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Hunter Hero: Sharing the ocean and a love of surfing’s vibe – Jade “Red” Wheatley

Jade “Red” Wheatley, Newcastleadaptive surfer.Jade Wheatley is a surfer, a coal miner and an advocate.

HELPING: Jade “Red” Wheatley has been helping progress adaptive surfing. He hopes to soon hold an adaptive surf tournament in Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

At age 36, he’s powering through life.Helping thecommunity too.

But there’s something unique about him…

He’smissing both his legs from below the knee.

Lost them in a construction accident when he was just19.Although it doesn’t stop him doing what he wants to do.

For example, for the past three years he’s competed in the World Adaptive Surfing Championship, held each year inSouthern California.

He also once walked from Newcastle to Manly, to help raise money for peopleto attend those championships.


Double-amputee surfer Red Wheatley’s road to California begins at NobbysGift of legs makes surfer feel like a ‘new me’ on landRed ‘NoLegs’ dream: competing at world’s first adaptive surfing competitionBut closer to home, he helps run the annualAmputee Surf Day, which washeld at Nobbys beach last week.

“A friend of mine started it,” Mr Wheatleysaid.“She’s a prosthetist at a limb centre I go to and she liked surfing, got involved and kicked it off.

“Ever since I’ve been involved withOssur (prosthetic company) and organising a yearly event for people to goandenjoy themselves.

“It’s definitely growing and creating an attraction here in Newcastle.”

There’s a mixture of people at the event, with both juniors and seniors taking part.

Wheatley says he loves being able to give back and letting people get a taste of the surf. One man, Scott Edgar –a bi-lateral amputee – was a personal highlight onthe recent day at Nobbys beach.

“There’s people there who want to come and enjoy something different, or there’s people who get in the waterquite a bit,” Wheatleysaid.

“Scott, he hadn’t touched the salt water in 20 years. It was pretty ‘narly’, I think he shed a bit of a tear.

“It’s really good to see someone like him giving it a go.That’s what the day is all about, everyone enjoying themselves.

“Getting to feelwhat I feel:a love of the ocean and the vibe you get from it.”

Elaborating on what it’s like for someone like Scott to get back inthe water, Wheatley gives a uniqueinsight.

“He’s a bi-lateral amputee;one below the knee and one above the knee,” he said.

“So you can imagine how tough it would have been, but I talked him through it.

“After 17 years of surfing without legs, I kind of coached him through the process.

“One thing I said was ‘you’re literally buoyant’, because you’re missing that dead weight of your legs down below. If you’ve got lungs full of air, you actually pop straight back up.

“And he came in and said: ‘you know, you’re right’…I think he was a bit nervous. But he came in and said: ‘I pop straight back up without even trying’.

“To sit back and watch them, with all the smiles on their faces.

“For everyone involved, it’s a good vibe.”

Port’s Powell-Pepper ready for AFL action

Sam Powell-Pepper has been training hard ahead of his AFL comeback against Adelaide.Port Adelaide midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper will enjoy a sense of freedom returning to AFL ranks after being suspended for a drunken nightclub incident, his coach says.

Powell-Pepper will play against Adelaide on Saturday after being banned initially by Port, and then the AFL, for making inappropriate contact with a female at a city nightclub last month.

Adelaide coach Don Pyke has stopped short of declaring his players won’t sledge Powell-Pepper about the incident which resulted in a three-match AFL ban.

“They understand, I think, pretty clearly where the line is with regard to on-field banter,” Pyke told reporters on Friday.

And Port coach Ken Hinkley said Powell-Pepper had coped with sledging while playing in state league ranks during his AFL ban.

“He has dealt with some of those little issues already,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

“He understands the mistakes that he has made and he owns them.

“I guarantee you, he will have some freedom when he gets back out there tomorrow night to play the game he loves and move on – and that is what he’s trying to do.”

Powell-Pepper is among four inclusions for Port as they seek to halt a five-game losing streak to their home-town rivals.

“We don’t enjoy losing to the Adelaide Crows,” Hinkley said,

“We don’t enjoy losing to anyone but particularly Adelaide, we don’t enjoy it.

“It’s a fact we have a run (against Adelaide) at the moment that we’re not enjoying. We get an opportunity tomorrow night to try and correct that.”

Ex-Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff, Chad Wingard and defender Tom Clurey also return for the Power with Aidyn Johnson sidelined by a groin injury and Dom Barry, Karl Amon and Jasper Pittard all dropped.

The Crows recalled captain Taylor Walker from a hamstring injury and summoned Myles Poholke to replace Wayne Milera (hamstring) and Darcy Fogarty (omitted).

Malaysian king willing to pardon Anwar

Mahathir Mohamad says Malaysia’s king is willing to grant pardon to jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim.Malaysia’s newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says the country’s monarch has indicated he’s willing to grant a full pardon to jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim immediately.

The Southeast Asian nation’s political landscape has been shaped for nearly two decades by a bitter feud between Anwar and Mahathir, whose decision to sack Anwar as his deputy sparked an opposition movement, Reformasi, or Reform, in 1998.

But in 2016, Mahathir abandoned the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, and joined Anwar’s opposition alliance to fight against scandal-hit former premier Najib Razak.

“It is going to be a full pardon, which means not only pardoned, but he is released immediately and after that he will be free to participate fully in politics,” Mahathir told reporters on Friday a day after he was sworn into office following his alliance’s shock win in Wednesday’s election.

At 92, he is the world’s oldest elected leader.

Mahathir said the king indicated he was willing to pardon Anwar immediately, meaning Anwar could return to active politics.

Before the election, Mahathir had said he would step down and give the prime minister’s post to Anwar when he is pardoned. He has said Anwar’s wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be the deputy prime minister in his cabinet.

Anwar, 70, was due to be released on June 8 with time taken off his sentence for good behaviour. He began a five-year sentence for sodomy in 2015, a charge he and his supporters say was politically motivated.

Mahathir said he will announce a cabinet on Saturday that would include himself, Wan Azizah and 10 others, including the ministers for finance, foreign affairs, defence and home affairs.

“Whether Anwar will be part of the cabinet or not will be decided when the time comes,” he said.

Mahathir said initial policies would focus on fulfilling promises made in the alliance’s manifesto, including the abolition of a goods and services tax (GST).

“In the case of foreign affairs, we want to maintain good relations with all countries regardless of their policies,” he said. “We do not want to favour any country, we want to ensure that the market for Malaysia is as large as possible.”

Mahathir has vowed to reassure financial markets and return billions of dollars lost in a graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which was a major factor in the election and in the ouster of Najib.

The new prime minister said the country’s attorney general was wrong to clear Najib in the 1MDB probe in 2016.

“He, in fact, has hidden evidence of wrongdoing, and that is wrong in law. We have to do what is permitted by the laws of this country,” Mahathir said.

Archibald winner leads battle for equality

2018 Archibald Prize winner Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith. Picture: AAPAs only the 10th woman to win the Archibald Prize in its 97-year history, Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith says that statistic is indicative of the art world as a whole.

“I think it’s reflective of the art industry, but also you see it in broader culture and I think they all have to catch up,” Coppersmith told AAP at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney on Friday after winning the portrait prize.

“I think every generation has to work to affect change. I don’t think you can rest on your laurels for equality, I think it’s an ongoing battle.”

Inspired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Coppersmith exudes strength and confidence in her self-portrait pose, standing face forward with a leg raised and a hand on her hip.

In a phone call with Ms Ardern broadcast on Sky News on Friday, who praised Coppersmith’s work as “incredible”, the shocked artist described her inspiration.

“You (Ms Ardern) were the initial inspiration and when you were unavailable I thought, ‘I’ll do one as you!’,” she told Ms Ardern.

It took the 37-year-old one week to create the oil painting which was her fifth to make the final of the $100,000 portrait prize.

“I was aware of that from my earlier self-portraits of communicating an image of a woman within a society that is saturated with images of women that are very disempowering or exploitative and how do you cut through that?” she said.

2018 Archibald Prize winner Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith poses for a photograph next to her oil and acrylic on linen painting ‘Self-portrait, after George Lambert’. Picture: AAP

“We’re still working within the language of a male gaze that has existed for centuries and trying to create images of women; we don’t have a language other than how can you give an image power to look back at the viewer, not just to be looked at.”

She said she had lost track of the rejections.

“I don’t think you want to believe any possibility that it would happen so you brace yourself for disappointment,” she said.

As an independent artist, Coppersmith plans to be sensible with the prize money and focus on sustaining her practise.

Coppersmith’s was one of 21 self-portraits out of the 57 in the final, along with portraits of notable figures such as rocker Jimmy Barnes, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and actor Guy Pearce.

The Wynne Prize of $50,000 for best landscape painting or figure sculpture went to WA indigenous n artist Yukultji Napangati, and the Sulman Prize of $40,000 for the best genre painting, subject painting or mural project, was awarded to indigenous n artist Kaylene Whiskey.

A new award was also introduced this year – the Roberts Family Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders prize of $10,000 to an indigenous finalist in the Wynne Prize.

The inaugural award went to 95-year-old artist Wawiriya Burton.

Queensland wary of winless Sunwolves

Fit-again prop James Slipper says Queensland are preparing for a steely Sunwolves side in Tokyo.He played two seasons under Sunwolves coach Jamie Joseph and is an ex-teammate of their veteran halfback Fumiaki Tanaka but Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn isn’t about to get sentimental heading into Saturday’s Super Rugby clash.

Thorn has had the blinkers on this week ahead of their Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium match where his Reds will try to repeat the form that saw them upset the South African conference leading Lions in their last outing.

The rookie coach said he hadn’t thought about trying to get one up on Joseph, who coached him at the Highlanders in 2013-14.

“It’s been pretty hectic since I’ve taken this role and I’ve pretty much just had my head down and bum up working and haven’t really thought about other coaches,” Thorn said from Tokyo.

“It’s an important game and I’ve just been trying to win it.”

While the winless Tokyo side are anchored to the bottom of the n conference, the Reds have the perfect opportunity to make up ground on the n conference leaders NSW and also the Rebels.

Among three personnel changes from the Lions game, James Slipper has recovered from a collarbone injury to regain the starting loosehead jersey and resume as stand-in skipper in the absence of injured captain Scott Higginbotham.

The Sunwolves have struggled at the set-piece through the season and Slipper said he hoped that was an area his team could exploit.

“If you look at our game we like our set piece and we work hard in that area,” Slipper said.

“We’re not underestimating the Sunwolves – they can be very good at set piece but it all comes down to consistency in your performance.

“They haven’t got the results they wanted but they’ve put a lot of good teams under pressure and we’re expecting a tough game.”

Tramp Steamer Tramp, WoyzeckKen Longworth

JAZZ AND SWING: David Baker, Chris Gill and Su Morley who are performing in the cabaret-style play, Tramp Steamer Tramp.WHEN Newcastle musician and writer David Baker put together a cabaret-style musical play, Tramp Steamer Tramp, in 2013, he had no idea how popular it would be with audiences.

The story, set on a dilapidated tramp steamer, the Shanghai Princess, with a very diverse collection of crew members and passengers, and moving through South-East Asian waters in 1937, had watchers repeatedly applauding.

Baker, with the three other members of Smokin’ Chops Jazz – Chris Gill (who co-wrote the show with Baker), Marcus Holdsworth, and Manny Serrano – are re-appearing in a new staging, joined by Newcastle singer and musician Su Morley. Tramp Steamer Tramp will be presented at its initial venue, the intimate Royal Exchange Salon, in Bolton Street, nightly at 8pm fromJune 7 to June 9, with a 2pm matinee on June 10. Tickets, $20, can be bought through trybooking.

The 90-minute two-act musical, with 20 varied jazz and swing numbers from the years between 1910 and the story’s 1937 setting, is staged as a radio-style cabaret, with the band members each playing multiple characters.

David Baker got the idea for the show while watching a 1930s film, China Seas, that starred Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, and had pirates attacking a tramp steamer near the Chinese coast. He set the story in 1937 because that was the year Japanese troops invaded Manchuria, marking the beginning of their World War II campaign. A Japanese businessman is one passenger, and the ship’s captain is a German, who finds himself criticised by others because his homeland’s Nazis are taking action against other European countries.

The many other characters include a mysterious female entertainer who could be a spy, a Spanish wireless operator with poor communication skills, and a former nightclub performer trying to escape the 1930s great depression.

The show’s songs, some of which are different to those in the 2013 production, include It’s Only a Paper Moon, Slow Boat to China and The Nearness of You.

Another well-received Newcastle production, Stooged Theatre’s 2017 staging of the n comedy-drama Neighbourhood Watch, by Lally Katz, will have two performances at Port Macquarie’s Glasshouse Theatre on June 29, with five of the eight cast members repeating their roles.

The play is on a HSC reading list, and enthusiastic comments by Hunter teachers who saw the production led to north coast teachers approaching the Glasshouse re staging the show. Members of the cast and staging team will also take part in two hour-long workshops on the play on June 27 that will be attended by school groups.

Theatre ReviewWoyzeckPasvolsky Actors Studio, at The Dungeon, AdamstownEnded SaturdayWOYZECK is widely regarded as the first modern play, with German writer Georg Buchner making the title central character a working-class soldier who is badly treated by those of higher rank and has an increasingly unsettled relationship with the mother of his child. As Buchner died when the play was still in a draught form, it is invariably adapted by those staging it. Claire Pasvolsky, the director of this production, made it an engaging 80-minute work and one that the vast array of costumes from different periods showed to be timeless.

Ryan Beazley, as Franz Woyzeck, brought out his increasing frustrations and desperation, as he was bullied by a captain (Angela McKeown) whose hair he cut, forced to have a weird diet by a doctor (Frances Crane) who put her career before his health, and suffered sniping comments from a drum major (Matthew Heys) determined to have sex with Woyzeck’s ever more unhappy girlfriend, Marie (Stephanie Rochet). Woyzeck was happiest when talking to the supportive friend, Andres (Jacob Gamble), with whom he shared living quarters. The other characters, played by Kate Davidson, Emma Graham, Matthew Harper, and Emily Harvey, some in multiple roles, included, among others, a showman, Marie’s neighbour, and a white horse, and there were diverse settings, with elegant functions at a hotel and troubles on the shore of a blue pond. Jenna Blayden’s sound score assisted the many changes of venue.

There is no vision for sustainable, fruitful life beyond Sydney

MACQUARIE STREET DEPOSIT: The Hunter is supplying billions to the state’s coffers, but its people are going backwards. Photo: Rob HomerIt won’t surprise those who move around Newcastle and the Hunter that we are home to many neighbourhoods where people are struggling to make ends meet, and where prospects for the young aren’t all that flash. Recent n Bureau of Statistics information confirms this embarrassing, unsettling state of affairs.

After each census the ABS publishes an index of disadvantage called SEIFA. To calculate the SEIFA the ABS rates every suburb and locality in on a basket of measures that underpin an area’s standard of living. This includes data on income, education, employment, occupation and housing. The ABS then divides suburbs and localities into SEIFA deciles. So areas that are home to the least number of disadvantaged householdsscore a SEIFA decile of 10, while, at the rough end of the pineapple, suburbs and localities with the highest proportion of disadvantaged households score a SEIFA decile of 1.

I could name the places in Newcastle and the Hunter where life isn’t that pretty. But I won’t. Too often the media sensationalises the issue of poverty with traffic-light coloured maps showing society’s biggest losers. But naming only further stigmatises suburbs and localities where battlers already face enough hurdles.Suffice to say I found 28 suburbs and non-metropolitan localities in the Hunter which ABS scores at SEIFA decile 1. These places rank as the lowest of the low, no better than the depressed towns in the remote northwest of NSW or the public housing estates in Sydney’s outer suburbs.

The Hunter’s SEIFA decile 1 neighbourhoods are in outer Newcastle, west Lake Macquarie, scattered across the coalfields, along the lower stretches of the New England Highway through Maitland, and, surprisingly, in the rural districts hosting the roll-out of open cut coal mining in the region’s upper reaches.

These 28 suburbs and localities housed 76,186 people at the 2016 census. It is gobsmacking that within a couple of hours by car from one of the world’s outstanding global cities that so many people live as poorly as anyone in . Worse, the situation is deteriorating. Of the Hunter’s 28 decile 1 neighbourhoods in 2016, 12 were not in the cellar-dweller category in 2011.

Clearly the management of the spatial economy in NSW is way out of whack. Our nation has enjoyed continuous economic growth since 1991-2, a run of prosperity unmatched anywhere on the planet. Our region has had a decade-long minerals boom, supposedly. It annually trucks coal royalties in the order of a billion dollars into Macquarie Street vaults.

And yet our people are going backwards. There is no trickle down of wealth in our region. Macquarie Street is detached, aloof. Our state’s regional economic strategy is tokenistic. There is no vision for sustainable, fruitful life beyond Sydney’s boundaries.We shouldn’t be surprised that the federal budget gave nothing to our region, for the NSW government asks for nothing on our behalf. The Hunter’s job is to supply the cash that comes from coal, servantly.

Meanwhile, coal rolls westward. In its wake it leaves a 100-year old social and economic landscape of communities that have no wealth, no enduring assets to show for their hospitality. Sure, our 28 neighbourhoods are proud communities. But their future is impeded.

What do people do? Migrate to Sydney? There’s a laugh. Instead they live on, silently, in our backyard.

Phillip O’Neill is professor of economic geography at Western Sydney University.

Hall’s chance to shine in Suns AFL recall

Aaron Hall (L) has a chance to shine in his Gold Coast AFL recall against Melbourne at the Gabba.The coach of dropped Gold Coast AFL talent Aaron Hall says the polarising midfielder has earned his recall against Melbourne at the Gabba.

The Tasmanian is off contract and reportedly looking elsewhere after seven years at a club where he has both wowed and frustrated.

Rookie coach Stuart Dew has a penchant for defensive pressure. He asked to see more of it when he dropped the midfielder after the Suns’ round-four loss last month to West Coast in his 100th AFL game.

A week later, the 27-year-old responded with 31 touches, two goals and 11 clearances in Gold Coast’s first NEAFL win over Sydney in five years.

Injuries to Matt Rosa (shoulder) and Jesse Joyce (quadricep) have opened the door for Hall’s return in what will also mark the injury comeback of Suns co-captain Steven May (finger).

Speaking earlier in the season, May said Hall needed to lift his work rate and Dew said this week he had responded as hoped.

“Hally went back to work on some things and we’ve really seen a good shift in all his play,” he said.

“He’s handled his role the last few weeks exceptionally well with his attitude and his approach.”

The Suns (3-4) fell just short of the Western Bulldogs last week in Ballarat despite being without May and fellow co-captain Tom Lynch (knee).

Key forward Lynch remains on the sidelines but Dew has thrust versatile midfielder Jack Martin into the forward pocket to try to yield points against the Demons (4-3).

“With Pearce (Hanley) going down, we put Jack back for some creativity and run and carry,” Dew said.

“But with Lynchy out, we think Jack can hit the scoreboard.”

The Demons have won their past two on the back of a supreme contested-possession rate – their +16.1 differential is double any other club’s in the AFL.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has made just one change to his side for the game in Brisbane as Christian Salem returns from a broken thumb.

Bureau of Meteorology issues dangerous surf warning for Port Stephens, Newcastle and Hunter coastline

Dangerous surf conditions this weekend | WARNING BUILDING: The swell at Bar Beach on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

STYLE: A surfer grabs a neat wave on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CARVING: A /Newcastle surfer on Monday, May 7, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

MORNING DIP: Conditions at Newcastle city beach on Friday, May 4, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SCENES: A surfer cuts across a wave on Thursday, March 3, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SUNRISE: The morning sky on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

FIRST LIGHT: The scene before dawn on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at Newcastle beach. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CALM: Conditions at Nobby’s beach on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CARVING: Newcastle surfer Mark Richards at Ladies Lefts on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

WAVES: Surfers in the water at Dixon Park on Monday, April 16, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

Conditions on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SWELL: Conditions in Newcastle on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SUNRISE: A surfer out for a morning paddle at Merewether on Monday, April 9, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CARVING: A young surfer on a wave at Merewether on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

STORMS: Merewether Baths on Wednesday, March 4, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURFING: The beautiful autumn weather in Newcastle on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

DAWN: Sunrise at Merewether on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CLEAN: Shore rides at Dixon Park on Monday, March 26, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

WAVES: A surfer catches the big swell at Newcastle point on Friday, March 23, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: A surfer at Nobbys bank on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SWELL: The view of Nobbys breakwall on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

VIEWS: Sailor’s Rock at Merewether on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

GROMS: Merewether surfers on Monday, March 19, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SHINING THROUGH: Sunrise at Merewether on Friday, March 16, 2018, Picture: Dave Anderson.

SPRAY: Dawn surfing at Pogo’s on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

BARREL TIME: A surfer finds the right wave on Monday, March 12, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

OVERCAST: Rough conditions at Newcastle City Beach on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

KEEN: A young surfer at Merewether on Monday, March 5, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

MORNING: Surfers at Dixon Park. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: A surfer cuts loose at Merewether on Friday, March 2, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: Taken on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Photo: Dave Anderson.

Photo taken at Newcastle Beach on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: Taken on Friday, February, 23, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

Photo taken on Monday, February 19. Picture: Dave Anderson.

GIRLS RIP: Photo taken at Merewether on Thursday, February 15. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: Jesse Adam four times winner Open Mens Division Merewether Surfboard Club 2017. Piucture: Davbe Anderson

BEACH: Ollie and Felix with dolphins at Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The view at Merewether Beach on November 9. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The view at Merewether Beach on November 8. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The view at Newcastle Beach … Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Beautiful morning. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Chris Davis at Merewether on October 25. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nick at Merewether on October 24. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Todd at Merewether on October 24. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dawn at Merewether on October 23, 2017. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Erosion at Cliff. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Axel-Rose Curotta at the Mattara Classic. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Amelia Bourke at Merewether on October 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Amelia Bourke at Merewether on October 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Kite-surfers at Nobby’s. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Sunday arvo at Newcastle. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Merewether morning on September 21. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dixon Park. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nobbys Spit on September 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Stockton on September 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Gleaming grom at Merewether on September 19. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Hollow shorey at Pogos on September 19. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Heavy shorebreaker at Nobbys on September 18. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Backpacker surfer at Nobbys. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The spit at Nobbys on September 18. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Morning SUP at Pogos. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Ski Paddle at Dixon. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nobbys. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Cleaning at Merewether beach. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Ollie at Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Ollie Ryssenbeek navigates The Ladies on September 12. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dixon Park on September 12. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Morgan Cibilic at Merewether training for the Junior Worlds on September 11. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Morgan Cibilic at Merewether training for the Junior Worlds on September 11. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Off-reef at Nobbys on September 11. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Paul Snow at Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Backside glide Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dawn sets at Merewether on September 7. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Gulls at Nobbys on September 7. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Twin Peaks at Merewether on September 6. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nobbys spit on September 5. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Sanding-up at Merwether on September 4. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Super Grom at Merewether on September 3. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Father’s Day at the beach. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF:Photo taken on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SUNNY: Sunrise at Dixon Park beach on Thursday, March 13, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.


Presence of four daughters conceived through IVF is the best Mother’s Day present

We are family: Brooke Morris with daughters Mollie, Paxton and twins Avril and Savannah, who were conceived through IVF. “We never thought in our wildest dreams it would work as well as it has.”BROOKE Morrisconsiders herself one of the luckiest mothers in the world –and with good reason.

After learning she and her husband Peter couldn’t conceive naturally, they turned to Hunter IVFand underwent three egg retrieval procedures, which each resulted in oneembryo for transfer.

The Cameron Park familywere gifted with four daughters, seven year old Paxton, five year old Mollieand four year old twinsAvril and Savannah, who were born 10 weeks premature.

“We believe this is a record for and New Zealand and possibly the world –having four babies from three egg collections and three embryos is pretty much unheard of,” Mrs Morris said.

“I know I’mvery fortunate not to have experienced a failed IVF attempt andfeel absolutely blessed.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have four children.

“They’re intelligent, they’re loving, they’re caring and they do me proud. I love saying I’m their mum.”

Research published in TheMedical Journal of last June showedwomen who start the IVF process aged between 30 and 34 have a 43.4 per cent chance of a live birth after just one cycle, compared to those between 40 to 44, who have a 10.7 per cent chance.

“It’s not a shameful thing to need help –there is support out there,” she said.

“All you can do is keep trying and hoping.

“But you’ve got to have a clear head, you can’t go into it thinking ‘This is going to give me a baby’.”

Mrs Morris said while it was unfortunate there was still stigma around IVF, Mother’s Day on Sunday was an opportunity to celebrate all the different journeys women take to become mothers and mother figures.

“It’s the hardest job you’ll ever do but the best and most rewarding job too,” she said.

“I could be having the worst day and to have my girls look up and smile and say ‘It’s going to be okay, we love you’ is an unreal feeling.

“They are my world –I didn’t think kids could consume you so much, but I would do anything for them.”

Mrs Martin said she had always wanted to be a mother, but it wasn’t until her cyclist husband was hit by a car that they decided to press pause on building a house and start their family.

She said she relished being able to be a kid again with her girls–to go on caravan trips, camping, fishing, playin the mud and on swings.

Mrs Morris will spend Sunday with her mother, father and daughters in Werris Creek and said she was looking forward to quality time with her girls.

“I don’t need anything and I don’t want anything else –I just want them to be happy and taken care of.

“For them to crawl into bed with me, put their arms around me and say‘I love you’ is enough.

“Their presence is enough for me.”