon removalBoys ‘cheered’ while girl ‘assaulted”Gobsmacked’ paedophiles still there

The former headmaster of Knox Grammar School Dr Ian Paterson dismissed a claim that former teacher Craig Treloar watched pornography with a student as just a “silly mistake”, a royal commission has heard.

He also told one boy who reported abuse at the hands of teacher Damien Vance to “go away and think about what he’d said.”

Another former student who was threatening the school with legal action over claims he had been molested by music teacher Barrie Stewart was ignored, the commission heard.

The long-serving former headmaster took the stand for the first time at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and spent most of the day giving evidence, following a heart felt apology to victims.

In evidence, he said he did not realise that it was a crime for a teacher to grope and sexually proposition a student nor was he aware of his legal obligation to report abuse.

The commission also heard evidence Knox Grammar regularly employed staff without doing background checks and teachers known to be suspect were allowed to “resign” from the school with glowing references which did not mention misconduct.

Dr Paterson denied he failed to inform the police of a serious sexual assault on school grounds involving a balaclava-clad man because he was worried about the school’s reputation.

“Controlling the reputation of the school never once entered my head,” he said.

It was widely believed the perpetrator was staff member Christopher Fotis, who was allowed to resign from Knox after being arrested for masturbating outside another school. A warrant has been issued for Fotis’ arrest after his failure to appear at the royal commission to date. His whereabouts are unknown.

Fotis, along with other suspect teachers Vance and Roger James, were given positive references from Knox. Vance and James went on to teach at other schools before being arrested over the Knox sex offences in 2009.

Dr Paterson told the commission he did not quiz Treloar over the pornography claims or attempt to find out whether the incident also involved sexual abuse of a student.

He said Treloar was: “a young, relatively immature teacher who had enormous potential in the profession and who had made a very silly mistake.”

Dr Paterson said he did not ask Stewart whether he had molested a child after his parents complained about the teacher.

Instead, he advised Stewart to stop giving students lifts in his car.

The commission heard evidence that another one of Stewart’s victims, ATJ,was planning to take legal action against the school but Paterson did not report the allegations to police.

ATJ’s student file went missing from the school, the commission heard, along with the file of another student also named in ATJ’s allegations.

Dr Paterson told the commission he believed the boys took the files.

Outside the commission, a former Knox student who was abused at the school described the evidence as “ridiculous” and “mind blowing.”

The former headmaster, who worked at the school from 1969 to 1998 will continue giving evidence at the hearing before Justice Jennifer Coate on Wednesday. Adults Surviving Child Abuse: 1300 657 380Survivors and Mates Support Network: 02 8355 3711Bravehearts: 1800 272 831

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