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Ground Breaking Ceremony

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Pastor Stephen Janes and Tania Goodacre turn the first sod
The Senior Minister, Pastor Stephen Janes, on Saturday 12 May 2007 turned the first sod in a ground breaking ceremony celebrating the granting of land from the ACT Government to Christian City Church Tuggeranong.

Pastor Janes was joined by 150 congregation members, The President of the Canberra Islamic Society, Dr Ahmed Youssef and Pastors Len & Lois Russell from Christian Outreach Centre.

The grant of land marks the end of a seven year journey to become the lease holder of this piece of land allowing Christian City Church Tuggeranong to shortly commence building a facility that will include a 500 seat auditorium, multi-purpose rooms and community kitchen that the community of Monash and the surrounding suburbs can benefit from.

“Christian City Church Tuggeranong has the support of the Canberra Islamic Centre in Monash and also Christian Outreach Centre. It is great to see different faiths and churches working together for the good of the community.

The Church is so excited to be able to construct this purpose built worship facility on land granted by the ACT Government, our desire is to provide a building that exudes quality and excellence, something we value as an organisation.

With a strong focus on families, children and youth, Christian City Church Tuggeranong as well as church services will be able to cater for the community by holding regular youth events and youth church services, concerts, musical productions, counselling, teaching, family training and numerous conferences and events for all demographics in the community.” Pastor Janes said

In the Tuggeranong Valley there are 95,000 people approximately and of those only 8% go to church.

Pastor Janes says “people don’t realise that such contemporary churches exist. Christian City Church Tuggeranong’s vision is of “A Contemporary, Caring, Powerful, Vibrant, Growing Church.” In my 13 years of pastoring people tell me that they want to encounter God and are looking for more to life than material possessions. We find that when people visit our church they are looking to experience God and often hoping for a miracle. With this new facility right here in the Valley our Church can offer a place where people can reach out and connect with God in a very real, contemporary and powerful way. We know that having a relationship with God changes lives. We are looking forward to welcoming more of the Valley residents to our congregation when our worship facility opens in early 2008.”

DENTAL FUNDING OMMISSION DISAPPOINTING

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The Minister for Health Ms. Katy Gallagher MLA has expressed her disappointment at the missed opportunity, again, from the Federal Government in adequately funding dental health care for average Australians.

The Minister said that this was yet another of the Commonwealth’s disappointing decisions relating to dental care.

“The current Commonwealth Government withdrew funding for the Commonwealth Dental Program as one of its first acts coming into government back in 1996,” Ms. Gallagher said.

“The program they took away provided access to dental care for disadvantaged people, and by withdrawing the program unilaterally, the burden was shifted onto State and Territory Governments to pick up the slack,” she said.

The Budget initiative announced last night around targeted dental assistance in no way replaces the program that the Commonwealth withdrew. It is an incredibly restrictive program, and even the Commonwealth’s own, usually very optimistic, fact sheets admit that only 200,000 people will access the program over the next 4 years. That’s an average of 50,000 people a year, or less than a quarter of 1% of the population.

Not only is the program very narrow, but access to it is swathed in red tap. To get access to the program someone has to have: chronic conditions and complex care needs, and be referred to a dentist by their GP, and have a GP management plan, and team care arrangements in place.

“This clearly isn’t about providing access to dental care for Australians, but about being seen to be doing something while putting a whole lot of barriers in place to make sure that almost no one can actually access the care.”

“In addition, this is not a new program, but more putting more money into the same restrictive arrangements that have already failed to provide accessible dental care for disadvantaged Australians.”

In the last 4 years, the ACT Government has demonstrated its commitment to providing dental care for disadvantaged people by increasing funding for its dental program by 41%.

“It is bitterly disappointing that the Commonwealth is not showing similar commitment,” Ms. Gallagher concluded.
Date: 9 May, 2007 Angie Drake Ph: 6205 0139(w) 0408 092 016(m)

NEW ACUTE CARE BEDS FOR TCH

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The new Medical Assessment and Planning Unit (MAPU) at Canberra Hospital was a tangible demonstration of the ACT Government’s commitment to improving health services for the people of Canberra and surrounding regions, ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, said today.

Opening the new 14-bed unit, Ms Gallagher said the MAPU model of care was a strategy to streamline admission and intervention processes, facilitate early consultant review and expedite multidisciplinary review.

“A MAPU is a unit designed as a short-stay ward specifically staffed and equipped to receive medical inpatients for assessment, care and treatment,” Ms Gallagher said.

“Timely transfer to a dedicated inpatient setting can reduce overall length of stay and achieve better outcomes for patients.

“A flow on benefit of the MAPU will be to enhance the capacity of the Emergency Department by implementing the early transfer of these patients.

“This purpose built unit, built at a cost of approximately $1.25 million and with 14 new beds, will provide a better environment for complex medical patients to have their diagnoses confirmed and treatment commenced.”

The new unit will receive recurrent funding of $2.88 million per annum.

Statement Ends
Date 14 May, 2007
Media Contact: Angie Drake Ph: 6205 0139(w) 0408 092 016(m)

Reading the Fine Print

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Reading the Fine Print – Presbyopia and Product Labelling

Presbyopia is the inevitable loss of the ability to focus on near objects, which means that most people over the age of 45 need reading glasses. The effect is significantly worse in poor light conditions.

The ageing population profile of our country means that presbyopia will soon affect over 40% of Australians.

That’s a lot of people. You’d think therefore that product manufacturers would be trying to accommodate that 40% by labelling their products in a way that made it easier to read the packing or controls.

Many people with presbyopia do not wear their reading glasses all of the time. I for one do not routinely wear them to the shops or the theatre or to the football ground or wherever, because I don’t really need them there and they are just a nuisance to carry around. Of course I can’t wear them whilst I am driving or walking upstairs, etc because they blur distance vision.

Going out without my reading glasses should not be a problem in most cases. In my car glovebox there is a magnifying mirror with a battery-operated light, just in case I need to read my street directory. And a pair of ‘near-enough-is-good-enough’ specs that I can grab if I’m desperate.

Unfortunately, shopping is not as easy as it should be. Product manufacturers routinely label their wares in such a way that the weight, contents, cooking time, etc are in such micro-fine print that I can’t read the details even if I do fetch my reading glasses. If the product is very small, then small print may be inevitable. But even the largest packets seem to want to hide the important details in fine print. Have you noticed that the one thing that’s hard to find on a packet of pasta is the cooking time?! I really am tired of marching to my room to fetch reading glasses, just so I know how long to boil the spirali.

Of course, electronics is where this problems really is endemic. Mobile phones, DVD players, car radios, MP3 players and all the other electronic gadgets are evidently made by the one firm: Bastards Incorporated. It’s not enough that the print on the buttons/controls is smaller than it needs to be, they then print it in a colour that is almost indistinguishable from the background colour. Or use the ‘stainless steel’ look (eg on microwave ovens) so when you look at the control panel you see your own reflection instead of what is written in tiny letters on the panel.

And how about the labelling on the umpteen RCA sockets on the back of TVs and DVD players. Have you noticed that it is frequently part of the plastic moulding. Once upon a time this form of labelling was made visible by the manufacturer wiping a sort of paint roller over the up-raised lettering so that it stood out in relief against the background. Not any more. Given that most of these sockets are on the back of equipment, and usually poorly-lit, you haven’t a hope without reading glasses or a magnifying glass, a torch, and someone to hold the torch whilst you try to read the labels and connect the plugs to the right sockets.

Its about time that manufacturers got smart here. If the 40% of Australians who can’t read without glasses all decided to stop buying products that use poor labelling, a lot of manufacturers would be in trouble. But that’s probably not going to happen.

Instead, why not write or email the company responsible for the next poorly-labelled product that you buy. Tell them you like their product, but have trouble reading the print on their package or controls. Tell them you are one of millions who have that problem. Ask them to change their labelling practices to make it easier for more people to read.

To help you remember to do so, put the offending packaging aside in a “to do” folder. Or keep a notebook in the kitchen and jot down the details as you go. Then one day you can have a field day emailing companies and asking them to do the right thing.

It might just make life a little easier in the long run.

Update on Canberra Real Estate Market- opportunities

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Artur Stuart
In this May 2007 edition of “Update on property market conditions and properties in Canberra- Opportunities” I am discussing:

* Current Property Market- May 2007

* What to look for when purchasing a property

* Properties to consider for good value and location

* Topics in future editions of the “Update on property market conditions
and properties in Canberra”

* Land Releases

Current Property Market

It has been a very active property market in North of Canberra from January to May 2007. Some properties are selling over the phone and others well ahead of their full completion in the price range of $450,000 – $620,000. The Government’s release of smaller and more expensive parcels of land in Forde and Franklin is helping to sell the reminder of properties in Harrison and Gungahlin but does not help first home buyers or low income earners.

As a result of the sudden demand for Harrison/Gungahlin properties, prices have gone up on average from $15,000 to $60,000 in the last 2 months in Harrison and are still continuing to rise. The demand for these properties did not ease with higher prices.

In my opinion, high confidence in the economy including low interest rates, good employment trend with the possibility of extra few thousand government jobs next year and strong rental return on investment properties in the ACT, have contributed to the demand. For example, we have rented out a 2 bedroom fully furnished apartment near Civic for $690pw for 6 – 12 months. The return on that property is 11.7%! The demand for fully furnished apartments near the city and for houses in 15 to 20 minutes drive to the city is growing as more people come to Canberra for work reasons hence another reason to buy investments in the ACT.

What to look for when purchasing a property:

1. Location- close to shops, green areas/reserve, park, near public transport and schools
2. Condition of the property- the seller must provide all necessary reports relating to the condition of premises, look for signs of moisture/dampness, problems with electricity/wires, termites, splits/cracks in walls, quality fixtures
3. Price – how does it stack against other similar properties in the area
4. Whether or not the owner needs a quick settlement- desperate owners are willing to accept lower offer
5. Whether or not you have pre-approved finance or cash in hand- this is a great bargaining ‘power tool’!

Contrary to the common view, the length of time the property is on the market is not an issue for buyers because the floor plan of the property or the dimensions of the block of land may not suit everyone’s needs or for personal reasons of the seller.

Properties to look for are those that are under priced or positively geared or set up as positively geared investments, ie 4 bedrooms and studio, furnished apartments close to all amenities, executive homes leased to companies. With the economy booming and projected increase in government employment we will see even greater demand for housing with the unintended result of increasing rents and property prices by the end of the year.

Properties to consider for good value and location:

a. Glebe Park apartments (in the city close to the casino) – especially 1-bedroom apartments
b. Bentley Suites in Forrest
c. houses with around 180 – 200m2 of living and with 500m2 blocks of land in Harrison under $530,000.

Land Releases:
Bridgewater at Franklin by land ballot: The next land ballot for quality land at Bridgewater will take place on Saturday 28 April 2007 at 10am. This land ballot includes 42 blocks ranging in size from 405m2 to 720m2 and are priced from $163,000. You must be registered for this ballot by Tuesday 24 April 2007, 5pm. For more information visit www.lda.act.gov.au

In the next edition of “Update on property market conditions and properties in Canberra- Opportunities” I will discuss how to choose an agent and pros/cons of selling yourself. In future editions, I will cover topics of preparing your property for the real estate market and how to price your home correctly in order to sell your home quicker or at the best price.

You are welcome to send me your questions about real estate. The most interesting questions or issues will be published in future editions.

Artur Stuart
(Copyright granted to the publisher only, Artur Stuart 2007)

Background about Artur Stuart: Artur is a lawyer, real estate senior sales person and buyer’s agent at Premier Capital Properties in Braddon, ACT. He finds properties for buyers. If you are thinking of selling or know of someone thinking of moving or intending to purchase a property please don’t hesitate to contact Artur directly via email: artur_m_stuart@hotmail.com or calling his mobile: 0433956677 every day until 7pm.

Should you plant a drought-resistant lawn in Canberra?

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Turf the Lot
Our long cold winters and long hot summers make the decision about which is the best kind of turf to plant in Canberra a difficult one. It’s nice to have something that stays green all through the winter but what do you do next summer when the water just isn’t available to keep it alive?

This question has led increasing numbers of people to consider planting a drought-resistant grass such as Sir Walter (buffalo grass) or Legend Couch. They grow very well in summer and use a lot less water than the winter varieties. How well do these warm-season grasses perform in winter though?

Both these grasses go dormant and ‘brown-off’ in winter. In order to get the Sir Walter through the winter it’s important to fertilize it at the beginning of autumn and spring. If you don’t do this then it may struggle to get going again in spring. Also it cannot handle too much wear and tear when dormant. Legend Couch on the other hand handles the winter well and is more drought resistant than the Sir Walter. Another bonus with the couch is that you can even have your lawn looking green during winter by planting rye grass seeds on it in April or May. So why doesn’t everyone plant couch? It doesn’t handle shade well and is difficult to keep out of gardens.

So even though it’s not an easy decision to make, the ability of these drought-resistant grasses to grow well through the summer whilst saving water has tended to tip the decision in their favour. With a little care they can make it through the winter.

David Campbell

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David Campbell

MAY 16 2007

REVIEW OF DAVID CAMPBELL AT CANBERRA SOUTHERN CROSS CLUB

BY RAMA GAIND

It was a gratifying experience watching David Campbell doing what he does best – singing swing classics at a matinee performance at the Canberra Southern Cross Club last month.
Having finally got rock ‘n’ roll out of his system, he has returned to his musical roots and singing the songs he was born to sing – and they dominated the first half of the show. Samples of his R & R repertoire were a part of the energetic encore!
Campbell’s deft and distinctive vocal approach to such classics as Mack The Knife, Leroy Brown, All the Way, Mr. Bojangles, Can’t Take Eyes Off You and The Way You Look Tonight adhered him to the audience.
His delicate treatment of You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, Call Me, Come Fly With Me and You’re Just Too Good To Be True instantly won everyone over.
He eased into building a rapport with the audience as he spoke of growing up in Adelaide, living with his grandmother and listening to songs by Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis. His heroes were ultimate showmen like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr, Bobby Darin and Tony Bennett.
At 34, Campbell is now doing what he does best – live shows, rehearsals for a new musical, a new album and another role on television.
After meeting music director Chong Lim on Seven’s Dancing With The Stars, they recorded an album called The Swing Sessions last year. Campbell and Lim are about to record a second swing album.
He is also currently seen on It Takes Two on Channel 7
Campbell begins rehearsing Company, Stephen Sondheim’s witty musical about love, sex and marriage later this month.
Taking that musical detour was something Campbell felt he had to do. After a successful stint on Broadway and then a critically acclaimed starring role as Johnny O’Keefe in the Australian production of Shout! in 2001, he followed in his father’s (Jimmy Barnes) famous rock ‘n’ roll footsteps.
By paying a singing tribute to some of the legendary men of classics, Campbell has emerged as a ‘swing sensation’ who has certainly found his “mojo again”.

Congratulations

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Congratulations on the new ‘Page”. I feel so clever, I have managed to find it and write something. I’m excited. Freda Kemp

The Simple Art of Meditation

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The Simple Art of Meditation

What is meditation? In the West meditation is considered to be quiet thought, reflection or contemplation. In the East, where the ancient art of meditation developed several thousand years ago, it is considered to be ‘thoughtless awareness’ or not thinking.

Meditation developed in India as part of a tradition of mental, physical and spiritual practices known as yoga. The purpose of practising yoga was to achieve the state of ‘self-realisation’, a meditative state in which the practitioner becomes one with the whole universe, has a feeling of total peace and tranquillity and achieves complete psychological integration.

Modern psychologists have called this state of self-realisation ‘self-actualisation’ and Carl Jung has called it ‘individuation’. It is the state in which artists, writers and musicians receive inspiration and sports people talk of being ‘in the flow’ when everything becomes effortless and spontaneous. It is also the state where healing, both physical and mental, takes place. It is a state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ in which you are able to focus on the present moment for a sustained period of time. You are fully alert and in control, but you are not being bombarded with thoughts about the past or the future.

In about 500BC in India a sage and physician called Patanjali formalised this tradition of yoga into a science to achieve the state of self-realisation which included eight branches among which were ethical restraint, self-discipline, mental focus, physical exercise and meditation. The physical exercises were called Hatha Yoga (with which we are familiar in the West) and they were designed to clear the chakras (subtle energy centres) so that self-realisation could take place.

For thousands of years people who wanted to achieve their self-realisation and experience this meditative state had to spend many years studying with a guru in the Himalayas, clearing their chakras and undergoing many hardships in order to achieve it. In 1970 Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi devised a simple method to allow people to attain their self-realisation and to go into this state of meditation spontaneously, which is called Sahaja Yoga. It takes just ten minutes but is a truly life-changing event.

Sahaja Yoga Meditation fits easily into our Western lifestyle taking just five minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night to start seeing the improvements in your life. It has been shown to have many benefits – better health, peace of mind, improved relationships and greater enjoyment of life. According to the wishes of the founder, Shri Mataji, Sahaja Yoga is always taught free of charge.

Phone 1300 724 252 or visit www.freemeditation.com for more information, and to find the Sahaja Yoga centre nearest to you. Classes are held in Canberra, Wollongong, Bathurst and Bowral in the Southern Tablelands area.

Winnunga – midwife health team making a difference

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Midwives Carolyn Patterson (left) and Debbie Howroyd (right) attend to patient Anne-Marie Quinn(centre) with the assistance of Aboriginal access worker Pam Yealland(second from right).
The Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Services Aboriginal Midwifery Access Program( AMAP) was unique amongst Canberra’s baby health services, Winnunga CEO, Julie Tongs said today.

“It’s appropriate during International Midwives and Nurses Week that the beneficial impact of the program was acknowledged”, Ms Tongs added.

“The program saves lives. It is as simple as that.”

Ms Tongs said Winnunga was blessed to have a dedicated midwifery team of two qualified midwives and an Aboriginal access worker. “The work and dedication of this three person team of Carolyn Patterson, Debbie Howroyd and Pam Yealland is much appreciated by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community”.

“When the program began seven years ago it was miniscule and little known by the community. The underlying rationale for its creation was to encourage Aboriginal mothers to access ante natal care at an early stage.

“These days the community doesn’t have to be told about the program. People come to us not just from Canberra, but also Queanbeyan, Yass – and even Cooma.

“Last financial year, for example, it was pleasing to be able to say that 55 women enrolled in the AMAP program. Given that one of the main aims of the program was to encourage women to access treatment at an early stage, it was pleasing that 37 of those who enrolled presented in their first trimester. Sixteen others presented in their second trimester (12 to 24 weeks) and only two presented late in their pregnancies.

“Both of these were referrals from local hospitals”.

Ms Tongs emphasised that the team worked in ways she believed no other equivalent service in Canberra contemplated and was trusted and sought out by the community.

“By way of explanation ,clearly one of the reasons that the Winnunga program unique and particularly successful is the fact that we make sure that patients get continuity of care with a midwife that they trust. Also, because our philosophy is to provide holistic health care we have the ability to make sure that those who need other treatment receive it within Winnunga or are helped by our midwifery team to access treatment within the Canberra Hospital system.

“Additionally, we regularly have to organize transport for patients to access treatment while it is also a fact that the midwives and Aboriginal access worker more often than not come to deal with the whole family and regularly intervene and help in such matters as housing, overcrowding and other family related issues,” Ms Tongs said..

Ms Tongs added that in the 2005/06 financial year the midwifery team had:

.Attended a total of 589 antenatal checks (442 at Winnunga) and the remainder at Calvary and Canberra Hospitals
.Detected three cases of gestational diabetes (primarily due to the routine screening of patients for diabetes at the appropriate time in their pregnancy
.Detected a high rate of smokers – about 30 percent of patients
.Dealt with a number of premature births
.Seen a significant increase in the number of patients who were successfully breast feeding. Twenty eight of the patients breast fed their babies

“This is a health program that makes a difference”

THE WEDDING NIGHT

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Fred and Mary got married, but can’t afford a honeymoon, so they go back to Fred’s parent’s home for their first night together.

In the morning, Johnny , Fred’s little brother, gets up and has his breakfast. As he is going out of the door to go to school, he asks his Mom if Fred and Mary are up yet.

She replies, “No”.

Johnny asks, “Do you know what I think?”

His mom replies, “I don’t want to hear what you think! Just go to school.”

Johnny comes home for lunch and asks his mom, “Are Fred and Mary up yet?”

She replies, “No.”

Johnny says, “Do you know what I think?”

His mom replies, “Never mind what you think! Eat your lunch and go back to school.”

After school, Johnny comes home and asks again, “Are Fred and Mary up yet?”

His mom says, “No.”

He asks, “Do you know what I think?”

His Mom replies, “Ok, do tell me what you think?”

He says: “Last night Fred came to my room for the Vaseline, but I think I accidently gave him my aeroplane glue.”

A winter itching

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A female dwarf goes to a doctor complaining of an embarrassing itch in the groin area. The doctor looks her up and down, picks her up and stands her on his desk.

He lifts up her skirt and puts his head under. A little perplexed, she hears snip, snip, snip, snip. The doctor emerges from under her skirt.

“How’s that?”

“Well, it’s a lot better actually, but………..it’s still there.”

Undaunted, he dives back under her skirt. Snip, snip, snip, snip. Out he comes.

“How’s that?” he asks again more confident.

“That’s wonderful! What did you do?”

“I trimmed the top of your Ugg boots.”

Tharwa Selection Peter Filmer

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Peter Filmer, box, bowl and spoon, 2002, red gum (Eucaluptus blackelyi). Photo: Jennifer Filmer.
The Front Counter continues to promote the talent of the makers who reside in the creative ACT community of Tharwa. This exhibition showcases the work of Peter Filmer, a world renowned timber artist whose work is in major collections in Australia and around the world.

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre
Level 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit, CIVIC
Open: Tues – Fri 10am – 4pm and Sat-Sun 12noon – 4pm

Free

Irianna Kanellopoulou

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Irianna Kanellopoulou, Dreamscape blues, 2006, ceramic, glazes. Photo: Andrew Barcham.
Kanellopoulou presents a sculptural collage highlighting the car as an icon of desire and an embodiment of our personas, dreams and sexuality. Exploring issues of identity, displacement and transience, the work investigates the life of an object outside of its initial intent and purpose.

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre
Level 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit, CIVIC
Open: Tues – Fri 10am – 4pm and Sat-Sun 12noon – 4pm

Free