Education’s changing role

Clinical psychologist and careers development guru Jim Bright (right) making his presentation at Forbes High School last week. After his presentation, four ladies from the Forbes district – Gabrielle McMillan, Adele Bintley, Kelly Tildsley and Kerry Leach also spoke about their careers.After lunch on Tuesday last week, Forbes High School (FHS) was host to a widly-respected thinker regarding matters of education.
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Clinical psychologist and careers development guru Jim Bright presented his views to an audience of students, teachers and members of the community.

Mr Bright’s message was simple.

“I don’t even know where I’m going to be at the end of this sentence, let alone in years to come,” Mr Bright said.

The audience heard that students graduating from secondary schools this year will need a variety of new skills.

Despite the world of work constantly changing, Mr Bright said the education system has not changed dramatically since decades ago when a student could walk out of school and into a job for life.

Deputy Principal at FHS Stacey Kelly said she agrees the education system needs to change.

“[Mr Bight said] students in high school today may have seven careers in the lives with four jobs in each [career],” Ms Kelly said.

She also said Mr Bright liked the programs in place at FHS and was generally positive about the school.

After Mr Bright’s presentation a panel of four local ladies – Kerry Leach, Kelly Tildsley, Adele Bintley and Gabe Miller – were present at the FHS hall on Tuesday to talk about the changing world of work.

Owner of News On Rankin and executive member of Forbes Business Chamber Gabe McMillan shared her experiences of the retail industry.

Ms McMillan said the event was a benefit to get students thinking about their futures and she agreed with Mr Bright that the education system has the capacity to adapt.

“I think they’re on the right track by having events like this,” Mrs McMillan said.

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Visitor information centre officially opened

Member for Wagga, Daryl Maguire with Lockhart Historical Society president Heather Trevaskis at the opening of Lockhart’s visitor information centre on Friday. PHOTO: Rebekah LubkeIn front of a small crowd of dedicated volunteers, the Member for Wagga, Daryl Maguire opened Lockhart Shire Council’s new visitor information centre on Friday.
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The centre is located in the Green Gunyah Museum and will help tourism to continue to develop in the shire.

In his opening address Mr Maguire said “Through the (Green Gunyah) museum, history is being preserved and made available for younger generations to see and value.”

He added that Lockhart had a wonderful history that was worth preserving to share with others.

Mr Maguire also encouraged the historical society to apply for grants to digitally protect the shire’s historical records, which have twice been damaged by flood waters in 2010 and 2012.

He said he would do his utmost to ensure the grant was delivered once the paperwork had been completed.

The establishment of the centre was funded by the Lockhart Shire Council after expressions of interest to host the new centre were invited with further improvements planned.

Council has recently developed new promotional materials which will be used by the volunteers at the centre to guide visitors around the district.

Lockhart Historical Society president Heather Trevaskis said there had been an appeal for residents to volunteer for the museum and the information centre.

With 25 volunteers coming forward, it means the society is able to operate the museum and information centre seven hours a day, five days a week which is up from the previous three days a week.

Mrs Trevaskis said the volunteers realised the benefit to the town of having the centre and the museum – with flow-on effects which will benefit the shire.

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Police fight crime online

Forbes residents have a new way of finding out about crime in their own community following the introduction of the Lachlan Area Command Facebook page.
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Known as ‘Eyewatch’ the Facebook page aims to encourage communication between the community and police by using social media.

It is hoped the new method will help push down crime in the process.

A range of issues will be posted on the online page including stolen cars, thefts and information requests by police.

Major accident reports, links to other sites and general police activity reports will also be posted.

Since it was launched on February 7 the page has had 161 ‘Likes’ and 18,000 views.

Sergeant Ben Dawson of the LAC said initially the page provided information and links about the floods, but now they are over, other crime information is now being posted.

“More recently we had two stolen boats – one at Condobolin and one at Parkes – and we put photos on there,” Sgt Dawson said.

Sgt Dawson said Facebook users need to ‘Like’ the page so they can receive updates.

“Primarily it is hoped it will eventually replace Neighbourhood Watch meetings,” Sgt Dawson said.

NSW project manager Chief Inspector Josh Maxwell said the program was devised in acknowledgement that while people still cared about their community, they no longer had time to attend regular meetings in a community hall.

‘Eyewatch’ is not limited to the LAC, with 68 of the 80 area commands in NSW now online.

It is estimated the 68 area command Facebook pages have generated more than 13 million hits in just six months.

Sgt Dawson said information is regularly added to the page, but warned it is not for reporting crime.

“It’s not for reporting crime. We still encourage people to report to the police or Crime Stoppers,” he said.

Sgt Dawson said a number of older residents use Facebook to keep in touch with their children and extended family.

“I see it definitely working in other areas … and I believe it will work here. Once people are linked to it, [the page] provides information they may not have otherwise received,” Sgt Dawson said.

To find out more go to Facebook and ‘like’ Lachlan LAC – NSW Police Force.

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Holbrook student wins scholarship

Carrington Melbourne receives her state scholarship from Riverina Regional Director, Colin Parker.Holbrook student Carrington Melbourne has been awarded one of ten state scholarships offered through the NSW Premier’s volunteering awards.
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The volunteering awards recognise students who have put in more than 20 hours back into the community by helping out locally.

Carrington was one of 1400 students from across the Riverina participating in the program and one of 70 students from Billabong High School who have donated their time.

The Holbrook teenager has spent almost 130 hours volunteering at the Harry Jarvis Wing, spending time with senior residents.

As a reward for her efforts, the 15-year-old has received a $2000 state scholarship which will be used to help with educational costs.

“It’s just such a big achievement, I never thought I’d be one out of 10 people chosen (for the scholarship),” she said.

The scholarship was not based on hours contributed to the program but rather applications given to a regional selection panel, who then sent three from the Riverina region to a Sydney panel to select a winner.

“It’s a very prestigious award considering there are only 10 on offer across NSW,” Billabong High School principal Phil Carroll said.

Carrington said she simply wrote about why she began volunteering in the program and what she had gotten out of it.

She said she had been inspired by her mother – who works in the health care system – to volunteer at the Harry Jarvis Wing because of a lack of aged care nurses.

While Carrington now has a $2000 head start on her future, she hasn’t yet decided what career she is interested in pursuing and is focusing on completing year 10 and continuing to fit in volunteer work.

She encouraged anyone thinking about volunteering to just “go for it because it’s such a good opportunity.”

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Power play

Lockhart Shire Council general manager Chris GallagherLockhart Shire Council will review where it spends ratepayer’s money next week with revelations the council is paying for the general manager’s electricity bill.
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It was highlighted at an extraordinary council meeting on April 23 that ratepayers are footing the bill for Chris Gallagher’s electricity.

The council has budgeted the total cost for this financial year to be $3,200 or $800 every three months – the revelation comes at a time when residents across NSW are feeling the pain from power bills which are set to rise 17 per cent for Country Energy customers.

It is believed there was an arrangement for the previous general manager which continued when Mr Gallagher took over the role.

Lockhart Shire Council mayor, Peter Yates confirmed that Mr Gallagher’s contract does not include electricity charges.

Councillor Ken Hogan said it was a council oversight that it had not been addressed before.

“He may have been receiving something he’s not entitled to,” Cr Hogan said.

Fellow councillors Jean Gooden, Joy Schultz, Leia Thiele, Anthony Male, John Paterson, Sylvia Mulholland and Rodney McDonnell chose not to comment until the issue was discussed again at the next council meeting on Monday May 21.

Defending Mr Gallagher, Cr Yates said the amount of work the general manager did for the shire was beyond a traditional 38 hour week.

“It’ll be discussed and either added to his (Mr Gallagher’s) contract or he’ll have to pay his electricity bills,” Cr Yates said.

Lockhart Shire Council owns several properties across the shire including several homes provided to senior management, community halls and recreation centres.

Cr Yates said in addition to the electricity costs on Mr Gallagher’s home, the next council meeting would also examine ratepayers funds spent on council’s other properties.

When contacted by the Eastern Riverina Chronicle Mr Gallagher declined to comment.

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