May, 2019

Brave little Jaxon loses fight with cancer

IT was a story that touched almost every person in the Ballarat community.
Nanjing Night Net

A story of a boy who never let the word cancer get in his way.

For those who knew Jaxon Cooper, you may have heard him say “stuff you cancer”.

That’s exactly what the brave 11-year-old did right up until the end.

Sadly, Jaxon lost his battle with aninoperable brainstem tumour on Friday night after bravely fighting for his life since hewasdiagnosed last year.

Jaxon’s family shared a message to the local community who have followed Jaxon’s incredible journey on Saturday morning, saying “Last night, surrounded by family Jaxon slipped away. He is now free to run, play and talk.

He was only here with us for such a short time, but has taught us so much. He has done more than most adults have done on their lifetime.

Jaxon has shown us to live each day and treasure every moment and that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Brave little Jaxon loses fight with cancer Jaxon surrounded by mum Jodie, dad Rob and his siblings Grace, 4, Logan, 8, and Tyson, 13.

Jaxon as principal for a day at Black Hill Primary School.

Jaxon spent much of his time focused on raising money for ‘Dream Day’ which raises money for brain cancer research.

Jaxon wearing a beanie for Brain Cancer Action Week.

Jaxon ticked off his watching the New York Knicks from his bucket list.

Jaxon ticked off his watching the New York Knicks play from his bucket list.

Paul Tudorovic gives Jaxon a signed New York Knicks shirt.

TweetFacebookIn his honor make today and everyday count.”

Over the weekend hundreds of tributes flooded in for Jaxon who inspired an entire community to remember justhow precious the gift of life is.

But no one is more proud of Jaxon and his journey thanhis family.

Jaxon’s mother, Jodie Cooper said she will always remember her little star as the cheeky boy who wanted nothing more than to beat cancer and ensure other children would neverbe facedwith the same terrifying reality he experienced.

“He was an average kid, but wanted to beat cancer and was determined to help others and make sure other kids didn’t go through the same thing,” she said.

“He was always positive andwanted to get the best out of life.

“He had an ability to always make us laugh and he was always full of energy.”

Despite being told he had less than 12 months to live after doctors found the inoperable tumour, Jaxon continued to defy all the odds to make a difference.

He made himself amission to prove he couldcomplete his bucket list of everything he would like to achieve.

“We started the bucket list as a little thing to help him and us,” Jodie said.

“How big it got was amazing.”

Thanks to the community’s generosity, Jaxon flew to America last year to watch his favourite NBA team, the New York Knicks.

“When we watched the Knicks, he turned around–it was like he couldn’t talk–and said‘that was the best night ever’,” his mother said.

Jaxonalso explored the Great Barrier Reef, watched his parents get married in Cairns, met the players from Melbourne United and this year went back to school.

But it was his meeting with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, where he stood tall and advocated for funding formedical research into brain cancer and, ultimately, his goal tofind a cure that really left a imprint on the entire nation.

“We are extremely proud. Even through his bucket list he wanted to do things that would help others,” Jodie said.

“It shows us, even as an adult, that‘you can get on with it’. His determination to be who he could be is something I will never forget.”

But Jaxon and everything he has achieved for brain cancer will never be forgotten.

“We made him a promise to raise awareness for children’s brain cancer and help find a cure,” Jodie said.

Hundreds of tributes have flooded into the Jaxon’s Journey Facebook page with many people commenting on the how‘extraordinary’ Jaxon was.

“Jax you have taught us all so much along the way,” one message read.

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NBL: New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings | Photos

NBL: New Zealand Breakers v Sydney Kings | Photos Charles Jackson of the Breakers lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Nanjing Night Net

Head coach Joe Connelly of the Kings reacts after losing the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers lays the ball up as Julian Khazzouh of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers shoots during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers shoots during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Head coach Joe Connelly of the Kings reacts during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings walks off after losing the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakersn complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Alex Pledger of the Breakers lays the ball up as Julian Khazzouh of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakers complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers makes a break during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakers lays the ball up as Damion James of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Alex Pledger of the Breakers lays the ball up as Jerome Hill of the Kings defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Corey Webster of the Breakers passes the ball during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakersn lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings reacts after comitting a foul during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings steals the ball off Mika Vukona of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Angus Brandt of the Kings shoots during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings is blocked by Tai Wesley of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings is blocked by Tai Wesley of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Mika Vukona of the Breakers defends with Corey Webster of the Breakers against Julian Khazzouh of the Kings during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Damion James of the Kings is blocked by Tai Wesley of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Cedric Jackson of the Breakers defends as Julian Khazzouh of the Kings shoots three points during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Mika Vukona of the Breakers and Alex Pledger of the Breakers secure the rebound during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings passes the ball back around Cedric Jackson of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tommy Garlepp of the Kings tries to dribble past Tai Wesley of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings tries to get past Cedric Jackson of the Breakers during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings and Angus Brandt of the Kings collect the rebound during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tai Wesley of the Breakers complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Charles Jackson of the Breakersn secures a rebound during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings looks to shoot during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings lays the ball up as Cedric Jackson of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings lays the ball up as Cedric Jackson of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings lays the ball up during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Tai Wesley of the Breakers complains to the referee during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Jason Cadee of the Kings lays the ball up as Tai Wesley of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Julian Khazzouh of the Kings lays the ball up as Charles Jackson of the Breakers defends during the round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at Vector Arena on December 11, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

TweetFacebook Round 10 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings.

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Paris UN Climate Conference 2015: Zombies trying to avoiding a warming apocalypse

Former US Vice-President Al Gore, French Environment Minister Segolene Royal and Californian Governor Edmund Brown at the climate conference. The talks were supposed to finish at 6pm Friday but missed the deadline.
Nanjing Night Net

A weary Segolene Royal, No. 3 in the French government, was having little of one journalist’s query that the fate of the Paris climate talks was now in the hands of sleep-deprived zombies.

“Why zombies? Have you never worked for two or three days straight?,” she told a clutch of reporters deep inside the warren of meeting rooms and pavilions at the summit site.

“The more you work the less tired you are – that’s my philosophy,” Ms Royal added with elan. “It’s fantastic these 10,000 people are trying to save the world.”

The upbeat assessment belies the experience of negotiators, some of them heading into their third day without sleep, as the French hosts drive towards an agreement by some time on Saturday – only a day over schedule so far.

Take Fobissie Kalame​, a senior – and sometimes the only – negotiator seemingly punch-drunk after fighting Cameroon’s corner for 48 hours straight.

“I’m losing my stability – my centre of gravity,” Dr Kalame, who in civilian life teaches at the University of Helsinki in Finland. “I feel sick, I just want to sleep.”

Not much chance of that for the climate policy expert, who says he is toiling so far without success to get text dealing with carbon markets and deforestation in the final text.

As the intense talks dragged deep into Friday morning, idle staffers were grabbing naps in corners or in corridors. “Some were just barefoot – it’s normal,” Kalame said, propping himself up at a table near a well-patronised coffee cart.

Indeed, seemingly endless rounds of discussions that run overtime have become the norm at climate summits. More is at stake this time around given the need to set targets to cut carbon emissions beyond 2020 before dangerous climate change – marked as 2 degrees warming above pre-industrial levels – becomes unavoidable.

Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign minister, was on hand for consultations up until 4am before breaking off to rest and report back to Canberra.

Many of the Australian delegation stayed on until 6am when they left the freezing conference room briefly to their hotels for breakfast and warmth.

“It was bitter,” one staffer said. “We were cold and hungry.”

The Aussies were relying on adrenaline and passion to get through.  Staff were told: “This is a crunchy point”. After 20 years of talks it was “too critical to make a mistake”.

Late-night texting

Mistakes may be less a problem for the outcome of the conference than the determined actions of well-briefed, organised and powerful teams.

A European negotiator said the Americans all seemed  too fit and alert, led by their tireless top climate negotiator Todd Stern.

At about 4.15am, in a small group session, the US chief demanded changes to a crucial article dealing with the aid wealthier nations will be offering to developing nations to nudge them to a lower-carbon growth path and help them cope with climate impacts now and in the future.

Instead of “shall” give aid, donors will only be “expected to” provide help, a change the European delegate said appeared aimed at avoiding any legal obligation.

The repercussions of the change, reluctantly waved through by the EU, would stir angst and drain the energies of developing nation blocs through the rest of the day. It also put at risk the chances of a successful agreement, Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa’s chief negotiator told Fairfax Media and two French journalists later in the day.

“The key to an agreement is finance,” Ms Mxakato-Diseko said, blaming the Umbrella Group that includes the US and Australia. “Once you unlock finance, everything will fall into place.”

The finance problem – with developing nations expecting to be promised at least $US100 billion ($136 billion) a year by 2020 – joins reviews of targets and their transparency as key remaining issues.

The French say they will release the final text of the agreement late on Saturday morning,  releasing exhausted delegates to get some much-needed rest.

For some of the Australians, a couple of long plane rides awaits, and then days of debriefing in Canberra.

Fairfax Media is a partner of the United Nations Foundation

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Estancia La Bamba de Areco, Argentina review: The real-life Rancho Relaxo

Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt
Nanjing Night Net

Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt

Estancia La Bamba, Argentina. Photo: Craig Platt

The place

Estancia La Bamba de Areco The location

Located 123 kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires, the Estancia La Bamba is located in a gorgeous rural setting, surrounded by sweeping grass plains, babbling creeks and tree-lined paddocks. In fact, the surrounding countryside looks a lot like county Victoria – green farmland, grain silos, corn and chicken farms. Even eucalypts mixed among elms, firs and other trees. The main difference is it’s much flatter – there is little topological variety. The final stretch to reach the property takes us off the main roads and on to a dirt track. The space

We’re met at the gate by a gaucho on horseback who leads us along a beautiful tree-lined avenue to the entrance to the ranch, where the entire staff is lined-up to greet us individually. The colonial-style main building is a striking red, built around a central courtyard and surrounded by vast gardens, including a polo field. The lounge, dining room and library are all located in this building and nearby is La Pulperia, a 19th-Century structure formerly used as a shelter for horses and carriages but now converted into a lodge-style lounge and breakfast area. At the rear of the property are the elegant stables, which almost match the homestead in their grandeur. There’s also a swimming pool – one of the more modern touches for property that dates back to 1830. Estancia La Bamba first became a guest house in the 70s but was purchased in 2007 by a French polo fan (hence the field) and underwent major renovations, reopening in 2010. It features 11 rooms and suites, each named after a famous polo horse. Comfort factor

The room is fairly minimalist, though fits with the feel of the property. There’s a high, wrought-iron four-poster bed, an open fireplace and an antique dresser (but no wardrobe). The bathroom has a classic French feel, with chequered tiles and a bidet. There is a bath with a hand shower, but there is only a cradle for the shower head above the bath taps – there’s no wall fixture to place it in, so showering is a little impractical. This seems to be a deliberate style choice to encourage relaxing baths over quick showers. The food

Meals are all-inclusive, which is a necessity unless you have your own transport. Fortunately there’s no reason you would want to miss any of the meals. The quality of the food is excellent and, as you would expect from a rural Argentinean property, meat features heavily on the menu. Lunch is in an outdoor barbecue area, while dinner is in the communal dining room. It’s a good opportunity to mingle with the other guests (there are also nightly pre-dinner drinks in the lounge and are also included) from diverse backgrounds – during my stay I meet visitors from Australia, the UK, Brazil, France and the US. It’s three course meals at night and the chef is present to tell us about the dishes, which maintain local traditions with modern twists. Stepping out

This is a rural escape, so there’s no real need to leave the property. The estancia offers a range of activities to keep guests entertained. Horseback riding is the most popular option, with the resident gauchos available to provide guided rides in the mornings and afternoons. The polo field is also put to use during my visit, with the estancia’s own team taking on another local group in a practice match. A highlight is also a performance by one of the station’s gauchos who shows off extraordinary “horse whisperer” skills to put on a display that can best be described as “horse yoga”. The trust between man and beast as they position themselves into a variety of poses is highly impressive. The verdict

Like the property featured in that classic Simpsons episode, Estancia La Bamba is a real-life ‘Rancho Relaxo’ ideal for recharging the batteries after a hectic visit to bustling Buenos Aires, while also offering some cultural insight to Argentina’s gaucho traditions. How to get there

LAN flies from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland with connections to Buenos Aires. South America Travel Centre (see below) can arrange transfers to Estancia La Bamba from the city. http://梧桐夜网lan南京夜网  See and Do

The South America Travel Centre can create tailor-made itineraries including accommodation, transfers, activities and domestic travel across the continent. See http://southamericatravelcentre南京夜网419论坛  Essentials

Rooms at Estancia La Bamba start from $US590 ($830) per room per night, low season (from $US790 ($1103) per night high season). Prices include meals, drinks (including alcoholic drinks during meal times) and activities. See http://梧桐夜网labambadeareco南京夜网

The writer travelled as a guest of the South America Travel Centre and LAN.

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Missing from the classroom and in court

Research shows education can provide real protection against falling into a life of crime. Photo: SuppliedAlmost 40 per cent of Victorian children charged with criminal offences are not enrolled at school, new research has found.
Nanjing Night Net

Children’s Court president Judge Amanda Chambers said magistrates were frustrated about the large number of young people, particularly boys, who were not in school when they appeared in court.

“Nothing was being done,” she said. “There was no sense of urgency about what was a crisis for the young men appearing in this court.”

The new figures were included in a Victoria University evaluation of an initiative that connects young people with education and training when they appear before the criminal division of the Children’s Court. It found that 43 per cent of clients had not attended a single day of school in the previous month, and 38 per cent had been out of school for more than six months. One 15-year-old boy had been out of school for more than two years.

Judge Chambers said education provided “real protection” against crime, and saved money down the track.

“Incarceration isn’t the answer. Our focus is on rehabilitating them,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate they have an interaction with the court but the positive is that this initiative provides an opportunity … to bring education back in. I wish there was more happening earlier on.”

The Education Justice Initiative, which began in September last year, is funded by the Education Department and managed by Parkville College, a school which teaches young people in custody.

Staff have worked closely with 103 young people in court, helping them contact education providers to determine the best option. They then help the young person set up interviews, which hopefully leads to enrolment.

Many of the clients are from disruptive households or live in out-of-home care. Seventy per cent had attended four or more schools, and many had been suspended or expelled.

The report said that warnings and suspensions issued by schools often discouraged students from attending.

Report author Kitty te Riele​ said young people who were disengaged with school had more time on their hands, which could lead to criminal behaviour.

Living in poverty, being in out-of-home care, and living in disruptive households can also lead to disengagement from education and criminal behaviour.

“Because their life is quite disruptive, and they may not have the family to support them, getting back to school is not always straightforward.”

The Victoria University associate professor said schools were sometimes reluctant to enrol young people who had a brush with the law.

“Sometimes it takes a fair bit of time to get schools on board,” she said.

The evaluation said there was evidence the program helped divert young people away from a custodial sentence. It was likely to also reduce recidivism.

All of the clients involved in the initiative were willing to engage with education, and 75 per cent reconnected with education.

The Age revealed last year that 10,000 vulnerable children were dropping out of Victorian high schools, training and apprenticeships every year.

Victorian students must complete year 10 and then have to remain in full-time education, training or employment until they turn 17.

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