Drivin’ on sunshine

TWO recent Albany Senior High School graduates made it into the big leagues this month when they participated in one of the most technological car challenges in the world.

Aiden Matson and Michael Taylor, currently studying at Australian National University (ANU), were part of a 40-person team in last fortnight’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

The aim of the challenge was to build a race vehicle entirely powered by the sun and able to journey approximately 3000km between Darwin and Adelaide.

The pair’s team, MTA A Super Sol Invictus, ranked 25th in the Challenger Class and was one of only eight Australian teams participating.

The other 36 teams hailed from secondary and tertiary institutions in the USA, the Netherlands, Chile, Singapore, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, Poland, Sweden, Canada, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Mr Taylor and Mr Matson were involved in engineering the solar array and steering systems for their team’s car, the MTAA Super Charge 2.

“To race a vehicle powered by the sun, you need a reliable, aerodynamic, lightweight and low energy-loss vehicle,” Mr Matson said.

“Our chassis is manufactured from a carbon fibre weave with a Nomex paper core, layering the two materials like a sandwich.

“The motor driving our car is one designed by the CSIRO, with an incredible efficiency of 98.3 per cent.”

The MTA A Super Sol Invictus team worked on the car in conjunction with their own ANU studies and utilised their university’s resources to construct it.

“We laid out each system and simulated their breaking conditions using 3D design software, then milled, turned and laser-cut our components at the University ourselves,” Mr Matson said.

“The biggest thing I worked on in the car was wiring up the solar array and making the connections reliable enough to go the distance – specifically the 3000-plus km of the challenge,” Mr Taylor added.

Both Mr Matson and Mr Taylor are eyeing off the 2021 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and hoped to build on ANU’s previous successes.

“This season was the second time ANU has competed in the event, and with much more success this time,” Mr Matson said.

“Next season, we need to do more rigorous testing so that everything is ironed out for the race itself.

“We can also make many changes to improve the car’s efficiency, so we maintain a higher speed for the duration of the race.”

Professor Nick Birbilis, Deputy Dean of the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, said he was extremely proud of the ANU team.

“The breadth of expertise which makes up this team is truly outstanding,” he said.

“We feel privileged that our students are provided with opportunities to play a part in this innovative and forward-thinking space.”


Photo: Courtesy Australian National University

Continue Reading

Rugby carnival kicks goals

JUNIOR rugby teams from across the state converged on Albany last weekend for the city’s long-awaited annual junior rugby carnival.

The two-day tournament saw hundreds turn out to watch players from Dunsborough, Kalamunda, Bunbury, Mandurah, Rockingham, Scarborough, Joondalup, Nedlands, Swanbourne, Palmyra and Albany battle it out on the North Road ovals.

The city’s own U11s Albany Storm took home the much-lauded Nuthall Trophy, while Kalamunda claimed the cup for the U10s and the Associates grabbed it in the U8s.

Nedlands, the Mandurah Pirates and the Scarborough Wests took the Plate for the U8s, U10s and U11s respectively.

Coordinator Julie Hetherington said about 300 kids played at this year’s carnival, which marks the third time the Albany Junior Rugby Club (AJRC) has hosted it.

She said parent volunteers had been amazing in pulling together to get the event organised.

“Our club felt the event was very successful,” she said.

“Many of the other coaches asked what competition our Albany kids compete in and they were amazed we only come together to play a few times a year and that we don’t have designated home grounds.

“Our kids play many other sports and it’s the love of rugby that brings us together. It helps we have fantastic coaches.”

AJRC players will next travel to Bunbury in February and Perth in April for their respective carnivals.

Continue Reading

Soccer star goes for gold

ALBANY youngster Brad Copeland will be jetting off to Thailand next month to compete in this year’s Phuket Football Cup.

The 13-year-old qualified from about 150 other kids during a Football West selection camp at Guildford Grammar in Perth earlier this year and is the only player from Albany chosen for the Gold Fields State Squad.

“My mum messaged me [to tell me I’d been chosen] and I just felt excited and speechless,” Brad told the Weekender.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to get in.”

The tournament, running from November 25 to early December, will see Brad play left defence for the U13s boys’ team alongside 15 other children from regional Western Australia.

It will pit him against talented teams from across Thailand and call on the skills and tactics he has picked up since kicking off his soccer career at the age of seven.

The young star, currently playing for Albany Bayswater Soccer Club, said he hope to one-day make a living from his passion, ideally playing for a premier league team.

Brad’s father Danny Copeland said he was very proud of his son and noted he trained at least three times a week during Country Week.

“He’s got a really good kick and when he does something, it’s always 150 per cent,” he said.

“That’s what stands out most.”

Mr Copeland partly credited Brad’s success to his long-time coach Enzo Manera who has worked with him since his early days playing for Yakamia.

Over the past two years, the pair has helped their Bayswater team sail to victory again and again.

“They dominated the first year which upset the locals and this year they did the same,” Mr Copeland said.

Football West’s Sarthak Mishra, who will join Brad in Thailand as the U13s boys’ coach, described him as a “hardworking and skillful player” who loved football.

He said the tournament was an opportunity for the entire squad to play the sport on an international level.

“The event will give them an opportunity to train in a competitive and highly professional manner,” he said.

“Apart from the on-field training, we will conduct team building, mental wellbeing and theory sessions that will enable players to enhance their current skillset and also learn new dimensions of professionalism.”

Continue Reading

Potts to be honoured

RESPECTED military authority Dr Peter Brune will lead an oration for war hero Brigadier Arnold W Potts OBE in Kojonup later this month.

The Brigadier Arnold Potts Oration is an annual event organised by the Sixteen Battalions’ Foundation.

The Sixteen Battalions’ Foundation was formed by the 2/16th Infantry Battalion AIF Association to promote greater awareness, understanding and recognition of the service and achievements of the 16 Battalions in service to their country and communities during the Great War and World War II.

In the process of awareness and recognition, they endeavor to pass on the traditions of spirit and service to their country for young Australians.

They also have a Foundation that funds an annual scholarship where a selected Army Reserve soldier has a paid study tour of battle grounds and events relative to an earlier configuration of 16 Battalion.

From their experience, study and observations on the scholarship tour, that soldier is entrusted to prepare to address and share his experiences and findings to his peers with the present day Battalion and formal and informal presentations to groups and organisations.

The focus being particularly on younger Australians, in both military and general communities.

The oration is named after Brigadier Potts, one the most outstanding soldiers and leaders of the Battalion.

He also played a major part in the growth and character of the Kojonup and Great Southern regions with his input to those communities during his lifetime.

On the occasion of the 2019 oration, it was voted by the Foundation Committee to hold the oration this year for the first time outside of Perth, in Potts’ hometown.

Dr Brune will address the oration in Kojonup.

He has a distinguished record in the study and writing of Australian military history, coupled with an outstanding research record.

Dr Brune has a profound knowledge of the Papuan Campaign of World War II which includes the Kokoda Track and the connected battles on the northern shores of Papua. Five of his present books have had a Papuan Campaign focus.

The oration takes place on Saturday, October 26 starting with a memorial service at Apex Park at 11.30am followed by lunch in the Memorial Hall at 12.30pm.

Dr Brune will present the oration at 2pm.

Tickets are $55 and available from the Kodja Place and Kojonup Visitors Centre.

Continue Reading

Exhibition on Noongar history

YUWAALARAAY woman Tahlia Palmer has amalgamated her experiences as a visitor to Menang country in an exhibition opening this week at Vancouver Arts Centre.

Originally from New South Wales but most recently from Perth, Palmer arrived in Albany at the start of the year to explore Albany and its Indigenous connections.

Upon the completion of her exhibition Kinjarling Studies, she hopes to return to her country, Yuwaalaraay country, and create a similar exhibition.

Palmer said she was “really struck” by the beauty of the Albany area.

“I was really inspired and fascinated by the Noongar history here,” she said.

“I wanted to pay homage to that.”

Palmer has done so with the creation of a series of embroidery works, photography and videography.

The Kalgan Fish Traps, The Gap and Porongurup are some of the many locations she visited and gained inspiration from for each of the artworks.

The soundtracks of her videography work – which she recorded while on location in various areas – will be sold separately as a stand-alone album.

“It’s a way for people to connect with the beauty they see here with something a bit deeper than the European history,” Palmer said.

Kinjarling Studies will open this Friday with a special get-together for all to attend from 6-8pm and close on November 21.

Continue Reading

Spotlight on rural mental health

THE mental health of people living in regional Western Australia is being highlighted this week at the WA Rural and Remote Mental Health Conference in Albany.

Hundreds of health professionals and members of the public converged at the Albany Entertainment Centre on Wednesday for the first in a series of seminars and activities hosted by the WA Country Health Service.

Clinical Director at Great Southern Mental Health Service Noel Collins said the conference’s broad aim was to allow experts to share insights on the topics of trauma, resilience and recovery and to network.

“There’s a huge focus now on understanding how trauma affects people’s mental and physical health and how you can help people recover from traumatic experiences,” he said.

“I wish I could say people in the Great Southern are immune to the effects of trauma but, of course, they’re not. Trauma is a universal experience.”

Among the three-day event’s guest speakers are National Mental Health Commissioner Professor Helen Milroy, Flinders University’s Director of the Centre for Remote Health Professor Tim Carey, and many others.

Their expertise range from child sexual abuse and Indigenous mental health to post-traumatic stress disorders and working with victims of crime.

Mr Collins said the conference, which runs every second year at different locations throughout the state, addressed some of the unique challenges faced by rural communities.

He said environmental events like drought, financial pressures and difficulty finding employment are “unique challenges” for those living outside metropolitan areas.

“There’s no doubt that in terms of access to mental health and primary care, that can also be very challenging for people living rurally and remotely,” he added.

“There’s just less psychiatrists, less psychiatric nurses and less GPs in rural areas.

“GPs are particularly important as they often bare the burden of mental health when there’s no psychiatrist available.”

The mental health of Indigenous Australians, who Mr Collins said are disproportionately affected by social factors like “unemployment, economic hardship, racism and the effects of inter- generational trauma”, is also an important topic of discussion at this year’s conference.

Its theme, Moorditjabiny, roughly translates to the Noongar term for “becoming stronger” or resilience.

“We wanted to make sure that a good proportion of this program provided a platform for Noongar and Menang people’s stories, not only of individual trauma … but a breadth of stories of strength,” Mr Collins said.

“We’ve got a lot of personal stories about resilience and lived experience, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. It is a really valuable event.”

The conference will conclude on Friday morning.

Continue Reading

Uniting the world in song

THE countdown is on ahead of an annual global simultaneous sing-along event and Albany locals and visitors are encouraged to join in.

World Singing Day has been celebrated on the third Saturday of October for the past seven years in a bid to support local and global friendships and celebrate humanity’s connections through the international language of music.

Albany is hosting one of 16 free World Singing Day events being held in Australia – Australia has the second highest number of events in the world this year, just five behind the USA – and the Albany celebrations will take place this Saturday, October 19, from 2-3pm at the Museum of the Great Southern’s Co-Op Building.

Music teacher Teresa Hughes will lead the charge and said she was excited to host the first ever World Singing Day in Albany.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to sing together and be part of a worldwide event,” she said.

“It brings in the wider community and creates a connection to other communities around the world.

“It will be really beautiful.”

She added that music and singing was a great way to keep mentally healthy and to simply feel good.

The performance will run for approximately 45 minutes, giving participants the chance to sing up to 15 songs.

She encouraged people to arrive at 1.45pm to allow enough time for everyone to get organised ahead of a 2pm sharp start time.

No experience is needed – simply turn up and be ready to sing.

Lyrics will be handed out on the day.

Continue Reading

Tavern turns pink

PINK is the word and the colour this month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is expected to brighten up Elleker Tavern this weekend.

A breast cancer fundraiser morning tea is planned for this Saturday from 10.30am at the Tavern in honour of breast cancer survivors, those who have passed, patients and their families, and in particular, Elleker Tavern owner Glenda Parsons.

Ms Parsons was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer just three months ago in July.

With her family, friends and work family rallying around her, she has already undergone numerous sessions of chemotherapy and an operation, and now has five rounds of chemotherapy left before 21 rounds of radiation.

Ms Parsons said it was a real shock to learn of her diagnosis after having a breast check.

“We got it very early so I’m very lucky,” she said.

“The prognosis is very good.”

Joining Ms Parsons at the morning tea among many others will be Robin Bromilow, a member of the Albany branch of the Knitted Knockers.

Knitted Knockers Australia is a volunteer-run operation that knits free cotton prosthetic breasts for people who have had mastectomies.

Ms Bromilow said more than 3000 pairs of knitted knockers had been given away in Albany in five years and said it demonstrated just how many people were afflicted by the disease.

“You go to people’s houses and you hear some incredible stories,” she said.

“One lady had undergone a double mastectomy and after getting a pair of knitted knockers, said she felt like a woman again.

“You don’t realise how much that can affect you.”

The morning tea is free to attend, and people are asked to wear pink, bring money to donate and a plate of sweet or savoury treats to share.

There will be games, hampers, wine and prizes, and a grand door prize for the best dressed person addressing the Pretty in Pink theme.

Elleker Tavern is located on Lower Denmark Road, approximately 15 minutes from the Albany CBD.

Continue Reading

Crowning glory for Castle Rock

THE top gong at one of Mount Barker’s most prestigious events went to an out-of-towner last week.

The Wine Show of WA’s trophy awards lunch was held at Plantagenet Wines last Friday and featured more than 855 entries from 115 WA wine producers.

Margaret River winery Xanadu was named the winner of the show as well as the winner of the Shire of Plantagenet Trophy and Best Wine of Show for its 2017 DJL Cabernet Sauvignon.

It also won Best Red Wine of Show and Best Cabernet Sauvignon.

However, the Great Southern did not go unnoticed.

Porongurup’s Castle Rock Estate was awarded the Winequip Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor Overall Processing Under 250 Tonnes and the Pam McGregor Trophy for Best Aged Riesling for the 2017 A&W Reserve Riesling.

Frankland River’s Alkoomi Wines was just one point behind Castle Rock Estate with its 2017 Melaleuca Riesling.

Margaret River-based Robert Oatley, which sources grapes from Mount Barker, Denmark, Frankland River and Porongurup among other places, took out Best White Wine, Best and Most Distinctive Regional Character, Best Riesling and Best Great Southern White with its 2019 Signature Series Great Southern Riesling.

Mt Barker’s 3drops scored top in the 2018 Riesling class with 96 points.

Ferngrove Wines and Frankland Estate from Frankland River tied second place in the 2019/18 Red Single Variety Except Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon Class, with their Ferngrove 2018 Black Label Malbec and Frankland Estate 2018 Touriga Nacional.

Continue Reading

Dance event has right spirit

A DANCE group that prides itself on inclusivity and acceptance is hosting its spring showcase this weekend.

Bonnie Giles Production Company, headed by owner Jade Smith, will present Spirit of Spring this Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm at Antonia’s Dance Studio on Lockyer Avenue.

Ms Smith said she formed the company after she was knocked back from various dance academies and did not want to see that type of rejection occur to anyone else.

“I said to myself, ‘I’ll be damned if I let that happen to other people’,” she said.

“This is a space where people can express themselves; for people who feel rejected and give them a place to belong.

“If people feel they don’t have a place to belong, they have a place here.”

Ms Smith said she’s seen first-hand the difference the performing arts and her inclusive environment has had on people.

“It’s great especially for people who don’t really have any confidence, because you see them start to come out of their shell and they feel better within themselves,” she said.

“And they’re part of a family here, too.”

Spirit of Spring will feature hip

hop, contemporary, jazz, commercial and Latin dance routines in a variety-style show, themed to spring.

“It’s about spring and renewal and rebirth,” Ms Smith explained.

“But with that sometimes comes tragedy, so we have some more serious routines too.

“I just want everyone to see how passionate these people are and see their love for the performing arts.”

Tickets are on sale now from Paperbark Merchants for this weekend’s event and there is a special treat for people who purchase table seats.

Continue Reading