February, 2019

Meredith Music FestivalPhotos

Meredith Music Festival | Photos Big Daddy Kane ends his set at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.
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Julian Richie during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Sai Stanton-Lawrence, 6, and Koji Stanton-Lawrence, 8, during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Caitlin Walker, Madison Walker, Rhys Doyle and Sandy Kirkman during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Raph Korman prepares some gyoza during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Crowds begin to gather for the first set in the Meredith Lineup, “Power”

Jess Patto, Ross McPherson, Tom Finch, Kylie Reeves and Nicole Warner during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Bridget O’Sullivan, Sarah Penman, Sebastian Hammond and Sachiko Robinson during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Gaz Gerard, Celeste Buckley, Romy Lawson, Casey Fisher and Fergus Lawson during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Friends pile in on one of the more colourful couches during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Crowds begin to gather as clouds clear for the first set in the Meredith Lineup, “Power”.

Sandy Brentnall and Sarah Robins during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Alex Giersz, William Mortimer and Alistair Blair during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Sara Casey, Don Corleone and Adam Jackson during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Ben Mackie, Leo Scace and Alice Mackenzie during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Viviane Serra, Taylor Ogden, Joelle Bronson, Jake Nichols, Jun Miyagi and Leah McPherson during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Donna Bucklow and Groopie the catapillar during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The view looking out on to the main stage on the Meredith Eye during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Nic Stephens, Niel Mulligan, Kelsea Rau and Julian Richie during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

A sea of tents at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

John Steele, Jesse Setaro, Nathan Dorman and Marcus Stove during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The view looking out over the main stage from the Meredith Eye during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The Meredith Eye during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Bec Lane, Parker Rettke, Thomas McBean and Megan Tainsh during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

A sunflower at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Stephen Callaghan, Colette Leber, and Alex Buchmann during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Sammie Molnar, Issy Jooste, Lauren Mitchell and Taylor Martin during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Crowds at sunset during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Crowds during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Hannah Smchilson, Lucy Bonks, Stacey Nicoll, Daniel Menzies and Mat McCubbin during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Brendan and friends during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Crowds during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Decorations at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Christian Abbey and Brodie Stagg during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Tom Patterson, Jonno Hill and Sofia Omstedt during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Max Pollard, Tom Pollard and Joanna Cullen during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Jessie Gordon during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Annie Balzer and Sally Kerr during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The front row for Big Daddy Kane during the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The Meredith Eye by night at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

the front row during Big Daddy Kane at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Fairy lights at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

The gift Shoppe by night at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Night at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

A couple enjoy the show at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

Night at the 25th Meredith Music Festival, 2015.

TweetFacebook Pictures from the 25th annual Meredith Music Festival.The Courier

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Troopers assembling as The Force awakens

GLENFredericks watched everysingle trailer and teaser for the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but has had to stop.
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“A new Chinese trailer came out and I’ve decided not to watch it because I can’t handle the excitement I’d feel if I saw another 10 seconds,” Mr Fredericks said.

“I’m a bit nervous, very excited but I’m also trying not to think about it too much because it just distracts me.”

That’s easier said than done, considering Mr Fredericks and his wife Joanne runThe Empire Coffee Co., a Star Wars inspired cafe just a few steps away from TowerCinemas in Newcastle.

His lifelong passion began as a six-year-old in 1977,when the firstfilm was released.

EXCITED: Stormtrooper Glen Fredericks is counting down until the release of the latest Star Wars movie next week. Picture: Phil Hearne.

Mr Fredericks, a father of four,is nowa member of the 501stLegion, a group of enthusiasts who build their own costume replicas and donate their time and raise funds for charities.

“We’re bad guys doing good,” he said.“People dress up as Luke Skywalker or Han Solo but can’t change their face. When you’re a Stormtrooper or Darth Vader,kids come up and ask,‘Are you real?”

Mr Fredericks and a group of about 15 will wear their costumes to Reading Cinema in Maitland ahead of its sold out 12.01am Thursday screening.

Complex manager Yvette Cavanagh said another 150 tickets had been sold to the12.10am screening.

Star Wars will be the only film showing in two of the complex’s four theatresfor the week after its release. About 500 tickets have already been sold to the eight sessions that will screen each day.“It’s multi-generational and much anticipated,” Ms Cavanagh said.“You’ve got your hard-core Star Wars fans,but then you’ve also got the general populationwho have grown up with it, know the story and want to see how this one will turn out.”

The fervor is reaching fever pitch across the wholeregion, requiring cinemas to devote up to two thirds of theirtheatres to showing back to back screenings.

Event Cinemas at Glendale has sold about1300 tickets to its eight midnight screenings.Tower Cinemas at Newcastle,Reading at Charlestown,Hoyts Charlestown, Scottys at Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay Cinema andMajestic Cinemas Singletonare also hosting midnight screenings.

Mr Frederickssaid he waslikely to watch the film again and again.“When you turn the clock back to 1977, it was groundbreaking, we’d never seen anything like that before,” he said.“But at the same time it felt like it had a lot of heart and soul in it.

“The prequels used too much computer imagery, but this one seems to be not as precise, it has a human sloppiness that is going to make it feel even more real.”

Newcastle Herald

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Life renewed after horror

Life anew: Apolina Kakonga with her daughters Eliza ,8, and Honorina ,10, and Yves Nkoranyi. Pictures: ELENOR TEDENBORG
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Yves Nkoranyi and Apolina Kakonga have endured heroic journeys to escape the horrors of war. In the first of a two-part series, they tell their ultimate story of hope to reporter Nigel McNay.It was his final, liberating flight from death, chanced to him like a feather plucked from a barren sky.

Nine years in a Kenyan refugee camp.One of 70,000 people trapped by a suffocating squalor and hopelessness, starving though somehow still alive.

And then there wasthe lingering terror of raids by bandits.Refugees had money, or so the local people outside the camp’s perimeter thought.These opportunistic thugs would enter the camp’s plastic tents in the dark, nonchalantly shooting people dead if they could not find something, anything, of value.

Yves Nkoranyi always had hope.It wasn’t yanked away by his parents’ assassination when he was 14, nor by witnessing the rape and murder of his sister.It was a kernel of truth deep inside him, like a small, smooth stone he could reach in and grasp and from which he could somehow draw life. He had faith he would pull himself free of the quagmire of barbarity.

Carer: Yves Nkoranyi with Kalianna clients Christopher Taylor and Maddie McInnes. Yves’ future, he says, is all about doing what he can to help others in his new, cherished community.

And he had a resolute faith in God that he would be spared, despite living in a world choking on raging contradictions over the sanctity of life.

The horror that struck – six of Yves’ family of 11 were killed – was spat out by politics and tribalism in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.In area alone it is Africa’s fourth-largest country, rich in natural resources, but wracked by a civil war of two decades that has extinguished the lives of millions. Up tonine nations have becomeentwined in its indecipherable web.

The teenage Yves fled. “I started running.”Through the forest, day and night, no shoes and no idea of where he was heading. Fear drove him on, the relentlessness of it all causing his legs to hideously swell.Piles of putrefying bodies, sometimes 20 or 30 at a time, would come into sight on the road ahead as they tried to reach the relative safety of a police compound.

“You say, ‘OK, rest in peace’,” Yves says, crossing himself. “There is flies, it’s smelling. You can’t do anything.We have to cover the kids’ faces at the time.And we didn’t know where we are heading to.”

It should have been a 300 kilometre journey.Avoiding “the guns, the bombs” meant it stretched for an eternity more, the flight of a crow devoid of its anatomical compass.

But because he had lost contact with his brother’s family, he then moved on to the enormous Kakuma refugee camp in north-west Kenya. The thought was his brother might re-appear. Yves is now 31. For the past six years he has lived in Wodonga, working as a disability support worker with Albury’s Kalianna Enterprises.

He has also become a man of learning, recently meeting Charles Sturt University’s requirements for a bachelor’s degree in social science.It’s one of several qualifications he has racked up, despite his ongoing struggle with English.

His now-life quest stemmed from the time in 1999 when war was raging in Uganda.People were turning up with terrible injuries and because there was no nurse, he and others helped clean their wounds.

“When I got here (to Wodonga) I thought, ‘OK, let’s make it my career to help people’.And since I’ve been here I’ve just been studying.”

Yves is married to Edwidge – she too was in Kakuma, though romance bloomed much later – and they have had three children, aged 2, 4 and 6. Yves also has an older boy, now16.The terrible, all-pervading fear has gone.He is a relaxed, cheerful man.But that fear had gripped him so tightly, for so long, it once made him reluctant to share his story.

“Sometimes it’s very hard. I feel myself not comfortable, it’s very emotional,” he says.

It returns him though to the moment that set off that seemingly impossible desire to dodge an anonymous death in the camp.He raises his left hand, drawing his thumb and forefinger to about two inches apart.

With a quick twist he outlines a dirty, messy scrap of paper that by some miraculous opportunity he sighted. That brightly coloured feather floating in the drab mass of numbed misery.

Someone was sharing a contact from Australia. It was what Yveshad never given up on finding. An age passed before he saw it again. “It was a long process for that person to give me that address.”

But he did. And so Yves wrote, telling his story to a person “I don’t know”. Six more hungry months passed, then he got a reply from the Sanctuary Australia Foundation. The Coffs Harbour-based organisation helps re-settle government-approved humanitarian entrant refugees. And that includes people such as Yves from war zones around the world .

“When I went for the interview (with the Immigration Department) official, I feel like I’m leaving the camp,” he says. “I’m going to Australia. I’m starting a new life. I’m just now going to get a better life.”

Hope: Apolina Kakonga is full of joy for her children’s new future on the Border.

A mother’s dreamHE was killed in the never-relenting bloodshed. A husband lost, making for an albeit-remote opportunity lost forever.

It left her to raise several children alone, an impenetrable mess should she stay in the Congo. Her first home.But Apolina Kakonga does notwant to dwell on that, unable or perhaps just unwilling to sort through scant fond memories from before the madness struck.

“Sometimes I tried to forget, but it’s hard to forget something that has happened to you in your life,” she says.Apolina wants to tell a different story anyway. How she survived six years as a widowed mother in a Ugandan refugee camp.

Like Yves, she is multilingual. He speaks seven languages and is quick, with a laugh, to say his English “is No.8”. It’s not so bad though that it hampers his translating for Apolina, who has set learning her new tongue near the top of her must-do list.

As a child, Apolina wanted to be a nun. Getting married took that away, then the war and her husband’s death gave her no choice but to flee the Congo for Uganda.She was 29 when she and her children entered the refugee camp. “Life wasn’t easy. I struggled. When I started running (from the war) I was with other members of my family,” she says.

In a tale that runs true with so many, they became separated. All hope of support from her family was gone. They lost sight of each other at the border.Apolina, now 36, has never heard of them again.The struggle in the camp was in finding food and again, when darkness fell, the fear of armed marauding thieves rose.

“They may come in the night. My little girl was worried when we went fetching water,” she says.“Life was hard. There was no schooling for my kids.”What she knew most was she could never go back to the Congo, because of what it had already done to her life.“My life was in danger. I was just looking to where I would feel safe.”

Those times were over quickly for her kids, coming to an endsix years ago. The oldest, Leo, puts his hand out waist high to show just how much smaller he was back then in Uganda. He smiles, yet again. They all do.

But they carry one stark memory of a not so distant reality, Mum says quietly.“The sound of the gun.”

Her boysLeo, 13, and Steven, 12,love soccer, while thegirls –Honorina, 10, and Eliza, 8 –are intobasketball. Smart, healthy kids, a bit bored by this serious stuff their mum’s talking about, but listening closely and picking up on everything said.

Mum holds her younger daughterclose, smiling and kissing her gently as she strokes her hair. Eliza drifts off to sleep whereshe sits, her head resting on the table.Apolina is grateful and no longer feels “like I’m that person I was in the Congo”.

When Yves pushes through and talks about the horrors, Apolina sinks back inher chair and bows her head. Briefly she has lost the openness and warm, engaging smile that constantly outpoints her limited English.

But talk about her new community, the life ahead, and that past floats away.

“I can see the change in the life for my children.There is no hungry. There is no sleeping without eating, nothing.No fear.”

Part two of Yves’ and Apolina’sstory will appear on The Border Mail website next weekThe Border Mail

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Photograph captures a tiger by the tale

A FASCINATION with the Tasmanian tiger has led a Hobart man to pay top dollar for a photograph of the last known thylacine in the wild.
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The original photograph, purchased by Nevin Hurst, sold at Gowan’s auctions for $9775 last Saturday.

According to an article in The Advocate dated Wednesday, May 14, 1930, the photograph depicts a man named Wilfred Batty, who shot and killed the animal after seeing it kill poultry on his farm at Mawbanna, on the North-West Coast.

HISTORICAL: The last known image of a thylacine in the wild.

The tale said the animal was “exceptionally large”, measuring five feet and six inches in length.

It said the thylacine “caused a great deal of trouble in the Mawbanna district, having wrought havoc in fowl pens, while it had also frightened several children.”

Mr Hurst said the reserve price for the photograph was set at $20 but later raised to $250.

He said he was not sure how many people he was bidding against because it was done over the phone.

“We don’t know who put the photograph into auction, except that it was a lady.”

Mr Hurst said the photograph, which measures 5cm by 10cm, was in excellent condition.

“We need to preserve what little we have, which is why the photograph is just so important.”

He said his son shares the same fascination with the creature.

“I have been buying Tasmanian tiger skins and putting them into a collection. One reason we collect is we hope to match the stripes on his back in the photograph with one of our skins.

“The photograph and skins will all go into a private collection and won’t be released until we are absolutely satisfied with it.”

He said he still holds hope that the thylacine exists.

“If there’s any tigers out there – no one is saying there isn’t – the gene pool is so small they would be inbred and without strength. They would be destined to become extinct anyway.”

The Advocate

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O’Brien reveals dark side to AFL career

THAT MOMENT: The former St Patrick’s College student pumps his fist after booting his first AFL goal during a round 22 clash against Richmond in 2012.NICK O’Brien is not unlike many of the footballers that realise their dream of playing in the AFL, only to have just a fleeting impact on the game.
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BOMBER: Nick O’Brien looks to pass during the round 19 match against the Greater Western Sydney Giants this year. Pictures: Getty Images.

O’Brien’s career at the elite level never really got going – he played just 14 senior games across four years before being delisted by the Bombers last month – but his time in the system will never be forgotten.

The Ballarat boy was front and centre during Essendon’s supplements program, which has haunted the powerhouse club for the past few years.

And while he admits to being involved in the Bombers’ injection program, O’Brien is able to press on playing the game he loveswithout the fear of sanction.

The 22-year-old, who revealed he is not one of the 34 past and presentEssendon footballers issued with an infraction notice for their part in the scandal, is gearing up for a season with SANFL clubWoodvilleWest-Torrens, which he hopes can ignite a return to the big time.

O’Brien admits to having “about five or six” injections during his time at Essendon and feels lucky to escape without aninfraction notice.

REBEL: O’Brien in action for the North Ballarat Rebels during the 2011 TAC Cup season. Later that year, O’Brien was drafted to the Bombers.

“There was one or two first-year (players)that were the same year as me that got notices, but they were certainly getting 20-30 injections that year, which is a pretty big number,” O’Brien told The Courier.

“I had a couple throughout the year. I didn’t think too much of them at the time and from the feedback I’ve received from ASADA, it was all (above)board.”

FOCUSED: O’Brien marks the ball during the Bombers’ round 17 match against Port Adelaide Power at Etihad Stadium this year.

O’Brien said he had been told by former Essendonsports scientistStephen Dank that the needles were forimmunityrather than anything sinister.

“As a young kid, you just trust what people say, I suppose. Don’t you?,” he said.

HAPPY TIMES: O’Brien celebrates his first ever AFL win after Essendon beat the Western Bulldogs in round 16 of season 2013.

O’Brien admits he thought the program was normal practice and believed his injury at thetime spared him from being fully involved in the injection process.

“As I said as a young kid, I was pretty up front in…I was pretty enthusiastic about the program we were on – unfortunately it was proven to be a little bit unorganised,” he said.

“It’s probably somethingin yearswe will look back and say it probably wasn’t the club’s best moment, but I certainly didn’t have any reservations at the time, so I can’t really look back now and say that I regret this or regret that. It’s just the way it happened at the time.

“I just thought that’s what sort of everyone was doing.

“It is what it is and I just hope that all the boys can get off in a couple of months time when they get the verdict again.”

O’Brien said it has been sad to see many of his former teammates struggle mentally with the intense pressure of the past few years.

“I think without naming names, you see people whose dream it is to play AFL like mine was and that’s all you want to do as a young kid and to see them not enjoy doing it and almost feel like a chore to rock up and train and play,I just think … that did shock me a fair bit…” he said.

“I’ve been alright, but there wasdefinitely times where I felt a little bit worn down by it all, to be honest.”

O’Brien sayshe still has a good relationship with sacked coach James Hird and stresses he will always be thankful for the opportunity given to him by the Bombers, Carngham-Linton, St Pat’s and the North Ballarat Rebels.

As for the future, he just wants the boys in red and black to enjoy some rewards for their hard work.

“It would be great to see them have success because what they have been through the last couple of years in such a public manner has been really sad to watch and sad to be apart of,” he said.

Ballarat Courier

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