Training at the top

August 16th, 2018

RECOGNITION: Hannah Parry in her classroom.HANNAH Parry’s classroom at Job Link Plus glows with the warmth of her enthusiasm. She says it’s a vocation, and that dedication earned her the VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year award at last Friday’s regional State Training Awards. Hannah will now go on to compete at state level. She felt both proud and humbled by the recognition of her efforts.

“Look, I just love doing this. It’s my passion now and I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Hannah said.

For the past three years, Hannah has taught certificates in Aged Care, Community Services, Disability Support Services, Business, and Motivational Skills and introduced a Community Services certificate at Boggabilla within the Indigenous community.

“It’s my whole life. My husband will say, ‘Are you ever going to get away from that computer?’ and I say, ‘Just one more thing. I just want to give them a little but more.’”

Job Link manager Ros Orchard said Hannah has been asset for their training team with the level of her commitment to the students.

“She had the qualifications, she had the background, so that wasn’t an issue, but the thing I’ve found since she’s been here is her passion, and she engages her students,” she said.

“So they all go into that room, they all come out 26 weeks later with a qualification. Because they have to do work placement, she helps them with all of that, if they get behind, she catches them up.

“She just goes that extra mile. She’s a gem, she really is a gem.”

AWARDS: (Back from left) David Sainsbury (Senior Manager Training, Joblink Plus Tamworth), Hannah’s student Debra Offer (finalist in the Vocational Student of the Year Category), Christine Shewry (CEO, Joblink Plus Tamworth), (front) Hannah’s student Leticia Moore (finalist in the Vocational Student of the Year Category), Hannah Parry (winner of the 2014 Trainer/VET Teacher of the Year Award) with Ros Orchard (Business Manager, Joblink Plus Inverell).

The road to Hannah’s job began after years as an aged care and disability worker.

Circumstances caused her to think about her future, and she decided on a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to change the focus of caring to teaching. Shortly afterwards, a tailor-made job opportunity seemed fall in her lap.

“It was really funny. I was driving out to a client’s house, and Ros advertised a Training and Assessment position here, so I turned straight back around, and rang her and applied. And it’s just gone on from there,” she said.

“I think you have to make yourself available, and I do right from day one. I say, ‘Look, the lines are open, not just within class time. They’re open all the time’.”

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Green light for CBD plan

August 16th, 2018

THOSE who thought Wednesday’s council meeting would see some very vigorous debate were not disappointed when The Town Centre Renewal Plan came up for endorsement.

The plan is one step closer to fruition after council voted in favour of it, but not before opponents had had their say.

Former councillors Larry Cameron and Peter Lloyd along with Greg and Sue Moran spoke out against the plan at the start of the meeting during public forum. All suggested changes they considered necessary to be made to the plan.

When the matter finally came up on the agenda, it was former mayor, Barry Johnston, who moved ‘that we adopt in principle the Town Centre Renewal Plan, and that the working party that was put in place for the development of that plan have a continuing role and assist with the management.’

“Obviously, out of that the next step for council would be to develop a long-term plan of the method, and the funding and the construction program for that development,” Cr Johnston said.

“What we have to understand is that we have to maintain a safe area.

“I don’t believe that some of the issues that are currently in place could be regarded as safe in the long-term. We would only need one court case and the cost of the new plan would pale into insignificance, if it was a major accident.”

Cr Johnston said he believed that the recommendations that had been made to council were appropriate and needed to be phased in over a long period, according to the finances available.

Deputy mayor Di Baker withdrew from the debate citing her ownership of a building in Vivian Street as a conflict of interest.

Cr Mal Peters said he was vehemently opposed to the proposal and called it a waste of money.

“I don’t think council can spend ratepayer’s hard earned money like drunken sailors. It has no surplus money to waste on this type of thing and I see absolutely no reason to do it,” Cr Peters said.

“I have sat around this table a lot of times and heard councillors rave about how fantastic our CBD is, and now we’ve got to go ahead and spend a lot of money on it. Well, I don’t see it.

“I thought a statement by a guy called Sir John Benn really fits into this situation. He said ‘politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy’, and that’s what’s going on here if ever I’ve seen it.”

Various aspects of the draft plan were debated heavily, with councillors outlining their preferred variations of it.

It prompted Cr Harmon to remind the councillors that they had already had the opportunity to make recommendations about what they wanted in and out of the plan on no less than four occasions during the evolution of the plan.

“So do we want to make it five times?” he asked.

“I want to make it quite clear that you’ve been given that opportunity to have all that on numerous occasions. It comes to the pointy end of to make the decision and we want to go back to the community again and say, well perhaps we need to take this out and put this back in.

“We’re endorsing the proposal for ongoing design plans to come through for then a roll-out plan where council than will still have an input into the implementation.”

Cr Johnston’s motion was successful and the plan would seem to be over it’s first hurdle.

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NATURAL: A chance opportunity gave James Anderson discovered he had a talent for wool-classing. JAMES Anderson attended last Friday’s regional State Training Awards as a finalist for Trainee of the Year. The title is awarded at the end of the night but not long after the event began, he found himself in a spotlight beam.

“I only just grabbed a drink and sat down and was about to get into the swing of things and they called me name out, and I didn’t know what to do,” he said, laughing.

Attention was on the 21-year-old’s nomination for the prestigious Phil Darby Memorial Award for his Certificate IV as a wool-classer.

The award is a state encouragement award for apprentices and trainees who navigate challenges to complete their vocational training, or contribute to their organisation and community.

James has joined about nine other nominees state-wide to compete for the honour to be announced in September.

Earning his certificate IV in wool classing was far from James’s thoughts.

Town born and bred, his employer/ trainer Scott Hallam of Goodas Wool Traders said James’ achievement and natural classing ability are impressive.

“He never saw wool in his life, didn’t know anything about sheep; nothing.

“He’s gone in two years from being the number one buyer here to assistant manager when he hadn’t seen a sheep in his life in just on two years,” Scott said. “His award the other night just blew the house away; knocked everyone out, you know, ‘cause no one was expecting it.”

James had a collection of jobs before Scott offered him a job at Goodas.

“I started at the bottom. I was pressing bales; that’s all that I was doing. I did not think there was this much to it.

“Coming here and then getting a shot at something else and I wanted to give it my all. Basically I have, and it’s paid off.

“All the other jobs I’ve had, they haven’t been careers. With this, I saw a career and I’ve been told what I can achieve.”

Pauline Smith, Armidale TAFE Head Teacher for wool and sheep nominated James for the award.

She said James embodied the definition of a committed trainee and had

“He was just so receptive and open to learning,” she said.

“Working in the wool store won’t be the last thing he’ll do. He’ll go on to other things, he might go into wool buying, he might work overseas as a wool merchant.

“The opportunities are sort of limitless for him now.”

The young wool classer has already been approached by a large exporter in Melbourne, with a job waiting if he wanted it.

“That’s high as you can basically go,” James said, though he knows it’s only the start of his education.

“I’m still learning things every day. No sheep’s ever the same, and the wool that comes off them isn’t; the same.

“You pick things up, you get taught different things from people that have been around for years doing it.”

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GALLERY: Behind the scenes at the Great Moscow Circus HARD AT WORK: Dmitri Shostov watching Ebon Grayman teach him some skills on the silks with Orchid Rae looking on. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Jessica Larkin, Dorado and Tabi Konig. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Volo Romashov, Dmitri Shostov, Ebon Grayman and Orchid Rae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Guest performer Ebon Grayman and his daughter Orchid Rae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Preparations for another performance of the Great Moscow Circus in full swing. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Dmitri Shostov listens to Ebon Grayman. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Oxana Belyaeva and Zaryna Martisevich during ballet training. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Guest performer Ebon Grayman with his daughter Orchid Rae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Zaryna Martisevich says hello to Orchid Rae while training with Oxana Belyaeva. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Ebon Grayman with his daughter Orchid Rae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Performers training and practicing for the show. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Natalia Gerasymenko training Viktoriya Gerasymenko to be a future star of the circus. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Guest performer Ebon Grayman with his daughter Orchid Rae. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

HARD AT WORK: Volo Romashov, Dmitri Shostov and Ebon Grayman. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

TweetFacebookCentral Western Dailyphotographer Jude Keogh was allowed behind the scenes to take some snaps of the performers and animals preparing for the night’s show.

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Australia’s Nick Kyrgios celebrates victory in his second round match against Richard Gasquet of France. Photo: Getty ImagesNick Kyrgios is in new grand slam territory, having earned his place in the Wimbledon third round in extraordinary circumstances. It was easily the biggest career win for the Australian teenager, although there was nothing easy about it, Kyrgios forced to recover from a two-set deficit against 13th seed Richard Gasquet and to save nine match points.

The first three came at 4-5 in the fifth set, and the others in the next three service games, one of them salvaged by a Hawk-eye challenge on what had been called a double-fault. But whenever elimination threatened, the 19-year-old found a way to survive it, finally breaking serve himself in the 17th game and serving out the match 3-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-5, 10-8 in just under four hours to earn a standing ovation on a packed court two.

Kyrgios has won a round in three of his five main draw grand slam appearances, but never – until this time – more than one. The youngest player in the men’s draw was the second-last Australian; as Lleyton Hewitt prepares to depart, he is arriving. And just might have. Just now.

The highest-ranked player Kyrgios had previously beaten was No.51 Radek Stepanek on debut in a major at Roland Garros last year. Gasquet has been as high as seventh, and is still among the game’s elite. The Frenchman served exceptionally for most of the match, but was able to convert just two of his 16 break point chances, slightly tentative at some key moments, but repelled again and again.

“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career so far,” said Kyrgios, who will now play Czech wildcard Jiri Vesely, a five-set winner over Gael Monfils. Next could be world No.1 Rafael Nadal a four-set winner against his 2012 conqueror Lukas Rosol on centre court.

“I’m stoked and I’m just happy to get through again. Well done to Richard, as well. It was an unbelievable match.”

But one that started almost unremarkably. The Kyrgios way is to hit out boldly, and so he did against Gasquet, whose defence was so outstanding that it prompted a slightly nervous Kyrgios to go for even more. Then again, Kyrgios was not going to win an attritional baseline war with the experienced Frenchman, who was winning grasscourt titles when Kyrgios was a primary school student back in Canberra, shooting hoops at least as often as he was hitting tennis balls.

Kyrgios was regularly pulled out of position by the Gasquet groundstrokes, and at 2-5 in the first set called for a trainer to treat and remove the kinesiotape from his left knee. He is an explosive athlete, but still a maturing one, and Gasquet had him well covered, in most respects.

The foundation of the Kyrgios game is his serve, but while that proved to be shaky at times, the world No.144 could make no early impression on Gasquet’s, his first break point taking more than one hour to arrive. The pair’s only previous match had been on clay in February’s Davis Cup tie, when the first set went to a tiebreak, before Gasquet dominated the next two.

This time, Kyrgios lost the first seven points, and then his opening service game on a double fault as he attempted a brave/ambitious second serve. The next break came in the third game of the second set when a backhand volley sailed long and Kyrgios belted a ball out of the stands in disgust, earning a code violation warning from chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani.

But from 3-5 down, Kyrgios won consecutive games for the first time, breaking back for 5-5 with the help of a Gasquet double-fault at deuce. At this early stage of his tour-level career, he had already compiled an impressive 9-5 record in tiebreaks – three of them coming in his grand slam debut 13 months ago at Roland Garros against Radek Stepanek – but he always trailed in this one, Gasquet showcasing all his skills on both attack and defence.

Still, the match had tightened up, and Kyrgios got his reward by taking the third in 36 minutes, his 17th and last winner a nice wrong-footing forehand down the line. The former world No.1 junior has touch as well as power, drop-shotting handily at times, using deft angles at others.

The other factor is his body, which has already proved to be worryingly injury-prone, an elbow issue responsible for his most recent two-month stretch on the sidelines. Cramps cost Kyrgios dearly at the Australian Open, when he had led another Frenchman, Benoit Paire, by two sets to love. On a different surface and in far different circumstances fitness was not an issue this time.

He was two points from defeat at 4-5 in the fourth set, before an unexpected break in the 11th game, then saved two break-back points to force a fifth set. There, the drama continued, was magnified exponentially, with Kyrgios under extreme pressure on serve, yet somehow holding on.

Despite the rankings and results disparity, the teen had been given some chance going into the match, the theory being that Gasquet had trailed another, lesser, Australian – James Duckworth – by two-sets-to-one before winning in five in the opening round. And given that Kyrgios is an emerging superstar, and had just won a Challenger title on grass then, well, game on.

And, as it turned out, on, and on. “I came up with some clutch serving, that’s my main weapon, it’s what got me here,” said Kyrgios. Count on him staying. A towering talent is now something more.

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