Independent senator John Madigan has suggested that HECS debts should be frozen for five years for primary caregivers. Photo: Alex EllinghausenA key crossbench senator has raised a five-year freeze on student debts for mothers who have graduated from university as a bargaining chip in negotiations over the government’s proposed higher education changes.
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Education Minister Christopher Pyne is continuing to negotiate with the Senate crossbenchers in the hope of striking a deal on his reform package, which includes allowing universities to charge as much as they want for a degree.

A Fairfax Media Ipsos poll, conducted between Thursday and Saturday last week, found 64 per cent of voters oppose deregulating university fees.

Independent Victorian Senator John Madigan, whose vote on the reforms could be crucial, said: “I’m concerned about the effects of higher HECS debts on women who graduate and have children.

“I’ve suggested that HECS debts should be frozen for five years for primary caregivers. Debts continuing to accrue interest while people are out of the workforce will have a nobbling effect on families with young children.”

Mr Madigan welcomed signals from Mr Pyne that he will abandon plans to peg student debts to the long-term government bond rate, rather than inflation, but said the government should go further.

Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon praised Mr Madigan’s proposal as the type of “lateral thinking” that will be needed to strike a deal on university reform.

Senators Madigan and Xenophon told Fairfax Media they have serious concerns about fee deregulation but intense lobbying from the university sector has convinced them the current funding system is unsustainable. With Labor and the Greens opposed to fee deregulation, the government will need the support of six of the eight Senate crossbenchers to pass its reforms.

“Universities have been hit by funding cuts from both sides. They are starved of cash and need to be more viable,” Senator Xenophon said.

“I can see why they want fee deregulation but I am wary of unintended consequences.

“I don’t want to see the Americanisation of our universities where people are reluctant to take on lots of debt.”

Asked about negotiations with Mr Pyne, Senator Xenophon said: “He is as frustrating and enigmatic as he was when I lectured him at the University of South Australia 25 years ago.”

Senator Xenophon said the government had gone about reform in an “awful” way by announcing a complicated set of reforms in the May budget.

Senator Madigan said: “I’m very reticent on fee deregulation at this point of time. I don’t want to see families saddled with debts that will be higher than Ayers Rock to climb over.

“What the government is putting forward I wouldn’t accept – there would need to be a lot more safeguards put in place for me to consider supporting it.”

Mr Madigan, from Ballarat, said he was particularly concerned about the impact of the government’s policies on regional universities.

But he acknowledged that “no legislation is perfect” and he is open to a package that “ticks most of the boxes”.

“There is no doubt that something has to be done but it has to be done in a considered manner,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr Pyne said the package “represents essential reform that will expand opportunity for students and ensure our universities are sustainable and competitive internationally into the future.

As the Government has indicated on many occasions, this will inevitably involve negotiations with the cross benches as the Coalition does not have a majority in the Senate.”

Mr Pyne said on the weekend he was prepared to negotiate into the new year to strike a deal on higher education reform.

“Timelines can always be shifted and I’m not going to be hidebound by timing schedules,” Mr Pyne said. “What I want is an outcome for students and universities. That is a more important result than [meeting] timelines and schedules.”

Clive Palmer and Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie have said the party will oppose fee deregulation. But previous PUP backflips on climate policy, financial planning laws and the mining tax have fuelled government hopes that the party could do a deal on higher education.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Senator Xenophon lectured Mr Pyne at the University of Adelaide 25 years ago. The lectures were in fact at what is now known as the University of South Australia.

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Hello again: Prince Edward leaves the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Point Piper, Sydney, on Monday afternoon after a luncheon. Photo: DIMEX
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Hello again: Prince Edward leaves the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Point Piper, Sydney, on Monday afternoon after a luncheon. Photo: DIMEX

Hello again: Prince Edward leaves the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Point Piper, Sydney, on Monday afternoon after a luncheon. Photo: DIMEX

He might not have the star clout of his nephew the Duke of Cambridge and his glamorous wife, Catherine, but His Royal Highness Prince Edward’s arrival in Sydney marks the beginning of a five-day tour during which  he will meet more than 1000 young people and 1200 volunteers  throughout the country.

The Earl of Wessex is in NSW to commemorate more than 50 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia. Flying the flag for his 93-year-old father, Prince Philip, the earl met Premier Mike Baird on Monday, after visiting the Prince Edward Yacht Club at Point Piper. An afternoon reception at Parliament House was also attended by  Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres.

On Tuesday, he will visit the Art Gallery of NSW before meeting Duke of Edinburgh Award participants from eight inner west schools at Ashfield Boys High School. About 22,000 young Australians are enrolled on the scheme, the largest youth development program in the world.

A trivia event at the Powerhouse Museum rounds off the Sydney leg of the prince’s tour, which takes him on to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

The Queen’s youngest child is not accompanied on the trip, the second by the British royal household to Australia this year, by his wife Sophie the Countess of Wessex, or their children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

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Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all RacingFull coverage: Melbourne Cup 2014Melbourne Cup sweep
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Bookmakers across the country have vowed to take on Admire Rakti as punters rallied behind the Japanese star, which could still relinquish Melbourne Cup favouritism to Lloyd Williams’ Fawkner.

Tomoyuki Umeda’s Caulfield Cup hero brought to life an otherwise pedestrian call of the card at the traditional Cup eve bash on Monday after $6.50 was bet about the top pick.

Most odds-makers are expecting him to be a similar quote by jump time, while support for Cox Plate runner-up Fawkner is gathering momentum.

This year’s Melbourne Cup appears to be one of the most open in recent memory.

“Admire Rakti is our worst result, but there has been a massive move for Fawkner in the last 24 hours and the money is coming from the right places,” Ladbrokes’ Paul Di Cioccio said. “Fawkner is still $8, but if the money keeps coming he could be favourite.”

The Fawkner following had one big-time supporter at the call of the card, Sean Bartholomew knocking back a wager to win $1 million on the Australian-bred grey.

Bartholomew eventually accepted a smaller investment to win $250,000 at odds of $9.

While there was money for Willing Foe, suggesting some believe Godolphin can break its Cup curse, punters patiently waited for Admire Rakti to be the last of the 24 runners shopped.

Mark Sampieri was knocked off his stand after offering luxurious odds before he passed the baton to Warren Woodcock, who also could not keep pace writing tickets.

Robbie Waterhouse was next to hold the call, accepting the largest single bet of the day when one punter had $50,000 on Admire Rakti at $6.

Quizzed on whether he thought Admire Rakti would be so well backed, Waterhouse said: “No, I didn’t actually. I’m happy to bet against him and I was surprised he was so well supported.

“The other surprising thing about the call is it was nearly all cash. I would think [Admire Rakti’s] price will still be around $6 on race day.”

It is a similar quote to what other online bookmakers are prepared to offer, BetEasy’s Matt Tripp suggesting they will band together to take on Admire Rakti.

BetEasy took a wager of $40,000 on the seven-year-old, which is attempting to set a modern day weight-carrying record in the Cup and also become the first horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne cups double since 2001.

“I think I will bet around the $6 or $6.50 mark [until jump time] and I reckon the bookmakers will all want to take him on,” Tripp said. “I think the money will come for Fawkner and Signoff and there’s been good money for Protectionist so far.”

Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown said despite continued interest in Admire Rakti he would not be surprised if one of several horses started favourite by jump time.

“It will just depend which one the money comes for,” he said. “At the moment our losers are Fawkner, Admire Rakti, Lucia Valentina and Signoff, but it’s that sort of race.”

Added Glenn Munsie of Tab南京夜网.au: “For us overall Admire Rakti is a million-dollar loser, especially after the Caulfield Cup. The doubles are just killing us. There have been a couple of good pushes in the last couple of days, particularly Who Shot Thebarman and Fawkner.”

There were few other fireworks inside the Crown Palladium for the call of the card.

Tom Waterhouse snapped up the $31 about Willing Foe, asking bookmaker Anthony Doughty to risk a $500,000 payout. Doughty eventually stood to part with $250,000 to Waterhouse.

The best-supported outsider was Seismos, one wager a $2000 by $1500 each-way bet on Marco Botti’s import at $101. A couple of $1000 each-way bets were also taken before his price was wound into $81.

There were nibbles for some of Chris Waller’s long shots, including a single bet to win $151,000 on Opinion ($71) and another to win $100,000 on Who Shot Thebarman.

Darren Weir’s Lexus Stakes winner Signoff was friendless at $7.

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

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Rural Fire Service crews from Bishops Bridge and East Maitland working on scrub in the Hunter Economic Zone in Pelaw Main . Picture: Ryan OslandDETECTIVES have been called in to investigate the Swan Bay fire which burnt out more than 1000 hectares of bush after initial investigations suggested it was the work of an arsonist.
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On Saturday when the general public was warned of extreme temperatures and flame-fanning winds, fire crews were called to battle the blaze which continued to burn within containment lines on Tuesday.

Port Stephens police now believe they are hunting a firebug and have asked for the public’s help in identifying anyone who may have been in the vicinity of the fire.

However, fire crews believe they have an even bigger threat on their hands following the constant storms which have swept across parts of the Hunter in the past fortnight.

A lightning strike is suspected of having sparked the bushfire which threatened houses at Pelaw Main on Sunday after ripping through about 300 hectares of dry scrub.

And the weekend storms are also believed responsible for at least another 10 blazes which are burning in rugged terrain west of Cessnock.

Lower Hunter RFS zone manager Superintendent Jayson McKellar said fuel loads in parts of the region had dried out significantly and the prevalent of the ‘‘dry storms’’ had not played into firefighters hands.

‘‘We have had a lightning strikes reported and there has not been a lot of rain to go with them,’’ Superintendent McKellar said.

‘‘The place is definitely drying out, we need another good soaking.’’

There were more than 20 fires still burning across the greater Hunter on Monday, however none were out of control or threatening property.

Conditions were suiting firefighters as they contained and allowed the blazes to burn within the boundaries.

Teen injured by train ‘inspirational’ | Photos Brody Burgess attends the Spooktacular Halloween event held in his honour with family Kalia, Renee, Kimble and Mason Burgess. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN
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Julia Hawkins and Tammy Williams-Greer. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Mandy Lucus, Kelly Sellings, Fiona Dunning, Samual Hale, Brenton Gowman, Emma Bailey, Kim Burgess and Mason Burgess. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Jack Bradford, Dallas Bradford, Tracey Piggott and Colin Cuffe. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Ian and Donella Hall. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Kalia Burgess, Julia Hawkins and Emily Greer. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Jo Tyrer, Greg Tyrer, Kerrie Powell and Kim Burgess. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Jane Burgess and Brian Taylor. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Dallas Bradford and Brody Burgess. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

Brody Burgess and Mason Burgess. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVAN

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Patrick Haddock, of Devonport, is a paper tole artist who has won first and second prize in two categories at the Royal Hobart Show.
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AFTER Devonport’s Patrick Haddock had a quadruple bypass five years ago he developed a love for a craft that won him four awards at the Royal Hobart Show last month.

The enthusiastic paper tole artist went to the show and came back with both first and second places in the open paper tole section and the same places in feathering and furring section.

Paper tole art, which involves adding dimensions to pictures using paper layers, requires patience, concentration and an eye for detail, he said.

“You’re trying to create a picture and make it as real and life like as you can.”

His passion for paper tole began when his heart operation stopped him doing leatherwork.

He took up the new hobby so he wasn’t watching TV all day, and learnt from Paper Tole World’s Toni McCarthy in Queensland.

“It’s very time-consuming,” he said.

“It could take me up to 100 hours to do one picture.”

He takes between 60 and 80 hours on average to complete a piece, although often he stops to talk to anyone interested in his pictures while he works at the Axeman’s Hall of Fame.

“Time’s irrelevant when you do something you enjoy. It’s a hobby,” he said.

He moved to Tasmania four years ago and began to do paper tole in the North-West, joining the Axeman’s Hall of Fame as a maker three years ago.

When adding layers to a picture, he will use a scalpel, shaping tools and scissors for its fine work.

Some of the details he creates are tiny.

“I’ve cut an ant out of paper and put it on a branch,” he said.

While making leaves, he will layer them but also add small veins to make them realistic.

“If you come [to the hall] you can see how it stands out.

“It is very detailed [work]. Extremely so.”

In one picture of two kookaburras, which won him second prize in the Royal Hobart Show’s feathering and furring paper tole section, he cut each of the birds’ feathers individually and attached them to the work.

He won first prize in that section for a picture of ostriches.

Mr Haddock mentioned one reason he does this work.

“It’s the look on people’s faces when they see the end result.

“They don’t believe I’ve done it with paper. You . . . have to show them it’s paper,” he said.

Axeman’s Hall of Fame owner-manager Peter Maloney said paper tole artists had come in to learn from Mr Haddock.

“He’s one of the makers you could put up with the top end,” he said.

“That’s the quality he is. It is A-grade work.”

Mr Haddock teaches paper tole at the Axeman’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday and Wednesday between 9am and 2pm.

He also works on his paper tole pieces on market days at the hall on Thursday and Sunday.

For more information contact the hall on 6426 2099.

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Exams kicked off for year 12 students on Monday morning in what can be a daunting three weeks Photo: Julia Baird Exams kicked off for year 12 students on Monday morning in what can be a daunting three weeks Photo: Julia Baird
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Exams kicked off for year 12 students on Monday morning in what can be a daunting three weeks Photo: Julia Baird

Exams kicked off for year 12 students on Monday morning in what can be a daunting three weeks Photo: Julia Baird

Year 12 students began the most important three weeks of their school lives on Monday, with the 2014 Year 12 Western Australian Certificate of Education written exams beginning on Monday morning.

Over the next 21 days, 10,660 students across WA will take at least one exam with the vast majority, 9,363, sitting at least four exams.

For most Year 12 students it is now a familiar drill after mid-year practice exams – 10 minutes reading time, and then three hours to complete the exams.

While the total number of students taking exams, compared to previous years, is roughly half due to the introduction of the half-cohort in 2001, the oldest person sitting an exam this year is 60, taking a mathematics exam, while the youngest, at just 14 years old, is set to take a French exam.

School Curriculum and Standards Authority chief executive Allan Blagaich says that whilst most students taking exams over the next three weeks would sit the exams, get the score and head into university, it was important that students remember the exams are not the be-all and the end-all.

“The exams are usually the summation of two year’s work, but the point that I like to stress is that it should never be seen as the be-all and end-all, there are many opportunities,” he said.

“Give it your very best shot, but know that there are many ways to get to where you want to get…I’ve spoken to a lot of kids that are getting into university through alternative pathways, bridging courses, TAFE, a whole range of options, and knowing that you have these options to fall back on really takes the pressure off.”

He did stress however, that at this late stage, students shouldn’t be sitting down and “doing the books”, but that a balanced approach should be taken.

“Teachers are pretty phenomenal at getting kids prepared for these examinations, they do a fine job.

“Go back through and take a balanced approach. There needs to be a good mixture between revising what you’ve learnt and going through your notes, taking a break, getting some leisure time and getting some physical activity in there as well

“Watching your health is important and I can’t stress enough the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, as hard as that may be at this stage.”

Physics and Animal Production exams kicked of the three-week period on Monday morning, while the final exams will be Materials Design and Technology at 2pm on November 21. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Delhi: Three factions of the Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for a powerful suicide-bomb attack that killed 55 people and injured 200 on the Pakistani side of the Wagah crossing with India, exacerbating tensions along the partly contested border that has seen several deadly skirmishes in recent weeks.
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The suicide bomber, who was in his early 20s and was carrying about five kilograms of explosives inside a jacket, managed to pass through four security checkpoints before detonating the bomb just after 6pm on Sunday outside a restaurant near the iconic border crossing.

Hundreds of people visit the Wagah border crossing near the Pakistani city of Lahore every day to witness the flags of both India and Pakistan being lowered just before sunset.

“I was sitting in my office near the border when I heard the blast. I rushed to the scene and saw scattered bodies, injured men, women and children and smashed cars,” a Pakistani intelligence source told the Reuters news agency.

“He detonated his explosives when people gathered near the gate. Up to five kilograms of explosives and ball bearings were used,” said Pakistani Police Inspector General Mushtaq Sukhera.  “A large number of people were returning after watching the Pakistani Rangers flag ceremony at Wagah border when a suicide bomber blew himself up near one of the exit gates.”

Pakistani Rangers officer Tahir Khan said the parade venue was about 600 metres ahead of the blast site.

“The suicide bomber detonated the bomb away from the parade venue because of strict checking,” Mr Khan said. “If the blast had occurred closer to the border gate, the devastation would have been far greater.”

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Shuja Khanzada said the bomber had been waiting for people to gather following the conclusion of the flag-lowering ceremony.

“His target was to get close to soldiers at the border but he was unable to cross the last checkpoint,” Mr Khanzada said.

“We received scores of bodies, including 17 women and children,” said one official from the nearby Ghurki Hospital. While three Pakistani Rangers were killed, it appeared that the rest of the victims were civilians.

Many people returning from the flag-lowering ceremony on the Indian side of the border felt the blast, with Indian security forces swiftly evacuating the area to avoid the possibility of a stampede.

Two of the three factions of the al-Qaeda affiliated Tehreek-e-Taliban who claimed responsibility for the attack said it was in retaliation for a Pakistani military operation in North Waziristan in June that killed over 1200 Taliban insurgents.

The third faction said the attack was to avenge the killing of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike last year.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both condemned the attack. Indian intelligence had recently issued warnings about an imminent suicide attack targeting the evening flag ceremony, placing its border troops on high alert.

Pakistani security forces had also been concerned about the increased threat level, erecting new defensive structures close to the Wagah border crossing.

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Fashion on deck: Aroha Moyler and Jamie Lee Werner pose with hats they made on Pacific Pearl. Big ocean delights: Pacific Pearl.
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Cruise Director Eli and Senior Maitre’d Dessi compare horses on board Carnival Spirit.

Fashion on deck: Aroha Moyler and Jamie Lee Werner pose with hats they made on Pacific Pearl.

Big ocean delights: Pacific Pearl.

Cruise Director Eli and Senior Maitre’d Dessi compare horses on board Carnival Spirit.

Fashion on deck: Aroha Moyler and Jamie Lee Werner pose with hats they made on Pacific Pearl.

Big ocean delights: Pacific Pearl.

Cruise Director Eli and Senior Maitre’d Dessi compare horses on board Carnival Spirit.

Cruising punters may not back a winner at the Melbourne Cup this year but many will go home with a souvenir photo of themselves with the 1999 winner’s Cup, while a few lucky passengers had the chance to cradle and even kiss the famed chalice as they sipped champagne aboard P&O’s Pacific Jewel.

A Melbourne Cup cruise is certainly a relaxing and stylish way to arrive at Flemington; this year 6000 passengers boarded three ships in Sydney – Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl and Carnival Spirit – and headed south to the race that stops a nation.

Passengers onboard the ‘Jewel’ were treated to a ‘rags to riches’ tale by Wendy Green, owner of the 1999 Cup winner Rogan Josh, who grew up in Western Australia, worked as a school teacher for disadvantaged kids in Darwin and bought the horse for just $7500 from her brother who was trying to hide his asserts during a costly divorce settlement.

A true raconteur Ms Green had the crowd enthralled as she told of her trip across the Nullarbor with her beloved horse, her first meeting with the ‘King’ – training Bart Cummings – and how a psychic from Darwin’s Mindil Beach Markets Markets gave her tips on finding the perfect hair-stylists and make-up artists in Melbourne.

During the Hats & High Tea event in the ship’s elegant Salt Grill restaurant Ms Green let punters embrace her Cup, while she also read tarot cards for a few lucky folk who were keen to hear their fortunes.

Oh, and she’s tipped number 8 today (the favourite Admire Rakti), with Fawkner her selection to take out second place.

(I think I’d better heed her words, as Ms Green knows her horseflesh!)

Similar racing events took place on board Pacific Pearl where legendary Melbourne Cup jockeys Wayne Harris and Malcolm Johnston were sharing their stories.

Jewel and Pearl cruised out of Sydney Harbour on Saturday afternoon and tied up stern-to-stern at Melbourne’s Station Pier; the third ship Carnival Spirit sailed out on Monday to arrive bright and early at 5am on Tuesday November 4.

P&O Cruises has been visiting the Melbourne Cup since 1969, when Orcades III made the trip to Port Phillip Bay, however this year the company sent its first trifecta of ships, with 2000 passengers aboard each vessel. The sold-out cruises has prompted Carnival Corporation, which owns both P&O and Carnival Cruises Lines, to send four ships to the race next year.

The cruise company says its 6000 passengers  this year represents about 10 per cent of the total number of interstate visitors attending the Cup (and about 5 per cent of all punters at Flemington.

Around 100,000 people go to the Cup every year, about 50,000 from Melbourne itself, the Carnival Corp’s three ships represent 10 per cent of all interstate punters, and about 5 per cent of all people attending the Cup.

All passengers aboard the three ships received race tickets as part of their fare and this year the cruise line added the option of buying entry into a VIP area, the P&O Cruises Lawn, at around $400 a head.

The trio of ships were appropriately decorated with racing bunting and screened racing movies (The Cup and Sea Biscuit), while the onboard shops were doing a brisk trade in Cup pins and discounted handbags and jewellery for those wanting to snap up last minute accessories.

With Jewel and Pearl arriving in Melbourne on Monday morning, passengers had a full day to explore the city and soak up the pre-race atmosphere. Several women said they were going downtown to have their hair done as the Jewel’s hairdressing salon was well and truly booked out!

Wardrobe tips were dispensed by leading milliner Kim Fletcher, who had plenty of feathers at the ready for her fascinator-making workshop held in the Dome disco. Ladies could buy the standard or premium fascinator making kit and try their hand at creating a stylish head-piece and then don their creations in the MYER Fashions of the Deck parade and best-dressed competition.

Carnival Australia is obviously onto a good thing with these fun six-night Cup cruises.

As Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry puts it: “Australians love cruising and sports and by combining the two, we know we’re backing a winner – that’s why we’re sending a record quaddie of ships next year, including all three P&O ships.”

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Police at the scene of a shooting in Rochedale South. Photo: Kristian Silva Police at the scene of the shooting. Photo: Jay Buwalda Photography (facebook南京夜网/JayBuwaldaPhotography)
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A Brisbane man has woken from a coma after he was shot in the head by police two weeks ago.

It is understood 29-year-old Mitchell Jovic emerged from his coma early Sunday at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, but remains in the intensive care unit in a serious condition.

It was feared Mr Jovic would most likely remain in a vegetative state after being shot in the head by police during an incident reportedly sparked by a stolen ride-on mower.

Two police officers visited a Priestdale Road property at Rochedale in Brisbane’s south where they allegedly found the stolen mower in a trailer attached to a four-wheel-drive on October 21.

It is believed Mr Jovic was sitting in the 4WD and sped towards the two constables when they arrived.

The officers fired up to five shots at Mr Jovic, who was hit in the head and arm.

A second man who was in the 4WD was not injured and was arrested.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the two officers responded “professionally” after the vehicle sped towards them without warning.

Mr Leavers said the driver was known to police.

The incident is being investigated by the Queensland Police Service’s internal Ethical Standards Command.

It is understood Mr Jovic is now under police guard in hospital.

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The 10-11 years category winner in the 2014 Redlitzer Gala Awards was Jessica Childs for The Prophet and Bronte Whitlock won the 12-14 years category for My Obsession.The works of many Sheldon College students were recognised at the recent Redlitzer Gala Awards for the 2014 Junior Redlitzer Writing Competition.
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Two students won their respective categories. The 10-11 years category winner was Jessica Childs for The Prophet and Bronte Whitlock won the 12-14 years category for My Obsession. Sigrid Mather’s story Hope was also shortlisted. Stories from the shortlisted winners are published in the 2014 Redlitzer Junior Anthology available through the Redland City Council website.

Rachel Deakin, Claire Moman, Alice Wilson and Chloe Turner all received highly commended awards.

a Highly Commended award recipient in 2013, once again received a Highly Commended from the judge’s in2014. Other Sheldon College students receiving a Highly Commended Award were Claire Moman, Alice Wilson and Chloe Turner.

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Alexandra Hills State School student Lee-Navu Faunt pans for gold during the school s recent Gold Rush history event.Aspart of their history lessons, students from Alexandra Hills State School classes 5D and 5/6VN have been investigating the impact of the gold rushes on the early Australian colonies.
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Students recently spent a day exploring what life was like on the goldfields by participating in damper making, panning for gold and playing traditional games.

Classroom teacher Stacey Dabelstein said students put their knowledge and skills gained over term three into practice by demonstrating what they had learnt through hands-on activities.

“Students came dressed in clothing in the style of that worn in the 1800s on the goldfields and brought a plate of traditional food to share,” Mrs Dabelstein said.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the feeling of ‘striking it rich’ or to see those who weren’t so fortunate.”

Students Lucy Ash-Vivas and Isabel Vyner enjoy some living history during Alexandra Hills State School s hands-on Gold Rush activities.

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Steampunkers await their turn in the parade. Ready for battle
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The Waratah Drum Corps.

The rhodo princess, Shauna Collier, with her knight in shining armour.

The Blackheath Horticultural Society pulled out all stops to decorate their float.

Blackheath Public School students.

Youngsters from Kookaburra Kindergarten

The heavens held for the 62nd Rhododendron Festival parade on Saturday before a post-lunch storm sent the crowds running for cover.

Locals and visitors lined the parade route, cheering pre- and primary schoolers, roller skaters, police horses, steampunkers, soccer players, firies and their friends. And all to the accompaniment of the Lithgow Pipe Band, the NSW Police Band, Waratah Drum Corps and Blue Mountains City Band.

Entertainment continued at Blackheath Gardens, with a host of stalls plying everything from handbags to showbags, soaps and scents, fairy floss and flowers.

The short but intense rainstorm boosted audiences at the (indoor) art show but did cause some of the sellers to shut up shop early.

The festival continues this weekend with the Rhodo Revue, the local composers concert on the following Friday, the ball on November 15 and a weekend of jazz on November 21-23.

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