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“Beyond excited": Brittany Higgins announces pregnancy

<p>Brittany Higgins and her husband David Sharaz have announced that they are expecting their first child.</p> <p>The couple, who are living overseas, took to Instagram on Saturday to share the exciting family update. </p> <p>"Can't wait to meet you! Beyond excited to welcome a new member to our little family," she posted with an image of baby clothes hanging on a washing line. </p> <p>“Your parents are already obsessed with you and you aren’t even here yet.”</p> <p>Fans took to the comments to send their best wishes to the future parents. </p> <p>“I just got as close as I can to jumping for joy oh my goodness,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“What a beautiful lucky glorious thing for this little one to have you as its mama."</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/C9ZrkmxMPcS/?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/C9ZrkmxMPcS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Brittany Higgins (@brittanyhiggins___)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“This is ridiculously exciting," another wrote. </p> <p>"Congratulations guys! You are going to be the best parents!" a third commented. </p> <p>"Oh Brittany, this is just the best news. A beautiful little cherub for you to both love and cherish. Huge, huge congratulations," added another. </p> <p>The happy couple recently tied the knot at one of Australia's most exclusive wedding venues, The Valley Estate on the Gold Coast, in June. </p> <p>They first met in 2020, when Sharaz was working as a producer for Karl Stefanovic's brother Pete on his <em>Sky News </em>breakfast program. </p> <p>Higgins and her husband have lived in southern France since last December.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest announced

<p>The annual World's Ugliest Dog contest has unearthed some true diamonds in the ruff, with one long-tongued frizz-ball being honoured with the title of the ugliest dog in the world. </p> <p>At the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, an eight-year-old Pekingese called Wild Thang was crowned the winner and collected the $5,000 cash prize, after failing to take home the prize five years in a row. </p> <p>"He was a fan favorite … he's kind of like the bridesmaid and never the bride," judge Fiona Ma told the <em>Associated Press</em>.</p> <p>"He really tugged at our heart strings and deserved to win."</p> <p>Wild Thang's strange looks stem from a virus he contracted as a puppy that almost killed him, but instead left him with permanent damage.</p> <p>As a result, his teeth never developed, so his tongue flops out, and his right front leg paddles all the time.</p> <p>"He's never had a hair cut so that is the way he is and [his owner] shaves his stomach and he likes to sleep on ice packs," Ma added.</p> <p>"He is just a sweet dog – I was just holding him and he loves to be held and cuddled. That's part of it, these rescue dogs, they just need forever homes, so please adopt, don't shop."</p> <p>Organisers stressed that the contest is not about making fun of the unusual looking dogs, "but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!"</p> <p><em>Image credits: JOHN G MABANGLO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Ash Barty announces surprise return to tennis

<p>Ash Barty is set to return to the courts of Wimbledon for the first time since retiring in March 2022. </p> <p>The Aussie tennis legend agreed to take part in an invitational doubles match. </p> <p>Barty will play in the exhibition match on Tuesday July 9 (UK time), and the event will include a women's doubles, men's double, and mixed doubles event. </p> <p>Wimbledon took to Instagram to announce the news on Wednesday morning. </p> <p>"Reunited with the Wimbledon grass," they said, with a picture of Barty. </p> <p>"Delighted to have our 2021 singles champion Ash Barty returning for this year's Invitational Doubles."</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/C8aXBTrtZ5S/?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/C8aXBTrtZ5S/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Wimbledon (@wimbledon)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Since her retirement, Barty married her partner Gary Kissick in July 2022 and gave birth to her son Hayden a year later. </p> <p>Barty's return to the courts come one month after she announced that <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/never-say-never-ash-barty-s-surprising-new-career-move" target="_blank" rel="noopener">she will be commentating </a>as part of the BBC's team for Wimbledon alongside Nick Kyrgios. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

News

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"Do not cry for me": Teacher announces own death

<p>A teacher and mum-of-two who chronicled her breast cancer journey online has announced her own death, through a social media post written before her passing. </p> <p>"If you're reading this, it means I have died," Kate Rackham, 45, shared on her <em>Teacher With Cancer </em>X account. </p> <p>"But do not cry for me. I have lived my life on my own terms, the way I have wanted to."</p> <p>The mum told her followers that she joined X, formerly Twitter, as she "needed an outlet", but "what I got was so much more". </p> <p>"You made me feel validated in my feelings and much less alone. Thank you."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">If you’re reading this, it means I have died. But do not cry for me. I have lived my life on my own terms, the way I have wanted to. I joined X because I needed an outlet, what I got was so much more. You made me feel validated in my feelings and much less alone. Thank you ❤️</p> <p>— Teacher with Cancer (@kate_rackham) <a href="https://twitter.com/kate_rackham/status/1801137648146243756?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The British mum was only 39 when she was diagnosed with  incurable oestrogen-receptive breast cancer and spent the past six years fighting the disease. </p> <p>She began documenting her journey online, and explained that she had no obvious risk factors leading to the disease. </p> <p>Just before her passing, she was admitted into hospital and was told by doctors that "there is nothing more we can do" and that she "needed a bit of time" to process the news. </p> <p>"I'm now home, where I want to be. With Mark and the girls. Surrounded by love, family and friends," she shared at the time. </p> <p>"Everyone is rallying around and I have so much support. Despite everything I feel blessed."</p> <p>Many have shared their condolences, including friends and those who are also battling breast cancer. </p> <p>"When my time comes, I can but hope I display the dignity and strength of character you did. Much love and condolences to your family and friends," one wrote.</p> <p>"I hope you are free from the pain. You still live in your children your husband. Your legacy," another said.</p> <p>"Thank you for sharing your journey with grace and dignity," a third added. </p> <p>"I hope wherever you are you are no longer in pain. Sending love and thoughts to your family."</p> <p>Rackham is survived by her husband Mark and their two daughters Ruby and Nancy. </p> <p><em>Images: X/ Nine</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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Result of Chris Dawson's appeal announced

<p>In a significant decision, the state's highest criminal appeal court has denied Chris Dawson's attempt to overturn his conviction for the calculated murder of his wife, Lynette, whose mysterious disappearance in 1982 remains one of Sydney's most perplexing cases.</p> <p>Dawson was found guilty in 2022 of murdering Lynette Joy Simms, who was 33 years old when she disappeared from their Bayview home in January 1982. Despite extensive investigations, her body has never been recovered.</p> <p>Justice Ian Harrison, who presided over the trial, determined that Dawson, a former teacher and rugby league player, murdered Lynette to remove what he saw as an obstacle to a new life with "JC", his former student and the babysitter of the couple's two children. JC moved into Dawson's home within days of Lynette's disappearance. Harrison sentenced Dawson to a maximum of 24 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 18 years.</p> <p>Now 75, Dawson appealed the conviction in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. On Thursday at 2pm, the court dismissed his appeal, solidifying the initial verdict.</p> <p>Compounding his legal woes, Dawson's non-parole period was extended by a year after his conviction for unlawful sexual activity with a student in 1980. Consequently, Dawson will not be eligible for release until 2041, when he will be 93 years of age.</p> <p>After Lynette was officially declared missing, Dawson remarried twice. He wed JC on January 15, 1984, at the Bayview home he had shared with Lynette. Later that year, the couple relocated to Queensland. JC left Dawson in early 1990 and made her first police statement regarding Lynette's disappearance in May that year, prompting renewed investigations.</p> <p>Dawson's legal team presented five grounds for appeal. They argued that the delay in criminal proceedings disadvantaged Dawson and that Harrison's verdict was unsupported by evidence. They claimed the Crown failed to disprove that Lynette was alive on January 9, 1982, and that the evidence as a whole did not substantiate Dawson's guilt.</p> <p>Harrison maintained in his August 2022 judgment that proving Lynette's death around January 8, 1982, was crucial to the Crown's case. Dawson's barrister, Belinda Rigg, SC, argued that it was plausible Lynette was alive on January 9 and had contacted Dawson at his part-time job, suggesting she needed time away to resolve personal issues. However, Harrison found Dawson's claim – solely supported by his own testimony, which he did not present at trial – was a lie.</p> <p>Justice Christine Adamson, one of the appellate judges, highlighted the absence of phone records, noting the uncertainty they posed: "We don’t have the phone records, and there’s no way of knowing whether the phone records are going to be completely neutral, or exculpatory, or inculpatory."</p> <p>Rigg contended during the appeal that Dawson's ability to verify his account independently had been compromised by the delay.</p> <p>The court's decision to dismiss Dawson's appeal reinforces the gravity of his crimes and underscores the enduring quest for justice in one of Australia's most enduring mysteries.</p> <p><em>Images: Twitter (X) | Nine</em></p>

Legal

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More holidays sunk as P&O announce further cancellations

<p>Just days after P&O announced it would be <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/cruising/major-australian-cruise-line-shuts-down" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ceasing operations</a> from early 2025, travellers have been left frustrated after more voyages have been cancelled. </p> <p>After 90 years at sea, P&O Australia is set to be integrated into sister ocean travel outfit Carnival Cruise Line in March 2025, impacting travel plans for many. </p> <p>P&O’s ship Pacific Explorer will be retired under the move, prompting mass cruise cancellations for travellers scheduled to set sail after March 2nd.</p> <p>Now, the company has announced further cancellations on two other vessels in its fleet.</p> <p>Four Pacific Adventure itineraries have been cancelled, including V515, V516, V517, V518, while another four Pacific Encounter itineraries have also been scrapped, including I512, I513, I514.</p> <p>The impacted cruises were scheduled to depart from Sydney and Brisbane in March 2025, but both vessels will be out of action for two weeks while they are rebranded by Carnival and undergo a technology upgrade, a Carnival spokesperson told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/pacific-adventure-and-pacific-encounter-cancellations-follow-news-po-cruises-brand-is-being-retired-c-14919420" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>Staff will be contacting impacted travellers in the coming days with information on refunds and offers of extra onboard spending.</p> <p> </p> <p>“We apologise that this change has been necessary,” the company said.</p> <p>“If you are booked on any other P&O Cruises Australia itinerary your cruise is unaffected by this announcement and we look forward to welcoming you on board soon."</p> <p>“No Carnival Cruise Line itineraries are impacted by this announcement.”</p> <p>The Pacific Explorer will be removed from P&O’s fleet at the end of February, with its final journey being an 11-night cruise to Singapore that leaves Fremantle on February 7th 2025. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Cyndi Lauper announces farewell tour

<p>Cyndi Lauper is saying goodbye to fans after announcing that her upcoming US tour will also be her last. </p> <p>The music legend, who turns 71 later this month, will go on a <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">23-date tour of the US and Canada in October. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The announcement of her tour titled </span><em>Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: The Farewell Tour,</em> sent fans into a frenzy on social media, as they begged her to extend her last tour to more countries. </p> <p>“Farewell tour? Nooo,” wrote one fan on Instagram. </p> <p>“I’m so happy and so incredibly sad. I know you have worked your booty off since the very early 80s and you are due for a darn good rest but I just cannot imagine not seeing you all the time,” another added. </p> <p>“I hate farewells and I am so thankful I grew up when your music was always on the radio!” a third wrote. </p> <p>Fans hoped that the singer would hold a similar farewell tour to fellow pop diva Cher, who went on a 326-date farewell tour from 2002 to 2005. </p> <p>Cher has since performed two more world tours and two separate Las Vegas residences, making it a total of 430 concerts since her announcement. </p> <p>Lauper has not yet spoken publicly about what exactly this “farewell” means in terms of whether she is retiring from touring or the music industry altogether. </p> <p>The singer last visited Australia in March 2023, when she was a support act for Rod Stewart. </p> <p>In the 1980s she had 10 top 20 hits, including scoring a number one spot for her solo debut single <em>Girls Just Wanna Have Fun</em>.</p> <p><em>Image: SplashNews.com/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Music

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Cold Chisel share major announcement

<p>Cold Chisel have announced a national tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary. </p> <p>The iconic Aussie rock band will visit a number of capital cities for <a href="https://www.coldchisel.com/tour/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Big Five-O tour</a>, which will be a celebration of their biggest hits spanning five decades.</p> <p>The anniversary party will kick off in the NSW city of Armidale on October 5th, paying tribute to the town where they based themselves out of in the early days of their career. </p> <p>In the months after undergoing open heart surgery, Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes said touring Australia was a number one priority. </p> <p>"The Big Five-0 is a landmark moment," Barnes said.</p> <p>"There have been plenty of times where I never thought I'd live to see this day so I'm going to make the most of it."</p> <p>"I can't wait to celebrate with my mates and with all the fans who have been such a big part of our story. We're gonna smash it!"</p> <p>In addition to the tour, the band will be releasing a Best Of album in August, which is set to be jam packed with all their biggest hits. </p> <p>Check out the dates for The Big Five-O tour below.</p> <ul> <li>October 5 - Petersons Winery, Armidale, NSW (Red Hot Summer tour)</li> <li>October 8 - Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre</li> <li>October 11 - The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, Sydney</li> <li>October 15 - WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong</li> <li>October 19 - Sandalford Wines, Swan Valley, WA (Red Hot Summer Tour)</li> <li>October 25 - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne</li> <li>November 2 - Victoria Park, Brisbane</li> <li>November 6 - Newcastle Entertainment Centre</li> <li>November 9 - Victoria Park, Ballarat (Red Hot Summer tour)</li> <li>November 13 - MyState Bank Arena, Hobart</li> <li>November 17 - VAILO Adelaide 500, Post Race Concert, Adelaide</li> </ul> <p>Fan Presale will begin from 12pm on Friday May 31st, while General Public tickets will go on sale from 12pm on June 4th. </p> <p><em>Image credits: SplashNews.com/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Telstra announces thousands of job losses

<p>Telstra is set to axe 2,800 jobs, or 9 percent of their total workforce, by the end of 2024 in a bid to save a whopping $350 million. </p> <p>The telco giant announced that the job cuts would "begin immediately" as a result of the impending business "reset" strategy. </p> <p>Chief executive officer Vicki Brady announced the cuts on Tuesday, and said the job cuts were "difficult" but "necessary" as parts of Telstra were not performing to the required levels.</p> <div> <div>"We need to be a more efficient and sustainable business to ensure we can keep investing at the levels required to meet the ever-increasing demand for our connectivity and services for our customers right across the country," she said.</div> </div> <p>Ms Brady also assured Telstra customers that the job losses would not affect customer service teams. </p> <p>“We have invested significantly in our customer service over recent years. That includes on-shoring our call centres for consumer and small business customers, it includes buying back our stores to deliver consistently good experience,” she said.</p> <p>“None of these changes impact those commitments." </p> <p>“As we work through the further changes still to come that I expect to be able to share with our employees in mid-July, customer service and experience will continue to be a key priority in that.”</p> <p>Despite Ms Brady's claims, Communication Workers Union (CWU) National Assistant Secretary, James Perkins, who represents Telstra workers said there was no way the substantial job cuts would not affect services.</p> <p>“While the detail of where exactly these jobs are being cut from is still unclear, one thing is certain – it will have a devastating impact on services,” Mr Perkins said. </p> <p>“You can’t slash thousands of jobs without seriously impacting the delivery of services across the country. Telstra has to answer to this.”</p> <p>The job cuts come as Telstra continues to scale up AI adoption, after the company announced in February it was expanding two in-house developed generative AI solutions following “promising pilots with frontline team members, enabling faster and more successful interactions with customers”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"I love you all": Social media star announces her own death

<p>Social media star Kimberley Nix has passed away at the age of 31 after a gruelling battle with cancer, and has announced the news of her own death to her dedicated followers. </p> <p>The TikTok star, who has amassed a following of 143,000 people as she documented her cancer journey, spoke candidly in a pre-filmed video that was posted to her page, letting her followers know that her "journey here is over". </p> <p>Kimberley, who was also a doctor in training, told her fans that if they were seeing the heartbreaking clip, that she had "passed", before sharing that they had made her "so happy".</p> <p>She captioned the viral video, which has so far amassed more than 5.1 million views, "My journey here is over and I can't thank each and every one of you enough. You have all made me so happy and your comments and support are more than enough to have gotten anyone through anything!"</p> <p>"If you wish, please donate through my link in bio to sarcoma cancer research and follow my husband [Michael MacIsaac] in his updates."</p> <p>At the beginning of the clip, Kimberley said, "Hello followers, if you're seeing this clip, I have passed away peacefully. "</p> <p>Holding back tears, she said that she had a "very beautiful life" that she was "so proud" of. </p> <p>"Those who know me, know I love my pets, my husband, and makeup. And though being a doctor is a big part of my identity, those are the things that matter," she said during the heartbreaking clip.</p> <p>Kim went on to note that in 2021 she got the "opportunity to start making TikTok videos", admitting that she "never thought anything would come of it".</p> <p>"I shared about love, joy, and gratitude because in this journey, I was grateful for the people and the little moments."</p> <p>"Those little parts of your day, like that warm first sip of tea in the morning or how it feels when snow is fresh on your face, those are the most beautiful [moments]."</p> <p>At the end of the clip, she thanked her followers for helping her and said that they meant the world to her. </p> <p>"I can't thank you enough, I will miss you TikTok. I love you all. Thank you for this amazing opportunity, I am in happy tears because I have found so much purpose in the end of my life," she said.</p> <p>"Thank you from the bottom of my heart, goodbye."</p> <p>Kimberley was diagnosed with metastatic sarcoma, which is known as cell cancer, at just 28 years old, and she was finishing up her final year of her internal medicine core residency when she got the diagnosis. </p> <p>She is survived by her husband Michael, who she married in February. </p> <p><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Caring

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Peter Andre announces baby daughter's name

<p>One month after the birth of his daughter, Peter Andre has finally shared his new baby's name. </p> <p>The announcement comes four weeks after Andre and his Emily MacDonagh shared the news of their daughter's arrival, while admitting to their fans they were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/help-name-our-baby-peter-andre-s-extraordinary-plea" target="_blank" rel="noopener">struggling</a> to find a name. </p> <p>Emily picked out the name of their daughter, as Peter took to Instagram to share the news. </p> <p>"I think you've chosen a beautiful name, [Emily]. Arabella Rose Andréa," the proud dad announced was the baby's name, alongside a professional newborn photo.</p> <p>"I LOVE it and I love her... and you of course," he told his wife of eight years, who is a GP, author and media personality, before adding in what Arabella is written in the Greek alphabet.</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/C6dPoDOIOL-/?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/C6dPoDOIOL-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Peter Andre (@peterandre)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Arabella arrived on April 2nd, with the proud new parents sharing photos taken when she was "just minutes old" with fans.</p> <p>"We feel so overwhelmed right now," Andre said.</p> <p>"So happy to welcome our beautiful girl to the family. Mum and daughter are doing amazing."</p> <p>However, he shared an unusual plea with his followers as he shared that the couple were having difficulty coming up with a name for their bub. </p> <p>"As parents, we couldn't be happier. Only thing is…. she has no name yet. Help!"</p> <p>The comment section of the post was flooded with potential names for the little girl, with some suggesting the chosen name of Arabella.</p> <p>Andre and MacDonagh are also parents to Amelia, 10, and Theo, seven.</p> <p>The singer also shares two children - Junior, 18, and Princess, 16, - with his first wife, Katie Price.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

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"Finally felt like the right time": John Farnham's huge announcement

<p>John Farnham has announced his triumphant return one year on from his cancer surgery, sharing the news of a highly anticipated project. </p> <p>The 74-year-old Aussie music icon is set to tell his story in his own words with the release of his own candid memoir titled <em>The Voice Inside</em>. </p> <p>The autobiography, which will be released on October 30th, is co-written by Poppy Stockwell, who is the award-winning writer and director of the critically acclaimed biopic Finding the Voice.</p> <p>The book documents Farnham's early life and stardom growing up in Melbourne in the 1960s, to his comeback 1986 album <em>Whispering Jack</em>.</p> <p>It will recall the highs and lows of fame, including when his stellar career stalled, record companies turned their backs and he faced financial ruin.</p> <p><em>The Voice Inside</em> will also detail his shocking diagnosis of mouth cancer in 2022 which turned his life upside down. </p> <p>The book was announced on Farnham's Facebook page, with a statement sharing how he felt it was "the right time" to tell his story. </p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjohnfarnham%2Fposts%2Fpfbid02tZwog7QbEW6AxDUxNMp3Kn5msAghjd9yUQe56optBdyX8ZL1DQFm4qvpUYsSjo2Rl&show_text=true&width=500" width="500" height="728" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"Having been asked many times, it finally felt like the right time to sit down and tell my story," he said.</p> <p>"It is a very strange feeling looking back on my life, on the good and the bad, and now that I have started, it is all rushing back. I hope the book engages and entertains, because that’s what so much of my life has been about."</p> <p>The book will "chart John Farnham’s very personal and public journey, told in his own words and with his inimitable humour, insight, and humility."</p> <p>The post was quickly flooded with comments from fans eager to get their hands on the memoir, while many shared their well wishes as he continues his lengthy recovery from cancer. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

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Qantas announces massive overhaul of frequent flyer program

<p>Qantas, Australia's flagship airline, has unveiled significant changes to its frequent flyer program in response to ongoing feedback from millions of members. The announcement, made at the airline's headquarters in Sydney, marks one of the most substantial expansions in the 35-year history of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.</p> <p>During the event, Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson, alongside Andrew Glance, the newly appointed Loyalty boss, outlined the updates to both the media and select members of the frequent flyer program. These changes aim to address longstanding concerns and enhance the overall experience for loyal customers.</p> <p>A key highlight of the overhaul is the introduction of Classic Plus Flight Rewards, providing members with access to an additional 20 million reward seats for booking flights. Vanessa Hudson said that this expansion is a direct response to member feedback.</p> <p>“The Qantas Frequent Flyer program is an integral part of Qantas and has always been about recognising our customers for their loyalty," Hudson said. "We’ve spent a lot of time listening to members about how we can better reward them . . . We’re adding over 20 million new flight rewards with the launch of a new type of reward seat called Classic Plus. It’s one of the biggest expansions we’ve made to the Frequent Flyer program in its 35-year history."</p> <p>With Classic Plus Flight Rewards, frequent flyer members can now access sought-after destinations such as London, Tokyo, New York and Singapore with greater ease, even during peak travel periods. This substantial increase in available seats – 20 million annually compared to the previous 5 million – represents a significant advantage for members seeking to redeem their points for travel.</p> <p>However, it's important to note that while Classic Plus Flight Rewards offer increased availability, they will require more points to book compared to the original program.</p> <p>This announcement follows recent speculation about a major revamp of the frequent flyer program, with Qantas hinting at changes aimed at allowing customers to maximise the value of their points.</p> <p>These changes come in response to feedback from program members, some of whom have voiced frustrations about the devaluation of points and difficulties in securing rewards seats. </p> <p>Qantas' announcement of sweeping changes to its frequent flyer program signals a significant step in the airline's ongoing efforts to prioritise customer satisfaction and loyalty.</p> <p><em>Images: Qantas</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Announcing Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis should have been simple. But the palace let it get out of hand

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/victoria-fielding-236389">Victoria Fielding</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/saira-ali-1522239">Saira Ali</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p>The British royal family is famous for its carefully curated media image. That’s why it was a surprise to see them lose control of the narrative in the wake of what we now know is a serious health crisis befalling Catherine, Princess of Wales (or Kate Middleton as she’s popularly known).</p> <p>It is clear the nearly 1,000-year-old institution of the monarchy and its tradition of “<a href="https://news.northeastern.edu/2024/03/14/kate-middleton-photo-pr-crisis/">never complain, never explain</a>” is being tested by social media and its power to spread rumours and misinformation. The palace’s public relations team has underestimated how difficult it is to manage relationships with social media audiences. Their reactive attempts to rein in speculation has turned Catherine’s health challenge into a PR disaster.</p> <p>Social media, with its lax regulations and freer environment, offers a more open forum for users to say whatever they like about the royals. It’s served as a hotbed for Catherine conspiracies, particularly on TikTok. These theories are as wild as they are ridiculous, from Catherine being a prisoner in the palace to her hiding in <a href="https://www.prdaily.com/kate-middleton-stanley-alabama-retail/">Taylor Swift’s London home</a>.</p> <p>What should have been a simple announcement to a sympathetic public about a popular royal having cancer turned into a spider’s web of competing conspiracy theories across social media. How did it all go so terribly wrong?</p> <h2>I’ve lost track, what happened?</h2> <p>All was well with the Prince and Princess of Wales when they were filmed attending church on Christmas Day. As usual when royals are out in public, the scene was picture perfect with everyone dutifully smiling for the cameras in “<a href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/a46227698/kate-middleton-royal-blue-christmas-day-church-service-prince-william-kids/">co-ordinated</a>” outfits.</p> <p>Two weeks later, Kensington Palace announced Catherine had undergone planned abdominal surgery, with <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/princess-kate-hospitalized-after-planned-abdominal-surgery-palace/story?id=106441561">palace sources</a> telling media the surgery had been “successful” and she would need two weeks to recover.</p> <p>On January 29, the palace announced Catherine had returned home to recuperate. <a href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a46569739/king-charles-discharged-from-hospital/">Unlike King Charles</a> when he released news of his cancer diagnosis on February 5, Catherine was not photographed leaving hospital. This was the first PR misstep. She had appeared outside hospital soon after giving birth to her three children, but this time she remained uncharacteristically out of the public eye.</p> <p>Almost a month later, when Prince William <a href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/prince-william-pulls-memorial-godfather-211406977.html?amp;guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&amp;guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAG6tOzuXsqZXP6G2nLLd-lnWzZhYKHVJ5TJ-w5XCCfgMjerRrR8v1R8unjtcoQTbvPDsVt3mtTcZ_g0os6zwOuEFfMKCh0kfEExvz-dB2FG0uqcy6-GoryjvG99TEhMli66hNZLjLENmMhq1mwoV7GmM0AYezMDsZtZVtONH9C1b&amp;guccounter=2">unexpectedly withdrew</a> from his godfather’s memorial citing “personal reasons”, social media users started asking “Where is Princess Kate?”.</p> <p>Used to a steady stream of content about the royal family, the public were unsurprisingly questioning if there was more to Catherine’s abdominal surgery than they were being told.</p> <p>In a rare reactive move, the palace tried to quell questions about Catherine’s whereabouts by releasing a <a href="https://people.com/palace-responds-kate-middleton-conspiracy-theories-online-surgery-recovery-rare-statement-8602191">statement</a> reiterating that she would not be returning to public duties until Easter.</p> <p>On March 4, US outlet <a href="https://www.tmz.com/2024/03/04/kate-middleton-seen-spotted-public-first-time-mystery-hospitalization/">TMZ published</a> a paparazzi photo of Catherine driving with her mother. Social media audiences asked if it really was Catherine.</p> <p>Over the next week, conspiracy theories about Catherine’s absence reached frenzied levels. To show everything was fine, Kensington Palace released a <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1766750995445387393?s=20">Mother’s Day photo</a> of Catherine and her children on their social media accounts. Social media users spotted apparently edited flaws and global news agencies announced “<a href="https://apnews.com/article/kate-princess-photo-surgery-ca91acf667c87c6c70a7838347d6d4fb">kill orders</a>”, saying the image had been manipulated. The next day, Catherine <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1767135566645092616">apologised</a> on social media for editing the photo.</p> <p>Although royals have been <a href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a60191061/royal-photoshop-history/">editing their pictures</a> for centuries, it seems particularly digitally naive of the palace’s PR team to release such an obviously edited image into an already cynical social media environment, creating fodder for more conspiracy theories.</p> <p>Mainstream news outlets then joined social media users in asking questions about Catherine’s absence. Although this media attention did not legitimise wild conspiracies, in some ways it fuelled them.</p> <p>Days later, TMZ <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erWJNmbrECs">published footage</a> of Catherine and William shopping. At this point in the media chaos, many social media users claimed it was fake.</p> <p>This intense public speculation finally ended on March 23, when Catherine <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1771235267837321694?s=20">released a video</a> explaining her extended absence after abdominal surgery was caused by the surgeons discovering cancer.</p> <p>During a crisis, the public crave transparency, authenticity, honesty and reassurance. These elements were missing in the royal PR team’s carefully worded statements made directly to mainstream media along with reactive, overly curated social media posts.</p> <p>By providing scant details, the palace seemed to believe they could control public perception. But public image is increasingly difficult to control.</p> <h2>The double-edged sword of social media</h2> <p>After Princess Diana’s death in a paparazzi-chase car accident, privacy laws and <a href="https://time.com/4914324/princess-diana-anniversary-paparazzi-tabloid-media/">media regulations</a> forbade the most invasive breaches of the royal family’s privacy, particularly for her children, princes William and Harry. However, tabloid appetite for uncontrolled access soon returned once the princes became adults.</p> <p>Recently, Harry and his wife Meghan have been involved in <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/prince-harry-his-many-lawsuits-against-press-2023-12-15/">several lawsuits</a> against media companies over breaches of privacy, including phone hacking.</p> <p>The rise of social media has typically been viewed as a tool that gives royals more control over their image through the curation of their own personal content. Previously, the fact Catherine was the one <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/kate-middleton-cutest-family-photos-2018-5">taking photos</a> of her children was seen as a sign of authenticity and being down to earth (as much as a princess could be).</p> <p>Yet, social media is both a blessing and a curse for the management of public reputations.</p> <p>The perpetuation of contested facts and theories on social media in the wake of Princess Catherine’s unexplained absence shows how difficult it is to curate a controlled image using social media. Lack of verified information in mainstream media helps fuel speculative flames.</p> <p>While <a href="https://www.thedrum.com/news/2024/03/22/where-the-palace-lost-the-plot-and-what-we-can-learn-about-pr-and-empathy-kategate">PR experts</a> believe it is understandable and appropriate for Catherine and her family to have privacy during this time, more timely, direct and honest communication would have gone a long way to prevent relentless gossip.</p> <p>Once rumours and conspiracies gained momentum, the palace perhaps thought the less information provided, the better. However, silence during a crisis just fuels more speculation because the lack of information makes it look like there is something to hide.</p> <p>Catherine’s personal video announcing her cancer diagnosis helped end the social media frenzy. This shows a simple, clear statement posted by Kensington Palace to social media weeks ago would likely have avoided the PR disaster and provided Catherine the privacy she so clearly needs.</p> <p>The palace is now <a href="https://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/2986509/kate-middleton-cancer-pr-disaster/">being criticised</a> for complicating a situation that was relatively simple in retrospect. Many social media users are also upset Catherine took public blame for the photoshopping incident.</p> <p>Any organisation that deals with the media to maintain positive reputations, including the British monarchy, has no choice but to adapt to all kinds of media, including social media. The long-time practice of keeping calm and carrying on amid controversy and the 24-hour gossip cycle doesn’t work in the era of TikTok, X and YouTube.</p> <p>In the absence of trusted information, social media will do what it does best: take mostly innocuous online chatter and amplify it until it goes viral.<!-- 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/226490/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/victoria-fielding-236389">Victoria Fielding</a>, Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/saira-ali-1522239">Saira Ali</a>, Senior Lecturer in Media, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</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/announcing-kate-middletons-cancer-diagnosis-should-have-been-simple-but-the-palace-let-it-get-out-of-hand-226490">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Veteran Channel 7 news presenter announces shock departure

<p>Longtime presenter of Channel 7 news Jodie Speers has announced her departure from the program after 15 years. </p> <p>Jodie has long been the face of the early morning <em>7News</em> bulletin, but has decided to step back after a decade and a half behind the desk. </p> <p>Taking to Instagram on Friday, she announced it would be her final day on the job. </p> <p>Jodie shared a series of photos documenting her highlights from her many years in the role, while candidly sharing why she was calling it quits. </p> <p>“The end of an era! I didn’t expect to feel so emotional today! 💓” she said.</p> <p>“This job has given me so much over the past 15 years. From a stint in federal parliament, another one in the courts, and everything from crime scenes to red carpets, bushfires to brain surgeries, every day was different."</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/C4yhod8yjcd/?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/C4yhod8yjcd/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jodie Speers (@jodiespeers)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Sometimes sad, often stressful, at times hilarious or completely bizarre 🤪”</p> <p>Speers then spoke of how the job impacted her family life, admitting it had been difficult balancing the unusual hours and being a mother to three kids, who she shared with husband Ben Fordham. </p> <p>“I’ve since spent years reading the early news ... juggling babies and toddlers, getting up at an ungodly hour ... but getting home in time to see my babies wake up."</p> <p>“I’ve been chipping away at a law degree for the last year and now looking forward to a new season ... getting back to court in a different capacity!"</p> <p>“As always, the people make the place — I’ve worked with so many over the years — and can’t think of a single bad egg. It’s these guys I will definitely miss the most ❤️🙏.”</p> <p>Friends and colleagues flocked to the comment section to send their well wishes to Jodie on her next venture, while congratulating her 15-year stint with Channel 7. </p> <p><em>Sunrise</em> weather presenter Sam Mac said, “Going to miss starting our day with you 🙌 But your new profession may come in handy for me one day 🤷🏽‍♂️ congratulations & well done 👏.”</p> <p>“You are incredible! I always loved seeing you if i was ever in Sydney. You are so warm, genuine and kind! Cannot believe you’ve been working, studying law and juggling 3 kids! Amazing! Big love and best wishes for the next chapter x,” former <em>7News </em>presenter Kendall Gilding said.</p> <p>“One of the best in TV! Absolute class act,” <em>Sunrise</em> presenter Shaun White said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

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"I have some very big news": Today host announces shock resignation

<p>In a shock announcement on Friday morning, beloved <em>Today </em>show presenter Brooke Boney revealed that she will be bidding farewell to the morning program.</p> <p>Boney, known for her vibrant presence and insightful reporting, has been an integral part of the show since 2019, captivating audiences with her charisma and professionalism. However, her journey is about to take a new turn as she embarks on a remarkable academic pursuit at Oxford University.</p> <p>“Guys, I have some very big news for you this morning," Boney said to her co-hosts on the panel. "I’ve been offered a place at Oxford University later this year, which means I’ll be leaving the show after the Olympics</p> <p>“I don’t want to go into too much right now, because there’ll be plenty of time for goodbyes and thank yous, but I just wanted to share that good-slash-bad news with you all this morning.</p> <p>“It’s been a dream of mine to be able to study at an overseas university, and it just felt like the right time to take that step.</p> <p>“I’m so grateful to come in here every day and I love you all so much. So it’s made the decision really difficult. But it just means that you’ll all have to plan trips to the UK to come and visit."</p> <p>The news of Boney's departure stirred a wave of emotions among fans and colleagues alike. With tears and heartfelt messages, the tight-knit morning show panel expressed their pride and support for her next endeavour. Co-hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo showered Boney with words of encouragement, acknowledging her longstanding dream of studying at an overseas university.</p> <p>“We are very, very proud of you,” Stefanovic said. “So proud of you,” Abo added.</p> <p>Boney's journey to this pivotal moment has been marked by dedication and perseverance. Hailing from the Hunter Region of NSW, she discovered her passion for media at a young age, volunteering at a local community radio station. Her path led her to Sydney, where she pursued an advertising cadetship before delving into university education as a mature-age student. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 2013, Boney's career trajectory took her to various roles, from political correspondent to newsreader on Triple J's breakfast show.</p> <p>Now, as she prepares to embark on a Masters in Public Policy at Oxford University, Boney reflected on the significance of this opportunity. "I thought if I don't do this now, then I'm probably never going to," she shared.</p> <p>While bidding farewell to the <em>Today</em> show, Boney reassured viewers that her departure is not the end of her journey with Nine. Expressing her desire to explore future collaborations with the network, she remains optimistic about the possibilities that lie ahead.</p> <p>As Brooke Boney prepares to embark on her next chapter, her legacy as a trailblazing journalist and cherished presenter continues to inspire. As she bids adieu to the morning show, audiences eagerly await the next chapter in her remarkable journey.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

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Alan Jones breaks silence with big announcement

<p>Radio veteran Alan Jones has made it clear that he intends to return to the broadcasting scene, despite facing health setbacks and controversies.</p> <p>In a recent video released to the public, the 82-year-old affirmed his commitment to getting back behind the microphone. Jones, a prominent figure in Australian media, addressed the various challenges he has encountered during his hiatus. Last year, he found himself embroiled in a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/alan-jones-vehemently-denies-bombshell-allegations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">series of allegations</a> reported by Nine Newspapers, which accused him of misconduct involving young men. Firmly denying these allegations, Jones reiterated his stance, labelling the claims as "demonstrably false" and refuting them entirely.</p> <p>“I’m not going to dwell here on the allegations made about me other than I refute them entirely and the inferences associated with them,” Jones said in the video announcement. “But the get-Jones campaign is nothing new in my life.”</p> <p>Despite the legal storm looming over him, Jones departed for London before Christmas, attributing his trip to a promise made to his godson to experience the vibrant theatre scene of London's West End.</p> <p>Dispelling speculations about the purpose of his journey, Jones clarified that his visit to London was not aimed at seeking assistance from his protégé Jake Thrupp, who was reportedly in Bali during most of Jones' stay. Instead, Jones expressed his eagerness to resume his broadcasting endeavours, particularly through the online platform ADH TV, with plans initially set for February of this year.</p> <p>However, unforeseen health issues have posed significant hurdles to Jones' plans for a swift return. Admitting to grappling with persistent health concerns, including "traumatic pain", Jones disclosed that he had been delaying necessary medical intervention. “I have every intention of returning to broadcasting eventually, it is what I do,” he said. “My work has been my life. I could have retired but as I’ve often said ‘if you stop, you drop’.”</p> <p>Recent images capturing him using a walking stick underscored the severity of his condition, prompting him to confront the reality of his physical limitations.</p> <p>Jones candidly shared his health prognosis, revealing that his condition had been assessed as "poor" by medical professionals. Advised to prioritise his well-being, he acknowledged the necessity of addressing his health before resuming his professional duties.</p> <p>“I have suffered no mental ageing," he said, "but I am living with two choices - constant pain where painkillers become totally ineffective or powerful medication with side effects including loss of agility and movement and erratic sleep.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Virgin Australia announces big news for pet owners

<p>Virgin Australia has made a major announcement for pet owners who worried about leaving their furry friends at home when they travel. </p> <p>Outgoing Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka announced on Thursday that they will be the first Australian airline to let small animals travel in the cabin. </p> <p>The revolutionary move is subject to regulatory approval, but if it gets through, Virgin will launch the pet flights on specific domestic routes within the next 12 months.</p> <p>Only small animals will be allowed to travel under the new rules, with specific rows on pet flights reserved for those travelling with their small dogs and cats. </p> <p>They will also be required to be held in a pet carrier under the seat in front of the owner for the duration of the flight, and will not be able to roam around freely or sit on people’s laps for the entirety of the journey.</p> <p>“Overwhelmingly, our guests tell us they want to travel with their pets, and we are now on a journey to make that a reality. It’s something that commonly happens overseas and is proven to work well,” Hrdlicka said.</p> <p>“Almost 70 per cent of Australian households have a pet, so this announcement is really significant for a large proportion of the country."</p> <p>“It’s also a great thing for pet-friendly accommodation providers who will benefit greatly from increased connectivity and the ease for travellers to fly with their pets. It really will be a whole new economy for pet travel in Australia.”</p> <p>This change will not affect existing arrangements for approved service animals, and passengers travelling with larger pets could still pay for them to be transported as cargo.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Virgin Australia</em></p>

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"Go enjoy your life": Young woman announces her own death

<p>A young woman has announced the news of her own death after a gruelling battle with cancer, while sharing her wishes for her grieving loved ones. </p> <p>Daniella Thackray, a 25-year-old from Leeds, took to social media to share the her heart-breaking final words, after an eight-month battle with the rare disease. </p> <p>The young digital marketing specialist had pre-written the message for her family to post on her behalf after dying of cholangiocarcinoma, a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts.</p> <p>The emotional message paid tribute to her family, fiancé Tom, and dog Leo, as she encouraged her loved ones to “enjoy the little things” in life and “cherish every moment” after she had “gone”.</p> <p>She wrote: “If you’re reading this then it means I have died from my battle with cancer and my family are posting my final message on my behalf.</p> <p>“Firstly, I just want to say that not all cancers are caused by lifestyle choices, in some cases it’s genetics or unfortunately it just happens." </p> <p>“In my case, despite me being very healthy and active, a cancer started in my bile ducts which was not caused by anything in my control and my life was never the same again."</p> <p>“Cholangiocarinoma is a rare aggressive cancer with often no obvious causes and no cure’.. I really really do hope that in the years to come more research is done about this horrid cruel disease so that more lives can be saved.”</p> <p>Despite her devastating diagnosis, she chose “not to mourn life” and make the most of her time. </p> <p>Daniella added: “So with that being said, although we can’t control what happens to us, we can control how we react. I chose not to mourn the life I was losing despite being so devastated, but to instead enjoy every moment I had left."</p> <p>“As I have always said and believed, you should enjoy the little things in life and cherish every moment! Romanticise your life! Do whatever makes you happy and don’t let anyone take the joy of life away from you." </p> <p>“I LOVED my life. Everything I had achieved was what I wanted. I loved my job, my fiancé, my family, my friends and my dog, and the house we were going to buy and the future we were making for ourselves."</p> <p>“Leo my fur baby was definitely brought into my life to help brighten my darkest days."</p> <p>“And lastly to my dear, beautiful Tom, I love you and always will. Thank you for supporting me and bringing so much love and happiness into my life. Go enjoy your life now, you deserve it.”</p> <p>Her message has already gained more than 30,000 likes, while hundreds of people rushed to leave their condolences to her loved ones.</p> <p>One person wrote, "Such courageous words from someone that I’ve never met. What a wonderful message to leave us with, may you rest in paradise.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

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