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July 16, 2012

Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence unveiled

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Monday, July 16, 2012

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Kate Lundy speaking earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Part of the revealed sign behind an APC speaker earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory — Earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Australian Paralympic Committee President Greg Hartung and the Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy formally unveiled the Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence.

The unveiling ceremony started with a speech by Hartung who mentioned how important the AIS was to the Paralympic movement in Australia, with the first Paralympic scholarship holder being Russell Short, who earned his scholarship in 1988 and has subsequently competed in six Paralympic Games, with this year’s Games making seven. Hartung went on to discuss how many more Paralympians have subsequently been supported by the AIS, including Matthew Cowdrey who credits an AIS run recovery centre at the 2008 Summer Paralympics with enabling him to win a gold medal.

Lundy’s speech followed Hartung’s. She highlighted how the AIS specifically supports five Paralympic programs including rowing, athletics, alpine skiing, and swimming. Beyond those, the AIS, with funding assistance from the federal government, provided AUD$13.5 million to support the Paralympics for goalball, cycling, and weightlifting, with an additional AUD$2.25 million going to grants to support Paralympians directly through Direct Athlete Support grants.

Following Lundy’s speech, the Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence sign was unveiled. There are 44 days left until the start of the Paralympic Games.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Australian Centre for Paralympic Excellence unveiled

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Wikinews Sports
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Kate Lundy speaking earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Part of the revealed sign behind an APC speaker earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory — Earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Australian Paralympic Committee President Greg Hartung and the Federal Minister for Sport Kate Lundy formally unveiled the Australian Centre for Paralympic Excellence.

The unveiling ceremony started with a speech by Hartung who mentioned how important the AIS was to the Paralympic movement in Australia, with the first Paralympic scholarship holder being Russell Short, who earned his scholarship in 1988 and has subsequently competed in six Paralympic Games, with this year’s Games making seven. Hartung went on to discuss how many more Paralympians have subsequently been supported by the AIS, including Matthew Cowdrey who credits an AIS run recovery centre at the 2008 Summer Paralympics with enabling him to win a gold medal.

Lundy’s speech followed Hartung’s. She highlighted how the AIS specifically supports five Paralympic programs including rowing, athletics, alpine skiing, and swimming. Beyond those, the AIS, with funding assistance from the federal government, provided AUD$13.5 million to support the Paralympics for goalball, cycling, and weightlifting, with an additional AUD$2.25 million going to grants to support Paralympians directly through Direct Athlete Support grants.

Following Lundy’s speech, the Australian Paralympic Centre of Excellence sign was unveiled. There are 44 days left until the start of the Paralympic Games.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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June 22, 2012

At Australian gymnastic team announcement, media turns out for Tony Abbott

At Australian gymnastic team announcement, media turns out for Tony Abbott

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Australian media covering the Australian artistic gymnastic team announcement yesterday
Image: LauraHale.

Australian media getting a bird-eye view of the floor at the Australian Institute Sports Gymnastic Centre
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra —

The Australian media turned out in force yesterday at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for Tony Abbott’s appearance at the Australian artistic gymnastics official London Olympics Team announcement. According to the press conference facilitator, the media set a record for most people attending an Olympic team announcement at the AIS.

BigPond Media, the Liberal Party‘s own media people, the Daily Telegraph, and 2UE were some of the media organisations present, with some having made the trip up to Canberra from Sydney. The level of media present stands in stark contrast to the Australia women’s national basketball team training camp at the AIS in May where Fox Sports, WIN News, and the Canberra Times were the few media outlets in attendance.

While a team practice open to the press started at 10:30 a.m. Canberra Time (0030 UTC), many in the media corps arrived after athletes finished practice but before Abbott was scheduled to speak. Those who arrived early had to be asked by coaches to step off the mats as the gymnasts were still practicing, which sport journalists and photographers in Australia do not generally have to be told. Following the press conference, when Abbott and Australia’s Minister for Sport Kate Lundy jumped off the trampoline into a foam pit, they got an upfront view of photojournalists who climbed into the pit beforehand in order to get a better picture.

The Australian media’s lack of interest in the gymnastics announcement made its way into the printed coverage, with The Daily Telegraph’s Alison McMeekin poking fun at Abbott as “Trampoline Tony”, and not a single gymnast’s name in her coverage. Sister News Limited tabloid, and Australia’s highest circulation newspaper, the Herald Sun also carried McMeekin’s jabs at the opposition leader. Ben Packham of The Australian, another News Limited publication, spun the announcement of the gymnastics team to criticise with the headline Abbott accused of carbon tax gymnastics.

Australia’s Liberal Party sent their own media representative to cover Abbott’s appearance. The cameraman had one job, to cover Abbott. His boss told him he did not need to get any footage of the gymnasts if Abbott was not in frame.

Shortly after Abbott and Lundy left, most of the press corps disappeared from the AIS facility.



Related news

  • “Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball” — Wikinews, May 16, 2012

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June 21, 2012

Australian media turns out at Australian gymnastic team announcement for Tony Abbott

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Australian media covering the Australian artistic gymnastic team announcement earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Australian media getting a bird-eye view of the floor at the Australian Institute Sports Gymnastic Centre
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra —

The Australian media turned out in force earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for Tony Abbott‘s appearance at the Australian artistic gymnastics official London Olympics Team announcement. According to the press conference facilitator, the media set a record for most people attending an Olympic team announcement at the AIS.

BigPond Media, the Liberal Party’s own media people, the Daily Telegraph and 2UE were some of the media organisations present, with some having made the trip up to Canberra from Sydney. The level of media present stands in stark contract at the Australia women’s national basketball team training camp at the AIS in May where Fox Sports, WIN News, and the Canberra Times were the few media outlets in attendance. With The Daily Telegraph’s Alison McMeekin poking fun at Abbott as “Trampoline Tony”, and not a single gymnast’s name in her coverage, it was obvious the media were there more for the opposition leader than the Olympic team announcement.

While a team practice open to the press started at 10:30 a.m. Canberra Time (0030 UTC), many in the media corps arrived after athletes finished practice but before Abbott was scheduled to speak. Those who arrived early had to be asked by coaches to step off the mats as the gymnasts were still practicing. When Abbott and Australia’s Minister for Sport Kate Lundy jumped off the trampoline into a foam pit, they got an upfront view of photojournalists who climbed into the pit before hand in order to get a better picture.

Australia’s Liberal Party sent their own media representative to cover Abbott’s appearance. The cameraman had one job, to cover Abbott. His boss told him that he did not need to get any footage of the gymnasts if Abbott was not in frame.

Shortly after Abbott and Lundy left, most of the press corps disappeared from the AIS facility.



Related news

  • “Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball” — Wikinews, May 16, 2012

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Kate Lundy and Tony Abbott assist in Olympic dreams with Gymnastics Australia\’s artistic gymnastics team announcement

Kate Lundy and Tony Abbott assist in Olympic dreams with Gymnastics Australia’s artistic gymnastics team announcement

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

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Kate Lundy with Australia’s Olympic team earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Lundy and Tony Abbott with members of the Olympic team after a bounce on the trampoline
Image: LauraHale.

Abbott assists Lundy out of the foam pit
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra — Earlier today at the Australian Institute of Sport, Australia’s Minister for Sport Kate Lundy and the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott were on hand when the Australian Olympic Team formally announced the Australian artistic gymnastics team to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Melbourne-based Georgia Bonora and Ashleigh Brennan, Perth residents Emily Little and Lauren Mitchell, and Brisbane resident Larrissa Miller booked their trip to London.

Lundy announced the government’s A$4.5 million support for the Green and Gold Room in London. This facility, supported by the Australian Institute of Sport’s experts, enables performance analysis to help the Australian Olympians excel during the London Games. Lundy also mentioned Gillard‘s Prime Ministers Challenge, which is not just for Australia’s Olympians and Paralympians, but seeks to encourage the nation’s young to play sports.

Abbott started off with a quip that the only gymnastics he participates in is verbal gymnastics. The opposition leader then told the media present that Australia’s Olympians have the country’s support, and congratulated the competitors on the hard work they have put in for over ten years to get there.

In a conversation with a Wikinews reporter following the press conference, Miller said the team does not feel pressure from the media or other teams to do well. They are very team-oriented and when it is time to compete, they ignore everything else going on and focus on performing their best. The team does not need to worry about anything but competing because the gymnasts get support from Gymnastics Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport to cover the cost of everything they need.

With encouragement for the Olympians, Abbott and Lundy spent time on the trampoline. In a show of bipartisan support, Abbott assisted Lundy out of the foam pit they jumped into, with Lundy returning the favour.



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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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May 21, 2012

Raw Opals spend week preparing for London Games

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — This past week, an overstocked Australian Opals, the women’s national basketball team, prepared for the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a weeklong training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to be used to help narrow the nineteen member Opals squad down to the twelve that go to the Games, and provide players who rarely play together an extended period of time to play together in order to improve on court dynamics.

Camp started on Sunday, with players arriving from hometowns around Australia including Cairns, MacKay, Gladstone, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne.

Cayla Francis, Jenna O'Hea and Marianna Tolo at a practice on Wednesday.Image: Bidgee.

Cayla Francis, Jenna O’Hea and Marianna Tolo at a practice on Wednesday.
Image: Bidgee.

Kristen Veal at a practice on Wednesday.Image: Bidgee.

Kristen Veal at a practice on Wednesday.
Image: Bidgee.

A strength and conditioning session on TuesdayImage: Bidgee.

A strength and conditioning session on Tuesday
Image: Bidgee.

A strength and conditioning session on TuesdayImage: LauraHale.

A strength and conditioning session on Tuesday
Image: LauraHale.

Lauren Jackson on Monday Image: Bidgee.

Lauren Jackson on Monday
Image: Bidgee.

Marianna Tolo on Monday Image: Bidgee.

Marianna Tolo on Monday
Image: Bidgee.

Carrie Graf on Monday Image: Bidgee.

Carrie Graf on Monday
Image: Bidgee.

Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

Part 4 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O'Hea speakingVideo: Bidgee.

Part 4 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Video: Bidgee.

The defending champions, the United States women’s national basketball team, are perceived as the Australian Opals’ main competitors. In the last three Olympic Games the Opals got silver medals. In each of these cases the United States got first place. Coach Carrie Graf said “thinking about the US too soon in inappropriate”, “Our focus is first and foremost, game by game winning our pool”. Amongst the Australian Opals’ competitors in the pool are Brazil, Russia, and Great Britain. Carrie Graf said Great Britain “will put up a fight on home turf” but there is a “world class [AIS] facility” and “world class medical support staff” supporting the team.

Australian Opal player Penny Taylor recently suffered injury from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, meaning she cannot play Olympics this year. In regards to the situation player Lauren Jackson, who is going into her fourth Olympics, said “you would never wish that upon anybody.” She says as a team they have to “move on, move through that” and “come together” to pick up their offence and defense. Despite the loss of one of their key players she says “we definitely have the talent there” and the team is all “on the same page.” She feels “pretty confident” and speaks of “very exciting” times ahead. Jenna O’Hea is going into her first Olympics with the team. She is still “pinching” herself and says she is taking it “day by day”.

A typical day at the camp might start with a 7.00am – 8.30am breakfast at the AIS Dining hall, before one and a half or two hours of court, gym, or swimming training. The middle of each day might consist of media meetings, medical checks, team meetings, and time to practise shooting. Around 12.00pm, the players meet to eat lunch and recover from the morning. The afternoon typically consists of more training, and some scrimmage games. Players usually finish around 7.00pm for dinner, and perhaps a massage.

The nineteen players in attendance this week at training camp were Suzy Batkovic, Abby Bishop, Elizabeth Cambage, Rohanee Cox, Cayla Francis, Kristi Harrower, Laura Hodges, Natalie Hurst, Lauren Jackson, Rachel Jarry, Kathleen MacLeod, Jenna O’Hea, Samantha Richards, Jennifer Screen, Belinda Snell, Marianna Tolo, Kristen Veal, Carly Wilson, and Hanna Zavecz. Basketball Australia has named fifteen players that are to attend the second phase of the camp: Suzy Batkovic, Abby Bishop, Elizabeth Cambage, Kristi Harrower, Laura Hodges, Lauren Jackson, Rachel Jarry, Kathleen MacLeod, Jenna O’Hea, Erin Phillips, Samantha Richards, Jennifer Screen, Belinda Snell, Marianna Tolo, and Hanna Zavecz.



Related news

  • “Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball” — Wikinews, May 16, 2012

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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 18, 2012

Non-sponsors\’ logos plastered by peeved Paralympians

Non-sponsors’ logos plastered by peeved Paralympians

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Reardon and his taped shoes at the AIS Track and Field earlier today
Image: LauraHale.

Bruce, Canberra — In an exclusive interview with Wikinews, Australian Paralympians Evan O’Hanlon and Scott Reardon discussed the increased professionalism of their sport, and the challenges elite athletes now face in securing sponsorship deals.

O’Hanlon at the AIS Track and Field
Image: Bidgee.

Wikinews reporter and photographer at the AIS Track and Field earlier today
Image: Bidgee.

O’Hanlon, with the support of his Australian teammates, is on a mission to professionalise Paralympic athletics. He is leading a charge to encourage runners to cover the logos on shoes they wear to training and in competition because he believes that many people who see him in pictures when he wins world records think his shoes are paid for by sponsors; they are not.

Paralympic athletic competitors must buy their own shoes; while Australian Paralympic competitors receive support from the government, they still must pay for things their abled-bodied counterparts would not. O’Hanlon and Reardon believe unless competitors organise as a group and act together, they will not change the sponsorship landscape for Paralympic athletes.

Teammate Michelle Errichiello didn’t tape over the logos on her shoes, while O’Hanlon told Wikinews that he had taped over the logos on a pair of practice sprint shoes which he wouldn’t normally cover due to photographers being present at the athletics track. They intentionally choose the flesh colour of the tape to make it more noticed by spectators, highlighting their cause and raising its profile.

O’Hanlon told Wikinews reporters that additional information about these sponsorship issues could be found on his website.


Sources

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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May 16, 2012

Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women\’s basketball

Australian media focuses on Olympic prospects against US for women’s basketball

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Graf coaching players at the training camp
Image: Bidgee.

Marianna Tolo on Monday at the first day of the Opals training camp
Image: Bidgee.

Lauren Jackson at the first day of the Opals training camp
Image: Bidgee.

Part 1 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Part 2 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Part 3 of a press conference at AIS with Carrie Graf, Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea speaking
Audio: LauraHale.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — On Monday, at a press conference at the Australian Institute of Sport on the first day of an Opals training camp, the media asked questions supporting this Olympic cycle’s storyline that the Australian team is going to the 2012 Summer Olympics for a gold medal rematch between Australia and the United States women’s national basketball team, who are once again in separate Olympic pools for the tournament. Media organisations present included Fox Sports, WIN News, the Canberra Times, and Wikimedia Australia including our reporter.

The press at the first press conference consisted of a female print journalist, four video cameras behind the two rows of seats allocated for the media, and three microphones in front of the table occupied by the national team coach Carrie Graf and national team members Lauren Jackson and Jenna O’Hea. The media contingent largely asked questions about Australia’s quest for a gold medal, how worried the Australians were about the team from the United States and how much planning the team was doing in preparation to play them in the gold medal finals for the fourth time in a row. These questions mirrored an ongoing theme in the media coverage found in television media and newspaper coverage of portraying the team as one of Australia’s few serious medal contenders. The other focus was on early game against Great Britain women’s national basketball team, who are in the same pool as Australia, who will have an advance of playing on their home ground with at least one dual-Australian/British passport holder on the United Kingdom team and a former Australian national women’s team coach leading the opposition’s side.

In contrast to media questions from television and print reporters present, Graf, Jackson and O’Hea’s responses made clear their goal was in the present. The coach and players were thinking about who would survive the cuts to make the team, establishing a good team dynamic and preparing for teams early in their Olympic campaign. The Australian side was not thinking ahead to the gold medal round as they believe their competition is good enough to be a worry.

The press directed most of their questions to Jackson and Graf, with O’Hea only asked a question late in the press conference.

Following the press conference, Fox Sports interviewed one of the Opals in a one-on-one interview. Another reporter followed up with Basketball Australia’s media representative to ask additional questions.

In the opening session for the camp, a video photographer lined up a basketball to get a shot of a basketball in the foreground while Jackson and Suzy Batkovic-Brown shot baskets in the background.

The Opals had a training session open to the media early in the day, with six journalists recording in various media how players participated in several drills including a drill where the Opals, working in groups of three on three different courts, had one minute to attempt and make as many two point field goals as possible. In one drill set, Jennifer Snell made 22 of 28 attempts.

The final media open training session of the day, starting late in the afternoon, saw only a pair of Wikimedia Australia photographers and a Basketball Australia photographer present. The rest of the media had left much earlier in the day. The media open training camp will continue through until Friday, before the team starts a two week long training camp that will be closed to the media but not before two players are cut from a squad currently 19 strong that will be pared down to 12 by the end of next month.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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February 28, 2012

Australian women\’s water polo team takes test series against Great Britain

Australian women’s water polo team takes test series against Great Britain

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bruce, Canberra — Australia’s Stingers, the women’s national water polo team, completed their five-game test series in Canberra, Australia winning all five matches against Great Britain. The test is part of preparations for the team’s 2012 Summer Olympics appearance.

Moments during the of the first test series match
Image: Laura Hale.

man and women sitting in chairs watching a water polo game

Great Britain water polo players on the bench at AIS Aquatic Centre during the second series against Australia.
Image: Bidgee.

women in swim suits sitting on chairs

The third of a five game test series against the Great Britain women’s national water polo team on 25 February 2012. Australia won 15–6. On the far left is Bronwen Knox, then Zoe Arancini, Melissa Rippon, Rowena Webster, Hannah Buckling.
Image: LauraHale.

woman in water lunging for the ball

An Australian lunges for the ball during the fourth test
Image: Laura Hale.

woman in water with a ball

Melissa Rippon passes the ball in the fifth game
Image: Laura Hale.

With comfortable wins in all five matches, showing an advantage of at least six goals in each game, the test series was the first time Australia’s women competed against Great Britain in six years. The series results have implications for the squad composition; of the seventeen players brought into the Australian training camp running this test series, only thirteen of them can expect an opportunity to travel to London to compete in the Olympics.

Australia dominated the series with precision passing from the team’s goalkeepers who enabled the game to quickly move down the pool, and the ability of the team’s goal scorers to get the ball on target. In contrast, through out the series, the UK lacked a quality long passing game and instead relied on short passes from the perimeter of play where they were faced with less one-on-one coverage. The last game of the series also saw several turn overs and poor shooting on the part of the UK, with many shots going above or to the side of the net, or the shot clock running out.

Australia won all of the games of the test series, with scores of 13–5 in the first test last Tuesday, 14–4 in the second test last Thursday, 15–6 in the third test on Saturday, 14–8 in the fourth test yesterday (Monday) and 14–3 in the last test match today. In the first match, the scorers for Australia were Ashleigh Southern with four goals, Rowie Webster and Bronwen Knox with three goals each, and Gemma Beadsworth, Melissa Rippon, and Holly Lincoln-Smith each contributing a goal. In the second test match, the scorers for Australia were Hannah Buckling and Rippon with three goals, Knox and Beadsworth with two goals each, and Kate Gynther, Zoe Arancini, and Glencora Ralph each contributing a goal. For the third test, Australia’s goal scorers were Jane Moran, Webster, and Nicola Zagame with three goals each, Lincoln-Smith with two goals, and Beadsworth, Buckling, Rippon, and Sophie Smith with one goal apiece. In Australia’s fourth test match, Gynther and Zagame scored three each, Southern and Ralph scored two goals apiece, and Webster, Smith, Lincoln-Smith, and Moran each scored a goal. In the last game, Southern and Ralph scored three goals, Webster and Zagame had two goals each, and Beadsworth, Lincoln-Smith, Knox, and Buckling each scored a goal.



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