Canberra Now: 'Gentle soul' remembered; and Canberra has nation's highest rent
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Canberra Now: 'Gentle soul' remembered; and Canberra has nation's highest rent

Good morning Canberra!

We have a cloudy day ahead on Thursday but there's just a 30 per cent chance of a shower, and only a very small shower at that. The temperature will max out at 27 degrees. It's a different situation tomorrow, when we're more likely to see showers, and there's even the chance of a thunderstorm.

Let's take a look at today's headlines.

Remembering a 'gentle soul'

Toby Jamieson "at his happiest" at Christmas 2018 with his family.

Toby Jamieson "at his happiest" at Christmas 2018 with his family.Credit:Jamieson family

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Those who knew him remember him as a gentle soul. Toby Jamieson worked as a grounds-keeper at Canberra Grammar School, loved rugby league and was preparing for a trip abroad to England to work on the grounds of Headingley Oval ahead of the upcoming Ashes test.

He tragically drowned while swimming with his young family at Casuarina Sands last week.

His family has told The Canberra Times how more than 20 strangers banded together to try to save the 35-year-old, taking turns to search the murky river, before he was eventually found just before dark.

His sister Amy said he had swum in those waters all his life, writes Sherryn Groch in this story.

Canberra's costly top ranking in rental markets

ANU postgraduate student Varun Nair has struggled to find affordable accommodation in Canberra.

ANU postgraduate student Varun Nair has struggled to find affordable accommodation in Canberra.Credit:Karleen Minney

Canberra has overtaken Sydney on one unfortunate measure. It is now the most expensive city to rent a house, according to the latest Domain Group data.

It's the highest in the nation on this scale for the first time in 11 years. The Domain Rental Report for the December quarter shows the median weekly asking rent for houses in the capital has jumped to an average of $560 per week - an annual increase of 3.7 per cent.

ANU student Varun Nair has found Canberra's expensive and competitive rental market a constant source of stress since he arrived in Australia in 2017.

Read this report by Lucy Bladen and Melissa Heagney for the full picture.

10-year-old Matilda knows the code for the future

Matilda Bowen 10 at the last day of Code Camp at Holy Spirit Primary School.

Matilda Bowen 10 at the last day of Code Camp at Holy Spirit Primary School. Credit:Dion Georgopoulos

Her favourite school subject is languages, and she's a lover of all things Korean. Now Matilda is also hooked on coding.

The 10-year-old was one of eight students who joined a three-day course with Code Camp this week, seizing their summer holidays in a very Generation Z way.

Camp manager James Farrell said coding would help the students expand on their education and employment prospects across broader fields.

"These courses allow children to work through problems, such as the platform offers, plus it has the element of creativity and entrepreneurship," he said.

"So in terms of the future, there are many ways these skills can be applied to jobs."

Serena Coady has the story here.

The mistake that led to "shoegate"

The original picture, which was featured in the Prime Minister's Christmas video, shows the real shoes.

The original picture, which was featured in the Prime Minister's Christmas video, shows the real shoes. Credit:Twitter

Did you wonder how a Photoshopped picture of the Prime Minister wearing two ridiculous left-foot, white shoes made it into the public domain? Or why the photo was altered in the first place? Well, we have a better idea now.

After Twitter users mocked the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison outed his Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as the source.

The department says the picture was uploaded to his official website by mistake after it developed "design options" for Mr Morrison's Christmas card.

Sally Whyte found out more from the department on Wednesday.

Canberra Raiders help Kato Ottio's dream house come true

Kato Ottio's dream to build his mother Joyce a home has come true.

Kato Ottio's dream to build his mother Joyce a home has come true.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

When Kato Ottio joined the Canberra Raiders, he had only one goal. He wanted to build a house for his mother.

His dream has come true and his memory will live on through the new Ottio family home, tinged in Raiders lime green.

The new home and a memorial headstone were unveiled not far from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, on Wednesday - exactly a year after his death.

David Polkinghorne with this story.

Today's cartoon

The Canberra Times editorial cartoon for Thursday, January 10, 2019.

The Canberra Times editorial cartoon for Thursday, January 10, 2019.Credit:David Pope

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Doug Dingwall is a reporter for The Canberra Times covering the public service and politics.

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