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The verdict: ‘Tonight the people came back to Labor’

10:14pm, Jason Gordon:That’s it from us tonight, folks. My thanks to Matt Carr who has already retired to a pub somewhere, and also to our online editor Paulina Vidal for providing the technical expertise I sadly lack. We’ll be back on the job on Sundayso keep an eye on theherald南京夜网.aufor updates throughout the day. Of course, the Newcastle Herald’s Monday edition will also provide a complete wrap-up in print. Thanks again for being with us.
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Here’s my byelection wrap.


10:08pm, Jason Gordon:And here are the primary votes in Newcastle as at 10pm:

– Tim Crakanthorp (Labor): 14,359

– Karen Howard (Ind): 10,472

– Michael Osborne (Greens): 7932

– Jacqueline Haines (Ind): 2823

– Jennifer Stefanac (Ind): 1269

– Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance): 1037

– Milton Caine (Christian Democrats): 769

– Brian Clare (Ind): 704

10:06pm, Jason Gordon:Here’s a quick 10pm update on the primary votes in Charlestown.

– Jodie Harrison (Labor): 18,351

– Jane Oakley (Greens): 5349

– Luke Arms (Ind): 4591

– Suellen Wrightson (Ind): 2362

– Veronica Hope (Ind): 1984

– Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats): 1654

– Luke Cubis (Ind): 1306

– Marc Sky (Ind): 982

– Arjay Martin (Ind): 566

9.54pm:Independent Karen Howard shows her fighting spirit.

Karen Howard and her supporters. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

9:45pm, Jason Gordon:And here’s an update on Newcastleprimary votes as at 9.30pm.

– Tim Crakanthorp (Labor): 11,831

– Karen Howard (Ind): 8263

– Michael Osborne (Greens): 6460

– Jacqueline Haines (Ind): 2314

– Jennifer Stefanac (Ind): 1018

– Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance): 892

– Milton Caine (Christian Democrats): 628

– Brian Clare (Ind): 512

9:35pm, Jason Gordon:Here’s a quickupdate on the primary votes in Charlestown.

– Jodie Harrison (Labor): 15,036

– Jane Oakley (Greens): 4502

– Luke Arms (Ind): 3589

– Suellen Wrightson (Ind): 2082

– Veronica Hope (Ind): 1636

– Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats): 1335

– Luke Cubis (Ind): 1105

– Marc Sky (Ind): 746

– Arjay Martin (Ind): 463

9:25pm,Matt Carr: An overjoyedJodi McKay.

@MattCarrNH @MayorJodieH one of the best individual seat results for Labor since 2007.

— Jodi McKay (@mckay_jodi) October 25, 20148pm, Jason Gordon:Gotta say that Tim Crakanthorp is entitled to be breathing easier. He might be marginally ahead of Karen Howard at the moment but he can expect some big numbers to start coming in from the Carrington and Stockton booths. Not sure he’ll be buying me a beer any time soon, but it might be time down one himself.

7:55pm, Jason Gordon:Not sure that Clive Palmer would be doing cartwheels at the moment. His prediction that his two “independent”candidates would “make the national news” on Saturday is falling well short of the mark.

Suellen Wrightson at Charlestown Public School with the Reverend Fred Nile. Picture: Simone De Peak

The PUP-backed Suellen Wrightson is pulling only 3% of the vote in Charlestown while Jennifer Stefanac is polling about 6% in Newcastle. Failing to register the party in time is having a massive impact – no party branding next to the candidate’s name on the ballot paper equals epic fail, methinks.

7:49pm. Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -Floraville and Whitebridge High numbers are in for Charlestown. Labor’s Jodie Harrison adds 475 of a total 1120 votes at Whitebridge. At Floraville Public, she’s taken 213 votes of a total 440 formal votes counted. She substantially leads all other candidates on both booths.

7:46pm, Jason Gordon:And here’s the state of play in Charlestown.

– Jodie Harrison (Labor): 2815

– Jane Oakley (Greens): 727

– Luke Arms (Ind): 600

– Suellen Wrightson (Ind): 305

– Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats): 230

– Luke Cubis (Ind): 215

– Veronica Hope (Ind): 204

– Marc Sky (Ind): 145

– Arjay Martin (Ind): 96

7:43pm, Matt Carr:Numbers coming in thick and fast from Charlestown. With Warners Bay Public School and Wirripang Public School added, Jodie Harrison has added more than 1500 extra votes to her tally. Green Jane Oakley picked up 332 from the same booths, while there were 281 informal votes. Independent Luke Arms has added 394 to his tally, Marc Sky drew 57 more and Suellen Wrightson attracted 148 more. Luke Cubis has 136 more while Arjay Martin adds 38. Veronica Hope adds 81 and Brian Tucker adds 128.

7:40pm, Jason Gordon:OK, here’s the state of play at in Newcastle.

– Karen Howard (Ind): 1334

– Tim Crakanthorp (Labor): 1286

– Michael Osborne (Greens): 664

– Jacqueline Haines (Ind): 298

– Jennifer Stefanac (Ind): 101

– Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance): 81

– Milton Caine (Christian Democrats): 69

– Brian Clare (Ind): 55

7:37pm, Matt Carr: NUMBERS IN -CharlestownCardiff Public School votes – 414 for Jodie Harrison, 76 for independent Luke Arms, 67 for Greens’ Jane Oakley and 50 for PUP-backed indepdendent Suellen Wrightson. Marc Sky and Arjay Martin add 11 apiece while Brian Tucker and Veronica Hope notch an extra 30 votes each. 67 informals.

7:35pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -Mayfield Presbyterian counting has commenced – 376 for Tim Crakanthorp,152 votes for Green Michael Osborne, 128 votes for Karen Howard, 52 for Jacqueline Haines, 36 for Jennifer Stefanac, 23 for Steve O’Brien, 21 for Milton Caine and 9 for Brian Buckley Clare. 58 informals.

Those numbers would be welcome in the Labor camp.

Tim Crakanthorp with his daughter earlier today. Picture: Brock Perks

7:30pm, Matt Carr:To recapCharlestown so far: After two booths: Jodie Harrison leads with 37.89% of the votes from two booths counted so far. Greens candidate Jane Oakley is behind her with 24.44% of the counted vote while Luke Arms (9.38%), Veronica Hope (8.59%), Marc Sky (3.52%), PUP-backed independent Suellen Wrightson (4.30%) Luke Cubis (6.25%), Arjay Martin (2.73%) and Christian Democrat Brian Tucker (3.91%) follow. There are 18 informal votes, making up 6.57% of what’s been counted so far.

7:29pm, Jason Gordon:Important to remember here that the two booths so far counted in Newcastle have traditionally been strong Liberal booths. With no Liberal standing, that vote is transferring predictably to high-profile businesswoman Karen Howard. Interesting contest, though.

We might have a race here. We can expect strong numbers for Tim Crakanthorp out of the Mayfield, Carrington and Stockton booths, while the Greens’ Michael Osborne traditionally polls strongly in the Islington, Tighes Hill and Newcastle East booths.

7:27pm, Matt Carr:To recap Newcastle so far: After two booths, Karen Howard has 39% of the counted vote. Tim Crakanthorp (ALP) has 29.43%, Michael Osborne (Greens) 16.59%, Jacqueline Haines7.96%. Milton Caine1.55%, Brian Buckley Clare1.49% and Social Alliance candidate Steve O’Brien1.88%.

5.33% of the Newcastle votes so far were informal.

7:20pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -More numbers from Newcastle, this time from Merewether booths. Karen Howard’s strong early numbers continue, with 442 votes of 1065 formal votes at that booth going her way. Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp picks up another 224 votes, Michael Osborne receives 184 and Jacqueline Haines adds 108 to her tally. Jennifer Stefanac receives 41, Milton Caine and Brian Buckley Clare both take 17 votes and Social Alliance’s Steve O’Brien receives 12. There were 72 informals.

7:18pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -Of that first batch of Newcastle votes, there were 102 informals out of 2129 total ballots cast. It will be interesting to watch that number tonight – given the open apathy on display, you have to wonder how many voters didn’t want to have a say.

7:14pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN-First numbers through from Newcastle. With 2129 votes from Hamilton South Public School counted, Karen Howard is in the lead (764 votes). Tim Crakanthorp (666 votes), and Green Michael Osborne is in third (329). Independent Jacqueline Haines has 138 votes, Christian Democrat Milton Caine has 31, Brian Buckley Clare polled 29, PUP-backed Jennifer Stefanac has 24 so far and Social Aliance Steve O’Brien has 46.

Karen Howard takes an early lead. Picture: Simone De Peak

It’s early days but Karen Howard has made a strong showing there

7:04pm, Matt Carr:Former Newcastle MP Jodi McKay is reading the blog. Reading it closely enough she’s asked us to clarify some of the details mentioned by our readers around the 2011 count:

@MattCarrNH how do I participate in your blog? For the record I did not receive Green preferences in 2011. Green preferences exhausted.

— Jodi McKay (@mckay_jodi) October 25, 2014Herald earlier today.

Good to see politics doesn’t hurt the Hunter’s sweet tooth.

6:43pm,Matt Carr:Reader ‘Perspective’, of meat tray/vegetarian comment fame, has formed a nice double act with Phil. They’re stretching that metaphor out a bit further, but I’m a sucker for a pun.

Phil: Yeah, and you don’t even get brains with this meat tray!

Perspective:I’ve had an overwhelming desire to kick a side of rump.

6:38pm, Jason Gordon: NUMBERS IN -And we’re off. First votes are in from Hamilton South Public School in the Charlestown electorate. The first 67 votes are counted! Labor’s Jodie Harrison has 27 of them, with Green Jane Oakley getting 11.

Jodie Harrison casting her vote earlier today. She has 27 votes as of 6:27pm. Picture: Simone De Peak

6:35pm, Jason Gordon:Getting bombarded by people complaining about the Labor polling booth volunteers. There were many of them, most sources say, arriving by bus from Sydney. Some had trouble pronouncing Crakanthorp, apparently, and knew little about the local issues. One was heard spruiking about Labor’s support for the rail line truncation. Hope Tim doesn’t find out! Also hearing there was a bit of heat at some booths over misleading signs about preferences. Labor volunteers clashing with Green and Indy volunteers. Know more?

6:30pm, Matt Carr:Hearing some scuttlebutt about volunteers not getting along out there in the high-stakes world of handing out how-to-votes. Hot day, hot tempers? Personally, I thought everyone was getting along famously. Did you spot anything different?

6:25pm, Jason Gordon:Some more news from the bunker. I understand that more than 6500 pre-poll votes were made in the Newcastle electorate alone. In 2011, there were only 2543. Given that those votes might not be counted until early next week, we’re in for an interesting ride. If tonight’s numbers are reasonably close, there is no way anyone’s going to call a win with so many votes to be counted next week. There are about 47,000 voters in the Newcastle electorate, so that means almost 14% of voters pre-polled during the week and were able to spend today at the beach.

6:20pm, Matt Carr: Sean Nicholls, State political editor for the SMH,says that the money may be on Labor to win in the Hunter, but the real ones to watch are Palmer United. Read more here.

6:15pm, Matt Carr:For byelection buffs (come on, there’s at least a few of you) and the superstitious, there’s already been two byelections in Australia this month. For what it’s worth, Labor won the byelection in the Northern Territory seat of Casuarina while the Liberals took WA’s Vasse.

6:10pm, Jason Gordon:Reader’ALP Needs Better Candidates’ has pointed out that Jodi McKay was boosted by Greens preferences in 2011 and that none of the major candidates are directing preferences today. Personally, I think voters are much better educated these days. Those who do direct their preferences do it how they want to, and rarely rely on a candidate’s direction. I agree, though, most people will have simply ‘voted 1’ today, but the Greens voters will still have preferenced Labor ahead of the Christian Democrats, Labor voters will have preferenced the Greens ahead of Karen Howard and so on.

6:05pm, Matt Carr:Right, booths are shut. There’s really not much more you can do. Hopefully we’ll have some numbers for you soon. Count, scrutineers, count!

Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

6pm, Matt Carr:Here’s an interesting tidbit: tonight’s election will be a two-party preferred between Labor and the Greens since the Liberals were no-shows. That’s the first time that’s ever happened in the Hunter.

My guess is Mike Baird’s not stoked that’s happening under his watch, but these things happen I suppose.

5:55pm,Jason Gordon:Getting a bit of mail from inside the Labor bunker. A few now predicting “a very underwhelming win” for Crakanthorp. We shall wait and see. First results should start rolling out about 6.30pm.

5:50pm, Matt Carr:Let us know in the comments – if Mike Baird hadn’t decided to “atone” and the Liberal party had run some candidates, how do you think they would have fared?

5.45pm, Jason Gordon:Someone called ‘ALP needs better candidates’ has asked if Tim Crakanthorp will get the 15% swing predicted by the Sydney media. I think Labor will be hoping for more than that given the absence of a Liberal candidate. Jodi McKay only pulled 30.6% of the primary for Labor in 2011, finishing with 47.4% of the two-party count. I think Crackers will get that and more. If he doesn’t, he’s in trouble.

5:40pm, Matt Carr:Speaking of Twitter, Charlestown independent Arjay Martin has used the social media site to air some significant allegations about today’s campaign on the social media site …

Official complaint lodged against Labor Worker intimidation of my wife and child at Charlestown Public School

— Arjay Martin (@VoteArjay) October 25, 20145:27pm, Jason Gordon:Just wondering how John Robertson might be feeling about now. There has been plenty of speculation in recent weeks about his future as Labor leader, so a big win in Newcastle and Charlestown is needed to quieten the wolves. Despite no Liberals in sight, I’m thinking Michael Osborne and Karen Howard are going to have him and Tim Crakanthorp looking over their shoulders.

5:19pm, Jason Gordon:Interesting to note the Sydney press reporting that Labor had moved 600 volunteers into Newcastle today via buses from Sydney. Really? There were only 20-odd polling places in each electorate. Sounds a bit rich to me. Anyone know more?

5:14pm, Matt Carr: Herald web commenter Perspective has just taken the lollies for my favourite description of the general malaise on the ground, responding to several voters who told us they considered today’s poll a waste of time.

“I share their frustration. I feel like a vegetarian, with a winning ticket in a meat raffle.”

5:10pm, Jason Gordon:”Look into my eyes,” Reverend Nile said about his impending stoush with John Robertson. “Do you see any fear? Fear and I have only one thing in common, and that’s merely letters in our name.”

Fred Nile and John Robertson.

5:05pm, Matt Carr:Evening everyone. I’m nursing a bit of sunburn from running around some booths this morning, but that’s the price of a good bacon and egg roll.

For the record, the best one I found was at Hamilton South Public School.

The most striking thing at the booths today was an almost complete lack of interest from plenty of voters. While there were a few keen to vote for their chosen candidate, plenty of others would have preferred to get an extra 20 minutes in at the beach.

Matt Carr.

Considering the mercury was sitting up around 35 degrees for most of the day, it was hard to blame them.

As much as everyone seems to consider these two contests as a bit of a dead rubber, it could have big influence given the winner will roll into the March state-wide poll (you know, the one we were always supposed to have) as the incumbent.

So, who are we tipping?

5:01pm, Jason Gordon:Good evening all. Not sure about you, but Reverend Fred Nile has left me bitterly disappointed. Yesterday he said he was going to get the gloves off, “look fear in the eye” and bail up opposition leader John Robertson at a Charlestown polling booth. And what happened? Nothing but a polite handshake outside Hamilton South Public School. Pfft! Feeling robbed.

Jason Gordon.

Anyway, beaut day for it! Going to be an interesting few hours ahead. Looking forward to seeing how things pan out in Newcastle.

5pm: Hello and welcome to The Herald’s byelections coverage.Stay with us -local political reporter,Jason Gordon, and online reporter,Matt Carr,as we provide you with updates andnews. The count isscheduled to start from 6.30pm,and hopefully we can bring youa result tonight.

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Chisholm hits health issues for six

Chisholm hits health issues for six Tim Chisholm with his wife Ange and their three children Erin, Eliza and Angus. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
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Tim Chisholm has a hit of backyard cricket with his son Angus. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Tim Chisholm with his wife Ange and their three children Erin, Eliza and Angus. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Tim Chisholm back in action last Saturday. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ange and Tim after his big innings. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

TweetFacebook Tim Chisholm’s brave fightSource: Bendigo Advertiser

TIM Chisholm’s two great loves are his family and cricket.

They helped save his life – twice.

The 48-year-old from Maiden Gully cheated death twice in the past four years.

In his darkest days when Chisholm spent months at a time in hospital, his inspiration to get healthy was his wife Ange and three children Erin, Eliza and Angus.

His other goal – to return to the cricket field.

Last Saturday at Albert Roy Reserve in Eaglehawk, Chisholm made an emotional return to action for his beloved Maiden Gully Cricket Club in an Emu Valley Cricket Association division three game.

This time 12 months ago, Chisholm playing cricket again was a longshot.

Four years ago Chisholm was diagnosed with an aggressive throat cancer.

A non-drinker and non-smoker, Chisholm’s illness came out of the blue.

“I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Melbourne for the best part of a year,” Chisholm recalled this week.

“I was away from family, apart from my wife who was with me some of the time. It was very tough.

“I was lucky. The treatment worked and I beat the throat cancer.”

The throat cancer came on the back of Chisholm being diagnosed with incurable liver disease in 2006.

Twelve months after beating cancer, Chisholm was back in Melbourne at the Austin Hospital.

“My liver had taken a turn for the worse and the doctors told me that within two years I would need a liver transplant,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm’s liver and general health was deteriorating fast and in September last year he was put on the liver transplant waiting list.

“My body was wasting away and I started to regularly get infections,” he said.

“There were days when I’d be at work at 9am and be in hospital by 3pm.

“I’d start to feel unwell and I was in hospital for three days to three weeks depending on how bad the infection was.

“The infections just came out of the blue.”

Being on the waiting list doesn’t guarantee you a new liver – something Chisholm was to find out three times.

“You just never know when the hospital is going to call and you basically have to drop everything and get to Melbourne,” Chisholm said.

“Three times I received phone calls telling me to get to Melbourne because a liver was available. All three times, for whatever reason, we went to Melbourne only to be told it wouldn’t work.”

One of those three trips was on Christmas Day last year.

“That was the hardest one to take,” Chisholm said.

“We were in St Arnaud visiting family when we got the call at 4.45am.

“We had to leave the kids and race down to Melbourne. We waited around all day, but it didn’t work out. That was very tough to be away from the kids for Christmas Day.”

After two more “dummy runs” in January and March, Chisholm’s luck turned on April 4 this year.

“We had just walked in the door from my son’s basketball grand final when we received a call from the hospital,” he said.

“This time I was lucky enough to receive a donor and I had the operation.”

Thankfully for Chisholm and his family, the operation was a success.

“The doctors believed my liver may have lasted another 12 months, but the issue was the infections and the complications that went with it,’’ Chisholm said.

“The longer it went the more severe the infections became and that was the thing that could have finished it for me.

“My liver looked like a Sherrin… it weighed over 3kg. I was very lucky that I got the operation when I did.”

Chisholm also knows how lucky he was to have supportive family and friends.

He said he wouldn’t have got through his ordeal without his wife, Ange.

“Ange held everything together, she is an amazing woman,’’ Chisholm said.

“I couldn’t work for eight months. She worked, looked after the kids and me.

“The kids were fantastic. They stayed at seven different houses over the journey.”

Ange said she was “blown away” by the support of family, friends and the wider community.

“It’s incredible how Bendigo people come together when you need help,’’ Ange said.

“We had people we didn’t even know cooking us food and dropping it off at the house.

“My work, Tim’s work, the kids schools – we just had that much support.

“You become someone that you never thought you’d be capable of being.

“Everything gets put into perspective. The little things that you used to worry about mean nothing now.”

Cricket has always played a major role in Chisholm’s life.

His passion for the game has helped him in his recovery from the liver transplant operation.

“You have to havesomething to aim for and something to look forward to,’’ Chisholm said of his goal of playing cricket again.

“I couldn’t crawl under a rock. I had to have something to strive for. I had to show something to my kids.

“I wanted to get fit and work hard and I’ve managed put on 11kg since the operation.”

Chisholm batted at number three last Saturday, hitting seven fours in a brisk innings of 34.

“To walk out on the ground with my mates at Maiden Gully was amazing,’’ he said.

“I was lucky enough to make a few and the boys had a win, you can’t ask for more than that.

“I pulled up a bit sore, but just to be back playing and having family and friends watching was pretty special.”

Ange said it was an emotional day for the family.

“This time last year we would have given anything to see him out on the cricket field again, but to be honest we just didn’t know if it would ever happen again,’’ she said.

“It was pretty special to see him out there again.

“You just don’t realise how important things like watching Tim play cricket are until they are nearly taken away from you.”

Prior to his operation, Chisholm linked with Transplant Cricket Australia’sLucky Stars team – a group that uses cricket to promote awareness and education around organ and tissue donation.

“That group has been amazing for me,” Chisholm said.

“Meeting and playing cricket with other people who have been through transplants helped me prepare for my operation and then helped with my recovery.”

Chisholm is also giving something back by returning to the Austin Hospital to talk to patients who are on the waiting list for liver transplants.

Next week he’ll join the Lucky Stars for two cricket games – one in Wollongong on October 30 and on Melbourne Cup eve he’ll play under lights on the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Now that he is back in action, Chisholm has his heart set on fulfilling another cricketing dream – playing in the same side as his son, Angus.

“Angus is 11 and he is a bigger cricket tragic than me, he loves the game,’’ Chisholm said.

“The plan is that when he gets a bit bigger and stronger we can play together for Maiden Gully.That would be special.”

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Man assaulted and robbed at hotel

About 12:40am, Saturday 25 October 2014, a 24-year-old man was in the toilets of the hotel on Brisbane Street when a man entered and spoke to him.
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The pair became involved in an argument and the man was punched to the side of the face and fell on the floor.

He got back up and walked to the sink when he was pushed and struck on the head with a schooner glass.

The man once again fell over and had his wallet stolen before his attacker left the hotel.

Police were called to the hotel and drove the man to Dubbo Base Hospital where he received stitches to a large cut to his scalp.

A crime scene was established at the hotel and examined by forensic officers.

Detectives are continuing their investigations into the assault and are looking for a man described as being aged in his 20s and wearing a white/grey t-shirt, blue jeans and tan-coloured shoes.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:https://nsw.crimestoppers南京夜网.au/Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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U9 BasketballPHOTOS

U9 Basketball | PHOTOS Tyree Cox comes down the court.
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Reiley Kohler passes in from the sideline.

Jaxon Blinman tries to stop Adrian Williams.

Reiley Kohler grabs the ball.

Adrian Williams waits for someone to pass to.

Brandon Pavletich dribbles down the court.

Jaxon Blinman shoots a goal.

Raiden Schmidt runs down court with his team at hand.

Raiden Schmidt looks for a pass.

Caden Pillion dodges his opponents.

Caden Pillion brings the ball to the goal end.

Isaiah Beattie bounces the ball.

Nate Harris runs down the court.

Brandon Pavletich has a free pass.

Nate Harris get surrounded by his opponents.

Caden Pillion runs toward the goal.

Jaxon Blinman and Braden Pavletich come down the court.

Nate Harris shoots a goal.

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Simon Pegg leaves Shaun for dead as he joins Hector’s search for happiness

Place of mystery: Simon Pegg in China. Dark continent? Pegg’s character sees the world through a child’s eyes.
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Family man: Pegg with Toni Collette and children in Hector and the Search for Happiness.

Quick knock: Simon Pegg wields his cricket bat in Shaun of the Dead.

More on Hector and the Search for HappinessMovie session timesFull movies coverage

Simon Pegg is on a roll. Suddenly, interviews have a whole new appeal for him. For the first time, he says, “I’ve actually had something to talk about, rather than telling a story about a funny thing that happened on set”.

Pegg has been discussing the philosophical ideas of his latest film, Hector and the Search for Happiness, as well as launching the occasional defence against those he feels have missed the point of it all.

The film is the story of a psychiatrist (played by Pegg) who suddenly quits his practice and his long-term partner to go on a round-the-world quest for meaning. The comedy might light-heartedly show Hector jotting down dictums about what he has learned, but it also contains what Pegg regards as serious reflections about the nature of happiness, which he says has really come into focus for him.

He didn’t have any blinding revelations as a result of making the movie, he is quick to add, “but it certainly helped me to understand things”.

“One of the most important, for me, was the whole thing of happiness as a process, not as an end. You can’t be happy every day, it’s impossible, because otherwise you’d be in a state of a kind of consistent numbness; you would have nothing to compare it to.”

But happiness, he says, warming to the theme, “also helps you to understand being unhappy, in a way. If you understand what happiness is, it helps you understand every single emotion you have, as part of a larger process”.

For Pegg, the film starts to take off when Hector dons his traveller’s clothes. “It’s the moment of unlocking his inner Tintin.” (Pegg, as it happens, has a cinematic connection to Tintin. He and his friend and regular collaborator Nick Frost were the voices of the bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in The Adventures Of Tintin, Steven Spielberg’s motion-capture epic.)

“He goes from being this buttoned-up adult to this kind of guileless adventurer,” he continues.

“The movie is about tonal shifts … when you go from joy to sadness in a breath. That’s what the emotional spectrum is all about, and you have to know every single colour in order to truly know what happiness is.

“For me, the most important of the dictums that Hector writes down is the one that says ‘avoiding unhappiness is not the way to happiness’. That strikes the loudest chord for me.”

Hector, based on a bestselling novel by French author Francois Lelord, is directed and co-written by Peter Chelsom. The cast also includes Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgard and Jean Reno. Rosamund Pike, in cinemas now in David Fincher’s dark thriller Gone Girl, plays Hector’s girlfriend, Clara, with whom he had settled for a relationship of comfort, stasis and a degree of monotony.

Pegg and Pike have worked together before, in The World’s End, the third instalment of the famed “Cornetto Trilogy” created by Pegg, Frost and director Edgar Wright, which made its debut with the heartfelt zombie comedy Shaun Of The Dead. After Pegg and Pike became friends on set, Pegg created the Twitter hashtag RosWatch. With her permission, he posts pictures he’s taken of her each time they meet. It began with a shot of her asleep on the floor during reshoots of The World’s End.

Pegg says he made the most of the travel in Hector And The Search For Happiness – Europe, Asia, Africa, the US – but found it difficult to be separated from his wife and young daughter for weeks at a time. “But to get to see places I wouldn’t ordinarily see – and also parts of those places you would never see as a tourist, particularly in South Africa – was absolutely fantastic.

“I’d watched that country from afar as a young activist, a 16-year-old wearing my anti-apartheid badge and refusing to eat grapes for 24 hours or whatever, but to actually go there and see it up close … was amazing, and educational and very, very moving.”

Some film reviewers have taken issue with the way Hector’s overseas destinations have been characterised. For Pegg, in the world of the movie, “China becomes a place that is mysterious and tempting, and Africa is the dark continent of old … It’s how those places would be described in a children’s book. I read a couple of reviews that totally didn’t get that, that said, ‘that’s just racist’. For me that was quite a bone-headed reduction [of] what the film is about.”

The point, Pegg insists, is that the uptight Hector is “a terminal adult who has lost his childhood self”, and so the story is told from a child’s point of view. “The idea is that there is value in retaining your innocence a little bit because it helps you access your emotions as an adult.”

Pegg made his first foray into Hollywood moviemaking in 2006, playing tech whiz Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible III. He was Scotty in J.J. Abrams’ new take on Star Trek; the voice of Reepicheep the mouse in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and of Buck the one-eyed weasel in Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs. His recent movie-making travels have included a journey to Western Australia to appear in Kill Me Three Times for Red Dog’s director, Kriv Stenders. “It was a really fun experience: a crime caper that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Pegg says.

His next couple of projects are closer to home. When we spoke, he was just about to start Mission: Impossible 5, and after that, Star Trek 3.

Pegg suggested around the release of The World’s End last year that he and Frost might “take a break” from their working relationship and “maybe we’ll do a bunch of stuff apart, to change the way we’re regarded”. But he confirms now that the Cornetto trio have more in store.

“I am going to be blockbusting for the next seven or eight months, and then more stuff with Edgar and Nick,” he says. “There are things that I am developing as a producer and writer, and possibly director. I’m busy for the next year and a half, and after that we’ll just wait and see.” The search for happiness: five films to get you started

Happy-Go-Lucky Never has the downside of good cheer been more evident than in Mike Leigh’s tale of a primary school teacher (Sally Hawkins) whose sheer, almost impossible, optimism makes those around her cranky and irritable.

Chronicle Of A Summer “Are you happy?” is the question posed to ordinary Parisians in this 1960 documentary by Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch, and from this question flow so many others –  about politics, work, money, repression, inner life, the past and the present.

Eat Pray Love Julia Roberts stars in Ryan Murphy’s fictional version of a bestselling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert about a woman’s search for equanimity in Italy, India and Bali.

Happiness French documentary maker Thomas Balmes explores what happens in the tiny kingdom of Bhutan – where a “gross national happiness” index is calculated – when a decision is made to bring TV to the country.

Groundhog Day Harold Ramis’s movie is full of many pleasures and many subjects: one of them is happiness, and how to find it without looking for it. Bill Murray’s cantankerous weatherman learns many things when his life is turned into a loop of daily repetition.

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Port Augusta Volleyball OpenPHOTOS

​Check out our photos from the Port Augusta Volleyball Open held at the weekend.
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Port Augusta Volleyball Open | PHOTOS Port Augusta Heat: (from back left) Tanya Simes, Sam Kondraciuk, Jacqui Dunlop, Shaleeni Jayamani, Cheryl Jameson, (front from left) Emma Grantham, Jess Maule and Chloe Grantham.

Tanya Simes starts the game.

Cheryl Jameson hits the ball over the net.

Sam Kondraciuk serves the ball.

Jacqui Dunlop reaches for the ball.

Jess Maule dives to hit the ball.

Emma Grantham hits the ball over her head.

Cheryl Jameson jumps to spike.

Jacqui Dunlop and Emma Grantham try to block the ball.

Shaleeni Jayamani and Jacqui Dunlop tap the ball back over the net.

Jacqui Dunlop mid serve.

Jess Maule hits the ball over the net.

Cheryl Jameson digs the ball away from the boundary.

Emma Grantham flicks the ball back over the net.

Chloe Grantham throws the ball to serve.

Cheryl Jameson hits the ball up.

Jacqui Dunlop hits towards the net.

Jess Maule focuses on the serve.

Chloe Grantham hits the ball backwards.

Sam Kondraciuk gets ready to hit the ball.

Roxby Docons: (from back left) Simon Parker, Nick Backhouse, Joc Van Neuenburg, Roger I’Anson, Scott Phillips, (front from left) Shaun King, Lachlan Begley and Chris Deugarde.

Port Augusta Heat: (from back left) Paul Buono, Brad Leahy, Neil Heneker, Ben Cattach, (front from left) Peter Mitchell, Brendan Godfrey and Wade Stephens.

Ben Cattanach serves to start.

Wade Stephens throws the ball up.

Paul Buono positions himself to set the ball.

Ben Cattanach jumps to block.

Wade Stephens gets ready at the net.

Paul Buono taps the ball back over to Shaun King.

Ben Cattanach digs the ball upwards.

Joc Van Neuenburg goes to hit the ball.

Scott Phillips hits the ball over the net.

Joc Van Neuenburg serves the ball.

Paul Buono serves strongly.

Simon Parker jumps for the ball.

Joc Van Neuenburg hits the ball up.

Scott Phillips hits the ball for Joc Van Neuenburg to spike.

Roger I’Anson prepares his serve.

Wade Stephens digs the ball up over the net.

Paul Buono and Joc Van Beuenburg compete at the net.

Wade Stephends hits at the net as Lachlan Begley and Joc Van Neuenburg defend.

Lachlan Begley serves the ball over the net.

Joc Van Neuenburg and Brad Leahy battle at the net.

Roxby Downs: (from back left) Kasia Culhane, Claire Munyard, Brooke Essex, Beth Moyses, (front from left) Nicole Gregory, Jenny Barnes and Melissa Wong.

Melissa Wong goes to ground for the ball.

Beth Moyses prepares to hit the ball.

Melissa Wong sets the ball for Brooke Essex.

Brooke Essex goes to spike the ball.

Beth Moyses leaps to set her shot.

Melissa Wong hits the ball up.

Brooke Essex taps the ball over the net.

Beth Moyses prepares to defend a block from Sam Kondraciuk and Chloe Grantham.

Jenny Barnes digs the ball up.

Beth Moyses jumps for the ball.

Nicole Gregory sets the ball towards the net.

Beth Moyses focussing on her serve.

Claire Munyard positions herself under the ball.

Nicole Gregory misses a block shot.

Jenny Barnes prepares to hit as her team mates watch her shot.

Melissa Wong flicks the ball up.

Beth Moyses jumps to spike.

Nicole Gregory hits the ball back over the net.

Beth Moyses tries to get the ball over the net.

Jenny Barnes gets ready for a spike shot.

Kasia Culhane hits the ball back down the court.

Claire Munyard and Beth Moyses almost collide trying to hit the ball.

Lachlan Begley spikes the ball. Photo Credit: Robert Woodland.

Nick Backhouse reaches for the ball. Photo Credit: Robert Woodland.

Jess Maule jumps to spike. Photo Credit: Robert Woodland.

Shaleeni Jayamani prepares to dig the ball back towards the net. Photo Credit: Robert Woodland.

Simon Parker misses a block. Photo Credit: Robert Woodland.

Nick Backhouse throws the ball to serve. Photo Credit: Robert Woodland.

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Civic Hall collaboration attracts hundreds

HUNDREDS of Ballarat residents gathered outside Civic Hall today for the official announcement of the Open Door Studio – a collaborative design space that will allow residents to propose future plans for the site.
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The Civic Hall has been a contentious issue for the city for many years – thousands of residents protested it’s demolition but nobody has been able to come up with a clear plan for redesign or restoration.

Now, the Open Design Studio is aiming to take these community concepts and decide on three main designs to bring before city council within the next 12 months.

City of Ballarat Mayor John Philips opened the hall doors with a little help from primary school pupil Leela Sweet, 7, who won the keys to the hall after entering “on behalf of the children of Ballarat”.

Cr Philips was pleased to be giving the planning power to Ballarat residents, and looked forward to the response.

“There are so many ideas out there,” he said.

“It’s a new day, it’s a new process, and it’s your process – your opportunity to get involved.

Bands, jumping castles and sausage sizzles marked the occasion, as visitors poured inside to pitch their ideas.

Co-director of Here Studio and one the chief architects for the project, Ammon Beyerle, said it was time to start a real conversation about the hall.

“Here in Ballarat there’s a strong sense of passion and of who we are,” Mr Beyerle said.

“We can’t only be working apart on this, we need to work together.”

He echoed the sentiments presented by Wathaurung elder Uncle Brian in his smoking ceremony and stirring welcome to country.

“This is a great place and a great community,” Uncle Brian said.

“Take part in the process, give everyone a voice, and then when it’s all done you can walk away with your head held high and say ‘I was a part of that’.”

Over 300 ideas have been submitted for the Civic Hall site since 2012 alone, and co-ordinators will have a tremendous job in front of them whittling the numbers down to the final three.

The stellar turnout on Saturday proved that locals are ready and willing to participate in the decision-making process.

“I think if it comes down everybody should get a brick,” one resident could be overheard saying.

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Meditation can be an aid to productivity in the workplace

Serenity now: Meditate more and we’d all likely be more focussed, energised and creative workers. Serenity now: Meditate more and we’d all likely be more focussed, energised and creative workers.
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Serenity now: Meditate more and we’d all likely be more focussed, energised and creative workers.

Serenity now: Meditate more and we’d all likely be more focussed, energised and creative workers.

With the silly season fast approaching, our brains become fuzzy, the energy is frenetic and frankly, what we all need is to do a little less. But I’m wondering: can less really be more?

As a long time fan of meditation, I know that meditating outside work hours helps me feel more energised. But could it also get me through my work day more efficiently? The experts say yes.

Meditate more and we’d all likely be more focussed, energised and creative workers.

Of course, there are a couple of catches which those keen to mediate at work need to resolve. I usually work from home, so stopping every couple of hours to sit quietly and close my eyes is unlikely to surprise anyone bar the neighbour’s cat. But try it in the workplace and colleagues will either think you’re (a) feeling unwell (b) sleeping on the job or (c) just a little bit wacky.

Given that none of the above is optimal, I’m going to recommend a radical solution for those wanting to meditate at the office: use the bathroom. Or more specifically, use the toilet cubicle.

Twice a day, try locking yourself away for three to five minutes and simply dedicate that time to stopping and giving meditation a go. Don’t feel guilty: trust me, if this works for you, your boss will gain the time back multiple times over.

The simplest meditation technique is to focus on the breath: it gives you something to do and stops the brain jumping around contemplating things like the meeting you really don’t want to attend after lunch, or more likely – wondering why the person in the next cubicle is taking so long. To make meditating even easier, I like to use a silent counting method: inhale slowly for four, then exhale slowly for four. This equal breath is known to steady the mind, while the act of counting provides the focus new meditators need.

Each time I try it, I find two consistent outcomes. First, the feeling of calm is almost immediate.

Three to five minutes of meditation and I almost feel like I’ve had a morning nap. The glow may wear off after an hour or two, but that hour or so post a mini-meditation break is hard to beat.

Secondly, the feeling improves the longer I stick with the practice. Within a couple of weeks, calm translates into increased mental clarity. The days seem easier. Problems seem simpler to solve. People around me seem less annoying.

Remember, “longer” doesn’t mean “more time in each session”.

It means: more days in a row of consistently doing those two short five-minute sessions. This is one of the frustrating realities about meditation – you can’t just save it all up and get the benefits from one-hour long blast fitting neatly into a Sunday afternoon. Instead, the pay off comes from consistency: five minutes twice a day is way more effective than once a week. If you’re at all curious, try it for a fortnight. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? (Other than your colleagues thinking you have IBS.)

Sue White is a freelance writer who has found five-minute meditations are eminently do-able.

Twitter: @suewhitewriter

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Kollege of Knowledge Kommittee for Kids Gentlemen’s Lunch: Photos

Kollege of Knowledge Kommittee for Kids Gentlemen’s Lunch: Photos Original Kollege of Knowledge Kommittee for Kids’ committee members with Michael Campbell-Jones, who has cystic fibrosis and was the inspiration for KKKK being formed. (Back) Merv Hicks, Noel Ryan and Michael Campbell-Jones. (Front) Tony Springett, Steve Boyd and Nick Campbell-Jones. Photos by Josh Bartlett
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Horsley’s Carlo Bellinato, Jim Gilvarry of Wildes Meadow, Councillor Gary Turland and Bowral’s Adrian Thompson catch up at the gentlemen’s lunch.

Bowral pair Keith Young and John Griggs relax with Mittagong’s Paul Templeton.

Bowral’s John McDonald, Duncan James of Wollongong and Gooloogong’s Glenn McDonald.

Jason Deep, Stewart Maher and Andy Cooke, all of Bowral, give the gentlemen’s lunch a thumb’s up.

Bowral trio John Mulholland, Jamie Roberts and Wayne Jarvis, Mandemar’s Tracy Ingham and Brian Goodes, of Moss Vale.

Bowral’s John Davis chats with Sydney visitors Richard Cox and Mark Populin.

Bowral’s Mark Freund catches up with Jason Stokes, of Mittagong.

Nick Dyer of Glenquarry, Moss Vale’s Mark Pepping and Councillor Ian Scandrett.

Auctioneer Nick Johnson.

Auctioneer Nick Johnson points to the yellow budgie in the cage, which sold for $1100 in the auction.

Former Kollege of Knowledge Kommittee for Kids’ member Bruce Rowley, of Goulburn, with former treasurer Carl Phillips, of Burradoo. Mr Rowley and Mr Phillips helped out at the lunch.

Kollege of Knowledge Kommittee for Kids’ members Noel Ryan and Nick Campbell-Jones with Bowral’s Charlie Johns.

Comedian Darren Carr entertained the crowd on Friday.

Entertainer Darren Carr with ‘Daryl’ the dummy.

Entertainer Darren Carr uses Councillor Garry Turland for his ventriloquist act on Friday.

Bowral’s Reg Smith and Steve Pulbrook chat with Jim Gilvarry, of Wildes Meadow.

Rod Preston and Steve Pinczi, both of Bowral.

Close to 220 people attended Friday’s gentlemen’s lunch.

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Forty-forty bushfire warning

Hot weather and high winds have resulted in a bushfire warning for the Goldfields and Eucla.
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Temperatures in the region are expected to hit 40 degrees and, with winds around 40km/h, weather forecasters issued a severe fire danger rating for Saturday.

The danger area is vast – running from Leonora in the northern Goldfields all the way to the south coast including Eucla,1280km to the southeast.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said people living in Kalgoorlie-Boulder,Coolgardie, Dundas, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies, Sandstone and Wiluna should be on alert.

Firefighters warn that if a fire starts it will be unpredictable and will move very quickly, throwing hot embers ahead and causing spotfires.

People in the affected areas are advised to read through their bushfire survival plan, and if they are not prepared to the highest level they should consider leaving the area.

Weather forecaster Adam Conroy said: “This are normal conditions for this time of the year, but the fire danger is high and will stay that way for most of Saturday. Conditions should ease on Sunday.”

Follow WAtoday on Twitter @WAtoday

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