Improving lives with open arms

Manager Johanna Leader with counsellor Alex Quigley, community liaison officer Ian Barret, co-ordinator Mel Singh and community liaison officer Emma Livingston. Photo: AMY GRIFFITHSA program to improve social inclusion in Dubbo is being launched at Apollo House today.
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The ‘Resilience’ program is one component of the Dubbo Regeneration Partnership Plan that was developed in consultation with the East Dubbo community.

Run by the Leader in Development team, the program will operate out of Apollo House in Collins Street and provide activities and programs for families such as playgroups, reading groups, health focus groups and workshops for parents.

“Resilience is a program to improve social inclusion within the local community, offering a variety of activities to build the cohesion within the community, and identify service gaps that can be removed through further co-operation and integration of services from government and non-government organisations,” Leader in Development founder Johanna Leader said.

“We want to maintain an environment where individuals and families can feel comfortable to participate in the many activities that will be brought through the doors of the Apollo House, into the streets and recreational spaces of the Apollo community.”

Ms Leader is assembling a team of passionate and motivated staff that understand the needs of people living in the area and who are able to provide support with practical ideas to help improve the lives of people in the estate.

“I am hopeful that the rapport and trust that we develop with the community will enable us to better assist people with referrals for support, particularly where families are experiencing hardships” Ms Leader said. Apollo House was previously managed by the East Dubbo Women’s Group.

Housing NSW western area director Mark Byrne thanked three women whose involvement in Apollo House was instrumental.

“Michelle, Ellen and Pat Doolan have been the cornerstone of the Apollo House with the East Dubbo Women’s Group for many years,” Mr Byrne said.

“These wonderful and highly respected Aboriginal women have so much on their plates and so it is timely that we are able to get Leader in Development involved to lighten their collective loads just a little.”

The Dubbo Regeneration Partnership Plan has been operating over the past four years and has incorporated significant upgrades to properties, street scapes and recreational spaces, and large financial investments in social and learning and employment strategies.

A morning tea will be held at Apollo House today at 10am for local agencies and services and will be followed by a barbecue at 12 noon.

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Jailed photographer insists he was helping blackmailed celebrities

ROME: A notorious Italian photographer has been jailed for three years and eight months after trying to extort thousands of euros from celebrities in return for not selling embarrassing photographs of them to gossip magazines.Fabrizio Corona was found guilty on Thursday of blackmailing sports stars, including the Brazilian footballer and Inter Milan striker Adriano, the former AC Milan footballer Francesco Coco and the MotoGP rider Marco Melandri.But the Milan court acquitted Corona of trying to extort €200,000 ($320,000) from Lapo Elkann, a member of the Fiat-owning Agnelli family, and of attempting to blackmail another Italian footballer, Alberto Gilardino.Corona, 35, said he was ”ashamed to be Italian” after his jail sentence was read out. ”It’s an embarrassment. It means they should condemn all the photo agencies in Italy, who do exactly the same as I do,” he said, adding that he would appeal against the decision.None of Corona’s victims turned up at the trial.Corona says he was doing the celebrities a favour by offering them the photos at the same rates he would have asked from the gossip magazines.”I offered the photos at a good price just to my friends. I could have earned a lot more.”Corona was backed up earlier in the trial last year when a lawyer representing Barbara Berlusconi, the Prime Minister’s daughter, insisted a €20,000 deal to buy photos showing her client leaving a nightclub was not blackmail but ”almost a courtesy”.Corona has become a celebrity in his own right since the blackmail plot first hit the headlines in 2006, dating an Argentinian model, Belen Rodriguez, and making regular television appearances including a stint on a reality show, The Farm, where he was voted off by the public in the third episode.Judges will decide next month whether Corona should stand trial in Potenza for trying to extort money from a host of other Italian showbiz names.Guardian News & Media
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English whisky finally comes of age with first release in 120 years

LONDON: English whisky will go on sale in Britain next week, the first time in more than 120 years that a distillery south of Hadrian’s Wall has produced the drink.The single malt made at St George’s distillery in Roudham, Norfolk, has already received favourable reviews in its pre-whisky form – the spirits have to mature for three years before being officially designated whisky.Keir Sword, the proprietor of Royal Mile Whiskies, the whisky retailer in Edinburgh, has tasted the peated and non-peated varieties of St George’s and thinks English whisky has what it takes to become a decent tipple.”Both should improve over time and they will be good whiskies,” he said.The English Whisky Company, which owns the St George’s distillery, was started by Andrew Nelstrop, a farmer, and his father, James. In a publicity coup for the Nelstrops, their distillery was officially opened by Prince Charles in March 2007.St George’s uses barley from eastern England and water from the local Breckland aquifer, through a 48-metre borehole in the garden. The company plans to produce between 150,000 and 200,000 bottles a year.Guardian News & Media
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City’s history place to pave way for its future

The launch of one of the most important community planning projects in Dubbo’s history will take place in the grounds of the city’s first courthouse – the Old Dubbo Gaol.
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A salute to Dubbo’s progressive past, the public event at the 164-year-old heritage site signals the start of the city’s efforts to shape its future.

Dubbo mayor Allan Smith will officially launch the Dubbo 2036 project on Monday, May 2.

“I cannot underestimate the importance of the Dubbo 2036 Community Strategic Plan to this Local Government Area,” Cr Smith said.

“As the city’s highest level plan, future decision-making over the next 25 years will be aligned to this long-term vision. It will be the first time this community has been asked to create its own future.’’

Everyone is invited to the official launch at Old Dubbo Gaol from 1pm on May 2. The launch will feature special guest Lisa Smith from Minds at Work who will host a ‘Futurescoping’ workshop – an interactive session designed to reflect on the past whilst creating the future.

Cr Smith will also announce the winner of the Draw Dubbo 2036 competition for Year 6 students.

“Creating a 25-year plan for Dubbo includes seeking input from our future generations,” Cr Smith said.

“Year 6 students from schools across the Dubbo LGA were asked to draw their vision for Dubbo in 2036. I am really looking forward to seeing their entries and their ideas for the future.’’

Throughout May, council will seek a wide range of views and opinions that will help create the Dubbo 2036 Community Strategic Plan.

Opportunities to provide input include:

o 22 targeted community workshops

o Two open public forums

o Two ‘Have a Say Days’

o A Dubbo 2036 site at Dubbo Show

o Information booths at Centro and Orana Mall Marketplace

o Dubbo 2036 community questionnaire

A website, dubbo2036南京夜网.au, has been established – a one-stop-shop of information including web forums and latest news.

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