Newcastle Cinema Under the Stars at King Edward Park draws crowds despite weather

Hot, windy conditions weren’t enough to stop thousands from turning out to enjoy a movie in the open air on Saturday night.
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Outdoor cinema popular despite weather | Photos Movie-goers at King Edward Park on Saturday night.

Kristy Wilson, Gavin Wilson, Kayden Wilson, Bralie Wilson of Heddon Greta, Mary Crooks of Port Macquarie.

Nicki King, Sophia King, Josh King of Shortland.

Rolatty Lambos, John Lambos, Anni Lambos of Tighes Hill.

Shazzia Abbas, Shezad Abbas, Faris Abbas of Newcastle.

Stephani Hallam, Sharron Goodwin, Nathan Hallam of Valentine.

Kody Goviley, Ebony Edgar of Waratah.

Paul Vandeven, Eliza Vandeven, Fay Vandeven of Newcastle.

Mick Nixon, Lilly Nixon of Adamstown.

Siobhan Maybury, Ariana Evans of Newcastle.

Kale Everson, Darren Everson, Ellie Everson of Lorn.

Chelsey Cannon, Tyler Cannon of Newcastle.

Jo Hanson, Alex Butler, Josh Butler of Branxton.

Matt Gimmond of Waratah with Baby Blue Rabbit.

Nina, Lola and Sam of Cooks Hill.

TweetFacebookSing was the main feature of the 11thedition of the Newcastle Permanent Cinema Under the Stars, at King Edward Park. Newcastle Permanent CEO Terry Millett said the event was “a great night out”, despite the weather.

“Families filled King Edward Park from early evening, taking part in the family-friendly circus workshops and small-sided football, and enjoying the live music before settling back with their popcorn to enjoy the movie, Sing,” he said.

“It was a delight to see that, despite the weather, our Cinema Under the Stars event was a great night out for families with lots of laughing children and smiling parents.”

The next event will be held at Maitland Parkon January 19, featuring the animated movie Moana.

Why you should charge your kids board

Cassandra Fitzpatrick’s son, 22-year-old Marcus, says paying board has made him more responsible when dealing with his funds and knowing how to budget his money. Photo: SuppliedIt’s the question most parents ask themselves at some point: Should I charge my adult working children board or allow them to live at home free so they can accumulate savings?
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Cassandra Fitzpatrick, a Sydney mother of three children aged 22 to 26, started charging board when her children got full-time jobs.

“All three have always been taught that it’s a given to contribute to the home. There was no pocket money for chores. Chores were a part of family life and so was contributing to the costs of living, such as board. They pay for their toiletries. If they go to the shops and buy milk or bread, they never expected the money,” she says.

Fitzpatrick says she doesn’t need her children to pay board for financial reasons, it’s about teaching them principles to live by.

Sydney university student Ariana Norton doesn’t pay board yet, but says her parents will expect her to start once she is working full-time and earning a steady income. Photo: Supplied

“As young adults able to vote and have a drink, becoming responsible for themselves is a reality better [learned] soon than later,” she says.

Cassandra’s son, 22-year-old Marcus, says paying board has made him more responsible when dealing with his funds and knowing how to budget his money.

“I have been on four overseas [trips] without my parents, all of which I paid for. I pay for my own car, phone, internet, laptop and much more. I know people my age who have only recently started working and their parents still buy them most of the items they own and consistently hand out money. It’s not that my parents are being stingy or tight asses, it’s them making me responsible and getting me ready for adulthood,” Marcus says.

Child and adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg believes if young adults are studying or doing an apprenticeship, it is counterproductive to make them pay board as most students have little or no money. It isn’t until they are working properly and still living at home that they should start contributing something, he says.

Dr Carr-Gregg says there are two schools of thought with board income.

“Some parents use it to subsidise costs [which is] justifiable given the rising cost of living these days. Some choose to save the board money as forced savings for their child to get into the housing market, usually without their knowledge,” he says.

“If they are still in school, I think that’s a bit rough. When they have finished studying and are earning is the best time to start. Once they start in the workforce, my view is that parents should ask for 10 per cent of their take-home pay each week.”

He says charging your children board helps prepare them for the real world.

“If they are getting free accommodation then they are living in a bit of an artificial reality because that’s not how the world works,” he says.

“I think you’ve got to give them the right incentive to do something positive with their money rather than relying on parental support. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own financial affairs.”

Sydney university student Ariana Norton doesn’t pay board yet, but says her parents will expect her to start once she is working full-time and earning a steady income. The 21-year-old helps around the house with cleaning, dishes and the occasional meal prep. Her parents pay for the necessities, but everything else comes out of her own pocket.

“I think there’s a certain point where kids living at home should contribute financially to the cost of their own living, especially if they work full-time, but only then, otherwise I think it does negatively change the dynamic of family relationships. I think it can cause difference if it happens too early,” Norton says.

Twenty-one-year-old Chantelle Mpofu lives at her family home in Melbourne and doesn’t pay board. She didn’t know paying board was a thing until she read about it on a Facebook page. The idea of paying to live at home had never been raised by her parents and they were just as surprised about the concept as she was.

“I don’t have to pay money to contribute to the household. I have my own bathroom and obviously it’s expected that I keep my own space clean. Sometimes I feel like trying out a new recipe I’ve found and that’s always a pleasant surprise in my house. I do help out around the house, and I am happy to because it is my house as well,” she says.

Mpofu says not paying board has “absolutely benefited” her.

“My mother has always said she doesn’t care what I do with my money as long as I’m putting something into my savings account weekly. She and I have a joint account that neither of us can take money out of without the other’s signature and I have a direct deposit into it from when I get paid from work each week. I’m lucky enough that my parents don’t need my money. They’re setting me up for my future and I appreciate this so much,” Mpofu says.

When deciding how much board to charge, Dr Carr-Gregg says parents may like to take the following things into consideration: Your adult child’s employment status and the size of their pay packet;Your own financial situation – in some households, a bit of board can make all the difference;How much the child assists with household chores (the lazier they are, the more you can charge);How much of a drain they place on household resources (long, hot showers, leaving the air conditioning on all the time);How much it would cost them to live in a share house with the same benefits they receive at home;How often they have friends over (meaning extra mouths to feed).

He says the best way to teach your children effective financial habits from a young age is to have three jars – one to spend, one to save and one to give to charity.

“Whatever you choose to do with the money you receive from your boarder, you need to ensure they pay it every week or fortnight without fail. This will reinforce the importance of paying your bills and rent/mortgage first and then luxuries after, setting them up for good habits when they leave the nest,” he says.

Certified financial planner Tony Sandercock says the best ways to teach your children positive financial habits are to:

1. Set a good example. Are you always pulling out your credit card?

2. Give them responsibility. Challenge them to find a better internet deal, and give them some incentive to do it, such as a percentage of what they can save. You can do the same with mobile phone and energy suppliers. These are real life lessons that will stick.

3. Explain how a loan works. Going through your loan statements with your kids is another brilliant opportunity for financial education.

4. Encourage them to find a job and help them do it. Kids need to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. It teaches them responsibility, teamwork and even how to read an employment contract or understand how superannuation works.

5. Demonstrate that pocket money is not an allowance. Pay them for the work they do around the house. This helps them understand that money is earned and not given away, and of course, that means that if jobs don’t get done, there’s a consequence – no money!

6. Keep track. If your kids don’t measure what money is going where, they don’t have control over their situation. Make it fun! There are some excellent apps that help track spending and saving, such as one you can download for free from the government’s Moneysmart website.

7. Set a savings goal. Show how putting aside small amounts regularly will grow into something worthwhile.

8. Help them understand opportunity cost. That’s just another way of saying, ‘If you want this video game, you won’t have the money to buy that new dress’. Your kids should be able to weigh up the pros and cons of financial decisions and realise that each decision has a consequence.

9. Give them responsibility of their own bank account. This takes money management to the next level and it will prepare them for managing a healthy account balance when they get older.

10. Explain the dangers of credit cards. Credit cards are just too easy to flip out. Don’t let them become another credit card victim.

When it comes to determining exactly how much board to charge your children, Sandercock says there are a couple of different approaches – charge a percentage of what they earn (20-25 per cent is common), or charge a percentage of the costs (work out the costs for food, power, transport and housing and charge a percentage of that).

Winds create fire mayhem near airport, on second day of Tomago and Williamtown 2018 bushfires

Winds create fire mayhem near airport EERIE: A smoke haze hung low over Grahamstown Dam on Sunday. Firefighters patrol Richardson Rd between Campvale and Raymond Terrace. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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TweetFacebookHeraldwent to print on Sunday, the immediate threat had eased and thealert level had been downgraded to Watch and Act.

It followed atense few hours for ground crews, who managedto hold the flames at bayas homes on Wade Close at Campvale came under threat.

Read more: Bushfires come within metres of homes on Cabbage Tree Road

The blaze, which started at Tomago last week, has now blackened more than 2200 hectares of bushland.

It was initially under the control of theRural Fire Service, until westerly winds picked up around lunchtime on Saturday.

Soon, the blaze was tearing south-easttowards rural properties onCabbage Tree Road and BarrieClose.

“It went through about 50 miles an hour, I reckon,” Cabbage Tree Road resident John Hillsaid.“It just took off. It was unbelievable.”

A neighbour, Rhianna Gorfine, stayed to defend her property with her husband, Cain. She was still rattled as she described the flames licking within 50 metres of her back boundary.

“It got really windy and that was the hairiest time,” Ms Gorfine said.

However a timely southerly change –coupled with the work of severalwater-bombing aircraft –drove the front back into the dense scrub.

It was a rare reprieve for residents of the area, who are living withinWilliamtown’s toxic contamination ‘red zone’, and were last forced to defend their homes from bushfires in 2013.

As the temperature plunged into the low twenties on Sunday, it appeared the worst was over. But winds gusting at up to 80 kilometres an hour flung embers over Richardson Road, and the fire front began to bear down on properties at Campvale.

There were reports a number of residents chose to evacuate.

Linescan images from the RFS showed the fire camewithin close range of the Williamtown RAAF base, while the western edge crept nearly as far as Raymond Terrace.

The cause remains unknown but the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Community rallies as young Hunter couple brings wedding forward after cancer diagnosis

Positivity: Jess Phillips and Luke Sidebottom have brought their wedding forward to February after Ms Phillips was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer less than a fortnight before Christmas. Picture: Max Mason-HubersJess Phillipsmay have received news that rocked her world only a month ago, but she says she has muchto be thankful for and a lot to look forward to.
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The 30-year-old from Pelaw Main, in the Hunter’s coalfields region, was diagnosed with aggressive stage 4B cervical cancer nine days before Christmas.

So she and her fiance Luke Sidebottom decided to bring their wedding forward from September to February 6.

Since then, the pair has receivedoverwhelming community support and kindness, with a crowdfunding effort to raise $5000 for Jess’ dream wedding dress almost reaching its target in less than a fortnight.

Their celebrant and her friendfrom Elope or Wed With A Twist have also gifted the pair an all-expenses paid wedding at Mystwood Retreats at Wollombi.

Jess said she knew the community would rally for her, Luke and kids Jayden, 13, and Lacey, 9–as it always did for people in need –but she “definitely didn’t expect” people to go to such great lengths to support her.

The pair had been engaged for 12 months when they received the shattering news last month.

They had been together for a decade before Luke popped the question.

“I’ve been hinting, pretty much since we got together, to have a wedding,” Jess said.

“Finally he did the proposal and pretty much from that day I was like ‘OK, I’m planning this wedding now’.”

After some irregular bleeding about two weeks before Christmas,Jess went to the Maitland Hospital emergency department.

A gynaecologist eventually saw her and told her that she found a lump that was soon confirmed as cancer.

“I was just crying. I don’t really know what I was thinking. It was just a shock,” Jess said.

“I don’t think I comprehended it for a little while. I thought ‘nobody would tell me that’.It’s stage 4b, which is one of the worst stages. People have beaten it before but people haven’t.

“It really now just depends how I handle it. We’ve heard so many positive stories.”

Jess will start treatment next month and faces a tough battle–she expects to begin chemotherapy the week after her wedding.

But she says the diagnosis has influenced her outlook on life.

“We’re just being really positive and really happy –that’s all I want,” she said.

“I haven’t actually been close to anybody who’s had cancer.

“I thought I’d be a mess and that it would be a really sad situation. So I don’t like being sad.”

She saysherphilosophy is: “happy times,I’m planning a wedding, think of the positive outcomes –live today happy.”

‘Not my Mick’: What losing my husband taught me about grief

Family bond: Dr Olga Lavalle with her children Chloe, Jarred and Alex. Picture: Adam McLean Does a psychologist find it easier to cope with grief because they know the theories behind it? Dr Olga Lavalle for one, had to throw her theories away when her husband died suddenly, writes Cydonee Mardon.As a clinical psychologist Olga Lavalle is used to hearing people’s tales of grief.
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It’s fairto say she is well equipped to listen, and offer practical tools to help manage the heartache.

But when her own heart was broken with one phone call, she had no idea how she was supposed to react in that moment.

It was a practical lesson in grief she never saw coming.

“Never in my wildest nightmare did I expect‘until death do us part’ to come so early,”she said.

The confusion of her loss was like a knife plunging into her heart.

One phone call from her brother in law while she was away at her young daughter’s basketball tournament sent her world into a spin.

And it never returned to normal –hence her search for her new normal.

Dr Lavalle’s husband of 17 years diedof a heart attack while she and her daughter Chloe were out of town.

Mick and his brother were only meant to be at the Moruya racetrack for the day. They were meant to come back together.

New Normal: Dr Olga Lavalle has written a book about the sudden loss of her husband Mick, above, who died from a heart attack three years ago.

Their horse was scheduled to race and then they were due home.

Instead Mick’sbrother was on the phone delivering the gut-wrenching news.

The rest is a blur of bouncing basketballs, hugs, noise, confusion and a desperate ride home to get to her other daughterAlex.

She knew Alex was home alone.

Her and Chloe had to get home.

Three years down the track, Dr Lavalle has found her new normal –and she is sharing her grief with the world.

She is pictured with her father-in-law Tony at Kembla Grange where a race was named in Mick’s honour. Pictures: Adam McLean

She had made the decision to swim, not sink, and now feltbetter placed, with first-hand experience of grief, to show empathy to those who came to her for help.

“I wrote the book to let other women now that I like them have suffered adversity,” she said.

“I want to help other young widows understand that what they experience and feel with grief is normal given that they have lost their partner or spouse or loved one,” she said.

“During my grief I never relied on the theories of grief, but decided to open myself up and experience grief for what it is.

Held at hand: Dr Lavalle’s soon-to-be released book about grief.

“I wrote the book from a professional and personal perspective and I share with readers what I learnt about grief, how I coped, and how I have helped other widow’s cope.

“I do this in the hope that readers find a little peace as they grieve and uncover their new normal.”

Dr Lavalle believes everyone has a choice in what they do when faced with any form of adversity.

“I decided I was not going to let grief destroy me, but I was going to show my children that regardless of what life throws at us we have a choice in how we deal with adversity.

“And while we can’t control when someone dies we do choose the way we deal with grief.”

She still thinks a lot about the children being fatherless, especially the girls who were only 14 and 15 when their father died. “It’s hard to understand how a child feels and thinks when they have lost a parent.”

So to truly understand grief from their perspective, she asked Alex, Chloe and their brother Jarredif they would they write about theirexperience. And they did.

Dr Lavalle’s own version of the untimely death of Mick Lavalle, and how it affected her and her family,took her eight months to write.

“A widow is so busy in the lead up to the funeral and after, that she does not have time to grieve.So, with writing the book, it was my time to grieve alone.”

The hardest part was writing the chapter on helping children cope.But the beauty of Dr Lavalle’s book is that it comes from both a professional and personal viewpoint.

She cleverly weaves her professional psychologist’s voice with the voice of herself as a mother and widow to create a step by step guide.She helps manage the good days and the bad andhelps the reader understand what children are going through and how to help and adjust.

She has shared with Mercury readers anextract from her soon-to-be released book.

All I could hear was my staggered breathing between silent groans. I needed air. I needed to get out of there.The room was spinning as the sounds of basketballs, and excited crowds faded into the distance.Darkness threatened to swallow me whole.

I somehow managed to stumble down the seats and headed for the exit. Don’t fall.I was vaguely aware of voices calling my name.”Olga, are you ok? What’s wrong?” “This can’t be happening!” I heard myself say to no-one.

The cool air outside didn’t help to relieve the pressure on my lungs.Panic, confusion. Where to go? What to do? Oh, God.This nightmare has to be a dream. It can’t be real.Not MY Mick.All I could do is desperately remind myself “Breathe, Olga, Breathe.”

It’s shocking how quickly ‘life’ can knock the wind out of you, isn’t it?One minute I was enjoying my daughter’s basketball game, and the next I was desperately trying not to faint from grief and shock.

Like most girls, I’d grown up with the dream of meeting that someone special, getting married, having children, watching them grow up, and then becoming grandparents.

I knew what I wanted, and up until that moment, I was living my dream.

For a preview of the book go to www.awidowsguidetogrief苏州美甲