Wollongong’s city centre in for a shake-up after Myer exit

The news Myer was exiting Wollongong came a little out of the blue.
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While the retailer will maintain a strong presence in the region with thestore at Stocklands Shellharbour, the move opens the door for a city shake-up.

There have been persistent rumours now for sometime a major international retailer was eyeing off the Illawarra.

This may well allow that to happen.

In an online poll of readers on what people would like to see come to the Illawarra, fashion retailer H&M was a clear choice.

Whether the Illawarra gets its wish, only time will tell.

The Swedish chain has been rapidly expanding throughout Australia and there were chaotic scenes in Sydney when it opened its flagship store in the Pitt St Mall last year.

“Myers’ decision to leave will come with an inevitable period of transition, but also opens up space and opportunity for other major brands and retailers,” Illawarra property council Jancey Mailinssaid.

“This decision will result in a major shake up in the Wollongong retail portfolio, and enable an update of the current department store locations which have occupied the same extensive floor space … for many years.

“The upcoming announcement of an international fashion store coming to Wollongong, signifies that there is sufficient consumer and investor confidence in the recently upgraded and expanded Wollongong.”

Naturally, it will be a difficult time for those workers in Myer in Wollongong.

The company is offering some other opportunities and certain new retailers would also provide new employment opportunities.

“Around 130Myerworkers have today been given the news that their stores are closing,” NSW Secretary of the SDA BernieSmith said.

“This is absolutely devastating for workers, their families and local communities. Many workers have been atMyerfor years – decades in some cases – so this will hit some families and local communities very hard.

“Myeris a major employer in these areas, so the news will have a real impact on a lot of people.

“The union’s focus now is on providing as much assistance as possible to affected workers.”

Hopefully it proves to be a transition period and the CBD ends up better off.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Flood of support for dairy crisis

Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce in action on farm responding to the dairy crisis in Victoria this week.GOVERNMENTS, banks, major retailers, independent parliamentary members and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have moved to back struggling dairy farmers caught up by milk processors suddenly downgrading farm-gate prices.
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Today in Tasmania on the federal election campaign trail, Mr Turnbull said Australian dairy farmers were doing it “very, very tough” following the “enormous” price drop last month; initially by Murray Goulburn and then Fonterra.

He said that profit downgrade was unanticipated by dairy farmers and had “hit them very hard” but stressed the government was “very, very conscious of how tough they’re doing”.

Mr Turnbull said Farm Household Assistance was now available to dairy farmers affected by the sudden change of circumstances and the ASIC and the ACCC were investigating the conduct associated with the issue.

“They’re investigating Murray Goulburn’s dramatic change in the price being offered,” he said of the corporate and competition regulators.

“At the same time because we are in caretaker (government), we are consulting with the Labor Party, with a view to making further assistance available to dairy farmers.”

Last week Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon demanded banks offer support to dairy farmers hit by reduced profits late in the season in southern Australia and many who are also dealing with drought conditions.

Today, the major banks declared they’d delivered several assistance packages including measures to assist producers with easing debt repayments.

Major retailers Coles and Woolworths have also offered support while varied assistance measures have also been suggested by independent members of parliament including SA Senator Nick Xenophon.

Senator Xenophon has demanded the government buy milk powder to be used as foreign aid, introduce an emergency temporary milk levy to ensure farmers can return to sustainability and introduce measures to prevent farm foreclosures.

He also called for a high-level urgent independent inquiry to examine the dairy sector’s “systemic problems” and devise a long-term plan to restore prosperity.

Mr Turnbull said his government understood the “very harsh” impact of the dramatic price reduction on dairy farmers and empathised with the hardship farmers are going through.

He said measures were being put in place to “enable them to get through this” but stressed long term milk demand globally was very strong.

“There are some particular circumstances that occurred in the market that gave rise to this dramatic drop in price but long term the dairy industry is a strong one and long term the prospects are good and we will ensure that the dairy farmers are given all the support we can give them to get through this very difficult patch,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce met with dairy industry representatives and farmers caught up in the crisis while touring northern Victoria this week.

Last night he issued a statement saying he had closely monitored developments following the price cuts and believed dairy farmers “deserve all our support”.

Mr Joyce said farmers had acknowledged the Coalition’s work to support them in recent weeks and that he was also presented with several new ideas on support measures.

He said the suggestions included changes to concessional loans, additional rural financial counselling support and fast-tracked Farm Household Allowance assessment process.

“With over half of Australia’s 6100 dairy farmers directly impacted by Murray Goulburn and Fonterra’s decisions it is clear that this will have a significant impact not only on their suppliers but also on the confidence of dairy farmers supplying other processors,” he said.

“Caretaker provisions prevent me from acting unilaterally and therefore I am unable to announce further support measures at this time.

“It is my intention to consult with the Opposition on the support package within days – I ask my Opposition counterpart to work quickly with me in a bipartisan way to finalise the support package.”

But Mr Fitzgibbon said while Mr Joyce had indicated he would consult with Labor as the alternative government, “we are yet to receive any contact from him”.

He said more than three weeks after the crisis first hit, farmers were becoming “increasingly impatient with the Turnbull government’s failure to adequately respond”.

“Labor remains ready to support any appropriate response to the crisis but dairy farmers can’t wait any longer,” he said.

“Labor is preparing our own response; but in the hope of providing a package prior to July 2, we are willing to work with Barnaby Joyce if he is indeed serious about a bipartisan approach.”

Today, ANZ Regional Business Banking General Manager Christine Linden said falling farm-gate dairy prices were putting “significant stress” on some dairy producers but the macro fundamentals in the medium and longer-term of the industry remained strong.

“We know many of our customers are doing it tough at the moment,” she said.

“We’re encouraging our dairy customers to get in touch with us so we can provide support and work with them on the best possible solutions to meet their needs.

“Every farm has a different cost structure and unique characteristics.

“We’re committed to working with each customer to respond to the current challenges so they can take advantage of the long-term benefits of the dairy industry.”

ANZ’s assistant package offered to suspend repayments on loans, including credit cards, for up to three months – which may include interest capitalisation.

It has also offered to; waive fees associated with restructuring business loans considered necessary due to milk price impacts; provide temporary adjustments to lending limits, including credit cards to assist with unexpected costs and reduced income; provide early access to term deposits without incurring any fees for impacted customers; and provide access to hardship support services.

Commonwealth Bank Regional and Agribusiness Banking Executive General Manager, Geoff Wearne also announced support for dairy farming customers hit hard by the current pricing issues.

“We know this is a very tough time for those affected and we are concerned for their welfare,” he said.

“We have already started to contact our customers to let them know that we are here to listen and help them through this difficult time.”

Commonwealth Bank said it would provide support on a case by case basis for cash management: allowing withdrawal of fixed term deposits before maturity without charges.

Other support measures included; a business loan or mortgage repayment holiday; extending the business or mortgage loan term agreement; and waiving fees and charges.

A spokesperson for NAB said the banks was also taking a case by case approach to the issue and providing support around short-term working capital requirements where required.

“Our bankers on the ground are making contact with their clients to discuss the current situation,” the spokesperson said.

“We must continue to support not only at a farm level but also downstream to small businesses that support the dairy industry.”

Westpac Regional General Manager, Agribusiness, Roddy Brown, said his bank was committed to supporting farming customers through difficulties and had a long history of offering that support.

“We work with our customers on a case by case basis to tailor this support to meet their individual circumstances,” he said.

“Westpac offers assistance to customers currently impacted by lower dairy milk prices, as well as more generally to farmers facing difficulty due to adverse weather conditions such as drought,” he said.

Westpac’s hardship assistance includes; restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees; deferring interest payments on a case by case basis; offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages; freezing risk margins for primary producers who receive interest rate subsidies through government assistance schemes; deferring upcoming credit card payments; increasing emergency credit card limits; waiving early termination fees for customers who wish to access their term deposits; and suspending home loan repayments for our home loan customers.

Today, the Victorian Labor government announced a $1.5 million assistance package to support affected farmers which included $940,000 for extra counselling services and additional funding to Lifeline to deliver information, advice and support and other community and metal health support measures.

The Andrews government has also convened a Dairy Industry Taskforce to address how farming communities can be supported by proactive measures led by industry that’s due to report soon.

Premier Daniel Andrews said, “We’re putting farmers and their families first by providing them with the support they need to look after themselves – and each other”.

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said, “The dairy industry is reeling and farmers need our support now more than ever”.

Senator Xenophon was joined at an announcement today on his support program by NXT Barker candidate James Stacey who – until recently – was a dairy farmer for 20 years.

Senator Xenophon demanded changes to competition and corporate governmental laws, to protect dairy farmers from market power abuse and unconscionable behaviour.

He said in particular the retrospective cutting of milk payments should be on the agenda.

Senator Xenophon said the dairy industry’s “perfect storm” had caused market failure due to a combination of factors including; Coles instigated milk price wars; drought; a glut of milk in the international market; corporate governance issues at Murray Goulburn; and Fonterra’s enormous market power.

“If we don’t act now, the dairy industry with its 6000 farmers will shrink to a level from which it may never recover -and then we could be relying on long-life milk from other countries that have been smarter than us in ensuring a viable dairy sector,” he said.

Tasmanian Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie called for a 50c per litre milk levy and arranged legal advice from class action experts for the State’s dairy farms warning they would be sold off to foreigners, bankrupted or shut down if no action was taken by government, in response to the crisis.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan said she was disappointed dairy farmers hadn’t yet received significant federal government assistance in response to the dairy crisis.

“During flood or fire, Government provides immediate support for farming families,” she said.

“There needs to be financial assistance available now for services to help farmers get through this crisis.

“We need people in cars and boots on the ground to deal with this crisis.”

Independent Queensland MP Bob Katter called for an “aggressive” arbitrated milk price through legislated bargaining power for dairy farmers.

But he said the 20c per litre fighting fund levy announced by Coles earlier this week was “pure hypocrisy”.

“It wasn’t in the too distant past the big supermarket operators did a ‘race-to-the-bottom-auction’ that drove the price of farmers’ milk down and made every single dairy farmer in Australia work at a loss,” he said.

“For these people now to be offering a 20c a litre farmer’s fight fund…it would make any person sick.”

Coles has been criticised for selling milk at $1 per litre since 2011 but has this week moved to set up a $1m sustainable dairy industry fund, to administer the 20c initiative.

Mr Joyce said Coles should be commended for offering another 20c per litre on milk and he’d also encouraged Aldi and Woolworths to consider their pricing positions.

“They followed each other down to $1 per litre milk – let’s see if they can follow each other out so we can get to a more sustainable price,” he said.

Woolworths has said it believed selling home branded milk for $1 per litre was unsustainable for the fairy industry and not good for dairy farmers.

A Woolworths spokesperson said just 3.5pc of the raw milk produced in Australia went into its own brand milk products and purchased its Select milk product from processors, not direct from farmers, meaning they had no control over farm gate prices.

“We have recently put in place long-term contracts to offer farmers and processors certainty to invest in their businesses,” the spokesperson said.

But the spokesperson said Woolworths Farmers’ Own milk product was negotiated directly with farmers to provide white milk products.

“The relationship gives the farmers end-to-end transparency from shed to shelf, a longer term contract and a closer relationship with their customers,” the spokesperson said.

“We know that customers want farmers to get a fair price for their product and the direct relationship between Woolworths and Farmers’ Own dairy farmers is delivering that.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Funds may keep Lions on the move

FUNDING BOOST: Whyalla Mount Laura Lions Club president Wayne Foran, left, and founding member Gordon Posser welcome a $5000 volunteer grant.The Whyalla Mount Laura Lions Club received a volunteer grant of $5000 as part of a federal funding program –and it may keep the club on the move.
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Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey saidon Friday that 41 organisations have been successful under the Volunteer Grants 2015-16 program in Grey and will receive $144,858.

“Small organisations from all around the electorate including the Whyalla Lions Club will receive funding to assist in the running of their every day activities,” he said.

“The government has allocated $20 million in Volunteer Grantsin recognition of the valuable role volunteers play in building more resilient communities and supporting individual participation in community life.”

Club president Wayne Foran welcomed the grant and said it was likely to go towards a barbecue trailer fortravelling to fundraising events.

“Since a lot of our events involve the use of a barbecue for sausage sizzles, it would be absolutely fantastic to get a trailer,” he said.

“Because all of the funds we raise goback into the community, this grant money is going to directly benefit the community.”

ButMr Foran said it was still “early days”and that the club would have to sit down todiscuss what to use the funds for.

“I believe the amount required for a barbecue trailer would be in the ballpark of $5000,” he said.

“But there may be some stipulations that we have to look at first.”

Mr Ramsey congratulated the Lions club on securing the grant.

“Iacknowledge the great job the club does in our communities,” he said.

“Volunteering has a strong presence throughout our community, whether it be helpingwith sportteams and land-care groups, responding to natural disasters and emergencies, or helping local charities support some of our most disadvantaged people.

“Money is hard to come by for organisations whose volunteers work hard and give up their time in the community and these grants are a great way to buyequipment andtools, improve safety and first-aid and reimburse fuel costs.”

“The volunteer grants are run every two years and I encourage eligible voluntary organisations to apply in future rounds.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Alfie prepares for battle

Alfie prepares for battle He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett
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He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

TweetFacebookThe Voice this year –and saw Catherine Field singer Alfie Arcuri set the stage alight.

The architect-by-day was first cab off the rank in the blind auditions –where artists perform to the back of the judges chairs and attempt to turn them around with their singing chops –and stunned the professionals with a rendition of James Bay’s Scars.

The Macarthur born-and-bred singer –whose entire family lives on the same Catherine Field street – has only been singing for two years but took a chance and signed up forthe Channel Nineshow.

“I’d only ever sung in the shower before, like everyone else,” he said.

“Everything really started at my sister’s wedding. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two weeks before her wedding and I wanted to do something nice for her so I asked if I could sing for her first dance.She was unsure at first but once we did a run through she was happy for me to do it.”

Mr Arcuri’s sister is now free of cancer, but another family tragedy struck just before his audition.

The 28-year-old former Kearns resident’s uncle had battled cancer for years and Mr Arcuri decided to give his limited VIP Voice tickets to his uncle and auntie.

But sadly, just five days before he took to the stage his uncle passed away.

“It was a really turbulent time for the whole family,” Mr Arcuri said.

“The audition was a welcome distraction for all of us, and it meant so much to me to have my whole family supporting me.

“It was amazing.”

Mr Arcuri eventually selected Delta Goodrem –who also survived a battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma –as his coach, believing she would be very “genuine”.

He said from the first moment he was not disappointed, with Delta calling his whole family to the stage and even holding his infant nephew Harry.

“Delta has been a very hands-on coach, she’s very supportive,” he said.

“When my audition went to air she even gave me a call.”

After making it through the blind auditions, Mr Arcuri now faces the next stage of the competition –the battle rounds, where he must try to outperform a fellow singer in a duet.

The former Mount Carmel Catholic College student describes himself as a “self-taught” singer and was lost when instructed to harmonise with his battle competitor.

“I didn’t know what to do, I just opened my mouth and no sound came out,” he said.

“Delta asked me, ‘are you pretending?’ And I told her I didn’t really know what I was doing, so she helped with that.

“All we want to do is give the audience the best performance we can.”

His battle will be televised on Sunday, June 5 and Mr Arcuri is nervous to see himself on TV again.

He hopes, after practicing his craft on The Voice, to follow his passion for music alongside his job as an architect.

Follow Alfie Arcuri on Instagram at @alfiearcuri.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Castle Hill and Kellyville among most searched after suburbs

Sought after: Castle Hill has been named in the top 20 most searched after suburbs by home buyers in April. Picture: domain南京夜网419论坛Suburbs in The Hills have been listedamong the most searched after suburbs for home buyers in Sydney, according to new figures.
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Kellyville and Castle Hillwere listed in the top 20 most searched suburbs on domain南京夜网419论坛 during April.

Castle Hill came in fifth position, while Kellyville was listed as 15th.

The top spot was taken out by Mosman, followed by Paddington, Manly and Surry Hills.

Nearby Hornsby also scored a mention on the list, coming at at 12th.

The latest results came as no surprise to director of Wiseberry at Kellyville Scott Matthews.

“It’s a great thing. It shows that the area is very desirable,” he said.

“We’re seeing two main demographics [buying into the area]. The first is seniors downsizing and want to stay in the area, the other is young families coming into the market.”

Shad McMillan from Harcourts Hills Living has also noticed a similar trend of people buying into the area.

He said suburbs in The Hills have proved popular with young families buying their first home.

“It’s a very family-orientated area. Infrastructure seems to be the most important thing with the future train line coming in,” he said.

While Mr McMillan has noticed an increase in the number of people at open houses, sales are down compared to the property boom seen in 2015.

“The market from a buying point is slowing down. The market peaked in The Hills in June 2015,” he said.

“This year has been up and down. March and April have been quieter…in terms of sales.

“There’s been more people at open homes and inquiring, but in terms of sales it’s been less.”

Full top 20:1: Mosman

2: Paddington

3: Manly

4: Surry Hills

5: Castle Hill

6: Chatswood

7: Balmain

8: Marrickville

9: Randwick

10: Lane Cove

11: Sydney 2000

12: Hornsby

13: Potts Point

14: Maroubra

15: Kellyville

16: Cronulla

17: Newtown

18: Blacktown

19: Strathfield

20: Neutral Bay

Source: domain南京夜网419论坛This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Prime Minister praises lightweight tanks in Camden

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited manufacturing business Omni Tanker in Smeaton Grange for a site tour with Macarthur MP Russell Matheson and Hume MP Angus Taylor. Picture: Ashleigh TullisPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the innovation of a tank manufacturer in Camden on Thursday.
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Mr Turnbull visited Omni Tanker for a factory tour at Smeaton Grange.

The company’s first light weight chemical tankers are being exported to Germany soon.

The company manufactures carbon fibre composite tanks to transport bulk liquids, including corrosive chemicals.

“This business is growing because it based on Australian innovation and enterprise,”Mr Turnbull said.

Omni Tanker managing director Daniel Rodgers said light weight tanks meant a more efficient transport operation.

“Australian manufacturing is often able to solve problems without being constrained by accepted thinking and methods,” Mr Rodgers said.

“By coming at it from a different angle, you can discover a novel solution and sometimes significant technology advances, like we now have with our now patented materials technology.”

Hume MP Angus Taylor saidinnovation was at the heart of the company’s success.

“Small businesses with incentives to grow and create, will just do it,” he said.

“They need freedom and encouragement to get on and solve real world problems and this is exactly what Mr Rodgersand his team have done.”

Macarthur MP Russell Matheson said the company had grown from four staff in a small shed eight years ago, to now employing 30 workers including tertiary qualified engineers.

“Omni Tanker will keep growing as it builds its export business. All of these staff here today are people from the local area who now have great jobs and careers ahead of them.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Voices told man to murder

A man tried to murder his aunt at her Ulverstone home after voices in his head told him to become a serial killer.
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Dylan John Cruse, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to murder his 44-year-old aunt, Sandra Harding, in the Supreme Court in Hobart on Friday.

Cruse stabbed his aunt in the neck on December 23 in the Russell Avenue home he had been staying at after ingesting a significant amount of drugs and alcohol.

The court heard Cruse entered his aunt’s house, grabbed a knife from her kitchen and approached her from behind while she was sitting in an arm chair.

Director of Public Prosecutions Daryl Coates said Cruse covered Ms Harding’s mouth and stabbed her in the neck as forcefully as he could, before fleeing the home, leaving the knife embedded in her neck. He said Cruse thought his aunt was dead when he fled.

Mr Coates said the two-centimetre neck gash she suffered did not require suitures and her injuries were not life threatening.

The court heard Ms Harding had Huntington’s disease, and required help to leave the house.

Mr Coates said Cruse had ingested alcohol and cannabis and “had a taste” of the drug ice prior to the stabbing.

He said Cruse intended to kill another woman in the early hours of December 23, but “didn’t have the guts” to do it while at her house.

Mr Coates said Cruse’s plans to kill her with a knife he had taken from her kitchen were interrupted when the pair ran into a mutual friend while walking to the beach.He then went to his aunt’s home, where he stabbed her just after 4am.

Cruse’s lawyer, Katie Edwards, said her client struggled to understand why he had stabbed his aunt.

Ms Edwards said Cruse had an IQ of 64 and a history of psychotic episodes occurring while under the influence of cannabis.

Ms Edwards urged the sentence to take into account that Cruse had made full admissions and likely had an underlying mental health issue. Justice Helen Wood remanded Cruse in custody until his June 16 sentencing.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Traralgon’s tourist Mecca

What a view: A suspension bridge allowing access to the Koornalla Public Hall and a school was constructed along the Koornalla Reserve. photo supplied
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Three reserves traversing the Traralgon Creek were the most popular tourist spots in town before World War II erupted.

Dubbed as part of a ‘tourist Mecca’ back in the day, Koornalla, Le Roy, and Yerrang reserves, were the most visited sites for tourists from Melbourne in the early 1900s.

Traralgon and District Historical Society president Barbara Johnson said it was the Traralgon Centenary Committee and the Traralgon Tourist League that vigorously promoted the three sites for tourism.

“They were publicised or advertised as being attractions for people to come and enjoy the natural bush,” Ms Johnson told The Express.

The town’s tourist league, believed to be a group of volunteer businessmen, was formed in 1934.

A special centenary weekend tour comprising four-days of trips and visits to various Traralgon sites was organised at a cost of 4.15 inclusive of a first class train transport, food, accommodation, entertainment and motor tours.

Tourists were accommodated in four hotels including Hooley’s Guest House, which was opposite the Le Roy Reserve. Information from the leaflet produced by the Traralgon Centenary Committee and the Traralgon Tourist League refers to the reserves’ camping features as one of the best in the state because of their vast array of tree-fern, giant timber and wildlife. Records from the TDHS showed that while early settlement along Traralgon Creek began in 1876, it was only after 25 years before land was developed. It was named ‘Upper Traralgon Creek’.

A second development further up the creek prompted a public meeting that voted to name the location ‘Koornalla’.

A suspension bridge allowing access to the Koornalla Public Hall and a school was also constructed.

It was also during this time when the area of Le Roy was named. The Le Roy School was opened in September 1914 and closed in May 1960.

In 1968 water stopped flowing from Traralgon Creek following a severe drought that hit the area for the first time.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Singer prepares for battle

Singer prepares for battle He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett
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He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

He’s the voice: Alfie Arcuri has progressed to the battle rounds of The Voice. Picture: Simon Bennett

TweetFacebookThe Voice this year –and saw Catherine Field singer Alfie Arcuri set the stage alight.

The architect-by-day was first cab off the rank in the blind auditions –where artists perform to the back of the judges chairs and attempt to turn them around with their singing chops –and stunned the professionals with a rendition of James Bay’s Scars.

The Macarthur born-and-bred singer –whose entire family lives on the same Catherine Field street – has only been singing for two years but took a chance and signed up forthe Channel Nineshow.

“I’d only ever sung in the shower before, like everyone else,” he said.

“Everything really started at my sister’s wedding. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two weeks before her wedding and I wanted to do something nice for her so I asked if I could sing for her first dance.She was unsure at first but once we did a run through she was happy for me to do it.”

Mr Arcuri’s sister is now free of cancer, but another family tragedy struck just before his audition.

The 28-year-old former Kearns resident’s uncle had battled cancer for years and Mr Arcuri decided to give his limited VIP Voice tickets to his uncle and auntie.

But sadly, just five days before he took to the stage his uncle passed away.

“It was a really turbulent time for the whole family,” Mr Arcuri said.

“The audition was a welcome distraction for all of us, and it meant so much to me to have my whole family supporting me.

“It was amazing.”

Mr Arcuri eventually selected Delta Goodrem –who also survived a battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma –as his coach, believing she would be very “genuine”.

He said from the first moment he was not disappointed, with Delta calling his whole family to the stage and even holding his infant nephew Harry.

“Delta has been a very hands-on coach, she’s very supportive,” he said.

“When my audition went to air she even gave me a call.”

After making it through the blind auditions, Mr Arcuri now faces the next stage of the competition –the battle rounds, where he must try to outperform a fellow singer in a duet.

The former Mount Carmel Catholic College student describes himself as a “self-taught” singer and was lost when instructed to harmonise with his battle competitor.

“I didn’t know what to do, I just opened my mouth and no sound came out,” he said.

“Delta asked me, ‘are you pretending?’ And I told her I didn’t really know what I was doing, so she helped with that.

“All we want to do is give the audience the best performance we can.”

His battle will be televised on Sunday, June 5 and Mr Arcuri is nervous to see himself on TV again.

He hopes, after practicing his craft on The Voice, to follow his passion for music alongside his job as an architect.

Follow Alfie Arcuri on Instagram at @alfiearcuri.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Hollie’s global adventure

Hollie Johnson wore a grass woven corset outfit and head piece, designed by Shona Tawhiao, at the Virgin Australia Fashion Festival 2015. photograph: supplied
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From growing up in Churchill to walking Melbourne runways, 23 year-old Hollie Johnson is now off to the United States and Canada.

The university photography student walked her first runway in 2013 as part of the Indigenous Runway Project and soon joined Global Indigenous Management, an agency founded to empower indigenous people.

She has since featured at several spring fashion shows and travelled to New Zealand, wearing outfits created by indigenous designers.

This September Ms Johnson is off for a three-week tour of Canada and the US, spending time with a Canadian First Nations community and participating in a Los Angeles fashion show.

“I would say my confidence has definitely gone up a lot (since beginning modelling),” Ms Johnson said.

“Tina (Waru), my manager and (project) founder, has seen a huge improvement in me.

“Knowing I can stand up, speak loud and proud and help her out, to see that I’m growing, it’s something she loves seeing, her models progressing a bit.

“I usually do (get emotional) if I have to say something – it’s just having a lot of passion for what you do.”

GIM is a management agency Tina Waru formed as a platform for indigenous models and designers to showcase their creativity and skills.

It complements her Indigenous Runway Project, which aims to support and showcase indigenous people and increase their representation in the fashion industry.

Having already made a mark in Australia and New Zealand, the project will head to Canada to provide similar pathways for First Nations young people.

“It is so amazing to watch the transformation of the young people, especially Hollie,” Ms Waru said.

“She has her shoulders up and she embraces who she is. When we walk the platform, they (the models) stand there as proud, Aboriginal young people.

“That’s the amazing thing this platform has provided these young people. To watch Hollie grow from that super shy girl into such a confident, emerging leader is amazing.”

Ms Johnson describes GIM as an agency that does not discriminate against height, skin colour or age, but “is more of a family”.

She has now taken on a mentoring role as one of the more experienced models, helping the younger girls through training, dress rehearsals, fittings and run-throughs before each event.

Although she is not set on a career in fashion photography, Ms Johnson said the experience had given her a confidence boost along with great connections.

“Some of the models in the industry say there is a huge difference in the atmosphere, the environment and the people,” Ms Johnson said.

“It’s not one-on-one competiveness; we are all in it together.”

Ms Johnson departs in the last week of September for the three-week trip, with hopes fundraising will help cover some of the expenses.

Anyone who wishes to sponsor the trip can email Ms Johnson via [email protected]南京夜网

Those who wish to volunteer or support the initiative can visit GIM’s website at梧桐夜网globalindigenousmanagement南京夜网

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.