CONGRATULATIONS to Amy Harris for all your achievements with the Australian Ballet and on your recent promotion.
Ararat should be very proud of all you have accomplished.
Sandra West, Ararat
Keep children from harm
IT NEVER ceases to amaze me how careless parents can be.
I have lost count of the amount of times I have witnessed occasions where parents have done, or allowed something, with their kids that places them in potential danger.
It frustrates me how these parents don't seem to care about their children when there are people like myself, who, if they had children, would do a better job.
Just to give an example of what I am talking about, not long before writing this I witnessed a mother walk out of a library leaving her little daughter behind.
The little girl took a few moments to realise that her mum was not in the library then raced out after her. There was more than enough time for someone to have hurt that child.
I ask all parents to be more vigilant with the safety of their children because it only takes a brief moment for something to happen that could irreparably damage that child for the rest of their lives.
You are their parents and it is your responsibility to ensure that they are safe at all times.
David Brown, Stawell
Spreading kinder benefits
I WOULD like to tell readers about exciting plans to allow every kid in Western Victoria the chance to start kindergarten a year earlier.
A re-elected Labor Government will invest almost $5 billion over the next decade to deliver a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder, helping make sure local kids are ready for school and set for life.
This will be the largest social, economic and educational reform ever undertaken in early childhood learning and is great news for families here in Western Victoria.
Right now, many families are forced to scrimp and save to cover the costs of three-year-old kinder – around $5000 a year for 15 hours. But too many kids are missing out, with new research showing nearly one in five families do not have their child enrolled in early learning because of the cost.
Under Labor’s plan, around a quarter of families in Western Victoria will pay nothing at all, and for families with a higher income, the Labor Government will cover 65 per cent of their child’s kindergarten costs.
This represents a saving of at least $3500 for families whose children attend a standalone kinder.
Those with kids who go to long-day-care will also benefit, with these centres given funding to employ teachers in their three-year-old rooms.
All evidence shows that early education can shape a child’s entire future and an extra year of kinder will make the world of difference to local kids and their families.
Jaala Pulford, Member for Western Victoria
THIS year, Dunkeld Museum members embarked on a project to identify all of the World War I soldiers who are buried in the Dunkeld cemetery (some are in unmarked graves), and acknowledge them in a commemorative plaque at the cemetery.
A booklet containing brief biographies of these men has also been compiled.
This project has entailed significant research by our volunteers and will culminate on Sunday, November 11 when the plaque will be officially unveiled at the cemetery at 1.30pm, followed by the launch of the booklet and afternoon tea at the museum.
The museum committee would like to invite descendants of the men listed on the plaque to these events and believes some are residents of Ararat.
We ask your newspaper to help us locate these descendants by publishing this letter.
The soldiers are: Charles Morell Armytage, George Victor Childs, Cornelius James Cullinane, Thomas William Dickie, Adolphus Gordon, Patrick Henry Griffin, Emanuel Hildebrand, Richard Henry Jewell, James Alexander Kelly, James Lynch, Albert (Alexander) McDonald, Charles Murray McLaughlin, William Mereweather, Walter Middleton, John Norman Myers, Guy Evelyn Neate, John Arthur George Patterson, Richard Thomas Hewitt Priest, Edward John Radley, Thomas Leigh Simpson, Charles Smart, John George Thompson, Leslie Milton Wade, Vincent Womersley, Thomas Stanley Woodburn.
Anyone who would like to attend the unveiling and the booklet launch can contact the museum via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0439 992 250.
Kay Leyshon, assistant secretary, The Dunkeld Museum Committee
Refund scheme campaign
THIS week, an open letter was sent to all Victorian political party leaders seeking a promise to introduce a 10 cents refund scheme for drink containers in the next term of parliament. The letter was signed by 80 local, state and national groups and businesses, representing 100,000 Victorians.
Victoria is the last mainland state to commit to this scheme, which is proven to significantly decrease litter, increases recycling and is estimated to provide a fundraising boost of $50 million to Victorian community and charity groups each year.
In the latest poll, 84 per cent of Victorians were in favour of a container deposit scheme.
We will publish a scorecard with the responses from the leaders of all parties in early November, so Victorians can decide if they’d like less litter, better recycling and $50 million per year more for charities.
Dr Annett Finger, Boomerang Alliance