Mildura Weekly : Friday January 6 Vol 11 No 9
NEWS 25 FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2017 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU A GROUP of local quilting enthusiasts made a very special donation recently to Mallee Family Care, with 10 quilts gifted to local kids in crisis. Victorian Family Services manager, Ja- son Spratt, visited Val Robinson’s studio to accept the donation, and said quilts, such as the ones donated, often became a security blanket for children who have been in stressful times, and who may be going into foster care. The quilts are made from donated fabrics, with the ladies responsible regu- lar attendees of classes at Val’s Gol Gol studio. The group make several of these quilts, and other items, on a regular basis to donate to charity. Sunraysia Multicultural Festival back for another year SUNRAYSIA Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC) has unveiled the date for the 2017 Sunraysia Multicultural Festi- val, and is calling for expressions of inter- est from community groups interested in being part of the event. The festival will take place on Saturday, April 22, with the venue to be announced in the coming months. SMECC manager, Andrew Rankin, said the theme for this year’s event will be ‘See Sunraysia Though Our Eyes’, saying that SMECC was hoping for strong interest from different ethnic community groups across Sunraysia. “The festival organisers are also look- ing for the event to become an attraction for tourists from other regions to visit Mil- dura for a long weekend leading into An- zac Day,” he said. Mr Rankin said that SMECC is welcom- ing applications now for stage performers, and any groups wanting to operate a food, art/craft or activities stall. The application deadline is January 31. “We encourage anyone interested in getting involved with this great community event to visit our website at www.smeccinc. org, or contact us to get their expression of interest application forms now,” Mr Rankin said. “The Sunraysia Multicultural Festival is always a great day out for the community, but we always place a focus on helping to ensure it also provides an opportunity for new and emerging community groups to develop skills and increase their engage- ment with our broader community.” To help support this year’s event SMECC will continue its tradition of sup- porting creative community projects, which will be linked to festival participa- tion with the organisation’s key client groups over the coming months. Mr Rankin said that the best way for the community to stay up-to-date with plans for this year’s festival will be through its Facebook event page. “This is where there will be more news about the festival plans itself, and high- lights of community project activities by SMECC and its partners which will be hap- pening in the lead up to the event,” he said. “The 2016 event was run on the smell of an oily rag with very little funding, with SMECC itself covering many of the costs and staff time. “For this year’s event, we have been lucky to receive a boost in funding through the Victoria Government, which we hope will help us make the event something to remember.” Mr Rankin said additional funding had also been received from Mildura Rural City Council and the Federal Government for this year’s festival. QUIT Victoria is calling on rural and regional Victorians, includ- ing those in Mildura, to ‘butt out’ for a fresh start to 2017. The call follows the release of new statistics that show Victori- ans living outside Melbourne are more likely to smoke than those living in the metropolitan area. The Victorian Population Health Survey shows that overall, 13 percent of Victorians smoke daily or occasionally. In Mildura, 18.7 percent of the population are regarded as current smokers, compared to 23.8 percent who identified as ex- smokers, and 57.3 percent who are non-smokers. According to the research, overall, more adults in rural and regional areas are current smokers (16 percent) compared to metro- politan Melbourne (12 percent). Quit Victoria director, Dr Sar- ah White, said a new year was a great time to make a fresh start, and encouraged rural and region- al smokers to put quitting at the top of their agenda. “It doesn’t matter if you didn’t quit smoking on January 1 – in fact, we recommend setting a quit date after the holiday period when people are back to work or the kids are back at school,” she said. “This gives people time to put strategies in place to avoid situations that trigger the urge to smoke, and set up some new and healthier routines for 2017. “Making quitting a priority this January will bring immedi- ate benefits for your health and the health of those around you, and will save a pack a day smoker more than $9000 a year. “A great first step is to phone the Quitline and talk to a spe- cialist, who can provide person- alised, non-judgemental coach- ing and advice on understanding your smoking triggers and setting up a tailored quitting plan.” Dr White said quitting could be difficult for some smokers, but every attempt teaches people something about their addiction and habits and brings them closer to being a non-smoker. “Not everyone succeeds the first, second, or even third time they try to quit but it’s important to give it another go,” she said. “In most parts of Victoria, there are more former smokers than current smokers, so we know that quitting smoking is absolutely do-able. “It will also deliver mas- sive benefits for your health and wealth.” Dr White said it was unclear why smoking rates were higher in rural and regional Victoria than across metropolitan Melbourne. “There are probably more opportunities for people in rural and regional areas to smoke, for example if they are working out- doors, compared to those work- ing in the city,” she said. “In certain pockets of Victo- ria where smoking rates remain high, it could be that smoking has been part of the culture for a long time, making it more diffi- cult for smokers to quit and more likely that teenagers will take up the habit.” Tools available online at www.quit.org.au are aimed at helping people understand their smoking habits, while also offer- ing ideas for the best way to quit and plan a quit attempt. Smokers can also phone the Quitline on 137 848 for more in- formation and advice. Have a smokefree 2017, Quit urges Quilters band together for worthy cause • HELPING HAND: Sunraysia quilters Chris Celegon, Annette Walker, Denise Ferguson and Maria Fillippi present Victorian Family Services manager, Jason Spratt, left, with a set of quilts made especially for Mallee Family Care. The donation will be passed on to children in the community in need. LOCAL NEWS NEWSPAPERS NEWS LOCAL NEWS LOCAL NEWS LOCAL NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS 3.9 million Australians read regional newspapers in print. Source: emmaTM, conducted by Iposos MediaCT, people 14+ for the 12 months ending November 2015.
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