I HAVE friends who live in Newcastle and I regularly travel to Newcastle from the Central Coast.
One of the things we like to do that draws me to Newcastle so often is to go to the productions at Newcastle Theatre Company. They are excellent, and a wonderful asset to your city and community.
Newcastle would lose a part of its cultural heart if the theatre company was to close. Surely something can be done.
The last show I saw there was Quartet and it was wonderful.
The city must get behind Newcastle Theatre Company to make sure it keeps its doors open.
I'll be going to their website today to make a donation and urge others to do the same.
Newcastle should be proud of Newcastle Theatre Company. As a community theatre company, it's friendly and welcoming but the quality of the productions it stages is top-notch - well worth the drive from the Central Coast.
The idea that it might have to close - after more than 60 years in business - is very worrying. Surely funding can be found to help them out?
Suzanne Rochester, Phegans Bay
ATTITUDES MUST CHANGE
A FRIEND once told me that he was sitting at a table with a couple when the man took off his watch and smashed it to pieces with a hammer.
He was extremely shocked by this act of violence, as was the woman. He said nothing at all to the man who committed the violent act. The woman also said nothing.
It was never acknowledged, never spoken of again. But every time my friend thought of what he had witnessed that day he was sickened and disgusted.
What made it more traumatic was that the couple were his parents and the man who smashed the watch was his father.
The watch had been a gift of love from his mother to his father and, in a rage, his father smashed that love to pieces.
It was not an isolated incident as women who experience male violence well know.
There can be kicking, throwing, punching, swearing and calling her vile names. And worse. More women than we realise walk on eggshells daily for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, watching his moods change like the weather and waiting for him to finally snap.
Alcohol can fuel the moods. She knows that she is in danger whether she stays or leaves. He is volatile now so how would he be if she left.
The answer is a change of attitude. There are benefits to being treated respectfully and equally. Instead of killing love, love will flourish and fear will fade. If only violent men realised this.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
LOSING OUR LIBERTY
AUSTRALIA, we are giving away our liberty.
I am deeply concerned with our increasing loss of liberty all in the name of keeping us safe. I awoke the day after the federal election worried. It was more than disappointment that the LNP had beaten Labor or disheartened that that an overtly negative campaign (in my opinion) had won the day.
Those things had happened before.
No, I awoke to the realisation that I was actually feeling threatened by those who had regained power. I am an Australian, why would I feel like that?
It was that the people that had consolidated so much power into the hands of the Home Affairs Minister, had created broad, far-reaching laws to delve into our personal lives even deeper and new offences designed to scare off even further those who would want to alert the public to wrongs being committed in the name of the greater good or the favoured term of 'In the National Interest' were back in power.
With last week's raids by the AFP on journalists in the name of 'national security', my personal threat level went up several notches again. I believe in the rule of law, but are we allowing rule by law to overtake us?
It's a case of do as you're told and leave the thinking to us. Nothing to fear if you're doing nothing wrong? All depends on who is deciding what's wrong and what their motivation is. I don't feel safer. Not one bit.
Mark Jordan, Adamstown
A COURAGEOUS EXAMPLE
WHATEVER the outcome of George Pell's appeal we should salute the courage of the complainant.
He put his hand up despite having everything to lose and nothing to gain.
Time and time again he has had to tell and re-live the trauma that he described to the jury of 12 men and women.
By enduring a sustained and brutal cross-examination he convinced the jury that he was a witness of truth.
I believe there can be no question that his integrity is beyond any kind of doubt.
He is a good example to all of us especially when we face situations in which the truth is difficult.
Mark Porter, New Lambton
KEEP SPORT CLEAN
HAVE you ever thought about how drug cheating affects young athletes?
Sport requires hard work and dedication and with performance-enhancing drugs becoming more prominent, younger athletes may be led to believe that doping is the way to reach the levels of top athletes.
Too many professional and well-known athletes have been known to use steroids that can boost performance.
Anabolic steroids (specifically synthetic substances) can increase levels of hormones such as testosterone.
This can increase muscle mass, strength, energy, and aggression.
The production and accessibility of these drugs has increased, making it easier for younger athletes to use these drugs and further their physical capabilities.
The reason that this has become such a problem is because well-known athletes, who are role models to emerging athletes, are creating an unrealistic ideology of what it looks like to be a top athlete.
This leads to younger athletes believing that the only way to reach top standards is to use drugs.
If this is the case, what is the future for emerging athletes going to look like? Will they all be using drugs?
Athletes with good morals, who may have had a chance at winning, are competing against people who are using drugs, which is unfair.
It is creating a mindset in young athletes that they don't need to work hard to win and instead can just use drugs.
Are the choices being made by professional athletes having a significant impact on young athletes and sporting communities near you?