Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 417. Updated Tuesday, 08 July 2014

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News in brief

Call for search and rescue heroes

Nominations have opened for the annual Australian Search and Rescue Award.

The Australian Search and Rescue Award has been presented since 1996 by the National Search and Rescue Council, which is made up of representatives from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Australian Defence Force and State and Territory Police services.

The deadline for nominations is 31 July 2014.

Nomination forms are available from the Council at this PS News link.

Australia Post mounts up

Australia Post is to issue a new equestrian focused stamp issue featuring dressage, cross-country and showjumping, polocrosse and pony club.

Philatelic Manager at Australia Post, Michael Zsolt said: "We trust collectors and especially equine enthusiasts will jump at the opportunity to collect these equestrian-themed stamps and the associated products."

Phil Ellett from Creative Ethos designed the stamps which use photographs by Bronwen Healy (dressage) and Julie Wilson (cross-country, showjumping, polocrosse, and pony club).

The Equestrian Events stamp issue is available from 15 July 2014.

Arts funding for the regions

The Regional Arts Fund has announced funding worth almost $900,000 for 68 projects in regional and remote communities as the first of two Community Grants funding rounds for 2014.

The projects supported range from $20,000 for Darwin Community Arts Incorporated's Reading the Signs theatre production dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of communication faced by people living with disability to $3,500 for Tasmania's Fiona Stewart who will go into Mary Hutchinson Women's Prison as a theatre maker to create a show about women "inside".

The full list of recipients can be found at this PS News link.

Australia seals trade deal with Japan

Australia has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan after seven years of negotiations.

Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb said the deal "affords Australia major concessions across a range of areas, most notably services and agriculture".

The agreement will enter into force after the completion of domestic legal and parliamentary processes by both countries, including consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

The full text and supporting documents can be accessed from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at this PS News link.

Earlier this week

Anzac art on march

Applications are now open for the Government's Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund Public Grants Program.

The Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis said that the creative projects funded through this program would commemorate the Centenary of the First World War and the service and sacrifice of Australians in all war efforts.

Grants of up to $100,000 for national, State and Territory cultural institutions and $50,000 for artists, organisations and community groups are available for a wide range of arts and culture projects.

Guidelines for applicants are available at this PS News link and applications close at 5pm on 10 September 2014.

Treaty targets criminals

Australia and Vietnam have signed a treaty to enhance mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop said the Treaty outlined that not only would the countries work together to catch criminals but would also work together to deprive them of the proceeds of their crimes.

''The strength of Australia and Vietnam's crime cooperation partnership is demonstrated by the signing the mutual legal assistance treaty, as well as the Treaty on extradition, which entered into force this year; and the International Transfer of Prisoners Treaty, which has been in force since 2009,'' Ms Bishop said.

Archives, ABC in digibooks splash

The National Archives of Australia has collaborated with ABC Splash, an educational portal launched 18 months ago, and opened its vault of archival treasures to uncover historical gems for the creation of three digibooks.

These collections, which include the White Australia game, a handprint of an Australian-born 'prohibited immigrant', a confidential Cabinet minute and a letter from school children supporting Aboriginal rights, align with the Australian Curriculum: History, for students in years 6 and 10.

The digibooks explore the White Australia policy in Dictation to Restrict Immigration and Indigenous Australians' rights in Vincent Lingiari the Leader and Righting Wrongs in the 1967 Referendum.

Links to the publications can be found on the Archives website at this PS News link.

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