Support for NSW school Indigenous language plan

The teaching of five endangered languages in New South Wales schools is the focus of a new plan to overhaul Indigenous affairs in the state.

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The plan aims to keep Indigenous children at school and give them more concrete steps on a career path.

 

Kristina Kukolja with this report by Matthew Sadler of NITV News.

 

The new plan is being called OCHRE.

 

It stands for Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility and Empowerment.

 

Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Sydney, Professor Shane Houston, was on a special taskforce that helped to draw up the plan.

 

He says the link between learning Indigenous languages and improvements in other aspects of life is central to it.

 

“By teaching language, by locating that in a cultural context in our schools we’re not only going to be helping individuals with their own sense of identity we’re going to be helping them to be healthier individuals, to engage more effectively with primary and secondary school, to engage more effectively with the workplace and to engage more effectively with universities and the New South Wales society.”

 

The number of Aboriginal languages spoken in New South Wales has declined from 139, 200 years ago, to just 10.

 

The new plan will see five of these, Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggir, Bundjalung, Paarkintji and Wiradjuri taught in schools.

 

Victor Dominello is the NSW Aboriginal Affairs Minister.

 

“That will provide opportunities for kids at school to be able to learn their own languages taught by fluent Aboriginal speakers, where culture is included in the classroom, where language is included in the classroom on the same footing as other subjects. Culture and language is critical. That’s why we must do something now to preserve it and keep it alive for the next generation. If we don’t do something it will leave us on our watch.”

 

The New South Wales Government says that the new plan will consult with indigenous people regularly through a new Independent Aboriginal Council.

 

The Aboriginal Affairs Minister says the new council will report on and monitor the plan periodically.

 

“So we’ll work in partnership with Aboriginal communities to set the targets, achievable targets, realistic targets – not pie in the sky – over a set framework and work with them to achieve those targets.”

 

Chair of the Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations, Stephen Ryan, is happy with the government’s attitude.

 

“Government has shown a willingness to help implement change and build a platform for that change. So that’s pretty important.”

 

The plan will also see the establishment of so-called Opportunity Hubs which will involve local employers in career planning while students are still at school.

 

They’ll also help to arrange job training, mentoring, and scholarships – and will continue to track the progress of young Indigenous people after they’ve left school and entered the workforce.

Lions confident Brown will play on in AFL

It wouldn’t surprise Brisbane if Johnathan Brown “did a Robert Harvey” in a bid to return this season, but Michael Voss is confident his injured co-captain will take a less extreme route to a 15th AFL campaign in 2014.

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Brown has been diagnosed with a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot – the same injury St Kilda great Harvey had when, as AFL folklore has it, he repeatedly jumped from his dining room table attempting to completely snap the weakened fibrous tissue, seeking a quicker recovery.

A rupture was what the Lions were hoping scans would reveal on Tuesday for the same reason, but their co-captain’s rehabilitation will be longer due to a partial tear.

“It’s one of those unusual injuries where a rupture is better than a partial so we’ve just got to wait for the area to settle down,” said Voss.

It will take a fortnight before the club’s medics decide on a course of action, but Brown’s season is considered over.

Off contract this year and yet to commit to 2014, Voss wouldn’t rule out the fearless veteran, who has overcome three horrific facial injuries and been hit by a car while cycling in the past three years, following Harvey’s lead.

“Anything is possible with Jonathan Brown,” he said. “I mean this bloke takes on cars.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he had some kind of plan like that in mind.

“But no, I think he’ll be quite sensible about it.”

While Brown turns 32 in October, Voss doubted Saturday’s clash with Richmond would be the Lions’ start to life without their inspirational spearhead.

He felt fears that Brown had played his 245th and last AFL game had been flamed because of his conviction to wait until post-season before deciding his future.

“What I’ve communicated to Browny is he’s required,” he said.

“Any discussion I’ve had with him he’s in a good frame of mind, (and) really positive about the direction of the team.

“From initial chats that we’ve had it’s all been quite positive.”

Jordan Lisle and Stefan Martin are the prime contenders to replace triple-premiership winner Brown in the Lions’ forward line at the MCG, with Voss pleased by their form in the reserves.

Midfield leaders Simon Black (groin) and Brent Moloney (hamstring) are chances to return from injury against the in-form Tigers’ impressive on-ball division.

The Lions will be without rebounding defender Mitch Golby due to a one-week suspension for striking St Kilda’s Tom Curren in Saturday night’s 31-point win at the Gabba.

Clarke, KP trade insults amid Test grind

The fuse has been lit for an explosive return Ashes series in the summer, after Australian captain Michael Clarke and England star Kevin Pietersen traded barbs on an otherwise underwhelming day three at The Oval.

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In the two overs before tea, with Ian Bell fresh at the crease, Clarke from slip and Pietersen standing at the non-striker’s end yelled school yard insults at each other.

Geoffrey Boycott claimed in BBC commentary that the tension started when Clarke told Pietersen “nobody likes you” and Pietersen retorted, “you’re the captain, and no one likes you.”

Emotions started to boil over as a result of England’s negative go-slow tactics with the bat – Australia desperate to salvage something from the Ashes.

England abandoned plans of winning the series 4-0 and simply dropped anchor in the knowledge that a forecast of rain on day four could make a draw almost inevitable.

At stumps, England are 4-247, going at an excruciating 2.13 runs an over from the 116 they’ve faced in over eight hours at the crease.

After one of the slowest days of Test cricket in recent memory, England still trail on the first innings by 245 runs and need 46 to avoid the follow-on.

Player of the series Ian Bell is 29 not out from 110 balls and debutant Chris Woakes 15no from 49 balls.

But the action wasn’t on the scoreboard, it was out in the middle.

Following on from Darren Lehmann branding Stuart Broad a “blatant cheat”, Clarke and Pietersen showed there’s no love lost between the teams with the first Test in Brisbane just three months away.

Clarke and Pietersen were smiling throughout most of their exchange which lasted from the moment Mitchell Starc removed Jonathan Trott lbw, to when the players walked to tea.

However, the umpires didn’t see the funny side, with Aleem Dar furious as he intervened on several occasions.

England jammed on the brakes on Friday and a capacity crowd at The Oval paid the price.

However, Starc (2-60) gave Australia a window of hope when he took the second new ball and struck with his very first delivery.

The left-armer trapped Trott for 40 to end a 58-run stand with Pietersen that was a yawn-inducing 159 balls in the making.

Bell was brought to the crease at 3-176 with England still 117 runs from avoiding the follow-on and the Australians took it as their queue to up the ante.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and fellow slip Shane Watson also appeared to be getting in on the fun with Clarke.

Australia may take heart from the fact England have deferred to ultra-defensive mode when they’ve been put under pressure this series at Old Trafford and now at The Oval.

Pietersen was perhaps the wrong man to pick on, with the cocky right-hander unaffected by his exchange with Clarke and grinding his way to the slowest 50 of his Ashes career, from 133 balls.

In the 75th over, Pietersen found the fence and a disillusioned crowd roared in recognition – as it was England’s first boundary in 11 overs.

Starc was the pick of the bowlers for Australia, getting danger man Pietersen caught at slip with the first ball of his final spell to leave England 4-217.

That brought an end to another slow stand of 41 with Bell from 122 balls.

Ryan Harris made the first breakthrough of the day, continuing England captain Alastair Cook’s horror series by nabbing him caught behind for 25.

Spinner Nathan Lyon outsmarted the classy Joe Root in the 54th over for 68.

Two charged over Sydney crash, shooting

Two men who allegedly crashed a car into another man who was fleeing gunshots in western Sydney are set to face court.

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The two men, aged 19 and 20, had to be freed from their Honda Civic in Parramatta on Wednesday evening when they got trapped in a collision just afterwards.

Police say a 22-year-old man got into an altercation with two men on the street at about 7.50pm (AEST), when another group of men armed with bats, poles, a machete and a firearm approached and fired several gunshots at him.

He ran off and was allegedly followed by the Honda and a silver van.

The Honda collided with the man before crashing into the silver van, trapping the two men.

The occupants of the van fled the scene, police said.

The victim was taken to Westmead Hospital with a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder, while the two trapped men were arrested.

A witness told ABC radio he heard a loud bang after the two cars collided before noticing a man covered in blood lying on the road.

“I thought I was dealing with a car accident. (Then) I realised I was dealing with evil and a crime scene and a whole lot of gangs,” the witness, named Phil, said.

Bullets have been recovered from the scene of the crash at the intersection of Hunter and Marsden Streets.

Police are looking for the occupants of the van and have taken bullets for forensic examination.

The 19-year-old Honda driver has been charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and affray, while the 20-year-old passenger was charged with affray and concealing a serious indictable offence.

Both were refused bail to appear in Parramatta Local Court on Thursday.

Stoner to stick with four wheels

Suddenly, two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner has a taste for motorcycles again.

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But he insists he will remain on four wheels this year in the V8 Supercars’ second-tier category.

Stoner has relished a chance to jump back on the bike this week, successfully completing a two-day test in Japan with his former MotoGP team Honda.

Stoner has also agreed to further testing with Honda later this year, prompting speculation that he will cut short his surprise V8 stint and race as a wildcard in the Australian and Japanese Grands Prix this year.

But the 27-year-old said his focus was still completing the V8 second-tier Dunlop Series in his Red Bull Racing Holden.

The next round – and third-last of the series – will be held in Winton from August 23.

“It was good to get back on the bike, if only for a few laps,” Stoner said.

“It’s been nine months since I’ve been on a bike and it’s going to take me some time to get used to everything again.

“But it doesn’t change my mind about the wildcards – this is not something I am planning to do.”

Stoner only completed six laps on a wet opening day at the Motegi circuit but made up for lost time on the second, enjoying 47 laps starting on Honda’s world championship-winning RC213V before moving onto a prototype 2014 bike.

Honda spokesman Shuhei Nakamoto couldn’t hide his excitement over Stoner’s involvement.

“We’ve been able to gather a vast amount of data and ideas for development,” he said.

“Consequently we aim to increase our pace of development and hope that this, in turn, will lead to us winning this year’s championship.”

But Stoner was keen to rule out a MotoGP return this year – not the only rumour he has had to hose down recently.

Stoner has also had to deny speculation that he will grab a Bathurst 1000 V8 drive this year.

The rumour mill went into overdrive following surprise news that a third Red Bull Holden would be launched at Mount Panorama, with Stoner immediately linked with retired great Mark Skaife.

Both have denied what would be a dream pairing for the great race.

Two European drivers have since been linked with the third Red Bull entry.