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Horsham’s Darcy Tucker heads to United States for NAB AFL Academy training camp

Darcy Tucker. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
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HORSHAM footballer Darcy Tucker will travel to the United States to complete a training camp with the NAB AFL Academy squad on Friday.

The camp will run for 10 days from Saturday at the IMG Academy in Florida and features the academy’s 35 level two scholarship holders.

The IMG Academy is renowned for developing elite athletes and has a focus on responsibility, leadership and determination.

RELATED: Darcy Tucker named in AFL Academy squad

Tucker was selected for the academy’s level two program after an impressive showing at the national under-18 championships last year, which culminated in him earning All-Australian selection.

The academy features some of the best under-18 players in the country.

AFL national and international talent manager Kevin Sheehan said the camp would help prepare players for an AFL career.

“This international tour provides our academy players with the opportunity to experience the nuances of travel and adjusting to the environmental issues of training professionally in different venues,” he said.

Recent academy graduates include Patrick McCartin, the number one overall pick at last year’s draft.

Seven of the top 10 draftees were members of the academy.

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Petrol prices drop below $1 per litre

The new year has delivered Sydney motorists a milestone at the bowser, with petrol prices falling below $1 a litre for the first time in six years.
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Metro Petroleum is leading the charge, dropping the price of E10 to 99.9 cents per litre at three of its Sydney stations in Tempe, Revesby and Blakehurst at 1pm on Tuesday.

About 20 per cent of all fuel sold in NSW is E10 unleaded.

Metro Petroleum’s pricing officer Elie Dib said he expected the price to hold below a dollar for a week.

“I think everyone is looking for cheap prices again. There’s lots of interest and everyone’s enjoying it again,” he said.

Although one station in western Sydney had a pre-Christmas sale of 99 cent petrol for one day, the last time Sydneysiders regularly fuelled up at sub-dollar prices was in December 2009.

The last time the average national petrol price was below a dollar was in the week of February 12-20, 2005. It is currently sitting at $1.14 per litre.

The falling bowser price reflects a worldwide glut in oil, which has seen prices drop more than 40 cents a litre from a $1.55 high in July 2014.

According to NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury, motorists could expect the relief at the bowser to continue for “the next few weeks”.

“What we are seeing in the global market right now is something we haven’t seen in a very long time,” Mr Khoury said.

“The United States have been increasing production year-on-year now for a few years. As a result, Saudi Arabia has increased production to compete.

“So you’ve got this bizarre situation globally where there is more oil on the market than what we are using, hence the falling prices.”

This global oversupply has seen the price of Brent crude fallen to $US53.25 per barrel overnight, while West Texas Intermediate plunged below $US50 per barrel.

Where in the Illawarra have you seen the best fuel price? Let us know in the comments below.

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ACCC – East Asia-Pacific v Queensland, day two: PHOTOS

QUEENSLAND was chasing a high-scoring victory in Tuesday’s conclusion to its first-round clash with East Asia-Pacific at the Australian Country Cricket Championships.
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After a strong bowling performance on day one, Queensland’s batsmen struck the ball to many parts of the oval.

ACCC – East Asia-Pacific v Queensland, day two: PHOTOS Queensland’s Sean Fitzsimmons winds up to play this delivery to the on-side at Eaglehawk. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Viliame Manakitoga bowls for East Asia-Pacific in the clash with Queensland at Eaglehawk.

Judith Lindores, Ann McCarthy and Natasha Metzroth at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Simpson Obed from Vanuatu fields for East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

Sean Fitzsimmons strikes another four for Queensland. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

East Asia-Pacific wicket-keeper Sekova Ravoka from Fiji.

Connor Attwater and Bailey Ilsley at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

East Asia-Pacific’s vice-captain Jelany Chilia bowls in the clash with Queensland Country at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

Carol and Ross Fitzsimmons watch Queensland Country take on East Asia-Pacific on the second day of their ACCC match at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Sean Fitzsimmons lofts the ball in his innings for Queensland against East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk.

East Asia-Pacific wicket-keeper Sekove Ravoka.

Leanne and Lindsay Dickfos at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Queensland’s Ben O’Connell.

Queensland Country fans Bob and Mary Skau watch their team take on East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Ben O’Connell belts this delivery in Queensland’s clash with East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk.

Queensland Country scorer Rodd Palmer and East Asia-Pacific scorer Fiona Minett cast a keen eye over the action at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Ben O’Connell defends in his innings for Queensland.

Jeff Hulls and Greg Sharp watch Queensland Country take on East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk on day two of the ACCC titles. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Queensland’s Ben O’Connell.

Troy Fryer and Cameron Villani watch East Asia-Pacific take on Queensland Country at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Vanuatu’s Jelany Chilia bowls for East Asia-Pacific bowls at Eaglehawk.

Ben O’Connell from Ipswich in action for Queensland Country against East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park.

Queensland’s Ben O’Connell.

Queensland’s Ben O’Connell.

Ben O’Connell defends in his innings for Queensland Country against East Asia-Pacific at Eaglehawk.

Jelany Chilia bowls for East Asia-Pacific against Queensland Country at Eaglehawk.

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Target close for clock revamp

FUNDS are tantalisingly close to being raised for the refurbishment of the Town Clock – so close you can nearly hear it chiming!
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The Cootamundra Development Corporation is assisting to keep track of the fundraising going on and says around $6000 is necessary to reach the target and allow for all works and any unforeseen contingencies.

There have been some big donations of late including one from an anonymous benefactor who listed themselves only as ‘anonymous business person’ before depositing $5000 into the bank account allocated for the collection of funds.

In addition to this generous donations have been received from the Bicycle Users Group, Christine Wishart’s Dance Studio, Lambing Flat Enterprises, Cootamundra Restorers Car Club, the Mens Shed, Cootamundra Antique Motor Club and EA Southee School.

Other pledges include $3000 by the building owner, $5000 from Cootamundra Shire Council, $3000 from Australia Post and $2000 from Cootamundra Shire Councillor Mary Donnelly, who essentially kickstarted the latest fundraising effort with her donation last year.

Currently $22,725 sits in the account for the refurbishment.

The proposal to fix the clock is to retrofit modern technology to the existing mechanism to make it reliable, capable of recovering after a power failure and adjust itself for daylightsavings.

New clock face numerals will be added to enhance the clock.

To donate to the cause contact the Cootamundra Development Corporation, now located at 169a Parker Street (formerly DMX Technologies).

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Elanor isn’t flexible about her study choice

FOLLOWING HER DREAM: Elanor Nunn is preparing to head off to Melbourne to further her circus career after being accepted into a course at the National Institute of Circus Arts. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 122214circus
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WHILE some students are waiting anxiously for an offer to study their preferred university course, recent Kelso High School graduate Elanor Nunn is already well on her way to her dream career.

In November, Ms Nunn was offered a position at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) to study a Certificate IV in Circus Arts that willcatapult her into an exciting world of performing.

Applying was not a simple process, but word of her acceptance came quickly.

“I applied in September, the auditions were in early October, and I found out in November,” Ms Nunn said.

Her love of circus began at around age 13 when she started at Kelso High, where a circus program runs in conjunction with other subjects.

Students learn everything from basic circus skills like tumbling to the more advanced aerial apparatus, including the trapeze.

“My specialty is the tissues,” Ms Nunn said.

“It is quite nerve-racking, but when you’ve done it enough you know when the wraps are right.”

Kelso High’s circus program gives students plenty of external performance opportunities.

“As my skills developed, I started going to Sydney, where I trained with aerials,” Ms Nunn said.

The 17-year-old said her focus has turned from performance to the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a circus show.

“Ultimately, I would love to get into the design aspects of the circus,” she said.

Her course will certainly give her the tools to do so.

She hopes that after she completes her Certificate IV she will be able to move on to do a Bachelor of Circus Arts at NICA, which will go into the circus business and career management in more depth.

In the future, Ms Nunn would like to combine her years of classical ballet experience with her circus training to create new, unique shows.

“The way I see it is that circus is a greatcombination of dance and gymnastics,” she said.

“There will certainly be an element of dance in what I do.”

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Calls for increased government support

TOILING ON: Prostate cancer advocate Bob Bowcher and Cootamundra Prostate Cancer Support Group chairman Eddie Williams hope the appointment of Sussan Ley to health minister will deliver a specialist nurse to the region. Picture: Kieren L TillyA PROSTATE cancer advocate has called for increased state and federal support to ensure the appointment of a specialist nurse amid fears Sussan Ley’s appointment to federal health minister could favour an Albury position ahead of Wagga.
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Wagga’s state and federal members have both clarified specialist prostate cancer nurse appointments made by the independent body, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA), were at arm’s length of ministerial interference.

Bob Bowcher however believes the decision that saw Wagga denied a nurse for the second consecutive year, despite having a 28 per cent higher incidence rate than the state average, was political.

Mr Bowcher, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago, welcomed Ms Ley’s appointment given her rural background as member for Farrer, but feared Albury could become a priority to receive a nurse over the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), which spans 125,561 square kilometres across 29 local government areas, including Cootamundra Shire.

He called for state members of the MLHD to approach state health minister Jillian Skinner with suggestions money from the poles and wires sell-off could easily fund a nurse, while calling Riverina federal member Michael McCormack to contact Ms Ley to lobby the case.

“It needs to be a joint effort,” Mr Bowcher said.

“At the end of the day, if the federal government can’t come up with it, why can’t state?”

The specialist care nurse provides immediate support within 72 hours of diagnosis, as well as ongoing support throughout treatment.

“We’re just trying every avenue,” Mr Bowcher said.

“It will happen with her.”

Cootamundra Prostate Cancer Support Group chairman Eddie Williams echoed Mr Bowcher’s concerns, having lobbied the case with assistant health minister Fiona Nash, member for Hume Angus Taylor and member for Burrinjuck Katrina Hodgkinson.

“Let’s hope all our representations made to (former health minister Peter Dutton) don’t go away,” Mr Williams said.

“The response has been they’ve supported but only when there’s next round of funding and they can’t give us a time or a date.

“In light of the new appointment, we don’t want to lose sight of the work we’ve done.”

Mr Williams, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago and is currently undergoing treatment since the cancer returned eight weeks ago, said the fight would continue.

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The Hills Council Summer Series: Convicts, sand sculpting and movies in one place

Those were the days: Convict Footprints is a theatre production company producing “living history” theatre at convict sites around Australia.There’s plenty to do in The Hills these school holidays.The Hills Council’s Summer Series means all can see convicts, sand sculpting and movies under the stars at Bella Vista Farm.
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Youcan travel back in time to the colonial days at Bella Vista Farm Park these school holidays.

The award-winning Convict Footprints team is bringing its unique theatre in the wild show to The Hills for two weeks only.

The play, written by Steven Hopley and directed by Jerry Retford, brings the story of the early years of Bella Vista Farm to life.

It is part of The Hills Council’s Summer Series, which includes Australia Day activities, the Sydney Hills International Sand Sculpting exhibitionA Friend In Me – Celebrating Disney.Pixar, and an outdoor cinema — all at Bella Vista Farm Park.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to see photos of the sand sculptures.

Intricate masterpieces: Holley and Amelia Manks with one of the sand sculptures at Bella Vista Farm Park on Monday. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Previous events in the series have included the inaugural Sydney Hills Christmas Sky Show and Sydney Hills New Year’s Eve Sky Show, on Castle Hill Main Street, and performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Crucible (also at Bella Vista Farm Park).

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller and directed by Damien Ryan, was staged entirely in the circa-1870 barn on the 200-year-old farm property, and audiences followed actors across the farm during William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Entry to Convict Footprints at the Farm is $45, $30 (concession), $95 (family), but is free for children under 9.

■ Details: On the corner of Elizabeth Macarthur Drive and Norwest Boulevarde, Bella Vista, 5pm-7.30pm, January 9-11 and 16-18. Details: ‘Convict Footprints’Facebook page or http://summerseries南京夜网.au.

Teninternational and Australian sculptors worked for more than 1500 hours to transform over 450 tonnes of sand into 17 large-scale masterpieces as part of the inaugural Sydney Hills International Sand Sculpting exhibition.

Visitors can journey through magical sand pathways to view iconic Disney.Pixar friendships including Mater and Lightning Mcqueen from Cars, and Buzz and Woody from Toy Story.

Favourites from Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Up, Ratatouille, Wall.E, The Incredibles, Brave and A Bug’s Life are also on display.

There are also sculpting workshops, sand art, sand bottles, a giant sandpit, kids’ activity sheet and an interactive Lego play zone.

On weekends there is also roving entertainment and free face painting.

Entry is $14 ($11 concession), $6 (ages 3-12), and is free for children under 3.

■ 9am to 6pm and 9am to 7pm (check at http://summerseries南京夜网.au) until January 26.

■ Click here to view our photo gallery.

Grab a picnic blanket and settle in for a free family movie under the stars at Bella Vista Farm Park. All of the movies being shown are Disney.Pixar movies.

They are: Wall-E (tonight, Thursday), Toy Story 2 (January 9), Monsters Inc (January 10), Brave (January 15), Toy Story 3 (January 16) and Monsters University (January 17). Screenings are from 8.30pm. Food and drinks are available to buy from 7pm. This is an alcohol-free event.

Click here for more on The Hills Council’s upcoming Australia Day activities.

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Riverstone charity worker brings education to Cambodia

Making a difference: Jake Stalker of Riverstone with the Khmer people involved in teacher training.NINE months on from creating his charity One Step One Life, Jake Stalker of Riverstone has achieved what many would not believe possible at the age of 20.
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With a focus on educating Khmer people in Cambodia he bought land for a two-classroom school, is training teachers and has given four mature-age people fully funded university scholarships.

Jake said he realised the impact he could have on Cambodia after a holiday in the year.

“The key to getting a better job is education, ” he said. “And if we can educate one person at a time through university scholarships then maybe one day they will be able to go on to help others, like we are now.”

A small tutoring business is what funds Jake’s trips to Cambodia, with all of the money going to a village in Siem Reap, a north-western province.

“We hope to spread our wings and help in other areas but for now it’s Siem Reap,” he said.

Jake has help from a Khmer employee of One Step, a local cafe manager, Pheakdey, with the cafe business running as a not-for-profit organisation.

Jake cut his recent seven-week trip down to five weeks after seeing Pheakdey’s managerial skills.

“I’m using my money I could save for my next trip as Pheakdey is quite capable of running things here by himself for now,” Jake said. “I need to come home to raise more funds.”

One Step One Life has raised $8000 since April but after buying land to build a school, employing Pheakdey, and training teachers, most of that money is now gone.

Jake said Khmer applicants receive a One Step One Life scholarship if they show promise towards community tasks and have the need and want to go to university.

They will also receive a laptop and internet usage.

“I think what makes us unique is our ongoing support for people here and we really try to get to know everyone,” Jake said.

Jake hopes to start work on building the school by the middle of the year.

■ Follow Jake and Facebook page ‘One Step One Life’ or to donate visit http://1step1life南京夜网.

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Region well represented with 133 HSC successes

RiverstoneMP Kevin Conolly congratulated local students on their 2014 HSC results.
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Kevin Conolly with some of the 2014 HSC students who attended the Youth Leadership Encounter which he hosts annually for Riverstone schools in Parliament House.

“There are 133 students from Riverstone electorate schools among the distinguished achievers in the year’s HSC,” Mr Conolly said.

Australian Christian College, Marsden Park: Danielle Brown, Katie Oates, John Sevilla.

Glenwood High School: Abuzar Awaz, Anum Azzaz, Rachel Camara, Sivank Chand, Simran Chand, Carmen Cheung, Joe Cleaves, Alissa Drake, Arya Ebadi, Micah Fountain, Saleem Gagguturu, Meghana Garlapati, Holly Ingram, Palindee Jayesinghe, Melanie Jha, Dilroop Khangura, Meghna Khatri, Adriel Kuntjoro, Della Latif, Paris Mitchell, Sonia Nair, Jake Ollett, Charlie Owen, Samiksha Rampersad, Melissa Ruddock, Arman Saadi, Nikita Sarin, Aliu Seidu, Gunwant Singh, Justin Singh, Pritpal Singh, Vidhi Somaiya, Rhojan Viloria, Jasmine Wright, Anna Young, Nasirullah Zarifi.

Norwest Christian College: Erin Christie, Aeden Eren, Aleisha McDonald.

Rouse Hill Anglican College: Oliver Bogdanovski, Emily Brown, Emma Burnelek, Alice Carney, Alexandra McLeod, Serena Parmar, Mikaela Perez, Andrea Phillips, Benjamin Skinner.

St Mark’s Catholic College, Stanhope Gardens: Alicia Borg, Natalie Kocinski, Clarissa Marchand,Ethan McInerney, Chloe Rapisarda, Jasmine Spencer, Clarissa Tirador, Isabelle Zonaga.

Terra Sancta College, Quakers Hill campus: Savannah Abbott, Sarah Azzopardi, Oliver Clark, Lily Fernandez, Janinna Granada, Timothy Lao, Guneet Panag, Varun Satish, Jordan Tuohy, Monique Van Acquoy.

Wyndham College, Quakers Hill: Luke Agius, Sarah Blazevic, Rachael Carrick, Amir Charousaei, Shiraz Costello, Lauren Court, Lucas Crouse, Karenza De Leon, Jesse Dowland, Sam El-Kamand, Joshua Fitzroy, Courtney Hall, Juliette Harrington, Natasha Hawken, Oliver Inthavong, Faithful Jale, Bhawantha Jayawardena, Selin Kement, Georgina Lord, Jeanne Marinas, Brooke McCoy, Thomas McDonell, Erin Meier, Lotus Rana, Jaymie Ross, Elliot Roynon, Louise Salaa, Nikhil Shandil, Kevin Shelt, Syed Sherazi, James Sherwood, Ryan Vincent.

A hard copy of the HSC Record of Achievement arrives on January 14. Details: http://studentsonline.bos.nsw.edu.au, 1300 138 3 23.

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Trusted face at new grill

Campbelltown RSL have refurbished their dining options with new restaurant The Oxley and a chef they poached from Camden, Cosimo Yenco. Beef Fajitas dish. Picture: Jeff de PasqualeThere’sa new face in the kitchen at Campbelltown RSL Club, but many Macarthur locals might already know his food.
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Over the past decade restaurant manager Cosimo Yenco has created a loyal following of fine-dining patrons in the Macarthur region and his latest venture as host of the Oxley Grill at the RSL club is sure to excite his existing fans.

Eight years ago Mr Yenco helped the Crown Hotel in Camden become one of the must-visit dining experiences in Macarthur and he has brought the same culinary quality to the Oxley Grill.

“I’ve had the same customers for up to 10 years now,” Mr Yenco said.

“People in the area know I’m really passionate about preparing beautiful meals and providing a memorable dining experience.”

The Oxley Grill and The Arie cafe are the result of an extensive remodelling of the club, which also includes a new set of escalators leading to another eatery, the 550-seat Star Buffet.

“I’ve created a menu for the Oxley Grill of quality made-to-order dishes to suit a variety of discerning tastes,” he said.

“For example, you could start with an entree of salt and pepper squid in sweet chilli sauce, mussels in white wine garlic sauce or crumbled chicken parmigiana cocktail bites.”

Campbelltown RSL have refurbished their dining options with new restaurant The Oxley and a chef they poached from Camden, Cosimo Yenco. Beef Fajitas dish. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Mains include pasta, steak and seafood, with salads and desserts also on offer, while a lunch menu includes gourmet burgers and “world-famous” chicken and beef fajitas.

In a special offer, on January 12 and 19, the Oxley Grill will serve 250 gram rump and porterhouse steak dinners for $10.

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