JOINT MEDIA RELEASE – THE HON PAUL FLETCHER MP: Minister for Families and Social Services | 
THE HON SARAH HENDERSON MP: Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services – $17.6M TO SUPPORT A HIGH QUALITY NDIS MARKET

Paul             SARAH

Prime Minister


Minister for Families and Social Services


Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services


19 March 2019


The Liberal National Government has today announced a $17.6 million grants program to support businesses and individuals to meet their regulatory requirements under the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher said the new four-year $17.6 million Support for NDIS Providers Program will help NDIS providers deliver safe and high quality services and supports to NDIS participants.

“The Support for NDIS Providers Program funding will help existing and prospective NDIS providers to enter and remain in the sector and deliver a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people with disability participating in the NDIS,” he said.

The Support for NDIS Providers Program is an annual program – with up to $4.323 million available nationally in 2018-19.

“We are making an open call to the market to deliver projects that will benefit all providers in meeting their new registration requirements,” Minister Fletcher said.

“We will also work directly with the New South Wales and South Australian Councils for Intellectual Disability to assist participants with intellectual disability to be aware of the new NDIS Code of Conduct and Practice Standards, as well as engage in new processes for auditing registered NDIS providers.

“We are aware that allied health professional make up the majority of individuals and small businesses registered with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

“We will therefore work with Allied Health Professions Australia to develop specific tools to assist allied health professionals in engaging in the new quality and safety standards.

“The Government is pleased to support NDIS providers which have demonstrated commitment to promoting the rights, health and wellbeing of people with disability in the NDIS.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson said the Program would fund grants demonstrating innovate approaches to developing tools and resources that are easy to access by all NDIS providers.

“The grants will support providers in meeting the costs of complying with new responsibilities designed to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services and to uphold the rights of people with disability to be free from abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation,” Ms Henderson said.

“There will be a focus on supporting smaller providers, and those facing the challenges of operating in rural and remote Australia, or in areas where there are limited choices for NDIS participants.”

Applications for funding in the 2018-19 Support for NDIS Providers Program open nationally on 19 March 2019 and close on 29 April 2019.

The Support for NDIS Providers Program is administered by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission – a new independent Commonwealth agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.

The NDIS Commission is currently operating in New South Wales and South Australian and will roll-out nationally by July 2020.

For information on the Support for NDIS Providers Program eligibility criteria, grant guidelines and how to apply visit the NDIS Commission website

 Media contact:

Minister Fletcher: Brooke Leembruggen 0447 743 835

Assistant Minister Henderson: Bree Willsmore 0475 975 778

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Prime Minister


Prime Minister


Premier of South Australia


Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population


Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs


Lord Mayor of Adelaide


Tuesday, 19 March 2019



The Federal Coalition and South Australian governments and the City of Adelaide today put pen to paper on the Adelaide City Deal, designed to boost economic growth, enliven cultural tourism and build the city’s future as a centre of innovation excellence.

The signing of the $551 million Adelaide City Deal marks the start of a decade-long collaborative effort of the three levels of government.

It will directly focus on growing Adelaide’s innovation economy, supporting population growth in the city and across the state, and boosting Adelaide’s burgeoning cultural and tourism economy.

The Deal paves the way for the transformation of Lot Fourteen in the north-eastern corner of Adelaide’s CBD into an innovation precinct. Lot Fourteen will host the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency, its mission control facility and the Australian Space Discovery Centre, as well as major cultural attractions, high tech businesses and world-class education facilities.

The major infrastructure projects planned for Lot Fourteen, together with a focus on supporting Adelaide’s growth, will help take the city to the next level in terms of its potential to achieve major economic growth over the longer term.

The City Deal will stimulate Adelaide’s cultural economy through investing in an Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery and an International Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Food Studies at Lot Fourteen.

It will also boost tourism by investing in key projects such as the Heysens Gallery in Hahndorf, the Mitcham Hills and Glenthorne Trails in southern Adelaide, and upgrading Carrick Hill House at Springfield to include a visitor centre.

More information is available at  


Media contact: Rosa Stathis, 0417 669 223

The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Sydney


IMPORTANT: This message, and any attachments to it, contains information  that is confidential and may also be the subject of legal professional or  other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you  must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other  party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by  return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the  message from your computer system. 

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Prime Minister


Minister for Families and Social Services



Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services



19 March 2019

$6.5 million to improve advocacy for NDIS participants

The Liberal National Government today announced $6.5 million to boost funding forNational Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Appeals providers and to continue the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) Decision Support Pilot.

“This increased funding for advocacy services will support people with disability and help deliver National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) decisions that are fair and robust,” Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher said.

Minister Fletcher said the investment of $5.3 million for NDIS Appeals will boost the program to help ensure NDIS participants can access support when seeking a review of decisions in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

“We are now providing more than $10 million provided to over 40 NDIS Appeals advocacy agencies across all states and territories,” Mr Fletcher said.

“While the focus of NDIS Appeals is advocacy support, funding for legal services is available for cases with complex legal issues, or where the applicant does not have the capacity to self-represent.”

The $1.2 million for the NDAP Decision Support Pilot will continue decision-making support for people engaging with the NDIS who have limited decision-making capacity and no alternative decision-making support such as family, friends or a guardian.

“The Liberal National Government’s continued investment in the Decision Support Pilot means that another 300-400 people with disability will receive the support they need to help them access the NDIS,” Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson said.

“This funding extends the pilot to 30 June 2020, providing crucial decision-making support for people currently accessing state and territory disability services to transition to the NDIS.

“The pilot will also be available to people in the Northern Territory for the first time.”

Ms Henderson said the pilot also has important implications for advocacy policy.

“The Australian Government is investing in disability advocacy now and in the long-term,” Ms Henderson said.

“Information gathered through the pilot will inform future policy to ensure advocacy services and decision-making support reach those who need them most.”

More information on NDIS Appeals is on the Department of Social Services website.


Media contact:

Minister Fletcher: Brooke Leembruggen 0447 743 835

Assistant Minister Henderson: Bree Willsmore 0475 975 778

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Health & Views Supplement By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Dr. Harold Gunethilake

video on Triglyceride 


Almost 30% of People in the World Are Obese or Overweight. The
global obesity epidemic continues, and a new report shows that
about two billion people worldwide are overweight or obese. That’s
about 30% of the world’s population.
What this means in real terms is that people are packing up their
fat cells (adipocytes) in the body with excess Triglycerides.
It is your carbs and fats in the diet that is causing the problem.
Take away food outlets, street foods, restaurant cuisines, friends
dinner parties, cookery demonstration on TV, including home
cooked tastebud friendly foods aids and abet this colossal problem,
that is the gateway to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, coronary
heart disease, stroke, some forms of cancer and even other
chronic disabling diseases.
The author of this video stresses the importance of how surplus
triglycerides can harm your body, and measures to reverse the
process is possible, for a happy survival with longevity.
Now, please enjoy the video, repeatedly a few times, if time
permits you.
Good Health
Dr. Harold

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Prime Minister

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister






PRIME MINISTER: Wurundjeri Peoples of the Kulin Nation.

It’s an honour to be here again at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Last August as Treasurer I spoke about our ‘fair go economy’. I had planned to build on that theme today.

But the acts of terrorism last Friday have caused me to pause, to reflect, and to take the opportunity today to have a different conversation.

The Jewish people know what it’s like to be the victim of hate-speech, to be politically objectified.

They know the evil of race based ideology – the banality of terrorism and that the real enemy is always hatred and intolerance.

It is every citizens responsibility to break cycles of hate whenever and wherever we may see them.

I know the people in this room, and across Australia, have been horrified, devastated and ashamed about what happened in Christchurch, the attack on innocence in a place of worship – a terrorist atrocity committed by an Australian.

New Zealand is family, or whanau as Maori say.

Like family, we occasionally squabble, often tease, but always when threatened or attacked, we’ve got each other’s back.

And like family, the Kiwis are the people most like us in the world.

Even our flags speak of two nations similar but different, with intertwined histories, and futures that will always be shared.

We don’t say it enough: We are proud of our New Zealand cousins. We love them.

Many years ago, our Queen, Her Majesty, said this about the Kiwi character.

New Zealand is characterised by “a sense of fairness and justice; a willingness to be outward-looking; and a natural compassion for others”.

So true.

A country of good people with a good heart.

Here, at home, we express our solidarity.

The Silver Fern shone on our Opera House.

The New Zealand flag flew above our Government House.

Across our country, our own Southern Cross dipped in respect, above our Parliament, atop our harbour bridge.

The Australian Muslim community has offered counsellors and is providing support to the New Zealand Muslim community – along with, I’m sure support from Muslims from countries around the world.

In Christian churches and Jewish synagogues there have been prayers for our Muslim brothers and sisters, bound by our Abrahamic faiths.

And thousands of Australians, of other faiths or no faith have reached across ‘the ditch’ with love, support and prayers.

Naturally, at a government level we are providing New Zealand with every assistance they require and standing up every necessary capability here in Australia to keep our own people safe.

New Zealand has world class police, medical and forensic staff and any assistance we are providing reflects simply the scale of these atrocities.

Rightly, this is a time for grief and it is a time for reflection.

In time, we will have a better idea of how this all happened.

How did this terrorist stay in the shadows, hiding among us in plain sight?

Where and how did his vile radicalisation take place? During the last three years the terrorist spent just 45 days in Australia, travelling extensively overseas.

What laws need to change, what additional actions and precautions need to be taken?

Answers to those questions will come with time, and must.

Such questions are practical and necessary and can be posed and considered without the need for defensiveness or blame.

About a month ago, I spoke at the National Press Club about keeping Australians safe. I spoke about what we are doing in terms of keeping Australians secure: more resources for police and intelligence services; more powers; the 12 tranches of anti-terrorism legislation; our strong border protection policies and our efforts tackling illegal narcotics like ICE; and funding extensive anti-domestic violence programs.

As part of our efforts keeping Australian safe, we have  a Safer Communities fund that has provided since 2016 $70 million in local community safety grants for schools, pre-schools, community organisations and local councils.

For some months now we have been working to expand this programme.

Today, I am announcing an acceleration and extension of that program, to provide $55 million in community safety grants – and for priority to be given to religious schools, places of religious worship and religious assembly.

The grants from $50,000 to $1.5 million will provide for safety enhancements such as CCTV cameras, lighting, fencing, bollards, alarms, security systems and public address systems.

When I say I believe in religious freedom – and I am one of its staunchest defenders in Parliament – I know it starts with the right to worship and meet safely without fear. This must be the first freedom we secure, to practice their faith in safety, others should follow.

Religious freedom is not just an inalienable right as free citizens. It is important to the very cohesion of our society. It is for many Australians impossible to separate their faith from their culture.

Now this announcement, along with everything else we have announced over recent years is ‘the how’ of keeping people safe – and we’ll keep investing and working on ‘the how’, because the greatest responsibility of any government is to keep Australians safe.

But today, I want to engage in a broader reflection – about how we see difference in our world, and how we manage it.

I said here in Melbourne last Tuesday, you can’t have a strong economy unless you are secure – and you can’t be truly secure if your social fabric is not strong.

The bonds between us all matter.

The rainforests in North Queensland are older than the Amazon.

Every part of this ecosystem reinforces itself.

It doesn’t grow apart, it grows together.

And so it is with countries and their peoples.

But these ties that bind us are under new pressures and are at risk of breaking.

This is not just happening in Australia – it’s happening in many countries around the world.

If we allow a culture of ‘us and them’, of tribalism, to take hold; if we surrender an individual to be defined not by their own unique worth and contribution but by the tribe they are assigned to, if we yield to the compulsion to pick sides rather than happy coexistence, we will lose what makes diversity work in Australia.

As debate becomes more fierce, the retreat to tribalism is increasingly taking over, and for some, extremism takes hold.

Reading only news that we agree with, interacting with people only we agree with, and having less understanding and grace towards others that we do not even know, making the worst possible assumptions about them and their motives, simply because we disagree with them.

This is true of the left and the right. And even more so from those shouting from the fringes to a mainstream of quiet Australians that just want to get on with their lives.

Hate, blame and contempt are the staples of tribalism, it is consuming modern debate, egged on by an appetite for conflict as entertainment, not so different from the primitive appetites of the colosseum days, with a similar corrosive impact on the fabric of our society.

Contempt, is defined by the philosophers as “the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another”.

The worthlessness of another!

That is where mindless tribalism takes us.

It ends in the worst of places. Last week it ended the lives of 50 fellow human beings, including children praying in Christchurch.

I agree with the American author, Arthur Brooks who has recently said, “What we need is not to disagree less, but to disagree better.”

Not disagreeing less, but disagreeing better.

When we disagree better: we engage with respect, rather than questioning each other’s integrity and morality.

Tribalists constantly seek to appropriate legitimate policy issues and public concerns as a tool to promote their separatist and exclusive agendas. To contort and misrepresent disagreement in the worst possible terms.

Immigration is a classic example.

A discussion about the level of annual migrant intake is not a debate about the value or otherwise of multiculturalism or the economic contribution of migration. It must not be appropriated as a proxy debate for racial, religious or ethnic sectarianism.

Just because Australians are frustrated about traffic jams and population pressures encroaching on their quality of life, especially in this city, does not mean they are anti-migrant or racist. To the contrary. Australians respect the positive contribution that migration has made to our country.

For the overwhelming majority of Australians concerned about this issue, this is not and never would be their  motivation.

But that is how the tribalists seek to confect it, from both sides.

The worst example being the despicable appropriation of concerns about immigration as a justification for a terrorist atrocity. Such views have rightly been denounced. But equally, so to must the imputation that the motivation for supporting moderated immigration levels is racial hatred.

We cannot allow such legitimate policy debates to be hijacked like this.

Managing our population growth is a practical policy challenge that needs answers. Answers I will continue to  outline as we approach the next election, from our congestion busting road and rail investments to ensuring we frame our migration programme to meet the needs of our economy, the capacity of our cities and the opportunities and needs in our regions.

We see a similar trend in relation to the debate on border protection policies.

For me this has always been about ensuring the integrity of our borders because I believe this is essential to a successful immigration programme, a view shared by many migrant communities in Australia, and preventing the horrific impact of the people smugglers trade.

I have never sought to question the compassionate motives of those who hold different views about the best way to manage Australia’s borders. I have rarely had this courtesy extended by those who who hold contrary views to my own.

As Australians we need to stand against the militant and lazy group think that distorts our public debate, stand up for our individualism and seek to think better of each other.

Part of disagreeing better, is to appreciate our differences – or to understand, in the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “the dignity of difference”.

Extremism, or in a different form fundamentalism, is simply an inability to tolerate difference.

It is to feel threatened by others who do not conform to your world view.

And it takes many forms: religious extremism, secular extremism, and political extremism.

Every terrorist attack has at its core a hatred of difference and a hatred about the choices and lives of others.

Prime Minister Ardern grasped the essence of this on Friday – when she said of the New Zealand Muslim community, “they are us”.

This was reflected in my own remarks, an attack one faith is an attack on all.  An attack on innocence and peace is an attack on us all who love peace and innocence.

This is a powerful idea. No them but us.

Tribalists always want to separate us, divide us, set one Australian against another.

As Prime Minister I want to continue to bring Australians together, not set them against one another.

I want us to reject the thinking that one person’s gain is another’s loss. This is a doctrine of scarcity that betrays our social and economic prosperity and creates an environment for conflict and division.

I want to remove the demarcation lines between Australians.

I see every Australian as an individual, not part of some tribal group to be traded off against another.

And I believe, not in a tribalism that divides, but in an us that unites.

So let me affirm today what us means:

Indigenous Australians are us.

Immigrant Australians from all nationalities and backgrounds, including Chinese, Lebanese, Greek, Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese, just to name a few,  are us.

Muslim Australians are us.

Christian  Australians are us.

Jewish Australians are us.

Hindu Australians are us.

Atheist Australians are us.

LGBTIQ Australians are us.

Whoever you vote for – us.

Older Australians are us.

Young Australians are us.

Female Australians are us.

Male Australians are us.

Regional Australians are us.

From the bottom of Tasmania to the tip of Cape York, from Byron to Broome, all 25 million Australians are us.

We belong to each other. We stand with each other. We must love and respect each other more. That’s what we must affirm today to fight the forces that will otherwise weaken our nation.

My friends, in a few weeks time, I will visit the Governor-General and ask for an election to be held.

That election will be hard fought.

In this election I see my challenge as not to convince anyone Australian to join my side, but to convince them that as a result of what we are putting forward, we are on theirs, as individuals, whoever they may be and whatever life’s circumstances they may face.

My case is for an even stronger Australia – prosperous, safe and united.

A strong economy that can deliver the guaranteed funding for the services that Australians rely on, without increasing taxes, that would harm our economy.

We face increased uncertainty in the global economy in the year ahead. This has been true for many years now, and our Government has continued to protect and steward our economy, with records jobs growth, lower taxes, support for small and family businesses, building the infrastructure Australia needs to bust congestion and manage population growth, returning the budget to surplus and maintaining our AAA credit rating.

This strong economic management has enabled us to make more than 2000 life changing medicines affordable by listing on the PBS, deliver record levels of hospitals and schools funding and to achieve the highest level of bulk billing for Medicare in Australia’s history.

Now is not the time for economic experiments, or handing the economic wheel over to those who have been unable to demonstrate an ability to drive.  This will make Australia weaker in the decade ahead, and all Australians will pay for it.

As we saw following John Howard, vote Labor once and you pay for it for a decade.

Continued responsible management of our economy will enable us to continue on with our plans to keep Australians safe, with record investments to combat domestic violence, counter terrorism in all its forms, rebuild our defence forces and respond speedily to the natural disasters of flood, drought and fire.

And our fundamental belief that one Australian does not have to fail for another to succeed, of rejecting the politics of conflict and division, we can best continue to bring Australians together, to reinforce the social fabric so important to our economic success and security as a nation.

We will continue to engage in strengthening this social fabric – in finding a bigger place for ‘us’ and a smaller place for the idea of ‘them’.

I will finish with a Maori exhortation to us all in this difficult time, Kia Kaha – stay strong. That is my plan for Australia.


Contact: Rosa Stathis, 0417 669 223

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Sydney

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The hills are alive as ‘Everesting’ hits Sri Lanka

‘Everesting’ for the 1st time in Sri Lanka and Asia




The human pursuit for pushing the boundaries of endurance sometimes has no logical end or explanation as enthusiasts conjure up various means of testing how far they can stretch their bodies and mental capability to achieve what no other can.

 This is how the new craze enveloping the world can be described with the advent of ‘Everesting’, born in Melbourne, Australia in 1994 by famous explorer George Mallory, whose other exploits included climbing Mount Everest, and now generating thousands of enthusiasts worldwide.

 Never before staged in Asia, this is a gigantic step taken by the organizers and sponsors of the event which will, apart from the competition, showcase Sri Lanka and its wonderous natural beauty to the rest of the world.

 The setting for the ride is the picturesque and chilly climes of Radella, in Nuwara Eliya area, world renown for the origins of the best Tea.

 So far over 20 entries have been received for the event said Ron Meerweald at a media briefing in Melbourne. The competitors will challenge themselves to achieve tough physical and mental aspects that make the desired 8848 vertical meters within 24 hours.

 Principal sponsor Manjula Kulathunga who will support the event from Melbourne said he was proud to be involved in the challenge which will draw unprecedented crowds. The proceeds from the event will be channeled to nominated charities.

 A press communique released in Melbourne says,

 “Cycling enthusiasts get the unique opportunity to participate in reaching their zenith through ‘Everesting’ and this year the event is being held in the paradise isle of Sri Lanka. The tropical island situated in Southern Asia is renowned for its mesmeric landscape and vibrant culture with the event taking place amid the cool climes of the central hills from 6-7 April at the Radella Hill Climb in Nuwara Eliya”. 

 “We are pleased to announce an event of gigantic proportion in the cycling world and proud to partner with the Sri Lankan based (a reputed travel company which specializes in inbound and out bound travel, offering clients a wide variety of options from leisure, business, sports and other forms of travel). It is also our pleasure to enable the cycling fraternity an opportunity to test their endurance levels, as we foray into Asia for the first time,” remarked Andy Van Bergen, Founder of the prestigious concept which has taken the cycling arena by storm and into an unknown territory.

 Manjula Kulathunga, Director of Australian Migration Consultants , the Principal Sponsor of the event stated that “it is an honour to be part of this pioneering effort which enables the cyclist of the world to test their endurance levels and aim for success in the most anticipated event catered exclusively for them.” 

 Sharing his perspective, the CEO of Thomas Peer Solution , Udara Dharmadasa mentioned, “It is a great privilege to be the Digital Partner of such a prestigious event, which involves a worldwide participation of cyclists who ride for a purpose and aspire to reach the highest goals pertaining to their sport.”

 “We at are eager to introduce ‘Everesting’ to the Asian continent by partnering at this much anticipated event which has reached dizzying heights in Australia and Europe since its inception. This event in itself is the best opportunity for Asia to witness the dynamic task of reaching the highest altitude in the world through cycling,” added Chamaka Manjula – Director of Ceilào Ezy, Remittance Partner of the event.

 “ The event which is categorized under the banner of Sports Tourism, creates the added impetus to visit Sri Lanka, not merely to indulge in tropical pleasures but to watch the most epic event related to cycling unfold in paradise itself,” enthused Amila Gunawardana, GM of Go Ceilào (Pvt)

 Another highlight of this year’s event is its A-list of participants, which includes Sanjee De Silva, the first Sri Lankan/ Australian to complete the daunting task of ‘Everesting’ during a previous attempt. “I am thrilled to be part of this iconic event which will be held in my country of origin, making it a personal quest for myself and adding an immense sense of sentimental value,” enthused the cyclist/ philanthropist who will be donating Rs.3mn worth of medical equipment and operating as the emergency partner to the Nuwara Eliya hospital.

 Participants are required to repeatedly ride a hill of their choice and ensure the successful completion of the task by reaching the equivalent to Mount Everest which is 8,848m. It is compulsory to complete the event within a period of twenty four hours without sleep. Winners will be awarded the coveted Hells 500 grey stripes, earned merely by 3174 cyclists globally and indicted into the Hall of Fame. The festive atmosphere will additionally provide the spectators as well to be entertained by numerous activities which have been planned by its sponsors.

 The world class event which has taken precedence in the Australian and European continents is reaching out to the far corners of the earth, as it leaves its indelible mark in the largest continent of the world, Asia!    

 In addition to Ceilào Ezy as the Australian based partner, the principal sponsor is Australian Migration Consultants with the Sri Lanka based partners Go Ceilào, Tangerine Tours, Tourism Malaysia, Sunday Times, Lankadeepa ,Daily Mirror and Hi Magazine, Daily FT, Real FM, Kiss FM , Lanka Hospitals , Critical Care Health Solutions, Sri Lankan Airlines and , Thomas Peer Solution functioning as the digital partner.

 A background to the origins of this new craze goes back to Australia, its place of invention.

 If ‘everesting’ is about to sweep through weekend warrior cycling, it will be all the fault of the man who founded the idea and coined its name: George Mallory.

In 1994 Mallory – after several failed attempts – ‘everested’ Victoria’s Mount Donna Buang. This feat involved climbing the mountain by bike 10 times in a day. It’s taken 20 years to catch on, but word of Mallory’s feat has smouldered in amateur circles ever since.

If the name sounds familiar, you’re right. He is the grandson of the British mountaineer of the same name, who many believe was the first to successfully climb Mount Everest but who never made it back down to tell the story. Modern-day Mallory, 54, has also climbed the real Everest.

“My idea for everesting arose from a game rock climbers play,” Mallory says. “We would do multiple rock climbs in a day with the aim of gaining the equivalent height to El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. In 1989, with my climbing friend Kevin Smith, we climbed five routes on a 300-metre high cliff in 24 hours.”

In 1994, during training for a trek up Everest, Mallory “started dreaming up epic training projects”.

 “I wondered how many times I could cycle up [Mount Donna Buang] in a day. Was it five, or six? Or, maybe I should aim for eight! By doing eight laps of the hill my vertical gain would be 8800 metres, approximately the altitude of Mt Everest. Would this be possible? Was there a world record for this brand of stupidity?”

Mallory slowly built ever-increasing numbers of repeat runs up Donna Buang. Then, one day in March 1994, he set out to clock “two laps more than the six I had managed previously”.

“[It] doesn’t sound like an outrageous increase, but I was destined to learn the hard way that the human body is not a machine. Marathon runners know that half of 42 is not 21, but 35.”

 Every generation needs one. An ultimate, amateur, physical goal. A marathon, an ironman triathlon, a swim across the English Channel. Now comes “everesting”, the ultimate test of an amateur cyclist’s endurance.

Weekend cycling warriors: if you’ve not yet heard of “everesting”, get set to be astonished and inspired.

In February 34-year-old Melbourne woman Sarah Hammond became the first woman to everest a mountain by bike. She did it by riding her bike unassisted up Mount Buffalo in north-east Victoria not once but eight times in 18 hours, in the process notching 9031 vertical metres of climbing.

 The magic number is 8848 meters, the elevation gain of Mount Everest. Her extra metres were to make certain of it. Forever after, in hard-core cycling circles, Hammond will now “own” Mount Buffalo.

That’s the criteria for ‘everesting’, you have to notch a minimum ascent of 8848 vertical metres, all in one continuous cycling effort. The mountain or hill or “elevation” is entirely open to your choice, though the shallower the hill you choose the longer (distance) and more time it will take – choose a hill too gentle and you’ll run out of time before needing to stop and/or sleep.

To claim your place in history, you also have to be the first cyclist known to have ‘everested’ that particular hill or mountain.

A slew of the 58 successful ‘everesting’ attempts made so far originate in Victoria, where the sport began. Just one successful attempt has been recorded to date in New South Wales – when Rohan Symons climbed Dead Horse Gap near Mount Thredbo in March – with four in the ACT and three in Queensland. ‘Everests’ have also been recorded in England, New Zealand, the US, Italy and Norway.















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Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray – Story and pics by Marie Pietersz, Melbourne

Denver (Deno) Keegel, popular identity within Sri Lankan social circles, celebrated his milestone birthday on 15th March at the Grand on Princes in Mulgrave.You could be forgiven for thinking you were at a Collingwood finals dinner or awards night, with the venue elaborately decorated in Collingwood colours and memorabilia and 250 guests dressed in the black and white theme for the occasion requested by birthday boy and ardent Collingwood fan, Denver.

The party kicked off with a grand entrance by Denver dressed in club colours to a rendition of the club song.  Laughter followed roaring applause from guests when spotted with Denver in a sea of black and white, were three of his grandchildren wearing the colours of rival club, Hawthorn, adding to the fun and excitement of the night’s activities to come.

Denver was born in Colombo in 1949 and following his schooling at Carey College, joined the Royal Ceylon Air Force in 1970 at the age of 21. He married the love of his life, Patricia (Patty) Gray in 1975, and migrated to Melbourne in 1976. In Australia he held many top management and key personnel roles in tyre company Goodyear, footwear designer J Robins & Sons Pty Ltd, and aged care specialist Dial an Angel, retiring from full time employment in 2018.

Denver and Patty’s family grew in Australia and continues to grow, with two children, Melissa and Daniel and five grandchildren, Declan, Lucas and Jett (Daniel and Tara) and Joceylon and Jovan (Melissa and Darren Junkeer) and another on the way.

Guests at Denver’s 70th birthday celebrations were entertained by a number of guest singers backed by popular band for the night, Next Generation. Singers included Derrick Junkeer (also compere) and dancers, daughter Melissa, and friends Reg Bartholomeusz and Esric Jackson, not least of all, the birthday boy himself.

Among the other notable items of the night was the sumptuous buffet by Tony and Tania Walles, Collingwood ice carving by Desmond Foulstone, elaborate slide show by brother Travis Keegel (U.K.) and very large screen back-drop designed by Ishan Bahar (Sri Lanka). There was not only one birthday cake, but two large ones, made and decorated in the Collingwood themes by Cake Point.

Speakers for the night included brother Gordon Keegel (all the way from Mill Park, LOL), Indrani Keegel (presiding over grace and thanksgiving), son Daniel, daughter Melissa, and close friends Bertie Ekenaike and Joyce Senn. There was even a special Collingwood chair for Denver to sit in and savour the adulations of the speakers.

In his speech, Denver thanked guests, helpers and entertainers, visiting family from Queensland, and venue management Jude de Silva and staff.  The air was charged with emotion when Denver shared his happily married status and acknowledged his loving and dedicated wife of forty-four years, Patty, and was visibly moved when she presented him with a gift of an airline ticket to Sri Lanka and England to visit his family.

From many accounts, a wonderful and fun time was had by all, who I am sure will join me in congratulating Denver and wishing him a happy and healthy septuagenarian decade. Happy 70th birthday, Denver!.


Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70 hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray


Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray


Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

Deno is 70, hip, hip, hooray

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Prime Minister

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister





PRIME MINISTER: Thank you to this wonderful community, which has welcomed Jenny and my two girls our two girls, Abbey and Lily to be here today. Little bit different to church that we’re used to, just as much noise though –


At Pentecostal church as there is here in the Coptic Orthodox Church, full of celebration, full of worship, full of family and full of praise.

It’s truly wonderful to be here with my good friend Bishop Daniel and to also meet the other Bishop Daniel. I don’t know what the collective noun is for a group of Bishop Daniels.


But whatever it is, it’s great to be here with both of you. I have appreciated the prayers and support of the Coptic community throughout my entire public life and that continues to this day. I’m very grateful for it because those prayers I know, are not just offered up for myself, but for my family as well and for our community. As I know you do also for David Coleman as well and his family, Craig and his family, Tom – who I welcome also, from Southerland Council – and all of those who are gathered here today.

The purpose of the original invitation was extended to be here today to acknowledge and celebrate 50 years of the Coptic Church here in Australia, when Father Mina came here on Australia Day 50 years ago. I think there’s something beautiful about that; greeted a handful of Coptics at the time, full of excitement about what the future would bring for them. And they met – because there was no beautiful Coptic Church like this at that time – so they met in a Salvation Army Hall. And I thought, there is something beautiful about that as well. Because just like where we are today, which was originally built as an Anglican Church and today the iconography and all of the presentation of a beautiful Coptic Church, I think it says a lot about the nature of our multicultural Australia. That whatever foundations we build upon, we built it up to what it is today; which is a tolerant, multicultural, diverse, strong society. Not a godless society, but a society of so many millions of Australians who share a faith and hold a faith.

Faith is a mystery. It’s a mystery to those who hold it and to those who don’t. What do I mean by that? Some think faith and those who hold a faith are about having some set of rules or moral superiority, or they think they’re purer than other people and things like that. But all of us know, those who have a faith, that it’s quite the opposite.

A faith is something that you hold to because you understand – I believe – and you acknowledge the humility of the human condition. You understand the fragility of humanity. You understand it’s weaknesses. You appreciate it’s beauty, it’s strengths. But we also understand it’s susceptibilities and we all have those. Now I have no doubt that who have no such faith can also appreciate these things as well, it’s not exclusive. But it is the thing I think, that draws those of faith, to faith;. It is a fundamental understanding of our humanity and it’s fragility. So that draws us as individuals, seeking to understand our own existence, into our relationship in the Christian faith with our God I believe it the same motivation that draws so many others to their faiths.

But the other thing about faith is, it’s just not individual an individual understanding of humanity and fragility and weakness,, but it is also about community. In Hebrews it says – and the scholars will differ I’m sure, on who the writer of Hebrews was – but I believe this is Paul and so does Bishop Daniel by the way.


He said; “Forsake not,” in Hebrews, “your meeting together.” And Jesus said; “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with you.”

Faith is also about community and here we are in a community. Because from that community we know we draw strength. This is the wonderful community, it is a strong community, it is a vibrant community. But there’s no community that does not know hardship. There is not a community that does not understand grief. As Bishop Daniels said, it is not uncommon in Egypt for Cops to know the full horror of hate and violence.

It is sad when we hear from Bishop Daniel, that you get used to it. It’s something we could never really get used to, and we hope never to do. But I think that is an honest expression of what is faced by people of religious faith and in particularly the Cops in Egypt. But as we know, I think as we stand here today and we reflect on and remember and pray for and identify with those of another faiths today, those of the Islamic faith, the Cops better than anyone understand I believe, the pain and hurt and the grief that our Muslim brothers and sisters are going through in New Zealand right now and across this nation.

Yesterday I met with the National Imams Council and all I could say to them was to express my profound grief to them, as you have done this morning. As Australians right across this country will be doing; in churches yesterday, in temples, on Friday in prayers in mosques, all understanding our human fragility and how in a moment, innocence can be attacked and lost, by an act of hate.

But you know, when you go back to why Father Mina came here 50 years ago, he came here to preach and to gather together a community of hope. A hope established on this very important point, which is a message to all of those who would choose hate and a life of hate; a life of hate only ends in ruin and suffering. He came here to celebrate, as you and I and all Australians do in the faiths that we pursue, a message of love.

It says; “Do not be troubled by the world, because I have overcome them,” you know that scripture. What is meant by that is that Jesus overcame the hate, with love. That is the message of Abrahamic faiths and I believe many others; a message of love for others.

Now I can assure you and those who would seek to peddle hate and culture hate and forment hate, in whatever place they are and for whatever motive it comes from, that hate will never defeat love, because love is the basis of peace.


That is the victory we declare today over these horrendous and despicable events, in of all places, a place called ‘Christ church’, a place called Christchurch. We stand together, I believe as a world today in speaking out against that.

So my prayer this morning – I’ll pray again I understand, in a moment – but the one I particularly want to share with you here is the prayers of St. Francis and I’m sure many of you will know it. It is a prayer for a troubled time, which this is.

It says: “Lord, make me instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Oh divine master, grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, and it is in the pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying, that we are born to eternal life.”

That was the prayer of St Francis. I can’t think of any better commendation to all of us as to how to respond and I want to thank the Coptic community for the way you have reached out to our Muslim community. That’s what about country is all about – the respect for each other, the care and love for each other  and as I said, this community knows better than most, as well as any other the hurt that they would be feeling now and out of that, we profess love.

So I thank you very much, peace be with you.



PM Morrison Coptic Diocese Sydney 1

PM Morrison Coptic Diocese Sydney 2

PM Morrison Coptic Church


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Prime Minister


Minister for Families and Social Services


Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services


17 March 2019

Government funds early intervention blueprint for children with disability or developmental delay

The Liberal National Government has commissioned peak organisation Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) to deliver the first national early intervention blueprint for young children with disability or developmental delay.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said the market-focussed blueprint will chart a course to maximise the capabilities of frontline early intervention services to 2030.

“Research shows that the right market support for children with disability or developmental delay generates the best longer-term social and economic outcomes for them, their parents and carers, the community and society,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The right intervention can lead to a person with disability going on to a fuller, more engaged life.

“The Government’s $300,000 investment for the development of the blueprint underscores its commitment to early intervention.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, said the new blueprint will support the successful delivery of early intervention services, both inside and outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS.)

“It will provide valuable evidence about the challenges and opportunities facing the sector due to changes in the market,” Ms Henderson said.

“Improving the capacity of service providers, parents and carers to navigate and adapt to these changes will deliver the best possible outcomes for children with a developmental delay and their families.

“Almost 40,000 children and their families are currently accessing early childhood intervention supports through the NDIS to give their children the best start during their first six years of life. 

“Almost 29,000 children aged 0 to 6 have an approved NDIS plan and more than 11,000 are receiving support through an ECEI Partner.”

Chief Executive Officer, Early Childhood Intervention Australia, Yvonne Keane said the blueprint will build on its national best practice guidelines developed in 2016 as part of transitional work for the NDIA.

“The blueprint will help to give parents and carers choice and control by setting out the pathway to grow a comprehensive, best practice network of early childhood intervention services,” Ms Keane said.  

Development of the blueprint will be in consultation with sector leaders, service providers, parents/carers and professional service organisations and the National Disability Insurance Agency.


Media contacts:

Minister Fletcher: Craig Regan | 0408 448 527 |

Assistant Minister Henderson: Bree Willsmore 0475 975 778 |

Paul Fletcher meets Sofia Spillane, 3, a Cochlear implant recipient from Riverview in Sydney, and Yvonne Keane, CEO of Early Childhood Intervention Australia Ltd, during a visit to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children at North Ryde during a visit to announce the blueprint.

Sarah Henderson meets Harley Sager, 5, in Geelong, during a visit to Noah’s Ark Inc in Geelong to discuss the blueprint.  Noah’s Ark support families who have a child with a disability or additional needs.


Noahs Ark Harley Sarah Henderson


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