League’s best offer a hand to Jets

Jets players Jack Maher and Matt Renshaw got the chance to train with O and M stars Adam Prior and Brayden O’Hara. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
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STARS of the Ovens and Murray Interleague squad are the latest footballers to throw their support behind the Wodonga Jets.

Only weeks after training at Collingwood’s Melbourne base, the all abilities football team found themselves at Martin Park last week at the same time as the interleague squad.

Coach Matt Deegan said some of the stars of the Ovens and Murray competition were only too happy to help out.

“Brayden O’Hara and Adam Prior were keen to get involved and not only worked on their football ability but at the same time provided a thrill for the Jets,” he said.

“In association with Volunteer Friends Wodonga and the Wodonga Bulldogs Football Club, over the past five years the Jets have gone from playing one game a year to participating in four home and away games, three round-robin carnivals and of course, culminating in what the players see as the pinnacle, their half-time game at the O and M grand final.”

The Jets’ next game will be after the Wodonga Bulldogs v Wangaratta Magpies OandM clash on June 6.

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Melba makes name return

ABOVE: The original Wodonga Shire Hall.LEFT: The former Melba Theatre.Pictures:WODONGAHISTORICALSOCIETY Dame Nellie Melba biographer Ann Blainey says the name Melba Square could be a great choice for Wodonga’s new city square. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
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COULD a dark horse be making a last-minute dash across the finish line in the race to name Wodonga’s urban square?

Well, perhaps not so much dark horse as divine diva — a Border Mail poll suggests Melba Square is leading the people’s choice as a name for the new public space at the corner of High Street and Elgin Boulevard.

The unofficial online poll showed 51per cent of people chose Melba Square, 35per cent Junction Square, 6per cent Drover’s Rest, and 4per cent each for Aurora and Harmony squares.

The Melba square name is not in fact direct reference to opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, but to the theatre named for her that once stood opposite the square, where the Woolworths supermarket now stands.

Either way, historian Ann Blainey reckons it’s an excellent choice, and one the dame would approve.

Mrs Blainey — wife of historian Geoffrey Blainey — was on the Border yesterday for a talk about Melba, coinciding with the singer’s birthday.

As a Melba biographer, Mrs Blainey said she’d found Melba actually had several links to the area, with several performances on the Border in the early 1900s.

Her father owned Bethanga Park for many years, meaning as a child she would have spent time here, although her formative years were spent in Melbourne.

“She was the first person to sing at the Albury Mechanics Institute … and at that concert for those who couldn’t get seats she made sure they opened all the doors so everyone could hear,” she said.

Wodonga Council had previously stated its preference for a name reflecting the precinct’s railway heritage, but Mrs Blainey thinks the Melba name can almost encompass that too.

Melba did after all travel regularly on the line from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and, upon her death in 1931, a procession was held at Albury station as her coffin was moved from one platform to the other for the journey from Sydney to Melbourne.

Wodonga Historical Society members have agreed the Melba name could be perfect, but pointed out one key factor: the council has stipulated it does not want to name the square after a person, living or dead, in order to ensure it is inclusive.

Society member Uta Wiltshire said that the name wouldn’t, however, necessarily be commemorating a person, but a place.

“To have Melba square would be fine, as long as in 20 years time people do remember there was a theatre of that name was once stood by that site,” she said.

The Melba Theatre was in use for 60 years which was of significance to Wodonga.

The council is taking feedback on the five names until May 28.

A report will go to next month council’s meeting, where councillors will choose a name to put forward to the Registrar of Geographic Names.

The council has stressed it will consider the public response.

People can go to makewodongayours南京夜网419论坛 to vote, or leave a dot on polls posted at the council offices and other venues including The Cube, Library, community centres and the Visitor Information Centre.

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4000 nappies to help mums in need

Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare manager Peter Matthews, The Nappy Collective Albury-Wodonga team leader Sophie Richards and volunteer Penny Collis boxed nappies donated to help mums in need. Picture: KYLIE ESLERMORE than 4000 nappies have been packed for mums in need.
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The Nappy Collective group has been collecting the baby essential for the past two weeks to donate to families who can’t afford them.

It was the second time a nappy drive has been held on the Border, the first was in October and only 500 nappies were donated.

A volunteer with The Nappy Collective group in Albury, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she could see the benefits of the nappy donations after once being in need herself after escaping domestic violence.

“I was left with nothing and it’s the first thing you notice,” she said.

Nappies were collected at drop off points at the Lavington library and the Albury Library Museum, set up by Halve Waste, and the Wodonga library and Target.

The Nappy Collective Albury-Wodonga team leader Sophie Richards said she was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“I’m thrilled with the response and hopefully it’s enough to meet the demand so we don’t have to get any from Melbourne,” she said.

“A woman who was 33 weeks pregnant with twins was even keen to help.”

Ms Richards said nappies were not always affordable and she often heard of them going to waste due to babies growing out of them.

They boxed the nappies according to size at Albury Wodonga Regional Foodshare and manager Peter Matthews said often people were asking for those types of products.

“People who need emergency food have an income that’s under stress,” he said.

“They won’t just go to people with a low income but also those with sick children or other issues.”

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Taree artist’s city opportunity

Sydney Adermann joined fellow Year 10 and Year 11 students from across the state at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
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SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Taree local Sydney Adermann has taken the next exciting step in her art career.

She has been invited by The Smith Family to travel to Sydney during the school holidays to take part in a four-day art workshop called Bella Momentum at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

Sydney, who attends Taree High, joined 11 fellow Year 10 and 11 students from across the State for the intensive artistic development opportunity.

Bella Momentum is staged twice each year for selected students supported by The Smith Family who are currently studying art subjects – or whom possess a strong interest in artistic pursuits – to hone their interests and inspire their post-school arts-related career options.

Sydney secured her place at the workshop ahead of a statewide pool of applicants.

During the workshop, participants explored a diverse range of contemporary art-making techniques, including drawing, sculpture, installation, print making and performance.

The workshop was conducted under the supportive guidance of tutors and professional artists, who assisted students to create a strong body of artwork and build a portfolio.

“The Bella Momentum art workshop is now in its 13th year and, thanks to funding made available through the Macquarie Group Foundation, is opening doors to students to build self-confidence, develop their artistic talents and explore career paths available in the art world,” CEO of The Smith Family, Dr Lisa O’Brien said.

During their stay in Sydney, students were also treated to visits to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Chinatown and waxworks museum Madame Tussaud’s to further inspire their creativity.

At the workshop’s completion, participants were provided with the rare opportunity to present their works in a professional gallery exhibition at the MCA’s National Centre for Creative Learning for friends and family members. All Bella Momentum participants attend schools in communities in which The Smith Family is working to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged young people.

Bella Momentum is a collaboration between The Smith Family, MCA, Perpetual and Macquarie Group Foundation.

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Manning TAFE students recognised

FOUR Manning Valley residents won major awards at the institute-wide Student Recognition Awards, which recognises the top TAFE students from the 17 campuses on the North Coast.
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The awards acknowledged the efforts in 2014 of top-performing students studying either on-campus, on-the-job or online on the North Coast, across NSW and Australia.

North Coast TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year, Leigh Ryan, from Wingham, also won the North Coast TAFE Manufacturing and Engineering Student of the Year award.

The winning students from the Manning included Leigh Ryan, from Wingham, who received two awards for his achievements in the Certificate III in electrotechnology electrician: the overall apprentice of the year and the manufacturing and engineering student of the year.

Jessica Maher, from Taree, is North Coast TAFE’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year, thanks to her high achievements in community services work

Jessica Maher, from Taree, was awarded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year for both her studies in Certificate IV in community services work and her achievements in community and the workplace.

From minimal user of technology to IT expert- Lei Bush, from Caffrey’s Flat, received North Coast TAFE’s IT Student of the Year Award.

Lei Bush, from Caffreys Flat, won the information technology student of the year award for her achievements in attaining the Certificate IV in digital media technologies, and Kaitlin Lefevre, from Rainbow Flat, received the tourism and hospitality student of the year award for outstanding achievement in completing her Certificate IV in travel and tourism.

Terrific at tourism- Kaitlin Lefevre, from Rainbow Flat, is North Coast TAFE’s overall Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year.

Institute director Elizabeth McGregor said the awards night was an inspiring celebration of the vocational dreams and achievements of many North Coast TAFE students across the region.

“It’s a complete privilege for us in North Coast TAFE to have somehow been a part of these achievements,” Ms McGregor said.

The awards were held in the Osprey Restaurant, at Coffs Harbour Education Campus.

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Manning home in line for State award

The Manning Valley home boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape.AN “OFF-GRID” Manning Valley home has led to a local architecture firm being nominated for a state wide award.
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Austin McFarland Architects, who won the 2011 NSW Architecture Awards’ Blacket Prize, have been shortlisted in the residential architecture (new houses) and sustainable architecture categories for a project house based on a 90 hectare property in the Manning Valley.

The practice and clients drew heavily on locally sourced materials and artisans to create the “off-grid”, winter home which has stunning views of the Manning Valley.

The timber and brick house relies on itself to generate power, collect water and process waste.

Other regional members of the Australian Institute of Architects to have been shortlisted include EN House, by Newcastle practice Derive Architecture and Design.

This addition to a small inner suburban Newcastle home was designed to minimise the project’s footprint in order to maximise the small backyard.

The design retained a significant portion of the existing building fabric, supplemented by locally sourced, recycled materials

The 2015 NSW Architecture Awards with winners to be announced in Sydney on Thursday, July 2.

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Taree’s first parkrun: fantastic!

155 park runners turned up for the first edition of the weekly Taree parkrun held along the Manning River foreshore.ORGANISERS of Taree’s first parkrun have one word to describe the first run of the weekly event – fantastic!
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“155 park runners turned up and 137 of these were first timers,” organiser Janelle Jefferies said.

“We had runners from as far as Brisbane, Tamworth, Newcastle, Penrith and Port Macquarie.”

Runners arrived as early as 7.30am to hear organiser Marg Lewis run over safety information, to thank sponsors and to welcome all those that had come along.

Organiser Marg Lewis explained safety and thanked sponsors and attendees for supporting the new event.

The run kicked off at 8am.

Runners’ ages ranged from 10-years-old to 69.

“We had a lady named Kathy from Penrith who has now run every parkrun in NSW,” Janelle said.

Janelle and Marg were delighted by the “positive vibes” shared on the day.

“I heard stories of runners high-fiving on the way past,” Janelle added, “and others meeting new people out on the course.”

The course started at Endeavour Place near Manning River Rowing Club and went along the Manning River foreshore to Martin Bridge and return, with two laps making up 5km.

Ready… set…. parkrun!

Some participants ran the entire track, while others paced themselves or walked along with prams.

Along the way participants enjoyed cheers and encouragement from volunteers.

“Our volunteers did a tremendous job considering it was all new to them,” said Janelle.

“We will always be looking for volunteers because without them we can’t continue to run the event.

“The benefit of being a volunteer is to ensure parkrun stays in Taree for years to come.

“Volunteers are given maximum points towards the annual points competition and after volunteering 25 times will be rewarded with a t-shirt. Volunteering is easy and loads of fun.”

At the end of the track participants received a token which was then scanned with their personalised printed out barcodes.

This ensures their run time is saved and sent out to them by email and displayed on the Taree results page.

Topping last weekend’s results was parkrun Australia’s communications manager/territory director Dave Robertson, who travelled from Newcastle for the event.

Many locals made the top 10.

Family fun: Brooke Huland of Wherrol Flat participated with her children Joshie, Holly and Joseph.

Janelle and Marg would like to thank Dave Robertson and Dave Appleby from parkrun Australia for their ongoing support and guidance.

Local sponsors assisting the weekly event are Club Taree, Hunter Medicare Local and MidCoast Podiatry, who were all present on the day either running or cheering.

Club Taree donated drink bottles and Hunter Medicare Local donated a Garmin watch that was raffled off.

The winner was Catrina Dawson of Port Macquarie, who said she would be giving it to her mother.

“My mother is an amazing woman who is on an incredible weight loss journey,” wrote Catrina on Taree parkrun’s Facebook.

“I have a dream that one day I will complete a parkrun with her and this Garmin is going to help the reality of that dream come true. Thank you again.”

The average time time taken to complete the course was 35 minutes and 23 seconds.

The event ran so smoothly few changes will need to be made for this week’s run.

“We will aim for a bit more signage and we will move our start line back a little, due to reports of the course being around 80 metres short,” Janelle explained.

“I think Taree has needed something like parkrun for a very long time and I can see it growing bigger and better.”

To keep updated like ‘Taree parkrun’ on Facebook. If you would like to participate this Saturday, register here http://梧桐夜网parkrun南京夜网419论坛/register/

The final message from organisers to participants is “don’t forget your barcode!”

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Happy 75th Martin Bridge!

HISTORY RECREATED: Thousands walked the bridge on Sunday May 17 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Martin Bridge. This was a recreation of the first community walk across Martin Bridge in 1940, on the same day 75 years ago.
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THE challenge was set by the Night Bazaar committee and organisers of the Martin Bridge 75th Anniversary.

The committee aimed to recreate the photo of thousands standing on Martin Bridge at the original bridge opening in 1940.

Not only was this challenge met on Sunday May 17, but numbers of bridge walkers exceeded organisers’ expectations.

“We estimate between 4000 to 5000 to have walked the bridge on Sunday,” Night Bazaar committee member Catherine Calvin said. “Although police on the day estimates slightly more.”

In the original photo 75 per cent of the bridge was filled with roughly 3500 in attendance. Organisers believe at one point during Sunday’s bridge walk Martin Bridge was 90 per cent filled with walkers.

The organisers were overjoyed by the support they received from the community.

“There was such a co-operative atmosphere,” Catherine said.

“It could have been difficult, but everyone was in the spirit of making it work.”

The walk ran so smoothly Taree police and SES volunteers were able to open the bridge earlier than expected.

The bridge walk was led by town crier Rod Illidge and Wingham circus group Circartus, creating a colourful display at the front of the crowd.

Those who were part of the original 1940 bridge walk or who had family relations there on the day, were also up the front.

These included Norma Cox (formerly Miss Wicks) who walked when she was 13-years-old, Glad Fernley (formerly Miss Murray) who walked when she was 11-years-old, John Doust who watched the bridge walk at age nine, Wendy McKeough who walked with her nana at four-years-old, Peter Dahdah who had been pushed along in a stroller by his parents, Eric Richardson OAM who went along with a bus load from his school in Wingham, and Harry Dryer, who was a boy scout. Norma Smith’s grandfather was the largest man in the original photograph.

Manning Valley Historical Society (MVHS) had captured their stories and others in the lead up to the day.

In collaboration with Greater Taree City Council (GTCC), MVHS had a historical display, which was a highly popular stall at the celebratory day markets.

“It was a wonderful family day out,” president of Manning Valley Historical Society Barbara Waters said.

“We had a lot of people asking questions and interested in the history of the bridge and the area.”

Manning Valley Business Chamber also saw similar success with those interested in its businesses old and new display.

The 65 market and food stalls on the day boomed with interested and buying customers, said Night Bazaar committee member Annette O’Rourke.

“So many of our food stalls sold out!” Annette said.

“It was great exposure for new businesses and stall holders.

“One lady commented to me ‘It is so nice to see what is available in our area – especially things we don’t always see around'”

Fotheringham Park was alive with old fashioned games provided by Catholic Care, children playing in the park and those enjoying the entertainment on the day.

Entertainment was selected by Night Bazaar committee member Rosie Smith.

“I like to choose acts that are dedicated, local and good at live performance,” Rosie said.

“Performing at events like this are great launch pads for artists, especially young acts like SOAR.”

Rosie had asked two of the acts Tasha Joy Burton and Wingsong to cover 1940s songs, she was amazed when they met the challenge.

Other bands on the day included Jay Davis Trio, Mojo Bluesman, Alyse Gray, The Undecided and Jim Bird.

Jim Bird and Luke Bottomley of Aurora Show Effects handled the music’s production.

The Bean Car cafe enjoyed a full house for most of the day with its recreation of the original menu from the bridge opening.

Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead enjoyed the menu’s delicacies including Manning Bridge consomm followed by rock bottom chicken and lifting sauce, finished with span trifle and bitumen cream with Pacific Highway jelly and muddy coffee.

Official proceedings of the day included Mayor Paul Hogan cutting the 75th anniversary cake, that was provided by Andy’s Cake Kitchen.

GTCC and MVHS’s historical display is now available to view at the bottom of the administration building. GTCC is currently working to the display available to view online.

The Night Bazaar team will return again in November for the next Taree Night Bazaar.

Martin Bridge 75th Anniversary | Galleries

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Cycling road race doubt

THE LONG-term future of one of Australia’s oldest one-day road races is in doubt.
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Increased financial costs in relation to police escorting has seen Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club elect not to organise this year’s Melbourne to Ballarat roadrace.

Instead, Cycling Victoria and Ballarat Regional Tourism will join forces to ensure the 105th edition, scheduled for July 18, will continue as planned.

The cost of the event will almost double this year after new anti-terrorism laws dictate that police must not work alone.

The change in rules mean that numbers needed for escorting duties will be doubled, resulting in a cost increase from $8000 to around $14,000.

Cycling Victoria CEO Kipp Kaufmann hopes to confirm the running of the 2015 Melbourne to Ballarat by next week, before turning his attention towards the race’s long-term viability.

“It’s our intention that it will take place (this year),” Kaufmann said.

“We should have something over the next week that we can go forward with.

“We want to find the short term solution and then to ensure the long term viability of the race.

“The police are a criticalfactor.”

Kaufmann said that efforts would be made to lower the cost of the event, but reducing the number of escort cars from 10 (one per bunch) wasn’t a likely solution for the 100-kilometre handicap.

“Even reducing escort cars from 10 to nine would be pushing the boundary,” he said.

“Another option would be to reduce the numbers, but then you can start to compromise the integrity of the race.”

Ballarat Sebastopol board member and past Melbourne to Ballarat race director Don Stewart says the race has become “financially unviable” for the club, with traffic management also an issue.

“The Ballarat Sebastopol Cycling Club has been running it for the last five or six years,” he said.

“We have looked at various alternative routes but the club will definitely not be running it this year.”

The Melbourne to Ballarat is older than the prestigious Melbourne to Warrnambool, and even has cycling’s three grand tours in the Tour de France (101 editions), Giro d’Italia (98) and Vuelta a Espana (69) covered for age.

“Not a lot of events get to 100 years and it certainly sits in the most historic of the grand races in Australia,” Kaufmann said.

Kaufman said discussions hadn’t been opened in regards to the finishing point of this year’s race.

The race has finished at Kryal Castle since 2013.

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BFNL netball squad boost

Georgia Cann, captain.VERSATILE state league netballer Laura McDonald has been added to Ballarat’s interleague campaign.
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McDonald played for Lake Wendouree at the weekend, making her eligible for Ballarat Football Netball League selection ahead of its AFL Victorian Country Championship battle with Bendigo at Eastern Oval on Saturday.

The Sovereigns championship division player has experience alongside fellow Sovereign Jordyn Bibby (North Ballarat City) in goals, Erin Riley (Redan) in defence and with Sovereigns Kara Hart (Lake Wendouree) and Lauren Atkinson (East Point) through the centre-court.

McDonald’s inclusion boosts Ballarat’s VNL championship division player count to four to complement a string of Regional State League and former VNL players.

Bendigo was yet to confirm its squad at the time of print, but Ballarat coach Kate McMahon had confidence her players had the depth to adapt to anything thrown at them on court.

“We’ve focused on combinations and our ability to transition from defence to offence. We have a chance to do that really well,” McMahon said.

“We’ve got a lot of versatility.

“There are good netball players in this netball team.”

Ballarat used last week’s interleague training sessions to share ideas on combinations and work on movement and patterns.

Players are moving into more intense scratch matches to test their game this week.

OPEN TEAM: Georgia Cann, captain (Sebastopol), Lauren Atkinson, Lauren Jew (East Point), Melanie Allen, Molly Boyle, Kara Hart, Laura McDonald (Lake Wendouree), Jordyn Bibby, Stacey McCartin (North Ballarat City), Emma Henry, Erin Riley (Redan)

Coach: Kate McMahon

Assistant coach: Kirsty Walsh

Team manager: Narelle Perkins

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Rooster swingman sidelined with shoulder injury

Bryce Curnow MOBILE tall Bryce Curnow will be sidelined indefinitely for a shoulder injury that cut short his five-goal display at Etihad Stadium.
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The North Ballarat Roosters’ swingman will meet with a surgeon in Melbourne on Wednesday to further determine the extent of the injury.

It is a tough blow for the Selkirk Roosters ahead of their Victorian Football League road-trip to meet reigning premier Footscray at the Bulldogs notorious Whitten Oval fortress this Sunday morning.

Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said Curnow’s height and mobility was hard for opposition to match – especially when firing like he was against Northern Blues at the weekend.

“It was nice to have a target like that. We don’t have a lot of big goalkickers at the club, let alone five goals like he did,” FitzGerald said.

Curnow’s haul included three goals in a third-quarter rampage before he was injured in a contest, midway through the final term.

The Roosters will keep watch on forward James Keeble (hamstring) and key midfield leader Lachie George (calf) this week but remain hopeful both would be cleared to face the Bulldogs.

Roosters selections this week will be shaped on country interleague this week, as well as North Melbourne’s Perth-bound squad.

FitzGerald, who mentors Ballarat Football League coach Shane Skontra, said the Roosters were actively promoting interleague duty for players in contention.

There is a strong Roosters contingent in the BFL training squad with Nick Weightman (Bungaree) and Jacobs Werts (Learmonth) pushing for selection in the Central Highlands.

Cobden onballer Brody Mahoney is a likely selection for Hampden – Mahoney was one of the Bottle Greens’ best in last year’s AFL Victoria Country Championships.

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Cannes Film Festival’s ‘high-heels only’ red carpet policy draws ire from stars

Salma Hayek demands female equality during Variety forumMore from the Cannes Film FestivalFull movies coverage
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Cannes, France: After years of rumbling discontent, a rebellion against the Cannes Film Festival’s insistence that female guests must totter up the red carpet on high heels may finally be about to erupt.

Palais du Cinema door guards’ rejection of several middle-aged women invited to Sunday night’s premiere of Carol, the lesbian drama starring Cate Blanchett, created a ruckus that by Tuesday morning found even Benicio del Toro – possibly the most unequivocally masculine star on the screen – joking that he would wear high heels to his own premiere in protest.

At a press conference for Sicario, an action drama about CIA covert operations against Mexican drug cartels starring Emily Blunt as a tough, door-kicking cop, director Denis Villeneuve joked that he, along with the film’s male stars Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, should wear high heels instead of the plain black shoes required by the male dress code.

Emily Blunt, a self-confessed tomboy, was aghast when asked about the compulsory heel rule. “That’s very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality,” she said. “I think that everyone should wear flats, to be honest.”

The festival’s rule on high heels has been in force since anyone can remember. I have been turned away from a screening on these grounds myself, after being openly jeered by a couple of security guards for my temerity in wearing strappy gold flats.

This year, however, the festival has made a belated run to appear more female-friendly. There are more films by women directors in the official selection than ever before; for only the second time in its history, the festival opened with a film by a woman, Emmanuelle Bercot’s Standing Tall, instead of the usual big-budget costume spectacular along the lines of Grace of Monaco or The Great Gatsby.

Men and women are in roughly equal numbers on the various juries. There are daily high-powered seminars on women and the film industry featuring speakers such as Jane Fonda, Isabelle Huppert and producers Christine Vachon and Megan Ellison.

Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, who would have been 100 this year, is the face of the festival; her fresh, make-up free smile beams from posters on every second wall in Cannes. Of course, the great irony was that the issue should come to a head at a film about closeted lesbians in the 1950s. Sixty years later, a woman still isn’t allowed to wear comfortable shoes.

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How CEOs can use Twitter like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton

With a few taps of his iPhone’s keyboard – 140 to be exact – US president Barack Obama burst on to Twitter, attracting 5 million followers in five hours.
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But the world’s most powerful man isn’t the only leader to harness the power of the social media platform.

Company chief executives have started using Twitter in droves, despite the service being launched almost a decade ago.

Late bloomers include ANZ’s Mike Smith, who joined Twitter last month, and Westpac’s Brian Hartzer, who created an account while still serving his apprenticeship as Gail Kelly’s deputy in 2012.

The proportion of chief executives from Fortune’s top 50 global companies has risen to 10 per cent in 2014 from 2 per cent the previous year, according to analysis from Australian PR agency Weber Shandwick. Good question, @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015

This compares with the number of chief executives using Facebook crashing from 10 per cent to nil over the same period.

It is difficult to determine if chief executives are deserting Facebook in favour of Twitter because of the fluid nature of the Fortune list. But social media and PR expert Catriona Pollard says Twitter is regarded as a more professional platform that delivers a greater audience than Facebook.

“Facebook has never really moved out of that very personal realm. We mostly use Facebook to connect and share with our personal contacts,” Ms Pollard said.

“But Twitter has always been one those platforms where your contacts from your friends right through to your colleagues.”

At the same time, Ms Pollard said Twitter can been personally engaging, citing an exchange between Mr Obama and former US president Bill Clinton as an example.

Mr Clinton welcomed Mr Obama to Twitter, tweeting: “One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend”, referring to the @POTUS (President of the United States) handle.

Mr Obama replied: “Good question @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interesting in @FLOTUS”, referring to First Lady of the United States.

“That was the perfect example of two leaders who have used social media effectively,” said Ms Pollard.

“Those two tweets highlight their personal brands and show their human intelligence and the strong leaders that they are.”

So how can company chief executives emulate the past and present leaders of the free world.

Ms Pollard gives the following advice:

Know your personal brand and voice

Ms Pollard said social media works best for chief executives, who have adopted a specific strategy and embraced the platform.

“I’ve had concerns when there isn’t any strategy in place or they haven’t really thought about what their personal brand stands for and are not actually thinking about the impact that their tweets have on their readers,” she said.

“What made [Mr Obama and Mr Clinton’s tweets] this morning so powerful was that it was very personal, very funny and witty. The more you can nurture it and use social media with your own voice, the more powerful it is going to be.”

Leave out emotion when responding to criticism

Leaders who use social media can develop emotional connections with their followers, Ms Pollard said. But it can also attract criticism and chief executives need to think carefully about how they respond to fiery tweets, she said.

“There are lots of examples of business owners that have responded in an emotional way.

“Bullying does occur on social media and criticism does occur. Whether that’s to a leader or to a business owner or an everyday person, you do need to remove the emotion when responding on social media.

“If you are getting criticism, it’s becoming a place where it’s not appropriate, then there is always the option of not responding or closing down your Twitter account.”

Know the positives outweigh the negatives

Although revealing more of yourself to the public sounds risky, Ms Pollard said chief executives who use social media effectively can neutralise criticism.

“If you are embracing change and social media, and your strategy is about having a voice, sharing your voice and using it to create two-way dialogue with people who matter to your organisation, then you can absolutely see the difference,” she said.

“You can see that people are engaged. It also stops the criticism.

“If you are a CEO in a crisis, you might choose to stay away from social media. But if you have built up a great brand voice and following on Twitter, you can use the social media platform in those situations very effectively because you have already done the ground work.”

Maintain your social profile

Ms Pollard says in past years chief executives have often told her they didn’t have the time to create a social media account. But consumer and employee needs are changing and are expecting company leaders to be more available on social media.

“They have almost been forced to recognise that they have a place, a very important place, as a leader on social media,” Ms Pollard said.

“But every social media needs to be maintained. It’s like the old fashioned thing of starting a newsletter, doing one or two and then forgetting about it.

“If you are going to do social media, particularly if you are a leader because it’s going to be a reflection on who you are and why people should follow you.

“You need to fully engage with your communications team, social media consultant or whoever is helping you, so you have that personal touch.”

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

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