House up in smoke

A Condobolin house was consumed by fire on the night of Tuesday 17 March.

• The burnt out shell of the house, which is on the corner of McDonnell and Orange Streets. LP

A house in Condobolin has gone up in smoke.

• A cat was playing outside the deserted premises on the morning following the blaze. LP

By Lara Pearce

 

A house in Condobolin has gone up in smoke.

The house, which is on the corner of McDonnell and Orange Streets opposite the Condobolin RSL, was a burnt out ruin surrounded by yellow NSW Fire Brigade tape on Wednesday morning.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

The adjoining properties do not appear to have suffered any damage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon says goodbye after 35 years as Condo librarian

What started as a casual job while raising her children at home has turned into a lifelong vocation for local librarian Sharon Denyer.

• Sharon Denyer enjoyed an emotional final day of work at Lachlan Shire Library last Friday as she farewelled colleagues, library-goers and the books she knows so well. LP

By Lara Pearce

What started as a casual job while raising her children at home has turned into a lifelong vocation for local librarian Sharon Denyer.

Mrs Denyer finished up as Head Librarian of Lachlan Shire Library last Friday after 35 years in the job.

She celebrated her final day surrounded by flowers, cards and chocolates with the welcome interruptions of visitors dropping in to share their good wishes for the future.

The Condobolin local of 41 years says the past three and a half decades have brought many changes to the library, but the time has passed quickly.

“I’ve seen people come in with their little babies, and the next thing you know, [the children] are bringing their own children in!”

When Sharon started working at the library, she never dreamed of how far it would take her. In 1979, she started out helping at the library for ten hours a week.

“I grew up in Forbes and Wayne, my husband, is in the Ambulance, so we came here for his job,” Sharon explained. “It wasn’t until my youngest child went to school that I decided a part time job sounded pretty good.”

In those days all the book loans and returns were entered manually on cards in the backs of the books.

“Margaret Job was the Librarian then,” Sharon reminisces. “We typed everything into typewriters, so you got to know the books quite well.”

Over the following years, Sharon saw the library renovated to double its original size and the collection of books expanded. The books – which are rotated between Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Tottenham and Burcher libraries – now number around 32,000.

In 1990, Sharon took over from Margaret as Librarian. “Then, we started using computers in 1995,” she said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. All the girls I have worked with over the years have been fantastic and it is a great work environment,” she said. “You meet some lovely people.”

With friends and library-goers rallying around to bid her farewell and bring gifts, it seems that the sentiment is returned.

Sharon will be enjoying six months of accumulated long service leave before officially retiring on 17 July. She and her husband Wayne plan to enjoy their retirement in Forbes close to family and friends.

The Lachlan Shire Council congratulated her on her long service at a party last Friday evening.

Carols in the Renown

Renown Park was aglow on Sunday evening for Condobolin’s own Carols by Candlelight.

• Kristel and Clinton Smith with their children Braxton and Chayce holding up candles at the Carols by Candlelight held in Renown Park on Sunday evening. SC

Renown Park was aglow on Sunday evening for Condobolin’s own Carols by Candlelight.

• Ali Martin and Cammay Hall from the CRC Church singing carols on Sunday evening. KP

By Lara Pearce

Renown Park was aglow on Sunday evening for Condobolin’s own Carols by Candlelight.

Local families sprawled out on deck chairs and rugs and waved ‘candle’ glow sticks in the air before the Christmas tree, making for a traditional Christmas celebration with a “true blue” Aussie feel.

Around eighty people gathered at Renown Park, where a variety of acts – from carols to poetry to dancing – kept the crowd entertained.

A number of Sing Australia performers assisted community members in singing a range of traditional Christmas carols as the music teacher of Condobolin High School, Sam Azon-Jacometti, accompanied the singers.

“It was a beautiful atmosphere there, by the Christmas tree,” said organiser Lindy Hall. “Everyone loved the variety of local talent. There was a little bit of everything.”

Among the performers was local man Daniel Slennett, who recited the famous Australian bush poem, ‘Turbulence’, telling the story of a wild young ringer from Alice Springs.

The senior group of Physical Culture students performed a hip hop dance for the admiring onlookers and groups of singers from Hope Church and the CRC Church entertained the crowd with Christmas songs.

Tessa Noll performed a modern rendition of ‘Ave Maria’, accompanied by her father Damien on the guitar.

It is the first time that the carols have been held at Renown Park, with organisers noting that the feedback was very positive.

Police raid in Condobolin ends in arrest

A 21-year-old Condobolin man is behind bars after attempting to evade a police raid on Monday evening.

•Above: A shortened .22 calibre rifle was seized during the raids. Cont

By Lara Pearce

A 21-year-old Condobolin man is behind bars after attempting to evade a police raid on Monday evening.

Lachlan Local Area Command (LAC) police searched the man’s house on Honan Street at 5:20pm on Monday 17 November. They allegedly seized a shortened .22 calibre rifle and a large amount of mixed calibre ammunition.

The young man ran from the scene and, after a struggle, was arrested by police. He has been charged with assaulting police officers, using a weapon to avoid arrest and numerous firearm offences.

He was refused bail on arrest. He appeared at Parkes Local Court yesterday, Tuesday 18 November.

“Police are committed to seizing dangerous weapons and investigating firearm related crime,” said Lachlan Local Area Commander, Superintendent Chris Taylor. “Investigations are continuing to identify the persons allegedly responsible for the supply of ammunition and firearms to unlicensed firearm holders in the area.”

Sewerage leaked into Condo’s drinking water

There has been a sewage leak into the Lachlan River three kilometres south of Forbes.

Yesterday morning, sewer staff discovered the leak from one of the rising sewer mains on the Fitzgerald Bridge on the Newell Highway. Forbes Shire Council has advised that some effluent has leaked into the Lachlan.

“We would like to advise property owners on the Lachlan River downstream from Fitzgerald Bridge not to pump river water for drinking without boiling it and to be careful of coming in contact with the water” stated the Director of Engineering Services at Forbes Shire Council, Ray Graham.

The contamination will flow into the plant used for Condobolin’s drinking water. The Lachlan Shire Council says it is doing everything it can to ensure that the water remains safe for drinking.

They are advising that people exercise proper personal hygiene and avoid swimming in the affected areas of the river for the next two to three days.

Based on the distance from the point of the spill to Condobolin, the sewerage is expected to be quite diluted by the time it reaches the Council’s plant in Condobolin. This is expected to happen early on Saturday morning.

In preparation, the Lachlan Shire Council has undertaken additional chlorine dosing from now until Monday 24 November, by which time any contaminant plume would have passed Condobolin. The solution of pre chlorination is a good safe guard.

Lachlan Shire Council says it is taking all the necessary steps within the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines to ensure that our water remains safe for drinking. The Council is continuing to monitor the situation in conjunction with representatives from NSW Office of Water, Forbes Shire Council and The NSW Public Health Unit.

If members of the public would like more information, they are asked to contact the Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Phil King, on 0421 286 557.

Local nurse wins peak NSW Aboriginal health award

Condobolin nurse Leonie Parker has been recognised by the NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Health Secretary Dr Mary Foley for her role in a community health project helping prevent cervical cancer amongst Aboriginal women.

• Above: Condobolin Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Leonie Parker holding the NSW Aboriginal Health Award (centre back) with (L-R) NSW Health Secretary Dr Mary Folley and the ‘Empowering Aboriginal Women’ representatives, CEO of Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) Scott McLachlan, Ann Kable from Orange Aboriginal Medical Service, Joanne Phillips and Julie Cooper from Western NSW LHD, Amanda Masset from NSW Rural Doctors Network Liza Edwards from the NSW Nursing and Midwifery Office and Sharif Bagnulo from NSW Rural Doctors Network. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin nurse Leonie Parker has been recognised by the NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and Health Secretary Dr Mary Foley for her role in a community health project helping prevent cervical cancer amongst Aboriginal women.

The project, ‘Closing the Gap: Empowering Aboriginal Women to Access Colposcopy and Gynaecology services in Rural and Remote NSW’, took out the NSW Secretary’s Award for Aboriginal Health at the NSW Aboriginal Health Awards.

Leonie Parker is the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Condobolin Community Health. She received the award at a ceremony at the Ivy in Sydney last Thursday evening.

In 2012, Ms Parker became Australia’s first Nurse Practitioner qualified to perform colposcopy examinations.

Initiated by the Rural Doctors’ Network, the project involves training nurses to conduct colposcopy – the examination of the cervix under magnification from which cervical biopsies may be taken. A colposcopy may be required for a number of reasons, but is most often used when a patient has returned an abnormal pap smear result.

In Australia, colposcopies have traditionally been conducted by a gynaecologist.

Ms Parker received training in conducting the procedure from Dr Michael Campion from the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick. She has been conducting a clinic once a month since July 2012 at the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service.

Ms Parker said winning the Health Secretary’s Award was a very exciting moment for all of those involved in the project. “The project has been such a success because of the strong team effort from all four organisations involved and we are thrilled that we have been acknowledged at a State level among our peers for the work we are doing,” she said.

“Our nurse-led service improves access to affordable care for Aboriginal women in rural and remote New South Wales which is culturally appropriate.”

The service is the first of its kind in Australia and is modelled on initiatives in the United States and the United Kingdom, where nurses have been safely conducting colposcopies for decades, particularly in areas of high-risk populations and in remote communities.

Ms Parker emphasised the importance of early detection in treating cervical cancer. “[The project has] been very successful in treating and potential preventing cancer in women who may otherwise not have accessed appropriate health services,” she said. “It frees specialists up to do more complicated procedures and people can often get in quicker to see the nurse-led clinics.”

The initiative has already been recognised at the Western NSW Local Health District awards in August, winning the ACI Innovation Award, and was also a finalist for an award from NSW Health for Excellence in Nursing.

Condobolin remembers

One hundred years on from the start of the First World War, the Condobolin community continues to recognise the sacrifices of its servicemen and women on Remembrance Day.

• Remembering the sacrifice: Jim Stewart, Conway Seymour, John Costello, Vice-President of the Condobolin RSL Sub-branch Michael Wighton, President of the National Servicemen’s Association Condobolin Unit Brian Prothero, Len Krebs, Graeme Yetman, Clarrie Williams and Warren Maybury. LP

By Lara Pearce

One hundred years on from the start of the First World War, the Condobolin community continues to recognise the sacrifices of its servicemen and women on Remembrance Day.

Services were held at Memorial Park, the Whiddon Group Retirement Village and at the local high school and primary schools, where a minute’s silence was observed in homage to all those lost in war.

The Memorial Park service was run by the Condobolin RSL Sub-branch. The Australian flag flew at half mast over the memorial site as Vice-President of the Sub-branch Michael Wighton led the proceedings.

“We are here 96 years later to pay our respects and honour the memory of those men and women who fought and the 100,000 who died in the great conflict so that we who live may be free and to live in peace,” he said. “We also remember all those men and women who served in the armed forces in the last 75 years in conflicts all over the world and those who died in so doing.”

Father Don Gunn then gave the Remembrance Day address, encouraging the community to continue to uphold the principles which were forged by the ANZACs. “Those we honour have left to Australia a tradition of courage, selflessness and a fine reputation to follow for the future,” he said.

“By your presence here today I know there is no doubt in your hearts and minds that today is especially significant. In cities and towns all throughout Australia ceremonies just like this are a permanent reminder to our youth of today that our forefathers thought our wonderful country was worth fighting for.”

He then concluded by leading the gathering in the Lord’s Prayer.

A minute’s silence was then observed and the Last Post was played before Michael Wighton concluded the ceremony.

Showcasing Condo

Fun and function combined at the Community and Service Expo last Friday, with local community organisations and Government service providers holding stalls on the old bowling greens on William Street, Condobolin.

• Above: Senior Constable Daniel Greef from the Lachlan Local Area Command speaking to some of the Condobolin Preschool and Kindergarten children and Preschool teacher Carly Black about road safety at Central West Family Support’s Community and Service Expo Day. LP

By Lara Pearce

Fun and function combined at the Community and Service Expo last Friday, with local community organisations and Government service providers holding stalls on the old bowling greens on William Street, Condobolin.

Organised by Western Plains Regional Development, the day was a chance for locals to receive help with Medicare and Centrelink claims and issues and get information on healthy lifestyles, all in a fun day out.

The Australian Government Mobile Service Centre attended, with service providers busy all day giving advice and assistance on Centrelink and Medicare issues. Rebecca Newton from Australian Hearing was also on the bus and was conducting hearing checks on the day. “We work in conjunction with the Government providing services to eligible pensioners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” she explained.

There was also information on voting in Australian elections, with Jennifer Hammond from the Australian Electoral Commission on hand to help. “I am here today to give people the opportunity to enrol or update their details on the electoral roll if they need to, or simply to have a chat about voting,” she said.

It was not all business, however. There was also a jumping castle for the children, a barbeque lunch cooked by Paul McFadyen and Ralph Smith and showbags and balloons to keep everyone entertained.

Eryn Mullins from the Lachlan Shire Library read stories to the children. “I’m here promoting the library and all the services we provide,” she said.

Lachlan Local Area Command travelled from Parkes for the Expo, where Senior Constable Daniel Greef spoke about the role of the police to the youngsters, as well as how to safely cross the road. The Condobolin Preschool and Kindergarten children had lots of questions for Constable Greef and were fascinated by his belt with his police equipment, from tools to torches.

The Benevolent Society’s hair spraying stall was very popular with the children, who had their hair sprayed all the colours of the rainbow by Benevolent Society workers Jaromir Sladek and Brent Harris.

Chemist Ashleigh Rees from Shortis and Timmins Pharmacy was giving out information about the importance of keeping up-to-date with childhood vaccination, as well as keeping whooping cough under check. “Many people think whooping cough is no longer an issue but it is coming back,” Ms Rees warned. “There is a vaccine available so adults should be getting vaccinated as well [if they haven’t been already] to stop the spread.”

The Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service was promoting healthy eating and exercise as well as checking people’s blood pressure, while the Community Health nurses also had a stall focusing on diabetes management and prevention. They conducted risk assessments and blood pressure checks and offered advice to attendees.

Other stall holders on the day included Condobolin Community Transport and the Condobolin Swimming Pool.

More thefts as police warn to lock up

Local police are urging the community to lock up and hide their possessions, following further thefts in Condobolin over the past week.

• Senior Constable Daniel Greef is warning residents not to leave sheds, gates and roller doors unlocked. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Local police are urging the community to lock up and hide their possessions, following further thefts in Condobolin over the past week.

A watch, binoculars, fuel and other items were stolen from a house on North Forbes Road last week.

The robbers entered the shed on the property through a closed but unlocked roller door last Tuesday 30 September. Once inside, some tools were taken and used to get into the house.

Inside, the thieves took a silver coloured Olympic brand watch, black binoculars, a jerry can full of fuel, some metal mesh, star pickets and a box of icecreams.

Scene of Crime Officers have been requested to attend the crime scene.

Crime Prevention Officer, Senior Constable Daniel Greef, warned that properties with rear lane access can provide an easy entry and exit point for potential criminals. While not a full-proof solution, he encouraged business people and residents to ensure all gates and sheds are left locked.

“A lot of people committing crimes carry out a risk assessment beforehand, asking themselves: ‘Is the risk worth the potential reward?’ We want to harden potential targets so that the reward is not worth the risk,” he said.

“These are simple things that can go a long way to preventing crime in our communities,” he said. “We want to make it as hard as possible for potential thieves to commit offences and these simple measures can make a big difference if we’re all diligent.”

Cycling for cancer support

Cyclists of all ages and abilities hopped on their bikes for a good cause on the weekend.

• Above: The cyclists getting ready for the 53 kilometre ride in Fifield on Saturday. Contributed

Cyclists of all ages and abilities hopped on their bikes for a good cause on the weekend.

• Above: Ellie Tomlinson, Sarah Meacham, Brittany Manwaring and Renee Meacham at the starting line for the Tour de Condo in Fifield. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Cyclists of all ages and abilities hopped on their bikes for a good cause on the weekend.

The annual bike ride, the Tour de Condo (previously the Tour de Fifield), saw over fifty riders from Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Forbes and Canberra cycle 53 kilometres from the small town of Fifield to Condobolin on Saturday.

Each rider raised sponsorship for the ride, which will be divided equally between CanAssist Condobolin and the David Donnelly Fund for local police officer and cancer sufferer.

With the slower group of riders starting out at 9am followed by the faster group at 9:30am, cyclists peddled into Condobolin from around 11:15am onwards.

The Railway Hotel made a rewarding finish line for the epic journey. Riders, organisers, support vehicle drivers, friends and community members celebrated over a cold beer and a barbeque put on by the Men of League.

A total of $7,000 was raised on the day. Adding to the sponsorship tally, two 30 minute joy flights over the Condobolin district were auctioned off, selling for $300 each to Anthony Toohey and Kim and Don Lark.

A complete bike outfit was also auctioned, while two bicycles were raffled off. Darryl and Melissa Nesbitt claimed the cycling outfit and also won one of the bicycles. They plan to re-donate both bike and clothes to the raffle at the Family Fun Day being held for local toddler Coby Davies, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

The other bike was won by Kenny Andrews. The bicycles were donated by Steve and Simone Beattie from Leading Appliances and the cycling outfit was donated by Don Lark Motorcycles.

‘Not guilty’: ATM fire accused

By Lara Pearce

The two men charged with blowing up Condobolin’s Commonwealth Bank ATM in 2012 pleaded ‘not guilty’ at their first appearance at the Condobolin Court House.

Thirty-one-year-old Justin Perry and twenty-four-year-old Travis Paul Dargin both appeared in court on Tuesday 2 September to give their plea. They have been charged with maliciously damaging property by fire and three other unrelated thefts.

“Initially they plead not guilty and they request a police brief of evidence,” explained Duty Officer Ben Dawson. “They review the evidence and then they confirm or change their ‘not guilty’ plea.”

Mr Perry and Mr Dargin will return to court on Tuesday 7 October, where they will confirm or change their plea and a date for their hearing will be set. Magistrate Jan Stevenson granted both men bail.

New owners at the Imperial

The new owners of the Imperial Hotel have arrived in Condobolin and are taking the old pub in hand.

• New owners of the Imperial Hotel, Sheree Waks and Bob Maksimovic and manager John Dolbel, with the beginnings of their new children’s entertainment collection. LP

By Lara Pearce

The new owners of the Imperial Hotel have arrived in Condobolin and are taking the old pub in hand.

The Imperial, which once played an important role in the social life of Condobolin, has become rundown in recent years, but new owners Sheree Waks and Borivoj (Bob) Maksimovic are hoping to revive its former glory.

In fact, the hotel was purchased almost by accident. As Sydney-based builders and developers, Bob and Sheree were at the auction hoping to purchase another property when they noticed the Imperial. “If we weren’t there at that second, just by chance, we would never have looked at this or known about it,” Ms Waks said.

“When the auctioneer came over to talk to Sheree, the first thing she said was ‘Tell me where Condobolin is’,” laughed Mr Maksimovic.

Now that they have done their homework, however, the pair are full of ideas for improvements.

“We’ll be upgrading the rooms and the beer gardens […] I want to keep the accommodation very affordable, but we’ll repaint, re-carpet, put basic furniture in every room so that every room will have a basic standard of comfort,” Ms Waks said.

They also want to get Condobolin’s young people involved in painting murals in the beer garden and plan to promote local artists’ work through instating it in the dining room. They are looking to revive the dining area with live entertainment and are also hoping to start up children’s music concerts in the beer garden.

Among the couple’s other ideas are plans to provide children’s entertainment and games for both indoor and outdoor play areas. In fact, Ms Waks has already started collecting. “We want to promote family-friendly things […] we’d like to see [the Imperial]become an important part of the community again.”

“We’ve got lots of plans but obviously it is not going to happen overnight,” she said.

As they are based in Sydney, the couple have employed John Dolbel from Lyndhurst, near Orange, to manage the hotel. Bob Maksimovic has taken over the kitchen temporarily, but they are hoping to find a permanent chef before long.

Jade’s shave for cancer

Condobolin girl Jade Thomas braved the hairdresser’s clippers last Friday evening, shaving her head to raise money for cancer research and support.

• Right: Hairdresser Annie Ryan from Leanne’s Hair Dressing Salon shaved off Jade Thomas’ long hair at the Condo Hotel/Motel on Friday night, while Jade’s grandfather Dexter Thomas, who lost his wife to cancer, watched in support. The shave is Jade’s latest effort to raise funds for the Cancer Council to support cancer research and prevention. KP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin girl Jade Thomas braved the hairdresser’s clippers last Friday evening, shaving her head to raise money for cancer research and support.

Surprisingly, Jade said she was not nervous or scared at all. “I was quite excited,” she said.

So far, Jade has raised over $3,500 for the Cancer Council from her efforts, as well as $627 for Condobolin’s CanAssist branch. She hopes that this money will help prevent cancer in the future – something which is very close to her heart. “My grandparents both have cancer and I recently lost my Nan to cancer,” she explained.

With one in two Australians set to develop cancer in their lifetime, there are few who are not touched by the disease.

The shave took place at the Condobolin Hotel/Motel, with many family members and friends attending to support and watch the locks come off, including Jade’s bereaved grandfather, Dexter Thomas.

Jade’s efforts do not end there, however. She has been raising money for over six months now, including holding two raffles and hosting a morning tea at local cafe, Happy Daze, and more funds are still coming in.

It’s Show time

It would take more than a few ceiling tiles falling in to break the spirit of the hundreds of volunteers, exhibitors and Show committee members that make the Condobolin Show happen each year.

• Show Secretary Carol-Ann Malouf helping to erect the marquee which will house many of the exhibits at this weekend’s Condobolin Show. LP

By Lara Pearce

It would take more than a few ceiling tiles falling in to break the spirit of the hundreds of volunteers, exhibitors and Show committee members that make the Condobolin Show happen each year.

Workers were out in force last Friday, erecting a 42 metre by 12 metre marquee – roughly the size of two basketball courts – at the Condobolin Showground, and Show Secretary Carol-Ann Malouf was there to lend a hand with the sledge hammer.

This weekend marks one-hundred and twenty years of the Condobolin Show, and this year tradition and originality unite to bring the Condobolin community an eclectic array of exhibits which cater to all tastes and talents.

The ever-popular showjumping will take place in the ring on Saturday, while attendees can watch the cattle and poultry judging at the Baxter Pavilion and the Ernie Hill Pavilion respectively.

A huge range of baking, floral and handicraft competitions give all ages the chance to exhibit – from decorated arrowroot biscuits for the under five-year-olds to jams, chutneys, pot plants and cross stitch.

The Funtime Puppet Theatre will be back again, which is always a favourite with the young and the young at heart.

This year’s Condobolin Showgirl Kristen Polimeni and the 2013 Showgirl Lily Ward will be judging the Miss and Master Condo Tiny Tots and Junior Showgirl awards.

The Tiny Tots awards are for children aged between two and five years, while the Junior Showgirl is for those aged six to ten years.

A presentation will be made to the winners at the eastern patio of the Secretary’s Office at 12:15pm on Saturday, where prizes and sashes will be awarded.

As always, the Condobolin RSL Pipe Band will be performing and participating in the parade.

“Our brilliant pipe band, with visiting pipers and drummers, is a favourite at the Condobolin Show, and makes a great curtain-raiser to the Condobolin Tattoo,” Carol-Ann Malouf explained.

For the first time, the ‘Australia Fair’ Grand Concert Street Organ will feature at the Show. The Belgium-built instrument was built in the workshops of Verbeeck’s Organ Works in Antwerp in approximately 1884 and is the only travelling Concert Organ in Australia.

It would take more than a few ceiling tiles falling in to break the spirit of the hundreds of volunteers, exhibitors and Show committee members that make the Condobolin Show happen each year.

• At the 2013 Condobolin Show: 2012 Showgirl Kristy Hickson, Junior Showgirl Halle Doyle, Master Tiny Tot Charlie Patton and 2013 Showgirl Lily Ward. KT

The organ has the equivalent sound of a twenty-piece band and operates on air pressure generated by a bellows and regulated by a reservoir. It has some 442 pipes, as well as drums, cymbals, bells, woodblocks and animated figures. The instrument will cover a wide range of music appealing to all ages, from Strauss to Walt Disney, including marches, waltzes, popular music and children’s music.

The Greg and Kay Wheeler Pet Parade is always a hit with the youngsters. Entrants aged 5 to 16 years can enter up to two pets in the parade, from a fast-eating dog to a fluffy-tailed cat, or the most unusual small domestic pet.

Judging for the Greg and Kay Wheeler Pet Parade will take place at 2pm on Friday 22 August, with a trophy, ribbons and cash prizes to be won. Get in quick though, because nominations close at 5pm today.

The Show will go out with a bang this year, with the Fletcher Firework Finale. “This was superb last year and makes a wonderful close to the 120th annual Condobolin Show,” Carol-Ann Malouf said.

A courtesy bus will be operating within the town limits on Saturday evening to get everyone home safely.

Lighting up the night

Is it a meteor? Is it a plane? No, it’s… junk.

• Above: The burning fireball as seen from Ootha last Thursday night. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Is it a meteor? Is it a plane? No, it’s… junk.

Locals who happened to be outdoors or gazing out their windows at about 9:45pm last Thursday evening were lucky enough to catch a rare sight: a fireball leaving a golden trail through the night sky.

Many thought they had seen a meteor or a falling star, while others were worried that a burning plane was coming crashing down to earth.

Condobolin High School teacher, Lindy Moon, said her family were out spotlighting for foxes at Ootha when they first spotted what they thought was a shooting star. “My husband and brother stopped the ute and watched the star get bigger, brighter and longer,” she said.

Her husband phoned her at home and told her and her sister-in-law to go outside. “We went outside on the verandah, then went further outside into the yard and saw this huge glow with a trail in the sky where you could see parts breaking up on entering the atmosphere.”

“[The photos] do not show what an amazing sight it was,” she said. “We were then all guessing what it was – a meteor, falling star or satellite.”

In fact, astronomers now believe that the fireball was a piece of Russian space junk. “It is now clear that the object was the third-stage rocket that helped to take Russia’s second Meteor-M weather satellite into orbit on 8 July,” a report on the Sydney Observatory website read.

Ms Moon said that her family saw the fire trial in the night sky for as long as five minutes – an exceptionally long time for a meteor, according to Sydney Observatory researchers.

“It appeared to be travelling slower than the minimum speed of a meteor impact,” explained the Sydney Observatory report. “Low Earth satellites circle at around 7km/second.”

The report also observed that the space junk entered the Earth’s atmosphere at almost 90 degrees, which further explains the prolonged and widespread sightings. The burning rocket was seen from as far west as Melbourne and perhaps as far north as Brisbane and is believed to have broken up and crashed into the sea east of Brisbane.

“This was a massive metal object […] so it is not surprising that it was so bright in the Victorian/New South Wales sky as it burned up,” the Sydney Observatory report noted.

Space junk or not, local observers did not fail to be impressed with the spectacle. “We all agreed it was a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Ms Moon.

The full Sydney Observatory report is available online at [http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2014/bolide-over-sydney-and-melbourne-10-july-2014/].

Condo youth hit the airwaves

A group of Condobolin youth hit the airwaves last week with the world-wide release of a new album, Song Nation.

• Above: Some of the local Wiradjuri youth performing in the video clip of ‘Who I Am’. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

A group of Condobolin youth hit the airwaves last week with the world-wide release of a new album, Song Nation.

The young people – ‘The Condo Crew’ – worked with Desert Pea Media and local Wiradjuri elders to co-write and perform in the sixth track on the album, ‘Who I Am’. The song talks about the need to find pride in cultural identity and to learn about the past.

The track was produced over four days in March last year.

Desert Pea Media released the 11-track music album, titled Song Nation Volume 1, last Friday. Desert Pea Media is a not-for-profit organisation which works with Indigenous young people, helping to empower them through truth, hope and a mantra of positivity.

Toby Finlayson is the founder of Desert Pea Media. He travelled to Condobolin with music producer Joel Westlake and musician Josh Nichols to work with the Condo Crew and the local Wiradjuri community to produce the track.

“The aim is to create dialogue around local social and cultural issues, using art as a tool to create a space for young people to think about themselves and their futures and what they want to see changed in their communities,” he explained.

Arts OutWest funded the workshops as a part of their ‘Spread the Word’ project, which aims to promote healthy lifestyles among Indigenous Australians in the Central West.

Local Wiradjuri artist, Roy Peterson, helped the young people write and perform their song, while local elder, Aunty Bonny Merritt, shared local Wiradjuri history and culture with the group from Desert Pea Media and the young locals.

“The kids wrote the song about what they learnt from her,” explained Mr Finlayson. “It was about teaching kids about local, social and political history and the living conditions for the last generation and how that impacts on Indigenous Australians today.”

Song Nation tracks are available on iTunes, Youtube and Facebook.

Condo girl takes out VET Student of the Year

Condobolin student Jessie Haydon has beaten finalists from Bathurst, Orange and Parkes to win VET Student of the Year for the Central West.

VET Student of the Year for the Central West, Jessie Haydon, cooks up a storm at Condobolin High School. LP

 

Condobolin student Jessie Haydon has beaten finalists from Bathurst, Orange and Parkes to win VET Student of the Year for the Central West.

Jessie Haydon at the awards ceremony in Orange with her traineeship employer, Sharmane Armstrong. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin student Jessie Haydon has beaten finalists from Bathurst, Orange and Parkes to win VET Student of the Year for the Central West.

Jessie attended the 2014 NSW Training Awards ceremony in Orange on Friday 13 June after being finalised for the award.

Jessie is in Year 12 at Condobolin High School, where she undertakes two Vocational Education Training (VET) courses: Hospitality and Sports Coaching.

“I got to the presentation and saw myself on the front page [of the booklet] and thought ‘Why am I on the front page?’ and then everyone was like ‘You won! You won!’,” she said.

“When they called my name, I almost cried.”

Jessie received her award and gave a speech to over 300 attendees, thanking her parents and family, her teachers and her employers at the Condobolin Motor Inn, Sharmane and Scott Armstrong, for their support.

Her Hospitality teacher, Bev Small, nominated Jessie for the award for her work in her Hospitality subject and her associated traineeship, working as a cook at the Condobolin Motor Inn. Ms Small was unable to attend the award ceremony due to illness but offered her support from afar.

“She was on the phone to me crying,” Jessie said. “So I made sure to give her a big thank you in my speech.”

Ms Small said she was thrilled with Jessie’s achievements.  “I nominated Jessie because [her VET course] has made her value her education more,” she said. “She does really well in her VET course, where she is a leader to other students, and she does really well at her job and she juggles them very well.”

“She has well and truly earned the award.”

Jessie works at the Condobolin Motor Inn most evenings. She cooks, cleans, waitresses and helps out wherever she is required, leaving little time for homework on school nights.

“Sometimes I don’t get out of there until 11pm,” she explains. “I have to do a lot of homework in my studies.”

Jessie said that it was her aunt who shared her love of cooking with Jessie when she was little. “We would bake cupcakes for my sister’s birthday and that kind of thing,” Jessie explained.

Jessie has always loved cooking but it was not until she started her Certificate II in Hospitality that she became truly dedicated to her studies.

“I woke up to myself and realised that this is really going to be a hard life if I don’t do something,” she said.

After finishing Year 12, Jessie hopes to go on to complete a Certificate III in Hospitality and work as a chef.

She will now go to compete against the winners of other regions for VET Student of the Year for NSW.

Illegal lines hook big fines

Two men have had their fishing equipment and fish seized and have been fined $2,000 for fishing using illegal set lines in the Lachlan River, near Condobolin.

• DPI District Fisheries Officer Michael Koukoulas with two illegally caught Murray cod measuring 64cm and 75cm which he seized. Contributed

Compiled by Lara Pearce

 Two men have had their fishing equipment and fish seized and been fined $2,000 for fishing using illegal set lines in the Lachlan River, near Condobolin.

The West Wyalong men were seen by fisheries officers from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) setting and checking twelve set lines baited with yabbies and then leaving them unattended.

When confronted, they were found to have a gaff, two golden perch and three Murray cod, two of which were of a prohibited size. One of the men had also not paid the mandatory Recreational Fishing Fee and both were fined to a total of $2,000.

This offence coincides with two other recent instances of illegal use of set lines, one at Old Man Creek west of Wagga Wagga and another near Moulamein in the south of the state, prompting the DPI Supervising Fisheries Officer, Peter Tilbrook, to issue a warning to all inland fishers.

“Set lines or unattended lines have been prohibited in NSW for many years in an effort to reduce the high level of impact on target and non-target species,” he said.

“Most native fish caught using set lines undergo prolonged stress, become easy prey for predators including other larger fish and often die on the line.”

Mr Tilbrook said set lines do not discriminate and can have devastating consequences for native fish including threatened species and other wildlife such as turtles and water birds that can be caught on the lines.

The fisher at Old Man Creek was apprehended on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga last month, and 16 set lines each rigged with two hooks and a large Murray cod were seized from his vehicle.

“The man will receive court attendance notices and faces charges of possession of illegal fishing gear, possession of fish illegally taken, use of live fin fish as bait and leave lines unattended,” Mr Tilbrook said.

“Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of up to $22,000 and/or six months imprisonment.”

A maximum of two attended lines are permitted in all non-tidal waters other than some trout waters. Attended lines must be within 50 metres and in the line of sight of the fisher using the lines.

Hand lines are not permitted in trout waters or closed waters. Any spare lines must not be rigged or capable of taking fish.

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