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The Northern Rivers Times News Edition 107
The Northern Rivers Times | NSW Northern Rivers News
The Northern Rivers Times Rural News Edition 107
The Northern Rivers Times News Edition 107
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NSW Breaking News

NEW LEGAL AID CEO ANNOUNCED

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

NEW LEGAL AID CEO ANNOUNCED

Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of Monique Hitter as the Chief Executive Officer of Legal Aid NSW.

Ms Hitter has been Acting CEO of Legal Aid NSW since November 2021. Her career at Legal Aid NSW spans more than 20 years, including 15 years on the Executive and four years as Deputy CEO.

Mr Speakman said Monique Hitter is an outstanding and accomplished senior executive leader with a proven track record in achieving justice outcomes for some of our State’s most vulnerable people.

“Ms Hitter has a deep understanding of Legal Aid NSW’s critical and unique responsibility to ensure access to justice for vulnerable people, including people with mental health issues, people with intellectual disabilities, the elderly and people in remote and regional areas.

“Having spearheaded Legal Aid NSW’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms Hitter is well-placed to take the organisation beyond the challenges of the past two years into its next critical phase in the provision of legal assistance services.”

Chair of the Legal Aid NSW Board Craig Smith welcomed Ms Hitter’s appointment.

“Ms Hitter has earned the respect and the support of the Board. Her commitment and passion for the cause of Legal Aid will ensure our continued success in serving the community and providing access to justice,” Mr Smith said.

Ms Hitter said she is humbled and honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Australia’s largest provider of legal assistance services and its outstanding and dedicated workforce.

“It is a great privilege to lead Legal Aid NSW, to serve and to make a significant difference to the individuals and communities who need us most across NSW,” Ms Hitter said.
Monique Hitter commences in the role immediately and replaces former CEO Brendan Thomas.

Health News

FREE FLU SHOTS FOR ALL EXTENDED TO 17 JULY

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

FREE FLU SHOTS FOR ALL EXTENDED TO 17 JULY

Free flu shots for NSW residents will be extended until 17 July amid concerns
vaccination rates are still not where they should be.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the latest data shows only one in four children aged
under five has had a flu shot, while the figures are even lower for kids aged five to 15.
“It’s really worrying that just over 18 per cent of children and teenagers have had a flu
jab and for kids aged six months to five years, the figure is 25 per cent,” Mr Hazzard
said.
“These numbers are particularly concerning given in the last month, four times as many
kids have been admitted to Sydney’s two children’s hospitals with flu than with COVID.”
Mr Hazzard urged families to use the school holidays to book in for a free flu shot.
“It only takes a few minutes to get a flu jab but that time could mean the difference
between you or one of your loved ones ending up in ICU so please, book in today,” Mr
Hazzard said.
The uptake of the influenza vaccine in adults is equally worrying, with less than 40 per
cent of 50 to 65 year olds and only 64 per cent of those aged over 65 having a flu jab.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant urged more people to come forward for their
influenza vaccination to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations.
“More than 1,000 people presented to our EDs with flu-like illness last week and almost
165 were so unwell they were admitted, including very young children,” Dr Chant said.
“Please take advantage of the offer of the free vaccination to protect yourself against
the flu this winter. There is plenty of supply and appointments available at GPs and
pharmacies.”
The low uptake in Sydney’s west and south-west continues to be of concern, so too in
parts of far northern NSW and the State’s central west.

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NSW Breaking News

ABORIGINAL FLAG TO FLY ON SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

ABORIGINAL FLAG TO FLY ON HARBOUR BRIDGE

The Aboriginal flag will fly permanently on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge following NAIDOC week celebrations, completing a commitment made by the NSW Government earlier this year.

“From today, one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks will celebrate our Indigenous people and provide an everyday reminder of our nation’s rich history,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Our nation’s story is rich and enduring and flying the Aboriginal flag permanently above the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a celebration and acknowledgment of that.

“Honouring this commitment is part of our ongoing commitment to recognise the history, culture, excellence and achievements of Aboriginal people and is a fitting end to NAIDOC week 2022.”

The NSW State Flag remains a vital part of our heritage and this will be showcased in a place of prominence as part of the revitalisation of the Macquarie St East precinct redevelopment.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said the $25 million announced in the NSW Budget to place a permanent third flag pole on the Sydney Harbour Bridge will instead be allocated towards indigenous initiatives.

“This builds on the NSW Government’s commitment to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people across NSW, following a $716 million investment in this year’s Budget to prioritise Closing the Gap initiatives,” Mr Franklin said.

“I am proud to be part of the Government that will permanently fly the Aboriginal flag above the Sydney Harbour Bridge and I am happy that a further investment will be made to deliver real outcomes for Aboriginal people across NSW.”

Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said this is the right decision to ensure the flag can be flown permanently as quickly as possible, whilst recognising the significance of the Aboriginal flag.

“As has been outlined all along, the process of installing a third flagpole high above one of the busiest traffic corridors in Australia was always going to be difficult and this decision ensures the Aboriginal flag can remain permanently,” Mrs Ward.

“The Macquarie Street East precinct redevelopment will now be expanded to include a prominent NSW State flag, which recognises the important and rich history of Macquarie Street to the heritage of NSW.”

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Northern Rivers Local News

Second diphtheria case identified in Northern NSW

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Second diphtheria case identified in Northern NSW

The North Coast Public Health Unit has confirmed a second case of diphtheria of the throat, in a six year old child in Northern NSW.

This child is a close family contact of the first case announced yesterday. The child, who was not vaccinated against diphtheria, is currently being cared for at a Northern NSW Local Health District hospital, where they were admitted as a precaution.

The children’s close contacts have received post exposure prophylaxis, which can include antibiotics and immunisation, to reduce the risk of transmission.

Diphtheria is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread mainly through respiratory droplets during close contact with a person who has the bacteria.

While no other cases of throat diphtheria have been reported in NSW since the 1990s, on rare occasions other less serious cases of diphtheria have been reported, mainly involving the skin.

Dr Paul Douglas, Director North Coast Public Health, said the risk to the broader community is low.

“However this is a very serious disease and can be fatal, so families should be alert and review the immunisation status of their children on the Australian Immunisation Register or with their medical provider, to ensure they are update with all vaccinations,” Dr Douglas said.

“Diphtheria is very rare in Australia due to our longstanding childhood immunisation program.

“The diphtheria vaccination is free and readily available from your GP for everyone from six weeks of age. It is important that everyone keeps up to date with their vaccinations.”

Immunisation prevents against severe diphtheria, and is included in the Australian Childhood Immunisation program. In Australia, children are vaccinated at six weeks, four months, six months, 18 months, four years, and at the beginning of high school. In adulthood, diphtheria vaccine is included with tetanus and pertussis vaccines in the DTPa vaccines, which are recommended for adults every 10 years and in pregnancy.

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