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Local News

Training for our silver anniversary

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Indian Pacific train stopped at a station

Training for our silver anniversary

 

By Samantha Elley

With a 25th wedding anniversary to celebrate and the idea that we wanted to do something different, hubby and I decided to explore a recently untouched area in our travel experiences.

We were heading to Perth.

Not by anything as pedestrian as flying over there. Oh no, we wanted to go by train.

Journey Beyond is a company that runs overland train trips, one of which is the Indian Pacific.

The name makes sense, as the trip goes from ocean to ocean, although we were going Pacific to Indian.

After checking in at Central Station, hubby meeting our first new co-traveller by dropping his bag on the poor guy’s leg, we were ushered into the Eternity Café for canapes and welcome drinks while serenaded to the tunes of Indian Pacific musician Mike Elrington. We would meet him again throughout the three day journey.

Once fed and watered, the very friendly and helpful staff showed us to our cabins.

We were booked in Gold service which meant two bunk beds and our own private shower and toilet.

Other classes on the trip include Gold single, which comes with one bunk and shared toilet facilities or Platinum, a cut above with double beds, full sized ensuites and expansive viewing windows.

If you suffer from claustrophobia, be prepared.

The rooms are not large and the ensuite in gold class was an engineering feat to have a shower in such a tiny space without saturating towels, toilet and toothpaste.

Indian Pacific train stopped at a station

Stopover in the ghost town Cook

We explored the lounge and dining cars and slowly got to meet the people we would be sharing our epic train journey with over the next three days.

There were travellers from England, Canada, Sweden and the USA.

There were even locals who had decided to explore more of their country and a couple who were heading home to the western capital after travelling on the east coast.

The first evening saw us depart Sydney via the western suburbs on to the Blue Mountains.

As we curled up into our bunk beds for the first night, full from the three course meal enjoyed in the dining car, we prepared to fall asleep to the rocking of the train.

The next morning saw us all comparing our lack of sleep, due to the rocking of the train. That would soon change on the second night.

A normal exploration of Broken Hill in the early morning was sadly cancelled due to the unfortunate hold up by a freight train, but we were to be entertained onboard by the musical abilities of  Mike from the Eternity Café and a very gifted musical passenger who accompanied him on flute.

The entertainment continued with an unusual form in the shape of Broken Hill’s iconic drag queen Shelita Buffet, who took a liking to hubby, wanting to glitter up his beard.

Flooding on the Nullabor aboard the Indian Pacific Train

Flooding on the Nullabor

Shelita did a fast rendition of Bingo which Yours Truly ended up winning. Despite a promise of a meal with Shelita, I ended up with a tote bag. I think it had been hoped hubby would win, rather than me.

The evening was an off board experience where we chose to dine at the South Australia Museum, after a fascinating talk about the early life and fossils located in South Australia and from the Nullabor.

Back on board, we heard of the experiences of others who had gone to the Barossa for wine tasting, the night markets or to the little village of Hahndorf to taste the gin and cheese.

We were all exhausted and next morning woke up to the expansive, yet fascinating views of the Nullabor, which broken down is nullus = nothing and arbor = tree, meaning place of no trees.

That’s not entirely true, as we did see trees and scrub and an amazing orange earth contrasted against the azure blue sky.

It is the world’s largest single exposure of limestone bedrock and occupies an area of about 200,000 square kilometres. At its widest point, it stretches about 1,100 kilometres from east to west across the border between South Australia and Western Australia.*

There is something, dare I say, spiritual about crossing such a large expanse of flat land that is normally dry.

What we saw, however, were large pools of rainwater.

Musical entertainment in the lounge car on the Indian Pacific

Musical entertainment in the lounge car

Apparently, the staff told us they had never seen the Nullarbor with so much water.

It also meant we did not stop at Rawlinna sheep station for our promised under the stars barbeque for Australia Day.

We did, however, enjoy a lamb roast on board with a chocolate pudding chaser.

We did get to visit the ghost town of Cook, which was a chance to stretch our legs.

Cook was established in 1917 when the Trans-Australian Railway was built.

When the town was a major Commonwealth Railways centre for track maintenance and locomotive and rolling stock repairs, it supported a school and hospital.

At that time, railway employees and their families depended on two weekly provisions trains for the delivery of supplies.

The town was officially closed in 1997 and in 2009 claimed a population of four.*

Our final day on the train was spent chatting and laughing with our newfound friends, watching the landscape change to Western Australian bushland and swathes of wheat fields, dotted with large silos and finally into the outer suburbs of Perth, before we disembarked at the East Perth terminal.

To find out more about the Indian Pacific, or Journey Beyond’s other train trips, visit here.

 

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Local News

GOLD COAST AIRPORTS ONGOING SUPPORT FOR FEMALE RUGBY LEAUGE

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Gold Coast Airport and Tweed Seagulls

GOLD COAST AIRPORTS ONGOING SUPPORT FOR FEMALE RUGBY LEAUGE

 

The collaboration between the Tweed Seagulls Women’s team and Gold Coast Airport has been a cornerstone of the team’s identity since its inception in 2019. Gold Coast Airport has proudly held the front-of-jersey naming rights sponsorship for the team since they joined the QRL statewide competition, and this partnership has evolved into a mutually beneficial alliance.

In anticipation of the 2024 BMD Premiership season, Gold Coast Airport and the Tweed Seagulls Women’s Team have announced the extension of their valuable partnership. Gold Coast Airport (GCA) played a pivotal role as the founding sponsor, igniting the Tweed Seagulls’ mission to promote female rugby league in our region. Six years on, their commitment to this cause remains steadfast, contributing to the sport’s rapid growth in female participation.

Built upon shared values and a vision to empower local female athletes, the partnership provides a platform for them to excel both on and off the field.

Brendon Lindsay, CEO of Tweed Seagulls, eagerly welcomed the return of Gold Coast Airport as the team’s major sponsor for the 2024 BMD season, expressing gratitude for their unwavering support over the past six years. Lindsay looks forward to nurturing this enduring partnership in the years to come.

Gold Coast Airport and Tweed Seagulls

left to right: Jasmin Morrissey – BMD Cup player: Brian McGuckin – Chief Property & Planning Officer Queensland Airports: Brendon Lindsay – CEO Tweed Seagulls: Tarryn Aiken – BMD Cup player and Australian Jillaroo

Brian McGuckin, Chief Property and Planning Officer of Queensland Airports Limited, echoed this sentiment, expressing GCA’s delight in renewing this significant partnership with Tweed Seagulls. He emphasised GCA’s longstanding commitment to supporting women in sports, a cause they have championed for years.

The participation of Australian Jillaroo legend Tarryn Aiken and Australian PM XIII star Jasmin Morrissey, both part of the Tweed Seagulls lineup for the 2024 BMD Cup, created excitement at the season’s kickoff.

Beyond business ties, the partnership between Tweed Seagulls and GCA extends into the community, advocating for inclusion and diversity. Both organisations are dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for individuals from all backgrounds and promoting equal opportunities.

A portion of Gold Coast Airport’s sponsorship is allocated to the Tom Searle Scholarship, supporting young athletes in their academic or professional endeavours. By endorsing this scholarship, GCA reaffirms its commitment to nurturing local talent and enhancing the community’s well-being. The recipients of the Tom Searle Scholarship will be announced at the 2024 Ladies Leaders in League Breakfast, scheduled for Wednesday, May 15th.

 

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Harwood tighten grip on minor premiership

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Aiden Tredinnick doesn't mind launching the ball to and over the boundary and has a licence to thrill when he resumes batting on 14no on Saturday.

Harwood tighten grip on minor premiership

 

By Tim Howard

Harwood looks to be in a prime position to snare the minor premiership in its first year back in the Clarence River first grade cricket competition.

After rolling Tucabia Copmanhurst for just 109, Harwood replied to be 1/60 at the end of day one at Harwood Oval.

In contrast its closest rival, Lawrence, has a contest on its hands against reigning premiers GDSC Easts, which racked up 6/196 from just 50 overs.

Tucabia’s modest 109 could have been worse except for innings of 37no from veteran Matt Pigg and 24 from Travis Anderson.

Dean Carroll, who smote 260no before Christmas for Harwood’s Lower Clarence first grade team, showed his talent with the ball opening the bowling and snaring 3/30.

He made two early breakthroughs and returned later to pick up the dangerous Matt Dougherty for 11.

Brothers Ben and Jacob McMahon picked up a pair of wickets as did the other opening bowler Troy Turner.

At 1/60 and with a wealth of batting in the sheds Harwood need only to snare first innings points to take the minor premiership.

Opener Maison Simmons is unbeaten on 29 and Coby Tabor is with him on 15no when play resumes on Saturday.

Lawrence, the only team to keep pace with the front runners this season, seem certain to take second spot.

They are in a battle with Easts at Lower Fisher Turf, Grafton.

Aiden Tredinnick doesn't mind launching the ball to and over the boundary and has a licence to thrill when he resumes batting on 14no on Saturday.

Aiden Tredinnick doesn’t mind launching the ball to and over the boundary and has a licence to thrill when he resumes batting on 14no on Saturday.

After a lean couple of games with the bat Easts all rounder Shannon Connor found form on Saturday with 70 from 92 balls.

His innings with five fours and a six was relatively sedate compared to his usual fireworks and has put his team in a highly competitive position going into day two.

Sean Walters with 36, Tom Gerrard, 24 and Matt Lobsey, with 20, all helped get the total competitive before players were forced to leave the field due to lightning and rain delays.

Big hitting Aiden Tredinnick is at the crease on 14no with Ted Lobsey, also on 14no.

They will be looking to get their score well past 200 and give their bowlers a formidable target to defend.

At Ellem Oval Souths Westlawn and Coutts Crossing also had to contend with the storm that hit Grafton on Saturday, with Coutts racking up 6/143 on the back of a stylish 72 from Lewis Chevalley.

Souths Westlawn legspinning all-rounder Brenden Cotton was the best of the bowlers with four wickets for 29 runs.

Chevalley and opening bat Tim Tilse 26, combined for an 88-run first wicket partnership that ended when Cotten bowled Tilse.

Four more wickets tumbled for the addition of 30 runs.

Coutts will have 11 overs to build on their total, although South Westlawn’s indifferent form with the bat in recent games might suggest they are in a comfortable position.

 

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Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

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Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

 

As the prevalence of cashless transactions continues to rise, concerns about the impact on seniors and their ability to access essential services have come to the forefront. While banknotes remain legal tender, the increasing preference for card or mobile payments by businesses poses challenges for older Australians, who may rely heavily on cash for their day-to-day transactions.

The recent incident involving Queensland Federal Member, Bob Katter, highlights the frustration faced by many seniors when attempting to use cash for purchases, only to be met with resistance from establishments that accept only electronic payments. This trend towards cashless transactions has been exacerbated by factors such as the shift towards online shopping during the pandemic and the closure of bank branches and ATMs.

For seniors, the transition to a cashless society presents significant challenges. Many may not have access to mobile phones or may lack the necessary technological skills to navigate electronic payment systems. Concerns about additional fees associated with card payments, as well as the potential for power outages disrupting digital transactions, further compound these challenges.

Supporting Seniors Amid the Transition to a Cashless Society

As the prevalence of cashless transactions continues to rise, concerns about the impact on seniors and their ability to access essential services have come to the forefront

While businesses have the right to specify their preferred payment methods, it is essential that consumers are informed of these terms and conditions before making a purchase. However, it is equally important for businesses to consider the needs of all customers, including those who prefer or rely on cash for their transactions.

Looking ahead, the transition to a cashless society may continue to accelerate, with some experts predicting its completion by the end of the decade. However, this does not mean that cash will become obsolete entirely. Instead, it is essential to strike a balance between digital and cash payments, ensuring that all individuals have access to the payment methods that best suit their needs.

In supporting seniors during this transition, it is crucial for Australians to “pay it forward” by using cash where possible, thereby sending a message to government, banks, and businesses that cash remains a vital form of payment. Additionally, businesses should prioritize customer service and support initiatives aimed at increasing digital literacy among older Australians, such as the Be Connected Program.

By working together to address the challenges posed by the transition to a cashless society, we can ensure that all Australians, including seniors, have access to the payment methods and support services they need to navigate an increasingly digital world.

For more information and support, visit the Be Connected Program website.

 

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