It’s State of Origin time, so Topics is happy to run a story based on that strange game with the odd-shaped ball.
And who better to focus on than the great Wayne Bennett.
We know his genius didn’t quite reach its potential when he was in charge of the Knights.
But hey, nobody’s perfect, right? We’re probably being a tad unfair. After all, he did inspire the Knights to a decent finals run in 2013.
Looking at the Knights this season, that’s looking like a monumental effort.
The Tinkler era may not have produced a huge amount of goodwill.
We’re sure, though, that some good things came out of that period – like this portrait of Bennett.
Artist Megan Adams was working in administration and event planning for the Knights and Jets at the time.
“I met Wayne Bennett and developed a great relationship with him,” Megan said.
“I feel honoured that Wayne allowed me to paint him.”
She entered the portrait into this year’s Archibald Prize. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to Alex McKinnon’s foundation – the RiseForAlex Fund.
“I know how close his bond is with Alex,” Megan said, of Bennett.
Megan was passionate about art as a youngster, drawing and painting constantly. But at the end of high school, her teachers, principal and family told her it would be impossible to make a career out of being an artist. She didn’t pick up a paintbrush for six years.
When her fiance saw her artwork, he suggested she start painting again. Former Jets player Michael Bridges commissioned Megan to paint his wife. This led to further work and “a burning desire” to continue painting.
It took time to overcome her fear that her art would be a disaster. She’s also overcome space limitations to chase her dream. She uses the living room in her small apartment as a studio.
Her apartment is packed with art supplies, canvases, tarps, drop sheets and artworks. She works as a personal assistant in Darwin – sometimes working 10-hour days. This hasn’t stopped her pursuing art. After work, she paints until the early hours. Every spare moment is dedicated to art.
Megan’s painting is for sale on her website for $2000 – meganadamsfineart.com.
Reader Paul Harrison has suggested that Newcastle follow the seaside town of Porthcawl in Wales by building some “selfie benches” along the Bathers Way.
Paul reckoned they “would be great and a real talking point around town”.
“Might upset some of the oldies,” he added cheekily.
“I’m not a fan of copying but a good idea is always a good idea and certainly worth copying.”
As Paul pointed out, the idea actually came from a blunder. The council in the Welsh town built two benches along a path. Locals were baffled when the benches were facing the path, a road and a hotel – rather than the ocean.
Savvy tourism officials took advantage of the gaffe, calling for people to “take their own bench selfie and share it on social media using the hashtag #SelfieBench”.
Bridgend County Borough Council blamed a local residents’ group for asking that the benches face the road, but the residents refuted the claim. The group had campaigned for the refurbishment of two century-old Victorian design benches but “had nothing to do with the siting of the benches”.
Fancy that, a council shifting blame for a stuff-up. We can hardly believe it.