Monthly Archives: March 2019

Variety and Rotary support deserving Dubbo siblings

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Bob Male, Helena Patriarca, Ashley and Venicia Bush, Ray Tobin, Rob Goodwin with Finley (four years old) and Nioka Bush (eight years old) at the Rotary Club of South Dubbo and Queensland Variety Bash dinner. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEA deserving Dubbo family was the lucky recipient of a generous collaboration between Rotary Club of Dubbo South and the Queensland Variety Bash.

Siblings Nioka and Finley Bush both have cerebellum hypoplasia, a disease that leaves part of their brain undeveloped and cerebral palsy ataxa, which has left them with problems with balance and co-ordination.

Their parents Ashley and Venicia have to provide high levels of care whilst also supporting the family financially. South Dubbo Rotary and Variety donated almost $8000 worth of equipment to the family, including two walkers, support clothing and a Revolution chair for eight-year-old Nioka which allows her to transfer between wheelchair and furniture.

The family was extremely grateful for the support.

“It’s really fantastic, such a big help to us,” Venicia said.

“The cost of everything they need is so high, especially because there is two of them and getting funding is such an arduous process so to have these items donated to us is incredible.

“We really want to thank the people from the Rotary Club of South Dubbo and the Queensland Variety Bash.”

Rotary Club of Dubbo South’s Bob Male said the Bush family were deserving recipients.

“People from the Queensland Variety Bash came to us and said ‘have you got a worthy cause? If so we will match everything you can raise, dollar for dollar.’ so I went to Ashley and asked him what they could use,” Mr Male said.

“He modestly said there were people who needed it more than them but we convinced him and he said the children could really do with walkers and also these special support shorts and support shoes so that is what we got, as well as the chair for Nioka.

“We presented it to them last night [Thursday night] when the Variety people were here and it was great to be able to help out such wonderful people.”

An auction was also held as part of Thursday night’s celebrations to raise money and a generous bidder purchased one of the items, a one-metre tall hand-made teddy bear, for $1000 and donated it to a delighted Nioka.

“She loved it. It was made by a lady called Sue so it has been named Sue and it is sitting on Nioka’s bed,” Venicia said.

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City gets into the groove with festival

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The Dubbo Jazz Festival got underway last night with more than 10 bands performing for enthusiastic audiences.

Dubbo MP Troy Grant opened the festival before local groups Chalkies Jazz and the Footwarmers showed off their skills in the Club Dubbo Jazz Basement.

Later in the evening groups like Rags N Riches, the Steve Jewell Trio and the Fedoras kept the mood going.

The Pastoral Hotel also got into the groove with the Macquarie River Mudflappers and the Double Shadows hitting the stage.

The festival kicks up a gear today with a full 12 hours of jazz at the Club Dubbo basement but there will also be plenty of entertainment at the Dubbo Golf Club, Dundullimal Homestead, Lazy River Estate and Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

It will conclude with another busy day tomorrow, including the closing act of the Festival, a performance from the Jeff Dunn Trio, which organisers promise will be a special occasion.

Dubbo Jazz Festival president Susie Gratton is predicting a great success.

“The line-up we have is fantastic. We have artists coming from far and wide for the festival and it doesn’t matter whether you are 20 or 80, there is something for everyone,” she said. For a full schedule of locations and performers, visit www.dubbojazz苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au.

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Concern as 14 cancer nurses sent to Orange

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PLACEMENT of prostate cancer nurses have been announced at Orange Base Hospital, forcing patients from Dubbo and further to travel once again.

Fourteen specialist prostate cancer nurses will provide support for patients, their families and carers, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Orange is only about a one-and-a-half hour drive away for Dubbo residents, but John Allen facilitator of the Prostate Cancer Support Group said he worries for those who have to travel further.

“For example patients in Bourke are already four hours away from Dubbo, traveling to Orange means they have to travel six hours,” Mr Allen said.

“It’s not a short trip.”

Mr Allen is disappointed Dubbo is continually overlooked for updated cancer services.

“We had a feeling it wasn’t going to come to Dubbo,” Mr Allen said.

“I don’t think it’s fair, we need a prostate cancer nurse that can travel to Dubbo.

“There should be one in Dubbo really, but there should be one that can at least travel.”

Doctors can be difficult to contact at times but Mr Allen, a prostate cancer survivor himself, said patients needed support.

“Some men need to be able to speak to someone when the doctor is unavailable,” he said.

“That’s one of the things the prostate cancer nurses do.”

Mr Allen said there were 21 percent more prostate cancer-related deaths among rural patients than those in metropolitan areas.

He added Dubbo still needed a lot of improvements to be on par with urban hospitals.

“There’s a big difference between here and Sydney,” he said.

“We’ve got good services here in urology, but there should be more government help for those that have to travel.”

The nursing placements are part of the Prostate Cancer Federation of Australia’s (PCFA) Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Program.

A total of $6.2 million was committed by the federal government to the PCFA from 2013 to 2017 to select sites, facilitate training and fund the placement of the positions.

Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the new positions were a positive for the area.

“Increasing the number of specialist prostate cancer nurses means more men will have access to nurses, who will provide vital information, care, and practical and emotional support to men diagnosed with prostate cancer, their families and carers.”

The funding means the program can continue operations and continue to assist patients and their families, Associate Professor Anthony Lowe PCFA CEO said.

“Today’s announcement about the latest nurses inducted into our program will change the lives of many Australians who are dealing with a prostate cancer diagnosis,” he said.

“These specialist nurses form a critical aspect of ongoing prostate cancer care that helps families navigate around difficult areas such as treatment and ongoing hospital visits.”

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On the Pulse

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No change at the top

On the Pulse was left feeling the pain for Anthony Michael this week. You see, Anthony was supposed to be the former president of the Inverell Chamber Of Commerce by now.

It was his plan to step aside as president at the chamber’s AGM and give someone else a run at the job. No doubt Anthony had his sunscreen ready and his tickets booked, but the best laid schemes of mice and men, as they say.

On the Pulse can only imagine Anthony’s anticipation during the AGM.

After all, someone could put their hand up on the night.

One would think perhaps there might have been a feeling of sadness, with just a little sigh of relief. However, what transpired may have been worst than a federal ban on imported leather for him.

No one was nominated for the president’s position!

Nominations were called from the floor, still no one.

So guess who the current president of the Inverell Chamber Of Commerce is?

You got it, good, old, reliable Anthony Michael.

And why has that happened? The answer is simple really, Anthony was prepared to fill the position rather than see the chamber without a president. Now that’s dedication.

In the meantime, On the Pulse suggests the position could be filled by a Work for the Dole participant should Anthony want to step aside. It would surely be more worthwhile for the jobseeker than simply standing around waiting for equipment.

Driving along

On the Pulse Team came into work yesterday morning very chuffed, knowing that they are in the mile-high club.

Well, they must be since they drove for 45 minutes.

On the way in, they passed many drivers, all rolling along like the road was paved with gold.

Considering we live in a regional community, it didn’t take long for us to feel much better about our own state of affairs up here in Inverell after Treasurer Joe Hockey’s comments on Thursday. Mr Hockey insisted that his numbers were right when he said that poor people just don’t drive cars.

Well, OTP wouldn’t say we’re poor, personally (touch wood) but it begs the question – just how wealthy are all these rural folks, hit by the drought, living without a wage for months or years at a time, battling deficit on the farm to make a life for their families?

Maybe they are stealthy billionaires?

What about the people who can’t afford to live in town because prices are too high or housing isn’t available, are struggling to find work in a regional town and rely on a vehicle to get them to a job, kid to school?

Swiss bank accounts? Interesting.

At the end of the day, OTP felt much better about the fact the Treasurer seemed so certain we were doing much better than we thought we were when we had to budget to buy school uniforms, cut corners to pay some medical bills or do without so could pay our electricity bill. Or maybe we should just catch the bus. When does the next one go out to Graman anyhow?

On the road again

On the Pulse has to congratulate the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce (BJ) for his foray into cycling and the wonderful world of lycra, through his participation in the Pollie Pedal.

Wasn’t it fantastic to see the Prime Minister hurry home from overseas when he found out BJ was about to upstage him in the sportswear department, while our maroon clad Member pumped the pedals to raise funds for charity?

The PM was one of the event’s initial founders back in 1998, and since then it has raised more than $3 million for charities including the Flying Doctor, Ronald McDonald House, the Manly Women’s Shelter. This year the chief beneficiary will be Carers Australia.

On the Pulse thinks BJ deserves a very big Yay For the Day, if only for the seat ‘adjustments’ he must have constantly suffered, nevertheless, one thing remains apparent; the red budgie smugglers have definitely ‘fallen fowl’ of the maroon cane toad rambler.

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Surrogacy crackdown: Thai authorities holding babies ‘to ransom’, says lawyer

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Surrogate mother Pattharamon Janbua with Gammy. Photo: EPA Nannies hold some of the nine babies alleged to be the surrogate children of one Japanese man, after a police raid at a Bangkok apartment. Photo: EPA

Bangkok: Thai authorities have been accused of holding the babies of Australian biological parents to ransom amid a crackdown on Thailand’s booming commercial surrogacy industry.

Three Australian couples carrying their babies born to Thai surrogate women have been turned away from Bangkok international airport, leaving them ”extremely distraught”, surrogacy industry sources say.

Up to 150 Australian couples with existing surrogacy arrangements in Thailand face months of agonised waiting before they learn if they can take their babies home.

”They shouldn’t be holding these kids to ransom,” Stephen Page, a leading Australian surrogacy lawyer, said. ”These distraught parents entered into arrangements in Thailand in good faith … they thought they were coming to Thailand for four weeks at a time and they now face six months, and possibly losing the house back home.”

Thailand’s military rulers have declared the couples will have to obtain an order from the country’s Family Juvenile Court before they can take the babies through Thai immigration channels. The order will have to confirm the birth mother has given up her rights to custody of the child.

Mr Page appealed to Thailand’s military regime to make a clear statement about where the parents stand. Many of the parents are believed to be in a state of near-panic, their dreams of a baby shattered.

”There should be an open process, rather than doing it by smoke and mirrors,” Mr Page said.

He said that under Thai law the birth mother is the legal mother and the intention of the Thai Juvenile Court in dealing with the Australians with existing surrogacy arrangements is unclear.

”Let us assume the intention of judicial oversight is to facilitate the children being able to leave. How long will it take? Is it going to be a quick process, while still thorough, or is it going to take many months?”

Mr Page said he is worried that if the Australian parents fail to meet the court’s criteria for parental rights and the surrogate has gone back to her home, babies could end up in Thai orphanages.

”The agreement always was that the parents would take the babies,” he said.

Eleven babies born to a Japanese businessman who fathered 15 babies to surrogate mothers are being cared for in a Bangkok orphanage, their future uncertain.

Two Australian same-sex couples with surrogate babies were turned back from the airport on Thursday, the ABC reported. The surrogate of one of the couples was with them.

It was earlier reported that another couple with a baby was turned back from the airport late last week after being detained for hours.

Thai immigration authorities have advised the Australian embassy that as well as a court order, parents will be required to provide immigration officials with the child’s birth certificate, a copy of the mother’s identification card, a copy of the intending parents’ passports and the surrogacy contract.

”We strongly urge Australians entering Thailand for the purposes of commercial surrogacy to seek independent legal advice in both Thailand and Australia before doing so,” a spokesman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs said.

”While regulation of surrogacy in Thailand is a matter for Thailand, we continue to encourage Thai authorities to adopt appropriate transitional arrangements for any new measures they may introduce, so concerned Australians are not unduly affected.”

Under a sweeping crackdown imposed after Fairfax Media revealed the plight of baby Gammy, the six-month-old boy with Down syndrome left in Thailand by his Australian biological father, fertility clinics have been raided, and documents and frozen embryos of Australians seized.

Thailand’s military rulers are fast-tracking legislation that will ban commercial surrogacy except for family members, with violators of the law facing up to 10 years in jail.

Amid a furore over the baby Gammy case, authorities in Bangkok have accused Pisit Tantiwattanakul, the most popular doctor for Australians coming to Thailand for surrogacy, of violating the law by providing services for customers who were not relatives of one of the commissioning parents, as required under Medical Council of Thailand regulations.

Dr Pisit operated the All IVF Centre, which has been forced to close, leaving about 50 Australians couple in limbo, some of them unable to contact their surrogates.

Dr Pisit could not be reached for comment.

Police and public health officials have raided and shut down New Life IVF, another Bangkok clinic popular with foreigners, for allegedly violating the law governing healthcare institutions and medical ethics. No one was available at the clinic for comment.

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