Delta Therapy Dogs

DT_200

A local not-for-profit organisation is currently seeking help of the four legged variety.

Delta Therapy Dogs is a group dedicated to providing a unique kind of support: the canine kind. Many recent studies have found interaction with animals, especially dogs can have amazing impact on the elderly in aged care, people living with dementia and other disabilities, with young people especially benefitting from the engagement.
It can be as simple as a pat and a hug.
Sue Jennings of the group has been taking her dog, a beautiful border collie named Tash to the Emmerton Park aged care centre, in the state’s north-west for nearly three years.
“We just go round and spend 10 or 15 minutes with the residents in their rooms and Tash goes up and gets the big pats,” she said.
“I just have a little chat with them and see how they’re going.
“It’s known that if people can pat and stroke dogs, particularly in their last few years, then it’s beneficial to their health.”
In fact, it’s not just the dogs’ handlers who notice a positive change.
Emmerton Park’s leisure and lifestyle co-ordinator Dave Dunkerley said the visits had had a wonderful impact on the residents.
“It’s very relaxing, they mellow, they start chatting, they talk to a dog very often first and then they’ll talk to us,” he said.
He also said of note, was the behaviour of dementia patients.
“Particularly with dementia you can get some undesirable behaviours at times, but the dogs tend to lessen the behaviours,” he said.
Recently the group has faced hard times, with a number of the handlers finding full time work and many of the dogs, getting older and needing to retire. So they have put the call out, for help from human and dog alike.
Northern coordinator, Claire Curtis, recently said the organisation was in desperate need for more volunteers to keep the program going.
“We’ve been visiting in Burnie for a long time, but I have teams from Forth, Ulverstone and Somerset covering these facilities,” she said.
“We desperately need volunteers down in Smithton and Circular Head as well.
“We assess dogs from 18 months to ten years of age and they only have to be a well-behaved, well-mannered dog.”
The organisation currently visited 19 facilities in Tasmania’s north, but wanted to expand their services.
“I know there’s respite centres, brain injury units, there are a lot of places that could still benefit from having a dog coming in every week,” she said.
“But at the moment, until we got more volunteers we can’t do that.”
For more details please visit:  www.deltadogsafetas.org.au

Or call: 6248 7661

Keagan Belbin.

Street art project update

Street art poster final

Rising Phoenix Studios has been busy getting the Street Art project rolling. Some wonderful submissions are starting to come in. We are gaining growing support from a number of local Tasmanian businesses who are acknowledging the value of this project and the efforts of the young Rising Phoenix artists organizing it. Homelessness touches so many Tasmanian lives – it’s scary. We are enthused by the growing community support across our beautiful state helping to raise awareness about this issue.

Due to a number of requests, we have extended the Street Art submission deadline to the 31st of December. Keep those wonderful pieces coming in and thank you for helping to spread the word.

For details visit:

http://www.risingphoenixstudios.com.au/street-art.html

Psychs on bikes

psychs

A group of dedicated mental health professionals arrived in Tasmania last week but while doctors often come and go, these ones are part of a unique group: one that is travelling on two wheels.

The annual Psychs on Bikes tour this year came to Tasmania for the first time.

Thirteen psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health support nurses, will this week travel the state with the goal of spreading mental health awareness to regional and regional communities.

The riders are from all across Australia and bring a wealth of knowledge in a state where mental health is an increasingly large issue.

The group understands that one factor that can affect people choosing to seek is money issues so they will also be providing free health checks that include, blood mass indication tests, blood pressure tests and respiratory function tests.

Their main focus is raising awareness of mental health issues and trying to combat some of the stigma associated with mental health which can be a big problem especially facing men in a rural area.

Their goals are to sit with community members and have simple, light chats, encouraging “speaking up.”

Psychs on Bikes president Joe Dunn spoke about the focus on men being important, with the focus on patience but perseverance “The idea is to engage men in these communities because they tend to under-use health services.”

“The suicide rate is four men to one women, so things need to change.”

Tony Barker, an outreach worker with Rural Alive and Well, spoke about how the tour also encourages men to find a healthy balance between relationships, lifestyle and work-life.

“It’s all about talking to a mate and making that initial conversation,” Mr Barker said.

Over the course of the week the Psychs on Bikes toured Smithton, Queenstown, Bothwell, Longford, Sheffield and other towns across the state.

http://mossrocket.com/clients/psychsonbikes/

Keagan Belbin

Stand up for childhood charity

mission

Mission Australia have renewed calls for support for their charity program, Stand Up for Childhood – a service that aims to help families of Australia suffering through homelessness. Their program is funded through monthly donations, which directly help those in need. For many Australians suffering through homelessness, any support is welcome. Last year Mission Australia helped 67,808 through their family services.

For more information, call Mission Australia on 1800 88 88 68 or visit their website at http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/childhood

Jakob Barrett

University terrorism threat

One of the UTAS cyber security teams discovered a possible threat to the university’s campuses this  week. The infamous social media site 4chan was rumoured to be the source of the concern. An email was sent to staff and students warning them of a potential threat and a joint security force between the police and university were set up to ensure the safety of the people on campus.

Police Commander Glenn Frame said earlier that threat to UTAS was ultimately not credible and ordered police resources to be withdrawn from the campuses at Hobart, Launceston, and Burnie. “As a result of analysing the threat, in conjunction with other jurisdictions, we can advise we do not consider the threat to be genuine and does not pose a risk to staff and students.”

A UTAS spokesperson said that the threat was similar to that against the University of New South Wales wherein a 4chan user claimed to have obtained a handgun of sorts and warned UNSW students that should not go into campus the following day. Anti-terrorism police descended onto the UNSW campus yesterday in response to the threat in Sydney.

The threat against UTAS arrives at a stressful time for students since many are starting to prepare for end of year exams.

Jakob Barrett

Rising temperatures bring fire dangers

A fire in Geeveston has been downgraded after Thursday’s high alert, having been contained by the Tasmania Fire Service through the use of tankers and a helicopter.  A total fire ban was declared across the southern Tasmania as temperatures surged. Hobart saw temperatures reach 30°. The municipalities of Brighton, Derwent Valley, Hobart, Sorell, Central Highlands, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Huon Valley, Southern Midlands, Clarence, Glenorchy, Kingborough and Tasman were all placed on fire bans.

The Tasmanian Fire Service has been preparing for a dangerous season. Standard rules for fire bans are in place so no fires may be lit or allowed to remain alight in open air. No spark generating tools or tools that use a naked flame such as welding or grinding tools may be used in open air. Wood, charcoal or other solid fuel barbecues may not be used either. Public gas and electric barbecues are not banned as long as the barbecue is a fixed permanent structure.

For further details and alerts visit www.fire.tas.gov.au

Jakob Barrett

Yamaha Australian Four Day Enduro

yam

The 2015 Yamaha Australian Four Day Enduro is almost here. This year it takes place in Wynyard, with a series of thrilling and challenging events taking place throughout the week.

The event boasts over 300 riders from around the world including Australian world champs Shane Watts and Stefan Merriman.

The action starts at 8:45 on Monday the 19th of October at Frederick Street Recreation Reserve, Frederick Street, Wynyard.

For more details visit:

http://www.a4de.com.au/

Keagan Belbin

New magistrates for the north-west

The North-West coast will be getting two new magistrates in a move that the Law Society believes will alleviate the long wait between court hearings. According to the President of the Law Society of Tasmania, Matthew Verney, even child protection matters can take months to get hearings on the coast, which is diabolical, he says. Even police matters can take months to get hearings.

Mr. Verney said that the Society would welcome the new appointments, “This is an example where the government has got it right,” Mr. Verney said. “Since we ceased having three magistrates on the coast, there’s no doubt the lists have blown out. That’s no criticism of the court, there’s only so many hours in the day.”

The North-West coast currently only has two permanent magistrates – Mrs. Melanie Bartlett, and Mr. Andrew McKee – and the coast has been getting a circuit magistrate from Launceston for five days per fortnight. One of the new magistrates will be replacing Magistrate Bartlett.

Jakob Barrett

Sydney shooting labeled act of terrorism

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Saturday that the Muslim community should not be blamed for the actions of the 15-year-old boy who shot and killed a NSW police officer in Sydney’s west. The Prime Minister has labeled the incident in Parramatta as an act of terrorism.

“This appears to have been an act of politically-motivated violence so at this stage is appears to have been an act of terrorism,” Mr. Turnbull told reporters in Melbourne. “The Australian Muslim community will be especially appalled and shocked by this. As NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and the Premier Mike Baird have noted, we must not vilify or blame the entire Muslim community with the actions of what is, in truth, a very, very small percentage of violent extremist individuals.”

Mr. Turnbull has spoken to the director-general of security at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and Andrew Colvin; Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police about Friday’s shooting. The Prime Minister has also spoken with Attorney-General George Brandis about working on de-radicalisation programs for at-risk individuals, including vulnerable teens.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten agrees with Mr. Turnbull’s sentiments regarding any form of retribution towards the Muslim community, saying, “voices of division and disunity should not be allowed to dominate the national conversation”.

Jakob Barrett