Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Fri 15 Jul 2011



The Centralian advocate Fri 15 Jul 2011


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 64 no. 16

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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22 Centralian Advocate, Friday, July 15, 2011 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 1 5 -J U L -2 0 1 1 P A G E : 2 2 C O L O R : C M Y K 5 4 0 2 0 5 / 1 2 s e NEWS Alcohol reforms could go national Erin Jones Dr Boffa RECENT changes to cheap alcohol sales in Alice Springs could be enforced Australia-wide if a coalition of health experts gets its way. Representatives from 50 organisations across Australia were successful at getting a volumetric tax on the agenda of the Federal Tax Forum, after meeting politicians in Canberra recently. It would mean alcohol products would be taxed based on the content of alcohol per serve. They were led by the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA), with Ali c e S p r i n g s based Dr John Boffa from the Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition among them. Dr Boffa led the push which has seen major supermarkets in Alice Springs impose a floor price on cheap alcohol and ban the sale of two litre cask wine. He said: It is clear that the volumetric tax is going to be on the agenda in October. Its really refreshing for the alliance to emerge and to place this issue on the national agenda, so people in Alice Springs can realise its not just a policy that needs to be implemented in Alice Springs. There is widespread support for the view that getting it achieved will be what needs to be done to prevent alcohol related harm. A volumetric tax is a goal as well as achieving a floor price. N A A A c o chairman Prof e s s o r M i k e Daube said price and taxation policies are vital i n r e d u c i n g harms caused by alcohol especially for the next generation. He said: We urgently need action to change a culture in which young people are increasingly drinking to get drunk. One Australian teenager dies and 60 are hospitalised each week because of alcohol-related problems. More than 40 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds say they drink to get drunk. University of Tasmania academic Rosemary Callingham addresses the maths conference at the Convention Centre Picture: JUSTIN BRIERTY One plus one equals a first Mluleki Moyo MORE than 500 national and international experts were in Alice Springs seeking ways to improve the teaching of Mathematics. The five-day conference at the Convention Centre brought together the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) and Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA). Centralian Senior College maths teacher and president o f t h e M a t h e m a t i c s Teachers Association of NT, Matt Skoss, was a speaker at the conference. He said: It is important for maths teachers to be part of a community of colleagues and researchers. We have to make math ematics accessible to all learners and give them problems that are deep and nontrivial. Maths has to challenge the mathematical and logical thinking of children. Mr Skoss said AAMT holds its conference every two years while MERGA has their conference annually. He said: This is the first time we have had a joint conference of the two organisations. This is a full spectrum of classroom teachers and university staff. Former Alice Springs teacher, Jeanette Venhoek, said the conference looked at new ways of teaching and learning mathematics. She said: I have just gone into primary teaching from high school teaching. I run a maths club at Port Augusta School of the Air and kids like it. Maths can be fun and kids should enjoy it. They have to play with numbers and play with measurements. Dr David Butler from the University of Adelaide said the conference had achieved its objective of discussing the teaching of maths and how to improve teaching practices. He said: We are all interested in the same thing to help children learn maths. People think that maths is just abstract, but the truth is, its real. We have people who are maths teachers, we have people who train maths teachers and we have academics who research the learning of maths. I am involved in creating physical models of maths. Professor Gilah Leder from Monash University said this years conference was historic. She said: This is the first time we have held the conference in Alice Springs. This is the 34th MERGA conference and I attended the first one at Monash University. Since then we have held it annually in a different city in Australia. I think that, as a result of the conference, Australias maths educators punch above their weight. Our work is well respected nationally and internationally. The conference was attended by representatives from all over Australia as well as from France, Singapore, Sweden, the UK and the US. Josiah shines in choir as Alices only singer Erin Jones Josiah McAllan BOY soprano Josiah McAllan has just returned from the Festival of Voices in Tasmania where he performed at Government House. Thirteen-year-old Josiah is part of the Junior Gondwana National Choir a choir that offers the highest level of musical training for children aged 10-13. He travelled with the choir for the week-long trip to Tasmania where he participated in workshops and sang with the choir in an 80-minute performance at Government House attended by 250 people. Josiah said: We sang at St Davids Cathedral in Hobart. That was one of our best performances. Then the day after we sang at Government House. Since Josiah was selected to sing in the choir at the start of the year he has learnt a lot. He said: There is a lot of practising. Sometimes it can be confusing, but once you really get into it and make friends its really fun. Ive learnt how to warm-up your voice in a funnier way and how to sight-sing the notes a lot better. Each year singers have to audition to be part of the Gondwana Choir and Josiah will again audition but this time for Australias most renowned chi ldrens choir Gondwana Voices. In between trips with the choir, Josiah continues private singing lessons. Josiah is the only choir member from Alice Springs.