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$350,000 reward for information on great-grandmother’s death

<p>A reward of $350,000 has been offered for information about the suspected hit-and-run death of a great-grandmother at a suburban intersection in Sydney’s south-west five years ago.</p> <p>On February 17, 2015, just after her 83rd birthday, Jean Harrison was found injured on the road at the corner of Shropshire Street and Dorset Place at Miller, near Liverpool.</p> <p>She was reportedly on her daily walk to the local shops when she was hit.</p> <p>Mrs Harrison suffered from cuts to her arm and the back of her neck but was unable to give police any information as she could not recall what had happened.</p> <p>She was taken to Liverpool Hospital in a serious condition and died the next morning.</p> <p>Soon after her death, a police strike force was established, which determined just how severe her injuries were after what they believe, was a hit and run case. However, other possibilities have not been ruled out.</p> <p>“Our investigators believe there are those in community who know more about how she came to be injured on the roadway but for some reason have not come forward,” said Liverpool City Police Area Command Crime Manager Detective Inspector Timothy Liddiard.</p> <p>“To them, I say, ‘Put yourself in the shoes of the family and imagine what it would be like to not know what happened to your loved one.’”</p> <p>Mrs Harrison had lived in the same house in Miller for close to 50 years after migrating to Australia from England. She was a grandmother and great-grandmother to at least 40 children.</p> <p>Her daughter Linda Edwards appealed to the public on Monday, saying there had been “seven more great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren born who she will never get to hold”.</p> <p>“Mum was such a caring person who loved to help others and was truly happy when surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” said Ms Edwards.</p> <p>“We just want to find out what happened to Mum. Please if you know anything, contact police and let them know.”</p>

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The racism in Australia’s response to the coronavirus

<p>There’s no denying the seriousness of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which recently originated in the city of Wuhan in China. As of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/coronavirus-update-at-a-glance">6 February</a>, there had been an estimated 24,557 confirmed cases worldwide, while it had taken the lives of over 700 people.</p> <p>However, with <a href="https://mumbrella.com.au/criticism-over-downright-offensive-and-unacceptable-race-discrimination-news-corp-coronavirus-headlines-615148">headlines</a> such as “Chinese Virus Pandamonium” and “Back-to-School Plea China Kids Stay Home”, there’s definitely been some overt racism in the Australian media coverage. And the response from the Morrison government has been much the same.</p> <p>The prime minister announced <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/evacuated-aussies-to-go-to-christmas-island-for-quarantine/news-story/a16c6a55b31bdf6cccbdb029f7816b2c">on 29 January</a> that any of the 600-odd Australian citizens and residents still in Wuhan would be sent to the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/scott-morrison-the-dumbing-down-of-kirribilli/">relatively recently reopened</a> Christmas Island on return for a quarantine period of two weeks. And they’d be charged $1,000 for it.</p> <p>The government <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-02/government-blames-dfat-for-coronavirus-charge-mix-up/11921846">soon dropped the fee</a> for the pleasure of being sent to the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/punishing-asylum-seekers-an-interview-with-refugee-action-coalitions-ian-rintoul/">immigration facility notorious</a> for its harshness. And then<a href="https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6128821462001"> on 1 February</a>, it imposed a travel ban for anyone coming to Australia from mainland China, besides local citizens and permanent residents.</p> <p>The racist ban</p> <p>“I’m not saying it shouldn’t be treated importantly. It should be,” said National Tertiary Education Union NSW secretary Michael Thomson. “But, they’re just hyping it up. I don’t believe if people were Caucasian, they would be treating it the same way.”</p> <p>Mr Thomson was one of the speakers who condemned the racist approach being taken by government at the  <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/2583825338526786/?active_tab=about">Lift the Travel Ban from China rally</a> held out the front of the Department of Immigration office in Sydney’s Haymarket on Friday.</p> <p>Rally organisers pointed out that the Morrison’s government’s decision to deny entry to those travelling from China is actually “<a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)">counter to the advice</a> of the World Health Organisation”, which advised “not to close down borders in response”.</p> <p>Seventy Chinese university students <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/chinese-university-students-detained-in-sydney/11927124">were detained</a> by ABF officers at east coast airports on Sunday. Their visas were suspended, and they were turned around. The students – who were <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/chinese-university-students-detained-in-sydney/11927124">reportedly</a> treated disrespectfully – weren’t aware of the ban, as it hadn’t been in place when they boarded.</p> <p>Chinese detention</p> <p>The Morrison government’s use of the Christmas Island detention centre has emotive links in the public mind to the way that Australia deals with asylum seekers coming from other countries. So, in sending Australian citizens there for having been in China seems to tar them with the same brush.</p> <p>“They could send them somewhere that’s not a concentration camp. Christmas Island is foul,” Mr Thomson told <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/courts-we-attend/penrith-local-court/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers</a>. “The government is playing into the racism associated with this, as well as the alarmist nature of the whole thing.”</p> <p>And in doing so, it seems the Liberal Nationals government has taken an opportune moment to stir up sentiments around its “tough on borders-offshore detention” stance, so as to deflect from the <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/sack-scott-morrison-an-interview-with-uni-students-for-climate-justices-gavin-stanbrook/">heavy criticism</a> it’s been receiving over its bushfire crisis response and lack of climate action.</p> <p>Much greater tolls</p> <p>It’s not just the PM spinning this angle either. Much of the west has been focused on comparing the coronavirus with the 2002 SARS outbreak, which is somewhat understandable as that virus – which took the lives of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/world/asia/coronavirus-china.html">774 people in 17 countries</a>– also originated in China.</p> <p>However, little attention has been given to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, which originated in Mexico, but soon spread rapidly throughout the US. It killed an <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-swineflu/2009-swine-flu-outbreak-was-15-times-deadlier-study-idUSBRE85O1DF20120625">estimated 284,500 people</a> globally. There were <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html">over 60 million cases</a>worldwide in its first year. And it spread to <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/this-chart-shows-how-the-wuhan-virus-compares-to-other-recent-outbreaks">214 countries</a>.</p> <p>While, right now, as much of global media is reporting on the coronavirus, there hasn’t been much reflection on the recent influenza toll in the US. Commonly known as the flu, this virus has infected over 19 million Americans during their winter and it’s led to the deaths of <a href="https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/01/world/science-health-world/coronavirus-us-influenza-flu/#.XjvPiTEzbIX">10,000 people</a>.</p> <p>“Yes, there is a serious virus. And yes, there’s been a number of deaths, but there’s been a limited number of people compared to SARS and other diseases,” Mr Thomson concluded.</p> <p>“Obviously, I’m not a doctor. And I don’t have that expertise. But, surely, there are places other than Christmas Island.”</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-racism-in-australias-response-to-the-coronavirus/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Maggie Beer shares harrowing loss of daughter Saskia

<p>Acclaimed Australian chef, Maggie Beer has said her family is “broken hearted” while announcing the loss of her daughter Saskia Beer on Friday night.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwsy_2qA3bM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwsy_2qA3bM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Saskia Beer (@saskiabeerfarmproduce)</a> on Apr 25, 2019 at 6:15pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The chef and businesswoman who died at just 46-years-old passed away “unexpectedly yet peacefully” on Friday night.</p> <p>"It is with broken hearts we need to let you all know that Saskia, our beautiful, extraordinary daughter, sister, wife and mother died unexpectedly yet peacefully in her sleep on Friday night," the post wrote, shared on the social media accounts of Maggie Beer and<span> </span><em>Saskia Beer Farm Produce.</em></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxN54DQDzUs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxN54DQDzUs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by the farm eatery (@thefarmeatery)</a> on May 8, 2019 at 2:50pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"We ask for time and space as we grapple to come to terms with our loss and appreciate all the support we have been given."</p> <p>The meat produce and catering business, which was once ran by Ms Beer, will now be taken on by her husband, Petar Jercic.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxV4RdKgv5O/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxV4RdKgv5O/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Saskia Beer (@saskiabeerfarmproduce)</a> on May 11, 2019 at 5:10pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Her website shared the young, driven cook had developed an “affinity for food” after being "surrounded by the principles of good farming and honest cooking" through her mother's restaurant and her father Colin's farming.</p> <p>Ms Beer is survived by her three children and her husband Petar who she married in April last year.</p>

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Olivia Newton-John shares major update about her stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis

<p>Olivia Newton-John has revealed how her battle with stage four breast cancer is going after being re-diagnosed in September 2018.</p> <p>Appearing on<span> </span><em>The Project</em><span> </span>on Thursday night, Lisa Wilkinson asked the Grease star “on behalf of everyone in Australia” how she was holding up.</p> <p>With her signature positive cheer, Olivia pumped her fists in the air and said: “Fantastic, I’m fantastic,” with a huge smile on her face.</p> <p>“I’m doing really well … thank you for your love and support, I really appreciate it,” she told the audience.</p> <p>Speaking to the panel – made up of Peter Helliar, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Em Rusciano – Olivia said that her recovery was moving in the right direction.</p> <p>“My last MRI, which is an exam where they look inside, things are shrinking and going away, or staying the same, and I’m living well with it and feeling great,” said the 71-year-old.</p> <p>This is the Aussie icon’s third battle with the illness.</p> <p>The four-time Grammy winner was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, undergoing a partial mastectomy and reconstruction. Olivia faced cancer for the second time in 2013, but kept the details private.</p> <p>The triple threat appeared on<span> </span><em>The Project</em><span> </span>alongside her daughter Chloe Lattanzi who is currently competing on Channel 10’s<span> </span><em>Dancing With The Stars</em>.</p>

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Oatlands tragedy: Family faces costly medical bills after no access to Medicare

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Rania Geagea Kassas is dealing with every parent’s nightmare as she begged people to pray for her son who has been in a coma for over a week.</p> <p>Earlier this month, the young boy was walking with his cousins to get ice cream when an alleged drunk driver mounted the footpath and hit the children.</p> <p>The child suffered critical injuries to his head and spine and was placed in an induced coma.</p> <p>Sadly, he is yet to realise that the accident took the lives of his four cousins and best friends; Antony, Angelina and Sienna Abdallah and Veronique Sakr.</p> <p>“He needs your prayers now,” his mother told<span> </span><em>10 News First</em>.</p> <p>“I think he is happy with his cousins like he is in heaven, and then he’s going to come back after the funeral and he’s going to tell us about … his trip.”</p> <p>The three Abdallah children were laid to rest in a beautiful ceremony held at the Maronite Catholic rite at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park yesterday.</p> <p>Two more children were injured in the crash, but they have since been discharged from hospital and being taken care of by their family.</p> <p>The boy remains in the intensive care unit at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital. He is in a stable condition and is in an induced coma and is being monitored every two to three hours.</p> <p>His uncle, Anthony Geagea revealed that he could remain in a coma for up to six months and they won’t know just how much damage has been caused to his brain and spine until after he wakes up.</p> <p>“When he wakes up, the doctor will give us a full diagnosis,” he said.</p> <p>Currently, the driver’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance will cover the immediate hospital bills but the family’s neighbour has set up a<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/team-charbel-kassas" target="_blank">GoFundMe</a><span> </span>page to help ease the financial burden once the boy has woken up.</p> <p>His parents do not have access to Medicare as they’ve only been in Australia for a short time.</p> <p>“All medical expenses are out of pocket and will increase dramatically,” says the fundraising page.</p> <p>“Any donation made towards this beautiful humble family is greatly appreciated.”</p> <p>The boy’s parents have not been able to return to work, and won’t be able to for some time as he needs full-time care.</p> <p>“We don’t know what is going to happen – maybe he will need medicine, maybe he will need lots of equipment,” said his mother.</p> <p>So far, close to $130,000 have been raised as they attempt to reach their $150,000 goal.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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“This is a new twist but I’m grateful for it”: Veteran newsreader declines further cancer treatment

<p><span>Veteran newsreader Brian Henderson has decided not to have surgery after receiving his fifth cancer diagnosis at the age of 88.</span></p> <p><span>The former Nine presenter – who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in September – has told his doctor he would not be having any surgery or radiation or chemotherapy treatment, <em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/tv-veteran-brian-henderson-on-why-he-wont-fight-latest-cancer/news-story/1802417a962b89fe2fecc679444afba0">The Daily Telegraph</a> </em>reported.</span></p> <p><span>“My doctor said the tumour in my kidney is likely to be slow growing so I’ve decided, at my age, to leave it there,” Henderson told the newspaper. </span></p> <p><span>“The doctor said I’m likely to die of something else before this kills me.”</span></p> <p><span>The Gold Logie-winner was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 1999, prostate cancer in 2004, hydrocephalus of the brain in 2013, and throat cancer in 2014. </span></p> <p><span>According to <em><a href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/brian-henderson-cancer-fifth-time-why-wont-seek-treatment/d2229d21-8c63-41a9-9164-b8a021b440f5">9Honey</a></em>, the tumour on his tonsil and half his salivary glands took 30 radiation sessions to remove.</span></p> <p><span>“I’ve had my prostate removed, a piece of bowel taken out and then – the worst of them – throat cancer, a few years back. That was a toughie,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>“I’ve had melanomas, I’ve had it all. This is a new twist but I’m grateful for it.</span></p> <p><span>“Twice in the same place might be bad news but I haven’t had that and am told the cancers are all unrelated.”</span></p> <p><span>Henderson made the decision after consulting with his wife Mardi.</span></p> <p><span>“We weighed up the risk associated with Brian having the kidney tumour removed and thought, as per the doctor’s advice, it was too great,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>“His mind is good, he’s still sharp, he still makes me laugh and we are happy so we’re counting our blessings.”</span></p> <p><span>The television legend, who has spent 47 years on screen with Nine, told <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/brian-henderson-talks-peter-overton-on-cancer-diagnosis/9579ac7a-1ed0-4333-9f6a-0ac970f09742">9News</a></em> the doctor did not provide him with a timeframe.</span></p> <p><span>When asked if he thought about death, he said, “I don’t welcome it, but I’m not afraid of it.” </span></p>

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The sad truth about child abuse and trafficking in Australia

<p>When you hear about child trafficking and child exploitation, you tend to think of poorer nations, particularly those in Asia that have long been well-known for both. But a new Australian report suggests that it’s more prolific here than most people think, or perhaps even care to admit.</p> <p>The study which claims to be an Australian first, is called <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-03/child-next-door-report-finds-regional-children-being-exploited/11898358">‘The Child Next Door.</a>’ It examines the issue of child exploitation and trafficking in Queensland and looks into the way children are mistreated.</p> <p>Published late last year, the report compiled information and case studies provided by frontline care staff involved with the region’s Child Sexual Exploitation Working Group, involving welfare agencies and police. So the cases involve children in the system that is supposed to have been protecting them. It found that children in regional areas are most at risk.</p> <p>The authors acknowledge that incidents of child exploitation are massively under-reported, and call for changes to the law which are aimed at stopping would-be offenders.</p> <p>Experts say that child exploitation and trafficking is often difficult to monitor, primarily due to the age and vulnerability of the victims. Many are too frightened to speak out, fearing they won’t be believed or that making a report will come with consequences.</p> <p>One of the cases outlined in the report involved a 15 year old girl who was locked in a car and driven between Rockhampton and Byron Bay where her sexual abuse was filmed, then distributed on the internet.</p> <p>While the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has a dedicated Child Protection Investigation Unit, police admit there are a large number of cases they are simply aren’t aware of, and that in other cases they can find themselves unable to help victims.</p> <p>When a young person reaches the age of 16, they have generally reached the age of consent and are able make their own decisions in that regard.</p> <p><strong>What is Consent in NSW?</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s61he.html">Under section 61HE</a> of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), consent is considered to have been given in the context of sexual assault cases where a person <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-offence-of-sexual-assault/">“freely and voluntarily agrees to the sexual intercourse.”</a></p> <p>The first requirement to establish a lack of consent is that the complainant did not consent. The second is that the defendant knew the complainant did not consent. This second requirement is established where the prosecution proves that the defendant:</p> <ul> <li>knew the complainant was not consenting, or</li> <li>was reckless as to whether the complainant was consenting, or</li> <li>had no reasonable grounds to believe the complainant was consenting.</li> <li>In making such a finding, the court must have regard to all of the circumstances of the case including any steps taken by the defendant to ascertain whether the complainant was consenting, but it must not consider any self-induced intoxication by the defendant.</li> </ul> <p>In addition to this, the current law provides that a person cannot consent to sexual intercourse where he or she:</p> <ul> <li>does not have the capacity to consent due to their age or cognitive incapacity, or</li> <li>does not have the opportunity to consent as they are unconscious or asleep, or</li> <li>consents because of threats of force or terror, or</li> <li>is unlawfully detained.</li> </ul> <p>Furthermore, the current law provides that a person does not consent if under a mistaken belief that:</p> <ul> <li>he or she is married to the defendant, or</li> <li>that the sexual intercourse is for health or hygienic purposes.</li> </ul> <p>The law also presently provides that the grounds on which it may be established that a complainant does not consent to sexual intercourse include where he or she:</p> <ul> <li>was substantially affected by drugs or alcohol,</li> <li>was subjected to intimidatory or coercive conduct, or another threat, that did not involve force,</li> <li>was taken advantage of through an abuse of authority or trust.</li> <li>The law also makes it explicitly clear that a complainant who does not offer physical resistance is not necessarily consenting.</li> </ul> <p>These laws were introduced in 2007 in response to a sustained campaign by mainstream media outlets to get tough on alleged sexual offenders. <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-08/nsw-attorney-general-calls-for-review-of-sexual-consent-laws/9734988">In 2018, the laws were put under review by the Law Reform Commission</a>. At the time the government wanted laws to be changed to make it easier to convict offenders, calling for laws to support consent to mean that all parties had provided an explicit ‘yes’ to sexual activity. Anything less would mean consent had not been provided.</p> <p>Another difficulty arises if there is no forensic evidence and no witnesses which can make building a case against an offender very difficult, although not impossible to prosecute. Often because abusers work to build trust, and then total dependence from the victim, isolating them from family and friends, this makes reaching out to others outside the abusive relationship for help and support exceptionally difficult.</p> <p><strong>Relationships of ‘special care’</strong></p> <p>Although the age of consent is generally 16 years in New South Wales, the Crimes Act 1900 makes it a crime to have sexual relations with a person who is over 16 but under 18 where a relationship of ‘special care’ exists.</p> <p>One of those offences is contained in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/sexual-intercourse-young-person-between-16-and-18-under-special-care/">section 73 of the Crimes Act</a>, which provides that:</p> <p>(1) Any person who has sexual intercourse with a young person who:</p> <p>(a) is under his or her special care, and</p> <p>(b) is of or above the age of 16 years and under the age of 17 years,</p> <p>is liable to imprisonment for 8 years.</p> <p>(2) Any person who has sexual intercourse with a young person who:</p> <p>(a) is under his or her special care, and</p> <p>(b) is of or above the age of 17 years and under the age of 18 years,</p> <p>is liable to imprisonment for 4 years.</p> <p>Another is contained in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/sexual-touching-young-person-between-16-and-18-under-special-care/">section 73A of the Crimes Act</a> which states:</p> <p>(1) Any person who intentionally:</p> <p>(a) sexually touches a young person under the person’s special care, or</p> <p>(b) incites a young person under the person’s special care to sexually touch the person, or</p> <p>(c) incites a young person under the person’s special care to sexually touch another person, or</p> <p>(d) incites another person to sexually touch a young person under the first person’s special care,</p> <p>is guilty of an offence.</p> <p>The maximum penalty where the young person is at least 16 but under 17 years of age is 4 years in prison, or 2 years where the person is at least 17 but under 18.</p> <p><strong>What is a relationship of ‘special care’?</strong></p> <p>A relationship of special care exists where:</p> <p>(a) the offender is the step-parent, guardian or authorised carer of the victim or the de facto partner of a parent, guardian or authorised carer of the victim, or</p> <p>(b) the offender is a member of the teaching staff of the school at which the victim is a student, or</p> <p>(c) the offender has an established personal relationship with the victim in connection with the provision of religious, sporting, musical or other instruction to the victim, or</p> <p>(d) the offender is a custodial officer of an institution of which the victim is an inmate, or</p> <p>(e) the offender is a health professional and the victim is a patient of the health professional.</p> <p>A statutory defence to the charge is that the parties were married at the time.</p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s72b.html">Section 72B of the Crimes Act</a> defines ‘member of the teaching staff’<strong> </strong>as:</p> <p>(a) a teacher at the school, or</p> <p>(b) the principal or a deputy principal at the school, or</p> <p>(c) any other person employed at the school who has students at the school under his or her care or authority.</p> <p><strong>Time to change the law?</strong></p> <p>In 2014, Victoria, which has some of the toughest sexual assault and sexual abuse laws in the country, introduced “disruption” laws targeting potential offenders and putting pressure on them to sever a relationship.</p> <p>The State’s Department of Health and Human Services, along with police, can use harbouring notices, no-contact notices, and intervention orders against people deemed persons of interest.</p> <p>Queensland is expected to introduce similar laws, because in many cases, these children are already known to social services or police, but there are blocks to helping victims by ensuring they can break contact and are able to get out of dire situations where dependence (lack of necessities like food, money, clothing, other friends) means they will be tempted to return, fearing they have no other options.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/child-sexual-abuse-and-trafficking-are-prevalent-in-australia/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

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Is it illegal to assist a suicide?

<p>In the days before Christmas, Western Australia became the second state in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying.</p> <p>More than 180 hours were spent debating the legislation in parliament, but under the final laws, terminally ill adults in pain and likely to have less than six months to live – or one year if they have a neurodegenerative condition – will be able to take a drug to end their lives if approved by two medical practitioners.</p> <p>The scheme is expected to be implemented across the state in about 18 months’ time.</p> <p>Under the proposed laws, to be eligible a person would have to be terminally ill with a condition that is causing ‘intolerable suffering’ and is likely to cause death within six months, or 12 months for a neurodegenerative condition.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-05/wa-voluntary-euthanasia-law-passes-upper-house-vote/11771302">To access the regime, a person would have to make two verbal requests</a> and one written request and those written requests would have to be signed off by two doctors. Self-administration is the preferred method by which patients would facilitate their own deaths, but a patient can choose for a medical practitioner to administer the drug.</p> <p><strong>The laws in Western Australia and Victoria</strong></p> <p>The passing of the legislation means that Western Australia is the second state in Australia to make assisted dying lawful. In 2017, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/dying-with-dignity-laws-passed-in-victoria/">Victoria passed voluntary euthanasia laws</a>.</p> <p>While Victoria is widely recognised as the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise euthanasia, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/northern-territory-and-act-fight-to-legalise-euthanasia/">in fact, the Northern Territory introduced laws as far back as 1995.</a></p> <p>But only four people were able to use the laws because after only two years of being in force, thanks to a small technicality in Federal law which allows the Federal government to overturn laws passed by the territories (but not the States), the Federal Government exercised this right and effectively voided the NT laws.</p> <p>Since then, both the Northern Territory and the ACT have been fighting to take back control and determine their own legislation.</p> <p><strong>In New South Wales</strong></p> <p>Around the same time as voluntary euthanasia became legal in Victoria, it was also debated in the New South Wales Parliament, but with no significant progress towards legislation being enacted. Tasmania too, has debated euthanasia legislation and failed to pass it.</p> <p>South Australia and Queensland, both initiated parliamentary inquiries into assisted dying earlier this year.</p> <p>However now that Western Australia has also passed legislation, there is now more impetus for all Australian jurisdictions to follow suit.</p> <p>Despite the fact that many people do feel compassionately about helping terminally ill people to avoid prolonged, painful deaths, as they might put down a much loved family pet as an act of kindness in circumstances where the pain / injuries/ illness seemed intolerable, assisted dying is a highly controversial issue and as progresses in medical science find more and more ways to keep us alive, it becomes an increasingly complex issue.</p> <p>Although it is usually a crime to assist euthanasia and suicide, prosecutions Australia-wide have been rare.</p> <p><strong>Assisting a suicide in New South Wales</strong></p> <p>Currently in New South Wales, both euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are criminal offences.</p> <p>A person found guilty of engaging in active voluntary euthanasia can be prosecuted for murder under <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/murder/">section 18 of the Crimes Act 1900</a>, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.</p> <p>A person may additionally or alternatively be prosecuted for aiding a suicide, which is an offence under <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/legislation/crimes-act/aiding-etc-suicide/">section 31C of the Crimes Act 1900</a> carrying a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.</p> <p>To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant aided or abetted the suicide or attempted suicide of another person.</p> <p>Alternatively, a 5 year maximum penalty applies where the prosecution is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that:</p> <p>1. The defendant incited or counselled another person to commit suicide, and</p> <p>2. The other person committed or attempted to commit suicide as a consequence.</p> <p>Around the world, assisted suicide is only currently legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and a handful of US States.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-offence-of-assisting-a-suicide/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

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What is Charles Bonnet syndrome – the eye condition that causes hallucinations?

<p>Visual hallucinations, or seeing things that aren’t really there, can be frightening and distressing.</p> <p>They may occur due to a large variety of physical and psychiatric conditions. But a lesser known cause is Charles Bonnet syndrome (pronounced <em>bo-nay</em>), named after the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Bonnet">Swiss scientist</a> who first described the condition in 1760.</p> <p>Charles Bonnet syndrome (also called visual release hallucinations) refers to visual hallucinations in patients with severe vision loss due to eye, optic nerve or brain disease.</p> <p>We don’t know the exact cause of Charles Bonnet syndrome. But the most commonly accepted theory is the loss of visual sensory signals to the brain (for example, when a person becomes blind) means the brain cannot put the brakes on <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1479-8301.2009.00288.x">excessive and unwanted brain activity</a>.</p> <p>This leads the part of the brain responsible for the sensation of vision (the visual cortex) to fire signals inappropriately. The person in turn perceives they are seeing something in the absence of a true stimulus – a visual hallucination.</p> <p>If these symptoms are affecting you, a friend or family member who has become blind in one or both eyes, it’s important to understand it’s not a sign of “going mad”.</p> <p><strong>What are Charles Bonnet hallucinations like?</strong></p> <p>The hallucinations may be “simple” (such as lines, shapes, or flashes of light) or “complex” (such as formed images of animals, like butterflies). Simple hallucinations are much more common.</p> <p>They may occur for seconds or minutes to hours or continuously, and the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9091601">frequency ranges</a> from isolated episodes to multiple times a day. It’s normal for Charles Bonnet syndrome to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24825847-negative-outcome-charles-bonnet-syndrome/?from_term=Cox+TM&amp;from_cauthor_id=24825847&amp;from_pos=1">last for years</a>; some people will experience symptoms for the rest of their lives.</p> <p>The nature of Charles Bonnet hallucinations is highly variable. That is, people who are affected often don’t see the same thing repeatedly, and one person with Charles Bonnet syndrome will see different things from the next person.</p> <p>Charles Bonnet hallucinations often have little or no emotional meaning, allowing affected people to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8622335">recognise they are not real</a>. This is distinct from hallucinations associated with mental illness.</p> <p>Other features of visual hallucinations unique to Charles Bonnet syndrome include:</p> <ul> <li>hallucinations only appear in the areas where vision is lost (for example, a person who is blind in their left eye will perceive hallucinations only in that eye)</li> <li>hallucinations are more frequently seen with the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8622335">eyes open than closed</a>, and may disappear when the person closes their eyes or looks away</li> <li>hallucinations are more common in settings of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8622335">sensory deprivation</a> (for example, at night time or in dim lighting, or during periods of inactivity).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Who is affected?</strong></p> <p>Most people with Charles Bonnet syndrome are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18983551">older adults</a> (usually over 70). This is probably because vision loss is most common in this age group. But any person of any age with acquired vision loss can develop Charles Bonnet syndrome.</p> <p>The causes of blindness that lead to Charles Bonnet syndrome are usually macular degeneration, glaucoma, <a href="https://www.hollows.org/au/eye-health/diabetic-retinopathy?gclid=Cj0KCQiA2vjuBRCqARIsAJL5a-JKWwv0VqzUfB0BH7XZVpJzIKDMYh_5kfXTuPe13_CGEjkAd4OlnXAaAhV5EALw_wcB&amp;gclsrc=aw.ds">diabetes</a>, <a href="https://www.visionaustralia.org/information/eye-conditions/stroke?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;gclid=Cj0KCQiA2vjuBRCqARIsAJL5a-JO8Ty6cKPi-X8IkE7mWs90kZtUbz4UvwbewgvMyqgXYyybMfFTvVEaAp-pEALw_wcB">stroke</a> and injury – but any disease that leads to blindness may cause Charles Bonnet syndrome.</p> <p>The syndrome does not occur in congenital blindness (people born blind from birth).</p> <p>We currently have no conclusive data on how many Australians have Charles Bonnet syndrome, although <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18983551">one study</a> estimated more than 17% of people aged over 60 with impaired vision had it. In <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2314586">another study</a>, as many as 57% of participants with vision loss reported perceived visual hallucinations.</p> <p>Importantly, it may be more common than estimated because of lack of reporting. That is, people who are affected may not report their hallucinations due to fear of psychiatric disease or of being perceived to be “going mad”.</p> <p>Further, people who do report their symptoms may be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555593/">misdiagnosed</a> with psychosis or dementia.</p> <p><strong>Treatment options are limited</strong></p> <p>Seeing a general practitioner (often in conjunction with a neurologist and/or geriatrician) is an important first step to exclude other causes of hallucinations. These could include dementia, physical neurological conditions (for example, a brain tumour), epilepsy and delirium due to infections or medications. Your doctor may order blood tests and/or brain imaging to rule these out.</p> <p>Treatment for Charles Bonnet syndrome is very limited, but <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11711837">many patients report</a> reassurance is all they need, especially for infrequent hallucinations or those that don’t adversely affect quality of life.</p> <p>Strategies to minimise the frequency and duration of hallucinations include frequent blinking or rapid eye movement, going to a lighter place or switching a light on, and increasing social interaction, which helps to counter inactivity.</p> <p>For patients with debilitating symptoms, doctors may trial medications such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23676430">antidepressants</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23037678">antipsychotics</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27485168">antiepileptic drugs</a>, though their efficacy is variable and may be outweighed by side effects.</p> <p>Hallucinations may disappear if the cause of vision loss can be corrected (for example, if severe cataracts were causing blindness and the patient has a cataracts operation).</p> <p>Unfortunately though, generally the causes of vision loss that lead to Charles Bonnet syndrome can’t be treated.</p> <p><em>Written by Jason Yosar. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-charles-bonnet-syndrome-the-eye-condition-that-causes-hallucinations-122322">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Kirk Douglas dies aged 103

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p><em>Spartacus<span> </span></em>actor Kirk Douglas has passed away at the age of 103, his son revealed to<span> </span><em>People Magazine</em>.</p> <p>Michael Douglas said: “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103.</p> <p>“To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in setting a standard for all of us to aspire to.”</p> <p>Throughout his career that spanned seven decades, Douglas starred in over 90 films, with hits such as<span> </span><em>Spartacus</em><span> </span>and<span> </span><em>The Vikings</em><span> </span>making him one of the biggest box office stars in the 1950s and 1960s.</p> <p>He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in 1959 for his role as boxer Midge Kelly in<span> </span><em>Champion</em>.</p> <p>He went on to earn two more Oscar nominations as a producer for T<em>he Bad And The Beautiful</em><span> </span>in 1953 and<span> </span><em>Lust For Life</em><span> </span>in 1957.</p> <p>He appeared alongside John Wayne in three movies – I<em>n Harm’s Way, Cast A Giant Shadow</em><span> </span>and<span> </span><em>The War Wagon</em><span> </span>and also pocketed $50,000 for saying the only English word at the end of a Japanese TV commercial: Coffee.</p> <p>But his proudest achievement was his major role in breaking the Hollywood blacklist: Actors, directors and writers who were excluded professionally due to their ties to the communist movement in the 1950s.</p> <p>Douglas was in a helicopter crash in 1991, which he survived. But five years later, he suffered from a stroke.</p> <p>Due to the stroke, he was left with slurred speech and damaged facial nerves, but despite it all, he still powered through to attend the Academy Awards two weeks later to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery below to see Kirk Douglas' life in pictures.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Widow of man who died fighting bushfires opens up on fateful moment that saved her life

<p>The widow of a man who tragically passed away alongside his father while trying to protect their NSW family property from bushfires has spoken out for the first time.</p> <p>Renee Salway lost her husband Patrick Salway, 29, on New Year's Eve. <span>Mr Salway died along with his 63-year-old father Robert as the Cobargo fire ripped through their community.</span></p> <p>His mother returned to the burnt-out property to find her son’s body alongside her husband.</p> <p>Before tragedy struck the Salway family, Renee says her husband had made a promise that he would be safe and return to their three-year-old son before he left to fight the bushfires ravaging his home alongside his family.</p> <p>“The last words he said (were): “I promise I’ll be safe and I’ll be here for Harley,” she told<span> </span><em>Seven News</em>.</p> <p>“I’ll never forget that.”</p> <p>Ms Salway recalled the horrifying moment she learnt her husband and father-in-law had died on New Year’s Eve.</p> <p>“Everything just falls out of you... you feel like a vacant space,” she said.</p> <p>Ms Salway is pregnant with the couple’s second child and had started dating Mr Salway when she was just 15.</p> <p>She described her husband as a loving father who loved the “simple life” they shared.</p> <p>“If you ever wanted to see love, it was in Patrick’s eyes when he looked at Harley. It was something so special,” she said.</p> <p>The young mother revealed if it wasn’t for her son, she too may have perished in the fire.</p> <p>Ms Salway said she had planned to help her husband and father-in-law as the fire encroached on their family property but had received a call from her mother saying Harley had awoken from a nap and had become restless.</p> <p>In that moment, she made the snap decision to return to her mother and son just hours before the fateful fire swept through, and by doing this sealed her own fate.</p> <p>“He is the reason why I’m here,” she revealed.</p> <p>Patrick Salway was a proud member of the dairy industry and a fifth-generation Cobargo farmer.</p> <p>Hours after his death, Ms Salway took to Facebook to share a touching tribute to her childhood sweetheart.</p> <p>“I will see you again Patrick, my best friend,” she declared.</p> <p>NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott declared that the day of their funeral this bushfire season was the "darkest summer" in the state's history.</p> <p>"I'm hoping we don't have a repeat next year, or the year after or for the next 10 years, but the reality is, we probably will.”</p>

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State-of-the-art centre makes accessible holidays easy

<p>Planning a getaway isn’t always easy – sometimes it feels like you need a holiday from planning a holiday.</p> <p>This is especially true for people with a physical disability or mobility issues and older Australians, where accessibility can become a huge factor in choosing appropriate accommodation.</p> <p>A new state-of the-art accommodation and disability services centre opening in Cairns in February 2020 will provide guests with the peace of mind knowing their getaway will be fully accessible with a specialist team on hand to support their health and therapy needs.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834314/3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/52c6517cee374d8aa8b842a64ebfae8d" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.spinalhealthyliving.com.au">Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre</a> is the first of its kind in Queensland and regional Australia, combining fully accessible accommodation with vital therapies and services for people with physical disabilities.</p> <p>The Centre, located just minutes away from the iconic Cairns Esplanade, also includes an accessible gym and hydrotherapy pool to help guests to continue their rehabilitation work or look after their health and wellbeing.</p> <p>In addition to a perfect holiday destination for visitors with a disability or mobility impairment looking to explore the beautiful sights of Far North Queensland, the Healthy Living Centre is also available for medium-term transitional accommodation for people returning home after sustaining a serious injury.</p> <p>The Centre includes a team of specialist-trained Personal Support Workers who can assist guests with their daily routines or getting out into the community.</p> <p>NDIS-funded packages are also available for scheme participants, with included accessible gym access, therapy consultations (including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy or Exercise Physiology) and access to a Personal Support Worker.</p> <p>Here are some of the services on offer:</p> <p><strong>Active Gym</strong></p> <p>The Healthy Living Centre’s Active Gym includes the latest in accessible gym equipment specifically designed for people with a disability and can be used with or without a wheelchair.</p> <p>Guests and gym members can enjoy seven-day a week access to the Active Gym or join in one of the regular classes.</p> <p>You can also work with the on-site Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to develop a training or rehabilitation plan that works for you.</p> <p><strong>Active Hydro Pool </strong></p> <p>The Centre’s Hydrotherapy Pool is a great way to improve your movement, balance and strength, as well as helping to manage pain.</p> <p>The Hydrotherapy Pool is open six days a week and is open to solo visitors, classes or one-on-one sessions with a qualified Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist.</p> <p>The pool features an accessible lift for easy entry and exit and is open to guests by appointment.</p> <p><strong>Accommodation</strong></p> <p>The Healthy Living Centre includes seven self-contained, fully accessible units with one and two bedrooms and water views available, all located just a few meters away from the Cairns Esplanade.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834313/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ef8dd49e36834b1692a721da1076e3bd" /></p> <p>There are options for holiday accommodation as well as medium-term transitional accommodation and are open to self-funded guests as well as guests looking to fund their stay via MyAgedCare, the NDIS and other funding options.</p> <p>Each room contains a height-adjustable bed and ceiling hoists, left or right transfer bathrooms, shower chairs and tablet-controlled electronics, lights and blinds for the convenience of guests with a disability.</p> <p><strong>Therapies and services</strong></p> <p>The Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre includes a team of specialist therapists and support workers on site to assist and empower guests and visitors to the Centre.</p> <p>This includes:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Occupational Therapy</strong> to help find the best assistive equipment and provide specialist advice on NDIS applications and assessments for funding.</li> <li><strong>Personal Support Services</strong> to provide personal assistance tailored to the guest’s needs.</li> <li><strong>Physiotherapy</strong> to help reduce pain and improve muscle movements and assist in injury management and prevention.</li> <li><strong>Hydrotherapy</strong> to manage rehabilitation, pain and muscle strength.</li> <li><strong>Exercise Physiology</strong> to make the most of your time at the Active Gym or Active Hydro Pool and assist in developing a tailored fitness plan.</li> </ul> <p>Spinal Life Australia have used their 60 years of experience to create a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed with the needs and comfort of people with a disability or mobility issues in mind.</p> <p>To find out more, or book your next holiday and stay supported as you explore the wonders of Far North Queensland, visit <a href="/spinalhealthyliving.com.au">spinalhealthyliving.com.au</a></p>

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The Chase delays filming as star Andrew O’Keefe takes time off for mental health

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Production for the 2020 season of Channel 7’s quiz show<span> </span>The Chase<span> </span>has been put on hold again as host Andrew O’Keefe needs more time to manage his mental health issues.</p> <p>Filming of the latest season was due to start in Melbourne this week, but Seven confirmed that filming would be delayed by months.</p> <p>“Production on The Chase is to be held over for a couple of months,” Seven said in a statement to the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/fiona-byrne/okeefe-takes-more-time-out-from-the-chase/news-story/dccf8606d46e637088edd259f4be0ff5" target="_blank">Herald Sun</a>.</em></p> <p>“Andrew O’Keefe is taking time to manage and recover from a health issue.</p> <p>“The Chase continues 5 pm weekdays on Seven unaffected by this delay.”</p> <p>It’s not the first time that the filming schedule has been moved to help O’Keefe deal with his health challenges, as production of the show last year finished three weeks earlier than expected to give the host a break.</p> <p>2019 was tough for O’Keefe as he took an eight-week break in April to reset his life and seek out mental health treatment.</p> <p>“I was surprised to discover perhaps I was not as resilient as I imagined I was and that …. I was exhausted, I was a bit lost,” O’Keefe told the<span> </span>Sunday Herald Sun<span> </span>in October.</p> <p>“We all use different methods to escape from the most uncomfortable parts of our existence and I certainly was not using the most healthy ones.</p> <p>“I mean sleep would have been handy, I think maybe spending some time doing things that I enjoyed rather than spending all of my time dealing with the micro details of the more painful parts of my life would have been wise.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Congratulations to our team on their EPIC $60,000 WIN! <br /><br />Sorry <a href="https://twitter.com/Issa25?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Issa25</a>. 😅 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheChaseAus?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheChaseAus</a> <a href="https://t.co/gPc7XyC7G3">pic.twitter.com/gPc7XyC7G3</a></p> — The Chase Australia (@THECHASEAUS) <a href="https://twitter.com/THECHASEAUS/status/985842748166033409?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 16, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>“The diet could have been better, fluids that had no decimal points in them would have been good.</p> <p>“(It was) an accumulation of sorrows and stresses and poor choices about health, really, and I just could not see that I had the time or the strength to change that without removing myself entirely from the world for a bit.”</p> <p>However, O’Keefe is still committed to filming<span> </span>The Chase<span> </span>as his current contract is believed to run through to the end of 2020.</p> <p>“It is the best show on television. I will host it for as long as it is there to be hosted and as long as (Seven) wants me to,’’ O’Keefe said last year.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"></div> </div> </div> </div>

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Can I be forced to testify against my family?

<p>Receiving a subpoena to appear as a witness in court can be daunting.</p> <p>The experience can be even more stressful if you are called to testify against your loved-one.</p> <p>But there are laws that restrict the prosecution’s ability to force family members to testify.</p> <p>Under <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ea199580/s18.html">section 18 of the Evidence Act</a>, a witness may object to giving evidence altogether, or to giving evidence of a communication between themselves and the defendant, if:</p> <ul> <li>They are a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/resources/represent-yourself-in-court/">called by the prosecution as a witness</a>, and</li> <li>The defendant is their spouse, de facto partner, child or parent, and</li> <li>There is likely to be harm caused to their relationship with the defendant</li> </ul> <p>The section recognises that forcing family members to testify against one another can harm the family unit, and that harming the family unit is undesirable.</p> <p>However, the protection does not apply in all situations. Rather, the court can force a family member to give evidence if the nature and extent of the harm caused is outweighed by the desirability of having the evidence given.</p> <p>In making that assessment, the court will consider factors such as:</p> <ul> <li>The nature and gravity of the offence;</li> <li>The nature of evidence that the person might produce;</li> <li>The weight that such evidence is likely to be given;</li> <li>Whether there is another source of the evidence that is likely to be given;</li> <li>The nature of the relationship between the defendant and the person; and</li> <li>Whether the person would be disclosing a matter received in confidence from the defendant.</li> </ul> <p>In order to take advantage of the section, a witness must object before they give evidence or as soon as practicable thereafter.</p> <p><strong>What about spousal privilege?</strong></p> <p>Spousal privilege is a principle that says that a husband and wife cannot not be compelled to testify against each other.</p> <p>One of the historical justifications for the privilege was that the law considered the interests of a husband and wife to be one and the same.</p> <p>Another justification was that the law should not interfere with the most sacred and holy of unions – the institution of marriage.</p> <p>Spousal privilege existed in legal jurisprudence for hundreds of years, but in 2011 the High Court found that it is not actually an enforceable rule.</p> <p><strong>The High Court case</strong></p> <p>In 2009, <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/HCA/2011/47.html?stem=0&amp;synonyms=0&amp;query=stoddart%202011">Ewan Stoddart was summonsed to appear before the Australian Crime Commission</a> after being investigated for tax fraud.</p> <p>His wife was also summonsed to answer the Commission’s questions, but refused to answer on grounds of spousal privilege.</p> <p>The Federal Court found in favour of Mrs Stoddart, but the High Court appeal went the other way.</p> <p>The High Court found that spousal privilege is not a valid excuse for refusing to give evidence in court. It found that all family members must rely on statutory exemptions even though they may not offer the same level of protection as common law privileges.</p> <p>So whether you are a spouse or another family member, the court must take into account the list of factors contained in legislation before deciding whether or not to force you to testify against your loved-one.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/can-i-be-forced-to-testify-against-my-family/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

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It’s now legal to smoke cannabis in Australia’s capital: An interview with Hemp’s Michael Balderstone

<p>As of today, 31 January 2020, it’s legal to smoke a joint in your lounge room in Canberra. Possessing up to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/canberra-has-legalised-the-possession-of-cannabis/">50 grams</a> for personal use is absolutely nothing to worry about. And you can grow up to two plants in your backyard if you live in the Australian Capital Territory.</p> <p>But, you can’t sell your own stash, and nor can you give it to anyone else.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/game-changing-medicinal-cannabis-laws-an-interview-with-labor-mlc-adam-searle/">Cannabis</a> advocates across the nation are lauding <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/legalising-personal-cannabis-use-an-interview-with-act-labor-mp-michael-pettersson/">ACT Labor MLA Michael Pettersson</a> and the steps he took to turn an illegal, and for the most part innocuous, plant – that around <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-key-findings/contents/illicit-use-of-drugs">10 percent</a> of the population uses within a 12 month period – into a lawful substance for recreational use.</p> <p>And while there are still questions around the supply side remaining outlawed, as well as federal laws, which still maintain that possession is illegal – which was how cannabis legalisation <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/20/house-committee-approves-bill-decriminalizing-marijuana-on-the-federal-level.html">initially transpired</a> in the US – one thing is certain, there’s a massive crack in the prohibitionist armour.</p> <p>It’s the way of the future</p> <p>Over in New Zealand, the Ardern government has <a href="https://www.referendum.govt.nz/cannabis/index.html">drafted legislation</a> that sets out how a system of legalised cannabis can operate in that country. And the entire Kiwi population will be voting on whether to approve the roll out later <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-nz-cannabis-legalisation-referendum-an-interview-with-nz-green-party-mp-chloe-swarbrick/">this year</a>.</p> <p>If that comes as something of a surprise, then it might also be of interest to know that the Trudeau government legalised the consumption and retail sales of cannabis across the entire nation of Canada back in October 2018. Initially, the market <a href="https://sydneydruglawyers.com.au/blog/canada-legalises-cannabis-but-theres-not-enough-to-go-around/">couldn’t keep up</a> with demand.</p> <p>And in the States –  the great instigator of cannabis prohibition – the recreational use and possession of the herb is now <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/legal-marijuana-states-2018-1?r=US&amp;IR=T">legal in 11 states</a>. Colorado is often hailed as the shining example of a beneficial cannabis market, as the tax revenue it’s generated has been used to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/recreational-cannabis-regulate-and-reap-the-benefits/">fund health and education</a>.</p> <p><strong>The head of HEMP</strong></p> <p><a href="https://australianhempparty.com/">Australian HEMP Party</a> president <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/legalise-it-an-interview-with-australian-hemp-party-president-michael-balderstone/">Michael Balderstone</a> has long been the bedrock of cannabis activism in Australia. From his seat in the HEMP Embassy in Nimbin, he’s been spruiking the benefits of the plant for decades now.</p> <p>Sydney Criminal Lawyers spoke to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/end-prohibition-vote-hemp-an-interview-with-dr-andrew-katelaris-and-michael-balderstone/">Mr Balderstone</a> about what could occur in this country now cannabis can be used recreationally in at least one jurisdiction, why he believes it was outlawed in the first place, and how greater use of the Cannabis sativa plant could also benefit the environment.</p> <p><strong><em>Firstly, today, the personal possession and use of cannabis, as well as the cultivation of up to two plants in the capital territory is legal.</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>While this is a very limited form of legalisation, in that it doesn’t address the issue of supply, it’s definitely a step. Michael, what are your thoughts on this development?</em></strong></p> <p>“Generally, we’re so happy about it, even if it is really limited. It’s a bit like a suit with holes in it. Even the seed isn’t legal, so I’m not sure how people are going to grow a couple of plants.</p> <p>But, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Fifty grams is a good amount. Two plants or four plants in a household is a good start.</p> <p>We’re all hoping that the feds will leave it alone. And people are going to realise that it’s no big deal.”</p> <p><strong><em>You’re the president of both the Australian HEMP Party and the Nimbin HEMP Embassy. How long have you been campaigning for cannabis legalisation? And have you been expecting this day to come?</em></strong></p> <p>“I don’t know if we expected it to come out of Canberra. But, it makes sense, in a way.</p> <p>It’s the <a href="http://www.nimbinmardigrass.com/hempshop/MardiGrass.html">28th annual MardiGrass</a> coming up first weekend of May, so we’ve been hammering on the door for a long time. We’re just grateful for anything.”</p> <p><strong><em>Numerous studies have shown that the harms associated with the use of cannabis are a lot less than those associated with alcohol. Yet, alcohol has long been legal in this country, and throughout the west, whilst cannabis has been outlawed. Why do you think this is the case?</em></strong></p> <p>“Pain relief is possibly the most profitable business on Earth. So, cannabis, the opium poppy – all the medicines – were hit a 100 years ago.</p> <p>And cannabis is so safe. There’s a lot of vested interests trying to make sure that cannabis stays illegal. There’s no question about that.</p> <p>At <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Medicinalcannabis/Submissions">a cannabis inquiry</a> I was at, we all heard that there’s such big opposition from the whole pharmaceutical industry for a start. They’re making it as difficult as possible for cannabis to become legal.</p> <p>So, I’m really happy the ACT has jumped in. Good on Michael Pettersson.”</p> <p><strong>With cannabis use now being legal in one jurisdiction in this country, do you think it will have an impact on whether it remains illegal in other parts of Australia?</strong></p> <p>“Everyone is going to watch how it goes in Canberra. And we all know how it has gone in America and Canada. It’s win-win all over the place.</p> <p>So, hopefully, this will loosen the bricks in the wall. That’s what I’m hoping.”</p> <p><strong>Focusing on the supply side, you’ve been to the US state of Colorado, where cannabis has been available retail since 2014. How would you describe the impact it’s had there?</strong></p> <p>“Colorado has already made a billion dollars in tax. So, that’s something the government should be thinking about.</p> <p>Car accidents are down. Alcohol use is down. Domestic violence is down. Suicide is down. The statistics are coming out, if only they’d listen to them.</p> <p>It’s good in every way. The only people who are missing out are the pharmaceutical industry.</p> <p>This next question probably relates to the hemp plant, rather than the strain of cannabis that contains enough THC that it can get a person high.</p> <p>But, there are rising concerns around changing climate and the devastation of the environment. This involves the production of plastics, the cutting down of trees, and the prioritisation of water for cotton in NSW, over letting it flow down the rivers.”</p> <p><strong><em>What sort of changes could the greater use of the Cannabis sativa plant bring for the environment?</em></strong></p> <p>“Certainly, it’s a good start to having a bit more water in the rivers, because it uses less than half the water cotton does.</p> <p>And now there’s people up north starting to make fire resistant bricks using a hemp-magnesium cement mix. So, there’s a huge future in that.</p> <p>We’re talking about the strongest, longest, toughest fibre on the planet. So, its time has come, and a lot more people are getting hemp licences. And, of course, you can make great CBD medicines from hemp also.”</p> <p><strong><em>And lastly, Michael, you’ve been at the frontline of cannabis activism in Australia for around three decades. How do you expect things to develop with cannabis from today onwards?</em></strong></p> <p>The pressure is on now, especially with what’s happening in America, Canada and Europe, where the laws are changing. At some point, Australia has to get involved.</p> <p>But, we have such resistance here. The pharmaceutical industry in particular has their claws over the top of everyone.</p> <p>And the reefer madness propaganda is hard to shift. A lot of people who have no experience with cannabis are still very scared of it: their kids might go mad, people feel bad.</p> <p>There is so much nonsense still around. So, education remains key.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/its-now-legal-to-smoke-cannabis-in-australias-capital-an-interview-with-hemps-michael-balderstone/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

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"This is what life is all about": Ash Barty's special guest

<p>Ash Barty has brought a special guest to her press conference following her semi-final loss to Sofia Kenin.</p> <p>The 23-year-old walked into the Melbourne Park press conference Thursday with her baby niece Olivia in her arms.</p> <p>“It’s not mine,” Barty said jokingly.</p> <p>“It’s my newest niece. My sister just had her 11 or 12 weeks ago. This is what life is all about. It’s amazing.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">"Perspective is a beautiful thing. Life is a beautiful thing."<br />-<a href="https://twitter.com/ashbarty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AshBarty</a> <br /><br />Even after a tough loss, Barty is reminding us that there's life (and a baby 👶🏻) outside of tennis.<br />Well done, Ash.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AusOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AusOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/oYigehi4sL">pic.twitter.com/oYigehi4sL</a></p> — TENNIS (@Tennis) <a href="https://twitter.com/Tennis/status/1222999175144640514?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 30, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>A reporter asked if the little girl had given Barty any comfort after her 6-7 (6-8), 5-7 defeat.</p> <p>“Perspective is a beautiful thing,” Barty said. “Life is a beautiful thing. She brought a smile to my face as soon as I walked off the court. I get to give her a hug and it’s all good. It’s all good.”</p> <p>The world number one player also addressed her exit from the Australian Open, which ended her prospect of becoming the first Australian woman to make the tournament’s final since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.</p> <p>“Yeah, it’s been disappointing, but it’s been a hell of a summer,” she said.</p> <p>“If you had told me three weeks ago that we would have won a tournament in Adelaide, and made the semi-finals of the Australian Open, I’d take that absolutely every single day of the week.</p> <p>“But I put myself in a position to win the match today and just didn’t play the biggest points well enough to be able to win.</p> <p>“I have to give credit where credit’s due. Sofia came out and played aggressively on those points and deserved to win.”</p> <p>Barty said the hot conditions were not an issue because she grew up in hot and humid Brisbane.</p> <p>“I try and go out and play the way I want to play. If it doesn’t work, I know I have different tools I can go to,” she said.</p> <p>“I tried to go to those tools today. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite scrap enough to get over the line.”</p>

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Rebuilding from the ashes of disaster: this is what Australia can learn from India

<p>A key question facing us all after Australia’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/some-say-weve-seen-bushfires-worse-than-this-before-but-theyre-ignoring-a-few-key-facts-129391">unprecedented bushfires</a> is how will we do reconstruction differently? We need to ensure our rebuilding and recovery efforts make us safer, protect our environment and improve our ability to cope with future disasters. Australia could learn from the innovative approach India adopted in 2001 after the nation’s <a href="https://www.in.undp.org/content/india/en/home/library/environment_energy/from-relief-to-Recovery.html">second-most-devastating earthquake</a>.</p> <p>The quake in Gujarat state <a href="https://www.in.undp.org/content/india/en/home/library/environment_energy/from-relief-to-Recovery.html">killed 20,000 people</a>, injured 300,000 and destroyed or damaged a million homes. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0263786317301618">My research</a> has identified two elements that were particularly important for the recovery of the devastated communities.</p> <p>First, India set up a recovery taskforce operating not just at a national level but at state, local and community levels. Second, community-based recovery coordination hubs were an informal but highly effective innovation.</p> <p><strong>Rebuilding for resilience</strong></p> <p>Scholars and international agencies such as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (<a href="https://www.undrr.org/">UNDRR</a>) have promoted post-disaster reconstruction as a window of opportunity to build resilience. By that, they mean we not only rebuild physical structures – homes, schools, roads – to be safer than before, but we also revive local businesses, heal communities and restore ecosystems to be better prepared for the next bushfires or other disasters.</p> <p>This is easier said than done. Reconstruction is a highly complex and lengthy process. Two key challenges, among others, are a lack of long-term commitment past initial reconstruction and a failure to collaborate effectively between sectors.</p> <p>Reconstruction programs require a balancing of competing demands. The desire for speedy rebuilding must be weighed against considerations of long-term challenges such as climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability.</p> <p>There will always be diverse views on such issues. For example, planners may suggest people should not be allowed to rebuild in areas at high risk of bushfires. Residents may wish to rebuild due to their connection to the land or community.</p> <p>Such differences in opinion are not necessarily a hindrance. As discussed below, managing such differences well can lead to innovative solutions.</p> <p><strong>What can we learn from India’s experience?</strong></p> <p>The 2001 Gujarat earthquake was declared a national calamity. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0263786317301618">My research</a> examined post-disaster reconstruction processes that influenced community recovery – physical, social and economic. The findings from Gujarat 13 years after the quake were then compared with recovery processes seven years after the devastating <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Bihar_flood">2008 Kosi River floods</a> in the Indian state of Bihar.</p> <p>Of my key findings, two are most relevant to Australia right now.</p> <p>India’s government set up a special recovery taskforce within a week of the earthquake. The taskforce was established at federal, state, local and community level, either by nominating an existing institution (such as the magistrate’s court) or by establishing a new authority.</p> <p>The Australian government has set up a <a href="https://www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/">National Bushfire Recovery Agency</a>, committing A$2 billion to help people who lost their homes and businesses rebuild their communities. While Australia effectively has a special taskforce at federal and state level (such as the <a href="https://www.vic.gov.au/bushfire-recovery-victoria">Bushfire Recovery Victoria</a> agency), we need it at local and community levels too. Moreover, no such agency exists at state level in New South Wales.</p> <p>Without such a decentralised setup, it will be hard to maintain focus and set the clear priorities that local communities need for seamless recovery.</p> <p>Second, India’s recovery coordination hub at community level was an innovative solution to meet the need of listening to diverse views, channelling information and coordinating various agencies.</p> <p>A district-wide consortium of civil society organisations in Gujarat established <em>Setu Kendra</em> – literally meaning bridging centres or hubs.</p> <p>These hubs were set up informally in 2001. Each hub comprised a local community member, social worker, building professional, financial expert and lawyer. They met regularly after the earthquake to pass on information and discuss solution.</p> <p>Bushfire Recovery Victoria has <a href="https://www.vic.gov.au/community-recovery-package#community-recovery-hubs-15-million">committed A$15 million</a> for setting up community recovery hubs, but it remains to be seen how these are modelled and managed.</p> <p>The community hubs in India have had many benefits. The main one was that the community trusted the information the people in the hub provided, which countered misinformation. A side effect of community engagement in this hub was their emotional recovery.</p> <p>These hubs also managed to influence major changes in recovery policy. Reconstruction shifted from being government-driven to community-driven and owner-driven.</p> <p>This was mainly possible due to the <em>Setu Kendras</em> acting as a two-way conduit for information and opinions. Community members were able to raise their concerns with government in a way that got heard, and visa versa.</p> <p>Due to the success of coordination hubs in Gujarat after 2001, the state government of Bihar adopted the model in 2008. It set up one hub per 4,000 houses. In Gujarat, these hubs continued for more than 13 years.</p> <p>The UN agency for human settlements, UN-Habitat, <a href="https://www.in.undp.org/content/india/en/home/library/environment_energy/from-relief-to-Recovery.html">notes</a> these community hubs as an innovation worth replicating.</p> <p>We in Australia are at a point when we need to create such hubs to bring together researchers, scientists, practitioners, government and community members. They need to have an open conversation about their challenges, values and priorities, to be able to negotiate and plan our way forward.</p> <p>Australia needs a marriage between government leadership and innovation by grassroots community organisations to produce a well-planned recovery program that helps us achieve a resilient future.</p> <p><em>Written by Mittul Vahanvati. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/rebuilding-from-the-ashes-of-disaster-this-is-what-australia-can-learn-from-india-130385">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Back to school warnings amid coronavirus concerns

<p>NSW health officials have warned any children who have come in contact with someone with coronavirus should not return to school tomorrow.</p> <p>They also said that any child who visited the Hubei province in China should get themselves checked out immediately for signs of the deadly infection.</p> <p>It comes as a number of schools in NSW have told families that have been to China, they would need a doctor’s certificate before term one.</p> <p>As reported by<span> </span><em>ABC News</em>, Sydney private schools Scots College, Kambala School and Newington College have reached out to parents with the warning.</p> <p>Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said any child who had been in contact with a person confirmed as having novel coronavirus must not attend school or childcare for 14 days after last coming into contact with the infected person.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNewSouthWalesHealth%2Fposts%2F1210392705826735&amp;width=500" width="500" height="719" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“Fourteen days represented the internationally recognised incubation period for the disease,” said Dr Chant.</p> <p>“After this time the child is considered to not be at risk of infection.”</p> <p>Dr Chant said students who have travelled to Wuhan – where the virus originated – and Hubei throughout the school holidays could go back to school but should be constantly monitored for symptoms.</p> <p>“The most common symptom is fever,” Dr Chant said.</p> <p>“Other symptoms include cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.”</p> <p>Anyone who is dealing with these symptoms should immediately isolate themselves from other people and seek medical attention as soon as possible.</p>

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5 foods you should never keep in your pantry

<p><strong>Tomato sauce</strong></p> <p>Your pantry may be stocked with tomato sauce you bought the last time it was a sale, but it always should go in the fridge after you open it. “In the old days, a lot of us used to keep tomato sauce in the pantry,” Lydia Buchtmann, spokeswoman for the Food Safety Information Council, told HuffPost Australia. “But since then these products have gotten a lot healthier, so they’ve got less unhealthy preservatives in them like salt.”</p> <p><strong>Dijon mustard</strong></p> <p>Although your favourite sausage condiment won’t spoil if it’s kept in the pantry, keeping it in the fridge removes any risk of your Dijon losing the flavour you love. Plus, it’ll last longer if it’s refrigerated.</p> <p><strong>Bananas</strong></p> <p>Surprised? You may be used to keeping your bananas in prime pantry real estate, but if you keep them there, they just keep ripening. When they’re ready to eat, put them in the fridge, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says. If the peels turn brown, they’ll still be good to eat. Food storage is one of the factors as to why professional chefs never order these foods at restaurants.</p> <p><strong>Salami</strong></p> <p>You already know to keep raw meat like chicken and beef in the fridge (or the freezer if you’re not using it right away), and the same applies for cured meat like salami. In a 2006 study, researchers found that 23 per cent of the tested 1020 dry Italian salami contained the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.</p> <p><strong>Pure maple syrup</strong></p> <p>If you love syrup, why would you eat anything other than the 100 per cent pure maple stuff? However, unlike syrup that’s only maple-flavoured, this pure kind must be kept in the refrigerator to prevent mould. Store it in the freezer (don’t worry, it won’t freeze solid), and it’ll keep indefinitely.</p> <p><em>Written by Claire Nowak. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/15-foods-you-should-never-keep-in-your-pantry?slide=allhttps://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/15-foods-you-should-never-keep-in-your-pantry?slide=all"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> </em></span></p>

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Can’t do what you need to do in a public toilet? You’re not alone

<p>Most of us don’t give much thought to going to the toilet. We go when we need to go.</p> <p>But for a small minority of people, the act of urinating or defecating can be a major source of anxiety – especially when public restrooms are the only facilities available.</p> <p>Paruresis (shy bladder) and parcopresis (shy bowel) are little known mental health conditions, yet they can significantly compromise a person’s quality of life.</p> <p>We don’t know how many people have shy bowel, but research has estimated around <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022399916305542">2.8%-16.4% of the population</a> are affected by shy bladder. The condition is more common in males.</p> <p>Our research explored the thought processes that underpin these conditions, with a view to understanding how they might best be treated.</p> <p><strong>What are the symptoms?</strong></p> <p>Most of us will feel a little “grossed out” from time to time when using public toilets. But what we’re talking about here is different and more serious.</p> <p>People with shy bladder and shy bowel experience <a href="https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2019/april/latest-thinking-on-paruresis-and-parcopresis">significant anxiety</a> when trying to go to the toilet, especially in public places like shopping centres, restaurants, at work or at school. Sufferers may also experience symptoms in their own home when family or friends are around.</p> <p>Their anxiety can present in the form of increased heart rate, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, muscle tension, heart palpitations, blushing, nausea, trembling, or a combination of these.</p> <p>Symptoms range in severity. Some people who are more mildly affected can experience anxiety but still be able to “go”, for example when the bathroom is completely empty. Others may urinate or defecate with difficulty – for example their urine stream may be inconsistent. Some people will sit on the toilet and not be able to go at all.</p> <p>In severe cases, sufferers may hold it in until they get home. This is uncomfortable and can even have <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/what-happens-when-you-hold-in-pee-science-2017">health consequences</a>, such as urinary tract infections.</p> <p>Sufferers report difficulties relating to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/da.10061">employment, relationships and social life</a>. For example, they might avoid travelling, going to parties, or attending large events like sports matches because of their symptoms.</p> <p>Unfortunately, people with shy bladder or shy bowel will often feel shame and embarrassment, making them less likely to seek help.</p> <p><strong>It’s a type of social anxiety disorder</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm">DSM-5</a>, a manual designed to help clinicians diagnose mental health conditions, classifies shy bladder as a sub-type of social anxiety disorder.</p> <p>The DSM-5 doesn’t make specific mention of shy bowel, but with more research we hope to see it included in the future.</p> <p>Social anxiety disorder is characterised by an <a href="https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder">excessive fear of social situations</a>, including contact with strangers. People with the condition fear scrutiny by others, whether negative or positive evaluation.</p> <p>We wanted to understand whether the thought processes that underpin shy bladder and shy bowel are similar to those demonstrated in people with social anxiety disorder.</p> <p><strong>Our research</strong></p> <p>We canvassed <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-019-00376-w">316 undergraduate students</a> in an online survey on shy bladder and shy bowel. Some 72 participants (22.8%) self-reported symptoms of either one or both conditions.</p> <p>We found these symptoms were influenced by particular patterns of thinking, including:</p> <ul> <li>a misinterpretation or distortion of information (for example, interpreting laughter in the restroom as being directed towards them)</li> <li>fears around potential perceived negative evaluation (for example, a fear of being criticised for taking too long to defecate, or for sounds and smells produced during urination or defecation)</li> <li>fears around potential perceived positive evaluation (for example, a fear of being evaluated too positively for a strong urine stream).</li> </ul> <p>Using statistical modelling, we found fear of negative evaluation was the factor most strongly associated with shy bladder or shy bowel symptoms.</p> <p><strong>Treatment</strong></p> <p>While our study was small and more research is needed, the thought processes we identified as underpinning shy bladder and shy bowel are very similar to those we know predict social anxiety symptoms.</p> <p>As such, people with shy bladder or shy bowel may benefit from the sorts of treatments that help people with social anxiety disorder.</p> <p>Cognitive behavioural therapy, for example, <a href="https://www.psychology.org.au/getmedia/23c6a11b-2600-4e19-9a1d-6ff9c2f26fae/Evidence-based-psych-interventions.pdf">is known</a> to reduce social anxiety symptoms.</p> <p>The best way to help people with these conditions will be addressing the thought processes behind shy bladder and shy bowel, especially concerns around the perceptions others might evaluate or criticise one’s urination or defecation.</p> <p>As well as targeting unhelpful thinking, like all anxiety conditions, reducing avoidance through gradual exposure work (putting oneself in anxiety-inducing situations where one will build confidence and tolerance around anxiety) is also likely to help.</p> <p>If you can’t do what you need to do in a public restroom, know you’re not alone and you’re not going crazy. Shy bladder and shy bowel are genuine anxiety conditions and can have significant effects on your day-to-day functioning.</p> <p>Discussing these symptoms with your doctor and/or mental health professional is likely to be an important step to freeing yourself from these conditions.</p> <p><em>Written by Kenley Kuoch and Simon Robert Knowles. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/cant-do-what-you-need-to-do-in-a-public-toilet-youre-not-alone-and-theres-help-127719">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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