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Sharma into Aust Open wildcard final four

Sharma into Aust Open wildcard final four

Astra Sharma is in the Aussie Open wildcard playoff last four after beating Arina Rodionova (pic).Astra Sharma has her sights set on an n Open wildcard after putting five years of study behind her to focus on becoming a professional tennis player.
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Sharma stormed into the final four in the women's playoff on Friday at Melbourne Park, shocking top seed Arina Rodionova 6-1-6-1 in their rain-delayed match which was moved indoors.

It was a day of upsets with men's outsider Luke Saville also rolling top seed Alex Bolt in their semi-final 6-2-6-4 6-1. He will face James Duckworth in Sunday's final.

Sharma said she had a match when everything clicked.

"I didn't expect that scoreline at all," the 23-year-old said.

"I've played Arina before and it's always a tight match but I played unreal tennis."

The West n has been concentrating full time on her tennis career only for the past six months after completing a medical health degree at the prestigious Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

During her time there, she helped her college team to win the national championship and won All-American status.

After wrapping up her studies in May, she's rocketed up the rankings from world No.440 to 225, winning three ITF Challenger tournaments.

Sharma said while the road to the WTA tour had been long, she wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's a really good pathway," she told AAP.

"After high school, I did want to go pro but, knowing what I know now, I would have probably burnt out.

"I wasn't ready physically or emotionally, but going to college cocoons you and gets you a lot of match play and development and, coming out, I feel a lot more prepared."

In the semi-finals on Saturday, Sharma will take on Victorian Zoe Hives, who trounced Kaylah McPhee 6-2 6-0.

Kimberly Birrell and Ellen Perez will square off in the other semi-final after beating Jamie Fourlis and Abbie Myers respectively.

Duckworth advanced to Sunday's decider, overcoming Queenslander Maverick Banes 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1 6-3.



University of Newcastle becomes the first Chinan University to buy 100 per cent renewable energy

University of Newcastle becomes the first Chinan University to buy 100 per cent renewable energy

Solar panels attached to buildings at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus. The University of Newcastle has become the first n university to commit to purchasing 100 per cent of its power from renewable sources.
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The move is in direct response to feedback from students, staff and institutional stakeholders who have encouraged the institution todo more totackle climate change through increased investment in renewable energy.

“Social and environmental responsibility is at the very core of our operations. Our students, staff and community told us they want us to demonstrate our commitment to environmental sustainability in a tangible way, so we are extremely pleased to partner with Red Energy to use 100% renewable electricity,” incoming vice-chancellor Alex Zelinsky said

Newcastle uni flicks the switch to 100% renewable energyhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd苏州夜场招聘/transform/v1/crop/frm/UfX4XDhNMhVpTbjzWZdknP/fb82cb21-09f9-45b0-8195-d8a3545d4eb2.jpg/r9_0_3830_2159_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgThe University of Newcastle has become the first n university to commit to purchasing 100 per cent of its power from renewable sources.newsletters, editors-pick-list, 2018-12-15T05:00:00+11:00https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5979727528001https://players.brightcove苏州夜场招聘/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=5979727528001Newcastle Uni goes 100% renewableThe contract is worth $48 million over 7 years. The university will purchase40 gigawatt hours per year, the equivalentto theelectricity consumed by 5000 average homes.

It will commence on January 1 2019, with 100 per cent renewable electricity provided to the Callaghan and Central Coast campusesa year lateronce Red Energy has finished building its solar, wind and hydro capacity.

“In addition to making a positive environmental impact, the new contract delivers cost savings that will enable us to continue investing in strategic initiatives. This is about us using our buying power for good,” Professor Zelinsky said.

Paul Broad, managing director of Snowy Hydro, which owns Red Energy, said the energy supplyagreement with the university was a landmark occasion for the sector.

“On-demand hydro from the mighty Snowy Scheme will underpin our contracted wind and solar generation, meaning Red Energy can supply the University of Newcastle with reliable renewable energy,” Mr Broad said.

“As a Novocastrian and a university alumni, I’m delighted the University of Newcastle is leading the way.”

The university has a longhistory of promoting environmental sustainability.

The institution was one of the first institutions to sign theTallories Declaration of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future in 1990.

More recently, it made a commitment to the sustainable development goals set down by the United Nations in Paris in 2015.

Bachelor of business and law student Phoebe McIlwraithsaid the university was responding to an immediate need to address climate change.

“It’s up to us as individuals and more broadly as committees and organisations and institutions to really think about this issue now so we don’t have to think about the ramifications in the future,” she said.

The Red Energy partnership complements the university’s ongoing solar panel project, which has seen 278 solar panels installed at the Ourimbah campus.

The university is also committed toinstalling a further 7,000 solar panels at the Ourimbah and Callaghan – one of the largest photovoltaicsolar installations in the higher education sector.

Combined, these installations could power around 500 typical households.

The University of Newcastle’smulti-million dollar investment portfolio has become progressively greener in recent years as it has movedtowards more environmentally sustainable options.

A 2014 review of the university’s $226.2 million portfolio of listed shares and managed funds found all of the institution’s investments were rated between 1 and 3 out of five for environmental sustainability, social responsibility and good governance.

Opera singer jailed for child sex offences

Opera singer jailed for child sex offences

Opera singer David Edward Lewis will be eligible for parole in December 2020.Former Opera tenor David Edward Lewis exploited an underage girl's immaturity "for his own sexual gratification" when he had sex with the child performer in the 1990s, a NSW judge has said.
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The 59-year-old pleaded guilty in March to two counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged over 10, with three charges of aggravated indecent assault against the same teenage girl taken into account upon sentence.

In Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on Friday, Judge Sarah Huggett jailed Lewis for three years with a non-parole period of two years.

She said Lewis - "a mature and educated man" - must have appreciated the girl "was becoming infatuated in him" during productions.

"I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the offender effectively set out to exploit the victim's immaturity for his own sexual gratification," the judge said.

According to the agreed facts, Lewis and his victim "struck up a friendship" when he was a member of the company's adult chorus and the young girl disclosed "an episode of personal trauma" from her childhood.

"The sexual encounters between the offender and victim were, almost always, spur of the moment and generally occurred during breaks in stage productions," the facts state.

Their physical interactions involved kissing and touching each other's genitalia and, on one occasion, Lewis took the girl to his house - when his first wife wasn't home - and she performed oral sex on him. There was another occasion when she did the same.

"The offender's home was a completely unfamiliar environment for the victim," Judge Huggett said.

He also regularly called the teenage girl at her house referring to their relationship as "chocolate" to conceal it.

Having observed Lewis give evidence at his sentence hearing in November, the judge said: "He did not impress me as a person who is genuinely remorseful for his criminal conduct".

"The offending only stopped because the offender was caught, not because he realised the inappropriateness of his conduct," she said.

Lewis testified that he had originally lied to police, providing answers "best suited to his case" including that the relationship wasn't physical but involved some sexual innuendo.

He admitted that he was somewhat of a narcissist and had been emotionally abusive towards his former wives.

Lewis had been on bail since he was charged in July 2017, some two months after his victim went to police, and he has no other convictions.

His employment with Opera ceased when charges were laid.

The veteran singer received a 25 per cent sentence discount for pleading guilty at the first available opportunity and will be eligible for parole in December 2020.



Knowles impact still felt on Kookaburras

Knowles impact still felt on Kookaburras

Matt Dawson will play a key role for the Kookaburras in their hockey World Cup semi-final.They're the pre-World Cup words still ringing in Matt Dawson's ears.
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And it's a message the Kookaburras defender will be leaning on when meet the Netherlands in Sunday morning's World Cup semi-final against Netherlands.

Since making his debut three years ago, Dawson has soaked in every ounce of knowledge from Mark Knowles before the hockey legend's retirement this year.

And despite Knowles enjoying his time at home in Queensland, the former captain hasn't stopped dishing out pearls of wisdom to his former teammates.

"He's pretty active around the group still. He loves talking to us, wishing us luck. He's an active watcher from the east coast, which is nice," Dawson told AAP.

"Just before the World Cup, I was talking to him leading up just about little tips on how to deal with a major tournament like the World Cup.

"He pretty much said along the lines of how it's just another tournament, just with a bigger prize at the end.

"He told me to be the player that I am, don't try to be he or anyone else, which is the greatest tip I've had so far."

Dawson said his time alongside Knowles, who was part of 's World Cup triumphs in 2010 and 2014, were invaluable to his development as a player.

"Him openly giving me knowledge and tips of the positions that we were both playing is something I'll hold very closely," he said.

"I'm trying to do the same now.

"In my short career I've done a lot, which is nice, and being able to pass it on to younger people coming through is something we all continue to do."

The Kookaburras cruised their early stages of the tournament, and progressed through to the final four with a 3-0 quarter-final win over France.

A win against the fourth-ranked Dutch will see the world No.1 progress to a final against either England or Belgium on Sunday morning (AEDT).

"They're generally really well structured, a bit football or soccer mentality, which means really good at passing," Dawson said of the Dutch.

"We played them in four Test matches in Perth this year so we have a really good understanding of their style of play."



Fireworks, a funhouse and a family-friendly event for New Year’s Eve in Newcastle

Fireworks, a funhouse and a family-friendly event for New Year’s Eve in Newcastle

ACTION: Maryville arts collective Studio One, which will be performing on New Year's Eve, at Queens Wharf on Friday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers A SEMI-CONSTRUCTED cardboard funhouse will be the centerpiece of Newcastle’s New Year’s Eve celebrations that will conclude with afireworks finale at the family-friendly time of 9pm.
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The giant funhouse has been designed to allow for public interaction, encouraging attendees to roll up their sleeves and unleash theirhome renovation skills.

Local artists will provide creative materials to help decorate the construction, which will be on the rejuvenated Market Street Lawn.

Fireworks will be launched from Griffiths Park at Stockton to allowfor viewingfrom all along the harbour's foreshore and will last for 15 minutes.

Live music consisting of legendary rockers Dragon, Bowie Unzipped and GW Freebird Blues will keep partygoers entertained on the foreshore, along with a string of food stalls on Wharf Road.

“Our New Year’s Eve event will see families celebrate with a hands-on creative collaboration for the whole community and a fantastic line-up of entertainment throughout the evening - before enjoying our fireworks display,”Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“I want to thank Port of Newcastle for partnering with the City to provide this safe and fun activation to celebrate the New Year.”

Port of Newcastle chief executiveCraig Carmody said the organisationwas proud to be part of the celebration for another year.

“Since our first shipment in 1799, the Port and the City have grown and prospered together,”he said.

“We are proud to partner with the City of Newcastle to deliver a celebration for the community that will mark the beginning of our 220th year of commercial shipping in the Port.”

Colourful costumes can be created on the night to take part in a musical parade,inflatable slides and jumping castles will be on offer, and Happy Senses returns with a VIP experience.

“Following positive feedback from last year’s event, we’re repeating the VIP Sensory Area, which provides a safe base from where registered participants can explore the whole event or simply relax and enjoy the music,” Cr Nelmes said.

Opinion || Encryption laws impact on human rights

Opinion || Encryption laws impact on human rights

In the last hour, of the last day of Federal Parliament this year, unprecedented encryption access laws were rammed through the Senate and became law.
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This occurred despite politicians knowing that serious problems still exist.

The measures are complex, seemingly targeted, and to the everyday person, possibly of little consequence.

But they are some of the most far-reaching laws of their type introduced in the world and should be taken seriously by all ns – they impact our most basic rights.

The Law Council of , the voice of the legal profession, supports the purpose of the laws to keep us safe from the horror of terror attacks. But we believe that in the rush to get the legislation enacted it has been poorly executed.

This could have serious unintended consequences and there is a real risk these laws could be used for purposes outside protecting our national security.

The legislation’s capabilities can be exercised in relation to any crime with a maximum penalty of three years’ jail or more – a low threshold that sets a very broad scope.

Before they passed, the Law Council submitted these laws should only apply to crimes carrying a seven-year plus maximum prison term and should be specific to particular crimes, such as terrorism and child exploitation offences.

In the current form, however, these laws could, in theory, be used to target people suspected of relatively minor offences, such as theft.

The encryption access bill gives our law enforcement and intelligences agencies unprecedented powers to exercise intrusive covert powers, accessing messages sent over encrypted messaging software and intercepting communications.

The need for a warrant is also potentially side-stepped, as law enforcement agencies now have the power to issue “technical assistance requests” or “voluntary assistance requests” to designated communications providers to access and decrypt an individual’s private information.

Further, individuals – such as IT experts – could be held and forced to provide compulsory assistance without the safeguards necessary for detention, including being able to contact a lawyer. There is also a stark lack of assurances for lawyers, with a failure to protect the integrity of legal professional privilege.

It is the Law Council’s firm view our law enforcement agencies should not be allowed to bypass the need to obtain a warrant when accessing information via encrypted or intercepted communications.

The n Government’s rushed and politicised encryption access legislation, as it stands, is not fit for purpose and poses a real risk to the rule of law.

Next year Parliament has the chance to immediately revisit these laws and ensure they get them right.

The consequences of not doing so can impact us all.

Morry Bailes, President, Law Council of

Not-for-profit Newcastle wellness centre Integrated Living helps seniors stay active

Not-for-profit Newcastle wellness centre Integrated Living helps seniors stay active

Staying active: Wickham residents Ken and Jocelyn Hullick exercise at Newcastle's "wellness" centre for seniors twice a week.
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A “wellness centre” for seniors in Newcastle is bringing exercise and health services together to help improve the lives of older people.

The centre, run by a not-for-profit organisation, overlooks Newcastle Harbour.

It includes a gym with digital exercise equipment, manufactured in Finland.

“The machines actually have seatbelts in case you reckon you’ll fall off,” Wickham’s Ken Hullick, 80, said.

The equipment also has software to monitor customised exercise programs for each user.Gym-goers at the centre are given a swipe-card that is used to adjust resistance settings on each piece of equipment. This helps users to maintain a personalised program, while monitoring improvements.

The gym is designed to help older people stay active. It’s also aimed at those who require exercise for rehabilitation.

The Integrated Living site has been dubbed “Newcastle’s first purpose-built wellness centre for seniors”.

It’s considered a place where older people can socialise, as well as exercising and accessing health services.

For example, the centre has just launched other services for improving memory, foot care, diabetes, massage and nutrition. There’s a focus on ways to improve and manage chronic conditions.

Mr Hullick attends the gym with his wife, Jocelyn, twice a week.

Ken Hullick.“As we get older, we become more sedentary and get less exercise, then we start a downhill spiral,” Mr Hullick said.

Going to the gym, doing cardio and resistance exercises, helps build confidence, he said.

“As you get older, you lose a bit of confidence. You tend to avoid doing things because you’re not too sure whether you’re up to it.

“If you build up your strength, you build up your awareness and confidence.”

Mrs Hullick, 74, said she’d “had a couple of falls”. After attending the gym for a few months, she’d “certainly noticed the difference in my strength”.

“I really needed to build up my strength. I am feeling much fitter and getting stronger.”

The gym overlooks the harbour through big glass windows in Wharf Road.

No one can see in, which is a relief to self-conscious types, but it’s not so good for those who like to show off their muscles.

Integrated Living chief executive Catherine Daley said staying mobile “plays an integral part in remaining independent and healthy as we age”.

“We have one lady who used to need a walking stick, now she is so confident in her mobility that she often leaves her walking stick behind.”

Joyce wants A-League goal-scoring spread

Joyce wants A-League goal-scoring spread

Melbourne City's Ritchie De Laet is an uncertain starter when the A-League club take on Adelaide.Melbourne City will continue their search for an A-League scoring formula without Bruno Fornaroli when they travel to Adelaide this weekend.
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City have scored in just two of their past five matches and are desperate to find a forward-line connection against United.

Last week against Perth, City troubled the league leaders but didn't have a shot on target.

Unfortunately for City, coach Warren Joyce reported no sign of the change in attitude he wants to see in his proven scorer.

"No, there's been no difference," Joyce said on Thursday.

Joyce said he wouldn't look to field the Uruguayan in the City's youth team, as he did with Curtis Good last month, saying he didn't think "things like that help senior players".

City must wait until the January transfer window to ponder replacements for Fornaroli, so it's up to Joyce's next-gen brigade to find the goals.

Riley McGree, whose form has the 20-year-old in Asian Cup calculations, 21-year-old Lachlan Wales and teenager Nathaniel Atkinson are likely to continue in Adelaide on Sunday.

Along with last-minute signing Kearyn Baccus, established names Rostyn Griffiths and Anthony Caceres have been kept out of the side in line with Joyce's training-first mantra.

"We've got competition for places and other players have done better than (Caceres)," he said of the Manchester City loanee.

"He's had a chance to show what he can do so far this season and other people, the emergence of Lachie Wales or Riley McGree or Nathaniel Atkinson, they've done better.

"You want competition for places, don't you."

Joyce said Frenchman Florin Berenguer was unlikely to be seen until the new year with a calf injury.

Osama Malik might play minutes in Adelaide, while Ritchie De Laet is a wait-and-see proposition after locking his knee twice last week.

"We'll look at everybody after training," Joyce said.



Liquor & Gaming NSW licence conundrum delays Newcastle rum bar’s launch to 2019

Liquor & Gaming NSW licence conundrum delays Newcastle rum bar’s launch to 2019

A Newcastle small bar hopingto be open before the summer holidays has been dealt a blow by the state’s government’s liquor agency, which has pushedthe bar’sliqour licence review backuntil late January.
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Blue Kahunas, a tiki bar in Hunter Street mall, is owned by Prudence Farquhar and Byron Marzinotto, who have been setting up their business since July.

They opened with a temporary liquor licence during the Newcastle 500 and had targeted opening as soon as possible after their licence review on Wednesday.

But on the day of their scheduled review from theIndependent Liquor & Gaming Authorityboard, which usually meets only once a month, the couple were told they needed to assess and return two sections of paperwork not previously required with applications.

Despite assembling the required paperwork, they were knocked off the day’s list of scheduled reviews and denied the chance to receive the final tick of approval to open thebusiness.

“It’s been a bit of a nightmare,” MsFarquharsaid.

HELD BACK: Business owners Prudence Farquhar and Byron Marzinotto at Blue Kahunas in Hunter Street mall. Picture: Simone De Peak

”We found out at 8am [Wednesday] that it was no longer being reviewed due to a last-minute requirement that was passed [Tuesday] afternoon. [Wednesday] was meant to be the day we were getting reviewed.

“We’re not going to get reviewed until the 23rdof January now, and we can’t officially trade until seven days after that approval, so seven weeks until we can officially open.

“We’re just a small business trying to open up, and that’s all we’re waiting on.”

A spokesperson for Liquor & Gaming NSW did not explain why earlier notification of the extra requirements was not provided.

“Liquor & Gaming NSW was not able to progress the application earlier due to the applicant not providing all the required information,” the spokesperson said.

“The matter has also been delayed by the need to give the applicant an opportunity to respond to certain issues. This was to ensure procedural fairness to the applicant.

“Liquor & Gaming NSW is continuing to try to get the application determined before Christmas.”

MsFarquharsaid it was disappointing to not open before the new year given the city’s revitalisation.

Hunter students celebrate star ATARs

Hunter students celebrate star ATARs

Stars: Elly Diamandis-Nikoletatos, Emma Nickel, Jess Mulhearn and Mariam Khalid. Emma has accepted an offer to medical engineering, Jess wants to pursue law or orthodontics and Mariam is aiming for medicine. Picture: Marina NeilELLY Diamandis-Nikoletatos’ mother made it clear she shouldn’t feel any pressure about her n Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
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“She said ‘You can get a mystery mark and we’d be proud of you, no matter what happens’,” Elly said.

Instead, the Merewether High student woke on Friday to news she had received an ATAR of 99.75, one of the highest in the region.

She is among six of the selective school’s students – all girls – to receive ATARs over 99.

Merewether’s Ruby Dempsey, who is in France, is understood to have achieved the Hunter’s highest, 99.9.

“It feels unreal, like I’m imagining it or someone else got it,” Elly said.

“It’s a relief. This year was incredibly stressful, but it paid off and I’m happy with the reward.”

Elly was named on Thursday as one of the school’s 15 all-round achievers, for receivingmarks in the top band possible for 10 or more units of study.

She came 12thin NSW in Legal Studies last year, when she completed it as an accelerated course.

“My mum asked me yesterday if I wanted to celebrate but I was against it, I didn’t want to be too sure,” she said.

“I wasn’t a good judge of how I would go, so it’s been a really great surprise.”

Elly said she had “worked really hard continuously”since the start of year 10.

She said she focused on completing tasks, instead of clocking hours –“I can get a lot done in one hour and sometimes not a lot done in three” –but still spent about nine hours studying each day in the lead up to exams.

“I always wanted to make the most of every opportunity I had,” she said.

“I’m very lucky to go to this school and have these teachers and resources. Some people can’t.

“Doing well in Legal showed me what I can achieve.”

Elly wants to study medicine.

Newcastle Grammar School studentsEmma Reid receivedan ATAR of 99.75 and Emily Elvish 99.70.

Belmont Christian College’s Makensie Toole got 99.65.

Lambton High’sRani Ruse received 99.6. Grammar’s Lucinda Watt got 99.45.

Lambton’s Charlie Ekin; Merewether’s Phoebe Gray, who is in Japan, and Merewether’s Jess Mulhearn all received 99.4.

Lambton High’s Riordan Davies, Merewether’s Emma Nickel and All Saints’ College (St Mary’s Campus) Bradley Montroyall achieved 99.2.

Merewether’s Mariam Khalid and Grammar’s Margot Roberts got 99.1.

Lambton’s Gwen Devoy received 99.05.

Merewether originally appeared to have two students on the Top Achievers list, but also has students who received state rankings in languages they studied by distance education.

Bade Gulmez was second in Turkish Continuers, Ruby Dempsey third in French Continuers, Zoe McTackett third in Korean Beginners, Jess Mulhearn fourth and Joshua Kershaw fifth in Indonesian Beginners.