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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : April 15th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, April 16, 2009 5 NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Volunteers line up to be clipped FIONA BRADY Concord hairdresser Maria Polito takes the clippers to Maryanne Kroon. Inset: Nick Smith. Pictures: PHIL BLATCH WHEN year 6 student Nick Smith lost his hair during his chemotherapy treatment, his teachers at Five Dock Public School wanted to show some solidarity. So last Thursday, three teachers and one mum went for the chop to support Nick and raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. The idea was the brainchild of teacher Robyn Bruce, herself a survivor of breast cancer. ''I have had my head shaved once before and it is quite confronting because it brings it all back,'' she said. ''I just thought it would be a great idea and it would support Nick because I know what he is going through.'' As well as Ms Bruce, senior teachers Jason O'Leary and Andrew Pearson also went under the razor. As did local mum Maryanne Kroon, who got her shoulder- length blonde hair cut into a short crop. ''I just feel I should help anyway I can,'' said Ms Kroon, whose father is suffering from multiple myeloma, a fatal blood cancer. ''If this gesture can raise some funds and help care for those who have the cancers, then it could make a difference.'' Nick's mum Jenny Smith said her son really enjoyed the hair- raising assembly. ''He thought it was great, though he was a little too shy to shave the teachers' heads himself,'' she said. The 12-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer -- epithelioid soft tissue carcinoma -- in his left upper thigh late last year and is still undergoing treatment. Mrs Smith said the school and local businesses had been supportive since the diagnosis. Short notice for meeting SHIREEN KHALIL IN a last-minute decision, Burwood Council made an extra- ordinary meeting regarding the allegations against general man- ager Pat Romano open to the public and media. Last Tuesday night Burwood Council was scheduled to have a closed-session meeting to discuss allegations that Mr Romano, the council's principal architect Albert Becerra and Canada Bay councillor Tony Fasanella used Burwood Council staff to work on a block of six flats owned by their wives. Despite the fact that the meeting was listed in closed session, the decision to make it open to the public was made on the night of the meeting. ''At the last extraordinary meet- ing there was an item, 'Council operations', that was supposed to be dealt with in closed session -- but at the opening of the meeting, the mayor moved to defer the item, and the deferral was approved by the whole council unanimously,'' a Burwood Council spokesman said. Cr John Sidoti, who never wanted to have a closed-session meeting, said he did not know it was made open to the public until he entered the meeting. ''I wasn't aware until I got there and there was no public there . . . it was completely useless, it lasted five minutes and the legal advisers (Maddox Solicitors) basically said we should be careful with what we say,'' Cr Sidoti said. ''I went into the meeting with three pages of questions to ask and didn'tgetachancetoaskany. . .it is a mess and with respect to Pat, guilty or not guilty, he needs to respond.'' The meeting, which was also to brief the councillors on the situ- ation, was deferred to the next council meeting. In a press release Burwood Mayor Lesley Furneaux-Cook said: ''I believe the circumstances arisen in the last few days demand absolute transparency from and to the council, so I put forward a motion to defer the discussion of a report on council operations for an appropriate period.'' The deferral was approved by the council unanimously. During the meeting the council decided to have a code of conduct review panel to investigate the allegations. Cr Furneaux-Cook said the council was taking the allegations seriously and that they had been referred to an external indepen- dent agency. ''Council is now awaiting advice from the agency,'' she said. 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