Academy Ace gets his chance to shine


The Gold Coast SUNS today announced the promotion of International Scholarship holder Hewago Paul Oea to the club’s Rookie List (Category B) for the 2021 season.

Affectionately known as Ace, the 19-year-old is a talented footballer who originates from Papua New Guinea (Gulf/Central – PNG).

“Ace has displayed significant improvement since coming to the club as a 16-year-old and we’re proud to see him progress onto the club’s list,” SUNS GM – Football Operations Jon Haines said.

“He is a terrific young man, with an outstanding appetite to learn and work hard. Ace’s development is a credit to his family, AFL PNG, and most importantly himself.

“Ace made a difficult decision to leave his family in PNG to follow his dream and his progression onto the list is an acknowledgment that his dedication and commitment is beginning to show real dividends.”  

Hailing from Gordons, a suburb in Port Moresby, Ace first started playing football when he was 12 in the EmNau Niukick community competition and played senior football with the Gordons Kokofas. 

It was at this tournament where AFL South Pacific Development Manager, Ben Drew, first saw him in action, and together they guided the young talent through the next chapter of his journey.

Shortly after he joined the AFL PNG Talent Academy which saw him represent his country from ages 13-16 at the annual Queensland Under-14 and Under-16 State Championships. 

In 2017, when he was 15, Ace played in the AFL International Cup for the PNG open men’s side and won best-on-ground in the Grand Final against New Zealand. He was coached in that team by now SUNS AFLW Head Coach David Lake.

At 16 he joined the SUNS Academy and was involved in the AFL Queensland talent program, before earning selection in the national NAB AFL Academy program (the first-ever PNG player to do so).

In 2018, Ace was granted an International Scholarship with the SUNS which saw him train and play with the reserves team while continuing to develop in an elite environment, earning a NEAFL Rising Star nomination in 2019.

“I love playing football for the Gold Coast SUNS and I am very excited to continue my career here,” Ace said.

“I want to thank all my family back in PNG for believing in me, AFL PNG for everything they’ve done and my Gold Coast family Kris and Tim Searl who have supported me with my dream.

“I love all the boys at the SUNS, they are very welcoming, and I can’t wait to get back into training at the club.”





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Port Adelaide academy prospect courted by 12 clubs … but yet to speak to Power


Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect Lachie Jones says he has held conversations with 12 clubs in the lead-up to the National Draft.

The Woodville-West Torrens defender has spoken with Essendon, GWS and 10 other clubs, yet peculiarly is yet to officially meet with the Power.

“Yeah, I have spoken to Essendon,” Jones admitted on SEN SA Breakfast.

“Just once a few months ago but other than that no other contact, so not too sure (if they are seriously interested).

“I’ve spoken to about 12 clubs.

“I’ve spoken to one or two clubs twice. GWS was one and there was another one, but I lose track of this sort of stuff.”

During the chat, a listener messaged in asking about Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro and perhaps trying to get as many as points as possible to make a bid on Jones in the draft.

He said while there is a loose family connection to the Bombers, in that his mother has a love for the red and black, he doesn’t seem convinced that Dodoro is set to make a play.

“I always said that the whole family was Crows but deep down I think mum would want me to go to Essendon for her benefit,” Jones added.

“For mine she’d want me to go Port.

“In terms of Dodoro, I’m not really sure what his go is there.”

Despite the widespread interest, Jones is set on playing for the Power – the club he grew up supporting as a kid on the Yorke Peninsula – even if there’s been no official chat as yet.

“I haven’t had a direct interview with Ken (Hinkley) or any of the recruiting staff from Port,” he said further.

“Paul Stewart, the head of the academy, is the only person I’ve really stayed in contact with during the whole break.

“Nothing’s guaranteed but he says you’re in the academy so Port will give it a good crack.

“Ken and (GM of football) Chris Davies said that they’re in a position to take myself and Taj Schofield so I guess that’s pretty promising.

“It’s not guaranteed but hopefully they can get it done.”

He added: “Playing for Port has always been a childhood dream and it’s one that could potentially come true.

“It’s something that most kids don’t get the opportunity to have, especially not the first year of an AFL career, but maybe a few years down the track.

“It’s definitely a big difference that Port have got ‘first dibs’ and it’s a higher chance than going anywhere else, so it means a lot.”







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AFL Trade Period 2020 | Academy Crows loom as losers from academy changes


The AFL explained the move saying: “This model allows for elite talent to be available to all AFL clubs while still ensuring late prospects can find their way onto an AFL list and continue their relationship with the respective club that has been supporting them.”

The NGA system was introduced in 2016, providing an incentive for clubs to develop Indigenous players and those with a parent born overseas. Under the scheme, clubs have received priority access and a discount to NGA players in their zones.

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But the system has created anomalies. As an example, James Borlase, son of former Port Adelaide SANFL star Darryl, was eligible for Adelaide’s NGA as he was born in Egypt. Borlase could be drafted this year.

The Crows could ultimately miss out on a star in a couple of years’ time because of the changes. Indigenous forward/ruckman Keeler, 16, a 197-centimetre prospect from Port Augusta, has emerged as one of South Australia’s leading juniors in his age bracket. While future draft orders are challenging to project when so far away, recruiting sources indicated he could be a top-10 pick in 2022.

Western Bulldogs fans can rest easy however, with this year’s potential No. 1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, the rangy Indigenous forward from Warrnambool, unaffected by the changes. Other 2020 NGA players include Lachlan Jones (Port Adelaide) and Reef McInnes (Collingwood), both of whom are projected as possible first-round selections this year.

The Northern academies and father-son rule remain unchanged moving forward, meaning the Pies will still be able to land Nick Daicos, the son of Peter and younger brother of Josh, with a discount next year. Nick is touted as one of the best players in the 2021 draft pool.

Meanwhile the AFL has tabled a refinement to its midseason rookie draft, introduced last year and shelved for the coronavirus-affected 2020 season. The league is seeking feedback from clubs over an idea whereby clubs can upgrade a previously undrafted or delisted player at the end of either round four, eight or 12.

“In the instance that the same player is nominated by two or more clubs, the player will go to the team lower on the ladder under a rolling process (eg. if a club selects a player, that club goes to the back of the line),” said the league in its release.

The pre-season supplemental selection period implemented a couple of years ago, will remain but won’t begin until January 6, 2021.

However clubs remain in the dark about list sizes for 2021, a source of exasperation for list managers given trade period has already started. The league remains in negotiations with the AFL Players’ Association over the matter.



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AFL Draft 2020, draft combine, draft prospects, Next generation academy members, father-son prospects, Reef McInnes, Harry Sharp, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan


Former steeplechaser Harry Sharp has smashed the 2km draft combine record with a stunning performance on Saturday.

There was 30 draft prospects who attended the Victorian Metro draft combine at the Holden Centre, with a number of tests undertaken including the time trial and the 20m sprint.

Sharp broke the record by 22 seconds set by Collingwood midfielder Jay Rantall, when he completed the course in five minutes and 50 seconds.

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Cats, GWS battle for Cameron

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NIMH » NIMH’s Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D., Elected to National Academy of Medicine


At its annual meeting for 2020, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 90 regular members, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)’s Carlos Zarate Jr., M.D. One of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, election to the Academy recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Zarate is chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch within the NIMH Intramural Research Program, where his research focuses on developing novel medications for treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Zarate’s research helped determine that a single infusion of ketamine can rapidly reduce depressive symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression or bipolar depression. The identification of ketamine as a rapid-acting intervention for depression has provided hope for the many people for whom traditional depression treatments are not effective.

Dr. Zarate received his M.D. degree from the Catholic University of Cordoba in 1985. He went on to complete a Fellowship in Clinical Psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital from 1992-1993, after which he remained as a staff member until 1998. At the McLean Hospital Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Dr. Zarate served as the director of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Outpatient Services, chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee, and director of the New and Experimental Clinic. From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Zarate served as the chief of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Program, associate professor of psychiatry, and chair of the Grand Rounds Committee at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In January 2001, he joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the NIMH as chief of the Mood Disorders Research Unit. In 2009, Dr. Zarate formed the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch at NIMH.

Dr. Zarate is the recipient of multiple previous awards, including the Outstanding Psychiatrist Research Award from the Massachusetts Psychiatric Association; the Brain Behavior Research Foundation Award for Bipolar Mood Disorder Research; and numerous awards from both NIMH and the National Institutes of Health for mentorship, supervision, and for his outstanding scientific contributions.



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Oscars: Academy Awards introduce new best picture guidelines to improve diversity | Ents & Arts News


The Oscars has introduced a new set of guidelines for its most prestigious award, best picture.

The rules mean that films applying for the category will soon have to meet certain diversity standards, in a bid to improve representation on and off screen and more accurately reflect the movie-going audience.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences faced criticism in 2015, when the #OscarsSoWhite movement highlighted a lack of black and Asian actors nominated for the film industry’s top awards.

It faced similar criticism when this year’s nominees were announced, with just one black star, British actress Cynthia Erivo, shortlisted in the acting categories.

And no women and only one non-white director, South Korea‘s Bong Joon-ho, featured in the directing category. He went on to win, as Parasite also became the first foreign language film to win best picture.

The new guidelines cover four areas: on-screen representation and storyline, creative leadership and crew, apprenticeships and training, and audience development.

A film must meet at least two of the four standards to be eligible for the best picture category, but the rules will not be enforced until 2024, meaning that the 2025 winner of the category will be the first to have had to comply.

Movies applying in 2022 and 2023 will supply a confidential “Academy inclusion standards form” as part of their application.

The new standards have been created from a template inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards, used for certain funding eligibility in the UK and eligibility in some categories of the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA).

The BAFTAs also came under fire over lack of diversity in this year’s awards, with the nominees in the main acting categories all white and no women up for best director or best film.

Eligibility criteria for all other Oscar categories will remain unchanged.

The move is part of a wider Academy initiative to advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the larger film community by 2025.

Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said they believe the new standards “will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, Marc Samuelson, said they were “delighted” about the introduction of the new rules, adding that BAFTA hope to introduce universal diversity standards in all its film categories by 2014.

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Last year, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences invited 819 stars, directors and other industry experts to join its voting body in a bid to diversify its members.

The new batch of invitees were made up of 36% people of colour and 45% women.

Actresses including Cynthia Erivo, Ana De Armas, Eva Longoria and Awkwafina all made the list, alongside several stars from Parasite.

Next year’s Oscars will take place on Sunday 25 April 2021, two months later than usual.

The Academy’s new best picture guidelines can be found here.



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Canberra United’s All Ability Academy is a first for people with a disability in the ACT


Luc Lander loves football.

The 15-year-old was ready to play with Australia’s Paralympic football team when the COVID-19 health pandemic hit.

“It was quite annoying when COVID came along because I thought I would be able to realise my dreams,” Luc said.

In the meantime, Luc turned his attention to a team that gives him the chance to hone his skills before he makes the big leap.

Canberra United’s All Ability Academy is the first dedicated football academy for people with a disability in the ACT.

The program is designed for players with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries or other disabilities — and it gives aspiring footballers like Luc the opportunity to train and play with a diverse group of people.

“There is a variation of disabilities and skill levels,” he said.

“So you can learn to adapt to their disabilities and how to play with them.”

‘There is not too much out there for them’

A woman on a sporting field smiles at the camera.
Kelly Stirton created the All Ability Academy to provide much-needed development opportunities for people with disabilities.(ABC News: Isaac Nowroozi)

The All Ability Academy is the brainchild of Capital Football’s game development manager, Kelly Stirton.

“I saw there was a need to create pathways for people with a disability,” Ms Stirton said.

“There is not too much out there for them.”

There are currently 19 players in the Academy, which is open to people of all genders and ages — the youngest player is 10 and the eldest is 44.

Players are given structured, and at times intense, training twice a week, in preparation for games at the CP Football Nationals and the FFA National Futsal Championships.

“It is all about managing them during a game, preventing injury, making them fit for games and building their skills,” Ms Striton, who also coaches the team, said.

Capital Football CEO Phil Brown said that the Academy provided “a development opportunity for our all-ability players”.

“Historically we have been providing opportunities for participation, but not for those players to develop their skills to get up to the next level, and hopefully represent the ACT or Australia,” he said.

That is welcome news to football devotees like Matilda Mason, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

A teenage girl stands smiling, in a soccer jersey on a football pitch.
Matilda Mason has become a mentor for younger players in Canberra United’s All Abilities Academy.(ABC News: Isaac Nowroozi)

“When I was younger I had no support or resources, and nor did my family,” she said.

Matilda is a mentor for some of the younger players, and is a senior figure within the team.

She is also working to empower young woman with disabilities who have dreams of playing professional sport.

“I am hoping to promote and provide assistance to younger generations and make sure that they are okay and that they can get somewhere,” Matilda said.

“And not everything is going to stop them.”



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Moss Vale student Samantha Roberts takes part in online music academy | Goulburn Post


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Year 10 Moss Vale student Samantha Roberts recently took part in an online course for budding musicians – and the experience was totally HIP. In early July, Samantha and dozens of other keen young musicians from across Australia discovered how to play 18th and 19th century music in a Historically Informed Performance style – an attempt to reconstruct the practices of musicians of the past to sound more authentic. Over two days (July 6 and 7), they took part in the National Online Winter Academy, run by the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra as part of their Young Mannheim Symphonists youth orchestra program. READ ALSO: “It was really lovely!” Samantha said. “We got to listen to talks from professional musicians. [Austrian-Australian conductor] Marius Dobernig talked about reading and understanding an orchestral score; others talked about dealing with performance anxiety, and how to make your playing correct to the Classical period. We also got to see the professional players perform on their historical instruments.” Samantha’s favourite part was a private 30-minute lesson with flautist Sally Walker, guest principal flute with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and other top ensembles. “She was so lovely and talented,” Samantha said. “The way that she helped me with my musical phrasing was great.” Samantha has been playing the flute for seven years. She started learning in Year Two; picked it up in Year Four; and has performed in flute exams since Year Five. “I just love the flute,” Samantha said. “I love how it sounds, and all the different techniques on it.” Samantha is also a member of the Southern Highlands Concert Band and the Southern Highlands Orchestra. Moss Vale has a few opportunities for young musicians, Samantha said. The high school has an “amazing” piano department, while her music teachers Mr Donaldson and Mrs Johnston have organized a band and flute ensemble at the school. Another music teacher, Edwina Carter, suggested Samantha apply for the youth program. What Samantha took away most from the course was the experience of working in an orchestra. “Sometimes you forget that your part is part of a bigger thing. It seems like a lot when it’s in front of you, but if you take a step back and look at the whole score of the piece, you realise it’s part of a giant thing!” Samantha hopes to be a professional musician one day, perhaps playing her favourite composers Debussy and Philippe Gaubert. “There is so much you can express through music,” Samantha said. “Sometimes it’s hard to put emotion into words, but music can express what you’re feeling just through sounds. Playing the pieces that you love is the most incredible experience; it’s like listening to your favourite song, but you get to create your favourite song. It’s wonderful and brings a lot of joy!”

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US jazz musician avoids conviction for indecently assaulting woman at James Morrison Academy


An American saxophonist has escaped conviction for indecently assaulting a woman while studying at a prestigious South Australian music academy.

Matthew Allen Harkins, 27, was a student at the James Morrison Academy of Music in Mount Gambier when the assault took place after a period of consensual sex.

“It was not a transient sexual assault — the surrounding circumstances led to confusion on your part as to the issue of consent,” District Court Judge Rauf Soulio said during sentencing.

“You pleaded guilty on the basis that you were reckless as to that issue.”

Harkins pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault after prosecutors dropped two counts of rape.

Judge Soulio today placed the jazz musician on a two-year good behaviour bond and refused to record a conviction.

Andrew Culshaw, for Harkins, told the court that his client wanted to return to Maine, in the United States, to pursue a professional music career but wanted to supplement that income by becoming a teacher.

“A conviction would harm Mr Harkins’s [employment] prospects substantially,” he said.

He said a letter from an American lawyer expressed the view that it would be difficult for Harkins to secure registration in the US as a teacher with a conviction for indecent assault.

But prosecutors urged the court to impose a conviction, saying it would be important for any prospective employer to know.

The court heard the victim felt humiliated, violated and frightened after the ordeal.

James Morrison provided a character reference, the court was told.(ABC News: Kate Hill)

He said the victim wrote there would be “no winners” in this case and acknowledged that it would not be satisfying to see Harkins jailed.

The court was told that renowned Australian jazz musician James Morrison wrote a letter of support for Harkins.

“He was at pains to point out that he abhors any kind of behaviour that is disrespectful, harmful or violent towards any other person,” Judge Soulio said.

“He described you as professional in the way you approached your craft and always respectful to those whom you performed.”

At a previous court hearing, Harkins said he would return to the United States as soon as he was sentenced.



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Lethbridge’s Prairie Baseball Academy prepares to welcome back players – Lethbridge


Lethbridge’s Prairie Baseball Academy head coach Todd Hubka says his field at Lloyd Nolan Yard has never been in better shape.

“Well, no one’s been on it hardly this year,” he said with a laugh on Monday.

The park has been nearly untouched since March when COVID-19 put a halt to the Canadian College Baseball Conference season.

While the time without baseball has allowed for some upgrades — including a new scoreboard and a freshly painted outfield fence — Hubka said he’s ready to see his athletes back out on the field.

Read more:
Lethbridge Hurricanes GM reacts as WHL pushes 2020-21 season start back to December

“I’m extremely excited,” he said, “but I [also] want our season to go through, and I know we’re going to have to put some policies in place this fall.”

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The PBA program is set to begin its 26th year on Aug. 30, a week earlier than players usually arrive. Both the varsity and junior varsity players will be under pressure like never before, as the onus will be on them to be diligent and stay healthy together, Hubka said.

“That’s why we’re showing up a little early,” Hubka said.

“We’re going to make sure that these policies are all put in place where there’s sanitizing everything and trying to just stay within our group. I realize that’s tough when you’re dealing with 50 to 60 some-odd kids, but there’s going to be a lot put on them to make this year work.”

The program has already ordered masks as part of players’ clothing packages.

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The upcoming year still holds a lot of unknowns.

Hubka said he has plans in place to adapt the PBA season depending on what COVID-19 restrictions will allow.

Read more:
Wheat Kings prospect Rylen Roersma taking full advantage of unconventional off-season

“I have two different schedules planned for the varsity team,” he said.

“The first is the regular start-up where we head to Las Vegas for 10 days, and in March, we’re down in Oregon and Washington and then into our league. If that doesn’t work this year, we’ll probably go out to Vancouver in February and hopefully play UBC and Douglas College and some other teams out there.”

For now, the fall will include plenty of internal competition.

“Our intrasquad games are pretty entertaining, and as we go into September and October, we get into our world series where we split the teams as evenly as we can into three or four teams and play a tournament to decide the PBA fall world series,” Hubka said.

PBA will have more returning players than expected for the upcoming year, as those who missed out on a full graduating season in the spring have all been invited back.

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