Inbox and Environment News: Issue 381

October 28 - November 3, 2018: Issue 381

Happy 130th Newport PS!

We hope you all had a really great time this week celebrating the 130 years of your school. Having heard about some of the great projects undertaken by students and their mums and dads it must have been great.

Thank you to all those who thanked us for running a few insights into your great school in The Newport School: 1888 to 2018 - it's good that this was of some benefit.

Did you know that another local gentleman put together a video a few years back that shows Newport, Bilgola, Clareville and Avalon in 1956?

Pittwater Online has run this before for you - BUT, on this very special occasion it's probably worth a second look.

This is John Illingsworth's 2011 reprise of PAPER RUN from the NFSA collection 

John's family has ties to Newport that go back a few generations too!

Here's his film:

Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship (PAMS)

The Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship gives high school students the opportunity to travel on an international study tour to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australians at war. 

The 2019 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship tour 
In 2019 the Scholarship will fund a study tour for 20 students to travel to Germany, France and Belgium during September and October. Students will visit the battlefields where Australians fought to learn about the causes of the First and Second World Wars, and to commemorate their service.

All NSW High Schools were invited to submit an online expression of interest. Applications closed on Monday 15 October 2018. A ballot was held on Wednesday 17 October 2018 to draw 20 schools. Each of the schools drawn is now responsible for selecting a maximum of three History students who are enrolled in either Year 10 or 11 in 2019, and who will turn 16 years of age by 27 September 2019, the departure date of the tour.

The Office for Veterans Affairs will consider the candidates put forward by each school and complete the final selection process to choose one student per school.

Students and parents
Students who meet the selection criteria will be able to apply for the scholarship if their school was selected in the ballot. The schools that were drawn in the ballot are listed below. Student application forms will be made available to eligible students from these schools.

Please contact Veterans Affairs on (02) 8061 9288 if you have any questions. 

PAMS 2019 – Schools drawn in the ballot
School name

Caringbah High School
Carlingford High School
Cecil Hills High School
Champagnat Catholic College
Charlton Christian College
Coonabarabran High School
Crestwood High School
Erskine Park High School
Goulburn High School
Great Lakes College Tuncurry Campus
Holsworthy High School
Jamison High School
Merewether High School
Monte Sant' Angelo
Nowra Christian School
St Brigid's Catholic College
St John Paul II Catholic College
St Patrick's College for Girls
St Stanislaus' College
The Forest High School

Worth A Glance At

You know those great newsletters your school puts out every week or so to keep you informed on what's happening, here are a few after primary and high school versions worth checking out occasionally (or as much as you like) - they're filled with info for you and some even like to hear from you about what you would like to hear about; Uni Junkee and Centrethought for example

There are a lot more that publish stories For you andBy you - some of them run below + Info on these examples. They're proof you should continue to Express Yourself - whether journal-ing at home or getting some stuff in a journal to share with others;

Quality student journalism since 1929
Honi Soit is the weekly student newspaper of the University of Sydney, Australia. Published since 1929 by the Student’s Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Sydney and distributed around campus free for all students to read, Honi Soit has a colorful and sometimes controversial history but has a proud reputation of being the most vibrant and prestigious student publication in Australia. It is also the only weekly student publication in Australia.

Junkee goes beyond the headline to give young Australians a fresh take on what’s going in their world. From movies to politics, TV to tech and everything in-between, Junkee covers a broad spectrum of topics from the things that really matter to the things that don’t.

Online publication aimed at encouraging young people to become more aware of and engaged with the social and political issues that are facing the world today. Centrethought primarily publishes opinion pieces, features and interviews, and are open to submissions.

Our mission is to produce and distribute important information with the aim of young Australians indirectly or directly affected by substance abuse and issues relating to mental health.

YouthWise is used to inform the community on issues such as these with a strong focus on the youth of our society. Our purpose is to reduce stigma, provide access to resources who can offer assistance and reduce harmful community behaviour through education and understanding. Published biannually.

Cordite Poetry Review:
Online poetry journal published three times a year. Cordite is dedicated to showing off new and established Australian poets to the world. The journal publishes poetry, reviews, and spoken word.

Melbourne based collective that have been showcasing new writers since 1989.  The team are made of students from RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program. They accept a wide variety of submissions and are keen on flash fiction and hybrid writing form.

National quarterly magazine that features writing and art by young Australians under 25. Voiceworks publishes poetry, short stories, articles, comics, illustrations, drawings and photos. Each selected piece goes through a collaborative editing process, and individualised feedback is provided for all unsuccessful submissions. Voiceworks also publish an online blog, Virgule.

Medical Research Collaboration Between Australian And United States Researchers

October 25, 2018: Media Release - The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
An agreement signed today between Australia and the Texas Medical Center (TMC) in the United States will allow our world-class medical researchers to collaborate with their US-counterparts on transforming and saving lives through medical breakthroughs and clinical trials.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Federal Government and the renowned TMC in Canberra today, will enable Australian medical researchers to better develop clinical practice and commercial opportunities in the areas of genomics, rare cancers, brain cancer research and current and emerging clinical trials.

Negotiations have been underway since June 2018, and Australia is now the first country to form such an agreement with TMC, home to the world’s largest children’s hospital and the world’s largest cancer hospital.

This MoU demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting Australia’s world-class health system. It will provide economic opportunities and Australian patients could potentially be given earlier access to breakthrough medical technologies and treatment.

Medical Research is currently a $1 billion industry in Australia and it is expected to triple in size, if not quadruple, in the next five years delivering huge economic outcomes, but more importantly lifesaving results.

The Australian Government is committed to further strengthening Australia’s reputation as a global leader in health and medical research through building stronger links between researchers, industry, academia, and governments in the innovation process including with international partners.

This commitment to medical research is evidenced through the establishment of the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund which has been established as an endowment fund to provide a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research and is the single largest boost in health and medical research funding in Australia’s history. 

Health and medical research is a key pillar supporting Australia’s world-class health system and is critical to improving healthcare and improving the health of our nation.

Defence Force Chief Hails The Impact Of Serving Women

October 25, 2018: ANU
Australia's Chief of Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, has spoken of how the increasing rate of women entering into the armed forces has improved the nation's military capabilities.

Praising the impact of women in Australia's armed forces, General Campbell told the 2018 Women in National Security conference the Defence Force is not an environment where it is singularly the size of your bicep that matters.

General Campbell said he was pleased with the recent uptake of women joining the defence force.

 "Around 40 per cent of people entering the Air Force are women. About 30 per cent entering the Navy are women. About 20 per cent entering the Army are women," General Campbell said.

"Those entry rates are very promising and positive, in terms of the future workforce and the potential of that workforce.

"In our most recent operational commitment, in the Philippines, you see those numbers being reflected in terms of the percentages of women serving. We are in the high teens in terms of women as a part of that force."

General Campbell expressed his bewilderment with people, mostly men, who still did not seem to understand the benefits the increase of women is having on the Defence Force.

"What it does not provide is any diminution in capability of the Defence Force, in fact the reverse," he said.

"By drawing on a wider community of Australians who wish to serve their nation, we have the opportunity for a more talented, more diversely capable organisation that can engage across the range of occupational settings we participate in."

General Campbell said Australia's military activities in Afghanistan had provided some clear lessons in how deploying more women could result in improved operational outcomes.

"There is an operational effect that, when we started those activities in Afghanistan, was under optimised for our purpose," General Campbell said.

"If you want to participate wholly and fully in that operation but you are a company of say 120 men, you will only talk to 50 per cent of the population and you will rarely be invited inside the walls of the family compound."

In only its second year the ANU Women in National Security Conference has established itself as one of the most influential events for Australia's defence and national security sectors.

Australia's Chief of Defence Force, General Angus Campbell. Image; ANU

2018 NSW Sports Awards Finalists Announced!

Following a record number of nominations across 13 categories, the finalists comprise outstanding NSW athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and organisations from a broad cross section of the NSW Sports Sector, with successes and achievements both within Australia and on the world stage. 

The NSW Sporting community is invited to attend the announcement of this year's NSW Sports Awards winners, alongside the induction of five icons of NSW sport into the NSW Hall of Champions, at the 2018 NSW Champions of Sport Ceremony. 

The winners are announced at the 2018 NSW Champions of Sport Ceremony on Tuesday 27 November 2018 at Rosehill Gardens.

Boyd Cordner Rugby League
Jessica Fox Paddle
Stephanie Gilmore Surfing
Matthew Graham Freestyle Skiing
Ellyse Perry Cricket
Brandon Starc Athletics
Melissa Wu Diving

Christopher Burton Gymnastics
Madison de Rozario Wheelchair Track and Field
Kurt Fearnley AO Wheelchair Track and Field
Erik Horrie Rowing
Matthew Levy OAM Swimming
Barney Miller Surfing
Lauren Parker Triathlon

Macy Callaghan Surfing
Tom Cornish Cycling
Keenan Derry Barefoot Waterskiing
Ashleigh Gardner Cricket
Adam Lambert Snowboard Cross
Jemma Smith Surf Life Saving

Erin Cleaver Athletics
Tim Hodge Swimming
Kailyn Joseph Little Athletics
Taj Lynch Football
Adam Orchard Australian Football
Oscar Stubbs Blind Cricket

Pauline Findlay Paddle
Elizabeth Hole Archery
Sally McKenna Cycling
Laura Thurtell Surf Life Saving
Gabi Watts Athletics
Jenny Whiteley Masters Swimming

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues Rugby League
NSW Men's Softball Team Softball
NSW Rugby Women's Super W Team Rugby Union
Sydney FC Football
Sydney Sixers WBBL Cricket
Sydney University Lions Water Polo

Marie Little OAM Shield NSW Netball Team Netball
NSW Cerebal Palsy Football Team Football
NSW Deaf Touch Football Team Touch Football
NSW Goalball Mixed Youth Team Goalball
NSW Wheelchair Rugby League Team Wheelchair Rugby League
Wollongong Roller Hawks Wheelchair Basketball

Football NSW 
Gymnastics NSW  
Hockey NSW  
Netball NSW  
NSW Rugby League 

Blacktown City Council 
City of Parramatta Council  
City of Wagga Wagga  
Cumberland Council  
Lake Macquarie City Council  
Upper Hunter Shire Council 

Australian Orienteering Championships Orienteering
Blue Harmony Cup Rugby League
NSW Surf Life Saving Championships Surf Life Saving
NSW Touch Junior State Cup Touch Football
Softball Asia Pacific Cup Softball
The Sydney International Tennis

Joanne Broadbent Cricket
Brad Fittler Rugby League
Adam Kable Swimming
Louise Savage OAM Wheelchair Track and Field
Alen Stajcic Football
Alex Stewart Athletics

Kyira Cox Softball
Zeke Newman Hockey
Michelle Phippard Netball
Chris Sinclair Squash
Cherry Smith Swimming
Kip Stavrou Martial Arts

Craig Beed Hockey
Jo Fernandes Football
Mark Geppert Australian Football
Andrew Jones Cricket
Phillip McDermott Judo
Rebecca Shaw Netball

Regional NSW To Host 2019 NRL Matches

October 23, 2018: NSW Government
Bathurst, Wagga Wagga and Mudgee will host three matches during the 2019 NRL Premiership.
The NRL and the NSW Government have worked together to bring these team’s home games to regional NSW:

Penrith Panthers, Round 3, Saturday 30 March in Bathurst
Canberra Raiders, Round 8, Saturday 4 May in Wagga Wagga
St George Illawarra Dragons, Round 10, Sunday 19 May in Mudgee.
Mudgee proved it has a passionate NRL fan base in 2018. Almost 9000 fans came to town to watch the Dragons edge out the Canberra Raiders in a thrilling game. With additional promotion planned for 2019’s match, even more supporters are expected to plan a trip to Mudgee.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said major sporting events are an excellent way to drive more visitors to the regions.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring every corner of NSW gets its fair share of the record tourist dollars and investment coming into our State,” Mr Marshall said.

“Regional NSW has the facilities required to host major sporting events and I am delighted the NSW Government has partnered with the NRL to showcase the best of the NRL in regional NSW.”

A New Name For VVCS

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service – known to many as VVCS – has been officially relaunched as ‘Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling’ by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Darren Chester MP.

Following strong advocacy by Vietnam veterans, the service was established in 1982 as the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service. In 2007, it was renamed VVCS (the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service) to reflect the fact that the expanded service was now available to all Australian combat veterans, including peacekeepers, and their families.

The rebranding as ‘Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling’ reflects that eligibility has again significantly expanded. The service is now available to anyone who has served a day in the ADF, and their family.

The rebranding was led by the independent VVCS National Advisory Committee (NAC), which unanimously agreed to the new name and tagline. The NAC includes representatives of all of VVCS’s client cohorts, including Vietnam veterans, veterans and families, as well as other key stakeholders.

The Open Arms brand was co-designed with Vietnam veterans, currently serving ADF personnel, Reservists, partners and families, contemporary veterans and VVCS peer network advisers.

To gain access to Open Arms’s free and confidential support 24/7, call 1800 011 046. You can also visit the Open Arms website.

More information about the rebranding is available in a longer version of this article in Vetaffairs.

Building A Lasting Legacy For Regional NSW

October 25, 2018: NSW Government
The NSW Government is turning its 20-year Economic Vision for Regional NSW into a reality, announcing five infrastructure priorities that will be funded by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.

Each priority is expected to transform regional communities, generating significant social and economic benefits for residents.

The five priority areas will focus on:
  • water security in priority catchments
  • reliable, high-speed internet
  • improving passenger rail and road transport between regional centres and metropolitan areas
  • freight linkages, including investigating an international air freight hub
  • establishing special activation precincts to drive business investment and create jobs.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the NSW Government's $4.2 billion commitment is a once-in-a-lifetime investment for regional NSW.

“These are big-picture projects that generations before us have dreamed of and generations that follow us will benefit from,” Mr Barilaro said.  

“This fund will ensure regional NSW continues to receive the investment it needs to make our regions a great place to live, raise a family, start a business or visit.”

$80 Million Investment In Eye Medication

October 24, 2018: Media Release - The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
The Australian Government will invest $80 million in eye medications through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), helping improve and preserve the vision of thousands of Australians and saving them up to $7,000 a year.
From 1 November 2018, patients will get new subsidised treatment options for a range of eye conditions including Ozurdex® (dexamethasone) for the treatment of blocked veins in the retina due to a condition known as retinal vein occlusion, which leads to varying degrees of vision loss.

This medicine works by preventing and suppressing inflammation that makes the condition worse. It is expected to benefit around 3,300 patients per year and it will be provided to patients who do not achieve improvement with other medicines to treat this condition. 

Without this PBS listing, this medication would cost patients around $5,000 a year for treatment or more than $1,350 per script. Under the PBS patients will pay a maximum of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients, including pensioners, paying just $6.40.

The current PBS listing for the medication Lucentis® will be expanded for patients suffering from types of choroidal neovascularization not currently covered on the PBS, a condition that is associated with unwanted growth of new blood vessels in the eye that impact vision, including due to pathological myopia (a type of extremely acute near-sightedness).

It will also be listed for other types of rare choroidal neovascularisation that is not related to aged-based macular degeneration.

This treatment is an injection in the eye and has the potential to improve a patient’s eye sight. 

This listing will mean an additional 1,200 patients a year will be able to access this medicine, which would cost up to $7,000 a year for treatment without PBS subsidy. Under the PBS Australian patients will pay a maximum of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients paying only $6.40.

These conditions relate to forms of macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of legal blindness in Australia, and which is responsible for about 50 per cent of all cases of blindness.

These listings have the potential to preserve the precious sight of Australians and make it more affordable. It will make a difference to patients and their families who are battling poor and deteriorating vision due to a range of diseases.

The Morrison Government’s strong economic management means we are providing Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before. 

This is in stark contrast to Labor’s approach who delayed the listing of several medicines because they couldn’t manage their own Budget. 

Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising close to $10 billion worth of new medicines. We are now making on average one new PBS listing every single day.

The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listings announced today.

The Committee is independent of Government by law and in practice. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from PBAC.

Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the independent medical experts. 

In the Budget we announced our commitment to invest $2.4 billion in new medicines to build on our commitment to guarantee those essential services that all Australians rely on. 

Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system. 

A Dog's Color Could Impact Longevity Increase Health Issues

October 22, 2018: University of Sydney
New research led by the University of Sydney has revealed the life expectancy of chocolate Labradors is significantly lower than their black and yellow counterparts.

The study of more than 33,000 United Kingdom-based Labrador retrievers of all colours shows chocolate Labradors also have a higher incidence of ear infections and skin disease. Its findings were published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology today.

Part of the University's VetCompass™ Programme, which collects and analyses electronic patient data on dogs, the research is being replicated in Australia, where Labradors are the most popular breed of dog.

In the UK, the median longevity of non-chocolate Labradors is 12.1 years, more than 10 percent longer than those with chocolate coats. The prevalence of ear inflammation (otitis externa) was twice as high in chocolate Labradors, who were four times more likely to have suffered from pyo-traumatic dermatitis (also known as hot-spot).

Lead author Professor Paul McGreevy, from the University's Faculty of Science, said the relationship between coat colour and disease came as a surprise to researchers. The UK findings may not hold in Australian Labradors, he said, but warrant investigation.

"The relationships between coat colour and disease may reflect an inadvertent consequence of breeding certain pigmentations," he said. "Because chocolate colour is recessive in dogs, the gene for this colour must be present in both parents for their puppies to be chocolate. Breeders targeting this colour may therefore be more likely to breed only Labradors carrying the chocolate coat gene. It may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher proportion of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions."

Across the entire Labrador population, the most common health conditions found were obesity, ear infections and joint conditions.

"We found that 8.8 percent of UK Labradors are overweight or obese, one of the highest percentages among dog breeds in the VetCompass™ database," Professor McGreevy said.

The prevalence was higher among male dogs who had been neutered.

Labrador retrievers under primary veterinary care in the UK was co-authored with colleagues from the London's Royal Veterinary College (RVC), where the VetCompass™ programme™ began in 2007, as a collaboration with the University of Sydney. VetCompass Australia now operates as a consortium comprising all of Australia's veterinary schools, supported by the Australian Research Council.

Paul D. McGreevy, Bethany J. Wilson, Caroline S. Mansfield, Dave C. Brodbelt, David B. Church, Navneet Dhand, Ricardo J. Soares Magalhães, Dan G. O’Neill. Labrador retrievers under primary veterinary care in the UK: demography, mortality and disorders. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2018; 5 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40575-018-0064-x

Tough Laws Prevent Gun Deaths Global Report Finds

October 19, 2018: James Cook University
A major global report confirms gun-related homicides, suicides and accidents are falling in Australia after the introduction of anti-gun laws, and that the effect of such tough laws is similar elsewhere.

Associate Professor Richard Franklin from James Cook University in Australia joined hundreds of academics and organisations around the world to produce the report, that looked at firearm deaths outside of war zones between 1990 and 2016.

"In Australia we went from 614 firearm deaths in 1990 to 274 in 2016. That's a fall from 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people to 1 per 100,000 in 2016," he said.

Dr Franklin said the Australian National Firearms Agreement, enacted following the murder of 35 people in Tasmania in 1996 by a lone gunman armed with high-powered weapons, has been closely linked with declines in firearm deaths in Australia.

"We've seen a decline particularly in firearm suicides and an absence of mass shootings. It's a pattern we see in South Africa and Brazil, with tougher gun laws leading to a fall in firearm deaths in those places too," he said.

The researchers estimate that in 2016, over a quarter of a million-people died from firearm injuries. With six countries -- Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala -- accounting for just over half of those deaths.

El Salvador recorded the worst results -- its national age-standardised rate of gun deaths was 38.9 per 100,000 persons in 2016. By contrast, Singapore reported no firearms deaths that year.

Dr Franklin said that in all but one year between 1990 and 2016, the death toll from firearms used outside of war zones was higher than that within, with the majority being homicides.

"The numbers vary greatly from country to country, but globally we have seen no significant change in firearm homicide rates over this time period, though there has been a decrease in suicides, leading to a small fall in the number of firearm deaths overall."

Dr Franklin said men are at an overwhelmingly higher risk of dying from intentional or unintentional use of firearms than women.

"Men are the most likely victims of firearms and also the most likely perpetrators of firearm violence. This opens up the possibility of specific, targeted forms of intervention that address firearm use both by and against men," he said.

Dr Franklin said there were different patterns of firearm deaths, with homicide predominant in some countries and suicide in others, and both would require different strategies to combat them.

Globally, 64% of firearm injury deaths in 2016 were homicides and 27% were suicides. Around nine percent were accidents.

There was an annualised decrease of 0.9% in the global rate of age-standardised firearm deaths from 1990 to 2016.

Aggregate firearm injury deaths in 2016 were highest among persons aged 20 -24 years. There were an estimated 34,700 firearm-related deaths for men and 3580 for women in that age group.

Among children aged up to 14 years, there were an estimated 7220 deaths globally from firearm-related injuries in 2016.

Unintentional firearm injuries were 9.1% of the total, causing an estimated 22,900 deaths in 2016.

Globally, rates of firearm suicide decreased between 1990 and 2016 at an annualised rate of 1.6%, the fastest decreases were in the Philippines and Australia.

The researchers say that efforts to reduce the number of firearms in homes and supporting secure storage of existing firearms can reduce unintentional death, particularly for children, while also limiting immediate access to a means of harm that generally does not allow an opportunity for second thoughts.

The Global Burden of Disease 2016 Injury Collaborators. Global Mortality From Firearms, 1990-2016. JAMA, 2018; 320 (8): 792 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.10060

Older Australians Missing Out On Vital Exercise To Stay Healthy

October 22, 2018: CSIRO
The survey of more than 5,600 CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet subscribers found 65 per cent of people aged 51-70 years, and 86 per cent of people over 71, did not think resistance exercise was important for weight loss and overall health. Only one in two adults added resistance exercise to their weekly program.

"While resistance exercise is beneficial at any age, it becomes even more important as we get older and experience muscle loss associated with ageing," CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Professor Grant Brinkworth said.

"If you're in your 30s or 40s and not doing resistance exercise, establishing the habit now can provide many lifelong health benefits.

"Resistance exercise can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis, type II diabetes, and heart disease – and with millions of Australians living with two or more chronic diseases, it's critical that people exercise as they age to sustain their health and quality of life."

The survey also found that, overall, two-thirds of people were not aware of the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, which recommends adults be active on most - preferably all - days.

Professor Brinkworth said only seven per cent of respondents knew the guidelines recommended at least two muscle-strengthening resistance exercise sessions a week, and 77 per cent thought brisk walking was the best way to lose weight.

"Resistance training involves working your muscles against some form of weight or force, such as your own body weight," he said.

"It increases muscle strength and plays a key role in body composition changes important for weight management, particularly for women who lose proportionately more lean muscle tissue than men when losing weight. This can slow down the metabolism, which works against weight loss efforts.

"Regular resistance training, with a higher protein diet is a powerful combination and can result in greater weight loss, fat loss and reduction in waist circumference, compared to a higher carbohydrate diet with exercise, or just diet alone."

The survey found people avoided resistance exercise for a variety of reasons, including an aversion to going to the gym, lack of time from family commitments, and fear of injury.

"It is not necessary to go a gym for a good resistance workout – you can easily do this in the comfort of your own home, even by just using your own bodyweight for resistance, and while keeping one eye on the kids," Professor Brinkworth said.

To support people in incorporating resistance training into their lives, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online program has introduced a new companion exercise plan, providing at-home resistance workouts. To learn more visit 

2018 NSW Grandparent Of The Year Award

October 24, 2018: NSW Dept. Family & Community Services
Ahead of Grandparents Day this Sunday, an inspirational grandfather has been named 2018 NSW Grandparent of the Year for going above and beyond to support his grandchildren while caring for his wife, who lives with a spinal injury.

Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies congratulated the 2018 NSW Grandparent of the Year Warwick Bedford, as well as award finalists, and announced winners of the NSW Grandparents Day Photography Competition at an awards ceremony in Sydney today.

"Grandparents selflessly dedicate their time and energy to make our communities better, and their volunteering, sharing of knowledge, and support for families across the State should be commended," Mrs Davies said.

Mr Bedford said he was grateful to be able to spend time with his grandkids, have fun and provide guidance to them.

"Being a grandparent is very rewarding. These awards are a great way to acknowledge all of the wonderful grandparents out there, who in many cases are the glue that keep families together," Mr Bedford said.

Mrs Davies said finalists included Patricia Totenhofer, grandmother of 24 from Blaxland, as well as Irene Newton who travels from Terrigal to Hornsby to assist her grandson and other disabled students in his classroom.

"The extraordinary finalists are just a few of the thousands of seniors in NSW that give back to their loved ones and the community. I encourage everyone to celebrate a special senior to show their gratitude this Grandparents Day."

The winners of the photography competition were also announced today, Angus Lee Forbes from Wareemba in Sydney's inner west won the open age category, and Jess Turner from Jilliby on the Central Coast was chosen for the School Award.

NSW Grandparents Day, an initiative of the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016-2020, is held annually on the last Sunday of October. For more information, or to find local Grandparents Day events, please visit:

Congratulations to our 2018 NSW Grandparent of the Year finalists, Irene Newton, Patricia Totenhofer and Warwick Bedford.

Irene is from Terrigal and she travels to Hornsby to support the school her grandson attends. She assists with classroom and learning activities and assists students with disabilities to learn how to travel on public transport. Irene's grandson has a disability and he beams every time grandma arrives at school to help.

Patricia has been a grandmother for over 43 years and is a grandmother to 24 grandchildren. She has been a volunteer scripture teacher for 30 years and her presence and contribution as a church elder is appreciated by many people every week.

Warwick Bedford, Inverell, is the 2018 NSW Grandparent of the Year. Warwick is involved in many aspects of his grandchildren's lives; volunteering with Ozkick, air cadets, fundraising for sports and volunteering at this grandchildren's school. In addition to all this, he cares for his wife who has a spinal injury.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and congratulations to the award recipients.

New Era In Aged Care Begins With First Quality; Safety Commissioner Announced

October 24, 2018: The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care
Today marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a better, safer aged care system, with Australia’s first aged care quality and safety Commissioner appointed to lead the new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Highly respected and experienced health sector leader Janet Anderson will oversee establishment of the Commission, as it prepares to start intensified compliance monitoring from 1 January 2019.

The new Commission will have a budget of almost $300 million over four years, employing dozens of additional senior compliance officers.

While the Royal Commission into the aged care sector undertakes its critical review, the formation of the Quality and Safety Commission highlights our Government’s absolute commitment to continuing reform.

The new Commission will immediately integrate and streamline the roles of the current Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. 

From January 2020, it will also incorporate the Department of Health’s aged care compliance responsibilities.

The new Commission is a key part of the Australian Government’s response to the recommendations of the Carnell-Paterson review of failures at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service in South Australia. A Bill to establish the Commission is currently in Parliament.

Ms Anderson will oversee the approval, accreditation, assessment, complaints resolution, monitoring and compliance of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers, reporting directly to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care. 

Her appointment and the independent Commission will help usher in a new era in certainty, accountability and confidence in aged care in Australia.

Unannounced re-accreditation audits - which have been law since 1 July and cover all legislated quality and safety standards - are set to jump from 263 this year to almost 900 in 2019.

Unannounced inspections, targeting particular standards, identified risk factors and complaints, are expected to rise to more than 3,000.

There will be $48.2 million specifically to expand monitoring and compliance teams, continue unannounced inspections, better identify sub-standard care and to develop options for a Serious Incident Response Scheme. The Commission will be a one-stop shop for aged care residents, their families and aged care providers on aged care quality and safety matters.

Senior Australians and their families will know who to contact when they need help with a complaint, a concern or when something goes wrong. They will know that the aged care system is safe and will support their choices, rather than make choices for them.

Providers will also benefit from being able to deal with one regulatory agency, and know who to contact in relation to their accreditation, quality monitoring and compliance requirements.

Establishment of the new Commission is part of our Government’s record aged care funding boost, with the recent Federal Budget increasing aged care spending by $5 billion.

Ms Anderson has extensive management experience, particularly in the health sector, including leadership roles at State, Territory and Commonwealth levels.

She was First Assistant Secretary, Health Services, in the Commonwealth Department of Health 2012-2015, and Director, Inter-Government and funding Strategies in the New South Wales Department of Health 2006-2011.

For the past two years, Ms Anderson has held the positions of Deputy Chief Executive and acting Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Department of Health. 

In 2009, she was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding work in health policy development and reform.

She will be assisted by aged care medical expert Associate Professor Michael Murray, who is working as the new interim Chief Clinical Advisor to support key establishment activities. 

Associate Professor Murray has a broad range of management, clinical and clinical teaching experience in aged care as the medical director of Continuing Care and head of Geriatric Medicine at Austin Health, Melbourne.

He is also the President of the Board of Directors at the National Ageing Research Institute, Associate Professor at Melbourne University and Adjunct Associate Professor Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care and La Trobe University.

The permanent appointment of a clinical advisor to the Commission will be a matter for the new Commissioner.

In the lead up to the launch of the new Commission on 1 January, anyone who has concerns over the quality of aged care or services should contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552 or go to .

CBA Decision To End Reverse Mortgages Disappoints National Seniors

October 25, 2018
National Seniors Australia has expressed its disappointment in a Commonwealth Bank decision to stop offering reverse mortgages, where retirees take a loan against the equity in their homes.

Its service to new borrowers, along with that of CBA’s subsidiary Bankwest, will cease from 1 January 2019.

Both banks will continue to support their existing customers who, according to the banks, only comprise a small portion of their overall home loan business.

National Seniors Australia’s Financial Information Desk Senior Officer Basil La Brooy said reverse mortgages, which had been provided as a lump sum, a line of credit, a cash reserve or a combination of these options, had helped asset-rich but cash poor retirees improve the quality of their lives.

The main benefit was the interest and fees generally did not need to be paid until the borrower sold their home.

Mr La Brooy said another major player exiting the reverse mortgage market – CBA was the last of the major banks to do so – would limit the options for retirees, who typically didn’t have enough income to qualify for a loan.

“It is a major disappointment,” Mr La Brooy told financial website Canstar this week.

“Generally, from my observations, people were sensible about it and understood in broad terms the implications of the product,” Mr La Brooy said.

Canstar Research Manager Mitch Watson said reverse mortgages were generally used by retirees who needed some additional income over a period or by those who needed to make larger purchases or home renovations to improve their living conditions.

“Reverse mortgages come with no negative equity guarantees (which means the debt is not allowed to be larger than the value of the property),” Mr Watson said.

“This removes a good portion of the risk, however, ultimately depending on how much the property is leveraged, it can leave the estate with limited funds to cover other financial commitments.”

He also warned that compound interest and falling property prices could negatively impact someone with a reverse mortgage.

Mr La Brooy said while it came in peaks and troughs, National Seniors Australia could field up to 20 to 30 calls a week from people seeking information about reverse mortgages.

He said some retirees might have to sell and downsize their home to free up cash amid the shrinking number of providers offering reverse mortgages.

“But downsizing doesn’t always mean down costing and for some, to find somewhere considerably cheaper means moving well out of the city and away from their network of friends and family,” Mr La Brooy said.

A statement from CBA said it was withdrawing its Equity Unlock for Seniors reverse mortgage product from sale as part of its “strategy to become a simpler, better bank”.

According to Canstar analysis, Heartland Seniors’ Finance, IMB Bank and P&N Bank will be the only remaining major reverse mortgage providers when CBA and Bankwest pull out of the segment.

Mr Watson said the reverse mortgage market was relatively small and with the expansion of the federal government’s Pension Loans Scheme, which is similar to a reverse mortgage, the opportunity for growth could be limited.

This also comes ahead of expected regulatory changes, tipped to come into effect next year, which is likely to increase lenders’ costs associated with providing reverse mortgages.

Work Underway To Bolster Aged Care Workforce

October 24, 2018: Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator for Western Australia and The Hon Ken Wyatt Am, MP, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Hasluck
A new Aged Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will commence work immediately to bring industry and consumers together to set competencies and skills needed to deliver safe, quality aged care services in Australia.

Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash, today welcomed the appointment of members to the IRC, and said workforce qualifications and standards were fundamental to quality aged care.

“Every Australian deserves respect and the best possible care, and the Coalition Government is committed to ensuring our dedicated aged care staff not only have the right skills, they also enjoy rewarding and fulfilling careers,” Minister Cash said. 

“Bringing together an independent, industry-led body will work with the sector and the Australian community more broadly to drive meaningful responses to important workforce issues. 

“The IRC will work right across the vocational education and training (VET) and higher education sectors to meet the challenges of an ageing society.”

The Aged Services IRC will progress key findings from the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce report, A Matter of Care, released by the Australian Government September this year.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM said the need for a dedicated focus on the aged services industry’s skilling and workforce requirements was a major finding from the Taskforce’s engagement with industry. 

“While the Royal Commission into the aged care sector is set to go about its important work, our Government’s aged care reform program will continue at full pace,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The A Matter of Care report was developed by industry, for industry, and I look forward to the Aged Services IRC helping to ensure workers have the appropriate skills and qualifications. With the aged care workforce set to grow from approximately 366,000 now to almost one million by 2050, this is a top priority.”

Minister Wyatt thanked Professor John Pollaers and the members of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce for their support of the Aged Care Industry Reference Committee.

Membership of the new Committee (IRC) has been confirmed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC).

The IRC has been established by the AISC to review and develop national competency standards for the aged services industry. The IRC includes consumer advocates, peak industry bodies and employer and employee representatives.

For more information available from the Australian Industry and Skills Committee website. 

Scammer Reminder

Please continue to HANG UP on Scammers who call you asking for or to confirm personal details and NEVER REPLY to emails from Prince Walla-walla De Birdsrback who needs you to transfer thousands of dollars so he may send you millions. We know none were raised to hang up on people but in this case you must - also tell them to take you off their call lists and that if there is a repeat of such a call they will be reported to the Australian Government. We have found this works wonders in stopping those calls. For the emails, simply delete - DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS within the email or download any attachments.

Also remember the Australian Communications and Media Authority is the go to place to report such unsolicited material.

Visit this page to learn how to lodge a formal written complaint, 
or report spam email and SMS messages you receive. You can do this quickly and easily in two ways:

For SMS, forward the message to the Spam SMS service on 0429 999 888 (You will be billed the standard rate charged by your mobile phone provider for sending an SMS message)
For email, forward the message to the Spam Intelligence Database at 
Please note you can only forward one email message at a time. We are unable to process multiple attachments to one report.

In the meantime, one 'IT Professional' who has answered such emails provides a few insights into what happens when you do!:

This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch - published by TedxTalks
Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, months-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at

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The Invictus Games Has Opened Eyes And Minds Of Thousands Of Students From All Over The State

October 24, 2018
Watching wounded warriors compete courageously has reinforced important life lessons to thousands of students from all over the state at the Invictus Games at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

Through the Department of Education’s Invictus Education Project the Games became more than just a sporting event.

Resilience and courage were personified as students cheered at events, tried competition sports or contemplated the challenges of creating prosthetics limbs.

The Invictus Games uses the healing power of sport to bring together wounded and ill service personnel and veterans to promote comradeship, support and recovery.

By the end of the week, more than 6000 students will have been through the Invictus Education Project and they will leave with a heightened respect for the sacrifice and service of our defence forces.

For the students of Rydalmere East Public School, where around 30% of students are from defence families, participating in the Invictus Education Project was a special opportunity.

“Invictus is a chance to connect with something that is special to our school community,” principal John Carters said.

“It’s an amazing project and by learning about resilience and other values, it helps our students become active citizens.”

For Year 6 student Summer Wheeler, the Invictus Games and education project had special meaning.

“Both my parents are in the defence force,” Summer said.

“I would not like to see them have to leave defence through injury as they would lose mates and courage.

“That’s why Invictus means so much to me.”

While at the Invictus Games, Kindergarten student, Zoe Mills held “Daddy Bear” close as a reminder of her father currently serving as Executive Officer on HMAS Parramatta.

Rydalmere East Public School students Zoe Mills and Eloise Reid were lucky enough to catch up with the Invictus Games mascot “Cobber”. © State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2018 

Invictus Games Chief Executive Office Patrick Kidd OBE visited the education precinct.

He was with the number of students and their enthusiasm.

“This is an absolutely unique opportunity for students to see something that has got incredible energy,” Mr Kidd said.

He urged every student to be inspired by the competitors.

“Look at those individuals, think about what they are doing and think about what you can do in your own life and the lives of those people close to you,” he added.

From clashing wheelchairs to applying science and technology, the Invictus Games challenged body and brain.

Students from The Crescent School travelled from Goulburn to cheer on swimmers at the Aquatic Centre; Bilgola Plateau and Peats Ridge public school students played off against Lynwood Park Public in seated volleyball and students from Asquith Girls High and Mulwaree High discovered there is no holding back in wheelchair basketball.

At the prosthetics workshop guided by the University of NSW Women in Engineering students from many schools including King Street, Northbridge, Beresford Road and Wattawa Heights public schools discovered human ingenuity was helping those relying on prosthetics to go ahead in leaps and bounds.

Wentworth Point Public and Granville Public were among the schools to have students fall in love with the Assistance Dogs before learning about the valuable role they can play in the lives of wounded and ill service veterans.

Students who could not attend the Games could engage in YouTube broadcasts and virtual excursions developed for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Education Project on the Department of Education’s Learning Systems YouTube channel

© State of New South Wales (Department of Education), 2018 republished under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.

Invictus Games Day 3

Published by NSW Department of Education - Learning Systems
October 23, 2018

The Ghost Of Cassiopeia

October 25, 2018: ESA/Hubble Information Centre
About 550 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia lies IC 63, a stunning and slightly eerie nebula. Also known as the ghost of Cassiopeia, IC 63 is being shaped by radiation from a nearby unpredictably variable star, Gamma Cassiopeiae, which is slowly eroding away the ghostly cloud of dust and gas. This celestial ghost makes the perfect backdrop for the upcoming feast of All Hallow's Eve -- better known as Halloween.

The constellation of Cassiopeia (constellation)], named after a vain queen in Greek mythology, forms the easily recognisable "W" shape in the night sky. The central point of the W is marked by a dramatic star named Gamma Cassiopeiae.

The remarkable Gamma Cassiopeiae is a blue-white subgiant that is surrounded by a gaseous disc. This star is 19 times more massive and 65,000 times brighter than our Sun. It also rotates at the incredible speed of 1.6 million kilometres per hour -- more than 200 times faster than our parent star. This frenzied rotation gives it a squashed appearance. The fast rotation causes eruptions of mass from the star into a surrounding disk. This mass loss is related to the observed brightness variations.

The radiation of Gamma Cassiopeiae is so powerful that it even affects IC 63, sometimes nicknamed the Ghost Nebula, that lies several light years away from the star. IC 63 is visible in this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The colours in the eerie nebula showcase how the nebula is affected by the powerful radiation from the distant star. The hydrogen within IC 63 is being bombarded with ultraviolet radiation from Gamma Cassiopeiae, causing its electrons to gain energy which they later release as hydrogen-alpha radiation -- visible in red in this image.

This hydrogen-alpha radiation makes IC 63 an emission nebula, but we also see blue light in this image. This is light from Gamma Cassiopeiae that has been reflected by dust particles in the nebula, meaning that IC 63 is also a reflection nebula.

This colourful and ghostly nebula is slowly dissipating under the influence of ultraviolet radiation from Gamma Cassiopeiae. However, IC 63 is not the only object under the influence of the mighty star. It is part of a much larger nebulous region surrounding Gamma Cassiopeiae that measures approximately two degrees on the sky -- roughly four times as wide as the full Moon.

This region is best seen from the Northern Hemisphere during autumn and winter. Though it is high in the sky and visible all year round from Europe, it is very dim, so observing it requires a fairly large telescope and dark skies.

From above Earth's atmosphere, Hubble gives us a view that we cannot hope to see with our eyes. This photo is possibly the most detailed image that has ever been taken of IC 63, and it beautifully showcases Hubble's capabilities.

IC 63 -- nicknamed the Ghost Nebula -- is about 550 light-years from Earth. The nebula is classified as both a reflection nebula -- as it is reflecting the light of a nearby star -- and as an emission nebula -- as it releases hydrogen-alpha radiation. Both effects are caused by the gigantic star Gamma Cassiopeiae. The radiation of this star is also slowly causing the nebula to dissipate. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA

Australia Post Puts The Spotlight On Historic Lighthouses

October 23, 2018
Australia Post is releasing the Lighthouses of Sydney stamp issue, 200 years after the construction of Australia's first lighthouse, the Macquarie Lighthouse of 1818.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said the issue depicts striking photographs of three historically significant lighthouses and will be of interest to both stamp collectors and history buffs.

"Macquarie, Hornby and Robertsons Point lighthouses, which were constructed between the mid-19th and early-20th centuries, still play an important role in ensuring that vessels travel safely through the major waterways of Sydney. Historic lighthouses remind us of the dangers of early sea travel, and help chart important technological and navigational developments," Mr Zsolt said.

The three domestic base-rate stamps were designed by Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio and feature:

$1            Hornby Lighthouse, Inner South Head, NSW
Hornby Lighthouse, with its impressive red and white stripes, was constructed in 1858, following two shipwrecks at The Heads in 1857. The stamp photograph is by Bruce Hood.

$1            Macquarie Lighthouse, Outer South Head, NSW
The Macquarie Lighthouse of 1883 was built to replace the original tower of 1818, which had disintegrated due to the poor quality of sandstone used in its construction. Prior to 1818, sea-travellers' only guiding light was a fire on a tripod at South Head, Sydney. The stamp photograph is by Matthew Kelly.

$1            Robertsons Point Lighthouse, Cremorne Point, NSW
Roberstons Point Lighthouse sits in the shores of Sydney Harbour. Constructed in 1910, the tower is an early example of the use of reinforced concrete in Australian lighthouse construction. The stamp photograph is by Ryan Payne.

The products available with this stamp issue include a first day cover, stamp pack, maxicards, booklet of 10, prestige booklet, postal numismatic cover and medallion cover.

The Lighthouses of Sydney stamp issue is available from 23 October at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at, while stocks last.

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.