SES work honoured

TheNSW State Emergency Service Penrith unit has held a presentation night to acknowledge the work of its volunteers this year.
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Deputy Commissioner Steve Pearce, deputy region controller George Jeffereys and region controller Allison Flaxman attended the celebration on December 3.

Penrith unit spokesman Michael Faccin said it was great to recognise the achievements and contributions of the volunteers.

“The past year has seen a significant amount of jobs and volunteers each week have been out away from families and work assisting in whatever way we can,” he said.

This year the Penrith unit responded to more 400 requests for help, with a particularly stormy past couple of months keeping the team extremely busy.

Three members were awarded the national medal for 15 years of service: John Burns, John Vickers and William Ross.

John Vickers, who became the Penrith deputy controller this year, said the team was great to work with.

“It’s an excellent team and we all have a good working relationship,” he said.

“Most of the Penrith guys are pretty close; we see a lot of each other — particularly over the last few months.”

As a trained SES air observer, Mr Vickers assisted in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean.

“We spent five days doing it, with three days of full searching,” Mr Vickers said.

“It would take about three or four hours to get out to the search area and then three or four to get back.”

The unit was also commended on their work setting up a staging ground for firefighters in the 2013 Blue Mountains fires.

“We were called on Monday night and they asked for a staging area to be set up by Tuesday morning and they used it for three days,” Mr Vickers said.

Damien Baker, Claire Cross, Steve Durrant, Ray Filby and Mars Hernandez received NSW SES long service medals.

Members were presented with certificates that recognised their training achievements with 17 new members being formally recognised.

Retiring members Mars Hernandez, Peter Todd (26 years’ service), Dean Asher and former deputy controller Darryl Jones were also recognised for their tireless contributions over the years.

Ironically, or perhaps fittingly, the presentation night was cut short due to a strong storm cell that passed over Penrith, meaning the volunteers were activated.

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Reading for the blind

A small volunteer group for the Royal Society for the Blind get together on a Wednesday morning to read the Northern Argus news to locals.
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Natascha Yandell, President of Lions Club of Clare Greg Pulford, Carole Dunk, Mid North Tech Centre owner Gavin McElroy, Pat Dawson, Rhonda Brown, Claire McCann and the founders of the group Chris and Ashleigh Radcliffe and Margaret Springbett reads the Northern Argus. Absent: Pat and Guy Ballantyne. Some of the previously used technology is also on show.

For majority of people, the ability to see and read is completely normal but for others it isn’t, and this is where the ‘Talking Newspaper’ comes in to assist.

It began back in 2003 by volunteers who answered an appeal by the RSB in the Northern Argus.

Former Clare locals Ashleigh and Chris Radcliffe helped the group get off the ground which has continued ever since.

Technology has changed significantly since the first reading of the newspaper – from cassette tapes and cassette copiers, to digital readings and MP3 players for the listeners.

The Talking Newspaper went digital in 2012 and cut the time of recording by almost two hours.

Each Wednesday, two volunteers get together in a small building behind the Uniting Church, where the equipment is kept and safely stored, and they read the Northern Argus.

Volunteers said they don’t read adverts or the whole paper, just the important stories and a few lines from each.

But they do read and describe some photographs, so listeners can paint their own picture of the story.

“We read the main stories, personal notices, the editorial and some sport and we do describe photographs,” volunteer Carole Dunk said.

In total there are eight readers rostered on in lots of two for each edition of the Northern Argus and two new volunteers are currently in the process of joining the group.

But an extra two would be helpful.

The whole service is anonymous and listeners need to go through the Royal Society for the Blind to register.

In the past there have been up to 23 users of the ‘Talking Newspaper’ but today it is just eight – there’s plenty of room for more.

Due to the change in technology and a sound computer needed for the recording, both the Northern Argus and Lions Club of Clare got together to pay for a new laptop. The RSB only supply the recording equipment, not a computer.

With the help of Gavin McElroy of Mid North Tech Centre it was possible to give the group an affordable laptop to use. This computer will allow the volunteers to continue reading for the blind and listeners to learn of the latest local news.

If you want to volunteer for a couple of hours on a roster basis for the Talking Newspaper Natascha Yandell on 8842 1017 or 0457 971 017.

Or if you wish to register for the Talking Newspaper call Helen Waters on 8254 3011.

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Wider roads the priority

Wider roads: MPs Fiona Scott and Stuart Ayres announced plans to widen Castlereagh and Mulgoa roads and to add longer turning lanes at the Jane Street and High Street intersections.Upgrades to Castlereagh and Mulgoa roads are on the way, after an announcement that the previously planned Jane Street extension will become a broader fix for traffic travelling north and south.
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Lindsay MP Fiona Scott and Penrith MP Stuart Ayres announced the $70 million preferred design — to be covered by $35 million each from state and federal governments — to reduce congestion through the intersections between Museum Drive on Castlereagh Road in the north and Union Road in the south.

The plans are now open to public input.

This funding was slated to extend Jane Street through Woodriff Gardens to help east-west traffic, but will now be used to widen Mulgoa and Castlereagh roads to three lanes and add more turning lane length along High Street (east and west) and Jane Street.

Ms Scott said the flooding under the railway bridge at Castlereagh Road also needed to be solved and widening the underpass would enable that as well as solving other congestion.

“Whilst we have this bucket of money there for this part of Penrith we have to fix this pinch-point and the best outcome is to fix the north-south flow,” she said.

Mr Ayres said the change in priorities was because Roads and Maritime modelling had indicated that the best way to alleviate congestion was to widen the north-south roads and create longer turning lanes on east-west roads to move more cars through the large intersections.

“We’ve done a lot of work and quite extensive traffic modelling for the main bottlenecks and the main thoroughfare of traffic and which direction people are travelling in,” he said.

“Sometimes up to 10 times more cars are moving in a north-south direction.”

He said they tested 14 designs in the modelling and this was the best outcome according to the RMS.

Mr Ayres said this would help alleviate traffic coming across Victoria Bridge by getting more cars across intersections and away from the pinch-points.

“We can absorb more traffic doing this than putting a road through here,” Mr Ayres said.

Ms Scott said the money had to be prioritised and this was the most effective way to spend it.

An extension of Jane Street across Woodriff Gardens in the future has not been ruled out.

People can download the preferred design at rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydneywest and email [email protected] .nsw.gov.au to have their say.

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Church Notices – 18.12.14

“John the Baptist” and assistant “baptise” a member of the congregation at Kangaroo Flat Anglican Church. Picture: Alison NivenAnglican
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South East: Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church’s family Christmas Eve service is on December 24 from 4pm to 5pm.

There is a Christmas Eve family service at Holy Trinity, Keck Street, Flora Hill, from 6pm.

Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church’s Holy Communion Christmas service is from 7.30pm on December 24.

On Christmas Eve at 11pm there will be a contemporary communion service at Holy Trinity, Keck Street.

On Christmas Day, there will be an 8am communion service at Christ Church, East Bendigo, 9am communion service with kids’ segment at Holy Trinity, Keck Street, and at Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church a Christmas celebration service from 9am.

St Paul’s: This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

In this week’s gospel we sense that the coming of Jesus might be in a surprising form . The reading is one of reversals. The powerful Messiah will come as a helpless baby.

Conversely, powerless Mary is filled with more power that anyone on earth when she consents to become the mother of our Lord. May we also consent to God’s work in us, however surprising it might be.

At 11am this Sunday the children will present their Christmas play, then at 6pm all are welcome to join us for a traditional service of carols and readings.

Other services on Sunday are 8am – said Eucharist; 9.30am – choral Eucharist; and 11am – Eucharist with children’s play.

For details of all Christmas services and more information about St Paul’s, visit www.stpaulsbendigo.org.au or find us on Facebook.

Kangaroo Flat: This Sunday, December 21, at 6pm we are presenting our Christmas carols and children’s Nativity play. All are welcome.

Christmas services will be:

Wednesday, December 24, at 6.30pm – Christmas Eve at St Laurence Court, Kangaroo Flat.

Wednesday, December 24, at 11pm – Christmas Eve at St Mary’s.

Thursday, December 25, at 9am – Christmas Day at St Mary’s.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,

And will call him Immanuel.”

– Isaiah 7:14

The star of Bethlehem shone when Christ was born. In the darkest nights, Christ’s love still shines the brightest. May His light and love shine on our parishioners and readers of the Bendigo Advertiser this Christmas.

For information on St Mary’s Church and the Anglican Parish of Kangaroo Flat, visit our webpage at http://stmaryskangarooflat南京夜网/ or find us on Facebook.

Catholic

SacredHeart:This Sunday, the cathedral welcomes the gift of the new iconwhich celebrates the life of St Marcellin Champagnat.

The Marist Old Boys Association in conjunction with Sacred Heart Cathedralcommissioned the Redesdale based iconographer Ivan Russ.

During the 11am Mass, the icon will be blessed by Bishop Les Tomlinsonand then hung in an appropriate position.

The Christmas Mass for Lilley Lodge will be held on Friday December 19 at 10.30am,Relatives and friends are welcome.

The primary school teachers are invited to give thanks for the 2014 school year by attendingMass this Friday at 8am.

On Tuesday evening, December 23rd, the last Advent Devotion will commence at 7pm and anopportunity for Reconciliation will be offered following the prayer.

Gifts for the St Vincent de Paul hampers need to be left at the Cathedral no later than Sunday Dec at 6pm Mass.

Connect Church

Transformation SOAK time will be in the supper room tonight at 7pm. This will include a Kris Kringle gift sharing. Please bring a gift to the value of $10 plus a plate of food to share for supper. Lots of fun and laughter guaranteed. All welcome.

Our church will once again be supporting the St Luke’s Children’s Christmas Day Appeal. Take a tag from the tree in the foyer and buy a gift $10 to $20 for the age and gender of the child and return unwrapped by this Sunday.

This is an opportunity to give and make Christmas extra special for a deserving child. Donations of cash are also appreciated. For more information, contact Nicole on 0409 040 716.

“Dave & Guido” is the theme for the Christmas Eve service in the church at 6.30pm.

Preparations for Family Fun Day on Sunday, January 25, are well under way. If you would like to be involved as a street performer, stall vendor, face painter or other areas that would help to make this day a success, phone Dave Annison at the church office on 5441 3133.

Sunday’s church service is at 10am at 35 Solomon Street, Bendigo. For more information on church programs, visit www.connectchurch南京夜网.au

Oasis Christian Church

LASTSunday Samuel Tshisekedi brought a deeper insight on the subject of “The works of Angels in the lives of the believer” from Hebrews 1:14.

“Angels are ministering spirits to those who shall inherit salvation.”

Christians believe in angels because Jesus taught about angels. The nature of angels is: they are created beings, spirits, genderless and immortal. They are also obedient, reverent, wise, humble, mighty, holy, innumerable, and fit into many categories.

God created angels for Himself to work for Him in many dimensions and purposes. He is the giver of principles and rules for the wellbeing of mankind. However, some angels who rebelled from God have established their own principles and rules to influence mankind to live in disobedience to God. These rebellious angels await the day of judgement.

God’s ministering angels are sent to serve all people who have inherited salvation and thereby have rights in the new Will and Testament.

The Old Testament was God’s first Will for His people. When He sent the gift of His Son Jesus, who died to activate God’s new Will and Testament, it was for all mankind.

Therefore, without hesitation believers should activate the ministry of angels according to the will of God found in His word.

All are welcome at our regular Sunday services on Sundays at 10am at the Long Gully Community Centre, 27 Havilah Road, Bendigo.

Inquiries to 5443 1468 or 0402 087 083.

Presbyterian

EAGLEHAWK: Last Sunday Pastor Steven told of our “Certainty of our faith”, Hebrews 11 V1-3.

How great and how strong is our faith? Do I trust in Jesus to take me to heaven? Do I fully believe I am going to heaven? We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. What is faith?

Faith stands in the surety of God’s word.

Our body connects to this world but our soul connects to the spiritual world. We are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual faith is trusting in the divine truth of the Bible. Faith must centre on the living God.

Our faith is that we see God in His creation, which is everywhere.

By faith we see and feel His love for us, but woe to the unbeliever on judgement day.

This Sunday, December 21, there will be a worship service.

On Wednesday, December 24, at 7pm there will be a Christmas Eve service.

All inquiries to Pastor Steven on0408 990 903.

St John’s: When white man John Griffin made himself up and lived as a black man, he found out the hard way what many experienced in 1959 racist America.

When Jesus came to earth as a human, He, too, experienced the nature of life as we know it. Hebrews 4:14-5:10 tells us of His experiences – how He endured human frailty, suffering and even death.

Though He was fully God, He entered into the realm of our pain and through that pain and eventual death, secured an eternal salvation for His people.

At Christmas time we remember the wonderful truth that God became man and as man He still lives to be our great High Priest in heaven – fully able to understand what we must endure.

On Sunday, the Reverend John Sutherland will preach at the 10.30am service. Carols by Torchlight will follow at 8pm. The Reverend Russ Grinter will be speaking. Christmas Day service at 9.30am.

For more information, contact 5443 6189 or visit http://bendigopc.org.au

Southern Gateway

LASTSunday Pastor Dale Caldwell preached a chronology of the Christmas events and the wondrous event that our Heavenly Father sent a saviour in human form. God has always an astonishing plan in mind for us all to be saved.

Recently an “atheist” friend asked me to help him understand the supernatural wonder of Jesus. As his friend of many years and pastor of this church, I could only invite him to pray that Jesus would touch his life and reveal the awesome truth of his birth, death and resurrection.

All are welcome at our Spirit-filled church to encounter Jesus and be saturated in the Word at our 10am service in the Y community hall opposite Aldi in Kangaroo Flat.

Our Christmas Day service will be at 9am around the crib and the cross. Men are invited to join in fellowship this Saturday at 8.30am for a fellowship breakfast in the Coffee Club.

Prayer support and inquiries to Pastor Peter Pritchard on 0413 682 999.

Uniting

ELM Cluster:

Eaglehawk: Everyone is welcome to join in our services on this fourth Sunday in Advent at 10am for the service in the church, led by the Reverend Cynthia Page, and for Cornerstone (Sunday school). Morning tea will follow.

The evening service at 6.30pm will be a Blue Christmas Service especially for people who may find Christmas a challenging time. The Reverend Cynthia will also lead this service.

Playgroup meets on Friday from 9.45am.

On Christmas Eve, next Wednesday, there will be a family service at 7.30pm and on Christmas Day, the service will be at 9.30am and the Reverend Cynthia will be the leader.

Christmas Bowl envelopes are available in the foyer.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed over the Christmas season.

Long Gully: The service this sunday will be at 9.30am, led by the Reverend Tyrone Balfour. There will also be a service on Christmas Day at 9.30am, led by the Reverend Dale Pascall.

Marong: The service on Sunday will be at 9.30am, led by the Reverend Joe Wilson. The service on Christmas Day will be at 9am, led by Merrill Cole.

Weeroona Uniting Church Bendigo:

Arnold Street and White Hills congregations will have their church service at the White Hills Church at 11am this Sunday. The service will be led by the Reverend Ralph Clarke and will include Holy Communion and a Sunday school program for the children.

There will be two morning services at Neale Street this Sunday, at 9.15am and 11am. The 9.15am service is family orientated and will be led by the Reverend Ralph Clarke. The 11am service is more traditional in its presentation and will led by the Reverend Dale Pascall.

We also have a number of special Christmas services in the week to come.

On Sunday you are invited to come along the Blue Christmas Service at Arnold Street at 5pm. This is where we recognise that times of celebration may be especially hard for people who are holding sadness and loss in their hearts. Come along to experience the wonder and hope of Christmas, even in the midst of uncertainties.

On Christmas Eve, you are welcome to come along to our candlelight service at Neale Street. This will be a special evening, beginning at 10.30pm for supper, followed by carol singing at 11pm, with the service beginning at 11.30pm.

On Christmas Day there will be a combined Weeroona UC Service at Neale Street at 9.30am. Come along to a special Christmas celebration for all ages.

Wishing all a safe and happy Christmas, and every blessing for the New Year.

Bendigo South Cluster:

This week’s Sunday services are:

Chum Street: At 11am with the Reverend Ian Stewart leading the service.

Kangaroo Flat: At 9.30am with the Reverend Ian Stewart leading the service.

Lockwood: At 9.30am with Rob Harris leading the service.

Christmas Bowl envelopes are now available. Envelopes can be placed in with offerings up to and on Christmas Day.

Central Bendigo Cluster:

Next Sunday at 9.30am, at St Andrew’s, Myers Street, the Reverend Julianne Parker will lead worship, and again at Axedale at 2.30pm.

Starting at 9.30am at Forest Street, the Reverend Jim Foley will lead a family service followed by a special morning tea. Invitations have been sent to families whose children have been baptised over the past couple of years.

At 7pm this Sunday, the final discussion of The Making of the Messiah: Reflections and Studies for Advent will be held in the Forest Street Vestry.

Uniting Threads thanks all for their support and advises that as a result of their Christmas stall and raffle a cheque for more than $1000 will be given to the Christmas Bowl Appeal. Uniting Threads is in recess until Wednesday, February 4.

Both congregations have responded with financial donations to an appeal for UnitingCare Bendigo’s Christmas gift program.

The church offices will be closed until January 21, but each congregation’s elders will receive calls should pastoral care be needed.

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Archival Revival: Labourers of Bathurst

Archival Revival: Labourers of Bathurst Boiler for Mt David, 1902. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.
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Boiler washing plant, 1913. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Walter Bosworth driving a horse drawn cart, Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

All Saints School teachers, 1928. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Marks Jewellers on Howick Street, 1931. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Big logs being tansported to Windburdal bridge, 1902. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Bishop Long, bogged down in the mud in his horse drawn cart, 1914. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Carts for cordial and pickle manufacturers, 1902. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Cobb & Co. coach, “Centenary Box” , 1913. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

Jack Chalmers load of wool, 1926. Photo: Gregory, Albert E./ Bathurst Regional Council.

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Village Green stage arrives

Jack Smits (front left) and fellow co-ordinator Arty Hoey with some of the volunteers who built the new stage on Port Fairy s Village Green. 141210AS20 Picture: AARON SAWALL nb has a new stage on its civic green, pictured are the volunteers who built it in front construction coordinators Jack Smits, and Arty Hoey.THE long wait for a stage on the Port Fairy Village Green is over.
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The stage was used for the first time for the Port Fairy Carols by Candlelight.

This is sure to be the first of many times the stage will be used into the future.

The stage has been built by the Port Fairy Folk Festival construction crew led by Jack Smits.

Work on building the stage began in September with up to 25 volunteers from the construction crew lending their efforts to get the job done.

Retired Port Fairy builder Arty Hoey also volunteered his expertise to help steer the project through to its completion.

One of the members of the construction crew was chairman of the Moyneyana Festival Reg Harry, a man who has long advocated for the stage to be built.

Mr Smits said he and Mr Harry could trace the battle for the stage back more than two decades.

“Reg and I were both councillors on the old Borough of Port Fairy back in 1992 and the stage was on the agenda back then,” Mr Smits said.

“This is a great result for Port Fairy. I think it will really add something to the town and be used by a lot of people. It is a wonderful asset for the town.

“The construction of the stage went extremely well. Everything went pretty much to plan and we had no major hold ups.”

The stage was designed by Mr Smits and its curved roof is based on the boat shed at the wharf.

A power source is located under the stage for easy and safe access while disability access is provided at the back. The stage has been funded through the Moyne Shire Council and the folk festival.

The council has put in $55,000 for the stage with the folk festival paying costs above this, including the in-kind labour of its construction crew. It is estimated the final cost of the stage is about $95,000.

The stage is being used heavily during the upcoming Moyneyana Festival beginning with the Christmas Eve community celebration.

The folk festival will also put the stage to good use on the long weekend in March, when it will be the centrepiece for the fringe festival.

Mr Smits said it usually took a team of five men a days work to put up the temporary stage on the Village Green for the festival.

Top achievers at Clarence Town School

Clarence Town Public School’s academic award winners Melany Ford, Gabrielle Fren, Myhra Lencz-Rufo, Lauren Aubin and Lucas Hawkin.Melany Ford was named dux for 2014 and Myhra Lencz-Rufo received the citizenship award.
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Lauren Aubin receive the year 3-6 principal’s award while Lucas Hawkin the kinder to year 2 one.

Public speaking award winner was Gabrielle Fren and Nicholas Fren received the sportsmanship award.

Dominic Rusak, Jaxson Stericker and Jessie Taylor were the senior sport champions while Jayden Hawkin and Abbie Steel were the junior champions.

Harry Boyton received the Premier’s sport award.

Technology awards were given to Nash Jeffery, Luke Redman, Gracie Hainsworth, Jack Boyton, Paige Hensley-Turner, Abbie Steel and Jake Godfrey.

Library award winners were Harry Thurlow-Gray, Ronin Elloy, Kyla Radford and Charlie Englefield.

IGA awards for most improved were given to Jasmine Bagnall, Ebony Shaw, Amity Lynch, Jade Smith, Darby Tout and Brook Hawkins-Lee.

Sport award winners Melany Ford, Jaxson Stericker, Dominic Rusak, Nicholas Fren, Harry Boyton, Jayden Hawkin, Abbie Steel, Jessie Taylor and Jack Kershaw.

Class awards

ES1L: Maxen Elloy, Mia Layzell, Charlie Jones, Matilda Bourke, Jesse Hoffman and Caitlin McDonald

S1E: April Hensley-Turner, Beth West, Samuel Zuber, Claire Bagnall, Aleira Mansfield and Chloe Edwards.

S1/2E: Harry Boyton, Harry Watt, Isabella Dunning, Lilly McDonnell, Caleb Shaw and Oliver Hoffman.

S2G: Jade Smith, Nathan Andrews, Claudia Watt, Cale Conserdyne, Jessie Radford and Jack Boyton.

S2-3L: Macy-Lyn Pearson, Jack Watt, Makayla Duthie, Daniel Edwards, Tijay Parks and Gracie Kershaw.

S3G: Jessica Taylor, Abijade Bee, Isaac Smith, Caitlin Lightfoot, Jade Taylor and Chloe Taylor.

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Engineering fields appeal at UWS event

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Engineering futures: Dr Ragbir Bhathal believes UWS can help Australian engineers compete with the best in Asia and America in a global marketplace. Picture: Gary Warrick

The University of Western Sydney 2014 hosted Engineering Frontiers on December 11 and 12.

Students from 22 schools across western Sydney came to learn about the different engineering fields from UWS teachers and get hands-on experience solving problems.

Zac Fester, in year 10 at Jamison High School, is interested in various engineering fields and wants to get into robotic engineering.

“I think that is the future,” he said.

“I want to do something that can influence the world.”

Event chairman Dr Ragbir Bhathal said the Engineers Australia-sponsored event had grown this year and he hoped to expand it to include more NSW schools and eventually international students.

“UWS needs to make that impact and attract more people into these courses,” he said. “The aim is to encourage young boys and girls to take up careers in science and engineering.”

Wandi Wei, a year 10 Macarthur Girls High School student, said she was interested in how things worked and how to make them more efficient.

“I’m interested in infrastructure, and might like to become a civil engineer,” she said. “Workshops are great because you see how things work up close; they also give you experience with what it’s like at university.”

Dr Ragbir believes there is a lot of potential in western Sydney for the sciences and engineering, with Badgery’s Creek to be built not far from the UWS campus.

He is also pushing for a hands-on science park like Questacon in Canberra.

“Engineering has a great future in Australia and we still need lots of engineers,” Dr Bhathal said.

Kristy Vanderweide, in year 12 at Mitchell High School, said she would consider studying engineering.

“I want to work where I can see what I’m building,” she said.

Kaitlin Hockey, a year 10 student from Quakers Hill high, said she would like to work in aeronautics or electrical engineering.

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‘I lay still and closed my eyes’: boy plays deadto survive Taliban massacre

A man comforts his son, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, December 16, 2014. This is not the boy Salman who played dead to avoid the gunmen. Photo: Reuters.Peshawar:A teenage survivor of the Taliban attack on Army Public School in Peshawar has describedhow he played dead after being shot in both legs by insurgents hunting down students to kill.
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Militants rampaged through the army-run school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital and killed at least 130 people, most of them children, in one of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan.

Speaking from his bed in the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital, a student called Salman, 16, said he and his classmates were in a careers-guidance session in the school auditorium when four gunmen wearing paramilitary uniforms burst in. (Salman is not his real name which has been changed to protect his identity).

“Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks,” he said, adding that the gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) before opening fire.

“Then one of them shouted: ‘There are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them’,” Salman told AFP.

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me, this guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches.”

Salman said he felt searing pain as he was shot in both his legs just below the knee. He decided to play dead, adding: “I folded my tie and pushed it into my mouth so that I wouldn’t scream. The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again,” he said.

“My body was shivering. I saw death so close and I will never forget the black boots approaching me. I felt as though it was death that was approaching me,” Salman added further.

The Army Public School is attended by boys and girls from both military and civilian backgrounds.

As his father, a shopkeeper, comforted him in his blood-soaked bed, Salman recalled: “The men left after some time and I stayed there for a few minutes. Then I tried to get up but fell to the ground because of my wounds. When I crawled to the next room, it was horrible. I saw the dead body of our office assistant on fire,” he said.

“She was sitting on the chair with blood dripping from her body as she burned,” Salman added.

It was not immediately clear how the female employee’s body caught fire, though her remains were also later seen by an AFP reporter in a hospital mortuary.

Salman, who said he also saw the body of a soldier who worked at the school, crawled behind a door to hide and then lost consciousness.

“When I woke up I was lying on the hospital bed,” he added.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying its militants had been ordered to shoot older students.

AFP

Trophy Eyes have been invited to play the American leg of the Vans Warped Tour in 2015

Clarence Town punk rock band Trophy EyesClarence Town band Trophy Eyes has continued their rise in the punk rock world.
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The five-piece have been invited to play every date of 2015’s Vans Warped Tour in America.

The group made the announcement by way of a cheeky video on their Facebook page.

The prestigious punk and hardcore tour will see Trophy Eyes play 41 shows across the United States from Pomona, California on June 19 to Auburn, Washington, on August 8.

Trophy Eyes were revealed on the first artist announcement for next year’s tour with the likes of Alive Like Me, blessthefall, and Neck Deep.

Trophy Eyes have been very busy since releasing their debut record Mend, Move On this year, having already played their own headline shows and supported Violent Soho’s recent tour.

The new year will see further Australian headline shows, before they head to the UK with Neck Deep in January and February.

In April this year they signed with Californian record company Hopeless Records, alongside the likes of Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, The Used and New Found Glory.

This year also saw Trophy Eyes win a Triple J Unearthed competition to play Sydney’s Soundwave festival in February 2014.

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