Daily News - Tuesday 17 March 2015

Posted 17 March 2015 4:57pm



A tale of two families: Sydney’s work and welfare divide

Laura Banks and Ben Mcclellan - Daily Telegraph

It's a tale of two Sydney ­families — one that thrives on work and another yet to know the reward a permanent job brings.

Lethbridge Park grandmother Penny Sorrenson’s mum was on welfare, she is on welfare, and her daughter is on welfare. It is a “struggle” to make ends meet for the 42-year-old and her 20-year-old daughter Tori, who is raising her baby son with the help of taxpayers.

Tori is one of almost 40 per cent of children from jobless households who are on welfare by age 20. Ms Sorrenson receives $15,600 a year in taxpayer-funded benefits.

In neighbouring Shalvey the Vanoskas are intergenerational workers. Stephanie Vanoska, 23, works 40 hours a week at two jobs and earns up to $70,000.

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Irish Catholic priest takes to boxing ring to battle parishioner for charity match

ABC News

Father Pierre "Jalapeno" Pepper donned the boxing gloves for the first time as part of his parish's fundraising Saint Patrick's Weekend Punch-Up, ahead of Ireland's national day for its patron saint.

The pugilistic priest, 37, became a national sensation after an online video taunting his opponent went viral, leading to a television appearance.

In the video, Father Pepper quoted from the Bible and warned parishioner Jared "The Artful Dodger" Madden, his opponent, of his impending doom while five other priests look on menacingly.

"The Lord says vengeance is mine ... say your prayers, because judging time is close at hand," his opponent is told.

Father Pepper said the boxing match had "taken a life of its own".

"From kids I visit in school to older people on sick calls, they're all behind it," he said.

Hundreds of locals in the small town of Banagher in County Offaly, on the banks of the River Shannon in central Ireland, packed into a marquee at the back of a pub Saturday night to see a number of locals fight, but the clash of priest versus parishioner was the main event for most.

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Indigenous employment targets achievable, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion says

Louise Yaxley - ABC News

The Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister has promised to boost the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the Federal Government employs, even if his new policies upset non-Indigenous Australians.

Northern Territory senator Nigel Scullion has also announced a new target for government contracts signed with Indigenous businesses, increasing the proportion from less than 1 per cent to 3 per cent by 2020.

"I think it is achievable, simply because we're doing nothing about it at the moment," Senator Scullion said.

However, he acknowledged the targets might upset some of those who are not Indigenous.

"But I think they've been given a pretty good run for a couple of hundred years and it's time for a bit of a change," Senator Scullion said.

"This is my job, I am a champion of Aboriginal and Islander people and their businesses and employment opportunities.

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Free flu vaccines for Indigenous children as experts warn of dangerous season ahead

Sophie Scott and Alison Branley - ABC News

Indigenous children will benefit from the Federal Government's free flu vaccine program for the first time this year as authorities brace for a virulent strain of flu heading for Australia.

The Government announced it would extend its free flu program to the children to help reduce flu deaths among the vulnerable group.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said five Indigenous children died from the flu each year.

"The key objective I believe of every Federal Health Minister when it comes to Indigenous health must be closing the gap in life expectancy and that starts in childhood," Ms Ley said.

"It's vital we include children under five in as many health initiatives as possible and flu vaccination is one of them."

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