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   Apr 21

Darren Gauci rolls back the years and will not go quietly into the night

Veteran jockey Darren Gauci is one of the softly spoken, quiet men of the weighing room.
Nanjing Night Net

There are few theatrical gestures and no whoops, shouts or exhortations when he returns to scale.

Not even when he rides what is nowadays a rarity for him: not one, but two metropolitan winners on the same Saturday afternoon, as he did at Caulfield this weekend when he booted home two gallopers in contrasting fashion.

Gauci’s opportunities have been few and far between in recent years, but the one-time superstar of the track is philosophical about the way a jockey’s life ebbs and flows.

He has been to the very summit – a prodigy as an apprentice, a four-time champion rider, partnerships with the big stables – and he has felt the lows of serious injury and career-threatening falls.

And now, rising 50, he is determined to rage against the dying of the light and for the man known universally as “The Gauch” there will be no quiet, slow steady decline into obscurity.

He showed on Saturday at Caulfield that he can still get the job done  on the right horse in the right race, landing a double on Rich Jack and Lord Durante for two small-scale women trainers, Carole Heffernan and Simone Ferchie.

Gauci showed the full repertoire of riding skills, making all the running on the promising youngster Rich Jack, and coming from off the pace on the old gelding Lord Durante.

The latter triumph was especially sweet as it was the jockey who had recommended that the rising seven-year-old would be improved by a step up to Saturday’s 2000-metre trip having been running consistently but without success over 1400 and 1600 metres.

And that is what you get with older, more experienced men such as  Gauci – an understanding of the wider nuances of the sport. He has ridden so many horses, in so many conditions, over so many distances, that he, like his fortysomething contemporaries currently battling for the jockeys’ premiership, Damien Oliver and Dwayne Dunn,  has an intuitive understanding of how a horse might be going, what might suit it and where it would be well placed to win next time.

Gauci couldn’t remember the last time he rode a city double, preferring  to take a bigger book of rides at the country meetings  on big Saturday racedays than taking one mount on a long shot in town.

But he rode a winner at Mornington last Thursday for the powerful Godolphin stable and he is hopeful that, along with this  double, he will be back on the radar with spring just round the corner.  He was particularly pleased to have won from off the pace on Lord Durante, as he feels he has been unfairly labelled a front-running jockey in the latter years of his career.

“I hope this puts me back in the shop window. I have ridden doubles and trebles before but people seem to think when you get to my age you are over the hill,” he said.

“I don’t think I am, if anything I have been training harder the last six months, and I have just been hoping for the opportunity not to just be a front runner, which you are labelled.

“I am going on 50 this year. How much time I have got left I don’t know. As long as my body feels well.

“More so than never, right now, I really want to have a real go. I don’t want to go out of the game just fading out. I am not going to set the world on fire, but I still want to be going good when I retire.

“It isn’t easy because there’s a lot of good jockeys, a lot of young jockeys coming through with great potential. The apprentice school has got things right now, it’s much better for those kids coming through, the system seems to work a lot better.

“I am lucky enough to feel fit and am still able to ride. I have had a lot of friends helping me training with different parts of my body to keep me fit. But I am still really keen. I might ride for another five or 10 years, who knows.”

Age has not wearied them: top Jockeys pushing into middle age

Damien Oliver (43)

Dwayne Dunn (42)

Glen Boss (45)

Jim Cassidy (52)

Robert Thompson (56)

Overseas:

Frankie Dettori (44, won this year’s Epsom Derby on Golden Horn)

Kieron Fallon (50, last year won English 2000 Guineas on Night of Thunder)

Richard Hughes (42, reigning British champion jockey)

Douglas Whyte (43, multiple Hong Kong champion)

Gerald Mosse  (48, won 2010 Melbourne Cup on Americain)

Thierry Jarnet (48, won the past two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes on Treve)

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Apr 21

Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios’ agent tells Australia ‘he’s a good kid, cut him some slack’

Brash: Nick Kyrgios celebrates victory against Milos Raonic at Wimbledon. Photo: Clive BrunskillClick here for full coverage of Wimbledon 2015The lowdown: Wimbledon 2015
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As the Nick Kyrgios production show continues to roll around Wimbledon causing mayhem in its path, his agent and stand-in coach, John Morris, has called for the Australian public to cut the 20-year-old some slack.

The Englishman, who scouted Kyrgios as a 15-year-old, has urged his superstar client to stay true to himself despite admitting there were lessons to be learnt along the way.

The world No.26, who takes on Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the fourth round on Monday, has been in the headlines all week at the All England Club, dividing opinion over his unorthodox approach to the game.

Some call it swagger – part of his NBA-like bravado – others say it’s disrespectful.

But his agent, who has taken over the short-term coaching duties after Kyrgios departed from childhood coach Todd Larkham on the eve of Wimbledon, says it’s too early to judge.

“It’s tough for him growing up in the spotlight with so much expectation,” Morris told Fairfax Media.

“Especially from a sporting country like Australia who love and adore their sportsmen and want them to do well and actually put them on pedestals more so than any other country.

“There’s a high expectation for him to meet on court with his performances and also with his behaviour. And he will slip up, he’s young. But he’s not the finished article yet. I think it’s best to judge him at the end of it and what he’s been like on court and with his behaviour. He’s 20 years of age, I think we just need to cut him some slack.”

The 20-year-old, who in January last year had less than 4000 Twitter followers, is now the most marketable athlete in the country ahead of Socceroos star Tim Cahill and Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, says sports market researchers Repucom.

That’s quite an adjustment change for someone who 18 months ago wasn’t known outside of Melbourne Park.

His disagreements with two separate umpires in the opening rounds of Wimbledon hasn’t sat well with the Australian public, but there are still those who admire his roadshow antics, his cocky demeanour and his schoolboy charm.

Morris understands Kyrgios’ personality will rub some up the wrong way, but he won’t be telling him to change.

“He has just got to keep being him,” Morris said.

“He can’t be anyone else. People are going to love him or hate him. [On Friday] it was all about the tennis, there was no BS. He needs to keep being himself and put in performances like that. He’s a good person. He’s a good kid. Some of the treatment of him in the press has been unfair but that’s life, that’s what happens. He needs to learn from it, and all of it really is a big learning process for him. From my perspective, I know him probably better than anyone on tour, we’re super close – he’s a really good person.

“He just gets on with it. He’s got pretty thick skin but he’s human. People saying crap about you is going to hurt. But it’s not going to hurt to the extent where it will stop him from doing his job. He’ll learn from it. People have been doing it for 40 or 50 years in tennis. He’s not the first, he won’t be the last. It just happens.”

Since parting with his coach, it is understood Kyrgios has shouldered the responsibility of self-coaching.

Morris said he noticed a maturity before Kyrgios split with Larkham, but thinks he’s relished the added task of assessing his own performance.

“I’d say it’s helped him the extra responsibility,” Morris said.

“The last few months, his ability to self correct and auto correct has gone through the roof. I’d say he’s definitely enjoyed the responsibility. To be honest Todd Larkham did a really good job with Nick. It was literally a relationship that ran its course. I’ve not come in with a magic wand or magic dust and changed things overnight. Nick’s doing a lot of what he’s doing based on what Todd did with him. It’s not a question of night and day and me having a packet of magic dust in my pocket. If I did I would sell it.

“It’s been a real team effort to be honest. Everyone’s helped. James Frawley the hitter has come over as well and he has helped be a calming influence on Nick. We both discuss tactics with him. The fitness trainer, obviously his work is paying off. Nick could have kept going another four or five sets today if needed.”

Several candidates have thrown their name in the hat to coach Kyrgios, but he is no closer to deciding who that will be despite indicating he was after someone who had reached the lofty heights he is chasing.

“He’s probably looking for someone who is experienced and been there and done it,” Morris said.

“He’s probably looking for someone who is harsh but fair. He’s not being particularly clear, he’s not at that stage where he’s nailing down a name and saying ‘this is what I want’ or ‘this is who I want’. There’s a few names floating around and we’ll deal with them when they come up.”

Kyrgios has drawn comparisons to Bernard Tomic given they both dominated the headlines for their off-court antics as much as on court when they burst on the scene.

Even Tomic, who revealed Kyrgios volunteered to sit out of this month’s Davis Cup tie if he didn’t play because of a rift between Tennis Australia and his family, admits they are very much alike.

“Oh, man, I think Nick and I are the same,” Tomic said.

“We’re strange, in different ways. He’s a great kid. I love him a lot. We are good off court and we practise well. Sometimes the practice is a bit unusual, you know. We are all serving aces and it’s not even practice, you know. It’s just go through the motions.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Mar 21

Rohan Dennis is ‘the guy who can most challenge’ for Bradley Wiggins’ world hour record

Stage by stage coverageMore Tour de France
Nanjing Night Net

After stage 1: 13.8km time trial in Utrecht

UTRECHT: It was only a matter of time before Rohan Dennis pulled off a ride like the one he produced in the first stage of this year’s Tour de France on Saturday.

Not only did he win, but in record speed to also take the yellow race leader’s jersey.

Rohan has been second so many times in time trials since he turned professional in 2013, so a breakthrough win like his in the 13.8-kilometre race time trial in Utrecht was not that much of a surprise.

But boy … it was an impressive performance, even if it initially demoralised me.

When I went through halfway and I was 22 seconds down already, I thought I was on a shocker, but then a lot of riders struggled so I wasn’t that far off by finishing 1 minute, 6 seconds down … at least compared to the general classification guys like Rohan’s leader at BMC, the American Tejay Van Garderen, who was at 42s, or the Italian defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at 43s, our ace in the deck, Briton Chris Froome (Sky) at 50s, Spaniard Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) at 58s, and Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) at 1:01s.

I am not the big, explosive power rider you needed to be for a course like Saturday’s. That let me down, but then the heat played a big role. It was so hot. You couldn’t breath, not properly anyhow.

When I heard that Rohan had trained specifically in the heat between 2pm-5pm in readiness for what Saturday dished out it all made sense – and good on him for actually doing that.

Rohan has come on in so many ways this season. We all knew he had buckets of talent and class, but now his commitment to work and his maturity is paying off in a big way – as it should too.

I had to really earn my national time-trial title back in January, in which Rohan was second, but then it’s all happened for him since.

Rohan had a brilliant Tour Down Under the week after that, winning that World Tour race overall. And then, we all saw Rohan back-up in February with his word hour record ride in Switzerland.

Maybe he will go back and make another hour record sometime in his career?

Bradley Wiggins’ current record of 54.526km will be hard to beat, but if Rohan can continue on from how he rode on Saturday, I reckon he is the guy who can most challenge it.

There is also a lot of talk now about Rohan’s potential to become a grand tour rider.

Firstly, apart from being able to time trial, he can climb, which is a must for a grand tour rider.

I’ve seen how well he can climb first-hand. On the stage I won up Old Willunga Hill in this year’s Tour Down Under, I didn’t put that much time into him on the climb with my stage-winning attack.

But for a better marker, I still go back to the 2013 Criterium du Dauphine race after Rohan took the leader’s yellow jersey on the stage-four time trial

The next day, Froome and I gave it to him on the climb up to the finish at Valmorel, where Froome won the stage to take the leader’s jersey off Rohan who hung in there to the bitter end, despite how hard we rode against him. We only just managed to drop him – and that was two years ago

Glimpses like that show he has got the horsepower. With age he will climb better, and by time-trialling like he does, he should be a contender – if not for grand tours then definitely for eight-day races.

* Australian Team Sky rider Richie Porte is racing his fourth Tour de France

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Mar 21

Neighbourhood fence laws under review

Laws surrounding dividing fences are under review in Queensland. Photo: Steven SiewertIt is perhaps the most likely of legal disputes in which many people would find themselves.
Nanjing Night Net

The policing of the property boundary, the root cause of so many neighbourhood disputes, is in the midst of a legal review.

Queensland Law Reform Commission chairman David Jackson said the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act, which passed Parliament in 2011, had been operating for three years.

Former attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie referred the legislation to the QLRC last October.

As such, the QLRC had been asked to review its operation and effectiveness and its discussion paper has since been published for public comment.

“The commission wants to hear the views of the community about how the Act is working in practice and whether it can be improved,” Justice Jackson said.

Justice Jackson said the Act clearly set out what neighbours can and cannot do if a dispute arose.

“The Act provides rules about each neighbour’s responsibility for dividing fences and for trees so that neighbours are able to resolve any issues about dividing fences and trees without a dispute arising,” he said.

“Where neighbours are not able to resolve those issues, the Act has different mechanisms to help neighbours facilitate the resolution of any disputes about dividing fences or trees.”

Among the review’s terms of reference were: Whether the allocation of responsibilities, liabilities and rights under the Act promoted resolution by neighbours of issues relating to dividing fences and trees;Whether dispute resolution processes under the Act were fair, just and effective;The simplicity and ease of use of the Act for members of the community;Whether the Act provided the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal with sufficient powers to resolve issues;The remedies and penalties provided in the Act;QCAT’s power to make orders to protect the severe obstruction of a view;The ability of a neighbour to serve a notice on a tree owner to prune overhanging branches; and Whether the scope of the Act should be expanded to include disputes about retaining walls built on neighbouring properties’ boundaries.

The deadline for public submissions is Monday, August 10.

For independent news coverage, be sure to follow our Facebook feed.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Mar 21

Racially abused Aboriginal girl finally meets Queen Elsa

Three-year-old Samara Muir, who was racially vilified at a Disney Frozen event in May, attends a Melbourne high tea to meet the Norwegian sisters she adores, ‘Anna’ and ‘Elsa’. Photo: Arsineh HouspianA three-year-old Aboriginalgirlwho was racially vilified at a Frozen-themedchildren’sfunction last month had one thing she wantedto say to her favourite film character, Queen Elsa ofArendelle, when she finally got to meet her: “I love you”.
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After being specially invited toa Frozenhigh tea at the Langham hotel, Samara Muir was excited to meet a “real-life”Queen Elsa, telling the ruler thatshe admired her strength and her magical ability to manipulate ice from her hands.

The experience comes afterSamara was racially abused at aDisney princess event at ashopping centre in Taylors Lakes in May. The girl’s mother, RachelMuir, said her daughterwas dressed up in a sparkling blue Elsa costume while they waited in thequeueto go into the centre’s snow-pit installationwhen awoman in the line aheadturned to them and said:”‘I don’t know why you’re dressed up for because Queen Elsa isn’t black”.

Three-year-old Samara Muir, who was racially vilified at a Disney Frozen event in May, attends a Melbourne high tea to meet the Norwegian sisters she adores, ‘Anna’ and ‘Elsa’. Photo: Arsineh Houspian

Samara began to cry and, after the event, Ms Muir said she startedto refuse to attend herAboriginal dance classes and starting trying to “scrub off her black skin”. Saddened by her little girl’s dramatic change in behaviour,Ms Muir shared the experienceon Facebook, quickly receivingthousands of messages of support from across the country.

“It was heartbreaking for me,” recalls Ms Muir. “But withall the messages from everybody it hasbeen overwhelming. She’s not scrubbing her skin any more. I read her all the messages she receives, including a messagefrom Queen Elsa, messages frompeople telling her not to be ashamed of who she is and to be proud.

“I thinkall those those messages have sunk in.”

Samara has also been invited to several events, including being asked to perform in the Disney On Ice Dare to Dreamperformance at Hisense arena on Friday, where she met PrincessCinderellaand helped PrincessRapunzellift a lantern into the air as part of the show. But absent at the performance was Samara’s favourite characters, Norwegian sisters Elsa and Anna.

On Sunday afternoon, after being invited to the high tea when staff heard of her experiences, Samara again donned her blue Elsa costume and set out to meet her idol.

“She makes magic and turns everything to ice,” Samara said of Elsa. “I love her. And Anna.”

Samara joinedmore than 240 other Frozen-obsessed pre-schoolers for the high teaparty.At a hefty $79 a ticket, the event included a high tea frosty feast ofsnowflake cookies, reindeer cupcakes,white chocolate crackles and more traditional fare such asfluffyscones and fairy bread.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Mar 21

‘I’m very emotional’: Melbourne’s Greek community braces for vote

Joseph Xiradakis hopes the country will vote in favour of the measures.As children chased the pigeons outside a Melbourne Greek Orthodox parish, the adults’ emotions were similarly stirred over the crisis back in the motherland.
Nanjing Night Net

Greeks headed to the polls at 2pm Sunday, Australian time, to vote for or against more stringent austerity measures.

The referendum comes after Greece defaulted on an International Monetary Fund loan of 1.5 billion euros ($A2.18 billion).

Out the front of South Melbourne’s St Eustathios parish on Sunday morning, people were concerned for their relatives facing hardship in Greece.

Joseph Xiradakis said he believed if the country voted no to the austerity measures, its economy would collapse.

“If it is going out from the Euro, it doesn’t have the dough to go on,” he said.

“But if it stays in the Euro… there is a little bit more safety.”

Mr Xiradakis, who moved to Melbourne almost 50 years ago, said he felt helpless for his relatives in Crete.

“People are trying to do something,” he said, “but the trouble is, what can you do? You can’t do much. Greece is right in the bottom. It’s a very bad thing.”

But over in Brunswick, recently arrived Olga Grammenou was a “definite no” to more austerity.

“All the years, the governments we’ve had were full in corruption and they weren’t really care [caring] about the people in Greece,” she said.

“This government shows that she fights about people’s rights, that she cares.”

The cafe worker moved to Melbourne from Corfu more than two years ago after losing her 17-year job as an optical dispenser and was unable to find a new one.

She and her son, now 6, joined her husband, who came the year before to escape the country’s dire financial situation.

Ms Grammenou said her friends back in Greece were struggling even to buy food.

She thought most of them would vote no, but said many were were confused because of propaganda from the European Union.

“They’re terrifying them,” she said echoing the words of Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis who has accused his country’s creditors of “terrorism”.

“I’m very emotional about the situation.”

Back in South Melbourne, Terry Charalambous described the mood in Melbourne’s Greek community as “worried and anxious”.

He said it was divided on which way the country should vote, with passion on both sides.

“I fear the worse if they don’t [vote yes],” he said.

Maria Kypriotis agreed: “We think it’s a good thing for the Greeks to change their habits and start again.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Mar 21

Reigning Cats down stubborn Bulldogs

NEWLYN has kept its fading finals hopes alive with a thrilling eight-point victory over Daylesford atVictoria Park.
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Saturday’s win leavesthe Cats in 10thposition on the Central Highlands Football League ladder, three games behind eighth-placed Ballan.

The spirited resistance of the Bulldogs was on display from the opening ball-up, as they stunnedthe Cats to establisha three-goal lead.

Jeremy Steen, Michael Cummings and Emlyn Nettleton were in fine form for the Bulldogs, whichwere clearly driven to avoid another thrashing after their 130-point loss to Springbank a week earlier.

However, with their slimfinals hopes on the line, the Cats clicked into gear andreduced the lead to three-points by the main break.

For the visitors, star onballer Dan Wehrung was running riot, while Lachlan Shaw also got on thescoreboard.

With both sides determined not to lose the four points, a relentless half of footy followed withconstant goal­for-­goal action.

Cats forward Will Young, coaching with Wehrung in the absence of brother Kal, finally came into his own withtwo goals.However, the Bulldogs’ Patrick Rowe and Robert Rodgers matched his efforts to land athree-point advantageby the final change.

The ever-­improving Cats held strong in the last quarter to gather a crucial victory, which Wehrung said was an attribute his side had learned in the past year.

Young finished with four majors to his name -including a set shot goal on the final siren -whileWehrung nabbed three of his own in another strong performance.

The Bulldogs, while deflated after their gallant efforts went unrewarded, were best served byRowe,Rodgers and Sam Winnard.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Feb 21

McKinnon blasts ‘disgusting’ Smith

Preview: AlexMcKinnonon 60 Minutes
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Melbourne have defended Cameron Smith after Alex McKinnon described as “disgusting” the Storm captain’s on-field comments about the incident that ended his NRL career.

Former Newcastle forward McKinnon suffered a severe spinal injury after landing head first in a three-man tackle when playing against Melbourne in March last year.

Cameron Smith stands in the background as Alex McKinnon receives attention. Photo: Getty Images

Speaking to Channel Nine’s60 Minutesprogram, which airs on Sunday night, McKinnon has described Smith’s on-field actions after the tackle as “f—ing ridiculous”.

He believed comments Smith made on the field at the time implied that he was somewhat to blame for the injury.

“If he doesn’t duck his head, that doesn’t happen,” Smith was heard telling referees.

McKinnon said he was still angry with Smith and said he had not heard from him since the incident.

Melbourne on Sunday released a statement saying Smith had no idea of the extent of McKinnon’s injury when on the field and had attempted to contact the injured player several times afterwards.

The Storm also pointed out that Smith had helped launch the Rise for Alex fundraising NRL round last year and that Melbourne had raised $20,000 for McKinnon on that match day alone.

Smith refused to comment at Queensland training on the Gold Coast on Sunday ahead of Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane.

“At the time of this tragic accident, no one on the field had any idea of the severity of the injury Alex had suffered,” the Storm statement said.

“All at Storm and especially the playing group were shocked and horrified to learn of Alex’s injuries in the days after the event.Storm players led by captain Cameron Smith requested to visit Alex in hospital numerous times while he was in Melbourne.

“The requests were declined, which was totally understandable given Alex needed to focus on the initial stages of his recovery.

“Storm’s football director continued to liaise with his Newcastle equivalent regarding the right time for club players to contact Alex in the weeks and months after the incident.”

The Storm said Smith tried to support McKinnon by launching the Rise for Alex campaign with NSW counterpart Paul Gallen last year.

“Cameron Smith was proud to launch the #riseforalex round last year alongside Paul Gallen, as well as to wear Alex’s jersey number at Storm’s game in Melbourne in the same round,” it said.”Storm’s fans raised more than $20,000 for Alex that day alone.”

Fairfax sports columnist Danny Weidlersaid Smith will be under particularly intense pressure as he goes into the Origin decider on Wednesday night.

Weidlerwrote that Smith is a smart and well-respected player, who misread the McKinnon situation, and will have a tough time explaining his behaviour.

“His conduct on the field have left the [McKinnon] family upset – it is not going too far to say that the family and Alex have dealt with their feelings when it comes to Jordan McLean, the player who made the tackle,” Weidler wrote.

AAP

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


   Feb 21

Points vs Rovers action galleryNAIDOC Week

Points vs Rovers action gallery | NAIDOC Week The Points and Rovers pay tribute to Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh after their NAIDOC Week clash.
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The Points and Rovers pay tribute to Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh after their NAIDOC Week clash.

The Points and Rovers pay tribute to Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh after their NAIDOC Week clash.

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All the action from the Points vs Rovers NAIDOC Week clash.

All the action from the Points vs Rovers NAIDOC Week clash.

All the action from the Points vs Rovers NAIDOC Week clash.

All the action from the Points vs Rovers NAIDOC Week clash.

All the action from the Points vs Rovers NAIDOC Week clash.

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   Feb 21

Day of recognition for local service men and women

Day of recognition for local service men and women Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil
Nanjing Night Net

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Day of recognition: 67th Anniversary Reserve Forces Day march in Civic Park, Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookIT IS the recognition they richly deserve.

On Saturday, hundreds of service men and women from across the army, navy and air force marched on Civic Park as part of the 2015 Reserve Day March.

The march, which was addressed by Tim Fischer, the chairman of the Australian Reserve Forces Council and former deputy-prime minister, has run in cities across the country since 1988, and attempts to raise the profile of reservists.

Marching beside the reservists on Saturday were the 14 members of the Hunter-based Australian Armed Forced Re-enactment Heritage Unit, who will, next month, travel to Malaysia to mark the 70th anniversary of the infamous Sandakan death march.

Secretary Richard Kieida was part of the 60th anniversary ceremony in Malaysia in 2005, and said it was an honour to be invited back for the 70th anniversary ceremony on August 15.

He said the Sandakan Death March was the “single worst recorded atrocity against Australia soldiers” during World War II.

In late 1944, as the allied forces advanced, the Japanese sent 2000 Australian and British prisoners on a 260 kilometre journey along jungle tracks to Ranau.

The prisoners were weak and sick, and many died on the way.

Residents who were caught helping the prisoners were tortured and killed, but Mr Kieida said the Sandakan people “risked their lives to provide food, water and intelligence” for the soldiers trapped in prisoner of war camps.

Two prisoners of war who survived the death camp will return to Sandakan for the event.

“We feel that this campaign is a significant part of Australian’s military history, but it is a campaign that is seldom spoken about and does not receive the same level of public recognition as other events, such as Gallipoli,” Mr Kieida said.

The unit, which numbered 54 when it was founded in 1995, conducts ceremonial duties during war anniversaries and Anzac Day services when the Australian Defence Force or cadet units cannot participate.

It operates to make sure the sacrifices Australian soldiers made are always remembered.