Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 01-03-16 Contents Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 8
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AWARENESS
Deanne Johnson, of Kingston, with,
from left, Gary Rodgers, of Turner,
Reuben Haupt, of Ainslie, and Chris
Barrie, will ride to raise awareness
about rheumatoid arthritis.
Photo by Melissa Adams
Deanne saddles up for fundraiser
Deanne Johnson was a sporty year 11
student when she was diagnosed with
rheumatoid arthritis, and 13 years on
still finds many have no understanding
of her invisible disease .
Any autoimmune disease is a
pretty hidden disease in the fact that
you look normal and people can t see
that you are really struggling, she
Her diagnosis meant the avid
netballer gave up sports, stopped
playing the flute and had to adjust to a
new reality -- one of managing mixed
medications, coping with immense
fatigue and staying positive under the
psychological pressure of it all.
The 29-year-old has been inactive
for years, largely due to the severity of
her symptoms, but in the past four
months has shifted gear.
She and long term partner Chris
Barrie have co-ordinated a nine-day
bicycle ride from Canberra to
Adelaide to raise money for Arthritis
Australia National Research Project.
Being from Adelaide it made
sense to do it as an ACT to SA ride,
We will start here at Parliament
House on March 31 and ride until we
reach Adelaide on April 8.
Deanne has set her sights on riding
the first leg with the six-strong team
made up of Canberrans Chris Barrie,
Gary Rodgers and Reuben Haupt, as
well as three South Australian riders.
Conscious of the impact it could
have on her health, her pre-ride
preparation has been slow and steady.
I have said I ll do the first
40 kilometres but am hoping I will
reach 60 kilometres on the day, she
I ll be really upset if I can t do it,
but having the experience of getting
back out there and training and finding
my passion again has been really
The Australian Institute of Health
and Welfare employee said her
background in health statistics had
been put to good use preparing flyers
to distribute in towns the team passed
Rheumatoid arthritis affects around
400,000 Australians, and while
Deanne was familiar with the figures
she hoped the ride would raise money
for research and clarify people s hazy
understanding of the disease.
Everyone seems to know someone
that has been impacted by it, she said.
And it s not an old person s disease.
What I didn t initially know was that
there are more cases of juvenile
arthritis than juvenile diabetes.
For all the fears about bumps in the
road, organising the ride had been
relatively stress free.
Everyone has been so willing to
contribute since we started, she said.
Check out the Ride for Arthritis
webpage to donate or celebrate
these Canberra cyclists at a
cocktail fundraiser held at Muse in
Kingston on Friday March 4. Details
COST CUTTING AT ANU
Fears become reality as jobs go in school rebranding
Fifteen academic positions will be
axed from the Australian National
University s esteemed School of
Culture, History and Language, which
will also be renamed as part of an
overhaul to rein in costs.
Staff were informed of the decision
on Thursday, after months of
speculation over potential job losses in
the face of a $1.5 million deficit.
But the plan will also see six extra
positions created in administration to
help run the new school.
An external review of the major
languages teaching school within the
College of Asia and the Pacific was
completed in August last year,
recommending sweeping changes to
governance, courses -- including the
popular Bachelor of Asian Studies --
and the increasing use of online
teaching for some languages.
More than 100 staff working in the
school were presented with the change
management document on Februrary
25 and have been given two weeks to
take part in consultation before moves
to phase out the positions are
completed by May.
The National Tertiary Education
Union said it would "work with the
university to ensure staff are treated
fairly and are redeployed wherever
possible -- redundancies should be a
last resort," ACT division secretary
Rachael Bahl says.
But implicated staff described the
cuts as a direct attack on excellence in
research or teaching in Asian or
Pacific Studies, which was
acknowledged as the jewel in the
ANU s crown.
The ACT has the lowest number of
criminal offenders in Australia, with
2665 people convicted during
2014-15, which was an annual
decrease of 13 per cent.
According to data released by the
Australian Bureau of Statistics on
Wednesday, the number of male
offenders fell by 10 per cent between
2013-14 and 2014-15.
The number of female offenders fell
by 25 per cent during the same period,
while the ACT continued to have the
lowest proportion of repeat offenders
But the ACT had the second highest
proportion of youth offenders in
Australia at 591, although this was a
decrease of 24 per cent compared to
The three most common crimes in
Canberra were public order offences
(24 per cent), acts to cause injury
(20 per cent) and illicit drug offences
(14 per cent).
ABS spokesman William Milne
said the data revealed 79,070 offenders
across the nation had a principal
offence involving illicit drugs during
Two-thirds of illicit drug offenders
were charged with possession and/or
using illicit drugs and a further 13 per
cent for dealing or trafficking illicit
drugs, he said.
The number of youth offenders has
decreased by 22 per cent since
2008-09, however offender rates are
still highest for people aged 15 to 19
years, at 4834 offenders per 100,000
persons aged 15 to 19 years.
The data found those with a
principal offence of illicit drugs
increased in every state and territory
during 2014-15, as it has every year
since the introduction of national data
Nationally, the total number of
offenders increased by 2 per cent
during 2014-15 to 411,686 people,
although the number of offenders aged
between 10 and 19 fell by 3 per cent.
The median age of offenders in
Australia has increased from 25 years
in 2008-9 to 28 years in 2014-15.
The most common offence among
youth in 2014-15 was theft, with
24,525 convicted of theft, or 29 per
cent of the age group.
The data found the number of
offenders aged 65 years or older
increased by 12 per cent to 584
offenders during 2014-15, the largest
change of all age groups.
In Canberra, court actions fell by
9 per cent, or 219 proceedings, during
2014-15. Acts intended to cause injury
remain the most common offence at
26 per cent of all cases.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander age standardised offender rate
was 4364 offenders per 100,000
people aged 10 years and over.
Non-court actions decreased by
23 per cent, or 350 proceedings.
Public order offences counted for
47 per cent of all non-court actions
Moves encourage walking and cycling to school
Latham Primary School student
Ben Wallace embraces the new
Active Streets program.
Photo: Jay Cronan
New street signs, maps and an online
guide for schools will make it easier
and safer for children to walk or ride to
school, the ACT government says.
At Latham Primary School on
Wednesday, Assistant Minister for
Transport Meegan Fitzharris launched
the government s Active Streets
program. Colourful maps and signs
mark drop-off points, from where kids
can walk at least part of the way to
school, together, alone or in groups.
[It s] going to be a lot more fun,
it s going to be a lot safer and it s
going to mean that more and more of
you can walk or ride to school, she
said. Active streets is all about
starting starting small. You don t have
to do it every day, or ride and walk the
Macquarie, Macgregor and Mount
Rogers primary schools are also part
of the program, and there are hopes it
will expand to other parts of Canberra.
Minister for Education Shane
Rattenbury helped launch the
program, telling students he cycled to
work on a comfy bike most days,
wearing his suit.
He said he knew parents worried
about students who walked or rode to
school, and the government had
improved road safety around their
Changes include dragon s teeth at
Macgregor, footpath improvements at
Macquarie, a crossing at Mount
Rogers and a 30 km/h speed limit at
What I want you to take home
today is to go home and tell your
parents about this, and let them know
that the government s working very
hard to make it easier for you, Mr
Rattenbury told the students.
I want you to pester your parents
and tell them it s a great thing to do.
Chief health officer Paul Kelly said
it was important to incorporate
activity into daily life, and one of the
best ways was walking or cycling to
work or school.
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