The Daily Advertiser

January 2018 - December 2019 and September 2020 - Present

Baptism by fire. Those are the three words that I would use to describe my first full-time job in the field of journalism. My first two years in my dream role saw me build up the What's On round from scratch, take on the crime round, interview hundreds of people and write countless stories. It was incredible. 

It turns out I loved it so much I would return. I have recently returned to take on the role of the court reporter and features writer for The Daily Advertiser

Pro Patria Centre becoming reality as monastery transformed

Almost five years ago, two mates had an idea about creating a hub where veterans, first responders and their families could access the services they need. That dream is finally shaping into a reality. The Carmelite Monastery in Ashmont closed in 2019 after 53 years, but after months of discussions, it is being transformed into the Pro Patria Centre Wagga. Jason Frost, president of the Wagga Defence Shed and one of the co-founders, said it was fantastic to get the support and backing needed to ma

Former general manager sues council for $1 million

Former general manager Alan Eldridge is suing Wagga City Council for more than $1 million amid claims he was unfairly dismissed. A Supreme Court hearing of the legal action taken by Mr Eldridge has started. The former GM initiated legal action in 2018 after he was told his employment had been terminated, effective immediately, following a council meeting on May 29, 2017. The council's defence team's written submission claims Mr Eldridge "engaged in significant breaches of his contract", which ju

Events leading up to city's ex-GM's sacking revealed in court

Details of the months leading up to the marathon meeting that led to Wagga City Council's former general manager, Alan Eldridge, being sacked were revealed during day two of a Supreme Court hearing yesterday. Mayor Greg Conkey took to the witness stand for a second day, where he was questioned over claims made in his affidavit. "It was around late 2016 that I developed concerns about Alan's integrity," Cr Conkey wrote in May 2020. "I ultimately formed a view for a number of reasons ... that Alan

Former general manager suing Wagga City Council for $1 million

Former general manager Alan Eldridge is suing Wagga City Council for more than $1 million amid claims he was unfairly dismissed. A Supreme Court hearing of the legal action taken by Mr Eldridge began in Wagga today, with the first witness taking the stand. The former GM initiated legal action in 2018 after he was told his employment had been terminated, effective immediately, following a council meeting on May 29, 2017. The council's defence team's written submission claims Mr Eldridge "engaged

'Concerning' attitudes to domestic violence under scrutiny

Has the city's "concerning" attitudes to domestic and family violence changed? That's the question Wagga City Council is asking in a survey open to public participation from this week. In the year to September 2020, there were 508 incidents of domestic violence assaults, according to the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report. Every month, the Riverina Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service receives between 200 and 240 referrals. In partnership with the Wagga Women's Hea

Junee readies to spread magic for Molly - and you're invited

An idea to help spread a little magic to a Junee family as their child battles cancer has taken off with "jam-packed" fundraising day taking place this weekend. When their four-year-old daughter began complaining of a sore ankle, the Halliburton family never imagined how their lives could change in an instant. After some testing and an emergency trip to Sydney, the doctor said the words that no parent wants to hear after they arrived - Molly had leukaemia. While the family have been grappling wi

The Halfway Cafe's 'Save the Lake' fundraiser breaks sale records

It was a weekend of "record sales" for one cafe, the owners of which had decided to do their part to help save Lake Albert. Josh and Emma Eden, owners of The Halfway Cafe at Wagga Boat Club, decided to host a fundraiser over Saturday and Sunday for the Save the Lake Fighting Fund. "The fund helps pay for infrastructure and future development for the lake without having to rely on the council," Mr Eden explained. "The weekend was a success, I broke my sales records, and Sunday was particularly bu

Eldridge 'unfair dismissal' case heads to Wagga Supreme Court

The ongoing unfair dismissal fight between former general manager Alan Eldridge and Wagga City Council will be heard before the Supreme Court in Wagga. The Supreme Court hearing of the action taken by Mr Eldridge against the council is due to begin on Tuesday and will likely continue for two weeks. Until now, the civil matter - which has been ongoing since court proceedings began in 2018 - has been mentioned on a number of occasions in the Supreme Court in Sydney. Mr Eldridge is suing the counci

Pub owner 'stoked' patrons can soon stand while having a beer

A Wagga hotel owner is "super stoked" to hear that his patrons can stand up and mingle while enjoying a schooner at long last. Yesterday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced from 12.01am Friday NSW residents were allowed 50 guests in their home, up from the current 30-person restriction. NSW has recorded 38 days without a local COVID case, and one of the changes is that residents will be able to stand and have a drink in hospitality venues from March 17. Owner of the Red Steer, Ben Stratton, sa

Two dead after collision between freight train, truck

Two men have died after a train collided with a truck west of Young. About 5.15pm on Tuesday, emergency services were called to Eurabba Lane at Bribbaree, approximately 70 kilometres north west of Young, after a crash between a freight train and a b-double truck on a rural rail crossing. As a result of the impact, the truck and surrounding grass area caught alight which was extinguished by the Rural Fire Service and Fire Rescue NSW. Officers from The Hume Police District attended and established

One person taken to hospital after three-vehicle crash

One person has been taken to hospital after a three-car crash at a busy Kooringal intersection. Three cars have been involved in the incident which occurred at the intersection of Lake Albert Road and Lord Baden Powell Drive just before lunchtime on Wednesday. A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said they were called just after 11.30am to a multi-vehicle accident. In other news "There are reports that there are three cars involved," they said. "We sent four crews and they are just assessing everyone at

'Bluey' fever to hit Wagga with new stage production

Australia's favourite Heeler family is hitting the stage in Wagga next week. A theatrical adaptation of the award-winning children's television series, Bluey's Big Play features an original story that will be brought to life by puppets. The series follows a Blue Heeler pup, Bluey, who lives with her Mum, Dad and little sister. The show's director, Rosemary Myers, said the stage production features the whole Heeler family. IN OTHER NEWS: "Like the rest of Australia, we love Bluey and it's a thril

Council removes 3000 tonnes of PFAS from airport soil

Wagga City Council has removed 3000 tonnes of PFAS-contaminated soil from the airport. During Monday night's meeting budget report, it was explained that the federal government have council excavate Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) contaminated soils from Taxiway A North at Wagga Airport and transport the soil to Gregadoo Waste Management Centre. General manager Peter Thompson said the lease for the airport between council and the Department of Defence was taken on a long time ago. "Man

Family pleads for help two years after hit-run tragedy

The family of a 15-year-old boy killed in a hit and run are pleading for answers, while police are refusing to give up on finding the person who is responsible. Braydon Worldon's body was discovered on the side of a road in Wantabadgery in December 2018 by a passing motorist. The 15-year-old's death occurred a few hours after he had celebrated his birthday. Police have now revealed that they believe Braydon was hit by a heavy vehicle on River Road, and that the driver knows what they have done.

New information about teenager's hit and run death comes to light

Police are refusing to give up on finding the person who killed a Riverina 15-year-old in a hit and run more than two years ago. About 1.30am on December 19, 2018, emergency services were called to River Road, Wantabadgery, about 40 kilometres east of Wagga, after a passing motorist saw a body on the road. The driver stopped to render assistance and discovered it was the body of a teenage boy who has been since been identified as Braydon Worldon. Strike Force Dunstable was established by detecti

'Please come forward': Family's plea two years after hit and run

The family of a 15-year-old boy killed in a hit and run are pleading for answers, while police are refusing to give up on finding the person who is responsible. Braydon Worldon's body was discovered on the side of a road in Wantabadgery in December 2018 by a passing motorist. The 15-year-old's death occurred a few hours after he had celebrated his birthday. Police have now revealed that they believe Braydon was hit by a heavy vehicle on River Road, and that the driver knows what they have done.

Wagga council reveals cost of repairing Lake Albert weir

Wagga City Council has forked out thousands of dollars to fix the Lake Albert weir after it was "sabotaged" with an angle grinder. The Daily Advertiser previously reported that council staff discovered the destroyed gates - which have since been repaired - about a week after unauthorised steel shutters were temporarily erected at Tatton Drain and then removed on January 7. At Monday night's meeting, general manager Peter Thompson told councillors it cost the city and $6060 to fix the damage. "Wi

Light mooted for notorious northern intersection

Wagga City Council will explore the option of setting up a temporary solar light at one of the city's most dangerous intersections to make it safer for road users at night. Pine Gully Road is set to be upgraded, but it's the intersection with Old Narrandera road that has councillors concerned for drivers' safety. Mayor Greg Conkey said it was a very dangerous spot, especially as it is on a slight bend. "There's more and more traffic coming from those northern suburbs," he said. "The issue has be

Woman's climb up Wagga legal ladder leads to magistrate appointment

A woman who climbed the legal ladder in Wagga with a career spanning more than two decades will soon be appointed as a NSW magistrate. With Nicole Ford's swearing in ceremony - alongside Melissa Humphreys, Kirralee Tennant, Justin Peach, and Robyn Richardson - almost 50 per cent of Local Court magistrates will now be women. "It's very exciting for my family and for me and for the wider legal community in Wagga as well," she said. "My legal career has spanned 25 years." "The role is an achievemen

'Do better': Wagga women's message to PM Scott Morrison

Why do we only care about the women close to us? That's the question three Wagga women are asking as they express their frustration with the Prime Minister in the wake of comments he made about an alleged rape inside Parliament House. Brittany Higgins, a former Liberal staffer who alleged she was raped by a more senior colleague on a couch in 2019, shared her story earlier this week. Following the revelations, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Tuesday a review into workplace culture
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