Raising the curtain on the 2015 season at Orange Civic Theatre

ENTERTAINMENT LAUNCH: Orange Civic Theatre performing arts manager Michelle Pearce and Orange mayor John Davis have launched the 2015 subscription series. Photo: STEVE GOSCH. 1203sgtheatre1 A CONCERT by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Shakespeare’s Hamlet were two of the highlights announced at the launch of the Orange Civic Theatre’s subscription season on Wednesday night.
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The 2015 subscription season has the theme Inspire and details the range of shows that will take place next year.

Orange Civic Theatre performing arts manager Michelle Pearce said the subscription series gave dedicated theatregoers, who were willing to commit to at least five shows a year, first choice of seating for each of the shows.

“There are some shows that if you don’t become a subscriber you may miss out,” Mrs Pearce said.

“We’ve got children’s shows, we’ve got Shakespeare, we’ve got Australian performances, we’ve got modern dance,” Mrs Pearce said.

Mrs Pearce said the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was a popular drawcard with its concert selling out this year.

The theatre will also host The One Day of the Year, a controversial look at the way Anzac Day is commemorated in Australia as well as children’s shows such as The 26 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffths and Terry Denton.

“There’s some really amazing stuff including Miriam Margolyes’s The Importance of Being Miriam, she’s an international actor, she’s been to Orange and she loved her audience,” Mrs Pearce said.

Orange mayor John Davis opened the subscription launch and said the series proved popular this year with 630 people subscribing.

“There are more than 40,000 people living in Orange,” Cr Davis said.

“Last year just under 46,000 people came to a show here in the theatre.

* Sydney Symphony Orchestra – Mozart at the Opera.

* The Australian Tenors – Songs from the Heart.

* Anzac play, The One Day of the Year by Alan Seymour.

* Miriam Margolyes – The Importance of being Miriam.

* Annie (Orange Theatre Company).

* Australia Day by Jonathan Biggins.

* Head Full of Love by Alana Valentine.

* Dewayne Everettsmith supported by Sietta.

* Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase.

* Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

* The Stage West Festival of One Act Plays (Orange Theatre Company).

* Dylan Thomas: Return Journey.

* Mother Wife and the Complicated Life.

* Circus Oz – But Wait … There’s More.

* Monty Python’s Spamalot (Orange Theatre Company).

* Kinship (Bangarra Dance Theatre).

* Natalie Weir’s Carmen Sweet.

For kids:

* Carnival of the Animals.

* The 26-Storey Treehouse.

* I am Jack based on the book by Sysanne Gervay.

* Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts.

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Passionate Romeo recognised

SOCCER player Chris Romeo is the September selection for the 2014 Northern Mallee Sports Star of the Year.
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SUCCESS: Irymple Knight’s Chris Romeo celebrates a goaL against Three Colours in the senior men’s grand final.

Romeo was nominated by his home club, the Irymple Knights Soccer Club, after a successful year as striker for the Knights senior men’s team.

He scored more than 20 goals in the S League season and was vice-captain of the senior team, which won the S-League title and grand final series.

Romeo was named Best and Fairest player and leading goal scorer at both club and league level.

Romeo is seen as a leader in his local community and a passionate, dedicated soccer player.

His passion for soccer is demonstrated on and off the field, by assisting with coaching, developing the junior players and supporting the club’s committee.

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Fire guts Koorawatha home, photos

A family is gutted after their Koorawatha home burnt to the ground this afternoon. Photo KATIE BURGESS.A family is gutted after their Koorawatha home burnt to the ground this afternoon.
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Five Rural Fire Service trucks attended the house fire, led by Koorawatha’s RFS Captain Mark Savva.

Mr Savva says it took 20-25 fire fighters more than an hour to extinguish the blaze.

Anthony Jennings, who lives at the home with his two children, says he is gutted to have lost everything in the fire.

”We have lived here for eight or nine years, and now we have nothing.”

He arrived home at around 3pm only to open the door to flames.

“I just called out for my dog, made sure she was safe and then called for help,” he said.

Anthony Jennings said he was gutted by the loss of his home. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

Help came in the form of Stephen O’Grady who was sitting on the verandah next door.

“Anthony just ran next door and told us to help, I went over to help him with the fire while the others called triple-0,” he said.

Mr O’Grady said that he first helped Mr Jennings remove bikes and other belongings from the verandah, before sticking a garden hose through the window of the house.

“When the window fell out, the house just went up, it was engulfed in less than five minutes,” he said.

Mr Jennings is yet to tell his children what has happened to their home.

They are blissfully unaware at their grandmother’s home.

“Mum will cook us dinner tonight,” he said.

”The kids don’t know that we have no food, no money and no clean clothes yet, but when their school shirts start to stink they will figure it out.”

Mr Jennings was very thankful for the help of the RFS teams who helped with containing the fire on the property.

“These guys left their jobs today to jump in their trucks and help us,” he said.

“It is such a great community and I take my hat off to all of the fire fighters who have come out to help me here today.”

If you would like to help the Jennings family find their feet, you can get in contact with Anthony through the Koorawatha Hotel on 6345 3401.

RFS crews and appliances on the scene included Koorawatha 1 and 7, Bendick Murrell 2, Crowther 1 and Mandolin Private, from Monteagle.

Police are currently investigating the blaze.

Anyone information is urged to call Crime Stoppers or contact Young Police.

Fire guts Koorawatha home, photos A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

Firefighters could not save the Short Street home. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A Koorawatha home was gutted by fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

Firefighters and police attended the scene. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

A witness said this power pole lit up with flames from the house fire. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

Firefighters scour the wreckage. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

Witness Stephen O’Grady tried to help put the blaze out. Photo KATIE BURGESS.

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Club heart smart

RED Cliffs Lawn Tennis Club (RCLTC) can enjoy greater peace of mind after a grant enabled them to buy a defibrillator.
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DONATION: Red Cliffs Lawn Tennis Club president Gavin Lynch (left) and treasurer Brad Lever (right) are presented with a cheque by Merbein and District Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank board member Kath Middleton (centre).

Through a $1500 grant from the Merbein and District Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank, the club bought the life-saving equipment from St John’s


The cost of defibrillators to community groups and sporting clubs is being subsidised by St John’s Ambulance, after the recent success of its “Defibs Save Lives” campaign.

RCLTC president Gavin Lynch said the equipment was vital in the unlikely event of a sudden cardiac arrest incident at the club.

“We realised through a couple of events last year that we didn’t have one, including the incident where an (SFNL) umpire (Andrew Leske) collapsed at training and was revived by a defibrillator,” Lynch said.

“We wanted to have one here, just in case.”

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Thursday’s Sunraysia Daily 4/12/2014.To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Fire caused by electrical fault

THE devastating house fire that claimed the life of three pet cats in Mildura on Tuesday was caused by an electrical fault in the lounge room.
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Not suspicious: Firefighters at the scene of Tuesday’s house fire in Mildura. Picture: Louise Donges

A CFA Mildura spokesman said the fault caused a “raging” fire at the home on the corner of Avocado Street and Hazel Avenue. He said the house had been condemned and would be knocked down.

The incident was not being treated as suspicious.

The sole occupant of the house was visiting neighbours when the fire broke out.

CFA crews from Mildura,

Irymple and Merbein attended and a total of 25 firefighters brought the blaze under control.

As well as losing three pet cats in the fire, lots of the man’s furniture and personal items were burnt.

Yesterday, he was still too upset to speak. His son said he was still in shock.

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Ex-Mandurah photographer’s festival prank goes viral

A look-a-like prank from an ex-Mandurah resident Jarrad Seng has gone viral on the internet.People who thought they took a selfie with US DJ Steve Aoki at music festival in Perth on Saturday could be in for a rude surprise following a virallook-a-like prank from an ex-Mandurah resident.
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After being constantly told he looked like US DJ Steve Aoki, photographer Jarrad Seng decided to take the likeness one step further by putting on a fake beard and dressing up as him and going to Stereosonic festival where he was headlining.

He filmed the whole thing with the help of a few friends and since then the video gone viral on the internet. It has since had more than a million views across a number of platforms and the post on his Facebook page had received close to 19,000 likes on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Seng said while he wasn’t surprised by how many people believed he was Steve Aoki, he was surprised at how much attention the video garnered.

“Holy moly what have I got myself into now. I woke up to about a million views on the video across the board and stories on Buzzfeed, The LAD Bible, Pedestrian, Elite Daily, Triple J, Channel V, Fairfax Media, The Australian and more,” he posted to his Facebook page today.

He said things got a bit more awkward when he was walking around Steve Aoki and he heard “What’s up Perth, this is Steve Aoki” blare out from the main stage.

“That was messing with people’s minds a bit and I thought I should probably head to a different area.”

But, he didn’t and then despite people started to realise he wasn’t who he appeared to be Mr Seng joined the revellers for the set, doing some crowd surfing in the process.

Watch: See how Jarrad Seng’s Stereosonic prank played out below.

Jarrad said he had an idea he though would be funny to dress up as Steve Aoki but, that he didn’t mean any disrespect to the DJ or fans.

“A friend of mine mentioned it to him following the concert and he said he did see me out in the crowd.

“I hope it doesn’t overshadow his performances,” Mr Seng said.

“I’m also sorry to everyone who was fooled. I feel a bit bad but hopefully they can see the funny side,” he said.

Mr Seng, who grew up in Mandurah,is now making a name for himself as a photographer and director.

He’s toured with Passenger and filmed several of their music videos. He’s also worked with Ed Sheeran and toured with Matchbox 20 and had photographic exhibitions in Perth and Sydney.

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Survivor urging others to seek help

ANGIE Donohue is to be commended for her bravery and resilience.
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The Tasmanian woman has publicly encouraged other women in abusive or violent relationships to speak up and get help.

Ms Donohue’s former husband Darryl Scott Donohue was convicted this week of trying to arrange for a hit man to kill her – for the second time.

He first tried to arrange her death in 2012 and was convicted and jailed in February 2013.

Undeterred, he again tried to organise from Risdon Prison for someone to kill his former wife.

After a trial in the Supreme Court, Donohue was again found guilty of two counts of having incited another person to murder.

While her case is unique, Ms Donohue’s message to women in similarly violent or abusive relationships is worthy of wide repetition.

“The message to anyone out there who is going through something like this is that keeping silent is one of the worst things you can do,” she told The Examiner.

“Go and get help. Not just for your sake, but for your children’s sake too.”

Sadly, domestic violence, particularly against women and children, is not uncommon in Australian society.

The main cause of homelessness for women is domestic violence, which is also the leading cause of disability and death for women aged 15-44.

One in five adult women has been stalked in their life. One woman will be killed each week by their partner.

Even for survivors, the impacts can be devastating and long lasting. Ms Donohue herself still lives in fear, despite her husband being behind bars.

We often call on people who experience domestic violence to “just leave”.

While it’s not as simple at that – and getting told so by a newspaper editorial rather over simplifies what must be a dreadful and stressful situation – it really is the only option.

That is why hearing it from someone who has experienced one of the most serious forms of domestic violence – a threat to kill – shows there is a way out.

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Doubts ‘vital’ state TV show will be missed

SHOULD the gentle reader have nought to do of a Friday evening may we suggest plumping the couch cushions before watching ABC’s current affairs program, 7.30 Tasmania?
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That is unless it has already disappeared without notice.

For with the ABC’s proposed budget cuts this may well be not only the last opportunity to view the magazine-style offering but permit it to go out on a high with the number of viewers boosted to several hundred.

No, not several hundred thousand watchers . . . just several hundred.

Indeed, a word of caution here as any sense of eager anticipation of a televisual feast may be somewhat blunted by chosen subject matter.

Last Friday, for example, the lead issue was health risks associated with soft cheese manufacture.

ABC producers obviously reckoned this was the whey to go.

With news that the ABC is to drop 7.30 Tasmania in 2015 as part of slashing $245 million over five years from its $1.2 billion annual budget, this correspondent launched himself on to the couch to report on what the viewer will miss on 7.30 Tasmania if it fails to reappear.

The answer is — nothing really.

There are, we are forced to admit, so many other ways to spend an evening marking the end of the working week than worry over whether dairy products should, or should not, be made from raw milk owing to health issues, or deal with “exclusive footage” of a Tasmanian devil digesting a Cape Barren goose on Maria Island. We kid you not.

Considering that, during last week state public servants struck for a day, Senator Jacqui Lambie left the PUP kennel, the closure of Deloraine’s Ashley youth detention centre was mooted and TasRail and TasPorts are rumoured to amalgamate, 7.30 Tasmania’s concerns that the digestive habits of indigenous marsupials and the making of dairy products were more important, it is no wonder gimlet-eyed ABC bean-counters have felt justified in chopping this sort of nonsense.

How curious, then, Greens’ MP Nick McKim’s plea to save 7.30 Tasmania because it is “vital to Tasmanian democracy”.

With the environmentalists’ party dreaming of a rural idyll, perhaps Mr McKim assumes that the cheese-makers will inherit the earth.

It is all so sadly symptomatic of the current ABC.

Apart from programs such as 7.30 Tasmania not returning in the new year, other iconic features have already knocked off for 10 weeks.

ABC Media Watch presenter Paul Barry has left the media to soldier on without the program’s 15-strong staff producing their 13 minutes of television a week.

Four Corners’ Kerry O’Brien has gone, as have Q&A, Compass, Catalyst, Landline and Australian Story, all of whom are on a “well-earned break” until late January.

You wonder how the ABC, staring at that $245 million annual drop in revenue over five years, and the loss of 400 employees from what has been described as a “bloated workers’ collective”, can still knock off so early.

Emboldened to levels higher than Mt Ossa in attempting to highlight waste on the airwaves, the Australian newspaper labelled managing director Mark Scott and chairman Jim Spigelman as “polite progressives” before succinct criticism claiming them as: “needy fathers who keep funding the digital dreamscapes of furry hipsters and the denialism of middle-aged Triple J-sters”.

The upshot is the ABC is seemingly happy to abandon outposts such as Tassie in favour of circling the wagons around its Ultimo, Sydney, headquarters.

Underlining the view that Scott and Spigelman are “urban sophisticates”, the national daily suggested that, although the pair lack rural street cred, they “wouldn’t be lost at a fine eatery in Sydney or Melbourne.”

Perhaps, dare we say, consuming fine Tasmanian wines while discussing the virtues of cheese made from unpasteurised Tasmanian milk.

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Robertson Park toilets take back seat again as council defers application

DESPITE previously settling on a location and lodging a development application, the Robertson Park toilets are still no closer to being built after the DA was deferred on Tuesday night.
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Council staff recommended approval for the block on the McNamara Street side of the park, southeast of the rotunda, however, councillors decided to defer the matter after Mojo Events and Promotions representative Simon Rollin, Orange Region Vignerons Association president David Crawley and FOOD Week president James Sweetapple voiced their concerns about losing valuable stallholder and seating space at night market events.

“The location in the middle of the park would impact our existing site layout. It’s a premier part of the event space,” Mr Rollin said.

“We would still need to provide temporary facilities, they wouldn’t provide the level of amenity we need.”

Mr Rollin suggested a better location would be near the CWA hall, or directing people to the Visitor Information Centre.

Councillor Neil Jones moved for the deferral in response to the concerns.

“For the first time, to my knowledge, we’ve heard from a group who are major users of Robertson Park. We haven’t explored that issue enough,” he said.

Councillor Reg Kidd said discussions needed to be reopened with the CWA to investigate.

“I was part of [earlier] negotiations with the CWA and people in the CWA group didn’t understand what it was all about,” he said.

“When I talk to members individually, they say that’s a great idea. They might have thought people would come in off the street, straight into the CWA hall, but that’s not true at all.”

Councillor Russell Turner said he opposed relying on the museum precinct for amenities.

“Byng Street is as busy, if not busier, than Summer Street. It’s totally dangerous to expect people to cross Byng Street,” he said.

Councillor Glenn Taylor, who has advocated for the toilets since 2001, did not speak during the debate and left the meeting promptly after the decision.

Robertson Park has had a long history of dunny dramas and here is but a taste:

2001: Councillor Glenn Taylor begins the push for toilets in Robertson Park.

2005: Toilets discussed, but eventually placed outside St Vincent de Paul Society building.

May 2011: Cr Taylor again raises the need for a facility in the park.

October 2011: Concept plans drawn up for stand-alone facility.

November 2011: Facility discussed, but project stalls when councillors suggest starting negotiations with the CWA.

February 2012: Councillors reject proposal for a pre-fabricated building and vote to re-open negotiations with the CWA to upgrade the CWA hall and open its toilets to the public.

March 2012: The CWA maintains opposition due to social implications.

January 2013: Development application for a three-cubicle automatic toilet block on McNamara Street put on display for public comment.

March 2013: Location opposed by former councillor Richard Niven and the police, the council puts off a final decision.

December 2013: CWA receives $10,000 to upgrade its facilities, secretary Deborah Marr says negotiations with the council for a toilet block are under way.

April 2014: The council and CWA reach an in-principle agreement for the CWA to consider supporting the location a toilet block near the CWA hall with a separate entrance, however members vote it down.

July 2014: Councillors support in favour of lodging a development application for a block along McNamara Street.

December 2014: Councillors defer a decision on the development application after objections from night market organisers, in order to pursue further discussions with the CWA.

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Ardlethan community concerned ambulance services under threat

ARDLETHAN’S Garnet Hawkins relies on the ambulance service located close to his home.
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He has used the service five times in the past 12 months.

Ever since he heard the service was potentially being taken from the area he has felt anxious.

Mr Hawkins, 66, suffering from chronic lung disease and in remission from esophageal cancer, is one of many concerned residents.

Former Ardlethan resident Robin Brown has kickstarted a petition on Change.org in an attempt to ensure these services are not stripped from the 400-strong farming community.

“We are very concerned,” Mr Brown said.

“I am acutely aware of the dangerous nature of the work, I am also acutely aware of the population makeup.

“We have a very old population that is heavily dependant on the ambulance service.”

Mr Brown was also unhappy that the community consultation period fell during harvest and the Christmas period.

Mr Hawkins said the lack of services in the town, which has been without a doctor since the mid 1990s constantly concerned him.

“If I get crook, there is no one I can rely on, period, except the ambulance.”

Without the service he would be driven to despair.

Coolamon’s mayor, Councillor John Seymour, shared the community’s concern.

“We won’t accept it,” he said.

“It is necessary to retain the system that we’ve got.”

Cr Seymour noted Ardlethan’s location on a major highway as a key reason to keep the service.

“We will fight to death and nail, if the proposal (to cut the service) goes ahead, to help the cause.”

In a media statement, deputy director of Ambulance NSW operations southern sector Brian White said no decision had been made on what services would be provided.

“At this time, no decision has been made about what types of NSW Ambulance services will be provided at Coolamon or Ardlethan townships into the future.

“The process for determining the future model of service delivery is ongoing.

“At the time of consultation, details of online and postal feedback options will be provided to council and community groups involved.”

Minister for health Jillian Skinner’s office would not comment on the situation, referring this paper to Ambulance media.

At the time of publication Health Service Union ambulance division was not able to provide a comment.

The community meeting to discuss the issue will be at the Ardlethan Memorial Hall on Wednesday, December 10 at 2pm.

The petition ‘Let Ardlethan Keep its Ambulance service’ can be viewed at www.change.org.

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