Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 2-02-16 Contents 9 - Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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CHARITY RUNNING EVENT
Marathon effort to help veterans
Mark Leatham is getting ready to take part in this year's Australian Running Festival. Photo: Jamila Toderas
Mary Lynn Mather
In 2015, when Mark Leatham tackled
a half marathon in the Australian
Running Festival in Canberra, he was
pleasantly surprised to achieve
Not only did he raise $5000 for his
chosen charity, Soldier On, but he also
completed the race in under two hours.
Now the retired group captain, who
served with the Royal Australian Air
Force for 27 years, has set himself new
goals for the April event.
He remembered thinking: Why
don t I double it? and that is just what
he is doing, increasing the distance and
the donation twofold.
Mr Leatham said the training for his
first full marathon was going well and
Soldier On was ecstatic to hear he
was trying to bring in $10,000.
The Jerrabomberra resident is
holding a fundraiser at the Jerra Hotel
on Friday, February 12.
He said the neighbourhood had a
strong connection to military families
and the defence community.
Mr Leatham, who moved there with
his family 10 years ago, encouraged
people to give tax-deductible
contributions to a good cause and buy
raffle tickets on the night.
As an ex-Australian Defence Force
member, he understands the value of
Soldier On s services, which is why he
is prepared to put in the hard yards
to support the non-profit organisation.
Soldier On has helped thousands of
veterans deal with both their physical
and psychological wounds while
providing a support network for their
families and loved ones.
Mr Leatham said he had been able
to compartmentalise things in his
head. However, he recognised that
those who served were affected
differently, sometimes quite a long
time afterwards .
Soldier On afforded them a
wonderful opportunity to talk about
feelings and emotions . The money he
is raising will go towards trying to set
up a psychologist in every state .
Mr Leatham is an account director
at Fujitsu and his employer has come
on board as a Champion Sponsor ,
much to his delight.
Soldier On s mission is to achieve
the best reintegrated generation of
serving and ex-serving men and
women in Australia s history.
Visit soldieron.org.au for details.
An antidote to
Member for Fraser
Four decades ago, Roy Morgan began
asking Australians whether they
thought politicians were ethical and
honest. Back then, only one in five said
yes. Today, the figure is one in seven.
The drop worries me, particularly as
it comes alongside other signs of
disengagement. More people voting
informal. Fewer people following the
campaign through newspapers.
Shorter soundbites. For too many
Australians, politics feels out of reach.
But there s one person I ve never
heard accused of being out of touch:
Mary Porter. A former nurse, midwife,
community development worker and
parliamentary staffer, Mary entered
the ACT Legislative Assembly in
2004. Since then, she has held
hundreds of mobile offices in
Belconnen, Nicholls, Charnwood,
Jamison, Kippax, Kaleen, Florey and
Hawker. One year, the figures showed
that Mary raised more constituent
issues than the entire opposition.
Voters rewarded her diligence,
giving Mary the fifth-highest vote of
any candidate in the last Assembly
This month, Mary will retire from
the Legislative Assembly, having set
the benchmark for service to our
community. If there s an antidote to
political disengagement in Australia,
perhaps it s politics Porter-style.
Andrew Leigh is the federal
member for Fraser. If you have any
issues that you'd like him to assist
you with, call 6247 4396 or email
Celebrate our wonderful wetlands
Day will be
Our bush capital
When you woke up today,
turned on the tap, washed and
prepared for the day, I wonder
if you gave a second thought to
the origins of that fresh clean
Not many of us would think
about the amazing journey our
water makes to get to our
homes, and fewer would
consider the vital role wetlands
play in this process.
Today over 80 per cent of
potable water for Canberra and
Queanbeyan is sourced from
the Cotter catchment.
The source of the Cotter
catchment is high in the
majestic mountains to our
west. The Cotter River then
cuts its way through the
mountains in Namadgi and
into our catchments filling our
dams. From that catchment a
simple pipeline then carries
this precious water to our taps.
The source of the Cotter
catchment is also home to
sphagnum wetlands, which
purify our precious water.
These wetlands provide a
crucial role as dynamic
ecosystems by cleansing and
storing water. The wetlands
are such an important part of
life here in Canberra, and
indeed wetlands around the
country and the world play a
vital role in providing fresh
water. Something as important
as this is worth celebrating.
Wetlands are a great example
of this type of ecosystem with
the added virtue of being right
in the heart of Canberra.
You don t have to venture
into the mountains of Namadgi
to appreciate the role of these
ecosystems. There is one right
at your doorstep.
This year we are again
celebrating World Wetlands
Day at the Jerrabomberra
Wetlands on Sunday, February
7, from 10am to 3pm.
It will be an action packed
fun-filled community open day
and will include an array of
activities for the whole family
including guided wetland
discovery walks, art displays,
craft, music, indigenous
activities and photographic
exhibitions. The kids will love
the variety of children s
activities on offer as you sit
back absorbing the live music
in amongst the variety of food
offers a vast array of
remarkable habitats from
mudflats to reed beds set
against intricate riparian zones
all supported by a rich
assortment of local and
The nature reserve is an
amazing refuge for
internationally migrating birds
along with nomadic birds from
Up to 200 bird species have
been spotted in the Wetlands
and if you are lucky it s even
possible to spot an elusive
So as you turn on that tap
ponder the crucial role
wetlands play here in our
beautiful bush capital. Then
turn the tap off and pay our
local wetland a visit to help us
celebrate World Wetlands Day.
For inquiries about World
Wetlands Day at the
contact Lori Gould on
0439 030 058 or
Brett McNamara is Regional
Manager with ACT Parks &
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