Things to do in Macau: A three-minute guide

Dried food on sale in Macau. Photo: iStockWHY
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China’s special administrative region of Macau is a lively mixture of old and new, from the colonial and old Chinese architecture of the historic centre, to the bright lights big city vibe of Cotai. It’s like Singapore got drunk partying with the Portuguese Tourist Board in Las Vegas and these 30 square kilometres were the result. There are casinos of course – that’s why 21 million mainland Chinese come here to gamble each year – but there are fascinating layers of history, too. It’s also going to get easier to access once the bridge from Hong Kong opens at the end of 2017. VISIT 

If casinos are your thing then the reclaimed island of Cotai is the place to go. This faux Las Vegas already boasts a copy of the Vegas Venetian (and, at the time of writing, a half-built Eiffel Tower replica a la Paris Las Vegas) and it’s only going to get bigger. For more cultural fare head to the historic centre of Macau, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 2005, and check out the streets around Senado Square and the ruins of St Paul’s. There’s some good eating and drinking around here. EAT

Thanks to its history as a Portuguese colony, Macau’s cuisine is Portuguese, Chinese and Macanese, a wonderful mash-up of both. This means African chicken, the famous custard egg tarts, samosas, pork chop buns, pork-and-olive fried rice and all manner of hotpots. Some of the best Portuguese tarts are to be found at Lord Stow’s original bakery at 1 Rua da Tassara, Coloane (lordstow上海龙凤419m). Try Litoral on Rua do Almirante Sergio (restaurante-litoral上海龙凤419m) for Macanese, and Antonio’s (www.antoniomacau上海龙凤419m)  in Taipa village for authentic Portuguese such as salty, smoky pork sausage flamed in brandy and clams in a white wine sauce. LOOK

The Museum of Macau ( is housed in the old fortress, built between 1617 and 1626 on the 52-metre Mount Hill, just near the ruined facade of St Paul’s. It explains the history of Macau with some fascinating artefacts and hands-on exhibits. There is a pretty park at the top with panoramic views over the city. If bungy jumping floats your boat take a trip up the Macau Tower (macautower上海龙凤 and leap off. Or you could just admire the outlook. MUST

The Zen-like relaxed atmosphere at the 16th century A-Ma Temple is so thick you could cut it with a knife, especially when the incense sticks are going full blast. Take time to watch and wander and gradually make your way up to the viewpoint where a small statue of the goddess of the sea sits keeping an eye on the nearby waters. Popular with locals and tourists alike. SLEEP

Thanks to the casino district there are plenty of reasonably priced hotel rooms available mid-week – things get a little more expensive on the weekends when the big influx of gamblers arrives from China. The Sheraton Macao Hotel in Cotai (sheratonmacao上海龙凤419m) has rooms from about $220, for instance. For something a little more boutique and a lot more characterful there’s the Poussada de Sao Tiago (saotiago上海龙凤 which has only 12 suites in a 17th century fort. TIP

Take time to visit the more outlying areas such as Coloane, the southernmost district and a leafy seaside oasis that could easily pass for the Mediterranean. Book a table if you can at Miramar, a Portuguese restaurant right on the edge of a beach.

The writer was a guest of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Macau Government Tourism Office and Cathay Pacific.

The art of Britain: Since Cool Britannia, modern art has transformed the country

Turner Contemporary, on Margate seafront.Britain’s art galleries and museums were once seen as rather stuffy, exclusive affairs. But two decades after Cool Britannia – when cutting-edge artists like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin rocked the mainstream – the country’s artscape is completely transformed. Not only has art in Britain never been more accessible – most galleries, public and private, are admission-free – it’s provided the catalyst for regenerating scores of economically-deprived areas, as well as breathing new life into traditional destinations. Whether you’re a casual browser, or an aficionado, you’ll find arresting modern art – British and international – in the capital and beyond.  HIRST’S NEW BABY
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Damien Hirst apparently forked out £25 million ($49m) of his own fortune on the Newport Street Gallery (newportstreetgallery上海龙凤419m), which has injected fresh impetus to Vauxhall, an increasingly arty neighbourhood just south of the River Thames.

Don’t expect diamond-encrusted skulls, animals preserved in formaldehyde or any of Hirst’s other ground-breaking pieces in these refurbished red-brick Victorian warehouses. But you will find the fruits of his 3000-strong personal collection (one he’s keen to share with the public, for free, as he says he feels guilty about having it hidden away in boxes where no-one can see it). Exhibitions change every six months.

The current one, Jeff Koons: Now (til October 16), displays 30 of the American artist’s quirky sculptures, paintings and works on paper in a gallery sporting bundles of natural light and dazzling whitewashed walls. The Newport – which is within walking distance of the trendy Beaconsfield ( and Gasworks (gasworks上海龙凤 arts spaces – is billed as London’s biggest gallery opening since that Thameside mecca of modern art, the Tate Modern (whose glossy, ten-storey, Herzog & de Meuron-designed £260 million extension to its former power station headquarters was unveiled on June 17, boosting gallery space by 60 per cent).  ELSEWHERE IN LONDON….

You could spend days trotting between the capital’s leading contemporary draws. The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea (saatchigallery上海龙凤419m), the Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens (serpentinegalleries上海龙凤419), the Royal Academy of Arts (royalacademy上海龙凤 in Piccadilly and the Institute of Contemporary Arts near Trafalgar Square (ica上海龙凤 host blockbuster exhibitions that might be baffling or brilliant depending on your artistic critique.

So, too, does the Victoria Miro gallery in Islington (victoria-miro上海龙凤419m) and the White Cube in Bermondsey (whitecube上海龙凤419m), which is run by Jay Jopling, the art-dealing ex-husband of Sam Taylor-Wood, who, along with Hirst, Emin and co, was one of the YBAs (Young British Artists) of the 1980s and 90s.

Despite surging rents, east London remains a magnet for today’s emerging talents, with studios, pop-ups and art-filled cafes and wine bars mushrooming alongside attention-grabbing murals. Fledgling and established talents appear at the Brick Lane Gallery (thebricklanegallery上海龙凤419m), Hackney Wick (hackneywicked上海龙凤 and Whitechapel Gallery (whitechapelgallery上海龙凤419), whose critically-acclaimed shows have featured the likes of Mark Rothko, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Palestinian activist-artist, Emily Jacir. Children’s drawing workshops and activity trails boost the gallery’s family-friendly reputation.

Art fairs are held across London, at venues as diverse as the brutalist Barbican (barbican上海龙凤, sumptuous Somerset House (somersethouse上海龙凤 and leafy Regent’s Park – chief location of the annual October Frieze festival, which last year brought together 164 galleries from 27 countries and starred eye-catching works from, among others, Carmen Herrera, a 100-year old Cuban-American abstract artist (friezelondon上海龙凤419m). SOUTH COAST

English seaside towns may be synonymous with buckets, spades and amusement arcades, but there’s plenty of mind food, too.

St Ives (Cornwall) and Brighton are long-standing cultural hotbeds, and the east Kent resort of Margate now lures art lovers, including visiting Royals.

It’s largely thanks to the Turner Contemporary (turnercontemporary上海龙凤419), a dynamic new venue that honours JMW Turner (the legendary British landscape artist, whose name also graces the country’s most prestigious contemporary art prize). Designed by “starchitect” David Chipperfield on Margate’s seafront and attracting high-profile visitors such as Kate Middleton, the Turner hosts boundary-pushing exhibitions like “Disarm” by Mexican Pedro Reyes (a medley of crushed revolvers, shotguns and machine guns confiscated from criminals and transformed into musical instruments). This year’s standout exhibition, however, will explore Turner’s “adventures in colour”. (October 8-January 8).  BIRMINGHAM

Conceptual art has flourished inside the derelict industrial units of Digbeth, just east of Birmingham’s city centre.

The Custard Factory (custardfactory上海龙凤 is a hive of creativity, its restored Victorian factories sheltering independent shops, eateries, salons and art spaces, where a Brummie painter, Jinxy, produces portraits using coffee (he’s done ones of the Queen, Audrey Hepburn and Jimi Hendrix). Other groovy Digbeth art initiatives include Eastside Projects (eastsideprojects上海龙凤419), Vivid Projects (vividprojects上海龙凤 and Friction (frictionarts上海龙凤419m). Joining them on the Birmingham Arts Map (birminghamartmap上海龙凤419) are established contemporary sites: The Ikon (ikon-gallery上海龙凤419), a gem set in a converted neo-Gothic schoolhouse near a city centre canal, and the Mac (macbirmingham上海龙凤 in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham’s loveliest green lung. YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE TRIANGLE

Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, Yorkshire legend Henry Moore and native Hesquiat American Tim Paul are among the artists to flavour the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Britain’s best open-air gallery.

Spanning 90 hectares of bucolic sheep-and-sculpture-sprinkled parkland, it’s part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle (ysculpture上海龙凤, which also comprises the Hepworth Wakefield (a glossy new David Chipperfield-designed gallery that celebrates local girl done good, Barbara Hepworth, plus “guest” artists like Anthony Caro and Enrico David) and Leeds Art Gallery (where a schoolboy Damien Hirst first encountered John Hoyland’s work). The latter shoulders the Henry Moore Institute – a multi-purpose venue founded by Moore to encourage appreciation of the visual arts, especially sculpture. ELSEWHERE IN THE NORTH….

Complementing Manchester’s glitzy new HOME arts juggernaut (homemcr上海龙凤419), a £15 million refurbishment has modernised the city’s 19th century Whitworth Art Gallery, helping it win the Art Fund 2015 Museum of the Year award (see

New, light-filled gallery spaces jut into the Whitworth’s neighbouring, birdlife-rich park, while its atmospheric landscape room, with its reflective waterpool, hosts thought-provoking temporary exhibitions.

A recent one starred the gunpowder-tinged works of Chinese-born New Yorker Cai Guo-Qiang. Down the M62 motorway, Liverpool’s Tate (tate上海龙凤 is hosting northern England’s biggest ever Francis Bacon exhibition (May 18-September 18). Don’t miss the city’s art-fuelled Baltic Triangle (baltictriangle上海龙凤 and the Toxteth Granby Four Streets area (assemblestudio上海龙凤, where “guerilla gardening” projects have helped rejuvenate a run-down housing estate, earning it the 2015 Turner prize. Antony Gormley’s giant Angel of the North sculpture looms outside Newcastle, where The Biscuit Factory has morphed from disused Victorian warehouse into Britain’s largest commercial gallery (thebiscuitfactory上海龙凤419m). It displays and sells contemporary fine art, sculpture, prints, jewellery and homewares – many crafted by the resident artists. Across the River Tyne in Gateshead, the Baltic (balticmill上海龙凤419m) has rotating attractions in a huge old flour mill. SCOTLAND 

The creative sector is spurring the renaissance of Dundee, which had sunk into the doldrums after the decline of traditional industries like shipbuilding and jute production.

A flashy Kengo Kuma-masterminded branch of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (vandadundee上海龙凤419) will enhance a waterfront city already boasting a raft of independent galleries, world-class video games studios (Grand Theft Auto was born in Dundee) and the Dundee Contemporary Arts (dca上海龙凤, where you can peruse exhibitions, participate in craft workshops and watch working artists.

Scotland’s undisputed art capital, Glasgow, has yielded many Turner Prize winners. Expect genre-defying art at GOMA (glasgowmuseums上海龙凤419m), The Modern Institute (themoderninstitute上海龙凤419m) and the Centre for Contemporary Arts (cca-glasgow上海龙凤419m). For an al fresco art fix, join one of the “Creative Glasgow Walking Tours” run by the esteemed Glasgow School of Art (see In Edinburgh, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has comic-strip illustrations by Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney’s imaginary ‘Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians’ painting and ‘Escaped Animals’ by Julian Opie (an installation of manufactured road signs depicting squirrels, foxes and the like).

The Leith Gallery (the-leith-gallery上海龙凤 is a highlight of Edinburgh’s revitalised port area, while Collective (collectivegallery上海龙凤419), which has been promoting Edinburghian artists for 30 years, is relocating to the City Observatory complex on Calton Hill. Blessed with inspiring views of Edinburgh, the site will, say organisers, be “a collective space in which artists, producers and audiences can meet, think, debate, reflect upon the past, consider the future and most importantly, take action”. It’s expected to fully open in 2017.

Steve McKenna’s trip was supported by Visit Britain and partners.TRIP NOTESMORE INFORMATION

visitbritain上海龙凤419m, visitscotland上海龙凤419mGETTING THERE

Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines are among the airlines that fly between Sydney and Melbourne and London. FIVE OTHER PLACES TO GET AN ART FIX IN BRITAINBRISTOL

Ambitious council-backed street art schemes and graffiti by that well-known Bristolian, Bansky, punctuate this vibrant port city. Explore it on the Bristol Street Art Tour; wherethewall上海龙凤419mEAST MIDLANDS

A ceramic installation portraying the DNA of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire fills the North Sketch Gallery at the lavish Chatsworth Estate (Mr Darcy’s home in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice). Chatsworth is part of the East Midlands’ Grand Tour collaborative with Nottingham Contemporary, Derby Museums and The Harley Gallery; thegrandtour.uk上海龙凤419mTWR Y FELIN HOTEL, ST DAVIDS

Set around a former windmill in Britain’s smallest city, this swanky new hotel features over 100 original art works by 12 international artists commissioned to depict the local area, including the ravishing Pembrokeshire Coast National Park; twryfelinhotel上海龙凤419mCOASTAL CULTURE TRAIL

Popular with walkers and cyclists, this 40km south-coast trail takes in three award-winning attractions: Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings; coastalculturetrail上海龙凤419mNORFOLK

Just outside Norwich, on the campus of the University of East Anglia, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts was the first major public building designed by Sir Norman Foster. Inside, you’ll find slick contemporary photography, plus eclectic stuff from Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore; scva上海龙凤

Oliver Curtis, husband of Roxy Jacenko, jailed for insider trading

Insider trader Oliver Curtis and his wife Roxy Jacenko arrive at the NSW Supreme Court on Friday. Photo: Daniel Munoz Oliver Curtis’ wife Roxy Jacenko leaves court after her husband was jailed. Photo: Daniel Munoz
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Insider trader Oliver Curtis is escorted to a prison truck after being sentenced to two years in jail. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Verdict: Oliver Curtis guilty of insider tradingCurtis pleads for non-custodial sentence

A drawn Oliver Curtis took off his wedding ring and tie, and hugged and kissed his tearful wife Roxy Jacenko goodbye, before being led away by corrective services officers on Friday to begin a year-long stint in jail for conspiracy to commit insider trading.

The 30-year-old son of Nick Curtis, former Macquarie banker and resources millionaire, appeared resigned to his fate as Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum sentenced him to a maximum of two years in prison, to be released after one year on a good behaviour bond.

Curtis must have known what he was doing was “very wrong” but believed he could “avoid getting caught”, Justice McCallum said in a strongly-worded judgment delivered in the historic St James Supreme Court in Sydney.

He had used the proceeds of an illegal deal with his former best friend John Hartman, son of prominent north shore obstetrician Keith, to cash in on inside information to “fund a lifestyle of conspicuous extravagance”.

The sentence marks the latest chapter in a peculiarly Sydney tale of greed and privilege.

The court heard the old boys of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, then aged in their early 20s, made $1.43 million in a year using confidential information acquired by Mr Hartman during his job as an equities dealer at boutique firm Orion Asset Management to bet on shifts in share prices.

Mr Hartman, the Crown’s star witness, has already served 15 months behind bars after confessing to a string of insider trading offences, a small number of which related to the tips he passed on to Curtis.

“It is troubling that, unlike Mr Hartman, Mr Curtis has not embraced responsibility for his offending,” Justice McCallum said.

Curtis, who was working at boutique investment bank Transocean Group at the time of the offences in 2007 and 2008, had expressed “no contrition to any degree whatsoever” until after the jury found him guilty on June 2.

“While many people have spoken of his positive qualities in business and as a family man, he shows no sign of progression beyond the self-interested pursuit of material wealth which prompted his offending,” Justice McCallum said.

After the sentence was read out, Curtis gave his family in the packed public gallery a small smile and took off his tie, belt, watch and wedding ring.

A wad of cash was removed from his wallet and handed to Ms Jacenko, founder of PR firm Sweaty Betty.

He embraced Ms Jacenko and kissed her three times before he was taken down to the cells underneath the court.

Justice McCallum said a prison sentence had “real bite” as a deterrent in white collar crime cases and the court must be at pains not to treat classes of offending unequally.

Such crimes were not victimless and the offending in this case “saw superannuation funds competing with twenty-year-olds using inside information to pay for a skiing holiday”, she said in a reference to just one of the luxury expenses racked up by Curtis and Mr Hartman.

The co-operation of Mr Hartman with authorities stood in stark contrast to the conduct of Curtis, Justice McCallum said, although his sentence should not be increased on that basis.

She added Mr Hartman had “endured a wholesale, public attack on his character with the patient resignation of a man who had come to terms with the obloquy his past conduct deserved”.

But Justice McCallum said Curtis’ culpability was less than that of Mr Hartman, because he was not the insider with access to confidential information even though he was “complicit” in his friend’s breach of trust.

Curtis’ barrister, Murugan Thangaraj, SC, had urged the court to impose a non-custodial sentence.

Justice McCallum rejected his suggestion that Curtis’ loss of career should be taken into account.

As to the intense media scrutiny surrounding the case, Justice McCallum said it had not all been negative and not all of it directed to Curtis.

“There is no evidence that Mr Curtis himself has invited media attention; he is not to be equated with his wife in this context,” Justice McCallum said in a nod to Ms Jacenko’s social media profile.

But Justice McCallum said he had received “more than his share of bad press”, including a “small number of extremely nasty remarks” on social media, and she had “given some small weight to that consideration”.

In an aside on social media commentary, Justice McCallum said it was an irony that after “centuries of relative civility” recent technological advances had allowed an “explosion of dissemination of medieval attitudes”.

In an impassioned reference in support of her husband, tendered in court, Ms Jacenko said she had “no doubt” Curtis would never offend again.

“There has never been a moment that I have had any doubt about his integrity or morals. Oli is a kind, considerate, honest and reliable man,” Ms Jacenko wrote.

The maximum penalty was five years in prison, a $220,000 fine, or both.

$40,000 master plan paves the way for new beginnings at Maitland’s historic Walka Water Works

HISTORIC SHOWPIECE: Former Maitland councillor Ray Fairweather worked tirelessly promoting Walka Water Works. Historic Walka Water Works is poised for a new beginning with Maitland City Council tipped to adopt a master plan for the site.
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Councillors will vote at a meeting on Tuesday night whether to adopt the plan which will make the historical, political and culturalsignificance of the site accessible to the community.

Walka is located two kilometres north of Central Maitland and comprises 64.2 hectares of Crown land.

While the water works property is owned by the State Government, council pays substantial maintenance costs each year.

Council received a $40,000 grant from the State Government to implement the first stage of the plan which focused on developing educational attractions at the site for school groups and visitors.

The master plan seeks to provide direction on how the site might be developed to create greater meaning for visitors, now and in the future.

The plan has proposed the overarching theme of restoring Body and Mind for Walka’s place activation.

Within this, three themes are identified:

. Water Works. Providing context and introducing the human history of the site –why it is here, its technology, how it has been seen, what it has meant to different generations.

. People in the Landscape. Drawing attention to the impact people can have on landscape and the positive benefits landscape can have on people.

. Ecology. Exploring the flora and fauna of Walka.

The funding council received under the NSWHeritage Grants Program will be used to start the plan and the ongoing implementation of the plan will rely on future government grant opportunities.

An online survey of what interested people most about Walka Water Works found most people enjoythe recreational activities followed by the wildlife and environment.

Some people also suggested extendingbike paths around the reserve, more information and tours, interactive play and observation areas for children and mothers’ groups andmore opportunity for children to interact with wildlife.

Alex Beckett wins Sydney Royal Wine Show Scholarship

CHEERS: Alex Beckett is the winner of the Sydney Wine Show scholarship.MAITLAND’SAlex Beckett,a fourth-year viticulture and wine science student at the University of Adelaide, has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship.It gives Mr Beckett, 24, $5000 towards his tertiary studies and a place as a steward at the judging of the 2016 Sydney Royal Wine Show from July 18 to 21.Born and educated in Maitland, Mr Beckett’sparents operate a Maitland truck driver training school.He developed an interest in wine while working part-time in Hunter Valley wineries and cellar doors.
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After school, however, he spent two years in a linguistics degree course at Newcastle University, but in 2013 put himself on track to a winemaking career at Adelaide University.

His Sydney Royal scholarship win was announced this week by Sydney Wine Show committee chair, Lyndey Milan.

Ms Milan said the scholarship gave young winemakers the chance to network and learn from industry leaders.

Mr Beckett, who had shown his enthusiasm by acting as a steward at the 2015 Sydney show, would this year gain greater insights into the judging of wines from across Australia from such experts as international judge Michelle Bouffard, said Ms Milan.

Mr Beckett, who graduates from the Adelaide degree course this year, said he counted himself very lucky to have grown up in the Hunter, which created opportunities from his first cellar door job through to the scholarship.

“One of my favourite varieties, due to its unique flavour and quality, is my home region’s Hunter Valley semillon and I’m very much looking forward to helping build the quality of not only the Hunter’s products, but Australia’s, in my career ahead,” he said.

Family of unborn baby killed in Berry car crash call for justice

Heartbroken: Toni Brown with the tiny cloth nappy worn too briefly by Letariah. Pictures: Robert PeetHer name was Letariah Michelle Margaret Brown.
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She had a little brother awaiting her arrival, a mother and grandmotherready to dote on her.

Yet Letariah –the unborn child killed when her mother wasinjured in a serious accident on the South Coast last October–didn’t exist within the eyes of the law.

Last week the person held responsible for the accident wasjailed for seven months, with a minimumterm of just two months, yether family claim they have been handed a life sentence.

In Nowra Local Court last WednesdayZebulon Wood wascharged with negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm for the injuries caused to Letariah’s mother Tayla –yet the law could not punish him for the death of the 26-week-old foetus.

Heartbroken: Toni Brown at Letariah’s memorial. Pictures: Robert Peet

“The law does not acknowledge unborn babies, but we do acknowledge her,’’ grandmother Toni Brown, of Yallah, said.

“These babies are human, even though they haven’t taken their first breath, they’re still babies.

“We bathed her and dressed her and spent two days with her, and I promised her when I held her that I’d do everything I could to get her name recognised.’’

Ms Brown said not only does she grieve for her granddaughter, but also for her daughter Tayla.

“No grandmother should have to bury their grandchild –now I’m watching my daughter go through such awful mental anguish,’’ she said.

Memorial: Toni Brown at her granddaughter Letariah’s memorial site at Lakeside Memorial Park; her inscription reads ‘Fly high our little angel’.

“She held her for two days and didn’t want to let her go –she told the nurses to take Letariah after she fell asleep and she couldn’t bear to part with her.’’

The sentence handed down toWood could never go far enough, said Ms Brown: “My family got given a life sentence.’’

She’s calling on law makers to take another look at the legislation covering the lives ofunborn babies, to give them the acknowledgement they deserve.

It’s not the first time there’s been a call for reform, however under the Crimes Act a child is considered alive only after taking breath.

A bill called Zoe’s Law which would have declared unborn children ‘’legal persons’’ lapsed in late 2014 amid fears it could put restrictions on abortion.

The push for the bill began withthe case of Brodie Donegan, whose unborn daughter Zoe died in 2009 after Ms Donegan was hit by a drug-affected driver while walking.

In 2001, a similar review was sparked after the death of baby Byron, at seven months gestation, after his mother Renee Shields was injured in a road rage attack.

AndQueensland mother, Sarah Milosevic – wholost her unborn daughter Sophie in a crash caused by a drunk driver –is also nowtaking up the fight.

Cherished: A photograph of Letariah’s tiny little feet is one of the treasured mementoes her family holds dear.

By Robert Crawford

Zebulon Wood knew heshouldn’t have been behind the wheel when he drove south on the Princes Highway at Berry on a weekend in October last year.

After all, he was driving with a suspended licence, and had been drinking before getting in the driver’s seat.But what he did next would pale in comparison to the errors he’d already made that day.

In a split second, Wood ran up the back of another car, setting in motion a three-car accident that injured nine people and, most tragically, caused the death of Tayla Brown’s unborn child.

The 18-year-old had been a rear seat passenger in Wood’s car after he’d offered her a lift down the coast to visit a friend.The impact of the crash was so great, despite receiving immediate medical attention, doctors couldn’t save the 26-week foetus.

The tragic story had its conclusion on Wednesday in Nowra Local Court, when Wood, 33, ofNethercote, north west of Eden, was sentenced to seven-months’ jail, with a non-parole period of two months,and disqualified from driving for three years.

He pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and driving while suspended.

Magistrate Gabriel Fleming described the incident as an‘’overwhelming tragedy’’.

“There was a degree of negligence – inattention and that resulted in the collision.It caused a catastrophic result. And the defendant was driving while suspended.”

Wood returned a positivebreath test at the scene; yet left hospital before further testing could be undertaken.

“The impact on the victim is aggravated. Tayla Brown was looking forward to welcoming a baby, instead the serious abdominal injuries meant the baby was born not breathing,’’Magistrate Fleming said.

“There has been great impact on the mother.”

She said Wood had indicated he wanted to seek counselling and help but as yet had not done so.

“The punishment must fit the crime. In driving matters we must send a strong message to the community,” Magistrate Fleming said.

“You were driving a motor vehicle with three passengers. You have the care of three people in your hands.”

A different take on seven days in rugby league

EURO VISION: Semi Radradra gets in the groove for a potential move to the south of France and a lucrative contract playing rugby. Picture: Getty Images
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THURSDAYOne time Knight-for-life-wannabeTariq Sims leaves theCastle for the Gong. The former Knights co-captain has only just got off the Bulli Pass and footage appears of him putting on a Red V jumper and telling fans how good it is to be a Dragon.“It’s been very long time since I pulled on this jersey and it feels great,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to it”. That’ll do me.On the plus side, it should make the coin toss less problematicat the Knights.

FRIDAYThe Maroons camp is in disarray due to a stomach bug. Jacob Lillyman is put in quarantine andAidan Guerra, Matt Scott and Corey Oates also reportedly fallvictim to a dodgy vindaloo.

Dane Gagia is also apparently struggling with a quad strain.Yeah right. Just like Cooper Cronk had a bung ankle. Next they will be trying to have us believethatCameron Smith is too old, Johnathan Thurston is a liability in defence and Greg Inglis is a Queenslander.

The Bunnies host the $lipperies at ANZ. I’m old school when it comes to footy and hate how the modern game has been bastardised. The way I see it,an “edge runner” is what youuse to keep the front lawn tidy and “above the horizontal” is where youend up after a night on the tiles. I can’t believe what I witness in the second half. The Bunnies have a scrum near the quarter-line. The centre feeds the ball underneath the legs of the second-rower for the hooker topick the ball up at lock and passto the prop standing atfive-eighth. Unfortunately for the BunniesCam McGuinness (the hooker playing at lock)knocks on. Then, from the ensuing Eelsscrum, Ken Edwards (the world’s biggestfive eighth) feeds the ball and theleft winger comes across to sendthe right winger over in the corner. Anyone else confused?The try gives the $lipperies an eight-point lead at 20-12.

Any hope of a Bunnies comeback is squashed thanks to a runawaySemi Radradra. The Fijian flyer takes an intercept near his own tryline and motors past seven defenders in a 90 metre dash to the tryline.

SATURDAYThe Storm, already without Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith, lose Cameron Munster and Blake Green for the battle against the Dragons. I’m surprised they even get out of their own half. It’s hardly a glowing advertisement for rugby league. Filthy that I tipped the Storm, I switch channels to the rugby. The Wobblies are equally uninspiring in what is hardly a glowing advertisement for the game they play in heaven. Referee Craig Joubert adds to the frustration. Deadset, memakes the NRL Bunker look like money well spent. Joubert’s performance is only marginally better than the surface.Monster trucks have left smaller tracksthan the scrums doat AAMI Park.

SUNDAYNew Zealand rugby league fans from Bondi to the Bay of Plentyare torn –Chooks or the Once Weres. For two teams who have treated defence as optional for much of the season, they keep their try-line intact for an hour. Enter Shaun Johnson. TheKiwi magician is on one leg but still proves to tricky for the Chooksas he skips and dances his way across for the match-winner.

MONDAYNews breaks that Semi-trailer forgot to put on the anchors after scoring the match-winner against the Bunniesand kept going all the way to Fiji. Apparently he intends to keep on trucking to Bordeaux and alucrative stint in French rugby. It seems the $250k he is on at the $lipperies –that’s $100kless than the Knights are paying Jack Stockwell to play reggies –doesn’t cut the mustard. Semi’s sistertells the Fiji Times that”Semi had discussed his move with my parents and we are supporting him 100 per cent”. Unfortunately Semi forgets to inform the $lipperies of his plans. There is also the little matter of acontract that binds him to Parramatta until 2017. You got to feel for Eels coach Brad Arthur.

It’s a miracle.Gags gets the green light for Origin IIandthe stomach bug which gave the Maroons theEdgar Britts has been flushed down the toilet.

The Gold Coast Titans host the Sea Eagles for the inaugural DCE Cup. Luke Douglas runs intoa hole to open the home side’saccount. The prop is $151 on the Giddy Goatto be first try-scorer.Incredibly $440 has been plonked on the big fella who hadn’t crossed the stripe since the Titans were the Giants.

The home side lead 16-0 after 24 minutes prompting respected Queensland league writer WayneHemmings to post on twitter what everyone is thinking: “Manly are playing like they have backed the Titans”.

TUESDAYLebron James leads the Cleveland Cavaliers to a historic first NBA title.Sharkies fans hope it is an omen as they chase a first premiership since their inception in 1967. One Sharks fan asks on Twitter: @KingJames can you come to Cronulla and bring us one next?Forget Sonny Bill.Imagine King James playing league. He stands 203cm, weighs 113 kilogram, has silky hands and is pure athlete. He’dmake a hell of a back-rower.

Up north, Queenslanders raise a XXXX toCorey Parker after the Brisbane stock horse announces he will retire at season’s end. Parker made his debut as an 18-year-old and has notched 336 games.”It’s a difficult decision to make because there’s a part of them that still wants to play,” saysBroncs coach Wayne Bennett who recently extended his rule until the end of 2019 and just shy of70thbirthday.”But there is another part of them that doesn’t want their teammates looking sideways at them – or the fans or me.If he goes another year he takes that risk.” Something about the pot calling the kettle black.

WEDNESDAYGame day. Suncorp Stadium is pumping. A dayafter sabotaging the Blues final training session with a highlight’s package on the giant screen of Queensland’s biggest and bestmoments,the Maroons roll out legend after legend in the lead up to kick off.

How do the Blues respond? With a song by the Wigglestitled “NSW Blues Song”. Lord give us strength.

The Essential Ingredient returns to Junction Fair as centre owner vows to return it to its former glory

Kitchen connoisseur: Leonie Young at The Essential Ingredient, which has returned to Junction Fair. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers. GOURMANDmagnet The Essential Ingredient has returned to its original home at The Junction Fair as the centre’s Sydney-based owner vows to return the shopping venueto its former glory.
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Leonie Young founded the franchisedboutique kitchen supply store with a business partnerin 2005 at the centre before moving to a bigger site onDarby Street in 2010.

The move to Cooks Hillallowed the business to build a purpose-built area for its well-regarded cooking school and add a cafe.

However when the opportunity came up for a lease at Junction Fair, Mrs Young said she was attracted by the “high-end” plans of the centre’s owner, Sydney-based Fortius Funds Management.

Fortius bought Junction Fair for $32 million in December, 2014, its asset managerRenaud Herington saying the groupwas attracted by the single-level site with the right demographic in “the best part of Newcastle”.

“We are trying to get Junction Fair back to is former glory,” Mr Herington said of the 25-shop centre.

Fortius has recently signed 12 Rounds gymnasium, is in leaseholdtalks with fresh fruit and cafeoperators and is “actively seeking a seafood operator”, he said.

Newcastle-founded donut business Doughheads has taken on the lease of the former Gloria Jeans site and Mr Herington said Fortius had found its Newcastle dealings “rewarding”.

“The tenancy mix is all Newcastle brands, many which have evolved from a garage or market, so it’s become a real Newcastle centre,” he said.

Though The Essential Ingredient has sacrificed floor space in its newlocation, Mrs Young said it brought welcome benefits. It nolonger has a cafe but has tripled the size of its commercial kitchen for its popular cooking classes,which passersby can observe.

“We’ve had nose marks on the windows from people looking in,” said Mrs Young.

The store will beef up its retail – 40 per cent of its clients are wholesale, in the restaurantsector–and deli, with more cheese andfresh food items including Udder Farm milk and eggs.

Staffed by foodies, chefs or ex-chefs, she saidThe Essential Ingredient was also the preferred Newcastle supplier for brands including MagiMix.

Mrs Young said the store had strong relations with their suppliers and selected products carefully, knowing their knowledge and range of stock will set them apart.

“We have to be meticulous because chefs expect us to know and expect the best at a reasonable price,” she says.

The store will also offer home-style takeaway meals made in house, such as pates, pies and terrines: “It’s also great for cheating at dinner parties, who doesn’t love confit duck,” Mrs Young said.

World League Super Finals: Newcastle’s Richie Campbell strong in narrow quarter-final loss for Aussie Sharks

Richie Campbell in action for Australia in a pre-tournament friendly against Greece. Picture: Getty ImagesUPDATED:Newcastle water polo product Richie Campbell scored three goals then twice in a shoot-out as Australia lost 16-15 to USA in the quarter-finals of the World League Super Finals in China.
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Campbell scored twice late, the second with 88 seconds left, to help Australia come back to tie 8-8 at the end of regulation time on Friday night (AEST).

He then converted both of his shots in the extra-time penalty shoot-out, which the USA secured in the second-round of chances.

EARLIER:On Thursday, Campbell scored two goals as Australia lost 10-5 to Greece.

It continued a strong tournament for two-time OlympianCampbell, who scored twice in the opening-game loss to Italy and three times in the win over Japan on day two. The tournament is the last before Australia’s Olympic team is announced. Fellow Novocastrian Nathan Power, who is aiming for his first Olympics,has scored three goals across the three preliminary games.

Campbell said defensive lapses hurt Australia in the loss to Greece, who scored four goals to one in the last quarter.

“It wasa better start from the Aussie Sharks today,” Campbell said.

“We ended up having a lapse just before half-time and again in the third which cost us a few goals the other way.

“Up next we’ve gotthe USA in the quarter-finals, so it’s a team we’re really familiar with and I’m looking forward to a good game.”

Australian coachElvis Fatovic said it was an improved effort from his side.

“Our first quarter was really good, especially in the defence and extra-man defence were excellent against Greece,” he said.

“But we struggled with our organisation of extra-man goals that we only scored one time which was not enough for the team.

“Generally,I thought we played a lot better than our first two games and hopefully tomorrow we will do better again.”

EARLIER: Richie Campbell scored three goals as Australia bounced back with a 13-7 win over Japan in game two of the WorldLeague Super Finals in Chinaon Thursday night (AEST).

Campbell and Aaron Younger led scorers with three goals, while Newcastle’s Nathan Power scored one.

In game one on Tuesday (AEST), Campbelland Power scoredtwo goals eachbut it wasnot enough to stop Australia going down 14-7 to Italy in their opening match.

Goalkeeper James Stanton-French said it was good to bounce back against Japan.

“We went to the video after game one, analysed what was going wrong and it was great to come out against Japan and make the changes we talked about.

“We hadareally good second half, our counter attack started rolling on which was really pleasing to see especially against a team like Japan who are known for their counter attack.

“Then also getting the defensive stops back the other way which is something we spoke about pre-game and hopefully it is something we can carry on for the rest of the tournament.”

Coach Elvis Fatovic was disappointed with the slow start in attack but pleased with the turnaround.

“We controlled our defence and then we created some opportunities of counter-attack.

“We played side defence much better, but we must play like this from the beginning.”

Matthew Perry pleads guilty to the murder of Sydney teenager Jed Coates

Sydney teenager Jed Coates Photo: Facebook”Shoot me, shoot me,” teenager Jed Coates screamed moments before he was fatally shot with a rifle in Sydney’s west after a fight on a State of Origin night two years ago.
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The man behind the trigger was high school acquaintance Matthew Perry, 23.

On Wednesday, Perry stood before the NSW Supreme Court and pleaded guilty to murder – eerily on the eve of another State of Origin game.

He stood wearing a grey suit and shirt as he was formally convicted by acting Justice Jane Mathews.

Mr Coates’ mother, Julie Lowe, left the court with family after hearing the guilty plea but did not make a comment.

Mr Coates had been at the Colyton Hotel watching the State of Origin game on June 18,  just weeks after celebrating his 18th birthday, when police said he became involved in a dispute with Perry.

A police statement tendered previously to Mount Druitt Local Court said the victim was kicked out of the Colyton Hotel earlier in the night and walked less than two kilometres to Nevada Avenue.

In this street, another fight broke out between the pair. The victim armed himself with a shovel and the accused with a rifle.

Neighbours reported hearing an argument and loud noises in the street just before Mr Coates was gunned down not far from his home.

One neighbour mistook the noise for fireworks let off by fans celebrating the Blues’ Origin win.

Police and paramedics arrived a short time later to find Mr Coates suffering from a single gunshot wound.

He was taken to Westmead Hospital but died just before midnight, less than an hour later.

Mr Coates’ twin brother, Sam, paid tribute to his sibling online shortly after the fatal shooting.

“Rip Jed my brother my twin your a king in my eyes love you bro.”

Other friends paid tribute to Mr Coates on social media.

“Rip Jed … my brother. I love you brother I carnt [sic] even get my head around this,” wrote one friend on Facebook.

“You will always be in my heart … your legacy will always live on, im devastated we couldn’t go out together and drink you were taken way to quick and young.”

Perry has been in custody since his arrest two years ago.

He is expected to appear in court on Friday for his sentencing hearing.