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Archive for December, 2018

Christmas carols on the way

Sunday, 16 December, 2018

It’s almost time for one of Gunnedah’s big Christmas event, the Carols in the Park.
Nanjing Night Net

JULIA Jones, Taryn Ortinger and Claudia Hamblin getting ready for carol singing at last year’s Carols in the Park.

The Carols in the Park will be held on Friday, December 5 and young and old are invited to attend.

This year promises to be bigger and better with a record number of schools and community groups set to perform during the free night of fun.

Gunnedah Public, Gunnedah South, GS Kidd, Carinya, St Xaviers, and St Mary’s will perform at the event,with Mullaley and Carroll public schools also performing for the first time .

Santa will arrive with a bag of goodies for the kids and carol singing will be interspersed with the local school items.

The Wolseley Oval event will start with the Gunnedah Shire Band,and Plains,Pipes and Drums playing from 6.30pm followed by carol singing.

There will be a barbecue along with light refreshments on the night as well as glow candles and glow sticks.

The evening will finish with the traditional fireworks display. If it rains, the event will be postponed to Sunday, December 8.

“It was great to see so many people participating last year and enjoying and enjoying a great night out with around 2000 in attendance,” Scott Dunlop of the Anglican Church said. “Gunnedah businesses have been very generous supporting Carols in the Park again this year, particularly our major sponsors Gunnedah Shire Council, Gunnedah Newsagency, BHP, and Stripes.

“The carols are a great team effort with lots of people across the community contributing in lots of different ways so it all comes together on the night.

“ I warmly invite everyone to come along to this special event as we gather as a whole community to celebrate the Christmas season.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

From Little Conadilly to nationwide success

Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Jacinta and Justin McDonell’s dream started next to Coles in Gunnedah.
Nanjing Night Net

Jacinta McDonell.

The brother and sister opened the first Anytime Fitness in Little Conadilly Street in 2008.

Now, there are 380 Anytime Fitness franchises across the country, with another 100 yet to open.

Jacinta McDonell, who is based in Sydney, told the Namoi Valley Independent this month that since that first store opened six years ago, none of the franchises have closed.

The McDonells grew up in Windsor, near Sydney, with parents who ran their own fitness clubs.

They have seen the industry go from leg-warmers and aerobics to the 24-hour service their own franchises now offer.

“Fitness centres have changed dramatically in the last 20 years,” Ms McDonell said.

“When we grew up there were no treadmills and bikes, it was all aerobics and weights.”

The McDonells, who themselves opened a fitness centre as soon as they left school, visited the United States about five times to investigate launching the successful US franchise Anytime Fitness into Australia.

Ms McDonell said they were impressed with the business and brought home a plan, which included launching the first centre in regional Australia.

It was a toss up, she said, between Gunnedah and Muswellbrook.

“We realised the real estate price was critical,” she said.

“It was right next to the Coles site which was really good and we wanted to go into the regional market at the right price.

“It was a great test market.”

The 24-hour a day, seven-day-a-week concept was reasonably new and Ms McDonell said while there were gyms in country towns, many of them were “tired and outdated”.

“They had some equipment there for 10 years and consumers didn’t have a lot of choice in terms of high quality.”

She said the 24-hour service was important for shift workers.

The test market paid off, and the Muswellbrook franchise opened about four months later.

Twenty franchises opened around the country in the first year, and 80 opened in the second year.

“It ramped up really, really quickly,” Ms McDonell said.

“We now have 380 and another 100 still to open, which will give us almost 500 clubs.

“It’s an amazing franchise story.”

While the Gunnedah Anytime Fitness centre is now in the hands of a franchisee, the McDonells have maintained an interest.

“We have been out there quite a few times,” Ms McDonell said.

“It would be our most visited centre by Justin and I. It has had three really good franchisers.

“Gunnedah gets spoken about quite a bit.”

Ms McDonell has expanded her interests and is on the development board for non-profit organisation The Hunger Project.

She has raised more than $100,000 for the organisation which went towards providing communities around the world with the ability to buy food-processing equiment, provided micro-finance loans for communities and assisted with training rural villagers in agricultural practices.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Zoe zooms to the top

Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Zoe Binder with her charcoal portait. Photo supplied Zoe Binder’s design and technology major work. Photo supplied
Nanjing Night Net

TO be nominated for one post-HSC showcase is an exceptional achievement.

To be nominated for two is almost unheard of, but for 17-year-old Oxley College student Zoe Binder it’s a reality.

Zoe will showcase her two unique major works in Art Express and Design Tech.

Her art major work is a couplet of charcoal drawings that represents her grandparents’ relationship.

“One piece is of my grandparents and the other is their hands crossed with their wedding rings showing to symbolise their love,” Zoe said.

The two drawings took more than 100 hours, but Zoe said it was worth the work.

“They’ve been together since they were really young and my idea was fairly simple,” she said.

“I wanted to honestly capture their love.”

Her design and technology major work tackled the far more severe subject of ocean conservation.

“I made three bikinis, but the whole message is of the oceanic conservation awareness campaign and highlighting the big issue of marine debris in Australian waters,” Zoe said.

“I made the print as well, which was a series of watercolour paintings on the outside.

“The bikinis are reversible and the inside is a bubble wrap print, so it’s literally on the flip side.

“It is the rubbish underneath the water.”

Zoe’s project was accompanied by an 80 page portfolio where she detailed a proposed social media campaign, including Instagram.

Moving forward, Zoe hopes to go to the University of Technology Sydney or the University of Canberra to study design.

“Art is always going to have a place in my life, whether it’s as a job or a hobby, it will always be present,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Band rages into heated battle

Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Sydney band Raging Waters
Nanjing Night Net

AUSTRALIA’S hottest up and coming bands are ready to rock.

The Australian finalists in this year’s Global Battle Of the Bands will musically joust tomorrow night at Mounties.

The competition will see 18 bands, including Sydney trio Raging Waters, perform for a place in the world tournament.

Tony Deveaux, guitarist and vocalist for Raging Waters, said the group was appreciative they had made it this far.

“It’s a big, real competition for bands like us,” he said. “Once you’re in it anything can happen.”

“We would like to be the first Australian band to win it, but even if we don’t, it’s still great exposure.”

The group, including Greg Griffiths on bass and Tony Boyd on drums, has been playing together for seven years, but only recently started to go under the name Raging Waters.

“That describes what our sound is like. It’s like something coming at you,” Mr Deveaux said.

“We’re a little bit different. We play classic rock in a modern way.”

The lead singer and songwriter has written more than 300 songs and hopes to one day get a publishing deal writing for a mainstream company.

For now though, the aim is relatively simple: share the music and rock on.

“All bands are being regulated somehow, but we want to do it our own way. It’s all about freedom.”

Competition prizes include three days recording at Melbourne’s Black Pearl Studios, Labelstate T-shirts, Chuck Taylor Converse products and a trip to the world finals.

The Australian final will be held at Mounties, Mt Pritchard, at 7pm on November 27. Tickets are $20.

On-street car sales an accident waiting to happen

Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Selling cars by the side of the road in Wagga appears to be governed by little more than Rafferty’s rules.
Nanjing Night Net

Would-be sellers have been booked on some streets, while Red Hill and Glenfield roads appear to be a free-for-all.

These two thoroughfares are both now virtual “pop up” car yards.

Red Hill Road in particular is a danger zone.

Last week there were literally scores of cars strewn along the roadside verge stretching all the way from Henwood Avenue to the Plumpton Road intersection.

The concern is the area is now an accident waiting to happen.

Due to the high volume of vehicles for sale, there are now serious issues with passing traffic.

Instead of concentrating on their driving, some motorists are being distracted by all the cars for sale.

As well, potential buyers are carelessly stepping into the path of oncoming vehicles while trying to gain a better vantage point of their proposed new purchase.

And the strange thing is, despite several vehicles being booked at the intersection of Edward and Moorong streets last year, no fines have been issued to the sellers on Red Hill and Glenfield roads.

Even in light of the safety concerns a Wagga City Council spokesman says no complaints have been lodged regarding the situation, so no action will be taken.

That decision would appear odd given the number of times this issue has been raised in the media in recent years.

Last week, there was even a front page story outlining the danger.

The spokesman also claimed an inspection of the area indicated that no obstruction was noted to either passing traffic or pedestrians by the parked vehicles.

Perhaps it will be just a case of let’s wait and see.

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