Step Back In Time At The Charming NSW Country Town Of Boorowa


When the mercury drops, the leaves change and the sun sets a little earlier than we’d like, you know it’s the official season of road trips “down south”. We know you have your autumn trips down to Bowral, Berry, Moss Vale, and Berrima already planned, which is why we want to shift your attention a little further inland.

If you’ve never made the trip down to NSW’s Hilltops region—you’re about to go back in time. Located about an hour northwest of Canberra, this expanse is made up of four main country towns that will absolutely blow you away, in particular—Boorowa. This endearing township, which sits on Ngunnawal Country, is filled with antique shops, Devonshire tea, homemade scones, local berry jams, country kitchens, and a settlement history seeded in the mid-1800s Gold Rush and wool production. Yep—if that’s not country charm to a tee, we don’t know what is.

Here’s everything to see and do in charming Boorowa.

Need To Know

paddock at sunsetWhile Boorowa oozes an Irish country charm of yonder, its history and significance goes back far further than its anglo origins. The town, while pretty commonly thought to be on Wiradjuri Country (though the Wiradjuri people did come to Yass after white settlement), is actually part of the Ngunnawal Nation.

Ngunnawal is thought to mean “we, the people,” or “us” and there’s a bunch of sources that actually suggest its spelling was originally “Ngoonawal”. Within the Ngunnawal nation, there are seven different clans, all of which help a deep connection to local rivers like the Yass and Murrumbidgee Rivers.

There are a number of places throughout Ngunnawal Country that hold rich cultural significance for surrounding First Nations clans including Birrigai, Tidbinbilla, and the Southern Alps. Tidbinbilla Valley (derived from the Ngunnawal word “Jedbinbilla” which means “where boys become men”), for example, is where rock shelters were used as far back as the last Ice Age. The valley was also used for ceremonies and the passing on of traditional men’s law.

How To Get There

Your drive down to Boorowa will be a cruisy three-and-half hour drive from the heart of Sydney. Pending where you live, you’ll want to start southbound on the M5 motorway, which will lead you straight to the Hume Highway. This stretch of road will take you straight past Mittagong and Berrima, through Yass, and straight into Boorowa.

Things To Do In Boorowa

Take A Stroll Around The Streets Of Boorowa

aerial view of street in country townWhen we say Boorowa is like something out of a fairytale—we’re not joking. To really have an appreciation for the charming country town, you’re going to want to start your walk down the main strip of Farm Street and round it out with a nature trail beside the Boorowa River.

Pick Up Some Local Goods At The Marsden Street General

Having freshly opened up in an old butcher shop, The Marsden Street General is part pantry, part coffee house, part general store, and part book club. You can sift your way through local products to take home or take a seat and load up on the likes of salmon gravlax with black lava salt and Egyptian dukkah. 

Visit The Historical Museum

museum in country townThe local Historical Museum here is an absolute must. Located inside the old George Patterson Store, you’ll cop everything from Edwardian fashion (from the likes of explorer Hamilton Hume) and antiquities from the wool industry. There’s also railway memorabilia, local ambulance pieces, and a print room with original printing press.

Stop By The Absolutely Superb Bibliotheque And Occasional Wine Bar

The name really says it all but this wine bar is one of Boorowa’s newest hospo additions causing a whole heap of excitement. The Absolutely Superb Bibliotheque And Occasional Wine Bar is just a short walk from The Marden Street General and it’s a mecca for highlighting the cool climate wine offerings from the Hilltops Wine Region from vineyards like Freeman and Grove.

Order up charcuterie boards with pickles from The Old Produce Store Binalong; cheese from Coolamon Cheese; olives from Alto Olives; sausages and deli products from Pino’s Dolce Vita; baked goods from the Bread And Butter Project, and a bunch of chutneys, preserves, and jams from Walsh’s Country Kitchen.

Drive A Little Further To Explore The Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Garden In Young

autumn gardensIf you’ve got time on your side, it’s worth driving up to Young (it’ll take you about a half-hour) to explore the Lambing Flat Chinese Garden at Chinaman’s Dam reserve. There are marble lion sculptures, viewing platforms, and a magical little spot called the Pool Of Tranquility.

Keen to explore more? Check out our guide Lake Macquarie.

Image credit: Destination NSW



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Around the country | Tall Tiger dominates, familiar name makes Pies debut, Stengle stars again


It was a big weekend of footy around the state leagues.

This weekend featured the big SANFL versus WAFL showcase, with a number of players putting their hands up for the mid-season draft.

In the VFL, we saw a number of big results and quality performances.

Here’s our breakdown from the weekend:

Familiar faces fire as SANFL beat WAFL

The SANFL state side retained the Haydn Bunton Jnr Cup with a dominant 53-point win over the WAFL at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Former Port Adelaide defender Matthew Broadbent stood out for the winning team, claiming the Fos Williams Medal as the SANFL’s best player with 29 disposals.

Ex-Carlton and Adelaide midfielder Bryce Gibbs was also busy with 31 touches and 13 marks, his former teammate Riley Knight picked up 30 possessions while Luke Reynolds kicked four goals and captain Jack Hayes finished with three.

Another former Crow (and Tiger) Tyson Stengle finished with 3.3 and 21 touches as the South Australians kicked eight final-quarter goals.

For the WAFL, former St Kilda forward Matt Parker kicked two goals while Tyler Keitel booted four majors. Jye Bolton and Lachlan Delahunty were most prolific with 29 and 26 disposals respectively.

Andrew Slevison

Former top-10 pick the dominant midfielder of the VFL

Former Saint Nathan Freeman did no harm to his mid-season draft chances with another standout performance for Frankston in the VFL on Sunday.

The 25-year-old midfielder collected 42 disposals in the Dolphins’ 15-point loss to Essendon at Windy Hill.

The former top-10 pick is averaging north of 40 disposals a game in the state league this season and could find himself at the top of several club’s mid-season draft boards come June 2nd.

Lachie Geleit

Essendon forward dominates Frankston

Defender turned forward Patrick Ambrose was the best for the Bombers in the win, kicking 6.2 and taking 10 marks in an eye-catching performance.

Alec Waterman picked up 25 disposals and took 12 marks in the win over Frankston.

Ned Cahill and Tom Hird also impressed with their performances.

Lachie Geleit

Tall Tiger pushing for selection

Fringe Tiger tall Callum Coleman-Jones has given Damien Hardwick a timely reminder of his talents, leading Richmond to a 97-point thrashing of an inexperienced GWS outfit at Punt Road Oval.

The 21-year-old 200cm ruck-forward booted five goals including the first two of the match and finished with 19 disposals, 16 hit-outs and seven marks in a dominant display.

Others to put their hand up for senior selection were young midfield duo Will Martyn (28 disposals) and Thomson Dow (27 disposals), while Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (27 disposals, 9 marks) excelled in his role across half back.

Josh Caddy chimed in with 32 possessions and eight tackles.

Aaron Fetter

Casey and Geelong put on the game of the round

Melbourne’s Mitch Brown was everywhere up forward for Casey in their one-point win over Geelong with four goals and 17 touches, while young Cat Charlie Constable was the best for the losing side with a game-high 26 touches.

Josh Jenkins booted three goals for the Cats, while Stefan Okunbor continues to impress at VFL level, finishing with 22 disposals.

Melbourne midfielder Tom Sparrow finished with 30 disposals, while veteran Neville Jetta picked up 22 disposals.

Nic Negrepontis

Saints mid continues to dominate

St Kilda could look to bring back Luke Dunstan after Brad Crouch suffered a fractured cheekbone on Friday against Geelong. The ball magnet kicked two goals and had 36 disposals in Sandringham’s win against Williamstown.

Sandringham edged out Williamstown, with Mason Wood picking up 29 disposals and booting two of his own.

Shaun McKernan kicked three, while Ben Long played his second game of footy in two days after being used as the medical sub.

Lachie Geleit

A familiar name makes Collingwood debut

Former West Coast best and fairest winner Scott Selwood made his debut for Collingwood’s VFL team against Sydney.

Selwood, who works for the Magpies as a development coach, picked up 21 disposals in the loss.

Finlay Macrae finished with 25 disposals after his omission, while Mason Cox kicked two goals.

Nic Negrepontis

Mitch Johnson finishes with a big bag

Southport forward Mitch Johnson because the first player to boot 10 goals in a VFL game this year in his side’s dominant win over Aspley.

He dominated from start to finish, with help from former Gold Coast ruckman Brayden Crossley, who kicked five goals.

Former Lion Corey Lyons was the leading disposal winner for Aspley, finishing with 28 disposals.

Nic Negrepontis

Coburg midfielder flying under the radar

Coburg midfielder Marcus Lentini has played four VFL games and, like Nathan Freeman, has averaged 40 disposals per game.

He picked up 38 in the club’s win over Port Melbourne on the weekend and may be mid-season draft calculations.

Peter McEvoy booted four for the Lions, while former Saint Eli Templeton continues to star for Port Melbourne, picking up 37 disposals.

Nic Negrepontis

Hawks crush undermanned North

The VFL was a very different story to the AFL, with the Hawks making light work of the Roos.

Josh Morris booted five, while Emerson Jeka responded to his omission, kicking 3.4, while Daniel Howe picked up 35 disposals.

Bailey Scott was North Melbourne’s best, finishing with 28 disposals and a goal.

Top draftee Will Phillips picked up 15 disposals.

Nic Negrepontis

Lions crush Suns in state league Q-Clash

Brisbane enjoyed a 60-point win over Gold Coast in the VFL/East Coast Q-Clash last Thursday night.

Cam Ellis-Yolmen returned to the team in dominant fashion with a massive 39 disposals and was ably supported by Tom Joyce who had 37 touches.

Academy graduate Bruce Reville and promising forward Will Tasker helped themselves to five goals each.

Brayden Fiorini and Will Brodie continued their strong recent form with 32 and 27 possessions respectively, while Alex Sexton kicked two goals and laid six tackles.

Andrew Slevison


Image courtesy David Mariuz





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Opera Queensland’s regional country music tour kicks off at Beef 2021


Fans of Slim Dusty, Dolly Parton, and centuries-old composers Puccini and Verdi unite as Opera Queensland’s latest show premiers, combining the unlikely duo of opera and country music.

The cabaret-style show Are You Lonesome Tonight marks Opera Queensland’s 40th birthday.

To celebrate, the company is travelling across Queensland in what will be its most extensive regional tour.

Opera Queensland’s director of learning, regional and community Mark Taylor said the public might think the genres are “polar opposites”, but both country music and opera focus on telling narratives through song.

“Good music is just good music. It transcends age and genre.”

Mr Taylor said while the tour premieres at Beef Australia in Rockhampton, Opera Queensland will visit 32 locations in Queensland including Cairns, Mount Isa, Winton, and Stanthorpe.

He said even a town as tiny as Windorah with a population of less than 100 will be visited.

It is also Opera Queensland’s first regional tour since COVID began.

Aboriginal and South Sea Islander artist Marcus Corowa is one of the three main performers in the show alongside other young Australian artists Irena Lysiuk and Jonathan Hickey.

While Mr Corowa lives in Sydney, he said it was a dream of his to bring the show to his hometown Bowen where his family will watch him perform.

Country music star and 21-times Golden Guitar winner Sara Storer cameos in the performance.

“Seeing it for the first time after all these months of rehearsals … [there’s] a lot of nerves but a lot of excitement,” Ms Storer said.

“After I’ve done my bit, I’m going to sit back and be lost in the music and watch how clever they are in putting two genres together.”

Yeppoon woman Kelly McCosker said it was exciting to participate as one of the 70 community choir members in Rockhampton.

Opera Queensland describes the event as diverse and accessible.

Guests are encouraged to attend in jeans, tuxedos, or ball gowns.

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Sam Burgess looking to launching coaching career with country team


“He won’t go [via] the NRL just yet, he will start his apprenticeship somewhere else. It won’t even be in the NRL junior [leagues]. It will be more rural. He’s interested in that sort of thing.

Sam and the supercoach, Wayne Bennett, discuss tactics last year.Credit:Getty

“We’ll see what happens, but that’s the next step for him.

“He’s put everything behind him and he’s in a really good spot.

“He was great for us last year, he came in and really helped us. He was just out of the game, so everything he did with us was very relatable.″

NSW Rugby League officials confirmed on Monday there would be nothing stopping Burgess from coaching a club in this state, especially if Burgess was not facing any criminal charges. The only thing Burgess requires is a coaching certificate from the NRL and a Working with Children Check.

It emerged just last month that a couple of NRL clubs had expressed interest about Burgess returning in a playing capacity. He was medically retired by Souths at the end of 2019.

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Meanwhile, Tom said his twin, former Souths premiership winner George Burgess, was out of hospital after undergoing hip surgery and planned to return to Australia to live in July. After mutually agreeing to cut short his deal with Wigan, George will see how he recovers from his latest surgery before weighing up whether to chase a train-and-trial deal at a club for next season.

“George hasn’t ruled out playing again – he’s definitely moving back here,” Tom said.

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Hawthorn legend Shane Crawford leads country footy team to its first win in almost six years


It’s been a long time between victory laps for the Ardmona Football Club’s seniors — 2,121 days to be exact.

But one of the longest droughts in country football was finally shattered on Saturday when the Ardmona Bush Cats secured a massive 127-point victory over the Longwood Redlegs in Victoria’s Goulburn Murray region.

Hawthorn legend Shane Crawford, who took on a senior coaching role at the club at the start of the year, has been a driving force in turning the club’s fortunes around.

It was also the first win that the club’s president Tim Magann has celebrated since he took on the role four years ago. He said it had been a long road to victory.

“We have been working really hard and just haven’t been able to get the breakthrough, but on the weekend it was really good to get the win.

“The way the boys played was unbelievable, it was a good feeling.”

Mr Magann said for life members like 99-year-old Greg Wilson, who has been part of the club for 40 years and was there to see the drought broken, it made the victory extra sweet.

“People like that we want to get that win for.”

Longwood and Ardmona took to the field on Saturday, both battling to get off the bottom of the ladder.

Ardmona has had the Redlegs in its sights for a while, and last year only lost to Longwood by four goals.

Ardmona credits Crawford for not only helping break the losing streak, but for simply helping the club survive.

The club hadn’t scored more than three goals all year, so on Saturday when they’d racked up eight by the first quarter, coach Crawford’s blood was pumping.

Another little bit of starpower helped spur the team to victory, with actor and TV host Rob Mills and Olympic gold medallist Steve Hooker joining the team on the field for the win, while welcoming Hooker’s brother, Tom, for his first match with the team.

Crawford said it was the locals who were best on field on the day and brought the victory home.

For Longwood, it wasn’t easy being the team that helped Ardmona break the drought.

“As tough as today’s senior result is to take as a Longwood person, today is much bigger than the 2:20pm result,” Longwood Football Netball Club president, Rick Shiner, said on the club’s Facebook page.

“From my point of view as president, I strongly believe our club is on a path to a strong sustainable future,” he said.

“We have turned around significant financial challenges, player shortages to now be in a extremely healthy financial position, strong numbers with our player groups in both football and netball, committed committee and great support.”

Ardmona is just one of many country football clubs that regularly struggles to find the player numbers and sponsorship dollars to continue.

“For starters if Crawf hadn’t have come along when he did, I don’t think the club would still be there,” Mr Magann said.

Crawford said Hawthorn once battled similar obstacles and he wanted to see Ardmona survive long after he’s left.

“That’s been the number one plan is to get them back going and keep them going.”

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slams Dems for ‘destroying’ the country


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., argued on Sunday that in order to “defeat” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the socialist agenda, Republicans “need to be united.”

McCarthy made the comment during an exclusive interview with “Sunday Morning Futures” days before House Republicans will vote to potentially strip Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyo., of her No. 3 GOP leadership position, which McCarthy called “one of the most critical jobs.”

Cheney, who is the most high profile of the 10 House Republicans to vote in January to impeach then-President Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists, also faces a major headache back home in Wyoming, as Republicans are plotting to oust her as the state’s lone representative in Congress when she’s up for re-election next year.

McCarthy stressed the importance of being united given Democrats are “destroying” the country. He pointed to “the largest missed jobs report” in more than two decades, the “destruction of our energy” and the migrant surge at the southern border as reasons why he believes Democrats are hurting America.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 6.1% — while it’s still well below the April 2020 peak of 14.7%, it’s about twice the pre-crisis level, the Labor Department revealed in its monthly payroll report released Friday.

TOP REPUBLICANS MCCARTHY, SCALISE BACK STEFANIK AS CHENEY REPLACEMENT AMID BATTLE OVER TRUMP

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the report to show that unemployment fell to 5.8% and the economy added 978,000 jobs. The report revealed employers added a measly 266,000 new jobs in April.

President Biden has scrapped a number of former President Trump’s immigration policies, which included construction of the border wall and having asylum seekers remain in Mexico instead of staying in the U.S. while they wait for their cases to be heard. The moves have led to a record surge in migrants, including unaccompanied minors, which had recently strained capacity at immigration facilities.

Also, in a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, President Biden temporarily suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters and cancelled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

President Biden revoked the permit for the 1,700-mile pipeline on his first day in office, ending a project that was expected to employ more than 11,000 Americans this year.

“Everyone in leadership serves at the pleasure of the conference and there is a lot at stake,” McCarthy said, answering whether he believes Republicans will vote this week to remove Cheney form her leadership position.  “Democrats are destroying this nation.”

He explained that “we’ve watched the greatest expansion of government and the socialist liberal agenda” and “we watched them [Democrats] destroy our borders where hundreds of thousands are coming across not being tested for COVID. We’re catching people on the terrorist watch list.”

McCarthy also said President Biden was creating “inflation that we’ve never seen before” and that under his administration the U.S. has been experiencing “a takeover of government” and tax increases.

He stressed that the damage done will be irreversible and “that’s why we need a conference that’s united [and] that’s why we need a conference chair that’s delivering the message day in and day out and uniting the nation to make sure that we are on the right footing going forward.”

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

“To defeat Nancy Pelosi and the socialist agenda we need to be united and that starts with leadership,” McCarthy added. “That’s why we will have a vote next week.”

He went on to say that currently “we are in one of our biggest battles ever for this nation and the direction whether this next century will be ours.”

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McCarthy said he supports Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., to replace Cheney as the House GOP conference chair.

Fox Business’ Megan Henney and Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Post-disasters baby boom has high country hamlet Corryong struggling with growing pains


For dozens of families in Victoria’s Upper Murray region, cries for milk, nappy changes and bedtime lullabies are filling the famously peaceful high country nights.

Corryong and surrounds are in the midst of a major baby boom, with the newest little locals arriving soon after back-to-back pandemic and bushfires crises. 

The town, in “Man from Snowy River” country near the NSW border, had a population of 1,348 when the 2016 census was taken and usually produces about 50 babies a year.

Since July last year, it has welcomed 42 babies, with 20 of those arriving in January, nine months after Victoria was plunged into stage three pandemic restrictions limiting when people could leave home. Almost a dozen more babies are on their way.

Corryong’s sole maternal and child health (MCH ) nurse, Louise Middleton, said she believed the arrivals were a recent record for the town and she’d been flat out making key-age visits with 204 children, from newborns to five-year-olds. 

“Our little centre has been extremely busy here,” she said.

“But we are absolutely grateful for it and we are hoping it helps to build community numbers, especially in our early years.”

Ms Middleton said she wasn’t surprised at a baby boom after the bushfire disaster and the pandemic.

“When I worked in North Queensland post-Cyclone Yasi, we had Cyclone Yasi babies and I remember when I was doing my midwife training in ’99 when the Longford gas plant blew up in the middle of winter, we also had a baby boom after that,” she said.

For Corryong parents, many of whom grew up there and have returned to raise children, the boom is a positive development for a country town that, like many others, has faced population decline.

“It has such a great impact and it gives the town the ability to grow and provide ongoing support that we have seen decline in the past few years,” said Corryong mother Emma Klippel.

Those services are now under pressure from the growth spurt.

The building that hosts First Time Parent Group and Playgroup is so small visiting mums and babies often can’t fit on the floor at the same time.

Childcare spaces are very limited, after-hours care isn’t an option, and three-and-four-year-old kindergarten is already at capacity.

That’s putting pressure on families and hindering parents’ return to work.

“By the time these next generations come through it’s going to be a big issue,” Bringenbrong resident and mother-of-three Jasmine Pierce said.

“These early years (facilities) are lacking on giving new mums and returning-to-work mums the support to get back in those roles.”

A group of mothers addressed Towong Council this month to push for a “one-stop shop” facility large enough to accommodate early-years needs, including MCH appointments, playgroups and after-hours care.

Ms Pierce has been on the local daycare waiting list for so long she’s almost given up.

Instead, the full-time farmer and part-time photographer accepts she has to manage work and mind her two-year-old son, while her other sons go to school and kindergarten.

She said it could be stressful ensuring her son was safe while she and her husband worked on the farm, one of the most dangerous industries.

Days when “he can go into care, have a great day as well, have those interactions with other kids is huge” she said.

A survey carried out by the mothers pushing for better facilities showed the lack of early-years services was also stopping specialists such as teachers, hospital staff, and Snowy Hydro workers coming to the region.

“We did a survey very early on.  A lot of people said that was one reason that probably put them off coming into a community like this — its inadequate options for childcare,” Ms Pierce said.

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Fears over India’s ‘rapidly spreading’ COVID-19 variant as the country struggles to slow its infection rate



A World Health Organization chief scientist warned a variant of COVID-19 spreading in India may be contributing to its outbreak, as total cases rose by over 400,000 for the fourth consecutive day.

A variant of COVID-19 spreading in India is more contagious, and it is feared it could be dodging some vaccine protections, contributing to the country’s explosive outbreak, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said.

In an interview with AFP on Saturday, Soumya Swaminathan warned that “the epidemiological features that we see in India today do indicate that it’s an extremely rapidly spreading variant”.

The country’s total COVID-19 cases rose by over 400,000 for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday even as several states imposed strict lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus.

India’s health ministry on Sunday reported 4,092 fatalities over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 242,362. Cases rose by 403,738, increasing the total since the start of the pandemic to 22.3 million.

New Delhi has struggled to contain the outbreak, which has overwhelmed its healthcare system, and many experts suspect the official death and case numbers are a gross underestimate.

Dr Swaminathan, an Indian paediatrician and clinical scientist, said the B.1.617 variant of COVID-19, which was first detected in India last October, was clearly a contributing factor to the catastrophe unfolding in her homeland.

“There have been many accelerators that are fed into this,” the 62-year-old said, stressing that “a more rapidly spreading virus is one of them”.

The WHO recently listed B.1.617 – which counts several sub-lineages with slightly different mutations and characteristics – as a “variant of interest”.

Resistant to antibodies?

But so far it has stopped short of adding it to its short list of “variant of concern” – a label indicating it is more dangerous than the original version of the virus by being more transmissible, deadly or able to get past vaccine protections.

Several national health authorities, including in the United States and Britain, have meanwhile said they consider B.1.617 a variant of concern, and Dr Swaminathan said she expected the WHO to soon follow suit.

“B 1.617 is likely to be a variant of concern because it has some mutations which increase transmission, and which also potentially could make (it) resistant to antibodies that are generated by vaccination or by natural infection,” she said.

But she insisted that the variant alone could not be blamed for the dramatic surge in cases and deaths seen in India, lamenting that the country appeared to have let down its guard down, with “huge social mixing and large gatherings” in recent months. 

Mass election rallies held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other politicians have for instance partly been blamed for the staggering rise in infections.

But even as many in India felt the crisis was over, dropping mask-wearing and other protection measures, the virus was quietly spreading.

‘Taking off vertically’

“In a large country like India, you could have transmission at low levels, which is what happened for many months,” Dr Swaminathan said.

“It was endemic (and) probably gradually increasing,” she said, decrying that “those early signs were missed until it reached the point at which it was taking off vertically”.

“At that point it’s very hard to suppress, because it’s then involving tens of thousands of people and it’s multiplying at a rate at which it’s very difficult to stop.”

India’s total COVID-19 cases rose by over 400,000 for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday.

India’s total COVID-19 cases rose by over 400,000 for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday.
Hindustan Times

While India is now trying to scale up vaccination to rein in the outbreak, Dr Swaminathan warned that the jabs alone would not be enough to gain control of the situation.

She pointed out that India, the world’s largest vaccine-making nation, had only fully vaccinated around two per cent of the 1.3 billion-plus population.

“It’s going to take many months if not years to get to the point of 70 to 80 per cent coverage,” she said.

With that prospect, Dr Swaminathan stressed that “for the foreseeable future, we need to depend on our tried and tested public health and social measures” to bring down transmission.

The surge in India is frightening not only due to the horrifying number of people who are sick and dying there, but also because the exploding infection numbers dramatically increase the chances of new and more dangerous variants emerging.

“The more the virus is replicating and spreading and transmitting, the more chances are that… mutations will develop and adapt,” Dr Swaminathan said.

“Variants which accumulate a lot of mutations may ultimately become resistant to the current vaccines that we have,” she warned.

“That’s going to be a problem for the whole world.”

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Indian community in Ballarat hoping to raise $90,000 to save lives for COVID-ravaged country


When Dr Sanjay Sharma’s mother passed away earlier in the year, the Ballarat-based anaesthetist could not be by her side.

COVID-19 travel restrictions meant he was unable to return to Delhi, the city of his childhood, for her funeral. 

“In Indian culture the son performs the last rites and it was pretty difficult time to deal with,” he said.

Like many people the world over, Dr Sharma experienced the fear and sadness caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

So when India’s COVID crisis deepened, he wanted to do what he could to help from afar.

Dr Sharma is president of Ballarat’s Friends of India network, an association which for many years has raised money for health services in Ballarat.

Now, for the first time, the association is raising money for medical services in India.

“The situation demands that we as a city [of] 100,000 people rally around and collect some money that can save some lives in India,” Dr Sharma told ABC Victoria Statewide Drive.

The group is aiming to raise $90,000 to purchase oxygen concentrators.

Friends of India is collaborating with SEWA, an international charity that was this week endorsed by the Western Australian government as a suitable place to send funds to help India’s plight.

Dr Shama said the group’s aim was to support poorer people in regional and remote parts of the country by resourcing local hospitals and specially-created COVID field hospitals.

A “herculean effort” is required for India to create the amount of ICU beds needed to treat COVID patients, he said, and he hoped the fundraising effort would save many lives. 

As daily infections in India rose by a record 382,315 on Wednesday, Dr Sharma said the ban on Australian residents returning home from India was “not right”.

“I think it’s a bit heavy handed without any reason being stated,” he said. 

“A similar situation arose when we had big numbers surging through the US and UK and I don’t think that kind of heavy handedness was dealt out at that time.”

He said there was feeling among many groups that the ban was not a justified approach.

However, labelling it as racist did not help the conversation. 

But Dr Sharma, who has called Ballarat home for more than 20 years, was buoyed by seeing the Indian diaspora spring into action to help the country through this crisis.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out this news update involving “What’s On in the Ballarat Region titled “Indian community in Ballarat hoping to raise $90,000 to save lives for COVID-ravaged country”. This news release was posted by My Local Pages as part of our VIC events and what’s on local news services.

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Victorian country football leagues continue to struggle with player numbers


Victorian country football leagues are struggling to attract players as clubs across the state struggle to return to normality after the pandemic wreaked havoc with community sport.

Shepparton Football Netball Club, which competes in the Goulburn Valley Football League (GVL), is one of many clubs feeling the pinch.

For the first time in its history, the team forfeited two reserves games in a row because it could not field a side, much to the disappointment of president Mark Washington.

“[It’s] not an ideal situation because the reserves competition is really important for us,” he said.

“Every club wants to have some reasonable depth to go to and we’re just in a bit of strife with that at the moment.”

The senior side was a player short against Mansfield on the weekend.

Goulburn Valley League chair David Ross said last year’s football hiatus allowed many players to find new sports and other things to do with their time.

“We need to encourage them to come back, because so far this season our comp hasn’t been as even as it has been for some years,” he said.

Mr Washington said some players had enjoyed the break and did not wanted to return.

“I know a lot of guys have found their bodies are waking up a lot better on Sunday mornings,” he said.

Mr Ross said it was not just player numbers that were down.

“We are finding some difficulties with clubs filling slots for things like trainers, umpires and other volunteers,” he said.

Lower participation is impacting leagues across the state.

In the Horsham District Football Netball League reserves are acting as their own boundary umpires.

Umpires are doing their best to promote the role and clubs like Mansfield in the GVL are even offering free or discounted memberships to entice people to join.

Mr Washington was confident the club could field a side for the upcoming round, but said the situation needed to improve.

“We’re going to be working really hard with AFL Goulburn Murray and GVL to make sure we’re sustainable for 2021,” he said.

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and seeing this news article on “What’s On in the Shepparton Region named “Victorian country football leagues continue to struggle with player numbers”. This article was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national events & what’s on news services.

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