Maitland store Hyde & Silk specialises in clothing and giftware made in an ethical and fair trade environment

GOOD BUY: “I love the story behind every product and like sharing that with customers,” says Amanda Hyde, in her store. Picture: Marina Neil GROWING up on the Hunter River, lending a hand in her family’s commercial fishing business, Amanda Hyde was quickly immersed in all things environmental.
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“I was a deckhand on the prawn trawler and we just had smaller and smaller catches year after year and it led me to think about what’s happening in the environment and the impacts we have locally andglobally,” says Ms Hyde.

After completing an environmental science degree at the University of Newcastle, Ms Hyde worked in natural resource management for the Department of Fisheries and then in emergency management.

A chance conversation with a friend, however, led her to take leave toresearch and recently launch her first retail business, Hyde & Silk.

Located in High Street, Maitland, the shop stocks only fair trade and ethically sourced products from local and global suppliers.

“It follows on from my ethos of ethical and fair trade and having a minimal impact on the environment is important to me,” she says.

The business pursuit was developed when Ms Hyde was asked by a friend where she shopped “locally”.

“I replied, ‘I don’t’, because I like to always buy something a bit different when I travel,” she recalls. “I then thought if I open a shop with clothes that I like and want to wear then surely others have the same interests.”

Hyde & Silk –the silk is a reference to the fact all customers are given a silk bag with a purchase –stocks accessories, homewares and clothing in retro, boho and casual styles, including popular local brands that are made in ethical workshops in India, Thailand and Nepal.

“I am passionate about fair trade and ethically producted fashion as opposed to the recent increase in ‘fast fashion’ –cheap, mass produced and poor quality clothing that only lasts a season at most,” she says.

“The term ‘fast fashion’ implies that it is ok to throw away the item after wearing it only a few times but it is not ok and I hope to inspire shoppers to make responsible purchases that help others less fortunate while reducing waste.”

One of the brands she stocks is Happy Trunks harem pants, with each purchase of a pair assistingthe Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai Province in Northern Thailand.

“People can often not realise the impact of their purchase, but I call it ethical consumerism –it’s value adding when you can help a community through buying your everyday items,” she says.“I wantpeople to know that by purchasing anything here it really does value add to thecommunity it came from, they are not big companies I support, they are very small communities.”

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Mystery Weston couple win over half a million dollars in Saturday Lotto bonanza

A Weston couplewho originally bought alotto ticket in the hope of purchasing a cattle truck are planning on retiring and paying off their mortgage after winning over half a million dollars.
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The division one prize of$500,446.24 was won inSaturday Lotto the day after Day.

One of eight division one winners from around the country, the couple were said to be overjoyed with emotion when told of the win.

The wife, who was running on a treadmill whenLotto officials rang, declared she was going to retire.

“$500,446.24! That’s us! Whoa! Wow! Oh my god,” she said.

“I can’t believe that! I’ve never won anything.

“I don’t think I’m going to finish my walk on my treadmill now, I’m going to have a beer!

“We’ll pay off the mortgage and I might be able to retire.”

Her husband added: “I told you it was our time to win.”

The lucky pair, who wish to remain anonymous, purchased their 24 game marked entry online atthelott苏州夜总会招聘.

Asked how they came up with their numbers, the woman revealed the quirky nickname for their entry.

“We have a property and we were trying to buy a cattle truck at the time so we picked all of our favourite numbers and nicknamed the entry ‘Cattle Truck’,” she said.

“We ended up buying a second hand cattle truck anyway, but have just kept the same numbers and kept playing them.

“The numbers were just dates of special occasions, special people’s birthdays and they are truly special to us now.”

The winning numbers were 4, 7, 11, 32, 40 and 1, while the supplementary numberswere 26 and 29.

The win continues a lucky string of lotto bonanzas across the Hunter in the past six months.


Lotto winner graduates from bingo and meat tray rafflesPort Stephens retiree oblivious to lotto winCessnock man’s $100,000 lotto win

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OpinionAction needed to stop young deaths

The recent passing of Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett has struck a chord across , with thousands of people expressing their sadness over her death and sharing messages of support to her family.
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Our thoughts are also with the Everetts, Dolly’s friends and the communities to whom she was connected. Much coverage about Dolly in the news and social media has focused on cyberbullying, shifting the focus from the loss of a young life.

The widespread exposure of the suicide of Dolly may have raised feelings of distress for some people. I would encourage anyone who is going through a tough time to seek support.Talking to a trusted relative or friend, a counsellor, GP, or online services such as Lifeline and eheadspace can help. It is important to recognise that suicide is rarely the result of a single event or factor and is a complex and multi-faceted issue. It is usually a result of a person feeling hopeless about life due to a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors. It is heart breaking that any young person would feel like their only option is to end their life.

Emphasis should be on supporting young people who may be experiencing similar thoughts of hopelessness. We lose far too many young ns to suicide and we need to ensure that young people are supported and have help available so that we can prevent further tragedies.

LOST: The death of Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett has highlighted the need for sustained efforts to support young people with mental health issues, the author says.

n Bureau of Statistics data released in 2016, again identified suicide as the leading cause of death for school-aged children. Each week we lose eight children and young people to suicide and as a country we need to continue to work together to change this. headspace School Support teams respond to suicide notifications every week in secondary schools across . headspace will be expanding its work in schools as a delivery partner, along with Early Childhood , for the new mental health education initiative run by beyondblue. headspace also has 101 centres across providing mental health support services to young people aged 12-25.

In June 2017, the federal government announced that a new headspace centre will be opening in Katherine. Suicide rates of school-aged children in the Northern Territory are the highest in . Young people in the Northern Territory die by suicide at more than four times the rate of any other state or territory, with many of these being Aboriginal young people.

I would encourage anyone supporting a young person, as well as friends, to inform themselves so that they can recognise when someone might be going through a tough time. There are a number of resources available on the headspace website, as well as from many other organisations, that provide information and advice on mental health and other topics relating to young people’s wellbeing. With many young people heading back to school in the coming weeks, this message is particularly timely.

The need for sustained efforts to support young people with mental health issues is vital; because any life lost to suicide is too many. The responsibility to reduce suicide requires ongoing investment and lies with the whole community. In collaborative and supportive efforts, we can stop this tide of preventable deaths.

Jason Trethowan is the CEO at headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.If you or someone you know is struggling, visit headspace苏州模特佳丽招聘.au to find your nearest centre or call eheadspace on 1800 650 890.

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Yemen PM prepares to flee Aden

YEMENYemen’s prime minister is preparing to flee the country for Saudi Arabia after separatists seized the area around the presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden in fierce battles overnight, security officials say.
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According to the officials, fighters loyal to the so-called Southern Transitional Council fought all way to the gates of the Palace of Maashiq in the district of Crater in Aden, forcing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s troops to abandon their positions.

The officials said Hadi’s prime minister and several Cabinet members would leave imminently to Riyadh.

The palace is the seat of Yemen’s internationally backed government. The separatist forces did not enter the palace itself and were stopped by Saudi Arabian troops who have been guarding the palace for the past months.

However, a senior government official told The Associated Press that Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar and several ministers remain inside and that the separatists have not seized the palace itself.

The official declined to say whether the prime minister was to leave Aden. The security officials and the government official spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

The fighting in Aden first erupted on Sunday, when a deadline issued by the separatists for the government to resign expired. Hadi, who himself is in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia has described the separatists’ action as a “coup.”

The violence in Aden has killed at least 36 people and wounded 185 since Sunday, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

It has also exposed deep divisions within the alliance between Hadi’s government and the Saudi-led coalition. The two are fighting against Yemen’s Shi’ite rebels, known as Houthis, who are in control of the country’s north.

The warring parties have been locked in a bloody stalemate for most of the last three years.

But within the Saudi-led coalition, allies from the United Arab Emirates have trained the separatist forces and empowered them over the past year, in a direct challenge to Hadi, who is in Riyadh.

The US State Department has expressed concern and called upon all parties to “refrain from escalation and further bloodshed.” Washington backs the Saudi-led coalition.

“We also call for dialogue among all parties in Aden to reach a political solution,” the statement said.

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Scorchers are the BBL’s greatest: Bancroft

BBL SCORCHERSCameron Bancroft has declared the Perth Scorchers the BBL’s greatest-ever team, and he wants them to convert the city’s new $1.5 billion stadium into a fortress.
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The Scorchers’ success in ‘s T20 competition is unrivalled – three titles, and two runner-up finishes in six completed seasons under master coach Justin Langer.

Perth have the chance to continue that glittering dynasty when they take on the Hobart Hurricanes in Thursday night’s semi-final at Optus Stadium in Perth.

If the Scorchers win that match, they’ll host the final on Sunday given they finished the regular season on top of the table.

A sellout crowd of 55,000 is expected to turn out for Thursday’s match.

But just how Scorchers players adapt to their shift from the WACA remains the big unknown.

The Burswood venue made its grand opening last Sunday – with losing to England by 12 runs in a thrilling ODI match.

Bancroft said he and his teammates would have to prove themselves at the new stadium.

“It’s a bit of a weird one,” Bancroft said.

“The one thing we do have is the respect – we’re the best team in this competition. We have been since the beginning of time since the beginning of BBL.

“We’ll showcase our skills… If we can do that, I’m sure we can make Perth Stadium a brand new home and a brand new fortress for us.”

The Hurricanes will be without this season’s leading runscorer – D’Arcy Short – because of international duties.

Bancroft said without Short, Hobart’s biggest threat with the bat was veteran George Bailey.

And he said West Indies paceman Jofra Archer was a big weapon with the ball.

Archer has taken 15 wickets at an average of 19.7 this season.

“He’s got a bit of an arrogance about him,” Bancroft said of Hobart’s star import.

“But in saying that, he’s been able to back that up with his skills in the tournament. We respect him really highly.

“That over he got Maxy Klinger out in that game a few weeks ago was without a doubt a yard quicker than his first over.

“That’s what he’s able to bring – he kind of jogs in, and just lets go with a thunderbolt. You certainly don’t expect that. He’s a class player.”

The Scorchers will be boosted by the return of Shaun Marsh and Mitch Marsh, but spinner Ashton Agar will be missing because of international duties.

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Ex-Aust F1 Grand Prix boss Ron Walker dies

OBIT WALKERA leading figure in F1 motor sport, staunch Liberal Party supporter, successful businessman and all-round fighter.
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That’s how friends, political allies and fellow business names have remembered Ron Walker, who has died aged 78.

Mr Walker, the man who brought the n Grand Prix to Melbourne, died after battling cancer for several years.

The millionaire Melbourne businessman was the n F1 Grand Prix Corporation chairman for 22 years before retiring in 2015.

He wrested the world-renowned race from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1993 and played a role in the creation of Crown Casino, and was briefly Melbourne’s Lord Mayor in the 1970s.

Mr Walker was a prominent Liberal Party figure, working as national treasurer of the party from 1987 to 2002.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull led the tributes describing him as “a great n, magnificent Melburnian and ferociously committed Liberal”.

“Ron was a wise and true friend to me as he was to so many Liberal leaders. We will not see his like again. Our hearts go out to Barbara and their family at this sad time,” Mr Turnbull tweeted.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott wrote: “, Victoria and Melbourne have lost a great son with Ron Walker’s passing. For decades, not much happened in Melbourne without Ron being at the centre of things.

“As well, he was a great supporter of good causes, from medical research to the Liberal Party, which he helped to keep together in tough times.

“He was a staunch friend and constant encouragement to successive Liberal leaders and will be much missed.”

The Confederation of n Motor Sport tweeted: “CAMS is saddened to learn of the passing of former n Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker.

“His contribution to the n motor sport landscape will forever be remembered.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said “whether feared or revered, Ron was someone who you never forgot”.

“It’s in great part thanks to Ron that (Melbourne is) now known as the sporting capital of the world,” he said in a statement.

Mr Walker’s relationship with former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett helped him to become the chairman of the n Grand Prix Corporation and in delivering Melbourne the hosting rights for the event.

Mr Walker served as chairman of Fairfax Media from 2005 to 2009 and was an AC – Companion of the Order of .

In 1976 he held a partnership with Melbourne businessman, Lloyd Williams and the pair formed a property development company called Hudson Conway, which developed the Crown Casino complex in Melbourne.

He also served as the chairman of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation and served as the Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1974 to 1976.

Mr Walker is survived by his wife Barbara, three children and three grandchildren.

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‘Poisoned juice’ killed husband, jury told

MELBOURNE COURT STOCKA pair of lovers murdered a Melbourne husband by sedating him with sleeping pills and giving him either cyanide-laced orange juice or a fatal avocado shake, a jury has heard.
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Sofia Sam, 33, and Arun Kamalasanan, 35, are on trial for murdering the woman’s husband Sam Abraham at his Epping home in October 2015.

Paramedics were called to the home and they initially believed Mr Abraham had died from a heart attack in his bed.

But an autopsy revealed Mr Abraham died of cyanide poisoning and also had a sedative in his system.

Prosecutor Kerri Judd QC says Mr Abraham may have been drugged with sleeping pills before Kamalasanan fed him cyanide-laced juice as he slept.

“He administered the cyanide himself by sneaking into the house and pouring orange juice with cyanide in it into the mouth of the deceased,” she told the jury.

An alternative prosecution case is that Ms Sam put the cyanide in either an avocado shake or an orange juice she prepared for him.

“The female accused said she made an avocado shake for her husband. She also said she made an orange juice for her husband,” Ms Judd said.

Sam and Kamalasanan knew each other from their college days in India and they were allegedly having an affair at the time of the murder.

The jury was told they reconnected after they both moved to Melbourne and were meeting in secret.

“It is the prosecution case that both accused murdered Sam Abraham,” Ms Judd said.

“Their relationship provided the motive.”

Ms Judd earlier illustrated the pair’s relationship by reading passionate diary entries they sent to each other.

“Can you hold me tight? I want to drift away in your love,” she read from one of Sam’s entries, as the diary was displayed on a screen in court on Monday.

The jury also heard that Mr Abraham’s car was transferred into Kamalasanan’s name following his death.

Both Sam and Kamalasanan have pleaded not guilty. The trial continues on Wednesday.

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The Press Book House Cafe: caffeine and wisdom

Classics and discoveries: Murrie Harris at The Press cafe on Hunter Street, Newcastle. Picture: Marina NeilThe Press Book House & Café, 462 Hunter St, Newcastle, Mon/Wed/Fri: 7-4; Thu: 7-6; Sat: 8-3; Sun: 9-2.
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Selling books under the same roof as your coffee and enjoying a lasting and dedicated following has always proved to be an elusive achievement here in Newcastle.

Twenty odd years ago there was an elegant establishment opposite the old Newcastle Herald offices on Bolton Street in the East End. Tastefully arranged around bookshelves were a select number of tables at which well-dressed coffee drinkers would sip to the cerebral sounds of classical music. The ceilings were high but so were the prices. It sometimes felt more like a minimalist art gallery for the well-heeled than a place for a student to sink into a cosy corner with a second-hand novel.

At The Press Book House Café on Hunter Street, Murrie Harris and Ivy Ireland have arranged their shelves a little differently. With an espresso machine at the front of their bookstore and long, communal tables nestled between the novels at the back, they have created a cerebral atmosphere that is less about exclusivity and more about community and inclusion. You are unlikely to see anyone sipping to classical music in here. As the artistic and the unkempt share their ham and pickle sarnies ($10) in an atmosphere that only a needle crackling along old vinyl can create, the ambience at this bookshop is more of a blue-jean 1970 than a blue-blooded 1790.

But none of this means that The Press perceives itself to have reached an untouchable level of cool. This is in no way a café where a roster of surly adolescent girls will make you feel unwelcome because you have not been named after an Indian spice powder. The same couple of blokes making sandwiches and coffees have been here for years.

If anything has changed, it has been the adoption of a philosophy that says your stay should be as long as you want it to be. For every bohemian university student lounging at The Press there is a sharply dressed lawyer who only has time for a $2, cup-through-the-window espresso.

For those with less pressing priorities, Murrie will refill your cup all day long with a rotating single origin filter coffee for $4 – perfect for those who find something on the shelves that they just can’t put down.

If your tastes lean more towards your easy drinking, milk-based coffees – a James Patterson rather than a James Joyce – then these baristas can certainly be relied upon to keep you focused on flipping the pages.

For reasons that have nothing to do with their reputation down South or the quality of their blends, their Melbourne-based roaster Gridlock’d still enjoys a relative anonymity here in Newcastle.

Alternating between the High Beam and the Ghetto Blaster blend, The Press boys have ensured that their following have stayed dedicated to the standard of coffee as much as they have the quality of the literature.

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Pregnant woman jailed over fatal SA crash

GREATLEYAn Adelaide woman who caused the death of a work colleague in a road crash will be sent to jail despite being about to give birth.
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Rebecca Lee Greatley was high on cannabis when she drove through a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming semi-trailer in South ‘s mid-north in May 2016.

The crash killed 26-year-old British backpacker Jamie Dumbleton and injured two other charity workers – Lauren Canciani and Dylan O’Donnell-Middleton.

Greatley initially denied charges of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty on the second day of her trial.

On Tuesday, she sobbed uncontrollably in the District Court as Judge Stephen McEwen described her failure to see the truck as “grossly defective” and jailed her for almost two years with a non-parole period of 18 months.

“For whatever reason, she drove straight out onto the highway and into the path of the prime mover,” he said.

Judge McEwen refused to suspend the sentence, despite the 25-year-old being due to give birth in March and facing the prospect of having her newborn taken from her soon after.

In a statement read on their behalf outside the court, Mr Dumbleton’s family said the jailing of Greatley was “the light at the end of our very dark tunnel”.

“Although we now have a sense of justice we still feel, that given the harm done and the loss of Jamie’s life, it is not a complete justice,” they said.

They criticised Greatley, who they said had manipulated the justice system from the moment she was arrested.

“Shown a coldness and selfishness beyond compare. She has played the game and been successful,” they said.

“She has shown very little remorse or apparent sorrow for her actions until today.”

Ms Canciani said she was happy with the sentence and tried not to think too much about the crash or Greatley.

“I don’t have much emotion for her. I’ve tried not to be angry because I don’t think that’s fair to myself either,” she said.

“I hope she’s remorseful. I hope it wasn’t an act and that she really feels bad for what she has done.”

Ms Canciani said while she hadn’t known Mr Dumbleton long, he was wonderful, caring and thoughtful.

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Wark jailed for life over Dodd teen murder

WARKTeenager Hayley Dodd dreamed of setting up a lolly shop before she was abducted and murdered in a sexually motivated attack almost 20 years ago by a man later convicted of raping another woman.
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The 17-year-old’s family says it has been a “living hell” not knowing what happened to her, with their painful wound growing deeper every year justice eluded them.

Justice finally arrived on Tuesday when Francis John Wark was jailed for life, with a minimum of 21 years, for murdering the hitchhiker after luring her into a ute on a road near rural Badgingarra on July 29, 1999.

Hayley’s mother Margaret Dodd smiled as she left the WA Supreme Court with her family, including two of her 15 grandchildren.

“He’s 61, the same age as me. We’ve already served 18-and-a-half-years, his (sentence) is only just going to begin,” she said.

“We go to bed with pain and we’ll wake up with pain every single day.

“When Hayley went missing, we received a deep, deep wound. That wound got wider and wider over the years.

“Maybe now it will start to close up. We will never get rid of the scars but at least we can start healing.”

Ms Dodd’s grandchildren, aged five and eight, carried a “no body, no parole” banner and she renewed calls for her daughter’s “coward” killer to reveal the location of Hayley’s body.

“Be a man for once in your life. Tell us where Hayley is,” she said.

“I hope that he gets a conscience and he turns around and says ‘no, I’ve done enough, I have to accept responsibility for what I’ve done. I will tell the family what I’ve done with their daughter so they can have some rest and get on with the rest of their lives’.”

Wark showed little emotion as Justice Lindy Jenkins sentenced him, but some people in the packed public gallery clapped.

Justice Jenkins, who presided over Wark’s trial without a jury, said the way he disposed of Hayley’s body “prolonged and increased the suffering” for her loved ones.

The victim impact statements from Hayley’s family were “highly personal” and Justice Jenkins said she could “feel the pain and despair” they suffered, which had ruined their lives.

Hayley’s sister likened it to being a prisoner in her own body.

Prosecutor Amanda Burrows described Hayley’s murder as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.

Wark was convicted largely on the evidence of an ankh-shaped earring found in 2013 when a car bench seat cover that police seized one week after Hayley vanished was examined at the state forensic laboratory.

Justice Jenkins also found Wark had a propensity to pick up lone female hitchhikers then overpower and rape them.

Wark was charged in 2015 following a cold case review, and was serving a 12-year prison term at the time for raping a woman he picked up on a remote Queensland road in 2007.

Given his age, it is possible Wark will spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Sydney’s Ferry McFerryface scrapped

FerriesThe name Ferry McFerryface, given to one of Sydney’s newest ferries, has sparked controversy since it was first introduced and will now be replaced with the name of treasured children’s author May Gibbs.
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Ferry McFerryface was reported as the most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders in a competition last year, but freedom of information documents reveal the name attracted just 182 votes and was ineligible under the NSW government’s criteria, according to the Nine Network.

The documents revealed the criteria for the ferry naming competition, drawn up by Transport for NSW, suggested “mitigating the risk of satirical naming campaigns” and avoiding “the highly publicised mishaps in the naming of ships in other jurisdictions”.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance signed off on the plan and later went ahead with naming the vessel Ferry McFerryface, the Nine Network says.

The documents reveal environmental campaigner Ian Kiernan received the most votes in the competition which cost $100,000.

Hours after the documents were released on Tuesday, Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced the vessel, which he says was branded as Ferry McFerryface for the summer only, will be renamed.

“We always intended this vessel would be named for the kids,” Mr Constance said in a statement.

“After a summer on the harbour, Ferry McFerryface will now be renamed after prominent n author May Gibbs. This will retain the vessel’s appeal to our youngest customers while also recognising an n icon with a long connection to Sydney.”

NSW opposition spokeswoman Jodi McKay slammed Mr Constance saying he had been caught out “rigging the ballot”.

“We know Andrew Constance can’t run a train network but now it’s clear he can’t even run a competition to name a ferry,” she said in a statement.

“He flat out lied about the competition repeatedly saying Ferry McFerryface was the popular choice when he knew it was anything but.”

Earlier, Mr Constance denied the claims, saying the reports were “incorrect”.

He said Ferry McFerryface came from the first open call for public nominations where people could vote for any name without stringent criteria.

“In this round, Ferry McFerryface received 229 nominations and Ian Kiernan received 17,” Mr Constance told AAP in a statement.

The second round of public voting included set criteria and did not include Ferry McFerryface as an option, he said.

The name Ferry McFerryface isn’t original. It follows a public vote in the UK to name a new polar research ship Boaty McBoatface but the Natural Environment Research Council choose “Sir David Attenborough” instead.

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W-League: Newcastle Jets boss Lawrie McKinna full of praise for coach Craig Deans

Even if Newcastle’s W-League side missed the finals, Jetschief executive Lawrie McKinna would have ratedcoach Craig Deans’ work this season as“amazing”.
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STARRING ROLE: Newcastle Jets boss Craig Deans was W-League coach of the year in 2015-16 and could well win the award again this season. Picture: AAP

And if the former Jets A-League assistant and interimcoach wants the job again next year, McKinna says it’s his.

In his third campaign as W-League coach, Deans has steered Newcastle to the finals for the first time since the competition’s inaugural season of 2008-09.The Jets sealed a top-four place with a 5-1 victory over Canberra on Sunday and play Melbourne City in the final round on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The play-off spot has also come in the team’s first season under the management and backing of the Martin Lee-owned Jets club.

McKinna said Deans’ work in assembling the squad during the change from Northern NSW Football to Jets’ control has been instrumentalin this season’s success and he hoped to have him in charge againnext season.

“If Deansy wants the job, he’s got it,” McKinna said.

“It’s as simple as that.

“To be fair, it’s been a one-man band. When we took over, Deansy had done all the player recruitment. He’d done an amazing job at the start of the season to get them all on board. Obviously we gave him back-up with signing and looking after the players, but it was Deansy who’s done an amazing job.

“And that is regardless of being in the finals or not. If he hadn’t made the finals, he wouldstill have done an amazing job.

“His staff came on board right at the end, but Deansy deserves all the credit.”

McKinna said the Jets had great support from Newcastle City Council, the Greater Bank and NNSWF to recruit the likes of Emily Van Egmond but “Deansy was at the forefront”.

“It’s been a long while and they just missed out last year, but it’s just great for the club and for Newcastle that ourW-League team is going to be in the finals,” he said.

In 2008-09, Matildas stars Cheryl Salisbury, Katie Gill and Joey Peters were part of a squad that finished second then lost 1-0 to Canberra in asemi-finalat McDonald Jones Stadium.

Newcastle willfinish second again and host a grand final qualifier if they defeat City and Sydney do not beat Western Sydney on Sunday.McKinna said McDonald Jones Stadium and No.2 Sportsground were potential venues for a home semi.

The Jets have made No.2 Sportsground their training base this season and also played one game, a 2-1 loss to Canberra, at the venue.After Saturday night, their remaining five home matches will have been at McDonald Jones Stadium as double-headers with the A-League side.

McKinna said the stadium, which would be used partially,was available for the finals weekend andcost was not a factor.

”They’ve played at No.2 and got 1200-1300 for the stand-alone game, which was good,” he said.“And obviously we get good crowds for the double headers, compared to some other teams, so we’ll actually put it to the girls, ‘where would you prefer to play a final?’”

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Samurai Beach Bungalows: 25 years of making manana better

Hands on: Sandy Munday cleaning the pool at Samarai Beach Bungalows. Pictures: Max Mason-HubersTwenty-five years ago, Sandy and Mark Munday, then in their late 20s, built a house for themselves in the Port Stephens area. Then the Mundaysleft and travelled around the world for the next 10 months.
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The trip was supposedly their last for a while, as when they returned they would build a few bungalows and start a small hostel business.

“We came back engaged,” Mark says. “We had our honeymoon before the wedding.”

Now, the bustling hostel in the bush is called Samurai Beach Bungalows, and since its inception, it’s been a place for backpackers and tourists from all walks of life to visit, andreturn to over and over.

The Hunter Tourism award-winning hostel just had their best January yet, and they’ve been mentioned in Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and German and French tourism guide books. Their occupancy rate thissummer is 86 per centand thewhole facility gets booked out several weekends a year for family and social groups.

A huge long-haired German shepherd named Bo can be spotted lounging around their small rainforest, along with kookaburras, tawny frogmouths, brush turkeys, possums, blue-tongued lizards and maybe a koala if you’re lucky.

Next to their reception and home is a lagoon-style saltwater pool. Nearby, nature activities are abundant, ranging from hiking to surfing to whale-watching.

On the map: Mark and Sandy Munday, owners of Samurai Beach Bungalows, an award-winning hostel mentioned in Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and German and French tourism guide books.

Unlike many accommodations in the Port Stephens area, this small habitat in Anna Bay was built for travellers, by travellers, with a design that encourages group interactions and communal mingling.

“Our catchphrase is ‘a touch of Asia in ’,” Sandy says. “People come in here and it’s a rainforest, its own eco-system, especially if they’re coming out of a mass-produced dorm room from Sydney where no one talks to you. There, it’s ‘here’s your number and key’. Here, we walk them to their room, and we know everybody by their first name.”

The bungalows built on three-and-a-half acres hold up to 31 guests. The Mundaysfirst built rooms One, Two, Three and Four. Later,they addedprivate rooms and even two cabins with an ensuite bathroom.

A large, covered bush kitchen complete with a massive barbecue sits in the middle of the accommodation, a great place for communal meals. The fire pit is perfect for a weekly campfire/pizza night where guests regularly swap stories.

INSPIRATIONThe vibe and design of their hostel was inspired based on the Mundays’ travels through Asia and Guatemala. They visited places in Thailand and Indonesia where the accommodation had high fences surrounding it to have total view control. Similarly, at Samurai, all the bungalows sit in a bit of a circle, facing inwards towards the trees and each other. This arrangements alsohelps minimize noise from the exterior.

Guatemala was the other location of inspiration for the Mundays. They visited fincas (farms) where they’d chill, sit around with other people and chat.

In Guatemala they stayed in treehouses and lounged hammocks. Structurally, Samurai is not the same, but a similar atmosphere is what they aim to create with a chilled, laid-back nature base.

“Guatemala is where we got the name ‘manana syndrome’,” Mark says.

Manana means “tomorrow”in Spanish. Onthe farms the Mundays wouldask their fellow travellers when they were leaving, and if theyresponded “manana”, theyknew they were having a good time.

“You want to make them feel welcome and at home. It’s the manana syndrome;you know you’ve done a good job when people want to stay another day,” Sandy says.

“I’ll spend 10 or 20 minutes checking someone in, because I want people to feel comfortable.”

“We like small places,” Mark says. “If someone walks past, it’s ‘how ya going, Frederic’, you remember people’s names.”

“It’s small enough to remember them when they come back,” he says.

The secret of success: “You want to make them feel welcome and at home,” says Sandy Munday. “It’s the manana syndrome; you know you’ve done a good job when people want to stay another day.”

The Mundays have many returning guests. Mark recalls a man named Roger who was Swiss and had a very distinct voice. Roger came back to Samurai two years later and before Mark had a chance to look up from the front desk, he heard Roger’s voice and greeted him by name.

The family vibe spills from professional to personal as well. Guests will occasionally have opportunities to volunteer on the property in exchange for accommodation. The Mundays refer to them as their “international children”.

At the time of writing they have a couple from South Africa volunteering at Samurai, and an American woman just left. These volunteers sometimes stay for a while, helping out with gardening, cleaning, and leading guest activities.

In exchange for their hospitality, the Mundays often get the royal treatment when they go abroad. They just returned from Germany and didn’t pay for accommodation. They stayed in Berlin with the parents of a German backpacker who volunteered in their garden when he was 18. His parents had gone on holiday and gave the Mundays their home for the duration of their absence. The Mundays said that previously their son came back to Samurai five or six times, and once he even stayed with them for a year-long while attending Newcastle Uni.

“He was in our house, he was just like a son,” Sandy says.

The two have been on some spectacular holidays throughout the years, including a trip to Machu Picchu, Croatia, Turkey, Portugal and even seven-month trip around in a caravan with their son and their dog. Their next holiday will be in Bali for their 25th anniversary.

When not travelling, the Mundays never really stop working or get much time off because they live on location.

To go with their bungalows, they also have some land, cows and cabins on the Allyn River which they host people via Stayz or through their own website. Between holidays, these two properties keep the Mundays very busy.

But the ongoing work doesn’t seem to faze them. Together the two have worked hard for decades to craft a life that they want while also helping visitors have experiences up to par with their own.

“They call them lifestyle businesses; this is our life business,” Sandy says

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