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News and Reviews

Pictures from the edge

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One of the photographs submitted for the Head On Exhibition starting in Sydney on November 10 capturing a family activity in Bangalow. Photo: Margaret Dean.
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Pictures from the edge

 

By Tim Howard

Photos recording the family life of a Northern Rivers woman raising two children in poverty in Bangalow has been accepted into Australia’s largest photographic event.

In March Margaret Dean, who now lives at Wyan, near Casino, decided to send a portfolio of her pictures to the Head On Photo Festival.

The festival, held at Bondi for from November 10 to December 3, prides itself on its collection of “beautiful, eclectic and thought-provoking images”.

Ms Dean said she could not have been more excited at having her works chosen for the exhibition.

“I’ve never really put myself out there,” she said. “I’ve ever tried to get any attention for my photographs.

“I didn’t know if they were of interest to anybody. You know they are just family.”

Ms Dean who was diagnosed as neurodiverse with autism, at the age of 54, long after she took these pictures, has produced images that give an insight into her world.

“Looking back, these images represent the margins we have lived in: on the edge of town, under the poverty line, and in the fringes of society,” she said.

A moody portrait conveying the emotions of a family living with an undiagnosed condition at the margins of a community. Photo: Margaret Dean.

A moody portrait conveying the emotions of a family living with an undiagnosed condition at the margins of a community. Photo: Margaret Dean.

Ms Dean said when she saw the call for submissions she thought maybe they could be of interest for other people.

She sent in 20 photos taken over eight years while her two children grew up in their rented home at Bangalow and the judges chose 10 to be be part of the exhibition.

As a first time exhibitor she had no idea what might happen.

“I had just about given up on them,” she said. “Then at the end of April I was told my photos were on the short list of entries.

“Then I had to wait another three months, till around July before I knew they had been accepted.”

Ms Dean said she had been “sitting on” the photos for more than 10 years, quietly thinking they were good enough.

“They tell a story about something and maybe it’s worth other people seeing them,” she said.

Ms Dean said the photos were about belonging, yet never feeling like you’re part of the world.

“When you feel like you’re not quite a part of the world, like other people are, then your home becomes a safe space for you because it’s the only space where you can be yourself without judgment,” she said.

“That’s what I see when I look at these images.”

But over time she said she has added onto that feeling.

“The wider setting of the images is we were living in Bangalow at a time when it was undergoing great change.

One of the photographs submitted for the Head On Exhibition starting in Sydney on November 10 capturing a family activity in Bangalow. Photo: Margaret Dean.

One of the photographs submitted for the Head On Exhibition starting in Sydney on November 10 capturing a family activity in Bangalow. Photo: Margaret Dean.

“I think we had the cheapest house to rent in town and it was at that time the financially disadvantaged residents the people who rented, but who had only income, were being pushed out by rising rents.

“When I look back at these pictures, all the families that my daughter went to school with. They’re no longer there.

“Most of them are gone. Unless they owned their own home, they’re no long there. It was like this pushing out of the poorer residents.”

She described why she called the selection of photographs In Margins.

“When I look at it I just see how looking back over my life, now that I know about my neurodiversity, I can see it in the photos,” she said.

“I can see what I’m looking at now, but I didn’t understand it back then.”

Head On Photo Festival creative director and founder Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, said the event accepted one of the highest numbers of works to date.

“What’s unique about this festival – and unseen in any other gallery in Australia – is that we aren’t selecting the artists, rather the artwork based on its composition and merit alone,” Mr Rosenzveig said

“The majority of portrait competitions are judged on the celebrity of the photographer or subject, meaning so many incredible works are not seen.

“At Head On the pieces are submitted blindly, so the selection panel doesn’t know who the photographer is. We don’t care where they went to school, or where they have exhibited before. We’re trying to eliminate that bias.”

Over the years, Head On Foundation has put $700,000 in cash and products back into the arts industry through the Head On Photo Awards and supported thousands of photographic artists by producing and promoting their exhibitions.

 

For more entertainment news, click here.

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NRAR Officers to Revisit Casino Area Properties to Monitor Water Rule Compliance

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NRAR Officers to Revisit Casino Area Properties to Monitor Water Rule Compliance

 

Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) outreach officers are scheduled to return to properties in the Casino area this June to check on the progress of landholders in addressing water law breaches identified in previous visits.

Since 2022, NRAR officers have visited 782 properties in the region, providing advice and guidance on compliance. During these visits, it was discovered that over 22% of landholders had breached water rules in some manner.

NRAR Director of Education and Engagement Keeley Reynolds explained that the upcoming visits are intended to assess the steps landholders have taken to meet their obligations. “At our first visit, if there were issues, we discussed those with the landholder and offered help and advice on how to address them. Now we hope to see that they have complied or made substantial progress,” Ms. Reynolds stated.

The most common problem identified in the region was the failure to keep accurate records of water use. Additionally, issues such as having oversized water works or metering problems were also frequently detected. Of the 176 breaches observed, 152 were related to accurate record keeping.

“The effective management of water in NSW depends on accurately and consistently measuring water use – and keeping accurate logbooks is fundamental to that,” Ms. Reynolds emphasised. “Some of the breaches we are talking about might seem minor, but all breaches of NSW water laws are important and collectively they can add up to a large widespread problem.”

Ms. Reynolds noted that if landholders are still not compliant, outreach officers will attempt to understand the reasons and offer further assistance. However, she warned that continued non-compliance could lead to enforcement actions, including fines, approval suspensions, and even prosecution for the most significant cases.

The Casino area falls within the Far North Coast Water Sharing Plan area, which spans from north of Coffs Harbour to the Queensland border, covering 10,000 square kilometres and over 280 kilometres of coastline in NSW.

For more information about NRAR’s education and engagement activities, landholders and interested parties are encouraged to visit the NRAR website.

Key Points:

  • NRAR officers to revisit Casino area properties in June to check compliance progress.
  • Initial visits revealed over 22% of landholders had breached water rules.
  • Most common issues were related to accurate water use record keeping.
  • Continued non-compliance could lead to enforcement actions.
  • The Casino area is part of the Far North Coast Water Sharing Plan, covering a vast region in NSW.

For further details on NRAR’s initiatives and to stay updated, please visit NRAR’s website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP DELIVERS $47.8 MILLION IN FUNDING TO PREVENT FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FUNDING
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NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP DELIVERS $47.8 MILLION IN FUNDING TO PREVENT FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

Services providing frontline support to women and children experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV) will receive a share of $47.8 million in Commonwealth Government funding under the Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence National Partnership Agreement 2023-25 (NPA).

These include early intervention initiatives, specialist services, innovative pilot programs, and workforce capability development projects.

From the age of 15, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men in Australia have experienced violence by an intimate partner or family member.

In NSW, there are around 2,500 reports of domestic violence to the police every month.

Last year, there were 36,072 incidents of domestic violence related assault and 19 domestic violence related murders of women and children in the state.

Aboriginal women and children are also over-represented as victim-survivors of family violence.

The NPA 2023-25 includes:

  • $25.6 million for response, recovery and healing initiatives
  • $15.9 million for early intervention initiatives
  • $6.3 million for workforce and sector capability building

Funding under the 2023-25 NPA will be put towards projects that help to achieve Target 13 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap: to cut the rate of family violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children by 50 per cent by 2031. This round of funding will invest in vital, culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal women and children.

Workforce capability projects will focus on training specialist frontline DFV workers to identify and respond to the dynamics of coercive control, and activities to support faith, community and sporting leaders when engaging with people who disclose experiences of DFV.

The funding will also continue some grants awarded to DFV service providers that were funded under NPA 2021-2023.

This includes 10 organisations delivering tailored men’s behavioural change programs for Aboriginal people, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with cognitive impairment and the Aboriginal Wellbeing and Family Violence Prevention Program in Tamworth.

Youth Justice NSW will receive funding to continue to deliver a range of programs including support services for young people to understand Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) conditions, court processes and bail conditions. The funding secures the continuation of DFV Family Workers in key locations across NSW to provide therapeutic and practical support to families and young people, support additional psychologists and improve court resources.

The Commonwealth funding under the NPA will complement the NSW government’s $230 million emergency domestic violence package.

Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said:

“Ending violence against women and children is a national priority shared by all Australian governments.

“We are working in partnership with the NSW Government to end the cycle of violence and build the capacity of our frontline workforce.

“This investment is in line with our multipronged approach to fund initiatives across the four domains of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children – prevention, early intervention, response, and healing and recovery.”

Minister for Health Ryan Park said:

“Domestic violence has an awful impact on families, and it affects all sections of our society.

“I am really proud we have in place a number of measures within our healthcare system including prenatal screening, which will identify and protect some of our most vulnerable women and children.”

Minister for Youth Justice Jihad Dib said:

“Juvenile domestic and family violence offenders can often be victims or survivors of domestic and family violence themselves, and early intervention programs are vital to respond to young people using or experiencing violence in their homes. Initiatives like the DFV Family Workers are a practical way we can work with communities and empower families to make positive decisions, as well as help divert young people from the criminal justice system.”

Minister for Families and Communities Kate Washington said:

“Domestic and family violence is a cowardly crime and the NSW government is looking at every lever to keep women and children safe.

“We know many vulnerable children in the foster care system come from houses of violence, highlighting the importance of early intervention programs to support families to stay safely together.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:

“With Aboriginal women and children over-represented as family and domestic violence victim-survivors, this funding will boost on-the-ground support services in communities where they’re most needed.

“It will also contribute to efforts to meet the Closing the Gap target of halving rates of family and domestic violence in Aboriginal communities by 2031.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said:

“The statistics for domestic and family violence are shocking and tragic.

“Beyond the numbers, we know that family violence can have destructive consequences for women and children and can leave a devastating impact on the community.

“Our government is committed to seeing dramatic improvements in the rates of domestic, family and sexual violence, and what we need to focus on is delivering appropriate and effective, whole-of-community services for victim-survivors.”

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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Annual Trout Fishing Closure Commences After June Long Weekend

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Annual Trout Fishing Closure Commences After June Long Weekend

Recreational fishers are reminded that the annual fishing closure in trout streams and rivers across NSW is in place from Tuesday, 11 June 2024. Annual fishing closure in trout streams and rivers.

Annual Trout Fishing Closure Commences After June Long Weekend

Annual Trout Fishing Closure Commences After June Long Weekend

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Fisheries Manager for Fish Stocking and Enhancement, Matthew McLellan, stated that the annual closure allows salmonid species to breed uninterrupted during their spawning run.
“The four-month closure ensures we protect our fishing assets for future seasons,” Mr. McLellan said.

Fishing During the Closure
During this time, recreational fishers can still enjoy fishing at popular trout dams across NSW such as:
• Lake Jindabyne and Eucumbene Dam in the Snowy Mountains
• Oberon Dam near Bathurst
• Talbingo Dam near Tumut
• Malpas Dam near Armidale
Fishers can also enjoy quality angling in the Macquarie River (excluding tributaries above its junction with, and including, Lewis Ponds Creek) and the Turon River and tributaries (below the Upper Turon Road crossing).
The fishing season for trout and salmon in trout rivers and streams will re-open on Saturday, 5 October 2024, coinciding with the start of the October long weekend.

Trout Fishing Rules
Detailed information on trout fishing rules can be found on the DPI website, NSW DPI FishSMART app, and the NSW Freshwater Fishing Guide, which is available from NSW DPI Fisheries offices and most bait and tackle stores.

Compliance and Regulations
NSW DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Dr. Andrew Moriarty, emphasized that it is an offence to fish in trout streams during the closed season.
“DPI Fisheries Officers will be patrolling the State’s inland waterways throughout the trout closure period to ensure compliance,” Dr. Moriarty said.
Fishers heading to any trout dams this winter are reminded that they must have a current NSW recreational fishing fee receipt (fishing licence) on them at all times while fishing.
A combined bag limit of five and a size limit of 25 cm applies to trout or salmon in all trout dams, except in artificial fly and lure dams where the bag limit is two.

Reporting Illegal Fishing Activity
Members of the public are encouraged to report any suspected illegal fishing activity to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or via the NSW DPI website https://fal.cn/3fMUz

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