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

'Shining light put out': Mother's tribute after tragic crash

A Riverina mother who lost her "incredible" daughter in a tragic car crash has called for drivers to understand it could happen to anyone. Isobelle Kate Smith, 19, died in a two-vehicle incident on the Sturt Highway outside Wagga on Saturday. Her mother, Doris Smith, said it was an unimaginable event to lose her daughter at such a young age. Isobelle grew up in Griffith with her mother and brother but sadly lost her father when she was just two years old to cancer. "She did not have any memories

Incident prompts calls for improved lighting at Bourke Street crossings

Council is being urged to improve lighting at Bourke Street's crossings after a pedestrian was struck and injured. Emergency services were called out on Thursday night after a man was hit by a motor vehicle outside the Tolland shopping centre. The incident has reignited calls for safety upgrades. Jasmine Ryan is visiting Wagga for a conference and drove along Bourke Street for the first time on Tuesday night when it was raining. Immediately, she was struck by how little visibility there was arou

'Magic of ice-cream': Decades of stories at Shanty service station

It might be one of the region's worst kept secrets, but there's a highway petrol station that is a favourite ice-cream stop for locals and travellers alike. Arvind Ramidi bought the petrol station in Alfredtown next to The Shanty in 2013. He and his business partner decided to take on the business after already owning one Temora. "It had been shut down for six months when I bought it," he said. "So, we started it back up again." Soon after opening, Mr Ramidi found himself bewildered after custom

Thousands sign petition to upgrade level crossings after tragic loss

Thousands of people have signed a petition to support a woman lobbying for change after the tragic loss of her fiance in a level crossing accident. Ethan Hunter was just 27 when he was driving a B-double truck with his colleague Mark Fenton, 50, carting gypsum on the outskirts of the Riverina in February. Both men were tragically killed when their truck collided with a freight train at a Bribbaree crossing with only a stop sign and what Mr Hunter's fiancee Maddie Bott describes as "bushes disrup

Firefighters respond to electrical fire at Wagga school

Firefighters have worked quickly to extinguish an electrical fire at a Wagga school on Friday morning. Fire and Rescue Zone Commander Stewart Alexander told The Daily Advertiser crews were called to The Riverina Anglican College on Farrer Road at 7.34am. "There was a small electrical fire in the ceiling has been extinguished," he said. "The power has been switched off. The fire officers are checking out for fire extensions, just to make sure it has not spread. IN OTHER NEWS: "There is no indicat

Hume Highway delays after single-car accident

Southbound drivers are being warned to expect delays on the Hume Highway near Gundagai. Police were called to the Sheahan Bridge about 10 kilometres south of the Dog on the Tuckerbox to reports of a single-vehicle incident. "It was a car towing a caravan that has possibly jackknifed," a spokeswoman said. "The call came in at 3.30pm. Both people are out and there are no reports of injuries. Traffic is banking up pretty quickly." IN OTHER NEWS: The NSW Police spokeswoman said drivers should expect

Paramedics treat pedestrian hit by car on Bourke Street

Emergency services were called after a pedestrian was struck by a car on Bourke Street outside the Tolland shopping centre on Thursday evening. A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said the call came in just after 5.45pm. "It was to reports a pedestrian was hit on a crossing," they said. "We have three ambulances on scene. "They are treating one patient, a man in his 50s with a reported head injury. "He appears to be in a stable condition. The man was taken to Wagga Base Hospital." A bystander reported

Two men extradited from Victoria over alleged Riverina kidnapping

Two more people have been extradited from Victoria over an alleged kidnapping in the Western Riverina last year. Officers from Barrier Police District commenced an investigation after reports a 25-year-old woman was taken against her will by three people from a home at Goodnight, about 50 kilometres south of Balranald, about 10.15pm on December 6. It's alleged the woman was dragged into a vehicle, before being dropped on Coomaroop Road, Tooleybuc, where she was able to seek assistance and notify

'Day for Daz' to support Wagga cop diagnosed with incurable cancer

The community is preparing to rally around one of its own boys in blue after he was diagnosed with cancer. Darian Convery was enjoying life as a police officer in Wagga when some continual headaches prompted him to get some tests done. He or his family never expected that a precautionary scan would show a mass of lesions in his brain. His mother, Janelle Wilson, said in the six weeks since the 15 tumours were found on his brain and lung, Darian has begun a course of immunosuppressants medication

'More needs to be done': Spike of sexual assault reports in Wagga

After a spike in the number of recorded sexual assaults in Wagga, advocates are urging for more support to ensure victims feel safe and supported in coming forward. For the Wagga local government area, in the 12 months to March 2020, there were 71 incidents of sexual assault. This jumped to 110 in the 12 months to March 2021. Sexual assault reports in regional NSW overall increased by 48 per cent, which is lower than Sydney which went up by 68 per cent. BOCSAR said victims aged 13 to 20 years ac

Wagga TAFE staff protest against '22 job losses'

Riverina TAFE staff have gathered to protest changes that they say will lead to 22 job losses, but TAFE NSW has denied this. In a lunchtime meeting to oppose the losses, members of the Wagga TAFE Teachers Association revealed that across the Riverina, 22 support staff positions would go. They say this includes 11 job losses at Wagga. NSW Teacher's Federation TAFE organiser Robert Long said that funding has been "run down", which saw thousands of staff cuts during the last eight years. "I just fo

Disqualified rider caught by police after trail bike joyride

A man accused of taking an unregistered trail bike on a joyride while he didn't hold a licence allegedly returned a positive drug test. Early on Monday morning, officers were patrolling Ashmont when they detected two trail bikes allegedly being ridden at high speed along Connorton Street. Officers did not engage in a pursuit, but conducted a foot patrol of the area, before they saw a man riding an unregistered trail bike at speed and without a helmet. Soon after, officers attached to Riverina Po

'I am terrified': Elderly pair targeted at Ashmont home

Two elderly residents have revealed the toll that living in Ashmont has taken on them after years of terrifying incidents that have escalated in seriousness. The 77-year-old woman and 80-year-old man asked to remain anonymous out of fear speaking out would bring further retaliation against them. The man initially moved to Ashmont 12 years ago, and his friend moved in with him five years ago. Since then, they have been the target of multiple incidents ranging from damage and vandalism to break-in

How Emma found a 'saving grace' in employment search

A Wagga woman knows all too well how daunting it can be applying for jobs but said finding a workplace she is supported in has been a "saving grace". Her comments come as new data identifies the Riverina as one of the key areas with significant increases in vacancies. But the disability recruitment specialist Job Centre Australia (JCAL) said there is a workforce that employers can tap into. The organisation released data showing that 45 per cent of currently available roles in the Riverina are i

Works begin on old CSU campus transformation

After extensive delays, it's full steam ahead to build a new aged care home facility for Wagga. Signature Care CFO Stephen Pollock said earthworks have begun at the Turvey Park site, which used to be home to the Charles Sturt University's south campus. "We have finished all the tree clearing, and the next stage has begun," he said. "It will be a sensational home when it is finished and will have 144 spaces catering for low care, high-care and dementia needs. "We have got to get some tests done,

Riverina crash victims identified as teen, middle-aged man

Police are investigating separate crashes that tragically claimed the lives of two people in the Riverina during the long weekend. About 7.15pm on Monday, emergency services responded to the scene at the Olympic Highway near Burkes Creek, just north of The Rock, after reports a Toyota and motorcycle had collided. Officers from Riverina Police District and NSW Ambulance paramedics attended and found the motorcycle rider critically injured. Despite CPR efforts, the man died at the scene. Superinte

Disqualified rider caught by police after trail bike joy ride

A man accused of taking an unregistered trail bike on a joy ride while he didn't hold a licence allegedly returned a positive drug test. Early on Monday morning, officers were patrolling Ashmont when they detected two trail bikes allegedly being ridden at high speed along Connorton Street. Officers did not engage in a pursuit, but conducted a foot patrol of the area, before they saw a man riding an unregistered trail bike at speed and without a helmet. Soon after, officers attached to Riverina P

Wagga's Layla bakes up a storm to raise money for cancer research

A Forest Hill mum was left lost for words with an overwhelming sense of pride when her daughter revealed plans to help raise funds in the fight against cancer. Lisa Quirk decided in June she would dye her hair pink and raise money to support research into breast cancer. "My grandmother was diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer in about 1995," she said. "Then, a few years later, she had another bout of it. IN OTHER NEWS: "Then she had breast cancer in 2006, which was followed by a mastectomy

Investigations into fatal Olympic Highway crash underway

The Olympic Highway has reopened after a horror crash that claimed the life of a man near The Rock on Monday night. Crash investigators kept the highway closed during the night as they began looking into the moments leading up to the deadly collision. About 7.15pm on Monday, emergency services responded to the Olympic Highway near Burkes Creek, just north of The Rock, after reports a Toyota and motorcycle had collided. Officers from Riverina Police District and NSW Ambulance paramedics attended

Wiradjuri trailblazer 'humbled' by royal recognition

A Wiradjuri trailblazer was stunned and humbled after finding out she would be awarded a royal honour. Faye McMillan has been named a Member of the Order for significant service to Indigenous mental health and tertiary education. Dr McMillan, a Wiradjuri woman and Australia's first Indigenous pharmacist, was appointed one of two deputy national rural health commissioners earlier this year. She told The Daily Advertiser she felt a wave of emotions after receiving the news. "Surreal. Humbling. Joy
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