Cooper on track for Dragons’ 2013 campaign

His mind is willing and his body is able – and that’s enough to convince Matt Cooper playing beyond 2013 is not out of the question.
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Having survived what Dragons players have described as the toughest pre-season in years, Cooper yesterday hinted that thoughts of joining fellow Red V stalwarts Ben Hornby and Dean Young in retirement were premature.

‘‘I had some surgery at the end of last year just to fix up minor injuries I had throughout [last] year,’’ 33-year-old Cooper said.

‘‘It’s been great and I’ve had a great pre-season.’’

Pressed on whether his body was capable of carrying him into 2014 and beyond, the veteran of seven Tests said: ‘‘At the moment, yeah it does. Ask me that question in June or July and I might have a different answer.

‘‘At the moment the body feels really good and I feel like I could play a couple more seasons. It’s too early to tell and obviously come mid-year I’m going to have to make that decision.’’

Cooper’s desire to ask for a contract extension if his often injury-plagued body allows would help offset the Dragons’ thinning experience stocks. St George Illawarra watched all-time games leader Hornby (273 games) and Young (209 games) hang up the boots last season, while the hard-nosed Beau Scott fled to Newcastle over summer.

Matt Cooper, centre, back at Dragons training last month. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

If he was to embark on a 15th season in the NRL, Cooper, a veteran of 235 appearances, would also have the chance to usurp Hornby’s record.

Cooper said the club had already unearthed several willing leaders in the absence of Hornby and Young.

‘‘There was a couple of years ago when Shaun Timmins, Trent Barrett and Luke Bailey left,’’ Cooper said.

‘‘That was a bit of a change. This year with Dean and Ben going, there’s a new group of leaders stepping up.

‘‘The likes of Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale and Dan Hunt – players like those blokes have really stepped up this year and have turned into great leaders.’’

St George Illawarra will begin their 2013 campaign with a trial against North Queensland in Cairns next Saturday.

Cooper said he would take part in the Cowboys hit-out and the Charity Shield duel with Souths on February 22, matches crucial to a daunting month for the Dragons.

‘‘If you have a look at the draw we have a really tough opening few weeks. Round one against Melbourne in Melbourne is going to be a tough game and we’re looking to start the year with a couple of wins.’’

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Close call for kids as mother crosses against lights

Police have blasted the behaviour of a young mother who tried to cross a major intersection with her children despite a pedestrian light flashing red.
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The mother and her two children – one in a pram – were left with three lanes to cross when the traffic lights at the corner of the Princes Highway and Wellington Road in Clayton turned to green.

They narrowly avoided being hit by traffic taking off and just made it to the median strip.

Tow-truck driver Chris Kandelaars, who filmed the incident, told radio station 3AW the woman and her children were lucky not to have been killed.

“The woman was almost hit by the first car (that took off). It could have ended up with three deaths then and there,” he said. “It was amazing to watch. There’s nothing you can do about it … just to watch her, it was terrifying to see.”

Mr Kandelaars said the child who was not in the pram – a boy of about eight – was lagging behind his mother and came particularly close to being hit.

“The woman had left her child behind,” he said.

“He also came pretty close (to being hit). The cars that took off would have got a fright to see him there.”

Inspector David Griffin of the State Highway Patrol told 3AW the incident was “astounding” and “horrifying” and said the three were lucky they were not injured or killed.

He said the incident warranted charges of jaywalking but there was little prospect of identifying the woman.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Going potty over plants

THE finer points of plant potting were highlighted during a recent workshop initiative by the Southern Highland Botanic Garden committee.
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It attracted the support of 30 gardening enthusiasts from the Friends of the SHBG alleager to gain hands-on experience through demonstrations and education in the techniques of plant propogation.

The event was held to kick-start the propogation of plants to be sold at the Town and Country Gardens weekend, involving seven open gardens, to be held over weekend April 27 and 28.

The weekend is a major annual fundraiser for the Botanic Gardens.

Donation for the ongoing work to establish the gardens can also be sent to PO Box 707, Moss Vale, 2577.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

SEABL: Raiders’ Lester Strong returns after surgery

NEVER fear, Lester Strong is still here – the veteran Knox Raiders import has confirmed he will return for his sixth South East Australian Basketball League season at the club after some pre-Christmas uncertainty about a troublesome knee injury.
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Strong has played in the Raiders’ 2009 SEABL championship team along with the conference championship teams in 2008 and 2009.

Although the recovery from his surgery means Strong has yet to take the pre-season practice court with the Raiders, the popular import said he hoped to soon be back at work with his side.

It’s feeling good,” Strong told Raiders media. “I’m in the process of straight line running, and adding weight to the leg machines so it’s going well.

“I’ve been pushing myself just a little bit harder as well this year in terms of getting my body right and having my knee cleaned out.

“I think this year will be one of those years just like 2011, at least that is what my goal is anyway, to get back to that level.”

Strong said fears he had a more serious knee problem proved not to be the case and he looked forward to the start of the SEABL season on March 15.

“There was no tear, but there were quite a few cartilages floating around in there from an old injury, but other than that it was just a clean out,” he said.

Strong and long-time Raiders’ favourite CJ Massingale will fill the import slots for the Raiders this season. Long-time NBL player Matt Shanahan will coach the team.

Raiders season membersships are now on sale with more information at the Knox Raiders website.

南京夜网 13/06/2018

Aussie shaving gel takes Dutch market by storm

Oscar de Vries spent years developing his natural shaving products business OSCAR Natural Skincare and getting a toehold in the Australian market. Then last year he cracked the export market almost by chance.
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He’s used a form of financing called factoring to underpin the business.

What’s the story behind OSCAR Natural Skincare?

I had previously imported a shaving oil from the UK and was able to grow sales through airports, in Priceline and in Woolworths. But the packaging was too wide for supermarket shelves, and I couldn’t get the manufacturer to change it. I was also starting to get frustrated working on a brand I didn’t own and wanted to create my own.

First I launched an all-natural shaving oil with the lessons I had learned from the imported brand. Next I developed a shaving gel made out of natural ingredients.

I spent three years developing the product until I felt it was better than anything else on the market. Then I gave it to some friends to try who all said it was seriously good. You might think the product is great but until other people tell you it’s good you don’t know if you’re kidding yourself.

How have you addressed your major business challenges?

‘Natural’ is still relatively niche. Guys don’t understand the benefits of natural ingredients. Plus most will have bought a product like Gillette since they were 18 because their dads used it. So it’s tough changing people’s mindset.

My approach is to focus on the product’s two unique selling points – its natural ingredients and the special CFC-free, non-flammable bottles, all under a $10 price point.

How did you secure distribution through Woolworths?

Getting into Woolworths was relatively easy. In June last year I sent a sample to a Woolworths buyer, who described it as ‘a great product’. But it took until November to get it on shelves. Now it’s in 730 stores. I’m also due to make a presentation to Coles and Priceline.

You have used factoring to fund the business – how does this work?

I used factoring from day one. Without factoring stockists pay your invoice on 60 or 90 days. A factoring firm will advance you between 70 per cent and 85 per cent of the value of the invoice as soon as it’s issued so you can keep in sync with your cash flow. The more successful you are the more you need it because you need the funds to order stock.

It’s more expensive than an overdraft, but you’re not offering bricks and mortar security, nor do you give up equity at onerous terms, especially in the beginning. One crucial challenge with factoring is the concentration principle. Factoring companies limit your funding if one client makes up more than 50 per cent of debtors. No matter how strong your customer is they are worried about their exposure.

How did you start exporting?

Exporting actually happened by accident. I’m Dutch and before my mother recently passed away I had to go back three or four times a year. I thought if I’m spending this much time in Holland I should start generating business over there. So I started making appointments in early 2012 and secured a meeting with ETOS, a subsidiary of Ahold, the biggest supermarket chain in Holland. The Dutch are fascinated with Australia and the buyer liked our packaging. We produce two varieties of both shaving gel and shaving oil and they took all four. It’s generally tough in Australia getting in major retailers so it took me by surprise when it all happened so quickly in Holland. We’re now in 430 stores.

The lesson to me was that you can spend all your time planning and making forecasts when it’s better to get off your backside and take a punt. We’re not yet profitable there, so I can’t afford an extensive advertising campaign. Instead we’re going to use public relations to raise awareness and next month I’m going over to get the ball rolling to create some consumer awareness.

– Interviewed by Alexandra Cain

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Memorial marker to slain Cameron stolen

A Pakenham park bench in honour of teenager Cameron Lowe – killed in an unprovoked attack in 2010 – has been stolen.
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Police believe that the bench was stolen from the front of Lilypond House Community Centre in Duncan Drive, Pakenham, between Saturday, 19 January and Thursday, 31 January.

The wooden bench, which has steel arms, bears a plaque affixed in memory of Cameron, who was 17 when he was killed.

Cameron went out to buy takeaway food with friends on November 6, 2010 when he crossed paths with a drunk 18-year-old man who punched him in an unprovoked attack.

Cameron was knocked unconscious but seemingly recovered and was helped home. However he suffered severe headaches and later died in hospital.

His killer was found guilty of manslaughter and will be released from juvenile detention in 2014.

Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the theft to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Cool change expected for Esperance     

ESPERANCE is set for a cool change after a scorcher yesterdaywhen the temperature rose above 40C.
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Today’s maximum is forecast for 25C, with a shower or twoand 16-23C expected tomorrow and a forecast maximum of below 30 until Sunday.

However, yesterday the maximum was 40.7 which didn’t helpconditions as firefighters battled two bushfires near Esperance, one of whichdestroyed two homes on Sinclair Road.

Esperance’s record maximum for February is 46.7C on February1, 1991. The all-time record for Esperance is 46.9 on January 6, 2010.

Esperance weather forecast

· Tuesday – 18-25C.

· Wednesday – 16-23C.

· Thursday – 14-24C.

· Friday – 15-26C.

· Saturday – 16-26.

· Sunday – 17-32.

· Monday – 18-29.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Chinese New Year of the Snake 

Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat
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Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit

Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit

Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

Cabramatta 04.02.2013. Photo Wesley Lonergan. Mae will make predictions for each of the signs in the Chinese zodiac.

Chinese Zodiac signs from left to right: Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

MAY Lu said this year will be a moderate rather than radical year for many people.

“During Snake years we tend to look towards inner growth, spirituality, and the reasons behind things,” she said.

“Given this, this year we’re likely to see significant developments in science and technology. Snake is a great sign, a positive one, and this will be an exciting year for many.”

Ms Lu said people born in the Year of the Snake will face many difficulties in 2013 but should use this as a way of learning.

She said while people involved with business will be met with difficult times, they will find ways to make ends meet.

“As this is not a good year, it’s best to lay low and keep the status quo,” she said.

“Use this year as a development year for yourself to get yourself ready to strike out in your career or business once a more favourable year comes around.”

Ms Lu said despite it being a tough year with work, it was a good year for relationships.

“Couples should spend more time together and singles may meet someone and have some loving relationships,” she said.

Ms Lu said she has been an astrologer all her life.

While she specialises in making predictions for each sign in the Chinese zodiac, she is also specialised in face-reading.

Anyone who registers on her website in February or signs up to receive the newsletter will receive a free face-reading.

Details: www.easternguidance南京夜网.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Sisters think beautifully outside the box

Sarah Hamilton (left) with twin sister Emily.Thinking outside the box has always got Geelong twins Sarah and Emily Hamilton a long way in the corporate arena. But their entrepreneurial juices really got flowing when they started to think about what to put into the box.
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The pair launched online beauty subscription service bellabox in October 2011 after six months of business preparation.

The Hamilton twins, 35, adapted bellabox – a box of high-end cosmetic and beauty samples – from the hugely popular New York-based service Birchbox.

Sarah Hamilton, then working in New York at renowned rock magazine Spin, watched the rise of Birchbox with interest.

“It just blew up straight away,” she says.

“It’s such a fun, tangible concept. And I loved the attraction of e-commerce and marketing.”

Emily, who lives in Singapore, suggested they make a go of it and soon the twins were throwing everything they had into their start-up.

The pair juggled their full-time jobs – Emily in marketing and Sarah as Spin’s general manager – with the early development of bellabox.

“The business plan was a lot of work and so was hiring people,” Sarah says.

“We hired two brand managers in Australia, sight unseen, when I was still in New York so we could hit the ground running.”

Sarah, along with her boyfriend and her English bulldog, left the Big Apple to set up shop in Melbourne, while Emily went to work opening an office Singapore.

Bellabox now sells in Australia and Singapore with its main market in Australia.

The pair developed the bellabox model to be more than just a monthly subscription service.

As with other successful “sub-com” services, it offers customers a review page so bellabox and its suppliers can gauge what’s hot and what’s not. It also allows consumers to purchase their favourite products directly from the bellabox site.

“We saw this as something the whole female population would enjoy,” Sarah says.

“Trialling before you buy is important for the customer and also for the brands, because often they have no way of knowing what the customer thought of the product.”

In the early days, Sarah recalls almost begging beauty houses to be part of bellabox.

“Then things began to turn and the brands realised they were onto something good,” she says.

“Now we have brands on board that we never dreamed of having.”

In just 15 months, bellabox’s revenue and subscriptions have grown tenfold.

With a healthy $1.3 million in the bank thanks to international investors and more than 10,000 subscribers, the Hamiltons are positive about bellabox’s future.

“We saw success quickly and we’ve never looked back,” Sarah said. “There’s no failure on our horizon and that’s why we’ve worked so hard.”

The company secured the $1.3 million cash injection from a group of private investors led by Lance Kalish, co-founder of global skincare company Yes To Inc.

The twins met Kalish when they approached him to come on board as a brand partner. Instead, the conversation switched to investment and so began the Hamilton’s first foray into fund-raising.

Until securing the investment in January 2013, the twins were self-funding bellabox.

“We’ve had to learn everything from scratch,” Sarah says. “We wanted to grow quickly and expand beyond our current reach.”

The investment will allow them to do just that. Currently bellabox is well known among beauty enthusiasts and has received much publicity via beauty bloggers.

Now the Hamiltons can appeal to a broader demographic.

“We’re planning to update and improve the website and put more into marketing and PR,” Sarah says.

The twins have worked together on many a project, but bellabox is their first business venture.

A shared competitive streak and symbiotic motivation keeps the dynamic duo working well – even while living in different countries.

“Being twins has never been unique for us,” Sarah says. “We communicate on Skype all the time and it’s good fun, we get to talk about personal stuff as well … We do fight – I’m not going to say we get along perfectly. As twins we’re both extremely competitive, but with maturity we’re more respectful of each other.”

The Hamiltons plan to expand bellabox to a bigger international market and have already launched men’s and baby subscription services.

“There’s huge potential for growth – we’ve only just touched the surface,” Sarah says.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

Wiles tackles Cole Classic

Sue Wiles can thank a sore neck for her success in ocean swimming— a pastime that saw her take out second place in her age group at Sunday’s Cole Classic.
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The 72-year-old Wentworth Falls resident took up swimming as a way of recovering from neck strain caused by prolonged computer work about eight years ago and has never looked back.

“I took to it like a duck to water,” she said.

While she initially enjoyed Masters swimming, Wiles soon started ocean events, undeterred by her Blue Mountains location hours from the coast.

“I grew up in Sydney and I never went in an ocean swim, but now that I live in the Mountains I do,” she joked.

She finished Sunday’s 2km Manly swim in 39 minutes and 28 seconds. Despite winning her age category the previous two years, she was narrowly pipped to the finish line this year by a swimmer from Avalon.

“She’s a courageous swimmer and she really really deserved to win — it’s just unfortunate she’s in my age group but there you go,” she said.

The long-time Mountains resident has never been motivated solely by thoughts of victory in any case.

“Every year it (the Cole Classic) gets a bit more of a mental challenge. You think, ‘Can I do this?’. Then you get in the ocean and you think ‘This is wonderful’ . . . There’s that wonderful feeling of achievement when you’ve finished. It makes me really enthusiastic about keeping fit,” she said.

Wiles trains regularly at Katoomba and Glenbrook pools and hopes her success will encourage other older people to step out of their comfort zones.

“I’m surprised there aren’t more women of my age group doing it (ocean swims) because it is completely do-able,” she said.

Nearly 400 competitors took part in the 30th annual Cole Classic, Australia’s largest ocean swim.

Ollie Signorini clinched the men’s two-kilometre race, finishing in 25 minutes and 18 seconds, while Josh Beard finished second four-tenths of a second ahead of Chris Fydler. Alicia Caldwell was the women’s two-kilometre champion with 26 minutes and 18 seconds, ahead of Siobhan O’Leary, with Zoe Whitfield in third.

The event is sponsored by Fairfax Media.

Sue Wiles in the ocean the weekend before Sunday’s Cole Classic.

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南京夜网 13/06/2018

‘I don’t believe my family does anything shonky,’ Obeid tells ICAC

Questioned … Eddie Obeid, pictured leaving ICAC yesterday.Obeid admits he knew of sons’ coal deal but thought it ‘fanciful’They’re lining up for the best free show in townANALYSIS: Not so fast, says Eddie, not my man
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ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid has declared his family does not do “shonky” business, under intense questioning about millions of dollars flowing through his family’s accounts.

Even though it was revealed that Mr Obeid and his wife were the ultimate beneficiaries of the family trust, he repeatedly declared he did not know and could not explain the workings of the accounts – including how it was that payments made to his family’s business partners, its staff and even to himself were channelled through his wife’s loan account.

“I have no knowledge of these accounts,” he said, though he also claimed he had trained and worked as an accountant during an early period in his career.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption has interrogated Mr Obeid as part of its investigation into a 2008 coal tender which it has alleged was corrupted by the Obeid family and the disgraced former minister, Ian Macdonald.

Mr Obeid’s son has admitted the Obeid family stood to make at least $75 million from the tender, by taking secret shareholdings in two winning mining companies and by locking up much of the land under a new tenement created by Mr Macdonald.

Taking Mr Obeid through page after page of mysterious account entries, counsel assisting the inquiry, Geoffrey Watson SC, remarked: “It looks shonky, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t believe my family does anything shonky,” Mr Obeid replied. The Commissioner, David Ipp QC, said to Mr Obeid he was bewildered by the structure of the family’s trust accounts, and said he could not understand why Mr Obeid said he knew nothing of them.

“You wash your hands of all responsibility of all of these, all these [account] entries,” Mr Ipp said.

The documents showed that while Mr Obeid told the NSW Parliament he had not earned any income beyond his ordinary parliamentary salary, he was drawing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the family trust.

In all, between 2001 and 2011, Mr Obeid drew more than $2.3 million from the trust.

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