Couple’s music school stokes shared passion

In tune: Michael Wilks and Lorraine Lynch-Wilks will record his debut album in and perform across the US next month. Picture: Max Mason-HubersMUSIC is interwoven throughout Michael Wilks and Lorraine Lynch-Wilks’ love story.
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It was only natural the couple, who perform as the Michael Wilks Duo, played their own 2016 wedding and had their first dance to one of his original songs How It Should Be. “I wore boots under my wedding dress,” Mrs Lynch-Wilks said. “It was more a of a do-si-do than a waltz.” Singer-songwriter Mr Wilks even penned a song for his new bride, Dance With Me, as a wedding gift.

Now the couple are sharing their passion with others, by opening Waterside Music at Redhead. The school, which includes tutors Sarah Christine, Dan Collard and Oliver Byrnes,offers training in drums, piano, vocals, guitar, bass, ukulele and drama.

“90 per cent of our clients are kids, but 10 per cent are adults who say they’ve always wanted to play or sing, including musicians who perform in public and want to step up to the mike,” Mrs Lynch Wilks said. “We’re not a babysitting service. We want to make sure students have fun but that they have the fundamental building blocks of how to play an instrument, whether that’s guitar or your voice, and to sight read.”

Mr Wilks said he still practised scales daily. “It’s about technique – you don’t sign up for a 100km marathon if you’re not a runner,” he said.

Mr Wilks’ mother enrolled him in piano lessons when he was four and he soon picked up guitar. He has worked as a tutorand has always performed in pubs.

“Music has always been my utopia, my happy place,” he said. “Not a day goes by without a guitar in my hand – it’s at the core of who I am.”

Meanwhile Mrs Lorraine Lynch-Wilks was “born singing” and emigrated from Dublin as a child. “In Ireland you either play an instrument, sing songs, dance or tell stories,” she said. “It’s always been an escape for me, an expression of joy – everything else floats away.”

The mezzo soprano received vocal training from a classical music tutor until the HSC. She was part of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music choir, but hadn’t “truly” performed in public until a few years ago, when Mr Wilks asked for help delivering a song at a wedding. “He just said to me, ‘You’re up’,” she said. “I didn’t know how to improvise and harmonise, but I loved the interaction with the crowd and the banter.”

They now perform live as a duoand she sings backup in the recording studio.

Mr Wilks’debut single Back Seat of My Carwas released in 2015 on his Kotara-raised Nashville-based friend’s Michael Edser’s label Winter Records. He released a songabout domestic violence, No More, then EP A New Direction, which birthed single City Lights.

Wilson storms into form in code switch

HARD YARDS: Merewether No.8 Jarome Wilson breaks through the tackle of Waratahs back-rower Dylan Heins at Townson Oval. Picture: Stewart Hazell
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JAROME Wilson remembers being ordered to meet at AAMI Park … the rest is a blur.

Wilson spent three years at the Melbourne Storm, playing front-row in the under-18s and 20s. That also meant three pre-seasons and coach Craig Bellamy’s brutal camps in which players are deprived of sleep and pushed to the limit physically and mentally.

“The camps were a hell of a ride,” Wilson said. “We started at AAMI Park doing commando training before being bussed to St Kilda and making our way on foot to Port Melbourne. Then they took us bush and we trekked through the night to a campsite. There was no sleep, it was hard on body and mind. Looking back it was a great experience and something that has stayed with me.”

Wilson, now 25, is undertaking a different experience.

After four years in the Newcastle Rugby Leagueat Souths and Central, Wilson has joined older brother Wendall and sister Jade at Merewether-Carlton.

He had flirted with rugby since his junior days and played a handful of games with the Greens in 2016 while playing for Central.

“My brother and sister were here and the club helped me get ajob,” Wilson said. “I have a young family and Merewether helped me get me back on my feet.”

Although finding rugby “very different” Wilson has cemented a spot at the back of the Greens’ scrum.

Wilson storms into form in code switch TweetFacebook Jarome WilsonPictures: Stewart Hazell and Fairfax photographers“It was challenging coming straight into firstgrade,” he said.“I just try and change things up. I might run a bit wider or pick and drive. I don’t want to be predictable.”

Merewether co-coach Jode Roach believes the tackle-busting back-rower “could be anything” once he“learns how to utilise his size and skills to their full capacity”.

“The un-tapped potential in him is great,” Roach said.He is still learning the game but is getting better each week.He is a natural leader and I think he has found a bit of a home here.He is good with the boys and does the right things at the right time. He has worked really hard and picked up things quickly.”

Wilson’s older brother and tighthead prop Wendall was approached by Sydney Uni earlier this month andtrained with the Students last week.

“He didn’t play but they want him to go down in the pre-season,” Jarome said.“He is my inspiration and a big part of why I am enjoying my rugby. Jade too, she is the talented one in the family.”

Wilson was again one of the Greens’ best in the19-14 win over Maitland at Townson Oval. The winfollowed an unlucky 25-all draw with The Waratahs, and moved the Greens to 23 points, seven adrift of the top five.They are away to Singleton this round, then have home games against Nelson Bay and Uni.

“Our results to date don’t warrant us jumping the gun on this, but they are achievable targets each week,” Roach said.

Pig’s head left in bag outside Brisbane school

Warning: Graphic image below
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Muslim schoolchildren were targeted in an early-morning attack in Brisbane’s south on Wednesday, when a bag featuring a swastika and containing a severed pig’s head was left at a school’s front gate.

This bag, containing a severed pig’s head, was left at the front gate of the Islamic College of Brisbane on Wednesday morning. Photo: Supplied

Islamic College of Brisbane staff removed the bag before students arrived at the schoolin outer suburb Karawatha, acting school chairman Ali Kadri said, but staff and students had been left shaken.

“They’re worried because, while it’s a minor thing, there are really young kids who go to that school, because it goes from Prep to year 12,” he said.

“It’s about the safety of the kids. If somebody’s going to do this, given the climate, anything else could happen as well.

“So it’s really scary.”

Prominent identity Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a former student of the school, took to Twitter to speak of her disgust at the attack on the college in which she spent her primary education.

“How is a parent supposed to explain to a kid why people hate them?” she said.

This pigs head was left at the school. Photo: Supplied

“I’m just so sorry. I’m so so sorry we have to live in a world where kids can’t go to school in Australia without being shamed and threatened.”

Mr Kadri said some young males in a Subaru WRX were caught on school cameras and that footage, which included a partial numberplate, had been passed on to police.

“The camera footage is quite clear,” he said.

“(Police are) finding evidence and I’m sure there’ll be arrests out of this.”

Students had been informed of the attack, Mr Kadri said, and counselling had been made available.

“Luckily, the staff were out before school and they were able to clear it and they were able to get the kids in without distress,” he said.

Acting Islamic College of Brisbane chairman Ali Kadri. Photo: Chris Hyde

Mr Kadri said the police response had been “phenomenal” and he had no doubt what had led to what he described as a “hate crime” against Muslims.

“Right wing extremists, including some politicians and shock jocks who demonise Islamic schools, are responsible for this,” he said.

It was the first time the Islamic College of Brisbane had been targeted in such a matter, Mr Kadri said, although there had been a similar incident at the Holland Park Mosque.

A Queensland Police Service spokesman confirmed an investigation was underway.

“A call was received from an educational facility on Acacia Road, Karawatha, shortly before 9am this morning,about a backpack containing decaying meat,” he said.

The spokesman said police were keen to speak to any witnesses.

Sneddon cutting back role at Jaffas

Chris SneddonPRESIDENT Scott Douglas is confident Lambton Jaffas will remaina strong Northern NSW National Premier League club despite news key administrator Chris Sneddon will leave theircommittee at season’s end.
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Sneddon has been the driving force behind the Jaffas’ rise from amateur lower-league club to one of the NPL’s powerhouses over the past six seasons.The successful businessmanis the Jaffas’ director of football and the central figure behind their financial strength.

He told the Jaffas board on Monday and players on Tuesday that he would be leaving the committeebut remaining a supporter.

“He’s stepping down from his operational role within the committee,” Douglas said.“He does a lot for the club and he’s being doing it for a long time. As well as the football side of things, he does a lot of organisation with the contact with youth, canteens, six-a-side competitions, matchdays –he does a tremendous amount and he’s at the point where he needs to step down.But he will still be involved with sponsor connections and as a sponsor himself.”

He said the club would continue to have a strong squad on the field and others would step up to cover the loss of Sneddon off it.

“We’ve got good people in the club and we will continue on,” he said.

“It’s a loss, with the amount of work he does, but other people will step up. We just need to find those volunteers. It’s the same for every club, there’s a lot to do.”

“But we’ve signed up to do it and we will make it happen.

“It’s a lot for volunteers and sometimes you have to step back to create the space for other people to step in and take some roles and responsibilities.

“We’ve got nothing but respect for what Chris has achieved for the club and the competition as a whole. He’s a great administrator and he brings a lotof professionalism, and that will continue with the club.”

The Jaffas won the 2014 major premiership and are equal leaders this season with three games to play.

Sneddon has been a key figure in the club attracting players like former Socceroos Joel and Ryan Griffiths and ex-Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse.

Jets ready to step up after Magic hit out

ON TARGET: Roy O’Donovan celebrates after scoring the Jets opening goal in a 5-1 win over Broadmeadow at Magic Park on Wednesday night. Picture: Sproule Sports Focus. COACH Ernie Merrick believes the Jets are ready to takeon A-League arch rivals Central Coast after they disposed of a plucky Broadmeadow 5-1 at Magic Park on Wednesday night.
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Andrew Nabbout scored a hat-trick and Roy O’Donovan and Dimi Petratos each found the back of the net for a second straight game.

The Jets were sharper and played with a higher intensity than in the 2-0 win over Weston a week earlier.

They meet Central Coast Mariners in a closed trial next Wednesday and Merrick expects his side to riseagain.

“The Mariners will be another good test,” Merrick said. “We want to step up again and willbe playing against senior A-League players.”

Jets ready to step up after Magic hit out TweetFacebook”The things I wanted to see an improvement in we did.”

Ernie Merrick

Meanwhile, the Jets have appointed FFA national boys development manager Michael Cooper as the Techincal Director of the club’s academy.

The Jets will take over 11 of the Emerging Jets programs from Northern NSW on October 1.

Aformer player at English clubs Exeter City and Yeovil Town, Cooper has spent the past two year at the FFA.

“I am all about creating an environment that gets the best out of people and working hard towards our goals on a daily basis,” he said.“An attractive part of the role at the Jets is that I will be able to help shape and then lead the vision of the club’s academy.My strengths are facilitation and helping people develop, and I’m eager to leverage these strengths in Newcastle to ensure that we create an environment where our coaches and young players excel,” he said.

Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said Cooper had been recommended by the FFA.

“An advantage of Mike coming to the Club is that he knows FFA’s systems,” McKinna said. “He also has a high awareness of the coaches in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley area.”

Cooper will address current coaches from the Emerging Jets pathway on Friday at Speers Point.

World Cup crown for Cessnock’s Tuliatu

SUCCESS: Cessnock’s Robert Tuliatu playing for Newcastle’s under-23 side in last month’s NSW Country Championship final. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHEWorld Cup might not be until later this year but the festival has already begun and one Goannas player will return for Cessnock this weekendafter claiming an international title.
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Newcastle Rebels under-23 representative Robert Tuliatu, who will tackleCentral at home on Saturday, was part of the Australian team that defeated Pacific Islands 30-12 in Sunday’s final of the University World Cup at Penrith.The undefeated campaign marked Australia’s third straight crownand sixth overall since the inauguraltournament in 1986.

ROUND 12 FIXTURES: Cessnock v Central Newcastle, Maitland v Kurri Kurri (Saturday); South Newcastle v Lakes, Western Suburbs v Macquarie (Sunday).

* LAKES have yet to announce who will take over Dean Noonan in the coach’s box next season, but Knights under 20s playmakerNash Birch will line up at five-eighth for the Seagulls on Sunday. Opponents South Newcastle will have to wait until final selections are made by the Knights’ lower grades to determine if the likes of Ofa Manuofetoa,Faitotoa Faitotoa and Bryce Donovan are available.

* WESTERN Suburbs will have free entry to Harker Oval on Sunday for their top-of-the-table clash with Macquarie.

The @Newcastle_RL#ladiesleaguetag representatives in club colours @MJStadium ahead of @NRL#WomenInLeague round @newcastleheraldpic.twitter南京夜网/B5IlWC7elM

— Josh Callinan (@joshuacallinan) July 19, 2017

* THIS weekend’s Women in League round was officially launched in Newcastle on Wednesday with two players from each team in the inaugural ladies league tag competition to score a coaching session with Wests mentor and Rugby League Academy founder Matt Lantry.

* STFRANCISXavier’s College, Hamilton, are through to the semi-finals of the NRL Schoolboys Trophy at Brookvale Oval next week.

They beatSt Paul’s Catholic College, Manly, 28-12 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Wednesday.

In the top flight NRL Schoolboys Cup and Hunter Sports High will try to keep their undefeated record intact at Charlestown’s St John Oval on Thursday when they host St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown.

St Gregory’s will then make the trek to Cessnock Sportsground next Thursday to meetAll Saints College, St Mary’s Campus, Maitland.

* KNIGHTS Knockout trophies were shared around the Hunter following finalsat McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Scone Primary School were the most successful outfit with a primarydouble in open A and under-10 A.

Other champions were: St Michael’s, Nelson Bay (open B), Gwandalan (Central Hunter girls), Rosary Park, Branxton (under-10 B), St Joseph’s, Lochinvar (under-13), St Mary’s, Gateshead (under-14), St Jospeh’s, Aberdeen (under-15), Warners Bay (under-16), St Mary’s, Maitland (opens), Hunter Sports (year 7-8 girls) and Callaghan College, Wallsend.

Glamourous granny flats

Fresh: Modern finishes give this granny flat a clean, stylish feel.
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When State legislation changed in 2009, allowing granny flats to be approved and built via a complying development certificate (CDC) rather than council Development application (DA) a shift in the industry was inevitable.

The change in legislation meant that the approval process became a much easier and faster process than the traditionalDA and not surprisingly, the lure of the granny flat grew strong.

In 2011 Alex Mitchell, a long time professionalin the NSWconstruction industry and his business partner, Mark Neumann opened the doors to Backyard Grannys. Six years on the business is delivering not just a swathe of designer granny flats to the Newcastle region but an impressive solution for those looking to add value to their home.

“Today more and morepeople are seeing the potential that can be created in their backyard. Ninety per centof the granny flats we build have 2 bedrooms,” begins Alex.

Designer: Backyard Granny flats provide a stylish addition to the home and can offer some great investment potential.

“Investors have seen the incredible opportunity that exists to add a granny flat to their property and get a second income, they can builda granny flat for $125,000 and achieve a rental return of $350 per week,” he adds.

Welcome home: A home away from home, this granny flat from Backyard Grannys has everything you could want and more.

Quality, says Alex is key and was a crucial element to the initial set up of the business.

“We have a 50 strong payroll, employing all of our own trades, which means we control quality on every build and our customers reap the benefit by gaining a professionally built home.”

While tradition would suggest that most of the inhabitants of these small custom built homes might be family members, 80 per cent of Backyard Grannys’ clients are investors, or rather astute home owners enjoying a second income.

To comply withregulations, a minimum block size of 450m2, 12 metre width, 3.0m setback from rear and 0.9m side boundaries is required. Your granny flat can be built to a maximum size of 60m2.

While there area number of designer granny flat plans available, each and every one can be customised to suit your individual taste or needs. With anin-house architect, design changes are embraced, giving clients the ability to truly complement their existing residence.

“Gone are the days of a granny flat simply being an additional building or your land. Customers can expect a high level of service and local expertise, we are with themevery step of the way through design, approval and construction,” explains Alex.

“We give our clients as much or as little control as they would like in the process. Our focus is to achieve a fantastic result on time and on budget.”

If you would like to discuss the granny flat options available to you and your property, please call Backyard Grannys on 4947 2800.

Manson makes major moves for Macquarie

AWAY: Macquarie Scorpions fullback Mitch Manson on his way to a double against South Newcastle at Townson Oval on Sunday. The 2015 grand finalist returned to the club this year after playing in England. Picture: Max Mason-HubersIt’sa bittersweet weekend for Mitch Manson that drives the Macquarie Scorpions fullback in 2017.
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Mid-September last year and on the Saturday he proudly held aloft a premiership trophy on the other side of the world while on the Sunday his former teammates missed a second straight shot at silverware back home in Newcastle.

The now 23-year-oldhad been part of Macquarie’s loss in the 2015 decider but woke to hear about the Scorpions latest defeat in England after celebrating his own grand final win with Conference League South side the London Chargers.

After experiencing such twisted emotions in the same 24-hour period Manson has returned to Lyall Peacock Field for a second campaign andwith only one goal in mind.

“That was the majormotivating factor when I decided I wanted to come and have another year,” he said.

“Try and make up for last year and try to get that grand final win.”

The Woy Woy juniorjoined the Toronto-based club via hooker Chris Hyde after a connection made on the Central Coast where Manson still lives.

He also remains linked to the area through study, undergoing a physiotherapy degree at the University of Newcastle which has Manson frequenting the Callaghan campus almost daily.

In between times there was an injury-riddled two-year stint at NRL club the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, firstly with the under 20s class of 2013 and followed by NSW Cup in 2014.

“The injuries [syndesmosis and a broken jaw] didn’t help because I didn’t play too many games, but I probably wasn’t good enough to make it anyway,” Manson said.

“Regardless it’s a good background to have and I really enjoyed the experience. You learn a lot down there about work ethic and training hard. That and all the skills you try and bring back.”

The custodian has been in good touch this season with seven tries from the opening 11 rounds, including a double in a grand final replay against South Newcastle on Sunday.

He puts it down to the men around him delivering the ball from key positions on the field.

“We’ve got a pretty good side again with lots of talent there,” Manson said.

“I’m pretty lucky to be playing outside Andy [Sumner], Chris [Hyde] and Scotty [Briggs]. They take all the right options and make my job a lot easier.”

Manson, who won the inaugural NSW Challenge with the Scorpions in Mudgee in May, said being the only side to beat leaders Western Suburbs this year gave the second-placed side confidence but knows a trip to Harker Oval is always difficult regardless of it being a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.

Weekend Planner: July 22-23, 2017

SATURDAYStreet Feast 4pm to 8pm, Market Street Lawn, Newcastle. Outdoor dining with food trucks, international food stalls, artisan delicacies and more. Bring a rug or picnic blanket.
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Newcastle Latin Festival1pm to 5.30pm, Barcito, 37 Beaumont Street, Hamilton. Workshops and social dancing.

East Maitland Girl Guides High Tea Fundraiser 1.30pm, 20 Jubilee Street, East Maitland. Cost:$30.

NeW Space Community Day 10am to2pm, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan.Mock trials, talks, interactive sessions, arts, music, food and family activities.

Chill Out Festival 2017 9am to 3pm, Church Street, Gloucester. Market stalls, billy cart derby, beard competition,dog show, car show, beer and wine tasting, BBQ demonstrations and tastings, live music, rides, raffles, tug of war challenge and more.

All Ages Album Launch6.30pm, The Commons, 150 Beaumont Street, Newcastle. Wavevom launch their sophomore album Eternal Summer with support from Totty,Oilbaron, Chimera andMilky Thred. Tickets $10 at the door.

Mozart’s Oboe and The Hunt 7pm, Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, corner Laman and Auckland streets, Newcastle. This intimate chamber music program intertwines quartets based on the oboe. Tickets range from $25 to $60.

South Stockton Active Hub community drop-in session 1pm to 3pm, near the Stockton ferry terminal. The concept plan is on exhibition until August 4.

Splendouriffic at King 9pm, King Street Hotel. Playing the best tracks from the past five years of Splendour in the Grass.

Rapid Cosmetic Renovation Masterclass 9am to 12.30pm, Crowne Plaza Newcastle.Renovation educator Cherie Barber presents a free two-hour training event.

Girl Guides Garage Sale and Cake Stall 8am to 2pm,Kurri Kurri Guide Hall, 116 Lang Street, Kurri Kurri. Money raisedwill assist the Girl Guides’ Illa Langi Campsite at Vacy.

Life Project Cambodia Community BBQ10.30am to 12.30pm,Swansea Woolworths. Keep an eye out for Star Wars characters.

Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Squash Open Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5pm, Cardiff Squash.

Newcastle Cross Country Kitchener HandicapPoppethead Reserve, Kitchener.

SUNDAYHunter Valley African Violet Society 2pm,Cardiff Senior Citizens Centre, 52 Harrison Street, Cardiff.Plants and potting supplies will be for sale and free advice is on offer.

Hymnfest Garden Suburb Uniting Church, corner Prospect Road and Marshall Street. An afternoon of singing and afternoon Tea. All welcome.

Breast Cancer Forum 8.30am to 3.30pm, Wests New Lambton.Annual public forum for breast cancer patients, survivors,their partners and carers. This year’s theme is Getting Your Mojo Back.

For the Love of Art: Graham Cox 2pm to 4pm, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. The Hunter-based artist will talk about what it is like to be a painter and demonstrate traditional oil-painting techniques. Refreshments served. All welcome. Cost: $15 non-members, $10 members.

Lemon Jam10am to 4pm, Tanilba Bay. Music, markets, children’s activities, raffles.

Toronto Croquet Club 25thAnniversary 9am to 1pm,Ron Hill Oval, Straight Drive, Toronto.

Super Street Sale –Hillsborough8am to 2pm, at 7 and 8 Sydney Street, 15 Parker Street and 26 Higham Road, Hillsborough. Four garage sales.

Kids’ Disco 2pm to 5pm, Hamilton North Bowling Club.$2 jugs of cordial, $5 kids’ meals, $10 pizzas.

The Fashion Circle 10am to 2pm, Wests Mayfield. Vintage and contemporary clothing and accessories.

SAVE THE DATERaising the Bar at Central, 145 King Street, Newcastle, on July 27, 6pm to 8pm. Be inspired by four University of NewcastleAlumni Award speakers from around the globeas they share their remarkable journeys since graduation. On the line-up is Dr Joanne McCarthy (two-time Gold Walkley-winning journalist from theNewcastle Herald);MickLiubonskas (technology entrepreneur, investor and industry leader);Daniel Nelson (Head of Global Partnerships, Braintree);Dr Xanthe Spindler (Forensic Science Researcher, University of Technology Sydney).

MARKETSSwansea Markets Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm, Quinn Park,Galgabba Street, Swansea.

The OIive Tree Market Saturday, 9am to 2pm, Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Handmade in the Hunter Markets Saturday, 9am to 3pm, Kevin Sobels Wines, cornerof Broke and Halls roads, Pokolbin.

Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market Saturday, 7.30am to 1pm, Tighes Hill TAFE.

Port Stephens Market Saturday, 9am to 1pm, Port Stephens Church of Christ 2789 Nelson Bay Road, Salt Ash.

Hunter Street Organic Food MarketSaturday, 9am to 3pm, Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle.

Hamilton Clocktower MarketsSaturday, 8am to 2pm, James Street Plaza, Hamilton.

Hunter Wine Country MarketsSaturday, 9am to 3pm, De Bortoli Wines, 532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin.

Adamstown Lions MarketSunday,8am to noon,corner Glebe and Brunker roads, Adamstown.

Newcastle City Farmers MarketSunday, 7am to 1pm, Tighes Hill TAFE.

ARTArt Systems Wickham Matchbox Horse, by John Turier. Ends Sunday.

The University Gallery, Newcastle Shadowlands II Exhibition, byPenny Dunstan. Until August 5. Abstraction:Celebrating Australian Abstract Women Artists. Until July 23. The Phantom Show. Until August 20.

Cessnock Regional Art GalleryNgani Barray This Country: Wonnarua artist Lesley Salem; works by CatholicCare’s Indigenous Art and Culture Program for Teens and Parents of Teens.

Lake Macquarie City Art GalleryDiane Arbus: American Portraits; Artist Focus: Pablo Tapia and Your Collection: Photo i.d. Until August 20.

Maitland Regional Art GalleryDerek Kreckler: Accident and Process. Until September 3.Make A Face; Showcase 4 Exhibition. Until September 10.Lionel’s Place: Lionel Lindsay from the MRAG Collection. Until April 8, 2018. Ending Sunday are Frank Murri: The Prime Ingredient in a Big Piece of Pi;Colonial Afterlives: A Salamanca Arts Centre exhibition toured by Contemporary Art Tasmania;This is the story of Les Darcy.

Newcastle MuseumOne Million Stars To End Violence;RAD Exhibition; Australian of the Year Awards 2017; Shadows of Sacrifice.

Watt Space Student GalleryThe Balancing of Colour: Robyn Pedley;Shards:Lynette Bridge;A New Perspective: Emma Wilks;The Other Woman: Chloe Hey.

Reader’s Cafe and LarderExhibitionby Joanne Conder. Until July 28.

Old Fire Shed GalleryIt’s New Art 2017. Until December 18.

Muswellbrook Regional Arts CentreContemporising the Modern: Australianmodern and contemporary photography;Travis De Vries: Lost Tales – Walking with Gods. Until August 27.

The Lock-UpStitched Up. Until August 6.

Gallery 139 Big Bad Land.

The Creator IncubatorHATCHLINGS group exhibition by TCI artists.

Newcastle Studio Potters & Back to Back GalleriesTerra Obscura:Three Dungog artists explore obscure terrains. Ends Sunday.

Cooks Hill GalleriesLagoon Series: Susan Sheridan. Until August 14.

Acrux Art GalleryWarm & Cosy. Ends Sunday. just Here: Ahn Wells. Until August 6.

Timeless TextilesHandstand Exhibition: Sylvia Watt.

THEATRECats (abridged)Andrew Lloyd Webber’smusical about cats meeting and talkingabout their lives. Young People’s Theatre, at its Hamiltontheatre. Saturday and Sunday, at 2pm, then Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, until August 12, andSundays, at 2pm, until August 6..

IntentionsWho are we trying to be when aiming to win someone’s affections?An amusinglook at relationships by Newcastle’s Simone Smith and Matthew Heys and their fellow castmembers. Royal Exchange, Newcastle. Saturdayat 8pm.

Peter PanThree children fly with the title character to Neverland, where they encounter lostboys, fairies, Viking women warriors and pirates; adapted by Craig Sodaro from J.M.Barrie’s novel. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. Saturday, at 2pm and 7.30pm (final shows).

The Age of ConsentA teenage boy jailed for a murder and a young mother pushing herdaughter to have a theatre career talk about their lives; gripping comedy-drama by PeterMorris. Two Tall Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. Saturday at 8pm.

The SeaA fierce storm hits an English coastal town, affecting the people’s lives in manyways, with one believing aliens were involved; engaging comedy-drama by Edward Bond.Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. Saturday, at 2pm and 8pm.

MUSIC5 Sawyers Saturday, Timmy Coffey.Sunday, The New Cool.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, The New Cool.

Argyle HouseSaturday, Hotel Motel.

Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, Whiskey Business Duo.

Bar Petite Saturday, Ty.

Battlesticks Bar Saturday,Zac and Ben Duo.Sunday, Codi Kaye.

Bay Hotel Saturday,Latch.

Beach Hotel Saturday, D.Love. Sunday, The Humm.

Belmont 16sSaturday, Cruzers, Mark Wells. Sunday, Klassic Blak.

Belmore HotelSaturday, The Zillers.

Beresfield Bowling ClubSaturday, Solid Gold Party.

Blackbutt Hotel Saturday, Shivoo.

The BradfordSaturday, Outerphase.

Burwood Inn Saturday, DJ Tone.

Cardiff RSL ClubSaturday, DV8.

Carrington Bowling ClubSunday, Barry Morgan.

Central Charlestown Leagues ClubSaturday, Hayden Johns.

Cessnock Leagues ClubSaturday, Counterpart.

Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Kim.

Clarendon HotelSaturday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Club KotaraSaturday, Hurricane Fall.

Club LemonTree Saturday, Robbie T.

Commercial Hotel MorpethSaturday, Jamie Martens Duo.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSaturday, Jason Bone.Sunday, Zane Penn.

Customs HouseSaturday, Luke Smith.Sunday, Arley Black.

Cypress LakesSaturday, Jason Bone.

D’Albora MarinaSunday, Ashley Knight.

Denman HotelSunday, Brenton Williams.

Duke Of Wellington Saturday, Iguana.

East Maitland Bowling Club Saturday, Motown Magic.Sunday, Boney Rivers.

Easts Leisure & Golf ClubSaturday, Ben Travis.

Edgeworth TavernSaturday, Marriah. Sunday, Kellie Cain.

Exchange Hotel Saturday, Hummingbirds.

FinnegansSaturday, Standing Ovation & Luke La Beat.

FogHorn BrewhouseSaturday, Ryan Daley.

Gateshead TavernSunday,Brindle Pigs.

George TavernSaturday, Tailgate Drive.

Grain StoreSaturday,Truman Smith. Sunday, JJ King.

Grand Junction HotelSaturday, Adam Young, LD Express. Sunday, The Lairs.

Great Northern Hotel TeralbaSaturday, Max Jackson.

Gunyah HotelSaturday, Big Night Out.Sunday, LoKo.

​Hamilton Station HotelSunday,Dal Failure, Billy Puntton, Spencer Scott.

Harrigan’s PokolbinSaturday, Kristy James, Project X. Sunday, Jackson Halliday.

Hexham Bowling Club Saturday, Marissa +1.

Honeysuckle HotelSaturday, Rocket. Sunday,Mick Jones, CrocQ.

Hotel Delany Saturday, Gen-R-8.

Jewells TavernSaturday, The Years.

The Junction Hotel Saturday, Gareth Hudson.

Kahibah Sports ClubSaturday, 3 Of A Kind.

Kent Hotel Saturday, Code Red. Sunday, Giant Blues Band.

Lakeside Village TavernSaturday, The V Dubs.

Lass O’GowrieSaturday,Dusky Lanes,Dirty Utility,Wandervan.

Lizotte’sSaturday, John Swan. Sunday,The Voice Studio Junior Showcase.

Lucky Hotel Saturday, Prestige Inc.

Mark Hotel Sunday, V Dubs.

Mary Ellen Saturday, The Smarts.Sunday,Max Jackson.

Maryland Tavern Saturday, Full Throttle.

Mavericks On The BaySaturday, Arley Black.Sunday, Jerome.

Mavericks On DarbySaturday, Bonny Rai.

Mayfield Ex-Services Saturday, Loko.

Mezz Bar at WallsendSaturday,Alias.Sunday,Greg Bryce Duo.

Murray’s BrewerySunday, Adam Gear.

Nag’s Head HotelSaturday, Brien McVernon.

National Music AcademySunday, Bravo Victor, Veiins.

Neath HotelSaturday, 2 Good Reasons.

Nelson Bay DiggersSaturday, The Levymen. Sunday, Jason Bone.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht ClubSunday, Tim Harding.

Northern Star HotelSaturday,Tim Rossington.

Pedens Cessnock Saturday, 2 To The Floor.

Pippis At The PointSaturday, Dos Eager.Sunday, Matt McLaren.

The PourhouseSaturday, David McCredie.

Premier HotelSaturday, Anthology. Sunday, Melbourne Street.

Prince of Wales HotelSaturday, Little Cents.

Queens Wharf HotelSaturday, Bobby C, The Gaudrys. Sunday, Hurricane Fall, Wharf Life.

Raymond Terrace Bowling ClubSunday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Royal Federal HotelBranxtonSaturday, Evergreen.

Rutherford HotelSaturday, Zane Penn.

Seabreeze HotelSaturday, 4 Letter Word.Sunday, Darren Rolling Keys.

Shenanigans at the Imperial Saturday,Elisa Kate. Sunday, Tim Rossington.

Shortland HotelSaturday, Pete Hibbert.

Soldiers Point Bowling ClubSaturday, Rave On.

South Newcastle Leagues ClubSaturday, Boney Rivers.

Stag and Hunter HotelSaturday,Geofff Achison, Justin Yap Band.

Star Hotel Saturday, The Jungle Kings. Sunday, Bruce Mathiske.

Stockton RSLClubSaturday, Be Bop A Lula.

Sunnyside TavernSaturday, Karen O’Shea.

Swansea RSLClubSaturday The Eagles tribute show, Tim Pringle.

Tea Gardens Country ClubSaturday, Kevin O’Hara.

Tilligerry RSLSaturday, Arna Georgia.

Toronto DiggersSaturday, Ash Mountain.

Toronto WorkersSaturday, The Remedy.Sunday, Jon Matthews.

Town Hall HotelSaturday, Jackson Halliday.

Victoria Hotel HintonSaturday, Brendan Murphy.Sunday, Jesse Fildes.

Wangi Wangi RSLClubSunday, Gayle O’Neil.

Warners At The BaySaturday, The DuoTones.

Warners Bay HotelSaturday, Purple Rain.

Weston WorkersSaturday, Deborah Sinclair.

Wests New Lambton Saturday, Snape Trilogy.

Wickham Park HotelSaturday, Garth Prentice Duo,Roadhogs. Sunday,Saxophonic,Ghost Road.

Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Emily Smith.

MOVIESA Christmas Carol(PG)An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. (Regal)

A Dog’s Purpose(PG) A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners. (Lake Cinema)

Baby Driver(MA)A talented, young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams, hesees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway.

Black and White Stripes: The Juventus Story(PG)The epic story of Italy’s legendary Agnelli family and their team, Juventus F.C., as they set out to capture an elusive gold star in order to avoid annihilation. (Glendale)

Cars 3(G)Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.

Descent into the Maelstrom: The Untold Story of Radio Birdman(MA)A group of outsiders band together with a mission. In a world of satin jumpsuits and screaming teens on Countdown, they form the high energy rock’n’roll band RadioBirdman, forever determined to keep compromise from their art. (Tower)

Despicable Me 3(PG)Balthazar Bratt, a child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul(PG)Greg convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother’s 90th birthday, so he canattend a nearby gamer convention.

Dunkirk(M)Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Dunkirk.

Going In Style(PG)Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money. (Regal)

My Cousin Rachel(PG)A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. (Regal)

Paris Can Wait(PG)Anne is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successful, driven but inattentive movie producer, she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. (Tower)

Pillow Talk(G)A man and a woman who share a party line cannot stand each other, but he has fun romancing her with his voice disguised. (Regal)

Spider-Man: Homecoming(M) Ayoung Peter Parker/Spider-Man begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero.

The Beguiled(M) At a girls’school in Virginia during the Civil War, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalriesand an unexpected turn of events. (Tower)

The House(MA)A dad convinces his friends to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife spend their daughter’s college fund.

The Zookeeper’s Wife(PG)The account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion. (Lake Cinema)

Transformers: The Last Knight(M)Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

Viceroy’s House(PG)Lord Mountbattenis tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence. (Regal)

Vikram Vedha(M) A story of the lives of a police officer and a North Madras rowdy.(Glendale)

Wonder Woman(M)An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes.

Trust betrayed, now let’s hear from patients

DANNY Vadasz’s executive summary of a submission to the Senate inquiry into pelvic mesh, that’s holding a first public hearing on August 3, is considered, reasonable and scathing of Australia’s health system.
Nanjing Night Net

The summary is at the front of the VictorianHealth Issues Centre submission to the inquiry, after a survey of more than 2200 Australian women who have had pelvic mesh surgery to treat incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth.

About 20 Hunter women responded.

Mr Vadasz’s executive summary presents the Senate inquiry with a damning assessment of the health system, as experiencedby women who walked into surgeries trusting their doctors, and the regulatory processes that allowed pelvic mesh devices to be marketed in Australia as safe for use.

The women’s trust has been betrayed. And when women went to doctors for help they were told the problems were in their heads or worse, they were ignored and not believed. When they complained to regulators their complaints were recorded, but not acted on. The women were silenced, shamed by the consequences of the mesh surgery, and isolated.

That scenario will sound very familiar to people in the Hunter.

It’s why it is no surprise that Mr Vadasz’s executive summary includes a section in which he compares the treatment of women pelvic mesh victims with the treatment of victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

It’s why he is particularly scathing of public debate on pelvic mesh that includes minimising the serious and permanent harm done to some women, because many others have not been harmed or have benefited from mesh surgery.

It was a similar argument used against adults who had been sexually abused by priests in churches. Because the churches “did good work”, the crimes committed against children needed to be seen in that context.

Women who will give evidence to the Senate inquiry, and Mr Vadasz and the Health Issues Centre, will argue the Australian health system is rife with public statements about protecting and caring for the community, but the pelvic mesh catastrophe has exposed that as a falsehood.

It is time to silence the doctors, regulators, bureaucrats and corporations, and listen to the women.

It’s called being patient-focused.

Issue: 38,549.