Clare honoured in civic reception

A civic reception was held for 2010 Sydney Royal Showgirl Clare McDonaldBy Sally Willoughby

2010 Sydney Royal Easter Showgirl, Clare McDonald, was recognised for her tremendous achievement and representation of Condobolin last week in a formal civic ceremony at Lachlan Shire Council Chambers.
Lachlan Shire Council Mayor Des Manwaring addressed the ceremony saying it gave him great pleasure to acknowledge Clare with the formal ceremony in conjunction with the Condobolin PAH & I Association and presented Clare with a cheque on behalf of LSC in recognition for her accomplishments.
“Clare has put in a lot of hard work over the years, and especially this past year, and her achievements in Condobolin and abroad are something I’m very proud of,” Mayor Des said.
Clare’s commitment and passion for the agricultural sector and country life saw her crowned the 2009 Condobolin Showgirl and move swiftly through the ranks to be crowned the 2010 Sydney Royal Easter Showgirl in April this year.
With the past year being a blur of functions, speeches and event openings,  Clare spoke of the vital role showgirls play in bringing the bush to the city in her address at the ceremony and expressed her love for Condobolin and the Condobolin community.
“There are two important messages to spread in rural NSW,” Clare said.
“One is get involved and get the younger people involved.
“The second message is to do something for yourself…something to better yourself, learn more about yourself and be the person you can be,” she said.
Clare was also recognised by President of the Condobolin PAH&I Society Bruce Patton who thanked Clare for doing the Condobolin community and Condobolin Show Society proud and presented her a life membership to the show.
Secretary Carol-Ann Malouf who was the master of ceremonies for the evening said Clare was the epitome of a showgirl – self-assured, poised and graceful.

Yellow Mountain – a real challenge

Yellow Mountain competitorsBy Sally Willoughby

The challenging hills and mallee trails took their toll on this year’s competitors of the Yellow Mountain Cross-Country race with local rider Jacob Smith overcoming a fall on the first day to win outright in an overall time of five hours fifteen minutes and ten seconds.
Coming in seven minutes behind Jacob, was second placed Matthew Fish with a time of five hours twenty-two minutes and eleven seconds, and third placed Stuart Bennett with a time of five hours twenty-six minutes and fourteen seconds.
With 208 competitors registering for the popular race, only 150 completed the two day rally with a number of mechanical problems and injuries forcing 58 competitors out of the race.
Coming in a minute ahead of champion Jacob Smith on the first day, Jake Haddrill’s bike broke down six kilometres from the start line on day two.
“It was a really well ridden race,” said Condobolin Motorbike President James Deeves.
“It was nice and wet and the local boys rode really well with Jake [Smith] doing a great job to come in first especially after a fall on the first day,” he said.
Covering approximately 250 kilometres over the two days, James said the consensus was the 2010 Tottenham to Condobolin track was one of the better rides with less dust and only a few bog holes that brought some of the riders undone.
The top ten outright winners were: Jacob Smith, Matt Fish, Stuart Bennett, Lee Stephens, Brett Emerson, Scott Dunn, David Geeves, Scott Thomas, Dave Claypole, Daniel Jones.

Condo reminisces with roar of radial engines

A former Royal Airforce plane flew into Condobolin airportBy Sally Willoughby
Condobolin Aero Club took a walk down memory lane recently when the historic Douglas C-47 Dakota with military configuration flew onto its tarmac.
The former Royal Australian Air Force plane was first built in 1945 and was restored over two years with parts replaced and over 100 hours of labour by the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society at Illawarra Regional Airport.
The plane which flew in on Saturday 31 July, faced headwinds from Wollongong to Condobolin with President of the Condobolin Aero Club, Graham McDonald saying over 1200 litres of aviation fuel was used for the trip.
“That’s a heap of fuel – approximately $2200 worth of fuel which you can compare to a little plane that would only use about 100 litres of fuel for the same trip,” Graham said.
The Condobolin Aero Club were given the opportunity to refuel the historic plane with the two pilots who flew the C-47 into Condobolin, one an ex-Royal Air force pilot and the other an ex-Qantas 747 pilot, talking to members of the Club and the community.
During World War II, the armed forces of many countries used the C-47 for the transport of troops, cargo and wounded.
The Douglas C-47 Dakota that flew into Condo was delivered to 38 Squadron of the RAAF at Archerfield Base on 8 May 1945. The aircraft was later transferred to 37 Squadron in 1946 where she had her wartime camoflauge removed and was employed on courier flights to Japan in support of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces.
After a long history with the RAAF and later the Aircraft Research and Development Unit at Laverton Victoria, the aircraft was acquired by HARS in July 2000, having been the victim of spare parts requirements, who restored the plane to flying capacity by 2003.
The significant arrival had a historic edge for Condo locals who were taken back to the 50’s and 60’s when this kind of aircraft would fly regularly for passenger travel into Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo.
“It was really good to hear radial engines over Condo again,” said President of the Condobolin Aero Club Graham McDonald.
The club had a very busy weekend with other planes coming in including a Citation Business Jet from Port Macquarie arriving to pick up a Labradoodle puppy, Bill Peach Air Tours coming in on a Dash 8 aircraft on the Sunday and a plane bound for Broken Hill forced to land in Condo due to bad weather.

Roadside saviour

A local ambulance officer has recently graduatedLocal Ambulance Officer Sean Mitchell (pictured) graduated with his Diploma of Paramedical Science recently at a ceremony in Bathurst.
Sean, who has been in Condobolin for two and half years, was presented with his Diploma by CEO of the NSW Ambulance Service Greg Rochford who congratulated the graduates on achieving their personal goals.
“Paramedics play a vital role in the community by providing pre-hospital care to the sick and injured.
“Our graduates are responsible for providing responsive, high quality services in emergency clinical care within their level of training, care and respect at all times to the patients they treat and a fine example of team work and cooperation”, Mr Rochford said.
The three year course involved on-road practical experience, distance education and residential schools with Sean saying the Diploma means he is qualified to attend and manage a greater range of conditions and administer a wider range of medications.
The nationally accredited qualification includes training in dealing with heart attacks, road traumas, broken bones and emergency childbirths.

Clare awarded prestigious scholarship

Clare McDonald was awarded the Woolworths Agricultural Business ScholarshipSydney Royal Easter Showgirl Clare McDonald received another accolade last week after being nominated as one of three young agriculturalists by The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to take part in an intense scholarship program aimed at fast tracking their careers and securing the future of Australian agriculture.
Clare McDonald of Condobolin, Dougall Roberts of Tamworth, and Liz Pearson of Inverell are among 30 young people in the country selected to take part in the annual Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship, run in conjunction with the RAS and the University of Western Sydney.
Bernie O’Sullivan, RAS General Manager Agricultural Development, says the three were chosen for their passion, commitment and dedication to the future of a sustainable agricultural industry.
“Clare is the 2010 Sydney Royal Showgirl, while Liz and Dougall have been the recipients of RAS Rural Achiever Awards.
“Working across agronomy, animal health and rural services sectors, the scholarship program will give them a valuable insight into how they can make a difference in their chosen fields of work,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
The 12-day course, held in September, covers topics such as business strategy and planning, the agricultural value chain, leadership skills, business finance, supply chain management, doing business with retailers, the role of government and sustainability issues.
Condobolin resident, 2010 Sydney Royal Showgirl and Field Marketing Agronomist for AGnVet Services, Clare McDonald says the program will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about the finer points in the agricultural product supply chain.
“My work as an agronomist with AGnVET Services sees me working in the paddock with farmers each day, who together with companies such as Woolworths have the mammoth task of feeding Australia.
“Given that large retail companies now have a greater influence on our agricultural product markets, in terms of demand and market value, it will be an invaluable experience to learn what aspects in turn influence them as a retailer.
“An understanding of the retailers’ business environment will also give me valuable insight to assist Australian producers grow the products being demanded by the market,” said Ms McDonald.
Students will listen to key speakers such as senior Woolworths’ staff, external experts and Sydney Royal award winning producers Jelm Pastoral Lamb and Serendipity Ice Cream. Students will also visit the 2008 RAS President’s Medal recipient Country Valley Dairy in Picton, along with one of Woolworths’ state of the art distribution centres and the famous Sydney Markets.
Greg Foran, Woolworths Director of Supermarkets said, the vast majority of Woolworths fresh produce is farmed in Australia so it makes sense for tomorrow’s agricultural leaders to get an insight into what makes a supermarket tick so those successful partnerships continue long into the future.

Tree-change for new Motor Inn managers

Condobolin Motor Inn's new ownersThe Condobolin motor inn might be featuring some new faces, but the traditional gourmet a la carte menu and cosy rooms have remained the same with Sharmane and Scott Armstrong and Chef Marie Baker leasing the premises recently.
Hailing from Melbourne, Sharmane and Scott who brought their children out to Condo for a “tree-change” said the business and location was ideally suited to the lifestyle changes they were looking to make.
“Marie was looking to do something with a motel and we though why not take on something like this with a restaurant attached and look at something we could all work at,” Scott said.
With Sharmane and her mother Marie having worked previously in hotels, former fruit and veg wholesaler Scott said he’s new job description involved keeping the bar up to scratch.
“We’ll be keeping the popular wines and will look at getting a few new ones in from Western Australia that will start with sample bottles and if we get a good response we’ll continue getting them in,” Scott said.
Traditionally a fine-dining restaurant for that special occasion or function, the new managers have kept with tradition and maintained a gourmet a la carte menu featuring some old favourites coupled with Marie’s new seasonal cuisine.
With a selection of seafood choices including oysters, garlic prawns and salt and pepper squid on offer for entrees, the main meals are equally as appetising with Fillet Mignon wrapped with bacon and mushroom sauce on a crouton and the veal medallion with prawns, asparagus and hollandaise sauce some of the favourites.
To make a reservation at the restaurant, or enquire about a room, call 02 6895 2233.

Firefighters calling for new recruit

Become a firefighter in CondobolinWith local Firefighter Mick Taylor recently retiring, the Condobolin branch of the NSW Fire Brigades is on the hunt for a Retained Firefighter to join their team.
Fire Captain Mick Malouf said the position is a diverse and varied one with a Retained Firefighter being on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.
“The position is for a paid, on-call Retained Firefighter which means they are on-call from home or work rather than on duty at the station,” Fire Captain Malouf said.
Firefighters undertake a wide range of duties including motor vehicle accidents, bushfires, fire suppression, hazardous material response and storm and flood damage assistance.
“This is a great way for people to put something back into the community and become involved in a real team network,” Fire Captain Malouf said.
With the first step to send away for an application and then an interview process with the Zone Commander of Leeton and the Duty Commander of NW3, the Fire Captain said you then complete an rigorous training course at Deniliquin.
“Once accepted you go to an initial four-day training camp at the New South Wales Fire Brigade training camp in Deniliquin and then another two-day camp two weeks later,” he said.
Anyone interested in the position is encouraged to call 6953 6583 for an application pack.

Dental health week

Dental Health Week in CondobolinSenior Dental Therapist Robyn Browne highlighted the importance of oral hygiene during Dental Health Week last Thursday encouraging the community to use the free fortnightly service that runs out of Condobolin Hospital to keep their teeth in check.
Dental Health Week emphasises the importance of regular teeth check-ups and how to protect your teeth against common problems like tooth erosion.
Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away or dissolving of the outer enamel layer of teeth and is caused by regular exposure to acid found in food and drinks like fruit juice, soft drinks, sport drinks and vinegar and pickles.
With Dental Therapist Robyn saying Dental Health Week was an ideal time to focus on the importance of your teeth, she reminded parents that they can use their teen vouchers at the clinic that runs out of Condobolin Hospital.
To make an appointment next time the team are in town call 1300 552 626.

Healthy lunchbox ideas

By Sally Willoughby
In an initiative to provide children with healthy and nutritious meals, Condobolin Dietitian Rebecca Jarman visited Condobolin Preschool and Kindergarten recently to guide parents in what foods to include in their child’s ‘healthy’ lunchbox.
“It’s incredibly important for young children to have a healthy lunchbox full of nutrients packed for them each day,” Rebecca said.
“An ideal lunchbox will have a fruit component, some dairy, and a grain-based sandwich with some vegetables and protein like meat,” she said.
Rebecca also recommended packing fluids like water or milk instead of fruit juices or cordials.
“Many parents don’t realise the amount of sugar in these drinks, kids are better off having a piece of fruit and glass of water” she said.
The information session also involved ideas to encourage children to want to eat healthier foods which included using cookie cutters to cut up a sandwich into a shape, and chopping up a piece of fruit so it is accessible and ready to eat.
With a focus on providing nutritious snacks for young children who have small stomachs and require small amounts of food more frequently than adults, Rebecca recommended steering clear of pre-packaged snacks.
“The focus was on providing food and snack ideas that don’t involve pre-packaged food like a cereal bars, shapes or chips as they provide minimal nutritional value, have high amounts of sugar, salt and fat and are very expensive,” she said.

What constitutes a healthy lunchbox?

Fruit and vegetables: are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Try fresh, tinned or dried fruit add to reduced-fat yoghurt, or try chopped up vegetable sticks. Some raw fruit or vegetables may pose a greater choking risk to young children, these can be softened in the microwave.
Sandwiches and grain-based snacks: provide dietary fibre and nutrients for the body. Try a wholegrain or wholemeal sandwich with reduced fat cheese, salad and a lean meat, or wholemeal crackers or corn or rice cakes.
Meat and meat alternatives: choose lean cuts of meat which are trimmed of fat like beef, lamb, fish, eggs or legumes. Sausages and processed luncheon meats such as devon, ham or salami can often be high in saturated fat, salt and preservatives.
Dairy snacks: try yoghurt, custard or cheese. Children over 2 years can have reduced fat dairy foods.

Chamberlain work horse tours through Condo

The Chamberlain (9G) Tractor Club of Western Australia toured through CondobolinBy Sally Willoughby
Condobolin welcomed some interesting characters last week as members of the Chamberlain (9G) Tractor Club of Western Australia rolled into town with their fully-restored Chamberlain tractors in a bid to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctors and Children’s Hospital.
Making their way to Dubbo for the Truck and Tractor Show, the group of four tractors started their trek in Young before heading South along the Murray Darling and back up.
As the famous workhorse of the 50s and 60s, the fully-restored Chamberlain tractors can travel up to 50 kilometres an hour making the three week trip from Young to Swan Hill and up to Dubbo a relatively long one.
“We do a trek every two years if we can to help raise money for the Flying Doctors and Children’s Ward,” said member Allan Moss from Tamworth.
The 2010 expedition was meant to be a ten year anniversary of their inaugural trek which saw over 35 tractors and support vehicles make their way from Steep Point to Byron Bay, but was changed into a smaller trek after adverse weather conditions forced members out.

Dorpers come first with ram trial

The Dorper Ram Paddock Performance Trial and Sale, CondobolinWicus Cronje, a highly respected Judge, Inspector and Classer of Dorpers in  South Africa, was on hand on Monday at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station (CARAS) for the very first Dorper Ram Paddock Performance Trial and Sale.
This inaugural Dorper (including White Dorper) Ram Paddock Performance Trial & Sale has been modelled on the South African “Veld Sales”.  These are rapidly gaining prominence as the preferred means of identifying high performance rams. The Paddock Performance Sale is a unique genetic evaluation process using both phenotyping (classing) and objective measurement to select elite rams in the absence of environmental variation.
President of the Eastern Region Dorper Society, Graham Pickles of “Burrawang” Ootha,  approached Dean Patton, Manager at the Condobolin research station with the idea to manage the trial under independent conditions and with expert staff and ideal facilities.
Graham said, “This is most valuable type of ram trial and sales, all these stud animals are raised under the same unsupplemented paddock conditions as opposed to the traditional national sales method where the sheep are fed on high protein diets.”
“With the latter, the buyer has limited means of determining the impact of these environmental variations on his purchase. This is the first trial of its type for any sheep breed to be conducted in Australia.”
Dean said, “I am very pleased that we can accommodate these rams at the Condobolin ARAS.”
“This trial is important to the Research Station as it increases the diversity of industry funded activities on the station.
Dorpers have increased in popularity in this district considerably over the last 10 years.”
“I believe there are many opportunities this type of sheep contributes to the industry.”
“I look forward to working with the Dorper stud breeders over the next twelve months.”
“I have a long term view that there is a need to compare alternative sheep enterprises in this environment and we are ideally situated.”
“While many local groups are interested in such a comparison, funding sources are limited so I hope this project strengthens our case to undertake further livestock research at the Condobolin ARAS.”
According to the breeders, the trial will resolve the inefficiencies of the existing ram sales by removing environmental variation; by utilising a skilled sheep classer, Wicus Cronje;  and by using the latest objective measurement technology, then combining all these into a single assessment.
Wicus said, “This process has been running in South Africa for a very long time and is the way rams will be sold in the future – everyone gets treated exactly the same and the buyer knows what they get in the end. It is all about quality control and having an independent [CARAS] involved is a very good thing.”
On Monday, the rams, aged between 100 and 120 days old were inoculated, visually assessed and electronically ear tagged for recording of the performance testing  and put into the data base for LAMBPLAN.
Sheep Genetics LAMBPLAN is a world class tool to objectively benchmark sheep performance across breeding flocks. It assists in the identification of high performance sires where environmental circumstances vary, creating the potential for ram buyers to achieve higher rates of genetic gain.
Nick Pagett of ‘Winrae Dorpers’, Bourke said, “We’re very interested in what is happening as it is the first of its kind – it will be exciting to find out about the results when they come through.”
Over the course of the eight month trial objective measurements (weight, eye muscle, fat depth etc) will be regularly recorded.
At the conclusion of the trial the rams will again be classed and all rams will be ranked using a combination of performance derived by measurement and the classing of the rams against the breed standard of excellence. Rams remain anonymous during the course of the trial to remove the potential for bias. This will then be followed by a sale.

On farm grain storage – be informed this harvest

On Farm Grain Storage Workshop, CandobolinWith the continuing winter rains many grain growers from across the state will be considering the possibility of storing grain on farm this harvest.
From  23rd to 27th August NSW Partners in Grain will be holding a series of Grain Storage Workshops to provide essential knowledge and skills to those businesses planning on farm grain storage.
Philip Burrill from the Queensland Department of Industry and Forestry will present along with Jo Holloway from the NSW Department of Industry and Investment. Philip and Jo are grain storage experts and will address topics including choosing the right storage option for your business; key storage strategies for cereal grains, pulses and oilseeds; stored grain pest identification and insect control options. A large number of grain storage equipment suppliers will also be in attendance at each of the workshops to answer your questions.
NSW Partners in Grain have developed this workshop to maximise the value for participants. We have created a forum where all your grain storage questions can be answered at the one place.
For more information about these workshops, contact Ingrid Taylor on 0427 458 863 or visit

Research Station Field Day, Hay Day and Rust Workshop

By Ian Menz – District Agronomist

The rain over the last month has been excellent with Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo and many other regions receiving above average rainfall for the month.
Now we need a mild spring and a good grain filling period to occur.
The Research Station will be hosting a number of information days in the next month. A free Cereal Rust Workshop for Advisors and Growers will be held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station on August 19. The session will run from 8.30 am to 12.00 noon, places are limited so RSVP on 68951025.
Associate Professor Colin Wellings from Sydney University, Plant Breeding Institute, Cobbitty will be presenting an update on the 2009 rust survey.  Colin will detail what pathogens were found in the 2009 survey and the likely risks for cereal crops in 2010. He will also demonstrate varietal reactions and identification methods relating to cereal rusts.
Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station will host a “Hay Day” on September 8, 2010; the day will run from 9.30am – 4.00pm. The day is being hosted by I&I NSW, Australian Fodder Industry Association, Condobolin and District Landcare and Lachlan Catchment Management Authority.
The day will cover many aspects of fodder production, such as Hay Fires (why and how the fires occurred), hay additives and preservatives for safely storing high moisture hay. There will be sessions on variety selection (lucence and cereals), when to cut or strip cereal crops, transporting and quality testing of fodder. For further information and registration, please contact me at the Research Station or your local Landcare officer.
The Annual Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station field day will be held on September 22, 9.00am til 4.00pm. This year field day will cover NLIS, Locust and challenges for the 2010 crops. There will be information sessions on the National Variety Trials, Canola and Mustard as well as many aspects of the cereal research conducted on station.

Don’t miss Condo Chutes and Utes Festival!

Condobolin is primed to again shake in its foundations on 2 October 2010, when the Condobolin PBR Challenger Series will again descend on our rural town for a spectacle of excitement, adrenaline and brute force to be held this year in conjunction with the inaugural Country Energy Ute Show on Sunday 3 October at Condobolin Pony Club, Camp…draft and Rodeo grounds
The Condobolin PBR event, which saw over 2000 people make the pilgrimage to Condo last year, is returning with what promises to be another action-packed night of thrills, spills and bovine busting skills.
With a star-studded line-up of Aussie cowboys including Troy Wilkinson and Chris Lowe the word is well and truly out that Condo is THE place to be this October long weekend.
There’ll be a jumping castle and entertainment to keep the kids entertained before and during the event including the VB ‘Gold Pair’ Club Clydesdale horses.
This year the committee are also coordinating the PBR event with the Country Energy Ute Show which is offering $1500 up for grabs for the Country Energy ‘Ultimate’ Ute category (that’s right $1500 and all you have to do is give the girl a wash and roll on in there – unless you’re entering the esteemed ‘Feral’ category in which case no need to bother with a wash!) and over $3750 in cash and prizes across the ten categories.
Categories include the ‘Country’, ‘Feral’, ‘Street Machine’, ‘The Sheila’ and ‘Stereo Sound Off’. All entries will go into the running for the prestigious Country Energy ‘Ultimate’ Ute title. See the flyer on this page or call 02 6896 2942 or 02 6895 2422 or email or to register ASAP – Ute entries will be limited!
To pre-book PBR tickets, register for the Country Energy Ute Show or make an accommodation or general enquiry call 02 6895 2422 or 02 6896 2942 or email
The Hope Central Cutting Championships will also be running during the day over the Saturday and Sunday.

For more information visit The Condo Chutes and Utes Festival Facebook page.

Local rider to tackle toughest rally in world

Jacob Smith will tackle the tougest rally in the world - the Dakar rallyBy Sally Willoughby
In the ultimate test of mental and physical strength, local motorbike rider Jacob Smith will embark on the ride of his life this January as he battles to establish himself in what is deemed the toughest off-road race on earth – the punishing Dakar rally.
What initially started as the Paris to Dakar rally in 1978 has changed in recent years to incorporate original routes on different continents in search of new territories, with the 33rd edition of the event to start in Buenos Aires and travel through Chile and Argentina over 1 to 16 January 2011.
With a swag of victories and top ten finishes in major off-road races in Australia including the Australian Safari, Finke Desert Race, Condo 750 and Yellow Mountain, Jacob says taking on the challenge of the Dakar is the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Being a full time motorbike rider has been my dream since I was a kid and it’s starting to become a reality,” Jacob said.
“This really is the opportunity of a lifetime and if I do well, even in just one stage of the race,… the places it could lead to are pretty exciting,” he said.
As part of the four-person GHR Honda team under Team Manager Glenn Hoffman, Jake is the only one to receive a full entry sponsorship for the race which can cost in excess of $120,000 to compete in.
In his first time overseas, Jacob will have a multitude of challenges to overcome, beyond staying on his bike, including riding in high altitude and learning how to read the detailed navigational directions – in French.
Travelling through Chile and Argentina, the unique beauty of the terrain in South America will see the rally explore a multitude of grueling territory including the white dunes of Fiambala, the Atacama Desert and the shaky descent to Iquique across the sixteen day endurance event.
David Castera who led the reconnaissance team for the 2011 event said the landscape of the race was amazing this year with the Atacama Desert a highlight of the Chilean section.
“Opportunities are almost endless around the two huge sand banks and dunes of Copiapo and Iquique.
“I keep finding locations each time I go there.
“The contenders are in for new surprises,” Mr Castera said.
With a typical day on the race including up to 11 hours riding across 700 to 800 kilometres, competitors are encouraged to maintain a peak physical and mental condition with Jacob embarking on a rigorous training schedule including two 40 kilometre push bike rides, six hours at the gym and three motorbike rides a week.
“At the moment I’m focusing on strength and endurance to build a good core base but it will be endurance that will be the main focus when it comes to racing,” Jacob said.
With the many challenges the race presents coupled with the Dakar’s history of competitor fatalities, Jacob’s father, Geoff Smith, said he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t concerned.
“Both Sue and I are worried but we know he’ll do his best and do well,” Geoff said.
“He’s keen and young and fit but the whole [proposal] package is very good.
“Jake’s not just taking this on with no experience – he’s been riding in some of the toughest races in Australia for years – he knows how bikes run and knows how to ride them,” he said.
With experienced mechanics and a solid support team, Jacob will leave on 22 December and have eight days in Argentina before the race.
“The training schedule and layout of the race is all pretty intense and overwhelming,” Jacob said.
“I’m going over there to do my best and go hard – I’m not saying I’m going over there to take out the top spot necessarily, but I’m definitely not going over there to lose,” he said.

First aid course examines mental health

In an initiative designed to provide local youth workers with strategies to help a young person suffering mental health issues, Mental Health Drought Support worker Di Gill, coordinated a Youth Mental Health First Aid course last week which trains leaders in how to offer the initial help to someone developing a mental health problem before professional treatment is received.
The comprehensive two-day course was presented by GWAHS Youth Support worker Janet Walk from Mudgee and Di Gill from Condobolin hospital with the aim to improve the mental health literacy of members of the local community.
With the focus on tackling ongoing mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders and substance misuse, Di said other issues like eating disorders and non-suicidal self injury were also covered.
“We cover a range of topics including such things as eating disorders and non-suicidal self injury as these are often an indication of a mental health issue,” Di said.
“They use these things to alleviate another issue like depression and anxiety and it’s important for people who work with youth to understand this and have strategies to offer help,” she said.
The course which is auspiced by the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne leads students through the five steps in providing mental health first aid – ALGEE.
Assess the risk of harm to person or others
Listen non-judgementally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage person to get appropriate professional help if needed
Encourage self-help strategies.
“We make sure all students of the course go away with the ALGEE steps in their head and the strategies and training to deal with mental health issues as well as knowing exactly what support is available like GP’s and community health staff in their specific area,” Di said.

Mental Health Worker Di Gill received a Master Instructor awardMasters accolade

Mental Health Drought Support worker Di Gill of Condobolin Hospital was recently recognised for her dedication to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training by being awarded a Master Instructor certificate in the standard MHFA course and Indigenous MHFA course.
To qualify for the certificate, trainers must have coordinated over 30 MHFA courses with the majority of Di’s courses running with the local region including Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo along with Bathurst, Forbes and Canberra.
Di also completed a MHFA training course to the Sydney Theatre Company which was attended by actor Cate Blanchett.

Canines to converge on Condo

Dog Show fever is nearly upon us once again. Our circuit starts at Tullamore on 14 August and continues until the Grenfell Show on 4 September. This gives us 13 shows for this period which includes four shows at Condobolin. Our first show is on Sunday 22 August, the second show is on Monday 23 August, and the final two shows are the next weekend on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August.
All reports on progress of the up and coming shows are that everything is coming together nicely with entries flowing in and a report from Rob at the Caravan Park of another full capacity of campers expected at the park.
Our Market Day is on Sunday 22 August. For site bookings please ring Julie: 6895 2546 or 0417 671 304. Sites are FREE, but a donation of your wares for a raffle table would be appreciated with proceeds being donated to Cancer Council. Stalls already booked are Knitwear, Garden Ornaments, Magnet & Pin Making, Cakes, Jewellery and Dog Supplies. These are the early bird bookings so please book your stall to confirm your site ASAP.
To all our sponsors of this show we say thank you for your support as this helps in so many ways in the running of our four shows, such as prizes, awards and fundraising. As this is a non-profit association we depend on all your support for our up and coming shows.
Our trophy secretary Julie Norris has been out and about collecting all your pledges and will be continuing for the next couple of weeks, so it would be greatly appreciated if you can have your sponsorship ready for her to collect. We encourage all our visitors to support all our business houses that sponsor us whilst they are in town. As you know, we get hundreds of Dog Show Exhibitors in town for approximately 3-4 weeks and that brings a lot of business to our town.
If anyone wishes to sponsor our Club, please contact Julie and she will arrange pick up of your pledge.
So please come over to the Kennel Club at the Caravan Park on Sunday 22nd and have a look at all our show dogs which we are all so proud of. Remember this is also the Market Day.
For more information on these events please contact Julie Norris on 6895 2546 or Robbie Meagher (02) 4844 6336.

Chutes and Utes festival gets boost

By Sally Willoughby
Condobolin’s 2010 Professional Bull Rider (PBR) Challenger Series has been kicked into action with members of the Condobolin Rodeo Committee working on infrastructure upgrades at the arena grounds to ensure Condobolin boasts the safest atmosphere for the most dangerous sport on dirt this October long weekend.
With the Condobolin PBR Challenger Series to be held on 2 October, last year’s inaugural event saw over 2000 people descend on Condobolin with Condobolin Rodeo Committee President Les Parnaby saying this year was primed to be bigger and better than the last.
“We had an amazing crowd last year who weren’t left disappointed and we’re working on a few little things to make sure this year is an even more exciting event for Condo,” Les said.
As one of the final events for Australian cowboys to accrue points to earn themselves a place in the PBR National Finals Condobolin is sure to boast the most ardent bull riders with the toughest beasts.
With a swag of high scoring rides and top ten finishes this year, Troy Wilkinson from Upper Horton NSW and Chris Lowe from Uralla NSW, will head up the bull riding line-up putting other competitors to the test.
“There’s going to be some fierce competition between bull and rider in the arena this year – it’s definitely going to be worth turning up for,” President of the CRC Les said.
“We’ve also had a lot of support again this year from the local business houses and industries that have really enabled us to put together the best event for our town possible,” he said.
This year the Condobolin PBR Challenger Series will run in affiliation with a Ute Show to be held on Sunday 3 October. With almost $4000 in cash and prizes up for grabs in the Ute show, the Condobolin ‘Chutes and Utes’ weekend is one not to be missed.

Condobolin’s inaugural Ute Show has received a major boost with the confirmation of Country Energy as their major supporter of the event that will kick into gear this October long weekend.
As strong supporters of the community in which they operate, Country Energy provide assistance for environmental, social, educational and cultural events through their community sponsorship program.
Regional General Manager, Chas McPhail, said Country Energy was proud to be the major supporter of the Condobolin Ute Show.
“The inaugural event is a fantastic example of how Country Energy continues to support the local community with their new and innovative ideas,” Chas said.
“An event of this type is exactly what our sponsorship program aims to do – provide local support to a worthwhile event in the local community,” he said.
With the Country Energy Ute Show to round off Condobolin’s Chutes and Utes weekend, coordinator  Jeff Kirk said there has already been a lot of interest.
“There’s been a lot of interest around the town and we’re looking to make a festival weekend in conjunction with the bull ride that’s only going to get bigger and better – next year we’re planning on throwing a quick shears competition into the mix at Sunday’s ute event,” Jeff said.
“Having Country Energy come on board as a major supporter of the event is a major boost and shows us that this October long weekend is really something that’s going to enhance and entertain the Condobolin and surrounding community,” he said.
With $3750 in cash and prizes up for grabs across the ten categories, ute enthusiasts will be vying for the $1500 cash prize for the prestigious Country Energy ‘Ultimate’ Ute that will be chosen from the contenders across all categories.
“…The Condo Chutes and Utes competition is a great initiative and we look forward to seeing the concept evolve over the year,” Country Energy’s Chas McPhail said.

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