News briefs from across Port Stephens: Friday, August 28 – Port Stephens Examiner

What to do if you receive mysterious seeds in the mail

Australian authorities and agritculture groups are urging people who receive mysterious, unsolicited seeds in the mail to report it to the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment immediately and have warned not to throw them in the trash.

Packages of seeds have been sent to random households in the US, Europe, US and Canada in recent months and have now arrived at dozens of addresses in Australia.

The packages are understood to have been sent from Asia.

While their exact origins are unknown, it is widely believed the seeds were sent from Asia.

Australian authorities and agriculture groups have warned the items could pose a serious biosecurity threat and could potentially lead to the introduction of new plant pests and invasive species.

The Canteen Connect app is an evolution of Canteen’s web-based online service and guarantees 24/7 support for all young people impacted by cancer whenever they need it most.

New app offers 24/7 support for teens with cancer

Youth cancer organisation, Canteen, has unveiled a new mobile app that aims to offer 24/7 support to teens living with cancer.

According to the organisation, the launch comes at a time when 18-25 year-olds are reportedly experiencing a 60 per cent increase in severe psychological distress.

The Canteen Connect app is an evolution of Canteen’s web-based online support service and guarantees 24/7 support for all young people impacted by cancer whenever they need it most.

Canteen CEO Peter Orchard says the app has been one of the organisation’s top priorities over the past two years, led by huge demand from the young people Canteen supports.

“Not only does this bring immediate connection to other young people going through similar experiences, it also means those impacted by a cancer diagnosis can get the information and professional counselling they need straight after a doctor’s appointment, or when they’re trying to make sense of major changes in their family.”

The app brings to life via iOS and Android smartphones, and is available in the App Store and Google Play right now across Australia and Aotearoa.

Newcastle Airport welcomes new member

Newcastle Airport has appointed former Virgin Australia Airlines executive Robert Sharp as an independent member on its Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee (ARCC).

Mr Sharp, a former CEO of Tiger Air, will commence his two-year tenure on September 1.

“My passion for the aviation sector is well known and having worked across a number of Australia’s leading airlines I am looking forward to applying my expertise to guide Newcastle Airport to long-term success,” Mr Sharp said.

“A powerhouse of potential already exists within the Hunter and I see the airport as the lynchpin for converting this into reality.”

Newcastle Airport chair Kirby Clark said the acquisition of Mr Sharp was a coup for the organisation.

“Despite the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the industry, our airport’s long-term aspirations remain bullish, and Rob’s arrival in our organisation is a sign of that confidence,” he said.

“In today’s current environment it is so important to ensure our airport is not only recovery ready, but also able to actively play a wider leadership role in our region and beyond. Mr Sharp’s appointment to our ARCC will only serve to enhance our capability.”

ARCC chair Jude Munro said Mr Sharp would bring with him a unique and highly applicable set of skills including more than 25 years of senior management, commercial and operational experience in multi-brand and multicultural aviation environments across the world.

Arts and cultural funding applications open

The NSW Government is calling on individual artists, arts and cultural workers, practitioners and organisations from across the state to apply now for funding through Create NSW’s 2020/2021 Arts and Cultural Funding Program.

“It’s extremely important to highlight the incredible contribution arts and culture makes to the State, and we are working to deliver a funding program that attracts a wide breadth of individual artists, arts and cultural workers and organisations to apply for funding,” NSW Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, said.

“Last year we delivered a simplified process that removed barriers to applying for arts and cultural funding, and this year in response to additional feedback from the sector we have further revised the guidelines.”

The 2020/2021 Arts and Cultural Funding Program applications will be assessed by 10 restructured Artform Advisory Boards. Members will make funding recommendations to the Minister for the Arts and provide strategic advice on issues facing their artform.

Due to the overwhelming response from applicants last year and in appreciation of the important role that festivals play in our creative environment, the Festivals and Multi-arts Board will be divided into standalone boards.

Classical Music, Opera and Choral will be assessed by a dedicated board to better serve practitioners and audiences, and all aspects of theatre have been brought together with a Theatre and Musical Theatre Board due to their similarities in artform approach.

The Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Board will expand its role this year. In addition to assessing its own applications, it will provide advice to other Boards on Aboriginal-focused content where applicants have chosen to be assessed by that specific Artform Board.

Applications close Wednesday, September 23. Visit the Create NSW website for more information, guidelines and to apply.