AFL 2017: Best of round 16

AFL 2017: Best of round 16 Eddie Betts and Rory Sloane of the Crows sing the club song after round 16. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
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Taylor Hunt of the Tigers (left) and Jack Billings of the Saints compete for the ball during round 16 AFL match against St Kilda Saints. Photo: Getty Images

Matthew White of the Power is chaired off by Jared Polec and Travis Boak after playing his 150th game during round 16 AFL match against West Coast Eagles. Photo: Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images

Jake Lever of the Crows competes for the ball against Jack Redpath and Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs during round 16. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Taylor Walker of the Crows marks over Fletcher Roberts of the Bulldogs. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Nat Fyfe of the Dockers celebrates at the final siren as Kangaroos players look dejected after round 16 action. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Lewis Melican of the Swans competes for the ball against Sean Lemmens of the Suns during round 16. Photo: Matt King/AFL Media/Getty Images

Luke Parker of the Swans is tackled by Jack Bowes of the Suns. Photo: Matt King/AFL Media/Getty Images

Martin Gleeson of the Bombers and Jamie Elliott of the Magpies compete for the ball during round 16. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Lewis Melican of the Swans celebrates his first AFL goal during round 16. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Tim Membrey of the Saints celebrates a goal during the round 16 AFL match between St Kilda and Richmond Tigers. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats handballs during the round 16 between the Brisbane Lions and the Geelong Cats. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Toby Nankervis of the Tigers kicks the ball during round 16 AFL match between St Kilda Saints and Richmond Tigers. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Levi Casboult of the Blues attempts to mark over Joel Smith (left) and Oscar McDonald of the Demons during round 16. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images

Charlie Curnow of the Blues and Joel Smith of the Demons compete for the ball during round 16 match between Carlton and Melbourne. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images

Aaron Mullett of the Kangaroos celebrates after kicking a goal during round 16 between North Melbourne Kangaroos and Fremantle Dockers. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

A Swans fan cheers during round 16 between the Sydney Swans and the Gold Coast Suns. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Nick Riewoldt of the Saints celebrates the win with young Elliot Vanderland during the round 16 AFL match between St Kilda Saints and Richmond. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Dom Sheed of the Eagles is tackled by Paddy Ryder of the Power during round 16. Photo: Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images

Neville Jetta of the Demons and Dale Thomas of the Blues compete for the ball. Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images

Jake Melksham of the Demons celebrates a goal over Liam Jones of the Blues in the dying stages of the round 16 AFL match between Carlton and Melbourne. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Rory Sloane of the Crows marks over Easton Wood of the Bulldogs during round 16. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Daniel Robinson of the Swans is tackled by Jarrod Harbrow of the Suns during round 16. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Jonathon Patton of the Giants attempts to mark the ball during round 16 between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Toby McLean of the Bulldogs and Mitch McGovern of the Crows fly during round 16. Photo: James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images

Michael Hurley of the Bombers and Ben Reid of the Magpies compete for the ball during round 16. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

TweetFacebookAnother draw? For the second consecutive week Greater Western Sydney Giants have shared the spoils –this time with Hawthorn.

More than 12,000 spectators watched the Hawthorn Pink Ribbon Game against the Western Sydney Giants on Saturday.

There was the almost mandatory “off-field” incident when words were exchanged over the boundary fence at the MCG.

Carlton member Rob Acquaro wants an apology from Melbourne over an incident in which teenage midfielder Clayton Oliver threatened him at the MCG on Sunday.

New pop-up on Darby

EXCITING: MEET Restaurant at Honeysuckle has joined the pop-up game by opening The Chop Shop at Darby Street Automotive Services. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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What do a mechanic and Brazilian street food have in common? Nothing, really –until last Friday, that is, when MEET Restaurant Honeysuckle launchedThe Chop Shop at Darby Street Automotive Services.

The MEET food truck will serve authentic Brazilian street food at 67-79 Darby Street, Newcastle, on Fridays from 6pm. On Saturdays and Sundays it is open from 9am to 3pm, and 5pm to 9pm.

On the menu? Gourmet toasties –thinksmoked brisket, jalapeno, cheeseand bacon jam and a side of pickles; or BBQ vegetable, cheese and chimichurri –as well asspit-roasted meats.

“We were always fond of the idea of doing different street foodand this environment allows us to get a bit more creative with our menu,” MEET co-owner Mitchell Steel said.

“There will be times when we have prior commitments and may not be available every weekend, though, so there may be opportunities for other vendors to jump in and see what this creative space has to offer.”

On the moveChef Jamie Thomas has moved on from The Family Hotel in Newcastle West and opened Winnie’s Jamaican at Finnegan’s Hotel. He also has his finger in the pie at Town Hall Bistro, where his business partner Luke Smith is serving modern English cuisine to punters who can’t get enough of his lamb’s fry, ox tongue and offal dishes.

Thomas was executive chef at Drink’n’Dine in Sydney for five years and in charge ofall six of their restaurants, including Jamaican joint Queenies.

“I sold my shares in the Familyand it was all amicable. Jamaican ismy favourite food to cook and I love the whole vibe. The first week at Winnie’s went really well, especially the lunches, and we got great feedback. But I’m under no real pressure, I’m just taking my time getting it off the ground.”

Changes at StarThe Star Hotel has a new winter menu which is described as “smart casual” and “simple food done well”. Highlights include a choice of five burgers with salads, grazing plates, four pizzas and mains like crispy pork belly and 12-hour braised beef cheeks.Meal deals are still on offer throughout the week as well as an ever-changing $10 lunch menu–this week it’s pumpkin soup; bacon, chilli and spinach fettucine; beef stroganoff;and a Moroccan chicken burger.

Feeling Lucky?Time is running out to take advantage of the Lucky Hotel’s school holiday deal –purchase any main meal for lunch between Monday and Wednesday and receive a “Kids Meal” and ice-cream dessert for free.

Winning winesHerald wine writer John Lewis says Pokolbin’s winning Brisbane Wine Show wines are now available for sale: McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant 2009 Lovedale Vineyard Hunter Semillon, best mature white and best semillon, $90at Marrowbone Road winery, mountpleasantwines南京夜网.auand in shops;McWilliam’s Riverina-sourced Hanwood EstateTouriga, $25 at mcwilliamscellar南京夜网.au,in wine stores and at Hanwood Estate cellar door;and Poole’s Rock 2016 Tasmania Pinot Noir, best pinot noir, $45 at poolesrock南京夜网.au, at 576 De Beyers Roadand in wine stores.

Family Food FightChannel Nine is working on new prime-time cooking competitionFamily Food Fight, wheresix food-loving families from across the country will go head-to-head in the kitchen in a quest to find Australia’s top food family. Chef and restaurateur Matt Moran, pastry chef Anna Polyviou and Hayden Quinn will be the judges, with food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles appearing as a guest judge.

Street food buzzThe Beehive at Honeysuckle has introduced Street Nights by the City’s Lights on Friday and Saturday nights, 5pm until late. Ten international street dishes will be on the menu for $10 a plate.

Christmas tapasFernleigh Cafe is feeling festive. This month they will be serving tapas with a Christmas in July theme – think coconut sugar pork skewers; slow-roasted Kleftico lamb with skordalia; and rum balls with Tasmanian whisky custard and chocolate bark. The cost is $45 per person (BYO, no corkage) and tickets are selling fast.

Pasta at SproutIf you haven’t tried Sprout Dining’s $10 pasta menu on a Monday night, you should. Choices include naked squid and scallop fettucini with rocket, garlic and olives dressed with a light tomato cream; chilli, chorizo and pumpkin tagliatelle with Napolitana sauce, confit garlic and Romesco; and pork bolognaise spaghetti with tomato and salsa verde. The children’s menu is free and you can order dessert, too. It’s upstairs at the Crown & Anchor Hotel in Newcastle.

Cravings returnsThe new-look Cravings Restaurant at Hotel Delany is slowly taking shapeand owner Anthony Hird couldn’t be happier with the renovations so far: “We needed it –it’s been eight years since we last renovated and everything was brown. And dark.We are trying to change our demographic by making it more of a gastro-pub but we will keep some of the pub classics.”

He hopes the restaurant will be open for business later this month.

Cheese and wineDe Iuliis Wines willhost a special dining event on Saturday, July 29:Carne e Vino. From 11am to 4.30pm there will be live music, a meat and cheese demonstration, charcuterie lunch and cheese and, of course, wine. Tickets cost $120 ($100 DeWine Club members)by phoning Emma on 4993 8000, or emailing [email protected]南京夜网.au by July 14. Transport is available.

‘I felt like I’d been shot’: First-time mum left paralysed by rare medical defect

A month on from giving birth, Samantha Bulmer’s home is a hospital room. Photo: Jorge BrancoA month on from giving birth, Samantha Bulmer’s home is a hospital room.
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Four white walls and a bathroom, medications, trinkets, a bag in the corner, that bed that goes up and down at the touch of some buttons, a beautiful baby girl and legs that don’t work anymore.

Sometimes the muscles will cramp up, curling her body over, but she can’t feel them or move them.

Her legs clad in sloth-covered pyjama pants, sometimes they make her angry but they don’t do much else, for now at least.

The 32-year-old first-time mum’s birth horror story started on June 7. Numbness spread down her right leg, along with a shooting pain through the stomach carrying little River Lily Harlen, her soon-to-be “miracle baby”.

She didn’t know it at the time but these were the first signs of a rare defect lying dormant in her system, brought on by a pregnancy she didn’t think she would ever have.

Arteriovenousmalformations are a tangle of abnormal blood vessels, which can cause major issues with blood flow through arteries and veins.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, about 18 out of 100,000 people have them.

Out of that small number, only four in every 100 suffer a haemorrhage, bringing with it a 15-20 per cent risk of stroke and 30 per cent chance of brain death, with 10 per cent proving fatal.

University of Queensland neurologist Dr Alex Lehn says the location in the body is critical for the impact of an arteriovenousmalformation(AVM).

He says the problem can often go undetected for years and come and go with little or no consequence but can also be catastrophic.

“AVMs are still rare, and troublesome AVMs, the big ones, AVMs that rupture, are very rare,” he says.

Sam’s case is one of those.

As her womb grew larger, it began to pressure an artery, blocking blood flow and creating a pressure build up, which eventually burst, she says, remembering the series of violent incidents she felt in the lead-up to River’s caesarean birth.

“I felt like I’d been shot and I completely collapsed on the floor,” she says, describing the second of five attacks.

“I was screaming.”

The British-born bar staffer, who’s been in Australia for 10 years, was terrified something had happened to River and relieved “in the extreme” when she was given the all-clear.

She says it was the third such incident that left her paralysed, blood vessels bursting and causing swelling around her spine, robbing her of her ability to walk.

Samantha Bulmer is still in hospital because of her shock paralysis. Photo: Jorge Branco

“It’s started to go away but I’m not getting any feeling so it’s most likely the damage is done,” she says.

“When they spoke to me about the results from the MRI… he was telling me you’re not likely to walk again but there’s a chance you can.

“…If I can walk again, I promise I will walk again.”

Sam thought she and partner Elliot Harlen would have moved into their new house by now.

Instead, she’s still in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, living for Saturdays when the 33-year-old logistics worker comes to visit.

“We bath River together and just do as much with her together as we can and then we just watch a movie. It’s just like being at home,” she says, her face lighting up.

“I forget sometimes that anything’s going on. You’re chatting with each other watching the tele and it’s easy to forget the reality around you.

“I just go back to normal when Elliot’s here.”

Sam says it’s a 40-minute drive each way from Browns Plains after a 12-hour workday for Elliot so a brief Wednesday evening and the extended Saturday are all they can manage.

Hair pulled back, lying back in a pink jumper, Sam is remarkably matter-of-fact, determined, when she talks about her physio, the battle to be able to walk again and care for River.

Samantha Bulmer and daughter River. Photo: Jorge Branco

It’s only when she thinks about what happens if the feeling and movement in her legs never come back that emotion overwhelms her briefly.

“I feel like I can face this and deal with it in my mind temporarily,” she says, eyes shining with tears on the verge of spilling over.

“If it was like one year and you’re going to get better, I feel like I can deal with it.

“But at the moment, I’m struggling with facing it, my whole life, that’s the hardest thing.”

The whole time her mum’s talking, River plays quietly, cooing with the hospital volunteer who comes in most mornings to give mum a break.

“Today she’s just been really fussy, wanting to have cuddles with me. She’s perfect,” Sam says.

From now, it’s about recovery. Sam is hoping for a transfer to the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s dedicated centre but acknowledges months of rehab awaits.

In the meantime,she’s hoping to raise enough money through an online fundraiserto fly family over from England to help support her when she gets out.

Eli teaches rivals a lesson

WINNER: Eli Richardson at the Eastern University Games last week. The former Pacific Dunes trainee won the event to earn a start at the national university games on the Gold Coast in September.Former Pacific Dunes trainee Eli Richardson will head to the Gold Coast in September for the Australian University Games after winning the qualifying tournament last week.
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The 27-year-oldstopped his traineeship two years ago to start a primary school teaching degree at Newcastle University but continues to play weekly competition golf.

He shot 75-75-76-75 at Waratah and Merewether to win the Eastern University Games title by eight shots from University of Technology Sydney’sLachie Robinson.

Wollongong’s James Anderson was another five shots back in third, and Charlestown’s Bryce Pickin, the tournament’s lowhandicapper at -0.3, was fourth.

Richardson,who plays off scratch, was part of Pacific Dunes’ winning A-grade division-two pennant team in March after recovering his amateur status at the end of 2016.He beat Muree’s Peter Gardiner 5&3 in the final.

University games have a reputation for placing as much importance on socialising as sport, but Richardson said the golf tournament was reasonably serious.

“It was pretty good, because there was quite a few low markers who played, a couple of guys from The Australian, so it was a pretty strong field,” he said.

“It wasn’t just a Mickey Mouse thing. Some of them were, but there was a few people who were actually trying to win it.”

He said he had no regrets about ending his traineeship.

“I was really enjoying the teaching side of it, but the pro shop side was a bit boring,” he said.

“I was running all the junior clinics at Pacific Dunes and enjoyed that, and primary teaching was something that I always wanted to do, so I ended up enrolling.

“I always wanted to get more into the teaching side of it.

“I think the reality of trying to make a playing career out of it is a bit of a fantasy unless you’re a superstar these days.”

*****

Queenslander Jed Morgan was head and shoulders above the rest of the NSW Junior Championship field at Shelly Beach and Toukley last week, defending his title by 14 shots.

Morgan wonthe Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation Junior Championships in Taiwan inAugust to secure a start in a professional event on the Japanesetour.

The country’s top-ranked junior also won the Singapore Junior and Northern Territory Open in 2016 and blitzed the Queensland Junior by seven shots two weeks ago, including a final-round 63 at Bargara.

Morgan finished at 11 under over four rounds last week and was the only player under par. Branxton’s Corey Lamb was the best of the Hunter contingent in a tie for 11th at nineover.

Toronto’s Jacob Dundas came closeto a state age title in the 13-years division but lost in a play-off to Ali Rachid (Bardwell Valley).

‘I’m 100 per cent’: Cordner an Origin certainty

Boyd Cordner during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session at Kingscliff over the weekend. Photo: Getty ImagesBoyd Cordner has rated himself a “100 per cent” certainty of leading NSW inthe State of Origin decider, shrugging off a calf complaint which has dogged the Blues’ preparations for game three.
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The NSW skipper – who even consulted a Sydney energy healer in a bid to be fit for one of the biggest games in Origin history – confirmed he would take his place ensuring Laurie Daley’s side is the first since 1996 to feature an unchanged line-up in all three games of the series.

Having admitted he thought he was only a “50-50 chance” earlier in the week, Cordner was so buoyed about his ability to get through a closed doors session on Sunday he told reporters on Monday morning he was guaranteed of leading his state onto Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

Asked to rate his chances, Cordner said:”After yesterday I’m 100 per cent.

Boyd Cordner and Jack Bird arrive a New South Wales Blues State of Origin training session at Kingscliff. Photo: Getty Images

“[Sunday] wasn’t a grand final for me, but it was definitely one of the training sessions I have been nervous before. I got a lot of work done through the week ….so I was quietly confident. I have done everything that was asked of me. At this stage I will be playing but I still have to get through the captain’s run [on Tuesday].

“Since game two it’s been a pretty big rollercoaster ride. That’s the way it is. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to get right and have done a lot of work. It’s that relief now and we’ve still got the captain’s run to go so I don’t want to go off too early, but it’s all looking pretty good.”

The Blues will finalise their preparations in a session at Gold Coast’s Cbus Super Stadium on Tuesday morning en route to Brisbane.

Cordner’s calf has been a huge source of concern for Laurie Daley since Origin II as his skipper hobbled through the closing minutes of NSW’s second-half meltdown in Sydney.

“I also thought that I definitely wouldn’t be that selfish to put my teammates and Laurie in a position where if I do end up going out there and it happens again in the first 20 minutes, we’re down an interchange and down a player,” Cordner said.”That is pretty selfish.

“Once I got that through my head it was an easy decision to make. I wasn’t going to play unless I 100 percent believed I was going to get through the game.”

Cordner’sfitness boost means Jack de Belin, who has been in camp at Kingscliffas 18th man, won’t make his Origin debut.

NSW has drafted in Manly’s Tom Trbojevic and Melbourne’s Dale Finucane as shadow players leading up to the decider.

Cordner was confident his calf would stand up to the rigours of 80 minutes if required.

“At this stage I’m looking to play 80 [minutes] and I haven’t spoken to Loz about what his plans are for me or interchanges for the team, but at this stage I’ll be preparing myself to play 80,” he said.

“I think my experience with injuries before and how to deal with them [has helped], but just staying positive and the amount of work I’ve put in. I think the whole combination – especially the physios – I’ve needed everything to go favourably.”

Investing in man’s best friend

With bidding for a working dog rocketing to $12,000 at the Casteron working dog auction this year, it begs the question, how much is one’s best mate worth?
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Each year in February the Wagga Yard Dog Club host a trial and working dog auction at Downside near Wagga Wagga.

The auction attracts about 100 buyers from across the country with a farmer from Tasmania this year paying $8500 for two-year-old black and tan Kelpie Akennedys Foo from Andrew Kennedy, Canonbar Station, Nyngan.

Wagga Yard Dog Club secretary Simon Hartwich, Kanawalla Kelpies, Kyeamba, is involved with the auction each year and says it serves as a place for stockmen to see the dogs work on the day before bidding for them.

“We are seeing an increase in vendors making videos in the lead-up to the auction, for YouTube and their websites, of their sale dogs working ability in their natural environment,” Mr Hartwich said.

“Some dogs won’t show their full potential on auction day because they are not familiar with their surroundings,” he said.

He said farmers could justify paying $8500 for a trained working dog as they knew how efficient they could be when working a large mob of stock.

“A dog easily takes the place of a worker; depending on who you talk to a working dog is valued at four or five men, you can save a lot on labour with a good dog,” Mr Hartwich said.

“The miles a dog can travel in a day a man never could, no matter how fit a human was they could never do the work of a dog day in, day out.”

Mr Hartwich said it could be a challenge to buy an older dog, with a puppy easier to bond with.

“When you buy an older trained dog you have to get to know their temperament and nature,” he said.

“By spending a month or so not necessarily working the dog but by feeding it, taking it on the ute or out fencing, an older dog will learn to trust you and take orders from you.”

Mr Hartwich said it was rare to get a dog that excelled in all facets of stockwork; they would favour one aspect but were more than able with the other.

“A dog will usually favour the yards or the paddock, they are generally better on their feet in the paddock or backing or barking in the yards,” he said.

Mr Hartwich said the annual dog auction was capped at 50 dogs; this year, 38 of the 40 offered were sold, to average $2747.

He said most sold were 10 to 14 months old, well started and moderately trained.

Mr Hartwich said the demand for dogs had not changed too much since the auction started in 1994.

However, he said the value paid for a dog had increased, with $500 paid for a dog 20 years ago considered expensive.

“Nowadays you can save a lot of time with an efficient dog and people see a dog as a good investment,” Mr Hartwich said.

“If you get eight to 10 years work out of your dog and you paid $8500 plus $200 for feeding costs, it works out a cheap labour unit.”

Peter Austin, Kelpies of Kirkcaldy, near Albury, said many people didn’t understand the value of a working dog.

He said working dogs should be considered as essential tools to move a mob of cattle or sheep.

Mr Austin said people thought spending $2000 or $3000 on a working dog would solve all their problems, but there were factors other than the price tag that needed to be accounted for.

“People need to look at the dog’s natural ability, trainability, friendly nature and ultimately if the handler isn’t capable of working the dog, they are not going to get the best out of it,” Mr Austin said.

He said when selling dogs to farmers the first question he asked was their location as it would help determine the type of dog they needed.

“It depends on where they are working, what type of livestock they are working, what type of work they do the most of,” he said.

Mr Austin said everybody was looking for an all-round dog but there would only be one to two per cent of dogs that fell into that category.

“People are better to have a dog that is good at one thing and handy at the other,” he said.

Just as farmers plan annual joining and replacement programs for cattle and sheep mobs, they should also be doing so for their working dogs, according to Mr Austin.

“If farmers have three dogs that are say 10, seven and four years old, they better think about getting another pup; it is all about planning and it is better to do so before the other dogs wear out,” he said.

Mr Austin said it was reasonable for farmers to expect to pay $1200 for a 10- to 12-week-old pup and from $1500 to $2500 for a 4.5- to five-month-old started dog that could already handle sheep.

He said buying a started dog was very popular with farmers.

“The started dogs are not too used to the handler who bred them but are still young enough to adjust to a new handler. A two-year-old dog will never be your dog but a younger dog is your mate,” Mr Austin said.

He said with a trend of new people moving to the land and trying to work livestock there was a need for more training in dog handling.

“People often get training notes when they buy a dog but they need to go to the training schools to learn how to work the dogs properly,” he said.

Mr Austin has 10 to 15 Kelpie breeding bitches with the majority of his dogs sold to Queensland cattle graziers, while many are also sold in the Riverina and South Australia.

He said selling dogs with double identification – a microchip and tattoo – was a necessity these days with working dog theft on the rise.

Photo: JASON SOUTH

How not to get lost in the soap wash-up

In the latest showbusiness brouhaha that has inflamed the world like an extremely important ingrown toenail in the past couple of days, actress Melissa George insulted every proud Australian by telling them to stop referring to her past as a soap opera ingenue. Instead they should focus only on her more recent work, lest she become enraged and abandon this country forever to spend more time eating croissants with her dog.
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The issue has divided us, some claiming George should remember the opportunities that her days in Summer Bay afforded her, while others insist it is unfair to concentrate on the work she did almost 20 years ago as if quizzing David Bowie on The Laughing Gnome.

But it’s a problem faced by all ex-soapie stars, from Dannii Minogue to Ashley Paske: how do you shake the shameful dandruff of soap opera stardom from the shoulders of your career, when you’re out in the wide world trying to make a go of it as a legitimate artist? Luckily for them, entertainment gurus like myself are around to supply lists of Foolproof Ways To Escape The Soapie Spectre:

1. Move on quickly: You can’t hang around a soap opera too long if you want to ever be referred to as anything but “Neighbours star Kym Valentine” or “Home and Away’s Kate Ritchie” or “whatshisface off E Street”. For example, Russell Crowe’s stint on Neighbours was relatively brief, and he won an Oscar, whereas Tempany Deckert did five years on H&A, and today I am not even sure whether “Tempany Deckert” is even a real person. So the rule with soaps is: get in, get famous, get out. Don’t hang around, or your chances of forging a new identity will be as dead as Craig McLachlan’s stand-up career.

2. Don’t multi-soap: The aforementioned McLachlan made the mistake of appearing in both Neighbours AND Home and Away, meaning he’s doomed to always be better remembered for his soap sojourns than for his much-lauded turn as Jeff Kennard in Hating Alison Ashley. It’s important that you stick to just ONE soap opera per career, if you want to end up more Guy “Mike Young” Pearce than Bruce “Constable Max/Brad Cooper/that guy who was French but then wasn’t” Samazan.

3. Don’t sign a contract stipulating you must play the same character in the same show for the rest of your life: Take it from Ray Meagher, this can really come back to bite you in later years.

4. Stretch yourself creatively: Perhaps Melissa George suffers because all the roles she’s played since Home and Away have been variations on “woman who looks like Melissa George”. If you want people to forget you were a soapster, you need to go a bit more experimental. Play a skinhead psycho like Crowe, or a Norse god like Chris Hemsworth, or a demented game show host like Cornelia Frances – anything to put the memory of your soap character out of people’s minds. If Alex Papps had quit Home and Away to play a transsexual werewolf on The X-Files, maybe he’d be a major film star now, instead of the poor man’s John Waters on Play School.

5. Don’t go into music: Some might say, “But what about Kylie?” to prove this point wrong, but Kylie is an exceptional case. In almost all other instances, moving from soap to singing just cements your “former soap star” status. As soon as Stefan Dennis released Don’t It Make You Feel Good, his fate was sealed: he would be Paul Robinson forever. And Melissa Tkautz? Sure, Read My Lips wowed the critics, but it held her back from escaping that sticky soap opera web. If Daniel Amalm hadn’t tried to crack the music biz with Classical Gas, we might be aware of where he is now.

6. Don’t make yourself too memorable: Again, Kylie seems able to break through any barrier, but Jason Donovan showed that becoming an icon of Aussie TV doesn’t really help when it comes to getting people to forget you were an icon of Aussie TV. Consider Naomi Watts: nobody remembers she used to be in Home and Away; but everybody remembers that Nicolle Dickson was, and that’s why she didn’t get cast in King Kong: Peter Jackson just couldn’t block out the memory of Bobby’s ghost appearing in Ailsa’s fridge.

7. Don’t make yourself too un-memorable: You don’t want to be typecast, but you do want to be noticeable enough to find work after you leave. You want to achieve the Isla Fisher level of “oh yeah I remember her” and not the Shane Ammann level of “was he the one with the hair?”

8. Choose your next move wisely: Where you go after abandoning soapland is crucial. Simon Baker learnt that taking a small role in a classy, Oscar-nominated adaptation of a James Ellroy thriller is a “good” move; Annie Jones learnt that joining the cast of an awful sitcom is a “bad” one.

9. Master accents: You’ll never escape the emotional gulag of soap opera history if you hang around in Australia, playing Australians. That’s why Georgie Parker has now come full circle. If you want to get out, get good at playing other nationalities. Russell Crowe mastered American, English, and Roman-speaking-English-in-English-accent, while Alan Dale is now known as “the man of a thousand accents”, rather than “Jim Robinson”. Admittedly all of those accents sound like Jim Robinson, but that is not the point.

10. Be young and attractive: I can’t stress this enough. Hemsworth, Fisher, Pearce, Minogue, Watts – all saw their careers blossom after making the decision to be young and appealing.

So there you are, soapsters. Apply these principles, and you’ll have left your past behind quicker than you can say, “Where to now for Tammin Sursok?” Off you go now – good luck, and may you end up more Kwanten than Elmaloglou.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Asylum seekers end hunger strike on Nauru

Asylum seekers on Nauru have decided to end their hunger strike.ASYLUM seekers have called off their 12-day hunger strike on Nauru, buoyed by news Amnesty International would send a delegation to the island next week.
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Amnesty International’s refugee experts will visit Nauru from Monday to determine the human rights situation on the ground.

Amnesty’s refugee spokesman Graham Thom and refugee campaign co-ordinator Alex Pagliaro will spend four days at the camp, and will interview asylum seekers, meet with department of immigration and citizenship officials, the Nauruan government, the Salvation Army and health officials.

It follows the Red Cross visiting the camp last week.

Ms Pagliaro said Amnesty would spend as much time as possible talking to the men, and hearing their concerns.”We’re happy that the hunger strike has ended, and the men are eating and no longer at risk,” she said.

Mohammed, an asylum seeker on Nauru, told Fairfax the men had broken their hunger strike at breakfast. He said he had taken a glass of soup, and felt better than he had in days.

”We have taken the decision to just stop the hunger strike

”I think Amnesty International, when they come here, we hope that when they see the situation and the condition of us, I think they will put the pressure on the government of Australia to just change the policy and they will help us to take us back to Australia and to help us with processing.”

Only Omid, the Iranian man on his 33rd day of hunger strike, continued.

”He says, ‘I will not stop the hunger strike’,” Mohammed said.

”If you see him, you will find him just a skeleton body, cause he’s too weak. Last time a doctor told him that very soon you will hurt and [your] brain will stop working.”

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul called on the government to urgently intervene, saying it was possible Omid’s body had already suffered permanent damage.

A department of immigration spokeswoman said ”a large group has advised us that they have ceased their protest last night”. She could not say how many people were in the group.

Meanwhile, 23 more asylum seekers were sent to Nauru on Monday, bringing the total to 400.

The new arrivals had joined the hunger strike, but abandoned it with the others today.

The Amnesty delegation will present a briefing paper on the trip on Friday.

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‘Why did my son die?’: Mother Debra’s never-ending nightmare

Looking for answers … Debra Plum.August 13 will be a date forever etched into the memory of Wagga woman Debra Plum.
Nanjing Night Net

On that day her worst nightmare began.

It hasn’t stopped.

But today will bring Mrs Plum a chance to get the answers to the questions she so desperately craves – “why did my son die?”

A coronial inquest into the death of her son Jason Lee Plum, who committed suicide in the back of a police vehicle last year, begins today.

Mr Plum, 37, killed himself while in police custody just after 9pm on Saturday, August 13, The Daily Advertiserreports.

He had been arrested after police were called to the scene of a domestic dispute in Wagga’s CBD.

Despite efforts of police to perform CPR, the avid rugby league player and kick boxer died the following day.

The incident sparked two investigations with an internal police investigation carried out by Griffith detectives running parallel to a coronial inquest.

After more than a year of nightmares and finding it hard to get out of bed every day, Mrs Plum and Mr Plum’s stepfather, Trevor Marks, will face the three-day inquest in the hope it brings clarity and transparency to what happened that night.

“What I’m hoping is that the truth will come out about the events of that night,” Mrs Plum said.

“We want the truth to come out so people know and so maybe things can be changed so it doesn’t ever happen again.”

A letter sent by Mrs Plum’s lawyer to the coroner lists 26 questions she hopes will be answered.

It questions whether police followed protocols during Mr Plum’s arrest, including searching his person and handcuffing.

It also raises questions in regards to a police database and information available on Mr Plum’s criminal and psychological history.

While the couple’s attention is on finding answers into his death, they are also firmly focused on ensuring a situation of this nature is the last of its kind.

“At the end of the night it was only Jason who died, but it could have been a lot worse,” Mr Marks said.

“It could have been a police officer who lost their life.”

While emotional, Mrs Plum said she was prepared to see the inquest through.

“It’s been extremely hard the last few days. It never leaves you,” she said.

“It’s a dreadful loss that could have been avoided.”

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* Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Police eavesdropping ‘only for crime’, not drivers

Generic RBT shot.Police have dimissed claims that highway patrol officers eavesdrop on motorists’ conversations.
Nanjing Night Net

Nicholas Sim, a Newcastle flight instructor, said police pulled him over for a random breath test after listening in on a conversation between him and his wife, who was also in the car.

“He was behind us for a bit and we were talking about him,” Mr Sim said.

“The first thing he said was ‘we were just listening in to your conversation and decided to do an RBT’.”

Mr Sim said he was baffled by the encounter and decided to examine the possibility that police had eavesdropped on motorists who were not suspected of a criminal offence.

His Facebook friends said they had experienced similar encounters with police.

Some claimed police had listened in to mobile phone conversations before stopping them.

One woman said “my friend got pulled over for talking on the phone, and he [the police officer] said he was listening in to the conversation and knew she was calling work to tell them she would be late”.

Another claimed police “were listening to the conversation”, and a third person said they had heard of the practice occurring.

A police spokeswoman said the claims were unfounded.

Highway patrol Inspector Phil Brooks said police did not routinely eavesdrop on drivers, but could conduct electronic surveillance as part of serious criminal investigations.

“The short answer is no,” he said.

“It’s a big thing to engage in mobile phone interception

. . . It can only be used for crime, and serious crime at that. It’s just not occurring.”

Inspector Brooks suggested officers might have lied, telling drivers that they could listen in to conversations as a way of deterring motorists from using phones while driving.

He said police fined 46,667 motorists for using phones while driving in 2011, and had cracked down on the offence in recent weeks.

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