Early detection campaign push

THE story of Katanning retiree Ruth Aldshead should be a message to all – if you notice something unusual with your body, get it checked out.

Ms Aldshead started experiencing lower abdominal pain, blood in her stool and changes in her bowel movements back in 2010 when she was in her late 70s.

It was her persistence in going to the doctor and returning again when she wasn’t happy with their opinion that eventuated in her bowel cancer diagnosis.

Ms Aldshead was diagnosed with terminal cancer but swift treatment soon after she noticed her unusual symptoms meant she is still enjoying her life today, nine years later.

She urges people to be aware of their bodies and get anything different or unusual checked out straight away.

“I was brought up in the English tradition of ‘just get over it’ but I felt something was wrong,” Ms Aldshead told the Weekender.

“I was terribly healthy, so when I went to the doctor, I didn’t feel strong enough to push it, but a few months later there was more pain and I went back.”

Ms Aldshead admits she’s been very lucky but reiterated how important it is to listen to your body.

“If you’ve got any lumps or bumps or unexplained pain, investigate it,” she said.

“An early notice can mean it’s treated, and it’s gone.”

Ms Aldshead continues to undergo chemotherapy to keep on top of the cancer that “crops up a bit” but maintains her positive attitude by focusing on external interests, such as the growing climate change debate.

The Cancer Council’s Find Cancer Early campaign encourages people to get symptoms checked and look after their bodies.

There are several screening tests available, including a bowel cancer kit for people who do not have any noticeable symptoms for bowel cancer, that could potentially save your life.

Visit findcancerearly.com.au for more information.

Continue Reading

Food donation box opens

A NEW commercial collaboration in Albany hopes to increase the amount of food available to struggling families on a permanent basis.

Albany Plaza, Coles Albany Plaza and Foodbank Albany have joined forces to install a permanent food donation box out the front of Coles Albany Plaza.

Recently appointed Coles Albany Plaza Store Manager Karan Sharma said he was eager to jump on board with the project the moment he learned about it.

“We want to help locals as much as we can,” he said.

“We’re over the moon that we can do this and want to thank Albany Plaza management for their support.”

Foodbank Albany Manager Rod Pfeiffer described the donation box as a “huge” win for the organisation.

“This is the first permanent box we’ve had and it can increase our variety of stock we can offer people in need,” he said.

“We’ll collect at least 7000 meals per year now, just from this box.”

Continue Reading

‘Beautifully brutal’

DENMARK Running Club’s inaugural Half Marathon, 10km and 2km races went off without a hitch over the weekend with 140 competitors lacing up their sneakers for the event.

Runners came off the mark at Lights Beach on Sunday morning and followed the Munda Biddi trail and tackled the hills that the area is known for.

Club member Rosie Smith said they received plenty of positive feedback.

“Everyone came back pumped,” she said.

“It was a really great community event and had great atmosphere.

“We’ll definitely be back next year.”

Perth’s Sam Hoffman set a blistering pace from the start and managed to maintain it along the gruelling route to come in first place with a time of 1.25:38.

Runner-up was local Toby Le Fort who completed the track in 1.35:34 despite having ridden 100km earlier in the morning.

First females across the line were mother-and-daughter duo Abby and Kelly Barker, who finished in a dead heat of 1.58:31.

Ms Smith said they had plenty of local competitors but also visitors from Busselton, Bunbury and Perth.

“One of the comments we’ve had on the event was that it was a ‘beautifully brutal race’,” she said.

“Everyone ran well and ran safely, there were no hiccups which was great.

“We had so much local support for the competition with volunteers from Denmark Surf Life Saving Club, St Johns Ambulance waiting in case there was an accident, and so many donated prizes.”

Continue Reading

Artists join spring market

YOUNGS Siding Hall will come alive with activity next weekend for the second annual Spring Market.

The market will be held at the Station Street venue on October 6 from 9am to 1pm and feature food, plants, crafts, food, drinks, live music and pony rides.

Market organiser Heather Marr said next week’s market was also part of the Southern Art and Craft Trail, and would host resident artists Taysha Barrett, Bjorn Form, Sandra Irvin McKenney and Sonja Beattie with their mixed media display The Melting Pot.

“We hope the local public will come out and support the artists, stallholders and performers to make it a memorable and fun-filled morning,” Ms Marr said.

“In addition, all funds raised go to a good cause – to much-needed funds to maintain the gorgeous Youngs Siding Hall as a hub of the community.”

There are still spaces for more stalls, so prospective stallholders are invited to contact Ms Marr on 9845 1556 for more information.

Continue Reading

Excellent educator

AN AWARD-winning day care educator is now among the many day cares and carers based in the Great Southern.

Yakamia-based Caroline Boocock from Albany Family Day Care was crowned the Albany and Great Southern regional winner in the recent 2019 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.

Ms Boocock is now in the running to be named a national finalist and said she was a bit shocked when she learned about the win.

“I actually found out when I was tagged on Facebook, the email didn’t come through,” she laughed.

“It means everything to us and makes us feel appreciated; it’s validation for what we do.”

Ms Boocock has worked in the day care industry since 2006 and has enjoyed watching all of the children she’s cared for grow up.

People have been so happy with her care that they booked their children a spot before they were even born.

The successful national finalists will be announced next month on October 14 and the National Educator of the Year will be announced at a Hobart gala dinner on November 23.

Continue Reading

Kids’ voices heard

AN ARTS project aimed at broadcasting children’s inner thoughts and feelings to adults comes to a close this week at Albany Entertainment Centre.

Small Voices Louder, created by Perth artist Alex Desebrock, included a series of activities asking kids ‘big idea’ questions last year and recording their answers.

In July, participating children crafted a large whale from Fossicker’s Tip Shop materials, so they could lay inside of it and listen back to their recordings through speakers.

This whale has been living in the Albany Entertainment Centre foyer for the past month and will migrate out on Saturday.

However, a secret source told the Weekender that the colourful whale could pop up again in the community somewhere else, soon.

Children and adults are welcome to stick their heads in the whale and listen to the recordings before it leaves on Saturday afternoon.

Continue Reading

Denmark to trial markets

MARKET lovers will be able to trial a fresh food market held in the Denmark Community Resource Centre car park every Saturday for the next six months.

During the Shire of Denmark council meeting on Tuesday night, councillors voted six to one in favour of the trial with councillor Janine Phillips voting against the motion.

During public question time Denmark Chamber of Commerce CEO Liz Jack said the trialled market could help businesses and the community as an attractor to the area.

“Our community is still very reliant on microbusiness though,” she said.

“Please don’t leave your small businesses behind.”

Stallholder Josie Mitchell said the backbone of the Kwoorabup Market was the fruit and vegetables that were sold and the proposed markets on a Saturday would threaten their enterprise.

“The primary reason for punters to visit our markets on a Sunday is the fruit and vegetables,” she said.

Councillors Kingsley Gibson and Roger Seeney moved and seconded the motion.

Cr Gibson said there had been concerns raised about what the markets would do to local business.

“My opinion is that these things are attractors,” he said.

“I acknowledge that there are concerns, but we have to weigh these things up.

“Competition isn’t unhealthy, and the fact that it’s a six month trail benefits the community.”

The trial Fresh Food Markets will operate each Saturday from October 5 from 8.30am to 12pm until March 28 next year.

The markets will have produce only sourced from the Great Southern such as fruit, vegetables, dairy, meats, coffee, preserves, soaps, natural cosmetics, candles and local wines.

Continue Reading

Festival in full bloom

THE Great Southern’s annual Bloom Festival kicks off this week with a calendar of more than 60 events lined up across the region.

The event will begin with Mulka – Place Names Katanning at Katanning Town Square this Friday from 5.30pm to 8pm.

This will include a large-scale puppet performance of Noongar storytelling, music and dance.

After all of the Bloom Festival events, the festival will wrap up on October 17 with Stories from the Keeping Place at the Gnowangerup Museum.

A Wild Paws Walk will also take place in Katanning on October 19.

A full list of events, information, competitions and prizes can be found online at greatsoutherntreasures.com.au/bloom or at local visitors centres, community resource centres and shire offices.

Continue Reading

Light shone on abilities

AN UPCOMING Albany theatre production will have a taste of Hollywood over the next couple of months as it takes part in a disability awareness campaign.

The behind the scenes efforts of Let’s Shine Brightly, a show inviting people living with a disability to perform in a variety show, will be filmed by aspiring videographers Baden and Dylan Redshaw.

The footage will be used as a behind the scenes look at the lives of people living with a disability to showcase their abilities to others.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Business Development Officer from CarersWA Andi Dackins explained the Disabling the Label project.

“We’ll be making four short videos that capture the mainstream audience, so they can understand what it’s like to have a disability and why it’s important people with a disability should be taken seriously,” she said.

“This is a chance for people to speak to their community, as we want as much raw and unscripted footage as possible.”

Let’ s Shine Brightly Co-Director Janet McArtney said the theme of the production will be “this is me” and feature a powerful opening and closing act with a variety of performances such as singing, skits, dancing and poetry embellished with colourful costumes, lighting, mirror balls, smoke machines, creative scenery and props.

The first brainstorm session for the production will be this Saturday at 2pm at Albany Port Theatre, followed by an information session at 2pm on October 5.

Continue Reading

Ex-Docker kicking new goals

RECENTLY retired Fremantle Docker Hayden Ballantyne will be a regular fixture at the Mt Barker Saleyards after his appointment to Westcoast Wool & Livestock as a livestock representative.

Westcoast Wool & Livestock recently participated in their first sales at Mt Barker and Mr Ballantyne was there in his first gig with the company.

“They were the ‘new kids on the block’ at the Mount Barker sale and I’m a ‘new kid on the block’, so it’s a good fit and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Ballantyne played 171 games for Fremantle and won an All-Australian guernsey in 2014, goal of the year in 2011 and was a member of the 2015 Australian International Rules team.

He is still considering his playing options in 2020 and if not offered an attractive contract from another AFL club, could be strapping on the boots for Peel Thunder or a team in the South West Football League.

The forward pocket specialist has been renowned for constantly buzzing around the forward line and it has been a similar story off the field.

“Why rest? If I sit around for two days I would go crazy,” said Hayden, upon joining the Westcoast Wool & Livestock team.

In recent years, Mr Ballantyne has operated an 800 to 1000-head beef cattle feedlot near Donnybrook and this year, following in the footsteps of his father Graham, commenced training thoroughbreds, recently notching his first win with Mankind at a Saturday Ascot meeting.

His interest in livestock and the agriculture industry sparked from spending time with his stepfather, cattle buyer Greg Jones, and attending livestock market sales at Muchea, Boyanup and Mount Barker.

Livestock Manager with Westcoast Wool & Livestock Gerald Wetherall said the company was excited to welcome Mr Ballantyne’s strong profile to the business.

Continue Reading