Home Blog Page 777

Decaying dental systemfrom the horse's mouth

0

Deacaying
By Bernadette Blueday
At 8am nine people wait, lucky I am here early. The place is dead quiet.
No one at the desk yet.
Mobile phones must be off in the dentist’s surgery, that’s a problem because I don’t know how to switch mine off! And when I do, noone can ring me.
Deadly quiet, I wonder if they all have a toothache. I’m afraid of the dentist. Nice and warm in here anyway, I would like a drink, I can see some in a display cabinet – Coke and juice at one end. Healthy things like fruit, bread and water in the other end to emphasise to us what to eat for the good of our teeth.
TV is up high in the corner, mercifully it’s switched off. Four notices are stuck prominently around the walls…”Have your say about our service”.
This is an invitation to put comments on the reception desk downstairs. What can I say about this place? I wouldn’t know, I’ve had no service yet. I feel sick, probably because to get here so early I skipped breakfast.
I hear some bumps behind the screen of the reception area, but the screen doesn’t move. It is just 8.05 now, thirteen people wait including one child. I wonder if they voted for Labor or Liberal or if any of them could have made any difference to the Dental Health System. Payment is $25 but that’s only for the first tooth treated. A phone is ringing in vein, no one answers it. The screens go up and a lady with a child talks to the receptionist who tells her that children are not allowed in for emergency treatment. The mother says she rang twice yesterday and ‘they’ told her to bring in the child. I didn’t hear what the receptionist replied but the woman reluctantly went away. I hear the receptionist say to one man, “Did someone hit you in the face?” I glance at the man with a swollen face who is now looking very confused. Why would he come here if he didn’t have a dental problem? We are asked to fill in a form to describe how bad our pain is…. PAIN …..Very severe, moderate or bearable. Forms are confusing especially if you forgot to bring your glasses, like me. I wonder how long I will have to wait? Do I have a dental problem? If not, I’ll have to go on a six month waiting list. Everyone has to pay before they see the dentist. They sort you out quick, if you have a swollen face, they ask if someone hit you? I heard this several times. It points to the fact that they don’t trust people to have a ‘real’ dental problem. It is now over an hour since I came in. I’m feeling nauseas. I had no breakfast, just coffee. It’s very hot in here. There are now over twenty people waiting. I stare at Bugs Bunny on the wall, it says….Make a date with your dental therapist. How? Bribe him with some carrots? It’s 9.30, I have been here one and a half hours. Could be another couple of hours before I’m seen by a dentist.
I’ve paid my money, filled in forms for my medical history. I feel sick. I go to the bubbler, which is outside down the corridor to take a pain killer. There is no glass there and the bubbler doesn’t work. I go to the basin in the toilet and lapped out of cupped hands. I start thinking, if you had a bad toothache how could you prove it? I feel sorry for you. I go to the children’s waiting room around the corner, might be a bit cooler there, maybe a bit of fresh air. I feel like going home but then I think it may not be much longer to wait.
One of the dentists comes out and goes to the toilet. he doesn’t come out of the toilet all the while I’m there… what happened to him? He has been in there for 30 minutes at least.

My face is very hot and my tooth hurts, wish I could get some outside fresh air but I can’t go outside in case they call my name. I will miss out. They can’t give me any indication when my turn will come up.
It is close to 2.00pm when my name is called, I am the last one left in the waiting room from those who were there at 8.00am. Next time I will bring MY BED and some WATER! For my $25 I get a rough dentist who takes a long time to pull out a double tooth. They don’t fill old people’s teeth any more, they pull them out…IF THEY DON’T FALL OUT BEFORE THEY CAN GET TO SEE A DENTIST!!

Breathe right to sleep right

0

Tess Graham
BY Tess Graham
Every time John stopped breathing during the night, Bronwyn would lay awake wondering if this was the big one. After 2 years of sleep disrupted by loud snoring and sleep apnoeas Bronwyn eventually moved to sleep in a separate room. Even so, John’s snoring was so loud it could be heard through two closed doors and the sleep apnoea episodes were increasing. To make matters worse, John would suffer from drowsiness during the day and was often fighting to stay awake at work. Eventually, Bronwyn insisted that he visit the doctor.
John’s doctor confirmed that he was suffering from sleep apnoea. Surgery or a machine to help him breathe were the more radical options to help control his condition. However, there was a natural method that could help him by addressing the root cause of his troubles: – the way he was breathing.
Snoring is disturbed breathing, in fact ‘over-breathing’. It causes a loss of carbon dioxide from the lungs. Carbon dioxide is very important for normal bodily functioning; it is logical to assume that the body must have some way to prevent losing it. In a person with sleep apnoea, this defence mechanism activates to stop you breathing when the carbon dioxide level declines too much. Another mechanism by which snoring can lead to apnoea, is when the excessive volume of air passing the swollen tissues of the throat, sucks the airway shut temporarily.
The Buteyko breathing method works by helping patients regain control of their breathing volume and restoring normal levels of carbon dioxide. Practising Buteyko, John put an end to his disrupted sleep for good and regained control of his health and his marriage!
Do you snore or suffer from sleep apnoea? Do you experience restlessness, excessive movement while asleep? Do you wake up groggy, un-refreshed or get drowsy during the day? Left unchecked these symptoms could lead to more serious health problems. Take control of your health and address your sleeping problems now. Buteyko Health Solution is a physiotherapy clinic specialising in breathing related problems in adults and children. Come and find out how we can help you.
Contact Tess Graham, physiotherapist on 62325222

JACKmail

0

Jack West
Jackson West, the third of four sons, is a young Canberra man who was born on the 1/1/1986. Jackson has an extra terminal band on the long arm of the 22nd chromosome which doesn’t really mean anything. What is meaningful for him and for us, his family, is how it manifests. He is classified as having a profound intellectual disability with autism.
Jackson is a young man with the potential for a great future. He is a thrill seeker, a music lover and a car enthusiast; he has enormous stamina and perseverance, rides pillion on a 750cc BMW motorbike and enjoys bush walking and boiling a billy. He also happens to have very high support needs; he needs one-on-one supervision and assistance all his waking hours. Without caring people with vision to support him to lead a good life, the typical future he can look forward to is one diminished in real and valuable roles and adventures.
Jackson graduated from Black Mountain School at the end of 2006 and in this new stage of his life, post-school, he has much to offer. However, we live in a society that often refuses to acknowledge the contribution he can make; a society which does not, to any large extent, value or respect people like Jackson. He is seen as ‘other’, a lesser kind of human who can contribute little and is not entitled to the support he needs for his life to be rich in people and experiences.
We, Jackson’s parents, think otherwise. We have established a courier business, JACKmail, created to employ Jackson part-time and designed around his skills and loves. JACKmail will collect mail from Post Office boxes and deliver it to businesses. It will collect any out-going mail and take it to the post office to be posted. “One-off” deliveries such as tender documents or small parcels can also be accommodated. A support worker will drive the JACKmail van and support and guide Jackson as he makes deliveries.
JACKmail will give Jackson the opportunity to:
. be employed
. contribute to his community
. meet many small business owners, operators, employees and customers
. have a busy, active and interesting life
. earn money
. be a positive example to others
. be an ambassador for other people with a disability
If you would like to engage JACKmail to pick-up and deliver your mail, phone 02 62810974 (office),
0421 455 913 (mobile) or email sally@jacksonwest.org To find out more about Jackson
visit www.jacksonwest.org

"For the times, they are a changin"

0

Business council
By Neil Primrose
The dynamics of decision-making in this town are changing. Canberra is now an international city with export-led growth and a new ethos. 2007 will see an acceleration of change in roles and perspectives.
The ACT Government is realising that it can’t do everything that is needed to meet the aspirations of the Canberra community. The business community is realising that it has the potential and the responsibly to work in partnership with the Government and the wider community to grow this economy.
The wider community is realising that Canberra is too small a market to uphold their aspirations. Complacency about growth, including population growth is no longer an option.
There is a gradual dawning of awareness that the complex of jurisdictional boundaries in the Capital Region are a significant burden on the economic and social health of the region – not to mention its development in competition with other regional growth centres.
The formal establishment of the various jurisdictions won’t change any time soon. However, we are seeing new partnerships between the business community and governments to develop the Capital Region as a national economic growth centre in support its the social and cultural richness.
The Action Agenda, “Eyes on the Future” of the Canberra Business Council and its kindred organisations right across the business community, is already producing results.
. A Regional Ministerial Council has been established to work on common prospects between the Federal and ACT Governments and the business community
. The business community has shared the cost of the ACT Government’s “Live in Canberra” campaigns
. Representation and involvement on the new ACT Skills Commission
. The full value of the education sector to the Capital Region is being researched and assessed.
. Discussions are starting between public servants and business leaders to grow awareness in government about how business works and what is needed for effective partnership.
. The business community is working on a number of alternatives for public-private partnerships to construct of a new convention centre.
. The Federal and Act Governments and the business community are extending export promotion to India, on the basis of promising growth in trade with China and Singapore.
Dr. Neil Primrose chairs the Action Agenda Co-ordination Group of the Canberra Business Council.

Tuggeranong's Salvos early to rise in 007

0

Tuggeranong''s Salvos
Over 60 community and business leaders attended a breakfast function on February 1 to hear about the important work being done by The Salvation Army in Tuggeranong and how others can get involved. The meeting highlighted important community needs in areas of youth services and aged care, especially plans for expanding the buildings and facilities.
“The Tuggeranong Community Leaders breakfast is an important avenue for The Salvation Army to stay in tune with the needs of our community,” Major David Terracini said. “It is also a great way of keeping the awareness out there of what we do, whilst also supporting people in our community in the various leadership roles that they hold. We recognise the influence and impact that these leaders have and greatly appreciate their continued support.”
Federal Member for Canberra, Annette Ellis MP, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, John Hargreaves; Jeff Whalan, Head of Centrelink and Rosemary Lissimore of Tuggeranong Community Council were among the guests at the breakfast.
The breakfast provided an opportunity to launch Faith ‘007 – a special program being run during February and March to provide an avenue for people who are looking for contemporary and practical ways of exploring faith issues, or simply needing support in dealing with daily issues. Other activities planned for the year include:
. The Zymodic Dance Party on the first Saturday of each month, which attracts over 300 young people (aged 12-16) to a clean, safe, drug and alcohol-free environment; . Mainly Music – a weekly activity program for preschool children and their parents; . Youth programs – Sagala youth clubs (including guides and rangers); . Community Services – community support and welfare, including Tuggeranong based client services and support to participants in drug and alcohol recovery programs; . Carols by Candelight, Tuggeranong Town Park – in conjunction with Harvest Christian Fellowship and other community partners the 2006 Carols in Town Park attracted around 2000 local people; . Regular Sunday morning worship service in Tuggeranong attended by over 200 people.
For further information about the wide range of support services provided by Salvation Army Tuggeranong and how you can get involved, please phone 6293 3262.

Celebrating New Year the Chinese Way

0

chinese dragon
New Year celebrations may be overr for many, but for the Chinese and much of the Asian Community who use the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year has yet to come. From year to year it varies from between mid January to mid February; this year it is on the 18th of February.
Chinese New Year celebrations are well known for their loud fire crackers and abundance of delicious food. The festivities, which go for a whole 15 days, bring together families and friends as they celebrate their culture and traditions, wherever they are in the world. Traditionally, many Chinese would wear new clothes to symbolize a new beginning, and enjoy dumplings together – a common sight on the New Year’s Eve dinner table.
The Chinese New Year festival dates back to the time of the first Emperor in China. It was a celebration of survival from a mythical beast called ‘nian’ (year), that would raid villages at the end of each year. Many people died in battles against this beast. Over time, villagers discovered that it feared two things: one was the colour bright red, and the other, very loud noises. This led to the tradition of fire crackers and bright red colours at Chinese New Year celebrations.
2007 is the Year of Pig, the last of a twelve year cycle. It is said that people born in the Year of Pig are more likely to be diplomatic, humble, honest and trustworthy. It is also a good year to get married, as the Year of Pig can mean a year of domestic harmony and happiness.
China’s New Renaissance
From one perspective, the upcoming show Chinese New Year Spectacular is representative of China’s New Renaissance, a growing trend in the past few years – a new attempt to restore traditional Chinese culture and values that were destroyed in mainland China during the Communist Party’s Cultural Revolution in the mid 1960’s to 70’s. This destruction also influenced overseas Chinese communities.
In mainland China over the past few years there has been a growing number of new private schools, especially set up to teach classic Chinese works and traditional culture and values. The growing new trend of traditional type private schools is in many ways counter to the contemporary trend of modernization.

Human Rights
While the Chinese New Year is a happy and joyous time and there is surely much to talk about in terms of China’s phenomenal economic growth and the Chinese people’s great achievements, that China now harbors an increasingly alarming gap between the wealthy and the poor should not be forgotten. Many experts have commented that the unfair distribution of wealth from economic development due to corruption and abuse of power is becoming a serious threat to stability for the Chinese society. The currently ruling Chinese Communist Party has not been able to deal with these problems for various reasons.
Each year, thousands and thousands of petitioners appeal to Chinese governmental authorities for justice. But they are often forced to return to their homes without any change. Many went on for petitioning for years. In 2005 there were some 3700 mass protests or riots involving more than 3 million unsatisfied citizens. The number is likely to be much higher in 2006. It has been commented that many westerners are invited to see the shiny surface of economic growth in contemporary China, at the expense of the increasing calls for freedom, justice and humanity.
Everyday in Canberra Falun Gong practitioners protest silently outside the Chinese Embassy. They have been doing this since 1999, when the tragic persecution of Falun Gong was first initiated in mainland China. The persistence of these individuals touches the hearts of many Canberrans and they do not look like they are going away any time soon.
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are going to put China under the international microscope. While the games may bring China fiscal fortunes, China may be ‘encouraged’ to comply with the principles of the Games, being democracy, fairness, justice, and freedoms of speech and belief.
Chinese in Canberra
It is not known to the author who the first Chinese settler in Canberra was. However, by the 1950’s there was already a small Chinese community, mainly involved in farming. By late 1970’s there were more than one hundred Chinese living in the capital. The 80’s saw a growing number of Chinese students studying here, initially as Master’s and Ph.D students, and then later as English-language students as well.
When the Chinese Communist Party’s army tanks crushed the pro-democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, there were from 2000 to 3000 Chinese, including students, in Canberra. By 1997 the Chinese population here was about 4000. Since then we have seen a significant increase of Chinese living and working in Canberra. Today it is estimated that there are some 10 000 Chinese in Canberra.
Unlike the early Chinese settlers who often ran family-based restaurants, many Chinese here now work in the government, at universities, or at either public or private research and professional institutions. One rapid growth area is in IT, with many Chinese-run computer stores and consultancy personnel. Traditional Chinese medicine is now also more readily accessible, with the opening of a traditional Chinese medicine centre in Woden and Belconnen four years ago.
Because of Canberra’s unique environment, in the past seven years a rapidly growing number of school students came from China to study here. The first Chinese school student came in 1999. Now there are more than 300, with more to come. “Many Chinese students are excellent,” says Sandra Woolacott of ACT Education Department.
According to Tourism Australia, over 280 000 Chinese visited Australia in 2005, among which more than 20 000 came to Canberra.

Canberra’s “China Town”
Dickson’s Woolley Street is considered by many as Canberra’s China Town, which includes an array of restaurants, not only Chinese. But the first Chinese Restaurant, Happy’s Chinese Restaurant, was opened in Garema Place in the city in 1955. Dickson’s first Chinese Restaurant, Golden Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, did not open until 1967, and closed in 1985.
Dickson’s Chinese businesses didn’t really kick off until the early 1980’s, when Ruby Chinese Restaurant, New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, and a herb store and computer store opened in the same decade. A Dickson Arcade is currently being renovated to include three new restaurants (Italian, Indian and Chinese), as well as a traditional Chinese massage centre.

Canberra Youth Association
A new Canberra Youth Association is being established by a number of enthusiasts who are willing to devote their time and energy to help young people grow in a healthy way by learning something positive and valuable, and also to explore the world. Although started by a number of Chinese and Australians interested in Chinese, the association is open to all youth in Canberra. The first classes on offer are for Chinese martial arts and cookery. It may soon expand to travel and other areas.

Chinese New Year Spectacular
An authentic celebration of the Chinese New Year in Canberra this year is available to everyone, thanks to the Asian Culture Association’s (ACA) hosting the Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Canberra Theatre in March. The Spectacular is produced and presented by the New York based Chinese language television network New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV).
At shopping centres and markets over the past few weeks it has been hard to miss a group of heavenly-looking Chinese ladies and angelic girls in their bright, colourful traditional Chinese costumes. They are ACA volunteers, busy promoting the Spectacular, which has come to Canberra for the first time.
Since the show first started in New York four years ago, the Spectacular has been a tremendous success. In 2007 the NTDTV team is touring the world from January to March for 75 shows in 29 cities, including 10 shows in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
From the 3rd to mid January the Spectacular toured four Canadian cities for ten sold-out shows, dazzling an audience of nearly 19,000. “Usually we hear about song and dance multiculturalism, but it’s usually not very deep and very profound,” said distinguished Canadian author, poet, and professor Cyril Dabydeer after watching the show in Ottawa. “But tonight it was the most extraordinary cultural show I’ve ever seen and experienced.”
The show was rated top 7th in the US in February 2006 by Billboard magazine. The Spectacular has become a popular new tradition for the Chinese New Year celebration overseas. It includes graceful dances, exquisite and soulful music, as well as wonderful staging and costumes. These incredible performances showcase 5000 years of Chinese culture, of the Divine Land, for a spectacular and unforgettable feast of music, dance and entertainment.
“We have a magnificent show. When you see the pictures, they catch your eyes. When you listen to the music, it stays in your ears. When you watch the show, it touches your heart.” says, Dr Songfa Liu, vice-president of Asian Culture Association (ACA).
Due to popular demand, there will be an extra show on Tuesday 20th of March in addition to a night show and a matinee for schools on the 21st of March. See advertisement sponsored by The Word.

Road Calm

0

Road Calm

Easter’s nearly on us –
A well-earned break for most.
Like half the folk of Canberra I’ll be heading for the coast.

The weekend should be fun –
A fillip for the soul,
But Tuesday we’ll be reading of the National Road Toll.

It sounds a trifle grim –
I hope that I’m wrong too,
But if you are the driver then it’s really up to you!

Two hours to Bateman’s Bay,
But please, for heaven’s sake,
It’s better to take three than try that risky overtake!

Just listen to a tape,
Enjoy the countryside,
And if you get there two hours late there should still be a tide.

I just don’t get ‘road rage’ –
It does no good, just harm –
I’d rather take the smart approach, the one I call ‘road calm’.

Oh, let the “doof-doof” in,
It’s clear he cannot drive,
But with a helpful attitude we’ll all remain alive.

So if the traffic’s slow,
Don’t let yourself get tense,
Just tolerate the idiots and drive with common sense.

So have a Good Friday
And think of what I’ve said .
‘Cause there is just one bloke I know who got up from the dead!

© Neil Dunn, 29/3/99.

Canberra kicks A's with the Commission

0

Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister
I welcome the Report on Government Services (ROGS), released recently by the Productivity Commission, showing ACT Government services continue to be among the best in the country. I am pleased with the ACT’s performance in the report but note useful benchmarks for future improvement.
The Report on Government Services 2007 is an annual comparison of services provided by Australia’s State and Territory Governments.
The ACT’s performance in many crucial areas leads the nation. In particular, our community enjoys access to excellence in public school educational outcomes; we continue to enjoy the best health and highest longevity rates, and our police and emergency services lead the nation in many performance measures.
It should be noted that the information contained in the report pre-dates the ACT Government’s recent budget reforms and initiatives, which aim to bring the costs associated with many government services back into line with other jurisdictions, without compromising service standards.
The report reinforces what we in the ACT have long prided ourselves on – our first-class education system. We have the best public education system in Australia, and with the recent announcement of a $90 million injection into our schools, we are determined to ensure that our public schools are the first choice for a quality education.
The report shows that in 2005 the ACT had the highest Year 12 completion rate of any jurisdiction by far at 80% compared to a national average of 67%.
Literacy benchmarks also exceed national averages for ACT students in Years 3,5 and 7. In addition, numeracy measures in 2004 showed levels of performance for ACT students above the national average.
The ACT has the highest apparent retention rate of full time students from years 10-12 at 88.1% compared to 76.5% nationally, with retention rate for Indigenous full-time students from years 10-12 at 66.1% compared to 45.3% nationally. The retention rate for government schools in the ACT is much higher than for non-government schools, at 99.5% compared to 74.5%.
The ROGS shows that expenditure on students in government schools is above the national average. The ACT Government is addressing this issue through recent budget initiatives and the Towards 2020 program. Recent reforms to the public education system are aimed at ensuring sustainability in public schools and improving learning and teaching environments in our schools.
The ACT has more police officers on the beat than any other jurisdiction, with the report showing the ACT has 85.6% of operational police officers, well above the national average of 82.6%. In addition, community perceptions of safety remain relatively high and are generally above the national average. Perceptions of safety on our public transport after dark are also significantly higher than any other jurisdiction.
The ACT has the lowest imprisonment rate of any jurisdiction at 76 adults per 1,000. The national average is 156. The ACT also has the lowest rate of Indigenous imprisonment at 545 per 1,000 adults.
The report shows that the ACT has a relatively high cost per capita for corrective services. However it is expected that the commissioning of the ACT’s new prison will result in a reduction in the recurrent cost per prisoner per day.
Performance of our court system is in line with the achievements of other states, although improvements can be made in reducing case backlog. In is anticipated that the introduction of the new Court Procedures Rules in the Supreme Court and Magistrates Courts will further enhance case management. The ACT shows superior performance by the Magistrates Court over the last five years, having cleared more than 100% of cases in each year, thereby reducing the backlog of cases. The cost per finalisation continues to decline for criminal matters, with the Supreme Court less than most jurisdictions.
I am proud of the ACT Fire Brigade’s response times which are the best in the country, with containment of fire to the room of origin at 82%, also the best response in the country.
The ACT health system also performed well in comparison to other jurisdictions in many key areas.
Life expectancy at birth for the ACT has increased steadily and Canberrans continue to outlive their counterparts in all other jurisdictions with the highest average life expectancy of 79.7 for males and 83.9 for females. This is not only higher than the Australian average, but is amongst the highest in the world.
The ACT’s hospitals continued to record excellent results for relative stays in hospital for patients, with a decrease from 1.04 days to 1.01 days.
The ACT Government continues to work towards cutting the waiting times in the emergency department and for elective surgery. The Government has invested significantly in reducing elective surgery waiting lists and results show that more patients were admitted for elective surgery in 2004-05 (8.617) than in 2003-04 (8.547). This figure is increasing year-on-year with 9,076 patients receiving elective surgery in 2005-06.
The ACT Government is also working to reduce ACT public hospital costs and in line with the 2006-07 Budget is implementing a strategy to bring costs to within 10% of the average cost of similar facilities in Australia by 2009-10.
The ACT also performed well in a number of significant areas of aged care provision.
The number of Aged Care Assessments (ACAT) per 1000 people over 70 was the highest in the ACT at 121.4 against a national average of 88.1 and the ACT has the highest number of community aged care packages, with 20.2 per 1000 people over 70, compared to the national average of 18.2.
In the area of aged accommodation, the ACT Government is committed to bringing operational care places on line as quickly as possible after the Commonwealth Government allocates the care places. We expect to see a steady increase in performance over time in this area, with the recent completion of a planning framework for the number of residential places required for the next 20 years and identification of land for future aged care accommodation.
The report shows that, despite being a small jurisdiction, services provided by the ACT Government compare extremely favourably in comparison to other States and the Northern Territory.
This is a great opportunity not only to recognise what we are doing well, but to identify those areas where there is still room for improvement.

Canberra's soul – roundabouts, fireworks, polies and pornography.?

0

By Nicholas Kittel
Canberra often gets a bum rap for being a rather bland place to visit or call home, but take enough time to scratch the surface and you will find a bubbling and burgeoning society that is both contemporary and compatible.
One person who has studied Canberra’s transition from focal point to forgotten and back again is Monash University Professor Graeme Davison, from the University’s School of Historical Studies.
Prof. Davison said that when suggestions for a planned, national capital were discussed, in both the corridors of power and over the dinner table, the resounding opinion was that Canberra should be a city that was in many ways different from other Australian cities.
“When Canberra was first founded, what people most wanted of Canberra was that it should be a city that was in some ways quite unlike other Australian cities. It should be an ideal city, a model city, the most hygienic, the most beautifully planned, the most aesthetically appealing city in the country,” he said.
“That was a wonderful ideal but in some ways it set it apart from the rest of Australia and there was always a certain sense of distance between Canberra and the rest of the nation. There was a slight undertone of resentment and perhaps even a feeling that Canberra was a bit too well planned.”
The fact that Canberra is a planned city makes her the butt of many a joke, with detractors identifying Canberra as a place more renowned for its roundabouts than amazing art galleries, museums and public monuments.
But Professor Davison says that the city has grown beyond on these criticisms and has matured, developing a soul in the process and that Australia is beginning to realise this.
“I do think that Canberra has a soul and what’s more I think gradually that message has got to the rest of Australia.”

Calling all quilt makers

0

By Sandra Orszaczky
The wonderfully successful volunteer lead ‘Anne’s Legacy for PatCH Kids’ is calling for more volunteers to donate their time and skills in keeping the legacy alive for sick children in Canberra.
Minister for Health Ms. Katy Gallagher MLA was honoured recently to be a part of the event at The Canberra Hospital’s Paediatric Ward where 100 quilts were handed over to sick children who are required to spend a great deal of time at the hospital recovering from illnesses.
“These 100 quilts were beautifully created with a great deal of love and effort,” Ms. Gallagher said. “Every quilt is designed and created by a handful of wonderfully artistic volunteers, and are then documented in a catalogue so that each recipient can select the quilt that they want. I can imagine that this must be a very rewarding experience for those people who make the quilts, to then see them loved and cherished by their new owners.”
The Minister has now made a special call to the Quilters of Canberra and the surrounding region to consider giving their time to participate as a volunteer in this initiative.
“The three outstanding women – Diane Cutting, Sandra Orszaczky and Lyn Bauer-Williams, who are responsible for developing Anne’s Legacy following the death of their very close friend Anne Nelson in 2004, are as keen as ever to keep going with increasing their stock to keep giving to patients in need in the future.”
I would like to support their call for help – and ask that anyone who thinks they can help in anyway or make a donation of any kind, to call Sandra Orszaczky on 6231 6198 or alternatively, drop me an email at info@katygallagher.net and my office will connect you with Anne’s Legacy.

Keeping the Rotary wheel turning

0

Project planning, Rotary style
By Jackie Yow
Marrying an Aussie was one thing but leaving friends and family behind and embarking on a new life in Australia was another! One of life’s hurdles that so many of us face when we start afresh in a new town or country is making friends and feeling part of the community.
In the UK I played a big role in the community, working for a Premier division football team and later in commercial radio. Through these links I was invited by my female CEO to become a member of Rotary. As a 36 year old woman I knew very little about Rotary except that I though they were a bunch of older men working to help the community.
After my first meeting, I am glad to report, I discovered many older men working along side equal numbers of younger men and women! I was astounded by the magnitude of local projects that this club was involved with and even more staggered by the global achievements of the World Wide Rotary Organisation. I became a member.
When I arrived in Canberra one of the first things I did was look up my nearest Rotary club (Tuggeranong) and I became a member. Since then I’ve been involved in endless local and international projects – arts awards, festivals, youth camps, bike rides, schools, science forums, winery visits and hosted cultural exchange students from New Zealand, Samoa and the Cook Islands!
Tuggeranong is a small but very active club. It consists of 20 members ranging in age from 40 to over 70years. I have made many friends and now play an important part in this local community and so can you. We are looking for new members both male and female. We meet every Tuesday at the Vikings Club on Athlon Drive at 6pm for a bite to eat, a drink and to plan our next project. You are invited to join us.
If you are interested in finding out more, call me on 0437 168680 or our President, Terry Ryan on 0407 223 128. Email Tuggeranong Rotary Club rotaryadmin@rawpine.hm for further information about Rotary go to www.rotarnet.com.au

R&D Tax Concession Information Seminar

0

The R&D Tax Concession is a Government initiative to increase the amount of Research and Development undertaken in Australia. It is broad-based, available to all industry sectors and each company controls the direction of their Research and Development.

The concession enables Australian companies to deduct up to 125% of expenditure incurred on eligible activities from assessable income when lodging their tax returns. An incremental Tax Concession (175% Premium) and R&D Tax Offset are also available in certain circumstances.

AusIndustry invites you to a free information session for companies undertaking R&D and their accountants who have not previously registered for the R&D Tax Concession or for those requiring a refresher.

The seminar will include discussion on how to:

identify eligibility for the concession, including for Research and Development expenditure, and access the R&D Tax Concession.

The seminar details are as follows:

Canberra: 3:30pm – 7:30pm (4:00pm start)
15 March 2007
The Drawing Room, University House
1 Balmain Crescent
Canberra

For enquiries about the seminar contact Chris Mills on (02) 6213 6795.

You may be interested in subscribing to the AusIndustry e-bulletin for up-to-date news about innovation, upcoming events, and government products and support services for Australian businesses. You can also obtain ’email updates’ about specific AusIndustry products, by visiting www.ausindustry.gov.au.

Minister joins Health Council to talk about the future of health

0

Minister for Health Ms. Katy Gallagher MLA will join with the ACT Health Council later this month at a Community Forum to talk about a range of key health issues for the ACT.

The Forum will be hosted by the ACT Health Council which provides advice and guidance to the ACT Government on the provision of health care, and is a key mechanism in ensuring ongoing improvement and development of the ACT health system.

“It’s important that members of the community come to the forum to have some input about what they think is important for the future direction of Canberra’s health services,” Ms. Gallagher said.

“Letters have now gone out to health stakeholders asking for their input, along with a range of press advertising inviting consumers and members of the public to come along and have their say,” Ms. Gallagher said.

The forum will be held on Thursday 22 March from 6.00pm – 8.00pm (light refreshments will be available from 5.30pm), at the Marque Hotel,102 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City.

The community forum will discuss a range of key health issues including:

. Timely access to essential health care, including emergency department, acute care, waiting times
. Mental Health
. Aged Care
. Chronic Disease Management
. Early Childhood and Vulnerable Families
. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Interested parties should contact the Secretariat to the ACT Health Council on (02) 6205 1100 or karen.pearson@act.gov.au to confirm their attendance or for further inquiries.

Media Contact: Angie Drake 6205 0139 Mobile 0408 092 016 angie.drake@act.gov.au

Celebrating New Year the Chinese Way

0

By Songfa Lui

New Year celebrations may be over for many, but for the Chinese and much of the Asian Community who use the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year has yet to come. From year to year it varies from between mid January to mid February; this year it is on the 18th of February.
Chinese New Year celebrations are well known for their loud fire crackers and abundance of delicious food. The festivities, which go for a whole 15 days, bring together families and friends as they celebrate their culture and traditions, wherever they are in the world. Traditionally, many Chinese would wear new clothes to symbolize a new beginning, and enjoy dumplings together – a common sight on the New Year’s Eve dinner table.
The Chinese New Year festival dates back to the time of the first Emperor in China. It was a celebration of survival from a mythical beast called ‘nian’ (year), that would raid villages at the end of each year. Many people died in battles against this beast. Over time, villagers discovered that it feared two things: one was the colour bright red, and the other, very loud noises. This led to the tradition of fire crackers and bright red colours at Chinese New Year celebrations.
2007 is the Year of Pig, the last of a twelve year cycle. It is said that people born in the Year of Pig are more likely to be diplomatic, humble, honest and trustworthy. It is also a good year to get married, as the Year of Pig can mean a year of domestic harmony and happiness.

China’s New Renaissance
From one perspective, the upcoming show Chinese New Year Spectacular is representative of China’s New Renaissance, a growing trend in the past few years – a new attempt to restore traditional Chinese culture and values that were destroyed in mainland China during the Communist Party’s Cultural Revolution in the mid 1960’s to 70’s. This destruction also influenced overseas Chinese communities.
In mainland China over the past few years there has been a growing number of new private schools, especially set up to teach classic Chinese works and traditional culture and values. The growing new trend of traditional type private schools is in many ways counter to the contemporary trend of modernization.

Human Rights
While the Chinese New Year is a happy and joyous time and there is surely much to talk about in terms of China’s phenomenal economic growth and the Chinese people’s great achievements, that China now harbors an increasingly alarming gap between the wealthy and the poor should not be forgotten. Many experts have commented that the unfair distribution of wealth from economic development due to corruption and abuse of power is becoming a serious threat to stability for the Chinese society. The currently ruling Chinese Communist Party has not been able to deal with these problems for various reasons.
Each year, thousands and thousands of petitioners appeal to Chinese governmental authorities for justice. But they are often forced to return to their homes without any change. Many went on for petitioning for years. In 2005 there were some 3700 mass protests or riots involving more than 3 million unsatisfied citizens. The number is likely to be much higher in 2006. It has been commented that many westerners are invited to see the shiny surface of economic growth in contemporary China, at the expense of the increasing calls for freedom, justice and humanity.
Everyday in Canberra Falun Gong practitioners protest silently outside the Chinese Embassy. They have been doing this since 1999, when the tragic persecution of Falun Gong was first initiated in mainland China. The persistence of these individuals touches the hearts of many Canberrans and they do not look like they are going away any time soon.
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are going to put China under the international microscope. While the games may bring China fiscal fortunes, China may be ‘encouraged’ to comply with the principles of the Games, being democracy, fairness, justice, and freedoms of speech and belief.

Chinese in Canberra
It is not known to the author who the first Chinese settler in Canberra was. However, by the 1950’s there was already a small Chinese community, mainly involved in farming. By late 1970’s there were more than one hundred Chinese living in the capital. The 80’s saw a growing number of Chinese students studying here, initially as Master’s and Ph.D students, and then later as English-language students as well.
When the Chinese Communist Party’s army tanks crushed the pro-democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, there were from 2000 to 3000 Chinese, including students, in Canberra. By 1997 the Chinese population here was about 4000. Since then we have seen a significant increase of Chinese living and working in Canberra. Today it is estimated that there are some 10 000 Chinese in Canberra.
Unlike the early Chinese settlers who often ran family-based restaurants, many Chinese here now work in the government, at universities, or at either public or private research and professional institutions. One rapid growth area is in IT, with many Chinese-run computer stores and consultancy personnel. Traditional Chinese medicine is now also more readily accessible, with the opening of a traditional Chinese medicine centre in Woden and Belconnen four years ago.
Because of Canberra’s unique environment, in the past seven years a rapidly growing number of school students came from China to study here. The first Chinese school student came in 1999. Now there are more than 300, with more to come. “Many Chinese students are excellent,” says Sandra Woolacott of ACT Education Department.
According to Tourism Australia, over 280 000 Chinese visited Australia in 2005, among which more than 20 000 came to Canberra.

Canberra’s “China Town”
Dickson’s Woolley Street is considered by many as Canberra’s China Town, which includes an array of restaurants, not only Chinese. But the first Chinese Restaurant, Happy’s Chinese Restaurant, was opened in Garema Place in the city in 1955. Dickson’s first Chinese Restaurant, Golden Phoenix Chinese Restaurant, did not open until 1967, and closed in 1985.
Dickson’s Chinese businesses didn’t really kick off until the early 1980’s, when Ruby Chinese Restaurant, New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, and a herb store and computer store opened in the same decade. A Dickson Arcade is currently being renovated to include three new restaurants (Italian, Indian and Chinese), as well as a traditional Chinese massage centre.

Canberra Youth Association
A new Canberra Youth Association is being established by a number of enthusiasts who are willing to devote their time and energy to help young people grow in a healthy way by learning something positive and valuable, and also to explore the world. Although started by a number of Chinese and Australians interested in Chinese, the association is open to all youth in Canberra. The first classes on offer are for Chinese martial arts and cookery. It may soon expand to travel and other areas.

Chinese New Year Spectacular
An authentic celebration of the Chinese New Year in Canberra this year is available to everyone, thanks to the Asian Culture Association’s (ACA) hosting the Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Canberra Theatre in March. The Spectacular is produced and presented by the New York based Chinese language television network New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV).
At shopping centres and markets over the past few weeks it has been hard to miss a group of heavenly-looking Chinese ladies and angelic girls in their bright, colourful traditional Chinese costumes. They are ACA volunteers, busy promoting the Spectacular, which has come to Canberra for the first time.
Since the show first started in New York four years ago, the Spectacular has been a tremendous success. In 2007 the NTDTV team is touring the world from January to March for 75 shows in 29 cities, including 10 shows in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
From the 3rd to mid January the Spectacular toured four Canadian cities for ten sold-out shows, dazzling an audience of nearly 19,000. “Usually we hear about song and dance multiculturalism, but it’s usually not very deep and very profound,” said distinguished Canadian author, poet, and professor Cyril Dabydeer after watching the show in Ottawa. “But tonight it was the most extraordinary cultural show I’ve ever seen and experienced.”
The show was rated top 7th in the US in February 2006 by Billboard magazine. The Spectacular has become a popular new tradition for the Chinese New Year celebration overseas. It includes graceful dances, exquisite and soulful music, as well as wonderful staging and costumes. These incredible performances showcase 5000 years of Chinese culture, of the Divine Land, for a spectacular and unforgettable feast of music, dance and entertainment.
“We have a magnificent show. When you see the pictures, they catch your eyes. When you listen to the music, it stays in your ears. When you watch the show, it touches your heart.” says, Dr Songfa Liu, vice-president of Asian Culture Association (ACA).
Due to popular demand, there will be an extra show on Tuesday 20th of March in addition to a night show and a matinee for schools on the 21st of March. See advertisement sponsored by The Word.