Jan 20

Put up your hand for extremely good cause

It took no time at all for the Border’s City2City fun run and walk to make its mark.

About 3500 people took off from the starting line when the major fundraiser was first held two years ago.

That is expected to rise to at least 5000 when the third City2City from Albury’s Dean Steet to Wodonga’s water tower takes place on February 19.

Up to $100,000raised from the 2017 event will go towards the Albury Wodonga Health maternity unit at the Wodonga hospital.

In particular, the focus will be on creating anew area for high-care babies.

This will be a tremendous outcome and certainly makes clear the dual purpose of the City2City.

That is, not only is it something where the community can come together in the interest of better health, it also helps those who in turn need the community’s support.

The organisers of the City2City should be congratulated on what they have achieved in such a relatively short period of time.

But of course with that success comes greater demands on keeping the event running as smoothly as it has in the past while catering for the ever-increasing demand –demand that had numbers at 3509 in the first year and 4273 in 2016.

Put simply, that translates to the need for more people on the ground taking care of all those things that allows that to take place.

There is even more need in 2017 for this assistance, given that the 8am 10-kilometre run and 8.10am 7.5-kilometre run will be joined by a 7.5-kilometre “walk and talk” at 8.30am.

As City2City volunteer co-ordinator John Roberts says, organisers will take everyonethey can get “because there’s always jobs to be done”.

“It’s a great event for both cities and to participate on a volunteer level is really rewarding.”

It is perhaps obvious to state that without some support, the success of something like the City2City could easily be out of reach.

We would hope that thegrassroots nature of the event and the fact the community takes the cause to heart will translate to people putting up their hands to take part.

By doing so there is no reason why the City2City cannot continue to grow.

And that will not only keep the City2City as an integral part of the Border calendar for years to come, itwill also ensure those who need financial support in the community are also assisted.

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Jan 20

No luxury for bush hikers

Parks Victoria acting chief executive Chris Hardman

The boss of Parks Victoria has denied his organisation is planning to set up “luxury” accommodation in remote bushland.

AParks Victoria and Regional Development Victoria report revealed plans to upgrade the five-day, 56-kilometre walk between Falls Creek and Mount Hotham, including cabins for”high-yield” tourists.

It was promoted as a way of allowing more people to access the walk, including those who did not want to camp, but not everyone was on board.

Bushwalking Victoriapresident Peter Campbell said he wasconcerned about “luxury cabins”near Diamantina Spur.

“Commercial development, including building camping platforms and cabins, must not destroy the qualities of natural bush and alpine areas,” he said.

The comments were reported across metro newspapers and in The Border Mail.

Parks Victoria acting chief executive Chris Hardman has responded to deny any proposal for “luxury accommodation” or banning low-spending hikers.

“The draft plan does not propose ‘luxury developments’ anywhere within its 105 pages, it proposes appropriate accommodation that minimises the impact on the surrounding environment,” he said. “After an eight-hour hike it would be welcome comfort indeed, but we do not consider hiker accommodation to represent ‘luxury’ in any way or form.”

Mr Hardman said school groups, young families orolder visitors could make use of the cabins, while there would still beopportunitiesalong thetrail for self-sufficient hikers tocamp for free.

“I encourage anyone with any interest at all in the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing to read the draft plan and to provide feedback to us,” he said. “We have an important opportunity to get this right and we want any Victorian with an interest in the area to help us achieve that.”

Submissions on the proposal can be emailed [email protected]论坛 or put in at parkweb.vic.gov419论坛/get-involved/have-your-sayuntil January 27.

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Jan 20

If you are looking for Ange Postecoglou on a Euro scouting trip, seek him in the Championship

 A decade or so ago, when Socceroos coach Frank Farina travelled to Europe to monitor his national team’s prospective players, he visited a litany of the top stadia in some of the game’s greatest leagues.

Farina could watch English Premier League-based Australians such as Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Brett Emerton, Tim Cahill, Hayden Foxe, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill and Mark Schwarzer in action at places such as Elland Road and Anfield, Ewood Park and Craven Cottage, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Goodison and Upton Park.

He could hop across the channel on a cheap flight to Milan or Rome and watch Vince Grella or Mark Bresciano if they were in action at the San Siro or the Stadio Olimpico against either of the Milanese giants or Roma.

He might fancy a few days in Spain, checking out John Aloisi, especially if either of his clubs, Alaves or Osasuna, happened to be in action at the Bernabeu or the Camp Nou against Real Madrid or Barcelona.

And if Germany took his fancy, well, he could always see what Paul Agostino was up to, especially if his TSV 1860 Munich were involved in a local Bundesliga derby with European giants Bayern.

Ange Postecoglou, the first locally born and raised full-time coach since Farina (Graham Arnold was always in the job in a caretaker role) will have few similarly exciting trips.

Yes, he will get to Munich to keep an eye on Milos Degenek, and he could get to the great Spanish grounds if Mat Ryan is starting for Valencia in La Liga, which is not, these days, very often. And he might well get to see a bit of Germany keeping tabs on Mat Leckie, a regular starter for Ingoldstadt, and Robbie Kruse (an irregular starter for Bayer Leverkusen).

But his journeys will mostly be to the smaller grounds and to second-tier clubs as that is where the bulk of overseas Australians are based these days.

Twenty years ago it was easier for Australians, with their workrate, attitude and adaptability, to get a chance, particularly in England where their cultural familiarity and language skills gave them a head start.

But since then the vast steams of money that have flowed into the highest levels of the game have been channelled into improving the way all top-tier clubs operate, including in scouting.

Big European teams are much better at finding diamonds in the rough in Asia and Africa than they used to be: simply put, it’s a lot more competitive for the Australians, and if they are not top-grade players – which most are not – they will not get the opportunities that some of their predecessors did.

That doesn’t mean their forbears got it easy: players such as Kewell, Viduka, Emerton, Schwarzer, Cahill, Moore and Neill showed they were good enough to have made it through any system at any time.

Postecoglou went off to Europe on a scouting mission just before Christmas, and his itinerary over the next few weeks is likely to include Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium, Villa Park, Loftus Road, Deepdale and the 6900-capacity Pirelli Stadium, home of Burton Albion.

With the exception of Villa Park and Loftus Road, the average Australian fan might find it hard to pinpoint the other places on a map, but they are, respectively, home for Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Jordan Lyden and Mile Jedinak (Villa Park), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Bailey Wright (Preston) and Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion).

If you want to find large numbers of Australians who are playing – not merely training or being part of their club’s squads but rarely starting – then the Championship in England is the place you should be looking.

Mooy has probably made the biggest impact of all this season.

The quietly spoken, shaven-headed midfielder’s progress over the past couple of years has been dramatic. Two seasons with Melbourne City brought him regular football and as he grew and matured he became a first-team choice for Postecoglou.

There were plenty of cynical comments made when parent company Manchester City bought him at the end of last season, particularly when they sent him on loan to nearby Huddersfield (it’s just across the Pennines from Manchester).

But Mooy has been a stand-out player for the Terriers as they have made an unlikely challenge for a place in next season’s Premier League. Early season pacesetters, the club – coached by Jurgen Klopp’s former assistant at Borussia Dortmund, David Wagner – dropped off a little before picking up recently and lie fourth in the league, behind leaders Brighton, Newcastle and third-placed Reading.

Mooy has won rave reviews from fans and coaches during his spell in the Championship, where he has emerged as a key presence in central midfield for the Yorkshire club.

Andy Hughes, a former Crystal Palace club coach who is with Huddersfield, told a Fox Sports crew in a recent interview that Mooy had what it took to make it all the way to the top.

“I have worked with players who have played in the Premier League, and he has got more than them,” Hughes said. He also revealed that Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak – with whom he had worked at Palace – rang him up when news broke that Mooy was moving to Town, telling Hughes that his Socceroos midfield partner was “very good”.

Jedinak is himself these days in the second tier, where he is anchoring the Aston Villa midfield having moved to the club from Palace just after the season. He had led Palace into the Premier League and captained them to an FA Cup final in his years in South London.

Villa were relegated last season and began the new campaign poorly but have picked up considerably under new boss Steve Bruce, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo after their slow start. The former European champions are up to 10th place and are looking to build on that in the new year, with a play-off spot a minimum target for a quick return to the Premier League.

The irony would not be lost on the Socceroos captain if he and Villa managed to go up – passing by his former club, Palace, if they get relegated despite having sacked Alan Pardew and replaced him with Sam Allardyce.

The other Australians regularly starting in the Championship are not – on form – expected to be eyeing up Premier League places next season.

Luongo’s move to former EPL club Queens Park Rangers was hailed as a good one in which he could launch his career and take it to the next step, with the London club tipped to be among the promotion chasers.

But it’s been far from plain sailing at Loftus Road, and Rangers flattered to deceive last season before falling in a hole this campaign. One manager, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, has been fired, and Ian Holloway, a former boss, has been brought in but has failed to stop the rot. Rangers are hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone in 20th spot, just three points above the third-from-bottom Blackburn Rovers.

Luongo’s club is just one point ahead of Irvine’s Burton, who are fourth bottom, two points clear of Rovers. But no one expected much more from the smallest club in the top two divisions following their promotion, and Irvine has made quite an impression as a goalscoring midfielder who may well have done enough to earn a move, if not in the January window then in the northern summer.

Wright has become a permanent fixture at Deepdale since joining the Lancashire club that was once, like Mooy’s Huddersfield in the 1920s, one of the most powerful teams in the UK.

Those days are a long way off now as Preston yo-yo between the second and third tier, occasionally threatening to make a push for the Premiership. They are currently mid-table in the Championship.

Wright, who has become a regular face in Postecoglou’s Socceroos squads, is a stalwart for North End and in November chalked up his 200th appearance for the club.

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Jan 20

David Pope and the cartoons that defined 2016

This cartoon by David Pope published on the front page of the Turkish national daily paper Cumhuriyet comments on the Turkish regime’s efforts to censor and punish media coverage critical of the government. Photo: David Pope David Pope with Indian artist Ajit Ninan, cartoonist to the world’s largest democracy, at Ninan’s 2016 exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Rohan Thomson

David Pope’s cartoon on the front page of Cumhuriyet, in the panel where the work of the paper’s cartoonist Musa Kart should appear.

Pope’s editorial cartoon of July 23, 2016, depicted the consequences for freedom in Turkey of the failed military coup.

In a March 2016 cartoon, David Pope depicted “President Trump” meeting “Pope George [Pell]” under the headline “Men of destiny”. Photo: David Pope

Pope portrayed the rise of Trump as a raging dumpster fire.

In 2016 he depicted Donald Trump as a raging dumpster fire and a Molotov cocktail hurled at the White House, Pauline Hanson as a flaming Redhead match and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a sensitive schoolboy bullied by the conservatives in his own party.

So, cartoonist David Pope appreciates more than most Australians just how precious are the democratic freedoms that allow cartoonists and independent media outlets to question, criticise and satirise those in positions of power.

Which is why the Fairfax Media illustrator recently contributed a cartoon to the Turkish newspaper, Cumhuriyet.

Pope’s cartoon was published on the front page of Turkey’s oldest daily newspaper, in the spot where its resident cartoonist Musa Kart’s work usually appears.

Musa was arrested in November, along with a number of his editors and journalist colleagues at the national opposition paper, as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on critical voices in the media following July’s attempted military coup in Turkey.

While Musa remains in jail, Cumhuriyet, or “Republic”, is filling his regular page-one panel with symbolic blank space or cartoons of solidarity from around the world.

Pope’s simple illustration, depicting a worried-looking world trying to read a censored Turkish newspaper with its cartoon panel ripped out, was published in December as international cartoonist organisations launched a campaign in support of freedom of speech in Turkey.

In a joint statement, the groups Cartoonists Rights Network International, Cartooning for Peace and Cartoon Movement urged “the leadership of every democratic nation to redouble their efforts” to persuade the Turkish government to release “our friend and colleague Musa Kart”.

Arrested on November 5 and jailed pending trial for “committing crimes on behalf of the Fethullahist Terror Organisation and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party”, Musa is reportedly still behind bars in Istanbul’s Silivri prison.

“On what basis can the drawing of satirical cartoons be considered a crime, much less an act of terrorism?,” the executive director of Cartoonists Rights Network International, Dr Robert Russell, said.

President Erdoğan had previously sued Musa for libel in 2005 and slander in 2014.

“We are witnessing an effort by the president to exact revenge on someone he has long considered an enemy,” Dr Russell said.

“On this occasion a punitive fine or jail sentence is not the worst possible outcome, as objectionable as it would be. If granted his stated ambition Erdoğan will reintroduce the death penalty specifically for those said to be involved in organising the coup. Clearly there is a real threat to Musa’s life should his trial proceed and he is found guilty of the charges given.”

The failed coup in Turkey was just one of the international events and issues the Canberra-based Pope explored in his daily editorial cartoons in 2016.

A Walkley winner for the now-famous “He drew first” cartoon that went viral on social media worldwide in the hours after the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris, Pope’s cartoons are published in The Canberra Times and nine other daily newspapers across regional NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Over the past 12 months, the cartoonist’s work has often reflected the global news cycle, from the rise of Trump in the US, the shock of Brexit in Europe and the intractable turmoil of Syria in the Middle East to the deaths of popular artists like David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Rickman.

President-elect Trump was variously depicted over the course of the year, through the Republican primaries and the campaign race against Hillary Clinton, as a dumpster fire, a Molotov cocktail hurled at the White House, a flaming Hindenburg airship and a Mexican wrestler in colourful Lucha Libre mask.

Back in March, after Pope Francis took aim at candidate Trump by criticising so-called Christians promising to build  walls instead of bridges and with Cardinal George Pell as defiant as ever in his Vatican sanctum, one cartoon depicted “President Trump” meeting “Pope George” under what seemed at the time to be a facetious title: “Men of destiny”.

Political shocks and shenanigans closer to home also provided rich pickings for Pope’s satirical penmanship, especially the electoral and party room travails of Turnbull, the return of Hanson and One Nation and assorted budgets, policy backflips and royal commissions.

The ceaseless chicanery of modern politics is a common refrain of Pope’s visual commentary.

“Politicians spend a lot of time managing their image to appear in control of things,” he said.

“So, I draw a lot of things that portray the contingency and chaos of politics – ‘methodical plans’ announced to dress up policies and compromises cooked up on the fly.

“Very similar to drawing a political cartoon, really. Especially as the deadline approaches.”

In 2016, Pope continued to draw  Turnbull with a tin-can-and-string top hat, a caricature device dating back to the PM’s days as Minister for Communications.

“He now looks naked to me when I draw him without it,” Pope said. “Over time it has become a prop that has taken on a life of its own.”

One of Pope’s favourite Turnbull cartoons of 2016 shows the PM as a chastened schoolboy explaining himself over his part in Coalition attacks on aspects of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.

“The Prime Minister’s relationship with the conservative right wing of his party is complicated,” Pope explained.

“Pressure from peers can mean burying your true feelings and hiding who you really are. So it’s good to provide a safe space in a cartoon where a Prime Minister can talk honestly about how bullying works.”

One of Pope’s cartoons about the heartbreak and courage brought to light by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was a finalist in Amnesty International Australia’s 2016 Media Awards.

“Cartoons about the abuse of power always run the risk of inadvertently reinforcing the powerlessness of victims and the power of the abuser,” he said.

“So it was good to draw these irrepressible survivors of institutional sexual abuse, as they picked each other up on the road from Ballarat to Rome, to bear witness to testimony from Australian cardinal George Pell, and to seek justice.”

To mark the January 2016 passing of pop star David Bowie, Pope steered away from a portrait of the famously androgynous singer.

Instead, he imagined a scene of life on Mars and drew on the enduring lyrics of one of the British artist’s hit songs, Heroes.

“While I did not have that personal connection to his art and music  that many clearly felt, there was no disputing his influence on popular artistic culture,” Pope said.

“This song was my favourite. Played now, at the end of the year, perhaps the melancholy which accompanied it at the start of the year will give way to more of its tragic defiant optimism.”

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Jan 20

Fireworks light up BendigoYour photos

MORE:Fireworks to light up Bendigo’s skyline

Fireworks light up Bendigo | Your photos Leesa Otters took this photo at the early family fireworks on Saturday.

Leesa Otters took this photo at the early family fireworks on Saturday.

Leesa Otters took this photo at the early family fireworks on Saturday.

Leesa Otters took this photo at the early family fireworks on Saturday.

Leesa Otters took this photo at the early family fireworks on Saturday.

Leesa Otters took this photo at the early family fireworks on Saturday.

Julie Sebire took this photo of the New Year fireworks.

loufirliphotographic: Happy New Year Folks! One of the more poxy firework pics you’ll see going around be we were chuffed to be only a handful of peeps to see them from this vantage point. Can you guess where? #fireworks #bendigo #HNY #bendigoadvertiser

Elise Hem shared this photo of Bendigo’s early fireworks.

bendigoartgallery: Happy New Year!

beaupre_boerboels: Happy New Years from our little family to yours ?? Wishing you all a wonderful new year full of love and happiness . . #newyearseve #happynewyear #explorebendigo #iheartbendigo #liveinbendigo #centralvictoria #seevictoria #liveinvictoria #fireworks #pretty #family #love #bendigoadvertiser

knally86: Watching the fireworks from mum & dad’s driveway #kidsfireworks #9pm #bendigoadvertiser #nofilter @bendigoadvertiser

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Greg Hamilton captured these great photos of Castlemaine’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Scott McLeod shared this photo of the early fireworks taken from the QEO.

Elise Hem shared this photo of the 9pm fireworks in Bendigo!

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