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Olympian and former world champ shot dead at 42

<p>South African police have found the body of former Olympian and high jump world champion Jacques Freitag after he was reported missing. </p> <p>Local authorities say that they found the body of the 42-year-old in a field near a cemetery in the city of Pretoria with fatal gunshot wounds, and are treating his death as murder. </p> <p>South African news Netwerk24 reported that a source claims Freitag was allegedly executed, as one of the gunshot wounds was allegedly located in the back of his head.</p> <p>Freitag's sister, Chrissie Lewis, had appealed for help on social media to find her brother, who went missing in the early hours of June 17th after leaving his mother's house.</p> <p>Lewis said he had struggled with drug addiction after his athletics career ended.</p> <p>He was then not seen again until his body was discovered. </p> <p>Freitag won the 2003 world title in Paris and competed at the 2004 Olympics, representing South Africa in high jump.</p> <p>He was among a select group of athletes to win world titles at youth, junior and senior level, as World Athletics called Freitag “a prodigious athlete”. </p> <p>He won the high jump at the 1999 Youth World Championships in Poland, the Junior World Champs in Chile in 2000 and the Senior's in France in 2003.</p> <p>In 2003, he cleared 2.35m at the Stade de France in Paris to win the gold medal at the IAAF World Championships.</p> <p>He retired from sport in 2013 and was said to have in recent times been sleeping on the streets or friends' couches, having been unable to hold down a full-time job.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Hahn Lionel/ABACA/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

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Brittany Higgins ties the knot in Gold Coast wedding

<p>Brittany Higgins has tied the knot with her long-term partner David Sharaz in an intimate Gold Coast wedding surrounded by friends and family. </p> <p>The former political staffer took to Instagram on Sunday to share the happy news. </p> <p>"Today I married my best friend. 🤍"  she wrote in the caption, alongside three photos from the ceremony. </p> <p>The pair married at The Valley Estate in Currumbin on the first day of winter, with the bride wearing a wedding dress featuring  a long sleeve lace bodice and a tulle skirt. </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/C7qtn0OPJwc/?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/C7qtn0OPJwc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Brittany Higgins (@brittanyhiggins___)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Higgins and Shiraz got engaged on New Year's Eve in 2022, at Cape Byron lighthouse in Byron Bay NSW. </p> <p>"I didn't want to enter another year without you knowing I want to spend all my years with you, Brittany Higgins," Shiraz posted the day after he proposed to Higgins. </p> <p>"I'm the luckiest guy in the world."</p> <p>Their wedding comes just six weeks after Justice Michael Lee handed down his judgment in Lehrmann's defamation case against Network Ten and journalist Lisa Wilkinson. </p> <p>The Federal Court found the allegation that he raped Brittany Higgins in a Parliament House office in March 2019 most likely true, and he has been forced to pay the majority of Network Ten's multi-million dollar <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/brutal-cost-of-bruce-lehrmann-s-failed-defamation-case" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legal fees</a>. </p> <p>After the ruling, Higgins released a lengthy statement saying: "It has been five years of criminal and civil trials and government inquiries for the truth to finally be heard.</p> <p>"It is now time to heal."</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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"A bit weird": David Koch's new career move

<p>Former Sunrise co-host David Koch has revealed a new career move a year after resigning from the breakfast TV show. </p> <p>On Thursday, Koch was announced as the new chair of the South Australian Tourism Commission, the peak body promoting tourism to SA. </p> <p>Koch is replacing Andrew Bullock, who has been the chair of the commission since 2019. </p> <p>“A passionate South Australian and media professional, Kochie is a leading advocate for small business and a high-profile finance commentator,” the SATC said in a statement. </p> <p>Koch, who was born in Adelaide but has been living in Sydney, said he won't be moving back to SA for the role. </p> <p>Some South Australians questioned his high-profile appointment, as they believe that a local should've been chosen for the job. </p> <p>"It's a little bit weird that he doesn't live in SA - that he's not living here but being the head of it," one said.</p> <p>"It would be nice to have someone embedded in SA, living in SA, part of the community in SA as well," another added. </p> <p>However, Premier Peter Malinauskas has defended the decision,  citing Koch's national profile and financial expertise as a valuable aspect in advertising  smaller businesses in the tourism sector.</p> <p>"We as a state have punched above our weight in regards to tourism and hospitality but there is a lot more growth to be had," Malinauskas said.</p> <p>As the chair, Koch will work alongside the SATC board to  “set the strategic agenda for the commission”.</p> <p>He will hold the role for three years from July 2. </p> <p>“We do the best food and wine in the nation, and we have some of the nation’s most spectacular regions,”  he said after his new role was announced. </p> <p>“We also retain a reputation for delivering first class major events and festivals.</p> <p>“More recently, the perceptions of Adelaide and South Australia have shifted significantly on the east coast – and we have an opportunity to capitalise on this momentum to grow our tourism sector even further.”</p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Image: Nine</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Love-struck elephant goes wild on safari

<p>In the annals of adventure, there are tales of bravery and resilience – and then there are tales of two guys just trying to find a quiet spot for a bathroom break in South Africa.</p> <p>Meet Henry Blom and Taylor Fulmer, the unlikely protagonists of a safari gone haywire. Innocently disembarking from their tour truck for a brief moment of relief in the bush, the pair suddenly found themselves smack dab in the middle of a romantic rampage by none other than a love-stricken bull elephant.</p> <p>As screams echoed through the savannah, Henry and Taylor found themselves in a bizarre game of hide and seek with a pachyderm-sized opponent. "We got off the truck with a bunch of other people to use the bathrooms and then we started hearing screaming," Henry <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/elephant-safari-attack-witnesses-describe-terrifying-moment-wild-animal-charged/451c9dd1-3d90-4112-868c-99e3a8f17019" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recounted on the <em>Today </em>show</a>, probably wishing they had all decided to hold it in a little longer.</p> <p>But it wasn't just any elephant causing the ruckus. No, this was one amorous elephant on a mission – sweating, urinating and emitting more bodily fluids than a broken faucet.</p> <p>As the wild beast charged, Henry and Taylor feared for their lives, imagining scenarios straight out of an action movie where they'd be the unlucky extras squashed beneath a mammoth-sized villain.</p> <p>Yet, amid the chaos, there emerged a hero: the tour guide. While the elephant treated the truck like a chew toy, the guide maintained a Zen-like calm, steering the vehicle with the finesse of a seasoned race car driver dodging obstacles. "We saw the elephant charge and my fear was that it was going to go through the window," Taylor recounted, possibly wondering if he should've packed a spare pair of pants for the trip.</p> <p>As the dust settled and the elephant's romantic pursuit waned, Henry and Taylor breathed a sigh of relief. But their ordeal wasn't over just yet. The guide's sage advice? "Stay quiet and get ready to run."</p> <p>Words of wisdom to live by, especially when you're in the crosshairs of a loved-up elephant.</p> <p>Reflecting on their brush with danger, Henry and Taylor couldn't help but marvel at the surreal experience. "He was so close we could smell him, it was crazy," Henry mused, perhaps understating the olfactory assault they endured.</p> <p>So, the next time you're contemplating a safari adventure, remember Henry and Taylor's tale of bathroom breaks gone wild. Because when nature calls in the wild, you might just find yourself in the midst of an elephant love story – and trust us, it's not as romantic as it sounds.</p> <p>Images: The <em>Today </em>Show</p>

Travel Trouble

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"Unidentified life form" found off New Zealand coast

<p>Ah, the deep sea, where the mysteries of the ocean lurk in the shadows, waiting to be discovered by intrepid marine scientists armed with nets, trawls and a healthy dose of confusion...</p> <p>Recently, a team of brave souls embarked on a journey off the coast of New Zealand, armed with curiosity and a fervent desire to find Nemo's distant relatives. What they found, however, was not just Nemo's cousins – but a veritable treasure trove of potential new species. Or at least, they think so.</p> <p>In a saga that could rival any aquatic adventure film, the scientists stumbled upon approximately 100 potential new species, including one particularly enigmatic life form that has left them scratching their heads in bewilderment.</p> <p>Initially mistaking it for a sea star – or perhaps a particularly flamboyant sea cucumber – they now suspect it might be a deep-sea coral. Or a cosmic jellyfish. Or a lost prop from a sci-fi movie. The possibilities are as endless as the ocean itself.</p> <p>Dr Michela Mitchell, a taxonomist with a penchant for the dramatic, declared it could be "a whole new group outside of the octocoral." Because why settle for identifying just one species when you can potentially create an entire taxonomic order?</p> <p>Dr Daniel Moore, another member of the expedition and self-proclaimed captain of the confusion ship, confessed, "We can't even describe it to family." One can only imagine the perplexed expressions at family gatherings as they attempt to explain their latest discovery: "Well, it's sort of like a sponge, but not really. And it might have tentacles. Or wings. We're not entirely sure."</p> <p>Their research vessel, the <em>Tangaroa</em>, became a floating laboratory of befuddlement as they collected nearly 1,800 samples from the abyssal depths. Armed with modified sleds and a healthy dose of optimism, they trawled the ocean floor, hoping to snag the elusive creatures that lurked below.</p> <p>"It was true exploration, very exciting," Dr Moore boasted, his enthusiasm undiminished by the fact that they still couldn't <em>definitively</em> identify half of what they'd found.</p> <p>Among their discoveries was a new species of fish, dubbed the "eelpout", which was "instantly recognised as being different to the others." Because, apparently, it had a flair for the dramatic and refused to conform to traditional fish norms.</p> <p>In a surprising revelation, Dr Moore admitted, "Finding new vertebrates is rare." One can only assume that the eelpout, upon hearing this declaration, puffed out its chest (or whatever passes for a chest in fish anatomy) and proclaimed itself the king of the ocean.</p> <p>As the expedition came to a close, the scientists reflected on the vastness of the ocean and the infinitesimal fraction of its inhabitants they had encountered. With only 240,000 species identified out of an estimated 2.2 million, they realised they had barely scratched the surface. Or, in this case, the sea floor.</p> <p>And so, armed with their nets, their sleds, and their unshakeable sense of optimism, the intrepid scientists set sail once more, ready to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean and perhaps stumble upon another baffling creature that defies explanation. After all, what's science without a little bit of confusion?</p> <p><em>Image: Ocean-Census | NIWA</em></p>

International Travel

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South Australian Government's sprinkles ban sparks outrage

<p>New guidelines for school canteens in South Australia have sparked outrage for "taking all the enjoyment away from children". </p> <p>Sprinkles of any kind, including 100s and 1000s - which are an essential ingredient for the iconic fairy bread - have been categorised as “red 2", meaning that they “should not be promoted or encouraged in schools on any occasion”.</p> <p>The ban comes after processed meats including ham would be limited at canteens in Western Australia, with similar restrictions now in place for South Australian canteens. </p> <p>Processed meats fall into the “red 1” or “amber” categories in South Australia, which means that products featuring them would be limited depending on nutritional criteria. </p> <p>These restrictions mean that children will no longer be able to regularly enjoy Australian staples like ham and cheese toasties and fairy bread at school. </p> <p>“Why are they taking all the enjoyment away from children?” one person told 7News. </p> <p>Dieticians have also questioned the decision, saying that it might only cause further problems in the future. </p> <p>“All your brain wants to do is eat that food, and eventually, you can restrict it for a little bit, until you get to that point where you just give in, you want to eat it, and then you binge,” dietitian Mattea Palombo said. </p> <p>Another expert suggested changing the foods we associate with good times. </p> <p>“Celebration foods aren’t so much about the foods that we have at the time of the celebration, but the friends and family we have around at the time of celebrating,” dietitian Dr Evangeline Mantzioris said.</p> <p>“So I think we probably need to balance it out a bit, so healthy foods are available at those celebrations.” </p> <p>Although the changes impact canteens, parents are still free to pack whatever they want in their kids' lunchboxes. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Food & Wine

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Influencer announces tragic death of six-week-old son

<p>TikTok influencer Veruca Salt, real name Kimberley Summer Hartley, took to Instagram to announce the tragic death of her six-week-old son, Cash. </p> <p>The Gold Coast - based influencer, 25, shared the tragic news just one day after she posted a TikTok of her taking her newborn bub out for his first hospital visit, as he hadn't pooped in seven days. </p> <p>On Monday morning she revealed that her son “died in his sleep”. </p> <p>“It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this,” she wrote.</p> <p>“My baby died in his sleep on Monday morning. I don’t know what happened, he is having an autopsy this week but it is unlikely that I’ll ever have an answer.</p> <p>“I’m just saying this because people are still commenting on my TikToks saying how happy I look with him and ‘just wait for the toddler stage’ and stuff and I (really) can’t take it anymore. I’m really sorry.”</p> <p>In her most recent <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@verucasalt444/video/7332609198599032065?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7142332295764346370" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a>, she shared a clip of her grieving her son's death with the caption: "I knew he was dead but there was a part of me that really thought they were gonna wake him up." </p> <p>Fans have shared their condolences. </p> <p>"We are all standing by you Veruca. Take all the time you need ❤️" one wrote on TikTok. </p> <p>"I’ve never cried harder for a woman i don’t know, I'm so sorry Veruca the love you have for him never goes unnoticed," another commented. </p> <p>"Sending love this is the worst thing in the world to happen to anyone," a third added. </p> <p>"I'm so so sorry no mother should have to go through this💔" a fourth wrote. </p> <p>Queensland Police have confirmed the death, after they were called to a Southport unit at around 6.13am on February 5.</p> <p>The death is not being treated as suspicious.</p> <p>Police are currently awaiting autopsy results, Superintendent Craig Hanlon told the <em>Gold Coast Bulletin</em>. </p> <p>“It’s obviously a tragic situation and our hearts go out to the mother and the family.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ TikTok</em></p>

Caring

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Inside Aussie couple's Coles wedding

<p>A South Australian couple have tied the knot after seven years together, in the place where their relationship first began, Coles. </p> <p>Elisabeth Pel and Harley Liebelt, are former Coles workers who found love in the cereal aisle of a Coles in Mount Barker in 2016. </p> <p>Since then, they have built a family together and decided to tie the knot two weeks ago. </p> <p>“We worked for Coles Mount Barker, SA, for four years and we met each other in the grocery department,” Elisabeth told <em>7News</em>. </p> <p>“We have since had a beautiful son together and two weeks ago we finally got married after seven years.”</p> <p>She then said that it had been the couple's dream to have their wedding photos taken at the Coles store where they met - and their photographer, Jacob Jennings, was happy to oblige. </p> <p>“Our photographer is an absolute wonderful human and when I suggested to him that we should take some photos at the Coles store we met in and the same aisle we met in he jumped at the idea!” the happy bride said. </p> <p>“So, on December 8 we went into the store in the afternoon and took photos.</p> <p>“These photos are more than I could have asked for.</p> <p>“We felt absolutely out of place but he made it wonderful and the store manager was also wonderful.”</p> <p>Their wedding photos have also received a lot of love on social media. </p> <p>“This is so fantastic in every way,” one said. </p> <p> “Damn, this is the best," another added. </p> <p> “I can’t deal,” a third wrote. </p> <p>A Coles spokesperson also congratulated the couple: “We are thrilled that two of our former team members found love and were able to return to where it all began for them.”</p> <p><em>Images: Jacob Jennings Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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“This doesn’t make sense": Mum fined for parking in own driveway

<p>A Gold Coast mum couldn't believe her eyes when she found an almost $200 fine in her mail for parking in her own driveway. </p> <p>“I got a lovely fine from Gold Coast City Council for parking in my own driveway,” Megan Pass told <em>7News</em>. </p> <p>“This doesn’t make sense.</p> <p>“Everybody I’ve shared this with is going, ‘What the hell?’”</p> <p>The council claims that part of her driveway is located on council land so she was breaking the law by parking on it. </p> <p>The mother-of-three said that she has lived in the house for seven years and parked her car there every day and has never been fined before. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/Planning-building/Development-applications/Development-application-types/Driveways-vehicular-crossings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">council website </a>states that there is an important difference between someone's driveway, which "ends at the property boundary", and a vehicular crossing, which is the section of  the driveway between the boundary and the road. </p> <p>The local law prevents people from parking over council land for more than two minutes, so Ms. Pass got fined $193. </p> <p>People took to social media to share their thoughts on Ms Pass' situation. </p> <p>“What a joke - revenue raising at its best,” one user tweeted. </p> <p>While another said: “Yip I got one of those fines lol. Just paid it. Don’t have time spare to go court to be told… you broke the law… pay the fine." </p> <p>“Will the mayor mow the footpath once a week and water it? That bloke’s a goose,” a third added. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Legal

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Aussie town becomes the hottest place on earth for one day

<p>A small town in regional South Australia has broken records amidst the relentless heatwave slamming Aussies, by being named the hottest place on earth for a whole day. </p> <p>Marree, located 589 kilometres north of Adelaide, is home to fewer than 100 residents, with the town acting as a service centre for the large sheep and cattle stations in the northeast of the state. </p> <p>Locals sweltered through record-breaking temperatures on Wednesday, with temperatures of 46.4ºC making the tiny town the hottest place on the planet for the whole day. </p> <p>According to online world temperatures site <a href="https://www.eldoradoweather.com/climate/world-extremes/world-temp-rainfall-extremes.php?extremes=World#google_vignette" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">El Dorado Weather</a>, Australia took out not just the Number 1 spot, but was also home to the top 15 hottest places in the world, with cities and towns in Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales also making the list. </p> <p>Five Aussie states cracked temperatures of over 44ºC according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with the extreme weather to continue over the weekend. </p> <p>Other than Victoria and Tasmania, every state has been issued an official extreme weather warning, with senior meteorologist Miriam Bradbury saying on Monday that heatwave conditions were not likely to start easing until “early next week”.</p> <p>With the worst of the heatwave expected to hit on Saturday, people are being urged to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and hats and stay hydrated.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Google Maps</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Husband arrested over murder of beloved Nonna

<p>Frank Dimasi, 91 has been charged over the murder of his wife, Maria, 85, who was found dead inside the couple's home over the weekend.</p> <p>Maria was found with multiple stab wounds inside the couple's home in Findon, Adelaide, at around 11:20pm on Saturday. </p> <p>Frank was arrested at the scene and charged over the murder of his wife of over 50 years on Monday.</p> <p>He is currently under police guard at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, having suffered from self-inflicted and non-life threatening wounds, according to SA police. He is also reported to suffer from a "neurological disability". </p> <p>Maria was a beloved member of the Italian community in Adelaide. </p> <p>She was regarded as the "neighbourhood matriarch” and was well-known because of her love for cooking, including making meals for the vulnerable.</p> <p>She was heavily involved with the family's taxpayer-funded meal service, Nonna’s Cucina, that even Health Minister Mark Butler recognised her hard work and described her as "extremely generous".</p> <p>“Maria lit up the kitchen at Nonna’s Cucina,” he said. “She was always extremely generous and made sure no one ever left her company hungry.</p> <p>“Maria gave so much to her community and will be greatly missed by her loved ones and everyone who had the pleasure to meet her.”</p> <p>South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas also paid tribute to the beloved great-grandmother and described the murder as "tragic". </p> <p>“On a personal level, Maria Dimasi was a very significant contributor to our state, particularly in the western suburbs’ Italian community,” said the premier. </p> <p>“Nonna’s Cucina, which will be very well-known to a lot of South Australians, did amazing work delivering meals to people that are vulnerable, particularly the elderly.</p> <p>"This is a good person who has lost their life in tragic circumstances.”</p> <p>The premier is currently facing increasing pressure to authorise a Royal Commission into domestic violence in the state, after five women have allegedly been killed at the hands of a partner since November 16, according to <em>The Advertiser</em>.</p> <p>The publication also reported that this is "the worst DV toll in Australia's history".</p> <p>In their first public statement issued through the police late Monday, the couple's family paid tribute to Maria, who they described as “loving mother to her four children, her 10 grandchildren and a great grandmother to 13”. </p> <p>“Maria had a caring nature and shared love and happiness to those around her,” they said in the statement obtained by <em>The Advertiser</em>. </p> <p>“Maria was the centre of our family, bringing us together to care for and support each other. Family was everything to Maria, and she was everything to her family.</p> <p>“Maria has warmed the hearts of many and we would like to extend our gratitude for the support the community has provided as we come to terms with our loss.”</p> <p>They added: “The support truly shows that Maria was loved by many and has made a positive impact to the community.</p> <p>“We will always remember Maria for her warmth, caring nature, compassion and her beautiful smile.”</p> <p>They also thanked Nonna’s Cucina for allowing her to spread joy with the community and said that they will come together as a family in the coming days to celebrate Maria's life. </p> <p>“We thank Nonna’s Cucina for supporting Maria to share her joy with the community.</p> <p>“The past few days have been difficult for our family as we process the grief of losing our beautiful mother and Nonna.”</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ Nine News. </em></p>

Legal

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Three-bedroom home on the market for unbelievably cheap price

<p>A three-bedroom home located on the border of Victoria and South Australia is up for sale for just $65,000. </p> <p>But there is a catch to future homeowners who want to experience the “quiet and cheap country living”, as they might need to be handy with a hammer. </p> <p>“If you’re a handyman and willing to put some elbow grease into it, then this one might be for you,” the listing read. </p> <p>The home itself is located on two plots of land measuring 2,100m2 in Serviceton, Victoria, and is only 16 minutes away from Bordertown, South Australia. </p> <p>“Being on two titles, you can utilise both or sell the vacant allotment as all the dwellings are on one,” the listing read. </p> <p>It also features a large lounge room with wood-fire heater, and a centrally located bathroom with a bath and vanity. </p> <p>There's plenty of room to cook in the massive kitchen, despite it needing a lot of work, it features a formal dining area that has a sliding servery window which connects to the lounge room.</p> <p>Outside, the future homeowner can find a large shed, rain water storage, and a gate that opens up to a park. </p> <p>“It went under contract ... an hour and a half (after it was listed),” Ray White agent Hayden Obst told<em> 7News</em>. </p> <p>The condition of its electrical, plumbing and appliances are unknown, but people are still expressing their interest.</p> <p>Despite this, many people from different parts of the country and a few investors are still calling the real estate agent, just in case the contract falls through. </p> <p><em>Images: 7News.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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“Coast-to-coast”: Rinehart's radical plan to save the Commonwealth Games

<p>The 2026 Commonwealth Games has faced grim uncertainty ever since the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/i-m-not-here-to-apologise-dan-andrews-fires-up-as-comm-games-is-scrapped" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Victorian government withdrew its commitment to host the event</a>, leaving Australia in a precarious situation.</p> <p>However, a new and radical proposal by Australia's wealthiest individual, Gina Rinehart, supported by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate and Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, suggests a unique solution to save the Games. Rinehart's proposal involves hosting the event in two cities at opposite ends of the country – the Gold Coast and Perth.</p> <p>The initial plan by the Victorian government to host the Games across multiple towns in regional Victoria was abandoned due to the reported $4 billion price tag. This decision left Australia without a host city for the 2026 Games, and no alternative has been proposed since. Additionally, the withdrawal of support from the Canadian city Alberta for the 2030 event further complicated the future of the Commonwealth Games.</p> <p>Now, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Rinehart, Tate and Zempilas have suggested a bold coast-to-coast approach for the Commonwealth Games.</p> <p>The idea is to utilise existing facilities in the Gold Coast and Perth, with each city hosting a week of the Games. The proposal aims to showcase Australia on a national scale, providing a unique background for discussions with Commonwealth heads.</p> <p>“We believe that a coast-to-coast Games presents a special opportunity to showcase Australia and provides an excellent background for you to invite those heads of the Commonwealth you may wish to have further discussions with, and/or entertain,” the letter reads. “A background where Australia pulls well above its weight, and shines!”</p> <p>While the proposal has gained support from key figures, including Rinehart's assertion that it would not be too difficult to execute, some critics have raised practical concerns. Melbourne radio host Tom Elliott expressed skepticism about the feasibility of a dual-city approach, citing the vast distance between the Gold Coast and Perth, which is over 4000km.</p> <p>“You could not pick two cities in Australia that are further apart from each other," Elliott said on his 3AW radio talk show. </p> <p>He also questioned the logistical challenges, such as the need for two athletes' villages and the movement of officials and volunteers between the two cities: “To have a Commonwealth Games split between the Gold Coast and Perth, I just think is utter madness... The idea is that they do the first week of events on the Gold Coast and the second week in Perth. But think about it – unless every official and volunteer moves between the Gold Coast and Perth – and where would you put them all? They effectively have to recruit all the people again just to make the Games run. You’ve got to build two athletes villages. It’s just such a dumb idea.</p> <p>“I think we need to accept, as sad as this is, that the era of the Commonwealth Games is over. Not that many people watch it, not that many countries compete in it, it doesn’t make any money – that’s the reason cities don’t want to host it.”</p> <p>Rinehart's letter counters that criticism, claiming that the dual-city approach would be popular, in the national interest, and beneficial for athletes and cities. She contends that the proposal would be more popular and less expensive than other recent expenditures, suggesting that funds allocated for other purposes, such as Papua New Guinea football, could be redirected to improve Australian facilities for the Commonwealth and later Olympic Games.</p> <p>Rinehart's bold proposal to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in two cities at opposite ends of Australia certainly presents a novel solution. While critics question the practicality of the idea, proponents believe it could not only save the Games but also showcase Australia on a grand scale. As discussions unfold, the fate of the Commonwealth Games hangs in the balance, with Rinehart's vision offering a unique and ambitious alternative.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Nat Barr overwhelmed by Police Commissioner's heartbreaking letter to his fallen son

<p>Nat Barr broke down live on <em>Sunrise</em> after hearing the heartbreaking letter from grieving police commissioner Grant Stevens, who lost his son just days ago in an <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/police-commissioner-s-son-killed-during-schoolies-week" target="_blank" rel="noopener">alleged hit and run</a> during schoolies. </p> <p>Charlie Stevens, 18, died on Saturday night surrounded by friends and family in Goolwa, 90km southeast of Adelaide, just a day after he celebrated finishing high school.</p> <p>Charlie's parents penned a letter to their youngest son, with the purpose of introducing South Australians to the 101st life lost on the state’s roads this year.</p> <p>On Tuesday morning, Matt Shirvington read an excerpt of the letter, and both hosts were equally emotional, with Shirvington's voice breaking at one point. </p> <p>“I am writing this sitting in a bedroom with dirty clothes on the floor, an unmade bed, six drinking glasses lined up on the bedside table, an empty KFC box next to the glasses, wardrobe doors left open and a row of skateboards leaning on the wall – it is a mess and it’s perfect. This is where 101 lived,” the letter read. </p> <p>“101 is Charles Stevens – Charlie, Charlie Boy, Chas, Links, Steve. You lived life and gave so much to so many. You were a force of nature and we will never forget your beautiful cheeky, disarming smile.</p> <p>“Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, friends, workmate, teammate. So much more than just a number on a tragic tally.”</p> <p>His heartbroken parents described him as a "Cheeky, intense and funny" boy, who was loveable from the moment he could talk. </p> <p>"He was as frustrating as hell, but he was also the kid who would look after others, befriend the lonely, and help those who were struggling,” they added. </p> <p>“Intensity shone through as 101 committed to each new passion — Lego, BBL, scooters, footy, cricket, basketball, surfing, downhilling, Fortnight and his skateboard — it was all or nothing and it was always all.”</p> <p>His parents also shared stories about their son's passion for his work as an apprentice carpenter. </p> <p>“ … On a good day, we would be lucky to see 101 for half an hour between him getting home from work and heading out with his mates, but it was enough," they wrote. </p> <p>After sharing the emotional tribute, Nat Barr was choking back tears and had to cut to an ad break. </p> <p>The letter comes after the 18-year-old driver accused of being behind the wheel during the alleged hit-and-run was granted bail. </p> <p>On Monday, three witnesses stated in court that the driver performed a U-turn and hit Charlie, who was waiting for the Schoolies shuttle bus to take him and his friends to Victor Harbor from Goolwa Beach. </p> <p>It is alleged that the 18-year-old was speeding and  travelling on the wrong side of the road before hitting Charlie. </p> <p>Another witness from inside the car said that a group of young men were on the west side of the road, partially on the footpath, and that there was a single male on the other side.</p> <p>She told the court that the male on the east side ran across the road and into the incoming car. </p> <p>The driver allegedly drove a short distance before calling his mum and asking her if he should turn himself in or call the police, before he was arrested. </p> <p>He was granted bail, with the condition that he forfeits his passport, live with his mum, and set aside $15,000 as a guarantee. </p> <p><em>Images: SA Police/ Channel 7</em></p>

Caring

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Streets of purple haze: how the South American jacaranda became a symbol of Australian spring

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-k-martin-107846">Susan K Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p>Jacaranda season is beginning across Australia as an explosion of vivid blue spreads in a wave from north to south. We think of jacarandas as a signature tree of various Australian cities. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth all feature avenues of them.</p> <p>Grafton in New South Wales hosts an annual <a href="https://www.jacarandafestival.com/">jacaranda festival</a>. Herberton in Queensland is noted for <a href="https://www.facebook.com/jacarandafestivalherberton/">its seasonal show</a>.</p> <p>There are significant plantings in many botanic, public and university gardens across Australia. <em>Jacaranda mimosifolia</em> (the most common species in Australia) doesn’t generally flower in Darwin, and Hobart is a little cold for it.</p> <p>So showy and ubiquitous, jacarandas can be mistaken for natives, but they originate in South America. The imperial plant-exchange networks of the 19th century introduced them to Australia.</p> <p>But how did these purple trees find their stronghold in our suburbs?</p> <h2>Propagating the trees</h2> <p>Botanist Alan Cunningham sent the first jacaranda specimens from <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/dream-tree-jacaranda-sydney-icon/">Rio to Britain’s Kew gardens</a> around 1818.</p> <p>Possibly, jacaranda trees arrived from Kew in colonial Australia. Alternately, Cunningham may have disseminated the tree in his later postings in Australia or through plant and seed exchanges.</p> <p>Jacarandas are a widespread imperial introduction and are now a feature of many temperate former colonies. The jacaranda was exported by the British from Kew, by other colonial powers (Portugal for example) and directly from South America to various colonies.</p> <p>Jacarandas grow from seed quite readily, but the often preferred mode of plant propagation in the 19th century was through cuttings because of sometimes <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/dream-tree-jacaranda-sydney-icon/">unreliable seed</a> and <a href="https://academic.oup.com/histres/article/93/262/715/5938031?login=true">volume of results</a>.</p> <p>Cuttings are less feasible for the jacaranda, so the tree was admired but rare in Australia until either nurseryman Michael Guilfoyle or gardener George Mortimer succeeded in propagating the tree in 1868.</p> <p>Once the trees could be easily propagated, <a href="https://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history/woollahra_plaque_scheme/plaques/michael_guilfoyle">jacarandas became more widely available</a> and they began their spread through Australian suburbs.</p> <h2>A colonial import</h2> <p>Brisbane claims the earliest jacaranda tree in Australia, <a href="https://blog.qagoma.qld.gov.au/godfrey-rivers-under-the-jacaranda-a-quintessential-image-of-brisbane-queensland/">planted in 1864</a>, but the Sydney Botanic Garden jacaranda is dated at “around” 1850, and jacarandas were listed for sale in <a href="https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13055858?searchTerm=Jacaranda%20OR%20Jakaranda">Sydney in 1861</a>.</p> <p>These early park and garden plantings were eye-catching – but the real impact and popularity of jacarandas is a result of later street plantings.</p> <p>Jacaranda avenues, in Australia and around the world, usually indicate wealthier suburbs like Dunkeld in <a href="https://www.wisemove.co.za/post/top-10-richest-suburbs-in-johannesburg">Johannesberg</a> and Kilimani in <a href="https://gay.medium.com/hashtag-jacaranda-propaganda-2f20ac6958b9">Nairobi</a>.</p> <p>In Australia, these extravagant displays appear in older, genteel suburbs like Subiaco and Applecross in Perth; Kirribilli, Paddington and Lavender Bay in Sydney; Parkville and the Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy in Melbourne; Mitcham, Frewville and Westbourne Park in Adelaide; and St Lucia in Brisbane.</p> <p>The trend toward urban street avenue plantings expanded internationally in the <a href="https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.2307/3983816?journalCode=foreconshist">mid 19th century</a>. It was particularly popular in growing colonial towns and cities. It followed trends in imperial centres, but new colonial cities offered scope for <a href="https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/eh/2009/00000015/00000003/art00004">concerted planning of avenues in new streets</a>.</p> <p>Early Australian streets were often host to a mix of native plants and exotic imported trees. Joseph Maiden, director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens from 1896, drove the move from mixed street plantings towards avenues of single-species trees in the early 20th century.</p> <p>Maiden selected trees suitable to their proposed area, but he was also driven by contemporary aesthetic ideas of <a href="https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/eh/2009/00000015/00000003/art00004">uniformity and display</a>.</p> <p>By the end of the 19th century, deciduous trees were becoming more popular as tree plantings for their variety and, in southern areas, for the openness to winter sunshine.</p> <p>It takes around ten years for jacaranda trees to become established. Newly planted jacarandas take between two and 14 years to produce their first flowers, so there was foresight in planning to achieve the streets we have today.</p> <p>In Melbourne, jacarandas were popular in post-first world war plantings. They were displaced by a move to native trees after the second world war. Despite localised popularity in certain suburbs, the jacaranda does not make the list of top 50 tree plantings for <a href="https://www.proquest.com/docview/220356756/714CC7FF6134038PQ/6?accountid=12001">Melbourne</a>.</p> <p>In Queensland, 19th-century street tree planting was particularly ad hoc – the <a href="https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=602440">Eagle Street fig trees</a> are an example – and offset by enthusiastic forest clearance. It wasn’t until the early 20th century street beautification became more organised and jacaranda avenues were planted in areas like New Farm in Brisbane.</p> <p>The popular plantings on the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland occurred later, in the <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/queensland-review/article/abs/for-shade-colour-and-in-memory-of-sacrifice-amenity-and-memorial-tree-planting-in-queenslands-towns-and-cities-191555/459CD1E02E7FD581B4B89ADD7073D705">1930s</a>.</p> <h2>A flower for luck</h2> <p>In Australia, as elsewhere, there can be too much of a good thing. Jacarandas are an invasive species <a href="https://weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/jacaranda">in parts of Australia</a> (they seed readily in the warm dry climates to which they have been introduced).</p> <p>Parts of South Africa have limited or banned the planting of jacarandas because of their water demands and <a href="http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&amp;pid=S0006-82412017000200020">invasive tendencies</a>. Ironically, eucalypts have a similar status in South Africa.</p> <p>Writer <a href="https://gay.medium.com/hashtag-jacaranda-propaganda-2f20ac6958b9">Carey Baraka argues</a> that, however beloved and iconic now, significant plantings of jacarandas in Kenya indicate areas of past and present white population and colonial domination.</p> <p>Despite these drawbacks, spectacular jacaranda plantings remain popular where they have been introduced. There are even myths about them that cross international boundaries.</p> <p>In the southern hemisphere – in Pretoria or Sydney – they bloom on university campuses during examination time: the first blooms mark the time to study; the fall of blooms suggests it is <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/dream-tree-jacaranda-sydney-icon/">too late</a>; and the fall of a blossom on a student bestows <a href="https://newcontree.org.za/index.php/nc/article/view/34">good luck</a>.<!-- 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/214075/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/susan-k-martin-107846"><em>Susan K Martin</em></a><em>, Emeritus Professor in English, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</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/streets-of-purple-haze-how-the-south-american-jacaranda-became-a-symbol-of-australian-spring-214075">original article</a>.</em></p>

Home & Garden

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The Block stars share emotional wedding video

<p dir="ltr"><em>The Block </em>stars Dylan Adams and Jenny Heath are still drunk in love as they shared the sweetest wedding video four months after their <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/the-block-stars-lavish-gold-coast-wedding" target="_blank" rel="noopener">lavish Gold Coast ceremony.</a></p> <p dir="ltr">The pair took to Instagram over the weekend to give fans a more intimate glimpse into their wedding day with a video montage of the event.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Our wedding video is here and it’s even better than we could’ve imagined, it captures our day in the most amazing magical way 🤍” they captioned the video.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We have watched this video a thousand times and each time we fall in love with it even more,” they added, with the date of their wedding and a bunch of white hearts.</p> <p dir="ltr">The clip began with a teary-eyed Dylan telling his bride: "Together Jen, I know we can achieve anything. We've already achieved so much together."</p> <p dir="ltr">The video then cuts to a montage of various beautiful moments throughout the day, and Dylan could not hold back his tears as soon as Jenny walked down the aisle.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple’s vows were just as sweet as the moments they shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the clip Jenny said: "From the moment we met, I felt like I've known you my entire life... I knew in my heart, you were the one.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Dylan then shared his vows: "I'm so excited to see you as a mother to our children, and they don't know how lucky they will be to have you as their mum."</p> <p dir="ltr">"I also know I'll make the best stay-at-home dad," he jokingly added.</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/reel/CueFaiovkJR/?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/reel/CueFaiovkJR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Dylan and Jenny (@dylanandjenny)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Many shared their blessings for the couple, including former <em>The Block</em> contestant Rachel who said: “What a day! What a couple ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ love you guys so much!!!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“May everyone be blessed with a love like the both of yours. How special,” wrote one fan.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is so Incredibly beautiful,” commented another.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You can see the love, fun and happiness you all shared on your special day. Congratulations,” wrote a third.</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

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Sweet reason for Ray Hadley's big property purchase

<p dir="ltr">2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley has purchased a stunning Central Coast property with his wife, Sophie. </p> <p dir="ltr">The seaside retreat is situated on the Bouddi Peninsula in New South Wales, right on the water’s edge of Pretty Beach, and boasts impressive views across Brisbane Water - views that a balcony accessed by the living, kitchen, and dining space makes the most of.</p> <p dir="ltr">The property has five bedrooms, allowing plenty of space for Hadley and Sophie to host their visiting family members  - and most importantly, their grandkids. </p> <p dir="ltr">Hadley, who currently resides in the northwest of Sydney, has four children with five grandchildren from them. And, in happy news for the family, another on the way. </p> <p dir="ltr">He regularly provides his radio listeners with updates on the growing brood, with a focus on the youngest generation - all of them five and under - who mean the entire world to him. </p> <p dir="ltr">As he told <em>9Honey</em>, “​​before I had grandkids five years ago, mates would say, 'you won't believe the difference it makes' ... it's basically changed my life.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Five years ago I had none, now I've got five and another one on the way. They basically are my life.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I just adore them, every one of them, and they've all got different personalities, they're all different people.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He went on to share that the youngest is learning to walk and talk, while the others are prepping for school, with his eldest granddaughter even going so far as to ask him not to work, and to instead come along for her first ever school drop-off. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Just the fact that she asked me to do it made me feel 10-foot tall,” he shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">And the new property will give him the chance to spend more time with them, serving as a midway point for sleepovers, after years of the radio host travelling up the M1 from Sydney to be with them.</p> <p dir="ltr">It isn’t the first time Hadley has dipped his toes into the real estate market, either, with the 68 year old having downsized from his acreage after he turned 66, moving for the first time since the mid-1990s.</p> <p dir="ltr">The home isn’t even his first coastal retreat, with Hadley having snapped up a property on the Gold Coast in 2016, and planning to make an upgrade once again at Main Beach.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though for the time being, he may be a little busy settling into his new home, and maybe even treating himself and Sophie to a night out at their friend John Singleton’s nearby eatery.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: realestate.com.au, Getty</em></p>

Real Estate

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5 of the best things to do in Port Stephens

<p>From magnificent coastline to whale watching and sunsets that will take your breath away, these are five of the best things to do in Port Stephens. Be warned: After reading this you’ll want to hop in the car immediately.</p> <p><strong>1. Camp in luxury safari tent (pictured above)</strong></p> <p>If you’re looking for that up-close-and-personal-with-nature feel that goes hand in hand with camping, but don’t want to go with out the luxuries of a resort, the safari tents at <a href="http://www.twsr.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Thou Walla Sunset Retreat</span></strong></a> are for you. Labelled as “Glamping Safari Tents,” the experience is just that – camping with all of the glamourous trimmings. From the king-size bed to the large flat-screen TV, you can expect all the features that you get from a luxury hotel room, including an electric fireplace, fridge and a big bathroom with a shower and toilet – they are, however, eco friendly with a few different bells and whistles. The tents themselves are located a stone’s throw from the marina and the calm waters of Soliders Point, which runs alongside one length of the site. Located around 15 minutes from Nelson Bay, the award-winning retreat is home to villas as well as the safari tents. If you are adverse to noises in the night, you may want to pack you earplugs to drown out the noisy birds – but apparently they don’t make a ruckus all year round and in any case, the piece des resistance that is the amazing sunset, enjoyed from your tent’s deck with a tipple in hand, by far makes up for the noise. It is absolute bliss.</p> <p><strong>2. Hike up to Tomaree Head</strong></p> <p>Tomaree Head sits 161 metres above Port Stephens and offers the most incredible views of the region. The track to the summit is just over two kilometres and will take around an hour, but you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views over Zenith, Wreck and Box beaches, the lighthouse and WWII gun placements, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands, and potentially even whales or dolphins. There’s a picnic table at the top, so bring your lunch for a meal with a view.</p> <p><strong>3. Go whale watching</strong></p> <p>Every year, thousands of humpback and southern right whales make their way past Port Stephens during their annual migration. At this time of year, the southern migration has begun and you’ll see many mothers with newborn calves returning from the breeding grounds. There are plenty of spots to watch the whales from shore, but for the real experience you need to be out on the water. <a href="http://www.imaginecruises.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Imagine Cruises</span></strong></a> runs whale-watching tours every day from May to November. You’ll be sailing on a 16-metre catamaran as the whales swim right alongside or breach from the water in a stunning display of aquatic acrobatics.</p> <p><strong>4. Spend the day at the beach</strong></p> <p>Port Stephens is surrounded by more than 20 golden sandy beaches so enjoy a classic stop on the shore. There’s a beach for just about every kind of water activity you could ask for, from swimming and surfing to snorkelling, parasailing, fishing and jetskiing. Divers can explore the sea caves and shipwrecks of Fly Point Marine Park. Or you can just spread out your towel, pick up a good book and soak up some sun.</p> <p><strong>5. Have dinner by the water</strong></p> <p>The Port Stephens region is famous for its food and wine, and one of the best spots to taste it is the <a href="http://littlebeachboathouse.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Little Beach Boathouse</span></strong></a>. The restaurant sits right on the water at Nelson Bay – but set away from the main shops on the marina. Styled like a cool, breezy beach house, the menu features fresh local produce like rock oysters, fish and prawns, accompanied by wines from the nearby Hunter Valley and Murray Brewery Beers brewed in Port Stephens. Arrive early for dinner to watch the sunset with a glass of bubbles.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><strong>Related links</strong></p> <p><a href="../travel/international/2016/09/10-of-the-most-incredible-landmarks-in-australia/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>10 of the most incredible landmarks in Australia</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="../travel/international/2016/08/10-images-showcase-the-beauty-of-tasmanian-wilderness/"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>10 images showcase the beauty of Tasmania’s wilderness</strong></span></em></a></p> <p><a href="../travel/international/2016/08/12-aerial-photos-showcasing-south-australias-beauty/"><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">12 aerial photos showcasing South Australia’s beauty</span></em></strong></a></p>

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Australia’s “most boring state” is making waves

<p dir="ltr">The South Australian Tourism Commission is in hot water with its own shadow minister after forking out the funds for influencers to come visit the state, only to have them dub it Australia’s “most boring state”. </p> <p dir="ltr">It was an interesting take, but not necessarily one that was all too surprising - it’s a long-running joke plaguing the state, and the content produced by the Tiktokers has been defended as both intentional and ironic.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Shadow tourism minister Jing Lee does not share that opinion, demanding to know “who has chosen them, why they are here, [and] how they have been selected.”</p> <p dir="ltr">7News have also reported that the opposition are calling for the campaign’s cost to be made public. </p> <p dir="ltr">South Australia’s tourism organisation put their plan into motion in 2022 when they invited 12 social media influencers with millions of followers between them on a fully funded trip to the state. </p> <p dir="ltr">Their itinerary was reportedly designed to highlight “the very best that SA has to offer”, from its “raw beauty” to its “culinary delights”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“What we’re trying to do is demonstrate that people’s perception of Adelaide is patently wrong,” South Australia’s treasurer Stephen Mullighan explained. “That was the whole idea behind it.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Many of the videos that came from the campaign run with captions declaring it to be “the most boring state ever”, or with the influencers asking their followers if they were ready to run amok with them. </p> <p dir="ltr">No matter which tagline the Tiktokers ran with, the content they produced all contained the same hidden message: South Australia was not such a ‘boring’ getaway after all. </p> <p dir="ltr">The clips they featured painted a positive picture of the state, showcasing everything from dolphin cruises to wineries, spectacular dining experiences, and an oyster farm. </p> <p dir="ltr">And as SATC have been happy to report, the campaign has been viewed over 5 million times across TikTok.</p> <p dir="ltr">It still wasn’t enough for Jing Lee, who shared her belief that “the Labor government has an obsession with influencers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But Stephen Mullighan had his own thoughts on the matter - and more specifically, one of the opposition’s previous attempts at a tourism campaign. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re certainly not going to get lectured to by Jing Lee, John Gardner, and the Liberals,” he said, “who were of course responsible for the most humiliating tourism campaign [the 2019 ‘Old Mate’ campaign] that’s been rolled out in our nation’s history in recent times.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

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Hidden gems to see in Australia

<p dir="ltr">If you want to experience Australia in all its glory, then you need to check out these three stunning locations - which just happen to be some of the country’s best-kept secret destinations. </p> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>1. The Whites Beach, Byron Bay, NSW</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Byron Bay is a tourist hotspot, but the town’s Whites Beach is a hidden treasure. Getting there alone is an adventure in itself. You’ll have to drive through a road inside a rainforest and walk to the shoreline once you see a path filled with trees.</p> <p dir="ltr">Once you reach the shoreline you’ll be greeted with crystal clear water, white sand, and if you’re lucky enough, you might even see a dolphin! </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. The Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges, SA</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The Wilpena Pound is abundant with wildlife and covers 50 hectares of land. You’re likely to see some kangaroos, and eagles flying above. It’s a beautiful nature walk and if you go in far enough you can catch a glimpse of incredible Aboriginal rock art and unbelievable geological formations. </p> <p dir="ltr">It has a campground that makes for the perfect base to settle down as you venture off into the breathtaking wilderness.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience, Bird Bay, SA</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Head to Baird Bay Ocean for the once-of-a-lifetime opportunity that is swimming with sea lions! These cheeky little creatures will follow you, and even sometimes mock you.</p> <p dir="ltr">If sea lions take a liking to you, they’ll happily introduce you to their babies. If you’re especially fortunate, you could run into some bottlenose dolphins.</p> <p dir="ltr">Head to these locations for an unforgettable experience, but don't tell your friends!</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4cd351a4-7fff-73b8-bc00-34b0aaa5d32e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Getty/Instagram</em></p>

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