OzHarvest founder Ronni Kahn’s crusade against food waste is captured on filmFood Fighter

FOOD FIGHTER: Ronni Kahn, founder of OzHarvest. Picture: James Brickwood.

Filmed across four continents and over two years, Food Fighter is the inspirational story of one woman’s crusade against the global scandal of food waste.

Ronni Kahn founded OzHarvest in 2004, driven by a passion to make a difference and stop good food going to waste. She started with one van, collecting surplus food from restaurants and eateries and delivering it to charities. She delivered 4000 meals in the first month.

OzHarvestnowoperatesnationally, rescuingabout 100tonnesof foodeachweekfrom more than 3000 food donors.OzHarvest Newcastle started in February 2010 and delivers food to more than 90 agencies to support people in need at neighbourhood centres, women’s and children’s refuges, youth accommodation services, boarding houses and schools.

Now OzHarvest is asking Australian households to do their bit to fight food waste.

Food waste costs the Australian economy more than $20 billion each year and results inabout 5 million tonnes of good food ending up in landfill. Half of this food waste occurs in the home, costing the average family more than$1000 every year, but it can be easily avoided.

“Food is so precious, wasting it makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically – but we all do it. From forgetting about food in the fridge, buying and cooking too much, letting it expire and not storing it properly –there are so many reasons good food ends up in the bin,” Kahn says.

“The statistics are staggering but the solutions are simple and there is no greater force than people power. Fight Food Waste aims to tackle the problem from the bottom up by changing behaviour at home with how you look at, buy, store and cook food.”

Consumers are encouraged to join the movement at the new OzHarvest website fightfoodwaste.org, which offers practical tips on how to prevent food waste, and to watch Food Fighter at Tower Cinemas Newcastle this weekend. It is screening at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, and at 7pm on Wednesday, June 20. After the final screening restaurateur and OzHarvest supporter Neil Slater will host a Q&A session.

Too much, too little sleep bad for health

The authors say this was an observational study and doesn’t draw conclusions about cause and effect.Regularly sleeping too much or not enough may increase a persons chances of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and becoming obese, according to a new study.

Researchers examined the sleeping habits of more than 130,000 Korean men and women aged between 40-69 years and then conducted a range of medical tests to examine the impact of sleep on their health.

The study, published in BMC Public Health, found fewer than six hours sleep and more than ten hours of sleep per day was associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) – a collection of conditions that often occur together and increase the risk of these diseases.

These include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance.

Less than six hours of sleep was associated with MetS and elevated waist circumference in men, and only a larger waist size among women.

Greater than 10 hours of sleep was associated with MetS and elevated triglycerides (fats in blood) among both men and women and with elevated waist circumference.

Reduced HDL cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol, and elevated fasting glucose was associated among women only.

“We observed a potential gender difference between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome, with an association between metabolic syndrome and long sleep in women and metabolic syndrome and short sleep in men,” said lead author Claire Kim.

The biological reasons that underlie the associations remained unclear, however the authors suggested hormones could play a factor.

Elevated levels of hormones leptin and ghrelin can increase appetite and caloric intake or reduce energy expenditure in people who sleep less than seven hours per day, which may lead to increased waist circumference and development of obesity, they say.

“It may also cause impaired glycemic control (lowering glucose tolerance and thyrotropin concentration levels) increasing risk for hypertension and diabetes,” they wrote.

The authors caution that this was only an observational study and does not draw conclusions about cause and effect.

Australian Associated Press

Murder accused thinks he’s Jesus, says doc

Accused killer James “Dimitrious” Gargasoulas planned to injure at least one person in the Bourke Street rampage to keep police busy so he could be free to contact Aboriginal royalty and promote his belief that he’s Jesus Christ.

The 28-year-old is facing an investigation hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court to determine if he is fit to stand trial over the 2017 event in central Melbourne that killed six people, including two children.

Psychiatrist Lester Walton on Wednesday said Gargasoulas is schizophrenic and delusional.

“He has cosmological, Aboriginal and religious beliefs that he is the messiah and it’s all mixed up together,” he told the jury.

Dr Walton said Gargasoulas believes “he is the second coming of Christ”.

“He has said straightforwardly to me that he is the messiah.”

The psychiatrist added Gargasoulas had a “chain of irrational logic” about what he was doing during the rampage in the Bourke Street mall on January 20, 2017.

“He was being pursued by police and he wanted to get rid of them in order to be free to pursue the promulgation of these ideas (that he is the messiah),” Dr Walton told the court.

Gargasoulas told Dr Walton he tried to tell the public about what he needed to do while driving in circles near Federation Square before he headed to Bourke St.

“He was actually yelling out things and that was his attempt to start the process of informing the public … about this important cataclysm that was about to happen,” Dr Walton said.

The psychiatrist said Gargasoulas believed injuring someone on Bourke St would stop police from following him and he would be free to “contact Aboriginal royalty”.

“Now, I’m not going to put that forward at this stage as a comprehensive explanation, but that’s one theme that’s emerged,” the psychiatrist said.

While being cross examined by prosecutor Andrew Tinney SC, Dr Walton – a witness for the defence – said he had spent about three hours with Gargasoulas.

Mr Tinney said Forensicare psychologist Michael Daffern, a prosecution witness, spent more than seven hours with Gargasoulas.

Professor Daffern believes Gargasoulas is fit to stand trial.

“He concluded that this man remains fit and clearly I was of a different view,” Dr Walton said.

He also told the court there is no disagreement about Gargasoulas’ schizophrenia diagnosis, but Prof Daffern holds a contrary view about whether Gargasoulas understands the criminal trial process.

“Professor Daffern agrees with all of us in the sense that the diagnosis is schizophrenia, that this man remains unwell, psychotic,” Dr Walton said.

Gargasoulas faces six counts of murder and 28 charges of attempted murder over the rampage, as well as other unrelated charges.

The hearing before Justice Lex Lasry will resume on Thursday.

Australian Associated Press

Regional students have right to succeed

Building a clever and prosperous country also requires clever and prosperous regions, which is why it is crucial that we overcome the significant gap in educational achievement between regional, rural and remote students and metropolitan students.

The proportion of 25-34 year olds with a Year 12 education in major cities is over 80 per cent, compared to 60-70 per cent in the regions.

Almost 45 per cent of people in the same age bracket in major cities have a bachelors degree, compared to around 20-25 per cent in regional Australia.

These figures indicate unacceptable discrepancies whichmust be addressed.

Last year, Federal Minister for Education and TrainingSimon Birmingham appointed Emeritus Professor John Halsey of Flinders University to undertake a review to identify solutions.

Halsey’s report endorsed a national focus for regional education, training and research. The government’s response, published on May 30, endorsed all the review’s recommendations, and acknowledged that a one-size-fits-all policy does not work for regional education. The Prime Minister reinforced this on May 31 in a response to a question in the House of Representatives from the Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan MP.

While the Regional Universities Network (RUN), a group of six regionally headquartered universities, welcomes the government’s response, we believe that a more strongly coordinated approach, and sufficient and targeted resources, are required to realise the vision that every Australian student deserves the opportunity to succeed, no matter where they live.

In his report, Halsey recommended: expanding the availability, affordability and accessibility of high quality work experience placements, dual VET/university options and two-year associate degree programs for regional students; supporting regional students to make successful transitions from school to university, training, and employment; and establishing a national focus for regional education.

In the 2018 Budget, some funding for new sub-bachelor and bachelor places was provided for regional university campuses and study hubs, and the parental income cut-off for regional students was lifted so that around an additional 2,300 students could be supported via Youth Allowance.

While these measures are a step in the right direction, given the contribution of higher education to the economic, social and cultural development of the regions, universities need the flexibility to enrol as many students as they wish and put on new courses where required at regional campuses.

In 2017, RUN proposed a National Regional Higher Education Strategy.It includes strategies to support the provision of higher education in regional areas, increase the representation of regional students in higher education and support the role of regionally-based higher education providers in creating diverse and resilient regional economies.

Although the Government has indicated that it will report on progress on regional education in its yearly Regional Ministerial Statement, we believe that a National Regional Higher Education Strategy is essential to provide a robust framework for greater focus and better outcomes.

Prof Greg Hill, RUN chairandUniversity of the Sunshine Coast vice-chancellor, andDr Caroline Perkins, RUN executive director.

Mason Lee’s stepfather to be sentenced

The stepfather of Queensland toddler Mason Lee is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter over his death.

William Andrew O’Sullivan is also due to plead guilty to cruelty to a child under 16 years old at a sentence hearing listed in August at Brisbane Supreme Court.

Mason died in June 2016 in his Caboolture home from a rupture to his small intestine believed to have been caused by blunt force trauma.

O’Sullivan, Mason’s mother Anne Maree Lee and their housemate Ryan Robert Barry Hodson were all charged with manslaughter.

In the months before his death, Mason was treated for multiple injuries and was admitted to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for three weeks in February 2016.

That was for treatment of an abscess on Mason’s right leg but doctors soon discovered he had a “chronic” and “extensive” rash around his genitals, including deep abscesses.

At a committal hearing in November, pediatric surgeon Professor Roy Kimble testified the fatal wound to Mason’s abdomen could have been sustained up to five days before his death.

Mason would have been unable to eat or drink without vomiting in his final hours and when paramedics attended to him, at least half an hour after death, he was covered in bruises and vomit.

During a review of his matter at Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday, O’Sullivan didn’t appear and no plea was entered, but his sentencing was listed for August 28.

Lee is currently awaiting a trial.

While Hodson was accused of Mason’s manslaughter, the teenager later indicated he would plead guilty to the downgraded offence of child cruelty.

However, Justice David Jackson questioned the legality of the charge and Hodson was discharged after the prosecution conceded they couldn’t make out the elements of the offence.

For Hodson to be convicted of child cruelty it needed to be shown Mason was in his “lawful care or charge”.

Australian Associated Press