Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper– Who Would Ever Want to be a Politician !

Smiling Backstabbers!
Smiling Backstabbers!

Well – here we go again!  After reading the Daily Telegraph yesterday, Wednesday Sept 16, 2015, I just shook my head and held it low.  What a laughing stock Australian Politics must be on the world political stage.  Who can believe we have had five Prime Ministers in five years, albeit that one of them was a “do-over”, and didn’t last long?

Of course there were many well written articles in yesterdays paper outlining all the reasons we needed a new “face” for our Liberal Prime Minister – Tony Abbott wasn’t articulate enough, Tony Abbott didn’t poll well therefore the party didn’t poll well, and of course – Tony Abbott doesn’t have the support of “the people”.  Well who would know – nobody took it to the people to vote, on did they?  Once again the person put in to lead this country by the country’s people has been ousted because the Politicians have decided that it’s “the right thing to do”.

It is actually quite irrelevant whether the “people” vote a Labour or a Liberal party into government, the greater issue here is that the face of the people-elected party can be changed at the drop of a hat by the party room antics of conniving, self-serving and manipulative politicians. The issue is also that the very rights of our country’s people is being undermined by these egotistical maniacs, but how do the people go about taking back their rights?  We only have one course of action open to us – wait until the next election and try again – or do we?  Perhaps we could all take a collective stand though – DON’T VOTE!!  It seems our vote is worth nothing anyway.  Of course – not voting is illegal and would get us all fined – so they have us over a barrel there, and for me at least – would not be an option.

What we could do though is bombard them with letters reflecting our discontent.  The power of the pen is mightier than the sword – and all that stuff.  Who out there will put their money where their mouth is – and let Canberra know that we have had enough of their antics?  If you feel you can write, you should make that stand and write today

Realistically, most people won’t put pen to paper – but we can always start a petition with thousands of names showing how we feel about having our voting rights overturned.  The new Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull – takes note of numbers doesn’t he?  After all he has quoted the opinion polls in a number of his speeches and the opinion polls are purely based on numbers.  Or does Mr Turnbull only take notice of numbers when there is a personal and political advantage?

Stop allowing our People-Elected Politicians to erode our rights, stop them from showing the world that Australia is more interested in back-stabbing and self-interest rather than productive policy and economic stabilisation.  I would encourage you to put pen to paper and write to Canberra today!


Picture Source:

Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Leaving Kids Loveless

I read this article in the Daily Telegraph yesterday (22 Jul 2015) with both mixed emotions and beliefs. The article by Kerry Chikarovski, Lobbyist & Political Commentator, outlines the decline in adoption in Australia, and ways in which the declining statistic could be changed – to the benefit of both the child and prospective parents. Ms Chikarovski also looks briefly at the negative impact that multiple out of home care (foster care) placements can have on a child, and I think that we would all agree that a child does in fact need and deserve a stable and loving environment in which to thrive.

Having been removed from my own natural parents and placed into a home at an early age, but never having been formally adopted, I believe I am uniquely qualified to make comment on such a topic. I was one of a select few that were lucky to have been loved by the people that were my guardians, but the truth is I would not have had the love, stability, opportunities or happiness had I not been removed from natural parents and put into a type of foster care. If there is even a question that staying in the care of natural parents is not in the best interest of the child  – then that child should be removed immediately.

Adoption is a far greater issue than standardising adoption laws and screening processes for easier adoption ability as suggested by Ms Chikarovski, however I am not suggesting for one moment that this is not a wonderful way in which to move forward with this process.  What I would say though, is that the same process should be applied to applicants of the out of home care/foster care system.  Adoption laws in our country are very strict when considering the type of applicant and the environment prospective parents can offer a child, but in my opinion, the same rules do not seem to apply to placement of a child into foster care.

On the face of it, becoming a foster parent appears to be quite a regulated process, with many levels of screening, however I have seen some extremely inappropriate behaviour from foster parents towards a child in their care. How a child could be removed from one difficult situation and dumped into something that can be almost or  equally as difficult, is beyond me.  I have been witness to some appalling behaviour by foster carers toward their “charges”, and I have wondered long in to the night how some children survive at all, how they could possibly find any self worth which would enable them to succeed in life.  In my opinion no child needs to be sworn at, hit and physically thrown around – that is not discipline!

Adoption rates have decreased in Australia for many reasons – two of which would be acceptance by society of pregnancy for anyone, at any age regardless of personal circumstances, and the opportunity for people to try for their own biological children through IVF programs. I believe that there is room for both adoption and foster care in our society, but please Ms Chikarovski, look at both sides of the equation, not just provide a headlining topic for publication.  If you feel the need to look at standardising adoption laws between our States and Territories, then surely you should also be looking at standardising foster care rules and regulations.  I would think that you would understand that children put up for adoption these days are in a vastly different category to those that need to be removed from harmful home situations, therefore they have an equal need and right for reviewing of regulations to ensure that they also are provided with a stable and loving environment in which to grow.

Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Sick Kids Lottery

The Northern Daily Leader

Thursday 7 May 2015

Page 1


In my opinion   ………………………..


I was saddened by an article in our local paper today which related to the “crippling shortage” of Paediatricians in Tamworth.  The headline was misleading in the extreme – Sick Kids Lottery – Paediatric clinic says don’t call us, we’ll call you. 

The woman involved in the interview certainly does have a sick child in need of ongoing care and attention and as an Administrative staff member I fully understand that it is completely frustrating for a parent to not be able to make regular bi-monthly appointments for their child.  The Paediatric Clinic developed a waiting list system for children needing a follow-up appointment, as the locum availability is often not known until a week or two prior to them physically arriving to work at the hospital.  This waiting list had a very specific function which was to ensure that no child was missed to Paediatric follow up. Because the availability of doctors is not often known in advance the Administrative staff finds that they need to ring patients on the follow-up waiting list with short notice in relation to appointment availability.  At least they are getting the chance of an appointment.

Unfortunately there are literally hundreds of children on the follow-up waiting list, and even larger numbers on the new appointment waiting list.  All appointment are triaged by the Paediatrician to ensure the most needy children – both new and follow-up – are seen time appropriately, but it is a sad truth that not all children get to see a Paediatrician when their parents believes the child needs to be seen.

The article does outline the fact that recruitment of Paediatricians has been an ongoing problem in Tamworth and I am very proud to say that the hospital management have put enormous effort into recruitment.  However, there is a real difficulty in bringing services to regional areas.  Doctors seem to prefer the cities.

I would like to point out that the Paediatricians that are currently on staff at the Paediatric Clinic “bend over backwards” to ensure that no child needing care is turned away either in the Paediatric Clinic, the Emergency Department or on Children’s Ward.  I simply cannot speak highly enough of their work ethic, professionalism and their common decency.

To sum up – The Paediatricians, the Hospital Management team and the Administrative staff are all trying their hardest to keep a bulk billed Paediatric Outpatient service afloat until further recruitment can take place.  The problem of brining doctors out to regional areas could in fact be solved if all new doctors had to do 3 years service in a regional area before they could follow their dreams of a city lifestyle.  Surely it would be better to be lobbying government at every level for a change in new doctor training and recruitment policy, rather than bemoan a service that has no control over which doctor might like to “move to the country”.





Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Anzac History

Flanders Poppy
Flanders Poppy

Tonight I wanted to do something different.  On nearly every page of our local paper this morning there was an article that was in some way related to the history or World War 1, which I have found unbelievably interesting and informative.  I have been researching my husband’s grandfather Cyrus Clarence Allsopp’s war records to find out where he fought, but the articles in the paper, not only today but over the past fortnight, have helped be to understand just a little of what he experienced.

I have learned so much about the conditions under which he fought in the trenches on the Western Front that it amazes me that any of our brave men survived at all. The hardships, the weather, lack of food, constant fighting for many days at a time, all seem such a world away from what anyone would experience these days.

One of the most moving things I learned about was the significance of the red Flanders Poppy. Like almost everyone, I knew that the red poppy was associated with WW1, but I had no idea of its actual significance or meaning until I read an article the other day. For instance, did you know that the red poppy were amongst the first plants to regrow in the devastated fields of Northern France. Or that the red colour was symbolic of the blood spilled by the soldiers’ comrades. Increasingly the red poppy has become symbolic of our Anzac day.

Over the last two months I have researched four relatives that fought during WW1, and heartbreakingly, only one came home – Terry’s grandfather. What a legacy each of these men left, what a sacrifice they made. I feel that I don’t ever want our family to forget these men, and to that end I have attempted to transcribed their war records and add a picture of them to the Discovering Anzacs website. What a privilege it has been to work on this project. If you haven’t seen the website it is well worth a look, and if you can spare the time, why not see if you can upload a picture of one of your relatives.

I will conclude by saying that I will view our local dawn service with new eyes this Anzac Day.

Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Tribute Painting Defaced

Tuesday 15 April, 2015

The Northern Daily Leader, Page 2

Tribute Painting Defaced


Just a few words tonight based on an article in today’s paper that highlights to me that there are two types of graffiti artists – those that are displaying artistic talent and enhancing our community, and those that are a waste of breathable air.

After the death of Australian cricketing icon Richie Benaud, OBE, a local Tamworth graffiti artist has painted a stunning portrait of him on a railway pillar. The artist has captured an incredible likeness of Mr Benaud, simply adding R.I.P. to his work. This was clearly a work of tribute by the artist, to a man who has been the “voice” of cricket for most of my life, and also a striking visual reminder to all who saw the portrait, of the talent that we have lost.

But wait, some dim-witted, low life fool has defaced the artistic graffiti portrait of a hardworking and committed man in an attempt to be funny, hurt someone, make someone angry, or perhaps just for the thrill of breaking the law.

Heads up idiot – you are the one that loses, because there is not one damn thing you can do that will dim the respect for Mr Richie Benaud held by most Australians. Stop using up our valuable oxygen to do idiotic things and go get involved in artwork that you could one day be proud to put your name to.




Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – No Jab, No Pay

Monday 13 April, 2015

The Northern Daily Leader   Page 7

“No Jab, No Pay” Benefit Cuts


I am so passionate about this particular article, even though it is not a local item but a countrywide initiative, that I could not miss expressing my personal view. I do not believe that any child should be at risk of disease because a small number of parents decide not to vaccinate their child, and I certainly do not think that that the taxpayer should help to financially support these parents or their decisions.

I could not have been happier when I heard Prime Minister Tony Abbott announce a new plan to have all children immunised, except for those that had legitimate health or religious reasons. It will no longer be a choice that parents can make, if they do not have a medically recognised contraindication or belong to a faith that prohibits the use of such vaccines.

I spoke with a friend who is a Paediatrician today and he said that there were in fact a couple of contraindications for immunisation on medical grounds that must be taken into account and these included Anaphylaxis – being the most severe and potentially life threatening form of allergic reaction, and Immunodeficiency which is a state “where the immune system cannot fight infectious disease, or is absent altogether”. I then did a bit of research and found there were websites to support this.

The above listed medical grounds are extremely important and should always be taken into consideration, in conjunction with General Practitioners, Paediatricians and other health professionals. What Mr Abbotts new scheme will mean is that parents will no longer be able to decline immunisation on half-baked theorist views that immunisation is linked to Autism and other associated medical conditions, when there is no medical evidence to prove this. My Paediatrician friend said that it has been found that there is no correlation between immunisation and these conditions, and that in fact there have been medical indicators recently that linked Autism and associated conditions with a genetic basis.

Mr Abbott said on the “Sunrise” show this morning that the window for objecting to immunisation based on religious belief had narrow considerably and upon doing a fair bit of google research today I can understand why. I could not find even one religion that prohibits vaccination directly. There were many religions that prohibited the eating of numerous animal products or the use of blood products, but they did not condemn medical treatment made from animal sources. The surprising thing in my research was that religions relating to Islam, the Taliban and the Amish are amongst the religions not prohibiting vaccination, as was Seventh Day Adventist, Catholicism, Judaism and Jehovah’s Witness.

When all is said and done – the priority on everyone’s agenda is the safety of our children from diseases that can threaten their lives. I understand my passion FOR immunisation is as strong as other people’s passion AGAINST it, but I would like to think that I have learned a small amount about the subject today, and I fully support immunisation of all our precious children.

I would point out that this is not a political point of view, simply an ethical one.


My Friend – A Paediatrician






Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper -Working Their Way To A Job

Wednesday 8 April, 2015

Northern Dailey Leader, Page 4

Working Their Way to a Job

Today’s article of choice is about the Work for the Dole Scheme. The article explains how a large number of work for the dole participants in Tamworth and area have gone on to successfully find paid full time employment. These participants were visited by the Assistant Minister for Employment Mr Luke Hartsuyker during his visit to Tamwworth.

Mr Hartsuyker said that the participants were living proof that the scheme worked, and that is something that “die hard” critics of the scheme could not deny. These people had found employment in the hospitality, aged care and child service industries.

I would like to say well done to all the participants of the work for the dole scheme. These people showed initiative and strong work ethic in getting out there to find new skills and make new work connections. Those two traits alone are very desirable to prospective employers.  They have chosen not to accept government handouts without putting in some amount of effort in return, which I think is commendable. I am doubly pleased to hear that all their effort had been rewarded with paid employment.

I would like to see the Work for the Dole scheme be extended and be less of a choice. With so many community projects that need to be done in Tamworth alone there would surely be a few hours work per week for many, many more participants.

I began to wonder what jobs could be done by unskilled labour, which would actually increase the skill base of the participant, and came up with the following ideas:

  1. Hospital Volunteer Work. I work in a hospital and know the invaluable work done by our volunteer service. Skills that could be learned would focus mainly on customer service and people skills.
  2. Graffiti Eradication. While graffiti in nominated areas can look really artistic, much work needs to be done to “paint over” the junk left by vandals. Skills learned in this role could include painting preparation and painting which might lead to work with local painting companies or even councils.
  3. Community Park Patrol. Wouldn’t it be just lovely to see gardens tended, or even watered – within our watering restrictions of course. I have been in numerous parks of late where the grass is knee high, children’s play equipment is disrepair and garden beds are non-existant. Council does not seem to have the resources to attend to these places. Skills within this work could include gardening and basic maintenance.

If it is possible for me to think of 3 areas in only a few minutes where participants could Work for the Dole, surely the people responsible for the program could think of scores more.


Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Cops Are In Your Car

Tuesday, 7 April, 2015

Northern Daily Leader, page 1

Cops Are In Your Car


What a wonderful article I found in today’s local paper!

Drink driving is most likely a problem worldwide but in Australia it accounts for 15% of all road death. As a repeat offender a Tamworth man has become one of the first in our area to be ordered to have a breath testing device fitted to his car. I am very excited that both the Government and the Road Traffic Authority have been working on such a pro-active initiative.

The breath testing device is linked to the ignition system of the car. The offender must provide a breath sample before his vehicle will start, and then must also provide breath tests at random intervals during his journey. If he fails the breath test at any time his car will be disabled.

This initiative is probably not a failsafe method, but it should go a long way toward reducing alcohol related deaths on our roads. I personally do not know anyone that has lost someone dear to them because of the actions of a drunk driver, but my heart breaks for them every time I hear of an innocent death.

Over this Easter period a man led police on a long chase down the Moonbi Ranges, which is just out of Tamworth, reaching speeds of between 100 kph (in an 80 kph area) to 168 kph (in a 100 kph area). He successfully evaded the police car that chased him, as well as deployed tire deflation devices. My God – what an idiot! He could have killed himself, the police and innocent people. What a thoughtless and stupid action.

Also locally, a 41 year old father charged with high range drink driving whilst he had his four children – aged between 4 – 14 years – in his vehicle. What sort of madman endangers the lives of his children in this way?

I fervently hope that these devices are fitted to all repeat drink driving offenders as well as first time mid-range and high-range drink driving offences, after serving their disqualification from driving period. By targeting the mid to high range first time offenders we may just save even more lives.


Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Beyoncé on Humans of New York

Monday, April 6, 2015

ABC News

Beyonce on Humans of New York

The only paper I had access to today was the Northern Daily Leader – our local paper, and it had nothing in it that I was tempted to comment on. So, I decided to go on-line and look at ABC New and found a happy story about odd names, which I have decided is extremely rare in a newspaper.

The news item is about a girl named Beyonce who has relocated from Pennsylvania to New York and is terrified of people finding out about her name, and all the teasing that usually goes with it. She describes how she sat quiet as a mouse too frightened to move in her chair in case someone noticed her, when the teacher began roll call. Sure enough there was the usual teasing and singing of “Single Girl”, which is what she posted on social media.

But the news item then went on to say that others began to also post about their experiences with unusual names.

  • First name Isis (name used by a terrorist group)
  • Johnny Blizzard (says he’s heard it all!!)
  • Pooja Panicker (simply posted “my name”)
  • Elvis Infante ( called a hound dog who is crying all the time)
  • Jaymee Fox (always gets – “but you’re not a black man”)

I’m so glad that for once we get to hear a supportive story come out about social media, but really – my mind boggles at the things that a parent can inflict on the child they love.

I work with children and some of the names I have come across are unbelievable:

Calypso, JarMarLee, Tykoda, Kerosine – pronounced Ke-ros-in-ee, Allambee, Eirik – pronounced Eric, Tarj – Taj – TJ – Tarhj – all prounounced Tar-j, Boye, Kammeran – prounounced Cameron, Rain, Tachkahla – pronounced Ta-shay-lar.

A name is not what makes someone an individual. The way you raise a child and the talents you help them find within themselves as they grow are the things that make them an individual. Do struggling parents name their children weird names in the hope that the name will make them important at some point? Personally, I can’t see a future Australian Prime Minister by the name of Boye Anybody or Kerosine Someone, can you?

People – think what you are doing! Instead of trying to give a child a name that is different and defining, think of how the name you may have made up for them might be perceived in the years to come. How much difficulty will they experience in their lives explaining it – or even spelling it?


Posted in Blogging The Newspaper

Blogging the Newspaper – Barking Mad Bulldogs

Sunday April 5, 2015

Barking Mad Bulldogs – Show Some Respect

Sunday Telegraph   Page 7

Heaven help me – I’m going to make a comment about the NRL football game last Friday evening!! Now – let’s get this straight – I do not follow the footy like my husband does, I don’t have a favourite club, unless it’s Parramatta and that’s only because I used to live there, and I do not understand all the rules, however I did watch the game between the Bulldogs and the Rabbitohs with hubby the other evening.

To my way of thinking there were some odd calls by the referees, even I could see that – but get a grip people – it’s a game and it was played in the pouring rain!! The behaviour of the captain for the Bulldog’s, James Graham, was a bit over the top, though in his defence the call against him by the referee was a bad one, even the commentators discussed the situation and agreed the call was wrong (with the aid of slo-mo replay).

No – James Graham should not have barked at the referee, no he should not have waved his hand around in front of the referee and yes – he could have dealt with the situation a lot better. Hopefully – these things he will learn with more experience as a captain. He is relatively new to the role after all.

The worst part of the game for me was watching as a small number of Bulldog’s supporters pelted the referee’s and inter-change officials with plastic water bottles as they exited the field. Two men fell whilst trying to avoid being hit by the bottles, one of whom has broken his shoulder. The article goes on to state that CCTV footage is being closely looked at in an attempt to find the culprits and penalise them.  By this time though, I fear the game was spoiled for everyone.

These people should not just be slapped on the wrist and banned from live games. They consciously chose to throw projectiles in an attempt to hurt or mame another individual – they should be heavily fined and made to do community service, as well as banned for life from games.

Below the article on the same page is a small article in which an average mum  says she would not feel safe in taking her two children to a live footy match. How very sad that our football games have gone from great Aussie fun, to a game where the crowd, players and officials can be hurt by a group of stupid thugs!