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Pink ride for breast cancer

Riders from last year’s Pink Ribbon Ride Hundreds of motorcyclists will join in the 2014 Pink Ribbon Ride this Sunday to raise awareness and much-needed funds for people affected by breast cancer.
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The local chapter of riders will depart from the Ballarat Town Hall at 9am and head 100 kilometres down the highway to the Wyndham Civic Centre in Werribee, collecting donations as they go.

Organiser of the Ballarat leg of the Pink Ribbon Ride, Dale Alexander, has been involved in the event for the last five years.

He’ll be at the head of the hogs this Sunday sitting atop his trusty Triumph Thunderbird.

“It’s great to help out,” Mr Alexander said.

“My other half, she jumps on the back and looks after the donations – it gets pretty busy.”

Like many Australians, Mr Alexander and his family have been personally touched by cancer.

“My mother died of cancer, and my partner’s mother as well,” he said.

The Ballarat riders are hoping to raise at least $400.

Raffles, stunt riders and trade displays will be on at the Wyndham Civic Centre from 11am Sunday.

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The Illawarra Rose Society Rose Show

The Illawarra Rose Society Rose Show Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS
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Brenda Waters and Helen Curll at the Illawarra Rose Society Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Jan Stibbard, Robert Stibbard Berry Ryan and Keith Ryan at the Illawarra Rose Society Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

The Illawarra Rose Society members Judy Daggar and Val Sutton with 40 year life member of the Rose Society John East. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

The Illawarra Rose Society members Judy Daggar and Val Sutton with 40 year life member of the Rose Society John East. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

The Illawarra Rose Society members Judy Daggar and Val Sutton with 40 year life member of the Rose Society John East. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

The Illawarra Rose Society members Judy Daggar and Val Sutton with 40 year life member of the Rose Society John East. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

Rose enthusiasts from all over the Illawarra gathered at The Jamberoo School of Arts Hall today, to take part in the Illawarra Rose Society’s Rose Show. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

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Hostess with mostest set to lead show

STAR: Georgina Manning plays Sally Adams in CT Productions’ show Call Me Madam. Picture: JODIE DONNELLANCT PRODUCTIONS’ latest show Call Me Madam opens at The Capital theatre tomorrow.
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The show follow rich socialite Sally Adams who is appointed the ambassador to fictional country Lichtenburg.

Georgina Manning takes on the role of Sally “the hostess with the mostest”.

“I wasn’t very familiar with (the show) but after I bought the CD and listened to the songs I relealised I was much more familiar with the show than I thought,” Ms Manning said.

“It was a very popular musical in its day and helped launch Ethel Merman as an even bigger star.”

Ms Manning found her character was based on real life socialite-turned-ambassador Perle Mesta.

“President Truman appointed her as ambassador to Luxembourg,” she said.

“”The show is a fish out of water story because Sally knows nothing about being an ambassador.”

“We have had two months of rehearsals and it has been go, go, go.”

Ms Manning said she has previously had lead roles in musicals Les Miserables, Oliver, Carousel and Into the Woods.

CT Productions’ show Call Me Madam runs at The Capital theatre from Tuesday, October 28 to Saturday November 1.

For tickets contact The Capital on 5434 6100.

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Reform on tribute agenda as PM arrives tonight

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will arrive in Tenterfield later today to deliver a speech commemorating Sir Henry Parkes contribution to the political landscape and the state of 21st century Federation.
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be in Tenterfield later today to deliver a speech as part of the 125-year anniversary celebration of Sir Henry Parkes Federation call.

In a speech that will spark debate about how Australia’s systems of government work with each other, Mr Abbott speech foreshadows the breadth and scope of the coming Federation white paper.

Fairfax Media has obtained an advanced copy of the PM’s address which he’ll deliver at the Tenterfield School of Arts later this evening.

In a challenge to state premiers and chief ministers, he will say all levels of government face a “fundamental test” over the next year as part of the Federation white paper process.

The white paper on reform of the Federation touts the reduction and end, as far as possible, the waste, duplication and second guessing between different levels of government.

The Coalition government believes it will improve national productivity and create a more efficient and effective system throughout.

“Can a more rational and better managed system be devised – or is change more trouble than it’s worth?” Mr Abbott will say.

Parkes recognised the need for one national army and one national rail gauge when he delivered his call to arms 125-years-ago.

“The problem, now, is to create a more rational system of government for the nation that we undoubtedly have become,” Mr Abbott says.

The PM will deliver his own call to arms, imploring state premiers to participate in a grown-up debate about reforming the Federation, the funding of health systems and the tax system.

But he concedes, reform is not something that one person, one party or one Parliament can achieve.

“Asking ourselves what can be done better is at the heart of all progress.”

Health service, GST and “expenditure restraint” will also be talking points.

Descendants of Parkes along with Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and Member for Lismore Thomas George will also be in attendance at tonight’s commemoration.

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Mum thrilled from afar to see Steve O’Keefe make his Test debut

Jann O’Keefe is sitting in the living room of her daughter Rebekah’s home in Glenmore Park watching the cricket.
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She’s 12,000 kilometres away from her only son Steve, whose left-arm spin doesn’t appear to be troubling Pakistan’s batsmen in the searing heat of Dubai.

Less than 48 hours ago she received an email from her son, better known in cricketing circles as SOK, saying he was going to make his Test debut, nine years after he first pulled on a baggy blue for NSW.

The O’Keefe family has not had enough time to make their way across the world to support their boy. But with just one delivery, skied to Mitch Marsh at square leg, Ms O’Keefe can breathe a sigh of relief.

“It’s so exciting,” says Ms O’Keefe, a nurse by night and a former chauffeur to cricketing venues by day. “It seems rather surreal. It feels like it’s not happening. A lot of hard work has gone into that.”

When Dean Jones presented O’Keefe with baggy green number 439, his mother noticed the irony in the ceremony.

“Steve’s first bat we found in the shed and it was a Dean Jones Supreme bat,” Ms O’Keefe says. “He mucked around in the backyard with it. He also had a navy blue Victorian shirt as well with Jones’ name on it.

“I didn’t know much about cricket but I knew he loved Dean Jones.”

On Wednesday O’Keefe became the first Australian Test player born in Malaysia, a result of his father’s work for the Royal Australian Air Force.

O’Keefe moved to Victoria with his family in 1986 before moving again to Sydney to start school.

It was here Steve’s infatuation with cricket began. His tactical nous and adroitness with the willow or his medium pacers served him well in junior representative cricket for Hawkesbury.

At 15 he ditched the long run for finger spin because he “had the mind of a fast bowler and the body of a spinner”, according to an old coach.

O’Keefe oozed confidence in his teenage years, which Hawkesbury teammate and fellow one-Test player John Hastings vividly remembers.

“I was about 15 years old at Bensons Lane nets and I saw this kid with blond hair bowling left-arm spinners; he was pretty cocky and a confident lad and then we hit it off after that,” Hastings says. “Now we’re just a couple of Hawkesbury battlers doing our best, which is the way Steve puts it.”

O’Keefe was best man at Hastings’ wedding and they pair remained great friends since “The Duke” moved to Victoria in 2007.

The Hawkesbury trio was rounded out with current Queensland batsman Peter Forrest, who spent countless days with O’Keefe and Hastings carpooling to the SCG for state training while juggling PE teaching degrees at ACPE in Homebush.

“Both the boys now have got baggy greens, so I need to lift my game,” Forrest says, laughing. “I’m so happy for Steve though, he seems to be in a good place.

“The friendship’s still there between the three of us too.”

It was to the trio’s indomitable attitude to training Ms O’Keefe attributes her son’s success.

She knows it was all worth while, thinking back to the days she would sleep in her car at a cricket ground, having just done a graveyard shift at the hospital, so Steve could get the opportunity to give the six-stitcher a big rip.

“They were all competitive against one another,” Ms O’Keefe says.

“Because my husband was away, the onus was on me to do whatever I had to do to meet his commitments with his sport.

“I look back at it and think ‘How did I do that’?’

O’Keefe’s tweakers have returned 128 wickets at 24 from 41 first-class matches and his 41-wicket haul in the last Sheffield Shield season was justice for several years of being overlooked as the nation’s number two spin bowler.

Anthony Kershler, a former NSW orthodox spinner, captained O’Keefe when he made his first grade debut at 18. Kershler said he gave “Keefey” tutelage when he needed it, but his space at times too.

“He’s naturally an aggressive guy and it comes out in his cricket,” says Kershler. “He loved the contest. He never does anything by halves.

“We used to joke around saying you didn’t know which Steve O’Keefe was going to turn up. One week he’d be there in the change rooms reading a book on the Shaolin way with the Buddhist monks. You sort of didn’t know what to expect.”

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Professor resigns but corruption probe continues

The suspended Vice-Chancellor of Murdoch University has resigned but the CCC will continue its corruption probe.
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Professor Richard Higgott was suspended by the university last month amidst allegations of possible misconduct, which were referred to the Corruption and Crime Commission.

On Friday the university announced he had resigned and retired.

He was originally suspended following an internal investigation by Murdoch University and a unanimous vote by the university’s senate.

At the time Murdoch University Chancellor David Flanagan said in a statement that the decision to suspend Professor Higgott was regrettable but necessary.

“As a public authority Murdoch University has a very clear duty under the CCC Act to report any matters which is suspects concerns or may concernd misconduct, which we have done,” he said.

On Friday there was a different tone. Mr Flanagan said he had accepted Professor Higgot’s resignation and thanked him for the contribution he had made to the university, praising his vision and leadership.

“It is the right time for me to retire,” Professor Higgott said. “At 65 I have other activities I wish to pursue, including a large writing program.”

Until last week the CCC was considering the allegations against Professor Higgott but on Saturday a spokeswoman for the commission told WAtoday “the CCC has determined that it will commence an investigation into allegations recently notified to it by Murdoch University considering its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Higgott”.

Follow WAtoday on Twitter @WAtoday

 

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Stefan Kazakis: Communication systems key to managing a business

Let’s talk: Having effective communications systems within a business is vitally important. Let’s talk: Having effective communications systems within a business is vitally important.
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Let’s talk: Having effective communications systems within a business is vitally important.

Let’s talk: Having effective communications systems within a business is vitally important.

Having effective communications systems within a business is vitally important; it eliminates confusion and fosters a happy and healthy workplace. You and your team need to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with each other and your clients to ensure that you are delivering the service you promise.

You also need to have effective systems in place that allow you to communicate quickly and easily with your current and future clients. Making all communication relevant and frequent is the key in both instances.

Communication within your team

Consistent reflection, team meeting rhythm based on open and honest communication with a “Who’s doing What by When” outcome is the key. Always ask the following three questions:

1. What’s working?

2. What’s not working?

3. What are we doing about it?

Having staff that understand their roles and are well trained (and yes, team training is always a work in progress) and building a team-culture around tenacity and attitude of “whatever it takes” will ensure that as a business owners you are growing people on your team who are better than you. You are growing them for the long term. They are involved and included and as interested in the success of your business as you are. You can only achieve this by communicating with the team – you are leading and they are following.

Communicating with our clients

How do you stand out from the crowd in a very competitive market? Do you aim to satisfy your customers? Is this the key to your customer service approach? Is this the culture you are creating in your business? If you answered yes to these questions you might think you have your customer communication all sorted – but I’m sorry to tell you that you don’t. Just satisfying your customers is no longer enough. It’s an old-fashioned approach that says you give your customers exactly what they want and no more.

As you shape your business you must aim to serve your clients for the long term. It’s critical that you stay humble and grounded, and that you respect the clients who are giving you the opportunity to serve them. You must aim to develop relationships of mutual benefit by communicating with them, and this starts with providing them with a value proposition and then following through on it. They have chosen your business and their loyalty inclusive of their money based on what you have promised to deliver to them, so meeting these expectations must be the basis of your relationships with your customers.

Understanding what the lifetime value of your customer is will also improve your communication skills. As a reference, if every new customer invests $10,000 and on average they return to do business with you six times, then their lifetime value is $60,000. Now how are you going to communicate with your potential customer? Changes the mindset, doesn’t it?

Once you have made the sale the key is to make them advocates to create customer loyalty. This is when people will not leave you just because something is cheaper or fancier or newer elsewhere – they truly belong to you. You should be building this because it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. You need to keep your communication relevant and frequent. Getting results for your clients is about doing the right thing and getting beneficial feedback immediately. It’s about meeting – and then exceeding – their expectations. If you do this you will keep them for life – they won’t need to go anywhere else. You own the real estate in their mind for the service you provide.

Creating communication systems that will help you delight your customers and keep them coming back, otherwise known as “retention strategies”, are an important part of growing your business. Not having these systems in place means you have an “I’m going to keep finding new clients every week because I don’t look after my existing clients properly and soon I’m going to go broke” strategy. Think about how powerful word of mouth is. We all tell friends, family and business associates about our experiences with other businesses, good and bad. What will people be saying about your business?  How are you training your current “A” grade customers to be advocates for you and help you to build your benchmark business?

Stefan Kazakis is a business strategist, speaker and author of the book, From Deadwood to Diamonds. See stefankazakis南京夜网.

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Tasmanian Devil joeys welcomed at Taronga Western Plains ZooVideo, Photos

Tasmanian Devil joeys welcomed at Taronga Western Plains Zoo | Video, Photos AWESOME FOURSOME: Taronga Western Plains Zoo staff greet the new arrivals.
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WELCOME LITTLE BUDDY: One of the four Tasmanian Devils welcomed by Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

TweetFacebookSource: Daily Liberal

FOUR Tasmanian Devil joeys have been born during the 2014 breeding season at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The joeys, one male and three females, were born in March 2014 and are the first offspring for mother, Moretti.

“Moretti is a very protective mother and we are really pleased with how she is caring for and nurturing her offspring,” keeper Denyell Woodhouse said.

“Every birth in the Tasmanian Devil breeding program is important. The Devil Facial Tumour Disease is continuing to destroy wild populations, with up to a 90p per cent decline in some wild populations since the discovery of the disease in 1996.”

This recent birth brings the total number of Tasmanian Devils born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo to 22 since the program commenced in 2008.

“The joeys will stay with their mother until approximately 12 months of age, before they will be weaned and become independent,

“It is hoped that in the future these four joeys will play an important role in the breeding program once fully matured, continuing to create greater genetic diversity in the insurance population,” Denyell said.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is part of a national insurance population program designed to help save the Tasmanian Devil from becoming extinct as a result of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has two breeding facilities for the Tasmanian Devil located behind the scenes.

VIDEO: The Tasmanian Devil joeys make their first forays around their new home:

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Intercepted Australian pilots leave Indonesia

The Australian plane on the tarmac at t Manado’s Sam Ratulangi airport.Jakarta: Two Australian light-aircraft pilots forced to land by fighter jets because they were violating Indonesian air space have been allowed to fly on to their destination in the Philippines.
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Richard Wayne Maclean and Graeme Paul Jacklin flew out of Manado airport at about 10.15am local time (1.15pm AEDT) after receiving the necessary documentation and permission to fly.

“They took off about two minutes ago from Sam Ratulangi airport, continuing their flight to Cebu, Philippines,” said the head of Manado Airport Authority, Chairul Irsyad.

Two Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets commanded by the Indonesia airforce had scrambled on Wednesday afternoon to force the Beechcraft twin-prop plane to the ground after Maclean and Jacklin ignored calls to land.

Fighter jet pilot Major Wanda Suriansyah said that, during the incident he had “locked on” his weapons systems to the plane.

“If there had been a command to shoot, I would immediately have shot it down, but thank God the pilot was apparently scared and decided to land the plane in Manado,” Major Wanda said.

He said a number of requests to land had been made, but, “some Australians are stubborn so they ignored the request”.

The Australian pilots subsequently secured permission from the foreign affairs department, the airforce and the transportation ministry to continue their flight.

With Amilia Rosa

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Medibank a short-term shot

Good tidings: Christmas could be coming early for investors who participate in the sharemarket listing of Medibank Private.  
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Investors who participate in the sharemarket listing of Medibank Private could receive an early Christmas present.

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While nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the sharemarket, demand for shares in the company is such that there is a good chance of the share price rising after listing.

That is because institutional investors will have to buy more shares on the market to come up to market weight in the stock. Investors could be presented with an opportunity to sell unwanted shares at a profit.

The prospectus for the float shows an “indicative” price range for Medibank Private shares of between $1.55 and $2 a share. Regardless of the final price of the offer, retail investors will not pay more than $2 a share on the first $250,000.

As a government privatisation, the government will want to ensure that the float is successful as shareholders are voters. And that has been the experience of past privatisations such as CSL and Commonwealth Bank and also even for Telstra and Qantas, at least in the short and medium term. On Medibank Private’s longer-term prospects, analysts are not so convinced.

They say that at a float price of $2 a share, the shares would be on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 21 times.

That looks expensive when compared to other listed companies in the insurance sector such as Suncorp, IAG and AMP, which are on forward P/Es of between 13 and 15 times, says Evan Lucas, market strategist with IG. NIB Holdings, the only listed health insurer, is on a forward P/E of 18 times.

To justify the high P/E, Medibank Private would have to be successful in cutting costs, Lucas says. However, he also says the revenue and profit margin growth estimates given in the prospectus do “look conservative”.

On a float price of $2, the shares would have an implied cash dividend yield for the 2015 financial year of 4.2 per cent. The shares are expected to be fully franked, giving an implied gross yield after franking credits of 6 per cent, which is good, says Elio D’Amato, chief executive of shares researcher Lincoln Indicators.

However, it is not as good as the big banks and Telstra, whose shares, after the recent falls in share prices, can be bought on gross dividend yields of between 7.8 per cent and 8.9 per cent, he says.

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, says it could take Medibank Private some time to deliver the costs savings and the cultural transformation that the market expects. “I do struggle with the numbers and, I think, at $2, the stock is priced to perfection,” he says.

“If it gets a 50 per cent uplift in earnings that brings the P/E down from 21 times to 14 times, which is broadly in line [with the rest of the insurance market]”, McCarthy says.

“So there is a market expectation that there will be fast and efficient delivery of almost all of the improvements available in the business.”

Like the other analysts, McCarthy thinks the post-float share price performance is likely to be strong given the alignment of interests. “That usually plays out into a strong share price; at least initially,” he says.How do you get it?Retail investors can apply for shares from this Tuesday, October 28. The prospectus, which includes the application form, can be found at medibankprivateshareoffer南京夜网.au.The retail offer closes and applications are due by 11.59 pm (AEST) on November 14; though leave plenty of time before this date to apply.Final pricing and basis of allocation will be announced on November 25 when it will also be listed on a conditional and deferred settlement basis. Shares are expected to start trading on a normal settlement basis on December 5.

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