What your mum really wants (and doesn’t) for Mother’s Day

YES, we should show appreciation to our mothers throughout the year, but Mother’s Day is a good reminder to show our mums that we’re grateful for everything they do for us.
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Whether you’re looking for ideas of things to buy your mum, or are a dad taking children shopping, here are some ideas from mums about what their best Mother’s Day surprises and a few things that could make the worst-ever-Mother’s-Day list.

5 Things Mums LoveLeave it up to the kids

Gifts made, or thought of, by young children can be among the most memorable.

In fact, when it comes to kids coming up with ideas, mothers are pretty easy to please.

Kylie’s best Mother’s Day gift was from her two-year-old.

“He walked in with a stick and a rock,” she said. “Then in the softest voice said, ‘Ta, love you’.

“He was so excited running into my room. I still have that stick and rock. The greatest gift in the world is seeing my kids happy and proud of themselves.”

Dee’s best Mother’s Day presentswere macaroni necklaces made by her two children.

“My kids are 14 and 13 and I still have them wrapped in tissue paper in my keepsake box,” she said.

Naomi loves anything handmade by her children but one Mother’s Day that stands out in her mind had nothing to do with presents bought at ashop.

“By far my favourite Mother’s Day ‘gift’ was when Mr 2 at the time, after giving me all my pressies, trotted out to the bookcase and came back with theI love you Mummybook,” she said. “It was the sweetest thing.”

Another special book for mothers and children is the Peppa Pig version ofMy Mummy. Jodie said her daughter chose the book for Mother’s Day when she was two years old.

“Three years later and she is now reading it to me. Best present ever,” she said.

Breakfast in bed

Mothers are often making food for other people in the family. Being spoiledwith a delicious breakfast, or sometimes quirky combinations, nicely laid out on a tray can be a real treat for mums.

Breakfast in bed from her very proud five-year-old was Kayleigh’s favourite Mother’s Day present.

The breakfast consisted of an assortment of fruit –two apples, a pear, four grapes and a lemon wedge!

THOUGHTFUL KIDS: Kayleigh’s favourite Mother’s Day present was breakfast in bed created by her five-year-old. Photo: Supplied


You’ve got a couple of days to sneakily find out which are your mum’s favourite flowers, or choose an assorted bunch in her favourite colours.

Buy a pretty vase to put them in and Mum will have something she can re-use after she’s finished enjoying the flowers.

Massage or day spa voucher

Most mothers love to be pampered and few take the time out to treat themselves and have ‘me time’.

With help from fathers who can look after the children for a few hours, a voucher for a massage or other relaxing treatment can be a thoughtful gift.


There’s a proviso with this: Your mum must like chocolate and she must want chocolate! If she’s been trying to eatsuper healthy, a chocolate gift box probably isn’t a good idea.

Worst Gift IdeasAppliances or anything to do with cleaning

Some mothers might want a brand-name steam mopor a robotic vacuum cleaner that could make house cleaning easier, but it is good to be absolutely sure that this is what your mum wants and that she’s happy to be given itfor Mother’s Day.

Some mums don’t want to be reminded, especially on their special day,that their homesneed cleaning and may not ‘feel your love’ if they find an iron inside the wrapping paper.

Double gifts

If your mum has a birthday near to Mother’s Day,it shows a bit more thought if you remember each occasion. It’s all about helping your mother to feel extra special.

Something kids (or dads)want

It can be a challenge for young kids to think about what their mums would like as a gift, but sometimes it can be difficult for fathers too.

While Carmen’s birthday often falls on Mother’s Day, she says her husband is usually good about getting it right.

“The worst gift I have received so far would definitely have to be a petrol whipper snipper,” she said.

“He thought I would be impressed since it’s a top of the range thing with all sorts of attachments like a pruner and chainsaw.”

Thoughtless gifts

The idea of Mother’s Day is to show our mums that we appreciate them. Fathers or other family members can help facilitate this and steer children in certain directions, but mothers can tell when little thought has gone into a gift.

If your mum has recently bought herself winter pyjamas, then think of something else that she might really appreciate.

Something she doesn’t use or wear

Take note of the jewellery that your mum wears, or the perfume she likes before going out and spending money. She will appreciate it more and it shows that you pay attention to what she likes and wears. If she only wears silver jewellery, don’t give her a gold necklace! If she drinks wine, don’t buy her a home beer brewing kit!

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Doug Anthony All Stars versus the world

Preparing questions for aninterview with the Doug Anthony All Stars is a waste of time.
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And if you are prudish andeasily offended? Don’t bother. They will sniff you out like a lioness separating a sickly wilderbeest from the herd.

Paul McDermott, Tim Ferguson and Richard Fidler revolutionised world comedy in the 1980s and ’90s with DAAS. But their anarchic comedic reign came to an abrupt end in 1994 whenFerguson’s constant companion, multiple sclerosis, started to take its toll.

In 2014 McDermott and Ferguson teamed up with long-time collaborator Paul “Flacco” Livingstonand picked up where the group left off, selling out venues worldwide. And nowthey’re out on the road again, offending and amusing anyone within earshot.

Ferguson is sitting at a table in a Sydney cafe when Weekender calls. Plates are clattering and the hum of conversation is distracting but he is relaxed and chatty. This intelligent man is not afraid to set a tangent free and see where it takes him.

I ask Ferguson if, in a world where fact is stranger and more frightening than fiction, politics and politiciansare still comedic fodder.

“If things are scary, they’re actually funnier,” he replies.

“Surprising people is an important part of making them laugh.The difficulty with Donald Trump is that he’s like Crusty the Clown. It’s hard to create a surprise about someone who is like a clown because you expect anything from them.

“Iam not at all concerned that we have members of One Nation in the parliament, I think it’s hilarious. It’s good to have them there because you need cockroaches to be in the daylight.

“Alot of people say you have to take the mickey out ofPauline Hanson but all the jokes are written for her. She opens her mouth and it’s already hilarious, why get in the way of that?

“It’s the people who vote for her who need to be taken to with a very big stick. They don’t get it yet, of course, but after a while they will tire of being ridiculed because the most powerful weapon in any political discourse is ridicule.

“Look at what happened to Tony Abbott. He was doing OK until people started to laugh at him –knights and dames and eating onions and looking like Tony Abbott.

“Ridicule will kill you in politics.Having people shout at you and shake their fingers at you is water off a duck’s back.”

Most of Ferguson’s comments about senator Cory Bernardi, gay marriage andAustralia’s male-dominated convict past can’t be published here, for legal and other reasons. Go see the show for the “full monty”. I can’t help but wonder what the eaves-dropping latte-sippers sitting near Ferguson are thinking.

“Modern Australia started as the gayest colony ever devised.If you think about it, when you go into prison what’s the one thing you think about first? Oh no, I’m gonna have sex. I’m not actually gay but I’m going to have sex anyway. And Australia was a prison colony. So let’s put these two things together. Gay sex and Australian convicts. It’s part of who we are.”

When it comes to humourDAAS say, do, dance and sing whatever they want. And the more taboo the topic, the juicier.

“This show we’re doing now, it is partly about disability because I’m in a wheelchair with MS, and so we’re talking and singing about having to push someone like me around all day,” Ferguson says.

“It’s about love, truth and our favourite topics, sex and death, sometimes all at once.

“People say there are things you can’t make jokes about. I do not know what those things are because if drama and tragedy are allowed to cover those topics, then comedy can. There are only two masks, and one of them is laughing.Laughing is the only way to give ourselves distance from the scary horrible things.”

Creatively, Ferguson is afraid of nothing. Anything is fair game.

“It’s our job as DAAS to cover everything. A lot of comedians don’t cover stuff because they’re eitherpiss weak or they haven’t worked out that there’s anything funny to be talked about. Either way they should start thinking a bit harder,” he explains.

“People always say ‘Oh but back in the ’80s you could just go out and say anything’. Um, we didn’t ask anyone’s permission, we just did it. Say it and then if you get into trouble deny that you ever said it.And if it’s on film, say that it’s CGI.”

Doug Anothony All Stars are at Civic Theatre Newcastle on May 27. ON POINT: The Doug Anthony All Stars are Paul Livingstone, Paul McDermott and Tim Ferguson, and they’re coming to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre.

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A Dog’s Purpose review: Paw exploration of life, friendship

FILM A DOG’S PURPOSE ?????(PG) General release (100 minutes)???
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Josh Gad’s acting mannerisms drive me up the wall, but I can’t deny he was well cast as a cringing comic henchman in the recent live-action version of Beauty and the Beast.

He’s equally in his element as the first-person narrator of Lasse Hallstrom’s??? A Dog’s Purpose, pondering the mysteries of existence in husky, ingratiating tones which advertise that he poses no threat.

Based on a bestseller by the humorist W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose concerns either one dog or a whole troupe of them, depending how you look at it.

For most of the first half of the film, the narrator is Bailey, a beloved golden retriever owned by a family in rural Michigan in the 1960s.

When Bailey passes on, he’s reincarnated as a Chicago police dog, then as a corgi in Atlanta.

Along the way, he switches from male to female and back again – but none of this affects his naive, enthusiastic personality, or his ability to provide comfort and companionship to his various owners.

In later adventures, the dog longs to be reunited with one owner in particular: Ethan, a clean-cut Michigan boy played as a child by Bryce Gheisar???, as a teenage jock by K.J. Apa, and as an older man by Dennis Quaid.

Not even death, it seems, can destroy this bond, though it’s not clear why Ethan should be given priority over subsequent owners such as the equally loving Maya (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), unless this simply reflects the deference due to a middle-class white man.

The chauvinism here surely isn’t conscious, but it’s part and parcel of the film’s commitment to affirming homespun values rather than taking advantage of the satirical potential of a panorama of American life viewed through a dog’s innocent eyes.

Despite the involvement of talented screenwriters such as Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear), this remains a textbook example of what the website Snopes南京夜网 refers to as “glurge” – the kind of gooey uplift associated with the novels of Nicholas Sparks and their film adaptations (such as Hallstrom’s own Safe Haven), and with so-called “faith-based cinema”.

In this instance, the tone is religiose, but in a carefully non-specific way.

Evidently the notion of reincarnation is not meant to be taken literally; rather, it’s a device that allows Hallstrom to reassure us that life goes on, even as he tugs on our heartstrings with a series of doggy death scenes.

Between this and The Zookeeper’s Wife, animal lovers are doing it tough at the movies at the moment.

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Forget Toorak, Melbourne multi-millionaires are moving to Ringwood

Living the high life in a designer apartment towerBrunswick could have another 13 storey buildingRingwood: is it Melbourne’s Mordor?
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Outer-suburban apartments are giving inner-city homes a run for their money, with a Ringwood penthouse recently fetching a stunning $2.42 million.

It comes as high-density living continue to spread to the suburbs, with soaring house prices driving more demand for larger apartments.

The four-bedroom penthouse in Ringwood is among a string of $1 million-plus off-the-plan sales in Eden SQ, a six-storey development 23 kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD.

At $2.42 million, that’s on par with the median house price in Malvern and more expensive than a typical house in Fitzroy, Eaglemont and St Kilda, Domain Group data shows.

The penthouse buyers, empty nesters from Wonga Park, combined four two-bedroom apartments to create their own 288 square metres of living plus balcony, with access to communal lifestyle amenities including a yoga studio, cinema and dining room.

It is one among 15 apartments in the Nelson Street project that have sold for more than $1 million, and one of two with a $2 million-plus price tag.

Marshall White Projects directorLeonard Teplin said the buyers ??? like some others downsizing into larger apartments from suburbs including Chirnside Park and Lilydale ??? chose Ringwood because they could stay close to family and friends and infrastructure they were familiar with.

“Moving to South Yarra or moving to Toorak, where they can afford to live, just doesn’t suit their needs,” Mr Teplin said.

Eden SQ was near Eastland Shopping Centre and EastLink, he said, adding that suitable downsizing opportunities close to where those buyers lived was scarce.

With Ringwood being named as a metropolitan activity centre, alongside Box Hill, Sunshine and Frankston in Plan Melbourne, the traditionally low-rise suburb is set to grow denser.

Off-the-plan apartments in Greensborough ??? 19 kilometres north-east of the CBD ??? are also fetching house-like prices. A two-bedroom home at 25-33 Grimshaw Street sold to a local downsizer for $585,000 last year.

The 133-square metre apartment is nestled in a three-storey complex, a short walk to Main Street, Greensborough Shopping Plaza and trendy cafes emerging in the area.

Alex Karbon Real Estate’sAlex Puglia said expansive views and large terraces on the top floor appealed to empty nesters, who preferred low-maintenance living.

On the other side of the city, Williams Landing is also growing taller with Cedar Woods developing the suburb’s second apartment building “Oxford Apartments”, which will include 97 one- and two-bedroom apartments, three townhouses and a ground-floor retail precinct in their master-planned community.

A top-floor two-bedroom apartment in the developer’s first four-storey building, Newton Apartments, fetched $425,000 last March. The most expensive two-bedroom apartment on the fifth floor of the developer’s “Oxford Apartments” is expected to sell for $439,000.

In St Albans, another suburb on the cusp of seeing more apartment developments, a first-home buyer paid $347,000 in February for a top-floor two-bedroom home with city views.

According to Westside Real Estate’sMichael Nincevic, the internal space in the fourth-floor apartment at 14 Albert Crescent was about 63 square metres.

And in Werribee, a top-floor three-bedroom apartment in Watton Street which sold for $650,000 to a local empty nester about three years ago would now be worth between 20 and 30 per cent more, First National Westwood’sRob Westwood said.

“There is certainly a large number of local people who have moved to apartments in the city … because at the time, there was nothing available here,” Mr Westwood said.

“[Apartments] are becoming more predominant because of rising land cost, due to first home buyers and investors being so busy in the market.”

Though buyers could purchase a family home in Werribee for $500,000, the apartment offers views of treetops and the Werribee River and is close to the train station and shops.

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Jarrett becomes dual rugby international

ROUND 4 FIXTURES: Lakes v Souths; Kurri Kurri v Maitland; Macquarie v Wests (Saturday); Central v Cessnock (Sunday).MALTAcalled againfor Matt Jarrett, but this time it was a different code.
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The Hunter product, who has represented the Mediterranean island nation at rugby union World Cup qualifiers previously, switched to rugby league for a Test against Lebanon in Sydney on Saturday.

The playmaker came off the bench for the last 20 minutes, but the underdogs went down 24-4 to their World Cup-bound opponents.

*HUNTERSports High were beaten 26-16 by All Saints College, St Mary’s Campus, Maitland, at Cessnock Sportsground on Wednesdayin the opening round of the GIO Cup, or the latest version of the national schoolboys competition.

St Mary’s were led around by Knights SG Ball duo Jock Madden and Tyran Ott and next face Holy Cross, Ryde, at Leichhardt Oval on June 7 in the round-robin stage.

St Gregory’s, Campbelltown, are also in the group.

* JAKE Finn could be back on the paddock sooner than anticipated.

The Central Newcastle prop hopes to return after 10 weeks, rather than the entire season as first feared, meaning a push for the finals could be in play from around mid-July.

His knee injury was sustained during a melee against Kurri in the opening round.

* MOTHER’S Day will be marked with a splash of pink at St John Oval thisSunday.

Host teams from Central Newcastle will wearspecially-made pink uniforms in fourth-round fixtures against Cessnock while staff and the leagues club itself across the road will also bein theme.Proceeds from the inaugural “Pink Test” will go to the McGrath Foundation, raising money for breast cancer.

* STILL on charity and next weekend’s NRL matches(May 18-21) will be designated“Beanie for Brain Cancer Round”.

It comes with Matt Callander, former Footy Show producer and son of racing personality Ken, battling the disease and follows the death of Sharnie Kimmorley, wife of former halfback Brett, from the same illness in March.

And of course it’s thecause close to the heart of Kurri-born Knights premiership winner Mark Hughes and forged the formation of afoundation in his name raising money for research, awareness and support.

*SEVENNorth Newcastle players will push their case for state selection at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

With the men’s concept finishing up, the inaugural NSW Women’s City-Country Shield will include Donna Sutton, Kylie Hilder, Phoebe Desmond, Margaret Watson, Jerry Burgmann, Amy Broadhead and Alicia Martin.

The Blues squad will then be announced before attempting to defendtheir title against Queensland later in the year.

* AND anyone hoping to get along to see Knights immortal Andrew Johns at next month’s “Tales & Ales” event in Newcastle is too late.

The State of Origin-themed luncheon at The Squire’s Maiden on June 16 is sold out.

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George Calombaris charged following altercation with Sydney FC fan

MasterChef judge and celebrity chef George Calombaris has been charged following an altercation with a teenage fan at the A-League grand final on Sunday night.
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Calombaris, a keen Melbourne Victory supporter, was caught on camera losing his temper with a 19-year-old Sydney FC fan and pushing him in the chest after the nail-biting game.

Sydney pipped Melbourne Victory 4-2 in a penalty shootout to win the championship after scores were locked at 1-1 after extra time.

NSW Police confirmed on Wednesday morning that a 38-year-old man had been issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for common assault.

He is expected to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on June 29.

The Melbourne restaurateur has been under fire for the past month after an internal audit revealed that he underpaid 162 of the 430 current staff at his restaurants including The Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic, which form part of his Made Establishment Group, over the past six years.

In the video, fans are heard baiting the chef, and one is heard yelling “pay your staff, you dodgy bastard” just before Calombaris heads towards the fence.

In an interview with A Current Affair, the 19-year-old, who concealed his identity, admitted to partaking in jeers about staff payments.

He claimed Calombaris baited the teen to come on to the field before walking over to confront him in the stands.

He rejected claims from Calombaris that the heckling was directed at the chef’s family.

In a statement released on Monday morning, Calombaris said he was “really disappointed” with what occurred.

“I was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family. I regret the way in which I reacted, I am disappointed that I let it get to me, and I sincerely apologise for offending anyone. While I am not proud of my reaction to the situation, I was offended by a spectator yelling out abusive and derogatory comments about my family.

“I have spoken to Melbourne Victory FC and Football Federation Australia today to report the situation and I’m truly sorry that this has happened.”

A Melbourne Victory club spokesman couldn’t say on Wednesday whether Calombaris would lose his spot as the club’s number one ticket holder.

“There has been no discussions about it but I doubt he would,” the spokesman said.

Network Ten said on Wednesday it was standing by Calombaris.

“This is a personal matter (but) George has apologised for his regrettable and out-of-character reaction, which was in response to highly inflammatory insults about his family,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

“He is not proud of his actions, has taken responsibility for them and has the full support of Network Ten.”

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The Zookeeper’s Wife’s cuteness and whimsy dull power of wartime

??????(M) General release (126 minutes)???
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The true story behind The Zookeeper’s Wife could have been dreamed up by a Hollywood screenwriter – how Jan and Antonina Zabinski, keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, gave hundreds of their Jewish fellow citizens a refuge during the Second World War.

It’s a remarkable yarn, even as relayed in the irritating pseudo-poetic prose of the American writer Diane Ackerman???, whose 2007 book has been brought to screen by New Zealand director Niki Caro (Whale Rider).

But there is something fundamentally unsatisfactory about this film. What makes the source material compelling also makes it tricky to handle: the mix of real-life horror with elements that, rightly or wrongly, seem almost too fanciful to be true.

Rather than trying to minimise the incongruity, Caro starts out by setting a deliberate fairytale mood.

Jan and Antonina, played by Johan Heldenbergh??? and Jessica Chastain???, are portrayed as rulers of their own little kingdom – living in a villa on the zoo’s grounds, and speaking English in what are presumably meant to be Polish accents.

While it doesn’t take long for their paradise to come under threat, the sense of unreality persists.

Occupied Warsaw looks strangely clean and prosperous, with only glimpses of the Jewish ghetto. Chastain is used as an uninteresting symbol of virtue, striking the noble poses which are her speciality.

At least her co-star Daniel Bruhl??? has a character to play. As the Nazi zoologist Lutz Heck, he’s a creature of pure boyish vanity, who spouts unlikely theories about “breeding” and uses his position of power to sexually harass Antonina while persuading himself she truly cares for him.

The film has some powerful scenes, particularly those that show the killing or mistreatment of animals.

Even here, however, questions persist about the tone and approach. After all, the Nazis justified their worst acts by maintaining that their victims were less than human – and so animal suffering may not be the most appropriate metaphor for Nazi evil in general.

At times during The Zookeeper’s Wife, I thought back to Agnieszka Holland’s much more effective 2011 film In Darkness, which told a parallel true story about an “ordinary” Pole who becomes a protector of persecuted Jews.

Holland’s hero worked in the sewers rather than at the zoo, giving her fewer opportunities for whimsy. But in dealing with this kind of subject matter, perhaps it’s preferable to do without cutesy animal reaction shots.

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Sydney FC CEO quits club to return to Melbourne

Sydney FC’s longest serving chief executive will step down from his role during the off-season, after Tony Pignata announced his departure from the club on Wednesday.
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After five seasons with the Sky Blues, Pignata will leave the club in early June and return to Melbourne to be closer to his family.

Pignata’s tenure encompassed a turbulent era for the Sky Blues, but ends on a high note with Sydney winning their first title in seven years and being in their strongest ever financial position.

Pignata played a significant role in signing Serie A star Alessandro Del Piero shortly after joining Sydney in 2012. He soon oversaw the signing of coach Frank Farina before steering the club through a difficult two seasons that saw tensions with fans grow and Sydney scrape into the A-League finals just once.

He helped the club rebuild its relationship with fans with attendances increasing 25 per cent and the appointment of coach Graham Arnold who led Sydney FC to the double this season.

Pignata’s best results however are listed on spreadsheets with Sydney FC, reflecting how he attracted record sponsorships and memberships over recent years.

A flurry of high profile friendly games were secured during his time with the club, including matches with EPL giants Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Had the club not continued to spend more than $2 million per-season on marquee players, Sydney would likely have turned a profit this season for the first time.

“I would like to thank David Traktovenko and Chairman Scott Barlow for their support,” Pignata said.

“To the Board, staff, Graham and players it has been an amazing season and to cap it off with the double is the icing on the cake.

“I now look forward to my next adventure and will return home to Melbourne before taking a good break”.

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Danger zone or hidden gem? The truth about Silverwater

The Sydney suburbs set to see big changes in 2017Desperate first-home buyers queue for units in Sydney Olympic ParkSilverwater and Homebush have highest rate of obese children in Sydney
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It’s best known for its sprawling maximum-security prison complex, but Silverwater in Sydney’s west is also developing an unlikely reputation as a smart pick for first-home buyers.

The suburb, about three kilometres east of Parramatta near Sydney Olympic Park, is divided roughly into thirds: there’s the jail, an industrial area and a residential pocket made up of detached houses and a number of apartment blocks.

Newington and Wentworth Point, Silverwater’s neighbours to the east, are popular with aspirational buyers because they’re relatively affordable, convenient to transport and close to the Parramatta River.

By contrast, Silverwater is largely ignored.

“It’s far cheaper to purchase in Silverwater than the neighbouring suburbs, but you’re still essentially in the same location,” says Roy Halabi, a local real estate agent. “You’re close to the M5 and Parramatta Road, and within easy reach of both the CBD and Parramatta.”

Halabi continues: “It’s a poorer cousin, for lack of a better term, of the more established suburbs nearby.”

The current median house price in Silverwater is $844,000, according to Domain data. The apartment median is $560,000. Next door, in Newington, the median house price is $1,305,000 and the apartment median is $722,000.

Some agents believe the jail has kept prices in Silverwater lower than they should be. But the proposed Parramatta Light Rail, which would run through Silverwater, as well as Sydney’s relentless housing boom are prompting buyers to reconsider the area’s potential.

Halabi’s agency, Guardian Property Specialists, is one of the companies betting on Silverwater’s imminent ascension. The agency is currently marketing residential and commercial units in the newly completed Silver Square development, which comprises 118 apartments and 28 shops.

Silver Square is already home to a supermarket, a cafe and a beauty salon, plus a Guardian Property Specialists shopfront. Halabi says a medical centre will open soon.

Nearby, a 15-year-old complex by Meriton, Sterling Apartments, has a mix of renters and owner-occupiers across its 131 units. On-site residential manager Peter Greer says the apartment block has long been popular with first home buyers. Its proximity to Newington is also a boon.

“We’re in the catchment area for Newington Public School, which is one of the top ten primary schools in the state,” says Greer. “We have people who rent here for a year just so they can enrol their child in Newington then move back to their original house.”

Sales representative Pauline Brown and her husband moved into Sterling Apartments 12 years ago after relocating from Canberra.

Brown says Silverwater has changed considerably in the past decade as parts of the industrial area have been modernised or rezoned for apartments. “It’s more of a hustle-bustle place now,” she says, “and there are more families in the area.”

But what about the jail?

“The funny thing is that Silverwater jail is actually closer to Newington than it is to the Silverwater residential area,” Halabi says.

He’s correct: the correctional complex sits in the suburb’s north-east corner and is separated from the residential zone by the industrial area – but some homes in Newington are within 200 metres of the jail.

“I’ve never felt insecure or unsafe,” adds Brown. “I’m a bit of a stress-head but I have always felt safe in this area.”

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Daniel Saifiti keen to keep leading the way

HIGHLIGHT: Newcastle Knights and Fiji prop Daniel Saifiti crashes through the Tongan defence to score in Saturday night’s Pacific Test loss at Campbelltown Stadium. Picture: Getty ImagesDANIEL Saifiti doesn’t take much notice of statistics.
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If he did, Saifiti would know he has carried the ball 907 metres – 227m more than any other Knights forward – this season.His average of 100.8m per game also leads the Newcastle pack and is 25m better than front-row partner Josh Starling.

Not bad returns for a player in just his second season of NRL who celebrated his 21stbirthday last week while in camp with the Fiji Bati team.

But for Saifiti, “it’s hard to look at stats when we’re losing games”.

Something that meansmuch more to the 193-centimetre, 123-kilogram prop were the words of his idol and Fiji assistant coachPetero Civoniceva last week.

Civoniceva, one of the great front-rowers of the modern era, said Saifiti and his twin brother Jacob had been “thrown into what’s been a tough situation at Newcastle”.

“As young forwards leading that side around the park I think they’re doing an amazing job,” Civoniceva told NRL南京夜网.“Every week has been a battle for them but they’re still upbeat and are handling everything well. I’m blown away by their maturity and being able to hold it all together, they’ve got huge futures in the game.”

Daniel went on to scorea try for Fiji in their 26-24 loss to Tonga on Saturday at Campbelltown Stadium and he looms as a key part of their pack for the World Cup this year.

He was doing his best to take the praise fromCivoniceva in his stride when he returned to Knights training on Tuesday ahead of the home clash with Canberra on Sunday.

“For him to say that, it’s sort of unreal,” he said.“It’s hard to believe, but I’m not going to let that affect me,andjust get on with the way I’ve been playing.It definitely gives me confidence but at the same time not overconfidence. I’m just going to keep doing my thing.”

So far that has been leading the way up front for a Knights pack light on experience because of departures and injuries.Saifiti, though,was happy to accept theresponsibility at a young age.

“I wanted to take on that role but I’ll just do whatever is right for the team,” he said. “If that’s what the team needs, I’ll do it.

“I’m all right with it.I think that’s what the teams needs right now and me and Starlo are getting on the front foot, but there’s a few errors we need to fix up.

“It has come early, but I’m just happy to do my job for the team and lead the boys, which I hope I have been doing.”

As forCivoniceva’s praise about his and Jacob’s maturity, Daniel said: “I suppose we needed it being so young, and being front row, it’s the hardest position on the field and coming through and starting, you need to be mature.”

Saifiti was focused on fixing “a few things in defence”and improving his fitness, and he hoped his time in camp with Fiji would help.

“Just being around all those experienced players, I got on really well with Api Koroisau and Kane Evans and they are playing good footy at the moment,” he said of what he could take out of last week.

“I picked their brains, and especially Petero Civoniceva, he was the assistant coach, he’s my idol and I was speaking to him a fair bit about what I need to do to improve my game and hopefully I can implement that for my game at Newcastle.

”It’s always good to go to those camps, it was my third year in a row and I’m extremely close to all the boys now.

“Leaving it was a bit upsetting but it’s good to get back with the Newcastle boys and hopefully I canhelp them move forward.”

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