The great trek to prep: The city kids travelling up to 30km for school

BURNSIDE ,AUSTRALIA 28 JANUARY 2018: Photo of Nermein Gouda ,Ramy Gouda (Dad) with their children, Marcus Gouda 5 yrs with his sister Martina Gouda 9 yrs, wearing their Wesley College uniform outside their home in Burnside on Sunday 28 January 2018. Photo ; Mediaculture/Luis Enrique Ascui
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Marcus Gouda will have to wake up at 6am on to get to his prep class on time.

On a good day, the 30-kilometre trek from Burnside Heights in Melbourne’s outer north-west to Wesley College’s St Kilda Road campus takes 45 minutes.

On a bad day, it’s a 1.5-hour crawl.

“The long-distance travel can get stressful, but we somehow manage,” Marcus’s father Ramy said.

The family has a seamless morning routine which it perfected when eldest daughter Martina started at Wesley in 2013.

Lunch boxes and bags are packed the night before and clean uniforms are laid out. There’s no last-minute homework at the breakfast table.

When the clock hits 7, Marcus and Martina will jump into the car with their mother Nermein.

Nermein, an occupational therapist, found work in Prahran to make the commute more viable. “My vision is to provide the best education for my children,” she said.

“I enjoy the trip now because I get to spend a lot of time with the kids talking and discussing different topics. They also do some reading or watch movies.”

As thousands of Victorian children return to school from Tuesday, Marcus will be one of the many students who are bypassing their local school in favour of one further afield.

A 2017 Auditor-General’s report revealed that 52.3 per cent of state primary enrolments and 53.3 per cent of state secondary enrolments come from outside the local school catchment.

The latest Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity found that the average distance for primary school journeys is four kilometres, which increases to seven kilometres for secondary school travel and 19 kilometres for tertiary travel.

But it’s not known how many students are prepared to travel as far as Marcus to attend the school of their choice.

Ramy said his family can’t afford to live closer to Wesley. He believes the education his children are receiving is a good pay off for the lengthy commute of up to three hours a day.

“Like any family, we want our children to achieve the best,” he said. “If we don’t do the best for them we can’t take the time back.”

Marcus isn’t fussed by the travel. “I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and doing homework,” the five-year-old said.

Emma Rowe, a lecturer in education at Deakin University, said n parents were willing to make great sacrifices to access their school of choice.

She said perceived gaps in school quality had created a marketplace, where families shopped around for the best school. But she warned that this could lead to segregation.

“They will see one school as a no go, and then another as very high quality, and will put all their time and energy into it,” she said.

“It’s a bit of a fantasy that a school will offer everything. All the teachers come from the same place.”

On the other side of town, the Gillies family is about to restart ts 15-kilometre school run from Footscray West to Fitzroy North.

This year, Mason Gillies will start prep at Fitzroy Community School, an independent, alternative primary school that his older brother Cooper already attends.

The children have created Spotify play lists for the 45-minute car journey, which involves whizzing down back streets to avoid peak hour traffic.

Their mother, Jackie, was initially concerned about living so far away from the school. But she said weekly afternoon teas at the school, sporting events and a once-a-term potluck dinner for families had made her feel part of the community.

She was attracted to the school because of its focus on the whole child – “not just the academic side” – small classes, diverse student cohort and free lessons, where children can pursue their own interests.

“It operates a lot like a school in Finland,” she said.

The daily commute is set to intensify once the children reach high school.

It’s likely that they will attend John Marsden’s Alice Miller School in Macedon, a trip that will involve a V/Line train journey and then a shuttle bus into the bush.

“People are willing to look for a style of education for their children that matches their values,” Jackie said.

“Travelling is the easy part if the kids are happy.”

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Burrumbuttock Hay Runners make hay deliveries direct to Cunnamulla farmers

The Hay Runners arrived in Cunnamulla on Friday afternoon. WHILE it may not have been the longest or most anticipated hay run from the Burrumbuttock crew, this year’s trip to Cunnamulla on the Day long weekend was undoubtedly their most influential.
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More than 100 trucks travelled from Darlington Point on Friday morning to the drought stricken south west town to deliver hay tofarmers who had applied for assistance.

READ MORE:See the moment Hay Runners arrive in Cunnamulla

Unlike previous hay runs wherethe majority of producers travel to a central collection point to get their hay, this time almost all of the trucks, rather than a few, left the showgrounds on Saturday morning for personal deliveries.

One of those personal deliveries was to Mac and Mary Haig of Eulo.

Burrumbuttock Hay Runners founder Brendan Farrell said trucks drove as far as 50 to 230 kilometres.

“They wanted to see the full experience and get the feel of how bad this drought is so the best way we could do it is to send them out,” he said.

Trucks being loaded on Saturday morning ahead of departure to farms.

“They all came back yesterday afternoon and they all had stories to tell of how bad it is and where they went and they’ve built that mateship, they have gone out there and shook the farmers hand.”

A strong dust storm greeted the Hay Runners on Friday night but a few millimetres of rain gifted them as they departed on the weekend.

Among the drivers was possibly the youngest hay runner ever, eight-month-old Ardon Lidgard who made the trek with parents Joel Lidgard and Leah Byrne from near Sydney.

While he slept for two and a half hours during the drive, little Ardon was wide awake watching the hay runners mingle on Friday night.

Eight-month-old Ardon Lidgard made the trek with parents Joel Lidgard and Leah Byrne.

Mr Lidgard said it was his fourth hay run after he wanted to give back to the industry that supports his business.

He said it was a chance for truck drivers to catch up as well.

”You meet blokes like … he only lives 150km away from us but we only ever see him on the hay runs or we pass him on the highway so you get to catch up with those blokes that you are usually too busy to catch up with,” he said.

For other hay runners, it wasn’t just spending time with family and friends that they were missing.

Leeton driver Buster Ryan was awarded the Citizen of the Year at his local Day service but decided to continue with his hay run plans rather than accept the award in person.

Buster Ryan of Leeton.

The award recognised Mr Ryan’s countless volunteering work over the last 30 years including everything from chopping wood for pensioners to the hay runs.

“I just enjoy the experience of coming up here and talking one on one with the farmers,” he said.

Queensland Country Life

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‘It’s not perfect’: Castle urges change to Sevens format

Charlotte Caslick of runs with the ball before scoring a try against France during their Pool A match during Day 1 of the Sydney 7’s rugby competition at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Friday, January 26, 2018. (AAP Image/David Moir) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
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Here is what is really shit about Charlotte Caslick running her mouth off after the Aussie women’s Sydney Sevens triumph on Sunday.

Rugby got it right for once and wound up with a $700,000-odd hole in its pocket. That’s shit.

The code’s public face, player of the final Charlotte Caslick, is a sassy, fierce and fired-up athlete who pushes the envelope off the field as much as she does on it.

Raelene Castle knows that. It is why the new Rugby chief and her World Rugby counterpart, Brett Gosper, spent much of their meeting on Monday talking about how the World Series format could be reformed.

“There is recognition by World Rugby and Rugby that the format needs some more work and that if we want to see [integrated tournaments] continue to develop we are going to have to look at how that can be done more effectively for the men and the women,” Castle said.

Reducing the number of games in a tournament is one option that will be looked at. Former Fiji men’s coach Ben Ryan has called for the entire series to move to a knockout format. Ryan’s rationale was to reduce the number of games and make the tournament a sharper experience for fans, but it could also help rein in operational costs.

“That would be one of the things we’d want to discuss,” Castle said. “Whether the full range of plate games would continue to be the priority, when you’ve got double the number of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals as the high profile games you could use from the men and women.

“Strategically, they’re the big changes you have to be thinking about.”

There is no doubt the three-day format needs tweaking. While Caslick’s heat-of-the moment gripe about 9.30am games raised hackles, feedback from n and international teams was that it was a hard slog mentally and physically to prepare for up to six games staggered across three days. Castle said those concerns would be taken seriously.

“It’s not perfect for either [the men or women], but it’s a really strategic and constructive step forward to have the tournaments integrated and to make sure the women and the men are playing in front of strong crowds,” she said.

It is tough to determine whether or not this year’s suppressed attendance in Sydney – 20,000 down on last year – was a product of the extraordinary Day long weekend and could bounce back in coming years.

Certainly a 13 per cent lift in broadcast figures across the three-day tournament suggests the smaller live crowd was not the full picture on ‘s appetite for sevens. Fox Sports reported 62,000 viewers for the women’s final between and New Zealand on Sunday afternoon and a peak of 78,000 for the n men’s upset win over South Africa.

But three full days of rugby also hit Rugby ‘s operational budget, a circumstance other host nations would not escape if they wanted to follow ‘s lead.

“As a showcase for men’s and women’s sevens the additional cost is worth it to promote, particularly to young women, the pathway into being a women’s sevens player and therefore into the Olympics, but there is no doubt there is a baseline additional operational cost,” Castle said.

“What Rugby and World Rugby achieved over the three days was an enormous step forward for sevens, particularly women’s sevens, however we recognise that the fully integrated tournaments create challenges from a high-performance perspective and these will need to be addressed if they are going to become a more regular tournament on the calendar.”

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Record could fall as MCG lands World T20 finals

A world record crowd for a women’s sporting event could be set at the MCG with Melbourne landing the right to host the finals of the first ICC World Twenty20 events in .
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The Age understands that the MCG will on Tuesday be confirmed as the venue for the women’s and men’s events, with the tournaments to be held separately.

The women’s final has the potential to draw the biggest-ever crowd to a stand-alone women’s sporting event in , and even worldwide.

The current record of 41,000 – set at a women’s football match in Adelaide in 1929 – stands to be broken later this month when Fremantle play Collingwood in an AFLW match at Perth’s new 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium, but an MCG Twenty20 match could comfortably eclipse the expected Perth figure.

There is even a chance the match could challenge the world-record crowd of 90,185 that attended the 1999 women’s soccer World Cup final between the US and China at California’s Rose Bowl.

The 2020 women’s world Twenty20 is scheduled to begin on February 21, 2020, with the final to be held at the MCG on March 8, two to three weeks before the AFL season begins at the venue with the Richmond-Carlton blockbuster.

The men’s tournament is being held at the beginning of the following home summer, starting on October 24 and concluding on November 15 ahead of the summer’s home Tests.

Fairfax Media reported early last year that the NSW government was looking to land the final of the men’s competition, but that looks to have fallen short.

The selection of the MCG for the games is a nod of approval for the venue despite the recent Boxing Day Test drama in which the MCG was lambasted for its lifeless wicket, with the ICC rating the pitch “poor”.

The MCG hosted the final of both 50-over world cups held in , in 1992 and 2015.

The announcement comes in a week in which begins a T20 tri-series involving New Zealand and England. There has been debate over the scheduling of international Twenty20 matches around the time of the Big Bash League finals, with clubs unable to field many of their best players as the domestic event reaches its conclusion.

The first World T20 was held in 2007, and has been held somewhat irregularly since, with the last event won by the West Indies in 2016. That the 2007 event in South Africa was won by India in a thrilling final against fierce rivals Pakistan has been credited in playing a significant role in the growth of the format, having come only months before the first instalment of the Indian Premier League.

While there is a four-year break between the men’s world Twenty20 events, there is another women’s event before 2020, with the West Indies hosting a stand-alone tournament in November.

The World T20 title remains an elusive crown for ‘s men, although the women’s side has saluted in three of the five tournaments, while losing the most recent final to the West Indies in 2016.

Champion all-rounder Ellyse Perry, arguably ‘s best known female cricketer, spoke late last year of her desire for ‘s female cricketers to have the chance to play on the country’s main stadium like the MCG or SCG.

“Cricket are really keen on the final being in one of the major stadiums in the country and filling that out,” Perry said.

“The WBBL is a really great vehicle for building that and growing the interest in T20 in . I think that’s the ultimate goal – filling out big stadiums.”

Playing stand-alone women’s matches at the world’s most famous grounds is not without precedent. England and India’s women’s teams played in front of a sell-out crowd at Lord’s last year as the home side won a closely-fought 50-over World Cup final.

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CCTV footage: Aldi worker knocked out in vicious baseball bat attack at Albion Park Rail

Aldi worker knocked out in vicious baseball bat attack Mervyn Davidson swings his aluminium bat at an Aldi worker …
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… hitting her in the side of the head and knocking her unconscious.

The woman instantly collapses to the ground …

… as fellow shoppers flee the area.

Davidson kicks the unconscious woman in the head …

… before attempting to open the till.

A shopper in a black T-shirt confronts Davidson …

… and rams him with a trolley …

… while a male employee runs up behind Davidson …

… and grabs him in a bear hug.

Both men wrestle with Davidson in an attempt to disarm him.

A thong-wearing tradie assists in restraining Davidson until police arrive.

TweetFacebookCCTV footage has revealed the shocking moment a female Aldi worker was knocked unconscious with a baseball bat in a botched armed robbery at the supermarket giant’s Albion Park Rail store.

Video of the January 2017 incident playedin Wollongong court on Monday shows the womanserving customers inside the Ash Road storewhen her drug-fuelled attacker, Mervyn Davidson, stormsthrough the entrance carrying an aluminium baseball bat.

He approaches the victim, who is on the till closest to the door, and swings the bat towards her face, hitting her in the right side of her head.

The woman instantly collapses to the ground unconscious as fellow shoppers scatter in fear. Davidson then kicks the woman in a bid to get closer to till,yelling “open the register, give me the money, open the till”.

An unidentified shopperin a black t-shirt confronts Davidson and rams him with a trolley, while a male employeeruns up behind Davidson and grabs him in a bear hug.

Both men then wrestle with Davidson in an attemptto disarm him. They are soonassisted by another shopper and the trio restrain Davidson until police arrive.

Footage captured from a different camera angle shows the entire incident unfoldsin front of a young boy, whose father tries to shield him from the confronting scene.

Court documents reveal the victim was in Wollongong Hospital for five days with bleeding on the brain and facial fractures. Sheis yet to return to work full time.

Meantime, Davidson went on to puncha police officer in the face while in custody, then two days later,choked his cellmate unconscious in Silverwater jail.

Davidson was charged over all three incidents and eventually pleaded guilty.

At his sentence hearingon Monday, Davidson said he was under the influence of ice at the time and had nomemory of his actions, however was sorry for the harm he’d caused.

“I shouldn’t have done it,” he said.

“If she [the employee] was here I’d apologise to her.”

Judge Andrew Haesler said Davidson had a lengthy criminal history however no similar matters on his record.

He said Davidson’s prospects of rehabilitation hinged on whether he could remain drug-free in the community.

Davidson will be sentenced next Thursday.

Illawarra Mercury

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Tech-savvy career banker was part of Narev’s inner circle

Since he was in his mid twenties, new Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn has worked on an almost uninterrupted basis for the country’s largest bank.
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The appointment of a career banker – in contrast to his predecessor Ian Narev, a former management consultant – is being viewed as a sign CBA is keen to make sure it does not disrupt its position as a profit-making powerhouse, which may have been a risk with an external CEO.

Mr Comyn, 42, comes to the job after running the bank’s vast and highly-profitable retail banking division for the last five and a half years, a job where he reported to Mr Narev.

In this role, Mr Comyn has been responsible for a business that accounts for more than half of CBA’s near $10 billion in annual profit, and he is well regarded among bank-watchers in the financial markets.

Mr Comyn, who is married, has three children and lives in Sydney, is one of a group of several young tech-savvy senior executives appointed by Mr Narev to his inner circle.

Given the size of retail banking and its importance to CBA, Mr Comyn has long been seen as a potential contender to replace Mr Narev, but his chances appeared to have been dealt a setback by the money laundering compliance scandal that has engulfed CBA since last August.

The general view among bank-watchers was that internal candidates including Mr Comyn had been tainted by the Austrac scandal, which involved alleged money laundering via ATMs, which partly fall under the retail banking division.

Yet CBA chair Catherine Livingstone on Tuesday signalled the board had opted for stability, saying Mr Comyn had the best mix of skills needed to restore its reputation and deal with longer-term challenges created by technological change.

One banking investor said the appointment of Mr Comyn suggested the board did not see a need for drastic changes at CBA, aside from the need to improve its reputation.

“If Narev had left in normal circumstances then he would have got the job anyway,” the investor said.

Technology is viewed as one of Mr Comyn’s strong-suits. It is generally accepted that CBA’s digital banking systems are ahead of those of rivals’ systems, and on Monday Mr Comyn said he wanted to maintain this leadership. Before running retail banking Mr Comyn was head of its online stockbroking unit, CommSec.

CLSA analyst Brian Johnson said it was a “significant” point that in Mr Comyn, the CBA board had opted for a banker with deep banking experience, as opposed to a management consultant. An internal candidate and long-time banker such as Mr Comyn woud be less disruptive than an external appointment, Mr Johnson said.

“He’s got retail banking skills. The value is in CBA as it is,” Mr Johnson said. “They’ve got the most profitable bank in . The issue of disruption and slowing down momentum is a real issue.”

After joining CBA in 1999, Mr Comyn oversaw a period of market share growth at CommSec between 2006 and 2010, before leaving to briefly run Morgan Stanley’s wealth business in . He returned to CBA after about six months, running the bank’s small business lending.

Mr Comyn has a Bachelor of Aviation and Masters of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, and has also completed MBA, and studied in the United States.

After university, Mr Comyn worked for an aviation business, before joining CBA in 1999. He initially worked at CommSec, working his way up to become managing director of the stockbroking business in 2006.

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Auction action resumes around the region

LOADED WITH POTENTIAL: This home in original condition in Warners Bay’s popular James Street will go under the hammer today.Auction action resumes around town this weekend and good results are expected in various locations.
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Global Property’s Anthony Birt is marketing 19 James Street in Warners Bay, which will go to auction at 11am.

The three-bedroom residence on around 540 square metres is located one block back from Lake Macquarie and has only ever had one owner.

A price guide is yet to be set but Mr Birt said land value in the area was around $600,000 but newly developed properties were selling for over $1.2 million.

“It’s a really up and coming street. It’s one street back from the water and a lot of original homes are being bought along there and redeveloped into luxury residences,” he said.

“It’s only had one owner and is in very, very original condition. It’s a blank canvas for someone to come in and build their dream home.”

Steady interest has been seen for a modest weatherboard home on over 1300 square metres inEdgeworth.

Paul Jones, of Dowling Wallsend, is marketing 26 Neilson Street, which is set for auction at midday today.

He said it provided an opportunity for investors or developers.

Dowling Wallsend will also take two villas to auction in Longworth Avenue,Wallsendat 9am.

Related: Auctioneer’s tips to make sure you’re ready for auction day

First National Newcastle City will auction 266 Beaumont Street, Hamilton South with a price guide of $840,000 to $900,000 at 11.15am.

RENOVATED: This three-bedroom home in Hamilton South’s Beaumont Street has a price range of $840,000 to $900,000.

PRDnationwide Newcastle Lake Macquarie will an auction night on February 7 at The Arc in Watt Street Commercial Centre.

Hamilton South’s 33 Silsoe Street, a four-bedroom home built circa 1928 on 1084 square metres, has a price guide of $1.75 million.

A five-bedroom home with a pool at 73 Curry Street, Merewether has a guide of $2.2 million to $2.4 million.

BEACHSIDE LIVING: This Merewether residence with five bedrooms and a pool has an auction guide of $2.2 million to $2.4 million.

A circa 1880s terrace in Laman Street, Cooks Hill and a unit in Church Street, The Hill are also set for auction.

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David Lowe: The Lowedown

SHOVE OFF: Melbourne City’s Daniel Arzani and Newcastle’s Nikolai Topor-Stanley race to win the ball on Thursday night. Picture: AAP
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And the winner was Sid-er-nee, if I can paraphrase honest Juan Antonio, in the mini top-four contest, held in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday nightlast week.

Round 18 in the A-league marked exactly the two-thirdsof season completed, with each team to play every other side in the competition once in the last nine rounds.

That hasn’t always been the case, due to the vagaries of the draw, shared stadiums and the like, and I have to say I am a fan of the concept.

It reduces the impact or influence that two games against out-of-contention sides, in a matter of weeks, or two games against those noticeably strengthened in the January transfer window, can have.

It potentially also removes advantages or disadvantages gained by playing twice against teams with Asian Champions Leaguecommitments, so kudos to the FFA for making the final third of the season as equitable as possible.

With that in mind, the Jets v Melbourne City clash, and the Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory contests on consecutive evenings at AAMI Park, assumed a deal of importance.

No matter how you dress it up, defending champions Sydney FC emerged from the top four-festshining the brightest, but the Jets certainly would have been much happier than either of the Melbourne sideswith their result.

The racefor the Premiers Plate is all but over.

Ernie Merrick has conceded it, you know it, I know it, so the real race is all about second place and the advantages that provides in the quest for grand final participation.

And though the Jets will feel a tinge of disappointment about twice leading at Melbourne City and drawing, they will know on the balance of play, they did a good job to garner a valuable point.

That they denied City a chance to eat into the four-point gap between the sides is doubly important, when you consider the Jets will have Dimi Petratos back this week, may well be comfortable selecting Roy O’Donovan as well, and Ronny Vargas is nearing a return.

In contrast City are potentially losing their leading scorer Ross McCormack, unless a loan deal can be arranged with his club Aston Villa, and then that deal can be squeezed under the salary cap.

Of course Bruno Fornaroli, an absolute gun in this competition, could compensate for the departure of his injury replacement McCormack.

But even if he is fully recovered, it’s a lot to ask a player to perform at his peak after five months without football, straight away.

Particularly if timing and touch are key to his contribution.

The Jets can do themselves a huge favour by grabbing three points against Melbourne Victory on Saturday afternoon/evening, and all but eliminate the southern powerhouse from contention for a top-two finish.

That scenario would leave Kevin Muscat’s side 11 points in arrears with eight games to play, and even though seven of those eight are in Melbourne, surely that’s a bridge too far?

I know we pundits place a lot of emphasis on the top two, and I also know that City and Victory are capable of coming to Newcastle and winning a sudden-death match in late April.

But I’d certainly fancy Newcastle’schances much more at home, rather than down in Mexico.

Oh, and the fact that in 12 seasons, only two teams outside of the top two finishers have made it to the big dance, and neither has saluted, carries considerable historical weight.

There will be key battles in a number of areas of the pitch.Victory paid close attention to Petratos when the teams last met, and how Newcastle combat Leroy George and Kosta Barbarouses in wide areas is vital in an individual sense, and also in halting the supply to Besart Berisha.

I sense this contest will be more about mentalitythan science.

Victory led early before puncturing in a 4-1 defeat at McDonald Jones Stadium earlier in the season, and both sides were happy to run and gun in the post-Christmas clash at AAMI Park, which Melbourne won 2-1.

Both sides are more than capable of playing on the counter, but both will want to be on the front foot in general play. The midfield battle will decide who is, as usual.

In a season where every week seems to throw up a vital clash for the Jets, this one looms as absolutely key for both squads.

On the subject of importantgamesand season-defining results, a heartycongratulations to coach Craig Deans and the womenin the Jets’ W-League squad.

They qualified emphatically for the finals series with a game to spare, by thrashing Canberra 5-1 in the nation’s capital.

The first appearance for the W-League team in the finals since the inaugural seasonis just reward for a team that has worked hard, recruited well, and scored plenty of goals.

The other big news, of course, was the appointment of Bert van Marwijk as the Socceroos coach for the upcoming World Cup finals.

It’s a choice that makes a lot of practical sense.

Vastly experienced, decent knowledge of the n team through his work in opposition with Saudi Arabia in the Asian qualifying group, and a big enough name to command instant respect.

Where Ange Postecoglou had to somewhat prove himself at the last World Cup, whileencouraging his team to believe they could express themselves at this level, all while planning for a home Asian Cup (which we won), I’m sure van Marwijk will be 100 per centfocused on results in this campaign, rather than style or aesthetics.

You sense there will be a different level of pragmatism this time around.

Being bold and brave, but conceding three goals in each of the group games won’t be permissible in the Dutchman’s planning.

We certainly won’t suffer through a lack of planning or tactical nous, with a coach who went within a goalkeeper’s outstretched leg of winning the World Cup with Holland in 2010.

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William Tyrrell’s biological mum spat at cop in ‘panic attack’

Three years after losing her son in one of ‘s most high profile missing child cases, a tearful Karlie Tyrrell has blamed her panic attacks for spitting at a police officer.
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The troubled biological mother of toddler William Tyrrell had pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer and using offensive language in public during an incident at a suburban Sydney shopping centre last month.

William Tyyrell’s biological mother, Karlie, has blamed her panic attacks for spitting at a police officer.

The emotional 29-year-old, who has a long criminal history, faced Burwood Local Court on Monday but won’t learn her fate until March 19 when sentencing proceedings continue.

Her three-year-old child, widely pictured wearing his iconic Spiderman costume, disappeared while playing in his foster grandmother’s yard south of Port Macquarie in September 2014.

The boy was removed from the care of his birth mother as a seven-month-old following domestic violence and drug use concerns.

Police arrested Tyrrell at the Top Ryde mall around 9pm on December 22 after security guards reported her acting aggressively towards customers and repeatedly swearing in front of children.

Police facts say the accused became very angry when an officer asked one child in her company about marks on his legs, saying “none of your f***ing business”.

She then spat on a second female officer’s right eyebrow and cheek after shouting “Ryde coppers lost my son you c****”.

Tyrrell wiped tears from her eyes in court earlier on Monday before a pre-sentencing report was ordered.

Court documents reveal an extensive rap sheet of previous crimes including assaulting officers and civilians, resisting arrest, damaging property, shoplifting, breaching bail and using offensive language.

In a handwritten note from Tyrrell also tendered on Monday, she said her mental health problems were behind the assault.

“I recently found out I suffer from panic attacks which played a major part into my behaviour but I’m not making any excuses,” she wrote.

Police spent days scouring bushland and neighbouring houses in Kendall after William vanished to no avail and an unprecedented $1 million reward for information leading to his return remains on offer.

William would now be six, and his carers remain hopeful of finding him alive.

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‘Transformed’: Hundreds of Ultimo students to start school at new ‘pop-up’ campus

What has been hailed by the NSW government as a “clever solution for Ultimo Public School” will be opened on Tuesday for the students, families and staff on their first day back at school.
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They will be returning to a “pop-up” school located and built temporarily at Wentworth Park on Wattle Street, opposite the original site of the school on Quarry Street.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes unveiled the temporary “pop-up” solution on Monday, as the former site of the public school is redeveloped to accommodate an extra 500 students. About 800 students are expected to walk through the gates of the new school this year, a rapid increase from its original 360 students.

The grounds of a temporary school in Ultimo. Photo: Brook Mitchell

Ms Berejiklian said the new temporary school had been “cleverly designed” to fit into one of the city’s most densely populated suburbs.

“Ultimo has been transformed over the last decade into a cosmopolitan urban community, which is reflected in the design of this brand new school,” said Ms Berejiklian.

The redeveloped school will be a single storey on the side facing Jones Street and reach three storeys at the side facing Wattle Street.

The new school will feature 30 new classrooms, a library and a hall. It will also contain after school facilities and indoor and outdoor spaces for sport and recreational purposes.

“This is to make sure that we have all of our children have the best education possible, even with having their new school built across the road,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Stokes said the new school should be seen as a demonstration of their commitment to build “bigger and better” schools for the future as more “pop-up” schools are being planned for the city .

“There will be more than 120 major projects either in planning, in design or in delivery right now so we are going to see more of these sorts of innovative approaches,” said Mr Stokes.

Ultimo principal Nic Accaria said the temporary school had been met with great support by the families and staff.

“With my staff and a lot of our colleagues and with our families that I’ve spoken to over the holidays, we’ve really taken note of the fact that this is such an inviting environment,” said Mr Accaria.

The students are expected to be in the “pop-up” school until the end of the 2019 school year.

High-rise schools, “modular classroom blocks” and facilities being shared by students and the community are all part of the department’s $5 billion plan to meet an expected enrolment spike of 21 per cent, or 164,000 students, in NSW schools by 2031.

The Sydney local government area has one of the highest projected enrolment increases of 66.9 per cent, with an extra 9600 students expected by 2031.

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