Mount Romance joins hair-raising fundraiser

THOUSANDS of Australians are planning to lop off their locks in the name of charity within the next week, including a group of Albany residents.

World’s Greatest Shave started yesterday and will run until the weekend to raise money for The Leukaemia Foundation.

The national goal this year is $17m and Albany’s The Sandalwood Shavers are hoping to contribute their bit.

Consisting of 10 staff members from Mount Romance, each person will either completely shave their head or colour their current hair this Sunday between noon and 4pm on site.

Some staff got a head start and shaved during the week.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said by signing up and raising

money for the World’s Greatest Shave, participants were ensuring families facing blood cancer have someone to turn to every step of the way, access to the best possible care and treatment and a place to call home during treatment.

“Whether you have a personal connection to blood cancer or simply want to have fun and raise money for a good cause, join this year’s World’s Greatest Shave and let’s make it the best year yet,” he said.

People interested in shaving or colouring their hair on Sunday at Mount Romance should pre-register online on the event’s Facebook page.

Colours will cost $5 per person and shaves $10 per person.

Since World’s Greatest Shave started 22 years ago, more than 37,000kg of hair has been removed from people’s heads.

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Brekky service grows

ALBANY’S Breakfast in the Park program is expanding its service to a third day this week after a successful month of servicing the community.

In the space of five weeks, the Albany Regional and Volunteer Service (ARVS) project has provided food to approximately 150 clients, with more than 30 of those being school-aged children.

ARVS Manager Tracy Sleeman said the community response has been overwhelming, and has allowed the program to include the Lockyer area as of Thursday this week.

“With this whole program, I was expecting us to go out and deliver a breakfast to people who need food relief, however it has become much more than that,” she said.

“We have had residents drop in on their morning walk and ask us how we are going, they are interacting with clients, bringing us flowers to decorate the table and genuinely interested in the program.

“Clients are feeling supported and are now chatting more with us and telling us their stories and giving us great feedback about where we can assist others, hence us also including Lockyer as our next area to support people.”

The program is entirely self-sustained through running the once-a-month Scots Church kitchen, donations and fundraising.

In addition to expanding the service to a third day a week, monetary donations from several businesses have allowed new modifications to the food van, including the installation of an “Ostrich Awning” so the program can continue to operate in the winter months.

Breakfast in the Park is also on the lookout for more volunteers to help run fundraising sausage sizzles at the Shantymen Festival (Saturday, Easter long weekend), Albany Classic (Sunday, May 31) and WA Day (Saturday June 1).

“It’s made all of us who are volunteering more aware of homelessness and the need to support people in need of food relief,” Ms Sleeman said.

“There are a lot of people in our community that are doing it tough and existing services are often stretched to their limit to support people.”

People interested in volunteering, hiring the trailer or wanting more information can email [email protected] or call 9841 3588.

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Anderton finalist in AgriFutures awards

WESTERN Australia’s final five have been announced for the prestigious 2020 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, with Albany being represented by Lucy Anderton.

The agricultural economist owns a farm in partnership with her husband and has been working in the agriculture industry for the past 30 years.

“I came out here to Australia as a backpacker and ended up working on a sheep station in the goldfields,” she said.

Ms Anderton recognised the need for an easy-to-use whole-of-farm business analysis tool to assist with building resilience in the industry.

Working with agricultural stakeholders, Ms Anderton designed FARMSMART®, which allows users to explore alternative scenarios, enterprise mix and seasonal conditions.

The software is currently being developed and tested, but will be available for farmers to trial around April this year, with hopes it will be fully available in September.

The $10,000 business development award, should Ms Anderton win, will go towards helping develop FARMSMART® and will allow her to compete in the national AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

With this technology, Ms Anderton hopes to provide a realistic solution for farmers across Australia.

The WA Award winner will be announced at a ceremony in Perth on Wednesday, April 8.

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Indigenous fashion set to hit LA

ALBANY artist Kiya Watt has been selected to represent Australia at Los Angeles Fashion Week 2020.

Ms Watt is part of a team representing Deadly Denim, a WA company promoting Indigenous artwork on denim clothing, and will head to the United States in October.

She participated in Perth Fashion Week with Deadly Denim and said she was approached to take things internationally after that.

“To get a platform like this is quite big,” Ms Watt said.

“It’s so amazing – I’m really excited.”

Ms Watt, a Menang Noongar person, wants to use the opportunity to showcase her culture to the rest of the world as well as teach global fashionistas about Indigenous art style.

While her pieces for LA Fashion Week are still in the early concept stage, she has already found a bit of inspiration from other artworks she has created previously.

“I really want American people to see our Noongar culture,” Ms Watt said.

“Our art and clothes can act as a conversation starter into what it means to be an Indigenous person in Australia … it’s really important that we are given these opportunities as Indigenous people so we can show our culture worldwide.”

The WA group heading to L A is raising money through crowd funding to help finance their trip.

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Culture tour inspires students

ALBANY Senior High School students gained tips on how to live off the land this week at their annual cultural tour of the Albany Fish Traps.

The program has been running for the past four years, and involves taking the kids out of the classroom and into nature to experience the culture of Menang people.

ASHS teacher Roger Arnold said the school recognises the importance of exposing children to the cultural experiences of first nations people.

“There is a need to acknowledge, value and respect our local Menang culture,” he said.

The children were spoken to by local Elders such as Vernice Gillies, who wasn’t given the opportunity to learn about her own culture when she was in school.

“I learned about Captain Cook when I was at school, but I wasn’t aware at a young age just how incredibly rich my own culture was, because you weren’t supposed to talk about it,” she said.

“People don’t know the history of our Indigenous people of this country, so what we’re doing is important and we’re hoping to keep it going and eventually pass it onto our young ones, so they can do it too.”

The Albany Fish Traps are a culturally significant area for the Menang people, which date back more than 7000 years.

Despite damage to the area due to a lack of knowledge about its history, a project funded by Royalties for Regions and Lotterywest has helped highlight and educate the public about its importance to local people.

Ms Gillies hopes that future groups will continue to learn from their local Indigenous cultures, and go forward with a greater cross-cultural appreciation.

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Increase in cruise ships amid COVID-19 outbreak

STATE authorities are yet to confirm whether passengers aboard the five cruise ships planning to head to Albany within the next two weeks will be or have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) before they are allowed to mingle in the township.

As of yesterday, there were 112 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia; four were detected in WA.

COVID-19 was first detected in mainland China in December and has since spread across 113 countries and regions within the past three months.

Across the world there have been more than 117,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 4200 deaths.

The Weekender asked the WA Department of Health on Monday whether passengers aboard Albany-bound cruise ships had been or would be tested for coronavirus before they could disembark and explore the town.

The Sun Princess was in Albany yesterday and the Costa Deliziosa, Seven Seas Mariner, Sea Princess, Seabourn Sojourn and Silver Whisper are expected in the next two weeks.

The Arcadia was in Albany last Sunday.

The Department could not meet the Weekender’s deadline yesterday with a response.

Southern Ports CEO Steve Lewis said 14 cruise ships are currently scheduled to visit Albany between now and November, but this was “subject to change”.

“The immediate port visited prior to attending Albany are all Australian ports,” he said, regarding the cruise ships.

“The Federal Government has implemented strict protocols for people travelling into Australia from high-risk areas, and these protocols also apply to cruise ship passengers.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak there has been an increase in cruise ships visiting Albany, as ships are re-routing to avoid passages in higher-risk areas.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the activation of the Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for novel coronavirus on February 27.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that COVID-19 could be the first pandemic in history to be controlled.

“The bottom line is, we are not at the mercy of this virus,” he said.

“The great advantage we have is that the decisions we all make – as governments, businesses, communities, families and individuals – can influence the trajectory of this epidemic.

“Among those who are infected, most will recover.”

Dr Ghebreyesus said of the 80,000 reported coronavirus cases in China, more than 70 per cent had recovered and had been discharged from hospital.

“It’s also important to remember that looking only at the total number of reported cases and the total number of countries doesn’t tell the full story,” he said.

“Of all the cases reported globally so far, 93 per cent are from just four countries.

“This is an uneven epidemic at the global level.

“For the moment, only a handful of countries have signs of sustained community transmission – most countries still have sporadic cases or defined clusters.

“As long as that’s the case, those countries have the opportunity to break the chains of transmission, prevent community transmission and reduce the burden on their health systems.”

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Mother-daughter rule

LOCAL footy clubs are often seen as one big family, but the Albany Sharks have taken that idea to a whole new level with their women’s team this year.

The Sharks are making it a family affair in more ways than one, with Albany mums Emma Ashton and Lindy Weinert playing Australian Rules in the same team as their daughters.

Ms Ashton steps onto the field each week with her girls Marlee and Cheyenne, while Ms Weinert gets to kick the footy around with daughter Amarlie.

But that’s not all.

The two Sharks mums are also best friends, having met each other in the same hospital when their first children were born.

“It’s a real treat being able to run out with my daughters, my best friend and her daughter as well,” Ms Ashton said.

“It’s pretty special.”

Ms Ashton joined the team to support Marlee’s dream of playing AFLW, and thought it would be a great idea to get her best friend involved too.

Despite never playing organised sport in their lives, both women have fallen in love with the game.

“I wished I started playing years ago,” Ms Weinert said.

“It would have been great to be able to play footy when we were our kids’ age.”

In the Sharks’ third season fielding a women’s team in the Great Southern Football League, Ms Ashton said the club was building a strong culture.

“I haven’t loved being around big groups of women in my life – I’m more of a tomboy – but this bunch of girls are just amazing,” she said.

“It’s a family.”

In a youthful side, Ms Ashton said the team appreciated having a few experienced heads around.

“The girls have commented that they love having the mums in the team because we are the first to know when something is not quite right,” she said.

Albany currently sit third on the GSFLW ladder with three wins and three losses.

They play close rivals North Albany this Friday night at Centennial Oval, where a win will help guarantee them a finals appearance with four rounds to go in the 2020 season.

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Modified Sedans head south

NEXT weekend will see the WA Modified Sedans head to Attwell Park for the sixth and penultimate round of their series, plus Junior Sedans from across the state will travel south for their feature night.

While nominations have just opened for this round of the series, likely to head the list of drivers set to invade the local track is newly crowned State Champion Branden Fraser.

In last year’s corresponding round, Fraser pushed the eventual series champion all the way to finish a very close second, so there is a little bit of unfinished business for him.

After having a number of years off and returning halfway through this season, former State Champion Brendan Selleck from Kalgoorlie came away with his first round win at the last event in Margaret River after starting from pole, and will be wanting to go back-to-back.

Likely to also head to Albany is Paul Stevens who finished on the podium at a club show earlier this season and should be joined by Luke Fraser, Rick Musarra and Kevin Ellement.

On the local front Calon Ball, Sean Theyer and Matt Kata will be strong contenders and will want to keep the round in the Great Southern.

Ball appears to have sorted some issues he had with the car before the last round after he started on the front row in Margaret River to eventually finish third.

Kata, like Selleck, had a number of years off to return last season on a limited schedule but, in the few meetings he has done since his return has shown he and his XF Falcon are a strong pairing.

Another racer who competes on a limited schedule is Sean Theyer, with the Modifieds having just the one club show so far this season.

Theyer made the most of it taking home the win and coupled with his strong performance at the state title, he will be hard to beat.

They are the future of the sport and put on some of the best racing and the Junior Sedans will share the spotlight next weekend.

Jasmin Kennedy who has the most heat (four) and feature (two) wins of any other Junior this season at the Attwell Park track, will be wanting to keep that stat and will be doing her best to keep everyone at bay.

Hope Batchelor, who in the previous season had been racing a Corrolla, moved into a Lancer at the beginning of the season and has started to adapt to the new car and is getting faster each week, taking home the last feature win.

Bryce Fisher is unlucky to have just the two heat and no feature wins as he is always there in contention and, given the right circumstances, next week he will be right there once again.

With just two meetings after this one left in the season, time is running out to see some great, hard and fast racing so make sure you head trackside next weekend.

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Dickson set for World Cup

TRAVELLING more than 800km most weekends to compete in the sport she loves, 16-year old Molly Dickson won’t let geographical restrictions get in the way of her representing Australia.

The Albany local drives up to Perth each week with her mum to play in the state’s premier floorball competition – an absolute must if she wants to sharpen her skills for the upcoming World Cup.

Dickson was recently selected to play for Australia in this year’s U19s World Floorball Championships in Sweden – the second time she’s represented the nation at such an event.

For the uninitiated, floorball is similar to ice hockey, with five players plus a goalie on each team.

In the fast-paced indoor game, players can use their body to block shots, and even pass the ball to a teammate with their feet.

“The rules are quite different to field hockey,” Dickson said.

“It’s very physical, you use your body a lot. It’s easy to pick up a few bruises.”

Originating from Sweden, floorball is a big deal in European countries like Finland, Switzerland and Czech Republic – and they will be the teams to beat at this year’s championships, according to Dickson.

Finding the cash to fund her trip to Europe has been no easy feat though, with an estimated of cost of $7000.

“The Finish and Swedish national teams get paid to play at the Championships, but we don’t get a single dollar,” Dickson said.

Hearing of Dickson’s plight, the Great Southern Regional Association Sporting Fund (GSRASF) decided to step in and contribute $500 towards the trip.

“It’s a big burden to get to top level when you’ve got to find your own funds,” GSRASF Chairperson Barb Wilson said.

“If you need financial assistance competing at a state or international level, contact us through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.”

Apart from hoping a floorball competition pops up closer to home, Dickson said it was amazing to receive local funding.

“It means so much to me to have the support,” she said.

“Every little contribution makes a big difference.”

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It’s good old Collingwood for Cameron

ALBANY’S Darcy Cameron has quickly understood the pecking order at the Collingwood Football Club after being traded from Sydney at the end of last season.

The 204cm ruckman is hoping to add to his one AFL game but realises he will have to play forward and help out in the ruck while Brodie Grundy plies his trade as the number one ruckman for the Pies.

Grundy is a dual All-Australian, won the Pies Fairest and Best – the Copeland Trophy – for the past two years and was the 2018 Herald Sun Player of the Year.

“I’m not going to kick Brodie out of his spot,” Cameron joked.

“But it is great learning from the best ruckman in the game and he sets incredibly high training standards.”

Cameron played at North Albany in the Great Southern Football League before heading to Claremont.

In the 2016 AFL national draft, he was taken at pick 48 by the Sydney Swans and finally made his long-awaited debut on July 21, 2018 against the Gold Coast Suns at the SCG.

When Cameron relocated from Sydney to Melbourne, he moved in with Carlton co-captain and midfield bull Patrick Cripps.

Cameron and Cripps, from Northampton, have been close friends since playing together in junior WA state sides and Cameron said he learnt a lot from the ‘ultimate professional’.

There is also an Albany connection at the Pies with former North Albany player and 227-gamer with Collingwood, Tarkyn Lockyer, who is the team’s Head Development Coach.

Cameron is 24 as he enters his fourth year in the AFL system and says he feels comfortable at Collingwood and is arguably fitter than he has ever been.

On Sunday, Cameron played a starring role in the pre-season competition against Richmond, picking up plaudits from coach Nathan Buckley.

Collingwood take on the Western Bulldogs on March 20 in round one of the AFL and Cameron will know he has done everything in his power to be at the forefront of selection.

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