Health & Care

International men’s health week

Country blokes deserve to be healthy and happy and their first step towards making sure they are, and stay that way, is a visit to their rural doctor.
Dr Peter Rischbieth, Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and a GP in Murray Bridge in rural SA, said regular visits to a doctor is the most important step in improving men’s health outcomes.
“While the seasons have turned and prices are high, many country blokes are still feeling the physical and the emotional results of weathering a number of tough years,” Dr Rischbieth said.
“In most areas of health men have worse outcomes than women, and men in the country have even higher health risks due to their location, work and lifestyle.
“Men are more likely to have high blood pressure, misuse alcohol and have a low consumption of fruit and vegetables – all factors increasing their risk of ill-health.
“We need our men to be healthy and strong so by taking preventative action we can reduce the danger of major health risks including stroke, cancer, cardiovascular problems including heart attacks and depression.
“Start an open discussion with friends and family and, if you are in the age group that needs it, get a regular yearly check up with your GP who will be able to check for all age appropriate health risks, answer any questions about your health and outline the steps to take to make sure you stay healthy for the future,” Dr Rischbieth said.
One in six Australian men will experience clinical depression in their lifetime and many rural men are at high risk because of their stressful lifestyles.
Factors such as drought or flood-induced financial difficulties, stock loss and the constant physical and mental demands of farming work and operating rural businesses place enormous pressure on many men in the bush.  They can often be isolated from friends and family and sometimes find it is difficult to know where to turn for help.
“It is important that men realise when they are getting overwhelmed and know how to get assistance,” Dr Rischbieth said.
“Recognising the symptoms of depression in yourself and others can be the first step to beating it.
“Symptoms include tiredness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest in work or other activities.
“Remember that there are services out there to help you or you can chat with your GP. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can start getting back to your old self.”

CAHS Centre begins men’s health program

Participants attended a meeting last Wednesday at Condobolin Aboriginal Health Centre where information and healthy snacks were provided.By Dominic Geiger
Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service in partnership with NSW Dept of Communities, Sport and Recreation and Condobolin Health Service has begun an eight week Aboriginal Men’s Health activity program.
Eleven men attended an information seminar last Thursday evening that explained how the program would be run across the following weeks.
The program is designed to encourage Aboriginal men to engage themselves in physical activity and education workshops to improve their overall wellbeing.
According to Australian Indigenous Health Info Net, “Indigenous people generally experience more risk factors for ill-health than do other Australians.”
Cardiovascular disease is 1.3 times more likely to be the cause of death for an indigenous person than for a non indigenous person, while cancer death rates are around 1.5 times higher for Indigenous people than for their non-Indigenous counterparts.
Nurse at Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service, Maree Atkinson, said the program would feature an exercise workshop on Monday nights while alternating health education seminars and cooking classes would be featured on Tuesday nights.
“The cooking classes will be with a dietician who will help the men learn about food, contents, reading labels, and how to cook great meals,” she said.
“The participants are also really keen to get to the gym on Mondays.”
Maree said the first eduational session topic, which participants discussed on the info night, would focus on sexual health and immunisation.
“They will be talking about how to prevent and immunise against sexually transmitted diseases and other illnesses,” she said.
“This is a joint initiative and I would especially like to thank representatives from NSW Dept of Communities, Sport and Recreation, Condo Aboriginal Health Service, Condobolin Hospital and Willow Bend Sports Centre.

New breast cancer nurse for Lachlan Shire

New breast cancer nurse for the Lachlan Shire, Dianne Green.By Dominic Geiger

Women of the Lachlan Shire and surrounding districts now have access to a dedicated McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse following the arrival of the highly experienced Dianne Green to the region.
Based in Parkes, Dianne will provide physical, psychological and emotional support for families who are dealing with breast cancer, from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.
Dianne said people from outside Parkes were able to call Parkes Community Health Centre to organise an appointment. “They leave a message, I get back to them and we organise a time for me to visit them,” she said.
“I also do phone support and everyone, even if they’ve been undergoing treatment for a long time, is more than welcome to contact me.”
Dianne said a large part of helping patients deal with breast cancer was providing information.
“When women are diagnosed, I provide and fit them with a free Burly Bra, they get a journey kit for when they need to get treatment and I sit down with them and explain everything I can,” she said.
“I also liaise with medical teams and coordinate the services required.
“I try to make the circumstances as [unstressful] as possible.”
A registered nurse for 22 years, Dianne said she began specialising in breast cancer when she felt she couldn’t give women suffering from the disease the correct information.
“Women would come to me who weren’t sure of their results following treatment,” she said.
“As a registered nurse, I wasn’t qualified to answer a lot of their questions, so I did a Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing in 2007 and I’m currently studying a Masters in Breast Cancer Nursing.
“I don’t think any woman should be alone [when fighting cancer].”
Dianne  also said a women’s health information day would be organised with Leonie Parker at the Condobolin Hospital in the coming weeks.
The Breast Care Van is currently in Condobolin until June 28 and can be contacted on 13 20 50.
Dianne can be contacted by calling Parkes Hospital 6841 2222 or the McGrath foundation on 8962 6100.

New health services manager for Parkes and Forbes

By Dominic Geiger

A new Lachlan Health Service Manager has been appointed to oversee the running of health services for the communities of Parkes and Forbes.
Catherine Nowlan, who officially began the position in late March, said she was currently focussing on sharing resources between the hospital campuses of the two towns to create a more sustainable approach to healthcare.
“We have already started twice daily bed management meetings with the unit managers at the two hospitals to see if there’s a need to share resources,” she said.
“We look at who’s where and if anyone needs support.
“Twice a week we do the same thing with Orange Base Hospital.”
Catherine said she believed she had been selected for the job based on her extensive experience with health, her masters in health administration and her interest in rural health.
“I have worked in Birdsville and Alice Springs [among other places],” she said.
“Although Birdsville is a small town, it experiences 30,000 tourists a year and I was one of only two nurses at the hospital.
“As a nurse in Birdsville you cover the hospital, all the tourists and a 196,000 km2 area, so you go Birdsville to Bedourie with the Royal Flying Doctor Service as back up.”
Prior to beginning her new job, Catherine worked as the site manager for the two hospitals at Bloomfield and Orange.
Catherine said she was looking forward to creating a more harmonised health service for residents throughout the region.
“With two (hospital) campuses sharing all resources we can be more sustainable,” she said.

Grandmother appeals after child driven 130kms for medical aid

Wendy Norris’ granddaughter was driven from Burcher to Temora for medical attention.By Dominic Geiger

An extremely dehydrated eight month old child was driven over 130kms to Temora hospital last Sunday night following the poor handling of a phone call to the Condobolin Hospital.
The child’s grandmother, Wendy Norris, said she had been treating baby Alice for vomiting and diarrhoea over the weekend.
“As a grandmother, I managed her, doing things people usually do for sick kids because we knew there were no doctors [in Condobolin] we could see on the week end,” she said.
“Late Sunday night, Alice’s father Adrian took her home to Burcher but at 10:30pm he called me and said Alice was still vomiting and not eating or drinking.”
Wendy then gave her son directions to call Condobolin Hospital where he received advice on how to manage Alice’s condition.
Despite this, Wendy said “at no stage did [the hospital staff] say to bring Alice in.”
“Adrian then rang West Wyalong hospital on his own accord and was told there was no doctor available there or on call,” she said.
“At 1:15am Alice was still vomiting and loosing fluid so Adrian called Temora hospital and was told that, if he was so concerned for Alice’s health, to bring her over.”
Alice has since made a full recovery after seeing the on call doctor in Temora and being placed on antibiotics.
Wendy said she thought it was appalling her son wasn’t encouraged to take Alice to Condobolin Hospital as a precaution.
“Condobolin may have doctors in place though is the hospital actually open or do we get turned away after 10pm?” she said.
“We have a wonderful hospital, but is it operating at its full capabilities or are the doors closed and we can’t access the hospital system?”
A spokesperson for Western NSW Local Health District said the organisation was unable to comment on the specifics of Alice’s case, however the spokesperson confirmed “a local doctor is on duty or on call for emergencies at the Condobolin Health Service at all times.”
“Patients who require treatment after hours are advised to present to the Hospital’s Emergency Department for a full assessment, triage, and treatment,” the spokesperson said.
“The Western NSW Local Health District takes all complaints very seriously; we would be happy to meet with the family to discuss any concerns they have regarding the Condobolin Health Service.”
The spokesperson also said If a person is seeking medical advice over the phone, they are advised to call the Health Direct Australia line on 1800 022 222, which provides expert health advice 24-hours a day to NSW residents.

Centroc meets in Condobolin

By Dominic Geiger

Central NSW Councils (Centroc) held a planning session meeting at the Lachlan Shire Council Chambers in Condobolin last Thursday.
Centroc is an organisation designed to provide greater lobbying power for the individual councils within the Central West region of NSW.
Chair of Centroc, Phyllis Miller, said the aim of the meeting was to discuss where the organisation was at as far as setting priorities for the coming year.
Topics which took prominence at the meeting included local tourism, health and water security.
“The Mayor of Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, was concerned about the lack of ‘in river’ water storage in times of drought,” Councillor Miller said.
“The Condobolin west weir project was discussed and we will be trying to assist Councillor Manwaring in achieving (the project).”
Councillor Miller said Centroc had discussed Tourism NSW’s decision to amalgamate the regions of Central West, New England and part of Western NSW into one singular tourist region, called ‘Country NSW’.
“Centroc is not of the view there will be benefits from this,” she said.
“We were also concerned about the rushed timelines (associated with the decision).”
Councillor Miller also said Centroc was concerned about the recently establish Western NSW Medicare Local.
“The area is far too big, so Centroc has made representation to have that area brought down by a bit,” she said.
“The local has been taken out by the enormity of the region’s size.
“Greater Western Area Health couldn’t work, so why would this work?”
Councillor Miller said the Mayor of the Weddin Shire, Maurice Simpson, had been particularly concerned about the lack of a doctor in Grenfell.
“He has said there is a real opportunity for a doctor (in the town),” she said.
“Centroc will aide him to find a doctor in any way we can.”

CSU confirms commitment to producing rural doctors

By Dominic Geiger

Professor Nick Klomp, Dean at the Faculty of Science at Charles Sturt University (CSU), has reconfirmed his university’s commitment to increasing the number of doctors in regional NSW in a presentation at the recent Central NSW Council’s (Centroc) meeting in Condobolin.
The presentation follows the unsuccessful submission of a funding proposal to the Federal Government to establish a new medical and health school for rural Australians at CSU’s Orange campus.
Professor Klomp said according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, more than 4,500 rural Australians die unnecessarily every year simply because they were unable to access suitable medical assistance.
“That is more than three times the national road toll,” he said.
“National and international research proves that a doctor is four times more likely to work in a rural area if they were originally from a rural area, and study medicine in a rural area.
Professor Klomp said establishing a medical school for doctors would have a tremendous impact on the doctor shortage in Central West NSW.
“More than 70% of Charles Sturt University’s on-campus health students come from rural and regional Australia and more than 80% of these students in 2010 went on to work in rural and regional Australia,” he said.
“The sooner we start producing medical graduates the sooner we will start seeing doctors in the bush.
“Everyone who studies medicine currently has to spend years in the city.
“We had so many calls from (various organisations) in regional and rural NSW when we proposed the new medical and health school last year.
“Though we haven’t got it yet, we are unwavering in our desire to continue.”

Harold helps educate kids on health

Students at St Joseph’s Primary School got the chance to meet Harold the Giraffe last week and learn about healthy living.

By Dominic Geiger

The Life Education Van made a stop in Condobolin last week, with students at St Joseph’s Primary School getting the chance to meet the organisation’s mascot, Harold the Giraffe, and learn about healthy living.
Life Education is a charity aimed at school aged children which aims to develop social skills and increase knowledge in relation to healthy habits including nutrition and “refusal in drug-related situations.”
Trainer with Life Education, Lucy Nowlan, said different programs were used for different age groups.
“For the kindergarten to year three kids, we focus on healthy lifestyle, food nutrition, exercise and safety with medication,” she said.
“For years four to six, we’ll be looking at drugs in general including medicines, cigarettes and alcohol and how they affect the body in general.
“The other part of the primary school program focuses on assertiveness skills, which includes dealing with bullies, standing up to and refusing to do things you’re not comfortable with.”
Despite being a new experience for many of the children at St Joseph’s, many of the now mature residents of the Lachlan Shire have fond memories of Harold the Giraffe visiting them during their early schooling years.
Begun in 1979, when the Reverend Ted Noffs began an anti-drugs campaign in Sydney’s Kings Cross, the Life Education concept quickly spread to the western regions of New South Wales.
Unlike today however, the van wasn’t driven from place to place throughout the state with a professional team calling the shots.
Former member of charity group Apex, Wayne Denyer, said he could recall days when he and fellow Apexians would pick up the Life Education van from one town in the Lachlan Shire and tow it for hundreds of kilometres to the neighbouring town.
“Apex put in a fair bit of transport work to get it going,” he said.
“The people who really got involved in it were Brian Nelson, Andy Leo, Doug Ridley and a few others who all had appropriate licenses because you needed something big to tow such a heavy van.”
Wayne said the aim of the project had always been to educate kids about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
“One of us would go and pick it up from (for example) Lake Cargelligo, bring it to Condobolin, and then another Apex person would pick it up and take it to another town,” he said.
“The service clubs put a lot of pressure on to have Condobolin included on the Life Education Van circuit.”

Hats off to Rotary Health

Dave Carter and Uwe Kuhn at the Rotary Hat Day fundraiser last Sunday.By Dominic Geiger

The Condobolin branch of Rotary International held a successful Hat Day fundraiser at the Condobolin Sports Club last Sunday, with all proceeds raised during the event going to fund research into mental health in Australia.
The event was held in order to raise awareness about the four million Australians who will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lives and to remove the stigma associated with mental health disorders.
About 25 people played bowls throughout the day while wearing various hats in keeping with the theme of taking mental health issues out from ‘under their hat’.
President of the Condobolin Rotary Club, Dave Carter, said Hat Day was a new initiative for Australian Rotary Health.
“This fundraiser is different because whereas in other events you’ll have a certain amount of money going towards administration, 100% of the money raised (at Hat Day) will go to the cause,” he said.
“I’d like to thank the Condobolin Sports Club for waving the green fees; everyone has paid $15 today which includes a sausage sizzle and a game of bowls.”
Coordinator of the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, Di Gill, was also on site at the event with other mental health professionals at the mobile Pit Stop van medical centre.
“Rotary research does a lot for Mental Health in Australia,” Di said.
“(Hat Day is) important because it not only focuses on research, but allows mental health issues to be spoken about openly so as to decrease the stigma (associated with mental health disorders).
“It also increases peoples’ understanding about how to get appropriate help and support regarding mental health.”

‘Fragile, brittle or achy bones?”


Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile and brittle, leading to a higher risk of fractures than in normal bones. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, leading to a loss of bone thickness (bone mass or density). As a result even a minor bump or accident can cause serious fractures.
Any bone can be affected by osteoporosis, but the most common sites are bones in the hip, spine, wrist, ribs, pelvis and upper arm. Osteoporosis usually has no signs or symptoms until a fracture happens – this is why osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent disease’.
Fractures due to osteoporosis (osteoporotic fractures) can lead to changes in posture (e.g. developing a stoop or Dowager’s hump in your back), muscle weakness, loss of height and bone deformity of the spine. Fractures can lead to chronic pain, disability, loss of independence and even premature death.
Every 5-6 minutes, someone is admitted to an Australian hospital with an osteoporotic fracture. This is expected to rise to every 3 – 4 minutes by the year 2021, as the population ages and the number of osteoporotic fractures increase.
About 50% of people with one fracture due to osteoporosis will have another.
The risk of future fractures rises with each new fracture, this is called the ‘cascade effect’.  The ‘cascade effect’ means that women who have suffered a fracture in their spine are over 4 times more likely to have another fracture within the next year, compared to women who have never had an osteoporotic fracture. People who have had two or more osteoporotic fractures are up to 9 times more likely to have another fracture, rising to an 11 times greater risk for people who have had three or more fractures, compared to someone who has not had one.
The sad reality is 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men over 60 years will have an osteoporotic fracture in Australia.
It is alarming to know that two thirds of fractures of the spine are not identified or treated, even though they nearly all cause pain and some disability. Often people believe that the symptoms of spine fracture  back pain, height loss or rounding of the spine are just due to ‘old age’.
However, for many people, osteoporotic fractures can be prevented, or at least your risk of having further fractures greatly reduced. To stop the fracture cascade, it is essential that osteoporotic fractures are identified and treated as quickly as possible.
You may see advertisements for body density tests in chemists and some shopping arcades called Heel Ultrasound. Your GP cannot use these results as a diagnostic test for osteoporosis as it is not the recommended test to measure bone mineral density nor does Medicare cover it.
MeasureUp is bringing DEXA for bone mineral density testing to Condobolin. They will bulk bill this service for Medicare Items determined by your Doctor, which includes a ‘FREE’ yearly scan for those over 70 years of age, those who have a family history, early menopause or prolonged steroid use. As such, a referral from your local GP is required for this service.
We will be in Condoblin Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th of June. For appointments please call 1800101163.

Removal of medicare access points

By Dominic Geiger

The recent Federal Government decision to begin removing all 840 remote Medicare Australia Access Points (MAAPs) has prompted condemnation from various Lachlan Shire health and political representatives.
Medicare Australia Access Points (MAAPs) allow access to basic claiming for regional and remote communities and are currently located within the Lachlan Shire at Shortis and Timmins Pharmacy in Condobolin and the Rural Transaction Centre (RTC) in Lake Cargelligo.
Hank Jongen, Human Services Portfolio General Manager, confirmed late last week that the Lake Cargelligo MAAP would be closed within the month with the Condobolin MAAP set to follow “sometime before 2013.”
“On average, the Lake Cargelligo community have made less than one call per day from their booth over the last 21 months,” he said.
“Electronic, internet and phone claiming options are making MAAP booths redundant.
“Customers now do not… have to leave their homes to claim their Medicare rebates.
Condobolin Pharmacist, Michael Timmins, said he felt the removal of the MAAPs would severely disadvantage those in the community who weren’t IT literate.
“This is not a satisfactory situation for the elderly or for those who are not familiar with using computers and the internet,” he said.
“Those who are in my age bracket of 60 plus will struggle with the changes.
“Our MAAP has quite a bit of usage and we’ll be holding onto it for as long as possible.”
Mark Coulton, Federal MP for Parkes, called the removal of the MAAPs a “reckless decision.”
“Medicare Australia has failed to consult with the public on this matter, and has failed to provide a viable alternative for people in these communities to claim,” he said.
“They are forcing people to use their services online, which for many elderly people is impossible.
“Not only can they not afford internet services with the skyrocketing cost of living, many do not have the skills to navigate to the website.
“The affects the closure of these booths will have not only on the individuals who use the booth, but also the places these booths are located such as the local rural transaction centres.”

New medical centre for Condobolin

By Dominic Geiger

Lachlan Shire Council has received a $500,000 federal grant to build a new medical centre in Condobolin.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, announced Council’s grant application had been successful last Thursday.
The funding is part of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP), which aims to improve access to health services in rural and remote areas by providing funding for existing or new health facilities and enhancing the range of health services provided in these communities.
Similar grants also went to Brewarrina Shire Council for a refurbishment of the medical centre and to the Dubbo Plains Division of General Practice to go towards the purchase of new medical equipment in Dunedoo.
Mr Coulton said he would like to congratulate Lachlan Shire Council for their hard work in securing funding for the “vital” project.
“The funding is great news for Condobolin and also for the outlying towns and communities,” he said.
“The remoteness of Condobolin means many residents have to travel huge distances to receive medical assistance.
“This funding will (now) ensure the region has adequate health care services.”
General Manager of the Lachlan Shire, George Cowan, said the success of the grant application was extremely good news.
“This will allow Council to achieve long held health objectives and should allow us to employ more doctors,” he said.
“We have a very positive relationship with Ochre Health which has given us support in the way of doctors.”
George said the new centre would be built adjacent to the existing Melrose Street Medical Centre on an area of land which had been earmarked for development several years ago.
“We hope there will eventually be just one centre with two doctors in it,” he said.
“However you never know what the doctors will want to do.
“We have members of the community sitting on a committee for this project who will be meeting in several weeks time to discuss planning further.”

Call for Long Day Care in Lake

By Dominic Geiger

Lachlan Shire Council has recently provided “In Principal” two land allotments for the future site of a Lake Cargelligo long day care facility.
The motion, which was carried at the recent Council meeting, means Council has verbally guaranteed the land will be available for the facility as soon as the committee behind the project is able to secure a grant for its funding.
The approved site is positioned on the corner of Conapaira and Lake Streets and is adjacent to the pool car park.
General Director of Lachlan Shire Council, George Cowen, said the two sites would be held by Council until the committee could provide the money for the project.
“We won’t be touching the land until (the committee) raises the money,” he said.
“The first thing we would do once the money was available would be to establish an organisation to run the facility and then we would move on with the project; Council will not be running this centre.”
Rebecca Keeley, member of the Lake Cargelligo Day Care Working Committee, said the establishment of the centre was important as there was a complete lack of childcare options for parents in the town who worked or studied long hours.
“There are a number of services providing childcare in town however they are not addressing the current demand,” she said.
“To date we have established that within our community we have 18 children requiring permanent care and a further 32 children requiring part time care, with 25 of these part time children requiring over 3 days per week.”
Rebecca said she knew of several examples where the lack of a long day care facility had made it incredibly difficult for Lake Cargelligo parents to study or work.
“One young mother… recently withdrew from TAFE due to the lack of child care in our community.
“Unfortunately she feels that she is being left with no option but to stay home and not increase her skills.”
Kristy Richards, working mum from Lake Cargelligo, said she had experienced  difficulty finding quality childcare for the past seven years.
“I have had to approach other mothers and retired women to care for my children,” she said.
“Although I am grateful to have private childcare, I would prefer to be able to rely on a constant service with qualified staff in a safe, purpose built environment.”

Make a pit stop for your health

Camille Rowston, Sandra Ritchie, Terrence Coe, Penny Wald and Pranjal More at the Men's Health Pit Stop

By Dominic Geiger

A mobile medical ‘Pit Stop’ van was set up at the Condobolin Autumn Sheep Sale last week as part of a Western Local NSW Health campaign to encourage men to think more about how they take care of their physical and mental wellbeing.
Representatives from Mission Australia, Condobolin Hospital and a community nurse were on site to offer blood pressure, dietary and mental health tests for anyone interested.
Community Nurse, Penny Wald, said although the program was targeted towards men, women were also welcome to drop by for a check up.
“We’re not discriminating,” she said.
“We’re calling it ‘Pit Stop’ because we’re encouraging men to look after their health as well as they look after their cars.
“We know a lot of the men in rural areas are very busy, so they don’t prioritise their health very well.
“They go to work and they think, ‘she’ll be right’ because they don’t have time to visit a doctor.”
Penny said a number of men and women had approached the van for health checks over the course of the morning.
“We had a lot of the men tell us they’d come back after the sales were over because otherwise their blood pressure would be up,” she said.
“People don’t even need to sit down for the full check up; we can just give them information if they want.
“From the results we can make referrals, and we educate people to know what their blood pressure should be because no one knows your own level of health better than you do.”
Camille Rowston, Provisional Psychologist at Mission Australia, said the benefit of the Pit Stop program was that it travelled out to the community.
“One common reason men don’t get regular check-ups is due to lack of time to travel and attend appointments,” she said.

The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

New beauty therapy store for Condobolin

Beauty Therapist Jo Skinner and Masseuse Kellie Johnson are taking their love of beauty therapy from their homes to the main street of Condobolin with their brand new beauty store, ‘Sereno Beauty’.
Jo said both her and Kellie felt as though they could bring something new to the town by opening the store.
“I’ll be doing waxing, nail enhancements, manicures and pedicures, while Kellie will be providing massages using Gumtree Oils,” she said.
“No one else in town currently does nail enhancements, so I thought there was a real need for that.
“We will also stock Inika Makeup and Mizzle Baby Accessories.
“We really want to emphasize to all our customers that we’re up to date with all the latest fads and trends.”
Jo said the store located at 115 Bathurst Street, Condobolin would be opening on April 29, in time for Mother’s Day.
“We’ll be having Mother’s Day specials all day to coincide with the opening,” she said.
“Prue Kirk will also be there to showcase Coco Milly Jewellery from three to seven pm, and we’ll have drinks and nibbles to celebrate.
“Everyone is welcome to drop by and have a look; we encourage people to make appointments but feel free to just turn up as well.”
Gift vouchers are also available from the store for Mother’s Day.
If anyone has any questions or would like to make an appointment, call Jo on 0403647491 or Kellie on 0421377504.

New doctor for Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service

•Dr May El-Khoury and her daughter Stephanie.


By Jessica Symonds and Dominic Geiger

Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service will welcome a new doctor in the coming weeks, with Dr May El-Khoury set to start work on May 2.
Despite this good news, the move comes at a loss for the town of Trundle in neighbouring Parkes Shire, where Dr El-Khoury has been working at the Brookview Street Medical Surgery for almost five years.
Dr El-Khoury spent her final day at the Trundle surgery last Friday before setting off on a three week holiday.
She said the decision to move towns was based on a need to take a new path in her professional life.
“I’m looking for a change, for different challenges, as most professionals do during their career,” she said.
“I’m hoping that I can provide a good service to the community, and take care of people.
“I’m looking forward to working as part of the team in Condobolin and trying to make a difference for all those who come to the centre.”
Dr Rick Newton, who is currently based in Tullamore, will briefly attend the Trundle Surgery for one week beginning May 2.
Dr Newton said he was confident a new doctor would be found for the Trundle surgery, despite a lack of medical professionals in country areas.
“Trundle will be in strife for a while, but I’m going to do my best and we’ve got a few doctors who are interested in the position that I’m in contact with at the moment,” he said.
“They’ll have to jump through a few hoops before they can be approved but we’ll probably have a new doctor there in one or two months.
“I’m going to spend the first week of May at the Trundle surgery, and I’ll be increasing my hours in Tullamore after that to help with the increasing demand.
“Dr El-Khoury and I will both continue to service the Trundle aged care home over the coming months.”

You Can fight cancer with your old mobile phones


St Joseph’s School students are helping to trade old mobile phones for new cancer centres as part of the You Can cancer charity initiative.
The project is part of Sony Foundation Australia’s deal with an international recycling company to exchange old mobile phones for cash.
The money gained is then spent on building cancer centres across Australia.
So if you have any old mobile phones lying around the house and know someone connected to a St Joseph’s School student, feel free to pass them on.
Alternatively, drop by the school or Shortis and Timmins pharmacy where You Can charity bins are located.

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