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Huge breakthrough after Aussie couple murdered on overseas holiday

<p>Just days after Australian couple David Fisk and Lucita Cortez were <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/australian-couple-killed-in-the-philippines-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">killed</a> in a luxury hotel in the Philippines, the suspected killer has reportedly turned himself in to police. </p> <p>The bodies of 54-year-old David Fisk and his de-facto partner Lucita Barquin Cortez, 55, were found with their hands and feet tied by hotel staff at the Lake Hotel in Tagaytay city, south of Manila, on Wednesday. </p> <p>The body of another woman, Cortez's  30-year-old daughter-in-law Mary who lives in the Philippines, was also found in the room. </p> <p>A week on from their deaths, Tagaytay Police Chief Charles Daven Capagcuan told the Associated Press that police had a breakthrough in the case when a suspect was identified by three hotel staff from CCTV footage. </p> <p>The identification of the suspect eventually led to his home where he decided to surrender, Capagcuan said.</p> <p>On Wednesday, Sunrise reporter Ben Downie shared the new developments.</p> <p>“Philippines police say this morning a man handed himself in over the hotel homicide where the killer carried out an execution-style attack binding his victims, slashing and suffocating them,” Downie said.</p> <p>“Hotel security footage showed the suspect leaving the room, but didn’t capture him entering, leading to the theory the killer had gained access from a window."</p> <p>“This certainly counts as a breakthrough with the surrendered suspect and closure for loved ones.”</p> <p>After hearing the news of the couple's sudden and tragic passing, Fisk's family, based in NSW's Sutherland Shire, issued a statement saying they "pray for answers and the truth in this horrific matter".</p> <p>"The love we have for our Father and Lucita is so dear and this situation is like living a nightmare," the family said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe / Facebook</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussie couple arrested and charged with spying for Russia

<p>An army private in the Australian Defence Force and her husband have been arrested after being accused of spying for the Russians.</p> <p>The Australian Federal Police arrested the 40-year-old soldier Kira Korolev and her 62-year-old labourer husband Igor Korolev at their Brisbane home on Thursday morning.</p> <p>They have been charged with preparing for an espionage offence.</p> <p>The woman has been employed by the ADF for several years as an information systems technician.</p> <p>It is alleged the Russian-born Australian citizens worked together to obtain sensitive information.</p> <p>AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said the couple have been living in Australia for more than a decade after the woman received her citizenship in 2016, with her husband also becoming a citizen in 2020. </p> <p>The woman is accused of not declaring her travels to Russia during long-term leave from the ADF since 2023, both with and without her husband.</p> <p>While her husband remained in Australia, the woman is accused of instructing the man to log into her official work account and access information to send to her private email while she was in Russia.</p> <p>It is alleged this information related to Australia’s national security interests and was accessed a number of times with the intent of passing it on to Russian authorities.</p> <p>“Western democracies, including Australia, are being targeted by state actors, but Australia’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies have the laws, capability and tradecraft to identify these spies and those seeking to undermine Australia’s interests,” Kershaw said on Friday.</p> <p>“So my direct warning is this, we know who you are. You are likely already exposed.”</p> <p>It is unknown if the information was passed on, or what the pair did while overseas, however the investigation is continuing.</p> <p>“Whether that information was handed over remains a key focus of our investigation,” Kershaw said. “Currently no significant compromise has been identified.”</p> <p>ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess said the “espionage threat is real”.</p> <p>“Multiple countries are seeking to steal Australia’s secrets. We cannot be naive and we cannot be complacent,” Burgess said.</p> <p>“Espionage is not some quaint Cold War notion. Espionage damages our economy and degrades our strategic advantage. It has catastrophic real-world consequences. Foreign intelligence services are capable, determined and patient."</p> <p>“They play the long game. The problem for them is ASIO does too,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: ADF</em></p>

Legal

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Australian couple killed in the Philippines identified

<p>An Australian couple who were allegedly murdered in the Philippines have been identified. </p> <p>The bodies of 54-year-old David Fisk and his de-facto partner Lucita Barquin Cortez, 55, were found with their hands and feet tied by hotel staff at the Lake Hotel in Tagaytay city, south of Manila, on Wednesday. </p> <p>The body of another woman, Cortez's  30-year-old daughter-in-law Mary who lives in the Philippines, was also found in the room. </p> <p>Hotel staff were alerted to the issue when they knocked on the door repeatedly to tell the couple it was time to check out. </p> <p>Fisk allegedly had his throat was slit with a sharp object that may have caused his death while the two women apparently may have been suffocated using a pillow, Tagaytay police chief Charles Daven Capagcuan told The Associated Press.</p> <p>Ongoing autopsies would verify those initial indications, he said.</p> <p>Fisk's family, based in NSW's Sutherland Shire, issued a statement saying they "pray for answers and the truth in this horrific matter".</p> <p>"The love we have for our Father and Lucita is so dear and this situation is like living a nightmare," the family said.</p> <p>Capagcuan said the motive for the killings was not immediately clear and added some valuables of the victims, including their mobile phones, were not taken by the suspect.</p> <p>"We were shocked by this incident," Tagaytay Mayor Abraham Tolentino said, apologising to the families of the victims.</p> <p>"We're very sorry to our Australian friends. We will resolve this as soon as possible."</p> <p>Tolentino said investigators were interviewing witnesses and examining security cameras at the hotel which could help identify the suspect or suspects, as a suspicious hooded figure was seen in the corridors of the hotel around the time of their deaths. </p> <p>A Filipino relative of the Australian woman told the AP that the Australian couple flew from Sydney to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for a vacation then headed to the Philippines on Monday to visit her two children from a previous marriage in the country.</p> <p>It's understood the Australian couple had been due to fly back home to Sydney on July 13th. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Cavite Provincial Police Office</em></p>

Caring

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Boomer couple divide audiences after revealing they're spending their children's inheritance

<p>A couple from Victoria have ignited a fierce debate over spending their children's inheritance, after they revealed they are happy to spend the money on holidays during their retirement years. </p> <p>Leanne and Leon Ryland appeared on the SBS show <em>Insight</em>, along with their son Alex, to discuss how they are spending their retirement fund without considering leaving their cash flow to their two grown up kids. </p> <p>The couple have spent $170,000 on travelling so far, with their goal to visit the wonders of the world taking them to Machu Picchu in Peru, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, with the US being next on their agenda. </p> <p>The couple joked the only thing their two sons would inherit would be their “shelf of s***”, a pile of cheap trinkets from their travels.</p> <p>However, the couple also own a home, and have been using their superannuation, pension and savings to fund their travels. </p> <p>Their jet setting comes after they saw a financial planner before they retired about four years ago after saving their whole lives.</p> <p>“We’ve done all the right things by investing in property, boosting up our super, making sure that was healthy, going without a lot of things,” Ms Ryland said.</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/reel/C9JyzoDvYkM/?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/C9JyzoDvYkM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Insight at SBS (@insightsbs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“And he said, ‘You’re crazy if you don’t retire when you can, because you’ll spend most of your wealth on travel or whatever in the first 10 years and then after that it slows down’."</p> <p>“It’s changing your mindset. You get into a phase now where you actually spend instead of save.”</p> <p>The cashed-up boomers run a Facebook group called “SKIclub”, which stands for “spending kids inheritance”, where retirees can share travel tips.</p> <p>Ms Ryland said she’s trying to convince her husband they have to “spend now, because if we don’t spend it, you know he gets it”, pointing to her son.</p> <p>“We’re not going be able to spend all this money so let’s do it because in another 10 years we won’t be climbing the Great Wall of China. We won’t be going up Machu Picchu,” she said.</p> <p>“We won’t be doing those things. So we’ve gotta do it now because what else is there?”</p> <p>The attitude of the couple quickly welcomed a wave of criticism online, who were quick to brand the pair as “entitled”. </p> <p>“SBS <em>Insight</em> tonight is hilarious — boomer privilege at its best &amp; still not conscious of it. So entitled,” one person wrote on X.</p> <p>“Boomers are evil … bragging about overseas holidays with no regard for the environment, spending all their money so their kids have no inheritance,” another wrote.</p> <p>“Clogging healthcare due to their perceived entitlement for health and refusal to die. Selfish and privileged.”</p> <p>However, despite the views of many on social media, the couple’s son Alex appeared to support his parents' decision.</p> <p>“It’s their money,” he told the program.</p> <p>“They’ve worked hard their entire life and invested well in order to get that money so I think they should be able to do whatever they’d like with it.”</p> <p>Alex's sentiment was echoed by others online, with one person saying, "They have a right to do what they want, after the years of being so amazing and responsible for raising a kids, their turn is now."</p> <p>Another simply stated, "It's their money, they can do what they want."</p> <p><em>Insight</em>’s ‘The Boomer Economy’ is available to stream on <a title="https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/news-series/insight" href="https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/news-series/insight" data-outlook-id="534ae148-66c7-42db-b3ee-8f15bf016de4">SBS On Demand</a> now.</p> <p><em>Image credits: SBS</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Couple's retirement plans "ruined" after investment fail

<p>A couple from Brisbane claim their retirement has been "ruined" after an investment went wrong. </p> <p>After first visiting Coffs Harbour in 1976, Raymond and Wendy Dibb saw potential in the area, land-banking 2.7 hectares of rural acreage in the late 1980s. </p> <p>The couple bought the land in Korora for $118,000 in 1988 and sat on it for decades, waiting for the day they could make their retirement fortune by subdividing and selling it off.</p> <p>However they never got the chance, as the land was compulsorily acquired by Transport for NSW back in 2021 in order to make way for the Pacific Highway bypass.</p> <p>The $2.2 billion highway is now currently being built over the top of the block, which will be the site of a major intersection when the project opens to traffic in late 2026.</p> <p>The couple believed the land was worth a hefty $5.5 million, although Transport NSW valued it at just $1.062 million back in 2021.</p> <p>A gruelling three-year legal battle finally ended in the NSW Court of Appeal on June 28th, with the Dibbs being awarded $1.359 million in compensation, although they argued they deserved more. </p> <p>“This was a pretty significant financial transaction that’s really gone bad for us,” Raymond Dibb told the<em> </em><a title="www.smh.com.au" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/couple-loses-property-fight-after-highway-swallows-5-5-million-dream-20240703-p5jqrx.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>. </a>“And it’s got nothing to do with our investment choices."</p> <p>“We’re talking about landowners just minding their own business, and someone comes knocking on your door, saying, ‘We’re going to take your land’”.</p> <p>Mr Dibb slammed the entire process of the acquisition, saying that he believed an independent body should conduct compulsory acquisitions rather than the government.</p> <p>In the Land and Environment Court, Justice Nicola Pain ended up increasing the couple’s compensation to $1.42 million after it was determined the land could have produced seven residential lots with less risk and cost.</p> <p>She found they were also entitled to money to cover fees and stamp duty on a replacement block for their land bank, which the couple argued they would need to buy to delay paying capital gains tax.</p> <p>Transport for NSW argued that they should not have been granted any money for stamp duty, with Justices Kristina Stern, Anthony Payne and Jeremy Kirk agreeing.</p> <p>This was stripped from the award and they refused to revalue the block of land. The couple were also ordered to pay the government’s costs of the two-day appeal.</p> <p>Mr Dibb is considering seeking leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision. He added that the couple’s retirement plans had been ruined by Transport for NSW, which originally offered just $470,000 for the land back in 2019.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Transport for NSW said the government body “empathises with residents and landowners affected by property acquisitions” and said they always “try to minimise the need for property acquisition”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Tax the boomers": Outrage over elderly couple's complaint after $1m Lotto win

<p>A "greedy" elderly couple have been rinsed online after complaining about losing their age pension payments after they won the Lotto. </p> <p>The couple, aged 73 and 67, wrote into <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-retirement/we-won-the-lottery-but-lost-our-pension-could-we-have-prevented-this-20240702-p5jqga.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a>'s financial advice column with Noel Whittaker to ask how they could've prevented losing the government funds and still kept hold of their million-dollar winnings. </p> <p>The couple's submission read, "We are a couple... both retired and receiving the full aged pension. We recently won $1,000,000 in the lottery and have placed that money in a basic interest-bearing savings account with our bank."</p> <p>"We intend to use that money to buy a new house and sell our existing one but may just renovate. The windfall has stopped our pension completely until we spend the money, which is all good and well. But could we have prevented the pension loss in any way?"</p> <p>Whittaker responded that the couple should consider themselves extremely fortunate and enjoy the money, saying they "could have a far better lifestyle living off capital instead of relying on welfare". </p> <p>He also urged the couple not "spend to get a pension". </p> <p>The boomers' questions quickly drew attention online, with many flocking to Facebook comments to slam the couple for their "greed". </p> <p>One person wrote, "If you won the lotto, why would you want the pension?", while another added, "Ah yes, the call of the boomers everywhere, 'I have millions but where's my pension money?'"</p> <p>Others said the Lotto winners should consider themselves lucky they are now able to provide for themselves, with one person writing, "Pension is a support system to allow you to survive without/reduced work in retirement. If you are a multimillionaire then you don't need it."</p> <p>Another person echoed the sentiment, saying, "Wow, what entitlement. The pension is a safety net, if you don’t qualify for it think yourself lucky."</p> <p>Other social media users simply shared their outrage towards the boomer generation, as one frustrated person wrote, "Won a million and whinging they can't scam the taxpayers, what self-centered arrogance", while another added, "Tax the boomers! No more handouts."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <div class="x6s0dn4 x3nfvp2" style="font-family: inherit; align-items: center; display: inline-flex; min-width: 604px;"> <ul class="html-ul xe8uvvx xdj266r x4uap5 x18d9i69 xkhd6sd x1n0m28w x78zum5 x1wfe3co xat24cr xsgj6o6 x1o1nzlu xyqdw3p" style="list-style: none; margin: 0px -8px 0px 4px; padding: 3px 0px 0px; display: flex; min-height: 15px; line-height: 12px; caret-color: #1c1e21; color: #1c1e21; font-family: system-ui, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, '.SFNSText-Regular', sans-serif; font-size: 12.000001px;" aria-hidden="false"> <li class="html-li xe8uvvx xdj266r xat24cr xexx8yu x4uap5 x18d9i69 xkhd6sd x1rg5ohu x1emribx x1i64zmx" style="list-style: none; display: inline-block; padding: 0px; margin: 0px 8px;"> </li> </ul> </div>

Retirement Income

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David Beckham's incredible offer for 'stealing' couple's wedding venue

<p>David Beckham has reportedly made a huge offer to a couple in a bid to steal the venue from them. </p> <p>The couple had booked the luxury resort Gleneagles in Scotland, UK for their dream wedding, but the football legend - who has reportedly been busy hunting for the perfect location to celebrate his 50th birthday - also wanted to book the venue to mark the milestone birthday. </p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/david-beckham-steals-couples-wedding-32864115" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Mirror</a>,</em> Beckham has apparently convinced the couple to move their wedding date and venue by helping them pay off their wedding and a few other special offers. </p> <p>A “friend of a friend” took to X, to share the claim this week. </p> <p>“A friend of a friend is getting married at Gleneagles next year but David Beckham wants the date for his 50th, so to get the friend to move it so he can have the hotel, Gleneagles are paying for their new wedding date, honeymoon AND paying off their mortgage … the power of Becks," user Ollienarrator wrote in a tweet. </p> <p>Fans of Beckham praised the football legend for being so generous. </p> <p>“OMG!!!! That’s absolutely wild! Ah but so worth it,” wrote one person. </p> <p>“What a wedding present!” added another, to which the original poster responded:  “I bet Beckham won’t have to pay either! But yeah, mortgage paid off will do!” </p> <p><em>The Mirror</em> reported that they have contacted Beckham's representatives for a comment. </p> <p><em>Image: Ryan Browne/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Elderly couple left stranded by cruise ship

<p>An elderly American couple was left behind by a Norwegian Cruise Line while on holiday in Spain this week. </p> <p>Richard and Claudene Gordon- aged 84 and 81 - were on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Norwegian Viva with plans to celebrate Richard's birthday before things went downhill.</p> <p>The couple decided to take an independent excursion by themselves while the ship was docked in Motril, Spain, but on their return, their bus was delayed for an hour due to poor weather, so they ran late for the 5:30pm all-aboard time ahead of a scheduled 6pm departure.</p> <p>“I am a very experienced traveler and have probably been on as many as 30 cruises during my lifetime,” Richard told <em>CNN</em>. </p> <p>“Never before have we ever missed catching a ship on time at a port. So we are not someone who abuses the system.”</p> <p>Richard claimed that at 5:45pm they notified a relative on board who raised the alarm that they were nearby and running late, but nothing could be done at that point as the ship had to leave on time. </p> <p>By the time the couple arrived at 6:10pm, the boat had left the harbour, but Richard claimed that the cruise line had a tendency to depart behind schedule, and made no attempt to contact them until  late Tuesday. </p> <p>“Our cruise began in Lisbon and we departed from Lisbon about one and a half hours after the scheduled departure at 4pm,” he claimed.</p> <p>“Then the next night or two, at least a half-hour late from the dock, so it is clear that they do not always leave on the exact moment scheduled.”</p> <p>The couple were left stranded without their medication, eyeglasses and spare hearing aid batteries, which were left on board. </p> <p>Their daughter ended up having to book her parents a flight to Palma de Mallorca, where the boat was making its next call Wednesday morning, according to the publication. </p> <p>By the time the couple got to Mallorca, they were met with "a beautiful black BMW limousine" which took them back to their ship. </p> <p>"There we were met by the head of ship services who escorted us inside the ship to meet the general manager of the ship, then they escorted us to breakfast, then they escorted us to our cabin.They said they have already complained about the harbour master who was supposed to take care of things for them.</p> <p>"But of course the ship had not contacted us directly for two days so that doesn’t speak so well for them.”</p> <p>The Norwegian Cruise Line disputed the couple’s account of what happened.</p> <p>“After several attempts to contact these guests with the phone numbers provided, as well as trying to phone their emergency contact, we were unable to speak to them directly. However, we worked closely with the local port agents to make arrangements for the guests to rejoin the vessel,” a spokesperson said. </p> <p>“It is important to note that a delayed departure has the potential to impact the ship’s ability to deliver its planned itinerary and thus influence the experience for all guests on-board. While this was a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time.”</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Unique way couple raised $11K for their wedding

<p>When Andie Lickiss proposed to Pagan on New Years Eve in 2021, he had no idea that the pair would spend the next year collecting trash from their neighbours. </p> <p>With the cost-of-living on the rise, the couple were doing everything they could to save up for their dream wedding on September 2023. </p> <p>“We were both working two jobs, trying to save for a house, and everything is just so expensive,” Pagan told <em>7Life</em>. </p> <p>“We didn’t want the wedding to put us in debt.”</p> <p>While thinking of ways to cut corners and save more money, Pagan - who was a keen recycler and had been using a state government-run recycling initiative, Return and Earn, since 2018 - felt inspired to take her recycling to the next level after spotting a wheelie bin in her backyard. </p> <p>Pagan then took to her local community Facebook page to ask her neighbours for their unwanted bottles and cans to help with the cost of their wedding, with the initiative offering 10 cents per aluminium can, plastic or glass bottle deposited.</p> <p>“I had about 50 messages from people ... saying they will just stack them outside their house and we can come and collect,” she said. </p> <p>She then started mapping out the perfect route to pick up the recycling ,and not long after, the couple began their trash-collecting journey almost every day after work in their ute and trailer. </p> <p>“People might laugh because it is only 10 cents (per container),” she said. </p> <p>“But every little bit counts.”</p> <p>Over 19 months the couple recycled more than 100,000 containers, and made memories along the way, as they got closer to their neighbours who would donate cardboard boxes and wheelie bins full of empty cans and bottles. </p> <p>They also volunteered at local sporting events and spent weekends cleaning up fields and stadiums. </p> <p>Each dollar went towards their goal of $4,500 to pay for their dream photographer, with the couple sometimes pocketing more than $400 at a time when they cashed in each load. </p> <p>Within six months the couple had reached their goal, but they didn't stop there. </p> <p>“I couldn’t believe it,” Pagan said. </p> <p>“We just decided to keep going. The cost of living wasn’t getting cheaper.”</p> <p>Andie and Pagan cashed in cans and bottles right up until the week before their wedding. </p> <p>“We never told anyone how much we made,” Pagan said. </p> <p>“Our celebrant announced it at the wedding (and) the looks on everyone’s faces! They were so shocked, and our photographers caught it.”</p> <p>The couple collected a grand total of $11,127.50 with the help of their local community, and now Pagan encourages others to reach out and ask for help. </p> <p>“I hope that people who are doing it tough are not afraid to reach out and ask for help.”</p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

Relationships

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"Exciting news": MKR couple Carly and Tresne share heartwarming update

<p><em>My Kitchen Rules</em> couple Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton have shared that they are expected a baby boy. </p> <p>The couple endured the worst when their daughter, Poppy Grace, passed away in February 2023 at just 20 months old after battling leukaemia. </p> <p>Just five months after Poppy's death, the couple were dealt another blow as they announced they had suffered a miscarriage.</p> <p>Now, a year on from Poppy's tragic passing, the women have shared some joyous news with their followers, sharing that they are expecting a new addition to their family.</p> <p>Posting the pregnancy announcement to their shared Instagram page, they wrote that their baby boy is due on August 24th this year: just one day before Carly's birthday.</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/reel/C4-FyQ6RJLe/?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/reel/C4-FyQ6RJLe/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Carly Tresne (@carlyandtresne)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“We have some exciting news! Poppy Grace is going to be a big sister! 🎉” they said on Tuesday.</p> <p>“We’ve been battling with the right time to share this news, as we always want to be sensitive to those who have been going through their own challenges with cancer and fertility treatment. But this bump is getting too big to hide!”</p> <p>Carly continued writing of the challenging journey she and Tresne had gone through, both undergoing IVF while dealing with the grief of losing Poppy Grace.</p> <p>“We both struggle with visiting the hospital due to the difficult memories of our 17 months living in hospital with Poppy Grace," she wrote. </p> <p>"This darling little boy is something very positive for us to look forward to. Thank you to the people who have continued to be in our corner."</p> <p>"We want to give this sweet little boy the best possible chance, and we know that our beautiful Poppy will be excitedly looking down on us with happiness dancing in her heart. 🩵"</p> <p>The announcement prompted a flood of well wishes and congratulations for the couple, with one overjoyed fan writing, "Oh I’m so happy for you all. A beautiful little boy sent from above by their big sis."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Update on search for bodies of murdered couple

<p>The search for the bodies of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies, a Sydney couple tragically slain in an alleged double murder, continues to unfold, as human remains have now reportedly been found near the Bungonia property that was originally searched by police on Monday.</p> <p>NSW Police had been tirelessly scouring a property in Grays Point and the vast nearby Royal National Park, a locale now inexorably linked to the grim events of February 19.</p> <p>At the centre of the drama stands Beaumont Lamarre-Condon, the 28-year-old former NSW police officer who now finds himself behind bars, charged with the murder of Jesse Baird, a 26-year-old former Ten reporter, and his partner Luke Davies, aged 29. The alleged timeline of events paints a picture of horror, with the couple believed to have met their demise sometime between midnight and 5pm on Monday.</p> <p>The Grays Point property that was under intense scrutiny is Lamarre-Condon’s family home<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">. As investigators dig deeper into the case, attention was also been drawn to a Bungonia property in the Southern Tablelands, where Lamarre-Condon and an acquaintance embarked on a cryptic journey just days after the alleged murders. Police shifted their search efforts from </span>Bungonia to the Grays Point property on Tuesday morning in hopes of discovering the missing bodies, until officers announced on Tuesday afternoon that human remains had been discovered near the original search site in Bungonia.</p> <p>In a public address to the media on Tuesday afternoon, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said, <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">"We believe we have located two bodies at that location. </span>The families have been informed. And crime scene detectives have just arrived on scene at that location now."</p> <p>Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty also revealed that Homicide Squad detectives went to Silverwater prison to speak with Lamarre-Condon at about 11am on Tuesday, and that "as a result of that, he provided assistance to the investigation and [was] able to provide a location of where Luke and Jesse were."</p> <p>Police then went to a second location at Bungonia, about 20 minutes from the original search location, and found the bodies. "There were two surf bags that have been found. And some debris and other items of interest of significance."</p> <p>Doherty also said police phoned the families immediately after the bodies were found. "It's probably mixed emotions for them. You can understand how they may have felt. But at least they have an answer and they want to travel down to the Goulburn area, and we'll provide as much support as we can and accommodate them."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram / NSW Police</em></p>

Legal

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"Too good to be true": Bank teller saves couple from losing $40k

<p>A Tasmanian couple have been saved from losing $40k into an online investment scam after a bank teller noticed the red flags. </p> <p>The couple visited the NAB branch in Rosny, Hobart after their account was blocked during an attempt to transfer the money to an ‘online investment firm’ in Perth. </p> <p>The payment was the first of two instalments that they were set to pay the "firm" but NAB Customer Advisor Erin Bugg saved them from a massive loss. </p> <p>Bugg became suspicious of the firm after they promised a 12 per cent return on their term deposit  and a guaranteed pay out if the firm went bust. </p> <p>“If there was a scam red flags bingo card, ‘online investment opportunity’ would be top of the list,”  the NAB Customer Advisor said. </p> <p>“Immediately, alarm bells went off for me. It sounded like an investment scam and I was concerned this couple could lose their life savings.” </p> <p>The couple, however, insisted that they weren't being scammed so Bugg decided to look into the matter further and found a website and article about the firm. </p> <p>When she looked into the rates they offered she realised it “was literally too good to be true." </p> <p>“No one likes to be told they’re being lied to, especially when they feel like they’ve done all the right things. They had done their own research, and even spoken to the company on the phone,” she said. </p> <p>She added that "alarm bells" started ringing when the wife explained that a man from the firm kept calling her to thank her for the investment and encourage her to open an account. </p> <p>The couple then rang the "firm" in front of Bugg to try and convince her it was real. </p> <p>“I declined to speak to the ‘firm’, but I could hear them telling the customers, ‘Oh, NAB always flags us as a scam’,’”  she recalled. </p> <p>NAB’s fraud team then informed them that the firm had a bank account at another bank, and to call the bank to confirm whether it was legit. </p> <p>After calling the other bank, they found that the account was not connected to the investment firm and suggested them to not transfer anything. </p> <p>“It was such a relief to hear from the customer that they’d avoided being scammed,” Bugg said. </p> <p>This comes after Scamwatch received  over 7,000 reports of investment scams collectively costing Aussies  over $275 million in the last year. </p> <p><em>Image: NAB </em></p>

Money & Banking

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“We’ve been keeping a secret”: The Block couple announce heartwarming news

<p dir="ltr"><em>The Block</em> couple Dylan and Jenny are expecting their first child. </p> <p dir="ltr">The fan favourite couple from the renovation series took to Instagram to share the exciting news, posting a series of photos of the soon-to-be parents posing on the beach with their ultrasound in hand. </p> <p dir="ltr">Writing on their joint social media account, the couple shared that their first baby is due this coming winter. </p> <p dir="ltr">"We've been keeping a little secret… Baby Adams due July 👶🏼," the elated couple wrote in the post.</p> <p dir="ltr">The post was met with an abundance of well-wishes from fellow <em>Block</em> stars, with Tom and Sarah-Jane commenting: "Yasssssssss 🙌🙌🙌 I am so thrilled for you guys! You guys are going to be phenomenal parents ❤️."</p> <p dir="ltr">El'ise and Matt added, "Congratulations beautiful people!!! The fun is about to begin," while Shelley Craft also shared her well wishes for the couple. </p> <p dir="ltr">The announcement of their growing family comes just less than a year after the couple got married in March last year, at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the Gold Coast.</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/CqPnmfJvu6R/?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/CqPnmfJvu6R/?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">The wedding was attended by a host of <em>Block</em> couples, including Rachel and Ryan, Ankur and Sharon and Tom and Sarah-Jane.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dylan and Jenny were fan favourites on <em>The Block</em>'s 2022 Season, but their stunning Macedon Ranges house was passed in at auction.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e6c363e0-7fff-a33b-dab5-e4580d7e479b"></span></p>

Family & Pets

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Couple who found love in chemotherapy raise funds for final trip

<p>Ainslie Plumb, 22, and Joe Fan, 29, found love in an unexpected place, at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. </p> <p>The couple met in 2022 while they were both undergoing leukaemia treatment. </p> <p>“We met at an event for young people with cancer and became friends following that,” Plumb told <em>7News</em>. </p> <p>“(We) would hang out during our hospital stays, I asked him out in October 2022 and (we) have been together ever since.” </p> <p>While Plumb successfully entered remission, last October, Fan was told that he was now terminal, as doctors had run out of options to treat his Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. </p> <p>With only months left to live, Fan, who has actively given back to the hospital and cancer community by playing his violin for patients and staff and worked with the Queensland Youth Cancer Service, has one final wish - to travel. </p> <p>The couple have set a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-joe-live-his-dreams" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a>, to help raise funds which cover flights, accommodation and specialised travel insurance, for Fan's final trip.</p> <p>“I go through my cancer treatments and observe the toll that takes on my physical and mental wellbeing,” Fan said.</p> <p>“The end of a trip can hopefully mark the start of another — and I have held onto hope, looked forward and dreamed for one more trip, more time, one more experience with that someone I love.”</p> <p>Their first destination will be Taiwan and Hong Kong, where Fan's parents are from and where he spent a majority of his childhood. </p> <p>They also intend to travel to New Zealand and Western Australia to swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo in the state’s north.</p> <p>“We’re aiming at going at the end of February to give us time to co-ordinate with his doctors around his appointments and infusions, which are all booked in advance,” Plumb said. </p> <p>“We recently reached 75 per cent on the fundraiser and are hoping to hit 100 per cent perhaps by the end of January.”</p> <p>As of today, the couple have successfully raised over $21,000 from their $20,000 goal, and have thanked everyone in their community and strangers for their support. </p> <p>“Truly, words do not suffice,” the couple said.</p> <p><em>Images: 7News </em></p> <p> </p>

Relationships

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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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Couple misses their own wedding after cruise ship forced to turn back

<p>A couple has missed their own dream destination wedding after their cruise ship was denied entry into New Zealand. </p> <p>Janine Sherriff and Kyle Risk dreamed of exchanging rings at the popular Lord of the Rings filming location, Hobbiton, located on the north island of New Zealand. </p> <p>The couple were meant to meet up with some close friends and family in New Zealand, as they travelled across from Australia on a P&amp;O cruise ship, but were turned back from docking over an unclean hull. </p> <p>The “Kiwi Adventure” cruise, which was meant to be a 13-day journey, turned into more of a Tasmanian adventure after the ship was told to head to Australia’s southernmost state instead.</p> <p>New Zealand’s biosecurity laws were triggered over just three juvenile mussels and one single hydroid (AKA: lace coral), which needed to be removed from the ship's hull. </p> <p>“We took the time off from work, we had our nearest and dearest friends and family all co-ordinate to be in New Zealand at this exact time,” Janine told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-25/cruise-ship-turned-away-from-nz/103151078">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>“The plan was to get off the boat, go straight to Hobbiton, have our wedding, then head straight back to the boat for the rest of the honeymoon.”</p> <p>“Now we have to figure out what to do about our wedding, we have all this money down the drain. I am heartbroken this day has been taken away from me."</p> <p>Kyle added, “First off, I was furious.” </p> <p>“I saw Janine’s face when we got the news. I was ready to explode.</p> <p>“I got a selfie from our family and friends at the site in Hobbiton we should have been on about 20 minutes before we had to turn around.”</p> <p>“It would have meant a lot as it was a beautiful setting. As long as we have each other,” he added.</p> <p>The cruise operator in charge of the vessel, P&amp;O, has offered customers $300 in on-board credit and a 50 per cent credit on a future cruise.</p> <p>“We apologise for the change in itinerary and thank our guests for their patience and understanding,” a spokesperson for the company’s Australian division said per the <em><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12791331/Engaged-couple-P-O-cruise-forced-turn-New-Zealand-fume-dream-Lord-Rings-wedding-ruined.html">Daily Mail</a></em>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussie couple touched by neighbours kind response to crying baby

<p>A Western Australia mum has shared the incredibly touching response her neighbour gave in response to her baby's crying. </p> <p>Amy Mark took to Facebook to share a photo of the note and a bundle of baby supplies that was left by her neighbour at her front door on Wednesday. </p> <p>"Hey, we are your neighbours from behind you," the note read.</p> <p>"We have heard your little bub crying a few times and thought we would drop off some nappies and wipes as we know how tough the early days are!</p> <p>"We hope this brightens your day," the note concluded. </p> <p>Amy captioned the photo: "Our neighbours left this note at our front door along with some nappies and wipes. Thank you for your kindness and being patient with the noise of a crying newborn." </p> <p>The mum told <em>Daily Mail Australia </em>that their newborn is often restless and night and struggles to fall asleep until 10pm. </p> <p>"We were worried about keeping the neighbours awake but it’s warming to know that some people understand the nighttime struggle," she told the publication. </p> <p>"A lot of parents have it harder than we do so we are grateful for the kind gesture and plan to pay it forward."</p> <p>Thousands of Aussies took to the comments to applaud the kind neighbours and also offered their sympathy for the new parents. </p> <p>"More people should be neighbours like this," one wrote. </p> <p>"What wonderful neighbours to have. That brought tears to my eyes," another commented. </p> <p>"Gifts and understanding, what more can you ask for?" a third added. </p> <p>A few other mum's took to the comments to share their experiences with thoughtful neighbours. </p> <p>One mum wrote: "I had a lovely neighbour who used to come hold and cuddle my twins while we chatted and it helped me get a few things done." </p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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

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

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“Now THIS is a gift I can get behind”: Couple praised for unusual wedding request

<p dir="ltr">A young couple have come up with an inventive way to pay off a speeding fine, while asking their friends and family to contribute to the cost. </p> <p dir="ltr">Annabelle and James, from Texas in the US, were less than three weeks away from their wedding when James unfortunately received a speeding fine in the mail. </p> <p dir="ltr">With their wedding budget already at capacity, the young couple weren’t sure how they were going to be able to fork out for the $231 fine. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, they came up with a genius way to deal with the fine: by adding it to their wedding gift registry. </p> <p dir="ltr">Annabelle shared their great idea to TikTok, writing, “Wedding in 26 days, timing couldn't be better.”</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: 600px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7288095171068103982&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40imthatgurlneb%2Fvideo%2F7288095171068103982&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign.tiktokcdn-us.com%2Fobj%2Ftos-useast5-p-0068-tx%2FokrbI8IiAf2R6neDQgBDaXXCZ2DEJl8SgCBJIz%3Fx-expires%3D1697760000%26x-signature%3DdT%252FKt%252BrdEhkr8paiK0OSLVuZj0g%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p dir="ltr">In the video, Annabelle showed her fiancé James sitting in front of a computer holding an envelope containing the $231 penalty for driving over the speed limit. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Feel free to support James in his down-bad era on The Knot at Annabelle and James's Wedding Registry,” she wrote in the caption of the clip. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the 15-second-clip, Annabelle showed their registry list on the computer screen, focusing on a section for 'cash fund' on their digital gift wish list and a picture of a police officer issuing the fine.</p> <p dir="ltr">She then zoomed in on James updating their registry, writing 'PLEASE HELP,' as he added the speeding fine to the cash fund.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video has racked up hundreds of thousands of views, with many people praising their inventive way of repaying the fine. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Now this is a wedding gift I can get behind,” one viewer declared.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others also flocked to the comments to share similar stories that happened around their own wedding days. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I got a speeding ticket the night before our wedding... guess it happens to the best of us,” added one person.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My husband got a speeding ticket the day of our rehearsal dinner, so very relatable,” agreed another. </p> <p dir="ltr">Image credits: TikTok</p>

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"Entitled" couple slammed for charging guests almost $4K to attend wedding

<p>A daring UK couple has taken being frugal to the next level by charging their guests £2,000 (AUD $3,806) to attend their wedding.</p> <p>The couple's antics have gone viral on Reddit after one of the guests shared the bewildering experience online</p> <p>The guest claimed that he received an email prior to the wedding with a link that read, "Click here for payment."</p> <p>Assuming it was a link for a honeymoon fund, the guest clicked on it only to discover the couple's ridiculous request for nearly £2,000. </p> <p>The generous guest decided to humour the couple and paid the fee, hoping that he would be able to enjoy the free bar and indulge in the wedding feast, to reap some of the benefits of his investment. </p> <p>It's not surprising that the couple, who asked their guests to pay for their wedding, also charged them for drinks. After spending nearly £2,000, the wedding guest also had to pay an additional £30 (AUD $57) on drinks.</p> <p>After doing the maths, the guest concluded that the wedding venue's cost had been evenly distributed among them - so the couple essentially enjoyed a free wedding thanks to their friends and family.</p> <p>This sparked outrage among other Reddit users who were in disbelief over the couple's "entitlement". </p> <p>"I'm sorry (not sorry), but I would never pay to attend a wedding, let alone pay £2000. The entitlement is overflowing here!" commented one person</p> <p>"I'd reach out to the bride and groom for a refund," wrote another. </p> <p>"Your friend and every other guest were absolute suckers for going along with this scheme," another brutally honest user added. </p> <p>Another user criticised the couple for not providing drinks for their generous guests. </p> <p>"I don't have anything against dry weddings but surely you can offer something other than just water."</p> <p>"As soon as I saw that payment screen, I'd have cancelled my RSVP. Regardless of the bride and groom's relationship, if you want a particular type of wedding, foot the bill yourself," another user commented.</p> <p>"Their approach was simply tacky."</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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