What’s on offer at Newcastle’s newly renovated city library?

Ready for the future at Newcastle’s revamped city library Nicholas Kim from Merewether Day Care at the renovated library. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Newcastle City Council manager of libraries Suzie Gately. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Kids from Merewether Day Care at the renovated library. Shay Donoghoe reading to Arlo Mantle, centre, and Abbey Lear reading to Luci Raine, right. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Kids from Merewether Day Care at the renovated library. Nicholas Kim, left, Bel Vazquez-Deegan, centre, and Henry Swilks, right. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Newcastle City Council manager of libraries Suzie Gately. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Kids from Merewether Day Care at the renovated library. Michael Moore with Arlo Mantle, left, and Henry Swilks, centre. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Kids from Merewether Day Care at the renovated library. Alro Mantle, lying down, Harry Llewellyn, sticking his tongue out, and Kate Murdoch, right, reading. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook New-look city library Newly renovated Newcastle City Library re-opens. Pictures: Jonathan CarrollNewcastle’scity library is ready to take-on the future.

Smart shelves that can tell when you’ve put a book down, custom-built touch screen tables where you can read one of thousands of newspapers or magazines from across the globe and a 3D printer are among the facilities unveiled when the revamped library was officially opened on Thursday.

The $1.36 million upgrades are the first at the facility since the 1960s–aside from a fresh lick of paint in the90s.

There’s a new reading and activity room for kids anda quiet space,which looks like a retro living room.

And no longer do youtake your card and items for loan to a librarian to zap at the front desk –you do it yourself at new terminals while staff rove in what manager of libraries Suzie Gately calls a “concierge” role.

While it might seem unorthodox for those used to a traditional library, there is also a “noisy zone” where people can chat andshare knowledge.

Upstairs there arecomputers, collaborative work spaces and a 3D printer –which is available to the publicandexpected to cost a similar amount to use as the library’s photocopiers in days gone by.

“We are people-places,” Ms Gately said of Newcastle’s libraries.

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Hume Highway safety campaign: move toward zero fatalities

IMPROVING SAFETY: The after math of a fatal crash on the Hume Highway earlier in October. Photo: file. So far this year there have been four fatal crashes on the Hume Highway.
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In the 10 years to 2016 there were 325 casualty crashes recorded on the Hume Highway south of the Avon Dam Road overpass, Bargo and north of George Street overpass, Marulan. These crashes resulted in 17 fatalities.

Sadly, behind every single road toll statistic is a grieving family.

In the wake of two recent truck crashes, Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon said “we are doing everything we can to move towards zero fatalities involving heavy vehicles.”

“It’s important to remember that both heavy vehicle drivers and other road users need to be especially careful when they encounter each other on the road because crashes involving heavy trucks are more serious due to their size and weight.”

A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson said the RMSis continually monitoring the NSW road network to ensure safety for all road users.

Under the Safer Roads Program,$1 million in 2017-18 has been allocated to improvements along the Hume Highway between Bargo and Goulburn.

“[The funds will be used for]safety improvements such as median barrier treatments, vegetation removal for improved motorist sight lines and line marking adjustments at four locations on the Hume Highway between Bargo and Goulburn.”

Roads and Maritime follows an investigation process after a fatal crash occurs, with the aim being to create immediate and long term preventative solutions.

The process involves site investigations as well as consideration of police reports, crash history and other contributing factors in order to identify immediate and longer term solutions as well as funding sources, such as the Federal Blackspot Program or the Fatal Crash Response Program.

Mr Carlon also reminded people to beaware of their own behaviours on the roads.

“Motorists need to remember that every time they get behind the wheel they are responsible not only for their own lives but the lives of every driver, rider or pedestrian they come into contact with,” he said.

“Drivers who speed, drink drive or push through when they need to take a break are not only risking their own lives but everyone else’s on the roads.”

Education is key to driver safety andRoads and Maritime carries out driver education programs for TAFE students and drivers aged 65+ to ensure safe behaviours are ingrained in drivers at a formative age.

Southern Highland News

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Thais farewell beloved king in ceremony fit for a demigod

Bangkok: Most Thais have never seen anything like it.
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Pageantry that has barely changed since the 14th century marked the end of 12 months mourning the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the beloved “father of all Thais”, who was considered by many to be a demigod.

A spectacular 50.28-metre tall pyre representing Mount Meru, which in Thai-Hindu cosmology is thought be the centre of the universe and the connection between the human realm and the divine, is at the centre of five days of rituals surrounding the king’s cremation on Thursday night.

Royal artists took 10 months to meticulously design every carving, flick of paint brush and wooden strut, passing on the artisanship Thais regard as their most elaborate.

The crematorium is flanked by legions of sculptures of mythical creatures and the king’s two dogs.

Millions of Thais united in their bereavement on Thursday as hundreds of courtiers pulled a 200-year-old 42-tonne “Great Victory Chariot” carrying Bhumibol’s remains.

More than 250,000 people in a sea of black, were allowed to cram into Bangkok’s historic quarter to witness the royal procession, while another 7500 guests, including many of the world’s royals were invited into the grounds of the Grand Palace..

is being represented by the Governor-General Sir Peter Gosgrove.

Mourners were allowed to prostrate as the procession passed but were not allowed to shout “Long Live the King” or hold up mobile telephones to take selfies.

“This is the most important event in my lifetime,” said mourner Banterng Saeuong.

Millions of Thais watched the ceremony on television while others paid their respects at 85 replicas of the cremation site erected across the country. The event is being broadcast live on Facebook.

Many businesses closed on Thursday, declared a public holiday, and many government buildings were draped in garlands made of yellow marigolds.

Bhumibol’s death at age 88 on October 13 last year sparked a national outpouring of grief for a monarch who Thais credit with transforming their country into a modern nation and unifying it at times of political turmoil.

Supported by decades of work by palace officials Bhumibol rebuilt the prestige of the monarchy, which lost its mystique and power after a 1932 coup ended centuries of absolute rule by Thai kings.

He ascended the throne in 1946 after death of his elder brother King Ananda Mahidol and was the world’s longest serving monarch when he died after long illness.

More than 12 million people – almost a fifth of Thailand’s population – visited the Throne Hall at Dusit palace over the past 12 months where Bhumibol lay with a Golden Death Mask placed over his face.

Bhumibol’s son King Maha Vajiralongkorn is presiding over the rituals, accompanied by other members of the royal family.

His own coronation is due within months.

Thailand’s military, which toppled a democratically-elected government to seize power in a 2014 coup, will come under pressure to lift restrictions on political freedoms when the official mourning period ends in November.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former army general who led the coup, has repeatedly delayed announcing a date for promised elections.

Analysts say that with the country’s democratic institutions weak and divided, the evolving relationship between the new king and the military will be critical to how Thailand’s new politics will unfold.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak???, a leading commentator on Thai politics from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, said that “as the royal cremation completes the most glorious reign the Thai people have ever known, we are saying goodbye to a great king whose final departure will take with it a collective part of us, the Thai people”.

– with agencies

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Berisha cops two match ban for tangling with match official

Melbourne Victory will need to resort to Plan B for a fortnight, with striker Besart Berisha being handed a two-match ban for manhandling a fourth official.
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The Kosovo international will miss Sunday’s away match with Central Coast and the marquee home tie against Western Sydney on Melbourne Cup eve.

Berisha was found guilty of unsporting conduct toward a match official after tangling with Daniel Elder in Friday night’s 2-2 draw with Adelaide United.

Victory have decided to accept the verdict and will not appeal.

But, Berisha could yet serve a longer ban, with another two matches suspended on the provision he does not commit a similar offence before the end of the season.

Berisha’s absence, confirmed by a tribunal convened on Thursday night in Sydney, is a major blow to Victory’s ambitions for the season, which has not started well.

Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas takes little consolation when he hears that his side should have much more to show for their efforts this season than they have.

The answer, according to the goalkeeper?

Show character, tough out this disappointing opening to the campaign, play with more intensity and behave like the champion team they are rather than like a side that has one point from three games.

“We need to get back to dictating games and really being dominant all over the field, whether that is defensively dictating where we want to show them, or even with the ball.

“We need to have that aggression and confidence on the field. We are here every day to work hard. We believe we have the quality here, if we push each other every day on the pitch it will transfer to games and results,” says the title winning shot stopper.

Had Victory enjoyed any luck at all it probably would have at least shared the spoils in its first three games and converted the defeats to Melbourne City and Sydney FC into draws.

But Thomas says such talk is unworthy of a club of Victory’s size, where players, coaches and all involved have to take responsibility for the position the club finds itself in now.

“For a club of our stature it’s not where we want to be. We have been playing well and not picking up points but we have to take responsibility as a team to control games better, take chances better, defend better.

“We always have to take responsibility together, we do that when we are successful and when we are not.”

Speaking before Berisha’s suspension was confirmed, Thomas was not concerned that the club would lose its cutting edge.

“No disrespect to Berisha, but I am not nervous at all. We have a lot of quality in this team, especially up front, obviously we want him in our team but if it’s not to be we are more than capable of getting the job done.”

With AAP

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Aberdare’s Richard Yok Snedden wins Scotty Cams Top Aussie Sheds competition

Is this the best shed in ? Take a look PROUD: Richard ‘Yok’ Snedden. Images from Scotty’s Top Aussie Sheds by Scott Cam (Murdoch Books RRP $35). Picture: Maya Vidulich.
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Picture: Maya Vidulich

Picture: Maya Vidulich

Picture: Maya Vidulich

Picture: Maya Vidulich

Picture: Maya Vidulich

Scotty’s Top Aussie Sheds by Scott Cam (Murdoch Books RRP $35).

Scott Cam

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

Picture: Sage Swinton

TweetFacebookWhen you first walk into Richard‘Yok’ Snedden’s shed, you get the idea that a lot of work has gone into it.

The Aberdare man who works at Maitland Gaol has spent more than two decades tinkering and toying with what is simply known as‘The Shed’.

His work has paid off –The Shed cinched the number one spot in Gold Logie winner Scott Cam’s Top Aussie Sheds book, which comes out Wednesday.

Proclaiming himself the book’s ‘Mr January’ with a biglaugh, Yok said it was a huge honour to win the title over the many awesome sheds that are out there.

“The Shed hadalways been a dream of mine,” Yok said.

“It means everything to me, it’s my whole life.

“I still do something to it everyday. It will never be finished.

“It will be nice to be able to leave it to my kids.”

Yok talks about The Shed like it is one of his children, and his kids were actually one of the driving forces behind the project.

He wanted a space to restore furniture, but also somewhere for his kids to have their birthday parties.

“We’ve done all that tenfold,” he said.

And you can understand why it’s a party haven when you see it.

The two story building isstrewn with memorabilia –antique Coca Cola signs, cardboard cut outs and funny personal trophies including‘stickybeak of the year’.

The Shed has a mezzanine level, bar, work space, dancefloor and tons of collectables. Picture: Sage Swinton

There is a designated dance floor, a swing, a work space, a bar, a pool table, a great sound system and enough collectables to keep anyone entertained for hours just looking at them.

But despite the obvious value in many of the items, Yok has collected most of The Shed’s contents from garage sales, auctions or people throwing stuff out.

“I’ve done it with not a lot of money,” he said.

“There were things people were throwing away as rubbish, and I saw something in them.

“There are a few valuable things, but I’ve just been lucky to pick them up at the right price.”

Every item has a story. Yok pointsout an ATM sign he picked up from an auction and says someone sawit and asked if he actually had a workingATM.

“I told her they’re just stocking it up,” he said with a laugh.

It’s these sorts of memories that make The Shed so special to Yok.

“It’s the people I’ve met through The Shed –and I mean that.

If the walls could talk about those people, boy would they have some funny stories to tell.

“I’ve had some really, really good times here. Some great parties.

“We’ve had fundraisers for people doing it tough. We’ve had taco eating competitions, pie eating competitions, hand shaking competitions.

“We had a wheelbarrow show with 50 barrows all done up.”

A swing is right in the middle of The Shed, with a piano, pool table and much more in the background. Picture: Maya Vidulich

But despite all those shindigs –some with about 150 attendees –there has been little drama.

Yok even said the cops who had turned up to some of the parties about the noise were “all good people”.

“I’ve never had any trouble,” he said.

“Everybody that comes here enjoys the place, loves the place and I appreciate that very much.”

Yok is quoted in Scott Cam’s book as saying ‘I don’t have to invite anyone. People just turn up.’

“Ain’t that the truth!” he says while flicking through the pages.

The great neighbours over the years have helped with that too. When Yok first built The Shed, the couple next door were in their 80’s.

Picture: Sage Swinton

He told them he might host a party or two.

“She said to me ‘you do whatever you like Rich. You were sent down from heaven to build that shed’.

“I’ve been pretty lucky to be able to do it.”

The Shed projectall started afterYok bought the house 21 years ago.

Yok, with help from his brother Robert and friend Paul ‘Ollie’ Oliver, converted what was an old bus shed with little but a roof and a wall, into a masterpiece.

The Shed before Yok converted it into a masterpiece.

Most of the materials came from an old house Yok and Ollie were pulling down at Lovedale. The house was set to be bulldozed, so Yok took the materials… and the rest is history.

The place has turned out exactly the way Yok imagined it, and for that reason he said it was amazing for it to be appreciated by someone like Scott Cam.

“It feels really nice,” he said.

“To think you’ve been acknowledged by someone like that, it’s pretty good to me.”

Scotty’s Top Aussie Sheds by Scott Cam (Murdoch Books RRP $35).

Maitland Mercury

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Taliauli’s first start in 10 months as Vikings chase finals

Vikings’ Lausii TaliauliThe Canberra Vikings have backed Lausii Taliauli to be the perfect NRC finals addition as the wounded ACT Brumbies flyer prepares to start his first game in 10 months.
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Taliauli has been added to the Vikings’ starting XV to fill the void left by Wallabies winger Henry Speight and Barbarians fullback Tom Banks for a final-round clash against the Sydney Rams on Sunday.

Taliauli has played just 25 minutes of rugby since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in a Brumbies pre-season game in January.

But Vikings coach Tim Sampson says the former Gold Coast Titans prospect is ready to fire as Canberra fights for crucial ladder positions.

The Vikings sit second on the ladder by could drop to third if they fail to beat the Rams.

They will go into the clash with the Rams without Banks, Speight, Joe Powell, Sam Carter, Rory Arnold and Folau Faingaa, who are all in camp for the Wallabies-Barbarians battle.

“Lausii’s only had 25 minutes but in that time we saw he had a lot of involvement and he’s keen to get back out there,” Sampson said.

“It will be great to see him get a start and see him get some more time. We’ve had plenty of changes this year … we’ve lost seven players from our last game.

“But the blokes coming in have played a lot of minutes in the tournament already so I think depth is something we’re blessed with this year.”

The Vikings have their sights set on the NRC title, but losing against the Rams could through their championship bid into chaos.

The Vikings will host a semi-final next weekend if they secure a top-two finish in the regular season.

However, a loss will leave them in the dark about their play-off destination as competition organisers weigh up whether to host a final in Fiji of the Fijian Drua rise to second spot on the table.

“There’s excitement there and that comes off the back of three wins on the trot [before a bye last weekend],” Sampson said.

“It is hard to ignore the finals and think about where you’re going to play. But we can only control what we do and we need to perform as best as we can.”

The Vikings have scored more points than any team in the competition and also boast the best defensive record, scoring 318 points and conceding 164 in seven games.

Robbie Abel will start at hooker in Faingaa’s absence, while Darcy Swain, Ryan Lonergan and Taliauli are in the starting side.

Andrew Muirhead shifts from the wing to fullback for just the second time this season to fill the void left by Banks, who can force his way into Wallabies selection contention on Saturday.

“We do need to win this game on the weekend, it would put us in a good spot for the finals but it would also put the mathematical equation in our hands,” said Vikings skipper Tom Cusack.

“[Having bye last weekend] is a bit of a double-edged sword. We could be rocks or diamonds on Sunday. But that’s the benefit of playing this weekend … we know we’re in finals so it’s about building combinations and confidence in each other.”


Sunday: Greater Sydney Rams v Canberra Vikings at TJ Milner Field, 3pm.

Vikings team: 1. Faalelei Sione, 2. Robbie Abel, 3. Joel Penders, 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Blake Enever, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack (c), 8. Lolo Fakao’silea, 9. Ryan Lonergan, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 11. Lausii Taliauli, 12. James Dargaville, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Ben Johnston, 15. Andrew Muirhead. Reserves: 16. TP Luteru, 17. Harry Lloyd, 18. Max Bode, 19. Dean Oakman-Hunt, 20. Angus Allen, 21. Pedro Rolando, 22. Fred Dorrough, 23. Mack Hansen

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CCTV reveals drone dumping contraband into Lithgow jail

More than 400 steroid capsules have been seized after they were smuggled into a NSW prison by drone.
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CCTV footage captured the drone landing in the yard of Lithgow Correctional Centre this week, after it was seen and reported to the prison by a member of the public.

It is the first time CCTV footage has captured a drone dumping contraband into a NSW prison.

Last year Fairfax Media revealed extraordinary claims about a sophisticated and profitable drone service at England’s biggest jail, used to fly contraband drugs and mobile phone SIM cards over prison walls.

At Lithgow prison, officers searched the area where the drone had landed on Tuesday morning but did not find anything. However they then conducted a series of raids when an inmate began behaving suspiciously.

After searching the inmate, officers seized two packages containing 403 capsules hidden in his clothing.

“Drones are a threat to the safety and security of officers and the correctional system,” said Minister for Corrections David Elliott, adding that he would be “looking at what further safeguards can be put in place to further restrict the use of drones and other aircraft in the vicinity of prisons.”

In May last year, a Fairfax Media report detailed claims about Wandsworth jail in south-west London, where it was alleged contraband, usually drugs, SIM cards or mobile phones, were sent to a team outside the jail who flew it to a specific cell, guided from the inside via mobile phone.

A recent inmate at the London jail, ‘S’, who did not want to be publicly identified for fear of repercussions, told Fairfax Media prisoners spent hours smashing the tough Perspex windows of their cells to enable a delivery.

Corrective Services NSW Acting Commissioner Luke Grant said corrective services had been on the alert for drones for some time.

“The use of drones to introduce illegal items into prisons is an emerging issue.”

He said daily searches, detection dogs and full body scanners were all strategies used to detect contraband in NSW prisons.

Anyone caught smuggling contraband can face two years prison.

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Brumbies prop rises to Wallabies vice-captaincy

Allan Alaalatoa and Michael Alaalatoa at the end of the gameBrumbies vs Crusaders during Super Rugby round 9 at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Sunday 24 April 2016. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Wallabies, Allan Alaalatoa and Scott Sio 17th August 2017 Photo by Louise Kennerley SMH SPORT
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21 July 2017. Super Rugby Quarter Final. ACT Brumbies v Wellington Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium. Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa makes a break. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

ACT Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa is set to become a Wallabies vice-captain, but he won’t get the chance to play against older brother Michael on Saturday afternoon.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has promoted to the young front-rower to the leadership role for an exhibition match against the Barbarians at Allianz Stadium.

It did set the stage for the Alaalatoa brothers to go head to head in the match after Michael was called into the Barbarians squad as an injury replacement.

But the family contest was crushed when the Canterbury Crusaders refused to release Michael for the game, opening the door for Brumbies veteran Ben Alexander to join the Barbarians.

Alexander, 32, hasn’t played a game since the Brumbies were knocked out of Super Rugby title contention in July as the club manages his workload in the off-season.

But the Wallabies-Barbarians match could have another family twist, with Brumbies lock Rory Arnold eyeing a clash against identical twin Richie if the 208 centimetre siblings are both picked.

Rory has been recalled to the Wallabies starting side after battling a niggling knee complaint and is now waiting for Richie to be given the nod in the Barbarians squad.

Cheika has has named Israel Folau on the wing and Karmichael Hunt at fullback in a new-look Wallabies team for their clash with Alan Jones’ Barbarians side.

Scrumhalf Nick Phipps will captain the side, with outside-centre Samu Kerevi and prop Alaalatoa to be his deputies.

The game will be the first time since 2013 that Folau has played as a Wallabies winger instead of fullback, but Cheika says Hunt has the inside running to replace him on the spring tour.

It will be Folau’s last outing for the Wallabies in 2017 before taking a break from the game, meaning Hunt now has a chance to make the No.15 jersey his own.

Hunt, Kurtley Beale and Reece Hodge have been touted as potential replacements for Folau but Cheika reaffirmed on Thursday the Queensland Reds utility back was right in the mix to start there in end of year Tests in Japan, Wales, England and Scotland.

“He’s got the inside running hasn’t he,” Cheika said. “This is a chance for him. He knows the sort of role he needs to play there. It’ll be a little different to Israel’s role. From June he merits the first crack at it, even though it may not be in the position he played in June.”

Henry Speight and Folau are the two wingers that make up the Wallabies’ new-look back line.

“We’d like to get the ball into [Folau’s] hands a bit more on the edge,” Cheika said. “The way we play, those back two usually do the same job anyway. There will be some times where he will be positioned exclusively on the wing.”

Queensland Reds playmaker Duncan Paia’aua has been picked at No.10 with Billy Meakes (No.12) and Samu Kerevi (No.13) in the centres.

Cheika will use the Barbarians match as a selection trial for places on the spring tour.

Quade Cooper is one player who Cheika will be keeping an eye on. The one-time first-choice Wallabies playmaker has been named at No.10 for the Barbarians but appears to be an outside chance to get picked on the end of year tour.

Wallabies team: 1. Tom Robertson, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Lukhan Tui, 6. Ned Hanigan, 7. Jack Dempsey, 8. Lopeti Timani, 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Duncan Paiaaua, 11. Israel Folau, 12. Billy Meakes, 13. Samu Kerevi, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Karmichael Hunt. Reserves: Stephen Moore, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Jermaine Ainsley, 19. Kane Douglas, 20. Ben McCalman, 21. Joe Powell, 22. Curtis Rona, 23. Izaia Perese.

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Harvey Weinstein scandal triggers sexual assault victims

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison. The Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal in Hollywood has highlighted the problem of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.
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So says Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison, the NSW shadow minister for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“A gender-equality movement has risen in the last few weeks around the treatment of women at work and the crossover between sexual harassment and sexual assault,” Ms Aitchison said.

“The prevalence of the #metoo hashtag on social media shows this.”

Coverage of stories like the Weinstein scandal can trigger sexual assault victims into flashbacks and mental anguish, she said.

“We need to make sure that government services can properly respond to that,” she said.

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault and harassment.

The Heraldreported in May that Ms Aitchison was a victim of sexual assault.

She saidthe Weinstein story made her reflect on this ordeal and “the times I’ve been sexually harassed at work”.

Inher 20s, she was harassed by a male superior in his 40s who was married with a child.

“I was shocked that it could happen and that he seemed to think it was OK.

“I left that role soon after to avoid seeing him again.”

She said many workplaces included men who sexually harass women.

Women fear that “if you complain, you are the problem”.

“Most victims don’t report it because the insidious nature of this type of abuse makes it difficult to report,” she said.

Women had the right not to be treated as sexual beings at work andto be seen as professionals.

“I think most women have been sexually harassed at work,” she said.

“At most workplaces I’ve worked at, I’ve had men make inappropriate comments to me.”

Female colleagues will say “be careful of this or that guy”.

A culture of respect should be fostered at “every level of the workplace”.

“Sexual harassment is on the same level as the manipulation, power and control used in domestic violence,” she said.

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University of Newcastle launches Women in Research Fellowship

POST doctoral researcher Hayley Scott had already publishedsignificant findings about the link betweenobesity andasthmawhen she took time off work for thebirth of her son, Angus.
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Spotlight on gender equity Girl power: Dr Hayley Scott and Dr Jessica Allen (with glasses), who is planning to use her fellowship to explore sustainable and innovative methods to produce advanced carbon materials for use in energy storage devices and establish an electro chemical engineering research group. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Girl power: Recipients of University of Newcastle’s (UON) inaugural Women in Research (WIR) Fellowship Program. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebookHer plans to juggle motherhood with further research around the impact of exercise intensity on asthma havebeen given a major boost, after she was named a recipient of theUniversity of Newcastle’s (UON) inaugural Women in Research (WIR) Fellowship Program.

“I was very excited to find out I was a recipient –it made my month,” Dr Scott said.

“This will give me $18,000 to employ a research assistant one day a week so I can work on publications, apply for grants, network andsit on a few committees –I will gain 300 hours over the year.

“It just feels like I ambeing supported and it’s going to make a big difference.”

The program will provide funding each year for up to 15 UON early and mid-career female academics to facilitate research and career development. It also includes networking and collaboration events, a mentor and advice on how to advocate for sponsorship.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Deborah Hodgson said women comprise just 27 per cent of senior academic positions in n universities and the fellowship could be “transformative” in helping women overcome barriers to reachingpositions above senior lecturer.

“This is about the raising the platform to assist women to achieve where their progression has been impacted by issues beyond their control,” she said. “We can’t afford not to address this issue, because if we don’t have women in senior positions, then we don’t have role models and mentors for female undergraduates coming through. If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

She said barriers to progression includedcaring responsibilities, time away working in industry, lack of mentors and unconscious gender bias.

“When we look at the data it’s not a pipeline issue, but there are barriers that stop their progress to higher positions of associate professor and professor,” she said.

“They just don’t go for promotion. But when women do apply, they get up just as often as men do. “A lot of universities have different initiatives, but what’s unique about this is it’s a comprehensive, individually tailored program of support, with significant funds. I would like to think UON will become known as an institution where women come because they know their careers are supported. We are looking today at thefuture professors of this university.”

Recipients are working across a range of fields, including education, creative industries, humanities, architecture, engineeringand psychology.

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