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Planning a country escape these school holidays? 4 ways to avoid clogging up the emergency department

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-riley-1499452">Katherine Riley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebekkah-middleton-314433">Rebekkah Middleton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p>Winter school holidays are either here or coming up, depending on where in Australia you live. Maybe you’re planning a <a href="https://www.tra.gov.au/en/domestic/domestic-tourism-results">rural escape</a>.</p> <p>Rural tourism is crucial for job growth and sustainability of small rural towns. However, for rural emergency departments, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/am/holiday-medico-shortages-in-rural-and-remote-australia/103266540">school holidays</a> are often the busiest times.</p> <p>No-one plans a trip to the emergency department on holidays. But if you need health care, there are often other ways of accessing it than turning up at a rural hospital.</p> <p>Here’s why it’s so important to leave rural emergency departments for life-threatening illness or injuries, and some other options for seeking care.</p> <h2>We’re short of doctors and nurses</h2> <p>The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health">reports</a> a significant shortfall of nurses and specialist doctors in rural towns compared with staffing levels in big cities.</p> <p>This means many small rural emergency departments only have nurses on staff, with doctors on call or consulted remotely from a larger hospital.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755599X2300143X">study</a> published earlier this year, my colleagues and I discovered this dynamic was especially challenging for rural emergency nurses when critically ill patients presented.</p> <p>One nurse told us: "We need more staff. I mean, I look at these emergency TV shows, and you see them in Kings Cross at the big hospitals there or overseas, they get a phone call […] there’s a resus coming in. Everyone’s standing around the bed with all their signs on, the airway/circulation/team leader […] and here, we have two people. It’s just so different. It’s just a false sense of reality. It’s ridiculous."</p> <p>So emergency departments should be used for <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Hospitals/Going_To_hospital/Publications/keep-ed-emergencies.pdf">emergencies only</a>. These include:</p> <ul> <li>sudden collapse</li> <li>chest pain or pressure lasting more than ten minutes</li> <li>breathing difficulty</li> <li>serious mental health condition</li> <li>uncontrollable bleeding.</li> </ul> <p>When emergency departments are used responsibly, this can reduce the pressure on staff. It ensures the most seriously ill receive the care they need promptly.</p> <h2>What are my alternatives?</h2> <p>Here are four ways you and your family can be better prepared for your rural holiday and avoid an unnecessary visit to the emergency department.</p> <p><strong>1. Pack your scripts and medical history summary</strong></p> <p>Bring essential scripts and medications with you. This reduces the need to visit the local emergency department and ensures you have what you need during your stay.</p> <p>Do you have a chronic condition or have had a recent illness or surgery? Make sure you speak to your GP before you go. They can provide a medical health summary that includes your recent treatments and medications. Alternatively, if you have access to <a href="https://www.digitalhealth.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/my-health-record">My Health Record</a>, ask your GP to prepare a shared health summary and upload it to your record. If you need medical care, this summary will assist in a timely assessment.</p> <p><strong>2. Call Healthdirect, NURSE-ON-CALL or 13HEALTH depending on where you are</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-healthdirect-can-help-you">Healthdirect</a> is a 24-hour telephone health advice line (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria or 13HEALTH in Queensland). By calling the relevant number, you will be connected to a registered nurse who will ask a series of questions and provide evidence-based advice and guidance. The Healthdirect website also offers an interactive <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker">symptom checker</a> to advise whether you should see a GP, go to an emergency department, or manage your symptoms at home (or in this case, on holidays):</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au">Healthdirect</a> - 1800 022 222</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/nurse-on-call">NURSE-ON-CALL</a> (Vic) - 1300 60 60 24</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.qld.gov.au/health/contacts/advice/13health">13HEALTH</a> (Qld) - 13 43 25 84.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Need a GP? How about GP telehealth services?</strong></p> <p>For minor health concerns or non-urgent issues, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-emily-took-advantage-of-one-of-the-few-good-things-to-come-out-of-covid-20240507-p5fpg3.html">GP telehealth services</a> are a remote-access option that can be used when away from home. Before you go away, check with your GP to see if they offer a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/health-technologies-and-digital-health/about/telehealth">telehealth service</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Go to an Urgent Care Clinic</strong></p> <p>The Australian government has funded the opening of <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/find-a-medicare-ucc/about">Urgent Care Clinics</a> across the country. These clinics provide medical assessment and care for urgent illnesses or injuries. They have been created as a solution to divert people away from busy emergency departments. But these Urgent Care Clinics are not suitable for people experiencing emergency or life-threatening conditions.</p> <p>Urgent Care Clinics are ideal for illnesses and injuries that would require urgent treatment such as gastroenteritis, minor infections, lacerations and back pain. Check <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/find-a-medicare-ucc">here</a> to find your closest clinic.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Please keep the emergency department for life-threatening illnesses or injuries, and if needed, call 000 for an ambulance immediately.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232262/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/katherine-riley-1499452">Katherine Riley</a>, Lecturer, School of Nursing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebekkah-middleton-314433">Rebekkah Middleton</a>, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/planning-a-country-escape-these-school-holidays-4-ways-to-avoid-clogging-up-the-emergency-department-232262">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Domestic Travel

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School mourns after beloved teacher falls from roof

<p>A beloved former teacher is being remembered as an educator who “loved a laugh and to have fun” after he suffered critical injuries following a fall. </p> <p>Paul Hogan, 61, was reportedly retrieving balls from the roof of St Margaret Mary’s School in Spotswood, Melbourne when he fell 3m to the concrete ground at around 2:30 pm on Thursday. </p> <p>He suffered critical head injuries and was taken to hospital, where he died on Friday. </p> <p>It is reported that students were still at school and parents were on campus for parent-teacher interviews, when the incident occurred. </p> <p>Hogan worked as a teacher and principal at several schools across the city, with an extensive 36-year career in education. </p> <p>“We extend our sincere condolences to Paul’s family, friends and colleagues, and we hold all of those impacted in our hearts and prayers," Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools executive director Dr Edward Simons said. </p> <p>“Paul was a friend and mentor to many in our MACS community and he will be dearly missed.”</p> <p>Hogan had his first classroom teaching role in 1988. </p> <p>He retired in 2022, but continued to work as a part-time and casual relief teacher at  St Anne’s Sunbury, St Mary’s Ascot Vale, and St Margaret Mary’s Spotswood. </p> <p>Ascot Vale Panthers Junior Football Club said Hogan served as a “confidant, mentor and friend” to all who attended St Mary’s.</p> <p>“His infectious personality, energy and passion saw him loved by parents and students alike,” the club said.</p> <p>“Hoges was a tremendous supporter of the Ascot Vale Panthers Junior Football Club and the wider Ascot Vale community.”</p> <p>WorkSafe is investigating the incident. </p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS</em></p>

Caring

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What it's like to play the baddest opera villain in the world

<p>As we mark the 100th anniversary of Giacomo Puccini’s passing, Opera Australia is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the legendary Italian composer with two of his most celebrated works at the iconic Sydney Opera House this winter. Kicking off the season is Edward Dick’s five-star production of <em>Tosca</em>, which had its opening night on June 25.</p> <p>This electrifying new take on Puccini’s action-packed thriller is captivating audiences with its compelling narrative and intense emotional depth. <em>Tosca</em> unfolds over a swift 24-hour period, weaving a tale of passion and power, jealousy and betrayal, love and tragedy. It's a perfect introduction to opera for newcomers and a beloved classic for seasoned fans, promising an edge-of-your-seat experience.</p> <p>Renowned for his ability to breathe fresh life into classic works, Director Edward Dick has assembled an award-winning creative team to deliver a visually stunning production. Tom Scutt's set design brilliantly juxtaposes Renaissance grandeur with contemporary elegance, featuring a suspended gilded dome revealing a breathtaking Renaissance fresco. BAFTA-winning costume designer Fotini Dimou dresses the performers in chic, modern attire, while Lee Curran's stadium-style lighting adds a dramatic flair.</p> <p>The cast is equally stellar. Making her Opera Australia debut, Northern Irish soprano Giselle Allen has taken on the titular role of Tosca, sharing the stage with OA favourite Karah Son, who received critical acclaim for her performance in Melbourne.</p> <p>Joining them is Korean tenor Young Woo Kim, debuting at the Sydney Opera House as the love-struck painter Cavaradossi. The role of the villainous Scarpia will be portrayed for the first half of the show's run by Armenian dramatic baritone Gevorg Hakobyan, also making his OA debut, until award-winning local baritone Warwick Fyfe takes over the role for the second half of the run, beginning on July 31 until the run's conclusion on August 16.</p> <p>Over60 was thrilled to be given the chance to interview Fyfe in the lead-up to his Sydney performance. </p> <p><em><strong>O60: Firstly, by way of an introduction to Warwick Fyfe the Australian Helden bass baritone – can you summarise your career?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Fyfe: </strong>“In <em>Yes, Minister</em>, Sir Humphrey once – referring to Bernard – used the expression “a low flyer supported by occasional gusts of hot air”. I suppose I’m a bit like that. But I have a single major achievement, to wit: I’m still here! Over several decades I’ve seen hot shots come and go and change careers but I’m still earning a living at singing. Moreover, I think I might at last be getting the hang of it.” </p> <p><strong><em>O60: What is your history with this opera Tosca by Puccini?</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Fyfe: </strong>“I sang the Sacristan in the 1995 Victoria State Opera production. That was the start. The director John Copley was very supportive and taught me a lot. Also, I got to know the great John Wegner, having previously only seen him from the auditorium. He was a great influence even though he and I were very different. I’d watch him every night from the wings during Act 2. Then years later, having done countless Sacristans, I did a Scarpia of my own, taking over from John at the tail end of a season. Then in 2022 I was to sing Scarpia for West Australian Opera. Alas, the season was severely damaged when I caught Covid. I only did the first and last shows and not very well. This current production allows me at last to put my stamp on the role and do it properly. It went well in the Melbourne run.” </p> <p><em><strong>O60: How do you approach learning the role of Scarpia and connecting with a villainous character?</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Fyfe: </strong>“Tosca is very standard repertoire and additionally I was the Sacristan early in my career so that I had an osmotically acquired sense of the thing from early on. Also, the donkey work of learning and memorising the notes and words is a task of only moderate proportions with this role. So one just sits down at the piano and starts hacking away at it. </p> <p>“The other two bits of the equation (which can’t actually be separated) are the singing of the role and the inhabiting of the character. Vocally, it requires that I be at peak form. I can sing it much better than when I was young but it requires much more conscious effort to sustain it. My teacher Christina Henson Hayes has helped me enormously on that front. </p> <p>“Dramatically, it’s almost always possible to find in some dark recess of oneself something which is reflected in the character. Having found this way in, one can push it and stretch it and eventually pop out like a newborn into the new fictional world where that person lives. But equally important, especially for the in-the-round, creaturely and not at all stylised characters of verismo, one needs to have lived and absorbed that which is around one. Read good books, watch great actors – not in an ad hoc sense but generally. Be a cultural sponge. Make reading good books and watching great actors as constant and inevitable a part of life as eating. Read everything, listen to everything, observe everything. If the singer has no cultural hinterland, it is to be hoped that the director is a magician!” </p> <p><em><strong>O6O: You recently performed in this production in Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena – the first opera to be staged on the tennis court. How did you find that experience and will anything about your performance be different for the Sydney season?</strong></em></p> <p>“Well, it was lovely because all my colleagues were lovely. As well as all my Opera Australia chums, there were people new to me such as Nadine Benjamin and Young Woo Kim – people so warm and friendly, not to mention talented, that one feels almost abashed and instinctively tries in response to be the best colleague one knows how to be. </p> <p>“Nevertheless, I’m a traditionalist who believes that opera will always be better for all concerned in a conventional, properly appointed theatre. Opera singers do not like being miked. For me, however good the technicians, the sense of one’s sound being only partially in one’s own control is uncomfortable. On the other hand, feeling one’s voice commanding a huge space as if one were a Rabelaisian giant is quite thrilling and of course it opens up possibilities for the company commercially.” </p> <p><em><strong>O60: Opera Australia is presenting several Puccini works this year in celebration of the legendary composer as 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of Puccini’s death, so let’s chat about Puccini’s contribution to the world of opera. He was a champion of verismo; can you explain what that means? What should audiences expect from the performance?</strong></em></p> <p>“Verismo is simply realism. Characters presented in the round rather than as two-dimensional types or figures of heightened allegory. In place of a stylised, artificial or high-flown approach, the composers wished to present real people in plausible dramatic settings. Of course this presents an apparent contradiction because in real life we don’t sing at each other. However, in practice you can have your cake and eat it because the genius of Puccini, from a starting point of a verisimilitudinous situation and story, can take it to another plane of intensity and power. But the roots in reality are unbroken. That reality is in the DNA of every cell of the artwork which rises majestically from those roots. Hence the opera feels real despite the built-in artificiality of the art form. By contrast, a composer of another era and school might take his subject away from reality to a more rarefied place. Audiences should expect an intense, purely human drama.” </p> <p><em><strong>O60: Puccini is known for his innovative use of the orchestra and an expansive use of instruments; what should audiences be listening for when they come to Tosca?</strong></em></p> <p>“Different composers have their preferred palettes. This also varies on national as well as individual lines. As Puccini is the supreme figure in verismo, he IS the archetype so that I can answer the question in a circular way by saying that it will sound very Italian, very verismo. Lush, yes, but a Puccinian version thereof rather than a Straussian one. </p> <p>“There are also exquisite touches, sort of musical special effects used judiciously and sparingly enough so as not to seem gimmicky. For example, the bells and spoken Latin of the Te Deum or the distanced effect of the oratorio in Act 2. The arias are of course high points but much of the interest lies in the meat connecting those moments.” </p> <p><em><strong>O60: Which of Puccini’s works is your preferred or do you find one most revolutionary?</strong></em></p> <p>“For brutal intensity, <em>Tosca</em> represents the high-water mark, especially Act 2. I love the kaleidoscopic richness of <em>Turandot</em>. The story is horrible but this is not a negative if one accepts it as a fable which has different rules from those applying to a pungently realistic tale. Also, <em>Turandot</em> is structurally flawed because he didn’t finish it. It is, however, musically astonishingly good. If you said I had to see a Puccini opera tonight but I could choose which one, I’d definitely choose <em>La Fanciulla del West</em>. Not only is it a masterpiece, it doesn’t get done nearly enough.”</p> <p>---</p> <p>Don't miss this extraordinary celebration of Puccini's legacy. Whether you're an opera aficionado or a first-time attendee, this production of <em>Tosca</em> is set to be an unforgettable highlight of the cultural calendar. Get ready to be swept off your feet by the sheer drama, passion, and beauty of Puccini’s masterpiece. Visit <a href="https://opera.org.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">https://opera.org.au/</a> for more info.</p> <p><em>Images: Opera Australia</em></p>

Music

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Bombshell allegations in murder case of young school girl

<p>The man accused of murdering nine-year-old Charlise Mutten has claimed her mother was the one to pull the trigger. </p> <p>Justin Stein, 33, is facing trial for allegedly murdering Charlise in January 2022 at Mount Wilson, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.</p> <p>Nine-year-old Charlise was shot once in the head and once in the back, with her body recovered from a barrel dumped near the Colo River, four days after she was reported missing by her mother.</p> <p>On Monday, Stein formally pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has now alleged it was actually Charlise's mother who killed her and helped stuff her body in a barrel before lying to police. </p> <p>The court heard that Stein was in a relationship with Charlise's mother Kallista Mutten, as the pair met while both serving jail sentences. </p> <p>Both parties struggled with substance abuse, as Kallista had been using ice since she was in her early 20s, while Justin had been undergoing treatment for heroin addiction. </p> <p>Before the alleged murder, Stein and Kallista broke into a neighbour’s home near the Mount Wilson property, taking two firearms, crown prosecutor Ken McKay SC told the jury.</p> <p>Stein initially told police the girl may have been taken by unknown persons, but later told a corrections officer Kallista had shot and killed her daughter and that he had helped dispose of the body.</p> <p>According to Stein’s lawyer, Carolyn Davenport SC, Stein had been inside a shed on the Blue Mountains property when he heard a gunshot, and had gone outside to see Kallista shooting her daughter a second time.</p> <p>At the time of her death, Charlise was living with her grandparents at Tweed Heads, and had flown to Sydney on December 21st with plans to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with her mother and Stein.</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC / NSW Police </em></p>

Legal

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"A step too far": Grandparents barred from school event for bizarre reason

<p>A Melbourne school has come under fire for refusing to let a group of grandparents into the classroom for a special event because they did not have a Working With Children Check (WWCC). </p> <p>Furious grandparents have slammed St Joseph’s Primary School in Yarra Junction for taking it "a step too far" when they asked them to provide the WWCC after being invited to attend the “Inquiry Afternoon”. </p> <p>The event was held for year one and two students to speak about “technology and the world has changed over time”, according to <em>The Herald Sun.</em></p> <p>Grandparents were asked to provide a WWCC on the back of the invitation, which some of them missed. </p> <p>“The Working With Children Check isn’t set up for the one-off visit — it is a step too far,” founder of the National Grandparent Movement Ian Barnett told <em>Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>“I understand we’re living in a time when we want more checks and balances, but it is unrealistic to think that grandparents attending such a day would actually need to go and provide a Working With Children Check."</p> <p>The grandparents without a WWCC were forced to sit in the principal's office and do their show-and-tell via a video call. </p> <p>“I’m sure they had very good intentions — no one set out for this to happen,” <em>Herald Sun</em> education editor Susie O’Brien said. </p> <p>“But imagine turning up, arranging your entire week, your day to come to your grandchild’s event … and the child’s school refuses entry.”</p> <p>She added that although schools did have some discretion over such requirements, when a group of people are invited for a specific event, it is usually not required. </p> <p>Barnett also said that "for such visits you don’t need a Working With Children Check,” in most states. </p> <p>“I haven’t heard of this in NSW. I have to admit, I’m from NSW. So it is really going a bit extreme. Schools do have the right to decide who comes onsite. But it just seems it’s not required.</p> <p>“To actually drag the child out from the classroom to sit with nana or grandad, it’s a step too far and embarrassing, I think, for the school as well.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for the primary school acknowledged that although there was some confusion, the school had to comply with the child safe standards. </p> <p>“There was advance notice to all St Joseph’s families on this requirement, with 29 grandparents signing in on Friday with a working with children clearance," they told the Herald Sun. </p> <p>“We acknowledge the disappointing experience of the four grandparents who couldn’t attend the grandparents’ day and are attempting to call these families this morning.”</p> <p><em>Images: Sunrise/ The Herald Sun</em></p>

Legal

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Judge finds Bruce Lehrmann raped Brittany Higgins and dismisses Network 10 defamation case. How did it play out?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-clift-715691">Brendan Clift</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Bruce Lehrmann has lost his defamation suit against Channel Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson after the media defendants proved, on the balance of probabilities, that Lehrmann raped his colleague Brittany Higgins in Parliament House in 2019.</p> <p>After a trial lasting around a month, Federal Court Justice Michael Lee – an experienced defamation judge – concluded that both Lehrmann and Higgins had credibility issues, but ultimately <a href="https://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2024/2024fca0369">he was persuaded</a> that Lehrmann raped Higgins, as she’d alleged and he’d denied.</p> <h2>Criminal trials by proxy</h2> <p>Ordinarily, charges like rape would be resolved through the criminal courts, but Lehrmann’s criminal trial was <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-27/jury-discharged-in-trial-of-bruce-lehrmann-brittany-higgins/101583486">aborted</a> in October 2022 after juror misconduct. The charges against him were soon <a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/courts-law/bruce-lehrmann-sexual-assault-charge-dropped-dpp-confirms/news-story/3f82dd388d2cfa38680f7d4f4ceb1c5e">dropped</a>, nominally over concerns for Higgins’ mental health.</p> <p>Higgins, however, foresaw civil proceedings and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/dec/05/brittany-higgins-volunteered-to-be-defamation-trial-witness-as-she-would-not-let-rapist-become-a-millionaire-ntwnfb">offered to testify</a> should they arise. That they did, as Lehrmann, free from the burden of any proven crime, sued several media outlets for defamation over their reporting into the allegations (<a href="https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/online-files/lehrmann">the ABC</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/dec/06/abc-agrees-to-pay-bruce-lehrmann-150000-to-settle-defamation-claim-court-documents-reveal">News Corp</a> both settled out of court).</p> <p><iframe class="flourish-embed-iframe" style="width: 100%; height: 550px;" title="Interactive or visual content" src="https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/17195035/embed" width="100%" height="400" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" sandbox="allow-same-origin allow-forms allow-scripts allow-downloads allow-popups allow-popups-to-escape-sandbox allow-top-navigation-by-user-activation"></iframe></p> <div style="width: 100%!; margin-top: 4px!important; text-align: right!important;"><a class="flourish-credit" href="https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/17195035/?utm_source=embed&amp;utm_campaign=visualisation/17195035" target="_top"><img src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/made_with_flourish.svg" alt="Made with Flourish" /></a></div> <p>Like Ben Roberts-Smith’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/dismissed-legal-experts-explain-the-judgment-in-the-ben-roberts-smith-defamation-case-191503">recent defamation suit</a> against the former Fairfax papers, this became another case of civil proceedings testing grave allegations in the absence of a criminal law outcome.</p> <p>The form of proceedings made for some key differences with the aborted criminal trial. In criminal cases, prosecutors are ethically bound to act with moderation in pursuing a conviction, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, while defendants have the right to silence. By contrast, this trial featured detailed accounts from both sides as each sought to convince, in essence, that their contentions were likely to be correct.</p> <p>Also like the Roberts-Smith case, live streaming of the trial generated very high levels of public engagement. Today’s stream reached audiences of more than 45,000 people. It gave us the chance to assess who and what we believe, and to scrutinise the parties’ claims and the media’s reporting. The Federal Court doesn’t have juries, but we, the public, acted as a de facto panel of peers.</p> <p>We saw accusations and denials, revealing <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-23/bruce-lehrmann-defamation-trial-network-ten-lisa-wilkinson-ends/103260752">cross-examination</a> of the protagonists, witness testimony from colleagues, CCTV footage from nightclubs to Parliament House complete with lip-reading, expert testimony on alcohol consumption and consent, and lawyers constructing timelines which supported or poked holes in competing versions of events.</p> <p>The complexity of high-stakes legal proceedings was on display, with Justice Lee issuing many interim decisions on questions of procedure and evidence. Whenever transparency was at stake, it won.</p> <p>The preference for full disclosure led to the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/law/2024/apr/02/bruce-lehrmann-defamation-trial-network-10-fresh-evidence-bid-lisa-wilkinson-brittany-higgins-delay-ntwnfb">case being re-opened</a> at the eleventh hour to call former Channel 7 producer Taylor Auerbach as a witness, providing a denouement that the judge called “sordid”, but which had little relevance to the final result.</p> <h2>An argument over the truth</h2> <p>Lehrmann had the burden of proving that the defendants published matter harmful to his reputation. That matter was Wilkinson’s interview with Higgins on Channel Ten’s The Project in which the allegations were made.</p> <p>A statement is only defamatory if it’s untrue, but in Australian law, the publisher bears the burden of proving truth, should they opt for that defence. And more serious allegations usually require more compelling proof, as the law views them as inherently more unlikely.</p> <p>This can be onerous for a defamation defendant, but it also involves risk for the plaintiff, should the defendant embark on an odyssey of truth-telling yet more damaging to the plaintiff’s image. That happened to <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-65717684">Ben Roberts-Smith</a> and it happened to Lehrmann here.</p> <p>On the other hand, if the media hasn’t done their homework, as in <a href="https://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2023/2023fca1223">Heston Russell’s case</a> against the ABC (also presided over by Justice Lee), the complainant can be vindicated.</p> <p>This case was a manifestation of Lehrmann’s professed desire to “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/oct/26/how-bruce-lehrmanns-media-interviews-cost-him-his-anonymity-in-toowoomba-case">light some fires</a>”. Few players in this extended saga have emerged without scars, and here he burned his own fingers, badly.</p> <p>As Justice Lee put it, Lehrmann, “having escaped the lion’s den [of criminal prosecution], made the mistake of coming back to get his hat”.</p> <h2>How was the case decided?</h2> <p>Lehrmann denied having sex with Higgins, whereas Higgins alleged there had been non-consensual sex. The defamatory nature of the publication centred on the claim of rape, so that was what the media defendants sought to prove.</p> <p>This left open the curious possibility that consensual sex might have taken place: if so, Lehrmann would have brought his case on a false premise (there had been no sex), but the media would have failed to defend it (by not proving a lack of consent), resulting in a Lehrmann win.</p> <p>That awkward scenario did not arise. The court found sex did in fact take place, Higgins in her heavily-inebriated and barely-conscious state did not give consent, and Lehrmann was so intent on his gratification that he ignored the requirement of consent.</p> <p>Justice Lee found Lehrmann to be a persistent, self-interested liar, whereas Higgin’s credibility issues were of lesser degree, some symptomatic of a person piecing together a part-remembered trauma. The judge drew strongly on the evidence of certain neutral parties who could testify to incidents or words spoken in close proximity to the events.</p> <h2>Defamation laws favour the aggrieved</h2> <p>Australian defamation law has historically favoured plaintiffs and, despite recent <a href="https://www.ruleoflaw.org.au/civil/defamation/2021-law-reform/">rebalancing attempts</a>, it remains a favoured legal weapon for those with the resources to use it.</p> <p>This includes our political class, who sue their critics for defamation with unhealthy frequency for a democracy. In the United States, public figures don’t have it so easy: to win they must prove their critics were lying.</p> <p>In Australia, the media sometimes succeeds in proving truth, but contesting defamation proceedings comes at great financial cost and takes an emotional toll on the journalists involved.</p> <p>Nor can a true claim always be proven to a court’s satisfaction, given the rules of evidence and the fact that sources may be reluctant to testify or protected by a reporter’s guarantee of confidentiality.</p> <p>But this case demonstrates that publishers with an appetite for the legal fight can come out on top.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225891/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brendan-clift-715691"><em>Brendan Clift</em></a><em>, Lecturer of law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/judge-finds-bruce-lehrmann-raped-brittany-higgins-and-dismisses-network-10-defamation-case-how-did-it-play-out-225891">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Bruce Springsteen helps a fan skip school for his concert

<p>Bruce Springsteen has helped a fan skip school to attend his concert. </p> <p>While performing in San Francisco on his world tour, The Boss paused his performance to sign an absentee note for a fan who had missed class to attend the show. </p> <p>The fan, who was at the front of the barricade, held up a sign that read: "Skipping school. Sign my note?"</p> <p>Another concertgoer then captured the moment the 74-year-old rocker signed the note to a round of applause and cheers from his band and the crowd.</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=476&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Freel%2F794567008756785%2F&show_text=false&width=267&t=0" width="267" height="476" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"That is so awesome. Put tears in my eyes. A true hero," someone wrote in the comments on the Facebook video.</p> <p>"This is the best excuse note a teacher is ever going to see!!" another added.</p> <p>"So cool, Bruce is one of the true talent and a great man of many excuses," a third wrote.</p> <p>The adorable fan interaction comes just weeks after Springsteen returned to the stage for the first time in months after undergoing a lengthy health battle. </p> <p>Springsteen was forced to postpone his 2023 tour with the E Street Band after taking time off to recover from a peptic ulcer disease.</p> <p>Taking to the stage in Phoenix, Arizona, in the first show of the tour, he told the crowd mid-show, "Phoenix, first I want to apologise if there was any discomfort because we had to move the show last time...I hope we didn't inconvenience you too much."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Music

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"First day of school": Charles Spencer shares unseen snap of Diana

<p>Charles Spencer has shared a previously unseen photo from his school days with his late sister Princess Diana. </p> <p>The sweet photo shows a young Charles and Diana in their school uniforms standing side by side on what was their first day of primary school in 1968.</p> <p>Earl Spencer, 59, captioned the photo, "My first day of school, in September 1968: my father took this photograph of me and my sister, Diana, just before he drove us to Silfield, a really lovely primary school in King's Lynn, Norfolk."</p> <p>"The headmistress was Miss Jean Lowe, a warm and thoughtful lady who loved her boys and girls."</p> <p>"I was there till 1972, when I headed off to the place I call - in my memoir - A Very Private School."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5TfsiIoQL8/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5TfsiIoQL8/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Charles Spencer (@charles.earl.spencer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Three years after the photo was taken, Charles was separated from his sister to attend a boarding school, Maidwell Hall Prep School.</p> <p>Throughout the Spencer children's schooling life, Diana was always "very protective" over her brother and "just wouldn't settle" in class until she knew he was okay. </p> <p>Charles told <a title="HELLO!" href="https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/516378/charles-spencer-shares-poignant-childhood-anecdote-princess-diana/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>HELLO</em>!</a> that he and Diana had a unique bond when they were growing up. </p> <p>"My mother [Frances] left home when we were young – I was two or three, and Diana would have been five or six – so we were very much in it together," he said.</p> <p>Diana soon fell into a caretaker role, and would look after her brother after their mother left. </p> <p>"Diana looked after me because she was nearly three years older than me," Charles Spencer said.</p> <p>"She said that the worst part was hearing me cry down the hall because she was terrified of the dark and couldn't come to me."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Elite school headmaster resigns in the wake of damning exposé

<p>The headmaster at an elite Sydney school has resigned after a damning exposé about historic toxicity and sexism within the school. </p> <p>Cranbrook School headmaster Nicholas Sampson announced his resignation on Thursday night after an emergency meeting was called to discuss the serious allegations made by former staff members in an episode of <em>Four Corners</em>.</p> <p>In the damning episode, former staffers shared their experiences of the "toxic boys's club" and systemic sexism in the school, which the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/elite-school-teacher-blackmailed-for-naked-photos-by-student" target="_blank" rel="noopener">female teachers</a> allege was swept under the rug by the headmaster and his deputy.</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">In a statement to the school community on Friday morning, the council said, "The circumstances of the matter and subsequently Mr Sampson's failure to disclose the matter to the current School Council in the context of this week's ABC <em>Four Corners</em> broadcast, have led to an irrevocable breakdown of trust between the Headmaster and the School Council."</p> <p class="paragraph_paragraph___QITb" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1rem; font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">"The School Council communicated this to Mr Sampson and this morning received his resignation."</p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">The council said it, "deeply regrets the distress to our students, our staff, our parents, our alumni and the broader Cranbrook family arising from the current circumstances".</span> </p> <p>Sampson's resignation comes after <span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">revelations he kept a teacher on staff after discovering he sent multiple graphic emails to a former female student. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">The teacher in question was still working at Cranbrook this week and had recently been promoted. Cranbrook confirmed on Friday he is now on immediate leave pending an investigation.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Image credits: Cranbook School</span></em></p>

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Elite school teacher blackmailed for naked photos by student

<p>A teacher at an elite boys' school has opened up about her experience in the "toxic boys' club" that led to her being threatened by a student. </p> <p>Jasmin Hyde was a maths teacher at the elite Cranbrook School in Sydney's Bellevue Hill when she was blackmailed by one of her students in June 2020, according to ABC's <em>Four Corners</em>. </p> <div id="story-primary" data-area="story-primary"> <div> <p>A student at the school attempted to blackmail the female teacher, demanding she send him nude photos or he would accuse her of sexual assault. </p> <p>The incident is just one of a number of claims made on <em>Four Corners</em> about the allegedly toxic culture at Cranbrook School, one of the country’s most prestigious institutions where tuition costs up to $46,000 per year.</p> <p>The student in question was suspended and chose to leave the school for good, and later wrote an apologetic letter to Ms Hyde.</p> <p>“I have caused so much hurt and disappointment to you, my teachers and the wider school community, my friends and my family,” he said in the letter. </p> <p>But Ms Hyde was not happy with the school’s response, and took her complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.</p> <p>“In my experience, Cranbrook did not have a safe, inclusive and supportive culture for me and its female teaching staff,” she told the commission in October 2023.</p> <p>“That must change. It must change for my sake, and it must change for the sake of your current and future teaching staff, and the many young girls who are about to embark on their studies at Cranbrook.”</p> <p>According to Ms Hyde, she was taken to a cafe by the headmaster and his deputy after she made the claims against the student, to which the deputy head of school suggested it was no surprise she received attention from the boys because she was good-looking.</p> <p>“Justifying sexual harassment empowers future abuse,” she told the commission.</p> <p>“This is the standard that Cranbrook management condones, the tone from the top — that young, attractive women at your school should not only expect but tolerate sexual harassment. I wonder how the parents of your future female students would feel about this.”</p> <p>Cranbrook reportedly apologised, saying in a statement the deputy never intended to offend and was “sorry if [he] has done so”.</p> <p>In the hours after the <em>Four Corners</em> program aired, Cranbrook School Council issued a statement saying it was “concerned by the allegations raised” in the program but “remains fully supportive of the headmaster and the school’s leadership”.</p> <p>“Cranbrook takes all allegations of abuse, and its duty of care to its students, extremely seriously and follows relevant and mandatory reporting processes in relation to these matters,” Cranbrook School Council president Geoff Lovell said.</p> <p>“We acknowledge survivors and their stories. No school is ever exempt from scrutiny or, where deserved, criticism. We offer sympathy to the grievances aired by former staff.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: ABC / Google</em></p> </div> </div>

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Play School star's heartbreaking health update

<p>Trisha Goddard, who was the host of <em>Play School</em> in the 1990s, has shared a devastating health update. </p> <p>The 66-year-old revealed that her breast cancer - which she was first diagnosed with in 2008 - has returned, and this time it's terminal. </p> <p>“It’s not going to go away,” Goddard revealed to <em>HELLO!</em> magazine.</p> <p>“And with that knowledge comes grief, and fear.</p> <p>“But I must keep enjoying what I have always enjoyed.”</p> <p>The English TV presenter shared that she found out that she had stage four cancer 19 months ago, but only just decided to make the news public. </p> <p>“I won’t hide it anymore,” she said, after sharing that her illness had become more apparent. </p> <p>“I can’t lie. I can’t keep making up stories.</p> <p>“It gets to a stage, after a year and a half, when keeping a secret becomes more of a burden than anything else.”</p> <p>Following the interview, Goddard took to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3f_eJmvZbk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Instagram</a> to share an updated photo of her with a cropped blonde hairstyle. </p> <p>"Doing this is tough. .." she began in the caption.</p> <p>"I’ve been keeping a difficult secret for 19 months now, but like my new hairstyle – I can’t hide it anymore." </p> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their support for the TV personality. </p> <p>“You look beautiful Trisha. Only wish this image was accompanying brighter news,” one fan wrote. </p> <p>“Sending you strength, ease and all you need to get through this again 🖤.”</p> <p>“I saw your pic and thought how amazing you look ... which tells me all your good energy is going to get you through this,” another added. </p> <p>“You’re an inspiration, Trisha you’ve got this.”</p> <p>Goddard hosted<em> Play School </em>between 1987 and 1998 alongside Colin Buchanan. </p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS</em></p>

Caring

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Family of missing Ballarat woman suspect foul play

<p>The family of missing Ballarat woman Samantha Murphy have shared their theories behind the 51-year-old's disappearance, believing foul play may have been involved. </p> <p>Samantha was last seen 12 days ago, in the early hours of the morning on February 4th when she went out for her daily run. </p> <p>Now, Samantha's aunt and uncle have shared their theories on their niece's disappearance, both suggesting she may have been abducted. </p> <p>"It's just like she's gone off the face of the Earth. There's nothing," Janice Robson, Samantha's aunt, told <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13085895/Samantha-Murphy-missing-Ballarat-family-break-silence.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail Australia</a></em>. </p> <p>"I would say that somebody would have been watching her. I can't think it would be anything else."</p> <p>Mrs Robson said police had not been forthcoming with any information about the investigation other than what is already known among the general public. </p> <p>"Any information (the police) have they'll sit on it. They don't want to spook anyone," Allan Robson said.  </p> <p>Their comments come just hours after Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton confirmed detectives now believe Ms Murphy's disappearance is suspicious, ramping up their investigation. </p> <p>Mr Robson said his niece was financially secure and pondered whether someone may have hurt her in a robbery gone wrong, saying "Mick [Samantha's husband] had so many cars he couldn't fit them in his garage."  </p> <p>"I don't think it's an opportunist. I think it's been someone who has been stalking her. Someone who she didn't even know was stalking her."</p> <p>He also went on to suggest the alleged stalker knew her patterns and daily routines, explaining why she went missing during her morning run. </p> <p>The elderly couple said Ms Murphy was a clever and careful person who had the ability to defend herself if someone attempted to harm her. </p> <p>"She would have put up a bloody good fight," Allan said. </p> <p>"And I think if she suspected something, I don't think she'd hang about. She was a runner. She would have got out of that area," Mrs Robson added. </p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News / Victoria Police </em></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font" style="font-size: 16px; margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.16px; font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif;"> </p>

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Retailer pulls "creepy" and "disturbing" ad for school uniforms

<p>H&M has removed a school uniform ad in Australia after social media users slammed the retailer for sexualising children. </p> <p>The ad, which a few social media users have screenshot before it was removed,  features  two young girls in school uniform looking back at the camera with the caption: "Make those heads turn in H&M's Back to School fashion." </p> <p>Users on X, formerly known as Twitter, slammed the ad calling it it "creepy" and "disturbing", and sharing their own stories about "being ogled" at school. </p> <p>"What is your intention with this sponsored Facebook ad?" Australian writer Melinda Tankard Reist, whose work addresses sexualization and the harms of pornography, shared on X. </p> <p>"Little schoolgirls generally don't want to 'turn heads.' The large numbers I engage with in schools want to be left alone to learn and have fun and not draw unwanted attention to their appearance."</p> <p>"The little girls parents generally prefer heads don't 'turn' when others see their daughters walking to school, on a bus or in class," she continued. </p> <p>"Why would you want to fuel the idea that little girls should draw attention to their looks, bodies and 'style'?"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hm?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hmaustralia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hmaustralia</a> what is your intention with this sponsored Facebook ad? Little schoolgirls generally don’t want to “turn heads”. The large numbers I engage with in schools want to be left alone to learn and have fun and not draw unwanted attention to their appearance 1/ <a href="https://t.co/DDwv42GeNz">pic.twitter.com/DDwv42GeNz</a></p> <p>— Melinda TankardReist (@MelTankardReist) <a href="https://twitter.com/MelTankardReist/status/1747866459836158415?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 18, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Another user wrote: "This is really disturbing.</p> <p>"I remember being cat called whilst waiting for the bus in my school uniform. It made me feel unsafe." </p> <p>"Girls go to school to get an education, not to be jeered at by onlookers," they concluded. </p> <p>The Swedish fashion giant has since removed the ad and apologised for the campaign. </p> <p>"We have removed this ad," they told CNN. </p> <p>"We are deeply sorry for the offence this has caused and we are looking into how we present campaigns going forward."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Foul play suspected in tragic death of TV star's 15-year-old niece

<p dir="ltr">Police are investigating the death of TV star Audrina Patridge’s 15-year-old niece, after her cause of death was revealed to be a drug overdose. </p> <p dir="ltr">Young Sadie passed away in February just nine days after her 15th birthday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Police are still looking into the exact manner of how the teenager died, as they are investigating different avenues of how the drugs entered her system.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sources have been trying to figure out how the teenager got her hands on narcotics, adding that police have learned that she allegedly used Snapchat to procure Percocet that was laced with fentanyl.</p> <p dir="ltr">Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug, which can be up to 100x stronger than typical opioid drugs like morphine. </p> <p dir="ltr">Fentanyl, a very fast acting medication, is a prescription drug used during surgeries and prescribed for very severe pain, often in late-stage cancers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite being an effective pain reliever, Fentanyl is also manufactured illegally and may be sold as powder, fake pills or mixed in with other illicit drugs, like heroin, with this combination being especially deadly.</p> <p dir="ltr">Audrina, known for her role on <em>The Hills</em>, shared the heartbreaking news in February that her niece had passed away in a 10-slide Instagram tribute.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My heart hurts to even write this. My beautiful niece is now in heaven,” she captioned the slide show that looked back on cherished memories.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know it’s not goodbye forever, but it is the hardest to say goodbye for now. We will miss you and cherish every single moment we had with you. Rest in peace Say Say!! We love you forever &amp; ever!”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

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Elite school under fire over comments about Lilie James' suspected killer

<p>The recent <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/slain-st-andrew-s-staffer-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">murder of 21-year-old Lilie James</a> at St Andrew's Cathedral School in Sydney has raised profound questions about the nature of violence, the portrayal of perpetrators and the responsibilities of our educational institutions.</p> <p>What made this tragedy even more unsettling was a newsletter written by Dr John Collier, headmaster of the Shore School in North Sydney, <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">first <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-04/sydney-school-principal-lilie-james-murder-criticised-newsletter/103062628" target="_blank" rel="noopener">published by the ABC</a>, </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">in which he described the suspected murderer, Paul Thijssen, as "an absolute delight" and "not a monster". This statement has sparked a wave of controversy and calls for reflection within the community.</span></p> <p>The horrifying incident that unfolded at St Andrew's Cathedral School last week sent shockwaves throughout the community. The life of a promising young woman was abruptly cut short, and the alleged perpetrator, her former boyfriend Paul Thijssen, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/lilie-james-grieving-family-breaks-silence-as-body-is-found-in-manhunt-for-suspect" target="_blank" rel="noopener">was found dead</a> after an extensive police search. Dr Collier, who had served as headmaster of St Andrew's between 2010 and 2022, knew Thijssen during his time there and described him as a "fine student, a prefect, a role model".</p> <p>In his newsletter titled "Looking in the Face of Savagery", Dr Collier wrestles with the apparent contradiction between the image of Thijssen as a seemingly normal and well-adjusted young man and the heinous act he committed. Dr Collier's description of Thijssen as "an absolute delight" and "not a monster" has ignited a fierce debate about the language used to describe individuals who commit such acts of violence.</p> <p>"What is chilling about the tragedy which unfolded at St Andrew's, the shock and grief of which will cascade for a long time, is that the young man concerned was, in everybody's estimation, an absolute delight," Dr Collier wrote. "He appeared to be just like the best of us. An hour before he committed the atrocity, he was speaking in a relaxed, friendly mode with staff at that school.</p> <p>"He was not a monster; rather, in the last five hours of his life, he committed a monstrous act which was in complete contradiction to what everyone who knew him observed in the rest of this short life.</p> <p>"What led to his mental disintegration? Was it a psychotic episode which was deeply out of character?"</p> <p>Sexual consent advocate Chanel Contos pointed out to the ABC that this incident is symbolic of a more extensive problem that must be addressed. She argues that the normalisation of violence must be confronted and that we cannot simply classify such individuals as anomalies. Contos emphasises the importance of instilling a culture of respect and accountability, particularly within educational institutions.</p> <p>Schools like St Andrew's and Shore play a vital role in shaping the values and behaviours of young people. Shore acknowledged the criticism surrounding Dr Collier's newsletter and emphasised its commitment to building "good men" through character development programs that promote respect for women. However, this incident serves as a stark reminder that there is still much work to be done in addressing issues related to toxic masculinity, entitlement and violence.</p> <p>Lilie James's tragic death serves as a painful reminder of the urgent need to challenge harmful stereotypes, address toxic behaviours, and hold individuals accountable for their actions.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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All-girls Catholic school bans same-sex couples from formal

<p dir="ltr">An all-girls Catholic school in the Sydney suburb of Kingsgrove has refused to let same sex couples attend the year 12 formal together, prompting widespread outrage. </p> <p dir="ltr">Students at St Ursula’s College have been vocal in their disapproval of the rule, banding together to form a petition to let same sex dates attend the end of year dance.</p> <p dir="ltr">The petition on <a href="https://www.change.org/p/allow-same-sex-couples-at-st-ursula-s-school-formal?source_location=petitions_browse">Change.org</a> has already racked up thousands of signatures in a matter of weeks, after being created by concerned student Abbie Frankland, who labelled the policy “discriminatory”.</p> <p dir="ltr">In her petition, Ms Frankland expressed the sentiments of the LGBTQ+ community at the school, voicing her concern for the exclusionary rule. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My girlfriend and I, along with many other students at St. Ursula’s in Kingsgrove NSW, Australia, have been eagerly awaiting the school formal for months,” she wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve purchased non-refundable tickets and outfits in anticipation of this event. However, we’ve recently discovered that the school does not allow same-sex couples to attend the formal together.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The policy also ignited a fire within the student body to push for change.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In Australia, 61.6 percent of people voted ‘Yes’ in a national survey on marriage equality, showing widespread support for LGBTQ+ rights across the country,” Ms Frankland added, referencing the Australian Bureau of Statistics. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Yet, despite this clear public sentiment towards inclusivity and acceptance, schools like St Ursula’s continue to uphold discriminatory policies.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The petition, which has racked up over 2,000 signatures so far, calls for the school to realign itself with the broader values of inclusivity and equality. </p> <p dir="ltr">It also calls on the college to allow all students, regardless of sexual orientation, to bring their chosen partner to the school formal at the end of the year. </p> <p dir="ltr">“By signing this petition, you’re standing up against discrimination and supporting equal rights for all students at St Ursula’s School in Kingsgrove, NSW, Australia,” Ms Frankland said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Some parents have also called for the ban to be lifted, noting that the harsh rule has put unnecessary stress on students as they are dealing with their HSC exams. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s totally taken the kids’ focus off the HSC,” a concerned mother told Ben Fordham Live on 2GB. </p> <p dir="ltr">The mother said her daughter planned to take another girl to the formal, saying that, “She automatically was upset - crying in the car,” when she found out about the ban. </p> <p dir="ltr">Fordham was quick to point out a flaw in the school’s policy, pointing out that the woman’s 18-year-old daughter could legally marry a woman but not take one to her formal.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another parent also called into the radio show, saying, “It’s 2023 – what’s going on?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Google Maps</em></p>

Legal

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Young female staffer found dead in school bathroom

<p>A woman's body has been found in the bathroom of St Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney, just before midnight on Wednesday. </p> <p>The grim discovery was made after emergency services were called to the scene following reports of concern for the woman's welfare. </p> <p>The woman is yet to be identified but she is believed to be in her 20s and a staff member at the school.</p> <p>"The woman's death is being treated as suspicious; however, a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death," police said in a statement.</p> <p>Police are reportedly also looking for her male colleague who went missing near The Gap at Vaucluse, according to <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>A crime scene has been established at the school and is currently being forensically examined, with the school closed up until Friday. </p> <p>A second crime scene has been established in the Vaucluse area as police make inquiries to determine whether it is linked. </p> <p>“St Andrew’s Cathedral School remains closed today to all students except those sitting Year 12 exams, as the school continues to work with Police following an onsite death overnight,” a spokesperson for the school said. </p> <p>“No students were involved and there is no ongoing threat.”</p> <p>“An area of the school, not accessible to students, is a crime zone, and we await the approval of Police before bringing everyone back on site.”</p> <p>“The only students onsite are those sitting exams, and we ask that the media does not seek to interrupt their concentration or state of mind as they sit exams that are significant for their graduation.”</p> <p>“The school has brought our school counsellors onsite for professional support for parents and students as required – and again we ask that the media respects the emotional situation of those seeking support.”</p> <p>The prestigious school ranks 157th in NSW in the 2022 HSC, and charges tuition fees up to $36,770 a year. </p> <p>According to <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>, parents of the students were told of the incident via text. </p> <p>“Year 12 exams will be held in BBC as normal. Year 5 camp will continue as normal," the text read.</p> <p>Another text read: “No students were involved in the incident.</p> <p>“Police are currently investigating and we will keep you updated." </p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

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Rebecca Loos claims Beckham is "playing the victim" over affair scandal

<p>Rebecca Loos, the woman at the centre of the alleged <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/woman-at-the-centre-of-alleged-beckham-affair-breaks-silence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">affair scandal</a> with iconic football legend David Beckham, has recently shared her thoughts on the new <em>Beckham</em> docuseries, which was released on Netflix.</p> <p>Loos, now 47 and residing in Norway with her husband and two children, expressed her concerns regarding the way the affair was handled in the docuseries, which was produced in collaboration with Beckham's production company.</p> <p>In the early 2000s, Loos gained notoriety for her claims of a romantic involvement with David Beckham during his time as a football superstar. In the docuseries, the Beckhams primarily discussed the media frenzy that ensued following Loos' revelations in 2003, but skirted around the specifics of the affair itself.</p> <p>It was during that tumultuous period that Loos had declared her connection with the football player while working as his personal assistant, even suggesting that the Beckhams had been dealing with marital issues before her involvement came to light. At the time, the celebrity couple vehemently denied any wrongdoing and even considered legal action against Loos.</p> <p>Victoria Beckham, 49, revealed in the docuseries, "It was the most unhappy I have ever been in my entire life," while David Beckham, 48, tearfully stated, "Victoria is everything to me. To see her hurt was incredibly difficult… what we had was worth fighting for."</p> <p>Loos, however, took issue with David's statement. In a <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-12657157/rebecca-loos-affair-david-beckham-netflix.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">candid interview with the Daily Mail</a>, she expressed her frustration: "The [worst] bit for me is that he says he didn't like seeing his wife suffer. That bothered me. Because he's the one that's caused the suffering. He can say whatever he likes, of course, and I understand he has an image to preserve, but he is portraying himself as the victim and he's making me look like a liar, like I've made up these stories. He is indirectly suggesting that I'm the one who has made Victoria suffer."</p> <p>Loos also argued that the docuseries had thrust the affair back into the spotlight, an issue that many had forgotten about since the news first broke 20 years ago, thereby further impacting her reputation. She emphasised, "Yes, the stories were horrible, but they're true. He talks in the documentary about this ultimately being his private life, shutting it down. I think it's one thing to keep your private life to yourself. It's another thing to mislead the public."</p> <p>She suggested that David could have chosen to acknowledge that it was not one of his proudest moments or characterised it as a challenging period and moved on from the subject. However, she felt that he continued to phrase his statements in a way that indirectly shifted the blame onto her.</p> <p>"If you don't want to take responsibility for things because of your family and your children, that's absolutely fine," Loos commented, "But he specifically made it look like… my fault, that he had nothing to do with this."</p> <p>Loos, after the 2003 allegations, embarked on a path as a media personality, participating in various English and Dutch TV shows. In 2008, while filming the Dutch TV show <em>71 Graden Noord</em>, she crossed paths with her future husband, Norwegian doctor Sven Christjar Skaiaa. After becoming pregnant, the couple decided to relocate to Norway in 2009. Today, she works as a yoga teacher and a massage therapist in Norway while raising her two sons and only occasionally making media appearances.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

TV

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"Where did the time go": Jessica Alba's bittersweet update

<p>Jessica Alba has shared a bittersweet post of her two daughters Honor Marie, 15, and Haven Garner, 12, on their first day back-to-school. </p> <p>The doting mum took to Instagram to share the photos of her two girls with the sweet caption: “10th and 7th -where did the time go… (sigh 💔) my baby girls first day of school!"</p> <p>She also added the hashtags #momlifeisthebestlife #summerisofficiallyover #firstdayofschool.</p> <p>In the first photo, her daughters had their arms wrapped around each other as they posed for their mum in front of their house. </p> <p>In the second photo, the pair were cheesing hard, with their arms still wrapped around each other. Honor rocked a pair of baggy mum jeans, a white tank top and matching sneakers, while Haven had a similar aesthetic with pair black cargo pants, a light blue tank top and black and white sneakers. </p> <p>A few of the star's celebrity friends took to the comments to share their sentiment. </p> <p>"Wherever they went; they went beautifully 😍"<em> Basic Instinct </em>actress Sharon Stone wrote. </p> <p><em>How to Get Away with Murder</em> actress Viola Davies commented a few crying and red heart emojis. </p> <p>American actor and TV host Mario Lopez also commented red heart emojis. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CwgvQrgLIn2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CwgvQrgLIn2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans also took to the comments to express their shock at how quickly time flies. </p> <p>"WHAT THE HECK!! Haven was just a baby!! 😩😩😩" wrote one person. </p> <p>"They are so cute!!!! And so grown up. Time flies!" wrote another. </p> <p>"Awww ❤️ can’t believe how fast time goes!!" commented a third. </p> <p>Alba shares her two daughters and 5-year-old son Hayes with her husband Cash Warren. The couple first met on the set of Fantastic Four in 2004 and tied the knot three years later. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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“Uncle Karlos says it's okay”: Karl’s message to Aussie school kids

<p dir="ltr">Karl Stefanovic has shared a questionable message for Aussie school kids, encouraging them to skip school if the Matildas win the semi-finals. </p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Today</em> host is just one of millions of Australians counting down until the Matildas face off against England’s Lionesses in the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Wednesday morning, Stefanovic made a cheeky suggestion to school kids around the country in the name of patriotism if the Tillys win. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I wanted to say something to the kids of Australia," he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Look, if it goes well tonight and we get through to the next round, I think all the kids of Australia should wag school and just say 'Uncle Karlos says it's okay.'"</p> <p dir="ltr">However, co-host Sarah Abo reminded Karl parents and teachers may not be too happy about countless kids not showing up for their lessons.</p> <p dir="ltr">"They will all get detention thanks to you," she warned.</p> <p dir="ltr">"No they won't, give the kids a day off - I was only joking," Karl quickly back pedalled.</p> <p dir="ltr">More than 75,000 fans have been lucky enough to score a ticket to the match in Sydney, but millions more are expected to watch the match both at home and at live venues around the country.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Today</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-fe90c86f-7fff-2f5b-0d65-eaeda659c637"></span></p>

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