THIS WEEK'S FEATURE ARTICLES
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Climate Leaders Conference
Huonville High School (HHS) is continuing to set educational trends for the entire country, in innovation and good old-fashioned leadership skills, with yet another event to encourage and promote sustainability. Last Tuesday, 14th November, HHS hosted a Climate Leaders Conference, a call to Climate Change Action, where the school and its leaders committed to “sign the pledge” to “Repower Our Schools”. Since winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize last January, HHS has gone from strength to strength in innovation and learning about energy options. The Zayed Future Energy Prize is a global award which annually celebrates achievements that reflect impact, innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. Huonville High School were named winners of the US$100,000 prize under the global high schools category at the awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the beginning of the year. The HHS energy project has been responsible for installation of solar panels at the school, as well as a multitude of energy monitoring projects, delivering learning outcomes in the various Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM) subjects. Continuing to lead the way, HHS hosted the event, which featured well- known climate change expert and environmental activist Paul Gilding, who gave an address on Climate Change Action. The Huonville PCYC building was the venue for the first part of the conference. Huonville High School and Primary School students and students from visiting schools − Franklin Primary, New Norfolk and Kingston High School, and Fahan School − were inspired by Mr Gilding’s passionate address.
Paul Gilding is a riveting speaker, who talked, unaided by notes, for over 20 minutes, to an enthralled audience of students, teachers and community leaders. Paul Gilding researches and teaches on climate change. Mr Gilding’s book, The Great Disruption, released in 2011, is one of the sources of his appeal as a speaker. In a career spanning 40 years on sustainability, he has been an activist and community leader. His speech focussed on the choices we make, especially in what choices young people might make. “We don’t always know what path we will take, but be drawn by passion [and a social purpose] for the issues that interest you!” Paul Gilding said. Paul Gilding is an excellent speaker, whose passion for change is energising and inspiring. Paul Gilding urged the listeners to “think about climate change from the point of view of science. We believe in the scientific approach. It is absolutely clear, from the science, that it [climate change] is true [95% sure]. The impacts are potent, really very severe,” Paul Gilding said. Also signing the pledge was the honourable Rosalie Woodruff, MHA, the member for Franklin, who has been supportive of the school and the project since its beginning.
Speakers and workshops
The program at the Climate Leaders Conference included other speakers and workshop leaders. After the Repower Pledge and signing, students went one way and the teachers another, to attend workshops by Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) members Frances Roberts and Cas O’Keefe, and student leaders Toby Thorpe, Zephryn Fox, Jamee Narracott and Riley Biannchi.
There was also a “Communication and Leadership Training” workshop by a local media professional. Teachers also met to discuss the program and learning outcomes to fit curriculums. At the lunch break, a deliciously nourishing smorgasbord style meal, presented by the hospitality section of Huonville High School, there was also a chance to have a go at making “pedal powered milkshakes” by the students.
A team effort
The Climate Leaders Conference was an inspiring event, made possible for the students by dedicated teachers, including Anthony Crawford, from the Department of Education, all teachers in the STEM disciplines at Huonville High School, and Nel Smit, from Greening Australia. Watching the students and student leaders from Huonville High School, it was easy to become confident in the future, and proud of the next generation of kind, committed, intelligent and thoughtful leaders of the future. Well done, Huonville High School – the achievements of the school and the students really is a big deal, one that is becoming a shining example across the nation!
An Aladdin’s cave of art
You may have passed its vast, empty space, peered in the window, remembered the bookshop that used to be there, or the dress shop, or Dick Smith’s. Now it’s just a bleak, cavernous space. But come back on 1st December and you’ll see a huge transformation. Return on 4th December and you’ll rub your eyes: the big, empty space will be back. For three exciting days the pop-up Channel Regional Arts Group Expo and Auction will have occupied the space with over 20 artists, both established and emerging, occupying booths in the former Dick Smith site, opposite Big W in Channel Court, Kingston. They’ll be offering a variety of artworks for sale direct to the public along with practical demonstrations of their talents, and at the same time supporting the Childhood Cancer Research Foundation under the auspices of the Kingborough Lions Club. Individual artists will be exhibiting and hanging works for sale in the open space display areas. Anyone who purchases artworks will be fortunate indeed, for these are some of the Channel’s best-known and most respected artists offering their work for sale at very good prices. “This will be an opportunity to view the best that the region has to offer and a rare chance to discuss any purchase with its creator. You may come away with items to treasure” said organiser, Ben Marris. “We expect this to be a very popular event and it will be a good idea to come early before many of the works are sold”. The works include oil paintings, watercolours, photography, textiles, paper crafts and ceramics.
The three-day celebration kicks off with refreshments on Friday, 1st December at 5pm, and will be opened by Mr Tony Roney, a National Director of the Childhood Cancer Research Foundation. This will be followed by an auction of approximately a dozen works of art donated by local artists, conducted by Mr Neville Moane. A licensed auctioneer, Mr Moane has conducted many auctions for service organisations and no doubt will bring even more colour to what promises to be a colourful event. Donations by artists include an original watercolour by David Hopkins and one of artisan woodworker Ned Trewartha’s famous birds. Artists at work will include Annamarie Magnus at her loom, and well-known Tasmanian watercolourist, Roger Murphy, at his easel. The Friday session will finish at around 8pm and the expo reopens on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd from 10am to 4pm.
Some of the artists
The Expo will include some of Tasmania’s highly regarded artists, and others less famous, who quietly work away at their craft producing works sought after by those who follow their output. Consider the exquisite work of Bruny Island artist, Lois Bury, for instance. Also from Bruny Island will be Margaret Vandenberg. Margaret Vandenberg has worked on Bruny Island for the past 15 years in a studio in the bush on the shores of Barnes Bay. Recently, she has included hand-made books and wall sculptures of boat forms made from recycled wood, wire and textiles in her output, and her love of the natural environment, particularly the coastal landscape and flora and fauna of her island home, is obvious in her work. Roger Murphy is a household name in Tasmania’s artworld. “All my paintings are of places I like to be,” he says. “I like to feel myself in the landscape – on the riverbank, on the shoreline or in a street – and I try to capture my day of being there through the atmosphere, the light and the colour that I put into my works. Wherever I am painting … I always feel privileged to be earning my living in these beautiful places.” Elizabeth Hunn is a name perhaps not so widely recognised – yet. “In the world of art, I am what’s known as a late-bloomer,” Elizabeth says. “While I have always loved art and have dabbled since childhood, the box of oil paints I was given in my youth remained unopened for over 30 years while life flew by. Painting is now the creative core to my life. I paint every opportunity I can.”
“Every year in Australia over 800 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer. A fifth of those children do not survive their battle. That is the disheartening reality facing many Australian families every day,” says the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Fund. “We believe that every child deserves a chance at a healthy life and every parent deserves to watch their child grow up.” Their specific project, genome sequencing, looks at the entire genome and its 20,000+ genes in order to define the genetic changes associated with a given cancer. This makes it possible to develop personalised cancer treatment by integrating this genetic information with other biological and clinical data. The CRAG Art Expo is supporting this worthy cause, and local artists, and the Channel community. Everyone’s on a winner here.
Simple inventions, big impact
Another anniversary popped up when I opened my computer on the 14th November.
‘The 131st anniversary of the invention of the hole puncher.’ This set me thinking about the items around the home and workplace that at one time did not exist, but which are now so useful but often just taken for granted.
We can trace such things as the first hole punch through the recorded patents. In 1885, an American named Benjamin Smith invented a ‘spring-loaded hole puncher’ that had a device to collect those little circles of punched out paper. (Did you collect them for pretend confetti?) As with many seemingly simple devices, the humble hole punch became recognised as a masterpiece of mechanical design and efficiency. That the American patents were referred to as “conductor’s punch” and “ticket punch” may be no coincidence as they were increasingly used by the railway networks developing around the world. Those of us old enough will remember train and bus conductors using them on every journey. No such thinks as Opal or Myki cards back then.
As with many inventions, maybe because a need arose simultaneously, there was another patent for a hole puncher, or Papierlocher für Sammelmappen (paper hole maker for binding) filed in 1886 by German inventor Friedrich Soennecken. He was a German office supplier from the town of Remscheid. His wares quickly became renowned for their quality, and his paper and pens were a favourite of German philosopher Freidrich Neitzsche, the man who coined the phrase: “What does not kill me makes me stronger”.
Mr Soennecken, as well as inventing his version of the hole puncher, created the ring binder to store the freshly punched sheets.
The hole punch is as much an office staple as, well, a stapler. A stapler, which with one satisfying clunk, can turn sheets of paper into a neatly fastened-together entity – but just watch your fingers don’t get in the way.
The first stapler was hand made in France for King Louis XV, in the 18th century. Others were later awarded patents, George McGill for the simple version of modern stapler in 1866. Henry R. Heyl in 1877 for the first machines to both insert and clinch a staple in one step and in 1941, the four-way stapler was developed which is the most common type used today.
Then consider the humble paper clip: It’s just a thin piece of steel wire bent into a double-oval shape, but over the past century, no one has invented a better method of temporarily holding loose sheets of paper together. It is a wonder of simplicity and function, so it seems puzzling that it wasn’t invented earlier. But the reason its success had to wait was for the invention of a steel wire, which was “elastic” enough to be stretched, bent and twisted.
The first paper clip was invented in 1867 by Samuel Fay and called a ‘Ticket Fastener’. Obviously its initial purpose was to attach tickets to garments but it could also be used to hold papers together. But the modern paper clip was patented, in 1899, by William D. Middlebrook. A clever forward-looking man, he invented not only the paper clip but also a machine to produce the paper clips.
Later the design was improved further by rounding the sharp points of the wire, so they wouldn’t catch, scratch or tear the papers. Advertised as the perfect paper clip that “will hold securely your letters, documents, or memoranda without perforation or mutilation until you wish to release them.” Just imagine how many paper clips have been sold since then.
Over the years, many different people have been credited with the invention of variations on the paper clip. One clear challenge was known as the Gothic clip, because its loops are pointed more to resemble Gothic arches than the rounded ones.
But a story to warm the heart is that, during the Nazi occupation of Norway in World War II, Norwegians made the paper clip a symbol of national unity. Prohibited from wearing buttons with the Norwegian king’s initials, they fastened paper clips to their lapels in a show of solidarity and opposition to the occupation. Wearing that simple paper clip was brave but dangerous and often led to arrest.
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