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Hope turns 100 + Glenn Taylor legacy + basketball upgrade + women's cancer expo + farm shock

October 22, 2022

By Peter Holmes

Then and now. Supplied.

Hope springs eternal

Mother of eight and champion gardener Hope Gordon, a long-time resident of Guyong, is marking her 100th birthday with a week of parties.

Hope, who only stopped driving aged 95, turned 100 on Thursday. She is eagerly awaiting a congratulatory letter from King Charles III.

Born in Dorrigo on the NSW North Coast, Hope Johnson studied dress making, according to a statement from HammondCare At Home, which provides Hope with assistance on a day-to-day basis.

She later worked as a dental nurse and was a carer at Scarba House for Infants and Children in Bondi before marrying pastoralist George Gordon in 1945. Gordon was from Newbridge, about 50km southeast of Orange.

In 1951, the couple moved to Guyong while Hope was expecting their fourth child.

Together the couple had eight children -- seven girls and a boy. Later came seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, while another grandchild is on the way.

George passed away in 1991. Today, daughter Georgina lives in as Hope’s main carer, along with their pet peacock Andrew and Georgina's dog Bonnie. The other siblings also provide support on a regular basis.

Hope continues to live on the Guyong family property Bethune with the support of HammondCare At Home.

“We’re celebrating Mum’s birthday with three smaller events -- an afternoon tea with her church associates, a morning tea with close friends, and a family get together,” Georgina said.

“She’s already received an acknowledgement from the prime minister and the NSW premier, along with several other dignitaries, but the most anticipated one she’s still waiting on is from HRH King Charles III.”

Hope is visited regularly by HammondCare’s local pastoral care coordinator Suzanne Kissell.

“Hope has a deep Christian faith and is still very connected with the world and knows what is going on at a global level,” she said. “One of Hope’s favourite photos is of her sitting on her father’s knee when she was a little girl with the Bible open on their laps.”

Kissell described Hope as “a real presence. She has lived through tragedy including the depression, war and severe droughts. She’s lived a full life, supporting her husband George on the sheep and cattle property. When George died, she continued her interest in the property with their son, Bruce, who took over its running.

“She remembers walking down the street with a friend when the start of World War II was officially announced.”


(L-R): OCTEC CEO Andrew McDougall and OCTEC board chair Jeff Whitton with Glenn Taylor's daughters Annie and Caitlin. Supplied.

Taylor-made opportunity for students

As a tribute to the legacy of former board member and Orange City councillor Glenn Taylor, OCTEC Limited has announced the Glenn Taylor Scholarship Program.

Central West NSW students looking to study in 2023 are encouraged to apply for a scholarship of $20,000 per annum.

Up to $80,000 is available for each applicant.

“As discussed with Glenn before his passing, OCTEC Limited are now offering the scholarship program in his name annually,” said a statement.

Before his death in January Taylor sat on the OCTEC Limited Board, was a long term councillor and small business owner.

“He was known to be a man of the people who supported ‘the battler’,” said OCTEC.

Students of all ages are encouraged to apply for the scholarships, which will be awarded based on financial hardship or high achievement.

It’s hoped the program can assist those in the local region who are struggling to cover costs of education.

OCTEC said it aims to do its part in reducing the education divide faced by rural and regional students.

Prospective students can be studying any level of vocational or university level further education, from Certificate IV through to a PhD.

Application funds will cover school/university fees, textbooks, uniforms, travel and board or living costs.

OCTEC Limited aims to grow the scholarship program and offer it in more of the rural and regional locations throughout eastern Australia where the not for profit organisation operates.

Prospective students should visit for more information.


Three point play. Phil Donato shoots while OAMS' Mick Madden looks on. Supplied.

'Community participation, inclusion and unity'

Member for Orange Phil Donato announced funding for the Orange Aboriginal

Corporation Health Service (OAMS) through the New South Wales government’s

Community Building Partnership (CBP) 2021 grant.

OAMS received funding of $20,000 to go towards the Yiriyirimbang Out-Of-Home Care Permanency Support Program basketball court upgrade.

Yiriyirimbang aims to strengthen the connection of young people to family, community and Country by establishing a sense of belonging for Aboriginal children in care.

“This basketball court facility at OAM’s Yiriyirimbang provides a conducive, informal setting to allow culturally appropriate mentor support for vulnerable Aboriginal children in Out-Of-Home Care,” said Billy Wong, lead finance officer at OAMS.

Donato said the funds would make a real difference to the emotional and physical

wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people in Orange, “allowing them to actively engage and focus on making connections to culture, in a safe and encouraging environment”, a statement said.

“The project has allowed for the creation of infrastructure that delivers positive social and recreational outcomes, while also promoting community participation, inclusion and unity,” Donato said.

Phil Donato with Gunningbland-based livestock producer Wayne Dunford. Supplied.

Electric shock for farm stock "tolerable"

Meanwhile, Donato is pushing for reforms to animal welfare legislation to allow virtual stock fencing - a technique that allows what Donato describes as “an electronic collar to deliver a tolerable shock to the stock animal as it nears the invisible pre-set internal boundary”.

In parliament this week Donato said this: “My question is directed to the minister for agriculture, and minister for Western New South Wales [Dugald Saunders].

“Virtual fencing is high-tech ag technology that assists in autonomous animal control, especially useful for cattle, which will help to reduce farmers' costs on internal fencing whilst facilitating rotational grazing principles, improving animal performance and aiding in stopping stock theft.

“It can also assist with detecting if animals are sick or when they are cycling and is a potential huge game changer for our farmers. Will the government amend legislation to permit this new technology and innovation?”

In response, Saunders said: “Virtual fencing devices are currently prohibited in New South Wales under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation, unless they are being used under and in accordance with the Animal Research Act 1985.

The legislation.

“Certainly on this side of the House we recognise the potential benefits of virtual fencing technology - the member for Orange and I discussed this yesterday - and recognise the important role that it can play in safeguarding animal welfare and providing strong opportunities for farmers while doing it within a regulatory framework to support good animal welfare outcomes.

“That is what we are looking at. Work that is proactively being undertaken with stakeholders and other jurisdictions across the country to help this government make an informed decision regarding virtual fencing devices includes our involvement with the Commonwealth-led Animal Welfare Task Group, which is examining virtual fencing technology and the associated regulatory issues at a Commonwealth level.

“We are part of that work. Any consideration must have solid scientific evidence and backing. Thorough community consultation will be needed, which I am happy to see happen, to ensure any of the animal welfare risks, real or perceived, have been thought through.”

In a media statement Donato said: “Given the inordinate and ever-increasing cost of farm fencing … this technology would not only save money in the long run but would provide enormous benefits in farm management … Farming, as with any business in any sector, needs to keep up with technology for greater efficiency, productivity, profitability, safety and security.”


"Cancer has touched most of our lives"

The Women’s Cancer Risk Management Expo is a free event where everyone in the community is invited to hear from a range of subject matter experts about how to reduce their own risk of developing cancers generally associated with being born female.

At the Orange Ex-Services Club on October 31 from 5pm, the guest speakers, which include a genetic oncologist, will help women understand and manage risks.

Event organiser Sue Kuter, a McGrath Foundation breast care nurse in Orange, said the event was for all women and their family members, and would allow them to gain valuable insight into how risk factors could be reduced.

“Whether it is a personal battle with some form of the disease or losing a friend or loved one to it, cancer has touched most of our lives,” she said. “For some, the diagnosis is linked to genetics. But for many others, lifestyle plays a leading role in developing cancer.”

Attendees will hear from specialist genetic oncologist Dr Hilda High; physiotherapist Danielle Messina; dietician Marley Matters; GP Dr Victoria Best; smoking and alcohol counsellor Melissa Romeo and Sue Kuter.

“In some cases, people have some control over their exposure to these risk factors,” Kuter said in a statement. “While cancer research has improved many treatments, taking a proactive approach to preventing the disease is best. These lifestyle choices may help you avoid developing cancer.”

She urged people to “Bring together all the women in your life and grab a free ticket to this event. It could make a difference to the longevity of your life and that of your mum, sister, best friend or neighbour”.

The inaugural expo was held in 2019 but it has been on hiatus during Covid.

A light supper is provided.

Reserve your free ticket here before October 24.


Artist's impression of aerial view of stadium. Supplied.

$10 million question for stadium ahead of Tuesday's federal Budget

With a $10 million application for federal government funding in the balance, Orange City Council will be nervously awaiting the outcome of the Labor government's first federal Budget on Tuesday night.

The $10 million application to the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) is desperately needed, for without it the sporting precinct and stadium project in Orange will be pushed further into the distance.

Council has said that even if it gets the $10 million, it still won’t be enough. We won’t know how much the extra shortfall is until a report is concluded in December.

Federal MP Andrew Gee said in a statement that “the new government will make it clear in the black and white of the budget papers whether it intends to support regional Australia”.

Gee’s statement went on to praise the BBRF saying it “made a huge range of worthwhile projects possible across our region”.

“[It] has beefed up infrastructure in the bush and strengthened country communities, backing projects that create jobs, drive economic growth and build a stronger tomorrow,” he said.

Gee listed some of the projects in these parts funded through the BBRF program, including $1.9 million for Orange’s The Orchard, a women and children's domestic and family violence centre; $12.5 million for Bathurst’s second racetrack; $3.2 million to upgrade Lithgow’s CBD, streetscape; and $308,175 to construct an information and education centre at the Orange Field Days site.

After Labor was elected in May it sent the BBRF to the independent Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) for review. The ANAO found that in the majority of cases departmental advice on the most worthy applications was ignored by the former government.


Stock image.

NSW MLC Sam Farraway was spruiking a “ground-breaking new approach to reward teaching excellence and attract more people to the profession” this week.

Farraway said the Rewarding Excellence in Teaching program, which is still being designed, will “pave the way to a modern education system in the regions by rewarding the teachers who strive for better outcomes”.

“In NSW, teachers go above and beyond to educate our children by devoting their time and

energy to ensuring that their pupils succeed,” Farraway said in a statement. “To express our gratitude and inspire them to stay in the classroom, it is crucial we recognise their efforts.

“With more people moving to Western NSW than ever before, this program will make sure

that teachers earn more and see better opportunities for career progression, ultimately

improving NAPLAN and HSC results in local schools.”

The Orange News Examiner sought comment from the NSW Teacher’s Federation.

“The government, in its ‘rewarding excellence’ announcement, acknowledged that teacher pay is uncompetitive,” it said in a statement.

“Rather than dealing with the decline in teacher salaries relative to other professions, the government flagged suggested increases to a fraction of handpicked top-of-the scale teachers via a yet-to-be-determined process the premier struggled to maintain was not ‘performance pay’.”

The teachers’ union is furious with the government’s offer of a 2.53 percent pay rise each year for three years, saying, “With the Reserve Bank now predicting inflation this year to be 7.75%, this will see the profession subjected to a real wage cut at a time it can least afford it”.

“The government’s award application also failed to address the crippling workload experienced by the profession that is contributing to 60 percent of teachers indicating they plan to leave the workforce in the next five years,” said the federation.

It has called on the government “to withdraw the current award application before the Industrial Relations Commission and commit to genuine negotiations to increase teacher pay and address the unsustainable workloads that have led to widespread teacher shortages. The premier was presented with facts and findings from his own government’s research and warned that without action teacher shortages would only worsen”.

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