Assistance: The National Broadband Network is launching a project designed to educate and deal with NBN problems at a local level. A localised approach is being taken to problems and education around the National Broadband Network in the Hunter, NBNwill announcetoday.
Newcastle and Lake Macquarie will soon have access to NBN Local, a team tasked withaddressing concerns and educating Hunter residents about how to switch on to the federal government’s high-speed broadband network.
“By having a greater presence in Newcastle, we’ll be able to work more collaboratively with the community in order to understand the complexities of the build and local telecommunications needs,” NBN Local Newcastle team leader Amber Dornbusch said.
“With the rollout almost complete in Newcastle, it is more important than ever we continue to educate local communities on the status of the rollout, what they need to do to connect as well as how to resolve any issues.
“Although retail service providers should always be the first point of contact for any resident or business having issues with their broadband connection, the new NBN Local unit will be a dedicated team working with local stakeholders and community groups to help ensure local problems are identified early and addressed.”
The program is being rolled-out nationally, featuringstate-based teams which are then broken down into regional patches, with local managers able to access a large pool of resources for thecommunities they serve.
Like many parts of , the Hunter has a history of well-documented complaints from customers who have faced a range of issues with the arrival of the NBN. Some have been left without internet for months while transitioning to the network, others have been unsatisfied with slower-than-expected download speeds, while there have also been numerous reports of unreliable connections.
Ms Dornbusch will work alongside engineers and specialists in key regional hubs around . She said the NBN Local team’s focus was to “educate and empower”.
“We will spend time in communities to make sure they know what it is they need to do to make the switch and have all the information available to them so they can make the most of their connection,” she said.
“Each area has dedicated resources to make sure that they’re engaging with the community, to make sure that everyone has the information they need.
“There’s … the NBN Local managers who’ll work with the local community for education, and then we also have NBNnetwork engineers in the field that are constantly working on the network from a maintenance and operational perspective.”
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 9: Federel Energy minister Josh Frydenberg speaks at the National Energy Summit on October 9 , 2017 in Sydney, . (Photo by Ben Rushton/Fairfax Media) SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 9: Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel speaks at the National Energy Summit at the Sofitel Wentworth on October 9 , 2017 in Sydney, . (Photo by Ben Rushton/Fairfax Media)
‘s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has vigorously defended his energy review, saying the crisis can be solved within three years and that going back to coal is not the answer.
However, the states and federal governments continue to fight over the right solution to a crisis that is fueling higher power prices and the risk of blackouts during the summer.
Dr Finkel was speaking at an energy summit attended by government and energy industry heads in Sydney on Monday.
‘s chief scientist Alan Finkel, who has made a series of recommendations, said adherence to his proposed strategy and policy mechanisms could defuse energy pricing and supply issues.
“Three years from now we expect a full recovery of the energy market,” Dr Finkel said, calling his review ‘Fifty Shades of Finkel’.
“Just going back to coal is not the solution.The revolution is under way, and cannot be stopped,” he said.
Dr Finkel’s views were backed by South n Premier Jay Weatherill, who has adopted renewable energy solutions to replace coal-fired power in the state.
“Like all countries, is making the transition away from fossil fuel energies,” Mr Weatherill said.
n Energy Market Operator chief executive Audrey Zibelman outlined the rapidly changing generation mix during the past decade, and the shrinking role of coal compared with other energy sources.
However, former federal resources minister, and chairman of the Queensland Resources Council, Ian Macfarlane highlighted the role High-Efficiency, Low Emission (HELE) coal plants, also known as clean coal, could play in the energy mix.
However, as states and the federal government refuse to collaborate, and develop a coherent policy on coal and renewable energy, the three-year timeline is being pushed back.
Even as Dr Finkel reiterated the importance of a Clean Energy Target as a key mechanism to solve the energy crisis, the future of a CET was put in doubt earlier when federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg hinted that it may not be implemented as the rapidly declining costs of renewables may undermine the potential for clean energy subsidies.
AGL chief executive Andy Vesey refuted Mr Frydenberg’s position on a clean energy target, but not on environmental or sustainability grounds. Instead, by implementing a CET it allows for greater certainty on integrating new power sources.
“You need a CET,” Mr Vesey said.
Mr Weatherill said states could go their own way if a federal plan was not implemented.
“The commonwealth should get out of the states’ way,” he said.
“There’s no barrier to the states simply taking them and implementing [the CET] themselves.
“If it is the end of the CET, then we should get cracking.”
However, NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin said a federal CET was still the best way forward.
“A state-based CET would be the second best option,” Mr Harwin said.
“Our preference is for a sensible national plan.”
Battery storage was also touted as was one of the pillars in the nation’s future energy mix with Mr Fydenberg saying it would play a key role. This was supported by AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman, who said: “It used to be going off the grid was done by a few isolated people, or tree huggers, that’s not true anymore.”
“It’s the mums and dads; companies like Ikea, Google, and Amazon, they are talking about going green and sustainable as they see it as a bottom line advantage,” Ms Zibelman said.
Mr Weatherill also pointed to the business case of the state’s Tesla Powerall project, which is the largest single battery storage installation in the world.
Government agreements with Shell, Origin, and Santos last month to secure domestic gas supply also came under the microscope.
Mr Macfarlane said the agreement had done little to cut high gas prices.
“I don’t subscribe to the belief we will see lower gas prices in the next decade,” he said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten reiterated his calls for the government to pull the trigger on the n Domestic Gas Security Mechanism, a tool which Mr Frydenberg described as like “the ‘Sword of Damocles’ hanging above [the gas companies]” to be used “if we don’t get what we want”.
Pilot’s ashes to be scattered at sea over Newcastle | PHOTOS Aviator: Vic Boyce (right) and friend Peter Gerakiteys with Cloud Buster, which crashed near Seal Rocks in 1957.
A young Vic Boyce in a De Havilland Dragon.
Vic Boyce (right) with a De Havilland Tiger Moth.
Tracy Boyce and her dad Vic Boyce.
A prestigious award that Vic Boyce received.
Colin, Neville, Vic and Ron Boyce.
TweetFacebookLucky EscapeIn 1954, Vic and Lou Plumbstead were flying in a Ryan aircraftwhen itcrashed shortly after takeoffat the old Broadmeadow Aerodrome.
Lou, a chief instructor, was flying at the time.
“They had just left the ground and there was some sort of a fuel blockage,” Bill said.
They came down in Goninan rail yards at Broadmeadow, near the Sunnyside Tavern.
The aircraft tipped onto its back, but Vic and Lou were uninjured.
“I can remember Vic telling me all the blokes at the pub came pouring out, some with cigarettes,” Bill said.
Vic was a tad worried about this, with aircraft fuel having been spilled.
But he lived to survive another day. In fact, he lived to survive another crash in a glider named Cloud Buster, which came down over the ocean near Seal Rocks in 1957.
He took off his shoes and used them as paddles.
“She started to break up in the breakers, so he had to swim for it,” Bill said.
Vic was in a heavy Kevlar suit at the time.He had to quickly get out of the suit, so he wouldn’t sink.His swimming ability and surf lifesaving skills came in handy.
The section of the glider with the name Cloud Buster washed up on the beach, “all jagged around it with plywood”.
“For years they had it in the hangar at Broadmeadow,” Bill said.
A newspaper report at the time said a Tiger Moth was towing the glider from Port Macquarie to Newcastle when bad weather drove them to sea.
“They were about two miles off the coast when the tow-rope parted. The glider came down about 200 yards offshore. It sank almost immediately and Mr Boyce, though the seas weren’t the calmest, managed to swim ashore.”
Vic became a member of the Goldfish Club in Britain. It’sfor airmen who have swum to safety after a crash.
The City of Sydney has claimed trailblazer status when it comes to gender pay equity, after a recent review found more women employees were in higher paying jobs across the organisation.
Over the last financial year, the City had an overall gender pay gap of -6.8 per cent, indicating women occupied senior and well-paying roles throughout the organisation.
But when male and female employees at the same salary level were compared, there was a gender pay gap of 2.8 per cent in favour of men.
Lord mayor Clover Moore said the City still had room for improvement but added it was “committed to leading by example”.
“While we can still do more, I’m proud of the results of this year’s review, which put us ahead of the pack in terms of gender pay equity, not only within the public sector, but -wide,” she said.
The City’s 2.8 per gap at a salary-level is substantially lower than the national gender pay gap, which is 15.3 per cent, according to the federal Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
For public sector organisations, the gap is 10.8 per cent, and for private sector organisations it is 19.3 per cent.
The council’s chief executive Monica Barone said the City was investigating ways to retain women in roles traditionally held by men.
“In order to ensure we retain talent and expertise, and that women are not held back because they have a family, we will continue to focus our efforts on improving workplace flexibility, including in senior roles, and building our management capability to lead a diverse and inclusive workplace.”
The gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. Pay equity is when women and men performing the same role at the same performance level are paid the same amount.
The City’s numbers were crunched as part of its 2016-17 gender pay equity review, prepared by Mercer Consulting.
The City also claimed the mantle of being the first local government organisation to publicly report its gender pay equity, having done so for the first time last year.
Its reporting is guided by the same WGEA framework used by private sector organisations with more than 100 employees, which are legally required under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 to report annually against a number of gender equality indicators, including remuneration.
The eyes, it is said, are the windows to the soul.
Which is why I remember meeting John Fawcett about 24 years ago.While they were often shielded behind a pair of glasses, John’s eyes were display windows to an extraordinary soul. And, as I was to learn, they were symbols of what it meant to be given a second chance at life.
I had met John, because I was doinga profile story on him for television. I was reporting on John’swork inBali, where he was changing liveswith a mobile clinic for cataract surgery.
John had moved to Bali in the 1980s not to change lives but because he had felt his was all but over.
Johnhad been an acclaimed ceramics artist and teacher in Perth. He lived in the hills above the city with his family. Life was good. Except for a bad back. He had tried a range of treatments but there was no relief.So in May1981, he had an epidural to deal with the pain.
Something went wrong. John told me how he felt as though he was in a fish eye in the ceiling of the room, watching medical people working on him. Suddenly, he was back on the table. Then he was back up in the eye, looking down on his life ebbing away.
John was revived. But not to thelife he had known. He had to spend many months in hospital and rehabilitation centres regaining his movement and coordination, his memory, little pieces of himself. He came to realise he would not be returning to who he was.
John decided to move on his own to Bali, a place he and his family had loved as a holiday destination. He figured it was a nice place to spend what was left of his life.
But something extraordinary happened. A young Balinese couple he had befriended during his previous visits heard that John was back, and that he was ill. They cared for him around the clock. Against all expectations, John regained his health. He went to Perth for back surgery but then returned to Bali.
In this culture where many believe in reincarnation, John felt as though he had been given a new life. He wanted to give as many others as he could the same opportunity at a second chance at life. He wondered what he could do. He didn’t have to look far.
John noticed a lot of people whose eyes seemed to be covered with a milky white blob. He learntan estimated 45,000 Balinese were blind, and many of them couldn’t see the beauty of their island home because of cataracts.What’s more, many simply couldn’t afford to see again. The operation to remove the cataract and insert an artificial lenscould cost a patient the equivalent of years of income. So many remained in darkness. Until John came along.
He decided to set up a mobile clinic for cataract surgery, to drive the service into the villages and have Balinese medical teams provide operations for free.In establishingthe mobile clinic, John linked two countries. A Perth school’s old mini-bus was converted into the mobile clinic, and the RAAF transported it to Bali. Rotary clubs helped fund the program, and n ophthalmologists and nurses gave their time to train the local staff.
When the bus first hit Bail’sroads in 1991, there was resistance from potential patients. John recalled how many believed it was “karma pala”, or destiny, to be blind. But then John seized destiny. When a blind man told him that reason for refusing to enter the bus, John replied, yes, but it waskarma pala that his team was there in thevillage.The man had the half-hour operation. The following day, he could see.
Word quickly spread about thisbusand, when it rolled into a village, more and more people were ushered forward by loved ones to receive what seemed doubly miraculous – to have their sight returned, and for free. The program was so successful itwas taken to other islands in Indonesia. About 50,000 people have had their sight restored through the John Fawcett Foundation.
Each time the pads were peeled off the eyes, and the realisation dawned on the patient’s face they could actually see again, John’s face would erupt with a smile. “It always gives me such a buzz to see this!,” he exclaimed, as we watched the joyous outcome of oneoperation.
Yet John did not just stop at eyes. He saw people in need all around him. As well as establishing the mobile clinic, John had set up a corrective surgery program for those with a cleft lip or cleft palate. After the 2002 Bali bombings, he arranged treatment for local victims. Indeed, when people in crisis ran out of all other options or money, they would turn up at John’s compound in Sanur, knowing he would try to help.
John was kind to all living things. In Bali, somebelieve criminals come back in their next life as dogs. That’s their karma pala. So dogs are often treated poorly. Except for a mutt called Rocky, who lived in John’s compound. Locals would ask why Rocky was so well treated, since he’d probably been a crook in his previous life. He was wrongly accused, John would reply.
John Fawcett was revered in Bali. He had the ears and support of political leaders in Indonesia and , but he had the hearts and gratitude of hundreds of thousands across the archipelago.
I returned to Bali quite a few timesin the late 1990s to write John’s biography, so I frequently saw demonstrations of that gratitude and love. Wherever we went, John stood out. Being more than 190 cm tall ensured that. But it wasn’t just his height but the depth of his compassion, and the extent to which he had transformed lives, that made him a giant. Former patients embraced him. Prospective patients stoodexpectantly before him. Everyone loved him.
John died last month in Perth. He was 85. When I heard the news, I thought about who and what the world had lost. The Balinese have lost their beloved “Mr John”. ns have lost a gentle unofficial diplomat, who brought our neighbour closer in profound ways. I have lost a mentor. John had opened my eyes to so many things, including elements of myself.
A service for John is being held in Bali next week. The Island of the Gods will be weeping.Now John’s eyes are closed, but about 50,000 windows to his soul remain open. For his vision lives on, through the lives of all those former patients.
And he remains a towering example of how tomake the most of life. I remember what he said to me once, as we satunder a full moon in Sanur: “Things happen in life that make you feel ‘that’s got to be the end’. But it’s not. No one can take away the happy memories of what has been, but it doesn’t mean you don’t open the door and step through to what is next.”
Attorney-General Senator George Brandis was present for the swearing in of Michelle Gordon as a Justice of the High Court of in Canberra on Tuesday 9 June 2015. Photo: Andrew Meares’s first law officer has delivered a sharp rebuke to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and reminded government ministers of the need to respect the rule of law and authority of the courts.
In a Sunday night speech to the International Bar Association in Sydney that initially flew under-the-radar, Attorney-General George Brandis delivered a full-throated defence of the rule of law and the legal profession.
While he did not name Mr Dutton, Senator Brandis’ comments have been interpreted as a repudiation of his cabinet colleague, who in August agreed with 2GB shock jock Alan Jones that lawyers representing asylum seekers were “un-n”, and expressed frustration with lawyers acting on behalf of people in detention.
In his speech, Senator Brandis pointedly declared to 4000 delegates that “we, as lawyers, must always be alert to ensure that due process is always observed, that the right of access to the courts is never denied [and that] that the role of lawyers in representing their clients is always respected”.
Lawyers had a duty to ensure that “judicial power is not subordinated to executive discretion, and that ministers and officials always respect the rule of law and the authority of the courts as the ultimate arbiters of the rights of citizens”.
“Your role, as defenders of the rule of law, is never more important than at a time when there are, understandably, demands for greater state power in service of the protection of the security of our nations and the safety of our peoples,” Senator Brandis said.
In contrast to Mr Dutton’s criticism of lawyers acting for asylum seekers, the Attorney-General heaped praise on legal professionals who defended the powerless and vulnerable.
“Upholding the rule of law may involve lawyers in controversy. Often, it may mean standing up to the powerful, or defending the vulnerable, the marginalised or the despised. Lawyers who do so serve the finest traditions of our profession,” he said.
“In protecting our people from terrorism, for instance, we must be careful to ensure that our legislative and policing response is at all times consistent with our values and obedient to the rule of law, even if, on occasions, that may constrain what our law enforcement authorities can do.”
Senator Brandis is one of the leading moderates in the Turnbull government and Mr Dutton is a leading conservative.
When the recent creation of a new UK-style Home Affairs department, Senator Brandis lost responsibility for spy agency ASIO to Mr Dutton, but retained the power to sign off on warrants for the intelligence agency.
At the same conference, High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel delivered a speech defending the independence of legal professionals.
Justice Kiefel said that lawyers were “sometimes required to act for clients who are in dispute with, or challenge, the government or are unpopular with the media or the public”.
“In order for a lawyer to be free to advocate fearlessly for a client’s interests it is necessary that the lawyer be free of pressure from the state or its agencies,” she said.
Senator Brandis also canvassed the “ominous challenges” facing the global order and threats posed by Islamist extremism and terrorism and a “willingness by some nations to defy the international rules-based order upon which post-war stability has depended”.
Controversial tennis star Nick Kyrgios is adamant he has found his purpose in the wake of his straight sets loss to Rafael Nadal in the China Open final.
Kyrgios has previously admitted he’s “not the professional tennis needs me to be” but says he has found a vision that will make him be remembered as much more than a tennis player.
Kyrgios has revealed his desire to build a facility for disadvantaged and underprivileged kids after he crumbled in the China Open final to fall 6-2, 6-1 in Beijing.
The Canberra product has come under fire for a lack of motivation on the tennis front and often makes no secret of his desire to be doing other things.
But he believes he has finally found his inspiration, something he says is “from me and my family. And it’s from the heart”.
“What’s the purpose for all this? I’ve been asking myself that question for the last couple of years,” Kyrgios told The Players Voice.
“You’ve no doubt noticed that I’m not all that good at hiding the fact I’d rather be somewhere else a lot of the time. So, what have I been doing it for?
“You hear people talk about being motivated for their kids, or a cause, or something more than just themselves. It’s inspiration, pure and simple, and it gives them focus when times are tough.
“There’s a reason underpinning everything. It’s a higher purpose than just collecting a pay cheque.
“I haven’t had that and I’ve always been envious of those who did. I think I’ve found my purpose in the last couple of months.
“I’m building something.
“If my vision is realised, it’s my hope that I’ll be remembered for this more than anything I have done or will do on the tennis court.”
Kyrgios says playing for money can leave one feeling “empty” – but he’s so excited about this next step because he gets “more happiness from helping kids out and watching them succeed” than he does from his own wins.
Kyrgios is already in the process of securing land in Melbourne so he can build the facility and he plans to be “hands-on” with the project as often as he can be.
It means he’ll spend a few days in Canberra catching up with family and friends before jetting to Melbourne to turn his dream into a reality.
He has chosen Melbourne because of its standing as “the sporting capital of “, saying “it’s a big population and it has a bit more going on than where I’m from. Sorry, Canberra! You know I love you.”
The 22-year-old firebrand hopes everything will be under way by the time the n Open starts and he is already in negotiations to see if the Victorian government or local councils would provide support.
“I’ll run tennis camps, shoot hoops, cook, clean-up ??? whatever is needed,” Kyrgios said.
“I don’t reckon there can be anything better in life than giving kids a chance when they otherwise wouldn’t have had one.”
Kyrgios admits he hasn’t “got life all figured out now” but he’s learnt how to channel everything that comes with being a high-profile tennis star into something positive.
The money, the publicity, the fame – he can filter it all into his new project which he hopes will change the lives of others.
Kyrgios was on the wrong end of an unfavourable line call in the opening game of his clash with Nadal and crashed to defeat in 92 minutes in the China Open final.
But Kyrgios maintains he is “satisfied” with his week that should see him climb to 15th in the ATP rankings ahead of the upcoming Shanghai Masters.
HOPEFUL: Philippa Anderson has finished within sight of full World Surf League CT qualification three times. Picture: Simone De Peak
Merewether surfer Philippa Anderson was testing the waters at Birubu Beach, Anna Bay, on Monday and planningto spend more time training at the break where her maiden championship tour hopes will likely go on the line next month.
The Herald revealed on September 20 the likelihood of Port Stephens hosting the 6000-point season-ending qualifying series eventin place of Sally Fitzgibbons’ Sydney International Women’s Pro, which was believed to have been cancelled because of a sponsorship shortfall.
The new November 2-5 event waslisted as thePort Stephens Toyota NSW Proon the World Surf League schedule a week later.
The Herald was told on Monday that NSW government funding of the event had been finalised and an official launch of the contest was imminent.
The event, which carries the highest women’s QS rating of 6000 points, will decide the CT hopes of Anderson and many other surfers worldwide as they chase a top-six QS year-ending finish to book their 2018tour spots. The top 10 CT surfers, a wildcard andthe leading six from the QS, who did not re-qualify through the leading tour, will make up the 2018 line-up.Anderson sits 10thon the QS and seventh in the race when current CT standings are considered.She was runner-up at the first Sydney International Women’s Pro last year at Cronulla when out of CT calculations and was thrilled to now have a chance even closer to home to go a step further.
“It’s great to still have the last event in ,” Anderson said.“That’s huge for the n girls and for myself, just being up the road, it’s awesome.”
Anderson has only the 3000-point White Buffalo Women’s Pro in Japan from October 26-29 and the Birubi Beach contest to improve in the rankings, which arebased on each surfer’s best five results.
“It’s pretty tricky, with the CT event on, but I don’t really look at the ratings too much. Whatever happens, happens,” she said.
“I know I’m in the picture, I have one or two good results. On the QS there’s a couple of girls who have already qualified because they’ve done really well, like Silvana [Lima] and Caroline [Marks], but there’s a whole bunch of us who might have a handful of results but only one or two are keepers, so there’s a heap of us in the same boat.
“It’s going to be interesting the last two events.”
A two-time winner on the QS this year, Anderson will warm up for the decisive events at the 56th annual Mattara Surf Classic at South Bar Beach onOctober 21 and 22.
Michilis hascome on board as naming-rights sponsor of Mattara, which had its women’s division prizemoney later doubled to $2000 by another benefactor. The men’s event has a first prize of $3000.
Until then, the South African-born natural footer was planning to make many more trips to Birubi Beach.
“My Dad and I went up there this morning to have a surf,” she said on Monday.
“I go up there every now and then with a few friends who surf, just for fun, because we’ve got a few friends up that way.
“I’ve surfed there a handful of times since I’ve been in . It’s not on my list of places to go when there’s waves, but I’ll definitely be going there a lot in the next few weeks just to practice up there.”
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein allegedly called Hayley Atwell a “fat pig” while the Captain America star was filming the 2008 film Brideshead Revisited.
The shocking claim is part of a series of allegations that have emerged in the wake of The New York Times’ expose on one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
Weistein is on indefinite leave from his own company after reports he had settled eight sexual harassment claims out of court over the course of three decades. The award-winning producer has said he regrets what happened and is seeing a therapist, with The Weinstein Company conducting an internal investigation.
The allegations have sent shockwaves through Hollywood, with witnesses coming out of the woodwork with fresh claims against the movie mogul.
One film industry source told The New York Postthat Weistein called then 24-year-old British-American actress Hayley Atwell she was a “fat pig on screen” while cast and crew were taking a break from filming Brideshead Revisited. The Hollywood veteran then allegedly told Atwell she should watch what she ate.
The unnamed source then went on to reveal that Atwell’s co-star Emma Thompson was furious with what happened.
“Emma called Harvey out for being a misogynist and a bully and really gave him a hard time,” the source said.
“A lot of female producers were harassed by Harvey, and they put up with it because they would otherwise get a reputation as a troublemaker,” another source told the tabloid. “This is a very small industry.”
Thompson has previously revealed she threatened to quit Brideshead Revisitedbecause a co-star was told to lose weight. However, it was not known who allegedly made the insulting remarks until now.
Earlier this year, the Love Actually star told Swedish chat show Skavlan she was furious because her co-star already looked “exquisite” and there are too many people struggling with eating disorders.
“I said to them, ‘If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that’,” she said. “It’s evil, what’s happening, what’s going on out there, and it’s getting worse.”
Never forgotten: Nathan Brown was remembered at a funeral service at Lake Macquarie Memorial Park on Monday. Picture: Simone De Peak.NATHAN Brown was a keen fisherman and a talented graffiti artist who found inspiration inwhat he sawand what he heard, but mostly, what he felt.
Taken too soon: Lake Macquarie man Nathan Brown, a strong and fit 19-year-old, died of complications from influenza A on September 29.
He had a heart full of hope and a head full of plans for the future.
But on Monday, his dirt bike helmetand a framed picture of him holding a prized catchsat upon his spray-painted coffin, tagged with messages of love and remembrance fromdevastated family and friends.
Killer flu’s tragic toll Hundredsofmourners gathered at Lake Macquarie Memorial Park at Ryhope on Monday morning to remember the life of “Natto,” also known as “little Nath,” the kind and caring 19-year-old Glendaleman who tragically died ofcomplications from influenza.
Guests were still in shock thatthestrong, fit and healthy young man with a promising future lost his life after becoming unwell with the flu.
Mr Brown, who worked as a builder’s labourer, was put into a medically-induced coma about six weeks ago after complications from influenza A left him battling acute pneumonia, a staph infection,collapsed lungs, kidney failure, and fluid on his heart.
Flu victim farewelled Gone but not forgotten: Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Brown, who died of complications from flu. Picture by Simone De Peak.
Gone but not forgotten: Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Brown, who died of complications from flu. Picture by Simone De Peak.
Gone but not forgotten: Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Brown, who died of complications from flu. Picture by Simone De Peak.
Gone but not forgotten: Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Brown, who died of complications from flu. Picture by Simone De Peak.
Gone but not forgotten: Mourners at the funeral of Nathan Brown, who died of complications from flu. His coffin was spray-painted by friends, and tagged with messages of love. Picture by Simone De Peak.
Community support: The Newcastle graffiti and hip hop community came together with Nathan’s family and friends to create an artistic tribute at Lake Macquarie PCYC to celebrate his life on Sunday. Local businesses donated their time and effort, as well as paint, and meat for the sausage sizzle, to support the Brown family.
Tribute: The artistic tribute for Nathan Brown at Lake Macquarie PCYC. Klea was his graffiti tag. Picture: Supplied by Shane “Tunz” Kennedy (of UP&UP).
Tribute: Rest in paint. The artistic tribute for Nathan Brown at Lake Macquarie PCYC. Klea was his graffiti tag. Picture: Supplied by Shane “Tunz” Kennedy (of UP&UP).
TweetFacebook Nathan Brown rememberedBut he lost his fightin the early hours of September 29.
During Monday’s service, Mr Brown’s girlfriend,Haylee Penfold, said his eyeswould “light up” when he spoke about the things that werereally important to him.
“His eyes would shimmer golden when we’d talk about our future together,” she said.
“A future full of travelling and exploring the world together…A future involving a wedding, owning a homewithtwo dogs, and eventually, plans to make Nathan a father.
“Althoughitbreaks me that we’ll never be able to pursue those plans together, I am grateful for the time that I had with him.”
Mr Brown’s family used the funeral service to thankthe staff at John Hunter Hospital’s intensive care unit, whohad doneeverything they possibly could to help.
The family said they had been comforted and humbled by the community supportand fundraising initiatives, organised by people who had known and loved their son.
Newcastle’s graffiti and hip hop community came together on Sundayto celebrate Mr Brown’slife by painting a large tribute on a wall at Lake Macquarie PCYC using histag, “Klea”.