Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 01-03-16 Contents Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 10
A feast for the senses. The lucky winner will receive
an exclusive curator-led tour of Tom Roberts for two,
followed by exquisite high tea in the Wedgwood
Tearoom. We've also included a Tom Roberts
exhibition gift pack.
Simply tell us in 25 words or less: If you were painted
by Tom Roberts, how would you pose and what
setting would you choose?
Four runner up entries receive an exhibition catalogue.
Entries close 2 March. Winners notified 5 March.
Entry and Terms & Conditions at
TOM, TOUR & TEA COMPETITION
Shearing the rams 1888--90 (detail) National Gallery of
Victoria, Melbourne, Felton Bequest Fund, 1932
Member for Fraser
Six years ago, the year I entered
parliament, I wrote a book titled
Disconnected, about the collapse of
community life across Australia.
In the decades leading up to 2010,
Australians became less likely to join
We became less likely to go to
church and less likely to join a union.
We became less likely to know our
neighbours, and the average Australian
reported fewer close friends.
Since becoming a member of
parliament, I ve met hundreds of
passionate social entrepreneurs, and
hoped that the trends might reverse.
But if anything, new data suggest that
the drop is continuing.
Since 2010, Australians are less
likely to be involved in social groups
(down from 63 to 51 per cent) and
political groups (down from 19 to
14 per cent).
We are less likely to give money to
charity (down from 71 to 65 per cent),
play sport (down from 74 to 70 per
cent) or volunteer (down from 36 to
31 per cent).
If there s a bright spot, it is that
Canberra leads the way in most
indicators of civic life. Our city is truly
Australia s social capital .
But even in the ACT, the trends in
community engagement are going the
I d like to hear your stories of how
we can turn it around.
Drop me an email at
BRAIN CANCER FUNDRAISER
Matt OBrien, 25, of Farrer, will run his first marathon during The Canberra
Times Running Festival. His father suffers from brain cancer and Mr
O'Brien is raising money during the event for the Cure Brain Cancer
Photo: Graham Tidy
Matt O Brien s life was "swept upside
down" one year ago when his dad,
Michael, was diagnosed with an
aggressive, fast growing brain tumour.
"One day he was completely fine
and the next day he had nausea and
trouble with vision and that s when we
found out," he said.
"It came on suddenly and that s
the scary thing about it, it can
With research the most powerful
weapon against the unpredictable and
deadly disease, which has no known
cure or cause, Mr O Brien challenged
himself to run The Canberra Times
Canberra Marathon in April in support
of the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
The 25-year-old Farrer man was
blown away when immediate support
from his family, friends and colleagues
meant his initial goal of $500 was
tripled after one day of fundraising.
Even strangers were touched by his
family s story and contributed to the
current total of $2727, leaving Mr
O Brien less than $300 off his new
goal and one of the top ranking
Canberra Marathon fundraisers.
Brain cancer kills more children
than any other disease in Australia and
more people under 40 than any other
cancer, the Brain Cancer Foundation
The type that Michael O Brien has
is glioblastoma, where cells are highly
malignant and a high percentage of
them divide at any time. He has
undergone four operations in the past
Mr O Brien said his father s
surgeon, Dr Charlie Teo, "is one of the
best in the country" for the type of
operations he is willing to perform.
"He can keep operating and
operating on the tumour, but at the end
of the day it s still going to come
back," Mr O Brien said.
"So preventing it, researching in the
lab, that s where the cure is going to
come from and to do that you
Despite being the most deadly
cancer in Australia, the Cancer
Council says it is the least funded and
lease understood of all cancers.
Each step Mr O Brien will take of
his first ever marathon will remind
him of the cause he is passionately
His training involves three weekday
runs and one long weekend run, which
will build up to around 32 kilometres
in the weeks before the event.
"With every step I ll be thinking
about getting to that finish line where
dad will be there to see me cross it,"
"So I m sure it s going to be a big
moment whether I m crawling over it
New prison unit completed under its $7 million budget
With the Alexander Maconochie
Centre s newest accommodation unit
half full, Corrections Minister Shane
Rattenbury said he hoped this
expansion would be the prison s last.
Construction of new cells at
Canberra s prison was completed four
months ahead of schedule and
$7 million under budget, Mr
Rattenbury said. Money saved would
help fund the prison s industry project,
a bakery and expanded laundry where
prisoners will work to service the
It was hoped the new unit would
ease pressure on the chronically
overcrowded prison, with an extra 112
beds in 56 cells.
The capacity of the medium-
security AMC is now at 539 beds, up
from 370. Prisoner numbers peaked
above 420 last year. The number of
prisoners on Tuesday night was 420,
which reflected average numbers for
the past month.
The average number of detainees at
AMC rose from 294 in 2013 to 336 in
2014, and to 373 in the 2015
Full-time prisoners who were held
at Symonston Correctional Centre
have been moved back to the AMC,
meaning half of the four new wings are
full. The new facility has four wings in
an X shape, a central guard room, and
the paint is just dry on bright feature
walls in sunlit common areas.
It s light, it s open . . . it s designed
to be a decent environment for people
to live in, Mr Rattenbury said.
Prison general manager Don Taylor
said the four segregated wings gave the
centre flexibility to separate inmates
where needed. The key thing around
this . . . is the capability that we ve got
now of managing the prison in a totally
different way, by separating detainees
that we think shouldn t be together,
Mr Taylor said.
Prisoner-on-prisoner assaults more
than doubled last year, with an extra 25
incidents reported inside the AMC.
Serious assaults increased by three.
An extra 20 corrections officers had
been employed to work at the new
facility, Mr Taylor said.
Mr Rattenbury credited the
partnership between corrective
services, the justice directorate and
Construction Control, which worked
together from the project s outset, for
it coming in on schedule and under
We think that this sets a new
standard for ACT government
projects, he said.
The government was committed to
programs that aimed to reduce
prisoner numbers, Mr Rattenbury said.
We are looking to make sure that
jail is the option of last resort. For
people that do need to be in jail ...
[it s] very heavily focused on
rehabilitation. I very much hope this
will be the last expansion of the jail.
ON SHOW AT GALLERY
The National Gallery of Australia s
Kenneth Tyler Print Collection spans
the entirety of Tyler s career and is the
most comprehensive collection of
postwar American art outside the
Consisting of more than 7000 works
of art and extensive holdings of
documentary film, sound and
photographic material, the collection
provides insight into the workings of
the most innovative print workshop of
the 20th century.
On show until May 8.
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