Archive for: ‘September 2019’

53pc barely a pass rate on uni dropouts

20/09/2019 Posted by admin

Only half of students who enrolled at Charles Sturt University in 2009 completed their degree by 2014, new figures show.

A report from the Education Department revealed CSU ranks among the worst in NSW for student retention rates, with a paltry 53 per cent of students graduating within six years of enrolling.

But vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann put this down to itslarge number of online students, regional campus locations and because it encouragedthose from a diverse range of social backgrounds to apply.

“It is important to note that in 2015, CSU had the highest number of Indigenous student completions in Australia and the second highest Indigenous student enrollments,”he said.

Professor Vann said online students could take up to eight years to complete a degree as many were adults with family and work commitments.

On-campus students had a completion rate nearing 70 per cent, Professor Vann said.

La Trobe University fared slightly better, with 69 per cent of all students graduating within six years.

Its Albury-Wodonga head of campus DrGuinever Threlkeldsaid she was pleased with this rate as it was higher than the national average.

“At this campus we’ve got a high proportion of students who are the firstin their family to go to uni, and regional unis have a higher proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds,” she said.

“There’s some evidence more students are studying part-time, and that places some challenges for course completion within those time frames.”

In response to the alarming figures,Federal Education MinisterSimon Birmingham called onBorder students to carefully consider their courses prior to enrolling.

“To the thousands of students checking emails, text messages, newspapers and mail boxes this week to learn what your future study options might be, I urge you to take your time to understand those options,” he said.

“We’ve heard too many stories about students who have changed courses.”

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Work continues to save rare purple butterfly

20/09/2019 Posted by admin


The endangered Purple Copper Butterfly is only found in parts of the Central Tablelands.

December and January is the time of the year for Purple Copper Butterfly larvae to start their development – and keen observers are on-hand to see the event take place.

The Purple Copper Butterfly is a threatened species and only known to exist under specific conditions in the Bathurst, Lithgow and Mount David area of Central West NSW.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services staff and volunteers spent time recently with local environmental consultant Ray Mjadwesch to monitor larvae numbers at Yetholme and Mount David.

This is the second year the Central Tablelands Local Land Services has funded Mr Mjadwesch to carry out larvae monitoring and the results help to build a better picture of the potential numbers of Purple Copper Butterfly at known sites within the region.

Ms Gerarda Mader and Ms Christine Bailey are members of Napoleon Reefs Landcare Group which is in close proximity to Purple Copper Butterfly habitat. “It is such a joy to see these rare creatures and learn more about them”, said Ms. Mader, who took part in the larvae survey for the second time.

Ms. Bailey added:“I tell anyone who’ll listen about the amazing life cycle of the Purple Copper Butterfly and its incredibly limited range and rarity.”

The Purple Copper Butterfly is the local exemplar for all threatened species, be they fauna or flora, and as such highlights the urgent need to monitor numbers and to conserve habitat”.

Results are positive, with some sites indicating an increase in larvae numbers from last year.

The Purple Copper Butterfly lives only on a type of shrub called Native Blackthorn.Eggs are laid on or near the shrub and once they are ready to graze the plant, this nocturnal animal can be found crawling along the stems from 10pm until about 5am. They will be attended by a species of native ant that protects the larvae from attack while it grazes the Native Blackthorn.

“We are so fortunate to see this part of the butterfly’s life cycle and to witness the relationship it has with the native ant”, said Colleen Farrow, Senior Land Services Officer with Central Tablelands Local Land Services. “To have local interest and the help from these volunteers is an added bonus.”

Funding from Catchment Action NSW will allow staff from Central Tablelands Local Land Services to continue to work with private and public landholders to carry out on-ground works such as the planting of Native Blackthorn and weed control to increase the butterfly’s habitat.

For further information about the Purple Copper Butterfly projectcontact Colleen Farrow on6363 7874.

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VIDEO| Locals help make Bare a smash

20/09/2019 Posted by admin

Gymea’s Natalie Abbott plays Nadia. Picture: SuppliedAfter a triumphant first season playing sold out shows to rave reviews, Bare The Musical has been extended for 10 more shows at the New Theatre in Newtown.

The second season runs from January 19 to 28, with plenty of St George and Sutherland Shire locals returning to make up the cast.

Beverly Hills resident Teale Howie (centre) in action. Picture: Supplied

Director and choreographer Hannah Barn, Jacob Barn and Stephanie McKennafrom Arncliffe,Timothy Langan ofBonnet Bay, Kirrawee’s Julie Ryanand Beverly Hills residents Matt Laird and Teale Howie all return to the production after its initial run at The Depot Theatre in Marrickville.

Another local, Natalie Abbot from Gymea, has earned rave reviews for her performance as Nadia.

The cast of Bare – The Musical. Picture: Supplied

Thepulsating, contemporary LGBT pop-rock musical follows a group of students at a Catholic boarding school as they grapple with issues of sexuality, identity and the future.

The showtakes audiences on an emotional musical journey. Peter and Jason have fallen in lovebut they struggle with the fears of revealing their true selves to such an unforgiving world. Peter wants to acknowledge their love openly, while Jason does not.

BARE – The Musical “Are you there?”With a unique sung-through pop score by Damon Intrabartolo and heart-pounding lyrics by Jon Hartmere Jr.along witha cast of bright young characters, Barerings with the sounds of youthful repression and revolt. The showis a provocative, fresh andhonest look at the dangers of baring your soul and the consequences of continuing to hide.

Tickets are $42 and $49.

Dates: January 19, 7.30pm

January 20, 7.30pm

January 21, 2pm and 7.30pm

January 22, 7pm

January 25, 7.30pm

January 26, 7.30pm

January 27, 7.30pm

January 28, 2pm and 7.30pm

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Katelin sows seeds of success for women

20/09/2019 Posted by admin

RELATED CONTENT: Eurobodalla Show celebrates 140 years

SHOWGIRL POWER: Eurobodalla Showgirl finalists Jess Afflick, Katelin Donovan and Jessica Cody at Moruya Showground on Saturday night.

Girl power was the theme of the night when the Eurobodalla District Showgirlwas crowned in Moruya on Saturday.

Bodalla’s KatelinDonovan took out the coveted sash for 2017 on January 14 after impressing the judges with her passion for the agricultural industry.

The 20-year-old entered the competition for the first time after a bit of proddingfrom Shelli Reid of the EurobodallaShow Society.

“Shelli asked me to enter and give it a go. With my agriculturalbackground, she thought I’d be good for it,” Miss Donovan said.

“I’ve lived on a 10-acre farm with my parents for 20 years and have always been involved with animals.

“I’ve also done a fair bit of showing with Narooma High School with beef and dairy cattle.”

Miss Donovan hoped to use her role to encourage more young women in the Eurobodalla to become involved with the rural sector.

“I want to be a voice for women in a male-dominated area and create a path for other people to follow, even if they don’t feel completely confident in it or come from an agricultural background,” she said.

“(Being the 2017 Showgirl) would be a really good stepping stone to go further into the agricultural field.

“I hope to grow and develop as a person and see where it takes me.”

Katelin Donovan, 2017 Eurobodalla ShowgirlBay Post/Moruya Examiner before the announcement on Saturday night.

She said the role was designed to develop the winner’s confidence, community engagement and public speaking skills.

“When we’re looking for a winner, we’re looking for someone who is passionate and going to benefit from the opportunity,” Mrs Enright said.

The former Grenfell resident hoped to see the overall contest and applicationrate expand over the coming years.

“There is much more to this opportunity than just a sash and your name in the paper – it’s something you can put on your resume to say you’ve represented your community,” she said.

Finalists Jess Afflick, 19, of Woodlands,and Jessica Cody, 22, of Moruya, also contested the top prize.

“There’s a lot of strength behind the women in the agriculturalindustry, they just don’t get enough of the credit,” Miss Cody said.

The three finalists were judged on their knowledge of the Eurobodalla Shire and experience of rural affairs, particularly the issues faced by women in regional areas.

Contestants were also judged on their ambitionsand ambassadorial qualities.

Miss Donovan will represent the shire at the zone finals on February 18.

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The gospel of Unfit for Human Consumption

20/09/2019 Posted by admin

JESUS PEOPLE: Unfit for Human Consumption and their progeny. They will bring their “spiritual experience” to the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel.NEWCASTLE’s unholy preachers of gospel-inspired rock’n’roll Unfit for Human Consumption will bring their spiritual experience to the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel in February.

Band front man and lyricist the Reverend David Heaney said the band was much inspired by Jesus Christ.

“It’s sleazy, God-sent rock’n’roll,” Heaney said.

In fact, part of the band’s gospel is the revelation that Jesus and Elvis Presley are in fact the same person.

“Think about it, they have never been spotted in the same place together,” Heaney said.

Another important element of the band’s appeal to audiences, according to Heaney,was its“sexiness”.

“For most audiences we are too sexy,” he said.“Some people get scared by our sexy.

“We are the sexiest bandcertainly in Newcastle, but probablyin the known universe.”

Guitarist Reuben Ramsey said the band was best described as an AC/DC tribute band, despite not playing a single Aka Daka track.

In particular the songs Big Balls and Long Way to the Top provided the band with much of its musical inspiration, Ramsey said.

“We don’t actually play any AC/DC but we owe them a lot,” Ramsey said.

The band formed in about 2004and has been delivery itsdivinely inspired message to audiences across the city ever since.

“We have played consistently-inconsistently the whole time, “ Ramsey said.

The band considers The Hamilton Station Hotel its home venue –although they have never actually played there.

Unfit for Human Consumptionplay about a dozen shows a year.

“Sometimes we go powerfully mad and play a show and then play, like, another show the next night,” Heaney said.

“It just leads to burnout. After back to back shows I need three months in Asia.”

The band has undergone many line-up changes over its 10 year history. Heaney claims all line-upchanges were divinely inspired.

“We change line-ups when Jesus tells us to,” Heaney said.

The band is purely a live experience and when asked whether they intended to ever record Heaney said this:“No comment.”

Unfit for Human Consumption featuresthree lead guitarists: Reuben Ramsey, Jess Moxey andDapp’r.

On violin is Jenna Blayden andLouisa Magrics plays drums.There are two bass players, both lead and rhythm bass, Cameron Groth and Laidlaw Puha, respectively.

Next gig: February 10 at The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham.

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