Jackie Gillies and Anthony Mundine encourage Bernard Tomic on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!

Newcastle psychic Jackie Gillies counsels depressed tennis misfit Bernard Tomic Deep Discussion: Jackie Gillies and Anthony Mundine trying to lift the spirits of Bernard Tomic, who was feeling depressed.
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Ben Gillies shows his wife’s new TV gig.

Jackie Gillies.

TweetFacebook I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Jackie, known for starring on The Real Housewives of Melbourne and for being a “professional psychic”,is in the SouthAfrican junglewith nine other contestants.

Among them are Anthony Mundine, Bernard Tomic, Shannon Nolland Tiffany [aflame-haired pop star from the ‘80s].

You might remember those heartfelt lyrics: “I think we’re alone now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone around, I think we’re alone now, the beating of our hearts is the only sound”.

Ben Gillies shows his wife’s new TV gig.

Those lyrics were touching, as was Jackie Gillies’ heartfelt effort to prevent a depressed Tomic –the Aussie tennis misfit – from quitting the show on its second night, after he struggled with a terrifying challenge.

Tomic had to walk on a narrow bridgeoff a 200-metre high cliff, while wearinggoggles that made his vision become upside down. Hehad to reach out to grab big yellow stars towin points for a decent dinner for his camp mates.

How about the fall from Tomic. He really struggled out there under intense conditions. Welcome to #ImACelebrityAU! pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/AQdMbDxxQS

— #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) January 29, 2018Melon ManiaSticking with the Silverchair theme, a “melon rescue” will be held at The Edwards in Newcastle West on Wednesday.

The former band’s bassistChris Joannou is a co-owner of the cafe and bar, which willhost “melon mania” from 10am to 6pm.

So-called “warpaint watermelons” grown on Moore Farm at Wollombiare ripe for the picking.

They’ll be available straight from the back of a truck, old-school style. We hear they’re juicy and sweet. And if people don’t buy them, they’ll go to waste.

There are100 melons on offer,eight to 20 kilograms in size, costing$8 to $12.

Melon party anyone?

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Aussie refused bail in Cambodia spy case

CAMBODIA TRIALS AUSTRALIAN DRONE FILMMAKERAn n filmmaker accused of spying in Cambodia has been denied bail by a Phnom Penh court.
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A bench of four Supreme Court judges ruled on Tuesday that investigations into Ricketson’s activities should continue in a lower court.

Ricketson, who has been held in pre-trial detention since June last year, arrived after the court delivered its decision and he was returned to prison immediately after his arrival.

He did not comment.

Ricketson, 68, was arrested in June and charged with “collecting information prejudicial to national security”. He faces five to 10 years’ jail if convicted.

Since his arrest, Ricketson has been detained in Cambodia’s notorious Prey Sar prison where he has been kept under tight security.

His case has been linked to the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party, which was dissolved by the courts amid a government crackdown on dissent that included the closure of media outlets.

His son Jesse Ricketson, who has moved to Cambodia to help his father with the case, said the family was “sorely disappointed” by the bail decision.

“We had all hoped very much that the court might return a positive result on the question of bail, allowing my father to sit through the investigation period in conditions more appropriate to his age,” Mr Ricketson said in a statement.

“As he’s almost 70, our family is very concerned about my father’s health in the lead up to the hot period in March and April.

“He has already lost 10 kilograms and is currently housed in a cell the size of 16m x 6m with 140 other men and we’re just not sure how long he can endure these conditions.”

The Ricketson family has appealed to the Cambodian government to help ensure the investigation be carried out with transparency and due process.

The statement describes Ricketson as a “kind, decent and honest man”, who had over the last 22 years volunteered a much of his time and money to help poor families in Cambodia.

“We firmly believe James is innocent of espionage or any other crime and hope to see him return home soon.”

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Newcastle bus fares miss out on regional and rural price cuts

BUS fares will be slashed in parts of the Hunter but Newcastle will remain unchanged, the state government has announced.
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The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommended on Tuesday that the pricing structure receive an overhaul.

Parts of the Hunter Valley are included in the price cuts but Newcastle is not, with the changes only sweeping through areas not on the Opal system.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said prices would fall almost 30 per cent on average as the state adopted the tribunal’s proposal.

The review, sought by the government last February, means amaximum fare of $3.40 for travel through two “sections”will be replaced with a $2.30 flat rate for one or two sections.

The simplified fares will arrive on March 5, Mr Constance said.

“The new structure will see the creation of 10 standard fare bands across regional NSW with the maximum adult fare for a short trip of three kilometres set at $2.30, while any trip longer than 200 kilometres will have a maximum fare of $48.20 for an adult.

In its report, IPART said the state’s buses cost about $414 million a year to run but patronage was “very low”, arguing fares were “higher than people are willing and able to pay”.

“As a result [of low patronage] the government (and NSW taxpayers spend an average of around $18 per regular passenger journey to provide regular passenger services in rural and regional areas,” the report said.

“We aim to improve value for money by setting fares to increase the patronage of the services in the short-term and raising their cost effectiveness over time.”

IPART found the existing fares made theaverage 10-kilometre return journey in rural or regional NSW “double the fare for an equivalent journey in the ACT, Queensland and Victoria”.

The change is pegged as less than 1 per cent of costs under current contracts for bus providers.

IPART further recommends developing on demand services, like those Keolis Downer is trialling in Lake Macquarie, as a more cost effective approach to regional transport.

“However they need to be targeted to identified community needs, and designed to ensure that high-cost low-patronage fixed route services are not simply replaced by even higher cost on-demand services.”

The new fares for regional and rural areas will come into force in March.

“We’re also introducing a new daily ticket which will provide customers with unlimited travel within certain sections within a day. Daily adult tickets will start at $6.90 for short trips.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the decision will make bus fares more affordable for people living in rural and regional NSW.

“Having affordable access to transport is a critical part of living in regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This decision will improve demand for regional bus services meaning more people will be able to stay connected to friends and family and reach the everyday services they need.

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The disease that will touch almost every Chinan life at some stage

This article is sponsored by Dementia
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It was 2007 and AngelaPellegrino-Lavalle knew something wasn’t right.

It began with a seemingly innocuous observation;her father Mauro, the patriarch of her close-knit family, began forgetting where he had put things moments before. Then he began retelling the same stories over and over, unaware that he wasrepeating himself to hisfamily.

Shockwaves permeated through Angela’s family after her father was diagnosed with dementia.

“My mum, with the help of my brother and I, looked after dad for sixyears at home before his condition deteriorated and in 2013 he was placed into a dementia-specific facility,” she remembers.

Grief-stricken at her father’s deterioratingcondition, Angela was also faced with the the difficult conversation she needed to have with her young children.She struggled to find the resources and support that wouldhelp their young minds understandwhat was happening to their grandfather.

Angeladecided to publish a picture book, entitled I’ll Remember for you Grandad, which opened the up conversation to youngchildrenabout dementia.

“The contents of the book reflects my real life experience with the story following a boy who notices changes in the behaviour of his grandfather, prompting the mother to explain dementia in simple terms,” she says.

Sadly, Mauro Pellegrinolost his battle with dementia in March 2017. He was 86.

Angela has been participating in the Memory Walk & Jog since 2013, a charity walk which raises much-needed funds for dementia with walks in 10 locations acrossNSW, Victoria, South andQueensland, in cities such as Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, the Hunter, Illawarra and Sydney.

Memory Walk & Jogis an all-inclusive event where people of all fitness levels can participate –from grandkids to grandparents. This year marks the 15thanniversary of the Memory Walk & Jog; the event started small in 2004 but has since grown to becomeone of Dementia ’s major fundraising events. All money raised goes directly back into the support services offered by Dementia in the local areas.

Memory Walk & Jog ambassadors includeIta Buttrose, Natarsha Belling, Doris Younane and Sam Poolman.

Angela says it’s a cause close to her heart and to hundreds of thousands of others whose lives are touched by dementia each year.There are currently around425,416 ns living with dementia,anestimated 196,490 carers in the community,and94,670 carers working in the cared accommodation sector.

“The impact of dementia is not only felt by the person diagnosedbut also those close to them,” Angela says.

“It is so important that people know where to go to get the help and support they need – and more importantly,how to navigate the system. Funds raised by Memory Walk & Jogwill help provide provide this support, such as counselling, support groups and education, to families and carers affected by this disease.”

In 2017, dementia was estimated to cost $14.67 billion. By 2025, the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase to $18.7 billion.

Angela and her father Mauro

Angela also says that those struggling with a loved one’sdiagnosisare bound to feel frustrated and lost at times –and that’s okay.

“I would let carers andfamily members know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and sometimes to feel guilty, exhausted, frustrated and absolutely helpless!” she says.

“You talk to and look after your loved one whoyou have known forever, but each day youlearn to deal with their changing personality and habits.It can be confronting for you, and at times, scary.

“My advice would be to join a support group in your area.You’ll meet carers and people diagnosed with dementia, people who are at different stages on their journey who may be able to help with your questions. It gives you the opportunityshare your experience and not feel isolated.

“Most importantly”, she says,“Be kind to yourself.You will have good and bad days.Ask for help.Asking for help is not a sign of failure;it’s a step you need to take to allow you to continue in your role as a carer.”

Angela believes theMemory Walk initiative iscrucial to generating awareness and funds for dementia in , which will touch almost every nlife in some capacity in their lifetime. Currently around 250people are diagnosed with dementia each day.

Full proceeds from Angela’s bookI’ll Remember for you Grandadwill be donated to the Memory Walk & Jog in memory of her late father, Mauro.

“I think it’s so important to raise awareness and educate people about dementia.I really hope the money raised from Memory Walk & Jog will assist people who have the disease and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect.”

You can donate to Angela’s fundraising page by clicking this link

For more information or to get involved with Memory Walk & Jog, visit the website

2018 KEY DATESIllawarra – Stuart Park, North Wollongong –4thMarch

Adelaide – Colley Reserve, Glenelg –18thMarch

Sydney – Tench Reserve, Penrith –25thMarch

Melbourne – Westerfolds Park, Templestowe 22ndApril

Geelong – Barwon Valley Park, Belmont –29thApril

Sydney – Leichhardt Oval #3, Lilyfield –6thMay

The Hunter – Speers Point Park, Lake Macquarie –20thMay

Brisbane – Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks –3rdJune

Gold Coast – Pratten Park, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach –10thJune

Sunshine Coast – Kawana Surf Club, Buddina –24thJune

This article is sponsored by Dementia

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Mediterranean diet could help IVF women

Mediterranean diet can help with IVFA Mediterranean diet could help women receiving IVF to achieve successful pregnancies, a study has suggested.
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Researchers asked women about their eating habits before they underwent the treatment and found those who ate more fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil, and less red meat, had the better outcomes.

The study found women who ate that way in the six months before IVF had a 65 per cent to 68 per cent better chance of becoming pregnant and giving birth to a live baby than women with the lowest adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet.

The research, which is published in the journal Human Reproduction, focused on dietary patterns rather than individual nutrients, foods or food groups.

It assessed the diet of 244 women via a food frequency questionnaire when they enrolled at a clinic in Athens, Greece, for their first IVF treatment.

The questionnaire asked them about how often they ate certain groups of food in the preceding six months before they were given a MedDiet Score, which ranged from 0-55, with higher scores indicating greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

The researchers was led by Associate Professor Nikos Yiannakouris at the department of nutrition and dietetics at Harokopio University of Athens

“The important message from our study is that women attempting fertility should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, because greater adherence to this healthy dietary pattern may help increase the chances of successful pregnancy and delivering a live baby,” Yiannakouris said.

“It should be noted that when it comes to conceiving a baby, diet and lifestyle are just as important for men as for women.

“Previous work from our research group among the male partners of our study has suggested that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may also help improve semen quality,” he said.

“Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of dietary influences and diet quality on fertility, and support a favourable role for the Mediterranean diet on assisted reproduction performance.”

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Tas Labor pledges to fix health ‘crisis’

TASMANIA STATE ELECTIONLabor has pledged to fix Tasmania’s health “crisis”, while Premier Will Hodgman spruiked a timber mill on the second day of campaigning for the March 3 election.
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After declaring health Labor’s number one priority, leader Rebecca White on Tuesday announced a flagship $560 million six-year package aimed at recruiting more doctors and nurses and reducing emergency waiting times.

“Thousands of Tasmanians have been affected by the crisis in health and many, many more have a loved one who has been affected,” she said outside a health clinic in the Franklin electorate.

“It’s time to say ‘enough is enough’.”

Labor plans to recruit 500 health staff, put $75 million towards improving wait times for outpatients and update the plan for the state’s four major hospitals.

Hospital infrastructure would get $250 million, while $8 million is to be spent on ambulances.

A recent Productivity Commission report found Tasmanians wait the longest for ambulances in , with the average response time ballooning to more than half an hour.

Liberal Health Minister Michael Ferguson spruiked Tasmania’s health system though, saying elective surgery times were improving under the Liberal government.

But Ms White accused Mr Ferguson of “cherry picking” data from the latest Report on Government Services.

“Our health workers across Tasmania have had a very different experience,” Ms White said.

“What he hasn’t acknowledged is that there are 30,000 people waiting to get on the elective surgery waiting list.”

The premier, meanwhile, spent a second consecutive day in the state’s north.

He announced a $190 million hardwood mill plant for Burnie that would create 221 jobs.

Mr Hodgman said the Liberals health policy would be revealed in coming weeks.

“I will make the point again that in successive budgets we have put more into health than Labor and the Greens ever did,” he said.

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Hunter twins provide double the fun on first day of big school

All smiles: Mackenzie Hill and Scarlett Hill with Charlie Lunn and Hamish Lunn. Picture: Marina NeilCHARLIE and Hamish Lunn haven’t started classes at big school yet, but theyalready look the part.
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“They’vebeen wearing their school uniforms in the afternoons after preschool for a few months,”the boys’mum Tonya Lunn said.

“They’re pretty excited and have been looking forward to it for a long time now.”

The Lunns, aged five, are one of two sets of identical twins who will start kindergarten this year at St Therese’s Primary in New Lambton.

They will be in a separate class toScarlett and Mackenzie Hill, who are also five.

RELATED:The first day of school 2018| your photos

“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Mrs Lunn said.

“They’re so ready to go and I’m really excited about the fact they’re going and we’ll be moving on to the next phase of life, but I’m sad this is the end – I feel quite torn about it.

“I will miss them a lot and the house will be a lot quieter.”

Mrs Lunn said her boys had been preparing by practising their drawing and letters, as guided by their older sister Sophie, who will start year two.

“Hamish is really curious about science and loves video games and reads those kinds of books,” she said.

“Charlie loves art and drawing and is a helper, he very much wants to be involved and engaged.”

Double the fun on first day of big school Myself (Kylie) Left and Twin Sister Tracey (Right)1973

These are my terrible two Alby and Elliott… Identical twins. 7yrs and still great mates.-Johanna Rowe

Maddex & Jaxon

Identical twins Jorja and Chloe 13 years old

Logan and Riley 7years old

Kendra and Rhylee 12 years old

TWINS: Brooke and Kimberly Peters

Alice and Layla submitted by Donna Varley

Picture: Colleen Rach

The Holt twins

Photo submitted by Renae O’Hearn

Photo submitted by Leanne Harman

Pic by Ainslee Jenner

Pic by Amanda McMahon

Pic by Annette Bertram

Pic by Christie Ahlsen

Pic by Cindy Lee Blackmore

Pic by Cindy Lee Blackmore

Pic by Cindy Lee Blackmore

Pic by Cindy Lee Blakemore

Pic by Johnny Palooka

Julie Ready and Fiona Shaw

Julie Ready and Fiona Shaw

Pic by Karren Martin

Pic by Melissa Miller

Pic by Sarah Digby

Pic by Sjaan Martin

Pic by Zoe Bouquet

Pic by Mandy Wolton

Sophia and Mason submitted by Nikki Circosta

Abbi and Sharna Hunter

Adelle and Alyce submitted by Belle Renolds

Aimee and Ellise Pryor

Aleasha and Jessica submitted by Belinda Watson

Ariannah and Aurorrah submitted by Bridget Power

Ashley and Lauren submitted by Karen Horne

Ashley Movigliatti and Bethaney Everson

Braithe and Nash submitted by Ainslee Jenner

Ebany and Lucy submitted by Kim Schofield

Grace and Bec Museth

Hannah and Grace submitted by Donna Smith

Jack and Miles Ryan submitted by Eve Nesmith

Jayden and Connor submitted by Anne Cromarty Baldwin

Jayden and Taize submitted by Rach Maree Morris

Jerzy and Harley submitted by Kashia Louise

Jesse and Joseph

Joel and Freya submitted by Aine Coutinho

Kobie and Harvey submitted by Kaylene Staader

Kyron and Darkon submitted by Belinda Bell

Layla and Sophia submitted by Melissa Hedger

Lucy and Jack submitted by Michelle Buckley

Lucy and Lyla submitted by Kyra Charlotte Ridelho

Nate and Ari submitted by Rach Maree Morris

Photo submitted by Kyra Charlotte Ridelho

Photo submitted by Ashley Hopkins

Casie and Ashlie Baker

Photo submitted by Aza N Bonn

Photo submitted by Becca Lecca

Photo submitted by Bianca Jones

Photo submitted by Billie-lee Reynolds

Photo submitted by Billie-lee Reynolds

Photo submitted by Carol Vintner Gilchrist

Photo submitted by Chelsea Butler

Photo submitted by Cherie Newman

Photo submitted by Elyssa Haigh

Photo submitted by Elyssa Haigh

Photo submitted by Jordan Holding

Photo submitted by Jordan Holding

Photo submitted by Karren Martin

Photo submitted by Kasey DeFiddes

Photo submitted by Katy Tyler

Photo submitted by Kristi Banister

Photo submitted by Krystal Paterson

Photo submitted by Kylie Hoffman

Photo submitted by Mandy Walton

Photo submitted by Megan Price

Photo submitted by Meleah McInnes

Chloe and Jorja Hope. Photo submitted by Melissa Hope

Photo submitted by Morgan McNee

Photo submitted by Rebecca Donaldson

Photo submitted by Rebecca-lee March

Photo submitted by Sarah Digby

Photo submitted by Sjaan Martin

Quinn and Lainie submitted by Emma Redgrove

Sarah and Kate submitted by Kylie Wilcox

Skyla and Jayla submitted by Amy Tysson

The Hoffman twins

Logan & Lachlyn

TWINS: Born on 29th February 2008 Tarlay and Deklan Crich from Weston.

TWINS: Born on 29th February 2008 Tarlay and Deklan Crich from Weston.

TWINS: Amelia and Isabella 8-year-old fraternal twins

Dakota @ Sienna

Logan and Lachlyn Blakemore 5 year old identical twins from Rutherford

Kayla & Danielle 26-years-old!

Ruby and layla 6 years old

Nickie O’Connell

7 month old Rosalie Maria & Annabella Louise

Amelia Grace & Charlotte Rose

Amelia Grace & Charlotte Rose

Chloe McBeath – My twin sister and I and our younger twin sisters

Lainie and Quinn – 11 months and cheeky

Brittany and Mackenzie 17years old

Jorja & Charli 51/2 months with there big brother Jack.

Olivia and Ivy…nearly 8 months

Darcy and Zoe Crouch

Casie Baker

Abbey & Olivia 2 1/2 Identical twins

Chloe McBeath – My twin sister and I

Triplets xo 1984 model

Koby & Noah

Abbey and Tyla Griffin

Abbey and Tyla Griffin

Me Aimee , my son Hayden and my identical twin sister Kate whilst I was pregnant with my second child.

My fraternal twin boys – Liz

My fraternal twin boys – Liz

Maddex & Jaxon

Maddex & Jaxon

3month old twins, Ari Uheina & August Ty Smith

Lilly and Ella Johnson

14-year-old girls enjoying sailing aboard “Sailors with disAbilities ” yacht “Kayle” 12 months ago.

Picture: Belle Farley Ciezak

Picture: Belle Farley Ciezak

Identical twins Lacey & Sienna Atkinson born 19/12/2011

Picture: Juliane Turner

20 year old Shakeely & Tamika Sullivansubmitted by Karen Sullivan

Maddison and Hannah Smith 14yrs

Elijah (6 months), Logan (6 months) & big brother Aiden(3 years).

Almost 4 year old twins Taj and Will best brotherly bond

Katie and Samantha 1994 submitted by mum

Identical twins Campbell and Jaron Burzynski. Born 3rd September 2005

Identical twins Campbell and Jaron Burzynski. Born 3rd September 2005

Jai & Gemma age 11 years old

Wil & Izac Campbell fraternal twins. d.o.b 13.01.2012

Wil & Izac Campbell fraternal twins. d.o.b 13.01.2012

Sophie and Tahlia Zanardi of Dungog NSW

Sophie and Jemma

Amelia & Ellie MorrisAge 15

Chey-Anne & Tori-Lee Windle

Reigan and Hayley Brown9 years old

Indy & Mia Keogh4 years oldNewcastle

Jackson and Joshua Maynard

TWINS: 7-month-old twins Hayden and Tyler Dooley

5-year-old triplets daughters Jasmine, Maya & Tamara

Twin Sister (Tracey) Left and myself (Kylie) Right

Taize and Jayden aged 23

Ari & Nate aged 7

TweetFacebook Hunter twins, triplets and moreSubmit a photo by emailing [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.auMrs Lunn said the boys were in separate rooms at their Queensland preschool in 2016 but moved to the same room when they relocated to the Hunter in 2017.

“Once they get confident we plan to separate them – we want to ensure they get to develop their own skills sets without all the comparing that happens,” she said.

“They really stuck together last yearfor emotional support and this will be a big exhausting year.

“These guys look after each other and are always checking the other one is okay.”

The boys said they were both most looking forward to “making art”.

Natalie Hill said her daughters had been “absolutely ready for school for about five months” and had grown even more excited since finishing preschool and starting to talk about seeing theirolder cousins and friendsat school.

“They love learning and ask a lot of questions,” Mrs Hill said.

“They lovewriting on Christmas cards, learning new words and spelling.

“Scarlett picks things up very quickly and then gets bored, so I think she’ll be into sport and activity.

“Mackenzie is very creative and arty and loves singing and dancing.

“She’ll work on things and keep going and going and going.”

Scarlett said she thought school would be about “being happy” and she was “looking forward to playing in the sandpit” while Mackenzie said school would be “fun” and she wanted to “make craft”.

Mrs Hill said separating the girls into different rooms at preschool was “the best thing I ever did”.

“Mackenzie used to follow Scarlett around and we wanted her to gain some independence,” she said.

“Ever since then Mackenzie has just blossomed. They loved talking to each other about what they did that day with their friends.”

But Mrs Hill said the girls were still each other’s biggest fans.

“If one is in trouble, the other can get really upset,” she said.

“They do not like the idea of the other one getting left out.”

Mrs Hill said it would be difficult to see her girls leave the nest, but her husband Daniel said he was excited for them, that they were “ready for the next challenge” and he was looking forward to seeing his “hard-workers thrive”.

“I’m ready for them to go,” Mrs Hill said.

“But I’m starting to realise they’re going to school and there’s no going backwards.

“I’m going to have a very strange face on the first day trying to hold it in until they get into their classrooms.

“They’re going to be nervous because it takes them a while to adapt to an environment.

“They’ll cling a little bit but after an hour they’ll be alright, once they’re able to make themselves feel comfortable.”

Both mothers said while they could usually tell their children apart, it wasn’t alwayseasy.

“Charlie tends to be the one that pretends to be Hamish,” Mrs Lunn said.

“Hamish does not seem to get the same joy out of it.

“We’ve cut Hamish’s hair shorter and left Charlie’s a bit longer.”

Mrs Hill saidScarlett had small pink stones in her earrings and a pink schoolbag, while Mackenzie had purple versions.

“They correct people if they get mixed up, I don’t think they’ve realised yet they could be playing tricks!” she said.

“Scarlett’s our fashionista. She’ll be the one wanting to change her uniform andwear a belt or pink socks.”

Students’ return to classrooms will be staggered from this week, depending on their school and grade.

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MCG to host men’s, women’s T20 finals

CRICKET AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCEMENTA world record for attendance at a women’s sporting event could be set with the MCG to host stand-alone finals for the men’s and women’s World Twenty20s in two years’ time.
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Ten countries will compete in the women’s T20 in February and March of 2020, before 16 men’s teams arrive for their tournament in October and November of that year.

The tournament will mark the first time the men’s and women’s competitions have been split when both played in the same year.

Both women’s semi-finals will be held in Sydney before the final is held at the 100,000-capacity MCG.

The International Cricket Council are talking up the potential for a near-sellout at the March 8 decider which has been scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day.

That could potentially beat the 90,185 crowd that packed out the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in 1999 for the women’s soccer World Cup final between the USA and China.

At least 70,000 fans packed out India’s Eden Gardens in 1997 when faced New Zealand in the women’s 50-over World Cup final, while Lord’s was sold out for last year’s decider.

‘s side, led by superstar batter Meg Lanning, have won three of five world T20s and will be out to reclaim the title during this year’s tournament in the West Indies.

“It’s very exciting to think about … to potentially play in front of over 90,000 people,” Lanning said on Tuesday.

“I think it just shows where the women’s game is at. It’s always evolving and it’s exciting to see where it is in 2020.”

The men’s semi-finals will be split between the SCG and Adelaide Oval before also culminating at the MCG.

Eight cities in total will be used between the two tournaments.

Hobart and Geelong will feature in the men’s group stage while Canberra, the WACA, Melbourne’s Junction Oval and Spotless Stadium are to each host women’s group matches.

‘s six main venues – including Perth’s new Optus Stadium and Bellerive Oval in Hobart – will then be used for the Super 12 stage of the men’s tournament.

Steve Smith’s side have never made it beyond the world T20 semi-finals despite enjoying strong success in 50-over and Test cricket.

“When T20 cricket started, it was just a smash-and-grab sort of game,” Smith said.

“The game has changed so much and the strategy behind the game is really important.

“Hopefully we can get that trophy that’s eluded us for so long.”

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Lauryn Eagle convicted of drug driving

LAURYN EAGLE COURTProfessional boxer Lauryn Eagle will appeal her conviction for drug driving, with her lawyer saying she should not be penalised for simply taking her prescribed medication.
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The 29-year-old was on Tuesday convicted of driving with an illicit drug in her system, fined $600 and banned from driving for six months.

Magistrate Hugh Donnelly at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court rejected an application by Eagle’s lawyer Adam Houda to record no conviction, saying it was “not an acceptable sentence” because of her criminal history and poor driving record.

Her case did not attract the leniency which would be afforded to a first time offender.

The magistrate referred to evidence that the methamphetamine detected in her system at a random breath test in July 2017 was an ingredient of Desoxyn, a drug prescribed to her in the US to treat ADHD.

Eagle pleaded guilty to driving with an illicit drug in her system, after the magistrate rejected an application to have the charge disposed of under the Mental Health Act.

According to the police facts, Eagle saw her GP about the side effects she was having from a drug prescribed to her for ADHD and told him her research identified another drug, Desoxyn.

The GP noted the drug was not prescribed in but gave her a prescription she could present to a doctor in the US on her April 2017 attendance at a boxing training camp.

The facts referred to an internet search of Desoxyn, which included a warning about possible impairment when operating machinery or driving.

Referring to NSW law, the magistrate noted there was a defence to consuming morphine if it was prescribed for medicinal purposes but this did not extend to methamphetamines.

“Where a driver is taking any kind of medication, there is an obligation to find out whether it will affect his or her ability to drive,” Mr Donnelly said.

After her guilty plea was entered, Mr Houda asked the magistrate not to record a conviction saying Eagle was not aware that Desoxyn contained the offending ingredient.

“No way in hell she would have driven if she knew that,” he said.

Mr Houda also submitted she had been punished enough because of unfair publicity linking her to an illicit substance.

“Having a conviction recorded against her would be unjust and unconscionable when you take into account the facts in the matter.”

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NRLConnor Watson says first few games will be “make or break” in his battle with Brock Lamb for the Knights five-eighth position

In my hands: New recruit Connor Watson says the ball is in his court to nail down the five-eighth spot outside Mitchell Pearce at the Newcastle Knights this season. Picture: Marina Neil
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TALK toConnor Watson about nailing down a spot in the halves with the Knightsand he doesn’t hide from the reality.

“Those first few games –they are make or break in many ways,”the former Roosters utility says.

“I need to hit the ground running. But competition –that’s what footy is about isn’t it?It brings out the best in people and I’d like to think it will be the same for me.”

Much has already been made of the promise made to Watson when he signed with the club about getting first crack at five-eighth.

It was neveran issue until Mitchell Pearce inadvertently made it one.

Pearce’s surprisesigning suddenly leftWatson dueling with emerging local talent Brock Lamb for the other halves spot.

And while coach Nathan Brown’s “first crack” guarantee to Watson stands, there are plenty of Lamb admirersasking for how long.

To his credit, Watson sees the Lamb challenge as a positive.

“I’ve been competing for positions my whole life,” he says.

“The biggest thing for me in coming up here to the Knights was the opportunity to nail down a position.

“I spoke to Ivan [coach Cleary] when I was looking at going to the Tigers and he wanted to play me at fullback.

“It’s a position I grew up playing butI think the way I’ve sort of transitioned the last couple of years, I really see a future for myself in the halves.

“Obviously I’ve got the utility value where I can play fullback or hooker if needed but I want to nail down the number six spot.

“I’ll get that chance but you never take anything for granted and I know I have to get it right pretty quickly.’

Having ex-Roosters teammate Pearce inside him should help with the pair having played as many as 10 NRL games together in the halves back in 2016 before Luke Keary’s arrival.

The theory is Pearce will steer the Knights around the park, allowingWatson thelicence to utilise his natural running game.

Ask coach Brown how confident is he of Watson making the transition a fulltime gig andhe says:

“We are going to play a style that will suit Connorand that’s the key to it,”he said.

“He’s working really hard on his game at training and a big thing is he’sgot pace andis a great competitor. He has a certain skill-set and we’ll play to his strengths.”

Watson says two high quality trials against Melbournein a week’s time in Melbourne and Parramatta at Maitland on February 24 will give the cluba great gauge of where he and the team is at.

“They will be good tests for us,”Watson said.

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