Mason’s Thornton wins top gong

Chris Thornton, Owner and Chef from Restaurant Mason in NewcastleRESTAURANT Mason’s Chris Thornton has been named the Australian Young Restaurateur of the Year.
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Mr Thornton took out the accolade at the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence awards in Sydney on Monday night.

He was one of five finalists from across the country vying for the award, which

Winners are grinners joint young restauranteur of the year with @[email protected]_newcastle

— Restaurant Mason (@Mason_Newcastle) August 10, 2015

support young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs and has launched the careers of some of the country’s best chefs including James Viles, Brendan Pratt and Massimo Mele.

Mr Thornton and his wife Ami opened the restaurant in Hunter Street in November 2011.

They received their first One Chef’s Hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Award in the first year and have maintained it ever since.

As part of the competition, Mr Thornton joined the other finalists on a five-day produce tour through regional Victoria in July where they met the passionate producers behind outstanding quality meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables that are eaten in some of the country’s best restaurants.

Mr Thornton was presented with a certificate and trophy and has won $8000 to invest in the business, $5000 worth of kitchen appliances, and the chance to network with industry greats overseas next year.

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Shave for a cure Can Assist

On Saturday eveningat the Harden Country Club, local pairCatherine Cooper and Mellissa Ingswill have their heads shaved for local charity, Can Assist in the name of fighting cancer.
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The brave women are hoping to raise $5000 throughout the night, with proceeds to be halved between the Harden branch of Can Assist and the Harden Nursing Home.

There will be musicthroughout the evening as well as an auction and a raffle with great items being donated from generous people and businesses who are keen to show support for the two ladies.

The event will kick off at 6pm and those still wantingto donate to the great cause, should go tohttp://gogetfunding南京夜网/catherine-mellissas-shave-for-harden/

GREAT CAUSE: Catherine Cooper and Mellissa Ings will have their heads shaved, where the money raised will go to Can Assist and the Harden Nursing Home.

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New promotions team for carnivals series

Richard Welsh, of Epic Events and Marketing, has stepped in to promote the Christmas carnivals.
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THE show will roll on for Tasmania’s Christmas carnivals community after the announcement of a new promoter for the 2015-16 series.

Hobart-based company Epic Events and Marketing has come to the rescue the Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania after John Craven’s Caribou Publications withdrew its support earlier this year due to financial reasons.

Headed by 2002 Devonport Mile winner and athletics administrator Richard Welsh, Epic will manage the promotion, media, advertising and management of elite athletes to the series.

But in an added bonus for SCAT and cycling fans, Craven and his company will continue to be involved in a smaller role, managing the contracting of all cyclists to the series and management of the fledgling criterium events.

SCAT president Mike Gunson said he was excited to have a new promotions team for the series, along with retaining Caribou for the cycling events.

“SCAT is thrilled to have the Epic Events and Marketing team on board, led by Richard Welsh who has a strong affinity and history with our carnival series,” Gunson said.

“Richard is highly connected around Australia with sports media and elite track and field athletes, which makes his company the ideal choice for us to go with.

“SCAT is very pleased that Caribou is also retaining some involvement in the Christmas Carnivals and believe the continuation of the very successful criterium series is paramount to obtaining the highest level of cyclist throughout Australia.”

Welsh, who has worked for both Athletics Tasmania and Athletics Australia, said he had long had an affinity for the series and was looking to attract several high-calibre runners in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

“Combined with my great relationships with the Tasmanian sports media and network of national contacts for high-quality athletes, I’ve no doubt I can work with all stakeholders to deliver an exciting series that has plenty of interest from the public,” he said.

“Work has already begun in this space and the conversations I’ve had with a few Olympians about coming down for the series has been very promising.

“We’ll be coming into an Olympic year so there is going to be some added excitement in the air.”

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Let’s get bang for our buck

WHEN boiled down to its bare bones, the current furore over political entitlements is really about bang for our buck.
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We want our politicians to show us they are worthy of the dollars they earn, and those spent on our behalf.

Sadly, in our current political environment most of us don’t think they measure up.

Polls and surveys show that average Australians have a pretty low opinion of politicians.

The answer is relatively simple, but it must be a twofold approach.

First, our MPs must get back to a more business-like system for covering the expenses of office.

One suspects they would be more particular about value for money if they had to shell out for expenses and claim them back from the Commonwealth, like so many in private industry do every day.

If it first comes out of the MP’s pocket, before being claimed back from the taxpayer, they are going to run the ruler over every expense.

There must also be more clarity around what is parliamentary business, and what is for personal or party activities, and maybe some more firm guidelines about how they may be mixed.

I don’t deny for one minute that they should have their costs covered, and that our MPs should be paid a good dollar for their service.

They should also have some flexibility around family accompanying them for trips that are a mix of business and pleasure. But this needs to have a bit more rigour applied to avoid the issues that are currently plaguing our parliament.

This might mean paying a little more to the MPs and doing away with family travel, and then it becomes the option at the discretion of the member or senator.

After more than 25 years of observing and at times working alongside our elected officials, I won’t accept that the majority of MPs don’t earn every dollar they are paid, and they also shouldn’t have to bear extra expense. With that comes strain on family and relationships, and that must be acknowledged and accommodated where possible.

But the second, and probably more important change needed is for our politicians, whether they be federal or state, to deliver more in terms of genuine policy and debate.

The constant bickering, caterwauling and name-calling, particularly on the floor of the House of Representatives, has left many Australians disenchanted.

It has led to calls from a few new to the house for a more bipartisan approach.

Younger members of the voting public would struggle to remember a day where an opposition of any colour could get behind a government policy and back it.

The politics of opposition for the sake of opposition has become so refined that some have forgotten how to recognise a good policy.

If our politicians were able to get behind each other from time to time for the good of the country or a particular group within the community, this would go a long way to repairing the battered reputation of MPs.

That would show they are giving the bang for the buck.

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Impostors in uni exam rooms

UNIVERSITY students are increasingly paying impersonators to sit their exams or smuggling in technology to help them cheat, while other students cannot be trusted to sit in sloping auditoriums because of their willingness to copy answers in multiple-choice tests, a new report reveals.
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A taskforce at Sydney University has released its first report into academic misconduct after the university was embroiled in several high-profile cheating scandals, including revelations as many as 1000 students from 16 universities paid a Sydney-based company, MyMaster, to ghost write their assignments.

Universities are grappling with the new lengths that students take to gain advantage. At the University of NSW, all wrist watches have been banned from exam rooms to ensure students do not use technology to cheat.

The report, based on an investigation across Sydney University’s faculties in May and June, found ‘‘plagiarism, collusion, recycling and ghost writing’’ were problems plaguing take-home assignments but cheating in formal exams, especially those with multiple-choice questions, was also a concern.

‘‘The problem of cheating in exams is not trivial – a study on multiple choice exams within the university revealed an average level of cheating of about 5 per cent,’’ it said.

Academics also believe a black market for fake doctors’ certificates exists, allowing students to ‘‘claim illness and apply to re-sit the exam at a later date’’, the report warned.

The report warned that universities worldwide were struggling with the issue of ‘‘rapidly rising substitution and impersonation’’ in exams, and even though biometric identification was increasingly being used, students were finding cunning ways to beat even that.

It said there was anecdotal evidence that students use miniature cameras to copy exams and then distribute them to fellow students.

The chairman of Sydney University’s academic board, associate professor Peter McCallum, said the report revealed there was a ‘‘disproportionately’’ high number of students from its business school who engaged in academic misconduct but that did not suggest it was a problem unique to business courses. ‘‘What we suspect is that there is under-detection [across the university],’’ associate professor McCallum said.

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