'Too soon for bushfire danger period': Letters to the editor

Early bush fire danger period

Bringing the bush fire danger period ahead each year by one month does nothing to help us manage our bush fire fuel loads.

If anything, it discourages spring burns. Although I would rather conduct autumn and winter burns, some spring burning can be very useful.

There may come a time where the RFS insists on permits all year round, a situation that concerns me greatly.

Mick Holton

Address supplied

CWA highlights domestic violence

The Country Women's Association (CWA) of NSW is preparing to launch its annual Awareness Week campaign on September 6, this year focussing on the issue of domestic violence.

The 2020 campaign is highlighting the confronting statistics that underline the need for urgent action in the areas of support services, perpetrator rehabilitation and prevention programs, particularly in rural and regional NSW, where this kind of assistance can be limited and often hours away.

The CWA of NSW is partnering with White Ribbon Australia and Domestic Violence NSW on this year's Awareness Week, supportive of each organisation's lobbying efforts and services offered to victims and their families.

CWA of NSW State President Stephanie Stanhope said the organisation wanted to highlight the urgency around more action on the issue in an effort to turn around the confronting statistics.

"The rates of violence we are seeing are not acceptable in our communities and we are calling for more initiatives, strategies and resources to go towards addressing the issue, particularly in rural and regional areas. We also want to encourage women who are living with violence to reach out for assistance, and the message from communities must be that victims are not alone and will not be judged, but rather listened to and supported," she said.

The campaign runs from September 6 to 13 and branches across the state are participating with their own awareness-raising events, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Kylie Galbraith

CWA

Rural Scholarships

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) is lending a helping hand to regional and rural New South Wales students studying at university, TAFE or a registered training organisation, with applications now open for its 2021 Rural Scholarship program.

The grant continues the RASF's mission to build strong and vibrant NSW communities and provides financial support to selected part-time and full-time tertiary students to assist in their education and ideally see them return to regional NSW with their new skill-set.

The program aims to help the youth of country NSW and support the future of regional communities.

The heart of any community is its people and its future sits with the next generation, this scholarship was created to support regional and rural students acquire skills that we hope one day they will bring back to their local town or other regional areas.

2020 saw 72 students from around the state receive study grants of $3000 for part-time and up to $6000 for full-time study.

Students may be studying anything from veterinary science and physiotherapy to mental health and mechanical engineering. Applications for the 2021 Rural Scholarship program will close Monday, September 7, and all regional and rural students studying at university, TAFE NSW or an accredited college are encouraged to apply. Visit www.rasf.org.au

Cecilia Logan

RASF Manager

Active Australia Challenge

The Heart Foundation is calling for entries in the 2020 Active Australia Innovation Challenge, which will award grants valued at $10,000 each for innovative community-based projects designed to get Aussies moving.

Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for heart disease, which continues to be the single leading cause of death in Australia. In 2018, 48 Australians died every day from heart disease, or about one every half hour. Heart disease accounted for more than one in ten (11.1 per cent) deaths that year.

Yet only a minority of Australians are active enough for good heart health. Just 22 per cent of 5-17 year olds, 15 per cent of 18-64 year olds and 17 per cent of over-65s meet Australia's physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines.

There's a perception that 'physical activity' means joining a gym, jogging around their neighbourhood or playing organised sport.

These are all legitimate forms of physical activity, but there are so many other fun and innovative ways for people of all fitness levels to be active.

The Active Australia Innovation Challenge is an avenue for tertiary institutions, schools, councils, community groups and other organisations to tell us their great ideas for encouraging communities to get more active and live a healthier lifestyle.

Past Active Australia Innovation Challenge winners have included surf lessons for children with autism; a "silent disco" for aged-care residents; and a program that enables people with a vision impairment to enjoy the social and physical benefits of cycling.

Entries will be open for six weeks from September 1. Shortlisted applicants will have the chance to refine and pitch their ideas, before a panel of experts decides on up to 10 winners.

www.heartfoundation.org.au

Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton

Heart Foundation Director of Active Living

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