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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : June 17th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, June 18, 2009 3 NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Indians told to be calm FIONA BRADY AIFE Ashfield assistant CEO Umesh Banga and CEO Kharak Singh Bajwa. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~PP287717 Are the recent violent incidents racially motivated? www.innerwestweekly.com.au AN Ashfield hospitality college has urged its students to take extra safety precautions after the recent unrest between young Indian and Lebanese men in Harris Park. Austech Institute for Further Education on Liverpool Rd closed early last Tuesday and Thursday to allow students to travel home before dark. It followed several nights of protests in Harris Park over al- leged racist attacks on Indian students. More than 70 per cent of AIFE's 1600-plus students are of Indian origin, with many living around the Harris Park and Parramatta areas. The institute's assistant chief executive officer Umesh Banga said many parents had rung or emailed with concerns about their children's safety. ''There is a concern over there because they are far away,'' he said. ''There was even a concern when the Cronulla riots happened and that was nothing to do with Indian students. ''It is just because there is a restlessness.'' But Mr Banga said neither he nor the majority of his students believed the violence was racist. ''Because of media and all it has taken a wrong direction,'' he said. ''It is not racism, I don't think so personally. ''It is just criminal activity and two or three boys are fighting. ''Someone is throwing eggs and someone is throwing tomatoes. It gets escalated and that's it.'' Mr Banga said he was not aware of any attacks on current students, although the man seriously in- jured in last month's petrol bomb attack in Harris Park was a for- mer student. Last Friday the institute's man- agement met Indian and Lebanese community leaders and Parra- matta police to discuss the situ- ation. On Monday they sent a letter to all students asking them to sup- port the Australian authorities. ''That's what we basically are informing our students -- that they should be cautious and they should not take the law into their own hands and think 'we are going to resolve the issue','' Mr Banga said. ''We also explained to them, if they look for an eye for an eye, they'll make the whole world blind.'' Award-winning teacher Emma Cullen with some of her charges. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~PP287657 Please Miss, you're the best MEET Emma Cullen -- the best early childhood teacher in the country. The Abbotsford Long Day Care Centre teacher received the 2008 NEiTA National Teaching Award last week. Ms Cullen's dedication and play-based teaching approach have had a noticeable impact on the children, staff and parents. ''She leads by example, inspiring not only her students but their families and the entire staff to develop new and stimulating ideas to help children on their journey,'' centre director Michelle Sidoti said. Parent president Julie Sheather, whose committee nominated Ms Cullen, said: ''She makes child care so much more than caring for children.'' The emergent curriculum, which originated in Italy, teaches children what they are interested in, rather than giving them a pre- determined topic. The children's curiosity is rewarded through exploration and investigation. For instance, an interest in blocks and sea life has led to an excursion to a construction site and purchasing a class aquarium. ''We used to pick the topics ourselves, now we look to the children,'' Ms Cullen said. There are virtually no limits to the children's imagination and the learning opportunities in the community. Ms Sheather said: ''The challenge is that there are kids with different interests.'' Ms Cullen's approach has also proven successful with struggling students, including those with an autism spectrum disorder and language barriers. The not-for-profit centre is run by a parent committee and there is a long waiting list. Ms Cullen, who was overwhelmed by the award, said she wished to see more similar community-based centre models. -- By work experience student TOM GEBA Delivering for our Community The Strathfield Town Centre Master Plan Project continues to progress, with a traffic modelling study nearing completion. council chambers: 65 Homebush Rd, Strathfield NSW 2135 e) firstname.lastname@example.org p) 9748 9999 f) 9764 1034 w) www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au business hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday postal address: PO Box 120, Strathfield NSW 2135 The modelling is a significant part of the project as it provides Council with detailed traffic analysis of the existing situation around the Strathfield Town Centre, as well as the proposed changes. The results will assist in the feasibility process so that transport and traffic management within and surrounding the Strathfield Town Centre can be significantly improved. Along with the traffic benefits, the master plan project's other proposed benefits include the enlargement of Strathfield Square, a new bus interchange, improved pedestrian access and new multipurpose community facilities. For further information about the plan visit www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au or contact 9748 9999.
June 10th 2009
June 24th 2009