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Alex Pullin’s girlfriend leaves heartbreaking note on door: “Respect my privacy”

<p><span>Alex Pullin's mourning girlfriend has left a tear-jerking note on her front door just a day after losing her partner in a tragedy on the the Gold Coast.</span><br /><br /><span>Alex, 32, was a world champion snowboarder who lost his life after going spearfishing in the water at Palm Beach.</span><br /><br /><span>He suffered a blackout at about 10:30 am on Wednesday and did not wake up despite paramedics performing CPR for 45 minutes on Pullin.</span><br /><br /><span>On Thursday his girlfriend Ellidy Vlug honoured her boyfriend with a handwritten letter that she taped to a front door on the Gold Coast home.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836881/pullin-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5e2df3ca0b75477091fab15d77f55414" /><br /><br /><span>“Dear media, thank you for your thoughts, this is a very difficult time for me and I ask that you respect my privacy during this period of grief,” Ms Vlug wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“Know that Chumpy absolutely loved life and lived life to the full.</span><br /><br /><span>“He lived for us – his family, our puppy Rummi, our amazing friends and the home we made together.</span><br /><br /><span>“He was living his dream, our dream.</span><br /><br /><span>“I am eternally grateful that I have lived my life with him and I am deeply saddened that his life has been cut short.</span><br /><br /><span>“Rest in peace my beautiful man.</span><br /><br /><span>“Kind regards, Ellidy.”</span><br /><br /><span>Earlier that day, Ms Vlug told Daily Mail Australia she last saw her boyfriend alive moments before he'd decided to go for a dive, telling him: “Love you, watch out for sharks.”</span><br /><br /><span>Ms Vlug then went for a walk by herself, and when she returned home, she was met by a neighbour at her door telling her a spear fisher had been pulled from the ocean.</span><br /><br /><span>She then raced to the beach with her mother, where she was told the body belonged to her boyfriend of eight years.</span><br /><br /><span>It's been little more than 24 hours since his death, and Ms Vlug and the couple's friends and family can still hardly believe their loss.</span><br /><br /><span>“I don't know what I'm going to do without him,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>But the 28-year-old model and business owner says she is determined to make him proud.</span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836880/pullin-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/25ca6ac77f89425786952b2c6085cb9d" /></span></p> <p><span>The couple were parents to one-year-old Rummi, their beloved Kelpie puppy, and Ms Vlug said Pullin absolutely adored her.</span><br /><br /><span>“He was a family man through and through. Me, and his sister and parents and Rummi were his world,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>Ms Vlug shares a tight-knit relationship with Pullin's parents and sister.</span><br /><br /><span>They all live in New South Wales, so were physically separated during the COVID-19 lockdown, but remained in close contact with each other.</span></p>

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Tragic details come to light as Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin’s final moments are revealed

<p>The partner of Aussie Winter Olympics star Alex “Chumpy” Pullin witnessed his final moments as paramedics attempted to revive him following a drowning accident on Wednesday.</p> <p>The 32-year-old snowboarder was found by a snorkeller on an artificial reef at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast and pulled from the waters around 10.30am. Lifeguards performed CPR for about 45 minutes, but he did not survive.</p> <p>“He may have been spearfishing. The patient was initially found with a weight belt and there was equipment in the area where he was found,” said Queensland Ambulance Service officer Justin Payne.</p> <p>“Unfortunately, after a long attempt at resuscitation, the patient was unable to be revived.”</p> <p>According to the <em>Courier Mail</em>, Pullin’s long-time girlfriend Ellidy Vlug and her mother arrived on the scene to see the commotion and reportedly expressed hope that the two-time snowboard cross world champion was not the one involved.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8hpsgfF8J5/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8hpsgfF8J5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">❤️</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/alexchumpypullin/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Alex Chumpy Pullin</a> (@alexchumpypullin) on Feb 13, 2020 at 3:39pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In a letter to the media, Vlug paid tribute to Pullin.</p> <p>“Know that Chumpy absolutely loved life and lived life to the full,” she wrote.</p> <p>“He lived for us - his family, our puppy Rummi, our amazing friends and the home we made together.</p> <p>“He was living his dream, our dream.</p> <p>“I am eternally grateful that I have lived my life with him and I am deeply saddened that his life has been cut short.</p> <p>“Rest in peace my beautiful man.”</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/BwEow7ogjES/?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/BwEow7ogjES/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Alex Chumpy Pullin (@alexchumpypullin)</a> on Apr 10, 2019 at 3:56am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Snow Australia, the peak body for skiing and snowboarding, said the community was saddened by Pullin’s passing.</p> <p>“Our deepest condolences are with Alex's family, as well as his teammates and support staff,” it said.</p> <p>“Alex was a beloved member of the Snow Australia community and he will be dearly missed.”</p>

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Young mother’s coronavirus test leads to devastating cancer news

<p>A young mother who feared she had COVID-19 has learned that her cancer had returned and spread through her body.</p> <p>Beth Pitt-Roche, 26, from the English county of Suffolk, took two coronavirus tests earlier this year after struggling with a cough and cold.</p> <p>The tests returned negative, but an X-ray and CT scan showed that Beth’s breast cancer came back and is now in her lungs, spine, hips and liver.</p> <p>The mother-of-two was first diagnosed with invasive HER2 breast cancer in 2017. After going through chemotherapy and recovering from her first diagnosis, she underwent a double mastectomy towards the end of last year in an attempt to eliminate the risk of the cancer returning.</p> <p>She started developing respiratory symptoms two weeks after the mastectomy, and was told in April that the cancer was back.</p> <p>“[The doctors] told me without treatment I had up to eight months left to live – it was indescribable,” Beth told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/news/human-interest/young-mothers-coronavirus-test-leads-to-heart-wrenching-cancer-diagnosis-c-1151432">7News</a></em>.</p> <p>“I couldn’t catch my breath, but I didn’t cry.</p> <p>“All we have as a family is the day ahead now, and that’s how we live our lives. I don’t want to dwell on what I can’t change.”</p> <p>Beth is now having targeted therapy, which doctors expect could help prolong her life expectancy by at least five years.</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/CBsPU2fHI5_/?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/CBsPU2fHI5_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Beth Pitt-Roche (@thepittrochediaries)</a> on Jun 21, 2020 at 1:57am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She is also raising funds for a family therapy dog, an idea which she said was inspired by Netflix series <em>After Life</em>.</p> <p>“During lockdown, we binge-watched <em>After Life</em> on Netflix, in which a man, played by Ricky Gervais, loses his wife to cancer,” she said.</p> <p>“The only thing that keeps him going is her dog, Brandy. It was amazing seeing how much the dog helped him cope.”</p> <p>She decided to carry out the idea following a discussion with her husband Nick. In late June, her friend Karis Nurse launched a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/Make-a-Warrior-of-Cancers-dream-come-true?utm_source=customer&amp;utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&amp;utm_medium=copy_link-tip">GoFundMe page</a> with a £3,500 goal to purchase the dog.</p> <p>“Knowing that the family will have the unconditional love of a devoted dog when I’m not here is a reassuring thought,” Beth said.</p>

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Marc Fennell apologises for “appalling” disability joke

<p>SBS host Marc Fennell has apologised after joking about genetic conditions on <em>The Project </em>last Thursday.</p> <p>The 35-year-old has faced backlash following his comments during a segment on an American vlogger making beans on toast.</p> <p>“Every time she posts a video I’m like, ‘Are you missing a chromosome? Like, what has happened to you?’” he said.</p> <p>A missing chromosome is a disorder that can lead to genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome.</p> <p>Former AFLW player and <em>Survivor Australia </em>contestant Moana Hope, whose sister Lavinia has Möbius syndrome, condemned Fennell’s comment.</p> <p>“Lavinia’s missing a chromosome and so many other people are missing chromosomes and I cannot believe he decided to use it as an example of dumb and stupid,” Hope said in an Instagram video.</p> <p>She wrote in the caption: “You don’t get to bully and discriminate against people with special needs and think it’s ok coz you got a ‘laugh’ on a national TV.”</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCNhvdmAHas/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CCNhvdmAHas/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Two different people are watching this same clip. One is missing a chromosome and the other is labeled as ‘normal’. But after the clip is finished you need to watch both reactions. One of them is Bullying and discriminating against people with special needs and monosomy. The other one says ‘ yeah it’s nice, the lady is lovely’. Yet he is labeled as NORMAL and she is used in a sentence to describe what he thinks is someone who is ‘stupid, dumb and not all there’. This 💩 needs to stop. @marcfennell you don’t get to bully and discriminate against people with special needs and think it’s ok coz you got a ‘laugh’ on a national TV. And to the people on the panel that did laugh shame on you. @theprojecttv this is unacceptable behaviour that needs to be seen to. This has offended more people then you can imagine. #needstostop #notfunny #itsmean #theproject</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/moanahope/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Moana Hope</a> (@moanahope) on Jul 4, 2020 at 12:14am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>On Sunday, Fennell issued an apology over the “stupid, hurtful” comment on his social media pages, saying he was not aware the chromosome joke was related to genetic disorders.</p> <p>“I went on [<em>The Project</em>] and offhandedly said something which I have since realised was an appalling ableist comment,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Pretty much the moment I got off air I’ve been trying to personally respond to everyone who has messaged me. It felt like the right thing to do. To really read, listen and respond to the many parents, siblings of and disabled and neurodiverse people who messaged me.</p> <p>“Words matter. My words matter. Ableism like this is not what I’m about and I hope you believe that I can and will do better.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMarcFennellOnline%2Fposts%2F3503125196388172&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;height=868&amp;appId" width="552" height="868" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Fennell thanked Hope for calling him out. “She was and is absolutely right to call this stuff out.”</p>

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"Dying of starvation": Public housing residents break down in tears after nine towers are forced into lockdown

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Public housing residents in Melbourne have broken down in tears as they claim that food supplies are dangerously low and people could die from starvation. </p> <p>Nine towers in Flemington and North Melbourne have been locked down in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus with 3,000 people unable to leave their apartments for any reason for at least five days.</p> <p>The Melbourne government has said that it has distributed 3,000 meals, 1,000 food hampers and 250 personal care packs to residents and the charity FareShare has provided more than 3,000 prepared meals and 4,500 pastries.</p> <p>Debbie Harrison, who is caring for her 83-year-old mother Ivy at a housing unit in North Melbourne has said that they have only been given four sausage rolls to eat in 48 hours.</p> <p>"They are just going to go in the bin, we're not touching them," Ms Harrison told <a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/north-melbourne-public-housing-residents-trapped-without-food-in-coronavirus-lockdown/461251f2-bd6b-4d94-b8e9-4b7d2ba61f6a" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink">A Current Affair</a>.</p> <p>"Yesterday, I was fine. Today, it's just not fair."</p> <p>Her mother is more worried about her children and great-grandchildren.</p> <p>"I want things to be what they used to be, I've never known anything like this in my 83 years, never," she said. </p> <p>Other residents say they have been left in the dark when it comes to supplies and testing.</p> <p>"There's been no communication, they don't tell you anything," resident Brian told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/you-couldn-t-eat-it-food-for-tower-residents-left-in-corridors-as-deliveries-delayed-20200706-p559h6.html" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink">The Sydney Morning Herald</a>. </p> <p>Meals have been delivered but have been left in the corridors and eventually have turned rotten.</p> <p>"I can't eat it because I'm no gluten or anything like that, but the other people - you couldn't eat it, no way," he said. </p> <p>Fresh groceries have been donated by Coles and delivered by firefighters and police officers, which is a relief to residents.</p> <p>"It's a relief, even if people aren't being told about it. But there's still a lot of uncertainty and still a low of people worried," he said.</p> <p>Victorian Council of Social Services CEO Emma King said that she is concerned that culturally appropriate meals were not being provided by the government.</p> <p>"We need to make sure we're hearing directly from the residents on the estate around what they need and making sure we deliver on that," she told AAP.</p> <p>She also noted that residents were given copies of the public health orders or "detention directives" but the wording has sparked confusion over the term "lockdown" which could last as long as 14 days.</p> <p>"Any of us, to have police on your doorstep, handing a detention notice we can't understand, it would be really frightening," she said.</p> <p>"It is a very fine, precarious balance. We need to save lives first and foremost but we need to make sure people get the support that they need and they aren't terrified through the process."</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Sikhs deliver free meals to Melbourne public housing residents

<p>Sikh volunteers have served 1,325 meals to residents of the Melbourne housing estates who were placed under sudden coronavirus lockdown.</p> <p>More than 3,000 people have remained locked inside their flats after the Victorian Government imposed a hard lockdown on nine public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne, which applies until at least Wednesday.</p> <p>The Sikh Volunteers Australia team arrived at the buildings on Sunday evening to serve free food to the tenants with the help of Victoria Police and Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.</p> <p>The volunteers delivered the meals with no contact. “We are not making any direct contact with anyone. We leave food on the table, people come there one by one and take food from there,” an organiser said, as quoted by the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8492361/Sikhs-serve-1-325-free-meals-housing-commission-residents-coronavirus-lockdown-Melbourne.html">Daily Mail</a></em>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsikhvolunteers.australia%2Fposts%2F3741851949177260&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;height=416&amp;appId" width="552" height="416" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The volunteer group is set to continue the food delivery today.</p> <p>It has previously provided food relief for communities across Victoria, including during <a href="https://www.sikhvolunteersaustralia.org/2020/02/05/australia-day-awards-of-holt-and-latrobe-2/">bushfire</a> crises.</p> <p>Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne said he was “overwhelmed by the compassion” of people who sought to support the towers’ tenants.</p> <p>“Presently my phone is running off the hook with people saying, ‘how can we help?’,” Wynne told reporters on Sunday.</p> <p>“From the Lord Mayor of Melbourne to the City of Moonee Valley [and] Trades Hall, many numbers of people have said ‘we want to be able to help’.”</p> <p>At least 27 COVID-19 cases have been identified across the towers.</p> <p>The area is being monitored by 500 police officers per shift, <em><a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/a-group-of-3-000-melburnians-have-been-locked-down-in-public-housing-towers-but-how-will-authorities-manage-it">SBS News</a> </em>reported. Royal Melbourne Hospital staff are also knocking doors to get every resident tested.</p> <p>“I want to thank people personally for their profound sacrifice – by staying home and getting tested, you are making a real difference in keeping our state safe,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.</p>

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MasterChef's Melissa Leong reveals her secret health condition

<p><span><em>Masterchef Australia</em> host Melissa Leong has opened up about her secret health battle with an autoimmune condition called Pyrrole disorder.</span></p> <p><span>Speaking to Who magazine, Melissa admitted that after years of suffering anxiety she was diagnosed with the stress-induced disorder a few years ago.</span></p> <p><span>She says it took her nine months to recover from it.</span></p> <p><span>“I was extremely unwell and couldn’t work,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>“I’m in an incredible place right now, but I'm mindful every day to prioritise my health. I've learned — the hard way — not to push myself to the point where I break.”</span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836792/melissa-leong-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8e99304db04041068019fba342994735" /></span></p> <p><em>Melissa opened up about her the disorder she suffered with. </em></p> <p><span>Pyrrole disorder can cause major mood changes and happens when there are too many Pyrrole molecules in your body.</span></p> <p><span>The excess molecules can make it hard for your body to absorb essential nutrients such as zinc and vitamin B6.</span></p> <p><span>It is often linked to other mental conditions like anxiety.</span></p> <p><span>The disease can cause physical symptoms such as memory problems and hair loss.</span></p> <p><span>Through a “correct diagnosis” and taking supplements, Melissa was able to “slowly get better.”</span></p> <p><span>However, she says there were days that made her condition even more incredibly difficult.</span></p> <p><span>“There was a time where I'd have to psych myself up for days just to walk to the end of my street to buy groceries, which was not a very good state of affairs at all, to be honest with you,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>Melissa is loving every minute of hosting role on Channel 10’s <em>MasterChef</em>, saying that she is “so grateful” to be a part of it.</span></p>

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Prince Harry's moving message for the 2020 Diana Awards

<p><span>Last month, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, spoke out against the death of George Floyd during her commencement speech for her former high school’s graduation.</span></p> <p><span>Since then, she and her husband, Prince Harry, have become more vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement, and in a newly released video, Harry made his own strong statement against racism.</span></p> <p><span>In what would have been Princess Diana’s 59th birthday, it was also the annual presentation of the Diana Awards, established in the memory of the late royal.</span></p> <p><span>The awards recognise the youth for their social or humanitarian work, as Diana believed young people could change the world.</span></p> <p><span>In a video recorded for the awards, Prince Harry asked young people to help repair the current ills in our society and praised what the recipients had already accomplished.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Prince Harry recorded a video for the <a href="https://twitter.com/DianaAward?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DianaAward</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2020DianaAwards?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#2020DianaAwards</a> taking place today (on what would be Princess Diana’s 59th birthday).<br />In it, he says institutional racism is still “endemic” in our societies and has pledged that he and Meghan will be “part of the change” needed. <a href="https://t.co/5tbE263b3k">pic.twitter.com/5tbE263b3k</a></p> — Omid Scobie (@scobie) <a href="https://twitter.com/scobie/status/1278352027953893376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <p><span>"I am so incredibly proud to be part of these awards because they honour the legacy of my mother and bring out the very best in people like you," the Prince said. "You all are doing such incredible work, and at a time of great uncertainty you have found the power and inspiration inside of you to make a positive mark on the world."</span></p> <p><span>Harry mentioned how his mother would have felt a feeling of admiration for the recipients as she knew what they did was necessary and important, even though it was difficult.</span></p> <p><span>"I can assure you [Diana] would have been fighting in your corner," Harry noted. "Like many of you she never took the easy route, or the popular one, or the comfortable one, but she stood for something and she stood up for people who needed it."</span></p> <p><span>The Prince then began talking about issues related to the current climate, as the world has been protesting against racial discrimination.</span></p> <p><span>In his statement, Harry followed in his wife’s footsteps and mentioned that society has not yet done enough to combat these issues.</span></p> <p><span>"My wife said recently that our generation and the ones before us haven’t done enough to right the wrongs of the past," Harry said. "I too am sorry—sorry that we haven't got the world to the place that you deserve it to be."</span></p> <p><span>The Prince continued, calling out the racism still ever-present today. "Institutional racism has no place in our societies yet it is still endemic," he said. "Unconscious bias must be acknowledged without blame to create a better world for all of you."</span></p> <p><span>Harry then finished off his speech by asking young people, especially the recipients of the Diana Award, to continue fighting for a more equitable and fair society. He also verified his own commitment to these causes.</span></p> <p><span>"I want you to know that we are committed to being part of the solution and to being part of the change that you are all leading," Prince Harry said. "Now is the time and we know that you can do it."</span></p>

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How legendary mime Marcel Marceau saved Jewish children from the Nazis

<p>Marcel Marceau is remembered as a legendary mime artist who delighted audiences for decades as the character Bip the Clown and inspired Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.</p> <p>But he is also a Holocaust survivor who risked his life to help hundreds of Jewish children and adults escape Nazi-occupied France.</p> <p>Marceau’s story is told in <em>Resistance</em>, a new film starring Jesse Eisenberg and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz.</p> <p>In an interview with <em>Mirror</em>, Jakubowicz said he was not aware of Marceau’s feat until he began researching the mime’s life for the scriptwriting.</p> <p>“I had no idea that he was Jewish or that he saved children in the war, that he found his art through the very act of saving children,” Jakubowicz said.</p> <p>“I felt like if that is the story behind him it needed to be told.”</p> <p>Jakubowicz tracked down Marceau’s cousin Georges Loinger, who recruited the performer into the Jewish Boy Scouts of France and French Resistance to entertain and soothe the children orphaned from the 1938 riots.</p> <p>“The Jewish Boy Scouts … suddenly had to take care of 123 orphans. They’re crying, they’re desperate and they are traumatised,” Jakubowicz said.</p> <p>“They only had Yiddish as the common language because the kids were German and Austrian and these guys were French.”</p> <p>Marceau – who had been miming in theatres at the time – agreed to help the orphans, finding ways to make them laugh with routines such as walking against the wind and passing a hand over his face to switch from ‘happy’ to ‘sad’.</p> <p>Marceau led Jewish children across the Alps to the Swiss border on three trips to prevent them from being sent away to labour camps. He also helped them survive with his mime.</p> <p>“The kids had to appear like they were simply going on vacation to a home near the Swiss border, and Marcel really put them at ease,” Loinger told the <em>Jewish Telegraph Agency </em>in 2007.</p> <p>Marceau mimed to keep the children calm when their papers were checked by the Nazi soldiers and to encourage them to <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/world/how-mayonnaise-sandwiches-saved-kids-from-nazis-20091128-jxwq.html#ixzz3tWDGsdXc">stay quiet as they were escaping</a>.</p> <p>In <a href="https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?cc=mqr;c=mqr;c=mqrarchive;idno=act2080.0041.111;g=mqrg;rgn=main;view=text;xc=1">a 2001 lecture</a> Marceau spoke about his father, who died in Auschwitz.</p> <p>“If I cry for my father, I have to cry for the millions of people who died,” he said. “Destiny permitted me to live. This is why I have to bring hope to people who struggle in the world.”</p> <p>Marceau passed away aged 84 on September 22, 2007.</p> <p>Jakubowicz spoke of his film: “It is important for moviegoers to see how much worse the world was not so long ago but also how much better it can get.”</p>

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"We've all beanie waiting!" Carrie Bickmore is back

<p><span>Carrie Bickmore has uploaded an adorable throwback photo with her daughter that will melt (or break) your heart.</span></p> <p><span>The co-host of </span><em>The Project</em><span> shared a heartwarming photo with her daughter, Evie, which was taken at the 2015 Logie Awards when she was just a newborn.</span></p> <p><span>She then posted a recent photo of herself with now grown up Evie from her Beanies 4 Brain Cancer campaign photo shoot.</span></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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CB__JVKnPz3/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CB__JVKnPz3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">From this...to this...👧 It really does go so fast 😔 The love just grows and grows 😍 No wonder old people(I am now in this category!) are always saying it goes so quickly. It really does. xx</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/bickmorecarrie/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Carrie Bickmore</a> (@bickmorecarrie) on Jun 28, 2020 at 6:00pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>“From this...to this...,” Bickmore wrote. “It really does go so fast. The love just grows and grows. No wonder old people (I am now in this category!) are always saying it goes so quickly. It really does. xx”.</span><br /><span>The post comes after Bickmore announced the relaunch of her popular Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative after a disappointing setback earlier in the year.</span></p> <p><span>In April, Bickmore was forced to put her 2020 campaign on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the restrictions made it impossible for fundraising to continue.</span></p> <p><span>“We are so bummed, we’ve been working so hard and have hundreds of thousands of beanies waiting get on your beautiful heads,’’ she told her nearly one million followers on Instagram, adding, “Unfortunately corona has thrown up too many challenges at this point.”</span></p> <p><span>But on Wednesday, the mum-of-three announced that her “beanies are back” after working out a way to bring them back.</span></p> <p><span>Since announcing the relaunch, Carrie’s post has been inundated with comments supporting the TV star for her initiative.</span></p> <p><span>“Can’t wait @bickmorecarrie – well done on your tireless work,” TV presenter Sally Obermeder wrote.</span></p> <p><span>“We’ve all beanie waiting for this,” wrote Zoe Foster Blake.</span></p> <p><span>“Can’t wait to get this. They look beautiful as always,” tennis star Jelena Dokic said, while radio host Ryan Fitzgerald added “great news”.</span></p> <p><span>Beanies and caps – which retail for $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids – are available through Cotton On or by visiting Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer.</span></p>

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Duchess Meghan reaches out after 18-year-old woman was set on fire in alleged hate crime

<p>The Duchess of Sussex has spoken with an 18-year-old biracial woman who was allegedly set on fire in a hate crime.</p> <p>Duchess Meghan spoke with Althea Bernstein in a 40-minute phone call on Saturday to offer support and talk about self-care and being biracial, said Michael Johnson, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County.</p> <p>Bernstein, a college student from Wisconsin, USA, was driving on Wednesday morning when she was stopped at a red light and heard a “racial epithet” yelled out, the <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/27/us/wisconsin-hate-crime-investigation/index.html">police report</a> said.</p> <p>“She looked and saw four men, all white. She says one used a spray bottle to deploy a liquid on her face and neck, and then threw a flaming lighter at her, causing the liquid to ignite,” the report stated.</p> <p>The young woman was able to put out the flames and drive home. She later reported the incident to the police and received treatment for her face and neck burns at hospital.</p> <p>Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway described the incident as a hate crime the following day.</p> <p>“This is a horrifying and absolutely unacceptable crime,” she said in a statement.</p> <p>“While we are still learning more about the details, current information suggests this may have been a premeditated crime targeted toward people of colour, which makes the incident even more disturbing.”</p> <p>Bernstein was connected to the Duchess through Johnson, who has been acting as the teenager’s spokesman.</p> <p>“[The Duchess] applauded her for the way that she responded and pretty much said, ‘Hey Michael, give me her cell phone number. I want to stay in touch. And let me know when you want me to come back and talk to people in Wisconsin’,” Johnson told <em><a href="https://www.channel3000.com/michael-johnson-speaks-with-prince-harry-meghan-markle-about-madison-protests/">Channel 3000</a></em>.</p> <p>“Meghan lifted her spirits.”</p> <p>Johnson shared that Prince Harry joined the call for about 10 minutes and that the Prince spoke with Bernstein about the importance of young people’s voices.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">On the phone with Prince Harry and Meghan Markel the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry shared that young people voices matter and Meghan has agreed to talk with girls in Wisconsin and we will be scheduling that soon. Thank you for caring! <a href="https://t.co/FoVs6ewRgo">pic.twitter.com/FoVs6ewRgo</a></p> — Michael Johnson (@MJohnsonCEO) <a href="https://twitter.com/MJohnsonCEO/status/1276994890078064640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Meghan and Harry have been talking to community leaders about ways to contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, <em><a href="https://people.com/royals/meghan-markle-calls-althea-bernstein-hate-crime-victim/">PEOPLE</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>“They are holding calls with community leaders and organizations but are doing that privately as they continue to see how they can play a role. But they also want to learn and talk about it like the rest of us,” a source told the outlet.</p>

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"Rockstar bride" helps victims of car crash in wedding dress

<p>Newlyweds Calvin and Rachel Taylor got the shock of their lives after witnessing a three-car pile up while driving home from their wedding.</p> <p>Calvin is beyond thrilled with his "rockstar bride" who didn't hesitate to help as they drove past the accident.</p> <p>“My rockstar of a bride gets out of the car, wedding dress and all, and rushes over to help while I called 911,” Mr Taylor wrote on Tuesday.</p> <p>Rachel is a qualified nurse and jumped out of the wedding car to assist a woman the couple saw being pulled from the wreck and was bleeding badly.</p> <p>Calvin said his wife calmed down the injured woman and applied first aid until authorities arrived and took over.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcalvin.taylor.39501%2Fposts%2F2934027680053194&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;height=619&amp;appId" width="552" height="619" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“Rachel held this woman and talked to her so nicely and helped her as well as the paramedics that came later. She held her for at least 15 minutes until the EMTs (emergency medical technicians) got her on a stretcher,” he wrote.</p> <p>Rachel didn't seem to mind her dress being on the concrete ass he helped the victim of the car crash.  </p> <p>“I am so blessed to have a wonderful wife who will always take care of people who need it, and we’re blessed that we were able to be in the right place at the right time to make a difference,” Mr Taylor continued.</p> <p>“I can’t wait for a hospital to scoop her up so she can make a difference in people’s lives every day. I am so proud of my wife,” he said.</p> <p>The newlyweds are now on their honeymoon, but Calvin is "still blown away" by how his wife remained calm and was able to help "in a scary situation".</p> <p><em>Photo credits: </em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/calvin.taylor.39501/posts/2934027680053194" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink">Calvin Taylor / Facebook</a></em></p>

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Coronavirus Victoria: Army goes door-to-door for hotspot testing

<p>Hundreds of troops are descending on Victoria to doorknock COVID-19 hotspots and offer residents free testing.</p> <p>On Thursday morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said residents could expect to see doorknockers “inviting them to come and get a free test, whether they be symptomatic or asymptomatic”.</p> <p>Half of the residents of Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs – suburbs with the highest number of community transmission cases – will be tested over the next three days, <em><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/coronavirus-victoria-army-to-door-knock-melbourne-hotspot-suburbs-to-offer-free-covid-19-testing/ar-BB15WtKB?li=AAaeSy5">The Guardian</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>The Premier said the “army” of doorknockers will expand in the coming days to other hotspot suburbs of Hume, Casey, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.</p> <p>“Rather than waiting for an unsustainable number of community transmissions to become known, we are going to go out and literally door-to-door we are bringing the public health and coronavirus response to your doorstep, if you are in these worst-affected suburbs,” Andrews said.</p> <p>The Victorian Government adjusted the number of Australian Defence Force personnel it requested from the Federal Government from more than 1,000 to 150 on Thursday, <em><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-australian-defence-force-called-to-assist-with-rising-infection-numbers/e554e198-da66-4d07-ae5a-1ec4e2509964">9News</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>The ADF planned to provide support in testing sites, logistics and transporting laboratory samples and travellers to hotel quarantine.</p> <p>Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds told 3AW Radio on Thursday the troops were “well trained and well prepared to deal with all of the required health measures”.</p> <p>More than 1,000 public health workers have also begun doorknocking the hotspot suburbs to raise awareness about coronavirus and government guidelines to multicultural and linguistically diverse communities.</p> <p>The efforts came as the state recorded the first Australian death in a month.</p>

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Liz and Damian Hurley break their silence on Steve Bing's confirmed suicide

<p><span>Liz Hurley has shared a heartfelt message about her ex-partner, Steve Bing, who was found dead in Los Angeles at just 55-years-old.</span><br /><br /><span>Bing, who made his mark as a filmmaker, was best known for his work on movies including Kangaroo Jack, which he co-wrote, and for financing films including The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks.</span><br /><br /><span>He was the father of Hurley’s 18-year-old son Damien after the pair dated for 18 months in 2000 and 2001.</span><br /><br /><span>Sharing a gallery of pictures of them when they were a pair, she said she will remember her ex-partner as a “sweet, kind man”.</span></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/CBxghm9l1xU/?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/CBxghm9l1xU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Elizabeth Hurley (@elizabethhurley1)</a> on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:03am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>“I am saddened beyond belief that my ex Steve is no longer with us. It is a terrible end,” she wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“Our time together was very happy and I’m posting these pictures because although we went through some tough times, it’s the good, wonderful memories of a sweet, kind man that matter.</span><br /><br /><span>“In the past year we had become close again. We last spoke on our son’s 18th birthday. This is devastating news and I thank everyone for their lovely messages.”</span><br /><br /><span>Their son Damian also shared his own message.</span><br /><br /><span>He posted a snap of a sunset on Instagram and thanked everyone for their messages during a “very strange and confusing time.”</span></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/CBxlAsAF5Fl/?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/CBxlAsAF5Fl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Damian Hurley (@damianhurley1)</a> on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:43am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has reached out following the devastating news,” it read.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’m trying to reply to as many of you as I can, but please know I will always remember your kindness.</span><br /><br /><span>“This is a very strange and confusing time and I’m immensely grateful to be surrounded by my phenomenal family and friends.”</span><br /><br /><span>Former US president Bill Clinton also took to social media to share a few words about his friend.</span><br /><br /><span>“I loved Steve Bing very much. He had a big heart, and he was willing to do anything he could for the people and causes he believed in,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I will miss him and his enthusiasm more than I can say, and I hope he’s finally found peace.”</span><br /><br /><span>The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed they were investigating the death of a man found in Century City.</span><br /><br /><span>The coroner said a man was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.10 pm local time on Monday.</span><br /><br /><span>Bing was destined for great things when he dropped out of Stanford at just 18, after inheriting a whopping US$600 million from his grandfather, Leo S Bing, who was a successful real estate developer.</span><br /><br /><span>His Hollywood career skyrocketed when he co-wrote the 2003 comedy Kangaroo Jack while reportedly investing $US80 million in the 2004 animated film The Polar Express.</span><br /><br /><span>Bing was the founder of Shangri-La Entertainment, an organisation which had interests in property, construction, entertainment and music.</span><br /><br /><span>His name is listed on the Giving Pledge website, a project launched in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.</span><br /><br /><span>The pledge asks the super-rich to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.</span></p>

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Generous gesture found in second-hand car leaves woman stunned

<p><span>A mum who has been “dealing with a lot” was brought to tears when an envelope filled with cash dropped onto her lap from the sun visor of a second-hand car she had just purchased.</span></p> <p><span>Jen Willis received the heartwarming gift on June 19 after suffering from a few tough months of separating from her husband and getting through the coronavirus pandemic as a school principal with kids of her own to care for. </span></p> <p><span>Ms Willis, from Daylesford in Victoria, discovered the car privately after selling the family’s two previous vehicles, but was disheartened after hearing another prospective buyer was scheduled to view it before her.</span></p> <p><span>Ms Willis, who also lives with multiple sclerosis, negotiated with the seller by revealing the recent struggles she faced and offered a deposit.</span></p> <p><span>“It was the exact car I wanted as it was in my budget and had all the safety features to feel confident driving my kids around. I asked if he would consider selling it to it me unseen if I paid a deposit straight away,” she told </span><em>Yahoo News Australia.</em></p> <p><span>“I think he was worried as he wanted me to have seen it [before buying it], but could also see how much I wanted it and maybe needed it given all I had going on.”</span></p> <p><span>And it paid off, as the sellers agreed to hold the vehicle for her which she said may have had something to do with them seeing she was “dealing with a lot”.</span></p> <p><span>After finalising the sale, Ms Willis sat in her new car ready to drive it home, and as she pulled down the sun visor an envelope fell onto her lap containing $150.</span></p> <p><span>“This is a random act of kindness. Please use to spoil your family in a way that makes you happy. Just felt it in my heart to do for you in what sounded like a challenging time for you,” a note on the envelope read.</span></p> <p><span>She messaged the sellers saying, “Thank you so very much! Brought tears to me!,” and they replied saying, “You’re welcome Jen”.</span></p> <p><span>Overwhelmed by the incredibly kind gesture, the mum posted her story to a Facebook group dedicated to sharing random acts of kindness when she got home.</span></p> <p><span>“Needless to say, I teared up instantly with this incredible thoughtfulness,” part of her post read.</span></p> <p><span>Ms Willis said she would use the money to “treat my boys and I to dinner out in Daylesford”.</span></p>

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Duchess Catherine tears up as she makes an emotional vow

<p>Duchess Catherine made a heartwarming promise to the family of a young boy who was cared for by her patronage East Anglia Children's Hospices.</p> <p>The clip was posted to social media where the Duchess of Cambridge alongside Duchess Camilla spoke to those involved with the hospice via video chat.</p> <p>Duchess Kate shared a special moment with one family in particular and made a pledge of her own for their late son.</p> <p>In the video, Duchess Kate is speaking to Stuart and Carla Delf with their 13-year-old son Stuie.</p> <p>Stuie ran a sponsored 5K every day last month in memory of his brother Fraser who passed away in January at the young age of 9.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">To mark the start of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChildrensHospiceWeek?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChildrensHospiceWeek</a>, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge joined a video call with three children’s hospices.<br /><br />Join us in thanking all those involved in children’s hospices 👏<br /><br />Watch the full video ➡️ <a href="https://t.co/WV5KCd5XvZ">https://t.co/WV5KCd5XvZ</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KensingtonRoyal</a> <a href="https://t.co/kyUmXA1nY1">pic.twitter.com/kyUmXA1nY1</a></p> — Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClarenceHouse/status/1275179534481047560?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 22, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Speaking about the Hospice that looked after Fraser, Kate said: "Children's hospices go that extra mile actually and support families like yourselves, I think it's extraordinary."</p> <p>Fraser's mother, Carla said: "The care was amazing, not just towards Fraser, making sure he was comfortable, but our wellbeing was met."</p> <p>Stuart, Fraser's father, later revealed that Duchess Kate had pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser, confirming it would be planted at "one of the hospices".</p>

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Panic buying returns to supermarkets due to spike in COVID-19 cases

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>As a recent spike in coronavirus cases hits Victoria, there are signs that panic buying has returned to Melbourne supermarkets.</p> <p>Shoppers have started stocking up on essential items and food as there are fears that tough new restrictions will be imposed to stamp out the virus.</p> <p>Victoria has recorded its seventh consecutive day of a double-digit increase in cases on Tuesday, with Premier Daniel Andrews confirming 17 new cases being identified overnight.</p> <p>A Woolworths spokesperson has confirmed that some stores have experienced "elevated demand" for toilet paper.</p> <p>“We’ve seen elevated demand for toilet roll in a handful of Melbourne stores today,” the spokesperson said to <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/panic-buying-returns-to-australia-following-spike-in-coronavirus-cases-c-1120668" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink"><em>7News.com.au.</em></a></p> <p>“We have plenty of stock to draw on in our distribution centres and will replenish shelves in those stores quickly.</p> <p>“We’ll continue to keep a close eye on stock levels in the coming days, and ask customers to buy only what they need.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Trav_Roebuck?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Trav_Roebuck</a> thought you may appreciate this picture. Panic buying is back <a href="https://t.co/kBLQtG6TsT">pic.twitter.com/kBLQtG6TsT</a></p> — Melbourne Girl (@BelindaI) <a href="https://twitter.com/BelindaI/status/1275391053554565120?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 23, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>In March, supermarkets experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for toilet paper as panicked shoppers stripped the shelves of stock.</p> <p>Woolworths alone sold a shocking 39.7 million rolls a week mid-March at the peak of panic buying.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Australia has failed miserably on energy efficiency – and government figures hide the truth

<p>Amid the urgent need to slow climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency makes sense. But as Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/21/chief-scientist-joins-calls-for-australia-to-dramatically-boost-energy-efficiency">last week warned</a>, we’re not “anywhere close to having that nailed”.</p> <p>Energy efficiency means using less energy to achieve the same outcomes. It’s the <a href="http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/verve/_resources/TCI_BoostingAustraliasEnergyProductivity_July2013.pdf">cheapest way</a> to cut greenhouse gas emissions and achieve our climate goals. Improving energy efficiency is also vital to achieving so-called “energy productivity” – getting more economic output, using the same or less energy.</p> <p>But Australia’s <a href="https://www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-productivity-and-energy-efficiency/national-energy-productivity-plan">national energy productivity plan</a>, agreed by the nation’s energy ministers in 2015, has gone nowhere.</p> <p>It set a goal of a 40% improvement in energy productivity by 2030. But my analysis, based on the most recent official data, shows that in the three years to 2017-18, energy productivity increased by a mere 1.1%.</p> <p>Clearly, there is much work to do. So let’s take a look at the problem and the potential solutions.</p> <p><strong>Energy efficiency: a low-hanging fruit</strong></p> <p>Better energy efficiency lowers electricity bills, makes businesses more competitive and helps manage energy demand. Of course, it also means less greenhouse gas emissions, because fewer fossil fuels are burnt for energy.</p> <p>Business, unions and green groups recognise the benefits. Last month they joined forces to <a href="https://www.bca.com.au/building_a_stronger_and_cleaner_post_pandemic_australia">call for</a> a sustainable COVID-19 economic recovery, with energy efficiency at the core, saying:</p> <p><em>In Australia, a major drive to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and industry could deliver over 120,000 job-years of employment […] Useful upgrades could be made across Australia’s private and public housing; commercial, community and government buildings; and industrial facilities.</em></p> <p>The group said improvements could include:</p> <ul> <li>more efficient and controllable appliances and equipment, especially for heating and cooling</li> <li>improved shading and thermal envelopes (improving the way a building’s walls, ceiling and floors prevent heat transfer)</li> <li>smart meters to measure energy use</li> <li>distributed energy generation and storage, such as wind and solar backed by batteries</li> <li>fuel switching (replacing inefficient fuels with cleaner and economical alternatives)</li> <li>equipment, training and advice for better energy management.</li> </ul> <p>The International Energy Agency (IEA) has suggested <a href="https://www.iea.org/news/iea-offers-world-governments-a-sustainable-recovery-plan-to-boost-economic-growth-create-millions-of-jobs-and-put-emissions-into-structural-decline">other measures</a> for industry and manufacturing, such as:</p> <ul> <li>installing more efficient electric motors</li> <li>switching from gas to electric heat pumps</li> <li>more waste and material recycling.</li> </ul> <p>And in transport, the IEA suggests incentives to get older, less efficient cars off the roads and encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.</p> <p><strong>Governments’ sleight of hand</strong></p> <p>In 2018 <a href="https://www.iea.org/reports/energy-policies-of-iea-countries-australia-2018-review">the IEA observed</a>:</p> <p><em>the power sector will be at the heart of Australia’s energy system transformation […] International best practice suggests that both energy efficiency and renewable energy are key drivers of the energy transition.</em></p> <p>Since then, renewable energy’s share of the electricity mix has increased. But energy productivity has stalled.</p> <p>To understand how, we must define a few key terms.</p> <p><em>Primary</em> energy refers to energy extracted from the environment, such as coal, crude oil, and electrical energy collected by a wind turbine or solar panel.</p> <p><em>Final</em> energy is the energy supplied to a consumer, such as electricity delivered to homes or fuel pumped at a petrol station.</p> <p>A lot of energy is lost in the process of turning extracted primary fuels into ready-to-use fuels for consumers. For example at coal-fired power stations, on average, <a href="https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/04/f0/HS_Coal_Studyguide_draft1.pdf">one-third of the energy </a>supplied by burning coal is converted to electricity. The remainder is lost as waste heat.</p> <p>Until 2015, Australia and most other countries used final energy as a measure of how rapidly energy efficiency was improving. But the national productivity plan instead set goals around primary energy productivity – aiming to increase it by 40% between 2015 and 2030.</p> <p>This has made it possible for governments to hide how badly Australia is travelling on improving energy efficiency. I analysed <a href="https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:%22library/prspub/17I30%22">national accounts</a> figures and <a href="https://www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-data/australian-energy-statistics">energy statistics</a>, to produce the below table. It reveals the governments’ sleight of hand.</p> <p>Over the three years from 2014-15 to 2017-18, final energy productivity increased by only 1.1%, whereas primary energy productivity increased by 3.5%.</p> <p>The reduced primary energy consumption is mostly due to a large increase in wind and solar generation. The efficiency of energy used by final consumers has scarcely changed.</p> <p><strong>A sustainable future</strong></p> <p>The lack of progress on energy productivity is not surprising, given governments have shown very little interest in the issue.</p> <p>As Finkel noted in his address, Australia’s energy productivity plan is absent from the list of national climate and energy policies. The plan’s 2019 annual report has not been released. And those released since 2015 have not monitored progress in energy productivity.</p> <p>What’s more, the plan makes no mention of previous similar agreements, in <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd0910/10bd152">2004</a> and <a href="https://www.energyrating.gov.au/document/report-national-strategy-energy-efficiency">2009</a>, to accelerate energy efficiency with regulation and financial incentives. Since 2013, almost all Commonwealth programs supporting those agreements have been de-funded or <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5232">abolished</a>, and many state programs have also been cut back.</p> <p>The IEA’s <a href="https://www.iea.org/news/iea-offers-world-governments-a-sustainable-recovery-plan-to-boost-economic-growth-create-millions-of-jobs-and-put-emissions-into-structural-decline">sustainable recovery plan</a>, released last week, outlined what a sustainable global economic recovery might look like. In particular, it said better energy efficiency and switching to more efficient electric technologies will deliver triple benefits: increased employment, a more productive economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>In this carbon-constrained world, relatively easy and cheap opportunities such as energy efficiency must be seized. And as Australia spends to get its post-pandemic economy back on track, now is the time to act.</p> <p><em>Written by Hugh Saddler. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-has-failed-miserably-on-energy-efficiency-and-government-figures-hide-the-truth-123176">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Fairer fines for social security recipients

<p>Just when many thought the NSW Government didn’t have a heart, it has introduced a new policy that will enable residents who are struggling financially to have their fines halved.</p> <p>And the extra good news is that these are changes will take effect from 1 July 2020 and are meant to be permanent.</p> <p>The changes will apply fines collected by Revenue NSW, <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/frequently-asked-questions-about-traffic-cases/">including traffic, speeding</a> and parking fines, which could save people who are doing it tough, hundreds of dollars on fines, given that <a href="http://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/traffic/lawyers/">traffic offences</a> alone can cost hundreds of dollars, although demerit points will still apply.</p> <p>The new policy also covers police issued infringement notices for offences such as stealing, offensive behaviour, and intoxicated and <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-move-on-powers-penalise-the-vulnerable-review/">disorderly conduct.</a></p> <p>There are some exemptions, including voting-related fines, jury duty fines and fines issued to body corporates.</p> <p><a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/coronavirus-nsw-residents-on-centrelink-can-get-a-50-per-cent-discount-on-fines/news-story/52d2087887c757a896b21db1bfa25209">The reforms will also allow more flexibility</a> around payment of fines, meaning that people can set up a payment plan at any time – previously payment plans were only considered when a fine was overdue.</p> <p>Who is eligible?</p> <p>Anyone who receives Centrelink payments is eligible to have their penalty payment reduced, including anyone currently receiving the JobKeeper payment which was introduced by the Federal Government as part of its <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/covid-19-social-controls-an-authoritarian-wet-dream-in-progress/">COVID-19 </a>economic stimulus package.</p> <p>However, the fifty percent reduction doesn’t automatically apply. Revenue NSW will conduct an initial assessment to see whether the fine can be paid in full on a payment plan, or resolved through a work development order, which allows people to reduce their fines in exchange for unpaid work or participation in courses or treatment programs.</p> <p>Many NSW residents are doing it tough</p> <p>The changes reflect the fact that the NSW Government has recognised that a lot of people are in financial hardship, not just as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but as a result of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/too-little-too-late-morrison-will-mourn-bushfire-victims/">bushfires </a>and droughts too. And for many people, fines only lead to further financial disadvantage and perpetuates the cycle of never-ending poverty.</p> <p>Two million Australians in poverty… and the number is rising</p> <p>A Productivity Report issued in 2015-16 counted 2.2 million Australians in poverty, with people in single-parent families, unemployed people, people with disabilities and Indigenous Australians particularly likely to experience income poverty, deprivation and social exclusion.</p> <p>And the worrying part of this statistic is that in 2015-2016, Australia was on the back of two and a half decades of strong growth. Now, after devastating natural disasters and a global pandemic since then, the economy has flatlined, causing significant unemployment which will only add to the number of Australians finding themselves without enough money to get by.</p> <p>And, as the mental health experts keep pointing out, financial stress is one of the main causes of anxiety and depression which, when severe enough, can lead to lives spiraling out of control.</p> <p>Fines are big business for the NSW government. It collected $485 million in traffic and other fines in 2018-19. This is on top of the $221 million revenue raised through parking fines. This amounts to about 30% of the state’s income.</p> <p>But for many this will be a big relief, and the New South Wales government should be applauded for introducing sensible policy that puts people’s well-being ahead of government coffers.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/fairer-fines-for-social-security-recipients/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers. </a> </em></p>

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“Sitting there waiting to die”: Devastated granddaughter breaks down as she blasts Sydney nursing home

<p><span>The Sydney aged care home responsible for almost a fifth of Australia’s coronavirus deaths has been lashed for its “horrific” handling of a virus outbreak as grieving families call for answers.</span></p> <p><span>The outbreak which occurred at Newmarch House in western Sydney was declared over by NSW Health on June 15 but before that, families were forced to go through two months of trauma.</span></p> <p><span>The coronavirus crisis hit the aged care home and killed 19 people with 37 residents and 34 staff testing positive for the virus.</span></p> <p><span>Speaking to </span><em>Four Corners</em><span>, grieving families of the 19 Newmarch residents killed by the virus said their loved ones were left in heartbreaking and lonely situations in an apparent attempt to keep the outbreak contained.</span></p> <p><span>Nicole Fahey, the granddaughter of 76-year-old Ann Fahey, said she wouldn’t stop until her family was given answers.</span></p> <p><span>"They're sitting there waiting to die. They're hoping to not move them to hospital. How are they going to survive? Just sit there and get worse? Get them out," Ms Fahey told the program.</span></p> <p><span>"It's a no-brainer for any normal Australian."</span></p> <p><span>Ann was taken to Nepean Hospital – the only Newmarch House resident to be taken to hospital with coronavirus – a day after workers discovered her collapsed in her room with a fever and the virus.</span></p> <p><span>"The infection control at the ICU unit...what I saw, in comparison to that home and that room ... if that wasn't able to be facilitated at Newmarch, get them out," Ms Fahey said.</span></p> <p><span>"Why weren't they at the hospital? Why weren't they all in those ICU rooms? Give them a chance."</span></p> <p><span>Nicole revealed that she was taken to hospital only after she contacted the media with her story – but it was too late. </span></p> <p><span>Anne died hours later, her body taken over by the virus.</span></p> <p><span>"Her lungs were completely ravaged and damaged by COVID to the point where they weren't working either. And we just all stood there and we literally couldn't believe how fast that happened. She was having coffees and brunch, like, a few weeks before," Ms Fahey said.</span></p> <p><span>"She can't even have a coffee, and that was really hard. Any death is horrible, but I think with the poor communication that we had over the last month, there has to be an inquiry. This has to be looked into, because it shouldn't have happened."</span></p> <p><span>That is one of many cases as many distressed family members have complained about the negligent care the residents received.</span></p> <p><span>Addressing the criticism at the height of the home's virus outbreak, Anglicare Sydney CEO Grant Millard said it had been a "monumental challenge" to staff Newmarch House.</span></p> <p><span>"Getting that staff in there who know what they're doing, who are guaranteed to turn up, that is a day-by-day challenge," Mr Millard said in May.</span></p> <p><span>"We've reached out to not only our own agency supplies, but eight aged care agencies who do supply staff. We've gone to local hospitals, private hospitals, seeking to get more staff, and it has been a monumental challenge."</span></p> <p><span>After four people died at the home in one day, Mr Millard again grappled to offer his sympathies.</span><br /><span>"To see them dying so quickly in these circumstances, despite the best medical care and attention that's been given to them and with the full staffing we have on board now, it's still a situation of significant grief and trauma," he said in May.</span></p> <p><span>"At the end of the day, we are just one humble nursing home trying to look after people who we love and care for, and this is stretching everybody."</span></p> <p><span>It's believed the outbreak started after a staff member infected with the virus, but only showing very mild symptoms, continued to work.</span></p> <p><span>A total of 37 residents and 34 staff tested positive at the Anglicare-run facility in western Sydney while 19 residents died.</span></p> <p><span>"This extraordinary challenge also highlighted the compassion and dedication of our staff, some of whom had to self-isolate and others who continued to work in difficult and unprecedented circumstances to maintain the care of all our residents," an Anglicare spokesman said in a statement on June 15, after the outbreak was declared over.</span></p> <p><span>"While the outbreak is now over, the virus remains active within the community. Anglicare must remain vigilant in screening and infection control at Newmarch House, and across all our other aged care homes."</span></p>

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