The Centralian advocate Tue 26 Feb 2013
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Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 2 6 -F E B -2 0 1 3 P A G E : 3 C O L O R : C M Y K Three easy steps to help you go solar: 1. Talk to Alice Solar City about your energy needs and the benefits of going solar at your home 2. Contact local suppliers for a quote (we can supply a list) 3. Place an order and start saving on your electricity bills! Ph. (08) 8950 4350. www.alicesolarcity.com.au going solar? Interested in Put the on your power bills this summer. NEWS Focus on remote eye care Sally Brooks A GROUNDBREAKING research project to develop the worlds first intelligent retinal camera could lead to better health outcomes in remote communities and towns across Australia. The new research will seek to develop software that can read images from the camera then make a diagnosis just as an eye doctor would. Retinal cameras already exist and are used by specialists to detect eye diseases, i n c l u d i n g d i a b e t i c retinopathy and glaucoma. The $30 million project is a partnership between national not-for-profit company Ninti One, whose head office is in Alice Springs, the Vision Cooperative Research Centre (Vision CRC) in Sydney and the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Other partners include the Centre for Eye Research Australia, the US-based Quantum Catch, the Fred Hollows Foundation, the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre in China, the LV Prasad Eye Institute in India and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. Vision CRC Chief Technologist Arthur Ho says the suite of computer programs used to look at retinal camera images will be able to pick out distinctive features. For example, with a very severe diabetic retinopathy, there might be bleeding in the back of the eye. The eye doctor would normally look at the images and refer the patient on, he said. But this software will be installed on communities and identify the images. The research will also look to develop a camera that can separate out different colours on the images, which would assist in early detection and diagnosis of eye disease. If it is successful and the predictive side of this research works, you are actually on the front end of eye disease, not dealing with it once you have a problem, said Ninti One managing director Jan Ferguson. So if something can be predicted from this and you change behaviour, you can then get a very different health outcome. You would hope, if this is successful, there would be potential for better health outcomes in remote communities than we currently have. Ninti One has a network of about 80 Aboriginal researchers across Australia. The technology developed in Central Australia, if successful, will be rolled out to remote areas worldwide. Property crimes, assaults increase Cameron Boon PROPERTY crime has jumped almost 200 per cent in the past five years and assault numbers in Alice Springs continue to dominate NT figures, according to quarterly statistics released by the Department of Justice. The statistics for October to December 2012 show crime is up in every area, with the biggest jump in property offences. There were 1290 property offences in Alice Springs between December 2011 and December 2012 a rise of 24 per cent compared to 1974 in Darwin for the same time period. Of the property offences, property damage made up 42 per cent (541) of the total offences, with theft making up 30 per cent (386). Between December 2011 and December 2012, there were 679 break-ins to homes in Alice Springs. Of those, 609 actually managed to get into the house, while 70 were attempted break-ins. The statistics say the break-ins have increased by 35 per cent from last year and 177 per cent from 2007. Motor vehicle thefts from December 2011 to December 2012 were up 52 per cent from the last year and thefts from motor vehicles were up 27 per cent. Of the combined 531 offences, there was a jump of 95 per cent from five years ago. There were more assaults in Alice Springs than there were in Darwin, both in the October-December quarter and from December 2011 to December 2012. This quarter, there were 488 offences against the person (including assault, sexual assault, threatening behaviour, robbery, abduction, dangerous acts and homicide) in Alice Springs, compared to 447 in Darwin. Magistrate cleared of bias allegation SARAH McNamara can act as a relieving magistrate in Alice Springs after a Court of Appeal found there is no issue of perceived bias in her holding the position. The decision was supported unanimously by three Supreme Court judges on Monday after an appeal by the AttorneyGeneral. It means that NT Justice Minister John Elferink can appoint Ms McNamara as a relieving magistrate in Alice Springs in future. She has proven to be a very professional person whose integrity is unimpugnable, Mr Elferink said. The wife of Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Services principal officer Mark OReilly, Ms McNamara had been disqualified from service because of a belief she could unconsciously favour the service due to her husbands senior position. But the Court of Appeal decided there was no apprehended bias because Mr OReilly had no personal interest in the outcome of cases. Yipirinya School students Aileen Wayne, 9, and Bethany Coulthard, 11, enjoy a Honey Ant Reader Picture: CHLOE GERAGHTY Students get bug for elders language books Mluleki Moyo YIPIRINYA School in Alice Springs has launched a series of reading books translated into six languages of the Central Desert. The Honey Ant Readers resource has been put into an audio disc and can be listened to at the same time as reading from the book. Honey Ant Readers edi torial manager Emma Browne said the production was going to go a long way in improving reading skills. We are launching the translations of the first three of the Honey Ant Readers into six languages of Central Australia Luritja, Western Arrernte, Yankunytjatjara, Central Arrernte, Pitjantjatjara and Warlpiri. The translations have been made easy because the audio follows the text of the book so that the reader can hear the pronunciation of the words in their language, she said. Author and publisher of the Honey Ant Readers Margaret James believes that keeping language and culture strong helps to keep people and communities strong and loud, and learning to read in their own language makes reading easier. It gives their languages a lot of respect and it actually helps preserve their languages, she said. Principal Ken LangfordSmith agreed the translations made reading and learning easy. We recognise the importance of local languages because these languages have oral tradition. This is very encourag ing because reading has been made easy and interesting. The books were translated by elders and prominent indigenous language specialists that include Benedict Stevens, Shirley Turner and Jennifer Inkamala. The project was sponsored by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Mary McKillop Foundation. Man on murder charge A MAN charged with the murder of a 26-year-old woman has appeared in Alice Springs Magistrates Court. Everett Wheeler, 27, was arrested last week after the victims body was discovered at Larapinta Valley Camp. The police prosecutor said the investigation into the death is ongoing, and was granted an extended brief order of 10 weeks. Wheeler has been remanded in custody and the case was adjourned until May.