Phythian gets shot at fullback

FIRST CHOICE: Rookie utility Dylan Phythian will get first crack at the Newcastle Knights No.1 jumper. Picture: Marina Neil
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NATHAN Brown doesn’t expect Dylan Phythian to be the next Darius Boyd – or Kalyn Ponga –but the Knights coach has backed the unheralded utility tobe a success at fullback.

The 21-year-old will start in the No.1 jumper in the final trial against Canberra at Seiffert Oval on Saturdayand, baring a disaster, will get the nod for theseason opener against the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on March 5.

“He is a naturalfooty player and ticks a lot of boxes,” Brown said.“It is a big ask, fullbackis one of the toughest positionson the field.We would like to think he could do a really good job and stay there.He understands the game well, which is good, and physically he will handle it.The players and the coaching staff are very confident in him, but the proof will be in the playing.”

Brown had hopedthat Ponga would be released from the final year of his Cowboys contract after signing the 18-year-old on a four-year Knights deal from 2018.

The Cowboys refusal combined with Jake Mamo’s departure to English Super League club Huddersfield has left a hole at fullback.

Brown attempted to convertJaelen Feeneyfrom a half into a fullback last season, a move which was aborted after two rounds.

Phythian, who made his NRL debut off the bench at hooker last season, has also playedthe majority of his career in the halves.However, unlike Feeney, he has the benefit of a season at fullbackin the Knights under-20s.

“It is not an uncommon position and is quite natural for him,” Brown said. “He doesn’t have to be the best player in week one or week two. Certainly one average performance is not going to cost him his spot.”

Phythianhas spent the pre-season working closely with Knights assistant coach and two-time Dally M-winning fullback Michael Potter.

“I have been doing a lot of video with Potts,” Phythian said.

A lot of the footage has centred on Australian fullback captain Boyd.

“He is one of the best, especially in defence,” Phythian said.“The way we are defending this year, I want to model it off him. In attack he is always supporting and can play out the back as well.”

Brown agreed that Boyd was a good example to follow but“I’m not going to be putting any labels on Phyth about that”.

Phythian, fitter and stronger from a first full pre-season, expects to be targeted by the Raiders.

“They haven’t seen a lot of me, so I’manticipating they will test me out with a few high balls and try to catch me out of position,” he said.

In the corresponding game played in Orange last year, theKnights were no match for a full-strength Canberra in the first half and trailed34-6. Both teams made changes at the break and the Knights finished the stronger to go down 34-28.

Former Queensland bulldozer David Taylor has been named in a top-line Raiders side for Saturday.

“It is a great test this week,” Brown said. “Whether it be on the edges or in the middle they will all get a physical test. I am very excited about it and I expect us to do a little bit better than last year.”

Recruits Ken Sio (wing), Josh Starling (prop) and Jamie Buhrer (second-row) have been named in the starting side, but recent arrivals Anthony Tupou and Joe Wardle are still a few weeks away.

Tyler Randell and Feeney have minor injuries and Sam Mataora is working his way back to full fitness after a disrupted pre-season.

Maintenance backlog needs to be fixed

Across New South Wales the value of outstanding maintenance on the Department of Education’s books is now $775 million, with new documents revealing the government has allocated just $65 million in 2017 to address it. Public schoolsin the Lithgow Local Government Area have acombined maintenance backlog of $1.9 million ($1,962,607), according to the most recent Department of Education figures.
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Some schools are also facing a wait of almost 20 years to fix the issues if allocations continue at current levels, data obtained in a freedom of information request by Fairfax Media has revealed.

The data shows nine public schools in the Lithgow Local Government area have maintenance backlogs, with six of those schools having backlogs that will take more an a decade to fix if funding levels go unchanged.

Based on projections from the data Cullen Bullen has the longest wait of 19 years at a cost of $97,727, while Lithgow High School has the highest cost for work of $726,407 and a predicted 11 year wait.

Lithgow Public School (with a $591,681 backlog) will be waiting 17 years at current levels, while Portland Central ($403,828) will be waiting 16 years and Hampton Public School ($30,864) 13 years.

The issues in schools across the LGA includetoilet block upgrades, carpet replacement, fixing damaged roofs, replacing windows and painting.

Cooerwull Public School has the least amount of maintenance with a predicition the $26,329 worth of work could be completed in one year. Capertee Public School ($4,384) and Wallerawang Public School ($36,531) are also only expected to take two years at current funding levels.

Across New South Wales the value of outstanding maintenance on the Department of Education’s books is now$775 million, with new documents revealing the government has allocated just $65 million in 2017 to address it.

A spokesman for the Department told Fairfax Mediathe maintenance bill should be seen in the context of its $25 billion asset base – over 2200 schools across the state.

“The Department of Education has a well-defined maintenance strategy. All statutory and preventive maintenance is completed as a first priority to ensure our schools are safe and compliant,” the spokesman said.

“In a portfolio of properties the size of the department’s it is not feasible to have no outstanding maintenance work.”

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Strategy holds key to tourism golden era

A cursory look through the extraordinary collection of postcards inthe Gold Museum atSovereign Hill quickly reveals the long-standing status of Ballarat as a city famed for being a tourism destination since the earliest days of the gold rushes.
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Historic scenes, streetscapes and inspirational landscapes proudly show off this greatest of Victorian era cities.

We are indeed so fortunate that the wealth generated from gold underpinned the amazing development of Ballarat as we know it today.

Very few places around the world can claim the architectural significance that our city boasts.

Over the past century and more, people with great foresight and commitment – not to mention extraordinary philanthropy – have created a tourism drawcard in the built environment and associated tourist attractions.

The art ballery, fine statuary, Sovereign Hill, Her Majesty’s Theatre, the lake and botanic gardens are just a few of these drawcards that have underpinned a vibrant and sustainable tourism economy for our city and its region.

Simply having such high quality assets is not enough in itself to drive what is now termed “the visitor economy”.

This must also embrace the integrated tourism product we offer, including accommodation, the arts and theatre, food and wine, events, leisure and sporting pursuits, attractions and festivals.

It is the very reason why Visit Ballarat – our regional tourism marketing and promotional body – needs to be placed on the soundest of financial footings by BallaratCity Council and delegated with full responsibility to deliver a consolidated and unified service for the sector.

The new funding contract for Visit Ballarat is currently up for renewal.

An independent financial study undertaken by Ernst & Young has measured the economic impact of Sovereign Hill on Victoria’s economy as being $228.5 millionand 1422 jobs for the year endingJune 30,2013. That can only have increased over the past threeyears.

A much bigger economic footprint will apply to the wider visitor economy in our Ballarat region, as there are of course many more tourism-related businessesthan just Sovereign Hill.

The council has a golden opportunity to strategically invest in Visit Ballarat with a new long-term funding agreement and transfer of all events activity into this organisation.

There has been good success in this events space over recent years.

But the time has come to have it all within the one structure.

With clear key performance indicators sitting within this funding arrangement, the council will reap the reward of having a thriving tourism sectorserviced by a lean and focused industry body.

The present split structure of some activities and events being delivered by Visit Ballarat and others by the council itself is cumbersome, less cost-effective and inevitably constricted by red tape.

All the national economic indicators for tourism point to a golden era ahead, particularly for high-yielding international markets.

We need to move now to fund and structure up Visit Ballarat to place our region in the box seat to benefit from this growth sector of the economy.

Jeremy Johnson is chief executive of the Sovereign Hill Museums Association.

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Potential of family centres

The potential and fundingof Child and Family Centres across Tasmaniawill be probed in a newly-established Legislative Council inquiry.
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The inquiry is set to discuss the levels ofgovernment funding in the centres and if there is the need for more of them in locations across Tasmania.

The overall challenges and benefits of theintegrated health, wellbeing and early education model will also be evaluated.

The centres were designed to help families with childrenup to five years old with services including education, support programs and advice for families.

The role of the centres inproviding early learning to children in Tasmania, how they support families in early learning programs, and thebroader impacts of the centres in the communities in which they are located will also be explored.

Elwick Labor MLC and committee chairman Josh Willie said the centres provided an important resourceto the parents and children in the community.

“Given that they’ve been established for some time, it’s time to look at all 12 Child and Family Centres,” Mr Willie said.

“They’re all different, they all target their communities in different ways and the inquiry is to look at their scope, reach and efficacy, and to ensure that therearen’t barriers to families accessing these great services.

“They’re doing fantastic work in the community, but talking to stakeholders, there are families that are falling through the cracks still and we want to ensure that families have access to that support.”

United Voice state secretaryJannette Armstrong said the centres had made a real difference to the lives of vulnerable families.

“We are seeing great utilisation of the Child and Family Centres and lots of great programs being run out of them,” Ms Armstrong said.

“Things like having thesecentres engage parents and engage whole families in a child’s wellbeing and a child’s development.

“It’s about childcare and early learning, as well as parenting support.”

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the government was working to make improvements to the education system.

“The Hodgman Liberal government are all about improving educational outcomes for our children and we are embarking on a lot of improvements right across our education system,” Mr Rockliff said.

“We’re investing more in our early years when it comes to our Learning and Families Together program.”

Members of the committee areset to visit a number of Child and Family Centres across the state before public hearings are conducted in the future.

The committee is now calling for writing submissions to be sentinto the inquiry.

Independent MLCsIvan Dean, Ruth Forrest, Tania Rattray, Rob Valentine, and Liberal MLC Leonie Hiscutt will also form the committee.

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Chapel Jazz in Morpeth set for AprilPHOTOS

Chapel Jazz in Morpeth set for April | PHOTOS Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Eva Li playing violin. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS
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Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Eva Li playing violin. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows a violinist. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows the audience listening on the lawn. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Ed Johnson playing a trumpet solo. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Miranda Scott. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Jen Hankin playing flute. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows the audience listening on the lawn. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows the audience listening on the lawn. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Barney Waters, the ensemble’s musical director, watching on as they play. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Jen Hankin playing flute. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth. Pics from a concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pic shows Jen Hankin singing. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Ian & Helen Beckett of Lemon Tree Passage. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Les & Dell Odd of Kurri Kurri. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Sue Jarrett of Telarah, Trevor Richards of Morpeth, and Amy Jarrett of Telarah. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Heather & Ron Sterland of Charlestown. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Lorett & Doug Wright of Morpeth. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Annette Mears, John Mears and April Hekman – all of Morpeth. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Thanh-Nu Reeves & Keith Reeves of Newcastle. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R John Gibson of Sydney and Stuart Hill of Sydney. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Erin Davis of Morpeth, Mary Lavender of Thornton, and Kellie Robinson of Thornton. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R William Scanes of Chisholm and Amber Finch of Thornton. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS.

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Dr. Maria Hill & Lesley Gibson of Sydney. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

Chapel Jazz festival in Morpeth, concert by The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra, at the historic Morpeth House. Pictured L-R Brooklyn Davis of Morpeth and Matilda Roberts of Chisholm. 14th May 2016. NCH. NEWCASTLE. Pic by MAX MASON-HUBERS

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Edgeworth more than a match for Liaoningphotos, video

COMPOSED: Edgeworth’s Japanese import Keigo Moriyasu on the attack on Wednesday night against Liaoning at Jack McLaughlan Oval. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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EDGEWORTH coach Damian Zane was surprised with the lack of attacking threat from Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin but still proud of the defensive effort from his side in a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.

For the second time in three nights, Liaoning, featuring Socceroos James Holland and Robbie Kruse and with a roster reportedly worth $67 million,could not topple their Northern NSW National Premier League rivals in trial matches.

Broadmeadow defeated Liaoning 2-1 on Monday night at Magic Park and the Eagles, the two-time defending NNSW NPL champions, looked more than capable of repeating the dose at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Edgeworth led through a Keigo Moriyasu goal but Liaoning led 2-1 at half-time after goals from Kruse and defender Lang Zheng before Daniel McBreen equalised with a 35-metre shot over the keeper.

The Eagles finished strongly against the lacklustreLiaoning but could not find the winner. Zane was impressed with his side’s attack, after they forced turnovers in midfield,and with their defence, which featured 17-year-old Kieran Hayes marking Kruse.

“I thought they lacked a few ideas to break us down, to be honest,” Zane said.

“I was a bit surprised, but in saying that, I’m not going to sell my boys short because they’ve done it before and defended wellagainst a side like Melbourne City [in the 2015 FFA Cup] and in the national [NPL] finals.”

Krusesaid Liaoning, who playSydney on February 19 then the Jets on February 22 before their season starts on March 3, showed the signs of a heavy workload.

“Pre-season is pre-season and it’s all about getting ready and fit for the first game of the season,” Kruse said.

“We’ve been training hard with a lot of double sessions and the weather has been quite hot too.It takes its toll, but we feel good and I think we’ll be OK for the first game of the competition.”

As for playing NPL opposition, he said: “It’s always good, they are always fired up and it’s verydifferent for the Chinese teams playing here, so it’s a good hit out.”

Edgeworth more than a match for Liaoning | photos, video TweetFacebook🎥 Heard about @djmcbreen’s long-range leveller against Liaoning for @EdgeworthFC? Here it is thanks to @BarTVSports! 👏👏👏 pic.twitter南京夜网/MYQxtZr2sM

— NEWCASTLE JETS FC ✈️ (@NewcastleJetsFC) February 16, 2017

Youth dance parties return to Ballarat for another year

BOOGIE TIME: Ballarat’s first Blue Light Disco for the year will kick off on Friday night.The growing demand for more ‘fun activities’ for the city’s youths has played a major role in the success of local Blue Light discos.
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More than 1000 young people attended one of last year’s 12 youth dances, with numbers expected to continue to grow over the next year.

Ballarat Police Blue Light Committee chair Des Hudson said the discos had proved popular with primary school aged children because it allowed them to let their hairdown in a safe environment.

But he said it was also gaining momentum with local parents who were open to ideas to allow their children to socialise away from technology and social media which is beginning to consume moreof their children’s daily lives.

“Blue Light provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn the skills of socialising at an event away from parent’s control, butis still fully supervised,” he said.

“Parents feel comfortable knowing they are dropping their young people off to an organised event that is alcohol and drug-free and has good support by local Ballarat police who are supervising and interacting with the young people.

“Once inside, there are no pass outs until home time when parents arrive back to collect their young people.”

With more young people attendingeach dance, Mr Hudson said organisers had spent time over the holiday break to establish new initiatives, including themed events, for this year’s dances.

”Blue Light in 2017 is looking forward to another positive year of engaging with local youth.

“The music will continue to be the latest hits and we look forward to seeing the latest dance moves from everyone attending.

“For first time attenders, we encourage them to bring along a friend or two from school, or a mate from their neighbourhoodso they have friends to dance and chat to.”

The first dance of 2017 will be held on Friday, February 17 from 7-9pmat the Sebastopol RSL.

The disco, which is held on the third Friday of every month, is open to primary school aged youths.

Entry is $7.

RELATED STORIES |Ballarat celebrates 40 years of Blue Light

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Jake’s viral speech shows true grit | Videos

If life had gone according to plan, Jake Bailey would be studying commerce and law at the University of Auckland.
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But instead a battle with Burkitts Hodgkinson lymphoma – and one very famous speech – has turned him into a motivational speaker in high demand.

STAYING STRONG: Jake Bailey spoke to St Patrick’s College leadership group on Wednesday. Picture: Kate Healy

Jake, now 19, was head monitor at Christchurch Boys’High School when he was diagnosed on October 29, 2015.

But his desire to show true leadershipmade him appear on stage –albeit in a wheelchair – only days after it was confirmed he had the highly aggressive cancer and give his valedictory speech. The 20 minute, emotional orationwent viral and has been seen by more than a million people worldwide.

“I wanted to be a leader who lit during the tough times as well as the easy times,” Jake said.

“Iwanted to continue showing leadership until the very last minute and part of that was being able to get out there and do the speech.”

On Wednesday, Jake spoke toSt Patrick’s College’s 2017 leadership group about his three key leadership values: humility, relatability and inclusivity.

However, Jake also said he was grateful for his three month cancer battle which had “forced me to take a step back”.

“I appreciate my life more now.”

Since he went into remission on January 29 last year, Jake has moved to the Gold Coast with his girlfriend Jasmine and speaks widely to schools, corporate groups and at medical conventions.

“I’ve received incredible support, not only at the time of the speech but ever since. It’s been very powerful for me.”

A book on Jake’s battle will be released in May which he co-wrote with Nicola McCoy, largely from the “40,000 word speeches I’d written during my time in hospital”. A documentary,called The Common Touch, is also due out shortly.

However, he says one of his favourite roles is speaking at schools. “I really enjoy it. It’s my favourite thing to do.

“There’s this universal lad ship. I spend 20 minutes there and it’s just like I’m one of the guys again.”

Jake was invited to Ballarat by St Patrick’s College boarding director Mike Silcock, who heard him speak at an Australian Boarding Schools Association Conference and immediately related to his messages of resilience and leadership.

He will also speak at Ballarat Grammar.

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The silent epidemic

JOURNEY: Junee stuntman Lawrence Ryan, otherwise known as Lawrence Legend, suffers from dyslexia. Mr Ryan struggled through and came out the other side. Picture: Michael Frogley What do Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Mohammed Ali and Junee’s Lawrence Ryan all have in common?
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Like 10-15 per centof the Australian population –they suffer from dyslexia.

Mr Ryan, more widely known asfamous stuntman Lawrence Legend, was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was in Year 6–back in 1982.

It wasn’t an easy journey for Mr Ryan, who struggled to keep up with fellow students.

“I remember once in Year 6 a teacher snatched a book I was writing in out of my hand and read it out to the class,” Mr Ryan said.

“The way she read it made me sound like I had a mental disability, it was the worst thing a teacher could do.”

While Mr Ryan has always struggled to read and write,he never let it get in the way of his career and said he encouraged those suffering dyslexia to do the same.

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re stupid ornot good enough,” Mr Ryan said.

“I hope teachers now realise how soul crushing it can be to ask a kidto stand up and read.”

It wasn’t until Mr Ryan started reading a stuntman book that the jumbled words started to become clear.

While teachers advised Mr Ryan should stay down a year –his parents disagreed and he progressed to Year 7.

“The only thing that saved me was that stuntman book –it taught me to read,” Mr Ryan said.

“I read the book over and over again and even though my brain would skip over words I didn’t understand, my mind would go back and figure out what the missing word was.”

Advanced Learning Centre’s Rachael Cornius Randall said that despite progress, people still struggle to understand dyslexia.

“Children are clever and those who have learning difficulties are quite adept at hiding them,” Ms Randall said.

“They are usually quite aware of their inability to perform certain tasks and their biggest skill is avoiding them.”

A free dyslexicseminar for parents who have children struggling to read will be held in West Wyalong on March 9.

Organiser Tom Mullally will reveal his personal struggle with dyslexia at theseminar, held at the Services and Citizens Club.

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Bone Halo murder ballad

In the tradition of a country murder ballad, the single Golden Memories has an unusual story to its creation.
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It’s a song written by two people forty years apart and half a world away from each other.

The murder balladGolden Memoriesby local ensemble Bone Halo has been a long time in the making, but is finally being released to the public.

In 1978 Elands-based barrister Phil Sharrocksaw an episode of a US-made horror seriesmade in 1972. A short piece of background music had him intrigued and he formed a memory of it that never let go.

Some thirty years later, as the internet increased access to information, Phil began to make inquiry regarding the music, and in 2011 obtained a copy of the episode from Silith, California.

He expanded the music, adding a verse and bridge, went looking for the rights holder, and began recording it. In March 2015 he located the original writer in Los Angeles, one Ian Jack, whoapproved the release of the expanded song after hearing the rhythm track and guide vocal.

The singlewas recorded at Wingham’s Valhalla Studios by retired police sergeant Graham Bird. The recording process took two years, due to scheduling difficultiesand various health problems, and because, Phil says, it was important not to cut any corners.

The artists on the recording all live in Elands, with the exception of drummer David Cowley. His father, Rob Cowley, plays cello, Angelika Booth of Dirt Road Cowgirls fame plays bass, and the chef at Bent on Food in Wingham, Peter Mulaney, plays pedal steel. Phil Sharrock plays acoustic and slide guitar, and sings the vocal lead.

Local school assistant Telli Bertels worked with volunteer members of Wingham’s Windsong choir to chart and supervise the backing vocals.

The single Golden Memoriesby Bone Halo has been approved for world wide publishing, and its radio debut will be on 2BOBRadio on Sunday, February 26 at approximately 6pm.

The 2BOB broadcastwill be piped to the attendant throng celebrating the release at the Wingham Bowling Club.

Golden Memorieswill be available on all of the usual downloading sites such as iTunes and Spotify from that date.

Renowned Sydney filmmaker Melissa Anastassi has taken the brief to shoot a video after hearing the song.

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